InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ For Best Performance ( Chapter 11 )
Author's Notes: I know a lot of people don't think so, but I do actually read all my reviews. If you think about it I average in at about just over a hundred per chapter and which builds up over a couple of days so in truth I'm not exactly flooded over my head with reviews and it's easy to read twenty or so a day - and I really do enjoy reading them so it's not hard work! And don't worry about bothering me with long reviews - I love them the most ^_^
For Best Performance…
"Inuyasha's been nominated for how many awards?"
"Just three this year." Sango replied breezily as she pinned the loose material of the red dress at Kagome's waist, determined to get it as chic as possible under it's layer of red gauze. "Last year he was nominated for five, but he only won four."
"My god…" Kagome rested her elbow on top of Sango's head as the girl worked (the only comfortable place for it to go). "What does he do to deserve these awards then?"
"Well this year he's been nominated for the people's choice award, again."
"Which one's that?" Kagome was still a little ignorant when it came to the world of stars and celebrities. She'd never watched an award's ceremony in her life. They were always too boring.
"People's choice is the people's choice." Sango shrugged vaguely. "It's not a very specific award, seeing as how anyone can be nominated, from the man in the post office to the Emperor… providing they have enough votes to be nominated in the first place. It's just the popularity award."
"Has Inuyasha ever won it before?"
"Wow…" Kagome wondered what it would be like to be that popular… but once again, some things were a little beyond her grasp, and she'd always been a little short on imagination.
"Then there's the award for best stunt co-ordinator slash performer." Sango finished fiddling with the material at her waist before straightened and beginning work on her shoulders. The former owner of this dress had also owned broader shoulders, and whilst the tailor had done a good job taking the hems up, there were still a few adjustments to be made.
Kagome was just plain worried about how Inuyasha would react to her wearing one of his own mother's dresses. In order to keep her mind from such troubles, she tried to keep her thoughts on the awards. "So Inuyasha does stunt work?"
"With his body it would be a wonder if he didn't. He can lift more weight than ten people - and still manages to keep his body trimmer than Schwarzenegger's. The producers can save thousands from their budget when they can use Inuyasha's strength instead of special effects and good editing. He can take more bumps and bruises than your average stunt-man, run fast, fight fast-"
"Ok, I get the picture." Kagome squeezed her eyes shut as she remember Inuyasha's last display of how fast he fought. It still brought a wave of sickness over her. It was so violent…
"And because he heals fast with no disfiguring scars, he can work twice as hard and longer than anyone else."
"So what's the third nomination?" Kagome asked as Sango finished on her shoulder and began pulling her poker straight hair back into a stylishly messy bun at the back of her head (Sango had insisted on going over her mop with an iron earlier on).
"Third nomination is for the youngest semi-finalist of boxing for the past ten years."
"Semi-finalist?" Kagome echoed with a frown, her head being pulled in all directions thanks to Sango's brutal handling of her hair.
"Well, he doesn't always win the championship, but he has always made it into the semi-finals since he first took part." Sango sighed. "This year he's up against Kouga again for the award…"
"Oh… so Kouga's going to be there as well?" Kagome felt a knot twist in her stomach. She hoped she didn't have to meet him… or shake hands with him. She wondered what he would do when he found out that she was Inuyasha's little 'guest'. She wondered if he wanted pay-back for that Russian massage she'd given him. If he could find it in himself to try and poison Inuyasha, what would stop him from doing the same to her?
"There. Beautiful!" Sango stepped back and tweaked her cheek to get some colour. "Now come on, we better get down to the limo if we want to be fashionably late instead of just-missed-the-whole-damn-thing late."
It was amazing how dressing up in a pretty dress and putting on a little make-up could do wonders for your self-esteem. Kagome felt particularly good about herself as she trotted after Sango.
They took the stairs down to the main foyer and were greeted by the majority of the entourage that would be accompanying them to the evening. She was beginning to recognise some of them by now. Over there was the girl who styled Inuyasha's hair on week days - beside her was the guy who picked out Inuyasha's clothes each morning. Over to the left of the gathered crowd stood Kikyo and her mobile phone, she stood apart from Miroku who was deep in conversation with the guy who was officially Inuyasha's 'fan-man' - meaning he carried around one of those electric fans wherever he went in case his star started to feel a little over-heated. Ah… and there was the girl gave him a facial every third morning.
