A Cross of Blades by Striking Falcon

Welcome to the Garden

Prologue: Welcome to the Garden


Kagome skipped into the room, her smile bright and playful as she hugged a lime green teddy bear. "Look what I have Souta," she chirped as she leaned over the playpen. Her three year old sibling looked up with curious eyes, dark brownish gray smiling into his sister's bright green orbs.

"This is Mr. Bobo," she told him as she handed over the stuffed animal. "He was my favorite toy when I was a baby. I'm seven now, so Daddy said I could give him to you!" She smiled as he gurgled below her and grimaced when he began chewing on the bear's ears.

"Don't do that Souta!" she scolded as she fished the wet piece of fur from Souta's mouth. "Mr. Bobo doesn't want to be eaten! You're supposed to hug him. Look, like this." She hugged the odd colored bear tightly, muttering a slight 'ew' when an ear brushed against her cheek. "See Souta? Mr. Bobo likes to be hugged."

"'ug! 'ug!" he repeated happily. He climbed to his feet unsteadily, braced himself on the sides of the playpen and reached for the bear. Kagome handed it over with a smile, then turned when she heard the front door open. "I'll be right back," she said and giggled when Souta fell backward, landing on his diapered fanny with a rustled flop.

Kagome skipped from the room, her pigtails swaying to and fro as she followed her mother's and father's voice to the living room. "Mommy, Daddy I-"She stopped and returned to the hallway, then peered back inside at the strange lady sitting on the sofa. She was dressed in a black jacket and skirt, with gold and blue designs on the front and sides. The lady's blonde hair was pinned up in the back, with long tendrils framing her face and brushing against her wrists. She held a clipboard, and Kagome could see her coat hanging from the coat rack in the hallway.

She turned when her father began to speak, watching the conversation curiously.

"We're more than honored to have you here Miss..."

"Trepe," the blonde replied with a smile. "Instructor Trepe Mr. Higurashi, and I was more than happy to come. It's not very often we find people from Esthar interested in our Garden."

"What garden?" Kagome whispered to herself as she listened. "I wonder what kind of flowers are there."

"You're quite welcome Instructor," Mr. Higurashi said as Mrs. Higurashi reached for a tea kettle in the center of the coffee table. She offered to serve the blonde lady first, to which she politely declined, before pouring into the two cups on her side and returning the kettle to it's proper place.

"What can you tell us about it?" Mrs. Higurashi asked. "We've never heard much about it, and we were away when you and the other SeeDs were here."

'Seeds from a garden?' Kagome smiled. 'I bet they make pretty flowers.'

Instructor Trepe nodded. "Of course. Let me begin by our location. Balamb Garden is named for the town of Balamb, which is only a couple of miles from the Garden itself. Though the Garden is mobile, and is scheduled to move about during certain parts of the year, we mostly remain stationed in the plains outside the township. There are one hundred and seventy five members on the staff, which include an in-house kitchen staff, instructors like myself, the disciplinary committee and our headmaster."

"What about education?" Mr. Higurashi asked as Mrs. Higurashi took a sip of her tea. "What are the careers available?"

"Oh, there are many to choose from," Instructor Trepe responded with a confidant wave of her hand. "Students can choose any range of fields, including medical, computer sciences, teaching and, of course, our SeeD program."

"Yes," Mr. Higurashi nodded in approval. "That's what we wish for our Kagome. How much would the tuition be?"

'They're talking about me?' Kagome gasped as her parents and the instructor talked on. 'Mommy and Daddy...they're going to send me away? But why?' Kagome slid down the wall numbly, her little hands clasped in her lap as silent tears streaked down her face.

"Well, we do have a program for orphaned children that started after the first Sorceress War," Instructor Trepe replied. "Of course, with your daughter it would have to be different. Tuition is 9000 Gil a year, and it included food, boarding, lessons and any weapons should she choose to train in an appropriate field."

"That's fine. How soon can she start?"

"We start accepting new students in two weeks."

"Alright then." Mr. Higurashi stood and gathered the empty tea cups. "I'm going to get my checkbook. Dear, please fill out the forms."

"Of course." Both women watched as he disappeared into the kitchen before Instructor Trepe passed Mrs. Higurashi her clipboard. "Do you have any questions Mrs. Higurashi?" the instructor asked as Kagome's mother filled out the forms.

