A/N: I wrote this because I was pissed off. That's all.
Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah. Don't own InuYasha.
In Her Defense (AU)
Inuyasha straightened his uniform with skillful hands as he absorbed the courtroom into his sharp gaze. He slowly allowed himself to glance at Kouga Ignasaki, who was sitting with his lawyer, a smug expression plastered on his face as he leaned complacently against his chair with arms crossed. Fucking rapist, Inuyasha noted, his brows pointed and furrowed. The thought made his insides feel as if they were about to burst from his flesh. It was disgusting. He bit his lip as Kouga's eyes touched his, and he brushed a hand over his police badge, nodding. It was awkward, the man's composure, so assured, easy. He shook his head. That's the way I'm supposed to look right now. Straightening his stance, he grimaced at the comparison. I'm a better man than that, he thought, laughing. If you can call that bastard a man.
"I don't know if I can…" At the shaky timbre of the woman's voice, Inuyasha turned his head. She was standing on the side of the courtroom opposite of Kouga. Her arms were folded over her ashy locks, and she was pallid, more so than any woman he had ever seen. It was as if someone skinned her life raw until there was nothing left. Of course. Kagome Higurashi, the victim. But he found himself drawn to her eyes, blue, wordless stories of fear and pain; he could see the waiting tears. He sighed as her lawyer, a stout woman of firm carriage, touched her shoulder soothingly.
"You can do this," the lawyer said. "We have him. It's time for you to get your freedom back."
Kagome exhaled unevenly. She knew the woman was right, but as she looked in Kouga's direction, her heart went wild, heat thudding against her neck. She couldn't breathe. Everything he did came pouring into her sight, and she took a step back. It was just five months before that he had been there, licking her skin, chasing her senselessly.
"Come on, Baby. Don't you wanna scream for me? It was so good before." Kouga stood behind Kagome, scraping his teeth over her shoulder and pressing her hard into his wall. "You're a fucking slut, you know that?" he said jeeringly, and he brought his hands to her throat. "If you don't want to scream anyway, why don't I make it so that you can't?" He clenched his grip around her tightly, leaning his body fully into her.
"Please," she managed with eyes snapped shut. "Just let me go… Let me go…"
"Fight me!" he demanded, growling. He threw her to floor and placed a foot on the small of her back. "You know what happens when you don't fight. Do you feel bad now—now that your baby's fucking rotting?"
The hammering of the judge's mallet struck Kagome's ears swiftly, removing her from her nightmares. She began to quake as she bit the inside of her cheek. How had this happened? A drunken mistake to the end of her world—to the loss of precious life. She couldn't stand the idea of it, but it was always there, kissing her every thought with poisonous lips.
"All rise," the judge ordered with another strike of his mallet. His beady, obsidian eyes fell on Kouga. "How do you plead?" As he leaned forward, he watched Kouga nod at his lawyer with a half-smile. An eerie silence grasped the room with cold clutches; everything seemed to darken. "Mr. Fields?" the judge asked the lawyer.
"Not guilty, Your Honor, by reason of self-defense," Mr. Fields said.
The night was stormy. Clouds blanketed the sky as the rain sheeted the ground below. Kagome gripped the gun in her purse shakily, unhurriedly stepping towards Kouga's door, and she could feel her odium for him begin to ignite in the pit of her stomach. With her free hand, she stroked her pregnant belly. This was it. She could finally take a stand for her baby, "his baby." Letting her hand slip from her purse, she slowly knocked on the door, lightning flashing behind her.
"You made it," he said when he swung the door open. She was taken aback; something about him was strange tonight. He was masquerading a grin, but she could see the uneasiness he was hiding. She put on a seductive stare.
"Of course I did." She stepped passed him and turned quickly to look at him, her hair shooting over her shoulder. "You know, I've been thinking about your offer. I changed my mind."
"Really?" His blue eyes narrowed, but kept smiling as he closed the door, moving closer to her. "I think we should celebrate, Baby. Don't you?"
