Face the Music
Chapter 1: Da Capo (or From the Beginning)
Rating: M - mostly for language
Disclaimers: Inuyasha and company belongs to Rumiko Takahashi et al.
Author's Notes: Well, as some of you may know, I'm sort of notorious for starting things and then not finishing them (ie Repentence and Romancing a Drone). It's been especially difficult since I've finished my sophomore year of college and am now going to be starting my junior year and thus announcing my intended major (which is Education, btw). But the good news is that I do have most of this fic written (ten chapters, w00t!), and I will update every four weeks. As in, once a month, in order to give myself time to write the last chapters, since I'm pretty sure that it's almost done.
This fic was concocted as I was sitting around, trying to fend off the writer's block for Repentece. I then called my best bud, E-chan, and bounced the idea off of her. The end result was this. I've been told that I'm not the first person who's had this idea, so it may seem similar to some other AU fics out there. For that I apologize, but if it makes you feel any better, I did not copy this story, because I simply don't have time to read them anymore, let alone write. My friends can vouch for that.
So read and enjoy!
The phone had been ringing off the hook all afternoon, so Kagome didn't think much when it rang in the middle of her study session. She figured it must have been one of Sota's friends or another telemarketer. She wasn't expecting her cousin.
"Kagome, phone," Sota said, handing her the cordless.
Kagome reached for the phone, but Sota pulled away before she could grab it. "By the way, Mom says it's your turn to take out the trash," he said in that obnoxious little brother manner.
"Fine, twerp. Now give me the phone," Kagome answered hotly.
Sota shrugged as he handed her the extension. "Whatever," he muttered.
"Hello, this is Kagome."
"Oh shut up Kikyo. Not like you've never called Kaede a snot nosed brat before."
Her cousin laughed good-naturedly. "Now that you mention the worm, that's why I'm calling."
"Oh God, what did she get into?"
"Um, it's not exactly what she got into, it's more like what got into her. Kaede has mono."
"Oh ew. And you have to take care of her."
"That about sums it up."
"So why are you calling me. Do you need me to bring over some chicken soup or something?"
"Oh ha, ha. Listen, I need a favor from you."
Kagome rolled her eyes. She propped her elbows on her desk and stared at her math homework. "What is it," she sighed.
"You know how I have that job at The Mansion?" The Mansion, like as in the super exclusive home of one of Japan's most notorious and rich business man. He'd been born with money, true, but he'd built up his own little empire away from the family money. He'd established himself at an early age to be a shrewd businessman and a great philanthropist. He'd died a year ago, leaving The Mansion to his two sons and his widow.
Kagome was practically drooling. A chance to see The Mansion? In person? Was Kikyo dangling a line in front of her? "Yeah? What about it?"
"Well, I mostly do housework, like cleaning up and dusting and the like. But since I need to take care of Kaede, I can't do that."
"And you want me to fill in?"
"I sorta already told them that you would."
"You're telling me this now!" Kagome shrieked into the phone.
Kikyo laughed. "Sorry, I should have asked you first, but I'm really in a pinch here. I'll let you take my pay and everything! Fair?"
Kagome sighed again, imagining the look on Kikyo's face. It had to be one of pure pitifullness that would make anyone crumble. Curse that girl and her ability to make others bend to her will! "What hours will I have to work?" she asked.
"Just the weekends, and maybe a few hours on a weekday. Nothing too strenuous. It fits in with your school schedule just fine," her cousin reassured her over the phone.
"Tell me again why I want to do this."
"Because you have to be like, the world's greatest cousin, the pay is great, and you get free food to boot. Besides, the sons are really cute."
"Sold!" Kagome said. "I suppose I should tell Mama."
Kikyo chuckled. "It'd be a good idea. Grandpa might object though."
"Grandpa can blow it out his ass," Kagome replied.
"Kagome! Such language!" Kikyo admonished with a smirk.
"This coming from someone who was yelling 'Pull your head out of your ass and call the God damn game!' at the umpire at a baseball game last week," Kagome answered back.
"Okay, you have me on that one. So, you'll do it?"
"Yeah. When's my first day?"
"Tomorrow at three. They'll have a limo to pick you up at two thirty."
"Does it really take half an hour?"
"About fifteen minutes, actually. But the head of the servants might want to look you over first."
"You'll know the little perve when you meet him."
"The proverbial dirty old man?"
"Oh gawd you have no clue."
