A/N: Okay, here is a new mini series I've begun working on. This story is a planned eight-chapter series, no more, no less. I was inspired while watching TV with my parents on Sunday, when they started arguing over the puzzle in the back of the TV Guide. I romantically sigh and wish to one day find a man I can argue with. Therefore, my freakish mind started whirling and I came up with a horribly romantic, funny little story. I think I'm going to do that writing device where the main character will do a little dialogue before the rest of the story--I always thought that was cool. (By the by, thanks to my Beta--Cattykit--for getting this first chapter revised and back to me in a few hours. You are the best!)
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or anything remotely that good. Instead, I only use them to fit my means and cackle about it late at night, when I'm dancing alone in my room.
Breaking The Rules
Chapter 1: The Blind Date From Hell
I think I should begin this little montage by saying that I had the perfect life.
Okay, maybe it wasn't the perfect life, but it was a perfect life. I had a great job, a great apartment, made good money, had a great relationship with my family and a bunch of caring, well-meaning friends. So maybe I wasn't in love. I was without a boyfriend, husband, or fiancée, but I was happy with my life. That was when life did that weird little thing it did at times. It changed.
Now, I'm not saying all change is bad, but it would be unfair and untrue to say that change was all good. My mother would say, in the calming words of wisdom way that she has, that change is both good and bad. Change in itself is nothing, simply an energy or an action that sets things in motion. It's those things that come after that makes it good or bad.
Now, my situation might be seen as unique, considering I'm not the kind of woman who lets herself get in predicaments. If you had asked me then, I would have said that I lived my life on the edge, but really my idea of adventure was whether or not I would go to a movie for full price on a Sunday. It was hard to see past my routine, hard to see past my life of designer labels and famous articles.
Being one of the most famous advice column writers on the East coast had its up sides, let me tell you, but it also had draw backs. Especially the fact that I had a next-to-nothing love life. For a woman who told other women the rules on love, they'd all lynch me if they discovered how ineffective my love advice was for myself. Then again, maybe it was because of my disastrous love life that I ended up as I did.
The huge plasma screen television flickered to life, a thousand colors blending the perfect picture for everyone in the room to watch. A symbol flashed on the screen as newsroom music began playing. Then a stylish and attractive woman in her mid-thirties appeared on the screen. With a professional, yet fake smile, she held a labeled microphone to her face and spoke.
"Good Morning, New York!" she greeted in a cheery, high pitched voice. "Welcome to The Street Beat. I'm Susan Dorian. Today, I'm staking out the streets asking women who they turn to when their men go astray."
The scene changed to see the reporter, Susan Dorian, standing with two college-aged young women. "Can you tell us who do you go to for advice on love?"
Both of the girls looked at each other with huge smiles before replying together, "Kagome Higurashi", like it was the most natural thing in the world.
When Susan went to a well-dressed woman in her late twenties and asked the same, she replied, "Love? Kagome Higurashi. Who else?"
Susan went up to a few other random women and all of them replied the same. "Well, it seems there is no contest," Susan said into the microphone at the end of her little segment. "Kagome Higurashi is the word on love for New York women."
There was a cut scene that took them from the street to a smart looking business office and/or talk show setting. Seated on one side of the room was Susan, her outfit and hair changed, still looking striking and smart, but now with an indoor look rather than that 'Street Beat' fanfare.
Seated beside her was another woman, dressed in a designer business suit that did little to accent her curves, but gave her an intelligent look. Neat black hair was pinned back in a bun and a pair of black rimmed reading glasses sat on the bridge of her nose, in front of a bright pair of blue eyes.
"Miss Kagome Higurashi, welcome to our studio," Susan said in her high pitch, flashing her fake smile at the screen, then at the woman beside her. Kagome smiled coolly in response, a humoring smile.
"Thank you for having me," she responded politely. Kagome shifted her position a little uncomfortably, crossing her legs and resting her arms over her lap, never losing her smile or dignified appearance. She looked a little out of place.
