InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Rocktoberfest: Part 1 ( Chapter 92 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Ninety-Two~~
~Rocktoberfest Part 1~


'W ell, I'm a wasted rock ranger
'I live a life of danger
'On the road to find a higher high
'I don't need no one's affection
'All I need is my injection
'An out-of-tune Les Paul'll get me by …'

-'Wasted Rock Ranger' by Great White.


It was a lot colder than she'd thought when Bone and Valerie had first stepped out of the hotel.  Being next to the looming buildings provided a windbreak of sorts, but as they crossed the parking lot—closed to traffic for the duration of the festival—on foot, she couldn't help the shiver that rattled her teeth.  Pulling her coat a little tighter around herself, she could feel the dizzying electricity of the surging crowd, and she moved a little closer to Bone.  It was surreal, almost frightening, and she couldn't help but to feel smaller, weaker, than she ever had in her life.  It wasn't a pleasant or welcome sort of feeling, either.

"If we get separated, find one of the cops, and show him your pass.  They'll get you back to the hotel, yeah?" Bone said, leaning down and raising his voice so that she could hear him over the din.  "That's a big 'if', though, yeah?  Lose you and Roka'd blow an ass gasket."

"Okay," she replied, casting him a somewhat nervous glance, opting not to comment on the ass gasket blowing.  Someone bumped into her in passing, and she stumbled slightly.

He broke into a wide grin and shook his head as he steadied her on her feet.  "Don't worry, V.  I did say 'if' we get separated.  Won't happen without a fight, yeah?"

She laughed, as much at her own momentary sense of panic as from Bone's reassurance.  "I just can't get over how many people are here," she confessed, grabbing Bone's arm to steady herself as she rose on tiptoe to get a better look at the crowd.

"Traffic's been completely diverted in a six block radius," he told her.  "Guess the big boys came out to play this year."

She didn't comment right away.  Staring in awe at the gargantuan projection screens situated all over the parking lot, she shook her head.  "They're broadcasting the concerts?" she said, glancing at Bone for a moment then back at the closest screen once more.  Hanging a good fifty feet up in the air and suspended by a network of some of the thickest rigging she'd ever seen, she wondered absently just how many roadies it took to accomplish all of it.  After all, she knew that Evan's set was huge with lots of platforms for him to climb onto, but she had no idea how many roadies he employed, though if she had to guess, she'd say that it had to be over a hundred, and that wasn't counting the members of the tech crews or security teams.

"Bastards are selling out," Bone clarified with a mildly disgusted snort.  "Closed down the parking lot and charging a hundred bucks for a one day pass or two-fifty for the whole week just to watch the damn thing on a bunch of fucking JumboTrons."

"How much were the tickets for the live concerts?" she asked.

Bone snorted.  "Anywhere from five to fifteen hundred for the week, not counting Saturday, but I hear Roka's gig was going for more."

"And how much is Ev-Uh, Zel making off of it?" she corrected herself, glancing around quickly to ascertain that no one had overheard her near-slip.

Bone grinned at her and shrugged.  "Not nearly enough.  Some bastard's getting rich off all this, but it sure as hell ain't the bands."

Valerie considered that as Bone navigated them through the crowd.  "Then why does he do it?"

Bone laughed—a rather condescending, albeit, good natured, sound.  "Because it's what he was born to do, V."

"What he was born to do," she mused, more to herself than to Bone.  A thoughtful frown surfaced on her face, and she bit her lip.  Every time she saw him onstage, she'd seen it for herself, and she couldn't help but think that what Bone said about Evan being born to be up there was absolutely the truth.

But the sheer magnitude of the crowd was insane enough—the smell of leather, of acrid smoke that didn't come solely from burning cigarettes . . . There was an overwhelming sense of wildness in the air, the barely contained feeling that there was something ugly looming just beneath the excitement.  Somehow exhilarating and frightening, all at once—Evan's world—Zel's world—one in which she really didn't belong.

"Don't breathe too deeply," Bone cautioned.

She shot him a questioning glance and grimaced when she lost her balance and stumbled against him.

"Sorry, man," some guy muttered as Bone steadied her and pulled her closer to him.

"Not a problem," Bone said.

"I-I'm okay," she replied, realizing that the reason Bone had told her not to breathe too deeply was because there were a lot of people in the crowd that were smoking things that weren't exactly legal.  Coughing slightly when one guy blew a cloud of reefer smoke right into her face in passing, Valerie waved a hand to dispel it as she struggled to keep from breaking down in a fit of hacking and wheezing.

Bone must have sensed her discomfort, though, and he pulled her under an open air tent and effectively relieving the slightly claustrophobic feel of the surging crowd on the thoroughfare.

