Summary: When Kagome moves to Tokyo a nearby bakery offers more sweets than just cakes and coffee. AU. S/K. part 1 of 3.
She had dreamt of strawberry cake that night, and of the building as well.
The building was one of those rare types found in Tokyo. Most likely it had been privately built to resemble some small shop that one would find in Germany or Austria during the boom of the 1980's. The front windows were filled with glowing red geraniums and the small patio in which there were painted white tables and chairs were surrounded by that same red glow as well. It was a wooden shingled building with accents of deep rich timber of some sort against a butter-colored exterior.
Kagome Higurashi had first seen the building when she and her mother and brother had driven down the Tokyo streets in search of her new apartment address. Of all districts in Tokyo, Kagome would never have guessed that she would come to work in Ebisu. Known around the world as high class and elegant, the girl, fresh out of a Kyoto University, found it hard to believe she had landed a job and apartment in an area such as this.
It had been a week since she moved in, and every time she ventured outside she could smell the scent of bread and cakes in the air. The cardboard boxes had nearly disappeared, only to be replaced with empty Chinese take-out boxes, and instant ramen from the convenience store a half block away. She had neither time nor energy to actually go grocery shopping for the first week, and had spent most of her time looking through the phone-book sampling take-out from local restaurants.
Now, her apartment was furnished, and even painted (it was those double-coats of paint which had caused the delay). Everything had a place, and there was a place for everything. Kagome Higurashi had become habituated to Tokyo living.
Glancing down at her watch as she slurped the last of her noodles (chicken flavor), Kagome grabbed her briefcase and took once last look in the mirror before heading out to her first day on the job with Vrai Magazine. Promising herself that she would go shopping after work and would just go out to eat during lunch, she locked the door and ran down the stairs. She was too impatient to wait for the elevator.
"The thing is so slow," she grumbled to herself, grabbing the railing and taking the stairs two at a time. She was giddy with excitement. After all, it was not often that one became the new head writer for the section entitled, "La Place a la Tokyo".
Had she been patient enough for the elevator, she would have noticed a tall silver haired gentleman exiting onto her floor. But as it was, by this time she was already out the front door and making her way towards The Underground entrance.
Collapsing into a white wrought iron chair, Kagome doubled over and cradled her head in the palms of her hand.
"It couldn't be that bad, can it?" A newly met co-worker Terashima Sango inquired as she placed down two hot teas and seated herself.
Glancing up, her pretty grey eyes catching the sun, Kagome whispered, "It wasn't as though it was bad. It was just so…so…!"
"Stressful?" Sango offered.
"Yes!" Kagome grumbled to herself, now sitting upright and stirring her tea moodily. Her ideal of 'her first day at the job' had been totally crushed. Her boss, Masuhara Kikyou was definitely not the 'nurturing motherly' type.
"Does she ever smile?" Kagome spat bitterly, gulping down some tea and finding it was too hot. "She is too old to be so morbid."
Sango grinned slyly, "Around her boyfriend, Inuyasha, she does…"
Wide-eyed, Kagome retorted, "S-She has a boyfriend?"
Sango nodded sincerely, "For about a year and a half now, ever since he started the travel section in the magazine."
Nodding, Kagome inquired curiously, "Is he in the country now?"
Shaking her head, Sango explained, "He is in New Zealand right now. Ever since the Lords of the Rings movie came out, it seems as though the Japanese public can't get enough of New Zealand."
Having not seen the movies herself, Kagome wondered idly what New Zealand looked like. It was not as though you read a lot about it. Did it look at all like Australia, she wondered? Deciding she would have to research it on the internet after going grocery shopping, this evening, she added, "Oh, Sango, I just wanted to thank you."
Sango, who had been glancing down at the tablecloth looked up, "Why? What did I do?" She laughed.
"For being nice to me. You could have easily ignored me like Masuhara-san did, or treated me like an idiot like—,"
"Oh, Kagome, you don't need to thank me for that. I only started here last month! I figure us new-girls should stick together. And, you must allow me to thank you, you know. When I heard you were coming to this café for lunch, I just had to tag along. I have been meaning to try it for months!" Sango looked around the place. The scent of bread and cakes was as strong as ever, mingled in with the fruits from the cobblers and tarts along with the sugar from the frosting.
