Black flicked her fairy wings, letting them glitter in the dim lights in the bar. Taking a towel, she began wiping the counter down. Most of the people had left for the night, except the two crazy ookami playing pool over in the far corner, a kitsune who had had too much to drink and was having an argument with himself. Sobbing into his scotch, he’d mutter, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” over and over, and then transform into a woman with long black hair who told him he was a jerk. He did this over and over. Girlfriend problems, Black guessed.
And then there was the guy at the end of the bar. He was ookami, and had come in with the two guys playing pool. He hadn’t drunk much, mostly stared into his beer and let it grow warm, and then called for another. She moved down to his end of the bar, wiped at the ring where he had sat his glass for awhile before moving it back on the coaster. “Can I get you something?” she asked.
He looked up, his blue eyes reflecting red and white highlights from the beer sign behind the bar.
“A new life would be nice,” he said, pushing his glass forward. “But I’ll take another one of these, instead.”
“Can’t do much about the life, but I can handle the beer,” she replied, grabbing his glass.
One of the pool players blew his shot. As his partner studied the table, he looked back at the bar. “Hey, Kouga, want to play the winner?”
Kouga didn’t even bother to look back. “Naw, Ginta. I’d just beat the pants off you,” he said.
Black walked back up with his draft. He reached into his pocket and took out his money. A folded and battered photo dropped out, and skidded across the bar towards Black. She pushed the picture back towards him. “Don’t know who she is, but she looks sweet,” she said, picking up the money.
“Yeah, she was,” Kouga said. “Keep the change, Black.”
He picked up the photo. It was creased and battered from being carried in his wallet so long, but you could still make out the picture of a young woman with soulful blue eyes and midnight hair. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen or seventeen when the picture was taken. She had a small, wistful smile, dressed in some sort of school uniform. A large hand covered one shoulder, half covered by a red sleeve.
“She your sister?” Black asked.
“No. A friend I knew once.” He smiled, put the photo back into his wallet.
“Ah. But you wished she was more.”
“Eh,” he said, shrugging. “It was a long time ago. I was young. She was with someone else.”
The door to the bar opened up. “Damn, this place is dead!” came a loud and raucous voice.
Three people walked into the nearly empty bar - a wild-haired kitsune, a human enough looking man with long blond hair, dressed in a poet’s shirt and tight pants, and a three foot tall bunny. Pink. With rather human looking hands. Who looked like the Easter Bunny after a week long binge.
The loud voice had been the bunny’s.
The kitsune at the far end of the bar heard the bunny, slapped a fresh leaf on his head and suddenly vanished. The ookami, about to make the winning shot at the pool table, stood up and decided to chalk his stick, instead, furtively trying to size up the distance between the table and the door. Kouga took a glance at the trio and sighed.
“Damn it, Pink, what in the hell are you doing in here?” Black said.
“Oh, I just thought I’d see what kind of tale you’re spinning this time, little sister,” Pink said, hopping up on one of the red leather barstools.
“What, you don’t think I could muse a story without you?” Black asked.
Pink rubbed her nose. “Smells angsty in here, sister. Got any popcorn?”
“Fabio!” Black said to the man in the poet shirt. “I thought you said you were going to keep Pink and Snark busy!”
He shrugged his shoulders. “I tried. But they didn’t want to work on Evil in Men’s Hearts. Said Sesshoumaru is too much of a prick.”
Kouga began to chuckle. “That he can be.” He took a swallow of beer. “I take it you all know each other,” said Kouga, spinning around on his stool.
“Oh, she knows us,” said the wild-haired kitsune. “And I know you, Kouga.”
Black gave the kitsune the evil eye.
Kouga tilted his head, looking thoughtful. “Oh, I remember. You were that silly muse who had me talking to you on the phone. Thanks for the advice about Idaho. I got a beaut of an elk in last year’s hunt. That was kind of a fun piece, Snark my man. Even Ayame got a little chuckle.” *
The wolf prince took a deep drink of his beer. “Shame the fangirlz didn’t listen to you, though. They keep putting me through hell.”
Black made a cutthroat sign under her neck. Snark just smiled at her and wiggled his fingers. “You ever call a lawyer, like I told you?”
“Too much effort. When it gets too bad, I just run off to the woods. Or go to one of those wolf protection environmental group meetings. Amazing what a good wolf call does to those little enviro girls.”
Black walked over to the beer tap and began to fill a pitcher.
