InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Hullaballoo ( Chapter 62 )

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

-Oo OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'So, so what, I'm still a rock star
'I got my rock moves, and I don't need you
'And guess what?  I'm havin' more fun
'And now that we're done, I'm gonna show you tonight …'

-'So What' by Pink.


"Jesus . . . I'm coming," Evan grumbled as he loped toward the door to answer the incessant knocking that had interrupted his meditation.  The knocking escalated into a thorough pounding, and Evan made a face.  He recognized the youki thick on the other side of the door; damned if he didn't . . .

"This is yours, right?" Gunnar Inutaisho asked dryly as Violca pushed past him and fairly flew directly at Evan.

"Uh, hey," he said, unable to do more than to pat her back a little clumsily when she plastered herself against his chest, babbling a million miles a minute.  Glancing over her head at his second cousin, Evan figured that he'd be better off not to try to bullshit Gunnar since he looked more than just a little irked, and that was something, considering he tended to pride himself on his ability to keep his emotions under wraps.  "What's going on?" he asked instead, opting to ignore Violca for the moment.

"You tell me," Gunnar replied acerbically.  "I showed up at your father's house to brief him on one of the cases I've been working on, and he stomps out of the mansion with her in tow, shoves her at me, and tells me to deliver her to you—or I was fired."

"Can he fire you?" Evan asked.

Gunnar didn't look amused.  "No."  Then he shrugged.  "I don't know.  Maybe."

Evan blinked and shook his head.  "That's all he said?" he asked.

Gunnar snorted.  "Keh!  Isn't that enough?"

Opening his mouth to reply, Evan quickly thought better of it and snapped his mouth closed again, unconsciously pulling Violca a little further away from Gunnar, as though the hanyou's very presence could harm her.  He wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but it didn't sound too positive, and judging from the expression on Gunnar's face, he was just as flummoxed by the situation as Evan was—and more to the point, he didn't look like he really wanted to know exactly what had happened, either.  Rubbing his forehead, Gunnar leveled a no-nonsense look at Evan.  "Listen, I don't know or care what happened, but Bas called me about an hour ago, wanting to know if I knew anything since he's apparently been dragged into whatever is going on.  I suggest you find out and give your brother a call."

Now, that was surprising.  Bas was involved?  What the hell had happened . . .? "Okay, okay," Evan relented.  "Thanks for bringing her back."

Gunnar rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath that Evan was probably better off, not hearing.  Then he turned on his heel and loped off the porch, ducking into a snazzy-looking, midnight blue Maserati before gunning the engine and taking off down the driveway like a bat out of hell.

Heaving a sigh, Evan waited until Gunnar's car disappeared from view before closing the door.  "Violca, what happened?" he asked, holding her at arm's length so that he could peer into her face.

Eyes wide and frightened, she shook her head and choked out a muffled sob that she stifled with the heel of her hand.  "He scare me!" she half-whimpered as tears pooled and spilled over.  "Cold, cold, cold—"

She wasn't making a damn bit of sense.  Then again, she seemed to be a little too upset for him to even try to talk to her just yet . . . "Who?  Cain?  Scary?  Cain?" Evan muttered, loathe to hear the answer.

She whimpered again but didn't respond.  Evan let out a longsuffering breath and slowly shook his head.  "Violca . . ."

"I did a bad thing?" she asked anxiously.  Apparently she wasn't about to wait for his answer, because her face crumpled as her loud wail made him grimace.

"I'm sure you didn't," he told her—anything to calm her down before she made his ears bleed.  "Cain scared you?" he pressed.

She shook her head quickly, her wide eyes darting to the door then back to his face again.  "N-No," she stammered, shaking her head again.  "The black devil!"

Evan blinked as his mouth dropped open.  "The bla . . .?  Gunnar?"

"He look at me like he wants to kill me!" she insisted, letting go of Evan long enough to rub her bare arms as though she were freezing.

Evan rubbed his face in complete exasperation.  Sure, he knew that Gunnar tended to look rather condescending, but exactly what had he said or done to put that much of a scare into the poor girl?  He sighed.  There was a good chance that he hadn't actually done a thing, and Evan knew it.  To most people, Gunnar really could be intimidation, personified, and the only person who tended to be worse was Gunnar's grandfather, Sesshoumaru . . .

