A/N: Hi darlings, just to clarify with one of you, Inuyasha's NOT asking Kagome to marry him in this chapter, sorry to disappoint anyone lol.
In this story, Inuyasha's mother is dead, Sesshoumaru's mother is Michiko, and Kagome's mother is Kioko.
Chapter 2: Kagome's Idea, Inuyasha's Proposal
Kagome returned to their table. Miroku kicked Inuyasha lightly.
Taking the hint, Inuyasha cleared his throat.
"Miss Higurashi," he said in a conversational tone.
"Please, it's Kagome," she interrupted.
"Very well, Kagome. Say, for example, a company was facing severe losses due to another competitor. What would you do?"
Kagome bit her lip thoughtfully. Was this just a friendly question or a test of her abilities? She thought carefully before replying.
"Most high-level executives will often give parties," she said at last. "In that case, show up at one of those parties, a group of three of four, making sure at least one person in the group is a beautiful lady. Get the competitor drunk, and steal his company records."
Inuyasha laughed. "Isn't this a bit too... movie-type scenario? This is the real world, you know."
Kagome shrugged. "Movie-scenario or not, not even the most stoic guy can resist a woman if she works on him long enough. Given that piece of information, as long as you get a few better-looking girls you can accomplish almost anything."
"Exactly," chimed in Miroku. "Take Sesshoumaru, Ice Prince, whatever. He may seem like Mr. Tough Guy on the outside, but look at him now." Miroku pointed to the doorway of the restaurant. Sesshoumaru had appeared, and was heading over to a corner table where a young woman with a little girl was waiting. He slid into a chair at their table.
"Who the hell is that?" choked Inuyasha, whether from laughter or surprise.
"Sesshoumaru, your brother," replied Kagome with a cynical note in her voice.
"You know who I mean... the woman," said Inuyasha sharply.
"A girlfriend he keeps secret from the press? Maybe he doesn't tell anyone, because he's one of Tokyo's most – I take that back, he is Tokyo's most eligible bachelor, and his girlfriend's not from the best of families," said Miroku. "The little girl... I don't know. An illegitimate daughter?"
"Stop speculating, it may not even be true," snapped Kagome suddenly, disregarding the fact that Miroku was, though not directly, her superior. At least, he was friends with her boss, and was one of the higher-ups in the company.
"Sorry," he said, sounding abashed.
Inuyasha signaled for a waitress. "Can I have the bill, please?"
"Can I have your number, please?" asked Miroku, his eyes glued to the front of the waitress's shirt.
"No, you may not," said Inuyasha. "There's enough perverseness in you, it doesn't need encouraging."
Miroku rolled his eyes, but gave up on the waitress anyways.
"I have received all your department proposals," announced Inutaisho from the head of the meeting table. "All things being equal, Inuyasha's, Sesshoumaru's, and Miroku's are the best. We will go ahead and start by using these three. After I discuss the best of course of action with the company vice presidents, I will send briefs to each of you explaining what we will do. Any questions?"
Everyone had arched their eyebrows but nobody said anything.
"In that case, I'll send the briefs round as soon as possible. You may go – Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru, and Miroku, I want to speak with you three. Privately," he added to the hastily retreating backs of the last few stragglers.
As soon as the room was emptied, Inutaisho glanced at the three. Inuyasha looked slightly apprehensive, Sesshoumaru looked bored and Miroku looked smug.
"When I reviewed all your proposals," Inutaisho began, "I noticed one thing. All of them revolved around the same idea." He tossed three files onto the table.
"Inuyasha's proposal went along the lines of getting a girl to seduce Naraku and get important company information, Sesshoumaru's idea involved using women to extract information from Naraku, and Miroku's brief included using alcohol to douse Naraku into 'letting slip' information. Note a similarity?" asked Inutaisho.
"Not really," said Miroku cheekily.
"And your point of this conversation is..." asked Sesshoumaru. "I'm a busy person."
"Undoubtedly," Inuyasha sneered. "By any chance does this include an unknown woman and a little girl?"
