InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Dieter ( Chapter 9 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Nine~~

-OoOoOoOoOoOo OoOoOoO-

'I would swallow my pride.
'I would choke on the rhines.
'But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside.
'I would swallow my doubt turn it inside out find nothing but faith in nothing.
'Want to put my tender heart in a blender.
'Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion.
'Rendezvous then I'm through with you …'

'Inside Out' by Eve6


Valerie pushed her glasses up with the back of her knuckle and read through the papers she'd just had faxed over.  The DA was offering Zel a deal, of sorts.  For pleading no contest to two of the charges, the third one would be dropped, and he'd be allowed an abbreviated sentence of one year counting time served plus community service, restitution, and court costs: much better than she'd actually thought he'd be offered, really.  Still, she didn't doubt for a moment that he wouldn't like it, stubborn man that he was.

She rubbed her head and spared a glance at him.  Half sprawled on the steel sofa—how that thing could possibly be comfortable was completely beyond her—with his feet kicked up and an acoustic guitar on his chest that he was idly strumming, she honestly didn't think he'd actually heard a damn thing she'd said to him all day . . .

Not entirely surprising; not really.  He had the attention span of a flea or worse, and she had serious doubts that he could actually wrap his brain around the charges that had been levied against him, in the first place . . .

"Mr. Roka, I need you to look over these," she said, swatting his foot with the papers as she stepped toward him.

"'Is you is or is you ain't my babeh'," he sang with a very pronounced twang in his voice.

Valerie rolled her eyes and heaved a sigh.  "Come on," she insisted, waving the papers under his nose.

He shot her a saucy grin and the song somehow managed to blend into a completely different one.  "'She's a dancer, a romancer . . . I'm a Capricorn, she's a Cancer . . . She saw my picture in a music magazine . . .'"

"Are you listening to me at all?"

Zel glanced up from strumming the guitar.  "Of course, V," he insisted as he resumed his playing.

She crossed her arms over her chest and stifled another sigh.  "Somehow, I just don't believe you."

Zel shot her a completely innocent sort of look—one that was wholly out of place on the man's features since Valerie was relatively sure that he didn't know what that word even meant.  "I totally am," he argued.  "You know, though, men tend to listen better to shirtless women."


"Proven fact, V.  They did a clinical whoseewhatsis on it once.  Read about it in Playboy.  They took a hundred well-boned guys, stuck half of 'em in a room with a talking woman, stuffed the other lucky bastards in a room with a talking shirtless woman, and the ones exposed to boob therapy did better with remembering all the stuff their woman told them—on a related side note, the shirtless woman couldn't walk right for about a month.  Saddle sore, you know?"

She stared at him for an entire thirty seconds before she rolled her eyes.  "You're so full of shit, you stink."

He shot her a shit-eating grin.  "Yeah, maybe just a little.  That story's worked before, though, I swear to God."

Valerie shook her head.  "Absolutely unsalvageable."

"Hey, V, you really should get naked.  Don't wanna constipate your chi any more than it already is, right?  I swear, I'll be good."

"You don't know how to be good," she shot back, judiciously choosing to ignore the rest of his commentary.

"That's not what my women say," he retorted as his grin widened.

Valerie sighed and held out the docket once more.  "Here.  Read this, and I advise you to sign it."

"What's that?" he asked, staring at her hand.

She counted to twenty-five in her head.  "It's a plea agreement.  I already told you.  The DA's office faxed this to me this morning.  They're offering to drop the reckless endangerment if you'll agree to plead guilty to possession of illegal substances and driving under the influence.  In addition, you'll agree to do five hundred hours of community service, serve one year for each charge, concurrently, and, of course, the prerequisite fines and whatever restitution amount they deem fair."

Zel shot her an incredulous look.  "A year?  A year?  That's . . . that's like . . . a year!  No fucking way!"

"Your powers of reason are just . . . frightening," she muttered, rubbing her forehead as a throbbing pain stabbed her right behind her eyelids.  "Let me explain something to you, Zel Roka.  This is the best offer you're going to get!  Reckless endangerment and public menace carries a mandatory sentence of no less than three years if you're convicted—that's three years that cannot be served concurrently with any other sentences.  Do you understand me?"

"Blah, blah, blah," Zel pouted, waving the document in the air.  "Bare the boobs, V, or forget it."

"Read it now, Zel Roka, or you'll miss the balls you used to have."

That gave him pause long enough to grin at her yet again.  God, she was really starting to hate that particular grin . . . "Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout, V . . . So how did you plan on removing them?"

She shook her head.  "Just read it."

"I prefer your teeth . . ."

Pressing her lips together in a thin line, she stared at him for a moment—then pressed her lips together tighter because that boyish, hopeful look on his face was almost—almost—enough to make her laugh.  "Read.  It."

