Disclaimer:I don't own anything. Period. I live in a box under the bridge and occasionally creep out to go to an Internet café to write fanfiction. You can try and sue me but you really won't get much.
Author's Notes:Starting yet another story ^_^ which doesn't have anything to do with dead people despite the title. And just so you're warned, Kikyo's part in this fic is a larger one than usual – but she's not a bad guy (girl, even). I don't do Kikyo-bashing (despite the fact that every time she comes onto the screen in the anime I often cuss very loudly).
They were doing it again. Just staring… listlessly… along with everyone else along the street. Kagome rounded the corner of the corner shop (aptly named) and came to a dead stop upon seeing the lines of teenage girls along the pavement before her. They were all leaning against the chainlink fence and either chatting excitedly to one another, or just staring across to the other side of the road.
Kagome sucked thoughtfully on her ice lolly as she followed their gazes curiously to find out what on earth held the attention of so many teenagers. Girls no less. When she saw it she sighed and rolled her eyes.
Figured… just another lame poster board being put up.
Kagome changed course and decided to take the long way home, rather than push her way through the gabbling throngs of fools who had turned up like a bunch of salivating dogs just to watch some dumb poster being put up. She pitied the girls who were stupid enough to-
"Kagome! Hey Kagome!"
She froze and turned sharply to see her three friends standing among the rest of the girls waving cheerfully to her.
Ayumi's wavy hair bounced as she trotted away from the others towards Kagome, a grin plastered on her face. "What took you so long? We thought you were going to miss it!"
"Miss what?" Kagome looked towards the board being worked on. "That? But it's going to be around for weeks – it hardly needs constant watching."
"Easy for you to say." Yuka commented as she approached with Eri in close tow. "The competition's ending tomorrow."
"Competition?" Kagome echoed uselessly. Obviously she wasn't as up to date as her friends were.
"Didn't you even read the poster?" Yuka pointed. "Look already!"
Kagome took a deep breath and held it as she reluctantly swung her gaze from Yuka's face to the large board across the road set up high on the side of a building. There was just text… announcing some kind of competition that ended on the eighteenth of May. Tomorrow. She read aloud for the benefit of the doubt. "Do you want the chance to spend a week in a sea side mansion? Do you want to attend an awards evening and meet all the stars? Do you want the chance to spend seven glorious days in the company of Japan's most wanted… I don't believe this… of Japan's most wanted young bachelor."
At this point her friends were beside themselves with little squeals of delight. "A whole week with him!" Ayumi cried.
"He's so hot!" Eri clapped her hands over her heart. "He's just so frustratingly cute!"
"He's ruined me for anyone else!" Yuka joined in. "What would I give to win this thing!"
Kagome watched them, less than impressed. "Guys, I'm embarrassed for you." She sighed. "The only reason you like him is because he's rich and famous and good looking. But what else has he got that any other kid his age hasn't already got? If he wasn't famous you wouldn't look twice at him."
"With muffins of steel like that, of course we'd look five times at least!" Yuka turned on her, obviously outraged that she dare bad-mouth him. "I know your type Kagome – you pretend to dislike him because he's better than us – but if you ever met him you'd start blushing and drooling just like the rest of us."
"He tells you he's better than you and you believe him!" Kagome loved her friends, she really did, but when they got down on their knees like sheep and worshipped with the flock she couldn't help but feel a little saddened. "What happened to being rebellious?! To defying convention and singing our bohemian rhapsody-"
"Hey – they've put up the last board!" Eri interrupted and all heads turned to finish reading the board.
Kagome just raised an eyebrow. "To win all you have to do is answer this simple question. When was Inuyasha born? A, 1986; B, 1603; or C, Paris." Oh that was burning the brain cells… "Gee, I better call in three times to make sure I get it right."
"A! It's A!" Ayumi screeched. She grabbed Yuka and Eri by the arms. "We should go enter the competition now! We'll be one of the first – we're bound to win!"
