Disclaimer: I do not own Batman or Inuyasha. They belong to their rightful creators and distributors. But I do own some OC's that may and will appear in the fic. I also don't own any songs that might be mentioned in the fic. Those belong to their rightful artists.
AN: I'm sorry that I hadn't updated in so long but Writer's Block had hit me hard on the majority of my fics and I've tried refraining from posting new fics. Also to give a heads up, some things concerning info and the characters of the Batman series will be altered a bit, like Dick still being in college, although he was already graduated before he became Nightwing. But I'll try to keep the tension and disagreements between him and Bruce/Batman in here.
In reply to Kon's reviews, I'm sorry to read that you feel that Kagome, in "In The Dark of The Knight" is acting ungrateful, haughty, and unprofessional but I wanted to portray that Kagome is an open and independent woman despite that there's a bit of a language barrier and she doesn't have a high school or college diploma. As for her acting the way she is around Bruce, it's just for comedy and with the fact that Bruce is pretty tolerant and that he is interested in her.
But I assure you that the one-sided banters and such will become lighter and form into a sort of teasing between them despite their positions as employer and employee. Right now, it's just at a rocky start before the two of them become closer. A lot of things in this don't have to be taken seriously since it's just for humor.
I'm also sorry for using random Japanese through the fic but when I sometimes do this in my fics, it's to practice my own Japanese vocabulary when writing and reading it in Romaji. It's only when I'm lazy that I don't bother with adding very much Japanese, unless is something that translates as anything that's a term used to address a family member or just adding the suffix of –san, -chan, -dono, or –sama for formalities and informalities. I've just been so used to reading fics that have Japanese vocabulary added since I had started reading Fanfics.
It even helped me when reading a book that I had to read for my English class that had Japanese names and such with the proper pronunciations.
And in reply to "Um", the reason why, in chapter four, that the police had to wait for a Japanese translator is because, despite that Bruce is fluent, he's not a certified translator for the police and there's also a chance that the police can be given false information.
Anyways, I hope everyone enjoys this next chapter, despite how long it's been since the last updated.
The clank of a filing cabinet could be heard before Kagome pulled her seat out from her desk to take a seat. After a few hours of reorganizing the second filing cabinet, the miko could finally see what her boss had wanted earlier that afternoon just as soon as she did some last minute checking for his schedule.
It had already been about a week since her last encounter with the police about her part in the incident at the restaurant. She guessed that Bruce Wayne gave Commissioner Gordon word about Detective Bullock harassing his secretary even though they already received her statement on what happened at the restaurant.
'Heh, he really cares for his employees…' she thought as she went to typing and doing last minute additions to Bruce's schedule for tomorrow and the day after.
Aside from all the things she heard about Bruce and their first meeting in the elevator, Kagome could see that he was a good man with some habits. As for the women he usually saw, it really wasn't his fault when they tend to just drop by his office unannounced. The miko had caught onto this the past week and keeping an eye on him while following him around to check in on his workers personally.
'Yep, he really does take care of those under his employment.' She momentarily paused, 'but he could be a little more careful with the women he chooses…' this last thought gave her a shiver, remembering the last woman who tried to force herself to see Wayne while he was still at a meeting.
Now that was one woman who gave her the creeps with her obsession over the bachelor. Luckily someone had called security when they did or the ordeal would've turned ugly.
Once checking her boss's schedule was done and finding no meetings until next week, Kagome saved all the last minute changes Bruce had requested before printing the schedule out and shutting the computer off. Setting the printed schedule to the side and gathering up some of the papers Bruce requested to be sent out first thing in the morning and some folders that were requested to be looked at, Kagome gathered the said folders and schedule before standing. Pushing her chair in and making sure everything's where it's supposed to be, Kagome made her way to Bruce's office.
Knocking on the door, she waited for her boss's permission to enter. Hearing his voice, Kagome opened the door and excused herself before peeking in to see the businessman at his desk writing something and with the phone to his ear. When Bruce looked up and saw Kagome at his door, he motioned her to come on in before continuing his conversation on the phone.
After quietly shutting the door behind her, Kagome made her way to Bruce's desk before the man motioned her to take a seat. Accepted the offer, Kagome took a seat, setting the folders and papers she had in her lap and waited for her boss to finish.
As she waited, her thoughts turned to the night when that man dressed as a bat came to visit her, asking about what styles of martial arts she used. Kagome hadn't seen him since that night at all but heard from her cousin and on TV that he was called 'Batman'.
Just by their first meeting, Kagome could tell that despite that he looked very intimidating; he was a very keen warrior with good intentions. And there was no doubt in her mind that there was a chance of him being very cunning as well as strong.
Kagome hoped that there would be another day when she would get to meet him once again, even if it was just to have an exchange of a few words. Even a simple spar would be more than she hoped for.
While Bruce was on the phone, wrapping up his call concerning hire recommendations for the Cosmetics branch of his Enterprise, he noticed that Kagome was in deep thought. A far away look in her deep blue eyes while her raven black bangs almost covered them. The rest of her hair was help back in a high ponytail with some of the strands settled over her shoulders. Her clothes for the day were a lavender blouse under a dress jacket and matching slacks. And around her neck was the same Pink Conch Pearl he saw her wear the first day they had met, face to face.
Come to think of it, his Asian secretary had always worn that particular necklace almost everyday; minus the nights she accompanied him to meet his Chinese associates and when he confronted her as Batman.
'Someone important must've given it to her…' Bruce thought before confirmations over the phone and wrapping up his conversation.
Once he was done, Bruce hung up the phone and etched down some last minute signatures before turning his full attention to Kagome, "So what do you have for me, Higurashi-san?"