"Thanks so much for giving me this job," Kagome muttered. "Okay, I have to tell Mama and I guess I'll see you later then. Tell Kaede to feel better."
Kikyo laughed again. "Will do. Thanks a ton, Kagome."
"Yeah, yeah," Kagome said before she hung up. She stared at the phone for a few minutes, contemplating what had just happened. In a matter of minutes she'd been offered the chance of a lifetime. She would get to see The Mansion in person. This house was so exclusive, it rivaled the Imperial Palace and the Chrysanthemum Curtain as far as security and privacy went. And with this job came two gorgeous men. She'd seen the older son, Sesshoumaru, all over the business magazines with the changes he'd been applying to the family business. And he was breathtakingly beautiful. His hair was a pale, pale blond, in fact, it almost looked silver. His deep amber eyes were mysterious and yet very penetrating, as if he could see into your soul and know if you were worth his time. And his well cut good looks. It was enough to make Kagome's heart stop. To work in the house where he lived, her friends would die from envy. And the younger son, she hadn't seen much of him. After their father had died, Sesshoumaru had come into the limelight while the younger brother remained in the shadows. All that was seen of him were a few blurry spots in the funeral photographs. Well, Kagome would see what he was really like and report back to her friends. It would be interesting to see what he was like.
She clutched the phone as she walked down the hall to the stairs and then down to the kitchen. She placed the cordless back its cradle so it could recharge and then looked at her mother, brother and grandfather.
"It was Kikyo," she said. But then again, Sota must have answered the phone so he must have known and told the others.
"What did she want?"
"Well, Kaede has mono," Kagome started.
"Oh, that poor child! I'll make her a get well basket!" Mama said.
"Anyway, there's more to it than that. Kikyo has a part time job at The Mansion and she told them that I'd fill in for her."
"You, work at The Mansion?" Sota asked, his eyes wide. "You're joking!"
"Nope. A limo will pick me up at two thirty tomorrow afternoon to take me to The Mansion to work. I don't know if it's just this once, or if it's for the rest of Kikyo's absence, but I don't see a down side to it. Besides, Kikyo said I could keep what I earn."
"At least she has that much decency," Grandpa muttered.
"Grandpa," Mama scolded softly. "I think this would be a great opportunity for you Kagome. A chance to go out and see what the work world is like. I hope you'll learn a lot from this experience."
Kagome smiled. "Thanks, Mama."
Mrs. Higurashi smiled at her daughter. "Of course dear."
Later, she sat with her friends and Wacdonald's, happily sharing the news. "Can you believe it! Me, working at The Mansion!"
Her friend Ayumi grinned. "This will be great! You'll have to tell us all about it!"
"I want to know about the younger son," Eri sighed. "He's so mysterious! I heard that he's horribly disfigured and that's why he never goes out in public."
"I heard that he has a rare disease so he can't go out in public places or he'll die," Yuka said, leaning towards the center of the table where the girls were discussing Kagome's recent turn of fortune.
"Is this a private party, or can anyone join?" a voice asked.
The four girls blinked up at the young man who was standing by their table.
"Sorry Hojo, private party," Eri joked.
"Oh, well, see ya," he said, turning to leave.
"Wait! She was joking!" Yuka said, quickly standing and grabbing the back of his shirt. "Of course you can sit down."
Hojo blushed. "Ah, I knew that. I was just . . . goofing around too." He slid into the booth next to Kagome.
Kagome and Ayumi exchanged a glance that clearly said that he wasn't, and that he had seriously thought that he'd been shunned. "So, what's up in the world of Hojo?" Kagome asked.
He shrugged as he unwrapped his burger. "Not much. Mostly homework."
The girls nodded. "Don't we know it," Eri sighed. "Teachers are so mean!"
"I suppose it's for our well being," Ayumi mused.
"How can a ten page report on the Meiji era be for our well being?" Yuka asked, horrified at the thought.
"So what's everyone else up to?" Hojo asked, trying to make polite conversation. "Besides homework."
"Kagome's going to be working at The Mansion," Ayumi said. "She's going to tell us all about it. I want to know if they have toilets of solid gold."
"That's just a rumor," Kagome said. "Kikyo told me that the bathrooms are pretty normal."
"Working at The Mansion?" Hojo asked, completely surprised. "How did you pull that off? They're very picky about their staff."
"My cousin Kikyo works there," Kagome answered, already tired of explaining how she'd exactly landed the job. "Well, her little sister Kaede has mono so Kikyo asked me to fill in for her. Apparently since I'm her cousin, that's a foot in."
