Disclaimer: I do not Own Inuyasha

I first got this idea when I was reading one of my favorite Sarah Dessen Books, I think it was The Truth About Forever when I was thinking about how all Macy wanted to be was Normal and then I read The Possibility of Fireflies so I kinda put those two stories together with my own visiong in mind and came up with Normal. It was actually Gone With The Bullets that one the vote, but by the time I got to the second chapter there were way too many gliches with the story and then I decided to go with my original plan for The Winter Away and am writing a Naru/Saku fanfic to be posted later and this one was already well planned and I really wanted a hurt/comfort so I did this one.

I hate that we're limited to the amount of characters we can put in a summary so now here is the ENTIRE summary that I'm not allowed to put into the short version.

Summary:

Everyone has a different way of dealing with things. Some may be to get drunk and others may be to cut. But for Kagome all she wants to do is to blend in so she won't be noticed. If she's not noticed nobody will look at her hard enough to notice the sadness swirling behind her blue eyes caused by her horrible excuse of a family. Hard to stay hidden though when the new transfer, talk of the school, won't leave her alone. Inuyasha's way to deal with problems is to face them head on, no avoiding, no beating around the bush. So when he takes an intrest in his new project partner, of course he tries to get her to see things his way.

NoRMaL

Chapter One: Far From Normal

KAGOME'S GUIDE TO NORMALITY

*CLOTHING: Jeans, shorts, tanks, and plain t-shirts. Wearing a t-shirt
with a saying or crazy design may give someone the reason to stop
and want to read your shirt, bringing attention to you. Anything that's
in you can wear as long as it has absolutely no sayings/wacky designs.
So basically Delias is kinda out of the question. It's a popular store but stands out.

*SCHOOL: Hate the bitch of the school, swoon over Mr. Jock. Join some club
that's not weird (archery is fine, friendship club is not). Don't always do
your homework, don't raise your hand in class, only participate if you're
called on, seem bored to death by your teachers, roll eyes at announcements
over the intercom, and pretend to be excited about the upcoming dance. If
for some reason you're asked if you're going always say yes or have a
really believable excuse as to why you're skipping out on the event of the year

*AFTERSCHOOL: Get a part time job. Waitressing, Fast Food, Cold Stones, or
Movie Theater are all pretty normal. If asked what you're doing and you
have nothing planned say studying or babysitting. Go to a party or two just so
you aren't' classified as an anti-partying freak, you really don't want that.

*FRIENDS: You do have to at least have one friend because if you didn't you'd be
classified as a loner and they definitely stick out. Try to grab friends in the
normal category but if you can't (like me; I absolutely love Rin though.) Don't sweat it.
Everybody has an out there friend and this is high-school we're talking about.

*FAMILY: Parents are completely overreacting, they ruin your life, you can't
wait for college so you're out of there—the usual. Your brother is annoying and
pulled some stupid pranks. If you're living my life just lie about everything and
keep friends away from the house as often as possible. The less they know the better.

And Voila! You're normal.

-x-

I have a guide to be perfectly normal. Sounds weird, and it is, but it really works. I got through the hall of school like every other teen and nobody—except Rin and I've worked out how to prevent her from worrying about my home life—really casts me a second glance. I should be insulted that I don't grab anybody's attention because I'm so plain, but I'm not. I'm glad.

Back to the guide of how I live my school life. With this I'm not a total bitch, too nice, not popular, not a loner, not a brain, not an idiot, not a trend setter, or a cry for some serious need of fashion help. This limits me to being the perfect average teen. And it's just what I want to be. Usually people my age are trying to find themselves. They're sixteen and want to rebel against everything that's considered normal and average. Yeah, well, that's not me. So I don't exactly who me is yet since I spend most of my time trying to disappear, but I'm only a Junior so I have a little bit of time to find out. At the moment, though, I just want to blend. A chameleon. Unnoticed.

The reason why, is my family. It's chaotic and out of control and whenever I'm away from home I don't want to think about it. But if someone can see something is wrong they would want to know. So I make sure they don't see anything and blend into the wall. It's just how I deal with my family issues.