His voice broke Kagome out of her thoughts, "Eh? Oh, yes…" standing from her seat, Kagome passed to him the folders she had, "In the folders are papers that need to be signed for final confirmation about hiring a few choice scientists for the Technology Development branch and certain changes and additions for the Pharmaceutical branch. But the manager from Wayne Pharmaceuticals said that their papers could be held off for signing until this coming Tuesday when you go to visit them and added that the things that need changing are just minor but what needs to be added are equipment they say are need. And on top of the folders is your final schedule for tomorrow and the day after."
"How minor are we talking about for the changes in the Pharmaceutical branch?" Bruce started skimming through the folders to see if the changes and additions were indeed minor.
"They said that the changes were of switching around staff. He didn't really go into detail no matter how many times I had asked with Kylie-senpai's help. All they said before hanging up was that they would talk to you about the changes in person next week. As for the equipment they wanted to add and install for their labs, there's a list in the folder." Kagome replied before adding, "as for all meetings and visitations to your branch companies you had planned are next week starting Monday but I'll give you the final printout either tomorrow afternoon or early Monday morning. Whenever you want next weeks schedule printed but I will add a note about asking the Pharmaceutical branch about the additions and switching of staff."
With a nod of approval, Bruce went to signing the papers from the Technology Development Branch before setting them in the tray and looking over the Pharmaceutical branch's papers. Nodding again and deciding to talk to the head of the Pharmaceutical branch, Bruce put up the folders in one of his desk drawers before he looked over his schedule for the next two days. Once he had also put that in the drawer, he locked it before turning his attention to Kagome once more.
"You did very well today, Higurashi-san. Thank you for the hard work." When Kagome was gonna take that as her cue to leave for home, Bruce stopped her, "Before you go home, I'd like to discuss something with you."
Kagome blinked, wondering what he wanted to discuss before taking a seat again in the chair she previously sat in as Bruce made his way around his desk. Once in front of her, he leaned against the piece of furniture, "I had received a call from Commissioner Gordon about Detective Bullock always coming to talk to you about what happened at the Golden Dragon with the Joker and he apologizes for the Detective's rudeness when he and his men should be thanking you for helping them put the Joker and him men behind bars."
"It's ok. I only did what I thought was the right thing to do. Me complaining about not getting one on the last day Bullock came was just because I was annoyed at always repeating my statement to him and him thinking I did something bad or have an ulterior motive in getting my job working under you."
Nodding in understanding, Bruce added, "Well, he won't be bothering you about what happened anymore. Commissioner Gordon said he would guarantee it." When he saw Kagome's expression turn into a curious frown while looking out the windows behind him, Bruce turned around to see that the Bat-signal was lit to call for Batman. Glancing back at his secretary, he gave a smirk at her still curious expression before answering her silent question, "Looks like Batman's being called for again. It's almost an everyday occurrence for Gotham City." Standing straight, Bruce held out his hand to Kagome and offered, "Come on. I'll walk you out."
Accepting his offer, Kagome accepting his hand before he helped her up from her seat, asking, "I had heard about Batman from my cousin, Naiya. He told me about him a couple days after I came to Gotham. I think he even came to see me…"
Knowing that she was talking about the night that Batman asked her about her fighting style, Bruce feigned curiosity as he went to grab his coat, "Oh? What did he see you about? Your confrontation with the Joker?"
Following him, Kagome replied, "Not exactly… he just asked me what fighting style I used to beat the Joker and his men. He seemed more curious about that than anything else. Heh, although he did seemed a bit impatient when I told him that even if I was able to tell him the styles I know, he wouldn't be able to find the styles in any books." Once Bruce grabbed his coat, the two of them left his office, locking the door behind him before Kagome grabbed her things and they continued their way to the elevator.
"Oh?" Bruce looked down at her as she pressed the button for the ground floor. "Why would you tell him that? He's apparently very resourceful." His darker side stirred at the opportunity for more information on their current puzzle.
Kagome snorted, her eyes watching her reflection in the metal door almost sadly. "It isn't a matter of resourcefulness, Wayne-sama. What I learned is something that was completely wiped from history."
Bruce grew confused by Kagome's choice of words before asking, "Wiped from history? Surely some sort of written record of the arts was left behind for you to have learned it."
"Unfortunately no. Nothing was left behind. Not even a scroll. A lot can be lost within the time span of five hundred years. So for Batman, no matter how hard he looks and no matter what kind of hint or clue I could be willing to give him, he'll never be able to find something that's faded from history." Kagome answered just as the elevator reached their destination.
Following Kagome out of the elevator after the doors slid open, Bruce asked, "I guess you're right. But then how did you learn about them?"
Kagome glanced at her boss, "And why have you become so curious?"
"I had studied martial arts in Japan in my younger years. So I'm interested…"
Well, what Bruce said wasn't a complete lie.
After a while of staring at him from the corner of her eye, Kagome answered as she walked with Bruce to the garage area, to his car, without thinking, "Hmmm… one of the arts was taught to me by a friend who wanted to help me learn how to fend for myself. My older brother taught the other to me after I was adopted into his family. All in all, I was taught ancient, and believed to be forgotten, forms of fighting by a stroke of luck."
Bruce chuckled, reaching his car. "Well you have some serious luck then. Where's your car?"
Blinking, Kagome looked around, finally taking note of where they were. "I don't have one. Guess I got too caught up in memories…"
"You must have some good ones." Bruce took out his keys, but didn't open his car yet, preferring to lean against it and continue talking to her. Maybe if he got lucky she'd let him give her a ride.
