|A wish For Santa
Author: Poison666 PM
Two people, one wish for Christmas....................... SerenaTrowa ficRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Words: 8,193 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-28-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3173905
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Wish for Santa
I don't own Gundam wing or sailor moon so don't sue.
"Remind me again why you dragged me out on this meaningless venture,"
Trowa said wearily, looking around him in distaste.
Saturday morning, one week before Christmas, and here he was, waiting outside in the long
line for the Tokyo mall to open.
"Oh, c'mon, Trowa, lighten up!" Duo jabbed his friend on the
shoulder, only to be rewarded with a cold stare.
"Look, I need to buy a present for Hilde, and I thought you could use a
little fresh air! Get into the Christmas spirit a little!"
"Duo, why couldn't you have gone Christmas shopping later in the
day? Why are we stuck here, in the freezing cold, waiting for the mall
to open?" He wrapped his jacket more tightly around himself.
"Don't you see, Trowa? That's part of the fun of it! All the hustle
and bustle, walking around in the snow, waiting for that Christmas magic
"Christmas magic? Huh! It'll be magic if this mall opens before I
freeze to death!"
"Oh, come on! Where's your sense of the holiday spirit?"
Trowa looked at his friend in exasperation. "I'm wearing a green
sweater, is that enough holiday spirit for you?"
"I don't get it, Trowa. What do you have against Christmas?"
"Nothing, Duo. It's just . . . I don't know, Christmas just reminds me of what I don't have."
"What? What is it that you don't have, Trowa?"
"Well . . . decent Christmas decorations, for one thing. But seriously, I mean, it's just . . . oh, forget it! Hey, I think the doors are opening!"
But Duo wasn't paying attention. He was staring at a shop a few blocks away. "Hey, don't those necklaces look just beautiful? And on sale, too! Trowa, stay here for a moment, while I go check those out.
Boy, Hilde would love one of those!" With that, he ran across the street to the jewelry store he had been eyeing. Trowa looked back just in time to see him enter it, and disappear.
"Duo! DUO!" He realized his efforts were futile, and stopped shouting, concentrating instead on the entrance doors of the mall. Maybe if he willed them open, they would open, and he could get out of this freezing weather!
Suddenly, as if by magic, a loud 'creak' was heard, and the doors began to slide open. Trowa sighed happily. Finally!
Then the doors stopped sliding open. Confused, Trowa tried to peer over the line of people and see what the hold-up was.
A very old security guard, all bundled up against the weather, was trying in vain to push the automatic doors open. However, because of the mound of snow that had piled up against the door runners overnight, he was having a very hard time. After a few minutes of trying, he stopped and looked out at all the waiting people.
"Excuse me, folks, but has anyone got a nice hot cup of coffee? This cold's really getting to me."
What! He's getting cold, and he hasn't even been out here for five minutes! If he keeps on this way, the doors won't open until New Year's! Trowa thought angrily.
Meanwhile, the security guard, after receiving a cup of coffee from a very kind woman at the front of the line, rubbed his hands together and prepared to begin pushing again. Bracing himself, he held the door and pushed . . . but to no avail. One push, and he stopped and wiped some imaginary sweat off of his forehead.
"Heh, this is mighty tiring. Say, has anybody got a bagel for this rumbling stomach of mine? My wife always says it's better to work on a full stomach!"
Everyone in the line sweat dropped. Trowa, sick of the wait, stepped out of the line.
"Sir, would you like some help?"
The old man looked at him indignantly. "Now, just because I have some white hairs on my head, doesn't mean that I'm all weak and frail, young man! I can do this just as well as you can! You just watch, and next time, think before you talk!"
Trowa sweat dropped.
He stepped back into line, as the old security guard once again
Started pushing on the doors.
This is going to be one lo-ong day!
Trying to find some way to pass the time until the doors opened, he studied the people around him. His attention was drawn to three people standing off to the side, near the mall doors. They seemed to be arguing, and as one of them moved his hand, Trowa got a glimpse of their mall uniforms.
Straining his ear, he caught the words 'Santa', and 'disaster' Included in their conversation, but the noise around him blocked out anything else.
After a few more minutes of heated arguing and animated gestures, one of the employees, a balding man in his mid-30s, it seemed, huffed and walked away from the other two. Lost in his thoughts, he didn't look where he was going and ran right into Trowa.
"Oh, sir, I'm dreadfully sorry, I . . ." He trailed off as he got a good look at who he bumped into. Leaning back, he sized Trowa up, a gleam coming into his eyes.
"Um . . . may I help you?" Trowa was rather puzzled as to what was going on.
