Continuing Tales

Chasing Methuselah

A InuYasha Story
by Sandra E

Part 1 of 13

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Chasing Methuselah

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice;

it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

Gauss' theorema egregium needed to die a slow, painful death.

Preferably before the geometry exam began.

Kagome bit a stray cuticle, and closed her book.

Curvatures. Surfaces. Arc lengths. Radii. Euclidean spaces.

Yes, Higurashi Kagome was absolutely certain.

Gauss was indeed Naraku in a previous life. Had to be. Who else would inflict such pointless, heartless torture on countless generations of innocents?

Kagome whimpered.

Disheartened to realize she preferred Naraku to the Japanese education system, she fixed her attention on the door, which stubbornly remained closed. Loud chatter drifted in from the hallways; giggling, shouting, and the occasional fall of a thousand and two students. All of who, Kagome was certain, had done their homework.

Distant voices chortled merrily in the background, and Kagome pressed her face against the cool surface of the desk. Considering the teacher was late (forty-seven seconds and counting!), perhaps she had nothing to worry about. After all, it was only Geometry, and even though she'd sort of... failed... the last... two exams-


Inuyasha needed to come save her. He needed to barge into that classroom, holding the teacher at sword-point, and demand she return with him to the Feudal Era, where her biggest problem was finding a hot spring (and, of course, Naraku, who... didn't seem quite as detrimental at the moment).

Kagome peeked at the doorway.


The door remained closed, the shiny new clock above the blackboard kept ticking away, and Kagome-well, Kagome gave up. Because, really, how bad could a little exam possibly be? She'd faced unimaginable horrors before and survived. Why, just last week, she'd witnessed a truly horrifying scene. Naraku, with his conflicting emotions-emotions!- and Kikyou, with the helping...

Kagome grimaced.

No. She wouldn't be bitter about it. If Inuyasha loved Kikyou, perhaps the soulless priestess could still find a way to redeem herself. And if she needed protection from that last, lingering part of Onigumo hiding within Naraku's heart, well, then-

Kagome would protect her, too.

Casting one last glance at the door (Where are you, Inuyasha?), she sniffled. He wasn't coming. She was doomed to take this exam and fail and bring shame upon her respected family and-


Kagome dropped her notebook. Yuka and Erri were hovering above her gleefully, their hands clasped behind their backs. The most studious of Kagome's three friends, Ayumi, merely waved from her desk distractedly, chewing on a pencil and flipping through a pile of notes.

"Are you ready?" asked Yuka cheerfully. "Are you? Are you?"

Kagome gave them a sheepish look.

Erri plopped down in her chair, flushing. "Well... um, at least you're here, Kagome-chan," she smiled proudly. "That takes guts."

Yes. Guts, thought Kagome ominously. And stupidity.

Yuka, on the other hand, remained cheerful. "Oh, don't worry, Kagome! As long as you've brushed up on your radicals and exponents, you should do great!"

Kagome offered her friend a weak smile, while internally, a new sense of panic overwhelmed her.

Radicals? Exponents? In Geometry?

Suddenly feeling very calm, Kagome smiled sweetly. She was going to fail this exam-just like she'd failed to make Inuyasha love her more than Kikyou-but at least she would do so bravely.

Why fight something you can't change?

"I'll be fine," she said pleasantly, realizing for an instant she-she actually meant it.

"Well, sit here if you like," Yuka chirped happily, "but I'm going to go ask Kazuo-kun for help! Because... um, I don't understand one of the theorems and-"

"-and he's really cute," giggled Erri.

Yuka blushed, smacked Erri upside the head, then winked happily at Kagome.

Kagome watched the girl practically skip away, bouncing between desks towards the back of the classroom, in search of this Kazuo-kun.

Kagome frowned. Kazuo-kun? There was no Kazuo-kun in Class 1B.

Was there?