Kagome raised an eyebrow at him and lifted her lips into a smirk. "I could say the same for you. Perhaps we'll exchange them sometime, but right now, I need to get to the bus stop. The last one leaves in ten minutes, and I'd rather not walk across Gotham."
"I could give you a ride." Nicely done—a smooth, nonchalant, unthreatening suggestion. Any other woman wouldn't think anything of it and agree immediately. But, as his darker side had to remind him, Kagome never acted like any other woman, so he could never guess what Kagome would do.
"It's okay. From what I've been told, your home's just outside the city limits. No need to go out of your way to drop off an employee who lives almost in the middle of the city…"
"It's fine. Look at it as an opportunity to saving for your bus fare for the morning and the next day."
Kagome's eyes narrow, halfheartedly, "I'm not that poor… even if I haven't received a paycheck yet…"
"I never meant any offense, Higurashi-san. This could also give us a chance to talk more. I like to be on friendly terms with my employees." Bruce watched Kagome look at him as if weighing her options of whether to take up his offer for a ride or go through with taking the bus home like she always did. "And if there's a chance that you don't make it to the bus on time… Gotham's not really the safest city in the world even if we do have Batman."
Seeing that her did have a point, not to mention the Bus Stop was about two block down from the Wayne building. So even if she made a run out of the company garage and down the street, there's a chance that she'll probably still miss the bus. Not wanted to take the chance of missing her bus ride home, Kagome accepted Bruce's offer for a ride home.
After seeing Kagome nod, accepting his offer to give her a ride home, Bruce went to unlock his car before opening the passenger door for Kagome. Once she was inside, he closed the door shut before making his way to the driver's side.
As Bruce started the car and drove out of the garage, Kagome sighed softly as she felt the plush seat cushions of the overly expensive car that she would never be able to own. Such a pity. It was really comfortable. The chuckle from the driver's seat made her glare at her boss. "What's so funny?"
"You. You're so easy to read." Kagome tensed at the saying, but kept quiet. She never did break the habit of wearing her heart on her sleeve, but now she could wear it proudly and protect it with her own strength. "If you don't mind me asking, why did you come to Gotham? It's obviously not the best city to move to."
Kagome paused for a moment before answering truthfully, "It was the only place I could think of where I had any relatives outside of Japan." When she didn't hear Bruce say anything, she continued, "A lot of things happened in my teen years, after I had turned fifteen. But during those times I made some friends that soon became like family to me. I even started having feeling for a boy, who I had befriended before everyone else." Sighing, Kagome looked out the window, not really seeing the buildings they passed, "Then one day, after about five years of being with them, I could no longer see them. I then started gaining symptoms of depression several months later. So, after telling my mother and the rest of my family that I wanted to get away for a while, they believed it would be good for me. Even though I had relatives in Japan who were willing to let me stay with them, I really wanted to come to the U.S. and be able to see Kokota…"
"Oh… he probably introduced himself as Naiya to you." Kagome saw Bruce flinch out of the corner of her eye and laughed. "That's right! You didn't realize he was a he, so you kissed his hand."
"Urusai…" Bruce was glad that she was laughing, especially after she told him of her depression, even if it was at his expense. Watching her carefully when they reached a stoplight, he had to wonder how a person with such a bright personality could ever be depressed.
With her laughter calming, Kagome continued, "Anyways, my choice of coming to Gotham was really to catch up and be able to be with my cousin, Kokota again. Since the last time we had seen each other was at a family reunion in Okinawa when I was fourteen, I hadn't seen him in quite a few years. So me being with him in Gotham is hitting two birds with one stone; I can stay with my favorite cousin and catch up with him while also being far from Japan to recover from my depression."
The traffic light the turned green, allowing Bruce and many other drivers to continue, "So far, I have been feeling better but every now and then I'd still find myself looking back on the memories of my friends… and still miss them terribly."
'So that's why she usually looks sad… especially that night when Batman asked her about her fighting styles. She was reminded of her friends…' Bruce thought, taking a glance at the young woman next to him. From her reflection on the window showed how her eyes looked sad but there was a glint of fondness at what he guessed were some of her happier memories.
Wanting to change the subject to help her cheer up a bit, Bruce asked, "That necklace of yours… did you receive it from someone? I've noticed that you had always been wearing it."
The miko blinked before looking down at the pink conch pearl that looked so similar to the old Shikon no Tama. Although she would've been better off with her family shrine's plastic trinkets that they sell, or better without, Sesshoumaru believed that it wouldn't do for her to have a reminder that had more value when it came to riches.
The demon lord said that his ward, Rin had found the pink pearl on a beach they were passing and mentioned that it looked very similar to the Shikon. What Rin had said, along with her question of if Kagome would like it, gave Sesshoumaru an idea of making the pearl become a duplicate of the Shikon.
"To serve as a reminder of what you had once guarded…" she remembered him saying when he gave the pink peal on a sting of prayer beads to her. Even though Kagome protested about it being too much for her; the pearl being too valuable, Sesshoumaru also said, "Nothing but the best for my imouto…"
Kagome smiled, a hand reaching up to finger her necklace. "Yeah… It was a gift from two very precious people." Her smile remained even as she gazed longingly out the window. "Rin is probably gone by now, though…"
Bruce slowed the car down a little, giving him more time to observe his secretary. The subject he thought would be safe turned out to make her a little less sad, but the longing in her eyes wasn't something he wanted to see. So he tried again. "Your cousin told me you made some of the flower arrangements in his shop—is there a story to that too?"
Kagome chuckled, "Kokota had offered me a temporary job of helping out at his shop after I had first arrived in Gotham. Aside from being a model for his kimonos, I also helped in making flower arrangements for the shop as well. At first it was a bit hard because I was a bit rusty in arranging flowers since I hadn't done so since I was in elementary school. But every now and then I would make an arrangement for Kokota that seemed to catch his eye enough to put it on display at the shop or even put it in the catalogue for special orders."
