InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Darkness ( Chapter 30 )

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


-OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Oh, signs, signs, everywhere there's signs
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind
'Do this', 'Don't do that', can't you read the sign …?'

-'Signs' by Five Man Electrical Band.

-Evan-


"Mr. Roka, let me begin by telling you exactly how reprehensible this court finds your actions to be: not only those in relation to the charges that you face—very grave charges that you simply refuse to take seriously—but your actions on the whole.  Being seen out cavorting with art gallery owners and generally flaunting your person in the public is, quite frankly, in poor taste.  Let me remind you that you are facing very serious charges, and you do not seem to care in the least that everything about you is being scrutinized, not only by this court, but by the world at large.  If you continue to behave in such a deplorable manner, I can and will revoke your bond and have you remanded into custody of the State until such time that your trial is over.  Do I make myself clear?"

Evan blinked at the old man presiding over the court and shrugged a little self-consciously as Valerie stood, completely sober, beside him.  "Yeah, okay," he mumbled.

Judge Lister narrowed his eyes menacingly, drawing himself up straight in the high-backed chair atop the raised dais in the middle of the head of the room.  "Perhaps I did not make myself clear enough.  Mr. Roka, you will start showing this court more respect, and you will show the victim of this entire misadventure the proper respect, as well."

"Absolutely, your judge-ness," Evan muttered, trying his best to look at least a little contrite.

The judge didn't look like he believed Evan's half-assed promise, but he slowly nodded.   "Counselor Denning, as for your motion to allow your client to leave New York for his . . . rock and roll tour . . . I will allow him to travel to destinations relevant to this tour, providing that he seeks written and sworn affidavits from the proper authorities in every city that he remains in for longer than twenty-four hours—in person, mind you.  He may not send someone else to get the required affidavits for him.  Is this understood?"

Valerie nodded, pushing her glasses up with one hand and jotting notes onto the legal tablet in front of her with the other.  "Yes, Your Honor," she replied without looking up.  "And about the international dates provided in the motion?"

Lister glanced at the paperwork and shook his head.  "Mr. Roka is most assuredly a flight risk, and so saying, I will not grant him leave to cross US borders."

"Understood, Your Honor," Valerie said smoothly.

Evan snorted.  Valerie shot him a warning glance that he summarily ignored.

"Furthermore, Counselor Denning," Judge Lister went on, "I will grant that Mr. Roka be allowed to tour, however . . . because of his track record of blatant disregard for authority figures, I will impose one more condition.  You will accompany him on this tour, and I highly suggest you do your level best to curb his negative behavior—and ensure that he does return here for any and all court appearances."

Evan perked up at hearing that particular clause and absently wondered whether or not the good judge had any idea just how much he'd just helped Evan out.  A few weeks on a mini-tour with V?  'Ni-i-i-ice . . .'

Valerie, on the other hand, didn't seem nearly as impressed by Judge Lister's edict.  Sparing a moment to glance at her, he wasn't surprised to see the completely dumbfounded expression on her face, and to be completely fair, he had a feeling that she was trying to figure out exactly how to voice her objections to the arrangement without finding herself in contempt of court.  "Your Honor," she began in a paper-thin voice, "I hardly think that Mr. Roka needs me to babysit him."

Judge Lister cocked an eyebrow.  "Are you questioning my judgment on this?"

"No, sir," she replied.  "I do think that it's a little simplistic to believe that Mr. Roka would behave himself better if I were with him than he would otherwise, and his fans—"

Lister nodded as he considered that.  "Should you choose not to accompany him, then he will not be permitted to leave the state under any circumstance, and his tour will have to be cancelled.  To be blunt, I don't rightfully care about Mr. Roka's 'fans'.  That is my decision."

Valerie snapped her mouth closed on whatever she'd been ready to say as a completely chagrined sort of expression slammed down over her features.  The last thing she wanted to do, Evan supposed, was to accompany him on his tour, but . . . but she also felt bad for those who had already purchased tickets to every one of Evan's shows that had sold out in record time.

'Playing on her conscience?  That guy's almost as big of a jackass as you are,' his youkai pointed out.

Evan nodded sagely.  "I don't have a problem with that," he piped up.

Beside him, Valerie groaned quietly.


