Hi all. I'm back. I've been working on this a lot, so hopefully a little faster update next time. Still busy with school and such. It kinda sucks.
Thank you so much, Kagome Lover 2009 and Tobias for reviewing. I'm glad you like the story so far and I hope this next chapter doesn't disappoint you.
I'm not even going to bother with a disclaimer. You know.
"Why does everything always have to get in the way?!" Kagome yelled, flopping down on her bed. She had just climbed out of the well, ran in and gave her mother a hug, her grandfather a kiss on the forehead, fondly tussled Souta's hair, and then jumped up the steps two at a time to her room to study.
"Stupid tests. Stupid school. I can't wait for break." Kagome said muffled, her face in her pillow. "Wait a minute!" she gasped. She clambered off her bed and searched on her desk for her calendar. "I thought so! Next week is break! A full week of no school…" Kagome smiled happily. "That means I can spend it in the feudal era and I won't miss anything. I can catch up too."
She tossed her calendar back and then picked up her math book and opened to the material that she needed to know. After looking over the problems for fifteen minutes, she realized she had no clue how to do any of them, and the test was tomorrow.
"That's it. I'm calling Eri."
She got up and called her friend.
"Hello?" came Eri's voice from the phone.
"Eri! Hi, it's me, Kagome."
"Kagome! How are you? You're finally out of the hospital, huh?"
"Hospital? Um.. Oh! Yes. Hospital. I'm feeling much better now."
"Your grandpa told us about your fall. You were in a coma for a month and a half, and they wouldn't let anyone come see you."
"Oh… well… I'm over that now. Listen, I was wondering if you could help me with the math problems for tomorrow's test. I'm having trouble understanding them, and you know that math was never my best subject!" Kagome said light-heartedly, trying to steer the conversation away from her "accident."
"Oh sure, Kagome. You want to come over here? I'll help you study, and by teaching you it helps me study!"
"Eri, that'd be great," Kagome said sincerely. "I'll be over as soon as I can."
Kagome said good bye and quickly ran to get her books. Then she stopped in the living room to notify her mother of her plans.
"I'll see you tonight!"
"Okay Kagome. Be home by dinner."
"I will mom. I love you!"
"Love you too honey," her mother replied, smiling. Then she turned back to her television program as Kagome hurried out the door.
After an afternoon of math problems, Kagome felt much more confident and ready to take the test the next morning. She had to pass otherwise her grades would slip too far and the school might consider keeping her back a level.
That night at dinner, Souta kept looking at Kagome, who was thinking about Inuyasha again after the math problems were set aside.
'I wonder how he's doing… I really hope he's not getting into trouble.'
"Kagome?" Souta asked, watching his sister's face contort with worry and a slight bit of sadness.
"Mm?" she mumbled, looking up at her younger brother.
"Never mind," Souta said. 'I must be imagining things.'
'Stupid little brother,' Kagome thought. 'Why doesn't he ever finish anything he starts?'
After a night of tossing and turning, a very tired Kagome yawned as she walked with her three best friends to school.
"So, do you think you understand everything now, Kagome?" Eri asked.
"Oh yeah. This test should be a breeze."
"So… I suppose since you've been in the hospital you haven't seen that violent and distasteful boyfriend of yours," Ami commented.
Kagome's smile vanished for a moment. "No… he's…"
"Oh no…" she moaned, recognizing the familiar male's voice.
"It's Hojo!" the three girls exclaimed.
"Kagome, I see you're finally back," the good looking boy said as he came up along side. "You were gone a long time, longer than ever before. I brought you this herbal tea. I've heard it helps aliments of all kinds and enhances the immune system. I thought you might like it."
"Oh Hojo, thank you. You're always so considerate."
"He's kept that in his backpack for days now, waiting to give it to you when you would finally come back. He's crazy about you, Kagome. Hottest guy in school… why aren't you crazy about him back?" Eri whispered into her ear.
Kagome gave a half-hearted giggle and then heard the warning bell ring. "Oops! There's the bell. Gonna be late for class!" She ditched her friends and the awkward situation.
"Wait, Kagome! I wanted to ask you… if you wanted to go to the movies with me," Hojo finished, watching the retreating back of Kagome hurrying in the doors. Her three friends looked at each other and at Hojo and shrugged.
"Finally, all that's over," Kagome sighed as she slid the door to the well house over and hopped down the steps. She grabbed the old worn ledges of the well and looked down into the dark shaft.
"It's funny how different this well is from the well that I climb out on the other side. This one is worn and old. The other one has vines all over it, and the wood is still gives me splinters. I think I like the other well better. It's outside where the sun is shining, and Inuyasha always seems to be happier on that side."
At the mention of his name, Kagome pressed her lips together and thought about the last part of her side quest. Inuyasha… he is the last one to be found. He is the most dangerous of them all.
"I need to find him soon," Kagome said, gripping the ledge harder. "There's no telling… what he could be doing."
All of a sudden, Kagome felt a wave of foreboding deep in her chest as she lifted her legs over the side of the well. She dangled her legs down into the darkness and felt the cool stones on the back of her calves, waiting for the feeling to pass.