Had she really been absent this much? It was becoming increasingly more difficult to keep track of normal stuff. Like, class monitors, class representatives, class time, classmates. There'd been a few new additions, she knew; a couple of boys who'd transferred from 1D in hopes of qualifying for the basketball team, and a few random students who were apparently in the 96th percentile.

Mmm, 96th percentile.

Kagome wondered, forcing herself to reopen her thick, mind-numbingly boring book, whether she would ever be in the 96th percentile again. It seemed slightly infeasible at the moment, what with all the time she spent saving the world and all. But really, it would've been nice. Having the respect of her classmates and her teachers and people who weren't living five hundred years in the past.

Dreamily, Kagome sighed and glanced out of the window.

Remarkably, it was a rainy day, quite unbecoming spring. The air was thick with moisture, and the sky seemed weighed down, darkening beneath a massive onslaught of ashen clouds. Plump raindrops gently seeped through a window no one had bothered to close, and an odd, warm breeze slowly caressed her back.

Hmm. Sengoku Jidai was never this ordinary, this calm, this-


Casting one last, wistful glance at the door, which unfortunately remained Inuyasha-free, Kagome straightened, ran a hand through her hair and focused her eyes on the blackboard.

Five more minutes. If the teacher doesn't show up-

"Oh!" an excited voice reached her. Yuka. Cooing somewhere behind her.

A small smile curled Kagome's lips upwards.

"You're so smart, Kazuo-kun," continued Yuka hastily, tripping over the words.

Kagome raised a curious eyebrow. Fighting the urge to turn around, she grinned, picturing her fidgety friend swooning over some cute, clueless boy, who stood a decent chance of being related to Hojou-kun, if not by blood, then simply by man's worst enemy.


"You're a very good tutor," chirped Yuka sweetly. Kagome tried not to giggle. The boy was probably as good as gone. What was that maneuver she could never wrap her head around? Divide and conquer, then move on to the next pretty face with high marks?

As if she could do that after meeting Inuyasha.

Grinning, Kagome returned her attention to a particularly formidable radius, which seemed as evil as that wind witch, Kagura.

"It's my pleasure, I assure you, Yuka-san," came the smooth reply.

Kagome frowned slightly. That voice-

"It's only a simple matter of properly applying the Riemann tensor to v and w, respectively," the boy continued patiently, "which are, as I'm sure a beautiful girl such as yourself already knows, the orthonormal basis for this tangent space right here."

As Yuka giggled delightedly, Kagome sat, frozen.

Apply what to the what?

And more importantly, was this boy one of the 96th percentile students? If so, perhaps Yuka had the right idea. Kagome would need tutoring. It was painfully obvious that leafing through seven books two minutes after defeating a reptilian demon, while trying not to choke on Inuyasha's hair as he leapt from rock to rock, was simply. Not. Enough.

With a tiny groan, she attempted to concentrate. And-ask for help.

A small stab of foreboding pricked at the back of her head. For a fleeting moment, she felt completely defenseless. The feeling intensified, burning deep behind her breastbone. There it was, that split second where she knew something big was bound to happen-watching Inuyasha embrace Kikyou, sensing a shard, falling into Kouga's arms.

A heavy feeling of dread settled around her suddenly, like a hand around her heart, crushing and warning and just there-some little shred of worry, possibly a premonition-

Oh, for heaven's sake, Kagome.

Her muscles tensed, and try as she might, she couldn't ward off this uneasy feeling of being lain bare. Though, as Kagome was bright and optimistic (and had had more than her daily allotment of sugar), she decided to grow a backbone and turn around, seeking out this Kazuo-kun.

Because, really, her behavior was bordering on ridiculous. What was so complicated about asking some random boy for help? After all, it wasn't like she was going to play with his fuzzy ears and then demand he save her from a centipede demon. A girl could only do that so many times.

Amused with herself, Kagome bit her lip and turned-

"Good morning!" said a cheerful voice as the classroom door quickly opened, then, just as quickly, slammed shut. "Are we ready for our exam?"