"Tell us Kagome," Susan said with an attempt at a subtle smile. "You have been dubbed New York's Voice of Love." They paused as the camera went over to Kagome. She laughed on cue, a little blush spreading across her neck. "How is your love life?"
Kagome laughed a little more and shifted again. "Oh, I knew that question would be asked," she said. "Well, I have to say that there hasn't been a man who has caught me yet, but I do my share of the single life."
"No commitments in your future?"
"Not that I see," Kagome replied with another smile. "I like living fancy free for the time being."
"I'm sure that your fans would feel much more secure in their own lives if they saw you settle down," Susan commented with a smile.
Kagome's own was forced. "I'm sure they would," she replied. "But as my readers know, love is not on command."
"Right you are Kagome." Susan shifted to face the camera again. "When we return, Kagome Higurashi will be answering a few of your letters on the air for us today. Until I return, I'm Susan Dorian with the 'Street Beat'."
"And we're out," called a man on the set. Susan Dorian leapt from her chair, ripping the mic from her ear and stomping off toward her dressing room. Three studio workers trailed after her. Kagome got to her feet slowly, tugging on the end of her short skirt as she walked to where her two coworkers waited off camera.
"So how am I doing?" she asked when she joined them.
"You're doing good," Sango Rae told her. Sango, a tall and snappily dressed business woman, worked as a publicist for the magazine Kagome worked for. Her waist length dark hair was bound formally and she adjusted her red-rimmed reading glasses over violet eyes as she scanned over a few documents while sitting crossed-legged in Kagome's guest chair. "I think it will really help the magazine when this segment airs."
"It better," commented the other woman. Average height and build, one wouldn't normally take a second look at her, but the intense air of power and dignity demanded respect. Kagura Nitao, the founder and Editor of one of the most read women's magazine's on the East coast, stood with her arms crossed over her chest beside Sango, ruby eyes flashing. "This is valuable time out of her schedule here Sango."
"Yes, Kagura," the publicist replied, not looking up. "But just think of all the new readers you'll get when Kagome is on television."
"Because all our readers buy it because of me," Kagome replied sarcastically. She grabbed Sango by the arm and wrenched her out of the chair before settling in herself.
"Easy on the sarcasm, doll," Sango drawled.
"Well, whether or not you draw in new readers with this segment," Kagura said with a smile. "You've done me proud, Kagome."
Kagome smiled up at her boss. "Thanks Kagura." As an afterthought, she tugged on her skirt again. "I just wish I could have done an interview as myself..."
"We went over this," Sango said with a sympathetic frown. "We need you to look professional, not like you just fell out of bed, like you always do."
"Hey!" Kagome objected defensively. "It took a long time to perfect that look!"
Both her friends only smiled fondly as Kagome before they called her back to the set. That was just the way she was, Kagome Higurashi, a very unique person. If asked, one would never guess what she did for a living. Giving advice on love should have been the last thing in the world she should be doing, but women took comfort in her, and her writing was always superb.
And that was how she got her job in the first place. She was hired right out of college by Kagura when she started up her new age women's magazine The Winds of Change. No one predicted that it would last, and no one could have predicted what a response to be had to the twenty-two year old's honest and heartfelt articles.
Four years, over fifty issues, and millions of dollars later, The Winds of Change was still in business and was better than ever with each passing issue. Kagome had quickly become a favorite writer and was given many luxuries to make sure she didn't go anywhere. Not that she would have, considering how happy she was with her job. What other job would let her work out of her home four days a week making the kind of money she did? Letters and fan mail poured in for her by the dozens on a daily basis and every day, even after four years, she was humbled by the loyalty of her fans.
Thanks to her excess of pay, she was able to help pay for her younger brother's college tuition as he attended school in the city, to pay for her grandfather's medical bills, and she was always safe in the knowledge that her mother would be taken care of.
