Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, or anything of Rumiko's for that matter. So put down the gun, Takahashi; I've just removed myself from you and your lawyer's hit list. Like the hit lists that might appear in this story, which is rated "M" for language, suggestive themes, violence, and sexuality! Go me, for my great writing and—! *gets shot at* SHIT, NEVER MIND!

Disclaimer2: Full-Metal Alchemist inspired this chapter's title.

(PS: Demons age like humans in this. Ya dig?)

Summary: Kagome Higurashi is an agent for the FBI, exceeding most others in the ranks, even though she spends most of her hours behind a desk or taking photos due to her early, temporary, forced "retirement" from the field. The reason for her break is unknown, depressing adrenaline-junkie Kagome even further as she's forced to dream of something more lively than paperwork. Meanwhile, Inuyasha is a hotshot in the mafia, more notorious than any other mobster, and a professional of firearms, swords, and mortal combat, going on assassination missions almost every night. He breathes his job, knowing all there is to know in almost every situation, though his human heart has its regrets. But in an investigation and party gone wrong, both are set up and labeled as traitors, shunned by their own sides; for their "betrayals", the FBI sets on arresting and punishing Kagome while the mafia's desperate to end Inuyasha's life. Kagome and Inuyasha begin to depend on each other in order to live through this nightmare, having only a few others as their allies as they're on the run, on the news, and hot on their enemy's trail, all the while sharing a majorly rocky relationship. But will things take a turn for the worst, the stakes getting even higher, the tension striking hot, when they unexpectedly, unwillingly begin to fall in love…?

This story is dedicated to MegamanSora,
who's been asking for this story for quite a while.


Act I: A Forecast for Rain

Scene 1: "The Feminine Voice"

(October 1st, Right Before Midnight,
on the Abandoned Downtown Area Streets)

The target ran hard, fast, and endlessly, shooting almost incoherent, unimportant words into his cell phone, trying to get a message across to someone he called "honey". His chaser didn't understand why the idiot wasn't calling the police, but he did know all that he could hear was that the man was telling the person, most likely female, "I'm going to die." He informed her of where he was and how much he loved her. All the chaser could think was that if this chick was gonna go to the target's location, then that saved the man's chaser the trouble of putting his body out in the open, didn't it?

The target ran until there was no more air left to breathe. He ran until his muscles cramped and his body not only ran out of oxygen, but water as well. He ran with all his might until pain shot throughout him for a millisecond before he felt nothing. Despite all that, the main cause for his stop was not exhaustion, but in fact a bullet to the neck.

A nearly silent "damn" could be heard through the stony air.

His killer stood over his body, actually panting for some air. Never before had a mortal weakened him, much less ran so far during a chase. It'd actually drained some of the assassin's energy—something that only happened with demons, who were able to scuttle over water if they wanted to. Demons, after all, were the strongest beings on Earth, half-demons being right next to them and on top of humans. But under certain circumstances, the assassin was much weaker tonight, thus was equal to his target's strength and abilities. And that made his mission more difficult to complete.

After stuffing his gun back into his ripped jeans, the assassin quickly sent a message to his group, announcing his success. Then, still gasping, he looked down at the dead man with black hair and wide blue eyes. Blood seeped into his clothing, soaking it up from the ground and from his skin as the liquid trailed down his flat back. The assassin had to say, he felt slightly sorry for killing the guy. Though he didn't know anything about the deceased man except his appearance and regular locations, the much-alive man shook his head, shocked that this man's only fault had probably been his job and some mix-ups. But, being in the mafia and all, it didn't surprise the hired gun that such a seemingly innocent man was killed for the smallest of reasons.

Stupid human emotions, he scoffed. They're making me weak. If there'd been so much as a slither of the moon that night, the scene would've appeared gloomy. But, with having to kill people as much as he did, he faced death numerous times and shouldn't have felt any remorse for his actions.

But he did.

A voice cried out into the night, asking for the probably-dead man to respond to them—it most likely belonged to the girl he'd been talking to, wanting to find him before it was "too late". Of course, without his demonic senses, the assassin was unaware of how far the woman was away, and if his target was really dead yet. With a few glances back at his maybe-deceased target, the concealed assassin wearing all black pounced off into the night, only to have a strand of his long hair catch onto something. Cursing that he was in a hurry, he ripped away, continuing his rampage by jumping from rooftop to rooftop, regretting ever joining this business in the first place.

Scene 2: "A Love for Danger"

(Earlier that Day, October 1st, 3:00 PM,
in the Bullet Room at FBI HQ)

Echoes of bullets rang through the air, though the shooter barely registered them with her soundproof headphones on. The deadeye woman was petite and slim, at first glance confusing her enemies with her oddly feminine and feeble appearance, though her skills with firearms showed strongly otherwise. Dressed in a sharp pencil skirt and white blouse, she screamed womanhood whereas her wavy, waist-length raven locks were hand-attracting and her warm yet vivid chocolate, sapphire-flecked eyes made people melt on the spot. Overall, she was charmingly attractive, though the smallest details declared her not weak, but able to take care of herself. An independent crack-shot with the appearance of a damsel-in-distress—how interesting; one would obtain great entertainment from that thought if they didn't feel distressed.

She barely panted for air from the many types of recoil she'd received, though some air escaped her full pink lips at the strength of her shots. The figure standing before her was a dummy made of cloth and wood, but her aim didn't fail in the slightest; the bullets were located in central pressure points, where blood would poor out from a wound at top-speed and in large capacities. These spots included vital organs, the head, the neck, and many other places with capillaries and nerves that caused the greatest damage to one's body when put under immense stress. Taking off her soundproof headphones after the last shot, Kagome Higurashi sighed, looking at the calendar on the stone wall of her workplace's, as she liked to call it, Bullet Room.

October first. She bit her lip upon recognizing the familiar date. Today was her father's birthday, if everyone had marked off the dates correctly and it wasn't telling the wrong day once again. Maybe I should call his cell phone, offer to take him out to dinner, escape from the training room for just a few moments…?

No. She couldn't do that, because 1) that would be disobeying regulations, and 2) her friend Sango Taijiya's job was to listen to phone calls, even cellular ones made in the area. If Sango heard the agent making a personal call, Kagome would no doubt be in trouble. Sango wouldn't tell, of course—she was too good of a best friend to be a tattletale—but Kagome would never hear the end of it. Why were you clogging up my lines, Higurashi? Hmm? Did you ever once think, "Maybe Sango could get fired for not telling about my call' or "Maybe some intense conversation is going on and she needs to listen to that instead of being distracted by my 'How are you today, Mom?' conversation"? I didn't think so, you ungrateful little bit—

Yeah. Just yeah.

Not wanting to face the deadly wrath of Sango, Kagome decided she would wait until the day was over to contact her father and wish him a happy birthday. It would, after all, not only benefit her best friend, but her own health as well.

