InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ Lost ( Chapter 23 )

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

Author's Notes: We have a mouse infestation here at the barn where I'm living for now… I kinda think they're cute and they remind me of my recently deceased hamster, but they're eating my bananas! They have to go! So we got a few traps and poison for them… but I'm an idiot and have already sprung three snap traps on myself today… ¬_¬ So two bruised thumbs, one sliced up finger, a new hole in my ear and stomach cramps from eating too many bananas… it's a wonder I've managed to update at all! ^_^;;

Anyway, if author alerts defeat you (I know they do me) I have a new mailing list that you might like to try instead. You can find it at "rosefire.notifylist.com" Just sign up and begin receiving email notification when I update ^_^ Simple, huh? (So simple in fact that it took Rose until now to figure it out ^_^;;)

Oh and those of you who wanted to know about 1992… this is your chapter.

Dead Famous

Chapter 23

Lost

"I don't believe how much shit we've just found ourselves in…" Kikyo wasn't the kind of woman who would normally be found swearing, but even she was beginning to feel the strain of their situation. She leafed through the statements written on the papers in her hands to remind herself of what she was going to say, but she was focused more on the humming sound of conversation in the press room beyond that door. It sounded like a swarm of angry bees.

Kagome Higurashi had been kidnapped by a band of masked men in the middle of the night… and the public wanted answers.

"Just remember what I wrote and we'll be fine." Miroku told her and she shot him an icy glare. He may have written all the lines on the papers she was holding, but he wasn't the one who had to face down a flock of angry, demanding reporters. Granted, she knew how their minds worked, but it was taking all her calm self-control to keep her from breaking out in a cold sweat.

"We're screwed…" she muttered to herself. "We're so screwed… I don't believe we let this happen."

"There's no point stressing it," Miroku told her grimly, pushing the door open slightly to survey the scene within. He looked pained when he let it fall close again. "It's out of our hands now, we can't do anything except answer questions. It's the police who have to find her."

"If anything bad happens to her Miroku-"

"Look, if Jinko Aida was the one behind it like we keep saying," Miroku cut her off, "Then why would she be after Kagome? That girl isn't involved in our affairs, so why go after her and not Inuyasha? Kagome isn't the one she wants… I think she's safe for now."

"For now." Kikyo said coldly. "Wait till Inuyasha does something insanely stupid."

They stood in awkward quiet for a few seconds, both accessing the situation from their separate point of views. Kikyo suddenly shook her head with an annoyed grimace. "Let's just get this over with." She announced more to herself before barging past Miroku and through the press room door.

The moment she entered there was a flash of cameras in her direction from the gathered reporters. She ignored it and headed to the table at the head of the room to sit down to make her press statement. She arranged herself primly in her no-nonsense way as she directed her gaze to the lines before her. "Ladies and Gentleman… it is my grave duty to confirm that Kagome Higurashi was taken from the Inuyasha property last night. The abduction was sudden and shocking. We are all shaken by these unexpected turn of events. The police have already launched their investigation into finding Kagome Higurashi and the perpetrators who have taken her. There is no news yet to her whereabouts, but we are hopeful. It is still too early to clarify much more." Kikyo paused and glanced up. "I will now take your questions."

Hands shot up. Kikyo carefully selected one of the more docile looking reporters at the front. "You with the moustache."

He stood up. "Daily Beagle. Miss Kikyo, why did the Inuyasha residence security measures fail Kagome Higurashi in her time of need? How was it that a fifteen year old school girl was kidnapped from one of the most secure facilities in this country?"

Kikyo inwardly bristled. "There was a power cut shortly before the abduction. It was a highly organised stealth attack which we could not predict. These people have obviously been planning to take Kagome Higurashi."

There was a shocked murmur that made Kikyo frown. Of course they're been planning on taking Kagome! Why else would they have entered the villa to kidnap her? What was so shocking about that?

Another reporter stood up. "Miss Kikyo, is there any idea as to who may have taken Kagome Higurashi?"

Yes. Many, many ideas. Inuyasha had a lot of enemies… not that the public was going to be let in on that little secret. "No. As of yet we don't know who had the motive to take Kagome."

The interview continued and Kikyo's patience grew thinner as she grew wearier and wearier.

"How has the girl's parents taken the news?"

"I have not directly spoken to Kagome's family, but I am sure they are as shocked and desolated as we are."

"Why weren't the kidnappers pursued if they were seen entering and leaving the premises?"

