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When the Future is Here by JeniNeji

Stumbling

Inuyasha©Rumiko Takahashi

Beta Reader: MissKatt

 

When the Future is Here

2

Stumbling

Rin pressed her hands tightly against the wooden railing which separated her from Kagome. Kagome was wearing a white gi and hakama with a high ponytail so her hair didn’t get in the way of the shot. So far, things have gone well.

Her prodigy student had passed to the finals and was now at the final match. The previous girl, the one with the glasses, had managed to hit the target twice and her last shot had hit in the border between the center and the next line. The girl was incredibly good. Rin had stopped a moment to study the girl and went as far as borrowing some of her youkai mate’s power through their bond to verify the girl was human. As surprised as she was, she had to grimly accept the girl was human and very good.

Rin’s dark eyes once again settled on her student. Kagome had hit the target in the dead center the first time. She had two shots left. Either way… Kagome would win or get second or third. Her efforts so far had secure one of those, but it all depended on this one shot.

The stress was making Kagome breath heavily, of this Rin took quick notice. Kagome’s body seemed stiff and she was sweating more than normal. Rin suddenly felt bad for the younger girl. She was sure Kagome was having an awful time right now. So many thought she would get the first place without problems, Rin was one of them, but now… it seemed as if everyone’s hope rested over her young shoulders. The Higurashi’s were facing economic difficulties, it wasn’t exactly awful, but Kagome needed this scholarship in order to be able to continue her high-school studies without hindrances. Well, Rin knew Kagome was going to face some situations, but she would have liked to assure Kagome that everything will be all right, to just enjoy herself at the tournament. That wasn’t an option though, Kagome was too responsible and a surreal amount of questions would come up and she had no way to answer them. She couldn’t tell Kagome she would travel back five-hundred years  to Feudal Japan, or that she will quest with unlikely people for a magical Jewel or anything of the sort. Things were better this way.

A loud sigh from the collective around Rin startled her back to the present, to Kagome and the target. Rin’s heart sunk down, more with concern about Kagome than anything else, when her brown eyes fell on Kagome’s arrow… barely imbedded in the corner of the target.

xXx

Kagome walked with heavy, slow steps besides Rin. She still had her hakama and gi on, but her hair was now lose and coiling around her shoulders. Kagome kept a stubborn silence since the tournament finished. Her last arrow had hit the center, but she still got third place. Those challengers had been more vicious than what Rin had first suspected. Or perhaps, she had been that confident about Kagome’s skills. Now she felt bad about it.

Everyone hoped so much out of her.

Sometimes they forgot Kagome was merely a young, middle school girl. Perhaps she had been too adamant and rigorous about this training. Still, it was expected… Kagome was her hero. The raven-haired girl saved her back in the Feudal Era so many centuries ago and she helped defeat Naraku! It was hard sometimes to remember this Kagome was not yet that Kagome. She still had a long way to go before any of that happened.

She should live these last few days happily. Rest as much as she can, and laugh; that over all things. The Feudal Quest was going to be cruel, difficult and tiring. She wished she could protect young Kagome from it, but she knew better. It was thanks to Kagome that she was here now, mated and happy. She would be an idiot to meddle in life affairs.

“Well,” began Rin in an even, friendly voice, “This isn’t how I was expecting things to happen and so… I ask you to forgive me before hand,” she asked the young girl, walking at her side heart-broken.

Kagome merely spared a guarded, yet saddened, glance to her mentor, but refrained from any other kind of response.

Rin rolled her eyes and ran a hand through her hip-long, silky black hair. “Congratulations,” she said softly and handed Kagome a white envelope.

The young girl’s eyes widened and she carefully pried open the offered envelop. After reading the contents furtively she looked up at Rin with hopeful eyes, begging the older woman for confirmation. Rin nodded her head with a smile.

She was half-prepared for the tackle she received, but not for the onslaught of tears from Kagome. The younger girl clung to her 5’5 frame with all she had, sobbing about how happy she was to be accepted and given the scholarship. Rin cried as well, too many emotions for her old heart, and carried Kagome the rest of the way to the house.

