Kagome was out looking for two things: a job, and a pet. The shrine didn't support itself very well, so having an after-school job (now that she wasn't being dragged off to the feudal era all the time) was a good idea. She had a folder full of resumes and was stopping in every other shop, leaving a job application behind her.

At last though, she reached a pet shop. It was new to the area, so she'd come upon it quite unexpectedly, still, that wasn't about to stop her from going in. Maybe she'd even leave a resume as well as find the perfect pet! Dear Buyo, the fat old thing, had died in his sleep the month before. Souta had asked if they could get a dog this time, since he missed InuYasha.

Kagome had agreed with the idea, but more because she missed his older brother and Shippo. She'd gotten to be on quite good terms with the taiyokai by the time they'd finally killed Naraku and gotten the whole of the Tama back together again.

"Welcome to my pet shop," a velvet voice greeted. "Here we have everything from cats and dogs to more exotic animals. We sell love, hopes, and dreams," the owner of the voice continued as he stepped into the slight light of the entryway.

Kagome smiled. "I'll skip on those last two if you don't mind," she said. "You always wake up from dreams, and hope isn't all that comforting."

The man smiled in answer. "And love?" he asked.

"Isn't that what all people hope for when they come to a pet shop? To find the animal that will pull at their heartstrings and love them in return?" Kagome returned.

"I am D, please come in. Are you looking for any sort of pet in particular?" he asked as he walked ahead of Kagome deeper into the shop. It wasn't like any other pet shop, with animals on display all over and the smell of fur and pet food in the air. No, this shop was all covered in draperies and there was a hint of some strange kind of incense hanging about the place, as well as the scent of tea.

Kagome opened her mouth to answer when she spotted a figure hiding behind one of the chairs around a table that was set for tea.

"Shippo?" she said, her heart breaking with hope as she rose on her toes and took a few quick steps forward. "No, I'm sorry, my mistake. Shippo had brown hair and a golden pelt." Kagome bowed to the white, many-tailed fox. "I am honoured to meet you," she said to the kitsune.

"So you're the one," the fox-boy said.

"Ten-chan?" D asked, curious. This was most peculiar after all. Hardly regular.

Ten-chan walked up to Kagome and took her hand in his. "Shippo was my dad. He told me all the stories," he said.

Kagome bit down firmly on her bottom lip, her eyes suddenly brimming with tears. "He had a happy life then, to have a son."

Ten-chan smiled and nodded. "He died protecting me and my mother, and one old dog who D's also taking care of here in the shop. He'd never admit, but he's been waiting for you. Come on, I'll show you to him!"

Kagome stumbled after the fox, being pulled along through the cloth-draped halls until they stopped in front of a door.

"Miko," a different voice of velvet called as Ten-chan opened the door. This velvet voice was deeper than D's, and had no pretences of hiding the steel beneath.

"Sesshoumaru," Kagome breathed.

"Have you perhaps found the pet you were looking for?" D asked from behind her.

Kagome swallowed the beginnings of hysteria. "To call him a pet would imply some kind of ownership and control over him. Nobody controls or owns Sesshoumaru," she said, smiling. "I would like to take him home with me though."

Sesshoumaru stalked up to her and cupped her face in his hands, then lowered his own to kiss her gently.

"The contract for taking this dog home is very simple," D said merrily when the separated. "You must never feed him instant ramen, or chocolate, or put beads around his neck. Those are the three conditions. Should you break this contract, the pet shop is in no way responsible for what happens."

Kagome giggled then, and wrapped her arms around Sesshoumaru's chest. "Sesshoumaru would never ask for instant ramen, and I know chocolate is bad for dogs, and I can't see Sesshoumaru giving me a reason to need to put beads around his neck, not like InuYasha."

Sesshoumaru nuzzled Kagome's hair, his own arms around her small body, pulling her close to him. He'd found her and he was not letting her go.

~The End~