A/N: Okay, so technically, the twelve days of Christmas are supposed to be after the holiday, but I was too impatient, so I'll pretend that it comes before Christmas. I'll post a new oneshot everyday, and the last will be put up on the 25th. Anyway, about this particular oneshot, I don't know if it can really be classified as Popuri/Kai because it's more of a family type thing, but whatever. I originally wrote this as a Doctor x Elli story, but then I realized that Elli was too peppy, and Doctor probably isn't strong enough to chop down a tree by himself. Or maybe he is, but in the end, I think it worked out better with this pairing. Hope you like it. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon or any of its characters or plots. This fanfiction is merely for recreational purposes.
O Christmas Tree
December 14, 2008
Kai x Popuri
Winter was upon the small village called Mineral Town. Snow drifted lazily from the sky, covering everything with a frosty sheet of white. Somewhere in this rural area, a tan, sun-loving husband was chopping down a tree while his wife watched amusedly.
With another grunt, Kai took a swing at the pine tree that his wife, Popuri, had picked out.
"You can do it, Kai!" Popuri cheered from the sidelines. "Just a few more swings should do it!"
Kai sighed and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. "Can't we just get a fake tree? It's starting to seem like a really good alternative." His dark eyes studied the tree for a while and then he resumed the process of hacking away at the trunk.
"But we have to have a real tree!" Popuri protested. A small gust of wind ruffled her long, pink hair as she walked to stand beside Kai. "Besides, a fake tree doesn't smell good. At least a real tree will." Placing a gentle hand on his shoulder, she stood up on her tip toes to whisper into his ear, "Do it for me? Please?"
Kai looked down at Popuri, who had put on a puppy-dog face. "The things I do for you," he muttered with a hint of a smile.
Popuri beamed and gave him a small kiss on the cheek. "Thank you!" She giggled happily and skipped back to the spot she had previously been standing.
"Timber!" Kai yelled as the tree started to fall. He watched excitedly as the tree tipped, fell into the snow and made… no sound at all. "Hmm," Kai rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I expected that to be more impressive. Like, a big cloud of snow would rise up or it would sound like an explosion. Or something."
Popuri smiled and dragged a toboggan over to where Kai could load the tree. "Now we can take it home and decorate it!"
"Yup," Kai said as he pushed the tree onto the sled and strapped it down. "Phew. The rest should be easy," he turned to look at the rest of the pine trees when Popuri tugged on the sleeve of his coat.
"Um, Kai…?" Popuri bit her lip and pointed at the sled, which was slowly starting to slide down the mountain.
"What?" He turned back around and immediately noticed that something was missing. "Where's the- oh, shit." Immediately, he started chasing the sled, pulling Popuri with him.
"Ack! Kai!" Popuri complained as she ran, stumbled, and ran some more. Her black scarf billowed out behind her as her husband dragged her along.
"We have to save it!" Kai puffed, closing in on the runaway tree. "Aha!" he yelled, tackling the sled, and Popuri fell into the snow face first. Unfortunately, this was not the end of their adventure, as the sled had still not stopped. It was merely towing the unlucky couple along for the ride.
The little toboggan gained speed as it slid down the mountain and before long, another cluster of pine trees was in view.
"Kai! We're going to crash into the trees!" Popuri shouted as she hung onto his side for dear life.
"Okay, when I say 'now', you're going to let go of me and push yourself away from the sled, to the right. I'll follow," Kai said, calculating the distance between them and the trees that were getting bigger by the second. Popuri nodded.
After a few moments, Kai adjusted his grip on the sled to make it easier to push off. "Ready?"
"Yeah," Popuri said unsurely, watching the trees in front of them.
"Three, two, one. Now!" Kai ordered, and waited until Popuri had let go to follow. They rolled through the snow, slowly losing speed as the sled just kept going. When the two finally stopped, a few moments passed and then a crunch sounded from a ways down the mountain.
"Poppy, you okay?" Kai asked, crawling his way over to Popuri, who was lying face up in the snow, breathing hard.
"Yes," she replied with a smile. "That was kind of fun."
Kai chucked and collapsed into the snow beside her. "If by fun you mean almost dying, then yes. That was fun. And I never want to do it again."
"Oh, stop," Popuri hit him playfully on the shoulder. "It's not every day you go sliding down Mother's Hill after a Christmas tree."
"I think you mean, 'It's not every day you go sliding down Mother's Hill after a Christmas tree and almost die'."
Popuri huffed and rolled her eyes. "Fine. But it was still exciting."
After a pause, Kai sat up and said, "I guess we should go get the tree, huh?" He stood up, dusted the snow off his coat, and offered a gloved hand to his wife.
"Probably," Popuri agreed as Kai helped her up. They made their way to the sled and inspected the damage.
"Well, it doesn't look too bad," Kai concluded. "I mean, aside from the fact that the top foot of the tree is hanging on by a strip of bark, it could still work."
Popuri didn't argue, although she was a little miffed that the tree wasn't in perfect condition.
Hand in hand, the two dragged the tree behind them all the way to the poultry farm, where they would set it up.
Rick laughed uncontrollably at the sight of the tree while Lillia tried to hold back a smile. This year, they would have to hang a star off the top of the tree instead of placing it on the top.
"Hey! Don't laugh!" Popuri objected, punching her brother in the shoulder. "We worked hard getting this tree here."
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry. But it just looks so ridiculous." Rick gestured towards the top of the Christmas tree, which was now set up in the middle of the living room. "I mean, come on."
"Whatever," Popuri sighed, but smiled nonetheless. "Now we can decorate it!" She skipped over to Kai, who was sitting in front of the fireplace with a mug of cocoa. "Come on, let's go decorate!" she said, tugging on his arm.
"Alright, alright. Calm down, Poppy." He stood up and walked towards the array of ornaments that littered the floor around the tree after setting his mug on the table.
The four family members set to work, putting up the lights and ornaments. Occasionally, Popuri would stop to eat a cookie, and Kai would follow her into the kitchen, trying to trap her under the mistletoe. Rick would clear his throat loudly and Kai would roll his eyes and kiss Popuri anyway. And then everything would continue as normal. Or at least, as normal as a family where the girls had naturally pink hair and the men basically loathed each other could get.
When they all stepped back to admire the finished product, what they saw was a very… diverse tree. The side of the tree that Popuri had been working on was pink – pink ornaments, ribbons, and the works. Kai's was decorated with shells and mini umbrellas. Rick's section turned out to be a big collection of… chickens? And Lillia's was filled with picture ornaments and other family memorabilia.
"Umm," they all said in unison, but had nothing else to add.
"Well, it's kind of dysfunctional. Like this family," Kai joked, and Popuri laughed.
"I like it," she decided.
"Me, too," her mother added, stepping over to give Popuri's hand a squeeze.
"Yeah," Kai agreed.
"Sure, why not?" Rick shrugged. "It's… unique."
Kai threw an arm around Popuri and pulled her to his side. "Merry early Christmas, baby," he whispered into her ear, kissing the top of her head.
"Merry early Christmas," she said back, and wrapped her arms around his waist.