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A Cross of Blades by Striking Falcon

Magic 101

Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own it or the Final Fantasy dynasty. I wish I did though. I'd be sittin' pretty right about now, fanfiction or no.

Chapter One: Magic 101

I

Dear Souta,

Thanks so much for the book you sent me. I keep it by my bedside so I can watch it after classes are over and Sango's asleep in the next room. I know Mom and Dad helped you since you're only five, but I still love anything you give me.

It's actually not so bad here. It took some getting used to but I'm kinda glad Mom and Dad sent me away. Yesterday, Instructor Trepe got some of the others together and gave me a birthday party with a cake, candles and everything. It was lots of fun. Shippou (the kitsune I wrote you about earlier) and Sango still try to be my friend, and I don't think they bother me as much as they used to.

You should have seen Shippou dive head first into the cake. Candles went everywhere, and frosting is still stuck to the cafeteria walls.

Oh ew. There's frosting on the keyboard now. Sucks. How did it end up in my hair anyway? Sorry Souta. Anyway, Instructor Trepe said that I get to start training for magic now that I'm nine. I get to learn about spells, charms and all kinds of great stuff! I'm so excited! My first magic class is tomorrow. It's the last class of my day but I can't wait to get to it! It's going to be so much fun. Sango's already in Magic 101 and she says its lots of fun. The instructor is supposed to be nice too. I'll have to ask her more at lunch tomorrow.

OK baby bro, I gotta go. Its really late (practically 10:30) and the homeroom bell rings in the morning at 9. Breakfast starts at 7, and the french toast is always the first thing to go.

Don't forget that I love you.

Kagome

II

Kagome walked down the hallway to her last class, her grammer book tightly clasped to her chest and her head down while she avoided the other students around her. She was dressed similar to them in a white t shirt, cobalt blue short jacket and a pleated skirt with gray detailing, the garden's girl's issue uniform. Kagome unzipped her jacket and sighed, her fingers coming up to play with the star necklace that hung from her neck.

'Magic 101. This is the last class,' Kagome said to herself as she looked up at the sign on the door. She walked into the classroom quietly and sat down at the first of seven tables, this one nearest to the door. She sat her bookbag on the floor beside her chair, plunked her grammar book into it and relaxed as the other students walked into class. Kagome found that she didn't know a lot of the students and it didn't surprise her. 'I keep to myself,' she thought as the other tables began filling up. 'Besides, I don't want to know anyone here anyway. It's not like we're here to be friends or anything.'

She sighed heavily, her hand once again coming to her necklace as the bell rang and the last student walked into class. Kagome found herself alone at the table, the other students spread about the six remaining tables as the instructor entered the room and stood behind her desk at the front of the class. The instructor was dressed in a SeeD uniform; a gray jacket and skirt set with blue and yellow designs on the collar. She smiled at the class, her sage green eyes twinkling brightly from underneath her bangs. She wore her hair in a mousy brown flip that bounced when she turned around and began writing on the chalkboard.

"Good afternoon class," she chirped happily. The class (except for Kagome) responded in kind, with Kagome pretending to gag before the instructor turned around. "My name is Selphie Kinneas, but you guys can call me Instructor K.

"For anyone who doesn't know, this is Magic 101, or Introduction to Magic. This class is for anyone interested in being a SeeD, or those who just happen to want to learn how to use and treat injuries caused by magic attacks. Before we go into the lesson criteria, I ask that you all stand up." Kagome and the rest of the class did as she asked, the screeching sound of metal chairs sliding along hard tile causing her to wince slightly.

"Now, if the girls will move to the left hand side of the room and the boys move to the right, I can get to work on assigning seats."

"Awww..." the classroom groaned as they moved to the separate walls. Kagome stayed as far away from the other girls as possible, her head down and her hands wrapped around the straps of her backpack as Instructor Kinneas began to seat the other students. Soon all but one table was filled with three students per table.

"Kagome Higurashi, table seven please."

Kagome sat down in the middle of the table, leaving the ends empty as the last two students were called.

"Inuyasha Endo and Miroku Saikai, table seven as well."

Inuyasha moved the right end of the table, draped his jacket over the back of the hard plastic chair and sat down with a huff. Miroku sat on the opposite end and flashed Kagome a friendly smile before turning to the instructor.

"Alright class, these are your assigned seats," Instructor Kinneas said with a wide smile. "This is where you're to sit for the remainder of the semester. The people at your table are your lab partners, essay partners and most of all, they're your support should things go wrong. Magic isn't something to play with, so always have your lab partners with you at all times."

"Jeez," Inuyasha muttered as Instructor Kinneas began writing on the chalkboard. "It's like we're in kindergarten or something."

"Please take out your pencils," she said as she continued to write. The classroom erupted in soft murmurings as the students quickly retrieved their materials from their backpacks. Miroku leaned over to open his bookbag but stopped when something slapped down on the table in front of him. He sat up and stared at the pencil and the yellow sheet of paper. He moved to thank Kagome but she never looked at him, her eyes glued ahead as she furiously jotted down the words on the board.

"Like I said earlier, this is Introduction to Magic or Magic 101. In this class you'll learn the basic functions of Guardian Forces, or GFs, how to use magic and more importantly when to use magic."

Instructor Kinneas drew a table of sorts on the board, stepped back to study it, then nodded and turned to the class behind her. "The one main rule of magic is that no matter what the level all magic is dangerous. Spells that seem harmless and fun will turn on you in a second and blow to smithereens!" She stopped at the collective gasp and cleared her throat, her cheeks turning a slight pink before resuming the lesson.

"There are nine levels of magic that you should be familiar with. They're Life, Fire, Water or Ice magic, Thunder, Time or Space magic, Support, Status, Other and Forbidden magic. Forbidden magic has been banned from all three Gardens for student use, so to be caught with it is to be immediately expelled. So don't use it!"

Kagome blinked at her sudden exclamation while Instructor Kinneas returned to the blackboard, the instructor's sanity in question as she began jotting on the board.

"Of these nine levels of magic, there are four strength levels, or spell levels. Level one contains spells like Fire, Blizzard, Thunder and Cure. Their strength increases from there to level four, where the most powerful of magic is. For this semester, you'll begin with level one spells that are less dangerous, such as Scan, Esuna, Cure and Sleep."

