Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, Rumiko Takahashi does. I also don't own Sherwin Williams Paint….don't ask, you'll see.
Chapter 1: Pale Like Me
"And I swear, if you screw this up, you little shit, I'll hang your hide, you got that?" came the gruff warning from the opposite side of the kitchen. Glasses rattled on the adjacent counter as the refrigerator door slammed shut. Inuyasha tugged absently on a lock of his long white hair as he tuned his father's ranting out. 'More blues,' he pondered. 'Yeah…that'll bring out the contrast. Hm…need to pick up some more cerulean—maybe I should add more texturing to the background?
"Are you listening to me?" the voice snapped the boy out of his thoughts. He quickly straightened his posture and snatched his elbows off the tabletop, releasing the strands he was toying with as a vein-y fist thumped the wood in front of him.
"Yeah. I mean, yes. Yes, Sir, I'm listening," he said, quickly amending his mistake. He risked a glance at the man now towering over him to his left. He quickly averted his eyes to stare at the grain of the oak. Surely he didn't need another bruise to the face for his first day of school. The man's eyes narrowed and he scoffed.
"You'd better be listening. I don't have time for your bullshit, you hear me?"
"Yes, Sir, I hear you," the boy replied automatically.
"Good. You'd better be hearing me. Because, dammit, Inuyasha, if I get one call, one call, I swear to everything sacred, I'll fucking wring your neck. I don't give a shit what the situation is, I'll strangle you alive, you twat," the man growled. He kicked the boy's chair roughly, and sat down across from him. "What the hell are you staring at? What are you, lost? Nothing's changed—go get me a damn drink!"
Inuyasha wordlessly stood and went to the maple liquor cabinet in the family room, and pulled out the proper flasks to make his father's usual morning concoction. Bringing the alcohol into the kitchen, he proceeded to fill a tumbler three-fourths full of vodka, almost going dizzy from the potent smell on his sensitive nose. He then pulled the half-empty jug of cranberry juice from the fridge and filled the glass the rest of the way, and finished by adding a splash of bourbon. His father was never one to believe in moderation, even at six o'clock in the morning. The man liked to start the day off right—hard liquor and a handful of cheese curls. 'Breakfast of champions,' Inuyasha thought dryly as he watched the man hork the snack food down. It had surprised Inuyasha that his father was somewhat sober at all. He usually chose to remain in a perpetual drunken stupor.
He carefully floated two ice cubes in the tumbler, and set the drink down in front of his father on a cork coaster. He couldn't forget the coaster. The coaster was an absolute must. There were severe consequences to be paid if there was no coaster, he knew from experience.
Inuyasha watched silently from the doorjamb of the kitchen, as was his post, as the man took two large gulps from the tumbler, slamming it back down on the table and wiping his lips with the back of his hand.
"Go on an' get your sorry ass up stairs and get ready for school," the man said flippantly. Inuyasha delayed a full ten seconds. Now was usually when he changed his mind, and ordered something else, proceeding to yell and make a fuss if Inuyasha had already moved towards the stairs. No extra orders were given, and he collected the flasks of liquor and returned them to their original place in the cabinet before padding up the stairs.
Stark white walls greeted him as he pushed open the door to his room. It had always been, and would always be, bare. No posters, no desk, not even a dresser. There were exactly four things in his room: his bed, pillow, blanket, and backpack. His closet contained only the few articles of clothing that he owned. Even if it was permitted, Inuyasha wouldn't keep anything there. Anything he valued, he kept at his own secret getaway.
Opening his closet, he quickly yanked a pair of boxers out of the box in the corner, as well as a pair of jeans, and tugged a t-shirt off one of the few hangers. Clutching his clothes tightly in his arms, Inuyasha poked his head out of his room and glanced up and down the hall. There was no sign of his father, and so, as quickly and as silently as he could, he tiptoed into the bathroom, willing the hinges not to make a sound as he carefully pressed the door shut. Now that his father had begun his drinking for the day, it was in his best interest to avoid the man as much as possible, as the briefest of encounters could leave him…in an unfortunate condition.
