Back to the Present
Before departing, she decided to bid farewell and thank Kaede for everything she had done for her.
- "Well Kagome, are you ready to go?" – asked Kaede gently.
- "Yes, Kaede-obaasan, and I'm very grateful that you took care of me while I didn't have my memories" – replied Kagome as she bowed slightly in front of her.
- "Don't mention it. Actually, it was a nice experience to have been your teacher during this short time" – she said as she smiled at her.
At their side, Inuyasha was talking with Totosai, though their conversation wasn't being even half as pleasant in comparison to Kaede and Kagome's.
- "Hey, Totosai-jiji, why didn't you wanna teach me the Bakuryuuha from the beginning?" – asked Inuyasha with a very irritated face.
- "Because you couldn't even transform Tessaiga to its true form," – replied Totosai as if it was the most obvious thing in the world – "How do you think I was going to teach you that technique like that?" -
And as usual, Inuyasha hit him in the head.
- "You should learn to respect your elders..." – said Totosai crying as he held his head in pain.
They then talked for a while with the children from Hourai Island...
- "We wanted to thank you for letting us be in the performance with you" – said Kagome smiling.
- "It's nothing. Actually, that's one of the few things we could do to pay you back for the great help you gave us" – said Asagi gently.
- "Though they're still useless" – said Roku, making Kagome and Inuyasha look at him with rage.
- "That's right, bro" – said Dai, which finished what his brother began: that Inuyasha smacked them good in the head.
- "Don't forget who you're dealing with..." – said Inuyasha with his arms crossed and an enraged expression in his face.
- "So, what are you going to do now?" – asked Moegi very interested.
- "We'll first go to my home, and then we'll search for a way to get back to normal" – replied Kagome with a smile.
- "I wish you can find it soon!" – said Ai cheerfully.
- "Yeah! We wish you good luck in your search!" – said Shion.
- "Thanks!" – said Kagome.
They then went to the well's glade and began their final preparations.
- "Inuyasha, are we ready to cross over then?" – asked Kagome.
- "Yeah, whenever you want" – replied Inuyasha as he began carrying Kagome's backpack.
- "Are you sure that you don't need anything else from us before going?" – asked Sango.
- "Yeah. We just ask that you find a way to return us to normal as soon as possible" – replied Kagome nodding.
- "Yeah, I wanna go back to normal quickly" – said Inuyasha as he showed displeasure about this situation on his face – "We look stupid like this" -
- "Oh, yeah? I think we look cute like this!" – said Kagome.
- "No, we don't!" – replied Inuyasha.
- "Yeah, we do!" – replied Kagome.
- "No!" -
- "SIT DOWN!" – said Kagome to put an end to the argument, as Inuyasha fell with force against the ground and stayed quiet.
- "They might have their memories now, but they're still acting like kids" – whispered Miroku to Sango.
Unfortunately, both Inuyasha and Kagome heard him.
- "Who are you calling kids!?" -
- "Let me remind you I'm fifteen years old already!" – said Kagome pouting and stomping her foot on the grass angry.
- "Yeah, we know!" – said Sango as she tried to calm them down. However, she was thinking to herself that despite that being her actual age, she looked and acted like a girl of eight.
- "Kagome, we forgot to ask you something..." – said Miroku remembering something – "Didn't you feel anything strange in the temple yesterday?" -
- "No, there weren't any monsters aside of the ones we exterminated or shards of the Pearl... But I did feel a weird presence when we were leaving…" – said Kagome pensively.
- "Well, it was only to make sure that..." – began Sango, but Inuyasha interrupted her.
- "Let's get going already!" – said he impatiently.
- "Yeah, okay!" – said Kagome as they went over to the well and jumped in.
The familiar tunnel of lights appeared around them, and as soon as they felt they were standing again on solid ground and the lights had disappeared, Inuyasha jumped out from it holding Kagome with his right hand and holding her backpack in his left.
- "Stop bringing so much stuff! I can barely carry it now!" – complained Inuyasha as soon as they were standing out of the well.
- "Stop complaining so much! I still don't know what I'm gonna do!" – said Kagome anxiously.
- "Just do as if you were coming back as always"- suggested Inuyasha.