Sesshoumaru's gaze could have melted Antarctica. "If you have anything to say, say it now."
"Say it outside," instructed Inutaisho. "I don't know what you three did. Was it a case of you-copying-me, you three working together, or even pure coincidence... I don't know and frankly I don't care. This is just to bring the matter to your attention."
Sesshoumaru nodded stiffly, followed by Inuyasha and Miroku. Inutaisho waved them out.
"That's it," hissed Sesshoumaru outside the room. "What was with the woman, little girl thing? You have no damn clue what you're talking about."
"Oh yea? How about, the girlfriend who's so mysterious nobody knows about her? Or the, maybe, illegitimate daughter you met at lunch the other day? Wait till the old man hears about it..."
Sesshoumaru snorted. "You mean, Kagura and Rin?"
"So that's their names. What's your connection with them?"
"I don't think my life is any business of yours, dear brother," said Sesshoumaru coldly. "Go poke your nose somewhere else. Good day."
Kagome smoothed out her dress as she stared at her reflection in the mirror.
Pale blue didn't look right, she mused, and took the dress off. It was only the sixth time that evening.
Earlier in the day Inuyasha had dropped the bombshell.
"You're it," he announced, sticking his face in front of Kagome's computer screen. "I gave your idea to my dad and he likes it."
"I am so not!" gasped Kagome.
"Well... umm... you see, Father thinks the person to seduce – I mean, 'distract', the competitor, Naraku, should be you. Naraku is hosting a well-timed banquet tonight, and we think it's the perfect opportunity."
Kagome squinted at Inuyasha. "Can't you hire a whore somewhere else?"
"We think it better to have someone trustworthy," replied Inuyasha a little too quickly, giving Kagome the impression he had rehearsed these lines beforehand.
"And if I refuse to go?" Kagome asked, her eyes glinting. "I might already have plans, you know."
"Of course I know you have plans; you'll be going to Naraku's banquet. It's a black tie, or traditional Japanese costume dinner. I'll pick you up at six."
"I said I'm not free!" protested Kagome, but Inuyasha had already left.
So why the hell Kagome was getting ready to seduce some VIP dude, she still didn't know. But at five-thirty she found herself showered and looking for something to wear. Really, it was the price one paid for trying to please one's bosses and get promotions.
White, decided Kagome. Everyone looked good in white. She slipped into a white halter dress the fell slightly past her knees.
Kagome was generally comfortable without any makeup on; not that she was a prude or anything. On the contrary, she prided herself on being able to look good without the help of cosmetics and surgery. A simple pearl-and- diamond jewelry set and heeled sandals with thin, delicate straps were the only accessories she wore. In any case, even if she had wanted to add anything, she couldn't have, for the doorbell rang.
Inuyasha was waiting, in a-
"You know, Inuyasha, red... umm... looks good on you," croaked Kagome finally, red from controlling her laughter.
He hadn't bothered with black tie and had come in a kimono – a bright, fire engine red kimono. It wasn't that he looked bad in it, but... If Kagome was not wrong, most of the other men in kimonos would be wearing deeper, more subdued colors.
Kagome wiped her eyes. "I'm sorry. And where did you get those cute ears? You didn't have them before." She reached for a pointy little dog ear on his forehead.
Inuyasha stared at her. Then, he realized that his concealing spell must have slipped, showing her his ears. Quickly, he recited the spell again. "Ears? You must have been imagining things," he said.
"I must have been," agreed Kagome absentmindedly. "Shall we go?"
Still, Inuyasha stood there, frowning slightly at her.
"Is something wrong?" Kagome inquired.
"Yes," he answered truthfully. "You look too young. Good thing I came five minutes early – go in and change."
Kagome gave him a blank stare.
"Go on," he said, pushing her into the house. "You're supposed to... right, 'distract'. You can't do that looking like a schoolgirl. Do something, lipstick... I don't know. Whatever girls do. And maybe you shouldn't wear white, it's a bit... innocent."
Kagome looked at him like she didn't know what he was talking about. "What the hell are you trying to say?"
Inuyasha almost lost his temper. Any more arguing and they would be late.
