'Well, I thought you were never even going to show, you're that late.'
Kagome looked up from stirring her drink disinterestedly, to see an uncomfortable looking man joining the woman at the table across from her.
'Uhh, sorry.' The guy said, running his fingers through his already untidy-looking hair. 'Lost track of time.'
He pulled the opposing chair to the woman out and plonked himself down into it, before glancing around at the ambiance. Kagome examined her drink for a second so she didn't get caught staring. Well, not staring. Watching.
'You're an entire ten minutes late.' The woman said coldly. Kagome couldn't see her face, but whatever she was pulling, the man had minute traces of the what-the-shit-have-I-gotten-myself-into look that almost made her giggle. 'I hope you're not planning to make this a habit.'
'Sure.' The man said, attempting to cover that look, but not quite succeeding.
Kagome watched the bare shoulders of the woman tense slightly. Never a good sign, especially seeing how much huffing and phone checking and glancing around bad temperedly she had done in the half an hour she had done from sitting down (where Kagome had gotten a pretty good look at her sparkly little red number that the woman wasn't looking entirely comfortable in) up until this point in time.
However the best part of the whole outfit was that with all of the turning and fussing she was doing, Kagome could see quite clearly the sparkles she was leaving quite liberally on the chair behind her.
'Anyway,' the woman said, pushing a few loose strands back into the tight bun she had perched exactly at the back of her head, her french manicured nails clacking against each other. 'My name is Kikyou.' She obviously forced herself to relax, dropping her shoulders, but they did not indeed relax. Her voice changed slightly, she was probably smiling. 'It's a pleasure to meet you.'
'Well, hi. I'm InuYasha.' His pointed white ears perched atop his head flicked slightly as an escaping piece of cutlery clattered to the ground nearby. 'I, uh, you, look, nice?' The accompanying, less of a grin and more of a please-don't-kill-me-I'm-trying smile almost had Kagome, who was mid sip of her drink, choke to death in an attempt at laughter.
He sourced the noise of her attempting to cough and die quietly to Kagome, directly over Kikyou's shoulder, and gave her a slightly offended look. Kagome just shrugged as obviously as she could in a don't-mind-me fashion, while stifiling her coughs with more of her drink.
'Oh, this old thing?' Kikyou shrugged slightly, not noticing any of the exchange. 'I've had it for quite a while. But I thought that it would be a well-suited blind date material.'
'Oh, I see.' InuYasha responded, shifting slightly. 'Well, er, I guess, you know Miroku through work?'
'That philanthropist? Sadly, yes, his misbehaviour has made him quite popular there.' Kikyou shifted slightly, clearly settling in for a long speech, one that she wasn't planning to be interuppted with.
Kagome shifted her gaze from the dying light behind the golden eyes of InuYasha, and back to her phone, checking once again the time. It was already a quarter to eight, and it was with a certain sense of acceptance that she accepted the fact that her date for the evening wasn't even going to come.
Of course, it wasn't going to be a pleasant date anyway, Kagome had known the end was coming anyway. But to not even show up to the date where you finally break up with you're girlfriend of two years? That's just, cowardly.
It's not like she hadn't seen it coming though, over the last month and a half the phone calls had been getting less frequent, the texting less comfortable.
It was like Hojo was happy with having a cardboard cutout with girlfriend stamped across it, with no contact, or even her presence in the relationship required.
In the beginning it was wonderful, and even towards the beginning of that year they even considered living together, but like wonderfully fresh bread, it went stale in the end.
But Kagome needed more than that, more than having this placecard, this empty chair across the table when she really needed it to be filled.
He didn't even say 'I love you' anymore, not even in little words and gestures that don't mean words and gestures at all that didn't even seem to have any relevance to 'I love you' but means it all the same. And she couldn't even bring herself to say it at all anymore.
But nothing says I don't want to do this any more more than being more than an hour and a half late to the third date in a row. Nothing says everything is fine between us, can't you see that? like holding this final date at her own workplace, so that every time she looks at this table when she's on shift, she'll remember the lonliness. And nothing says it's really truly over like point-blank refusing to face the fact that there are problems, and refusing to go on dates where Kagome wants to sort through them.
