When Inuyasha first heard about the breakup he was ecstatic. The hanyou couldn’t help it. He had wanted to date Kagome Higurashi for years and now that he had the opportunity he was not about to fucking hesitate.
That was, of course, before she told him the reason she had broken up with her current boyfriend.
“I think I’m more into...women?” Kagome said, looking apologetic when Inuyasha’s expression and ears fell.
“Oh.” It was a crappy response, but really all he could manage past the sudden lump in his throat. Disappointment settled somewhere just beneath his ribs and Inuyasha wanted to be literally anywhere else but the booth of the restaurant they had chosen to meet for their conversation. Kagome was the first human he made friends with in forever. She was extra sensitive to yokai energy and didn’t mind that he and his friends weren’t human. All this time, Inuyasha thought they were made for each other. The fact that she looked a hell of a lot like his ex was probably a factor, he could at least admit to himself but now she was telling him there was absolutely no way.
“Yeah...I hope you’re not mad.”
“No. No, why would I be? You...like what you like, I get that.” he said, choosing to stare at the mug of crappy coffee he held in his hands rather than into her pitying eyes.
“Like I said, it’s part of why Kouga and I just don’t work. The other part is—”
“Look, you don’t have to explain anything to me. I get it.”
Kagome let out a frustrated sigh.
“Kouga and I made an agreement, y’know. He wasn’t exactly happy about the breakup either, but he said he would be okay with ending everything amiably if I did him a tiny favor.”
“I can just imagine what that was.” Inuyasha grumbled under his breath.
He may not have been looking at her, but Inuyasha could smell the anger beginning to build behind Kagome’s usually sweet demeanor. He knew he was pushing his luck, but fuck it, he was upset. It wasn’t fucking fair.
“He asked me to set up something with you and he would talk to Ayame for me, dickhead."
Inuyasha supposed he could be too—wait, what?
"'Set up something'?" he asked, eyes snapping up to hers in an instant.
Kagome had the grace to look guilty as she started fiddling with her phone again.
"Yeah, you know like...well, like a…a date. Considering you’re bi, I told him I didn’t think it would be a problem." Kagome said, shrugging. Her tone said casual, but Inuyasha could tell she was ready to run.
"'A date'?" Inuyasha demanded, completely and utterly floored. "That brainless wolf asked you for a date from me? While you dumped him?"
Kagome nodded, not looking up at him. Her typing got noticeably faster.
"Okay, not only is that not happening, but I am going to punch him in the face the next time I see him for even daring to think it would."
"I wouldn't start anything in public, Inuyasha, I like this restaurant and want to come back someday." Kagome sighed. She finally looked up, but her gaze was trained on a spot over his shoulder and she bit her lip, worriedly.
"Why would I start anything here?" Inuyasha asked her, raising a brow.
"'Cause I invited Kouga here and he's heading your way now, so behave." Kagome said quickly, sliding out of her seat and snatching up her bag beside her.
Inuyasha's jaw dropped as the scent wolf hit his nose almost as if on cue. He'd been betrayed. By his best friend, no less.
"Hey Kouga!" Kagome's smile was bright, but it couldn't cover up the scent of traitor as she greeted the wolf when he finally sauntered around the corner of the entrance. She stepped over to give him a hug when he reached their table and Inuyasha saw he was in jeans and a light gray T-shirt with his boots. He must have ridden the motorcycle since he smelled like gasoline and outside. The typical musky scent of wolf layered underneath it a bit too well for the hanyou’s liking. Kagome threw him a look that plainly said, ‘play nice’ over Kouga’s shoulder when he lifted her off her feet a little in his excitement. Oh, Inuyasha would be paying her back, with interest. He swore under his breath and chugged his coffee wishing it were something stronger even if it wasn’t noon yet. Kagome and Kouga ambushed him in the a.m., dammit. They would fucking get theirs, all right.
“Hey, doggo. Long time, no see.” Kouga said, setting Kagome down and sliding into the booth across from Inuyasha. His hair was down and actually looked brushed for a change, for the love of the gods. “What’s with the sour face?”
Kagome called out her good-byes over her shoulder as she all but booked it to the door. Inuyasha could catch her easily, but chose to let her think she’d escaped for now. He had a bigger problem to deal with anyway:
The wolf was watching him like he won the lottery, tail wagging obnoxiously against the wood of the booth. The humans around them couldn’t see it, of course. Just as they couldn’t see Inuyasha’s true ears, fangs, or claws. Glamours had become a required part of integrating with the human world in the modern age. Of course, only powerful yokai were capable of maintaining a convincing one for longer than an hour, but Inuyasha had been drilled relentlessly until he could even hold the illusion in his sleep if he wanted. Sesshomaru was definitely still a ruthless bastard, but he made sure Inuyasha had what he needed to survive when it came right down to it.
“You didn’t answer my question.” Kouga said, icy blue eyes taking in every inch of Inuyasha’s slumped and grumpy form.
