Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy!
She ran. Her feet pounded rhythmically on the pavement. Gusts of condensation puffed out of her mouth as she ran ran ran.
"Excuse me! Coming through! Excuse me!"
She weaved her way through the streets, sidestepping, squeezing and ducking.
"Oops, sorry!" she called back as she knocked a woman's elbow, looking back through her flying purple hair for a split-second and continued to race to her destination.
The strap of her duffel bag on her shoulder kept slipping and as she shrugged her shoulder uncomfortably to keep it in place she mentally berated herself.
'Damn you, Fuuko! For once in your life, can you not be late?'
"Damn it! Fuuko's late again!"
Recca crossed his arms angrily and huffed into his chest. He felt a slight tugging on his sleeve and immediately a soft voice spoke. His demeanor softened even before he heard her speak.
"Recca, don't be angry at Fuuko. I'm sure she has a valid reason this time."
Recca continued to pout.
"But Hime! We're going to be late for the party!"
A disembodied voice floated from the front seat of the minibus.
"Not really. The radio station just broadcasted the traffic report. It's smooth sailing all the way. Not a single jam in sight."
"Mother! You're supposed to be on my side!"
"So says the one who just arrived five minutes ago…fifteen minutes after the arranged time."
Recca twisted in his seat and glared at Mikagami.
"I wasn't talking to you, Iceblock!"
Mikagami rolled his eyes.
"I guess the truth does hurt, monkey."
Yanagi placed a restraining hand on Recca as he nearly leaped over the seat to attack Mikagami.
"Recca-kun! It's Christmas! Just leave it!"
Recca threw a warning glance at Mikagami and grumbled under his breath. He sank back down in his seat.
"Hey! Is that Fuuko?" Domon bellowed from the last seat on the bus. His girlfriend, Kasumi, who was sitting next to him, was dwarfed by his towering height.
Domon was right. The purple-headed blur that was barreling to them was Fuuko. It was their very own Fuuko… albeit a very crazed looking one.
The quiet murmuring in the bus was now silenced as the entire Hokage (plus a few girlfriends, husbands and presents) watched a mad-looking Fuuko run like a rabid camel towards them.
Mikagami wondered if the others, like him, were feeling an irrational surge of fear at the obviously insane creature they were waiting for.
Finally, after watching her surprisingly quick stumbling progress, Fuuko clambered onto the bus wheezing and panting.
"Alarm…broke…" wheeze, "ran…all the way…" wheeze, "from… home… stupid people…" pant, "kept…getting in… my way."
The bus was silent for a few seconds. Even Recca wisely decided now was not the best time to prod the temperamental, hormonally unbalanced (or so it seemed) Kirisawa Fuuko.
Domon stood up and grabbed her duffel.
"I'll…uh… put this at the back with the rest."
And then the volume turned back on.
Fuuko looked the bus up and down. She was the last one to arrive. Typical. She sighed and blew her fringe up from the corner of her mouth. She wasn't sweating. The run wasn't enough to make her perspire. But it didn't mean that it wasn't tiring.
She slipped into the only seat left, the one next to Mikagami.
Mikagami turned slightly to her and inclined his chin in acknowledgment.
"Monkey Number Two."
She growled at him and considered choking him to death but then decided that it took too much energy and it was Christmas after all and he was too cute to kill and it was Christmas. She rolled her eyes and looked away.
Mikagami returned to what had occupied most of his attention: staring vacantly out the window. His finger was tapping to the music pouring into his ears from his headphones.
The bus jerked to a start and the scenery outside the rolled slowly away. Fuuko turned her attention to the two people in front of her.
Yanagi leaned her brown head on Recca's shoulder and Fuuko could see Recca's fingers tentatively, almost scared, darting around Yanagi's soft head and then settled softly like a butterfly. Slowly, Recca turned his head and placed a soft kiss on the top of Yanagi's head.
Fuuko decided it was a sickening display of cute-sy love. She rolled her eyes again and caught sight Mikagami also looking slightly green. Mikagami raised his eyes heavenward and the corners of his eyes crinkled in a mix of amusement and sarcastic relish. She smiled a tortured smile and then made a gagging motion.
She laughed and leaned back into her seat, snagging one of Mikagami's headphones along with her.
He glared at her from the corner of his eyes.
She smiled at him.
He scowled and looked out the window again.
Fuuko closed her eyes and listened to Mikagami's breathing and his music for the rest of the trip.
The party was utterly boring. Considering that it was held by the last remnants of the ex Uruha Jyunjishuu, he thought it would at least be slightly evil, in an interesting way. Or at least have some sort of cool fighting game in it. But no. Nothing. Neon and her sisters were entertaining Domon and the rest with games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey (a donkey for heaven's sake! Not even an old lady or something suitably evil).
Even the decorations were nice and festive and not evil. He growled into his fruit punch. This was no fun. No fun at all.
Two hours had passed and he had done nothing but fill his bladder with diluted fruit punch and the occasional candy cane (which he sneaked off the Christmas tree when no-one was looking).
In fact, it was time to visit the holy land of flushes. He stood up from his very comfortable armchair in a tiny corner of the room.
Now to find his salvation…
Fuuko was outside breathing in the cool crisp winter air. The moon was a fang in the night. She shivered a little. It was time to go in before she caught a cold.
Mikagami took another cup of punch. And cursed as he realised that there was only enough for one more cup. He took it. After all, he needed it more than the other monkeys.
Fuuko pushed open the door and took off her shoes. She shut the door behind her and then headed for the refreshment table. She wasn't in the mood for donkey butts right now. Maybe there was still more of those spiked punch that Miki had told her about.
Mikagami balanced two cups of punch in his hands precariously as he walked towards the living room.
Fuuko spotted her prey and a hungry smile spread across her face.
Before he knew what was happening, his second cup of punch was gone. It was stolen from under his very nose! He growled. His precious punch!
She stood before him and drained the contents in one gulp. Smacking her lips in satisfaction, she smiled smugly at him.
Dark clouds stormed behind his eyes. And he was furious.
How dare she take his only means of entertainment? How dare she!
Fuuko started to hesitate as she saw the murderous glint in his eyes. Maybe she shouldn't have taken his punch after all. She took a step back.
He advanced. Was he going to hit her? It wasn't impossible. Mikagami didn't have any compunction against hitting girls.
She knew she was in trouble. And with him obviously drunk like that? She was in big big trouble.
That was all she needed.
When she leaned towards him, Mikagami thought it was a hallucination.
When he felt her lips on his he decided that if it was a hallucination it was a very realistic one.
When he felt his arm moving around her waist and pulled her close to him, he decided that hallucinations were hallucinations and what he decided to do in hallucinations didn't matter anyway.
When she pulled away from what seemed like eternity spinning past his closed eyes, he decided that he was in big trouble.
She smiled a bit. It was an uncertain and wobbly smile, as if she was surprised by the results of some sort of experiment.
She pointed up.
He knew that the decorations were going to be the death of him. He knew it!
"Thanks for the punch, Mi-chan."
And then she flounced off.
How dare she!
He tried to say something. But it all came out something like:
"Next time it's my turn."
Which sounded terribly wrong out of context.
Her fading laugh was her only reply.
He growled and drank the last cup of punch.
In the end it was the punch's entire fault!
Author's notes: Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a great holiday!