Ack. Mr. Makoto, a short, stout man with thick, square glasses, beamed at the class, a cup of coffee in one hand, and a manila folder in the other.


Students, in various stages of hostility, muttered several choice replies as they rose in greeting. Kagome was vaguely aware of Yuka speeding past her, tugging at her sleeve as she scampered back to her seat.

"Kagome, can I borrow your calculator?" she yelled over the eruption of thirty chairs scraping against the sparkling floor.

Distractedly, Kagome nodded in reply, a slight confused frown marring her face.

Huh. She could have sworn she'd heard a boy's voice.

"Kagome?" it seemed to have said, in a dazed, peculiar manner, but was promptly drowned out by the sound of its classmates' obligatory, "Ohayo, Mr. Makoto!"

Feeling oddly uneasy, Kagome slowly sat back down, obediently placing her textbook under the table and taking out a freshly sharpened pencil. The feeling of being watched wouldn't go away.

Can't turn around now. Can't. It might be misconstrued as cheating and-

Cautiously, Kagome tilted her head, twisting her body ever so slightly. The classroom was bright and large and full of students slumped over their desks with their heads lowered, awaiting the exam booklets. Involuntarily, her eyes kept searching, scanning the sea of familiar faces, dark heads, and darker uniforms.


Oh, God.

For a moment, the briefest of slivers of time, Kagome was convinced she was seeing things. He was sitting there, the only student with his head raised, and he was watching her, only her, looking lost and bewildered and so very familiar.

Her eyes widened. A flicker of recognition flitted across his features and-

"Kagome-sama?" he mumbled, his posture stiff and his voice shaky. A collective murmur went through the classroom. Mr. Makoto paused, his hand freezing midair. An exam booklet dropped on Kagome's desk.

But Kagome wasn't paying attention.

Couldn't be. It just couldn't be him.

And then-

-he was out of his seat.

If she'd blinked, she would have missed it. He crossed the short distance in practically one step. Later, she would wonder if it was the eyes that gave him away-dark and blue and happy and slightly... terrified. A few stray wisps of black hair bounced against his forehead, falling across his long eyelashes. He was pale, but his cheeks were glowing a healthy, warm color. He was... quite a sight, towering above her in his uniform.

Two things registered in her addled brain next.

One, he was tall.

And, two, he'd reached out for her with speed that made her eyes hurt.

Her world quickened its pace, rushing and spiraling and diving and plunging, and she couldn't tell if she was going up or down or sideways or-

Roughly, he grabbed her, strong arms pulling her out of her chair and close to his chest, long fingers wrapping around her. She felt like she had been swallowed by a giant, steel pillow and thought all her ribs would crack but he was clinging to her so desperately she dared not move.

"Kagome," he whispered into her hair. His arms slid up, hands cupping her face. His grip tightened, body molding to hers. "Kagome," he repeated incredulously, astonishment lacing his voice.

Okay. Um. Extract yourself politely, Kagome. Explain you don't know this escaped mental patient. Then, run. The entire school already thinks you're deranged. No need to add fuel to their-

"Higurashi! Yasuo!" shouted Mr. Makoto bewilderedly.

Kagome dared a peek.

The class was gaping, their eyes wide and deathly curious. Mr. Makoto, for his part, stood, glaring furiously, his precious coffee spilling onto the shiny floor. "Please stop making an obscene spectacle of yourselves, and take your-your lewd behavior into the hallway! Immediately!" he howled.

Burning with humiliation, Kagome awkwardly pried the boy's fingers off. Unable to meet his eyes, she quickly reached for her backpack, her chin quivering dangerously. Vaguely, she was aware of hushed whispers and an occasional giggle. She could feel Yuka's shocked gaze on her back; Ayumi's wild blinking; Erri's overly dramatic encouragement.

But most importantly, she could feel him follow her out.

She stalked outside, into the cool hallway, fuming. The door clicked closed behind them noiselessly.

Fine, then.

