InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Reckoning ( Chapter 41 )

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


-OoOo OoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Bartender, I really did it this time
Broke my parole to have a good time …'

-'The Bartender Song' by Rehab.

-Evan-


"I don't know if she's gonna go for this . . ."

Evan glanced over at Dieter and slowly shook his head.  "Aww, it'll be fine," he insisted.  "Oh, it's ringing."

He only hoped that she'd answer this time.  It was the second attempt in ten minutes, and the fuzz was starting to look a little peeved.  Of course, he didn't really blame them.  If he were one of them, he'd probably see it as some sort of special treatment for the rock star, too . . .

"H-Hello?" Valerie drawled, sounding as though he had just woke her up.

"Hey, baby," he greeted brightly.  "How's it going?"

She uttered a sound suspiciously close to a whine.  "If you called me to ask me that, I'll kill you, Roka," she warned.

"No, no . . . actually, I was wondering, uh, you know . . . Umm . . . What are you doing?"

It took a moment for her to answer, and Evan figured that she was probably looking at the clock and wondering if he'd lost his damn mind.  "I'm sleeping, fool," she informed him tightly.  "It's almost two a.m.!"

Evan grimaced and thanked God that she actually couldn't see his face at the moment.  "So you're saying you're not ready to go out anywhere?"

She counted to ten before she answered.  Maybe it was to twenty-five.  "No, Evan, I'm not," she finally said in a carefully controlled, entirely flat tone.

"Oh, well, damn . . ."

"Is she mad?  I hope she isn't mad," Dieter whispered loudly.  "She's kind of scary when she's mad."

Evan waved a hand to shut Dieter up as the guard near the door narrowed his eyes and glanced rather pointedly at the clock mounted to the wall.  "You wouldn't happen to feel like taking a trip, would you?" he asked instead.

Valerie sighed.  "No, I don't feel like—oh, God . . . Evan, why does my caller ID say 'NYPD Ninth Precinct'?"

He chuckled.  "Oh, yeah, that's where I am presently," he informed her.  "New Yuck's finest, on the job, as always.  Why don't you give a nice shout-out to the boys in blue?"

"What the hell did you do, Roka?" she demanded, all traces of sleep miraculously vanishing from her voice as it quickly ascended to octaves that only dogs could comfortably hear.

Holding the phone away from his head for a moment, he tried unsuccessfully not to grin.  "It's not my fault," he said in an entirely rational tone of voice.  "I was bored . . ."

She snorted.  "I'll come get you if I can beat the snot out of you when I get there," she growled.

Evan's grin turned wicked.  "I'll let you beat whatever you want outta me any time you'd like, baby."

"I'm so not your baby, damn it," she muttered.

"Hey, can you ask her to call Miss and tell her I'm gonna be a little late?" Dieter piped up.

Valerie sighed.  "Tell me you didn't drag Dieter into your misadventures," she nearly whined.

"Okay," Evan agreed easily enough.  "I won't tell you that."

"Evan—"

"But I didn't.  In fact, if you want the real story, it was actually Dieter's idea."

"Fucker!  She already hates you!  I don't want her to hate me, too!" Dieter grumbled.

"Shut up, Deet!  'Sides, she don't hate me.  One day, she's going to marry me," Evan shot back.

"I do hate you, and I'm not marrying you," Valerie blasted.

Evan chuckled.  "So you'll come down here and spring me from the big house?"

Valerie heaved yet another sigh, and Evan had the distinct feeling that she was rubbing her forehead—or looking for a gun.  Both worked.  "Yeah, fine," she muttered under her breath.  "I ought to let you rot in there . . ."

The line went dead, and Evan dropped the receiver into the cradle before slouching back in his chair with an entirely self-serving smirk on his face.

"Is she coming?" Dieter finally asked.

Evan nodded.  "Yeah . . ."

Only then did Dieter grin, too.


-Evan-


Valerie strode into the interrogation room on the heels of one of the officers—Evan thought his name was Connelly, but he wasn't sure—looking entirely unimpressed and damn good, considering she'd just rolled out of bed.  Record time, or so he figured.  It had only taken her about twenty minutes to make the ten-block trip from her apartment to the station house, and that had to be worth something in Thursday night traffic . . .

Dropping her attaché case on the table, she nodded coolly at the officer.  "I'd like a minute to speak to my clients," she said, her brusque, businesslike demeanor firmly in place.

The officer nodded and turned to retreat to the other side of the room, where he dismissed the guard standing there and assumed the position.

