Disclaimer: I don't own Hana Yori Dango or the "Christmas Song" which is by Mel Torme.

AN (12/25/06): Chapter 1 beta-read by Mizy. Characterizations based upon the Hana Yori Dango manga and Japanese drama.

Happy Holidays everyone!

This story is my Christmas present to you all and is going to be a short, three chapter story that will I will hopefully finish posting to FFnet before New Years Day. :D Please let me know if you are enjoying this story via comments/reviews. Encouragement is always appreciated! In the meantime, I'll be working hard on the next two chapters. :)

Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy reading "Christmas Cheer". :D

--Maho-chan :)

Christmas Cheer
A Hana Yori Dango Fanfiction
By Maho-chan

Chapter 1

Two Days Before Christmas…

"Why can't you come to New York this year for Christmas?" Tsukasa asked angrily.

"I already told you, I have to work! Not everyone has as much money as you do." Tsukushi retorted indignantly.

"But you promised that you would! I even sent you an airplane ticket. You know I would come back to Japan, but I can't leave this year because my family was invited to some important parties and if I don't attend it will be bad for business. You said you would come and be my date at those stupid parties and now I have to go alone?" Tsukasa complained loudly.

"But I really need the money. I want to come there but if I don't do this Christmas pageant I'll lose my job at the department store." Tsukushi replied honestly.

"But it's been so long and I want to see you! Hey, are you sure this isn't some kind of excuse? Are you thinking of spending Christmas with Rui?" Tsukasa said accusingly.

"Are you crazy? Haven't I told you that there isn't anything happening between me and Rui? We are just friends. And he's dating Shizuka again!" Tsukushi retorted.

"Well, what am I supposed to think? Whenever I talk to him he always tells me about you. And you promised to come here and now you aren't." Tsukasa said gruffly, his deep voice beginning to sound hoarse.

Instinctively, Tsukushi held her cell phone closer to her ear and replied "Nothing is going on between Rui and me! I really want to see you too but I just can't leave this job. I need the money."

"Fine. I have to go now so I'll call you later." Tsukasa said, his voice sounding odd. The dial tone sounded in her ear just as Tsukushi opened her mouth to reassure Tsukasa once more.

"Domyoji." Tsukushi whispered, looking down at her cell phone sadly. "I am sorry."

Christmas Eve…

After checking her phone for the 15th time that afternoon, Tsukushi sighed. Tsukasa still hadn't called her since their argument two days ago; despite all the messages she had left at his apartment, on his cell phone and even with his secretary who had assured Tsukushi that she would make sure Tsukasa gave her a call.

Was it really that bad that she had decided to stay in Japan for Christmas instead of go to New York this year? She genuinely needed the money this year, her parents were in dire straights again and her brother needed some money for a new school uniform. When she had told Tsukasa she had expected that he would be disappointed but she hadn't realized he would get so angry about it…

There was a part of her that wanted to insist that Tsukasa was being stupid for fighting with her and that it was really his problem if he couldn't understand her reasoning but there was also a part of her that acknowledged the depth of his disappointment as well.

Tsukasa had been going on and on about what they would do in New York during their conversations the week before and had even sent her some clothes to wear so that she wouldn't feel out of place fashion-wise in America. She too had enjoyed making plans with him about the trip and had gone to sleep after their nightly conversations happily smiling about how in only a few short days she would be reunited with him.

Tsukushi had been fully prepared to go to New York, her bags prepared and everything, when two days ago her boss at the department store had unexpectedly changed her work schedule. Her boss had pressured her to work the Christmas pageants leading up to and on Christmas Eve, saying that just because Tsukushi was the girlfriend of a rich man didn't mean she should think she would get any breaks…

When Tsukushi had heard those jeering words insinuating that she was acting like the spoiled girlfriend of a rich man and that she should just quit and get married already, her pride had gotten in the way of reason. As a result Tsukushi had stupidly allowed herself to be bullied into working the pageant on Christmas Eve instead of standing her ground and restating that her boss was being unreasonable for expecting her to work when he had already given her leave.

So really, when it came down to it, this was sort of her fault.

