Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

One on One by Tsuki no Tennyo

One on One

Author's Note: [originally posted 01.01.17] Singing outdated Europop songs + "Annoying neighbor & thin walls AU" + browsing the Instagram account neighborsfromhell = this. Ha, I wasn't even expecting this to be the first story I post for the new year, but let's start things off good before I discover what fresh hell awaits me this year.

Songs featured, in order of appearance:

Boom Boom Boom Boom - Vengaboys
Barbie Girl - Aqua
Butterfly - SMiLE.dk
Superstar - Rollergirl
Mr. Wonderful - SMiLE.dk
I'm In Heaven (When You Kiss Me) - ATC

.

She was at it again, Sesshoumaru realized as he set his coffee mug down on the kitchen counter, contemplating whether he should bang the wall again or actually confront her this time. It had been three months since he had moved into this new apartment, and he was now fairly certain the last tenant left after being fed up with the neighbor's penchant for singing at all hours outdated Europop songs.

He sighed, knowing it was too late to get out of his one-year lease, but that still didn't stop him from daydreaming about the sweet possibility.

"Just come along baby / Take my hand," he heard her sang through the thin wall, "I'll be your lover tonight."

He blinked, knowing she was fluent in English and was quite certain about what she was singing. He took another sip of his coffee, trying to salvage the one good thing Saturday morning had to offer. He stopped mid-sip again when he heard his little songbird neighbor reached the risqué chorus, deciding today would be the day he would confront her.

He set the coffee back down, unpleased that it was now lukewarm and no longer as enjoyable as it was ten minutes ago. He exited his apartment and walked to the door on the left, banging immediately and loudly in order for his knocks to be heard over the deafening music and singing on the other side of the portal.

He heard the volume quickly being lowered and the sounds of movement inside, which was then followed with a loud thump and an annoyed mutter of "shit" before the door finally swung opened, revealing the singer, dressed in a navy blue plaid pajamas bottom and a lighter solid blue tank top while her hair was messily placed in a bun. It was almost noon, and she looked like she had just rolled out of bed.

"Yes?" She asked, smiling with hips still swaying to whatever residual music playing in her head. "Can I help you?"

"It is 2017," Sesshoumaru said, trying to keep the growl from showing up in his voice.

Perplexed, she blinked and nodded. "Happy New Year to you, too, although I should probably tell you, it's also March right now—the eleventh, to be precise."

"Your music and singing are too loud."

She stared, seeming to still not comprehend what he was trying to say, and then she brightened up, apparently finally receiving some sort of divine revelation. "Oh!" She gasped, pointing at him, "So you're the new neighbor that left me that note on the door a couple months ago! I'm Kagome, hi!"

She immediately grabbed at his hand, shaking enthusiastically, and not registering the annoyance he felt for her or the reason for his visit.

"So you just decided to ignore my note?" Sesshoumaru asked, yanking his hand away from her.

She shrugged. "The landlord said you're usually not home and the other neighbors don't mind." She grinned, at him, "Admit it, my singing isn't that bad."

Lying was not a part of Sesshoumaru's nature, and while annoying as she and her habits were, he had to admit that her voice did sound pleasant. He begrudgingly agreed with her aloud, causing her to brighten even more than she already was. Her optimism would be a thorn in his side, Sesshoumaru knew, regretting—not for the first time—signing the lease.

"But Europop?" He questioned her preferred genre.

"It's fun," she answered. "Don't be such a party pooper…" she quickly thought back to the note he left her with his signature at the bottom, "Sesshoumaru. I'm going to make you love my singing and choice of music."

"I highly doubt you will succeed," Sesshoumaru quipped, crossing his arms over his chest, unpleased at the direction this conversation was heading.

"I'm very persistent, Sesshoumaru," Kagome said, mood still not dampened by his more serious personality, "You're stuck as my neighbor until your lease expires, right?"

He stiffened, and she laughed at this.