"Yes. Exactly how do you get to Balamb Garden?"

"It's quite simple. There is a train in FH that leads to Timber. In Timber, take the train to Balamb. There's always a staff member waiting at the bus station during the first week of registration, so all she'd have to do is get on the right trains to get there. May I ask a question?"

"Of course," Mr. Higurashi responded as he entered the room.

"I don't mean to pry but...why exactly do you want to send your daughter to the Garden? Surely the schools here are adequate, if not more advanced than what we have."

"We believe that Kagome would be better off learning what you have to offer. Here in Esthar, one is expected to either be an engineer or an archaeologist. We think Kagome would be happier somewhere else."

"I see. Alright then." Instructor Trepe assisted the Higurashi's with the forms, accepted the check Mr. Higurashi gave her and allowed them to escort her to the front door. "I thank you both for considering our Garden," she said as she headed out the door. "We'll be expecting Kagome in two weeks."

"Thank you Instructor Trepe," Mr. Higurashi as he and his wife waved goodbye. "Have a safe journey back." They closed the door behind her, a soft sigh escaping them both as they exchanged uneasy looks.

"Do you really think that was the right decision?" she asked as Mr. Higurashi leaned against the door. "Should we really send her away?"

"Now Elle, we've already discussed this," Mr. Higurashi responded before reaching for her and pulling her into his comforting embrace. "This is what we agreed on. Kagome is different than the other children. You yourself worry about the others teasing and being cruel to her."

"But will she understa-"


They looked down, then pulled away from each other as Kagome stared up at them, her hands trembling in front of her as she continued to cry. "Kagome baby, we need to-"

"Why do you want to send me away? Don't you love me anymore?"

"Of course we do honey," Mr. Higurashi said as he kneeled in front of her. He moved to hug her, but

Kagome stepped out of his reach and stared at them. "It's just that you're growing so fast, and you're so much smarter than the other kids at school. We just don't want you to feel left out."

"Besides," her mother said as she too kneeled to Kagome's eye level. "You're going to have so many new friends! It'll be so much fun and we'll bring Souta to visit you whenever we can!"

"But I don't want to go!" Kagome wailed miserably. "I already have friends, and Souta's here! I don't want to go away!"


"Please don't send me away!" she cried desperately. "I'll be a good girl, I promise! I'll make good grades-"


"I'll be good in school!"


"I'll even change Souta's diapers! The number ones and the number twos!"

"KAGOME!!" Mr. Higurashi straightened himself up as Kagome looked on, her bottom lip trembling as she tried to keep her tears at bay. "You're mother and I have decided on this. It's final. You're going and that's that!"


"No buts young lady!"

"I hate you!" Kagome snapped angrily, her fists balled at her sides. "I never want to talk to you ever again!" Her mother and father stood agape, momentarily stunned as Kagome turned on her heels and ran down the hallway, the door to her room slamming closed seconds later.

"Oh no," Mrs. Higurashi moaned as she started to cry. "What have we done?"

"She'll come to understand," Mr. Higurashi assured her as he blotted her face dry. "We can't protect her forever."


Kagome slammed her bedroom door and threw herself onto her bed, her head buried underneath her pillow as she cried brokenly. 'Why?' she asked herself over and over again while she sobbed. "Why do they want to send me away? Don't they love me anymore?'

She cried for hours, her sobs shaking her small body as she curled into a ball. 'Why don't Mommy and Daddy love me anymore? Don't they want me to be here?' She sniffed and wiped her face with the back of her hand, her sobs little more than tiny hiccups as she grasped a little necklace around her neck. It was made of a delicate chain, with a silver star charm shining in her teary eyes. A calm settled over her as she clutched the necklace, the metal warming in her hands as the last of her tears dried to nothing.

'OK,' she thought as she settled down. 'If they don't want me here, then I won't be here.' She crawled off the bed and began packing, the normally dark rim around her irises glowing a brilliant light-green before disappearing.


"Now Kagome," Mrs. Higurashi said as the train entered the station. "You make sure to listen to the conductor. He'll help you if you get lost."

"And don't talk to strangers!"

"Remember Kagome; it takes two days to get to Timber, then it you're to get on the train to Balamb. It'll take three days on the train to get there alright?"

