"In Hopes of Being Normal…"

Spring…Kagome thought, blowing the sweaty hair out of her eyes, spring, the time of renewal, of rebirth. She fitted an arrow in the taunt string of her bow and yanked it back. Time of yokai and raiding ronin…

"Back off, now." She growled as said rouge samurai advanced. His bony arms brandishing his blade, hair limp with sweat as the fires roared behind him. Tongues of red and orange flames singed the pink cherry blossoms as they fell from the dark branches above.

The siege began less than twenty minutes ago, the group of raiders swooping down on their quiet village like a silent plague. They hadn't had time to hide the old woman before the fires and the bandits swarmed into the hut. Behind her Shippou tried to help Kaede to her feet. But the old woman was only able to cough as the sickness that kept her bedridden crested over the fear and anger of having her home invaded.

"Kaede-baachan, stay still! I'll take care of this guy." Kagome whispered as she pulled back the arrow.

"K-kagome…" Shippou stuttered, his little feet tapping nervously on the wood planks near the irori cooking area. "The fire…" The first flames licked at the side of Kaede's home and smoke rolled in through the cracks in the boards.

Kagome's eyes slid back to the bandit. He'd picked the wrong day to do this. Sure Sango and Miroku were off paying their yearly respects to the priest's late father. Sure Inuyasha was somewhere else, hunting down a rumor about one of the few shards they had yet to find…no problem. Any other day the bandit might have won. But not today. Kagome seethed, her breath catching as the first acrid tang of burning wood settled on her tongue. "If you leave now, I won't shoot you." She hissed, her dark eyes narrowed. "This is your last warning." The bow string whined next to her ear.

"Stupid wench. I'll let you roast in here before I let you pass." The man leered at Kagome's simple outfit. She'd opted for a skirt and light sweater in lee of her uniform…too many bad thoughts at the moment to wear that. "But maybe if you'll pay the toll I'll let you pass."

Her face flushed. Pass? Did he say pass? I'll show you a pass…Behind her, Shippou and Kaede coughed and sputtered. Teeth gritted, she pulled the arrow back as far as she could. Anger burned deeper and darker than the flames outside. She could hear the other villagers flocking towards Kaede's hut in hopes of protection. The screams started after that, rising up with the dark smoke that dimmed the sunlight. It was the other ronin howling in the spring winds, their blood mingling with the wafting cherry blossoms.

Good…good. She took a deep breath and glanced outside as the man before her turned to stare out the simple doorway. Over his shoulder Kagome saw the fury of red sleeves and white hair and yellow eyes met her own. The anger doubled. Tripled. Quadrupled. He has no idea…he was actually grinning.

She let the arrow fly and prayed it would take the head off the stupid boy instead of the dirty ronin before her. This was all HIS fault.

But the arrow hit the ronin in the side. Not a fatal wound, but enough to make him hightail it out of the hut and Inuyasha took care of the rest as Kagome hauled up Kaede-baachan and scooped Shippou up under her arm. As soon as they were safe Kagome pitched in to help the ashen villagers haul water from the river, keeping busy enough to keep from having to talk to Inuyasha. He glanced at her from time to time, mouth moving as if he had something to say but kept his silence as he lugged bucket after bucket back to douse the embers devouring the village. By nightfall the fires were out, the people had finished their laments and plans were already made to restore what was lost. None had died. And the bandits would think twice about even stepping in the direction of their homes again thanks to a certain hanyou.

Kaede coughed as Kagome held a dipper of water to her chapped lips. "Thank ye child, but I'm alright." The old woman's good eyes fixed the on the girl. "But are you, Kagome-chan?"

"Am I what?" The girl said, not really concentrating on Kaede's words, but rather the weight of someone's stare on her shoulders.

"Are you ill, child? Your face is drawn and your hands are shaking." Her wrinkled face pulled down in a frown. "If'n you are worried about that man, I'm sure your arrow did no more than scratch him."

"Y-yeah, I'm sure too." Kagome stood, tucked a blanket more securely around the shivering fox demon next to Kaede-baachan and thought, but at this point I'm not even sure if I'd care if I had killed him. She shuddered.

