InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ The Show ( Chapter 185 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter One Hundred Eighty-Five~~
~The Show~


'< i>I've always wanted to sing ...
'And I've always wanted to be
'(Ah aaah aaah)
'Somebody's idol
'Somebody's daydream
'Maybe their fantasy ...'

-'Sad Theresa' by Warrant.


The roar of the crowd was deafening as Valerie leaned against the railing and cupped her hands around her mouth, unleashing a holler that blended in with the din in a rather unremarkable way.  The audience was as insane as ever—maybe even a little more so.  Two songs into Evan's set, and she could tell from where she stood that most of the women on the ground level were shirtless and more than happy to shake their groove-thangs for him.

It was a whim, wasn't it?  Bone had been called down to handle a ruckus backstage, and she'd gotten the idea to slip out of the skybox.  Sure, the view from up there was absolutely spectacular, and the accommodations were first class, but the excitement of being caught up in the crowd, the heady thrill in the atmosphere, was too tempting.

There was something entirely larger than life about that man, she mused as she cupped her hands around her mouth and unleashed a catcall.  The sound of it was immediately swallowed up in the swell, becoming nothing more than another in the din delineating the pulsing beat of the drums, the bass, the electric guitars.  Evan—or was he Zel . . .? ran over to Garret, slinging an arm around the bassist's shoulders.  It was easy to see the simple chemistry between the two musicians.  Garret absolutely worshipped the ground that Evan walked upon, and Evan?  Maybe it was just her imagination, but she could see the easy affection that was impossible to achieve if it wasn't there naturally.  It was as if Evan was the big brother and Garret was the child who had tagged along after him forever, it seemed, and she knew—knew—that Garret was easily the only person on earth who could possibly have had any kind of chance of stepping into the void left when Dieter died.  Tall, almost unnaturally skinny, and clad in the prerequisite black leather, her brother looked almost like a caricature of himself, right down to the impossibly large feet that bespoke the inches in height that Garret had yet to grow.  

Evan never stopped moving.  Even when he was standing still, he was in motion: a fidgeting knee, the thump of his heel on the wooden platform below; effortless movement.  He didn't do anything in half-measures, did he?  Whether he was hanging out, posing with fans or up on the stage, bathing in the spotlight that shone so favorably upon him, sitting in on the hundredth interview where he was asked the same things that he'd been asked a million times before, there was still a genuineness in everything he said and did, a simple earnestness that others picked up on and reacted to.

The gyration of his hips was enough to send the girls in the audience into a quandary of screams, of sobs, of frenetic energy that he feed off of.  That lopsided, cocky grin or a lazy wink, and every last female in the arena thought that it was just for her, didn't they?  Even where she stood, high above the sea of bodies, she caught herself wondering if he didn't know exactly where she was, and she felt her heart skip a beat when he raised his head, when his eyes seemed to scan the crowd, only to stop and stare at her.  But that wasn't possible.  She knew damn well that the lights were far too bright for him to see much of anything past the first few rows, if that, and where she stood was most definitely in the shadows—too dark for him to make out anything, let alone for him to see her when he believed that she was enclosed in the safety of the skybox.

Still, she pressed a hand against her chest, her lips parting as she drew in an unsteady breath.  Evan Zelig was warm, welcoming.  Zel Roka?  He was electric . . .

As he launched into an excessively raunchy version of 'V', Valerie smiled.  Evan wasn't one of those who was content to leave well enough alone.  Nope, of course not.  Most of the time, he created all new verses for the songs he'd already made famous, and most of the time, the new verses were bad enough to make a biker blush—and this time was no different.


"'Spread that pussy wide,
'I wanna come inside,
'Fuck me till I cream,
'She's ev'ry man's wet dream . . .'"


Shaking her head, she still couldn't repress the laughter that welled up and spilled over.  There really was something profoundly wrong with that man, and yet she couldn't say that she didn't find him to be incredibly humorous, either . . .

Garret loped across the stage and whispered something to Evan that made him laugh.  The cameras that were feeding directly to the Jumbo-Trons on both sides of the stage zoomed in on Garret, which only served to further Valerie's amusement.  Judging from the look on her brother's face, something about that verse in particular seemed to bother him—very likely since Garret knew damn well who 'V' really was . . .

