AN: Are you ready for this? Good, because I'm not. Thank you to everyone who has stuck through the…I don't even know how many years now…this story has been around. Thus the chaotic mess that it is now. I hope, though, that somewhere along the line, anyone reading this far has enjoyed it a bit. If you hate it or the way it ends, I'm very sorry, and you should probably go read some good literature. I recommend Oscar Wilde. So! Here goes! If you're hoping for a big, sloshy make-up scene, it probably won't happen. But I don't know what will. Should be interesting!
IT'S not(?) SANE
Imagine, if you will, a girl. No, a woman.
She's intelligent, good-natured, and fairly attractive. This woman is in love with a man (sort of). He, she thinks, might be in love with her, but the problem is, they're both very intelligent, they both like each other (probably), and though they enjoy being with each other, they seem to find misunderstandings more interesting than having to, you know, interacting like civil human beings.
It might be safe to call them both royal idiots, actually.
See, this is the type of thing that happens to them. One will finally say something nice to the other, the other will think the first one is joking, and the other will insult the first one, who must, as per etiquette, insult back exponentially, and thus they are incapable of saying anything nice to each other and they just end up being very annoyed and fighty all the time despite really liking each other (probably). Actually, it might be safe to say they're both idiots. And the pretty one has a massive grease stain in the shape of the Holy Mother on her nose where she rubbed at it.
Don't get me wrong. The woman I was talking about before isn't me, but that crud does actually happen. She's my second cousin's wife's roommate's best friend. I lie not. Poor girl.
I, however, had other problems. Like the grease stain on my nose.
And the sound of Sesshoumaru's overly-compensating convertible driving away.
You'd think I'd learn. But then you wouldn't be thinking. Because, if you were really thinking, you would look at my very long track record of not-learning and realize that it would be stupid to presume that I should start learning any time soon.
The last piece of pizza lay in my limp hand, an abandoned stain on my life marking the night when I could have made something of a relationship but instead threw it to the sharks to rend into shreds like those that constituted my heart at that moment.
Yeah, I don't know what that meant either. I think what I mean is that I switched from feeling foompish to feeling kinda cruddy. I almost started to cry into my pizza. Almost. Thankfully the grease streak somehow stopped the tears from running down my face, and if they don't make it to your chin, it's not really crying. So I wiped them with a Pizza Palace napkin, got up off the floor, threw the last piece of pizza into some tin foil (my mother always said you can do as many stupid things in life as you need to in order to learn, but never, ever waste good food), and went to the washroom to wash my face.
It felt nice to know, when I looked in the mirror after scrubbing my face, that the redness and puffiness I saw in it could just as well be from cold water (or alcohol) as from almost crying. I folded my towel so exactly, an origami master would have cried in defeat, and made my way to my room. I peeled my clothes off and put them in the hamper, pulled out some clean casual clothes, and settled down in my living room/kitchen/dining room. I pulled out my shoebox of nail polish from under the couch and painted them better than I ever had before. I looked around my apartment as I waved my hands like a cheerleader on crack, drying the polish, and fell in love with my house all over again. Then I saw them. Near the TV, in a neat line, stood several My Little Pony, arranged according to color and glitter algorithm. Some stray strands were finally falling out of the perfect French braids.
The ponies made me furious.
What was wrong with me? Okay, let me rephrase that very open question that I'm sure has a million answers. Why was I moping around? The man obviously had only said what he'd said out of anger, and possibly some raging jealousy, and I had lied to him for a long time, but he'd still called me a whore. Twice. Bad news guys will always be bad news guys. Sesshoumaru was the type of man that mothers warn their girls about falling in love, then the girls fall in love with them anyway, and the mother secretly hopes the guy will hurt the girl, but only enough to make her understand guys like him may have their appeal, but they're bad and they'll always be bad.
But he had come to my house, presumably to apologize.
But he had done that before too. And it obviously hadn't changed anything in the long run. Well, it changed my clothes. That grease would be a bitch to get out.
