InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Dead Famous ❯ A Cyan Stone ( Chapter 31 )

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

Author's Notes: Back again (with another ramble)! My cold's gone so I'm ready to set myself a hard challenge: Finish Dead Famous and Bottled Genius AND Life Exchange before April 2nd when I'll be going to Arizona and then moving house the week I get back. So basically there's going to be a heck of a long gap in updates come April so I want to get all the nearly finished fics finished.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the other fics like Rules of Acquisition or Autumn Bane or… that other one I can't remember right now. But let's be realistic. I'm not going to be able to write an entire story in one month, but if I put my mind to it, maybe I can fight my way past that terrible writer's block that's stopping the last few chapters of the other stories from being written.

And yes, the picture currently on my bio is a fanart of Dead Famous - of this chapter in particular actually. And since someone brought it up in the reviews I might as well add that mediaminer.org made me featured artist of the week! Yay! But why?! Still - yay!!

*gets tackled and strangled by various reader's socks*

Readers: Stop gloating and get on with the damn story!!

*cough* Hey! Some of those weren't clean! Anyway… please don't hold this chapter against me. ^_^;; I get so many complaints of doing mean cliff-hangers that I finally decided to just get off my arse and give you guys a real biter of a cliffy.

It's all for the sake of having our emotions manipulated… but at least you guys now have my permission to freely use the correct term of "Evil Cliffy".

Dead Famous

Chapter 31

A Cyan Stone

"Did Kagome come by here?"

"You've lost her again, eh?" Miroku drew up a hand to stifle a yawn. While his job was highly-paid, it could be awfully dull when forced to sit by the front door while everyone else had fun inside. Somehow, he got the odd feeling that Sango had put him up to this, just to keep him from having too much fun with everyone else - or just everyone else who happened to be female. "I haven't seen her."

"Damn…" Inuyasha sighed and leant his arm against the doorway. "Why the hell is she so damn mad…?"

Miroku blinked sleepily into the night. "Can I have a pay raise?"

"Not till you're thirty-five."

"Hey - last year you said I could get one when I was twenty-one! Pay up already!"

"Just keep an eye on things. If Kagome comes by, don't let her out of your sight." Inuyasha grumbled that last order as he disappeared back inside.

Miroku pursed his lips, already knowing he would let Kagome go wherever the heck she wanted if she turned up. No one refused Miroku a pay raise and got away with it.

Mind-numbing boredom eventually crept over him to the point where he resorted to doodling hang-man pictures beside the names on the guest list. It was a total coincidence that the dead man happened to have pointy, little doggy ears and lots of hair.

A limo pulled up, evidently late. Miroku lifted his head eagerly, hoping with all his might that this was Jacky Tai pulling up to the steps; the woman of his dreams.

But the person who stepped out was a man.

With a sigh, Miroku flipped back the pages of the guest list and rose from his seat as the young man came trotting up the steps. Well… possibly a man… he looked very feminine.

"Name?" Miroku asked as he approached.

"Jacky Tai."

Miroku's jaw dropped. "W-what did you say?"

The young man blinked. "Jacky Tai?"

"You're Jacky Tai?"

The young man blinked a second time. "Yes?"

A small groan of bitter disappointment escaped Miroku's lips. "Oh… crap! She was right! Why can't anything ever go right for me?!" He looked at the guest appealingly. "Your name isn't really Jacky, is it? That's a girl's name!"

"Well, it's short for Jakotsu, I suppose." Jacky pouted his lips slightly. "I changed it a couple of years ago. You seem upset… is anything wrong?"

"Only the fact that I thought you were the perfect woman for me." Miroku said flatly.

"Oh." Jakotsu looked thoughtful, then beamed. "Never mind!"

Miroku watched him flounce past into the villa before suddenly straightening. A new hope had formed. "Wait!" Jacky Tai stopped and looked around at him expectantly. "You're at least gay, right?"

