This year the preparations for Christmas where a lot more stressing than last year, so it was only last night that I came round to write a Christmas story for this year. Again it's Mai HiME, since the series has grown on me, but this time the couple is Haruka and Yukino, not Shizuru and Natsuki since they already have way too much attention. ;)
Please let me know if you find any errors in this story. I wrote at three o'clock in the morning so I'm not sure if everything is correct (but I hope)

Anyway

Merry Christmas and also a happy new year to everyone who reads this.


When the holiday season is approaching one would think the duties of the student council become less. Maybe it is like this at other schools, but at Fuuka it's exactly the opposite.

'Protocol for the 6th student council meeting in December, 14.12.

Present:

Student Council President Fujino Shizuru

Vice President Kanzaki Reito

Executive Committee Head Suzushiro Haruka

Secretary Kikukawa Yukino

Topics on discussion:

- Preparations for the opening of the new gym hall in January

- Meeting with the school board next week

- Homework assignments over the holidays

- Discussion of the latest indecencies i '

Hastily I scooped my laptop up in my arms when Haruka slammed her fist on the table, so heavily that the teacup fell over spilling his hot contents on the table.

"We have to ban these distasteful actions at once!" She shouted hotly as ever.

"But if I am correct, Suzushiro-san, this is the last topic on today's list." President Fujino said between two sips of her tea with a glance my way.

Nervously I nodded. I knew Haruka didn't like disagreement and on cue, she shot an angry look my way.

"That doesn't matter! The other events are not so pressuring."

"Pressing, Haruka-chan." I said while whipping away the tea.

"Whatever, what matters is what is happening now and we have to put a halt to it."

I knew what Haruka was referring to. Midori-sensei had had the glorious idea to spread a bit of Christmas feeling by hanging a mistletoe over the entrance of every student dorm on the campus. Thus the doorways were now crowded with students letting loose their youthful passions as Sister Yukariko would have said it. Such rampant public displays of affections where unacceptable for Haruka and her moral standards.

"It's just a custom." I reasoned. "In Britain you give the person standing under the mistletoe with you a quick kiss, even if it's just a friend or a stranger, there's no deep meaning."

"Why Suzushiro-san, I can't see what harm a few kisses here and there can do." Fujino-san smiled at Haruka in a way that she knew would annoy her.

"I knew someone like you would say that." Haruka shot at her. "You and that girlfriend of yours are encouraging the lewd behaviour in this school!"

Involuntarily I shivered when that empty smile crossed the President's face for a moment. It was the same she had given Haruka in the Carnival before slicing Diana in half. It was Haruka's luck that she didn't remember any of the madness and it was our luck that Fujino-san got together with Kuga now, she seemed more in balance now. Some of us are more lucky than others.

"Anyway ladies, " Kanzaki-san had seen it too, I knew, because he stepped in before Haruka and her chosen rival could get into a more heated argument. "Moral differences aside it was Sugiura-sensei's idea to put up those mistletoes so there's little we can say against them. She is a teacher after all. And personally I think it is a nice idea." He said with his beau-smile.

Haruka stared at each of us in fury then stormed out, concluding the meeting more or less. Hastily I gathered up my laptop, bowed to Fujino-san and Kanzaki-san, heading after my friend.

In the end Haruka grudgingly had to accept that she could not order the executive committee to put down the mistletoes. However she made it a point in the following days to only pass the dorm entrances alone.

Not that anyone would have dared to ask Suzushiro Haruka fierce head of the executive committee, for a kiss. She got looks ,sure, but just like me they never dared to approach her.

Therefore I got immensely flustered one week after the meeting.

Midori-sensei and Mai-san had dragged all of us HiME to celebrate the coming vacation with a karaoke party. Initially I had thought about declining, yet that was before I saw Midori-sensei carrying Nao-san bride-style to her car to take her to the party.

It was a nice party and I was having fun with Mikoto-chan and Shiho-chan. Both girls were very helpful when Midori-sensei had drunken so much that she was getting clingy. To everybody's amusement she ended up with Mai-san who had been drinking a lot herself. Fortunately Nao-chan was getting food together with Mikoto-chan at that moment or Midori-sensei might have left the karaoke-club with serious injuries. When we heard them coming back again Kuga-san separated the pair, much to their dismay.

