Disclaimer: Inuyasha does not belong to me.
At the End of Today
"I've assigned you a bodyguard for the duration of your stay."
"A bodyguard?" She'd never needed one before.
"He's been ordered to never leave your side."
"A bodyguard? Wait, hold on, why would I possibly need a bodyguard?"
"And should you require anything, he's been instructed to provide it for you."
He glanced up from whatever paper he was scanning, a dark eyebrow raised. "Yes, Kagome?"
She could hear the small note of impatience, the almost annoyed or maybe slightly tired edge in his voice. Was he so busy that he couldn't even look at her while they talked? She wondered if he viewed her as just another form of business to take care of, just another thing on his never ending to do list.
Kagome took a deep breath, feeling herself instantly deflate. "Never mind."
Her father nodded before once again scanning the documents in front of him. "Your mother and I will be attending a gala tonight. She sends her love by the way and is sorry for not being able to see you today."
"I'm sure she is." She tried to stop the sarcasm from leaking through but by the way her father stiffened, Kagome knew she hadn't been too successful.
"You'd do well to watch your tone, Kagome. Your mother's—"
"Very busy. I know. Just like you. If you don't mind, I think I'll go unpack now." She turned around and walked out the door.
She was eighteen and the daughter of a multi-millionaire. She had everything at her fingertips, could have anything her heart desired and yet, the only thing she wanted was to spend some time with her parents.
Money couldn't buy that. Though sometimes, she wished it did.
Having been raised by her humble grandfather in Okinawa, she hadn't been privy to the extravagant lifestyle her parents lived. She'd been hefted to her grandfather's at the tender age of five and unceremoniously left in the old man's arms as her mother walked away.
They hadn't wanted a daughter then and it appeared they still didn't want one now.
Sometimes, it was hard to hold back that small twist of anger, that blooming dark spite which gripped her emotions and never let go. But in the end, none of that got her anywhere except useless tears and sorrow she didn't need. Maybe she had given up somewhere along the way, Kagome didn't know but she knew she was happy with her grandfather, happy with her life as it was so what it did matter if her parents were a part of it or not?
Her jiji had loved her more than enough, raising his granddaughter by humble, loving means in his modest house on the oceanfront. She didn't need much more than that and truthfully, dreaded her few and far between visits to her parent's mansion-like home. Most of the time she didn't even get to see them and spent most of her week here with the kind servants as company.
Well, it seemed like she was going to be doing the same thing. Except this time around she had a bodyguard attached to her side.
Kagome froze, not sure if she heard him right. "Excuse me?"
"While I am…touched by your consideration Ms. Higurashi, the answer is no."
"So you're saying you're still going through with this whole bodyguard thing, even though it's really not necessary and I'm sure you have better things to do than babysit someone like me?"
"Yes to the former?" She asked hopefully.
He sighed, though it was barely noticeable. "I've been ordered not to leave your side Ms. Higurashi—"
"No matter what, even at your persistence."
"Even if I need to go to the bathroom?" She added, just for the sake of being cheeky.
"Are we done, Ms. Higurashi?"
Kagome couldn't help the smile. His passive exasperation was kind of cute. Though in reality, he was far from cute. He was downright gorgeous and all male in his impeccable black suit that seemed made for his tall, broad shouldered body. Plaited silver hair and sharp golden eyes only added to his all work and no play attitude.
"Since I can't seem to change your mind, I guess we are." She relented, leaning into the palm of her hand as she gazed at him curiously.
When he'd walked into the kitchen, she'd been momentarily spellbound. Yes, she admitted to herself, she'd been taken in by his ethereal good looks and the silent hum of demonic power that he effortlessly exuded.
But as soon as he opened his mouth and began spewing crap about restrictions, rules, limitations, 'cannots' and 'do nots', curfews and behaviors improper for an heiress as she—well, quite frankly she had snapped out of the daze and rudely interrupted him, concisely stating she had no need of him and that he was more than welcomed to take the whole week off. To which of course he'd replied with a firm 'No'.
So apparently, she really was stuck with him. At least he made for great eye candy, despite his rather stiff and formal attitude.
"Yes, Ms. Higurashi?"
She rolled her pretty blue eyes. "It's Kagome."
"Kagome. That's final and you don't have a say in it because otou-san said you had to obey my every request." If he wanted her to play the 'spoiled brat' card, she would even though she was anything but.
She saw the barely there tick in his eyebrow but other than that, his face remained impassive. Kagome wondered what it would take to crack his untouchable exterior.
"What kind of youkai are you?"
"How long have you been working for dad?"
She tapped her chin in thought. "Did you know about me?" Kagome asked curiously.
He gave her a sidelong glance. "I was vaguely aware of you, yes."
A sly grin curved her lips then and her eyes really did sparkle like sapphires. Sliding off the counter high stool, royal blue sundress dancing around her long legs and midnight hair waving around her shoulders, she quickly grasped his unprepared hand and practically dragged him towards the door.
"I promise you Mr. Taisho that by the end of today, you'll be very aware of me."
