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Your likeness by Jellyphish

Falling deeper

For once she caught a break. She had been back in the present for the first time in a while and got to catch up on school and modern luxuries. Her notes were up to date, she had partaken in several baths, her mother's godly food, and a plush bed. She was rejuvenated. She had gone shopping and now her backpack was fully stocked to the brim. Her mom had added a few patches of fabric here in there to keep it hanging in there. She had offered to get her a new one, but she was sentimental towards the yellow one, now all frayed and beat up. Plus, it was cute with the patches of cloth her mom had added.

Sometimes she wondered what would happen if she just stayed in the future. Of course, her sense of duty wouldn't let her linger there for too long but every now and again she wondered. The amount of spirits in the future was paltry compared to those of the past. Though that would probably change since the jewel was active and in her hands. Plus, it would just not happen. Inuyasha would never just let her stay. He would drag her back no matter much she refused, as he had done plenty of times before. So there wasn’t much to wonder in the end at all.

Set to go, she was out of the house lugging the large sack. She had said goodbye to her mom and grandpa as she headed over to the wellhouse. She noticed that the trees were almost close to sprouting. The cold was finally starting to let up, which meant the cherry blossoms were about to flourish the grounds in their delicate petals. She probably wouldn't see them in the present, but she was sure the past would have flowers just as impressive. After all, most of the land was untouched and wild. Excited, she had a pep in her step as she reached the wellhouse.  Stepping in, she put her bag on the edge of the well before she threw her legs over. When she looked down she felt something different.

The well's appearance didn't look different, but there was an unfamiliar pull coming from the bottom. There wasn't any evil intent, so it didn't scare Kagome, but the feeling in her gut told her that something was afoot. She couldn't remember ever having that feeling when approaching the well, except for the first time she had come in to look for Buyo on that fateful day.

Without any way to properly assess what it was, she leapt down anyway, thinking maybe something in the past was calling for her attention. The bottom of the well swallowed her up, encircling her with a blue light, except this one was a darker blue, almost black. On high alert she looked around, eyes open for anything that might come her way. She was stuck in that floating feeling for longer than normal, her heart going faster and faster the longer she didn't feel gravity.

Before long, she felt that sinking feeling that she was being brought back to earth. She felt the ground beneath her feet again and she looked up. Clear skies. A good sign. She had made it back. She took a deep breath in relief.  Her eyes scanned the well. Was it just her or were the roots in the well almost alive? They didn't feel as stiff and petrified as they had used to. And there seemed to be more too.

"Inuyasha?" She tested calling out. Sometimes he'd be nearby. Sometimes he wasn't. She waited a few moments and heard nothing. So he wasn't there yet. So she pumped herself up for the climb. She swung her backpack on and breathed in deeply. She grabbed onto branches and trekked up. Finally reaching the top she shot her hand up from the edge of the well only to find her hand grabbed and pulled out. She gasped in surprise.

"Why didn't you co-"

She stopped short. She wasn't brought up by Inuyasha. She stared at golden eyes. Face marked with stripes. Grandiose armor. She would have mistaken them for Sesshoumaru, if not for their hair being tied back.

"Is this the spirit of the bone eater's well?" He said in a deep voice. Deeper than Sesshoumaru. The longer she stared the more she noted that he felt older than him as well. He looked around the same age as her mother.

"I wasn't aware there was an embodiment of the well milord," came a small nasal voice on the man's shoulder.

"Myouga!" She exclaimed, thankful for some familiarity.

"I beg your pardon? Have we met?"

She gave a strange look to the flea perched on the demon's shoulder. Why wouldn't he remember her? She wasn't used to the flea demon playing tricks on her.

"I'm Kagome, you've seen me hundreds of times, or are you getting senile?" she replied pointedly, almost forgetting the male before her. She looked up at him curiously. He looked related to Inuyasha, but his outfit told her he'd probably be acquainted with Sesshoumaru. Aside from trying to connect small details, she noted that the armor looked familiar. In the sense that she had seen it before, and there weren't that many demons she had encountered that had pauldrons like that.

 "And who are you?" She asked, continually trying to pinpoint who they were and what business they had at the well. She shifted under his gaze. It was sharp but not hostile. He stood confidently but she could feel the wall between them. Whether it was from his general stature or from caution she wasn't sure.

"I am Touga, are you the spirit of the well, lady Kagome?" He introduced, his voice oddly respectful. It made her want to let he guard down. She shook her head. She refrained from speaking that she was from the future. It would take a long explanation and invite too much trouble for the present. "Rather, I am summoned by the well," she answered, thinking it would suffice. It was a different truth. The well had summoned her since she had carried the jewel and until that changed, she was sure it would call upon her for however long it took to deal with its existence.

"Do you know a Sesshoumaru, Touga?" She asked, wanting badly to connect the dots. It was a wonder Inuyasha wasn't here yet. She couldn't imagine him letting someone possibly close to Sesshoumaru around the well. More and more she felt like something was wrong, aside from the obvious Myouga not remembering her.

"You are acquainted with my son?" He sounded very surprised. 

She could have logically think about why he was surprised but her brain stopped. The world stopped. For a second she felt as if all the sound had gone from her ears. She blinked as she took a step back and finally looked at him. His face was more rough than that of Sesshoumaru, she realized she was looking at what Inuyasha may look like when he became older. While she was aware his clothing was similar to Sesshoumaru, the nail on the coffin was the sword he kept at his waist.