As if by magic, the employee's thoughtful look changed to the patented 'smile-and-sell' expression. A huge fake smile plastered on his face, he put out his hand to shake, all of his actions vastly exaggerated.
"Hello! I'm Ernie, esteemed salesperson at the J.W.W. men's clothing department store. And your name might be . . ."
"I'm . . . uh . . . Trowa. Trowa Barton." He extended a hesitant hand, which was firmly gripped and shaken by Ernie.
"Mr. Barton, you seem like a very conscientious young man. The kind of man who likes to help a fellow human being. You also seem like a size 10 in tuxedo size. Am I right?"
"Uh . . . I . . . uh . . ." Trowa was a little overwhelmed by the store clerk.
"Of course I'm right! I have an eye for these things, you see. Now, could I interest you in donating a few hours to help your community?"
"Um . . ."
"A fine young gentleman like yourself could spare a few hours for the good of his community, couldn't you? Of course you can! See, I'm also temporary chairman of all the Christmas activities here at the Tokyo Center Mall. And, well, we've had a little bit of a setback in our Christmas plans, but with your help, everything can be set right!"
"Yes, that's right, Mr. Barton. You can give something back to Tokyo!
You'll even get paid for it! $10.50 an hour! What do you say? Will you do it?"
Trowa was slowly finding his voice again. "Um . . . do what?"
"Well, you see, there's a bad case of the flu going around these days. It seems that the man who was supposed to help us today is sick. His job is rather important, and we need to find a replacement quickly. Don't worry, though, it's not a lot of work. I mean, even a child could do it!" He chuckled at some inside joke.
Trowa felt someone brush his shoulder, and he saw Duo out of the corner of his eye.
"Hey, Trowa, what's going on?"
Holding up a finger to silence his friend, he turned back to Ernie.
"Exactly what is it that you want me to do?" he asked, a suspicious edge in his voice.
For the first time in the conversation, the salesperson seemed to lose his calm. He looked down at his feet for a moment, idly shuffling bits of snow. Then he mumbled something, barely audible.
"What? Speak up, please . . . um . . . Ernie."
Ernie raised his head, and repeated what he had said. "W-we need you to play Santa."
Trowa had expected something surprising, but nothing like this! His shock showed in his face. It didn't help that he could hear Duo's snickers behind him.
"You want me to . . . what!"
"Ahem . . . as I said, that man who was supposed to play the mall Santa is sick, and if I don't get someone to replace him, there will be a lot of disappointed customers."
"And the reason you chose me is because . . ."
"Well, because you seem to be a very kind young man. And . . . you also fit the suit."
"Look, Ernie, I don't know what you may think, but I can't-"
"Mr. Barton," Ernie interrupted, "The job pays $10.50 per hour. It'll only be from eight until twelve, and then it'll be someone else's shift. And all you have to do is sit kids on your lap and tell them to be good in the coming year if they want presents. Listen, this is my first year as chairman of this event and I want to make a good impression on my superiors. Please reconsider your decision, sir."
But Trowa wouldn't waver. "I've got things to do, and-"
He was interrupted again, this time by Duo.
"What things do you have to do? If I hadn't dragged you out here to help me buy a gift for Hilde, you'd still be back at your apartment, bored out of your mind, arranging your sock drawer or something."
Trowa glared at his friend with eyes that could kill. But Duo, oblivious, continued.
"Besides, it'll help you get into the holiday spirit. C'mon, Trowa, help the guy out! It is the holiday season, after all!"
"Yes, Mr. Barton, please reconsider!"
"No. I will not play Santa!"
Famous last words, Trowa thought to himself, half an hour later, as he was helped into the thick red and white suit. Duo finished the ensemble by placing a plush red hat on his head, jingling the bell at the end of it. He stepped back to view his friend, trying unsuccessfully to hide the smile on his face.
"I swear, Duo, if anybody I know sees me like this, you're in big trouble!"
"Oh, c'mon, Trowa. Here, once you put on the beard, no one will even recognize you!"
"You better be right," Trowa warned. He felt like the Grinch at Christmas, surrounded by Who's from Whoville who were trying to teach him about the true meaning of Christmas.
"Now, Trowa, let's practice that laugh of yours. Say it with me! Ho Ho Ho!"
"Ha ha ha," he said half-heartedly.
Duo allowed himself a small smile as he attached the white beard to Trowa's head.
After the beard was attached, Trowa tried to talk, but found his mouth full of cotton instead. The beard covered up his entire mouth, leaving him no space to talk. He tugged at the beard until there was an opening big enough for his mouth.
