InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ Homeward Bound ( Chapter 28 )
Author's Notes: Am I the only one getting bombarded with viruses recently? That dooms virus has been going around like fire, I was sent thirty emails containing that virus yesterday. It's unbelievable. So, just to warn people - if you keep getting emails with 32k attachments that are titled 'test' 'hi' or 'hello' and are filled with gibberish DO NOT open the attachment, it's probably the virus.
If you already are infected with the virus… well… oops?
Kagome whirled around at the sound of her mother's voice. "Mom?!"
In an instant their conversation ended as Kagome scrambled to her feet and met the older woman halfway across the bedroom. Inuyasha watched in perplexed astonishment as they both fell into each other's open arms and began sobbing in synchrony. What the hell was going on?
Kikyo appeared in the doorway, slightly out of breath and her hair out of place. She beckoned to Inuyasha. "Detective Sano is here - he wants to talk to you."
Inuyasha got begrudgingly to his feet and started off towards the door. He wasn't sure how he felt about Kagome's mother being there… but then again, not knowing how he felt wasn't anything new. He intended to just walk straight past the embracing pair, and he would have succeeded had a stray hand not grabbed his shoulder.
"You!" Kagome's mother whirled on him, momentarily brushing her daughter aside.
Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Mrs Higurashi's hands were slowly reaching out, aiming for his neck in a stranglehold. By the door, Kikyo flinched, but was too far away to do anything. Kagome just watched blandly.
This is it, he thought, strangled to death by an overprotective fan girl's mother!
"Thank you so much!"
Mrs Higurashi's arms closed around his neck and the woman quickly began sobbing into his shoulder, just like she'd done with Kagome. Inuyasha remained stiff and unyielding in his shock. "What?" he wheezed.
"You saved my little girl - how can I ever repay you?!" Mrs Higurashi continued to sob.
Kagome's hands fisted against her hips. Inuyasha saw her brow tick lower behind her mother's back. "Excuse me, but if it wasn't for me he would never have been able to save me… I mean… you know what I mean."
Mrs Higurashi sniffed loudly. "What?" she looked vaguely at her daughter.
"I think she means that it was a joint effort." Inuyasha quickly sidled out of the woman's huggle range. "I couldn't have escaped without her, and she couldn't have escaped without me… yet I still seemed to be the one doing all the running…"
"Thank you for saving her!" Mrs Higurashi gushed all over again. "I was at my wit's end - no one could tell me where she was or what was happening to her! I've never been so distressed in my life!"
Something about the simple way she said that reminded Inuyasha of a conversation he'd held with Kagome the previous week. He cocked his head slightly in uncertainty as Kagome fell into her mother's embrace again, convincing her that she was safe and sound.
Wasn't this the woman who had been stuck in a car for six hours with her dead husband? How had she managed to say so flippantly that this was more distressing than the earthquake?
She'd talked about it…
"I'm ok now, Mom." Kagome leaned away from her teary-eyed mother. "We got back safely and we escaped before they could harm us in any way."
Kagome went babbling on to her mother about what it had been like. How she'd been left in that room for nearly a day before Inuyasha had gallantly arrived and all that. She was going into in-depth detail on the decorations of the junk room when Kikyo coughed loudly, getting Inuyasha's attention. He glanced over at her expectantly.
"Detective Sano?" she reminded, lifting an eyebrow.
"Right…" He spared one last glance at the chattering Kagome before following Kikyo out of the room.
Kikyo spoke to him over her shoulder as they made their way to the elevator. "Sano says that the police found the lakeside cabin you mentioned. The majority of the kidnappers had left… but he said that Jinko Aida was still there. So was Fushira Hashimoto's body."
"And what else did he say?" Inuyasha asked uneasily.
"Nothing. He just wants to talk to you now."
"How did you find out I was back so soon?" Kagome asked her mother, dragging her to sit on the bed. "How did you get here?"
"Well that nice boy, what was his name…? Miroku, I think. Well, he came over this morning to take me to a meeting with the police and Inuyasha's agent - but when I got here they told me you were back." She stroked Kagome's hair fondly. "Oh Kagome, I was so worried about you."