Valerie pursed her lips, regarding Evan with a completely bland sort of expression.  "All right.  Tell me what you two were doing and why," she said.

Evan leaned on the table, crossing his arms on the pockmarked, grimy white surface.  "We weren't doing anything wrong," he maintained in an entirely placating sort of way.

"Y-Yeah!" Dieter added for good measure.  "Well, the first time, we probably were, but then, it wasn't like there was anyone there to ask . . ."

Evan glanced at Dieter and shook his head curtly.  "The first time?" Valerie repeated blankly, not understanding what Dieter was trying to say.  "What does that mean?"

"What he means is that we only broke in there to borrow something, and we were in the process of returning it when the rent-a-cop busted us."

Valerie shook her head.  "Rent-a-cop?  You mean a security guard?  What were you trying to break in to?"

"The morgue," Evan replied.

Valerie's expression froze.  It wasn't that she looked surprised or even impressed.  Nothing, actually.  It was more of a shocked blank look that lingered for a full minute.  "You . . . broke into the morgue?"

"It was cool!" Dieter suddenly spoke up, his gaze lighting up like fireworks on the Fourth of July.  "All these cabinets and shit with bodies in them . . . And there was a table in the middle of it with, like tools, you know?  Scalpels and this saw-thing—like a hacksaw only all stainless steel . . ."

"Deet, you're not helping," Evan whispered.

Dieter shook his head and glanced at Valerie, but he must have decided that he wasn't really helping their cause, because he clamped his mouth closed and sat back quickly.

Valerie closed her eyes and drew a deep, even breath.  "You two . . . broke into . . . the city morgue . . . to borrow, what?  A dead body?" she hissed.

Dieter's eyes flashed open wide.  "Du-u-u-due!  I never thought of that!"

Evan grimaced inwardly.  "No, V, we didn't do anything to the bodies," he insisted.

"Well. . . ." Dieter drawled.  Evan smacked him with the back of a hand in the center of his chest.

"Why in the world would you break into the morgue?" she blasted, slapping her hands down on the table and leaning forward incredulously.  "Twice?"

Evan cleared his throat and tried his level best, not to laugh outright, lest Valerie should take offense and decide that he needed to die right then and there.  "See, Deet wanted to borrow a body bag—"

Now Valerie looked surprised, blinking as she flicked her gaze from Evan to Dieter and then back again.  "A body bag?" she echoed.

Evan nodded.  "Well, he wanted to take some pictures of me in the bag for reference.  Death of a Rock Star: Part II."

She snapped her mouth closed as indignant color washed into her cheeks.  "Dear God, you two are idiots," she muttered, slowly shaking her head.

"And we were taking the bag back—I even folded it up neatly," Evan went on.

The cop near the door coughed indelicately.  "He did," he said in Evan's defense.

Valerie shot them all a smiting glance.  "Of all the stupid things . . ." she grumbled, more to herself than to either of them.

"Counselor, they're going to be charged with breaking and entering," the cop said.  "We can drop the theft charge, you know, since they brought the body bag back and nothing else is missing—and, uh, Mr. Reichardt's in danger of having his parole revoked if he's charged with anything."

Valerie shook her head and sighed.  "They're stupid, sure," she began as she rose to her feet, "but they didn't really do anything else, right?  Can't we just . . . call them idiots and let them go this once?  I promise that they'll go straight home and that they won't do this again."

Evan grimaced again since Valerie didn't look entirely positive.

The cop looked thoughtful.  "Well, we haven't filed formal charges as yet," he said slowly then shot Evan a somewhat sheepish grin.  "You know, I'm a huge fan, Mr. Roka."

"Yeah?  Tight," Evan remarked.

Valerie looked like she was about two steps away from calling them all morons.  Suddenly, though, she veered to the side and leaned across the table.  "Bribe him," she hissed, jerking her head in the direction of the police officer.

Evan's eyes widened.  "What?"

Valerie's gaze narrowed.  "You heard me, Roka.  Give him something so he'll let you go."

"Like what?" Evan pressed.

"I don't know, and I don't care," Valerie hissed back.

Evan almost laughed—almost.  If she didn't look like she was ready to remove his spleen with a rusty spoon and eat it, he might have.  "Hey, uh . . .?"

The cop blinked and looked a little star-struck.  "Me?  I'm Travis," he said.  "Travis Connelly."

Evan grinned.  "You wanna come to one of my shows, Travis?" he offered.

Travis grinned and started to nod then seemed to think better of it.  "I could just buy tickets," he surmised.

"Yeah, but I could get you good ones," Evan added.  "Front row—and backstage passes," he tossed in when Valerie rolled her hand to get him to keep going.