"Duo, how did I let you talk me into this? All I wanted was to help you get a gift for Hilde, then get out of here . . ." He sighed wearily. Despite his adamant refusal to take the job, Duo had begun to discuss all the details of the job with Ernie, pretending as if he wasn't even there. Before he knew it, he was being pushed into the mall through a side door reserved for employees only. He had tried to stop them, but then Duo had laid the guilt trip on him. He reminded Trowa of the little boys and girls all dressed up to see Santa . . . and their crestfallen faces when he was nowhere in sight. After a story like that Trowa couldn't say no.
But now, he found himself wishing he had.
Just then, Ernie popped his head into the dressing room he and Duo, and a few other mall employees helping with his suit occupied.
"Are you ready, Santa?"
"As ready as I'll ever be, I guess."
"Great! We have your chair all set up, and the mall doors are just being opened as we speak. Now, do you remember what you have to say?"
"Yes. I say 'ho ho ho', and then I ask-"
"Good, good. Let's go, then."
Trowa took one last look at himself in the floor-length mirror the room offered. The Santa suit fit him, but the waist was a little too big and the poofy material of the suit made him look fat. I guess that's the idea, though. Tucking a few stray strands of brown hair underneath his hat, he did his best imitation of Ernie's fake smile and walked out the door. . . . Straight into a throng of kids, all of them screaming what presents they wanted as they pulled him down to their midst.
(A few hours later)
"Excuse me, miss, but are you in line?"
The meatball-headed blonde turned around and nodded. Then she staredstraight in front of her again, wondering what in the world she was doing there. She was your average 15 year old shopper, at the mall to stock up on Christmas gifts. However, after window- shopping for a while, she had been drawn to a large gathering of people in the center of the mall. And of course, in the middle of all the attention, Jolly ol' Saint Nick. A throng of kids waited in line to speak with Santa, anxious parents watching from a distance with cameras held ready. It was a completely normal thing to see at this time of year. What was not normal, however, was the fact that a teenage girl had also joined the line. Serena didn't know what made her do it. Maybe, as her friend Ami would say, it was the child-like spirit inside her, begging to be let out. Maybe it was her desperation for the thing she looked for. Maybe it was just a simple case of impaired judgment due to lack of sleep.
She was inclined to go with the latter, as her cat had woken her
Up awfully early this morning. But she knew it was something more than sleeplessness.
She had a comfortable life. Good friends and parents that loved her. Her grades needed a lot of work, and her father was very overprotective, but she was pretty happy with her life.
As she listened to the kids telling Santa the kinds of toys they
Wished for on Christmas, she thought about her own wishes.
All my life, I've wished for one thing. That is, to find my one true love. That one special guy I want to spend the rest of my life with. That's all. Just true love.
But no matter how much I want it, it still hasn't happened. Nor does it show any sign of happening in the near future. As long as I can remember, that was what I always wished for on my birthday, when I blew out the candles. Late nights, looking up at the sky, I would always wish for it. I guess that's why I'm here. Maybe Santa, or someone, will hear my wish.
"Okay, little girl . . . uh . . . I mean, 'miss', you're next."
"Huh? Oh . . . right." Serena snapped out of her thoughts, to see the elf motioning for her to go forward. Taking a deep breath, she stepped onto the red carpet and walked up to the chair where Santa sat. This is it!
Trowa was slowly easing into his job. It was fairly easy, and he developed a routine after the first few kids. He would sit them on his lap, ask them what they wanted for Christmas, and tell them he'd try to grant their wish, and bam, they were done!
He was staring at a nearby toy store when he heard footsteps nearing him. Unconsciously, he put out one hand, expecting the toddler to jump onto his knee.
Instead, he felt something larger than a toddler sit on one knee. His extended hand, which usually came to a toddler's neck, was holding a waist!
Momentarily stunned, he looked up to see just who was sitting on his lap.
"Wha . . . ?"
Serena didn't even glance at Santa. Instead, she sat on his knee, and begin to say what she wanted. She felt it better just to get it over with.
"Okay, Santa, or whoever you are under there, you probably think I'm too old to be doing this, and who knows, you may be right. In fact, I don't know why I'm even up here; I mean, my friends would have a field day if they knew that I sitting on Santa's lap, telling him what I wanted for Christmas. I guess it's just that . . . ohh, I don't know, it's just been a dream of mine since forever, and I thought that maybe telling you would make it come true. You probably think I'm kind of an airhead right now, babbling on like this, so I'll just get straight to the point. Some people say that there's no such thing, and that love eventually dies, but I don't believe that. All I want for Christmas is. . . I wish that I could find my one true love." She took a deep breath, then turned to face Santa, to see what his reaction was.
"And if that's too much to ask, then all I want is . . ."
