Title: The Truth Behind Masks
Author: A. M. Teply
Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha or any of the rightful characters to this series.
Inside a small restaurant, Kagome, sat by herself, respectfully reading a newspaper, while sipping on a hot cup of sake. She carefully scanned the black and white pages, as if she were looking for something in particular. Her eyes slightly rounded with surprise as she read the headline aloud. 'Orphanage to Get New Playground Equipment.'
She smiled to herself knowingly, as she took another sip of sake. A small gray and white photo, below the article, showed her and a small boy happily posing, where the new equipment was supposed to go. She began to read the article further, when the tinkling of bells disrupted her thought.
A tall young man, with short dark brown hair, walked through the front door of the small café. He smiled kindly at the hostess, before he walked towards where Kagome was sitting. Kagome gave the man a quick smile as she eagerly waved for him to come sit with her.
"Hey Kagome, you sure seem cheerful today." The young man said as he slid into the booth across from her. "Hojo, you will never guess what's in today's paper!" Kagome beamed. "Hmm, let's see, could have anything to do with the new playground equipment for the orphanage?" Kagome gave Hojo a fake pout. "How did you know?" "I liked the cheerful expression you wore earlier than this one", he said, as he placed a finger underneath her chin. Kagome fought the curving of her mouth, until she gave in and made a small smile.
"You look so much prettier when you smile." Hojo complimented. Kagome turned away as the heat in her cheeks turned into a soft pink blush. "Miroku called me this morning and told me about it. He's the one who wrote the story after all." "I should have guessed, that letch would blab to you about it before I could." Kagome said, rolling her eyes.
"You shouldn't be so hard on him, everyone has their faults." 'If only you knew how many times that pervert made passes at me, would you understand.' Kagome sarcastically laughed to herself.
"Are you going to eat anything?" Kagome asked Hojo questionably. "No, I'm stuffed." Hojo said rubbing his stomach. "I had a big breakfast." "Then why did you come here if you already ate?" Kagome asked cocking an eyebrow at him. Hojo nervously scratched the back of his head. "I guess.I thought..that.I..would..uh.catch you here this morning. "After all of these years you still get tongue tied." Kagome smirked. "I guess." Hojo replied.
Kagome thought it was interesting how one minute, Hojo, could be so forward and sweet and the next act like a shy high school boy.
"Oh, I almost forgot." Hojo said digging in his pocket. "I know this is last minute and all, but tomorrow night there's a masquerade ball and I was wondering if you'd like to go with me? I got the tickets from Dr. Ikeda at work. He said that him and his wife were unable to go this year, because they're going be out of town." Hojo laid the tickets out in front of him. "Hojo.I..it's very sweet and all.but you know how much I like those kinds of things, besides I really don't dance that well."
"Come on Kagome, please." Hojo urged, in his sweetest voice. "With me as your dance partner you will have nothing to worry about. I think it would be fun and besides all of Tokyo's elite will be there. Don't you think it'd be fun to just go and see? We can always leave if you don't like it." Hojo gave Kagome one of his award winning smiles. Her heart melted, at this point there was no going back. 'Damn him! Why does he have to be so cute.' Kagome cursed to herself. "Fine..I'll go. Kagome said in a defeated voice.
"Great!" Hojo said beaming. "I'll pick you up at 8:00pm sharp."
The next day, Kagome woke up with deep dread in her heart. 'How did I get myself into this mess?' She buried her face deep into her pillow and screamed.
"Are you alright in there?" A female voice asked from behind the door. "Sango, will you call Hojo for me and tell him that I contracted a deadly disease and won't be able to go to the masquerade with him." "Kagome you got yourself into this mess, you get yourself out of it. Besides, you are asking the wrong person. You should ask your grandfather, he knows a million diseases." Kagome rolled over on her back and shouted. "There is no way that I will ever ask for that man to make an excuse for me again!"
