Walk into My Parlor

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: (AU) 99.9 KINU, the hottest radio station, is hosting its annual Halloween Haunted House. Inuyasha has snagged tickets for the first walk through. However, at midnight of Halloween, more than just mechanical monsters awaken in the house and the group finds themselves at the mercy of the true spirits of Halloween.

Warning: Mature means mature.

Chapter One The Hunt

Wednesday October 28th

Radio Announcer (female): Hey all you boys and ghouls out there, this is RinTinTin coming at you live from the decorating of the House of Fear. Yes, once again we'll be hosting our annual haunted house. Tickets are on sale now, or if you want, you can try to win them from the station, but please, no voodoo. I hate it when you people try that stuff on me. Ha. The house will open October 30th at midnight, making it October 31st and will be open until midnight of October 31st, the twenty four hours during which the spirits of Halloween are allowed to roam the earth. So, keep on listening and rocking away. Stop by and say hi as well. The address for the haunted house is on our website. I'll be the one with paint on her clothes and a hammer in her hand. Very! And to leave you with some Halloween humor: do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers? Nope, they eat the fingers separately. Ha ha. Oh boy that cracks me up. And now back to the real reason why you listen to this station, the great music.

Sengoku Jidai High School

Lunchtime

Kagome Higurashi sat in the library furiously working on her chemistry homework. She had completely forgotten about this one little assignment that was due fifth period, the period right after lunch. Absentmindedly twirling a section of her raven locks around her fingers, she calculated and scribbled fast. There was possibly a pop quiz over the section on limiting reactants. She had to be ready for it.

"Kagome!" A hushed voice called out from afar. Kagome looked up momentarily to see her friend Sango walking over to her. Kagome smiled, waved the girl over and turned back to her homework. One more problem to finish and she'd be done.

"Consider the following reaction; two moles of sodium phosphate react with 3 moles of barium nitrate to make one mole of barium phosphate and six moles of sodium nitrate." Kagome carefully read, taking in the words and symbols. She wrote down the equation, checking and double checking to make sure she had it down correctly. Writing the wrong number of moles or the formula incorrectly could cause problems later on, problems she definitely wanted to avoid.

Sango sat down next to Kagome and looked over her shoulder to see what it was that she was concentrating so hard on. "Chemistry?" Sango asked recognizing the abbreviations of chemical elements and their compounds.

Kagome sluggishly nodded as she was still concentrating on the work in front of her. "I have one more problem if you can wait."

"Sure, no biggie. Miroku says that Inuyasha has some big announcement to tell us." Sango said, putting emphasis on the word to let Kagome know that there was a slight rush to have her to finish that so they could zip on out.

Kagome continued on with her problem, ignoring what Sango had just said. Inuyasha's big announcement could wait. "A solution of 3.50 grams of sodium phosphate is mixed with a solution containing 6.40 grams of barium nitrate. How many grams of barium phosphate can be formed?" Kagome grabbed her calculator and pulled it near her. "So what's the big announcement?"

Sango shrugged her shoulders. "Don't know. Miroku said that Inuyasha wouldn't tell him. Only that it was big." Again with that word. Kagome remembered when Inuyasha thought that the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was big news. His idea of what 'big' meant was only slightly skewed. Kagome didn't take it worth a grain of salt.

"Right." Kagome arched her eyebrows. She needed to finish this. "Okay, 3.50 grams of sodium phosphate give me," she punched the numbers in the calculator and after hitting the 'equal' button, wrote down the answer. "0.0213 moles. Then 6.40 grams of barium nitrate gives me 0.0245 moles."

"Why are you taking chemistry again?" Sango half inquired. She had her cell phone out and was text messaging people who were in class bored out of their minds and eagerly waiting for lunch.

"Nursing." Kagome quickly answered. She was a junior this year. Chemistry was normally taken during one's junior year and then physics senior year. Kagome however was doubling up, taking both chemistry and physics this year and then next year, she was planning on taking advance chemistry at the local community college. "I have more moles of barium nitrate than sodium phosphate, but by the equation I need at least 1.5 times more the amount, which I don't have, so the limiting reactant is barium phosphate and that means," she punched a few more numbers into the calculator before coming to her final answer. "There, 4.92 grams of barium phosphate will be created."

