InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ Bruised Ego? ( Chapter 15 )
Author's Notes: I know that this chapter is disgustingly shorter than usual, but I didn't want to add the last scene (I'll save that for the beginning of the next chapter) mostly because they were two very different tones Funny/Serious.
Nevermind. Anyway, enjoy what I have so far. (sorry)
He'd fallen asleep.
Kagome glanced at her watch with mounting concern… it was getting close to half past twelve. She only had half an hour before she had to leave, but she could see no obvious way of escape. The bed was still up against the door and the balcony was still too far away from the ground to consider jumping safely. And Inuyasha was still on her stomach. But not that she really wanted to leave… something compelled her to stay with him as some sort of comfort even as he slept.
That was it. She was officially an old mother hen.
She sighed softly, wondering why she was even bothered with this idiot. Maybe it was because she'd only just realised how completely and utterly useless he was? Or maybe because she took after her mother in this area and was too soft-hearted for her own good?
Whatever it was… she was liable to agree with her mother this time that maybe she could at least try to help him, whatever his secret problem might be.
Their position had changed somewhat over the last hour or so. Her secure seat with her back against the wall had been making her rear fall asleep, so she'd been discreetly sliding down, taking Inuyasha with her until she was almost flat on her back with only her shoulders and head propped against the wall.
Inuyasha slept soundly against her stomach.
Kagome thought back to what her mother had said to her on her first night there at the villa. "So change him, why don't you." Maybe that wasn't exactly what she'd said but that was the basic idea. And Kagome would have liked to change him in some way… not to transform him into some wonderful person who could actually be likeable for a change, but more like help him sort out whatever it was that was bothering him.
He said he had an identity crisis? So… what was she supposed to do in order to help him with that? It wasn't like she could find the real him and say "Look, this is you, get acquainted!' or something. It just wasn't going to be that easy… and Kagome had no idea or experience that would help her help him.
She idly twirled a lock of white hair around her index finger as she tried to sort out what she was supposed to do. If she went home now then there was a good chance that this whole ordeal would be ignored and Inuyasha would get worse and worse until he cracked up and had to be wheeled to a loony-bin in a straight-jacket. No one deserved that. Not if it could be helped.
His employers wouldn't be able to do anything. If any of them tried to confront him about the 'things-which-should-not-be-talked-about' then they would likely get fired in order to spare Inuyasha from having to (heaven forbid) confront his feelings.
What he needed was someone who had nothing to lose. Someone he couldn't just push away because it was convenient…
Someone like me? She mused.
And then what? She had to ask herself. Would she sit him down on a couch and talk to him about dreams and the subconscious mind, telling him that his anger and misery was a manifestation of some childhood trauma that he was refusing to deal with?
He'd laugh and tell her she was seeing things that weren't there…
So what else could she do, other than stay close and hope that at some time or another he would tell her what had happened in 1992. And then maybe he'd find the road to wherever it was he was supposed to be going in life. Or maybe they'd all discover how irreparably damaged he was and get no where…
But how was she supposed to be able to stick around long enough to get to know him enough so he'd be comfortable actually talking to her?
The midday heat was beginning to build. Kagome glanced towards the broken and mangled French windows and realised there was hardly any breeze outside now. The feathers lying on the floor next to the opening and the ones out on the balcony were barely twitching.
And the temperature in the bedroom was steadily climbing.
Kagome wanted to squirm and loosen her collar slightly, but she was afraid that if she did that then Inuyasha would wake up. She wanted to avoid that for as long as possible. No doubt he was going to be suffering a very big bruise to his ego thanks to this little incident, and she didn't want to be on the receiving end of his wrath any time soon.
Also, while he slept, his dreams appeared untroubled. The minute he woke up the poor boy's reality would come crashing back into focus and he'd be the same miserable sod he'd always been.
Kagome wanted to delay that too.
But the heat was also making her drowsy as well as uncomfortably clammy. She brushed a hand against her forehead, pushing her hair out of her eyes in an attempt to cool down and blew out a heavy sigh as she let her eyes fall closed. Just for a moment… she just needed to relax a moment.
It felt like she'd only dozed off for a moment, but she was pulled slowly back into the real world when she heard a distant scraping sound of furniture being moved.
