White Winter Wishes
A SatoshiXRisa Christmas ficlet

Disclaimer: DNAngel and all the characters therein belong only to Yugiru Sugisaki-san.

Let me first say that I had no idea what to label this, so forgive me if you find the title oddly out of place and not fitting for the fic. I apologise. I also do agree that it is rather lame and perhaps even clichéd. Just to note, I did not rip it off from somewhere.

Secondly, one part of this fic refers to an earlier incident in Ribbons. It's not an important bit, but just in case you need to sate your curiosity, you can pop by my other ficlet and read it.


It was snowing.

Risa watched as the flakes of snow made their casual descent from the clouds and landed neatly on her balcony. There was rarely ever any snow in their town, and to see such clear, white flakes was considered a phenomenon in itself.

Risa smiled. It was going to be a special Christmas.

"Mou, Risa! Get back here!"

She looked over her shoulder to give Riku a defiant look.

Niwa Daisuke was at her house, as was Hiwatari Satoshi. They had arranged some sort of study group together. It had been Riku's idea, actually, and being Riku's idea, it was only exemplary for Daisuke to tag along, being her boyfriend. Risa had been foisted into the study group on the excuse that her grades were slipping – and this was not true to a certain extent. Satoshi had no real reason to be in the study group, but Risa figured that it was because he had nothing else to do with his spare time, and the three needed a model student genius such as Satoshi to guide them through difficult assignments.

It was a ridiculous idea, really. Risa spent half the time peeking over at the two lovers to make sure that Daisuke wasn't trying anything funny with her sister, and also because it was rare, and not to mention amusing, to see Riku in love. She had no idea why Riku had pulled the four of them together when it was so blatantly obvious that the girl wanted to spend time alone with Daisuke. It was a guise she had designed to be with Daisuke, if only for a few hours.

Risa snorted. The few hours often extended to dinner and on rare occasions, a sleepover. Satoshi always declined and left promptly at six, Daisuke was more inconsistent.

"Maa, Riku-san, Risa-chan's already finished her assignments…"

"With five blanks!"

Ugh, it was like playing house. Riku the mother, Niwa the henpecked husband, Risa the adolescent teenager and Satoshi…he didn't quite fit into the picture.

"Ne, let's go out!"

The clicking sound which belonged to Satoshi's pencil drew to a halt.

"Harada-san, it's nearly six," he informed her, filling the gap of silence.

Risa's fingers were still pressed against the glass of her window, her eyes still focused on the wintry atmosphere. Outside, the sky had darkened measurably, as expected of a winter's day, but the still falling snow softened that darkness. She closed her eyes and breathed in the chilly air that entered through the small gap between the windows, and then whipped around to face the trio.

"Let's go Christmas shopping!" she said again, voice brighter.

"Risa it's –-"

"—time that we got our Christmas outfits, Riku," she completed. "Niwa-kun and Hiwatari-kun also need some clothes, ne? Since this Christmas is going to be chillier than usual."

"But it's late!"

"It's never too late to shop," she countered. "Besides, Hiwatari-san has a party on Christmas Eve, and Otousan was invited, meaning that we have to go too."

Riku stared at her sister, not quite believing the words coming from her.

"Risa," she started to refute, then faltered at loss for words. She glanced at Daisuke, who by his pacifist yet self-preserving nature would not try and defy either of the twins, and then at Satoshi. The reticent boy looked at her, and then turned his gaze to Risa, anticipating the outcome of this disagreement. Riku's eye twitched; none of the men were helping.

"Fine," she conceded.

With that, Risa bounded happily up the stairs, returning minutes later in winter apparel and with some extra coats on hand. "Let's go."

--

In all honesty, he had no idea what or why he was here in a boutique with the twins and one Niwa Daisuke. He had not a clue as to what possessed him to tag along on their little venture into the shops along one of the more expensive streets in town.

Maybe it was out of curiosity.

Or maybe it was because Risa was tugging him along by the hand – a very bold move, he thought – and skimming through lines of clothes while Riku clung to Daisuke's arm in search of something appropriate to wear.

Risa was hardly paying attention to the physical contact. She probably didn't realise that she had done so out of habit. Satoshi imagined she must do that often while out shopping with girlfriends, or maybe it was just her bossiness kicking in.

Not that he was complaining…

"How about this one?"

He coughed slightly when she let go of his hand to hold up another suit. It was a strange mix of black and red, the coat itself of deep ebony and the silken shirt crimson red. Alongside the suit was a matching dress. It was a shimmering black, sleeveless, ankle-long dress with a plunging neckline. That was what he coughed uncomfortably at.