"Your cousin, Kokota, also said something about the flowers you use for your arrangements seem to last longer than the ones he usually arranges. Any secret behind that?"
"To be honest… that's a mystery to me as well, especially when it comes to my herbal garden. I don't use anything special to help them live longer but they just do." Kagome replied, not wanting to mention it having to do with her being a miko; being one with nature and all that.
Turning a corner, Bruce thought aloud, "Sounds like you've got quite the green thumb." This granted him a glance from his secretary who also gave an upturn of her lips, which he couldn't help but return. "So how are you liking Gotham so far?"
"Well… there's a lot more crime here than in Tokyo, I'll admit that. But with all of these super villains I keep hearing about on the news and all… there's never a dull moment." Kagome then turned away from the window to look at her boss with a playful look in her eye, "especially at work with all the… lady acquaintances that drop by unannounced and the work you give me, despite the language barrier with the other employees, always keep me occupied."
Bruce Wayne gave a chuckle at the teasing remark. While it was very amusing for Kagome to usually be witty and on guard, like she first started out with him, it wasn't so bad to be making conversation with her like this with the occasional witty and familiar comebacks. 'She's starting to get the hang of working for me and getting the hang of Bruce Wayne's habits.'
"By the way, Higurashi-san… how have your English lessons been coming?"
After the last confrontation with Bullock about Kagome's hand in the incident at "The Golden Dragon", Bruce picked up some computer programs his company made to help Kagome learn English, since he knew that she couldn't rely on Kylie to translate everything she hears or says. They were easy programs to learn from which he also recommended to Dick while he was taking a foreign language class in high school.
Looking sheepish, Kagome answered, "It's going okay. The programs you lent to me have refreshed what I had learned while still in school but giving me a better understanding of some things that I had couldn't while still in school."
"That's great." Bruce turned down her street, slowing down as he came up to the curb. "One of my wards is actually interested in learning Japanese and Chinese so he can help me with my associates during the summer and once he gets out of college, if he chooses to work with me. Do you think you could give him a hand?" Kagome stared at him for a moment, jaw dropped in surprise. "He could help with your English, so it'd be a fair trade. What do you say?"
His offer was a big surprise for Kagome and she was almost suspicious of its suddenness. But… the offer of someone helping her with her English was just too good to pass up, even though she had to teach said tutor Chinese and Japanese. It sounded like a fair trade to her despite that it was one language for two.
"So he's in college?"
"He's close to finishing his third year. He got interested in the languages after he started taking Asian History. He's already been recommended in teaching English to some transfer students that attend Gotham's University. But when he's learning Chinese and Japanese in class, he's almost falling behind…"
As Bruce came to a stop in front of kokota's shop, he watched as Kagome mauled over his offer. The reason he offered this was so that he could have the chance to get to know Kagome more outside of work. He would teach her English himself but with his business at Wayne enterprises and as Batman, there just isn't enough time on his hands unless he invites Kagome as his guest to business parties and charities.
But this still proved to be good on his part since Dick had been falling behind on his two foreign languages, he thought that maybe Kagome could help him in his place. He knew Japanese but he was still rusty in his Chinese, so in his mind, Kagome was the best option.
Kagome bit her lip, coming to a decision. "Sure. It'd be nice to work with a person rather than a computer for a change. How long do you think this will last?"
Bruce toned down the satisfaction he felt as she accepted the offer and shrugged. "However long he needs it, I guess… unless you get tired of him before then. This will mostly up to the two of you."
The miko laughed, before assuring, "Oh, don't worry. If there's a chance we do hit it off well then we'll probably have no problems." Noticing that she was now in front of her cousin's shop, Kagome turned to her boss. "Thanks for the ride, Wayne-sama. I really appreciate it."
"It's no problem, Higurashi-san. I would feel more at ease knowing that you made it home safely if you had missed the bus."
Kagome smiled gratefully and got out of the car. As the door closed between her and her boss, the miko bent over to bid him a goodnight. "Thanks again, and don't stay out too late with your woman of the week."
Before Bruce could argue with her, Kagome was already running up the stairs to the shop, her laughter echoing back to him. "Heh." Bruce propped his head up on his arms, crossed over the steering wheel and watched through the window as Kokota fawned over his cousin, dragging her toward what was apparently his latest fashion creation. "Too interesting…"
With a sigh, he leaned back and pulled the car away from the curb and down the street. As much as he would love to watch and interact with his secretary, Batman needed to respond to his signal.
The news broadcast for the evening could be heard, with the subtitles on the bottom of the picture being in kanji so the two occupants of the apartment could read it. "- Although with most of the priceless Chinese artifacts back in the custody of The Gotham City museum, thanks to the help of Batman, the perpetrator who is currently unknown to us is still on the loose with one artifact unaccounted for called 'The Jewel of The Dragon's Neck' in his possession. The Asian treasure was first donated to Hong Kong from Kyoto, Japan to share one of their national treasures with the mainland-"
Kokota turned from the TV to his cousin, Kagome asking, "Didn't you mention once that was found in one of the lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji?"
After taking a sip of her miso soup, Kagome answered, "Yeah. Jí-chan said that a hiker and his family who were taking a vacation around one of the lakes of Mt. Fuji had found it on the shore. Though, not much of a detailed description of the treasure was given in old records and the book for The Tale of The Bamboo Cutter, some folklore researchers believed what the man found could be the real thing." She then gave a shrug, "No one really knows for sure. But if it truly is one of the treasures that were mentioned in The Tale of The Bamboo Cutter, it could be one of the greatest discoveries in Asian history and folklore. For now, though, The Jewel of The Dragon's Neck is seen as a valuable treasure that represents one of Japan's most classic fairy tales."
