A/N:Here we go my readers, the beginning to my planned trilogy! I really hope you like it. I will be continuing with Curse of the Gypsy and Safer on the Outside while I do this-- after I finish CotG, I plan to start on the sequel to A Fighter's Story. So stick with me!
Disclaimer:I do not own anything Inuyasha. If I said I did, I would be a liar, and who wants to read a fanfiction written by a liar?
It has been said that all good stories begin with 'Once upon a time...'.
It has also been said that any story worth telling is all about a girl.
But this is our story, so it begins a little differently.
This is the story of three girls...
That begins once upon a time...
Under the hood of a car.
It was a warm afternoon, after school had already been let out. One of those days in fall where it still felt like summer. Despite the warmth, the leaves on the trees had already started to turn their colors, welcoming the coming October days. The nights were growing colder and the first frost had already laid siege.
Still, the sun was blazing high above the driveway on the street of a small suburban neighborhood. A small green car sat in the driveway with its hood up. A Plymouth Sundance to be exact-- not the car of fashion, but it was a means of transportation. The owner of the car paced along the length of the paved driveway, in a very sour mood.
Her name was Kagura Hart. Eighteen years old and still as impatient as a five-year-old. From feet to head, she was five feet nine inches tall, with thick black hair that was always held up in two buns. She said it accented the shape of her neck. Her eyes were large and a dark ruby red. She was a very pretty girl, and would be even more so if she would smile once in a while. Kagura had other ideas, though, and preferred to be a tortured soul with the dark mind of a poet.
"Do you know what's wrong with it yet?" she demanded, looking at the watch on her wrist then back up to the car.
There was a feminine body hanging out of the hood in a pair of grease-stained jeans and a smeared shirt, scanning all that could be wrong with the automobile. "Not yet!" That was Sango St. John. A girl of five feet eight with a head of dark brown hair that was currently stuffed beneath a bandana to keep it out of her way. Her eyes, a light lavender color that shifted to gray depending on her mood, scanned over the interior of the car.
"Be patient, Kagura," a third person said with a light smile. That was Kagome Higurashi, the next-door neighbor and Sango's best friend since kindergarten. "San will find the problem." Kagome leaned against the small wooden fence that separated her yard from the other. Her ebony hair hung down her back, a few inches past her shoulders and left untended because she didn't care much one way or the other. Her dark blue eyes shifted from one girl to the other, an unveiled intelligence shining through.
"If she doesn't hurry up, I'll be late for the meeting," Kagura reminded while balancing herself on the balls of her feet.
"A-ha!" Sango declared from under the hood. "I found the problem!"
"You did?" Kagura asked eagerly, moving closer to her car. "What's wrong with it?"
"You have a broken starter," Sango said, pointing it out for details. "I'll have to replace it, but that will take some time. I also have to get to the school and nick the part from the shop."
Kagura was crestfallen. "You mean… you can't just fix it here so I can go?"
"'Fraid not," Sango said with a frown. "I don't think my usual method of duct tape and super glue will solve your problems this time."
"Great," Kagura growled. "I'm going to miss the election results."
"Not if we take my car," Kagome said calmly. "My mom's home today. I could see if we could borrow her Grand Prix."
"Kagome, if you can get me to that school, you will be my own personal savior," Kagura said sincerely. Kagome only laughed and headed back across the lawn to her house.
"This is good," Sango said with a nod, wiping grease from her hands with a towel, but trailing a streak across her forehead when she wiped the sweat from her brow. "I can grab the part while you're in the meeting and I'll have your ride fixed by tomorrow."
"Thanks again, Sango," Kagura said with a nod.
Sango grinned. "What's a stepsister for?"
Truth be told, Kagura and Sango did not always get along. There was a time, in their youth, just after Kagura's father and Sango's mother had gotten married, that they fought bitterly. Kagura was nearly a year older than Sango, but they were in the same grade. Sango was still at odds with Kagura's two sisters, Yura and Kanna-- who were twins and were both juniors.
Over time, however, an unsteady bond had grown between the two stepsisters. Now, they got along well enough-- Sango fixed Kagura's frequently broken car and Kagura helped keep Sango out of hot water in their domestic situation.
"Okay," Kagome called, hopping down the three stairs on her front stoop. "Mom gave me the keys. We're good to go!"