Travis brightened considerably.  "Yeah?  Backstage passes, too?"

"Sure," Evan said with a shrug.  "How many do you need?"

"Uh . . . five would be good," he decided.

Evan shot Valerie a look.  She seemed to understand what he was wanting, and she dug a pad of paper out of her attaché case.  "Travis Connelly," she wrote down.  "Five front row tickets and backstage passes . . ."

"Make it ten, V," Evan said.  "And make sure that they get laminates so that they don't get the runaround from security."

Valerie nodded and scribbled onto the tablet a little more.

"Ten?  Really?  Sweet . . ." Travis looked entirely pleased with himself.  "Just make sure you don't break into any other morgues tonight, okay?" he pressed, trying to look stern but failing miserably.

"Absolutely," Evan agreed as he got to his feet and shook the man's hand.

"Uh, hey, can I get my camera back?" Dieter asked as he stood up, too.

Travis laughed and nodded.  "I'll get it for you, sure."

Valerie refused to talk to either of them as they followed the officer out of the room and through the maze of desks.  Tapping her foot as she waited impatiently while Travis retrieved Dieter's camera, she nodded once before turning on her heel and stomping out of the building without stopping to see whether or not Evan and Dieter were following her.

"Dude, I think she's pissed," Dieter whispered as they trailed behind Valerie.

Evan couldn't help but grin as he watched the methodic sway of her hips and ass as she moved.  "V?  Probably, but more at me than she is at you, I think."

"Oh, no," Valerie said when Evan strode around the car to get into the passenger side front seat.  "You get in the back with him.  I'm so mad at you; I could kill you, myself."

Evan shot her a completely unrepentant grin and got into the back seat of the car.

"I thought we were done for," Dieter commented, relief obvious in his tone as he slid into the car and slammed the door closed.

Valerie glanced into the rear view mirror as she revved the engine and pulled onto the street.  "Where was Bone?  Why didn't he stop you from doing that?"

Evan chuckled and shrugged.  "He had the night off."

"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" she muttered, more to herself than to either of them.

"Well, he does have to have some time to himself," Evan rationalized.  "Besides, Bone would have thought that it was pretty funny."

Valerie let out a deep breath and shook her head since he was probably right.  All of Evan's friends were twisted in one way or another . . . "I can't believe the two of you!" she fumed.  "You broke into a morgue?  To steal a body bag?"

"We didn't steal it," Evan reminded her.  "We borrowed it so Deet could get some pictures of me in the bag for reference."

She snorted.  "You didn't need to do that," she scoffed.  "I'd have been more than happy to make sure you were put in one, Roka."

Evan grinned.  "I love you, baby," he quipped.

"Shut up," she snarled.

"It's not like we did anything else," he pointed out reasonably.  "I mean, hell . . . We could have played with the bodies or something—"

"Well, there was Christy and Mel," Dieter muttered.

"—And the mortician wasn't there, so we couldn't ask," Evan went on.

Valerie snorted.  "Be that as it may, Evan, the point is, you had no business being in there, in the first place, body bag or no body bag!  And who the hell wants a picture of you in a body bag, anyway?"

"But Christy didn't look like a Christy, and Mel didn't really look like a Mel . . ."

"C'mon, V!  Death of a Rock Star: Part II?  That's awesome," Evan argued.

"I mean, they could've made a mistake, right?  Happens all the time . . ."

Valerie glanced in the rearview mirror again and suddenly whipped her head around to stare at Dieter, who was still mumbling under his breath.  "What?" she demanded.

"V . . ." Evan remarked.

"Not now, Roka," she growled.

"But you're going off the road, baby," he said.

With a sharply muttered curse, Valerie looked up in time to yank the car off the side of the road and slam it into 'park' before whipping around once more to pin Dieter with a most formidable glower.  "Now what were you saying?" she pressed.

Dieter scratched his head nervously and drummed his fingers on the door handle.  "Well, I just said that Christy didn't look like a Christy, and Mel didn't look like a Mel, so I fixed it."

Valerie blinked.  "You . . . fixed it . . .?"  A suspicious glint entered her gaze.  "How did you 'fix it', Dieter?"

Dieter shrugged.  "I switched their toe tags."

Dead silence greeted Dieter's admission, and for one dizzying second, Evan actually thought that Valerie's head just might explode.

A moment later, though, and with a string of dire invectives, Valerie wrenched the steering wheel and gunned the engine, crossing multiple lanes of traffic as she swung her car around to head back the way they'd come . . .


