Twice in a Lifetime by Lord Fluffs-a-lot

Breaking Away

"I still don't understand why you're doing this," InuYasha snorted, rocking back and forth impatiently in his cross-legged sitting position. He glared up at Kagome with accusing, golden eyes. She frowned and craned her neck further down the newspapers scattered out on her kitchen table.

Naraku had been killed 2 years ago and the jewel purified and safe in a hidden shrine. Now that she was 21 with no real need to go back to the Feudal Era, Kagome decided to limit the traveling to only once in while, surprised that the Bone Eater's well still allowed both her and InuYasha to go back and forth without the aid of the jewel.

Kagome was still living at home to be near the well, but now it was time that she felt like she needed to move out and start a life in her own era.

"For the billionth time, I can't always live here at the shrine! I need to get my own place!" Kagome retorted back., circling an ad with a red pen. "What about cleaning houses?" InuYasha shook his head.

"Why can't you stay here? It'll be easier to travel back with me."

"Naraku's dead. The jewel's safe. Sango and Miroku both married and took Shippou with them. What's left to back for? I mean, I'll still visit you all, but not as frequently as I used to," Kagome sighed, her eyes roving over to the babysitting section.

"What about me?" InuYasha demanded.

"You can visit me as often as you want I pro- oh my god!" Kagome gasped. InuYasha immediately bolted to her side, startled.

"What is it?!"

"This guy's offering 150 dollars an hour to baby-sit this 12-year-old girl! Look at this!" Kagome pointed to a tiny ad in the middle of the Classified section, holding it up to InuYasha's face even though he couldn't read.

'Offering to baby-sit 12-year-old-girl at 150 and hour. Schedule must be flexible. Contact immediately if interested.'

At the bottom was an address, no phone number. Kagome immediately recognized the address to be at the edge of Western Tokyo, the "rich section". She jumped up from her chair, scattering the papers as she tore out the ad and stuffed it in her jeans.

"InuYasha! I've got to go to answer this immediately tell mom where I am as soon as she gets home!" she cried out, grabbing her cell phone and skidding to the door. InuYasha matched her speed and blocked the door, his expression fierce. Kagome couldn't stop her sprint fast enough and, wonder of wonders, fell into his arms.

"You can't go now. You promised to come with me to see Sango's new baby," he said, holding her tightly. Kagome stopped squirming and gazed up at him with large, blue eyes.

"Baby? Sango was pregnant? She didn't tell me..."

"She didn't think you'd come back."

Kagome gasped, pulling away from him. InuYasha's face was a mixture of sadness and regret as if he was looking at her for the last time. The two stared at each other for a few seconds. Then, cautiously, InuYasha took a few steps with his arms wide. Kagome completed the embrace, holding him in a fierce hug.

"Kagome, I don't know what I'd do without you. If you move, I won't be able to protect you like I used to," he murmured softly into her hair. Kagome sighed, relaxing in his arms. Now that Kikyou was dead, she had no doubt that InuYasha loved only her. Over the years, her feelings for him hadn't increased or decreased, just numbing to a cold realization that she could never have him. He was from the past, a powerful hanyou. She was from the future, an average 21-year-old in a 6-year-long crush. If the well ever closed, her life would be over. That was just an unstable bridge she didn't want to walk on.

"I know," she whispered before squeezing one last time and pulling away. "But I need to do this. I'm older now. I don't have the time to always be with you. I'm sorry," Kagome choked, backing towards the door. After seeing that InuYasha would not stop her, she slowly opened it, stepping outside.

"No, InuYasha. Please go home. Please tell Sango I'm sorry." Please understand.

"-gome," he croaked softly, watching her running to the edge of the shrine and calling a cab. After about a minute, a cab finally stopped for her and she hopped in.

"InuYasha, I'm so sorry." Kagome willed herself not to look back as the car slowly pulled away and tangled into the thick, mid-afternoon traffic, knowing her heart couldn't take seeing InuYasha break.

This is for both of us.


"Here ya go girly. This the house ya looking for?" the fat cabbie said in a gruff voice as he pulled up next to a large mansion. They had been driving for half an hour, and Kagome had to stretch before peering out the dirty window.

To say that it was large and beautiful was an understatement. Surrounded by green, lush gardens and cool, bubbling fountains, the mansion was situated on the top of a small hill, as if proudly showing itself off. It's flawless white paint was complemented by it's silver shutters and the huge, frosted double glass doors. The cabbie craned his flabby neck towards the house, whistling.

"Wowie. Must be a millionaire or something. Have fun girly." Kagome nodded and paid him, stepping out into the sunlight. Without the tainted windows, the mansion seemed even more glorious. It made her shrine seem like a rat hole. Suddenly, Kagome blushed and looked down at her clothes as the cab pulled away. An electric blue baby tee, blue jeans, and flip-flops weren't exactly the description of what a perspective babysitter for a millionaire would wear, but no turning back now.

With a renewed look of determination, Kagome eyed the narrowed steps leading to the front door and started climbing, not wishing for the first time that she had a car.


