Kagome hurried as she grabbed her backpack and scampered to the Bone Eaters Well. Giving a wave over her shoulder, despite the fact that no one was in sight to receive it, she slid over the wooden lip and fell to the ground below her.
A smile graced her lips as she climbed the ladder and hopped awkwardly—trying to keep herself and her heavy backpack balanced—over the side.
"I'm home!" she called.
Her brother slid open the door, "Hey, sis! We didn't expect you back for another week."
Kagome practically bubbled with excitement. "Oh, Souta! It's wonderful!"
A puzzled expression clouded his features. "Wha—?"
"We almost got 'im!"
"Got who?" He put down the soccer ball he had been carrying to walk closer to her.
"Naraku! We're hot on his trail! He was somewhat injured somehow and Inuyasha picked up his scent! Isn't it wonderful? When he's gone, I can spend more time at home!"
The smile Souta had been sharing with his sister faltered a bit.
Kagome didn't notice as she ran out of the well-hut and into the house. Lost in the moment she forgot to take off her shoes.
"Mom! Mom! I'm home!"
A middle aged woman walked out of the kitchen. "I see you are. What's up, dear? I thought you weren't supposed to be back for about another week."
"It's wonderful!" she exclaimed, blabbing exactly what she had told Souta only a few minutes ago.
However, her mother only seemed to pick up tid-bits of what she said, and with a distracted look in her eyes said, "Well, I'm glad you're back, dear. I was going to tell you as soon as you came home. Just blurt it out, so I don't get nervous and forget to tell you."
"Tell me what?" her smile of excitement was gone, replaced by a curious frown and wrinkles of puzzlement between her bright eyes.
"Mom's got a new boy-friend!" Souta cried from behind her.
Nothing registered as Kagome stood, horrified, staring at the wall beside her mother's head.
A million thought raced through her head.
'Boyfriend? That's . . . good, right?'
Was it good? Her father had died not too long ago. How could she just forget about him? Kagome thought her mother had been madly in love with him to the end.
'She still is.' She chastised herself, 'She wouldn't just forget about him. For all she knows, it may just be a small crush.'
Sticking to that logical answer she perked up, chirping, "Wow, Mom. That's great!"
Her mother seemed surprised that she had so easily taken the news. "Yes, I thought so too."
She hesitated before asking, "You're sure you're fine with this?"
Souta snorted. "Mom! Really, Kagome never lies! She'd tell you if it bothered her."
Their mother smiled slightly and answered, "Yes, I know. I guess I'm just nervous . . ."
"Guess you would be," Souta answered.
The older woman whirled and hustled back into the kitchen when the timer's shrill alarm went off muttering, "I hope it isn't burnt."
"What?" Mom cared about things getting burnt, sure, but she didn't panic over it like that.
"Souta," Kagome said slowly, "what is going on?"
Souta nonchalantly replied as he made his way back to his room—where his video games resided, "We just told you,"
Kagome followed the voice and persisted her question. "I know that, why is she frantic over dinner?"
"She didn't tell you?" Souta paused his game to give her a look. "Are you playing games? I thought she already told you. Her new boyfriend is coming over tonight for dinner."
Kagome's eyes widened in horror.
Souta laughed as he thought out loud. "You couldn't have picked a more perfect day—or unlucky, if you want to say—day to come back. He's coming over to the house for the first time so Mom can see how we get along with him and stuff. From there, if things go well, then they'll share a more 'intimate' relationship."
The information had barely registered in her mind before she found herself blurting, "How do you know all this?"
A smirk was on Souta's face. "That's for me to know."
"Let me guess: you eavesdropped on a conversation on the phone involving him?"
Her little brother didn't answer, but resumed his game.
"Brat," she mumbled as she turned and went into her room to pack more necessaries for the next trip to the Warring States Era.
She had just finished packing enough of clothes for the few weeks it would require to hunt down and destroy the oni, Naraku, when her Mom knocked on the door and came in.
