Summary: Alternative-canon plot. Outstanding circumstances forced Kagome to abandon the hunt for the shikon shards before Naraku's death. Years later, she returned only to find out that nothing is the same. Being completely replaced and having those who used to be her friends resent her, maybe even hate her, hurt her. The road to redemption is a long and seemingly endless one paved with curses and the dark demons that now followed her.

Story Warnings: (all hence why it is M) Aggressive Sex, Blood/Gore, Explicit Sex, Language, Male Dom/Female Dom, Mild Sexual Situations, Punishment, Rape/non-consensual (only once within the story), Sensitive/Controversial Subject Matter, Unresolved Sexual Tension, & some other dark content. (I like how ik-eternal allows these to be in the description, too bad doesn't)


{ A Rose by Any Other Name }
x{
01: Anemone }x

-•°•°•-


A fight, another, fight between the usually good-natured school girl and the always hot-headed hanyou broke out, who would have thought? After everything, all the trials and tribulations they were forced through, the two could still find the time to argue over childish matters and the heart to stay mad? Yes, the hanyou was stubborn but just barely more so than the time traveling maiden, she could still hold a grudge for a few days with more furry than many.

It was stupid, it was a relatively small matter in hindsight, but it irked her enough to yell the infamous 'S-I-T' and declare she'd be back in three days, she had a test to take—not really, but it was just a little white lie. And those never hurt anyone, now did they? Perhaps they spent too much time together, they were just in need of a break and all were on edge as it was without his immaturity or her short-fuse. It was only human, and that was all she was, though so many often forgot it. She was not trained from childhood to be a powerful priestess, she had only a short while ago picked up a bow and arrow for the first time—had a year and a half since then really gone by?

They were close, ever so close to squashing the slippery, slimy, spider for good. Quite a few shards had been collected once more, she let them hang around her neck, and whatever was left was most likely in that thing, that hideous monster. What a beast, and how close they were… oh, if only, if only he would fight his own battles instead of sending hordes of demons after them.

Everyone needed a break, she wasn't being too selfish when she ran off and jumped down the well to enter a different world. Sometimes, more often lately, she felt a little like Alice tumbling through the confusion that was the rabbit hole only to end up in another world in the end. It was her era, her home, that she always ended up in… it was where she belonged ,wasn't it? For her family, she had to… yet for the boy she loved, yes, loved she most likely would end up in the past, if he wanted her to, that was. Even when she was furious with him, she knew it was her heart's desire to always be with him, just not every moment of every day.

The first thing she did on her return was strip and bathe, a long, warm, steaming, bath to wash away all the grime that built up while she was in the feudal era. She hadn't any idea what a luxury it was until she couldn't have one every day.

Absolute bliss washed over her while she lazily lingered in the bath for so long, perhaps an hour? Either way, she didn't get out of the water until it became lukewarm. Reluctantly, she sighed as she got out and dried herself to look into the mist covered mirror. The bathroom… another thing she never bothered to appreciate until she knew there would only be so much time before she'd never be in one again because… she had already picked one world over the other.

She loved her family, dearly, but Inuyasha? She never wanted to be away from him, sure, he was immature, sure, he was hard to deal with sometimes, yet her heart was fully his and she couldn't think about living without him. She could manage without her family as awful as that might sound, but isn't that what a girl was meant to do? Chose love over family…?

"Maybe water's thicker than blood," she murmured while she rubbed her wet hair dry with one hand and the condensation off the mirror with another.

x-•°•°•-x

"Kagome," her mother chimed as she walked down the stairs, "I know you just got home but would you mind going down to the store to pick up a few things for dinner? I didn't notice we were out of soy sauce or tsukemono until Souta told me just now."

"Not a problem," Kagome replied with an earnest smile, after all, a store was a form of handiness she'd eventually have to give up too so why not? The busy streets of Tokyo wouldn't be so hard to let go, she was always bumping into people and the noisiness of it all bothered her sometimes. That wasn't at all what she was pondering about as she went to the local convenience store and bought everything her mother asked for but the fact that she was surely being followed. She could feel a set of eyes upon her the entire time she walked in and out of the store, exiting in the opposite direction of her home until she could sink down an alleyway.

