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Night Market by Kaguya's Chaos

Chapter One

The Night Market

Chapter One

 

 

It was only the beginning of March, but Kagome had already concluded that the year sucked. Muttering nonsensical curses under her breath, she attempted to heft the heavy box of kitchen things in her arms up the short flight of stairs leading to her new apartment. Feeling the sudden shift in her balance, she closed her eyes, already anticipating the pain that awaited her.

The disappearance of the heavy weight she had been trying to juggle had her eyes shooting open to see the box lifted mysteriously from her arms. She blinked when she saw the hands peeking underneath the box.

“Oh, thank you!” She exclaimed gratefully peering around the cardboard to catch sight of her rescuer. She blinked again when raven hair drawn back into a ponytail met her gaze first, followed by a friendly smile stretched over a feminine face. With a jolt, Kagome realized that the one to lift the heavy box had been a girl.

“Hey, no problem. I couldn’t just walk past someone struggling like you were. Which floor are you?”

“Oh, uh, room 306. So, third floor.”

The girl nodded briefly and proceeded into the building. Kagome hurried to grab a much lighter box and followed her in. She frowned when the girl bypassed the lift and went straight to the stairs. Deciding she’d just ask later, she followed after the girl up the flights of stairs, regretting her decision by the time they reached the top.

Feeling the burn in her legs and out of breath, Kagome was slightly embarrassed to realize the girl wasn’t even affected. They reached her apartment door, that Kagome had left ajar, and entered quickly, setting the stuff down on the nearest counter.

“Ah, thanks again.” Kagome wheezed out, still short of breath. The girl turned to her and gave another smile, holding her hand out.

“Like I said, no problem. I’m Sango Taijya, by the way. I live in 209.”

Kagome shook her head and smiled back. “Kagome Higurashi.”

Sango, still smiling, took a quick look around the apartment filled with cardboard boxes. “Still need help with the boxes downstairs?”

“Oh, God, yes please!” Kagome groaned and both laughed heading back out the apartment door. “Why don’t you use the lift?” She asked as they again passed by the double doors. Sango turned her head to glare at them and then smiled over her shoulder at the newest tenant.

“A couple months back, the damn thing got stuck between floors. I was trapped inside for over six hours.” She shuddered a bit in remembrance, her brown eyes darkening slightly. “I refuse to ride in it ever again.”

Kagome raised her brows and silently agreed, shooting the doors a dubious look. The time it took to move all of her boxes was cut in approximately a third of the time she had estimated, thanks in large part to the strength of her downstairs neighbor.

By the time the two girls had Kagome completely moved in, it was nearly four in the afternoon. Sango set down a box of what looked to be out-of-season clothing and turned to see the new tenant shifting through a box of movies and muttering to herself.

“So it’s nearly dinner time, why don’t I show you around the block and take you to the only place to get a decent meal?” Sango offered, leaning against the wall beside the front door. Kagome looked up at her then pulled out her phone to look at the time.

“That sounds great, actually. I haven’t eaten anything since this morning before I left my mom’s place.”

Sango raised her brows and smiled faintly. “Alright then. Let me pop down to my place and grab some stuff. Meet you at the front of the building?”

Kagome nodded and watched the girl walk out into the hall, pulling the door closed behind her. She then turned to frown at the jungle of cardboard built in the middle of her living room. Her light jacket was packed in one of those boxes, and the question was, which one?

A few minutes and some very colorful curses later, she was walking down the flights of stairs to the lobby of the small complex. Not seeing her new friend anywhere, she wandered over to the large corkboard on the wall, playing host to multiple fliers and ads. Expecting to find many job listings, and activity posters, she was surprised when there was only an advertisement for a local bar and a cafe, a bunch of differently dated fliers for the factory, which she was to start working in come morning, and a listing of rules and regulations.

Glancing over the ad for the bar, she raised a brow at the time table listed at the bottom. Monday through Friday: 1pm to 8pm. Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 8pm.