"We might as well get along during this time together," she said as she closed the door, and effectively ending the conversation. Behind the door, he heard her resuming her earlier singing.

"One on one just me and you."

It took a few more seconds before Sesshoumaru finally found his voice.

"What the hell just happened?"

.

Five Fridays later, Sesshoumaru found himself back in an even worse situation, thanks in part to his half-brother, Inuyasha, and his friend, Miroku showing up at Sesshoumaru's apartment, unannounced. Sesshoumaru barely had the chance to shut the door before Miroku shoved his way inside and instantly dashed across the living room, into the dining room, and then proceeded to press his ear and entire body up against the wall.

"Why is the lech molesting my wall?" Sesshoumaru asked his half-brother as Inuyasha strolled in with his arms behind his head.

"I accidentally told him about your hot neighbor who has those karaoke parties every Friday night with her equally hot girlfriends."

Sesshoumaru's left eye twitched, causing Inuyasha to grin widely. He tried to keep his voice even as he spoke lowly to his brother, "And why on earth would you do that?"

"Oh, so you don't deny that she's hot?" Miroku shouted from across the room, humming along to the music pumping loud on the other side. He grinned when he heard squeals and giggles.

"We should go introduce ourselves, Inuyasha," Miroku quipped, finally pulling away from the violated wall. Sesshoumaru wondered vaguely how much bleach could cleanse it, before deciding the whole building needed to be burned down. "Come introduce us, Sesshoumaru!"

"No."

"But it would be weird if two guys just show up randomly at a single girl's house!" he protested with a mock wounded look.

"That is none of my concern."

"Looks like you're out of luck, Miroku," Inuyasha said, already sticking his head into Sesshoumaru's fridge and helping himself to a bottle of beer. He popped the cap off, taking a quick swig before he heard the sounds of several women heading out onto the balcony. Before he knew it, Miroku quickly grabbed the sleeve of his shirt.

"To the balcony!" yelled the more ardent of the two.

Sesshoumaru rubbed his temple, seeing his quiet Friday night in was shot to hell. He considered just leaving the other two men here alone as he headed out for a quiet dinner instead, but then he caught part of the conversation held out on his balcony. He glanced up, seeing the two younger men leaning across the railing, chatting with the women.

"Is Sesshoumaru there? Invite him over, too!" he heard Kagome suggesting.

"That prick?" Inuyasha asked incredulously, "Now why would you want that stick in the mud at your party?"

"No one should be alone on Friday night," Kagome answered back, which Sesshoumaru felt oddly offended that she seemed to pity him. There was nothing to pity after all, he thought sourly.

"Invite him over," Kagome continued, "And Miroku, I'll make sure Sango will go on a date with you. Inuyasha, that goes for Kikyou, too."

"What!" he heard her friends' quick protest, but before anything else could be said, Miroku had rushed back into the room with Inuyasha in tow. They both grabbed him by the arms, dragging him out of his own apartment, and before he knew it, he found himself sitting in Kagome's living room with the loud music he detested pumping loudly into his ears.

"You need to have some fun."

He was snapped out of his loathing when Kagome sat down next to him, handing him a bottle of beer. He declined, and she shrugged, setting it down on the coffee table. She ran her hand over the ripped holes in her jeans, fiddling and making it tear even more.

"Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky!"

Her eyes wandered over to Miroku, already half-drunk, singing off-key and butchering half of the English words in his song, as he switched back and forth between the male and female parts. Inuyasha was keeled over, howling with laughter, but he still managed to hold up his phone to record the questionable performance. Kagome ventured the internet would have a new form of entertainment tonight.

"Well," she murmured more to herself, but Sesshoumaru glanced down at the young woman seated next to him, suddenly seeming troubled and the least carefree and cheerful since he had met her, "that is going to be very difficult to sell to Sango. Is he always like that?"

Sesshoumaru turned his gaze over just as Miroku belched out the last word. "Well, his perversion seems to have mellowed out with the alcohol, oddly."

"Huh," Kagome answered, "you would think it would have the opposite effect."

