InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ The Chosen One ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Author's Notes: Well… that was a surprisingly good response for a first chapter ^_^ Thank you to everyone who reviewed, I appreciate it a lot!

A few people have expressed a little concern in the direction of this fic, but I'll tell you again that it's not going to be the usual direction ie. not going to glamorise the advantages of being rich and famous. In fact this is supposed to demonstrate the slightly fake side of fame, that its not glamorous, it's not fun and it's incredibly unfair to its losers.

I'll get into that in later chapters though ^_^ Just enjoy it for now.

Dead Famous

Chapter 2

The Chosen One

He's probably not as bad as I'm making him out to be… Kagome thought as she fidgeted nervously in the back of the limo. She kept glancing up at regular intervals to see the sunny seaside villa only looming closer.

What was amazing was that they were actually on the driveway to that villa. There was still half a mile of road left to travel, yet they had passed the main gates two minutes ago - gates which happened to be ten foot high walls topped with barbed wire with uniformed guards with uniform German Shepherds. But Kagome had only vaguely noticed these security features as they passed through the entrance - since she'd been too busy gaping at the enormous crowd that had been gathered there.

There must have been hundreds of people cramped together, pushing at each other to get closer - the moment they'd seen the limo approaching Kagome had been able to hear the screams erupting.

Once again Kagome had had the impression that they expected Inuyasha to be inside… she wondered vaguely whether anyone knew for certain whether he was coming and going if all his cars and limos had tinted windows. Kagome had just shrank back from the window slightly and gazed out in a mixture of awe and horror…

Something about this was beginning to feel terribly wrong…

No one was supposed to cheer plain little Kagome on. She wasn't that important was she? She went to school and she went to the movies every Saturday night with her friends. She had a cat and lived in a shrine but she wasn't interesting enough to warrant this much attention.

They had passed the crowd and Kagome had had to duck out of sight as a volley of blinding flashes went off around them. Photographers… all wanting a picture of whoever was inside. Paparazzi…

"I feel like I've stolen Madonna's life…" she said to no one in particular as the limo began slowing down as it approached the actual villa itself. Kagome felt her palms tingle with nervousness and she prayed that they didn't sweat, no way was she going to embarrass herself at a time like this.

The limo rolled to a casual stop and Kagome smiled anxiously as one of the suited men came around to open her door and help her out. He didn't crack a smile back, and Kagome had flashbacks to some film involving certain men in black suits…

She half expected to have to carry her own bags, but was pleasantly surprised when a couple of people who had been waiting just outside the entrance of the villa came forward, hauled her bags out of the boot and carried them off inside.

She stood in silent awe as she took in what lay before her. It was villa slash mansion slash palace slash hotel. It wasn't as tall as she'd imagined, only a couple of stories high but it spread out across the cliff edge, surrounded by manicured gardens and shady beech and willow trees. Kagome turned in a full circle, trying to see where the gardens ended - but they seemed to stretch on forever. There were a couple of ponds littering the vast terrain… making everything seem lush and green. Everything swayed in the gentle breeze that came with sitting on the coast, but the sun shone brightly, making everything seem ten times more colourful.

If she had the money to buy all this…? In her head she pictured herself buried alive in mountains of gold. Probably not a realistic assumption of what it was like to be rich… in fact she doubted if Inuyasha ever saw a penny of his dosh, not since everything was done with credit card and cheque these days. Not to mention he probably paid people to pay his bills for him.

"Like the gardens?" A voice behind her asked.

Kagome pulled herself out of her examination and turned to see a young woman coming towards her. She was dressed pretty much like everyone else, wearing black sheath shirt and pants, the casual uniform of a designer… or a hairdresser. She wore one of those ear pieces with a wire like the other people too, though under one arm she held a clipboard.

"They're nice gardens," Kagome told the older girl, focusing her gaze past her to look at the building. "That place looks like it belongs in Spain."

"Wait till it rains," the other girl was scanning her face and her person, as if searching for something. "Not such a happy sight then."

Kagome found that difficult to believe. Her eyes lingered on the miniature Buckingham Palace before glancing back up the long driveway which she'd just travelled along. It disappeared over a gentle rise in the distance… she couldn't even see the tall fencing that surrounded the grounds or the gate with all the crowds and reporters. It made everything oddly peaceful, but surreal, like she'd just stepped out of the real world and into some secret paradise.