Kagome used to be a field agent—a damn good one at that—but despite her awesome, kickass skills, it seemed the FBI was getting tired of her "awesome, kickass skills", thus forcing her into deskwork and the rank of "agent". The closest thing she got to using her "awesome, kickass skills" was this training area, where she could push her body to its limit and more.

Sango called it an early retirement, saying that she's done so much for the agency that they felt thankful enough to give her a job that'd cool her down and keep her safe. That was the thing, though. Kagome didn't want to be cooled down or be safe. She wanted to run around, pull the trigger, fight bad guys, and be in the face of danger, damn it, not sit in an office chair, type on a keyboard, wrestle the copier, and be in the face of a computer.

It wasn't fair. Not even close to it.

But, despite the fact she was humiliated by being randomly lowered in the ranks and now stuck behind a big, fat, boring desk, Kagome was happy about one thing: Now that she didn't go out on missions, she could concentrate on her beautiful camerawork. She loved taking pictures, so maybe she could focus on that more now that she had fewer hours at work…?

Aw, who was she kidding?

She wanted so bad to have adrenalin pumping through her blood, the feeling of excitement rush through her core. She didn't want to get mere paper cuts; surprisingly, she'd take a bullet wound any time of day. No, she wasn't a daredevil, and no, she was never the one who took risks during missions. But, god, how much she loved going on missions… It gave her a meaningful purpose, knowing that whenever she went on one, putting her life on the line, she was helping someone out there, whether they were a neighbor, friend, or stranger. All in all, it felt nice being in the company of danger, for it gave her a feeling a stupid oak desk could never even come close to producing.

She dumped all her gun-training equipment on the racks, not bothering to notice the presence behind her. When she heard someone else's somewhat-awkward breathing pattern, Kagome turned around to face her worst nightmare.

"Agent Higurashi," the friendly brown-haired boy chirped, smiling wide.

Kagome returned it, but not with as much enthusiasm. "Special Agent Hojo," she muttered, still trying to keep up an act. It was hard to be so nice to such a dense boy, but no, she just had to care about people's feelings. Plus, she hated formalities between friends at work. Why not just call each other by their names instead of their jobs? "I thought you were going over this morning's case…?" And by this morning, she meant somewhere after midnight.

"I am," he assured her, and Kagome raised an eyebrow, encouraging him to continue. "Well, but, um…" The lowly special agent blushed, turning Kagome's forced smile to a wavering thin line. "We kind of need your expertise."

"Why do you need me?" she asked, not really understanding the reason behind Hojo's request. Yes, she'd solved things before, but she hadn't done it alone; her father was always the smart one, the reincarnated Sherlock Holmes. Of course, she hadn't told the Federal Bureau of Investigation about her father's assistance in some of their complicated cases; they'd either want to recruit him, kill him, praise her, or fire and kill her. After all, an agent shouldn't go to non-agents for help on their cases…

Hojo finally answered in a murmur, "This thing's much deeper than our department has ever gotten into." That was enough to make Kagome abandon her belongings and follow him down the hallway as he explained the situation. "We think we may have a serial killer on our hands, or an assassin with a distinct pattern."

Kagome nodded, showing that she was listening as she zipped by her personal secretary Nazuna's desk. The lower-down handed Kagome her usual coffee mixture before going back to answering the phone. Even though Kagome herself now did deskwork, that didn't mean she lost her past job's benefits.

Oh, but how she wished to be out on the field again. Now that was a benefit most needed.

"We don't know who could be behind all these murders, or why it was all these people," Hojo continues. "Forensic Specialist Yamainu's working right now on the evidence, though there are more questions than answers."

"There's always more questions than answers," Kagome mumbled to herself, annoyed by how Hojo wouldn't stop reminding her how mysterious this whole mission was. Honestly, Kagome had seen weirder stuff at her family's shrine back in Japan, with demons being unleashed from scrolls and charms, courtesy of her meddlesome little brother and fanatical grandfather, who hadn't caught on that most demonic things should not be touched and fiddled with. But then again, this was the FBI, the top dogs of the U.S.A. And, believe it or not, there were always weird things out there…

Scene 3: "Bad to the Bone"

(October 1st, 3:00 PM,
in an Unidentified Warehouse)

Footsteps echoed through the mostly emptied hallways of a high society, though there wasn't any formal click-click of high heels or rub-scrape of fancy black flats. The lone person walking through these halls was barefoot, simply wearing red gym shorts. He was not only without shoes, but also underwear and a shirt—a sight any heterosexual woman would drool over at first glance—and his stunning silver, hip-length hair was unkempt, wild, while his molten-gold, sharp eyes spoke volumes of emotions. Two triangular dog ears flicked at the top of his head, their seeming innocent balancing out his rough features, as sounds greeted him whether he wanted them to or not. He could've done without hearing men fuck their women, screaming profanities and explicit wordings on different floors of the building, and would've enjoyed it if the deafening sounds the mechanics made in the basement with their tools was less boisterous. But there were pros to having great hearing, and listening in on important conversations was one of them. Sadly, the building's "important" rooms had been soundproofed to avoid such an idiotic error, making the half–dog demon Inuyasha even further frustrated. The worst part of wandering the halls alone was not the unbearable noises or obnoxiously loud people, though.

They have no fucking ramen. HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU NOT HAVE RAMEN?

Either thought alone was enough to set off his temper and patience, which were never known to be great in the first place. He continued his trip down to his workplace's gym, which contained weights and contraptions of various structure, abilities, strengths, and usefulness. If he hadn't already mastered everything there is to know about firearms—aim, stance, timing, all that jazz—he would've been practicing on his citizen-owned gun. But, alas, he'd memorized of every inch of every gun out there, knew all of their strengths and weaknesses, and could even block off bullets. Of course, it was questionable whether or not he was the best in artillery or swordsmanship.

Yes, he was superhuman. But at the same time, he was only half.

Born under a human mother and dog demon father, Inuyasha obtained both sides of their blood. He was the mix of two species, a forbidden combination that one would ridicule, bully, and degrade. But, right now, none of that mattered. Why don't they have any fucking ramen? Inuyasha nearly whimpered at the reminder of his missing chow; instant noodles were his favorite food out there. Despite his occupation where he could get nearly anything he wanted, the kitchen was out of ramen and he couldn't order any more until their next gang meeting, thus he would have to take out his irritation on workout equipment by exercising his ass off.

Having enough of his ears freaking out over the highly-infuriating noises—not to mention, he didn't want any of his fellow members to see and mock them—he plucked the red bandana resting on his pants' elastic and placed it on his head, flattening the lively dog ears and contrasting greatly with his tanned skin and snow-white hair. He was used to the feeling of hats and bandanas on his head—he always wore them when someone had a chance of seeing them—but letting them free was one of his favorite things to do. Inuyasha sighed when the threat to his ears appeared, and managed to put on a cocky smirk for their benefit.