"Child, get yourself a blanket or you'll get a chill." Kaede tried to stand before Kagome stopped her with a gentle hand.

"Um, that's okay. I'm going to walk for a little while. I-I want to see how bad the damage is." Her eyes scanned the horizon, the light still splattering the sky lavender, wind scattering petals like softer versions of fractured shadows. "I n-need to talk to Inuyasha too."

Kaede closed her eye and sighed as the first smile of the evening smoothed some of the lines away. "Aye…we're lucky to have that one. I don't know what we'd have done without him today. These wars…they are bringing out darker things in humans than even youkai are capable of."

"Lucky?" Kagome whispered, her fists clenching at her sides. "H-how can you call what happened today, lucky?" And before she could say anything else to hurt the old woman, she walked away at a lurch.

Shippou blinked wide eyes at Kaede. "What's wrong with Kagome?"

The old woman only shook her head and stroked the soft hair of the young kitsune.

The moon had finally sailed over the net of smoke when Kagome found the river again. Her hair was in knots from her fretful fingers, dark strands of it twisted around her hand and stuck between her nails. She figured she'd lost Inuyasha halfway between the well and the God Tree. She normally didn't go to the river, but she figured it was the easiest way to shake the boy. The clean smell of the water was almost astringent after the smell of charred wood. The village would have its work cut out tomorrow. She smiled grimly at the prospect of hard labor.

Maybe that'd keep her mind off everything. But somewhere in the back of her thoughts her mother's face kept haunting her. The pain in her mother's eyes, the grim line her mouth had made as she bit back the questions, her shaking back as she'd left the room, the disappointment in the muffled sobs from outside the house.

Tears stung at Kagome's eyes. The trees rustled again, more blossoms swirled at her feet and then slid under the still waters of a reflected moon. She tried to breathe normally, but the tension was back in her chest and all she could manage was sips and gulps of air. Wobbling, she sat down on the riverbank and wrapped her cold hands around her legs. The smooth rocks shifted under her, dark as onyx as another cloud swallowed up the moon. She snatched up one of the rocks and pitched it into the still water that had saved the village. It made a satisfying 'puh-loosh' so she heaved in another. Again 'ploosh' and the tension eased the tiniest bit. "Stupid…" She sniffed and ran her hand under her traitor nose as it leaked on her. "Stupid! Stupid! STUPID!" Heaving up a larger rock she swung her whole body into it and stumbled into the water as she released it wrong. Her knees hit the rocky bottom as the current sucked her in up to her thighs. Hands following she was drenched before she knew it and the tears released as if the drops of river water were their cue to burst forth from backstage.

The moon peeked back out from the clouds and found the girl sobbing in the grip of the river, her dripping hands fighting to push at her dripping eyes. She kept seeing her reflection under her and clawed at it, breaking it away to tiny white capped waves. "Dammit!"

Eventually she stumbled back to the shore, her shoes squishing mud and skirt dripping, wet cherry blossoms sticking to the hem. She saw him waiting at the edge of the woods, but ignored him and his damned hair as the moon lit it and the worry in his eyes. She turned her back and stalked off in the opposite direction. The ache arched up and stabbed her under her ribs, the stunned look of her friends' faces echoing in her memory. Their disbelief as she'd handed them back their notes, their shaking hands as they patted her back. Their damned filthy pity…she swatted at another cloud of cherry blossoms. That was the LAST thing she wanted from him of all people.

His footsteps fell in behind her.

Hers only squished in the quiet darkness.

Deliberately, she struck out on course as far from a path as possible. As the twigs snatched at her cheeks she only pushed the brambles out of the way and surged forward. The pain of the shallow scratches kept her mind focused. The ground was looser here and her feet kept sliding over the rocks. She stumbled, but caught herself before the one behind her could catch her instead. A low growl leaked from her panting mouth. The quiet footsteps backpedaled. Hers squelched ahead.