- "And how is it that you can't carry my backpack effortlessly anymore, but you can still hold your sword and fight monsters like always?" – asked Kagome with curiosity.
- "I dunno. Maybe Tessaiga is used to me already and my strength for fighting monsters is different from the one I've got for carrying stuff around" – replied Inuyasha as he shrugged off.
They came out from the well's shack and headed quickly to Kagome's house so no one else around could see them. They opened the door and went in.
- "Mom, grandpa, Souta! I'm here!" – announced Kagome. Souta was the first one to hear her, as he was in the living room.
- "Onee-san, is that you? Your voice sounds different" – said Souta as he went to greet her, but when he reached the entrance, he was paralyzed upon seeing them – "Onee… san? Inu… yasha? What happened to you two!?" -
- "Souta... let me explain it..." – said Kagome making gestures to try and calm him down, but it was useless.
- "Aaah! Mom! Grandpa!" – he screamed as he ran back into the house.
- "Souta, wait!" – said Kagome as she tried to stop him in vain. She sighed in exasperation – "Great, just what we needed: an uproar..." -
- "You shouldn't have called him" – said Inuyasha crossing his arms.
- "I didn't think this was gonna happen!" – said Kagome, and when it seemed they were going to begin arguing, Souta reappeared alongside with his mother and grandfather.
- "Kagome, is that you, dear?" – asked her mother as she looked at her daughter with eyes the size of saucers – "What happened to you?" -
- "Well…" – replied Kagome as she looked at the floor a bit embarrassed - "It's a long story..." -
The next half-hour, they sat in the dining room as Kagome explained to her family everything that happened to her and Inuyasha, including what she did during the days she had her memory sealed. However, she refrained from telling them about the romantic moment between her and Inuyasha, as she thought it wasn't time yet for her family to know about it.
- "Now we're both about the same age! That's great!" – said Souta as he put a large smile on his face.
- "That isn't great at all!" – replied Kagome embarrassed – "What I'm gonna do about school and my friends now!?" -
- "Well, you're lucky that classes have ended already" – said her mother.
- "But I was about to meet up with my friends in a few days and…" – said Kagome crestfallen, but her mother embraced her.
- "Dear, I know it's hard... But I'm sure you'll find a way to solve this problem. Until you manage to do so, you should be enjoying what you're going through instead of suffering for it" – said her mother as she gently stroke Kagome's hair.
- "Thank you… mom…" – said Kagome as she blushed. She separated from her mother a few moments later.
- "I'll cure her with one of my scrolls!" – screamed the grandfather suddenly, making everyone stare at him.
- "Please, old man! If your pieces of paper were useless for sealing the well, they'll be even more useless for this!" – replied Inuyasha, which made Kagome's grandfather scream as he began crying.
- "Don't mind grandpa. He goes all crazy with his amulets and scrolls sometimes" – whispered Souta to Inuyasha.
Kagome's mother then stood up from the kotetsu…
- "I'll be going to do some shopping then" – she turned to face her daughter – "Kagome, could you stay home until I'm back?" -
- "Huh, why?" – asked Kagome a bit dumbfounded.
- "You yourself said that you didn't want anyone to see you like this, right? And you'd attract a lot of attention if you went out while still wearing clothes from 500 years ago" – said her mother.
- "Oh… right. Ok then..." – replied Kagome saddened.
- "Don't worry, I'll let you go for a walk once I'm back" – smiled her mother. She left the dining room and the last sound that was heard was the one made by the main door when it closed.
- "Inuyasha, wanna do anything?" – asked Souta.
- "Hmm, what can we do?" – asked Inuyasha.
- "Well, we could watch TV or something…" – said Souta.
- "You mean the magic box that shows pictures?" – asked Inuyasha with a lot of interest in the idea.
- "Yeah. Wanna do that?" – asked Souta.
- "Yeah!" – replied Inuyasha.
- "You two do whatever you want. I'll be going to my room" – said Kagome as she stood up. She left the dining room, went up the stairs and entered her room to then leave herself fall into the bed. She turned around, got herself comfortable by stretching herself in her now larger bed, put her hands behind her head, and stared at the roof as she thought…
- 'Now I know how it feels to be a kid in the Warring States era. That makes my room feel comfier that I'd ever thought it was…' -
- 'But... why I did that when Shippou insulted Inuyasha? How is it that I and Inuyasha got along so well during that time in which we had our memories sealed? And what did Inuyasha mean with everything he said during it all?' -
She began remembering more clearly everything they told each other that night, including the promise and the kiss.
