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What Are You Supposed To Be?

Chapter 9

Chapter 9:  What Are You Supposed To Be?




     "Hold still, Shippou dear." Kagome's mom tried to keep from poking the hyper child with the needle as she put the finishing touches on his Halloween costume. Shippou twisted every few seconds, trying to see what his aunt was doing behind him. She told him to look at a spot on the wall in front of him and not move.


     "Ouch!" Shippou bounced and she jabbed herself with the needle. She stuck her injured finger in her mouth.


     "Can I go now? Are you finished?" Shippou hopped from one foot to the other. At his aunt's weary nod, he raced across the room to examine himself in the mirror. He stroked the plush reddish-brown fur of his costume. Turning his back to the mirror, he looked over his shoulder to study the fluffy tail that hung down. He wiggled to make it wag.


     "I look just like Todd!" he exclaimed, turning around and putting his hands on the glass. He stared intently at his image, bared his teeth, and growled at the mirror.


     "Who's Todd?" his aunt asked, starting to put the sewing supplies away.


     "Todd is the fox in 'The Fox and the Hound,'" Kagome explained as she came into the room. "Shiro is going as Copper, the hound dog." She moved to the mirror and frowned at her reflection over Shippou's head. This costume idea of her grandpa’s was certainly different. It was some kind of traditional garb from centuries ago and probably had something to do with one of the legends grandpa was always droning about.  One hand smoothed down the thin material as the other one twisted her hair into a knot at the nape of her neck.


     "Not like that, dear." Her mother came over and pulled her hair back, tying it with a piece of white ribbon. She smiled and adjusted the fit of the material across her daughter's shoulders.


     "What am I supposed to be again?" Kagome shook out the full sleeves of her white top. It fit her form snugly, tucked into loose red pants. She liked the way the material swished when she walked.


     "It's a traditional Miko outfit," mom replied. "Grandpa's been reading a lot of legends lately. Besides, you couldn't come up with anything else." She stepped back and eyed her daughter's form critically. Satisfied, she finished tidying up the sewing room. Shippou spun in a circle, trying to catch his fluffy fox tail. Kagome picked him up after he made himself dizzy and collapsed. She carried him into the kitchen where grandpa was sitting at the table and pretending to read one of his historic books. In actuality, most of his attention was centered on the candy bowl in the middle of the table.  He kept sneaking pieces when he thought nobody was looking.


     "Stop that, grandpa," Kagome scolded. She put Shippou down and grabbed the bowl of trick or treat goodies. Grandpa frowned and tried to grab it back.


     "I paid for those. I should be allowed to have as many as I want." Kagome sighed in exasperation and put the bowl on the top shelf of the cupboard where he couldn't reach them. He stomped out of the kitchen muttering about ungrateful grandchildren taking his candy.


     Souta ran in, wearing a patch over one eye, a bandanna on his head, and waving a plastic sword around. "Avast, me hearties," he growled, trying to sound tough. "Hand over all your candy or I'll make you walk the plank." He poked Kagome in the back with his sword.


     Kagome spun around. "Do that again, you little freak, and you'll be sleeping with the fishes." Souta frowned at her.


     "That isn't what real pirates would say." He ducked when Kagome lunged for him and ran into the living room with her right behind him.


     Kagome had backed Souta into a corner and was threatening to skewer him with his own sword when the doorbell rang. She abandoned her brother to go answer the door, leaving him slumped against the wall in relief. "Saved by the bell."


     "Trick or treat." Kohaku looked like a double of Souta, except that he had a large plastic hoop earring clipped to one ear. He grinned at her, showing carefully blackened teeth, and held out his goodie bag. Sango and Miroku stood just behind him.


     Mom came out of the kitchen and handed Kohaku a candy bar for being such a 'cute little pirate.' He made a face, but didn't object since 'cute' was getting him candy. He spied Souta, drew his sword, and ran over to start a sword fight in the middle of the living room. Mom reprimanded them mildly to not break anything. She dragged Sango inside to 'ooh' and 'aah' over her engagement ring, wanting to know when the wedding was and if she had registered at any stores yet. Miroku shifted uncomfortably and tried to stay inconspicuous so that he wouldn’t be dragged into the conversation, not that either of the ladies paid any attention to him. Wedding talk made him uneasy. It had taken all of his courage to ask Sango to marry him. He wasn't ready for the actual ceremony yet. Sango seemed to enjoy the planning and preparations, so he was willing to stand back and let her take care of it all.


     Kagome studied her best friend's costume. Sango wore a form-fitting, one-piece black outfit and had what looked to be a giant boomerang strapped to her back.


     "What are you supposed to be?" Kagome asked curiously.


     Sango grinned at her. "You're not the only one who listens to your grandpa's stories." She twirled a little so that Kagome could get the full effect. "I am a demon exterminator, and this," she patted the boomerang, "is my weapon."


     Kagome reached out to touch it. She tugged a little and was surprised at how light it was. "Don't worry about it being heavy," Sango assured her friend. "It's made out of Styrofoam."