Kagome quickly backed off. "Girls, I have like a ton of homework to do – so I better get going. See you tomorrow, ok?" She waved with a smile as she trotted off down the long route home (seeing as how the short cut was blocked with overexcited females).
There were three phone boxes, and fortunately the three friends managed to dive into one of them before the rest of the crush. After all, they'd cleverly thought ahead and positioned themselves close to a phone. Yuka took charge in her usual brusque and bossy manner, holding the phone to her ear and punching out the number that was only just being pasted up onto the board.
"It's ringing!" she told them in a whispered frenzy. The other two couldn't contain themselves.
"It's unlikely that we'll win, but no harm trying." Eri pointed out. Ayumi nodded but darted her attention back to Yuka quickly.
"It's answer phone." The girl told her friends.
"-so please leave the answer to the contest question after the tone, along with your name and number so we may contact you. Thank you."
There was a beep and Yuka took a deep breath. "It's A! Inuyasha was born in nineteen eighty six! And my name is Yu…"
She suddenly stopped, realising how unfair it was to give her name. Ayumi and Eri blinked at her in surprise as she stopped talking, realising the situation. Then a sudden, rather cruel thought occurred to Yuka.
"My name is Higurashi. Kagome Higurashi."
"My name is… Higurashi. Kagome Higurashi…" Kagome said slowly, speaking aloud the words that she wrote down in her English exercise book.
She stopped there and wracked her brains for something else to say about herself. "I'm very normal… and… ordinary…"
Souta, whilst flicking around the Tv channels on the living room sofa suddenly stopped on a documentary that interested him. It was about a certain white haired, seventeen year old superstar. "Cool! This guy lives in a palace!" Souta called out eagerly.
Kagome scribbled out the last sentence she'd written and tried again. "I'm very strange… and… abnormal… I don't like Inuyasha…"
Well actually. She didn't dislike him… she just felt very indifferent about the whole ordeal. So what he was famous? Had he worked for it? No. His mother had been famous, rich and beautiful (and an underwear model) and his father had been a successful politician. He was just living off the fat that his parents had provided him with. He'd never lifted a finger for it. All he did was look pretty and smile – and he got richer.
Ok… maybe it was less indifference and more resentment.
But perhaps she was just tired of all the conversations she had with her friends turning at one time or another to the topic of Inuyasha – the urban god! Perhaps she was just tired of the fact that she was struggling to get through school and earn some good grades and a good entrance into a good school so she could get a good college degree and a good job so she'd be able to make a decent life for herself. He never had to worry about things like that. And the little people like herself just worshipped him for it.
Kagome clenched her pen a moment before continuing with her homework. "I have black hair… brown eyes… and a chip on the shoulder the size of an umbrella…" No, that didn't sound right…
The lines had been open for almost twenty four hours exactly. That's all the time that was needed. Already over eighty million people had entered the competition – which was well over half the entire population of Japan. Kagome didn't pay that much attention to the statistics and whatnot, but even so, her friends literally man-handled her all the way down to the corner café where most kids liked to hang out after school – but today it was to hear the announced winner of the contest.
"You guys do know that there is no chance that you'll win right?" Kagome pointed out as they dragged her into the café. "More people have entered this competition than have played the lotto this week – the chances of winning this is worse than winning a billion yen!"
Eri ran up to the waiter and quickly requested the volume be raised on the large Tv in the corner of the room so they could watch the announcement.
"Oh we know." Yuka said primly as the four girls sat down at a round table. "We didn't even enter."
"Excuse me?" Kagome blinked at them in surprise. "But I thought you guys were fanatics!" If they weren't fanatics, then she dreaded to think what real Inuyasha fanatics were like… stalkers most likely (though Ayumi wasn't far off from that class).
"Well, the chances of us winning are like winning the national lottery. And I've never won that, so I won't win this either." Yuka shrugged, seemingly oblivious to what Kagome had just pointed out before. "Anyway – we're only here to find out who the lucky girl is who won."
"Or lucky guy." Eri pointed out.
"Ok." Kagome smiled as she got out her Maths text book. "I'll just finish these equations while I have the time."
