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Ghost of the Past by Angelic Memories

Mid-day Meal Messages

I wasn't going to continue this story at first. However, a lot of people really wanted me to. I liked the first part by itself and find it is perfect on its own yet I did leave it open so I will close it off. I made this sequel to explain what happens with Sesshomaru and Kagome afterwards, for all those who are dying to know. It will make better sense if you do read the one-shot A Haunting from the Past however, it's not necessary. It's also not necessary to read this one if you like the way the other one ended. For this reason I will post this one as a different story.

Oh yeah one more thing: I don't have any intentions to make this story as long as my other stories. Probably a few chapters but that's about it. Nor will the story be update as often... there are many other story ideas I have in my head that I want to work out.

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Disclaimer: AHHHHHH!!!!! I had a dream that Inuyasha wasn't mine. What do you mean it wasn't a dream?

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Encounter One - Midday Meal Messages

She twirled her hair around her finger, a bad habit she had picked up long ago.  She was sitting at her small kitchen table waiting for the kettle to whistle its tune signalling that the water has reached a boil.  Across from the table, her guest sat.  He was different from the last time she had seen him.  Over five hundred years for him, but only five years for her.

His hair was still long; the silver shaded with white when the light hit it on angles, shimmered under the incandescent lighting in the kitchen.  It was his face she wanted to study; however, she didn't want to stare.  With his hair pulled back, she could see his cheeks bare of the two striped magenta markings.  His eyes were the usual gold, but his eyelids were also free of his normal markings.  The blue crescent moon the he proudly wore in the feudal era was also gone.

Kagome thought that it was sadly ironic.  He was once a proud taiyoukai who showed his bloodline through his markings but was now forced to hide and become that which he openly despised.  She looked to his hands placed on the table in front of him.  They were normal looking, but long for a human male.  Sesshomaru had kept his claws.

She had to admit he looked good in a business suit.  He had unbuttoned his jacket and rid himself of the tie.  The top two buttons of his dress shirt was opened parted slightly to give a glimpse of his bare chest.

His eyes were darting to her few possessions in the area.  They lingered on something behind her, and she was trying to remember what was behind her without looking when the kettle began its warning whistle.

"Do you have any preferences?" Kagome asked the youkai quietly.  She turned off the stove and moved the kettle from the back burner to the one in front.  She reached for a bag of tea she often enjoyed when he spoke up.

"That one," her hand had wrapped around the blend her grandfather was known for making.

The woman wondered how he knew what she had without looking past her...or her telling him.  It took a few seconds for her to remember that he could probably smell the types she had. She continued to make the two cups in silence.  Her eyes darted to Sesshomaru who was still looking at the things behind where she would sit. She glanced over and noticed pictures on the table.  She had plenty of them.  It wouldn't hurt to give him a few if he wanted them.

There were some from the past and many of the present. Rin and Jaken's ghosts forms could be seen in some of the pictures, some better than others. She had got the idea to take pictures when Jaken had mentioned it and how he had seen it on a show about the paranormal.  She had gone out to buy a camera and tested it out. Sure enough after developing some of the picture she could see their forms in the pictures.  Oddly, the person who had developed them for her asked her about her technique saying she liked it. Kagome had to tell the gentlemen they were a friend's and she was only having the pictures developed for them.

The ones from the past were when she took a few disposable cameras to take pictures for her grandfather, mother and brother. Many pictures had Sango, Miroku, Inuyasha, Shippo and Kirara in them. Others of the landscape and random people they met. They had run into Sesshomaru during that time so there were a few of the inu brothers battling and then a few of Rin, Jaken, and Ah-Un. She had been using the photos at first to jog her little ghosts' memory. Later Rin asked for the woman to keep them out so she could look at them from time to time.

Kagome turned and took the cups to the table. She placed one near Sesshomaru and then walked to her side of the table to place her own cup down. She moved to the stand with the scattered pictures. She had doubles and triples of most of them so it wasn't a big deal for Sesshomaru to have some.

She picked out a few with the little girl posing in the frame. There was a cute one of her chasing after Jaken with flowers. Another of Jaken covered in flowers and one of the small group leaving. Ah-Un was carrying Rin on his back and the little girl was turned and waving.  Jaken was grumbling and Sesshomaru had his back turned walking away.  Her more current ones were of Rin and Jaken around the house and Shrine grounds.  Her favourite was the two little ghosts under the tree of ages.  Rin had managed to pull the little toad youkai into a tight hug.  She returned to the kitchen table and took her seat. She then slid the small pile of photos across the smooth wooden surface.