The girl with the clipboard pressed a finger to her earpiece. "Miroku, tell Kikyo that Kagome Higurashi has arrived… thanks." She dropped her hand and turned a warm smile on Kagome. "So you're one lucky girl! Congratulations on winning by the way."

Kagome flushed slightly, beginning to feel a little guilty that she hadn't even entered the contest yet had still walked away with the prize. "Oh… someone had to win I suppose." I'm kinda wishing it hadn't been me though…

It still wasn't sinking in yet, even after the shock of having won and the excitement that she was currently famous throughout Japan (and probably on every teenage girl's to-kill list). Then Kagome realised something very valid.

Of all the superstars in the world. The only one she didn't want to meet particularly was Inuyasha. Him and that French model from the Wonderbra advert.

"Come on," The girl turned and beckoned Kagome to follow her. "I'll show you around a little before we get started."

On what, Kagome wondered. She didn't dwell on this as she obediently trotted after the girl up the twenty odd steps to the large glass doors that marked the entrance to the building.

~*~

Inuyasha got the shock of his life when he opened his bedroom door. Still with a towel wrapped around his head from the shower, he came face to face with a startlingly attractive woman. But she wasn't smiling, nor did she seem to be particularly flustered at the sight of him. Not a fan in that case, and he immediately grew worried.

Perhaps an old girlfriend that he'd dumped and forgotten…?

"Um… It's Chizu, isn't it?" he strained for a name to go with the face, discreetly looking past her and up the corridor for some sign of security.

"No, Mr Inuyasha, I'm Nariko Watanabe, reporter for the Sunday Telegram."

"Ah - reporter!" Well that was a relief. He thought he was in trouble for a moment then. "Well… without further ado," he moved past her, setting a brisk pace for the elevator.

"Wait, I'd like to ask you some questions Mr Inuyasha-"

"My favourite colour is red, my favourite food is spaghetti and tomato sauce and if I could have dinner with anyone in the world it would be with myself." He kept on walking.

The reporter hurried after him. "Actually, I wanted to ask you some questions involving your sponsorship of the S.P.C.A."

"The what?" he glanced over at her with a frown.

"Society of Protection again Cruelty to Birds?"

"Oh… yeah, I remember that." Obviously Kikyo had been signing him up for things that he had yet to be aware of.

"But isn't it true that yesterday at the Blossom café, a waiter served you a chicken sandwich?" the reporter looked reproving. "You don't seem to be much into the protection of birds, Mr Inuyasha."

"I was… trying to give it CPR."

"You were eating it."

"That's what it may have looked like…" he reached the elevator and pummelled the call button as fast as Hanyou'ly possible.

"On a lighter note. How are you enjoying the company of your new charge?"

"My new what?"

"The girl who won the competition?" she raised an eyebrow at him. He turned to face her properly for the first time and noticed the pen and pad she had braced in her hands. "Kagome Higurashi." She prompted. "Have you spoken with her yet?"

"Not yet…" he said slowly, eyeing the security camera behind her, trying to hint to whoever might be watching down in the security room that he wanted that woman out of there.

"Well wish her congratulations for me." The reporter said in a pleasant way, but without a smile, so it came off as slightly menacing toward the schoolgirl.

"Ok…" he said even slower than before, knowing he'd forgot to do any such thing for her.

"And one more question?"

Hadn't she already asked enough?!

"Is it true that you are currently dating Angelique Spagni?"

"Who?"

"The Wonderbra model currently featured on the billboards down the streets of Tokyo."

Inuyasha stared at her, non-plussed. "Oh! You mean the French Angel!"

"Pet names. Mm." The woman scribbled something down, just as the elevator opened behind him. Inuyasha backed quickly into the enclosed space and punched the panel - any random button - he just wanted to get those doors closed as fast as possible.

The reporter wasn't done yet, though. She looked up just as the doors began to slide close. "Oh - any sound bites for your S.P.C.A. campaign?"

"Uh…" he gave her thumb's up. "Bird's rock!"

Yeah that would do. The doors finally slid shut all the way and he slumped wearily against the mirrored walls behind him. Damn… reporters were tricky… especially the ones who managed to get a warrant to enter the villa like it was some kind of public building.

