Ah, the good fresh smell of a new fanfiction… My readers from Yamaibara are going to be pissed at me, but I won't give that up. Anywho, please enjoy my newest fic The Doghouse
One Bitch of a Day
She felt her feet blister and burn as she straggled across the asphalt street, clasping her broken sandals in her hand. She dropped her leather purse and hissed, exasperated, as she bent down to pick it up.
She could feel the sun frying her back through her dark blue silk blouse and black wool skirt. The sounding of an impatient driver's horn made her speed up and rush out of his way. Once on the sidewalk, she gave him a pointed glare before he could disappear around the corner. She sighed, knowing that the driver fully didn't care.
Kagome resumed walking home.
Today was one of the worst days she had experienced. She woke up late and just barely made it to work on time, clocking in at a scary 8:01 (technically not late), with her hair out of order, her makeup nonexistent, and barefoot with her high heels in her bag. Not exactly appropriate work attire, especially for the secretary of a corporate Tokyo bigwig.
Kagome always considered herself lucky when it came to her life. She was a secretary, but she was paid rather well. Further more, her boss had never hit on her, not even once; and the one time she was harassed at work her boss fired the man on the spot. She had a small, but beautiful house; (She actually considered this the greatest blessing since all of her friends lived in apartment buildings or with their parents still) and she had a loving boyfriend that had been with her since high school, and was actually living with her currently.
Her boyfriend, Hojou, wasn't the most exciting boyfriend. In fact, she'd always thought of him as rather dull, unsurprising, and boring. Even if he did something he thought was spontaneous, such as getting her flowers or such, he always called her exactly two days before he got them and asked her what flowers were in season. He actually planned, days previous when he would spontaneously buy her flowers.
Well, in his defence, Hojou was hands down the most kind and loyal man she had ever seen. All of her girlfriends had been through at least three boyfriends in the span that she and Hojou had been together. They often complained to her that Hojou was too perfect and joked about stealing him from her. Kagome found it odd that they were never deterred by the fact that the most scandalous thing she and Hojou had done was once buy the "Fire" hot sauce instead of the "Mild"; and even then, Hojou bought the mild the next week because he didn't like the change. When she told them as much, they assumed it was a sick metaphor and they laughed it off.
Kagome stubbed her toe on a slab of lifted sidewalk and cursed, being reminded of how awful today had been. Aside from coming into work late, she learned that her relatively wonderful boss was being transferred to Hokkaido and was being replaced by the VP of the company's son. This news strayed to the "bad" side because Kagome didn't know anything about this VP Jr. As far as she knew, this guy went through secretaries like toilet paper, never satisfied until he found one with the cutest ass. If that was the case she'd either be fired within the week or quitting after sexual harassment.
After learning that, she found out that her car was being towed because she was so rushed that morning that they didn't see the signs saying that the street she was parked on was going to be repaved this morning. Fortunately, it was Hojou's car that she brought to work today, not hers, but still, it all rather sucked.
What was even worse was the fact that Hojou was now in Okinawa visiting his elderly grandmother. He had been gone for two weeks now and was coming back tonight, meaning: A) She needed to get Hojou's car out of the DMV and quick, and B) She had no one to pick her up and drive her home.
So here she was: walking home. Walking six miles in her emergency flip-flops. Or rather, she would be walking in her emergency flip-flops if they hadn't snapped after only half a mile. So now she was walking the remaining five and half miles by foot. Clearly emergency flip-flops weren't enough, she needed back-up emergency flip-flops in case her original emergency flip-flops crapped out like this!
Kagome let out an audible groan. She couldn't exactly wear her high heels, she was better of barefoot. Even if they were flaming with pain right now.
Kagome kept her eyes on the ground, careful not to step on any pointy objects or stub her toes on anything else when she heard a loud, grumbling growl. She stopped and looked across the street, scanning for the maker of the sound.
The first thing she spotted was a hideously orange coloured van with contrasting baby blue letters reading "Animal Control Centre" written on its side. A few metres away there was a horrifically stereotypical dogcatcher in a twin jumpsuit. He was plump and short, and not even his dreadful carroty hat could hide his balding scalp.