Maybe it wasn't the job she had imagined for herself, but it was a good job and she was happy. That was what mattered.
Unfortunately for Kagome, no one believed her when she said she was happy. Not her old friends from college, not her nosey grandfather, not even her over-bearing best friend, Sango. No one could believe that Kagome was happy without a man in her life. No one could believe that she was just happy going home to her apartment to an obese cat every night. That was why they were always setting her up on blind dates that ended in her not speaking to them for a few days.
When the interview was over, Kagome languidly made her way out of her dressing room, ditching the uncomfortably short business skirt in favor of a pair of tight black jeans. Her hair, loose around her shoulder instead of tightly drawn, and her glasses tucked into her pocket for use at a latter date. She was always meaning to get laser surgery, but somehow it was always pushed back.
Sango and Kagura were waiting for her outside, and fell into step beside her as they departed from the studio. "So, we are going tomorrow then?" Sango pressed.
"Yeah," Kagura agreed. "I put this vacation off for much too long. Besides, I need a good romp in Atlantic City to put my head on straight."
Kagome scoffed. "Put your head on straight? Kagura, I've known you over four years, and I've never known you to think straight past a bottle of liquor and a deck of cards."
"You're one to talk!" she said with a scowl. "Last time little miss Kagome has some fun, it was behind the bleachers at high school!"
"Hey," Kagome said with a laugh. "That was some good times."
All three women laughed, a nice thing since they rarely laughed now a days. Life had become stressful and busy for them. Time together as friends was limited; time together in business was plentiful, but it wasn't the same. The three of them had been planning this three-day weekend to Atlantic City for weeks now.
"Kagome," Sango commented, looking over her friend with skeptical eyes. "Please tell me you aren't going to dress like that when we go on vacation?"
"What?" Kagome defended, looking at herself. "I like to call it, casual business." She turned around, modeling off the top half of her business suit complete with jean ensemble.
"You look retarded," Kagura commented without a tone. She walked to the curb outside the building, hailing a cab with tact and grace. "I'll see you two tomorrow, bright and early."
"Bye Kagura," Sango said with a smile.
Kagome pouted. "What is this, pick on Kagome day?"
As the cab pulled up to the curb and Kagura climbed in, she turned back to the pair of them and grinned easily. "Chin up Kagome, your luck will change."
Kagome narrowed her eyes at that. The cab pulled away, leaving Kagome and Sango on the sidewalk together, waiting to hail cabs of their own. This left the young writer enough opportunity to round on her best friend.
"What did she mean by that?" Kagome narrowed her eyes and slowly crossed her arms over her chest. They were few people who could resist Kagome at her contrariest, and Sango was no acceptation. She balked, just enough for the trained eye to see.
"I have no idea what you mean." She looked nervous. Not enough to where it would be picked up by the average eye, but Kagome was not fooled.
"You two are scheming something, aren't you?"
The fact dawned on Kagome like a ton of bricks and she flipped. "You set me up again, didn't you?!"
"Don't freak out on me," Sango cried, throwing her hands up in a gesture of submission, but Kagome was already fuming.
"I can't believe you'd do that after what happened last time!"
"How was I to know that you wouldn't hit it off with Kyle?" the publicist defended herself.
"The rocks he studied were more interesting than he was! For the love of God Sango, I don't think you know me at all sometimes."
"Correction," Sango denied with some of her usual fire. "I know you too well, and that's the problem."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Kagome growled, hands planted on her hips as she stared down her taller friend on the busy New York sidewalk.
"Carpe Diem, my dearest of friends," Sango declared.
"Carpe...Seize the day?" Kagome questioned, stumped out of anger.
"You never go out Kagome," Sango reasoned. "You shut yourself up in that tiny apartment of yours, day and night, with your cat for company. All we want is for you to get a life!"
Kagome narrowed her eyes. "This is Miroku's influence, isn't it?"
