Author's Notes: Still not much going on. Mostly just schoolwork. I'm going to need to get out and do something soon.

Midnight at the Singin' Hound Lounge

Chapter 5- Bloodshed at the Docks

Sango found herself abruptly shaken from her sleep by Koga crashing down the basement steps with all the grace of a charging rhino. "Get up!" he barked, clearly upset about something. It was partly a blessing in disguise, as it saved her from having to relive her recurring nightmare that she was about halfway through when he barged in.

It didn't take long for everyone to rouse themselves from sleep. "What the hell's the rush?" Inuyasha grumbled as he rubbed the drowsiness from his eyes.

Koga paused as if he would hate himself for what he was about to say and looked off to the side. "Glen and Vince are dead," he snapped.

That chased the last of the sleep from Sango's system. "What?" She hadn't known them, but Koga treated every one of his pack mates like brothers. If two of them were dead, there would be hell to pay. And given the circumstances, it would probably have something to do with all of them.

"Mike found them this morning," Koga explained, hands balling into fists at his sides. "Shot in the back by choppers... We know who did it. The same guy who murdered Kikyo."

That got Inuyasha's attention. "The real killer? Who is it?"

"Name's Naraku," Koga growled as he sat at the table and raked a hand back through his now-loose hair. "Naraku Hansen. He runs a smuggling operation I fence for. But I guess he's wants to step up in the world.

"Glen and Vince managed to report in before they were killed. Naraku wants to take over my operations along with several others in the city. It's said he hands out shards of an oriental jewel as a marker to those who gain his favor, and that's how he's able to tell the loyalists from... fellahs like me."

"What's this got to do with us?" Inuyasha asked impatiently.

"Everything," Koga barked with equal impatience. "Kikyo was one of Naraku's loyalists for a time, but she broke contact with him months ago. He must have decided to knock her off when it was convenient and set some rube up to take the fall. Guess who he picked."

Sango decided to cut in before Inuyasha rose to the bait. "So this Naraku framed Inuyasha and wants to take over your business?"

Koga tapped the tip of his nose to confirm her thoughts. "Once he learns that all of you are in this deep with me, you'll be next on his list of people to be dealt with. Bastard doesn't like leaving loose ends."

"So what do we do?" Miroku asked calmly.

"Fight back," Koga stated plainly, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "It's not like we can go to the police on this one. Price you pay for this lifestyle."

Silence reigned over the room for a moment. Sango didn't like this at all. "Just how are we supposed to fight back?" she tentatively asked.

Koga leveled his gaze at her, remaining silent for a moment. "This is war," he spoke at last, his tone carrying a solemn finality. "I'm supposed to meet a few of Naraku's boys at the waterfront tonight regarding some smuggled goods he wants me to ship out of town. But I can guarantee you that his intention now is to get me out of town. In a pine box."

"Well then just don't go," Shippo exasperatedly snapped.

"Doesn't work that way, kid," Koga growled. "If I don't show, he'll know that I figured out his plan. Since he's already made a move, I have to strike now before he gets another chance."

"I really don't like where this is going," Kagome mumbled in a worried voice.

"Sorry, Kagome," Koga apologized gravely. "But I don't have a choice. I'm going down there tonight to take out Naraku's boys personally. It's the least I can do for Glen and Vince. Any of you going with me?"

"I'll go," Inuyasha volunteered first. "This is personal."

"I'm going with you," Kagome declared, putting her hand on Inuyasha's shoulder.

"Bullshit!" Inuyasha snapped. "You're in this deep enough! You're staying here."

"And let you go on your own?" Kagome shot back. "Not a chance. I'm not about to let you die for a vendetta."

Sango hung her head with a long-suffering sigh. There they go again. Those two argued over everything. At least this time Inuyasha had a good reason to disagree. Normally he just did it to be contrary.

"Much as I hate to admit it," Koga butted in, "Inuyasha's right. I'm not going to put you further into the line of fire."

"You stay out of this!" Kagome and Inuyasha barked at the same time, taking Koga by complete surprise. The fact that they had spoken in unison didn't even seem to register to the two as they turned back on one another and continued their argument, which soon turned into a shouting match.