- 'I finally could see his gentle side again: he bothered to take care of me while I was sick, and he behaved better than I ever had seen, but… Is he going to pick over Kikyou now? After having made that promise and having kissed like that? Or… is he going to continue playing dumb and being indecisive between her and me!? Or… is he going to leave me for her...?' -
She cut off the flow of her thoughts at that point, as just thinking about the eternal love triangle between her, Inuyasha and Kikyou caused her heart to throb painfully. She stood up from her bed, and began checking herself, noticing she was a bit dirty.
- "I think I'll go wash myself a little, and then I'll have a short nap" – she told herself as she went to her bathroom. She washed off her hands, feet and face, and then she went back to her room, tucked herself into her bed and shortly later, she fell asleep.
Meanwhile, over at the living room downstairs, Souta was trying to teach Inuyasha how to play a fighting videogame…
- "I don't get how you're supposed to play this!" – complained Inuyasha as he mashed the buttons in the control with no reason or rhyme to it.
- "Calm down a bit. You just need to learn what each button does" – said Souta trying to show him how it was done. Despite the distraction, he didn't have much problem winning the fight. On the other hand, when Inuyasha tried again, he only got defeated.
- "I'm not still doing it well!" – he said enraged.
- "You just need more practice. And talking about practice, how are these special skills you have with your sword?" – asked Souta with a lot of curiosity.
- "They're very impressive!" – said Inuyasha proudly, but he then stood up and took Tessaiga from the floor at his side – "Do you wanna see 'em?" –
- "Eh, I think you shouldn't do it…" – said Souta scared as he thought – 'Especially after that time in which he almost blew up a plane with that energy wave…' -
- "Ah well... as you want" – said Inuyasha disappointed as he left his sword once again in the floor and began getting into the game again.
A while later, Kagome woke up from her nap and began stirring to get up from bed.
- "Ah, that was a nice nap!" – she said in joyful voice. She looked at the door of her room, and remembered with some worry about Inuyasha still being in the house – "What could he be doing now?" -
Thinking he could be causing some kind of disaster, she went down to look. She was greatly relieved to see how Inuyasha was excitedly playing videogames with Souta when she entered the living room.
- "Huh? You've spent all this time playing videogames?" – she asked a bit surprised.
- "Yeah, Onee-san! Inuyasha is a quick learner!" – commented Souta smiling.
- "Yeah! I've never had so much fun, excepting when I destroy a monster for real!" – said Inuyasha as he focused in beating another opponent.
- "And to think you were doing this while I was resting..." - said Kagome as she sighed in relief. She began giggling a little upon noticing how much this seemed to fit Inuyasha.
- "What're you laughing at now, Kagome?" – asked Inuyasha as he put the game in pause and turned to look at her.
- "It's nothing. Don't mind me" – said Kagome with a mischievous smile. Before they could anything else, they heard the sound of the main door opening and closing.
- "Ah! It must be mom!" – said Kagome. And in fact…
- "Kagome! Can you come here for a bit, dear?" – called her mother.
- "Coming!" – said Kagome as she ran off to the entrance.
- "Did you spend a good time, sweetie?" – asked her mother as she patted Kagome's head when they were face to face again.
- "Come on, mom! Don't treat me like a kid!" – said Kagome pouting.
- "Sorry, couldn't help it" – said her mother laughing a little – "It's been quite a long time since I last saw you like this, after all" –
- "But it's so embarrassing…" – said Kagome as she blushed.
- "Come on; don't worry so much about it. And well, I've brought you some new clothes" – she said as she took out a bag from the several she was carrying and gave it to Kagome – "As I said before, you'd probably get some unwanted attention if you went around wearing that kosode, not to mention it seems like it needs some cleaning" -
Kagome took out the bag and opened it up to see her new clothes: it was a light blue blouse adorned with a small green jeweled brooch, which was sustaining a light yellow shawl, a white skirt, and two pairs of footwear: modern sandals and zouri similar to the ones used 500 years ago, which were also coupled with tabi.