Kokota propped his head elegantly on his hand, his painted lips pouting. "Aw… It's such a pity that it's still missing. We could have gone to see it. I'm sure it's beautiful."
Kagome paused, her mind flashing back to the fiasco with Kaguya. "Hai… It is."
Kokota watched his cousin carefully. It wasn't often anymore that she drifted into almost trance-like states, but they did happen. When she first came to Gotham, if he couldn't find her something to do, to keep her occupied, she would stare into space for hours, then berate herself for it later, mumbling things like "leave the past in the past," which he could understand, or "stupid demons," which he didn't understand as much. After she got her job, though, she was so much better, and her strange periods occurred less. Now, only certain things set her off, and he couldn't find a pattern for them at all. Something random like The Jewel of the Dragon's Neck triggered them, but they didn't last long—a few minutes at most, and he couldn't be more thankful.
"Ne, Kagome-chan." Kokota grinned when she snapped her eyes to him. "Why don't we go out sometime? You've got a day off coming up—we could go anywhere! The museum, the exotic plants exhibit at Gotham's Botanical Garden—anywhere you want to go, ne?" He grinned beautifully, happy when Kagome returned one of herself.
"Sure. I'd like that."
"Yatta! Take your time to choose where you'd like to go. I'll start making plans to close the shop on your day off and we'll have the whole day to ourselves to take in some sights." Since Kagome had started her job as Bruce Wayne's secretary, she had been working really hard during her trial period. And even though she had about less than a week left of the work trial, it was up to Bruce to make the final decision to allow Kagome to work for him permanently… or to let her go.
It also seemed that Bruce decided to allow her at least one day off for all the work she put into her first week, as well as helping him close a deal with his Chinese associates.
Kagome laughed softly as she watched her cousin dance around his kitchen to mark the date on the calendar. Coming to Gotham had turned out better than she thought it would, and she didn't regret it. 'Besides, Batman is interesting.'
She looked over to the TV again, sipping her soup. The screen showed the supposed thieves of the Jewel of the Dragon's Neck, three men in masks: a vulture, a shark, and fox. 'Hn. No real fox would even let themselves be caught on camera. This guy's giving kitsune a bad name.'
(For those who have seen the Batman cartoon that started in 1992 will probably know who these three are but for those who don't know or can't remember can see them on season 4, episode 1 on Batman: The Animated Series. And the episode is titled "The Terrible Trio". And although I decided to use the appearances of the main cast from "The New Batman Adventures" that was made in 1997, me and S.T. Nickolian decided to bring these guys in since I couldn't make my mind up with the more known villains and the supporting ones.)
Kagome tore her eyes away from the screen just before they showed a picture of what the Jewel looked like. She didn't want to see it. If it really was the real thing, she didn't want anything to do with it. She left that life behind.
"So, Kagome-chan, what's your schedule for tomorrow?" Kokota pranced back to the table, eyes glittering with excitement.
"I have a charity event with Wayne-sama. Something about shooting flying plates." Kagome rolled her eyes. "Ridiculous, ne?"
Kokota laughed, "Not really. It's practically an American sport for men. Even my boyfriend likes to go shooting every now and then when he gets the chance."
"Still, Wayne-sama says that as his personal and private secretary, I'll have to go with him. Although, I'm certain that I'm going to be bored through the whole event. But at least I'll be able to hold a conversation a little with my still somewhat broken English."
"At least you've got all your greetings down and can understand a little of what some of the people around you are saying." Kokota pointed out as took his seat at their low table again.
Ever since Bruce Wayne gave Kagome those Language computer programs, Kokota could see that his baby cousin worked extra hard to relearn English to be fluent with it. But there were still some things that she could get confused with that she can't ask for help on when just working with a computer, so Kokota found it nice that Bruce Wayne offered to have someone teach Kagome English while she'll help said tutor with his own Japanese and Chinese.
Kagome nodded at Kokota's point, internally grateful that she manage to remember that much. 'Guess all I've learned and relearned will be put to the test at this Charity event…'
After finishing supper, with Kokota offering to do the dishes, Kagome made her way to her room, 'Now to look for something to wear tomorrow…'
The sound of a gun firing with the sound of something breaking almost jerked Kagome awake. Despite that she was expected to be there with her boss, it didn't mean that she was going to enjoy it.
The miko decided that her cousin was right about this target practice with guns really was something meant for the boys. But then again, she was never a big fan of guns, preferring a bow and arrow for a long distance weapon.
Plus, she only stood to the side and watched, so it was easy to doze… until whoever was up shot again. So for the past five minutes, she had been nodding off only to snap her head up at the sound of a gun.
Kagome sighed as she watched her boss almost happily break another plate. 'However…' Her eyes narrowed as she watched the subtle tension in his shoulder blades. He wasn't happy to be holding that gun. 'So the millionaire doesn't like ammunition. Interesting.' It was the boy shooting with him that caught her attention, however.
A snobbish redhead from what she could see, and she'd never met him, of that she was sure. But he still seemed… familiar. She could swear she'd seen his jaw structure before… Two other boys joined him, and he seemed to almost mock her boss, which irritated her a bit. He was a good man, even if he was a playboy, and he didn't deserve to be mocked.
"Higurashi-san, would you come over here, please?" Kagome blinked when he addressed her for the first time since taking up the gun. She subtly straightened her suit jacket and walked forward.