There was a lot of over-kill here…
"We'll be putting you in the front limousine with Inuyasha. The rest of us will follow on behind."
"We're all going to the awards?"
"Inuyasha's entourage is expected to follow him wherever he goes, but don't worry, they'll be backstage most of the time so they won't get under your feet." Sango turned suddenly as her apparent sixth sense picked up her boss. "And here's the man of the hour."
Kagome glanced over her shoulder towards the stairs and gulped slightly. Inuyasha jogged down them casually, looking slightly smarter than usual. Sango leaned towards her. "I tried to make him wear a tie but he wouldn't let me put anything around his neck."
Inuyasha's gaze flicked up and settled on Kagome.
Here it comes, she thought as she mentally braced herself for the worst, he'll explode and we'll be late and he'll make a big deal and…
"Nice dress, twiggy." He patted her one-sleeved arm as he passed her, then announced to everyone else in a slightly louder voice. "Let's get moving, we're late!"
The entourage packed out through the open front entrance, leaving Kagome standing alone with Sango. "Twiggy?" she frowned, trying to comprehend why she deserved that nickname in particular.
"Come on then." Sango took her shoulder and ushered her out of the door and down the steps.
The sky was getting increasingly dark as evening rolled around quickly. They were due to arrive at the awards at nine o'clock, and it was already eight thirty. Kagome picked up her pace as she headed for the limo ahead of the others. The door was held open by one of the black suit bodyguards and closed behind her once she was safely inside.
"Do you want a coke?" Inuyasha asked at once, holding out a can.
"Depends…" she eyed it suspiciously. "Have you put cyanide in it?"
"Sealed can. I thought you'd notice if the cap was broken." He tossed it towards her and she caught it with a fluke grace that she normally didn't posses.
"Nice catch." He complimented as he cracked open his own can and took a sip.
Kagome held her drink in her lap as she watched him closely, wondering why he wasn't growling at her and sharpening his claws like she'd expected. She was even wearing his mother's dress, and he still hadn't reacted… or perhaps he just hadn't noticed it.
With a tiny sigh she lifted the can and snapped the tab to open it… and promptly got showered with foam. "Oh for - you shook my can!" she barked at him, seeing him shaking with poorly suppressed laughter. "Obviously you haven't forgiven me for royally pissing you off earlier…"
"Obviously." He said pleasantly. "And I'm just going to keep smiling at you because I know that if I let my guard down and snap at you, you will snap back and probably provoke me into strangling you in this very limo. I don't want your death on my hands, so just smile back and we should be ok."
If he'd been speaking another language and she'd not understand what he'd said, she would have thought he were saying nice things to her. Evidently not. "You're mad at me…?" she asked reproachfully.
"Ballistically so," he carried on smiling. "I've never been so pissed off with anyone in my entire life, twiggy."
"Why are you calling me twiggy?" She set down her coke on the little built-in table and flicked the liquid off her wet fingers. "Or have you still not learnt my name yet?"
"Well, that and the fact that you kinda remind me of a twig in that dress."
"What, this dress?" Kagome felt her panic rise a little.
"What other dress are you wearing?" he rolled his eyes at her. He looked the dress over critically for a moment. "You know… wearing that dress you kinda look like a model."
Now that made Kagome's thought processes freeze in their tracks. "Is that… is that a compliment?"
"Not really, no." he shrugged nonchalantly. "I think some look pretty… most look hungry." He wrinkled his nose. "Models aren't my taste. They get picked out because they have the best body to show off strange, weird clothes. Almost all of them are taller than me, have bigger feet than me, broad shoulders, no breasts and the sulkiest faces in the world. They look like their faces would shatter if they gave the tiniest smiles."
"Well, you seem to date enough of them to know." She averted her gaze out of the window before realising something. "Hey - are you saying I have big feet and no breasts?!"
"I called you twiggy didn't I?" he said pointedly and also averted his gaze out of the tinted window.
