InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Dinner for One ( Chapter 109 )
~Dinner for One~
'I see you – the only one who knew me …
'And now your eyes see through me – I guess I was wrong …
'So what now – it's plain to see we're over …
'And I hate when things are over – when so much is left undone …'
-'Breakfast at Tiffany's' by Deep Blue Something.
"I'd like the grilled chicken breast Caesar salad with the dressing on the side, please, and a glass of white wine."
"Okay, I'll be right back with your food," the waiter said with a bright smile just before he hurried away.
Valerie heaved a sigh and stared at the glass of ice water that the waiter had left for her when she'd first sat down.
"Ah, you know, as fun as that sounds, V . . . I . . . I think I'd rather go out tonight . . . Hell, you've kept me on such a short leash, it's about time I did, don't you think?"
'Don't think about it, Valerie,' she told herself sternly. 'Don't think about just what that miscreant is out doing.'
That was easier said than done, wasn't it?
'He just couldn't wait to go out and get right back to his bad habits, now could he?' she couldn't help but think. 'Jerk . . .'
Okay, so that wasn't entirely fair. It was his life, wasn't it? He was a grown man; he could go out and do whatever he wanted, couldn't he? After all, he was only behaving because she'd insisted, right? So, of course, he'd think that he needed to go out and find some hapless woman first thing, and why on earth that surprised her, she didn't really know.
'He could've waited another day,' she thought with a decisive snort.
Sure, he could have. He also could have decided that her terms had proved to him that he didn't really need to womanize on a regular basis, either, but it obviously hadn't.
So why was it that the very idea that he might be out right now, prowling the streets to find some willing woman, really bugged the living, breathing hell out of her?
Snorting indelicately, Valerie sat up a little straighter, sipped the water as she dug her cell phone out of her purse to see if she'd missed any calls.
It didn't bother her, damn it, and just why the hell should it? So the idiot man would end up with some nasty disease one day, and all because he couldn't keep his penis in his pants. What did she care? She didn't; not by a long shot. That'd just be stupid, and she was as far from 'stupid' as they came . . .
Pulling the media reader out of her attaché case, Valerie browsed through her subscriptions, looking for The New York Times, and she heaved another sigh when she read the headline on the front page: Charges Dropped against Rocker Zel Roka. She hadn't figured that it'd take long for the story to hit the press. After all, as soon as the legal documents had been signed by the judge, they became a part of public record, which meant that the vultures that combed through the day's dockets likely found it and hopped on the horn to be the first with the breaking story.
But it wasn't the story itself that bothered her. What bothered her was what might be potentially said about Dieter.
She was still debating whether or not she really wanted to read the article when the trill of her cell phone cut through her musings.
"Hello," she greeted, unable to keep the tired quality out of her tone.
"Hey, Val. Congratulations! I just read the paper about Zel Roka!"
"Marvin, hi," she said, smiling wanly, grateful to hear a friendly voice. "Thanks . . ."
"That's really fantastic," he insisted. "I'll bet he's really glad you're on his side, right?"
For some reason, she didn't have the heart to disabuse Marvin of that notion. "Uh, yeah," she murmured noncommittally.
The waiter returned with her food and wine. He deposited it on the table and left again without disturbing her phone call.
"Anyway, I'm sure you're busy," Marvin went on, missing the preoccupied tone of her voice. "I just wanted to ask you if you'd decided what you want to do this year for Christmas?"
Valerie winced inwardly. To be honest, she hadn't given that much of a thought. Usually, they tried to go somewhere together if they had the time. Last year, they'd gone to a really nice bed and breakfast upstate near Niagara Falls. "Do you have any ideas?"
"I was thinking that you like skiing, right? How about that?"
She considered that for a minute then smiled. "That sounds fantastic," she decided.
He laughed, very proud of himself for coming up with something that Valerie would enjoy. "I should be able to come home around the twentieth, so if you want to go ahead and make the arrangements, just let me know when I should fly in."
"Okay," she agreed.
"Great," he said. "I've got to run, but give me a call and let me know when I need to be there."
"Take care," she replied, snapping her phone closed. Skiing would be fantastic, she decided, setting the phone down and reaching for the glass of wine. Marvin wasn't exactly the best athlete in the world, but he wasn't too bad at skiing. In fact, they'd gone skiing shortly after they'd started dating. Dr. Darrin Williams, one of the United States' leading authorities in leukemia research, enjoyed the sport, it seemed, and he'd invited Marvin and a few others up to his house in Vermont to join him for a weekend of skiing and serious discussion. Marvin had loved every minute of it, and so had she.
She let out a deep breath. Maybe a nice vacation on the slopes was just what she needed . . .
Glancing at her watch, Valerie's smile dimmed and faded. Six o'clock . . . What was Evan out doing now?