Satisfied with her answers, she stuffed the papers into the folder and slammed the book shut. Grabbing the folder and the book, she placed them inside her backpack, zipped it up and looked over to Sango with a warm smile. "Lunch."

Sango grinned back. The girls stood up and headed out of the library towards their lockers. Kagome exchanged her backpack for her coat, scarf, gloves and purse. Sango grabbed her car keys and coat. It was a very cold October, where the girls were greeted by frost in the morning and frost on their way home after school, and in between those times, they never saw the sun.

Sango was a senior and was looking forward to graduating at the end of the school year. She and Kagome had been friends forever, forever being almost their entire lives, even though there was the grade difference. They had been enrolled in the same pre-school that was open to a range of ages. Despite the difference in grades, meeting after school and on weekends helped to cement their bond. Junior high passed by and finally, they were together again in high school.

The girls headed out toward the parking lot hoping to make it out before everyone else did. The lunch rush was horrible as the parking lot turned into a demolition derby and it wasted precious minutes away from the lunch hour. Miroku and Inuyasha would meet them at their normal lunch place. It was a local diner that many didn't know about, so it wasn't busy when they needed food in a hurry. They had been going to that place for as long as the first one of them could drive.

The girls climbed into Sango's black SUV and she hightailed out there quickly, tires burning a bit of rubber prematurely signaling to those in class that lunch was soon approaching, waking them up in preparation for the bell. Kagome gripped the handle of the door as Sango drove. For the two years that Kagome had been Sango's passenger, she still couldn't get used to her driving. Her heart pounded and she was compelled to grab handles of various kinds to keep her body from failing around in her seat. It was fun, yet reckless.

Slippery When Wet Soup Shop

Parking in her normal spot in front of the diner, the girls climbed out and headed into the Slippery When Wet Soup Shop. It was a small shop that could seat no more than thirty customers if extra chairs were brought in around the tables. Dark, varied tiles were grouted to the floor randomly, giving no sense of pattern or design to the squares beneath their feet. A large window welcomed them into the shop, and on the inside, thick shiny curtains of a color that matched at least one of the tiles strung across the top. Maroon colored walls bound them inside with blue leather seats for the booths. The kitchen provided warmth that contrasted with the cool shades chosen for the palate.

The slender waitress smiled and waved them in, motioning them to their normal booth. She was a woman reaching her early thirties, but she had the attitude of someone much younger. She was a woman that the gang got along with splendidly. Inuyasha and Miroku were already waiting, half drunk glasses of ice water sat in front of them. The girls rolled their eyes at the boys before sitting down with them. To them, it was always a race to see who arrived first. And today, the boys had won. Sango took the spot next to Miroku and Kagome sat next to Inuyasha. This was the normal seating arrangement for the four friends, boy girl, boy girl, a pattern that they didn't question.

"So," Sango started, removing her coat, directing her glances at Inuyasha. "Big announcement I hear." Miroku helped her so that her arm wouldn't accidentally knock over one of the water glasses. She gave a smile of thanks and folded the jacket up, placing it in the small space between them. Miroku groaned at the barrier she put up. She was subtly difficult like that. A challenge in her own right, and she was a challenge he was eager to face.

Kagome looked over to the man sitting next to her. He too was a senior, in fact, most of her friends were. But the age difference wasn't about maturity. It was quite the opposite with the males of her group of friends. He was Inuyasha. Every girl's dream. Not that every girl would actually date him in real life, he was, however, hands down one of the most handsome boys at the school. With his long silver hair, mesmerizing golden eyes that didn't exist in any other living being, muscles that rippled with each move he made, who wouldn't be enchanted? And being of youkai heritage, he had acquired a few extras that added to his mystique, white velveteen dog ears that stood proud and tall on top of his head, peering over his set of silvery bangs, fangs that always stuck out when he smirked, and claws that any human woman would be jealous of. That was just the beginning.