Well… at least he hadn't noticed the dress was one of his mother's own. She wasn't sure how he would react to that, and she didn't really want to test him either. She rapped her nails against her coke can and patiently watched the window. She couldn't see out since the tint on the window was simply too dark. But it also meant that no one would be able to see inside either.
"How many awards have you won in total then?" she asked suddenly.
"Sixteen." He said bluntly. "Out of the thirty-four nominations."
"Where do you keep them?"
"With the rest of the junk that I never look at - in the classic room…" he slid a speculative gaze towards her. "With the piano."
"Oh." Kagome nodded in understanding and turned her eyes back to the window, unaware of his scrutiny.
It was a few minutes more until the sound of the crowd reached her ears. Kagome strained to see outside. "I think we're here…"
The limo was slowing down to a crawling pace and Kagome realised just how close they were to the crowds when she wound down the window. They were right next to the vehicle, held back only by a temporary metal barricade that kept the crowds off the road.
"It's her - it's Kagome!"
"Inuyasha - Inuyasha!"
And so started a sudden outburst of screaming. Kagome ducked back suddenly as half a dozen single roses hurled themselves through the open window. "Jesus-"
The window wound up again and Kagome glanced up at Inuyasha who had his finger on the button. "You might not want to try that again." He advised with a patronising smile. "They're like ravenous wolves. Once they recognise you they will descend on you and tear you apart."
"They're your fans, not wolves." Kagome sighed irritably and picked up one of the roses that had fallen into the car. "They love you, so I doubt they'd want to eat you."
"You'd be surprised." Inuyasha shrugged, making no move to help Kagome pick up the roses that she arranged in a bunch on the seat next to her.
The car lurched forward another hundred yards and came to a complete stop. The tinted glass divider to the drivers' compartment rattled as someone knocked on it from the other side. Inuyasha beckoned her to come closer to his side of the limo. When she gave him a hard glare to show her reluctance he simply rolled his eyes. "We're here. Do you want to get out of the limo or not?"
"Oh right…" She shuffled across the leather seats towards his end.
The limo door opened and Kagome was instantly blinded by the overwhelming number of hot white flashes from outside. She felt Inuyasha's hand bracing against her back, urging her to get out, and she did so, but only in order to get his hand off of her.
She smiled as best she could, but it was hard when she didn't know what she was supposed to look at or smile at. The red carpet was wide, leading from the pavement curb where she stood to the entrance of the building they would enter. It was only thirty metres or so to the doors. On an average day that distance was nothing… but tonight when everyone was watching every step she took, where she heard both men and women, girls and boys, calling her name as if they knew her. Questions fired at her from every angle, requests for autographs, Kagome was overwhelmed. What was she supposed to do?
Kagome probably would have stood there and floundered all night if Inuyasha hadn't given her a gentle nudge further up the red carpet to make room for him to get out of the limo. The black suit bodyguard shut the limo door and the vehicle peeled away, leaving Kagome with no place to take shelter from the crowd and all the photographers with their camera flashes.
"Keep smiling." Inuyasha said cheerfully in her ear and promptly pulled her arm out and looped it through his. Kagome's smile disappeared in an instant as she shot a stubborn glare down at their entwined arms.
"Do you mind?" she hissed.
"It's the only way to keep you walking. Now smile." He hissed back threateningly. Kagome grudgingly tightened her arm as painfully as she could around his as if trying to crush it. The smile returned to her face and they started off down the carpet.
Every now and then Inuyasha would drag her off to the sidelines where the fans were held back by the barricades to sign a few autographs. Most of them wanted his autograph, but a few die-hards were desperate enough to ask Kagome a for hers. She gave it in bewilderment, still only just coming to grasps with the fact that so many people knew her face and her name (unlike the certain superstar clinging to her arm).
"Don't get a big head now," he warned quietly as he jerked her to a stop to pose for a few pictures. "They'll forget you even exist after Saturday."
The time it took them to get across that thirty metres to the entrance of the theatre was ridiculous. Kagome could have walked it in ten seconds… but right then it took them over fifteen minutes to get inside.