"I was a little scared, I suppose…" Kagome smiled encouragingly. "But I'm alright now."
"I know." Her mother nodded. "But I want you to come home with me today."
Kagome stared at her mother, not that her admission had surprised her or anything. "Come home?" she repeated slowly. "But I'm supposed to stay till tomorrow."
"It doesn't matter if you come home a day early, does it?" her mother reasoned. "I don't know, Kagome… I don't think I could bear to let you out of my sight for another night… I want you where I can keep an eye on you."
Kagome laughed a little. "Mom! This is the safest place I could be. If anyone was determined to kidnap me, then they'd have an easier job of doing it at home than here at the villa. Besides, the kidnappers have probably been caught by the police now, there's no point worrying-"
"That's exactly what you said last time we spoke." Her mother cut in with a good-natured smile. "You said that you were safe here and that there would be no more trouble because the perpetrator was captured. Then you got kidnapped."
"I know… but…"
Kagome looked at her lap. 'But' was all she had left to argue. "Oh Mom…" And she'd been so close to making a break-through with Inuyasha, too. That must have been the first time he'd opened up to someone in his life…
"Don't you want to come home?" He mother cocked her head, slightly confused and perhaps a little hurt.
Kagome quickly perked up for her mother's sake. "Oh no! I really do! I miss everyone and my friends and I'm kinda tired of being messed around by villains…" she trailed off as a sudden realisation dawned on her. "I guess… I guess I do want to go home. I don't… I suppose I don't feel comfortable here after what happened…"
Her mother smiled and put an arm around her shoulder. "Then we can go home today, Kagome." She told her gently. "Your friends are waiting at the Shrine. They're expecting you back and I think they intend to give you the Spanish inquisition when they see you."
Kagome's mouth twitched up in a slight smile as she stared off into space, but it was a hollow expression. She felt bad… bad for wanting to go home.
Why did that feel like she was betraying Inuyasha?
"Jinko Aida says that you killed Fushira Hashimoto."
Inuyasha planted his chin in his palm and stared at the detective across the desk. "She's right. I did." Beside him, Kikyo gave an irritated sigh. She'd told him not to give anything away to the detective, but he'd blown it within four words.
"How did this happen?" Detective Sano asked carefully.
Inuyasha had to admit that he liked Sano better than the previous detective. For one thing, this guy's face was the first friendly one he'd seen after those three hard months in '92, as well as the fact that his approach was a lot less accusing than the other detective's. Inuyasha felt no need to beat around the bush with him. "Fushira was about to find where I'd hidden Kagome. If he found her, he would have done something to her… whether he'd beat, maim, or kill, I don't know. But I didn't want to risk it, so I shot him."
"He was armed." Kikyo added quickly. "It was self-defence."
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "He wasn't armed. I practically shot him in the back!"
Detective Sano remained composed and calm despite the ferocity brewing between the superstar and his agent. "The bullet entry wounds were in his chest."
"He turned around just before I shot him."
"But you say you killed him defending Kagome Higurashi?" Sano pursed his lips as he jotted something down on his little notepad.
"Yeah… I suppose." Inuyasha shrugged.
Sano nodded. "Ok then." He sat in silence, making more notes.
Kikyo and Inuyasha exchanged nervous little glances before Kikyo leant forward slightly. "Ok then?" she echoed uncertainly.
Sano stopped and looked up at them with a closed expression. "Ok then… that's all I needed to know."
"Is he in trouble?" Kikyo asked sharply.
"Am I in trouble?" Inuyasha followed. "Because, you know, I didn't kill him in self-defence, and that usually means murder-"
"As far as I see it, Mr Inuyasha, you were acting as Kagome Higurashi's self-defence. That's practically the same thing. You aren't in trouble." Detective Sano said in such a dismissive manner that Inuyasha felt slightly cheated. "It's the same as any other circumstance. Say you had a gun aimed at a knife-wielding maniac who was going after a small child. Shooting that maniac for the sake of the child isn't murder."
"Yeah, but Fushira didn't have a knife, and Kagome wasn't a child!" Inuyasha argued.