"Here, I have plenty," the miko offered.  Sesshomaru remained still.  His eyes were gazing at the top picture where Rin was attempting to put on traditional miko clothing over her ghost form. "She was tired of wearing the same thing," Kagome told him.

"Hn," they remained quiet for a few minutes.

"Why you, miko? How are you still alive? You are human, yet you live," he questioned her, choosing where the conversation would go.

"Eight years ago, on my fifteenth birthday I was pulled down a well by a Mistress Centipede.  I was time travelling for those two years from here, where I was born, and the feudal era.  I am only twenty-three nearly twenty-four.  Where you have lived the five hundred years to get here.  I only had to jump in a well to get back here."

"Why didn't you return?"  the miko hadn't return to the time he knew well.  His brother had questioned him after the battle if he had seen the girl, but she had vanished.  Her scent faded in the wind ending at the end of the battlefield.

"I didn't choose to come back here. After you helped me get the Shikon-no-Tama from Naraku I ran to get the rest of the shards.  I made a wish when I completed the jewel and I reappeared on this side of the well.  I tried many times to get back but I couldn't.  The well has sealed up. "

"Hn," Sesshomaru grabbed the photos. "We will reschedule our meeting for tomorrow.  Meet me by the elevator downstairs at 11:30." 

He stood, grabbed his jacket, and showed himself out.  Kagome had been expecting something more.  He didn't ask the questions she thought he would.  He didn't even drink his tea.  The woman leaned back into her chair, crossed her arms, and made a very good impression of a growl. But then, she sighed, before she sat up at a thought that drifted into her head.

She was suppose to be at work.  It was only nearing three, and she had another four or five hours of work. Not only that, but Sesshomaru had left, and her car was still in the employees' parking garage. If Sesshomaru knew she was here and the circumstances behind her not being at work he wouldn't fire her right?

I'm going to give that bastard a piece of my mind if he does.

She flinched when her phone rang.  For a few seconds, she debated if she should pick it up.  She was supposed to be at work and most people knew this.  Still it could be important and you never know when you might regret not answering a phone call.  She ran to grab the phone on the third ring.

"Hello, Higurashi residence."

"Miss. Higurashi, Mr. Taisho just called to inform me that you will be needing a ride tomorrow morning.  A car will be sent to pick you up at six.  Please be ready and I hope your mother is okay.  These things are really unpredictable," Kagome could tell it was Sesshomaru's secretary from earlier.  Her voice sounded overly chirper.

"Oh, thanks."

There was a soft click before she hung up the phone.  She would have to ask Sesshomaru the details about her mother's condition.  He must have made an excuse for her.  That was clear enough from the last statement the woman on the phone made.  What wasn't clear was why he did it.  He was a cold hearted killing machine in the past. The only people he had ever cared about were Rin and Jaken, though he didn't show it well.

Yet five hundred years had past. Anything could have changed him-like a family. He could be mated and have children for all she knew. Then there was his appearance. He looked like an ordinary human and she could not get over this fact.  He had always hated humans, with the exception of Rin. Now he was living as one. It made her head spin thinking about all these things.

The sad thing was she couldn't help but think he looked really good as a human in his expensive suit. But seeing him alive confirmed that there were youkai alive and hiding. It would explain why her powers were never settle. She wondered how many youkai were out there. Or even hanyou. Thinking this way made her thoughts turn to Inuyasha. Could he be alive? Would Sesshomaru know? I will ask him tomorrow. Maybe...

With her mind made up she left the house to walk to the store. She didn't want to be in her house alone at the moment. It only reminded her that she wouldn't be able to talk to Rin and Jaken again. She was happy they were able to move on but she was going to be lonely at night.

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The next morning the car pulled into her drive at exactly six o'clock. The driver, a short young man with blonde hair, got out and opened her door as she approached.

"Thanks," she said before getting in.

"My pleasure," he replied before closing the door.

The drive was short and she was dropped off right in front of the main doors. When she walked in Marie ran to her and gave her a hug.

"I was so worried about you when you didn't return. I thought he fired you," she was talking about their boss. There were very few who every saw him and there was always a mysterious air about the topic of the boss, especially since no one ever called him by name. He was represented by the boss or he.

"No, I wasn't fired," she assured her.

