S-S: Hmm… this idea has been floating around in my head for a while now. So I had to write it! I hope you enjoy the first installment of Silver
I do not own InuYasha.
She was stepping in blood. Who's blood? Was it hers?
A huge, constantly moving sea of darkness. Surrounding her. Trying to swallow her. Swirling and getting darker and more foul, more disgusting and impure every second. She was standing in the center, but she was supposed to be running but her feet couldn't move and there was no red, and there wasn't any silver- there was supposed to be silver- there had to be silver- why wasn't there any silver?
Where is he? She had to find him!
A scream. A hand's caught in the darkness and then there's just a flash of black hair and then there's nothing.
Another scream, this time a man's. Wind. A lot of wind. So much wind that it should move the world. Buzzing. Beads. No more wind.
The darkness billowed in like smoke because it is smoke except it has more substance and can kill. Choking the world with its foulness, but she can breath, but they couldn't, and now they're dead. Why could she breath, and not them?
She reached to her back and pulled something out, something long and wooden. Her hands must be separate from her mind because they know what to do and she is just too confused to know anything right now. She pulled back a string. A blinding flash of purple light.
Purple. Why isn't there any silver?
And the purple light made the darkness go away for a moment and there's someone at the end of it, someone that her hands must hate because they have notched another arrow.
Something is coming towards her. Fast. She let go of the string. The something doesn't stop coming. It's closer now, too close and too late because her arrow has hit the someone but the something must not know that.
And Kagome saw silver.
With a jolt, Kagome sat up, sweating. Did she have that dream again? She hated that dream. Tired, she ran a hand through her damn hair and tossed the too heavy covers off her. They were stifling in this heat anyways. She glanced at her alarm clock. Seven in the morning. With a sigh, she flopped backwards into bed and stared at the ceiling.
Three years ago, she had asked her mother to place tiny stick on stars on the ceiling, the kind that glowed in the dark. For some reason she couldn't sleep in the darkness. And stars were the best thing to put on her ceiling because sleeping under the stars was just something that she was supposed to do. At least that was how she felt. If she remembered right, she hadn't liked sleeping outside very much when she was younger. She didn't know when she had started liking sleeping under the stars. Maybe four years ago? She didn't know. The past was a little – if not a lot – blurry.
But the stars, although they may be silly and – as her friends never hesitated to point out – a bit childish, Kagome just couldn't sleep at night without them. They chased away the darkness.
But they couldn't chase away the dreams.
The dreams kept coming back, no matter how many stars were on Kagome's ceiling. Always the same dream. The cloud of darkness. The screams that seemed far too familiar for comfort. And the red and silver. Red and silver seemed like such a good color combination. For some reason, she just knew that red and silver would chase away the darkness of the dream.
But Kagome never saw silver till the end of the dream. And there was too much blood at the end of the dream. Maybe if the silver showed up earlier, then there wouldn't be so much blood at the end. Maybe if the silver showed up earlier, then the people wouldn't scream.
Or maybe the dream wasn't about silver, or stars, or screams. Maybe it just didn't mean anything at all.
If Kagome were a more naïve person, she might just believe that. Actually, she would need more than naivety to ignore the dreams.
She had been born and raised on a shrine. She had lived her whole life listening to her grandfather tell her stories about magic and demons. Although she hadn't believed in any of that when she had been younger, she did now. And she knew that dreams could mean something.
Kagome didn't know when she started believing in the stories. How long ago was it, four years? Maybe more or less, it was hard to say.
Casting one last hateful glare at the clock, she rolled out of bed. School started at a very unreasonable time in the morning, she thought. Tiredly, and admittedly with much groaning, Kagome pulled on her school uniform and shuffled on over to the bathroom.
She stared at her reflection in the mirror with more than a little hatred. The dream had kept sleep away, and instead brought on the dark circles that hovered constantly under her eyes as if daring her to cover them up with foundation. Kagome pulled open a drawer and whipped out a bottle of foundation that seemed to get larger every time she replaced it. After quickly dabbing on the make-up, glaring at her reflection while putting on more make-up – the dark shadows were persistent little buggers -, and yanking a brush through her hair, she deemed herself decent.
Well, she thought, giving another look at the mirror, almost decent. At least she didn't look like she had just woken up.