Tsukushi winced, this realization yet another blow to her ego. It was partly…no mostly her fault. She had promised to meet Tsukasa for Christmas. But because she couldn't just let her stupid bosses' comments go she had ruined her chances of going to New York to see Tsukasa.

And now she and Tsukasa weren't even speaking. She was going to have to work the pageant and spend all of Christmas alone instead of going on a Christmas date with her favorite idiot and afterwards eating Christmas cake while watching the stars through his telescope like they had planned. This Christmas was turning out to be terrible.

Weighed down by her pessimistic thoughts, Tsukushi moved forward with heavy steps and tightened her fingers around the strap of her shoulder bag as she made the trek up the walk to the posh apartment building that Rui lived in.

Tsukushi really wanted to speak to Tsukasa and tell him again that she was sorry for disappointing him. She wanted to make up with him and at least talk to him if they couldn't meet in person. But the stupid moron wouldn't answer his phone! Sadness turned to irritation and Tsukushi glowered into the distance. Sure she had hurt Tsukasa but wasn't this a bit much? He hadn't called her for days and it hurt.

Well, enough was enough; there was nothing she could do if he wouldn't answer her calls. She'd just have to wait for him to call back and in the meantime do her best to get through this night and Christmas day. It wasn't that bad really. People made such a big deal about couples being together on Christmas but really, wasn't it just another day?

As Tsukushi passed an affectionate couple coming down the walk opposite her and saw how they held hands, she straightened her posture and looked determined. Christmas was just another day. It wasn't that big of a deal that she couldn't spend it with Tsukasa. Pulling open one of the double doors to Rui's apartment building, Tsukushi turned her focus to the place Rui had chosen to live in.

The foyer was lit with glittering chandeliers and the entry way was lined with plush carpeting. It was an expensive and austere looking building. Looking around her in awe, Tsukushi spied the doorman and the elevators just beyond him.

Tsukushi was mildly curious abut Rui's apartment since she had never seen it, but was even more determined to take back the Mrs. Claus hat Rui had taken from her house the last time they had met.

What had Rui been thinking when he had walked away with part of her costume from the Christmas pageant? She needed that hat. Glancing at the doorman as she passed him on her way to the elevator, Tsukushi hesitated a little before remembering that she was known everywhere as Domyoji Tsukasa's girlfriend and that the doorman would surely let her pass. Fingering the Saturn pendant at her neck, Tsukushi thought of Tsukasa again and unconsciously sighed.

"Merry Christmas!" The doorman said to Tsukushi cheerfully as he turned up the music playing in the foyer.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos."

Tsukushi barely noticed the doorman or the song as she absentmindedly wandered through the brightly lit foyer, distracted by her thoughts and the feeling of her beloved Saturn pendant beneath her fingertips. Entering the elevator Tsukushi pressed the button for the 20th floor.

"They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly…"

Tsukushi stepped out of the elevator on the 20th floor, walked down the hallway and soon found herself at Rui's door. Her heated argument with Tsukasa still tormented her even after she had decided not to worry about it. Sighing again, Tsukushi tried to push those thoughts out of her mind.

"It's not a big deal; Christmas is really just another day. I've said I'm sorry so many times in my messages. I'm sure that idiot will eventually call. Everything will be fine." Tsukushi reassured herself.

"Even though this Christmas will be a little lonely, I can handle it. It's really okay!" Tsukushi whispered to herself before raising her fist to knock, trying to concentrate on retrieving her Mrs. Claus hat

Tsukushi knocked once and then waited. She hadn't called Rui before coming over, but surely he would be home. Rui generally didn't have much of a night life. He was probably taking a nap before dinner or watching TV like he usually did when he had lived at his parent's home.

After a few minutes passed and Rui still hadn't come to the door, Tsukushi furrowed her brow and knocked again. Where was Rui? It was Christmas Eve but with Shizuka away in Paris taking care of a big case, surely he wasn't out somewhere tonight without a Christmas date.

Or was he? Tsukushi wondered about this. Could he be out there buying Christmas cake with the intent of eating it alone? Or out looking at Christmas trees? Rui was such a quiet, peculiar person. But even so, surely he wasn't off wandering the streets around a bunch of lovey dovey couples alone.