He-whoever he was-needed to die. A slow, painful, possibly excessively creative death. Unfortunately, as she was separated from her bow and arrow by a good, oh, five hundred years (and murder seemed to still be illegal in Tokyo), Kagome decided to scream at the idiot until his brain exploded.

Why couldn't every boy come with his own subduing necklace?

Balling up her little fists, Kagome spun on her heel, opened her mouth angrily, and-

He was smiling sheepishly, leaning against a wall, and rubbing the back of his neck.

Inexplicably, Kagome's features softened.

"You are, uh, Kagome?" he asked meekly. "Higurashi Kagome?"

And with a quick step, he was once again close, holding her hands in a disturbingly familiar way. He pushed her right sleeve up, eyeing her wrist, fixating on a small, spherical scar. An arrow had nicked her there last month. But how did he-

"It's you," he said, relief washing over his face.

Kagome wanted to scream. This was so incredibly surreal. Stuff like this certainly didn't happen in boring, old Tokyo. Especially not during Geometry and-


Yes. Denial would be her best friend for a while. She would ignore this weirdo, go home, jump into her precious well (which now seemed quite ordinary in comparison), and forget that there was a boy in her class who looked so much like-

He-did he just poke her nose?

Kagome blinked wildly.

What the-

"Kagome-sama," he said in a deep, low voice, as if he knew something she didn't. "You don't recognize me?"

She stared at him. He looked contemplative for a moment, a distant look in his eyes. Kagome watched him discreetly, wondering why she felt like crying. Something kept tugging at her heart, subconsciously and persistently. Something she needed to remember, to acknowledge, to realize.


Irately, she pushed him away. "I've never seen you before in my life," she ground out, refusing to deal with it.

Because... there was no way. No way. No. Way.

He was grinning, his profile dark and mysterious. "Well, no, not in this one," he said amicably, staring at his perfectly clean shoes.

Kagome's throat was dry.

"You-you're certain you don't know who I am?" he asked quietly, his expression unreadable.

Weakly, Kagome shook her head, slightly worried over the sudden mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Anxiously, she looked up at him, and-

What in God's name-

Agh! Her hip-his fingers-and-

"Miroku!" she screeched loudly, and automatically, her palm connected with his cheek. Hard.

Grinning, even though his face shone a bright crimson, the boy removed his hand from Kagome's behind.


Oh, God.

"It's been a while," he said happily, keeping his distance. "I forgot how hard you hit."

She could feel it now. A low thrum deep in the pit of her stomach.

"Gomen," she mumbled sheepishly, flushing. She looked at her palm, which now stung from the force of her slap, then averted her gaze to his face.

Slowly, her lips formed a surprised oh. "Miroku-sama?" she mumbled experimentally.

A pounding ache deep within her chest reminded her of how odd she was behaving. What was wrong with her? Hadn't she seen crazier things on a daily basis? Hadn't it become a tradition? She should have protested and laughed it off. If this was truly Miroku-her compassionate, perverted friend-why was she so flustered? She'd seen him just yesterday, for heaven's sake, rubbing Sango's-

"Kagome, stranger things have happened-and you've certainly been witness to them," he said as if he was reading her mind. "And I know for a fact you believe in reincarnation."

A tiny, satisfied smile graced his lips.

Kagome looked up at him, feeling dizzy. "But you remember-you remember everything?"

How? Why?

He nodded. "Most of it," he shrugged, his gaze slipping lower. She thought she heard him add, "Unfortunately," under his breath, but-

Oh, no.


She watched him, brows furrowed purposefully.

Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

-and that's when it happened. Abruptly, unexpectedly, her defenses came down, allowing her to finally acknowledge something she would have rather ignored forever.

For Miroku to be reincarnated, he had to have...


Miroku died.

She wanted to ask how, when, why, hoping all the while he'd lived to be ninety-six, happy and surrounded by children and grandchildren and all the little things he deserved.

Somehow, she doubted he had.

