InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ And the Winner is...? ( Chapter 9 )
Author's Notes: Feel free to guess away as to what happened in 1992 by the way, I don't mind. So far two people reckon that Inuyasha was the one who killed his parents in that year… O.o … maybe if he was a very disturbed six year old and it took his parents five odd years to die (remember they died when he was eleven). Good guess though. But quite far off ^_^
And the Winner is…?
"If It was that easy to get out of his cell then why didn't he try that before?" Sango scoffed at the Tv.
Miroku sighed patiently. "Maybe he didn't noticed that the window could be smashed when he got in there."
"How fortunate of him to realise that glass is fragile when they start pouring gas into the room." Sango continued to quibble with the plot, popping some pop-corn into her mouth every now and then. They probably should have been watching the security CTV monitors, but why bother when Police Academy was on?
"You'd be just the same if you were stuck in a room with no exit." Miroku told her.
"If there's a window, there's a way out." Sango contradicted firmly.
He slanted her a look. "Ok. What if there was no window?"
"Then I'd walk out the door."
"What if the door was locked?"
"Then I'd unlock it?"
"With the key."
Sango could be very difficult when she put her mind to it. Miroku let his feet drop off the table as he set about correcting this new problem. "What if there isn't a key?" he pointed out. "I doubt they would…" he stopped and looked around warily before continuing, "I doubt they'd leave the key lying about in your cell."
"Are there bars to this cell?" she turned to him, momentarily forgetting the film.
"No. Concrete walls on all four sides."
"But there's a door right?"
"Then I'd pick the lock."
"But what if your guy stuck gum to prevent you doing that. Or what if you'd forgotten your lock-picking kit?"
"Then I'd knock the door down."
Miroku ran a hand over his face. "Ok. What if they threw you down into the room by a trapdoor in the ceiling?"
"Then I'd jump back out."
"It's too high to jump!"
"I'm a very good jumper!" Sango protested. "I'd pick the lock on the trapdoor and jump out again!"
"Ok, forget that. What if they squeezed you into the room through the light bulb socket?"
Sango was just about to say that she'd simply squeeze back out when the door flew open, bounced against the wall and in marched their boss. Kikyo. She didn't look happy. "He's not here. He's gone. And Kagome's gone with him."
They didn't need to ask just whom had gone. They glanced at each other and Miroku gulped. Perhaps they should have been watching the screens more closely…
Kikyo sighed in a strained way, her fists clenched with white knuckles on her hips. "What are you both?"
"Pathetic losers." They both chorused dully.
"Three guesses where he's gone?" Kikyo continued.
"The match." They both said in an even flatter unison.
"Get the car." Kikyo turned and started walking out. "Hopefully we can get there and pull him out before the match starts."
Miroku quickly formed a moustache with his finger and raised his arm in the 'Heil Hitler!' salute. Sango jabbed her elbow in his side just in time for Kikyo to turn around suspiciously at their shuffling sounds. He quickly turned that salute into a stretch and a scratch on the nose as they both smiled innocently at Kikyo.
"Well come on." Their boss snapped and stomped at with the two reluctant employees.
"ARE YOU CRAZY?!"
Kagome staggered as she was pushed out of the changing room into the corridor again. "I keep telling you - it's all the rage in Europe!"
"To have your muscles ripped apart?!" Kouga screamed from the doorway, clinging to the towel around his waist.
"It's a Russian massage!" She said hotly, bracing herself against the opposite wall. "Obviously you're not man enough to take it!"
"I'll see that you never work in this place again!" The fighter shouted at her.
"Well oh deary me!" she flipped her hair. "I never worked here in the first place!"
When his expression turned to that of stunned surprise she realised that now was a good time to run. "Bye." She said hurriedly and scuttled off down the corridor before he could drag her back. But she was proud of herself… not only had she seriously pissed off another arrogant butt-head of a superstar, but she'd also avenged Inuyasha.
But she had also found out something vital. It wasn't Inuyasha who had overdosed - but Kouga who had drugged him instead…
Though she also knew for certain now that he had also willingly taken the first part of the drug from Kouga originally.
"Stupid idiot…" she muttered to herself as she jogged through the corridors, trying to find her way. She intended to head back to the bathroom where she'd parted with Inuyasha and his brother, but she seemed to have turned herself around and was completely lost.
She must have wondered around for nearly twenty minutes, getting increasingly worried and lost as time went on.
She eventually stopped and looked around for some sort of sign as to where she was. The only sign she saw was an arrow pointing in the direction of the arena. It reminded her of the ticket Inuyasha had given her and she quickly fished out his wallet and opened it.
