Out of the Past

by Raven Skye Blackhawk

Disclaimer: Inuyasha is sooo not mine. However, the OCs in this story ARE mine and they are not to be used without my permission.

Chapter 1

Prologue

During the times of gods, giants and men, there were once two beautiful twins named Niobe and Thanos. Their mother was one of the wisest of the gods, the great goddess Athena and their father was Ares, the fearsome god of war.

Niobe was a happy little goddess. She brought great joy to her grandfather, Zeus, who doted on her. When she grew into adulthood, she possessed such great beauty that any man looked upon her, fell in love with her. One of those men just so happened to include her twin brother, Thanos.

As for her brother Thanos, a devilishly handsome youth in his own right, he was a mischievous little boy who grew up to be volatile and jealous god. He was deeply in love with Niobe and hated any man who wished for her affections. He hated them even more if she bestowed her favors on them, for he believed that no one should be allowed to receive those favors, with the exception of him.

One day while Niobe was taking leisurely stroll through the forest at the foot of Mount Olympus, she met a young mortal man named Timeus. He was tall and beautiful, fair and golden with bright, heavenly blue eyes. As soon as she spied him, Niobe was instantly smitten. She appeared before him and when the mortal laid eyes upon the raven-haired goddess, he too fell in love with her. And thus their affair began.

Not long after that, Thanos was informed by Xander, a young human male he had befriended, that his precious Niobe had taken a mortal lover. Needless to say, upon hearing the news, Thanos became enraged. He went to his twin sister and begged her not to be with the mortal, telling her that he, Thanos, loved her above all else and desired her for himself. Gently pushing her brother away, Niobe laughed and told him not to be silly, for she loved Timeus and she would be with him if she chose.

Now thoroughly jealous, Thanos decided to drive a wedge between the lovers, hoping to force his beloved sister into his arms.

The perfect opportunity arose when Timeus was out walking with a young girl from another village. Thanos had discovered, thanks to Xander that the two of them had once been sweethearts, but had been separated when her family moved to another village some distance away.

Thanos managed to bring Niobe down from Olympus, on the pretense of having a surprise for her. Niobe, being the naive and trusting creature that she was, went willingly with her scheming brother, completely unaware of what awaited her.

While they walked, Thanos was conversing leisurely with his sister when they came upon Timeus and his female companion, who were holding hands and laughing. Niobe saw them and ran away, immediately believing the worst. Her lover and the girl had seen Niobe stare at them in horror and run off.

Timeus firmly told his friend to go on ahead to the village. When she was gone, Timeus walked up to Thanos and glared at him, but the evil god only smiled in reply. He believed that Niobe would never want to see this young mortal fool again... and it seemed that he had succeeded.

But Timeus refused to remain silent. He swore that he would get revenge on Thanos for doing this to Niobe. He knew that the god had been behind this, making certain that Niobe had seen him and his friend together.

After a few months of pining for her lover, Niobe went down to earth to tell Timeus that she had forgiven him. The moment she appeared before him, he snatched her up into his arms and told her everything, about how her brother had tricked her into thinking that he had been unfaithful. He swore that she was his one true love and if she doubted his love, then she could slay him where he stood. Niobe was swayed by his passionate words and allowed him to kiss her, telling him that she loved him still and that her brother's evil machination had not changed her feelings for him at all.

Soon after this, Thanos discovered the two together in a field of flowers, making love. Although enraged, he waited patiently until Niobe left for a moment to bathe in a nearby spring. As soon as she disappeared, Thanos descended on his sister's lover and slaughtered him mercilessly.

Niobe, on her way to the spring, suddenly felt that something was horribly wrong. Worried, she turned around and ran back the way she had come. When she saw her brother standing over the lifeless body of the man she loved, she cried out and ran to the slain Timeus, gathering him in her arms. His blood flowed freely from his wounds and stained her clothing right down to her skin.

Turning her tear-filled eyes upwards, Niobe screamed at her brother who was still wielding his bloody sword. Thanos said nothing and could only watch as his sister cradled the young man's dead body in her arms and sobbed violently.

Afterwards, when she was able, she went to Zeus and told him that she wished to leave Olympus forever. She wanted to roam the earth, for eternity if necessary, to search for her beloved's soul. When Zeus asked why she would give up her place in Olympus, she replied that she needed to redeem herself. She was to blame for the death of her lover, but Thanos was equally responsible. She told her grandfather that she wished to never look upon the face of her villainous brother again.