"Tessaiga," she whispered, as if staring at an old friend. The sword looked worn but in better condition than how Inuyasha kept it. Not as many years she imagined. She realized then, she wasn't back in the past she knew. But further. After all, she knew the man before her to be dead, as she had personally visited his grave. That was why his armor was familiar, she had already seen it before.

"I feel a disconnection between us. While I may look past you knowing my advisor and maybe even my son, I must question why you are acquainted with Tessaiga," he said, placing his hand on the hilt as if protecting it. "As it has always been in my possession, I cannot say I remember encountering you on the battlefield, yet you speak of it almost intimately."

She pursed her lips. There was no good answer she could sidestep with. How was she going to dodge this one? She wasn't one to lie.

"You are going to die," she said almost choking on her words. She felt distraught.  The air felt heavy. She watched him stiffen the slightest bit before he relaxed once more.

"No one can remain in this remain in this realm forever," he replied softly. While it was a true fact for everyone, he didn't seem bothered by it. "So you are a seer? You know of my death?"

She was almost comforted that he was giving her an out. She nodded slowly. A seer for only so many tales. But hopefully that was enough.

"So the well has summoned you to tell me of my death? It is good I am preparing then," he said finally giving her a smirk that instantly reminded her of Inuyasha. It was bittersweet. She was excited to learn that he looked so much like his dad but it also reminded her that she was not with him. Her chest felt tight. She felt more weak with every moment. The well brought her here, and she wasn't sure if it was going to send her back. She could just hear him complaining that she had been gone for too long already. She was prepared for that, but now she wasn't sure how much longer she might be gone.

"I am visiting the well to see if it is a proper place for sealing Sounga." He said taking out a sword that was at his back instead of at his waist. She wasn't familiar with the sword mentioned. It looked largely different from tessaiga, having a more ornate feel to it, and it looked longer.

"It is a sword I do not feel safe keeping in this world should I leave it." He held it out. Immediately Kagome was able to feel its youki. It felt hostile to her despite her feeling no ill will from its wielder. She was wary of it, and could already imagine it was best not to keep it in another's hands. She had thoughts of possibly bequeathing it to Sesshoumaru, but she imagined that it would only invite disaster, and she had not even seen it in battle.

"Why have it when it is such a burden on you?" She wondered.

"It serves its purpose. Having it already prevents many from attempting to challenge me. In war it has done wonderfully to keep battles short and my allies alive," he explained, brandishing it briefly. The evil that came off the sword reminded her of Naraku. Pure malice and hatred, yet somehow it didn't consume Touga.

"However only those strong in mind may wield it. An easily corrupted heart would only perish as its weilder."

"Which is why Sesshoumaru cannot have it," she added. If Sesshoumaru wanted Tessaiga, then it was no question that he most likely coveted Sounga as well. Yet, where was Tenseiga in all this? She had noted that it was nowhere to be seen. She wanted to ask on it, but it might lead to more questions, and the less he asked of her the better.

"Correct, my son, while great, lacks strength in ways he does not understand, and so cannot be an inheritor of Sounga." He put the sword back on his back and crossed his arms, brushing off the fact that she continued to know about his son. "Myouga tells me the well has properties that will properly seal the Sounga when I am no longer in this world."

Kagome tilted her head. While the well definitely sealed monsters and demons away, she wasn't sure a sword like Sounga would sleep so quietly. If Touga had to be one of the few to wield it, she felt like the well on its own wouldn't be enough to keep it dormant. After all, Mistress Centipede was able to awaken because she felt the presence of the Shikon Jewel, what more if Sounga felt its presence?

"While the well may be an option, I think you should probably have other forms of protection in place," she suggested. Touga nodded in agreement with her. "If you believe in that, then I will take more precautions." It was odd, having someone as great as Touga believe in her words. She was used to demons thinking her opinion was not worth much. Actually she was used to demons not being in any way civilized with her, except for those who specialized in deception. It was refreshing.

"Then I will take my leave, your insight has been helpful."

She blinked again. That was it? Was she brought back for this one reason? She furrowed her brow. That seemed like such an arbitrary reason for the well to bring her back. "Take care," she said absentmindedly as he turned from her. His hand shot up in a wave and she watched his back until he ascended to the skies, a cloud forming underneath his feet. She watched until he was no longer in sight and sighed. What was this about?

"Well I might as well get back," she said as she turned back to the well. Except she found a cover on top. She didn't remember Touga doing anything to the well once she was out of it, and she was sure they would have noticed if someone came by to cover it. More questions and no answers. She looked around. No one. She couldn't feel a presence anywhere aside from hers. She put her hand on the cover and tried to move it off, but was met with resistance. Furrowing her brows once more, she pushed harder, now with both hands, and once again it did not move from place. She turned back, thinking Touga would be able to help her, but he was long gone as she had watched before. Panic began to take over her body. Was she stuck here?

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It feels like a slow start, but I like where I left it.

I hope you're having an amazing day! Thank you for reading.

Disclaimer: All characters involved in the Inuyasha franchise belong to Rumiko Takahashi.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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