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The Accidental Housekeep by NovemberDoll

Chapter 1

A/N: Have a break. Light and breezy, free of heavy drama. So if this isn’t your thing, do whatever makes you happy. 

You stayed? Thanks! This won’t be a long one. 3-5 chapters, promise.

Yamato Nadeshiko- the personification of an idealized Japanese woman

Miyabi - elegance, refinement

******

When Curiosity Killed the Cat

******

 

“They say he towers seven feet tall, his face frozen in perpetual stoic. If you look directly into his eyes, you immediately burst into flames. Then you melt into a puddle, or crumble into ashes. Either way.” She looked at the younger girl on the screen of the video chat and raised a brow. 

She was looking back at her with utter suspicion.

“You don’t say.” The kimono-clad girl answered dryly. “And I assume he eats puppies for breakfast, and bathes in the blood of virgins at night?” she pondered, “I bet he also breathes out fire.”

The woman rolled her eyes. “I’m not kidding, Kagome. That’s what I literally heard. From his employees.”

“They rarely see him, Sango. Just like how our employees rarely see me. I’m pretty sure the rumors about me are as nasty as his,” she paused, “if not worse,”

“Who are you kidding?!” Sango grabbed the edges of the laptop and she turned the screen around, to focus the camera on the large family portrait displayed on the wall of the large suite. In it were three distinguished people: the Big Boss Naraku, his exquisite wife Kagura, and their one and only daughter, Kagome. 

The two business giants held tense shoulders and strict smiles, their facial expressions sufficient for maintenance to bypass the AC and allow their cold stares to freeze the room over.  But the young lady between them was a different story: it almost looked like she was photoshopped into the family. Her shoulders and back straight in an elegant confidence. Her small face and figure as fragile as a porcelain doll, her head tilted delicately at an angle, allowing her hair to fall naturally over her shoulders- 

And a soft, warm smile that completely obliterated whatever evil vibes her parents were giving out.  

“In case you’ve been deaf for the last eighteen years, make it known that they call you Miyabi doll, or Yamato Nadeshiko, or-“ 

“That’s because I have a team of couturiers watching me like hawks, devouring me alive if I dare step out of the room with a hairpin out of place.” Kagome shook her head as Sango turned the screen back to herself, and raised another brow. But the heiress continued on anyway, “So I’m thankful...  that you guys allow me to slip away once in a while.” 

Sango sighed,  “Yeah, yeah.” She waved her hand in dismissal, “Back to the topic. Kagome...  that Taisho heir. Please be very careful around him. He’s volatile, unpredictable, explosive-“

“Sango. Just how many synonyms do you have to reference to prove your point? I get it.” She sighed. “Besides, my only role for today is smile and welcome him to Japan. Papa won’t be here to formally greet him until the week after, so I’m taking his place while we wait for his return.”

Sango nodded her head eagerly. 

“And I won’t be seeing him very often, either. I doubt that I’ll even be seeing him after our meeting. I heard he’s a no-nonsense man, he’d have better things to do than to take a leisurely stroll around the area-“

“I don’t know about that, Kagome. I heard the deal being negotiated between your father and Touga-sama is quite important.

So important, actually, that Touga-sama’s eldest son flew all the way from the US to handle the matter himself.” 

Sango paused to lament. The Taisho patriarch had the bad case of the flu, hence sending his heir over. Which was no problem, except for the rumors. Those damn rumors: for how warm and cordial Touga Taisho was, his eldest was the polar opposite. 

“I’ll be okay, Sango. Don’t worry. Although I have no idea what this deal is all about, I know it’s really important. Papa even murmurs about it in his sleep,” she giggled, the memory of her drooling father uttering, ‘Do we have a deal, Taisho-san?’

The girl then breathed deeply, collecting her thoughts.  “I know first impressions are critical. So I’ll be very careful.  One wrong move might change his mind,”

Sango nodded her head. “I know you’ll do well, Kagome.” Sango smiled at her cousin reassuringly. She was confident with her, even in her innocence and age, Sango knew this as a fact. “You always end up charming even our pickiest clients.”