"Be good for the instructors!" Mr. Higurashi offered, then sighed as his daughter remained silent. She merely watched as the other passengers boarded the train, a look of cold aloofness shielding once bright happy eyes. "Here Kagome," he began as he reached inside his pocket and opened his wallet. "Here's a couple of gil. It should help until you get to the Garden."

"Kagome, why won't you say something?" her mother pleaded as she grasped Kagome's shoulders. Kagome seemed to look straight through her, her face unchanged as the train whistle pierced the early morning air. She ignored the money in her father's hand, turning from him to her little brother who watched her from his stroller.

"Goodbye Souta," she said with a watery smile. "Don't worry, we'll see each other again. I promise." He babbled insistently, his pudgy hands reaching for something as she kissed his palm. "I'll write to you all the time, and when you're old enough you'll write to me."

"We'll come to see you in a few months," Mr. Higurashi said as Kagome hoisted a black backpack near her feet onto her back. She grasped the handle of her rolling suitcase and began to walk away, only pausing once to show the conductor her ticket before boarding the train and disappearing.

"Something's wrong with her," Mrs. Higurashi whispered as the train whistled again. "We shouldn't let her go."

"But we can't let her stay," Mr. Higurashi said, his head lowered in remorse. "She may hate us now, but Kagome needs this. She has to be able to protect herself."

"But I've held her since the first moment she opened her eyes," Mrs. Higurashi sobbed as the train began to pull away from the station. "It's killing me to see her like this."

Mr. Higurashi draped an arm around her shoulders and held her while she cried, his hand caressing the top of her head as the train disappeared into the horizon. "She'll be alright. We'll see her at the open house. Kagome will be fine, you'll see."


Kagome moved through the dining car to the guest cabins, her head down as she kept to herself. Those that noticed her didn't acknowledge her as they made their way through the train's many compartments. She stopped in front of a door, then looked down at her ticket and nodded. She opened the door and peered inside, then walked in and glanced around. Two long seats were on either side of the room, with a large window in the center of the outer wall. There were storage cabinets above both seats and a door that lead to what Kagome guessed was the bathroom.

Kagome sighed and shrugged her backpack off her shoulders. 'Looks like I'll be staying here,' she decided. She picked the seat on the right to sit on and began putting her luggage inside the high cabinet. 'I'm by myself now,' she sniffed as she struggled to get her backpack inside the cabinet. 'I don't need anyone. It's just me...all by myself. I'll take care of me from now on. I don't need anyo-'


Kagome jumped instantly, a small cry escaping her mouth when she bumped her head underneath the heavy wood. She turned at the laughter behind her and frowned at the small boy standing by the door.

"Sorry!" He sang out with a wide grin, revealing tiny pointed fangs. Kagome shrugged it off with a sigh and continued to pack as the little boy bounced on the left seat. "Wow, this is so fun! Have you ever been on a train? I have! It's lots of fun! I go all the time."

Kagome watched as he bounced, his red hair and tail flopping wildy. The train lurched unsteadily, the impact causing the little boy to fall from his seat. Kagome caught him quickly and helped him back to his feet. "Hey kid, you should be careful. You're gonna get hurt like that."

"Yeah I know," he said with a sheepish smile. "My mom tells me that all the time. What's your name?"

"Me? I'm Kagome."

"Yeah? I'm Shippou!" He straightened himself up to his full three feet, his fists on his hips and his face set in cute determination. "You'd better stick with me!" he told her. "I can protect you."

Kagome smiled, leaned back and crossed her arms with a wry smile. "How's that little guy?"

"I'm gonna be a SeeD!" he announced proudly. "I turned five last week, so my parents said that I could go to Balamb Garden. Have you seen it?"

"No," Kagome mumbled grumpily. "I don't want to see it."

"Then why are you on the train?" Shippou asked, his tail twitching in his curiosity. "Aren't you going to the Garden?"

Kagome nodded.

"Great! I bet we can be friends! We'll train together, take magic classes together and-"

"Magic?" Kagome interrupted. "There's magic?"

Shippou huffed. "Yeah there's magic! You get to do all kinds of stuff! It's going to be so cool!" He scurried into Kagome's lap, his furry tail flickering wildly while he rattled on. "Have you ever been on a train before Kagome?"

"No," Kagome shook her head. "It's my first time."

