(This is written in Jean's POV, thanks for reading)
"Welcome back." The receptionist at ARCAM says to me as I return from my solo mission in the jungle. I smile to her and drag myself to the changing room. After taking off all my gear, I step into the shower and let hot water rinse my tired body. It feels nice to finally unload all those heavy gear and it feels even nicer to be able to take a shower. I wash myself for a long time, enjoying the clean and refreshing feeling until my stomach starts grouching. I then realize I'm very hungry. "Better go get something to eat." I tell myself as I get out of the shower and change into my civilian clothes.
I drive down the street and see carolers singing X'mas songs everywhere. Kids are carrying presents of different shape and sizes. "wow, it's X'mas already? I was in the jungle for so long I lost track of the date." I murmur as I park my car next to a restaurant. The restaurant has a youthful vibe to it. All the paintings are bright primary colours and the waiter are all teenagers. I sit down at a yellow cresent moon shape (or banana shape, I am not so sure) table and a teenager walks up to me. "Merry X'mas, sir. What can I get you today?" He asks.
I look at the menu and says, "can I have the grilled Chicken dinner with a salad and a glass of house wine, please?" The waiter smiles brightly and says, "coming right up!" He soon comes back with my wine while another teenager get me my salad. Being around so many teenagers make my think about Yu. I wonder what the boy is doing? Is he sleeping yet? Maybe I can give him a call. I pick up my cell phone and dial his number. "Hello?" Yu picks up the phone. "Hey, it's me. what are you doing?" I ask him. "just hanging." he says. I eat my salad and say, "listen, I'm doing something around your neighbourhood. You like me to drop by your place for a little bit?"
"Sure, that's cool. I'll see you then." the boy says before he hangs up. I don't really have anything to do around his neighbourhood. I just want to see him. Everytime I get back from a solo mission I have an urge to go see Yu. When I'm tired and feeling lonely, he is the one that I think of. I always make up excuses to go see him. The waiter brings me my dinner and says to me, "is everything okay, sir?" I nod to him and answer, "Yeah, it's great. Can you get me a box? I want to pack my dinner up. I need a hanburger meal to go too, please." The waiter get me a box and then put in my to-go order. This is getting like a habit. I come back from a mission, I miss Yu, I want to see him, so I tell him I'm around his nieghbourhood and I can drop by his place for a visit.
"Here is the hamburger, sir." The waiter gives me a box. I always bring Yu something to eat when I go up to his place, hamburger, taco, sushi or curry. I don't know how this whole food thing get started. I guess it's because there is nothing much to do with Yu. I always miss Yu and want to see him, but everytime when I get to his place I don't know what to say to him. He doesn't really say anything to me either. I just stay there until the silent get too awkard and then I will leave. Most of the time I end up leaving in less than 10 minutes, so I start bring him food. We can sit and eat together for a while, and I can spend a little more time with Yu that way. I get out of the restaurant and see a man dress up at Santa Claus carrying a bag full of toys. He waves at me and says 'Merry X'mas' before crossing the road. Out of no where, a group of thugs appears and tries to steal from the man. 'What in the hell?" I shouts as I run out of my car to help the man. The thugs has beaten the man to the ground by then and run away with his toys and wallet.
I run after those thugs and soon catch up with them. They try and fight me but street thugs can never match a spriggan. I get the toys and the man's wallet back in no time. The thugs run away while I get back to the assulted man. "Hey, are you okay?" I ask him. He shakes his head and says, "I can't get up." I check his leg and inform him, "your got a fracture. Don't worry. It's gonna be okay. I will take you to the hospital and they can fix you up." After putting the man and all his toys into my car, I drive to the hospital. "thank you, young man. I don't know what will happen to me if you weren't there. What's the world comes to? People will actually steal from Senta." The man says as he left out a deep sigh. I can hear the agony in his sigh and ask him, "Are you hurting really bad?" He shakes his head and answers, "the kids in the orphange aren't going to have their presents now. I feel like I failed them or something." I look at the toys.
