InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Mischief ( Chapter 176 )

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

- OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'All the girls my own age ...
'They never really did for me
'I needed someone more sophisticated
'And I found her in a magazine ...'

-'The Devil Made Me Do It' by Thunder.


"Why do you keep doing that?"

Evan squeezed his right eye closed and peered at Valerie out of his left one.  "Doing what?"

She wrinkled her nose.  "That," she said, waving a hand at him.

Blinking rapidly, he shrugged and lowered his chin, putting on a show of concentrating on the guitar on his lap.  "Dunno what you're talking about, woman," he scoffed.

Leaning forward and dropping the newspaper she was reading on the coffee table, Valerie rested her elbows on her knees and narrowed her gaze on him.  "Do you have something in your eye?" she asked at length when he refused to say anything more.

"Something in my—? Keh!  No."

She stood up and stepped around the table, only to plop down beside him.  Evan grunted when she grabbed a handful of hair and tugged his head up.  "Look at me," she commanded in a no-nonsense tone of voice.

"There's nothing wrong," he argued, trying his damndest to keep his eye from twitching.

Her frown deepened as she studied him carefully.  "I don't know," she ventured.  "Your eye is completely bloodshot . . ."

"It's fine," he insisted again, inflicting just enough boredom into his tone to get his point across.

Too bad Valerie wasn't buying.  "It's not fine . . . Did you get something in it?" she went on, ignoring his claims to the contrary.

"I don't think so," he said with a sigh.  "It was like that when I woke up."

"Did you get poked in the eye?" she demanded.

"Not that I know of," he replied.  "It's fine.  Besides, Bone went out to get me some eye drops, so I'll be as good as new."

"Look to the left," she told him.  "It doesn't hurt to check if there's something you just didn't see."

He heaved a sigh but did as she instructed.  Valerie let go of his hair in favor of pulling his eye open as wide as she could, which only made his eye sting a little more.  "I already looked," he pointed out.  "It's nothing, I'm sure."

"I don't know . . . Maybe I should call down to the receptionist and see if they've got a nurse or someone on staff . . ." Valerie mused, more to herself than to Evan.

"Forget it," he insisted stubbornly.  "I don't need a stupid nurse."

Valerie snorted.  "You do," she argued, slinging her right leg over his so that she was effectively straddling him.  "Now be still while I look at your eye."

"I told you to forget it," he grumbled, bucking his hips in an effort to unseat her.

"I'm not going to forget it," she countered mildly.  "Now suck it up and act like a man."

"I am acting like a man," he parried grumpily, "a man who doesn't want some woman poking around in his eye."

"Oh, get a grip!  I—A ha!  You do have something in here . . . It looks like an eyelash . . ."

Evan grunted something unintelligible and tried to push her off his lap.  "That's nice," he retorted sarcastically.  "I'll flush it out when Bone gets back with the eye drops."

"Hold still," she said, knocking his hands away.  "It'll just take a second for me to get it."

"With what?  Your fucking fingers?  Hell, no!  Get the fuck off me!"

She snorted and rolled her eyes.  "Grow up, Roka!  You're freaking out over nothing!"

"Fat lot you know, woman," he shot back.  "Stick your finger in your own eye and see how you like it."

She blinked and leaned back far enough to stare at him.  Then her lip twitched.  "You're afraid of me touching your eyeball?  Is that what this is all about?"

"Keh!" he scoffed.  "Hell, no!  I'm not scared of any-fucking-thing!"

"Then let me get the eyelash out of your eye."

"No, and when's the last time you washed your hands, anyway?"

"For God's sake, Roka!  I just washed my hands a few minutes ago!  Now stop being a baby, and—"

"Yeah—and then you were touching that germ-infested magazine!  Forget it!"

"Oh, grow a pair!" she scoffed.

"You know, V, I honestly never thought I'd say this, and you'll never hear me ever say it again, but . . . get the fuck off me, woman!" he complained, trying to unseat her yet again.

Letting out a deep breath, Valerie easily caught his hands and pinned them down on either side of him with her knees.  "You wear contact lenses, you know," she reminded him dryly.


"So that means you touch your eye every day."

"Not really," he countered sullenly.  "I touch the lens, not my eyeball."

"Oh, I can't believe you're being such a baby!" Valerie complained.

"Yeah?  Well, I can't believe you're being such a pain in my baby!" he shot back.

