In Between Here And There
An Inuyasha Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah
Written April 2nd 2003 for Kristine Batey’s Hero in the 21st Century Fanfic Challenge. Kristine passed away 18 June 2005 at the age of 53.
Note: “Pull the other one.” [UK] Exclam. ‘You are joking aren't you?’ Used to express a suspicion that one is being tricked or teased. E.g."I drove round the corner and there was a pink elephant in the middle of the road." "Yeah sure, pull the other one!"
Here is the prompt we were given:
Her mother was still giving her a strange look. "He's out by the shrine
office. That broken panel in the door finally fell out."
Kagome cautiously sipped her tea. She hadn't known about the broken panel.
"Have him tape some cardboard over it for the time being," she said. "I'll
ask Inuyasha to take care of it."
Her mother's eyebrow shot up. "Well, I never thought I'd hear that coming
from our no-nonsense Kagome," she said cryptically. "Although I think it
would be more practical to call a carpenter. Honey, please get dressed. I
need you to drop off Souta."
Kagome was wrenched from her blissfully sound sleep by nausea sometime in the wee hours of the morning. All she could think was ‘Puke’ and ‘Bathroom, now!’ She stumbled in the darkness for the door automatically as one does in an emergency. She walked straight into a wall.
Kagome bounced back and grasped her nose in shock. ‘No blood. Good. Puke. Bathroom, now!’ Squinting in the darkness she saw the glow of the nightlight in the bathroom and made it just in time. When she was sure she was done being sick, Kagome washed her face and hands and stared sleepily into the mirror.
“Great… I feel like hell and I look like it too,” she mumbled, pulling at the bags under her eyes. She squinted again and held her breath. What was she wearing, a tee shirt? An old, sort of smelly tee shirt at that… And her face looked thinner or maybe longer than it should. The towels were different but they weren’t new. She stared at the nightlight, the same stupid seashell nightlight that had been there since she was just a little kid… Something was wrong. Maybe she had hit her head when she was on the last shard chase and had forgotten things…
“Kagome, daijoubu?” came a smooth, tired, yet friendly voice from the door she had neglected to close.
Her scream made him jump a foot into the air.
“What what what?!” he shouted in a panic.
In a moment her mother had appeared, looking frazzled and frightened. She stood behind the red-haired stranger and stared at her. “Kagome-chan, what’s wrong!?”
“WHY IS THERE A WEIRD MAN IN OUR HOUSE!?” she cried and pointed, her index finger shaking with a mixture of rage and fear.
“Kagome, honey, it’s ok, it’s me…” Koinu stepped forward and Kagome stepped back.
“You stay away from me, you…”
Mrs. Higurashi exchanged looks with him and gently pushed him aside. “Kagome-chan it’s all right. Come on into my room…” she took her daughter by the shoulder and walked her into her bedroom. Kagome sat on the edge of the bed and wrung her hands.
“Mama, where did I get this dirty old tee shirt?” she asked in a dazed voice. Mrs. Higurashi took a deep breath.
“What do you mean? That’s mine,” Koinu said quickly.
“And just who are you?!” Kagome barked back.
“Wait.” Mrs. Higurashi touched his chest in warning. “Even I can see that something is wrong here, Koinu. Don’t say anything to upset her, please.”
Kagome let her eyes wander around the room. It was the same room, wasn’t it? There was nothing different like there had been in the bathroom, was there? There was a television set that looked like it came from a space ship on top of the dresser and her mother’s short hair was flecked with grey. Her breath came quicker and her thoughts raced. Maybe she was being mind controlled by Naraku… Maybe she was having a nightmare… Either way, there was only one person she could think of to turn to.
As her mother and this Puppy person were discussing her state, Kagome made up her mind. She jumped up off the bed and pushed past them. She thudded down the stairs and rounded the corner to the back door and ran smack into something tall and solid.
“Woah, Nee-chan. The ice cream and pickles aren’t going anywhere…” Souta grinned, taking a spoon out of his mouth. “Well, maybe the ice cream, heh.”
Kagome stuttered, “S-s-souta?”
“You’re up late too, eh, Nee-chan?”
“Souta!” Koinu called from the top of the stairs. “Stop her! Something’s wrong!”
He furrowed his brows. When his brother-in-law shouted like that he knew he was telling the truth. Souta blocked her path and narrowed his eyes. Koinu thudded down the stairs.
“Let me go!” Kagome cried. “You’re the something wrong!”
“Hmmm…” the monk mused. “Hey, could you hang on to her for a second?” he asked. His brother obeyed him, trying to reassure the struggling woman that everything was fine. Souta put his ice cream bowl down, found a loose 3X5 card and hastily scribbled something on it. “This should do,” he said and slapped it on his sister’s forehead. She slumped in Koinu’s arms.
“What did you do to her?!” Koinu yelled as he scooped her up.
“Well, I calmed her down for a start. Let’s get her back in bed, shall we?” he went back and picked up his bowl of ice cream before following Koinu and his mother up the stairs.
shit!” Kagome said. "He's here? I thought he wasn't taking morning
classes. Dammit," she said. She began rummaging through the kitchen
drawers. "Have you seen a screwdriver? The only way to start the damn truck
is to hit the starter with a screwdriver." She glanced out the kitchen
window to where her husband's beloved Toyota pickup sat in the
courtyard—but the truck wasn't there. Kagome frowned. "I thought he said he
was going to leave it!" she said. "I'm sorry, Mama, I can't drop him off. I
don't have the truck."
Mama Higurashi was staring at her daughter as though Kagome's head were on
fire. "Kagome," she said, "are you all right?"