"I know that now.  I'm so sorry Kagome about everything.  I only found out this morning.  Are you sure you're okay to come here? Shouldn't you be caring about your mother?" Marie asked with a look of concern.

"She's fine now," she wondered what would happen if they found out her mother didn't live inside the city anymore.  She never really got around to talking to too many people at work about personal information.

"If you say so.  Since you are here maybe you can help me out.  There was a hacking last night.  Some information went missing but we can find out what," the woman handed her supervisor the papers she was holding in her hands.  "This is what we do know."

Kagome looked through it.  All of it was pointless and useless.  "Keep it. I will take care of it. However my meeting was rescheduled for 11:30, so I won't be here."

"Right. Good luck, just in case I don't see you later today.  Oh and I hope your mother gets better."

Thankfully only those who didn't need to know the information about her absence wouldn't find out her 'mother' issues.  Though, that wouldn't last long.  She was sure her whole floor would know by tomorrow morning.  There was an excellent grapevine here.

"Thanks, I need to get on with this," Kagome moved to the elevator to head to her office on the fourth floor.

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Kagome was busy trying to decode the pages upon pages of information that came through with the hack from last night, as she was so deep into her work she didn't even notice the time flying by.  That is until Marie came in and asked her if she would be leaving soon.  The woman looked to her clock and gasped.  She jumped from her seat and grabbed a new folder with her program information in it for the meeting.  Gathered her belongs in her purse and slid into the jacket of her suit.

She had five minutes to make the journey downstairs.  She ran the whole way to the elevator in the employee's garage and stop just as it opened to Sesshomaru's figure.  He arched an eyebrow at her bent over and panting form.

"Sorry... I just have to ... catch my... breath," she managed to draw it out.  Sesshomaru began to walk to his car only a few feet away.

He opened the door for her and waited for her to get in.  She stopped before getting in, remembering what happened the last time she let him drive her somewhere.

"You're not going to leave me somewhere right?" after all, she didn't want to leave her car here for a second night.  She had errands to do later.

"We will return after lunch," his baritone voice flowed through the area.

"Right," she got in and let him close the door.

"Where are we going?" Kagome asked. The silence wasn't as unbearable like the drive last night. Not knowing where she was being taken did bother her though.

Sesshomaru didn't reply to her question.

"Do you make it a habit to run late for meetings and appointments?" he asked her instead.

"No, not normally. It just so happens that your company was hacked into last night, though I am sure you are already aware of that, and I am the one who was assigned to find out who it was and what they took. I lost track of time that's all. And I wasn't late," the woman huffed, crossing her arms.

"Hn."

Sesshomaru stopped at a red light. He could feel her eyes on him, but ignored it. Kagome forgot about not staring. She was still amazed about how he looked. Maybe it was time to figure out how, before they went to a public place.

"How did you do that? The looks, I mean," she questioned.

"I have always been capable of hiding my demonic appearance. All powerful youkai can do it, if they have a humanoid form," Sesshomaru let his foot hit the gas at the green light.

"Oh, I see," Kagome let her eyes glide to check the view out the front window.

Buildings whizzed by at the speed. The area of town they were in had little traffic slowing them down.

"I suppose if I ask you again where we're going you won't answer," if first you don't succeed, try, try, again.

"Hn."

Kagome was left to the silence and the images of people, buildings, parks, random trees, and other odd objects past by them in blurs. Fifteen minutes later Sesshomaru pulled into a parking lot of a really expensive restaurant.

"Wait a minute," the woman followed Sesshomaru out of the car and grabbed his sleeve. He looked to her, then her hand on his person, then back to her again. "This place is way over my budget," she explained.

Sesshomaru snorted at her comment. Then tugged his arm from her and turned to the entrance. "I invited you, therefore I will be paying."

Kagome couldn't believe it. She was having lunch with Sesshomaru. Of course, it was technically a meeting. Yet, she couldn't get over the fact that she would be eating with the great Western Lord. Although, she had to admit the place was beautiful. The restaurant was overlooking the bay and all the sides were glass.

Sesshomaru was halfway up the stairs so she ran to catch up with him. She looked to him and thought she saw a smirk disappearing from his face. With the little sleep she had the night before she blamed it on her nerves and lack of sleep.

The inside of the restaurant was just as impressive as the outside. Everything from the decor, table settings, and furnishings showed class and taste. A woman seated them at a table closer a window wall in the corner. Kagome loved the breathtaking view before them. Sesshomaru studied the miko from his past as she took in the sights to see. It was one of his favourite places to eat. He was hoping she would enjoy it too, but he wasn't sure why that was.