But nothing at all says finished like the empty chair, and the 0 Unread Messages blinking up at her.
Yuka, her co-worker who was covering her shift and the floor for the evening just so that she could go on this date that he had suggested, was keeping her distance, but shooting her pitying glances every now and again.
Kagome checked out her surroundings again, like she had been doing for that last hour and a half.
The guy three tables over and his wife were looking down their noses at their creamy soup, with their napkins in their laps and oh yes and ho ho-ing as if they were in a five star restaurant. Which they weren't, for that matter. Kagome could tell you first hand that this pizzeria that had far too much floorspace for its own good was certainly not five star, despite the raving reviews online about the pizzas and the coffee. But it certainly wasn't bad. And Kagome got to take home pizzas sometimes. So not bad at all.
Yuka was waiting on a table in the opposing direction to the snooty couple, a family who had just sat down and despite the three adults present (Yuka included), the toddler was still managing to avoid being strapped down into its highchair.
However the blind date that was unravelling before her seemed to be moving from perhaps not to hellllllllll no on the prospect of a second date.
The woman named Kikyou seemed to be enjoying herself monologing away, yet the one opposite her had slumped in his chair, almost like he was about to nod off.
He surveyed his surroundings again, and this time Kagome did not look away so as not to be caught, and he raised a pitiful eyebrow.
So she crossed her eyes at him.
His own eyes widened for a second, then he forced down a grin that was growing around his eyes.
'Ah yes, I thought you might find that amusing.' Kikyou said, capturing his attention again, and he attempted to look enthralled so enthusiastically that Kagome snorted into her soft drink. 'But wait until you hear this, ....'
InuYasha watched his date for a long moment, then glanced over her shoulder back towards Kagome again.
And wiggled his ears.
Now this is usually a highly amusing feat for a human, watching the shells of someones ears move using muscles that not many people can. But InuYasha was not human, and did not have human-esque ears at all.
Watching someone with all the dexterity of the muscles in their ears of someone controlling satellite dishes with remote joysticks had Kagome in silent stitches, which was made all the worse by the fact that he was watching his date with careful, yet attentive poise. With his white, triangular ears swinging back and forth independently.
But the best part was where Yuka appeared next to him, and he nearly jumped out of his skin to the point that he had to grip onto the table so that he did not fall off his chair.
'Excuse me,' Yuka said, and Kagome picked up on the slight eyebrow twitch that Yuka always did when a customer was looking coldly/patronisingly at her. 'Are you ready to ready to order?'
'Why yes, actually. I picked out what I would like to order while I was waiting for this one to turn up for our date.' Kikyou did however reach for the drinks menu, and flipped it towards the wine section. 'I would like to place an order for the warm caeser salad.'
'Sure.' Yuka was certainly looking irked by now. 'And for you, sir?'
InuYasha seemed to have spent the last ten seconds attempting to restart his heart, and now seized the menu in that manner of I'm-trying-to-not-look-panicky-but-I-haven't-picked-something-out-yet-so-I'm-panicking-like-there's-no-tomorrow clumsiness.
'Give the poor fool a minute to decide,' Kikyou said a little pityingly, and three sets of eyes shot her dirty looks. 'What sort of white wine would you recommend to go with my meal?'
As the two women conversed, InuYasha stared blankly down the list of the laminated menu, before glancing over in Kagome's direction pitifully.
She flapped a hand at him to get his attention, then held up eight fingers obviously. Working here was suddenly having it's advantages.
'So have you made a decision yet, sir?' Yuka questioned politely, interrupting his frowned look at Kagome.
'Uh, number, eight?' InuYasha said hesitantly, obviously hoping that would make more sense to the waitress than it did to him.
'That's the meatlovers pizza?'
He looked pleasantly surprised. 'Er, that's the one. Thanks.' He glanced sideways to make sure that the gratitude was sent on two directions, rather than one.
'I'll bring it out to you shortly.' Yuka smiled, obviously more towards him rather than his more unpleasant counterpart.
Kikyou however turned her attention onto him, leaning forward slightly and lacing her fingers together under her chin. 'So, what do you do for fun?'
InuYasha stared at her for a moment, her questioning behaviour suddenly polar oppposing her previous speech.
