InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ November Rain ( Chapter 103 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter One Hundred Three~~
~November Rain~


-OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-
< br> 'I know it's hard to keep an open heart
'When even friends seem out to harm you
'But if you could heal a broken heart
'Wouldn't time be out to charm you … ?'

-'November Rain' by Guns n' Roses.

-Evan-


"Okay, Roka.  Let's play a game."

Evan glanced up from the acoustic guitar and slowly pulled the pencil that he'd been using to transcribe a song from between his teeth as he looked the attorney over thoroughly.  "I like games," he agreed with a lecherous grin, dropping the pencil onto the notebook that he'd been scribbling in just minutes before her unceremonious arrival.

She rolled her eyes and pushed the glasses up her nose as she dropped her attaché case onto the sofa and perched on the edge of the cushion.  Hiding herself away under one of those suits of hers, she'd obviously just come from work.  That was all right.  He rather liked that she'd rush right over, didn't he?

"So, you do want to play?" she reiterated.

Setting the guitar aside, he shrugged.  "Sure.  Don't suppose it involves your boobies, does it?"

Nabbing a throw pillow, she tossed it into his face before answering.  "No.  Now are you going to listen to me?"

"Don't suppose it involves my boobies?" he suggested a little too hopefully.

Snapping her mouth closed as the pinched lawyer-look settled over her features, Valerie heaved a sigh and slowly shook her head.  "You don't have 'boobies', Roka, and even if you did, the answer would still be 'no'."

"Take all the fun out of it, why don't you, V?" he complained.

"Get over it, Roka.  You're being a baby," she scoffed.

Evan snorted and wrinkled his nose.  "Besides, I'm busy."

One delicate eyebrow arched at his assertion.  "Doing what?" she challenged mildly.

He shot her a cheesy grin.  "Pondering the mysteries of the universe."

She snorted and crossed her arms over her chest.  "What mysteries would that be?"

He shrugged offhandedly and reached for the bottle of water that he'd set on the coffee table about three hours ago when he'd first started messing around with a riff that had been going through his head all morning.  "Oh, you know, the usual stuff."

"Like what?" she prompted when he left off at that.

"Eh, like: if you choke a Smurf, what color does he turn?"

She stared at him for several seconds before uttering a loud grunt followed in short order by a long, melodramatic sigh.  "There's something wrong with you," she muttered.  "Is that the only question?"

Sparing a moment to cast her a blank sort of look, Evan slowly shook his head.  "Nope.  There's also: if I were you, how could I stand to be so damn sexy?"

Pressing her lips together in a thin line, she looked like she was suspiciously close to laughing, though she managed to keep herself in check quite admirably.  "Beyond bent," she grumbled, her tone much more stern than the expression on her face.  "So, those are your idea of the greatest mysteries in the universe?"

"Nah, there's one mystery that is way more important than either of those," he admitted.

She didn't look like she was entirely sure that she wanted to know, but in the end, she rolled her eyes and straightened her back proudly.  "Okay, I'll bite.  What's that one?"

He would never know how he managed not to grin like a damn fool at the foreboding yet curious expression on her face.  Clearing his throat, he swallowed half of the bottle of water before answering.  "That's easy," he said glibly as he set the bottle on the table once more.

"And?"

"The biggest mystery in the universe is why, V, you were in my bushes?"

He thought she was going to throw something at him; he really did.  She didn't, which surprised him, but the look she shot him might well have killed any other man on the spot.  Too bad Evan just thought it was amusing as hell, and the grin that surfaced on his features stated that plainly enough.

"You're such a jerk, Roka," she informed him, her tone as dry as the desert even though he didn't miss the telltale glint in her eyes.

"You asked," he reminded her.

She snorted again but didn't bother to deny it.  Drawing a deep, cleansing breath, she quickly waved her hands, as though she'd just remembered what she'd come over to talk to him about.  "Anyway, do you want to hear about this game or not?" she demanded once more as she held out her hand and flipped it, palm out, making a show of inspecting her nails.

For some reason, Evan couldn't shake the feeling that he wasn't going to like whatever her game was, but he figured he could humor her.  "All right, V.  Let's hear it," he drawled.

Satisfied that he was listening to her, Valerie grinned triumphantly and dug a fat booklet out of her attaché case.  "Do you know what this is?" she asked in a deceptively sweet tone of voice.