In an impressive instant, she'd thrown her hands around his neck, trying not to cry into his chest. Initially, he'd stiffened, but slowly, gently, brought his arms to her shoulders, lightly pushing her away. "Don't assume the worst, Kagome-sama," he said softly.

She watched him intently. He was-he was different. His eyes, the way he was looking at her. It wasn't right; didn't feel quite as familiar.

Actually, this Miroku was a little too friendly. Too affectionate. Too puzzling-

"Kagome-sama," he began cautiously, "I don't mean to sound insensitive or ill-mannered, but may I ask you a question?"

Blinking away tears, Kagome grinned happily.

Okay. Perhaps he hadn't changed.


"Miroku, technically, it's been five hundred years. Don't tell me you haven't gotten anyone to bear you a child yet."

He looked at her, surprised. He shot a quick glance at his hand, which, Kagome noted with an overwhelming sense of relief, was free of his patented protective beads, and more importantly-

Kazaana. Gone. It was gone. Completely. No trace of it whatsoever. She would have pounced and congratulated him, but-

He seemed lost in thought, mulling her words over, then smiled. "Children?" he replied as she untangled herself from him. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you, Kagome-sama," he muttered cryptically.


Her eyes narrowed. What? What was this suspicious feeling in her chest? What did Miroku know that she didn't?

"Tell me," she heard herself whisper.

He watched her for a moment, eyes dark, looking torn. "I can't."

Kagome met his eyes. Why not-?

Gah. What was that... thing, in physics and... agh! She really should have been paying more attention. Think. Think. Mind map: paradox. Something to do with a paradox. Try to remember. Family. Mama, Souta, Gran-

-Grandfather Paradox.

Looking up quickly, mind working frantically, Kagome watched the emotions play across his face.

He knew.

He knew everything. Which meant, she shouldn't. Because if he knew, if he truly remembered everything and told her, she'd be a calculated risk. If she knew, she could change the future... erm, actually, change the past... which was still technically her future and-


"Kagome," his voice interrupted her mental pilgrimage to Aspirin Land.

If she knew, if she had the power to change all the bad-

Frustrated, Kagome clenched her fists. Her own words echoed in her head. Why fight something you can't change?

The Miroku she knew would never tell her. He wouldn't risk it. He would never-

"Can you answer my question, please?" he asked, suddenly by her side again.

"I'm sorry," she flushed. "What was the question?"

Patiently, he smiled. "What color panties are you wearing?"

Flushing to the tips of her ears, Kagome swung blindly at him.

He put up his hands in surrender as he ducked. "Of course, I was only trying to see if I had your full attention," he grinned, then grew serious as she seethed.

"I need to know how long you've been in the Feudal Era," he explained soberly. "If it hasn't been that long, perhaps... we shouldn't even be talking right now."

Kagome squirmed helplessly. This was becoming too complicated. But she understood. He was afraid of saying the wrong thing, of telling her something vital that hadn't happened for her yet.

For a moment, she was tempted to lie. To tell him the Shikon Jewel was completed and the adventure was over, just so he would relax and tell her. It was the same temptation that drove her to skip to the last page of a really good book because she wanted to-needed to-know how it ended.

"The jewel is-" she began, then caught him watching her stubbornly. "We're searching for the last few shards," she continued candidly. "And lately, Inuyasha's been having trouble with the Tetsusaiga. Toutousai thinks it's because his fang is inferior to his father's."

Miroku nodded, motioning silently towards the school entranceway, which was hiding beyond the barren, echoing lobby. The hallway was long and narrow and completely empty. Kagome had trouble trying to remember she was at school. With Miroku. In her own time.


They began walking toward the huge, glass entrance, side by side.

"Sesshoumaru had Toukjin made, and Kagura and Kanna are giving us trou-"

Miroku suddenly stopped.

Kagome paused, watching him curiously.

"Kagome-sama, not to intrude more than I already have-" He seemed extremely uncomfortable, struggling to find the right words.