"What's Esuna?" a girl in the back of the class asked.

"I'm glad you caught that," Instructor Kinneas smiled. "Esuna is like an antidote, except it cures almost anything. We won't worry about that today however." She glanced up at the clock and frowned. "Oh dear. It's almost time for the last bell. Well, I guess I should give you your homework assignments."

"Awww..." the class moaned as Instructor Kinneas returned to the chalkboard yet again.

"Yes I know it's the weekend but you still have homework. I'm sure you have a lot from your other classes, so I'm going to make this easy." She wrote down a few more words then plunked down the chalk. "Your assignment is titled 'Getting to Know You'."

"Oh no way man," Inuyasha growled irritably. "It IS like we're in kindergarten."

"You're to do a paragraph about someone in your group. It doesn't matter who, just be prepared to read it in front of the class Monday. Make sure you find out about their likes, dislikes and why they want to take this class." The bell rang, effectively ending the class. Kagome stood and left without a word leaving Inuyasha and Miroku to stare after her in confusion.

"You know what?" Inuyasha began, then growled when one of the older kids flicked his ears. "I think I know her."

"You do," Miroku said as they ambled through the crowd to the elevators. "You met her and a couple of her friends her first day here. You and Sesshoumaru were fighting again."

"Oh yeah," Inuyasha remembered. "One of us punched you that day, right?"

"Yeah, you would remember that," Miroku muttered with a roll of his violet eyes. "Come on man, hurry up before the elevator leaves us!"

"Feh! I don't have to hurry! I'm faster than any human here!"

"If that's true," Miroku huffed before grabbing Inuyasha by the ear and dragging him through the crowd. "Then why do we always end up the last people on the floor?" They hurried into the elevator and waved back at the poor smucks on the other side before the doors closed. "Her friends are nice," Miroku said once the doors opened, resuming the conversation as he and Inuyasha walked around the common area to the dorm wing. "But Kagome herself is quiet. I don't think I've heard her say more than 'Hi' the whole time she's been here."

"Maybe she's stuck up," Inuyasha guessed as he rubbed his abused ear.

"Nah, I don't think so. She might just be shy. Her friend Sango says she's really nice. I think we should find her at dinner and get our report started."

"Whatever," Inuyasha grumbled as they followed the blue stripe on the hard tile to their dorms. "I don't care what we do, just so long as we get to dinner on time. I hate it when we run out the good stuff."

III

Shippou ducked the flying french fry as it sailed toward him, then stuck his tongue out at Sango and hid behind Kagome's hair as she glowered at him. "Come out from there you little coward!" Sango vented, another fry ready to launch. Kagome sighed to herself and closed her social studies book, deeming her surroundings to loud to work in as she plucked Shippou from her hair.

"What did you do this time?" she asked as the kit pouted in her arms.

"I didn't do anything I swear!" Shippou denied. "All I did was ask why Sango blushed so much when that Miroku kid was around."

Kagome looked up and Sango turned red, confirming the kit's observations. She laughed and shook her head, then sat Shippou down in the chair beside her before poking at the meat loaf on her tray. "Ew," she muttered. "So disgusting."

"You wouldn't have to eat that if you came on," Sango smirked as she twirled a fry in some ketchup and popped it in her mouth. "The pizza and the hot dogs are much better than that crap anyway."

"Yeah, I know," Kagome said with a sigh, then shoved her tray to the side and fished inside her pocket for some spare change. "Man, this sucks. I forgot my wallet in our room."

"Don't sweat it," Sango said as she passed Kagome a couple of Gil. "I couldn't stand the idea of my best friend eating that icky stuff."

"Hey!" Shippou thundered while Kagome paled slightly unnoticed. "I thought I was your best friend!"

"You both are!" Sango grinned with a tug at her ponytail. "But Kagome's the same age as I am! That practically makes us sisters, right Kagome?"

"Um...yeah," Kagome nodded hesitantly. "That's right Sango. Whatever you say."

"Exactly!" Sango grinned. "And that's why I want you to come home with me for Christmas break!"

"What? Er...I don't think so," Kagome shook her head. "I don't think my parents would like that."

"Why not?" Sango whined, her bottom lip quivering slightly. "I know you stay here during the breaks! I don't know why you do, but you can't like it here with just the skeleton crew! Come home with me for Christmas!"

"I don't know Sango..."

"Oh come on!" Sango huffed. "It's not like I'm going to kidnap you or something! I've already asked my parents and they say it's fine! They've already said yeah! You can come for this one time-"

"Sango."

"We'll explore Timber, you can check out my dad's gunblade moves-"

"Sango."

"We can do whatever you want, just say-"

"SANGO!"

"Oh." Sango blinked, then gave Kagome a quizzical stare. "What?"

"Here." Kagome reached inside her backpack and tossed Sango what looked like a black circular compact. "Just open it and press six."

"Huh? Why?" Sango asked before opening the compact. Instead of finding two mirrors, she found a keypad and a tiny LCD screen. "What's this Kagome?"

"It's how I call home," Kagome answered. "It'll reach anywhere in the world, but six gets my parents."

"Does this mean you'll go?" Sango asked while Kagome swiped one of Shippou's fries.

"Hey!"

"Yup, I guess I'll go."

"Ya-"

"Excuse us?"

The three table members looked up and at Inuyasha and Miroku, who stood behind Kagome with notebook paper and pencils in hand. "Hey, you're Higurashi right?" Inuyasha asked as Miroku sat down beside Sango. "You sit with us in magic class?"

"Yeah, that's me. You guys sit with me too."

"Yeah, that's Miroku-"Miroku waved, then shook hands with Sango and Shippou. "And I'm Inuyasha. Can we sit down?"

"Sure," Kagome said as she gestured to the empty seat on her right side. "It's a free world."

"Thanks." Inuyasha flipped the chair around so the back leaned against the table and straddled the seat before plunking his writing utensils down and staring at her.

"What?" Kagome mumbled around a mouthful of food.

"Did you forget about our Monday assignment?" Miroku asked as he too sat down his paper. "We're supposed to write paragraphs about each other."

"You guys got Instructor Kinneas don't you?" Shippou asked before lightly swatting Kagome's hand away from his tray. "Sango and I got her for third block. We've got to do the same thing."

"Have you decided on who's doing what?" Kagome asked as she wiped her hands on a napkin, dropped her social studies book in her backpack and turned to the others.

"Yeah," Inuyasha nodded, his furry ears swivelled toward her. "I think Miroku should do his paper on me, and I should do mine on hi-"

"Why don't we write two paragraphs?" Miroku suggested diplomatically. "If each person writes about the other two then no one will be left out."

"OK then," Inuyasha nodded. "How 'bout you go first?"

"Alright. What do you want to know?"

"Where's your family from and do you have any sisters or brothers?" Kagome asked before Inuyasha could say anything. She nodded to Sango and Shippou when they left the table, promising to catch up with them when she finished.

"I have a mother and father back in Winhill-"

"Winhill!" Inuyasha snorted. "Are you serious? I always knew you were a hick Miroku! Yow!" He grimaced and rubbed his hurting shin. "What'd you do that for you jerk?" Inuyasha retorted as Miroku merely rolled his eyes. "I don't have any siblings Kagome," he answered instead. "But thanks for asking."

"Feh, whatever," Inuyasha snorted. "What about bein' a SeeD?"

"Well, I want to be one, but I'm not sure what I want to do," Miroku answered with a faint blush of embarrassment. "I don't know if I want to be a medic or what."

"What about a weapon?" Inuyasha asked. "You've got to know what weapon you want."

"Actually, I don't," Miroku shrugged. "I guess I haven't thought about it."

"Gah!" Inuyasha exclaimed as he threw his hands up in exasperation. "How could you NOT know what weapon you want!"

"Well we all can't want to be gunblade specialists!" Miroku retorted with an angry spark to his violet eyes. "So get off my back!"

"Miroku?"

"Yeah-I mean, yes Kagome," Miroku corrected himself as he calmed down.

"What's your favorite color?"

"Isn't that just like a girl?!" Inuyasha frowned as he crossed his arms over the back of the chair and rolled his eyes. "We're talking about important stuff and she wants to know what color you like? Who gives a good got damn-"

"Purple," Miroku interrupted. "My favorite color is purple but not that light, lavender stuff. Mine is that deep, almost black purple that looks like something sick died in it."

"Oh ew," Kagome grimaced as she turned away with a frown. "That's so gross. What's your favorite food?"

"Hot dogs," he and Inuyasha said, then grinned and hi fived across the table. "Yeah!"

"Idiots," Kagome mumbled with a shake of her head. "Favorite book?"

"The Occult Fan series," Miroku answered with a grin. "I love that spooky, supernatural stuff."

"OK, that's the priss down," Inuyasha interrupted before Kagome could ask anything else. "My pop's in Deling City, I'm going to be in the mercenary category, I want to get the gunblade, my favorite color's red-"

"You like red?!" Miroku cut him off before he could say anything else. "And you picked at me?! You're such a girl!"

"Hey, I'M A GIRL!!" Kagome shouted as the two continued bickering. They stopped and stared at her as she fumed, her turquoise eyes narrowed slightly as she glared at them. "Well? Can we go on?"

"Whatever," Inuyasha said as he flicked an imaginary piece of lint off his shoulders. "Anyway, fave book is the Combat Kings series. You already know my favorite food."

"What about you Kagome?" Miroku asked as Inuyasha yawned in boredom. "What's the story with you?"

"I'm like Miroku on the SeeD thing," Kagome admitted before they started scribbling. "I don't know what weapon I want, but I do want to become a hostage negotiator. My favorite color's blue-"

"I can respect that," Inuyasha said with a nod of approval, an ear twitching toward the right when a student dropped his tray. "What else?"

"Um...my favorite book is one called Heartlight. It's a book my brother sent me for my birthday."

"So you only have one brother?" Miroku asked before Kagome nodded. "And he's in Esthar too right?"

"You're from Esthar?" Inuyasha interrupted yet again.

Kagome nodded. "Yeah, I'm from the west side of Esthar city."

"Holy-fricking-cow!" he ranted with a wide fanged smile. "You're from Esthar? Seriously?"

"Yeah," Kagome said again. "If you don't believe me ask Miroku. He's my mentor."

"Man, I can't believe this!" Inuyasha said as he grinned at her. "Do you know the chances of meeting someone from Esthar? It's like zero to none man and here you are! I know you've got some of the stuff with you!"

"What stuff?" Kagome asked and glanced to Miroku for some help. Miroku merely shrugged.

"You know what I'm talking about," Inuyasha growled. "The technology! The stuff! Gods, we must look like bumpkins to you!"

"No, not really," Kagome said as she jerked her pack to her lap and dug around inside. "I actually like it here. The air isn't as artifical-smelling as it is there, and there are so many trees."

"Trees?" Inuyasha repeated as Kagome continued looking. "What about trees?"

"Before Kagome came here, she'd never seen a tree," Miroku answered. Inuyasha's mouth dropped open in shock as he turned to her, his disbelief evident on his face as Kagome nodded.

"I'd seen them in picture books but not just standing outside like they do here," she told him before shaking her head at something and moving on. "Trees don't grow in Esthar, but they do in the mountains surrounding the city. I've never been there either. Here it is!" She pulled free what looked like a diskman and set it on the table.

"This is my IBook," she grinned as Inuyasha and Miroku stared at it. It was silver and made of plastic in a complete circle. A little blue crystal was embedded on top and a tiny light inside blinked red. "In Esthar, we don't have the paper books like here. There, we put a cd in this and an image comes up that illustrates the book. We can have the words appear with the illustration too."

"It's kinda like a projection isn't it?" Miroku asked as Inuyasha tapped a clawed finger against the crystal.

"Yup that's pretty much what it is. Anyway, I would have let you guys look at my com-phone, but Sango has it."

"Awww," Inuyasha and Miroku grumbled, then attempted to grab the IBook at once. "Hey!" Inuyasha yelled as he tried to pull it out of Miroku's hands. "Gimme that! I need it for when I do my report on Kagome!"

"I'm doing my report on Kagome," Miroku retorted with a frown. "So I need it for my report!"

