AN: An anonymous person asked me if I could repost the original version of Killing Perfection, and as I'm not working on it at the moment (and haven't worked on it for some time), I figured there was little harm in accommodating this small request. That said, it's compiled into a single document on my computer, so it might take me a bit to get it disentangled and posted chapter-by-chapter. I could try and post it all as a single chapter... but I'm not sure how appealing an endless line of text would be. Lol.
I'm sorry to those who found the notifications in their in-box and mistook this to be a continuation. (Please forgive me!) As I was saying to another reviewer, for the moment, I'm going to just try and finish House of Painted Idols, and then afterward, perhaps try and tackle this one. For the moment, I just don't think I have the time or energy to pursue both in addition to some other projects I'm currently working on. (In fact, I was quite happy and feeling pretty productive today since I managed to add a bit to an original story as well as write an update for House. Going through these chapters, I'm in awe of the fact I used to be able to write so much in one sitting. Nowadays, my attention and energy only lasts for about 1,000 words or so. SAD!) Anyway, so that's where things stand for the moment.
Kikyo stepped into the school courtyard slowly and surveyed the scene, hiding her reluctance with cool detachment. Like herself most other students were just arriving and were hanging around talking to their friends before classes began for the day. The boys were dressed in navy blue pantsuits, white dress shirts, and navy blue blazers, while the girls sported blue, black, grey, and white plaid skirts, white collared blouses, and navy blue blazers like the boys' except more fitted. Students were also required to wear either a silk tie or a scarf- depending on whether you were a boy or girl- whose color was indicative of grade. Navy blue was for the incoming freshmen, black (like Kikyo's) were for sophomores, while juniors wore grey and seniors gold. Some also wore a grey vest with their uniform, and some girls wore knee high socks with their skirts many of which were hiked up to mid thigh- the shortest the school allowed. Kikyo kept hers to the longest length possible, but it still stopped a good three inches above her knees, and she wore black tights underneath to make up for it. With an inward sigh, she adjusted the strap to the messenger bag slung across her chest, absentmindedly tapping the ground with her new black and white oxfords as she scanned the grounds, wondering where she the administration office was. This was her first time ever attending a private school, but her grandmother Kaede had insisted on it because of her outstanding grades. Not that it took outstanding grades to get into the school- she supposed anyone could attend so long as they coughed up the money. That was what worried her- she knew the school was expensive and she wondered if her grandmother could really afford to send her here, but at least she had gotten a scholarship after scoring a perfect score on the entrance exam. Small blessings, she told herself.
Kikyo was about to make her way for the main school building when she heard someone yelling her name.
"Kikyo!" Kagome called, one hand curved around her mouth while the other waved in the air to catch her cousin's attention.
Looking around, Kikyo spotted her standing beside a small group of students. Friends of hers, she deduced. At first Kikyo was hesitant. She really wasn't one to make friends... but it would have been rude to just walk away, so she walked over to them.
"Kikyo," Kagome greeted cheerfully. "I'm glad you made it to school ok. I want you to meet some of my friends- Inuyasha, Sango, and Miroku. You guys," she said turning to the three (whom Kikyo noticed all wore the black tie or scarf), "this is my cousin Kikyo. She just moved into town, so this is her first day here. Be nice, 'k?"
They gave her a round of hello's, and Kikyo smiled back a little uncertainly. One of the boys- the one with his dark hair pulled back into a short ponytail- stepped up to her with a small glimmer in his eyes. Taking her hand to his lips, he bowed before her.
"Bonjour, ma cherie," he grinned. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
His brazen action had taken Kikyo by surprise, but she quickly recovered herself and not missing a beat replied cooly, "Enchante. Parlez-vous francais?" she asked. "Or do you just think that girls automatically fall for guys who can blabber a word or two of French?"
The girl- Sango, whacked him smartly on the back of his head and muttered, "I don't think that's what Kagome had in mind." While the other boy- Inuyasha?- laughed uproariously, slapping his friend on the back.
"Man," he remarked appreciatively, "She's too quick for ya." Just then the bell marking that they had five minutes to get to class rang, and everyone turned to the school building.
"We'd better get going," Sango told them, taking hold of Miroku's arm. "We have to get to our science class early to set up some things."
"Alright," Kagome nodded.
"It was nice to meet you, Kikyo," Sango added.
And Miroku agreed with his same flirty smile, "Yes, very." before being dragged forcibly away.
"Don't mind him," Inuyasha commented. "He's like that around all girls."
"Anyway," Kagome said. "I have to get going too. I need to stop by real quick in one of my other classes to talk to a teacher."
"Wait," Kikyo held her back. "Can you tell me where the administration office is located before you go?"
"Oh," Kagome thought for a second wondering how to phrase her directions so as not to get her cousin lost, before giving up and suggesting, "Um, Inuyasha, can you show her?"
"Wha-?" Inuyasha asked in surprise.
