Chapter 5: On With the Show!

Thanks for being patient with me! The holiday season was a kicker, what with Christmas, New Years, and just plain hanging out with friends! I also had jaw surgery about a week and a half ago, so I blame that as well. But here it is, the fifth installment of my story, and it's looking good! Keep reading faithfully and I'll keep writing dilligently... Enjoy!

It was the long-awaited day of auditions, and Kagome was more nervous than ever. She couldn't really explain why, but perhaps it was just because her dream role was up for grabs in this one chance of a lifetime…

Yeah, that's why, she thought to herself as the butterflies began to flutter once again in her stomach. She barely ate anything for lunch and sat watching the clocks during every single one of her classes with an anxious jitter escaping her legs, causing them to bounce up and down constantly. The minutes seemed to tick slower and slower with each passing class, time crawling now. She was concerned with InuYasha and his… calmness. He wasn't freaking out or anything; rather, he was looking just as bored as he always did. Kagome would have liked someone to share her worry with, which annoyed her even more and made her more nervous. If he didn't know his lines and didn't care to even try, she was screwed over.

InuYasha didn't push Kagome or even tease her that much today. He found more amusement in watching her fret for the day to end. Sure, he was mildly nervous, but he knew his lines and was confident Kagome would be amazing on the stage. She didn't know he had secretly memorized the scene last night, since she woke up the next morning. At first she was shocked to be in his bed, then she started accusing him of being perverted, then she gasped and raced to call her mom. InuYasha had grabbed her wrist and hastily told her he had already called Mrs. Higurashi and explained it all to her. She, in turn, decided not to flay Kagome within inches of her life when she returned home.

As they entered their last class, since InuYasha and Kagome had almost the same schedules for the last six years, Kagome was beyond consoling. She wouldn't listen to anyone, could barely concentrate on Professor Kaede's lesson, and she kept drumming her fingers on the wooden desk surface and swinging her foot up and down. Her absence of concentration was apparent when Professor Kaede asked her a question and she didn't move.

"Ms. Higurashi!"

Kagome jumped almost a foot, whacking her knees on the bottom of the desk and almost falling out of her seat. Her kneecaps started throbbing horribly as she turned her attention towards the now fuming teacher.

"Ye-yes, Professor Kaede?"

"I had asked you if you could elaborate more on the Feudal Era from the assigned reading last night, but you seem to think it more important to daydream in my class."

Kagome winced under her scorn. She had always been on good terms with Professor Kaede and most of the other teachers. However, her excuse seemed to have to wait, for the bell rang shrilly over the speakers, causing Kagome to jump once again and hit her already hurting knees to the desk. She rushed to pile her books in her bag and rushed out of the doorway before anyone else, intent on being first to show up at the theater.

"Hey, Kagome, wait up! You on a sugar rush or something?"

Kagome stopped, impatience seeping from her like an aura, as InuYasha casually sauntered up to her side.

"Let's drop our bags off first, unless you wanna carry that lug round with you all over the place," InuYasha said.

Kagome fidgeted, knowing her time was running out to get to the stage first. "Fine, we'll drop them off first, but straight to the theater then!"

"Woah, chill Kagome," InuYasha calmly said, "the stage isn't going to run off on you. We've got till three-thirty for auditions to start."

She took several deep breaths, hoping this could hopefully calm her already shot nerves. She looked at InuYasha, posing the question he had heard probably a thousand times already. Here came one thousand and one…

"Are you sure you have your lines-"

"For the LAST and FINAL time, don't worry about me!" InuYasha nearly yelled at her. "I'll do fine; it's YOU that you should focus on! Try and not freak out so much… you'll make yourself sick."