Automatically her hand reached out to touch Inuyasha, to check he was still safely beside her… but when her fingers fell against her hip instead of his shoulder she realised he was gone. That jerked her awake better than any ice cold bucket of water could. With a sharp intake of breath she sat up and snapped her eyes open…
…Only in time to see the bedroom door swing shut in a rather violent manner. She flinched as it smacked and shuddered into its frame and winced as she looked around the room.
Someone, probably Inuyasha, had just left in a big huff. In the time it had taken her to rouse, he'd pulled the bed back away from the door and stormed out. Feathers drifted lazily across the floor in his wake, covering the floorboards like a layer of snow.
Well… there was no helping it now…
Kagome rose carefully to her feet and kicked her way through the feathers to get to the door, though ended up nearly tripping over a piece of the dresser in the process. No one was outside when she left the room, obviously they had been satisfied that the everything was fine when the quiet had replaced the sounds of destruction and had wondered off to get back on with their lives.
It was almost one o'clock now… surely someone would be looking to take her home by now.
Speak of the devil. She turned to see Sango hurrying towards her. "Come on, girl, you're gonna be late home if you don't hurry." She grabbed Kagome's arm as she raced past, dragging her towards the elevator. "Good job calming Inuyasha down by the way."
"Did I?" Kagome said vaguely as she staggered to a halt in the mirrored cell of the elevator.
Sango punched the button for the ground floor. "Yeah. Usually when he gets in a strop he doesn't come out of it for ages." She tapped her foot impatiently as the doors slid close slowly.
"Did you see where he went?" Kagome asked her anxiously.
"When?" Sango blinked at her.
"Uh… no." the girl shrugged. "Did you say your goodbyes though?"
Kagome hesitated before smiling and nodding. Sango smiled back. "Good. Then we're all set to go." She slanted a thoughtful look at Kagome. "Though… with your ability to calm Inuyasha down it might just be useful to keep you around a little bit longer…"
Kagome met Sango's thoughtful look with one of her own.
"I'm ho~ome!" Kagome called as she dragged her suitcases through the open front door. "Man this house is small…"
"Kagome - it's Kagome!" she heard her little brother's shriek from somewhere deeper in the house. "She's back!"
He appeared at the top of the steps and bundled himself down them before launching himself into Kagome's arms. She laughed and squeezed him back just as tightly, never realising how grateful she was to be around a semi-stable young man for once.
"Wait - wait!" he suddenly pulled back, much to her surprise and stuck his hand out to her. "Shake my hand!"
"What?" she gave him a puzzled frown.
"Shake my hand!"
Kagome shook it in bemusement.
"Cool!" Souta stared at his hand like it was made of pure gold. "I've now shook the hand of the girl who shook Inuyasha's hand! MOM! MOM - shake my hand!"
Mrs Higurashi sailed straight out of the kitchen, past her son and enveloped Kagome in a warm embrace. "Oh - we missed you!" she smiled widely at her daughter as she drew back. "How was it?"
"Great!" Apart from the whole finding OD'd bodies on the beach, being bullied and insulted for seven days, being publicly humiliated, and all around misery-fied… "Just great!" Maybe some of Inuyasha's natural acting skills were rubbing off on her.
"That's good." Her mother drew her and her bags out of the doorway and shut the door. She led Kagome into the living room with Souta and leaned out the window. "Dad - guess who's back!"
Grandpa's head popped into view beside Mrs Higurashi's. "Ah - Kagome! Where've you been all week?"
Kagome blinked at him drolly. "At Inuyasha's villa?"
"Now is he the one with the red hair and the good manners or the-"
"That's Hojo." Kagome corrected swiftly. "Don't worry about it Grandpa, come in here, I've got loads to tell you guys."
And so she proceeded to tell them her whole seven days in seven minutes… the heavily edited version. From the first ride back to the villa in a limo with Inuyasha (cutting out a few swear words and other basic negatives) to that very morning when she'd had breakfast in the kitchen with Inuyasha.
She left out the parts where she'd cried, where he'd cried, where he'd taken drugs, where she had had to take drugs just to deal with the idea of him taking drugs (aspirin of course, not crack cocaine) and of course the part where the bomb had gone off in the room above her.
"But what about yesterday?" Souta butted in towards the end of her stories. "Wasn't he arrested for the murder of-"
"No one was killed." Kagome admonished him. "And he wasn't really arrested… just taken into custody for suspicion of attempted murder."