Her friends mumbled something good-naturedly like 'Workaholic' as they turned their attention to the Tv set.
"And we'll be announcing the winner of the competition of 2003 after these messages from our sponsors." The presenter on the show said before the adverts flashed up onto the screen.
"Did you hear that this contest got more people calling in than there were votes cast in the general election." Eri asked as she nimbled on some chips they'd ordered.
"Well, who cares about who the prime ministers is?" Yuka challenged. "This is Inuyasha we're talking about – he's so much more interesting!"
"Hey," Ayumi struck a brilliant idea. "I think Inuyasha should run for prime minister. Everyone would vote for him wouldn't they."
Kagome snorted contemptuously at this. "Hah – he probably knows less about how to run a country than he knows about making beans on toast!"
A valid point, but they reckoned Kagome was just saying that for the sake of arguing with their admiration of the hot dude. They decided to just ignore her grumbling and focus on the broadcast. Kagome did the same and tuned out the noise around her as she got back on with finishing math problems.
It was a few minutes before the presenter appeared back on the Tv, though the chatter in the café nearly drowned out the man's voice. "And now's time to announce the winner. This lucky person will driven out in a private limousine in just an hour from now – straight to the Seaside Villa we previewed earlier… now…" he was handed a golden envelope as a drum roll sounded in the back ground. He tore it open and waited a full fifteen seconds, letting the tension build horribly until he looked up at the camera with a grin. "And the winner is – Kagome Higurashi!"
There was a big cheer in the studio that made a lot of noise in the speakers. Eri's elbow slipped off the table and she jarred her body painfully, Yuka and Ayumi stared in pure horror and shock at the television. The other students in the café who knew Kagome by name turned stunned eyes on the girl.
"Damn…" Kagome cursed mildly, as she reached for her rubber. "Does anyone have a calculator?"
Obviously, Kagome had missed the announcement.
"Let's call our lucky little starlet now, shall we?" the presenter began and a ringing phone tone could be heard on the speakers of the television. A few moments later, Kagome's bag started to vibrate and emit a loud melody to the little ditty of 'Baa, baa blacksheep'. Those in the café who didn't know Kagome's name now turned to look at her in stunned shock – their brains making the connection between the phone on the Tv, and the phone going off across the room.
"Oh – excuse me." She muttered sheepishly as she realised everyone in the café was staring at her – presumably for having such a horrendous tune on her mobile phone. Kagome quickly ducked into her bag and pulled out her phone. "Hello?"
She nearly jumped out of her own skin when she heard her own voice echoed on the Tv after a two second delay. Kagome was slow on the best of days… but she wasn't that slow. And she froze in as much horror as her friends when it began to dawn on her rapidly just what was going on.
"Congratulations!" a voice told her in her ear. "You've won the 2003 Inuyasha prize draw! How do you feel?"
Yuka emitted a feeble whine and had laid her head down on the table, banging the surface with her fist in frustration. Kagome stared at her a moment before blinking at her other two friends who merely blinked back.
"Miss Higurashi?" the man on her phone pressed. Looking at the Tv she could see him grinning from ear to ear like a true happy-go-lucky presenter. "How do you feel?"
When Kagome still didn't answer he made some joke about her having fainted in shock – it was enough to make Kagome remember that she had a voice that she could probably use at a time like this. "I won?" she whispered.
"In a one in eighty million chance!" the people in the back of the Tv studio were cheering loudly.
Kagome was finding herself a little short of breath. The whole café had their eyes on her… but she felt like the whole world was watching her.
"How do you feel?" the host asked again over the din behind him.
Confusion was one emotion Kagome was probably feeling very strongly right then. Wonderment, embarrassment, awe, horror… a little queasy and light-headed. She wondered if she'd fallen asleep on the table and was dreaming that she'd won an impossible competition. But after a few moments of sitting there she realised that everything was very, very real. The country was listening to her… and probably him…
A giddy feeling rose in her stomach and she quickly passed the phone to Ayumi so she could let out a very heart-felt scream of excitement. Normally she was ashamed of her friends acting like total fanatics, but right then she didn't even care that she herself had just turned into a twit. "I won!" she squealed. "I won! I really won!"
