InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Halloweenie ( Chapter 102 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter One Hundred Two~~
~Halloweenie~


-OoOoOoOo OoOoOoOoOoO-

'The things you say
'Your purple prose just gives you away
'The things you say
'You're unbelievable…'

-'Unbelievable' by EMF.

-Evan-


"Arf!  Arf, arf, arf, arf, arf!"

Evan grinned as Bailey knelt on the floor and stared at his sister, barking at her as Evan carefully fussed with the furry kitten costume on the little girl.  "You know, Livvy, you should put these on," he said, holding up the kitten ears that were affixed to a small brown headband.

She shook her head, but smiled at him.

He sighed and shook his head, wondering if Sydnie would have more luck in coaxing the girl to wear them once she arrived in a little bit.  Since Bas and she were putting in a few hours on a case they were working on, Evan had volunteered to watch the children.  Besides, it was pretty fun, he had to admit, and Olivia was a damn fine chick-magnet . . . He'd gotten about five phone numbers when he'd taken them down the street earlier to do some early trick-or-treating, not that he actually wanted or needed the digits.  True, they were very nice looking ladies, sure, but . . . but they just weren't Valerie-Denning-caliber, either.  None of his neighbors had actually seemed put out to have such adorable visitors, even if they were a few hours early.  It was probably better that way, anyway, he figured, since both Bailey and Olivia had managed to fill their little plastic loot containers with candy just from the places where they had gone.  Olivia hadn't said 'trick or treat' or donned the ears, but she'd smiled bashfully, cuddled against Evan's shoulder, and the local womenfolk, it seemed, were quite the suckers for it.  Bailey, on the other hand, had insisted that they take Evan's dogs with them, and he'd enjoyed telling the people that they were his family.

Speaking of those dogs, Momo was edging just a little too close to the children's Halloween buckets, and Evan growled curtly at the animal.  "You guys go on outside and play," he commanded, "before you stick your noses in there."

Three heads swiveled to stare balefully at him.  He almost laughed, but managed not to, jerking his head in the direction of the kitchen and their dog door.  They realized that he wasn't actually joking around, and he shook his head when the collective commotion that they raised echoed through the house as they took off.

Besides, Valerie would probably be there soon, and even though he knew damn well that his dogs were the best behaved bunch of mutts anywhere, he also knew that Valerie really did believe that those same dogs were plotting her imminent demise.

The door opened in the distance, and Evan's grin widened.  'Speak of the devil . . .' It only took him a moment to recognize the feel of Valerie's presence, and he wasn't surprised when she strode into the room a moment later, all decked out in the costume that he'd sent over for her earlier even if she didn't look entirely pleased with it.

She stopped short when she spotted the children, and the slight frown on her face disappeared, and Evan braced himself for the potential of the unnaturally high squeal that most women would unleash upon him.  It didn't come, but it was close.  "Oh, my God!  How cute is she?" Valerie breathed, bending over, bracing her hands on her knees as she smiled at Olivia.  "Hi, sweetie . . . Do you remember me?"

Olivia stuck her fingers in her mouth, twisting her body from side to side as she smiled shyly at the attorney.  "V!" she said, barely above a whisper and without removing the fingers from her mouth.  "You taked me fwimmin'!"

Valerie giggled and ruffled Olivia's hair.  "Yes, I did," she agreed.  "You had that pretty kitty-cat swimsuit."

"Do you like firemans or puppies better?" Bailey demanded, grasping Valerie's hand and giving a little tug to gain her attention away from Olivia.

She grinned up at Evan before giving Bailey the once-over.  "Oh, puppies," she said, and Evan might even have believed her—if he didn't know damn well that she really didn't like puppies better at all.  "Definitely puppies."

"My mommy does, too," Bailey announced, letting go of Valerie so that he could unwrap a grape Tootsie Pop.

"Tan I have dat?" Olivia asked sweetly, popping her fingers out of her mouth and waving her hand at her brother.