"Let's hear it for Garret Duyer, everybody!" Evan called out when the song ended.  The already screaming crowd screamed in an even louder frenzy, and Valerie joined in with them as Garret laughed and fired off a short riff on the bass while the audience roared in response.  He caught a towel that someone offstage tossed to him, ran it over his face, and chucked it into the crowd, much to their delight.  From her vantage point, she could see the mad scramble that only lasted a few seconds before a screaming girl came up with the prize, swinging it in circles over her head, and even from as far away as she was, Valerie could hear the victory whoop from the enthralled young woman.

"Damn pretty, ain't he?" Evan went on when the crowd quieted just a little.

"Man, that's not even funny," Garret shot back, ducking his head so that his shaggy blonde hair fell over the side of his face—probably a good thing, considering.  Valerie figured that her brother was probably blushing furiously at the moment.

Evan laughed, slinging an arm around Garret's neck and capturing him in a head lock, then he smacked an obnoxiously loud kiss on Garret's cheek, cackling like a lunatic while Garret wiped his cheek on his shoulder and gave Evan a healthy shove at the same time.  Evan stumbled away a few feet, staggering like he was drunk before giving his attention back to the audience once more as Frankie held his drumsticks over his head and pounded out the cadence.  "Now, help me out here, okay?" Evan called, raising his hands over his head and clapping to the beat of the drums.  "C'mon, ladies!  Let me see you shake those tits!"

The crowd roared louder, girls screaming frenetically while Valerie shook her head but laughed.  She's thought it before, of course, but still, she couldn't help but to think just how insane was it that he held them all so easily, right in the palm of his hand.  Good thing he wasn't interested in anything too bad, really.  His near-fanatical following would likely go along with anything he asked of them, even if that 'something' was highly illegal . . .

As they launched into an older Roka song, Valerie screamed again, her voice mingling with the rest of the fray, lost in the din.  A strong arm slipped around her, and she started, until she glanced up, only to find Bone beside her, slowly shaking his head despite the grin that widened when he caught her glance.  "You're gonna get me killed, ya," he grouched though his tone lacked any real rancor.  "What the hell you doin' out of your tower, anyway, Princess?"

Wrinkling her nose, Valerie shook her head.  "Aww, come on, Bone," she complained, bracing herself on his shoulder as she rose up on tiptoe and raised her voice to be heard over the show.  "It's boring in the skyboxes, and you know it."

"All the same, the big man's gonna get his panties all in a bunch over it, ya," he predicted with a slow shake of his head.

Valerie raised an eyebrow.  "Big?  You're twice his size, Bone," she couldn't resist goading.

Bone chuckled.  "Size ain't got a thing to do with it, V, and I gotta admit; I don't mind my job."

"I just want to watch the show down here like everyone else," she insisted.  "Besides, you don't really think anyone would be dumb enough to mess with you, do you?"

He didn't deny it, but his grin widened a few degrees.  "All right," he allowed at length.  "Ain't nothin' gonna get to you when you're with me, ya?"

"Did you take care of the problem?" she went on, satisfied that he was going to back off and let her enjoy the rest of the concert.

He rolled his eyes.  "Yeah, just a couple girls trying to sneak into Zel's dressing room.  Hooked 'em up with some of the better looking roadies for a private party and slipped 'em some promo shit—Same ol', same ol'."

Valerie digested that in silence.  There was a time, not so long ago, when she would have been one of those girls, too, wouldn't she?  Would the faceless head of security been nice enough to give her a few baubles meant to pacify her to send her on her way?  Or would he have given her the once-over and let her stay while she deluded herself into thinking it was what she wanted, that she'd gotten away with sneaking in to see the main attraction, only to figure out later that maybe she was the one who had been used, after all . . .?

And just why was she thinking of these kinds of things now, anyway?

It was all a part of the illusion, wasn't it?  The show put on to confuse and amaze, and Evan was the ringmaster—the puppeteer—or maybe he was the ultimate pawn, set into motion to be the demi-god before he'd ever even drawn a breath . . .

Bone's hand around her arm brought her up short, and Valerie blinked, glancing down to the appendage in a bemused sort of surprise.  "Bone?"

"Where you off to, little lady?" he asked, his tone easy despite the serious glint in his expression that was clear, even in the dim light of the arena.

His question surprised her, and she shook her head for a moment.  She had been staring at Evan, watching the show, right?  She hadn't realized that she was even moving, but where had she intended to go?

