Chapter One

A Friend

Author Notice:

This chapter has been revised.

OOO

Far off, in a land where nothing but green grass and towering cherry blossom trees aligned a cobblestone path, stood two immense towers in the distance. In between the towers was a fortified shrine, one which was believed to enshrine a fierce god.

The warm air was sweetly scented by the trees, their pink petals falling softly onto the pathway before her. How was it possible she was standing there? She stood on the path, observing the scenery, taking in the beauty of an era unfamiliar to her eyes, and yet, she felt a strange familiarity to this world.

"Where am I?"

The serenity of this world amazed the young woman, and she found her gaze drifting up towards the blue cloudless skies. A strange sense of de ja vu weighed heavily on her mind, and although she was sure she never stepped foot in this world, she couldn't help but find it familiar somehow.

"I've been here before…"

But how could that be possible? As the young girl stopped in midstride, she glanced over her shoulder, catching a glimpse of a village in the distance and a prestige Japanese style palace surrounded by fortified walls. From where she stood, the trek towards the village would take a little over an hour to reach.

"This must be Japan."

The sound of laughter urged her attention in front of her, following the sight of a young woman with long tresses of chestnut brown hair, pulled above her in a high ponytail; the woman was accompanied by two small children, their faces very similar to the other, and to confirm her suspicions, they were wearing Japanese styled clothing. From her understanding, they hadn't noticed her there at all, and continued on their way joyously towards a shrine down the path.

A strange wind swept past her, and as she struggled to fight against it, she found herself floating above the land. Her eyes marveled at the sight of a period frozen in time, an era which must have spanned back over a thousand years. Mountains, hills and trees, as far as her eyes could see laid before her endlessly, and the sight was beautiful.

"It shouldn't be so … rural looking."

Rural was an understatement; in fact, the villages, or at least the ones she saw from her place near the clouds, were quite small. From her line of sight, she watched as farmers tilled the soils, pushed their oxen through the fields and harvested rice from the rice patties. Children were frolicking around elatedly and the peasantry life seemed rather ordinary and lively. She expected the people were in the midst of poverty, almost thin to the bone and yet there was a blissfulness about them as they lived through a strenuous and hardworking life.

All in all, it was quite a sight and different from what she knew.

"Something is weird … if this is Japan, Tokyo, then … could it be I'm seeing the past?"

The thought made sense. After all, there weren't any skyscrapers around, vehicles such as cars, trucks or minivans, nor was there an interstate clustered with constant fumes and loud horns beeping one way or the next. Perhaps she really was seeing a world thousands of years ago, or perhaps, she was only dreaming, dreaming of a place through her own imaginings.

As if nothing could possibly hold the peasants back from their chores and jovial attitudes, there was a sudden cause of alarm for the village she looked down upon. What had once been a refreshing scene full of beautiful nature and bountiful prosperity, turned into a scene of great catastrophe.

The air, which had been clear of any toxins, was now clouded by a thick haze of smoke. Fire enveloped the village near the shrine; its flames destroyed many and those within. An army of grotesque creature, ones with horns protruding from their foreheads and fangs quite large poking from their vicious snarls, flooded the settlement, and they were equipped with terrifying weapons.

Right before her eyes, innocents were slaughtered, and blood stained the once pristine earth. Those who were left living were shackled by heavy chains and were kept prisoners to these feral creatures while the less fortunate were murdered aggressively.

"If that's so … then where on earth am I?"

Amidst the flames and chaos, a central figure appeared, standing upon a lofty wooden platform. The individual was dressed in decorative clothing in colors of blue and white. White, long tresses shimmered in the moonlight, but this person's face was difficult to discern through the haze of smoke.

"Besides … who is this?"

In this person's arms was a crying baby, covered by a thick white blanket, its face hidden from view. From her line of sight, squinting through the chaos, she watched as the person stepped back, his back pressing against the railing behind him or her. The horned beasts were ascending the wooden stairs towards him and the crying baby, with possible intentions to kill.