Kikyo slapped his arm. "Do you want to go to prison?!"
Detective Sano waved a hand vaguely. "Circumstance. It's all black and white in the eyes of the law, Inuyasha. He was going after a defenceless person, you acted as their defence. Besides, no one actually feels sorry for Fushira Hashimoto…"
"Apart from Inuyasha, apparently." Kikyo said dryly, looking away.
"The courts will deal with it." Sano went on. "Jinko Aida has identified the other kidnappers and two have already been caught. The others are just a matter of time. There will be no court case - this is a simple matter. We have the evidence we need to prosecute and so far there has been no contradiction in who shot who. We'll take it from here."
The detective flipped his notebook shut and began to stand.
"That's it?" Inuyasha narrowed his eyes at the older man. "No problem? I just killed a man."
"Like I said, in the eyes of the law, your good deed balances out the bad deed. You're clear. Off the hook. Now just concentrate on recovering from the experience." Detective Sano gave a short nod of farewell before heading out the door of Kikyo's office.
Kikyo spared Inuyasha one last glance before hurrying out after him.
Inuyasha contemplated for a moment then shook his head slightly. He didn't know why… but Sano's flippant dismissal consoled him a little.
"All that worrying for nothing, huh…?" he muttered grumpily as he propped his feet on Kikyo's desk and leant back. "I can get away with fucking murder…"
His eyes slid to his boots and widened slightly. All the stomping around he'd done in the countryside that morning had caked his feet with mud… which was now being smeared in lovely streaks over Kikyo's papers.
He may have been able to get away with murder, but being able to escape Kikyo's wrath was something else entirely…
"Mr Sesshomaru, sir? What's the matter?" Rin's heels clipped across the marble floor as she approached her boss. He happened to be stretched out across the fainting couch in the middle of the extensive living room, which made it awkward for Rin to find a space to sit down next to him. She settled for seating herself just above his head. "Please tell me what's wrong."
"I'm having my afternoon nap, Rin." Sesshomaru dead-panned with his eyes closed. "Please leave me in peace to get on with my activity."
"But you seem upset, Mr Sesshomaru, sir." Rin pandered. "It's never good to go to sleep on an upset mind."
"That's 'It's never good to go to sleep on an empty stomach', Rin."
"That too. Do you want something to eat then?" she chirped pleasantly.
"Rin…" Sesshomaru cracked open his eyes to stare at the ceiling. "My wife is pregnant again. She has kicked me out of the house with three children that seem to be the collected reincarnation of Cerberus the Greek hound. She has, of course, retained my daughter, the most charming of my five children - soon to be six children - and left me to deal with triplets that I have supposedly psychologically damaged for the rest of their natural lives."
Rin just blinked at him.
Tilting his head, he looked her in the eyes. "Am I a bad parent?"
Rin seemed to find it hard to answer that question, much to Sesshomaru's annoyance. She 'um'ed and 'ah'ed for quite a while as his eyes narrowed a little more at each indecisive sound before she eventually perked upright. "Only slightly."
"You're a very controlling kind of father." Rin said, tapping her chin. "I think maybe the triplets would benefit from a little hands-off parenting."
"Hands-off parenting?" Should he be taking the advice of a girl who had barely been out of her teenage years long enough to call herself a woman? "What are you talking about? I'm a very relaxed parent."
"Well, maybe, but I think you could be more relaxed." Rin said, considering. "You're a good parent, but perhaps the reason why the triplets rebel so much is because you have them on such a tight leash."
It was the cleverest thing Rin had said to him so far. "Maybe you're right." He frowned.
"Maybe I am!" Rin sounded surprised. She stood up quickly. "Would you like something to eat?"
"No… you can just go back to accounting. Check if the shares have dropped any further." Sesshomaru told her.
"Ok!" Rin piped before she spun on her heel and clip-clopped her way out of the living room.
Sesshomaru cracked an eye open to watch her retreating figure before closing them again. Rin was a smart girl deep down.
Really, deep down.
It wasn't long before the patter of many smaller feet drew nearer. Sesshomaru mentally groaned, but did nothing.