He didn't have a chance to answer back when one of her friends—Kikyou, if he recalled correctly—told her it was her turn to sing. She immediately stood up and reached for the offered microphone and after a moment of browsing through the song list, she made her choice.

"This one is dedicated to my poor frazzled neighbor," she announced to the half-drunken cheers in the room. Sesshoumaru suppressed the urge to grab her throw pillow and smothered himself with it. He was a bit curious, though, at what song she thought was an appropriate dedication to him.

The music started and she hummed softly to the first couple of verses.

"I've been searching for a man /All across Japan / Just to find, to find my samurai," she winked at him, and Sesshoumaru turned away, reaching for the beer she had offered him earlier. He drank slowly, but he could feel her eyes sweeping over him.

He held the bottle firmly as he turned his gaze over to her, locking eyes as she continued singing. His sight drifted lower, fixed on her glossed red lips as the music continued playing, but he couldn't even comprehend the words she was singing anymore, being just a bit mesmerized by the way her mouth parted as she sang each word. He blinked, watching as she danced and moved to the music, her white t-shit was rising up to reveal her midriff.

Oh, so you don't deny that she's hot?, Miroku's earlier words suddenly rang loud and clear in his head, drowning out the song for a moment. Growling to himself, he made a mental note to throttle the other man the next time he was sober and would be more acutely aware of the pain inflicted on him.

"Ay, ay, ay, I'm your little butterfly."

He looked up again, watching as Kagome turned around, running her hand through her thick hair. She gave him another look, a coy smile, as she looked back at the screen, though he suspected she had already memorized every single song in the playlist by heart.

He wasn't sure how long he was lost in the sudden daze, hearing only her light voice wrapped around his senses, but the loud whooping from Miroku and the cheers from her friends stirred him out of his reverie. He watched as she took an exaggerated bow before throwing the microphone over to Sango and walking over, sitting down next to him again.

"Was it good?"

"It was…decent," he said slowly, not willing to admit that he lost himself for a moment in her spell.

"Huh," she said, grabbing the bottle he was still gripping tightly. She took a sip. "Last time I buy beer on sale then."

It was then that he realized she was referring to his drink and not her performance.

"But they don't seem to mind," she said with a shrug, gesturing to Inuyasha and Miroku. "Free booze and pretty girls. Must be paradise for them." She laughed when Sango slapped Miroku across the cheek when he insisted on standing next to her to help her choose a song. "What do you like then, Sesshoumaru?"

He blinked, not expecting her question. He didn't even get a chance to respond when Kagome turned her attention back over to Sango and watching the other woman began singing her song. He kept his eyes on Kagome all night, even when she had left his side to talk with her other guests.

.

Sesshoumaru knew he had no way of prevailing against someone who was as stubborn as a mule, having tried every single plan there was to deal with the situation. Talking was completely out of the window, he had learned way back. Complaining to the dirty old landlord also didn't help, who brushed aside that Sesshoumaru should be appreciative of having such a "sweet" neighbor next doors. He was about to consider noise-canceling headphones when he realized one morning that it had been days since he had last heard Kagome's singing.

It was quiet, he realized, hearing only faintly a conversation in the hallways from the other tenants and not something pounding through his wall. It was peaceful. It was…stifling, he realized with slight dismay that unconsciously she had conditioned him to enjoy hearing her voice and the music he had claimed to hate.

No! He refused to believe that. He was just concerned that she was behaving oddly. Quiet did not suit her, he told himself firmly.

Sesshoumaru made his way out into the hall and knocked on her door.

After a minute, the door opened, revealing a sickly looking Kagome, coughing and looking quite pitiful as she leaned against the threshold for support.

"Are you sick?"

She nodded gloomily, pointing at her throat. She tried to speak, but no sound came out.

"You've lost your voice?"

She nodded again and then she turned around, grabbing a small white board off of her couch. She scribbled down a message before turning it to face him. Sesshoumaru's eyes swept over the message, and he restrained from smirking.