Three old bills fluttered out onto the floor along with one lone season ticket, VIP. Kagome wouldn't have been too surprised if a flood of moths had popped out as well. She crouched down and counted the money he had.
Six hundred yen? For being the tenth richest person in the world he sure didn't look it. And he expected her to buy clothes with this kind of money? With a roll of her eyes, Kagome stuffed the money into her own pocket and picked up the VIP ticket.
"Excuse me, are you lost?"
Kagome glanced up to see some male member of staff walking towards her. She quickly wondered what she was supposed to do now. "Uh… yeah… I think I got turned around on my way to the bathroom." Not a complete lie.
"Are you here for the semi-finals."
"Yep. VIP ticket?" she waved it in front of her, noticing the man's eyes trying to follow it and decipher if it was genuine. For a moment he looked like he was going to turn her down, but then he also seemed to notice Kagome's face.
"Hey… aren't you Kagome Higurashi?"
Damn, that was getting annoying. "Yeah…"
"Fantastic! Come with me! The fight's already beginning but you can still make it."
Fantastic? Kagome followed after him uncertainly as he began leading her down the corridor. The further she followed him, the louder an odd sound in the distance seemed to become. It was only when she was shoved through a pair of swinging doors into a dark, warm, moist space that she realised what it was.
People. Thousands of them.
She froze in awe as her eyes swept the giant area structured like an amphitheatre. She stood at the very back, on the highest tear with the member of staff beside her, giving her a clear sight of the box shaped 'ring' in the very centre of the arena, already inhabited by two of the most annoying superstars she'd come across. Inuyasha and Kouga.
The fight hadn't started yet, she could see that much. Inuyasha was leaning against the springy ropes in one corner talking down to his brother and an old hunched man. Kouga was in the other corner rubbing his poor abused shoulders (Kagome's handiwork of course).
"VIP seats are this way." The guy beside her began leading her down the steps towards the centre of the arena where the ring was. It was a long way getting there, and halfway down the stairs a bell rung somewhere overhead. Kagome stopped, looking around for the source of the bell for a moment before noticing that there was movement in the ring. She turned just in time to see a flash of claws, a huge uproar from the crowd, and two combatants clashing.
"What about gloves?!" she found herself yelping. Surely people with nails that length had to wear something to avoid serious injury.
"Not in this sport, Miss Higurashi." The member of staff leading her stopped when he realised she wasn't following anymore. "This is demon fighting. No holds barred."
The pair of fighters ripped through their motions. Cuts and gashes appeared like blossoming wounds out of thin air… already Kagome could see four heavy streaks of red marred Inuyasha's back. It was almost too violent to watch… she wanted to turn away.
This was nothing like the 'boxing' she was used to where two big men danced on tipytoes, bopping each other in the nose every five minutes. Actually… boxing was rather tame compared to this - at least those big men seemed to want to hug each other every time they got too close… these two lightweights just lunged and ripped apart whatever happened to be in their path.
"This way, Miss." The man began leading her again.
Don't take me closer, she felt like she'd be sick if she got too close. How could so many people watch this and get entertained by it? This was horrific…
But her feet took her down after the man, cringing as she got closer to the literal blood-shed. Despite being hard to watch, she just couldn't tear her eyes off the pair. Her footing fumbled at one point when Kouga caught Inuyasha in a body-lock against the edge of the ring. Inuyasha's response was the claw away psychotically at Kouga's back until the wolf demon released him looking as if he was in pure agony.
Her seat was located only six metres away from the fight and from here she could clearly see the bloody streaks on the floor of the ring, a few printed red footprints stood boldly from the white matting. She slid down into her seat slowly, a chronic grimace on her face, wincing every time the crowd cheered or booed extra loudly when someone caught a heavy blow.
Weren't there any rules? Shouldn't there be an R rated sign on the door? Surely kids couldn't watch this?
The commentary was barely audible over the screaming spectators.
"…a nice swift blow delivered there by Kouga. Ooh! That was a close one for Inuyasha - if he'd been knocked to the floor then he would have lost the first round - oh but he's making his come-back!"
Really, Kagome figured that the fight was moving far too fast to be tracked by a commentary. Each seemed to gain the upper-hand only to lose it in the next split second. Kagome wiggled uncomfortably in her seat, wondering if there was a law against this kind of sport. She felt like she was watching some kind of gladiator movie, even though a small part of her mind told her that they were demons, fighting like this was practically sparring.
Kagome couldn't sit and watch anymore. She had to take action.
So she stood up and screamed. "Inuyasha! Be careful!"
