A brief word or two about this fic…it has a contemporary American setting. I have never been to Japan and doubted I could set a story there without sounding like a complete dumbass, so opted for familiarity. The characters will all be somewhat OOC, but I will try to retain the basics. There will be foul language (Kagome's got a potty mouth), drug and alcohol references, and frank discussions and descriptions of sex. If you are too young or any of the aforementioned warnings are worrisome, this is probably not your cup of tea. I hope everyone else will give it a try and enjoy.
Kikyou and Inuyasha-Shaped Holes in My Heart
Kagome Higurashi was sitting in front of her sewing machine, trying to finish the binding on her quilt before her sister and brother-in-law went on their date, leaving her to babysit her niece, when she realized her bobbin had run out of thread. "Dammit," she said. Always willing to interpret a random event as a sign to quit early, take a nap, or have a drink, she went down the stairs to the main part of the apartment, just as her sister, Kikyou, was coming out of the steamy bathroom, long, dark hair still damp.
"Kagome, does this dress look okay? It's a little more revealing than I'm used to." The sundress was blue silk, extended to just above the knee, and had a tight and low-cut bodice.
"You look fabulous, dahling. Inuyasha's going to shit his pants when he sees you. It's new. Did you get it in New York?"
"Yeah, he actually picked it out. They should be back from the park any minute. We've got to leave a little early; I need to stop at Drew's and sign some papers. What are you and Rin going to do tonight?" Kikyou started trying on shoes in front of the mirror in her bedroom.
Kagome flopped back on her sister's big bed. "We're going to make stir fry together, then I think she wanted to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That actually works out, because I need to sew some beads on that tapestry, and I can sew and watch at the same time. What movie are you going to see?"
"Inuyasha's been dying to drag me to Grindhouse. These black ones, or the blue sandals?"
"Umm…blue. You'll like the movie." Kagome paused, wrinkling her brow in contemplation. "I think. The first part's awesome. I had some feminist issues with the Tarantino contribution; it'll probably drive you crazy."
"Yes, Inuyasha already told me I need to leave my National Organization of Women membership card at home. It'll be fun though; he's kid-in-a-candy-store excited to see it again. You're a peach for babysitting so much lately. I don't what we'd do without you."
"You know I don't mind. I love being with Rin. Besides, what else would I be doing on a Saturday night?"
Kikyou sounded exasperated. "Ah, going on a date, maybe? It's been way over a year since you got laid. How much longer is this self-imposed exile from the y-chromosome going to last?"
"Can I help it if I prefer dildos and imaginary men? Imaginary men don't leave the toilet seat up, hurt your feelings, have morning breath, or cum before you've gotten off."
"You've got to take chances, Kagome. If I had that attitude when Inuyasha and I started dating, he wouldn't have lasted a week." They heard the sounds of footsteps and laughter in the stairway. "Speak of the devil's spawn himself."
A handsome man with long white hair, golden eyes, and a small child riding on his shoulders ducked into the room. "Ladies," he greeted, then saw his wife. "Oooo Kikyou, that dress…how 'bout we skip the movie and bump uglies instead?"
"Tender ears, Inuyasha."
"Mommy, you look pretty!" said the happy, dark-haired little girl.
"Thank you, sweetheart. I feel pretty. How was the park?"
"Daddy pushed me so high on the swing I thought I was gonna barf!"
"That sounds fun," Kikyou said warmly, but raised her eyebrows at her husband.
"How was the dog?" Kagome asked. "He didn't eat anything gross, did he?" Inuyasha had taken Kagome's Wolfhound to the park with them.
"He was great. Such a kid-magnet. Good thing he's so mellow. Alright Rin, time to get down." Inuyasha grabbed the girl by the waist, gave her a little toss, and caught her.
Rin giggled. "Do it again!" Inuyasha threw her up in the air, caught her, and dropped a happily shrieking Rin on the bed next to Kagome. They were joined a moment later by a huge black dog, water dripping from its mouth.
"Eeee! I'm being bombarded!" Kagome squealed, as her dog licked her face. "Oberon, stop!" she laughed.
Inuyasha pulled Kikyou to him and kissed her. "You look good enough to eat," he whispered in her ear.
"Ahh…I'm feeling very edible. But you'll have to wait until after we get home," she whispered back.
