Disclaimer: Inuyasha is copyrighted by Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise and Viz. I make no profit from this story.
"Where is the good in goodbye?" – Meredith Willson.
The Good in Goodbye
"Yeah, I heard you… Of course I know what this means—How many times do I have to tell you that…? What? Okay, okay, relax, take a deep breath and remove that stick that's apparently been up your ass for too long—What did you just call me? No, you know what? Fuck you. How's that?"
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Inuyasha Taisho stared at his cell phone in bewilderment during several seconds before suddenly shutting it and throwing it on his couch—the wall had been tempting, but to be honest, money was one of his current problems and he couldn't afford another phone, even though smashing that ugliness of a device actually sounded like a wonderful idea.
And that was exactly why he had called his bastard of a half-brother—no, he didn't ask for a new cell phone as a Christmas present; he more like needed an arrangement for Tokyo. He needed an apartment in Tokyo. He needed his brother to find a cheap place for him since the bastard was a respected and powerful attorney general who lived and worked in the capital. But of course, asking for even such a small favor was already too much for Sesshomaru Taisho.
"Twenty-seven. You're twenty-seven but you still act like a teenager who just realized that he's got a growing penis." That was what Inuyasha was to the older Taisho.
Obscenities were always welcome in the Taisho family.
Flopping down on his couch, Inuyasha rubbed his face with his hands, sighing. What was a second class lawyer like him to do? Cockroaches would soon be watching TV with him if he stayed another day in his current shitty apartment in Osaka. Actually, that would happen if he only had a TV.
A loud knocking on his door made him jump suddenly, so suddenly that he thought he'd be already having a heart-attack, even though he was still so young. "What, what the fuck do you want?" he yelled at his front door.
"Your newspaper, dumb ass! I thought you wanted me to bring you one every day? And I still want my money for yesterday's!"
Recognizing his lovely and very polite neighbor, Inuyasha muttered a long list of insults and in the same time wondered what kind of excuse he could tell her so that he wouldn't have to pay the newspaper—not that he was that broke, but if he could save some money for lunch… he definitely wouldn't mind.
"Nazuna," he greeted with the most fake smile he could produce at the moment.
The frowning young woman standing in front of him threw a newspaper in his face without greetings or warnings and then extended an arm, her hand reaching out and visibly waiting for some money. As she noticed the indecisive look on her neighbor's face, she finally spoke, "Well? The money ain't gonna fall from the ceiling and drop in my fucking palm."
Did he mention that the girl used to swear more than he did? Hard to believe, yes. But it wasn't a joke.
"You see, Nazuna…"
As she shook her head, he knew he had to shut up. "Don't you even try!"
"Ate your wallet?" she continued for him. "You don't even have a pet." Waving her hands in the air, she coldly laughed. "You're unnerving, really, I hope you know that."
He didn't know what to say.
"You could just tell me you had money problems. I would have understood—and I understand. Keep the newspaper and forget about the money."
As Inuyasha saw her turning heels, he quickly reached out for her shoulder, motioning her to face him again. Dark green eyes started at him, an eyebrow arched up, and he finally said it; "Thank you."
Nazuna laughed, friendly patting his cheek. "I'm not a money whore; even if my faucets aren't gold-plated, it doesn't mean I cannot help you." And since he didn't seem to buy it, she added, "And no, I'm not holding any grudge against you for dumping me. My mother will be disappointed; she just so wanted a lawyer as her son-in-law, but I guess that's how life is supposed to be."
That seemed to curve up the corner of his lips and soon they both laughed. Although things hadn't worked between them as a couple, Inuyasha was glad to still count the young woman among his friends—not that he had many of them. Nazuna had always been helpful and supportive, and if it hadn't been for her, he would still have trouble fitting in the picture of Osaka's dangerous areas. The rent may be cheap, but delinquents were everywhere. His car didn't look like one anymore and disturbed teenagers were pleased to call him Lawyer Tweety, something he didn't really get—but that was after he had been accused of having disguised himself as a lawyer when he actually was a spy.
As if he'd bury his nose in uninteresting and addicted teenagers' business. Please.
And then came Nazuna, his neighbor. She had never really liked him; after all, he was everything she despised. He had finished school, so he was bound to a successful life—that was a principle her mother had always repeated over and over again. A false one, in fact. What was a lawyer doing in such a shitty place? Nazuna never received an answer. Soon, the spats between them had brought them closer and closer to each other, but once the sex was over, nothing remained. And Inuyasha walked away.
And she knew he was going to do it again, friendship or not.
"Good luck," she blurted out once all the laughing was done. Seeing his confused expression, she quickly added, "I know you're moving. I can see your suitcase from here. Good luck."
Inuyasha gave her a genuine smile and pulled her into an embrace, murmuring a soft "thank you."
As soon as Nazuna left for work—or for whatever she called a job, Inuyasha wasted no time in stepping back into his apartment and sat down on his couch and began scanning the newspaper's ads. Deciding that it would be quicker to directly call one of the mentioned real-estate agencies, Inuyasha flipped his cell phone open and dialed.
