Author: Starling Sinclair

Title: 12 Days of Christmas

Word Count: 1472

AN: Ok, so I decided to challenge myself and write one "drabble" for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Being from New Orleans, the 12 days of Christmas actually has a lot of value to me because Twelfth Night is the beginning of Carnival and the Mardi Gras season (which means lots of king cake for me). If you didn't know, the 12 days of Christmas refers to the twelve nights following Christmas. Hence, it ends on January 6 (King's Day).

And yes, I am already one day behind because my car broke down yesterday and one of my pets died L. However, I'm hoping to post 2 stories today to catch up.

So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Please review!

On the first day of Christmas…

"Allergies"

He stood at the entrance of Crown, scowling. His ebony hair was hidden beneath a black, knit hat and most of his face was covered by a coarse-looking wool scarf.

But she would recognize him any where - his causal stance, one hand in his pocket. That wasn't the mystery. The real question was why he was outside instead of in the warm arcade?

"Is the arcade so hot it would melt your ice heart, Mamoru-baka?" she asked, waltzing up to him. "Or maybe you just knew that it would get too hot to handle as soon as I arrived."

He growled. Literally. Like a dog. If he weren't so flustered by the weather, he would have been able to retort wittily. It was as if the cold weather had frozen his brain cells, with, at the pace Motoki was going, wouldn't be surprising.

"Oh, or is it that you're related to Ebongeezer Scrooge?"

"It's Ebenezer, Odango. And it's not that. I'm just waiting for Motoki to bring me my coffee."

She leaned to the left to look through the glass sliding doors. Motoki bustled about the counter trying to handle all the orders of a busy arcade. People were crowded around the counter, but Mamoru's usual stool in the corner remained empty.

"Why not wait inside like you usually do? Hiding behind a book or something," Usagi asked turning back to face Mamoru.

Mamoru sighed. "Because, Odango, I'm allergic to Christmas."

Usagi quirked an eyebrow in a mannerism she must have learned from him. "Is that the best you can do? Allergic to Christmas? I guess the Grinch reached you early this year and stole all your Christmas wit. Oh! Am I on fire or what?"

Mamoru groaned. "And what are you? The Christmas fairy or Santa spy?"

Just then the sliding doors opened and Motoki popped his head out. Half of his body remained inside the building and he held a Styrofoam cup out for Mamoru. He jumped slightly from foot to foot in a feeble attempt to keep warm as he lacked a jacket.

"Here you go, pal. One hot coffee to go," Motoki said.

Mamoru grumbled something like "stupid allergies" and took the coffee before walking away.

"Merry Christmas to you too!" Motoki cried after him.

Usagi was sure she heard Mamoru reply, "Bah humbug."

Following Motoki in, Usagi shook her head. What had gotten into that boy?

However, her thoughts on her nemesis was quickly replaced by the new décor. Crown was covered in the gaudiest Christmas decorations she had ever seen. An epileptic's nightmare. Colorful lights flashed without sequence. Garland glittered in the glow. Tinsel dangled like icicles everywhere - particularly ending up in many a milkshake.

However, the most impressive sight was the eighteen foot tall Christmas tree. The smell of pine and peppermint (the milkshake special) engulfed her. Each ornament was different, and the glistening lights created the perfect atmosphere.

"Wow!" Usagi cheerfully cried, her thoughts of Mamoru's odd behavior completely vanishing. "This is amazing Motoki!"

She rushed over and began examining every aspect of the tree. There were glass ornaments that ranged from little red riding hood to pickles. Then there were homemade paper and gingerbread ornaments, some dating back as far as fifteen years. Each decoration was unique and different.

"It's decorated entirely with donations from the patrons. We've collected so many that we've had to upgrade the tree almost yearly. It started out as just something small on the bar," Motoki filled in the details before she could even ask the question.

Deep within the branches, something caught Usagi's eye. Reaching into the branches, Usagi pulled out a small, but intricate, glass ornament. It was a little pink bunny nibbling on pieces of the moon.

"You'll never guess who gave us that one."

With curious eyes, Usagi looked to Motoki for the answer.

"It was back in the beginnings of high school, when Mamoru could still come here around Christmas," Motoki explained.

Oh Mamoru. He was standing outside. Did this have something to do with it?