He had thought about a lot of things last night. It was the first time in a long time he let himself think of the past. Most of the time it hurt him. It pained him when he remembered that he had failed his retainer. More importantly he let harm come to his ward, his pup, when he promised to protect her. He had wandered the past five hundred years with no other pack for they were all dead. He never got close to anyone in that time. He had neglected his pack before and feared he would do it again.

But through all that death this miko had made it. She was there before it had happened and was here now after it had happened. She was a link to his happiness before. A link to his past. A link to the two little ones he cared about. He had no doubt that she saw him as a link too. For this reason he was willing to try again.

Rin had told him this woman had helped her. Yet this wasn't the reason why he was taking an interest in her. She was the last and it was his right to take care of her. She once was part of his half brother's pack and with his brother gone it was now Sesshomaru's responsibility to care for her. In finding her, he now had a pack again        .

The waitress came and handed Sesshomaru a menu and Kagome a guest menu.

"There's no prices in here," the woman stated from across the table.

Sesshomaru smirked. He never showed emotion to anyone but he couldn't stop himself.  Like earlier he let his smirk show. This time the miko caught it and she gasped.

"You need not worry about the price of your meal. Please order something you will like," Sesshomaru commented to her obvious explanation.

The choices on the menu overwhelmed her. There were many different languages and she knew enough to decide which were which language but not to read them. She looked it over for a few seconds before giving up. She liked trying new things but didn't want to order something she didn't like.  She felt it would be an insult to Sesshomaru.

"I can't decide, can you recommend something?" she asked him. She could only hope he would pick something that she would like.

Sesshomaru raised his hand and the waitress came over immediately.

"Your best white wine and we'll have the chef's speciality," the youkai ordered.  Sesshomaru kept his eyes on the woman in front of him the whole time.  Kagome was beginning to wonder if he was up to something.  She wouldn't put it pass him.

The waitress left only to return with salad, bread and their drink. The youkai didn't touch the leafy matter on his plate. The woman picked at it with her fork for a bit. She had never participated in a lunch meeting and she wasn't sure when it was appropriate for certain conversation topics.

"I have looked through your program details.  It is rather impressive from someone of your age.  The heads of Yukei and Tacahi        as well as a few others will be here in a week.  I will require you to present your program in detail.  This is an important meeting, miko, in persuading them to accept this program they will also be consenting in joining with my company," Sesshomaru was always one to get serious issues out of the way.  Anything with business came first before moving to personal issues.

"Right, more pressure. You realize I still don't know how these things work right?" Kagome was one of the newest to the company.  She sat back more in her chair.

"I have faith in your ability to learn what you need to fast.  I will help you in anyway possible.  Tomorrow we will go over what will be in presentation.  The heads will be looking for specific details.  There is also the outlet of your presentation.  Your looks and how it is presented will create an impression of how I handle my company," he looked over her as she fiddled with a leaf on her plate.

"So you're telling me that the whole company's actions are all depended on the effect on these people?"  she didn't need an answer. "I really didn't ask for this, but it looks like I have no choice.  However, I am going to do some things under my conditions."

"Hn," Sesshomaru nearly smilied, the miko was still strong minded.  She wouldn't let people walk over her in the past so he was not surprised to see she was no different in this era. He would let her have a say before putting her in her place.

"First, I am not doing things at your beck and call.  I have other duties and responsibilities elsewhere.  Plus, I won't be following you around town trying to figure out where we are going.  Or in our case where you are dragging me by force,"  Kagome let her arms cross in front of her and stared the youkai dead in the eyes.  They didn't flicker with fright like some of the people she knew.

"Second, I am not a miko anymore.  I gave that up when I was forced back into this era.  My name is Kagome or, for business matters, Ms. Higurashi.  Third, I thought you might like to know in advance since I know how some of the pig-headed pricks that run business are.  I will not put up with any one degrading me or insulting me because I am young and a woman.  Or any other racist, sexist comment that you can think of," she finished her rant in one breath and took a deep breath after the last word was out.

"To think that you believe you can order me what to do.  I am more powerful then when I first met you five hundred years ago.  I not only hold your life in my hands but also your job," he wouldn't actually harm her but she didn't need to know that.  "I will call you whatever I see fit to title you.  That includes miko.  Don't presume that you can just give up the power you were born with.  I will always be taiyoukai even if I appear human," for a brief second Kagome could see Sesshomaru's markings as he flashed his true appearance. "However, I do agree that no one will insult you in anyway.  I will not tolerate it in my presence.  There is nothing to fear there," he concluded.