Ayumi was smiling cheerfully into the phone. "She's very happy." Ayumi was cool under any situation… or just on a different planet from everyone else.
Kagome continued screaming and laughing as people rushed around to congratulate her, giving her claps on the back and beaming – she was even hugging complete strangers and other girls that she didn't know particularly well other than that they went to the same school. "I won!"
Eri blew out a heavy sigh and slumped forward onto the table next to Yuka. "Didn't we tell her that she was the type to turn into a drooling moron given the chance?"
"Yeah, but I didn't mean it!" Yuka wailed forlornly.
Ayumi hung up the phone with a click. "They say the limo is coming around right now. Only Kagome's allowed to get in."
Eri groaned loudly as Yuka watched Kagome celebrating in true Inuyasha fanatic style – scream a lot and hug anything that moved, which included the café cat. "I'm going to kill her. I'm really going to kill her and take her name and get into that limo and drive off and laugh about it…"
Ayumi smiled good-naturedly and patted Yuka and Eri's backs. "Don't worry, there's always next time."
"Hey, mom!" Souta called from the living room. He was sat two inches in front of the Tv screen, plastered to the name that kept popping up in the corner. "Kagome's just won a vacation with Inuyasha!"
"That's nice, honey." Mrs Higurashi called back, she was used to his little tales.
"No, really! They just announced the winner and it's someone called Kagome Higurashi – and it sounds like our Kagome!"
Mrs Higurashi pottered into the living room with a wet dish and a table cloth in her hands. She peered at the Tv a moment before her eyes flew open in shock and the dish flew from her hands.
Fortunately it bounced on the soft carpet.
"Kagome's won?" Her mother whispered hoarsely. "How big was this draw?"
"Big." Souta held his hands far apart to demonstrate.
The front door opened and slammed in rapid succession. Kagome hurled past the living room doorway on her way to the stairs. Mrs Higurashi spun. "Kagome?! What's this on the Telly about you winning-"
"The 2003 Inuyasha Prize Draw – in which Inuyasha himself is the prize!" Kagome yelled back in one breath.
Up in her room she was busy digging out her old suitcases and flinging them on her bed to empty her drawers into them. "The limo dropped me off here to pack!" she called to her family. "It's going to take me straight to his villa on the coast!"
Even from upstairs Kagome heard her younger brother's gasp of "Whoa!" Mrs Higurashi seemed to be in a state of shock. Grandpa came in from his duty of sweeping leaves off the Shrine paths. "There's a limo outside. Has Kagome finally decided to date that rich kid Hojo?"
"No, dad, she's going with Inuyasha."
"Inuyasha? Who's Inuyasha?"
Kagome stifled a giggle. Only someone like her Grandpa would be totally oblivious to what interested today's youth. He was stuck somewhere in the fifties – and he was staying there.
Wrestling the zip shut on both her cases, she hauled them along behind her as she scuttled back down the stairs. She left them in the hallway as she quickly raced to bid farewell to her family. She pecked her Grandpa on the cheek, gave Souta a loud kiss smack on the forehead and ruffled his hair before turning to her mother and embracing her tightly. "I'll see you all in a week!"
"This is so sudden, Kagome." Her mother looked baffled.
"I promise I'll ring you tonight and talk about it," Kagome kissed her on the cheek and hurried back to her bags to drag them out of the door.
Three men were coming up the Shrine steps dressed in matching black suits and dark shades. Very professional. Two of them took her bags and the third started guiding her back down towards the limo. Kagome twisted to look at her family who were all gathered in the doorway looking stumped.
"I'll call you!" Kagome called and waved.
They watched as she was ushered into the back of the awaiting limo and driven off in an elegant fashion. Souta cocked his head and turned to Grandpa. "Inuyasha's the richest, bestest and most fashionabalist seventeen year old in the country." He said, answering his grandfather's earlier question. "If not this side of the world."