Time to check his appearance. He turned to check out his reflection in the mirror and jumped out of his skin when he also spotted Kikyo's reflection beside his. "Whoa!"

"The universe that revolves around you is still shrinking isn't it?" she said drolly. "You don't notice much past your own nose."

"Has anyone told you how creepy you are?"

"Has anyone told you that you look ridiculous with a towel around your head like some sort of Arabian sultan?"

He narrowed his eyes. "Well you're a fine agent. Criticising me at every-"

"I'm your agent, not your yes-man."

"And you let a reporter get in here - catching me off guard!"

"Need to keep you on your toes." She shrugged with a smug look. He had the feeling that perhaps she'd let that last reporter slip through the net deliberately.

"And what was that about that Bird Bashing Society thing… The S Pissy A or something…"

Kikyo contrived to look as though he'd only just reminded her. "Oh, by the way, you're now publicly supporting to S.P.C.A."

"Thanks for the warning…"

"And that sound bite was terrible. 'Bird's are the Best' would have been more suitable."

"Not as catchy though."

The elevator doors opened and they stepped out together. He was heading towards make-up. No way could he manage his hair on his own - he needed a professional to blow-dry it.

"And some changes have been made to the schedule considering the prize-winner."

"Oh?" he absently rubbed his hair with the towel, ignoring the various greetings of other staff down the corridor they moved through who called the odd 'afternoon Mr Inuyasha' as they passed.

"The official greeting is to take place at a press-conference tonight."

"Oh man…"

"Don't sound so down about it." Kikyo mildly admonished him. "Miroku will give the girl a crash-course in media training and it should go fine."

"She'll probably faint at the sight of me." That wasn't actually an arrogant prediction. More of a lesson they had all learned from experience - fans fainted. It was a fact like the fact that toast always landed butter side down.

"True, true," Kikyo nodded in thought. "But if we prepare her enough she should handle it ok."

"Whatever, just make-sure it goes smoothly." Inuyasha told her as he reached the dressing room door. He braced his hand on the handle before glancing back at Kikyo. "If it doesn't go well we may have to kill everyone who witnesses it."

"Do you mean everyone at the conference or the entire population of the country who will be watching through the magic of Television."

"Hmm." Was all Inuyasha said to that as he jerked the handle and entered the room. "Hair - dry - now!"

The door fell shut behind him and his voice faded from hearing. Kikyo shook her head briefly with a sigh before remembering she had places to be and strode off to go deal with them.

One namely being the arrival of the mystery prize girl.

~*~

"I didn't think he'd keep this many people in his house." Kagome called after the clipboard girl.

"This is more of a workplace than a house." The girl answered.

Kagome swept her gaze around the main entrance hall, trying to take in as much information as possible as she was led swiftly through the foyer. Her school shoes clicked softly on the marble floors as she moved along and Kagome realised how much of that place was made of marble - white marble with a bit of pinkish, brown swirl in it. The place was more like a five star hotel than someone's home - or someone's workplace for that matter. It was a designer's invention gone to the limit - everything stylish, everything perfect, everything metal, marble or glass.

"How is this a workplace?" Kagome pressed as they passed the large marble stairway.

"Inuyasha's entourage have to be at hand at all times, so we all live here. Though non-valuable members of staff go home around seven."

They stopped beside an elevator as the girl punched the call button. Kagome would have liked one of those in her house… "Does he really need this many people?" she asked, looking back around the foyer as they waited.

"He has about fifty people working for him here, and that doesn't include the cooks and cleaners and so on." The girl seemed to consider. "I suppose he really doesn't even need ten at most, but we get paid a lot for this so it's worth it. Plus I think a place this size would be lonely with only immediate family living here."

The elevator doors opened with a soft 'ping' and Sango led Kagome inside.

At once Kagome winced. The elevator was lined with mirrors and had poor lighting… she only just realised how bad she looked. She didn't wear make-up to school, but now here she was about to meet the most famous guy in the world and she didn't even have any mascara!

"Hey," the girl nudged her slightly with her clipboard as they lift started moving up. "Bet you're dead excited to meet Inuyasha then."

"Oh." Kagome darted a glance at her. "Sure."