"Don't worry about him," Evan assured her gently.  "He doesn't come around here too often."

That seemed to calm her down a little though not really as much as Evan had hoped.  She still kept glancing at the door like she expected Gunnar to blow back through it at any given moment.

Shaking his head slowly, Evan figured that he'd better try to get some answers out of her before she broke down completely.  Pasting on his most reassuring smile, he smoothed her hair back off her face and tilted her chin up so that she was looking directly at him.  "Why don't you tell me what happened at Cain's house?" he urged gently.

Tears welled up in her eyes again, spilling over as another incongruous wail rattled straight through him.  All he could make out was the word 'studio', and he sighed, pretty well able to put the rest of it together in his head.  Considering she didn't know any English to speak of, and considering Cain didn't know German to Evan's knowledge, Evan should've realized that there was going to be some kind of trouble.  Wincing since he knew how jealously Cain tended to guard his studio, it wasn't surprising that he'd come unglued if anyone other than direct family ventured into his private domicile . . .

He knew from personal experience that Violca tended to be a little overzealous when she wanted to please someone.  She most likely thought that she was doing something good by trying to clean in there.  A flash of anger flared to life in his gut, and he clenched his jaw to keep himself from erupting in a low growl.  What the hell was the matter with Cain, anyway?  Evan had told him that Violca didn't understand much English.  Did he really have to get so pissy with her for making an honest mistake?

"Don't cry," he told her as he pulled her into a warm hug, her confusion and misery entirely too palpable to him.  She really hadn't had an easy time of it, and considering she'd just lost her mother, as well, the tearful display was long overdue, as far as Evan was concerned.  "It was a misunderstanding, right?  So, don't cry, okay?"

Violca sniffled and nodded quickly, as though she were afraid that she'd displease him if she didn't.  He shook his head and gently wiped the tears off her cheeks.  "I am sorry," she insisted quietly.  "I am sorry . . ."

"Don't be sorry," he told her with a wan smile.  "Where's your stuff?"

That question was enough to bring on a fresh round of the waterworks, and Evan grimaced.  "I couldn't get it," she told him between wails.

"It's okay," he told her quickly.  "I'll have Cain send it down."

She nodded and looked a little less worried.  Face all blotchy, nose a hideously bright red, she looked like she was starting to settle down at least, and that was something.  Taking her hand, he led her into the living room and gestured at the stairs.  "Go on up and take a bath or take a nap," he suggested.  "Grab something out of my closet to wear till I can get something sent over for you."  She didn't look like she'd slept much if at all, and considering she'd just spent the last eight hours in a car with a very surly Gunnar—amend that—the black devil—Evan figured that she needed to relax a little.

She smiled at him and nodded quickly, leaning up to kiss his cheek before she made a break for the stairs.

Heaving a deep sigh as he watched her go, Evan didn't move till she'd turned and waved at him over the banister.  Then he grimaced and retrieved his phone, figuring he might as well get the unpleasantness over with before he called around to see if he could get some clothing arranged for Violca.

He blinked when the phone rang in his hand before he could dial anyone's number.  Glancing at the caller ID, he made a face.  It was Bas, of course.  Gunnar probably called him to let him know that he'd dropped Violca off . . .

"Bubby!  What a surprise!" Evan greeted a lot more enthusiastically than he was actually feeling.  "What's up?"

"Why don't you tell me?" Bas demanded in lieu of a proper salutation, carefully keeping his rumbling voice low like he was afraid that he was going to be overheard.

Evan scratched the back of his neck and tried to decide the best way to explain the situation to his barbaric brother and thankful that Bas and the ham hocks he called 'fists' were over four hundred miles away.  "It's not what you think," he began in a placating tone of voice.  "Violca was supposed to help Mama clean the house and stuff.  She said that she was trying to clean up the studio, and Cain wigged out."

"That can't be it," Bas grumbled quietly.

"Why's that?"