Wait a minute! This Santa was very young!
". . . an . . ."
Stray Brown hair falling onto his face . . .
". . . ice . . ."
Those eyes, so deep and mysterious . . .
". . . cream . . ."
This Santa was absolutely gorgeous!
" . . . cute."
The she snapped back to reality, realizing what she had just said. "Er, I mean cone! Ice cream cone!"
Trowa had been stunned by the teenager sitting on his lap. At first, his thoughts swirled wildly, wondering what in the world a teenager was doing on his lap, when he was supposed to be granting wishes for toddlers and preschoolers! His mind was so confused, that he had hardly listened to anything she said. The only words he caught during her speech were 'All I want' and 'one true love'.
Finally collecting his thoughts, he found himself face to face with the girl. The whole time she had been talking, she had been staring off into space. Now, she turned to see what his reaction was . . . and he found himself entranced by the joy and radiance shown in those eyes. She was beautiful, no question about it, but it was more than just her beauty that stunned Trowa.
Wait a minute! Did she say 'cute'?
The girl hastily corrected herself, and slid off his lap. He felt almost sad to see her leave. He heard her mumble a good-bye under her breath as she left.
"Good-bye," he whispered, but she was already walking off.
An hour later, Trowa folded up his Santa costume and took off his beard and hat. He was oddly silent. Duo, who had finished shopping at the same time Trowa's shift ended, regarded his friend quizzically. He had come to meet his friend at twelve, as they had planned, but he did not know what to make of Trowa's behavior. Usually he would be going on and on about how happy he was to get out of that job. Mistaking the silence as sorrow that he had to stop being Santa, Duo patted his friend on the back comfortingly.
"It's all right, Trowa. Hey, I bet that Ernie will let you come in and be Santa another time, if you ask him."
"Huh? . . . Oh, no, that's okay," Trowa said distractedly. He wasn't really paying attention to Duo his thoughts were on the events that had happened that day.
No matter how he tried to push her from his mind, the teenage girl who had come to him for a Christmas wish stayed locked in his mind. He had no idea who she was, but just the memory of her brought a smile to his face. Her radiance and joy were unlike anything that he had ever experienced before. For those few moments, he had been transported to another world, another time where his innermost dreams were fulfilled.
And she seemed to be the center of it all. Even though he had only met her once, he was already swept away by her . . . her . . . he didn't even know what it was, just . . . her.
He barely noticed as Ernie handed him the money, and took the
Costume from him. Duo's voice finally cut into his thoughts.
"Trowa? Hey, what's wrong with you?"
"Hmm? Oh . . . just . . ." Trowa realized that he was acting rather strange. And it was all because of some strange girl he had met only once. He decided to forget about her. Maybe if he stopped thinking about her, then her memory would slowly fade away. After all, that was the reasonable thing to do. Common sense dictated that a man does not fall in love with someone after only meeting them once!
"Trowa, why don't we stop by the arcade? I know it's my day off, but they're supposed to be getting a new video game in, and it might be interesting."
Trowa grinned inwardly. Duo loved working at the arcade. He didn't rise to the position of junior manager by just dropping in sometimes and sweeping the floors. He worked very hard at his job, and, in a way, he was proud of it. Trowa knew the real reason he wanted to stop by there now was so he could make sure the new employee was following all the correct procedures.
"Sure, Duo, I guess we could check the new video game out."
"Great! That way we can . . . Hey! Trowa, look over there! Isn't that Hilde? What's she doing back two days early?"
Trowa glanced over in the direction Duo was pointing. Yup, the brunette was Hilde, Duo's girlfriend. She had been working on some project in Africa, but she was supposed to be flying in on Monday for Christmas.
He looked over at Duo's overjoyed face, and nudged his friend slightly.
"Well, what are you waiting for, you idiot? Go over there!"
"You sure that you don't want to come with us?" Duo hesitated.
"No! Get over there, Duo, before she leaves! Don't worry about me, I was going to head home soon anyway!"
Duo nodded eagerly and ran over to surprise his girlfriend.
Trowa watched their happy reunion for a few minutes, then turned away and began to walk towards the exit. Might as well go on home now. He could catch up on his studying for that physics test they were having after break.
Thud! . . . squeak-squeak!
A sound behind him brought him out of his musings. He turned around, to see a heap of shopping bags on the floor. Then, a girl sat up from behind the pile.
"Oh, no! Not again!" The girl slowly stood up and began trying to collect the items, including a squeak toy that had rolled out from one of the bags.
Trowa's eyes widened as he recognized the same meatball-headed girl from earlier in the day! He stood there, frozen, until some tiny shred of thought inside his mind told him to go over there and help her.
