I'm back, and hopefully better than ever with my second Inuyasha story! I know it's been forever since I've posted anything, but I've finally got a new story for you to enjoy! I've been working on it for a long time now so hopefully you guys will like it just as much, if not more, than my first one. ^_^
Please ignore all the little periods you my find through the story. I am using them to preserve the spacing since ff.net screwed it up. Hopefully they won't bother anyone and will instead make the story a little easier to read since everything will be properly spaced.
Oh, and before we get started, I can't forget to give big thanks to the best beta readers in the entire world, Saro, Kajun Spice, and Hembadoon!
Disclaimer: It wasn't my fault it took me so long to write another story, really! Oh, and I don't own Inuyasha or any of Rumiko Takahashi's wonderful characters.
Rated for language.
Big Trouble Comes in Small Packages
The small apartment was quiet, save the occasional snapping sound of a newspaper as a very annoyed hanyou scanned the want ads for the fifth day in a row. Every few moments he would flip another page, nearly creating holes in the thin paper with his claws from the amount of force he put behind each turn.
"Damn city!" He muttered under his breath as he scanned the listings. "Telemarketers, waiters, cooks…isn't there something around here that I can do?" Inuyasha scowled at the mental image of himself waiting tables, but smiled when his imaginary self dumped a tray of food on the customer's head.
When his amusement passed, Inuyasha's expression once again grew serious. "If I don't get my hands on some money soon, I'm gonna find myself short one apartment."
The unease caused by such a thought showed on his face. Inuyasha really liked his apartment and the idea of losing it didn't set well with him. Not only had it been the only home he'd really known since his mother died, but its location also held a special interest for him.
Suddenly a possible solution came to mind, and Inuyasha almost smiled. If nothing else, it would at least be a temporary answer until he could find another job like his old one.
"That pervert had better be home," he muttered, picking up his cordless phone.
As he listened impatiently, the phone rang several times before a very polite, almost seductive voice answered the phone.
"Greetings, Miroku speaking."
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Would you get over yourself already!" he snapped.
"Well Inuyasha, I'm happy to be speaking with you, too!" The now amused Miroku replied. "So what do you need today? Legal advice, financial advice, or perhaps a good swift kick in the-"
"Alright already, I get your point!" the dog-demon huffed, cutting Miroku off. Before the man on the other end could add anything else to his little speech, Inuyasha muttered something almost too low for the human on the other end to hear.
"I'm sorry for being rude."
Dead silence met this unusual statement.
It took several moments for Miroku's brain to register the fact that Inuyasha, whom he had never heard apologize in his entire life, had just said something nice. And to HIM of all people! Sure that he must be hallucinating, Miroku silently checked his forehead for any sign of fever.
The fact that Inuyasha didn't hear a single word out of his friend after he'd gone and embarrassed himself horribly was starting to grate on his nerves, and he finally got sick of waiting on him. "Oi, did you hear me or not?!?!" At least he seemed to be back to his old self again, growl and all.
Miroku sighed. "Yes, I heard you although I don't believe what I heard. Who are you and what have you done with Inuyasha?"
The temperamental hanyou had to stop himself from responding with a rude remark. It wouldn't do him any good to make Miroku angry just when he needed his help so much. Instead he made his tone gruff and slightly sullen as he tried to temper his usual attitude.
"Oi Miroku…I need to ask you about something."
Understanding quickly dawned and it caused Miroku to become suddenly wary. "Okay, spit it out. What do you want this time?"
"A job." Inuyasha obviously didn't believe in beating around the bush.
"Fat chance." Neither did Miroku, it seems.
Inuyasha scowled at the phone, dearly wishing his 'friend' was in the same room right then so he could take out all of his job hunting frustrations. "Look Miroku, I need the money! If I don't come up with it in the next week then you're going to find yourself with an unwelcome houseguest!"
"Go stay with your brother," Miroku suggested calmly.
"Half-brother!" Inuyasha snapped automatically. His scowl had deepened more than anyone would have thought possible, and he let loose a low growl. "I am NOT going to go crawling to that bastard! I know he's just waiting for me to go back on my hands and knees like the miserable failure he thinks I am, but I won't give him the satisfaction!"
Miroku was quiet for a moment after Inuyasha's little tirade. "Well…"
Holding his breath hopefully, Inuyasha waited for Miroku to continue.
"…I suppose I could allow you to earn some money." He sounded like he was carefully considering all his possibilities. "But not by working in my restaurant."
This statement confused Inuyasha. How else could he earn money? Miroku, even at the young age of twenty-six, was quite the buisness man and owned a nice little café several blocks away that he'd originally built to attract women. And it did attract women all right…little old ladies wanting a cup of tea to warm their old bones. They all seemed to make it a point to flirt quite regularly with the owner, much to Miroku's 'delight'.
His friend had gotten quiet again, but this time Inuyasha didn't say anything. He seemed to be thinking carefully about whatever his idea was, and the less he annoyed Miroku, the better he knew his chances were.
"Okay, this is the deal," Miroku stated firmly. "I want you to set me up with that really cute girl living in the apartment under-"
Inuyasha gave the cordless phone in his hand the evil eye, silently daring Miroku to call him back after being hung up on and attempt to continue with his little offer. An offer, which if Inuyasha had his way, would be agreed to when hell froze over.
With renewed determination he once again picked up the newspaper, grumbling all the while. "I think that job waiting tables is starting to look better and better…"
The office was dark, save the faint light of the sun as it slipped through the slats in the blinds that were drawn over the large bay windows. In one shadowed corner of the room a large desk made of dark, shiny wood was situated and a small figure could be seen standing in front of it. Another much taller figure was seated behind it, the shadows masking his features.