Kagome laughed softly, “Well if all else fails, we have this bottle of whiskey my father sent to give him, to do the impressing,”  she wagged her brows playfully,  “Ah, I wonder what is it with liquor and men. Can you imagine, Sango, this bottle alone costs 200 thousand US dollars? Mama said it has a name, too. Diamond Jubilee.” She smiled, thoroughly amused. “Doesn’t it sound cute? They name their liquors like they name special events,”

Sango laughed at her cousin’s pleased expression, with her blue doe- eyes and parted lips it made her look like an innocent child who had seen a butterfly for the first time. 

“Still. Whiskey is whiskey. They all smell like gasoline to me,” Sango shuddered,“So I’ll hang up now. I have to set up the room for our meeting later. Come early, I have your kimono here and I’ll help you with the layers before the Taisho heir comes.” 

Kagome nodded her head.

Sango gave her a skeptical glare, “Are you coming in your usual get-up again?”

The girl scratched the back of her head and laughed, “Uhm, yeah. I don’t want to hassle anyone when I enter. And I don’t want to draw attention when I’m just by myself.”

Sango huffed. The image of her teenage cousin wearing a cheap hoodie, torn jeans, and oversized baseball-cap appeared in her mind. It would be okay if it stopped there, but it didn’t. 

She paired it with dirty white tennis shoes with mismatched laces. But that wasn’t the worst part. 

The worst part was, she (gasp) had to hide her intense sky-blue eyes behind dark, knockoff sunglasses. Sango had cried an entire three days the first time that tragic event happened, but her tears did not deter her cousin’s goal.

And the get-up seemed to work, despite looking like an early sketch of the Unabomber, her heiress cousin had somehow convinced security that she was part of the housekeeping team. So they continued along with the weird routine for almost three years now, but only when Naraku and Kagura were not around. 

“Kagome. I’m sorry to tell you this but you will have to get used to being in the spotlight at all times,”

“I understand,” Kagome gave her a weak smile, “I know.” She meekly searched her eyes, “But before that comes, allow me to relish in my privacy for a tiny bit more…”

Sango sighed, “You know I can’t deny you. Now come along, I’ll see you here in an hour.”

The kimono-clad girl beamed at her brightly. “Hai.” She bowed down, and the screen dimmed to black.

*****

She greeted the security guards as she entered, and they nodded their heads in acknowledgment. Kagome cast her head down, suppressing a smile to herself, secretly pleased at her anonymity. She was forever thankful for all the stability in her life, but she also appreciated these little moments when she could be this normal girl whose slightest movements were not scrutinized by the public eye.

She clutched the innocuous paper bag on her arms closer to herself. In it was an important peace treaty: the rare $200,000 whiskey, their welcome gift to the notoriously frightening Taisho heir. Kagome embraced herself, trying to shake away the rising feelings of nervousness.

Sango was usually a very reliable source. 

What if everything she said was true?

The elevator dinged, and the doors opened before her. She stepped in the lift, in between two office employees. One was holding cake, the other one holding champagne. 

“Surprise party?” Kagome asked, about to push the button to her floor when she realized they were headed to the same destination.

The man holding the cake nodded. “Birthday,” Cake-san answered, and the doors closed. 

The candles flickered in the cozy-lit elevator. Kagome took her sunglasses off and remained quiet, and the three settled into a companionable silence as they waited while they were being lifted to their floor. Instrumental music trickled through the speakers, and Champagne-san started tapping his feet to a saxophone-version of some 90’s power ballad. 

“They all smell like gasoline to me,” Sango’s comment suddenly popped into her head. Kagome had to close her eyes, trying to concentrate on the muzak being played.

She tried to concentrate.

Oh, how she tried.

A curiosity like no other awakened in the heiress:

Kagome never tried alcohol.

She never even smelled alcohol.

Why did people seem to fall into a relaxed spell whenever they took a sip of this curious liquid? Why did her family have a collection of these aged liquors inside glass shelves, proudly displayed in their dining room?

Her Papa and Mama told her it was forbidden. Especially to her. 