"Isn't it cool?" Shippou cheered excitedly. "My daddy is an en-ge-neer, and he works on trains. I get to ride with him sometimes but this is my first time going by myself. Oh!" He suddenly reached inside his pocket, fished out his ticket and shoved it into her hand. "Here, can you hold my ticket? My momma said to give it to someone who'll keep up with it."


"Thanks! Let's go check out the rest of the train!" He jumped up and struggled to get Kagome on her feet, then dragged her out the door and down the hallway. "Come on!" he rushed as they walked past the other passengers. "This is going to be fun! You're so slow Kagome!"

Kagome followed the little boy for the rest of the afternoon, her somber mood brightening by the minute at his hyper insistence. 'Maybe it won't be so bad,'she decided as they stopped at a water fountain. The fountain was too tall for him and he looked from Kagome, to it and back again before attempting to climb the side of it.

"No, not that way," Kagome said. She picked him up and lifted him to the nozzle, her strength waning under the five year old as he drank his fill.

"Ahhh! Thanks Kagome!" he grinned, then grabbed her hand again and ran from the hallway. They stopped when the conductor appeared at the junction to the next car, his face disapproving as he glared at them.

"Just where do you two think you're going?" he asked as Kagome and Shippou struggled to adjust themselves.

"We want to see the en-ge-neer!" Shippou declared, Kagome shook her hand awake. "We want to get inside the driver's car!"

"No way kid," the conductor frowned. "They're busy in there, so you can't go in." He quirked an eye at the two then, and asked, "Say, just what are you two doing together?"

"We share a-"

"I'm her protector!" Shippou interrupted.

"Really?" the conductor chuckled as Kagome rolled her eyes and rested her forehead in the palm of her hand. "Who are you protecting her from?"

"Are you kidding? A pretty girl like her? Shoo, from everybody!"

The conductor outright laughed at this, and at Kagome as he cheeks turned a bright red. "You're protecting your sweetheart huh? I tell you what little man; you and your girlfriend-"

"I'm not his girlfriend!" Kagome quipped.

"-come back after dinner and I'll see what I can do about getting you guys inside. What do you say?"

"Cool!" Shippou cried happily, then turned around, grabbed Kagome's hand yet again and dragged her back the way they came.

'I was wrong,' Kagome thought as they walked past their room. 'This is going to be a nightmare!'


"Here we are Kagome!" Shippou said as they stepped off the train. "This is Timber!"

Kagome grasped his hand and allowed him to lead the way, her attention more on her surroundings than where they were going. Everything was so different from her hometown, with the scents of the surrounding forest around her. The few people they passed flashed friendly smiles her way, and she couldn't help but smile in return. They crossed over the gated bridge at the station house and ran down a set of stairs before stopping in front of a man in the tunnel.

"'Cuse me Mister!" Shippou shouted up to the man. "Which way is Balamb Station?"

The man stared at him in confusion for a second, then gestured to the tunnel behind him. "Go straight down this tunnel, then keep going straight until you pass by an old building with 'Timber Maniacs' on the front. From there hang a left to the pet store. Balamb Station is right at the top of the stairs."

"Thanks Mister!" Shippou scurried down the tunnel, once again dragging Kagome along behind him. The man watched them go, then shook his head and climbed the stairs to the train for Fisherman's Horizon. "Weird kid," he muttered to himself, then dropped it all together and boarded.

"Hey Kagome!" Shippou said as they ran down the walkway. "What time is it?"

Kagome glanced down at her watch, her concentration swaying a moment from the jostling. "It's...four o' clock." She gasped when he skidded to a halt, nearly bowling the little kitsune over before she could stop herself. "Hey," she griped as she dusted herself off. "What's the big idea?"

"I smell food..." He drifted toward a restaurant, his mouth literally watering as the smell of good food made both their stomachs growl. "Come on Kagome," he said as he opened the door. "I'm hungry and the train to Garden doesn't get here for an hour and a half!"

"How do you know that?" Kagome asked as she checked the tickets. Sure enough, the little guy was right, with the Balamb train arriving five thirty. "OK Shippou," she relented as they walked up to the counter. "What are you getting?"

"I want a..." He studied the menu intently, both Kagome and the vendor rolling their eyes at his indecision before he grinned. "I want two shrimp eggrolls, some chicken wings and a cola."

"What about you young lady?" the vendor asked. Kagome thought a second, then said "I want the wonton soup please, with some of the fried bananas and a bottled water."