She nodded and reached into her purse. "I brought something for you."
"She came to my home deliberately to kill me," Kouga told Mr. Fields, resting his hands atop the stand, his tanned exterior seeming to glisten in the courtroom light. "It was a game of cat and mouse. I was the mouse, but instead of running, I fought back. I had to make sure she wouldn't pull something like that again." He tossed his ebony tresses back and took a deep breath.
"But why didn't you come to the police if you thought she was going to kill you?" Mr. Fields asked.
"She's a woman. She would've told them some sob story about how I knocked her up and was treating her unfairly. Bullshit! I offered to marry her and take care of her! But since she was the pregnant one, she would've gotten the call."
"Nothing further." The lawyer nodded, backing up and walking back to his side of the room.
Inuyasha felt himself growing ill at ease as he maintained his place next to the stand, rocking himself from his toes to his heels once. He couldn't remove his eyes from Kagome. She looked so helpless, just as incredulous as he was. The man next to him had brutally raped and beaten her. There was all the proof in the world for that. How could the court allow this ridiculous defense? It just didn't seem right. He could feel himself begin to approach her, but he stopped himself. It wasn't his place to give her the comfort she deserved. And he couldn't pinpoint why, but he wanted show her he was on her side. He rolled his shoulders when her lawyer stood, looking straight ahead as he was meant to.
"Mrs. Nataka," the judge noted, "how would you like to proceed?"
"I would like to call Kagome Higurashi to the stand," she said, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose. The judge nodded.
"Your baby was too early, Ms. Higurashi."
"No." Kagome stared at the doctor in unadulterated disbelief. He appeared tired, his wrinkled skin looking ready to fall from his face. Sweat rained across her body, and she pulled the sheets of the hospital bed over her frantically, trying to hide herself, to run from everything. "She's okay, right? Please…" Her voice was tethered to softness, but her volume grew when she spoke again. "She has to make it!"
"I'm sorry," he told her gently. "Your body seemed to be in distress, which is what caused your pre-term labor. It wasn't your fault."
"Oh, my God…" She balled the sheets in her hands, scraping them with her fingernails. Tears ran furiously down her cheeks, and though she fought for it, she couldn't find her breath. "Haven't I paid my debt yet?" she screeched, head aimed at the ceiling. "Is it not enough for you? You didn't have to take her away!"
"I know this is difficult," the doctor began.
"GET OUT!" Kagome glared at all the physicians around her, ignoring their sympathetic gazes. "Now! Leave me the hell alone, you fucking idiots!" She let her palms wander across her face. "Why didn't I just get away?" Her words were quiet, unheard.
"So according to your doctor, his abuse led to the loss of your child?" Mrs. Nataka was careful with her words, speaking slowly and gently. She brushed a finger over her chin, waiting patiently for Kagome's reply.
"Yes," she said finally. She tentatively took a glimpse of Kouga, who didn't seem fazed.
"Objection!" Mr. Fields shouted, proceeding towards the judge. "Your Honor, this case is about Ms. Higurashi's abuse. Mrs. Nataka is clearly making an attempt to avert the jury's attention and make my client appear to be a monster."
"Your client is a monster," Mrs. Nataka hissed under her breath. She moved forward. "Mr. Ignasaki's abuse is what caused her to lose her child, Your Honor. I was merely pointing out a clear connection and noting the devastating effects of said abuse. The aftermath is just as important as the initial acts."
The judge hesitated for a moment. "All right. You may proceed."
When Kouga's lawyer stood to question Kagome, Inuyasha's heart skipped a beat. The man made him sick with his perfect, tailored suit and large designer glasses. For the life of him, he couldn't understand what that man had been thinking when he agreed to defend someone like Kouga. Money, he answered to himself. Even still, it seemed inhuman, twisted.
"Ms. Higurashi," Mr. Fields started, "did you or did you not attempt to murder my client?"
"I…" Everything in her wanted to deny it, but she couldn't.