"And just what does that mean?" she demanded, leaning up on her knees to secure his arms in place a little more.

Evan snorted.  "Forget it, woman!  I'm onto your wicked, wicked ways!"

She snorted out a laugh and leaned back for a moment.  "My what?"

He rolled his eyes, then blinked rapidly as a few tears slipped out of the reddened one.  "Wicked ways," he stated once more.  "You think you're so slick, V, but I know better.  You're trying to use your body to get me to let you touch my eye, but it's not happenin'."

"Oh, my God . . . who would've thought that Zel Roka was such a damn wuss?" she goaded.  "Suck it up and be a man, will you?"

"Don't touch it!" he hollered, jerking his head back and forth in an effort to elude Valerie's hands.

"Shut up and deal with it, rocker-boy!  It won't hurt—long."

He grunted at her injudicious choice of words.  "Ow!  Get off!  You're squishing my nuts!"

"I am not," she retorted.  "I'm not even touching your nuts!"

"Says you!" he grumbled.  "If you're gonna touch something, then touch something a little further north of the nuts!"

"I'm not touching anything anywhere else," she shot back.  "Now hold still so I can do this!"

"You know, this would be a lot more erotic if you weren't trying to blind me," he pointed out.

She snorted again and grasped his head in both hands to hold him still.  "I'm not trying to blind you, you big baby," she insisted.  "I tell you what.  If you let me get the hair out of your eye, I'll buy you a big, fat ice cream sundae from room service."

That earned her a snort not unlike the one that she'd just tossed at him.  "Big fucking deal," he muttered, shaking his head in an effort to dislodge her hands.  "I could get one of those, anyway, and neither one of us would have to pay for it."

"Don't make me call your mama," she threatened.

Evan stopped struggling for a moment and blinked at her.  "Would you really do that?" he asked incredulously.

"Oh, I think I would," she agreed.

He whistled low and slowly shook his head.  "You're really evil, aren't you?"

"If it works . . ."

He wrinkled his nose and leaned to the side to wipe his cheek on his shoulder.  ". . . I'm not scared of you."

Rolling her eyes, she started to shift her weight to get more leverage.  Evan tried to pull his hand out from under her knee, and it threw her off balance.  With a little squeak, she fell against him, smashing her hands against his chest in an instant reaction.  Blinking slowly, he swallowed hard.  She was entirely too close to him, wasn't she?  So close that he could feel the erratic beat of her heart, so close that he could see the quiver of her lips with every breath she drew . . . eyes locking on those full, soft lips, he couldn't quite help the surge of liquid heat that seared through his veins, and even though he knew damn well that there wasn't a thing he could do at the moment, it didn't stop him from wanting her desperately, terribly, insanely . . .

Time seemed to slow to an agonizing crawl, and if Valerie realized just how precarious her position really was, she gave no indication.  Just as well, that, wasn't it?  Given their proximity, Evan couldn't really think too well himself.  The tip of her tongue flicked out, as though she needed the moisture on her lips.  Maybe she did, but he couldn't help the soft little groan that slipped out of him, either, as the burn ignited into a full-on blaze.

Slowly lifting her gaze, her eyes taking on a rampant glow that he understood, Valerie shook her head slightly.  Refuting her feelings . . .? Was it confusion?  Maybe a late realization that she wanted him as desperately as he wanted her . . .?

With a soft exhalation, she leaned in closer, her lips brushing over his, hesitantly at first, only to return as a breathy little sigh slipped from her.  She didn't notice when he pulled his arms loose, when he wrapped them around her to keep her from retreating, and she moved in just a little closer as her arms slipped up around his neck, as her fingers sank deep into his hair . . .

There was something inherently innocent about her kiss, as though she was reveling in some sort of discovery that escaped Evan completely, gone long before it ever shifted into a more cognizant thought.   The brush of her lips, the reluctant sense of wonder—as though a part of her had suddenly awakened for him—only for him . . .

"Hey, Zel, Bone asked me to bring this up with . . . Oh, sorry . . ."

With a groan followed in quick succession by a heartfelt sigh, Evan slowly shook his head as Valerie jerked upright, cheeks flaming as she peered over his shoulder—over the back of the sofa—at her younger brother.  "G-G-Garret," she stammered, quickly running her hands through her hair as her skin deepened to a rather impressive shade of scarlet.