Bailey rolled his eyes but handed over the candy without a fuss.  In retaliation, Olivia ran over to her brother and leaned in to plant a big, fat smooch on his cheek as he plopped down to dig through his candy again.  He wrinkled his nose and tried to back away but couldn't avoid the unwanted affection, so he did the next-best thing: wiping his cheek on his shoulder as he dug another Tootsie Pop out of his plastic pumpkin.

Olivia popped the candy into and out of her mouth—she had to strain to do it, her mouth was so tiny—and when she turned away, Bailey, little scamp that he was, reached over to give her tail a playful little yank.

Olivia spun around so fast that Valerie blinked while Evan leaned forward, hands dangling between his splayed knees, and grinned.  The tiny girl pointed a finger at her brother and shook her head.  "No, Bailey!  You don't pull on my tail!  That's bad!" she said, bobbing her finger and stomping her foot to emphasize every syllable.  "You be nice!  Mommy said!"

Valerie pressed her lips together to keep from laughing.  Evan cleared his throat and sucked in his cheeks.

Bailey snorted and rolled his eyes in a thoroughly exasperated sort of way before pinning Evan with a knowing look.  "Women!" he exclaimed, as though that explained everything, and he shrugged, throwing his hands up in the air.  "What can you do?"

Evan burst out laughing at that, since he knew damn well that that particular expression could not have come from the boy's father.  No, it probably came from his 'uncle', Gunnar, actually.  In fact, Evan would lay a bet on that . . .

Valerie reached over and smacked Evan in the chest with the back of her hand to make him stop laughing.  It didn't really work, but he caught her hand and gave her fingers a warm little squeeze.  "Absolutely, Bailey," he agreed.
Satisfied that she'd properly reprimanded her brother, Olivia plopped down on the floor and concentrated on the sucker.

"Are they coming to this kids' party with us?" Valerie asked, pulling her hand away from him and tapping it against his chest again.

"Nah," Evan drawled, reaching for the kitty ears he'd dropped onto the coffee table.  "Bubby and Sydnie are taking them to the children's hospital, though I have serious reservations about that.  I mean, do you really think that they'll want to give away their candy?"

She laughed and rolled her eyes as her gaze shifted back to the children again.  Olivia's sucker was gone—she'd decided that it'd be far more expedient to crunch it than suck on it—and she was leaning over, peering into Bailey's pumpkin.  He nudged her bucket toward her with his foot, but she ignored it, apparently deciding that Bailey's candy must taste better than her own.  Actually, Evan had a feeling that Olivia just liked for her brother to open the candy for her in much the same way that Sydnie refused to drink milk unless Bubby poured it for her.  Like mother, like daughter, he supposed . . .

"Where is your costume?" Valerie suddenly asked, narrowing her gaze as she stared at him.

Evan grinned and held up the kitty ears.  "It's at the YMCA.  I'll just change when we get there."

"The YMCA?" she echoed.

He nodded.  "Yup.  It's a party for the kids I teach music."

"Oh," Valerie drawled as a little smile quirked the corners of her lips.  She seemed satisfied enough with his answer, and she shrugged her shoulders to adjust her own costume.  "This has to be the worst costume, ever," she grumbled, heaving a sigh and slowly shaking her head.

"Nah, you're hot," Evan assured her with a grin and a wink before turning his attention to the children once more.  "Livvy, why don't you come here and let me put your ears on you?"

She blinked and stared at Evan for a moment, her lips glossy and sticky from the candy Bailey had been steadily feeding her.  "I already gots kitty ears," she said with an impish grin that showed off the deep dimple in her cheek.

Evan laughed though he supposed he should try to divert the conversation, lest Olivia say something that she really shouldn't say.  Valerie laughed, too, obviously figuring that the child was just joking.  "You do?" she asked, raising an eyebrow at the little girl.

Olivia nodded, grasping her very human-looking ears.  "See?  Dese is my kitty ears!"

"Bubby likes to call her his little kitten," Evan murmured loudly enough for Valerie to hear him.  "He's kind of weird that way."

Valerie laughed and took the headband from Evan as she slipped off the sofa and onto the floor to scoot over next to the toddler.  "Is that right?"

Nodding happily once more, Olivia's eyes widened as she stared up at Valerie.  "Oh!  I got my ears pierced!" she said, slipping her fingers behind her ears to push them out for Valerie's inspection.  "I'm pwetty like Mommy!"