"Um . . . here, let me help you." Walking over, he bent and began to pick up some of the bags.
"Oh, thanks! Geez, it's all because of my klutziness! I don't know how I'm going to get home . . ." She looked up to meet the stranger who was helping her, and found herself looking into some very familiar emerald green eyes.
After a few moments, she realized that she had been staring, and abruptly straightened and put out her hand.
"Hello, Santa! . . . Er . . . I mean . . . um . . . heh . . . what is your name?"
Trowa couldn't help but grin at her jovial attitude. "I'm Trowa Barton. And you are, miss . . . ?"
The question brought a light blush to her cheeks, a sight that
Warmed his heart. "Um . . . I . . . uh . . ." She suddenly realized that she couldn't even remember her own name! Great way to make an impression! She mentally kicked herself. The name suddenly came to her, and she breathed a sight of relief.
"It's . . . Serena. Serena Tsukino."
"Serena . . ." Trowa said the name as if it were a rare delicacy. Then he realized she was looking at him expectantly, since he had said her name. Groping for a sentence, he said the first thing that came to mind.
"Um . . . Serena, what's your favorite food?"
She gave him a strange look. "Ohh-kay. Uh . . . well, I'll eat anything, really!" She laughed, a gentle sound like the music of fairies.
"Well, that's good, because . . . um . . . I just thought that you might be tired after doing all this shopping," he motioned to the bags as he continued. "So . . . would you maybe . . . I don't know, I was heading over to the ice cream shop, and I'd like some company, so . . ."
"Ice cream? Sure!" She grinned and picked up a few bags.
Trowa smiled along with her, and picked up the remainder of the bags. "Great!"
As they walked off, Trowa suddenly heard a muffled squeak. He realized the sound was the result every time he hit the bags against his leg. He gave Serena a questioning look.
She laughed again. "Oh, that? That's just a squeak toy I bought for my cat! Of course, she's probably going to act like she's too mature for it anyway, so I don't know why I even bothered . . ."
"You have a cat? What kind?"
"I don't know, really. I just found her being abused by some kids one day and took her home. She acts like most cats do, I guess . . . snotty, distant . . . she has this bossy air around her, that . . ."
Their laughter echoed through the mall as they walked out of the doors.
Trowa held the door open for Serena, and they both walked into the Ice cream shop. Sliding into a booth, Trowa called a waiter over and ordered a cup of chocolate ice cream.
"What about you, Serena?"
Serena's eyed glinted hungrily, and she launched into a long explanation of the numerous types of ice cream that she wanted.
Trowa wasn't paying attention to what she was saying. Instead, he was staring at her, drinking in her every movement.
After they had left the mall, they had started walking to the ice cream shop. Trowa purposely went the long way just so he could spend more time with Serena. He had an odd feeling that Serena knew he had deliberately gone the long way.
She was such an open person. They had known each other for less than An hour, and already she was telling him everything about herself. Trowa marveled at how innocent and trusting she was. She believed in everyone the moment she met them, and she was always looking for the good in the world.
Her smile could light up a whole galaxy. It seemed to be the embodiment of everything good and pure. Every time she smiled, Trowa felt a burden being lifted from his shoulders. He felt calmer, more at peace with himself somehow.
His common sense hammered away at the corners of his mind. It told him that he could not like her this much after knowing her for such a little while. Begrudgingly, he had to give in and listen to it.
After all, falling in love doesn't just happen, right? It takes time. You have to get to know the person first. Love at first sight is just lust, combined with desperation. It didn't actually exist. You had to get to know a person before you could love them.
Yet, looking at Serena, he felt all of his doubts being washed away. He felt that he knew her better than he knew any of his friends, and he had only known her for an hour!
Not only her words, her eyes spoke volumes. They offered a peek inside her soul, a soul that was warm and kind and caring. Trowa had never met anyone like this girl before. Just looking at the surface, one would never know the treasures that lay underneath.
"Trowa? Hey, Trowa, do you want anything else?" Serena's gentle voice brought him in out of his thoughts.
He looked up at the waiter, who looked horrified as he glanced down at his pad. Serena's order had filled up two whole pages! The waiter silently pleaded with Trowa not to order anything more.
"No, that's okay, Serena. Nothing else for me." The waiter sighed in relief and left the table, a little too quickly.
"So, Trowa, you never told me what your Christmas wish was!"
"Yeah, Santa! C'mon, I've already told you my wish! Now it's your turn. What do you want from Santa this year?"
Trowa was rather taken aback by the question. He hadn't even Revealed to Duo what his deepest wishes were. Yet here he was, completely ready to divulge his innermost thoughts to this strange girl. Somehow, though, Serena made him feel at ease. Her friendly air and her bright smile made him want to tell her.
