“I know I put them here somewhere,” Kagome said, digging through the clothing chest. The cloth rustled as she pushed through the folded garments. She began unpacking the box. Linen and cotton and the occasional silk garment were laid in a neat pile beside her.
InuYasha looked at her out of the corner of his eye, but didn’t turn to look at her directly, but instead continued to work on sharpening the knife in his hand. “Put what?” he asked, lifting the knife up to examine his handiwork.
“The clothes I made for Atae’s shichigosan,” she said, looking exasperated at the piles of garments surrounding her. “I’m just trying to get everything ready for tomorrow.”
“Oh, those,” he said, taking the stone to the knife one more time.
“Yes those,” Kagome replied, blowing a puff of air at a strand of hair that was determined to get into her face. “It’s not every day that your son is put into hakama for the first time. I’ve gotten everything else ready, even the candy for after the visit to the shrine. But where are his clothes?”
Her voice was edgy, and in the old days, he knew that he would have been cringing that she was getting ready to sit him. The beads still worked, but he didn’t want to remember what that felt like. He put down the knife, wiped his hands clean and went over to where she was kneeling, and handed her a bright blue linen shirt, which she put back in the chest.
“It’s Sesshoumaru’s fault,” he said, handing her what he knew was her favorite silk kosode, carefully wrapped. “He . . . he wanted to do something special.”
Kagome’s eyes flashed, and he could feel her aura rise, but refused to scoot back. “You knew about it, and didn’t tell me.”
“I wasn’t supposed to show you until it was time to get Atae dressed. He wanted it to be a surprise. I just found out what he did yesterday.”
He pulled a bundle out of his suikan, and carefully unwrapped it, only touching the wrapping cloth. In it were a small set of clothes, a jacket and hakama in a soft gray color. The family crest was worked on the jacket. Kagome reached out her hand to touch the soft fabric, but he caught it.
“Don’t touch it yet. It’s not set. It’ll tie itself to Atae’s youki, like my fire rat does to me.” He folded the fabric covering the garment, and slipped it back into his clothing. “It’ll grow with him, and it’ll repair itself. As much as he’s been tearing his clothes already, that’s a good thing.”
“Sesshoumaru did that?” she asked.
InuYasha nodded. “It’s a family tradition. That’s when I got my clothes, when I was five.”
“Your brother gave them to you?” she asked, putting back another stack of clothes.
“Hell, no. Toutousai had been holding them for me. My old man had them made up. Toutousai just showed up at my mother’s one day, him and that stinky bull of his. I hear it caused a lot of ruckus.” InuYasha smiled at the thought.
“I bet,” Kagome said, smiling at the mental picture. “But what happened to the clothes I made?”
“Rin’s got’em. She snuck over here a few days ago and got them out of the chest. They used’em as a pattern, I think.”
“Ah,” Kagome said, putting the last of the clothing back into the chest. “That’s why she’s been sort of hiding from me this last week. I guess when she gives them back, we’ll save them for the next festival or something. At least now I know everything’s ready.” She gave him a sharp look. “If something like this happens again, let me know, all right?”
She closed the clothes chest, and then something struck her funny and she began to chuckle.
“Oi, woman, what are you giggling about?”
She tilted her head back at him, and the hanyou could see something glittering in her eyes.
“So you’ve had your fire rat clothes since you were five?”
“Yeah,” he replied, raising an eyebrow as he wondered what she was up to.
Kagome scooted closer, laid her head on his shoulder, and ran her hand across the front of his suikan. “Old clothes. No wonder I’m always trying to get you out of them.”
“Keh,” he replied, recognizing that look. “What would you put me into?”
“Oh, something more comfortable and less restricting.” Her voice, instead of tense, was warm and sultry.
He took a deep breath, and the smirk grew larger and he wrapped an arm around her. “Wanna show me?”
Kagome ran her hand up to the chord tying his suikan closed and pulled the knot open. “When’s Atae due back?”
“Rin said about sunset,” he replied, letting his other hand trail across her hip. “Plenty of time.”
“Good,” she said, standing up. “Sometimes getting fitted just right can take awhile.”
He followed her back to the sleeping room. Now this, he thought, was much better than a sit. Much better. Thinking briefly about what a fool he had been when he was younger, he slid the door shut.
A/N: From Wikipedia: Shichi-Go-San is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages three, five and seven are consistent with Japanese numerology, which dictates that odd numbers are lucky. The practice was set to the fifteenth of the month during the Kamakura Period.
Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. Children—who up until the age of three were required by custom to have shaven heads—were allowed to grow out their hair. Boys of age five could wear hakama for the first time, while girls of age seven replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi.