Miko no Makimono by cakeiton
Miko Research and the Semi-Youkai
I don't own anything Inuyasha
These nights had become common. The early evening darkness filtered in through her kitchen windows as Kagome stared unfocused at a scattered collection of paper. Her modest pajamas failed to provide the comfort the soft material promised, but only one thing did anyways. A familiar pressure built at her temples and Kagome’s hands flared pink in response, illuminating the room in warm reiki. With a deep, welcomed sigh she glanced around from the table, feeling tired.
Books on feudal era history and legend, along with items from the shrine’s storehouses, were strewn across the front room in an array of neat piles that only made sense to her, while the more promising ones took up space in her room waiting to be researched again. Well, her mom’s old room. Her high school bedroom was currently empty of everything, except memories. She couldn’t even stand to look at the bed Inuyasha used to nap on. Looking back it was a childish thing to do; removing furniture doesn’t take away the past. Then again, she did so many childish things back then. Now that four years had passed Kagome realized she was just a kid when she left the feudal age behind.
She took a small sip from her sake glass. The cloudy liquid burned sweetly on the way down and it pressed against the knot in her stomach that hadn’t released in seven years. Since her powers were fully released from the dark nature of the Shikon jewel’s barrier, her spirit was constantly fighting with something inside. It was light at first, barely noticable, but the internal battle had increased over the years. Now, she couldn’t go a week without feeling the pain in her head, or a day without wondering what it was.
The empty house screamed at her through lonely silence, making it feel endless. It was too much space for just her, but still, she promised Mama to take care of the shrine when Sota left to be a genius in college and ojiisan passed years ago. It was just as well that her mother had moved. She would have been more than disappointed to see Kagome stagnant. She was still stuck in the past, still living for people who are long since dead, still escaping her present responsibilities, and still putting everyone else first. Over the recent years she felt herself slowly draining, using the occassional sake bottle to try and warm something inside her. She was glad her mother wasn't constantly around to see… whatever it was Kagome was doing to herself.
I just feel so dull. She knew why. All that time searching for shards, learning to fight, destroying those who would hurt her friends, and surrounded by beings more powerful than anyone from her time could imagine had created a longing for action. It was scary and she got hurt, but it set a standard that her current life couldn’t match. She was no fighter, but she missed feeling like a protector. She missed adrenaline. Kagome looked down at the small cup in her hand.
I don’t need to be lulled… I need to be sharpened. Still, she took another small gulp, pushing down her desires. She never fully indulged, but the drink smoothed away the frayed edges of her every day. It helped her relax just a little from feeling that ‘she’ had left herself behind 500 years ago.
Sometimes, she sure didn’t feel powerful, though another effect of the seal breaking had been her increased reiki. It also happened to become the best aspirin available. A simple flare of her pink, shiny spirit would quell that unknown pain that plauged her. Wasting miko energy made it feel like she could breathe. Glancing down at her hand she ignited the powers again. Though the heat gathered in her fingertips she smiled.
If it wasn’t for the increased spiritual powers she might have never located the youkai in this time.
None were full-blooded, of course. It was no wonder she had never noticed them before; all of their auras were so weak. Generation after generation of mating with humans seemed to have lost not only full youkai, but their traditions and history as well. She thought about approaching some, educating them on who they were and their demon ancestory, but she was sure they would try to commit her. In fact, she made it a point to stay away from most, only having contact with one. He also happened to have the strongest aura she has felt in her current time.
Oh, Ankā she mused to herself Such a sweet kid.
Two years ago Kagome spotted a teenage boy that would visit the shrine once a week. At first it was just to give offerings then leave as if he was afraid of being noticed. If it wasn’t for his youki strongly pushing against her senses constantly she would have left it alone, but it let Kagome realize he knew he was part youkai. After a while he wouold look around the grounds, yet never approaching anyone, including herself.
There was nothing too impressive about his build or his height, though he was lean and moved as if he was in complete control of his body at all times. His jet black hair teased his eyes just beneath the brow and layered down his neck. Sharp, brown eyes seem to memorize his surroundings with just a glance. His smooth skin fit his features well, down to his straight jaw line and straight nose. His concealment spell must have hidden his youkai traits, though Kagome had never seen him drop it.
About six months after his visits had started a section of the roof on the main storehouse collapsed. As Kagome cursed, attempting to sort through items that should have been reorganized years ago, she noticed the boy standing off by the God Tree. He seemed like he wanted to move forward and she wondered if he could sense her reiki the way she sense his youki. She flared it just slightly, and he took a step back in response.
Kagome didn’t take her eyes away from his. He stared back, trying to hide his apprehension. With her sweetest smile she whispered, “Can you help me, please?” low enough to show that she recognized his above normal hearing. She hoped her acceptance was also heard.