-Valerie-


Tossing her purse onto the table with a very loud sigh, Valerie pivoted on her heel to glower at Evan, who was already in the process of stripping off the hideously purple crushed velvet smoking jacket he'd been wearing when he showed up for court.

"That old man really hates me, doesn't he?" he drawled almost mildly.

Valerie gritted her teeth, dangerously close to losing her temper.  "You think?"

"If I didn't know better, I'd think he wanted me to fuck up so he could toss me right into the big house."

She slowly shook her head, fighting a futile battle for control over her rising irritation.  "Zel?"

He shot her a quizzical, almost lopsided little grin.  "C'mon, V.  I thought we were past all that 'Zel' horseshit."

She wasn't about to be sidetracked.  Crossing her arms over her chest, she shook her head again.  "Just so you know: I'm so not going on tour with you."

Evan's eyes widened, and so did that damned grin.  "Aw, now, V . . ."

"Don't you 'V' me, Zel Roka!  I'll have you know that I am far too busy to run off for . . . for God only knows how long—"

"Four weeks," he supplied pleasantly.

She nodded once.  "Thank you.  Four weeks, then.  That's still too long.  I have responsibilities, and—"

"You really gonna make me cancel the tour?" he drawled quietly, frowning as he pondered the very idea.

She narrowed her eyes on him, her cheeks blossoming in healthy color.  "Listen, buddy.  My life is a lot more complicated than yours is.  Unlike you, I don't get to play all day, every day."

"Play?" he countered almost incredulously.

She waved a hand at him to shut him up, ignoring the fact that he'd already removed his black satin shirt, too, at least for the moment.  "I have to work like a grown up—you know: a big person."

"I'm a grown up," he told her.

She snorted.  "Anyway, as much as I'd love to just drop everything to gallivant all over the United States with you—" Her sarcasm made him smile.  "—I can't."

Planting his hands on his hips, the idiot rock star shot her a superior grin.  "V . . . Are you saying that you don't think I actually work?"

"Hmm, yeah . . . Something like that."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah, that's so."

"Hmm . . ."

She suddenly heaved a loud sigh and grimaced, her knees buckling as she flopped into a nearby chair and covered her face with her hands.  "Why didn't you wear one of your real suits to court?" she demanded in a plaintive wail that was muffled by her hands.

He chuckled.  He actually chuckled, blast him.  She could hear him moving around though she didn't bother to look to see what he was doing.  "I don't think it'd matter if I showed up in a suit, Armani or birthday.  That old bastard isn't going to cut me any slack, or didn't you notice?"

"But you don't know that," Valerie insisted, letting her hands drop to her lap as her shoulders slumped in defeat.  Despite his playful tone, there was something else there; something belying his words: darker, jaded, completely cynical.  "You just assume, and . . . and you draw the wrong conclusions."

"V, I've dealt with enough people like old man Lister to know I'm right.  They see a guy like me, and they hide their sons and lock up their daughters.  That's just how it goes.  Besides . . ." He managed a very thin smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.  "Didn't you do the same thing?"

Letting out a deep breath, Valerie frowned at him.  "No, I didn't.  You walked into my office with that rock star persona you have in place.  You showed me nothing but your absolute worst, and you expected me not to pass judgment on you?  And isn't that exactly what you did to me?  You looked me over, and you made up your mind about me, all in the space of a moment, and the one thing that you have never, ever taken into consideration is the idea that I am here to help you."

"Is that it?" he asked with a candid shrug.  "So we judged each other; that's what you're saying."

"Maybe I am," she allowed.  Why did the look on his face bother her?  There was a certain sadness that lingered beneath his bravado: a sadness she'd sensed from him before that she just couldn't quite comprehend.  "Why don't you just try?"

He glanced at her, his dark brown eyes giving nothing away beyond the starkness of his gaze, and suddenly, viciously, Valerie missed the blue eyes she'd seen a precious few times—eyes that didn't hide much, and it struck her once more exactly how easy it was for Evan Zelig to hide the very essence of who he was behind the mirages and illusions that he'd mastered long ago.  "I'll cancel my tour," he finally said, "if you admit that your schedule isn't the reason you don't want to go; that the real reason you're objecting is because you're afraid of spending that much time with me."

She blinked quickly and stared at him.  "Wh—What?" she barked incredulously.