In general, Kagome was not one to wear jewelry. She found bangles and chokers and such to be – in general – very inconvenient. Her mother could force her into the occasional pair of stud earrings, and there had of course been that 'friendship bracelet' phase. But the one piece of jewelry that Kagome always wore was a pendant.
She never took it off. Not when she had a bath or slept or in gym. If she did remove it, horrible things would happen. Okay, so she didn't actually know that, having never taken it off, but she just knew. So even when the purple-pink orb didn't match with what she was wearing, she left it be. It was really a very pretty pendant after all, and who ever gave it to her must have really cared about her because the chain was silver and that jewel must have cost quite a lot. She didn't actually know who had given it to her – she assumed it to be a gift because that price must have been beyond her pocket – she just remembered having it for a long time. Maybe four years or so, although she thought that it might have been smaller before – but that was ridiculous because no matter how purple or pink a stone was, jewels did not grow. The necklace was just there, like it had to be. It was as much a part of her as her eyes were or her hands.
Sweeping a hand across her desk, she flung all her school supplies into her book bag, threw the brown horror over her shoulder, and hurried downstairs. "MOM!" she shouted as she slid into the kitchen, "Did you make me a bento?"
From somewhere upstairs, a muffled, "YES!" ran through the house in reply.
Kagome snatched a box of the counter and ran to the door, shoving the bento in her bag as she went. "I'm going!" she yelled, as she shoved her feet into her shoes.
"Have a nice day at school!" her mom yelled in reply.
With a slight roll of the eyes, Kagome hurried out of the house, grabbing her dusty and much used bicycle as she went. It was a very old bicycle – as bicycles went – but she supposed it must have served some important purpose that had earned it a place to stay at the house, and not an immediate trip to the junkyard.
She sighed a little as she maneuvered her bicycle down the long and steep steps that lead to the shrine. Then she hopped on her bike and pedaled as fast as she could to school, dodging cars with skillful ease on the crowded roads.
Despite the speed that she had been going for, it seemed like everyone was already inside the school building by the time she arrived. She shoved her bike into one of those silly metal bars and locked it.
"Hey Kagome!" Someone said happily.
She looked up, recognizing at once the cheerful voice of Hojo, "Oh, hello Hojo." She replied quietly. Hojo, by all standards, was a very nice guy, who for some reason kept thinking that Kagome was of a delicate nature. He gave her gifts that were mostly health related and asked her on dates to the movies often. Despite what her friends thought, Kagome was not interested in Hojo. Really, he was nice and all, and would probably make a great boyfriend if Kagome ever gave him the chance but Kagome wouldn't because she already had a boyfri- she meant, because she wasn't interested.
Kagome didn't have a boyfriend. She knew that. So why did she think the opposite?
She blinked and looked up, Hojo's comment jolting her out of her thoughts, "Sorry? What did you ask?" she asked as kindly as she could.
He smiled back at her – did nothing faze him? – and repeated, "I asked if you wanted to go see a movie with me this weekend."
Of course. Like she was reciting from a script, Kagome managed a smile back and said, "Oh, I'm really sorry Hojo, but I can't go this weekend. I have to help my grandfather with some work around the shrine."
"That's okay Kagome, I understand," he said with only the faintest traces of sadness, "Family first after all." He reached into his backpack and pulled out a CD, "Here, this is a meditation tape. Great for relieving stress and it really helps keep illness away!"
Kagome took the disk and smiled again, "Thanks Hojo. I… got to go to class." She said, pushing the CD into her bag and hurrying off in the general direction of the school building, giving him a half-hearted wave as she left.
What did Hojo see in her to make him keep asking her out when it was so clearly obvious – to her at least – that she wasn't interested?
She made it to her first class barely on time, and the rest of the school day didn't go much better. She daydreamed her way through most of her classed, plotting ways to get Hojo to stop asking her out.
Maybe she could accept one of his dates and just make a complete fool of herself in front of him? No, that wouldn't work. He would assume she was sick, or that it was his fault, or that perhaps she didn't like wherever he had taken her. Kagome also debated with the idea of being really rude to him all the time, but she really wasn't that kind of person.
It wouldn't do to right out tell him that she wasn't interested, especially because her friends would assume that she had a very good reason, like already having a boyfriend. That would be particularly awful, considering that Eri had been telling Ayame and Yuki for ages that Kagome used to have a violent two-timing boyfriend – one that she never remembered having at all. Why did her friends think that she once had a boyfriend? And this guy was apparently jealous and still getting over his previous girlfriend while still going out with both of them. Kagome would never fall for a guy like that! Totally not her type.