She blinked and looked around at the hundreds of photos hung in giant frames on the posts and plywood dividers that had been set up under the canvas to block in three of the sides, and, to Valerie's relief, to keep in the welcome heat blowing out of two very large portable heaters.   All manner of tattoos, ranging from the garish to the gorgeous, were represented in those photographs: fire breathing dragons that covered the entire back from shoulder blades to waist, delicate fairies dancing on oversized flower petals that wrapped daintily around a woman's ankle, devilish skulls with snakes crawling into and out of every hole, an infant's portrait that looked so realistic in black and white that it could have been an actual photograph . . .

"Well, if it ain't the Bone!  How the hell are you?"

Bone chuckled and leaned across the wooden counter to shake hands with a very skinny man with a hell of a lot of tattoos on every visible portion of his body.  "Fine, just fine," he replied, clapping the man on the shoulder.  "Business good, yeah?"

The man uttered a wheezing, wet laugh that bordered on the quintessential smoker's cough, and he set his cigar in a bent tin ashtray.  "It goes; it goes," he said.  "How's that little fucker you work for doing?"

"Ah, Roka's good.  Roka's always good," Bone remarked with a chuckle.  "Oh, this is Valerie, Zel's attorney.  V, this is Skinner, Roka's favorite tat artiste."

The man's chuckle escalated as his gaze shifted to her, and for reasons that Valerie didn't quite understand, she had to control the overwhelming desire to duck behind Bone.  Skinner leaned to the side, squinting as he slowly stared her up and down before breaking into a wide grin.  "Attorney?  That right?"  Snorting loudly, Skinner made a face and narrowed his eyes at Bone.  "She don't look like a fucking attorney.  Looks like a done-up groupie, if you ask me."

"That's right," Bone replied with a nod.  "Swear to Jesus, she's an attorney."  Peering over his shoulder, he chuckled.  "The groupie-thing wasn't an insult," he hurriedly explained, apparently believing that she was about to object to Skinner's commentary, which she was.

"It wasn't?" she countered.

"Hell, no!  In this business, groupies are great things, Valerie, I swear."

"Is that right?" she mumbled.  "Guess I must've missed that day in Rock Stars 101 class."

Skinner laughed suddenly and shook his head.  "Now I believe that she's an attorney . . . Damned if he ain't one lucky little bastard . . ."

"No, no, not what you think," Bone maintained, holding his hands up to stop Skinner.  "Just his attorney, yeah?  Valerie's got too much class for the likes of him."

"H'ain't met a woman yet, what could ignore him," Skinner maintained dubiously, quite apparently not interested in listening to Bone's explanation of her relationship with Zel Roka.  "Damndest thing, really.  Even my Ellie . . ."

Valerie blinked rather blankly and leaned toward Bone.  "Ellie?"

His grin widened.  "His dog, now Zel's—You know her better as Mimi."

She thought about that but couldn't help the little snort that slipped from her, either.  "He stole his dog?"

Bone shrugged offhandedly.  "More like she followed him home, but yeah, something like that."

Valerie wrinkled her nose.  Why didn't it surprise her that Evan had managed to charm the man's dog?  "So you did his tattoos?" she asked, mostly to steer the conversation in a different direction since Skinner was looking quite put out at the reminder of the loss of his dog.

Bone turned and grinned at her, winking quickly as he leaned down as though he was about to tell her a secret.  "Skinner's the mastermind behind Zel's look, if you know what I mean."

It took a moment for her to figure out what Bone was trying to say, and when she finally did, she slowly shook her head.  Skinner had designed all of the temporary tattoos that Evan sported every time he went out in public as Zel Roka?  Glancing around at the numerous pictures of the man's work, she had to allow that he was damn good at what he did.

"Come on, V.  Let's go find something to gnash on," Bone said suddenly, taking Valerie's hand and dragging her out of the tent.  "Later, man!"

It took a moment for Valerie to respond, mostly because the wind that hit her when they stepped out from the cover of the tent was harsh.  "Why can't they do Rocktoberfest in Hawaii?" she grumbled as she maneuvered herself behind Bone just enough to use him as a windbreak.

He laughed and shrugged off his long, black leather trench coat and dropped it over her shoulders.  "Better?"

Biting her lip since it was much better even though she ought to give it back on general principle, Valerie frowned when she realized that the man was wearing only a very tight black tee-shirt and a pair of faded jeans.  "Here," she said, pulling the coat off to hand it back.

Bone grasped the lapels and tugged it more securely around her shoulders.  "Don't worry about it, V.  To tell the truth, I was a little warm in that, anyway."