Bas sighed.  "Because Mom showed up last night with Dad in tow.  He kept trying to take her suitcase, and she kept babbling something about being a 'big girl' and that she could 'handle it herself' . . . and then she told me that she was going to stay with me for awhile before bursting into tears and locking herself into Olivia's room with my daughter and my mate—and I've not seen hide nor hair of any of them since last night, which thrills Bailey but doesn't float so well with me.  So, Dad spent the night on the front porch since he refused to come inside, and every time I hinted that he could tell me what happened, he got this really weird look on his face, kind of like he was considering lighting into me for whatever reason."

"So what did he say?"

"Pfft!" Bas snorted loudly.   "Not a damn thing; that's what.  Just turned red and ignored me."

"Cain ignored you?  Now that is strange," Evan retorted, unable to keep the trace of bitterness out of his tone.  "Maybe Mama told him to shove it up his ass since he tossed Violca out on her ear."

"Dad wouldn't have been that mean," Bas said.  He sounded like he believed it.  He also sounded like he was making one of those automatic statements of defense without even stopping to think that maybe he was wrong.  Not really surprising, was it?  He'd spent enough years in Cain's back pocket, so to speak, that it was pretty well second nature to him . . . "So now Bailey keeps asking me if Grandpa's gone crazy, and I'm starting to wonder if he might be onto something . . ."

"Have you tried to talk to Mama?  I mean, if Cain really has lost it, that is . . ."

"So, you didn't hear me just tell you that she's gone and locked herself into Livvy's room with Sydnie?" Bas growled.

Evan flexed his fingers, wishing that he had a joint in his hand right about now.  "Aw, don't worry about it.  I'll give Mama a call and get everything straightened out right now."

"Yeah, fine," Bas muttered.


"Hold on," Bas said before pulling the phone away from his ear.  "What, Bailey?"

Evan could hear the rapid thuds as Bailey hopped up and down on the floor.   "Gwampa is sitting outside Livvy's door, and he says he won't move till Gwamma comes out!  An' he says he'll break the door down if she don't come out an' talk to him!  Is Gwampa the Big Bad Woof?"

"Something like that," Bas grumbled then heaved a heavy sigh as the groan of a chair came through the line.  "Call her, Evan.  Call her now," he barked.  The phone call ended abruptly, leaving Evan staring thoughtfully at the receiver in his hand.


Valerie slowly sipped the cup of coffee in her hands as she stared over the rim without blinking while Evan gave her the short version of the morning's events.

'Unhappy' didn't even begin to describe her feelings when she'd stopped by to drop off a copy of his transcripts so that he could verify that they were accurate, only to be waylaid with the almost earnest request that she run to the store and buy Violca some clothing.  Somehow, though, she couldn't really say that she was surprised that the girl was back.  Trouble magnet that he was, she figured that it was inevitable, really.

"So what did your mother say?" she finally asked when Evan fell silent, staring rather glumly at the table in front of him.

Wrinkling his nose, he shrugged once before drumming his fingertips against the hard surface.  "Not much," he admitted with a long sigh.  "When I asked her what happened, she just started to cry and do that high-pitched whiny thing that no man can ever understand."  Shaking his head slowly, he rubbed his eyes in a tired sort of way.  "Of course, dogs all over the eastern seaboard probably heard her, though . . ." Suddenly, he grinned.  "Maybe I should turn on the news and see if there's been any reports about strange dog behavior today . . ."

Valerie rolled her eyes and shot him a stern look.   "I'm surprised at you, Roka!  Your mom's obviously upset, and you're making jokes about it!"

"Aw, come on, V!  Cain blew an ass gasket, and Mama got upset over it because she's nice like that, and he's a damn bastard!  Serves him right, if you ask me, and besides . . . Mama never stays mad at him, even if she should."

"Wow," she remarked, setting the empty cup aside and leaning back in the chair to cross her arms over her chest.  "You really hate your father, don't you?"

Evan snorted.  "I don't hate him," he muttered, sounding just like a sulking child.  "I just don't like him that much.  That's all."

"Why?" she challenged, arching an eyebrow.  She'd always wondered why he seemed so angry when it came to his father.  It was the first time that she felt comfortable enough to ask.