"Take pictures!" Eri said suddenly.
"I can't do that!" Kagome sputtered. "That's their private home! I can't just invade their privacy like that!"
"I bet you could make a fortune off of 'em though," Yuka said thoughtfully as she chewed on a french fry.
"And get myself and Kikyo banned from the place for the rest of our lives?! I don't think so!"
"Okay, just report back to us with all of the juicy gossip," Eri shrugged.
Kagome sighed as she shook her head. "You three are impossible."
"Well it sounds like a great experience," Hojo said suddenly. After Ayumi's little announcement about Kagome's new job, he'd been silent and the girls dominated the conversation.
Kagome smiled at him. At least one of them was somewhat sane. "Thank you, Hojo. So do I."
The next afternoon, Kagome was seated in the limo, headed for the most exclusive area of Tokyo. Amazingly enough, it wasn't that far away from her old family shrine. The driver was a young man in his late twenties and sociable enough. He filled her in on some of the family workings so she wouldn't be totally lost when she got there. As he turned into the drive, Kagome found herself in awe of the grounds. They had their own grove of cherry trees, which happened to be in full bloom. The sprawling lawns were plush and green and in the middle was the house, built much like a traditional Japanese castle. Kagome fell in love with instantly.
"Breathtaking, isn't it?" the driver said.
"Amazing," Kagome breathed. "I never thought I'd ever see this place up close."
"I don't know if you'll see the family at all, but you'll know the rest of the household pretty well. We're our own little family," the driver told her.
Once he parked, he opened the door and allowed her to step out. "You'll talk to Myoga first. He'll show you around and tell you what your duties are. If you get hungry, don't worry about finishing the whole job. The family likes to keep their employees happy. And if that means letting us take our time with certain things or giving us impromptu breaks, they do it."
"They sound really nice."
"The Master is a little hard handed, but I've heard he can be very nice. When he wants to be. The Mistress is a wonderful woman, she'll probably seek you out just to meet you. The Young Master, he's in a class all his own."
"Will I know if I see him?"
"You can't miss the guy. Believe me, he stands out in a crowd of thousands."
Kagome nodded as she followed the driver in through the servant's entrance. They entered what she assumed was the kitchen, and at the table was a little old man hunched over what looked like a schedule. "She starts at three . . ." he was muttering.
"Myoga-ji-chan!" the driver called.
"Oh, Toru! You're here with the new girl!" Myoga said as he looked up. He was a short old man who was balding, but a mass of gray hair was growing around the base of his skull and a small moustache on his upper lip. His eyes were friendly as he smiled at her. "Kagome Higurashi, correct?"
Kagome bowed. "I am."
"Fantastic! I'm so happy to meet you. I'm Myoga, the head of the servants. Although, we don't think of our selves as servants. More like an extension of the family that has to do the grunt work."
Kagome chuckled. He was a sweet old buzzard, but if what Kikyo said was true, she'd have to be wary. He had to be the old pervert that she had been warned about. "Kikyo told me a little about what I'd be doing, and Toru was nice enough to sort of fill me on the drive over."
"I hope you don't mind the ride. But the limo was the only vehicle available today. For the rest of your time with us, Toru will pick you up in the Land Rover."
"I don't really care," Kagome shrugged as she sat down across from Myoga. "Should we talk?"
"So responsible and on top of things!" Myoga beamed. "Kikyo was right to say that you'd fit in just fine!"
"Kikyo holds a lot of esteem here, does she?" Kagome asked.
"She's popular, that's for sure. Kind of aloof sometimes, but she's friendly with everyone."
"She always is."
"So, today you'll be helping clean Inuyasha's room . . ."
"He's the younger son?"
"Indeed. His room looks like a war zone at the moment and we're not entirely sure how he manages to live in there, but he does. We just want you to pick up the dirty laundry and get it sorted, send it to the laundry room, and clear any stray dishes that might have taken up residence there. Dust some of the furniture, vacuum the carpets, and sweep the floors, that sort of thing."
Kagome shrugged. "Doesn't sound too bad."
Myoga was about to say something, but they were interrupted when the most beautiful man Kagome had ever seen walked into the kitchen, followed by an elderly fellow that somewhat resembled a toad.
"M'lord, do not forget that you have the meeting that was rescheduled for four this evening!" the toad man was saying.