But before he could protest, Kagome was already sprinting off to the building on the left of the main one, calling behind her, "Thanks! I owe you one."
They stared after her in a brief but awkward silence.
Finally Kikyo stated, "Um, you don't have to bother. I think I can probably find it myself."
Shrugging off the offering, Inuyasha mumbled, "Feh, that's ok. I guess I've been there enough to know how to get there, anyway."
With a short sideways glance at him, Kikyo smiled to herself, understanding that it wasn't for good behavior. She followed him into the main building and they tried their best to make some conversation though neither were really very adept at it.
Inuyasha spoke first, "So, uh, you're Kagome's cousin, huh?"
Kikyo gave him a fleeting smile and answered, "Yeah. My dad was her mom's older brother."
"Was?" he asked her, raising an eyebrow in curiosity.
She looked away, "He and my mom died when I was younger."
"Oh," he said silently. "I'm sorry."
Her voice was low, but steady, "That's ok. It was a long time ago."
"So who are you living with now?"
He got the feeling that she didn't really want to talk about it, and he wasn't very good with these topics anyway, so they didn't speak the rest of the way, but it wasn't too bad. It was weird- they had just met one another that morning and yet...
There was something about the girl, Inuyasha thought, looking at her from the corners of his eyes. There was something about her that felt familiar to him. He couldn't quite figure it out, but she didn't make him feel uncomfortable or defensive, just... a little sad.
Before he could give it a lot of attention, however, they reached the administrations office.
"So, um, anything else you needed to know?" he asked her, holding open the door.
She gave him another one of her small smiles, "No. I think I will be alright from here. Thank you very much for your assistance."
He thought she kinda talked funny, but instead he replied, "Nah. It's no big deal."
"See you later," she called disappearing into the office.
Inuyasha watched her go. The minute bell rang but he didn't move, and she was surprised to find him still waiting for her when she reappeared five minutes later. She didn't know what to say so she didn't say anything, waiting for him to speak.
"Uh, I thought you might want to know where the rest of your classes are," he explained to her.
"But aren't you already late?" she inquired worriedly.
However he just shrugged and replied, "It's nothing new. So what's your first period class?"
Looking down at her list, Kikyo responded, "Honors Trigonometry." At that, Inuyasha glanced over her shoulder and let out a slow whistle. All her classes were advanced.
"So you're a smart one, huh?"
"I do alright," she answered modestly.
"Well, I have math first hour too, so I'm going the same as you." As he led her down the hall, he informed her, "Ya see, all Math and Science classes are in this building along with the cafeteria on the first floor, and Literature, Language Arts, Social Studies, and History are all in Hall B- that's the building to the left. Hall C is where all the electives are like Art and Foreign Language, and it's also where the Music room is. For PE you have to go to the Gym behind Hall B, and the Auditorium is behind Hall C. The library is that old building in the very back."
Frowning slightly at his explanation, she commented, "It's such a big school. I'm surprise anyone ever makes it on time if they have to go from one building to another."
"Yeah," he agreed but added reassuringly, "You'll get used to it." When they reached her classroom, they parted and he went up the flight of stairs to his own. She was right, he thought gazing out a passing window. It was a large campus, the buildings laid out in a hexagonal order with Hall A- the main building- at the very front and going clockwise was Hall B, the Gym, the Library, the Auditorium, and then Hall C. And the grounds were sprawling with every kind of sports field and court imaginable- track, soccer, tennis, football, baseball. There was also a large pool in the Gym, and a garden behind the library kept by the horticultural and botanical clubs. In the middle of the buildings was a large open area scattered with flowering trees- mostly ornamental cherry and dogwoods embellished here and there with tiny Japanese maple. In the center was a nice little pond filled with goldfish and koi, and a lot of students liked to sit around it during free periods and lunch. Inuyasha himself wasn't anything close to a nature fanatic, but he also liked that space a lot and even now was contemplating ditching class to go outside and enjoy it. Then he thought of Kikyo's list of honors classes and winced. He decided against it. After all, he didn't want her to think he was a total delinquent.
He entered his class and after mumbling an apology to his teacher for being late (again), he slumped down into his usual seat in the back. His mind refused to pay attention however, instead turning once again to rest upon the image of the girl he had just met. He wondered if he would see her again that day.
Sesshomaru brought his hands together, resting his elbows on his desk and leaning forward slightly in an attempt to hide his growing boredom. Today the teacher's monotonous voice was droning on about the many variables contributing to the history long unrest in the Balkans as if he were describing the many different varieties of fruits and vegetables that made up the produce section in the supermarket. The man didn't seem to hold any appreciation for history, so Sesshomaru often had to wonder why he was teaching it in the first place. He was just getting to the fall of Yugoslavia, when all of a sudden he was interrupted by the a knock on the door. It opened and a girl entered, exchanging a few quiet words with the teacher.
