AN: Okay, so I think this is the second or third time that I've revised this, but damn it all…it's just not as good as I think it could be. This is of course the first fic I ever wrote and feel very sentimental towards it (even if it seems kind of weak in the beginning). I don't want this to be another crap-tastic high-school-angst-filled-hormone-driven-hook-up-fi c. Three to four years after first coming up with this story, I've finally gotten the details worked out and just have to get everything on paper…or you know…word document. But before I even get to that I'm going to do some MAJOR EDITING to what I already have. Try to put the characters more 'in character' and whatnot. Revise the shitty parts and extend some chapters. I (as well as my writing style) have changed A LOT since I first posted this so I'm going to try to get it up to par with my current standards. So without further ado I present and hope you enjoy the new and improved version of 'Sing For Me.'
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own original characters (which I actually hate using but it's too late at this point…) and the swanky new laptop my daddy gave me after my last one with all my old documents crapped out on me!
Sing For Me
Chapter 1: A Vow
A small 'click' was heard as the lock to the front door tumbled and allowed entrance to the young woman seeking such. Kagome quietly opened the door to peer into the living room from the front entrance hall so as to make sure that everyone had already gone to bed. Once she was sure that all was quiet within the house, Kagome gently shut the door behind her and replaced the lock before removing her shoes and attempting to pad across the hardwood flooring of the house as quietly as possible. She was being careful because she was two hours past her curfew and very well aware of it. She had simply lost track of time while she was out with her friends at their favorite karaoke bar, Midtown. There had been a contest that night and she had come in first place winning a trophy and free karaoke for a month.
She had almost made it to the stairs and thought that she would actually be able to make it to her room without alerting the other inhabitants of the house when she saw a light in the hallway come on and recognized her mother's shadow stretching across the floor.
'Crap!' Was the only thought that ran through her mind at the moment because she knew in that instant that she had been caught.
"Kagome? Are you just now getting home? Where have you been?" her mother's voice was laced with concern and worry for her oldest child and only daughter.
"Yeah, we kinda lost track of time, sorry Mom." And that was exactly it, she couldn't think of anything else to say since she hadn't really planned on getting caught and whenever she saw the concern in her mother's eyes she could never bring herself to lie to the older woman.
"Honey, is everything alright?" A deeper voice chimed in from the hallway as another shadow made its way towards the living room.
'No, no, NO!' Kagome knew what was coming now. It was time for her dear old step-dad to butt-in and "settle the situation" as he liked to call it. 'Out of all of the men in Japan…in the WORLD…why did she have to choose him after Dad died?'
"Kagome, are you late again? I thought we talked about this last week," the older man admonished while giving the teenage girl a stern look. Turning deceivingly gentle eyes to his wife, he spoke, "Honey, you can go back to bed. I'll talk to her and see if we can't get this tardiness worked out."
"Okay, I'll see you both in the morning then. Good-night Kagome, dear." Her mom said as she hugged her daughter, kissed her husband, and then turned around to go back to the bedroom she shared with her husband.
Once Kagome saw her mother shut the door to her room, Kagome started, "Look Mikaru, I know I'm late. Like I said we lost track of time and that's the truth. There was a karaoke contest at Midtown so I entered and even won first place, see?" she said holding up her trophy for the man to see. Maybe letting him know that it was an honest mistake would appease his temper—she doubted it would.
"Now listen to me you little bitch," Mikaru ground out as he stalked towards her and gripped the front of her shirt in a tight fist. "The only reason you aren't out of this house yet is because your mother actually loves you and that brat brother of yours; I personally don't like either of you. And of this about you staying out to sing in karaoke bars? Don't you know that karaoke is for people who think they can sing but can't? It's for all of the losers who can't face the reality that everyone else hears. All you're doing is making a fool of yourself in front of a bunch of people. Don't you think it's a little strange that if you're such a singer that you haven't gotten anywhere with it other than singing in clubs? Face facts, you're not anywhere near good enough and you never will be!"
"You bastard! Where do you get off telling me what I can and can't do?" At this point Kagome was in tears because she knew that her step-father had some good points. Why hadn't she gone anywhere with her singing? She had tried to send demo tapes to different companies but had never heard anything back from any of them. With her head down and eyes to the floor she whispered, "I hate you…" Then cloudy, slate-blue eyes met with hard brown ones as her voice became more resolute in her confession. "I think you're nothing but a cold-hearted imitation for a man and always will be!" Kagome yelled at the taller man who was still gripping her shirt as tears rolled freely down her cheeks. She honestly did hate him; she always had ever since the day her mother had brought him home. She didn't like yelling at people but he just always managed to push her to her breaking point. He had been trying to break her down for years…but this time, he might have actually done it. Singing was the one thing Kagome prided herself on the most, but now that her confidence had taken a major blow her dreams of becoming a professional were swiftly fading.
But all thoughts of her dream future, which were currently flying out the window, were cut short as the sound and feel of flesh on flesh resounded and her back met the floor. She wasn't completely surprised since this wasn't the first time that he had hit her or Souta; it had just shocked her a little because she had been in thought.
