I'm sorry my updates haven't been appearing as quickly as usual, but...I don't know... It just hasn't been happening. I do, however, have some very good ideas and I'm looking forward to writing this chapter. It seems like a lot of fun, AND it's something I've been planning since chapter 1! READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END! IT'S IMPORTANT!

Chapter 8:


It wasn't until Friday that Kagome found out just what it was that Sango was talking about. Needless to say, it took her by surprise. Partially because of the idea itself and partially because she'd forgotten. She'd been curious, true, but by the end of the week things were starting to pile up on her mind ; life at the Hayashi house, exposure to Inuyasha on a regular basis, and most prominently, Ayame. Ayame who would be in the city that evening and who has insisted on spending the night with her best friend.

It hadn't been forefront in her mind before, but as she...settled – sort of – she found herself anticipating the visit more and more. She needed the familiarity, the love, the sense of belonging. She needed her friend here, and couldn't help wondering how it would change things.

How different would the house seem with Ayame in it?

It wasn't until Thursday that Ayame announced she was staying the night. She hadn't bothered to ask if it was alright with the adults, probably hadn't even mentioned it to her father. That was just the way she was. It also probably had something to do with the fact that she'd never had to ask to sleep at Kagome's. Hell, half the time she didn't even knock.

But that was before, she remembered, sobering just slightly at the memories, with her mother. Here in the mansion, she'd bet money that even Ayame would stop and ring the bell.

She hadn't expected the Hayashis to object, but she felt the need to ask permission anyways. She'd asked Izayoi, simply because she's found her first, and hadn't been disappointed. If anything, the woman seemed to be struggling to contain her joy and it made Kagome wonder just what Izayoi's impression of her was anyway? Granted she hadn't known her long, and she hadn't exactly been at her best, but still...

Sure she'd been upset, still was sometimes, but her mom had just died. Had only been dead for two weeks at this point. It was justified. But had she really become such a loser that a middle aged woman was amazed that she had friends?

What would happen if she told her about Sango?

Her guess was spontaneous combustion. But it was just a guess really...

Either way, it was a good thing Izayoi was happy because her feelings weren't reciprocated by the rest of the family when she'd announced it Thursday night. Well..Inuyasha and Shippo, predictably. Taisho had been working late that night at whatever he did...

Just what was it he did anyways?

She made a mental note to ask somebody.

Anyways, Sesshomaru had just finished chewing, swallowed, and looked over at her. She couldn't quite figure out the look he had given her, but it didn't seem cold. Then he'd just nodded, said "alright," and went back to eating.

It was strange, but it beat the other reactions, Inuyasha's being slamming his fist down on the table and yelling, "Not another one damn it!" That earned him a glare and a sharp reprimand from Izayoi.

She hadn't associated much with Inuyasha since that issue at lunch. There had, thankfully, been no more meetings in the bathroom and neither had gone out of their way to talk to one another. He'd laid low for the past few days. She had a feeling he was still sore over the whole public humiliation thing, because his friends hadn't come around either. Koga, and Even Miroku had stayed by him in what she could only assume was a display of brotherly solidarity.

She'd felt his eyes on her though, burning the occasional hole through her back and she had, just for a second, considered feeling the slightest twinge of sympathy. That was, until she remembered Rin. Then her anger reignited, volatile and hot, burning any less that derogatory feelings away into smoke and ash. He didn't deserve them.

Shippo's reaction to the news wasn't any better than his brothers. Eager to copy the boy that was unfortunately his role model, he'd banged his tiny fists against the table.

"No! No more! This sucks on ass!"

"Sucks ass, moron", Inuyasha snorted.

"Inuyasha!" Izayoi screeched.

"What?"

"What? Are you stupid!"

"Yes," Sesshomaru answered from across the table, calmly spreading butter onto a roll, without even looking up.

"Shut up you-"

"You shut up!" Izayoi snapped, "And stop teaching your brother bad language!"

