Disclaimer: I don't own InuYasha or any of the shows characters.
Authors Notes: I wrote this because I never felt quite comfortable with what I did to Kikyo in my story Patient 2041. If you don't like Kikyo, either turn back now, or read this with a critical eye. I don't want to be flamed simply because you don't like Kikyo.
Scrolls and Arrows
Kagome clambered through the storehouse, the musty, ancient relics that were her grandfather's pride and joy surrounding her. They were clearing out for the festival tomorrow, where her grandfather would sell about half of the useless junk kept in the storehouse, and the other half would come back to the storehouse, to wait for the next big wave of tourists. The usual.
"Here, Kagome, would you hold this for a second?" her grandfather asked, handing down a box of scrolls. Kagome grabbed them.
"So what are these, and where do they go?" Kagome asked. Again, typical.
"Oh, we're not selling those," Kagome's grandfather said, reaching for yet another artifact. "Those are the scrolls of the history of our shrine. They're very important and old, so be careful with them."
Kagome stared down at the scrolls for a second. She wondered… how accurate were they? Did they extend into the Sengoku Jidai? What would she find in there…?
The fatal words tumbled out of her mouth before she could stop them. "Could I borrow these for a school project?"
Her grandfather nodded. "Certainly," he said. "Just be careful with them! They're hundreds of years old!"
Kagome quickly agreed, and, gripping the edges of the wooden box carefully, she carried it up to her room. And then she began to look through the fateful scrolls.
It was two hours later when Kagome found the scroll she was looking for. The date was approximately five-hundred years in the past, right around the date she had fallen through the well, and was the oldest dated scroll in the box. Quickly she unrolled the scroll and began to read the fluid script.
'I have been resurrected by the witch Urasue, and my soul has returned. The witch's intent was to use my powers to rule over smaller demons and gain more power, but that will not be so. I killed her, and stumbled to my home village, where my sister awaited. The gods have deemed to keep me alive, for what purpose I do not yet know.
My sister has aged beyond my years. She is over fifty now, while I was resurrected at the age I died at – having just cleared twenty. Gladly, we were reunited, after I explained my story to her.
Unfortunately, the temple that once stood to guard the Shikon no Tama is now gone, long since ravaged by demons. The jewel itself has gone, as I hoped it would.
Over these past few months, a demon by the name of Naraku attacked. It is clear that was Onigumo, and through his bragging I have learned of his plan to set up myself and the hanyou InuYasha. After much contemplation, I freed InuYasha from his dormancy, and after much more convincing, we decided to hunt down Naraku.
Soon we were joined by a monk who heard of our journey to find and kill Naraku. Shortly after we were offered the help of a demon slayer.
Suffice to say, we have defeated the demon Naraku, once Onigumo. The demon slayer and monk decided to stay in the village and help to protect it. I consented, as did my sister.
Eventually, InuYasha and I wed. I bore a son, who will become the head priest of the temple we are building near where I sealed InuYasha to a tree. The well nearby will also be made sacred, a part of the shrine.
Kagome stared at the writing on the scroll in shock. Kikyo and InuYasha had wed, in that past life. They, together, had defeated Naraku. InuYasha must have had a happy life, with Kikyo. Even Sango and Miroku were together in the past. She had brought about no change, except to bring the Shikon no Tama back, only to cause more strife.
'There's no place for me there,' she thought, and she could feel a choking sensation in the back of her throat. 'Everyone would have been happier had I not fallen through the well.'
She gripped the covers of her bed, staring at the scroll. Mechanically, she picked up the account sitting placidly on her bed and rolled it up, before setting it back in the box.
And then she began to cry. She cried for her love for InuYasha, that she had ever met him, or her friends. They were her best friends in the world. They were the only ones who understood her.
As she cried, a strange thing started to happen. Her house began to drift in her vision, becoming darker. It seemed, for a second, that she could see a swirling mass of chaos.
Shocked, Kagome sat up. She looked around frantically, but her house was back to normal.
'The future is drifting apart, because I changed the past,' she thought frantically. 'I have to get back there, so I can make things right…'
Kagome had been acting very coldly toward InuYasha over the past few days. She had seemed to care much less when InuYasha mentioned Kikyo. She was no longer happy and bubbly, like the rest of the group had come to expect her to be.
Instead, she was distant, always looking with a sorrowful gaze at InuYasha when she thought they weren't looking.
It made the entire gang very worried. What had happened? At first, Miroku had accused InuYasha of going off to see Kikyo again, but InuYasha kept testifying against it. Eventually, Miroku had to grudgingly admit that InuYasha was telling the truth. Kikyo was nowhere to be found.