‘The hell kind of bar closes at eight?!’ She questioned mentally idly scanning over the rest of the ad. She switched her gaze to the café beside it, her eyes drawn to the timetable. Monday through Friday: 6am to 8pm. Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 8pm. ‘The café closes at eight too?’

Her eyes skimmed over to the factory flier, reading the same information she had when she had found the job online. It was a textile factory, the details on what she would actually be doing was vague, but the training was included, so she figured it would be ok. The factory opened at five in the morning and closed again at five at night. As far as she knew, there were two different shifts that overlapped. There was no night shift.

Looking to the last two papers hanging on the corkboard, she read over the rules posted. It started off the same as many apartment complexes did.

Be mindful of your neighbors, no loud music, keep the volume on your television down, don’t smoke in the building, if you have a pet: clean up after them, no barbequing in your apartment.

Some of them were obviously added later on by specific incidents: do not pull the fire alarm unless there IS a fire, no swimming pools in your apartment, you CANNOT paint the hallway a different color, don’t scale the walls to peek into anyone’s window, (that one had her pausing) no sliding down the stairs on sleds, no setting up trip wires on the landings, (pausing again in mounting concern) it is NOT acceptable to reconstruct a scene in the elevator depicting a zombie apocalypse.

The last one had her cracking a smile and wondering exactly what had prompted that rule. Her eyes left the long list of don’ts and she looked to the last paper tacked beside the list.

Rules to Follow when out:

The town closes down after eight and all doors are to be locked by nine thirty. If you are out past this time, you are required to seek shelter somewhere else. No exceptions. The doors will open again at five in the morning.

There was more on the list, but Kagome found this to be rather harsh. The town closes all its doors by nine thirty? No exceptions? Seek shelter elsewhere? If all of that didn’t smack of suspicious activity, then Kagome didn’t know what did.

“Sorry it took so long! Couldn’t find my wallet anywhere!”

The loud exclamation behind her had Kagome jumping and whirling to face Sango. Both girls stared at each other before Sango cracked a grin. “Didn’t mean to scare you. What were you looking at?”

Kagome turned back to the corkboard and hitched her thumb at the rules she had been reading. “What’s with the town closing down before ten?”

Sango shifted and shrugged one shoulder. “It’s a small town, isn’t it? Not much of a night scene, ya know?” Her tone was a little nervous, and Kagome filed it away for later. “Besides, it’s not like there’s anything much to do here besides eat, drink and sleep. They even closed the only theater we had down not too long ago.”

Kagome blinked, her eyebrows raising slightly. “What? You don’t even have a theater?!”

Sango laughed and grabbed her by the arm, pulling her toward the door. “Not anymore. Small town. The only place to really relax is the bar. And the only place to get good food is at the café.”

“To the café it is, then! By the way…zombie apocalypse in the elevator?” Kagome asked with a raised brow and grinned in anticipation when Sango laughed out loud.

“Let me tell you about our youngest tenant, sixteen-year-old Shippo Shiruba.”


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“And the freaking pervert had the nerve to scale up the bricks to peek into my bathroom window! Scaled. The. Bricks!”

Kagome was laughing so hard she couldn’t seem to finish off the soup sitting in front of her. Sango stuffed the last of her cheesecake into her mouth, slightly fuming as her new neighbor laughed at her misfortune.

“Ok, got it.” Kagome wheezed out, finally calming down. “Watch out for the pervert on the first floor; Miroku Soryu.”

At his name, Sango flushed in anger and Kagome let out another laugh. “Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up, now. In case it escaped your notice, you now live in the same building. Don’t be surprised if you come out of your shower to see a man with black hair trying to crawl into your apartment through your window!”

“Does he still do that?!” Kagome gasped, now feeling a little uneasy. Sango snorted into her coffee and spared the paling girl with a glance.

“Hasn’t tried it since I bashed him over the head and sent him down the two floors the easy way.” She grinned mischievously when the slightly younger girl let out a breath of relief. “But that doesn’t mean he has stopped trying to peek on the young women in the building.”

