(Author's Note: Hmm I decided to try a touch at the a.u. for some weird reason. This is another world where there was no way to the past, where everything is based in the present. J This first part should be listened to track 22 or 23 of the first Inuyasha cd, if you have it…

Special Thanks: To God, my friends, and my computer at work… and of course Rumiko Takahashi for creating such a wonderful manga/anime.)

February 6, 2002

By Yashira

Those that follow the Jewel

Part 1

The touch of fragile wind against his warm skin was like a feather-soft kiss as the feel of the warm sunlight cascaded all around him. Such a feeling of contentment made Miroku close his eyes with a sigh of tranquil acquiescence. "I can't believe I'm skipping lunch for this, but the Sakura trees are beautiful this time of year."

Nearby stood Kagome, brown eyes like pools of midsummer heat, which grinned at him almost foolishly, "Nee, Miroku-kun, but you're glad you came right?" Miroku let out a throaty chuckle as he held out his right hand and took hers in kind. Unmarked, smooth, and untouched, his fingers wrapped around hers gingerly.

"Yeah, I'm glad you talked me into this." His violet eyes, gentle and relaxed, glanced easily across the world of trees that lay scattered around them. He watched the pink open petals as they fell, like winter's first blizzard, around them in eddying swirls. "I think I was studying too hard."

Kagome nodded her hand tightening around his right hand, her fingers digging into his palm, as he pulled her carefully up the broken mound of dirt and twisted root. "Sometimes I think all you do is study."

He seemed embarrassed, his cheeks flustering as pink as the surrounding petals that got caught up in this black hair, "Well, someone has to pass at math."

"Mooo, Miroku-kun, you don't have to rub that in," Kagome's tone was scolding and her eyes, frowning as if his reminder of her math grades, was a pure no no. "I'm trying... Math is just…"

"Difficult?? Boring?" He offered, grinning at her foolishly. "I like to think you're just lazy."

She jerked her hand back from him, pulling her soft fingers from his with a hasty pull. "Why do you always have to tease me…"

"You always take it so seriously Kagome-sama. Do me a favour and never change."

He'd spoken so seriously that she blinked rapidly and fixed startled eyes on him. "Huh?"

His face clouded over with a smirk, his lips quirking into a chuckle, he was breaking into a laugh. "Now that's a secret."

"That's not fair using Xellos's key phrase," she thew out as he turned on his feet and started through the ocean of pink and white. He disappeared down the forest path that meandered with freckles of green grass now and again and she called back worriedly. "Hey... where are you going?"

"Lunch ends in about 5 minutes… you want to be late for class today?"

"EEEEK."

vvv

Kagome slumped down into her chair, her breath raging in her fluttering chest, as she stared ahead with shaky hands. "Good, I made it…" She was taking hard breaths to replenished the air she'd lost, in that long distance run through the fields and back to class, as her friends cluttered around her desk conspiratory like.

"You took Miroku-kun to the cherry blossom field eh?" That was from her friend with the short brown hair and big eyes.

"Yea, dumping Hojo-kun?" One of her other friends, this one sporting a bandana, was leaning against her desk conspiratory like, her fingers hiding her lips as she smiled at Kagome, knowingly.

"Huh? He and I are just very good friends, "Kagome replied instantly, although her cheeks tried to hide a faint blush of red. "He's family…" Miroku had practically grown up, side by side with her.

"Yeah, but you've been through Kindergardern all the way to Highschool now…" Her last friend chimed in, her hands resting intimately on Kagome's desk. "Wasn't he there when your dad died?"

Kagome took a startle breath at the mention of her father, it was an old wound that had never healed, and for them to bring it up so causal… hurt.

"Ah Kagome-sama," Miroku called out, his voice like a beacon of light amidst the sea of nosy friends, "You dropped your pencil case." He waved a small cushy bag, his face a picture of pure innocent, as he stood in the frame of the doorway.

"AH, thank you, Miroku-kun," Kagome gave her friends a look to disperse, her eyes narrowing on them with the words "get" as Miroku strolled over causally and dropped the pencil case on her head, "Eh?"

"I swear you're so forgetful, sometimes," he replied in a belabored moan as he glided into his seat behind her. "Sometimes I wonder if you have your head screwed on." However his tone was not cruel or mocking, just simply teasing. He looked at her with an expression of pretended annoyance.

Kagome grabbed her pencil case and set it down beside her open textbook as she rolled her eyes. "Gees."