How the hell he managed to pick her voice out of thousands of screaming people all screaming the same name was astonishing to her. But the moment his name left her lips his ears flicked and his head whipped to face her.
The same moment Kouga delivered his killing blow.
A collectively anguished sound rose from the crowd as Inuyasha went down, hitting the matt with a thud that was drowned out by the crowd's groans. Unconscious.
The bell rung from its unseen location and Kouga lifted his arms in triumph. Round one to the wolf. This turn of events was greeted by more boos than cheers and whistles.
Kagome sidled back down in her seat, hand clapped over her mouth as if it was her own voice that had felled Inuyasha. Well… in a way it had been like that. "Aw crap…"
Kouga returned to his corner smugly, whilst Inuyasha had to be dragged by the referee to his. Kagome watched contemptuously as the wolf took a swig of his water bottle, tossed it over his shoulder and out of the ring then glared across the space between him and Inuyasha while listening to his trainer talking to him. Inuyasha had his water bottle dumped over his head - but it served to snap him awake at once.
And the first person he looked to was Kagome. She gulped. He did not look pleased.
He said something to her and even though she couldn't quite catch the words over the crowd, she could read his lips perfectly. 'Get over here - NOW'
Kagome timidly slipped out of her seat and edged over to the barrier separating the stands from the ring. No one tried to stop her as she hopped over them, not when she was on Inuyasha's orders. She kept her eyes on Inuyasha as she drew closer to his corner of the ring and stopped beside the old man she was assuming to be Inuyasha's trainer. Sesshomaru was now sat in his own VIP seat talking on his cell phone with a finger stuck in his other ear. "No, sorry - you'll have to speak louder!"
Inuyasha regarded her silently for a moment, his face already severely battered and one eye beginning to swell shut. Kagome's gaze tracked a heavy stream of blood that trickled down the left side of his face from a gash above his left eye. He looked ready to drop dead.
"Taken the test yet?" she found herself asking when he failed to fill the void of silence between them.
"Stay with Toutousai and stop distracting me." He said simply as the second round bell rung. Kagome glanced down at the slightly spaced out old man before looking back at Inuyasha.
"I think you should pull out - you're losing badly here!"
"I'm fine!" he yelled back as he staggered back towards Kouga.
"You'll hurt yourself!"
"It's only a few cuts and scratches, girl." The old man named Toutousai told her as he went to sit down beside Sesshomaru who was still talking into his phone. "I SAID YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP!"
"This is practically sadism!" she yelled. A bit of an understatement in her book, but she was ignored as the second round got underway. Inuyasha seemed to be tiring already, but Kouga was going strong. Either Inuyasha was a bad fighter, or those drugs were still affecting his performance. Kagome was sent cringing all over again as the pair continued to tussle, claws cutting so easily into flesh that Kagome was reminded of the mental image of a warm knife through butter.
She was just beginning to feel nauseous when Miroku and Sango arrived on either side of her.
"Thought we'd find you here." Miroku commented.
"Who's winning?" Sango asked.
"Uh… Kouga." Kagome put a hand to her mouth as specs of blood hit the mat right under her nose. She'd lost track of whose blood was whose now.
"What happened to the drug's test?" Miroku seemed to regard the violent match as if he were watching Saturday night football. Like he'd seen it all before. Kagome felt she had far to go before she became as acclimatised to it as him.
"His brother took the test." Kagome told him.
Sango hissed through her teeth. "I smell illegal things going on… we can't possibly get away with them all."
"I beg to differ." Miroku said confidently.
Kagome suddenly remembered what had urged her to ring Kouga's shoulders out like a wet towel in the first place. She surged forward to grip the edge of the mat. "Inuyasha! It was Kouga! He was the one who overdosed your drink with-!"
She would have gone on if Miroku hadn't pulled her back with a hand clapped over her mouth. But her work was done and Inuyasha had heard her.
What Kagome witnessed then was what she could only describe as a miraculous comeback. Inuyasha came to the teetering edge of falling to the mat at any given moment to winning the upperhand. Given another thirty seconds he probably could have thrown Kouga to the floor and taken the second round for himself. But luck was not on his side as the bell sounded for the end of the round.
Both fighters retreated into the respective corners and Inuyasha flopped down onto the stool provided and slumped there panting, mingled sweat and blood pouring from his body. Kagome felt a growing respect for his endurance… but still reckoned this kind of sport was more stupid than anything else.
"I almost… had him…" Inuyasha breathed heavily.
"You'll get him in the next round." Miroku patted his damp shoulder and tossed another flask of water over Inuyasha's face. "Hang in there."