The dappled shadows did little to keep her warm as the spring night deepened. Shaking, bloody hands tried to wring the river out of her sweater to no avail. The sobs anchored to the back of her tongue and tried to drag her down again. She swallowed them all down like bitter prickly fish bones. Warm red cloth fell over her hunched shoulders. The anger flared to life like a match head. And then the words came…which had probably been his plan all along. "I…don't…want…your…damn…coat." She shoved it away with all the desperation of someone drowning. It snagged on one of the bush's barbed hands. Kagome had hoped it would have hit the ground so she could have stomped on it.

His voice was very careful. "What happened?"

"Leave…me…alone." She bit off her words, clipping them off at the end in hopes of keeping the feelings in.

"Was it because of the ronin? Did he hurt you?" This time the words were scorching with other things left unsaid.

"No. I took care of him." She tried to stalk off again but his hand darted out and caught her wrist. It was so warm as his fingers curled around her palm, the sharp nails resting against the side of her hand. "Let go."

"Not until you tell me what's wrong." The hand held tighter and Kagome could have smacked him for his unusual display of affection.

She flicked her hand away and growled, "You wouldn't get it even if I did."

"Try me." His eyes picked up the dim light and glowed, not quite angry yet but on the very cusp of becoming pissed.

In a huff, she turned on her slick heel and stalked away, ignoring her tangled hair as it snagged on bushes left and right. Behind her, Inuyasha followed in silence, staring at his empty hand. The woods finally thinned out and Kagome gulped. Ahead of her, nestled in the clearing was the Bone Eater's Well.

"Going home?" He whispered, voice wavering on the unsaid things between his words. Gold eyes fell on the rim of the well that connected their two worlds.

"I-I don't know yet." She said, the emotions leaking away, leaving her a hollow shell as she tried to find her breath. "There's a lot of work to do here now…most of the houses are-"

His hands were around her before she could move, his arms tightening around her shoulders. The wet weave of her sweater pressed to her skin making her gasp as the chill bit into her collarbone. His soft hair fell over her neck and his softer breath tickled her ear as he whispered, "I don't care about houses. Those can be rebuilt…what's wrong with you?" His tone was so husky Kagome's mind lagged as she tried to disregard his words.

"Everything." She said, trying so hard to keep the sobs from coming up her throat that she almost choked. "Everything's wrong with me."

He didn't say anything after that. He just held her. And it was true that he didn't understand most of it, but he still listened as the words flooded from the girl in his arms.

"I failed all of my entrance exams." She howled. "I can't go to high school and even the private schools won't take me. I have too many absences. T-there's no way I can get in anywhere." She gulped in air in heaving lungfulls. "I failed the last test I could take yesterday. I-I don't know what I'm going to do. Everyone else is starting tomorrow, everyone but me! And these stupid, stupid cherry blossoms just keep falling like everything's fine. Even here, I couldn't stop the raid on the village. I'm useless. Kaede-baachan and Shippou-chan could have died! I can't pass exams, I can't protect anyone. I can't do anything! I-I…" The words faded away into sniffling and she turned to the boy and held on as the shudders rocked her to her knees. He followed her and just held on as the storm in Kagome raged.

In reality, he knew he probably shouldn't have said anything. He didn't understand why this whole thing had Kagome so upset in the first place. All school did was make her grumpy and give her headaches…was it so bad that she didn't have to go now? But he should have just held his tongue and simply held onto Kagome and let the words slide over him like the river had slid over her. But the nagging thought that it could have been something much more serious kept popping up in his mind. So he did speak…eventually.

It was partly Kagome's fault for thinking that Inuyasha understood rhetorical questions. "W-what am I going to do? Inuyasha…" She said his name the way only she said it and he almost melted. "What am I going to do?"

"It's no big deal. Just stay here." His ears twitched as Kagome turned to stone in his arms.

"Why?" She asked, her single question falling into their laps like the pebbles she'd pitched into the current. It sank before either of them could figure out what emotions tinged the word.

He sat back and unwove himself from Kagome's hands. "The shards-"

The sound of the smack echoed in the clearing.

