InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Insomnia ( Chapter 97 )

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

-Oo OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Deep in the bosom of the gentle night
'Is when I search for the light
'Pick up my pen and start to write
'I struggle, fight dark forces in the clear moonlight
'Without fear, insomnia, I can't get no sleep…'

-'Insomnia' by Faithless.


'T his is all his fault.'

Rolling over onto her stomach, Valerie made a face as she burrowed deeper into her pillow and tried to force herself to go to sleep.  It might have worked if she was even remotely sleepy.  She wasn't.  Nope, if anything, she was even more wide awake, no thanks to that dork rock star.  His mini-tour had completely thrown her usual schedule for a loop, and getting back into the swing of things was proving to be even more difficult than she'd thought it would be.

Of course, it didn't help that she'd spent the last few hours wondering just what kind of mischief he'd managed to find.  He hadn't answered any of her phone calls since she'd left his house yesterday, and if she didn't know better, she'd swear that he was pouting or something, especially since she'd told him that she had to buckle down and work on his case, but surprisingly, he hadn't seemed to be too upset about her insistence that he stay out of trouble so she could work without worrying about whether or not he was out raising Cain.

Having spent the majority of the day in the seclusion of her office going over Evan's case, Valerie had hoped that she'd find something that she might have overlooked before—some kind of loophole that she'd be able to exploit—to no avail.  She'd sat down with the vehicle inspection report that she'd taken with her on the tour, but combing through it was a long process, and she really hadn't made much more of a dent in it than she had on the bus.  Frustrating, sure, but there had to be something, and with any luck, it was just a matter of time until she found it.  The current problem, however, didn't have much to do with Evan's case in general.  No, the current dilemma was that her mind was too wound up from work, and thanks to the extra-long sleep she'd indulged in after they'd gotten back from the mini-tour, Valerie just wasn't tired in the least.

Heaving a longsuffering sigh, Valerie sat up, shoulders slumping with a thoroughly defeated air, and she grabbed the cell phone off the nightstand, dialing the number without a second thought.

It rang four times before the voicemail kicked in.  Wrinkling her nose, Valerie hung up on the machine and waited for a few seconds before hitting redial.

"Yeah?" Evan's groggy voice came over the line.

"What are you doing?" she asked, leaning back against the headboard as she glanced at the darkened window across the room.

"V-V?" he murmured almost vaguely.

Valerie snorted and wrinkled her nose.  "Of course," she replied.  "Who else would it be?"

He grunted something unintelligible.

"So what are you doing?" she questioned again.

Yawning loudly, Evan took a moment to answer.  "Sleeping," he replied simply.

"Oh, you're not!" she argued.  "You never sleep, remember?"

"Sometimes," he confessed.  "I'll talk to you 'morrow, 'kay?"

"No, wait," she blurted, only to be greeted by the beep that told her that the call had been ended.  That didn't dissuade her, though, and she hit redial again.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping, too?" Evan asked in lieu of a proper greeting.  He didn't sound any more awake than he had a few minutes before.

"I'm bored, Roka—and no, I can't sleep."

He didn't say anything for a few seconds.  Valerie had to wonder if he'd lowered the phone to double check the caller ID or something.  "Bored," he repeated.  "Is that right?"

"Yes," she said, her tone a little sulkier than she'd meant for it to be.

Evan sighed, but the sound shifted easily into a yawn.  "Woman, you've got to be shitting me," he muttered.

"Oh, like you've never been bored before," she retorted.  "Aren't you the one who says that it's bad to be bored?"

"No," he countered mildly.  "I said that it's bad when I get bored.  You, on the other hand, are entirely upstanding, so I don't think you'll get in the same kind of trouble that I do."  He yawned again.  "Night, V."

That didn't dissuade her, either.  "Hey, you know, I'll bet that one place is still open—that crab shack place you took me to before."

"You're hungry?" he asked, the disbelief evident in his tone.

Waving a hand, not that he could see it, Valerie snorted.  "Not really," she admitted.  "Just bored, but you're always hungry, aren't you?"

"Not tonight, I'm not," he informed her.  "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

She wasn't sure why Evan's question caught her off guard, but it did, and when she glanced at the clock, only to give it a classic double take, Valerie bit her lip almost guiltily—not nearly guiltily enough to hang up the phone, though.  "So it's four in the morning," she scoffed, injecting just enough bravado to mask the prickles her conscience was dealing her.

"So I wanna go back to sleep," he insisted.  "I'll call you after I get up."

Rolling her eyes as she tossed the covers aside and swung her legs off the bed, Valerie still wasn't ready to admit defeat as she paced back and forth across the floor.  "Aw, come on, Roka.  Let's go jogging."

"Baby, I swear to God, I'll do whatever you want.  Just let me sleep for another . . . six hours or so," Evan offered.