The girl laughed. "Well don't sound too miserable about it." Kagome watched her lean against one of the mirrors, crossing her hands over the clipboard against her stomach. "You're in for one hell of a week though. We'll kit you out and give you some media training in a bit, since you've got an interview with a press conference tonight."

"A what?!" Kagome squeaked. She had not signed up to give nationally broadcast interviews!

"It's ok, Miroku will train you." The girl seemed oblivious to her horror. "He's our media expert and press correspondent, he knows his stuff."

This didn't do much to comfort Kagome as she fidgeted nervously. She half wanted to bolt and run back home to hide under her bed with all her security blankets. But knowing that she'd probably look like an idiot if she tried that, she schooled herself to remain calm. Curiosity still ruled her, and she had to admit that she didn't want to pass up the opportunity to live in fame and fortune for a week.

I'll get used to it after a day or so… she consoled herself silently. It was just a shock, that was all…

It wasn't like she was whisked off by limo to go see the Inuyasha every day.

The elevator doors opened and Clipboard Girl took off at a quick paced stride down the corridor that opened to them. Red carpet, red walls, brown doors on either side. Kagome eyed the two digit numbers in each doorway and got that strange feeling again that she had perhaps wandered into a hotel, not a house.

"And you will be staying in this one." The girl stopped outside door number 15 and handed her a card key. "Just swipe it."

Kagome flicked it nervously between her fingers a moment before stepping forward to streak it through the lock. "I'd like one of these on my bedroom door at home," Kagome told the girl. "It would stop my brother from nicking my nail varnish all the time."

"I won't ask."

Kagome pushed the door open and immediately stepped back like a startled rabbit. "Holy…! What the heck is that?!"

"You're bedroom!" The clipboard Girl moved into the room and beckoned Kagome to follow again. "Come in, it doesn't bite."

Kagome stepped a foot into the room, too alarmed to do much else. "My god…"

"That's your bathroom - complete with shower, hot tub, I'm sorry we couldn't fit the sauna in - you'll have to go downstairs for that."

"S'okay." Kagome breathed.

"And that's you're walk-in wardrobe - we'll take your measurements and get you some clothes fit for a Starlet. But with such short notice we might only be able to give you a choice of five by tonight."

"Still ok…"

"And here's your four poster bed - if its too firm just say so and we'll add a sixth comforter mattress."

"Ok…"

"We couldn't give you a study, but I doubt that would matter, you're only staying for a week."

"Right…"

"And here's your view!" The Clipboard Girl marched over to the cream curtains that draped across the entire face of one of the walls. She pulled a chord and they parted dramatically. The sunlight hit Kagome full in the face and she flinched back instinctively.

"Don't be such a vampire - come over here." The girl smiled and pushed open the glass doors of the enormous bay window. "Here's you're balcony. Great spot for sunbathing and watching the crowds on the beach."

Kagome timidly crossed the room, half afraid to touch anything since it was so neat and immaculate. It was the first time in her life that she felt like a dirty little peasant girl. She followed the girl onto the balcony and walked over to the stone wall that kept her from tumbling over the edge. Below she could see the extensive blue pool that shimmered like a true tropical villa pool… and lifting her gaze she saw the ocean all the way to the horizon.

"It's amazing in the morning when the sun rises." The girl informed her. "Really beautiful…"

"I can imagine." Kagome whispered.

"So," the girl turned back to Kagome. "I'm Sango by the way, if you need anything, just shout for me. I'm usually PA for Kikyo, but she's assigned me to take care of you for this week, so don't be shy if you want anything."

And still, Kagome was already certain that she would ask of little as Sango as possible during her stay. She wasn't exactly a slave-driver by nature…

"Well you get comfortable here and I'll go sort things out. Miroku will be up in while to teach you some media skills…" Sango opened her mouth, before quickly shutting it again and smiling awkwardly. "Actually… I better accompany him."

"Am I that much trouble?" Kagome smiled.

"It's not you I'm worried about," Sango said so seriously that Kagome's smiled slipped a little. "But anyway, you're officially to meet Inuyasha in the conference, so we have to make sure you're prepared to act correctly."

"I'm not going to see him until tonight?" And the awkward moment was going to be viewed by millions…

"You can wait a few hours can't you?" Sango smiled at her. "See you in a while then. Oh - before I go - what's your measurements?"