My family is…unstable, you can say. It's my mom's third marriage since my dad died and it's on the border line of being her third divorce. Things can get really…loud at home when Mom and Kazuo argue. Then the way mom deals with her sorrows isn't good either. It's only a matter of time before she'll get alcohol poisoning.

I love my mom, but there are rare times when I feel like she's actually my mom. I'm the one tucking her in at night when she passed out on the couch or in the kitchen. I cook dinner for Souta and me. I make sure she pays all the bills when Kazuo leaves for a while, looking for a job or trying to calm down after one of his fights with Mom. I put gas in the car. I make up the excuses as to why she can't make it to work, answer the phone, or go to yet another "stupid damn parent-teacher thingies." I check Souta's homework and make sure his grades are good so he can get into college and not stay here. The last time I felt the motherliness of my own mom was Christmas three years ago, when she first met Kazuo.

Kazuo is a musician—Mom's a sucker for music—and he met my mom when she was covering the music festival. Mom works for the local newspaper and covers community events and entertainment. When she went to cover the festival Kazuo saw her and he played a love song, looking right into her eyes and it was love at first sight. Six months later she married Kazuo who is now my step-daddy.

He actually is a really good dad. He would cook breakfast sometimes and take us all out to some of his band's gigs. He would play me and Souta songs about random things and make us laugh. And when the band held practice at our house, we got to sit and listen and sometimes he's let us play the instruments. He was responsible and helped pay all the bills and bought things for the house—unlike my other stepdads. Mom was actually really happy with Kazuo—Souta and I were too—and we actually had family time. We would go to the movies or bowl and go on family vacations. I actually thought I would never see a bottle of gin by my mom again, but then Kazuo fell into a rut. His band wasn't appealing to the local scene anymore so he wasn't booking gigs so he didn't really have a job. He tried to get one, but everybody wanted somebody with a college education which he didn't have and all the easy jobs weren't hiring. Little money meant unpaid bills which equals a pissed off Mom. That's when the fighting started.

It first started with a nasty comment here and there and later got to the level where the entire neighborhood could probably hear them. Souta and I would sit on the steps and listen to them because it was practically impossible to ignore. Then Mom would say something that cut Kazuo deep and he'd go red with anger and he'd look like he wanted to hit her but he never did. He'd grab his coat, keys, and guitar case and leave, slamming the door behind him. Souta usually went to his room by now but I would sit and watch my mom glare at the door before she moved to the kitchen, grabbing herself a glass and the first bottle of wine her fingers graced.

That's how my mom dealt with the curveballs thrown her way. She didn't go try and fix them or go apologize for the things she did wrong or repent. She'd sit on the couch in the living room, turn to Lifetime, and then drink down her sorrows with the bitter taste of alcohol. Cup after cup she waved goodbye to her troubles until she was light and bubbly. Then she grabbed her own coat and keys and walked out the house. I was terrified when she did that because she may never come back. She would either die in an accident or get caught by the police. Either way I was scared for my mom.

She never seemed to worry about my well being though. Once she came home with another man who did not have the long black hair and green eyes of Kazuo. I was in my room, doing my homework, when I heard the door open and her giggling. I hurried down the steps just in time to see her trip over the arm of the couch and fall back onto the cushions, a man climbing on top of her and she pulled him close.

I never told Kazuo about this though, because I liked him. I wanted him to stay and maybe mom could work things out with him and she'd go back to being happy and we'd have family time again. Then she'd go back to being my mom again. I was afraid that if I told Kazuo Mom cheated on him he'd leave for good and I'd only see more strange men in the house. So to prevent this from happening I started to take the keys and hide them when my mom was drunk. And it worked…for a while.

My mom soon decided when she was going to leave she was going to leave, with or without a car. She'd get up, leave the house and I'd hurry to the window to see her walking—stumbling—down the street. That night I heard her come up the stairs and I cracked my door to see her disappear into her room, a man hot on her tail.

So far my mom has cheated on Kazuo five times in the past two years. He never knows because it's always after a big fight and he stays away for a while. I, for one, am not going to tell him. Kazuo is determined to try to fix their relationship and I am certainly not going to stop him. Unlike my other stepdads he didn't treat my mother like crap—though she isn't very faithful to him—and he is kind and honestly tries.