Sango went from business to blushing in under ten seconds. All one needed to do was mention the name of her lethally-charming boyfriend to get a rise out of Sango. It was rather humorous. Though Kagome would never admit to being jealous, she did have a tiny bit of envy in her heart.
"This has nothing to do with the pervert," Sango declared. "This has to do with your inability to function in a social environment."
"We're going to Atlantic City tomorrow, be happy!" Suddenly, a cab pulled up on the curb and Sango leaned over to hug a very surprised Kagome. She pulled back quickly. "Pack some pretty things because we expect you to look nice when you meet him." Then she entered the cab and it took off.
Kagome, left standing on the curb, blinked stupidly after her friend's exit. "I think I just got conned..." she stated before hailing her own cab and heading home.
By now, it was late in the day and Kagome had no plans beyond curling up in her favorite chair and reading some letters tonight with her cat. When she unlocked the door to her apartment, she flicked on the light and walked in, tossing her bag on the nearest chair. "Buyo, I'm home," she called cheerily, closing the door behind her and locking all four locks--a chain, two dead bolts, and a knob lock.
The extremely pudgy, brown and white cat waddled toward her from his resting place on the huge green plush chair in the spacey living room. Kagome happily shed the jacket left over from her business suit and rolled up the long sleeved shirt, before bending over and picking up the large cat in her arms.
"Hello, kitty," she said in a low voice as she cuddled her favorite fur ball. Heading towards the kitchen, Kagome paused to place her cat on the counter before grabbing a can of his food and leaving him some to eat. Then she rummaged a snack for herself. Out of her bag, Kagome fished out a stack of unopened mail, so she headed to her favorite chair to read.
Buyo joined her when he was finished eating, curling up in her lap and letting her stroke him as she read aloud each letter. Some were sad, some were funny, and some were just ridiculous. Kagome set four aside for her next article, then grabbed her phone for a few last minute preparations.
Souta answered on the fourth ring, and judging from his drowsy voice, he had been dosing while studying. "Hello?"
"Souta, it's Kagome."
"What do you want?" he asked, a yawn evident in his voice.
"Well, there's greetings for you," Kagome grumbled to Buyo. "You're going to look in on my cat while I'm gone, right?"
"Yes ma'am," he said with hints to sarcasm. "I have your key, I'll go over to feed the fuzz-ball twice a day. I know the drill, Sis."
"Okay, I was just making sure you didn't forget him," Kagome said with a smile. "Love you, twerp."
Kagome laughed to herself as she hung up. With that came last minute packing, and then sleep. Much needed, much deserved, much beloved sleep. Setting her alarm for six, and setting her new Japanese cd on low in her stereo, Kagome curled up for the night. Buyo settled in on the pillow beside her and Kagome fell asleep to the soft sound of purring in her ear, just like she did every night without fail.
Kagome, small-wheeled suitcase in hand, met Kagura and Sango at the bus station the next morning. They had purchased tickets for the seven thirty bus to Atlantic City and they piled on with the grace and laughter that only women who have ingested too much caffeine could. For the morning and the bus ride, it was just the three of them. For some reason, lattes at seven thirty make even the best businesswomen into giggling schoolgirls.
They reminisced about the good old times, where the only responsibilities were what they would wear to whose party. Kagura thought back to her days before being an editor of her own magazine, to the days in college when she would bottom feed as a fact-checker journalist and how she glorified at the chance of making a difference. Sango, who was only a year older than Kagome, talked about how she never dreamed of publications until one college class changed her perspective. Kagome, who had always known she'd be a writer, talked more of her high school days and the crazy antics of her eccentric grandfather--who had been convinced that every boy she brought home was a demon in disguise.
"Kagome," Kagura laughed after a while. "Now that we have you here, and in such a fabulous mood might I add-- "
"Skip to the part where you tell me what you want," she replied sweetly.
"We need you to put up with a favor," Sango commented.