But that wasn't their greatest concern at the moment. For Naraku was drawing nearer. And despite concerns for Kagome's health, they moved to engage him in battle.
They neared the familiar miasma cloud, Sango and Kagome atop Kirara, and Miroku and InuYasha running at their top speed toward where Naraku was already engaged in battle with Koga and his wolves.
They reached the battle within minutes, to find Koga struggling with Naraku's mass of demon-absorbing flesh. Sango unleashed hiraikotsu, cutting the wolf demon free for a moment.
As Kirara dipped lower to the ground, Kagome jumped for the fire-cat's back, her bow at the ready. She fired a shot past Naraku's head, causing him to turn to look at her. She aimed another shot, while InuYasha circled around from behind to strike the demon with Kaze no Kizu.
Naraku struck out at InuYasha with his demon-absorbing tentacles, before another blast of energy came out of the woods. With his hair flying dramatically behind him, and a set expression on his face, Sesshoumaru stepped into the battle.
Miroku and Sango, meanwhile, were battling back to back. Miroku had already used his Kazaana several times, to Sango's chagrin. He had already inhaled many of the Saimyoshou, and the poison was just beginning to affect his body.
Sango herself was busy battling back demons, trying to get to Kohaku, who stood close to Naraku. Her attention was divided between Miroku and Kohaku.
Even with the extra help from Sesshoumaru, it seemed that Naraku would dominate.
It was then that Kikyo appeared. She fired a shot from the woods, charged with her spiritual energy. And then she stepped forward. InuYasha turned to look at her, before he was sent sprawling by one of Naraku's tentacles.
Kagome was luckier. She watched as Kikyo stepped up to the battlefield, and towards Kagome.
"One spiritual arrow is not enough to defeat him," she said, with just the slightest gesture at Naraku. "I believed it would be enough to stun him, so I could take him to Hell with me. It seems not. If we can distract him, both you and me can fire our arrows at him. That will either destroy him or give me my chance to drag him with me to Hell."
Kagome looked at the resurrected miko with astonishment. She was willing to give the life she had to defeat Naraku. Why couldn't she give up her life in the Sengoku Jidai for the modern era?
Without a word, Kagome nodded decisively. Kikyo smiled slightly.
"Looking for a distraction?" someone asked from behind them. Both Kikyo and Kagome turned to see the Kaze Youkai Kagura.
"Kagura?" Kagome said with astonishment.
"It would be my pleasure to distract Naraku for you, and give you your chance, if it means his death."
Kagome nodded. "Good luck," she said quietly. Kagura didn't respond, only materialized her feather and headed toward the other side of the battle.
Kagome waited, standing next to Kikyo, her bow at the ready, as was Kikyo's. Her fingers nearly slipped on the bowstring as she waited, the tension coursing through her body.
"Fuujin no Mai!"
Kagura had attacked. Kagome could see the wind blades slicing through Naraku's body. He turned to look at the Kaze Youkai, and Kagome heard a scream of pain. It was Kagura's.
"You have betrayed me for the last time," Naraku said, fury laced in his calm voice.
Kagome and Kikyo fired at exactly the same moment. The two arrows, charged with sacred energy, ripped through Naraku's body. In a flash of bright light, Naraku's body began to disappear. Both Kagome and Kikyo waited, poised, together on the ridge.
They both understood. If Naraku was not dead, they would never get another chance.
Eventually the light cleared. Where Naraku had stood, there was only the tiny Shikon no Tama, faintly giving off a light of its own. Kagome and Kikyo headed toward the site of the battle, Kagome faintly stunned. Kikyo seemed unfazed by it all.
Without a word they surveyed the battle. Miroku had unwrapped the beads that sealed his Kazaana, and he was staring at it in shock. Sango had run toward where Kohaku lay. The jewel shard was no longer in his back, and instead was a part of the whole jewel that sat in the middle of the clearing. Kohaku lay dead.
InuYasha stood, panting, bleeding from a wound in his stomach. Sesshoumaru stood behind him, his sword still drawn. He looked a little worse for wear, but unhurt. Koga was fighting to stand, through multiple injuries to his legs. The two shards in his legs had been ripped from his body, and into the completed jewel. Ayame was by his side, helping him up.
"Naraku is dead," Kikyo said, stating was all of them were thinking. "He is gone forever form this world. And the Shikon no Tama is complete."
All of them looked at her. Miroku lifted Sango from Kohaku's body, carrying her towards the group. Koga moved closer, as did Sesshoumaru and InuYasha.
"Where's Kagura?" Kagome asked.
"She disappeared," Koga growled. "Naraku turned, and just before you shot him with your arrows, she died."
