Thanks for the interest in reading this story everyone. Just to warn you all, this is going to be a romance, drama, angst, adventurish type fiction. And no, I'm not going to tell you all what pairing that there will be either – although I doubt you can guess them. I'm so evil.
So, in short, my lovely disclaimer. I don't own Inuyasha, mythology and so on. Blah. I'm so poor so please don't sue me. I'll only cry and you'll get nothing anyway, it'll really be quite tragic.
Three sitting female shapes worked quietly in the dark, with the occasional shuffle and constant sound of spinning played as the never ceasing background music in the otherwise barren and silent tower. They worked relentlessly to their given duty as it had always been from the beginning of time.
For centuries, it had always been the same old thing. Spin, measure, cut. Spin, measure, cut. In fact, if they were of the complaining type one might even suspect that they would have tired of it by now. After all, working without benefits, pay, food, a dental plan or even paid vacations for hundreds and hundreds of years has got to be a real bummer. Let's not forget the fact that there was no chance of ever retiring from such a repetitive position because all three of the employees did not age. One would wonder why they even put up with it to begin with.
Yeah, the life of a goddess sucked. But then again, the promise of imminent power, beauty, being feared and admired by all, including other gods and goddesses, and never getting old kind of made up for it – if you were into that kind of thing.
However, despite the fact that they were ageless, and certainly not human, their plainly mortal, weaker appearances gave the impression that they were something entirely different than what they were.
The youngest of the three, Clotho, was a childlike human-like creature who wore her long black hair in a single braid down her back. However, despite the fact that she portrayed an aura of innocence and purity through close observation it was almost frightening to see the infinite wisdom that shone so out of place in her playful green eyes.
The silence ended and the peaceful spell was broken when the girl suddenly started humming in amusement as a single white thread always kept in view of the sisters started glowing a familiar silver light. Clotho glanced perceptively toward her older sister.
Lachesis winced as she looked at the wayward thread as the light surrounding it retreated as abruptly as it had appeared. She sighed sadly, "She changed it again." The twenty something year old looking woman closed her grey eyes and held her head in her hands in exasperation, her short blond hair falling forward to hide her brow which was now wrinkled in worry. "Why can't that girl just let things be as they were? Already she has disrupted the normal cycle of things. If she keeps this up something irreparable is going to happen."
"She has already changed so many things, that I'm reluctant to interfere." The eldest finally spoke up as she finished cleanly cutting a random thread that had appeared before her with a rusted pair of scissors that looked as though they would fall apart any moment.
Athropos, as her name was, cut another thread nonplussed as it appeared before wrapping her scissors in a piece of cloth and making it appear in thin air. Sighing, the woman stood up and walked toward the one window of their room and looked out and down to the world below.
Unlike her siblings, Athropos wasn't graced with the same beauty and innocence as they. Instead, she was really quite short with a rather large hunch on her back. Old and wrinkled, one would say that this woman was wizened with age from the calculating look that always seemed to be present in her black eyes. Leaning heavily against the window with her free flowing white hair swaying in the breeze, she tapped a wrinkled finger against her lip as she thought.
Finally, interrupting both Clotho and Lachesis who had gone back to work, Athropos spoke out once again. "In fact, I want to see what she will do about him."
Clotho frowned as she continued spinning, but decided not to get involved in the conversation between her two older sisters as it would only cause strife. And considering the fact that they were stuck together, well, forever, it really wouldn't be best to get into a heated debate.
Lachesis, however, had no such qualms about keeping the peace. "Athropos!" She stood up defiantly, momentarily neglecting her duty to glare at the older woman. "I am not about to suffer a seventeen year old mortal to pay for the mistakes of our kind!"
"We have no other choice!" Athropos slammed her hand against the wall, showing that she had strength despite her frail appearance, and turned toward her sister as she gestured to another thread that was always kept out – one that was always black. "At this rate everything will be thrown into chaos! Even that time which you are trying so hard to protect! It is time to take away from those two and give to the ones who have a chance of winning. Face it Athropos, they lost."
All was momentarily silent once again as the three sisters glanced toward the white thread that shone once, signifying that the one had returned to that place, before going back to it's usual lackluster state.
Sighing, Lachesis sat back down – defeat in her pose as she too, knew, that there was no other way.
The eldest glared at Lachesis, and seeing that she had finally submitted, turned toward Clotho who winced but continued to weave. "Clotho."
"Is there no other way?" the girl asked quietly, but stood up all the same as she gathered more material.
