Summer Madness

Chapter One: The Girl on the Second Floor

A.N.: So I was listening to this instrumental called Summer Madness and it was just so relaxing and wonderful that I was influenced to write this. It'll be a somewhat short chapter story, no more than… um 10 chapters? I don't exactly know. I'll see how it goes.

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or Summer Madness… though I wish I did. =C (ultimate sad-lip face)

..O..

All the times we had keep replaying in my head, her voice becoming that which makes up both my dreams and my nightmares, her laughter the only thing that gives me release even as it causes me pain.

"Oh… but I thought," her voice trailed off in to a whisper. I could see pain settling itself within her eyes. She didn't understand. "So you brought me here to say goodbye?"

"No Kagome... I brought you here because I want you to come with me."

I remember everything as if it happened yesterday. I remember everything as if it was happening now. I'll never forget her and I'll never forget that summer. It changed my life.

..O..

Maybe it was because Inuyasha hadn't been there to aggravate me, because my entire family was out of the picture and because no one knew me that I was able to become more than I ever thought I could be. Or maybe it was because of what I know it was because of. It had really just been because of her…

Long story short, I'm no good—was no good, I'm sure she'd have had me correct myself—or at least that's what everyone had always told me. They told me that I didn't appreciate what I'd been given, that I had no respect for others, that I didn't care about anyone but myself. And that was basically true. As far as I was concerned, the only people that I needed to respect were those who earned it and so far no one had. That wasn't my fault. It was theirs.

I guess I'd gotten into one too many fights or maybe messed around with the wrong man's daughter. The latter of the two seemed promising. I wish I could have been there when one of my father's associates brought that up but alas I'd never gotten the chance. I don't really know what the catalyst to my father casting me out for that summer was. It didn't matter either way. I still ended up alone in the city with barely enough money to last me. My father was adamant that I was supposed to be learning some sort of lesson. What exactly that lesson was, escapes my mind. The only lesson I'd planned on concerning myself with, was to teach them all that nothing would ever change me. That I didn't want to change. And at the time, I truly thought I didn't.

..O..

I got a place rather quickly. Mostly because after the third one I'd seen I realized that they weren't getting any better. It was small, and old, and a disgrace. But I figured it was a place to sleep and my father's bank account would more than make up for the hit on my pride when this waste of a summer was finally over.

The fourth morning I woke up I decided that I should probably start looking for a job. The only things I'd bought so far for my place was a mattress and comforter, a lamp, some towels for taking showers, and other bare necessities. Those things plus ordering out with my newly bought track phone for three days in a row had already put a small dent in the meager amount I'd been given. I figured out easily that the money might last me one third of the summer. At least I'd been allowed to take some of my clothes when they kicked me out. I was sure I'd have had no money by now if not.

I showered and got dressed quicker than I ever had that morning. It's amazing how much sooner things can get done when you don't have the distraction of a t.v. or computer. My eyes narrowed as I looked into the faded bathroom mirror. Pale skin, cold amber eyes, and a lip curled in distaste at my whereabouts reflected back at me. Running my fingers through my long silver locks, I acknowledged that nothing about me that they wished to change ever would by forcing me to live in a place like this. If anything, I'd probably come back worse, maybe I'd even do it on purpose. To see the look on my father's face would be nothing short of amusing.

My finger caught in a small knot, snapping me out of my thoughts and I frowned. A brush. That's one thing I forgot to buy. Turning on the tap and waiting a few moments for the stubborn water to find it's way through the pipes, I lowered my hands underneath the faucet, letting the cool water run through my fingers before running them through my strands. After braiding it, I looked back in the mirror. It would just have to do. I know I'd hire me.

Turning off all the lights in my apartment, I made my way towards the front door. Walking through my bare living room to get there, I could already hear some commotion going on from the other side of the wood, a female and a male's voice yelling. Cringing at the fact that I could even be living in a place with such people, I walked out into the hallway of my third floor apartment, shutting the door behind me, and with some difficulty getting the key to lock the door.

As I started walking down the steps, hands in my pockets, I could tell that the commotion was coming from the second floor. There was a large bang and then I could hear the girl yelling at the guy to leave.I heard the guy storm off and I continued to take my time. Whatever was going on downstairs wasn't any of my concern. As I turned the corner, I could see a girl picking herself up off the ground, brushing her clothes off. She glanced up at me and when her surprisingly striking azure eyes met mine, I couldn't stop my reaction, a slight arch of my eyebrow. I kept staring.

"Can I help you?" She asked, a slight aggravation edging her tone.

For a second, it managed to catch me off guard a bit but I recovered. "Excuse me?" I asked, my voice measured and cold like always.

