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The Cat's Meow

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“Dang it! I knew I took a wrong turn.” Kagome muttered. She looked around. Not many people were out since it was raining just a few minutes ago. She spotted a man crossing the street and rushed to him.

 

“Excuse me, sir? Where can I find the flower shop Esprits de Fleurs? I got balled up on the way there.” The man smiled and gave her directions.

 

“Thank you!” Kagome left, following the man’s directions. Luckily, she didn’t get herself too lost. She was soon in front of a simple but charming storefront. Written in script above the door was Esprits de Fleurs. Many beautiful arrangements filled the display windows. Kagome took in a deep breath and walked in. A bell jingled as she went through the door.

 

“Oh, hello. What can I do for such a pretty lady?” A man with long dark scruffy hair and dark eyes stepped out from behind the counter wearing a wolfish grin.

 

“Excuse me, is the boss around? I’m here to apply for a job. I heard you had an opening, Kagome said firmly. His grin faded.

 

“I’m the big shot around here. Name’s Koga. I’m sorry, but I think you’re mistaken. We don’t need any florists.” Kagome huffed. She forgot she had to mention the password.

 

“Fine, but before I go can I have some tarantula juice?” Koga’s grin returned.

 

“Ah, that job.” He beckoned her to follow him through the small storage room to another door. Inside was a fully stocked bar with many tables. There was a good size stage at the end of the room with a grand piano next to it. Kagome was in awe at how huge and amazing the place looked.

 

“Wow, this place is the bee’s knees!” She exclaimed.

 

“Why thank you. I own the whole building. To be honest, I’m surprised a beautiful dame like yourself would want to work as a bartender.”

 

“I need the money. I’m currently staying at my friend Eri’s place, and I can’t stay there forever. Especially with her just gettin’ engaged and all. Plus, I have experience. I worked in a speakeasy in Boston before moving here.” Koga smiled.

 

“Ah, Eri. I never thought she would get a handcuff.” Kagome grinned at that.

 

“Me neither.” A gorgeous woman came in with a man on her heels.

 

“Ooh Koga, who’s the bird?” The woman asked.

 

“ This bird is Kagome. Kagome these are our performers Sango and Miroku. Sango is our beautiful singer and Miroku is our brilliant musician, capable of using multiple instruments. They live in the building.”

 

“It’s nice to meet you,” Kagome said, bowing slightly.

 

“What a doll! It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Miroku took her hand, gently placing a kiss on the back. Kagome grimaced and discreetly wiped her hand on her skirt. Sango slapped him upside the head.

 

“You rascal! She doesn’t need your harassment.” Miroku sighed.

 

“It was just a simple greeting. No need to be jealous.” Sango’s face burned red at his words.

 

“Oh beat it. We have to rehearse anyhow.” She sniffed, making sure to look as unaffected as possible, “It was nice meeting you,” She said, dragging Miroku off. Koga chuckled.

 

“Sorry about that. Miroku is a huge flirt, so if you work here, you’ll have to handle him, but he’s not a bad guy. Sango’s got a pretty tight leash on him anyhow.”

 

“No problem. I can handle myself just fine.”

 

“No doubt, since you worked in a speakeasy before. Do you mind going through a test?” Kagome shrugged.

 

“Sure.” She went behind the bar.

 

“Get me a sidecar and a tuxedo #2.” She nodded and went straight to work. She fulfilled his order with ease not missing a beat. It took her a moment to learn where everything was, but it was no trouble. Koga took a sip of each drink.

 

“These drinks are perfect. You’re hired.” Kagome cheered silently. Yes! Now I can save up money to get my own place. I love Eri, but living with her is getting old and I don’t like feeling like a third wheel when her man comes around. Can you work tonight? We’ve been short staffed for a while now, which has put a strain on our only bartender.” Kagome nodded. The quicker she went to work, the quicker she’ll get paid. Koga went over her salary and general rules. He also talked about the other employees that she had yet to meet. “I do have to warn you about our bartender Inuyasha. He can be a little hard to work with. He’s really not a bad person though. I promise.” Kagome raised an eyebrow at that. What the hell did he do to require a warning? He can’t be that bad. Just as she thought that, a tall man with long white hair came in holding a barrel full of beer.