Kagome rattled them off to her as Sango hastily scribbled them down on her clipboard. She felt a twinge of self-consciousness when she was forced to give away her more intimate details like bust size, but the girl didn't make anything of it.

"That's fine," Sango acknowledge as she tucked her pencil behind her ear. She shot a smile at Kagome as she turned. "See you in a while, Kagome."

Kagome watched her go back into the room and shut the door after her on the way out. Kagome heaved a big sigh and inhaled a lungful of salty sea air. She turned her eyes towards the sea and the beach again. A lot of interesting people were lying around the sandy shores down there, so without much else to do Kagome pulled herself up onto the stone wall and absorbed what had happened over the last couple of hours at her own pace.

~*~

"She sounds rather dull if you ask me." Inuyasha commented as Sango, who had just arrived and informed them of the need-to-know of the girl upstairs, took over the work of his hair stylist and ran a comb through his hair as she dried it.

"Oh no. She seems lots of fun to me." Miroku cocked his head. "Not exactly your typical screaming fan… but she seems a bit more refined than that."

"All beauty and no brains,"

"That's a fine thing to say," Sango scolded the Star as she jerked his chin up to get better access. "Anyway, isn't that how you like them?"

"Ha ha, see my sides split." Inuyasha gestured towards his ribs flatly.

"Hold still!" Sango sighed impatiently. "How am I supposed to find your parting when you keep squirming."

"Well maybe if you stopped tugging my hair so hard I would stop writhing in pain!" He shot back.

Sango opened her mouth to make a sharp retort, but caught Miroku making throat cutting motions behind Inuyasha's back. She clamped her mouth shut and got on with the task of glamorising the Superstar. She didn't want to challenge him too much otherwise she might find herself short of a job.

Miroku looked down at the notes on his clipboard. "I called round her house and got some more information on her. Her interests include animals, music, singing and pretty much everything else teenage girls are into. She also speaks reasonable amounts of English, French and Spanish. So there you have some topics to relate to her with."

"I don't like animals." Inuyasha responded bluntly.

"Then work around it."

"I don't speak French or other gibberish."

"You can barely speak Japanese." Miroku said, but was ignored (luckily for him).

"I hate singers and music stuff."

"Only because you're tone-deaf." Sango reminded him pleasantly. Inuyasha chose to not hear that either.

"No way can I relate to a bubble head." Inuyasha persisted.

"But you are bubble head." Miroku responded.

Sango tightened her hand around a lock of his hair, making him wince. "You be nice to her or I'll bleach this rats' nest and ruin your hair for a year!"

"You do that and you'll be working in McDonald's before you can say 'Happy Meal'!"

"Well maybe I want to quit!"

Miroku was making those gagging motions again. Sango quickly stepped down with an apologetic, if not very false smile. "Sorry, sir. What I mean to say is that I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you meet her. She seems very sensible to me. It's nice to see a mature girl like that for once."

"Yeah, whatever," Inuyasha arrogantly accepted her apology with an upturn of his nose. "The sooner this little gimmick is over the better."

Sango clicked her tongue. "So…" she changed subject. "How do you want it?"

"Want what?"

"Your hair today?" she tugged it down to flatten it out in an imitation of perfect straightness. "Straight and chic? Like the style your brother is currently flouting on the catwalks."

"I don't think so." Inuyasha wrinkled his nose. "Carefully dishevelled again, thank you."

"Still going for that lad-ish image?"

"It sells doesn't it?"

"Point."

Miroku was the one who caught sight of the time. "Oh look at that, I better get going if I'm supposed to train the girl enough by nine-"

"I'm going with you." Sango quickly dropped Inuyasha's hair and wiped her hands dry on a towel.

"Why?" Miroku frowned at her before realisation hit him. "Shouldn't even bother asking…"

"What about my hair?!" Inuyasha said indignantly.

"What about it, sir?" Sango asked. "Oh - new guy - deal with this will you?"

"New guy - no way!" Inuyasha spun angrily. "No amateur is touching this fortune-"

The pair had already walked out the room. Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "No respect these days…"

~*~

A knock on Kagome's door brought her out of her reverie. "Come in!" she called as she stepped off the balcony and back into the bedroom. Sango from earlier entered, following after a young man that Kagome had never seen before. He smiled at her. "Good afternoon, Miss Kagome. How are you doing?"