He exchanged a quick glance with Kagome, who was thankfully directly behind his date and could never have noticed their exchanges, before leaning foreward himself. 'Uh, I play video games, I guess? I read, and I'm on a baseball team?'
'Why the questioning responses? Are you not sure?' Kikyou responded promptly.
'No, I'm sure.' He shifted uneasily. 'I also part time as a martial arts teacher at a dojo.'
'You're very well spread.' The way she said it, Kagome could almost see the girl fluttering her eyelashes at him.
'Something in your eye?' InuYasha responded, looking at her blankly.
'Ah, no,' she replied, sitting up straight. 'Do you have a speciality in martial arts?'
'Not really, I did a specialised division as a kid which covers a broad range of types of martial arts, so I just grabbed all the official titles I could while I was at it.'
Kagome withdrew her attention from that date, as it seemed to be picking up again.
She checked her phone again. She'd been waiting two hours now, it was just gone eight.
She stirred her drink listlessly. She'd have to remind Ginta, the bus boy, to make sure that glassware comes out like new, or not at all. It's how customer service works, after all.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement heading towards her. She looked up, to see it was her manager for the evening, and he was looking deceptively cheerful as always.
'Kagome!' He exclaimed as soon as he was in earshot, which wasn't exactly subtle. 'What are you doing here? I thought you said you had plans tonight, you can't have come back to this place willingly.' He grinned at her, and leant against her table casually, just ever so slightly closer than what was comfortable.
Despite the universal rule against fraternising with colleagues, Kouga never seemed to have any problems with showing interest in his full-time-but-not-paid-it waitress.
'I have a date, Kouga.' Kagome said, as firmly as she could.
'But you've been sitting here for two hours. I heard Yuka mention it. Surely they can't be running this late.' He smiled at her. 'Or are you waiting for me? I suppose I could take a few minutes out of my schedule for this evening for-'
'No, Kouga. I'm waiting for Hojo. I've told you about him. He shouldn't be too much longer. He said he was running late.' A lie, but that was not something someone like Kouga had to know.
'Ah, yes. The little boy who thinks he's good enough to go out with an angel like you.' Kouga sneered slightly.
'He's a very nice person. You should know, you've met him.' Kagome said coldly.
'"Nice"? Nice doesn't treat you right. Nice isn't surprising. Nice is monotonous, and boring.'
'That's an unusually big word, for you.' Kagome replied, her eyes narrowing slightly. Hojo may have been a, well, Kagome couldn't sum him up in a few words on the fly like that, but he did have perhaps, maybe, enough dignity left in her books that she wasn't about to let him be unjustly bad-mouthed.
'But at least nice turns up on time for his dates. What time was he supposed to be here?'
Kagome froze momentarily, her mind weighing the pros and cons of telling the truth. 'Six, actually. But he's running late.'
'Six? Are you serious? What are you even still doing here? How come you're not cursing him down the phone? This isn't the Kagome that I hired.'
Kagome stared back at him coldly. 'Because sometimes words no longer need to be said.'
The line made her chest ache uncomfortably, Hojo had used that very line on her, but she was no longer fool enough to believe him.
'Ah. How sweet. Let me know if you ever need a real man in your life.' Kouga grinned at her in what was obviously supposed to be a cheeky way, but actually simply came across as sightly alarming.
'Shouldn't you be getting back to work?' Kagome questioned easily, and Kouga shifted a little uncomfortably. 'You've said it before, you're not sure how this store runs without you.'
'Very true, very true, Kagome. Got both brains and beauty, you have.' Kouga tipped his imaginary hat at her, and started trundling back towards the coffee machine on the other side of the room. 'See you tomorrow!'
Kagome watched him go for a long moment, then rolled her eyes so hard she felt dizzy, and slumped forward on her chair, pressing her face into her crossed forearms. 'What a moron, you are. Is this Star Wars or what?'
After a hesitant pause of her wanting to fade away into nothing, perhaps with substantial amounts of alcohol to assist, she peeked over the top of her arms.
The toddler from table six was strapped away safely into its highchair, and was now enjoying itself by hurling its toys in as many directions as possible and forcing its parents to retrieve them.