Kagome sighed to herself as they began to argue, her elbow resting on the table and her head resting in her hands as she shook her head. 'There's no telling how long this will take,' she thought before throwing her tray away and glaring at the two. 'They can't break it so I'm not going to worry about it. I may as well go get some chips or something."

IV

"Very good Donovan," Instructor Kinneas said Monday morning before one of her students finished his report and returned to his seat. "That was well done. Inuyasha, you and your table are next."

Inuyasha grumbled slightly, shot Miroku a scathing glare and walked to the front of the class with a sheet of paper, his uniform jacket once again hanging from the back of his chair. He cleared his throat, his ears flattened to his skull in nervousness as he started his report.

"My report is on my table partner Miroku Saikai," he said, then growled in Miroku's direction before continuing. "Miroku is eleven human years old, just like me. He wants to be a SeeD but he doesn't know what weapon his wants or what field he wants to be in. He's from Winhill, his favorite color is purple, his favorite food is hot dogs, and his favorite books are the Occult Fan magazines. That's all." He sat back down in a huff, his arms folded over his chest as he pouted in Miroku's direction.

"Well," Instructor Kinneas began as she frowned in confusion. "That was...short Inuyasha. Kagome, you're next."

Kagome stood up with a little more grace and took her place at the front of the class, her hands tugging the helm of her shorts down as she read her paragraph. "My report is on Inuyasha Endo. Inuyasha is part inu youkai and he wants to be a gunblade specialist-"

"Damned right," she heard Inuyasha mutter.

"He has 13 year old half brother that's already training on a gunblade. They're both from Deling City where their father is. His favorite color is red, his favorite food is hot dogs and his favorite books are the Combat Kings magazines, especially the My Final Heaven issue. That's my report." Kagome moved to sit down when she remembered something. "Oh! And if you rub his ears, he purrs."

The classroom broke into rambunctious laughter and Inuyasha glared at her as she sat down, a faint pink tinge staining his cheeks. "I do not purr," he defended himself as Instructor Kinneas motioned for the class to quiet down.

"Alright, that's enough," she said as the class settled down. "Thank you Kagome for your report. It was...informative."

"Embarrassing is what it was," Inuyasha snorted and the class erupted once again. Inuyasha blushed and gave her a light push, one Kagome quickly returned as Instructor Kinneas regained control of the class. "OK Miroku," she said as she motioned Miroku to the front of the class. "Give your report."

"OK Instructor Kinneas. My report is on Kagome Higurashi. She turned nine two weeks ago and she's been at the Garden for two years. Kagome wants to be a SeeD, but she doesn't know what weapon she wants to have either. She does want to be a negotiator, whatever that is. Her favorite color is blue and her favorite food is french toast. Oh, and Kagome's from Esthar and she let me borrow something for my presentation."

The class whispered around him as Miroku set the IBook on the instructor's desk, put one of Kagome's cd's inside and stepped out of the way. "This is what Kagome said was an IBook. She said that in Esthar, they don't have class they way we do. Instead of leaving home and going to a schoolhouse, the elementary school kids plug their IBooks into a base in their rooms at a certain time and their instructor's image comes out of the IBook like this." He pressed a small red button on the side of the IBook and watched as a holographic version of himself hovered above the blue crystal in the center of the device.

"This is how their instructors teach," Miroku explained as the class ooohed and ahhhed. "But instead of me standing there, the instructor would go on with the lesson plan. The only time the class gets together is for field trips and special assignments." He turned off the IBook and returned it to Kagome much to the class's disappointment. "But that's not the great thing about Kagome," he said, regaining everyone's attention as Kagome and Inuyasha watched him.

"The great thing about her is her eyes. If you ever get a chance to, you should see them. They're this really cool aquamarine and they're really pretty."

Kagome blushed instantly, ignoring Inuyasha as he guffawed beside her and Miroku returned to his seat. Her eyes lowered to the table when he winked at her, her blush quickly darkening as Instructor Kinneas stood up and smiled. "That was an interesting way to end a report. Thank you Miroku."

"Anytime Instructor Kinneas," Miroku replied with a polite wave.

"Now on with the lesson, shall we?" Instructor Kinneas said as she turned to the blackboard and rolled up the projection screen. "Today's lesson is on Scan. Scan is used to find out more about your enemy or ally than what you can see on theo outside. It's useful for extremely powerful monsters because it helps to find the monster's weakness, resulting in less fighting time. There are baskets in the middle of your tables with cards. Please pass them out three at a time please."

Kagome reached the basket before the others and passed out the cards, giving both Inuyasha and Miroku three cards each before grabbing the remaining three for herself.

"Now the first thing you should learn about magic is that, to collect and use magic full time, you have to have a Guardian Force junctioned. Since none of you have a GF, you'll just have to have these temporary Scan cards. What you'll do is use them on each other. You should think about gestures that will help you summon your magic while you're at it."

"What are gestures for?" a girl at the back of the class asked. Instructor Kinneas quickly began writing on the chalkboard, apparently having found the question important enough to write the answer down for the rest of the class.

"Gestures in magic help you get used to using it," she explained. "So long as it's a gesture you don't use everyday, like crossing your eyes or something, it'll help you get a better grasp on the part of your mind that stores and regulates magic use. Now, take your Scan cards, stand up, and decide who'll go first."

"I'll go," Miroku said as He, Kagome and Inuyasha stood up. "I don't care who Scans me."

"I'll do it," Inuyasha told him. "I hope it hurts too."

"That's so mean Inuyasha," Kagome shook her head before gathering her cards in her hand and turning back to the instructor.

"OK, this is important," Instructor Kinneas told the class while she supervised. "Take your Scan cards and put them on someone's forehead. When it disappears, a chart should appear in front of them that tells you about them. Hold on to whoever's watching when you do it so that they'll be able to see it too. OK class, you ready?" She grinned at the mummers of agreement. "OK, go!"

"OW INUYASHA!!" Miroku yipped when Inuyasha smacked him in the forehead with his Scan card. "That hurt you know!"

"That's the plan," Inuyasha smirked before grasping Kagome's arm. They watched as the card vanished, the air around Miroku's head sparkling a moment before a small chart appeared in front of him. "You see that Kagome?" he asked. Kagome nodded. "Yup. I see it. It says that he's a Garden student, and human male with a weakness for Poison."

"Yeah, that's what I figured," Inuyasha said as the chart disappeared. "Who's turn?"

"How about you Inuyasha?" Kagome said as she fiddled with one of her cards. "I want to do one."

"Ok then," he said before bending over so she could reach him better. "I don't want Miroku doing it anyway. He might try to get me back for earlier."

"Don't worry about that," Miroku assured him as Kagome placed her Scan card on Inuyasha's forehead. "I'll get you back another way."

"OK Miroku," Kagome said as she grasped the end of his shirt. "Here we go." They waited for the chart to appear, then read it aloud. "Garden student, Male inu hanyou, Wind based, Thunder has no effect. What does that mean Inuyasha?" Kagome asked as the chart disappeared.

"Feh. It means I'm one of the few youkai that can fly for one. Ok, I can't exactly fly but I can run on the wind currents for a short period of time," Inuyasha said as he wiped at his forehead. "And that Thunder attacks don't effect me because I use thunder attacks. You're turn Kagome."

"I'll do hers this time," Miroku said as he pressed his card to her forehead. He grabbed Inuyasha's ear while the card disappeared and nearly dropped it when the chart that appeared came up blank.

"You can't do anything right ya priss!" Inuyasha grumbled while the chart disappeared. "How could you screw up something so simple as a Scan?"

"I did what I was supposed to do," Miroku said as Inuyasha pressed his Scan card to Kagome's head and stepped back. He grabbed Miroku's ear and gave it a sharp tug, unintentionally piercing his earlobe when Kagome's chart again came up blank. "What the hell...hey, why don't you show up?"

"I...I don't know," Kagome replied as Instructor Kinneas appeared behind Inuyasha.

"What's the problem kids?" she asked as she placed a hand on Inuyasha's shoulder. He bristled like a startled cat and whirled around, his claws extended before noticing the instructor's scent. He calmed down and sheepishly scratched the back of his head.. "Er, sorry Instructor."

"That's ok Inuyasha," Instructor Kinneas replied with an understanding smile. "I've been around youkai to know that you don't sneak up on them. Are you guys having a problem?"

"Yes Instructor," Miroku nodded. "We're having trouble Scanning Kagome."

"Really? Well let me try. OK boys, hold on to me. Are you ready Kagome?"

"Yes," Kagome replied. Instructor Kinneas touched Kagome's forehead and waited, then watched as Kagome's chart once again read blank.

"That's odd," the instructor whispered to herself when she tried again and the same thing happened. "I don't understand it myself boys. Maybe I should call one of the other instructors."

Kagome glanced around nervously as the other students began to stare, her fingers instantly seeking the little star charm around her neck for comfort. 'Oh please,' she said to herself as her classmates began whispering around her. 'I don't want to be different. I don't want to made to leave again, just when I'm happy.' A tear slipped down her cheek unnoticed by all but Miroku, who stood beside her and draped his arm around her shoulders.

"Don't cry Kagome," he said as he wiped the tear away. Inuyasha turned around at this and frowned when another escaped her attention.

"Don't do that," he growled softly as he stood in front of her and bent over so he could peer directly into her face. "It's not that big a deal."

"He's right Kagome," Instructor Kinneas said before gently patting Kagome's head. "Some people are just harder to Scan. It took me four tries to Scan the headmaster. Let me try again. You two hold on to me again."

"Are you sure?" Kagome asked as Instructor Kinneas touched her forehead again. The instructor nodded. "Trust me, it'll work this time."

Kagome sighed in relief and tucked her necklace back in her shirt before standing straight. "OK. Go ahead."

The instructor touched her forehead again and this time her chart appeared with crystal clarity as Inuyasha and Miroku read its contents.

"Garden student, human female, absorbs Holy magic. Is that right Instructor?"

"That's what it says," Instructor Kinneas said as Kagome's chart disappeared. "Hmmm...that's interesting."

"What does 'absorbs Holy power' mean?" a student asked.

"It's nothing really," the instructor assured them as she returned to the front of the class. "It's just that, unlike Inuyasha who's just immune to Thunder attacks, Kagome can actually use Holy attacks to make herself better if she's ever injured. It's nothing really. There are a few people in the world like that. They normally have an ancestor that's a priest or something. Anyway class, back to the lesson."

Miroku and the other students sat down at her instruction, his gaze fixed on Kagome as she wiped the last of the moisture away from her eyes and pulled out her magic linguistics book. 'How come I don't feel like it's that simple,' he asked himself as Instructor Kinneas continued with the day's lesson. 'I have a houshi in my family, but I can't absorb Holy magic. And why was she so upset? She looked so scared, like she had done something wrong.'

He glanced up from his musings to Kagome, her head turned away from him and her hair an inky black pool as she scribbled down notes from beh board.

'What was it that scared you Kagome?' Miroku asked himself. 'What was so bad that you cried about it?'

V

Inuyasha walked down the hallways of the door, his mind set as he sniffed out his destination. He stopped at a door on the boys side of the dorm and knocked on the door, then opened it fully when Sesshoumaru granted him entrance.

"What is it now?" he demanded as he continued to practice with a gaudy Styrofoam gunblade. The jacket of his school uniform was folded on an nearby stool, with Sesshoumaru practicing in a white tank top and the blue Garden- issue pants. Inuyasha ignored him for a moment, taking the time to watch as Sesshoumaru swung and parried with the enormous orange practice weapon before Sesshoumaru cleared his throat.

"I said, what is it?" he growled before stopping and leaning against a nearby wall. "I'm sure you're not here to watch me practice."

"Nope, not really," Inuyasha grinned and leaned against the doorframe while his brother glared at him. "I get my own next week you know."

"I can't even pretend to care," Sesshoumaru quipped before grabbing a nearby towel and dabbing the sweat from his forehead. "Now why are you here?"

Inuyasha huffed angrily, the names he normally spat at his brother struggling to jump from the tip of his tongue. "Well you're the one that told me to find you if anything strange happened. What, now you don't care?"

"Strange how?"