"I know this … or I knew it … a long time ago. Back when good … as in…"

The young woman's thoughts were interrupted when she felt the air around her suddenly become still. Blinking confusedly, she found herself standing upon the bloodstained earth of the ruined village. Expecting one of the foul beasts to walk upon her and harm her, she turned, her arms held up before her, but there was nothing. Nothing moved, nothing except the roaring flames before her.

What was happening?

"You are the chosen daughter…"

Who said that? As she turned to inspect her surroundings, she could not find anyone. The voice was difficult to discern whether or not it was a male or female speaking to her. From the range in which the person spoke to her, he or she was very close by.

"Who is there?"

What did that person mean by the chosen daughter? Unable to pin point the voice's exact location, she started walking in a direction past a few desecrated huts and a line of freshly killed humans. The sight horrified her, but she pressed on regardless.

"Where are you? Show yourself!"

Laughter resonated from all sides, and she immediately stilled, feeling chills run down her back. Such wicked laughter. Who was speaking to her? Daughter?

"Come to me … come to me … daughter…"

Immediately and without any warning, the scene blurred unexpectedly and it was replaced with absolute darkness. She was blinded, blinded by the unseen. Within seconds, she was falling through the void, her scream silenced by fear. As she reached out, hoping to grab onto something within the darkness slowly swallowing her whole, she saw a glimmer of something above her, shining bright like a star.

It fell towards her outstretched hands, its glow warming her as it barely touched her fingertips. From her perspective, it was a small round and pink ball of glistening warmth. As her fingers wrapped themselves around the ball, holding it in the palms of her hand, a bright light emanated from the ball, blinding her suddenly. The mere intensity from the small jewel forced a startled scream from her throat, and as her vision darkened within the void, her body becoming numb, she heard the voice one last time.

"I'll find you daughter of Ka—"

OOO

"Janis! Aren't you awake yet? Hurry down for breakfast!"

The silken blue covers which had been covering the young woman in her deep hours of slumber, suddenly lifted herself from her bed. As she stifled a yawn, she stretched her arms above her before pushing herself up from her bed to stand in front of her large ornate oval mirror hanging off her wall.

Such a strange dream. It had felt so real, so serene at first until it got weird. Then again, Janis always had weird dreams, but this was a first for the young school girl. Perhaps her late-night snacking had to come to an end soon, or else she'd possibly dream of something more morbid and chaotic.

As she looked upon herself in the mirror, dressed in her knee-length blue silken nightgown and barefoot, her golden blonde tresses tangled about her shoulders, Janis sighed. Grasping her round brush on the dresser beside her bed, she slowly unraveled the knots, careful of pulling any strands from her head.

"Daughter of what?" She said aloud.

Whatever it was or was supposed to mean, it was only a dream, something she didn't really bother to remember later anyways. There was simply no need to dwell over such morbid thoughts, she thought.

Sunlight drifted through her window, and as she turned her head away from the mirror, continuously brushing her hair, she stepped over to the oversized window past her bed and pushed the glass open. The fresh breeze of the morning greeted her, and Janis thought she smelled the rose bushes just below her in the garden. For a moment, Janis gazed upon her yard, too big for her liking, but enough to satisfy her rich family.

Her family was blessed to such a life, to go day by day in grandeur daily living, driving expensive foreign cars, and only associating with those of high status lifestyles. Janis couldn't escape her once a year transfers to different countries, what with her father's job, and she was always, most definitely always given the best educations a parent could only dream for their child.

Janis was the only daughter of the household, and currently, she attended a prestigious school in America. Though she was still adjusting to her unstable lifestyle which always seemed to shift too quickly for her liking, she was over all, somewhat okay with it.

While her father was constantly away working, she would stay at home with her mother, a stay at home wife who did nothing more but tend to her garden day in and day out. She was comfortable the most with her mother, assisting her in the gardens, with cooking, and conversation. Her father, however, that was a completely different story.

"Janis!"

She practically through her brush at her bedroom door. Once again, her father was shouting for her to wake up and hurry down for breakfast. Why did he even bother when that was the only form of conversation he normally had with her? The man fueled her irritation; it wasn't simply because he was never home, but because he didn't seem to want to make time for her or her mother. Sure, he paid the bills and kept them living off his money, but other than that, her father was a complete stranger in her family.