"It was his favorite myth. He said his mother use to tell him that story before she tucked him in at night," he continued.

"Why is it he doesn't come around anymore? Is it because his cold heart would melt with all this Christmas cheer? Or, better yet, he is the only son of Scrooge! I just knew something was genetically wrong with that man."

Motoki laughed. "Well, I will admit, he's not a fan of Christmas, but it's not that complicated. He's just allergic to pine."

What?

Motoki laughed and Usagi realized her mental question had been spoken aloud.

"Yeah, pine. Like Christmas trees."

"Mamoru-baka is allergic to Christmas? Haha, are you sure he's not just telling you that to get out of buying you a present?"

Motoki continued to laugh mirthfully. "Nah. I invited him to come have Christmas dinner with my family, but he didn't last ten minutes inside the house before he was all red and couldn't breathe."

She was slacked-jaw. The baka really was allergic to Christmas.

"Is that why he's such a drag every yuletide?" she asked.

"I didn't even know you knew the word yuletide, but, yes, I imagine that it has something to do with it," Motoki answered. "He ends up huddled up at home every year because he can't visit anyone."

Usagi frowned slightly. Not getting a chance to have Christmas would make anyone a Scrooge. And it really wasn't his fault. Everyone deserved a Christmas tree with lots of presents under it just once.

Smiling, Usagi placed the little ornament back upon one of the branches. She had a great idea to spread Christmas cheer.

***

Mamoru begrudgingly took another zyrtec. He hated the holidays. He always felt so exiled by them. Not only did he not get the privilege of spending it with a family of loved ones, he was also restricted from spending it with anyone else because of his stupid allergies.

Sighing, he plopped himself down on his sofa with a to-go cup of coffee and stared at the blank screen. He was not ready just yet to watch A Christmas Story or It's a Wonderful Life again. However, Gremlins seemed appropriate.

A knock on the door brought him from his thoughts and little greenish monsters destroying toy stores. What was someone doing here? And on Christmas Eve no less.

Slowly, he approached the door like it was a deadly virus. Looking though the peephole, he saw a blonde Odango with her arms full of bags and a large thin box.

"Come on Mamoru-baka! I don't have all evening!" she muttered to herself. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."

He opened the door and looked at her through the choke chain. "Merry Christmas, Odango."

Usagi jumped a little, dropping the large parcel. She glared at him before asking, "Well are you just going to stand there or are you going to let me in?"

"And why should I do that? How do I know that you won't decimate my kitchen if let you pass?" He said smiling slyly.

"That's a risk you'll have to take. Besides, don't you want to know what I got you for Christmas?" She wiggled her eyebrows.

He stared at her, a hint of a smirk playing on his lips.

Then he closed the door in face.

"Jerkwad! And to think I went through all this trouble to get you a Christmas tree that wouldn't kill you!" she screamed at the closed door.

Abruptly the door swung open. Mamoru stood there with a stunned look on his face. "You got me a Christmas tree?"

Usagi screamed and threw one of the bags (luckily or her the one with the lights in it) at him. "ASS!"

Mamoru caught the bag a laughed. "Calm down, Odango. I was just undoing the lock."

Her jaw hung open in mid-insult then formed a silent "oh."

"You're still a baka," she mumbled pushing past him.

***

Mamoru smiled as he looked at the work the two had done. The tree was a sparkly green and plastic and about five feet tall.

"I picked sparkly because I didn't think you'd want to be reminded of your holiday death sentence."

However, the decorations were surprisingly tasteful. Large white and blue bulb ornaments were carefully placed beside white lights. A silver icicle garland was added as an additional touch.

It was nearly finished.

Usagi held a silver star in her hand and stood on her tip toes trying to place it on the top.

Chuckling to himself, Mamoru walked over to her and took the star from her hands. She looked at him startled then smiled. He smiled back at her.

"Merry Christmas, Mamo-baka."

"Bah hum bug, Odango," he returned with a smiled.

***

AN: Okay, so I have 9 of the 12 themes and am looking for three more, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Okay, so a little history on this piece. My boyfriend is actually allergic to pine, which is where the idea came from. I have a little red riding hood ornament, and a pickle on my tree. And I do believe that holiday decorations should look like someone vomited Christmas.