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Don't Eat the Yellow Snow

Chapter 17

Chapter 17:  Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

 

     "Mama, have you seen my gloves?" Kagome dug through yet another box of winter clothing that had been brought down from the attic. Three scarves, four hats, and fifteen mittens without mates lay in a pile on the floor.

 

     "Did you try the pockets of your winter coat?" Mama walked by with another box of Christmas ornaments. Only three weeks until Christmas. It seemed like Thanksgiving was only yesterday. Kagome smiled to herself, remembering the dinner with friends and family.

 

     Sango and Miroku spent the whole time squabbling good-naturedly. You would think they were an old married couple. Kohaku and Souta sparred with the butter knives and offered morsels to Buyo until the fat cat was so stuffed he couldn't even move. Cousin Taro and Naomi came down for the day and brought Shippou with them. Shippou bragged that he was going to be a big brother. This caused Shiro to whine to his daddy that he wanted a baby, too. Inuyasha smiled at Kagome when he said 'someday.'  She turned bright red while Mama got a blissful expression on her face at the thought of grandchildren and offered her future son-in-law more mashed potatoes -- food being her usual way of showing approval of any guests in her home.  The more she liked someone, the more she fed them.

 

     Kagome sighed happily as she dug into the pockets of her coat. Inuyasha could be so sweet when he tried. He and Miroku got the wishbone and Inuyasha managed to come away with the bigger piece. He refused to tell her what he wished for, though the look in his eyes gave her a pretty good idea.

 

     "I found them, Mama!" Kagome called, pulling out first one glove and then the other. She walked into the living room to find Mama sorting through the boxes of Christmas decorations. Mama held up a plaster plate with a crudely drawn Christmas tree and 'Mery Kristmas, Mama' written in a childish hand.

 

     "You're not putting that out, are you?" Kagome exclaimed.

 

     "It's one of my favorites," Mama said, setting it aside and picking up a half-melted snowman candle, "and I think it's adorable."

 

     "I did that when I was six." Kagome looked in horror at the box full of Christmas things she and Souta had made over the years. "You're not going to show those to Inuyasha, are you?"

 

     "I put these out every year, dear. If they're good enough for this house, then they're good enough to show your friends." She smiled at her daughter. "Speaking of Inuyasha, did you invite my future son-in-law and grandson over for Christmas?"

 

     Kagome blushed. "Don't you dare say anything like that around Inuyasha! We haven’t even mentioned marriage. Before I forget, Sesshoumaru and Rin might be coming. Is that okay?"

 

     Mama smiled a motherly smile, but she didn't pursue the matter. "The more the merrier. Well, you better run or my future son-in-law will wonder where you are." Kagome groaned as she ran out the door.

 

^**^

 

     "When's 'Gome going to get here?" Shiro asked as Inuyasha pushed his arms into the sleeves of his coat.

 

     "Soon, Shiro," Inuyasha replied, shoving a hat onto Shiro's head.

 

     Shiro tried to push the hat up. “I can't see!" Inuyasha pulled the material away from the child's eyes. He worked the little hands into warm mittens and wound a scarf around Shiro's neck. Stepping back, he studied the little body covered in layers of cold weather gear.

 

     "All done," Inuyasha said with a note of satisfaction in his voice, "and it only took us thirty minutes." Muffled squeaks came from the little boy. Inuyasha pulled the scarf away from his mouth.

 

     "I gots to go potty, Daddy!" Inuyasha resisted the urge to bang his head against a wall. Things were almost simpler when Shiro still wore diapers.

 

^**^

 

     Kagome held Shiro's hands in hers, patiently teaching him how to make a snowball. Broken trails crisscrossed the once pristine winter wonderland. Children and adults had come to the park to play in the first heavy snow of the season. Miroku seemed content to stay close to Sango, probably because winter clothes concealed most of the female forms he loved.

 

     "Now what, 'Gome?" Shiro asked, holding a lopsided snowball in both hands.

 

     "Put it down and roll it in the snow like this," Kagome instructed. She demonstrated with another snowball. "See how it gets bigger. When it's big enough, we can make a snowman." She left Shiro energetically pushing the snowball around and looked for Inuyasha. He was crouched down by the trees at the edge of the clearing, looking for rocks to make the face for Shiro's snowman.

