Author Note- I live! This story deals somewhat with life in Japanese society. In Japan many men are 'salary men,' leaving early and coming home late, they are scarcely able to spend time with their wives and children. Many women are 'professional housewives.' This is the kind of position the women in this story that visit their apartment are in, albeit in a comedic manner. As a bit of an in-joke, all the names in this story come from Rumiko Takahashi Anthology, an anime collecting thirteen of Rumiko's slice-of-life short stories. Many stories, including the stories the names are pulled from, deal with this lifestyle. I would recommend you all watch it. It's very good. This story is a 'future fic,' taking place eight years down the line. Please allow for a natural maturation in both characters, as well as a wider knowledge of modern terminology and amenities for InuYasha.
Kagome was becoming suspicious. She knew housewives often got bored during the long days when their husbands were at work and their children were at school, but they'd moved in two months before. The welcoming period in which the women generally bestowed cakes, cookies, and other various baked goods upon the newest residents had long since passed. However, almost every day that InuYasha didn't spend entirely working at the shrine (which he often did); she came home to at least three carefully baked plates of sweets. Today it was lemon bars, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies.
Shortly after Kagome and InuYasha were engaged, and directly following Kagome graduating university, she proposed that they move into their own apartment near the shrine once they formally married. He had been surprised by the idea, figuring they'd remain in the shrine house. But being that the Higurashi family lived in a small two level home, she was quickly able to persuade him of how awkward it would be to live there as a married couple. That is, after recalling a compendium of eight years of private moments interrupted by her overenthusiastic family members.
The cookies, lemon bars, and brownies weren't exactly what Kagome would call an invasion of privacy, but she was puzzled by their abundance. Sure the idea of a pair of cute newlyweds, fresh into adulthood, moving into their apartment may have been a bit more endearing than your average new resident. Nonetheless, that still didn't explain this much excess attention.
After two months of baked goods and a growing intolerance towards bunt cake, Kagome steadfastly confronted InuYasha about it. She'd had such a long day at work, that even her standard favorite, the lemon bars, looked unappetizing.
"I already told you that they're just gifts from the other people living here," her husband shrugged.
He had been giving that answer for weeks, and while Kagome never doubted InuYasha's fidelity or honesty in the situation, she knew there had to be something more to it. "InuYasha, when a new couple moves into an apartment, the people living there often give them welcoming gifts, usually in the form of food."
"Oi, isn't that what's happening here?"
"For about a week," she clarified. "It's been two months. Eight weeks."
Scooting a tad closer to him on the couch, Kagome sighed. "InuYasha, did you go to the shrine today?"
"I was going to, but then Shiratori a couple doors down came over and asked me to kill a cockroach in her kitchen."
Thinking of her unfortunate kitchen sink so many years ago, Kagome silently thanked the heavens that InuYasha no longer wielded Tessaiga.
"You went to her house to kill a cockroach?"
"Uh, should I not have done it? You told me to be nice to the neighbors when we first moved in," InuYasha elucidated.
"Well yes, of course you should be," Kagome reinforced. "Neh, then what did you do?"
"I was on the way back to the apartment when Ukai stopped me in the hallway and asked me to move her table."
"I'm sure Ukai-san could have done that herself."
"Well I wasn't doing anything else," InuYasha mumbled.
Kagome glanced backwards to the chocolate chip cookies on the table. That's definitely Ukai-san's plate. I recognize it by now… "Neh, InuYasha, do you get bored all day? I know you get stir-crazy easily…"
"Eh, not really," he put his arm around her, "Even when I'm not at the shrine, there's always a bunch of stuff to do around here. Some lady always has something they need me to do."
"Like killing cockroaches and moving tables?"
"Yeah and I brought Kobato's groceries upstairs after that."
Kobato-san's plate is the lemon bars…
"And before I could go to the shrine, I cleared some boxes out of the Hirooka's closet."
Those are the brownies. I'm beginning to think InuYasha has become the personal manslave of a bunch of bored older women! Semi-traumatic visions of middle-aged women eyeing her husband like a cute under aged pool boy entered her mind and she gritted her teeth.
"Umm InuYasha, I don't mind you doing favors for the other people living here, but don't you think they ask a lot of you?"
"It's not like it's hard."
"That's not really what I mean. I mean, I know it's nothing compared to what we used to have to do, but these women can do things like bringing in their groceries without help," Kagome rubbed her forehead.
"Keh, it doesn't seem like you to tell me not to help someone…" InuYasha crossed his arms.