"There is not. It's not like we are changing what was already planned anyway. We are only causing it to happen much sooner before something much sinister can appear. It has already been foreordained." Athropos sat back down and at once, her scissors appeared in her hands as she continued the chore that she had been previously working on.
Lachesis sobbed as two worn threads appeared before her, waiting for her to offer her skill.
Naraku drummed his fingers on his table as Kagura dejectedly lurked around behind him, playing with her fan and probably plotting on her own revenge against him, or something. No matter. He squeezed her heart just for fun and grinned as she gasped in pain. Oh yes, he was one cruel guy and he knew it.
He had been in such a good mood today too, for today would have been the day that he would take the rest of the Shikon shards from that stupid little miko wannabe and claim her body as his own. Oh yes, today was the day. He had it all planned out all to the very last gory filled detail. He resisted the urge to laugh; there would be plenty of time for that later.
There was only one problem though, one thing that would be able to keep him from his goal of ultimate world conquest or whatever it was that he was planning these days.
That silly little miko had simply disappeared off the face of the planet.
"Curses." Naraku muttered under his breath as he paced back and forth across the dark western styled cave that was lit faintly by low burning torches – his newest evil hideout that some nice man had so kindly donated to him. Picking up a knife, he threw it in a tantrum towards the wall – narrowly missing Kagura who gasped in surprise and ducked at the last second to avoid death.
Uncaring, he paced some more as he sported his steadily growing temper. "She does this just to tease me, I know it! That silly little miko, running around in that extremely short skirt that she wears just to tempt me. I swear I will have her if it will be the last thing you do, Kagura! Just me and that miko…"
Kagura gagged at the imagery that suddenly plagued her mind.
Luckily, Naraku didn't notice. That, or he just didn't care. For at that exact moment a chill went up his spine and he felt that, somewhere, somehow, something drastic was about to happen. Involving him. Him and even perhaps his imminent doom.
Well, that wasn't good.
Frowning, Naraku sent some of his trusty saimyoushou to investigate.
A pulse of power suddenly moved throughout Inuyasha's Forest before fading away just as quickly and silently as it came. However, only to those with strong spiritual and extraordinary youkai powers there was a subtle disturbance throughout the entire area, which put all those with said skills on alert.
Amongst those was the not so famous and highly sought after priest, Miroku, who at the moment before the change had been trying, unsuccessfully, to grope a certain taijiya. In fact, he had almost managed for the first time ever, to dodge the ever so famous Hiraikotsu. Alas, the energetic disorder caused him to lose precious seconds of concentration and he was now on the ground, beat to a pulp and Sango, the object of his attentions, had stomped off in a huff.
Weakly raising his body and watching the retreating backside of the young woman, Miroku debated internally against his desires to chase after his prey or to do his duty. Despite what the rumors said, Miroku did have a conscious however, and decided that once he fulfilled his obligation to the townsfolk by examining this anomaly that he would reward himself with another attempt at his favorite sport.
Miroku groaned as he, overdramatically, leaned against his staff and hobbled off towards the forest as he made sure that the rest of the townsfolk that were around were able to see him acting heroically despite his grievous injuries. In the background a white haired boy wearing a puffy red outfit, who had paused from beating on a small fox kitsune, rolled his eyes at the priests' antics before continuing his lesson.
Sesshomaru was not pleased.
In fact, that was far more than an understatement. Sesshomaru wanted nothing more than to go back to his lands and take a nap, maybe kill a few peasants here or there and perhaps, if he felt like it, stomp on Jaken a few times. Whatever he decided that would amuse him at that moment.
Sadly enough, instead of being back in his own lands, torturing his own people and kicking his not so trusty sidekick, Sesshomaru was lured by curiosity to the same area that his stupid half-brother was currently residing in. Eager to avoid confrontation, not because he was afraid but rather he just didn't feel like exerting even the smallest amount of energy it would take to slap Inuyasha across the woods and into unconsciousness, the youkai lord made extra attempts to stay just out of reach of Inuyasha's senses but close enough to appease the curiosity that had driven him to this awful place to begin with.
The energy area the forest had changed. That much was certain. Although it wasn't anything too alarming which was why the lesser youkai couldn't feel it, the fact remained that it was different. Not that he cared or it affected him much, the only reason he was even around was because it urked him that he couldn't figure out why it had happened or what it was.
Not that he would admit that to anyone else.
Sensing the immoral priest that his stupid half-brother traveled with during his silly quest approach, Sesshomaru suddenly took to the skies and flew out of range. He narrowed his eyes as the priest looked around for a bit, focusing in particular on a well that had been in the clearing, before heading back toward the human village.