"I have enough suits at home," he said levelly, veering his attention away from the questionable dress.

Risa frowned and scrutinised the suit again. There was nothing wrong with it. She turned to Satoshi, who was sifting through the racks of suits for want of something to do with his hands. Although she knew that arguing would be pointless – for arguments always saw to it that Satoshi won – she thrust the suit at him anyways and replaced the dress.

"Try it on and decide for yourself," was her last command before she left the rack of matching outfits.

Satoshi stared blankly after her and back down at the suit in his hands. He didn't want it. He didn't want to wear it to his father's party. He didn't even want to be there. And if he had known better, he would have suspected his dad of influencing Risa to get him a new suit. The man had been making a lot of noise regarding the upcoming party; he had an image to uphold.

He inspected it once more before reaching into the lapel of the suit to withdraw the price tag. Satoshi nearly face-faulted at the numbers that stared evenly back at him. He knew that Risa was of the richer families in their town, and that she would have some expensive tastes – but this expensive? Forced by the nature of its value, he looked over the suit again.

Risa had good fashion sense, he had to admit, albeit different from the norm. Her choice of garment was exceptional, and had he been a bit more ignorant, Satoshi might have purchased it himself. But the suit in his hands was awfully pricey, and Risa had not made mention that everything procured from this shop would be on her bill. Either way, Satoshi would not agree to the price. He would rather beg Niwa Emiko to sew him an outfit than squander a hefty part of his allowance.

Raising his head to locate Risa past the lines of clothes, Satoshi saw that she was nowhere to be found. Deciding that it was safe, he hooked the hangar, suit and all back onto the rack and walked toward where Daisuke was, formulating at the same time a reply to Risa.

"Ah! Hiwatari-kun!"

Satoshi bobbed his head in greeting as the redhead scooted over to let him sit.

"You tried on the suit?"

"Did you?"

"Ah…un." Daisuke kicked the ground with his right foot and hung his head, a clear indication that he wasn't telling the plain truth. Satoshi pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and nodded slowly in understanding.

He lifted a hand awkwardly to sympathise with Daisuke, but decided against it and let it fall instead onto the cushioned seat. His eyes combed the store for a minute, and when he failed to locate his object of interest, he turned to Daisuke. "Do you know where they are?"

The boy raised a hand somewhat feebly to two red velvet curtains that hung in full width on their far left. The changing rooms, Satoshi presumed. The one on the left was Risa's – he surmised from the familiar white winter boots peeking out from under the curtain – and the other was without a doubt Riku's. He watched the curtains, serenely unmoving, and wondered what kind of dress Risa had picked out after all.

Certainly not that black one.

Satoshi averted his eyes immediately. That thought and the knowledge of Risa behind those curtains did not fit well in his mind.

He let his vision trail across the parquet floor, careful not to let it stray to the heavy red curtains, and found Niwa Daisuke to be in the exact same situation as him, eyes away from the general direction of the twins and palms pressed hard against the cushion of the bench. It was interesting how Daisuke and he could be so similar at times. Satoshi took the initiative and stood to leave.

"Come with me," he said. Daisuke's head perked up and he noted the faint shade of red. "It's too distracting here."

"Where are you going?"

"For a cuppa," he answered, starting toward the counter where he left a message for the twins lest they grew frantic. When he was certain that Daisuke was behind him, he exited the boutique and stepped into the chill of winter.

Not to his amazement, the streets were lively with various groups of carollers and street musicians who cared to spread the season's cheer. Last-minute shoppers filed in and out of the shops, each emerging with more packages than the last. Some stopped to admire the complimentary entertainment that Christmas demanded; others breezed past without so much as a glance. Much to the pleasure of these artistes, Satoshi and Daisuke belonged to the former.

They picked a scenic choice of seats outside a quaint café and placed orders for warm beverages. Satoshi went with the house specialty, which was a new blend of cappuccino, while Daisuke opted for a steaming mug of hot cocoa. The waiter stayed on in hopes of persuading them to take shelter from the cold, but Satoshi turned him down.

When the persistent waiter had finally left, Satoshi leaned back into his seat and observed the various activities in silence. The opulent houses that lined the wide streets were magnificent to behold. Satoshi found himself wishing for a pencil and a sketchpad. Looking over at Daisuke's captivation, he knew the boy was thinking the exact same thing.