"Class, sorry I'm late," Tanaka-sensei came running in, his tie shaken, his jacket haphazardly thrown over his shoulders as he slammed his brief case onto his desk. He adjusted his awry glasses, succeeding somehow in making them tilt in an even more off handed manner. "Before we begin with reviews for the test this Friday…" He began as he scooped up a piece of chalk and began to scratch up a few shaky squalls along the blackboard. "We have two new students recently transferred from Okinikan High, as you recalled that school recently burned down in a most unfortunate fire and their students are being transferred to all available campuses."

There were soft mutters about the fires, rustling whispers that tickle the back of Kagome's hearing with soft treads on feathery fingers, but she couldn't hear most of it since the door to the right was opening up and Tanaka-sensei was calling forward the two new students in question.

A tall girl with smooth black hair tied in a pony tail, books hugged to her chest as if she were afraid to let go, took nervous steps into the class room as a boy, with equally black hair, followed after her. He held his arms-crossed, his gaze aloof, as he carried a backpack slung casually over his shoulders. "Class, I would like to introduce Ms. Onnade Sango and Mr. Ogakai Inuyasha."

Kagome, her voice mingled with that of Miroko's and of those of her class, all welcomed the newcomers at once, "Welcome Onnade Sango, Ogakai Inuyasha."

Sango bowed respectfully as Inuyasha just stood there frowning, his dark eyes glaring at anyone to just find anything wrong with him. He wore the dark collar uniform of a high school student and his long hair was held back by a piece of twine; he stood there with a most sour grimace. Most students who glanced up at his grim face quickly returned their startled eyes to the white plastered walls, plain tiled floor, or black- board with feign expressions of interest held elsewhere. "Thank you very much," Sango replied softly her voice soft, just a bit passive as she smiled reticently.

"Now that you got your paper work taken care of," Tanaka-sensei continued on as he struggled with the piece of chalk and the black board in question, "You can take a seat while I'll begin class."

"Ah, she's so pretty," Kagome heard clearly from some of her girl friends as the gossip in the class rose in hushed tones. Inuyasha seemed to follow Sango like a little trailing puppy dog. He stumbled after her as she chose two seats at the far right of the room. "And he looks so dangerous… but his name's odd… puppy...something?" She heard the confused murmurs as they talked back and forth about the two new students, but Kagome simply began to tune out the admiration and awe whispers that were flowing back and forth. Paying the girl who wore a similar green and white uniform like hers little attention, she turned back to stare at her textbook. New students seemed to come in every day now that Okinikan school had burned down so that it was getting trivial… boring even. With her attention span dying, she turned her head back to Miroku who was already scribbling the notes he was copying from the black board to his notebook. She quietly whispered, "Did we study this yesterday?"

He chuckled, not even looking up to face her, his voice mildly condescending, "Of course Kagome-sama."

"Gah... I'm so going to fail." She dropped her face, staring into the incomprehensible notes she was currently taking, with a sickly green look to her face.

His laugher, low and sonorous seemed to trail after her, "We'll study at my grandfather's house… I'll make sure you won't fail for Friday's test. Or least least not fail so badly…"

She rolled her eyes, "Gee, I don't know whether to thank you... or strangle you…"

"You could always bear my child… He chuckled again as she turned in her seat to look at him with wide surprising eyes. "I'm kidding Kagome-chan. It'll just be nice to have some company again. It's only me and granddad these days."

"Miroku-kun…" Her voice soften and she noticed that his hands had tensed a bit as he spoke those last words. She hadn't been the only one to loose a father. She made a consenting sound, "But if I fail I'm not going to be happy."

"If you fail... no one will be happy," He said solemnly, glancing up, violet eyes mocking now, "And your mother will wonder what we did."

"You're incorrigible…"

He chuckled, clearly amused.

"Since you seem to like to talk," Tanaka-sensei interrupted suddenly, placing both chalk filled hands on Kagome's desk which was sure to leave a mark, "I want you to help Onnade Sango, and Ogakai Inuyasha get used to the school routine here." While it was clearly obvious that no one had heard anything Miroku and Kagome had been whispering, the fact that Kagome had turned in her desk to face her friend was enough of reason for the teacher to laden this sudden duty on her.

"Get used… to?"

"Yes, do you have any problems with that?" Tanaka-sensei ran his hands through his short hair, leaving chalk residue within the black disordered hair, as the fluorite light reflected off his glasses in glints. The whole class turned their eyes on her.

