A/N: The sequel with shorter chapters! Aren't you happy?
Scroll One: Separation
Kagome swept the leaves from the temple steps and sighed, feeling an overwhelming sense of depression wash over her. Why had things happened the way they had? Why was she cursed to not know what happened to her own husband and her friends?
She had paused in her movements and drifted off into thought. How had they ended up here? She was twenty-six and working as a shrine maiden, something she had never thought to be. When she had gotten into high school she had thought that she would go to college and become a doctor…after all she had experience in stitching people up. Or perhaps she would go to college to become a teacher. She'd always loved children.
But she'd never gone to college. She was seventeen when they'd finally gotten the Shikon no Tama completed and killed Naraku and Kikyo was resting in peace. They had no way of knowing how to purify the tama without making a pure wish and no one had been able to come up with a wish that would be considered pure enough to purify it. So they had protected it.
When she was eighteen, Inuyasha finally worked up the nerve to ask her to be his wife. She'd decided to become a miko, to take Kaede's place in later years. They built a home just down from Kaede's and they lived there for three years. They'd had a baby, a little girl that they loved. For three years she thought nothing would change. They were together, they were a family and they were happy.
And then Hana had gotten sick and Inuyasha had sent her to her mother's era to see the pediatrician. She'd thought he would meet her there when the doctor was running late, but he'd been no where to be found when she returned home. She'd left Hana with her mother and attempted to go through the well to see why he hadn't come, but her decent had come to a crashing halt when she hit the dirt covered bottom of the well. That had been three years ago.
Voices reached her from below and pulled her from her stupor. Once more she began to sweep the leaves and waited for her daughter to come up the steps.
"Come on, Hana-chan, you have to come to the picnic. It won't be any fun without you," a young girl's voice drifted up to her.
"But my Papa isn't here, Emiko," Hana's voice reached her and Kagome sighed. "I can't go to a Father Daughter Picnic without a papa."
"You could always take Souta." That voice was older and matched the perky quality of the first one.
When the figures came into view, Kagome put a smile on. "Hey girls," she greeted cheerfully. "Thanks for walking her home, Eri-chan. Now, what's this about a picnic?"
Eri patted her own daughter on the shoulder and nudged them towards the shrine courtyard. "Why don't the two of you go play while Kagome-chan and I visit? I'll call you when we're done, Emiko."
The girls ran off and Eri sighed. "You know I don't mind walking Hana. It's on the way to my house and she and Emiko are such good friends." She stretched and sat on the steps, patting the stone next to her for Kagome to sit also.
When she had, Eri continued. "The first grade class is giving a picnic for fathers and daughters. They're learning about family or something like that. Hana got a little upset at school when she found out about it and Emiko's been trying to cheer her up ever since. We've been trying to tell her that it's okay that Inuyasha isn't here, that she can take Souta or Higarashi-oujii-san or your father. She could even go with Ryu and Emiko if she wanted to. I don't think we've convinced her though."
Kagome nodded. "Thanks for trying, Eri-chan." She smiled sadly. "She misses her father even though she doesn't really remember him. It's been so long."
"I know." Eri smiled sympathetically and patted her friend's shoulder before standing up. "Well, I'd better collect my child and head home. Ryu wants me to go to some business party with him and I have to get Emi-chan to the babysitter."
"Have fun," Kagome called over her shoulder as her fingers came up to fidget with the little pinkish pearl at her neck.
I miss you, Inuyasha. I miss you so much. Kagome stood, barefoot, on the cobblestone courtyard that surrounded the Goshinboku. The skirt of her calf length sundress blew against her legs in the slight breeze and even though it was a warm day, she shivered, wrapping her arms around herself to try and stop the chills that were coming from within.
He still lived, she knew that much. Since they had married, she was connected to him in a whole new level which allowed the two of them to know when the other was in danger or, kami forbid, gone. But she had not felt a break in their link so she knew he still lived. At least that much was a comfort.