"Are the preparations complete, Jaken?" the seated man questioned intently.
The short one, now identified as Jaken, nodded eagerly. "Everything is set just as you requested, Sesshoumaru-sama."
"I take it you settled all accounts?"
Jaken once again nodded in affirmation. "The hanyou will be paid for his services just as you ordered, my Lord."
A slight frown marred Sesshoumaru's shadowed face. "I was referring to my other accounts, Jaken. I am well aware that my…brother…has not yet been informed of his job."
The small demon became flustered over his mistake. "Please forgive me for my error, Sesshoumaru-sama! Of course all of your other accounts have been paid in full without a single problem."
The frown once again became a mask of boredom. "Fine. Be ready to leave tonight then, for my trip cannot be put off any longer. The plans are final so there is no backing out now."
"As you wish, Sesshoumaru-sama." Jaken bowed. "Is there anything you might require before I leave to finish preparations?"
The demon lord seemed to consider the request carefully. "I do not believe so."
Once he was dismissed, Jaken scurried out of the room and shut the ornate wooden door behind him, leaving Sesshoumaru alone in the now almost complete darkness with his thoughts.
'It's been a long time, Inuyasha, since you walked out on our family. It will be interesting to see how pathetically you've fared without our father's money to fall back on.' Sesshoumaru stared thoughtfully at the closed door. 'It will be in my favor if you've failed miserably, for then my…task along with its rewards will be too attractive for you to pass up.'
The phone rang, causing Sesshoumaru to set these thoughts aside for later. He would deal with them again when the time came for him to face his brother, but for now, he had business to attend to.
"I can't believe they told me I wasn't 'cheerful' enough for the job!" Inuyasha ranted under his breath later that day. "Who do they think they are, telling me that? I can be cheerful if I want to!" Inuyasha slammed the door as he entered the apartment lobby and glared at the desk clerk when she greeted him.
Of course, no one can understand why anyone would have EVER told him such an unreasonable thing.
Inuyasha headed for the elevator without paying attention to anything going on around him. Coming to a stop at his destination, he pressed the up arrow button so hard that the plastic cover cracked. Two people had come up behind him hoping to use the elevator, but wisely decided to take the stairs instead and hurried off. That left Inuyasha alone to spout obscenities to his hearts content.
"Stupid people," he continued to mutter angrily. "I ought to turn around and go tell them they can shove that job right up their-"
Stopping right in the middle of vocalizing his interesting little plan, Inuyasha spun around and paled when he saw the one person he'd rather not have had overhearing him. "K-Kagome…"
She smiled brightly at him, which indicated that she probably hadn't heard anything and he relaxed considerably. She could be pretty scary when she was upset with someone.
For the last year both Inuyasha and Kagome had lived in the same apartment building, he working and she going to college full time to become a grade school teacher. On occasion they would talk, but neither had ever really had the chance to go out of their way to get to know one another. On Kagome's part it was a lack of time and the fact that Inuyasha had worked nights on his last job as a security guard. As for Inuyasha…
He shifted awkwardly and blushed, not knowing exactly what to say to her. She always had this kind of effect on him and he knew the reason why, not that he'd ever admit it to anyone. With Inuyasha, it would be major progress to even admit to himself that he liked her.
Kagome waved a hand in front of his face. "Hello? The elevator door is open, you know."
Inuyasha's face turned almost as red as his T-shirt and Kagome smiled in amusement.
Once they were inside the elevator, Kagome spoke again as she shifted her backpack full of heavy college books. "So, any luck with the job hunting?" She seemed concerned and sympathetic.
Inuyasha stared at her in shock. "How the heck did you know that's what I was doing today?" He didn't know if he should be happy that she cared enough to find out stuff about him, or upset that she knew he was jobless.
Kagome shifted her bag again. "I walked by that café your friend owns and he stopped to talk to me." She was oblivious to the tic Inuyasha had in his eyebrow now. "He seemed so worried about you and told me how hard you were looking. What happened to your last job?"
Inuyasha had to work really hard to stay calm. 'That jerk! As soon as I get my hands on him he's not gonna live long enough to talk to Kagome ever again!'
Out loud though, he managed to stay off the subject of Miroku's imminent death. "The company changed owners and we didn't get along too well." He intentionally left out details, like the fact that it was his brother that now owned the company, and that it had been Inuyasha who had quit rather than work for Sesshoumaru. Leave it to Inuyasha to leave out all the important stuff.
The elevator stopped and Kagome smiled at him again before getting out on her floor. Inuyasha lived one floor up in the apartment over hers, so he stayed where he was. "I hope things work out for you! Let me know how it goes and drop by one day if you feel like it, okay?"
He nodded, trying to look a lot more gruff and serious than he felt at the moment. Once the door had finally closed, he slumped against the wall. "Damn, I'm such an idiot around her that I can't even think to do something nice until it's too late, like carry her bag for her!"
Inuyasha stayed like this and beat himself up over the whole thing until the doors once again opened, this time on his own floor. Sighing, he exited and made his way to the front door of his own apartment. "Well, there's nothing I can do about it now. Just concentrate on getting a job right now and THEN you can worry about her."
Unlocking the door and throwing it open, Inuyasha stomped inside and threw his jacket across the dark room towards where the couch should be. It never made it to its destination.
"Talking to yourself again, I see."
Inuyasha froze at the sound of that well-hated voice. "Sesshoumaru…"
Well, what do you think of the first chapter? If you like it and are ready to read more, then more you shall certainly get! (If you tell me you want it, of course) So review and let me know what you think! ^_~