Once their drinks arrived, the uncommonly quiet boy spoke up. "Ne, Hiwatari-kun, did you ever wonder why snow delighted people?"

Satoshi looked up from his cup, startled by the question. Snow delighted people? Whatever made Daisuke think so? Back when he was studying abroad, he remembered how some of his classmates complained incessantly about the cold weather and the snow when winter came. In fact, trees had to sacrifice their leaves, if not their lives, for the coming of snow. Daisuke was being absurd, even if he did not know it.

"What makes you say that?"

Daisuke shrugged, bringing his mug of hot cocoa nearer to him. "I was just thinking about how Risa-chan was gazing at the snow earlier on. She was smiling." He dipped his head for a sip from his mug. "Riku-san likes it too, even though she grumbles about the cold."

Satoshi was unsettled by Daisuke's terminology. The boy called Risa 'chan', denoting familiarity, where he called his girlfriend 'san'. Knowing it was silly to be bothered by this minute detail, but unable to curb his curiosity, he had to ask.

"Why do you call her that?" he said, sounding more demanding than he wished.

Daisuke looked up from his mug of hot cocoa. "Uh?"

"Why do you call Harada-san 'Risa-chan'?" he reiterated, staring into his cappuccino as he suddenly realised that he never made any difference between the twins when it came to their names. This disgruntled him even though Satoshi knew all too well that he did so out of respect.

"Ohh." Daisuke laughed, somewhat painfully. "Risa-chan is very insistent that I add that suffix. I don't know why exactly, but I would rather comply than try otherwise." He looked at Satoshi, an amused expression upon his features. "You know her."

Satoshi nodded, understanding what Daisuke had said.

Risa was like that. Always bossy. Always demanding. Always getting her way. Much like a spoilt child even though she had grown up in so many ways since Dark had disappeared and her hopes had been dashed. She never changed, even though the people around her did so frequently. Granted she was more accustomed to solitary bouts of silent musing, and she had become a little wiser. Yet her character, her person was still the same.

He appreciated that about her.

"You knew, didn't you?"

Satoshi looked up from his thoughts to find Daisuke's level gaze.

"From the beginning," Daisuke went on, "you knew that she was your Sacred Maiden."

He could not deny it. He muttered a yes.

Daisuke slumped in his seat. "We both liked her," he said softy at the revelation. "Then I never stood a chance…"

Satoshi leaned forward, surprised by what Daisuke had said. He gripped the edge of the table, intent on asking the redhead what he had meant by that last statement.

"Wha--"

"Here you are! We've been looking everywhere for you!"

The twins had appeared out of nowhere and dumped their parcels rather unceremoniously onto the small, circular table, narrowly missing Satoshi's cappuccino but spilling some of the milky fluid anyhow. Riku called for a waiter as Risa pulled two nearby chairs to join Satoshi and Daisuke. While Satoshi moved to mop the spill with a procured tissue, Risa found a better place for the goods on the chill stone floor.

They enjoyed a short chat and a warm drink soon after that. Or, rather, Daisuke and the twins enjoyed the short chat. Satoshi kept to laconic answers, speaking only when he truly needed to.

His conversion with Daisuke had ended too abruptly. And now that Risa was here, there was absolutely no way he could bring up the same topic without finding himself in a very awkward situation. Annoyed as he was that his question was left unspoken and unanswered, he made a mental note to ask Daisuke about it the next time he was alone with the boy.

They escorted the twins home shortly. Daisuke wanted to spend some time with Riku, so Satoshi made his way back to his apartment in the chilly winter's night. And when he arrived there, he found a brown package at his door.

He opened it, peeling off the scotch-tape as carefully as he could, and removed the content.

Red and black.

He should have known.

--

She wasn't sure what she was looking out for as she peeked past the dozens of gowns and suits that crowded the old Hikari mansion. She recognised the host and several of the guests present. General Brigadier Hiwatari was engaged in some sort of conversation near the cocktail table. Her parents were elsewhere socialising with old friends. The entire Niwa family was nowhere in sight, but she had already known such a thing would happen.

Risa looked down as she clasped her hands in disappointment.

Her efforts had been wasted then…

She swirled her drink idly, remember her excitement for this one night. She had hardly slept, playing conversations in her head, like what she would say when he asked. Was he surprised? She hoped he was. She liked the thought of having bested him for once.

She had imagined what he would look like, wearing red and black. His hair would be gelled down, she hoped. Or at least made slick with one of those hair tonics they had these days. Risa tilted her head and smiled faintly. She had always found his tousled blue hair unbefitting for someone of his character – decisive, intelligent, careful, introspective and insightful.

