Kagome looked out her window towards the well house and sighed. She had just finished saying her good byes to her mother and grandfather while Souta was in bed. She had told them that the final battle was soon and that she wasn't sure if she would be able to come back or not, so she wanted to say farewell just in case. She had wanted to say good bye to Souta but her mother insisted that she not. She didn't want Souta to get his hopes up only to have them dashed in case Kagome didn't come back. It was agreed that if Kagome did not come back after four months, then they would know that the well had closed and that she was in the Feudal Era permanently. They would tell Souta once she had gone through the well in the morning to spare Kagome the tears she already had to go through.
Letting out a quiet sigh, she finished packing her yellow pack with the essential supplies. She had decided to forgo getting ramen so that they would have more room for more important things such as medicines, and dried foods. Her mother had also gone to get some old books filled with traditional methods for healing illnesses as well as a few books to help her classify what an illness was. Her grandfather even went so far as to pull out a few old scrolls detailing how to make some sutras and other ofuda that dated back to roughly the time when Midoriko had walked the world. She thanked him while thinking that it would be a nice thing for Miroku to have.
"Well," she said quietly. "That is everything."
"All packed dear?" she heard her mother ask.
"Yeah. I'm going to miss you mom."
"I'm going to miss you too dear. I know that jii-chan and Souta will too."
Kagome nodded and walked over to her mother, wrapping her arms around her tightly. She felt her mom return the embrace and felt the sting of tears in her eyes. Pulling back slightly, Kagome gave a watery smile before pulling her bag onto her back.
"I'm off," she said softly.
"Be safe dear," her mother replied.
Soon, Kagome found herself looking down into the depths of the well. Hitching a teary sigh, she hopped over the edge. Unknown to Kagome, her mother had followed with her grandfather next to her. With tears sliding down his face, the elder Higurashi placed a few ofuda inside the well and placed some fresh boards over the opening. Muttering an incantation as clearly as he could through his tears, the elder patriarch sealed the well closed. Mei looked at her crying father and gave him a hug.
"She'll be okay," she soothed. "But I wish we could have told her everything before she left."
"Kagome is a smart child," Tsuyo sighed. "But she will learn the truth when the Shikon no Tama is completed. I know she completes it, but I am not sure what will happen after."
Mei nodded. Unknown to both of her children was a level of power that had been passed down through the generations of both sides of the family. From Mei's family came the power of Midoriko and a number of other powerful mikos and monks. From Tsuyo was a strong mix of youki and reiki since some of the older members in the Higurashi line came from the mythical Horai Island. The only thing that had surprised Mei when Kagome was born was the amount of power her daughter had exhibited. True, she could see the Shikon no Tama inside her baby girl as well as the star that helped her come up with her daughter's name, but she carried so much more power than what the jewel showed and kept back.
Kagome had so much power inside her and Mei knew it was only a matter of time before her daughter realized it. Mei recalled when Kagome had come home after the incident that brought Kikyo back as well as when the clay priestess had passed away. When her daughter came home and told her what had happened, she had been worried but Tsuyo had told her that such a thing would not have taken Kagome's soul but what was attached to it. Mei then learned that Kagome was not reincarnated from Kikyo like everyone had thought, she just carried a striking resemblance as well as the only portion of the woman's soul that had not been taken to the Netherworld. The reason it seemed like Kagome had lost part of her soul was because the piece of Kikyo that was attached to it didn't want to let go so Kagome had to call her soul back. That is why when Kikyo died, the soul didn't go back into Kagome but went to the Heavens as it had been cleansed of the darkness festering deep inside of it.
"She is going to need a teacher," Mei said softly. "And there are none who are powerful enough to teach her what she needs to know on either aspect."
"There is someone she can learn to control her youki from," Tsuyo stated. "She just needs to get over her fear of him for that to happen."
"Will they teach her once she does?"
"He may show some hesitance at the prospect but, he will teach her the best way he can."
