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Mad World by sugar0o who lurks

How many times?

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable chars, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the original author. This story is mine. i make no money from this.

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The sun was rising over the darken Tokyo skies as her alarm clock went off, the lyrics of the song filtering through to her slightly conscious brain. She furrowed her brow as it dawned on her what was happening again, long dark onyx lashes flutter open to reveal troubled blue gray stormy eyes. The sun's happy rays finding a most unhappy miko. Her not so curvaceous body was hugged under the blankets as she attempted to hide from her fate, again, it was not the first time. Not at all for the first time that she had woken up fifteen again, in her bed, in these cloths, to this song. She did think that the song was most fitting and that as much of a bitch Fate could be, she had a wonderfully wicked and sick sense of humor, she'd seen the movie that went with the song a week before her first fifteenth birthday, she understood fates little message, 'its all about choices' she thought dejectedly.

Kagome wondered how many times she would play Alice, how many times she would fall down the well, how many times she would free the hanyou, break the jewel, mother the kit, befriend both the monk and the huntress? How many times she would hold her love in for the cold lord, or how many times she would fight the evil hanyou, but she also wondered how many times she would die only to wake again to find she was again fifteen. 'How many times' she thought again, how many different adventures, how much bloodshed, how many deaths? She wondered if she'd ever grow old, if she'd ever have children of her own? She wondered if she would ever be allowed a life for her and her alone, to do that which pleased her and only her. Kagome wonders why after so many times this song still didn't bother her, why it gave her comfort instead, when all it says is what she already knows, when every word haunted her existence. Maybe it was the fact that she had embraced what fate had in store for her, maybe she was crazy, all she knew was this song was a constant, and those were often few and far between, she listened to it again, and wondered how many times she'd done this before too.

The radio played:

"All around me are familiar faces

Worn out places,

Worn out faces,

Bright and early for the daily races,

Going nowhere,

Going nowhere,

Their tears are filling up their glasses,

No expression,

No expression,

Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow,

No tomorrow,

No tomorrow.

And I find it kind of funny,

I find it kind of sad,

These dreams in which I'm dying, Are the best I've ever had,

I find it hard to tell you,

I find it hard to take,

When people run in circles it's a very very,

Mad World,

Mad World.

Children waiting for the day they feel good,

Happy Birthday,

Happy Birthday,

And they feel the way that every child should,

Sit and listen,

Sit and listen,

Went to school and I was very nervous,

No one knew me,

No one knew me,

Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson,

Look right through me,

Look right through me.

And I find it kind of funny,

I find it kind of sad,

These dreams in which I'm dying, Are the best I've ever had,

I find it hard to tell you,

I find it hard to take,

When people run in circles it's a very very,

Mad World,

Mad World."

Sighing dejectedly for the how many-ith time she didn't know, she got up from bed, the sway in her walk, more womanly then a fifteen year old should have, as well as the arch in her back, how she could carry herself with such grace. To the bath room, and back again to dress she made her way to her closet, the bright white and green uniform fitting her less curvy body, she hated it. Her last life had ended so horribly, she had finally gotten love staying in the feudal era with him, only to be killed again this time be jealousy, and waking once more to the morning rays and that song. It was indeed a Mad World. Coming down stairs, her eyes were bright because she forced them to be so, the smile on her face again forced, for she of course knew what she would be facing when she left the front door, sometimes she thought it was all Buyo's doing. That Buyo was the catalyst for all the lives she had lived, she wondered if that first time, had she not looked for him what would have happened, she didn't often think on that subject though, it only made her angry, and if nothing else she could always just kick the cat, that always made her feel better. "Damn you Buyo." she murmured, while mentally shaking her fist at the fat lazy feline.

True to every time she had woken up again in that same place, to that same song, she went out to school, only to be called off to find the family cat, and into the well shack she went. She knew what to expect, it was always after becoming 'Alice' that events changed, sighing she called out for the cat, knowing her brother could hear, like always the wind rushed, and blue light came from the well. Soon she was pulled into the depths of the old well, the all too familiar pull of time, and swirling blue light. Soon came mistress centipede, licking her face, 'why couldn't the dead youkai just try for the damn jewel and not lick her face', she growled inwardly. Kagome forced the dormant powers out and attempted to purify the six armed female, a smirk growing over her face as she did so, if there was one thing she liked about doing this over and over again it was killing the six armed bitch.

