Disclaimer: Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and its respective owners.
A/N: Hi, Lucy here with a new story! This fic will be different from my usual stories—in fact this one has a more mellow, slice-of-life feel. I hope you guys enjoy this new offering and follow through it. Muahh!
The ushering of the new year had seen more visitors than usual, locals and foreigners alike, all hoping for that fresh stroke of good luck. As a miko now serving in the Yukino Shrine, Kagome Higurashi was elbows deep in her duties, as she ran around serving the guests in any way possible. She couldn't remember how many times she had demonstrated the purification ritual upon entry, or the amount of good luck talismans she had whipped out.
Thank god she had Amari-chan with her, another fellow miko two years her junior, who assisted with the workload and would bestow each incoming group of visitors with a typical list of dos and don'ts within the shrine.
Dusk had settled, and the shrine was no longer accepting visitors. Amari-chan was seeing off the last of them, and as she was biding them farewell, Kagome joined her from behind.
"Oh my, today was one heck of a field day, wasn't it?" Kagome said, as she rubbed her aching neck. "Have you seen such a deluge of visitors before?
Amari laughed bashfully, cupping her mouth. She was an adorable young woman with a wavy bobcut, and her shy and polite gestures only made her more appealing.
"Yes, I was extremely overwhelmed! Especially the foreigners, they couldn't understand a single word I said."
"But you know Amari-chan, Yukino-jingu is only but a small shrine. You should see the other ones, like Nezu and Meiji. I bet they are still packed at this time."'
"Ah, you must have had a lot of experience being a miko, Kagome-sama. After all you served here longer than me."
"Not really. And I told you to lay off the honorifics, Amari-chan. Just Kagome-chan will do!"
Amari laughed again, and Kagome relaxed, as she faced upwards to the cold, darkening sky. Slowly, they began to close the shrine and started sweeping the snow on entrance grounds. Kagome wiped the perspiration off her forehead. It was still winter, although they had seen lesser snowfall on that part of town in recent years. She was more tired than she wanted to admit.
"As much as it is a blessing, it also comes with a throbbing headache, huh."
They both chortled, of which Amari quickly then hushed her friend. "Don't let the priest hear you, though."
"Speak of the devil, there he is, watching us from behind."
Jyohaku, the head priest of Yukino-jingu, stood quietly at its dark entrance hall, his tall kammuri hat accentuating his already impressive height. And was that a scrutinizing glare thrown towards them? The two women quickly ended their chit-chat, waving their rakes with more gusto.
"Well that's that! I'm calling it a day after this. Maybe a short stop to the nearby Family Mart. Are you coming home with me, Amari-chan?"
Amari glanced over her shoulder, almost forlornly.
"I'll guess I'll wait first for Jyohaku-sama."
"Alright then. I'll see you tomorrow. Ah—and a happy new year to you, Amari-chan!"
"Happy new year, Kagome-sama!"
Kagome sighed as she stopped before her door, her bag of groceries hanging heavily from her forearms. She dug her small satchel bag for her house keys. Soon, the last remnants of her patience completely disappeared, and she heaved her groceries onto the floor, belting out a string of curses as she ransacked her bag.
"I'm home," Kagome muttered morosely, once she was inside her house. She walked straight into the kitchen, passing the living room, where a silver-maned figure sat enrapturedly before the television screen, watching the Japanese dubbed version of High School Musical 3.
Her nose perked up. Having sorted the groceries out, Kagome then strode to the dining area and lifted the dish-cover on the table. There was a steaming rice bowl of tempura donburi waiting for her, alongside with a bowl of miso soup and some salad.
She instantly melted. Nothing beats a steaming bowl of rice after a particular hard day at work!
"Itadakimasu!" She called out loudly to no one in particular. Then she scarfed down her food, like a ravenous glutton who had been starving for days.
Within minutes, all the food had disappeared into her tummy. Kagome plopped down on the tatami mat, a gratified smile etched on her face, where bits of rice stuck to her chin. She rubbed her full stomach—so full it was aching—and then a thought reached her.
Kagome turned her head towards the living-room. She could only see his straight back. The silver-haired figure was still glued to his spot.
He sure watches a lot of TV, she surmised to herself.
An hour later, the credits began to roll. The film was over, but there was no hint of disappointment on his otherwise placid face. Quietly he stood up and walked into the kitchen, flipping his long hair over his shoulder. Centuries may have passed, but his hair still shone like silk, forever glorious.
For this Sesshoumaru, at least.
Suddenly something caught his attention. He turned and entered the dining area. The table still bore Kagome's empty dishes, bits of rice and food decorating the tabletop generously. Sesshoumaru's jaw tensed.
