Kagome Higurashi was the best trumpet player in her school. Jazz, classical, pop tunes, marching music, you name it, she could play it. Upon graduating, she was accepted into the most elite band sc...
Welcome to Shikon University
Rating: PG-13, for some language, crude humor, and sexual references
Summary: Kagome Higurashi was the best trumpet player in her school. Jazz, classical, pop tunes, marching music, you name it, she could play it. Upon graduating, she was accepted into the most elite band school in all of Japan: Shikon University. She seems to fit right in...but will things heat up when she meets the rebellious french horn player, Inuyasha? Alternate Universe.
Author's Notes: Hello! Welcome to the first chapter of my new story, Brassed off! (And all that jazz), and to any who have never read one of my fics before on FFNet, hi! I'm Seiren, your not-so-average band nerd. This idea came to me at two-thirty in the morning, while I was vainly trying to write another chapter of LDR, a discontinued fic of mine. I thought about it all day, and here I am, finally writing it! Warning you now: everyone will tend to be a bit out of character, especially Inuyasha, but that will all be explained later on in the story...:Wink:
IMPORTANT: You may not understand some of these things, as this is, essentially, a band-nerd story. If you're confused, please email me. Smart(UNDERSCORE)blond(AT)juno(DOT)com, and I'll do my utmost to enlighten you to the world of band...
Anyway, enough of me rambling! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and co. I mean, seriously, do you honestly think Miss Takahashi would be writing fanfiction about her own creation?
Kagome fidgeted nervously with the hem of her shirt, an nervous expression on her face. She had been on the bus for several hours now, and she knew it couldn't be far until it arrived at her destination, and her new home: Shikon University. Her anxiety must have been evident on her face, for a pretty girl with dark brown hair, and cinnamon-brown eyes smiled at her reassuringly from across the isle, her aura of calmness and self-confidence helping Kagome just a bit. Her lips quirked up at the corners in a little grin of gratitude. The girl opened her mouth like she was about to say something, but the driver's voice came over the speaker system, effectively silencing all the idle chatter on the vehicle.
"We'll be arriving at the school in just a few minutes," he said, and sure enough, when the bus turned a corner, there it was: totally modern, extremely exclusive, and absolutely terrifying...to Kagome at least. The eighteen-year-old girl had been a bit anti-social all of her life, and wasn't good when it came to new people. Come to think of it, she only had three close friends back at her hometown, in Tokyo: Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi. They had never really understood why she was so into band, anyway. Band. Her mind said the word fondly. Band had been her one real interest, that had inspired her to care anything about school. She would never admit it to anyone, but she was also near-inhumanly talented also. She had been first chair in the all-region band every year since the seventh grade, and had been in all-area band every year since her sophomore year in high school. She and her trumpet were like an unstoppable force, and the 'duo' had even gotten the highest honor possible in the country: a full-paid scholarship into Shikon University. Out of every one-hundred students that applied to get into the school, only one ever got accepted, and only one out of a thousand ever got a scholarship. So, to say Kagome was exceptionally talented would be perhaps the understatement of the century.
The bus pulled into the grounds of the school, burgundy-bricked buildings all around. It rolled past several of them, labeled "Cafeteria," "Library," and "Assembly Hall." It stopped in front of this last one, the vehicle creaking to a stop meters away from the ivory stairs that led up to the building.
"All freshmen, please exit the bus and congregate outside of the building, please," came the bus driver's loud voice over the speakers again. A mad scramble was made to get out of the stuffy thing, where the temperature was at least twenty degrees higher than outside, and it was pretty darn hot out there to start with! Kagome found herself pushed along with the rest of the new students, sandwiched between the pretty girl with the brown hair and a large boy with extremely hairy eyebrows.
Finally, the commotion was over and the group was met with a senior, who was obviously not too happy with his appointed task: to show the freshmen the ropes. His hair was very long, and seemed to have a feminine quality. His face was stern, mouth set in a grim line, and his golden eyes regarded the group coldly.
"Quiet down, fish," he said in a low voice that just demanded respect. All talking was stifled immediately.
"Very good," the senior sneered, turning the 'compliment' into something akin to blame. "I am Sesshoumaru, and the other student council members and I will be telling you all how things run around here..."
With an unspoken 'follow me,' he turned, silver hair shimmering, and walked up the stairs in a fluid motion. With yet more pushing and shoving, the new students followed him into the welcome relief of the air-conditioned building.
Sesshoumaru walked up to the microphone and gave an "Ahem" that echoed around the assembly hall. He, and a group of about fifteen other upper classmen were standing on the stage at the front of the chamber, regarding the freshmen intently. Kagome squirmed in her seat under the scrutiny of a senior girl that looked remarkably like her. But at Sesshoumaru's quiet call to attention, she looked away and walked up to the stand next to the silver-haired boy.
"Welcome to Shikon University," she said in a voice that showed little more emotion than Sesshoumaru's. "I am Kikyou, vice-president of the student council. Sesshoumaru, who you have already been 'acquainted' with is our president." Sesshoumaru nodded, adding, "And I'm sure you'll get to know everyone else later."
An awkward silence ensued, and both of the student council leaders had a look that clearly stated 'I'm only here because I have to be.' Neither said anything, as if they were waiting for the other to make the first move...
A junior with long, dark hair, pulled back into a loose ponytail stepped up, pushing his way between Sesshoumaru and Kikyou. He smiled cockily, and giving the freshmen their first friendly look so far.
"Don't worry about them," he said, disapproval clear on the president and vice-president's faces, which he seemed to ignore. "Not everyone here is as emotionless as dead fish." Some of the other student council members down the line smiled appreciatively at his actions.
"Anyway, I'm Kouga, trombone-player extraordinaire. Now if I can get someone to help me," he paused and glanced down the row of upper classmen, "I'll explain how things work around here." Kikyou and Sesshoumaru looked at one another and shrugged as if to say 'less work for us.' A couple of the others looked around with bored expressions, but one girl, probably a Junior as well, stepped forward to join Kouga at the stand. Her hair was a ruddy red-brown color, pulled into pigtails, and her eyes were startlingly green.
"Aah, my lovely Ayame. Wanna go out to dinner this Friday? At seven?" He said with a humorous roll of his dark eyebrows. Several stifled giggles sounded around the room. Ayame brushed off his invitation saying with a slight grin and an blush, invisible in the low light.
"Oh, I feel so rejected." Kouga faked a pout, and he tried to look sad. Ayame whacked him over the head with a paper folder she had found on the podium, and sighed.
"Uhh-" The object of the violence stammered, "-Maybe we should...just get on with the explanation...?"
Ayame nodded her approval.
"Well," she said, "The first thing you should know about Shikon, is that we have band practice every morning at six a.m., and every afternoon starting anywhere from four to five, and lasting indefinitely."
Kagome groaned inwardly. Six a.m.? Oh, this'll be fun, she thought sarcastically.
Kouga interjected, "Yes, and there are several different groups in which you can join. There is, of course, our world-famous marching band, which everyone is automatically in. Other than that, there is the Wind Ensemble, an elite group of only the best players for every instrument, the Jazz band, for all those cool cats out there."
No one laughed at Kouga's cheesy statement. In fact, a cricket could be heard from somewhere in the hall...
"Ahem...yes, there's also our brass ensemble, which is perhaps the hardest to get into, the orchestra, for you string players, and lastly, there is the concert band, for...everyone else. And of course, there are our smaller ensembles, quartets, quintets, which you can form yourselves."
A few quiet murmurs sounded from different areas around the room, but died down when Ayame spoke again.
"Other than that, you will have a pretty much average academic schedule. Math, history, science, and language are the required courses, though we have a wide selection of electives available...You know, the usual ones, art, theatre, technology, yaddah, yaddah, as well as some more music-related ones, like our advanced music theory course and music composition, just to name a few."
Hardly a second later, Kouga jumped into the explanation saying, "As for figuring out where everything is, meeting your teachers, getting to know people, and learning a few tricks, you will have your own guide for the first month of school. The people who'll be helping you out are a group of sophomores and a few juniors. They've all prepared a little welcome party to integrate you into Shikon life, and pretty much everyone will be there. It will be starting...oh, crap, in five minutes. Hey, Shiro, would you show them the way?"
"Sorry for having to cut off the introduction!" Ayame called out. "I'm sure your guides will answer any and all of your question!"
A boy, presumably Shiro, with dark hair and stylish glasses, stepped down from the stage-area where the other council members were congregated and waved at he freshmen, gesturing for them to follow him out the doors...
Kagome wasn't quite sure what to think. Shikon University seemed to be a very music-centered school, but...
"We're here!" Shiro shouted from the head of the mob. Kagome craned her head up to see over the person ahead of her, although the huge building was clearly visible against the pale blue sky.