"Thank you!" Kagura sighed, throwing her hands up to the heavens as she hopped the fence and climbed into the passenger seat beside Kagome in the small gold car. Sango put the hood down on Kagura's Sundance before hopping over and getting into the backseat.
It took them exactly thirteen minutes to get to the large high school. The minute Kagome pulled into the parking lot, Kagura bolted out of the door and took off running toward the auditorium. Sango snickered, waving out the window her wishes of luck. Kagome continued to park before getting out.
"To the auto shop?" Sango asked with a grin.
"I should go down to the field house," Kagome said guiltily. Her face held the trace of a blush as she cracked her knuckles nervously. "I'm sure Hojo would love it if I surprised him and watched him practice."
"You're such a cheerleader," Sango sighed in slight disgust.
"I'm sorry," Kagome said apologetically. Sango had never truly forgiven Kagome for joining the school cheerleading squad in their freshmen year. Granted, she quit the following year and had since not touched a pompom, Sango still held it over her head. "I quit cheerleading sophomore year, remember?"
"Thank the lord you came to your senses."
Kagome only flashed her signature smile as she began walking in the opposite direction of Sango-- toward the football field and the field house. "I just didn't have time for it anymore."
Sango only shook her head in annoyance before heading toward the auto shop, at the opposite side of the school. Hands in her pockets, she whistled as she walked.
Kagura ran through the halls of the near-empty high school. A few kids still lingered from their prospective after school activities, but she paid them no attention as she sprinted toward her objective. Once more she thanked the gods that she had changed into sneakers before leaving the house. There would have been no way in hell she could have maintained control while in her heels.
Today was to be a very important day in her high school career-- the day they announced the Editorial positions on the school newspaper. Kagura had been nominated to be the cultural reporter and it was the position she wanted more than anything else. Now that she was a senior, her power and authority could be used to get the articles she really wanted published for the potential reading of the student body. Sure, most of the student body would either ignore, or misinterpreted what she meant, but that didn't matter. There were some minds in this student body who would grasp what she was saying.
At least one body, she thought with a smirk.
So maybe her motives weren't entirely political. She also hoped to catch the eye of a certain sports columnist hopeful in the meantime. Naraku Shin was suave, brilliant, and charming. He had also been the object of Kagura's eye since their freshman year. She had loved him from afar, shaping herself to be the image of his perfect girl. Still, despite all her outward bravery, any time she attempted to approach him, she chickened out.
Sango said it was because she had some kind of internal tick that told her Naraku was not the right guy for her. Kagura didn't believe that, couldn't believe that. To her, he was perfect. Handsome, intelligent, and charismatic. Not only was he a talented writer-- one who could rock the world with his words if given the chance-- he was also a gothic poet. Like Kagura.
The man of her dreams. And this year, finally, she was going to make him realize that she was the woman of his dreams. The first step was to gain the cultural reporter position. Then she'd move on to step two-- dazzling him with her wit and charm and intellect. But step one had to be achieved first, so she raced to the auditorium.
Pushing the heavy wooden doors opened, Kagura entered the dim hall and looked around. It was set up with stadium seating, leading down to the stage, where the faculty advisor of the school paper stood at a small podium. There were at least thirty people in the room-- half of them running for staff positions and the others just there because it was a mandatory paper meeting.
Kagura took a seat in the back, pulling the shoulder strap of her bag over the side of her head and tossing it into the seat next to her. She was dressed simply, as always, in baggy jeans and a tight red top with her green army jacket. Not all gothic poets wore black, as she liked to remind everyone.
Scanning the other people around, her ruby gaze was drawn to a head of violet-black hair. Kagura sighed wistfully as she focused her attentions on him. The way he held his head with confidence as he whispered to the girl sitting beside him. That dazzling white smile of his only added fire to his dark eyes.
If only you knew, she thought to herself. I would totally rock your world.
"It's with great pleasure," the advisor said into a small microphone, catching Kagura's attention. "That I introduce to you the new editor of the school paper, Sesshomaru Reaper!"
There were a few scatter applause. Kagura clapped for a few seconds, looking around until she caught sight of a tall boy with silver hair. He regally stood up from his seat, face as deadpan as ever, and ascended the stairs to the podium.