Garret chuckled nervously.  "S-Sorry," he muttered, hurrying around the sofa to set a bottle of eye-wash on the coffee table.  "I'll get out of here so, you guys can, err, you know . . ."

"It wasn't what it looked like," Valerie blurted quickly.  "Evan had—had something in his eye . . ."

Garret nodded slowly, but the grin on his face widened.  "Oh, uh, yeah," he agreed.  "I get you."

Valerie grimaced since the kid didn't sound at all like he believed her excuse.  "I was just trying to get a better look at it."

Rubbing his still-watering eye, Evan let out another deep breath, but coming up with the bravado to laugh was damn-near impossible.  "Thanks," he said, leaning around Valerie, who had apparently forgotten that she was still straddling his lap, to reach for the eye-wash.

"No problem," Garret said.  "Anyway, the guys wanted me to practice with them a while.  They wanted to go over the song."  He frowned suddenly, scratching the side of his head as he stared at Evan.  "Hey, are you sure you want to do that one tonight?"

He tried to smile; he really did.  It wasn't working out too well for him, all things considered.  "Yeah," he said instead.  "Let me wash out my eye, then I'll come down and practice with you guys."

Garret nodded, then backed toward the door.  "Take your time," he said as he reached behind himself for the door knob.  "I mean, I think it's cool as fuck that you and my sister are hooked up."

"We're not—" Valerie began.

Garret chuckled and slipped out of the room.  "Zel Roka's doing my sister!" he muttered happily, more to himself than to either of them.

"Garret, I—Oh-h-h . . ." Heaving a sigh as the door closed, Valerie shook her head and flopped to the side with a groan as she covered her face with her hands.  "I can't believe he saw that . . ."

"Me, too," Evan allowed, struggling to read the directions on the box with his one good eye.  "I mean, he could have at least waited until I got to cop a feel, right?"

She heaved another sigh.  "Shut up, Roka," she grumbled.  She sounded more petulant than irritated, though.  "That was all your fault, you know."

"How do you figure?" he challenged absently.  "You're the one who couldn't keep her lips to herself."

"It was temporary insanity," she grouched, pushing herself up and yanking the box out of his hands.

"Give that back," he said, reaching for the box, only to be thwarted when she leaned away from him.  "Besides, that wasn't temporary insanity.  Temporary insanity would be you, passing out after I make you come."

She snorted indelicately as she broke the plastic seal on the package and tore open the top.  "There are two ways to do this, but I don't think you'd be able to do the one since you'd have to open your eye while and move it around while you're holding the eyecup flush against it."  She tried for a brusque, business-like tone, but it was completely undermined by the rosy flush in her cheeks.

He tried to shoot her a droll sort of look.  He figured it probably looked a little pathetic since he was also blinking as a few tears streaked down his cheek.  It didn't help, either, that she was wasn't paying the least bit of attention to him.

"I can to it myself," he pointed out as she set the curved eyecup aside and tore the plastic seal on the bottle.

"You won't do it yourself," she countered mildly.  "You can't even stand the idea of touching your eyeball."  Then she stood up.  "I'm going to go get a towel, and you'd better still be right here when I get back.

Evan snorted to let her know what he thought of her orders, but he didn't move when she hurried off toward the bathroom.

'Well, look at the bright side,' his youkai-voice mused.

'There's a bright side?' he countered.

'Sure there is.  At least she didn't freak out on you.  That's at least a little progress.'

Evan made a face, wondering for about half a second how far he'd get if he tried to escape before she returned.  With his eyes at the moment, though, he doubted he'd get far enough.

'That's true,' he allowed thoughtfully.  'Some is better than none, right?'

His youkai sighed.  'Garret's got damn rotten timing though, doesn't he?'

Heaving another longsuffering sigh, Evan slumped back against the sofa once more.  'Yeah,' he had to agree ruefully, 'yeah, he really, really does . . .'


Raising her fist high in the air, pumping it in time with the heavy beat of the drum, Valerie cupped her other hand around her mouth and hollered, leaning a little further over the safety rail than she likely should have.  The electrifying feel of the crowd was so much more palpable.  Unlike the other three concerts, she wasn't in one of the skyboxes, and if Evan found out about it, he'd probably have a fit, but she really wanted to experience the entire thing as it should be.   Besides, she had Bone with her, and she figured that was as safe as she could possibly be.