Kagome's hand stung, the tears streaming down her cheeks hurt worse, but she tried to focus on the hand. Inuyasha's cheek turned red, his eyes dazed, staring at the ground. The girl stood, hating the fact that her face crumbled again as his eyes shifted back to her. "This is your fault!" She shouted. "I-If I hadn't…if I hadn't fallen in…uhgh! I should have been studying instead of…being here. I don't even…I shouldn't have…you don't even…care, do you? I just wanted to be normal!"

"You are normal!" He shouted back.

Her nostrils flared as she hauled in enough air to scream at him, "How the hell would you know what normal is?"

Silence hung heavy as the moon slid away to hide its eyes.

"Go home." Was the only thing he could think to say. He was too angry to say anything else.

Evidently that wasn't the right thing either. Kagome's anger snuffed out and left the stench of anguish behind. She turned without another word and stumbled to the lip of the well. She knew he was watching as she tried to swing her legs over with some semblance of grace and failed that as miserably as her exams. She tipped forward and fell down into the deeper darkness of the well and prayed it would close behind her forever.

Her mother barely glanced at Kagome as her daughter stumbled in the entrance way, sniffling. But Mrs. Higurashi's eyes widened at the drenched clothing and the look of loss on the child's face. She fought her way though the earlier shock of Kagome's failure and found herself ushering her broken daughter to the bathroom, drawing a warm bath for her and helping the shivering girl out of her wet clothes. All Kagome said was 'mama' over and over as the tears dribbled down her red cheeks.

"We'll figure something out, Kagome-chan. We'll figure something out." She helped Kagome into the bath, simply letting the girl soak. "It'll be okay."

"No, it won't." Kagome said, sliding under the surface of the water, dark hair like a curtain amid the reflection of the lights. When she finally came up for air, her mother was gone and only the steam wafted up to keep her company.

God, I'm so damn pitiful even mom forgave me. She pushed the palms of her hands into her eyes. Useless…I'm so useless and weird. I don't fit in at school anymore. I can't study right…even my friends…I don't know them anymore. And they don't know me. Even if I did go to another school, it'd be the same thing. I'd be out all the time…that or stupid Inu… She ducked under the water again and held her breath for as long as she could to drive the image of his face out of her mind. Even to him…I'm nothing. How dare he say I'm normal? I'm the furthest thing from normal in all of Japan…a kid who can't even pass the exam of a low level private school…I'm just stupid. I'm not normal. I'm pathetic!

Why'd I ever go down that damn well in the first place? I should have just gone to school and acted like I should have, like a normal junior high school girl! But no, I get yanked into the Sengoku Jidai by a centipede monster! NORMAL GIRLS don't have centipede monsters attack them! They don't fall in love with-

Kagome sputtered and came up for air. The tears started again and she beat her hand against the edge of the tub until her knuckles were bruised. A strangled cry escaped her mouth, it echoed in the small space.

Downstairs Mrs. Higurashi looked up as she heard her daughter sobbing in the bathroom. A pair of eyes glared at her from across the table and goodness help her she couldn't shake this one's gaze as easily as she had her heartbroken daughter's. "It really is this bad. I don't know how to make you understand this…but if she doesn't finish at least high school, her future will be…"

"Be what?"

"Well…not normal for a girl like Kagome." The mother ran a hand through her hair, a movement so like Kagome that for an instant it was all he could do to stay seated on the cushion by the table.

"She wants to be normal." He said instead.

Eyes weary but almost humored she glanced at the boy. "She would be if it weren't for…"

"For what?"

"For you, Inuyasha-kun." Mrs. Higurashi shook her head. "If she hadn't met you, she would have been just like any other girl her age."

The boy shook all the way to the tips of his un-normal ears. Cheek still pink, he stood and looked down at the mother who reminded him so much of Kagome and that that it was a good thing that the feel of her was the same. If it hadn't been he probably would have hurt her. Instead, he bowed, his long white hair brushing the floor. And he said, "I am very sorry."