"If this has to do with my love life--"
"No," Kagura quickly denied. "This has to do with our new sponsorship with the magazine. As you know, these new sponsors from out west want to begin distributing The Winds all over the country. If we can land the endorsement money, we could make ourselves a country-wide magazine."
"What does that have to do with me?" the young writer said dubiously. She was waiting for the catch.
"As you know, you are our most popular writer," Sango explained. "The sponsors have asked for a special to be done on you. They want to get to know the writer who holds the most sway over the readers."
"Get to know me? You mean interview me?"
"They mean know you," Kagura said dryly. "As in follow you around, see your place, your family, and your cat."
"Why for fuck's sake would anyone want to get to know me?" Kagome swore. "I'm not that interesting. I own an obese cat; my little brother goes to NYU; the rest of my family lives in Jersey. End of story."
"I wish it were that simple," Kagura sighed.
"Kagome," Sango said lightly. "These sponsors are a big deal to the magazine. You'll have to put up with them butting into your business for the next couple weeks."
"No!" Kagome declared. "I don't want camera-wielding people tromping around my apartment all day. I refuse."
"Do you like your job, Kagome?" Kagura asked with a very dangerous smile. Even off-duty, she was still the boss and it was her magazine. Whatever she says goes.
Kagome sighed in defeat. "If I have to," she grumbled.
"Good," Kagura declared. "Now that that's settled, we're here! Let's go get drunk and gamble our money away."
"I second that notion," Kagome agreed.
"I'll meet up with you two for dinner in the hotel lobby," Sango said with a smile.
"Oh, that's right!" Kagome laughed. "Miroku's here too, yes?"
"And he brought a friend," Sango smiled deviously. "Dinner, seven o'clock sharp. And Kagome?"
"Yes, Sango?" Kagome asked in a dangerously sugar-sweet voice.
"Wear something pretty." With that, the brunette sauntered off the bus and toward the hotel elevator. Kagome fumed, stomping after her. Kagura waved them both off, and made a b-line for the casino.
After an afternoon of loafing around in her room, ordering room service and watching movies, Kagome saw that it was time to go down for dinner. With a sigh, she rose from the bed and unzipped her suitcase, going through her 'nice' clothing to find something worth wearing on a blind date.
It wasn't that she didn't like dating. Kagome was a social person when she wanted to be and she was always willing to meet new people. It was just that whenever someone set her up, it ended badly. It was Murphy's Law. Whatever bad things can happen, do.
"They should call it Higurashi's Law," she grumbled as she dug through the wrinkled clothing. "Or at least, the Higurashi Law of Dating."
It just so happened that the phone beside her bed began ringing as she was about to pull on her dressier of sweaters. "Higurashi room," she said cheerily into the phone.
"Kags, it's Sango."
"Like anyone else would call my room," Kagome said sarcastically. "What's up?"
"Are you almost ready?"
"Getting there," Kagome commented, running her free hand through her messy black hair as she stared at the cluttered pile of clothes before her.
"I'll be right there." A click at the end of the line signaled her leave and when the door opened behind Kagome a few seconds later, it signaled Sango's arrival from across the hall. "I knew it," she sighed upon seeing Kagome and her pile. "You're hopeless."
"Don't go there, San," Kagome said with a frown. "I was just trying to decide what to wear considering...you know. I'm not all that elegant."
"Well that's what I'm here for," Sango replied as she began rifling through the clothing on the bed. "I will make you presentable, even if it kills me."
"You look much better than I ever could," Kagome whined, collapsing on to the bed and looking up at her friend. "I mean, you get your hair to do that 'neat' thing. And you're legs...I would kill for legs that good."
"Stop whining," Sango laughed. She struck a small pose, showing off her conservative, but extremely attractive attire of a white silk blouse and long black skirt. Both did wonders to show off her trim figure. "You too can look as good as Sango."
"Really?" Kagome said happily, hopping into a sitting position. "Oh please teach me, Obi wan."