"Answer the question!"
"He was trying to hurt my baby!" Kagome retorted, her voice quivering, anger crawling through her tone. "I was scared…" She gritted her teeth. "You have the video tapes he made! You saw what he was doing to me!"
"Yes, but those were only documented after the falling-out you two had," he said with eyebrows raised. "My client did not understand what he was doing was wrong. He was protecting himself."
"Bullshit!" Kagome stood, ignoring the judge's pounding mallet. "He knew exactly what he was doing! This started before I tried to off him!"
Mr. Fields laughed. "Really? Where is the evidence of that?" He paused and raised his arms triumphantly. "There is none. The only other sexual encounter that you had that can be proved was the night you conceived, which was, if I'm not mistaken, consensual."
"I was drunk!"
"You were also underage." He gave an exaggerated shrug towards the jury. "But she was of consenting age. And being that my client also had hindered judgment due to alcohol, he was not at fault. Any physical encounters they had afterward cannot be proved."
"Are you kidding me?" Kagome slammed her hands on the stand, kicking her chair behind her. She flashed a dangerous stare at Kouga. "You tormented me for all that time—all that time—and now you're lying about it to save your own ass? I thought you were proud! You practically held me captive! Don't 'cha want to flaunt that?"
The judge stood. "Ms. Higurashi, control yourself or you will be removed from this courtroom!"
Kagome ignored him. "Come on, Kouga!" she demanded. "Why all this cowardice all of a sudden? I thought you were a real man! Isn't that what you told me when you were beating me black and blue and FUCKING ME WITH MY FACE IN THE GROUND?"
As Inuyasha carried her out and through the doors, his face grew flushed. She didn't fight him, instead sinking into his hold. She felt safe—he could tell. It was his favorite part of the job. He loved the automatic trust people had in him, something he'd never experienced before in his own disheveled past. Closing the dark courtroom doors, he released her arm, knowing she wouldn't run.
"Can I do anything for you?" he asked, and he was sure he sounded desperate.
Kagome couldn't help but fall to her knees. Only human. It was so obvious. She sobbed, thrashing her fists on the carpeted floor, shaking her head weakly. Rage was coiling around her every limb; hatred was at its peak. She leaned down and let her head hit the floor, looking up as a hand cupped her chin.
"Kagome…" The way he said her name was so familiar, gentle, infused with casualness. Her eyes met his violet irises; he was smiling a soft kind of smile that was warm enough to dry her tears.
"I'm sorry," she murmured meekly. "I just… He…"
"Hey, hey now… Don't apologize." He pulled her to her feet. "I know," he said, grasping both her hands. "I know. I'm Inuyasha, by the way."
"Ignore the title," he volleyed back. "I'm just a guy." He paused. "And you're a girl I'd very much like to help."
Letting out a sarcastic laugh, Kagome pushed herself away from him. "I'm beyond help," she groaned. "Ugh! He's just… He's such a…"
"Fucking prick?" Inuyasha offered.
"That and so much more." She began walking lamely in circles around the hallway, making note of the decorative paintings that she found to be rather out of place. She sighed. Everything was out of place here, including herself.
"Really, if you need anything, let me know," Inuyasha told her, and he pulled a notepad and pen from his front pocket. "I'll give you my number."
"That's really nice…" She stopped herself for an instant. "…Inuyasha. But really, I'll be fine."
"I insist." He placed the number in her palm, flashing a toothy grin.
"Why?" Kagome expected herself to be afraid. She didn't know him, and despite the fact that he was a police officer, she still found his behavior strikingly odd. But she took the slip of paper between her fingers and placed it in her pocket. When he said nothing, she repeated, "Why?"
"Because you think you're beyond help."
A month later, Kagome still hadn't called; though Inuyasha remained in the courtroom with a watchful eye each time the trial persisted. Kouga's lawyer had become increasingly savage with his defense, and Inuyasha had to fight the urge to strangle the prickly bastard. He was positive it was eating at Kagome's gut. He couldn't find it within himself to keep from becoming fond of the girl. She was so strong, fighting everything the way she was. He couldn't imagine it. Waving a hand at his side, Inuyasha caught her attention from across the room. She forced a smile, but he could tell she was nervous.