Then there was Miroku. At first glance, he too was a good looking guy. Dark, unruly hair that he tried to tame by keeping the longer parts in a tiny ponytail, glistening damson eyes and a flirty, genuine smile to melt any girl's heart, no matter what their age or ancestry was. However, first glances aren't always what they seem, as Miroku was the biggest pervert at school. He could charm any girl, until he decided to touch her, grope her most innocent and intimate parts. That usually earned him a slap or two. However, none knew how to slap him with more style and grace than his dearest his dearest Sango.

Miroku's extreme like for any beautiful girl was just a fact of life, and his crush for Sango was common knowledge. She was the girl above any other, and she was the girl that was always standing above his unconscious and twitching body when he provoked her past her point. But the two of them shared their kinder moments. Rare that they were, it was a sign that Sango liked Miroku more than a friend.

Inuyasha leaned back into the booth and smirked at his friends. "You know my brother?" He started as he fixed his red t-shirt that he normally wore. Red was his color of choice.

Everyone nodded. "The iceman." Sango commented on her perception of Inuyasha's elder brother.

"The one without a heart." Miroku added his own thoughts.

"Fluffy?" Kagome questioned. Not quite along the same lines as the previous too comments, but it was her own interpretation of Inuyasha's elder brother.

"Yeah." Inuyasha couldn't believe that Kagome had called him that. All because when Inuyasha's older brother was a young boy, he had this fluffy thing that was equivalent to a kid's security blanket. It was a nickname one could not say in his presence without suffering some kind of trauma. "Sesshoumaru. Anyway, he's been dating this girl for a while now."

Kagome gasped. "You mean Sesshoumaru is dating?"

Inuyasha shook his head at Kagome's dramatics. "He's got the same urges." Kagome tried to shake that image out of her head.

Miroku took a sip of water. "That makes him alive though. As cold as he his, I for sure thought he was the walking dead." Sango silently agreed.

"Yeah, moving on." Inuyasha rushed on wanting to get to the good part. "Anyway, her name is Rin."

"Rin?" Kagome asked as she remembered a girl of the same name. "She graduated last year. Isn't she a bit young for your brother? He's like a junior in college."

Inuyasha looked over at Kagome and nodded. "Yeah. He'll be graduating next year. So, anyway . . . "But he was interrupted before he could get to the good part.

"I wonder how they met." Kagome spaced off as she thought about how this girl Rin and Sesshoumaru met, how he wooed her and what she saw in Inuyasha's older brother. "Rin has been working at the radio station for a few years now. Isn't your brother into law or something."

"Sesshoumaru is dating RinTinTin?" Miroku asked Inuyasha, referring to Rin's on air nickname. They knew Rin when she had gone to their high school.

"Can I talk or what?" He growled at his audience. Each one slinked deeper into their seats hoping to avoid a scene from Inuyasha. Everyone remained silent, so he continued. "Anyway, yes, the same Rin. Because she works at the station, she gets tickets and crap for all of the cool stuff around town. And she was feeling a bit generous." Inuyasha reached into his pocket and pulled out four slips of paper. "I got us tickets to be the very first people to walk through KINU's haunted house."

They all stared at the tickets Inuyasha held in his hands. Normally, tickets for haunted houses were pretty cheap, ten bucks or so. However, to get the tickets for the first hour of the haunted house were spendy since they were so popular. People who won them and didn't want to go were selling them for at least a hundred dollars. Not to mention that KINU had a reputation of hosting the scariest and most frightening haunted houses in the city's history.

"Sesshoumaru didn't want to go." Sango stated. Kagome giggled because Inuyasha was left speechless. "Rin gave him the tickets and he told her no, so she gave them to you."

Inuaysha stuffed the tickets pack into his pocket. "Keh. So fuckin' what. I got the fuckin' tickets. Four of them. Be glad I decided to invite you." His glare directed at Sango for being so perceptive. His glare directed at Sango for being so perceptive.

