Tempo Rubato

x by Ebony x

What little snow that fell that December was already starting to melt, leaving sidewalks wet and muddy, and the buildings that lined the streets seemed a particularly washed-out shade of grey against the pallid sky and dull-gold sun. But the weather didn't matter. Boxing Day shopping was a tradition for Sayu and Misa – and Light, if they could convince him to come along but recently he'd been far too busy to even consider it. They walked down the crowded city streets, often hand in colourfully gloved hand, stopping at cafés to rest and have hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows for Misa).

Misa used to do this all the time when she was a girl. Her mother and elder sister would take her, and when she was a teen, she and her friends would go out. But then Misa started getting jobs modeling, and her phone started ringing less and less until the only calls she got were from her agent, along with an occasional message from her sister (their parents were long gone now, but it still hurt).

Everyone was just jealous, Misa decided, and if they're jealous, they aren't very good friends and they don't love her. She didn't need them – not when she had her fans (her fans loved her), Light and Sayu. But even Sayu was getting older, losing some of her light-heartedness ("Maybe," she said to Misa that day, "you should buy some clothes a little more your age? You can't dress like a little kid forever…")

It bothered Misa that everyone takes growing up so seriously. Most people just get bitter and worn out with age and any love they once had spoils, but not Misa. Some things – like the love she had for Light (and that he had for her), the warmth of hot chocolate trickling sweetly down her throat, how brightly Christmas lights shone in her eyes, the butterfly-soft touch of Sayu's lips on her cheek when she said goodbye – things like those Misa knew will never change.

(And outside, the snow was melting…)