- "I hope you like them" – said Kagome's mother as she smiled to her daughter.
- "I really like them! Thanks, mom!" – said Kagome as she hugged her.
- "Glad to hear it, dear. By the way, shouldn't you go take a bath? I'll get your clothes ready in the meantime" – suggested her mother.
- "Yes!" – she then focused her attention on the footwear – "Oh, and what are the sandals and zouri for?" -
- "The sandals are for you to use here and the zori for when you get back to the Warring States era. You don't have any other footwear that fits you now, right?" – said her mother with a smile – "I guessed it by how you were when you and Inuyasha returned today" -
- "Err… yeah… but still thanks a lot! That'll make things much easier when I go back there!" - said Kagome smiling. She then pinched a bit of the kosode's fabric - "Oh by the way mom… could you wash my kosode, please?"
- "You're going to need it again for when you go back there, right?" – asked her mother.
- "Yes... and I wanna take care of it as much as I can... as Kaede-obaasan gave it to me…" – said Kagome a bit embarrassed.
- "Okay, I'll wash it for you while you're on the bath" – nodded her mother.
- "Okay, thanks!" – she said as she took her new clothes and ran back to her room.
After she finished bathing, Kagome came out of her room wearing her new clothes. She also let her hair loose, like she used to.
- "These clothes look very nice on you, dear" – said her mother.
- "Thanks, mom!" – replied Kagome.
- "Don't mention it. You're going for a walk, right?" – asked her mother
- "Yeah, I need to take my mind off some things" – said Kagome as she put her hands behind herself and looked at the roof.
- "And why don't you bring your friend with you?" – suggested her mother.
- "Do you mean Inuyasha?" – asked Kagome to then lower her gaze to the floor, doubting about the idea – "I'm not sure I should…" -
- "But I think he'd enjoy going out too, and more if it's with you" – said her mother.
- "Okay, I'll take him with me" – said Kagome with a sigh of resignation.
After a while, in which Kagome had to battle with Inuyasha in order to get him away from the TV, they were at the entrance ready to go out.
- "Souta... are you sure you don't wanna come with us?" – asked Kagome.
- "Sorry, I can't today. I've got a soccer practice at school this afternoon" – replied Souta with some bitterness on his voice.
- "Ah well… see you later!" – said Kagome as she went out of the house with Inuyasha behind her.
- "Take care!" – said Kagome's mother.
Before they began taking the steps down to the city, Kagome made Inuyasha put on a cap to cover his dog ears, like always.
- "Inuyasha, let's just make it clear that if we meet with anyone who knows us in the city, let's pretend we're other people, okay?" – said Kagome very anxiously as she helped him put on the cap.
- "Okay, but why?" – asked Inuyasha confused.
- "Because if anyone learns we're us, they're going to make an uproar!" – exclaimed Kagome.
- "Yeah, fine. I don't get why you're being such a worrywart about it" – said Inuyasha annoyed.
They walked through the city for a good while, looking at the storefronts in the streets every now and then, though Kagome had to pull Inuyasha away from a few of them because he got entranced at the toy and electronics stores due to all the shiny things that were exhibited on them. The same was true for Kagome when they were in front of clothing stores and bookstores.
However, during their little walk, they at one point saw Kagome's friends from far away.
- "Oh no!" – said Kagome when she saw them coming closer to them – "If they learn I'm me, I don't wanna even think about what'll happen!" -
- "Come up with something then!" – said Inuyasha.
- "And what you think I'm trying to do!?" – she replied divided between rage and panic.
- "Hi!" – said Ayumi's voice behind them.
Kagome turned around slowly and very scared.
- "He… hello…" -
The faces of the three girls looked at her a bit startled, and they then began examining her face very meticulously with their gazes. Kagome endured their scrutiny, filled with fear about what would happen if they learned who she was.
- "Huh? How weird… you're just like our friend Kagome, but smaller…" – said Yuka as she looked at her.
- "And this boy here is identical to her boyfriend, even down to the hair and clothing" – said Eri as she looked at Inuyasha, who had crossed his arms and was looking away.