Kagura had been in the same classes with Sesshomaru since middle school, but they never spoke much. He was a rich kid who liked to keep to himself. Though they had some similar interests, the pair of them had some kind of silent appreciation of the other since they had both been on the paper together since freshmen year.
Despite that fact that she never really associated with him, Kagura had to admit to herself that Sesshomaru was a fairly gorgeous fellow. His long silver hair-- a natural color too-- was held back at the nape of his neck. There was a pair of reading glasses on the bridge of his nose, giving him a slight bookworm appearance. There was open intelligence in his gold eyes. Kagura had always held a certain respect for him, which was rare because she respected less people than she liked.
Sesshomaru stood at the podium and adjusted the microphone. "I'm not going to make a speech," he commented dryly. "I just wanted to say that you made the right decision electing me. The paper will be better for it." With that he exited the stage.
Kagura smirked as she watched him. Yeah, she respected him. He was cocky and sarcastic, which alone warranted her esteem. There were a few whispers around the auditorium that signaled the unhappiness of a few other people. It seemed that not everyone shared her feelings about their new editor.
"Well, thank you, Sesshomaru," the advisor said with a forced smile. She was trying to campaign for order again. "Now we'll begin announcing the editorial positions."
Kagura leaned forth on the edge of her seat, long fingers clasping the armrests in breathless anticipation. This decision alone would mark the life or death of her high school career, and her dream of ever making the man she loved fall for her in return.
"We'll begin with the new fashion columnist," the advisor began, looking at a list on a clipboard. Kagura growled in frustration. They always began with the entertainment writers first because they were the most popular. After fashion and reviews, they came to sports. "The new Sports columnist will be… Naraku Shin." Cheers went up from just about everyone in the room, including Kagura. Hers was more an internal cheer, however, but she clapped and smiled.
Then the advisor continued down the list. "The new cultural reporter will be…" Kagura leaned forward, breath caught in her throat. Still, the teacher glared at the list. Kagura swore under her breath. Why was her category the longest pause?! "Kagura Hart."
The breath she had been holding was expelled in a rush. A small smirk graced Kagura's face as she gazed around the room and heard the scattered applause. She couldn't decide if it was more shocking to see that Sesshomaru was clapping-- or that Naraku was smiling at her. When she felt herself smiling back, she knew it was Naraku.
A few more people were named, but they didn't matter. Kagura was walking on air, totally at ease with the verdict. When everyone was announced, the advisor once more relinquished the microphone to Sesshomaru. He didn't look particularly thrilled about it either, but he adjusted it once more. "I'll keep this short," he announced. "I expect everyone to work hard to make our paper worthy of being read."
Kagura nodded her understanding. She wanted the same thing too. For the last three years, the paper had just been something of a hobby for the editors. The paper was never taken seriously. He was making it clear that it was all about to change and Kagura was in total agreement.
"Our first official meeting will be Friday after school. I expect everyone to be there, and I expect this to be treated with a professional attitude." With that, the assembly was released and everyone was free to go.
Kagura hung in the back for a few minutes, watching Naraku gather his stuff and his entourage before exiting. During that time, someone came up beside her. Looking up, Kagura raised an eyebrow at Sesshomaru. He regarded her with an equal degree of caution.
"I was pleased to notice you were on the editing staff," he commented, not sounding particularly pleased at all. "I expect a lot from you this year, Kagura."
"I won't disappoint, sir," Kagura said with a salute. "I take my writing very seriously."
"That makes one," he commented as he watched Naraku exit with a girl on each arm, laughing about something or other. "I wish I could say the same about the rest of my staff."
Kagura watched Naraku too before looking back to Sesshomaru. "He's a good writer," she defended. "He's just… eccentric."
Sesshomaru looked at her with an arched brow. "I thought that was only said about the rich when they became crazy."
Kagura quirked a smile. "I've got to go find my sister. See you at the meeting." With that, she took her leave from him and walked out the exit Naraku had used a few minutes earlier. Hurrying, she had hoped to catch him before he disappeared, but by the time she got to the exit, she saw that he was already halfway to the field house. With a sigh, Kagura went in search of her stepsister.
Sango wasn't all that surprised that the auto shop was still open. It was usually open till all hours, depending on who was there working after school. When she approached the large garage doors, and peered in, she had to scan the room before finding the workers. Garbed in the stereotypical mechanic uniforms were two of her classmates.
"Top of the afternoon lads!" she called, strolling in as if she owned the place.