Maybe he was late.

Yes, that was plausible.

Risa raised her head again in hopes of finding a familiar mop of light blue hair.

But there was none.

Her shoulders sagged in dismay and she wished for a moment that Riku had come along. At least then Risa would have someone to talk to. Everyone else here was either a grown-up or a completely foreign person. Except Saehara and Keiji, of course, but she was still giving the both of them the cold shoulder after what had last happened on a White's Day not too long ago.

She wrinkled her nose, remembering their audacity. To intrude on such a precious moment and tape it down, even! She had a mind to go over even now and give them a good tongue-lashing.

Risa had kept the tape, of course.

Saehara and Keiji could be sweet in a strange, twisted sort of way.

She made a mental note to get them something for Christmas, even though she knew that Saehara would gag at the thought of taking anything of Risa's and Keiji would simply wave it off, perhaps passing it to Funabashi to rid himself of it, or add it to Saga Entertainment's collection of props for want of something better to do with it.

Risa smiled softly as she watched the two in an animated conversation. They were such idiots, but she liked them anyway.

"I didn't know you had an interest in those two."

She jumped, startled by the voice behind her. Risa gripped her glass of punch as she whipped around.

"Don't do that! You! You…"

He looked nothing like she imagined.

"You're not wearing your glasses…" she whispered, not quite believing it. Satoshi was dressed immaculately – the suit dapperly pressed, collars starched to perfection, coat stylishly left unbuttoned to exhibit a loosened tie. And his hair was neatly parted to the sides, revealing a centre-parting that Risa never knew existed.

She was wrong; this hairstyle didn't suit him at all.

Risa stifled a laugh when a lock of blue hair fell away from the rest to obscure his vision.

Satoshi's quirked a small smile as he brushed his fringe aside. "My father likes it this way," he explained.

"Your father has no taste, then," Risa commented, reaching for a glass of cocktail from a passing waiter.

"Which is why you chose my outfit?"

Risa gave a little shrug. "He offered to pay for mine."

"And you agreed?" Satoshi stepped back incredulously. "Did you even know who he was?"

"Of course I knew who he was! What kind of halfwit do you think I am?"

He crossed his arms, a faint smile splayed across his features.

"I don't know," he said calmly. "How many kinds of halfwits are there?"

Oh, he was asking for it!

Risa stamped her foot indignantly and leaned forward challengingly, ready to engage him in a verbal spatter. She was about to open her mouth when she caught Keiji looking their way from the corner of her eye and she realised that they were in the midst of too many onlookers.

Risa desisted.

She would have to deal with this another time, she decided as she turned on her heel and stalked off.

But Risa didn't get very far.

--

Although his face remained rather passive, Satoshi was smiling on the inside.

"Are you trying to freeze me to death?"

His lips twitched a little as he stepped nearer to her and passed her the warm mug of water.

It had stopped snowing a little while ago, which was probably much to her disappointment. But Satoshi was grateful for the absence of the icy particles. If not for such a case, they wouldn't have a quiet place to themselves; most of the guests were unwilling to step into the chill winter's night. He, on the other hand, quite liked the cold breeze.

"I'm sorry," he said, shedding his coat and draping it around Risa shoulders and pulled it snugly against her shoulders.

"You aren't cold?" she asked even though she wasn't about to sacrifice the warmth that his coat provided. And she did like the way it emanated his natural body heat. At any rate, she was loathed to relinquish it. She murmured a "thank you" when he shook his head.

They were standing on the back porch of the Hikari mansion. It was not as cold here as it was farther out. This was mostly due to an old generator that whirred steadily nearby. Satoshi had often thought as a child that the old generator was impractical in every sense, but he was grateful for it now.

"I didn't see Harada-san."

It took a while for Risa to understand who he was referring to. "Oh, you mean Riku."

"Niwa-kun couldn't come because Emiko-san declined your father's invitation the moment she received it and refused to let any one of her family attend this gathering," Risa explained, somewhat amused by the turn of events. "So Riku decided to go over to his place and spend Christmas Eve with them."

Satoshi dipped his head a little. "Not much has changed," he said quietly, somewhat sad. He had wished dearly that after the episode involving both Krad and Dark had been resolved, both the Hikari and Niwa families could come to a more affable state. Fortunately for him, Daisuke's parents were more than just welcoming to him, treating him as their own son, even. Yet, they still had trouble forgiving his father.