"Make yourself look like a whore, can you not at least try?" he growled in frustration.
Kagome slapped him hard, leaving a pink imprint on his face. "Well, I'm sorry," yelled Kagome. "As some people here aren't prostitutes, it's a bit hard to act like one! I didn't ask for this to be loaded onto me. If you don't like it, live with it. God damn you, you insufferable know-it-all." She strode off to the waiting company limousine.
Miroku was already inside, fiddling with his deep purple/blue tie in a mirror.
"I hate Inuyasha."
"That's a nice way to greet a poor lonely boy," pouted Miroku, sounding wounded.
Inuyasha entered the limousine. "What did you do to her, Inuyasha?" asked Miroku. "Kagome's all upset now."
"Nothing," sulked Inuyasha.
"Don't mind him, Kagome. You come and sit by me over here," Miroku tried petting the seat next to him, but 'missed' and ended up patting his lap.
"Fuck you," she swore as the car moved on.
Kagome was in a very bad mood. Inuyasha and Miroku were both careful to sit as far away from her as possible.
"So... is Kikyo coming?" asked Miroku.
"Unlikely. She knows about it, but I didn't tell her I was going, nor did I invite her."
They rode on in silence.
The chauffeur halted outside a huge mansion, already alive with activity.
Stepping inside, they were greeted by a butler who ushered them into a ballroom, where servants were quick to offer them drinks.
"Inutaisho-sama's already here," prompted Miroku.
Kagome seemed to have recovered from her anger and nodded at Miroku, asking for an introduction.
The three of them headed over to Inutaisho.
"Hello," greeted the elder man. His hair was still a deep black, and though his face had a few more lines than were needed, it held obvious marks of earlier good looks.
"This is Kagome, our department's newest employee." Kagome smiled and shook hands warmly with her company's president.
"A pleasure to meet you, sir," she said sweetly.
"The honor is mine. I have never seen so ravishing a creature," complimented Inutaisho.
"Ahem!" said a smiling woman who had approached them. "I thought you said I was the most ravishing creature ever to live!"
"I'm sorry... Meet my wife, Kagome," introduced Inutaisho.
The woman, in her late thirty's but still a beautiful woman, leaned forward and kissed Kagome on the cheek.
"My college roommate had a daughter named Kagome," said Inutaisho's wife. "In fact, though the last time I saw her she was a baby, I could swear you two look alike."
"Really? What was your roommate's name?" raised Kagome.
"Kioko, later, she married a guy named Higurashi and we lost contact. It was a pity... I was a senior when she started college, and although we were four years apart, we were close."
Kagome stared at her, slightly open-mouth. When she spoke, her lips trembled slightly. "My mother... often said... she knew a girl from college, and it was a pity they lost contact over the years. Is your name, by any chance, Michiko?"
Michiko nearly dropped her glass of wine. "Don't tell me you are Kagome Higurashi. The one I saw nineteen years ago." When Kagome nodded, she launched at her husband. "Why didn't you tell me you employed Kagome?"
"I don't handle minor job applications-" Inutaisho tried to defend himself.
"Nonsense. And how minor is minor anyways?" demanded his wife. "Do you mean to tell me that you, or your secretary, or someone in this company, goofed up, and assigned Kagome such a low job that I couldn't be informed? Kagome, I may have lost contact with your mother, but I have been reading the news. It seemed that every year the top nation-wide grades were yours. And did you skip a year of high school and another year at college?"
Kagome, faintly blushing, nodded.
"So Kagome, what do you do in Taisho Corps?" asked Michiko.
"I'm actually in Inuyasha's department. Simple desk job – twenty-fourth floor."
Michiko narrowed her eyes. She would have something to say to her husband that night. Inutaisho, for his part, already shivered. He would have to pay more attention to all new employees in the future. And he was sincerely wishing that Kagome had never come that night. Wait till his wife found out that he had told Inuyasha to force her into seducing Naraku... if she didn't freak, she'd freak then kick him out to the couch in the living room.