"Um . . . I guess . . . I guess what I really want is someone to spend Christmas with."
"Someone to spend Christmas with?"
"Yeah, like . . . like a soul mate or something. I want to find my soul mate."
An uneasy silence settled between the two. Serena was rather surprised that Trowa hadn't said something like, 'a motorcycle', or 'a car'. That was what most boys she knew would say. It got her wondering yet again about Trowa, who still remained a mystery to her. There was an unreadable emotion in his face, a feeling that puzzled her. He seemed to be a million things at once. When she had first met him, he had been a cool, collected stranger, playing Santa. But now, he was showing a softer, gentler side, a side that she wanted to discover more about. Shyly, she raised her eyes, and they locked onto his.
Suddenly, a waiter brought their order, and Serena found her eyes fastened on a huge chocolate sundae that blocked her view of Trowa.
Trowa, on the opposite side of the booth, had to grin as he saw Serena's huge, ice-creamy creation side-by-side with his own tiny chocolate cup. What was even more surprising, however, was the way she scarfed it down in a few bites.God she eats just like Duo. . . only neater
Serena, seeing the startled expression on his face, realized what
She was doing. Great, Serena, you want to get the guy to like you, so you cram a gigantic sundae down your throat! He's probably never going to want to see you again! She looked up at him sadly.
Trowa took one look at Serena's face, a tiny bit of ice cream on her nose and a sad smile below it, and broke out into a grin. His deep, rich laughter filled the air. Serena had to join in, and her sweet tinkling laugh intermixed with his own.
Soon, Serena was completely done with her sundae, and the two left
The shop and walked out into the cold winter air. Serena shivered involuntarily, her light blazer not suited for the afternoon chill. Without thinking, Trowa put an arm around her shoulders, rubbing her arms to warm her. Then, he realized what he had just done.
He turned his head to meet Serena's puzzled gaze, big blue eyes blinking at him questioningly. Immediately, he removed his hand from around her shoulders, letting it hang limply by his side.
Oh no! What have I done what have I done what have I done? Now she's probably going to think that I'm moving too fast and that I'm not her type of guy and she'll never want to see me again and-
Serena's fingers touched his momentarily, and then he was holding
Her soft, delicate hand. He felt a strange warmth envelop him. Walking with her, linked together, he didn't feel the wind whipping past his face. He didn't feel the squishing sound of hard-packed snow beneath their shoes. The only reality he knew was Serena, by his side, touching his hand with her own hand.
Serena must have been entranced as well, because she did not look where she was going, and bumped into a hurried stranger going the opposite way. She lost her footing for a moment, and teetered dangerously. Then she fell to the ground with a thud, tears springing to her eyes.
"Serena?" Trowa noticed the warmth had slipped out of his hand, and turned to see Serena on the sidewalk, her eyes glistening with tears. He stooped and helped her get up.
"Hey, cheer up. I bet that guy was just in a real hurry to see
Santa, before the mall closed!"
Serena smiled slowly. "Yeah, to . . . Omigosh! Look at that! They have the new Power Girl comic! I've been looking for it everywhere!" She literally bounced over to a shop window, and pressed her nose against the glass. Trowa grinned, as he saw she was back to her old self again.
He walked over to where she was standing, and peered inside as well.
After squinting her eyes and reading the illustration on the cover, Serena turned back to me. "I'd better be getting home. It's getting pretty cold and everything, I mean."
Trowa nodded, a little sad. Then, an idea came to him. "Do you want me to walk you home?"
"Sure! Hey, why not call forth your sleigh, Mr. Claus?" She grinned.
Trowa made the pretense of opening a door between them. He held out one hand. "Would you join me please, my kindly elf?"
Serena's smile widened, and she giggled in delight. Linking arms, she motioned to the empty sidewalk in front of her. "On, Dasher, and Dancer! On, Donner, and . . . er . . . I was never that good at remembering things."
"Blitzen." Trowa said, helping her.
"Blitzen! Oh, right! On, Blitzen, and . . . um . . . hey, Trowa?"
"Where in the world did they come up with the name 'Blitzen'?'"
Trowa's deep laughter carried up into the dark evening sky.
At the Tsukinos' door, Serena said a hasty good-bye to Trowa, as her little brother tried to pelt both of them with snowballs. Serena gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, before ducking for cover inside the house. Sammy's taunting cries of 'Serena's got a boyfriend!' rang throughout the house until Serena ran into her room and slammed the door on her brother.