Kagome looked over at Inuyasha, a bit sad, but she did her best to cover it up. "Yeah, who else are you inviting?"

Inuyasha stared at Kagome in disbelief. Didn't she know? It should have been obvious. The four of them had been hanging out for as long as he could remember. They did everything possible together; the fair, small vacations, trips to the mall, except dances. They usually ended up going with other people, but they would all go to the same place for dinner and ended up at the same after party.

"Get a brain." He told her. The waitress appeared with their usual orders. No need to look at menus or wait. The chef started their food at the same time during the school week and it was ready at the same time. If for any reason anyone couldn't make it, a phone call was made ahead of time.

Inuyasha ordered the special hanyou-sized ramen, in honor of him. He had complained that the amount served to him was never enough. So, one day, the chef made a special serving just for him. However, another customer in the shop noticed it and wanted it as well. From then on, it was a size available for those who craved that much food.

Miroku settled for simple miso soup with a side of rice. His family came from a line of Buddhist monks and all family members were required to join the monastery for a few years before living out their real life. Miroku was planning on college first and then joining up with the monastery for a few years after that. As a family of Buddhist, they adhered to the strict rules of the religion, and because of that, Miroku was a vegetarian. Most of the time. He had been caught by Sango once or twice indulging in meat.

Sango was a bit of a health nut. She exercised daily, took her vitamins and watched what she ate. She too was an athlete and the food she ate would compliment the activity she was participating in. The other thing was that Sango couldn't always decide on which soup to eat. Many she found on the menu were healthy. So, she let the restaurant choose for her. After talking to the chef about her likes and dislikes, he was able to come up with something for her that matched her needs and tastes. Most of the time, the soup she was served was the daily special. However, if a soup made from cream or milk was the special, the chef would serve her won-ton soup. Sango enjoyed the variety.

For Kagome, she liked beef pho, a Vietnamese soup that smelled as good as it tasted, hints of ginger filling her nose with each breathe she took. With a spoon full of chili sauce and a squeeze of lime, she was a happy camper. It was a soup that filled her up without making her feel like she overstuffed herself.

"So," Miroku started up a new conversation while they ate lunch. He didn't like silence at lunch time. They were told to keep quiet in school. This was their time to get it out of their system before the final classes of the day. "The Halloween party."

Everyone glanced over at Inuyasha. The school had a strange tradition that was followed every year. The most popular person ended up hosting a series of parties throughout the year. That person was in charge of location, time, date and the purchasing of food and beverages. In order to be able to attend these parties, one had to pay a smell fee since the most popular person was not always the richest person. For Inuyasha, money wasn't an issue. His father was a big time politician, so there was money. But the fee was part of the tradition.

There were several types of parties. Many were small ones held after sporting events. The attendance was good, but it wasn't a party that the most popular person was in charge of. No, the most popular person was in charge of twelve parties. The Zodiac parties. The first two were held in August and/or September depending on when school started. There was the last day of summer party, the party where those who attended the parties registered for the following eleven parties. The next one was the first party of the school year. It was a party that introduced freshman and one that reminded everyone who the seniors were.

Next was the Halloween party, the one that was coming up in a few days. Following that was the Winter Dance party held in November, followed by the Christmas party. Next was the New Year's Day one, Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, Prom and the Graduation Party. At least two hundred people came to each party, guaranteed. And this year, Inuyasha was in charge of them.

It made sense that Inuyasha was the one to carry on the tradition. Sesshoumaru held the same post when he was a senior. Apparently, people that were cold-hearted assholes could also be very popular. Inuyasha was the smart-ass asshole type. Inuyasha had a duty to uphold. Too many students depended on those twelve parties. For some, it was a chance to be popular, a chance to finally get drunk, or a chance to finally get laid. It was a make it or break it deal for many.

Inuyasha refrained from answering while he ate a bite of his ramen. It was loaded with lots of noodles, lots of vegetables and lots of meat, with just enough broth. It was exactly how he liked it. He never got tired of it. And he knew he never could. He feared the day when he would no longer be able to eat the stuff. It gave him life.