Bone chuckled, his smile almost knowing, but he tugged her back over beside him and didn't comment as his eyes shifted back to the stage once more.

Where had she been going?

That was a stupid question, wasn't it?  She wanted to be closer to Evan, didn't she?  As though he were the flame, and she was just another moth, drawn to be closer, closer . . .

'Born a to be a rock god . . . destined to be . . .' That thought drew a secretive little smile from her as she shifted her gaze over the arena.  Yes, she'd buy that one, absolutely.  That Evan's path had been preordained, just to stand up there, put on a good smile, a better show, to give the masses what they crave—himself?  As fanciful as it might sound, there was something true about it, and no matter how long she lived, she knew that she would never see a star as bright as him, as natural as him, as warm as him . . .

Her smile faltered slightly—imperceptible as she became just another of the faceless masses that were so easily drawn to him.  One of the many, and yet . . .

The same destiny that he'd been born to fulfill was the same destiny that kept him untouchable, even from her . . .


"Holy shit, that show was fucking hot!  Did you see them, baby?  Did you?"

Valerie laughed as Evan caught her around the waist and gave her a quick spin, followed in short order by a hard, albeit quick, kiss.  If he wasn't so damn  high off the adrenaline that dogged him all the way through the show and even as he'd exited the stage, he would have thought better of it, he was sure.  As it was, he couldn't quite seem to stop himself, and when he'd stormed into his dressing room and saw her sitting there, waiting for him, all glammed up in black patent leather pants that fit as snugly as a second skin and a white flirt of a tank top under the jacket that matched the pants—if she was wearing a bra, he swore to himself that he'd fuck Bugs—and he wasn't entirely sure where she'd gotten that particular outfit, but he hadn't really cared, either.  Then again, maybe he should ask.  Whoever had chosen it for her deserved to have a shitload of cash dropped on them; damned if they didn't . . . Well, she'd looked so much like the quintessential rockstar babe—his rockstar babe, anyway—that kissing her had just seemed natural.

"All right, rockstar," she retorted with a soft giggle as she grasped his shoulders to steady herself, "Yes, I saw it, and yes, it was a pretty good show."

Evan snorted and rolled his eyes though the smile on his face widened by degrees.  "Pretty good?" he echoed incredulously.  "Pretty good?  Damn, you're hard to impress, V."

The door popped open, and a grinning Garret stuck his head into the dressing room.  "Dude, you were a little flat on the chorus of the last song," he remarked, his grin widening.

"Flat, my ass, you little pecker head," Evan shot back, chucking the nearest thing—a bottle of water—at Garret's face.

Garret ducked to avoid it, chuckling in an entirely self-satisfied sort of way.  "They want another encore—Bone said they're not leaving the building."

"Yeah, I know," Evan replied with a shrug.  "Mikey said two encores were enough, and they want us out of here.  Evergreen's playing tomorrow night, and they want to do the setup."

Garret snorted and rolled his eyes.  "Evergreen's gay," he replied simply.  "I hate fucking boy-bands."

That just made Evan grin, though he didn't comment on the perceived gay-ness of the teen boy vocal trio that had booked the arena for tomorrow night.

"Guess I'll go get cleaned up, then," Garret decided, scratching the side of his head thoughtfully.  "Oh, hey, V!" he suddenly exclaimed, as though he'd just noticed that his sister was standing right there.  "Did you see the show?"

"The crowd was insane," she remarked as she leaned to the side, grabbing a thick white towel off the table and taking her time, gently dabbing the sweat off Evan's face.  "And they loved you."

That statement made Garret blush, and he muttered something as he waved at them then ducked out of the room again.  The sudden quiet that followed the closing door was a little disconcerting to Evan, but Valerie didn't seem to notice.

"It was a great concert," she went on thoughtfully.  "I mean, I've been to your shows before, but the crowd was even more wild tonight.  I could practically feel the energy radiating off of them, and I was up near the top.  I can't even imagine what it'd have been like on the floor, or the stage, for that matter.  It was almost frightening, really.  I don't think I've ever—"

She grimaced when he let go of her, only to grab her elbow, forcing her to look at him.  It wasn't hard, but it was more firmly than he had intended.  His grip loosened immediately though he didn't let go.  "Why weren't you in the skybox?"