He had slapped her pretty hard this time and she could already feel that area of her face starting to swell as a bruise formed. Before she could get up or say a word he grabbed the front of her shirt again to lift her off of the ground only to backhand her. "How dare you even try to talk to me like that? You're nothing but a little girl who wants to play rock star and I'm the adult who pays for all of your worthless shit! If you ever speak to me like that again I WILL KILL YOU! Do you understand me?!"
"Yeah, okay," Kagome mumbled. "Mind putting me down now…sir," she ground out the last word as though it left a horrible taste in her mouth at the mere utterance.
Kagome cringed as she hit the wall after being thrown harshly. Getting up, she glared at her step-father's retreating back as she limped up the stairs to go to the relative safety her room. On the way up she heard Souta's bedroom door open and by the time she got up to the top of the stairs she could see Souta sitting with his back against the wall outside her door waiting for her.
"Oh God, Kagome…wait and let me go get the first aid kit." Souta said as he ran to the bathroom.
Kagome went into her bedroom and set her trophy down on a shelf then decided to lie down on her bed and wait for her brother's return. "Souta," she said as she heard her brother enter her room and kneel down next to her bed, first-aid kit in hand. "We have to get out of here. You know it just as well as I do. If we stay here one of us is going to end up seriously injured one day or worse."
Souta was completely silent. He just moved to sit on the edge of the bed looking at Kagome's bruises as they got darker and more discolored. He knew his sister was right. She had already ended up in the hospital twice before. Their mother had almost left Mikaru after one of those times, but he had been able to talk her into staying by saying that Kagome had gotten worked up during an argument and tripped.
But Souta had no idea of where she thought they could possibly go. It was very unlikely that their mother would leave Mikaru at this point. Besides, it would be too hard for her to try and take care of two kids on her own. It was times like this that he missed his dad more than anything. He pulled an instant cold pack out of the first-aid kit and snapped the center disc to activate it. He listed to Kagome continue after giving her the pack to press against her face.
"Do you remember Grandpa? Dad's dad? I've been talking to him for a few weeks now. Don't tell Mom, she doesn't know about it. I told him everything about what's been going on. Even after Mom married Mikaru, Grandpa still looked out for us, checking in every now and then until Mikaru threatened to call the police for harassment. Grandpa never liked Mikaru. Gramps said that if we ever needed to we could go live with him on the family shrine in Tokyo. I've made plans with him to move in and I'm leaving tomorrow. I know that it's short notice, but I want you to come too. If I go I can't just leave you here."
Souta was shocked. He remembered Grandpa but just barely. He did remember that he had always been a little eccentric but loved them and their mom a lot. At first he just sat there but after Kagome sat up and he looked her in the eye's, one of which was currently forming a black and purple ring around it despite the swelling going down with the help of the cold pack, he knew his answer. Nodding his head, Souta hugged his sister and said, "Mom won't be there…but we'll have each other, right?"
"That's right," she reassured as she hugged him back. "I'll take care of you. Now then…tomorrow is Saturday so I'll wake you up early before Mom or Mikaru get up so you can finish packing. Try to get as much done as you can tonight with the luggage you have. You know my friend Hojo from school? Well he's going to help us pack then give us a ride to the train station in the morning. Grandpa will meet us tomorrow afternoon at the train station in Tokyo. We'll finally be out of this house. I love Mom and I'll miss her but I can't stay around that jerk anymore. Go get started and then get to bed, I'll be fine. We have a long day tomorrow."
After that had been said Souta went back to his room after telling Kagome good-night and Kagome sat in her room in silence. She had already packed the majority of her clothes and now she just needed the boxes that Hojo was bringing so that she could pack some of her other possessions.
Glancing at her bedside table, Kagome picked up a picture of her family before their life went to Hell. It was of her, her mom and dad, and Souta as a baby. They were all in front of the old tree at her grandfather's shrine. Everyone was smiling and having fun that day. "Dad, I wish you were still here. Why did you have leave us? Souta and I need you so much right now." With that said she lay down on her bed, picture clutched to her chest and cried herself to sleep. Maybe the next day would be the start of a new life for her and her brother. Maybe things could get back to being somewhat normal. Only two things would be majorly changed. Her mom and dad wouldn't be there and she wouldn't be singing anymore. After coming to a realization made by Mikaru that her singing wasn't taking her anywhere she silently vowed never to sing again.
AN: Okay, so there was a lot of rephrasing here as well as a few added and removed things. Not as much cursing because...well, Kagome just doesn't really curse! That 'bastard' is probably the worst thing you'll hear from her for the remainder of the story. I hate it that I couldn't make this much longer than it was, but I don't particularly want to combine chapters one and two. For the record, Mikaru is based off of my step-dad and how he was years ago. We fought. A lot. But he never hit me; I want that to be clear. There was a good bit of emotional damage (hence mandatory therapy). He's actually the reason I took up writing as a way to express myself, so you can all actually thank him if you like what you read by me! He and I have since reconciled on a few issues and come to an understanding that while things will never be wonderful between us we're at least civil and try to have normal conversations despite us being horribly awkward around each other. After he retired he stopped drowning his stress in alcohol and things have been steadily getting better. I want to take a moment to dedicate this to the girls who have/had rocky relationships with their fathers/step-fathers and come out of it stronger =)