She wasn't at all what he expected.
Mr. Higurashi didn't have photos of his estranged daughter so Sesshoumaru hadn't known what to expect upon entering the kitchen. However, he'd figured she'd be one of two extremes. Either a conniving spoiled bitch who made a living out of buying anything and everything possible without the slightest thought or a timid, quaking girl who stuttered and couldn't bear to be in another's presence without fainting multiple times.
Kagome Higurashi was neither.
She fell somewhere in between and try as he might, Sesshoumaru couldn't pinpoint her exact location. And maybe that's what set him slightly on edge. He was use to knowing and being accurate. He was use to formats and calculations, of being prepared in every instance imaginable. He was unmoving in loyalty and unforgiving when crossed.
…and he was currently struck a little speechless.
This definitely fell under his list of improper behavior for an heiress. Just what was she thinking stripping down to that indecent abomination? Granted, it was a black one piece swimming suit but it left very little to the imagination, what with the low cut back and deep V in the front.
She was hardly plain looking either, which made this situation all the more undesirable. She was quite beautiful in her own right and really didn't possess the features of a typical Japanese woman. She was sun-kissed and a little taller than most, no doubt a trait inherited from her imposing father. Long, toned legs and a curvaceous body with those shining sapphires for eyes, she really was a natural beauty.
He heard an appreciative sigh next to him and found Ban gazing at Kagome with fondness in his eyes.
"She's something else, Taisho."
Sesshoumaru glanced at the chauffer, who he knew would spend some of his time off with her during her rare visits, before turning back towards a waving Kagome, beckoning them both over.
He was inclined to agree.
Kagome happily displayed her food finds on her lap as they sat on the beach, the crash of waves and call of seagulls their background music, the sky their backdrop. Her mouth practically watered, hardly able to stop herself from digging into the food. She'd been lucky enough to find the cart vendor and his deliciously unhealthy array of street food.
She reached for a round korokke and not a moment later devoured the deep fried seafood and potato patty like a starved woman. Now this was living.
Sesshoumaru wasn't so sure. Christ, was that food even safe to eat?
Kagome noticed his reluctance to share in the simple yet boldly flavored food and grinned. It had taken a group of teenage boys to get him onto the sand. However, he was still wearing his shoes, still pristine as ever even when sitting on the beach and sticking out like a sore thumb. Scooting a little closer, she glanced up at him, once again struck at how utterly gorgeous he was. However, his stoic and cold professional attitude rather took away from his overall appeal. It was a shame really.
But Kagome thrived on challenges and Sesshoumaru was most certainly a challenge.
"You're not a vegetarian are you?" She asked.
The moment his lips parted she shoved a large piece of korokke into his mouth. Sesshoumaru glared but was of course forced to chew because in no way would he spit out the food and look ridiculous.
"Didn't think so." Kagome tried to suppress her laughter but didn't quite succeed. She hid it by taking another large bite and sighing in bliss.
She offered up another piece to her quiet and displeased bodyguard.
"No, thank you."
Swallowing, Kagome wiped her hands on a napkin, all the while smiling. "It wasn't so bad now was it?"
Truth be told, it was better tasting than he'd expected but she didn't need to know. "It was acceptable."
She laughed and Sesshoumaru found himself reluctantly taken in by the carefree sound.
"It's not exactly world class cuisine, but I can't live without this stuff. I take it you don't often eat street food?"
He shook his head, glancing at her from the corner of his eyes as she eagerly took another bite of what looked like chicken on a skewer but one could never be so sure. He refused another offer, which Kagome found unsurprising.
"You should live a little, Mr. Taisho. You're missing out."
"I've been living for a long time now, Miss Higurashi."
"Living yes, but not really living." She let his continued use of her surname slide. He was a stubborn one, but nevertheless, she was confident that he'd use her name by the end of the today.
They went to the amusement park next and Kagome showed him the art of riding roller coasters; her arms flailing in the air, the wind whipping past, and screaming at the top of her lungs. While amusing, he made sure she wouldn't fly out of her poorly secured seat by gripping tight her wrist which unfortunately, caused him to also raise his arm.
Though perhaps in the future, he would show her what true flight was. It was definitely a thousand times more exhilarating than this poor rickety excuse for an adrenaline rush.
Kagome also, for the second time that day, shoved unwanted food into his mouth. A slice of caramel apple. Sweet and sour. Kind of like her, he'd commented before receiving a light punch on the shoulder. But Kagome swore she saw an amused twinkle somewhere in those golden depths and maybe, she thought, maybe she was getting somewhere.
They headed to a sumo wrestling match after, much to Sesshoumaru's surprise because in all his years as a bodyguard, he'd never thought a rich heiress would ever step foot into an arena to watch such a competitive contact sport.
"Ojii-san's a huge follower." She imparted before the match began and she was cheering on the smaller of the two wrestlers with rapt enthusiasm.
Shrugging off his suit jacket, Sesshoumaru turned his attention away from his bewildering charge and focused on the match.
Thirty minutes later, she was consoling herself and her chosen sumo wrestler's loss with a giant strawberry crepe.