At this Jakotsu frowned slightly. "Actually… yes." He turned completely, attaining a coy expression. "Why… are you?"

Miroku opened his mouth to respond enthusiastically before his voice died on him. With a sigh, his face fell and he slumped back into his chair. "No…" he muttered reluctantly, remembering that he wasn't quite as gay as Sango liked to say he was.

Cé la vie.

~*~

Kagome huffed as she finally managed to escape the elevator. It had been crammed to the seams with people (most of them quite wide and taking up a lot of breathing space for Kagome). No sooner had she stumbled out then she was cast into another crowd of guests.

There was just no escape from it all.

Maybe she was unconsciously claustrophobic, but had never realised it until she'd been thrust head-first into a jungle of semi-famous to extraordinarily famous people. She was beginning to find it increasingly difficult to take deep, calming breaths. Stray limbs kept hitting her in the side, in the face or the back of her head. No one really saw or noticed her. Maybe if they stopped to actually look, they would realise who she was, but at first glance she was just as insignificant as anyone else who wasn't famous or rich.

This place wasn't for her… why had she even come back here in the first place?

Kagome needed out. She was tired of politely saying "excuse me" to get through the throngs of people milling around the corridors. Instead, her frayed nerves were getting the better of her. She was resorting to pushing her way forcefully through the crowds, not sparing much thought to the indignant sounds from the people she pushed a little too hard. She didn't know where she was. She didn't know how to reach the front door.

"Kagome?!"

This was the last thing she needed. Up ahead, she saw him moving through the crowd in her general direction… but he hadn't seen her yet. It was easier for him to move since the moment people saw him they parted for him like red sea for Moses. Kagome silently cursed her bad luck and changed trajectory, stumbling her way through the stationary guests to the nearest staircase.

"Kagome?! Where is she?!"

A hush fell over the crowd, as often there was when the guests realised they were in the presence of greatness - the greatness being Inuyasha, of course. So naturally, as the guest's attention gradually shifted to Inuyasha's presence, the one person in the entire corridor who was making a fast beeline for the stairs was suddenly very visible.

Inuyasha spotted her. "Kagome! Stop right there!"

His path to Kagome was hindered slightly…

"Inuyasha, won't you check out Seki's tattoo?"

"Inuyasha, can you sign my breasts?"

"Kagome - don't you dare go down those stairs!"

Kagome ignored him, pushing people harder in her desperation to disappear. But at the same time, the guests were closing in on Inuyasha, preventing him from getting to her without having to resort to the same rough means as Kagome. He was helpless, which was exactly what Kagome needed.

Without even a backward glance, she hurried down the stairs, aiming straight for the front door. There were only a few guests hovering around the entrance hall, and as a result the air seemed much cooler and fresher. Kagome would have just gone straight through the door had she not spotted a rather intense argument going on between Miroku and Kikyo, right in the doorway. There was no way she would get round those two, no matter how oblivious they were to their surroundings.

With a vaguely frustrated sigh, she spun on her heel and headed to the only other place she knew would be devoid of people.

The kitchens.

~*~

"How could you let this happen?!"

"YOU wrote the guest list - I should be asking you the same question!"

"KOJIN!" Kikyo snapped as she snatched the guest list off the temporary bouncer and jabbing a finger at the name. "ADIA! Say it backwards, Miroku!"

"I get your point already!" Miroku huffed angrily, already unnerved and slightly disorientated. "What the hell is Jinko Aida doing on the guest list anyway, anagram or not?"

"That's what I'd like to know." Kikyo sighed heavily, running a hand through her bangs. "It was kind of obvious though - why did you let her through?"

"I have no idea what she looks like! Besides, it's not like I was expecting her to show up. Isn't she supposed to be with the police?" Miroku hissed in an irritable tone.

"As far as I know."

"What are you doing putting her on the list anyway?"

"I didn't put her on the list, you moron!" Kikyo snapped back, slapping the guest list down onto the chair Miroku had previously been sitting on. "Well, you know what this means. She's planning to pull something tonight, and we can't let that happen. I'm calling the police."