"Six hours?" Valerie squeaked.  "Are you kidding?"

Uttering a half-groan, Evan chuckled wanly.  "I wish," he allowed.  "Sorry to disappoint you."

"Fine, fine," Valerie grouched, flopping down on the edge of the bed once more.  "It's the beginning of the end for you, isn't it?  Too tired to go do something with me today; living in Vegas and playing cover versions of the cheesiest love songs, ever, tomorrow . . . Zel Roka, shock rocker, all decked out in a white double knit pantsuit that looks like you were attacked by a Bedazzler, singing How Do I Love Thee or something like that . . ."

"No way," he countered mildly.  "I'm gonna open the most wicked metal chapel of love."

"Metal chapel of love?" Valerie echoed, eyebrow arching artfully.  "You mean like the some kind of weird shrine dedicated to metal?  Oh, and by the way, Roka.  You're not metal, anyway."

"Keh," Evan snorted though he still had yet to actually sound irritated.  "People will pay big bucks to be married by the Zel Roka, don't you think?"

"Oh, no, I don't," she said with a wince, "and you obviously shouldn't, either.  Besides, you don't have the accreditation to do any such thing.  None of their marriages would be legal."

"Eh, I can get certified online or something," he replied carelessly.  "That would be pretty fucking sweet, wouldn't it?"

"If you think so," she remarked rather acerbically.  "Now are you coming over to go jogging?"

"Good night, V," he said—at least, that's what she thought he'd said.  His words were pretty jumbled by the yawn that he had tried to talk through.

"Okay, I get the hint," Valerie grumbled.  "I'll just go jogging alone . . . a nice, long jog . . . I think I might take the long trail through Central Park.  Bye, Roka."

She hung up and tossed her phone onto the bed beside her, letting out a deep breath before she pushed herself to her feet and shuffled over to the closet to grab a warm up suit . . .


'. . . Damn it.'

Smothering a yawn with the back of his hand, Evan plodded along behind the attorney, absently appreciating the very nice bounce in her step as the two of them jogged in companionable silence.

He wasn't entirely certain whether her remark about Central Park had been calculated or not, but there wasn't any way he could just ignore her after she'd said that considering the park was a dangerous place, especially at night.

Not that he really could complain too much, anyway.  After all, he got to trail around after her with his eyes glued to her very shapely ass, didn't he?  That had to account for something.

"I thought you said you were tired, Roka," Valerie said without breaking her brisk stride.

"Eh, well, you know," he drawled.  "It was either stay in bed and have wet dreams about you or join you so that I could try to convince you to fuck me instead."

"Dream on," she scoffed though she sounded more amused than irritated, and that had to be a good sign, or so he figured.

"So tell me why you're up so late . . . early . . ." Evan asked as they jogged into the park.

"Just couldn't sleep," she replied airily.  "Get your eyes off my ass."

Breaking into a wolfish grin, Evan didn't try to argue his innocence since his gaze was planted firmly on her ass.  He figured it wasn't too far a stretch that she knew, anyway.  Considering he liked to spend an inordinate amount of time staring right at that, anyway, Valerie had to have known.

"And I wanted to talk to you," she went on.

"'Bout what?"

"About Saturday."

Her answer took him by surprise even as a little grin surfaced on his features.  "What about it?" he asked instead.

Sparing a moment to glance over her shoulder at him, Valerie seemed satisfied that he was, indeed, listening to him.  "Marvin's flying in to spend the day with me," she told him, "and you're going to swear to me that you're going to stay out of trouble so that I don't have to worry about you."

Wrinkling his nose, Evan stifled the low growl that surged in his throat at the mere mention of that little butt-nut.  He much preferred when she went for days without talking about him, damned if he didn't . . . "What?  I thought you dumped his ass," Evan replied rather obnoxiously.

Valerie snorted, lifting a delicate hand to wipe the slight sheen of perspiration off her brow.  "Don't be a jerk, Evan," she retorted mildly.

"I'm not," he maintained reasonably—maybe too reasonably.  "You didn't talk to him for weeks while we were out on tour, right?  Stands to reason that I thought you'd dumped his miserable ass."

She snorted again but didn't bother to stop or to look at him.  "Don't be obnoxious.  Now promise you'll behave."

"No promises, V," he went on, increasing his pace so that he fell into step beside her.  "I mean, Saturday's pretty far away, right?  How the hell do I know what I'll be doing while Barfy's in town?"

He could feel her gaze on his face even if he didn't look to confirm it.  "Oh, no, Roka," she said with a stubborn shake of her head.  "You're going to swear to me that you'll be good.  I haven't seen Marvin in months, you know.  It's not going to kill you to behave for one day—I mean, you stayed out of trouble yesterday, didn't you?"

Rolling his eyes, Evan grinned.  "That's because I was in my groove," he pointed out.  "So what's the occasion?"

