Title: A Sad Lack of Sake
Summary: Somebody gets cranky without his afternoon sake. Whoozagoodboyden?
Warnings: UNABASHED FLUFF
Author's Note: For Merimask, on the auspicious anniversary of her birth. I wrote this as my own dog was sulking for not getting treats due to a medically necessary diet change. Sometimes, I imagine dog demons must be the same way.
A Sad Lack of Sake
Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts and birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends. Most of the area's large department and fashion stores belong to either Tokyu or Seibu, two competing corporations. A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the Hachiko Exit.
The Happy Horrors punk bar sits on the second floor of a rather nondescript building in Shibuya. On Saturday nights it is full of young men and women out to see, be seen, and drink. The women wear black lipstick and clothes full of spikes, and the men sculpt their hair into gravity-defying confections. It is not the place one would expect to see an old man and a young businessman meet, and yet every Saturday night, they are there.
This Saturday is no different.
"That frickin' dog is always staring at me," the old man grumbles as he settles into one of the cracked plastic chairs at the tiny, pockmarked table. His white hair--not often seen in young, fashionable Shibuya--peeks out from underneath a baseball cap, and he wears a traditional kimono. He is tragically unhip.
"What dog?" his companion--far younger, but also with white hair--snaps irritably. He wears a suit of impeccable tailoring and is studying the menu with the sharp impatience of a man who has seen it all before. A casual observer might note their shared golden eyes and conclude they are father and son. But no one is paying attention. The people here have long grown used to their presence.
"That statue. Of the dog. I hate that thing. Staring at me. It's eyes follow me around the whole station. It's always there." The old man sniffs, then hocks a wad of mucus in the back of his throat.
His companion sighs. "Yes, that would be the point." He snaps his menu down and stands, swinging his suit coat from the back of the chair and shaking it out as though he is about to leave.
"Where are you going?" the old man demands. "I just got here."
The younger man gives him a cool look. "They are out of Onikoroshi."
There is a pause. "So? Order some other sake. Or beer, for god's sake. Heaven forbid you drink something so common as beer with your brother."
"Indeed," the younger man says and begins to shrug into his fine coat. "If there is no sake, there is no reason for me to stay."
"Well," the old man huffs, "that's just lovely. Fantastic. What am I going to tell Sakuya? Or Jinimori?"
The younger man pauses for a split second before buttoning his suit. "I do not care what you tell the whelps," he says. "They are none of my concern."
The old man shakes his head and squints at his menu. "Sad. A sad day when their favorite uncle won't even stick around to hear how they're doing."
The young man rakes a hand through his hair in agitation. "I'm not even their full uncle. And they are your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren, in any case. I am not really their uncle at all."
"They like to hear what you have to say."
Music begins piping over the speakers, and the younger man winces. He glances out the window, looks down at the chair he has just vacated, and then rubs his face, as though to rid himself of a headache. The old man continues to study his menu, as though he has all the time in the world. The young man glares at him. In times past, that golden glare froze enemies in their tracks, arrested the warrior spirit of great samurai, laid low all who dared to oppose him.
It is not, he realizes, nearly as effective if the recipient is ignoring it.
"Shiina wanted to know how you are doing," the old man says. He tilts his head and leans in, as though to decipher the fine print there. "She's got such a tender heart. Me, I couldn't give a rat's ass."
The young man cannot help himself. "And she does?"
"She gives a whole passel of rat's asses."
The young man closes his eyes for a brief moment. "But," he says, "and this is important: there is no sake. I cannot control whether or not you decide to bedevil me during my momentary respite from the tedium of controlling a corporate empire, but if there is no sake, there is no reason for me to be here, and certainly no reason--or necessary sedative--for me to listen to you talk of your numerous... numerous progeny." Digging his wallet out of his back pocket, he extracts two thousand yen and tosses it down on the small table. "Treat yourself to a beer, if you like. I must be at the airport in two hours."
The young man turns to go.
"I do believe that is the most you have ever said to me in the past twenty years," the old man says, still perusing the menu. "The whelps will be pleased to hear how much you absolutely don't care about them. Not even a little bit."
The young man sits down abruptly. "You doubt my ambivalence?" he demands.
The old man sets down his menu and looks him in the eye. "I don't know. You want to fight about it?"
For a second, there is the ghost of a smile on the younger man's face. "I would, but some of these buildings are very expensive, and I have my hands full with new acquisitions at the moment."
"All right, then." The old man lifts two fingers. "Two beers!" he hollers to the bartender over the noise. "Best on tap!"
The younger man's lips thin and he looks out the window, as if pretending not to know his companion.
"Junko and Aina started school this week," the old man says. "You want some sushi?"
"Do I ever want sushi?"
"Just asking. And Hideki's wife had a baby girl yesterday."
The younger man twitches.
"Named her Rin," the old man says.
For a while neither of them says anything. They just listen to the music blaring, the people talking, and the past rattling around on the table between them.
"Another one?" the younger man says, finally.
"It's tradition." The old man sniffs.
The young man heaves a vast, burdened sigh. "You remain insufferable, Inuyasha," he says, like he always does.
"Back at you, Sesshoumaru."