"OK kids. Hold on." The vendor disappeared behind the counter, leaving Kagome and Shippou to wait patiently. They jumped when the door to the restaurant was flung open, and they watched as a little girl came dancing into the room.

"I'm goin' to the Garden! I'm goin' to the Garden!" She plunked a red duffle bag and suitcase down in a nearby chair and continued dancing, and it wasn't long before Shippou joined in.

"Hey!" he said when the little girl finally stopped. "I'm Shippou and I'm five! I'm going to the Garden too!"

"Hey to you too cutie!" the girl giggled as she swept him up and hugged him. Kagome watched them from afar, deciding to let Shippou do his thing on his own. The little girl finally put him down and rubbed the top of his head. "I'm Sango, and I'm not five! I'm going to the Garden too!"

"Wow...how old are you?"

"I'm seven and a half!"

"Really? My friend Kagome-"He pointed to Kagome, who waved in response. "Is seven too! She's going to the Garden with us!"

"So you're taking the next train right?" Sango asked, her low ponytail flapping along her back. Kagome nodded.

"Great! I was hopin' not to be by myself!"

'Why?' Kagome mused as Sango and Shippou talked over her. 'What's the point? We're going to be alone sooner or later, so why even bother?'


Kagome blinked, snapping herself out of her previous thoughts. "Yeah?"

"There you are!" Sango said, then pointed to the vendor. "Your order's been up for a while."

"Oh. Thanks." Kagome took her food and sat at one of the tables with Shippou and Sango. She laughed as Shippou woofed down his egg rolls, then panicked when he began to choke on a piece of shrimp. "Breathe kid," she instructed as she and Sango clapped him on the back. "Jeez, who taught you how to eat?"

"My dad has a friend like that," Sango said when Shippou finally recovered. "He's funny, and he's always hangin' around this girl that only says one word at a time."

"Only one?" Shippou repeated as Sango sipped on her soda. "Man, I bet that's weird."

"Hey Kid, you're only five," Kagome said around her soup. "How do you know what weird means?"

"Hey, I'm five in human years!" Shippou retorted. "I'm actually older than the both of you."

"But you're still shorter than us," Sango teased, she and Kagome laughing at his cross expression. "Aw, but don't worry," Sango said as she ruffled his hair. "You can still hang out with us. We don't care about you being a grandpa and all!"

"Cool...hey! That's not funny!" Sango jumped up and ran outside, with Shippou hot on her tail and Kagome lagging behind. She watched as they chased each other along the walkway, then glanced at her watch and gasped.

"Hey you guys!" she called as Shippou attached himself to Sango's head. She screamed like a banshee and tried to pry him off, with him giggling like a psycho as Kagome called to them again.


Both turned to her, with Sango lifting Shippou's tail to see better. "Yeah?"

"We've got to go. The train gets here in fifteen minutes!"

"Oh no!" Sango wailed as she dropped Shippou, who landed on his head, and ran back inside the café for her bags. "It'll take at least that long to get there! Come on guys, we've gotta go!!"

"Gee, I just said that," Kagome muttered under her breath. Shippou recovered quickly and ran after Sango, nearly tripping her up on the way out before the both of them ran to catch up with Kagome.

"Kagome!" Shippou wailed as the older girl's ponytail bobbed ahead of them. "Wait up! Who's gonna look after you if I get left behind?"


Kagome, Sango and Shippou stood at the gates on the outside of the Garden, each suddenly apprehensive about going in.

"It can't be that bad right?" Sango stuttered nervously, her hands wringing in front of her. "I mean, if it were our parents wouldn't let us go in."

Kagome nodded at her logic, then ventured forth and stepped through the gates. Shippou and Sango followed, only to crash into her back when she suddenly stopped. They both opened their mouths to yell at her but forgot what to yell about when they looked ahead of them.

The common area was huge, and truly looked like a garden. Cobblestone pathways wove between the lush plant life, the trees overhead more magnificent than anything Kagome'd ever seen. "Wow," she breathed as she stepped toward one. "I've never seen one this big."

"They grow like that in Timber," Sango boasted, though she too was just as thunderstruck. "But I think it's pretty big too."

"Excuse me?"

The group looked away from the tree to another child standing in front of them. He was dressed in a blue uniform, his jacket unzipped enough to see the white t-shirt underneath. He smiled warmly at them, his inky blue eyes just as curious as the rest of him. "Are you guys alright?"