"I didn't mean to make her not normal. For that I'm sorry. But for everything else, I'm not." He stood up and his face was angry now. "Maybe you should think about this one thing too…I may have made her not normal but who was it that made her feel that way?"

A single tear slid down Mrs. Higurashi's cheek.

Great, now I've made both of 'em cry. He thought, a bit ashamed. "I'm going to talk to her now. Things might get a little loud, but since it's my fault all this is happening, I know you'll stay the hell out of it." The woman nodded a bit too willingly and the guilt flared again. He felt bad, but not bad enough to keep him from trekking up to Kagome's room and settling down on the end of her bed to wait.

Kagome slid out of the water, her eyes scratchy and red. She slipped her nightclothes over her damp skin, not even bothering to towel dry her hair. All that she wanted now was sleep. If it would come, at least she'd have some peace. She could figure out the rest later. Not that there was anything else for her to do tomorrow. She wouldn't be off to her first day as a high school student. She wouldn't be in a new uniform. She wouldn't have the butterflies in her stomach to keep her company as she walked along the tree lines streets to her new school. She wouldn't be smiling under the falling cherry blossoms like all the other students as they made their way to a brand new term, a new day, a new start, another chance.

Her door swung back and she slid into her room, thankful her mother wasn't lurking in the hallway with pity around her thin body like armor. She clicked on the light at her desk, started to sit down then stopped. There was no point in studying now…everything she'd studied for ended the day before. With a sick little chuckle she flicked off the light again and bowed her head over the desk. "No more of that then."

From his lookout on the striped comforter, Inuyasha blinked. Now was not the time to celebrate Kagome's abandonment of her textbooks. That'd be the last thing she'd want him to be happy about. He also didn't want her jumping out of her skin or 'osuwari'ing him when she turned around so he spoke as softly as he could and expected very little in the way of answers. "Kagome, what makes someone normal?"

She still jumped and she still 'osuwari'ed him no matter how soft he tried to make his voice. "I-Inuyasha?"

His aching back seized up on him again and he growled, "Who else would you 'osuwari', twit?"

They waited in silence for the spell to work its way out. Kagome kept glancing at the door and Inuyasha kept shaking his head every time she tensed to make a break for it. He did his best to look like he wasn't mad, like he wasn't upset and most of all he tried to look like he could understand her if she'd try one more time.

Kagome shuddered, "Y-you look really mad and upset."

"I'm not." He said and turned his face away, praying she'd stay put for thirty more seconds. "I'm not angry anymore. Well…maybe with your mom…but not with you."

"Why are you here?" Kagome whispered, edging around the other way to scrunch up at the head of her bed.

"I wanted to ask you some questions." He huffed craning his neck to watch her as the bed creaked. "That's all."

"I can't do this tonight. I just want to go to bed." She pointed to the window hiding her face. "Would you please just go."

"No." He pushed himself up, shaking his hair behind him, debating on if he should stay put or clamber up to the bed. The look on Kagome's face answered that one. He stayed put. Good puppy… "All you have to do is answer my questions and then I'll leave if that's what you want. I'm just trying to understand this. I didn't get it before." His eyes flicked to the doorway. "I tried to talk to your mom about this…"

"Mom and you talked about this?" The girl moaned, collapsing and curling around her pillow as if she'd been shot.

Inuyasha held up his hands, "I'm tryin' to understand why you're so…upset."

"Fine." She mumbled at the wall. "But you leave after you ask."

"Fine." He nodded, hand on the edge of the bed. "Who am I?"

Kagome tried to tuck the despair around herself but failed. The words were out before she realized she'd said them. "Inuyasha." She whispered.

"And who are you?" He felt a tiny smile try to pull at his mouth.

The girl sat up, her dark hair slick in the moonlight, eyes stricken as they found his. "I'm Kagome." She whispered, putting the pillow in her lap. Her fingers dug into the pillowcase as Inuyasha nodded. Sniffing, she brushed one wet strand of hair behind her shoulder.

"And who's Inuyasha to you?" His voice rumbled with insecurity, but he said it out before he chickened out.

"Y-you." She said.

