Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to InuYasha, Takahashi Rumiko does. I only own the rights to my firing synapses.
"Kagome! Where are you?" InuYasha ran through the trees, his red clothing dulled in the thick morning fog. Kagome saw him flash through the trees and yelled back, or tried to. However, nothing came out, not a squeak, not a sigh, just silence.
"Ka-go-me!" He stopped and sniffed the air, then realized he could no longer smell her. She thought he was going to get close enough to see her white shirt, but it was as if she blended with the fog. InuYasha was muttering under his breath, talking about how inconsiderate she was to run off, knowing he wouldn't be able to see well in the fog. He was so close that he stirred the air in front of her. Instinctively, Kagome reached out to touch him, but her hand slipped right through his body, as if he was the mist.
It was her screaming that finally woke her up. Sitting up in bed, panting, she put her hands over her face. "Oh, I can't take much more of this." Drenched in sweat and shaking all over, Kagome looked over at the clock, 2:47am. She decided that it was better for her to go ahead and get started with her day than to go back to sleep and take a chance that the night terrors would return.
Kagome Higurashi had taken over the responsibility of running her family's shrine when her grandfather died two years earlier. She cleaned, made sure the flowers were cultivated, kept the koi fed, and ensured all of the daily ritual prayers were said to guard the peace and tranquility of the Shimboku Time Tree, the Bone-Eater's Well, and the holy items that were stored in the shed.
Although she had originally been uninterested in the "mumbo-jumbo" her ojiisan taught about the religious objects in the shed, after her final trip to the Feudal Era, she'd started paying close attention. Now she could make her own fuukas and the elders of the community came to her for herbs and elixirs. As she prayed in front of the tree where InuYasha had been bound, she wondered about the significance of last night's dream.
It had been almost three months since the last dream. She wished she could blame it on too much sake, or maybe not enough; but those experiments had only given her headaches, not relief. Coming out of her reflection, she smelled bacon and realized that breakfast was ready. Opening the door to the house, she sniffed appreciatively. "Okaasan, how are you today?" She walked up and hugged her mother.
"I'm good dear. Eat, I need to leave for work." Her mama often worked long hours. It had been a relief for her when Kagome had agreed to take over the responsibility of the shrine. "Do you think you can find time to go shopping this evening after the shrine closes? We're out of tempura, and I need it to make a dish for tomorrow's committee luncheon."
"Hai. I may pick up some other items, do you need anything else…" Kagome put a bite of rice and egg in her mouth. "Mmmm."
"There's a list on the counter." Mrs. Higurashi picked up her purse and walked to the door. "Be sure to finish the dishes, and if you get home before I do, Souta is supposed to come in from University sometime tonight. Mata."
"Mata Okaasan." Kagome finished her breakfast and had just put away the last dish when the first Shrine visitors showed up. A lot of the visitors were people from the surrounding community that wanted prayers said for them, or they wanted to say prayers for others. However, today two different groups of foreigners arrived and asked about the significance of the shrine. A group of Buddhists from India were awed by a tree that was able to bridge gaps between time, but a group of American tourists were unable to suspend their knowledge of reality to take a stab at believing something that could not be proven.
Ojiisan would have called them typical rude Americans, but Kagome understood how hard some things were to believe. After all, she'd thought that her grandfather was full of tall tales and fanciful imaginings until she herself had been pulled through the well into the Sengoku Jidai. Being busy was refreshing; it didn't leave her time to think about the nightmares that plagued her sleep.
By the time she finished taking care of the people who came for prayers, holy scrolls, and health tonics, it was after 3pm. Kagome grabbed the list off the table, locked the doors, and headed into the shopping district. She'd been in such a hurry that it didn't occur to her to check the weather channel, or to bring an umbrella. About halfway to the markets, she noticed that many people were carrying umbrellas, and when she finally stopped long enough to take a deep breath, she could taste the rain in the air. "Baka" she thought to herself and she headed into the open-air market.
Shopping was easy, and today she took some time to enjoy the novelty of sniffing the flowers and finding contentment. She only faltered once in her enjoyment of the task. As Kagome was picking out a loaf of sweet bread at the bakers, she caught a glimpse of a tall man with silver-white hair out of the corner of her eye. Startled, she turned, but it was only the back of a tall businessman with blonde hair discussing business with a shorter man with dark brown hair. Another man came up to talk with the shorter one, and the taller man turned and walked off. His stride seemed very familiar, but after a minute, Kagome shook herself mentally and wondered what had gotten into her head today. "I have got to be kidding myself if that man even remotely resembles Sesshomaru." Picking up her purchases, she headed into the final store.
Just as she finished her shopping and headed out the door with the fresh Tempura, the skies opened up with pouring rain. "Oh well." Since she hadn't thought to bring an umbrella, she knew hurrying through it wasn't going to help any. She laughed at what a funny day today had ended up being, and watched with a smile on her face as the people around her scurried to drier havens.
Kagome was just getting ready to step off the curb and jump in a puddle for the childish enjoyment of watching the splash when a dark limo pulled up and the back window rolled down. "Kagome Higurashi. As I live and breathe." Startled, Kagome looked at the shoulders of the tall businessman she'd noticed earlier. He was taking in her soggy appearance, starting with her feet and working his way north.
"Do I know…" Suddenly he made eye contact with her, and the blonde hair and normal face faded. Two purple stripes on each cheek and silver hair showed through what appeared to be a concealing spell. "Sesshomaru."
"You weren't fooled, curious. Come, I'll take you back." He opened the door. "Jaken, move over and make room." The shorter man she'd seen earlier faded and she was looking at Jaken sitting in the seat across from Sesshomaru.
Jaken glared at her, but moved over. "Do you know how long it took me to learn how to disguise myself? All of it futile because you are a Miko, and can see through disguising spells." He glared at her, before moving to the corner of the seat and sighing dramatically.
Kagome realized that they were drawing a crowd. The people watching couldn't see what Sesshomaru and Jaken actually looked like, only Kagome could; but they knew it was highly unusual for a rich businessman in a limo to pull over and give a lift to a soggy woman carrying groceries. She also knew that Sesshomaru would sit there with the car door open, in the rain, blocking traffic… forever; or until she got in the car. Admitting defeat, and secretly glad she would be getting a dry ride home, she stepped into the car and closed the door behind her.