Grandpa made a tutting sound with his tongue as he glanced at his daughter. "You women always like to aim high don't you?"
The two figures lounging at the pool side glanced up towards the villa before both turning to one another.
"It's ok, Angelique." Inuyasha said dismissively to the model sitting just behind him as he tipped the hat back down over his eyes and got comfy again. "It's only Kikyo having a stress."
The French girl, not having a clue what he'd just said, just shrugged and went back to rubbing the sun lotion over his back and shoulders. She smoothed her hands down his arms and leant forward to purr in his ear. "Je t'aime…"
"Yeah… Je t'aime back at ya." Whatever that meant, he thought vaguely. It seemed to make her happy though as she squeezed her arms around his shoulders and kissed his neck.
That was how Kikyo found them.
"Where have you been?" she demanded coldly as she descended the steps from the villa to the pool that overlooked the beach and the sea below. "The winner was announced half an hour ago and everyone's keeping their eyes peeled for you and you're slothing around the pool with… with… Who is that, by the way?"
"This is Angelique. But we've gotten close so I like to call her Angel." He responded happily.
"And… how long have you known Angel?" Kikyo asked in a chiding tone.
"Ooh…" Inuyasha glanced at the model as if considering. "At least five hours now."
Kikyo briefly flicked her eyes heavenward in a short prayer before bringing herself back to the matter at hand. "Well please tell Miss Angel to disengage her lips from your neck before she leaves a mark and go back to whatever modelling agency which leant her to you."
"Can't." Inuyasha gave a one shouldered shrug since Angelique was busy kissing the other. "She only speaks French and I-"
"Don't speak French, I know." How the hell had these two come across each other then? Kikyo decided not ask questions she knew she would get a straight answer for. "Well you can't keep her."
"But she's so cute-"
"In less than an hour a schoolgirl will be arriving to spend a week here." Kikyo interrupted bluntly. "This is the biggest offer you have ever given anyone – and I will not have you give off bad press by ignoring the girl and hanging around with your French floozy the whole time. You will devote your undivided attention to her and… are you even listening to me?"
"I'm trying hard not to."
Kikyo reined in her temper. The only person who could ever make her lose it was Inuyasha. "Get dressed and get ready to greet her arrival."
"The girl who won the contest!"
Kikyo shifted her footing impatiently, eyeing the French model who was still draping herself over her Star. "Tell her to leave already!"
"But I don't speak French." Inuyasha repeated. "But you do – so tell her that she's sweet and all but I'll have to see her Wednesday."
Kikyo translated shortly to the girl who looked up at her as if only just noticing she was there. The French model listened until she'd finished before pulling a pout and giving Inuyasha one last doe eyed look before slinking away back into the villa. Kikyo turned her head away as the girl passed her. She didn't like models very much…
"So." Inuyasha lay back on the sun-lounge with his hands behind his head. "What's on the schedule today?"
"I just told you," Kikyo folded her arms. "The girl who won the competition will be here in less than an hour. She is your schedule for the next week. You work around her, so no abandoning her to go partying, no gallivanting off with girlfriends, and no sulking about it."
"Only if she's not a complete dog." Inuyasha slanted a look at her. "No pun intended."
"She can't be ugly or plain. Miroku did a check on the entries and selecting one of the best looking girls to win." Kikyo told him. "People don't want pimple-faced bird-brains with harelips and a lisp to win."
"You guys rigged it?" Inuyasha smirked. "Nice… So what do you know about her?"
"I don't know anything about her."
"You're my agent – you're supposed to know these things." Inuyasha pointed out impatiently.
"Wait a minute," Kikyo fished a hand into her pocket and pulled out her ear-piece and microphone. She hooked it around her ear and tapped the speaker button. "Miroku, what are the stats for the competition winner?"
She waited a few moments for the response. Inuyasha eyed her rapidly tapping foot with annoyance while the pause stretched on.
"Kagome Higurashi…" Kikyo relayed to Inuyasha. "Fifteen, attending the last year of Middle School in Toshima… Lives in a Shrine with mother, brother and an old man we either suspect to be her grandfather or an old retired batman… that's not funny Miroku."
