Summary: AU. One night stands are supposed to be exactly that – one night. Anything longer and things get pretty messy. Let's see how big of a mess Kagome and Inuyasha can really make. Oh boy...
A/N: I usually avoid cliché plots, but I like to amuse myself a lot. Lol. Enjoy! =D
Tango In Tokyo
Chapter 1: Exotic
Sex. That was what Kagome liked. Hot nights of pure, unadulterated sex. Because, really, what was life without it?
Her life centered around her job like the planet revolved around the sun. A little excitement and frequent pleasure binges was just her way of coping. A guy with sex appeal was a far more interesting adventure and several of them was just Oh My Orgasm. Though, being single was a bit easier for the sex part of the equation. Having some sort of barnacle with a dick stuck to your leg 24/7 really put a damper on things. Some called it relationships. Kagome called it hell on earth.
Her last substantial relationship was with some loser back in college who's name eluded her even now. He had such an indistinguishable face that just screamed ew. Even sex with him had been like sex with a french fry – utterly unexciting and even a bit...disgusting. What was the guys name...
"Get back to work, Higurashi."
Kagome jumped in her seat, careening away from her desk, and pulled herself forward. Henry was standing over her, giving her a twitchy, creepy sort of glare, the kind that belonged in vintage horror movies.
"I expect that Nakayami article done by tomorrow afternoon," he said to her.
Kagome sighed. "I'll be done with it before then," she said, although on the inside, she was wondering what would happen if she wasn't. The prospect didn't seem too bright and she currently had a severe case of Writer's Block.
Erika Nakayami wasn't exactly the simplest topic to talk about. She'd been born into poverty, gotten herself a rich guy and married it, and now she was the wanna-be blond, big-breasted housewife living the life of the rich and famous. It was an almost Cinderella story, except in this variation dear beloved Cinderella was a flagrant leaching doll. Unfortunately her husband was also one of the shareholders of Taisho Communications, Inc, Grandeur's boss, so-to-speak. If Kagome was lucky enough, she'd be able to finish the article without a drop of written sarcasm.
Miroku appeared beside her with two cups of coffee. He handed one to her. "You look in dire need of some caffeine."
She groaned. "That and a vacation to Jamaica. Thank you," she said and held the cup beneath her nose, inhaling it as if she would suck the sugar right out.
"Don't forget we have that meeting-slash-luncheon in thirty-minutes. Henry plans on 'brainstorming' for next month's publication."
"Yeah, I'll try not to snore too loud," she muttered and sipped her coffee. "Mmmm. Just how I like it."
He smiled down at her and leaned against the wall of her cubicle. "So I was thinking..."
Oh, here we go, she thought dreadfully. "Listen Miroku...I really enjoyed the time we had a few nights ago, but like I said, I really don't do relationships." She should have known it was a bad idea to sleep with a coworker. One night with him and he was still humping her leg.
"We don't have to do the whole relationship thing if you don't want to. We can just do the whole wild-sex thing." He grinned at her. "I love tigers in bed."
"Your missing the whole point. I don't stay with one guy."
The sardonic twist of his brow made him seem just a bit jealous. "You know what they call women who jump from man to man, right?"
She snorted. "Yeah, I think my mom told me that one. I really couldn't care less what its called. Maybe one day I'll settle down, but right now, I'm enjoying my freedom and fun while I can."
For a long moment, he stared at her as if considering his options. Then, he shook his head and began walking away. "Enjoy your coffee," he threw over his shoulder.
Rule number one: Never sleep with coworkers. Rule number two: Never sleep with friends. Kagome had managed to violate both rules in one shot. Granted, alcohol did have a slight role and Miroku was always the biggest flirt, but even so, more stress at work was not very conducive to a productive environment. Miroku wasn't a bad person – in fact, he was quite the companion when he wanted to be. It was when he constantly had a hard-on for the wrong person that made him seem irritable. Like the dog who wouldn't stop humping the chair.
Just say no, kids.
The meeting-slash-luncheon was Henry's way of hinting that next month's magazine was their most crucial one this year – some important, rich brat was supposed to be featured in it and said brat's father or someone was endorsing in a lot of zeros. Of course, Henry wouldn't come right out and say it because he was "high above the groveling sort" – his words exactly, which seemed odd because if Kagome had her facts rights, making this particular publication their most important one was a form of groveling.
Oh, the irony.
But she supposed that was why it was a luncheon as well. The way to a person's heart – and not just a man's – was through the stomach. And Henry would need all the heart he could get.