"Shouldn't we warn the guests about this?" Miroku asked, shifting his stance slightly.

Kikyo glanced briefly inside the entrance of the hall, scanning over the guests before her. None matched Jinko Aida's description… "No, I don't think we should do that. It might panic people and we don't need to make a disaster of this night - at least not any more than it already is."

"Jeez… you act like it's the end of the world." Miroku said dryly, diverting his gaze.

"You can leave the doors. Go find the person who you let in - the one calling herself Kojin. When you find her; apprehend her. In the mean time I'll wait for the police to arrive."

"Good luck. It's Saturday night - they're all down at the doughnut shop."

Kikyo's heel snapped against the floor in a flare of anger. "Get going!"

She really did have the most appalling people skills at times, no matter how she boasted to be able to talk her way out of any situation. Miroku simply rolled his eyes at her attitude and slunk off back into the house in search of Sango. Hopefully, she would aid in his search for the suspicious blonde woman in the purple dress.

~*~

Inuyasha glanced at his watch impatiently. He'd already been detained for a quarter of an hour by this mob of people. Who knew how far Kagome could have scampered by now? It was time for a few diversionary tactics.

"Oh my god!" Inuyasha suddenly cried, pointing to the far end of the hall. "It's Elton John!"

"What?"

"Where?!"

Heads turned and the spotlight was gone for a brief moment, but that was all he needed. Quietly, he ducked between the guests and all but ran for the stairs as everyone ridiculously craned their necks to see down the opposite end of the hallway. In the time it took people to realise that Elton John really hadn't come to the party, Inuyasha was gone.

There was a general degree of shrugging before everyone got back to whatever they'd been discussing before the interruption.

When Inuyasha arrived in the entrance hall, he winced to see the front door wide open with no one guarding it. What if Kagome had just run off outside? He headed over to take a brief look outside, searching the distant grounds and the extensive driveway for signs of a running girl in a pink dress…

But maybe Kagome hadn't got to the running away stage yet. She was just mad… she'd probably slithered off to sulk in a quiet, dark place.

For a moment, he had to stand and ponder that thought… a dangerous thing to do when a fangirl could jump on his back at any moment with his guard down. Normally, the classic room was the quietest place in the villa… but that was currently the busiest. However… the kitchens?

Inuyasha quickly made his way to the swinging doors that marked the entrance of the kitchen…

Sure enough, there she was in all her pink glory, currently rifling through the fridge.

"So what's got your hackles raised this time, babe?"

Kagome straightened so quickly she narrowly avoided hitting her head on the upper shelf of the fridge. For a moment, she look stunned and guilty, as if she'd been caught with her hand in the cookie jar (somewhat literally in this case). But then the wide, innocent eyes narrowed to slits, and the hand braced against the fridge door let it slam shut with a sound thud.

She was not a happy bunny.

Perhaps the 'Babe' comment was a bit too much in this instance?

"You have got a lot of nerve!" she hissed, stalking towards him.

Inuyasha refrained from the urge to back away. "Oh, I have the nerve, do I? What the hell is your problem?"

"You just embarrassed me in front of a whole room of people! THAT'S my problem!" she all but yelled. "Did you even care how I felt about playing in front of those people?"

"Big deal!" he shouted back. "You're a good penis-"

"Pianist!"

"-so what the fuck is wrong with playing in front of others?!" he finished without even the slightest indication he'd heard her correction. "You obviously have talent!"

She stamped her foot in exasperated anger. "I've never played in front of anyone before! It's my talent - so I can do whatever the hell I like with it! And I didn't want to share it with THEM!"

"But they liked your song!"

"That doesn't-!" she broke up, obviously fighting for words. "That isn't the point! It was my song… it was just mine…"

"Well that's a bit selfish, don't you think?" he countered.