"Do you remember that time in high school, when we decided to skip class and go to the amusement park? Remember me asking grandpa to cover for us? "Ya." Sango answered. "He told the whole school that we had tape worms and a bad case of scabies. "Don't remind me!" Sango said rolling her eyes. "I can't believe we still got dates after that whole incident!" "Speak for yourself Kagome, it's been almost 10 years and I haven't had a date since." Sango snorted. "Come off it Sango, you know Miroku likes you. I am sure he'd love to go on a date with you!" she chided. "Your sick! That worthless letcher.don't make me barf!"
Kagome laughed to herself, thinking of all the times Sango's slapped Miroku for his inappropriate touching. She knew Sango wouldn't stay mad for long. Their friendship went way back, too far for Kagome to remember. She counted herself lucky to have such an understanding friend and roommate.
Having her fun for the morning, Kagome dragged herself out of bed and hobbled to the shower, trying not to think of what the night would bring.
Time seemed to fly by that afternoon. "Why is it when you're not looking forward to something that time flies by so quick?" she said to herself. Kagome nervously eyed the costume hanging from her closet door. It came earlier that afternoon. She kind of forgot about the whole Masquerade, costume thing. It was a good thing Hojo had the brains to send something by, because she wouldn't have known what to wear.
The costume was one of what an ancient priestess would wear. It contained a pure white gi, with red ribbon woven into the bell of the sleeves. The hakama was blood red and legs flared out so much, that it seemed like dress. The mask was a fairly plain one made out of white porcelain. The only detail to it was the black lines drawn around the eyes and a few painted lashes. She wasn't sure why Hojo had picked it out? Maybe it was the only thing he could find?
Looking at the clock, Kagome decided that she had better start getting ready. Taking the costume from it's perch, she heaved a deep sigh, and looked at it as if it meant her death.
Kagome apprehensively looked up at the clock. It was a quarter to eight and Hojo had yet to appear. 'Why doesn't he call!' she thought irritably. At that very moment the phone rang. She raced to pick up the receiver, ready to give him a piece of her mind.
"Hello." Kagome answered. "Kagome, it's me Hojo. I'm calling from my cell. I'm stuck in traffic." "Where are you?!" She blurted out a little more forcefully than she intended. "I am still pretty far from your place. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get there. I would have called earlier, but I couldn't get a signal." "What do you want do?" Kagome asked in a hopeful voice. "Listen, I left your ticket on the kitchen counter. Why don't you meet me there? It'd be faster if we did it that way." "Hojo." Kagome whined. "I am sorry Kagome." The cell phone began to cut out. "I'll be wearing a dog costume. Meet me there." She heard him shout one last time before they were cut off. Kagome balled her hand into a fist bound so tight that her whole arm shook. She gritted her teeth together to keep from exploding.
'Damnit, Damnit, Damnit, Damnit!' she muttered to herself. "What's wrong with you?" Sango asked, emerging from the front door with an armload of groceries. "I should have never agreed to this! OOOOHHHHHhhhhhh!" "Calm down Kagome." Sango said putting down the groceries.
"He wants me to meet him there!" Kagome shouted. "What?" Sango asked with a puzzled face. It didn't seem like Hojo to stand Kagome up and then have her meet him there. "He's stuck in traffic. He said it would be faster for me to meet him there." "Well that sounds logical." Sango replied. "He knew I really didn't want to go and now he wants me to meet him there. I can't possibly go by myself." Kagome pouted.
"Hey don't worry." Sango said, putting her arm around Kagome's shoulders. "I'll drive you there. "That's not the point." Kagome interjected. "Come on Kagome, stop being such a baby." "I'm not being a baby!" Kagome said as she stamped her foot on the floor. "Right."
It took some convincing on Sango's part, but she was finally able to calm Kagome down enough so they could leave.
"Remember, if Hojo doesn't show up, just give me a call and I'll pick you up. Kagome nodded at her best friend as she shut the car door behind her. She turned her head towards the magnificent roman style building. 'Here goes nothing.'