I walked over to a purple sparkle pony and plopped down by the television. I brought the pony back to the dining table slash desk, to be able to fix it properly. I undid the elastic hair tie that only slightly resembled a flavored condom and brushed out the hair until it was perfect and neat.
Then I cut it off with my scissors.
I looked at it, turning it from side to side, watching the sparkle hearts on its candy ass glint, Its shorn mane shone with synthetic-fiber goodness.
"There, much better. Won't be needing him again, will you?"
I smiled a bit at the toy.
I was miserable.
I wasn't miserable. I decided that anyone that said I looked "tired," "stressed," "preoccupied," or "exquisitely dressed" tomorrow would be immediately fired. In fact, anyone that talked to me in the next forty-eight hours would be fired.
"Sesshoumaru, you look sad."
Sad. I hadn't thought of that one. Still fire-able though. Only, I couldn't fire Rin.
"Hn. Do I."
Rin didn't work for me. I couldn't fire her. But, maybe I could fire Inuyasha. The idea honestly had never occurred to me. Maybe I could buy all his stock from him so'd he'd have no real say in anything, and since he never did any work anyway, he'd never have any reason to ever show his face at Taisho Inc. ever again, and therefore would never show up to work, and therefore, would be the equivalent of fired. This idea made me want to crush the orange I was peeling for Rin a little less and want to use run-on sentences more often. No wonder Kagome used them, they were a good way to think things out.
The orange into a pulp in my hand. Bits of it flew into Rin's hair and she giggled. I mopped her up with a washcloth and set at another orange, much more carefully the second time around.
Well, she wouldn't be back. Not after the stunt I'd pulled. For the first time in my life, I asked myself the question that Kagome had wondered allowed a million times.
What was wrong with me? Well, no matter. It wasn't relevant any more.
I would die a handsome, filthy-rich bachelor with an adopted daughter cuter than any other millionaire's little twerp.
Honestly, I had more than 99.9 percent of the world's population.
But I didn't have it all.
If anything, the Taisho bloodline is an ambitious one. And I don't mean Inuyasha's goal to break the world record for drinking as many jagerbombs as possible in sixty seconds. I mean things that count.
Unfortunately, Kagome counted. I'd started to figure that out a while back. Unfortunately, my being handsome, handsomely rich, and having a handsome child didn't seem to help my ambitions towards Kagome.
In fact, I was pretty sure she wanted to skin me alive and use my bones to pick out the pepperoni from her teeth at the moment.
Strangely enough, the idea didn't bother me. I probably deserved it.
What was wrong with me?
"Mhm," she grinned with orange slice mouth.
"What do you think about Kagome?"
Rin visibly swallowed down way too much of the orange slice at once and wiped her mouth.
Well, what was I expecting? Insight and motivation from a kid? Rin telling me something profound in the innocence of youth? Something that would give me the final nudge to chase after Kagome? Things like that only happened in bad romance movies that annoying women watched. Kagome wouldn't watch movies like that.
Or maybe she would. Where the hell had she pulled those dolls from, for that matter?
And that was it. The fact that I could think one thing about Kagome, think I had her pegged, then turn around to see she'd stolen my wallet. That I could think she was too intelligent for B movies, but she could, in reality, still appreciate them and like them for what they were. That was Kagome. Way too complicated for me to understand, even if I liked to think I did.
I watched Rin shove half an orange down her throat in what seemed to be two bites and wondered if they fed her at her school. I'd have to talk to the headmaster.
I watched Rin eat the last half of the orange (slower this time) and thought that maybe being ambitious was a good thing, but only in regards to money and work. Afterall, I had what was in front of me.
I'd made a mess of it. With Kagome, that is. And she wouldn't be back. I was pretty sure that, aside from breaking and entering her apartment, there was no other way that I would ever see her again. I'd just have to deal with that. I had lost deals before…well, not really. But I am a Taisho (which, ironically, was why I hadn't ever lost a deal before). Taisho's (Inuyasha excluded—I'm fairly sure he's adopted anyway) are dignified, and if they can't have something (honestly, that had never happened to me before) they aim for something just as good or better. I had my pent house, Rin, and I looked damn good in a suit. What more did I need to want?
