Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to Inuyasha. I DO however, own the character Ayaela.
Author: This is a Easter gift from me to you guys! Hope you like! Oh, and if anyone should decide they would like to use Ayaela in a story of there own, I don't mind. I just ask that you inform me of it before you do. Besides, I'd like to read the story too! ^_^
This is a two parter everyone! Part Two will be out right after Easter.
~Dear, when thou has finished thy task,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
Come to me, my hand for to ask,
For thou then art a true love of mine.
-Scarborough FairTHE GIFT
What started it all...
The sun sat high in the sky as its rays lit the open field below it.
A young woman stooped gracefully down as she plucked the last ingredient she needed to complete her task.
A radiant smile sat on her lovely face as she hummed happily to herself. She was brimming with happiness over her latest decision and she couldn't wait to put it into action. Emerald eyes sparkling like precious jewels. 'Only a little while longer...'
Her long golden locks fell in glistening waves as she rose to gain her feet once more. The wavy mass swung lightly against her calves in the light breeze as she titled her head back to raise her face towards the sky.
Her skin glowed radiantly with a light dusting of tan from spending a lot of her time in the sun. The full curve of her lips parted with a small giggle that tinkled through the open air like music on the wind. She was ecstatic with what she was about to do!
Her beauty was timeless. Literally. No one who saw her; if they had the fortune of seeing her in this form; would ever believe the young woman had just celebrated her one thousand and ninth birthday!
The young woman just couldn't stop smiling. The day was perfect! It was the first day after the summer solstice, which meant it was her last chance-or wait for another year to pass-to give the gift she was bent on giving.
Slowly she began to spin, three hundred and sixty degrees, three times. She shut her eyes and in a language that was older then life itself, she spoke an incantation that had long since been forgotten. Palms raised to the heavens she called on a magic older then herself and set into motion things that could not be stopped once began.
"Asche fignesidr en dgnople llgiesdn igntdl nes greowl sornelif asp li endolpns..."
When she finished she laughed lightly to herself as the wind began to dance and swirl all about her. Her hair flew wildly about as it swam in the wind. Suddenly the sweet smell of a new rose in bloom began to permeate the air as a soft mist rose from the ground.
She could feel the magic working.
She closed her right hand around her ingredients, than brought both her hands down. She kissed the center of her other palm then swiftly smacked her hands together. Palm to palm. At their impact a large bolt of energy swept through the field and the wind abruptly stopped.
All was quiet. Not a single sound could be heard in the clearing.
Holding her hands tightly together she began to rub them back and forth, vigorously, against each other.
And just as the items began to sift through her fingers and out the bottom of her hands like dust she spoke aloud to the wind.
"With this gift, let what dwells low rise above. Bring forth the light and heal what needs mended. What can only end with acknowledged love. With Earth's strongest breath carry to its intended."
She continued rubbing her hands 'til there was nothing left between them. She watched as a bright piercing light grew quickly between her closed hands before fading away just as fast.
She watched as the soft breeze picked up once more and carried her spell down and towards the village that lie far in the distance.
The young sorceress dropped her hands to her sides then and sighed to herself.
'It is done.'
She looked down when she felt a warm nose nuzzle itself into her open palm. Until that moment the large white wolf had kept at a safe distance waiting for her to finish her spell. She smiled into large dark blue eyes; undisguised love shining in her green depths.
"Hello Duo," she said in greeting; her voice light.
He purred softly in response as he removed his nose from her hand.
"Strange, is it not? I had not imagined her heart would lay in such a direction. Then again, I never would have thought it of him as well. Will he ever cease to surprise me?"
The wolf gave the woman a sideways glance in answer as if to say, 'oh really?' then he gave short nod at her answering smirk.
"Oh yes," she smiled with a glint in her eyes, "they also remind me of another couple. One whose love was great, but just as... mismatched as there's. And imagine it will effect those around them just as the first two had effect those around them."
Then a shadowed crossed her beautiful face as a look of sadness fell over it. The wolf, seeing that look, pressed his body lightly against her leg. Not enough to knock the woman's generous curves over, but just enough to acknowledge a mutual feeling and offer comfort.
