Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim any rights or responsibilities for the characters in this string of drabbles… especially for the one who dares to do what others only dream.


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

Miroku woke as a blanket settled around his shoulders. "Kagome-sama?"

"Shh... go back to sleep. It's early yet."

Miroku's hand wandered to the blanket she'd tucked around him. Not mine. He sought her gaze. "You, Kagome-sama?"

Hesitating briefly, the girl nodded.

"May I ask why?" the monk whispered as he sat up.

She wound her fingers together, a picture of awkwardness. "I guess because... you needed it?"

Truer words had never been spoken, and he offered a grateful smile. "You have always been kind."

"You liked your presents then?" she asked softly, her usual enthusiasm bouncing back.

"Very much," he assured, raising a brow. "Though I am most curious as to how the shell was left."

Blushing hotly, she mumbled, "I didn't peek."

Miroku chuckled, then turned serious. "Each gift was most thoughtful; I especially liked the ink. Do the others know what you've been doing?"

"Not really. Well, yesterday was hard to overlook," she amended. "They're curious, but no one has asked outright."

"This is the last, isn't it?"

Kagome nodded. "The Twelve Days of Christmas has come to an end."

"Sit with me?" he invited, patting the space at his side. She cautiously joined him on his bedroll, and he grinned rakishly as he wound his new blanket around both their backs. Making certain she noticed, he piously tucked his hands into his sleeves, then murmured, "Be sure to tell Inuyasha that I behaved."

With a soft giggle, she relaxed. "We could tell them the whole story."

"That is a splendid idea." He leaned into her, and to his delight, she settled against him. Miroku wished he could express just how much her gifts had meant... and how precious her friendship had become. "Thank you, Kagome-sama... for everything."

When she smiled up at him, Miroku's heart felt lighter. Ah, she knows. Of course she does. I was the one who needed reminding.


End Note: For the original drabble challenge, this final installment was the requisite 250 words, but I tweaked it during an editing pass in 2010. At 314 words, the new ending is technically too long, but it's also more plausible. That makes me happy... as do the Miroku!doodles that have been arriving in my mailbox! Links to Jupe's FanArt for this wee story can be found on my profile page.


THE CHALLENGE

Twelve Days: A Christmas Story was written in response to forthright's Twelve Days of Christmas Drabble Challenge on Live Journal. If you're interested in taking up the challenge yourself, here is a description:

It's Christmastime in the Sengoku Jidai, and a few modern traditions have been brought to the attention of Kagome's feudal friends and acquaintances. The frivolities of fruit cake, popcorn strings, and trimmed trees were enjoyed by all. The introduction of Christmas carols met with somewhat more mixed reviews, though a certain song seems to have put ideas into someone's head. The Twelve Days of Christmas, with its tale of giving gifts, inspires one "secret admirer" to reach out in little ways to the one they esteem. Can the recipient of all this seasonal affection discover who is leaving them gifts—and why?

Challenge Requirements:
- Twelve drabbles in succession, each no more than 250 words.
- Each drabble tells of the giving/receiving of one gift, allowing the mystery to unfold.
- The gifts do NOT need to be the same as in the carol, nor does the number of items in each gift have to increase incrementally.
- You may choose any IY characters for the giver and the receiver, and the pairing need not be a romantic one.
- The identity of the "admirer" should be kept secret until the 12th day.