Whatever was watching her wasn't unfriendly, she could just tell, more importantly she knew who it was, "Inuyasha, stop following me. I told you that I—" she began as she turned around to see the person standing at the end of the alley. Her face went blank and mouth agape; her grocery bag slipped from her hand to hit the ground with an echoed shatter—there goes the soy sauce.

It just could not be… her mind was stuck on rewind going back, back, back to the funeral she attend, to that awful moment when she was but a child and rushed to the hospital to see her father hurried into the ER after the accident, to the grave her family frequented and if that was so, if all those memories were true, what was he doing standing just a mere meter away? Finally, she forced her lids shut, took a deep, deep, breath in and then opened them up once more to look at the man in front of her. He wasn't an illusion, was he?

"I don't know who Inuyasha is, it's a peculiar name," he mused, his jade eyes slowly evaluating every bit of the girl just a step or two away from him.

"Th…" never in all her life she did honestly think she might hyperventilate but then again, when had she ever been so shocked? She grasped her chest and turned away to steady her breath, "that's what you say? That's the first thing you say?"

It had to be him, didn't it? Didn't it? How could someone look so alike? The man was a mirror image of her father, just a little older with a few wrinkles upon his forehead, and it wasn't a trick, right? Her world was filled with demons, ghosts maybe, but he was real, he was human, she could feel that.

Feel he was real, he was alive. Tears threatened to break from such a betrayal, what? Did she live in some sick movie? Some twisted book where loved ones really fake their own death? A stupid soap opera, even? Maybe she was thrown into a fairytale type of situation but… but that was through the well, weird things were on that side not this. This side, her side, was normal, mundane, and the most surprising thing that had happened to her lately was when she actually pulled off a B on her last test.

Her father was d-e-a-d.

"I'm sorry, you're right, Kagome… it's been a while."

"A while is a few months, a while is a year at most, a while is not seven years," she protested but still could not find the motivation to turn around and look at him, his… his voice was the same, that hint of raspy, deep, mostly monotone thing it always had been.

It had to be him… didn't it?

"I'm sorry," he repeated and for once there was a hint of something in it, perhaps real remorse? "You're right."

"Stop saying that," she whispered, "I don't want to be right… this isn't happening, I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming…"

"I understand it is probably hard to grasp that I'm not—"

"Dead?" she snapped.

"Yes, but I assure you that I did what I had to do to keep you safe."

A shake breathe later she managed to slowly spin around to look at him, "what's that supposed to mean?"

"It's complicated, but if you'd come with me I'd like to explain it to you, Kagome…" just then his features shifted, his brows bent and something akin to a frown arose as he took that single step to be right in front of her, "Kagome, I've missed you."

"This isn't possible," she retorted, "this isn't… you aren't…"

"I expected this reaction, if you'd like we could go to the hospital and get a paternity test done."

A weak, humorless laugh left her lips as she folded her arms, yes, yes, the man was her father. The overly sensible man that always planned every aspect out of anything, if they were going on a family vacation he'd tell them for days in advance when they were to be ready to leave and God forbid they leave five minutes later than expected. Before she ever had experience in love she never really understood what it was that brought her mother and father to marry, they were true opposites.

Now she surely got it. Her father was collected, maybe a little emotionally detached at times, and methodical about everything—anal, really—while her mother was a loving, relatively carefree soul. After all, she had to be in order to allow her daughter to go back and forth between time—who just went with the flow. Fate had a plan for everyone, she would always tell Kagome. There's a logic to everything, her father would always contradicted.

"Wha… what the hell?" She inquired with a bit of an attitude, one she felt she ever so entitled to, "are you… coming home or something?"

"No, by no means is your mother, grandfather, or brother to know I'm not dead. Just you."

Her brows furrowed together automatically, "you think I'm not going to tell them?"

"Truthfully?" She only gave him a cold glare for that, "you won't be staying long enough to."

"What… are you talking about?"

"Let me take you out to eat, I'll explain everything over dinner, I promise."

Promise. Her father… her father had always been a man of his word, he never swore something he could not deliver, but how honest could a man that had been supposedly dead for the past seven years yet neglected to tell his family really be?

Still, she pressed her lips together as she glanced down the ground, it was just a dinner… and he had to be her daddy, didn't he? Maybe heavens had graced her with this gift, a second chance to know a father she might not really remember if not to pictures.

x-•°•°•-x

"Yes," he coaxed before lifting his cup of coffee up to his lips to take the final sip, "I know, it's hard to grasp but… Kagome, sweetheart, you must understand why I did what I did."