"They have one better though for she is not as ordinary as one might think... and he holds the ability to make her more then what she is... unlike, the couple who came before. It is good she holds power of her own." She placed her hand atop the wolf's snowy cap head. "It shall be interesting to watch them. They are both so very proud."
She looked towards the direction the spell had traveled and sighed once more.
"They will learn that pride can be a very cold bedfellow. And I don't doubt they will be very stubborn about it
As if in afterthought, she turned to the fire neko who sat but a few paces away. For a moment she'd forgotten she summoned the loyal feline to her side.
"Kirara," she smiled apologetically. "My apologies. I have kept you long enough. Go. Return to your Taijiya and her companions."
Kirara nodded and swiftly transformed into her larger self. When she went to leap into the air she paused at the sound of her name and looked back to the sorceress and waited.
"And Kirara," she called in her sweet timber, "make sure she receives my gift."
She watched as the fire youkai flew away until she could no longer see the feline's body in the distance.
The neko headed south towards the Western Territories.
The woman was still very happy with what she did. Over last couple of years she had watched a young girl travel with her companions through the lands helping all those she'd come into contact with.
Selflessly the girl had placed herself in countless kinds of dangers to help others as she tried to right an accident.
She watched as the girl helped a kind demon being ostracized by the humans in the village he lived near. She saw as the girl helped a possessed prince, saved an imprisoned water-goddess, made friends with a courageous, yet often misguided, wolf prince who'd kidnapped her, helped a village who's souls had been stolen, and much, much more. For she'd been there to see it all as she'd played as someone else.
And amongst all that the young woman had remained true as she grew and fault with her own heart and mind.
Oh, yes! The miko deserved a gift and the sorceress was going to make sure she received it.
"Live well young miko. And forever be happy," she breathed quietly.
The Sorceress then turned and headed in the opposite direction the large neko had gone in; her wolf at her side.
The music of a girlish giggle rung through the clearing, and down the mountain, to get lost in the wind. And though her last words had sounded like a farewell, she knew she'd see Kagome Higurashi again
Kagome lay sprawled on her back, arms flung out to her sides, as she basked in the glow of the sun and the soft breeze rushing through the air.
She'd been coming back and forth between their times for almost three years now and was enjoying the first feel of peace she'd had in a long time.
It was summer time. She was overjoyed at the prospect. After having graduated from high school this pass school year... and actually passing with good grades, she was in need of a rest. And now that they only had a few more shards left to find to complete the jewel it looked as if the final battle with Naraku wasn't far off either... if they could find him.
Naraku, after their last win over the hanyou in battle, had gone into hiding once more. It seemed that the hanyou was more then willing to take on both Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru in battle alone, but when the two inu-brothers came together-which lets face it, wasn't very often-Naraku took to the hills with the speed of a jack rabbit.
Kagome had no idea why Sesshoumaru had agreed to fight along side them against their mutual problem with Naraku, but he had... and he did. And, she had to admit, it was a glorious sight to see!
The Taiyoukai was a force to be reckoned with in battle and she could obviously see when she took the time to watch; which she had done often... to make sure he wasn't fighting with Inuyasha, of course.... of course; that the Taiyoukai had held back in his dealings with his brother.
She wondered, not for the first time either, if that meant something.
Admittedly she'd been thinking an awful lot about the beautiful demon lord. 'Argh!!' And why was she all of a sudden noticing how he looked? Not that he wasn't great to look at... he was, but why was she making note of it now? After all, he was beautiful when she first met him and he was beautiful when he tried to kill her... every time he tried to kill her. But, except for her initial reaction to seeing him, she hadn't been pointing the obvious out.
And if she remembered right, he'd taken exception to her thoughts on his looks... granted that could have had something to do with her thinking he looked like a female... and then going so far as to state the thought aloud.
'Its not like it isn't true,' she huffed to herself then sighed. She didn't want to think unpleasantly about him. She didn't want to think about him at all, but apparently what she wanted didn't matter because her mind was solely focused on the inu-youkai and had been for a while.
Kagome opened her eyes and gazed down at the village not to far away.