The man took a slow, wary step forward towards a feral looking Kishu Inu. The dog didn't step back as the Dog catcher got closer, instead its hair bristled and made the loudest most feral noise Kagome had ever heard a dog of that type make.
The Dog Catcher murmured, "Nice doggie, doggie," as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out something Kagome couldn't recognize immediately. The Catcher pointed it at the Kishu, and the big white dog let out another snarl and crouched lower to the ground, either in its attempt to be submissive or pounce.
Kagome squinted her eyes and could not identify for the life of her what the object was until the projectile was shot out of it. Kagome gasped, and ran across the street, not even checking if cars were coming and ran to the dog as it collapsed on the sidewalk.
The Catcher ran up to her and pulled her away from the motionless pooch, warning, "Stay away Miss! This dog's rabid, he is!"
Kagome turned on him, swiftly and angrily, "You just shot a dog! In the middle of Tokyo!"
The Catcher loosened his grip, looking guilty and saying defensively, "It was only a tranquilizer, Miss. It's not dead…" Kagome tore herself away from the Catcher and ran to the dog, being halted suddenly by a low grumble.
Kagome stared down in disbelief as the dog glared at her through half-lidded amber eyes. He seemed to use all of his strength with just lifting his upper lip so he could bare his teeth at her.
"It's still awake?!" the Catcher cried in disbelief, "Blimey, I had enough tranquilizer to knock out two dogs in that shot!"
Kagome twisted her head, "Wouldn't that nearly kill the poor thing?"
The Catcher got defensive again, "Miss, I've been tracking this dog for weeks now, and I've shot it at least five times and he never got put out…"
Kagome shook her head and came closer to the dog. The creature was just trying to keep its eyes open. She crouched down and tried to pet its snout, but all she got was an unexpected snap at her hand. She drew it away from danger fast enough, but the Catcher just chuckled cockily, "No use trying to show it kindness, Miss, a rabid dog can't tell the difference between friend and foe. Sooner bite your hand off than lick it."
Kagome stared a little more at the fainting animal. He was pure white, as most kishus usually are, but he was covered with enough dirt and grime, he might as well have been auburn. He was a big, noble thing. Even at the verge of passing out his ears were erect and his eyes were still open. His paws were humongous, and his tail was long and bushy. It really was a pity he was so dirty…
"Move away, Miss, as soon as he's off, I'm carting him to the pound," the Catcher announced proudly, and then he said, mostly to himself, "Sixteen days of searching and sixteen days of disappointment, today I finally bring him in this rabid thing."
Kagome swivelled her head, "He's not rabid…"
The Catcher took offence, "Sure he is! The first reason I went out looking for him is because he attacked a man. Since then people've been seein' him attack voles and rats, so he could easily have rabies from biting one of them…"
"But look: he isn't foaming…" Kagome pointed out.
"Well…" the Catcher looked unsure, "Not all dogs foam when they have rabies, you know… he might be past that stage…"
"Yes, and didn't you say that you were chasing him for two weeks? Dogs with rabies barely last more than a week after their hind legs get paralyzed…" she stated, restraining herself from pointing out that this man must have no social life whatsoever if he spent two weeks of his life actually chasing after a dog.
The Catcher blushed and stammered, 'Well… that's true, but maybe…"
"…Maybe this dog just doesn't like humans and your man who filed a report was somehow harassing the dog…" Kagome finished for him.
The Catcher flushed crimson and pouted. Finally he huffed in a childish way, "Even then, he still needs to come with me! If he was an ill tempered stray, I still have every right to tranquilize him and take him to the pound, I do!" The Catcher made his way past Kagome and picked up the finally unconscious dog, "And so help me if I don't have him asleep by the day after tomorrow!"
Kagome let out a horrified gasp, shocked that anything like that could come out of the mouth of a human being, "You mean kill him!"
The Catcher let out a little sneer, "No, no. We don't call it that anymore. Sounds too nasty. Euphemisms make people feel better."
It didn't make Kagome feel better. She protested walking out in front of him, "Oh no you won't. If he's all that much trouble I'd rather take him!"