"You," she swallowed, her hazels locked with the plate of food she barely touched, "you," she cleared her throat, "you are l-lying, you have to be. You…"

"Kagome, look at me," he ordered and meekly she glanced up to him, "do I look like I'm lying? I didn't raise you to be a liar and I know your mother would have kept with that trend after I left—"

"You mean you died," she snapped, "you died, you died, you died…"

"I'm sorry, that must have been very hard on you, but do you not see the logic behind it? Now that I've explained it to you? Do you honestly not see how my hand was forced, sweetheart?"

"Stop calling me that," she muttered, he hadn't a right, not now… "you can't possibly expect me to leave my life, to come away with you, not after everything. You just can't."

"But I do," he assured, just like always, he sounded so certain, as if there wasn't a doubt in his mind that she would run away with him and leave everything that was precious to her behind. She wasn't him, she wasn't. That much she was certain about.

"I can't," she protested agonizingly as she glanced up to her father's cool eyes, they were just as hard as any jade statute she had ever come across, that's why the color was so perfect for them, even as a child she thought so. "You don't understand, you have no idea what I've been up to since you've—"

"I love you, Kagome," those words mingled her breath to cease any objection, "perhaps I have not been here physically but I'm aware of what you have been doing. I keep tabs on all of you."

"Tabs?" She murmured, "tabs? Like we're some sort of science experiment? Tabs?"

"Kagome," he sighed, "stop that, you know what I mean."

"You have no idea what I've been doing," she kept up as she folded her arms upon the table and leaned forward, "no idea whatsoever."

"You go down the well to a world filled of mayhem and anarchy, you are gifted, Kagome, I've never doubted that, not since the day you were born."

She needed to gasp in air after a short pause of her lungs functioning, "you… you…"

He snapped his finger to catch her attention once more, "I need you to focus right now. Perhaps I'm being insensitive but if you were paying any attention to what I was just saying then you should understand, sweetheart, you just turned seventeen, you should be able to comprehend all that I am saying."

Wait, when did that happen…?

"Oh," she whispered, how true, she often lost track of what day it was, let alone what the date was, when she went down the well. She'd usually laugh about not even noticing she missed her own birthday but nothing seemed to be funny when she had a father, that should be cremated and in a grave that she so often visited and used to cry ever so often in front of, staring at her with such seriousness. Then another realization hit her, slowly cascading down as her shoulders sagged along with her head, they weren't really out of soy sauce at home, were they? Her family was probably planning some sort of surprise for her… and now she'd been gone for hours without calling. How worried her mother must be, "I have to go."

"Fine," he stated as he pulled his napkin from his lap and set it on the table.

"Fine?" She repeated with an edge of awe, "fine? Really, that's it? I thought you said that—"

"I have full faith that you won't tell your mother or anyone else about me," he assured as he wiggled his wallet out of his pocket and pried a card out to hand to her, "my number, call me when you have your things together."

"What?" She muttered, her hand reached out and took the little white piece of paper without even thinking about it.

"I know you'll make the right choice," was all he said before he left cash on the table, stood, and walked over to bend down to give her a kiss on the forehead, "I'll see you soon, happy belated birthday."

She shut her eyes but otherwise she was frozen in her position until well after her father had left, her world was spinning too fast, everything was in shambles and only crumbling more and more, so how? How was it possible, any of it? None of it was… but what really was in her life?

Did it really make sense that she could go down a well and end up in feudal era Japan? No.

Did it seem normal that she had a jewel in her body that was pried out by a centipede demon after she freed a dog hanyou who had been pinned to a tree for fifty years? Uh-uh.

Did it even seem probable to ever witness the dead rising once more then watch as she remained alive through the souls of lost maidens? Nope.

Did she really have to go on to prove her point, to herself no less? She shook her head at that as she pried her eyes upon to see a perfectly wrapped petite box before her, a little red bow on top and everything.

He… had given her a gift? It better be one hell of a gift to make up for seven missed birthdays, that's all she could think as she picked it up.

And, yes, it was… she bit her lips and looked away, what was she to do? Really leave everyone? Not just everyone, not just her family, but… but Inuyasha? Him, honestly?

Maybe, blood's just thicker than water, no matter what?


Anemone: Generally accepted as meaning dying hope/forsaken.