Before the woman could argue back, the food came.  The waitress placed the meal down before asking if they needed anything else.  Sesshomaru didn't answer so Kagome shook her head slightly.  She looked to her plate to study to see what she had gotten herself into.  She had never seen the particular dish before but it looked edible.  So she raised her fork to take her first bite.

It was delicious.  The taste melting on her taste buds.  Sesshomaru watched as her expression changed.  Something had told him she would like it and to see that she did made him happy he made the right choice.  Now he couldn't stop staring at the beauty before him and wonder why she was affecting him more and more.

"This is really good," the woman cut into his thoughts, "do you eat here often?"

"No, not really," he replied, beginning his own meal not looking down to his plate.  He kept his eyes on the miko on the opposite of the table.

"Oh, sorry I shouldn't assume things like that."

"You have changed very little from the last time I have met you," he commented.  Kagome was caught off guard at the amount he had spoken to her so far.  She didn't have to force the youkai to talk.

"But you have only just become reacquainted with me. How can you tell so soon?  I have only spoken to you yesterday and right now."

Sesshomaru chuckled.  Surprised, her eyes went wide at the sound. She couldn't believe the quick sound that came from him as if it was natural.

"I am a great judge of character.  Now please finish your meal," Sesshomaru let his eyes fall from the miko to his plate.

Kagome nodded and started on her plate again.  A short while later, they were finished.  Sesshomaru gestured to the waitress for the last time.  He paid the bill, not letting the female programmer to see the cost.  Then he stood, followed by Kagome, and made his way to the door. The woman was confused.  She had once again expected a little more.  But she didn't know the right way to voice her concerns.

The two made their way back to Sesshomaru's car and he held the door open for her once more and then shut it behind her.  The woman had to admit that the youkai was very gentleman like and she wondered if he had always been this way or if modern times had changed him.

The youkai in question got into his car and started to find his way back, taking the same path back to the building they both worked at.

"Um, Sesshomaru?" Kagome interrupted the silence mid-way through the drive.

"Hn," he replied only to tell her she had his attention.  His eyes darted to her figure in the passenger seat but this went unnoticed by the woman looked out of the window to the pasting roadside.

"I was wondering why you haven't asked anything?  I know it may not be my place to ask but I though for sure that the invitation for lunch was to talk about them."

"Hn."

He didn't want to admit that she was right and if truth be told he was avoiding the subject at hand. He just didn't want to talk too much about the past that he had hidden and buried deep within his mind. He only let those thoughts out when he was home alone at night.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't pry," Kagome's fingers fidgeted in her lap.  It annoyed Sesshomaru.  The scent of guilt on his nose also bothered him.

"What are you doing Friday night?"

Kagome turned her head to him at his question.  Why did he want to know?  "I don't know yet.  I left it free since I have the meeting that afternoon," an honest enough answer but the truth was that all of her friends were busy that weekend.

"Hn," the youkai let a few ideas play in his head before continuing with the line of thought that began the conversation. "I will pick you up at seven."

"Pick me up at seven? To go where?" she had warned him about this didn't she?  She was going to have to warn him again. "I told you I wouldn't be dragged around blindly."

"You will be ready at seven," he didn't budge an inch.

Was he deaf?  No that could be it he was a youkai after all.  But it proved that she was going to have to teach him exactly who was in charge of Kagome Higurashi. "To go where?"

"Dress formally," Sesshomaru had reached the employee's garage and parked in his spot before exiting the car without another word.  He waited for Kagome to get out before locking the door and then leaving to the elevator.

"Sesshomaru..."

"It's Mr. Taisho here Ms. Higurashi."

That prick is going to get it.  She thought as she watched the elevator doors close.  She wanted nothing more then to wring the youkai's neck.  But at least she had a few days to think about whether she would play along with his plans or not.  Besides, he could tell her what to do but she would choose if she wanted to do it or not.

The determined woman turned on her heel to the other exit out of the garage.  She had work to do and things to plan.  She also had to get ready for the meeting that she was stuck going to.  Her life was getting complicated but she was slightly grateful for this.  Her mind would stay off of the fact that she was going to be going home to an empty house every night.

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Ja ne
angelic memories
© 2008

 

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