This did nothing to reassure the older pair of Higurashi's judging by their misgiving expressions. Kagome shrugged at them. "Don't worry, he didn't do it. He told me so."
"I knew he didn't do it." Souta said firmly. "Inuyasha's too cool to kill someone in the middle of the street. He'd be smart and do it a sneaky, cunning way that the police would never be able to catch him for."
"Don't bet on it." Kagome said flatly, knowing Inuyasha didn't put that much thought into the things he did. "Anyway, it's all been cleared up. Inuyasha isn't in custody anymore."
"Bit of a bad end to a nice holiday." Mrs Higurashi smiled compassionately, "Never mind. At least you can settle back down into your humble home and get back on with your-"
"Actually…" Kagome jumped in hesitantly. "Actually… I plan to go back next Monday…"
They all stared at her, unblinking.
"…if that's ok with you?" Kagome looked at them all, awaiting their response. Grandpa leaned over to his daughter and spoke in stage-whisper. "Where's she going again?"
Souta cocked his head. "Did Inuyasha invite you back?" he asked uncertainly.
Kagome shook her head. "Not exactly… well… Sango's trying to sort it out now, and if all goes well she'll call me tonight and tell me if I'm coming back or not."
"You want to go back?" Her mother looked confused. "But I thought you were looking forward to coming back…?"
"Well, something came up. Last minute thing." Kagome told her awkwardly. She didn't really want to go into details about why she wanted to go back. It was too confusing, even for Kagome.
Sango came to a short stop right in front of Miroku, his desk, and his little laptop. "Miroku, I need you're help."
"Can it wait, I'm a little busy." His whole concentration was on the screen of his laptop.
"It's urgent." She insisted, planting a fist on her hip.
"Shh, shh!" he held a finger to his lips, still staring at his screen. "I'm in a lesbian chat room…" he didn't notice the way Sango's fist slipped off her hip in shock. "Mindy's coming onto Mandy… but I reckon they're the same person. Deceiving little-"
"You do realise that everyone in that chat room is probably a man posing as a fit blonde twenty year old?" Sango pointed out dryly. "Like you?"
"No, I'm Jura - nineteen year old red-head. I'm also one part American, one part Shepherd's Bush- Hey!!"
Sango's hand had slammed down the laptop, nearly sandwiching his fingers between the screen and the keypad. She leaned down to be eye level with him, a deadly serious expression on her face. "I need your help."
Miroku sniffed, a little offended that she'd ended his chat room session. "With what?" he asked in a sulky way.
"With convincing Kikyo," Sango wheeled over another chair and planted herself down on it, resting her elbows on the desk. Obviously she was intending to stay. "Have you seen Inuyasha today, by the way?"
"I think he's out… doing… something… I don't know." Miroku shrugged and locked his hands together behind his head as he leant back to regard her suspiciously. "Why?"
"He's obviously still in that strop." Sango waved a hand dissmissively. "But the point is that he'd still be tearing apart his room if Kagome hadn't put a stop to it."
Miroku nodded slightly, willing to admit that she was probably right. "What did she do anyway?" he asked. All he knew was that he'd heard Kagome's shouts from inside the room and then everything had gone quiet. She'd called to them, saying everything was ok, so they'd hung around for a few more minutes before deciding everything was back to normal and they had wondered off. Miroku hadn't seen either of them since.
"I don't know what she did." Sango shrugged mildly. "But you know… I think that the best thing for Inuyasha would be to keep her here."
Miroku blinked at her. "But she's gone."
"We can bring her back." Sango countered.
"But I thought she didn't like him. She won't want to keep him company."
"She's already agreed to do it."
Miroku leant forward, planting his hands over his laptop. "We can't just bring her back out of the blue. People already suspect something strange is going on between her and Inuyasha… and if she's invited back for another week then everyone will go mad with gossip."
"So?" Sango shrugged. "You're the one that filters the information to the public. You can control what they hear and can supply a reason for her invite back to the villa."
He scratched his forehead, still a little reluctant. "I don't know… seems more trouble than its worth to me…"
Sango rolled her eyes. "Look. All we have to do is convince Kikyo that bringing Kagome back is a good publicity move. She won't be able to get hold of that girl fast enough, especially when we tell her that Kagome is more than willing to return."
"Inuyasha will send her straight back!"
"No he won't. If it's Kikyo who's decided to bring her over then he won't argue." Sango folded her arms and arched an eyebrow. "Come on… what have you got to lose?"