She didn't believe him.  It couldn't be more than fifteen or twenty degrees out—less if one factored in wind chill.  Still, she had a feeling that arguing with him wouldn't matter, anyway.  Knowing Evan, he'd probably told Bone to do whatever it took to make her happy or something ridiculous like that, and she knew better than anyone that Bone tended to take his job seriously.  Even then, she wasn't quite ready to let it go without a little more effort, was she?  "You'll tell me if you need it back, right?" she growled, purposefully inflicting enough venom into her tone to let him know that she was dead serious.

She should have known that he wouldn't take her seriously, and he didn't.  Breaking into a wide grin, he laughed.  "Roka's right.  You're damn hot when you're trying to be all pissy."

She opened her mouth to tell Bone just what she thought of his misplaced amusement, but she gave up before she could with a shake of her head.  It wouldn't really do any good, anyway, and it might only serve to further his humor at her expense, too.

"Oh!  Chili!"

Valerie blinked and squeaked out a surprised little yelp when Bone suddenly tightened his grip on her hand and made haste toward another booth farther down.  'Chili?' she thought with a shake of her head.  Suddenly, though, a grin quirked her lips, and she gave a mental shrug.  There was just an intangible excitement in the air, wasn't there?  Besides, Bone wouldn't let anything bad happen to her, would he?  After all, knowing Evan, he probably would blow that proverbial ass gasket if Bone did . . .


"This is the ballroom here at the Detroit Industrialis where all the performers have been assigned practice time for the big show—practice time, for fuck's sake!  It's like high school band without the fat kid on trombone," Evan said, grabbing his crotch and giving himself a little shake when he said the word 'trombone' and pausing long enough to turn around and face the camera for a moment.  "'Course, the fat kid in our band wasn't bad.  Went to state contest and scored a first, if I recall . . ."

"Yeah?  Was his name Herman, by any chance?" Tay said, rolling his eyes and shoving Evan forward once more.  "That was our trombone player's name."

"Nah," Evan replied, digging a cigarette out of his pocket and lighting it up for show.  "Name was Klingerman.  Nice kid but blind as a damned bat.  One of the jocks stole his glasses once.  Tied 'em to the basketball hoop in the gym for kicks . . ."

"Hell, in our school, the jocks hung Herman from the basketball hoop by his underpants . . ."

Evan laughed and shook his head.  "Yeah, see?  Now that's a much better story."

Tay chuckled, pausing long enough to light a cigarette, too.  "Why they got a fucking ballroom in the hotel that rock built is entirely beyond me."

"That's because you're a dumbass," Frankie muttered.

"Hey, hey!  Check out the chandeliers!" Tay said, slapping Evan's arm as he pointed at the ceiling.  "Those are the biggest fucking chains I've ever seen!"

Evan lifted his head and laughed at the huge chains that held up the dangling light sticks from wide, circular brushed silver structures.  No crystal and pretty little dangly-things in this hotel . . . He waved a hand at the cameraman at the moment—Frankie.  "Get that, get that!"

"Damn . . . I think my camera's broke," Tay said, turning the camcorder that the producer of the Rocktoberfest documentary had given him every which way as he tried to figure it out.

Evan reached over and pushed the button to open the lens cover.  "It ain't broke.  There."

"Dude," Tay laughed, flipping the camera around and lifting it to his eye.  "You're a fuckin' genius!  Shit!  It's already recording . . ."

"So how did we get suckered into filming everything in the hotel?" Frankie asked, still fiddling with the zoom on his camera while he was pointing it up at the chandeliers.

Evan wrinkled his nose.  "Just lucky, I guess," he muttered.  He didn't know who was assigned to cover the event outside, but he figured it was fair to guess that it was a few of the lesser known bands, but something about them being asked to film inside the hotel just smacked of Mike's meddling.

"Anyway, where the hell were we?" Tay asked, turning his body and the camera to follow a rather hot brunette in six inch stilettos and a little dress that barely covered her very nice assets.

"We were filming the ballroom," Evan reminded him with a wolfish grin.

"Oh, right," Tay remarked absently.  He was still too busy following the woman with his camera.  "That'd be why they call it the ballroom, Roka . . . I wouldn't mind balling her . . ."

"You kidding?" Frankie mumbled, concentrating on keeping his camera from bouncing all over the place.  "She's with that one guy . . . Umm . . . little dork, can't remember his name."

"Like that matters," Tay scoffed, scratching his head as he rolled his eyes.  "Girls who travel with the entourage are always easy pickings . . . They like to keep track of how many rock stars they do so they can write about their sexploits when they're old and their saggy-assed boobs are hanging around their damn knees."