Landing smartly on the ground of the well, she sat for a moment, and thought over every time she had come back to the past, every fifteenth birthday she'd had, one thing was a must, she had to free Inuyasha. If for no other reason then he wasn't there in her future, not in all the fourteen years, three hundred and sixty four days from her birth until she fell down the well for the first time was he pinned down, 'Nope there was defiantly no hanyou stuck to the tree'. Everything else from there on out was a free for all. "Here we go again. ARG!! Stupid white rabbits and their holes of all encompassing time, stupid hanyous, stupid jewel!" she murmured again. Climbing out of the well again for the first time, she made her decision, this time she was just going to unpin the hanyou and 'get the hell out of Dodge.' She had thought about it last time, but he'd been too fast for her, pinning her to the ground, screaming about his dead wench.

Kagome knew exactly what she had to do, wait for Kaede to show, unpin the hanyou, get the beads around his neck, subjugate the hell out of him, and run for the well screaming 'sit' until she made it home. "Sounds good to me. " she said as she made her way to the gods tree. Kagome knew this was going to be one of those times, one of those few times when she wasn't going to be the sweet little girl that she usually was... she would play 'time traveler' this time because she was tired of this repeated life, tired of coming back only to have nothing but heart ache, or pain, all caused by her hands. She walked only a short way until she was at the foot of the tree, looking up at the hanyou she decided that she was going to make the first move this time, backing away she went directly to Kaede's hut upon finding herself in the village.

"Lady Kaede." she called out, to the old miko who dropped the herbs she had along with the wooden bowl they were in. As her one good eye widened in shock.

"Be ye a spirit of the past come to haunt this old miko?" asked the old one, causing Kagome a genuine smile.

"No, Lady Kaede, listen I don't have much time, because honestly I just want to get this over with. I'm not from the past, but the future, five hundred years give or take. See." she said showing the miko her history book's print date. "I'm the current Shikon miko, Kikyo's supposed reincarnation, brought back for purposes I'm not yet sure of." she said waiting for it all to sink in, 'at least this time I didn't get tied up.' she thought as she watched the miko take everything in, in understanding. "Look I need the sacred beads Kikyo made for Inuyasha. May I have them please." she asked gently.

Kagome noted that the old miko looked warily at her, but she also saw the miko reading her aura, Kagome gently took the old withered hand and placed it under her rib, "See there, you saw it for yourself, burned with her body, there was nothing left but ash, I know you can feel it there. I'm telling the truth, and would do nothing to harm you or this village, in five hundred years this very land will be the land I grow up on, the land that my family lived upon, you can trust in me Kaede. There is more but I'm not sure how much I can tell you without upsetting you. I wouldn't mind telling you if you want to know." said Kagome. The old miko nodded a bit, and Kagome began her story of her life. She finished the very shortened version some forty five minutes later, to a very shocked miko.

"Ye have been back to relive this how many times?" asked the miko.

"Mind that I have stopped counting by now, but at last count which was some time ago, I was up to one hundred and thirty two. The lives tend to last for a few weeks up to years, the longest being nearly twenty years. I almost had a break down when I woke up again the next morning fifteen again. I know it's a lot to take in but my soul is vast, and every time I go back I learn more, I'm determined to try something this time, that I have yet to try." Kagome got out some paper and pens, and began a letter, within its ink held the base story, the one truth that had always been the catalyst to why she relived this life.

She didn't mention to the feudal era miko that after freeing Inuyasha only the big or important events seemed to remain from the previous visit, that she didn't have a completely clear view of those lives, or that they seemed more like fuzzy dreams then reality, only having the intense emotions to be the only link that they had truly happened. Of coarse sometimes, it wasn't common but it wasn't rare either, some events tended to repeat themselves with surprising clarity, and it was the dreams that came in handy then. She only knew how many birthdays she'd had because once she'd done it about eleven times she decided to keep a mental note on the subject. Looking down at the note she'd just written she read it over.

'Inuyasha, Kikyo wrongly wanted you to become something you are not. You wrongly wanted to become that something, because you wanted so badly to belong, Naraku took that from both of you, a hanyou made from greed... not born from love, but rather from weak demons that fed upon the body of the bandit Onigumo. These combined and malformed creatures created the vile monster spider hanyou that tricked you both into hating one another, and eventually sending the other to you ultimate end. She is gone because of him and him alone. Seek your revenge, and lay that part of your life to rest, move on and love again, Inuyasha.' she quickly folded the paper and handed it to Kaede.