Inuyasha actually looked offended by this. "Why do you assume I taught him that?"

"Where else would he have picked it up."

"How 'bout from her?" He replied, pointing across the table towards Kagome with a scathing glare. Yeah, he was definitely still sore. "I never heard him say anything like that before she came here."

"Of course", Sesshomaru interjected before Izayoi got the chance, "because they have so many deep, heartfelt conversations about sex, drugs and rock and roll."

"What's your damn-"

"Inuyasha I swear to God!"

"And that", Sesshomaru replied, standing to bring his plate to the sink, "Is why she assumes it was you." He then turned dropped his plate off, and continued on to his room leaving the rest of them to argue it out. After several minutes in which her very presence seemed to be forgotten, Kagome followed suit.

That guy really was the smart one.

All of this considered, it was really no shock that she'd forgotten Sango's mysterious little scheme until Sango brought it up in the beginning of first hour on Friday.

"So", she'd grinned, sitting sideways in her chair as so to face Kagome, leaning in conspiratorially. "there's been a change in the plans."

"Plans?"

Sango raised one eyebrow. "You know, the plans. The ones I was threatening you with on Tuesday after Inuyasha was verbally bitch slapped at lunch...which was great by the way."

"So I've been told", she replied, a sense of dread seeping into her as she remember the plans. More importantly how they'd come up; Sango wanting enough time for what would be a long and very strange explanation regarding Kagome's association with Inuyasha. Which would then move onto her living arrangements and her mom and...

She cringed just thinking about it.

She'd kind of hoped Sango would forget about it, much like she had. Let the plans die. But apparently not only had they lived, they'd been altered.

"You know what I'm talking about don't you?"

"About the apparently awesome bitch slap or-"

"About the plans," She replied, her smile growing and curling at the corners in that slightly evil way that was surprisingly un-reassuring.

"Unfortunately yes."

"Good. Anyways, like I said there's been a change." She paused before her curly smile turned into a full blown grin, teeth flashing and everything.

"So the plans I know nothing about have been altered in some vague way that I also know nothing about. Should I be concerned?"

"Maybe. But really it was only for the better."

"Do I ever get to know what they are?"

"You do." She paused again, a thoughtful expression crossing her face. "Well...some of them anyways. The original part actually."

"Um...great?"

"It is great."

"And what is it?" She wondered, trying to assure herself that it wouldn't be anything too horrible. Sango liked her. She wouldn't force her to participate in anything heinous, like an orgy or some sacrificial cult thing. No. It'd be fine. She was sure of it.

"It", she replied matter-of-factly as the tardy bell rang, "is me. I'm staying over tonight at your place." Her grin twisted into a sassy smirk, "Think that'll give you enough time?"

That cult thing was seeming better and better...


"How long are you going to mope?"

"Excuse me?"

Miroku sighed, rubbing his temples."You heard me."

"I'm not moping."

Miroku's face twisted into a disbelieving look. "Are you kidding?" He shook his head, "You've got to be kidding." He turned his gaze back to Inuyasha's , "You've spent the past two and a half days doing nothing but skulk and glare and mutter under your breath. I get it, it was embarrassing, and we – Me and Koga- have devoted our time to hanging with you hoping that maybe, just maybe, you'll build a bridge and get over it. I gave up Sango, Inuyasha. Sango. Granted it's only temporary but-"

"No one made you!" He snapped, unreasonably pissed off. "I'm sure as hell not making you! If you want to stalk her go ahead! It's a damn waste of your time, seeing as she doesn't give a shit about you, but-"

"Shut up", Miroku interrupted, his voice eerily calm, concealing the hurt that had stung his heart at that comment. Particularly at the fact that it was probably the truth. He took a deep breath, reminding himself that this was his friend. That he was just embarrassed and upset, though at what exactly he wasn't entirely sure, and that he just had a habit of lashing out at whoever was around him. He should be used to it already seeing as it was usually Miroku who got hit with it, even more so than Koga. Mainly because Miroku understood this and stayed by him through whatever dark patch had inspired it, no matter how stupid or immature it may be. And because he stayed he got hit with it and often got hurt in the process. It was kind of an ugly cycle.