The invisible wall holding him remained, but he didn’t move away either. After a minute she went back to her task and only after she had her back to him did Kagome feel his aura approaching.
When he was right behind her she spoke. “I hope you do not fear me. Unlike what you feel I am not your enemy. Please don’t think of me that way.”
After a pause he responded. His voice was deeper than what his appearance would suggest, the baritone barely gripping on to younger traights, and ragged as if almost never used. “Wh-what should I think of you?” There was a determination in his voice to keep his confidence up and Kagome started to wonder if it was her he was nervous about.
Kagome looked around at the mess in front of her. A minute passed and she began thinking about the state of the rest of the shrine. With her mind set she turned around and looked at the boy for the first time close up. He looked… normal. Sad, serious, but normal.
“How about as an employer?”
He appeared taken off guard. Some part of her loved shocking youkai without the means of spiritual powers.
It worked well after that. He got comfortable enough to converse, but always kept some general information about himself private. That was fine with her. It was the same way she never once mentioned the well or her travels through time. Too many questions and too many memories came with the subject and she assumed the same with him. Still, she was warm and welcoming to him the way she was with everyone. He became a small link to the past she missed and never got over.
Anka seemed very interested in mikos as well as his own youkai history. For the first couple months Kagome would apologize for her lack in miko knowledge, saying she was only trained for a year before… circumstances caused it to stop. That’s when he had a brilliant idea…
“Why isn’t there more information about mikos and youkais? There is little information about confrontations and training. All I have found was that they are a weapon against youkai and the connection between powers and their purity.”
Kagome nodded. Sadly, such information didn’t seem to make it down from oral traditions the way youkai history became myths, even though a miko tradition still lived. She remembered feeling that hole in her heart again, like she lost something she never had in the first place. “That’s all that survived, I suppose.”
“I refuse to believe there is nothing,” he continued, lightly shaking his head. Leaning against her kitchen counter, arms crossed and eyes paying the floor serious attention, he concentrated. Kagome looked up from the open case that he had just brought in from a storeroom and couldn't help but notice his anxiety.
“What do you mean by that?” she asked pushing the issue. She was surprised to hear of ting of hope in her voice.
He looked at her with his serious eyes that could provoke action. Every time he opened his mouth it was for a purpose, something Kagome never got the hang of. He had a gift of relaying information without much speech and was an obvious natural leader. For someone as young as he looked, he exuded control… most of the time.
“Don’t you want to know more about your kind?” The double sided question seemed to have been on his mind for a while. “I believe there is more information out there, we just have to commit to finding it.”
“…We?” He tensed up as if he offended her and she smiled warmly to reassure him. “I mean, you would want to as well?”
“…Yes. I believe this to be important.” He was looking almost too anxious for her answer.
She glanced off into space. It would be a mission- an actual task, something meaningful, even if she couldn’t find anything. It could be a link to the things she missed and will never have again. If she can make one thing from that time survive… it might be well worth all the effort. She would honor Kaede, Kikyo, Midoriko, Hitomiko… and maybe even find a little of herself lost deep in time, waiting for her to shine light on it again. Maybe it will help her move forward if she had a concrete place to start from.
Looking back at Anka she realized how long she had kept him waiting. His eyes were widened and fixed on her, looking more youthful then she had ever seen him, though his face remained still.
“Anka,” she started and he tensed his strong shoulders. “That sounds like a great idea.”
She saw his first smile ever towards her that day as he relaxed, relieved.
Drawing herself from memories and back to her kitchen table Kagome was wearing a smile as well. Her miko research was not her only link. Though she always remained cheerful, giving, and warm, Anka gave her back a little piece of herself.
A year had passed since their search began. She had so many questions she wanted answered and was kicking herself for not talking Kaede’s head off everyday 500 years ago. Then again, she didn’t have the same questions then that she had now.
Can spiritual powers protect themselves?
Can they fight with the threat of disappearing?
What is this pressure that won't go away?
And her main one, the one that set things in motion for her return. Why did my body fight against Inuyasha?
That question always brought up another, though it was directed at someone else.
Was waiting really that terrible that you had to run off with another, Inuyasha?
She scoffed to herself. Once a cheater, always… no. She should have known, all the red flags were there. She knew now that if you allow behavior the behavior will continue regardless. For the millionth time she reminded herself she was just a kid then.
Kagome sighed, than finished the sake in her cup. It wasn't right to label him so quickly. If she was going to be fair, then technically, Inuyasha was only a kid back then too...
A/N: First fanfic, so hopefully the writing will get better as I practice more! thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy.