Third Rate Romance

Reba Jean 11/15/03

Email to: rjean@ghg.net or rebajean@writing.com

Third Rate Romance, the bawdy tail of how Kagome got stuck on Fluffy, a parody of those awful Sesshoumaru/Kagome lemons.

Disclaimer: Characters based on "Inuyasha" ( 1997 by Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan, Inc. Song lyrics quoted or adapted from "Third Rate Romance" by Sammy Kershaw and "Stuck on You" by Lionel Ritchie.

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Setting the stage:

The search for the shards of the shattered Shikon no Tama has continued for several years, punctuated with periodic skirmishes with Naraku and his minions. Inuyasha chose to claim Kikyo two years before and she has joined their little band. Kagome's sorrow over her unrequited love for Inuyasha has become somewhat muted, replaced with annoyance at Kikyo's continued sniping and putdowns. Though she would not admit it, Kagome harbors increasing anger, ruthless suppressed, toward her hanyou "friend" for his continued rude treatment of her. The Inu brothers have long since ceased trying to kill one another, usually settling for vicious verbal sparring matches, only occasionally coming to blows. The groups paths cross occasionally, joining to battle Naraku.

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The futile arguments continued as they had for hours. The two factions could only agree on the bare bones of a plan. Much would have to be decided in the field, at a time and place of their common enemy's choosing, when they finally faced Naraku.

Tiny bug-eyed Jaken peered through the drapery closing off the map room from the Inu castle corridor. Rin and Shippo were sprawled asleep on a pile of furs, rugs, and parchment scrolls in the nearest corner. Inuyasha slumped sullenly in the opposite corner, arms crossed and ears flattened to his head, sulking that his plan had been summarily dismissed by Sesshoumaru's military attaché. He didn't see why just rushing in and hacking Naraku to pieces with Tetsusaiga wouldn't work. Kikyo hovered motionlessly beside him, her stone-like features impassive as always. On the far side of the room behind the map table, Miroku vainly attempted to defend himself as Sango and Kagome pummeled him mercilessly. Their screeches of "hentai" and worse epitaphs rang in Jaken's ears. Standing silently next to his guffawing military aides and legion commander, unconsciously guarding the sleeping children, Shesshoumaru watched the conflict, disdain evident on his elegant features and in his regal bearing.

Jaken hesitantly addressed his master, "My Lord, Shessomaru-sama, the servants have prepared the evening meal and set up tables in the small audience hall as you commanded."

"This meeting is over," Sesshoumaru declared, his calm command cutting through the chaos in the room. "My staff may return to their duties. My servants will provide the guests with suitable attire and escort you to the dining hall.

The girls ceased their assault on Miroku and filed out of the room. Bowing slightly to his host in gratitude for the reprieve, Miroku followed. Across the room Inuyasha huffed, "Keh, Kikyo doesn't need to eat and I'm not changing."

"Suit yourself," Sesshoumaru replied blandly. His contempt was evident in his tone, that his 'brother' would willingly remain unwashed and clothed in sweat-stained dusty travel garments. He turned to the tangle of bodies and furs in the corner and tousled the little girl's dark mop of hair, "Rin, get up."

Rin bounced up, rolling the sleepily protesting Shippo off the pile, and hugged the crouching taiyoukai. "Sesshoumaru-sama, you came. I dreamt that I was lost in the forest and you found me."

"Do I not always return for you?" he replied, disengaging himself from her clinging grasp and moving toward the hallway.

"Jaken, take Rin and Shippo to her room. See that they clean up and change for dinner," Sesshoumaru instructed his long-suffering retainer. The small grumbling toad youkai scurried out of the room, vainly trying to catch his escaping charges.

Sango and Kagome washed away the travel grime in the bathing area adjoining the normally unused women's quarters in the castle guest wing. They stared in askance at the towering piles of brightly colored garments they were expected to don. Kagome commented, "Some of these must be hundreds of years old, and I've never seen such expensive fabrics except in museums."

Sango added, "I thought this was supposed to be an informal 'family' dinner, not some elaborate court affair."

Kagome looked as puzzled. "It's just too much," she addressed the pair of graceful neko youkai attendants in dark blue livery.

"If the ladies would prefer, perhaps just a couple of under layers, a long silk kosode, belted with a smaller obi, and a floral brocade uchikake. The dining hall can be chilly in the evenings."

"That would be better," Sango acknowledged gratefully, not wanting to admit that she would have had no idea what 'formal' kimono would be appropriate. Her daily dress was simple and practical, not the attire of some court lady with dozens of servants to help her dress.