Scowling at the unbidden intrusion in her thoughts, Valerie bit her lip and picked at her salad with the fork. She could call him, she supposed, but she dismissed that idea about as quickly as it occurred to her. Call him? Had she lost her mind? When he was out trying to pick up some floozy, the last thing she wanted to do was to get him on the phone so that she had no choice but to hear the debaucher in action.
Why hadn't she expected it? Why hadn't she expected that he'd decide that he wanted nothing at all do to with her once his case was finished? And she hadn't, had she? Not once did it cross her mind that he would want to get back to his life as he knew it once everything was said and done?
She really should have known. Somewhere along the way, she'd gotten too used to having his undivided attention, hadn't she? As much as she wanted to be angry with him, though, she couldn't be. She ought to just be glad that she'd known better than to fall for him and his pretty words, and as much as she'd like to be irritated, she didn't have it within her to do that, either.
But she'd hoped . . .
The sound of her cell phone interrupted her bleak thoughts, and she reached for it, setting the fork aside, only to blink and stare when she read the name and number on the caller ID screen. 'NYPD: 18th Precinct' . . .
"Denning," she said after she connected the call, an unbidden smile quirking the corners of her lips.
"V? Oh, thank God! I've been framed!"
Somehow, it wasn't at all surprising to hear Evan's voice, loud and clear, coming through the line. She sighed for good measure. "What'd you do now, Roka?" she asked rather mildly.
Evan snorted. "Didn't you hear me, woman? Framed, I tell you!"
"Two more minutes, Roka," a man said in the background.
"You gotta get me outta here," Evan insisted, ignoring the warning.
Valerie's amused smirk widened. "And why would I do that? Maybe you belong in there."
He groaned and half-whined. "C'mon, baby! Don't do me like that!"
Rolling her eyes, she slowly shook her head, "You going to tell me what you did to get taken into the police station?"
Evan snorted. "I didn't do a damn thing," he insisted hotly.
"Okay, Roka. Time to hang up now."
"Get me outta here!" Evan howled as the phone was taken away from him.
"Can he be bailed out?" Valerie asked, raising her voice enough to be heard over Evan's claims of police brutality in the background.
"You're gonna think 'police brutality' if you don't stop your yapping," The officer that had taken the phone warned then heaved a sigh. "You're his attorney, right?"
Valerie blinked, lowering the receiver to stare at it for a moment before she answered. "Yes, yes I am."
He seemed satisfied with her answer. "Yeah, he can go home if you come in and pick him up."
"What did he allegedly do?" she asked.
The officer paused before answering. "Um, I'll be happy to explain it to you when you get here," he replied.
"Okay. I'll be there shortly," she said. The call ended, and she dropped her phone on the table so that she could dig through her purse for enough money to cover the dinner that she hadn't gotten to eat.
Evan was being held at the police station? Again?
Somehow, it wasn't nearly as surprising as it probably should have been, nor was it quite as alarming, either . . . In fact, she had a sneaking suspicion that he had done whatever it was he'd done on purpose.
And that idea . . . It made her smile.
"V! Thank God! These bastards wouldn't even let me have a doughnut!" Evan complained when Valerie strode into the interrogation room where he was being held. Seated at the small table, he hadn't been left alone for long.
She stared at him for a long moment. He could discern the barest hint of a twitching lip. "No doughnuts?" she repeated, raising an eyebrow, her expression carefully blanked.
Evan wrinkled his nose. "I know! Grumpy, right?"
Those fantastic eyes of hers narrowed slightly, and he had the feeling that she was about two shakes from laughing out loud. "Is what Officer McGuinness told me true, Roka?"
Licking his lips, he shrugged offhandedly. "No way," he argued. "I told you: I was framed! It totally wasn't me!"
Yep, those lips were definitely twitching now. "So someone else who looked just like you was caught mooning people in the Statue of Liberty?"
He considered that. "Yeah, that sounds about right."
"And that someone managed to get caught by the security guard standing right beside him?"
"And can you explain how it is that the security guard ended up with you in custody and not the other guy?"
"Framed, V, framed," he stated yet again.
She nodded again. She didn't look like she believed him, no, but she did nod. "Okay, but . . . did your look-alike have to moon a class of sixth graders from St. Mary's School for Girls?"
"Well . . . that was completely accidental," he insisted, blinking at her in a hopelessly innocent kind of way. "I mean, I don't think that he knew that there were a bunch of, uh, twelve year-old girls standing right there . . ."
Definite twitch-age of her lips.
"Sister Mary Catherine wasn't very impressed," Officer McGuinness commented as he let himself back into the room.
"That's because she didn't see the front side," Evan remarked.
McGuinness' lips were twitching, too. "Luckily, she believes in the power of forgiveness—a good woman, she is. She doesn't want to prosecute Mr. Roka as much as she would like to see him," he cleared his throat to hide his obvious amusement, "mend his wicked ways."