Kagome climbed the endless marble stairs, hoping that Hojo would be there before her. Before she entered, she put on the small porcelain mask. She opened her handbag and pulled out a tube of red lipstick and a mirror. Carefully, Kagome, painted her lips making sure to avoid any uneven lip lines. When she was satisfied with her work, Kagome replaced the mirror in the bag and removed her ticket. With as much grace and dignity as she could muster, Kagome walked forward and extended her hand, giving her ticket to the usher. The usher smiled and bowed for her to enter.
The sheer initial beauty of the ballroom mesmerized Kagome. The floors, walls, and stairs were made of an elegant tan marble and were accented by the fine lines of gold trim. The chandeliers were also made of gold and reflected the sheer ambience of the room. Slowly, Kagome descended the stairs that led towards the ballroom floor.
Everyone seemed to be having a good time. The costumes were so elaborate and beautiful that she would hardly classify them as such. They more looked like clothing for an emperor or an empress. Kagome half-heartedly looked down at her costume, wishing she didn't stick out as much as she did. She felt like she was wearing a rag, compared to everyone else's attire.
She eagerly scanned the crowds for Hojo, but saw no sign of him. 'Damn, I got here before him!' she thought disappointingly. Kagome eyed an area where they were serving tiny deserts and refreshments. She decided to wait there, until she spotted him.
It seemed like an eternity. She had only been there 45 minutes and there was still no sign of him. Kagome finished her third glass of champagne, before calling it quits. 'He should have been here by now!' She was tired of feeling stupid. Everyone else was dancing or mingling and here she was standing by herself, drinking herself into a stupor.
"I've had enough." She whispered. Kagome was just about to leave when a flash of red caught her eye. There, standing in the middle of all the couples was person whose costume resembled hers, except the legs ballooned at the bottoms and it was all red. 'Could it be Hojo?' She carefully inspected the person more and saw that he wore tiny white dog-ears at the top of his head and his mask was that of what resembled a dogs face. She noticed the long silver hair that protruded from behind the mask. She had never seen such beautiful 'fake' silver hair before in her life.
Kagome was awe struck. Her heart skipped a beat, when she noticed the 'masked dog' move towards her. He seemed to be inspecting her with as much fervor and like as she did him. A lump settled in her throat. She could see the passion behind his eyes ignite with gold. 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the cameras! Hojo's eyes aren't gold.' That's when she remembered the whole room was gold and it was her eyes playing tricks on her.
The masked man drew closer with each step until her was no more than two feet away. "Would you like to dance?" growled the dog. Kagomes heart pounded as her hand hesitantly slid into his. He led her to the edge of the dance floor and placed her hand on his chest and looped his arm around her waist. "Are you sure you want to dance? I really am not that great." He unclasped his hand from hers and put a finger to her lips. He then placed the finger underneath her chin and gently tilted it up so she was now looking him in the eye. "I will lead you, let me be your guide." He whispered huskily.
Before she could protest any more, he grabbed her hand and intertwined his fingers with hers and pulled her onto the floor. Kagome felt her heart skip a beat as they began moving. She forgot about making a fool out of herself and started concentrating on his fluid motions. She felt, as is she were a star in the sky dancing in the night air. He pulled her closer, so she was able to feel the heat radiating off his body. The spicy scent of his cologne filled her nose and made her dizzy. There was something about her partner that felt strangely odd, but yet, so familiar. The two danced the night away, as people complimented on how well they matched each other's movements. The only time they left each other's sides was to take a break and have a drink, before they began another dance.
Before she knew it, the clock had struck midnight. The last dance had been magical. The music played to a slow decrescendo as the two moved apart.
Kagome felt light headed from all the dancing and champagne she consumed. If that wasn't enough to keep Kagome's head spinning, her partner picked her up and spun her around. "Stop that, you're making me dizzy." Kagome laughed. "That was my intention." He replied slowing down the spinning and brining her to a sudden halt. Their faces were inches apart. He moved closer and covered his mouth over hers. Kagome felt fire move up her body and slightly moaned into his mouth. When the warmth subsided and his lips moved from hers. He swept her up into his arms. Kagome's heart pounded furiously. Hojo had never acted this way before. 'Was it the champagne? Did I drink too much and now I'm dreaming?'