He was glad when Naraku appeared, as Michiko broke off her lecture for the food was being served. Inuyasha took Kagome up to the head of the table, in clear view of Naraku.
Kagome quickly appraised Naraku. He looked clever, but equally cunning. His long wavy hair was swept from his face in a ponytail. It sickened her to know that she would have to try and force information out of him. Naraku was the type of person who would make you tremble if you simply looked at him. Fortunately, Kagome noticed, he had a girl hanging on his arm, and didn't look like he hated it. Maybe he wasn't that averse to women.
"Ok, am I just really behind in the fashion world, or are you guys in the business world just weird? You, your dad, Sesshoumaru, and Naraku have long hair, and Miroku has a ponytail. Is long hair for guys the rage now?" whispered Kagome to Inuyasha.
"No clue," Inuyasha whispered back. For some reason, he felt like he was in elementary school, doing something wrong and not wanting the teacher to find out.
After the meal was almost finished, Inuyasha nudged Kagome and walked over to Naraku's seat.
"Good evening," opened Inuyasha.
"Well, well. Inuyasha. Please, meet my girlfriend, Kanna." Naraku's voice was smooth and oily, but not very sincere-sounding.
"This is Kagome," said Inuyasha, "she works for me." Kagome felt Naraku's gaze on her body and abruptly looked away, her cheeks burning.
Naraku's words were equally abrupt. "Inuyasha, you are no longer needed. But do me a favor. Leave your lovely... assistant... here to chat with me. Kanna – go with Inuyasha and make up for his lack of company."
Kanna, in a white kimono, tugged Inuyasha away. He looked at Kagome anxiously over his shoulder, but allowed himself to be led back to his seat.
Naraku drew Kagome closer, and she stiffened.
"Relax, girl," said Naraku. Kagome forced herself to loosen up, and allowed herself to look at Naraku.
He wasn't that ugly, actually, he was better-looking than most, though Kagome would never have looked twice at him. She felt his hand on her knee, and felt it slowly slide up under her dress.
Kagome had to stop him without sounding like a prim and proper little girl. She moved his hand away from her knee, but transferred her own hand to his leg. Thanking god that he was wearing a kimono, Kagome gently stroked the inside of his thigh.
Naraku pulled Kagome closer. "Outside," he commanded. "Go wait in the hall, I'll be with you shortly."
Kagome nodded, and with a final glance in Inuyasha's direction, excused herself from the surrounding people and headed out.
"You can do this, Kagome," she told herself aloud in the hall.
About ten minutes later, Naraku emerged from the ballroom. He picked her up, and carried her up a flight of stairs that led directly to the third floor. Kicking a door open, he came into a bedroom and threw Kagome roughly onto the bed.
"Are you sure you can leave your guests like that?" asked Kagome, shivering slightly at the hungry look in Naraku's eyes.
"Of course, darling." Naraku threw himself onto top of her. Immediately, his lips found her collarbone, and starting sucking on it. Kagome, revolted, pushed him off.
"Aren't you going to talk to me like I'm your girlfriend or something?" she demanded. "You not just going to act like this is a one-night stand or something, are you?"
"Dear me, no!" exclaimed Naraku. "But talk later. I need you first." He placed a hand on Kagome's breast.
Kagome looked around the room desperately. There was nothing she could use if the situation got desperate... then she spotted a bottle of Hennessey on the side table.
Naraku was busy kissing her and didn't notice. Kagome reached out for the bottle...
A hand clapped over her outstretched hand.
"Are you trying to kill me with the bottle?" asked Naraku sharply, his nails digging into her wrists.
"N...no," stammered Kagome. "I was trying to give you a drink."
"Liar," snarled Naraku, reached for the bottle.
Kagome thought fast.
"I'm serious. I'll tell you what. Drink with me. For every glass I finish faster than you, you drink another glass."
"And if I finish before you?" asked Naraku.
"I'll..." Kagome thought wildly. "I'll take a piece of clothing off."
"Good game," approved Naraku. "Let's start. Be careful, though, Hennessey is potent stuff."
He procured two glasses, and poured a generous serving into each. Closing his eyes, he quickly sipped the glass. Kagome took the chance to pour her glass onto the carpet.