"I know, Jaken. I haven't forgotten." He was busy filling a glass with water at the sink and turned around to see Kagome staring at him. He sort of half way smiled at her. "You must be Kikyo's replacement."
"Um, yes Sir, I am," Kagome replied meekly.
"Speak up girl, no reason to be afraid." He downed the water in a gulp and then placed his glass in the sink. "Mind your manners, work efficiently, and we'll get along smashingly."
Kagome nodded. "Thank you for allowing me to work here."
He gave her a genuine smiled that made her knees turn to jell-o. "I think I'm going to like you." He left the kitchen, the little toad man following behind.
"Lord Sesshoumaru and his Personal Assistant Jaken. You'll see more of them, I'm sure," Myoga informed her. "By the way, I think you impressed him, despite your rather, um, bland appearance."
"I'm doing housework," Kagome replied shortly. "You don't honestly expect me to wear my best clothes, do you?" She was wearing an old pair of straight-legged blue jeans and a faded tee shirt that had the Metallica logo on it.
"A sense of humor to boot! You'll be liked by everyone, I'm sure you'll fit in just fine," Myoga told her. "I'll take you to Inuyasha's room. But I have to warn you, you might want a radiation suit before you go in."
She followed him up a few flights of stairs and down a hallway to a door that was plastered with road signs and police tape. "A grunge type of guy?" she asked.
Mygoa rolled his eyes. "Sesshoumaru got all of the grace and social elegance."
The door slid open and Kagome nearly fainted. It looked like a tornado had run rampant through the room. Dirty laundry was strewn all over the place, as shown by a pair of blue cotton boxer shorts hanging from a lamp. Random dishes were stacked wherever there had been a free space before, and a fine layer of dust rested on the few free surfaces there were left.
"He lives in this?" she asked incredulously.
"How we're not entirely sure. Sesshoumaru has a theory that he's some sort of mutant, but of course the Mistress doesn't let that excuse fly."
Kagome nodded. "I guess that I'll start."
Myoga nodded. "Good luck. You'll need it."
Kagome looked at the room, trying to determine where to start. Deciding that the fuzzy dishes needed to be the first thing to go, she went back to the kitchen to gab a tub that was used for bussing the dinner dishes from the table. She'd also grabbed a pair of the rubber gloves from under the sink, knowing that she was going to be touching what she was sure at least ten new species of mold.
Once the dishes were returned to the kitchen, much to the kitchen staff's chagrin, she decided to start in on the laundry. First she cleared all of the clothes from someplace other than the floor, creating a pile nearly four feet high in the center of the room. Then she began to sort them by heavy fabrics, like denim, and lighter fabrics, like cotton. From there, they were divided into relative color piles; dark, light and whites. She shoved what had to be close to thirty loads down the laundry chute at the end of the hall to laundry room.
At least he had a floor, dresser, desk and bed now. But the aforementioned pieces of furniture weren't clean yet. It was as she was deciding on how to tackle the bed that the room's owner walked in . . .
. . . And cursed a blue streak a mile wide before turning to her. "What in the name of all that is holy in the land happened here?!"
Kagome turned around and face the enraged young man at the door. His hair was wet and he was just wearing a pair of faded blue jeans with holes in the knees. But his hair caught her eye. It was the same pale, silvery blond that Sesshoumaru had, but instead of being one solid and beautiful shade, there were streaks of vibrant blue through out it. Toru wasn't kidding, you could spot him in a crowd of one thousand, easily. His furious amber eyes were focused on her, demanding explanation.
"I'm cleaning your room," she answered shortly.
"But where's Kikyo?" he sputtered as he walked across his floor to the dresser.
"Her little sister has mono so I'm filling in," Kagome answered. The sheets were in need of a change so she began to strip the bed.
"Hey! The what the hell are you doing now?" he asked as he pulled on his shirt, which bore the Linkin Park logo.
"Changing your sheets," she answered shortly. "I have no idea what's living in there and think it's a good idea."
"And my clothes?"
"You mean those fuzzy things? They're soaking in bleach at the moment. Then they'll be washed."
"And why are you filling for Kikyo?"
"I told you, her little sister has mono. Since I'm her cousin, she volunteered me for the job. Hey, wait a minute, most people think that I'm Kikyo until they get a better look."
"Kikyo would never wear faded blue jeans and a Metallica tee shirt," he answered smugly. "Besides, she's cuter."