Kagome felt the stares of the three who were with Bruce but didn't pay them much mind until after she was at her boss' side, "Yes?"
Bruce gave a pleased smirk, "So you can speak English now…?"
"Just a little." Kagome answered, returning a smirk of her own before adding in Japanese, "My accent's still heavy though. But at least I know my greetings and can hold a short conversation… but not for very long."
Warren and his two friends watched on curious while also confused as the Asian woman and Bruce spoke to each other in a different language. "I wonder who that young thing is," Warren commented, running his eyes up and down the woman. "Surely not his current conquest."
"Warren, you have a girlfriend," his blonde friend, Armand Lydecker, whispered conspiratorially. "And there is no way you'd be able to steal a woman from Bruce Wayne himself."
"Nonsense, right, Gunther?" Warren smirked up at his taller friend, but her quickly scowled as he noticed to slack look on his face. "Gunther? Are you alright?"
"She's beautiful…" Gunther's lips barely moved as he continued to stare entranced, at the slip of an Asian woman talking with Bruce.
"What?" Warren's eyes darted from his frat brother to the woman and back again. "Gunther, come now. You aren't seriously—are you…?" He left the question hanging, believing the lost look on his shark friend's face was enough of an answer.
"Truly, Higurashi-san, you didn't need to wear a suit like that to something like this." Bruce let his eyes rove over her attire from head to toe and back, and he delighted in the blush it caused. "I'm sure I could have gotten you something more comfortable." His voice lightened with a clear suggestion at his last words, and he grinned, even as she frowned at his disapprovingly.
"Wayne-sama, I'm sure whatever you would have picked would have been inappropriate, all-considering." Kagome narrowed her eyes and subtly tilted her head to the girl standing by the building. "Like that."
Bruce turned to look at the daughter of one of his associates, who stood beside her father clapping politely but looking utterly bored. Her off-shoulder dress barely reached her mid-thigh, showing off beautiful legs, and Bruce smirked at his secretary. "I dunno what's inappropriate about it. It's a very nice dress."
Kagome narrowed her eyes at him, "I'm on the more modest side of the dressing scale and don't like to show off my legs. Although, yes, her dress is nice but shows off a little more than necessary while in the company of her father as well as the current company who are present for this charity."
"Still, rather than wearing something so stiff, you would still be allowed to wear something comfortable, like a sundress. I wouldn't have gotten mad." Bruce chuckled even though he was serious about allowing her to wear something more comfortable than a work suit. Also, a part of him hoped that she would come with him dressed in something like a sundress.
Not wanting to be out of the loop and more, Warren spoke, "I don't want to be rude and interrupt but Bruce, who is your young lady friend? Perhaps… a new girlfriend?"
Bruce looked to Warren and his friends, "I wish it were so, but no." He then rested a hand on Kagome's shoulder before introducing, "Gentlemen, allow me to introduce Kagome Higurashi, my recently hired secretary from Tokyo." He then turned to Kagome who had a curious expression, "Higurashi-san, this is Warren Lawford and his friends, Armand Lydecker and Gunther Hardwick." He did his introductions while gesturing to the respective, Warren being the redhead of the group, Armand Lydecker being the one with blond hair and glasses, and last Gunther being the one with dark hair and a mustache… who seem to be looking at Kagome with a look she'd seen on most demons who became infatuated with her…
While ignoring the uneasy feeling she got from Gunther Hardwick's stare, Kagome greeted them, her accent heavy but her words still understandable and her hand held out to them for a handshake, "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Giving a smirk to make him appear more 'dashing', Warren took a firm hold of her hand, "The pleasure's all ours, Ms. Higurashi."
She then went to shaking hands with Armand, who gave a polite and friendly greeting with a matching smile. Once she made it to Gunther Hardwick, she was surprised when he brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it before greeting her.
If she hadn't been used to the attention she got from Kouga in the past, she would have blushed, and, admittedly, she was close to doing so because he had the gall to be so familiar with her in front of her employer. Instead, she replied with the polite smile she reserved for business. "Again, a pleasure. Wayne-sama, I believe they want you to make a speech."
Bruce carefully hid a grimace from the fraternity brothers, though Kagome's smile widened into a smirk when she saw it, and she bowed slightly to the rich boys to follow her employer to the podium, where she stood off to the side until she was needed.
During her employer's speech, the fraternity brothers were absent but she guessed it was because they went to put up their shooting clothes. Although, she didn't know why they couldn't just take off their jackets, gloves and padding and such out here and give them to the helpers who were present. It's not like they were stripping down naked.
Her employer still had his on but it was obvious that he would take them off after he was finished with his speech. Once Bruce was done speaking, she applauded with everyone present before Bruce stepped down and made his way to her.
"Good speech, sir. Although I only caught bits and pieces of it…" Kagome complimented in Japanese and admitted with a sheepish look.
Bruce laughed quietly to not bring attention to them—not that he didn't draw enough attention on his own—and gently guided her over to his associate and his daughter. "That's alright. You'll catch more after you start working with Dick a bit."
Kagome grinned at the reminder that she would have a tutor that she would tutor herself while getting tutored… hopefully she wouldn't confuse herself thinking about that. "I'm looking forward to that, but it looks like I'm not the only one thinking that the girl's dress is inappropriate."
"Huh?" Bruce looked up to see the daughter, Rebecca, glaring at her father, who didn't bother hiding his disapproval of her attire. "Oh…"
"I can understand that it's stylish for someone her age but in her father's point of view, it draws too much attention to herself, especially for a gathering like this. That's why he finds it inappropriate for gatherings like this." Kagome said softly as they made their way to the two. Bruce nodded, figuring that was the reason why Mr. Sheldon found his daughter's attire inappropriate.