"I would never laugh at you," he said, not even trying to do a mediocre job of hiding his amusement, "I am not a petty man, Kagome, I would never wish this on you."

She frowned, not believing him. She erased the message and wrote a new one: "Bullshit!"

She doubled over in a violent fit of cough, and Sesshoumaru realized she was even sicker than he had previously thought. He guided her to the couch where it seemed she had been residing for the past couple of days with bottles of medicines, glasses of water, and tissue papers strewn about. He handed her a glass, watching as she took a slow sip to moisten her dry, itchy throat.

"You need some warm tea," he said softly, standing up to head into her kitchen. He stopped when she grabbed at his wrist. He looked down and saw her smiling at him, looking a bit delirious from her heavy medication.

"Thank you," she managed to say in a hoarse voice.

He nodded briefly as she settled back down against the pillow and pulled the cover up to her neck.

.

A few weeks later, Sesshoumaru was walking up the stairs to his floor when he heard a familiar voice singing from below him. He paused, leaning back against the railing as he waited for the person to catch up to him. Just as she reached closer to where Sesshoumaru was waiting, he heard her sang boldly and seductively:

"Three, four, five / I would like to be your wife / Five, six, seven / I will fuck from seven to eleven—"

"Is that an invitation?"

Kagome froze, startled as she stared at the man in front of her, who had a very amused smirk gracing his face.

"N-no!" She hurried past him, well aware that he was following closely behind to his own apartment. She stopped at her door, key shakily trying to jam into the keyhole. She jumped when she felt Sesshoumaru walked behind her.

"You are sounding better," he noted.

"Um, yeah," she grumbled, face still burning up from the earlier interruption. "Thank you…for taking care of me."

He nodded and then went into his own apartment. It took another moment before Kagome managed to open her door and went in, accidentally slamming the door as she buried her face in shame.

.

Sesshoumaru arrived on his floor one Wednesday night to find Kagome, on the phone, carrying a bag of takeout food, and struggling to open the door. He approached her slowly, careful not to startle her, but he stopped when she tensed up, yelling louder into her phone:

"No! With all due respect, Mr. Coleman," she was speaking in English, enraged and quite honestly the least Kagome he had ever seen her, "the contract you have presented to my company was completely one-sided and not at all what we had agreed on previously. Unless you plan on sending a revised copy with the terms we have talked about by Monday morning, we will cease all contact with you and your associates. Goodbye, sir."

She groaned loudly and slammed her forehead against her door, muttering several colorful curses in Japanese now. She looked up when she heard Sesshoumaru's keys jangling.

"Sesshoumaru?"

He looked at her, giving her a curt nod. "Difficult day?"

"Very," she said softly, holding up her bag of takeout. "I bought plenty. Will you have dinner with me tonight? Please?"

He hesitated before giving in to her big, sad brown eyes.

She smiled, and he couldn't help but thought it suited her very well.

.

"Your English is very good," Sesshoumaru observed as he ate some of the orange chicken she had offered him.

"Thanks!" She beamed, seeming to fuss over making him more comfortable than eating. She opened the last food container, offering an eggroll to him, but Sesshoumaru held up a hand, declining the offer. She shrugged and pulled one out, biting into it as she plopped down into the chair across from him. "Now, you can't be too mad about my singing."

He looked at her, confused about the connection to his compliment, and she laughed in response.

"Well," Kagome took another bite, and then pointed her eggroll at him as she spoke, "I started learning English in middle school, alright? Reading and writing were fine, but there was not a lot of English speakers around for me to practice having conversations, which really, is the entire point of learning a language."

Sesshoumaru nodded in understanding, and gently encouraged her to continue.

"Around my high school years, my friends were dragging me to clubs and well, these were the latest hits at the time," she said, wrinkling her nose at him, "So pardon me for being nostalgic for the early 2000s."

"I apologize then," Sesshoumaru conceded, setting his chopsticks down across the food container.