Kagome succeeded in fending off her attacker and wiped her face. "Rin Rin are you hungry yet? We can start dinner soon if you are."
"I'm a little hungry. Can we go get ice cream after? "she asked hopefully.
"If you eat well, absolutely."
"What are you having?" Inuyasha asked.
"Shrimp and asparagus stir fry," answered Kagome. "I got the asparagus from the farmers' market this morning."
"Eeewwww. I'm glad I won't be here." Inuyasha had a slight aversion to green food.
"But Daddy, you said asparagus makes your pee smell funny."
"Doesn't mean I want to eat it."
Kikyou fluffed up her black hair and slung her bag over her shoulder. "We should get going." She went to her sister and daughter, sprawled on the bed, kissing them both. "Have fun you two. Rin Baby, don't take advantage of your aunt. Bedtime after the movie. I love you."
"I love you, Mommy."
Inuyasha kissed Kagome on the cheek. "See ya, sis. Love ya."
"Love you too, Yasha," Kagome replied.
Inuyasha picked Rin up. "My own sweet girl. I had fun at the playground with you. I'll see you in the morning. And what do you do if the zombies come?"
"Go for the brains," Rin chanted.
He smooched her loudly on the cheek. "That's my girl."
"Inuyasha!" scolded Kikyou. "You'll give the child nightmares."
"But she needs to be prepared for the onslaught of the living dead," he protested. "I'm being a responsible parent."
"Out, you two!" Kagome herded them down the steps. "Rin dolly, do you want to peel shrimp or wash asparagus? And what music should we listen to?"
"I want to wash, and I think we should listen to…" she thought for a moment, "what were you listening to this morning?"
"Toots and Maytals?" Rin shrugged and nodded. "Alright Funky Kingston, I can get my reggae on again today. For a kid, you have remarkably good taste."
Kagome had just finished working on the tapestry that had been commissioned by a trendy new restaurant and was pouring a glass of wine, when a shrill, terrified scream split the night quiet. She hurried down the hallway into her niece's room.
"Rin, honey. Rin, it's okay. I'm here." Kagome sat on the bed and pulled the crying little girl into her lap.
"Kagome! Something's wrong with Mommy and Daddy!"
"Honey, it's okay. I'm right here. It was just a bad dream," she soothed.
"No! Something's wrong!" Rin sobbed hysterically.
Kagome held her niece's shaking body tightly, rocking and stroking her hair, softly chanting "Sssshhhh" until the child quieted.
"There sweetie. Okay? Just a bad dream. Do you want to talk about it?"
"It wasn't just a dream! Something happened to Mommy and Daddy! Something bad."
"Okayokay honey, I believe you." Kagome didn't want her to start panicking again. "They'll be home pretty soon. Do you want me to call them?"
"Uh huh," Rin nodded.
"Here, my phone's in my pocket. I'll put it on speaker." They both waited while the ringing went on until Kikyou's voice mail message started. Kagome hung up. "I bet they turned off the phone when they were at the movie and forgot to turn it back on," she said with a confidence she didn't feel. "How would you like to sit on my lap in the living room? You'll be the first thing they see when they walk through the door. Okay? I'll hold you, and you can go back to sleep and wake up as soon as they get home."
"Okay," she sniffed. "Kagome, I'm scared."
"I can tell," Kagome said gently, "but honey, I'm right here. I won't let anything bad happen to you. Which stuffed animal friend do you want?"
"Wonton and Ginger." Rin grabbed her plush pandas as Kagome wrapped her in a light blanket and scooped her up.
"Do you need to go to the bathroom or anything as long as we're up?"
"Drinkawater," Rin yawned.
Half an hour later, Kagome was settled on the couch, Rin sleeping in a nest of pillows next to her. She had tried reading, but couldn't concentrate, so she looked in the box containing her knitting projects. A scarf. Perfect. No counting stitches, no looking at a pattern, just simple knitting she could do in her sleep, while waiting for her sister and brother-in-law to return. She turned down the volume on her phone, so not to wake Rin and noticed the time. Almost midnight. She did a quick calculation. If they saw a 7:00 movie, dinner at 9:30 or 10...not too late. No need to worry. Yet. But she had to be honest, Rin's fear bothered her. The girl had a strange ability to sense people's emotions and was rarely wrong.