Inuyasha slowly turned the knobs on the wall, wincing as the pipes groaned to life. The water pattered gently against the floor of the tub, and he froze, ears pricking to attention. He waited with baited breath for the sudden charge into the tiny bathroom…and let out his relieved sigh after the anxiety-inducing twenty seconds passed without interruption. Testing the temperature of the water, he rid himself of his bedclothes, and prepared to step under the stream. But not before he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.
He sighed lightly, his eyes scanning the wraith-like reflection presented to him. He hadn't looked at himself in a while. Not since before he'd had to leave Asahara, his old school. Not that he wanted to look at himself. 'Nothin' to see,' he thought, and smiled a humorless smile. His head cocked at he examined his naked reflection. 'Pale,' he mused. 'Pale like…' He searched his mental catalogue of colors to find the right shade to describe his skin. It was a game he played with himself from time to time, finding the color to adequately describe things. He had to entertain himself somehow, what, with no one to talk to but himself.
'Pale like…Opaline,' he decided finally, pulling from a paint catalogue he'd recently browsed through. 'You, Inuyasha, are opaline-white,' he told himself. His fingers absently grazed a glaring, tender bruise that was easily larger than the span of his spread palm, and marred the sallow expanse of his left shoulder. 'And this…this is a mix…of torchlight-brown, mustard-yellow, danube-blue, and…kismet-purple,' he thought, the mottled skin making his stomach lurch just the tiniest bit.
"Disgusting," he murmured softly, gazing at himself. His eyes flicked over the various lacerations, abrasions, and keloids that dotted his body, the almost serpentine-like scars that snaked down his upper arms. "Mahogany with tanager-red," he whispered to himself as he traced the four crusted-over gouges that had made their place across his abdomen.
Thoroughly sick of eyeing himself, and worried that his father might come barging in at any given moment, Inuyasha tore his gaze away from the accursed mirror, and stepped under the stream of water, welcoming the delicious pain of the heat that eased his sore muscles. He stretched fully, wincing as the scabs on his belly protested. He ran a bar of soap over his body, mindful of the few wounds that still lay open and stung insistently as they were washed.
Fearing that he was running dangerously close to the unspoken time limit his father had set for his showering, Inuyasha shut the water off and gingerly patted his body dry with a worn towel. Slipping into his clothes, he then squeezed the excess water out of his thick mane of hair. He took a thick black elastic band from the shallow drawer underneath the counter and slicked his still-damp hair into a tight pony tail, finishing the process by sliding a strip of cloth over his head, and adjusting it with a secure knot at the back so that not a single strand of white hair was visible, save his pony tail. That would be quickly amended.
His father was close. He could hear the heavy plodding of his footsteps coming up the stairs. Inuyasha quickly scrubbed his teeth with a dot of toothpaste, and hung his towel back on the rack, swiping his bedclothes up into a bundle. He pulled the door open the tiniest bit, and worried his lip between his teeth as he stole out of the bathroom. He tossed his pajamas onto the bed, and grabbed up his backpack and the heaviest sweatshirt he could find. His ears twitched, swiveled and pricked up, listening for the slightest sound. The house was deathly silent. Somehow, that didn't make Inuyasha feel any better. Usually he could hear his father shuffling around downstairs, or hear the sound of glasses clinking, the buzz from the television set. Now, there was nothing. His heart tattooed rapidly in his chest, and Inuyasha willed the muscle to calm itself, almost certain that his father could hear it. He slipped into the thick sweatshirt, zipping it up as far as it could go, jammed his feet into sneakers that had seen better days, and slung his pack onto his shoulders.
