Four Souls
Part 5- Third Soul: Inuyasha

An Inuyasha Fanfiction
By Azurite
sailor_andromida@yahoo.com
http://www.geocities.com/azurite_moon
PG

Legend
Remembered
"Spoken"
* Thought *
Emphasis
Sound effect

[ Letter ]

Author's Notes: Gwah! This fic is coming out faster than any of the others I've ever written! But you are forewarned, I'm trying to work on my cliffhangers. I also have a tendency to post whatever pops into my head (the whole bubble bath analogy) so if I post something ridiculous, please don't flame me! ;_; Also, thank you to all the nice people who reviewed… even if they were confused at first. That's the point! ^^ Wait till you read this part now… maybe things will get a bit cleared up. Oh, and "sort of similar" to this is my other recently-posted fic "Stream of Time." If this bores you, read that! I'm not a completely bad writer… honest!

RECAP OF PAST EVENTS:

Kagome chattered as well—she was cold. All she wanted to do right now was find Buyo, and climb back into her soft, warm bed. Sure, she had school tomorrow morning, but sleep was the most wonderful thing in the world, and Kagome wouldn't miss it, if she had the choice. But at the moment, she didn't have a choice…

            She crept close to the bushes where she'd seen the rustle, and dared to call out, just a bit louder…

            "Buyo? Here kitty, kitty, kitty…"

            Kagome kept her eyes focused on the bush, and then jumped back with a silent gasp when two very non-feline eyes stared back at her.

&&

* This better work… * Inuyasha grumbled to himself for the umpteenth time. Perhaps if Kagome didn't recognize him, then it was for the better that he was in his human form. Besides, what harm was it to just… check on her? Right…?

* A sword? What is he, some kind of martial artist? *

            Inuyasha knew what she was looking at, and unsheathed the ancient sword, handling it just so Kagome could hold it.

            "Eh…?" She stared at the rusted blade simply plopped into her hands, and then back up at Inuyasha. Suddenly, a strange feeling overcame her… as if this were all… familiar somehow. The blade in her hands wasn't just some rusted old blade from some ancient dojo…

            ZZN … ZZN … ZZN

            * What… is this thing? It… feels as though it's… it has a pulse!? *

            Kagome handed the blade quickly back to Inuyasha, and before she could ask him about that odd vibe she'd just gotten from the sword, he smiled at her.

            "Listen… would it be okay if I stayed the night? I uh… I'm not really familiar with this area, and I heard that the Sunset Shrine was…"

            "Where did you hear all this from?" Kagome asked, narrowing her eyes, hands on her hips. Then she answered her own question with an exasperated sigh—"Probably my idiotic friends from school. It's a wonder they even hang around me anymore, with all the silly things Hojo keeps embarrassing me with, or those excuses Grandpa made when I…"

            Inuyasha stared at her, wondering what she was going to say. He knew very well that Kagome's foolish grandfather had to make excuses for her absences from that… 'school' place. Kagome often complained about them, saying how it was impossible, and only made her life in her own world more difficult.

            Moments like those made Inuyasha ask her why she didn't just stay –with him, as the case would be—but his own embarrassment, and his foot-in-mouth syndrome prevented him from even riding that train of thought. 

            "Never mind. Uh… I guess so… you don't look suspicious. There's no guest room, but… I suppose the living room would be okay…" Kagome started walking back to the house, and nearly tripped over Buyo. She smiled at the cat and picked him up, completely forgetting her anger towards the feline from earlier.

            Inuyasha followed her with some silence. So far, so good, but she showed no signs of recognizing him.

            * I have to find out what happened… she has to remember me! She has to! *

&&

[ Kagome Higurashi –

            Thank you for letting me stay last night. I'm sorry I had to leave so abruptly, but there are only so many hours of light on a day, so I was forced to leave at dawn. But you have my utmost thanks. I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you again. ]

            "Ke… he didn't even sign his name!" Kagome sighed. But she smiled as she read the letter's last line again. She giggled girlishly and then went back up to her room.

            * I hope we meet again, soon too, stranger. *

*************************************************************************************************************

            When Inuyasha returned to the Sengoku Jidai upon the dawn of the next day, a strange feeling had welled up inside him—one of comfort, and calm. It was long missed, and unfamiliar at to the hanyou at first. Yet the reactions of the others were the farthest thing on his mind when he arrived back in the village—so when he was barreled into by a joyous Kikyou, he was more than surprised.