I know my mom sounds like a real bitch and an unfit mother, but she just needs a little push in the right direction and I'm sure Kazuo will help her. All they had to do was get over this little bump in the road and we'd all be fine. Kazuo is the closest thing I've had to a dad since my real one died and I'm sure it's going to work out somehow.

It has to.

-x-

"You can't yell at me when you missed you deadline for the THIRD TIME!" Kazuo yelled and the entire house shook. "AT LEAST I'M TRYING TO GET A JOB AND KEEP IT!"

I had just walked in the house after my waitressing shift. I could see Souta already in position on the steps watching the two, a worried expression worked on his face. I slipped by the arguing adults unnoticed and took my seat beside him. "What's it this time?"

"Electric bill. Mom had to pay it when she told Kazuo to and she's real pissed. It was pretty bad when I got back from Soccer."

"TRY GETTING A REAL JOB!" Mom screamed her voice cracking a bit due to arguing for a long time and her face was flushed red.

"Oh," I pulled out my math book, calculator, pencil and paper out of my book-bag and began to get started on my homework. I try to get my school work done in between breaks in the crowds at work, but when I can't get it done I learned a while ago to just deal with the yelling when I do my homework.

"Are you hungry?" I asked Souta, looking up from my work to see him still staring at Mom and Kazuo.

"Starving," he answered, not looking away.

I pulled a takeout box out of my bag. "Miroku gave me a box of fries for free; we can share." Miroku was a cook at the restaurant I worked at and he liked to slip me free fries. He was kinda like a big brother figure and good company on the job. I popped open the box and set it between us. As soon as it opened Souta grabbed a handful, stuffing his face with the crispy goodness.

"Thanks," I only nodded and we both ate through the angry shouts of my parents.

"GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!" Mom ordered and I looked up from my homework to see my mom pointing a firm finger towards the door and Kazuo already making a grab for his coat, guitar, and keys.

"I WAS ALREADY LEAVING!" he then swung the door open, stepped out and slammed it shut behind him, a loud boom echoing through the now quiet house.

I stared at the closed door for a minute or two, my hands no longer reaching for fries or writing down answers to my homework. It killed me to see Kazuo leave, there was always a really good chance he'd never come back, he could never help my mom through her issues. His absence also signaled the start of Mom's beer fest.

"Well, the shows over." Souta mumbled standing to his feet. "You want the last of those." He asked me pointing to the remaining fries and I only nodded my eyes trained to my mother's frantic pacing around the living room, her hands running through her hair.

I waited until I heard Souta shut his door, before making my presence known to my mom.

"Mom?"

"Not now, Kagome," she waved me off heading for the kitchen her hands shaking and I quickly got up to follow her. Sure enough she already had out a bottle of wine and her hands searching through the cabinets for a clean dish considering, as usual, she hadn't touched the stack full of dirty dishes while she was home. Finally she gave up her search and just twisted the top of the wine, ready to drink straight from the bottle.

"I...I have some money for the bills." I quickly offered. I learned that the best way to settle my mother was to give her what she wanted and tell her what she wanted to hear. "I...I can start helping out more and that way you and Kazuo won't..." my voice was lost as I watched her tilt her head back as she gulped down the red wine and I knew she wasn't listening to me anyway.

"Don't mention that son of a bitch to me," My mom sneered when she lowered the bottle. "He's not going to be sticking around much longer." she added and my heart instantly dropped, my eyes widening in horror.

"Y-you guys can't get divorced." I urged as I watched her bring the bottle back to her lips. "Wh-what about the bills and...and vacation money...and us. I-I don't think Souta and I could handle another divorce, Mom."

My mother slammed the bottle down onto the table and glared at me and I instantly wanted the ground to open up and swallow me so I could just disappear and avoid the glare of hate my mom was sending me. "I don't care, Kagome." she sneered before storming off to take her seat on the couch.

I looked at her retreating back and I felt tears prick at my eyes as I stared at her absolutely motionless. I should have known.

Mom never cares.

-0-0-0-

Okay that was the first chapter of Normal all nicely revised and it would KICK ASS if you reviewed. Really. You shoot up to 178 trillion on the awesome scale if you review this story. I'll even send you your confirmation letter, so REVIEW! And please thank Hanmajoerin for REVISING when you REVIEW!

~Kimiko888~