Hand gripping the knob to his bedroom door, Inuyasha steeled himself. 'Okay. Just go. On the count of three, just go. You haven't done anything wrong. He's got no reason to do anything, not today. You haven't done anything,' he told himself. He ignored the tiny voice of reason in the back of his mind that reminded him that 'not doing anything' hadn't stopped his father before. All he had to do was get out of the house. Then he was free. At least, for seven hours.
Taking a deep breath, he pushed the door open and stepped out of his room, closing it behind him. He tried to remain calm, knowing that his father could always smell his fear, and, eventually use it against him, feed off of it. He kept his eyes trained to the floor, ears low, hands held unthreateningly at his sides. He descended the stairs. The door was in sight. He was almost there. Just twelve more feet…ten…eight…
"Inuyasha," his father called. The boy froze, stomach churning. 'Please, just let me get through the door…just through the door…' he thought. He turned, but kept his eyes averted.
"Y-yes, Sir?" The man was in front of him in an instant, his large fists gripping the hood of Inuyasha's sweatshirt. He jerked his fists, giving the boy a little jolt.
"Give me a reason. Give me a reason to skin you alive. Let me get a call. Just one call. That's all it'll take for me to go off on you, Boy," he hissed. Inuyasha nodded his understanding. "Do I make myself clear?" Again, the boy nodded. He released the hood, pushing Inuyasha back roughly, and making him stagger. "I want you here right after school. You come straight back here, you got that?"
"I mean, it, you little piece of shit. I want your ass back here at four, sharp. Don't fuck around and be late," he warned.
"Yes, Sir," Inuyasha repeated. The man looked down at his son and snorted obnoxiously. He waved a hand flippantly.
"Go on and get the hell out of my sight," he said. A dismissal. Inuyasha didn't miss his chance, and hurried out of the house.
He breathed deeply, reveling in the relief that being outside brought him. He watched his breath float away in wisps of fog, and pulled his hood up over his damp hair, shivering with the cold.
He began to trudge on, passing the small pavilion of the bus stop, knowing that he'd missed the one that would make him on time for class. He sniffled and hunched his shoulders, trying to burrow deeper into the inadequate warmth that his sweatshirt offered. It was bitterly cold, and he was definitely feeling it, with his hair still slightly damp, and his shoddy footwear. He shoved his hands into his pockets, balling them into fists. For the umpteenth time, he wished he had a car. It didn't have to be anything special, just a little putt-putt to get him from point A to point B. And keep him warm. Especially since his new school was so far away from his house.
After what seemed like forever, Inuyasha was finally staring at the doors of Daisuke High School, Home of the Lions, as the emerald green and white banner so proudly proclaimed. He'd never actually been to the place. He was flying blind. He'd seen the brochure, limited as it had been. But he'd poured over several brochures for schools in his search for a new one after his incident at Asahara. So, Daisuke High didn't exactly stand out in his mind. It hadn't mattered what school he chose anyway. The result would undoubtedly be the same, he knew.
Taking the steps two at a time, Inuyasha glanced around at the empty courtyard and sighed. It was going to absolutely suck. Just like every other school.
He wholeheartedly welcomed the rush of heat that flowed over him as he opened the door, and for a moment, he simply stood there, rubbing his frozen palms together. He wanted desperately to rub his ears to warm them as well, but the few straggling students in the hall made him refrain. Instead, he pressed them flat against his skull, hoping that they hadn't seen the triangular lumps the appendages formed under the fabric of his hood.
Finally deciding he was warm enough to move once more, he shuffled down the long, ominous looking hallway, which, in turn, branched off into more hallways. Bewildered, and slightly nauseated, Inuyasha picked a random hallway and searched for the office. 'Didn't it occur to anyone to put some fucking signs in this damn place?' he thought peevishly. The secretary on the phone had told him to report directly to the front office on his first day to pick up his bell schedule. 'You'd think the 'front office' would be in the fucking front,' he thought. He was fast becoming lost in the maze of hallways, the pale, ivory tile and too-white walls all meshing into one big blur.