Valerie leaned in to get a better look at the tiny gold ball studs in the girl's ears.  "Those are really pretty," she agreed.  "But I'll bet you'd look cute with these on," she coaxed.

Olivia giggled and seemed to consider it before finally nodding and giggling some more.  She let Valerie place the band on her head and carefully adjust it.

"What an adorable little kitty," Valerie declared with a smile as she sat back to observe her handiwork.  "You agree, Roka?"

Evan chuckled and nodded slowly.  "Absolutely," he agreed, sparing Valerie a wink.  "Just a hottie, aren't you, Livvy?"

Olivia pushed herself to her feet and moved over to sit in Valerie's lap instead.  "I'm a hottie," she repeated, cuddling against Valerie's chest.

"You are," Valerie agreed.  "You definitely, definitely are."

'She looks damn good with a pup, doesn't she?' Evan's youkai piped up as he contented himself with watching her.

'Hell, yes, she does,' he agreed.  'Better if the pup was mine, though . . .'

His youkai sighed.  'Yeah . . . Yeah . . .'

Sitting up a little straighter when she heard the front door open and close, Valerie wasn't surprised to see Bas Zelig's huge frame a moment later.

"Daddy!" Olivia squealed, pushing herself out of Valerie's lap moments before she skittered over to her father's side.  "Up, pwease!"

"What kind of costume is that?" Evan demanded, arching an eyebrow at the red and black flannel shirt and old blue jeans that his brother was wearing.

Bas chuckled.  "A good one," he countered mildly.  "I'm a lumberjack."

Evan made a face and slowly shook his head.  "Where's your axe?"

"It's in the truck," Bas explained without missing a beat.

"How fucking boring," Evan muttered, shaking his head.

"Yeah, well, after last year?  This was as good as it was going to get," Bas replied.

"What were you last year?" Valerie asked, slowly pushing herself to her feet.

Evan held out a hand to help her, and by the time she stood up, Olivia was safe in Bas' arms while Bailey was standing on the arm of the sofa, while their father laughed and kissed Olivia's baby-soft cheek.  "He was the ass end of a cow last year," Evan supplied with a wolfish grin.

Valerie blinked and stared at him as though she were trying to decide whether or not he was being serious.  "A . . . cow . . .?"

Bas sighed though his grin remained.  "Sydnie likes cows," he supplied.

Valerie nodded, but she didn't look like she really understood that answer.  Evan chuckled.

"Were you two good for Uncle Evan?" Bas asked, arching an eyebrow at his son before glancing at Valerie.  "Nice costume."

"Thanks," she replied, unable to hide the grin on her face as she watched the big man with the tiny, tiny girl.  "Evan chose it for me."

That earned him a rather suspect look from his brother, and Evan's grin widened though Bas didn't bother to ask for more details.

"I was good," Bailey said, launching himself onto his father's back and hooking his arms around Bas' throat.  "Uncle Evan took us trick-or-treating!"

"Did he?" Sydnie Zelig said smoothly as she stepped into the room and held out her hands for her daughter.  Valerie blinked.  The woman wore a costume almost exactly like her daughter's, but hers was a hell of a lot tighter, fitting her like a second skin.  "You went without your daddy?"

"Mommy!"  Olivia shook her head stubbornly but let her mother take her.  "Bailey pulled my tail!" she complained, her eyes wide as she stared at Sydnie.

Bas chuckled and tugged Bailey loose, pulling him over his shoulder and catching him easily before he fell.  "Did you?  Well, that wasn't very nice, was it?"

"I wasn't being mean," Bailey protested.  "I was playin' wif her!"

"I'm sure you were," Sydnie agreed.  "He didn't hurt you, did he?"

Olivia smiled brightly and cuddled against her mama's chest.  "He gived me candy," she said.

Sydnie laughed.  "You shared your candy with your sister?  That's so sweet of you, Bailey."

Wrinkling his nose at the overzealous praise, Bailey tugged on the paw-shaped mittens that hung from the cuffs of his costume.

"Well, damn, Sydnie, that's a helluva costume," Evan breathed with an idiotic grin on his face.