Thumping his elbow on the table, he smacked his forehead into his open hand.  "We just don't see eye to eye.  Can we leave it at that?"

"He seemed nice enough when I met him," she remarked, careful to keep her tone neutral.

The grimace on Evan's face seemed like it might have been his attempt at a smile.  "Of course he did," he replied tightly.  "Everyone thinks that he's such a sweet old man, you know."

Pursing her lips at the venom in Evan's voice, Valerie shook her head and drew a deep breath.  "Everyone but you."  It wasn't a question.

"Yeah, everyone but me," Evan growled under his breath.  The chair groaned loudly when he shoved himself away from the table, raking his hands through his hair—auburn today—as he paced across the floor and back again.  He didn't seem angry as much as he seemed to be highly exasperated, like he wanted her to stop asking him questions that he didn't want to deal with.  "Look, V, can you tell me that you honestly get along well with your parents?" he demanded, stopping, mid-stride and pivoting to scowl at her.

Valerie blinked, unsure why she was caught off guard by the question that she really should've known was coming.  "Do you want some more coffee?" she asked as she stood up and picked up her mug.

"Now who doesn't want to answer?" he mumbled.

"I just wanted another cup of coffee," she pointed out reasonably—a little too reasonably.  "As for your question, no, I don't get along with them."

"Then why are you asking me about Cain?"

She needed to put some distance between them—really needed to.  There were too many things that she didn't want to talk about, and in that respect, maybe she and Evan weren't that different.  Dredging up memories that were best left in the past was painful, and she, better than anyone, knew that.  So why had she wanted to know about Evan's history with his father?

Walking briskly out of the living room, she deliberately took her time as she refilled the mug, drawing a deep breath to steady her shaking hands.  Why was she shaking, anyway?  A flash of anger shot through her.  After all these years, why was it that the mere mention of her parents could still stir up so many feelings . . .?

"Look, I'm sorry I snapped at you," Evan remarked quietly.  She hadn't heard him follow her into the kitchen, and she kept her gaze trained on her task as he leaned against the counter beside her.  "I didn't mean to."  Letting out a deep breath, he shrugged offhandedly, and she stole a glance at him.  He looked tired, didn't he?  Not physically tired, but mentally tired—exhausted.  She hadn't noticed that earlier . . .

Suddenly, his words came back to her: words that he hadn't realized that she'd heard.

"No one can replace Deet," Evan snarled.

"My bad . . . I didn't mean it like that."

Evan sighed.  "I know.  Forget about it."

It was his tone that had made her listen—the anger that had sparked to life in the span of a moment.  He'd mentioned that they were starting to interview potential candidates to go on tour with the band in Dieter's place, but he had made it sound like it wasn't a big deal to him, and she had accepted his words at face value.  She hadn't once stopped to consider just how much of a toll the search for a new bassist was putting on him, had she?  Just how much pressure was he really feeling, and just how much of it was he holding in, refusing to let anyone know what it was really doing to him?

"It's okay, Evan," she said with a soft sigh.  "I meant to ask you how the interviews are going."

He glanced at her, his expression registering surprise that he quickly covered up with a wide grin that didn't quite reach his eyes—stormy blue that just didn't shine the way they normally did.  He must've though that he was fooling her, though, and for the moment, she let him believe that, returning his smile with one of her own.  "Eh, you know.  Same old shit.  Mike said that he was going to go through some other demos he got from a friend of his."

"No one sounds right?" she asked.

Evan shrugged, idly scratching his chest as he considered her question.  "I've yet to hear one that can get the bass line from 'Sextacular' right."

She shook her head, more at the name of the song than at his claim.  "You're so twisted."

He grinned—it was closer to a real one at last—and shrugged but didn't refute her statement.  "Well, yanno . . ."

She opened her mouth to reply but stopped short when the bigger of Evan's furry beasts from hell trotted into the room.  Evan hunkered down and grabbed the animal under his ears, shaking the dog's head back and forth as he petted him.  "Ugh, you stink.  What the fuck did you get into?" Evan demanded like he expected the monster to answer him.

The dog half-growled, half-whined.