Kagome tagged along behind Inuyasha as they were greeted by the host, the guy who owned the building, a few rich members of the upper class society that had managed to get tickets to the awards event. Kagome inwardly groaned in boredom as Inuyasha pulled her along, deeper into the building, following the main hallway with the red carpet that the other guests seemed to be trailing along. When in doubt; follow the sheep.
"How long is this going to take?" She said in a low voice.
"You bored already?" he retorted.
"Out of my skull."
He sighed, then surprised her by saying. "So am I."
Kagome glanced up at him in surprise, but then got distracted when a girl suddenly drew alongside them. "Inuyasha?" They both glanced at her, both of them clicking recognition and Kagome couldn't contain her gasp.
"Y-you're Joi Ito!" Kagome said, knowing she stated the obvious. Only because Joi happened to be her most favrouritest favourite of the favourite musical artist ever!
Joi's smile was more nervous and polite than Kagome had expected it to be. "Hello, you must be Kagome Higurashi."
She knows my name! Kagome wanted to cry - but only out of sheer happiness. "I have to tell you right now that I am a huge fan of your work, I think you're wonderfully talented and creative. You're so original and I'm so happy to meet you!"
"Thank you," Joi seemed genuinely delighted as they shook hands. "And it's a pleasure meeting you too. I'm surprised you like my music."
"Oh, but I love it." Kagome reassured her, vowing that she would probably never wash her hand again. "I love how you mix classical with rock - it's wonderful."
"Thank you." Joi smiled even wider than before and switched her gaze to Inuyasha. "You picked the right fan to spend a week with."
"You'd think so, wouldn't you." He said loftily, looking thoroughly bored.
"I didn't get the chance to make your acquaintance better the last time we met," Joi stuck her hand out to Inuyasha. "Joi Ito."
"Inuyasha." No last name, that was his trademark. He shook her hand once and smiled slightly. Kagome could already see the dawning expression of realisation in his eyes as he began to notice just how pretty Joi was. She almost wanted to turn to the other girl and scream 'Run Joi! Run!'
"Well I won't keep you." Joi left them to it and they both watched her leave to go talk to more arriving guests.
"She's certainly prettier than her pictures in the magazines." Inuyasha commented.
"You leave her alone." Kagome nudged him hard in the side. "She's my favourite artist - I don't want you laying your filthy hands on her."
"My filthy hands are no where near her." Inuyasha responded grumpily. "Now come on, the hall's this way."
He dragged her after the other guests that were all heading towards the set of doors at the very end of the corridor which led into a darker room. When Kagome followed Inuyasha through she realised that this was the dome shaped hall with tiers of seats sloping down towards the stage at the very front. But between the seats and the stage was a section of tables complete with table-cloth, wine glasses and chairs - as if they expected people to dine there.
"This way." Inuyasha tugged her down the stairs, passing all the tier seats in favour of heading towards the tables. "We have a few seats with our names on them."
Their table was one of the ones closest to the stage. "Oh how quaint." Kagome commented as she found her seat with her own little place name. She sat down next to Inuyasha…
It wasn't long before Sango and Miroku joined them with Kikyo following a few minutes later. The rest of the entourage was at standby back-stage, but as Sango told Kagome, they probably weren't going to be needed tonight and would only serve to get in everyone's way. But, since Inuyasha was a diva, he needed his entourage.
Eventually the evening got underway, and Kagome only had one word for it.
She stifled a yawn with the back of her hand and she blinked rapidly to try and stay awake. Perhaps she would have just gone straight to sleep right then and there if there hadn't been camera men circling the tables every few minutes. She tried to ignore them like Miroku had said, but it was unnerving to be sitting there, minding her own business, until a camera came along and stared at her for five minutes before moving off to stare at someone else.
"Bored, bored, bored…" she mumbled quietly under her breath as the latest camera moved away.
"Shh." Inuyasha hissed back before turning back to the stage.
"And now to present the award for the People's Choice Award… Joi Ito."
A round of applause stirred Kagome enough to half-heartedly clap along with everyone else. She sank back into her seat and stared at her napkin whilst the nominees names were rattled off.
"And the winner is…" Drum roll. "Inuyasha!"