"Kags, over here!" Sango called from across the conference room and waved her over.
"Can you not call me Kags?" she said as she took a seat beside her friend. "It just sounds so wrong."
"Sure thing, Kag-ome."
"For better or worse, my darling." She snapped her fingers. "Oh by the way, what was Miroku talking to you earlier for?"
Sango rolled her eyes. "Be a little more vague, please. I insist. What kind of stuff? Everyone knows Miroku doesn't do small talk."
"None of your business," she said sweetly.
"Ooooh, he became another one of your man meat, didn't he?" she laughed.
"Man meat? Really, Sango? And like I said, none of your business."
"I know I don't gossip like the other fools in this building, but that doesn't mean I don't like the occasional juice. Keeps me goin, ya know? Oh, shush, here comes Mr. Pie-Hole."
Kagome barely managed to choke down her laughter before Henry took his place at the podium. The buzz of conversations faded out to whispers as he began jabbering on about how it'd been a pleasure working with all of them this past year and the success of Grandeur had been tremendous and hoped that the success would continue to to rise, especially with their biggest challenge ahead in the form of the rich brat who's name Kagome completely missed from the big yawn that suddenly seized her. She wished he would speed his bullshit speech along so she wouldn't drown in tears of utter boredom.
" – so, my friends, to celebrate this biggest honor, please enjoy the food I have provided you in the back." Then, with mocking seriousness, he added, "Then get back to work."
Sango wasted no time on modesty. She piled her plate high and joined Kagome at a table beside glass panels overlooking the highrises of Tokyo.
"So, look," Sango said as she gulped down a massive bite of a chicken wing, "since today's Thursday and tomorrow's Friday, I thought we could go downtown tonight and celebrate a little."
"Celebrate because Thursday means Friday and Friday means two days of Henry-free environments?"
She said through a mouthful of bread, "Yah, tho waddya thay?".
"Sure, why the hell not. And don't smack. You look like a cow."
Sango smiled at her friend with bread-infested teeth. "Thath whaye I luff ya." She made a show of having to swallow the rather large lump of food down her throat. "But don't you dare leave me behind for some random Brad Pitt lookalike you just met and can't keep your hands off of. I'll make you pay."
"Oh, don't worry," Kagome waved, "I think Miroku was enough to last me this rest of this week."
Water nearly sputtered from Sango's mouth. "So you did sleep with him!" she squealed. "I knew it! He was good, wasn't he?"
Kagome just had to roll her eyes. "Can you be any louder? And it really all depends on how experienced you are, but yeah I suppose he was better than the average guy. Then again, I don't make a habit of sleeping with average guys. I like my men how I like my meat – rare."
Sango laughed. "Yeah, even when it's not a hundred percent healthy for you."
"Well, I never bothered with healthy habits. Why start now?"
"I dunno. Better late than never I guess."
. . .
The bar that Sango suggested they go to that night was, in a word, surprising. It was different than the loud and crowded atmosphere she usually picked. This one was quiet and low-key; the sound of tinkling glass was louder than the murmur of conversations. Too add to the atmosphere, soft, seductive jazz music played somewhere in the back.
Kagome suspected Sango of picking this place for one of three reasons. One: she was meeting someone here and wanted her company. Two: she wanted to meet someone here and tricked her into coming along. Three: she was just pinning for something different. Kagome truly hoped for the latter. Though, with the nervous eye glances Sango threw around the place, Kagome suspected she had something up her sleeve.
"Okay spill, sister," Kagome finally said, setting her martini glass on the counter. "What are we here for?"
Sango looked over at her. "Well..." she drawled sheepishly. "Okay, you caught me. I'm supposed to be meeting someone here. He should be here any minute now."
Figures, Kagome mentally grunted. And she dragged me into it cause she's a chicken shit. Ah, well, what were friends for? To hold thy hand in time of desperate need for a good lay.
"He happened to be my brother's friend's cousin's uncle," she went on, brushing a lock of hair from her face. "We met on some dating website. Small world, huh?"
"The internet? Wow, Sango. Can you get any lamer?"
She shot her look full of daggers. "Well for your information, I don't have the looks or the gall to snag whatever guy off the street and fuck him till the sun comes up – "
"First of all," Kagome interrupted, "I don't snag whatever guy off the street. I am meticulous about who I sleep with and who I don't. It just so happens that I'm lucky enough to spot the good guys a lot. That's all."
"How in the world can you tell the good guy from the bad just by looking at him?" Sango asked, a bit too dubious for Kagome to not feel offended.