"Nope," he replied.  "What is it?"

"It's the forensics report on your car," she replied.  "Now, I'm not completely through this thing yet, but I'm far enough into it that I've discovered something that I find of sovereign interest.  Want to hear it?"

He did a damn good job of hiding his reluctance, as far as he could tell.  Considering the smugness in her demeanor, he figured that he didn't really want to know what she thought she'd found out.  "What's that?" he asked in a rather bored tone.

"According to the findings, it indicates that your vehicle was going slower than you seemed to think it was," she said simply.

"So?"

"So, your sworn statement was that you were traveling at or around forty miles per hour—higher than the posted speed limit in that area—but according to the report, your car was traveling around twenty miles per hour, give or take."

Evan shrugged offhandedly and reached for the guitar again.  "Doesn't matter," he replied.  "They'd still blame me, even if the car wasn't moving at all."

"Did you mean to lie about your speed?" Valerie asked, point blank.

"Nope," he answered without batting an eyelash.

"I'd like you to tell me about the night of the accident again," she finally said.

Evan figured it was something like that.  "That doesn't sound like a game," he informed her in a completely bored sort of way.

"Sure it is," she argued smoothly.

"How do you figure?"

She grinned, but there was something about that cat-like grin that definitely worried him, no doubt about it . . . "We're going to play truth or dare—kind of," she informed him.  "Thing is, you always have to take truth, and I'll always have to take dare."

That got his attention quickly enough.  His head snapped up though the dubious expression on his face was easily discernible, too.  "Within reason, right?" he muttered, shaking his head slowly.

"Yes, within reason," Valerie repeated.  "Sound fair?"

Heaving a longsuffering sigh designed to let her know just what he thought of that idea, he bobbed his shoulders once in pseudo-agreement.  "Can I dare you to strip naked and hop onto The hEvan Express?"

She didn't even blink.  "No."

'Damn, she's good . . .'

He chuckled.  'Yeah, she is.'

'Didn't even faze her . . .'

"Can I dare you to jack me off?"

Still no reaction.  "Nope."

"But you did it before," he reminded her with what could only be described as a lecherous grin.

And . . . nada—not even as much as a telltale flaring of her nostrils—just nothing.  "I was drunk then.  I'm not drunk now," she pointed out calmly.

He grunted and made a show of rolling his eyes.  "Can I dare you to marry me?"

"Been there, done that," she informed him brusquely.  "Don't think that we need to go there again, now do we?"

He heaved a heavy sigh and snorted indelicately.  "Your game is sounding lamer and lamer by the minute," he muttered, slowly shaking his head.

Valerie wasn't impressed with his complaints.  "Clean dares, Roka," she stated matter-of-factly.

He made a show of yawning in response.

"Oh, and one more thing," she added almost as an afterthought.  "If you lie to me, I can refuse any dare I want."

He snorted.  "And who gets to judge whether I'm being honest or not?"

Pulling off her glasses, she deliberately took her time, stowing them in the leather case.  "I will."

That earned her a rather blank look.  "I dunno, V," he drawled slowly, scratching his chin as he took his time pondering the situation.  "Seems to me that it'd be fairer if you'd, I don't know . . . take your shirt off or something."

It was Valerie's turn to look completely unimpressed.  "Right, ri-i-i-ight, Roka.  Anyway, question one: who all was with you on the night when you hit Mr. Matthis' car?"

Evan considered that then shrugged.  "Before or after we got in the car?"

She shot him the 'we-are-not-amused' look.  "In the car."

"Madison and I were," he replied, his tone as flat and businesslike as he could manage.

Nodding slowly, Valerie stared at him for a long moment, her expression inscrutable.  "No one else."

"Yeah, that's right.  No one else."

She didn't look like she believed him, but she didn't argue with him, either.  "All right; your turn."

Evan snorted since he wasn't entirely sure what, exactly, he could get away with daring her.  All the things that might interest him were off limits, and he knew it.

Glancing down at the table, he reached for the pencil that he'd dropped on the composition paper and grinned.  "Okay, Denning," he said, drawing a raised-eyebrow-ed expression from the attorney since he didn't often—if ever—call her by last name.  "I dare you to stick this up your nose."