"Yeah," Shippou huffed with a casual flick of his wrist. "Why wouldn't we be?"

"Um...because you're looking at a tree like you've never seen one before?"

"There aren't a lot of them where I come from," Kagome said as she glanced at him. He looked awed by her statement, his jaw going slack momentarily before resuming his natural charm.

"Just where are you from?" he asked, and before Kagome could take a breath Shippou cried out, "Kagome's from Esthar! We rode the train together from Fisherman's Horizon!"

The boy blinked in shock and glanced at a sheet of paper in his hands. "You're Kagome Higurashi right?"

Kagome nodded.

"And you, you're the kitsune from FH! Shippou...Makayura, right?"

"That's what my mama calls me!" Shippou announced grandly, which earned giggles from the females in his company. The boy quirked a brow, but let Shippou slide as he turned to Sango. "And who are you?

"I'm Sango Almasy, from Timber."

"Great! I've been looking for you guys. Follow me." Kagome, Shippou and Sango exchanged glances, then shrugged and followed after the little boy as he led them up the pathway to the inner gateway.

"My name's Miroku Saikai, and I'm your mentor."

"What's a mentor?" Shippou asked, his hand once again wrapped around Kagome's as they were led about the Garden.

"A mentor is someone you look up to and ask for advice," Miroku explained. "I'm your mentor because I'm the oldest, I've been here the longest, and we're all in the same dorm pod together."

"Yeah right," Shippou rolled his eyes. "You don't look that old."

"I'll have you know that I'm eight years old," Miroku corrected. "I've been here for three years."

Shippou rolled his eyes again. "Whoop-de-friggin'-do."

They stopped in front of a directory in the center of the pathway, with walkways branching to the left, right and straight up a flight of stairs to an elevator. Miroku moved aside so the others could see, then began explaining.

"Since you guys are new to Garden, you're gonna have to learn the rules," he said as he glanced over his sheet of paper. "Like I'm sure you already know, this is a mobile Garden, meaning that it can move. There are four floors to the Garden; the first floor, which is where we're standing now, the second floor, which is right above us, B1 floor, which is right below us, and the third floor is the headmaster's office but you can't go to it or the B1 floor without permission.

"This is the first floor directory," he said as he gestured to the large computer behind him. "If you get lost, just come here and follow the directions on the screen. There are seven areas to the first floor: the library, training center, parking lot, dormitory, quad, infirmary and cafeteria. The manuals in your dorm rooms go into each area further, but I will say that the only areas open at night are the training center and the dorms. Any questions?"

"What's the training room for?" Shippou asked.

"It's for people who want to level up in strength, but don't want to go outside the Garden to do it. You have to be careful in the training center though, because they're real monsters in there." Miroku waited for more questions, then forged ahead when they remained silent. "The second floor is all classrooms. There's a directory map in the elevator hallway that has all the room numbers, plus the instructors assigned to that room. Homeroom's at nine o' clock am, and you only get four chances per semester to be late."

"What's the cafeteria schedule?" Sango offered quickly.

"It's open from seven to eight thirty, eleven to one thirty, and six to eight thirty again. Your first semester schedules are inside your manuals in your dorms. Um..." Miroku stopped to look the paper over, flipping it over once before shrugging and tossing it aside. "That's it I guess. Welcome to the Garde-"

"Give it back you bastard!"

They turned toward the commotion, each student surprised that a crowd had formed behind Kagome and the others. "What's going on?" she asked Miroku as shouting came from the other side of the crowd.

"I don't know, but I hope it's not what I think it is..." He pushed his way to the front of the crowd, with Kagome and Sango following behind him. Shippou had long since given up walking, deciding that Kagome's shoulder was more comfortable than tiring out his feet. They stopped once they reached the front, with Miroku walking toward two boys.

To Kagome and Sango, they looked like twins, with the same silver hair and golden eyes. The only difference was that the smaller one had little doggie ears on top of his head, something that both girls instantly found to be cute.

"Don't you just want to touch them?" Sango sighed, her fingers itching to rub one of the furry little triangles. Shippou gave an all-knowing shake of his head and turned back to Miroku as he attempted to step between the two.

"Hey you two!" he shouted as the smaller boy tried to push him aside. "How many fights do you have to get into in a week? Don't you guys get tired?"