“I take it you don’t go to’em with Ayame, eh?” Snark said, sitting down at the bar next to Pink.
Black walked and stood in front of Snark.
“Hell no,” said Ginta. “She’d beat him from here to tomorrow.”
Kouga looked at his friend, and began to growl. Black lifted the pitcher, leaned forward, getting ready to pour it on the kitsune’s head, when Pink made a lunge for it, grabbed it out of the fairy’s hands, and downed half of it in one gulp.
Pink wiped her mouth with the back of one paw, smacked her lips, and sighed. “It’s not the Sake of Illumination, but it’ll do.” Suddenly, Pink the plot bunny began to glow....pinkly, as a great influx of muse aura, swirling like a great whirl of jyaki began to rotate around her. Her eyes went from pinkly frenzied to wild and red. “Plot, plot, plot...now what does this story need?”
“Hit the deck!” yelled Snark. “She’s gonna blow!”
“Nooooooo!” screamed Black. “My story!” The muse aura tinged with Pink’s manic laugh pushed her against the wall, even as she tried to claw her way to Pink.
“Plot, plot, plot...ah!” said Pink.
Suddenly, a gigantic disco ball dropped down from the ceiling. The little neighborhood bar suddenly had a huge dance floor, filled with flailing arms and legs, all dressed in shiny polyester and gold. 70s gold. Macho Man blasted through the over powered sound system. Kouga suddenly found himself wearing a white polyester suit,. His shirt was unbuttoned to mid chest. Three gold chains dangled from his neck. “What the hell–“ he said, looking at what he was wearing.
Suddenly, there she was, looking as radiant as the last time he saw her. Her eyes still had that stormy blue gray sheen, her hair was ebony silk. She was wearing a hot pink chiffon halter dress (also of easy care polyester). She glanced at him, them looked away at the crowd dancing..
“Kagome,” Kouga said softly.
Even with the loud music, she heard him say her name. Looking up, she met his eyes, shyly. “Kouga-kun. It’s been a long time.”
They began to sway to the music as it segued into “More Than a Feeling.”
“It’s been a long time, Kagome,” said Kouga. “Too long.”
“I’ve missed you,” said Kagome.
Suddenly, Black jumped on the bar. “No! My story!”
Kouga bent over to nuzzle Kagome’s cheek. Black, being totally ignored by everyone, drew up to her full height. She took a deep breath and with the last dregs of her waning muse power, she screamed in a voice that overcame the sound system, one word. “InuYasha!”
The disco ball hit the dance floor. There was a flash of light, and there, wearing his red fire rat suikan and brandishing a transformed Tessaiga, was InuYasha, his amber eyes flashing and his white hair whipping up with the energy of his youki.
“Oh shit,” said Kouga.
“Hands off her, wolf,” InuYasha said, grabbing Kagome and pulling her close to him. “I’m going to kill you now.”
He raised his sword and said, “Kaze no ----“
Black jumped in front of him. “No, no, no, InuYasha. Don’t kill Kouga! That’s not why I brought you here!”
“Are you crazy, woman?” he said, snarling at the petite plot fairy. “Why’d you bring me here, then?”
“Don’t kill Kouga - kill them!” she said, pointing out Pink and Snark.
“Kill the plot bunny?” he asked.
Black leaned up looking him calmly in the eyes, and batted her eyelids at him. “Please?” she said, breathlessly. “If you do, I’ll send you and Kagome into a week long lemon. With no monks, kitsune, or wolves to interrupt you. I promise.”
He closed one eye, as if thinking and smirked. “Don’t forget the ramen and dried potatos.”
“Of course. All you can eat”
“And lots of those lacy things....what ya call’em....busti...”
“InuYasha!” said Kagome.
“Okay, okay. Whatever.”
The hanyou took two steps forward and lifted his sword.
“I think we better go,” said Fabio. Grabbing his threatened companions, suddenly there was a puff, and the only things left were the youkais, Kagome, InuYasha and Black, and a room full of rubble.
Black gave a mighty sigh.
“Damn,” said InuYasha. “And I was looking forward to that ramen, too.” He sheathed his sword, and grabbed Kagome’s hand. “Let’s go home. You need a bath. Got any of those lacy thingies left?”
“Osuwari,” Kagome whispered, and strode out of the bar alone.
“That’s my girl,” said Kouga, walking over InuYasha’s prone body as he walked back to the bar. “Could I get another beer?”
* refers to the poem Kouga's Complaint