As they were close enough to the man and his daughter, Bruce greeted him and shook his hand. "It's a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Sheldon, and an honor that you thought to invite me. I don't believe you've met my new secretary, Kagome Higurashi, recently arrived from Tokyo."
Kagome bowed at her name, vaguely discerning what Bruce was saying, and she narrowed her eyes a little when the old man questioned the rationality of hiring someone who barely knew English. Bruce had an answer ready though, so Kagome sighed, stepping back against a wall. "Don't mind my dad; he can be a real hardass."
Blinking, Kagome turned to Mr. Sheldon's daughter, who was back to being bored. "Miss Rebecca Sheldon?" Her pronunciation was off, but the young woman nodded anyway.
"I had heard that Bruce Wayne always likes to help give people jobs at his company so it's really no big deal. It's just that sometimes my dad doesn't understand how generous Mr. Wayne can be for those who are looking for work. So no worries about what my dad says." Rebecca gave a light smirk to the Asian woman next to her as a sign of reassurance, despite that she still felt bored.
Although what her father thought about Bruce hiring someone whose English was limited, Rebecca found it nice that Bruce Wayne was so generous. And even though the young woman beside her needed a little more work on her English, she could still understand her.
In appearance, she was very pretty with her hair in a loose bun and her bangs framing her face while almost covering her deep blue eyes. Other than the lip-gloss she had applied, she wasn't wearing any other makeup and her clothes were nice and very sharp with a pair of gray slacks and a matching blazer. Her shirt was a lavender dress shirt with white buttons that almost appeared to be silver. What caught her attention though was the conch pearl with ivory beads around her neck.
When she was about to ask where she got the necklace, Rebecca spotted her boyfriend inside. An excited grin came upon her face as she excused herself to go see him.
Kagome watched Rebecca lovingly embrace her boyfriend, who flashed a smirk in her direction before saying something about Mr. Sheldon, who glanced at them. Warren let Rebecca twirl, showing off her new dress, while his friends complimented her, though Gunther kept a close eye on the Asian at the door.
Narrowing her eyes, Kagome turned away from them dismissively and caught the way Bruce narrowed his own eyes at them. So she wasn't the only one who didn't like them much. He apparently saw something else he didn't like, because he quickly made his excuses to the businessmen around him and approached her. "I believe it's about time we left, Higurashi-san."
"Honto?" Kagome raised an eyebrow accusingly at all the other people who seemed to want to talk to him. "You don't have another appointment for an hour. I thought you liked being in the limelight."
Bruce frowned thoughtfully, his eyes continually glancing in at the college students inside the house. "I want to get back to the office to discuss when you would be able to come see Dick."
Kagome considered the idea for a moment before shrugging. "Sure. I'm bored here anyway."
As the two left the charity gathering, Warren and his frat brothers watched them leave. Once they were almost out of sight, Gunther could be heard sighing a little, which drew his friends and Rebecca's attention.
"Is… Gunther okay?" The shorthaired girl asked, a little worried.
Warren then answered offhandedly, "Oh, he's fine. He's just become infatuated with Bruce Wayne's secretary."
"Not that I can blame him. She's a very gorgeous young woman." Armand added with a smirk.
And it was the truth, with the rarity of someone of Asian decent to have such deep blue eyes. Not to mention she had a very attractive body and smile.
Rebecca smiled, slipping her arm into Warren's and walking with him and his friends. She hoped she could get to know Ms. Kagome better.
Kagome sighed, rolling her neck to crack it. After returning to Wayne Enterprises from the Sheldon Charity Event, she had worked out a schedule for language lessons with Wayne-sama's ward, then he had a meeting. Afterwards, he was held up in his office, again, leaving her to deal with the women trying to see him, again. 'How do they even get past security to get up here, anyway?'
"Higurashi-chan." Kagome looked up to see Kylie in front of her desk, smiling. "It's late. There's only a couple buses left tonight. Don't you think it's time to head home?"
Blinking, Kagome looked at the clock on her computer. "Seven-thirty? How did it get that late? Gomen ne, Kylie-senpai. I had to finish changing Wayne-sama's schedule for tomorrow. People kept changing his meetings." She pouted as her senpai laughed at her, and finally stood up. "Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. Walk out with me?"
The two women gossiped all the way out of the building, laughing together at the dynamics in the office. Because of her company, Kagome didn't notice the footsteps following them until they almost reached the bus stop.
Once her bus had arrived, Kylie said her goodbyes to Kagome with the promise of seeing her in the morning before heading to the company garage for her car. As Kagome stepped onto the bus and paid her fee, she went to the back for an empty seat. During her ride, she couldn't shake off the feeling that someone was watching her. She glanced around before her eyes landed on a man with a hat and jacket on who lifted a newspaper to read an article but it also looked like he was trying to hide his face.
Kagome's brows furrowed in confusion before she turned her attention away from the man, trying to ignore the feeling he gave her. After what seemed almost forever to her, Kagome's stop came into view. Signaling that it was her stop, the miko quickly made her way off the bus and to her cousin's shop.
The lock clicked behind her, and Kagome leaned her back against the door. "This feeling… I haven't had it for months." She bit her lip before calling out, "Kokota!"
At her almost panicked voice, her cousin rushed down the stairs, almost falling and immediately grasped her hands, looking her over for any injuries. "What is it, Kagome-chan? You're not hurt are you? That extremely sexy boss of yours didn't bend you over his desk and ravish you, did he?"