He remembered the first time when he had his first conscious moment in her house. He had woken up, his head throbbing as the memories of the exorcism overcame him, and how he had agreed to the binding in a moment of desperation. He had never woke up feeling so horrible and conflicted. And the smell. The smell of the house was beyond any putrid, decaying flesh that had defiled his nose. Apparently the miko lived in a rotten pigsty she called a home.
Kagome exited from the shower, smelling of lavender soap. Feeling fresh and light, she pirouetted around her bedroom, then regretted quickly, shivering against the cold. She hummed an old Do As Infinity song as she picked a pair of pajamas from her closet and laid them on the bed. Then she unfurled her towel from her body, and started to powder herself. At that precise moment, her bedroom door yanked open violently.
"The dirty dishes," Sesshoumaru started to say.
Kagome sat on her desk, and filched out a book from her drawers. Its covers were of soft pink velvet, the word "Diary" inscribed on it in cursive letters. Perhaps it was too childish to belong to a 25 year-old woman, but Kagome secretly relished its feel, as she sniffed its scented pages. She set down to write.
01 Jan 20xx
Happy new year! I guess I should be writing down my new resolutions, huh? Let's see what I've written for last year.
1. Lose weight
2. Get a bloody boyfriend
3. Visit Europe
None of these resolutions are being met! I've gained like 5 extra pounds, I'm still single AF, and I still can't make time or money for my Europe trip… T_T
What's the point of writing new resolutions?! On a more serious note, it's been six months since I've had him staying at my house. You-know-who. It's still strange to say or even write down his name. And I'm still unsure how to approach him. I have millions of questions buzzing through my head each time I see him. All about the past. About the feudal era I left behind. Most importantly all my old friends...
...and that one person.
The only reason why I even performed that after-ritual was because I was so curious to know. Jyohaku would blow his top if he knew what I did, he's already pissed as it is, knowing I have a demon binded to me. That's right, I still haven't fully explained the details.
It's a long story, but I promise to write everything when I have time.
Kagome glanced at the clock. It was close to 11PM.
"You know, for a demon, you watch way too much TV," she said, standing behind him, arms folded. Sesshoumaru didn't flinch. His ears were still ringing from her bloodcurdling scream.
"It is my only connection to the outside world," he stated matter-of-factly. "Until I have gained my strength, this is the only way I can be made aware of what kind of topsy-turvy place this world has transformed into the last few hundred years."
Kagome rubbed her chin. "Well you're right, I guess. Everything is topsy-turvy, if you're comparing it that old era you were from. But seriously, the media is like the worst place for you to learn. Especially this movie. It's total fantasy. You gotta take everything you see with a pinch of salt."
She turned to leave for bed, then remembered something.
"Oh, thanks for the dinner, by the way. I'm seriously impressed. Looks like those cookbooks I gave you really brought forth a budding chef, eh?"
She laughed to herself as she walked away.
Sesshoumaru sighed, as he leaned backwards and stretched his arms behind him. He hoped she didn't think he was doing it for her. He was just bored and was experimenting around the house as usual, and it usually involved doing household chores. And watching an unhealthy dose of Hollywood movies, which, as stupendous as they appeared, intrigued him to no end.
On the screen, Rose floated on a wooden board in the midst of the freezing sea, telling Jack not to let go.
Kagome's eyes opened groggily in the morning. It took her a while to register the face before her, so pale it was almost translucent. And those beautiful dark eyelashes! Long and fluttering, like that giraffe she saw in the zoo when she was a child. And what strange markings on that face…a blue crescent moon and…
She staggered backwards on the futon, cupping her hand over her mouth, trying not to scream. Why was Sesshoumaru sleeping and curled up like a baby beside her?!
It had been too long, way too long. Ten years to be exact, long enough to make her forget who he really was back then. Only that he served as a kind of phantom from her past, one that she sought hard to re-connect.
She glanced to the long tresses of his shimmering hair, cascading down his head. Kagome's hand reached forward and allowed his hair to slip through her fingers.
Soft. And real. Sesshoumaru's breath hitched.
"Cold," he murmured in his sleep.
Cold? Kagome wondered. It was not a far-fetched idea to conclude that he was able to physically feel now. And his hair felt as solid as anything. Did Sesshoumaru finally gained a completely material body for himself, thanks to the after-ritual she performed?
Was he no longer a wandering spirit?
The poor thing. He must have laid next to her, unused to the cold, seeking for warmth.
Kagome sat up. It was time to get ready for work anyway. The shrine was going to see another deluge of visitors today. She sighed and rubbed her eyes. Then she pulled her blanket off her and covered Sesshoumaru with it.
To be continued…
[A/N: This is a comedy, I repeat to myself, this is a comedy. I pray to god this fic will not lose its footing and slip down to abysmal darkness..]