Perhaps it wasn't so much that Kagome was sick as it was that she wanted so desperately to avoid certain people back in
the feudal era that she physically came up with a reason to do so. Her mother started to get worried when, after a visit from
an irritated and worried Inuyasha, her daughter's fever jumped a degree and a half. It wasn't long before they had to rush
her to the hospital. Kagome was delirious with fever and afraid, calling out at all hours of the night for help from her mother
or Sota or Inuyasha.
She saw terrible visions at night of creatures with bone-white faces, all attempting to get closer. Their teeth would clack
and their black eyes would stare at her unceasingly. Their ki sent goosebumps all over her skin.
Desperate, she rolled out of the bed, swallowing fearfully. She grabbed the sutras her grandfather had left 'to protect
her from evil spirits, just in case' from the bedside table. One at a time, she set them in a circle on the floor around her
bed, putting her ki into them to make sure they'd work. They did, but in the morning, they were gone. She used the last of
the sutras to repeat it, and again they were gone when morning came. Her grandfather readily supplied her with more upon request
and she set them up again. The old man had apparently mentioned their 'religion' to the doctors, for the next morning, the
sutras were still there, and remained so.
Her fever gradually got worse. Her 'visions', that she wasn't entirely convince were mere visions anymore, got worse too.
She was terrified that the creatures would get to her, and thus her family, so she did the only thing she could to protect
them. She told them to leave, and not to come back.
"Just go!" she cried, curling in on herself with the fever-induced pain. Oh, gods it hurt. Why did it hurt her so badly?
"I don't want you here." It broke her heart to say the words, but as she watched her mother leave, tears coursing down her
cheeks silently, she felt immense relief. The tiny priestess did this time and time again, sending them away, until eventually,
the hospital staff were forced to take measures.
"I'm sorry," the doctor said in a metallic tone, armed with pen and clipboard. "Until her health improves, we cannot allow
any outside influence." His words took on a sympathetic tone, near the end, and he shook his head. "We'll keep you updated,"
he added, and ignored momma Higurashi's protests that they were her family.
Kagome writhed in the darkness, watching as beasts slipped in through the window. Instinctively, her miko powers would
flare and they turned to dust, even before they were stopped from nearing her by the barrier. Every time, it left her whimpering
and curled into a ball, crying so hard her head hurt and she ceased to tell the difference between the dreams and the waking
A boy came to her finally, hovering over her bed, but kept away by the shield that was gradually weakening as the days
went by. He tapped experimentally at the pink barrier, not noticing her state of consciousness. Finally, he looked up at her
and opened his mouth as if to say something, but stopped when he saw she was awake. They lapsed into silence, and she looked
back up at him, understanding in a moment of pure, fearful clarity exactly what he was. "I can't die," she whispered desperately.
"Of course not," he replied, frowning as if she shouldn't be able to see him. "I'm here to make sure you don't."
Hope fluttered in her chest for a brief moment, but was dashed by confusion. "Who are you?" she murmured, reaching up to
wipe the sweat from her brow. But there was no sweat, she realized. No, she was just burning up from the inside out, dry and
horribly blistered without blemishes. If she drank water, she was sure the flame would flicker and feel worse; she didn't
He hesitated, looking unwilling to answer. "I'm a shinigami," he said finally, but she'd already figured as much.
Kagome sighed and closed her eyes. "You remind me of winter, Shinigami-san," she whispered. "Cold and rigid, yet melted
by a flame, I bet." Just let me die. I can't die. But I want to.
The barrier sputtered and died, and he stepped forward, one hand touching her forehead gently. "Don't worry," he replied,
even as a cool sensation slipped into her head. "You won't die."
"Inuyasha!" Kagome cried, and as soon as his wind scar was released, she let loose an arrow as planned. Naraku screamed
with fury and agony as he turned to dust. And just like that, it was done. Just like that, it was over, and they all stood
in disbelieving silence, panting and shivering as their muscles were drained of adrenaline. Miroku dropped to his knees, and
his new friend Kohaku - both bonded by their love and loss of Sango - stumbled to his side, the last living taijya of his
Shippo shuddered from his place on Kagome's shoulder, and Myoga gaped silently. Sesshomaru abruptly turned away and walked
the distance to reach Kagome's side, where she had put up a shield around Rin and Aa-Un behind her. She wearily let the shield
fall and he inclined his head in thanks before taking up the two-headed dragon's reigns and motioning for Jaken to come. Together,
he and his group disappeared, their involvement with the Inu-tachi over with.
Eventually, Inuyasha urged them to return to the village, having been attacked soon after Kagome returned from the future.
She was approached by both Inuyasha and Koga, given the jewel shards and with a burst of purifying power, she'd fused them
back together again. When she tried to hand it to Inuyasha, he scoffed and shook his head.
"Nah. I don't need it, Kagome," he said with a huff. "You take it and do whatever you want with it."
"Mutt's right," Koga added, grabbing up her hands with a grin. "And then you can come be my woman."
"Oi! Back the fuck off, mangy wolf!" Inuyasha shouted, shoving his way between the miko and the ookami prince.
And that was what brought them here, all standing around in the clearing of the well, knowing that afterward, she'd have
to return home. She clasped the Shikon no Tama in both hands, starting to tear up. However, she couldn't say goodbye. Not
yet. Not ever. So instead, the miko let her eyes slide closed.
I wish the Jewel to disappear and never exist again; to leave us all to our peace and our futures. No sooner had
the thought passed her mind than the clearing lit brightly and when the light faded, she was gone.