"See? If she doesn't want to throw me in the clink, then you guys can just ignore it, right?" Evan asked a little too hopefully.
McGuinness rolled his eyes. "Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, Mr. Roka. You were caught red, err . . . handed . . . so to speak . . ."
Evan heaved a long, drawn out sigh.
Valerie cleared her throat. "Has he been arraigned?"
McGuinness nodded. "He has. Judge Morrison."
Nodding, she took the papers that McGuinness offered: copies of the appropriate paperwork.
"Public nudity," she read then sighed. "At least you didn't get nailed with lewd and lascivious . . ."
"It was just m—his—ass, V," he scoffed, rolling his eyes as he flopped back in his chair for good measure. "And then they manhandled me on the way in! Tossed me around like a ragdoll, I tell you!"
Snapping her mouth closed, she came dangerously close to laughing outright. Somehow, though, she managed to contain it. "I'm sure they did, Roka," she said. "Come on. Let's go."
Evan stood up slowly, sparing a moment to grin at Officer McGuinness who tried his best to look stern. "Later, man," he said as he stepped past.
"Yeah, try to keep your pants on, eh?" McGuinness reminded him. "At least, when you're out in public, anyway."
Evan grinned. "Will do," he called over his shoulder as he followed Valerie out of the room, down the hallway, down the stairs, and through the open air lobby.
"You know I had to bail you out of jail," she remarked mildly as they finally pushed out of the building and into the cold November night.
"Framed, V," he stated once more. "I'll pay you back."
"Keep your money, Roka," she told him as they turned down the sidewalk. She apparently had caught a cab over. "Framed, eh?"
He grinned. "Absolutely. I mean, I was just out, trying to decide where I wanted to go, and I figured that I'd go up the Statue to clear my head, you know?"
She snorted, but the trace smile that illuminated her gaze was more than enough for him. "So you went up there and dropped your britches to clear your mind?"
He made a face. "What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?"
She rolled her eyes. "Those poor children."
"Do you want to hear my side of it or not?" he grouched.
Valerie didn't look like she was entirely sure that she did, actually. "I already heard your side of it," she pointed out reasonably. "I read the report."
He nodded rather emphatically. "Good! Then you know it wasn't my fault!"
She considered that for a long moment as they waited for the traffic light on the corner to change before crossing the street. "Okay, but if it wasn't your fault, then how is it that you ended up in custody? And why in the world is your hair hot pink?"
"I was going for 'punk'," he told her then shrugged. "Okay, not really. I was going for red, but I accidentally washed it out too soon, and by then, I was too damned lazy to add more color. And to answer your question, who knows? The guard got it all wrong—all wrong!"
She cleared her throat, carefully averting her gaze. "Except that the report says that you were standing right next to him."
"Of course he says that!" he insisted, waving a hand dismissively. "It was a set-up, right? Anyway, I was, like, five feet away, minding my own business. I was using one of those goofy binocular-things, trying to figure out where you'd gone for dinner—"
"Because you'd see me with a pair of those," she cut in dryly.
"Yeah," he agreed. "And all the sudden, the guard grabs me and tells me not to fucking move—okay, so he didn't say 'fucking', but you get it, don't you?"
She nodded slowly.
"So I just stood there like a good boy and waited for the fuzz to show."
"And the man who really mooned the sixth graders?"
Evan shook his head. "Never saw him—Pity, right? I mean, if he looked that much like me, he had to be a drop dead gorgeous guy, y'know?"
Valerie stopped and swung around to face him, her face carefully blanked except for the unnatural brightness in her eyes. She was damn close to laughing her ass off, and why not? She knew—knew—that he was lying about the entire set-up, not that it mattered . . .
"So . . . So, I guess I still need an attorney," he remarked.
Valerie didn't look at all surprised. Staring at him for a few moments, she sighed as she slowly turned and started to walk once more. "Only you can get into that much trouble," she muttered, more to herself than to him.
"So you'll take my case?" he asked, trying to keep the hopefulness out of his tone and failing miserably.
Valerie heaved another sigh. "I don't really have a choice, do I? No other attorney in his right mind would take you on as a client."
Letting out a deep breath—he hadn't realized that he'd been holding it, to start with—Evan chuckled as he fell into step beside her. "That's true," he allowed, feeling the tension finally starting to ebb away. "Thanks."
'Breakfast at Tiffany's' originally appeared on Deep Blue Something's 1994 release, Home. Song written by and copyrighted to Todd David Pipes.
== == == == == == == == == ==
CatLover260 ------ monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ OROsan0677
Proforce ------ cutechick18 ------ OROsan0677 ------ indigorrain
Final Thought from Valerie:
Why is that just not surprising …?
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.