Plopping down on the nearby sofa—the one situated beneath the ghastly painting of him, lying dead in an alley—Evan shrugged.  "You like me," he said simply.  "You don't want to, but you do, and you hate to admit it.  Hell, you like me more than you like that wussy little Morgan—"

She narrowed her eyes.  "Marvin."

"—But you're so damned stubborn that you refuse to admit that you do," he finished without missing a beat.

"You're so full of yourself," she shot back.  "I'll have you know that I don't—and you're just being obnoxious."

He went on as though he hadn't heard her outburst at all.  "What I can't figure out is why?  Why is a woman like you with a little worm like him?  I mean, I could get it, maybe, if he were at least . . . I dunno . . . hung like a fucking horse or something, but I've seen him, V, and I gotta tell you, I have to admit that I feel kinda sorry for him and his puny little . . . Pinkle."

"For your information, Marvin is a very good man," she retorted hotly.  "And it's not the size; it's how you use it, or haven't you heard?"

Evan snorted.  "Yeah, and whoever said that very obviously had a tiny piss-pole, too."

"Oh-h-h!" she fumed, shooting to her feet and stomping over to retrieve her purse.  His laughter followed her, taunted her, as she strode out of the room and through the foyer, and it lingered in her head long after she'd slammed the front door of the mansion closed in her wake.

Haughty exit or not, though, the nagging feeling remained as she tossed her purse onto the passenger seat of her car and started the engine.  She didn't feel at all as though she'd won that round; not in the least . . .


-Evan-


"What do you mean, you're not sure whether you can do the US tour or not?"

Evan made a face at the entirely irritated tone in Mike's voice.  "Look, it's not my fault," he argued calmly enough.  "The old bastard said that V has to come with me or it's a no-go; that's all."

"So convince her to come along," Mike insisted.

"Yeah, well, I'm trying," he said.  "Cut me some slack, will you?"

"Hmm, now I realize that it's all just fun and games to you, Roka, but this is business to me.  Cancelling your European tour is bad—really bad.  You might not give a great goddamn, but I do, okay?  You need to consider stuff like this before you do something else really stupid.  Capische?"

"I get the message, Mike," he muttered, shaking his head as he stalked around the living room.  "I'll do what I can, but she swears she won't go."

"You know, forget about it.  I'll give her a call, myself," Mike retorted.  A moment later, the connection died, and Evan tossed his cell phone aside with a very pronounced grunt.

All right, so he should have known that good ol' Mike wasn't going to be very pleased with the idea that Evan might well have to cancel the entire tour instead of just the European leg of it, which, because of planning that had been done months ago, accounted for the majority of the planned dates.  Then again, it wasn't like Evan was trying to back out of them, either.  He'd much rather be out there than stuck here.  Of course, he'd much rather that a certain lawyer was stuck with him.  That wasn't really the point, though, was it?  Everything would work out in the end, right?  After all, it couldn't really get much worse . . .

'Mike's gonna be a whole lot more irritated if you don't convince V to come along on the US tour, you know,' his youkai pointed out reasonably.

Evan nodded.  There was that, too . . .

'So . . . Any ideas on how you're gonna do that?  I mean, she made it pretty clear that she didn't wanna spend that much time out on tour with you . . .'

'Hmm, let me give it some thought.'

He sighed, dragging his fingers through his hair as he stomped over to the doors that overlooked the back yard of the property.

"I think it's a bad idea."

Evan didn't answer as he continued to methodically tune his guitar.

"Come on, Evan.  It was an accident, right?  Accidents happen."

"Eh, it'll be fine, Maddy.  You'll see," he replied mildly.

"You make it sound a little easier than it is," she pointed out almost tentatively.

"And you make it sound a helluva lot heavier than it is," he countered.

She heaved a leaden sigh in response but didn't say anything else, but he could feel her gaze weighing on him for a long, long while . . .

"Zel?"

Snapping out of his reverie, Evan slowly turned in time to watch as Bitches and Madison stepped around the divider wall.  The two were a welcome sight for him, and he managed a little smile.  "He-e-ey," he drawled, making a concerted attempt to shove the far less pleasant thoughts aside, "so, what are you up to?"

Madison grinned and winked at him.  "Barnham's was having a sale."