Kagome felt sadness gripping her. Kagura had helped them, at the cost of her own life.
"What about the jewel?" she finally asked.
"It is yours," Kikyo said. "You have worked hard for it."
Kagome looked at Kikyo, shocked, for a second, before stumbling forward to scoop up the jewel. It looked almost exactly like it had before, when it had come tumbling from her body.
'I could stay here,' she thought. 'Make a new future. I could remain with InuYasha, see Miroku and Sango's children grow up, as well as Shippo. I could stay here, be happy…
'But what about mom? Sota? Gramps? Buyo? Could I give them up? Could I just turn my back on everyone in my era?
'No. I couldn't.'
She looked up at those gathered around her, watching to see what she would do.
"Thank you, everyone," she said. "You've all been so kind to me. I will never be able to repay your kindness, except to do this…"
Quickly, she clasped her hands around the jewel, hoping that this would work. And then, she wished, with all her being, all her soul, and all her heart.
'I wish that everyone could be happy, with everything as it should be. I wish that the strife I created by bringing the Shikon no Tama back with me could be reversed.'
Slowly, a light began to glow around Kagome. At first, it was unnoticeable. After several seconds, Kohaku began to groan, and eventually he opened his eyes. Sango looked toward the young boy with astonishment, rushing toward him. Miroku followed her, and she turned toward him, joy filling her eyes. Without a second thought she moved to kiss him. Miroku looked surprised, but extremely happy.
Kagome smiled. Her wish was working.
Slowly, the wounds in Koga's legs began to heal. He stared at them, amazed. Ayame smiled at Kagome, who noticed with some satisfaction that Koga's arm was wrapped possessively around the female wolf demon's waist.
After InuYasha's wounds had healed in much the same manner, Kagome turned to look at Kikyo. As Kagome watched, her cheeks gained color, and she could feel her own soul leaving her body, to join with Kikyo's. The miko was becoming human again.
It was then that Kagome began to disappear. InuYasha rushed toward her, his hand grasping for hers. But he couldn't stop Kagome's selfless wish.
"Kagome!" he called out.
She smiled sadly at him. "Be happy, InuYasha. You and her belong together. I love you."
And she looked up at the rest of them, a smile on her face. The light that was emanating from the Shikon no Tama had almost consumed her entire body. None of the could see the tears that were spilling down her cheeks.
And with that, Kagome disappeared, forever.
InuYasha stood at the well, glaring down into the dark depths. He could no longer pass through.
Quietly, Kikyo moved to stand beside him. Her mannerisms were much more earthly than ethereal now, and she seemed so much more connected to the earth. Over the three months since Kagome's disappearance, InuYasha had watched her struggle to come to terms with being human again.
"I'm sorry," she said compassionately. InuYasha simply nodded. He could find nothing else to say.
Kikyo sighed. InuYasha still loved the girl Kagome. And though she still loved him, all she could do was watch as he fell into sadness.
Quietly, she took his hand, her own warm fingers curling around his. InuYasha turned from the well, and Kikyo turned with him, witness to his grief.
Hand in hand, they headed back to the village. Miroku was teaching the village children, including Shippo, to play a game. They stood enraptured, and not far off Sango watched. She had been pregnant for over a month now, after she and Miroku had gotten married.
Koga and his band of wolves continued to live in the mountains. He had finally claimed Ayame as his mate, and they now ruled over the wolf tribe. Sometimes, the royal couple, along with Ginta and Hakkaku would visit the village.
Sesshoumaru had returned to the lands granted to him by his father. After the final battle with Naraku, he had come to a sort of peace with his younger brother. InuYasha wasn't entirely sure why, but he didn't care. All that had been on his mind was Kagome.
Still hand in hand, Kikyo and InuYasha walked through the village. Soon they were through the rice paddies just outside the village, and overlooking a ledge. The two stopped, through some unknown signal.
Still with no words spoken, InuYasha bend to pick a tiny flower. Kikyo smiled, the purple, five-leafed flower losing no significance on her.
"Your namesake," InuYasha said, handing her the tiny Chinese Bellflower. Kikyo took it in her hand, and then moved to sit down on the ledge overlooking the village. It was bustling with life and happiness and promise.
"We both have to start a new life," Kikyo said quietly. "I know what I will do – I will build a shrine to that girl. Right next to the well. It will forever be a sacred place."
InuYasha looked at her, thanks filling his golden eyes. "Then I shall help you."
Sitting there, on that ledge, both Kikyo and InuYasha realized: they would spend their new lives together. That's what Kagome had wanted.