It was one of the largest buildings on campus, originally built as a secondary band hall, but the acoustics were terrible, and the students used the huge, empty room to throw parties. And that was certainly the case, here! Loud music was blasting from the open doors, a banner over them that read "Welcome to Shikon University!"
The freshmen were shepherded into the hall and greeted with a mob of students, from sophomores to seniors, and even a few alumni, all here to welcome the new students into the school. Kagome noticed that many of the younger-looking ones were holding up signs, which seemed to have something written on them.
"YOUR GUIDE WILL HAVE A SIGN WITH YOUR NAME ON IT," Shiro shouted over the music, beckoning everyone to disperse.
Kagome scanned her eyes over a few of the signs, wandering aimlessly among the crowds, a slightly lost expression on her face. She kept adjusting her stark-white blouse, freeing it of nonexistent wrinkles. Hmm... signs were everywhere, but she couldn't find hers. It was a little bit frustrating.
Aiko Kuronami, Chiri Nakase, Mari Kirisashi, Sango Aoyami...but no Kagome Higurashi, She thought, frowning slightly. Oh, wait, there it was!
A sign that had her name on it rose into the air, as if it's holder had forgotten what they was supposed to be doing. Nevertheless, with a small bubble of hope, Kagome slipped past some people in the crowded room, and was met with a boy.
His dark hair was about shoulder-length, and pulled back into a short ponytail at the nape of his neck. He wore a purple shirt and blue jeans with a hole in the knee. Kagome also noted a golden earring and his blue eyes. A bit shyly, Kagome walked up to him, and pointed at the sign, since it was way too loud to be heard in there without making your lungs totally explode with yelling.
He smiled brightly, and shouted, "DO YOU WANT TO GO OUTSIDE, WHERE WE CAN TALK WITHOUT HAVING TO SHOUT LIKE THIS?"
Kagome nodded, and followed the blue-eyed boy as he shamelessly pushed through the other people, without so much a an apology when they were shoved out of the way.
A short distance away from the building he sat down on a concrete bench, and said, "So...you are Kagome, right, because, personally, I have absolutely no desire to go back in there..."
"Yeah, I'm Kagome," she said quietly, still standing around awkwardly.
"Well, you gonna sit down or just stand?" He asked sardonically with a raise of his eyebrow.
Blushing furiously, and not quite sure what emotion she was feeling right now, other than embarrassment, Kagome nodded and sat, glancing up at the blue-eyed boy.
"I'm Miroku, by the way. Congratulations on getting into Shikon. What is it that you play?"
Aah, band! Here was something she could talk about. "I play the trumpet," she said, feeling a little more relaxed, with such a comfortable subject.
"Aah, very cool. I always loved the trumpet...I got stuck with the saxophone, since that was the only thing we had at home, and my parents didn't make much money."
"Oh...umm...I'm sorry..." Kagome said uncomfortably, staring at Miroku.
"Eh, don't be," he said, leaning back against the back of the bench and staring at the far-off horizon. "Oh, by the way..." He pulled his backpack off and began rummaging through it for a few moments, with the occasional, "No," or an "Oh crap, where it is..."
"Ah-hah!" He said, and pulled out a wrapped box, still perfectly unsmushed for being in a college student's backpack, and who knows what kind of things are in one of those...
Kagome stared at his outstretched hand, and her gaze traveled to his face and she gently put out her arm and took the box.
"Well, open it," He said eagerly, like a child waiting for his parents to see a handmade gift of macaroni, glue, and glitter. Kagome smiled and said, "Thanks" before taking off the wrapping paper (Without ripping it, the weirdo) and opening the plain cardboard box inside.
"Ta-dah!" Miroku exclaimed, "It's the Shikon University survival kit! Very hard to come by..."
Kagome laughed out loud, starting to feel more comfortable. The box contained valve oil, always a necessity for a brass player, rotor oil...
"I didn't know if you would be a french horn player or something, so I nicked that from my roommate..." Miroku explained, because only french horns needed rotor oil.
Kagome smiled again and continued sifting through the items, finding a coupon for fifty percent off a new mouthpiece for her trumpet at the college musical store, a little book that turned out to be a lesson planner and appointment organizer, a photo of Miroku...
"That wasn't supposed to be in there," he said quickly, snatching the picture out of her hand. She heard him mutter, "Inuyasha, I'm going to get you for that one..."
And last but not least, there was a bag of brownies, one of which looked as if a bite had been taken out of it.