Heartbroken, Zeus agreed to her request and told her that if she ever needed assistance, to speak his name aloud and he would appear before her. Niobe left heaven to wander the earth aimlessly until she found her love again. As the centuries passed, she faded more and more into obscurity until all traces of her had vanished with time.

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Present time... Sort of.

Kagome had seen it. At least, she thought she had.

Kaede had prepared the food and Kikyo had served them. So why had she eaten what Kikyo had handed to her, especially knowing that Kikyo hated her and would do anything to harm her?

When Kikyo had given her the bowl of food, a small, secretive smile crept on to her cold, dead face. Damn it, she should have known. So why had she even taken one bite? She should have known better!

But that was yesterday. Now here she was, burning with fever and shame for eating the damned food. Gods, she was sick! Whatever Kikyo had slipped into her food had just made her sicker than she had ever been in her life.

Today, she had awakened with a massive headache and the feeling as though she were on fire and freezing, all at the same time. And that dream she had! It had felt so real! She dreamt of gods and goddesses, mortal lovers, jealousy and murder... all of which had probably been the result of her fever.

Faintly from outside Kaede's hut, she could hear Inuyasha yell at her to off her lazy ass and help him and the others find Kikyo. Apparently, Kikyo had gone missing sometime during the night. Of course she would disappear. She had to leave the scene of her crime. Dirty bitch...

Then there was poor, bull-headed Inuyasha. He was so certain that Naraku had taken the dead bitch for his own twisted ends. Good riddance, Kagome thought maliciously. Maybe she'll actually be of some use in this world to which she did not belong. Kagome paused at that thought and grew sad. She didn't exactly belong here, either. Perhaps she should just leave?

Shakily, Kagome got to her feet, praying that she wouldn't pass out here on the floor of Kaede's hut. The world spun madly and it was far too hot. The pain she was in was excruciating.

"Damn it, come on, wench!" Inuyasha snarled furiously at her as she just barely managed to walk upright out of the hut. He dropped down and climbed unsteadily onto his back. They were off. "Now keep your eyes open! Kikyo has a shard, so let me know when you sense it!"

Kagome mumbled a reply. Damn, her head hurt!

After a few moments of tearing through the forest at break neck speed, Inuyasha skidded to a halt. "Where is she? Can you sense her shard?" he asked impatiently.

"N-no. There's no shard anywhere." Kagome was near to tears and desperately tried not to become sick all over his back.

Now at the end of his patience, Inuyasha dropped her mercilessly on the ground and Kagome landed hard, whimpering in pain as she hit forest floor. He turned on her, his golden eyes ablaze with hatred. "You are so goddamned useless! I've protected your worthless ass so many times and I ask for your help this one time with something really important... and this is how you repay me? You aren't even trying, are you? You want something to happen to Kikyo, don't you?"

The world tilted and she fell on her side, hot tears sliding down her face onto the ground below. "Inu-yasha... Please... help me," she whispered helplessly.

"Hell no! Never again, you pathetic loser!" he spat at her before dashing off into the forest, crying Kikyo's name.

Kagome began to sob weakly. She barely managed to gather the strength to pull her legs up into a fetal position.

ooo

She didn't know how long she lay like that on the forest floor.

As the afternoon wore on, she knew that no one would come for her. She finally managed to get to her feet and make her way slowly back the way she and Inuyasha had come earlier.

Kagome reached the village at long last, where she spotted Miroku, the resident houshi, hitting on one of the village girls. He was so busy chatting her up that he didn't realize Kagome was present until Sango cried out.

"Kagome-chan! Are you alright?" Sango yelled out, running to her. Miroku whirled around, guilt plastered all over his handsome face.

But when he took one look at Kagome's fever-flushed face, the guilt switched to horror. "Kagome-sama!" he cried and caught her as stumbled dizzily into his arms. He put a hand to her forehead and immediately drew it back. "Sango, she's burning with fever."

"Let me go get Kaede!" Shippo's small voice piped up from Sango's shoulder.

"No, please... just let me... go home," Kagome moaned weakly.

Miroku and Sango looked at each other and nodded. Miroku gather Kagome in his arms while Sango retrieved Kagome's yellow backpack. Then she, Shippo and Kirara followed Miroku and Kagome to the well. Gently, he set Kagome down onto her shaky feet as Sango and Shippo came up behind them. Kirara was prowling around a little and stared off into a group of trees just past the well. She growled slightly but no one paid any attention to her.