He threw his bag into his locker and grabbed hers to toss on top of his, since her locker was in the completely opposite direction of most of their classes and they had grown accustomed to just sharing InuYasha's. He threw his arm around her shoulders and guided her towards the theater while still throwing words of confidence towards her the entire way. Their school wasn't a usual "high school" design; on the contrary, its architecture created a highly unique perspective for new coming students. The walls connected to high ceilings that held panes of thick glass to let natural sunlight through, while they also sloped down from the windows in long curves, almost as if one was draping fabric across the ceiling to the wall. The lockers weren't lined up all in a row, but were instead placed within hallways adjacent. There was enough space for personal room on all the students' parts when it came to lockers. This left the main walkways open for a more inviting atmosphere and clearer traffic flow. Classrooms were left for the teachers' personal design preference, so the science department had decided on large aquariums separating the classrooms, each with several different species of sea life that helped in class discussions wonderfully, the English department had settled for their own literature library that the teachers could place their favorite books in for students' use that was complete with plushy armchairs and couches, and the history department finally decided on investing on their own miniature museum relating to several classes in popular demand. These extra additions brought the school much fame and admiration, so it was an extremely high-demanded private school by parents and students alike. The education was top notch, the teachers were very one-on-one, and the resulting graduating classes kept interest in the school very high.

None of these things may have mattered to InuYasha, since he was forced to come here because his family had his name and tuition signed to this school's foundation since birth, but it mattered very much to Kagome. She strived more than can be imagined to even be considered for acceptance to this school, and once she was invited to attend it was the monetary matter which hit her family next. They managed to pass along living well enough in the past, but when the best preparatory school wants a bright student to walk their halls, they want a large sum to allow them to pass through the front doors, let alone attend classes. They struggled to bring up enough for her to go, and this included scholarships given by the school, both Kagome and her mother working forty plus hours each week, and her grandfather selling all his prized sacred possessions. It was paid off with the help of student loans in the end, and Kagome had to thank heaven itself for the invention of them, but knew she'd be hating it when payment was due.

The tuition she paid was well worth it, and as she entered the theater it was apparent why. This was her sanctuary with its rows upon rows of cushioned seats, sweeping staircases up into the beautifully decorated balcony area, the hidden light and sound booth up within the catwalk that nearly cradled the ceiling, the wide range of open air above the seats, and the dimly lit stage. This was perhaps the most exhilarating place Kagome had ever stepped into, and the stage was the centerpiece of it all. The worn wooden panels that lined the stage showed much use to them. When she stood upon this stage, it was her alone that graced it. This was her calling, her sanctuary, hers.

Right now, the stage was cleared of everyone except for Mrs. Keayton and her barely visible co-director Mr. Myoga. "Barely visible" was definitely an understatement. He was shorter than all the students by about a foot or more and could dart around the school without being detected, though many blamed that feat on a rumor of secret passages the teachers only knew about. His head was polished bald but complimented with a toothbrush mustache that tickled his nose. He seemed very bug-eyed when he placed his gigantic magnifying glasses on the bridge of his nose, but was the only other teacher to take the job.

"Ah-hem! Gather round students!" Mrs. Keayton chirped over the babbling crowds. Kagome instantly grabbed a front row seat and focused intently on every one of his words.

"Thank you for coming out to the auditions for our spring play," she started, her voice booming over the entire auditorium. "We will need all the help we can get for this production, whether it be on stage or back. If you do not receive a part, do not feel afraid to volunteer your time with scenery, stage crew, costumes, lights, anything! We would really appreciate it."

"And now, without further ado, you should all have your scenes rehearsed and ready to go! As they say in show business, 'On with the show!'"

Aaaaahhh! Auditions are starting! I was going to try and throw a plug in the story for my school, but I'll just do it here. My original script included a bit about the school's competition one-act play. Some of you may have heard of this if you're into Drama, but I have to bring to light my amazing high school's performance this year in the one-act! Northland Pines High School in Eagle River, WI made their way to the State competition and returned home with not one, not two, but THREE AWARDS! They recieved the highest play award entitled the Critic's Choice, which only a small handful of schools receive, the Ensemble Award for so many amazing actors working together to create such a great play, and a Director's Award for the stunning duo Mr. David Strong and Mr. Michael Long! They were my coach when I was in high school, but we never got such an amazing amount of loving from the state level. So, I want to congragulate all of my comrades for such a stupendous outrageous performance of the drama 'Asylum'. They really kicked ass!

Well, besides that plug, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I also hope that you keep reading, reviewing, and loving!

Kimberly M. Pluedeman