"Hey, Yash," the second-rate assassin greeted him. Inuyasha was not close to this fellow, but that didn't stop the guy from being clueless and not taking hints. Hells, the half-demon even yelled at him and threw him out a window once, but this male was entirely hopeless. "How's it going, my fellow killer and gangbanger?"

"Fine," he replied gruffly, side-stepping the full–monkey demon and making his way to the gym. To explain that incredibly curt conversation, Inuyasha was one of the top mobsters of their demon-based mafia. With more assassinations made than the third best mobster and knowledge of the streets and fighting exceeding those of their boss, he was looked at as one of the group's leaders, thus a mentor to the monkey demon. He was a master of firearms—as mentioned before—swords, and hand-to-hand combat. After being in the mafia for two decades, he'd made it so far that he would remain in the mafia until he was forced out; he was, and always had been, traveling to wherever his group was needed or desired to go.

Almost every night, he went out on assassinations and infiltrations, never really getting a break at all when it came to his role in the mafia. Luckily, though, tonight was the new moon, where his human blood took over his half-demon self; it was the only time he requested off. No one except his little foster brother knew of his weakness on this night, and he kept it that way by secluding himself in whatever room he had at the moment. It was easy to do, anyways, since he was the only half-demon at the base, thus everyone felt he should have his own bedroom. And of course, there were moments when his demon blood was dominant, but that only occurred when his life was in danger or he was extremely pissed.

Right now, said half-human was extremely pissed because of the lack of ramen in his hideout, but this somehow was unable to awaken his demon side. He plopped down on one of the weight benches, his earlier-mentioned best friend coming over to help him out, though it would be unneeded. Inuyasha popped in two headphones, set his old MP3 player to some classical music—since it was one of the few that didn't blow his ears out—and grasped onto the cool metal bar before beginning his daily exercise routine.

Scene 4: "The Mysterious, Unsolved Case"

(October 1st, 3:05 PM,
in Dead Man's Lab at FBI HQ)

Kagome had moved to America to merely attend college, nothing more, but when she heard of all the opportunities she had been given as a top graduate, she took advantage of them. Thus she began preparing for the title of "FBI Field Agent Higurashi" (now just "Agent", but whatever). Her father, divorced from her mother, was proud of her newfound career, and decided to bring his crime-fighting career to America as well. Ever since he moved here—which was when Kagome got into the training program—he'd been continuing his job as a private investigator and detective. Kagome often called him up for secret assistance, his existence only known to herself; they were like partners in crime-fighting, except they didn't see each other much out of work. This was why Kagome desperately desired to wish him happy birthday in person, at a nice restaurant he'd probably more than happily pick. He truly enjoyed burning holes in his daughter's wallet; it must've run in the family, since his father, Jii-chan, was the same way.

Having reached their destination, Hojo closed the doors to the death laboratory, or "Dead Man's Lab", as Kagome and the others personally liked to call it. Inside, Forensic Specialist Ayame Yamainu and Medical Examiner Rin Hara were fidgeting with a corpse, hence the room's nickname. Strangely, the two girls were not self-conscious and kindhearted like Kagome, or violent and loyal like Sango. Instead, the two people that dealt with dead people all day were full of life. Well, Ayame was when she was in a good mood, and she also took her evidence studying very seriously. Rin lightened up tense atmospheres and brightened everyone's day with her smile. She often played with the bodies, not minding their silent hearts, and touched them like a child would a plush toy. Once again, she was very unserious, working here for less than a month, but if Rin was fired, the FBI just wouldn't be the same anymore.

Not that it really had a description in the first place.

The youngest of their team, Rin, squealed with delight. "Hi, guys! Kagome, Kagome, looky!" She pointed and poked at the body. "We have another Bullet-Neck Bill!"

Kagome would never really know why or how Rin nicknamed the bodies and cases, and she wasn't all that sure if she wanted to.

"Yes, we do," Ayame said slowly, grabbing Rin's wrist before placing the twenty-year-old's arm at her side. Rin huffed before beginning to stab the man's side again. Ayame ignored it with a sigh, smiling at Rin's childish antics. "Now, we were going over the case files, trying to find connections and create some theories." She grabbed the large manila folder off a nearby table, scanning through the sheets. "So far, there hasn't been anything even close to a culprit found, much less evidence… And seeing a connection between the victims is just fruitless. The first time, it was a secretary for the Chief of Police. After that, a gas station clerk. Previously, it was a drug dealer. And now, it's a bartender. What's the pattern?"

Kagome exhaled as well. "Maybe they're not really focusing on a pattern," she murmured, looking down at the man whose eyes had been forced shut. There was only one bag of evidence nearby; that was the bullet used and the pebbles that'd dug into his skin from the impact of his deathly fall, though the latter was worthless. "Have you ever thought about who the culprit could be?"

Ayame nodded, once again overlooking Rin's abuse of their corpse. "The bullet's the kind someone finds in department stores. It's not really big stuff, which means it can't be the mafia or Agency—" Kagome doubted the CIA partook in this, but Ayame didn't trust them for some reason. Whatever; that was her issue.

"Maybe they're mobsters," Kagome went on, observing the new-looking bullet. "They could be running into your average store and purchasing equipment there instead of trading with Russia and other foreign countries. The mafia knows full well how we work, and would be able to comprehend how we traced things." At Hojo's dumb look, she explained further, "They know that if they buy civilian weapons, we'd think the killer was a civilian."

Ayame had a little light bulb go off in her head at Kagome's words. "That would explain more as to why these men were killed. Perhaps the victims were on a mafia or the killers' bad side, and not picked at random?"

"Might be," Kagome whispered, taking in the unnamed man. "Do you have any other evidence besides the bullet?"

"Nope," Rin chirped, bouncing around the operating table. "Whoever's in control of the gun sure is good at hiding things. Everything at the scene—fingerprints, fibers, hairs—belonged to the victim or innocent people who lived or worked nearby and had been at the scene days before the crime happened."

"The killer—or killers—have got to be quick and careful to be that good," Kagome said, eyes going wide at their newfound information concerning the case evidence. They never needed her assistance down here before on this project, so she didn't know that they didn't even have traces of the killer. Man, this was beyond bad. "He or she has got to be a demon. Not even an evil human could be this good at killing without leaving any evidence—except the bullet—behind." She turned to Special Agent Hojo, the researcher and messenger of their group. "Ho—err, Special Agent Hojo." He nodded in praise, and she fought the childish urge to roll her eyes. "You look up all the demons currently residing within a fifty mile radius of this guy's death site." Then she instructed to Ayame and Rin, "I think I may know who did this, and why."

Rin's chocolate orbs widened while Ayame's emerald eyes fell out of their sockets. "You do?" they gasped, for some reason sounding surprised. Kagome was always the observer, the one to catch onto to things first. Out of their group, that was.