Staring at the closed door to Rui's apartment, Tsukushi knocked one more time. Maybe Rui was out. She didn't know where he might be, but surely that wasn't any of her business. Thinking of her hat and how she needed it, Tsukushi wondered if she would have to go buy another one. She didn't have a lot of extra money now since almost all of her pocket cash had gone into saving up to pay for the cell phone bill she had run up when she had called Tsukasa repeatedly after their argument.

Maybe the costume people at the department store had an extra hat…If Rui really wasn't home she would probably have to rely on the costume ladies at the store to help her. Tsukushi knocked once more just in case.

After a few more silent moments, Tsukushi decided Rui wasn't home after all.

Turning to leave, Tsukushi was startled by the door suddenly being thrown open behind her. "Makino." Rui said in acknowledgement.

Turning to greet him, Tsukushi beheld Rui's lack of attire and covered her eyes, trying to ignore what she had just seen.

The typical silence that always occurred when she spent time with Rui ensued and in that quiet space Tsukushi panicked, unsure of what to do. Should she turn tail and run? She really couldn't talk to him like normal when he was…


Was holding his violin and wearing only red and white polka dotted boxer shorts and her frilly Mrs. Claus cap. Peeking out from under her fingertips, Tsukushi focused on the hat and his face and tried her hardest to ignore that fact that one of her closest friends was standing there practically naked.

"Why are you here?" Rui asked curiously, now moving toward her. Tsukushi backed up, praying that Rui wouldn't do something strange.

Why oh why did stupid Tsukasa choose this Christmas to fight with her? And why hadn't she gone to New York? This whole bizarre scenario would have never happened if everything had gone as planned. She wouldn't have had to go to the pageant tonight and she wouldn't be trying so hard to forget missing Tsukasa. She wouldn't have had to go on this wild goose chase to get her hat back…

And she wouldn't have seen Rui in this indecent get up.

"What are you doing?" Tsukushi said shrilly, as she backed into the wall.

"Playing my violin." Rui said calmly. "What are you doing?"

"I-I" Tsukushi narrowed her eyes and focused on the hat on his head. "I'm here to get my hat!" She said loudly, pointing her finger at it. Rui looked mildly surprised before he replied "But I like this hat."

"That doesn't matter, that is my hat and I need it for work tonight. And why are you practicing the violin now?" and doing it all alone in your underwear, Tsukushi wanted to add.

Rui looked thoughtful.

"Because she asked me to." He replied.

She? Tsukushi glanced around Rui at the open door. She could hear the sound of someone moving around in his apartment. Did Rui have another woman other than Shizuka?

"W-ho…you mean…What?" Tsukushi didn't know what to say. This was terrible, how could Rui do this to Shizuka? She was about to give Rui a piece of her mind when she heard a soft, familiar voice say "Rui, who is at the door?"

Thank goodness, the woman they were speaking of was Shizuka

Utterly relieved, Tsukushi slumped back against the wall as Rui turned to the open door of his apartment and said calmly "I'm talking to Makino." Confronted with the bare expanse of Rui's back, Tsukushi suddenly felt horrified.

What had she interrupted?

Blushing furiously Tsukushi realized she had to get out of there before Shizuka saw her and she ended up in an even more awkward conversation than this one. Tsukushi took advantage of Rui's inattention and after quickly grabbing her hat off of his head; she tore out down the hallway and out of sight, determined to get out of the way of their romantic night. Dispensing with the elevator and opening the door of the stairwell and dashing down the stairs, Tsukushi barely missed seeing Shizuka who had come out into the hallway.

"Talking to whom?" Shizuka asked Rui curiously, clad in a silky red nightgown and glancing out the open doorway.

"Makino." Rui said, pointing down the now empty hallway. "She took my hat."

He moved towards the door to his apartment and grabbed Shizuka's wrist. "Let's go now." Rui said, pulling Shizuka along. She replied with surprise "Wait a second Rui, is Tsukushi still here? I want to say Merry Christmas to her." The door closed behind them as Shizuka said laughingly once more


To be continued very soon…with the rest of the F4 appearing…

And more of my other stories will be coming soon as well! –Maho-chan :)