"Mama!" A shrill little voice called from the house, sending out a distressed tone which ended in a sob. "Souta says I can't play Barbie on the 'puter!" Said voice was coming from the sliding door to her right as a dark haired child stood with her hands on her hips, tears pooling in her golden eyes. "He said it's his 'puter and I can't play."
Kagome closed her eyes and took a deep breath, preparing herself for what was to come next. "Hana, haven't you already used the computer once today?" She asked approaching the now crying child and kneeling down in front of her.
The similarities between woman and child were great. Both had the same natural wavy hair, but the girl's was much lighter and they both had the same medium complexion. The only differences to be seen was that the child's ears pointed, like an elf's, and she saw the world through amber eyes instead of steel blue. Those trait's the girl had gotten from her father. All in all, Hana was her father's daughter. "Perhaps Souta has some work that he had to do."
"Nuh-uh, he just don't wanna let me use it." Hana crossed her arms in a pout. Kagome sighed and picked her up, balancing the six year old's weight on one hip while she went in the house and found her brother hunched over a laptop the two of them had pooled their money into buying.
"Souta, did you tell Hana that she couldn't use the computer anymore and that it was yours?" She highly doubted something so childish would have come from her 'too mature for his age' brother, but she could only appease her daughter by asking.
"Nee-chan, I've got this huge history project due in three days and I'm no where near finished. I've gotta have the computer to type up my essay. This paper counts as 25 of my final exam," he explained, looking up from his screen, his eyes pleading with her to understand. And she did. She really did. "Hana was begging to play some game and I told her she couldn't right now, that I needed it for myself."
Kagome nodded. "Well, get to work Souta. If you need any help, call me. I'll try to keep Hana out of your hair. I know what it's like to have someone distracting you from your work…believe me, I know."
"Inu-no-nii-chan was pretty good at that, ne?"
Her smile was sad this time. "Yeah, he was." She bounced the girl on her hip and turned her head back towards the child's room. "Taishou Hana, you know better than to tell fibs. I might have barged in there and started yelling at Souta when he did nothing wrong. He has school work that he has to do and he didn't say you couldn't ever use the computer again…you just can't right now."
Hana wrapped her arms around Kagome's neck and buried her face in her shoulder. "I know, Mama, I'm sorry." Her voice was small and pitiful, trying to earn some sort of pity, but Kagome knew better and was having none of it. She set her daughter on the bed and knelt in front of her, preparing another speech about honesty and how noble people didn't lie and wasn't she noble what with her oijii-sama being a tai youkai and her obaa-sama being a princess?
But Hana beat her to it and spoke first. "Mama? Where's Papa? When can we go home?"
Kagome closed her eyes and counted to ten, forcing her tears back where they belonged. She would not cry in front of Hana, but she couldn't lie to the child either - not when she had been about to speak about honesty and noble blood.
"I don't know, Hana…I just don't know. I don't know if we can." She cupped the girl's cheek, brushing her hair out of her face. "But he's always with us, you know that. He'll never completely leave us. You are a part of him…his child…his heart and that's a connection no one can sever and you know the dagger he made for you is a part of him as well. It was made from his own fang and it connects you to him. The Goshinboku, the Shikon no Tama, my wedding rings - all of them are a link in the chain that connects the three of us together. Inuyasha will never fully leave us."
"I miss Papa…" She hugged her mother, holding tightly to her neck and Kagome pulled her into her lap.
"I know you do, baby…I do too." But as long as you remember him…I won't let you forget him, no matter how long it takes for us to be together again.
Hana woke up in the middle of the night, crying. She'd been dreaming about her father once more, the only memory she could seem to hold on to. His image in her mind was blurry, she could just make out the red material of his kimono as he hugged her to him and then kissed her mother before everything went dark and they climbed out in the well house.