For a moment, she glared at him in a calculating kind of way before she lifted her chin. "Whatever. You don't understand - you'll never be able to understand. You've been stripped so many times in public that you're used to it - you can't even begin to comprehend that someone like me actually wants to keep her talent to herself. Meanwhile people like you flaunt everything they have to anyone who will look!"

"I do not strip!" he barked indignantly.

"You don't understand me at all!" she cried, throwing up her hands in defeat. "I don't know why I'm bothering with you."

With that, she stormed past him and out of the doors. Inuyasha didn't give her much of a chance to get a head start as he followed, hot on her heels. "What's so wrong with playing a little tune in public?" he demanded as they marched through the entrance hall as if they had a destination in mind, but in reality they were aimless.

"You have no idea what it's like for me, do you?" she snapped over her shoulder. "That was my song! I've never shared it with anyone! But obviously you've been spying on me while I was playing-"

"I wasn't spying!"

"You heard though, right?"

"Maybe."

"Then you're a complete and total voyeur!" she tossed back to him.

"What?!"

Kagome sharply veered to the left, taking the nearest exit out of the entrance hall… which unfortunately turned out the be the classic room. The source of all their current ills…

"Run that by me again." He followed her through the dense crowd, not sure why she was still storming off when she obvious had herself painted into a corner. "How can hearing one little tune be perverted?"

Kagome slowed to a halt then turned back to him with a slightly pinched expression. "That song is my heart, Inuyasha. Whenever I play it… I don't know how to explain it but… when I play it, I can feel my emotions in the melody. It's just for me to hear… not anyone else. It's the only song I really know…"

"But…" he floundered for something equally as intelligent to say. "… it's really good."

Her reproachful look faded slightly with the hint of a smile, but it was only a brief glimpse of gratitude. "I still didn't want to share it with them… it's not for them. The Fur Elise is for them… the Moonlight Sonata… but my song is my song and you shouldn't have made me do that."

"I didn't make you do anything." he responded hotly. "Ultimately it was your choice to sit down on that stool… besides, how was I supposed to know that's how you felt?"

Kagome lowered her eyelids. "Don't try and shift the blame to me - it won't work. Though I guess you can't be expected to be all that emotionally deep."

"Charming."

With a soft sigh, Kagome turned and headed away once more, this time in the direction of the ground floor balcony beyond the glass doors. Inuyasha hesitated a moment. Maybe she wanted privacy… but then again, he'd rather continue irritating her than be stuck in a crowd of wannabe superstars. He slipped through the crowd after her.

Kagome was sitting on the low stone bench beside the ivy-covered railing when he stepped out onto the vacant balcony. She was kicking her feet against a dirt stain on the floor and generally looking as if the world was destined to come to an end. Perhaps she needed cheering up?

"I don't care what you say." he said as he sat down beside her. "I like your song… it made me feel… weird."

"Weird?" She didn't look all that sure if it was a compliment or not.

"You know… when songs make you feel something. They move you. Like when you're listening to your favourite song and the tiny hairs on your arms kinda tingle." He wrinkled his nose slightly. Communication had never been one of his strong points. "It was like that. When I heard your song, it really got me in the chest… but I'll be damned if I could remember how the tune went."

"I forget sometimes." Kagome admitted. "I can't remember how it goes… but when I play, my fingers seem to remember, even if I don't."

He glanced at her. "It's a nice song."

A small smile perked her lips. "Thanks."

"Though maybe you could broaden your horizons. With a talent like that, maybe you really could rival Joi Ito." He shrugged.

Now it was Kagome's turn to wrinkle her nose. "I know my limits… I'm not that good."

"Yeah, right." He frowned down at her, noticing how she nervously fiddled with the ring on her thumb. "You could at least get used to playing in front of other people?"

She gave an uneasy sound in the back of her throat. "I don't know… I'm already embarrassed that you heard me… even more so that all those people now know… I just don't think I'm ready." Kagome straightened slightly. "Although, when I'm at home and everyone else is away, I play the piano and pretend that there is someone behind me, listening, even though I know there really isn't. It kinda… it feels more rewarding when I feel as if I'm playing to someone else… though actually taking that step to have a real person behind me is a whole different story."

