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Empty Threats by MissKatt

Welcome to Shikon Saloon

A/N: For Mare's Western Challenge! Sorry it's so late...like two years late. This is to go with the picture I drew forever ago! Also, I apologize if this isn't 100% historically accurate. I tried! I also tried (and probably failed) with the accents. I did research the outfits Kagome and Sango wear, but you know how that goes...

DISCLAIMER: All Inuyasha goodness belongs to the amazing Takahashi-san!

Empty Threats

By MissKatt

Welcome to the Shikon Saloon

"'Ay! I need another mug of beer over 'ere!" A drunken customer shouted, leaning back in his chair while holding his empty mug up in the air.

"I dun heard yah the first four times!" The saloon girl in deep green yelled back. "Hollarin' ain't goin' to get it to yah any faster!"

The drunk frowned and opened his mouth to yell once more, but then wobbled uncertainly in his chair, the wood creaking in protest. Finally, he settled back down and let out a few hiccups while blinking, seemingly forgetting what he was talking about until he glanced back down at his mug. "Ay! More beer over 'ere!"

Kagome couldn't help but giggle as her friend walked over to the bar top and slammed her tray down on the cracked wood. "Ah, don't yah just love our loyal regulars?" She asked Sango, smiling.

"None more than I love shovelin' horse manure." Sango replied through grit teeth. "They are drivin' my nerves, Kagome. Can't yah just take 'em for today?"

She shook her head, the crimson red feather in her hair waving with the motion. "I don't think so, Sango. That's what yah said last week, so it's now yer turn to deal with 'em." She responded and placed her gloved hand on her friend's shoulder when she sighed heavily.

"'Ey! Quit yo' yappin' and get back to work! We got payin' customers! Y'all better be convincin' 'em to spend money! That's yer job!" Myouga, the Shikon Saloon owner, snapped before putting three mugs of beer on the bar top.

"Yea, yea, I hear yah," Sango replied before putting the cups on the tray and walking over the table, her heeled boots clacking against the floor as she did.

"What 'bout yah? Ain't yah got any customers to serve and keep company with?" The owner asked, drying one a mug with a raggedy cloth.

"My customers are as content as an over-fed dog for the moment, Boss. They wanted to discuss politics or somethin'; said they didn't want me around." She answered and rested her elbows on the bar top, placing her chin in her crimson gloved hand.

He nodded and then looked up at the double, swivel bar doors as they creaked open. Kagome turned around at the sound, her greeting on her tongue, and let her mouth fall open when she watched three men walk into their saloon, their spurred boots clacking and clanging against the wooden floor. She took each of them in, studying them carefully. The three of them had varying lengths of long, jet black hair; each pulled back behind their heads in a ponytail. They were dressed in collared shirts under heavy trench coats, black bandanas tied loosely around their necks to keep the dust from their face when they rode, along with dark jeans, boots, and riding hats.

As she stared at their handsome faces, she was suddenly hit with the realization of who they were. To double check her suspicions, she turned to the back of the bar and looked at the three sketched Wanted posters posted there. It was as she thought, these were the Moon Bandits! She looked at Myouga and leaned over the bar to whisper to him.

"These be the Moon Bandits, Myouga! What do we do?" She asked, sapphire eyes wide. They never had any criminals in their saloon before. She was kind of excited…

He scoffed at her. "What in tar-nations do yah think yer gonna do? Yah serve 'em! They still be payin' customers! Go 'nd take their order! Scat!"

She puffed out her cheeks in annoyance at his attitude. She then turned towards the table of men and put on a smile before walking over to them. "Greetin' fellas! What can I getcha?" She asked.

"Three shoots of whiskey and then three mugs of your best ale." The one to her right said, removing his hat and setting it down on the table. He flashed her a smirk, his blue eyes meeting hers.

"Y-yah got it," She replied and turned back to head to the bar to get their order. As she approached, she told Myouga their order and then studied the posters on the wall, studying their profiles and head shots. "A five hundred dollar reward each, huh? That be a whole load of money, could pay off my debt to the saloon plus Sango's and still have enough left over to buy a cow and a mare." She murmured.

"Getch yer mind outta the pig sty and serve the men their drinks!"