The Catcher didn't look impressed. He walked around her and put him (more like shoved him) into a large kennel. He shut and locked the door saying mockingly, "Sorry, Miss. As an Animal Control Officer I can't release any dog to specific individuals unless they're the owners of the dog," he turned around to Kagome and motioned to the Kishu with his thumb, "This your dog?"
Kagome deflated, "No."
"Then I can't release him to you. Sorry Miss. If you want him that badly, you have to go pick him up at the Animal Control Centre." The Catcher climbed into his van and started it up.
Kagome, angry at herself and the man gave a short, immature burst, "Maybe I will!!"
He stuck his head out of the window and said with a haughty smile, "Cheerio, Miss. Do get yourself some shoes," before driving off. Kagome stamped her foot. Just super, another thing to add to her list of "crappy things that happened today".
Unable to do much else, she let out a frustrated squeal and continued on her trek home.
At least Hojou would be coming home later tonight. He might cheer her up.
Kagome made a noise that sounded something like a sigh of relief and a squeak. Her house was in seeing distance. Her feet were bright red and she suspected her face was too. In a desperate attempt to get home fast, she'd occasionally jog the several miles, not thinking it would actually make her more tired and slow her down even more.
She had been walking for over three hours. Her throat was begging for water and her hot, sticky body was pleading to be let into a bath. Her feet were filthy and burgundy, and that was just the tops of them! Sweat had practically drenched her everywhere imaginable, even places she wouldn't even speak of, giving her a baby rash during her epic journey. She didn't even want to know how her face and hair looked… or how she smelled. Her under-foot had blisters. She needn't look to know where they were. She suspected one of the blisters might have popped on the way, too.
Kagome all but collapsed onto her doorstep, reaching for her keys in her purse. She drew them out fuddled around a bit until she finally opened the door and let herself in.
The air in the house was no different than the air outside, but she still took a deep, big breath of it, relished it, and then let it out slowly. As soon as she shut the door she began tearing her own clothes off, her sweat giving her an immediate cooling effect. She hurried across the room towards the bathroom and started on the water for the bath and turned on the shower to rinse herself off first.
It felt so good to feel clean she didn't notice until she was finished rinsing herself off and shampooing her hair that she had accidentally left her watch on. She pried it off her wrist, ready to throw it out of the bathroom until she saw the time. It was six o' clock. Not only was she not going to the DMV to pick up Hojou's car before he got home, but she needed to pick him up right now. His plane supposedly got in ten minutes ago.
She let out the most gut wrenching groan, and turned off the bath water. The short shower was all she had time for. She couldn't even blow dry her hair… Kagome grudgingly grabbed one of her towels and wrapped it around her hair; then she took another and wrapped it around her body. She rushed upstairs to her and Hojou's room and picked out some fresh clothes to put on.
Then, only putting some mineral veil over her face, she rushed outside to her car, hairbrush in hand, trying to get out the majority of the knots and excess water.
She turned on her car, infinitely happy to be in a vehicle, and left home for the airport. No more than two blocks away from her house her cell went off in her purse. She bit the inside of her cheek and dug around for it. She finally pulled it out and checked it. Hojou's name with a little heart (an addition by her friends) was aglow on the pink cell phone screen and Kagome picked it up, immediately singing a string of apologies, "I'm sorry, I'm coming right now. You wouldn't believe how bad today has been for me. I'm coming right now."
"Kagome," Hojou said from the other line, "Let's go out to eat tonight."
Kagome was stunned to silence. Was that actually some unexpected spontaneity? Apparently worried by her quietness, Hojou called through again, "Kagome? Are you still there?"
Kagome snapped back into reality, "Yeah, I'm here. Where do you want to go?"
"I made reservations at that restaurant by the bay you really like…"
"Tokyo BanquetSea?" Kagome cried. Not only was it her favourite place, but it was the place where Kagome and Hojou actually had their first, real date. Why on Earth did Hojou want to go there right after being at his grandmother-?
"That's alright, isn't it? I really wanted to tell you something…" Hojou sounded meek over the phone.