Whirling, the two workers nearly dropped their wrenches before they realized who it was. "Sango, are you trying to kill us?"
"Come on, we're working on a carburetor here! You know how sensitive they are."
"Sorry, boys," Sango grinned. It was obvious she wasn't sorry in the least as she skipped over to them. "Hi, Grimm, Demon," she greeted then by their nicknames.
Inuyasha "Grimm" Reaper and Miroku "Demon" Yuki were two of the schools most feared outcasts. Sango knew them as a pair of bumbling fools who wanted nothing more than to be left alone in all their uniqueness. Of course, putting dye in the sprinklers on the football field and setting a crate of frogs loose in the girl's locker room didn't make them that inconspicuous. Sango never minded much since she had had a tentative friendship with both of them since freshmen auto shop.
Inuyasha was the brooding, fearless one. He looked a lot like his brother, who was ten months older, sharing both the silver colored hair and the gold eyes. He had attitude to spare, but a streak of kindness in him. He had a cuddly side, Sango was sure, but he just didn't show it often. Inuyasha was too much of a fixer-upper for Sango's taste, but for some reason, she could very easily picture the angry rich boy with her mild-mannered best friend. After over three years of trying, she had still never managed to get the pair of them to meet.
Miroku was a different story. He was openly perverted, often hitting on anything that was attractively female. He was the brains of their little outfit, and was a jokester. Miroku had a head of shaggy, black hair with a blood red streak down the middle and hazel eyes. A pretty boy. Sango had taken a particular shine to him, apart from the fact that his hands would wander occasionally when she was under a hood. Luckily, there were plenty of heavy objects in the auto shop.
"Sango," they both responded. "Why are you here?"
"I need to nick a part for my sister's ride," she said with a grin. With that, she walked over to a table of spare parts. "She cracked her starter and practically had a meltdown in the parking lot this afternoon."
"What model?" Miroku asked, joining her at the table.
"Sundance," Sango replied.
"Year?" Inuyasha asked, joining them as well.
"Here," Miroku said triumphantly, fishing out the needed part. "We have a winner."
"Good." Sango grabbed the part and took the rag out from her back pocket to wipe off some of the grease. "I can have this back in by tonight."
"That's if we don't tell old man Myoga that you swiped one of his starters," Inuyasha said with a lazy grin.
Sango raised an eyebrow at him, making the streak of grease on her forehead arch as well. "As opposed to all the parts you took for your Mazda?"
"Ouch," he said with a hand to his chest. "You wound me with your words."
Sango laughed until she heard a call. "San? You in here?"
"Over here, Kagura!" she called back, pushing away from the table. "That's my cue. See you tomorrow, boys."
"Bye, Sango," they called with a wave. Then they went back to working on Miroku's truck.
"Who were you talking to?" Kagura asked when her stepsister immerged from the shop.
"Just two of my classmates," she said with a shrug. "They helped me find your part."
"Great!" Kagura said with a grin. "Now let's collect Kagome and go."
"She's down by the field house," Sango replied, "cheering on Hojo." She paused to roll her eyes as they walked in that direction. "He's such a control freak."
"With a catch like Kagome, he's allowed to be jealous," Kagura said with a shrug.
Kagome walked down to the field house, already hearing the echoing calls of the cheerleaders and the shouts of the football players. Especially the shouts of the quarterback, the Captain of the team. That was Hojo Montgomery, her boyfriend.
Kagome-- who had read countless romance novels and seen dozens of chick-flicks-- knew that when one was going to rendezvous with her boyfriend, one should get that excited flutter in the pit of her stomach and feel that slight race in her heart. Try as she might, she couldn't conjure sweaty palms or a dry throat. She was just going to see Hojo, and that was all there was to it.
When she made it to the field, she waved over at the cheerleading squad. They waved back, which was surprising considering that Kagome was not one of them anymore. She waited on the sidelines until a time out was called and Hojo trotted over to the bench. When he saw her, his eyes lit up.
Hojo removed the symbol emblazoned helmet and shook out his sandy hair before walking over to her. Without even a word of hello, he simply grabbed the back of her head and covered her mouth with his own. Kagome was startled, even though she had been given this treatment a lot over the three years they had been dating.
When he pulled back, he focused his large, green eyes on her and smiled. "Hey, babe, came to cheer me on?"
