Satisfied by Sereia

Chapter 1

"How'd you do?"

Kagome sighed, all the red marks from her most recent exam running through her mind. "Same as before."

"Damn. You spent the last three days studying for it!"

No shit.

She'd barely slept, trying desperately to memorize as many facts as possible. And she'd thought she'd been prepared, but all the information had blurred together, and Kagome had barely labelled the diagrams properly.

Rubbing the back of her neck, she tried to relieve the tightness in her muscles. The headache plaguing her for the past few months was back again—no doubt due to the increased stress from almost failing her current medical course. It was more than just passing—she needed to understand.

Kaede was an expert in herbs and controlling reiki, but there were a lot of modern medical practices that the older miko was lost on. Kagome needed to know how to set a broken bone and shift a mother's position if her baby was in distress during labour. She wanted to make a difference.

And she didn't know how much longer she had to do so.

The well had always felt limitless, the connection between times strong and effortless. But after Naraku had been defeated and the Shikon wished away, Kagome had noticed a distinct difference every time she jumped. There was a delay now, and more often than not, Kagome found herself using her own powers to force the two eras to connect.

The magic was fading.

She'd had a very long conversation with her mother the first time it had happened. There were tears and tight embraces, but above all, there was support and understanding. Kagome knew where she belonged, knew where she wanted to be, but she needed the knowledge of a modern university first.

Things had settled down since the final battle, so Kagome didn't have to go back as much as she used to. It meant she could actually focus on her studies without the guilt of the shattered jewel weighing on her shoulders. But she was also in an accelerated program, and it was a lot. Her make-up courses for high school had been nothing compared to this.

Some of her peers had suggested hobbies and various stress-relieving activities, but nothing had jumped out at her yet. Plus, she'd always been terrible at meditating, and everything else left her feeling guilty that she wasn't studying more.

It had been the same when she'd been a teen, though she couldn't fault Inuyasha for how much he'd badgered her about her priorities. She hadn't realized just how damaging the shards were, or how far-reaching Naraku's influence was.

Until those around her began to suffer.

She'd picked up her bow more often then, claiming that she was going home to study for school exams when she was really hiding from the shame of being unable to do more. She'd secretly asked Sango for tips during their trips to the hot spring, not wanting to fall into the stereotype of 'damsel in distress'—especially since it seemed to happen so often.

But now that the threat had been vanquished, Kagome's skillset had shifted. She still trained when she could, but she knew the medical knowledge would make more of a difference than her fighting skills. Kaede was starting to get on in years, too, considering the era she lived in, and Kagome didn't want to let her down.

She never wanted to let anyone down.

She glanced at the textbook again, but the words were bunching together, sliding in and out of focus, so she slammed it shut. Her brain just wasn't in it today.

Maybe a trip to the past would help.

With that thought in mind, the less-than-stellar mark on her exam wasn't as imposing, and Kagome felt a genuine smile tug at her lips. Waving goodbye to her friend, she tightened her grip on her bag and headed for the bus stop, vowing to practice splints and slings while bathing in the unfiltered sunlight of Kaede's village.


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