"You lost," said Kagome, and poured him a glass.
The next round, she won again, and again, and again. It was only around the sixth round, when he looked at her to make sure she drank, that he won.
Kagome clutched her dress to herself protectively. But Naraku insisted; Kagome had no choice but to slip out of her dress. After that, it was no problem to win all the rounds – Naraku was so stoned and glued to her body that he didn't see how much of her drink Kagome poured onto the carpet.
The last cup, though, Naraku stared right at her eyes. Kagome groaned inwardly. She couldn't drink alcohol. The last time she had taken alcohol, she had totally gone over the edge. But with Naraku's eyes staring at her...
Kagome winced slightly, held her breath, and sipped her glass.
Fire raced through her body and she struggled to keep sane. She held on to Naraku's drunken words.
Kagome smiled as Naraku slumped over, stoned. She knew how to keep Taisho Corps running.
There was a loud banging on the bedroom door.
"Kagome!" It was Inuyasha, along with Miroku.
Kagome stumbled towards the door. Her cheeks were on fire. Tottering over in her heels, she unlocked the door and opened it, forgetting that she was in her underwear and pantyhose only.
Miroku's eyes widened as he gaped at Kagome. Inuyasha, himself, stood spellbound.
"I'm drunk," she half-wailed. "In two seconds I'm going to do stuff I would never even drink of doing. I found out the information we need... but I..."
Inuyasha caught her before she fell to the floor. Kagome clung to him.
No wonder she refused to drink sake when we went to lunch, thought Inuyasha, before he noticed the empty liquor bottle.
"Kagome, you silly girl," he murmured, reached for her dress and slipping it over her.
"Did someone call my name?" asked Kagome lightly, in a high voice.
"Kagome?" called Inuyasha, worried.
"Don't worry, I'm just really, really warm. It's so hot in here. Don't you think so?" she said.
"Miroku..." Inuyasha said uncertainly. "I think she's going crazy."
As though on cue, Kagome reached forward and planted a kiss on Inuyasha's lips.
"Can you do something?" yelled Inuyasha to Miroku. "You're the girl expert here."
"Get someone who's old or who'll never succumb to her," instructed Miroku. "If not by the time she's over her hangover she'll kill you for sleeping with her."
"I would so not sleep with her!" protested Inuyasha, but found himself pulling Kagome towards himself in a tight embrace.
"Get my point?" smirked Miroku.
"Yes! Just find someone who can handle it, ok?" shouted Inuyasha at Miroku's retreating back.
Three minutes later, Miroku returned.
"I found your guy," he announced, sounding pleased at his cleverness. "Of course, it should've been me... But I gladly gave my job to..."
"Miroku!" groaned Inuyasha. "You didn't! Did you?" he added, unsurely.
"He did," said Sesshoumaru as he stepped into the room.
Voting Poll Stats:
Poor Sango and Naraku and Kouga and Hojo are currently single... SUCKERS! Wait... I don't even think Hojo will be in this story. And Sango's too cool to be a sucker. Oh well.
Umi, dancing-by-moonlight: That's my preferred pairing, but I do go according to my readers' wishes.
Sarcasm Girl 8, RyuuKumiko: Thanks, I'll update as soon as I can.
ladyhawk89: I promise to update as fast as I can but I can't promise on the pairings, it depends on how many people want which pairing.
japaneseangel12: I plan to put that in the next chapter, at very latest chapter 4.
Mistress Koishii: No, I don't mind you saying so at all. I'm open to all pairings, though my least favorite is Hojo/Kag and Koug/Kag. Sess/kag happens to be my favorite fanfic pairing, and Inu/Kag is my fave anime pairing.
koinu-no-ai: Thanks for alerting me on the sentences. What was I thinking? bangs forehead on desk
PyslightlySycoh: Inuyasha does have ears, but he keeps them hidden, I hope this chapter cleared it up.
hera goddess: You're my first reviewer for this fic... Pocky for you!
Tara: I love those two pairings too... But I'll try and satisfy most people.