"What, you haven't?" Kagome questioned, making herself feign shock. Both of her coworkers flushed in embarrassment, and she smiled, silently assuring them that she was only teasing. "The culprit: probably a demon-based mafia. Reason: these people knew something they shouldn't have." Seeing their skeptical looks—since they knew nothing of demons, despite Ayame being a demon herself—Kagome quickly added, "But that's just my theory."

"Should we ask a demon other than me for their opinion on this matter? I don't know much about the field or mafias, for that matter," Ayame wondered fretfully, for there was only one intelligent demon they knew, regardless of his wishes to not know they existed. He was a higher up, very cold, and unsympathetic, not to mention stern and emotionless—oh, and a total asshole. To Kagome's disbelief, he did even more deskwork than her, and voluntarily, too. After all, he was once a field agent as well, though more renowned than her and retired on his own, despite his young age of twenty-nine. He and Kagome were, after all, probably some of the best agents in their entire unit of a few hundred FBI members.

Kagome sighed, wondering if she was ready to give up her life yet. Finally, after a few moments, she decided the case was more important and whispered the name like toxic into the speaker that would travel up to his office. "Agent Takahashi, your assistance is needed in the autopsy room." Also known as Dead Man's Lab, but if he heard her call it that, he'd no doubt ignore her plea.

Scene 5: "Badass-ness Comes with a Price"

(October 1st, 3:45 PM,
in the Gym at an Unidentified Warehouse)

"Nine hundred and ninety-nine… One thousand! Holy crud!" the kitsune exclaimed as his friend pulled up their largest weight again before pulling out his headphones. "You know, for being the only half-breed here, you're one of the strongest members." Especially since you should be weak right now, he added mentally. Even when the guy was going to turn human in about eight hours, he was still cramped full of strength and energy—it was enough to lift a one-hundred pound weight a thousand times without breaking a sweat.

"Shut it, Shittou," the half-demon growled, making Shippou flinch. "I hear enough of that 'half-breed' crap from people I don't even fucking know. Who said I needed it from you—shrimp?"

"What?" Shippou couldn't help yelling as he looked down at his body. Sure, he was shorter than most men—and women—but he was higher than five feet, which counted for something when compared to, uh, others out there in the universe.

His friend merely shrugged, looking around the emptying gym. "Hey, where're the twats goin'?"

Shippou narrowed his eyes at the weightlifting addict. "You know, we may be in the mafia, but that doesn't give you the right to cuss in every sentence."

The half-demon gave Shippou a stony glare that made the kitsune shudder. "Answer the fuckin' question. I was too busy jammin' to my music and workin' my amazing muscles to listen to what any of 'em said."

Shippou sighed. "Group meeting, nothing big." Inuyasha silently thanked whatever god was up there for giving him a chance to order ramen today. "I can't believe we're back in this old city again. Can you, Inuyasha?"

Inuyasha gulped down some water before sputtering, "What're you talking about, short-shit? This is crime central—of course we're back here. This is where all the business is, not to mention FBI headquarters. Make sense?"

"Now that you've said it, it does make more sense," Shippou murmured. Inuyasha merely rolled his eyes. "Why didn't I figure that out sooner?"

"'Cause you're an idiot," Inuyasha stated simply, thumping the twenty-year-old mobster on the head. "And six years younger than me, which makes me smarter than you."

"Son of a gun!" Shippou rubbed his head in pain. "Must you always be so violent?"

"Yes," Inuyasha, once again, deadpanned. He followed the remaining gangbangers out of the workout room door and into the largest room of the warehouse they were currently occupying. Inuyasha leaned against the wall, his arms crossed, and since Shippou looked up to him—through all the abuse, mind you—he repeated the half-demon's actions.

He murmured in his mentor's ear, "You know what tonight is, right?" Inuyasha nodded roughly; it was never easy to forget what night it was if it caused your greatest weakness to occur. Shippou was the only one who knew of Inuyasha's new-moon transformation, so on that night, the half-demon turned human and stayed in a secluded room, not allowing anyone to see or send him out on missions. It was technically his night off for no reason in his fellow mobsters' eyes.

Shippou, on the other hand, always had "nights off" to his lack of physical labor; at that, he hadn't had two decades of experience. However, he had been in the gang for a while, thus knew the rules and how things worked. Regarding Inuyasha, they went way back; let's just say that Inuyasha and Shippou were pretty much the only family they had and still talked to. Plus, Shippou's only job was to guard over the files of their targets and members, which was a pretty easy task since he was the only one besides the leaders who knew where the files were located at all times. Inuyasha always told him how he should be grateful not to have any gruesome jobs; as he said many times before, "Badass-ness comes with a price, Shittou."

"What do ya think is goin' on?" Inuyasha whispered. Shippou shrugged in response, not having anything else to say. Usually they didn't get together to give out missions unless it was something big, like a trainee joining the crew or a little one being sent out on his first assignment.

Gatenmaru, a mafia member the same rank as Inuyasha, huffed. "Idiot. Can't you just fucking wait until they tell us?" The look Inuyasha gave him clearly stated that, no, he was impatient. "Amateurs."

Just as Inuyasha balled up his fists, preparing to strike, their gang leader's secondhand man Menomaru jumped into giving out missions, all of which would take place the following day. It was the usual: robberies, assassinations, stake-outs—the works. He skipped over Inuyasha's name due to it being his night off, and went into Shippou's, which was unlike the others and meant for tonight. Inuyasha could hear it right now: "Shippou, you're set to guard files again." Yep. That sounded about more than right.

"Shippou, tonight you'll go on your first assassination."

Scene 6: "A Seriously Unserious Encounter"

(Still October 1st, 3:25 PM,
in Dead Man's Lab at FBI HQ)

Kagome and her coworkers all had to say that even though Agent Takahashi was just slightly higher than Kagome on the ranks, he was much scarier when he was mad. Then again, he was just plain, freaking frightening when calm. Which is why Hojo went to go find Kagome, a person lower than the almighty Takahashi, to help them out—everyone except Rin, who hadn't met the block of ice, feared for their lives when in his presence. He certainly had the skill to kill them and then the smarts to cover it up, so they knew he was just placing mercy on them whenever he was upset. Hm… Maybe he did want them around.

Suddenly, the door flew open, showing a certain silver-haired individual and his assistant Toad Man, or, as they had to address him, Jaken. His icy glares made everyone—except Rin—shiver fiercely.

Or, you know, maybe he did want them dead and was just waiting for the right moment to catch them off guard. "Sesshoumaru-sama is here, and your attention is key!" his assistant croaked.