"They used a boat. Water leaves no tracks for us to follow so we were unable to trace their steps."

And lastly… "What has Inuyasha to say about this kidnapping?"

Kikyo stopped for a moment, thinking hard for a way to answer that sensibly. Although… she could always tell the truth. "Inuyasha is more distraught than any of us. He has taken this as a personal attack and blames only himself for Kagome's loss."

A gentle murmur of 'aw' could be heard. Kikyo lowered her gaze briefly to the table in front of her, trying to hide her cynical expression. It didn't take much to have these guys eating out of Inuyasha's hand.

After that Kikyo didn't take any more questions and quickly made her closing statement. "Make no mistake that we are making every effort to locate Kagome Higurashi and expending every resource in our grasp. The people who have committed this perverse crime will pay dearly and we will find Kagome Higurashi."

~*~

"…and we will find Kagome Higurashi."

"Yeah, good luck with that."

Inuyasha took another swig of the beer in his hand and kicked his feet in an absent rhythm against the sea wall. The electronic shop opposite had at least ten television sets in the window, three of which were tuned to the twenty-four hour news channel that just happened to be broadcasting a press interview with his agent. The volume was low but that presented no problem for his sharp ears.

A young teenage girl slowed down as she walked past him on the side-walk. She stared in a dumb-founded way and he simply glared back. "What are you looking at?" he snapped at her. "Haven't you ever seen a superstar wannabe hanging out on a street corner before?"

She sped up, looking indignant.

"That's right! I'm a mean drunk too!" he yelled after her.

As soon as she was out of sight he chuckled and brought the beer bottle to his lips again. He stopped laughing instantly when he realised the bottle was no empty. "Oh crap." He muttered to himself, turning it upside down and shaking it as if that would produce more alcohol. When he discovered that was pretty unproductive he grunted and tossed the bottle over his shoulder and down the other side of the sea wall. He noted the clear smash as it hit the rocks below with a twinge of satisfaction.

But now he was out of beer.

That nicotine depravation was beginning to weigh on him too… he'd been out of nicotine patches for five hours now.

His salvation came in the form of a rather burly middle-aged man coming down the street towards him lighting his very own cigarette. Inuyasha trained a keen eye on him and hopped off the wall, moving to intercept him.

Perhaps he was due to quit some other time. Perhaps a time when his stress levels were at a minimum.

"Hey you!" Inuyasha called out to him.

The middle-aged man looked up, recognition flickered there on his face. "Hey, aren't you-"

"Yeah I get that a lot." Inuyasha cut him off rudely, earning himself a rather suspicious frown. "You gave any more of those smokes?"

"Get lost, kid." The man pushed past him roughly. Inuyasha stumbled slightly (mostly because he was nearing the 'completely plastered' stage of soberness) but as he brushed against the man he made sure to sweep a hand discreetly across the bulging pocket of his jacket, lifting the goods with no fuss.

He straightened after the man had finished shoving him and was walking away speedily, grumbling about punk kids with bad habits. Inuyasha paid him no mind as he quickly shook one of the cigarettes loose and plucked one of the matches out of the little card packet. One scrape along the rough surface of the sea wall and the match burst into flame.

"Sweet merciful…" He sighed contentedly as poisonous, life-threatening smoke filled his lungs. He parted from the innocent white stick long enough to eye it carefully. Kagome would have a few things to say to him if she saw him doing this… He scoffed and rolled his eyes as he leant back against the wall again. "Little chance of that happening."

The cigarette ran down far too quickly for Inuyasha's taste and he flicked it away over the wall when it was down to a mere stub. He began drawing another one, but hesitated… he really shouldn't keep going, he was trying to quit after all. But another part of him was quietly reminding him that perhaps a better time to quit would be after Kagome went ho-

He cut off that train of thought sharply and drew the next cigarette out completely. Another match and a moment later he was resting his elbows on the wall and gazing out to sea through hooded eyes. The lit cigarette hung limply between his fingers, neglected.

Inuyasha sighed and closed his eyes. "I could have saved her…"

Sharp, angry footsteps were returning from his left. He didn't need to look up to know that the burly middle-aged man he'd just pick-pocketed was coming back with a vengeance. It wasn't long before Inuyasha felt an angry finger tapping against his shoulder.

"Yeah, what?" Inuyasha demanded curtly.

"You stole my fags." There was a terrible sense of foreboding in that tone that Inuyasha didn't miss.

But even then he ignored it. Instead he took a drag of his cigarette and let the smoke out slowly. "What makes you think that?" he patronised.