They had come back to Kaede's village to rest and relax while they still had the chance since none of them knew when Naraku would put in an appearance and what 'gifts' he would be bringing with him. They figured this was likely their only chance and was taking advantage of it shamelessly.
And they were enjoying themselves immensely.
She knew Sango was off at a cooling pool they'd found a few days ago, and she imagined the houshi wasn't to far from the older girl for obvious reasons. She was glad the two of them were finally making their feelings for one another known... for a moment there Kagome had thought Miroku was going to sit back and let that prince something -or-whoever (she couldn't remember his name at the moment) take Sango right from under his nose. She had a feeling she knew why Miroku had been keeping his distance from Sango; he was afraid to start something he would never get the chance to finish; but she was glad he seemed to have changed his mind on that decision.
While she could understand how he was feeling the fact remained that there wasn't any guarantees in life for anyone, and true with kazaana his own personal guarantees were even smaller, it made for no reason for him to give up on finding love while he was here.
Tomorrow wasn't promised to any of them... and besides if they defeated Naraku in time the monk had nothing to worry about.
And even though she knew things were changing between the taijiya and the houshi she knew some things hadn't yet, and laughed to herself at the image of the houshi being sprawled on his back from an accurate hit from her friend by any means available.
And as for Inuyasha... she figured he was off chasing his clay miko once more, he usually was, and she had no idea where or what Sesshoumaru was doing. Because even though he'd helped them in battle and had continued to help them since then with getting information and the like he had not taken to traveling with them
Much to her disappointment, though she hid it well.
Kagome breathed in deeply as she shut her eyes. On the breeze the she could smell the sweet scent of roses and briefly wondered at its source. She was sure their were no roses near enough for her to be smelling them so strongly.
She jumped slightly when she felt a warm nose nudge her cheek then smiled when she heard the familiar meow.
"Hello Kirara. Its great to have you back," she said softly. She quickly sat up and in one fluid movement hugged the large neko around the neck with affection.
She giggled girlishly as the neko rubbed the side of her face against hers. And though it went unnoticed by Kagome, the moment the large feline rubbed against her she began to glow with a bright golden light that had faded just as quickly as it had come.
Kagome felt a soft sweet smelling breeze swirl around her for a moment as Kirara reverted to her smaller form. She quickly pulled the kitty into her lap and lightly rubbed behind her ears.
She looked up at hearing her name screamed out and watched as the kitsune made his way swiftly to her. She smiled when he stopped beside her a few seconds later.
"Hello Shippou-chan. What can I do for you?"
"Kaede-sama sent me to fetch you. She said that she is ready to gather the herbs and things from the garden now and that she'll meet you there."
"Ahh!" she cried as she hopped to her feet; the neko in her arms. "I'd forgotten I'd offered to help her with that today!"
She swiftly stooped to place the kitten on the ground before turning to run down the hill. He r feet were quickly eating up the distance between herself and where she knew the garden to be as she waved over her shoulder at the two youkai watching her depart.
"Thank you Shippou-chan! And Kirara if you are wondering after Sango I believe you will find her at the cooling spring we found the other day!" she called over her shoulder. Kagome knew the neko youkai could find her mistress with no trouble on her own, but saw no reason not to help the neko out since she already knew Sango's whereabouts.
Shippou watched as the young miko ran down the hill. He took in the changes the girl's body had gone through with an uninterested eye as he smiled to himself. He could smell the sweetness in the air around the miko and though he wasn't sure what it was it made him happy. The smells reminded him of a story his mother used to tell him about a love that defied all boundaries of comprehension and sighed softly.
He couldn't remember all the details of the story, but he knew it had a happy ending.
"Kirara, I sense magic in the air," he grinned at the kitten when she meowed in agreement. "Come Kirara! Now that you have returned, lets play!"
Kirara meowed and after giving one last glance at the miko in the distance she bounded off after the kitsune.
* * * *
Kagome huffed as she reached the herb garden and the old priestess. She watched through watery eyes as the older lady gathered herbs as she bent at the waist to catch her breath. She'd ran the entire way!
