Hello, everyone. Wow, it's been forever since I updated this story! I'm so very sorry about that. I'm not sure if this is a good enough chapter to make up for it, but I tried. For some reason, this story is the hardest of all of my stories to write. I have no idea why, but it just is. Anywho, I hope you all enjoy the chapter, and again, I'm sorry for how belatedly I updated this. Toodles!

Liebe immer,

Abbey (Sesshomaru Is Mine)

Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha. Nor do I own "Old Dirt Hill" by Dave Matthews Band, "All You Wanted" by Michelle Branch, or "House of the Rising Sun" by Bob Dylan/The Animals.

Chapter VIII:

Here Comes The Sun

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Last time...

Sango let Sesshomaru see some of the songs written in her notebook. Sesshomaru told her that her work impressed him and she told him that she didn't want to hurt either him or Miroku, so she decided to be with neither. Sango reassured Miroku that they would still remain good friends no matter what. InuYasha and Kagome became an official couple and Sango decided to stop holding a grudge against Naraku...

The gang was on their way to the completion at last. It would last four days total- one day for the singing competition, one day for the duet competition, and two days for the band competition. Sango was driving the group down to the fair grounds in her prized possession, a candy-apple red 1966 Pontiac GTO hardtop. She bought it for a steal, and InuYasha, who was excellent with fixing cars, worked a miracle on it. It barely even ran before he got through with it. "So, Sango," InuYasha pointed out, "I was going through the radio stations yesterday, and I noticed that one of the oldies stations wasn't there anymore."

"Don't even get me started on that," Sango growled out, "They replaced it with a stupid…disco…techno…piece of shit!"

"That's sad," Miroku commented.

Kagome nodded her head in agreement, "That really was the better of the two oldies stations, too. I don't understand why they would-"

"-Wait a second, Kagome," Sango interrupted. She turned up the radio slightly, so that she could hear the drum beat to a song. The bass player gave a squeal of delight.

"Oh, damn," InuYasha said with a sigh, "Here she goes again."

"It's DAVE!" Sango wailed with glee. She turned the radio up to an ear-shattering volume, and sang along at the top of her lungs.

"Oh," Kagome uttered happily, "I love this song too! It's so catchy! But, oh, it's almost over!"

"Scream and shout out loud of innocence

Days when all we did would never end

Screaming down that old dirt hill

Bring that beat back to me again

She stole-

That's when the days I remember seem so far away

That's just a kid. That's what I miss. Just a kid.

That's what I miss

Oh take me back, take me back to that beat again

Smoking on the railroad bridge

Bring that beat back to me again

Bring that beat back to me again

Bring that beat back to me again."

They arrived at the fair grounds before the song had ended, but Sango insisted on keeping the engine running until Old Dirt Hill finished. They'd never seen anything like it before. It looked like one huge party whose soul purpose was to pay homage to music. (A/N: That last sentence sounded very "Phantom of the Opera-like, didn't it?)

After they all got out of the car, they walked to the registration tent near the entrance to the fair grounds. It was a swelteringly hot day. Kagome fanned herself with her hand, "Woo, it's hot," she exclaimed.

"Once we get out of the sun and into the shade, it'll be a little better," Sango stated. Miroku, who was standing beside her, nodded in agreement.

InuYasha paced back and forth, annoying the rest of his bandmates, "This line is too damn long," he barked, kicking up some dirt and rocks.

"InuYasha…" Kagome began threateningly. The guitar player sighed and tried to stand still, "Fine."

"Kagome!" called a voice. She turned around, only to be nose-to-nose with none other than Kouga, of the band, Wolfbane. Kagome took a couple steps backward. She chuckled nervously, "Uh, hi, Kouga."

He took hold of her hand, "Are you OK? You don't want to pass out from the heat." His hand moved to her forehead, inspecting. "Hey, Dog Shit, why are you letting Kagome stand out here in the heat like this? Don't you know that she could get sick, or sunburned?" he demanded aggressively. Sango and Miroku tried to hold back a laugh.

InuYasha retorted, "Oh shut up, Wolf Fart, Kagome's stronger than you give her credit for! She doesn't want you fawning over her like a, like a-"

"Love-sick dog?" Kouga answered for him.

"Shut up, Kouga!" InuYasha yelled.

"Can you both stop fighting?" Kagome shouted exasperatedly.

"Technically, this isn't fighting, it's arguing."

"Whatever!" Kagome said, throwing her arms up in the air in disgust.

During the argument, Ayame, Ginta, Hakkaku, and Menou, Kouga's Wolfbane bandmates walked up to join their lead guitarist. Ayame played keyboards, Ginta played bass, Hakkaku played rhythm guitar, and Menou played the drums. Menou had just joined the group, as Wolfbane's last drummer didn't work out so well. It certainly helped that Ayame was her cousin. They were wearing identical Rolling Stones t-shirts.