            * I forgot… about Kikyou! * Inuyasha thought to himself, as the previous days' events ran through his head. Seeing Kagome run away, and then, when he finally thought he'd found her, finding Kikyou, of all people, instead—alive and well. No longer had she a body of Earth and Stone, but a real, flesh and blood body…

            She had no need for collecting souls of those dying or dead anymore… or anything else, for that matter. Her story, as she'd related it to Kaede, was almost exactly like Kagome's… except she had always been Kikyou, had never traveled through time, and the only reason why she wasn't wrinkled and old was because she'd cast a spell on herself fifty years ago, so she could "awaken" with Inuyasha. But when she did, Kikyou explained, she was disoriented, and didn't remember everything when she shattered the jewel. That subconscious reaction made her from the Shikon no Miko into an ordinary girl—free to love Inuyasha once more. But they continued on their search for the Shikon shards, knowing that if they fell into the wrong hands—such as Naraku, who, as far as Kikyou was concerned, was a misguided idiot—the world would be in grave danger.

            "Inuyasha?" Kikyou was waving her hands in front of the hanyou's face, and he finally snapped back to reality, and looked down at her. The last time they'd been this close… and she'd been warm, caring… and seemingly in love…

            * No, no, no! Kagome-- *

            "Uh, last night…" Inuyasha began, before "his miko" could interrogate him about it later, "I was investigating the rumor of a Shikon shard… it…"

            "Oh! Where is it?" Kikyou asked, holding out her hands like a small child waiting to receive candy.

            "…It was a fluke… no shard." Inuyasha mumbled. When he looked up again, his eyes did not meet with Kikyou's, but Miroku, who stood a ways behind the resurrected miko. He said nothing—only turned and walked away.

            "Oh… that's so sad Inuyasha, but…" Kikyou went right on talking, as if there were no wrongs in her world—as if her soul was, and always had been hers, and never Kagome's—while Inuyasha stared at the retreating priest.

            One thought escaped his mind-- * He knows. *

*************************************************************************************************************

            Kagome, for her part, went on with her life as if the Sengoku Jidai episodes never happened.

Ms. Higurashi had done all she could to find out what was "ailing" her daughter for real this time, to forget all about Inuyasha. But every time she dared to broach the subject, Kagome stared at her blankly, and laughed at her mother for believing in "fairy tales."

            "Perhaps she was in some sort of grave danger back in the Sengoku Jidai," Ms. Higurashi mused one day to her father. The old man nodded slowly, stroking his beard.

            "It is more than possible. The last time, Inuyasha sealed the well from his side, and Kagome went nuts trying to get back through—she thought he was dead."

            "…I'd never seen her so frantic before. She really cares for him." Ms. Higurashi whispered thoughtfully.

            "Which only worries me more. What could have happened to her that would have wiped her memory of him completely… and in such a manner that neither would even attempt to go back for the other?"

            "…What's more, how do we get Kagome into that well?"

*************************************************************************************************************

            The days passed at an almost interminable rate, and before Kagome knew it, one month had passed since she had last seen the mysterious, dark-haired stranger. Over the course of the month, she had dreamt about the handsome man, wondered all number of things about him, and giggled her secrets to her friends.

            The very idea of having a "tall, dark, and handsome" stranger visiting her was thrilling –and whoever he was had said he would "have the pleasure of meeting her again," so Kagome kept a shred of hope in her heart. Hojo's advances, once ridiculous, became semi-serious since Kagome was no longer "sick"… but Kagome never remembered being sick, so none of her friends ever mentioned it.

            Between themselves, they thought Kagome had been sick, but to the head—and she had some kind of amnesia.

            Since Kagome was so infatuated with the idea of meeting her handsome stranger again, Hojo's advances were aptly ignored—but Kagome didn't know that Hojo had a "thing" for her, so she kept right on waxing eloquent about her stranger. About how they had met under the new moon, how he seemed to know all about her, and… the feelings he made rush through her veins…

            Of course, none of her friends knew who in the world Kagome was talking about—it sure couldn't have been that "guy" she had spent so much time with earlier in the year—who was supposedly very crude, stubborn, and primitive.

            The one chance meeting Kagome had had with this "mystery man" was exciting her friends, who urged Kagome to tell them about the guy more when she saw him next. Kagome never had a doubt that she would see him again… without knowing that the very day she made the promise, she would.

            Night had just fallen at the Sunset Shrine, and Kagome was sitting on the steps of the compound, head in her hands, elbows on her knees as she daydreamed about "Kageme," her mysterious man. "Kageme," as it was, meant "Shadow Eyes," which reminded Kagome of their first fateful meeting—when she'd stared at him through the bushes. A million thoughts had wormed their way into her mind then—none of which had anything to do with a handsome stranger who knew all about her.

            Kagome heard a noise—coming from the Bone-Eater's well, and stood, a curious and defensive expression becoming her face.

            When she saw the form that emerged from the shadows, she gasped.