"Occasion?" Valerie repeated then snorted.  "Does it have to be some kind of special occasion for my fiancé to want to spend some time with me?"  Evan opened his mouth to answer that, but Valerie must've figured out that he was going to make some kind of disparaging comment, and she held up a hand to forestall it.  "Don't go there," she warned matter-of-factly.  "Besides, if you don't know what Saturday is, then I'm not going to tell you, anyway."

The almost sulking tone in her voice was enough to make Evan's grin widen.  'Saturday, huh?' he thought to himself.  Of course he knew what Saturday was.  Too bad he wasn't about to tell her that he knew, though . . . "Okay, V, you win.  What's Saturday?" he asked instead.

"You really don't know?" she blurted almost incredulously.  Her momentary surprise was quickly masked behind a scowl of pure irritation.  "Well, if you don't know, then I'm certainly not going to tell you."

"Saturday, Saturday," Evan repeated thoughtfully, dropping to a walk as he made a show of pondering the day.  Eyes rounding suddenly, he snapped his fingers and pointed at her.  "Oh!  Saturday!  Is that when the city decided to allow trick or treating?"

"W—I—No!" she snapped, drawing up abruptly, swinging around to pin him with and incredulous look as she draped her hands on her hips and lifted her chin stubbornly.

Shuffling his feet, scratching his head thoughtfully, Evan shrugged.  "It's the best day of the week for cartoons on TV?"

Her mouth dropped open, wisps of hair that had escaped from the industrious ponytail she'd pulled her hair into blowing into her slightly flushed face lending a gentleness to her features in the manufactured light of the path lamp beside the trail, and she shook her head.  "You suck, Roka.  Do you know that?" she grumbled.

"Okay, okay," he relented with a chuckle.  "How about a hint?"

Rolling her eyes melodramatically, Valerie broke into a jog once more.  "It's my birthday," she tossed over her shoulder.  "And don't tell me that you didn't know."

"Oh, yeah?  Happy birthday," he replied, plodding along beside her, mildly surprised that she'd given in that easily.  Of course he'd known that.  She didn't know that, though.  "How was I supposed to know that?  You never mentioned it before."

"It's not my birthday yet," she informed him tightly.

"So how old are you gonna be?" he went on.  "Thirty?  Thirty-five?"

She very nearly stumbled over a rock in the path as her head whipped to the side to glower at him.  "I'm not that old!" she snapped haughtily.

He reached out, caught her around the waist to steady her, his laughter soft, breathy as he drew her back against his chest.  "I was teasing, V.  Sorry about that."

A slight tremor raced up her spine, and Evan had a feeling that it had nothing at all to do with the brisk October morning and everything to do with her body's proximity to his.  Still she turned just enough to pin him with a darkened scowl.  "Didn't your mother teach you better than to make fun of a lady's age?"

"Must've missed that lesson," he quipped.  "You want to go get some breakfast?"

Wrinkling her nose, she pulled away from him and started jogging once more.  "Tired already?" she goaded.

Evan's smile didn't fade as he took off after her again.  "Naw," he drawled.  "You're the one who mentioned food earlier on the phone, though."

"We haven't been out long enough to work up an appetite," she insisted.  "A little longer, and then we can go find something for you to eat."

That sounded pretty fair to him, Evan supposed.  Besides, he wasn't really that hungry, and having Valerie to himself?  That made everything pretty well worth it, in his estimation.


"You're not seriously going to eat all that, are you?"

Glancing up from the huge, heaping platter of biscuits and gravy that the waitress had just set before him, Evan grinned.  "Damn straight," he agreed.

Valerie shook her head and made a face.  "But that's your third plate."

His grin widened.  "Damn straight," he said again.

"Ugh," she muttered, wrinkling her nose and shaking her head as she forced her gaze away.  "I can feel my arteries closing, just from watching you."

"Wan' a bite?" he garbled around a huge mouthful of biscuits and gravy.

"No, thanks," she assured him, gesturing at the waitress to get a refill on her coffee.  "Good thing you have lots of  money, rocker-boy.  You're going to need it in five years when you're getting that quadruple heart bypass surgery."

Evan laughed and stuffed another huge bite into his mouth.  "'Eck iz ou, V," he said, setting the fork aside and lifting a whole biscuit off the plate.

Valerie watched in horrified fascination as the man managed to shove the whole thing into his mouth.  "Good God," she whispered, her hand fluttering over her chest as though she were in the middle of severe heart palpitations.  "You're just not right."

"Mmm," he moaned.  "'O 'oo-oo-ood . . ."

It was kind of like a train wreck.  She just couldn't make herself look away, even though she wanted to more than anything—anything.  "I can't . . . I can't . . . Eww, Roka!  At least close your mouth!"

He tried to say something else, but she couldn't really understand it.  Waving his hand toward her, he scooped up another biscuit and hefted it up proudly.