Surprise! Or not. Kagome still managed to smile for him and clap more heartily this time as he scraped his chair back, smiling like the award-winning sucker he was, and followed the trail through the tables to the steps leading on stage. The applauding subsided as he reached the podium, kissed Joi on the cheek and stepped up to make his speech.
This should be interesting. Kagome considered as she leant her chin on her upturned palm.
"Well this is still the easiest award I've ever won - and I'll say what I said last year. Cheers to my buddy who kept voting for me under different names. I owe you one, man." A ripple of laughter ran around the room and Kagome found her own lips quirking up in a smile as he made the peace sign and stepped away. The applause echoed all over again as he made his way back to his seat, this time carrying the little trophy that Joi had given him. A pretty glass sculpture with 'People's Choice' chiselled at the bottom.
"Nice." Kagome told him as he sat back down. She took the award off of him to examine it with Sango. "Very nice."
Inuyasha just smiled and sat back… though Kagome had a feeling that if there weren't so many people watching him then he would have sneered cockily. He was so self-assured that he was set to win all the awards he'd been nominated for, it was disgusting.
The awards continued. Various celebrities, actresses and musicians ended up on stage picking up their awards, saying appreciative things and then sitting back down. Kagome was at least willing to admit that it was interesting to see all these famous people turning up and standing only a few metres away from where she sat.
Then disaster struck.
"And here to announce the award for best new-comer boxer and youngest semi-finalist - Kagome Higurashi."
All colour seemed to drain out of her face and she felt sick. Inuyasha snapped a surprised look on her while everyone else around their table just looked worried. The people clapped and Kagome just sat there, stunned and shocked… she couldn't move.
Miroku made eyes at her. "Go - go - just smile and read auto-cue!" he hissed, nodding his head towards the stage.
Kikyo set her wine-glass down. "I'll come with her. There's obviously been some mix-up here…"
Kikyo stood and moved around the table to help Kagome up. Her legs felt like lead, but she valiantly took the measured steps to follow Kikyo between the tables as the applause continued. Up the steps, under the hot lights of the stage and towards the podium. The host greeted her warmly, kissing her cheek and pointing her towards the podium. The host didn't kiss Kikyo… probably because she gave him a frosty glare that warned him to keep his distance.
Thanks to the glare of the overhead lights, Kagome could barely see anyone in the audience. The applause died down and she glanced around for the auto-cue that Miroku had mention. She spotted it a short distance away, below her. Remembering everything Miroku had told her, she willed her voice to be strong and clear and smile like she knew what she was doing.
Somehow it worked… despite the fact that her insides felt like jelly.
"Ever since the new form of boxing swept the nation ten years ago, a powerful blend of martial-arts kick-boxing with a no-holds barred rule with the format of regular boxing, many opponents have taken part in the sport. But only the best will be here tonight." Wow, she could almost believe that she'd given speeches like this her entire life. She glanced down at the table she'd sat at and saw Sango giving her a thumb's up as Miroku gave her a cheesy grin to show her she was doing well. Inuyasha looked blank and unresponsive. Blasé as ever… "And here are the nominations for best recognised new-comer to the world of boxing." She peered at the auto-cue, hoping she would announce the names right. "Max Powers," she paused for the cheering to die down. "Akinobu Yuki," another pause and then the last name came up that made her stomach tighten. "And… Kouga."
That last one was greeted with a heck of a lot of support that had Kagome worried… she had a feeling she knew who was going to win.
"And the winner is…" she picked up the envelope on the podium before her and opened it as confidently as she could. She broke out into a big fake smile and cheered the name. "Kouga!"
She saw him stand from his table and approach the steps to the stage. Now she was in for it. But he was smiling when the stage light finally allowed her to see him. She picked up one of the two glass awards that sat on the podium and held it out to him, arm outstretched as far as possible without being suspicious looking. She didn't want to get too close… he might just throttle her.
But he just took the award, kissed her cheek and went to make his acceptance speech.
"I've only been a serious fighter for a year, but you can bet that you'll be seeing me in the finals tomorrow."
You didn't deserve to get past the preliminaries you little worm…Kagome thought vehemently.
"And I'd like to thank my masseuse girl, Kagome," he waved a hand in her general direction, making her stiffen. "That Russian massage really hit the spot, doll."
