A wide smile stretched across my face when I opened the door to see my two very best friends, Sakura and Ino. In their arms they carried gifts wrapped up prettily and topped off with bows. I returned their greeting and stepped to the side so that they could come in.
"Thanks for the invite, Hinney," Ino said. "I can't believe that your dad was cool with us celebrating at your place."
"Yeah, even though it'll be two days till Christmas," Sakura said, lifting two fingers, and then put one down. "And one till Christmas Eve."
Ino rolled her eyes and pushed Sakura's hand away. "Oh, you know how stuffy that man can be. No offense, Hinata."
"N-no problem," I replied, smiling. "Y-you can hang your c-c-coats on the h-hanger while I go fetch the cocoa."
"Mmm! Cocoa on a cold winter day. Just the way I like it!" Ino smacked her lips and made a big circular gesture on her tummy. I giggled and left for the kitchen.
"Your friends are here, aren't they?" I heard Neji sigh. He was pouring himself some tea.
"H-how did you know?"
"Hinata, please. They are obnoxiously loud. Well, that Ino is at the least. Anyway, I'm sure you can hear them a block away if they wanted to overuse their voice boxes."
"Neji," I admonished, gently smacking his arm. "That's no way to talk about my friends!"
He shrugged. "Of course," he said simply, and retreated out of the kitchen. I shook my head and picked up the tray of mugs.
"S-sorry for taking awhile," I told them, setting the drinks on the coffee table. "Neji was st-stalling me."
"What? With his angst and jerkittude?" Ino joked.
I didn't answer as I just simply smiled. On every occasion, I didn't have to defend for Neji. He kind of did deserve the degrading, even if Ino was more than close to being spot-on.
We sat down on the carpet, gathering around the coffee table, and indulged in warm chocolate goodness. I mostly listened to how Ino and Sakura would prattle about what they and their families were doing during Christmas, what they were hoping to get, and what they were going to give, but sometimes I would jump in the conversation.
When the day was coming to an end, we were stuffed with sweets and worn out from our high spirits and laughter. They were up and slipped on their coats before stepping out of the house and bidding me farewell. It had been fun.
"Are they gone?" Hanabi was descending from the stairway, peering over the rails.
"They are," I said. "D-do you want s-some cocoa? There's still some left."
"Sure." She looked under the tree where the presents were sitting under. "They gave you those?"
I nodded. "It was s-such a kind thing that th-they did. Luckily, I was well-prepared and had presents t-to give them too."
"And you didn't open theirs?"
"N-no. I would've preferred to open them on Christmas."
"So which one's Ino's and Sakura's?" Hanabi asked, squatting down.
"The purple one is from Ino," I said, squatting down as well. "A-and the p-p-pink one is from Sakura."
"What about this red one?" Hanabi picked up a few boxes. "Or this black and silver one? Honestly, who wraps gifts in black? Although, the wrapping does look kinda pretty. Fancy, I think."
I blinked. "Wh-what?"
"Here, look. They all say that they're for you." As she handed them to me, I stared in wide-eyed wonder.
"Where did these come from?" I gasped.
"You mean, they're not from Ino and Sakura?"
"N-no, just those two." I turned the presents over to see if there were any names stating who they were from, but there was no such luck. They all had tags that had my name scribbled in lovely cursive, each in their own style. The silver one, however, was written in quick slashes in capital letters.
"Well, I know that they didn't come from Dad or Neji," Hanabi said, getting up. "They take the Christmas presents policy rather seriously."
"Y-yeah, but just where did these come from?" I wondered, frowning. "Th-they couldn't just…pop out of nowhere."
She shrugged. "Beats me. Say, where's the cocoa?"
"Oh my," I muttered.
Not three anymore, but now five! Sitting next to the red, black, and silver gifts were blue and purple. I bit my lower lip, but I ended up giving in. I picked up the two boxes and read the tags. They were said that they were for me.
Just how did they get here? Of course, I couldn't count on the thought of Dad or Neji thinking to be sneaky or wanting to rush time and stuff the presents under the tree. Hanabi, I could suspect… But then again, yesterday she acted as though she didn't know a thing about it.
Considering the different hand-writing, it was obvious that different people were involved, but who would give me presents? I didn't have that many friends… Ino, Sakura, and Temari. And Tenten, sort of. Unless Gaara got over his angst and jerkittude, but I can't see that happening. It's not as if it could be possible for the redhead to start reverting back to his old self and we could go back talking about Pokemon.
Anyway, this was rather suspicious, and possibly dangerous. What if there was some kind of creep in the neighborhood? What if he managed to sneak inside the house and placed those presents? Well, Dad, Neji, and Hanabi didn't seem to be worried about it, and Neji was normally the overly cautious one. Could it be that he finally cooled down due to the holiday spirit?
No. No way. That's impossible.
So if Neji wasn't freaking out about this, then I suppose that I have nothing to be afraid of. I think.
"Eeep!" I screamed, jumping. I swiveled, facing Neji.
He chuckled. "You look as though you were caught in a criminal act," he remarked amusedly.
"You—you scared me!" I cried out. "D-d-don't ever do that!"
"Alright, alright. I just came here to ask you what you want for breakfast. Uncle and Hanabi are still sleeping."
"D-Dad's sleeping in?"
"Amazing, I know. So what do you want?"
"Oh, right. It's your t-turn to c-cook." I tapped a finger on my chin, and then decided. "B-bacon and e-eggs. We hadn't had th-that for the longest time. I'm sure Hanabi would be happy with that in her stomach."
"And as for Uncle, grits that go with his bacon and eggs."
"Oh, oh. Me too."
He nodded. "Of course."
When breakfast ended, I stayed in my room, pondering. I was flummoxed as to how there were these presents that appeared under the tree. I had asked Dad and Neji, but they just shrugged and said that they knew nothing of it. They told me that it was something not to worry about since it didn't seem to be that of harm. I trusted their judgment entirely, of course, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. Just who were the people who sent them?
Sighing, I landed on my bed on my back and stared absently at the ceiling. Well, no matter. I'll just open them when Christmas comes, and then hope that the persons had their names written in the inside at least.
And there weren't any presents under the tree.
"Wh-what's going on?" I asked Dad, totally and utterly worried.
"The gifts are on the sofa since there were so many of them," he told me. "They just started falling and colliding into the tree."
"Oh," I said, feeling pretty stupid.
Turning around, I blinked when three more presents from strangers were laid out before my eyes. Okay, this was getting weird.
"Red, black, silver, blue, purple," I muttered. "And now yellow, green, and orange?"
Hanabi spontaneously dunked her head in a pile of confetti.
I grabbed the orange present and prepared to rip it open….
…And when I did, I discovered that it was just a book about...how to take care of cats? What in the world…?
AN: Wait for the second part of the one-shot to find out what other presents Hinata received. A big present to the first one to guess which present was from whom.