Valerie blinked and stared at him as though she were trying to decide whether or not she thought that he'd lost his mind.  Without a word, she leaned toward him, snatching the pencil out of his hand and jammed the eraser end up her left nostril.  "Okay, Roka," she said, completely unfazed by the writing instrument dangling from her face.  "Pay attention, will you?"

Evan couldn't stop laughing to comply.  He couldn't help it; she still had the pencil stuck up her nose.

She waited for a few seconds before slowly shaking her head, which only served to further his amusement since the pencil kept swinging back and forth though not enough to become dislodged.  "Whatever," she muttered, resigning herself to the idea that Evan just wasn't going to calm down.  "According to your sworn statement, you said that the police didn't ask you to submit to any sobriety testing until after you'd given them your name, correct?"

At least he managed to curb his amusement—kind of.  "Yes, V," he replied in a tone that was more indulgent than anything.  "When they found out that I was Zel Roka, hell yeah, they jumped all over that."

"So, you're saying that they were only concerned about testing you after they found out who you were."

Pushing himself to his feet to amble over to the desk, Evan scratched the back of his neck idly.  "Yeah, that's right.  That doesn't matter, though, wasn't that what you'd said?"

"Not directly, no," Valerie admitted with a sigh.  "I mean, if I can get the officers to admit that you weren't behaving in an impaired fashion, it might help a little when it comes to sentencing."

"Sounds like you're giving up on me," he ventured, grabbing a pencil before shuffling back toward the chair he'd just vacated.

She sighed again, only this one sounded somewhat defeated.  "It's not like you really had that much of a chance to begin with," she admitted.  "I mean, you might have had more of a chance if you hadn't asked officer that administered the sobriety tests if she would give you oral sex."

Evan grinned.  He couldn't rightfully help himself, all things considered.  "She was wicked hot," he said in his own defense.  "She had handcuffs, V!"

Valerie didn't look impressed.  "Warped little monkey," she mumbled, leaning forward to snatch the second pencil out of his hand and shove it up her other nostril.

"I didn't dare you yet," Evan pointed out between howls of laughter.

"But you were going to," she countered, her voice completely impaired by the blockage of her nasal passages.  "I think I'm going to sneeze . . ."

"If you do, turn your head that way," Evan instructed, waving a hand at the other side of the room.  "I don't want to be stabbed by one of your nose missiles."

The dry look she cast him was completely ruined, and he couldn't help it as another guffaw of laughter escaped him.  "That's So, sexy!" he gasped out, wiping his eyes as laughter induced tears clouded his vision.  "Sexiest thing, ever!"

Rolling her eyes, Valerie yanked the pencils free and tossed them onto the coffee table.  "You're so infantile," she pointed out sourly.  "You know that, right?"

"Oh, I'm infantile, but you're the one who shoved pencils up your nose," he jeered.

"Because you dared me to," she retorted.  "Anyway, according to the reports, you were trying to get Mr. Matthis out of his vehicle when the police arrived, correct?  You weren't worried that he might have had a back injury?"

Letting out a deep breath, Evan's amusement died down quickly enough.  Just thinking about the accident was enough to make him wince inwardly, even if he did manage to keep his expression blanked well enough.  Even now, sitting in the living room in the place that he knew best, he could still smell the toxic fumes as gasoline leaked out of his car.  Yes, he knew that Matthis had likely injured his back in the crash, but at the time, he'd been worried that the fuel would ignite . . . "Better to move him than to leave him in a vehicle that might explode," he remarked.  "Then I'd be looking at involuntary manslaughter, wouldn't I?"

She nodded slowly as though she figured that what he'd said made perfect sense.  "But you could have injured him more by moving him," she pointed out reasonably.

That earned her a pronounced snort.  "Better that than dead."

Holding up a hand, Valerie stood up and headed toward the kitchen.  "I agree," she called back over her shoulder.   "It'll come up in court, though.  I just wanted to hear your reasoning before it did."

Evan heaved a sigh, the trace irritation that had surfaced receding fast at her statement.  Reaching for the guitar once more, he strummed a few chords and slowly nodded at what he heard.  Grabbing a pencil off the composition notebook, he scribbled a few things down and stuck the pencil into his mouth before turning his attention to the guitar once more.

