Chapter Five

A young Kagome giggled childishly from her hiding spot as she watched her grandfather running around, yelling her name as he held up a pair of red hakamas and a white haori. She hated the traditional robes and avoided them whenever she could.

"You know, it's not very nice tormenting your ojii-san like that, Kagome-chan." She nearly jumped out of her skin. Not many were able to sneak up on her. She could usually tell when someone was behind her, but her father was the only exception. "Tou-san!"

He chuckled at her expression as he smoothly lifted the young girl into his arms. She instantly threw her tiny arms around his neck, unwilling to let go.

"Why are you hiding from ojii-san?" Kagome stuck her tongue out and made a disgusted face. "I don't like those robes."

"Why not, your obaa-san took pride in those," he asked, brushing the bangs out of his daughter's eyes.

"I don't wanna be obaa-sama," she stubbornly said, crossing her arms.

At that he raised an eyebrow, genuinely curious. She usually loved hearing tales about his mother. "Oh, why not?"

"Because silly, I'm Kagome," She stated as if it were the most obvious fact in the world, bringing a smile to his face.

Amused with her answer, he said, "Alright then, Kagome. I'm working on the lanterns for Obon. Would you like to help me?"

"Okay, as long as I don't have to wear those robes."

He outright laughed at that. She was something else. Smothering his laughter, he managed to say, "Of course sweetheart."

A young Bon puffed out his chest proudly, causing an equally young Kagome to giggle. He ignored her though and continued to boast. "One day I'm going to inherit this temple. Just like you with the shrine."

Kagome smiled brightly and eagerly nodded her head. "That's what gramps says. I'm going to be an exorcist, like my tou-san and obaa-sama."

"Oh wow, that's so cool Kagome-chan," Bon exclaimed, a large smile on his face.

She nodded her head enthusiastically and said, "Yep. I'm going to attend True Cross."

"Lucky," Bon mumbled, crossing his arms as he sulked. Though he was excited to train to become a monk like his father, no one in the family was an official exorcist.

Kagome gazed impassively at the grave in front of her. Her father's name was freshly etched on the marker, just besides her grandmother's. Her grandfather and mother's names were marked in red. There was incense, flowers, and business cards around it. Over the past couple of days' various exorcists had dropped by, paying their respects and offering their support.

She wished that they would stop dropping by.

She hated what they stood for, what they had taken away from her.

Kagome groaned into her hands. Her head was throbbing and by the look on Rin's face, it seemed he wasn't faring any better. Whatever they had drank last night had definitely not been juice. She wouldn't be surprised if that crazy exorcist had mixed up her alcohol with their drinks.

It didn't help that she had, had the weirdest dream last night. She couldn't actually remember what it was about, which only irritated her more.

"Mornin' Rin-kun, Kagome-san," Renzo happily greeted the pair with a bright smile. Kagome disliked how chipper he seemed, after all hadn't he drank the same juice as them. "Did you two get back to your room alright?"

"…don't remember," Rin admitted, looking surprised as the pink haired boy sat down in front of him.

Kagome reluctantly lifted her head and said, "I made sure he got there."

"Hey, you sure it's okay for you to be chatting with me so casually," Rin suspiciously inquired, rudely pointing his chopsticks at him.

"Well yeah," the pink haired boy casually replied, before he was suddenly attacked.

Kagome tensed for a moment, but saw that it was only a family affair. Smiling to herself she focused back on her breakfast, ignoring everyone around her. She only bothered to look up when she was introduced.

"These are my friends, Okumura Rin and," he paused awkwardly when he realized he did not have her family name. "And, err…Kagome-san."

Kagome replied with a polite greeting in return, not bothering to supply her surname. It wasn't like she was trying to keep it a secret, they would all find out eventually. But she'd rather not deal with what it would bring.

"Hey, you guys wanna take a dip in the pool later? We got the whole day off today," Renzo excitedly exclaimed before leering perversely at Kagome. "Bet you would look great in a bikini."

She rolled her eyes at him but otherwise didn't comment. She attempted to go back to ignoring everyone until Rin was suddenly lifted up out of his seat. The half demon was being dragged away for training.

Renzo shrugged his shoulders and turned to grin at Kagome as he said, "What about you? Wanna go swimming?"

"I think I'll pass," she replied as she stood up. Finished with breakfast, she decided to explore a bit more.

Kagome hadn't meant to eavesdrop. She really hadn't. But she had of course gotten lost on the ryokan's large grounds and ended up stumbling upon Rin's confrontation with the shortest monk. And before she knew it (damn her natural curiosity), she was standing next to said monk, watching Rin take off.

"You know for the son of Satan, he's a pretty goofy guy," Kagome breezily said, her gaze trailing the half-demon's retreating form.

Konekomaru jumped in surprise at her words, nearly dropping his flowers. "How can you say that, aren't you scared?"

"Not really," She replied with a shrug of her shoulders. Rin was dangerous, but not to them at least not intentionally.

Konekomaru lost his cool at her blasé answer and angrily said, "Well you didn't lose family during that night!"

Instead of shouting back, like he had expected, she laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. Giving it a reassuring squeeze, she quietly said, "Everyone lost someone that night."

The look she was giving him, made him want to ask but he held back. Instead he turned his attention back to his family's headstone. Though he did mumble out a small apology.

"Don't apologize," Kagome fiercely said, as she looked on at the graves alongside him. "You've been through a lot….eh, sorry but what was your name again?"

"Miwa Konekomaru," he immediately answered.

Nodding her head, Kagome turned her attention back to the graves. Once she saw the names, she smiled sadly at the smaller boy. "Visiting your parents?"

He dourly nodded his head, and placed the flowers on the grave before kneeling down. He was surprised to see Kagome follow the action as she bowed in respect.

"I could say a prayer if you'd like," she gently offered. At his questioning look, she elaborated, "I was raised on a shrine. I guess you could say I'm a priestess."

"Okay," he quietly replied. Nodding her head, Kagome recited the same prayer she had at her father's grave before she left the shrine.

"Thank you for that, Kagome-san," Konekomaru murmured, looking up from the grave to gaze at the taller girl. She was an interesting if somewhat mysterious person and he wondered what she would bring to their class. And if her presence would bring good or bad fortune.

After parting ways, Kagome somehow ended up observing Rin's training. And though Shura's attention was focused on the half demon, she was sure that the older exorcist was still keeping a close eye on her. Which was probably why she was allowed to stay.

That didn't deter Kagome's good mood though. It was nice, seeing Rin train so hard. He reminded her a lot of InuYasha, stubborn and determined. He would succeed, she could feel it.

But after another failed attempt, she decided to offer him some advice. "I used to have a similar issue, Rin-kun."

He and Shura looked at her curiously, though the later hid it better. Kagome always seemed so poised, it was hard to imagine her bumbling with her abilities like him and so he asked, "Really, what did you do about it?"

"Visualize what you want your flames to do. Remember, they're an extension of you like your tail," she answered in a way she hoped he would be able to pick up.

Nodding his head, he settled in a meditative stance. He cried out in joy when he finally succeeded, lifting Kuro high in the air in excitement. He elicited a laugh out of Kagome and an exaggerated sigh from Shura.