Having done her work Kuga-san went back to the couch and flopped down beside Fujino-san with a casualty nobody who knew her in former times would have considered possible and laid an arm around her girlfriend's shoulders.

'For those two the Carnival changed things for the better.' I thought with a little twinge of sadness as I found myself watching the couple as I had done so many times before. For them the festival had helped them come together.

If Haruka were a HiME too maybe we could be sitting in our own corner like that. Envy hit me as I saw Kuga-san placing a quick peck on Fujino-san's lips when she thought nobody was watching. I wouldn't even want Haruka to kiss me in public, holding her hand would be more than enough.

Conveniently for her Haruka forgot the little she knew about us HiME I never really told her why she died for me last summer. So although surprised at this crazy group of new friends I've made she does not question it other than with a raised eyebrow.

If my mousy self had the spine to tell he everything she'd understand it better, maybe she would accept my feelings; at least that is my secret hope. But I've been watching Fujino-san and Kuga-san for a long time so I know what they had to go through until they had sorted everything out. The fragile blossoms of their relationship were almost crushed till they had established the cosiness they now shared.

'I've always been the observer.' I thought while sipping at mulled wine Midori had ordered for everybody. 'Always the observer.'

When the party was over and we were back at Fuuka I somehow got stuck with the duty to bring Mikoto-chan up to her room. In an unattended moment the girl had emptied the remaining mugs of mulled wine, meaning she was more than tipsy by now. I waited bit for help but after Nao-chan and Shiho-chan had gone inside there was nobody.

Mai-san was in Midori-sensei's car which was nowhere to be seen when Sister Yukariko had dropped Nao-chan, Shiho-chan, Mikoto-chan and myself at the dorms. I sighed and helped the staggering, giggling Mikoto up and into bed, before I finally could go over to my own dorm. It was late and I felt tired.

Reaching out for the handle to enter and trot up to my room I stumbled, almost falling when the door opened itself inward the very same moment. A strong hand caught my arm. Looking up I was faced with none other than Haruka worriedly staring down at me.

"Goodness Yukino!" She exclaimed, far too loud for the late hour. "Do you know how late it is? It's way past midnight and you said you'd be back at twelve. I was really worrying about you."

"Shhh Haruka, or you'll wake up the other students."

I smiled. Haruka was still in her school uniform, me being away had kept her awake. Maybe I should go out more often to return so late, I thought. Her concern made me feel special. But it would be unfair to exploit our friendship like this.

"You know, if you wouldn't have been with a teacher I would have to report you Yukino." Haruka said, in a very audible whisper.

Correct to the bone.

"I know Haruka. Let's just go upstairs."

"Yeah, come inside. It's quite cold out there."

I stepped in beside her and Haruka closed the door. I looked up at her and the mistletoe caught my eye. It was right above Haruka's head. The heat crept up my cheeks as I was staring at my best friend.

Haruka seemed oblivious to my thoughts and the green above her head at this moment, yet she noticed my blushed cheeks.

"Yukino, your face is red with cold. Come her." and she pressed her warm hands against my face.

A thousand thoughts ran through my head; how Haruka had been my best friend for ages yet still had remained clueless about my feelings for her, the questions whether I could betray her trust why I was too shy to tell the truth. And I thought of Fujino-san and Kuga-san.

I was fed up with being a spectator on the sideline.

With a recklessness I wasn't quite feeling I dipped my head forward to meet Haruka's lips. It was peck, quicker even than the shy kisses Kuga-san gave to her girlfriend this evening. But I wanted to be the one to pull back before I would have to feel Haruka shy away from me.

"What in God's name was that?" she asked me, face astound, as her hands slowly left me cheeks. I could feel them glow bright red.

"It's just a custom Haruka." I stammered out trying to fill the blank look on her face with a meaning.

"You mean" my friend said when she had regained her speech. "you did this every time you walked through this door the past days?"

This was an unexpected question.

"No. I just wanted to try it once..." I admitted, leaving out the 'with you'-part. Anxiously I watched Haruka's features which, oddly enough, lightened up at my words.

"Oh okay, but don't do it with others Yukino. You never knew what ideas those guys here might get now that the morals have sunken so low."

It cost me a lot of self-control to not hug her and swear that I would never do any such a thing with another person than her. Instead I nodded obediently and turned my back to Haruka before I would do something I truly had to regret.

"Let's go to bed Haruka, it was long night."