-Valerie-


"Would you hurry up?"

Evan laughed, the idiot.  "We are, V, I swear!" he insisted.

Valerie glanced up and down the hallway, praying for the thousandth time that the security guard on duty was still napping at the monitor in the office they'd passed on their way in.

"Uh oh . . ."

Valerie nearly growled at that sound.  "Oh, no!  No 'uh oh's', Dieter," she hissed.

"C'mon, dude!  Just fix it already!" Evan added.

Dieter grimaced.  "But Mel-Christy isn't here!"

Valerie could feel the blood draining from her face as she spun around to glower at the men.  Standing in front of the wall of cabinets with about four of the doors hanging ajar, Evan looked entirely too amused at the given situation while Dieter just scratched his head and reached for another door.  "What do you mean, she's not here?" Valerie demanded.  "She has to be here!  Corpses do not just get up and walk away, Dieter!"

"They do if they're zombies," Dieter remarked, his expression suddenly brightening.  "Maybe Mel-Christy was a—"

"Not now, dude," Evan cut in, casting Valerie a rather suspect look.

Dieter shot Evan an imploring sort of glance, as though he wanted Evan's help.  She glowered at Evan, too, just in case the man thought to intervene.  He didn't, but he did grin at her.

"She was right here, but now she's gone," Dieter mumbled, absolutely perplexed.  "I mean, Christy-Mel's here.  See?"

Valerie sighed, staring at the toe tag he held in his hand.

"You sure she was in that one?" Evan asked, nodding at the empty and gaping drawer.

"Yeah!  I mean, I think so," Dieter went on.

Valerie smacked her forehead against the cold metal doorjamb a few times.

"Oh!  Wait!  Here she is!"  The joy in Dieter's voice was a very welcome thing, and Valerie could have cried in absolute relief.  "Ah!  Shit!"

"Hurry up, Deet," Evan prodded.  "Slap 'em on the right bodies, and let's go before V freaks out."

"Yeah, but I'm not sure which one is which," Dieter muttered as he picked up the tags he'd dropped on the floor and stared at them.

Valerie refrained from comment, bumping her forehead a few more times.

"Well, you said that one was Mel-Christy," Evan pointed out, gesturing at the first drawer that Dieter had opened.

"Y-Yeah, okay," Dieter agreed.

Valerie glanced into the hallway once more to make sure that they were still all right before turning to cross her arms over her chest and scowl at the men.  "Are you about done?"

"Yup . . . wait!" Dieter exclaimed, catching Evan's arm as the latter started to close the first door.

"What?"

"Lemme look at their faces again.  They're really wicked," Dieter said.

"Oh, no," Valerie insisted, stomping over to grab their arms and tug.  "No more looking!  Just close those up, and—Ugh, God, they stink . . ." she said as her stomach gave an unpleasant lurch.

"See?  And you said that it was just gingivitis," Dieter commented as he closed the other doors.  "Dog Lady really is a fucking zombie . . ."

"There aren't any zombies, Deet," Evan said, valiantly stifling the urge to laugh.  "Let's go."  Valerie wasn't about to thank him for his discretion as she hurried away from them.

"If she thinks they stink, she should smell you when you fart, fucker," Dieter remarked.

Evan chuckled.  Valerie wondered if the guys down at the Ninth would blame her if she showed up again and asked them to throw the idiots into a cell and toss the key down a really deep hole . . .

"Those don't stink," Evan countered happily.  Valerie rolled her eyes, wondering if he'd somehow managed to lose a few brain cells in the space of one evening . . .

"The hell they don't!" Dieter argued.  "Smells like you shit your pants . . . or died . . ." He suddenly grinned.  "Or shit your pants then died . . ."

"Get moving!" Valerie hissed again.

"Damn . . . her eyes are starting to bulge, Deet.  C'mon," Evan said.

Dieter blinked and paused long enough to stare at Valerie curiously.  "Dude . . . you think her head's gonna spin around like Linda Blair?"

Evan choked out a bark of laughter before he managed to restrain himself.  "Stop while you're ahead, Deet," he instructed, propelling Dieter away from the cabinets.  Dieter finally complied.

With her luck, they'd get caught before they got outside again, and that would just be fantastic, wouldn't it?  Explaining to the police that the idiot kindred twins had apparently thought that it'd be 'fun' to switch dead bodies' toe tags?  Yeah, somehow she just didn't think that the police would let them off with just a warning . . .

