Kagome had said that she was going to check out the competition. And that was precisely what she was doing. Looking up and down and down and up at that stupid, not fox-like Ichimaru Gin, checking him out alright. Stalking, spying, giggling and grinning. Maybe she thought he didn't know. Well, he knew.
He looked down at his piece of birthday cake, feeling that in all the hundreds of years since he'd been born he had never been more miserable on this day of the year. Never.
Kagome stopped craning her neck around the restaurant and looked back at him.
"What's wrong?" she asked, oblivious.
"Who are you looking for?"
"Nobody," she said, shrugging it away, although there was a bit of a strain in her manner as she said that. At least she still had the decency to be embarrassed, he supposed.
"Nobody, eh?" But even as he said it her eyes darted around. He plunged the teaspoon into the cake without any real intention to eat it, just to do damage. She gave a small non-committal hum. "Have you talked to nobody yet?"
"Ichimaru Gin," he said, sick of all the hiding and pretenses. "Have you talked to him yet? Or are you just his stalker?"
"I--" she paused, uncertain. "Oh, Shippo. I know he's from the other firm and all, but..."
"Yeah, I gathered the 'but'." He took some cake and started chewing, unable to swallow, trying to be the friend, trying not to cause a scene, because he didn't have any claim on her. Not really. "So?"
Maybe, he thought, maybe he could be there for her through this, too. Comfort her when the snake bastard didn't give a damn, when he insulted her. It was what Ichimaru did with everybody. Yeah, and when he broke her heart, Shippo would be there for her and maybe, maybe... Oh, he could stand up a bit straighter, after all and maybe this birthday wasn't so horrible.
"I what Kagome?" he asked, feeling self-assured now.
"He'sagreatkisser," she spurted out. "And now you know." She looked away, checking out the crowds.
It took a few seconds for him to understand what she'd said, then his stomach plunged down into the depths of hell and took his heart with it.