"Well..." Inuyasha paused to scratch his head, now second-guessing his decision to bring this to Sesshoumaru of all people. "It's this girl. She's-"

"That, Inuyasha, is puberty," Sesshoumaru interrupted with a roll of his eyes and a quick swing of his practice blade. "And I definitely don't care. Leave as soon as possibl-"

"It's not that you jerk!" Inuyasha hissed back, his ears flattened to his head as a faint blush rose on his cheeks. "I don't like the girl! At least, not like that. Man, you're so gross."

"Then what is it then?" Sesshoumaru demanded before resuming his practice. "You said it's about a girl. I take it she's human?"

"Yeah, at least I think so," Inuyasha began. "But...I'm having some doubts. Kagome-"

"That's the female's name?" Sesshoumaru interrupted. Inuyasha nodded. "Yeah, you remember her don't you?"

Sesshoumaru stopped mid strike, his brow furrowed thoughtfully before shaking his head. "No, I don't know her," he replied, his thigh length braid lightly swaying with the motion. "I make it my business not to socialize with the females of that infernal race."

"Whatever Sesshoumaru," Inuyasha growled. "Look, I'm just saying that there's something not quite ...normal about her, that's all. Like her scent. It's completely different from anything I've ever caught on a human."

"How so?" Sesshoumaru replied. Inuyasha opened his mouth to answer when he caught a familiar scent coming their way. "You'll see in a sec," he said instead as he stepped into Sesshoumaru's room and leaned against the wall nearest to the door. Sesshoumaru frowned questioningly, then wiped all emotion from his face as Kagome's head popped into the doorframe. "Hey Inuyasha," she greeted, making a point to ignore Sesshoumaru as she stepped into the threshold. She gave the ends of her shorts a sharp downward tug, her waistband snapping back in place while she waved.

"Yeah Kagome?" Inuyasha gave his brother a queer look before giving Kagome his full attention. "What'd ya want?"

"Have you seen Miroku anywhere?" she asked, her green eyes narrowed slightly as Sesshoumaru glared at her. Inuyasha shook his head. "No, not lately. Why? Are you two in looovvveee or something? He did give you that compliment in class today!"

"No!" Kagome nearly shrieked then apologized when Inuyasha's ears flattened and Sesshoumaru winced from the volume. "I have a favor to ask him, that's all!"

"What's the favor?" Inuyasha teased as he tugged a nearby ponytail. He laughed when she slapped his hand away and puffed in his direction. "You're such a jerk!" she shouted angrily, her hands fisted at her sides as she glared at him. "All I did was ask you one simple question but nooooooooo...you have to be a di-"

"If you are looking for Saikai-san, you should check the library," Sesshoumaru interrupted. "Or the quad. He is most likely in one of those places at this time of day."

"Oh." Kagome deflated instantly. She gave Inuyasha one last pointed look before bowing politely in Sesshoumaru's direction. "Thanks. I'll leave you guys alone now."

"Hey," Inuyasha called out as Kagome quit the room. "What are you looking for him for anyway?"

Kagome angrily gestured to her shorts. "To see if I can get some pants."

"But you know they're not a part of the girls' uniform," Inuyasha told her as she scurried down the hallway.

"Ask me if I care Inuyasha! Bye!"

Inuyasha waved back and returned to Sesshoumaru's room with a smug grin. "See, what did I tell you?"

"Her scent is rather...unique," Sesshoumaru admitted reluctantly. He kneeled down and began returning his practice weapon to it's case, mentally going over the girl's scent as the last traces of water lilies faded from the room. "No human smells like that," he finally told Inuyasha as he stood back up. "She must have a sealing spell on her."

"No, I don't think so," Inuyasha shook his head. "Wouldn't you have smelled it by now?"

"There are some that you can't smell," Sesshoumaru told him, though he knew that spells as strong as those would be hard to come by and harder to justify. "And anyway, what does a mere girl have to do with me? I have more important things to worry about."

"That's not all you-arg! I don't know why I waste my time on you!" Inuyasha vented as he began to leave. "I guess you don't care that the girl can absorb Holy magic!"

"What did you say?"

Inuyasha looked over his shoulder at Sesshoumaru and grinned when he found golden eyes like his own finally watching him. "Oh, now you care? Well, today in class we were learning the Scan spell right? Anyway, Miroku and I showed up just fine, but it took four tries before she showed up."

"So?" Sesshoumaru shrugged as he pulled on his uniform jacket. "You and the other human just screwed it up, that's all."

"That's what we thought too, until Instructor Kinneas tried. It took her a few times to get her too and when Kagome's chart came up, it said that she absorbed Holy magic."

"She could have a houshi in her family," Sesshoumaru explained. Inuyasha shook his head. "She could, but that still doesn't explain why she got so upset when we couldn't Scan her. It was like she was scared something would happen. It was weird Sesshoumaru."

"Hmm..."

"What do you plan to do about it?" Inuyasha asked as Sesshoumaru shoved him out the room, then stepped out himself and closed the door.

"Oh, I don't plan to do anything," Sesshoumaru answered. "You know her, so you find out what's going on."

"Yeah right," Inuyasha growled as Sesshoumaru walked away. "Like I'm some kind of lap dog or something. I'll just find out for myself."

VI

Weeks became months and in that time Inuyasha and Miroku were accepted in Kagome's inner circle. The group of five could be seen all around the Garden and were always together whenever possible. The semester was finally ending, with Christmas holidays a week away much to the students excitement and relief.

Today, Sango was running from the library to the training center, complaining to herself about her lack of sleep as she followed the green pathway down the training center hallway. 'It's Saturday morning for love's sake!' she grumbled as she dodged one of the smaller students and vaulted over the spilled contents of someone's bookbag. 'I'm supposed to be watching cartoons, not trying to practice some stupid magic!'

"Sango!" Shippou shouted the moment she entered the training center. "Over here!" Sango glanced around quickly and found the kit waving from Kagome's shoulder, the others bickering about something as they stood in the middle of the training center courtyard. She skidded to a halt beside Kagome and grinned when Shippou jumped to her shoulder and hugged her head.

"You know Sango, you take too long!" he grumbled as he stuck a finger in his ear. "Those guys have been arguing since this morning! Gah, it's so frustrating!!"

