This is for Sam, with a Christmas kiss from me!

Tis the Season by Ransomed Heart

Odd stared briefly as a gaggle of girls wearing Santa hats walking by, giggling madly about some private joke. The blonde teen was leaning casually against a tree. Jeremie was next to him on a bench. The boy genius tightened his scarf slightly and followed Odd's gaze to the hat-wearing girls.

"Tis the season," he sighed. "Santa and elf hats abound."

Odd snickered. "Don't forget the reindeer antlers that Nicolas walked into class wearing this morning."

Jeremie smiled, but it was quickly replaced with a frown. "I can't believe we have school when we should be having Christmas break."

Odd raised eyebrows. "What's this? The genius actually wants a vacation? This is new. Who are you and what have you done with Jeremie?"

"Funny, Odd. Actually, I could really use a break. Keeping my grades up is hard!"

"Only when you have to have straight A's," argued Odd. "I'm not stressed at all!"

Jeremie rolled his eyes. "Say, where are Ulrich and Yumi?"

"Them? Yumi went home, and the last I saw Ulrich he was trying to avoid Sissy. Something about her walking around with a sprig of mistletoe."

Jeremie shuddered. "I'd be avoiding her too. He really has to come up with a way to make her stop."

"I told him he should just go out with Yumi, but, despite the fact that he stares virtual monsters in the eye without even flinching, he can't seem to work up the guts to really tell her that he's madly in love with her. I mean, he told her that 'he feels the same way about her,' but that was just because Sissy was being a brat."

"He won't do it unless he knows that she likes him back," Jeremie reasoned.

"But Yumi doesn't talk to us about stuff like that," Odd fumed. "We have no clue whether or not she actually likes Ulrich or not."

"Taking an educated guess, I would say she does," Jeremie said. "She does go all green-eyed-monster whenever Emily come within a ten-foot radius of Ulrich. I mean, how much more obvious could she be, short of kissing him or something?"

Jeremie literally saw the idea hit Odd. The purple-clad teen's face lit up like a Christmas tree, and his grin rivaled that of the Cheshire Cat.

"Odd, what are you thinking," Jeremie asked in a cautious voice.

"I think," Odd said, "That Sissy finally came up with a good idea. Here's the plan....."

-----

Yumi strolled leisurely down the path to the school, spotting her friends immediately. Odd and Jeremie were sitting on a bench, and Ulrich wasn't in sight.

"Hey guys!" She leaned against the tree next to the bench when she reached them. "What's up?"

"Nothing," Odd said quickly. Almost too quickly, and Yumi narrowed her eyes at him, stepping away from the tree to stand in front of Odd. Jeremie's eyes darted nervously to the tree and back to Yumi's cloudy face.

"Is there something-" She was cut off by the arrival of Ulrich, who sprinted up and placed a hand on the tree to steady himself, panting heavily.

"Jeez, I thought I was going to be late," he huffed out.

"Ulrich darling!"

The group did a collective wince at the voice of Sissy that carried across the courtyard as she came towards them.

Suddenly she stopped her approach and smiled widely. Ulrich realized that she wasn't watching him, but was looking at the tree above him. He followed her gaze until he was staring in horror and shock at the mistletoe hanging just over his head.

There was a long moment where neither of them moved. Then Sissy rushed forward, and Ulrich quickly removed himself from under the tree, taking a hasty seat on the bench. Sissy halted her mad run and sighed.

"Maybe later then, Ulrich dear," she called, walking away after a moment.

Ulrich sunk low onto the bench, breathing a sigh of relief. "How did that get there," he asked his friends.

Jeremie pursed his lips, but Yumi answered. "She probably put it there herself, knowing Sissy."

Before Ulrich could respond the bell rang, and the courtyard emptied quickly in the mass rush to get to class.

"See you guys in study hall," Yumi called, walking off to her own class.

-----

Yumi was standing outside of the library doors when the boys arrived. She was staring above the door where a sprig of mistletoe hung innocently (as innocently as mistletoe can hang, at any rate).

"Yikes," odd said, his voice seeming higher than normal. "How did that get there?"

"Where are they all coming from is the more prudent question, don't you think," Jeremie said with a nervous giggle at the end of the question.

"Sissy should learn to control herself, most likely," Yumi snapped. She moved in an exaggerated step to clear the offending mistletoe, and turned to the guys when she was safely past. "You can come now. And I hate to say this,
but to avoid any weird rumors about it, you may want to come one at a time."

The guys nodded and moved carefully through the booby-trapped doorway into the library. When Yumi and Ulrich weren't looking, Odd cast Jeremie a rueful glance.

-----

"This isn't working," Jeremie said, pushing his mashed potatoes across his tray. Yumi had already left, and Ulrich had to speak to Mrs. Hertz about his science grade.

"No kidding. They always see it, or Sissy interrupts." There had been two more mistletoe incidents, and Yumi had sworn to rip the next one down if she saw any more of the 'horrible plant,' as she had called it.

"I have one last idea," Jeremie assured Odd. "You know how Ulrich has taken to walking Yumi home after school? Well...."

-----

"There they are," Odd whispered. "Are you sure this is going to work?"

"It's our last chance," Jeremie answered.

Yumi was walking just ahead of Ulrich as they passed under the school gate. Odd waited until she was just past it and called out, "Hey, Yumi!"

The older teen spun around and found herself nose to nose with Ulrich, standing directly under the mistletoe that Jeremie had carefully hung from the school gate.

Odd gasped. "Uh-oh! You guys know what that means, you two!" He tried to hide his grin.

Yumi smacked herself on the forehead. "What is with this mistletoe?"

"We've been set up, and I have a guess as to who it was," Ulrich said, gesturing backwards to Odd and Jeremie.

Yumi grinned. "Might as well give them what they want!" Before Ulrich could respond, she leaned in and pressed her lips to his.

Odd and Jeremie high-fived behind them, and Yumi took Ulrich's hand. "Can I go home now," she inquired of the jubilant boys.

"Do whatever you want," Odd shouted.

"Good. Let's go, then," she said, keeping a hold of Ulrich's hand as they started down the street.

Odd sighed wistfully. "Aren't they cute? I love Christmas, it just seems to bring people together."

Jeremie nodded. "Tis the season."

-----

All right, I'm the bad authoress who never updates, I know. The chapters fo everything are coming, I promise. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas fic.

Happy Holidays, no matter what you celebrate this season, and my everyone have a happy new year!

Ransomed Heart