"Kaede, I want you to read this to him if he can't, I also want you to know it as well, it is your past, a place that I cannot touch, but it is the only information I can give you on how things came to be this way. Beware Kaede, there is a demoness, Urasue, she may come to collect Kikyo's remains within the weeks to come, in order for her to harness her powers, if she comes to take the bone and grave yard soil she will make a golem of your beloved elder sister. That creature will be the walking un-dead, and will be forced to feed off the souls of the recently passed of other village women of the land. That Kikyo would be a shadow of her former self, filled with hate and loathing for the one she supposedly loved, who in her eyes betrayed her. This is not a fate I wish for part of my soul even if it is not to come, for I will not allow it. Protect your sister, Kaede, as she protected this village. Now, I need those beads, as well as a bow and arrow, and finally your horse. May I have these things so that the fates do not force upon this world again the sacred Shikon Jewel?"

The old miko's face was pale indeed, she could feel no falseness in this Kagome's' aura, and the ease and steadiness of the young one's conviction meant that all these things had happened to her many times, or she was stark raving mad. Kaede would have gone with the madness had it not been for the deeply refined bottomless well of pure power that floated off of the girl, or the slight thrum from the jewel itself, whose own aura was draft by this young woman with stormy blue grey eyes. The old one nodded to her questions, and got the beads as well as the extra bow, and the horse, needing to know what the girl was up to, Kaede came along.

"What will ye do?" asked the old one.

"I know this might sound like the craziest thing I have said to you all day," Kagome said to Kaede with a smile, "But I have to free Inuyasha." Kagome waited for the inevitable, she didn't have to wait long.

"WHAT!?" asked the old one as she slid her horse to a stop, as Kagome's did as well.

Turning to face the old one she began, "How ever many times I have come back, there are very few constants, Inuyasha being set free is one of them. In the future he is not pinned to the tree. The scar in the tree from the arrow Kikyo shot him with is worn and aged. He must be free, I will tell you that he's going to be angry, livid in fact, and you need to be ready. The beads are going to be your protection as much as my own. When he comes to he will think that I am Kikyo, he will see no other, smell no other for I am so much like her in resemblance. He will seek to kill me for he has been in a dreamless sleep for fifty years, for him when he opens his eyes it will be as if has only closed them for a moment. The hate, anger, and betrayal he felt in that moment will be just as strong. But it is me that he will go after. I want you to put the beads around his neck, don't look at me like that, you have done it every time, as you will this time as well. Only instead of me that subdues him, I want you to 'sit' him."

"Sit?" asked the old one with a raised brow.

"He is a dog is he not? What better way to get a dog to obey?" Kagome said with a smile as she entered the clearing that Inuyasha was in, he was just waking, startling the old one, but not Kagome. She chose not to speak to him, it wouldn't matter, he was not the love of her life, his brother was. And this time unlike so many before she would not give in and be trapped in this life again. Kagome pulled the bow from her shoulder as Inuyasha began to rant.

"What the hell are you doing Kikyo?" he seethed, Kagome paid him no mind as she began to shoot sacred arrows in a circle around Inuyasha and the tree. Unlike most miko's who's power would leave the arrow shortly, her power radiated off of them like a sparkler that had no end, creating a wall of barriers around the still angry dog hanyou. 'It should be this way', she thought, 'only had to train them nearly one hundred and fifty times'. Kaede stood shocked at the sight, the thrum of power the girl held in was still held tight but the display was amazing, Kagome let little unsettle her in tasks though. She could feel something she had yet to feel in any of her other encounters in the past, two set of eyes was watching them, one set held intrigue, the other malice.. Braking from her practice, Kagome turned sharply towards beady black eyes that belong to Mistress Centipede. Without missing a beat the youkai jumped from the bushes screaming about the jewel, her bow was already pulled taught arrow sprung, and flying, it hit the youkai's nude chest, burning her from that spot to the tips of her body. Screaming in agony the demon died.

"You're such a cruel bitch." spat Inuyasha, who had been ignored from the moment he woke. He had watched her, scented her, and though parts of his brain were able to grasp that this woman was not Kikyo, the more overwhelming side of him argued that it was the woman that had just shot him. Kagome turned to him for the first time, and locked his gaze, he had done so on many occasions with the original incarnate, Kikyo, her eyes were dull and brown, what he saw reflected him were livid fury filled silvery blue grey.

"I will say this once and only once Son of Toga, the once great lord and Izayoi hime of Kyoto, half brother of Sesshomaru the current lord of the western lands, and prince of the west yourself. I know you better then you know yourself, and where as you may lie to yourself to allow your own confused weak heart to believe that I am Kikyo, I. Am. Not. I am Kagome, daughter of Kenshiro and Sayuri. If you ever call me by any other name then what I was born with I will waste no time perfecting the killing strike that you precious Kikyo could not take. You have been sealed to a tree for fifty years, open up your eyes, your mind and your sense of smell you baka, and listen to that intangibly small voice of reason in your pea sized brain." She seethed out vehemently, shocking both the dog hanyou and the old miko.

