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Coming Home by Reverent Moonlight

Chapter 1

Her opponent lunged at her, arm outstretched to grab her in what was sure to be a bruising grip. She sidestepped just enough that his arm grazed her side, and brought her own down trapping him to her. Raising her other arm up she rammed her fist into his face three times in quick, rapid succession. Stunning the male before her as she pushed him back. Quickly, before he could get his bearings, she dropped, threw her leg out, and effectively put him on his back. Drawing her dagger she leaped on top of him, blade to his throat. 

Her opponent raised his hand and tapped her arm. 

"I concede."

Her fierce and determined look quickly faded as a radiant smile took its place. Blue eyes aglow with pride and joy she sat him reaching a hand down to the male who had been training her for the last three years. 

"You did well, Kagome."

He gripped her hand as she helped pull him to his feet. 

"Thank you, Takaru."

She had started taking classes with him a few months after the well closed. Her heavy heart had needed a distraction. She had laid around in her bed the first week. Sadness, loss, depression, radiating off of her in waves. Her mother had crawled up in bed with everyday. Would pull her to her and hold her while she cried, mourned, and then finally, accepted her loss. 

Her acceptance had not come with happiness. She was not the same girl who had went down the well on her fifteenth birthday. The spark in her eye had dimmed as her smiles were forced. She was simply living through the motions. 

When she had seen the flyer for Takaru's classes posted on the window of the store she frequented she hadn't even given it a second glance. However, every time she went it never escaped her notice. The idea just seemed to integrate itself into her mind. It had started out teasingly. Wondering how much it would have helped while she was on the hunt for the shards with her friends. It went on like this for awhile. 

How shocked would Inuyasha be if she ever got to go back?

Would she have been more help to her friends back then?

Miroku's face would be hilarious when she tossed him over shoulder for trying to let his cursed hand wonder. 

Sango would be a great sparring partner. 

She could actually help give Shippo lessons in protecting himself. 

And just like that, the switch flipped. It allowed her to live in her own little world that one day when, if, the well opened she could help. She wouldn't need protection any longer. She wouldn't be their weakness. The liability. 

She padded across the wood floor to her bag by the wall and pulled out towel. Wiping the perspiration from her face she pulled out a water bottle and drank. 

It made her wish she had kept more water on hand for the others when they battled. It took so much out of your body when you put it through the ringer like she had. Much less every day. Guilt washed over her momentarily until she swiped it away. What was done was done. 

She looked over at Takaru. He was a well built male. Somewhere in his mid to late twenties. He had dark brown hair that was shorn nearly to his scalp. His green eyes, lighter than Shippo's, could be hard, unyielding when training. When training was over though, they exploded into a gaze that radiated warmth. He was a hard trainer, but an understanding male. 

He knew she had things that bothered her. Demons in her closet. When he had said that she had burst in a raging fit of giggles. While he had probably thought her momentarily insane she couldn't help but laugh at the irony. She did indeed have demons. But instead of a closet they were in a well. Five hundred years in the past. 

She grinned sadly at the thought. 

"Are you okay, Kagome?"

A hand at her arm brought her out of her silent musing as she glanced up to meet the eyes of her trainer. 

"Oh, yes, Takaru. I'm fine. Just remembering some old friends."

He nodded and released her to step away. 

"Alright. This week you just need to practice meditating. No offense, girl, but you suck at sitting still. Three years, and I swear you've gotten worse than when you first walked through these doors."

She blushed slightly as she tilted her head back and groaned, ponytail dancing along her back at the motion. She watched as he walked off to start putting the dojo back in order. She really did suck at meditating. Clearing her mind was a near impossibility. To many thoughts, worries, fears. It was hard to just push them away. 

"Yes, sir."

When she arrived back at the shrine, she set her bag down in the entryway and slipped off her shoes. 

"I'm home!"

Padding into the living room, she saw her brother on the couch playing some video game her mother had brought home for him a few weeks ago. He was a teeny bit obsessed. 

"Hey, Souta. Where's mom?"

She peeked into the kitchen, but didn't see anything. 

"I think she said she was going to the store. Something about needing ginger," he said with a shrug. 

"Alright, well I'm going to head up and shower before she gets back."

Her reply was little more than a grunt. Blue eyes narrowed on his dark head.

If he'd been paying attention he would have saw the punishment coming. If he'd been paying attention he would have felt the displeasure of her aura. If he'd been paying attention... well... he wouldn't be getting what was coming to him. 

That game had turned her brother into a zombie. She was determined to set it right. 

She bent the knuckles of her pointer fingers and positioned them on either side of his head and dug them in to his skull while twisting. It felt like someone was drilling into your head while forcing your brain to bleed out of your ears. Easy to do, but extremely painful. A fitting punishment for the little brat. 

He squealed, throwing his controller down while reaching for her hands. She just applied more pressure while he sunk further down the couch, nearly in the floor trying to escape her wrath. 

"Kagome! Kami, stop!"

"Is that anyway to respond to your beloved older sister? I'm hurt, Souta. I had thought I was loved a little more than that."

Twist. Grind.

"Ah! You are! I'm sorry! Please! Kami, Kagome! Please, please, please!"


She applied a bit more pressure. 

"I won't do it again! Ow! I promise!"

She let go. 

"Good. Now was having an actual conversation for once so hard?"

He was laying on his side on the couch while fiercely rubbing the sides of his head. 

"It is when your brain is about to be squeezed out of your ears!"

He moaned as he rubbed a particular sore spot. 

"Next time you'll actually say something back instead of grunting at me like a caveman."

She skipped up the steps. Sometimes being back wasn't so bad.


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