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Warmth by TamashaToko

The Struggle

A coffee shop had been where the meeting took place.  It was where Sesshoumaru first laid eyes upon the girl known as Kagome Higurashi.  From one glance she looked like everything that could be imagined from the story InuYasha told.  Quite young, naive, and desperate. 

The girl looked as though she hadn’t had a proper sleep in a very long time and her pale skin burned red at the hands showing she was freezing and had been improperly clothed for such a cold time of the year.

“How far along are you?” Sesshoumaru sat across from her and began his interrogation watching as InuYasha held the girl’s hand tightly.

“Two months,” her voice was sweet but carried an air of shame as she appeared to be disgusted with herself to be asking for help, “that’s how long it’d be by this point.  I didn’t find out until two weeks ago.”

“I see,” Sesshoumaru was uninterested in her medical visits that lead to such a discovery, “and can I ask you girl exactly what was your plan?  Are you in school? Did you even attempt to find a job before consigning yourself to such risky living conditions.”

“I have a job,” Kagome fired back hating the implication that she was some sort of lazy bum.

It was then that Sesshoumaru saw some fire in the girl’s eyes adding some warmth to her otherwise pathetic appearance.

“It was kind of hard since I had no experience and barely made it through high school,” she confessed, “but I have a part-time job at a pet shop.  It’s better than nothing but I’m afraid they’ll get rid of me once the bags of dog food gets too heavy to lift or when I have to take time off to have the baby.”

“So you do have an income just no job security and clearly not enough to provide for a child,” Sesshoumaru shook his head disapprovingly, “how foolish to make this mistake so young.  What of you InuYasha? This is your child. How will you provide for it? Do you have a job as well?”

“I- uh,” InuYasha clearly didn’t expect himself to be interrogated, “was looking but haven’t found anything that suits me yet.”

“Pathetic,” his older brother said instantly, “the pregnant teen with no job experience and lackluster education found a job before you.  At this point you don’t get to be picky about such things. Get a job and provide for your child or do the child a favor and get out of its life.”

InuYasha seemed ashamed, but the fire in Kagome’s eyes continued to burn as she felt the need to protect her partner.

“He is trying alright!” She was quick on the draw, “he promised he’d take care of me and the baby and he will.  We just need a chance to get started and everything will fall into place. Only issue I have at work is sneaking into the bathroom to wash my hair and body.  I know if I’m caught I’ll get fired.”

“My aren’t you optimistic,” Sesshoumaru shook his head with disdain, “InuYasha you have until the end of this week to get a job or you can forget about any charity from me.”

“I don’t want any charity,” Kagome felt the need to leave InuYasha out of the conversation altogether, “I just don’t know how to climb up from nothing.  I’ll pay you back for everything one day. Rent or whatever you want. I don’t expect anything in life to be free.”

“You cannot offer such sincerity to your parents?” Sesshoumaru was still in disbelief that the girl had a family that would throw her out to the cold for being pregnant.

Kagome shook her head, “My mom is gone and my father wants nothing to do with me.  If I could I would’ve. Just- never mind this was a bad idea. I’m sorry we wasted your time I’ll figure it out.”

“InuYasha,” Sesshoumaru then spoke before the girl could remove herself from his presence, “escort the girl to my house.  I have a place for her. It won’t be much, but it will be out of the cold. Heed my words though. I will be doing a background check on you Kagome Higurashi to make sure you were truthful this day and as for you InuYasha I will not change our agreement.  You have one week.”

Kagome was wearing a green apron with the logo of the pet shop she apparently worked for.  Sesshoumaru wanted to confirm she was an employee to make sure this wasn’t some sort of scam.  That would be enough for him. His brother had been crafty in the past when trying to con him, but Sesshoumaru believed the girl before him just wasn’t the type to assist him in such a scheme.  She seemed so fragile yet strong willed. He wasn’t used to seeing those types of girls around his brother.

The moment Sesshoumaru was gone Kagome looked towards InuYasha looking hurt.

“I told you I didn’t want to do this,” Kagome shook her head, “I don’t know him and I know he thinks I’m a bother or up to something.  I didn’t want to be seen that way. InuYasha I told you we could figure this out on our own together. Maybe if I make the right plea to the right person I can get more hours maybe-

InuYasha shook his head before moving a black strand of hair out of Kagome’s eyes, “Kagome you’re already working so hard.  I know it sucks and you have a hard time asking for help but if someone like him is willing to give it we’d be idiots not to take it.  You gotta think about that our child alright? Leave your pride behind. I did to even get him to hear us out and now you have to do the same.  He has a nice house, probably nice and toasty this time of year. Like you said you can’t make anything happen from nothing. Not like this.”

Kagome tried to listen to InuYasha and his advice but found herself staring at the floor ashamed of herself for falling into this situation.  Asking anyone for help was hard enough but especially a stranger she didn’t even know. She wouldn’t have blamed him for telling her to stay in the streets where she belonged but yet he seemed to show some level of pity for her.  The thought of anyone having pity for her made her feel even worse. She hated the way that Sesshoumaru talked down to her and InuYasha but felt bad for daring to intrude his thoughts in that short of way.

 

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