Tomorrow would be a Kagome-less day and it would be a fine day. Maybe I'd look into buying Kagura Wind Power technology, just for kicks. Yes, tomorrow could be just fine.
Still, that didn't stop me from feeling something that was suspiciously similar to what I've heard is straight-forward miserableness.
As I drove to work, I realized I felt something even worse. With Kagome gone, my life would go back to how it was before—simple, profitable, successful, and satisfactory. So what, you might ask, could her absence cause in me that could possibly be worse than being purely miserable?
No, the "absense of Kagome"'s worst impact isn't that it would make me start speaking French, but that I would be utterly bored. The problem with boredom is that it tends to stick around and tends to shove a foot in the way of and generally trip up the aforementioned things like success and satisfaction.
Yes, I mused as I pulled my car into my personal parking spot, I would miss the woman I love (possibly) only because with out her my life would be disgustingly dull.
That, and well, I'd miss... Probably. Possibly. You understand, I am sure, without me having to spell it out for you. I'm a Taisho. I have dignity.
And no, it's not sex.
Although, I also mused as I waited for the elevator door, it's a shame I never did get a taste.
"Dirty thoughts again, Sir?"
"…If anyone asked, I'm fairly sure you would tell them those are the only thoughts I have."
"And I'm sure they'd believe me. I can be very persuasive when I'm lying. After all, I know you think about other things. Like stocks. And GDP and all that. Then again, maybe for you those are dirty thoughts. And, besides ass and misogyny, those are the only things you seem to think of."
"I must confess, based on my actions around you, you would seem correct."
However, at the moment, my thoughts were more along the line of Why is she here? Why is she dressed for work? Is that my mail? Is she blackmailing me? Why is she here? That pant suit looks nice on her.
Okay, maybe she was right.
I'd like to take a moment to state right now (if I didn't mention it before) that, before encountering Kagome, I was not such a libido-driven being. In fact, Inuyasha would like to say that I was asexual (and he would be wrong). I simply had a thing for Kagome.
"I like your suit."
With that, I heard her mouth seal shut with an audible click. The next twenty seconds were torture to me. I could almost hear my diamond wrist watch clicking away twenty eternities. Never, I can guarantee, ever, has a Taisho felt so weak and uneasy.
All at once, after those twenty clicks, it all wanted to come out. I realized that I had plethora of things to say and I didn't know how to say a single one of them. It was like being blind, deaf, and mute, but still able to see and yourself make an ass of you. But, oddly enough, I wasn't worried about making an ass of myself. I was worried about Kagome thinking I was still and always would be an ass. There's a difference.
And then I thought about how she had sounded last night, muffled through her door. Of how upset she sounded. How pissed. And how sad.
And that, I will tell you, is the worse I have every felt in my life. I am able to take down small mom and pop shops without batting an eyelash. I can merge companies without breaking a sweat. I might as well just yield a baseball bat and go seal clubbing, because I probably wouldn't care if it would help Taisho Inc. I am an ass. But hurting Kagome's feelings? Fuck.
So I decided to make an attempt.
"Don't. Just don't," she said as the elevator opened on my office floor. We both walked out, I following her and stopping as she turned around to face me.
"I realized something important last night, as I was butchering the hair of five innocent bystanding ponies."
"Oh," I said loquaciously.
"I realized that you're my boss. And I don't have to have the same values as you to answer your calls. And I don't have to like you to work for you."
At this point, I reached out and turned to sit on the edge of her secretary's desk, outside the doors to my office. Perhaps "sat" isn't the right word. More like, I fell softly. Whatever it was, I didn't want her to take it as obnoxious. Because when I looked up at her, I was about to ask an obnoxious question, that, before that day, I could only ever hear someone as dumb and tactless as Inuyasha say.
"…Do you like me?"
The look on her face in that tenth of a second could have curdled the Mediterranean Sea if it were made of Greek goat's milk. Then it turned into something that told me she was thinking a lot and very fast.
Oh. Good. Because that really mattered now.