He made a show of sitting up, letting the guitar fall off his lap as he shuffled through the ten page docket.  He scanned it for about a minute then dropped it on the coffee table.  "Tell the DA to shove that so far up his ass that he feels it tickling his ivories."

Valerie slowly shook her head.  "You didn't even read it."

"Eh, I got the gist of it," he drawled.

"Mr. Roka—"

Her tirade was cut short when the sound of the door opening and closing again echoed through the house.  A moment later, a very pale, very scrawny, very tall man strode into the living room with a very pronounced scowl on his impossibly angular face.  His black leather biker's jacket looked like someone had dragged it behind his motorcycle cross-country, his black tee-shirt was ripped and faded, and his jeans—if one could call them that—were frayed at both the top and bottom, the knees worn so thin that it was amazing that they were still holding together.  For the love of God, one of his black leather boots was held together by duct tape wrapped around the toe . . . He shot Valerie what could only be described as a hostile glance before literally throwing himself into one of the steel cage chairs that was suspended from the vaulted ceiling by industrial chains.  He looked like a vagrant, didn't he?  But Zel didn't seem to think there was anything odd about his sudden appearance—in fact, the man was grinning from ear to ear—so Valerie figured that he had to be one of his friends.

"Get your ass booted again?" Zel asked pleasantly as he reached for the guitar again, sparing a moment to wink at Valerie.

The stranger snorted, sort of.  It was more like an actual snort might have been too much work for him.

Valerie cleared her throat.

Zel glanced at her and grinned like an idiot.  "Deet, this is V, my attorney.  V, this is Dieter Reichardt."

Dieter echoed the first noise once more.

Valerie shook her head and grabbed the plea agreement.  She wasn't done harping on him about it, no, but she had a feeling that he wasn't going to listen, especially while his friend was there.  Straightening up, she glanced at Zel, only to find him leaning halfway off the sofa, quite blatantly staring at her ass.  She narrowed her eyes and turned on her heel, managing to 'accidentally' whack him over the head with the court docket.  The man had the gall to grin at her.

"Miss kick you out again?"

Dieter shrugged.  "She's being a bitch," he muttered.

Valerie shook her head, unable to grasp exactly how the two of them could possibly be friends.  What kind of conversations did they really have, after all?  Dieter didn't seem at all interested in speaking, and Zel?  If he could actually speak about anything that didn't have to do with tits, ass, or anything else that could even loosely be described as genitalia, she'd eat her cell phone.

Zel nodded.  "Yeah, but she's your bitch."  He turned to face Valerie, who was stowing the plea agreement into her attaché case again.   "Deet's an artist—and my part-time bassist," he told her.  "Made that."  He nodded at the hulking metal sculpture.  "How's the new one coming?"

Dieter made that first sound once more.

Valerie set the case down and headed for the kitchen for a bottle of water.  No doubt about it, she was starting to think that Zel's friends were the strangest lot that she'd ever seen before . . .

Stepping into the bright kitchen, she frowned.  It had struck her yesterday when she'd first seen the room, just how well-appointed it was.  It was very industrial looking, just like the rest of his house that she'd seen—a collection of brushed steel and chrome, black marble flooring, wrought iron pan rack hanging over the center island and the huge gas range that was more like a grill than a stove . . .

Even his refrigerator was surprising.  It wasn't actually a refrigerator, per se, though it looked like one on the outside, albeit a very large one.  When she'd opened the door yesterday, she'd blinked when she'd discovered that it opened into a long, narrow cold room.  Everything was arranged right, too, which was really odd, considering.  All the fruits and vegetables that should be kept cool but not cold were arranged on the shelves near the door in expensive wicker baskets.  The eggs and dairy were close, too, and further back were the things that needed to be cold but not frozen.  Her curiosity had gotten the better of her, though, and she had peeked into the freezer side.  She hadn't gone in that one, of course, but she had noticed that the shelves were quite full—packages of meats wrapped in white butcher paper.  Every one of them was carefully labeled and tagged, too . . .

'Big hairy deal,' she told herself as she strode into the walk-in refrigerator for a bottle of water.  Stowed far enough back that it was still liquid, she knew from prior experience that bits would solidify into a slushy-like consistency when she opened it.  'So he's got a cook or something—a personal chef.  Not really surprising, is it?  He's got more money than God . . .'

Interesting, though, she had to admit.  This room had plants placed generously throughout, and with the exception of his meditation room, she hadn't noticed an abundance of those before, either.  In here, though, there were some quite beautiful ones: vines spilling over the planters, trailing their tendrils almost to the floor, and the breakfast nook situated in the far corner and surrounded by windows had a planter box built onto the top of the benches with what looked to be herbs growing thick and lush.

Striding out of the kitchen, she frowned.  The two men were standing at the base of the sculpture, staring up at it as though they were trying to figure something out.  A moment later, Dieter caught hold of one of the upper spikes and pulled himself up onto the piece.  Valerie's eyebrows raised.  Just what the hell were they doing?