As she waved back timidly, Kagome reached to her side, rubbing the paper he'd given her through the material of her skirt. She didn't know what, but it meant something to her. It kept the nightmares away. She glanced at Kouga. Most of them, she thought.
When Kagome took the stand, Mr. Fields slammed a plastic bag in front of her, and he folded his arms pompously. "Can you tell me what's in that bag?" he asked.
"It's a video tape." She swallowed a lump in her throat as he got severely close to her.
He continued. "Do you know what's on it?"
"No," she said shortly. "But I'm sure you're going to tell me."
"Yes, yes, I am," he chuckled, sliding the tape from the bag and facing the jury. "On this tape is documentation of the night Ms. Higurashi tried to murder my client. Why don't we all take a look at this?"
Kagome jerked the gun out of her purse quickly, aiming it between Kouga's eyes. Her breath was ragged, seeming to pulse from her nose and lips. Though her hands were shaking, her glower was paralyzed at his face. She wanted to pull the trigger then—to end it all—but something inside of her stopped her. She just stood there.
"You gonna shoot me or what?" Kouga asked with a slight snort, though he looked unnerved. He approached her cautiously, reaching for something on his table. "Put the gun down, Baby."
"No!" She fired a shot, and then everything went black.
"What the fuck?" Kouga dropped the hammer from grasp, kneeling down to touch the blood pouring from Kagome's head. "I'm sorry."
"So you see?" Mr. Fields gestured at the screen as he stopped the tape. "My client was clearly remorseful for his actions. That was self-defense, which led to confusion and fear. He didn't know what to do. If she hadn't come there for his blood, none of his following acts would have occurred."
Kagome shook her head. "May I ask you something?" she inquired, her head gaze lowered and her hands tucked away in her pockets. She glimpsed his waiting eyes. "Don't you think he could've set this up?"
The lawyer looked sardonically stunned. "Are you suggesting that my client knew you were seeking his life that night? Do you see any way that's possible?"
"Nothing further," he shot back.
Inuyasha sat on his bed months later, his sides throbbing, just like the guilt that was running rivers through his body. He hadn't done anything, but that was the problem. The trial would finally end the following day, but his head felt dark and clouded. Something just wasn't right about it. There was something he was missing. He ran his fingers through his raven-colored mane, stretching his arms over his head and eyeing his cell phone as it vibrated.
"Hello?" he said, answering it slowly. He didn't recognize the number.
He knew immediately. "Kagome." Laughing, he relaxed. "Do you need something?" he asked with a more serious resonance.
"I don't know." Her words were so quiet, and he could her crying on the other end. "I just don't want it to end like this."
"Nothing ever ends the way you think it will," he told her genially. "Just remember that. Don't ever forget."
"How do you find?" As those final words left the judge's mouth, the courtroom was hushed, all eyes on the single juror that stood with the answer. He was such a scrawny man, but he held the most important answer the room was going to hear throughout the case. With almost no hair and tiny eyes, he would have easily seemed unimportant to the outside world. When he began to speak, Inuyasha took a step closer, waiting.
"We find the defendant… Not guilty."
No one said a word because there was nothing to be said. Reporters swarmed Kouga as he proceeded out of the courthouse, plaguing him with question after question. He ignored them, and his eyes darted around the crowd.
Kouga died on the steps that day, a bullet in his head.
"Why did you do it?" Kagome's voice came over the phone like dust, wispy and thin, as she stared at Inuyasha through the glass barrier. Orange was not his color.
"I wanted to help the woman I'd come to love. She was more important than my badge," he said. They smiled at each other as they hung up.
A/N: That's the first oneshot I've written in a long time. I hope you enjoyed it. I'd really like some feedback, so feel free to review. Thanks.