Rin, being completely unprepared for the ex–field agent's arrival—much less his meeting her—was the first to speak. "Hi there, Agent What's-your-name! Is it Sesshoumaru-sama? I thought this was America, not Japan, you silly toad!" she tweeted, flashing a bright smile as she continued mistreating the poor carcass. "Anyways, Sesshoumaru-sama, has anyone ever told you how cool your name is? If not, I'm the first, and being the first is great! Oh, I don't think we've met before. Have we? I wouldn't know. I'm Rin! Well, apparently Medical Examiner Rin Hara in this business, but whatever! You know what I'm saying? We need your help. Well, they need your help, but do you think you could help us—or them? I don't really know who needs your amazing expertise 'cause I wasn't really listening. I mean, it's just so fun poking bodies! And since I get really caught up in something I'm interested in, I wasn't listening at all! I'm shocked they haven't fired me yet, but then again, this place is so boring without a positive battery, you know? It's completely lifeless. What are you: positive or negative? I personally like negative batteries, not overly neutral or very positive, because they fit with me like peanut butter and jelly, you know? Wow, I love your hair! It's so silver and shiny and soft-looking! Which conditioner do you use? I use something that smells like cherry blossoms, because it reminds me of home! You're of Japanese descent, too, aren't you, Sesshoumaru-sama? Wow, I still can't get over how cool your name is! Sesshoumaru-sama! I think the first men who visited the moon should've screamed that to Pluto! Is Pluto even able to hear that? Wait, is it even there? Did it die, or just get downgraded from a planet to a dwarf? Speaking of dwarves, have you ever seen Snow White? That's my favorite movie! If you have time, we could pop it in right here, in Dead Man's Lab! Wouldn't that be cool, watching a kid's movie at work? Oh, that would get us fired, wouldn't it? I think that would be a date, too, so maybe not, because you look too handsome to be hanging around dead bodies and watching Snow White. You don't like Disney movies, do you? I sure hope you do, because I think we'll get along great! Oh, wait, we were talking about the case, weren't we? Let me rememb—oh, yeah! Can you please help us, Sesshoumaru-sama? We'd really appreciate it! Wait, am I even part of 'us'? Oh, well. What do you say, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

Wow was the only traumatized thought that each of the agents and FBI workers had thought in common. Kagome continued to think, That was probably the longest, cheeriest speech someone's ever given the Sesshoumaru Takahashi in his entire lifetime. But then, the world stopped turning and randomly combusted—figuratively, of course.

Meaning Sesshoumaru's lips twitched, almost like he wanted to smile.

While Kagome's heart stopped working, Ayame's eyes fell out of their sockets, Jaken's brain exploded, and Hojo peed himself, Rin grinned cheekily as the higher up responded, his voice less cold than usual. "This Sesshoumaru will be of use."

"Awesome!" she squealed, clapping her hands. She turned to the body she was practically molesting, and told him everything everyone else had recited, though she'd claimed not too long ago that she didn't hear. Meanwhile, Sesshoumaru nodded, showing he was listening, and unlike usual, looked actually interested. And as he did that, everybody tried to recover from the shock they had just experienced. "So, what do you think, Sesshoumaru-sama? We—or they, I still don't know who—think it's the work of a demon mafia. Agreed?"

"Agreed," Sesshoumaru murmured, gaze focused on her petite figure, though not checking her out, for that would be very un-Sesshoumaru-like. Rin probably wasn't aware of his gaze since she was still poking the bartender's corpse. "These people all may have roles in mafia issues, such as drugs, prostitution, and kidnappings—law enforcement men and lowly street merchants alike can partake in certain events they do not mean to. It is likely that these people indeed knew something that they shouldn't have, and were assassinated despite their apparent innocence. Have someone look up lists of demon mafias. I will narrow it down." Notice how he had never said words that meant "maybe" or "unsure". Because Sesshoumaru thought very highly of himself, thus did not show doubt in his abilities.

"Wow, you're so smart!" Rin gushed, facing him. "Thank you for your advice, Sesshoumaru-sama!" She giggled, saluting him like a soldier. "You're fun to have around! Did you know that? We need to hang out sometime, okay? And don't say no, because even though you're too handsome for this place, I know we're gonna be friends, but that won't happen if we don't hang out! So yes?" Everyone nearly died when she spoke to him so casually again.

Sesshoumaru's lips twitched once more, and all the surrounding agents began to plan their funerals, because their hearts couldn't take this much. "I will see you in my office tomorrow at noon. See to it that you are not late, for it is vital."

"Yes, sir!" she chirped back, sunlight practically emitting from her aura. "Thank you again, Sesshoumaru-sama!"

His lips twitched again, before he stated seriously, "My name is Sesshoumaru, Rin. You will address me as so." Once again, all the people standing by died by his off behavior. "Jaken, come. We have much to do concerning this case and meetings."

"Yes, Sesshoumaru!" Jaken said hesitantly, only to receive a dark look from his superior. The stony ice in the room began to crack, easily being replaced by a scary fire. "Err, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

"You have not been given permission to call me by my first name. Do not make another faux pa such as that again," Sesshoumaru commanded lowly, just as Rin began blubbering again.

"Maybe Sesshy?" she whispered to herself. Then, to the dog demon, she sung, "Can I call you Sesshy, Sesshoumaru? I think it has a catchy ring to it, but I didn't know if—"

"Anything is fine, Rin," he sighed, the corners of his lips twitching again. All of their fellow coworkers were going into a panicked frenzy. Yes, his stance remained professional, his voice stoic, and yet, his lips continued to twitch as if he still wanted to smile because of her—because of Rin! "Remember: tomorrow at noon, you will be in my office. No later than the expected time, either. Is that understood, Rin?"

"Aye-aye, captain!" she laughed, saluting him again as he entered the elevator. Once it closed, she turned to her friends. Ayame was currently trying to find her eyeballs that kept falling out, Kagome tried to regain normal breathing while cleaning Jaken's brains off the floor, and Hojo stood stiff as a board, humiliated by the pee puddle on the ground below him. Rin said, "Sheesh, what's your guys' problem? You didn't even talk to Sesshy, much less look at him in the eye! How're you ever gonna get his respect if you don't stand up and come out of your shells?"

"Dear God," Ayame wheezed, inserting her eyes as Kagome began chugging one of their water bottles, trying to moisten her throat and lungs again. Hojo just stood in the same spot helplessly. "Rin! That was the Agent Sesshoumaru Takahashi, once the Field Agent Sesshoumaru Takahashi! He's top dog in our group, and he's cold, emotionless, and… and… Sesshoumaru! You guys are on a first-name basis! He's never on a first-name basis with anyone!"

"I like his name," Rin pondered absentmindedly, shifting her feet slightly as she stared at the wall in a dreamlike manner. "Don't you? I think I'm gonna ask him out."

It was then that Kagome choked on her water.

Scene 7: "Why the Change?"