Dieter reached up to catch the thin cable that supported the top of the piece, and to Valerie's surprise, he managed to shimmy up, using his hands to catch and tug himself higher and higher, end over end.  "What the hell is he doing?" she demanded in a hissed whisper directed at Zel.

Zel didn't blink as he stared up at his friend.  "Just making sure that the cable's all right.  This sculpture was a little top-heavy, so I had to reinforce it.  Dieter thought that the attachments looked a little off, was all."

She shook her head, narrowing her eyes on the rock star.  "What if he falls?"

Zel grinned at her.  "Eh, he won't.  Never does."

It didn't really help, did it?  His allusion that they did this sort of thing before . . . There was always a first time for everything.  What if he really did fall?  Visions of another lawsuit danced through her head, and Valerie stifled an inward sigh.  If Dieter fell from that cable—if it broke or something and Dieter ended up as a blotch on Zel's floor . . . Oh, she was so not representing him again, and she didn't care whether or not she ever got that damned promotion if it meant that she'd be babysitting an idiot like Zel for the rest of her miserable life . . .

"So how is it?"

Dieter shook his head and descended the cable the same way he'd climbed up.  A couple minutes later, he dropped off the sculpture, safe and sound.  "It's fine," he muttered under his breath.

Zel nodded, as though he'd expected as much.  "I'm gonna go grab a beer.  Want one, Deet?"

The man shrugged as Zel sauntered away.  Valerie screwed the cap back onto the bottle of water, staring at the bottle but watching Zel out of the corner of her eye.  There was something entirely wrong with that man, wasn't there?  After all, it shouldn't be possible for one man to look that damn good all the time, should it?  She scrunched up her face for a moment, silently berating herself for ogling the walking, talking train wreck.

'Oh, but he's a damn fine train wreck . . .' she thought with a soft sigh.

'Uh, no!  No, no, no, no, no!  He's not a damn fine anything!  Stop that!' she told herself sternly.

That just figured, didn't it?  She was losing her mind; that had to be it . . .

But it really just wasn't right, was it?  She sighed again and sat down, pulling out her cell phone to check her messages.

The first one was from Madison—a reminder that Valerie had a 'hair date' tomorrow morning.  One call was from her dentist to remind her that it was time for her to make an appointment for a thorough cleaning.  The third was from her bastard of a boss, calling to make sure that she was behaving, and to remind her that she was to keep Zel Roka happy, no matter what.  She cleared her messages, muttering under her breath about spoiled rock stars and idiot bosses and that they could basically hold hands and skip on off to hell together, for all she cared . . .

She cleared her messages and snapped the phone closed.  When she looked up, though, it was to find Dieter scowling fiercely in her direction.  Standing with his bony arms crossed over his chest, he had his chin lowered, his eyes glowing from the confines of the murky shadows cast by the straggly lines of his unkempt black bangs.  He looked like the classic 'brooding artist', the misunderstood genius who would work for days on end, neglecting everyone and everything around him as he let himself become a slave to his muse—but, no doubt about it, his intensity was more than a little disconcerting, and she had to keep herself from fidgeting as she waited for him to say something, do something.  Hell, it'd even be all right if he just moved, but no.  Nope, he just stood there, staring, turning it into an impromptu game of chicken.

"Attorney, right?" he finally said just when Valerie had been about to break.

She blinked and nodded, her knees oddly weak as a surge of relief washed through her.  "Yes.  Why?"

"Zel don't belong in jail," he muttered under his breath.  "Makes you mean . . ."

"I'm doing what I can," she replied, unsure as to why she was bothering to try to reassure the man, in the first place.

The devil himself strode back into the room with three bottles of beer and a broad grin.  The fluidity in his every movement struck Valerie, and she couldn't help but stare at him for several seconds.  She'd never noticed before, had she?  The way the human body seemed to work in a lethargic sort of symmetry . . . or maybe it was simpler to notice in Zel since he tended to parade around shirtless, as he was now . . . Or maybe . . .

Maybe it was the man, himself . . .

"Here," he said, handing a bottle to his friend.

He held one out to Valerie, and she shook her head.  "I'm working," she informed him brusquely.

"It's just a beer, V," he intoned though he set the beer on the coffee table without trying to get her to take it.  "You two having a meaningful conversation?"

Dieter dropped into the chair he'd first occupied, leaning forward with the beer held between his knees as he popped the cap off.

Zel grinned, as though he found something of sovereign amusement.  "Don't mind him.  He's practicing his moody artist spiel," he told Valerie.

She shook her head, unsure what to make of either one of them, really.

"Ask him about his boy," he whispered, stretching out on the sofa to lean in toward her and batting his eyes in a completely idiotic sort of way.