The uneasy feeling within her chest grew slightly.

"Have you-" he mumbled, pausing cautiously. Then, with an air of determination, he straightened his back and asked, "Has Inuyasha promised himself to Kikyou yet?"


That was certainly blunt.

"Yes," she replied calmly. Because it didn't matter. She loved Inuyasha. She would be by his side forever. She knew that much.

And Miroku-

Miroku was smiling.

"What's so funny?" she demanded, hands on hips.

"I can't tell you," he said, grinning impishly.

Ooh! Frustrating, evil man!

She was about to hit him again when-

A blur of black sped past them, papers flying everywhere. Hojou-kun. For a moment, Kagome was certain (and very grateful) he hadn't seen them. But then, the boy skidded to a halt, turned, and jogged back towards them.

"Kagome-san!" he said pleasantly, his little dimples deepening with his goofy smile. "Where are you going? Don't we have a Geometry exam-for which I'm... slightly late-today?"

Kagome whimpered. "We were sent out into the hallway."

Hojou blinked. And then blinked some more. "Why would anyone send you out, Kagome? Especially in your condition?" he bristled.

Kagome reddened. Miroku cocked an amused eyebrow.

"Condition?" he asked casually.

Hojou-kun, who apparently hadn't noticed Miroku until now, smiled helpfully. "Oh, yes," he said, turning his attention to Kagome again, "your grandfather told me all about the small pox-"

"SMALL POX?" Kagome huffed furiously. "Small pox?" she repeated incredulously, looking at Miroku for sympathy. "I'd be dead by now, if I had small pox!" she rambled, humiliated.

Miroku was obviously trying to bite back a grin, his shoulders shaking with repressed laughter.

Huh. He catches on fast, doesn't he?

"But," said Hojou, rubbing his eyebrow innocently, "your grandfather-he said that's why you were absent all last week. But I must say, you're very strong, Kagome, to stand here today, looking as if nothing's wrong! Especially after suffering from that nasty pneumonia and the-the plague last month."

Kagome groaned.

That's it. Grandpa's going down.

Placing a hand on Miroku's elbow (so to prevent herself from murdering Hojou as Grandpa was on the other side of the city and was therefore somewhat unattainable), she smiled sheepishly. "Yes, well, thank you, Hojou-kun. You should... go take that exam."

Hojou smiled sweetly. "But... why aren't you taking it? I really don't understand why Mr. Makoto would send you out into the hallway."

"Oh... you'll hear all about it, I'm sure," said Miroku smugly before Kagome had a chance to cover his mouth.

That jerk! He was actually enjoying this, wasn't he?

Hojou watched them suspiciously. "And where are you two going?"

"Oh," said Kagome, grateful to have a legitimate excuse. "Miroku-sama and I will just walk home a little earlier since it seems kinda pointless to stay."

Miroku grinned that annoying smile that seemed to have been subtly saying, 'You silly little girl.'

"Miroku-sama?" asked Hojou, baffled. "Who's this Miroku-sama? And-" he glanced at them, scowling, "I didn't know you and Yasuo were... close."

Kagome glanced at her arm, which, at the moment, rested comfortably on Miroku's.

Oh, sweet mother of all that is pure and holy.

Kagome! He wasn't Miroku here! He was-

"Kazuo. She meant Kazuo," Miroku said airily. "The small pox has affected her brain, you see."

Inconspicuously, Kagome stepped on his foot.

Miroku added, thin-lipped, "But apparently, her legs work just fine." And with that, he dragged her away, out into the rainy schoolyard, leaving a very confused Hojou staring at their retreating backs.

"That was certainly uncalled for," she grumbled, swatting his hand away.

He grinned playfully, digging through his backpack. "But fun nonetheless."

They paused as Miroku searched, biting his lip in concentration. "Aha!" he said victoriously, pulling out a dark umbrella.

Kagome clapped her hands happily.