"What do you think you're looking at?" She asked, her facial expression now taking on one of incredulity.

I scoffed and continued my way down the steps passing right by her. Turning my back and starting my way down towards the first floor. "Not much," I answered.

I could hear her mutter jerk under her breath and I smirked.

She was slightly entertaining, if not obviously a little off. No one ever talked to me like that, well besides my brother Inuyasha and he didn't really count. He was an idiot and had collected enough bruises and permanent scars over the years to prove that I didn't take well to being spoken to in any tone of disrespect. I knew for a fact, from experience, that I don't exactly give off a friendly vibe, nor do I mean to, but she didn't even seem fazed by it…

Strange girl, I allowed myself to think on her one more second before pushing her out of my mind. It was time to hit the pavement and absentmindedly I wondered where I'd soon be working. I figured it wouldn't take me long to find a job.

..O..

Two weeks.

Two weeks had already gone by and I hadn't found a job yet. I'd gotten no call backs for interviews, been rushed out a few places even, and my money was steadily dwindling. I had just about enough to maybe last me another two weeks until I could get a paycheck, if I spent frugally. But that would mean I'd need to find a job today. It was getting ridiculous and if I was anyone else but myself I might have been getting worried. Instead, it was just managing to make me more irate.

The entire situation my father put me in was repulsing and making it that much harder for me to stay calm in my present situation.

"Do you have any references or referrals?" The convenience store owner asked me.

"To clean?" I asked evenly, trying hard to keep the ice out of my tone. This man couldn't be serious. I was already lowering myself in even considering to do something so demeaning. I'd already made up my mind that I'd continue searching for another job, one worth my time, after I got this one.

"He'll do fine Mr. Namura. I know him." I heard the voice coming from the back room, just before the blue eyed girl from the second floor of my building walked out. She was carrying some boxes, apparently getting ready to stock merchandise. She didn't even glance at me as she lied,"He lives in my apartment building, a good neighbor too. Give him a break."

The man, Mr. Namura the girl reminded me because I'd mentally been calling him a fool for the last 5 minutes or so, gave me another quick look up and down before tossing me an apron. "If you say so Higurashi. But know if he messes up, it's on you."

"I'm sure he won't," she answered back confidently while at the same time giving me a pointed look. I just arched a brow at her audacity.

"Higurashi here will show you the ropes… not that I have much for you to do anyway. Really you'll just be cleaning up and keeping everything in order. Higurashi handles most everything else. But she doesn't exactly have the knack for cleaning. The only female I know that doesn't," he said offhandedly as he stood up and turned from me. "I'll be back in my office if either of you needs me."

When I heard the door shut, I glared at her.

"Why'd you lie for me?" I asked. No one did anything for free. Everyone had their own reasons, and with the smiling sweet façade she put on, I gathered that she was probably no different.

"Wow, I was expecting a 'thank you for getting me a job Kagome' or something," she stated as she continued to line the shelves. "Paranoid much?"

"I don't know you and I definitely don't need any handouts from someone like you," I bit out.

At that she did turn around slightly, facing me over her shoulder. Her blues eyes taking on the same heated look from that morning in the hallway. I felt more comfortable with her looking at me like that rather than helping me. I would never be anyone's charity case. "Look, I'm hoping I didn't just make a mistake because I need my job and Mr. Namura would not hesitate in firing the both of us. I just stuck my neck out for you."

"I didn't ask you for anything."

"I didn't hear you turn down the job to his face either," she huffed before turning around. Her eyes glanced back at me momentarily and just as quickly as the heat had boiled her blue pools, they cooled and she sighed. "It wasn't charity okay… I just felt bad for taking my anger out on you the other day. I did it to ease my own guilt. It really had nothing to do with you."

She turned away from me again and I tried to remember if I'd voiced my 'charity case' thought aloud for a moment. In the end, I didn't say anything back but I didn't take off the apron and leave either.

Some time went by and she finished stocking the shelves, while I straightened up a few minor things.

"I'm kagome by the way… if you didn't catch me throwing my name in while I mocked you earlier." She muttered.

"Hn... I heard," I said as I went to go grab a broom. "Sesshoumaru," I decided to introduce myself in return. I would be working with her and she would be referring to me by name, although I probably would not be returning the favor.

"I wish I could say it was nice to meet you," she said smiling at me. "But honestly, I'd just be lying again." She laughed a little at her own words and I found them somewhat humorous myself. I definitely didn't consider meeting her anything close to being what I'd label as nice. I didn't even want to be around the girl but still… it seemed we could actually agree on something.

I smirked.

..O..

A.N: Don't forget to review. Let me know how you liked it so far, if you're intrigued and whatnot. =) I hope you are!

-E.C.