Her emotions ran wild, and she had to sit down a moment to gather her thoughts. She knew one thing for certain, and that was that she liked Trowa. A lot. He was so sweet, and funny, and kind, and caring and . . . ohh, she felt she could go on for days! He was so nice to her too, and treated her as a true lady.
She remembered, grinning in delight, when he had put his arm around her shoulders, just for a second. She was surprised, but inwardly, she was thrilled. She had been more than a little sad that he had removed it.
When he had left, they had agreed to meet tomorrow at the movie theater. Now Serena couldn't wait! She lay down on her bed, too excited to sleep. A tiny presence in her mind voiced her doubts, of if Trowa really liked her too. But she clamped a hand down on that voice, and fell asleep thinking of Trowa. Maybe someone had heard her wish. Maybe this feeling, this wonderfully warm feeling inside of her, was love.
Trowa stood on his balcony and looked down on the city, the wind ruffling his hair slightly. Tokyo was alive with all the noise and excitement of Christmas day. Banners hung from street poles waved in the breeze. A procession of people marched down the street in the Christmas parade. Every so often, confetti would be thrown up into the air. Far off in the distance, the last strains of 'Jingle Bells' slowly died away, the last note fading to a silent hum.
However, Trowa's mind wasn't on the events taking place below him. He was lost in his thoughts, thinking about how his life had changed so much in the past week. In just a matter of days, his world had been turned upside-down . . .
. . . And now, he wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.
Ever since that first time he had taken Serena out for ice cream,
His whole world had changed. They had spent almost every minute of the following week together, going to the movies, taking walks in the park, or even just sitting and talking. And slowly, day by day, he found himself falling in love with the seventeen year old girl who always bounced into his thoughts.
Their relationship had deepened as they spent more time together. Trowa discovered a lot about Serena, her fears and her weaknesses, her insecurities. Yet, every day, she surprised him with something new. She had a huge heart, always ready to help someone else out. She would sacrifice her time, for the chance that someone else's day would be brightened. He had never met anyone so caring of others, be they good friends or complete strangers.
He found himself revealing more about his feelings to her, than he
Had ever done before. And he was enjoying the experience. He was putting his feelings in the care of another person, risking all the hurt and shattered dreams. It was all for the sake of this love, this wonderful emotion that he felt for Serena.
He had even revealed to her about his childhood, and about the fact that he was Gundam Pilot. She had been sympathetic, an ear that listened, and a shoulder to lean on. She understood how hard it was for him to talk about it, and respected his feelings as well.
He was letting his thoughts wander when the doorbell rang. Wondering who it could be, he left the balcony and walked to the door, opening it.
A spirited teenage girl bounded into his apartment, happiness written all over her features.
"It's Christmas!" she said, hugging herself. "Trowa, doesn't it feel wonderful?"
Trowa looked at her. "Yes, it does."
Suddenly, she stopping twirling around and turned to face him. Her hand opened to reveal a square-shaped package, wrapped in Christmas paper. She held it out towards him.
"Merry Christmas, Trowa."
Puzzled as to what it could be, Trowa took it and removed the wrapping paper quickly. Inside, he found a small photo album, bound in smooth brown leather. He gave her a questioning look.
"It's an album. To store all of your memories." Two slender hands closed around his.
"I know that it must be hard for you, Trowa. But the best thing to try and do is treasure all of your memories. In this album you can keep memoirs of your past, your present, and," Her hands squeezed his, "your future."
Trowa opened the album. There, in the first pocket, was a photo of him with his arm around Serena. She had a huge smile on her face, making the picture come alive with happiness. He recognized it as a picture they took on their second date.
The present filled his heart with joy. It was perfect! He loved it. He looked at Serena, his saying what words could not.
She nodded, and gave him a hug. He returned it, so happy to be able to hold the woman he loved in his arms, close to him.
Finally, they separated. Trowa reached behind him and pulled out a small gift bag. Serena gave a small squeak of excitement and grabbed the bag. Removing the beautiful rose attached to its side, she touched the soft petals and inhaled its heavenly fragrance. Then she set it down carefully, and turned to the bag. Tissue paper flew everywhere as she tried to see what was hidden inside.
She lifted a small, plush rabbit out of the bag. It was very cute, with huge brown eyes and a pleading expression on its face. Serena hugged it to her, a smile on her face, before setting it down and examining it more carefully.
Trowa grinned. Serena couldn't believe her eyes. On a thin gold chain around the rabbit's neck lay the most beautiful pendant she had ever seen. It was a golden rose, entwined around a silver moon.
She looked up at Trowa with an awed expression.
"It just . . . seemed fitting." He shrugged nonchalantly, secretly rejoicing inside that she liked his gift.