"Good morning, Kusao Real-Estate Agency, Jakotsu speaking," a husky and somewhat feminine voice answered. "How can I help you?" No, maybe it was a man speaking.
Shrugging, Inuyasha answered, "I'm looking for a cheap apartment to rent… in Tokyo. Could you help me with that?" Somehow, what he had just said seemed to amuse that Jakotsu person.
"A cheap apartment to rent in Tokyo?" he—or she—repeated, laughing. "Well, I do have several places to offer, if you don't mind living in Ikebukuro."
Inuyasha furrowed his brows. "Ikebukuro? As in—"
"Yes, one of the most dangerous areas in Tokyo. But at least, there you can easily find subsidized buildings and—"
"No", he cut. "I've already experienced living in dangerous areas and even though I wouldn't exactly call it hell, if I could get a cleaner apartment in a quieter area…"
"For the cleaner part darling, you'd better start doing some chores," commented Jakotsu. "But tell me, what do you think of shrines?"
Dark brown eyes narrowed as Inuyasha tried to understand the meaning of the question. "I don't worship Buddha and I never pray." More laughing. That Jakotsu surely was in an enviable mood, wasn't he… or she?
"I didn't mean it like that. Anyway, I think I just found the right place for you…"
And Jakotsu's manicured fingers typed on keyboard…
"My deepest and most sincere condolences again. Your mother really was a big-hearted person, Kagome."
Said Kagome handed her handkerchief to the older woman standing before her as her eyes grew teary and she couldn't help but feel more and more miserable. The loss was still too recent and her family shrine's visitors had been telling her for over a week how much of a wonderful woman her mother was, how much things weren't going to be same now.
"I know, Kaede," she replied. I know.
Exhaling heavily, the old woman asked, "What are you children going to do now?"
Kagome hated that question. She had asked herself too many times what she was going to do. And she knew that when other people such as Kaede questioned her about that, they actually meant "You guys are in deep shit. No Mama, no work. The shrine's events aren't enough to make you all eat. You're screwed."
Kagome Higurashi knew her options. She was seventeen, soon to be eighteen, and she had to finish her last year of high school in order to enter the University of Tokyo. The breaking point was that she had no money—at least, not enough. Her grandfather was way too old to take a job outside the shrine and being its keeper seemed to exhaust him enough. Hopefully, she had already found a part-time job at WacDonald's. Her little brother Sota was only eleven and her defunct mother's godson, Shippo, was even younger. Of course, her lazy ass of an older cousin, Miroku, could lend a hand, but she preferred not to count on him for now. Conclusion, since Mama's death, one income was missing and there was a total of five stomachs to feed everyday.
But Kagome Higurashi had already solved the problem, partly.
"We're renting Mama's bedroom." Thanks Sango for the idea!
Kaede looked surprised. "This is the first time I hear such a thing."
"Well, the price includes the food, the cleaning and a part of the bills—since whoever accepts the offer will be using our electricity and our water. It's still kind of cheap though," the young girl explained.
Yet, the older woman didn't seem convinced. "But… Who would be renting… a bedroom? I mean, that person would be living with you and your family."
Kagome simply nodded. "Students might be interested since we're not far from Todai. Students from abroad trying to learn Japanese in a better way might be too! Anyone who has got a busy life and doesn't intend to spend a lot of time at home might be interested." Mama would have loved the idea. She always enjoyed meeting new people.
The raven-haired girl waved goodbye as Kaede went down the shrine steps. She might have seemed cheerful and overwhelmed by the concept of renting her mother's bedroom, but the truth was that after two weeks, nobody from the agency had called.
Nobody was actually interested.
As if on cue, Sota's voice suddenly called her from his room window. "Sis!"
Kagome turned around, already heading towards their house. "Yeah?" she answered loudly.
"I think Grandpa is on the phone with someone from the agency and you might want to handle that yourself!" he shouted back.
She didn't need to be told twice. Especially when a call from the agency meant that she didn't have to forget about attending university.
Kagome rushed inside, passed the kitchen, bumped into Miroku—to whom she had advised to shave—and as soon as she reached the living room, she snatched the phone from her grandfather's hands. By the time she had done it, everyone was already dying from suspense and waiting for whatever was going to happen, pulling at Kagome's clothes, shoulders, arms… Well. Anyway.
Panting, Kagome spoke, "Hello?"
"Kagome?" asked an excited Jakotsu.
"Your bedroom tenant—ah! Can I really say that? That's just so sexy!—is coming tomorrow at 7 pm; doesn't even want to visit your house; says it has something to do with urgent work over there in Tokyo. Am I or am I not the best transsexual real-estate agent in the world?"
Breathing out a sigh of relief and giving the thumbs-up at her family, Kagome giggled and finally laughed with Jakotsu, going along with the compliments but thanking him more than anything. "So, what's her name? Is she studying medicine? Oh no, wait, you said she's working. Is she from abroad?" she asked excitedly, matching Jakotsu's mood.
"Sweetie, your tenant is a man. A lawyer. And if he's as sexy as his voice is, you'll be wishing he were homosexual."
Word counts: 1,286; 784.
Last revision: September 7th, 2009. Special thanks to my beta Lyra for her time and for helping me with the first chapters of this story.