- 'Goodness, what I'm supposed to do now!?' – thought Kagome, but she then came up with an idea – "It's 'coz… well… I'm Kagome-nee's distant cousin…" -
- "Really?" – asked Yuka with a lot of curiosity.
- "Yeah... my name's..." – she said trying to remember the name everyone called her when she still had her memories sealed away – "Miko. And he's Shintaro; I think he's a relative of my cousin's boyfriend" -
- "What ya think you're..." – began Inuyasha, but he shut up when Kagome threw him an enraged glare that was telling him to keep quiet and play along with her story.
- "Ah, I see. And are you going to stay here for long, Miko-chan?" – asked Eri.
- "Nah, I came to visit my cousin yesterday. I'll go back home tomorrow" – replied Kagome.
- "And where you're from?" – asked Ayumi.
- "Eh… we came from Kyoto…" – replied Kagome, already tired of the questioning.
- "Kyoto, huh? You had a really long trip coming here, right?" – asked Yuka.
- "Yup, it was very long" – said Kagome.
- "And where's your cousin? I don't remember seeing her since around five days ago" – said Yuka a bit intrigued.
- "I dunno. She told me she was going somewhere this morning, but that she'd be back in three days" – replied Kagome as she thought the whole situation could not be any weirder.
- "Ah well, I hope so. We were supposed to meet again in three days" – said Eri.
- "Okay then, we've got some errands to do, so we'll be going now. Be careful out there, and give my regards to Kagome!" – said Ayumi as she and the other two girls bid them farewell.
- "Okay, I'll do!" – said Kagome waving her hand at them, feigning cheerfulness. The girls continued walking, and Kagome and Inuyasha continued looking at them until they disappeared from their sight. Kagome fell to her knees and sighed after this.
- "That was a close call..." – exclaimed Kagome in relief.
- "And why you gave me that ridiculous name?" – complained Inuyasha.
- "Because I didn't have time to come up with any others!" – said Kagome. She then made the most threatening face she could – "Any other complaints, and you know what'll happen!" –
- "NO!" – screamed Inuyasha before the sole idea of getting sat down again. Luckily, Kagome calmed down after a few moments. She simply looked at him again with a smile and asked him:
- "Wanna go eat something?" -
- "Yeah. I just don't wanna eat that stuff that gets my tongue burning" – said Inuyasha as his mood improved a bit.
- "As you say" – said Kagome as she shrugged.
So they went to Wacdnalds and bought a hamburger for each. Unfortunately, Inuyasha's utter lack of table manners began resulting suspicious to everyone else…
- "This is tasty!" – said Inuyasha as he gobbled down the hamburger.
- "Hey, don't eat so messily!" – said Kagome to scold him – "Haven't you noticed everyone's staring at us?" -
Inuyasha took his eyes away from the hamburger, and it was at this point he noticed that everyone else in the place was looking at them in astonishment. Kagome blushed in embarrassment, and decided it was time for them to leave.
- "Come, Inuyasha. Let's go" – she said as she stood up from the table and began walking towards the door. However, she crashed into someone when she was reaching it because she turned around for a moment to see that Inuyasha was still taking his time finishing off the remains of the food.
- "Ah, sorry little one" – said the stranger.
- "Don't worry 'bout it" – said Kagome. However, when she raised her gaze, she noticed who it was: it was Hojo; a young man who had short brown hair, black eyes and was wearing the black uniform typical of the male students at Kagome's school. Hojo then had the same reaction as Kagome's friends, and focused his eyes on her face.
- "Huh? Is that you, Higurashi?" – asked him.
Kagome was so frightened that her face paled instantly: her friends were one thing, but Hojo was another.
- "Who… are… you talking about… mister…?" – she asked as she wished that he didn't notice anything.
- "Ah sorry. I think I mistook you with a friend, as you look a lot like her. Her name's Kagome" – said Hojo. He put his hand behind his head while an awkward expression appeared on his face.
- "Err… well, I'm her cousin" – said Kagome, thinking there was no time she wanted to be back to normal more than right now.
- "Can you tell me your name?" – asked Hojo.
- "Ah… yeah. I'm Miko" – replied Kagome.
- "Okay, see you later then, Miko-chan. Tell Kagome I said hi!" – he said as he went away and approached the line to order.