He stepped back from the podium and the applause rose again, but this time she could tell half of the audience were confused as to what he meant… the rest were bored and hadn't listened to a word he said. Kagome had to restrain herself from kicking him as he approached her again and kissed her on the opposite cheek before leaving to sit back down with his trophy.
Kagome glanced at Kikyo who was regarding her with mild surprise and a little reprove. She sighed internally and sidled up to the podium again. "And the nominees for Continued Semi-finalist…"
She read the auto-cue. "Mr. Meatball." Very little applause. "Inuyasha." Quite a lot of applause. "And Hogai Suzuki." Average applause. "And the winner is…"
She opened the golden envelope and scoffed silently to herself. "The winner is Inuyasha!"
He hopped out of his seat quite cheerfully and wove between the tables towards the stage. He headed towards Kikyo first and kissed her cheek, ignoring her frosty 'do-not-touch' look. Then he moved over to Kagome and kissed her.
On the lips.
A faint buzz rose from the gathered audience and Kagome stood in frigid shock as the scant, but warm and gentle caress of his lips crossed hers and then disappeared… as did the glass trophy from her hand. She still stood in dumb shock as Inuyasha made his speech.
"…one year I'll be standing here taking the award for Long-running Champion!" he said in good-nature as everyone cheered. "I'd like to thank my trainer, Toutousai, my Brother for his help, Twiggy," he pointed back at Kagome, "for all her inspiration, and Kouga, for when he loses to me in our match tomorrow to send me into the finals. Thank you!"
The cheers accompanying him off the podium seemed loud enough to shake the ceiling tiles. He took Kagome by the elbow, startling her out of her dumb shock as he led her off stage with Kikyo and back to their seats.
That's when she noticed his grip was almost painful.
He was mad at her.
"What are you so mad about?" Kagome demanded sharply, glaring at Inuyasha across the interior of the limo. "You walked away with three awards today and all you can do is sulk about it."
Three said awards were currently locked away in Kikyo's briefcase for safe-keeping. It was unlikely that Inuyasha or Kagome would ever see them again.
"The problem, twit-face, is that you have secretly been spying on me for Kouga." He snarled back, forgetting his own compromise to not snap at her. "The minute I leave you alone you run off to Kouga and tell him all my trade secrets!"
"That's ridiculous!" Kagome exploded at him. "You basically wiped your hands clean of me in that arena - you didn't care what happened to me and I didn't know that I would bump into Kouga when I got lost! I've never met him before so how could I have organised anything with him!" she folded her arms tightly across her chest. "AND it would be impossible for me to go to him and tell him all your secrets, which I wouldn't have anyway, because I don't know any of your secrets! I know as much about boxing techniques as I do about how to make a DVD player from scratch - which before you ask, I do not know how to make a DVD player from scratch!"
"Then how come you ended up giving him a massage?!" he demanded.
"Because he thought I was the massage-girl, ok?!"
"Oh, I bet you leapt right into that one, didn't you-"
"I did when he told me that he'd drugged you!" Kagome steamed. "That's when I smashed his shoulders with my fists!"
He snorted. "You can't smash Kouga's shoulders with your fists." He criticised, letting his gaze slide to the window as the limo began slowing down outside the villa entrance.
"That's probably why I smashed a chair over him instead." She said bluntly. "It hurt him a jolly lot more than my fists did."
The doors opened courtesy of the black suit bodyguards and Kagome quickly scooted over to get out before Inuyasha. Just as she was stepping down onto the gravel of the driveway she stopped short and turned to look over her shoulder at Inuyasha who was poised to get out just behind her. "And… by the way…"
"By the way what?" he snapped irritably.
"You kiss like an ashtray." She told him malignantly. She stepped down completely and headed towards the entourage who were exiting the limos behind them, aiming for Sango.
But just before she was out of ear-shot she heard Inuyasha call to her. "And you'll never wear that dress as well as my mother did."
She stopped and turned to look around at him… but he was already moving up the stairs and disappeared into the villa before she could really gouge what that expression had meant.
AN: Don't worry. I'm sure they'll get to like each other eventually… sort of…