"Yeah, uh, okay." Inuyasha spoke looking down at his food, unable to look at his friends.

Kagome sighed. She set down her chopsticks and spoon. "You haven't made preparations for it yet, have you?" She would know. It was her that reminded him that last year's senior appointed him the successor. And then she had to remind him when to hold the first party, and the second party. Then she had to remind him about collecting the money, and then buying the needed supplies.

Inuyasha shook his head shamefully. He knew about the parties. Everyone had been reminding him for the last two weeks. Everyone had started talking about it as soon as the stores started selling Halloween costumes.

"Inuyasha!" Sango cried out, dropping her spoon into her soup. "Halloween is like three days away and you've done nothing?"

"Hey, I got us tickets to the haunted house." He yelled back as his only defense.

Sango rubbed her forehead. He was giving her a headache. "Yes. And not everyone can go to that."

Kagome rested her hand on Sango's arm. The warm smile on Kagome's face calmed the pulsing in Sango's head. "It's okay Sango. Everything is taken care of." She reassured her friend.

"Kagome, don't tell me . . . again?" Sango inquired.

"The announcement will be in tomorrow's bulletin." She went on to describe about the party to those who needed to know. For those afraid to talk to Inuyasha, they would ask Miroku or Sango about it. "It'll start at eight o'clock, October 30th."

"How come not the 31st?" Miroku asked. He then started to shovel in the rice from the bowl that accompanied his soup. His meal was as traditional as the Halloween party.

"I asked some people about it. Many have to escort their younger siblings trick or treating. Also, with KINU's haunted house, I thought it would be better to have it a day earlier." Kagome explained the difference for the date. She was always one to take in so many different considerations.

"And the supplies? Location?" Sango asked wondering how Kagome was able to handle the party, school work and the rest of the things that happened in her life. It was a lot to take on.

"I talked to Sesshoumaru. He's already purchased and ordered everything I legally can't. My mom helped me with the food stuff. Chips, dip, candy. The party will be held at Inuyasha's cabin place since that is the best place for parties. Everyone knows where it's at. I also purchased Halloween decorations. Streamers, pumpkins, and fake spider webbing." Kagome beamed with pride. She didn't mind planning the parties. In fact, she always had to look after Inuyasha. He had problems remembering important dates. "What?" She asked when she noticed the blank looks everyone was giving her.

"Wow, Kagome. I'm impressed." Sango smiled. Kagome had always been the more mature one of the group. She was able to remind them about tests when she wasn't even in the same class.

"Oh, I took it upon myself to put into the bulletin that there will be a costume contest at the party since it is Halloween and it'd be nice if we could get people to dress up."

"Hey, that's a great idea." Miroku spoke right out, setting down his now empty bowl of rice. "We could have best girl and best guy. I'd be a natural judge for the girl in the best costume."

Sango almost couldn't believe what she was hearing, but then again, it was Miroku. It was the most natural thing for him to say. Sango had to use physical force to keep herself from hitting in him public like this. She hit him once a few years ago and it scared the cooks.

Kagome shook her head at the idea. "Sorry. I thought that a voting system would be better, uh, more impartial. Little slips of paper that people would write their choices down on."

"Any kind of prizes to be awarded?" Sango knew that Kagome's family did not have the finances that Inuyasha's family had and she was curious as to how Kagome was able to purchase the items she did for the parties. Sango didn't think that they had made that much money from the fees.

"Yes. I went to some of the local businesses and they were willing to hand out some gift certificates. I guess these parties are pretty well known to just about everyone in town. Many went to them when they where in high school." Kagome glanced over at Inuyasha who had remained silent throughout the three-way conversation. "Uh, Inuyasha?"

"What?" He gruffly replied, still filling himself with his ramen.

"Nothing." She snapped. She could sense that something was bothering him, but she knew not to disturb him when he was eating.

"So, Kagome, this must mean you already have a costume picked out." Sango picked up her bowl and drank the last of the broth.