He sighed. He had the greatest of difficulty forgiving his father too, especially since he knew Hiwatari to be nothing more than his adoptive father. The man would not divulge any more information than necessary. But sometimes, sometimes he wished that he were closer to this father figure of his and could establish some sort of kinship he could identify intimately with.

"Scars take a long time to heal," Risa reflected, surprising him.

He thought that she had been referring to that which was on his mind, but realised that she was talking about her own personal scars, the greatest of which came from the same source as his.

"Do you still love him?"

It had been a question hanging on his mind for the longest of time.

Risa didn't respond. She looked down instead at her gloved hands.

"You don't have to answer that," he said after a long pause of silence. It wasn't fair to demand an answer from her.

Risa smiled at his thoughtfulness.

Satoshi could be very sweet when he was not bent on annoying her.

"I've been asking myself the same question," she admitted softly, playing with the now empty mug. "But I think…I think I might not have loved him very much to start with. I didn't know him, Dark. I mean, I hardly understood anything of him. I was only a child, a little girl too wrapped up in fairytales and fantasies." She stopped, grinning rather ruefully. "I think I was in love with love."

He wanted very badly to hold her and wipe that pained smile off her face.

Risa had tried to grow up too fast.

He had been forced to grow up too fast.

He knew what it was like to look back on that lost childhood and wish that there were decisions that had been left unmade. Yet Risa was still in many ways a child. She had not seen things the gruesome part of the world that he had witnessed from since his mother had passed away. It gave him ease to know that she was still protected here in their quaint hometown, and that it would be a long time before the world had a chance to taint her pure spirit.

"What's that?"

Risa's question came so unexpectedly, he had to ask her to repeat it.

"That's that plant doing up there?" Risa repeated. "It certainly doesn't look like it belongs there."

Satoshi looked up and blanched at the sprig of mistletoe that hung from the ledge above the porch. He had hardly forgotten these little nuisances from his university days. Not when he received a kiss on the cheek every time he passed rather innocently under one of these plants. Being the cute youngster that he was, most of his seniors did not hold back on giving him a peck or two. In fact, they came in hordes.

"Well, what is it?"

Satoshi took one look at Risa's impatient face and contemplated whether or not he should lie.

"It's mistletoe,' he said, hoping her curiosity would die when she knew its name.

Unfortunately, Risa had heard of such a plant before and knew the implications of standing under mistletoe. Satoshi could tell from the pretty blush that was spreading across her cheeks.

He smiled a little. Maybe getting her caught under the mistletoe wasn't such a bad idea after all.

"It's a Western tradition. We needn't follow it," he assured her.

Risa bit her lip, not moving from her spot. It was as though she was expecting something. Satoshi observed her unmoving stance and the strange mix of emotions painted across her face.

Perhaps Niwa had a point.

"I don't mind," she said in a voice so soft that he might have missed it. "…that's why I came today."

Satoshi's eyes widened slightly. This was… he moved a hand to adjust his glasses, but found they weren't there. Risa gave a small laugh. He didn't know if it was out of nervousness or amusement.

"I read a book in Niwa-kun's home, a book following the tumultuous history of Dark and Krad," she explained. "It said that the hosts of Dark and Krad often had the same Sacred Maiden, and the Sacred Maiden was always a single child of a certain lineage."

"But something different happened in our generation: there--"

"Were twins."

Risa looked up, startled by Satoshi's completion of her sentence. She had not realised till now that he had closed much of the distance between them. He was a full head taller than her, she noted. Had he grown so much since?

"Harada-san—"

"Risa," she corrected.

"Risa," he echoed, the ends of his lips lifted.

He liked the way the cold air escaped into his mouth on 'sa'.

He liked the way it caught his breath and make his heart stop for a split-second.

"Risa," he said again, bending over a little this time to take her hand in his. He felt his fringe undo itself, but didn't move to sweep it back. "Did you know that you were Niwa-kun's first Sacred Maiden?"

Her eyes never left him as he straightened. "I figured."

"Did you also know that you are mine?"

Risa felt the heat rise to her face.

"I also read that the Hikaris had an affinity for the wintry season…and it was a tradition to claim the Sacred Maiden then…with uhm…" He was looking intently at her, gazing into her eyes, and she could see the blue hues of his iris. They were darker than what she had thought them to be. Maybe it was due to his glasses. Whatever it was, the look in them made her stomach somersault. Her fingers twitched involuntarily and Satoshi's hand which clasped hers loosely moved to grasp it firmly.

