Sweets

Chapter 3

 Breaking a pair of disposable wooden chopsticks, Kagome poked at her tofu and bean sprouts sullenly.  It was her lunch break, it was a glorious day outside, and she had only now opened up her bento box of tofu, bean sprouts, kurooke, and grilled chicken.

It was not as though she was not hungry, she was just…

"Still feeling guilty about the 'coffee-kiss'?"  Sango questioned, leaning over her desk and picking up a piece of tofu. She studied it for a moment before plopping it into her mouth.

Glancing up, Kagome sighed irritably (she hated it when Sango referred to it as 'the coffee kiss'), "Well, yes and no. He had no right to kiss me! I really should have filed charges to the police!"

At this, Sango laughed, and settled herself down in her usual chair where she too opened her bento box and began to eat.  Despite Sango's perfect figure she ate quite a bit.  Kagome attributed this to high metabolism.

"But…?" Sango urged on, glancing up at Kagome, a mischievous smile on her face.

"But, I really shouldn't have asked him to pay for it. I mean, it wasn't like he had too…it was my fault."  She grumbled.

It had been two weeks since that day, and she still felt uneasy every time she smelled the scent of cakes in the air.  What if she saw him on the street?  What if he somehow ended up behind her in line at the grocery store?

Would she throw something else in his face? Would he kiss her again?

Would she pull away this time?

"What are you thinking about?" Sango questioned, a mad smirk on her lips, "Feeling remorse? Maybe you should've just gone along with his agenda?"

Throwing her hands up in annoyance, Kagome wondered miraculously How does she ALWAYS know!?

"I mean, I can't blame you, Kagome. That man is gorgeous! I mean, the fact that he isn't some model is a crime against humanity. Think of all the school girls who will never see his face!"

Sango was getting into it now, shouting out catch phrases, "He could be known as 'the Silver Piece' and if he ever decided to go into music, he could be called 'Candelabra'"

Laughing against her will, Kagome questioned, "Where do you think of these things, Sango?"

"On the subway ride over.  It's much better than watching all the schoolgirls getting felt on by old perverts."

"Really?"

"In fact, one of those perverts works here. He is a photographer."

"Oh? And how do you know this?"

Chewing idly on a fish sausage, Sango remarked off handedly, "He keeps on asking me to dinner. Every Thursday night, like Old Faithful."

"What is Old Faithful?"

"Oh, a geyser in America somewhere."

Kagome laughed. Somehow, Sango could always make her forget her troubles.

The two ate in silence a moment longer, and Kagome was just popping an after-dinner mint into her mouth when a man with his hair tied back in a ponytail walked up to her desk and questioned, "Are you Higurashi-san?"

Nodding, somewhat concerned, Kagome replied, "Yes. Is there something the matter?"

"Who knows when it comes with Masuhara-san. Anyways, she wants to see you right now about a change of assignment."  The man with the pony tail's eyes traveled down to Sango who was sitting in the chair.

"Pleasure as always, Sango-chan." He commented, winking as he exited the room and toward the elevators.

Gathering her stuff, Kagome grumbled, "A change of assignment, hm? Well, that's better than no assignment! I have been waiting to do something for the past two weeks!"

Sango said nothing and was looking down into her bento-box as though it held all the answers in the world.

"By the way, was that the faithful pervert?"  Kagome questioned, glancing in her pocket mirror before slipping it away.

"Yes, I suppose so." Sango sighed, leaning her head against the palm of her hand.  Her good mood seemed to have vanished and she seemed lost and forlorn.

She must be in love with Old Faithful

"Well, good luck with Masuhara-san."  Sango called gloomily as she packed up her box and headed in the direction of the elevators as well.

*

"Masaharu-san?" Kagome called, knocking gently on the door.

"Yes?"  A cool composed voice questioned from within.

"It is Higurashi Kagome. May I come in?"  Even to herself her voice seemed uneasy.  She must have been nervous.

"Yes. Do."  The voice relied calmly.

Opening the large door, she slipped inside and shut it quietly behind her.  Bowing deeply, she made her way to a seat near her desk.  Only then did she lift her eyes and look into the face of the president of Vrai Magazine: Masaharu Kikyou.

"You wished to see me, Masaharu-san?"  Kagome questioned, wishing she had her purse or a handkerchief to clutch. 

Please, don't tell me she is going to fire me! After I just moved here, and my apartment is so nice and…oh, it would be terrible having to go home such a failure!

"As you might have been told by Nazawa-san, this is discussing a change of assignment."  Masaharu flipped through some papers on the desk.

"I am assigning you to a special that this magazine is running on Tokyo attractions as well as wonderful places to eat.  They will be categorized according to Tokyo Districts, accessibility and cost."

"Yes, Masuharu-san."  Kagome replied, wishing desperately she had a notebook. 

Can I do this all on my own? I hardly know Tokyo whatsoever!  I get lost on The Underground!

"Do you feel that you are up to this, Higurashi-san?"  She questioned, looking at her with those deep black piercing eyes.