"Um, not really. I've looked, but haven't found anything. I don't know if I'll actually dress up." She focused on her soup, stirring around the long rice noodles, searching out for pieces of beef, anything to avoid the topic.

"That would be a shame." Miroku said eyeing Kagome. Kagome just glared at the monk-to-be and she quickly glanced away with a slight blush graced along her cheeks.

"Do you have one Sango?" Kagome asked, hoping that maybe her friends answer would give her some inspiration.

"Yep, I do." She proudly stated with a mischievous smile on her face.

"What is it?" Kagome didn't know that Sango was into this whole dressing up for Halloween tradition.

"Yes, do tell Sango dear."

Sango slyly grinned. "Sorry, it's a surprise."

Miroku frowned, but then he smiled. At first he was sad that he didn't know what she was going to go as, however, the surprise might be worth it. Now he couldn't wait. He already had a costume picked out as well.

Kagome looked over at Inuyasha who was still eating, so she couldn't ask him if he had a costume picked out yet. Kagome finished the last of her soup. It was time to be heading back to school for the last few periods of the day. She had a lot to do to get things ready for the party.

Everyone pulled out their money, enough for lunch and the usual tip. Kagome and Sango headed to Sango's SUV while Miroku and Inuyasha went to Miroku's black four-door. It was a short drive back to school for afternoon classes.

"So, Kagome, what are you doing after school?" Sango asked as she drove down the deserted streets.

"Uh, homework, and then I was going to have my mom take me out to Inuyasha's cabin so I could decorate, make sure everything's clean, toilet paper and that all of the breakables are put away safely." Kagome looked over at Sango. "Why do you ask? Don't you have practice?"

"Yeah, I do. I was thinking more along the lines of after I got off of practice." Sango turned the corner and headed down the street towards school. "You know, you should really think about getting a costume."

"Why? I'll spend the whole evening doing what I normally do at these things. Make sure that there is enough food out, and that all the kegs are properly tapped, as well as cleaning up vomit. I don't think I should get a costume for doing that. Well, I could get a maid costume." Kagome joked. She not only planned the parties, but she also ended up making sure that everyone had what they needed. At the last party, Rin embarrassed her by handing her a box of condoms and instructed her to put some in each room for the amorous couples.

"That's an idea." Sango pulled into an empty parking lot. She turned off the vehicle, but grabbed Kagome's arm before she could get out. "Kagome, let's go look for one when I get done with practice. Then I can drive you out to Inuyasha's place and we can decorate together."

"I don't know Sango. A costume? That's so elementary school."

"For me. I'm dressing up. It'll be fun. I promise." Sango pouted and gave Kagome the best puppy dog face she could muster up.

Kagome couldn't help but laugh at her friend. "Fine. Fine. I'll be in the library after school doing homework. Find me when you're done."

Sango cheered for herself and the girls piled out the car. Back inside the school, they headed to their respective classes. As soon as school was over with, Kagome grabbed her books and went to the library. She was glad that she ended up with an MP3 player so she could not listen to the idle chatter many did in the library. Sango went to volleyball practice and Inuyasha and Miroku went to football practice.

The Witch's Way Halloween Shop

Later That Evening

Sango and Kagome entered the store. It was the best place for Halloween costumes, but they were more on the pricier side. There weren't very many people inside. The two girls figured it was because everyone had their costumes already picked out. This meant that there weren't many left and Kagome would be stuck with crappy leftovers.

The girls headed to the adult female section. They were both amazed to still find a wide assortment of costumes. There were the usual witches, devils, angels, and fairies, time period costumes, costumes from popular movies and so on. The girls decided it was best to just look and find something.

"Hey Kagome, anything in mind?" Sango asked as she looked at the packaged costumes.

"Not really." Kagome replied as she too searched through the costumes. Nowadays, there were so many more choices. When she was a little girl, it was easy, princess, fairy or ballet dancer. As someone older, there were different expectations. Instead of looking cute, girls were silently required to look sexy. Legs, cleavage, those were in demand. Those were what made people take notice of one's costumes. Kagome wasn't interested in either of those.