"He took something of mine!" the smaller boy accused, his finger pointed at his taller duplicate. "Give it back Sesshoumaru!"

"I don't know what you're talking about halfbreed," the taller boy, Sesshoumaru, said as he began to walk away. "I don't want anything of yours."

"Yes you do! You know Daddy gave it to me, so give it back!"

"What does he have Inuyasha?" Miroku asked as the crowd began to mummer around them.

"He knows," Inuyasha growled angrily, then snapped up, charged past Miroku and socked Sesshoumaru in the face. "Give it back! I know you have it!"

Both boys fell to the floor and the fight was on, with some of the students cheering for their favorite brother as Miroku tried to separate them. "You guys stop!" he yelled, then winced when a stray punch landed in his stomach.

"What I don't understand is," a girl beside Kagome said as Sesshoumaru rolled Inuyasha off of him and returned his blows in abundance.

"Why they would transfer those two to the same Garden with their history?"

"What was that?" Shippou asked as he, Kagome and Sango turned to her. "What are you talking about?"

"That's Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha Endo," the girl said as she pointed to the two combatants. "The eldest is Sesshoumaru, and he's been at Galbandia Garden for four years, and his brother's been at Trabia Garden for three. They've been split up for so long, so why put them under the same Garden if they don't get along?"

"That's it," they heard Sesshoumaru growl before kicking his younger brother in the side. "I said I don't have it! I won't say it again!"

"Give it back Sesshoumaru!" Inuyasha snapped as he grabbed Sesshoumaru's foot and jerked it from underneath him. "It's not my fault Father didn't give you one."

"Why you little-"Both were jerked from the floor without another word, pulled away from each other and into the arms of two security. The crowd dispersed soon after, leaving Miroku sitting in the middle of a bunch of strewn papers and books.

Kagome, Shippou and Sango helped him pick up the materials, separated them into two equal stacks and followed the security officers to the infirmary where one of the doctors checked on the smaller boy.

"Here's your books Inuyasha," Miroku said as he handed over a mussed stack of papers and books. Inuyasha thanked him and set his books beside him. Kagome stood by for a few minutes, then remembered that she held the other brother's belongings.

"Excuse me," she said to the doctor. "Where's the other one?"

"He's that way dear," the doctor said as she pointed to a closed off area of the infirmary. "Just go right in." Kagome nodded in thanks and followed the doctor's instruction. She slid aside the curtain and walked inside, where Sesshoumaru sat on the cot ahead.

"Um...excuse me?"

Kagome jumped when he looked at her, his eyes golden pools of fury smoldering in their own fire.


"Um...You left your books in the commons and well, here they are." Kagome set them on the bed beside him and was ready to quit the room when he called to her.

"I've never seen you before. Are you new?"

"Yeah," Kagome nodded. "This is my first day."

His head tipped to the side and Kagome couldn't help but watch the silvery strands shift over his shoulder like woven strands of moonlight. "I see. How old are you?"

"I'm seven."

"Oh." He turned away from her, his nose upturned as he yawned in boredom. "I see. You're still a baby. I don't have time for babies."

Kagome fumed instantly, her normally calm placid scattering to the seven winds. "I was just trying to be nice!" she yelled at his back. "You don't have to be mean about it."

"You don't know who I am, do you?" he snarled back at her. Kagome grinned innocently, what should have been a clear sign of trouble had he known better.

"I think I do."

"Good." He turned back around, throughly satisfied until

"You're a royal dick. Later Sesshoumaru."

He whipped around just as she disappeared from the room, the only sound left from her passing was Shippou's

"Kagome, what's a dick?"

(End Chapter)

This story's reference is the game, but everything about Inuyasha will be spliced and merged to suit my needs. I may as warn you now, there isn't a single trace of the Tetsusaiga, the Tenseiga or Toukijin. Just thought I'd tell you before we went any further. For the first couple of chapters, I want to focus on them as kids, but it won't last but this chapter and maybe two others. Anyway, let me know how you guys like it and whether or not I should continue. Oh, but here's the preview for the next chapter.

Kagome: Can you believe it? I just had to get stuck in the same class as that jerk! I can't believe it! I must have pissed off a fate or something, because this just isn't right. It's a good thing Sango's here. What?! What do you mean you're not taking magic this period?! But that leaves me with-