"Hi, Dad!" Hiko said somewhere beside him.
Sesshomaru pretended to be asleep.
"Dad, do you know where we can find a blowtorch?" Mo asked. "We need to use one to cut Jiro's head off his pot."
There was a thump and a grunt. "Cut the pot off my head, moron!" Jiro's unmistakably muffled voice came after.
Sesshomaru ignored them, feigning a coma.
"Do you think he's faking a coma to get out of parenting?" Hiko asked his brothers.
"Maybe if we punch him a couple of times we'll know…" Mo pondered. "Do you remember if I'm left or right- handed?"
"Left!" Jiro crowed. "No… right!"
"He's ambidextrous, actually." Hiko said haughtily.
"Shut up, Hiko."
Sesshomaru sighed and rolled away from them. "Touch me and each one of you will die in cruel and unusual ways."
"Hey, Dad," Hiko pursued him. "Do you know where the blowtorch is?"
"Don't know, don't care." Sesshomaru said nonchalantly, aiming for the hands-off parenting that Rin had spoken about.
He was met by a stony silence before Mo stepped up to take the microphone. "Uncle Inuyasha wants to take us to a wet t-shirt contest. Can we go?"
Sesshomaru's hands tightened their grip on the cushion he rested against. "Sure. Wet t-shirts sound fun."
Another confused pause followed. Then Jiro shifted under his pot. "Has anyone seen my crack pipe?"
The cushion in Sesshomaru's hands ripped in half. Stuffing flew everywhere in a maelstrom as he surged upright and grabbed Jiro's pot handle. "What did you say?!" he barked.
The two triplets fortunate enough not to have any handles yipped slightly and skittered away. Jiro squeaked. "Nothing!"
There went his plan to be a hands-off parent. With a groan of disgust, he released Jiro's handle. "Go. All of you. Leave me in peace."
The triplets didn't need to be told twice and quickly scurried out of the room. Jiro only ran into two tables and a wall - lucky, considering how much of a hurry he was in. Sesshomaru sighed as he lay back down.
The feathers that had previously stuffed the cushion he'd mutilated now came floating down around him in a serene blanket.
"Maybe we need to talk to Jerry Springer…?" he wondered aloud
"Hey Kagome - you'll never guess what Sano just… said… to…" Inuyasha trailed off as skidded through Kagome's bedroom door. The door was open, giving him a full view of the suitcases lined up on the bed and the few piles of clothes that had been arranged around them.
Kagome appeared in her bathroom doorway with a couple of towels, but upon seeing him quickly threw them back into the bathroom. Obviously, they weren't complimentary. "Inuyasha!" she cried, flustered in her surprise.
"You're packing…" He entered the room, piecing it together quickly enough. "You're leaving?"
Kagome shifted uncertainly by the bathroom door. "Um… Mom wants me to come home with her… after what happened."
He frowned at the suitcases. "Can't you wait till tomorrow?"
"She doesn't want me to stay another night here." She rubbed her arm self-consciously.
"What about you? Do you want to go home?"
Kagome stared at him, as if torn on how to answer that. She slowly nodded and lowered her gaze to the floor. "I guess… I'm a bit homesick."
"Oh." Inuyasha reached out and ran a finger along the zipper of the suitcase. "Where's your mother?"
"Taking a tour around the villa with Miroku." Kagome told him quietly.
"Oh." Inuyasha said again. Not the most intelligent thing he had managed so far - he'd already said it twice now. "So you're really going?"
Kagome nodded again.
Before he had time to open his mouth and say 'Oh' again, Kagome's mother arrived in the doorway. "Hi dear," She smiled at her daughter and nodded at Inuyasha. "The limo's waiting. We'd better go."
Inuyasha started. "Wait - you're going now?" He frowned.
"Um… yeah…" Kagome quickly hurried around him as she haphazardly piled her clothes into the suitcases and jammed them shut with only a few minor fights. Inuyasha watched her, at a complete loss with himself.
"So soon?" He still couldn't bring anything wittier out of his mouth, could he?
"Yes." she answered, shortly, bluntly, and as if she was struggling to find intelligent words to use as well.