He chuckled since he knew well enough that Barnham's was one of Madison's very favorite shoe stores.  "Find anything good?"

She nodded.  "Of course!  An absolutely gorgeous pair of Van Kleins that are absolutely to die for!"

Bitches frowned, leveling a no-nonsense scowl at him as she crossed her arms over her very formidable chest and slowly shook her head.  "Zel Roka!  Why is your chi so convoluted?  Haven't you been meditating?"

He couldn't help the cheesy grin that surfaced.  "Well, no," he admitted with a shrug.  "Been feeling it, too."

She wrinkled her nose and gave a quick toss of her head though not nearly hard enough to muss her hair.  "Come on," she said, extending a hand toward him and rotating her wrist in a tight circle.  "We simply must open you up."

Evan made an exaggerated face, designed to let her know that he was merely humoring her—which, of course, was a complete and utter fabrication.  "If you insist . . ." he drawled as he unfastened the leisure slacks and let the fall to the floor.

Bitches shot Madison a long-suffering sort of look.  "If you please, Maddy . . ."

Madison giggled but made quick work of shedding her clothing, too, as Bitches stripped off the gauzy dress she'd chosen for the day.  "I suppose it's all for a good cause," she allowed.

They sat cross-legged on the floor, with their feet on their knees, backs straight, hands resting on their feet, eyes closed.  Well, the women closed their eyes, and Evan did, too, at least for a moment.  Midway through their round of cleansing breaths, though, he gave in and cracked one eye open just enough to peek.  True enough, Bitches' girls were absolutely fantastic and definitely deserving of a good, long look . . . and Madison's?  Well, Madison's breasts were second to none—with the notable exception of one Valerie Denning, anyway . . .

He heaved an inward sigh, trying not to think about the answer to the obvious question: just why wasn't he even remotely turned on?  He ought to be, right?  Four fantastic mams, and not even a slight stirring in the nether regions . . .

He sighed again.  'Don't think about it . . .'

"Concentrate on the cleansing," Bitches said quietly.  "Breathe . . . breathe . . ."

They did.  Breasts rose.  Mountains fell broken.  The world shook, and Evan?  'Absolutely nothing,' he thought mournfully.

"Feel the air purging your body of all things polluted and unnatural . . ."

He let his eye slip closed again.  As novel as the idea really was, it was also enough to make him just a little sad.  Was it the end of an era?  The epilogue to a really great novel?  The final leg of the Tour de France?

'Talk about melodramatic horseshit,' his youkai snorted indelicately.

'Shut up before you constipate my chi even more.'

'Oh, ri-i-i-ight . . .'

Evan's cell phone rang, and he considered ignoring it for a few moments—at least, until he realized that it was the ringtone he'd programmed in just for Valerie, anyway.  Leaning back, he nabbed the device off the coffee table where he'd tossed it after he'd talked to Mike, but he didn't miss Bitches' disapproving scowl, either.  "Sorry," he told her with a grin.  "Hey, V.  What's up?"

"Cut the crap, Roka.  Was it your idea to make Mike call me?" she demanded.

He almost laughed, but managed to keep from doing so.  "'Course not," he replied honestly since he didn't do any such thing.  "Just told him what the ol' judge said."

Valerie sighed.  He figured that if she wasn't gripping her forehead yet, she wasn't far from doing it, either.  "You'd better start being a little more respectful toward Judge Lister," she warned.  "Didn't you hear what he said?"

"Yeah, yeah.  If I left it up to that old bastard, he'd lock me up and throw away the key," Evan pointed out.

"It'd be no more than you'd deserve," she informed him.  "Now, listen—"

"Zel, you need to put the phone down and concentrate," Bitches interrupted brusquely.  "Cleansing your chi is a very important process."

"I know, Bitches.  Just a minute, okay?"

"What's she doing there?" Valerie demanded sharply.

"Aww, she's just cleansing my chi.  Didn't you hear her?" Evan asked.

Valerie heaved a very loud sigh.  "I'll just bet she is," she muttered.

"There's something blocking your flow," Bitches went on with a thoughtful frown.  "Has your creativity been stunted?"

Evan grinned.  "Well, maybe just a little," he allowed.

Bitches considered that then nodded.  "I see . . . Madison, maybe you could help him."

"A blow job?" Madison asked.