But she wasn’t even allowed to watch TV shows past 8 pm. She was not allowed to read the Love Advice section of the newspapers. They had been overly-protective that way, and she didn’t mind. But now, the liquor was in her hands… and no one else knew who she was at the moment, right?

It wasn’t as if she was going to try it, anyway. 

Just a smell, she thought, as her shaky hands reached inside the paper bag… 

Please,

Just one whiff

She pleaded, her hands settling lightly on the cap…

And she pushed her thumb against the rim. 

It popped open, and the spirit of the whiskey rushed out of the bottle like a powerful miasma, punching her in the nose, invading into her windpipe, straight into her freaking LUNGS.

Ding!

The elevator suddenly opened, and Kagome burst into horrible fits of pulmonic coughing. The man holding the champagne was startled by the girl’s sudden hacking, that his bottle dropped out of his grasp. It rolled to the floor, out of the elevator. Kagome blindly walked forward, her eyes burning and watering.

And the blinded girl did not see the deadly trap that was under her feet.

She stepped on the champagne bottle, and she slipped. 

She felt her gut rise to her throat as the world before her plunged down. And she grimaced, realizing that it was actually her who was falling, face first to the floor. She closed her eyes, knowing very well the doom she was about to meet.

But the doom did not meet her.

Instead of face planting, she landed on top of what she thought was a cushion…or so she thought was.

She pushed herself up and halted… and their eyes met.

Definitely not a cushion.

It was a human: a white-haired, golden-eyed, living, breathing human. He was looking back at her with equal, if not more, shock, and Kagome blinked as he continued to stare at her with the most unreadable expression in his eyes. 

Something was definitely amiss, and then it dawned on her:

Why was there a red flush to his cheeks?

She suddenly stiffened when another unrelated realization hit her like ton of bricks.

Diamond Jubilee!!

Her vision trailed down: her hands were on his firm chest, she was wound snugly between his legs. She did not notice his hands around her waist. And a gasp escaped her lips the moment she saw: the whiskey bottle laid on his (equally firm) abs:

 EMPTY.

It had spilled all over the man, he was drenched from waist-up. Kagome abruptly pulled away, but as she did she tripped Cake-san who was following closely behind.

And she watched, in slow motion, as the freaking pastry flew to the white-haired man and landed on his body. The candle’s flame sparked, and his whiskey-drenched shirt caught fire

Kagome’s eyes flew open in horror. Gasps arose from the background as a useless audience had gathered around them, too stunned to react to the bizarre happening. 

The heiress sprang up to retrieve the fire extinguisher. Now at her hands, she aimed the nozzle at the flaming man and sprayed. The smoke detector beeped, the fire alarm blared.

And the sprinklers went off, sending the entire floor into a premature indoor downpour.

Under the artificial rain, in the middle of the drenched, dumbstruck audience with perfect O-shaped mouths,  was a frozen teenager with a fire-extinguisher in her hands, staring at a white-haired man on the floor; smothered in white foam with a smoking shirt: half-shirt…the entire left part of the clothing had been shamefully charred off.

“Boss, are you alright?!” A group of men came running to the Apocalypse survivor, and upon hearing the honorific, her gut twisted so badly in a heavy, ominous premonition.

“Boss?” She melted to the wet floor, as the shower of the sprinklers continued to soak her form. The girl remained frozen as the group of men helped support the boss up, one grabbing a jacket to cover his exposed torso.

And she looked up as the man stood to his full height-

And he stared down at her with the coldest amber eyes she had ever seen.

“Taisho-sama! What happened?!” Another man ran up to him, and that was when heaven came crashing down to earth, slamming her in between. She stared at the embroidered name of the handkerchief that was jutting out of his unburnt breast pocket.

“S. Taisho?” She barely croaked the initials,

“Sesshomaru Taisho.” He confirmed, with such a ruthless expression, devoid of any emotion she may as well be staring into an unfathomable abyss, “And you are?”

 “Uh…” she uttered, aware of all eyes on her, aware of his eyes on her, and she blurted out the first thing that jumped into her mind:

 “I am... from Housekeeping?


 

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