(A/N: Alrighty, this is the beginning of the new crossover I was talking about in my last chapter of A New Beginning. This story will not be updated as fast as my other crossover. If I put this one on my priority list, my editor and probably several of you guys will grab pitch forks and storm my apartment and demand I finish A New Beginning. Since I value my life, I promise I will finish the other one!)
Kagome stood outside the family shrine arguing with her little brother about who had to sweep the stairs leading to the shrine. Why should she have to sweep them when she had finals coming up later that week and needed all the time she could get to study? Souta, now in middle school was fast becoming a pain in her butt.
"Souta, for the last time, I have finals!"
"And I'm tired of picking up your chores, Sis. I told my friends I'd come play with them after I finished my homework."
Kagome sighed, knowing her chance of getting in a last minute study session blew away with the wind. "Alright, get going. I'll take care of the stairs." She turned her brother around and gave him a gentle shove towards the stairs.
"Bye!" He waved as he bolted down the stairs and around the corner, out of Kagome's sight.
She couldn't blame him for wanting to go play. The weather was great, the first day in almost a week it hadn't rained. She ran her fingers through her long, thick hair and scoped out the stairs. Leaves and dirt covered the stairs. The storms and rain hadn't helped them any.
You'd think with all the rain we've had, the stairs would be spotless.
She shook her head and went to the shed where Grandpa kept the outdoor cleaning supplies and gardening tools. The reason Kagome and Souta were left in charge of all the outside upkeep was because Grandpa's health was starting to wane. He was going to be eighty years old in a couple of months and he no longer had the mobility or strength to do his normal chores. Mom tried to help, but she was pulling a lot of overtime at the hospital to help cover Grandpa's extra doctor visits.
Kagome thought about picking up a part time job to help with the current money situation, but her mother always told her no. It was her job as a mother to provide for her children, not the other way around. At least not until she was Grandpa's age.
These were the thoughts running through Kagome's mind as she cleaned the stairs. No longer did thoughts of returning to the feudal era plague her. Two years passed since the well closed after the final battle with Naraku and not once in those two years had the well shown even the slightest trickle of magic. It took Kagome a little over six months to realize her chances of going back to see her friends were slim to none. Her mother thought about moving the family away from the shrine to keep Kagome from having to pass the well every day. Kagome, of course turned that down. Not being able to see it wouldn't make the pain less. In fact it would be worse for her not to see it. She was fond of sitting in the well house and reminiscing about her trial and tribulations. Grandpa, on several occasions, called her an old lady with as often as her mind wondered to the past.
Kagome couldn't help it. She missed the action and adventure she faced every day. Not knowing who or what she would encounter. She even missed the life and death situations. The adrenaline rush she got when Inuyasha charged into battle or the exhilaration that rushed through her when demons whisked her away from her group. She didn't enjoy being frightened for her safety or that of her friends, but she hated the hum drum life here in Tokyo. Her life consisted of nothing more than getting up in the morning, going to school, doing homework, sleep and repeat.
As if to answer her thoughts, a deep echoing bellow rang through the air, causing all the hair on Kagome's arms to stand at attention. She clutched the broom and turned her head left and right, searching for the source of the sound. How long had it been since she felt that tall tell sign of hostility? She knew something dangerous was close and probably heading in her direction if her past luck was anything to go by. Whenever trouble was near, it always found its way to Kagome. It was almost always a fact.
Kagome sensed the presence at the bottom of the stairs and around the corner. Not sure what she should do, she stood frozen in place, clutching the broom handle as if her life depended on it. A second presence registered in Kagome's mind. This one not hostile, at least she didn't think so.
What is going on? What is this sensation I'm feeling? I haven't felt anything like this since I was with Inuyasha. Her eyes widened. A demon possibly? I'm so out of practice with sensing their presences, it wouldn't surprise me if one caught me off guard and tried to eat me…but demons don't exist anymore. Not even Inuyasha could detect any when he was here.
The hostile presence made itself visible as it turned the corner and started up the stairs. Kagome's eyes widened in shock. Walking on four legs was what she could only assume to be a demon of some form stalking up the stairs. It's dog-like face was covered in a white and blue mask while it's body seemed to be made of shadows. She'd say it was black, but that didn't seem to fit. The creature opened its large mouth to reveal sharp canines and a row of teeth Kagome didn't want anywhere near her. The same bellowing cry rang through the air, startling Kagome out of her frozen state. Still clutching the broom, she turned and ran up the stairs, trying very hard not to yell for her hanyou friend. It wouldn't do her any good, but the urge was still there.