"Yes, I believe I can.  I will work hard to make this magazine and you proud of my effort."  Kagome sputtered, bowing her head.

My god, I sound like some retirement age business- man pleading for a second chance!

"That is good to hear. I knew I would not regret hiring you."  Masuhara stood up and opened a blind behind her so that there was a chunk of light on the carpet floor, "Now, your partner for this assignment has just stepped out.  I sent your colleague, Okuda-san, to go inform marketing about this idea.  In the mean time, please wait patiently for the return.  It will not be more than a few minutes."

Closing her eyes, Kagome nodded.  She felt so small and so insignificant. How was it that Masuhara Kikyou, only a year older than her, had made it to President so fast in her career? How was it even possible?

But even though I don't like her much, I will try hard to make her believe in me. For all I know, this could be my big opportunity to see the city and meet someone wonderful.

There was a gentle knock.

"Come in, Okuda-san."  The president called.

Standing up suddenly, Kagome turned towards the large door and gasped.  She was so surprised she could not even resist speaking.

"It's you!"

The man had not yet noticed her, but as soon as she spoke he did.  His expression, somehow, remained absolutely the same.

"And it is you as well."

Masaharu seemed confused and questioned, "Do you two know each other?"

I hope he does not go into the details. Ohhhh! Why did it have to be him of all people being my partner? Why couldn't I have someone I have never met, or kissed, or thrown coffee at?!

"We dated once."

What!?

Glaring at him in fury she found that he was purposefully avoiding her gaze.

"Indeed?  Well then, I hope that this project will not have any unexpected problems due to your past together."  Masaharu seemed as cool as a cucumber and taking a folder from her desk she handed one to the each of them.

"Now, I expect you to handle this assignment on your own and all the photographers have been alerted that you are the number one priority right now."

Kagome bowed and replied quietly, "Yes, Masaharu-san."

Internally, she was still yelling and screaming and fighting and kicking.

Why? Why? Why?

The silver haired gentleman, Okuda Sesshoumaru was his name, was thinking similar thoughts as well.

Why indeed, Higurashi Kagome?

But there was no turning back.

A few moments later Masaharu Kikyou dismissed them and they left the office together.

As soon as the doors closed, the only thing Kagome could think to say (for she had decided to calm down somewhat, for being so uncontrolled seemed very unprofessional) was, "I never found out your name, Okuda-san. I mean, you full name."

"Mine is Okuda Sesshoumaru and yours is Higurashi Kagome, is it not?"  He questioned, gazing down at her.  He nearly wanted to laugh. Nearly.

He does not have to look so damn smug.

She does not have to look so damn pretty.

"Well then, I have a meeting to attend to. How about we meet at my desk tomorrow morning at nine? Is that okay with you?"  Kagome questioned, wishing to get out of his sight as soon as possible.

"Nine it is then. I shall find your desk tomorrow morning."  Sesshoumaru replied, glancing down at his watch.  It was nearly one and he had not yet eaten.

"Well then, tomorrow."  Kagome replied, bowing curtly and hurrying off down the hall, only glancing back at him once.

Watching her leave, Sesshoumaru sighed to himself.

Well, that was terribly unexpected.  I suppose that this is no more awkward than Inuyasha and I working in the same magazine, however, and in the end things always work out.  In any case, Kagome Higurashi could scarcely be as hard to handle as my brother.

No, that is impossible for anyone.

Although the fact that I kissed her will make matters…

Sesshoumaru found his cheeks hot and at that moment decided to go to lunch at the café.  He was craving something sweet.

It won't be so terrible, he supposed, the only thing I have to fear when she gets mad is her throwing coffee in my face—and she won't dare try that again now that she knows the consequences…

…but on the safe side, I won't wear dry clean only shirts…

He chuckled to himself as he heard the familiar tinkle of the bell.

*

Bowing to her co-workers, Kagome waved goodbye to them as she made her way back to her desk.  The meeting had taken her longer than she expected and she only had a few hours in which she could work before going home at six. 

Stopping in the bathroom and to chat with Sango she did not arrive at her desk for another ten minutes.

After all, Sango had accepted Old Faithful's date proposal and as a friend of hers, it was Kagome's duty to help her pick out the outfit, make-up and give her pointless and incomprehensible 'date-tips'.

When she arrived at her desk and collapsed into the chair and hugged her head in her arms. So much had happened today.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she smelled a very familiar scent; that of bread and cakes and frosting.

Sweets…

Looking up, she found a clear plastic box on her desk wrapped in a silver ribbon.  Within the box was a piece of Boston Cream Pie and nearby a steaming paper cup of Café-Au-Lait.

Searching for a note, she eventually found one and opened the small blue card.

Inside was a short note:

To Higurashi Kagome

It seems that I cannot escape you.

But there are worse things.

I believe I owe you this…

Enjoy.

-Okuda Sesshoumaru

Smiling against herself, Kagome opened the container and tasted the whipped cream. It was sweet. And somehow, she felt as though coming to Tokyo had been right in the end, as perhaps that visit to the bakery had been.

She could never resist a good bakery.

*

fin

*