(October 1st, 5:00 PM,
in Shippou's Room at an Unidentified Warehouse)

"I can't believe them!" Inuyasha shouted, enraged at the mafia they were working for. Innocent Shippou, killing for the first time? Never in his lifetime—

"Yasha, relax," the kitsune told the pacing half-demon, who jumped onto Shippou's roommate's bed. Inuyasha's jerky movements didn't stop, however; whenever he was irritated or intolerant, he had to move something in his body to work it out. His leg kept bouncing up and down, his fingers tapping his knees impatiently, and he repeatedly growled under his breath. Shippou sighed. "We knew it was gonna happen sooner or later. It was going to—you knew it before even I did. Taking me in—"

"Yeah, yeah, shut the fuck up," Inuyasha grumbled. "I've been here for two decades, kid. You? Only seven years." His fists automatically clenched, making his nails break the skin and soak red liquid. "But I was so fuckin' sure they wouldn't assign you that job. You've had nothing but simple guarding tasks, nothing remotely dangerous, yet they give you a goddamn assassination out of nowhere? Even if the assassins were all taken up tonight, you shouldn't have to kill for the first time, especially if this mission is as important as they said."

"But Inu—"

"I repeat: Shut the fuck up, Shittou," he growled, and his foster brother willingly complied. Inuyasha was not in a good mood right now, and was trying to dig deep into the mafia's mind; whenever this was a combination, one knew better than to intervene. "They sent me out on my first assassination when I was seven—that's one year after joining. You've been here for a solid damned seven years, and they suddenly have the urge to send you out on a bloody mission? Yeah, Shittou, there's nothing weird about that at fucking all."

Shippou said nothing, but merely listened as Inuyasha rambled on and on. Finally, the half-demon buried his face in his hands, letting out a monstrous exhale. "Why the change?" he wondered out loud, resting his restless hands on his bare chest. He murmured again, "Why now? Why change your usual mission now of all times? Why even give it to you in the first place? Why even you?" Shippou sighed as well, leaning back against the wall and letting his feet dangle off his bed. Honestly, he was just as confused as Inuyasha, but unlike him and similar to other members, didn't question it.

Out of nowhere, Inuyasha snapped, "It ain't gonna fucking happen."

"What?" Shippou inquired, completely shocked at Inuyasha's words. He didn't mean what he thought he meant, did he? But tonight's the new moon! Shippou stiffened at the thought.

"You're not goin' out there," Inuyasha declared once more, overlooking the thin manila folder with the target's address and appearance. No names, for they may have connections to the soon-to-be-dead man without realizing it. The target for tonight had short, straight black hair with bright blue eyes—an unusual yet normal Japanese male appearance, despite his strong physique and cheery, pearly smile. Inuyasha's eyes flashed somewhat with guilt and suspicion, wondering why a positive, appearing blameless man was going to be killed. Probably knows something he shouldn't, Inuyasha decided, though he had a nagging feeling, wondering why his own leaders wouldn't even tell them why they completed the missions they did.


Said half-demon whipped around to lock eyes with his best friend. "Don't worry, Ship," he said, too lost in thought to even bother with Shittou. "You're not gonna kill anybody tonight. Me, on the other hand, despite our given situation…"

"'Yasha?" Shippou asked once more, not liking where this was going.

"I'm gonna kill him." He tapped the photo. "I'm gonna kill this man."

Scene 8: "An Irreplaceable Bond"

(October 1st, 5:30 PM,
in the FBI HQ's Parking Lot)

Kagome managed to escape the autopsy room without her coworkers knowing. She didn't know what she was planning, but she knew that as long as she wasn't technically a field agent, she didn't give a crap about that case. Now, she lingered in the entrance to FBI HQ, wavering between working and going home. Well. What else was there to do? She could go do paperwork, talk to some friends, do paperwork, go for some coffee, do some more paperwork, or she could leave—

After she did more paperwork.

It didn't take long for Kagome to grab her coat and run out the front doors to her car. Once she was inside, she didn't hesitate to speed dial her father. "Hello?"

"Daddy! Happy birthday!" Kagome cheered, smiling wide.

"Kagome! Thank you, I thought you'd call!" Kagome smiled to herself as he went on. "Let me guess: you're taking me out to a fancy gourmet restaurant that'll make moths inhabit your wallet. Oh, please, tell me it's true."

Kagome giggled to herself. "Right on," she told him, not helping the beam that lit up her face as he laughed jollily. She imagined him wearing his goofy grin, and her smile grew. It was so great to talk to him again, almost as if they hadn't had seen each other in weeks. "You choose anyplace you wanna eat at, Dad."

"Hm… anything?" At Kagome's unmentionably dry retort, he chuckled again. "Well, that little café downtown sounds nice. You know, the one with Christmas cakes." Yeah. The one that based their food off holidays and, of course, was never busy. Kagome wondered why her father would choose such a secluded spot; he was usually the partying-type.

After agreeing, they made the plans and Kagome buckled up and started her car. She pulled out and began the long journey back to her empty apartment. Not before she received a good yelling-at from Sango for calling on FBI grounds, though. Oh, well, she thought cheerily as she drove out of FBI territory. Daddy and I have an irreplaceable bond. He comes first before work. And with that, she was on her way home and heading towards her father's smiles and laughter.

Scene 9: "Sneak Out, But No Stake-Out"

(October 1st, 11:00 PM,
in Inuyasha's Room at an Unidentified Warehouse)

Inuyasha never hunted his prey—never once nor twice. It just wasn't something he did. Dogs didn't stalk whatever victim they could have, anyways; they charged right ahead and hoped for the best. That was his, the half–dog demon's, fighting style.

He secured his black bandana on his head once more, his room already pitch-black from nightfall. He wore an ebony leather jacket with matching gloves and pants; he wore no socks with his charcoal-colored shoes, either. An assassin had to be careful of what they wore the night of the murder; not only did one have to blend themselves with their surroundings—hence his dark clothing in the current Gothic setting—but the smallest of things could get the cops' trailing on you. A little thread from clothing? They'll see what shirts have those fibers, who owns those shirts, and which shirt owners live in the area. A hair, fingernail, fingerprint, or blood? They all carry DNA or are just as unique as one's DNA; it was impossible to have an incorrect scan when using one of those items.

Of course, it being his human night and whatnot, Inuyasha's "DNA items" wouldn't give much away; it was his half-demon traits that were under file, not his human ones. One would think he'd commit more crimes on the new moon because of this, but due to his weak mortality, he was not as quick, invincible, or skilled as a demon, much less half. Honestly, his chances of making mistakes increased as well, and this was why Shippou tried to talk him out of killing the target tonight.

Inuyasha didn't listen, and Shippou knew that.

With a cascade of hip-length, tousled black hair swinging behind him, the half-demon turned human jumped out of his second story window without thinking. He landed on the ground, expectedly on his feet, but his legs hurt like hell now. Shit! I forgot all about my goddamn humanity, he thought, grimacing and stumbling slightly from the initial shock of his fall. His human ears at the side of his handsome face couldn't detect anyone nearby, but then again, his demon senses were useless and missing when he was human. He just had to hope that no demons were up right now, that they were sleeping in for their missions the following day. After all, Shippou was supposed to be the only one out of his dorm right now, and yet, here was Inuyasha, taking his place more than willingly, despite the war between right and wrong raging inside of him.