Mei nodded. "Good. Kagome will need all of the help she can get."
Tsuyo nodded and turned away from the now sealed well. Hopefully his granddaughter could convince the one she needed as a teacher to help her without making him too mad. The person he had "seen" teach her in his visions had very little patience with people as spirited as Kagome but did carry enough to attempt teaching her. With a soft sigh, he headed back into the house to lay down. Mei watched her father leave before looking back at the well.
"Please be safe Kagome," she whispered. "And don't let your fear stop you from taking the next steps down your path."
With a tear sliding down her cheek, Mei turned back towards the house to go to bed. She had to build up her courage to tell Souta that his sister was never coming home and if she did, it would only once the timelines were back on track.
Kagome landed at the bottom of the well and took a deep breath. The air in the Feudal Era was always so clean and made her feel better but also a bit sad. As she climbed out of the well, her thoughts were on what was going to happen next. Since her mind was preoccupied with other things, she didn't feel the shift in the air around the well signaling that it was no longer working. Hoisting herself up, she sat on the rim of the well and took a few breaths before heading towards Kaede's hut. As she walked, she continued to think about what was to come. She knew that Naraku was looking for the last jewel shard and that both he and the Inutaichi knew where it was, it was only a matter of getting there before him.
Sighing, she looked up as she passed the tree line and saw the fields on the outskirts of the village. Some of the villagers were still working in their fields making sure that the crops were doing well before turning in for the night. A few waved at her as she passed before either going back to their work or inside. When she got to the door off Kaede's hut she took a breath before entering.
"I'm back," she called.
"Kagome!" Shippo yelled before barreling into her chest.
"Welcome back Kagome," Sango smiled. "Kaede-baa-chan just finished some stew if you are hungry."
"Thanks," Kagome smiled. "I will have a bowl."
Sango nodded and moved to ladle some into one of the spare wooden bowls but spun and smacked Miroku with the spoon. Giving the now smiling monk a dark glare, she hurried over to the pot to get Kagome some of the stew.
"Baka," Shippo muttered as he held onto Kagome's shirt.
"Miroku-sama," Kagome called. "My grandfather had something that I think you might like."
Miroku turned to look at Kagome while she dug through her pack. With a triumphant cry, she pulled out the long box that her grandfather gave her.
"He said it dates back to the time when Midoriko was around," she said handing it to the wide eyed monk. "I looked through it. There are some useful sutra and ofuda seals that we could use."
Miroku slowly opened the case and looked over the aged pages. Nodding slightly to himself, the silently commended the old priest for the condition that the scroll pages were in. Despite being yellowed with age, everything was still legible and clear.
"I may copy these to something more sturdy," he said carefully placing them back in the case. "That way they last a bit longer. I must say that your grandfather took very good care of these."
Kagome smiled. "My mom also had something for you Sango."
Sango placed the bowl next to Kagome while the young miko dug through her pack again. After a few moments, she pulled out a small box and handing it to her. Sango took the box and opened it. Inside was a beautifully designed kimono and sash.
"This is beautiful Kagome," Sango whispered in awe.
"Mom got it for you," Kagome smiled. "She said that it should last a bit longer than the one you have since it is made from sturdier fabric and also has some reinforced stitching along the seams."
Sango smiled and stood, heading into the next room to try it on.
"Is there anything for me?" Shippo asked.
Kagome nodded and pulled a few things out. One was another set of crayons and a couple books of paper as well as a few small trinket toys.
"My little brother Souta made the top," she explained. "And my grandfather found a few of these buried under some of the stuff in our shed. He said that he could feel the youki in them."
"They do have some youki," Shippo said. "It's really old but it is there. These are Kitsune Tricks. I'll have to try them out to see what they can do."
Sango stepped out wearing the new kimono. "It fits perfectly Kagome. It also breaths a bit better than my usual one."
"That's good," Kagome smiled. "Now you have a change of clothes other than your taijiya outfit."