A deep rumble in the clouds above them interrupted the conversation. They both glanced upwards at the ominously dark sky. Not a single star could be seen through the thick blanket of black clouds roiling up there.

"It's going to ra~ain…" Kagome sighed in a sing-song voice.

"Nah, it's just some dead dude playing ten-pin bowling." Inuyasha shrugged, even though he could already hear the distant patter of rain drops further up the coast.

Kagome suddenly turned to face him, her knees bumping his, but her eyes were fixed on the ring on her thumb. "What kind of stone is this?"

"What?" He glanced down at the ring in question.

"This blue stone, what is it? A Sapphire or a blue diamond?" she asked, looking up at him searchingly.

"Uh…" He cocked his head. "That's my mom's ring, right? I think she said it was a diamond… but it could be a sapphire, I don't know." He looked her in the eyes. "Does it matter?"

They fell into one of those little, quiet lapses of silence. He almost felt she had expected him to say more, but evidently failing that, she turned her eyes back to the ring. The expression on her face was torn as if coming to a difficult decision. "Inuyasha…" Ever so carefully, she tugged the ring off her thumb, grabbed his hand and placed the little circle of silver into his upturned palm. "I can't keep this."

He frowned at the ring. "Why not?"

"It just seems too much to take. I mean… it's a diamond and it used to belong to your mother." She squirmed uncomfortably where she sat. "It doesn't seem right."

"Kagome, my mom's dead. She's not going to be wearing that ring ever again. In fact, no one will… until I die and my belongings get auctioned off… and then it will be some middle-aged fat cat who winds up wearing that ring. Then it will mean nothing to no one." He passed it back to her. "And I'm sure as hell not going to keep wearing it. It's a girls' ring."

"But it's a-"

"Does that really matter?" he scoffed.

"What if I lose it?"

"Well, you'll probably want to kick yourself, but it's no skin off my nose."

That uncertain look remained, even as she let the ring slip back over her thumb. "Ok… if I must."

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Damn, don't force yourself or anything."

She opened her mouth with a smile to respond when the balcony door suddenly swung open.

They both looked up to see the actress with the purple streaks standing there. "Inuyasha, Joi Ito's here - come say 'hello'!" She disappeared back inside.

Kagome frowned slightly as Inuyasha stood up. "What's all this Joi Ito stuff I keep hearing?" She stood and followed him towards the open doorway. Inside, it was evident that someone had managed to find a sound system because now the room was practically bouncing with heavy base rhythms. "If I didn't know any better I'd say you two were a couple."

"Not to my knowledge." He stopped at the doorway, sussing out the crowd, looking for said musician. "I suppose it's expected though… Joi Ito is breaking out into the prime of her career. I'd say she's probably the most famous eligible spinster in the country. The tabloids would have a fucking field day if they could devise a story in which we get together."

Kagome fidgeted. "So you're interested in her?"

"Nah…" he shook his head. "She's nice and, well, perfect, but she doesn't have that extra 'umph', you know?"

"No, I don't know." She looked at him strangely. "Then you probably have someone else in mind. You haven't got your sights set on Jordan have you?"

He grinned. "No. Someone a bit more mundane than that."

"Oh?" her interest was piqued and she couldn't help the coy smile. "Who is she?"

His grin remained but he briefly glanced at her with a quirk in his lips. "You."

The expression on Kagome's face slid to blank shock. She stared at him, not quite sure she'd heard that right but at the same time struggling as of how to respond. Her mouth opened slightly, but the only soft noise she could make sounded suspiciously like. "Wha…?"

The grin had slipped from Inuyasha's face as well, changing into a slight grimace. "Never mind." He said with a dismissive shrug and marched back indoors.