After an hour of knitting, Kagome began to worry anew. Always-responsible Kikyou would normally have called by now. Rin's restless sleep was doing nothing to calm her nerves. She dialed her sister's cell again. Still no answer. She tried Inuyasha's phone. No answer. Kagome felt a sinking dread. Suddenly her phone vibrated. Oh thank god, she thought, but the caller ID indicated it was her friend, Kanna. "Hello?"
"Kagome? It's Kanna." She sounded upset.
"Hang on a sec." Kagome got up and went into the next room. "Kanna, what's wrong?"
"Kagome, I'm at work. At the hospital...in the ER. Kagome...oh god...there's been an accident. Kikyou and Inuyasha were brought in a little while ago. Kagome, I'm so sorry. They didn't make it."
"What?" she croaked.
"Kagome, I'm sorry. They're dead."
"What? Are you…are you sure?" Kagome asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, honey I'm so sorry. I want to come over, but I can't leave. We're totally understaffed tonight, and I'm afraid Nurse Ratched'll fire me if I don't finish my shift. You shouldn't be alone. I'm going to call Sango; I'm sure she'll come right over."
"Kanna, are you sure it's not a mistake?" Kagome was doing all she could not to cry.
"I'm positive. God Kagome, I'm so sorry. I'll call Sango now. Is Rin asleep?"
"Oh god, Rin. What am I going to tell her?"
"Honestly I don't know. Some version of the truth? I'm going to go now. I'll call Sango. You'll be alright. We're all going to help you, okay? Bye."
Kagome stood in the dark room, not comprehending the enormity of what she'd just been told. Her twin sister and her best friend. The two most important people in her life were suddenly no longer in it. There was a noise behind her, coming from the doorway. She turned around and saw Rin's shape silhouetted against the dimly lit hallway. Kagome went to her and enfolded the girl in her arms.
"They're not coming home, are they?"
"No sweetie, they're not." Kagome sat on the floor with her niece, and the two cried in each other's arms.
Sango unlocked the door to the second floor apartment shared by Kagome, Kikyou, and Inuyasha with the spare key that was kept under a potted plant. Both Inuyasha and Kagome had an unfortunate habit of either losing or forgetting keys. She went up the stairs and was greeted by Kagome's huge black dog. "Hi Obi," she said, scratching him behind the ears. "Let's go find Kagome."
No one was in the living room, so she went into the next room, Kikyou and Inuyasha's bedroom. Kagome was sitting on the bed, her face buried in a pillow. Rin, arms wrapped around another pillow, was sleeping next to her. Sango quietly walked in and put her hand on Kagome's shoulder. Kagome lifted her head, brown eyes puffy and bloodshot.
"Their pillows smell like them." She got up and clung to her friend.
Sango smiled sadly. "Do you want to go sit and talk?"
"Yeah. I think Rin'll sleep for a while."
The women sat in the living room. Kagome grabbed a tissue and blew her nose. "Do you want a glass of wine or anything?"
"Maybe in a bit. How'd Rin take it?"
"Better than me. Actually she already knew. She woke up screaming, saying something bad happened to them."
"Poor thing. That must have been frightening."
"She really doesn't understand. She knows my parents are dead. But she doesn't get it, death. Shit, she's only four. For that matter I don't understand either. Did Kanna tell you anything?"
"Drunk driver, going the wrong way on the highway. It happened in the tunnels. They didn't have a chance."
"Jesus Christ." Kagome looked stricken. "I feel like it's my parents all over again. Drunk driver…snowstorm. Just insignificant details with the same outcome, except now it's Rin left without a mom and dad." She reached down and petted the dog at her feet. "I just can't believe it. I feel like they'll walk through the door any minute. They'll ask about Rin, how she went to bed, talk about the movie, complain about East End traffic. You know though, at least they died happy. They really were happy. They started talking about having another kid when Kikyou's tour was over." She shook her head. "It's so surreal." She looked at her friend. "Sango, I'm scared. When the reality of this sinks in…I'm just going to lose it." Kagome let out a shaky breath. "But I can't. I have to think of Rin."
"Honey, we will all help you. You have been there for us so many times. We are going to get you through this. You're not alone." She reached over and squeezed Kagome's hand.
Kagome quickly swiped at the tears that had come back. "I'm going to get a glass of wine. Would you like one?"