She climbed out of bed and went to the bookshelf in her room which had been her uncle Souta's before he moved into the university. On one shelf, kept in a small wooden box and wrapped in a velvet bag was a small silver dagger, intricately designed with sakura petals on the blade and a sakura blossom on each side of the silver hilt. The dagger was a gift from her father, Inuyasha after her birth. It was made by the great sword forging youkai, Toutousai, from one of Inuyasha's own fangs. The flower petals and blossom designs were a tribute to her name, which he had picked - Hana.
She opened the case and took out the pouch, pulling the dagger out carefully to inspect it. There was a picture of her father in a frame next to the box and she picked it up, looked at it and then looked at the mirror at herself.
Was she like her papa?
She had golden eyes, just like his. Everyone was always telling her how pretty they were. Her hair was dark like her mama's, but was long like her papa's and her nose was like his. Mama had always said that her papa, because he was hanyou, had doggy ears, but her ears were human. He was also supposed to have fangs and claws. She opened her mouth to look at her teeth and saw that her canines were longer than her mother's, but not so sharp as she imagined an inu youkai's to be and her nails had been cut short.
This was something Hana did often. Kagome had shown her pictures of the inu hanyou that had fathered her and had helped her to compare herself with him to show that she had pieces of her father with her every time she looked in the mirror. But sometimes that just wasn't enough.
The little girl dug through the night table beside her bed and came out with a flashlight Jii-chan had given her when she had nightmares. She took that and the pouch containing her dagger and opened her bedroom door, peeking out.
The sound from the foot of her bed drew her attention back to her room and the calico kitten that was curled up at the foot of her bed. "I just wanna be close to papa," she explained in a quiet whisper. The kitten yawned and stretched, jumping down to join her as if to say she were coming too. "Alright, but we have to be quiet. Mama'll get mad if we leave the house."
The two slipped down the stairs and out the door into the shrine courtyard without making any noise. Outside she turned the flashlight on and shined it on the Goshinboku. "Did I ever tell you 'bout my papa?" She asked the kitten who blinked up at her. "My papa is Inuyasha, the son of a great inu youkai and a beautiful hime. That makes me special because papa was a hanyou, but we can't tell nobody, okay Lin? We have to keep that a secret."
The cat bobbed its head as if to agree and the child grinned. "Goshinboku is really 'portant to Papa 'cause that's where Mama first found him. Some stupid miko pinned him to the tree with a magic arrow and Mama had to get him free."
She brushed a few dark gray strands of hair from her face. "Then Mama was put in charge of the Shikon no Tama, a really special jewel that I'll have to protect one day. But she broke it and they had to look for the shards. That's how they met Aunt Sango and Uncle Miroku and Shippou-nii-chan."
She left the Goshinboku and walked across the cobblestone yard to the doors of the well house. "Mama and Papa were from different times so Mama had to travel to Sengoku Jidai to see Papa. You know how she did it?"
The well house doors slid open. It wasn't the first time Inuyasha's daughter had broken the rules and slipped out of the house at night. And it wasn't the first time she'd gone into the forbidden well house. Like her father before her, she seldom thought the rules applied to her.
"On her birthday, Buyo-no-baka went in the well house and Mama went after him. When she tried to get Baka Buyo out, she fell down the well." Her bare feet made no sound as she and the kitten descended the steps into the darkness, the only light coming from her flashlight and she leaned against the edge of the well, looking down into the depths.
"Mama said it was like floating." The lace on her night gown cuffs were starting to tickle her hands and she set the flashlight on the edge of the well to push her sleeves up.
Something startled Lin and the kitten hissed, jumping to the lip of the well, knocking the flashlight into the bottom as she did so. Hana yelped in surprise and whimpered when she realized her only means of light was all the way down at the bottom of the well and she would have to climb the old ladder down there to get it so that no one would know she was in there without permission.
Had she not stepped on the hem of her pink fleece nightgown several rungs from the bottom, she would have been fine, but her foot slipped and she lost her balance, falling backwards. The bag containing the dagger almost slid from her arm, but she managed to hold onto it as a feeling of weightlessness came over her and she was caught up in a flash of blue light.
The child landed on the ground with an umph and looked up at the dark sky.