"It's like watching a force of nature," Miroku commented as he watched the verbal battle unfold.

"There's a song in that somewhere," Shippo remarked off-handedly.

"Might as well make ourselves comfortable," Sango said at last as she settled into a chair to watch. Everyone but Inuyasha seemed to realize the extent of Kagome's feelings for him. Well... Koga seemed pretty blind, too, but that was beside the point. Inuyasha on the other hand was harder to read most of the time. He kept his emotions very guarded and withdrawn. It was moments like this however that the barriers those two put up started to breakdown. If they weren't so caught up in yelling at each other, they would notice it.

"Don't you fucking get it?" Inuyasha roared as he grasped fistfuls of his hair in frustration. "If you died, I'd never be able to live with myself!"

"How do you think I feel?" Kagome practically screamed. "Didn't it ever occur to you that it matters to me if you get hurt?"

Ah, right on cue. They were like the protagonists in one of Shippo's comics. Obviously romantically drawn to each other, constantly bickering like a married couple, and so oblivious to the whole thing it made observers want to bludgeon them both over the head and scream at them to just go off and neck somewhere. In a way though Sango rather envied them. She wished she had someone who cared about her that way. She had always entertained the possibility of Miroku, but he was as secretive about his feelings as Inuyasha. Perhaps that was what she found alluring about him. He was detached, but in a more docile, secure way than many other men she had known in her life.

She rubbed the bridge of her nose, not wanting that particular train of thought to go any further. "Listen, maybe we should all go. Strength in numbers, right?"

"Sango has a point," Miroku remarked and held his chin between his thumb and forefinger with a look of deep thought on his face. "We can all hold our own in a fight. Inuyasha and I have had to double as bouncers on more than one occasion."

Inuyasha and Kagome fell silent as Koga watched them all with a critical eye for a moment. "Fine," he growled at last, clearly not too happy with the conclusion, but accepting it anyway. "Let me get you some guns and we'll head out at sunset."

"Guns?" Inuyasha asked in disgust. "You kiddin' me."

Koga arched a brow and sneered. "What did you expect? I was gonna spit watermelon seeds at 'em?"

Inuyasha snorted and crossed his arms. "Guns are for people too weak to use their fists. If I want to take somebody down, I'll do it face to face."

"Big talk," Koga replied dismissively. "I got news for you, though. The guys at the warehouse tonight will be armed and ready. You won't get close enough to punch them. And it doesn't matter what you say to a bullet, it's still gonna blow your head open. So unless you've learned how to punch bullets away, you better shut up and take the chopper I give you." With that, he turned on his heel and strode off, taking the steps two at a time.

Sango pursed her lips. She had gotten involved in bar fights before, but this was another matter entirely. Of course, there wasn't much left to lose at this point. Best to go down fighting.


Inuyasha quietly fumed as he pulled the car Koga had loaned him up to the warehouse. There were already three cars parked outside, and Koga was pulling up beside them. The plan was that Koga would go in with Miroku and Sango, then Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo would attack as soon as he said "hot damn." They all climbed out of the cars and nodded silently to one another to show that they were ready.

Inuyasha pressed his back to the wall, awkwardly gripping the Tommy gun in his hands. Kagome and Shippo lucked out and got Mauser pistols. They watched as Koga walked up to the entrance with Kagome and Sango in tow. Inuyasha strained his ears to listen.

"Koga, you made it," came the voice of a stranger from inside. "Pack mates of yours?"

"Yeah," Koga responded. "New blood. Good timing considering what happened to Glen and Vince."

"Were those the two stiffs mentioned in the paper this morning?" the stranger asked.

"Yeah," Koga answered, his voice clearly containing a dangerous edge. "But that's not important right now. You got the antiques you wanted me to take off your hands?"

"Right this way."

"Well, hot damn." That was the cue.

Inuyasha took off running toward the door with Kagome and Shippo behind him. Gunshots started ringing out before they even got there, and Inuyasha skidded to a halt as several bullet holes appeared in the wall just ahead of him. He bit back his surprise and continued for the door, jumping into the room and pointing his gun forward to look for a target, but nobody was visible.