Kagome stood, her lips parted in a small gape as she watched him depart. What had he said? He was interested in her?

A numb feeling of shock stole over her. Everything seemed surreal, reality was warped and the sounds of laughter and music inside was blurring together into one continuous moan of pure noise. The silver ring on her thumb was beginning to gain weight. The cold metal pressed against her skin, tearing her attention away from whatever space she had been staring into.

Above her, the heavens finally decided to open with one last groaning rumble. Spatters of moisture began raining down around Kagome, picking up speed and momentum until the small droplets began bouncing hard off her skin.

But Kagome hardly took in any of this as she thoughtfully slipped the silver ring off her thumb and slid it down her fourth finger instead. It was oversized and hung loosely around her ring finger, unlike it had done for Inuyasha… but still…

The rain was begin to pick up intensity again and it was only then that Kagome suddenly realised where she was standing and just how wet she was getting. With a blink and a little shake of her head to clear the rain running down her face, she quickly stepped back inside the classic room.

The warmth and chatter hit her full in the face like it was the first time she'd ever entered that room. Bodies moved all around her, just one big wall of people and small movement that blocked her view of the rest of the room. She saw a glimpse of silver between the guests and immediately, and almost instinctively, headed in that direction.

~*~

"Tell you what. You get your agent to call my agent and we can let them sort it out tomorrow, right?"

Joi Ito nodded with a light shrug of acceptance. "Sounds good to me, but… oh…"

Someone was tugging at the back of Inuyasha's shirt. Distractedly, Inuyasha looked down. "Oh hello, Kagome. You're looking a bit wet."

She also looked slightly perturbed. "I need to talk to you."

"I'm in the middle of something."

"Now." Her voice was lined with deadly calm, and a subtle 'or else' vibe. Inuyasha stared at her a moment before turning back to Ito with a slight smile. "Must go." He allowed himself to be dragged by the sleeve away from Joi Ito, through the throngs of guests and out into the entrance hall that was ever so slightly less crowded. He wondered why she wasn't taking him outside to get the privacy she so obviously craved… but maybe that was the reason why she was so wet in the first place?

"What is it?" He asked, the perfect image on nonchalance when she finally let go of his sleeve next to the bottom of the stairs. It was about as far away from anyone else as they could manage.

"What did you mean when you said 'you'?" she scrutinised him, pushing a few of her wet bangs out of her face.

He shrugged. "Nothing." He lied.

"You're lying."

"No, I'm not." He lied again.

A small frown tugged between her eyebrows and he shifted uncomfortably. He knew he shouldn't have said anything earlier… but it had just slipped out…

And what was worse?

He knew that at the very moment he'd said it, it had been nothing but the complete truth. He recognised that fact with a reluctant queasy feeling in his stomach…

What a kick in the goolies…

"So you were just joking?" Kagome folded her arms with a deepening frown. "That's not very funny, you know."

"I know." He said, being dismissive of her feelings in favour of his own. "I'm always messing around, you know that."

It must have been something about his tone, because he knew his expression had been schooled and fool-proof. Though Kagome had already proven herself to be an unnaturally perceptive person. Slowly her frown lightened until she was giving him a very confused look indeed. "Inuyasha…?" she stepped closer, cocking her head to the side. "Are you telling the truth?"

"Yes. Why?" He responded abruptly.

"You have your lying voice."

"I don't have a lying voice."

"You just used it right there!" her arms dropped back to her sides. "I thought we've been through this! Stop trying to pretend everything's ok when it's not! I'm fed up with all this stupid little acts you keep putting up in order to hide what you're really thinking - it may work with everyone else but it won't with me."

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Jeez, Mom."

"Don't give me that!" she visibly had to make an effort to keep her voice down as her tone was already arousing suspicion from the nearest guests a few metres away. "Whatever the hell you're hiding - spit it out."

Make me. Inuyasha flicked a scowl at her. "Bog off. It's none of your business."

"That's rich coming from the person who just made my talent everyone else's business!"