Noting that it was no use to hover randomly in the sky and accomplish absolutely nothing, Sesshomaru headed back toward the camp that his little followers had set up. As he landed near his loyal retainer, who proceeded to grovel at his feet and offer him praises, Sesshomaru silently cursed the girl, that stupid wench of his half-brother, who had unwittingly invited Rin to some stupid human event. Why he had allowed them to pick flowers together when he and his stupid half-brother were fighting one day remained a mystery to even himself. That, of course, had caused him to have to deal with the pleading of the young girl for weeks before he finally gave in, which caused him his current predicament.
Sesshomaru was going to slowly and painfully kill the human wench for being the cause of his discomfort.
Grunting was heard and a small hand with painted pink nails appeared on the edge of the Bone Eaters Well. More sounds of struggle ensued as a slender arm, elbow and shoulder came into sight before pulling behind it a young dark haired girl wearing a light coating of makeup and, ironically, not the familiar green uniform that she was seen in so often it had now become her unspoken trademark of sorts as the guardian of the Shikon no Tama. Instead, this time, she had adorned an extremely short, yellow and pink sundress to coincide with the celebration and mini-vacation of those past three days.
In fact, her shards had even been packed away in her bag with her other belongings so she could enjoy the last few days of freedom without constantly watching them, since it was rare for someone to try to steal them in the present time.
Higurashi Kagome grunted again as she pulled herself completely out of the well – getting quite a few splinters in the process - and into the sun filled clearing where she landed in a heap. Not even the very minor injuries from her time traveling climbing out of the well adventure, including the strangeness that Inuyasha had not come to help her nor demand her instant return when she was over the allotted time (not that she was complaining) could ruin her mood this day.
After all, it wasn't every day that a girl turned seventeen.
Hence the change of usual apparel and the makeup – for she was still to go to her second birthday party with her second family, extended friends and basically everyone she knew in this time just for the heck of it, before setting out once again the very next day with them to search for more Shikon shards - a seemingly endless and unrewarding task that grew more and more frustrating as the years went by. On the few rare days off, why couldn't she dress up?
Smiling brightly at the thought of seeing her best friends, the remembrances of her birthday party earlier that afternoon (where she had to turn down Hojo once again) and imaging the look of excitement on Shippou's face when she showed him the goodies that she had brought for him this time, Kagome stood up and brushed the dirt off her skirt. In fact, she had gone all out to give everyone special presents of sorts from this visit because recently their group had been rather depressed at the lack of progress of their quest and so she was very excited about getting to Kaede's home.
Kagome shook her head as she reached down into the well to grab her bag; there was no way she was going to think such discouraging thoughts today. Today was special. Today she was just going to act and think like a regular seventeen year old without worries. Yes, in fact, as soon as she got to the village she was going to go all out and have a ramen feast with Inuyasha.
Just as soon as she got her bag.
Wait a minute.
Her bag wasn't there!
"EEEEEEP!" Kagome squealed in shock, causing a certain hanyou who had just appeared on scene to cover his ears in pain as he heard the unpleasant high pitched noise.
"Wench!" Inuyasha snarled, hands still over his ears, as he stomped toward Kagome who was leaning into the well, showing off quite a few assets at that, and appeared to be searching for something.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome didn't even look up at his entrance or even offer him any other kind of greeting. "It's not here!" She pulled herself upright again and climbed onto the well.
"What's not here?" Inuyasha raised an eyebrow as he crossed his arms impatiently.
"Hold on." Kagome really wasn't listening to him as she was more concerned about her lost items than Inuyasha's upcoming lecture for her being late again. With that, she jumped back into the well, ready to retrieve her bag and return just as quickly. The only thing is that, this time, she wasn't surrounded by the familiar bright blue light that accompanied her usual time traveling. In fact, there wasn't any usual time traveling at all, period.
For a moment, there was silence as Inuyasha stared wide-eyed at the well and Kagome sat in the bottom, looking around her in shock.
Simultaneously, two horrified expressions of indignation broke out, although one decidedly more unseemly than the other. Inuyasha, however, only knew that his beloved ramen had been lost. Kagome, on the other hand, realized the whole gravity of the situation.
For some unknown reason, the well was sealed and her shards of the Shikon no Tama were trapped on the other side.