Kagome grinned, and waved his apology aside. "Don't worry about it. I'm sorry, too, for antagonizing you so much," she said, taking another bite, "You really aren't as bad as Inuyasha made you out to be."

"You should never take that ingrate's opinions seriously."

"Hey now," she protested, sitting up straighter, "he's my friend now, too, so be nice."

"'Too?'" Sesshoumaru questioned.

"Well, yeah," Kagome picked up her chopsticks and grabbed some of the lo mein out of a box, slurping it up, "You're my friend, too, alright?"

"I was not aware."

"Well, you are now," Kagome answered. "Unless…"

"Unless…?" Sesshoumaru could see a faint hint of pink staining across her cheeks, before she shook her head furiously.

"Here, open your fortune cookie!"

"'Marriage lets you annoy one special person for the rest of your life,'" he read slowly, brows furrowing together in annoyance at the peculiar fortune. He tossed it onto the table next to his glass of water. "Idiotic."

"Oh, I don't know. That sounds cute." She shrugged, and broke apart her own cookie, reading: "'Made in the U.S.A.'—what the hell? You're right, this is stupid."

She looked up, seeing he had stopped eating and was looking at her intently. "Sorry, do you not like Chinese food?"

Sesshoumaru shook his head. "The food is fine."

She fidgeted in her seat, reaching for her half-eaten eggroll again. She took a dainty bite, suddenly feeling uncomfortable under his piercing stare. "Well, why are you staring at me like that?"

"Am I?"

"Yes," she said, pointing an eggroll at him, "We need to work on your social behavior."

"Do we now?" He asked, humoring her.

"Yes," she said again, trying to act haughty in front of him, "Now eat your food, so I don't feel like a pig eating all of this by myself."

.

Sesshoumaru stepped into the laundry room, cradling a basket full of dirty clothes when he caught sight of his neighbor up to her usual shenanigans. He sighed, about to head back out when he caught out of the corner of his eye, their landlord seeming fairly idle standing around and appreciating her backside.

He walked further into the room, setting his basket on an unused washing machine, and making his presence known.

"Hey Mr. Wonderful, oh, you're irresistible," she was singing as she stuck her head into the dryer to pull out her warm laundry. "Hey Mr.—eek!"

Sesshoumaru tensed up and was about to approach them when Kagome whirled around, grabbing the offender's wrist.

"Mr. Iwasaki, we've been over this already!" She yelled, placing her hands on her hips now, glaring.

"I'm sorry, Kagome, dear, but you know—"

Kagome crossed her arms. "Mrs. Iwasaki," she warned.

"It'll be alright if the rent is a few weeks late, my dear," he stuttered, paling, and quickly shuffling out of the room.

Once Kagome was sure the room was cleared, minus Sesshoumaru, she sighed heavily, and rubbed her bottom. "Great, I'm getting more bruised than the tomatoes at the market."

"Your blissful ignorance will get you in trouble like that," Sesshoumaru said, already separating his clothes for wash.

Kagome tossed him a quick dirty look. "Oh, are we victim-shaming, now?"

"No," Sesshoumaru said, "But singing and dancing provocatively might—"

"He had no idea what I was singing about!" Kagome protested, making her way over to Sesshoumaru. "Besides, what's the excuse for perverts on the subway then? Or for that matter, Miroku?"

Sesshoumaru placed his dark clothes into the machine.

"Men are pigs," Kagome griped.

"Agreed," Sesshoumaru responded, surprising Kagome.

She shifted for a moment before returning to her machine and pulled out the rest of her clothes, humming softer than before. She said a quick goodbye before leaving, with only the faint words trailing behind after her.

"Hey Mr. Wonderful—wonderful to me…"

.

Sesshoumaru didn't see Kagome again for three months, learning only from Inuyasha, who actually learned from Kikyou, that she was on an extended business trip to New York City. He hadn't had this much peace since the last time she had gotten sick and lost her voice for a week.