Besides, he knew Inuyasha didn't mean it. For all his faults he was typically a good friend and the cycle didn't really occur all that often. The last time had been a year ago when Izayoi had fallen extremely ill, around finals week of all times.

That's what confused him the most. What was so extreme about this? What made this situation so horrible? Yes, it was public and embarrassing, but it wasn't like he'd never been schooled by his brother before. Usually in public.

He let his breath out slowly, forcing the sting away before responding. "I stay because, for some reason I can't quite remember at the moment, I'm your friend. And as your nice, concerned, friend, I will honestly tell you that you are indeed moping. And that you need to stop moping. Which I tell you because I'm your friend." He raised his eyebrows. "Get it?"

Yeah. He got it. And it wasn't exactly giving him the warm fuzzies. His behavior in particular. He nodded before sighing, raking his hands through his hair so roughly that it jerked his head back.

"I get it."

"Good."

They were silent for a while, listening to the sounds of the students filing into the room, chattering amongst themselves. Inuyasha broke the silence first.

"You know", he muttered, his voice low and just a little embarrassed, "She might like you..."

Miroku looked over at him, one eyebrow arched, a small half smile on his face, appreciating the attempt. Especially considering the pained look on his friend's face, his obvious discomfort. Extending olive branches was not something he excelled at.

"You think so?"

"Yeah."


"Is this pork?"

"It looks like chicken."

"Liar."

"What?"

"This doesn't look anything like chicken."

"It doesn't look anything like food period."

Sango sent Kagome's food a disgusted look before pointing to a nearby trashcan.

"Ditch it."

"It's my lunch."

"It's not worth it."

"But I'm hungry."

Reaching inside a brown paper bag, Sango extracted a small fruit cup.

"Here. It's low fat and non-toxic."

Kagome took one look at the fruit and immediately slid the slop off her tray, grabbing at the fruit eagerly and heading off to their table under the tree. Sango followed, sparing a glance at the brown slop now splattered in the dirt.

"Is it really okay to just leave it there?"

Kagome shrugged. "Why wouldn't it be?"

"Fine. But when some poor creature ventures a taste and is left to suffer a horrible death you're going to feel really guilty."

She made a face at Sango's imagery, considering, for a moment, the possibility of that outcome. Finally she shook her head.

"No. Small animals won't be dying", she decided as they sat down.

"And how do you know?"

"They'll be able to smell the toxins."

"Fine, retarded animals then."

"Seriously-"

Her retort was cut short as her attention was captured by snippets of a conversation. Putting their intense, ethical, debate on hold, looking up towards the speakers.

It was apparently Botan and Momiji, talking amongst themselves as they passed on their way to...wherever it was they ate. They weren't, however, going to any great lengths to keep their voices down and what had caught her attention had been their topic of conversation.

Rin.

"I don't know what she's trying to do. Does she want our pity or something?"

"Hell if I know. But whatever it is she should just stop now. It's pathetic."

"I know, just look at her."

Momiji had said that, pointing none too discreetly to a spot not too far away. Following her finger, Kagome spotted Rin, sitting on the ground against the trunk of another tree, all by herself. She was seemingly consumed in the task of eating an apple, but by the way her eyes kept flicking to the two girls it was obvious she could hear them.

"It's not really any wonder she doesn't have friends..."

"I know... What do you think she does the rest of the time? Like when she's not at school."

"Yeah... what does she do on the weekends?"

"I don't know..search for a life?"

"Oh! Hey", Botan brightened, smoothly moving to the next topic, oblivious to the damage they'd done. "Have you heard about the party this weekend?"

"Yeah! It sounds so hot."

And then, just as quickly as they'd appeared, they were gone in a flurry of hair flips an hand motions. The people who'd heard them, however were either whispering or giggling, occasionally sending glances Rin's way, sometimes bursting into giggles afterwards.