 

“Hey boss. New shipment came in.” The young man said curtly. Kagome’s breath caught at the sight of his golden eyes. They were so beautiful. She let her eyes roam him. He had nice muscular arms and she could slightly see the outline of a six-pack through his thin tank top. She looked back up noticing his ears. Her eyes widened. He’s a half-bread? A very attractive one.

 

“What’cha looking at?” He snapped at her. Kagome blushed at having been caught staring and looked up into his eyes.

 

“Nothing.” She said boldly. She may have been staring, but she wasn’t going to let it bother her. He frowned at her.

 

“Kagome, this is Inuyasha the bartender I was talking to you about. You’ll be working together from now on.” Oh great, this is going to be fun, Kagome thought sarcastically.

 

“You hired her? Seriously? You better not hold me down. I’m not picking up your slack.” Her jaw dropped. How dare he?!?

 

“Excuse me?!? You think just because I’m a woman, I can’t take the heat?” Inuyasha rolled his eyes.

 

“I just don’t need a pretty dame batting her eyelashes constantly, wanting me to do all the for her.”

 

“Oh please, like I’d ever ask for your help you ass-hat!” She exclaimed angrily.

 

“Wow bearcat, you really have a mouth on ya.” Kagome huffed. She did not like this man at all.

 

“Now now you two. Cool it. Inuyasha, Kagome is a very skilled bartender and we need the help.” Inuyasha clenched his jaw and stormed out. Koga turned to her. “I hope he didn’t scare you away.” She laughed.

 

“Don’t worry. It’ll take a lot more to scare me off.” Koga smiled.

 

“It doesn’t bother you that we’re half-breeds?” She blinked.

 

“You’re all half-breeds?”

 

“Inuyasha’s father is a dog god, my mother is a wolf god, and Shippou, our busboy, is part fox god.”

 

“Wow, no it doesn’t bother me at all.” He sighed in relief.

 

“That’s good. Most folks don’t take kindly to our kind.” Kagome assured him that it wasn’t a problem. She left soon after to prepare for the night ahead of her.

 

Hours later, Kagome was dressed in her bartender uniform of a dress-shirt, suspenders, and regular pants. She went behind the bar immediately getting ready for the onslaught of customers that would soon appear. It wasn’t long before the first group of people came in all there to enjoy Sango and Miroku’s performance while drinking liquor. Kagome easily got into the flow of things, filling multiple orders at once.

 

Inuyasha was busy as well filling customers orders and making sure the bar was stocked. He kept watch of Kagome in the corner of his eye. He couldn’t believe that she was able to deal with so many demanding customers and handling the drunk ones with ease. He was impressed. Inuyasha huffed. He was never going to admit that to her though.

 

At the end of the night both bartenders were washing glasses behind the bar. Kagome did her best to ignore Inuyasha hoping to finish her work quickly and get out of there. She was dead tired and not in the mood to deal with him.

 

“Look--” Inuyasha began, but Kagome interrupted him.

 

“Don’t bother.” She put the glass she was drying down. Inuyasha growled slightly.

 

“Oi, I was going to give you a compliment.” He glared at her.

 

“Well, I don’t need one from you! I don’t need your approval.” Kagome snapped.

 

“Tsk, whatever.” Inuyasha tore the rag from his shoulder, tossing it on the bar and left. Kagome felt a little bad, but he was was a jerk.

 

*****************

 

Night after night they both worked diligently but never left the bar without a fight ensuing. This went on for months. Most of the time it wasn’t over anything important, but this time it was pretty bad. Kagome made a comment about how he wasn’t going to get a girlfriend if he kept acting like an ass. He got pissed off and stormed out before they had finished cleaning up. Sango came in on the tail end of that fight.

 

“Do you birdies ever stop fighting?” Sango asked while helping Kagome.

 

“It’s not my fault. He drives me up the wall! I don’t understand his problem.” Kagome muttered.

 

“Hmm well it might have something to do with his ex-girlfriend.” Sango pondered. The words peaked Kagome’s interest.

 

“Girlfriend?”

 

“Oh, this was a year ago. Inuyasha was dating this flapper named Kikyou. He fell real hard for her, but she left him for another man with lots of dough.” Kagome’s heart went out to him. Poor guy, he may be a jerk but he didn’t deserve that.

 

“What does that have to do with me?”

 

“Well, you’re like the spitting image of her. You being here is probably bring up memories for him.” Kagome went home that night with the conversation fresh in her mind. The next night when she was cleaning up with Inuyasha, Kagome decided to speak up.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“What?” Inuyasha looked at her weirdly.

 

“I said something harsh last night and I apologize. I know that I have a temper and not always easy to deal with.” She said firmly. Inuyasha sighed.

 

“Sango told you didn’t she? You know she has a real big mouth. Look, you may look like Kikyou and that may have thrown me off the first time we met, but you’re nothing like her. I realized that the moment you opened your mouth.” Kagome huffed and open her mouth to retort, then thought better of it.

 

“I think she messed up.” Inuyasha raised an eyebrow. “You may be rude and a little annoying at times, but you’re dependable and always help everyone else even though you try and hide it. You deserve better,” Kagome stated truthfully. She really meant it. Even though they fought a lot, she never failed to notice the little things he did for her and everyone else. Inuyasha looked away hoping to hide the blush that was brightening his cheeks. He reached his hand out placing it on the top of her head, ruffling her hair.

 

“Thanks,” He muttered and left the bar. Kagome watched him go in shock. She placed her hand in her hair trying to smooth it out. Her own blush was making it’s way to her cheeks.

 

*****************

 

Ever since that conversation the two have settled down more. They still fought at times, but mostly while they were cleaning up they just talked about their lives. Kagome learned and he and Shippou both lived in the building with the others and that Inuyasha was the one to find Shippo abandoned in the streets. She also learned that his mother died when he was young. Inuyasha learned that Kagome had a little brother and that her family ran a church back home. Tonight was one of their pleasant evenings.

 

“Why is your hair so long?” Kagome asked.

 

“Hm don’t know. Just never got around to cutting it.”

 

“Maybe you should think about cutting it. I bet the girls will be flocking to you if you do.” Inuyasha’s cheeks started to tint.

 

“Geez, if you think I look bad just say so.” Kagome laughed.

 

“No no no. You look fine with your hair long. I actually like it. You don’t look half bad. I was just saying that maybe you’d like to try something new.” Inuyasha just rolled his eyes at her words.

 

“Glad to see you two getting along.” They both looked up to see Koga.

 

“Hey,” Kagome said while Inuyasha just continues to wipe the bar.

 

“Say Kagome, are you free tomorrow?” Kagome blinked in surprise.

 

“Other than working tomorrow night, I’m free during the day.” Koga smiled.

 

“Perfect. This new cafe opened a couple blocks down. I was wondering if you’d like to join me for lunch.” What?!? Inuyasha thought. He can’t seriously be hitting on Kagome. She’s a foul mouth bearcat. Plus, she wouldn’t seriously go out with him.

 

“Uh, sure why not.” She shrugged. Inuyasha’s jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe she agreed. Inuyasha growled. He didn’t like the thought of her going out with Koga. He wouldn’t allow himself to ask why. Kagome didn’t hear him growl, but by the sly grin that Koga shot him, he heard loud and clear.

 

That night Inuyasha was silent. Kagome couldn’t fathom why. Was he mad at her or something? Kagome tensed up whenever he reached around or above her for something. The tension between them was thick. Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore.

 

“Alright, that’s it. What’s up with you?” She said putting her hand on his arm. He shrugged her off.

 

“Nothing.” He muttered.