"Ok, I guess." She shrugged, still feeling as overwhelmed as before.

"No - you are not doing ok," the new guy corrected her jovially. "You are fantastic, you are pleased with the opportunity that has opened up before you and you are grateful and humbled to live in the presence of Inuyasha for seven days."

Kagome stared at him.

Sango jerked a thumb at the new guy. "Miroku. He's going to train you to face the media."

"Oh…" Kagome still managed.

"Have a seat, Miss Kagome." Miroku pointed to her bed and she sat down on it for the first time, absently noting how amazingly soft it was. "Now, getting straight to basics, the golden rule you should know about facing an interview is that they want long answers, they want as much information from you as possible within as little time as possible."

"Ok…"

"So when they ask a question, you have to give a long answer - even though the question may only seem to require a yes or no response."

"Oh…"

"Yet you seem to be a girl of few words."

"I do?"

Miroku smiled painfully before looking at Sango. "I'm sensing problems ahead." The Girl with clipboard just shrugged and smiled encouragingly at Kagome. "It's not hard to learn." She told the younger girl. "You just have to smile and be pleasant, try and be humorous when it's appropriate and talk a lot."

"Let's start with… What is your name, Kagome?" Miroku asked.

That had to be the dumbest question in the world. She looked at him incredulously, wondering if he was joking, until she realised he was very serious. "Um… it's Kagome Higurashi."

"Never say 'um'. It's a filler, it makes you sound stupid and slow on the uptake. Both of which I'm fairly certain you're not."

"Gee thanks…"

"Now let's try again. What is your name?"

"Kagome Higurashi."

Miroku winced. "Do you have any more to add to that?"

"Well… I don't have any more names." She shrugged.

"How about telling me the history of your name, who your inherited it from."

"Heck… I don't know…" Where was her Grandpa when she needed him most? He'd be able to give a lecture about the origins of 'Kagome' and make it last for half an hour.

"We have a lot to get through…" Miroku sighed patiently.

It was a long, long session for Kagome…

~*~

Kagome had been hoping to catch a glimpse of Inuyasha ever since she'd arrived… after all this was supposed to be his home. Yet it seemed like everyone but Inuyasha lived there.

After her short course in media training she'd been whisked off to be fitted into some new clothes. They weren't anything spectacular, a pair of hipsters and latest fashion in accessories and sixties style top. She had looked down at herself apprehensively. It wasn't the kind of thing she would normally wear… she looked like a fashion icon (or victim), not normal schoolgirl Kagome Higurashi.

"You look fine." Sango reassured her as they took the stretch limo away from the villa to the place where the interview was to take place… some studio further into town. "Very fashionable. Very cute."

"I don't feel like me though…" Kagome said dubiously. She caught sight of her reflection in the darkened windows. "I don't particularly look like me either."

"Well we had to put a lot of make-up on." Sango told her. "Those awful lights they shine on you make normal people look bleached and white. We have to give you some colour."

"And," Miroku said from her other side, "No matter how hard you blush, none of it will show through that foundation."

"I won't blush."

"Even when you see Inuyasha?" Miroku winked at her.

That made Kagome blush. And she realised how dearly she'd probably need that foundation tonight.

It was beginning to sink in at last. After being given the star treatment, being put in an amazing room with a beautiful view and a bathroom with a hot tub, after seeing all the screaming fans as they pulled up outside the studio… it began to really hit her that she was going to be having a fifteen minute fame… and she was really going to be meeting the most popular person since… since he'd been born.

The butterflies were now beginning to take hold of her stomach in a savage fashion.

Miroku's media training helped a little, but she still felt small and insignificant as she stepped out of that limo and onto the red carpet. Flashes of photographers went off all around and people immediately began shouting her name, trying to get her attention. It was disorientating how many people knew her by name now when only that morning she'd still been a nobody.

"Just wave and go inside." Sango said from her side. "Don't answer their questions, not yet."

Kagome did her best to smile and wave as she was led inside the building and out of the intense heat of everyone's focus. The air inside the building seemed much cooler for some reason… "That was weird." She confided in Miroku and Sango who were accompanying her and leading her in the right direction. Behind them followed a few members of the Inuyasha entourage… Kagome didn't know what they actually did, but had decided that they were just there for the sake of being there. They looked as though they were doing something important and useful, but in reality…?