The midday sun was washing in through the windows trimmed in lace and there was a pleasant rhythm and murmur to the building and its customers.
Opening her mouth to protest, Kagome closed it quite suddenly when the door opened. There was a tinkle of bells, a flurry of silver and black, and Kagome found herself speechless.
Having been brought up in the countryside herself and only visited Tokyo on holiday, she had heard of the strange and outlandish Tokyo fashions. She knew about the terribly high platform shoes, the excessive tanning and white lipstick, the hair dyed in fluorescent colors, the dark lacy gothic look—and she had a problem with none of them.
After all, this was Tokyo, a place where anything was possible.
But the person who had just walked in, the person who was now at the counter speaking in a low melodic voice—he did not seem like the type to partake in such fashions.
But what can explain the color of his eyes? Surely they have to be contacts! And the silver hair?! It has to be dyed! There is no way that can be natural!
"Uhm, Terashima-san?" Kagome began, nervously, glancing over her shoulder at the man. The hair came down to his waist. It was really, Kagome thought, still struck by his beauty, rather breathtaking!
"Please, call me Sango!" she insisted, her black eyes following Kagome's glance. Motioning towards the man whose back was still turned to them, she whispered, "Beauty isn't he? Puts me to shame, and I am a woman who cares about how she looks."
That was true, Kagome nodded, looking at Sango. After all, she was an editorial writer in the fashion pages. Her clothes were stunning and fit her suitably; her make-up not overdone, subtle and natural yet adding that something more which made her spectacular. Her body was fine and nicely shaped, her breasts neither too big nor too small. Yes, she was the epitome of a perfect woman in appearance.
Truth be told, it made Kagome rather embarrassed to be around her. She had always considered herself somewhat pretty, but around Sango she felt plain.
"Do you know who he is?" Kagome questioned, leaning forward across the table and lowering her voice.
Laughing, Sango questioned, "Why? Are you interested?"
"Certainly not!" Kagome flushed, looking down at the table and squeezing onto her napkin firmly.
The waitress brought them their bowls of soup (each had ordered potato-leek) and the two fell into silence as they sipped the liquid.
After a moment, Sango conceded, "Truth be told, I do not know the man. I see him around this area though, at all times. Even at night."
Peeking discretely at a table where the male had seated himself across the room, she studied him. He did not seem the business-man type, he was too fashionable. He was not boring enough.
The man's golden eyes glanced up and found her own. Pulling herself away and looking at Sango she tried to ignore the flush on her cheeks; she hoped Sango would do so as well.
"What do you mean, at night?"
"Well, one time I had to work late, and as I was leaving he walked into the same building as ours. I mean, it wasn't six or seven—which is acceptable if you work late, but it was more like eleven o'clock."
Nodding in agreement, Kagome found that that was indeed odd, and went back to her soup.
The rest of the conversation followed mainly about each of their pasts (their family, where they had grown up, what schools they had attended, what they were interested in, who was their favorite music artist). Following the soup, the two indulged themselves with a single slice of the "Fruit Basket Cake" which turned out to be a simple white cake with layers of strawberries and bananas covered in whipped cream.
"Delicious…," Kagome sighed happily, licking the spoon.
While Sango paid the tab (she had insisted, as what she called, a 'Welcome to Vrai' gift) Kagome glanced about the small café. It was a very nice place, she decided, and she hoped she would come their often. It was only four blocks from work and a half block from her apartment.
As she took it all in she noticed the silver haired gentle-man staring at her from across the room. When their eyes connected, he did not look away and Kagome was unsure what to do.
Feeling extremely grateful that Sango touched her arm a moment later to signal their exit, she glanced back to see that his golden eyes were still following her and he had even left his seat so that he could stare at her through the window.
Just great, Kagome thought sadly, all I need is a beautiful stalker my first day on the job….
AN: a sweet and simple beginning, I feel. Now, don't get your hopes up about this story. It only plans to be about 3 chapters long or so. Just a diversion from Shadows.
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