The hand that had tapped his shoulder now forcefully gripped it inside, spinning him around with one jolting movement. Before Inuyasha could even make heads or tails of situation he was slugged in the face by a big meaty fist.

"That'll teach you for stealing other people's belongings!" the man lectured as Inuyasha sprawled back against the wall from the sheer force of the blow. Fortunately his face and senses were pretty much intact, but if that had been on his human night…

"You hit me!" He accused hotly.

"You stole from me!"

"Don't you know who I am?!" Inuyasha demanded.

"Couldn't care less!"

That did it. Without even bothering to roll his sleeves up Inuyasha lashed out as hard as necessary. It was enough to send the man crashing to the floor and remain conscious long enough to utter: "Aw shit… you are him…!" Before passing out completely.

"I am not to be messed with today!" Inuyasha snapped back.

Across the street there were already a few onlookers staring at Inuyasha and the unconscious man in shock, either they recognised him or they didn't, Inuyasha didn't particularly care which. He flipped his hair over his shoulder vainly and shoved the cigarettes and matches into his pocket. He's save them for later - right then it was probably best to get out of there before someone called the police.

The cops snooping around him again was the last thing he needed right then.

Once again, as he wandered down the road running alongside the sea wall, he found himself brooding on what had happened the night before. If he'd been just that little bit quicker could he have gotten to Kagome and saved her? If he'd gone straight to the balcony instead of the bathroom would he have been able to make it down to the beach in time to catch the boat?

Maybe he should have swam after them regardless. He hadn't heard any engine… but what if they'd just turned it off and had been sitting only a hundred metres away in the darkness while he'd floundered on the shore?

And where was she now…?

Inuyasha could barely drag his grounded gaze from the paving stones of the path. He'd let her down… he could have done something at least but he'd let her down, like he let everyone down.

She was just a school-girl… fifteen years old and about as innocent as they came. But she'd only lasted a week in his tainted presence before she'd fallen victim to all the ills that surrounded him. She hadn't deserved it… she should have just gone home and forgotten about him and the villa. At least that way one of them would have survived…

That old pier walk was beginning to look mighty interesting these days…

"Excuse me, do you have the time?"

He dragged his eyes off the pavement long enough to look up at an approaching girl… woman, he couldn't decide which. Peroxide blonde… he could smell it coming a mile off. She wore concealing shades and a pale lipstick…

She was familiar.

He shook off the déjà vu feeling and stopped beside her, lifting his own wrist to regard his watch. "It's nearly half past eleven." He shrugged then added, "Thursday."

"Oh dear," the young woman worried her lip. "I think my watch is slow… I have a job interview in half an hour and I have to be prompt, do you mind if I sync my watch to yours?"

On a normal day this would have been a very opportune moment to score. But right then he was hassled and this whole interruption was beginning to irritate him. He held on admirably. "Sure, whatever."

"I'm sorry, my nails are too long - do you mind winding it for me?" she offered her wrist.

He avoided telling her to go to hell and simply shrugged as he took her wrist and twisted the wristwatch button to line the time to match his own watch. He did it quickly and efficiently, ready to get going and get back to his broody thoughts. "There, you won't be late now."

"Thank you." She smiled gracefully and reached into the black handbag that rested on her shoulder. It was such a casual movement that Inuyasha simply didn't notice what she was doing until it was too late. A white canister was produced and she began raising it towards Inuyasha whilst covering her mouth. It still didn't click what she was doing until suddenly a bitter smelling vapour was sprayed into his face.

"What the-!" he backed away sharply. The vapour stung his eyes and invaded his lungs in one quick, alarmed intake of breath.

His lungs screamed instantly, like tiny pins were pricking the airways inside him. For some reason he couldn't draw in enough air, as his breaths became shallower and raspier. Vision blurred as his body became numb and he had no choice but to slump to his knees as agonising weakness spread through every cell of his body.

With the last shred of his strength he looked up at his attacker, wondering how of all days it had been this day that fate had chosen for an enemy to finally catch him unprepared. But then she took those dark glasses off and looked down at him with those cold black eyes, a look completed with that down-turned quirk of her lips and the three perfectly aligned scars that raked from her hairline to her left eye.

"Jin…" he gasped as vision failed him completely and he collapsed onto the hard ground.

Consciousness remained long enough for him to hear the screech of tyres nearby, but after that he knew nothing.