"Kaede.... sama..... I'm here...." she said in between large gulps of air. The stitch in her side was finally fading.
Kaede turned in surprise at the sound of her name being wheezed out.
"Kagome child," she clucked her tongue at the younger miko like a mother hen as she bustled over to Kagome. "Come, sit and catch ye breath a moment."
After she'd sat Kagome down she took perch beside her on the wooden bench.
"Did ye run the entire distance?" she clucked again at the girl's silent nod of agreement. "Ah, Kagome. There was no need to rush child. Though there is still much left in these old bones I do not believe I can move fast enough to have had much more work done then I have now if ye had taken ye time."
She smiled softly to the younger woman as she sat beside her. She couldn't help noticing that Kagome had a wonderful scent about her this afternoon. She sniffed softly as she took in the sweet, yet spicy scent. It reminded her of something... something from her youth when her mother still lived but she couldn't put her finger on what it was.
Kagome smiled at the older woman in acknowledgement of the truth in her statement. After another moment she stood up slowly and with a pat on Kagome's shoulder made her way back over to where she'd been working on before the girl had come along. She figured what ever she was trying to remember would come to her when it was ready.
She watched as Kaede walked slowly, her progress belying her age, before she too stood and made her way over to help. She took up shop at the opposite end of the garden from the other woman and began to work.
She pulled, plucked, weeded, and everything else she needed to do to help out in the garden to gather the herbs and spices that were growing there. And she also did everything possible to clear her mind of the one Taiyoukai she did not want to think about.
She just wanted one afternoon without him in her head... was that too much to ask for??
She tried everything. She recited the lyrics to songs she liked (since she couldn't sing a tune to save her life) but, that only made her think of him more since most of the songs were of the love variety... or something like it. She tried poetry. She'd recite and when she couldn't remember a word or a line, she made one up. She liked doing that, but then she was running into the same problem she had with the songs.
Then in an effort to occupy her mind with something taxing that could hold her she started to recite Shakespeare's Hamlet.
'To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles...'
She did this in silence. Both mikos worked together in harmony for a half an hour in complete silence before Kagome registered that it was no longer quiet.
Kaede was humming.
What a pretty tune, Kagome thought to herself as she turned to look at the other woman stooped down tending to the plants in her hands.
"What a lovely tune Kaede-sama. What's it called?"
Kaede abruptly stopped humming then.
"The tune you were humming. What was it?" Kagome repeated for her.
"Oh," a thoughtful look came over the older woman's face. "Well, child I'm not quite sure... Its something my mother use to sing to me as a child. She once told me that in ancient times it was believed to be a spell of some sort. I do not recall the nature of it. In truth, I have no idea what made me think on it now."
Kagome moved closer to the woman while she had been talking and stopped a few paces in front of her.
"Do you remember any of the words?"
Kaede thought again for a moment as she tried to recall the tune in her head once more. It had been many, many years ago and it was true her memory was not as it once was. She inhaled deeply as she tried to remember. Suddenly as the scent of Kagome carried to her on a soft breeze she heard the words in her head.
'Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme...'
"Ah, yes!" Her one visible eye lit up with triumph as it came to her. She hummed as she tried to sing the tune. "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme," she hummed some more, "Remember me to one who lives there. For once she was a true love of mine," she hummed a little longer then stopped.
"Ah, child I do not remember the rest. Tis unfortunate for I believe there was a wondrous story behind it having to do with a sorceress and a white wolf."
"Really? A sorceress?"
"Yes. Ye know, there once was a tale that the Sorceress Ayaela was the sorceress from the story. Though many say she travels with a large white as did the one in the story, I do not know if there is any truth to the tale."
"Ayaela? Who is Ayaela?" asked Kagome in wonder.
"Have ye never heard of the Sorceress who lives somewhere near Hawk's Peak?" she pointed towards the top of the mountains that sat far in the distance above the village.
Kagome shook her head in the negative.
"Well, I imagine ye have seen her for it is well known she comes down and ventures through the land. Ye just wouldn't have known for she does not travel as she is."
"Does not travel as she is? What does that mean?" Her confusion was obvious on her face.
