Author's Notes: You would not believe how much of a relief it is just to get so much of this stuff down on paper (so to speak). Writing just gives me a good outlet for everything. Like flexing a muscle, I need to keep steadily working it to improve the condition and to keep things going the way I want them to.

Anyway, this one is a pulpy little number. I'll probably keep it short and sweet, no more than ten chapters or so to avoid dragging things out and messing myself up in the long run.

Midnight at the Singin' Hound Lounge

Chapter 1- A Little Corner

New York City, 1931. There was a little alleyway just off to the side of Kent Street. Go in about twenty feet and you find a small stairway leading to a basement door with an eyeslot and a hand-made sign. This was the Singin' Hound Lounge, a speakeasy famous for the atmosphere. It was small. At the most, it could hold about 25 people. The liquor was always good, though. The bartender was Sessoumaru, a tall handsome young man with platinum blonde hair and cold yellow eyes. The strange marks on his cheeks were scars from a run-in with a group of racketeers about 6 or 7 years back. Nobody knew about his adopted daughter, whom he was running this whole establishment to support.

Though this bartender was a big attraction for the ladies, most people came to the Singin' Hound to see his half-brother's band: Inuyasha and the Hounds. Inuyasha sang and played the saxophone. Miroku was on bass and harmonica. Shippo provided the drums. It was odd for women to play in a bar band at the time, but Kagome was there every night singing with Inuyasha and playing on the piano along with Sango playing the trumpet and guitar.

They all had their reasons for being there. Much like the customers. Whether it was in search of the romantic legacy of this lifestyle, the chance for escape, the chance to forget, or just a love of music and alcohol, they all had their reasons. Times were tough and didn't look like they were going to get any better. But at least at The Singin' Hound you didn't have to worry about that for a little while.

It was easy to lose yourself in there, even though it was a single room. The bar was to the right of the door with red-cushioned barstools. The tables were polished and stained oak with a single candle in the center of each with two chairs apiece. The walls were a soft red, and the floor hardwood. The only light came from the lights on the stage and the candles. The smoke from the various patrons' cigarettes also tended to make a sort of fog in the room.

The atmosphere was sad warm and inviting on that cold December night when Kikyo walked in. She came there to see Inuyasha and stayed until closing time to do just that. As Sesshoumaru began escorting the customers out, Kikyo approached the leader of the band. "Inuyasha, we need to talk."

"There's nothing to talk about," Inuyasha said dismissively as he brushed aside a few dark locks. He didn't want to talk to her. They were through, and there was nothing more to be said about it.

"I want to apologize for the past," Kikyo continued anyway.

"Sorry," Inuyasha said, though he really didn't mean it. "But it's over." He began to pack up his saxophone, feeling the eyes of his bandmates on him.

"So that's it then?" Kikyo asked, trying to keep herself composed.

"That's it," Inuyasha said back flatly. "We had our chance, and it didn't work out."

"We could make it work," Kikyo said as if trying to convince herself along with Inuyasha.

Inuyasha just shook his head and fixed the tie on his suit. "Didn't you think that I'd moved on by now?" he drawled without making eye contact. That was a lie of course. The memory of when they both decided to break up still hurt. He wasn't sure why, but it stung all the same.

Kikyo looked over at Kagome and Inuyasha followed her gaze. All three of them realized that Kagome had been staring at Inuyasha the whole time. The two of them blushed at once and Kikyo frowned. "I see... I see." She looked on the verge of tears.

Inuyasha was tempted to say that it wasn't like that. But something held him back. He wasn't quite sure what, but he kept his mouth shut.

"I'm sorry for wasting your time then. Good bye, Inuyasha." With that, Kikyo turned on her heel and strode out of the bar, brushing past Sesshoumaru on her way out.

Once she was gone, Inuyasha rolled himself a cigarette and let the hot smoke fill his lungs.

"Why didn't you tell her the truth?" There was no accusation in Miroku's voice, merely a gentle curiosity.

Everyone stared for a moment as Inuyasha stood with his back turned to everyone before looking over his shoulder with one violet eye. His gaze slowly swept across them for a moment before he sighed and spoke around his cigarette. "I just wanted her to leave me alone," he said distantly.


Author's Notes: What do you think so far? Am I on to something here?