"Oh, no, no," she insisted, shaking her head stubbornly.  "No way!  Don't!  You'll choke or—u-u-ugh!"

He laughed as he somehow managed to shove that one in, too, though the actual sound was more of a wheeze.

"Well, that's just the sexiest thing I've ever seen," she muttered dryly.

Evan laughed harder, spitting out a few crumbs and a glob of gravy onto the table.  Valerie grimaced, unable to contain the look of utter disgust as Evan choked and leaned to the side, doubling over as a series of unsavory sounds escaped him.

"Oh, my God, V!" he chortled finally, having somehow swallowed all the food that he'd crammed into his mouth as he reached for a glass of water to chase it all down.  "It almost came out my nose!"

Rolling her eyes and shaking her head despite the hint of a smile that quirked her lips, Valerie pushed her plate of barely touched poached egg and grapefruit aside.  "It would've served you right," she decided.

His amusement finally wound down though his smile didn't disappear.  "Life would be boring without me, V," he pointed out as he lifted the fork and cut off another large bite.

"It'd be something," she allowed.

"Yeah, yeah," he said, waving a hand as he shoveled in more food.  "So, what do you want for your birthday?"

Valerie blinked and shot him a look as she opened her mouth to offer the perfunctory answer: 'Oh, you know, you don't have to buy me anything.  It's the thought that counts, right?'

'Right,' the voice in the back of her mind said—the nice one that tended to always think in terms of 'politically correct'.

She snorted inwardly and sat back in her chair.  "I don't care," she said instead.

"You don't care?" he echoed.  "You gonna give me that, 'You don't have to give me anything as long as you are thinking of me' crap?"

Considering that was exactly what she had thought, Valerie couldn't help the giggle that escaped her.  "All right, Roka, you know what I want?" she asked suddenly.

Evan's grin widened.  "Yes, V, I do."

She nodded slowly and pinned him with a menacing stare.  "I don't care what you get me," she stated once more, "but it had better be expensive."

Evan blinked and barked out a laugh.  "That right?" he asked between chuckles.

Valerie raised an eyebrow, as though daring him to argue with her.  "You've got more money than God, don't you?"

"Do I?" he countered, his amusement obvious.

"Well, you used to," she couldn't resist adding, "until you decided to use Justin as a punching bag."

"Ah, yeah," he allowed.  "Happy birthday to me."

"It's not your birthday," she pointed out.

Evan chuckled again and stared at his empty plate as though he were considering ordering yet another.  "I consider that to be an early present to me," he told her.

For some reason, that didn't surprise  her—and she couldn't rightfully disagree with him, either—even if she wasn't too pleased that he'd done such a stupid thing, to start with . . . "Anyway, if you can afford to dish out money for stupid stuff like that, then you can afford to spend lots of money on me then, can't you?"

"I thought it wasn't the price that mattered but the thought that went into it," he remarked.

Valerie snorted indelicately and reached out to push his hand down when he started to raise it to call over the waitress.  "Whoever said that was poor," she countered.

"Is that so?"

She nodded.  "Of course it's so.  You've got money, so spend it."

He nodded slowly.  "You going to tell me what you want then?"

"Of course not!" she scoffed.  "A present isn't a present if you have to tell someone what to buy."

"As long as it's expensive, you mean."

Valerie nodded.  "You catch on pretty quick," she allowed.

"Yeah, but if you're gonna spend the day with Myrtle, then I won't be able to give you a present," he goaded.

Valerie sighed and waved a hand as she drained the last of her coffee.  "So give it to me the day before," she challenged.

Evan laughed and finally pushed his plate away, much to her relief.  "You've put some thought into this, V," he mused.  "You sure you don't want to tell me what you really want?"

"Where's the fun in that?"

"Well, what if I get you something you'd hate, even if it is expensive?"

She grinned at him.  "Just make sure you save the receipt so that I can exchange it."

Evan stood up and held out a hand to help Valerie out of the booth.  She ignored it as she got to her feet, too.  "Damn, you're tough," he lamented.

Valerie paused beside him long enough to pat his cheek.  "I think you'll live, Roka.  In fact, I'm sure of it."

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Insomnia' originally appeared on Faithless' 1996 release, Reverence.  Song written by and copyrighted to Rollo Armstrong, Maxi Jazz, Ayalah Deborah Bentovim.
== == == == == == == == == ==
JKD1989 (unsolicited critiques are ALWAYS deleted) ------ Nozome ------ monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ Lynzi18 ------ CatLover260 ------ theblackthorn ------ lilswtheart9811 ------ fanfic7inu (All others are small edits; Purity is the only one getting a mass overhaul.) ------ Cricket42
Proforce ------ cutechick18 ------ indigorrain
Thought from Evan:
Expensive, huh
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.