Ryoma laughed hard as he fixed the Halloween costume on his cat Karupin.
The raccoon cat was dressed to look like a regular from his school.
Ryoma himself was dressed to look like the cat, with tan and white clothes, shoes, tail, ears, and a little cat nose and whiskers (drawn on by his mother, who was all too happy to do it).
Ryoma was taking Karupin to a pet costume party at the local animal shelter.
Ryoma, being an animal lover, had agreed to go the second his mother had told him about it.
The shelter was hosting this costume party to raise money.
Leaving his house Ryoma was horrified to run right into his fellow teammates, and closest friends, though he swore never to tell them that as long as he lived.
Momo, Eiji, Takashi, Fuji, and Oishi looked shocked for a moment, then started grinning at him like idiots.
Tezuka, and Kaidoh just stared at him, unsure of what to say at all.
And Inui just scribbled down "Data."
"Ummm I can explain."
Ryoma blushed, wishing he had run into anyone else but them right now.
Karupin mewed pulling on the leash Ryoma had him on, Causing all attention to be pulled to him.
"Ochibi-chan! Why is your cat dressed like…you?"
Eiji was laughing now, bending down to scratch the cat under its chin.
"I'm taking Karupin to a costume party down at the animal shelter…you come dressed up with your pet and they donate ten dollars to the shelter to help find good homes for animals."
Ryoma wasn't embarrassed by what he was doing; it was for a good cause after all. But he was embarrassed that he was being seen by them like this.
He knew there was no way he was going to be able to live this down.
"Saa, Echizen do you have to have a pet to go to this?"
Ryoma looked at Fuji like he was the one in the cat costume.
"Well no, if you just come dressed up they donate five dollars. Why?"
It was then that Ryoma realized that his teammates were dressed up.
Fuji was dressed as a half angel, half devil.
Momo was dressed as Dracula.
Oishi was dressed as a cowboy.
Eiji was dressed as a ninja.
Takashi dressed as a football player.
Inui was dressed as a mad scientist, which they all thought fit him to a T.
Kaidoh was dressed a biker.
And Tezuka, most likely forced by Fuji, was dressed as a rock star, which he also didn't look pleased for wearing.
It hit Ryoma what Fuji was asking.
"Oh no! NO, NO, NO, NO! I'm leaving; you nine are going to do whatever it is you all were going to do!"
Ryoma tried to walk away but Fuji fixed him with his overly sweet smile. The same sweet smile that made them thinks he had something evil up his sleeve. Which half the time he did.
"Saa, Ryoma don't you want to hang out with us outside of the courts?"
Ryoma sighed. He knew there was no getting out of this now.
With all but three of them grinning and smiling, and one writing down "Data", the group made their way to the animal shelter.
Once inside Ryoma signed Karupin and himself up for the costume party. The top three winners won money.
Third prize was fifty dollars, second prize was one hundred dollars, and first prize was one hundred and fifty dollars.
"Echizen what are you doing?"
Looking over his shoulder, he looked up at his captain.
"There's a pet and owner costume party at 7."
The two made their way back to the group.
Ryoma was happy with the nights events, people thought Karupin looked adorable dressed as a tennis player, and that Ryoma himself was even cuter dressed as Karupin.
"Aww mommy, look at the cute kitty cat! It looks like a tennis player!"
A little girl came over to where Ryoma, Karupin, and his teammates were having a drink.
The little girl was dressed up like a lady bug, and looked to Ryoma with bright blue eyes.
"Is he yours?"
"Yep! His names Karupin!"
He smiled at the girl, looking ever so proud of his cat.
"Want to give him a cat treat?"
Ryoma pulled out the bag of homemade treats he had bought at one of the booths, that were set up to help raise even more money for the shelter.
He handed the girl a treat and she knelt down. Karupin took the treat from her happily, purring and rubbing against her legs after he was done eating it.
"Looks like he likes you!"
The girl smiled at him before running off to join her mom.
Oishi was about to say something to the younger boy, but was stopped by the announcer calling out for the pets and their owners who were going to be in the costume contest to come up on stage.
Grinning, Ryoma and Karupin ran up onto the stage.
On stage with Ryoma and Karupin were nine other people and their pets, all ranging from boys and girls, age, and pets.
The first was a woman with a small dachshund; the two of them were dressed like clowns. The second was a teenage boy and his boxer, the two looked like punks. The third was a man and his ferret, they both wore suits and had brief cases, and apparently they were lawyers.
Next was a kid a little older than Ryoma and a bird; somehow he had gotten the bird in a dress, but it wasn't happy. After that was a little girl and her cat who were dressed like princesses.
The sixth was a woman and her parrot dressed as surfers. After her was a boy younger than Ryoma, he and his dog were dressed as ninjas.
The eighth contestant was an old woman and her cat, dressed like each other. The ninth contestants were a man and his dog dressed like resellers.
And the last ones were Ryoma and Karupin.
It didn't take long for the judges to choose the winners.
In 3rd place were the little girl and her cat dressed as princesses. In 2nd place were the woman and her parrot dressed as surfers.
And in 1st place, to the team's surprise, were Ryoma and Karupin.
Smiling Ryoma thanked the judges and walked off to get his prize money from the owner of the shelter.
Walking over, the group overheard their younger teammate's conversation.
"Mr. Echizen this is too much! Are you sure you'd like to do this?"
Ryoma shrugged like it was nothing.
"I don't need the money. And besides that's why I entered the contest, so if I did win I could give the money to the shelter."
The others were shocked, but it wore off quickly. They knew Ryoma was that kind of guy. Giving away the prize money to help the shelter, well that was nothing to him.
In the end, the owner of the shelter took the money and made a special, to Ryoma's embarrassment, announcement of what he had done, and that the shelter was going to be able to expand.
The rest of the night was filled with partying and fun.
It wasn't 'til after midnight that the group left. They decided to walk with Ryoma back to his place, seeing as he was the youngest of 'em all.
Yawning Ryoma looked to them all, then down at Karupin.
"It's late. Why don't you guys stay over for the night?"
He rubbed the back of his head, clearly embarrassed.
"Folks will be out so they won't mind and…"
Eiji lightly bopped him on the head, shutting him up.
"Don't be so shy Echizen; it doesn't look right on you."
Smiling, the group made their way inside.
~later that night Ryoma's parents were a little surprised to see Ryoma and his friends crashed out in the living room.
Ryoma's head was on one of his teammate's shoulders, and Karupin was curled up on another boys lap.
Grabbing her camera, Ryoma's mom took a snap shot of the scene.
In the morning Ryoma would throw a fit about it. But for now it was the perfect ending to a perfect night~.