Comes unto stage, coughs into the microphone. "I will now read a statement." Looks around nervously. "I want to state that I am not, repeat, not now or ever Rumiko Takahashi. Inuyasha and all characters involved belong to her and her alone. I am merely borrowing them with intent to return. I also have no claim on the lovely Christmas songs. They belong to their writers respectively. Thank you." - End of statement.

Presents to Give

"I'll be home for Christmas

You can plan on me

Please have snow and mistletoe

And presents on the tree"

- "I'll be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams) by Bing Crosby

"…and I thought Jaken would really enjoy that antique umbrella stand we saw last week for his staff collection. You know he must have at least twelve of those things by now…"

Sesshomaru pinched the bridge of his nose and buried a sigh. He loved his wife, he truly did, but sometimes her childish enthusiasm for things could be a little overwhelming. Christmas and the associated gift giving was a perfect example.

"Sesshomaru? Sesshomaru are you still there?"

"I'm still on the phone Rin."

"That's good. And have you been listening?"


His wife uttered a very unladylike snort. "Liar."

Sesshomaru's eyebrow twitched ever so slightly. How did she always know? She wasn't even in the office with him. He cleared his throat in an attempt to regain some control over the conversation.

"Rin, I know how much you love Christmas and making people happy, but do you really believe it necessary to provide my entire staff with presents."

The reply, when it came, was delivered with such utter cheerfulness that, if it had been anyone else but his Rin, he would have suspected an overdose of antidepressants.

"Hell yeah, I do."

"Any particular reason as to why?"

"Sweetie, have you ever tried working for yourself?"

"Seeing as that is a physical impossibility, I will assume you meant the question rhetorically and just wait for you to get to the point."

"Well I have," she continued, completely ignoring him. "And let me tell you Lord Fluffy, it's a bed of roses with thorns the size of knitting needles."

Sesshomaru's eyebrow twitched harder, his hand clenched around the receiver. He tried very hard to keep his voice level. "You did not. Just call me. Lord Fluffy."

"You bet your Christmas balls I did."

Taking the receiver away from his ear, Sesshomaru stared at it, wondering quite frankly whether or not his wife had gone insane in the annual Christmas rush. Placing the receiver back into its optimal hearing position, Sesshomaru wondered if this conversation could become any more surreal. Knowing Rin, it was more than likely.

"So you believe that because I have high standards pertaining work ethics, my employees are deserving of massive amounts of my money in the form of banal trinkets?"

"No," and her tone suggested a hint of long suffering patience at his reticence. "I know that your employees deserve a reward for not burning down the office in protest."

This time, Sesshomaru's very expressive eyebrow rose nearly to his hairline. "This is a possibility?"

"With you as boss, more like probability. Sesshomaru, do you have any idea what goes on in the break room?"

"We have a break room?"

"Never mind."

Actually he would mind. If his employees were secretly plotting arson, it seemed it was time he visited this alleged break room and have it discreetly bugged.

"What I meant," Rin continued, "is that you are not the easiest person to work with, but since I left I haven't heard of any major riots happening at Takahashi Corps, so I am assuming your employees are somehow managing to put up with you."

"They are being paid, Rin."

"To do their jobs, not to put up with your type A personality. I mean, everyone's been getting along right?"


"No major fights or lawsuits?"

"Not since Miroku managed to brainwash that Sango woman into dating him."

"Your coffee hasn't tasted off or anything?"

Pausing mid sip, Sesshomaru froze, then very carefully asked: "My coffee? What about my coffee?"

"Nothing. I just wanted to say that everything seems to be running smoothly."

"Rin." There was warning as well as burgeoning hints of desperation in his voice.

"Which is why I think everyone deserves a really nice gift for this year's efforts."

"Yes, but what about my coffee?" He just wanted to know. And that was not panic beginning to blossom in his mind.

"Your coffee is fine Sesshomaru. I threw the last of that milk out my second month working for you."

"Wait, my milk? They put something in my milk?"

"Now remember, the party is at eight. Don't be late and wear your dark suit with the red tie. That way, we'll match."

"Rin, what did they do with my milk?"

"Be on time and maybe I'll tell you. Love you, bye."

There was an audible click, and Sesshomaru was left staring at the receiver. He looked from it, to his pristine chrome coffee mug – almost empty – then back to the receiver. Yes, he would be at the party and on time, and he would wear the dark suit with the red tie and he would make sure that every single one of his employees got a Christmas present, because –

His coffee. His milk. Sweet spirits of Christmas past, present and future, his coffee and milk!

He should have known that Rin would always get her way, one way or the other. He, Sesshomaru Takahashi, co-owner of Takahashi Corps, one of the richest men in the western world, was completely under the thumb of the woman he loved. He was doomed and it was Christmas.