You and Me Equals Three by Chiaztolite

A New Student

It had been a great shock to Higurashi Kagome that, upon returning from Sengoku Jidai for good, she arrived in a version of the modern world where yōkai, hanyō, and everything in between coexisted with the humans.

What shocked her even more was that it seemed to be going pretty well.

Upon immediate interrogation, her mother, brother, and grandfather did not even remember a world where yōkai had been nothing more than superstitions, existing only in the legends of old, or cautionary tales to scare children into obeying their parents.

To them, it had always been like this.

When she insisted it definitely was not, that she had lived the first fifteen years of her life without any known presence of yōkai, they stared at her as though she had hit her head going up the well.

No one else remembered.

In the end, she did not know what caused this earth-shattering change, but she decided to go with the flow. Because, truthfully, the modern world she returned to was a more beautiful, more interesting place with all the different creatures in it.  

Five years later, she was a university graduate with a degree in Early Childhood education, focusing on yōki/reiki development for mixed children. Her qualifications landed her a position as a Preschool teacher at a prestigious yōkai academy in Tokyo. Working with the children and guiding them to reach their full potential gave her joy. It was a wonderful job, one she felt incredibly blessed to have. One that filled her days with purpose and meaning.

But that morning, the Principal called her to the office and gave her some unexpected news: a new student was joining her class starting today.

“The paperwork did not even arrive until late last night, so I understand this may come as a surprise,” the Principal said. “A student enrolling into school so suddenly in the middle of a term… It could be due to an emergency situation that is distressing for the child. I trust you will employ understanding and extra care with him.”

Yes, it was surprising, but a part of her job was to roll with the punches. Very few things were certain when caring for a class of twelve preschool children, now to be thirteen. As it was, Kagome had only a few minutes before the class began to quickly read through the forms the Principal handed her.

Frowning, she rifled through the papers, noting most of the sections were left blank, indicating they had been done in a rush. She needed to return them for the parents to fill properly.  

Name: Inukai Haine.

Age: 20 years old.

She caught only that much before she reached the Preschool courtyard. Out there, amidst the crowd of children playing and parents gathering round to chat, Kagome recognized little Haine straightaway. Firstly, because he was not yet wearing the Academy’s uniform of forest green shorts, white shirt, blazer, and a tie.

And second… his hair. Kagome nearly smiled. Haine was an apt name, as his hair was the colour of ash grey, silky and glossy under the morning sun.

The young boy was standing next to a tall man who must be his father. The brilliant morning sun was in Kagome’s eyes, swathing the figures in bright light. She had to squint her way as she crossed the courtyard. When she reached them, still blinded by the sun, she fastened a friendly smile on her face and knelt in front of the boy.

“It’s nice to meet you, Haine-chan,” Kagome said gently. “I am Higurashi-sensei, your new teacher.”

The child peered up at her with a pair of beautiful golden eyes that sparked distant memories in the deepest recesses of her mind. A masculine hand, fingers topped with elegantly tapered claws, landed gently on the child’s head to remind him of his manners.

Haine blushed a little, then hurried to bow.

Kagome chuckled and straightened, lifting her eyes, ready to greet the father.


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