"I'm coming!" Janis bellowed back, not at all ashamed of her immodest tone of voice. She didn't care if the maids heard her throw her brush against her door or throw whatever was hand held around her room for that matter.

Since her father was a rather impatient individual, it was clear to Janis he wanted to speak to her of something important, and so she began sorting through her dressers for her clothes that morning.

After adorning a short-sleeved white blouse with a cobalt long sleeved button up blazer over top, accompanied by her gray pleated skirt, she ambled to her mirror once more to check her appearance. If there was even one unsightly thing about her, she would be scolded by the professors.

After fixing her burgundy tie and slipping on her brown slip on shoes, her white socks pulled up to her knees, she smiled at her reflection. Everything seemed fine, and her hair was positively shining, cascaded in soft curls down her back and over her shoulders.

With a tilt of her head, she gave one last smile at her mirror before stepping out of her room. Tapestry after tapestry and beautifully painted porcelain vases were at each side of her down the long and narrow hall, accompanied with beautiful pink and white roses. As she rounded a corner, she descended the red carpeted stairs, smoothing away the ruffles in her skirt on her way.

"Good morning."

The maids smiled, bowing their heads to the young woman as they continued their daily chores around the mansion. Janis wasn't oblivious to their noticeable admiration of her and her family, however, she wasn't unaware of the constant gossip spoken behind her back either.

Eventually she entered into the main living room, where dozens of pristine glass windows aligned the walls, with velvet red curtains complimenting them nicely. The floor was simply ordinary polished wood, void of any dirt or pebble, and as she sauntered through a large archway past the dining room to her right, she saw her father sitting on the cream-colored couch directly ahead, his back facing her.

Upon the polished wooden floor, beneath the expensive glass table, was a large oval-shaped ornate red rug with gold trimming, and in the corner of the living room was a beautiful ivory piano. Across from that was a rather large and expensive flat screen TV, which only her father seemed interested on lazy afternoons.

As she moved further into the room, she positioned herself between the TV and her father, fair-haired man with blue eyes, similar to Janis. Like always, he was dressed in a white button up shirt with black sleek pants, smelling of the usual cologne.

With clenched hands, she waited for whatever it was he needed to say that morning. While she waited, her mother, who was standing adjacent from the pair near the windows, smiled at her daughter. Even the maids who were sauntering by with their brooms and dust pans couldn't help but stare at the sight of the family standing in silence; they must have noticed the tense atmosphere and quickly walked off.

Her father sat there, his eyes not once shifting away from the television in front of him, ignoring his temperamental daughter blocking his view. Ten seconds went by rather slowly, and as Janis impatiently waited, clenching and unclenching her hands irritably and nervously, her father finally shifted his attention to her.

He pinched the bridge of his nose and released a stressed sigh before reclining himself back further into the comfortable cream colored couch. His eyes shifted to his wife, who was hesitantly looking between him and her daughter, and he leaned forward, sitting up most straighter in posture. What he was about to say would no doubt upset her, but it wasn't his decision. "Janis, I'm afraid I have some terrible news…"

Her cerulean eyes narrowed suspiciously. Terrible news?

He continued, taking her silence as a sign to go on. "I'm afraid you'll no longer be attending your school. I've been transferred overseas."

Transferred overseas? Did she hear correctly? Did her father say she was no longer allowed to attend her school? Was he serious? "Huh? Another school transfer?" Janis couldn't believe it. Not again. After six months, she was finally starting to settle in to this place. It was a price she had to suffer because of her family status, and it wasn't fair.

Despite her unintelligent answer, thought he expected it from his daughter, he only nodded. "That's right. Japan again. We've already tented a place in Tokyo … a nice Japanese style house." Noticing his daughter's distraught expression, he continued on. "There's no need to worry. A few years ago, you lived there. Besides, you can speak the language quite fluently."

That was beside the point. "I-I know … but …" She couldn't help but lower her gaze, trying her best to control her irritation. This just wasn't fair. "Why does it have to be now?" She asked. "I hate having to leave my friends!" Her voice grew louder; her tone did not go unnoticed by the maids, her mother or her father.