Her mother stood perhaps two paces from her. Kagome stared at the whole package. The slippers, the skirt, was it a size 8? ‘Couldn’t be!’ Kagome thought. ‘Mama hasn’t worn an 8 since two thousand and…’
Kagome felt her heart leap into her throat. Suddenly it seemed as if she was looking through a tunnel. The room, the nightgown, her mother’s hair, the truck… Everything added up to one very surreal conclusion. Kagome ran a hand over her belly and swallowed deep.
“Mama, how old am I?” she asked in a very soft, strange tone.
“Kagome, you’re starting to frighten your mama…”
“Please! Humor me, Mama. How old am I?”
“Sixteen,” she answered, he voice shaking with worry.
“I’m ok, Mama. Just a little out of it…” Kagome turned and opened the back door. “I’ll be back…” she said and ran towards the well shrine.
When she climbed out, amazed that her 16 year old body was in such good shape, she nearly fell back down. Waiting for her, peering into her brown eyes were a pair of large golden ones.
“It’s about damn time, Onna!” he snarled.
“Inuyasha!” she chimed and threw her arms around his neck. Kagome laughed and played with his ears, oblivious to the arrival of the others in their party. “Guys!” she sang again and leapt at each of them. “Oh, I’m so glad to see you!”
“Kagome-sama is certainly genki today,” Miroku grinned. His roving hand was only just thwarted by the ever-vigilant Sango.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Inuyasha snarled, a deep blush covering his cheeks.
“Nothing! Not a damn thing!” she laughed and cuddled Shippou. “I’m 16 years old, I’m not married, not pregnant and you’re still…” she gasped. ‘He’s still alive. The old Inuyasha. The mean, violent, rude, self-centered jerk that I loved. He’s alive.’ Tears came to her eyes.
Inuyasha put his clawed hand out. “Ka-kagome… Stop that…”
“Houshi-sama, what’s wrong?” Sango asked as she noticed the dark look that crossed the monk’s face.
“Something is not right here. That is not our Kagome-sama.”
“What?!” Shippou cried and looked up at Kagome in fear.
“What?” she echoed and turned around. “I am Kagome… Just…” Her heart rose into her throat once more. ‘I can warn them. He doesn’t have to die…’
“Forgive me, Kagome-sama,” Miroku closed his eyes and took a thin piece of paper from his robes. “May this ofuda guide you,” he said and struck out quickly with his cursed hand. The paper stuck to her forehead and she crumpled to the ground.
“Miroku~!” Inuyasha shouted as he ran and scooped her up into his arms. “What the hell did you do to her!?”
“She’s fine, Inuyasha. I believe that her soul was not in its proper place.”
“Nah?” the hanyou cocked his head to the side and waited for an explanation.
“Nee-chan’s soul doesn’t feel right.”
Koinu folded his arms and squinted at Souta.
The monk blinked. “Dame desu ka?”
“No, that’s not good enough,” Koinu barked. “What the hell did you do to her and why?”
Souta took a deep breath. “She has a certain vibration. Anyone with some amount of spiritual power gives off something like an aura. Kagome Nee-chan’s is… it’s like it’s a certain color or smell or intensity that’s always the same.”
“My nose works better than yours and she smells fine!”
Souta waved his hand. “I know that. Her body is the same. Her soul is different.”
That shut him up for a moment. “Why?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know why she still thinks that she’s Kagome…” he pouted and thought on this for a moment. “It could be that she’s slipped through time, being that she has been a time traveler in the past… That might mean that she has swapped places with perhaps an earlier version of herself…”
“Pull the other one,” Koinu snorted.
“Well, it would explain that although she knew me and mom, she had no idea who you were.”
Koinu sat down and held his wife’s hand. “Ok, Souta. I’ll go with it, but what can we do?”
He took a deep breath. “The important thing is to get the proper soul back.”
“You know more about this stuff than I do…”
“Yeah, but I have no idea how to do that…” Souta fidgeted. “Let’s hope for now that she’s still a strong enough Miko to work it out herself.”
Mrs. Higurashi bit her index fingernail down to the quick. “Kagome…”
She was only sort of aware that her eyes were open. Around her swirled amorphous clouds of smoke or fog or something lighter and dryer than that. She looked down at her shirt and was only slightly surprised to find she was nude.
“There you are,” a familiar voice called, almost as if from inside her own head. Before her, the image of a younger version of herself, also nude, floated in the haze.
“Where are we?” she asked.
“In between here and there,” the young Miko smiled. “I had to pull you in. You’ve lost a lot of your power.”
“Happens when you lose your virginity,” she smirked back.
The younger giggled. “Before you tell me something I shouldn’t know yet, we should be on our way.”
Kagome pouted slightly. “Yeah. I guess if I told you… things… my life wouldn’t be the same anymore, would it?”
The younger shook her head. “And I sort of already know my life’s not going to be easy. I don’t need to know exactly how hard…”
Kagome smiled. “Well then. Good luck.”
She blinked a few times and shaded her eyes from the noon-day sun. “Miroku?” she asked.
“Are you alright, Kagome-chan?”
“Mm,” she asserted and sat up. 10 feet away Inuyasha sat on his haunches, staring at her. Shippou bounded into her lap.
“We were so worried!” he cried.
“I’m ok,” she said and stared back at the hanyou. “Just sort of lost myself for a while there.” She smiled softly at him, raising the blush in his cheeks again.
“Kagome?” Koinu’s voice was soft and still a little frightened. “You ok, hun?”
“Inuyasha…” she whispered.
He sighed in relief and kissed her forehead. Mrs. Higurashi finally stopped wringing her hands.
“Thought we’d lost you for a while there, Nee-chan.”
“Mm,” she sighed and sat up. The clock on the nightstand read 5:13. She noticed an empty bowl next to it. “Souta, you didn’t eat all the ice cream, did you?”
Her brother laughed and went out to get more.