"If I didn't act like I do. If I didn't get upset about you coming home and follow you…if I didn't have these ears, except for the new moon, and if I didn't understand everything about your world, would I be your normal Inuyasha?"

The dimness in Kagome's eyes faded a bit. She shook her head slowly, mouth slack.

"Okay. You answered my questions. Now I want you to listen to me for just a minute more." He pointed at her and jumped as Kagome snatched at his hand and held on to it for dear life. "Um…" He lost his place. The warmth of Kagome's hands stopped him dead. Still, she clutched at it, holding it close to her heaving chest. In a flurry of white hair he shook his head to clear out the rush of off-topic thoughts that flooded in unbidden. "I want to tell you about my normal Kagome. Kagome is fearless. She shoots bandits and bad youkai with arrows. She takes care of those who aren't as strong as her and even people who are stronger than she is. She cares about people… even people who don't deserve to be cared about. If she ever stopped doing any of those things then it wouldn't be normal…but she'd still be Kagome."

She blinked. "I-I'm flattered, but I don't get a single word you just said." Her hand slipped away. "I don't want to be fearless…I want to be like everyone else."

"Why?" A flush colored both cheeks this time, "Kagome is Kagome. You told me once…you liked me just the way I am. Why can't people like you for who you are?"

"Because normal girls don't flit through time when they should be learning everything that's important. I should have been studying English and Math and Classical Literature…not traipsing through the Warring States Period with…all of you. What's that taught me? How to shoot a bow and arrow? How to detect shards of some sacred jewel that would have just disappeared if I'd just left well enough alone? How am I going to use that sort of stuff to get a job? Or start a family? Or be able to support myself in the future?" Her voice got louder with each word until the room shook with her questions.

"And how's the rest of that crap gonna help you?" Inuyasha shouted back. "Do your 'schools' really get you a 'job' or a 'family'?" He smacked the comforter, making the bed rock.

Her eyes smoldered, "It's the right way to start. That's how normal people do it."

"That's not fair."

"Lots of things aren't fair." She snapped, tone going cold again as a gust of wind puffed a stray petal to her desk. "I've answered your questions. Now go away."

He'd tried…he really had. There was just no way for her to make him understand this. It was too confusing and Kagome's feelings were more important. If she wanted him gone, he'd leave. It was all he could do. With heavy feet he stood and paced to the window. Hand on the sill he stopped and cocked his head to the side. Wait a minute…since when did I start thinking about all this 'emotion' crap?

"Go on! Leave! You've done enough already." She flipped the covers over her self and turned away even though he'd stopped. Go on, give up…that's the easy thing to do isn't it, Inuyasha? Leave me alone and let me be normal. I might get out of this mess somehow if…if only…I hadn't ever met…her heart lurched. Fine, I won't think that… She piled the sheets over her head, burrowing deep so she wouldn't have to see his face or his hurt eyes. "I don't want you here. It's not normal to want you here."

Sharp nails gouged into the side of Kagome's window. Shoulders bunching, his gold eyes narrowed. "What?"

"It's not normal to want you." She yelled. "What's the matter, didn't hear me the first time?"

"Oh, to hell with that!" He snarled, turning on his heel, a blur of red and white and angry gold eyes. His mouth was on hers before she could think to pull away, his hands followed suit, the edges of his brain said a silent prayer that he'd put enough fear into Kagome's mother to keep her from breaking down the door and halting all the lovely progress they were making. Her wet hair slid through his fingers like silk and ink. The girl's mouth was sour from the day's stresses, her lips chapped from the heat of the fire, but still she was magnificent, she was normal and she was Kagome…

Huh? Was all the perfectly normal magnificent Kagome's brain could manage before she saw her own hands reach up to curl around Inuyasha's shoulders and work their way up to his ears. They felt like normal, velvety, Inuyasha ears. And it was right. She still didn't know how she felt about his tongue in her mouth, but they could discuss that later…It was hard to breathe. He was holding her so close there was no room for her chest to go anywhere, but hat seemed to suit the boy just fine. She tried to think again, but all her brain came up with was, huh…ah…hhaaaa ah. Suddenly school didn't seem quite that important…

And that's where the normal Inuyasha resumed control and sat back on the balls of his feet. His hands still held on to the girl as if staging a small physical coup. He let that slide. Face red as his coat he muttered out something that sounded like, "I'm not going anywhere, stupid."