Miroku had on his famous, sneaky smile. He walked over to red-haired Ayame and the blond Menou, his intentions perfectly clear. Sango watched with mild interest. Though she was used to this sort of behavior from Miroku, it didn't mean she liked it.

"Hello ladies," Miroku began cheerfully.

Menou giggled, "Miroku Houshi, you never will change, will you?" She turned to her cousin, "This is what I had to put up with every biology class last year," Menou exclaimed with a laugh.

"I-well…not every class, was it?" Miroku said, attempting a save.

Menou took off her sunglasses, revealing her purple eyes, "Yes, Miroku, I'm sure it was every class." She and Ayame burst into laughter. Miroku, not sure if this was a good thing, continued to smile cheerfully. Ayame passed her cousin a five dollar bill, "You were right, Menou, he hit on us within a minute of getting here."

A little while later, after both Fractured Soul and Wolfbane were registered, the two bands sat on some picnic tables, talking casually.

"So, where are you all staying during the contest?" Ayame asked.

"That hotel just a few blocks over," Kagome answered.

"Us too!" Menou exclaimed, smiling, "We'll all have to hang out!"

"Yeah," InuYasha said, "We're throwing a party in our room!"

"Since when?" Kagome asked dangerously.

"Since now," Miroku answered, patting InuYasha on the back. They each had identical grins. Miroku and InuYasha's room had an adjoining door that connected it with Kagome and Sango's room. The girls had planned on keeping the door locked, but for the party, the extra room would be quite appreciated.

"Well," Kagome began, "All right." Then she added quickly, "As long as we're not up too late, you know we've all got to compete the next day!"

"You don't need to throw a party," Kouga butted in, "The hotel's already allowing one for all the bands down in the main lobby tonight."

Miroku and InuYasha exchanged identical looks of elation, "Sweet!" they replied in unison.

When Sango heard this, she seriously began contemplating just staying up in her room, alone for the night. If the party was for everyone competing, then Sesshomaru would surely be there, and throwing him and Miroku into the mix while she was around was a recipe for disaster.

Just then, a voice came over an intercom informing the musicians that the singing competition was about to begin. "The first performer will be Kagome Higurashi, of the band, Fractured Soul," spoke the voice.

Kagome stiffened. The color instantly drained from her face. InuYasha wrapped a strong arm around her shoulders, "You'll do fine."

"Sure," Kagome stated, unconvinced.

Kouga glared at InuYasha for his closeness to her, but then said, "Kagome, I'm sure you'll sing like an angel."

"Kouga!" Ayame shouted, "You promised me you wouldn't-" She trailed off, hurt by Kouga's attention to Kagome. He had attempted to remain close to her all day. "You've barely said a word to me today!" she huffed and got up.

"Ayame!" Kouga attempted to follow after her, with the rest of the band close behind.

InuYasha, Kagome, Miroku, and Sango all got up, and began walking to the stage in the center of the fairgrounds. Each of them were offering Kagome support along the way.

After they watched Kagome disappear backstage, the rest of the group went to find a spot where they could watch her sing. There was quite a crowd on hand; by the looks of it, there must have been a little less than fifty bands competing for one prize.

A few minutes later, an announcer introduced Kagome, and she stepped onto the stage. She was clearly nervous, but when Kagome spotted the band, she smiled a waved a little. There would be no band playing behind her, or any of the other participants.

The rest of Fractured Soul could see their keyboard player take a deep breath and let it go. Kagome raised the microphone to her mouth and uttered quietly, "For InuYasha." She was clearly blushing. From there on, Kagome went into a stirring rendition of Michelle Branch's "All You Wanted." After her performance, there was a nice round of applause. Her band, and Wolfbane congratulated her for a job well-done.

"Com'ere," InuYasha said, and planted a kiss on her.

The announcer summoned Kagura to the stage next. She walked by the band, trying to look as high and mighty as she could. "Ooh, it didn't quite hit the mark for me, sorry," she said, speaking of Kagome's performance, "And I doubt you'll do much better, Taijiya," she spoke to Sango.

"Why don't you keep your mouth shut until you perform, Kagura Kaze," Sango retorted venomously. Kagura's only response was to stick her nose up in the air and continue her way to the stage.

"Do you think Kikyou will beat me?" Kagome asked Sango in a hushed undertone after Kagura had left, "After all, we've heard her sing, and her voice is similar to mine."

Sango looked at her best friend seriously, "You were in excellent voice today, Kagome."

"Yeah, but I don't think my stage presence was very good."

"You were engaging," Sango reassured her, "You made the audience take interest in you. Dedicating the performance to InuYasha was a good move too; it was sooo sweet."

"Thanks," Kagome said.