With a gun and silencer strapped in his holster, the assassin took off into the night, ignoring his human conscience's pleas to not kill the seemingly guiltless man. That was one of the great things of having demon blood: most times, the blood reigned over your mind. They weren't afraid to kill, their demon-based mafia, because they wouldn't feel the strongly negative emotions of doing their crimes afterwards—even what Inuyasha was doing, about to kill an innocent, was just fine to them.

Yeah, Inuyasha thought sourly. But Mother was innocent, too.

Scene 10: "Detective Higurashi"

(October 1st, 9:30 PM,
in the Holiday Café in the Downtown Area)

In a nice white sweater with a red tank top underneath and nice green shorts to finish her look, the mismatched, comfortably-dressed Agent Higurashi slid into the seat across from the brown-coated, black-shirted, khaki-panted Detective Higurashi. She chirped, "Hey, Daddy!" and he gave her a goofy smile. "Happy fiftieth birthday!"

He laughed in a carefree manner. That was her father: laughing at the smallest of things while she smiled at anything. Their entire family said that the father and daughter's bond was obvious, the similarities between the two being as clear as day. "Fifty is right," Detective Higurashi chuckled, sipping some of the energy-filled coffee in front of him. "To believe, it was twenty-seven years ago that I first became a husband, twenty-six that I became the father to a lovely baby girl, twenty-one that I became the father to two beautiful children, and a decade ago I became a single man."

"But the split was without hate," Kagome added with a smile. The whole reason for the separation was that they just wanted different things; Mr. Higurashi wanted to focus on his work and Mrs. Higurashi desired to take care of each person in every way possible. Though their love had faded, their friendship never did, which was why they remained best friends and teamed up on Kagome and her twenty-one-year-old brother Souta about their lives. The two siblings thought their parents must've gotten a sick pleasure from bothering them about small things, but really, they were so glad that their parents were still each other's other halves, just not love interests.

Det. Higurashi grinned wide, chortling. "That it was," he murmured in a jokingly suspicious manner, wiggling his eyebrows as he took another sip from his coffee.

Kagome laughed at his antics, and grinned when she saw that he'd already ordered her favorite tea, but then had a teasing frown on her face when she saw his beverage. "What's this nonsense? Do you not like my awesome, homemade coffee, Father?"

"Oh, no, I love your coffee, dearest," he insisted. In a lower tone, he added, "The Holiday Café just can't live up to your legend." She rolled her eyes, and he laughed. Detective Higurashi was almost never serious and if he was, he still had a teasing glint to him somewhere. He was always joking, acting silly, trying to brighten others' days by making them laugh and smile. She would be lying if Kagome said she frowned even once in his presence; she always had a grin glued to her face with him around. "By the way, when are you going to tell me the secret to your amazing, original coffee?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Someday," Kagome giggled, sipping some of her tea.

"Well, when you find a man—which better be soon—you'll have to tell him the secret so that he can pass it onto me." At his daughter's bored expression, Det. Higurashi chuckled. "I was just talking to your mother this afternoon, and we both declared that you need to settle down." Kagome groaned, and he laughed full-heartedly. "Don't worry, we're going to give you a vast amount of time to find Mr. Right."

"Oh, really?" She smiled, knowing full well what he was thinking.

"Yes," he confirmed as she sipped her herbal tea. "A total of a week."

She set it down, a smile teasing her pink lips that she'd adopted from her mother. "How kind and generous of you both," she murmured blithely, and he laughed once more. "So, let me guess: your original plans for tonight involved a certain dance club, tons of drinks, and turning down any horny woman coming your way?"

He gasped dramatically. "KAGOME!" he hissed with a teasing glint in his ocean-blue orbs, and she laughed. "Watch what you say in public—or private, for that matter! You know they could be listening to everything we say, those damned Martians."

"Yes, because they need to hear about your personal life, Daddy," she teased with a smile.

He straightened his back and raised a sharp eyebrow. "Point taken," he said quite seriously.

She chuckled and grinned wider as they both drunk their nature-born beverages. "But, honestly, I was kind of surprised that you had no plans. I mean, you're always the one to hit the latest clubs, despite your age—" She paused for his smart comment, but it didn't come; instead, he looked kind of serious. "Daddy? Did you plan for me to—?"

He nodded. "Your boyfriend's been looking for me," he said casually. At first, Kagome was confused. Boyfriend? Just a moment ago, they were talking about her finding a boyfriend, but now—?

"Oh," she breathed, suddenly blinking a lot. She caught the hidden message in his words, her professional agent side kicking into gear. Are we being watched? Is someone really after Daddy? "So, why is he looking for you?"

"He wants to know my secrets," he answered swiftly, all traces of laughter and smiling gone from his face. It was this that informed Kagome that he was being completely solemn about this—it was truly a threat. "I kind of…stole something from him."

The FBI agent tilted her head to the side until she felt something light and harmless poke at her knees. A folder, or papers? Without removing her gaze from her father, she secretly grabbed it and shoved it inside of her purse. What was it that he stole? Information? Is that what's on these papers? She gulped. Does he know something he shouldn't? "When do you think he'll come?" she asked, her voice turning scratchy due to her suddenly dry throat.

"He's kind of unpredictable," Detective Higurashi told her with a stern expression that tied Kagome's heart into knots. "But, honestly, he'll just come when he wants to and take it without a second thought. Man, you should really break up with him." He smiled at that part, but it was fake; Kagome saw right through it. "Well, if I don't get going, I'll miss the surprise party in Nikoshi, Ukraan. It's the newest thing going around, I'll assure you that, honey." Nikoshi, Ukraan? she wondered. Where is he getting this stuff?

Once again, a pretend grin greeted her once more. "I'll give you a call before it happens." And with that, he stood up, kissed his shaken daughter's forehead, and sauntered out of the café as if he hadn't a worry in the world. Once her father was completely down the street, the cheery-turned-serious meeting with him came back to greet Kagome with full-force; she relived every word and movement of what could've possibly been their last meeting, and instantly was beat with emotions she'd hoped she never had to face.

Fear, anxiety, and worry overcame the ex–FBI field agent, and Kagome cried into her hands.

Scene 11: "Predator of the Night"

(October 1st, 11:48 PM,
in the Abandoned Downtown Area Streets)

Inuyasha followed his prey as he walked down the abandoned streets. Normally, he would've attacked immediately, but given the circumstances of the new moon, he had to actually try to be cautious. In his demon form, he was graceful; instincts were his every being, and he was born a killer. As a human, however, he had to be wary of every movement, every small detail that could've screwed up his mission. Hells, when in his human form, he even had to watch his breathing. He hadn't realized every little thing he did as a half-demon that assisted him in assassinations until he was forced to go without those little things. Now, he wanted them back desperately.

