Author's Notes: Okay, I'm going to try and make this as unique as a high school AU can be. There will be some techniques I'll fall back on, but for the most part I want to make this as original as possible. Updates will be pretty slow since my schedule is a little hectic and is only going to get worse. I think it's worth mentioning that because of my choice of songs in this story and because I don't have a complete working knowledge of Japanese culture, the country where this takes place will remain indistinct. That should about cover it for now.
Let the Music Be Your Master
Chapter 1: What You See
One lesson in life that very few people learn until later on is that what you see isn't always what you get. We make judgements based on first impression no matter how much we try to distance ourselves from that habit. It really complicates things. When prejudice comes into the matter, it only gets worse. Were it not for our judgemental nature, there would be far fewer outcasts in our society, especially among the younger generations. This is a story about that lesson and how it was learned.
"So I'm a mutt,
"What do you care?
"So I'm a mongrel,
"Who said life was fair?"
Inuyasha Morimoto, Miroku Watanabe, and Shippo Matsumoto were very well known at Wolf Rock High, though this was hardly a good thing. They were the most infamous outcasts of the school. To the "geeks and losers" they were champions, but to everyone else they were slime.
Shippo was a freshman. He was small for his age with a boyish, vulpine face and thick red hair. He did stage magic and card tricks for a hobby. In fact, Shippo first came into the spotlight when he successfully conned one of the football players out of twenty dollars playing Three Card Monty.
Miroku, a senior, was avoided because of a strange mysticism he carried about him. He always seemed detached and aloof, composed and thoughtful. But he was quiet and kept to himself, making him seem untouchable. He never removed his billowing black duster coat no matter the heat, nor did he ever take off the fingerless glove he wore on his right hand and the bracelet of pale blue beads with strange runes carved on them on his right wrist. He had a young face with violet eyes and dark hair in a small tail and had both ears pierced.
Inuyasha, however, was the most infamous of the trio. He had been born with a rare birth defect, resulting in his doglike appearance. He had long silvery hair with dog ears at the top of his head as opposed to a normal pair. His eyes were a bright golden color, and his canines had grown into fangs. This singled him out from the start. After years of being pushed around and tormented, he started fighting back which resulted in his earning a reputation for violence. After he put two football players in the hospital his freshman year, Inuyasha faced expulsion, but was able to get off on a self-defense plea. Now in his senior year, he was shunned for his strange appearance, and explosive temper.
It seemed perfectly normal that these three misfits would eventually come together. What no one else in the school knew, was that they had a plan. They had formed their own band to prove to the world they could make something of themselves. If only the road to success weren't so hard.
Inuyasha played the last few chords to their song "So I'm a Mutt" on his double-necked guitar. It was a gift from his older brother Sesshoumaru two years ago. It was red and black with the word "FANG" scrawled in gold letters between the two sets of strings. "Think we should change that last bit?" he asked turning to the others.
Miroku played the last five notes on his bass guitar twice. "Yeah," he said thoughtfully. "Try something a little lower maybe? Ah, we'll work on it." He unplugged his bass and packed it away.
As Shippo began disassembling his drums and putting them into their cases, he looked up to Inuyasha guiltily. "Hey, dude. Could we hurry up? I just remembered that my parents want me home in about an hour ago." He smiled nervously as his friend scowled.
"You coulda said that earlier," Inuyasha growled. Really, it was no trouble at all. Inuyasha would have gladly done anything for his friends, but it was something he would never admit out loud. He packed up his guitar and amp and the three of them were on their way home. They had chosen to practice in the school auditorium today since there was an early dismissal and would have the place to themselves. It wasn't the first time, and the principal had already said he didn't mind.
They were stuffing Inuyasha's car with all the instruments when his sensitive ears picked up voices. The last set of voices he wanted to hear right now. 'Why, God?' he thought silently, looking up to the sky. 'What did I ever do to you?' He frantically started trying to help Miroku and Shippo pack everything in, earning him a few odd looks. Until they heard the voices too, that is.
"Oh hell, not them," Shippo muttered. They were about to jump in the car when an all-too-familiar voice reached them.
"What the hell are you doing here?!"
With a collective groan of frustration, the three boys turned to see Koga Kobe, Kagome and Kikyo Higurashi, Hiten and Monten Sakai, Sango Nanasawa, and Yura Hayasaka. These people were the popular kids, the top of the mountain, and the biggest instigators against the school's outcasts. Koga stood at the front with a smug grin. He was the de facto leader of the group and a personal rival to Inuyasha since middle school.
Miroku, keeping his composure, merely fiddled with the beads at his wrist. "Oh, nothing much. I wasn't aware you all cared."
"As if," Hiten snorted. "We just want you dregs to clear out." It was then that Inuyasha and the others noticed the skateboards and rollerblades their rivals were holding. Apparently they wanted to skate someplace they would have all to themselves, and where would people be less likely to go then the school? That was surprisingly intelligent for this lot.
"What if we don't want to," Inuyasha growled.
"You don't have a choice, mutt," Koga growled back. "Don't like it? Then bite me."
Inuyasha snapped his teeth twice and flashed his fangs. "Watch who you say that to."
It was then that Kagome stepped forward and Inuyasha's attention was now fully on her. She wasn't carrying anything like the others. Obviously just came to be with her friends. "And you wonder why people hate you," she snapped. "Just look at you! You could show some dignity, but no! You decide to play your deformities up! God, what is up with that, anyway? Was your mother into bestiality or something? That would explain a lot."