Valerie blinked, more than likely at his tone more than his question, and for a split second, he could see the flash of guilt that she squashed.  "Bone got called down to deal with a couple girls who snuck past security, and I wanted to see the show up close, Roka."  She narrowed her eyes and poked him the center of the chest for good measure.  "And don't you dare yell at him, either.  I went down because I wanted to, and he had nothing to do with it."

Snapping his mouth closed on the retort he'd been forming, Evan snorted instead.  "The hell I'll let it go," he grumped.  To his own ears, his tone sounded poutier than menacing, and for that, he snorted again.  "The safest place for you is in the skybox," he pointed out.  "It looks the same, whether you're up there or down on the floor—better, really.  You have the monitors and everything up there."

"Maybe, but I can't feel things, up in that box," she argued calmly, using a tone of voice that was normally reserved for the jury, he figured.  "I wanted to see the whole thing, from the same vantage point as anyone else, and when Bone found me, I refused to go back, so he stayed with me the rest of the time."

He knew damn well that she was just trying to placate him.  Like it mattered.  Bone knew better, damn it.  Hadn't he and Evan already had this same discussion about a million times before?  Of course they had.  That was entirely the point, and no matter what Valerie thought, her safety was of far more importance to him than anything else, period.

Turning abruptly on his heel, Evan started for the door, but Valerie was faster, latching onto his arm and refusing to let go as she neatly darted around him and leveled a no-nonsense look at him.  "I'm serious, Evan," she went on in that same tone of voice.  "Can't you think of anything you'd rather do than to get into a fight with your head of security?"

That drew another snort from him, and he crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly.  Sure, he could think of about a million things that he could do, all of which she'd summarily banned at one time or another—or things that just weren't going to happen at the moment . . . "Nope, not really," he retorted.

"There's got to be something," she pressed.

"Well, we could—" Cutting himself off abruptly, Evan sighed.  "Uh, nope . . ." Valerie raised an eyebrow in silent question as Evan snapped his fingers.  "Or we could—Err, I guess that's off limits, too . . ." The barest hint of a smile quirked the corners of Valerie's lips.  "Oh, we might be able to—Eh, uh-uh, that's no good, either . . ."

"And I suppose that all of your ideas revolve around your genitalia, don't they?" she asked baldly.

He spared a moment to cast her a wolfish grin.  "Or yours."

She rolled her eyes and slowly shook her head.  "Hopeless," she complained in a resigned tone of voice.   Too bad he didn't miss the slight smile on her face.  It rather ruined the overall strict effect she was striving to achieve.

He grunted and snatched another towel off the counter.  "If you'd just give up and admit that you want me, all of this would be irrelevant," he pointed out.  "Guess that just leaves the option of showing Bone the error of his ways."

"I thought I told you that you cannot," she insisted.  "I forbid it."

"He knows it's coming," Evan went on baldly.  "Inevitable, like death and taxes."

He heard her sigh but didn't turn to verify the undoubtedly chagrined expression that was sure to be on her pretty face.  "I'll tell you what," she went on as though they hadn't just been arguing.  He quirked an eyebrow, more at her sudden change of tactics than her words.  "You go take your shower, and I'll find something for you to do to get rid of that energy of yours—something that has nothing at all to do with fighting with your head of security over something so stupid."

Opening his mouth to make a few off-color suggestions of his own, Evan was cut off before he could speak.  "Or anything that could not be discussed over Sunday brunch at your mother's house," she added for good measure.

He shot her a look since he had the sneaking suspicion that V had gotten to know him just a little too well.  The expression on her face stopped him from pointing out as much, though.  Standing with her arms crossed over her chest, blonde hair falling over her shoulder, she stared at him, her concern awash in her gaze.  Easy to say that she was just worried that he was going to do something he might regret later, and yet, there was a deeper sense of understanding there, too.  Could she sense the restlessness that he felt, the unsettling feeling of having too much energy and no real outlet for it?  It was always a problem after his shows, and more often than not, it led to some fairly questionable behavior and a whole lot of trouble.  It occurred to him again that she knew him better than just about anyone, but this time, the idea brought a smile to his lips, albeit a wan one.  "All right," he relented with an offhanded shrug.  "I'm tellin' you, though, you'd enjoy the things I have in mind, I swear it.  By the way, who do I send the fruit basket to thank for that get-up you're wearing?"

Valerie blinked and glanced down at herself as though she'd forgotten all about her clothing.  When she looked up at him again, she was smiling.  'That smile is lethal,' he mused almost idly.

