A radio was on somewhere in the background and Kagome tried to sing with it as she heated her bowl of pink fondant over boiling water. Her hair was screwed up on top of her head and her arms bared to the elbows. She worked quickly, taking small strawberries and dipping them by their stems first in the fondant, then sugar and transferring each frosted result into its own paper cup. This process was not without drips and more than one strawberry disappeared, never to be seen again, into the pink coating but in the end she had a round dozen. Wax paper went over the fruit, the fruit went in a heart-shaped box and the lot was wedged with care in the top of her back followed by a bag of strawberry Apollo chocolate boxes.

Kagome sighed and hit the shower, this holiday was costing her a mint.

Not that it went unappreciated on the other sideā€¦

"What do you think they represent?" Miroku asked, turning the little pink cone about between his fingertips.

Shippou busily rattled another handful out of his box, "The picture in the background is of strawberries and they taste of strawberry."

"No, that's too simple, there's more to this than that. These treats are given to the men in young lady's life," he contemplated the pink cone on his palm again, "as signs of affection."

Inuyasha snorted and plucked the candy from Miroku's palm, "Why don't you just come out and say it, Bouzou, they look like swollen teats," he said, popping it in his mouth.

"Nipples, I would say nipples. Much nicer-sounding don't you think?"

"They taste like strawberry chocolate." The other two just smirked.

"Inuyasha," a clear voice carried across the hillside. "Come here, I have something for you."

Inuyasha schooled his face and stood up to walk towards the tree line where Kagome waited.

"I wanted to give you your present away from the others," she said, stepping a bit further into the woods.

A pair of pink cheeks were all he could see of her downcast face and she had something behind her back.

"Those other boxes were just for friends, I wanted you to have the real thing." A gasp was all the warning she got before the box was knocked from her hands in the sudden grab he made for her. Her startled exclamation was swallowed by his eager mouth and within moments they had melted together to the forest floor, box forgotten.

Sometime later a sated hanyou lay with his head pillowed on his lover's breast, teasing lazily at a pink nipple. "Yep, I definitely do like the real thing from you better. But why the hell hand out candy nipples to your friends?"

She silently pulled the box of smashed fruit out from underneath her. "I have no idea. It's just tradition, I guess."