Sesshomaru took in the black scarf tied under her collar. A lost sophomore? he wondered without much interest. He had never seen the girl before, but that wasn't anything surprising. He hardly ever took the time to notice anyone else- other people were not something he bothered with.
But no, she wasn't lost.
The teacher turned to the rest of the class and announced in the same dull monotone, "Students, we have someone new joining us. This is Miss Kikyo Higurashi, and she has just transferred here, so make sure to make her feel welcome." And addressing the girl he told her, "Miss Higurashi, you may take that seat over there next to Mr. InuTaisho. Mr. InuTaisho, raise your hand." Sesshomaru ignored his request and the teacher ignored his failure to comply, but Kikyo found her way anyway. Keeping his posture, Sesshomaru shifted his eyes to the empty seat beside him to regard her disinterestedly as she ran a hand to sweep her skirt underneath her and slip behind the desk with practiced ease, all the while keeping her gaze to herself. Then bringing out a pen, she opened her notebook to write as the teacher resumed his lecture. He wondered momentarily what she was doing in this class since he had thought it was open only to juniors and seniors, but he quickly dismissed the thought to return his dull stare back to the front. What did he care?
After what seemed to be an eternity of agony to most of the class, the bell finally rang to announce first lunch. Sweeping her books into her arms, Kikyo tugged her bag to her shoulders and went to leave, stopping automatically at the door to let another student pass first. Sesshomaru had also halted, but when he saw she didn't move, he gave her a quick glance and then took the initiative to leave first. Kikyo followed him to the door, then turned down the opposite direction as she made her way to her locker to deposit her books before going to lunch. The cafeteria was crowded and she scoured the sea of strangers for a familiar face, but she couldn't spot her cousin or any of her friends anywhere. They probably have a different lunch hour, she thought glumly. It wasn't that Kikyo minded being by herself- in fact, she rather preferred her own company- but she was new to this school and all the pitying little glances being thrown her way was enough to make even her feel just a little uncomfortable. She hid it well, however, and was turning to go outside with her tray when she accidentally bumped shoulders with another girl.
"Oh, sorry," she murmured apologetically, taking a quick step back to see that the girl she had ran into was a junior with sharp but attractive features, her dark brown hair swept into a wavy ponytail behind her.
"Oh, you're that new girl, aren't you?" the girl remarked, her quick temper abating with the sudden recognition.
"Oh... yes." Kikyo tried to place her face but couldn't, let alone come up with a name to go with it.
"My name's Kagura," the girl introduced herself. "You were in my gym class second period."
"Oh, yes," Kikyo repeated with more confidence. She still couldn't remember Kagura, but she remembered gym which had gone by in idleness when the coach lost her key to the equipment shed and spent the rest of the class retracing her steps trying to find it.
"Do you have a place to sit?" Kagura asked. She had never been one to go out of her way to extend herself socially, and she didn't really know why, but this girl had instantly sparked an interest with her. Perhaps it was because she was quiet, and Kagura liked quiet people. Besides, it was obvious she didn't really know anybody and Kagura felt a little sorry for her.
"No, not really," Kikyo answered casually like it didn't matter.
"You can sit with me then," Kagura replied in an almost commanding tone which at first made Kikyo want to decline, but she thought better of it and followed her outside to a round wooden table encircled by a round wooden bench.
"So did you just move to town?" Kagura inquired, digging her fork into her salad. "Or are you just transferring schools?"
"Moved," Kikyo replied without elaboration. She didn't feel like touching her food.
But Kagura pressed, "What for?"
"To live with my grandmother." She didn't really feel like talking about the circumstance of her displacement either, and Kagura finally got the hint, so she moved on to talk about the school social scene.
"Are you gonna eat that?" she asked, indicating Kikyo's uneaten bowl of ramen after finishing off the last of her salad.
"No," she replied, taking the apple beside it for herself. "You can have it."
"Thanks!" Kagura lifted the bowl to her side of the table, exclaiming, "I'm starving."
"Then why did you only purchase a salad?" Kikyo wondered, biting into her apple.
"Well, a girl's gotta watch her figure, you know."
She didn't get it, but she said nothing more, eyeing her new friend as Kagura lifted a string of noodles to her mouth only to stop abruptly midway to stare past Kikyo. Kikyo turned to follow her gaze only to find it was riveted on another junior with platinum hair obviously preoccupied with being unpreoccupied. He looked a little familiar to Kikyo, but once again, it was a face she could not place.
"That guy's a jerk," Kagura muttered, her eyes not moving from his figure.
Kikyo shrugged, returning her attention to the apple.
"I don't know him."
At that, Kagura let out a snort, "And you probably never will. That guy is about as easy to approach as..." She searched her mind for a fitting analogy but could only come up with, "the Queen of England. Then again, he is something like royalty around here- the way all the students and teachers worship him because he's so damn 'perfect'. Even if he is an emotionally constipated bastard."
Kikyo frowned slightly but didn't respond. People were stupid, she thought. Always showering their adoration on those who did not even care to return them. How dumb...