They went up a flight of stairs, pep-talking her the entire way, telling her to enjoy herself and just try and act natural. How Kagome even thought acting naturally in front of a nation wide audience was possible was a little beyond her. They stopped outside a polished oak door labelled 'Press Room 4'.

"This is it." Miroku said.

Those butterflies were raging now, throughout her entire body instead of just settling in her stomach. The murmur of voices inside told her that she wasn't ready for this… to be thrown straight out of a normal life into this bizarre scenario was too much. It happened to other people, not to her. Other people won these kinds of things - and they were usually the kind of people who could handle it.

Kagome couldn't.

The door to the room opened and a young woman stepped out. But the door was open long enough for Kagome to see just how many people were gathered in there.

There had to be at least sixty… not to mention the camera's standing around the back. The door swung close quietly behind the woman, and Kagome looked at her face for the first time.

And froze.

"Oh…" the young woman blinked at her as though she'd come across an unexpected surprise. "You must be Kagome Higurashi. I'm Inuyasha's agent, you may call me Kikyo."

Miroku was shaking with suppressed laughter beside them. Kagome saw Kikyo spare him a disparaging look before gathering herself. "Are you ready?"

Kagome wasn't but she nodded anyway.

"Good, I'll go let them know." And with that, Inuyasha's agent disappeared back into the press room.

Kagome was beginning to hyperventilate. She started to edge away from the door, beginning to tremble with unimaginable nerves while her stomach did flip-flops and her palms begun to moisten. "I-I can't do this…"

Sango looked at her in concern. "Are you ok?"

If Kagome hadn't been wearing so much make-up she was sure that she would have been correction-fluid white, that or lobster red. Sango's hand touched her shoulder compassionately. "Hey, you don't have to do this if you really don't want to."

Miroku looked at her seriously. "We could call the whole thing off and you can go home again."

That sounded surprisingly tempting. Who wanted to meet a bastard like Inuyasha anyway? She just wanted to go home and go back to being normal. Sure everyone would single her out for a while because she'd come this close to such fame… but it would die down and everything would be normal.

That's when the applause broke out in the press-room.

Sango gasped. "That's our cue! Get in there!"

Kagome was all but thrust through the into the press room without so much as a warning. The bottom of her stomach dropped out and a sea of heads turned her way, all smiling, all applauding.

A man in a black suit took her shoulder gently and steered her towards the table arranged at the head of the room where the interview would take place.

He was sitting there… yet she couldn't find the courage to bring her eyes on him just yet.

A million thoughts seemed to fly through her head. What was he like really? She made a lot of fine assumptions about him over the past few years without actually knowing him at all. Everyone spoke so highly of him, demanded that she like him too that she couldn't help but resent him. She wasn't one to be pushed around with the majority of teenage girls.

But was that really a good basis to dislike him?

Time seemed slow and every second a small eternity. Everyone was watching her…

She felt homesick. She wanted her mother to hold her hand. She missed seeing familiar faces around her. But what about him?

He probably wasn't as bad as she thought at all. Perhaps he was as good as everyone made him out to be. He was probably a really normal guy. Such a normal guy that she'd be astounded by how ordinary he was. He probably did and said the same things as other boys his age. He probably wasn't that different.

It only took a small movement of her head to look upon him for the first time in the flesh. That was all it took. The applauding crowd seemed to blur into a long continuous background noise. He was the one familiar face among these last few hours of nothing but strangers. He'd been a face she'd seen for the good part of her life. He'd been famous before she was born, she'd grown up hearing his name.

A moment ago she'd thought he would be ordinary, but already he was anything but.

His presence was magnetism. He was the pinnacle of attention in the room. They may have all been cheering and watching her, but he was the one they had come for. He was the one everyone couldn't bear to tear their eyes away from, even right then.

Now she understood. He was just the most impressive person she'd ever seen. Just his presence enough was awe-inspiring.

And he was smiling at her.

Kagome did the most embarrassing thing she'd ever done in her life.

She fainted.

AN: Wow… that was a loooooong chapter. See ya soon ^_^

Chapter 1
Chapter 3

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