After Kagura's performance, which was good but not as good as Kagome's, it was Sango's time to shine. "Sango Taijiya from Fractured Soul to the stage please." Clearly, they were drawing names out of a hat or something, because there was no clear-cut order to the names being called.

"Oh dear," Sango exclaimed, "I'm up next! I'll see you all later!" She darted around the corner as her bandmates yelled different messages of encouragement.

"Ooof," Sango just ran into someone in her attempt to get back stage. 'Oh, goodie, Sesshomaru,' Sango thought, 'What fresh hell is this?' She had nearly fell backwards on her butt, regaining her balance just in time. "Sesshomaru," Sango said. She had stuttered slightly, and she was mentally scolding herself. "I have to get to the stage; I'm up next."

Strangely enough, Sesshomaru half-smiled. "You look nervous," he stated, amused. The look on her face confirmed his statement. "All those people," she began, "and being judged-"

He held up a hand to silence her rambling, "Sango," he said seriously, "Have some faith in your skills." When he noticed that she still seemed to have lost all the color in her face, Sesshomaru continued, "If it helps, just stare at something else the whole time you sing; don't even look at the audience."

"But-" she stuttered, "What'll I look for?"

Sesshomaru looked at her, head tilted to the side. His smile widened the tiniest bit, "You can look at me." Then he left a very stunned Sango standing there. It wasn't until her name was called over the loud speaker a second time that she snapped back to reality and ran up the steps to the back stage area.

Sango was more nervous than she'd ever been in her life. She must have changed her song a million times. How could she let Kagome talk her into such a stupid, loaded idea? And on top of it all, Sesshomaru would be in the audience, watching her. Just peachy. She didn't worry about Miroku watching her, because he'd heard her sing plenty of times. Wait, hadn't Sesshomaru heard her sing too? Oh, scratch that. It wasn't the point. The point was that she was about to make an idiot of herself in front of a whole lot of people. If either Kikyou or Kagura beat her, she would absolutely shit a brick, be pissed as all hell. So now, she was struggling to even remember the lyrics to the song she chose, which was "House of the Rising Sun." Sango figured that in the end her voice leaned towards being bluesy, and she wanted to accentuate that.

'Just focus on one place and stare at it, until you're done singing,' she thought, trying to calm herself. She could vaguely recall the announcer call her name as she stepped out into the bright lights. They left her shell-shocked, and she blinked, squinting to get her eyes to adjust.

Sure enough, the first thing that her eyes focused on just had to be Sesshomaru. He had found his way out into the open, so it would be easier to spot him. The sides of his mouth turned up a bit in a small, encouraging smile. Sango took a deep breath, and exhaled very slowly. Sesshomaru's face, and his presence gave her courage. She nodded, and went into singing…

"There is a house down in New Orleans

They call the Risin' Sun

And its been the ruin of many a poor girl

And me, oh god, I'm one

My mother was a tailor

She sewed these new blue jeans

My sweetheart was a gambler, lord

Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs

Is a suitcase and a trunk

And the only time he's satisfied

Is when he's on a drunk

He fills his glasses up to the brim

And he'll pass the cards around

And the only pleasure he gets out of life

Is ramblin' from town to town

Oh tell my baby sister

Not to do what I have done

But shun that house in New Orleans

They call the Risin' Sun

Well, it's one foot on the platform

And the other foot on the train

I'm goin' back to New Orleans

To wear that ball and chain

I'm a-goin back to New Orleans

My race is almost run

I'm goin back to end my life

Down in the Risin' Sun

There is a house in New Orleans

They call the Risin Sun

It's been the ruin of many poor girl

And me, oh god, I'm one."

To keep herself from messing up, she kept her eyes on Sesshomaru the whole time. "Thank you," she mouthed to him silently before stepping off the stage. It was so strange. The applause that was coming from the audience seemed muffled to her, but it lasted for awhile. She exhaled the breath that she had been holding since she finished singing.

Before Sango's composure was completely retained, Kagome came up to her and bear-hugged her tightly, "Great job, Big Sister!" she exclaimed with a laugh, "You were excellent!"

"Wha-oh, thanks, Kagome," Sango said, beginning to feel better.

"Yeah, Sango," InuYasha began, "You've got that bitch Kagura beat for sure."

"Oh, good," Sango retorted, and laughed.

Miroku nodded, "Nice."

"Thanks, Mir," she said, and hugged him. Surprisingly, Miroku's hands remained where they should.

That's chapter eight! I hope it was sufficient, though I'm sure it wasn't L I have the preview for the next chapter up on my profile as well. Dreams of Our Fathers is the next story on the agenda If any of you have questions or concerns, you may leave a review. If you just wanna say "hi" that's ok too. Danke und auf wiedersehen!

Liebe immer,

Abbey (SiM)

Next Chapter:

Ballad of a Thin Man

TTFN!