"Shi-i-i-it, you'd better hope to hell they cut that out of the finished video, you stupid fuck," Frankie pointed out with a shake of his head.  Then he turned the camera and grinned into it.  "So ladies, please direct any and all hate mail to Tay Nash, okay?  Because I, personally, think each and every one of you is beautiful and are possessed of a very generous soul."

"What a crock of horseshit," Evan countered with a laugh.  "If you have a pecker between the two of you, then I'd be surprised."

"What a funny guy!" Tay shot back in an obnoxiously airy, sarcastic tone.  "Can I book you for a party when we get back to the city?"

"Shut the fuck up, Tay," Evan retorted with a cheesy grin.  "You couldn't afford my going rate."

"Better start saving up your quarters now, you know," Frankie added with a marked chortle.  "Gotta pay off those guys in the clink to keep 'em away from your ass, right?"

"Dude!" Evan protested.  "Can I help it if every-fucking-body wants a piece of the Roka of Love?"

"The Roka of L—Jesus f'ing Christ!" Tay groaned, catching Evan around the neck with his arm and pulling him down into a headlock.  It only took Evan a few moments to slither out of the hold and reverse it, dealing Tay a hearty knuckle-rub in the middle of his head.

"You see what I have to put up with?" Frankie complained after turning the camera around to capture him and slowly shaking his head.  "A bunch of fucking juvenile delinquents, if you ask me."

He dropped the camera on the floor a moment later when Evan reached out, grabbing Frankie's leg to drag him into the burgeoning fray, too, and when Mike walked into the ballroom a few minutes later, the manager could only sigh and rub his forehead at the sight of three grown men, rolling around on the floor as they tried to imitate professional wrestlers.


"Ro-o-oka-a- a . . .!"

Pushing open the frosted glass shower door, Evan blinked and stared as Valerie plopped down on the black canvas chair just inside the bathroom.  It wasn't the sight of her in his bathroom that surprised him nearly as much as what she was wearing that did it.  Gone were the jeans and sweater that she'd left the hotel room with.  In their places were a pair of very tight black patent leather pants that fit her like a second skin and a lace up the front black leather vest—damn hot, really, and the six inch clear plastic, tacky as hell yet somehow beyond sexy platform shoes?  Well, those were just pure freaking win, as far as he was concerned . . . With a contented sigh, she dropped four huge bags in her hands onto the floor and smiled at him.  "Did you know that they're giving stuff away down there?" she asked, her eyes wide and rather glassy.  "Oh . . . You're naked . . ."

"Usually happens when I take a shower, woman," he pointed out with a grin.  "So is there a reason that you've decided that you needed to let yourself in here when I'm nude?"

"Nude," she repeated, moments before she broke into a round of giggles.  "That's a funny word, isn't it?  Nu-u-ude . . . noo-o-o-o-o-ood . . ."

Rolling his eyes, Evan reached for a fluffy black drying sheet to wrap around his hips before squeezing out a decent amount of shaving gel and spreading it on his face.  Valerie was acting entirely weird, and it didn't take him long to figure out why.  In fact, it only took a couple sniffs to tell him everything he needed to know.  The woman reeked of marijuana . . . "You didn't smoke anything while you were down there, did you?" he asked, figuring that she didn't have to.  Ending up with a contact high off of the fumes would've been quite easy to do, and he knew better than anyone that any kind of excess that could be contrived could also be found in the chaos of Rocktoberfest.

Her head rolled on her neck like a bobble-head figurine before she managed to level a semi-steady gaze on him.  "I don't smoke, silly-dilly!" she scolded.  "Smoking is really, really gross!"

He chuckled, grabbing the disposable razor that he'd picked up earlier when he'd realized that he'd left his regular one on the bus and didn't feel like tracking down someone to retrieve it for him.  "You gonna tell me what happened to your clothes?" he asked, figuring that if she didn't realize that she was higher than a damn kite that he wasn't about to point it out to her.

She blinked and glanced down at her outfit then back up at him again.  "I'm wearing them," she informed him in a tone that indicated that he ought to have known that already.  "Geez, man, get a clue!"

"You left the hotel wearing something entirely different, V," he told her.

Her eyes widened, and her mouth rounded in an 'oh'.  "Oh-h-h-h . . . I did . . ."

"So what happened to your other clothes?"

Scrunching her face up in an exaggerated show of thought, Valerie tapped her chin with her index finger.  "Hmm . . . I don't know!  Anyway, who cares?  I'm hot, right?" she demanded, hauling herself out of the chair and posing rather clumsily, sinking her fingers into her hair and pushing up with her hands, letting her long locks cascade around her like a model posing for a picture.