"Will you be alright, Kagome-sama?" Miroku asked quietly, worry etched all over his handsome face.

Kagome nodded and took her bag from Sango. "Yeah," she said weakly. "Thank you all so much... for everything."

Sango gave her friend a worried smile. "Don't talk like that, Kagome-chan. You sound as though you aren't coming back. We'll see you soon, right?"

Listlessly, Kagome sat down on the edge of the well. "You're right, Sango-chan. I... I need to rest... for a moment, I think. Please, don't let me keep you all from your supper." She barely refrained from retching at the thought of food, and swallowed hard to keep the bitter taste of bile from coming up into her mouth.

Shippo jumped onto Kagome's lap and hugged her. "Okay, Kagome! See you soon and I hope you get better really quick!"

Kagome hugged him back. "Thank you, Shippo-chan. Don't worry, I will get better soon," she promised him in a quiet voice.

Miroku and Sango waved at her before all four of her shard hunting companions disappeared into the darkness.

Kagome sat where she was for a moment, fighting the urge to cry. She hated to have to do this, but she knew she had to. She couldn't take his hatred for her any longer and she knew she would never again be able to see anything but the hatred she had seen earlier in his eyes. He hated her. He really hated her.

The tears fell as she unhooked the slender gold chain around her neck that held the nearly completed Shikon no Tama. This priceless jewel did not belong to her. It never had. She was not its true protector, for she was useless, worthless and a loser. She did not deserve to be its protector...

Like Kikyo. She was not like Kikyo. She would never be like Kikyo... a woman so powerful and beautiful that was able to hold onto a man's heart, even after death. Understandably, Kagome was envious of the deceased miko, but admittedly, it was rather silly... to be jealous of a dead woman.

Carefully, she laid the jewel down on the rim of the well before she turned around, posed to jump into the well for the last time. She glanced around her, taking in this amazing world one more time. Suddenly, in her line of sight, a tall, slim figure in white stood not far from her.

"Miko," the figure intoned flatly, "Why are you leaving?"

For once, Kagome stared without fear back at Sesshoumaru. "I failed," she whispered, before dropping into the well's depths.

oooooo

She floated through that beautiful, silent space back to her time. When she finally reached her end of the well, she crawled painfully up and out of it, dropping her heavy pack on the outside of the well.

Was it sealed? She didn't know but she had to make sure. Slowly, she lowered herself in and jumped down. The well's bottom met her hard.

Silently, she thanked the gods above and began to weep.

She had sealed the well.

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Night had fallen by the time Inuyasha returned to the village. He was quite alone. There had been no sign of Kikyo, despite having scoured every inch of his forest for her. When he had finally decided to backtrack through the forest, he found that Kagome was not where he had left her. "Stupid wench," he muttered before running to the village, where Kagome's scent led him.

But something was wrong with her scent, though. Normally, it was clean and pure. Now it was heavy, tainted and foul, almost as if she were sick.

"Inu-yasha... please... help me..." Her voice rang ghostly and distant in his head.

Inuyasha shook himself. That was ridiculous. Of course Kagome wasn't sick! She had been just fine yesterday. This had to have been an excuse not to help him search for Kikyo. She was just jealous. Right?

Out of habit, he headed straight for Kaede's hut. Kagome scent seemed to continue on towards the well and he figured that she went back home.

"Oi!" he said, announcing his entrance into Kaede's hut. The little group was eating their dinner in silence. "Where's Kagome? Did she go home or just went off to sulk?"

Everyone looked up at him. "She went home," Miroku answered, delicately wiping his mouth with a piece of cloth.

Inuyasha scowled. "What the hell for?" he asked impatiently.

Sango spoke up. "Kagome was terribly ill." She shot the hanyou a dirty look that promised instant death if he dared to disagree with her.

Inuyasha felt his heartbeats falter. "But that... that's ridiculous. She was fine when I left her in the forest earlier." Had she really been fine?

Miroku's eyebrows furrowed as he stared at the dense hanyou. "You... left her? In the forest? All alone in her condition?!" The houshi's voice rose dangerously. "For god's sake, Inuyasha, she was burning with fever when she made it back her. Hell, I don't even see how she got back by herself! She could barely stand upright!"