"It can't be that bad," Sango laughed as she petted his tail and gave him a squeeze. She looked up to find Inuyasha choking Miroku, with Kagome insistently rapping on Inuyasha's head as she held on to the back of his shirt for balance. "Can it?"

"Inuyasha stop!" Kagome practically yelled in his ear. Inuyasha flinched and dropped the poor boy, Miroku landing painfully on his rear as Inuyasha attempted to grab Kagome's fist as she continuously punched him between the ears. "You're such a jerk! Why do you always have to pick on us?"

"I didn't even say anything to you you wench!" Inuyasha screeched, then regretted it when Kagome fisted both his ears in her hands and jerked them apart.

"I'm not a wench you insensitive creep!" she hollered as she pounded on his head some more. Inuyasha stopped trying to pry her off and instead focused on her fists as he danced around the room in a near panic.

"Get off me Kagome!" he pleaded as a knot began to form at the crown of his head. "I didn't mean it I swear! I'm sorry!"

"Oh. OK then." Kagome jumped down and smiled as he rubbed his abused head, his amber eyes glaring down at her. "All you had to say was sorry Inuyasha. Hi Sango!"

"Um...hey Kagome," Sango greeted with a stunned wave, her and Shippou completely traumatized. "Uh...what have I missed?"

"It's nothing," Kagome brushed aside as Miroku dusted himself off. "Let's get to work shall we?"

"Hey Sango," Shippou whispered in her ear as the group gathered in a circle. "Is Kagome acting kinda strange to you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"She's been so ...happy lately. It's weird. I'm not saying I don't like the change because I do, I'm just wondering what's caused it."

"I don't know," Sango shrugged. "Maybe it's because she has friends now and she realizes that. I think she IS happy."

"OK people," Inuyasha started while clapping his hands. "You know what you're here for. Let's get start-"

"Actually," Miroku interrupted as he searched the grass below for his missing hair tie. "We don't have a clue as to why we're here. You just called us out here and said bring our Cure cards."

"Well duh, isn't it obvious?" Inuyasha snapped. "You know we've got midterms next week right?"

"Yeah," Shippou chirped before jumping from Sango's shoulder to the ground and transforming into a slightly taller version of himself. "All the classes are divided by days, with first and second block on Monday, third and fourth block on Tuesday and fifth and sixth block's on Wednesday."

"And all the classes are half days!" Sango piped in. "Kagome and I are leaving for Timber on Wednesday!"

"Anyway," Inuyasha growled. "Before you guys added your two Gil, we need to practice our magic for Wednesday-"

"We've got ours on Tuesday," Shippou interrupted and cried out when Inuyasha bopped him in the head. Inuyasha yelped when Kagome returned the favor and shook her little fist in his direction.

"Don't get started," she warned him. Inuyasha snorted in indifference but wisely decided to leave the kit alone before continuing. "Anyway, it doesn't matter when you've got the class. We need to practice for it. Now does anyone have those gesture-thingys that the instructor was talking about?"

"I've got mine!" Shippou exclaimed. "See?" He raised the tip of his tail and traced a counterclockwise circle with it, then gave it a strong flick like the tip of a whip. "Not bad huh?"

"That's good Shippou," Kagome agreed. Shippou beamed happily as the others demonstrated and critique one another. After a while, the only one left was Kagome, who still didn't have a helping gesture of her own.

"I know!" Miroku said when all other gestures had failed. "Why don't you kiss your fingertips?"

"What?" the others shouted. "Why would she do a dumb thing like that?!" Shippou replied.

"Yeah!" Sango agreed as she fumed from behind the shorter fox. "That's so dumb! You're such a pervert!"

"No wait, let me explain!" Miroku pleaded as he held up his hands in defense. "Look, all of ours are gestures that we wouldn't normally do right? Unless Inuyasha purposely flaps his ears like a bird?"

"Shut up man," Inuyasha grumbled with a huff. "What's it to ya?"

"I'm just saying, how likely is it we'll see Kagome blow someone a kiss? Never. So, why not just have her kiss her fingertips when she wants to cast a spell? It's discreet and unusual enough to work."

"Er, Kagome," Sango shrugged as Kagome looked on. "He does have a point."

"Yeah, I hate saying it though," Inuyasha agreed. "Why not just try it? Use a Cure card or something."

"Fine," Kagome relented with a sigh. She closed her eyes and softly kissed her fingers as she pressed one of her Cure cards to Shippou's forehead. The card activated instantly and disappeared in the usual puff of glittery dust. "Did it work?" she asked Shippou. He blinked rapidly, the sparkly remains of the card clouding his vision before emerald green orbs stared up at her.

"Yeah!" he chirped excitedly. "I feel great! Wow Kagome, I think that's it!"

"There you have it," Miroku said as the door to the left branch of the training grounds closed behind him. "I told you it would work."

"Only a child would think of something so stupid," Sesshoumaru commented as he walked past them, a real gunblade in his hands as he made his way to the exit doors. "And only another child would actually do it."

"Just who asked you anyways?" Kagome commented sharply. "I don't remember asking you for your two Gil!"

"Uh, Kagome," Shippou tugged on Kagome's pants as Sesshoumaru closed the distance between them. "Don't you know who that is?"

"Yeah, I know who he is," Kagome nodded before Sesshoumaru stopped inches from her face and glared down at her. She glared up at him in return, her eyes glittering angrily as they narrowed in his direction. "He's some stuck up kid who has to shove his nose in other people's business."

"And to think I helped you a few months ago," Sesshoumaru growled in annoyance. "That won't happen again."

"Like I'll ever need your help you stuck up dog," Kagome snapped. "Next time, just save yourself the trouble and keep your mouth shut."

"You can't tell me what to do human," Sesshoumaru replied and frowned when Kagome yawned in his face. "I'm tired of trying to talk to you," he growled and flexed his claws. Inuyasha stepped between them and jerked Kagome behind him before Sesshoumaru could act on the threat.

"Look Sesshoumaru," Inuyasha reasoned as he held Kagome at bay. "She's just bad tempered ok? You normally look over girls like her, so try it today. She's not even worth getting mad at-YOW!!"