Kagome sighed and pushed her empty soup bowl from her. “Well, I guess that just means I’m going to have to carry my Taser around with me then.” Sango raised her brows in approval and nodded her head. A movement to their right caught her attention and she watched as the lone waitress in the café came to their table.

“Did you enjoy your soup, Miss Kagome?”

Kagome looked over to the bright-eyed younger girl and smiled softly. “I sure did, Rin. My compliments to the chef.” Rin blushed as she looked away shyly and picked up their empty plates.

“Would you like a refill, Miss Sango?”

Sango sat back in her chair and shook her head. “Nah, that’s alright. Thanks though, Rin.”

“Ok. Call for me at the register when you’re ready to go.” Rin said with another shy smile, even as a grumpy voice shrilled from the kitchens.

“Rin! You, lazy girl! Where are you?!”

For some reason, Rin seemed to brighten further and flounced to the back, her cheerful voice ringing through the empty café. “Coming, Master Jaken!”

“If that old man had yelled at me like that, I would have clobbered him.” Sango mused as the both of them watched the girl practically skip to the kitchens. She turned her sight to the last of her coffee and downed it in one hit. “Surprising that he’s such a good cook, huh?”

Kagome agreed and reached for her wallet. “How much do I owe? The prices weren’t on the menu.” Sango waved her off as they stood up.

“Don’t worry about it. Think of it as a welcome to town from me.” She said and then gestured to the black boards hanging on the wall behind the cases showing different kinds of deserts. “Besides this place charges flat rates depending on when you eat.”

Kagome looked to the prices and raised her brows. “Wow. Things really are done differently in small towns, huh?”

“Well, we gotta have some kind of perks, right?”

Rin rang them up and they left the small café. A chime sounded in the distance and Sango let out a small sigh. “Looks like the factory’s letting out for the night. Thank God we missed the evening rush.”

Kagome looked behind them to where the sound had originated from and then back to her neighbor. “Evening rush?”

“Yeah. Ninety-five percent of the town works in the factory. You start tomorrow, right? You’ll get the lowdown from someone there.”

“Where do you work, Sango?” Kagome asked in curiosity, idly inspecting the quaint structure of the buildings along the street. Sango put her hands in her coat pocket and let out a breath, watching as it misted in the cooler air.

“I recently got a job at the bar.” She shot a look to Kagome and smiled. “Up until two months ago, I also worked at the factory.”

Kagome hummed in thought, also putting her hands in her pockets. “Why’d you leave? Better pay?” Kagome asked, trying to get an insight before she went in blind. Sango shook her head, her expression smiling but her eyes were hard.

“Something like that. I became friends with the bar owner, and he offered me the job.” She paused as if debating before turning to the girl beside her with a serious expression on her face. “The factory is a fine place to work with decent pay.” She leaned down slightly to look directly into Kagome’s eyes, making sure she was listening to what she was saying. “As long as you follow the rules, you’ll be just fine, Kagome.”

Kagome stared after Sango as she straightened and continued walking; the hair on her arms and neck still standing at attention.

 

___________________ 

 

“And this will be your work station.” The elderly supervisor, Myouga, gestured to a table and chair situated in a long line of tables and chairs. “The two girls on either side of you, Yuka and Mei, are on the later shift, so they should be in around nine this morning. They were told yesterday that you would be starting today, so there shouldn’t be any issues. If you have any questions, you know where my office is.”

Kagome smiled politely at the beaming male and watched as he walked away. She turned back to her chair to notice an older man setting a large crate filled with things on her table. He looked up with a kind smile.

“First day?” At her nod he gestured to the crate. “These are the things you’ll be assembling. The paper taped to the tabletop is general directions. As soon as you finish this, you take the crate over to Jess,” Here he pointed to a man across the large warehouse floor, “and he’ll take it over from there. I’ll bring another crate once I’m done with my part. The cycle continues, you follow me?” He finished not unkindly and waited for her affirmative.