"Sure, but you stay put. I'll get it. Red or white?"
"White. It's in the fridge." Kagome handed Sango her empty wine glass.
When Sango returned Kagome asked, "How's Miroku? Did he mind you coming over?"
"No, not at all. He'll be by later in the morning. He's in shock. I think he was probably glad to be alone. We all grieve differently."
"What about your grieving? You seem pretty well entrenched in psychotherapist mode. You're not at work you know."
Sango smiled. "I know. I'm trying to be a good friend by not flipping out. I had a long cry when Kanna called. I guess I'm in shock too." They were quiet for a few minutes.
"God, Sango, I don't want to sound selfish, but what am I going to do? Our landlord told us a couple weeks ago he wanted to sell the building, but he would give us an opportunity to buy first. We thought with Kikyou's album about to come out and Yasha's business taking off, we'd be able to finally become homeowners. There's no way I can afford it on my own. Hell, I won't even be able to afford the rent anymore. We're going to have to move. Poor Rin. This is all she knows."
"It'll work out. Kids are stronger than you realize."
"Thank god I got my column finished early this week. How often does that happen? Usually I'm working all night to make deadline." Kagome had a sex-advice column in the local independent weekly newspaper.
"Anything good in your column this week?"
"There's the typical 'my girlfriend cheated on me how do I know if I can trust her' and the ridiculous 'my boyfriend wants to have a three-some with another girl will this make me a lesbian' and the interesting 'my husband likes me to dress up like a librarian and dominate him is this normal.'"
Sango snickered. "And how did you answer?"
"Short version—you don't, no, and yes. Okay maybe not normal, but pretty vanilla when it comes to adventures in role playing. Of course I stretch all this sage advice over hundreds of words. Jeez, as big a pain-in-the-ass as the column can be, I think it will be a welcome distraction over the next few weeks."
"Well if you need a break, I don't mind guest writing. No one would have to know." Sango had a secret desire to try her hand at Kagome's column.
"No offense, darling, but you are nowhere near perverted enough. Miroku on the other hand…"
Sango brought out the wine bottle and refilled glasses. Kagome realized something. "Crap, Sango! I forgot about all that funeral stuff. I have no idea what to do. When Mom and Dad died Souta took care of everything." She sighed. "I need to call him. Shit. Goddam, I want a cigarette…more than I have in three years."
"No, you don't. You went through and put all your friends through hell when you quit. Don't go there."
"Yeahyeahyeah, you're right. I still want one." She realized something and struck her forehead with the palm of her hand. "I need to call the Taishous. Fuck. What do I say? 'Hi, it's Kagome, remember me? Sorry for calling so late. I know you hated my sister and disowned Inuyasha, but they're dead now. Thought you'd want to know.'"
"Do you want me to call?"
Kagome looked at Sango gratefully, then shook her head. "No, thanks. It's something I need to do. I don't even know how to get ahold of them; I doubt they're listed in the book. Inuyasha talked to his brother two or three times a year. I should be able to find his cell number in the office."
Kagome found the number she wanted relatively easily. She went back into the living room and curled up on the couch. "It was in a somewhat obvious place. He actually had a folder labeled 'Assholes I Hate'; it was the first place I looked, since he frequently referred to Sesshoumaru with that precise epithet, but it wasn't in there. It was in the folder labeled 'Necessary Evils'. Seems kind of cruel now that Yasha's developing organizational skills, albeit completely warped ones, he's killed." She smiled, then frowned. "Is that totally morbid, to joke around?"
"No, you cope however you need to."
"Should I call them now? Is it worse to call at three a.m. or worse to wait a few more hours?"
"I think you should at least try to leave a message. You need some privacy. I'll go check on Rin."
Sesshoumaru Taisho's cell, lying nearby on his nightstand, began to ring at 3:10. He frequently received international calls at odd hours, so he picked it up, but didn't recognize the number. He saw the time, that the number was local, and decided to ignore it. The phone finished ringing as he rolled over. A minute later there was the tone indicating a message had been left. I'll get it at a more reasonable hour, he thought as he fell back to sleep. Two minutes later the phone rang again. Goddam it, same number.
"What is it?" he answered unhappily.
"Um…hello? This is Kagome Higurashi."
"Who?" he demanded.