She snapped out of her thoughts when Myouga set the glasses on her tray. She nodded to him and carefully balanced the tray on her arm. She then walked back over to their table and began to distribute their drinks. As she placed the last ale in front of the man who ordered, she gave him a smile. "Is there anythin' else I can get y'all, Mr. Touga?" Instantly, three pairs of eyes found their way onto her person. She fidgeted nervously and tightened her grip on her tray. "E-enjoy yer drinks!" She quickly said before beginning to walk away. She suddenly yelped out when something tight latched onto her wrist and pulled her back. She stumbled and put her gloved hand on their table to brace herself. Regaining her composure, she looked down at her wrist and followed the attached hand to the owner.

Sesshoumaru. Her mind provided, remembering the drawing of him on the poster.

"C-can I help yah with somethin' else?" She asked nervously.

He gave her wrist another tug and pulled her closer to him, his bright green eyes narrowing dangerously. "How do you know of us?"

She gulped nervously. "Y-yer poster is on our wall behind the bar." She admitted.

He tightened his grip causing her wince. "Listen here, Harlot. Do not try to pull anything by calling anyone. Do you understand me?"

She blinked. Did he just call her a harlot? That term was used in the bible as well as old books written centuries ago so she knew it well and she did not appreciate being called a prostitute, despite where she worked. "How dare yah, Sir! Where are yer manners? Callin' me a-"

He growled at her and gave her wrist another slight tug. "I asked you a question."

She paled, her anger subsiding as the fear took over from the intense hatred in his eyes. "I-I understand, Mr. Sesshoumaru."

His glare only sharpened when she spoke his name. He then released her, not caring as she stumbled and walked away. He glanced at his half-brother as he chuckled at him. "Find something amusing, Inuyasha?"

He snorted at him. "Yep. Sharp tongue on that one. Surprised you didn't wring 'er neck for talkin' back to you."

Sesshoumaru glared at his brother. "It would do little good to cause a ruckus in this town. It is bad enough our posters are already here."

"I suppose it is because of the new trains. Things travel quicker now than when they did with horsepower." Touga added, taking a sip of his whiskey.

"What do you suppose we do now?" His oldest son asked, peering at him over his mug of ale. "We cannot stay here for too long."

His father leaned back in his chair, taking his shoot of whiskey with him. "I suppose we should be fine until we are noticed."

"That girl already did. Who's to say no one else did?" Inuyasha asked, downing his whiskey and shaking his head at the burning feeling as it crept down his throat.

"Perhaps she is just intelligent. We will play it out as it goes. We will try to take down any posters we see. Besides, there is something we have to do here." Touga replied.

"Ho?" Sesshoumaru quirked a brow at him. This was the first time he had heard of this. He knew they had to restock on supplies and pay a visit to his step-mother, but this was different. What exactly did his father have to do there?

Kagome ground her teeth together angrily. She could not believe how rude that man was. Who was he to call her a harlot?! He didn't even know her and she was definitely not familiar with him. She ought to call upon the Sheriff and tell him that the Moon Bandits were in her saloon. But, the look in his eye made her rethink it; it almost promised death if one defied him. She pursed her lips together and looked at their posters once more. What if they came back when she wasn't working and different girl recognized them and called the Sheriff? He would kill them!

"Kagome?!" Sango nearly gasped when she saw her friend run around the edge of the bar and to the back of it, ripping something off the walls. "Kagome!" She hissed. "Yah can't be back there! Yer gonna get in trouble if Mr. Myouga sees!"

The girl turned and offered her friend a weak smile before running back around, stuffing something into the front of her dress. "Sorry, Sango. Did yah need somethin'?"

"No, I was just seein' if yah were alright..." She replied and frowned, curious to her friend's behavior. "I saw what that man did to yah. It is not alright to put yer hands on a lady. Should we call the Sheriff?"

"No!" She almost shouted, earning her sharp looks from the bandits and a few other customers. She flashed them a forced smile before turning back to her friend. "We can't, Sango. I gotta tell yah somethin' but yah can't go wild on me, y'hear?"

Sango furrowed her brow and nodded. "I swear on my mama's grave, what's wrong?"