“Maybe because I don’t want to. What the hell are you doing here?” Inuyasha grumbled, shoving his mug away before he shattered it in his grip.
“Did Kagome not tell you? She was the one who said she wanted to talk to you about it first and she didn’t even—”
“Of course she did, bonehead. I told her there was no fucking way you and I are dating so she called you over here and took off. Now, here we sit.”
Kouga cocked his head to the side, like he didn’t get it. Inuyasha might mock the young wolf’s intelligence on the regular, but he knew he was far from stupid. He didn’t really expect Inuyasha to agree, did he?
“So, she told you why I wanted to date you, right?” Kouga asked slowly, as if talking to a child.
“I assume it has to do with my roguish good looks and sparkling personality?” Inuyasha drawled, checking the time on his phone. If he left now, he could just make it to Kagome’s train and scare the shit out of her as she disembarked. Would serve her right even if he could never actually bring himself to lay a claw on her. This whole thing was just awkward and uncomfortable as fuck.
“Actually, it’s because my pack is looking for an alliance. Dog yokai weren’t exactly our first choice, but the way those panthers are starting to operate, we figured better safe than sorry.”
Inuyasha’s gaze snapped back up to meet Kouga’s, mouth agape.
“You want to date me...so the panther clan won’t wipe you mangy fleabags out? Is that what I am hearing right now?” he asked, irritation slowly building behind his clenched teeth.
“I already told you, it ain’t mange. It’s yokai eczema,” Kouga huffed out, “and I figure a united front of canines is better than letting them run everything in Japan. Or do you not like living here anymore?”
“What...how can you...where...what about Kagome?” Inuyasha asked, desperate.
“What about her?”
“You were all about having her as a mate for years and now you just toss her to the curb for me? Knowing all this was going on even before she was born. Hell, before her mom and gramps were even born. You didn’t stop and think ‘hmmm, maybe a human mate is not a good fit for me’?”
“Yeah…see,” Kouga did look ashamed as he glanced around to make sure they were actually being ignored and leaned his elbows on the table. “Kagome doesn’t like guys, much as I wish she did. She’ll always be top bitch in my book, but that doesn’t exactly make for a successful breeding pair. That’s why I relented.”
“Pfft, and you think we’ll have a better chance of that? I ain’t exactly ovulating anytime soon, jackass.”
“You know what I mean.”
“No, I really don’t, but guess what? I don’t give a shit and I am going home. Good luck on the alliance hunt. I think the foxes might be interested so hit them up on the way to the station, yeah?” Inuyasha said, getting to his feet.
“Inuyasha, what do you want?” Kouga asked, voice tinged with panic.
Inuyasha’s ears twitched in interest.
“What?” he asked, freezing with his hand on his wallet to pay for the, frankly, too-cold coffee.
“What...do I have to do or give you for you to go along with this?”
Where did he even begin? Inuyasha had been making a list of what he felt owed since Kagome first introduced them. Now he had the opportunity, his brain was stalling a bit. He sat back down slowly, pondering just what he would be guaranteed to get away with.
“We ain’t fuckin, so put that out of your mind.” he said, lowering his voice just enough that only Kouga would be able to pick up what he said. The wolf looked immensely disappointed, to Inuyasha’s surprise, but nodded.
“Okay, fine, what else?”
“I want a wagyu dinner. The good shit. From Kobe.”
“The ‘no sex’ will be harder, to be honest.” Kouga muttered darkly.
“You want steak, you get steak,” he said louder, easy smile snapping back into place, “that all?”
“You have to help me prank my brother. He pissed me off a few days ago and I need to get him back before my reputation as the worst little brother to ever exist takes a hit. Oh, and tickets to the Bears’ game.”
Kouga sighed, but nodded impatiently.
“Okay, yeah, fine. You done?”
“Hmmm, I’m keeping my own place. I finally got it the way I like it so I’m not moving in with your pack. Sorry, but not the least bit sorry. My nose suffers enough when you’re around, I can just imagine a whole compound of you.”
“Ouch. Hey, I don’t talk shit about your scent all the time.”
“You compare it to a puppy all the time.”
“Yeah, well, I mean it in a nice way. Puppies smell nice. Nicer than babies, anyway.”
“So, you’re actually agreeing? You’re agreeing to date me?” Kouga’s grin was far too wide for a man who had just had a laundry list of demands dropped in his lap, excluding sex, every fang on display and tail wagging even harder somehow.
“Do you have to phrase it that way?” Inuyasha asked, scowling. “At most, this is a business contract but yeah, I guess. Down boy, we’re in public and your drool is going to ruin the table laminate.”
Kouga reined himself in just as a waitress finally made her way over to ask what he would like to order, but his smile never left and his gaze kept darting to Inuyasha the whole time. The hanyou already regretted his decision even as he put in a large order he fully planned on making Kouga pay for.