Disclaimer: I hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this bit of Christmas fluff… especially for the one who enjoys flustering a particular miko whenever I give him the chance.
The Monk and the Mistletoe
"And this would be…" trailed off the monk in utter confusion.
Kagome glanced back over her shoulder and laughed at Miroku's puzzlement. "It's called a Christmas stocking, Miroku-sama."
"People wear these in your time?" he asked in disbelief.
"No, of course not!" Kagome quickly explained. "They're more of a decoration. The stocking is hung by children on Christmas Eve, and when they wake in the morning it's filled with gifts. I brought that one for Shippo," she said, nodding towards the fuzzy red sock in Miroku's hands.
"I see," said the monk thoughtfully. "Your era has some very interesting traditions."
Kagome nodded absently as she rummaged for tacks in the bottom of a box of holiday fripperies. "You know, you don't have to help me with this, Miroku-sama. You can go join the others if you like. It won't take me long to put the rest of these things up."
The monk just smiled. "I don't mind, Kagome-sama. Besides, I'm curious about the strange things you bring back from your home. Some of them are quite fascinating. Like… this thing. What is this, Kagome-sama?"
The young woman turned to the monk and stifled a groan. "Oh, you would find that one, wouldn't you," Kagome muttered.
Miroku quirked a questioning brow and held the item up a little higher, eyeing it closely. "This holds some special significance?"
"You could say that," mumbled the miko, avoiding the monk's gaze.
Miroku brightened perceptibly, and set to wheedling the truth out of the embarrassed young woman. Stepping closer, he held the odd bundle of greenery toward her, making it bounce and sway at the end of its velvet ribbon. "What is this, Kagome-sama?" he repeated in a light, sing-song voice.
"It's nothing," she insisted gruffly.
"Come, now, Kagome-sama. We both know you don't lie very well," Miroku said in an amused voice and took another step towards her. "I suspect this is a tradition I shall be most interested to discover," he prodded teasingly.
Kagome sighed and shrugged. "Fine. It's called mistletoe."
"Ah. Mistletoe," said the monk, cheerfully testing out the new term. "So tell me, Kagome-sama, what is the tradition surrounding mistletoe?"
Though Miroku now stood quite close, Kagome kept her eyes averted. "You hang it from the ceiling," she said slowly.
Glancing up, the monk found one of the many pegs Kaede used for drying herbs and looped the ribbon over it so that the mistletoe dangled above Kagome's head. "Is that it?" he asked, knowing it couldn't be.
Kagome squirmed uncomfortably. "No."
Miroku reached over to lift her chin, forcing the miko to meet his gaze. He smiled warmly. "I won't give up until you tell me, Kagome-sama, so you might as well get it over with."
Blushing furiously, Kagome blurted, "When two people stand under the mistletoe, it is traditional that they share a kiss."
Both of Miroku's eyebrows rose is surprise. "Is that so?" he mused. Looking at the spot over Kagome's head where the mistletoe hung, he took a step forward in order to join her beneath it. "Like this?" he asked quietly.
Eyes widening, Kagome backpedaled desperately. "It's just a silly tradition, Miroku-sama. It's not as if you're required…" was as far as she got before she lost her train of thought entirely.
Miroku slowly, gently brushed Kagome's lips with his own, barely making contact. He drew back just enough to allow the miko to focus on his eyes, which sparkled with mischief. "That wasn't so bad, now, was it?" he asked. Kagome, relieved the monk hadn't pressed his advantage any further, shook her head and gave Miroku a small smile. "Good," the monk said, planting two small kisses on the dimples at each corner of her mouth before pulling away.
Stepping back towards Kagome's box of seasonal decorations, Miroku cleared his throat. "I like your mistletoe very much, Kagome-sama. It's a fine tradition," he pronounced as he rummaged around. "I don't suppose there's any chance I'll enjoy the significance of this thing nearly as much," he asked with a crooked smile.
Looking at red and white striped candy cane in the monk's outstretched hand, Kagome blinked, then giggled, then shook her head. "No, Miroku-sama, but you may go back to being useful and put one in Shippo-kun's stocking." The tension broken, Kagome smiled shyly up at the monk. "Merry Christmas, Miroku-sama."
"And to you, Kagome-sama," returned the monk with twinkle.
End Note: This drabble was written in answer to the Live Journal's iyficcontest community's challenge for Week 80, on the theme "Holiday." It's a sequel of sorts to a drabble I wrote at Halloween entitled The Monk's Trick.