He offered her his hand, and, feeling strangely giddy, she accepted. And as she was linking her arm with his, stepping underneath his umbrella, she considered the situation.

Having a friend here, someone from the Feudal Era, who'd seen everything she'd seen, who'd been through it as well, who didn't think she was flippin' crazy-

It didn't sound so bad. She would just need to learn how to differentiate between the two worlds. How hard could it possibly be?

"So... Yasuo Kazuo?" she grinned.

He flushed. "My parents are... odd. And occasionally cruel."

She watched him, his profile warm and peaceful.

"It fits," she said simply, as he held out the umbrella while she jumped over a puddle. She smiled gratefully, trying not to notice the raindrops that were sliding down his cheeks.

They walked in silence for a while, awkwardly glancing at the trees, which seemed to have been bending their heads in thought, so to avoid having to look at each other. Why? Why did this feel so-

"I should have checked the student logs," he said suddenly.

Kagome looked up.

"Since I only transferred two weeks ago, I haven't had the 'privilege' of staying after class. None of my duties thus far involved attendance records," he added brightly. Then, he grinned. "Though, I suppose it's best I hadn't known."

The mysterious little smirk was back, playing about his lips. "Quite a coincidence, right?"

Kagome was silent. What was wrong with her? This was Miroku. Miroku. The lecherous monk. Except, he wasn't a monk anymore and he wasn't-

Okay, so, he was still kinda lecherous.

But, he'd had, what? Sixteen, seventeen years here, of which she knew nothing about. Apparently, he had parents, he had plans, and he was-he was living a normal life. For a moment, Kagome was envious.

And then, guiltily, she remembered he deserved it.

"So," he continued lightheartedly, "you're that crazy girl I'm supposed to watch out for."

Kagome frowned menacingly.

"The one that jumps up during class, shouting gibberish about demons?" he grinned. "They warned me about you, you know."


Yuka was next on Kagome's list, right after Grandpa.

"Did they now?" she grumbled, kicking at a pebble.

He shook the umbrella purposefully, splashing her with cold water and smiling very pleasantly. "You should thank me, Kagome-sama."

"What for?" she hesitated, wiping at her cheeks. She couldn't help it. She had to do it. Her tongue darted out, tasting the rain on her skin.

Too late did she notice the warm, hungry look in Miroku's eyes.


"...for getting you out of that geometry exam," he mumbled, eyeing her lips. "If I recall correctly, you hate Geometry."

Kagome grinned. He was right. He did save her from that evil test.

And then, gradually, Kagome's shoulders slumped.

Wasn't saving her usually Inuyasha's responsibility?

Inuyasha's obligation.

With a sigh, she turned away from Miroku, and motioned vaguely toward an avenue.

"That's my street," she lied uncomfortably. Somehow, she wasn't in a hurry to say goodbye and go back to Sengoku Jidai. Especially not if it meant seeing Kikyou and Inuyasha-

"Let me buy you tea?" Miroku asked quickly.

She stared at him awkwardly.

What was he doing?

Uh. Kagome.

It's just tea. And, it's just Miroku.

Misinterpreting her silence, Miroku smiled an adorable, sheepish smile. "I would have said ice cream, but it's-raining. And... uh, forget tea. Would you like some ice cream?"

"Yes, please," she found herself saying, tugging at his sleeve.

He grinned with satisfaction (and what was that smug smirk about?), reaching for her hand again. "Of course," he said nonchalantly, "if people see me with you, they're going to assume I'm a weirdo, too."

Kagome kicked him violently.

"That hurt!" he grumbled, then grinned wickedly. "Do it again."

Kagome choked, turning scarlet.

And then, slowly but surely, a single thought entered her mind.

Miroku. Raised on Baywatch and Playboy and teen magazines.

And even as they walked alongside each other in companionable silence, she knew, with absolute, undeniable certainty, that yes-

She was utterly, definitely, unquestionably doomed.

Chasing Methuselah

A InuYasha Story
by Sandra E

Part 1 of 13

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