 

     With an evil grin, she pulled one of her gloves off and walked up behind Inuyasha. She touched the back of his neck with her cold hand. He flinched, lost his balance, and fell into a snowdrift.

 

     "Ugh," Inuyasha said, spitting out snow. "You're going to pay for that."

 

     "Eating snow again, Inuyasha?" Miroku called from the snow fort he was building with Sango. “Just remember not to eat the yellow snow."

 

     Shiro looked up from his growing snowball. "Why not?" He pouted when everybody started laughing. What was so funny about yellow snow?

 

     Inuyasha trotted over with a handful of rocks. "Good snowball, Shiro. Now we need two more."

 

     The snowman was soon finished. Inuyasha lifted Shiro up to place the old hat on top. Miroku walked around the snowman several times, examining it from every angle.

 

     "That's a nice snowman," Miroku said approvingly. "He looks just like you, Inuyasha."

 

     "It does not look like me," Inuyasha objected. He stared at the snowman with its wintery grin and two thin sticks for arms. The third snowball that served as the head had ended up getting bigger and bigger, and now it perched on top, giving the poor snowman a deformed look.

 

     "Sure he does." Miroku patted the oversized head. “He's got a big head, just like you." He flashed a grin at the look on Inuyasha's face before taking off at a run.

 

     The girls sighed as Inuyasha tackled his best friend to the ground and shoved his face into the snow. Kagome scooped up a handful of snow and packed it into a ball. Her throw connected with the back of Inuyasha's head. Inuyasha very calmly climbed off of Miroku. He bent over to scrape some snow off of the ground. Carefully, he formed it into a ball, brushing off the loose snow until it was completely round. Looking over at Kagome, he grinned.

 

     "Uh oh." Kagome ran. She squeaked when the snowball impacted against her back. Sango laughed, until Miroku's snowball smacked into her.

 

     "This means revenge," Sango growled and started rolling snowballs. Her first throw missed Miroku, striking a teenage boy instead. His companion laughed, only to get a face full of snow from someone else.

 

     "Snowball fight!" someone shouted. And the mayhem began.

 

     The littler kids, including Shiro, watched from the sidelines. Miroku had a pile of snowballs that he jealously guarded from raids while lofting frozen missiles at friends and strangers alike. Inuyasha pulled Kagome behind a tree just before a snowball exploded against the trunk. Her breath puffed out in clouds, eyes shining with excitement. She had lost her hat at the beginning of the battle and her ears were getting cold. An icy gust of wind blew through the branches and she shivered.

 

     "Are you cold, Kagome?" Inuyasha wrapped her in his arms. She shivered again, but for a different reason, a happy smile curving her mouth.

 

     "Why would I be cold, when you're so warm?" She giggled when he rubbed the cold tip of his nose against her cheek. Both yelped, and Inuyasha cursed, when a shower of snow came down on them from the branches above their heads.

 

     "No fair hiding behind the trees!" Miroku prepared to lob another snowball at them. Inuyasha pushed Kagome away from him.

 

     "You are so dead, Miroku," he roared. At the look on Inuyasha's face, Miroku dropped the snowball he held and started running. The snowball fight was winding down as parents began to gather their children together to head home for dinner. Miroku looked around and, judging the nearest hiding places to be too far away, did the only other thing he could thing of.

 

     He darted over and grabbed Shiro, holding the small boy in front of him like a shield. Shiro giggled as he was hoisted in the air. Miroku backed away, keeping Shiro between him and an enraged Inuyasha.

 

     "What are we playing now?" Shiro asked.

 

     "We're playing 'keep Daddy from pummeling Uncle Miroku,' Shiro," Miroku said, continuing to back away, "and you're the shield."

 

     Kagome clung to Sango, both of them laughing until tears rolled down their cheeks. Miroku and Inuyasha continued their little dance around the clearing while Shiro laughed, shouting encouragement to his daddy.

 

     "Higurashi?"

 

     Kagome whipped around at the sound of the hesitant voice behind her. Sango swallowed the last of her giggles, craning her neck to see who was calling. The smile slipped off her face and she cast an anxious look at Kagome.

 

     "Hi, Hojo," Kagome said.

 

^**^

 

Food for thought: (courtesy of Avistone)

 

Never argue with a stupid person. First they'll drag you down to their level. And then they'll beat you with experience.

copyright: The Literary Dragon 2004