Rin was focusing unnaturally on her apple, as if hoping to disappear, like a worm, into it.

Kagome sighed in frustration, watching the girl deflate before her eyes. She'd been so happy in gym class. For the past few days she'd been bouncy and smiling, as if nothing had ever happened. As if Inuyasha had never yelled at her and she'd never been crying. She'd just kept smiling with that gap between her front teeth, lisping slightly when she spoke. Always upbeat.

She wasn't smiling now and for the same reason it had before, Kagome found it bothering her.

Sango as if sensing this, caught her friend's eyes. She'd heard the conversation too.

"We can fix that you know."

"It wouldn't disrupt the plans?"

"Nah."

Standing, Kagome approached the girl.

She noticed the feet first, stopping in front of her, and looked up in surprise when she saw it was Kagome. Her eyes were still wary though. As if she didn't totally trust her to be nice to her again, expected her to mock her like the other seemed to do.

Kagome stood there a moment, shifting awkwardly, before just saying it.

"I don't know about a party, but Sango's spending the night at my house tonight, if you want to come too."

The girl blinked, honestly shocked by the proposal, before nodding, her mouth turning up, just enough to see the gap in her teeth. "Yeah. I'd like that."


"He's still moping?"

"Yes."

"You know, I'm right here."

"Good", Koga replied, "Than you can hear us complaining."

"I've heard you complaining all day."

"And yet you never stopped to wonder why."

"I know why!"

"Because you're moping."

"I-" He bit off his denial, glancing over at Miroku. No, he didn't want a repeat of this morning. It was bad enough he was short tempered and pissy, the last thing he needed was uncomfortable feelings of guilt.

"The problem,"Miroku cut in, "Isn't so much that he's moping-"

"Actually yeah, it kind of is."

"- so much as why he's moping."

"Because he's a little bitch?"

"I'm still right here you asshole!"

Koga just scowled, resisting the urge to flip him off. He wasn't happy his friend was upset, but seriously. It wasn't that big of a deal. Not to mention he was already annoyed with him for something else that wasn't a big deal.

Kagome.

He'd been watching her, in a not creepy way, since the first day she'd shown up. Which was the first day Inuyasha had started all his bitching. The first thing he'd noticed was that she was pretty. And she was. Her hair was long and shiny, the kind of hair he couldn't help but want to touch. To run his fingers through, to see if it was as soft as it looked. The kind that fueled the fantasies he'd allowed himself about his hands in her hair, his most recent being while it fell down around them like a curtain, while she looked down at him, straddling his waist...

It also helped that she had a pretty face, wide eyes, full lips. Or that her body wasn't half bad either. It was probably more impressive than he imagined, but he wasn't certain since she seemed determined to keep it covered by that damn black, hoodie.

That was another thing that had attracted his attention; her penchant for black clothing. It was such a stark contrast between all the rest of the girls here, except maybe for Sango, but Miroku already had dibs on her. He wouldn't poach his friend's girl.

The point was he was interested, more so after hearing her speak, discovering that she was smart and clever too. And the way she'd told off Inuyasha...

Was it wrong to be turned on by a girl telling off your friend?

Yes, he was definitely interested in Kagome Higurashi, and would have made a move already if not for his psycho friend hating her guts, convinced she was the devil spawned from his own personal hell just to torture him.

Seriously. He needed Inuyasha to just get a grip.

So that he could get a date.

"Look!" Miroku exclaimed, nipping their fight in the bud, "Regardless of who's a little bitch or a big asshole or whatever, Inuyasha's moping basically goes back to him being unhappy right? He's unhappy so he mopes."

"So?"

"So," Miroku grinned, reaching into his pocket. He extracted a folded up sheet of neon blue paper that unfolded into a flyer. One announcing a party.

"What's that?" Inuyasha frowned, taking it from him to read.