"Those men I helped be very dangerous." She warned, biting down on her lip.

"Dangerous? How?"

She lowered her voice to a barely audible whisper. "They be the Moon Bandits!"

Sango gasped and brought her gloved hand to cover her mouth. "Then we must-"

"No! Who knows what they would do?" She cut off her friend, frowning. "Let's just hope they leave here quicker than a horse spooked by a snake."

Her friend remained silent for a moment before sighing in agreement. "Alright, Kagome. But I hope they don't think I'll let 'em get away with what they dun did to yah."

Kagome reached out and grasped her friend's gloved hand. "Please, Sango, don't go makin' a fuss. It's just better to let 'em get their way, 'kay?" At her friend's sharp look, she sighed. "He didn't hurt me, just startled me. I swear I'm fine!"

The other girl studied her friend for a moment before shaking her head. "Alright, I believe yah. Just…stay sharp, y'hear?"

She flashed her a smile. "I hear yah."

When she heard the scooting of chairs against the wooden floors, she turned and saw the bandits getting up from their table. Her eyes instantly went to the table and she scowled when she saw a lack of payment for their 'refreshments'. Even though she had just said it was better for them to get their way, she would not stand for them walking out! If they didn't pay for it then that meant it would increase her debt to the saloon. There was no way in heck she was going to let that happen; dangerous men or not! She quickly turned back to the group of troublesome men that were heading towards the door and, swallowing a lump of courage, ran after them.

"S'cuse me!" When she had their attention, she put her hands on her hips as she stopped in front of them. "Y'all can't just leave without payin' the tab! If yah do, I'll go 'nd call the Sheriff!"

In a flash, the intimidating one who confronted her earlier was in front of her, so close she could smell the faint twinge of whiskey on his breath. He grasped her face within his long fingers, making her stare into his emerald depths. "I do believe we have already spoken about this. What did I tell you?" His voice was deep and full of power.

She stared up into his eyes, sapphire meeting green. Wait, did they just flash gold? Her ears almost purred in delight at the sound of his voice; the way he spoke in perfect grammar like in her books and the way he perfectly pronounced words. The tone sent butterflies into her stomach, making her almost quiver in both excitement and fear.

When he applied more pressure to her jaw, she was brought back to the present. "Y-yah told me not to go and call anyone."

"Exactly, and yet you threaten to do otherwise. Why is that?" He almost growled into her ear.

She tried to push away the nervousness and the butterflies that swarmed in her tummy from the sensation. "Yah can't just leave without payin' yer tab. It will add up into my debt…"

He narrowed his eyes. "I do not care about your petty debts." He tightened his grip once more, making her release a small whimper.

"Sesshoumaru." Touga said sternly upon hearing her mewl of pain. They did not harm civilians, especially female human ones.

"I do not take kindly to threats, Harlot. Keep that in mind next time." He replied sharply as he released her chin.

She instantly brought up her gloved hand to press it to the now tender skin. She then blinked when she saw a small bag dangling in front of her face. Uncertainly, she held out her hand for it and felt the heavy promise of coins. Confused, she looked up at Touga.

He gave her the same smirk he gave her upon arrival. "I apologize for my brute of a son. I hope this will be enough compensation to keep our names from spilling from your lips to the Sheriff? I hope the next time we cross paths is a more enjoyable experience." He said and then tipped his hat at her before ushering his sons to follow him.

She blinked and felt her hand tighten around the bag of coins. She opened the bag and looked down to count the amount based on what she could see. Her eyes widened when she saw that the amount was much greater than their tab; almost half of what remained of her three-thousand dollar debt.

She clenched the bag once more and ran out of saloon. She quickly spotted their three retreating forms on their horses. "Wait! Yah dun paid too much!" She shouted, but to no avail; they did not turn back. Was she just given money to stay quiet? Or was it pity money? She would not except help with her dept. She would hold onto it until she saw them again.

Whenever that was.

"Kagome!" Sango called from inside. "Hurry on inside! We gotta get ready for the night crowd! Myouga wants us on stage early!"

"Alright!" She called back before heading inside after casting one last glance at the retreating trio.

A/N: This fanfic will only be about 5 chapters long, maybe 10 at the absolute max!

 

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