"Fuck you," Sango laughed as she tossed a sweater over her friend's head. Then she squealed. "Kagome, you brought the dress!"
"What dress?" the writer asked after she freed herself from her silky confines.
"The one I made you wear to the last work party. The one that made all those guys from publishing drool all over you!" Sango happily held up a simple low cut, middle length dress the same midnight blue as Kagome's eyes.
"That's so not me," Kagome whined. "I'm too trashy to look clean-cut."
"You're not trashy, Kags," Sango denied. "You're just out of date."
"Yay, now you can make me feel like a can of expired meat," Kagome said, batting her eyelashes. Sango rolled her eyes.
"Put it on, then I'll fix your hair." Grudgingly, Kagome changed in the bathroom and walked out, tugging on the waistline of the dress. It fit her every curve, which left Kagome very self-conscious. She was a girl who dressed for comfort, and didn't like showing off what Sango dubbed to be her assets.
"See, all you have to do is stop fidgeting," Sango scolded, grabbing Kagome's hands from the hem of the dress as she sat on the edge of the bed. "You'll do fine."
"This feels like high school," Kagome commented. "My best friend picking my outfit and brushing my hair before my big date."
Sango laughed as she ran the brush through Kagome's soft locks. Never would she mention it, but Sango had always been jealous of Kagome's natural beauty. Even when she tried to hide it, there was just nothing she could wear that would make her ugly. That didn't mean, however, that she couldn't make herself look pretty once in a while.
After a few more minutes of idle brushing, Sango neatly folded Kagome's hair into a loose French braid, allowing a few tendrils to fall and frame her face. "Lovely," Sango smiled. "Now we can go."
"Hurray! I'm starving," Kagome announced, grabbing her room key and waiting for Sango to follow her out the door. The women walked to the elevator arm in arm.
No matter how many blind dates you are sent on, no matter how many times your friends and family set you up, you still get nervous just before meeting the guy someone you love says could be the one. Despite all of Higurashi's Law, Kagome was excited and nervous and in a surprisingly good mood.
They met up with Miroku in the restaurant, at the bar to be more exact. The dashing dark haired businessman had captured Sango's attentions half a year earlier when he groped her during a meeting for the magazine. It had been love, no matter how badly Sango had denied it at first. There was just something in the way he looked at her that made Kagome realize right off the bat that the two of them were going to be blissfully happy--even if that did involve the occasional blowout.
Dressed in casual wear, not a hair out of place, Miroku greeted Sango with his customary grabbing of her ass and his declaration of love. Sango replied with a slap to his face and a smile.
"Hello, Kagome," Miroku greeted her when she helped him from the floor.
"Hi, Miroku," she replied once he was right side up. "You're looking well."
"So are you," he said with a speculative look. Kagome blushed lightly but smiled happily.
"Sango did it. She's gone and turned me respectable. Now I have to meet that friend of yours looking normal."
"Oh, for shame," Miroku joked. "How ever will he survive knowing that you can look radiant when you wish?"
"That's what I say," Sango commented.
"No fair, two against one," Kagome declared, hopping on to a barstool. She ordered herself a drink before turning back to the pair. "So where is this person I am to entertain while you two lovebirds have a romantic Atlantic City dinner?"
"Last I saw, he was getting us a table," Miroku replied, turning to scan the restaurant before waving his hand. "I see him, come on."
All together they wandered toward the table saved by Miroku's mysterious friend. He casually leaned across one of the booth seats, feet propped up and elbows on the table. "Ladies," Miroku said formally. "This is my friend, Dr. Inuyasha Saishi." Kagome looked over Sango's shoulder to get a better look, and found herself gazing at, easily one of the most attractive men she had ever seen. Amber eyes that bordered on gold, straight silver hair to his shoulders, and sharp features defined him from the average man. "Yash, this is Sango Rae and Kagome Higurashi."