Kagome rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Just tell me where the extra linens are kept and I'll make your bed."
"Oh the hell you will!"
"Oh yes I am! There have to be at least four different subspecies of bed bug living in there!" she told him. "Now where are the linens?!"
"Hall closet," he mumbled as he sunk down in his newly discovered planet chair. He'd forgotten about it since he'd covered it with dirty laundry a month ago.
She walked out just as another was walking in.
"Good God in heaven, you have a floor!"
"Shove it up your ass, Miroku."
The man grinned. "Sorry, can't. What happened here?"
The young master rolled his eyes. "The new girl."
"That cutie I passed on the way out?"
"She's not cute."
"I think she is. Kinda cute punk with that look she's got going for her."
"You think all girls are cute."
"Inuyasha, it wouldn't kill you to look at a girl every once in a while."
"Kikyo, but she's the help."
"And so is this girl."
"What's this girl?" Kagome asked as she walked back in.
"You're the help," Miroku said with a grin. "Hi, I'm Miroku, and this stubborn ass is Inuyasha. But you probably knew that."
"I'm Kagome Higurashi. Kikyo's cousin."
"I see the resemblance," Miroku said, appraising her. "But you're cuter."
Kagome laughed. "Flattery gets you no where."
Miroku shrugged. "Worth a shot, anyway. Hey, great job in here. I wasn't sure if Inuyasha had a floor or not."
Kagome chuckled. "I thought that when I first looked in here. Now if you'll pardon me, I'm going to change the bed."
"Whatever makes you happy," Miroku said, plopping himself down in the desk chair. He looked at Inuyasha, smirking. "Just think, you won't have to be embarrassed about showing people your room anymore."
"I was never embarrassed," Inuyasha muttered. "Have you heard the new demo?"
"Sure, change the subject," Miroku said with a dramatic sweep of the hand. "Yeah, I heard it. I think Koga and the guys are on to something."
"That's what I think. But things would sound so much cooler if we could have a female front. Too bad the girls we know can't carry a tune in a bucket."
"What about . . ."
"You're just mad 'cause she touched your stuff and she's makin' your room look good. Really good."
Kagome looked back over her shoulder. Miroku was leaning back causally in the chair, one hand in his black hair. Then it glinted a violent shade of purple. Then it was black again. Now wonder Inuyasha wasn't shown often. He was the black sheep of the family, and he had a shady group of friends to boot. Not that Miroku was shady, but he had the bad boy thing going for him for sure. Three earrings, a Kiss tee shirt, faded jeans with holes in the knees, he was a bad boy all right. A very hot bad boy at that.
"We don't know if she can even sing," Inuyasha pointed out.
Kagome went back to her work as Miroku looked over at her. "I don't know. Hey, Kagome, can you sing?"
Kagome turned around, dirty sheets in hand. "I dunno. I never really tried."
"Well, sing something."
"Go for it girl!"
Kagome flushed. "Um, okay." She began to sing in a clear alto that caused shivers to go up and down the spines of Inuyasha and Miroku.
Miroku clapped. "That's great! That perfect alto that we're looking for! Come on Inuyasha, she was perfectly in key the entire time!"
"Get over the fact that she's cleaning your room, okay. Just let her do a demo with the band and we'll go from there."
Inuyasha looked at his friend and then at the girl holding his dirty sheets. "Oh fine. I'll call Koga and the guys and we can record a demo. When's your next day?"
Kagome shrugged. "I don't know yet. I'll have to ask Myoga."
"Right. Well, tack on an extra two hours to that so we can do the demo, okay. And if we like you, we might, might, mind you, let you join us for a track."
"So you have a band?"
"We're called Youkai Hunters," Miroku said with a devil-may-care grin. "We mostly play small clubs, but we're trying to see if we can give a concert. Should be fun."
Kagome smiled. "Sounds like it. Now, I really need to finish what I came her to do."
Inuyasha stood up and stretched. "C'mon Miroku, let's leave the girl to her cleaning. We'll head to the music room and work on her part."
Kagome couldn't suppress the smile that was crossing her face. Not only was she working in The Mansion, but she had a chance to join the band that the younger son was involved with. Life couldn't get any better.
Tee-hee! I'm loving this story. I originally posted it in the forum of Himiko's Iridescent Dreams website, where I received praise for it's humor and originality. Of course that does leave the question, if it's a Kagome X Inuyasha fic, why does Inuyasha seem uninterested?
As always, read and review!