"A hand job might do it," Bitches replied, but only after considering it.

"I love opening my chi," Evan quipped.

"There will be no opening of chi, Zel Roka!  Do you hear me?" Valerie growled.

Madison quite obviously heard Valerie's comment because she winked at Evan and shot him a conspiratorial grin.  "Just a hand job?  I suppose I could do that . . ."

A moment later, the phone connection died, and Evan chuckled as he set the device aside.  Somehow, he had a feeling that it wouldn't be long before Valerie came storming into his house . . .


-Valerie-


"You know, I thought Madison was your friend.  How can you treat her like that?" Valerie demanded, pacing the floor in front of him with all the rigidity of a drill sergeant.

"She is my friend," Evan replied, lounging casually on the sofa, content to listen to his attorney's tirade.

She snorted indelicately.  "And that's how you treat your friends?  Turning them into your own personal sex slaves?"

He rolled his eyes but grinned.  "You make it sound like fucking me is a fate worse than death."

"Sounds about right," she shot back.  "Madison's such a nice girl!  How the hell did she get messed up with someone like you?"

"Madison's not nearly as nice as you'd like to think," Evan informed her with a shake of his head.  "Did you have to make them leave?"

She stopped abruptly and pivoted on her heel to glower at him.  "Yes, I did," she said flatly.

Evan heaved a sigh.

True enough, Valerie had demanded that the self-proclaimed Zen guru get dressed and get out, though maybe not in those exact terms.  When she'd walked in, only to find the three of them—Evan, Madison, and Bitches—bare-assed naked and sitting on the floor—she'd clapped a hand over her eyes and demanded that they all get dressed, despite Bitches' assertions that Valerie ought to join them.  "In fact," Bitches had said, suddenly struck by inspiration, or so it would seem, "why don't you two make love?  It'd help the both of you open up your chi!"

Evan, of course, had been on board with that idea.  Valerie had nixed it very quickly, very adamantly, and with a very, very red face.

"You know, V, just because you don't understand Maddy and me doesn't mean that it's wrong," he pointed out reasonably, almost seriously.  At least she'd been able to talk him into pulling on a pair of faded and frayed blue jeans, even if he had refused to button them more than halfway up.

She narrowed her eyes at him, as though she were trying to discern what he was thinking.  He wasn't stupid; she knew he wasn't.  Why couldn't he seem to understand that what he and Madison did just wasn't right?  Sex . . . it should mean something, shouldn't it?  It wasn't something that should or could just be broken down to self-gratification, no matter what he might like to believe.  There was no real fulfillment in such an empty act, and Valerie knew that from her own personal experiences.  "Evan . . . all you're doing is using her," she said quietly.

He stared at her for a few moments.  "Not really," he replied.

Valerie sighed and shook her head, rubbing her forehead in a completely exasperated sort of way.  "Just because it doesn't mean anything to you doesn't mean that it is like that for her," she explained, wondering absently, exactly why she was bothering, in the first place.  "I realize that all your excesses come easily to you, but you have to understand that you're the exception, not the rule.  You might not think that you're hurting anyone, but are you sure?  Do you think that Madison would tell you, even if you were?"

He considered that, but finally shook his head, a strange look filtering over his features as he stared at her—that same sort of sadness she'd sensed in him before.  "I'd never hurt Maddy," he said quietly, "and Maddy . . . She probably knows me better than anyone.  Anyway, you're wrong.  There aren't many people who have ever understood me or even tried to.  Maddy's one of the few."

"I don't know why I bother to even try explaining things to you," she muttered.  "You just don't want to see anything that goes against what you want to believe."

"Maybe," he agreed with a shrug as he stood up and headed toward the kitchen.  "Then again, maybe you're the one who doesn't want to admit that maybe you're wrong, after all."


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A/N:
'Signs< /b>' first appeared on the 1970 release, Good-byes and Butterflies by the Five Man Electrical Band.  It was covered in 1990 by Tesla.  Song written by and copyrighted to Les Emmerson.
And don't miss Melzilla's birthday oneshot, Golden.  Can be read here: http://www.mediaminer.org/fanfic/view_ch.php/111115/554085
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Final
Thought from Valerie:
The jerk
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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.
~Sue~
Chapter 29
Chapter 31
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