This happened every single time, at least once a year. Any time there was something that could boost her father's pay check, he would book his entire family out of the country within seconds, regardless of their opinions. They were rich enough as it was, as suffocating as it was day by day. Now she had to abandon her friends once more. The entire cycle warping her life was a complete mess.

"I'm not going! No way! I'm staying right here!"

Not at all surprised by her sudden outburst and refusal to leave home for a limited time overseas, he was able to conceal his anger. Hot tempered and with an abrasive attitude to go along with it, his daughter was not one to keep silent and go along with anything, however he expected her to understand that his obligations to his work was a top priority, especially to support his family.

While his daughter stood there, silently seething, he couldn't help but shake his head. Of course it wasn't the first time Janis spoke out of line, and he realized he and his wife had spoiled her too much as a child. As a member of this family, he expected her to react accordingly and understandingly, but he knew that it was not in her nature to simply abide by such conditions. There would come a day, and he was sure that her tongue would get her into trouble and that day wasn't too far off.

"Listen to me, Janis. Being a family means staying together. Once we're in Japan, you'll make new friends." Now what was so difficult about that? His daughter would still continue her education and it wasn't like she couldn't keep in contact with her school mates here in America.

"That's not the point!" Janis looked to her mother for some sort of response, for some kind of support through all this, but she knew that was impossible. When it came to her husband, she was completely on his side. "Why is it every time dad gets transferred, I'm the one who suffers?"

Beyond provoked, he stood up and glared threateningly at the girl. "Don't talk back to your father like that!" He and Janis shared a long, silenced glare. All the while, her mother tried to calm both her daughter and her husband down. The fire between them was so intense, that she could not stand in between them. "Listen, Janis, we're already going to Japan. It's been decided. So, start packing right now!"

Feeling her anger shift into sudden lament, Janis held back a groan of despair. "This isn't fair!"

OOO

The Omori Middle School bell rang throughout the entire building and parking lot, signaling for all students, who had yet to reach their classrooms, to hurry along for first period. A few of the students, who'd been loitering outside and near their lockers, quickly fled through the halls, some running past their professors before they were marked absent.

The students were dressed in their daily uniforms, the girls adorned in their long-sleeved sailor uniforms with the red scarves tied at their chest and their pleaded green skirt. Ankle white socks were pulled up to their knees and their brown slip on shoes dirt free. The boys on the other hand were dressed in a simple button up black shirts and black pants with matching shoes.

A tall man in his early forties sauntered into one of the classrooms, dressed in a gray button shirt, his small round glasses situated at the edge of his nose. As he carried his belongings to class in a small black satchel, he stood behind his desk, clearing his throat.

Upon noticing his arrival, the entire classroom quieted down, and the students who were standing across the room, quickly walked to their desks, their attention shifted to their professor.

Pleased they quieted down, he straightened his glasses and removed his hardback book from his satchel before setting it onto his desk, along with the rest of his neatly stacked papers. "Class, we have a new transfer student who has just arrived from America. So please make her feel right at home."

At the mentioning of a new transfer student, especially one who traveled overseas, the class immediately perked up, smiling at their classmates excitedly, their breaths hitched in their throats.

As the professor waved the student in, all eyes fell onto the closed door. A second later, it opened, and the figure of a tall slender young girl stepped inside. The students' eyes widened at the sight of the female, standing before them gracefully and almost enchanting.

Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Breathtaking. Words could not describe such a person. Long curled blonde hair, resting below her mid-waist and deep cerulean eyes left them almost mystified. This new girl, foreign in every way in their eyes, greeted them with her unblemished, rosy expression, her lips curling into a soft smile. There was something else about this new girl that definitely stood out amongst the other students; she held herself tall, almost in a regal kind of stance, her hands folded in front of her as she bowed in greeting.

"Hello. My name is Janis Grace. It's a pleasure to meet all of you." Her soft voice greeted. Although appearances could be deceiving, the students were unaware of her current irritation, ready to pounce on the first person who called her out.

One particular student, a young girl with short brown hair and dark eyes, broke free from her staring, and stood up from her desk. "So, do you have any hobbies?" She asked, blushing when the transfer student's eyes fell upon her.