The snooty couple from table fourteen had finished their meals, and was ordering dessert with as much class and poise as possible, and Yuka was looking all the more pained for it.
And the blind date of table ten in front of her was suddenly missing one half of the couple.
The remaining occupant, the white-haired InuYasha facing her, was shooting her concerned looks, but both jumped and relaxed slightly to catch her looking back at him.
He raised his eyebrows at her slightly in the universal are-you-alright look, and she responded with the tiny shrug of the meh.
She reburied her face for a second, and taking a breath, before looking back up at him.
Resting her chin on her propped elbow, she looked pointedly at the empty chair between them, and raised a questioning eyebrow.
He gave her a dry look, before putting on the most pretentious expression he could (which frankly made him look a little constipated) and mimed powdering his nose with dainty little imaginary puffs.
She chuckled at that, hiding her mouth behind her hands, and he grinned back at her.
Who was that sleezeball? His gaze back towards Kouga at the coffee machine questioned her.
Don't even ask, Kagome's driest look responded, finishing with a heaven help me glance upwards.
He nodded back sagely, adding his own saints preserve us upwards pitiful glance, before a from the devil before me who is now in the bathroom look at the red and sparkly chair between them.
She frowned slightly at him, glancing down at the chair in a okay-she's-bad-but-not-THAT-bad kind of way.
He returned with the most skeptical, are-you-even-for-real look she'd seen in a while, to rival the time Yuka had served a couple that asked; 'is this a real restaurant where we can even order actual food, or just a fake?'.
You never know, Kagome shrugged slightly, and the horrified response was certainly worth it.
Kagome, in all of her twenty three years of life, had never seen an entire paragraph of thought coded into one simple motion of widened eyes, a protruding jaw and slightly opened mouth in horror, and upturned, half-closed hands tensed so hard the veins were protruding slightly in his knuckles.
So Kagome did the only thing she could think of that wasn't fall off of her chair laughing; she snapped a photo.
The flash from her phone was something that immediately seized his attention, and his (albeit priceless) look turned to one of abject betrayal.
So she snapped another one.
Well, if this is how I go out, I wanna go out taking photos of cute guys in restaurants, Kagome grinned wickedly. At least the evening's not a complete waste.
He stuck his jaw out stubbornly, and closed his hands into fists. 'You, girl, over there.' He said, as she snapped away, however she pressed her fingertips lightly to her chest with her free hand.
'Moi, monsieur? Me parlez-vous?' Kagome replied with the most innocent tone she could manage, but her voice wobbled slightly with laughter.
'Wait, what? French? But, I thought,' he flondered, then frowned. 'Wait a second, you were speaking english to the sleezebag over there. So don't lie to me!'
'Alright, alright, you caught me.' Kagome laughed. 'Can't blame a girl for messing with suckers.'
'Hey, I'm not a sucker,' he shot back. 'At least I don't take creepy photos of strangers.'
Kagome closed her hands around her phone protectively. 'I only do it when that particular stranger is practically begging to have his picture stolen.'
'I was not.' InuYasha spluttered.
She raised a dry eyebrow at him. 'So, who is the bright spark that thought setting you and,' she fished around for an adequate description for a moment, until-
'Miss So-self-impressed-she's-her-own-fanclub?' He interjected. 'Miss So-self-absorbed-she's-been-staring-into-that-mirror-over-there-for-the-last-five-minutes?' He nodded to the mirror hanging from one of the walls, in place of a window.
'Really?' Kagome resisted the urge to roll her eyes. 'But from the way she's talking, she's definitly going to be leaning towards a second date.'
'Dear god no.' He responded vehemently, pressing his palms onto his table, before looking at her pathetically.
'But it didn't seem to be going that badly, well, most recently anyway...'
'She's pretty, I'll give her that, but she only seems interested in her own interests, and how much I work out.' He added on as an afterthought.
'Whaaat, a tough, good looking guy like you?' Kagome smiled, but then immediately started backpeddling at the way his eyes narrowed, and he raised a guarded wall, sitting back in his seat. 'I'm kidding.' Mostly. 'But seriously, you've got a real talent there with your ears. How long have you been honing that one for?'