But we only just started to talk to each other…!
"I'm sorry." Kagome offered lamely, avoiding his eyes. She heaved up two of her suitcases and eyed the remaining suitcase uncertainly. Her mother had disappeared from the doorway again, leaving her with fewer hands to carry the luggage. Inuyasha picked up the last suitcase automatically, earning himself a small, quick, and uneasy smile from Kagome. "Thanks." she said and started for the door.
Inuyasha was still in a state similar to shock. Kagome was leaving. It was like a slap in the face. This was the last thing he'd expected to find happening upon their return from the kidnapping ordeal. Of course, the idea of Kagome's mother being worried about her daughter had never crossed his mind, even though he knew it probably should have.
"Are you sure you want to go so soon?" he called after her as they reluctantly traipsed down the hallway towards the staircase.
"Yes," She said, in that same way as before, as if she was about to say more but had bitten off her statement.
He helplessly trailed down the stairs after her, wondering what the heck he was supposed to say.
The stewards were waiting at the front door, ready to take Kagome's luggage and pack it away in the limo. Outside, Kagome's mother was conversing with both Sango and Miroku, but Kagome didn't go out to join them just yet. Instead she let the men take her luggage and hung back inside the doorway, slowly turning towards Inuyasha. She seemed to be working up the courage to say something.
""I guess this is goodbye." She offered eventually, inching her gaze up to his.
He considered. "I guess so…"
"Um…" She frowned suddenly. "This might be asking too much, but I have three friends at home who really wanted a souvenir of you. I didn't get a chance to ask you properly and now we're out of time…"
"Your friends?" He frowned back.
"Yeah. I told you about them, remember?" she chided. "Yuka, Eri and Ayumi."
"Oh yeah…" He thought for a moment before conceding. He unhooked his wristwatch and handed it to her. "That's for Yumi."
"Yuka." She corrected absently, handling the wristwatch in awe.
"Whatever." He unclasped the back of his necklace. "This is for Erika."
"And this…" He tugged off his solitary, solid gold earring and passed it to her. "… is for Ayame."
He smirked. "I know, I'm just messing."
Kagome gaped at him. "Are you sure you want to give me these? These must have cost a fortune!"
"They have no sentimental value." He shrugged. "Easily replaced. Don't worry about it." Then as an afterthought, he quickly slipped off one of his rings and passed it to her.
"I don't need this," She tried to pass it back. "I only have three friends."
"You poor, lonely thing."
She rolled her eyes. "I only need three souvenirs… nail clippings would have done! I don't want to rob you."
"Oh, relax." He waved her concern away. "I'm rich, remember… and that last one's for you."
"Oh…" Kagome's eyes widened as she regarded the ring in a new light. "Thank you…" she said, and she meant it.
Outside, her mother's voice could be heard. "Kagome! Come on, dear, we're going now."
"Coming!" Kagome called back, but didn't move. She stared at the silver ring in a brooding silence. It was solid, pure silver with the carved shape of a woman crawling along the rim. A small blue stone was cupped in the woman's hand which protruded slightly from the top. Not as expensive as the other gifts, but she knew it held more sentimental value than they did.
After all, she could have sworn that she'd seen this ring on the thumb of a certain female glamour model on the front cover of Vogue once.
It was his mother's.
She looked up at him searchingly. "Thank you." she said again with more feeling than before.
He smiled slightly. "Don't lose it, yeah?"
She nodded slowly, ignoring her mother's call. She was too trapped in Inuyasha's gaze to really be aware of anything else. This was why she'd found it so hard meeting his intense gaze earlier… she knew that once she was snared, she would just be stuck gazing up at him forever. This was probably how every other fan girl felt whenever they saw him…
Fortunately, she found the only way to break it. Listlessly, she stepped forward and circled her arms around his neck. It didn't feel as awkward as she'd always imagined it would. It felt natural and when he reciprocated the embrace, she felt safe and at home. "Take care of yourself." she told him, breathing in his warmth.
"If you get kidnapped, you're on your own." he warned.