"This is different though!" Kagome exclaimed, "I don't know if you realize it, but we're in a really weird situation."
"You're a house husband, living in an apartment of lonely bored women."
"Oi, I'm not sure I get what you mean."
Of course, he's oblivious.
"You're like the rarest of the rare. An attractive twenty-three year old guy who stays home while his wife works? I mean you even look unusual. What other guy our age has hair down to his butt? It's so unconventional that you can bet these women aren't going to let you slip away to the shrine every day." She raised her hands in exasperation, "Oh why didn't I realize this sooner?"
"So I shouldn't help them anymore? You want me to turn them down?" He seemed a bit bewildered.
He still doesn't get it. "You don't have to turn them down necessarily, but don't let them hit on you." Kagome's expression was undeniably perturbed.
"They're hitting on me?" It started to sink in, and he subsequently looked disturbed.
"Yes, that's what I've been trying to say," she retorted, "I understand that you don't want to say no because I wouldn't want our neighbors mad at us, but from now on why don't you just leave for the shrine at the same time I go to work and…"
"Oi," InuYasha interrupted her. A grin spread across his features, mischief clear. "Are you… jealous?"
Kagome's eyes widened. "Jealous!? No way."
"Kagome, we're married, you don't need to deny it anymore," he countered teasingly.
"Hmph, you're one to talk," she grumbled. "What if I told you one of my male coworkers took me to lunch today?"
InuYasha's expression darkened, "He wouldn't."
"Exactly, so don't even try this on me," she grinned, having gained the upper hand.
"But I'm not telling you not go to work," InuYasha came back with.
Damn, he got me on that one.
"Don't worry Kagome," he continued, clasping her hands within his, "I won't do anything with those women."
"InuYasha, I know that!" She was completely aware of the teasing tone in her husband's voice, stemming from a confidence he'd gained through the years since she'd known him. So different from when we were fifteen… But she reacted nonetheless. Force of habit I guess. He reacted as well.
"You know you're the only one for me," his voice grew serious.
He leaned down and cupped her chin in his hands, brushing his lips against hers. Kagome returned the kiss, intensifying it. And smirking inside, pushed him down on the couch and pressed herself against him.
"Now Kagome?" He inquired breathlessly.
"I had a long day at work, and I also need to reinforce for all the women here that you're mine."
"Hmph, you don't need to…" he paused, looked around, and cut himself off, "Can we at least move to the bedroom?"
Kagome laughed lightly and began to speak, but the sound of someone knocking on the door interrupted her.
"Oi, I wonder if that's Shiratori. She's the only one that hasn't brought something today..."
"I'll get it," Kagome stood up and walked towards the door. Her hair was mussed, and her shirt wrinkled. "Stay on the couch."
Opening the door, she put on a genial smile. "Good evening Shiratori-san."
Shiratori-san surveyed the younger woman's ruffled appearance and fidgeted with the plate in her hands. "Oh um, I'm sorry, did I interrupt something?"
"Yes, but don't worry about it," Kagome glanced back towards InuYasha. Shiratori did as well, finding his similar appearance difficult to miss. The young man looked slightly embarrassed. "Thank you so much for stopping by."
"I just wanted to thank InuYasha for earlier, so I baked this," she laughed nervously and quickly handed Kagome the covered plate.
"Thank you very much Shiratori-san."
With a quick bow, the neighbor left.
Making her way over to the kitchen counter, Kagome frowned when she lifted the lid. "I'm beginning to hate sugar cookies."
"Eh?" InuYasha stood beside her, "Do you not like this stuff?"
"Well I did, but I've gotten pretty tired of it. I still eat some of it because I feel kind of obligated though, and so I can return the plates," she shrugged.
InuYasha averted his eyes towards the ground, looking very much like a forlorn child.
"Well that was kind of the main reason I did it," he muttered.
"Huh?" Kagome was puzzled.
"I thought you liked them, so I didn't have a problem helping out whenever they asked."
Kagome covered her mouth, stifling laughter. "Are you serious?"
"Yeah, what's so funny?" He snapped.
She grabbed all four plates and put them in the fridge. "Nothing, nothing."
Kagome wrapped her arms around his shoulders, "So for dinner tonight we'll have mashed brownies and sugar cookie sushi."
"Oi, I get your point now. If it makes you happy I'll stop."
Running her fingers through the two pieces of hair that lay in front of his shoulders, Kagome leaned up towards his ear. "What would make me happier would be if we just ordered in tonight," she whispered.