Kagome blushed and replied, "Yeah, that'll be great- just…" she glanced at her current casual attire, "Let's go home and change first, 'kay? I really look like a mess right now…"
"You never look like a mess, Kagome!" Hojou exclaimed as if the idea was preposterous.
Kagome smiled, "Thank you Hojou. See you in a minute, okay?"
"Yeah, bye bye."
"Bye." She hung up the phone and let out a squeal of excitement. She couldn't believe it; Hojou was going to propose to her! It would only make sense. They were boyfriend and girlfriend for six years now and had been friends for even longer. It was natural that this would be the next step. She never would have guessed Hojou would go all the way to his grandmother's house to get the family ring. That had to be it. Kagome had spoken to the old bird over the telephone and she knew she wasn't kicking it anytime soon and she had heard Hojou and his mother go on about the beauty of the family engagement ring they had since the 20s.
Kagome came to a red light and stopped. She took this opportunity to look up at the ceiling of her car and say, "Thank you." She got it now, today was really crappy to even out how good tonight was going to be.
Kagome couldn't stop grinning all the way to the airport.
Kagome was all smiles as Hojou drover her to Tokyo BanquetSea. She was dressed in a flattering, light blue dress to bring out her eyes. She put her hair up and fastened it to the back of her head with a beautiful comb her mother got her from France.
Hojou wasn't too dressed up, but she really couldn't harp on him because she felt it wasn't within her right to harp on someone whose car she got towed.
She had explained that to him upon arriving home when he asked where is car was. She didn't expect him to get angry (she couldn't even really picture it), but he seemed like he was totally unperturbed by it. That concerned Kagome, but she didn't dwell on it. In fact, she downright dismissed it and continued with her prettying up.
Hojou got into the parking lot of Tokyo BanquetSea and even without being asked to, went around the car to open the door for Kagome, bless him. Kagome couldn't stop grinning as he escorted her into the restaurant entrance.
The matridee greeted the couple asking, "Good evening. Have you a reservation?"
"Uh- Yes. Hojou, for two, eight o' clock," Hojou told him.
"This way, sir, madam," the matridee said as he led them over to a table on the other side of the restaurant, right beside the window overlooking the ocean.
Kagome cooed and giggled. Their table had candle light and the white tablecloth didn't clash with her dress. She sat down and gaped at the ocean which shimmered with the silver moonlight.
This was just too perfect.
The matridee left two menus in front of them, gave a short bow, and left.
Kagome then focused on Hojou, gazing into his eyes, waiting expectantly. He seemed to be avoiding eye contact with her, staring at the menu placed before him with the most intent stare.
He spared a glance up at her, but then flushed and looked back down at his menu. Kagome cracked another smile. He was shy, how cute. Well, it wouldn't be right if he proposed anytime before dessert, so perhaps she should make some small talk with him until then.
She opened her mouth to speak but Hojou said before she could get a word in, "So, you said that you had a bad day? Was it only my car?"
Kagome shut her mouth. She really didn't want to talk about this on the night she was being proposed to… but since he mentioned it….
Kagome took her napkin from the table and placed it in her lap, "Well! For starters, I woke up late this morning. I made it into work on time, but just barely and I was just a mess."
Hojou frowned, "I'm sorry…" he apologized as if it were his fault.
Kagome shook her head, "Don't feel sorry, that was the good part of my day," she continued, "When I got to work I discovered that my boss, Totosai-san, he's leaving this weekend to work in Hokkaido and I'm going to be secretary to the VP's son."
Hojou mumbled, "Well, that might not be bad…"
Kagome bobbed her head, "I know, but I'm just worried. Secretaries have bad reputations and I've heard of bosses that act on that. I just felt safe with Totosai-san, you know. I felt like I could trust him to keep me out of that situation."
For a reason that Kagome just overlooked, Hojou flinched. She went on, "Just after that, I overheard a co-worker complain that she couldn't park on the street she normally does because they were repaving it this morning. Freaking out, I rush down there and all that's left of your car is a note on the sidewalk with a ticket." Kagome winced, "I'm so sorry about that…"
Hojou waved his hands, "Oh, it's alright, I'm not mad."