For once, Serena was at a loss for words. She just stared at the pendant, resting on the rabbit's white belly. Then she choked out a few words.
"Thank . . . thank you. It's so beautiful! I . . . wow."
"Here, let me put it on you." He unclasped the chain, taking the necklace off of the stuffed animal's neck. Then, he put it around Serena's neck, fastening the clasp again.
Serena fingered the pendant delicately. "I love it."
Trowa smiled at her words. He put his arms around Serena from behind, letting her lean back on his chest. One hand brushed some hair away from her face.
"And I love you." It was the first time he had said it, but he felt a wonderful burden being lifted from his heart as he said the words. His feelings were out in the open now, and he was happy. Bending down, he kissed her cheek softly.
Serena touched her cheek where his kiss landed. Slowly, she turned around in his arms to face him. Two slender arms made their way around his neck.
"I love you, Trowa."
Serena's heart pounded inside her ears as she said those words. Staring into his emerald green eyes, she saw all the qualities she loved and admired in him--his kindness, his gentleness, his romantic side, and so much more. During the week that she had known him, her feelings had grown, and now her heart felt as if it would burst if she didn't tell him how she really felt.
Trowa had hoped, against all hope, to hear these words from her mouth.
But he was still surprised when she had said them. He looked into those sapphire eyes, so innocent and trusting, and full of love . . . for him?
Somewhere, in the city below, amidst the shouts of the crowd, a gentle song began to play. It drifted upward, the words being heard by one and all.
The sky don't fall
When I see your face
All I know
Is what we have
Feels to me like what must be
A state of grace
I wish that I had wings
To take you to the clouds
But all I have
Is what you see right now
That's the simple truth
No fireworks on cue
The simple truth is I'm in love . . .
Tilting his head down, Trowa kissed her, with a newly discovered
Love growing in his heart. Their kiss was one of many things, of friendship, of trust, and . . . most of all . . . of true love.
Way up north, countless miles from the city of Tokyo, in a place that could not be defined using normal latitudes, a fire burned brightly in a small cozy cottage. Two occupants sat in the living room, warming themselves from the fire's heat.
Suddenly, the kitchen door creaked open. An old, kindly woman, smile wrinkles permanently etched into her face, bustled into the room. She carried in her hands a tray of Christmas cookies, hot from the oven. She set the tray down between the two people in the room, a man and a woman. Then she stood behind the man's chair, looking down at him lovingly.
The man smiled at her. He seemed to be as old as she, but his blue eyes twinkled with a youthfulness that made one doubt his age. He was almost completely bald, save for a few patches of white hair and a bushy beard of the same color. When he looked up at the woman behind his chair, his wife of many years, she patted his shoulder affectionately. Then she stole a glance at his round belly, and said in a disapproving tone, "I thought you were serious about losing some weight!"
The man laughed, a deep, joyful sound that made his whole body shake, and echoed throughout the cottage.
"Oh, come on, honey, we have company over! Let a man enjoy his cookies!"
His wife smiled, tucking a few stray hairs of white behind her ear. Then she looked up at her guest.
"Would you like any more cookies?"
A gentle laugh came from the opposite chair. The woman reached out and grabbed another cookie. She was very beautiful and graceful, with a perfect hourglass figure. Her face seemed young, but her pale blue eyes sparkled with a maturity beyond her years.
"Oh, my dear, how do you make these cookies so delicious?"
The woman finished off her cookie and smiled at her hosts. The moon symbol on her forehead glowed faintly at her happiness.
"Serenity, please, have one more!" the older woman urged.
Serenity hesitated, then bent down and took another cookie, brushing her silver bangs out of her eyes.
The man laughed at his guest's predicament, the same, deep, resounding laugh as before.
"My dear wife, let Serenity eat at her own pace!"
Serenity waved off the comment. "No, no, it's okay, really. Mrs. Claus, these cookies are so wonderful!"
Mrs. Claus blushed. "Thank you, Queen Serenity."
"Please, please, no formalities between friends."
The man turned to her, grinning. His blue eyes twinkled.
"Serenity, I just want to thank you for helping me with granting that Christmas wish."
Serenity smiled. "It was no trouble, Mr. Claus. I have to keep a special eye on those two."
"Hmmm. They'll be very happy now. They were bound to find each other sometime, but granting their mutual Christmas wish just pushed their meeting up a little bit." He stared off into space for a moment. "Cute couple, those two."
Mrs. Claus placed a hand on his shoulder, and he looked up at her, his eyes shining with pride and joy. "They found the greatest gift of all."
"Yes," Serenity agreed, her heart warming as she remembered her own love in the past. "True love."