Everything both of us could say would matter now. It would decide a lot of things. I watched his every move without trying to look like a rabbit deciding whether to run now or later.
"Do you…" he asked, "plan on stopping soon?"
He said it very carefully, and for once I knew the extra pronunciation wasn't to make me feel like the stupid peeon I was. I turned the thought over in my mind. I took a breath, smelling Pinesol and Bleach and a bit of the horrible cologne that the night janitor wore. It smelled like sandlewood and corn chips and shame.
I moved and took a spot next to Sesshoumaru, leaning on my desk. As such, we were on the same level (and neither of us would have to look at the other one directly—a definite plus).
"I think it would be best for me if I do."
"Hm…I'm starting to think that might be true. You seem to bring out my best and most gloriously worst."
"I don't recall ever seeing any 'best'."
"You saw me drunk. I'm sure it can't get better than that."
"So you admit that I'm stupid for liking you."
"I didn't say you're stupid. If you had far less noble intentions, like wanting a rich man for his money, I think you would be the most intelligent woman ever."
"Are you saying you'd willingly give me your money if I asked for it?"
"Now, now, let's not get hasty."
I couldn't help the laugh that crept out. Maybe we could be good like this. Like a boss and a secretary, and witty banter enemies, and maybe occasionally even friends. That wouldn't be so bad.
"I'd willingly throw my money at you, Kagome. All of it."
It would be so bad. It would be horrible. Like sticking a thousand hot knives into my spleen then slicing it with a Slap Chop.
I wasn't quite sure how to say that out loud, and I was positive I didn't want to. So we sat in silence for a while. Finally, Sesshoumaru pushed himself off my desk and mad his way to his office.
I sat there, staring at the hotel-worthy carpeting. I counted the weaves without counting them and felt my vision leave and return a few times. It must have been seconds, because I heard him open his heavy office doors. Knowing what I must do next, I sat up too and grabbed the stack of mail I had put on the desk when I sat down.
"Sesshoumaru," her voice came from above me. It was clear. Like everything that had just happened hadn't, and like she didn't have every right to hate my soul for the rest of eternity (not that I would tell her that). I hadn't even heard her open or close my door behind her.
I didn't lean back in my chair, but looked up at her, my hands still folded together. It made us less than two feet apart.
"I don't want all of your money. In fact, knowing where some of it came from, I think I'd generally dislike having much of it, however…" she twirled her hair a little, and looked to the side as if thinking, her tongue in her cheek. "A woman needs to eat. So I think I'll start by taking my yearly salary from you. Including those paid vacations, of course."
I hope I wasn't smiling like I felt I was.
"Oh, and, here's your mail. There are two more piles, by the way. Not everyone can afford to come into work at ten."
And it was all right again.
"I see. And which one is the "shit I should really know about" pile?
"That one over there."
"You have a lot to learn."
And with that, she turned around and swished her way to my office doors, opening them with a strength I'd never paid much attention to before. Or maybe she was the only one who bothered opening both at once.
"Indeed I do," I muttered under my breath, shuffling the gargantuan pile that was on the counter behind my desk.
"Oh, and Sesshoumaru,"
I swiveled my chair around to face her again.
"That new stapler, it's nice. Looks sleek. It's one of those special long ones they use for stapling books and such, isn't it?"
"Indeed it is."
"Thought so. It's broken."
Of course it was.
And Kagome shut the doors behind her.
Rin was right, Kagome was nice.
AN: Aaaannnnnnnnndddd that's it. It might feel lackluster to some of you, but that's how it is (mostly because I never planned any of it, I'm so bad ). I'm very glad and simultaneously very sad to have this end. I felt horrible having it lay around unfinished, but I'm going to miss it. : / THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING! Honestly, you guys are awesome. I wish I could tell you to go read my other fics, but they're so old that they're…well, shitty. I might start a xxxHolic one soon, but…yeah. So! Instead, please check out my webcomic, Honeydew Syndrome at honeysyn dot net . Add me on DA under the name schumie, cuz I tend to hit a few anime conventions every year, and it'd be cool to meet some peeps. Again, THANK YOU. You are all extremely sexy.