Kagome nodded and went on, "So, because no one is here to drive me home, I didn't have a car or even any bus or tube money, I end up walking home…"
Hojou's eyes were wide, "You walked home…? From your work…?"
Kagome sighed, confirming, happy to hear sympathy from someone, "Yes, all six miles… Bare-footed, because my sandals broke!" she folded her arms. A sudden memory broke through, "Oh, and on the way, I spotted this ridiculous dog catcher… he actually shot a dog with a tranquilizer gun right in front of me! I felt so bad for thing, I ran over to help it and the awful man said he was taking it off to the pound and killing it."
Hojou seemed less sympathetic, but still said to appease her, "That's too bad. Well, you know me, I can't be around dogs. They make me sneeze…"
Kagome had forgotten that Hojou was allergic… Oh well, there goes the idea of getting the poor dog. Then again, he probably wouldn't even like her anyways…
The waiter finally came up to their table, "Anything I could start you off with? Sir?"
Hojou just glanced down at the list and said, "Bourbon."
Kagome gave him a strange, strained look. Bourbon wasn't exactly what she would call romantic alcohol… she was thinking something along the lines of DeRose Vineyards Viognier or something.
"And you," said the waiter, facing Kagome, "Madam?"
"Water… I suppose," Kagome said. Well, one of them needed to keep sober for the ride home…
"Very well, I will be back shortly with your drinks," the waiter left and Kagome stared at Hojou suspiciously, as he would glance at her, and then glance away quickly, and then glance at her again like some sort of nervous rabbit.
Finally, he locked gazes with her, "Kagome."
Kagome felt her heart speed up, "Yes?"
"There's been… something… I wanted to wait until later but I can't keep it in any longer…" he sounded desperate.
Kagome felt her lips turn up as she pressured him on, "Yes?"
"Kagome, we have been together for a long time, a long time," he repeated, "I can't recall a single time we have fought, we get along much more famously than other couples I've seen, ever!" At this point, he took both of her hands into his and began rubbing them with his thumbs. Oh dear god, this was it…
"And that being said, I now need to say this…"
Kagome could feel her hands tighten. Here it was, Kagome Higurashi…
"… We need to break up, Kagome."
… Fian….. what?
Kagome's mouth dropped. Surely she misheard. She blinked a couple of time and asked in her sweetest voice, "I'm sorry, what did you say Hojou?"
"We need to break up, Kagome…" Hojou was actually sweating now, "…Because I cheated on you with Eri!"
Kagome genuinely could not understand. It was like he was speaking another language. Did he say he cheated on her? With one of her best friends??? It actually didn't add up. The room was spinning around her. It was as if she entered the Twilight Zone!!!!
She ripped her hands out of Hojou's and put one of them on her head, still trying to absorb the situation. Hojou, stupidly, went into detail about it, "I didn't mean for it to happen… It all just spontaneously occurred-!" Kagome had to restrain herself from laughing.
"We met by coincidence in Okinawa, and my grandmother thought she was you…" he went on, "We went along with it, and things sort of… spun out of control…."
It all began to sink in and all too fast. Kagome rose to her feet and silenced any words Hojou was about to say with her hand in front of his face. She said, lowly and dangerously, "No. I don't want to hear it." A single, delicate tear of fury ran down her face. Upon seeing it, Hojou gave her a shattered look. Well good! Be upset! Feel guilty!! This was too much!!
She managed to get out before anymore pesky, girly, hurt emotions reached her, "You take anything you want, but I'm keeping the house, Hojou."
Hojou couldn't really protest even if he wanted to because Kagome was already speaking again, "I'm driving home alone now. YOU can walk six miles home for all I care." She picked up her purse and said finally, "It's a good thing the majority of your things are packed because you'll be carting them all out when you get home."
She stormed out of the restaurant and headed straight for the car. She climbed into the driver's seat and started it up. Over the engine's whirling she let out a sob. Funny how all of the hope one can build up can be shattered so easily…
Okay, so the emoticon sort of destroyed the effect, but whatever. I hope you liked the first chapter.