Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi.

1,000 words, originally posted 5-9-14

A note: fallingyuki, you will not be disappointed. ;)

"Girl I've been all over the world looking for you

I'm known for taking what I think I deserve, and you're overdue

And if you listen you can hear me through the radio, in that bright white noise

What I've been missing in my life what I've been dreaming of,

You'll be that girl."

The Second First Meeting

Inuyasha sank into a bench lining the path in Washington Square Park. He resisted the urge to pull out his wallet and count the change inside again, perfectly aware how much there actually was. It was late, and just his luck that if he pulled out what little cash he had, some bum would probably take it, and then he'd really be screwed.

Seven dollars and twenty-three cents, he thought sourly, gazing longingly at the noodle shop across the street. If only that last place had listened to my pitch…

He had promised himself that if he could at least wrangle a temporary trainer position at that last gym, he would treat himself to his favorite dinner. As it was, the measly amount in his pockets would have to last him to the end of the week, and it was only Tuesday.

He sighed and stood, resigning himself to yet another evening of eating cereal alone in his tiny apartment. If he didn't want to miss the last express train into Brooklyn, he would have to hurry.

Inuyasha began walking swiftly toward the A train, mentally reviewing the gyms in the area he had not yet propositioned for employment. He was steadily working his way north, through Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, determined to solicit every fitness establishment in the New York metro area if he had to.

He had been unemployed since getting fired from his previous position as a trainer at one of New York City's premier fitness centers six months ago. His temper had gotten him into trouble with feisty clients one time too many, and he'd been sacked on the spot after a particularly spectacular shouting match with a stubborn woman who couldn't be bothered to follow the simplest instructions.

He'd been living hand-to-mouth since, finding odd jobs and short-term employment through an agency while he searched for a new full-time position. It seemed that the downturn in the economy had fewer New Yorkers signing up for gym memberships; that, accompanied with him being black-listed at a number of other gyms around Manhattan meant he was having a difficult time finding steady work.

He was making a plan of attack for the next day, not really paying attention to where he was going, when he almost ran into a couple standing in the middle of the sidewalk arguing with one another. Beneath his concealment, his ears flattened on top of his head as the man's shouts increased in volume.

They were young, probably college students, and from the sound of things the young woman had done something to offend the boy. They were both dressed for the unseasonably warm early spring evening in shorts and tee shirts; the woman kept frowning and pulling at the hem of her shirt as she silently absorbed the barrage of insults the man was throwing her way.

He called her useless, a failure, a pathetic loser, and while she didn't seem particularly affected by his words, she didn't rise to defend herself either. Inuyasha was just edging around them when the man shouted something about her roommate, flinging a crude innuendo and accusation rolled into one, implying that she was living with him for his money, and paying for it with her body.

Intrigued, Inuyasha watched as the woman tensed and looked up from her studious inspection of her sandals, fire igniting her gaze. She balled her fists and shook, seemingly unable to come up with an appropriate retort. The man smirked triumphantly at having finally gotten a reaction out of her, when, without warning, the woman pulled back her fist and punched.

Somehow, the man either anticipated the hit or had fast reflexes, because at the last second, he ducked, and she decked Inuyasha in the jaw instead. She was a small woman, and she had punched incorrectly in the first place, so the strike did little more than startle him, especially given his half-demon heritage. But she doubled over on the sidewalk, panting hard and clutching her hand. The man she had been aiming for laughed uproariously.

Whimpering slightly, the woman stared up at Inuyasha in surprise. "Are you alright?" she gasped, clearly having difficulty talking through the pain and unshed tears. He nodded incredulously, glancing between her and the laughing idiot.

"Of course you are," she sighed, wincing as a twinge of pain shot through her hand, "you're… oh! I think my hand is broken!"

Inuyasha bent down to examine her fingers, gently moving her other hand out of the way to get a better look. "You curled your thumb under your fingers," he remarked professionally, assessing the damage. "You're lucky this isn't worse."

"What a moron!" the guy she had been fighting with gasped out, another peal of laughter spilling out of his mouth. "You can't even hit me right!"

The tears the girl had been fighting spilled down her cheeks, and suddenly Inuyasha had had enough.

"She might not know how to throw a punch," he growled menacingly, still holding her injured hand, "but I do."

The man looked down at Inuyasha with amusement. "Oh yeah?" he taunted, "And what are you going to do?"

Inuyasha carefully placed the woman's hand back in her lap and stood, looking the student up and down with cool indifference. He was built, certainly, and had an air of confidence that suggested he came from money and was very popular within his circle of friends. He wasn't unattractive, but his attitude made him ugly. It was clear now that Inuyasha was facing him that he had been drinking. Sometimes his concealment made it difficult for his senses to work to their full extent, and he cursed himself for not noticing it sooner.

"I said, what are you gonna do, you fucking loser!" he sneered, getting in Inuyasha's face and trying to be threatening.

Inuyasha shrugged, unimpressed by the display of masculinity. "I guess I'll punch you," he replied calmly.

And before the other man could react, Inuyasha rendered him unconscious.

See you next week, dear readers! If I get a positive response from this format, I'll do another week of daily shorter drabble updates instead of a Wednesday/ Friday update. Next week, we see the conclusion of Inuyasha and Kagome's tumultous meeting, and finally get some more Kouga/Kagome interaction. Let me know which style you prefer!