"It means that no one has ever said to have seen her true face for she travels with another," she replied simply. "Now I know what made me remember the past this day!"
"Its your scent Kagome. I can smell upon you that of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. There is also the sweet smell of a rose's early life." Her eyes twinkled at the younger woman with a hint of mischief. "If I didn't know better child, I'd think you might have a spell on you."
Kagome seeing the look in the older miko's eyes laughed lightly in response. She moved back over to where she had left off and resumed her work.
Kagome was so intune with her task she didn't notice that she'd passed the next hour working and not thinking of the Taiyoukai at all.
"Where the hell is he!" hollered Inuyasha. "He's the only one who has any idea where that damn Naraku is! We can't go without him!!"
"Inuyasha..." sighed Kagome once more.
Kagome flinched at his tone then narrowed his eyes at her.
"SHUT UP!" she screamed at him. If he can yell so can I, she thought. When she saw him opening his mouth to say something more she quickly cut him off.
"Don't make me say it Inuyasha."
"Wh-" he frowned at her words, but still remained quiet. He was perfectly sure of what she was referring to it one bit... and at times like this he became upset with Kaede all over again. "Feh!"
Kagome waited a moment to be sure he really was going to stay quiet.
"Now as I was saying," she looked at him. "There's nothing wrong with waiting out the night and starting fresh in the morning... " she watched Miroku and Sango nod in agreement. "And on that note... I'm going home for the night."
"WHAT!?! NO THE HELL YOU'RE NOT!"
"YES I AM!! AND I'D LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT IF YOU WAS HERE LIKE YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WHEN HE ARRIVED THE FIRST TIME WE WOULDN'T BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION!"
"SOWHAT? YOU'RE SAYING THIS IS MY FAULT!?"
She crossed her arms over her chest and raised her eyebrows as if to say 'duh'.
"Well if the shoe fits..."
He looked at her in confusion. Now, he had no idea what she was talking about.
"What I think Kagome-chan is saying Inuyasha is that every action causes a reaction. And you being late makes us stay here one more night," chimed in the monk lazily.
"Yes Inuyasha. Did you really expect him to wait on you?" asked Sango in disbelief.
Inuyasha looked from one of them to the other. Of course, he didn't expect Sesshoumaru to wait forever but fifteen minutes.... yes! He couldn't have been any later then that. And they were making out to be completely his fault. Yeah, he was willing to admit, only to himself, that he was later then he should have been, but come on.... Sesshoumaru had no reason to leave. Sure he had to check on the little human child and the stupid toad, but how long could that take?? Unlike himself, I was on a mission.
Damn if Kikyo didn't know how to hide when she didn't want to be found.
"Alright then. I'm off you guys!" said Kagome as she pulled the other strap of her book bag on her shoulder. "I'll be back first thing in the morning," the with a giggle she added "hopefully before Sesshoumaru."
Inuyasha stared at her as he took in the difference in her looks from when he'd first met her, nearly three years ago, to the large yellow book bag that was as much a part of her as everything else.
It seemed she was looking more and more like Kikyo everyday. True her hair, though just as long as Kikyo's, was wavier, and her form was much more curvier then Kikyo's had ever been... or would ever be. And while Kagome had piercing blue eyes, the like he'd never seen before, their faces.... their faces were the same.
But, they were not.
It had taken him a long time to understand this, but he'd done it. Kagome and Kikyo were as different as night and day. And it was because of those differences he trusted one with his life and the other... well he didn't really trust at all.
Was it possible to trust a person with only certain things? To trust someone a little bit?
He knew he could trust Kikyo to watch out for herself. And he could even trust her to protect the Shikon no Tama. He was even surer he could trust her to get revenge on Naraku if she had the means to do so, but for anything else... Contrary to popular belief he wasn't that stupid.
But he still felt responsible for what happened to her over fifty years ago and was determined to do anything to help her. Because he still had love for her.
Trust was a funny thing sometimes. How you could give it to someone you'd known less then a day, but not to someone you've known for years? Truth be told, though he also wouldn't be telling anyone else this, he even trusted Sesshoumaru.