The creature reared up on its hind legs and bellowed once more before giving chase. He spotted his prey racing towards a cozy two story house. He'd smirk if his facial structure allowed for it. Hiding in the building wasn't going to protect her from him. He licked his lips in excitement. He'd never had his prey see him before. It could only mean she was spiritually aware and possessed a delicious soul. Eating this woman would grant him incredible strength.
Grandpa opened the front door to see his granddaughter racing towards the house as if the hounds of hell were at her heels. He'd felt a disturbance in the air around the shrine and had come outside to see what could be disturbing his shrine. Behind Kagome, he could see a faint outline of something. He couldn't make it out and almost passed it off as a mirage from the heat on the cement. The look on Kagome's face told him otherwise. She was the most spiritually aware person in the entire family. And if she was running towards him with that expression, he was certain something bad was following her.
Kagome's eyes widened in fear when she spotted her grandfather standing in the doorway. "Get in the house, Grandpa!"
"What in blazes is going on Kagome?" He asked, noting the shrill of fear in her voice.
"Go!" She demanded.
When he continued to stand there, she changed direction. She couldn't let this creature near her family. It was after her and she'd rather it stay that way than attack somebody else. She wasn't completely helpless, but after two years of not using any of her miko powers, she wasn't sure she could do anything to the creature.
When Kagome reached the sacred tree, she turned around and held the broomstick in front of her defensively, only to see a tall man with crimson red hair standing between her and the creature. The man wore an outfit similar to what Inuyasha wore only black with a white obi around his waist. His dark red hair was pulled up into a high ponytail that allowed the length of it to brush across his shoulders. He stood in an offensive position with a katana in his hands.
"Picking on defensive girls? How pathetic." The man mocked the creature. "It's bad luck on your account that I was placed in charge of this area."
The monster roared and charged the man. Kagome brought her hands to her chest and clasped them together, hoping for her savior's safety. She didn't know who or what he was, but if he was willing to save her from almost certain death, he was a good guy in her books.
With a single swipe of his sword, he cleaved the white mask in two. The creature faded away into nothing. Her red-headed savior sheathed his blade and started to walk away.
"Wait!" Kagome called out to him. He either didn't hear her or ignored her. She called after him again just in case he didn't hear her. When he ignored her a second time, she started to grow annoyed.
"Hey, Stupid! I'm talking to you!" Kagome shouted as she stormed off after the man. He continued walking, ignoring her presence. "Are you deaf or just plain stupid?"
The man bent at the knee and Kagome stopped chasing after him. She wasn't sure if he was intending her harm. Instead of doing anything to her, he pushed off the ground and jumped into the sky. Much to Kagome's surprise he flew. Her eyes widened and her mouth hung open in shock.
What the…? Who is that?
Meanwhile, up in the sky, Renji stared down at the shrine where he saved the human girl. He crossed his arms over his chest and cocked his head to the side. Had she been talking to him? It was possible, but unlikely. He didn't sense anything abnormal about her reiatsu. It was a little higher than the average human which was probably the reason the hollow attacked her in the first place.
Why was she running? Had she seen the hollow, or maybe sensed its presence?
When he reached the scene, the girl was running towards the large tree with a broom in her hand. He had no inclination of whether or not she was running to run, or possibly running from the hollow. He was going to have to keep an eye on her. With the current surge in hollow activity in the area, she was sure to come under attack again. He'd been in the world of the living for less than two days and already slayed half dozen hollows. It was strange for so many hollows to appear in one area, especially since this area of Tokyo didn't have a lot of spiritually aware humans, not like Karakura Town. It was for this reason, he, a lieutenant had been dispatched instead of a lower ranked officer. The prior shinigami stationed to this area ended up with serious injuries after an ambush by four hollows.
Renji sighed. He didn't much care for working in this area. He hadn't been sent to the world of the living on a mission since the war with Aizen. The only place here he was comfortable working was Karakura Town. There he had Ichigo and his friends to talk to and he could stay with Urahara if he helped with chores. Here he had nowhere to crash, unless he counted the top of roofs or the occasional tree. He didn't even have a decent gigai to use. He could request one from Soul Society, but he'd been spoiled with Urahara's models. They were easier to move in and were faster to get in and out of.
The cry of another hollow echoed off the buildings, summoning Renji from his thoughts. He grumbled a few profanities before heading in that direction.
Kagome, still standing outside, under the branches of the Goshinboku, shuddered as a wave of goose bumps erupted down her arms. She too heard the cry of the hollow. She looked up at the sky. What is this sensation I'm feeling?