"You have a boy?" she asked, wondering if that weren't a huge mistake.

Suddenly, though, Dieter broke into a wide, engaging smile, his turbulent gray eyes taking on a certain sparkle, and she shook her head when she realized that he had the deepest, cutest dimples dug into his cheeks.  The smile seemed to diminish the stark contours of his face, and he set the beer aside as he got to his feet, digging around in the back pocket of his dilapidated jeans for his wallet.  "Aw, man!  My kid's the cutest thing you ever saw!" he insisted, shuffling toward Valerie as he jammed the electronic photo display under her nose.  "That's him . . . adorable, huh?  Looks just like his mama."

She blinked at the almost boyish quality of Dieter's smile, just like a child who had managed to make the ugliest macaroni art picture frame that his mother claimed to love best.  "H-His name's Daniel . . ."

"Oh, he is cute," Valerie said, unable to mask the surprise in her voice.  It wasn't that she disliked children, of course, but she she'd seen more than her fair share of them that really weren't what she'd consider, 'cute'.  Strange, really.  Dieter seemed to believe that the child really didn't look like him, but he did—large gray eyes, midnight hair—and deep dimples in his cheeks, too.

Dieter laughed.  "He's got his mama's nose . . . and her toes . . . and her laugh, too . . . but you can't really see that in these, huh?"  He reached over, pushing the little button to scroll through a few images.  He stopped on one of the boy and a very pretty blonde woman.  Dieter's almost bashful smile widened.  "That's Miss—uh, it's short for Mississippi."

Valerie smiled.  "Oh?  Was she born there?"

Dieter looked puzzled.  "No . . . she was born in Kentucky."

She blinked and stared, then shook her head since that didn't really make any sense to her.

Dieter shrugged.  "Well, her mama told her she got knocked up while she was working at a club called the Mississippi.  Her mama was a stripper."

Valerie snapped her mouth closed.  "I . . . I see . . ."

Dieter flipped to the next image.  "That's Daniel's second birthday.  He got that whole piece of cake in his mouth, too.  Didn't make a mess at all.  He's smart—really smart."  Dieter shrugged, his cheeks pinking slightly.  "Smart like his mama."

"He's adorable," Valerie agreed with a smile.

Dieter grinned happily as he stowed his wallet away in his pocket once more.  "Oh, hey!  I gotta go.  I'm supposed to be at the gallery to talk to Fawn about the exhibition."

Zel wiggled around on the sofa until he was lying flat on his back.  "You know she wants to fuck you, right?" he remarked almost nonchalantly.

To Valerie's amusement, Dieter's slight blush darkened considerably.  "Aw, don't tell Miss that, okay?  She already had a fit about Fawn earlier . . ."

"So that's why you came over . . ."

He shrugged then turned around, holding out a hand as he leaned on his right leg in a bony display of angular lines.  "I'll tell you what I told Miss: I says, 'Miss, you know damn well that I'm a 'one-mother-fucker'.'"

Zel blinked.  Valerie bit down on the inside of her cheek.  Hard.  "You . . . You told her that?" Zel asked blandly.

Dieter scratched his head and frowned.  "Yeah . . . it didn't sound right then, either . . ."

Zel laughed and shook his head.  Valerie snapped her mouth closed and very casually slipped her hand up to cover her twitching lips.

"We still good for tomorrow night?" Dieter asked as he headed for the door.

"Sure . . . you get it figured out?"

Dieter nodded.  "Yeah. The security guards change shifts at ten, and the two crews always seem to stand around and shoot the shit for a little while, so we can sneak past 'em then."

"Nice," Zel replied.  "Later."

"Later!" Dieter called.

Valerie slowly turned to narrow her eyes suspiciously.  "What are you plotting?" she demanded.

Zel shot her a wide-eyed stare.  "Nothing," he drawled innocently—too innocently—as he reached for the Bad Ass magazine on the table.

"Oh, no," she insisted, swiping away the publication.  "You tell me what you're planning."

He made a face.  "It's not a big deal," he stated again.  "An annual ritual—that's all, baby . . . I swear!  Cross my hard-on and hope to fry."

She crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her foot impatiently.  "What sort of annual ritual?  Zel . . ."

He shot her a really, really cheesy grin that really, really worried her.

"I mean it, Roka.  I'm not leaving until you tell me what you've got planned."

That cheesy grin widened.

Valerie heaved a longsuffering sigh.

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"Inside Out" recorded 1998 by Eve6, on album Eve6.  Song written by and copyrighted to Eve6.
'Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby' recorded 1944 by Louis Jordan.  Song written and copyright to Louis Jordan and Billy Austin.
'C'mon and Love Me' copyright Paul Stanley (Café Americana, Inc)/Kiss Songs, Inc, ASCAP.
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Final Thought from
What the hell does he have planned?
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Subterfuge):  I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga.  Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al.  I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.