"Kaede it is time," she barked as she walked over to the horse and mounted its back, leaning down she whispered into the ear of the old one. "There is a spy to your left that has heard this whole conversation." speaking louder she said, "I will have you put the necklace on now while he is dormant still, then when it is in place I shall pull the arrow from his chest, and ride to my home. When I am gone the power in my arrows will be as well, remember 'sit.'" she said with a smile. The old woman warily did as asked, surprising herself that she could get the beads on in the first place, but the young one had said as much, she watched as the young one got just close enough to barely touch the arrow and it disappeared.

Kaede almost fainted as Inuyasha slashed viciously at Kagome, who dodged the attack easily, having done so, so many times. "No, no puppy, wouldn't want to end up purified would you?" Kagome teased. She watched as the hanyou tried to leave her barrier, and was pushed back. "It surrounds the full tree Inuyasha, climb as high as you want and you still will not be able to go through. Goodbye Kaede, through out my many visits you were always a charming wonderful teacher and grandmother to me. Be well my dear friend." said Kagome as she turned and rode off. Kagome was to the well soon enough and when dismounting the horse, it bucked, at what she never knew as she was thrown into the well, while her book bag fell to its side landing on the ground with a thump. While blue lights surrounded her and engulfed her, taking her home.

'Alice' had done her job, and as she fell she felt a strange magic one she had never before, it pulsed hard knocking her unconscious as she hit the hard floor of the well, her blue grey eyes took in the sight of the well house roof, splaying fingers upon the earthen ground below her she chanted a spell before blackness took her. Again she pulsed, sealing the well had taken her into blackness, but the world was changing all over because 'Alice' came back to the future and had made her mind to forget about the 'rabbit hole'. The strange pulse of magic had coursed through the world, changing events from then until that moment, and Kagome had no clue as she slowly fell to the cool floor of the well's floor. She didn't hear her family calling her name, she didn't see her father come down a rope to get his unconscious daughter from the bottom of the well, a father that had died seven years ago.

On the other side of the well, Kagome power receded, leaving the hanyou able to leave, he went right after the barrier had dropped, throwing himself down the well, but it would not open for him, it would not take him as it had her, jumping out again, and trying a few times, it was the old woman's voice that stopped him. "Do ye remember the younger sister of Kikyo?" she asked, causing the angry hanyou to turn to her.

"Yeah what about the brat?" he said gruffly.

"I am she, the young one, was a time traveler, she wrote this for you." she handed him the note Kagome had written, he scoffed as though it was below him to touch the paper. "Will ye not read it?"

"I can't!" he bit out furiously.

"Fine, then I will for it is information she said ye need to know." she read the small letter, shocked that the female could put all her thoughts in a row as such, and watched as Inuyasha's eyes grew with anger.

"So we were tricked." he seethed for himself and his lost love.

.

Days later...in the West.

.

"My lord, milord!" came a small kitsune demon. The silver figure with flowing ivory boa stopped dead in his traces to the sound of this particular scout, a scout that for all purposes he should not seen lest certain events were to have taken place.

"What?" said the bored demon lord.

"Lord Sesshomaru, the half-breed is free! I saw it with my own eyes, a strange miko in strange clothing freed him and ran. Before she did she said,...

"I will say this once and only once Son of Toga, whom was once a great lord and Izayoi hime of Kyoto, half brother of Sesshomaru the current lord of the western lands, and prince of the west yourself. I know you better then you know yourself, and where as you may lie to yourself to allow your own confused weak heart to believe that I am Kikyo, I. Am. Not. I am Kagome, daughter of Kenshiro and Sayuri. If you ever call me by any other name then what I was born with I will waste no time perfecting the killing strike that you precious Kikyo could not take. You have been sealed to a tree for fifty years, open up your eyes, your mind and your sense of smell you baka, and listen to that intangibly small voice of reason in your pea sized brain"

"...Then she was reared from her horse, and into an old well near that tree he was pinned to, she dropped this," he said holding up the yellow pack to his lord, "before vanishing."

"Vanishing?" asked the demon Lord incredulously while lifting a brow in question.

"Yes. The halfling, attempted several times to follow but was not able to. Additionally the old miko in the village has a subjugation necklace on him as well, to aid the younger miko in escape. She told the old one what would happen and everything had happened to her exact words. I only returned as order, but I have a kit following him." reported the adult kitsune.

"Interesting." said the deep voice of Sesshomaru as he took the bag and headed for his palace home to look through its contents of the young vanishing miko known as Kagome. A strange young one who knew of Izayoi, and himself, and from what it seemed Inuyasha.

 

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