After the 87th step, Kagome, wheezing for air, collapsed on the front of the wrap-around porch.

"They probably don't even use the steps anyway," Kagome muttered angrily, glaring at the driveway. Regaining her breath, she rung the doorbell. The melodic, haunting melody echoed through the seemingly empty hallways. Suddenly, something on the door caught her attention for a minute. On the frosted glass was an elegant crescent moon, thin, graceful vines twirling around it's gentle curve.

Hm, a family symbol? One of the doors swung open, catching Kagome by surprise. Blocking the doorway was a small, thin girl, staring at her with dull, large brown eyes. Her black, lay dress wrapped elegantly around her body and just barely touched the floor, making her seem as if she had just walked out of the Victorian era, gothic style. Black, short hair was cut straight across, framing her face. She looked so out of place in this huge white house, a black diamond laid out across snow. But what bothered Kagome the most was her face. She looked so much like-

"Rin?" Kagome breathed. The girl stared at her for a few more seconds before shaking her head vigorously, her coal-colored hair bouncing.

"I'm Ren. I guess you're here to baby-sit me, huh? What's your name?"

"Kagome. Kagome Higurashi."

"Ka-go-me," she said herself, as if trying out the name for herself. "Come in." Ren stepped aside, allowing a very light headed Kagome to stumble in as she shut the door quietly behind them. Inside, it was even bigger and majestic than outside. A huge staircase was centered at the back of the room, two smaller ones leading off of it. Overhead was a large chandelier that glistened, giving off a soft glow to the white walls and silvery marble floors. Two doorways branched off both sides of the main room, one looking like a dining room with a long, 30-seated mahogany dining table and the other an equally large sitting room with comfy, plush sofas and a blazing fire that warmed the otherwise cold and empty house.

"So, uh, where are your parents?" Kagome finally chirped, breaking the silence. Ren frowned and cocked her head.

"Daddy should be coming home soon. In the meantime, please make yourself comfortable. Tsutomu!" A tall, lean guy strode out from the sitting room and nodded. He had bright, narrowed, red eyes that were framed by black glasses. His spiky, black hair seemed almost menacing, but not as bad as what Kagome felt.

"He's a demon!" she whispered in awe/horror. Kagome "eeped" as his keen eyes snapped towards her at the sound of "demon". Confused and blushing harder, she turned to Ren who was directing Tsutomu to where Kagome would stay. "R-ren, is h-he-?"

"Who, Tomu-chan? Heh, he wouldn't hurt a fly, or at least I haven't seen him hurt one." Leaning in closer as the servant glided up the stairs in a form of grace that only demons could achieve, she said in a lower tone, "I hope you don't mind the demons. They're all harmless." Kagome could only bobble a nod as Ren turned away, leaving her standing alone.

Before Tsutomu was lost from sight, Kagome sprinted up the stairs, nearly slipping on the polished marble, and grabbing a handful of Tomu's back trench coat.

"You!" she panted. What is up with all the stairs?!

Tsutomu stopped and waited as Kagome caught her breath, gazing at her curiously. As she straightened up, she shot a look at him and he looked away.

As the pair winded down the long hallways, Kagome could only gape in awe at the size, cleanliness, and grandeur of the place. If Tsutomu hadn't been there, she probably would've been lost by now. A few times, other low-ranking demons/servants bustled past them, heads down.

"So, um, are you Ren's personal servant or whatever?" Kagome coughed, alarmed at how her voice loudly bounced off of the walls.

"Yes. I serve Ren under the request of the Lord. If and when you are approved by him, I shall also be obliged to serve you." After a slight pause, he stopped in front of large, white hand-carved door with silver crescent-shaped doorknobs. "Kagome," he said quietly, peering at her with dark crimson eyes.

"Yea- I mean, yes?"

"How...did you know?"

"Know what?" she peeped, not liking the way his eyes darkened.

"About demons. You seem to sense auras naturally," he said slowly, rolling the words off of his tongue carefully. Kagome blushed for the billionth time that day, feeling the heat of his hard stare.

"I...know a few demons," she said softly. "I'm a miko."

"Not many are like that today," Tsutomu said almost appreciatively as he opened the door.

Inside was a fairly large room, laid down with fuzzy, white carpet and a beautiful, glistening mini version of the chandelier downstairs. The canopy bed was full-sized, complete with a warm, inviting plush pillows and a gold-colored comforter. Off to the side was a large, completely furnished bathroom and a large walk-in closet. Realizing something, Kagome twisted on her heels to face Tsutomu.

"I can't stay here! I don't have my things!" she cried out. Kagome wasn't expecting to be invited in so suddenly. Tomu gestured towards the closet.

"There a few articles of clothing in there. Accessories like combs, jewelry-"

"Kagome!" Ren stuck her head in the room, her eyes sparkling in dark mischief/happiness. "He's here!"

"Your father!" Kagome squeaked, suddenly nervous. Tsutomu straightened himself and looked down at her with a lopsided grin.

"The Lord Sesshoumaru awaits your appearance."


Whew. My stomach hurts and I'm hungry. Hope you liked it!

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