For the simple fact that he knew his brother would never bother with lying. He knew the Taiyoukai would not say it if he did not mean it. So if the bastard ever told him, which he knew there would be a cold day in Hell first, that he would protect him he'd believe the bastard.
But, that didn't mean he wouldn't give the asshole a hard time the entire way. After all, what were little brothers for???
So, when Kagome waved goodbye and called out once again that she'd see them in the morning he decided not to put up another fuss, because he knew they would.
They would see her in the morning.
He watched from a near by tree as the miko climbed over the edge of the Bone Eater's Well and disappeared with a flash of blue light.
No matter how many times Sesshoumaru saw it, he couldn't get over that she was from another time. The future. And from what he could judge of her the ningens of the future were very different from the ones of his time. If he believed what he suspected, they had almost bettered themselves beyond comprehension, he thought with a shake of his head.
It would be easier to believe she was from another world.
It was also hard to believe he was attracted to the miko. Sure he knew she wasn't the weakling he'd once believed her to be... or she wasn't anymore, and he had to admit her powers had grown considerably, but that did not warrant the reaction he was having to her anytime she was near.
She was a powerful miko who he found foolish at times. She protected anyone who needed it; human and youkai alike. She thought fighting was a last resort, yet she would fight like a lioness protecting her cubs to protect those she cared for. And he knew she would sacrifice herself for them at any given moment if she saw no other solution. And she was more powerful then any miko he knew of, even more so then the clay Shikon miko the hanyou chases after he thought as he stared at the well.
He had a feeling she would one day be a very powerful being if she lived long enough... and he intended that she would live.
He tilted his head to the sky in thought. He wasn't sure what the feelings he was having for her were, but he didn't think they were good. He worried about her and that was odd feeling for him to have much less admit to. But, every time they went into battle he kept an eye on her just as much as the rest of the group did. Though she had learned to handle herself with a bow and arrow and even some what in hand to hand combat, but that feeling that always inhabited his chest only left when he was near enough to her to be able to help if something should happen to her.
He cared about what happened to her and other then the strange feelings going through him he wasn't sure why that was.
He stared up at the waxing moon as he tucked his hands into his sleeves. He wrapped his tail around his waist and brought it up to hang over his shoulder lightly as he stood silently at the top of the tree.
He heard her with the others and knew she was to return in the morning. He would wait there for her to do so.
Kagome groaned as she swept her hand out towards the infernal noise. She sighed when she heard the crash that followed shortly after. She was sure that once upon a time when they said 'no school its summer' it also meant no more alarm clocks.
Just as she was finding a new comfort zone to go back to sleep she heard her back up plan calling out to her. Loudly!
"KAGOME DEAR. ITS TIME TO GET UP OR YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE GETTING BACK!!"
Kagome groaned again. Well, that was one clock she couldn't hit. She turned over to her back and pushed the covers off of her head and just lay there for a moment.
"Well, might as well get up," she sighed as she sat up and tossed her legs over the side of the bed. "If I don't get a move on Inuyasha will be the next thing I see."
She moved into the adjoining bathroom to take a quick shower. She'd already refreshed her pack last night so all she had to do was get herself ready, have breakfast with her family and say her goodbyes before leaving.
She emerged from the bathroom fifteen minutes later. She quickly spread a citrus scented cream over herself then pulled on a pair of jeans and her white tank top. She shoved her arms through a long sleeve pale pink button up shirt and let it hang open like a make shift jacket. Then she quickly shoved her feet in a pair of white Reeboks and grabbed her brush off her dresser.
Since her hair was still a little damp she just brushed it back and then clipped it in a long ponytail behind her head. She gave her reflection one last once over before exiting her room and heading downstairs to grab a bite to eat.
"Good morning Mom," she said as she bounced over to give her mother a peck on the cheek. "Squirt," she smiled at her brother Souta as she moved to sit at the table. "Morning Jiichan," she said then leaned over to give the old man a peck as well.
"Ah, Kagome-chan. How long will you be staying this time?"
"She's leaving after she eats, Dad. I already told you that this morning so don't mess with her."