“And don’t worry too much. We’re all here to help ya out. Ya just gotta speak up.”

Kagome let out a sigh as she sat in her chair and pulled the crate over, staring at the contents in curiosity. Looking around the work floor, feeling a little lost, she shook off her sleep-addled haze and set about doing her newly appointed job.

It wasn’t long after she finished her first crate before a commotion came from the doors and a whole bevvy of people came in. The second shift, she guessed, feeling slightly nervous with all the people streaming in.

“Oh, gosh! You’re the new girl, right?” Kagome turned to watch as a brunette with wide green eyes came bouncing in her direction, followed by another brunette with slanted brown eyes. “I tried to get my shift changed so you wouldn’t have to start alone. It’s just the pits when you’re stuck in this creepy place by yourself on the first day.”

Kagome put on a polite but friendly smile and shook hands with the first girl. “It wasn’t so bad. Spent the first two hours doing paper work and talking with Mr. Myouga. I’m Kagome.”

The girl with green eyes grinned while shaking her hand and stepped back as the brown-eyed girl came forward. “Mei Tanemura. This is Yuka Shirei. We’re your neighbors starting today.”

Yuka grinned at the end of Mei’s introduction and leaned forward slightly. “And are we ever glad that someone will finally be sitting with us! It was starting to feel downright lonely.”

A snort from the side of the three caught their attention and they turned to face a young man. “As if you two even noticed the gap between you. Really I feel sorry for you, Miss Kagome. Having to sit between two of the largest chatterboxes in the factory.” Kagome raised both brows and offered her hand for another handshake when he leaned over the table. “Akitoki Hojo. I’m one of the guys operating the machinery in the back.”

Kagome smiled back and extricated her hand when it looked like he wasn’t going to let go.

“Nice to meet you…” She trailed off, wondering if it would be rude to get back to work while they were all still crowed around her work table.

“Yeah, yeah. Nice to meet you, Hojo. Now get lost. We have work to do.” Yuka announced with her nose in the air and her hands planted on her hips. Mei mimicked her posture and waved her hand in a shooing motion. “Yes, be gone, machine operator guy.”

Kagome allowed another smile when he rolled his eyes and walked away. She turned back to the two girls and was startled at how close they were to her table. Yuka was leaning over and studying the contents of her crate with something like disappointment. “Ugh. I was hoping we would never have to assemble these things again. They take forever!”

“Oh, thank god it’s not just me!” Kagome breathed out and slumped in her chair. “I thought it was just me that thought these were taking a long time to put together.”

Mei laughed as she slung her jacket over the back of her chair and sat down. “Nah, not just you.” She paused as the older man from earlier set a crate on her table. “Thanks, Rob.” He nodded and walked away.

Yuka let out a groan as she received her own crate and sat down to get to work. “Ugh, the sooner we get these things done, the sooner we can go to lunch.” She let out and Kagome smiled, turning back to her own work.

Mei leaned over. “We got permission to take a break on your lunch to show you around and answer questions and stuff, so let us know when you’re ready.” With that, the three of them got to work.

 

_____________________ 

 

It was at the end of her shift, and she was saying her goodbye’s to her two chatterbox neighbors when a loud commotion caught her attention coming from the upper floor of the warehouse. All noise quieted as everyone turned to look up at the two who were quarreling. The second shift manager, James, was arguing with Rob. About what, she couldn’t figure out, but Myouga was standing between the two, clearly trying to mediate.

“…and that’s why I’m sayin’ it ain’t my fault!” Rob’s voice suddenly thundered out, followed by an indecipherable rebuttal from James. Myouga’s calm tones, strangely, reached her as clear as crystal.

“No one is saying it is, Robert. However, the problem is still there.” He paused, or rather, was drowned out by James’ over excited exclamation. “Yes, yes, James. I am aware. Robert. Would you mind putting in some overtime for today?”

