"So, who are they?" Kagome's mother asked, concerned. "They won't put you out of business, will they?"
Shippo gave a small cough that masked his lie. Or maybe emphasized it. "Not a chance. We've been doing our jobs just a bit longer than they have. They might look like pros, but we're artists."
Kagome really wished she had the same faith that Shippo pretended to have just now. Things were less certain and they did worry - however, what her mother didn't know wouldn't worry her. Like, say, the fact that Kagome was still married to Shippo, or that one of their targets had tried to cut off Kagome's leg for no better reason than strange revenge. Like the fact that there was no young man in Kagome's life, which explained why she never brought anybody home for her mother to meet.
But maybe there would be. As inappropriate as that was, maybe there was some chance... Maybe if she had her way... But no. Shippo was... Well, they were friends. She couldn't just break that friendship for a romance that would probably not even work. They were too different.
"They're new in town," Shippo went on. "And in the country, I suppose. Kagome's been keeping an eye on them."
Well, there definitely was somebody that Kagome couldn't keep her eyes off. Not that her mother needed to know that. Or Shippo. Although maybe he'd figured it out.
"They're a bit strange," Kagome said. "Two have white hair, they remind me of Sesshoumaru, maybe they're relatives."
"Don't even joke about that," Shippo scoffed. "One of him was enough, I've never been happier than on the day he emigrated to South America."
"Or fox demons."
"Don't joke about that, either."
"One of them is called Hitsugaya Toushiro. He looks like a kid, but doesn't act it. Then there's Aizen Sousuke, he's always looking nice and warm." Kagome paused, uncertainly.
"And Ichimaru Gin."
Kagome restrained a sigh. She didn't know why, she didn't know how, she couldn't understand it, but while keeping an eye on him, she'd decided Gin was fox-like. And smart. And handsome. And mysterious. And fun. And strange in a good way. And cool. And interesting. And sort of like Sesshoumaru, as far as strength and stuck-up-edness and doing only what he wanted went, and she'd always had a tiny wee bit of a crush on Sesshoumaru. And somebody she really, really wanted to get to know better, possibly through other methods than stalking.
It must have been all the watching him through binoculars, studying his patterns, noticing all the nuances of his smile, his sleekness. She wanted to be there, to sit on his desk and have that smile directed at her. She wanted to smile back.
Shippo would kill her if he knew.
"Oh, yeah," Kagome lied cheerfully. "We're going to be fine."