"So what are you guys gonna dress up as?" Kono asked, over plate lunches in the garden of the Justice building.
Danny, Steve and Chin all stared at her.
"What?" she asked. "I was talking about the Halloween party? For HPD?"
Steve said, "Really?" in a pained voice.
"It's Halloween, Boss," she protested. "You dress up for it."
"We--we're going to that party?" asked Chin. "Is this a mandatory thing?"
"No," said Steve, at the same time Kono said, "Yes."
She glared Steve down and turned to Chin. "We were invited," she said, "as a team. And we should graciously accept and attend. As a team."
Danny sagged in his seat and stabbed his fork into his rice dejectedly. Steve rubbed angrily at his forehead and Chin looked at all of them before nodding slowly.
"Great," said Kono. "So I guess I'll take care of the costumes, then. You can pay me back for the rentals."
Danny opened his mouth to protest but Steve stopped him with a hand to his arm. "Good plan, rookie," he said with a smile.
"Don't worry, guys," she said, scraping up her last forkful of rice to inhale before standing up. "It'll be da kine."
"I was afraid of that," said Danny to no one in particular as she walked away, apparently going for her car.
The party was a week later, on a Friday evening; Kono brought the costumes to work with her that day and distributed them at four-thirty, while everyone was sitting around filling out paperwork.
"This is mine," she said, sorting out hangers, "and this is for Chin." She handed him something black in a clear dust bag. "And these are for you guys," she added, holding out some brown costumes in the same bags to Steve and Danny. When that was taken care of, she grabbed up her costume and shut herself in her office to change.
"Nice," said Chin, holding up a hat and black eye-mask. "I get to be Zorro."
Danny yanked the plastic off of his and dragged it off the hanger; suspenders were involved, always a bad sign. "What the fuck?" he said, holding it out. The tail dragged on the floor below two hooves. And that was it.
Chin started to laugh behind him, and Danny looked up to see Steve holding a horse's head and front legs.
"Oh god," said Danny. "No."
"Oh yes," said Steve, frowning at the horse's head like he was examining its teeth or something. It was a cartoony horse.
"Trade me," Danny hissed.
"Are you kidding me? No way. I'm taller, I should be the front half."
Kono's office door opened and Danny whirled on her to tell her off, but then she strolled out in some kind of Xena-type costume, carrying a sword, and he suddenly felt like maybe he should be nice instead, so he shut his mouth with an audible click.
"The potluck thing doesn't start till like, six," said Steve after a minute of staring at her.
She shrugged, her armour rattling a little, and smirked. "I think I'm gonna wear it to the grocery store," she said, in a tone that sounded like she really meant, 'I think I'm gonna wear it to work on Monday.' "You guys like your costumes?"
Chin was wearing the hat. "Yes," he said.
"No," said Danny. "I do not. Why do Steve and I have to be a horse?"
She bit her lip. "There weren't a lot of choices in a size that would fit either of you. Unless you wanted to be He-Man and the Hulk."
"I like it," said Steve. "You don't see it a lot anymore."
"Because it's ridiculous," said Danny.
"What's the matter, Danno, scared of being the butt of everyone's jokes?"
"You're the real horse's ass here," said Danny.
"That's conduct unbefitting of a noble steed," declared Chin, who was also wearing the mask now, and would probably also need to be reminded that Zorro was not proper work attire, come Monday.
"You don't get to ride us around," said Danny, pointing at Chin. "Such horrible things would be done to both my back and my dignity."
"You don't have any dignity," scoffed Steve.
"What about me?" asked Kono, giving her sword an experimental twirl around her wrist. "Can I ride on your back and yell fiercely like a warrior princess?"
Danny gave that one about three seconds of honest thought before he said, "No." He swore (to himself) that it still would have been a no even if Chin hadn't been glaring at him, and if he hadn't remembered that Zorro also carried a sword.
"Man up, Danno," said Steve. "At least you get to spend lots of time staring at my ass this evening."
"How is that a win for me?" Danny asked.
"My ass is totally wasted in the front of the horse," opined Steve. "Kind of a shame."
"I dunno about that, Boss," said Kono. "No offense, but Danny's gonna make the back end of that horse look good."
Danny smiled at Steve triumphantly. "Okay," he said. "She makes a good point. I will suffer for the benefit of everyone else at that party."
Steve pouted. "What about me?"
"You'll just suffer," said Chin, packing up his costume again. "You have to stick around Danny all night. And no, definitely not trading."