Rin sighed as she started up the Shrine steps. Kagome had been accepted years ago! This was the school Sesshomaru founded for Kami’s sake… she could have received this invitation ages ago and forget all about this problem. This uncertainty was causing Kagome so much grief… just why was Sesshomaru so adamant about keeping his identity hidden? Well, it would be strange, of course, if Kagome met him here and then met the younger him in the past. But, was it really necessary? Another sigh escaped Rin, but she kept quiet.

She trusted Sesshomaru-sama.

xXx

A slender demoness with knee-length white silver hair sat behind a desk. The dimming sunrays hit her head from the window, making the silver turn to shimmering gold from time to time, inheritance of her mother. Over the desk and neat piles were, at least, twenty scrolls waiting for her attention. However, her face didn’t have the scowl that would be present if it were her deceased father or sick brother working over them. She had a soft, interested smile that hid a dark smirk and a brilliant, stubborn mind.

“Jaken,” she said softly without looking at him, “Why am I reading a letter addressed to my older brother from the North’s daughter? She’s asking about his health and she even hopes he can go visit when he’s well,” exclaimed the demoness with a dramatic wave of her hands and an angry frown.

Jaken remained quiet for a moment, and after a small internal-search, he finally responded, “She’s fond of Sesshomaru-sama, Momo-sama,” he said simply and then shrugged his shoulders.

Momo sent the kappa a golden glare, “Has you age affected you, Jaken?” she asked through narrowed eyes. “Go find the scroll of last autumns’ party.”

Jaken did as ordered and after a pair of minutes, fished out the mentioned scroll. If there was something he was glad for in this moment of his life and under the service of Momo-sama, it was that she was very organized compared to Inu no Taisho and Sesshomaru. If it had been one of the latter males, it would have taken him, most probably, a week to find the scroll. “Here,” he said, handing the young demoness the scroll.

Momo accepted it with a nod of her head and opened it, caring little about its wellbeing, “Here,” she said while pointing to a specific place with her clawed nail, “Read.”

Jaken’s bulbous eyes flew over the letter for a moment and then he gasped dramatically, “The nerve!” cried the offended servant, “It’s true! I remember now! She mated last autumn!” The way his face scrunched up with disbelief was hilarious!

“Hn,” was all Momo said as she threw the scroll, the new one asking for her brother, away. Then the young heiress grabbed another scroll and began reading again.

Jaken watched her silently. He was impressed by her efficiency, considering she was a female. But, she was Inu no Taisho’s daughter… she had to be impressive, of that there was no doubt. However, he learned that under Inu no Taisho’s reign, many of the females had grown a lot, personally and in their business, compared to females from other lands. He allowed them all to be taught the writings and even encouraged more than a dozen to take care of their family businesses. Western females were often sought, and quiet ferociously, by minor lords from neighboring lands.

“The other,” said Momo and Jaken automatically handed her another scroll while she placed the finished one in a small box, meant to be delivered away soon.

Again, Jaken stared at his temporary Master. “Momo-sama,” he asked evenly and her golden eyes fell on his questioningly, “Taiyoukai don’t get sick,” he said.

Momo sighed, all too aware of where this conversation was going. “No, Jaken, Taiyoukai don’t get sick.”

Concern, the same one which always haunted his greeny face came again, “Then why is Sesshomaru-sama sick? How?” he asked, tears threatening to fall.

Momo bit her lip and stared at him, “No one knows, Jaken,” she said again, knowing it was the truth. “All I know is that he’s very strong and that he will survive this, whatever it is, and be up and about soon.”

Jaken eyed her suspiciously, “That’s what you said since this started,” he shot back with some healthy amount of frustration.

Momo simply smirked good naturedly, “Well… he’s still alive, is he not? Soon! You will see,” she said with feigned excitement and went back to her scroll.

Meanwhile, Jaken glared at her back and muttered, “The same thing… you’ve said the same thing these last fifty-years.”

xXx

To be continued…

xXx

Thanks for reading! :3

 

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