He must have answered in the affirmative because Myouga grinned and pat both men on their backs. “Good. See, James. It’ll all be fixed.” He turned his attention to the rest of the warehouse acting as the gallery. “Everyone back to work.”

Yuka let out a small whistle and settled back in her chair. “Woo. Overtime. They hardly allow any overtime, that lucky bastard.”

Mei snorted and pushed her long hair away from her face. “I for one would hate to have overtime. I would not like to stay the night in this place.”

Kagome turned to Mei with a questioning look. “’Stay in this place…?’ What do you mean?”

Yuka leaned forward, drawing her attention. “Because they shut the town down, right? For some reason, all the doors are locked by nine-thirty. If you aren’t inside before then, you have to sleep on the street.”

“You’ve slept on the street?” Kagome asked, feeling skeptical. Yuka shook her head and sat back.

“Heck no! I make sure my ass is home well before this curfew. But they really do lock all the doors before ten. They even say if you have to work late that you have to stay the night here. Got pull out cots and blankets for it and everything.”

Mei shuddered and gripped the crinkly cellophane she had been using to wrap a few things in her crate. “Ugh, let’s stop talking about it, Yuka. Get to work. I do not want to miss my quota and have to stay here with Rob.”

Kagome smiled tightly as she said her goodbyes again and Yuka waved her off, getting back to work. As she left through the doors, clocking out with the other first-shifters, Kagome couldn’t help thinking that she wouldn’t want to stay in the factory if she had to work overtime.

While not exactly a one-street town, she could admit the place was small. There was the main road that ran straight through and a bunch of side-streets that branched out from there, like cracks in a broken glass, or maybe a spider web. The only real intersection branching from the main road lead to the factory, which was what Kagome was now walking down.

“Yo, workin’ girl! Can I have your number?” Kagome turned with a grin to face Sango, who was walking her way and laughing.

“Aren’t you supposed to be working yourself?” Kagome teased as they met up and then continued towards the side-street that led to the only apartment building in town.

“Yeah, on lunch. You should come back to the bar with me.”

Kagome lifted a brow. “At three in the afternoon?”

Sango scoffed. “Yeah, and in this town, that’s like…midnight. C’mon. You can relax after your first day and tell me all about it.”

Kagome opened her mouth to refuse, then thought better of it. She did have a few questions for her downstairs neighbor. “You worked at the factory, yeah?”

Sango turned her head toward the younger woman and nodded hesitantly. “Yeah, why?”

“You ever have overtime?”

Kagome was startled when Sango stiffened abruptly and almost fell, tripping over seemingly nothing. “Uh, yeah. Hated sleeping in that dingy room on those uncomfortable cots.” She wasn’t sure, but Kagome could swear that Sango’s laugh after that statement had sounded nervous. “Trust me, it’s not an experience you ever want to have.”

Kagome opened her mouth to question her some more, but the pained grimace on Sango’s face made her rethink it. Seeing Kagome’s suspicious expression, Sango let out another forced laugh and looped her arm through hers. “C’mon. I think we both need a drink.”

Dropping it for another time Kagome laughed. “But Sango, are you supposed to be drinking on the job?”

Sango rolled her eyes. “Inuyasha doesn’t care.”

“Inuyasha?”

“Yeah, my boss.” Sango chirped and then grinned. “You’ll like him. He’s a little brash, but nice enough.”


_______________________

 

 

Kagome let out a sigh as she finally stumbled in through her front door. The bar Sango had dragged her too hadn’t been what she was expecting. It was a typical setup: long bar with stools, a couple of tables and chairs scattered about, two pool tables and what looked to be a dart board over in the corner. What had surprised her, had been the quality of the furnishings. It looked to be all brand new.

The owner of the bar, Inuyasha Taisho, had been exactly as Sango had described him to be; gruff but nice enough. After they had been introduced, Kagome had been nervous about the fact that Inuyasha had stared at her face like he had seen a ghost. When she had questioned him about it, he had shouted “Ain’t none of your business!” and stomped to the back.

Both Sango and herself had stared after him in bewilderment. Then, Sango had turned to her and shrugged.

“Suppose he’s having an off day, too. So, what’ll ya have?”

The rest was a blur of laughter and alcohol. At some point, Inuyasha had come back out and demanded that the two of them leave. Rubbing a hand over her face and through her tousled hair, Kagome glanced at the time and shook her head. This was the first time she was ever home at seven in the evening and well on her way to being drunk.

Small towns really were strange places.


__________________________

 

 

Kagome groaned lowly to herself, not sure why she was hungover. It wasn’t like she had drank all that much, but holy hell was her head pounding. A crate was set in front of her and Kagome looked up with a smile; which promptly fell off her face as she caught sight of Rob.

Letting out a gasp in shock, Kagome shot out of her seat and stared at the stump that had once been Rob’s right arm. “Oh my gosh! What happened to your arm, Rob?!”

Her eyes flew up to meet with the older man’s gaze and she almost flinched at the crazy-eyed confusion he was shooting back to her.

“What are you talkin’ about?”

She gestured to his right side. “Your arm! That couldn’t have been a prosthetic yesterday…”

Rob let out a huff, still eyeing her as if she had lost her marbles. “Ain’t never had a right arm! No prosthetic either!” He turned away stiffly and began a march back to his own station. “Crazy female! Mocking disabled people!”

Kagome stared after him, her mouth hanging open slightly and her mind in a state of confusion. She sat down slowly and carefully went over her memories of yesterday. Yes, she knew for sure he had had a right arm yesterday…but the way it looked now…it didn’t look as if he had just decided to chop it off last night…

Her head throbbed in protest as she tried to think through her hangover. The sound of a chair screeching over concrete had her wincing and shooting a death-glare to her left. Mei winced in apology and set her bag by her feet.

“Jeez, what’d you do to piss Rob off? Hadn’t seen him storm out like that in a while.”

Kagome sighed and dropped her head onto the cold metal of the table in front of her. “Ugh, asked him what happened to his arm.”

Mei frowned and her eyes appeared to blank for a moment before the look vanished and she winced. “Yeah, I guess he lost it a long time ago. Hunting accident or something.”

Kagome sat up slowly, keeping her eyes on Mei. “Uh…I swear he had an arm yesterday.” She said it slowly, starting to doubt her own memories.

Mei laughed and set a hand on her shoulder. “Oh, lord, girl! How much did you have to drink yesterday?!”

Kagome frowned to herself and turned to the crate before her, absently pulling out the things she would have to assemble. Mei continued to jabber beside her about random things, only pausing for Kagome to insert a mumble of her own.

Maybe she had too much to drink after all?

 

_________________

 

It was the end of the day, and Kagome had to admit defeat. Throughout the course of her job, she had subtly asked many of her coworkers about Rob and his arm, receiving much of the same answers. No, he had never had his arm here, and he had seemed to have lost it a long time ago due to some sort of accident or other.

Yuka laughed at the sight of her slumped shoulders and swung her purse up and over her shoulder. “You look like hell, Kagome. Wanna go to the café for dinner? It’s on me.”

Kagome smiled weakly, and picked up her own purse. “Yeah, sounds good.”

Yuka nodded and turned her gaze to the miserable sight of Mei slumped over her table. “Told ya not to take that extra-long lunch.”

Mei lifted her hand, proudly showing Yuka she thought she was number one before letting it flop back down by her head. “Lucky me…guess I’ll be spending the night here.”

Kagome hesitated, suddenly getting a bad feeling about leaving her new friend here. “I could stay and help…” She offered, eyeing the way Yuka was shaking her head.

Mei sat up straight and offered a wane smile. “Thanks, but that’s against the rules. Everyone must pull their own weight. I’ll be fine! Just eat a piece of cheesecake and remember me!”

Kagome laughed and followed behind Yuka, the both of them punching out before making their way to the small diner down the street.