"You've only got two weeks before the trial begins, you know," she pointed out as she strode back into the living room once more.  Twisting off the top, she started to lift a bottle of water to her lips but stopped short, her eyes flaring wide as she gawked at him.  "What do you have in your mouth?" she screeched.

Evan's head snapped up, and he stared at her rather blankly for a moment, unsure why she looked so disgusted.  It took a moment for it to register in his mind, though, but when it finally did, he couldn't help the little chuckle that slipped out of him as he slowly, deliberately, sucked on the end of the pencil So, that it created an obscenely loud 'pop' when he pulled it free.  "Mmm," he intoned, grin widening as the grossed-out look on her face grew worse by degrees.  "Boogers . . ."

"U-U-U-Ugh," she moaned, squeezing her eyes closed as she affected a full-body shudder.  "That's sick, Roka—really, really sick."

"Maybe if it had been up someone else's nose," he agreed mildly, sticking the pencil back into his mouth again.

The look she shot him was designed to let him know exactly how warped she thought he was.  Actually, she looked a little peaked . . . "It's still gross," she maintained stubbornly.  "Would you take it out of your mouth?"

"But it's you, baby," he complained around the pencil that he didn't spit out, "and you're sexy, right?"

She grunted, downing half of her water before she deigned to answer him.  "There's nothing 'sexy' about that," she argued.

He laughed.  "Eh, it's not like you've got a runny nose or anything," he countered as his grin widened.  "Get it? It's not?  'S'not'?"

"I'm going to be sick," she grumbled, shaking her head in utter disbelief.  "Urgh . . ."

Tossing the pencil onto the table again, Evan relented.  "Anyway, your game is kind of a bust, V," he told her.

Valerie strode over to the sofa again and frowned at the pencils.  Then she scooped both of them up once more and stomped off toward the kitchen.  When she reappeared a moment later without them, Evan grinned.  "Just because you can't dare me to do questionable things?" she challenged mildly.

He shrugged and strummed the guitar a few more times.

She didn't say anything else as she stowed the report into her attaché case once more.  Wandering over to the glass doors that overlooked the pool and yard, she seemed content to listen to him play.

He wasn't really trying to write a song.  No, he'd been unable to shake off a lingering feeling of restlessness that had clung to him all day.

Of course, it might have had something to do with the package that Bone had brought up earlier, too . . .

"What's that?" he asked, tugging the towel that was slung around his neck back and forth since he'd just gotten out of the shower.

"No idea," Bone said, setting the box on the table.  "Came registered courier, if that means anything."

Evan frowned thoughtfully as he looked it over.  'Carson and Whittier, attorneys at law,' he read on the label.  He knew the names, sure.  They were very expensive estate lawyers here in the city.

Bone shrugged offhandedly.  "It's about Deet, ya?"

Evan didn't answer, and, ignoring the heavy sense of foreboding that rose inside him, he forced himself to reach out, to slice through the tape that held the box closed.

There was an envelope on top of the packing peanuts that covered whatever was in the box, and Evan pulled it out first.

.

Mr. Roka:

I am Cal Whittier from the Carson and Whittier law firm, and I'm contacting you in regards to the recent passing of Mr. Dieter Reichardt.  While the bulk of Mr. Reichardt's estate has been assigned to his widow, he had expressed the desire to ensure that you receive one of his personal effects.  Please accept my condolences on your loss and do let me know if there is anything I can do to further assist you in the future.

Regards,

Cal Whittier.

.

Sparing a moment to draw a fortifying breath, Evan plunged his hand into the packing peanuts and frowned when he pulled the thin cardboard folder out.  "Shit . . ."

"Oh, wow," Bone muttered, peering over Evan's shoulder at the cover of the old vinyl album.  "He left that to you, ya?"

"Y-Yeah," Evan said, swallowing a thick lump that threatened to choke him as he blinked and stared at the first edition Led Zeppelin's fourth album—officially untitled but often referred to as 'Led Zeppelin IV'—Dieter's most prized possession.  Dieter didn't have a record player or anything, but when he'd seen the album in one of the dusty old shops that he and Evan frequented occasionally, he'd had to have it.  Something about receiving the album made everything a little more real than it had been in quite some time . . . "Deet, uh . . . He always said I could have this over his dead body," Evan rasped out with a hoarse bark that should have been a laugh but was sorely lacking.  "Fuck . . ."