"My job?" he guessed. "If Inuyasha find out that it was us who-"
"Don't be stupid." She admonished. "Inuyasha needs this."
Miroku stared at her apprehensively, realising how serious and unwaveringly determined she was. With a reluctant sigh he nodded. It meant talking to Kikyo… but perhaps in the long run it would be better for all of them if Kagome came back.
The tide was up for the evening and the beach had long been closed off from the public. The approaching dusk made the sand bearably warm instead of scorching hot, just nice to sit on and wiggle his toes in.
Inuyasha sighed deeply and reclined back on one hand while he absently rubbed one of his ears. It had an ache at that base that seemed to be permeating into a full on headache, possibly a migraine. He dropped his hand back to the sand and set about ignoring it. It was the only cure he knew… seeing as how aspirin or ibuprofen never seemed to work, something to do with his chemistry.
But despite the tolerable ache, he was fairly satisfied. Kagome had gone home that day, which meant no more personal intrusion on her part and no more problems with holding onto his control.
He was already deeply ashamed of himself. Crying for gods sakes… in front of her no less. Grown men didn't cry! That was something only wimpy little boys did… he'd never been one to succumb to tears before. Even when his parents had died… he'd been deeply hurt and aggrieved… but he'd never cried.
In fact, come to think of it, he hadn't cried since 1992…
He was drawn out of his broody thoughts when he heard a familiar bark somewhere behind him. He knew that bark anywhere.
Inuyasha swivelled to face the cliffs and looked towards the steps cut out into the rocks. A small framed German Shepherd was bounding heedlessly down them towards the beach. He narrowed his eyes with a sigh, but he still couldn't help but smile. "Here, Bess! Good girl!" He slapped his knee and whistled.
The bitch slunk through the dusty sand towards him and promptly rolled onto her back beside his knee, exposing her belly for the usual treat. Inuyasha tickled her tummy lightly with his claws, smiling at the way she squirmed beside him.
Normally Bess would have lain like that for as long as the human was willing, but this dog knew that Inuyasha wasn't the average human… because for one thing, he knew how to pet ears properly. It wasn't long before she rolled the right way up and propped her head on his knee, silently hinting what she wanted. Inuyasha stroked her head quietly, gazing off to sea while rubbing her ears the way he liked his own rubbed.
Within half a minute Bess was in a trance, eyes closed and tongue lolling happily. But even the act of stroking her ears was mesmerising for Inuyasha and he soon began spacing off, staring off into the distance without actually seeing… petting the dog with no real concentration.
"You like puppies don't you, Inuyasha?" A laugh. "Of course you do, you're practically related."
Inuyasha frowned slightly, his thoughts taking him to memories that were best left alone. But for some reason he didn't seem able to attempt to interrupt them seriously.
"This one's a Labrador."
"Like the Andrex puppy?"
"But this one's black."
His eyes began falling half closed and his hand slowed their work on Bess' ears. Not that she seemed to care.
"You can stroke it if you want."
Inuyasha's hand ceased against Bess' ears altogether.
"Go on. It won't bite you."
"Go on. Stroke it."
A hand timidly reached out, touched the puppy's head between the ears, hesitantly skimming fur with fingers.
A gun hammer clicked back.
Inuyasha flinched heavily, the hand that had been petting Bess flew to his face, trying to wipe away the sickeningly warm blood. But when he drew his hand away there was nothing to be seen for it…
The beach slowly melted back into focus, and the ghost-like sensation of blood on his face and lips disappeared completely. He lowered his hand and blinked at Bess who blinked back at him, clearly confused as to why he'd stopped petting her. A small twinge of annoyance was enough to douse the shock of the flashback. Inuyasha's fingers curled into tightly clenched fists and he thumped one down in the ground, spraying Bess with sand.
The dog pranced away with a yelp.
"Go back home, Bess!" he commanded snappishly before drawing his knees to his chest and propping his chin on them, scowling heavily as he gazed off to sea.
He didn't need to turn and look to know that Bess was scuttling back up the steps as fast as her runt legs could carry her. He closed his eyes tightly and tried to think of something more positive, something that wouldn't make him shake like a leaf.
The only positive image his mind could conjure… was Kagome.
"What has she done to me…?"
AN: A thousand words less than usual… hmmm… sorry about this.