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Ashes to Ashes

Hey readers, been gone for a few years, back now and ready to write!

Disclaimer: I don’t own Inuyasha of any of the characters in the original series created by Rumiko Takahashi. I also make no money from writing these, however, they do set my soul at ease.

Ch1: Ashes to Ashes

A flood of memories assaulted her as she sat there on the 6 train in New York, she’d come a long way from home. Her Shrine in Tokyo had passed to her younger brother Souta, who thankfully decided to fulfill his ancestral calling as head priest because Kagome just had to get out.

Out of the well, out of the shrine, out of Tokyo, out of Japan, out of her mind.

Something had jolted her back. Thrust her into a whirlwind of memories buried deep long ago.

It was a cosplayer on his way to some convention or other, Americans liked her culture, they liked to pretend they knew what it was like, though few of them would survive the shock of actually being thrust into the Japanese culture outside of Tokyo.

To them is was all anime and sushi and she would leave them to their delusions, after all we all have delusions, she was no different about their culture.

They were nice enough, though she’d already survived being mugged twice and more than her share of dishonest people taking advantage of the little priestess with a thick Japanese accent and friendly smile. Somehow America had managed to scare her, disappoint her and thoroughly capture her heart and soul all at once.

This….this, however, was what she needed. She craved, longed to disappear, to be swallowed whole by the tender anonymity that the most magnificent city in the world provided.

America was not her home but it was her sanctuary, dirty, beautiful, wild and free, she loved New York.  

It was his sword, the boy on the train. He sat lazily with a plastic katana at his hip. She found her eyes settling on the hilt.

The interwoven black material reminding her of a pattern she hadn’t thought of for so long.

Reaching into her bag she pulled out the tattered black book, the binding coming apart, the unglued pages folded neatly and tucked into the back. It was all she brought with her from Japan that fateful day; her mother’s diary.

She could smell the faint trace of her mother’s perfume which had permeated the pages over the years. There were many entries from the woman’s youth and then they steadily slowed to about one a year since she was married. Kagome would lose herself in her mother’s mind. Walking along the hallowed halls of memories, secrets, thoughts and dreams left behind by the one person who’d always been there for her.

On her deathbed, as the cancer finished devouring her, Masayo Higurashi handed her beloved first born, Kagome her most intimate possession and told her to fill the blank pages with her own cognitive excretions.

The girl had started clumsily writing her scrambled words of mourning, dark thoughts and tearstained confessions of love and loss.

Then one day she wrote a letter, it was first of many and now ….there she was on the train headed to the hospital for her last day as a resident ER physician at Mount Sinai Medical. She was traveling from her broken down Brooklyn apartment she shared with four roommates.

Now here she sat thrown headfirst into things she’d wished her mind could leave behind.

She turned her attention back to the book in her lap and  pulled the pages carefully scanning each page of her mother’s writing. The ink bloody from the years it was left to seep, she soon reached her goal her first letter to him……the one she’d left behind…..Not Houjou, that was a fling, a little childhood crush, he belonged to her friend Eri and their four amazing children. No it wasn’t the boy with the soft brown hair and the kind eyes, it was her friend, her beloved….Sesshomaru.

He’d taken her, promised her the universe, ripped her apart and thrown her away, leaving her marred and fractured forever…….well it seemed like it would be forever at the time….

She grinned slyly thinking about the liberation she felt, she'd stopped caring about it a long time ago…. she had to. The cords were cut the ties broken and she was done.

She passed her fingers over the sloppy, scratchy lines of Kanji written by her younger hands. It’d only been ten years but that girl, that Japanese girl who was so broken and small, she was so far from Kagome.

Kagome had grown strong, Kagome moved to New York with 40,000 yen to her name and nothing but the clothes on her back and the contents of her bag. Kagome worked as a waitress in a coffee shop, Kagome was homeless for three weeks, Kagome learned English…the hard way, Kagome had worked in the morgue before medical school, Kagome drank cheep beer and Jack Daniels, Kagome had taken up smoking, Kagome had tattoos, Kagome worked her way from community college to Columbia University and Medical school in record time, Kagome saved lives, Kagome lived in Brooklyn, Kagome spoke English with a Dominican twang (thanks to her English tutor Lucy; one of the most brilliant souls she'd ever encountered), Kagome had a baseball bat next to her bed, Kagome hailed cabs, Kagome had scars, Kagome used the word “motherfucker” easily and often. Kagome was grateful for all of the things she`d survived.