So she was quite surprised and relieved when they managed to get out of the building without drawing notice, especially when those two morons started a shoving match, complete with fifth grade chortling, as they tried to make their great escape.  Valerie was ready to deal them both serious damage, but the security guard, probably figuring that there wouldn't be another break-in tonight, was still sleeping at his post, and that was all right with her, too.  She also didn't have the strength to argue with Dieter when he insisted that he'd just walk home, and she had to seriously wonder about his overall mental health, too, when he told them that something about the morgue had totally turned him on, and hell if he didn't think he'd go right home and, "fuck the hell outta Miss."  They weren't far away from his apartment, anyway, and by the time Valerie had slipped back into her car, she wasn't at all surprised to see that it was closing in fast on five a.m.

"Why do you do stuff like that?" she couldn't help asking as she headed the car toward Long Island.

Evan sighed and shrugged, as if the entire thing were no big deal.  "I dunno, V.  Why were you in my bushes?"

She snorted.  "Don't start with that, damn it," she growled.  "I should've let you rot in jail."

"If you did that, then there'd be a bunch of disappointed pups come tomorrow," he said.

She glanced at him and shook her head.  "You don't teach at the YMCA on Fridays," she reminded him.

He grinned.  "Naw, but I figured I'd stop in at the Dominique Ray Center tomorrow."

Valerie shot him another quick glance then shook her head.  "The Dominique Ray Center?  The children's hospital?"

"That's the one," he agreed.

"What are you going there for?" she asked, frowning since she knew well enough that nothing like that had been listed on the itinerary for tomorrow.

"Mama works with them a lot and the Zelig Foundation donates money to them every year.  I like to stop in every now and then and hang out with them; maybe play a song or two . . ."

"That'd be a great thing for your image, you know," she pointed out, knowing before she said it that he wasn't likely to agree.

Evan snorted.  "Keh!  If I let the media bastards in on it, they'd fuck it all up," he said.  "I told you before, right?  The press doesn't see any of that like a normal, rational human.  If I told them, they'd follow me, and they'd probably get permission to take photos, but instead of just standing back and taking photos, they'd try to run the show.  'Oh, this girl looks too sick.  Move her over there '. . . 'This boy is too skinny . . . Put him over there' . . . 'Oh, that little girl's bald from her chemo . . . We can't have her in the pictures' . . ." Trailing off, he shook his head.  "No fucking way," he insisted stubbornly.  "I'm not going there to get attention.  I'm going there for the kids."

Valerie didn't comment on that, mostly because she could see his point.  In Evan's mind, the slight boost it might give his public image wasn't worth the sacrifice of his morals, and in a very real way, she could appreciate that about him, too.  "You really think they'd do that?" she asked instead though the initial reprimand was gone from her tone.

"I know so," he countered belligerently.  "No fucking thanks."

Silence fell over them both as they started over the bridge.  As the pools of faded and watered down light from the spaced lamps that burned bright overhead passed through the windows of the car, Valerie sighed.  He was entirely too full of paradoxes, wasn't he?  No matter what he said, he honestly did care about people, and his affection for children was evident despite his best efforts to hide his feelings.

"Why don't you come with me?" he suddenly asked, breaking the silence that had been so comfortable.

Valerie didn't answer right away.  "I have plans for tomorrow, Evan.  You're going to have to behave on your own."

"Oh, yeah?  What are you doing?" he prodded.

Valerie bit her lip and considered lying to him for a moment then gave up.  "Marvin's going to be in town for awhile—a layover between flights—so I'm going to meet him and spend the day with him."

Evan snorted.  "Oh, fucking Moravin."

Valerie rolled her eyes and almost smiled.  "Marvin," she corrected.  "Anyway, promise you'll be good."

Waving a hand, Evan tried to cut her off.  "Good's overrated, V, but okay, I'll try to behave."

She sighed.  "Couldn't you have left the 'try to' part out?" she grouched.

He chuckled.  "Never promise something unless you're positive that you can do it," he said.

Valerie let it go, figuring that it was as close to a promise as she was likely to get from him.  "Fine," she agreed with a longsuffering shake of her head.  "Just make sure you 'try' really hard, okay?"

Evan shot her a cheesy grin.  "Okay, V if you insist."

"I do," she retorted dryly, turning the car into the long driveway that led up to Evan's house.  The security guard nodded at her—she wasn't sure who he was since she hadn't seen him before.  "I really, really do . . ."


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A/N:
'The Bartender Song' by Rehab first appeared on their 2008 release, Graffiti the World.  Song written by and copyrighted to Rehab.
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Final
Thought from Valerie:
God … they're like Tweedledum and Tweedledee
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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 40
Chapter 42
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