"Isn't it?" Sydnie nearly purred as she slowly turned around for Evan's delectation.

"Hottest damn cat I've ever seen," Evan agreed.

"Okay, okay," Bas interrupted.  "I'd thank you for watching them, Evan, but if you keep talking, I might have to beat on you, instead . . ."

Evan laughed and wandered over to kiss Olivia's cheek and hand Bas the two plastic containers of candy.  "Not a problem, Bubby.  Sydnie, make sure you send me a picture of you in that get-up, will you?"

Sydnie rose on her tiptoes—no small feat, considering she was already wearing four inch black stiletto heels—and licked Evan's cheek, which, of course, only made that particular man grin even wider.

"All right, kitty," Bas growled, pinning Evan with a dark scowl.  "That'll be enough of that."

"Bye, Bubby," Evan called as Bas escorted Sydnie out of the living room.

Valerie shook her head, crossing her arms over her chest, trying to look stern when she met Evan's amused gaze.  "You're asking for trouble, aren't you?" she questioned, arching an eyebrow since she remembered damn well just how one-sided Evan's fights with Bas tended to be.

Evan chuckled and rolled his eyes.  "Keh!  He's all bark and no bite," he scoffed.  "Don't worry about it, V."

Valerie wasn't so convinced, but she let it go since Evan was already preoccupied again, picking up a handful of candy wrappers that the children had left on the floor.  "So anyway, you about ready to go, too?" he asked when she fell silent.

Letting out a deep breath, she nodded.  "Okay," she allowed slowly, "but this had better be fun."


-Valerie-


"Oh . . . oh . . . not on your life, Roka."

He grinned at her.  He actually grinned at her.  "Something the matter, V?" he asked innocently.

Valerie snorted, crossing her arms over her chest as she slowly shook her head and wondered vaguely if anyone would notice if she smacked him over the head to knock him out long enough for the party to pass.  "You cannot be serious," she stated flatly.

"Well, see, I normally try not to be too serious, ever, if that's what you mean," he deadpanned as he fidgeted around slightly and made a rather pained face.  He looked like he wanted to grab his crotch, not that he could, all things considered.  "Oh, damn . . . my boys!"

Valerie didn't feel the least bit sorry for the sick man, and she snorted again then rubbed her face in an entirely exasperated sort of way.  "If that's why you wanted me to dress up like some demented carhop, Roka, I swear to God, I'll—"

His laughter cut her off.  "You're not a carhop, baby!"

That earned him a very droll stare, and she was relatively sure that she didn't want to hear the other half of whatever he was going to say.

"You're a hotdog vendor!"

She groaned.  Yeah, she was afraid that it had to be something like that . . .

He was wearing a giant hot dog costume, for God's sake!  The top of the foam hot dog had a hole cut out for his face while the bottom of the stupid thing ended right below his knees—his legs stuck out of holes in the sides of the bun at about mid-thigh, and if that weren't bad enough?  She sighed inwardly.  The crazy man was wearing a pair of bone colored tights, too . . .

All in all, it was quite possibly the single most demented thing she'd ever seen in her life, and Evan?  Damned if that man didn't think that the entire situation was funny as all hell . . .

"I'm a wiener!" he howled between guffaws of laughter.  The stuffed body of the hotdog was too gangly, too cumbersome, and he very nearly toppled over, he was laughing so hard.

Valerie sighed, rubbing her forehead as she wondered if he'd notice if she slipped out of the YMCA before the kids started to arrive.  "I swear, Evan, if you start singing the Oscar Mayer Wiener song, I'll leave," she warned.

That didn't do a thing to curb his amusement, either, not that she figured it would.  When he opened his mouth, probably to start singing, Valerie narrowed her gaze dangerously.  That, of course, only made him laugh harder.  "Come on, Roka, you really aren't serious, are you?" she asked pointedly, flicking a hand in the general direction of the complete and utter spectacle that was the rock star.

Evan shrugged—at least, she thought he did.  It was hard to tell under all those layers of stuffing.  "Halloween is about fun," he told her airily.  "What's more fun than a giant wiener?"