Kikyou. His brother's wife. "Yes. I'm sorry. I was asleep."
"I know. I'm sorry," the tired voice apologized. "Um…Kikyou and Inuyasha were in a car accident a few hours ago. They were killed."
"What? Kagome, I'm sorry, did you say they were killed?"
"Yes. I can't talk now," the voice on the other line started to crack. "I need to cry. I'll call you tomorrow, today I guess. Sorry…" She hung up.
Sesshoumaru hoped it was a joke. He found a number in his contacts list.
"Are you busy? I need some information."
"I'm sitting in front of a motel that charges by the hour, waiting for a councilman to come out with his hooker so I can take their picture. If I can find out what you want by phone, I'm not busy."
"Call your informant with the police. Find out if there's been an accident involving my brother and his wife."
Twelve minutes later Sesshoumaru answered his phone. He hated using Naraku, but the man, though completely morally depraved, had his uses.
"Sorry man. Head-on collision. D.O.A. Drunk driver killed too. Cops said it was a bad one. Highway will be closed 'til noon, maybe later. Hang on…gotta go; they're coming out."
Sesshoumaru sat on the edge of his bed, rubbing his temples. He and his brother were not close; in fact they ended up arguing nearly every time they spoke, which wasn't often. But he was his brother. Inuyasha. He shook his head sadly. The news was going to destroy his mother. He knew she wanted to reconcile ever since the child had been born, but his father was too stubborn. He wouldn't take it well either.
Sesshoumaru put on a silk robe and went to the area of the Taisho mansion where his parents' room was located and softly knocked on the door. This would not be easy.
Four hours later he sat in the sunroom. The mid-May morning brought brightness, but it was noticed by no one in the house. The housekeeper walked in and set the breakfast tray on the table. "Sesshoumaru, I've brought your coffee and a beignet. Please tell me if you need anything else."
"No, thank you, Anita. I'm fine. See to my mother the rest of the day."
Sesshoumaru opened his laptop and by-passed The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times in favor of the local paper's website, something he'd never done.
INDIE ROCK PRINCESS DEAD IN FIERY CARWRECK
Local musician and member of indie-rock band Arrow, Kikyou Higurashi, 28, was killed in a collision last night with husband Inuyasha Taisho, 29, son of real estate magnate Ken Taisho. Sesshoumaru rolled his eyes at the amateurish grammar and journalism of the local paper. The accident occurred at 11:30 pm when an alleged drunk driver, Billy Wayne Houchens, entered Interstate 36 going the wrong way and struck Higurashi head on in the Park Hill Tunnel. They were pronounced dead at 12:30. Houchens was also killed. The wreck and resulting fire have closed Interstate 36 westbound. Arrow is due to release their third album, Jewel Uncorrupted, next week and had just been seen Monday night on The Late Show with David Letterman. Higurashi and Taisho have one daughter, Rin. Higuarshi is also survived by sister, Kagome. Taisho is survived by father, Ken, mother, Rose, and brother, Sesshoumaru.
Sesshoumaru closed his laptop and looked up as his father and his father's doctor walked into the sunroom. "How is she?" he asked.
"Resting comfortably. For now." Ken Taisho slowly shook his head. "I should have listened to her years ago. I hope she can forgive me. Now all she's thinking about is the child. Have you heard from that Higurashi woman yet?"
"No. It's early. If I haven't heard from her by noon I'll call."
"I need to talk to Kagura. I'd like her to file a petition right away to get guardianship of the child. Remind me, what is her name?"
Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes. "Her name is Rin, Father. Do you think that's wise?"
"Getting our hands on that girl is the only way your mother will forgive me for keeping Inuyasha away all these years. And that woman can't raise a child. She's an artist or something for god's sake. Trust me, she'll be happy to be free from the responsibility. If not, I'll just throw a little money at her. Those types are all alike."
Sesshoumaru sighed with disgust. Once again his father was making assumptions that would, no doubt, come to haunt them all. He was certain Kagome Higurashi would not relinquish her niece to them for any amount of money.
Forgive the sadness, character death, etc. Sparks, laughter, and love will follow. Thanks for reading. I do not own Inuyasha, nor do I own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grindhouse, NOW, Toots and the Maytals, Funky Kingston, The New York Times, or The Wall Street Journal.