"Bambi," she replied, taking a moment to shove up the sleeves of the black leather jacket.  "She said that every girl should have an outfit like this."

He nodded slowly.  "If you wore that every day, I'd be a happy, happy man," he allowed, making no bones about letting his eyes travel up from the tips of the black leather boots on her feet to the cute little cap perched atop her hair.  "Very '80's Glam'," he decided.

"Not really," she replied, just as tongue-in-cheek.  "No metal studs."

He laughed.  "That's true," he admitted.  "But if you need help, peeling yourself out of those pants later on, I'll be more than happy to lend you a hand."

"Of course you will, Roka," she muttered, shaking her head since he was quite obviously a lost cause.  "Now you go take your shower, and I'll see what I can do."

He heaved a sigh to protest her lack of enthusiasm for his last idea, but he did head toward the bathroom, doing his best to peel off his clothes without stopping—just his pants, actually, since he'd shed the shirt he'd worn onstage between the first and second songs of the set.  Okay, so he was intrigued by what, exactly, she might find to entertain him and to help him, as she put it, burn off some of his energy.  It wouldn't be easy, considering it was about time for Mikey to show up and insist that they make their way back to the hotel.

Even so, she shouldn't have raised such a fuss over him having a go at the big guy, anyway, he thought as he squeezed about half a bottle of shampoo into his hands and squashed it into his sweat-matted hair.  At least if he could, he'd be able to work out some of his misguided energy.

'Aww, what's the big deal, anyway?' his youkai spoke up.

Squeezing his eyes closed as he rinsed the shampoo out of his hair, Evan snorted inwardly.  'What do you mean, what's the big deal?  V could have easily gotten hurt or something in that crowd.'

'She's got about the same chance of being hurt as anyone else at one of your shows, idiot.  You want to put everyone into skyboxes?'

He didn't bother to answer that.  Sure, there was truth in it, but still . . . Crazy stuff happened at his concerts.  He knew that better than anyone else, didn't he?  Despite the rules that varied from place to place, there were always the people who snuck things in—things that Valerie just didn't need to be around, and then there was always the concern of physical harm coming to her, too.  The crowds tended to get rowdy more often than not.  It just took a moment for someone to inadvertently push her or a misplaced step could trip her up . . .

Bone knew about all of those risks, and that's why he had been instructed to make sure Valerie was safe in the skyboxes whenever she was there at a show.  

He made quick work of washing off the sweat from the concert, whatever was left of the makeup that had been so carefully applied before the show.  As much as he wanted to wash out the rest of the temporary hair color, though, he didn't.  He'd gotten too lax about that of late, especially since Valerie tended to like his natural hair color.  Still, he'd worked hard to keep Zel Roka and Evan Zelig separated, and even if she didn't realize it yet, he'd done it as much for her as he had for himself over the years.

"Come on, Roka.  You going to stay in the shower all night?"

Evan grinned at the almost bored tone in Valerie's voice.  "Nope, just thought that I'd see if you wanted to join me in here for a little bit," he quipped.

"If I did that, then you'd miss what I found for us to do," she pointed out, opting to ignore the suggestion he'd made.

"I kind of don't think I'd mind if you decided to hop in here with me instead," he assured her.

Valerie laughed, tossing a towel at him when he shut off the shower tap and pushed open the frosted glass door.  "Get dressed," she insisted mildly.

He spared a moment to drape the towel around his hips, more for Valerie's benefit than for himself, before giving himself a good shake.

Valerie squealed and covered her face but not before a laugh escaped her.  "What are you?  A dog?" she complained despite the smile that hadn't faded.

"Woof," he replied with a grin.  "More effective than a towel, don't you think?"

She snorted though her amusement hadn't waned.  "There's something wrong with you, Evan," she pointed out.

Evan chuckled and ambled past her to retrieve the clothes he'd tossed onto the sofa before the show.  "All right, woman, you win, but you'd better have found something really damn good."

Her smile widened as she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned casually in the bathroom doorway.  "I think you'll like it," she promised.

He paused as he pulled on the jeans.  Yeah, he supposed that he would like it.  As long as he was with her, he supposed he'd like just about anything . . .

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~= ~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Sad Theresa' by Warrant originally appeared on the 1992 release, Dog Eat Dog.  Copyrighted to Jani Lane.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Thought from Valerie:
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.

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