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Give Me Some Candy

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"What's happened to my life? Five years ago I would've been in a club pulling with all the women dressed as slutty witches and getting sloshed off my face."

"If you're quite done complaining about your life, Cook, I could really use help with Mia's costume," Naomi said dryly. She tugged on the trailing piece of her daughter's sleeve for emphasis.

Cook glared at her. "I didn't say I was complaining. Don't put words in my mouth that Katie can use against me."

"Uncle Cook!" Mia stomped her foot and probably would have crossed her arms if they weren't occupied with putting on her costume. "You promised you'd take me out! You promised!"

"All right, all right, don't get yer knic-" he winced as Naomi smacked him upside the head, "don't get yer costume in a twist. We'll go just as soon as yer mum finishes painting you up over there."

"Right. Now hold still would you?" Naomi asked. Mia obediently stopped moving and stood as still as it was possible for an energetic five-year-old to stand. Which was not very still at all, but Naomi would take what she could get. She didn't move for long enough that Naomi was able to put the finishing touches on her face-paint without messing up too much. "All done."

"Yay!" Mia kissed Naomi excitedly on the cheek and ran upstairs to grab the other three members of their little group.

"Your leg is trailing!" Naomi called up after her and Mia stopped to fix the leg on her mummy costume before she continued her forward jettison up the stairs. Naomi sighed.

"That girl has more energy than a nuclear reactor."

"And yer letting her have candy," Cook reminded her. "She's not gonna sleep fer a week."

Mia reached the top of the stairs and decided now was the time to fall into the typical mummy slouch and moan. She held out her arms and marched with stiff legs into the master bedroom. The obviously fake screams and cries of horror from Katie and Emily that drifted downstairs made Naomi laugh.

Still chuckling, she turned around and started cleaning stray bits of face paint off the kitchen table. "What kind of little girl picks a mummy over princess or ballerina?" she asked the air.

"Mia," Cook answered simply as he rummaged around in Naomi's fridge. "Cause she's yours and I bet you were a mummy fer your first Halloween."

She stopped wiping down the table for a second and turned around to glare at him. "I was a pumpkin for my first Halloween, thank you very much."

Cook laughed. "And the first one you choose for yerself?"

Naomi went back to cleaning and mumbled something to the table.

"What was that?"

Naomi mumbled it again.

"Sorry Naomikins I didn't hear you."

"I was a dead cheerleader, okay?" Naomi shouted, exasperated.

Cook just threw back his head and laughed his big howling laugh. He laughed so much he started choking on his drink and had to hold himself steady against her counter. Naomi was too seconds from shoving the towel in her hand down his throat to stop his laughter when little feet pounded down the stairs and dashed into the kitchen.

"Saved by the child," Naomi said, shaking the cloth at him.

"I love yah, Blondie, I really do," Cook shook his head and wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes. "I thought yah might say you were a feminist or something, but that's better."

Mia ran over and tugged on his hand. "Ready to go, Uncle Cook?

"Ready when you are sweetheart. You coming Naomikins?" He grinned at her. Mia grabbed both of their hands and tugged them into the front hall.

"They're ready!" Mia bellowed up the stairs.

Naomi winced and rubbed her ear. "Who's been teaching you these things?" she asked incredulously. "Have you been hanging around your Aunt Panda?"

Mia was saved from having to answer by the appearance of the twins at the top of the stairs.

"Ladies and gentleman," Katie said grandly. "The world's cutest angel. Also, a baby."

Cook guffawed and even Naomi chuckled as the girls came downstairs. She reached up and tweaked Katie's halo. "Isn't this recycling outfits?" she asked.

Katie swatted her hand away. "Only if I wore the whole costume. I only have the halo on, and that's called being smart. You should look it up."

"You should look up my straight A's in school Katiekins," Naomi shot back.

"Don't call me that!"

"Both of you quit it," Emily ordered as she reached the bottom of the stairs. "Hey look a baby. Distraction."

Naomi snickered but she dropped the argument with Katie in favor of the toddler in Emily's arms dressed up in a little angel costume. "Hi Abby," she cooed. "Look at you, just like your mum. Except your mum was much sluttier, yes she was, and you're just cute."

"That's not funny, Naomi," Emily reprimanded, but she was fighting back a smile.

Naomi fixed the straps of Abby's dress and grinned. "Auntie Emily says it's not funny," she continued in the same voice, "but it's hilarious and she knows it. Yes she does."

Abby just kept on smiling and giggled when Naomi tickled her stomach.

"If the children weren't here," Katie threatened, "so many bad words would be coming out of my mouth right now, Campbell."

"Are you guys ready?" an impatient Mia interrupted. She was already standing by the front door with her little pumpkin bag in hand and she was tapping her foot impatiently.

"Hold your horses, squirt, we're coming," Katie said. As she walked over to the door she turned around and mouthed the word 'Bitch' at Naomi.

Naomi mouthed 'Bring it on' back and winced when Emily punched her in the arm.

"Don't instigate my sister," Emily said, but she was chuckling.

"But it's so fun," Naomi whined. She leaned down and kissed Emily quickly. "It's not like we mean it anymore or anything."

"LET'S GO LEZZAS!" Katie's dulcet tones drifted in through the open door.

"Keep your vagina on!" Emily shouted back. She shrugged her jacket on and threaded her finger's through Naomi's. "Come on, Naoms. If we keep our daughter waiting any longer she might actually spontaneously combust."

Hours later the adults trudged back in laden down with bags of candy and unconscious children. The moment everyone was in the door Katie immediately threw herself face-first onto the couch in the living room.

"Come on, Cook," Emily said in a low voice. "You can put her down in our bed until you guys leave."

Cook was cradling a sleeping Abby and he followed Emily upstairs. Naomi was right behind them with a completely exhausted Mia in her arms, who was nothing but dead weight at this point. She allowed Naomi to sit her on the bathroom counter and wipe her face paint off without a whimper of protest. Emily walked in about the time that Naomi was laying Mia in her own bed and together they managed to get her out of her costume and into a pair of pajamas. Mia was asleep before they even turned off the lights. They snuck back downstairs and into the living room where Cook and Katie were doing remarkable impressions of dead people.

Naomi groaned as she sat down on the sofa. "You guys aren't allowed to fall asleep here," she said tiredly and without any real conviction.

Katie just mumbled into the cushions. Naomi was pretty sure it was something along the lines of 'Shut it Campbell I can sleep where I want'.

"Who thought kids could go on for that long?" Cook asked incredulously.

Emily didn't even lift her head off Naomi's shoulder when she replied, "What are you on about, Cook? It took us a half hour longer than expected because you kept flirting with all the mothers at the houses."

"Well...right," Cook defended weakly. "There were some hot costumes out there."

Katie lifted her head off the couch and glared at him. She opened her mouth, probably to cuss him out or say something scathing, but Cook kissed her before she could get a word out.

"Not as hot as you," he corrected himself.

Naomi snickered. "Nice save." She looked at the couple practically passed out on her couch for a moment and sighed. "You guys want to sleep here tonight? Guest bedroom is open."

"That answer better be yes, James Cook," Katie threatened.

"Yes," Cook answered obediently.

Naomi grinned but didn't comment. After all, she agreed with him. Nothing on Halloween would ever be scarier than an angry Katie Fitch.