Kagome felt she had to add to the encouragement, even if she didn't approve. "You're getting better, just keep at the bastard."
She was rewarded with an odd look from Inuyasha, as if he was calculating her. But it only lasted for a moment as the bell for the third round rung loud and clear. Inuyasha stood wearily and made his way back towards Kouga. Kagome surprised herself and those around her yet again when she grabbed the bungee rope around the ring. "Don't let him get to you! You can beat him - You can do it, Inuyasha!"
It ended quickly. One punch was all it took to send Kouga sprawling on the floor… bear in mind that it was one hell of a hit and even Inuyasha swayed from its execution and nearly toppled straight after the wolf.
The bell rung again, a mere ten seconds after the start of the round and it was over. Inuyasha, riddled with fatigue (and probably withdrawal symptoms) raised his arms unsteadily into the air, greeted by a chorus of cheers and whistles.
Kagome was delighted for him, her dislike was temporarily forgotten as she cheered along with everyone else and jumped up and down with Sango.
But still, at the end of the day, it was still only a draw.
"I hope you've learned your lesson from all of this." Kagome tapped Inuyasha's knee as they sped back to the villa along the driveway in the Toyota they'd come away in. It was only now that Kagome realised how fast and reckless Sesshomaru's driving was.
"And what lesson would that be?" Inuyasha searched through his coat pockets for something.
"That drugs don't pay. You nearly lost that match completely thanks to your irresponsible behaviour."
"Yeah, but I didn't, did I?" he pointed out.
"But you nearly did." Kagome stressed the word. "If I hadn't told you the truth about the overdose you wouldn't have gotten angry enough to win that last round."
Inuyasha sullenly remained silent.
"And you could also say that if I hadn't argued with you yesterday then you would still have been in your room when that bomb went off." She folded her arms. "You could say that I saved your life."
"Oh sweet Jesus she saved my life…" Yet he said that in a more despairing tone of voice than anything else. "So you think I owe you one, is that it?"
She sighed. "No. All I'm saying is that you could show me a little appreciation."
"Leave off. I've had a rough day." He muttered.
Then much to her irritation he pulled a cigarette from his pocket and turned to her. "Got a light?"
She glared stonily at him.
"Right, right…" he passed her over in favour of his brother. "Toss the lighter, will you?"
Sesshomaru silently plucked the car's cigarette lighter out of its socket and flicked it over his shoulder into the back seat. Inuyasha didn't catch it as deftly as he should have and fumbled with it. His hands were shaking too badly.
Kagome's pity got the better of her and she impatiently snatched up the lighter and held it steady for him. "You could have the decency to wait till I'm out of the car. Ever hear of passive smoking?"
"You don't mind do you?" he asked as his trembling hand failed to line his cigarette up with the lighter. Kagome sighed and closed her hand around his in order to steady him.
"I do mind actually." She said quietly.
"Fair enough." He shrugged, dropped his hand away from hers and tossed the slightly singed fag out of the open window. Kagome blinked at his choice of action, glancing from him to the window and then back again. "Why'd you do that?"
"Well you were only going to complain if I hadn't." he said as a way of an excuse. Kagome frowned at him slightly, not knowing what to think, as she handed back the lighter to Sesshomaru who placed it back in its slot.
They sat the rest of the journey down the villa driveway in silence, Miroku, Sango and Kikyo following in the car behind.
A match had been scheduled for the following Friday, a rematch against Kouga since the last one had been a draw. Inuyasha vowed to get his strength back for that next match in two days time… but strength seemed to be failing him quite drastically as he hunched over the toilet bowl of his bathroom, reliving his supper.
The only other time he'd suffered withdrawal symptoms was after the first time he'd overdosed. He'd intended that to be his last time… but thanks to Kouga he was having to suffer the same rather uncomfortable experience all over again.
He pulled the chain and collapsed on the floor in a pathetic heap as the flush of the toilet drained away under the floorboards. Perhaps he should just go and die right then. Ha! That would give everyone something to talk about… except… nah, he didn't like the idea of dying. And the cramps beginning to set in on his empty stomach reminded him painfully that he was still very much alive and in need of something to eat or drink.
His fingers didn't shake so much as he turned the handle of his bedroom door and stepped out into the cool corridor outside. He pulled the door to slowly and rested his forehead against it before closing his eyes and taking deep breathes.