"Kagome, I hate to bother you, but I need you to wear one of your dresses."
Kagome gave her mother a questioning look, "Which one?"
"Any one's fine, dear." Mom's eye's suddenly brightened as an idea came, "Or you could wear your kimono. You know, the one Grandpa got from that one shop?"
Dresses? Kimono? This guy had to be something to get Mom so worked up. She never had Kagome wear anything really fancy for other guests. When her father's mother had come to visit when Dad died she didn't really need to wear anything extremely special, and she barely knew her Grandma from her dad's side.
"Um. . . sure. What's Souta wearing?"
"I think I can whip something up," Mom replied.
Kagome, mouth forming a small oval, nodded mutely in answer as her mother left the room.
Yes, apparently this guy meant a lot to her. A lot.
Kagome sighed as she contemplated on how this—this stranger had walked in and taken her Mom. That wasn't good.
She slowly got up and walked over to her small closet to search for that kimono. Kagome had a growing urge to shred it and walk down there in front of this guy in raggedy jeans and a stained shirt, but the fact that this guy probably made her Mom happy, and the fact that the kimono was pretty expensive—very expensive, was enough to comply with her Mom's wishes and slip into the beautiful silk kimono.
When she had tied the last of the cords, she straitened it out and looked at her reflection in the mirror. Not all too bad. She actually looked okay.
Now for her hair. Kagome picked up a brushed and cleared her long tresses of knots before tying it back in a loose pony-tail at the nape of her neck.
It was just then that the original reason for her return popped into her head and she jumped in surprise at herself for forgetting before flinging her door open and hurrying down the steps, nearly toppling her brother.
"Sorry," Kagome mumbled as she slowed down to a walk and continued into the kitchen where her mother was putting the final touches on the huge dinner.
"Sheesh, Mom. What? Are we feeding an army?"
Her mother giggled. "Do you really think I over-did it?"
Kagome shrugged. "Depends; how much does he mean to you? Do you like him?"
Mom seemed taken aback at first. "Of course I do! I wouldn't be doing this if he didn't!"
"Yeah, okay. Then you're not going too far or over-doing it. If you care about someone, you're willing to do anything to please them or make them happy. You want them to feel comfortable anywhere—especially around you. So it's normal to overexert yourself when he's involved."
"You're exactly right. That's how I feel."
Kagome mentally jumped.
'Oops, did I say that out loud?'
She hadn't actually been telling her mother that for advice, really, she was more applying it to herself.
It hurt, but lately she had been so confused about Inuyasha. She felt such warmness for him—maybe love?—but she felt scared that he would go with Kikyo and that made her doubt him, and that made the warmness go away.
It scared her, worried her. If she wasn't in love with Inuyasha, then . . . what? What did she feel? It might be love. She was so sure it was. Life was so hard to sift through . . .
The door's chime brought her out of her reverie, and Mom jumped, ripping off her apron to reveal the fancy dark skirt and pretty shirt.
"He's here," she practically yelped as she hurried to the door.
Kagome's stomach had risen to her throat in fear. All the reasons why she shouldn't go out there rang in her head. What if he was a stalker? Murderer? Rapist—?
'Stop! This is Mom! Nothing will happen! She's smart, intelligent, mature. She can decide for herself whether or not this guy is all he's cracked up to be- unless he tricked her. Oh, god!'
Gathering all the courage she could muster, Kagome walked into the room where her mother and the guy where talking together on the sofa with Souta sitting nearby on the floor.
The first thing she saw was her mother's blushing face. The second was him.
'He . . . he doesn't look so bad . . .'
That was when she froze in her spot. He had a darker aura, like—like—like someone. Someone she knew . . . Who, though?
The two didn't seem to notice her so she made her way and sat in an incliner chair next to Souta.
"What are they talking about?" Kagome murmured.
"Um. . . philosophy and stuff like that?"
"Really?" Kagome's gaze shot to look at him; she could barely keep the shock out of her voice.