He bent his head towards her ear and whispered, "I have a room, please say you will come with me." She was about to protest, when he put a finger to her lips. The same gold that she saw earlier flickered in his eyes like wild fire. "But..Ho." She silenced by his demanding mouth upon her lips. His kiss completely took over and there was nothing else to fight.
The next morning Kagome awoke from the most blissful sleep she had in a long time. She dreamt of a handsome man with long silver hair and golden eyes. Kagome smiled to herself as little pictures of the other night filled her head. 'How could I dream such a thing.Kagome, you're such a hentai!' she thought to herself, as she rolled over into her pillow.
Little did she know there was no pillow to roll in to. Kagome's breath caught in her throat, with realization. She had rolled into something hard, instead of something soft. Slowly, she opened her eyes and almost screamed. Wide-eyed she clasped her hands over her mouth and shot straight up. 'oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, this can't be happening. It wasn't a dream.' She pinched herself just to make sure, but no such luck, he was still there.
When most of the shock wore off, Kagome removed her hands from her mouth and questionably looked at the man who lay beside her. His hair was as silver as she remembered it. She gave into an overwhelming urge to touch it. 'Was it real?' His hair was soft to the touch. 'It certainly felt real.'
'Whoa, hold on a minute Kagome. Bad, bad, bad, don't touch his hair. You gotta figure out how to get yourself outta this mess.'
She stared at the handsome young man watching his chest rise and fall with every breath. What was she going to do? She decided it best to quietly pick up her things and get dressed and leave before he woke up. It would just be too awkward if she were here when he awoke. What would she say?
As quietly as she could, Kagome got up and gathered her things together. She carefully watched the man for any sudden movement. 'Kami-sama, where are all my things.' Kagome muttered to herself. Their clothing seemed to be thrown all over. When she finally picked up all the pieces, Kagome silently moved to the bathroom to dress. Moments later Kagome emerged in the costume she wore the other night. She looked over to the bed, where he was sleeping and heaved a sigh of relief that he didn't wake up. She moved to the mirror across from the bed, so she could fix her hair and watch if he woke up. She looked down at the clutter on the dresser below the mirror and saw a stack of business cards. Curious, Kagome picked one up and studied the gold lettering.
"InuYasha Iwumara. "So that is your name." Kagome whispered.
A distinct movement could be heard from where the young man named InuYahsa slept. Kagome looked in the mirror and saw he was turning over. 'Oh no!' she panicked. Kagome forgot about fixing her hair and concentrated more on getting out undetected. She tiptoed towards the door and turned the handle slowly, as to not make a lot of noise. The soft click of the handle told Kagome that the door was open. She quickly moved to the other side of the door and out of the room. Kagome was so caught up in her stealth ness, that she let go of the handle, which sent the door slamming with a loud thud.
Kagome panicked and ran out of the hallway as fast as her legs would carry her.
InuYasha woke up when he heard the loud thud. "What the hell is going on?" he said aloud. He sat up and looked down beside him. There was somebody with him last night, but he couldn't remember who. "Damn, I have to stop drinking." He said, as he rubbed his head. He reached towards the nightstand for something to drink; when he noticed a small porcelain mask He picked up the mask and studied its fragile design. A memory flashed before his eyes, as he remembered a beautiful dark haired girl. He put his hand to his forehead, as if the memory pained him somehow. InuYasha closed his eyes and whispered, "Kikyo."
Well, what do you think? Umm, I hope that no one else has used this storyline for InuYasha before. I got the idea from that old urban legend about a husband and wife going to a costume party. At the end of the tale the wife finds out the person she was with was not her husband, but her husbands friend. Her husband decided to play poker and gave the costume to his friend.ouch.
Leave me a review and I will be grateful! Thanks!