"Okay, well, how about you just sit down on the floor and I'll flash a few in front of you?" Sango suggested. Already in her hands were half a dozen potential costume choices for Kagome. Kagome found a stool and sat down. Sango cleared her throat and then smiled down at Kagome. "Kagome, the purpose of Halloween costumes for adults like ourselves is to be something we're not in our normal everyday existence. A day to play dress-up. You must step out of your comfort zone just a bit."

Kagome didn't like where Sango's little speech was going. Yes, she knew she normally played it safe. But she had too because no one else did. Even though she was the youngest, she was the babysitter, the adult.

"Our first theme is fairies." Kagome rolled her eyes at Sango's dramatics. Why was she making a big deal out of this? "There are several Tinkerbell costumes." Sango flashed a few in front of Kagome. "Then you have your woodland-nature type. Your gothic, graveyard, fallen angel ones, and the angel ones."

Kagome picked up a few and looked at them. The girls shown on the covers were extremely pretty, thin, and well endowed in the chest area. Of course the costumes looked good on them. They had professionals to help them. Airbrushing, wasn't that the big thing for models these days?

"Uh, I don't know." Kagome hesitated as she glanced over each of her options in the fairy category.

"Well, don't pick yet, we've still got several more categories to go through. Next is nurses."

"Nurses? Like scrubs and stethoscopes?" Kagome asked. "Sango, I'm already planning on being a nurse in real life, how does that get me away from my normal everyday existence?" She asked quoting Sango.

"You're right. Skipping the naughty nurse costumes." Sango went back to the racks and grabbed several more costumes before returning. "Okay, medieval and renaissance period pieces. The damsel in distress. Juliet."

Kagome giggled. "Oh and who would be my Romeo?" She joked. Kagome was a girl that never really had a boyfriend. It wasn't high on her 'to-do' list.

"Kouga wants to be." Sango pointed out.

Kouga. Kouga was a nice guy, good looking and popular who had become slightly obsessed with Kagome over the years they were at school. He too was a senior. Kagome fully remembered the last party. Kouga was there, extremely drunk, proclaiming his undying love for her among other things. Kagome, being the nice girl that she was, couldn't just flat out tell him to leave her alone. But things only got worse. He ended up throwing up on her legs.

Kagome shook her head at the disgusting image. "No. Vomit does not count as a mating claim." She said referring to his demon instincts to mark his woman before officially claiming her. "And any female who considers it such is just . . . ew, that's just gross."

"That was gross. What did you do with those pants anyway?" Sango put aside the medieval costumes. They weren't what she wanted Kagome to wear to the party anyways.

"I burnt them, and then sealed the ashes with wards. That container is now at the bottom of some really deep hole that they were using to build some apartment complex." Kagome explained. She had miko powers. Many who were miko ignored their abilities and tried to live life like a normal human being. Kagome had come from a family that still respected spiritual abilities. Being a nurse was just a natural extension of her miko powers.

"That's a bit extreme, isn't it?" Kagome shook her head at Sango's question. "Other time period pieces. The roaring 20's, flapper girls, hippy girl, disco chick, sock hop girl." Kagome shook her head at all of those ideas. "Uh, oh, this ones cute, a Greek or roman goddess. The shoes in the picture are cute."

Kagome took the package and examined the picture. Sango was right, the shoes were cute. But still, this didn't seem like a good idea. The costume was comprised of very little material. Kagome tossed the package with the other rejects.

"Kagome, there has got to be something here for you."

"Sango, perhaps this is how the gods are telling me that I'm safer in normal clothes. Kouga may try to claim me again."

Sango laughed. "Nah, Inuyasha won't let it happen."

"What?"

"I said Inuyasha won't let it happen." Sango repeated, saying the words slower, more pronounced.

"Yeah, yeah, I heard that part. But why do you say that?"