Kagome had perhaps instinctively known that the jewel would twist her wish, so when she woke up to find a blue sky above
her, green grass beneath her and surrounded by untainted air, she wasn't as surprised as she thought she should be. Nor was
she surprised by the hard lump in her closed fist. She lifted her hand and stared at the Shikon no Tama, a sense of understanding
dawning. She was here with the jewel because she was a part of it. They were one, fused forever, even if they chose to take
She let her fist drop back to the earth and resumed staring up at the cloudless sky.
A little while later - she didn't know how long - she felt something prickle on the edges of her senses. Something dangerous
and twisted was coming for her and the shikon. With a tired little sigh, she let a barrier rise around her, creating an opalescent
semi-circle over the little hilltop. Precious seconds later, something struck the barrier, and Kagome continued to stare up
at the sky, unhurried. Soon enough, the banging on her shield faded to the back of her mind as she thought of Inuyasha. His
face came to mind, and she smiled.
The banging stopped, but then started again, on the other side of her. She turned her head to the side and saw the bone-faced
creature attempting to shatter the pure energy keeping it away from her. She felt a little sad in that moment, that maybe
death wasn't what it deserved, but then the sadness was replaced by worry that it might hurt someone. A little burst of energy
and she'd purified it. Before it disappeared completely, a man stood there, smiling wearily at her in thanks.
The image would stay in her mind for years to come.
Hitsugaya had been sent to investigate some martyr that had appeared out of nowhere and went around, dissolving hollows
whenever they came too close. The rumors circulated around Akatsuki, but the people there were too tight-lipped so no one
knew where the woman was. The only way they got any information at all was because of people who somehow managed to make it
through the area and into less hostile districts.
So here he was, walking around in tattered clothes - because Matsumoto thought it'd be cute and the sotaicho agreed to
him being undercover - as he searched the outskirts of a city in the district most notably known for it's abundance of hollows.
The place was very nearly deserted, except for a brave few, so he had no idea why a potential shinigami would want to live
Unless they were as crazy as Kenpachi and loved to fight.
"Oh, sweety!" a voice suddenly spoke up and his arm was snagged before he could take another step. "Don't you know you
shouldn't wander around here?"
The black-haired woman tucked some hair behind her ear as she pulled him quickly through the forest bordering the road
and to a small cottage. A few people were scattered about, shooting each other distrustful looks borne from living too long
in a life-threatening area. The woman pulled him into the cottage, pausing only to gently push a drunk out, and shut the door.
As soon as the cool darkness surrounded them, lit only from the sunlight coming in through the window to his left, the cracks
in the door and a few candles scattered about, she urged him to sit on a stool by a small table in the corner of the room.
She bustled about the room and it took him a moment to realize she was making him food. As soon as he figured this out,
he jumped to his feet, wide-eyed, and grabbed her wrist to stop her. Blue eyes lifted with a blink. "Huh?"
"Don't waste your food on me," he said softly, a little uncomfortable.
She laughed suddenly, bizarrely, and grinned. "I sometimes forget that most people don't need to eat here," she said sheepishly.
"I'm sorry. Please, have a seat and I'll take a look at you, honey."
Hitsugaya's brow wrinkled indignantly and he pulled himself up to his full height, ready to deny any similarities between
himself and a mere child, but she gave him a look and his breath left him in a rush. Smiling gently at him, she turned him
around and gave him a gentle push. Without entirely realizing how it happened, he was sitting back down on the stool, idly
hooking his feet on the rungs while he watched her continue to prepare the food.
Shame upon shame, as he glimpsed the rather delightful looking watermelon, his stomach growled. His fervent hopes that
she hadn't heard were dashed when the woman turned and lifted a brow at him. "You have reiki."
He frowned at the odd term. "Reiatsu, and yes," the boy answered, and she smiled and poked his nose as she set a piece
of watermelon on a plate beside him on the table. Stunned, he only stared at her as she got herself a piece and sat on a stool
across from him. She had just... No... He wasn't a child! He opened his mouth to reprimand her like he would one of his subordinates.
"What's your name?" she interrupted, smiling at him. "I'm Kagome."
"Hitsugaya-tai-er-san," he said, but by her raised brow he knew she'd caught the slipup. His face heated and he looked
away, grumbling under his breath. Finally picking up the delicious looking fruit, he ate quietly, eyes roving over the room.
It was sparsely furnished, with only a little bedroll leaning against the corner, three stools, a table and a wash-basin.
Along the walls were about five shelves, most stocked with medical supplies though the most notable was tiny and held nothing
but a small jar filled to the brim with water. And floating in the middle of the water was a round, pure pink gem the likes
of which he'd never seen before. It seemed to call to him, and he was about to get up to go closer when a small hand covered
his own and he dragged his gaze down to meet the cool eyes of this enigmatic woman.
"He is the Shikon no Tama," she said quietly, eyes gazing inward. "My opposite."
"'He'?" he asked, confused.
Rather than clarifying, she shook her head and let go of his hand, leaning back. "You should return to the Seireitei, Hitsugaya
taicho," she advised. "I will not return with you; I am needed more here, with these people. Hollows attack them every day,
and I'm always busy saving lives. Perhaps rather than worrying so much about the living world that you neglect your own, you
should turn some of your forces here, where they are needed."
He was stunned by her quiet concern, and the worried glance she darted toward the door, as if a hollow would suddenly pop
up and start devouring everyone outside the cottage. Hesitantly, he reached forward and touched her hand, then picked it up
and looked down at the callouses. She worked harder than even he did, though granted, he spent the majority of his days doing
paperwork behind a desk. "I'll see what I can do," he agreed quietly. When he looked up, the brilliant smile she was giving
him was enough to take his breath away.
Oh yes. He would do anything he could to help.