- "Okay!" – she said as she saw Hojo going away. She sighed in relief.
- "Did anything happen, Kagome?" – asked Inuyasha when he finally came to her side.
- "No, it's nothing" – said Kagome smiling.
They spent the rest of the afternoon walking around. They stopped briefly at the park, and though Inuyasha suggested playing in it for a while, Kagome thought it would feel awkward to her and decided against the idea, which made Inuyasha sigh in disappointment. When the sun began setting, they decided to go back home.
- "We're back!" – announced Kagome when they entered the house.
- "Hi, dear. Did you have a lot of fun?" – asked her mother.
- "Yep. There were some incidents out there, but nothing to worry about. So, what're we having for dinner?" – asked Kagome.
- "Wait and see" – she replied in a playful voice as she made them signs to go to the dining room.
When they entered the room, they were left gasping in astonishment, as the table was filled with all sorts of food.
- "Wow, it looks delicious!" – said Kagome with shining eyes. Inuyasha, for his part, was already drooling from just seeing the feast and smelling all the aromas that wafted from it.
- "Do you like it?" – asked Kagome's mother as she laughed a little upon seeing their faces.
- "Yeah, and I'm gonna start eating now!" – said Inuyasha as he sat down and began serving himself a bit of everything. Kagome followed by sitting down at the kotetsu and serving herself a little.
Dinner was very pleasant for them, particularly for Inuyasha, as he had seldom tasted food as tasty as that. After dinner, they all had eaten so much that they only wanted to go sleep.
- "I'll be going to bed…" – said Kagome after a large yawn.
- "Same here" – said Inuyasha with a sleepy face as he rubbed his eyes – "I'm beat" -
- "Okay. You both have everything ready to depart tomorrow?" – asked Kagome's mother.
- "Yeah. I'd like to stay for a while longer, but we've got to search for a way to get back to normal" – said Kagome.
- "Okay, here you go," – said her mother as she gave to her the kosode. It was folded, looked like new, and it emitted a very nice aroma – "I washed and dried it the best I could, as I think you're going to continue wearing it until you're back to normal, right?" -
- "Yes, mom" – replied Kagome as she took the kosode and smelt it.
- "Have nice dreams, dear" – said her mother as she turned to go sleep, but she turned to look at Kagome – "Ah, almost forgot it. I've also left you a pajama over your bed" -
- "Thanks, mom! Good night!" – said Kagome smiling. She went to her room afterwards.
Once there, Kagome locked herself up as she changed clothes, and once she was ready, she let Inuyasha in. The pajama her mother had left her was pink and was decorated with a few yellow stars.
- "And tomorrow we're going back there" – said Kagome after she turned the lights off and was tucked in her bed.
- "Yeah. With some luck, the others'll have found a way to null out the effects of that water" – said Inuyasha as he made himself comfortable beside Kagome's bed.
- "I hope so. Nighty-night, Inuyasha" – wished Kagome smiling while she closed her eyes.
- "Yeah, the same for you" – said Inuyasha, and then both stayed silent until they fell asleep.
The next morning, they had to prepare to go back, including eating breakfast, and thus they could not depart until the afternoon. After everything was ready, they finally went to the well's shack to go back to the Warring States era.
- "And it's time to get going!" – said Kagome, who was wearing again the kosode and had once again styled her hair on the same way Sango did for her after she drank the water, the only difference being that she had it tied with a white bow now. She also was wearing the zori her mother bought her the previous day, which was a considerable improvement over how she was the previous days. However, she decided against wearing the tabi for now.
- "Let's not waste more time then! Let's go!" – said Inuyasha, impatient to know any information the others might have gathered.
- "Will you be okay?" – asked Souta.
- "Don't worry, Souta. The next time you see us, we'll be back to normal!" – said Kagome as if it was to reassure him.
- 'That's what worries me. I was getting used to the idea of being the big brother here…' – he thought a bit depressed.
- "Be very careful out there, Kagome" – said her mother.
- "I'll be careful, mom. Don't worry" – said Kagome as she turned around and jumped into the well with Inuyasha at her side carrying her backpack.
- 'Maybe we won't find a way to get back to normal. However, we'll do everything we can to find it' – thought Kagome encouraged as they crossed the well's portal through a large flash of white light.