 

“It’s not nothing! You won’t look me in the eyes and I have never known you to keep your trap shut.” She snapped. His eyes flashed with anger.

 

“Instead of worrying about me, why don’t you just go hang out with Koga?” He snapped back. Both their tempers were rising along with the tension.

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“You had lunch with him earlier!”

 

“So? It was him just checking to see if I was fitting in well. Plus, I had told him I was free. It would have been rude to say no.”

 

“You should have said no anyway instead of letting him flirt with you.” Kagome’s heart was hammering through her chest. What is he saying?

 

“Are you jealous?” Inuyasha whipped around facing her.

 

“There is no way in hell I would ever be jealous.” With those words he stomped off leaving her alone. Was he really jealous? Kagome blushed at the thought, her heart racing.

 

*****************

 

The next night things were back to normal other than the fact that there was a tension between them. The tension never left them. Months went by with Koga sometimes coming in to flirt with Kagome making Inuyasha’s blood boil. As the weather got colder, the tension grew hotter. Both of them were constantly sneaking peaks at each other. Sango and Miroku were amazed at how they weren’t together yet. It was obvious that those two liked each other.

 

It was the club’s anniversary and everyone was currently at the club getting ready for the huge party tonight. Sango and Kagome were getting dressed in Sango’s room, while the boys were in Koga’s room. All of them were excited for tonight.

 

“So Kagome, are you going to kiss Inuyasha tonight?”

 

“What?!?” Kagome screeched blushing. Sango laughed.

 

“Oh come on. There’s so much hot tension between you two that I’m even getting excited if you know what I mean,” She said suggestively. Kagome’s face turned even more red.

 

“I have no clue what you’re talking about.” Sango chuckled and went to do Kagome’s make-up.

 

“Well, I’m going to doll you up so I can see the look on his face when he sees you.” Kagome ignored her and let Sango do her work.

 

“Hey Inuyasha, where are you going?”

 

“None of your beeswax.” He growled over his shoulder.

 

“Just be back in time for the party!” Miroku shouted after him.

 

The party was in full swing when the girls came down. The place was packed with the regulars as a thanks for them being so faithful and sticking around. Koga also wanted the party to be for the employees, so he had the party catered.

 

Kagome scanned the room, hoping to find Inuyasha. However, she couldn’t find him. When she asked Miroku where he was, he just shrugged saying he left and hasn’t come back. She was a little disappointed but decided to have some fun.

 

Inuyasha entered the club already fidgety in his suit. He felt really weird. His head felt really light. He immediately started looking for Kagome, wanting to tell her something important. When he saw her, he started growling immediately. There she was laughing with Koga, his hand on her shoulder. Without thinking it through, Inuyasha marched over to them and grabbed Kagome’s hand dragging her away.

 

“Hey!” She shouted. It cause a few heads to turn in their direction but otherwise headed no mind. Inuyasha didn’t stop until they were outside.

 

“What the hell?!?” Kagome yelled when they came to a stop. She hadn’t yet realized that it was Inuyasha. When he turned to face her she gasped. He cut his hair. Kagome just stared at him. Inuyasha was spiffed up in a suit looking slightly uncomfortable, but handsome nonetheless. She sucked in a breath at the look in his eyes. “You cut your hair,” She said dumbly not being able to say anything else.

 

“Well, yeah. I did it for you,” Inuyasha admitted blushing slightly.

 

“What?”

 

“You said you’d like of I cut my hair so I did.” Her heart melted at his words.

 

“Why would you do that?” Inuyasha growled.

 

“Why else? It’s because I like you!” He spat, looking at the ground.

 

“I like you too.” His head shot up at her words.

 

“Really?” His were full of hope.

 

“Yeah.” They both smiled at each other.

 

“Will you two just kiss already?” Sango shouted from the doorway. Both of them jumped. Inuyasha glared at Sango while Kagome just laughed.


“Come here.” Kagome grabbed the collar of his suit jacket, pulling him into a kiss. It was sweet and tender. Sango hooted at the two and slipped inside giving them privacy. They never made it back to the party.