Clapping Evan on the shoulder, Bone chuckled.  "Don't go there, man," he advised softly.  "Deet would kick your fucking ass if he heard you getting all emotional and shit."

Nodding quickly, clenching his jaw, Evan set the album on the table.  "He'd try," he countered with a grin that was closer to normal though was still sadly lacking.  "Dieter never was any good at fighting."

Bone nodded, too, crossing his arms over his meaty chest.  "Naw, but he was a damn good friend, ya."

Evan let out a deep breath, scrubbing at his head with his fingers.  "Yeah, he was," he agreed.

"I hate it when it rains this time of year," Valerie murmured, rubbing her forearms without looking away from the glass doors where she stood.

Blinking away the remnants of the memory, Evan glanced over at the attorney.  Something about the way she stood there, outlined by the grayness of the light outside made him feel melancholy and almost apathetic.  "You want it to snow?"

He saw her sigh more than hearing it; saw it in the rise and fall of her shoulders, in the way she tightened her arms over her chest and seemed to diminish just a little.  "Why does November rain always feel so much colder than December snow?" she mused softly.

"Does it?" he questioned, but it was more of an observation than a contrary thought.  There was something sad about her, something that he could sense even if he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

And in that moment, she seemed so very far beyond him: farther away than the brightest star in the Maine skies that he'd stared at So, often during the years of his youth.  How often had he stared at those skies, wondered what it'd be like to capture one of those stars in a jar to keep on the shelf in his bedroom, to appreciate long after everything else had grown silent and dark in the depths of the night?

Such fanciful thoughts—things he hadn't remembered in years, but something about Valerie brought it all back with a vivacity that he could hardly credit . . .

"Tell me something, Roka," she ventured at length, breaking the solemn quiet that had stolen the last stubborn remnants of daylight from the skies outside.

"What's that?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper, as though he were afraid that he would ruin the moment if he spoke any louder.

Letting out a deep breath, she finally turned away from the doors, pinning him with her brightened gaze.  The sense of knowing that illuminated her eyes was disconcerting at best, downright spooky at worst, and Evan forced himself to look back at her without blinking and without faltering.  It took a few moments before she went on, spending those precious seconds studying him with a steady glint, her eyes narrowing, her head ducking slightly with the barely noticeable nod, as though something made sense to her.  "How am I supposed to help you—to save you—when you have no interest in doing anything for yourself?"

"Because I'm your client," he remarked, grinning wryly as he set the guitar aside and slumped back in the chair.

She shook her head stubbornly, but her gaze didn't move away from him.  "Because you're my friend," she corrected, her voice gentle yet somehow fierce, all at the same time.

"I don't need saving, V," he told her.

For some reason, his softly uttered statement made her look even sadder than she did before.

She stood still for a minute, maybe two.  The tick of a clock was the only sound in the silence.  Finally, though, she strode over to the sofa, her movements purposeful, almost driven.  Grabbing her attaché case, she headed for the doorway while Evan watched her through half-closed eyes.

When she reached the threshold, though, she stopped, but she didn't turn to look at him.  "I've told you things, you know, because I never thought that you'd judge me: because I trust you," she said quietly, her voice thick, ragged, husky.  "I would have thought that maybe . . . maybe you'd trust me, too."

Then she slipped out of the living room and, a moment later, out of the house, too.


~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
A/N:

'Led Zeppelin IV' is Led Zeppelin's officially untitled fourth studio album, alSo, referred to as 'Four Symbols' and 'The Fourth Album'.  It was released on November 8, 1971 and contained, among other songs, Stairway to Heaven.

'November Rain' originally appeared on Guns n' Roses' 1991 release, Use Your Illusion I.  Song written by and copyrighted to Axl Rose.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Reviewers
==========
MMorg
iloveanimecartoons ------ monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ Dark Inu Fan ------ theblackthorn ------ CatLover260 ------ Silly1
==========
Forums
sueroxmysox ------ Midcat ------ cutechick18 ------ Proforce ------ indigorrain
==========
Final
Thought from Evan:
Trust, 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.
~Sue~
Chapter 102
Chapter 104
« Fanfic Author Profile »
« Other FanFics By This Author »
« Add Author to Favorites »

« Write Review »
« Read (2357) Reviews »
« Add Fan Fiction to Favorites »
« Alert Webmaster »