He had to give this mortal credit, though; even though he whistled as if nothing was amiss, even though the man walked at a normal pace, if Inuyasha or any demon-turned-human looked every closely, he was prepared to run and call someone. He knew what was coming, this man, and yet, he didn't scream bloody murder. It was almost as if he was ready to die, like he had no regrets or was selfish and clueless. This guy knows I'm following him, Inuyasha realized. He's waiting for me to make my move.

He removed the gun from his belt, feeling the familiar adrenaline rush by having a weapon in his hands, the capability to get away with something most couldn't. Gladly, he thought as he made his descent from the building above and to the man now in front of him.

The man looked surprised, not taken aback in a fearful way, but simply surprised to see him there. Then a big grin, one without any cheer, danced across his face, his eyes flat as he asked in a fake-happy manner, "I'm sorry, do you need me for something?" Inuyasha quickly pointed the gun at the joker's forehead and was about to pull the trigger when his weapon was knocked out of his hand. He stared in shock at his fallen weapon before taking off after the man who'd whipped out his cell phone and was now calling someone. Inuyasha ran rapidly and with all his might, but this man was just as strong; fuck, he was putting up a good fight. He could already tell this would be an almost never-ending chase until he got a good shot and hit his signature spot:

Smack-dab in the middle of the vertebrae of the neck. If they didn't die from the bleeding, they'd be paralyzed, unable to even feel or speak, for the rest of their life.

Inuyasha steadied his gun, but in his human form, it was difficult to get a good shot. Damn, he thought as he hurried his pace to catch up with the quick-legged man. The target spoke into the cell phone, surprising Inuyasha this time as he realized he was not calling the police. "Honey, it's happening." There was a gasp on the other end that even Inuyasha could hear. The man didn't even take a deep breath before he declared to his "honey",

"I'm going to die."

Scene 12: "Panicked Calls, Tearful Cries, and Broken Souls"

(October 1st, 11:50 PM,
in the Abandoned Downtown Area Streets)

Kagome was staring dully at all of her surroundings. She didn't bother to glance at her bag, which held the last thing her father gave her, as she made her way down the empty streets of the city. The downtown area was never busy at nights, and she knew she should've been asleep in her apartment right now since it was two hours after their meeting, but…

Her dad. He left her with too many questions back at the café. What was the file about? Who was after him? What were the true meanings behind each of his words? Did she decipher any of them incorrectly? She couldn't fall asleep until her thoughts were answered.

Is Daddy really going to die?

Her cell phone rang and without looking at caller ID, she answered. "Hello?"

"Honey, it's happening." Her heart skipped a beat as she recognized her father's voice on the other end. She gasped as she finally comprehended his words. "I'm going to die."

"What?" she whispered brokenly, trembling as she stopped walking with an abrupt halt.

"I just wanted to call and tell you goodbye." His voice was hoarse, as if he'd been running, but it was strong—he was strong. He'd run for miles if it was for a good reason.

"Dad… You're not going to die." Please tell me you're not going to die.

"Sorry, honey," he murmured apologetically. "I'm not going to die in vain, I'll tell you that much. It's for a good cause—mostly—and I knew it'd eventually lead to this." She was about to inquire more, but a part of her mind told her that this was his farewell gift, thus she bit down her lips. "You're very kindhearted, beautiful, and strong, sweetheart; I've always been proud of both you and you-know-who. You've accomplished much, exceeded my expectations, and I know that wherever your life leads to, I'll even support you up from the big place."


"I love you, your brother, your mother, and my father all so much—you have each brought me happiness and good times." He panted some, still running. "I want you to be happy, dear, no matter what happens. I want you to get your career back on the road, fulfill each of your dreams, enjoy your hobbies and forever receive joy from that silly camera and gun of yours." She held back a sob. "I want you to find a man that'll protect you, love your every being, and sacrifice everything he's known just to be with you. I want you to find true love and wake up every morning only to find yourself smiling. I want you to marry and have children, if that's what you want, and have many life adventures."

She sobbed without trying, tears streaming from her eyes in frustration and total grief. "BUT YOU HATE EVERYONE I DATE!" Kagome couldn't help crying.

She thought he would've grinned if he didn't sound so tired. "Whoever you pick is bound to be worth it. You're gonna do great things, sweetheart, and you're going to have a good life—even if it kills me." She didn't hold in any more of her emotions as she cried, wept, and sobbed. "My body will be at South and Main, tucked into an alleyway near a dumpster."

"No, it won't," Kagome sniffed, already heading off to the streets he named, though it wasn't far. "Daddy, you've been there all my life and I don't ever want to see you go—you're not, okay? You're gonna stay alive, for me, for Souta, for Mama, for Jii-chan—"

"Sweetie," he hummed, and she broke down again as she ran to his location. "You were the best girl that ever was, and right now, the best woman who's ever lived. You will have whatever career you've always wanted, the spouse you've always desired, and the life you've always wished for. Remember my location, and be there. Oh, and honey?"

"Yeah?" Kagome wheezed, fighting back the tears already coming on.

"I love you." Then, softly, he whispered, "Kagome…"

There was a loud pop in the background before a few thuds followed. "Dad?" Kagome whispered, already quickening her pace as she turned onto the street. "Daddy? Dad? DADDYYYYYYYYYYY!"

The sight before her answered it all.

Detective Higurashi's eyes were closed, his hand encased around a cell phone, and his body was tired and still except for a slow rise in his chest. His brown coat was soaked with a red liquid, the source of it coming from the back of his neck, and he lied beside a dumpster, just like promised. Kagome instantly went to his side, picking up his head with care before placing it on her lap. The chances of survival were small, but maybe, perhaps if she prayed enough, maybe he could—

"Kagome," he whispered and she gasped. She tenderly touched the gentle, lively face of her father, which was turning away from warmth and fire, into cold and ice. She held back more tears that disobeyed her as he managed a meaningful grin while his eyes opened slightly just to meet hers. "Kags… Thank you."

"Dad," she whispered brokenly, fingers trembling on his familiar face as his eyes closed once more. His chest stopped moving, and at that moment, she let out an ear-shattering scream into the night, screaming her father's title until her throat constricted and she had no more air left inside of her. She heard sirens, had a faint thought that someone heard her cries, but nothing compared to the utter loneliness, the total depression, and lack of life in her core. She'd wished the weatherman had said it would rain today, because her eyes were the clouds producing the sprinkles. She wished she had a better warning than what her father had given her so suddenly.


And with that thought, her listening was weak, her body was limb, and her vision was black. She felt nothing but her back against the cement as she went to sleep, like she'd promised herself earlier on. She wasn't going to die, not even close. But, sometimes, maybe there was a worse fate than death.

A/N: These chapters are going to be soooo long… *goggle-eyed*