"A doctor, huh?" Sango said with a respectful nod. "How'd he meet you?"
"College," commented Inuyasha from the booth. "We were roommates." That was when everyone piled in and grabbed a menu. Kagome, taking a seat across from Inuyasha found her eyes wandering over her menu from time to time and had to scold herself to stop.
You're either very lucky, her mind declared. Or Higurashi's Law is about to strike again in the form of an attractive doctor. Her gut said Higurashi's Law, and it was almost never wrong.
Once the meals were ordered, and small talk was had about occupations and recent funny stories, the food came and was eaten mostly in silence. It was when she finished her bowl of oden--and a fine bowl it was--that Kagome decided it was the perfect opportunity for a little Sango/Miroku alone time.
"I'm going to the bar," she announced. "Inuyasha, would you like to join me?"
He blinked at her a moment-- having not been directly addressed by her at all so far in the evening-- shrugged and got up to follow. "Sure."
Once out of hearing distance from the table, she leaned over and whispered to him, "They need a little time to themselves."
Inuyasha didn't replied because he was far too busy being self-conscious. Granted, he was not the type of man who usually got that way around women-- at least when he wasn't treating them. There was just something about this Kagome Higurashi that had him feeling very out of place. Since the moment she sat down at the table, he seemed to have to keep her in the corner of his sight at all time, or risk some catastrophe from occurring. He found it difficult to concentrate on what Miroku or Sango had been saying, or even worse when they asked him a question.
Inuyasha was not the kind of man to get flustered or tongue-tied or self-conscious. He was usually confident and out-going and borderline rude. Right now, he was on his best behavior, and he had no idea in hell why.
He came to the conclusion that it had to be the fact that he hadn't been on a 'date' in over a year. Since his intern rotations ended and he became a fully licensed doctor, he had been so busy working ERs in New York to have much of a social life. Apart from Monday Night football parties at Miroku's apartment, he hadn't gone out at all since he began working the ER as Dr. Saishi.
"Ah," Kagome said suddenly. She sat on a stool and comfortably elevated her feet beside her. "Sorry about that," she blushed slightly. "These shoes hurt like a bitch."
"Why do you wear them if they hurt?" Inuyasha asked with a half-raised eyebrow, taking the open seat beside her.
"Dramatic effect," Kagome declared. "I would look like a midget beside Sango if I didn't have heels. I'm only five feet tall."
"I'm six feet," he told her. "You'd look like a midget next to me no matter what shoes you wear."
Kagome looked at him with such a glare he thought she was going to throw her gin and tonic right in his face. That was why he was so surprised when she laughed. "I guess you're right. But you're a guy, so that's ok. I shouldn't look tiny next to another woman."
"Did you ever think that maybe Sango's just freakishly tall for a woman?" Inuyasha offered, accepting his rum and coke from the bartender.
"That could be true," Kagome nodded. Like it was perfectly logical to think of your best friend as freakishly tall. "Ah, who cares?" she muttered at last. After she downed half of her drink, she turned to study her partner. Inuyasha watched back with a steady gaze. "How did Miroku rope you into this blind date?" she asked.
For a moment, he only blinked at her. "Um..." Inuyasha stuttered to begin. "He just asked if I'd come down to the city with him for the weekend. He didn't mention a blind date until this afternoon."
"Ah, so you got pulled into the old snatch and grab ploy."
Kagome grinned. "You are the empty glass," Kagome said, downing the rest of her drink and putting the empty glass upside down on the bar counter. When the bartender brought her a new drink, she placed that next to it. "The full glass is Miroku. The snatch is when he feeds you a little to get you to come." She turned over the glass and poured a mouthful of drink in it. "The grab is when he tells you the catch while you're drinking." She swallowed the mouthful for emphasis. "Snatch and grab."
"You're an expert?" Inuyasha asked, very amused and equally interested.
"When you are the queen of bad blind dates," she laughed. "You know the name of every technique."