Inuyasha immediately got on the defensive. He glared back at the houshi and crossed his arms over his chest. "I had to leave her, Miroku. She was holding me back!"

Miroku, in an uncharacteristic display of temper, jumped to his feet. "She was sick, you idiot! You're half demon, for pity's sake! Even a half demon could--" He clenched his fists in anger. "Damn it all, Inuyasha," he thundered, "how could you not have known how sick she was?!"

Snarling, Inuyasha got into Miroku's face and shoved the monk back. "That was not my problem, now was it?"

"What was not your problem, Inuyasha?" a cold, dead voice asked from the doorway.

Everyone turned to see the undead priestess Kikyo enter the hut.

"K-kikyo?" Inuyasha breathed. He went to her and embraced her. "Where were you? I was worried sick!"

There was an impatient sigh from Sango as she bent to pick up Kirara. "You were nothing, apparently," she muttered testily, glaring at Inuyasha before brushing rudely past him and Kikyo. She left the hut, her long hair swaying viciously behind her.

"Yeah, Inuyasha, you idiot," Shippo called out and trotted off behind Sango and Kirara.

Miroku made as if to follow them, but stopped and turned to face Inuyasha. "And you say that I'm the only one who thinks with the equipment below the waist." His dark blue eyes flashed angrily once before he, too, left the hut.

The hanyou watched Miroku leave. His youkai senses were telling him that there was something seriously wrong. He looked down at the woman standing before him. Her eyes were hard and dead. No life burned within those cold, Stygian orbs, he thought as he held back a shiver.

"What is wrong, koishii?" Kikyo asked softly in her dead voice.

Inuyasha shook his head. "I'm not sure," he muttered, more to himself than to her. He took her hand in his. "Come on, I need to check on something."

She nodded and allowed him to pull her along. They were heading for the Bone Eater's well.

Inuyasha and Kikyo made it to the well surprisingly quick in the dark. Kikyo went up to it, rested her hands on the rim and looked down. "It's just a well," she said as she peered down into the darkness.

"It's not just a well," Inuyasha answered before jumping in. He was completely taken aback when the ground met his feet. "What the--?" He looked up and saw Kikyo's pale face staring down at him. It moved away when Miroku's voice reached his ears.

"Inuyasha!" Miroku sounded close. "What's wrong? Is there something wrong with the well?"

Inuyasha jumped out. He was greeted by Miroku, Sango, Shippo and Kirara. "I don't know," he replied, turning back to look down into the well's inky blackness. "It won't allow me to cross over."

"What?!" Miroku cried out in a panicked tone.

"But... that can't be," Sango said breathlessly.

An evil sounding laugh came from above. "But of course it can, taijiya."

The shard hunters all turned and looked up into the night sky. Kikyo was surrounded by her soul gatherers. She hovered in the air far above their heads.

"Kikyo! What have you done! What did you do to Kagome?" Inuyasha was scared now and his hand reached automatically for his Tetsusaiga.

Kikyo laughed again. "Why do you care so much about that girl, Inuyasha? Why, just a few hours ago, did you not say that she was worthless and useless?"

Inuyasha could only gape at her. How had she known about that? How could she possibly have known that... unless she was there the whole time, spying on them!

"You... bitch! You planned this!" he roared as his entire frame shook violently. Oh no... Kagome! What have I done?

The undead miko laughed cruelly. "I know how much you loathe weak, useless creatures, Inuyasha. The powder I slipped into her food last night worked perfectly. She reacted to its effects and your harsh words exactly as I had hoped, while you treated her just as I knew you would. You really are too predictable, Inuyasha."

"But why? Kagome's done nothing to you!" Inuyasha cried as guilt coursed painfully through his body.

"Well, no, but I wanted this." She held up her hand. The semi-completed jewel dangled from the slim gold chain that Kagome had attached it to. "My true aim was, and has always been, to get back what was mine."

"The shard hunters were stunned. "If the Shikon is here and Kagome returned home, that can mean only one thing," Miroku whispered in a horror-stricken voice. "The well is sealed."

Kikyo smiled maliciously down at the houshi. "You are correct. Your precious Kagome deserted all of you and sealed the well."

Shippo jumped on Miroku's shoulder. "That's not true! Kagome would never desert us!" he cried. "You must have done something horrible and mean to Kagome!"