Cruel Reality

Chapter Three

Disclaimer: Don't own Inuyasha and Co.

You know, when I thought of my first apartment I'd have, I never thought of just how much effort it takes to put it together, Kagome groused.

She stood with her hands on her hips and scanned the disaster that greeted her that had once been her vacant apartment. Boxes lined the walls and cluttered the floors. Her furniture had been shoved into an unorganized corner of what she assumed would be her living room area. Shaking her head, she had to hold back a sigh of frustration.

She had woken to the sound of a brisk knock at her door. Eagerly, she had let in the moving men and had stood by while they brought in the things from her old life into her new life.

But she hadn't counted on there being so much…stuff. She had never realized exactly how much bigger her old living space had been until all the stuff made it impossible to take a step without tripping over a box or rapping a shin against an ill placed piece of furniture.

Looking at her watch, she cursed. "I don't have time for this," she muttered and picked her way around the boxes to make her way to her bedroom. She was due to her new work in half an hour and since she didn't have a car yet, she would be walking, leaving her a total of ten minutes to get ready.

By the time her clock showed eight forty five, Kagome was ready to go and pulling on her shoes. Taking one last look around her disaster of an apartment, she couldn't contain her grin.

Though it was cluttered and she would undoubtedly have a full day ahead of organizing everything, she was actually looking forward to it. Just another thing she got to do on her own; another part of being on her own.


Kagome shifted nervously as she waited for someone to come meet her at the door. Looking around, she didn't see any cars in the parking lot and felt a small spark of fear. Was she at the wrong place? Looking again at the address in her hand, she shook her head. No, she was in the right place.

Was she the first one here?

She looked at her watch with a frown. It was nine ten. She was late, but she was the first one there?

The roar of a motorcycle interrupted her train of thought and she turned just in time to see a man on a sleek black motorcycle pull into the first parking spot. The rider that straddled the machine was wearing hip hugging jeans and unbuttoned flannel shirt that flapped gently in the morning breeze, a plain white tank top molding to his stomach like a second skin. Broad shoulders bunched and flexed as he reached up and pulled the black riding helmet off and shook out his hair with a sigh of satisfaction. His face was split into a shit eating grin and his blue eyes gleamed mischievously in the rising sun and Kagome's breath caught in her throat.

Her heart skipped a beat for a moment when those brilliant eyes rose to meet hers and his grin widened. Swinging his leg around, Kouga stood to his full height with a grace that Kagome could only envy.

"You early or am I late?" he called to her as he reached into his pocket for his set of keys, his helmet tucked underneath his arm.

"Um, I guess you're late," she said as she looked once more at her watch. "It's fifteen after nine."

He came to stand close enough for her to feel his body heat through his flannel shirt and for her to catch sight of a gleam of sweat along his brow. Grinning down at her, he inserted the right key and unlocked the door with a dull click.

"Well, I guess it's a good thing I'm the boss then, huh?"

Kagome didn't bother answering the question and simply followed him into the building, her eyes scanning her surroundings. The reception area was bare except for one lone metal desk that stood proudly in the middle of the area with dusty and outdated desktop computer sitting innocently on top. To the left was a short hallway that lead to two flanking doors, one of which Kouga went to unlock as well. Walking forward slowly, she took stock of the dust that lined the floor and floated up at the disturbance her boots kicked up. The windows were lined with grime and dirt. The ceiling was brown with age and several tiles were missing in action completely.

Kouga watched as his new secretary took in her surroundings and grinned when her pert nose wrinkled the slightest bit. Even dressed in casual black slacks and a yellow blouse, she radiated good taste and elegance.

"I know it's a little rough around the edges, but it grows on you," he said and grinned when she raised her big brown eyes to meet his gaze. A small grin lifted the corners of her mouth and her eyes twinkled up at him.

"I'm sure it does. These types of places tend to do that. Have you…" she thought of how to phrase the question. "Have you tried to…clean it, at all?"

He chuckled and shook his head. "Nope, can't say I have. I have an allergy you see and even the slightest bit of dust could send me into anaphylactic shock. And I'm assuming you wouldn't want your boss dying simply because the floor was a bit dusty, do you?"

She tucked her tongue into her cheek and shook her head. "Of course not." Setting down her purse on the beaten and scratched metal desk, she rolled up the sleeves of her blouse. "So, boss. Where are your brooms and mops?"

He grinned at her sheepishly. Looking up at him, her eyes widened. "You don't have a single broom?"

"Nope."

She sighed and pinched her nose. "Men," she muttered. Meeting his gaze, she ignored how handsome he looked while he leaned against the doorway to his office and grinned down at her while the dingy light reflected the blue of his eyes, a light, she knew, made her look as sleep deprived and tired as she felt.

I do not find my first boss attractive. That is the last thing I need right now, she thought with a frown. Get focused Kagome and get to work.

Crossing her arms over her chest, she didn't return his grin. "Well then, what's my first job?"

His grin grew into a smirk and without a word he turned and disappeared into his office. She could heard the sound of rustling papers and muffled cursing just before he immerged with three boxes piled in his arms and strode toward her. Dropping them at her feet with flourish and large cloud of dust, he looked down at her narrowed eyes.

"I'm sure you know what to do with these, right?"

She nodded and crouched down to pry open the first box. Inside were unorganized piles of papers that looked as if they had simply been tossed in carelessly.

While she looked them over, Kouga explained, "These are my old case files from Chicago. I want you to organize them by dates and if they were completed or not, then I want you to enter them into my computer database."

She looked over to the dinosaur of a computer and then back at him. He met her gaze and raised an eyebrow. Stifling a sigh, she nodded curtly.

"And when you're done with these, there's more in my office." With a small grin, he turned on his heel and strode into his office. "Good luck, Miss Higurashi and welcome to the team."


(AN: So, I've decided to deviate from the original story line a little bit. While I'm still looking back at old chapters, I just don't like the halfway formed plot I had wanted to do. I'm still debating whether or not to still do the 'fool the family' bit but I guess I'll cross that road when I come to it. I still have to develop their relationship and write in Shippo, Miroku and Sango after all. If you have any ideas about how to spice this up, please give me a heads up, I'm open to suggestion. And thank you to the only person that reviewed tinabug, you made my day with your words. Til next time...)

Jane