Ami loved animals, but living in an apartment as she did meant that she'd never been able to have one. She always enjoyed that both Usagi and Minako's cats loved her. She loved Zoi's puppy too. Still, she'd never had her own pet.
However, she was beginning to wonder if boyfriends counted.
Hers was currently wrapped around her and nuzzling the back of her neck. "Zoi! For crying out loud, could you give it a rest for a moment? I'm trying to pack my bookbag!" She knew the laughter in her voice belied the serious words. However, she was telling the perfect truth. She really was attempting to put her library books in her bag, and he really was getting in her way.
However, all her comment did was cause him to pull her closer with one arm while using his free hand to throw everything in her bag. "Zoi! You better not have crumpled my notes, mister!"
"If I did, I'll iron them out for you." He replied, throwing the bag over his own shoulder. "C'mon Ames! I haven't seen you in almost two hours! I missed you!"
She giggled at that, and noted the envious glances from other girls in the library. Even ones with boyfriends. "You're gonna get your ass kicked if you keep showing up all the other boyfriends at this school." She informed him.
He just shrugged. "It it means more time with you, I find myself not caring very much. I just want to spend time with you. Oh! That reminds me. I had something I wanted to ask you." He held out her coat for her, already having managed to get his on sometime.
"Yes?" She responded, a little wary. He had a way of coming up with the craziest ideas at times, and she had no interest in going bungee-jumping for a date. He'd already suggested that once.
"What are you doing for Christmas?" She blinked, unconsciously mimicking her mother's expression from earlier.
"Well, I don't know. Normally we all met up at the temple. Usagi was usually late since she'd spend the afternoon with Mamoru, and then we'd have a sleepover. However, now with Jad and you and Neph in the picture, I'm really not sure. Though you and Neph are going back to England, you said. Kunz too." She looked confused, like she hadn't considered the idea before. Her jacket was only half zipped. She had apparently forgotten it in the consideration of her plans. Zoi tugged the tab up to her chin.
"What would you think about coming to England with me?" He asked, breathlessly. Suddenly he was worried that the invite would scare his shy little sweetheart off, that she would take the invite the wrong way...
"Enh?" Was her only response, making her sound not at all like the intelligent young lady he knew her to be.
"Do you want to come to England with me?" He reiterated, cursing himself in his mind, sure she was feeling uncomfortable and very on the spot. "You don't have to..." He began, but was cut off with an airy wave of her hand.
"Of course I want to go to England with you. You're going to be gone all break, right? I'd miss you. But what about our parents and everything? What about New Years? My mother and I always spend it together, visiting shrines and playing games. Won't your parents want you for that too?"
Zoi shook his head, laughing. "Nah. New Years, for us, means you stay up stupid late after the countdown, kiss whoever's closest, then sleep the entire next day with a hangover." She joined his laughter at that. "Really, love, Jad was right. Our cultures celebrate entirely different ways. Where I'm from, your mother would be in trouble for not spending Christmas with you. Anyway, he went and asked her for us, just to see what she thought of the idea. As long as we're back by New Years, she's fine with Christmas."
Ami blushed, but her voice was disbelieving. "Jad asked her? Why? How did that go?"
Zoi nodded. "He did. Because I wouldn't have thought about it. And apparently well."
She looked up at him quizzically. "Why wouldn't you have thought about it?"
He draped an arm over her shoulder and headed them to the door. "Because, in my culture, you wouldn't even consider taking your sweetheart away from their family Christmas until you'd been going out at least a year. If they weren't doing anything, then maybe, but going halfway around the world with them, away from a loving parent? Just not happening." He dropped a short kiss on her temple. "However, in the words of Jad, 'We don't celebrate Christmas the same way you do.' He also mentioned some stuff that I'm sure means he's getting coal in his stocking..."
Ami giggled, as she was no doubt meant to do. Then she sobered. "But... If it's family... Won't I just be in the way?"
Zoi snorted at that. "You don't know my family." He replied. "Don't worry, they'll love to have you over. They love anyone coming over. They can be a little stuffy in my opinion, very proper, but they love a party and adore guests. Don't be surprised if my grandmother corners you and force feeds you 'proper, English food', assuming you need more meat on your bones."
She giggled again, then looked up at him. "You're sure?"
He just looked exasperated. "What do I have to do to convince you... Oh, wait. Here, hold these a moment." Ami suddenly found herself in possession of his mittens. He swooped in for a short kiss while she was still getting a grip on them. "Here we are." He continued, brandishing his cell phone and something that looked like a gift card.
"Hmm, lets see... 1-888-508... wait, that's a 3, uhh, 7..." He trailed off, still reading the numbers off the little card and following the directions on it. Ami laughed at him. She'd used calling cards herself, yet was never sure why they made the numbers so small. Finally he gave a small exclamation of triumph and dialled one number with the speed of long familiarity.
Ami jumped when she heard the phone ring, only just realizing he'd put it on speakerphone. *Hello?* Came the voice from it, that of a woman she'd never met.
"Hi mom. Are you busy?" He was speaking English, but she could still follow the words.
*Not at all, Zoi! How are you? Why are you calling? I wasn't expecting to hear from you till the end of the week!* The joy in the woman's voice was unmistakeable.
"I won't be able to talk long. I've only got a couple minutes left on this calling card."
*Would you like me to send you a new one?* Came the prompt response.
Zoi shook his head, even though she couldn't see. "No, that's fine. I'll be home soon anyway. Actually, that's what I'm calling about. Would you mind if I brought Ami home with me over Christmas? We'd have to be back before New Years, though."
There was silence on the other end for a moment, and Ami felt her heart clench. *Of course I wouldn't mind.* Came the sharp retort. *You know perfectly well that I'd love to meet the girl, and so would your father. What about her family, though? Don't they want to spend Christmas with her?*
"She's not Christian, mother. You know that. And that's why we've got to be back by New Years. That's the family holiday here. So she can come?"
*Of course she can come! Oh, there's someone at the door. I have to go. I'll call you later to confirm the details, okay? I love you.*
Zoi blushed. "I love you too, mom. See you soon." The phone clicked, and he turned to his giggling girlfriend.
"That's so cute! Do you tell her you love her every time you call?"
Zoi blushed brighter, and Ami laughed harder. "That is just too cute! Aww, you're such a good son!"
"Drop it, okay? Just... just drop it!" His face was beet red now, and she felt her ribs ache. He looked charmingly annoyed at her. She hadn't made him blush like this since their first date, when they hid in that tree.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." She gasped out, flapping her one hand at him. The other was clutching her stomach. She didn't even realize she still had his gloves until he grabbed them out of her hands, muttering to himself the whole time. She was still laughing after he'd gotten them pulled on. His face was finally back to a normal colour.
"It's not that funny, Ames!" He informed her loftily. Finally he figured out how to stem her giggles. It seems she couldn't laugh and kiss him at the same time...
She sighed and melted into his kiss. When they were like this, she couldn't think of anything but the feel of him, holding her close. Even her humour was lost in the pure bliss of human touch.