"Get down, god damnit!" Koga shouted from off to the side.

Inuyasha realized that in the few seconds it had taken them to reach the door, everyone had already ducked for cover. The warehouse was packed full of crates of recently shipped-in goods, several now sporting bullet holes. A gunshot rang out, and he felt a hot wind streak past his head. He heard Kagome and Shippo let out strangled cries of surprise before they all dove for cover.

When Inuyasha looked up, Kagome was gone and he was next to Koga who was kneeling behind a stack of crates with a Smith Wesson revolver. He stood up slightly and took a shot. "Okay, there's six of us and eight of them," he ground out.

"Eight?" Inuyasha asked rhetorically.

"Well, it was nine a second ago," Koga added with a smirk. He peered out from behind the crate again that dropped onto his stomach with several choice obscenities as a hail of bullets whizzed over them.

"Shit!" Inuyasha roared. "Kagome! Where are you?" His shouting was drowned out by the gunshots and their echoes off the concrete walls.

"Damn, they've got us outgunned," Koga hissed. "We need a plan."

"Better start thinkin' fast," Inuyasha hissed back. "I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I've never fired a gun in my life."

Several more gunshots rang out followed by a shrill scream that Inuyasha immediately realized was Kagome. Something inside him snapped, and he gripped the handles of his Tommy gun until his knuckles went white. "But you gotta start some time!" he roared.

A moment later, the shooting stopped, and Inuyasha stood up with his gun leveled. He saw three men hiding behind a set of crates getting ready to fire at what he presumed was Kagome's hiding place. With that, he opened fire. The recoil forced him to take a step back, but he delivered a spray of bullets toward the three gunmen. Part of him only cared about making them pay for hurting Kagome. The other, less emotional part of him was amazed at how easy this thing was to use and how much damage it could do. Inuyasha only stopped when he felt Koga pull him back down.

"You really have no idea what you're doing, do you?" he snapped angrily. "You're wasting ammo and making yourself a sitting duck."

Inuyasha just made a rude gesture and snorted. "I got three of 'em. You?"

That shut Koga up momentarily. "Where are the others? Sango and Miroku took off in the opposite direction I did."

They were interrupted by another volley of gunfire. "Five more to go," Inuyasha growled as he began slinking away, trying to get closer to where he thought Kagome was.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Koga barked.

Inuyasha didn't even dignify him with a response. He just kept going. He spotted the crates where the three men he shot had been firing on earlier and dove out from behind his cover to make a run for it. A bullet ricocheted off the floor in front of him, bringing Inuyasha to a halt. He turned to his left to see one of the men pointing a pistol right at him.

Inuyasha leveled his Tommy gun and hoped he was faster, when he heard Sango let out a loud yell of exertion, and a ten-foot-tall stack of crates behind the gunman facing Inuyasha suddenly fell over. The man looked back and screamed in alarm, trying to get out of the way, but was too late. He was buried under the falling tower boxed goods.

Sango stood behind the fallen crates, absently rubbing her shoulder with a frown before running up to meet Inuyasha.

He wordlessly jerked his head in the direction of Kagome's hiding place and they bolted for it. More gunshots rang out, these ones targeted right at them. "Damn fools," he heard Koga shout as he provided cover fire.

Inuyasha and Sango both leaped over the crates at the same time and landed on either side of Kagome who had her hand pressed against her left upper arm, which was bleeding. "Kagome!" Inuyasha exclaimed in alarm.

She had been surprised by their sudden appearance, but relaxed visibly when she realized it was them. "I got winged by a bullet," she explained through clenched teeth.

"We need to stop the bleeding," Sango firmly stated. "I need a compress and something I can use as a bandage."

Inuyasha took off his tie and pulled a handkerchief from his pocket. Sango had learned first aid from her father, so he knew to trust her judgment. "Will this do?"

"For now," Sango responded evenly and began dressing Kagome's wound.

"Where are Miroku and Shippo?" Kagome asked through clenched teeth.