"Hey - you didn't have to play that song - you can't keep bringing that up!"

They were just going to go around in one big circle if Kagome didn't gain control of the argument again. With a deep sigh she reined in her temper and gave him a look that clearly told him that she wasn't going to be taking any more of his crap. "So what's the matter this time."

He wasn't going to escape this one, was he? With a small, barely audible sigh, he shifted his footing and folded his arms. "Maybe I meant what I said when I said I was interested in you." Now he had the entire pleasure of watching her flounder at that comment.

"Oh… um… oh…" she managed intelligently. Her face was turning a rather delightful shade of pink and her fingers fidgeted restlessly against her sides. "Well…"

He waved it off. "Don't worry about it." He told her bluntly. "They're my feelings, I'll deal with them. No point getting you worked up over nothing."

Her face flushed with anger rather than embarrassment. "That isn't nothing." She reprimanded. "You can't just say that and act like it's nothing."

"Well what else am I supposed to do? I don't-" he broke off as someone moved past him on their way up the stairs. The minute they were safely out of ear-shot he began again. "I've fucked up all my chances with you, haven't I."

"Why… what makes you say that?" she began looking uncomfortable.

"Well I have, haven't I?" At her blank look he continued. "You're way out of my league, Kagome. You don't want to spend your time with an idiot who can't seem to stop smoking, or stop the drugs or stop contemplating suicide. You deserve better than to get stuck with an idiot like me."

She looked away, as if ever so slightly ashamed.

"I could give you anything you ever wanted. I could give you a hundred cars - a private helicopter - I could even get you all the plastic surgery you wanted and make you the most beautiful woman in the world-"

"Hey-!"

"Even though you're only like the fifteenth most beautiful girl in the world." He quickly amended. "Point is I can give you anything you wanted… but I can offer you nothing that could tempt you in the slightest."

Maybe he was wrong? Maybe this was where she lifted her chin and defied all that and told him that she didn't care about any of his problems or bad habits and could take him as he was.

He knew better than to get his hopes up.

"Inuyasha, how do I know that the first time you someone prettier and better, you won't just run off?" she was beginning to get upset. "That's how it works for you, isn't it? You keep one girlfriend, but the minutes someone walks by in a shorter skirt you'll drop her in a minute and move on. Then the same happens all over again."

He leaned back from her with a shrug. "Maybe that would happen. I can't control my feelings so I don't know how long they'd last. I'm just telling it like it is. I care about you. Sorry… if that offends you."

Kagome looked up at him with beginnings of tears smouldering in her eyes. But the minute her gaze locked with his she diverted it past him. Her eyes widened and her face slackened in shock. Her mouth opened in a scream. "Inuya-!!"

A sound rang off in the large entrance hall, like the sound of a hard book being slammed against a table in a library. The sound echoed the cut short as his head split in an unbelievable surge of pain. It felt like his skull had been cracked open.

There was a distant sound of mass screaming, but it was like it came from another room. His eyes slid closed with only a mild grimace as his body went numb, losing feeling in a sudden but rather gentle sweep. The cold marble of the floor felt remarkably soft when he landed… but everything seemed to be happening so slowly.

Something warm was trickling down his face and neck, pooling on the cold floor beneath him. He put a hand to the side of his head, trying to stem the flow, but he already knew from the cold feeling that spread from his chest that he was pretty much beat.

What a way to die…

~*~

Kagome had screamed the minute the gun had gone off. Inuyasha had gone down. The guests had fled to the exits like a swarm of rats abandoning a sinking ship and Jinko Aida had grabbed Kagome before she could even reach down to help Inuyasha.

The tears were already coursing down her face but she barely registered the cool tip of the handgun pressed to her temple for a second time. She couldn't reach Inuyasha and that made her cry all the harder.

AN: I'm just going to get my flame proof anorak in preparation for feedback… man, I haven't used this thing since Bottled Genius!

Chapter 30
Chapter 32

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