By: Brynn Parker
"Kagome, wake up!"
I'm more powerful than you, priestess. You cannot defeat me. You are weak. And I will do with you as I please.
I groggily opened my heavy eyelids, immediately noticing the sunlight streaming through the window onto Tiva's face, and Inuyasha's absence from my side. "Where's Inuyasha?" I slurred out, having a little trouble forming words. That trip...dream...into the woods last night had really taken the life out of me. It seemed like I had really been there, even though I knew that was impossible.
"I don't know," Tiva said in answer to my question, "I think he took off at some point during the night." She ran a hand through her hair, an agitated gesture, while I began to worry about Inuyasha. Where could he be? "And they found some cars abandoned on the side of the road..." Tiva stared at me. "One of them was Steve's."
My eyes widened considerably; I probably looked like I was about to get hit by a train from Tiva's point of view. Cars abandoned on the side of the road? My dream had been true...and Inuyasha was missing. I didn't want to worry Tiva by telling her about my dream, but how else was I supposed to explain my thoughts that Steve wasn't exactly who we thought he was?
Tiva put out a hand and rested it on my shoulder. "Kagome, are you OK?"
I shrugged it off. "No, I have to find Inuyasha. After what happened yesterday...Tiva, what if he gets himself hurt?"
"I wouldn't know!" Tiva griped at me. I glared at her in my worry over Inuyasha as I got up and pulled out a T-shirt and jeans, and she gasped. "Kagome, I'm sorry...I know how important..."
"It's OK," I said, turning and smiling half-heartedly at her. She didn't know me or Inuyasha that well...but shouldn't she be more worried about a sometimes-crazy half-demon running around in the streets of downtown Austin?
"I just don't get worried that easily," Tiva mumbled, as if reading my mind.
"I get it," I said, assuring her again that she didn't have to worry about this. I was going to find Inuyasha, whether I had her help or not.
I put on my red T-shirt and jeans, and then pulled my hair up into a ponytail quickly before walking back out into the main part of the dorm and grabbing my purse, trying to think of where Inuyasha might be. He was probably investigating the abandoned cars...but where were they? How would he know? My mind was just so filled with questions it felt like my head would explode, and mixed with my anxiety over Inuyasha's disappearance it made for a headache.
Why would he leave without saying goodbye? Even when he came under the influence of the white woman's song, he still paid close attention to me...maybe if he was worried for my safety...
Oh no. He was worried so he just decided not to tell me. I leaned against a wall and covered my eyes quickly as all too familiar tears sprung into them. I had just gotten him back...if I lost him again...
"You OK?" a classmate who was walking by asked.
I quickly wiped away my tears and nodded, smiling a little. "Boyfriend troubles," I said, laughing weakly.
Inuyasha was nowhere to be found...and there was an incredibly powerful demon on the loose. And knowing my hanyou, he was probably going straight to the place where he would get into the most trouble.
I soon made it to the first place that a car had been abandoned and pulled over near the policemen, who barely even glanced at me when I got out. I pulled out my picture of Inuyasha and hastily showed it to them. "Has anyone that looks like this been by here today?"
"Sorry, no..." One guy said, frowning. "Why?"
"Uh, nevermind..." I said, walking away quickly. I didn't want to draw attention to us...probably not the best idea, seeing as Inuyasha isn't human.
This was going to be a long, hard day.
He was gone.
I'd looked everywhere...the stores that we'd gone to the previous day, the restaurants in the area, even the places where the cars had been abandoned. He wasn't in any of those places...and I had no idea where else to look. I leaned against a tree on campus and a few tears made their way from my eyes. My breath hitched in my throat and those few tears soon turned into sobs.
Inuyasha was gone. Again. Just a day back in my life and he was already gone...and now I didn't even have any idea where he was.
He's dead, a voice said in my head. I tried to shake it off, biting back a further onslaught of crying. "No..." I muttered.
I spun around, my hair whipping around my face.
My stomach turned unpleasantly and I unsuccessfully faked a smile. "Hello...Steve," I said, the name from last night's dream sticking in my head. He frowned at my obvious discomfort, and the unfamiliar coldness in his eyes scared me.
"Look, I'm really glad I found you out here..." he started. I looked around. Trees all around...I really needed to stop walking around in the dark by myself. He smiled, taking a bold step towards me, and I backed up. It felt like the small forested area was shrinking around me...an overwhelming feeling of suffocation surrounded me. "Something I need to do..."
"Inuyasha..." I said under my breath. It was instinct...calling out my hero's name when I needed help.
"What's wrong, Kagome? Your demon boyfriend isn't here to save you now?"
How did he know...? "Inuyasha!" I said louder, backing away faster and eventually running into a tree.
"I don't want to hurt-"
A quiet wisp of air echoed out around my prison and Steve grimaced, twitching uncomfortably. I recognized the sound...a bow and arrow. But where had the arrow come from and where did it end up? "Damn," Steve muttered, reaching around to his back and looking around the woods, suddenly afraid. He gripped my shoulder quickly and whispered in my ear before turning and running away.
"She knows you were watching."
I stood there, frozen in place, as I waited for the person who had shot Steve to come out of hiding. Who could this person be? Who still used a traditional bow and arrow...?
"Who's there?" I called, "Don't worry...I'm not..." How did I even know they'd meant to shoot Steve because he was a bad guy? What if they were serial killers or something?
At that moment a girl that greatly resembled Sango except with dark blue eyes walked out of the darkness, an old Japanese bow and quiver in her hands. She looked up at me and I gazed at her in shock for a minute before managing to stutter out a question.
"Who are you?"
"You know what that was?" she asked, motioning towards where Steve had run off and I nodded.
"Right...so I guess you can probably tell by now," she said, "I'm Yori Nagano."
"Your Japanese?" I said, taking a guess.
She smiled a little. "I'm a demon slayer."