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The Dog & the Wolf

"Why do ya gotta always drag us out to these fancy places?" Inuyasha groused, pulling at his tie.

Kimiko smacked his hands away with her fan, quickly loosening it before fixing the knot. "Perhaps I am hoping the decorum of the other patrons will rub off on you."

The hanyou glared but left the tie alone, now tugging at his rolled sleeves.

"Considering Mother always picks up the tab for your ferocious appetite, little brother, I would not complain."

"Keh. Coming from the guy who likes to taste everything on the menu."

Sesshoumaru brushed his silver hair over his shoulder. "It is for research purposes. I still have not found a competent pastry chef for the Hokkaido location." They stepped through the glass doors, the hostess immediately picking up a set of menus and leading them to the back of the restaurant.

The restaurant was dimly lit, candles flickering from every table, creating dancing shadows and an air of intimate ambiance with each group of diners. Kimiko was instantly entranced, but Inuyasha huffed as they sat down, grabbing the drink menu.

"They better make a decent mojito," he said, leaning back in his chair.

Kimiko kicked his shin under the table. "Sit up straight, pup. Remember your manners."

"Ah, come on. No one's even watching."

Her golden eyes narrowed. "That is irrelevant. Manners are a necessity no matter who the audience is."

Inuyasha pursed his lips but sat up properly. "Yes, Mimi."

Kimiko's eyes softened, hidden carefully behind her fan. He'd only been a boy when his parents had died, suddenly leaving Kimiko and a teenaged Sesshoumaru with a new mouth to feed. There had been no animosity between her and her former mate, but she hadn't realized it went as far as Touga naming her as the next of kin should anything happen before Inuyasha could fend for himself.

The title of 'Mimi' had come after a particularly nasty breakdown, Inuyasha demanding to know why his parents weren't coming back, his face buried in her lap as elegant claws combed through his hair.

He'd refused to be touched until that moment.

Sesshoumaru had begun sparing with him after that, the boy responding to his half-brother's jibes with a mixture of curses and cocky smiles, leading them to believe he'd finally allowed himself to start healing.

Inuyasha could brush off the attention all he wanted; the fact remained that he was the one to call them up when their monthly get-together was even a day late.

They placed their orders with the server, the youngest being very specific about his drink, before settling into mundane conversation, Kimiko regaling them with the most recent celebrity gossip. Being the most sought-after makeup and hair designer had its advantages.

"If I had a dollar for every time a client swore they had found their soulmate, I would not be required to work anymore," she said.

"Soulmates don't exist, Mimi."

"I find myself agreeing with Inuyasha on this one, Mother. People, humans in particular, do not take the time to get to know their partners long enough to make an informed decision. They are quick to make rash decisions. Especially those in your line of work."

Kimiko let out a dramatic sigh. "I suppose you are right. Sometimes I wish for the feudal era again. They were uncivilized but were much more likely to fight someone to the death for the honour of their partner."

It wasn't until they'd finished their meal, and Inuyasha was waiting for his third mojito, that someone aside from their server approached their table. The wolf's hair was pulled back into an elegant ponytail, cerulean eyes gleaming as he set Inuyasha's drink down.

"Just thought I'd bring this over myself since you like them so much," he said, flashing Kimiko a tight grin. The demoness raised an eyebrow, though it was more at Inuyasha's flushed face than anything else.

"I am sorry, but you are mistaken," she mused, pushing the glass across the table. "He is the one who has been enjoying your alcoholic mixtures."

Inuyasha glared at her, then looked up at the bartender helplessly. "It ain't nothing—"

The youkai let out a low whistle. "Damn. If I'd known they were for you, I'd have come over here sooner." Kimiko chuckled knowingly as Inuyasha turned crimson.

"They're alright," he mumbled, already reaching for it.

The bartender's grin turned genuine as he crossed his arms, emphasizing the muscles under his uniform and immediately drawing Inuyasha's eye. "Well, if you want another one, you know where to find me." He motioned to the bar across the room, giving the flustered hanyou a wink before returning to his post.

Sesshoumaru idly tapped his watch, though only for his mother to see, and she gave her second son a considering look before holding three fingers to the first. Inuyasha kept stealing glances at the bartender, his face only getting redder each time the wolf caught him doing so, going as far as to start posing between orders.

Inuyasha gave Kimiko a helpless look. "Mimi, can we—"

"Go, pup. It is doubtful you will find such a blatant invitation again."

He flushed but nodded, remembering to push in his chair before brushing his cheek against hers.

"I expect details if it goes well," she called over her shoulder. "And a name!"


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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