It was quiet. Too quiet. It was unsettling.

He tried to push the feeling aside, focusing on his own work he brought home from the office. He stared at the documents in front of him, his foot tapping restlessly under the desk as he hummed quietly while his eyes drifted over each word. Nearly a minute passed before Sesshoumaru stopped, with the alarming realization that he was humming to one of her favorite songs.

"Fuck…" he muttered to himself, realizing that he actually missed her and her incessant singing.

.

He hated her, oh, he so hated her for making him behave like a foolish love struck teenaged boy waiting for her to come home. It took a while and plenty of alcohol, but Sesshoumaru managed to pull out from Inuyasha the date of when Kagome was coming home, and after a brief threat of a slow disembowelment should the topic ever be brought to anyone's knowledge, the snickering and childish teasing were also stopped.

He sighed, as he walked into the building, carrying two paper bags full of grocery for the dinner he had planned with care. He made the walk up the stairs, noticing halfway a familiar figure struggling with her luggage. He walked faster, catching up just as she uttered a quick "goddammit" when her luggage nearly slipped from her grasp.

"Difficult day?"

Kagome looked up, startled, and then smiled. "Sesshoumaru!"

He stiffened when she enveloped him into a big, tight hug, forgetting completely her troubles.

"I missed you," she said when she pulled back.

"Y-you have?" He stared at her with a raised brow.

She nodded. "I missed annoying you."

He frowned, causing her to laugh.

"I really did miss you, but I bet you enjoyed the silence while I was gone, right?"

She resumed walking with him by her side.

"Not…particularly," he said slowly.

"You didn't?" she looked at him, surprised, as they reached their floor. She pulled her luggage over to her apartment door, and stopped, shuffling nervously with her belongings.

"Sesshoumaru," she said with a playful lilt in her voice, "did you miss me?"

"Perhaps," he said, trying to maintain whatever dignity he thought he had left. He shifted the bags of grocery in his arms. "Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?"

She grinned. "Absolutely! Could I meet you in two hours? I'd like to get some of this—" she gestured to her luggage, her purse, and herself, "a bit cleaned up."

"I'll see you at eight then," Sesshoumaru agreed.

.

"Good-looking, good job, and an amazing chef?" Kagome took another bite of the grilled steak Sesshoumaru had prepared, and gave a soft squeal of delight. "How are you still single?"

"Perhaps, I just haven't met a woman that interests me," Sesshoumaru responded easily.

"Oh, what a shame," she said, twirling the last forkful of the spaghetti al limone on her plate.

"Or maybe she is ignorant of how I feel."

Kagome scoffed. "Who would be stupid enough to not notice a gorgeous—oh…" Her face brightened as she pointed at herself. "Me? You're joking, right? I annoy you."

"In increasingly interesting ways," he agreed, clasping his hands together under his chin as he looked at his embarrassed dinner companion. "But as you've said: attractive, good job, superb English…how are you single?"

"Um, wow," Kagome reached blindly for her napkin and dabbed at her mouth a bit. "Astoundingly bad luck on a very sad cosmic level?"

"If you say so…" He said, standing up and clearing the table. Kagome followed, helping him. She set the plates into the sink, turning, and was quickly, but pleasantly, surprised when he bent down to kiss her lips.

"This is better than dessert," she said, smiling, "What a welcome home. Maybe I should go away more often so you'll miss me more?"

"Don't get too cocky," he warned, tapping her gently on the tip of her nose.

"Oh, I won't," she promised, wrapping her arms around him and humming very softly, though Sesshoumaru could see she was trying very hard to resist the urge to burst out singing at the top of her lungs.

"Go ahead," he sighed, recognizing that she had yet to sing anything since she had arrived home.

"I'm in heaven when you kiss / Heaven when you kiss me / You were sent to me from Wonderland," she sang, grinning, "Too corny?"

"Very," Sesshoumaru answered back, kissing her again, but smiling when she sang against his lips:

"Take me with you back to Wonderland."

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.