She nodded. "I play piano on most days," Janis admitted.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" A guy in the back asked quite loudly, and in doing so, all the boys laughed. Though the comment was a funny and unexpected, they stared hopefully as if saying, 'please don't' or 'I hope not.'

Janis sweat dropped. Of course, someone had to ask that question. It didn't surprise her. "I'm still single," She laughed, scratching her cheek a bit awkwardly. The boys were definitely eying her up, and had an urge to smack them upside the head, but she refrained from doing so.

Back at her old school, she wasn't necessarily the type to catch a second glance from a boy, not that she really cared; the guys she had encountered in the states were stuck up and only wanted one thing from a girl, and Janis was not that kind of girl.

Yet, here in Japan, it seemed Asians had a fond interest in foreign characteristics, such as blonde hair and blue eyes, which Janis notably had. It was kind of refreshing here in Japan, however she couldn't stop her thoughts from returning to earlier when her father dropped her off at school; it had been such an awkward drive, especially the plane ride. The passengers on board were given an earful, and after, there was merely silence and a fear to open their mouths; Janis had been pissed the entire time, and even the flight attendants had been hesitant to approach the family.

Once introductions were finished, the teacher directed her to her seat in the last section of the desks, four rows back, near the windows overlooking the entrance of the building. Janis was pleased she was seated near an open window, and she leaned back into her chair with a sigh. These desks were a lot simpler than the ones she was used to in the states, but nonetheless, she liked it.

From her peripheral vision, she realized some of the students were still gawking at her, and she couldn't help but groan on the inside. Really? Did they have to keep staring?

"Takemaru?" the teacher called.

A student, who had been ogling Janis since she had first arrived suddenly stood up and raised his hand. "Present!" A dark blush formed on his cheeks when his fellow friends sitting near him laughed.

Nodding, the teacher checked off the name on his list before searching around the room for his next student. Apparently some of the students were not in their correct seats. "Eri?"

"Right here!"

"Meriko?"

"Here! Oh and Takashi is sick today."

The teacher nodded. "Thanks for letting me know. Now then … Ayumi? Are you here?"

An ebony haired girl with dark eyes suddenly turned in her seat, smiling as she raised her hand. She had been whispering to Yuka about something or other. "I'm right here!"

Yuka smiled, waving her hand also. "Same goes for me!"

Once again, the teacher wrote down the names of those that were there and those that were missing. It wasn't until he came upon the last name that he didn't dare glance up. One of his students had a habit of missing. Due to her bad health, she constantly missed school. Apparently she was always a sickly child.

"I'm here!" A familiar feminine voiced called out suddenly. The door to the room flew open, and Kagome Higurashi hurried in, out of breath. "Sorry I'm late!" At least she made it before the bell rang.

Surprised, the teacher congratulated her on her swift recovery. What was it that she suffering from last time? He couldn't quite recall, in fact, she was burdened with many ailments, most of which was a mystery to him. "Please take your seat, Higurashi."

Relieved she was finally back in class and on time too, she hurried to her desk, her face flushing in embarrassment when some of the students found her arrival quite funny. Upon finally making it to her seat, which was coincidentally behind the former transfer student, too busy to take notice as she was silently staring off into the sky, the priestess sat down and released a heavy sigh. Kagome was thankful to be back, but she knew that her stay in the modern era would not last; she knew a certain half demon impatiently awaited for her return soon, so that meant she'd have to stock up on more supplies and more books to study while on her adventure in the Feudal Era.

Once everyone quieted down, the teacher went about writing on the chalk board. "We left off in the year 1543. During that time, the Portuguese were the first to introduce guns to Japan. It's important to understand that the Sengoku period was a time of constant warfare. This was around the time that Oda Nobunaga grew in power…"

While she'd been distracted by the birds outside the window, Janis realized the class had already begun, and somewhat nervously, she shifted through her backpack for her book. To her dismay, it was not there. 'Oh no … I forgot it at home…'

Awkwardly, she sat there, her attention focused entirely on the professor. Maybe if he didn't notice her book was missing, he wouldn't her out on it in front of the entire class. Janis sighed. Like that would happen.