"With a kiss." He seemed to be completing a lot of her sentences today.

Satoshi was pleased and proud, to say the least, that Risa had known this much. This was Harada Risa, the stubborn girl who insisted on everything, even the deepest secrets relating to the most notorious criminal in the world, and later to his very own heart. He lifted a hand to tuck an errant lock of hair behind her ear and watched as she mouthed the answer to his question, that she knew.

"Risa…" once again, he enjoyed the way in which he could say her name without any reservations.

A warm breath of air caressed her face as she whispered a questioning "Hai?"

"I'll go with tradition."


Author's notes:

GOMENNASAI!!! I meant to post this up before Christmas, not after, but the last bit stumped me for a very long while . I didn't want to make it OoC…I'm not too sure what Risa would be like… Couple of notes:

a) It isn't obvious, and I couldn't force myself to write something so foreign, but THEY KISSED. Or rather, Satoshi kissed her (since he's supposed to claim her with a kiss, so it doesn't really count if Risa kisses him instead). It's really up to you how the kiss goes, but I'd like to take it that Satoshi kept to a chaste one, and would really love it if Saehara stumbles upon them and balks at the sight.

b) The 'tumultuous history between Dark and Krad' is completely made up…but I've seriously wondered about the twins and if it wasn't coincidental that Satoshi and Daisuke (the respective hosts) should like two people who look just about the same. I mean, Krad and Dark are the same person, right? Or were the same person, at least, from what I gather from the anime. Also, I'm not trying to say that Daisuke ran after Riku because it was evident that Risa didn't like him. I don't think he's that desperate.

c) "Snow delighted people": Weird phrasing and…well, weird in the whole. It's based on something my friend told me. She rants about how disgusting snow truly is. I don't live in the appropriate climate, so I'm just taking her word for it.

d) The 'sa' bit: I actually tried it out, and in so doing discovered that there were two different kind of 'sa's. One is more exertive; the other is way gentler and comes closer to a whisper. Let's just say that Satoshi does the latter.

e) Satoshi: He isn't being weird, I hope. I based it a little on the anime Satoshi…the smirky, slightly smarty-pants one. The thing about his dad is just another of my own ponderings. Although he would murder me were he not a 2-dimensional figment of imagination, I do think Satoshi has taken on a few physical traits of Hiwatari-san. So maybe he truly is the son of Hiwatari-san, but was never told (this he expresses in the manga…he calls Hiwatari-san his foster father).

f) SatRisa: I think they're the kind to have a healthy banter from time to time. Satoshi has a rather quick wit (although rarely put to use) and Risa is easily provoked (although her anger doesn't last for long)…or is this just me meddling with Sugisaki-san's creations? O.o

g) Once again, please notify me if there is any spelling, grammatical or word-usage error.

HEARTS TO Knight Basilisk! You really cheered up my day with Caught You (those who haven't seen it must! Refer to my author's page). I wanted to finish the fic before Christmas in gratitude of it, but I was honestly stumped with all the SatRisa-ness. GOMENNASAI! (It was kind of interesting how I'd planned beforehand that they would find themselves under the mistletoe and how your piccie came along :D)

Have a great year ahead.

Story Completed: 30 December 2004
©Copyrighted by JadOo Enterprises 2004


The extra cut-scene:

It was unexpected, to say the least, that he had agreed to stay the night.

While Riku and Daisuke busied themselves in the kitchen, making some hot chocolate to go around, Satoshi was seated by the fireplace, bundled up in spare blankets. Beside him was Risa, shivering from the cold even though he was sure she too was wrapped in a few layers of thick blankets underneath her comforter. He shifted a little to offer his share of warmth, and even though she declined, he pulled her closer.

Their thermostat had broken down, and so they had to resort to such primitive measures.

Not that he was complaining…

To his surprise, Risa had not the warm blankets and her only hope for warmth besides her woollen turtleneck and jeans was the comforter. Satoshi shook his head a little, seeing the remaining blankets left aside for the other two. Risa was funny like that.

As he lifted the weight of his blankets to pull her snugly under the warm covers, he realised that he did indeed like the wintry season very much. Just like his ancestors. And as he looked over at Risa, he found it no wonder that the Hikaris had an affinity for winter, and perhaps even for snow.

After all, they could claim the one held sacred to them only in this chilly weather and hold them close without any other excuse but to share to warmth only two people could provide.

Daisuke was right. Snow did make him rather happy.

He clasped Risa's frozen hand in his own and smiled secretly.

Perhaps he would fix the thermostat later.