Disclaimer: Inuyasha and all rights therein quite obviously belong to Rumiko Takahashi.

(A/N: Oi, something weird happened with my computer and I had to re-do this chapter. I hope I didn't lose something important...)

Turnabout is Fair Play: Sometimes it's better to relax alone....

Fog was beginning to collect on the mirror.

There was nothing like complete and total shock to make you forget the little things like headache, nausea and severe light sensativity. All of which had promptly vanished the moment Kagome glanced absently towards the mirror on her way into the shower.

A small white square of gauze had been taped down over the small scar that had been left when the Shikon no Tama had been rather forcefully removed from her body... Well, most of it had been white, but the very slight smudge of reddish brown had alerted her that sometime during the blurred evening she must have been cut.

It had all been a plot, of course, her friends showing up right after school let out and dragging her off despite her half-hearted protests. A part of her had wanted very badly to go with them, had wanted to just forget about everything that had turned her life upside down for several years. And so, against her better judgement, she had agreed to spend the night traipsing along with her girlfriends and let responsibility slide away.

Her friends, however, decided that for that night Kagome needed to let herself totally unwind. And so every single drink they brought her from the time they carted her off had been liberally spiked and mixed to diguise the taste. Never suspecting her friends would do such a thing, Kagome had fallen for it hook, line, and sinker.

Never trust a group of teenage girls with a mission, she thought distantly, her eyes so wide it seemed as though they would swallow her unnaturally pale face.

The longer she stared at her reflection, the more hazy bits seemed to drift back to her scrambling mind. She recalled feeling an odd vibration of power from a small building that had almost looked like a tiny, ancient shrine. In her inebriated state, curiosity overrode caution so quickly it was sick and she had stumbled away from her giggling companions to invesigate.

There had been a very old man inside, a bald old man wearing a loose, gray yukata and covered in tattoos. He had welcomed her inside expectantly, saying something about having been expecting her before serving her tea. After that it was all a blur. She could vaguely recall a tingling feeling and hearing a buzz like a swarm of bees had been doing laps around the small room. Yet it was all blank until she was standing in the street with her friends, and when she'd looked back, the building was nowhere to be seen. She had shrugged it off, letting her friends take her home and bid her an enthusastic good-night.

Her finger rose, trembling violently to her side to gingerly touch the dark crimson mark now covering the small scar. She flinched involuntarily at the slightly raised flesh, her mouth moving soundlessly as she looked away from the mirror and down to the curve of her hip. Heat seemed to radiate from the mark, growing stronger as her fingertip traced over the precise lines until her entire body was throbbing. Chaotic questions tumbled through her mind so quickly they made her dizzy.

How had it happened? Who was that old man and how had he know? And how in the world had it been infused with magic so strong it made her tremble? More importantly, what was the magic for? What would it do?

Her eyes rose again to her reflection when all those questions melted away to be replaced with the one that concerned her the most. How in all the seven hells am I going to explain this if anyone finds out?

Biting her lip, she turned to give herself a perfect unobstructed view of her hip, her fingers again tracing the blood-red marking. The kanji was precise, ancient, flawless...



"She'll return soon, Inuyasha," Miroku sighed, leaning casually against the thick trunk of a tree as he watched the hanyou pace back and forth in front of the well restlessly. There had been a new rumor early that morning from a travelling merchant and predictably the hanyou had nearly burst with his impatience to go after it. It had taken them quite a bit of talking and wrestling with Inuyasha to convince him not to go racing off to drag Kagome back to go in search of it.

"She's late," he growled, giving the well a withering glare as though blaming it for all his troubles with the young woman. "She belongs here, not in that damn school she keeps running off to."

The monk shared a look with the small kitsune reclining in his lap and sighed, "It's obviously important to her and she always returns."

"Maybe if you weren't such a jerk all the time she wouldn't think it was so important," Shippo interjected, lazily scratching at his ear with his hind foot. "Kagome seems to go back every time you yell at her," he paused to stick out his tongue at the fuming demon.