"It", Miroku replied, "Is a flyer. But not just any flyer, oh no, a flyer for a party. A party at Bankotsu's."

It was a widely known fact that Bankotsu Sasukai threw the best parties in the entire school. They were wild, crazy, and open to anyone who managed to hear about them. While there were flyers, it was against school rules to put them up, or even to distribute them. Not that it stopped anyone really, they were just forced to become more crafty.

Either way, it was going to be a blast.

"Holy shit!" Koga exclaimed, snatching the flyer from Inuyasha's grip, to stare at it himself, as if checking to make sure it was real.

"It's his first party of the year. The first party of the year, undoubtedly filled with drugs, alcohol, and very loose women," Miroku's grin had gone from smug to just plain excited, "And we're going to be there."

"Dude", Koga said again, turning to Inuyasha, waving the flyer in his face, "If this doesn't cheer you up nothing will."

He slapped the waving paper away, but had to admit, he was definitely looking forwards to this.

He'd be crazy not to be.


"Hey, um, is it okay if two more of my friends come over tonight?"

"Hell no!"

"Inuyasha!" Izayoi snapped, shooting him a withering glare, "I swear to God, when your father gets home..."

Kagome frowned at that. Not at the reaction, she'd anticipated the reaction, but that Taisho had yet to return from whatever it was he was doing.

She turned her attention back to Izayoi, who once again seemed freakishly happy at this announcement. "Of course you can dear. This is your home now, your welcome to have your friends over any time."

She didn't bother to correct her about the 'home' statement, but spared her a smile anyways.

"No way! My friends are coming over tonight! I don't want the house over run by a bunch of stupid girls waiting for Justin Timberlake to bring sexy back. I'll tell you now it's going to take one hell of a long time!"

"Are you gay?" The question came from Sesshomaru, causing Inuyasha to choke on the sip of soda he'd just drank and Izayoi's eyebrows to fly up into her hairline.

"Are you fucki-"

Izayoi slammed her palms down hard on the table, standing up quickly. "Inuyasha! If you want any freedom whatsoever until you're thirty you will clean up your language and be polite!" She pointed towards Shippo, who'd been sitting there watching the whole thing, overjoyed that they were having spaghetti for dinner, his elation warring with his anger at Kagome. "And stop corrupting my baby!"

Shippo frowned. "I'm not a baby."

"What about him?" he argued, pointing his finger accusingly at Sesshomaru, "How come you never yell at him?"

"Because he never gives me a reason to! And don't you speak to me that way or you won't have your friends over here after all."

"Fine. But I don't see why he gets away with calling me a fag-"

"Language," her tone was firm, warning. He shrank back a little in his chair, knowing (eventually) when to fold. He'd have loved to fight this out, but he couldn't afford it. Not tonight. He needed his friends here so that they could sneak away tonight.

The party would be worth the defeat.

Still, it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

"You asked for it", Sesshomaru stated calmly, twirling spaghetti around his fork. For some reason, Kagome couldn't help but find the sight somewhat humorous. "You have to be the only teenage boy I've ever met whose actually upset about being surrounded by girls." he raised one eyebrow. "Is there something you need to tell us?"

"Why you-"

His retort, which would have probably resulted in his immediate grounding, was cut off by the chime of the doorbell.


OH MY FUCKING GOD! I WROTE THIS ENTIRE THING IN ONE SITTING! MY BACK HURTS SO BAD RIGHT NOW. AND IT'S 3:00 AM...I NEED SLEEP... Anyways, I'm not sure how fast the next few chapters will come out but it should be fairly soon. My writer's block is now gone as I realized, turning out this chapter. Anyways, when I said I was looking forward to this chapter in the beginning it wasn't quite this one. I enjoyed this one, but the next one will be great. See, I have this scene in my head and I thought it would be In this chapter, but it ended up being too long. Anyways, this pretty much sets up the scene. Whatever, I'm rambling, but I'm really looking forwards to the next chapter myself so there shouldn't be too long of a wait.