Evan snorted and rolled his eyes, but his smile didn't falter.  "Yeah, well, you can just take your smelly ass outside till I have time to give you a bath."

The dog wuffed low in his throat, then glanced at Valerie just as his tail went into overdrive and he lunged at her.

She didn't wait around to see what he was going to do.  With an involuntary scream, she hopped onto the counter, racking her shin against the outcropping on her way up and yanking her feet up out of the way moments before he landed on her.  "Get him away, get him away, gethimaway!" Valerie hollered.

Evan chuckled, ass that he was, but caught the dog by the collar to haul him away from the counter before he managed to get a nice bite of her.  "Now, knock that off," he chided, sounding more amused than stern.  "I told you that V's scared of you, and—"

"I'm not scared of him," she hissed, eyes widening when the dog tried to break free from Evan's grasp.

The odious man chuckled again.  "Okay, she's not scared of you," he appended in a completely humoring tone of voice.  "Get outside before you stink up the entire house, you moose."

The dog barked. Valerie covered her ears and squeezed her eyes closed as the echo exploded in her head.  Moments later, though, Evan carefully pulled her off the counter, still laughing, of course, as he wrapped his arms around her and half-laughed, half-crooned in her ear to calm her down.

Valerie didn't see any amusement in the situation, though.  Too bad she couldn't quite seem to step away from him, either.  Her heart was lodged in her throat, and she was very close to hyperventilating.  Evan rubbed her back as his laughter died away.  "Come on, V," he finally coaxed, giving her shoulders a comforting little squeeze.  "You're stronger than that."

"Shut up, Roka," she whispered, her breathing still rasping and harsh though her heart was finally slowing to its normal rhythm once more.

"He'd never hurt you, you know," he pointed out.

Valerie snorted—the best she could do at the moment.

"Anyway, don't worry about Violca," he told her, abruptly changing the subject.  She figured that he was only doing it in an effort to get her to forget about nearly becoming dog fodder.  "I talked to Maddy a little while ago, and she said that she'll take her to Miami with her."

"Do you really think that's a good idea?" Valerie asked, finally able to pull away from Evan since her knees didn't feel like they were going to give out anymore.

"Maddy can handle her," Evan insisted.  "Or did you want her to stay here with me?"

"Maddy's just fine," Valerie quickly agreed, reaching for her cup of coffee.  "Did you warn her that Houdini can pick locks?"

Evan grinned and took the cup from Valerie's hand, draining it in one long gulp.  "Yes, I did.  Maddy seems to think that she can teach Violca some manners."

Valerie scowled at him, more for the unceremonious coffee display than because of Evan's statement.  "That'll be the da—Maybe she can."

"Ah, V, always a ray of optimism," he teased.  "You're like a cloud on a sunshiny day . . ."

"Shove it up your ass, Roka," she shot back but smiled.  "Now, where is Violca?  You wanted me to take her shopping for some clothes, right?"

"She's upstairs taking a nap," he replied with an impish grin.  "Can I come, too?"

"No," she stated flatly as she sauntered out of the kitchen.  "Just give me your credit card."

"Why do you need that?"  He was following her, right on her heels.

"How else am I going to buy clothes for her?" Valerie asked, glancing over her shoulder.

He pondered that for a moment then nodded.  "Okay," he agreed at length as he veered off, heading toward his music room.  "Have them give me a call if they give you any trouble."

She waved a hand at him, starting up the steps.  It occurred to her that she ought to have reminded him that she was his attorney, not a personal shopper for an impromptu houseguest.  Then again, being able to go shopping on his dime, even if she wasn't going to get anything for herself wasn't such a terrible way to spend an afternoon, either, now was it?

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'So What' by Pink first appeared on her 2008 release, Funhouse.  Song written by and copyrighted to Johan Schmistro, Alecia Moore, and Max Martin.
== == == == == == == == == ==
theblackthorn —— puppypal127 —— JKD1989 —— monkeyseemonkeynodo —— OROsan0677 —— Dark Inu Fan —— Nozome —— slsonic —— inyu01
Ice_Sick_El —— MouF —— OROsan0677 —— cutechick18 —— BlkbltVette ——
Thought from Gunnar:
Fired.  As if
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.