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Sitting at tiny tables in the ritzy dining hall
She was staring at her china cup
He was trying to keep his facade up by serving booze
The talk was small when they talked at all
They all knew what they wanted
There was no need to talk about it
They were old enough to scope it out and keep it loose
The females' scents were high as they wafted by
Inuyasha laughed and lifted his cup
as he watched his brother squirm
The monk said to them both
"You lovelies look like my type,
but I guess either one would do"
"I'll even tell you that I love you,
if you want me to"
They both smacked him down
And beat him to the ground
Third rate romance, high rent rendezvous

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The girls were the last to arrive for dinner. The rest of the party had already gathered. A series of small black lacquer tables ran the length of the long narrow room. Inuyasha had claimed the spot next to the window at the far end of the room for Kikyo and himself. She appeared in a duplicate of her usual costume of white kosode and red hakama. Kikyo had apparently 'persuaded' Inuyasha to change. He now wore a hitatare in a bold red, black, and white color block pattern similar to a rugby shirt. Kagome hadn't realized his taste ran to such bright clothing, although his usual attire was bright red after all.

The children occupied the next table. Rin wore a pretty pink and white miniature version of the kimonos provided for Sango and Kagome. Shippo was dressed in a plain blue child's kimono, probably one of Rin's outgrown outfits, as the fabric was better quality than the servants issue. Both children were fidgeting and surreptitiously snagging bits of pickled vegetables or raw fish from the trays on their table. Miroku, in deceptively plain black on black brocaded hitatare, stared glumly at Jaken, his none too attractive table companion. The girls would occupy the next table, inconveniently out of groping range. Sesshoumaru sat alone at a table on the slightly raised platform at the end of the room. It was normally occupied by his elaborate seat, not quite a throne, used for receiving petitioners, formal audiences, and the like.

Miroku was the first to catch sight of the two women as they entered the room. He stood as if entranced for a moment and then quickly crossed to join them. Sango had chosen a pale watered silk kosode with over robe of pink and red rose patterned fabric and matching obi. Kagome was in a teal under robe, topped with a peacock patterned print in rich blues, greens, gold, and copper. Their hair was dressed with white jasmine flowers and they had made use of the fragrant soaps and oils. Miroku darted between the girls and placed a hand at each girl's waist to 'guide' them to their table. "You ladies look absolutely lovely tonight and you smell heavenly," he added as he sidled in closer, nuzzling each in turn. His flirtatious behavior earned him matching red handprints on either cheek and threatening growls from both Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru.

After everyone took their seats, the servants brought out a series of dishes, including soups, rice, noodles with bits of vegetables and fowl in various sauces, and skewered game meats straight from the fire. Talk was desultory at best. The children and Inuyasha concentrated on wolfing down the food as fast as it arrived. Miroku continued flirting with Sango and Kagome by turns. The monk's flirtatious and increasingly lewd behavior was outrageous, thought his totally unimpressed table companion. Neither female seemed to notice; however, and only ignored Miroku. The monk seemed to be focusing his attentions mainly on the youkai exterminator.

Sesshoumaru picked at his food and remained mostly silent, barely able to avoid yawning in boredom. His amusement at the subtle insult at seating Inuyasha at the lowest table, "beneath the salt" if it had been a European affair was lost on the oblivious hanyou. Amusement soon turned to dismay, as the breeze through the window shifted. Sesshoumaru sniffed and fidgeted. Not only was the disgusting scent of his brother blowing his way, but also the dirt and carrion reek of Kikyo. How Inuyasha could bear it, he would never understand. It must be the same reason his hunting dogs enjoyed rolling in dead, decomposing carrion or burying and then digging up old rotting bones. Perhaps the new double distilled imported wine recommended by his vintner would help dull his sense of smell. He signaled the servants to provide saki bowls of the beverage to the adults.

The two women seated closest to Sesshoumaru were absolutely lovely. Their scent was a beguiling combination of sandalwood, jasmine, other florals, and a most enticing feminine aroma. He could finally begin to understand why human females had so appealed to his father. Sesshoumaru found himself watching Kagome more frequently. She kept glancing toward Inuyasha and Kikyo, her eyes tearing, and the pungent salt odor of her tears and distress wafted his way. His half-brother was an absolute ass, pawing and fawning over his undead bitch in front of his other woman. The cur had no manners or consideration for Kagome at all.

Sesshoumaru shifted uncomfortably, his body's agitation and the growing tension in his loins in response to the delectable female odor, finally triggered the connection in his mind. Though human females did not go into heat like youkai, both girls were evidently in the fertile part of their cycles and their pheromones announced it to the world. The monk may not have the same keen sense of smell as the inu youkai males but he was obviously reacting to the presence of receptive females none the less. Sesshoumaru felt a piercing stare from across the room and snarled in frustration. Inuyasha laughed uncontrollably at his brother's predicament. He had chosen the 'lowest' and farthest table consciously for that very reason.

The food had disappeared, Inuyasha and Miroku had depleted most of the castle saki stores, and all but two or three bowls of the "wine" had been drunk. The children were asleep at their table; Jaken chivvied the servants to carry them out. Inuyasha and Kikyo leapt out through the open window and disappeared into the nearby forest. Sango, Miroku, and Kagome staggered down the hall toward their rooms, drunkenly singing the chorus to "ninety- nine bottles of beer on the wall". Sesshoumaru let his head fall wearily to the table, cradled on his forearms. The servants quietly cleaned up around him.

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