He ruffled his hair uncomfortably. 'I dunno. Spent a few hours practising as a kid and never really unlearnt.'
'Well I think it's cool.' Kagome grinned at him, resting her elbows on her table, folding her hands and resting her chin on them.
He half-grinned back at her, before his eyes fell on the seat opposing her. 'So where's the schmuck who's left you wating for so long?'
Kagome felt her face fall, her gaze landing on the crushingly empty chair, before looking back at him. She could lie, but no, she didn't think she could at all. 'I don't think he's coming.'
'Well what kind of an ass leaves someone like you hanging?'
She covered the truth of the pain as best she could with a half-smile. 'Was that an equivalent to "what's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"'
He flushed, and backpeddled hilariously. 'Wait, wait, I didn't mean, how did you even, but, no, hang on, I meant,'
She was tempted to snatch another photo, but didn't.
'I know what you meant. He's not showing up because he doesn't want to. Because if he shows up, he knows it's over. Well, officially. He knows that this is the very last one.' Kagome sighed slightly, her eyes drawn back to the chair. After a moment she looked up, to see an honest, concerned gaze squarely centred on her face.
Both Kagome and InuYasha swiveled around to face the respective noise surprisedly, to discover Kikyou, her arms crossed and her heel tapping irritably against the hardwood floor.
InuYasha fully jumped out of his chair in apology, to have the words about to fall from his mouth cut off before they could start.
Kikyou gazed at the two of them coldly.
'I came out here to have a good time. To start something that could prove to be interesting.' She rounded on InuYasha. 'I thought this was running smoothly, despite the bumps on your part. But I'm not going to tolerate you flirting with other women. Especially while we are on a date.' Next, she turned to face Kagome. 'And I'm also not going to tolerate shameless little hussies who can't find their own men to steal away from others.' She rounded back on InuYasha, turning completely away from Kagome, thus ending all protests and contact with the girl. 'I sincerly hope you don't make a habit of this in the future.' Kikyou said softly, leaning on her glitter-dusted chair, but there was that ever so slight edge that made it sinister.
'I was just chatting,' InuYasha trailed off.
'I don't care.' Kikyou said firmly, ending the subject.
Kagome shot him a final look over her shoulder, which he caught with a mirrored subtle look, before she returned to her phone.
Despite her behaviour, she wasn't about to steal another girl's man, no matter how horrible she is.
0 New Messages
Kagome sighed, and stood, her fingers wrapping around the strap of her handbag that was hung over the back of her chair. Well, if he's not coming, than he's not coming. I might as well go home.
'Well if you're not going to say anything, I might as well go home!' Kikyou snapped, clattering to her feet.
'If you'd let me get a word-' InuYasha pointed out exasperatedly.
'No. I don't want to hear it. Thank you for the evening, but I'm leaving. You can tell your friend that he needn't have inclinations of matchmaker towards me anymore.' She spun on her heel and stormed out, shoving Kagome rudely out of the way so hard that she fell over. Kikyou struggled for a moment pushing on the pull door, before flinging it open and storming out.
Kagome tucked the spilled hair from across her face behind her ear as she sat up, and glared at the now banging shut door.
'Are you alright?' Yuka said, appearing over her elbow with three dishes balanced over her two hands.
'Yeah, I'm fine.' Kagome pulled her knees under her a little more modestly.
'What a cow.' Yuka rolled her eyes, readjusting one of the plates she was holding carefully.
'Tell me about it.' Kagome rolled herself onto her knees, so that she could clamber back to her feet.
A hand was offered in her peripheral vision, and she took it unthinkingly, using it to haul herself upright again.
She looked up, straightening her cream coloured, floaty dress that she had bought for the occasion so that she didn't have to wear it again.
To realize that the hand she was still holding was male.
Yuka looked knowingly between the two, a little smile growing on her face, before she nodded to Kagome, and scuttled off, the plates she held clacking slightly.
Kagome shot a glare after her, then turned to face InuYasha.
'So,' he said, the grip on her hand tightening slightly, 'apparently I still have a pizza coming. Uh, you wouldn't happen to, well, I mean,'
Kagome smiled at him. 'I'd love to.'