It was a cold, snowy December, and Ging was off on a hunting trip. Cerridwen and Kite were left alone at the small cottage they had been staying in while Ging trained them, with no idea when he'd return. He had left them with specific instructions to train every day, and they followed it diligently; however, Ging's absence still left them with more freedom than they had in years. Unsure of what to do with themselves, they muddled through as best they could.
"Did you use up all the hot water again?" Kite asked with a smirk as a freshly-showered Cerridwen in a sky-blue bathrobe made her way out of the bathroom and into the livingroom. Due to the small size of the cottage and the undefined boundaries between many of the rooms, he could see her clearly from his seat at the kitchen table. Taking a small sip of his tea, he added, "Wait...is that my bathrobe?"
"Yes, and yes," she replied, letting her long purple hair fall out of the towel she had it wrapped in and beginning to dry it out. "I went to take mine off the rack and it kind of fell into the water."
"Ah, understandable," Kite said, turning his attention back to the laptop on the table before him.
Cerridwen stretched, draping the towel around her shoulders and walking over to the picture window at the other side of the livingroom. Normally, she would be able to see a narrow dirt road, with a patch of woods on the other side, leading into an expansive forest. For the past two weeks, however, there had been practically nothing but snow as far as the eye could see.
"It's beautiful out there," she sighed, glancing over her shoulder at Kite. "Isn't it?"
He looked up at her, smiling. "Yes, it's breathtaking." After a moment, he inquired, "Would you like a cup of tea? The kettle is probably still hot."
"Oh, yes, please," she answered, turning and heading toward the kitchen. Bare feet making gentle tapping sounds on the linoleum floor, she pulled out the chair next to Kite's and sat down.
Kite got up and retrieved a small, ebony teacup with a red rose on it from the cupboard, filled it with tea from the kettle on the stove, and sat back down.
The pair sat there in silence for a short while, Kite drinking his tea and tapping away on the laptop, Cerridwen drinking her tea and staring out the kitchen window wistfully.
Kite turned his attention away from the computer to look at Cerridwen, who was oblivious to his gaze. The overcast sunlight shone strongly on the snow blanketing the deck, which reflected brilliantly in her bright emerald eyes. He lost himself in them, thinking about everything those eyes had seen since he met her; aside from the few plays they had managed to sneak into theatres to see as kids, and some of the places outdoors where they had trained in recent years, it was more bad than good.
He wanted to change that.
He wanted to give her something truly beautiful.
"Carrie," he began gently, so as to not startle her, "I want to talk to you about something."
She arched an eyebrow in confusion. "Is it about the bathrobe? Because my only other option would have been to use Ging's, and that would feel more than a little weird."
Kite chuckled. "No, it's not...though you should go put some clothes on soon."
"I was thinking," Kite continued, leaning forward, "while Ging's gone, we have time to do more than just train our Nen every day, and we have the house to ourselves."
Cerridwen cocked her head; she had no idea where he was going with this.
"Let's have Christmas," he declared, beaming.
She blinked a few times. "But Kite, we've always managed to have Christmas before, even if it was just giving each other some small thing we managed to swipe from the market stalls."
"Well, yes," he conceded with a shrug, "but I mean...let's have a real Christmas. With a tree, and lights, and eggnog, and everything."
"Trust me, we should skip the eggnog," she laughed. "I'm only seventeen, I can't just go buy booze for it."
"I mean, I'm twenty-one," Kite responded, furrowing his brow under his blue hat, "but eggnog doesn't need to have alcohol in it."
Cerridwen involuntarily let out an almost obnoxious guffaw.
"Oh yes it does. Ging gave me some a couple years ago and it was absolutely horrible; the alcohol makes you not care about how disgusting it tastes," she finished with a scowl.
Kite smiled. "Okay, no eggnog then. What do you say?"
She stared into her tea, contemplating the proposal. She had always secretly wanted to have a "real" Christmas, but when she and Kite were living in the sewers, it wasn't exactly a realistic goal. They did the best they could for each other, and she was happy with that.
Kite reached over and placed his hand on top of hers.
She met his gaze, finding only enthusiasm and warmth in his hazel-brown eyes.
"I want to do this for you," he said earnestly, lightly squeezing her hand. "For us. You deserve this."
Cerridwen's heart skipped a beat.
"Y-yeah, okay, let's do it," she replied, blushing slightly. "It should be fun."
Kite grinned happily. "Wonderful. There's a huge Christmas store about an hour and a half from here; we can go after you get dressed if you'd like."
Cerridwen nodded. "We'll have to clean the snow off the car...good thing Ging left it though."
"Definitely," Kite agreed, standing up and helping Cerridwen to her feet. "I'll clean up in here and start on the car while you're getting ready."
"Thank you," Cerridwen said with a sweet smile, turning away and heading for her bedroom.