"I suggest you learn to control your wench Inuyasha," Sesshoumaru replied as Kagome resumed assaulting Inuyasha's head. "Or else someone will do it for you."

Kagome stopped when he turned around, her eyes focused solely on him as Sesshoumaru disappeared from the room. "That jerk," she muttered as Inuyasha straightened out his hair. "He's the second person today to call me a wench."

"Forget him Kagome," Inuyasha said as he too glared in the direction Sesshoumaru disappeared from. "He's just a jerk like you said."

"Yeah but that jerk needs to learn a lesson," Kagome growled to herself as Inuyasha returned to the others. The rim of her eyes glowed a faint green for a few seconds, then returned to normal when Kagome blinked and turned back to the group. Everyone froze when a girlish scream split the air from the training center hallway and they bolted from the room to see if they could help.

VII

Sesshoumaru stormed from the training center, taking a moment to sheath his gunblade as he continued down the hallway. 'I can't believe that brat!' Sesshoumaru fumed to himself, his hands clenching and unclenching as tiny droplets of blood fell from the tips of his claws.

'How dare she talk to me that way! I'm going to have to teach her a lesson.'

"Hey Sesshoumaru," another Garden student greeted as he walked past. Sesshoumaru nodded his head in acknowledgment and frowned as the beginning of a warm sensation began at the back of his thighs. He ignored it, figuring it to be friction from the encumbering uniform. He stopped to investigate when the heat traveled up to his back. He glanced over, his golden eyes as wide as dinner plates as his hair blazed behind him. The orange flames greedily licked at the silvery white locks and he screamed in spite of himself.

The Garden student from earlier stopped to help him, with Instructor Trepe, Instructor Kinneas and another student appearing in the hallway beside him. "Hey, hold on ok?" Instructor Trepe said as Instructor Kinneas searched for a fire extinguisher. "How did this happen?" she snapped at the first Garden student. He quickly shrugged as Inuyasha and the others poured from the training center, each crashing into his back and nearly bowling him over.

"I don't know!" the first Garden student said. "I was walking past him when WOOSH! I had nothing to do with it!"

"No one said you did," Instructor Trepe assured him as Instructor Kinneas came back emptyhanded. "I can't find the extinguisher's Quistis," she wheezed, slightly out of breath as she grasped her knees and steadied herself. "It's like someone took them on."

"Damn it," Instructor Trepe cursed under her breath before stepping away from Sesshoumaru and motioning for the others to do the same. "Let's see if this works!"

A ball of water suddenly surrounded Sesshoumaru, levitated the teenager three feet from the floor and exploded in thousands of tiny droplets. Sesshoumaru dropped to the floor, his hair extinguished but the rest of him was soaking wet from head to toe.

"Are you alright?" Instructor Trepe asked as she helped him to stand. She patted his back as he coughed up water, ignoring his silent attempts to wave her aside until he practically shoved her away from him and glared down at Inuyasha and the others. Golden eyes bled crimson, tiny threads of the foreboding color slowly threading into the whites of his eyes.

"You," he snarled, his fangs lengthening as he struggled to hold on to his sanity. "One of you did this."

"Are you high?!" Inuyasha shouted back as Instructor Trepe stood up and flicked the water from her skirt. "We just got out here! How the hell do you think we set you on fire!"

"Are you saying that I did this to myself?"

"Stranger stuff has happened Fluffy-butt!"

"You're going to regret that hanyo-"

"STOP!"

Sesshoumaru froze mid stride, his eyes narrowed and completely crimson as he hovered inches from Inuyasha's nose. Inuyasha's eyes widened in surprise, and he poked Sesshoumaru's shoe before turning to the instructors. "Wow," he breathed as Kagome and the others moved to stand beside him. "That's so cool."

"Did you kids set him on fire?" Instructor Trepe asked. Miroku shook his head. "All we have are our Cure cards," he said while he held up a few. "We don't even know the Fire spells."

"That's true Quistis," Instructor Kinneas nodded. "I gave them the Cure cards yesterday and they don't have any GF's so they can't draw new magic."

"I just don't understand it," Instructor Trepe said as she grasped a still immobile Sesshoumaru, tucked him underneath her own and began to walk away.

"Where are you taking him?" Kagome asked as she ran to catch up. Instructor Trepe shifted him so that he was slung over her shoulder and sighed.

"I'm going to take him to the infirmary to make sure he's not burned and then he's going to his room to change clothes."

"Oh. Can I give him one of my Cure cards?"

"Sure," Instructor Trepe nodded, then stopped and held him still. Sesshoumaru growled as she neared him, the dislike for her evident in his eyes while Kagome ignored him. She held the card in her hand and kissed it before pressing it to his forehead. It disappeared in the typical sparkly dust and the crimson slowly leaked from his eyes.

"Bye Sesshoumaru," Kagome waved as Instructor Trepe walked away. "Feel better soon."

"Am I the only one who found that strange?" Miroku whispered to Inuyasha as they watched Instructor Trepe disappear around the corner. "I mean, a few minutes ago Kagome was royally pissed at the guy. Now she's all buddy-buddy. It's not normal."

"You're tellin' me," Inuyasha griped as Kagome turned around and smiled at them. "It's almost...scary."

"I say we keep an eye on the lady Kagome from now on," Miroku suggested. Inuyasha only nodded in agreement as turquoise eyes smiled at him, the mesmerizing depths of the orbs just as mysterious as the ocean they so resembled.

(End Chapter)

SF: OK, that's chapter two of A Cross. I don't think it's bad, do you guys?

Kagome: I like it!

Sango: I don't know. Kagome seems a bit bi-polar.

SF: Kagome's not bi-polar. She's a Gemini. There's a difference.

Sesshou: And what do you know about Geminis?

SF: I know my mom's one. She's a true Gemini too. Oh, but don't worry because there's another chapter. The summary's below.

Chapter Thirteen: Weapons Assignment

Sango: I just love my new weapon! I know it's not the same as everyone else's, but it's so cool! I can't believe little Shippou is starting with us! Aw man, it must be stellar to be a youkai! But poor Kagome, she can't decide on what she wants. Wait a second...is that her going in that class? But what's she doing with the gunblade students?!

 

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