"What does she look like?" Inuyasha asked.
"Is that so important to you?" Kikyo scowled at him. "You can't touch her Inuyasha – I swear if you lay a hand on this schoolgirl – if you lead her on in any way then I will string you up by your-"
"Relax! I just wanna know!" He snapped back.
Kikyo pressed a finger to the ear piece. "What's her attractiveness value?" It was a moment before she relayed the response to Inuyasha. "He says that she's about as valuable as me… and now he's laughing." Kikyo frowned. "I don't get it."
Inuyasha rolled his eyes as he got to his feet. "I'll go get dressed." As he walked past Kikyo he heard her take a loud sniff. He stopped and gave her a long look. "What now?"
"Nothing." She looked away pointedly.
He sniffed himself. "What? Do I smell bad?"
"You smell like Channel No. 5." Kikyo told him evenly.
"Oh – that was what the French Angel was wearing when-"
"Too much information." Kikyo held up a hand. "Just go take a shower and wash it off. You're not greeting the winner smelling like another woman – we have to give the best impression or she's going to come away complaining what bad company you really are."
"Gee thanks." He grumbled as he stomped off back into the villa.
Really, this girl was going to ruin his entire week. He wouldn't be able to have any fun with her around…
She was going to be more trouble than she was worth. But Kikyo seemed convinced that she was worth it, and he didn't want to risk upsetting Kikyo in case she quit.
Kikyo happened to be a very good agent.
Not very friendly and pretty cruel and ruthless… but that made her the best in the business.
Kagome was beginning to have her doubts.
By now she had played with all the gadgets the back of the limo had to offer. That or broken them. Now she simply sat, half turned in her seat to watch the scenery swim lazily past the tinted windows.
The limo smelled odd… like leather sprayed with two many chemicals. It made her nose twitch and her stomach uneasy. She learnt to ignore the smell after a while and wondered about what the week had in store for her.
After getting over the initial shock and joy that she had won something for the first time in her life – and not just some measly raffle – but one big national competition that most people would kill for a chance at. It was the fact that she was currently lording it over the entire female population of Japan that had her so exciting…
Meeting the famous Inuyasha, however, didn't have her so enthusiastic.
As far as she was concerned she still didn't like him anymore than she had that morning. He was one of the many stars that irritated her. Because they were rich they thought it gave them a right to throw it around and be snobbish and rude. Because they were famous they thought they could get away with murder…
It had only been a year ago that Inuyasha had allegedly been involved in some nasty business. The headlines for the best part of that Summer had been about Inuyasha, guns and drugs, usually in the same sentence.
But everyone seemed to have forgotten about that business now. Apparently he was so adorable that people couldn't help but forgive him.
If he wasn't rich and famous he would be in prison now… Kagome thought darkly as she frowned at the bikini clad group of women that the limo passed. They 'yoohoo'ed and waved at the passing vehicle – while one even flashed the contents of her bikini.
Kagome inwardly groaned. They probably thought that Inuyasha was inside the limo. Why not? The license plate said 'INU 1'.
They had entered the It section of the coastline now. Where the rich and the exceptionally beautiful liked the hang out. They turned a corner and Kagome found herself looking out over the sandy beaches and aqua coloured sea. They sped along the road along the cliffs while Kagome watched the people down on the beach below. Half the people down there were probably only there to catch a glimpse of someone famous…
Kagome had to wonder what it was about the human race that made them so fascinated with glamorous people. She sighed and leant her head against the cool glass of the window, trying to get a better view of what was up ahead.
She saw it instantly. It was hard to miss after all.
Her throat went dry and if she hadn't been sitting down her knees would have betrayed her. They showed pictures of Inuyasha's dwellings on the Tv all the time, but she'd never seen it for herself, had never really thought about it.
It was breathtaking to say the least…
And she was going to spend a whole week with the nut who lived there?
AN: Tadaa! First chapter over and done with – and hopefully the second should be up soon, along with the actual meeting…