"Leave me your Santa suit. I can stand in for you." I offer. The man at once refuses, "I don't want to take up any more of your time. You have someone waiting for you, right? you're bringing dinner to someone." I look at him, wondering how he knows about Yu until I see the two box of food setting in front of me. "oh, him...it's okay. He doesn't really care if I go see him or not. Being 2 hours early or 2 hour late make no diffence to him. Besides, visiting him takes no time at all. everytime I go visit him I end up sitting at his apartment all quiet and not knowing what to say. And then I will feel too awkard and I just leave. My visits never last longer than 20 minutes." The man smiles to me. "But you still want to see him, do you? You miss him. I can tell in the tone of your voice." the man asks. I sigh, "I always want to see him, but everytime when I arrive at his apartment; there is nothing to keep me there. All I want is a little more time with him." The man nods and says, "don't give up. I'm sure one day you'll get through to him." After dropping off the man at the hospital, I put on his Senta outfit and get to the orphanage.
The kids are very happy to see the toys. I can't help but smile a bit. The caretaker, a petite french old lady, walks up to me and gets me a present. "Merry X'mas, sir. Thanks for all the help. This is a little something for your trouble." She says to me. I feel bad about taking the gift so I refused, "I don't need anything, please. Keep it for yourself. Seeing the kids this happy is rewarding enough." The lady puts the present in my hand and says, "please, take it. It's not much but we really want to thank you for what you did to us." Not wanting to hurt her feeling, I put the present into my pocket and thank her. After I send out all the gifts I get back into my car drive to Yu's place. He opens the door and let me in. "Sorry I'm so late." I say to him.
"It's cool." Yu says casually. The awkard silence starts again. Yu sees the food in my hand and takes it to the kitchen to warm it up. I try to sit down when I feel something in my pocket. It's the present the lady gave me. I take it out of the pocket and look at it when Yu brings the warmed food out. "You got me a present?" He asks. I don't really need a X'mas present and there is a there is no point at disappointing Yu, so I just nod and gives him the present. 'Merry X'mas." I says to Yu. All kids like X'mas presents, and Yu is no exception. He opens the present eagerly. It's a really old and beat up Three musketeers book that is falling apart, but Yu's eyes light up when he sees it.
"Wow! You know me so well! How do you know I love to read? and Three musketeers is my favorite book, too!!!" Yu asks me. I blink; not quite sure what to say. Yu touches the book lovingly and says excited, "it's leather bounded, and it got gold trimming. This is so cool!" He then opens the book and chirps, "check this out, the illustrations are old style wood craving pictures. This book is ink pressed. They don't make book like this anymore. All the book are machine printed now. This book is great." The old book is like a valuable antique treasure to Yu. The boy flips through the pages carefully and says, "too bad it's in French. I can't read it."
"I thought you speak French." I say to Yu. He shrugs and replies, "I speak it; but I can't read it that well, not literature anyway." I feel like I'm disappointing him when he says eagerly, "Jean, read it for me!" Before I can respond, Yu pulls me down to the sofa and set me next to him. He position himself into my arms so he can see the illustations when I read him the book. Yu has never get this close to me, and I have to admit it feels nice to have the boy in my arms, I start reading the book, "Le premier lundi du mois d'avril 1625, le bourg de Meung, où naquit l'auteur du Roman de la Rose , semblait être dans une révolution aussi entière que si les huguenots en fussent venus faire une seconde Rochelle..."
Yu chuckles and says, "you sound sexy when you speak in French." I laugh and knock him in he head. He laughs and snuggle closer to me happily. "This is so cool. The story sounds much better in the original language." I continue to read the book until I can't keep my eyes open anymore. I'm not use to reading books, plus I just come back from a mission; I also had a long day fighting thugs and sending out toys to kids. Soon I fall asleep. I wake up a little later and see Yu sleeping in my arms. "Yu?" I calls. he opens his eyes and mutters, "I'm sorry. You fall asleep and I'm afraid you will wake up if I move. so I just sleep on your shoulder."
"That's fine. I'm sorry I fall asleep while reading to you." I apologize. He closes his eyes and says, "you're tired. You need to sleep." I can tell the boy is falling asleep again. "Will you read me the rest of the book later? and read me Man in the Iron Mask, too? Maybe teach me how to read French?" Yu mutters to me. I say 'sure' to him but he is sleeping again already. I smile. Yu might be a strong and powerful spriggan but he still looks like an adorable and sweet kid when he is sleeping. I pull a blanket over us and close my eyes. I'm too tired to move and I like sleeping with Yu in my arms. I can't wait for him to snuggle in my arms and make me read to him again, but right now, we can both get some sleep.
The end...Merry X'mas, may all your dreams come true this year.