Maybe if she ignored him, Hojo would go away. Because everyone knew that that was how you got rid of problems.
Kagome kept sighing during lunch.
"Hey Kagome?" Yuka said, waving her hand in front of Kagome's face, "Earth to Kagome!"
Kagome looked up, "Oh hi. What were you talking about?" she hadn't been paying any attention. Instead, she had been pondering the Hojo issue, and occasionally picking up a bit of her bento and eating it slowly.
Eri laughed, "You looked like you were in a trance or something! We were asking what you were doing tomorrow, you know- Saturday?"
"Oh," Kagome said, "Nothing. I was just going to be at home I suppose. Probably doing homework. Why?"
Eri slid a brightly colored mall leaflet over the lunch table, "True Kokoro is having a mega-huge sale on Saturday! And if bring your receipt from Wacdonalds, then you get 20% off everything at Lolo's Boutique!"
"Literally the sales of the century!" Ayumi commented cheerfully.
Kagome looked down at the leaflet, it's bright and cheery neon colors burning painfully into her eyes. Well, it was shopping, and she could do with some new clothes… "Okay." She said quietly, "I'll go."
"Yay!" Yuka and Eri cheered.
Ugg… she thought as she walked to her last class, why did I agree to go shopping! I told Hojo I was busy! If he sees me out shopping when I told him I was working at the shrine…
A girl should not have this kind of stress. As Eri said, stress caused gray hairs. Kagome slumped down in her seat by the window just as the bell rang.
Great… history class. The one subject that she wasn't failing. History was okay, but the only reason that she really didn't like this history class in particular was the teacher. Saiseki-sensei was new to the school, and although he was a great teacher, he had… a fan club. A group of giggling girls that could care less about history would follow him around during the break, and would talk constantly during class. They made it almost impossible to focus on the material being taught.
For the past few months, the class had been studying the Feudal Era, which was not a bad subject, and parts of it came quite easily to Kagome. The folk legends of demons and spirits were the best part of class. Kagome probably liked them because of the spiritual influence of living in a shrine. Yeah, that was probably it.
For the duration of the lesson, she stared out the window, trying to simultaneously ignore the giggling fan girls and figure out a solution to the Hojo problem. She was crossing and double crossing her fingers that she simply didn't run into him.
Please God, if you're out there, don't let Hojo see me on Saturday! Please! And I promise to be good or whatever it is that I'm supposed to do… she thought desperately to the slightly cloudy sky outside the window.
The bell rang, its loud echo accompanied by cheers as students happily departed from their classes and head off towards home and clubs.
Kagome picked up her bag and went to the library.
She liked the library.
It was warm and musty, and it smelled of books. The librarian was an old woman, who mostly sat behind her desk, slowly folding hundreds of paper cranes out of colorful paper that she would hang around the book shelves. The tall rows and rows of books created a sort of maze that was difficult to navigate without a good comprehension of the Dewey Decimal System. Round tables and sets of chairs were placed randomly about the large room, upon which fat lamps would radiate giant pools of light.
Kagome sighed deeply as she entered the library, enjoying the feel of peace and quiet. From her bag, she pulled out a small sheet of paper that listed three titles that she wanted to read. They were books of Feudal history, and although they weren't required by the curriculum, she wanted to add them into her essay. She was fascinated by the subject.
Muttering the titles under her breath, she avoided the librarian and instead walked up the aisles, scanning the spines for titles. After ten aisles, and the cooking section – a particularly messy set of shelves – she finally came across the books she needed.
"Let's see…" she murmured, fingering the spines, "Historical Accounts of Demons and Other Kami… no… Feudal Phantasmagoria… definitely not… Ah!" she said happily as she came across her chosen title, and reached high for the book, balancing on her toes. "Nobunaga and – whoaaaaaaggghhhh!" she screamed as she toppled backwards, a small pile of books falling on her head.
Dazed, and rubbing a painful bump on her head, she sat up, pushing the books off her. "Where was it…?" she muttered, searching for the book that she had tried very hard to retrieve.
A particularly old tome, the cover decorated with a simple ink drawing of a jewel and an arrow, caught her eye. She picked it up and held it close to read the kanji.
"The Legend of the Shikon-no-Tama…"