Strawberry Pocky

The day was crisp and Kagome walked slowly down the path of the seemingly deserted park. The trees had turned red and orange as fall had descended upon the city and Kagome couldn't think of a greater time of year to be out and about. So after picking up some groceries for her dinner that night, she had taken a slight detour to enjoy the scenery.

Smiling, she sat down on a bench occupied by only one other person whose face was covered by a newspaper. Kagome shifted the brown paper bag to sit next to her and she dug through it with fervor, searching relentlessly for the object of her desires. With a victorious squeal, she pulled out the box of strawberry pocky and with a triumphant grin plastered on her face, opened the package and took out one of the frosting covered sticks and chewed on the end thoughtfully.

The man beside her bent his paper down with a slight rustle and watched the girl in a slightly oversized purple sweater and faded, worn blue jeans, eat her pocky joyfully as she silently admired the landscape. With a slightly amused smirk, he turned back to his reading.

An agonizingly short moment later he had an offending pink box shoved under his nose. "Want one?" The stranger next to him asked. He frowned with disdain and pushed her hand out of his face.

"No thank you" he replied curtly without sparing her a glance. Kagome stared at the man with astonishment. No one could turn down strawberry pocky! No one!

"Are you sure?" she tried again, taking another bite of her own stick, "It's really good." This time the man did give her the slightest of gazes in aggravation.

"I said no" his deep baritone voice rumbled. Kagome took another bite, effectively finishing off the stick. Reaching for another, she sighed in thought.

"I think you're lying" she said after a moment.

"And how, pray tell, did your simple mind come to that conclusion?" the man murmured absently, turning the page of his newspaper.

"Well, Mister…" Kagome chirped, trailing off to allow him to fill in the blank.

"My name is irrelevant to this conversation."

"Okay fine, Mr. Snooty Pants" she snorted.

"Snooty pants?" he inquired with a raise of his brow.

"Well if you won't tell me your name, I'll make one up for you."

"Your immaturity astounds me" he muttered. Kagome giggled.

"Thank you."

"I assure you, I did not mean that as a compliment." Shrugging, Kagome continued.

"Like I was beginning to tell you Mr. Snooty Pants, I know you're lying." She took a bite of her pocky stick. "Strawberry pocky is irresistible. And in the short conversation I've had with you, I've come to fully understand why you feel the need to defy the power of the Strawberry Pocky God." The man rolled his eyes but made no verbal response. After a moment of silence and munching on pocky, Kagome started once more. "I can tell by your demeanor and the way you dress that you are a very rich man."

"How astute" he replied sarcastically, as she referred to his blank, tailored made suit with white dress shirt and royal blue silk tie. His long silver locks were tied neatly in a low pony tail and his face was drawn into a frown. As his strong but delicate looking fingers turned the page of his newspaper, Kagome wondered if it should be a crime that this man was more feminine then her while still looking completely masculine at the same time.

"And as a rich man," she continued, "it would be looked poorly upon to accept the charity of a less fortunate girl. It would tarnish your good reputation and so I, in turn will hand you the box so that you can graciously offer me some out of the goodness of your heart and then, so as I don't wind up feeling awkward eating alone, you take one stick for yourself, eating it quietly before folding up your newspaper and leaving the box for the unfortunate street urchin, that is, me." When she finished, she proudly chomped on her pocky some more while she waited for "Mr. Snooty Pants" to confirm her predictions.

"You are more ridiculous than I first thought you were" he scoffed. Kagome frowned.

"Okay so if that's not the reason you rejected the pocky then it must be because you do not wish for me to waste the product that I have bought with my hard earned money—"

"No" he cut her off. Kagome frowned and finished off her pocky but didn't reach for another.

"No?" she questioned.

"No, that is not the reason I do not want a piece of your pocky."

"Well, what about—"

"No."

"You didn't even let me start that one!"

"It was wrong regardless." Kagome remained silent for a moment before she chimed in again.

"You're an international spy—"

"No."

"Health food nutcase in need of an enlight—"

"No."

"Exotic parrot trainer to the stars—"

"No."

"Teaching bloodhounds how to track down—"

"No."

"Were attacked by pocky wielding criminals during a bank rob—"

"No."

"Drag queen—"

"No!" he growled, "No a million times over. Is it so hard in your warped reality to actually face that I don't want a piece of pocky?" Kagome stared at him wide eyed and muttered,

"Oh," they sat in silence for a moment, "I think I understand now."

"Good" he said, turning his attention back to his newspaper.

"You're scared" she said simply and grabbed herself another piece of pocky. The man snorted.

"I am not afraid of a biscuit stick."

"Of course you aren't! That would just be silly."

"Then what am I afraid of?" He asked, indulging her.

"Letting go, trying new things, not having everything go according to your schedule. You'd rather read your stuffy old newspaper than indulge in the awesomeness that is pocky." Finishing off another piece, she reached for another and took a bite.

"If I agree to eat a piece will you leave me alone?" he questioned wearily.

"No!" Kagome exclaimed. "This is about more than eating pocky now. It's about changing your lifestyle, taking risks, seizing the day! You know carpe diem and all of that!" She seized his paper and threw it in the air where it was promptly blown into the branches of a tree by a gust of wind. Nervously, Kagome laughed, her face turning red with embarrassment. The man sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. That piece of pocky didn't sound quite so bad now. He held out his other hand and demanded,

"Give me a piece of pocky." Kagome finished off the stick in her hand and reached down to find a piece of pocky to give to the man next to her. Suddenly, her eyes widened and she looked down in horror with a gasp. "What now?"

"Well, Mr. Snooty Pants, sir—"

"Sesshoumaru" he corrected. Kagome cleared her throat and restarted.

"Well Sesshoumaru, I have apparently finished the box." Sesshoumaru laughed quietly at the irony; when he wanted the snack, the glutton next to him had eaten the entire box! "I apologize. Let me make it up to you."

"No I think you've done enough for today."

"Please," Kagome pleaded, "I feel horrible. Let me cook you dinner or buy you a box of pocky or something!" Sesshoumaru glanced at his watch and sighed.

"As much as I would like to take you up on that delightful offer Miss…" his voice dripped of sarcasm.

"Higurashi. Kagome Higurashi."

"I have to get back to work." He finished. Slowly, he stood up and began to walk away. Kagome stared at him for a moment before calling out,

"Goodbye!" He smirked when her voice reached his ears. Perhaps this afternoon wasn't such a waste after all. He had, dare he admit it, enjoyed himself in the presence of that girl.

Kagome watched him go and smiled, waiting for him to get completely out of sight before picking up her groceries and walking off in the other direction, tossing the empty pocky box in the trash before she left.