For the longest moments during the lecture, her attention was focused on the professor and the chalkboard which he continuously scribbled upon, and she was trying her best to understand what he was talking about; in all honesty, Janis wasn't too familiar with Japanese history.

It wasn't until a few seconds later someone was tapping her shoulder very lightly, and Janis felt her eyebrow twitch suddenly, wondering who it was and what the person wanted. As she glanced over her shoulder, she was surprised to see it was a pretty and petite girl with dark eyes and long black hair looking back at her.

In a hushed whisper, Kagome offered her book, much to Janis's surprise. When she had been listening to the lecture, she couldn't help but notice the foreign girl seated in front of her without a book. "Here. You can borrow mine. I don't need it. Page 125."

Janis took it without question, smiling at her appreciatively before turning back in her seat and turning the pages to the desired page. That was quite a shock; she didn't imagine someone, on her first day, treat her kindly. It was very thoughtful of the girl. She turned back in her seat and smiled at Kagome once more. "Thank you. I really appreciate it."

Kagome waved it off. "Don't mention it."

Hearing hushed whispers within his classroom, the professor turned his sights to Higurashi in the back of the class, who was leaned over in her desk murmuring to the new girl. A cough escaped him, and when he met the raven-haired girl's eyes, he waved his book at her. "Higurashi, since you are so insistent on talking, why not explain to me this simple question?"

Suddenly flustered, she stood up from her seat, her classmates smiling at her embarrassment. "Uh…" Her brown eyes settled onto the board, and she briefly skimmed over the notes.

"How is Oda Nobunaga remembered to this very day?" He asked, knowing full well the students had yet to learn any of this information, and he doubted they took the time to research out of class.

(This below never happened in the anime or manga. I'm making it up. Lol)

If Kagome remembered correctly, she and her friends had met and aided the infamous man not long ago during their journey. To be honest, he wasn't as great as she has first thought; actually, he was quite rude and uptight, not to mention paranoid. "He was one of the most brutal figures of the Sengoku period, and he was the first of three unifiers during that era."

He nodded. "Name those other two unifiers."

"Oda Nobunaga was the first then there was Toyotomi Hideyoshi who was also known as Hashiba Hideyoshi, and then there was Tokugawa Ieyasu." Kagome explained thoughtfully. She was sure she had the names right.

Taken aback by her quick response, the professor fixed his glasses and flipped through his little notebook. "What led to his death?"

"When he was on his way to complete his conquest and unification of Japan, one of his generals, Akechi, forced Oda Nobunaga into suicide. That was in Kyoto." She answered. Noticing her proffessor's mouth open to ask another question, Kagome beat him to it. "Akechi wanted to declare himself master over Nobunaga's domains because he was jealous and power hungry; that's why he acted humbly to Nobunaga and talked him into suicide. But he didn't get very far because he was defeated by Hideyoshi." Yeah, Kagome knew she was right. Heck, she experienced the whole thing up front. At first the lord had wanted to kill her because of her odd clothing. If it wasn't for Miroku, she probably wouldn't be where she was today.

Kagome felt the stares from everyone in class, and she sweat dropped. A blush stained her cheeks and she quickly sat down. 'It's a good thing we're talking about the Feudal Era, or else I wouldn't have been able to answer.'

Awestruck by her answer, the teacher nodded vigorously, smiling from ear to ear. The answer was correct, and for once, he was proud of his student. It wasn't just the teacher that was astonished, in fact, so was the entire class.

Clearing his throat, he went on about the lecture, and as Kagome sat there day dreaming, she couldn't help but look at the girl seated in front of her, the one with the long, beautiful blonde hair, not to mention her different uniform; it had more color to it than her sailor one.

Kagome guessed she transferred overseas, possibly from the states, but she couldn't be sure where. She'd seen people with that same hair color on TV, but to actually see it in person was amazing. For a transfer student, she didn't look at all nervous or shy; actually, she seemed quite at ease. The girl before was seated in a manner quite regally. Her head was held high and her shoulders weren't drooped like most of the other teenagers her age. This girl was actually paying attention; she flipped through the book and wrote the notes as the teacher continued the discussion.