Inuyasha grumbled to himself, still cursing, as he jumped in the well and picked Kagome, who was in shock, up as he headed back toward the village quickly. Ramen, gone. This most certainly will not do. However, all was not lost yet – the old woman might still be able to fix the well it was probably something stupid anyway. Not as though Kagome being trapped on this side for now didn't sound tempting. Now they wouldn't have to travel back and forth and waste time so she could take her tests and other such nonsense. In fact, Inuyasha was somewhat happy what that idea.
Frowning, he tried to weigh the good and bad in his mind about the situation. In the end, the ramen won out. Yes. Inuyasha nodded to himself. The well needed to be fixed, and right away. But first, to snap Kagome out of her little rut – if she were to appear before the others as such they would probably accuse him of harassing her or some other sort like that.
"Oi, Kagome. Snap out of it." Inuyasha stopped walking near the edge of town and looked down at Kagome, whom he was still holding. In fact, she was looking rather pale and sickly, and was getting worse by the second. In mild alarm, Inuyasha sat down and shook Kagome vigorously as he called out her name again. "Kagome?"
Kagome on the other hand, was still speechless. Losing both her family and the shards in one shot really was quite distressing. A consistent shaking snapped her out of her temporary reverie and Kagome blinked once before looking into the concerned eyes of Inuyasha. "Inuyasha?"
He was rambling now that he got her attention, trying in some way to comfort the distraught girl as she looked up at him. "Oh come on Kagome, it's not all that bad. If worse comes to worse we can use the Shikon no Tama to wish the well to work again once it's whole."
Kagome sobbed, burying her face in her hands.
"Gah!" Inuyasha thought quickly, as obviously that wasn't the best thing to say. "Oh come on, think on the bright side! Now it won't take as long to complete!"
"Inuyasha." Kagome sniffled as she crawled out of his lap and sat next to him, hugging her knees to her chest. "The shards were in my bag, I wasn't wearing them this time."
Inuyasha scoffed. "So what if the shards were in your-WHAT?!" the hanyou explained loudly, jumping to his feet and looking at Kagome in shock. "What in the world possessed your idiot mind to jump into the well without wearing the shards? I can't BELIEVE you, are you stupid or something?"
"Osuwari!" Kagome growled and watched with ill-concealed contempt and frustration as Inuyasha fell face first into the earth. "You are SO insensitive, you jerk! Don't you think I realize that it was stupid? It's not like you, heaven forbid, do anything idiotic without thinking!" With that, she strutted off toward Kaede's home leaving Inuyasha to mutter curses toward her retreating back.
Sango hugged Kagome to her side as the girl continued to cry as Kaede and Miroku sat across from them looking perplexed. Shippou sat on Kagome's lap and pet her knee comfortingly as Inuyasha sat in a dark corner and pouted.
Kaede stirred the crude looking stew that was cooking in the fire between them as she began to talk, her face thoughtful. "I don't know child," Kaede replaced the lid over the food and put the spoon back to the side. "I don't think that the Shikon shards not being on your person is the reason that the well is closed. To tell the truth, before you arrived I felt some strange power at work."
"As did I." Miroku interjected. "From the direction of the well, a couple of hours ago. We checked on it before you arrived and nothing else seemed out of place and so we came back. In all honesty, we would have stayed there are waited for you had we known that you were returning a day early."
That got Kagome's attention. Looking up from her feet she met Miroku's eyes. "Huh?"
Miroku blinked. "What? It was nothing alarming, just a mild disturbance of-"
"Not that!" Kagome crawled on her hands and knees and around the fire toward Miroku, before grabbing the front of his priestly garb and pulling him towards her face. "What do you mean I came back a day early? I left exactly when I should have, after three days. In fact, I was running a little late and I was wondering why Inuyasha hadn't come to bug me yet."
"Kagome." Sango interjected and waited for the girl to release Miroku and look back towards her. "It's only been two days in this time since you left. We weren't expecting you until tomorrow, which is why we wouldn't allow Inuyasha to interrupt you and your family's time together."
Kagome sat back down in shock. "So the well brought me back a day earlier? What the heck."
Inuyasha growled. "Who cares about that? What about the shards? The shards!"
"Inuyasha." Kaede, who was now looking worried glared at him, "If what Kagome says is true, which I believe it to be, then that means that there are some other forces at work here. Regardless of if Kagome had been wearing the shards or not, something still would have interfered and taken the shards."
Miroku piped in, a stern look on his face. "In fact, it's almost a good thing that Kagome wasn't wearing the shards because it most likely would have taken her also. We are dealing with something that, from the looks of it, has the power to change the flow of the well!"