Deep inside, however, deep deep inside lived the small wide-eyed priestess who’d once loved the boy with the long silver hair and it was her, the little girl long neglected who willed this magnificently strong woman to shed tears with each kanji character that infected her mind. But she didn't because though that little girl existed within, it was the woman who ruled them and the woman had long since made peace with the death of that connection.

Sesshomaru,

       I know you’ll never read this, I guess it’s a more a comfort than a disappointment.

And yet….I still can’t bring myself to hate you, you hurt me more than I thought I could ever hurt and still I love you….still I would rip my own heart from my chest and give it to you if it meant you were happy and safe. I would condemn myself to eternal darkness just to see you smile , just to feel your lips against mine again…..to feel your child….our child in my womb....but you never came for me……

 

“Silly codependent bitch” she muttered before laughing and shaking her head

She could hear Kaede`s voice telling her to have compassion for her former self but it was hard….really hard.

“ I need a fucking smoke” she held her hands up to cover her yawn, willing the train to go faster so she could sate her habit.

“Dr. H!” The voice snapped her out of her trance as she slammed the book shut and quickly wiped her eyes of the yawn she was currently in the middle of. She stowed the precious manuscript in her bag.

The train was not full but somehow she’d missed seeing her former patient on the train.

“Hello Mark, how is your leg doing?” she looked down at the cast that still covered the man’s left leg

“Perfect, thanks to you! Oh man if you hadn’t stopped that crazy Dr. Chung from amputating, I wouldn’t be able to go back to work, I’d never be able to play with my kids again. I’ll never forget what you did for me Dr. H” the gratitude bleeding from his eyes and saturating the air around them.

“It’s no problem Mark and you can call me kagome, I’m not your regular doctor anyway” she smiled and he nodded

“Well I wish you could be, Jenny and I were talking about how we wished you would go into pediatrics so you could be Mary and Ryan’s doctor, I don’t think I have ever trusted a doctor as much as you Dr...Kagome” she smiled and blushed humbly

“I was just doing my Job Mark, I’m just glad you’re ok” she looked down and gave a small laugh thinking of what might be awaiting her in the ER on her last day. Mark had been an easy fix, a laceration on his leg from a car accident left him nearly amputated, it had taken Kagome physically removing the drill from the attending physician’s hand to save the man’s leg.

She was not reprimanded too badly since the chief physician agreed that the leg should have been saved and that since she was leaving the hospital it would be a waste of time and paper to write her up but she did receive a thorough warning, not that she cared, She had become a full fledged New Yorker, she would push to get what she needed done.

“So no chance that you’ll go into pediatrics?” the man’s voice sounded hopeful.

“Sorry Mark, today is actually my last day at Sinai, I’m going home” the words left her lips but she could hardly believe they were true.

“Oh? What part of Japan are you from?” he looked a bit disappointed, he’d truly hoped he could bring his children to the only doctor he’d ever felt truly looked at him as a person.

“Tokyo, I was accepted as a fellow at Tokyo Medical University” She shrugged a bit, the gravity of such a prestigious position, though not lost on her, didn’t really mean much to her. It was just another job and an opportunity to save lives in her own country, though she would never forget New York, after all it was all she knew for ten years, her former life just seemed like the ghost of a dream to her now.

Then the train stopped.

“Well Mark this is my stop, tell Jenny I said hello and take care of yourself” she flashed him a genuine smile

“Thank you so much Dr.….er Kagome, I’ll never forget you, I wish you the best in Tokyo”

“Tokyo” it was almost a whisper but the sound never came in the breath she took when the things she’d been avoiding came flooding into her mind.

She stepped off the train and looked back, it was the last time she’d take that train to work, her plane left in the morning. The cigarette in her hand was lit before she could take another breath.

“`Let`s go” She muttered on the exhale of the carcinogenic cloud that fed her addiction, bringing her comfort.

 

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