"Uh no... not really…" She ducked her face into the text book and quickly proceeded to look very busy, "I'd… be honoured."

"Good."

vvv

When class ended, Kagome rose gingerly from her seat, books gathered up into her arms, as she bowed regretfully to Miroku, "I gotta go show them around… sorry."

Miroku glanced up, his fingers running smoothly through his dark hair, as he gathered his books hastily. "Sorry? I think we got 15 minutes between each class… let me take your things…" Catching hold of her books and pencil case, he pushed her forward, "Now you can explain with your hands like the Italians do…"

"Miroku-kun…" she shook her head, almost laughing. "You are always saying something funny."

He laughed warmly as Kagome started towards the desk where Sango was now rising to her feet from. "I live to serve..."

"Feh, I don't see why we had to come to this school," Inuyasha was muttering angrily, his tone of disgust dripping sourly like over ripe lemons, "It's not like there weren't other places to go…"

"Hush Inuyasha," Sango said smartly, "We're here for the next couple of semesters or until they can rebuilt Okinikan... we need to be polite…"

He was glaring off to the side, his dark eyes, like midnight oil, seemed to burn holes into the nondescript floor as he crossed his arms rudely, "Feh…"

"Ano nee…" Kagome began softly and as politely as she could when she stopped in front of them. "I'm Higurashi Kagome. Tanaka-sensei "suggested" I should help you get used to the school."

"Ah, hello Kagome-chan," Sango said brightly, "It would be very helpful if you can do that… we're very new here."

There were grumbled curses coming from Inuyasha, "We don't need help," but before he could continued Sango jumped in front of him and kicked him hard in the left shin.

"We're new... we need lots of help," She beamed at Kagome while desperately trying to hide the grumbling words that had escaped Inuyasha's offending lips. She offered her hand, smiling as she did so, "Call me Sango… this is Inuyasha. We both used to be schoolmates from our old school."

Kagome took Sango's hand and gave it a prompt shake as she glanced over to the sulking Inuyasha who was rudely looking away. Her eyes seem to say what her lips would not. Idiot.

"This is Manzai Miroku," Kagome began as she realized she hadn't introduced him yet.

"Ah how do you do," Miroku replied making a sweeping bow as he took Sango's hand and proceeded to plant a kiss on her started hand. She stared to colour a bit as Kagome giggled.

"Miroku-kun is our school's lover boy…"

"Kagome-sama…" He replied, his tone totally insincere, "I'm scandalized."

Inuyasha raised an eyebrow at Miroku's comment before he shook his head, his hair swaging back and forth like a horse's tail. "Look Sango, we don't need anyone to help us... especially not some playboy…"

"Inuyasha, "Sango began carefully, "You can go look around if you want, but I'm not about to blunder helplessly… Kagome-chan can you tell me where 314 is?"

"Ah that's English. I have that next class; you can come with me…" Kagome was smiling politely and bowing respectfully, "It's on the third floor and I can show you the way."

"Actually that room is on Inuyasha's timetable…" Sango replied thoughtfully as she handed a piece of white paper over to him, "You can take him to class."

"Excuse me... didn't I say I didn't need an escort…" Inuyasha was clearly scowling now, glaring with outright hostility into Kagome's startled face. "And why would I want to follow after a someone like her."

Sango acted as if she didn't hear him, "He has a big mouth, but don't let that get you. He's more bark than bite. Just be sure he gets to his next class, he's been known to cut class sometimes."

Kagome stared at the sulking boy, who was glaring at her with hard angry eyes. She was suppose to make sure HE got to class?!

"Hey, I was still talking here," Inuyasha snarled angrily, "And she stinks… I can't stand girls who smell."

Kagome's face took on a strangled look as if she wasn't quite sure to grin and bear it or to take out a baseball bat and smack the living daylights out of him. "Well if he thinks he can do it himself, why not let him… Sensei said I should help you also…"

"Well my next class is 112... looks like it may be on a different floor…" Sango was glaring at Inuyasha as she spoke, her eyes screaming at him to behave and curb his tongue. Inuyasha, like any under aged school boy, just stuck out his tongue.

"Gym," Miroku replied offhandedly, "It's on my way to woodshop, I can show you that if you don't mind."

Sango bowed. "That would be most helpful, thank you, Manzai-sama."

"Why do I suddenly feel like I got the worst deal," Kagome replied, staring at the departing Miroku and Sango with something akin to betrayal. Behind her Inuyasha seethed.

End of this part.