"Hey nee-chan," began Souta as their mother sat his plate down in front of him. "When can I see Inuyasha's brother?? Can he come through the well too? Is he as strong as Inuyasha? Does he have a cool sword too? Does he ha-"
"Breathe dear," cut in their mother with a smile.
His cheeks tinged slightly in embarrassment.
"Nee-chan," he began again after taking a few bites of his breakfast.
"Souta," she started before he could begin again with his line of questioning. "I don't know if you will at all. I'm not sure if anyone other then myself and Inuyasha can come through the well."
And why was he so interested in Sesshoumaru anyway, she wondered. She'd come home so she could get away from thoughts of the inu-youkai only to be thwarted first by her on subconscious, while she slept, in the form of dreams (very disturbing dreams at that) and now by her own brother. Was there no peace for her anywhere?
Okay, so what if he's beautiful, strong, and interesting. He was all those things when he had been trying to kill her too, but she hadn't been fawning all over him then. Sheesh!! True he hadn't tried to kill her in a long time and fact be told he'd even saved her life on occasion, but still was that a reason for her to be feeling this kind of an attraction to him. After all, she'd saved his life a couple of times too... even if he wouldn't acknowledge it.
He barely speaks to me, she thought with a frown. Yet, she still couldn't stop thinking about him. She recognized what these feelings were too. This shallow feeling she got in her chest whenever she thought he was in trouble, and the flips her heart did whenever he was near, and the way she would sometimes, inconveniently, forget to breathe when he was too near, and that watery feeling she got in her knees when ever his sun kissed eyes locked with her own, and... All right, so she could go on all day with this! The point was she knew where all of it was leading and she didn't want to go there and she definitely didn't want to go there with a youkai who only had patience enough for one human... and she happened to be a seven year old little girl who was sweet, but wasn't her.
Question was; how was she supposed to stop it?
Kagome sighed to herself as she pushed her half empty plate away. Her appetite all but forgotten as her thoughts weighed heavily on her mind.
"Kagome are you alright?" she heard her mother ask from her left. She'd never even noticed her sit down at the table.
"Hmm," she said looking up distractedly. "Oh. Yes I'm fine okaasan."
Her mother gave her thoughtful look before nodding her head and continuing to eat.
Kagome retreated back into her thoughts once more and didn't hear her brother and grandfather leave the table.
Only the sound of her mother humming a familiar tune pulled her out.
"... who once was a true love of mine...." her mother sang lightly before humming some more as she gathered the plates on the table and moved to take to the sink.
She turned to her daughter and smiled faintly. "Hmm?"
"Kaede-sama was humming the same tune. What's it called?"
"Really? Well its nice to know your Grandmother was right and it has come down through the ages," she said with a thoughtful look. "I don't remember its name though. Actually that lovely scent you're wearing made me think of it. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Remember me to one who lives there. For once they were a true love of mine, she singed. "Or something like that."
Kagome hid her confusion over her mother's words. While she could imagine that parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme might make of lovely scent she didn't see how citrus could remind someone of them.
"Its a lovely tune. I wish I could hear it all."
"Yes, I thought so too when I was younger. I remember that there was a story behind it. I remember it because I remember thinking that the story didn't seem to have anything to do with the song. But I soon learned it did."
"Do you remember the story?"
"Oh, yes. Your grandmother told it to me enough times."
She remembered how her father had told her that her mother was from a very wealthy family and had traveled a lot before they had married. She recalled how her mother had taught her to recite the story in three different languages. Then her mother had taught her the languages. She'd loved every minute of it.
"Will you tell it to me?"
"Hmm?" she gave her daughter another thoughtful look before turning back to the sink to load the dishwasher. "I don't see why not."
After a moment she spoke.
"Well, the story was about a young woman and love. True love. And... the loosing of that love," she sighed. "You see the young woman wasn't an ordinary woman, but something more. She was a woman of untold beauty... and magic. A magic that was destined to be very powerful and there was a lot of people who wanted the woman and the power for their own. But there was a problem you see. Because the woman had fallen in love with a man who had dark blue eyes, but was just an ordinary man."