She snorted.  "Halloween is about scary," she corrected brusquely, "and there's nothing scary about that . . . well, not scary in the right way, anyway . . ."

"Aww, the kids'll think it's great," he assured her.  "You'll see!  Oh!" he exclaimed suddenly, turning around and grabbing a clipboard off of the desk in the office where he'd dragged her off to while he changed into his costume.  Thrusting it at her with one hand, he groped around for an ink pen with the other then slapped it on the board in her hands with a cheesy grin.  "You're gonna need that."

"Why am I going to need this?" she asked, sparing a moment to glance at the Xerox copy affixed to the clipboard.

"Because you're going to be the contest judge," he replied simply.

She blinked at that then shoved the clipboard back at him.  "Oh, no," she stated firmly.  "No way."

He rolled his eyes and forcibly gave the clipboard back to her once more.  "Oh, yes."

"Why me?" she demanded.

He grinned.  "Because you're the only unbiased person, right?  So, it stands to reason that you'd be the judge.  Besides, I trust you."

Valerie snorted again and crossed her arms over her chest though she didn't try to hand the board back to him.  "I don't want to!" she insisted hotly.  "What if they get mad at me?  What if they decide to gang up on me or something?  What if they give me the big-eyes?"

His grin widened, and he chuckled.  "You telling me that you're scared of a bunch of kids, V?" he teased.

"No!" she insisted hotly then wrinkled her nose as she tried to fight down a slight flush to no avail.  "Contests are stupid, Roka," she grumbled.

Evan rolled his eyes and tried to turn his body to look down at the back of his left leg.  "Did you even read the list of categories?" he asked patiently and a little distractedly.

"No . . . and just what the hell are you doing?"

He glanced at her then resumed his attempt to see the back of his leg.  "Come here and take a look, will you?  I think I've got a run in my stocking . . ."

Snapping her mouth closed, Valerie refused to respond to that as she turned her attention back to the clipboard again.  There were three—three—pages of categories—easily twenty or thirty of them.  A slow suspicion nudged at her, and she lifted her gaze without moving her head to eye the rock star.  "How many kids are going to be here?" she asked at length.

He pulled a handheld mirror out of a desk drawer and positioned it so that he could see the back of his leg.  Satisfied that there wasn't a run in his stocking, he put the mirror back and closed the drawer once more.  "I don't know . . . Twenty?  Twenty-five?  Somewhere in there.  Why?"

"'Tallest girl'?" she read off the list.  "What kind of category is that?"

"There's also one for the smallest girl," he supplied helpfully.

Breaking into a slight smile, Valerie shook her head.  "So all the kids will win something; is that what you're trying to tell me?"

The grin he shot her was endearingly shy.  "Something like that," he allowed.

The knot of anxiety that had twisted her guts at the idea of officiating the judging subsided.  "What kind of prizes are they going to win?" she asked instead, wrapping her arms over the clipboard against her chest.

"Five pound Hershey's Kisses," he told her then laughed when her mouth dropped open in surprise.  "It is Halloween, after all . . ."

"You think their parents will thank you?" she asked, shaking her head despite the smile on her face.

"The kids will," he assured her.

Valerie groaned, envisioning twenty to twenty-five kids, all hyped up on sugar and the chaos that might well come to pass.  Still, she couldn't help but laugh at the lengths that Evan was willing to go for them, too.  He really was a generous person, wasn't he?  And it wasn't just for her, either.  No, the longer she knew him, the more she'd come to realize that Evan simply wanted to do whatever he could do to bring a smile to someone else's face, and whether it was through music or by throwing a silly Halloween party for some underprivileged kids . . . or hunting down a Princess Sasha lunchbox for her . . .

He was a special guy—really special . . . and she loved that about him, too.


~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
A/N:
'Unbelievab le' originally appeared on EMF's 1991 release, Shubert Dip (the song was released as a single in 1990).  Song written by and copyrighted to James Saul Atkin, Deran Brownson, Mark Simon Decloedt, Ian Alec Harvey Dench, and Zachary Foley.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
I'm a wiener!
==========
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Subterfuge):  I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga.  Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al.  I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.
~Sue~

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