'What is this? Something bad has happened, I feel it. It's Inuyasha. Something's wrong.'
Kagome took a deep breath, and when the strange feeling subsided she jumped into the dark.
As she traveled through time, the feeling came back and Kagome's senses were flooded with a horrible premonition that something was terribly wrong. Then instantly when her feet touched the rich dirt of the bottom of the well the feeling vanished. She stood for a moment, waiting. Her short breath echoed off the walls of the well and her backpack slipped off her shoulder, but she felt nothing wrong and nothing felt out of place.
'That was strange,' she reflected. 'Maybe I just ate something that didn't agree with me,' she put off. She grabbed the vines and began to heave herself and her heavy backpack out of the well.
"Lady Kagome, you are back," Miroku greeted. Shippo and Sango appeared from inside Kaede's hut. The little fox kit came running towards her and Kagome scooped him up.
"So, are we ready to go find Inuyasha?" she asked cheerfully. Sango smiled to see Kagome acting like herself again.
"We all are quite ready to get on the road," Miroku said.
"Good. Cause we're going to find Inuyasha, no matter how long it takes," Kagome said determinedly, clenching her fist in front of her.
"Do we have to Kagome? I've been having a great time without him here," Shippo spoke up.
"Shippo, don't say that. Inuyasha likes you, he really does. He just thinks it's beneath his dignity to admit it."
"A lot of things are 'beneath his dignity,' if you ask me," Shippo said, crossing his arms. "He's so stubborn."
"True, but he's our friend. And we've got to find him," Kagome said, collecting her bike, which was leaning against Kaede's hut, and plopping Shippo into the basket on the front. She rang the bell on the handlebar and they started off.
"Another village, annihilated to the ground," Miroku sighed. The group stood on the scene of yet another village that had been attacked.
"He's doing this to upset us," Kagome said. "All these people are dying because we haven't found Inuyasha yet."
"I can't bare to think that Kohaku is doing all of this," Sango said sadly.
Kagome frowned. "Don't worry about it Sango. He might not remember that he's doing it at all. Remember? You couldn't recall what you had done. Just don't tell him."
"If we ever get him back," Sango said softly under her breath, almost too low for her companions to hear.
"Well, let's move on, shall we? Obviously Inuyasha isn't here and this place may be unsafe," Miroku said, herding the group away from the shambles.
Upon finding another city, the group walked through the streets and looked at vendors' wares. As Kagome looked at some jewelry for sale, she noticed a necklace that was similar to Inuyasha's prayer beads. This necklace had dark blue beads with a red one placed in between sets of three, and a white tooth separated the set of seven beads. She picked up the necklace and gently fingered one of the white teeth, pricking her finger on the end. She jumped a little and sucked on it as a little bit of blood appeared from the cut.
"Do you like that necklace, little missy?"
Kagome quickly set the jewelry down and looked up with her finger still in her mouth at the salesman of the booth, a short round aging man with a small black cap on his head and a thick accent. She removed her appendage to answer, "It reminds me of a necklace that my friend wears."
"Ah… I see. Friends are very special, aren't they?"
"Yes…" she said, smiling sadly.
"Is this someone you care very deeply about?" the man asked, noticing her expression.
"Yes, I do. He is very special to me."
"I made this necklace a very long time ago. I tell you what. I give this necklace to you for free."
"Oh no, I couldn't do that," Kagome said, holding her hands up in protest.
"Yes, yes. You take this necklace that reminds you of your special friend." The salesman laid it in Kagome's hands. "I hope it brings you good luck. This is a special necklace, little lady. It may be useful to you one day." He winked at her.
Kagome cocked her head to the side and looked at him curiously.
"Yes, yes," the man nodded. "Very special. You take."
Kagome's eyes watered. She smiled a genuine smile and said, "Thank you. You don't know how much this means to me." She looped the necklace over her head and settled it around her neck under her white school shirt. She smiled at him again, and waved as she turned to leave.
"For good luck," the man called and waved back.
"I'm telling you, this half demon has got to go. He's been causing a ruckus and no one is safe."
Miroku and Sango's ears pricked up when they heard two villagers conversing.
Sango set down a vase she was looking at and glanced in the direction of the two men. Miroku set down a valuable beaded box he was about to pinch and listened in.
"I heard he was just in the village a mile over. The town barricaded themselves in the temple and waited for him to pass."
"He's a menace to society. He's got to be stopped."
"The only good half breed is a dead half breed," the other agreed.
Sango and Miroku looked grim. Apparently Inuyasha was causing quite a bit of trouble, if he was indeed the half demon the two were talking about. Sango ventured over to the two villagers.
"Excuse me sir, but I overheard your conversation and I was wondering what half demon you are talking about," Sango said. "I am a demon exterminator and I think I may be of some use."
"A demon exterminator, eh? A young woman like you?" one asked her skeptically. Sango sighed. She hated when men degraded her and her line of work just because of her gender.
"Sir, I am one of the best. Now please, tell me what this half demon looked like, and I will eliminate the problem for you."
"That sure is a big boomerang you got there. Do you carry that everywhere?"