As they left that ledge that day, both knew that nothing would ever be the same. But they would be together.
Kagome stood outside the well house, where she had appeared after she had made her wish. She had not moved from there, since she had appeared, hours earlier. She could not bring herself to move, and the tears from earlier still clung to her cheeks.
She had emerged, crying, and had collapsed to the ground. Her family had tried to move her, but she would not be moved.
Eventually, and at her request, her mother had brought the box of scrolls out to her. Kagome opened the one that was written by Kikyo, the one with the furthest back date. And she began to read.
'The Shikon no Tama had disappeared, and I am resurrected, at the behest of the girl Kagome. The scourge that was Naraku had been wiped from the earth.
'InuYasha and I continue to stumble along in our new lives. Both of us carry the heavy weight of our past sorrows. Still, we have learned to live. InuYasha smiled more often. And though I know he still misses the girl Kagome, we were married, and I am now pregnant.
'The temple is halfway complete as I write this. Though I am no longer a miko, I will dedicate my life to serving this temple.
'We named the temple Higurashi Jinja, after the mysterious girl Kagome. It was for her that this temple was built. It is only fitting that the building itself should carry her name.
'The monk and taijiya continue to help us with our building of the shrine, though the taijiya is again with child. I am learning to become friends with them, as well as the wolves of the mountains, and InuYasha's brother Sesshoumaru.
'InuYasha has suggested that we leave Kagome's bow and arrows in the shrine. They are the sacred tools that defeated Naraku. I find no objections. They will be given a place of honor, set in the shrine.'
Kagome felt tears threatening to spill from her again. Before she could ruin the scroll with her tears, she rolled it up and set it back in the box. Without another word, she stood and entered the shrine.
And there, set against the wall, near the back, was the wooden bow and quiver of arrows. She stumbled toward them awkwardly, unsure that they were real. But as her hands closed around the wood that was so familiar to her, the taut bowstring, the smell of the wood… there was no doubt about it. This was real.
And as she stood there, holding the bow, tears streaming down her face, something clicked into place. The past had been set right, to make way for the future.
With a smile on her face, she set the aging bow back down where she had found it. Still smiling, she dashed from the shrine.
"I'm going out mom!" she called. "And do you think you could sign me up for archery lessons?"
Her mother called an affirmative, and Kagome headed to the train station, where she could catch a train to the mall.
'InuYasha and Kikyo could start a new life,' she thought. 'I can too. Maybe I'll start dating Hojo… no, actually. But I'll do much better on my tests.'
Lost in her thoughts, Kagome almost didn't notice when the train stopped. She rushed off, toward the department store.
'So many people,' she thought, nearing a restaurant. 'Not nearly so many in the Sengoku Jidai…'
She stopped, to admire the fountain that was employed at decoration for the restaurant. As she stood there, watching the water washing over the stones, she almost missed the call of "Hey!"
Kagome blinked. She knew that voice.
She turned to see a girl with long hair wearing blue jeans and a camouflage t-shirt waving her over. Kagome blinked for a second. She could have sworn that the girl was Sango.
"Hey, you!" the girl called again. "You look lonely! Come over here!"
As Kagome neared them, she stared at the girl's other companions. The guy who she sat next to… he looked nearly identical to Miroku. He wrapped his arms around the girl's waist, and she sat down next to him. Laughing next to them was a young boy, traces of Shippo in his freckled face and red hair.
And sitting across from them, with an annoyed look on his face…
He had black hair, that was short… but his face. It was nearly identical to InuYasha's. Kagome found herself short of breath.
"I'm San," the girl introduced herself. "This is Minoru, my boyfriend."
"When it suits you," the guy who looked like InuYasha scowled at San. She laughed playfully.
"That's Ichiro, Minoru's best friend. He tagged along on our date. And the kid is Shigeki, Ichiro's cousin," San explained. "So, what's your name?"
"Kagome," the girl in question said quietly.
"Well, Kagome, sit down," Minoru said.
Kagome did so, and they began talking and laughing. Within fifteen minutes, Shigeki and Ichiro had gotten into a verbal match about Ichiro stealing the redhead's food.
Afterward, Minoru decided to grope San, who slapped him. Kagome soon was laughing along with the rest of them. They acted so much like Sango, Miroku, Shippo, and InuYasha.
"Say, Kagome, wanna go shopping with us?" San asked, after she was done chewing Minoru out for his wandering hands.
Kagome nodded, and the group of five stood. Kagome felt so at home with them. As they walked away, laughing and talking, Kagome realized…
Life was looking up.
Authors Notes: So, did you like it? I had fun writing it, but that doesn't mean that you guys liked it.