"He should've won!"
"He was inexperienced." The inuyoukai pointed out. "He let his nervousness overcome him and his opponent wisely seized the opportunity and brought him to the ground."
"So you did enjoy it?" She asked, a ray of hope lighting up her eyes.
"I did." Sesshoumaru admitted.
Kagome grinned, those vivid sapphires of hers bright and maybe just a little smug. She took a mouthful of her crepe before waving it in front of his face. "You know you want some. It's sooooo gooooood."
Hesitating for a brief moment, Sesshoumaru finally gave in—she'd probably shove it down his throat if he refused anyway—and took a bite. Indirect kiss. He instantly stomped on the ridiculous and childish notion though before looking away.
She hid another smile before turning around, eyes widening when she saw a large poster for a kabuki performance that was happening in, she glanced at her watch, ten minutes. Without a second thought, Kagome grabbed Sesshoumaru's hand for the second time that day and started running towards the nearby theater.
"We have to see that!" She pointed excitedly at the poster as she quickly devoured the rest of the crepe and Sesshoumaru was once again whirled off and caught in the stream of her whimsical nature.
He lightly squeezed her hand and let her take him away.
He was her bodyguard after all, he tried to tell himself. He couldn't allow her to run all over Tokyo unescorted and unprotected. She'd probably get herself killed by walking right into an open manhole or something. No, it wasn't because he was enjoying spending time with her. No, it wasn't that at all.
Night had fallen as they roamed through the lantern lit festival following the kabuki performance. There were families and couples, teens and little children, both youkai and human alike dressed in spring yukatas and bright beautiful colors. Vendors called out from their stalls and like a moth to a flame, Kagome wandered over and must have bought at least one thing from everyone.
Sesshoumaru wondered how she could eat so much and still maintain that figure. It was unbelievable really.
"Stop looking at me like I'm a pig." Kagome said, narrowing her eyes yet he could see the teasing light in them.
"I was merely observing your…voracious appetite."
"That's putting it kindly." She laughed before biting into her mochi. "Food's good for the soul you know."
Swallowing, she noticed the goldfish stall and pumping her arm into the air, excitedly exclaimed, "Oh yeah, time to win some goldfish!"
Five minutes and ten broken nets later, she conceded defeat. "I totally suck at this."
"It would appear so." He agreed, a hint of amusement flickering across his citrine eyes.
"Okay then Mr. Taisho, you try it!" Kagome threw him a newly bought net, which he easily caught.
Never one to back away from a challenge, Sesshoumaru rolled up his sleeves and proceeded to show her just how it was done.
She shouldn't have been surprised when he came up with two pretty goldfish almost immediately. One silver speckled with shiny orange and the other completely orange. He raised a brow, as if to say, 'was there any doubt?' before the young boy tending the game took the prizes and put them in a clear plastic bag.
"I shall name you," Kagome pointed to the orange one. "Kagome Two and you," She pointed to the speckled silver one, "Sesshoumaru Two because those orange spots undoubtedly represent my wonderful influence on Sesshoumaru One."
The inuyoukai shook his head at her silliness, loosening his tie while he quietly observed her as they slowly progressed along the crowded street.
"How do you do it, Kagome?" He finally inquired.
She glanced at him, knowing what he meant by his vague question and realizing he had finally used her name for the very first time.
Smiling, she shrugged. "I just do, I guess. I know they love me in their own roundabout way, but there's no use in fishing for their affection when it's so hard for them to give it. I've lived with ojii-san most of my life and honestly, his love and outlook on life were more than enough for me growing up. He's a humble man who's happy with the simple things in life. I try to have the same outlook."
"And you are happy?"
Kagome nodded. "For the most part, I am."
Someone shouted 'pictures' further down the festival laden street and a few minutes later, Kagome was hauling a reluctant Sesshoumaru towards the young girl with the Polaroid camera and stopping in front of the bamboo decorated screen.
"Smile, Sesshoumaru." She whispered before leaning forward and placing a small kiss on his cheek just as the giggling girl snapped the photo.
He glanced at the sleeping young woman currently using his shoulder as a pillow. She'd apparently fallen into this food coma she had mentioned earlier. Shirt and tie loosened, long silver braid coming undone, Sesshoumaru pondered the day's events and realized how enjoyable it had actually been.
Which was dangerous and something he shouldn't be feeling.
But it was difficult not to.
Kagome was a whirlwind that swept and captured everyone in her presence. Even him. As untouchable and coldly professional as he made himself to be, even he wasn't immune to her natural charms. And oddly enough, he was okay with that.
"I promise you Mr. Taisho that by the end of today, you'll be very aware of me."
A smile touched his lips as he gazed at the Polaroid picture he held and the names she'd scrawled across the bottom.
Sesshoumaru Two and Kagome One.
She had certainly kept her promise.
A/N: Jesus, it took me forever to get this out. Anyway, a one-shot for Smittee for her much appreciated assistance with Kirche's gift fic, Hunter. Thank you again for all your help! Hope you all enjoyed!