Sango picked up the rejected costumes and put them pack where she found them, not wanting to leave a huge mess for the ladies who worked at the shop. Kagome and Inuyasha. That was an interesting topic. They were friends, but then again, they argued like enemies. Sango and Miroku both swore that there was something else there, but when the topic came up for discussion, no one spoke a word. Neither Kagome nor Inuyasha had ever confided about feelings beyond friendship.

Sango just waved her hand around. "Forget I said anything." Sango went around the rack to the other side to look for costumes. "What about being a sexy policewoman, or something?"

"No, drunk guys will think I'm hired entertainment." Kagome yelled back. She sighed. This was pointless. She hadn't worn a costume since the sixth grade. Why now? Why was Sango so determined to get her into something?

"Ohmigod. I found it. This is it." Sango came hurrying from the other side with a couple of packages in hand. "This is what you're going to wear."

"Don't I have a say in the matter?" Kagome asked. Standing up, she walked over to Sango to see what the big deal was. Kagome looked at the costume and sighed. The girl in the picture was showing a lot of leg and a bit of cleavage. "Uh, I don't think I'm adult enough for that."

"Nope. I am getting this for you. And you are wearing it." Sango took the items and walked up to the front of the store.

"Sango, stop." Kagome protested, following the determined Sango up to the front. "I can't wear that."

"Why not?"

"Because, well, look at that. I've never worn something like that. I doubt I could pull it off."

Sango shook her head. "Look at the title of this costume. It's more like a joke than anything else. You'll only have to wear it for three hours and then you can change. Unless you want to wear this to the haunted house."

"Sango, I don't know." Kagome held the costume in her hands. It was a bit much. But the joke Sango referred to, it didn't really seem much like a joke. There was something else there. Sango snatched the costume out of Kagome's hands and placed it on the counter. The woman rang everything up and Sango paid for it. Grabbing Kagome's hand, Sango tugged the girl out of the store and into her SUV.

They drove up to Inuyasha's cabin and worked on the decorations. The matter of the costume was not brought up. Instead talks of volleyball games and the upcoming winter dance happened. Kagome sighed at that, because she knew she would end having to plan for that one as well. It was all right though as she told Sango that she already had ideas for the winter dance party. Sango thought for sure that Inuyasha would have to name her successor at the graduation party, but Kagome said that she wasn't popular enough, just organized.

The Higurashi Shrine

After the few hours it took to decorate the cabin, Sango dropped Kagome off with her new costume. Once inside the house, she met with her mom who fed her reheated dinner. Kagome's mother approved of the costume and said she would look adorable in it. Her mom even offered her suggestions on how to wear her hair. Kagome blushed and immediately excused herself from the embarrassing conversation.

Inside the comfort and safety of her room, Kagome sat on her bed and took out the costume. She didn't even get a chance to try it on to make sure it fit. She figured she'd better do it now. Part of her was wishing it wouldn't fit and it was the only one like it left so she would have an excuse not to wear a costume. But as she stripped of her clothing and slowly pulled the outfit on, another part of her was excited about it.

Dressing up was a fun thing she used to do when she was a little girl. Kagome slipped the costume on and then tip toed to the mirror to take a look at herself. She didn't recognize the person staring back at her. She looked a bit more mature with the innocence of her normal self. Kagome turned away form the mirror, not wanting to look at her reflection.

It wasn't her. She wasn't like that. Never would she be like one of those girls. She had plans, goals, and acting like some . . . she couldn't even bring herself to think of such a thing. Kagome quickly pulled off the costume and tossed it aside. It was time for her pajamas. And then homework. Not only that, but she had a party to think about.

A Scribe's Babble:

For those of you who are superstitious, Happy Friday the 13th. And for those of you who are not superstitious, Happy Friday.

I want to say thanks for stopping by and checking this story out. All chapters will be posted by Halloween. From the looks of things, I might be able to pull off posting a new chapter every other day, so on every odd numbered day.

Reviews are greatly appreciated but not necessary for new chapters to be posted. Reviews can be questions, comments, suggestions, whatever.

roshully