Mike, of course, wasn't pleased with Valerie's decision to join the audience, but he'd get over it.  She wanted to know what Evan felt whenever he hit the stage.  She'd seen the uglier side of things.  She'd seen a lot of that, and it had occurred to her that there was so much more to it.  The bottom line was that she wanted to know why he got so excited just before a show.  She wanted to see it for herself—she wanted to experience it for herself . . . The arena was electric: thousands of voices singing along to the songs that he'd written.  She wasn't anywhere near the stage, but she could feel it all.

As the song ended, the lights dimmed and Evan bounded over to Garret, slinging an arm around the kid's shoulders and leaning in to say something that was lost under the din of the screaming crowd as he pushed the headset mic up out of the way.  Considering his mic was set louder than anyone else's, she had to wonder just what they were doing as she bit her lip and tried to hold in the nervous desire to rush the stage and demand that Garret get the hell off of it.  Instead, Valerie narrowed her eyes slightly as she watched Evan shake the scraggly blonde hair out of his eyes and stepped into the space where her brother had just been standing, while Garret nodded and glanced back at Frankie for the count-off.

"Daddy's song . . ." Valerie murmured as a slight hush fell over the crowd, as the first notes of the song echoed through the arena.  She hadn't realized that they were planning on playing that one, and yet, it didn't really surprise her, either.

Beside her, Bone chuckled.  "Kid looks like he might just shit his pants," he remarked, leaning down so that Valerie could hear him.

Biting her lip, Valerie didn't respond.  He did look a little freaked out, she had to admit.  Pale skin that seemed to be even more pale under the harshness of the bluish spotlight that left the rest of the stage in smoky shadows, he didn't miss a beat as he stepped up to the microphone that had been set up while Evan was over talking to him.

The initial stiffness in Garret's stance seemed to lessen as the song unfolded.  They'd lengthened the intro, and the bass guitar had picked up some of the harmony that had been achieved in the use of two guitars before, and as he concentrated on the song he was playing, Garret's body relaxed as his bout of nerves subsided.

She could hear the noise of the audience, could feel their curiosity peaking.  It wasn't an unkind feeling, no, but it was clear to her that they weren't sure just what was happening.  'Please,' she thought wildly as she leaned forward, cupping her hands around her mouth to yell at her brother, to offer her encouragement, even if he couldn't rightfully hear her.  Just let the crowd react favorably.  After all, they were Zel Roka's fans, and even if Evan was very obviously showing Garret his complete and utter support, the same fans could be unpredictable . . .

Then Garret opened his mouth to sing, and it seemed to Valerie that the strangest thing happened.  A sudden quiet fell over the audience, and while she could hear them murmuring together, they also seemed to be listening, too.

When Evan joined in, singing harmony during the chorus, Valerie rubbed her arms to chase away the gooseflesh that ran rampant through her.  She was watching something beautiful, wasn't she?  And the audience could feel it, too.  It didn't matter to anyone that they didn't know the song, and it didn't matter that they'd never heard of Garret before, either.  The spotlight that came up on Evan during the guitar solo was centered on the instrument and his hands, leaving his face in shadows, and when the solo died away, only to be shifted into a short bass solo, the audience cheered for Garret.

Bone chuckled again, and Valerie shot him a questioning glance, but blinked when she realized that he was holding a micro-corder in his hand.  As though he could sense her silent curiosity, he glanced at her, grin widening.  "Roka wanted to record it for your daddy," he explained.

Somehow, that wasn't at all surprising, either.

"He's good," Bone went on, shifting his attention back to the stage once more.  "That kid brother of yours is gonna be big one day, V."

Smiling wanly when Garret shot Evan a broad grin, Valerie sighed.  "He is, isn't he?" she murmured, and this time, the idea didn't scare the hell out of her . . .

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'The Devil Made Me Do It' by Thunder originally appeared on the 2006 release, Robert Johnson's Tombstone.  Copyrighted to Thunder.
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Saphirea83 ------ theablackthorn ------ Lennex ------ Tashwampa ------ michellishelli ------ sutlesarcasm ------ xSerenityx020 ------ lilswtheart9811 ------ Dark Inu Fan ------ RubyJewel
lianned88 ------ cutechick18 ------ MidCat ------ reina q ------ BlkbltVette ------ sydniepaige ------ Zero ------ indigorrain ------ spookster ------ KendallHearts ------ amohip
Thought from Valerie:
Big, 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.