"Mm," his attention slid somewhere else.
"Souta? Hey, Souta?"
He didn't answer so she shrugged it off and pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them protectively.
She still didn't like the feel of that guy's aura, but he didn't seem to do anything that would suggest he was a murderer or something.
'Maybe I'm just over-reacting.' She reasonably thought, 'Yeah, maybe I'm just worried that this will be like hammering the last nail in Dad's grave and locking him out.'
Maybe; and it was totally stupid to do it. No matter what, her mother would always care about her father.
Mom's laughter filled her ears—a happy, carefree laugh—and Kagome immediately took back her thoughts and smashed them to bits.
No, this wasn't good. Kagome had one good memory where her mother laughed like that with her father. Not some weird, evil aura-d stranger.
She didn't like this anymore; she needed to talk to her mother. To hear her soothing, loving voice directed at her.
The man stopped mid-sentence as Mom turned her eyes toward Kagome, "Honey, what is it? It's rude to interrupt someone when they're talking like that, dear."
Kagome felt hurt at the appalled tone her mother used.
But that didn't stop her from standing up and darting in her mother's arms, burying her face in the warm chest.
"K—Kagome? What on—?" her mother stuttered.
"I love you," Kagome whispered against the light sweater that Mom had put on.
Her mother smiled and gave Kagome a slight hug, smiled, and tilted her daughter's chin up to look at her face. "I love you, too, sweetie. But right now I'd like you to meet someone."
Kagome bit her tongue to keep from making a face at what her mother said, "Okay."
"Kagome," her Mom stood up, gently grabbing onto her wrist and pulling her up along with her, "I'd like you to meet a very special person."
They both turned and Mom gestured toward the man that had also stood up. He was about three inches taller than her mother. "This—this, my dear—is Akito Sohma."
"I've heard so many good things about you," Akito said.
Kagome took the chance to examine him. Dark eyes. Purple—or was it black? Dark hair, too. On anyone else it might have looked a bit odd to have somewhat messy hair, but on him it looked somewhat good, she had to admit.
Suddenly, what he said sank in and she calmly, with false cheerfulness replied, "Vice versa."
"No matter what, though, anything she said could not have justified your actual beauty. That kimono is beautiful on you."
A small blush rose on her cheeks, and she felt disgusted. How could she fall for such awful lines? Then again, anyone give her a compliment and she was a red tomato. "Thanks," she found herself replying.
'What? Wait! No! I didn't say that! I did not just thank him! Oh, no! I fell right into his trap . . . Well, at least now I know how Mom fell for him.'
How old was this guy, anyway? Not too old. As old as Mom? He looked young. But then again, Mom didn't look that old, either.
'Skeleton in every closet, no matter how neat looking from the outside.'
But how to find something like that? Kagome could not have Mom marrying him until she found every twist and turn that may be in his closet. Mom would not marry some thug—that was for sure.
'But how to find the corners?'
She thought about that as Akito stood there talking about the compliment Mom had made about her. Kagome could slightly smell the scent of dinner that had wafted through the hall—
'Okay, Kagome you found a way, now use it.'
Kagome put on an extra cheerful smile and bowed slightly. "I humbly apologize for my awful rudeness." She paused to bow to her mother as well—this might work!
"But Okaa-san's food has my stomach occupied. Would you mind if we talked as we ate?"
Akito seemed a bit pleased by her manner's as he gave a smile that even she had to admit was somewhat . . . cute . . . and handsome at the same time.
"I would be pleased to try some of your mother's delicious cooking, Higurashi-sama," Akito answered in a cool manner—another thing to add to Kagome's mental list of things to hate about him.
Kagome's mother giggled. "Akito-san! Please, my home is yours right now. Call us as you would your own."
"I would be proud to." He flashed another smile, but this time Kagome didn't think it was cute. No, this time it had an eerie, creepy, evil look to it.
Her mother, however, flustered slightly. "About dinner," she mumbled as she stood and gestured for everyone to follow her to the dining table.