Sango lost her cool but resisted grabbing them by the collars and shaking them. "Please sirs, tell me what the demon looked like."
"I heard he was tall and wore red robes and had a sword at his belt. Had long silver hair and ears like a dog."
"Thank you," Sango said quickly, her heart jumping. The description matched Inuyasha perfectly. "I shall find this half demon and eliminate him myself. Please, tell me where he was headed."
"Last I heard he was traveling west with another demon, some sort of strange fellow that wore a baboon suit."
Sango gasped. 'Could it be Naraku?'
The men noticed her shocked expression, and one asked, "Somethin' wrong, little lady?"
"No. Thank you for the information," Sango said, and begged off. She went back to Miroku.
"Sango, that was brilliant. Inuyasha is headed… west did they say?"
"Miroku… Naraku's got him."
Kagome stood in the crowd, still playing with the cool heavy beads around her neck. 'It was so nice of him to give me this. The blue beads and teeth remind me of Inuyasha's necklace, and the red ones are just like his robes.' She sighed as she pricked her finger again. 'Maybe I'll just have to keep this for looking at though. I keep injuring myself on it!'
The girl turned to see Sango hurrying through the crowd with Miroku on her heels.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Kagome," Sango said breathlessly. "We've… found news-"
"Of Inuyasha?!" she shrieked.
"Yes, but Kagome, there's some bad news as well. We think he may have been traveling with Naraku," Miroku put in. Kagome's face fell.
"Listen, it's not all bad," Sango said. "Now we have a chance to kill that bastard once and for all." Sango only used strong language when necessary. She clenched her fist.
"Well, let's get going then. Where is he?" Kagome asked.
"West of us. Not too far away," Miroku informed her. "We have a chance to catch up quickly if we hurry."
"Let's go now. Where are Shippo and Kirara?"
"I don't know. They went off in the crowd at the beginning," Sango said, looking around.
"We must find them fast!" Kagome exclaimed. She began walking through the throngs of people, calling for the little kit and demon cat. Sango began whistling, and Miroku took up calling too.
Ten minutes later Shippo and Kirara were discovered sitting with a bunch of children listening to a story teller. They were passing out sweets and Shippo eagerly dug in. Kagome stepped up to the edge of the sitting crowd and called Shippo's name. He looked up with a grin and waved his treat at Kagome.
Kagome urgently beckoned him to come over, and Shippo gave her a confused look. Kagome waved her hand harder and Shippo reluctantly got up and hopped over. Kirara followed and jumped onto Miroku's shoulder.
"What is it Kagome?" Shippo asked.
"We know where Inuyasha is and we have to leave right away," she replied, leaning down and taking his hand. Shippo's eyes widened and he hopped along.
When they found Kagome's bike, they were faced with a dilemma. Kirara could not hold all four of them and a bicycle. But Kagome wouldn't be able to go fast enough on her bike.
"Now what do we do? I can't leave my bike here," she moaned, flopping with frustration onto the ground. The others stood silently for awhile, trying to figure out a plan that would work.
Miroku looked up when he heard a familiar voice.
"Hachi? Hachi!" Miroku said happily and clapped his changeling friend on the back. "Good to see you. What are you doing here?"
"I was on a mission to find some rare sake for Mushin. I heard that it could be found among a 'special' vendor in this city," he said, his voice getting quieter towards the end.
"Ah… I see," Miroku said, winking. "Hachi, we're glad to see you. Can you do us a big favor?"
"If it involves payment, sure," he grinned. Miroku closed his eyes and sighed.
"Everything's business with you, my friend. Can't you do this for me just once?"
"Hmm… let me think. Nope."
Miroku sighed again and dug around in his robes. "Ah, here, take this." He held out the little beaded box.
Sango's mouth gaped open and she pointed an accusing finger. "Miroku, how could you?! You stole that from the vendor!" she said angrily.
"Now now, Sango, not so loud," he hushed her, looking around. "I did not steal… I merely… borrowed without permission."
Kagome shook her head. "How can you accept stolen goods as payment, Hachi?"
"Hey, where it came from makes no difference to me. Do you want me to do you a favor or not?"
"We need you to take us to the city just west from here, Hachi. Will you do it?" Miroku asked, still holding out the box as an offering.
Hachi took the trinket and said, "I'll do it."
"Wonderful," Miroku smiled. Sango shook her head in disgust.
When they reached the city Kagome was restless. She looked down into the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of him, anything. She felt the beads around her neck again and said a silent prayer, hoping that Inuyasha would be okay.
They landed in a secluded spot outside the boarder and thanked Hachi for his services. The raccoon waved it off and said "No problem."
"Let's go find out if he's been here," Kagome said, practically dragging her friends into the city gates.
They were about to delve into the crowd and ask around when they head a loud shout.
"Demon! It's the demon!"
Suddenly loud shouts went up and women screamed. People began scattering, running for shelter. As the crowd parted, there in the middle of the square stood Inuyasha.
Dun dun dun.
Yeah, okay I know that the dun dun dun thing was implied and corny, but I just had to. The plot thickens! Tune in next time to see how they get Inuyasha back… and what the deal is with Naraku.