            "… It's you!" Kagome exclaimed, taking a step back. But she wasn't frightened. Startled was the more appropriate word for it, because it had been almost a month…

"Yeah…" Inuyasha looked around, as if expecting to see someone else—to indicate his presence wasn't welcome. At this time of night, he was sure no one was awake and about… besides Kagome. He didn't even pause to think why she was out there… that maybe she was expecting him?

She'd been so happy before, and this time, he wasn't totally sure if he should go back and take that away from her…

* Every time I look into Kikyou's eyes, I see Kagome… Kikyou isn't supposed to be alive… is she? *

"Well… come on in… stranger." Kagome smiled at him, and Inuyasha looked back. The Bone-Eater's well—where his real past, present, and future lay… where Kikyou was waiting for him, a smile on her face. She no longer had any intent to kill him… didn't even remember what Naraku had done so many years ago that had resulted in her death, and his fifty-year sleep on a tree.

But then… there was Kagome. He'd put her life in danger more times than he could care to remember… and she made him feel strange… like it wasn't bad to be a hanyou. The choice was his… because now, Kagome and Kikyou were most definitely two different people…

Inuyasha swallowed slightly, mustering up what courage he couldn't find in his human form—and followed Kagome inside.

            "Can I get you something—tea, cup of noodles?"

            Inuyasha brightened at the memory of the deliciously salty noodles Kagome used to bring from her time, and nodded vigorously. Kagome chuckled, and the hanyou-turned-human had the decency to blush. She stepped into the kitchen to prepare her friend a meal, and talked to him from there.

            "So stranger, what have you been doing these past twenty-eight days?"

            "You've been counting?" Inuyasha grinned as he stepped into the kitchen, leaning casually on the doorframe. Kagome smiled at him, and Inuyasha felt his heart beat double-time. This… this kind of thing didn't happen around Kikyou. Maybe once… but now…

            * Why should Kagome be the one to stir these feelings in me… again? *

            He had no answer to that, but settled for staring at the weird objects in her kitchen. He wanted to ask Kagome about some of them—like the weird black box with numbers on it, settled into the corner, for example—but he knew if he did, he'd look like a fool. Besides, if they somehow kept off the whole 'time-difference' subject, then she shouldn't be in any danger.

            * Who's to say she won't be attacked now? * Inuyasha thought suddenly, remembering the Noh mask woman and Mayu the ghost.

            * She doesn't have the Shi— * Inuyasha's thoughts ended abruptly. Where was the Shikon no Tama? Of all things, that had to have been the foremost on his mind, yet… ever since Kagome disappeared and Kikyou suddenly "came back to life," he hadn't thought about it much.

            A few shards were being held in the village, yes, but the jewel half that he and Kagome had taken so long to assemble… where was that?

            His unspoken question was answered when Kagome bent down to poor the hot, boiling water into two Styrofoam cups. A slender necklace slipped out from underneath the folds of her shirt—and attached to the thin chain was a half-there bead, about the size of a toy ball.

            His eyes were fixated on the object so, wondering how in the world it could have crossed times without use of the well, and how it wasn't attached to the re-born Kikyou…

            * It's possible, isn't it? Whatever happened back then… caused Kikyou's soul to return to her, but with Kagome's memories of the time. So when her body disappeared, so did the jewel! *

            Kagome was blushing, noting how her stranger was staring pointedly at her chest. She followed his gaze until she realized it was not her breasts he was staring at so intently, but her pendant!

            She set the two steaming cups down, and sat down at the kitchen table.

            "You like this pendant?" She asked, picking it up. Inuyasha's attention snapped back up to her, and he stared, a sheepish expression on his face.

            * He's awfully cute when he blushes… * Kagome thought, smiling secretly to herself. Maybe with some luck, she could find out his name tonight!

            "Y-Yeah, it's pretty."

            "Not many people would say that about a half-broken bead, but… it's all I have left of him…"

Inuyasha, had his dog ears been perched atop his head, would have immediately flicked forward in anticipation.

            Rather, he leaned forward and whispered in a conspiring tone, "He?"

            "Oh… well, I don't remember who 'he' exactly is… just someone from my past, I guess. I think mother knows something more about him, but I don't know enough to ask her, so… he's just a faded dream, I guess."

            * Could it be… she… she remembers my hanyou half? * Inuyasha thought, with almost too much hope. If she did, then maybe…!

            * No! If she got involved in the mess in the past again, then she'd be in danger… especially with Kikyou alive again, with… with her soul! *

            It was the first time Inuyasha allowed himself to admit that Kagome's soul was really hers, and not Kikyou's. The Kikyou he remembered—from fifty years ago, and from previous battles, after her 'reincarnation' by Urasue, didn't act like the one who was back in the Sengoku Jidai right now. She had stolen Kagome's memories as well, and so had become 'part' of Kagome.