"No clue," Sango said flatly as she focused on bandaging the wound. "Miroku and I got separated after we ducked for cover. Said he had a plan."

"I lost sight of Shippo when we came in," Inuyasha admitted.

Several gunshots rang out throughout the warehouse and Koga let out several choice curses. "Three more to go," They heard him shout.

Inuyasha hefted his gun when two more shots shook the crates the three of them were hiding behind. "We need to finish this now." He twisted around the corner and looked for a target. One of the gunmen was trying to make a getaway to a side entrance, and Inuyasha took the opportunity to pick him off. Before he got a chance to find another target, an ominous click came from the Tommy gun. "No," he breathed. "No you don't!" He gave it a quick shake and tested the trigger several more times. Out of ammo. "Damn! Damn, damn, damn!"

"You're out of bullets?" Kagome yelled in alarm.

"You want to tell the whole world?" Inuyasha snapped back as one of the two remaining enemies fired on their hiding place again. "Sango. Cover me. This piece of junk is still good for one thing." With that, he skulked off in a semi-circle. He sneaked around as quickly as he could, diving past gaps in the mounds of crates. He just had to get around to the bastard shooting at them.

Inuyasha peered around a corner and saw the back of the gunman as he ducked behind a rectangular box when Sango fired another shot at him. A moment passed before he stood up and aimed his two revolvers. Inuyasha seized the chance. Gripping the Tommy gun by the muzzle, he charged up behind the man who turned just in time to see the stock of the sub-machine gun rush toward his face.

Inuyasha spit on the unconscious form of his opponent. "One left."

"And I'm getting out of here," came a stranger's voice. Inuyasha looked over to where the voice came from. The last of the gunmen stepped out of the shadows with Miroku in front of him. The latter had his hands up behind his head with a gun pointed to his back. "Nobody move, or he dies."

"My plan kind of... backfired," Miroku explained flatly.


Author's Notes: This is the first time I've ever written out a gunfight, so it's not as elaborate as many of the other fight scenes I've come up with. I guess I just need to do more so that I can get better at it.

Interestingly, finishing up that old To Hell and Back project that I had nearly forgotten about helped me overcome a block that was setting in. It probably also helped that I just got Sky Captain on DVD. I don't care what anyone says, that movie kicked ass.

I've also got a new project lined up. January 2006, a friend of mine and I are going to be producing our first featurette. He wanted to do a comedy, but my specialty lies more in action/adventure and horror, so we came to a compromise and decided to do a vignette parodying H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. I have several hooks I'm going to pitch to him this week, work on an outline from there, and hopefully get the script done by the end of the semester. We've shopped the idea around to various departments on the campus, and have managed to generate a lot of excitement about this project. I'll keep you posted on any further developments over the next 11 months.

kireinor: You'll see eventually. Like I said before, I want to keep this story short and fast so it doesn't eat up too much of my time. As I type this, there are a lot of other things I should be doing, but am not.

xSilverShadowsx: Competition, yes, but I think we all know that he'll get the girl in the end.

Magellan-chan: You get the broken-loose hell, and as a bonus you also get an old-fashioned pulp fiction cliffhanger.

Jurei: You got your little reprieve and it's right back to the action. The tricky thing about pulp is keeping the roller coaster suspense feeling going across the whole story arc. Even when the characters get a moment to catch their breath, you have to feel a sense of urgency. That's not easy to create.

Mimiko: There's the gunfight I promised. Like I said, that's the first time I've written one, so I hope it turned out okay.

Fanny T: I don't have that album, and I don't think I'll be able to get it for a while. Next month is Sims 2: University and Freedom Force 2. Combine that with Judas Priest's new album, Angel of Retribution and a new album by Belgian hard rock band El Guapo Stuntteam and my bank account is pretty much... raped, mutilated, and executed.

On one final sidenote, what the fuck is wrong with this site? As I'm typing this, I had to go back and fix the chapter because even though everything was fine on my harddrive, the document manager here decided to erase more of the punctuation. Jesus tap-dancing Christ. Who do I complain to? The document manager on this site is becoming more of a hassle than a help and I wonder if anybody's told the admins this yet.