'Am I losing it? Am I paranoid? Am I going crazy? How can that creepy dude be a saint in her eyes?'
She then followed them into the kitchen area.
Kagome shoved her kimono into her closet before flopping onto the bed and groaning into the pillow, the only thing she could do to keep from screaming.
Rushing dinner had been anything but the right thing to do! Not only did she have to act so polite and resist the urge to shudder every time Akito had poked a joke in her direction—Souta had gotten along splendidly with him, and she had appeared to be his best bud, acting so stupidly polite!
Kagome pounded her fist into her soft mattress soundlessly as she remembered the proposal her mother had made at the end of dinner. How could Kagome have been so stupid?
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Could she have died from stupidity?
Because everyone seemed to get along, her mother had offered Akito the chance to stay next week to see if allowing their relationship to grow was a good choice.
No, the world had just ended, and Kagome would have rather been captured by Naraku—after some consideration—than live udder the same roof as that jerk! He stole her mother! He brainwashed her!
Kagome sighed before rolling over to look at the ceiling.
Tears of frustration blurred her vision. Maybe—just maybe—her mother would let her go to the Warring States Era next week . . . Yeah, right!
But Naraku was so close, and even if her mother wouldn't allow her to go, Inuyasha would probably barrel through the door and drag her back to the well and shove her threw, making sure to somehow temporarily sealing it so she couldn't go back.
Kagome smiled as she thought of how Akito would react to a silver-haired, dog-eared hanyou charging threw, 'kidnapping' her, and vanishing for a few weeks.
She quietly laughed, picturing him saying in his cool tone—that freaky smile in place. "I must be seeing things," or "I guess I forgot to take my pills."
That's it! Kagome jolted into a sitting position.
She'd prove him crazy! She'd show her mother that he wasn't the little perfect person he appeared to be. And he looked too young. Kagome made a face when she realized that Akito could pass for a teenager dating her.
Her thoughts were abruptly stopped when her mother gently knocked on her door and slowly opened it.
"Hey, how are you holding up?"
"Good," Kagome mumbled.
Her Mom walked around and sat at the foot of the bed. "Sure? You don't mind Akito staying here next week?"
"No, it's fine."
Her mother's facial expression softened and she reached over and hugged her daughter tight, "Oh, honey. I was so scared I had rushed things! I thought you were mad at me."
"I thought you weren't ready for something like this. There hasn't really been a father-figure in the house since your Dad died."
Kagome could only nod her understanding as her mother drew back.
"But, Kagome, don't be afraid to tell me if you don't feel comfortable at any point in time with him."
There was a small silence before Kagome mustered up the courage to ask something. "Mama, can I go shopping tomorrow after school?"
"Whatever for, dear?"
"I need to restock on emergency food supplies and Shippo ran out of lollipops."
Her mother laughed. "He's going to get sick with you spoiling him like that."
"I know, but he's, like . . . I don't know, a son, I guess," Kagome admitted sheepishly. "But I was thinking I could go shopping with Eri, Yuka, and—"
Her words were cut off when her mother held up her hand. "Kagome, that's something else I need to talk to you about. You're about to begin your third year of high school and I received a phone call about your absences last year. Apparently, you only went to school about fifty times last year."
"Oh?" Kagome had a rising fear in her chest. Was her mother going to cut her off from the Warring States Era? From Inuyasha?
"So, I've decided to have you go to a different high school. It's for the best."
Well, I got bored with the other story, so I've decided to start this Fruits Basket/Inuyasha crossover – actually, it's my first crossover, period. And I intend on putting my heart and soul into it to make you happy and pleased to read it.
But, but, but. That doesn't mean I'm stopping my other story. Give me feed back, though! Tell me what you think! Does it suck? Is it rushed? Should I stop? Should I continue? And this will contain some TohruxYuki, if you don't like it, then don't read it!
Well, no matter what, I'm going to continue. And the FB group comes in next time.