Kagome only nodded, dazed, mind blissfully blank. She scooted down and curled up on her bed, still blinking disbelieving eyes at the dark window. Waiting for him to dart away like normal was painful but she touched her lips and thought maybe she could deal with it this time. Her body went rigid as he pulled her to him again and wrapped his arms around her. The bed sagged a bit, but after a little while they found their own comfortable spot and simply held on to each other. And in the small warm circle of Inuyasha's arms, Kagome found the quiet sleep she's been praying for and the peace that held her down until morning.

She dozed off in three minutes flat. Inuyasha sighed, blowing his hair out of his eyes as he rested his chin on the top of Kagome's dark head. Yep…normal Kagome through and through. He maneuvered the covers over them and closed his eyes.

The morning came much too soon in the honest opinion of one very tired hanyou. The sharp knock at the door was cut short as Souta shot through the doorway and leapt into his sister's bed. "Kagome-neesan! Inu-niichan! Wake up. Hurry!"

Kagome held tighter, cheeks flaming pink. "S-souta? Mom?"

"Oh, my…" Mrs. Higurashi muttered as the strange boy released her daughter and tumbled off the bed. At least all of his clothes are still on…that outfit does look like it'd be hard to get off and on again…She cleared her throat. "Um, Kagome-chan? I have some good news. One of the schools made a mistake and mixed up your exam score with another student. I just got the call earlier. You've got to get to school now! I've arranged with the principal that you can get your uniform when you get there! Hurry now!"

"Seriously?" The girl's eyes went wide. A huge smile followed and lit the room before the sun even thought about rising. "Did you hear that Inuyasha? I'm in! I'm a normal high school student!"

"Yeah, a normal late high school student!" Souta shouted. "Go already!" He followed her out, squealing directions and information as they thundered down the steps.

Inuyasha was pinned to the spot as Mrs. Higurashi's eyes fell on him as he tried to sneak out the window. "Anything happen, Inuyasha-kun?"

"No, ma'am." He turned, perching in the cool morning. "But I didn't hear a anything ring…"

"I called in a favor with Furinkan High's principal. His wife Nabiki is a patron of our shrine and she helped me out. Old Blue Thunder was happy to finally get a normal student at his high school…he's new to the job you see. He just took over for his father a few years ago." She smiled sweetly. "If you ever tell Kagome this I'll make sure you…" She chuckled and bowed, "…regret it. Understand, Inuyasha-kun?"

"Y-yes ma'am." He hopped out the window and caught up to Kagome as she darted down the shrine's steps. "Oi, Kagome!"

The girl slowed down to a quick gallop. "Um, a-are we okay?" She asked in a small voice.

"Yeah…whatever." He glared at her, his face sullen.

"What's wrong?" She snagged his hand as she sped up again.

He pouted. "When are you coming back? Stupid school."

For a moment the anger tried to rear up in her, but Kagome only shook her head and laughed. "I'll be back as soon as school's done…I promise." She hopped up and kissed his cheek. "Then everything will be back to normal."

"Feh…" Inuyasha stopped at the end of the steps and watched as Kagome sprinted to the idling bus at the stop next to the shrine. He shook his head. The girl hopped on the bus and made her way through the crowd to the back of the bus. From the foggy window she wiped a small space clear and waved.

He tried very hard not to smile…but failed…as he normally did.

The End.

Hello. This is Darth Mer-Mer…um…thank you for waiting? I know I haven't updated in like two years but I still get very nice reviews from you all. Thank you! In all honesty, I've been trying to write real books recently and trying to get published is harder than actually getting the darn things written! But fear not, I still love my 'Yasha and all of you! I hope you enjoyed this piece. Please review…pretty please…? Heheh. Miss ya'll! Later. DMM