            But part of the woman wasn't enough, Inuyasha realized. In the past month, the woman he had spent time with as a hanyou—Kikyou—wasn't the woman constantly on his mind. When they fought demons or soldiers for Shikon fragments, she didn't call his name, asking for help. She didn't act afraid—only confident and playful. It was too much of a change from the woman—the women—he'd fallen in love with. This shadow of Kikyou wasn't Kikyou—he knew that much. It sure as hell wasn't Kagome either…

            "He-Hello?" Kagome waved her hand in front of the stranger's face. He was some deep thinker, alright, just spacing out like that.

            Again, his attention broke, and he sat upright.

            "Your soup is getting cold," Kagome explained with a smile.

            "Uh… thanks." Inuyasha picked up the cup and drank the hot liquid.

            "Kaa—" Inuyasha breathed out quickly, having been burned by the intensity of the soup.

Kagome let out a slight giggle as she slurped her own soup with purposeful slowness.

            "Don't try to drink it so fast. I don't think you're in any kind of a rush. Besides, you're only human."

            Their gazes locked as Inuyasha tried to convey some semblance of the truth in his now-violet eyes.

            * If only you knew… *

            Uncomfortable with his intense stare, Kagome quickly went back to drinking her soup. Once finished, she occupied herself with washing up near the sink, her back to Inuyasha.

            "So stranger, you never told me your name." She turned around, shutting the water off. She met Inuyasha's curious expression with a smile.

            "You do have a name, don't you?"

            "Uh, h-hai…"

            "Not sure?" Kagome chuckled. Inuyasha blushed once more, and cursed his idiotic human body for such foolish –and embarrassing- reactions to the slightest things.

            "It's Inuyasha."

            "Huh?" Kagome looked up. His voice had suddenly grown quiet and serious; she hadn't been expecting him to say it just like that.

            "My name. It's Inuyasha."

            The kitchen was silent for a while, and then Kagome sank to her knees on the floor in a courteous bow.

            "It's very nice to meet you… Inuyasha."

*************************************************************************************************************

;_; Again with the lack of cliffhangers! Okay, I promise in the next few chapters that we will see some very interesting stuff!

So, coming up in Chapter Six of "Four Souls:"

            "Inuyasha, wait!" Kagome dashed after the dark-haired boy as he ran into the bushes. When she finally caught up with him, he was standing stock-still, in front of the Bone-Eater's well.

            * What's going on here, Inuyasha? I thought I could trust you, and now… Why do you run from me? *

            "Kagome, please. Just turn around, and go to sleep. I have to go now."

            "Every month, you're gone before dawn! When am I going to see you in the light, Inuyasha? Why do you keep running –hiding- something from me!?" Kagome's eyes were suddenly watering, and she didn't bother to brush them away.    

            That strange, exhilarated feeling that had welled up inside of her since their first meeting was getting stronger by the moment.

            When Inuyasha turned to face her, guilt forced itself upon him, reminding him that again, he was taking away her only chance at happiness—a truly normal life. Yet he couldn't stay away from her… he couldn't protect her…

            "Close your eyes." He finally said, staring at her intensely. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a stream of sunlight making its way over the horizon. Within moments, he'd be back to his hanyou self—and he knew just how Kagome would react. She'd be afraid –no, terrified. She'd lose whatever small trust she had in him, and run away, never to want to see him again. He couldn't let that happen. He couldn't let her get involved again—couldn't let her get hurt.

            Kagome looked at him, disbelieving, but did as she was told.

            * She trusts me… that much. * Inuyasha realized. Watching her just stand there, her eyes closed, made him want to hold her so tightly to him that he would never let go.

            His heart was ready to say "To hell with being a hanyou, the damned Shikon no Tama, or any of that, I lo—"

            But he couldn't. She'd be in danger.

            He too, closed his eyes, and jumped into the Bone-Eater's well, while he still had time. Before he even hit bottom and landed in his own time, he was back to being his hanyou self, youkai blood running through his veins like fire.

            He climbed out of the well in his time with ease, daring himself not to look back at it, and tempt himself. He would only scare her—hurt her—even more. As he walked away, he didn't notice the shred of his kimono missing from his left sleeve.

            When Kagome opened her eyes, Inuyasha was gone—she'd felt no breeze pass by either side of her body to indicate running down the compound steps. A twenty foot wall was behind the well, and unless Inuyasha was like those weirdoes from Nerima, he couldn't have…

            * Nani… his kimono sleeve? * Kagome picked up a scrap of red fabric, jaggedly ripped, from a splintered part of the well.

            She looked down into the inky depths of the dry well, and then at the fabric.

            "Inuyasha," She murmured aloud, taking one last glance at the rising sun, heedless of school later that day, "I'm coming for you." And without a second thought, she jumped into the well.

*************************************************************************************************************

Oooh-ooh-oh!

See you later,

Azurite