~*~

"A celebrity… is fame divorced from accomplishment. Once your personality becomes larger than any performance that you can give, you have painted yourself into a corner. So he is, in effect, the tackiest celebrity gracing our earth."

Kagome rolled her eyes at the 'professional' analyst 'gracing' the radio with his blunt views on the nation's most favourite teenage boy. She'd never noticed how many people slagged Inuyasha off every day. Before she would have whole-heartedly agreed with the guy on the radio, but now she was trying to be a little more open-minded about the whole thing.

The handcuffs clinked behind her against the metal pole she'd been cuffed to as she shifted slightly to look out of the window. It was an old window with wooden slats crossing it in a grid. The glass was smashed up in various places and dirty from god only knew how many years the building had been standing. She had no idea where she was, but beyond that window she could just about make out the tops of the green trees meaning she was either in or around a park of some description or even in a more rural area altogether.

Strong sunlight was streaming through the broken panes of glass so she eventually had to tear her gaze away, back to the room she'd been left in. It looked like someone's garage, full of junk of all kinds and an old rusty radio that had been left on for her benefit… but all she'd heard since she'd woken up was news that a girl named Kagome Higurashi had been kidnapped from Inuyasha's villa on the coast.

"So I hear Kagome Higurashi got kidnapped as well, huh?!" Kagome had often been calling out, wondering if anyone was in the other rooms of the building to hear her. "Who would have thought that she'd be kidnapped right at the same time as little old me - from the same place and all!"

It was a pretty lame attempt to convince her kidnappers that she wasn't who they wanted… but she was willing and desperate enough to try anything at that point. She was half relieved that she'd not seen anyone yet, but still mildly perturbed. What if she'd been abandoned here and was destined to starve and die while the country looked for her?

Kagome let out another sigh as she shifted her legs, trying to keep them from cramping up beneath her. Once more she jangled her cuffs again to test them and the pole, but both held strong. She was absolutely stuck.

The kidnapping had taken place so fast that she hadn't even had a chance to change out of her pyjamas. The minute she'd closed the door to her room with fruit juice in hand, a nasty smelling cloth had been clamped over her nose and mouth. She'd passed out not long after that.

Strangely enough, there was a neat pile of fresh clothes lying nearby, but she could neither reach them or get them on even if she could. She glanced at them disdainfully again… looked like teeny bopper clothes anyway…

Kagome directed her attention around the room again since there really was nothing else better to do. Apart from the radio, she mildly noted the rest of the junk. An old and broken electric guitar, a couple of discarded picture frames, a few bottles of hydrogen peroxide, empty water bottles under one of several torn chairs. The floor was hard grey concrete, covered in the odd patch of red or white paint.

Kagome eyed those water bottles with longing. "Hello?!" she called again at the top of her lungs. "Is anyone there? I'm a bit thirsty! I wouldn't mind a drink!"

No one answered her calls.

I wonder if the people who kidnapped me are connected to what happened yesterday… Kagome worried her lip between her teeth. Perhaps this Jinko Aida was behind it all? Chances were that this was all connected with Kouga's attempted murder and the bomb in Inuyasha's bedroom and undoubtedly the murder she'd witnessed the day before.

Another sigh escaped Kagome's lips and she wriggled restlessly. Perhaps if she'd watched a few more episodes of MacGyver and she would have been able to find her way out of there with little more than that pencil and that piece of gum stuck to the underside of that chair.

A distant sound interrupted Kagome's contemplations and she quickly went still as she strained to listen. The sound got closer until she realised that it was footsteps lumbering up a staircase somewhere beyond that door opposite her. From the sound of it, it was a very fat person, or someone carrying a heavy burden.

Kagome shifted nervously, not knowing what to think as the footsteps shuffled closed to the door until a shadow fell across the gap of light at the bottom of the door.

"Get him inside." A muffled female voice ordered.

The door lurched open suddenly and Kagome jumped at the suddenness of it. Through it trundled a man dressed in black, walking backward and dragging someone either dead or unconscious behind him. Kagome need only catch one glimpse of those long, soft white tresses to know who it was.

Oh no - they got Inuyasha too?! She strained forward, trying to catch a glimpse of that man's face… but he was wearing a balaclava and so learned nothing useful. The woman she'd heard was gone.

Inuyasha was hauled across the floor towards Kagome and as he drew closer she realised he wasn't completely unconscious as he was already stirring sleepily as he was moved.

"Who are you?" Kagome demanded of the man as he began cuffing Inuyasha to the poll beside her. "Why are you doing this to us?"