The group of popular kids went into fits of laughter at that, but Miroku and Shippo stared at her with wide eyes and Inuyasha began to slowly shake with rage. "What did you say?" he snarled. His hands trembled as they balled up into fists and every muscle in his body tensed up. He hated this girl for what she could do to him. He had never heard her speak so cruelly before, though. Maybe Koga was starting to rub off on her.
Kagome looked back at Inuyasha to repeat herself, but stopped out of fear and surprise. He looked ready to kill, but what drew her attention was his eyes. They were filled with rage and fury, sorrow and hurt. She felt a small pang in her chest, but tried to shrug it off. As she opened her mouth to speak, Inuyasha simply barked, "Feh! Skip it, bitch!" and jumped into his car and started the engine.
Miroku and Shippo got in with little hesitation, and the car sped off out of sight. "Good one, babe," Koga said through what remained of his laughter. "You really told that freak off. He had it coming."
"Yeah," Kagome said half-heartedly. She shrugged off what remained of that pang she had felt and rejoined her friends and sister. Still, she couldn't help but wonder why she felt like that, and over Inuyasha of all people. She and Inuyasha had never been friends, but she had always had a strange fascination with him that Kagome just couldn't explain. Always wondering how he managed to keep on going through all the ridicule, always being pushed around.
"You know," Kikyo said beside her, "that might have been the wrong thing to say."
"What?! You're taking dog-boy's side?" Kagome said in disbelief. Kikyo had never joined the others in mocking Inuyasha or any of the other misfits in the school, but she had never said anything in their defense either.
"You do realize that Inuyasha's mother died almost ten years ago from a brain tumor," Kikyo said flatly. "Why do you think he missed a month of school back in third grade? He was devastated."
Kagome suddenly felt like a lead brick had been dropped in her stomach. "Oh," she whispered. 'Oops,' she thought. 'Not even Inuyasha deserved that. Maybe I should... No! No, no, no, no! He had it coming anyway. Didn't he?'
Kagome looked back to her sister who was watching her with an unreadable expression. "How do you know this?"
Kikyo paused for a moment before answering. "I heard it from his older brother a few years ago."
"Sesshoumaru?" Kagome asked curiously. "What were you doing with him? Sure, he's not as bad as Inuyasha, but we were all glad to see him go." That was an understatement. Half the school had celebrated the regal young man's graduation three years ago. Most people couldn't stand his cold, elitist, superior attitude.
Unfortunately, Kagome never got an answer. Her sister merely turned away to watch Koga wrestle Hiten into a headlock.
Inuyasha sped down the road, taking turns far too fast with his hands starting to cramp from holding the wheel too tight. 'What's her problem?!' he screamed mentally. 'What does she have against me? I never did anything to her!' Kagome Higurashi had actually been Inuyasha's first crush back in fifth grade. He tried to be nicer to her than he was to the rest of his peers, but he never stood a chance. Even back then, the children had created thier own social classes and he was at the bottom rung as always.
"INUYASHA LOOK OUT FOR THAT LADY!!"
"Don't scream in my ear, damn it," he sneered at Shippo and swerved just in time to miss an old lady who was crossing the street. He was a speed demon, he admitted it. But he couldn't understand why only Miroku had gotten used to his driving by now. Then again, nothing phased Miroku, so that shouldn't come as any surprise.
The tires screeched as Inuyasha swerved into an abrupt hault in front of Shippo's house. "You can calm down, now," he said mockingly.
"Go to hell," Shippo mumbled as he staggered out of the car, legs still wobbly.
Miroku gave Shippo a hand with his drums and got his bass and amp out afterward, since he only lived two blocks down. "Tomorrow at your house at 4, right?" he asked Inuyasha.
"Keh," the silver-haired boy tossed over his shoulder, which his friends knew was a 'yes.' He sped off toward his home, trying to calm himself, but he simply couldn't get Kagome out of his mind.
"What do I care what that little bitch thinks?" he thought aloud. "She's just like the rest of those stuck-up, arrogant, swaggering, stupid, fucking, fucking..." His thoughts trailed off into incoherent growls and grunts until he pulled into the driveway of his home.
Unloading his guitar and amp, Inuyasha slipped through the front door and made his way straight for the stairs and his bedroom in the loft.
He got there, though, to find Sesshoumaru going through the jumbled contents of his night stand. "Sessh!" he barked irritably. "What the hell are you doing in my room?!"
Sesshoumaru merely looked up, golden brown eyes amused and smirked softly. "Just wanted my Lupin manga back," he said, holding up the comic book in question.
Inuyasha sighed and set his things down, mumbling an apology before flopping face down on his bed. He really shouldn't have tried to take his anger out on his brother. But he really needed to blow off some steam, right now.
"Rough day?" Sesshoumaru asked. He knew his brother wouldn't respond, however, so he continued in a very 'big brother' tone. "If you want to talk about it, you know where to find me." With that he walked out and shut the door softly behind him.
Inuyasha chose, however, to simply lay there in silence for a while. He looked around his room at all the clutter, posters, and bits and pieces of junk. He had a room that many people fantasized about having, and he spent a lot of time here to escape reality. Up in the loft with his music, things always seemed more peaceful without the stress and strife of his every day life.
This time, however, his peace was shattered by a certain girl with dark hair and grey eyes. He, Miroku, and Shippo had formed their nameless band to prove to the world that what you see isn't always what you get, but Inuyasha had to wonder if maybe there was something more he was personally trying to prove.