"Shouldn't you be in a class right now, young man?" an annoyed, authoritative voice questioned. Inuyasha was so intent in his search that he whirled around surprised. Normally he would have heard the man coming, or smelled his approach. The tall man glared at Inuyasha angrily through circular wire frames balanced on the bridge of his hawkish nose.
"Oh…see, I'm looking for the front office, and—"
"I don't recall asking you what you were looking for, or whether you were looking for something at all. I asked you about class. As in, shouldn't you be in one?" the man reiterated.
"Well, yes, but—"
"Then why aren't you?"
"I needed to get to the front of—"
"What's your name, Boy?" the man asked disdainfully, pulling a small pad of paper and a pen out of the pocket of his button up shirt.
"Chikamatsu, but, Sir, I—"
"Detention," the man snapped, ripping the small slip from the rest of the pad and holding it out to the boy like a used tissue. Inuyasha's jaw dropped.
"Have you been listening? Or are you simply too slow to follow? You aren't in class. This is a designated class time period. That is grounds for detention," the man explained snippily.
"B-but…but it's my first day!" Inuyasha exclaimed. "I don't even know what my first class is! I was looking for the front offi—"
"Take this," the man ordered, jerking the yellow slip. Inuyasha snatched the slip, silently fuming. The man wasn't even listening to him. "To get to the front office you need to go back out of the doors you came into, and turn right. They're on the side of the main building, and to the left of the outdoor courts. And I suggest you hurry. You wouldn't want to add another detention to the one you already have." The man cocked an eyebrow and began to walk past the flustered boy. "Welcome to Daisuke High," he said smoothly.
Inuyasha clenched his teeth together, fisting the slip of paper in his palm. 'Dad is gonna kill me,' he thought miserably. 'Fucking asshole,' Why had that man been so completely horrible? Right from the start? 'Did he some how know I'm only half human?' Inuyasha thought. He was pretty sure he'd covered all of his hair with the band.
He moved forward, following his own old scent to find his way through the labyrinth-like halls to the front door.
The front office was just where the man had said. It was connected to a strip of other offices, the guidance counselor's offices, sports offices, as well as the infirmary. He stepped into the room, immediately going to the first desk with a person behind it. The tiny, shrewish woman looked up at him.
"Can I help you?"
"I need to pick up my schedule."
"You're a transfer?" she asked, flicking through a file drawer by her feet.
"Um…you could say that…" She gave him a strange, wary look.
"Inuyasha Chikamatsu." Her face paled. Her hands began to shake.
"Oh…oh, my, you're the…um…" she said in a high, breathy voice. She cleared her throat uncomfortably. Inuyasha rolled his eyes and sighed exasperatedly as she quickly moved to another drawer in her desk and pulled out an ominously bright red folder. A light blue piece of paper was slid to him. "There. Schedule, locker number and combination are all there," she said briefly, and pulled her hands back from the desk, opting to fold them primly in her lap as he picked up the paper. Suddenly, he could feel five other pairs of eyes boring into him. He looked up to find the other four secretaries and the man delivering bottled water all staring at him with cold, judgmental expressions, their jaws set. He'd seen that look. He knew that look. It was the kind of look he'd gotten all his life.
He left, not bothering to say thank you.
Inuyasha wandered back into the main building, meandering along, until he found a bathroom. Ducking into it, he studied his reflection critically, making absolutely certain that no wisps of white hair were making themselves visible. He was fairly certain the man hadn't seen his claws, and he hadn't flashed his fangs either. Inuyasha shrugged and exited the bathroom, and finally, after all of his stalling, faced his first class of the day.
It was almost over. There were only twelve minutes left in the period. He seriously considered ditching, but knew that since he'd made his presence known, there was no way he could not show up. 'Just walk in, show the schedule, and sit down. Don't look at anyone, don't touch anything except your own desk,' he schooled himself. Taking a deep breath, he pushed the door open, and cursed the big wooden monstrosity when it creaked and groaned loudly on its hinges.