"Him, we're doing this to him." The man jabbed a gloved finger at the Hanyou who muttered something incomprehensible in his sleep. "You were just bait to draw him out."

This put Kagome right back in her place. She scowled deeply. "Then why not just let me go?" Not that she'd take the offer and leave Inuyasha to rot now that he'd arrived.

"You might tell the police where to find us." The man pointed out as he stood after checking the cuffs were secure around Inuyasha's wrists.

Kagome watched him suspiciously as he began moving towards the door. "Are you… are you Fushira Hashimoto? The man who killed Inuyasha's parents?"

The man glared back at her through the eyeholes in his balaclava with his hand on the door handle. He didn't reply, instead he jammed the handle down and stormed out like she'd grievously offended him, slamming the door in his wake.

"Probably was him…" she muttered to herself. She wasn't sure how she felt about that…

Now what about Inuyasha? Kagome shuffled around to face him and leaned over as far as the cuffs would allow. He seemed to be in the middle of a vaguely fitful dream, but not matter how many times she called his name and kicked him, he remained unconscious.

Yet another depressed sigh escaped her mouth… what the heck was going on? Who were their kidnappers? Why did they want Inuyasha?

"Inuyasha…" she hissed, kneeing him in the thigh. "Inuyasha - wake up!" If she could just free her hands she would try and shake him.

But fortunately there was at least some luck on her side…

"Mm…" Inuyasha stirred more promisingly and Kagome quickly twisted her fingers in his jacket sleeve - the only part of him she could really reach. "Kagome's gone again…"

"No, no!" She whispered to him quickly. "I'm right here! Look at me!"

He took another moment or two to rouse himself completely before blinking up blearily at her. "Kagome… what are you doing here? I thought you got kidnapped…"

"I did, but so did you apparently." She told him, wondering how hard they must have hit him to make him this dull-minded.

"Oh…" he dropped his head back down and smiled slightly. "This is so embarrassing…"

"We have to get out of here." Kagome told him, knowing she was stating the obvious. "I don't know who they are or what they want… they probably intend to hold us to ransom or-"

"They won't." Inuyasha interrupted.

Kagome flicked a frown at him. "What?"

"They won't hold us to ransom." Inuyasha clarified sleepily, still with his eyes closed peacefully.

Kagome was beginning to get vaguely annoyed at his distant attitude, no matter how concussed he might be. "How would you know?" she criticised. "I've been here longer than you, I know-"

"They won't hold us to ransom." He cut her off again. "They won't tell anyone where we are… for as long as they can hide us. Could be two days… could be two years."

A chill worked its way up Kagome's spine. "We have to get out of here…"

He opened his eyes a crack, still looking as incoherent as when he'd arrived. "Until they stop shoving drugs down my throat you're the one who has to figure it out…"

"Figure what out?" she snapped, getting antsy and scared.

"A way to eh…" he yawned widely. "…to escape."

Kagome stared at him intently, a tingling sense of doom and fear already bringing out Goosebumps along her cold arms. "Inuyasha…" she whispered, almost inaudibly. "You know what's going to happen to us don't you…" Kagome nearly wanted to cry as all the missing pieces to the puzzle were finally slotting into place.

She wasn't sure she wanted to know…

Inuyasha gave another sleepy little sound in the back of his throat as he closed his eyes again. "They're going to break your arms… pull out your teeth and bend back your nails. They're going to shoot you in the legs so you can't run away and dope you up with so much horse tranquilliser you'll be hard pressed to remember your name… then they'll play mind games with you as if physical torture wasn't enough…"

Kagome stared at him, her breathing getting more and more unsteady.

"Although…" he opened his eyes to look directly at her. No matter how 'doped' up he was he could still express his trademark hard eyes and closed expression. "Maybe they'll spare you because you're human… you're not really involved anyway."

A small hope Kagome was going to cling onto… she began looking around more methodically for some sort of device to help them escape. With all the junk in that room then surely there was something they could use…

"Although…" Inuyasha rolled his head back to the floor and closed his eyes. "If they could do it to a six year old I don't think they'd have much trouble torturing a fifteen year old girl either…"

Kagome stared at him with a growing sense of terror. "What?" she breathed.

"Sorry…" he gave a very small shrug of one shoulder. "Looks like it's going to be one of those years…"

AN: If anyone goes "Huh? When are you going to let us know what happened in '92?", I strangle them with my socks. ^__^

Chapter 22
Chapter 24

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