Sango nodded and sat down near Kagome. Moving her pack to the other side of her, Kagome picked up the warm bowl of stew and took a few bites. Slowly a smile spread across her face. Kaede's cooking always tasted so good and reminded her of some of the food her mother would make. As she took a few more bites, she looked around the hut and frowned.
"Where is Inuyasha?" she asked.
Miroku winced slightly and Sango looked away sadly. Kagome looked down at the bowl in her hands and felt a pang of sorrow. Since Kikyo had passed into the Netherworld again, Inuyasha spent a lot of time in the field where she had said her good byes. It hurt a lot knowing that Inuyasha's heart was still set on Kikyo, enough to be hurt as badly as he was by her second passing. Slowly she finished the stew in the bowl and stood after placing Shippo on the ground.
"It would be best to let him have this moment to grieve child," Kaede spoke as she entered.
"I know," Kagome said softly. "But suffering alone doesn't help the pain pass."
Kaede smiled softly at the futuristic miko and stepped aside to let her pass. Kagome walked towards the field were Kikyo had passed and paused before continuing. Sitting on the crest of one of the hills, she saw Inuyasha looking at the sky sadly. She felt her heart ache for him and slowly walked over to him. She saw his ears twitch before he turned to look at her. Giving him a soft smile, she put her hands behind her back.
"Mind if I join you Inuyasha?" Kagome asked.
When he shook his head, she sat next to the inu-hanyou and looked at the star lit sky. She saw Inuyasha look back up at the sky and could faintly see the sorrow in his eyes. As they sat there, she felt her heart ache more and more for him. He loved her so much. She thought sadly. The first time she died, he wasn't able to mourn her, and now that he has to, he doesn't really know what to do. As she silently watched him out of the corner of her eyes, she started to think back to when her mother had lost her father. Her mother had been so upset and sad that she nearly put herself into early labor. Fortunately her grandfather was able to help her calm down and get her back to as close to her old self as possible.
"You know," she spoke softly, causing Inuyasha to look at her. "When my dad passed away, my mom tried for the longest time to let everyone think that nothing was wrong. But at night she would cry herself to sleep. She nearly went into labor with Souta, she was that upset. Jii-chan was there though. Sure, my dad passing away was hard on him too but, he helped my mom get out of her depression for both mine and Souta's sakes. He said "I know it hurts losing the one you loved with all of your heart but, know that other people mourn their lost just as you do. Don't place yourself so deep in depression when there are others who need you too. All that will do is increase the risk that they are going to leave you too, causing more pain." Mom had just stared at him in shock.
"After jii-chan had said that, mom cried again but not because she was sad about my dad being gone. She cried because she realized that since she was more focused on the loss of dad, no one was really taking care of me and she was putting herself through so much stress that she would have lost Souta."
Inuyasha looked at her confused. "You got a point in there?"
"What I mean is that I understand that you are hurting about loosing Kikyo but you shouldn't focus on it. I know it sounds cruel but with Naraku still out there looking for the last Shikon fragment, we can't be focused on other things. All that will do is give him an edge he doesn't need."
The inu-hanyou looked at the miko from the future and thought about what she said. It made a lot of sense. With him sitting there mopping about Kikyo being gone, who knows how much progress Naraku has made in getting to the last jewel shard. With a low growl, he stood up and began walking back to the village. Kagome quickly stood and ran to catch up with him.
"We leave in the morning," Inuyasha said gruffly. "Make sure you are ready to go by sunrise."
Kagome nodded and followed him into Kaede's hut. Once he finished barking out the plan for the next day, everyone bedded down for the night, faint smiles on their faces to see the inu-hanyou back to his normal self. Just as kagome was about to fall asleep, she felt Inuyasha kneel next to her and place a soft hand on her head.
"Thanks Kagome," he whispered. "I need that."
Once he had left to sit in a tree near the hut, Kagome let a small smile cross her face before finally going to sleep.