"That's because she has a job to do here!" he yelled out, facing the unconcerned pair. Growling menacingly, he pointed at the well with a clawed hand, "She's not supposed to go running back to that time! She needs to stay-"


Inuyasha broke off abruptly at the unexpected sound from deep in the well, sniffing lightly and relaxing when Kagome's distinctive scent filled the air. Sighing, he put on his best annoyed face and turned to lean over the side as Shippo let out a cry of delight and came racing to his side. He blinked down at her, a little surprised to see her sitting cross-legged at the bottom of the well wearing long, black pants and a gray shirt instead of her usual uniform. His surprise grew when he noticed that instead of looking back, she sat with a dazed look on her face and her enormous pack beside her.

"Oi, what the hell are you just sitting there for, bitch?" his ears swivelled towards her and his voice filled with a confused sort of curiosity.

When Kagome didn't answer, just sat there with a wide-eyed look on her face, he shook his head and sighed. Moving onto the rim of the well, he climbed down enough to pluck both the pack and girl off the ground and hoist them out into the grass. Shippo was immediately hopping up and down, arms outstretched like a child wanting to be picked up and calling her name over and over like a chant.

Inuyasha set her on her feet, a little concerned at her continued silence and pale face. The moment he let go, her legs buckled and she again sat in the same position she'd been in at the bottom of the well. She absently stroked Shippo's head with a shaking hand, eyes wide and unfocused.

Now completely confused and definitely worried, Inuyasha dropped her pack and tilted his head to one side to regard the girl even as he sniffed for any obvious injuries that could cause her to act like this, "Kagome? Kagome, what's wrong with you?"

She finally looked up at him, her mouth slowly falling open. She stared at him for a long moment, perfectly oblivious to the two other voices raised in concern as she moved one hand down to her hip. Shaking her head, she turned her gaze away to look at Shippo and Miroku's questioning, concerned faces.

Her gaze returned to Inuyasha and then went to her lap before lifting to again focus on nothing as she whispered very slowly, "Oh my God."

Kagome had just appeared in Sengoku Jidai, her pack slung across her back when she heard Inuyasha's voice raised in unmistakable anger, "Stay-!"

Instantly, her hip had gone from a dull throb to intense heat and her legs went numb. She gasped as her legs buckled, dropping her pack and blinking in surprise as she tried to absorb what had just happened. Her tattoo was pulsing as though it had its own heartbeat, slow and steady, and her legs felt like lead. Worried, she willed herself to move, to stand, but no amount of effort would get her stubborn legs to obey her mind. Everything else worked fine, just her legs...

Her eyes went wide and her mouth fell open, It couldn't be.

Then Inuyasha was lifting her out of the well, grumbling at her under his breath, but gold eyes moving over her in confusion. When he released her, her legs had again refused to support her and she dropped, the implications of what had possibly happened sending her mind reeling. Shippo was snuggling against her chest and habitually she stroked a hand through his soft hair, distantly aware of the voices around her.

Her legs tingled slightly and she experimentally tightened the muscles, relieved when they responded as though nothing had happened. Then Inuyasha came into her line of vision and the realization of what had happened smacked her in the face. Her eyes went wide again and she turned to look if anyone else had caught the real cause for her distress. They only looked worried and rather confused at her odd behavior, no small wonder considering she herself felt as though she'd just been back-kicked by a horse and she knew what was going on.

She looked back at Inuyasha as the throbbing in her hip died down, feeling only like a comforting warmth. She couldn't deny it. The little tattoo had done...something at the sound of his voice, and when he'd said "stay" her legs had...Oh god, no...

Kagome tried to say something, anything, but her throat was nearly closed with shock and in the end she could only stare off into the trees, trying to ground her senses. No good, she still felt like she was choking. Horrified and unable to deny or write off the incident, she finally whispered out, "Oh my God."