The teacher fell silent, chalk in mid-stroke on the board. The dull roar of idle chatter, tapping pencils, and scraping desk legs fell to silence as well as he crossed the front of the room to give the woman his schedule. He waited awkwardly as she scanned it, eyes flicking from the paper to his face, squinting with one eye as if she didn't quite believe that he belonged in her class.
"Infamous," she said, more to herself than the boy in front of her. "There's a…memorandum…going around about you," she said quietly, eyeing him steadily. Inuyasha fought the urge to laugh at the way she said 'memorandum'. As if the note was the black plague or something. She lifted her chin and handed his schedule back. "I see you have no books, so you'll have to look on with someone else. Take a seat," she instructed, waving him away.
Inuyasha's eyes instantly locked on the desk that had been placed seemingly just for him. In the furthest column, seat closest to the door. Sure, everyone could stare at him all period long, but when the bell rang, he could be the first one of class, an advantage he'd learned was necessary when every student between the back row and the door wanted to trip you. He underwent the almost ceremonial 'ten-seconds-of-silence-while-the-late-kid-gets-settled', and took out a clean notebook and a pencil. He wasn't stupid enough to think that the girl next to him would share her textbook, and she'd made it quite obvious in the way she hunched over the thing, as though she were protecting some precious treasure, so he simply copied what the teacher wrote on the board, quickly getting lost in the woman's strangely vague descriptions of the intricate workings of the Japanese economy.
'This actually isn't as big of a train-wreck as I thought it was gonna be,' Inuyasha thought as he exited his third period class. No, he wasn't making friends left and right, or any way at all for that matter, joining clubs, nor was he signing up for the school play. But he had known beforehand that those things weren't going to happen. Inuyasha's idea of a good day was one where he wasn't constantly reminded of his mixed heritage, pushed down the stairs, shoved into a wall, or intimately acquainted with anyone's knuckles. And so far, it had been a surprisingly good day.
So far, it didn't seem that anyone realized that he was half-demon, save the detention guy from earlier that morning, and he was eternally grateful. As long as he kept a low profile, his specialty, kept his hood low, and his claws hidden, he felt fairly certain he could keep up the façade that he was simply another ordinary Daisuke High student. This thought alone lifted his spirits a bit.
That was, until he found his way to his fourth period class.
Firstly, it was Literature & Composition. Inuyasha hated Lit & Comp class. He wasn't very good with words, much less breaking taking them in context and analyzing them for what he felt were insignificant nuances of meaning. If that weren't bad enough, once he glanced through the narrow pane in the door, all semblance of hope he may have had for the halfway-okay day flew out of the proverbial window.
"You've gotta be fucking kidding me," he said under his breath, his eyes going wide. "Kami….you truly hate me, don't you?"
Okay! First chapter fic. Everybody review so I can know if I should continue or not—I don't wanna waste my time on a fic no body likes, or anything.
I know Inuyasha is kind of out of character, but I kind of meant it that way—it's alternate universe, so, that can mean alternate personalities, can't it? Kind of-sort of?
Anyway, I don't wanna take him completely out of character, but he's not gonna be nearly as loud or caustic or abrasive as he is in the anime. When other characters appear, they'll probably end up being out of character, too—so no flames for that! I know they're out of character! It's on purpose!
Oh, and all those colors are real, too—I checked!
Just a little side note—I was reading through the rules about posting stuff, and I saw the rule that said 'No Review Whoring'. I'd just like to say, that that is one of the funniest things I have ever heard. Honestly, Review Whoring? Tell me I'm not the only one who got a stomach cramp from laughing after reading that!
Anyway, I won't 'Review Whore' my story (laughing so hard right now)
But your reviews are appreciated! Very much so!