Kagome blinked at her cousin's raving, and she slowly felt a sense of calm flowing over her. Kokota always did that, making her feel safe, which was probably the reason she could live in Gotham peacefully. "Iieda, Kokota… I'm not hurt, and no, Wayne-sama did not do that!" Heat rose to her cheeks slightly as she truly registered what he said. "But… could you open the curtain and look outside, but please be natural about it. I think someone may have followed me home."
Brown eyes, typical of the Japanese and so very different from her own, widened, and for a moment, Kokota appeared serious, and more masculine. "Alright. Stay here and out of sight."
After Kokota received a nod from his cousin, he calmly went to the display window and casually opened the curtain a bit to look outside. Other than a stray dog digging through a garbage bag across the street and a middle-aged woman walking passed his shop, he couldn't see anyone suspicious. Letting the curtain fall, Kokota frowned slightly.
To him, there wasn't really a chance of Kagome becoming paranoid while walking home even while she was recovering from her depression. If there was a chance that someone followed her home, he wasn't going to take any chances. After making sure the door to the shop was locked, Kokota made his way to where Kagome stood before motioning her up the stairs to the living quarters of the store.
Once they were upstairs, Kokota went to the windows to look out again and saw nothing suspicious from the second floor. He then turned to Kagome, "I don't see anyone suspicious, Kagome-chan. But I'm not gonna take any chances."
Watching Kokota make his way to the phone, Kagome asked, "What are you gonna do?"
"I'm going to call my boyfriend so he can stay with us for a few days or at least until this stalker who's following you stops or is caught." As he started dialing his boyfriend's number, Kokota added, "and since he has a car, maybe he can start driving you to and from work on his way to the museum."
"Kokota, you don't have to ask him to do that…" but Kagome knew the okama wasn't going to really listen. Not when there's a chance her safety was at risk. With a somewhat defeated sigh, Kagome left for her room as Kokota spoke to his boyfriend about staying with them for a while.
Closing her door behind her, the miko went to her windows and looked out. After not finding the man she saw on the bus or anything suspicious, she closed the drapes and went to change out of her work clothes, hearing Kokota's voice as he continued to talk on the phone.
After she was done changing into some more comfortable close, Kagome exited her room to see Kokota hang up. "So what's up?"
"Well, after explaining the situation to Carl, he agreed to stay over for a few days and even help drive you to and from work so that I wouldn't have to worry about you running into this stalker guy. And we may even have to cancel our whole day of sightseeing on your day off."
"No!" Kagome shook her head frantically. "No, don't do that. You were looking forward to it so much."
Kokota shrugged, a pretty smile crossing his face. "There will be other days, and your safety comes first. Okay?" Kagomesighed and nodded reluctantly. She had been looking forward to it too. "Don't worry, Kagome-chan." Kokota hugged her. "We'll go out after this guy backs off." He set his chin on her head and narrowed his eyes a little. Kagome could feel his hold tightening, and she tried to block out his next words—nothing good ever came from them. "I won't let anything happen to you."
The miko winced subtly and hugged her cousin back. 'I should be the one saying that to you, baka… I can deal with these things better…'
About an hour later, once dinner was almost ready, there was a knock at the door signaling that Carl, Kokota's boyfriend had arrived. While Kagome kept an eye on dinner, Kokota went to let Carl in from the store entrance. The miko heard them talking as they were coming up the stairs before the door opened and showed Kokota carrying one of Carl's bags as he followed behind his lover.
Once they both sat the bags down, Carl caught sight of Kagome in the kitchen. Coming up to her, gathered her into a hug, "Hey Kagome. Naiya told me what happened. How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine…" Kagome answered in her heavily accented English, returning the much-appreciated hug as Kokota took over the cooking.
During dinner, Kokota and Carl assured Kagome that they would make sure that she was okay and Carl was more than happy to help out in driving her to and from work.
Through the whole conversation, Kagome kept a grateful smile on her face and bore the reassurances. She could take care of herself, but she couldn't turn down the two of them. They were bound and determined to do whatever they could, so the least she could do was accept it. Until one of them were put in danger's way, then she would deal with everything herself.
"Thanks for the meal." Kagome stood up from the table and smiled at the two men still seated. "I'm going ahead to my room, Kokota, Carl. I have to get things ready for tomorrow at work, and my first session with Wayne-sama's ward is after work."
"Oh! That's right! You said that Wayne-san had planned for one of his wards to teach your English while you teach him Japanese and Chinese!" Kokota exclaimed in realization before repeating it to Carl so he can understand what was said.
Carl just smiled after getting the translation, "Well, before I let you go into the building I'll hand you my number so that you can call me before you clock out tomorrow. That way, you can tell me the transportation plans."
After Kokota translated Carl's reply, Kagome nodded before she started gathering the dishes, only to have Carl stop her and say the he would do the dishes since she and Kokota did the cooking.
While Carl and Kokota did the dishes, the miko excused herself to her room where she still had the curtains drawn. Going to the window, Kagome peeked through the curtains to see if the suspicious man was there on the streets or not. Finding no one there, Kagome let the curtain fall back into place before climbing into her bed to start planning for the basic Japanese lesson she wanted to give Wayne-sama's ward.
Two hours passed with that before Kagome went to her closet to look for something to wear in the morning. But seeing that it was already late and she didn't have enough time to go to Kokota's computer in the living room to continue her English computer programs a little more, Kagome bid Kokota and Carl a goodnight before heading to bed.
Although she was slightly worried about the stalker, she made a decision to not tell her boss about it.
'No way am I getting him involved when I already have those two. He's got more important things to worry about.'
TEN full pages. I'm sorry it took so long to get this posted but with S.T. Nickolian's help, this was able to get posted at this length. I thought that you guys deserved it after being patient for so long.
Hope you guys enjoyed it.