"Well, if you must know, it's the way they hold themselves, the gestures they make, the eye glances – all in the right moments. And, of course, what comes out of their mouth. If you know what to look for, nine times out of ten you'll find it."
"Well why would you leave that kind of guy after one night? Most women keep guys worth sleeping with at first glance."
Kagome took a swig of her martini and shrugged, placing her elbows on the counter. "I guess I like to keep my options open. Explore the seas, ya know?"
"Most women don't have that kind of luxury."
"What do you mean?"
Just as Sango opened her mouth to answer her, a man appeared beside her. "Sango?" he asked.
Sango swiveled and instantly looked as if her brain suddenly fell out of her skull and shattered somewhere below her. "Uhh...Hi!"
The corners of his mouth wrinkled into a laugh. "Hi. I see you've brought a friend with you." His eyes glanced Kagome's way and politely stretched his hand towards her. "I'm Taiji."
His tall, dark and handsome get-up had Kagome blinking hard. It wasn't difficult to tell Sango had just scored herself the jackpot, dating website or not. Collecting herself, she shook his hand. "I'm Kagome. Nice to meet you."
"Likewise," he said, taking his place beside Sango and smiling at her. "You look lovelier in person. Your picture didn't do you a bit of justice."
Sango couldn't keep the cheesy smile off her face. "I guess you could blame all my loveliness on the pounds of food I eat daily," she laughed.
It was a rare thing to witness Sango smitten beyond the decency to avoid being corny. Granted, this man was quite the eye-candy with his sleek suit, taunt shoulders, and dazzling smile. Kagome pleasantly watched the two of them talk about nothing and everything and insisted they carry on their conversation when they'd forgotten about her and endeavored to include her in their conversation. Gradually, as the night wore on, they were giggling to each other and brushing body parts – to which Kagome politely turned away from. And to which she also noticed a rather exotic-looking man sitting at the end of the bar counter.
Remembering her promise to her dearly beloved friend, she dutifully tried to keep her eyes off of him. But, really, the guy was too sexy to be healthy for any woman's eyes. She caught herself sneaking glances at him over the rim of her several martini glasses. Having Sango and her new man-friend flirt in front of her was making her hot and bothered, not to mention the alcohol buzz. With enough self-control, she manged to retain her poise and not saunter over to the man who was now throwing glances her way.
In the mirror behind the bar counter, she saw him suddenly rise from his chair, throw a bill on the counter, and begin walking in her direction. Her heart jolted and she quickly cast her eyes down to the empty glass in front of her.
"Isn't that right, Kagome?" Sango suddenly asked her.
Kagome's eyes jerked to her friend. "What?"
"Our boss," she said. "An asshole, right?"
Kagome felt the rush of air as the man passed behind her. Her eyes fluttered and bit down hard on her check. "Yeah," she murmured. "Complete asshole."
Sango raised a brow at her but shrugged and turned back to Taiji. "See? What'd I tell you?"
"I believe you," he laughed.
Kagome grabbed her clutch and said to the two of them, "Gotta run to the bathroom. I'll be right back."
She wasn't sure they heard her but neither did she particularly care. She rose from the chair with a single-minded purpose and walked towards the bathroom, where ever that was. Her eyes scouted the place for the exotic man, but he was no where in sight. Disappointment lanced through her as she spotted the restroom sign hanging above a short, dark hallway. Oh well it was fun while it lasted, she thought and rounded the dark corner.
She stopped short.
The man stood in the hallway, leaning against the wall.
Briefly, she wondered if he'd been there waiting and knew she'd be coming or if coincidences really existed. He looked up at her and suddenly the alcohol in her system seemed to make her body heavy and the world cockeyed. Although his face was unsmiling, the deep attentiveness of his eyes seemed to be saying one thing: I caught you. Somewhere in the back of her mind where her conscious still existed, she realized she'd dropped her clutch. He walked forward, picked her clutch from off the ground, and handed back to her. He never looked away from her face.
She kept her eyes on him as she lifted her clutch from his hand and watched his lips curl when she made a point of brushing his fingers. "Thank you," she said.
"Come here often?" he asked.
"No. I came here with a friend."
"The woman or the man?"
It took effort to keep the smile off her face. "The woman."
She felt a thrill of pleasure run down her body. "Not at all," she said.
"I have a hotel not far from here. Care to join me?"
"As long as it's quick."
"It never is."
She bit her lip to hide her smile. "Lead the way."