"So how did they get you to agree?" he asked her, finishing off the rest of his own drink and ordering another.
"I was simply conned," she explained. "No fancy trick, a plain, flat-out con."
"A toast to bad dates," Inuyasha said, holding his fresh drink aloft. Kagome tapped her glass against his.
"Cheers. Let's get drunk and forget that we're being set up."
"I'll drink to that."
"Miroku," Sango commented over dessert. "Did you notice that Kagome and Inuyasha left the bar?"
Miroku looked up from the mouth-watering piece of cheesecake that dangled from the fork of his beloved to look at the bar stools that once occupied his best friend and the sassy writer. Both stools were vacant and the bartender was carrying a large armload of glasses from the counter toward his sink.
"Oh, hell," he exclaimed. "Those two were downing more alcohol than the entire state of Nevada."
"We'd better go find them before they pass out in the lobby or casino. If we're not careful, Kagura might rifle their pocket change for the slots."
The pair paid for the meal and left the restaurant in search of their wayward friends. Sango went to the casino while Miroku explored the lobby.
In the casino, Sango found Kagura, sitting at a slot machine with two plastic containers full of quarters. "Come on baby," she chanted, pulling on the handle. "Momma needs a new ipod!"
"Kagura," Sango called, drawing her attention. It was just Sango's luck that the quarter was a dud.
"Dammit Sango, you broke my mantra!" complained the red-eyed editor. "What's the matter?"
"Have you seen Kagome? We were at the bar, having dinner, and she disappeared with Miroku's friend."
"Hey," Kagura said happily, feeding another quarter to her slot machine. "She might finally get lucky tonight. I swear, she needs a good lay."
"Focus Kagura," Sango said seriously. "She's drunk off her ass. What if she's hurt?"
"Relax," Kagura told her friend. "This is Kagome we're talking about. The straightedge writer everyone's always calling a virgin. How much trouble could she get into?"
When Kagome woke up, she noticed three things.
The first was that her head hurt worse than if a steamroller had just run it over. Her temples throbbed, her eyelids ached, and her skull felt like it was caving in. All in all, she had a wonderful hangover that came from a night of getting drunk with her new favorite bar buddy.
The second was that she was naked. This wasn't a fact that alarmed her greatly because she had slept nude in the past. Usually when she was out at a business dinner or meeting until late and was too tired to crawl into her sweats after coming home. When she tried to move, she bunched the sheet around her and shuffled to the edge of the bed, willing herself to walk to the shower.
The third thing she noticed was that she was not alone in her bed. That was called to attention when she came into contact with a warm body while shuffling toward the edge of the bed. A firm, muscular, silver-haired body that she wasn't hung over enough to think of as her cat.
With a small shriek, Kagome launched herself backwards and tumbled head first on to the floor of the hotel room, only increasing her pain and waking up her partner. Inuyasha, equally hung over and nude, looked up at her with fuzzy gold eyes. It took him a moment to realize the fact that he was in a woman's bed before his eyes widened and he jumped to his feet, swaying from side to side and holding a pillow in front of his more private parts.
"Oh God," Kagome cried in a shaky voice. "Do you remember what we did last night?"
"In so many words?" Inuyasha asked, voice rough and eyes pained.
"Fuck!" Kagome screamed, looking down at her left hand. It was true. On her ring finger, the one that used to be bare, there was a small, golden band. "Fuck fuck fuck!" she cursed.
"Let's not lose our heads here," Inuyasha said, holding out his left hand to calm her down, only realizing that he was also wearing a ring. "Oh, fuck..."
"We really did it," Kagome breathed, looking pale and feeling as if she was about to vomit.
"Let's be calm," Inuyasha said, striving for calm when he really felt as horrified as she looked.
"Calm?!" Kagome coughed, staring incredulously at him with wide midnight eyes. "We were fucking married last night!"
And that was when the door flew open.