"Understood." She squeezed him one last time and leant back with a smile. "I can officially say I don't hate you anymore. After all we've been through, value you as a friend."
"You sound so stupid." But he laughed and released her. "Ok, I admit. I can just about tolerate you too."
She smiled and took a step towards the door. "Goodbye then."
"Yeah… take care." He smiled back, but it felt false.
Her smile broke into a grin and she waved cheerfully as she ran down the steps to where her mother was waiting. Inuyasha watched as she embraced her mother and Sango happily (she shook hands with Miroku in a rather formal manner) before climbing into the limo. She waved one last time, making Inuyasha automatically wave back. But then the limo door was shut and she disappeared from view.
So. That was the last of Kagome Higurashi, eh?
The limo peeled away from the steps as Sango and Miroku waved enthusiastically at its departure. Miroku was the first to give in and head back up the steps while Sango stayed behind, still waving and calling. As he passed Inuyasha, he paused and glanced back at the retreating limo, then at Inuyasha.
"Dude…" he said, shaking his head. "You should have kissed her."
"I don't know where you got the notion that he was rude and egotistical, Kagome." her mother said as she peered back at the shrinking villa behind them. "He seemed quite nice to me. And he gave your friends some lovely presents."
Kagome sighed and smiled. She somehow felt that perhaps her mother was a bit quick to judge him. After all, she hadn't seen what he was like a week earlier. Granted, he hadn't changed that much, but at least he didn't openly detest her anymore.
Somehow, she felt that she hadn't seen the last of Inuyasha…
A theory that was confirmed when she spotted his oh-so - painfully perfect face in the window of a perfume shop. It was black and white, styled photography, and definitely Inuyasha. She smiled slightly as they turned a corner and she lost sight of the poster. Well… at least he'd been telling the truth when he'd said he ran his own brand of cologne.
Just as her mother had said, her three friends were waiting for her at the top of the shrine steps the moment she stepped out of the limo. They came racing down the steps in a gaggle when they saw her.
"Kagome! You're alive!"
"Kagome! You're safe!"
"Kagome?! Did you get his hair like I asked?!""
It was all a bit of a mad blur from there. Kagome was pleased to know that her friends had also been incredibly worried about her and reassured them repeatedly that she was fine. They shepherded her up the stairs, gushing every step of the way. "Are you ok?" "Did they hurt you?" "What happened?" "Tell us everything!"
"I'm fine, we got out safely and I'm fine! I'm here, aren't I?" she reassured her friends. "Look, I got you guys some souvenirs!"
Their distress was instantly forgotten as they reached the top step. "Oh really?" Eri blinked. "What did you get?"
"Wait a moment…" She dug around in her shoulder bag, searching for the gifts she'd been given. The silver ring was firmly planted on her own thumb, but they didn't seem to have noticed it yet. "Ahah!" She produced the wristwatch. "This one is for Yuka."
"Wow…" Yuka gasped as she took the watch. "Is it his?"
Kagome nodded as she handed Eri the male jewellery and Ayumi the gold earring. "All his, right off his body."
All three of them cooed and promptly tried on the gifts. Granted, the wristwatch was a bit big on Yuka, the male jewellery was a little too masculine for Eri's throat, and the solitary earring looked very lonely in Ayumi's ear. But they all looked very appreciative anyway.
"And…" Kagome rummaged around her bag again. "I got something else too." She whipped out three pairs of briefs. "Tadaa!"
Her friends collectively sucked in a gasp. Ayumi grabbed Eri's arm for support "Are those Inuyasha's underwear?!" she whispered urgently.
"Yep." Kagome grinned. "Swiped them from his room when he was swimming in the pool."
The girls started reaching for a pair each until Yuka held up her hands. "Wait! Wait!" She brought her friends to a halt. "Kagome… they've been washed, haven't they?"
Kagome rolled her eyes. "Yes, they're from his drawers. I'm not a total perv."
To her surprise, her friends deflated with a sad chorus of sighs. "Damn…" Eri muttered miserably. "I bet I could have sold a worn pair for a million on E-bay…"
AN: Is this the end? (quick - whip out the violins) This is far from over, don't worry ^__^