_______________

 

 

For the third morning in a row, Kagome greeted the day with a headache. She hadn’t been traveling the day before and she sure as hell hadn’t been drinking… She grumbled to herself as she sat down in her chair and gave a short glance to one-armed Rob. They made eye-contact for a split-second before he scowled and stomped away.

‘He definitely holds grudges.’ She thought to herself as she looked in the mystery crate of the day. Her eyes left her work when the chair to her left scraped away from the table and she didn’t immediately hear Mei complaining about her night in the factory.

Her eyebrows came down in concern at the sight of Mei sitting in her chair, back straight, and eyes focused in front of her. Kagome leaned over to get a better look at her face.

“Mei…? You ok?”

Mei slowly turned to face her and Kagome sat back at the eerily blank look on the girl’s face.

“Of course, Kagome.” Her voice was wooden and hollow, as if she wasn’t really saying it, and Kagome felt her arms burst with goosebumps. Silently, she observed the previously vivacious girl; her thoughts spinning in circles.

The chair to her right scraping the floor had her letting out a relieved breath and spinning to face Yuka.

Yuka, seeing her rapid movement, blinked in surprise then let out a laugh. “Were you that uncomfortable sitting next to robotic Mei?”

Kagome blinked. “What?”

“I mean, I know it’s creepy that the girl never says anything, but I told you before not to let it bother you, remember?”

Kagome continued to stare at Yuka, not sure what she was saying.

“That’s why I am so glad you are here! It’s a real drag not being able to talk to anyone while you work. Especially when it’s monotonous stuff like assembly.”

“Wha-what are you saying, Yuka?! You and Mei are friends! And Mei…Mei isn’t like this!” Kagome stood from her chair, pointing down at the blank-faced Mei. Her heart was hammering as she took in the skeptical look on Yuka’s face.

“Uh, no…Kagome. I’m pretty sure I would remember if Mei was anything other than…that.” Yuka motioned to the silent girl and let out a nervous laugh. “Did you go home and drink after dinner last night? First the thing with Rob and now Mei?”

Kagome swallowed the lump in her throat and stared down at Yuka in confused horror. What exactly was happening here? Staring blankly down at the floor, Kagome tried to connect the pieces together. A hand landing on her shoulder had her jumping a foot in the air and letting out a shriek. She spun in place to meet the concerned eyes of Myouga.

“Are you alright, Miss Kagome?”

Before she could answer for herself, Yuka jumped in.

“I don’t think she is, Mr. Myouga. She’s saying some really weird stuff. I think she’s just really tired.”

Kagome turned her gaze from her supervisor to her coworker, her mind still trying to process what was going on. Seeing the state of confusion she was in, Myouga frowned and nodded to himself.

“Why don’t you take the day off, Miss Kagome.” He gently turned her towards the door, patting her arm in a semi-comforting way. “Just go home and get some rest, you don’t look very well.”

Kagome licked her lips and picked up her purse, allowing herself to be directed to the front of the factory. “Yeah…I think I should…go home…” She mumbled out, ignoring the stares they were getting from those that hadn’t heard the commotion.

It wasn’t until she got to her apartment that her mind started clearing up. Sitting on her bed, she narrowed her eyes as she thought over everything that had happened in the last few days. The strange rules they were forced to follow. The way two of her coworkers were changed in some way after they had spent a night in the factory. And finally, the way no one seemed to remember them being different before they had to stay the night.

She stood from her bed and made her way over to her window, glaring at the large building in the distance. There was something strange going on, and she’d bet money the factory was in the middle of it. Closing her curtains, she turned back to fall on top of her bed and stared up at the ceiling. Remembering the creepy puppet-like look on her friends face she made a vow to herself. A vow to find out exactly what was going on.

And to do that, she’d need to put in a little overtime.

xXx

 

Yeah, just a little mini-series I dreamt up and it won’t leave me alone. It’ll probably be only four or five chapters. Thank you for reading!

 

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