He thought about the way he'd come to within an inch of his life the day before, and about the person who had saved him in the nick of time. The same person who had began cheering him on in the third round of the fight. His anger with Kouga had been rather unspectacular. Kouga's attempt to put him out of the competition didn't surprise him, nor did it really anger him. But the girl's encouragement had been enough to reach him, she hated him, yet she'd been cheering him on eagerly. It had stirred something inside him that he thought had been withered and dead for a long time. It had given him what he'd needed to strike out against Kouga.
And her patient gentleness when she'd held his hand steady in the car. She'd pitied him - he could see that and though it had irritated him, he'd still wondered why she'd even bothered helping him when she clearly didn't want him to smoke in front of her.
He'd tossed that cigarette out of the window for two reasons. One; because he couldn't stand her pity. Two; because he thought she didn't deserve to be uncomfortable with him after all he'd put her through over the last few days. It was only a small compensation though…
Something clattered around the bend in the corridor and Inuyasha lifted his head away from the door and straightened as a cleaner and her trolley came around the corner. A pretty blonde girl on her round to fold back the bed covers for the night in each room. She smiled shyly at him before disappearing into the bedroom at the far end of the corridor.
Inuyasha shook himself and started for the elevator, passing the maid's trolley and nicking a few of the pillow mints as he went. That would keep his stomach occupied for the trip down to the kitchens. He only hoped that cook would still be up preparing for breakfast. But cook was pretty unpredictable. She had a bad habit of going to bed too damn early for people who wanted a late night snack.
The elevator took him down to the ground floor. But the moment the doors peeled back he stopped, his mind momentarily moved off his stomach. Someone was playing the piano in the classic room.
A shiver passed over him as his slightly more darker memories returned. The last person to play that piano had been his father.
He stood there straining to catch the melody that he forgot he was still in the elevator until the doors began closing on him. He quickly blocked them and stepped out, looking towards the heavy door of the classic room. The night-shift guard was snoring away in his chair close-by. Of course he wouldn't be able to hear the music, not with human hearing and soundproof doors and walls.
He drifted past the old man and reached for the handle of the room. He wondered who on earth would be inside playing at this hour of the night. He didn't know anyone who had talent with the piano, and even if it was a hidden talent why were they playing now and never before?
He silently turned the handle and pushed the door open enough to let the sound come flooding out. The sleeping guard snorted in his sleep and shifted, but he didn't awaken. However, Inuyasha listened with rapt attention.
He'd never heard such a melody before.
His curiosity pushed him and he opened the door wider to step through the gap. He froze like a deer caught in the headlights when he saw the dark-haired school-girl sitting at the stool in her night-gown, her fingers dashing over the keys of the piano.
What the hell was this?
He could do nothing more than stand there and listen. She had no music sheet propped open in front of her, and she watched her fingers the way his father had scolded Inuyasha for when he'd attempted to give his son a few lessons. Inuyasha had never gotten past the basics. His father had died after the third lesson. Not that Inuyasha had shown much promise.
Inuyasha hadn't dared go into this room since then.
This girl hadn't even learnt that tune off by heart. She wasn't playing it from memory. He hated sounding romantic but… she sounded like she was playing it from her very soul. Only she could have invented such a personal tune, playing it with an precarious pace that seemed the lilt up and down like an unbalanced emotion. It was a confused, it was weary and it was her. It was beautiful and haunting, but modest in design. It was simply the way she played that made it come to life… that expressed her feelings in a way that words couldn't manage to cover.
He was behind her and reaching out for her shoulder before he realised what he was doing. But he recoiled in an instant, clutching his offending hand to his chest as he backed away to the door again. He couldn't disturb her. He felt like he was invading her personal space, watching her while she undressed like some strange kind of pervert.
He silently left the room and shut the door again, leaving no evidence that he'd been there. He carried on to the kitchens and sighed when he realised that Cook had already gone to bed, leaving a loaf of bread defrosting on the island counter for use as toast the next morning. She just wasn't putting the effort into her cooking like she used to…
Inuyasha resigned himself to prying a few pieces of the frozen bread off of the loaf and headed back to his room chewing them absently.
By the time he got the bed, the frosty pieces of bread had been left forgotten on the floor beside his bedside table and he lay on his mattress feeling every ache and bruise that covered his body… but instead of dwelling on the uncomfortable pain he strained to remember the tune that he'd just hear. But for the life of him it had escaped his memory… thought he still remembered how beautiful it had been, and the emotion conveyed through it. It was like hearing some amazing, moving speech, but later on being unable to remember the precise wording despite knowing what had been said fundamentally.
He did remember one thing though.
"Kagome… Kagome Higurashi…" he sighed as he drifted off to sleep.
AN: Are these chapters coming out fast enough yet? ^_-