OOO

After what seemed like forever, Janis relaxed herself into her chair and laid her head into her arms above the desk. A heavy sigh escaped her. Sure the lecture was boring, but in a way, the Warring States Era seemed rather interesting. While she didn't understand the time period, always used to calculating harsh problems and equations, and solving errors in many readings and doing analyses for them, Janis was completely clueless when it came to ancient Japan.

"So, should we tell Hojo she already has a boyfriend?" A girl asked from beside her.

"I'm not sure. It might break that cheerful enthusiasm of his…" Another replied.

"Yeah, but we can't just lie every time he asks about Kagome…" A third feminine voice explained.

Overhearing the girls' conversation, Janis couldn't help but glance over to her right. Two girls had pulled their chairs over to one desk where a girl with black curly hair was seated; they seemed trouble and a little baffled. From what Janis could tell, they were talking about the Higurashi girl who was standing at the entry way to the classroom talking with a tall brown haired boy.

Yuka sighed. "I mean, just look at those two." She pointed towards entrance of the room, where both Hojo and Kagome conversed. "If only Kagome would get over that boyfriend of hers and date a reliable guy like him…"

"I know what you mean…" Eri frowned. "That bad boy boyfriend of hers is what's separating those two! Sheesh, the signs are right there in front of her, and yet she walks on by, believing she's actually happy."

Realizing they were being watched, the three girls, friends of Kagome Higurashi, turned their curious eyes to the blonde-haired girl, who sat with her head in her arms, watching them somewhat indifferently. The gaze, in their opinion felt somewhat annoyed, but they didn't want to assume anything.

Ayumi, who wasn't at all bothered by Janis's staring, waved at the blonde smiling. "Hey Janis, want to come over here?"

Yuka nodded. "Yeah. There's plenty of room," She offered an empty chair beside her.

Blinking, Janis realized she had been staring off into space, and while she heard the girls talking to her, she hadn't meant to give them any weird looks. Instead, she sat up and shook her head, smiling slightly, hoping they weren't put off by her refusal. "No thank you."

Not at all bothered, they turned their attention back to Hojo and Kagome, a conversation which Janis noticed they seemed so caught up in. From the looks of it, Hojo was probably a popular guy here in middle school and Janis guessed Kagome wasn't far from popularity either since he seemed so interested.

Fifteen minutes flew by quickly, and Kagome Higurashi finally returned to her seat, Hojo disappearing from the class moments later. From what Janis heard of the gossip from her three friends, Hojo had asked Kagome to go on a date with her this Saturday, but she had turned him down politely.

As she settled back into her seat, gathering her notebook, pencils and erase and stuffing them into her backpack, she was suddenly distracted when a voice called out to her. Looking up, she saw it was the new girl, turned completely in her seat smiling at her. "Yes?"

Janis placed the book back onto her desk, much to Kagome's sudden surprise. "Thank you for allowing me to borrow your text book. I apologize if it was an inconvenience for you, Higurashi."

In response to this, Kagome shook her head. "Not at all! Really. Don't mention it," She explained before staring into her blue eyes. "It's not easy being a transfer student."

Janis shrugged. "I'm used to it…"

"Did you come from overseas?" Kagome couldn't help but ask. Honestly, she resembled many of the young women she'd seen on television.

Janis nodded. "Yes. America to be exact. I used to live here three years ago, but my dad got transferred time and time again…"

Kagome frowned. "That must be hard on you…" Now she felt a bit embarrassed. She didn't even know her name yet.

Noticing her discomfort and confusion, the blonde-haired girl smiled at her. "Janis. Janis Grace, but you can call me by my first name."

Pleased that she finally revealed her name, Kagome nodded. "Nice to meet you. My name is Kagome Higurashi, but you can just call me Kagome." She smiled.

She smiled at her fellow classmate. At least she met a decent person at school. But, then again, she wondered if Kagome was reliable. Back in America, she was used to those that stabbed her in the back, and lied about their friendship. Was Kagome different? Or was she like the rest of the world? Only time could tell, and Janis knew she would learn the answer to that question soon.