     Miroku tapped the floor with a simple wooden staff he carried, making the decorative golden rings jingle. "Isn't anyone going to ask about my costume?"


     "Okay, Miroku." Kagome eyed the young man's costume. It was very purple and black. "So, tell me, why ARE you wearing a dress?"


     Sango stifled her giggles with both hands. The boys had stopped their sword fight to listen and started laughing so hard they had to hang onto each other to stay upright. Shippou looked confused.


     "It's a very pretty dress," he told Miroku. This made everyone laugh harder.


     Miroku stood up straight and jingled the rings on his staff. "This is NOT a dress. I am wearing the traditional robes of a Buddhist monk." Sango stopped giggling and patted his shoulder consolingly, but he just crossed his arms and sulked.


     Kagome tried to stop laughing and, as long as she did not look directly at Miroku, she was successful. She found treat bags for Shippou and Souta, grabbed the fox-child's hand, and hustled everybody out the door. "Come on. I promised Inuyasha and Shiro that we would meet them before it got too dark."




     "What do you think Inuyasha will be wearing?" Kagome asked Sango as they walked to the nearby park to meet him and Shiro. Shippou was content for now to walk quietly beside her, without his usual bouncing and running. Kohaku and Souta kept having sword fights and threatening to make people walk the plank.


     "Probably jeans and a tee-shirt." Miroku craned his neck around to watch a group of girls dressed as cheerleaders with really short skirts walk by. Sango smacked him. He rubbed his head and grinned sheepishly at her. "Last year he tied orange and black strings around his wrist. He said that he doesn't dress funny for anybody, not even Shiro."


     Shippou started bouncing again. 'Mental note,' Kagome thought. 'Hide Shippou's Halloween candy. This kid is too hyper as it is without more sugar.' She looked ahead to see the park and another small figure dancing in place next to someone clad in red.


     "Shiro!" Shippou squealed and took off at a run. Shiro met him halfway and they danced around each other like a pair of excited puppies. Shiro was dressed in a tan and black costume with a white front. He wore a headband that had floppy brown ears attached. A tail dangled behind him, whipping from side to side as he jumped around Shippou. Kagome heard a snort and looked up to meet Inuyasha's violet eyes. She smiled at him.


     Inuyasha grabbed Shippou who was pulling on Shiro's tail. "What are you supposed to be? A squirrel?" Shippou squirmed out of his hold.


     "I'm a fox!" He kicked Inuyasha in the shin and scampered out of the way. Inuyasha growled, but Kagome laid a hand on his arm and he calmed. Miroku snickered at the obvious influence Kagome had over his friend.


     "I am a man of the cloth." He held his staff in front of him and backed away when Inuyasha raised his fist to hit him. Kagome frowned at Miroku who promptly hid behind Sango.


     Sango decided to save Miroku from getting beaten to a pulp by his best friend. "You're wearing a costume," she noted. "Miroku said you wouldn't. What are you supposed to be?"


     Inuyasha turned to face them so they could get a good look at what he was wearing. He was dressed in loose red pants and a red coat-type top with a white shirt underneath. The rusty old katana that he usually kept in the glass case above his sofa was strapped to his waist. "I'm a samurai."


     Kagome blinked at him. "I thought samurais wore black." He looked away and mumbled something. "What?" she asked.


     Shiro ran up, panting from his games with Shippou. He grabbed her hand and giggled when she ruffled his hair. "The stores were all out of black clothing. Daddy had to get another color. He said that he wanted to be a warrior since you were going to be a priestess. You were going to be in red and white and Daddy wanted to match. He said--"


     "That's enough, Shiro," Inuyasha interrupted. Kagome couldn't be sure in the fading light, but she thought his face looked a trifle red. "Why don't you go chase Shippou some more?”


     Kagome blushed a little. "That's sweet, Inuyasha." She looked over to where Shiro and Shippou were running in circles on the grass, chasing their tails and giggling. They yipped and growled at each other in high voices.


     Inuyasha crossed his arms. "There's nothing sweet about it. I just like red." Sango nodded with a slight smile on her face. Miroku slapped him on the back and gave him a broad wink.


     "Hey, Sis!" Souta skidded to a halt in front of Kagome. "Can we go? Everyone will be out of the good candy if we don't hurry."


     She nodded and called to the kids who were now doing somersaults and getting grass stains on their costumes. Shiro's dog-ear headband had fallen off and Shippou's tail was starting to lose some of its fur. She picked grass out of their hair, fixed Shiro's dog ears, and turned to find Inuyasha watching her. He took his son's hand while she held Shippou's. Shiro looked up at her and smiled, reaching for her. She folded her fingers around his small hand, feeling her heart clench at the trust in his sweet face. Sango sighed as she watched the four of them walk across the street to the first house. Kohaku and Souta were already there, begging for candy.


     Miroku held out his hand to her. "Shall we go, My Lady."


     Sango smiled and placed her hand in his. "Of course, Sir Monk."




Food for thought:


Two wrongs don't make a right.


But three rights make a left

copyright: The Literary Dragon 2004