"Wouldn't eat those..." Miroku warned, "...my roommate made them, and you can never trust him. But then again, you may end up having to...that slop they serve in the cafeteria can hardly count as food, and the nearest decent restaurants are at least an hour away."
Kagome laughed again, and said, "Thank you...Miroku." An awkward silence ensued, and Kagome said, "So...Is there anything important I should know about the school? Like people to know or to avoid...?"
"Why, yes there are..." Miroku said with a grin that could only be described as evil...
.o0o.o0o.o0o.TEN MINUTES LATER.o0o.o0o.o0o.
"And that's about it..." Miroku finished lamely, his voice trailing off.
"Eep..." was the only thing that Kagome could say, he face somewhat pale, her teeth clenched and a very strange look on her face.
"Umm...I didn't scare you too much, did I?"
Kagome nodded stiffly.
"Hmmm...Well, are you interested in going back to the party?"
"Not really..." Kagome said, her voice a little uncomfortable.
The awkward silence returned, and Miroku piped up brightly, "So, let's take a look at your dorm assignment, and I'll show you how to get there!"
"Uhh..." Kagome said, come color returning to her cheeks, "Right, then..."
Miroku dug around in the bottomless pit that he had affectionately nicknamed 'backpack' and pulled out a folder with Kagome's name and social security number on the cover.
"Hmm, you're in Namataki Hall, lucky! That's one of them with the suites! You get your own bathroom! Room 31a...top floor. By the way, your luggage should be up there already..."
"Okay," Kagome said with a slight inclination of her head, "Would you lead the way?"
"Wow," Kagome commented, looking around her new dorm assignment, "This is actually pretty nice."
Miroku pouted, "Yes, way nicer than my original. In fact, it was so terrible that my roommate and I put our money together and rent an apartment. It's much better..."
Kagome didn't say anything, and Miroku continued, "Well, would you like any help getting unpacked?"
"No, thank you though," Kagome shook her head, the thought of a guy looking though her clothes just...unacceptable.
"All right then, Miss Kagome. Since tomorrow's a Saturday, and we don't have any classes, meet me outside the assembly hall, and I'll show you around campus."
"Right. Thanks Miroku." He nodded, flashed her a quick smile, and left Kagome to do her unpacking.
But first...She should explore her suite. There were two little bedrooms, and another room, probably used at a sitting area, since it was furnished with two armchairs and a table, connected by a bathroom. The walls were painted a soft blue color, like calm water, with grey plush carpet and hyacinth accents on the doorframes and windowsills. Her belongings were in the room closest to the bathroom, and she was fine with that, so Kagome unpacked her sheets and started making up her bed.
She had just finished pulling up the comforter to look nice, when the door opened on the other side of the suite. Her roommate had arrived.
Kagome prayed that she wouldn't be some stuck-up, catty, self-centered whore. And, luckily enough, God seemed to be listening to her...
Deciding to wait, more our of shyness than anything else, Kagome began taking out her clothes, storing them on various hangers that she discovered in the little step-in closet, when she heard her door open behind her.
"Oh, I'm sorry," a kind voice said, "I didn't mean to bother you."
Kagome turned around, a little bit surprised to see the brown-haired girl that had smiled at her on the bus.
"It's okay," she said quietly, grinning a little bit at the girl.
She paused, and added, "I'm Kagome Higurashi."
The taller girl's face lit up, and she smiled broadly. "I'm Sango Aoyama."
Sango considered for a moment, and then asked the most frequently used question at Shikon University.
"So, what instrument do you play?"
Kagome grinned again, taking an immediate liking to the girl and said, a bit more boldly this time, "The trumpet. What about you?"
The brown haired girl proudly puffed out her chest and said, "Percussion all the way! I play the xylophone, mostly, though I can play pretty much any drum except for snare..."
"I've always loved the sound of a xylophone..." Kagome said, still unpacking her various articles of clothing. Sango, without asking, reached into her bag and began working alongside her.
"You're helping me unpack for this, you know," she said teasingly. Kagome smiled.
If everybody was this nice, she felt like she would get along just fine here.
Author's Notes: I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Brassed off! (And all that jazz) I sure enjoyed writing it! I do believe I'll have fun with this story... :Insert evil author's laugh here: Muahahahaha! Well, please review! I love mah reviewers! They make me update faster... Anyway, lots of luff!
Obnoxious quote of the chapter: Once, this kid came up to me and said, "Why is it raining?" I answered, "God is crying." He asked why god was crying, and I said, "Probably because of something you did." (A true story...)
Next Chapter: Inuyasha...