Kagome smiled impishly. "I don't think I can stay. I gave Kagura a lift over for a newspaper meeting, and so Sango could get a part to fix their car."
He frowned suddenly and took his hand from her hair. "You're not their servant girl, Kagome. You can stay here as long as you want. I'll drive you home later."
"That's okay, Hojo," she said with one of her sweetest smiles. It covered her annoyance with an endless front of patience. "I was happy to drive them, and I have to work tonight anyway."
"Come on, baby," Hojo said with a kind of whine. He ran a hand up her arm until he gripped her above the elbow, looking at her with an abused look. "You've worked every night this week. Can't you blow off tonight and come to the pep rally?"
"I'm sorry, Hojo," Kagome said with a frown. "You know I can't do that."
Hojo sighed, annoyance entering his green eyes. "Fine. I'll call you tonight, okay?"
"I'll be home by eleven," she promised, leaning forward on her tip-toes to plant a quick kiss on his lips before he headed back out to the field.
Turning to head back to the parking lot, Kagome ran a hand up and down her arm. There would be a bruise there by tomorrow, she realized dimly with a sigh. She almost didn't notice that she'd walked into someone; she was so deep in thought.
"Oh, excuse me!" she said quickly, looking up to find herself seeing Naraku Shin. Suddenly she wasn't as sorry as she had been a moment ago.
"Kagome Higurashi!" Naraku said with a wide grin. "When are we going for that coffee I offered you freshmen year?"
"When my boyfriend lets me date other men," Kagome said with a grin. If there was anything good about being with Hojo, it was that a lot of guys were scared of him. It made her feel safer when unwanted advances were pushed on her.
Naraku pouted. "Pity. Call me sometime, baby."
Kagome snorted. "Sure I'll call you," she said with a smile that suddenly turned into a very dark look. "When foul creatures pop out of your back." With a swish of raven hair, she turned and stomped back toward the path.
"I love a girl with fire!" he called after her with a laugh. Kagome shook her head in annoyance. Naraku was shameless and loved to hit on cheerleaders of present and past. She never understood how someone as brilliant and classy as Kagura could like such a cretin. Then again, love was blind.
"Kag!" she heard someone call and saw Sango jogging toward her. "I gots me the part. Ready to head home?"
"Sure," she said with a smile. "Natalie called me before and asked if I wanted to take a shift tonight. Do you think you could watch the boys while Mom and I are working?"
"Of course," Sango said with a smile. "You know I love those animals."
While Kagome and Sango talked at the top of the path, Kagura slipped down closer to the field house, where Naraku was talking to a few of his sporty friends.
"Naraku, Homecoming is in three weeks. Have you decided what lucky lady you'll be escorting yet?" Kagura leaned closer to the wall, making as though she was watching the football practice, but was actually feeding on every uttered word.
"I don't know yet," she heard him sigh. "I've taken out every girl worth the trouble already. I'm just… tired of girls throwing themselves at me."
"Dude, you are sick!" one of his friends laughed.
"Not sick," Naraku laughed too. "I just want a girl who plays a little hard to get."
"A challenge, huh?"
"Exactly! A girl who can crook her finger and have another guy on a leash." Naraku nodded and began to scheme.
"What are you gonna do, man? Go alone and take another guy's date?"
"That's precisely what I mean to do. I want to go to the dance stag and just steal another guy's date. I mean, what guy can actually hold on to girl when I romance her, right?"
They laughed and moved out of Kagura's hearing range, but she had heard enough. Already her mind was working into a plan of action. With a smirk on her lips, she turned back to Kagome and Sango. They were deep in an animated conversation, but she broke it up when she walked over to them. "Girls," she said with a smile. "How would you two like to do me a little favor?"
A/N:Because my beta was a little confused, I figure a few of you might be confused about the trilogy as well. Unexpected is the first part of a three-story series. I predict it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-11 chapters. This first part deals with the Kagura/Sesshomaru pairing. Unknown, which is the second installment, deals with the Inuyasha/Kagome pairing. It will also be somewhere between 9-11 chapters. The final section which is Unwanted, deals with Sango/Miroku pairing. Also, all three of these stories are loosely based on fairy tales, so I'll be throwing in little hints of that nature. I really love the idea for these stories and I hope to continue working feverishly on them! Enjoy!