Evan heaved a sigh.  "Oh, yeah," he agreed almost ruefully.  "You're hot, all right . . ."

"Anyway," she said, letting her arms drop in favor of grabbing Evan's arm and tugging insistently, "they all gave me a bunch of stuff, Roka!  Everywhere I stopped, they smiled and shoved stuff into those bags—just shoved stuff in . . .!"

"Is that right?" he drawled since he had a fairly good idea as to why vendors would be more than willing to offer her free stuff.  If her looks didn't sway them, the access pass that identified her as part of the Zel Roka contingent hanging around her neck from a bright yellow cord certainly would've been more than enough.  "Better stop tugging on me before you make me cut myself up."

"Oh, poop!" she scoffed, waving a hand dismissively.  "You know, though, it was too bad Bone wasn't there," she went on absently, more to herself than to him.  "I could've had him carry more stuff . . ."

That got Evan's full attention quickly enough.  Head snapping up as the razor in his hand clattered into the sink, he whipped around to face her.  "What's that?  What do you mean, too bad Bone wasn't there?"

"He got lost," she explained as almost an afterthought.  "I'm not sure how someone as big as him can get lost, though.  Isn't that weird?"

Tamping down the anger that rose to the surface, Evan drew a deep breath and tried to mollify himself with the knowledge that Valerie was safe and relatively unscathed.  It didn't help that much especially when Evan considered what could have happened to her.  He damn well would give the big man a piece of his mind when he showed up, though . . .

"Look, look, look," Valerie suddenly said, holding out her hand like she was trying to show him ring or something.  "What do you think?"

He blinked and stared at her fingertips and the five different colored nails she was obviously proud of.  "Why different colors, V?" he asked.

Valerie wrinkled her nose then giggled again.  "It's that Diamondz nail polish," she told him triumphantly.  "I wasn't sure what color I wanted to try, so they let me try all these—then they gave me a bottle of each!  Can you imagine?  I've always wanted to try it, but there's no way in hell I was going to pay fifty bucks a bottle—fifty, Roka!  Fifty!  And they just gave me ten of them!  That's . . . that's . . ."

"Five hundred dollars' worth of stink?" he offered helpfully.

"Yes!" she exclaimed, slapping the back of her hand against his chest.  Evan grunted.  "Five hundred dollars!"  Slamming her hand down on the counter, Valerie slouched against the surface, using her hand to prop herself up.  "Do you suppose they actually make any money if they're just handing out samples of their products like that?"

"I'm pretty sure that you're the exception, not the rule, V," he pointed out.

Valerie nodded, turning her attention to her multi-colored nails.  "I think I like this one best . . . It's got real gold along with the diamond dust in it."

Evan rinsed his face off and dried it with a hand towel.

She was rather entertaining, he had to admit, and she certainly wasn't acting at all like her normal self.  On the one hand, it was nice to see her loosen up.  On the other?  He had to admit that it was a little unnerving, too.

Valerie sat down once more and started to rummage through one of the bags she'd carried into the bathroom with her.  At last, she pulled a small bottle of nail polish remover out of it and frowned.  "Roka, do you have cotton balls?"

"Uh, maybe.  You want a couple?"

She giggled again—more of a twittering kind of sound.  "Do they tickle when you walk?"

Pulling open the drawer beside him, he grabbed a few out of the compartment and tossed them to her.  "Wow, V . . . That one was pretty bad . . ."

Valerie's giggling escalated.  "If I had cotton balls, I bet they would."

Letting out a deep breath, Evan shook his head.  "Come on," he said, grasping her hand and tugging until she stood up once more.  "You realize, right?  That joke is old . . ."

"Whatever," she retorted, but she allowed him to drag her out of the bathroom.  "You know something?"

"No.  What?"

"I'm starving."

Pausing long enough to glance over his shoulder at her, he grinned.  That just wasn't as surprising as it should have been, was it?  "All right," he allowed, altering his course to head toward the kitchen.  "Let's go get you something to eat."

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Wasted Rock Ranger' originally appeared on Great White's 1989 release, Twice Shy.  Song written by and copyrighted to Mark Kendall, Jack Russell, Alan Niven, and Michael Lardie.
== == == == == == == == == ==
monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ CatLover260 ------ Nozome ------ Dark Inuu Fan ------ theblackthorn ------ inyu01 ------ JKD1989 ------ OROsan0677 ------ Titiana
Denyell ------ BlackbltVette ------ cutechick18 ------ indigorrain ------ Ice_Sick_El ------ OROsan0677 ------ sheastar
Thought from Evan:
She's stoned
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.