"Is it a true story? What happened to her?" asked Kagome when her mother paused in her storytelling.
The older woman turned to look at her daughter then. She leaned her back against the counter as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"A true story?" she repeated in thought. "Well, I guess that all depends on what you believe. If you believe in magic."
"Do I believe in magic?" she asked in clarification. At her daughter's nod she continued, "Hm. I would suppose so. I have seen many wondrous things, like you and the well. I have you for a daughter and I loved... and still love your father. Some people say love is a kind of magic and I do believe in love. So, I would say, I believe in magic."
"The real kind? Like in the Harry Potter books?"
Instead of answering she asked a question. "Don't you Kagome?"
Kagome thought about that for a moment then something else came to mind.
"You know, Kaede says that some people believe that song you sung had once been a love spell."
"I think your grandmother had something to that effect once," she nodded. "So do you believe Kagome?"
Kagome thought about everything she'd seen and done in the past three years and about the Goshinboku and she had to smile. As for love... real love; she believed her mother had it once with her father, and she couldn't help hoping she'd find it as well, but she wasn't sure if she believed in it. Maybe....
But, her mother didn't ask her about love.
"Yes, I do."
"Good," she smiled then her eyes went thoughtful. "Now as to what happened to them... Well, the song I believe had only spoke of how they'd met and fell in love, but the story went into more. Lets see," she said as she tapped a finger to her chin, "like I said before, others wanted the power she had for themselves so they schemed to break her and the man apart. And they succeeded. But, the couple found their way back to each other and the woman spared the betrayers the affects of her anger... except for one man. This man was the one who started it all by turning others against her and her love. You see, he was jealous. He didn't believe the man was worthy of her since he was merely ordinary and she was something infinitely more. She was a sorceress."
Kagome's eyes went wide. Could it be, she wondered but remained silent.
"This man was a creature like her and thought he would be better suited to her because of this. She told him no, though and stayed with her man. And they loved and lived and did so together. But, him being what he was and her being what she was, life stepped in and he grew old and died. And her being of something more then him did not age as he did. But all the power she had at her fingertips, she could do nothing about it. And so after a lifetime together they were separated once more."
"She couldn't make him like her? Or, at least, prolong his life?"
"Everything has its limits Kagome. You should know this by now."
Kagome gave a half-hearted smile in understanding. "Is that all?"
"Well, the story goes on to say that for the span of one winter she walked alone and sad. That she looked to have aged years in days and had begun to look even older then what her true age was."
Kagome's face fell. White wolf? Maybe it was possible, she thought.
"And on the very day that the snow melted and the birds returned to share their songs once more a beautiful wolf with fur white as snow and eyes dark as indigo came to her. They story says that when she smiled she'd out shined the sun itself and she'd began to look like a young woman once more."
"Dark blue eyes. Was the wolf..." she couldn't finish the question. To say it out loud made it sound too amazing... and not a little crazy.
"Her true love?" smiled her mother. "Some say 'yes' and some say 'impossible'. I like to believe it was and I like to believe nothing is impossible."
"What was her name?" asked Kagome with a bright smile. She had decided she would also believe the wolf was the Sorceress's young love.
"Ayaela. Lovely isn't it."
Kagome went pale. Well, that answered that.
"Kagome are you alright?" her mother asked in alarm when she saw the look on her daughter's face.
"Yes," she squeaked as she stood up and gulped in air.
Her mother gave her a searching look then nodded to her as if coming to a decision.
"Well, I guess you should be on your way. You don't want to be late."
"Your right," she moved in to hug her mother farewell. "Bye Mama."
"Take care sweetheart," seeing the strained look on her daughter's face she rubbed her hand through her long ponytail as she spoke, "You have much to do?"
"Yes," she sighed but gave her mother a smile. "And miles to go before I sleep. Miles to go before I sleep."
"Frost. One of my favorites as well," she could see there was something weighing on her baby's mind but, she knew Kagome would come to her when she was ready so decided not to press. "Now go. And don't forget to kiss jiichan and your brother bye."
"I won't," she squeezed her mother one last time then exited the kitchen to find her grandfather and Souta before heading for the well.