Hiyono bent over the keyboard her eyes blazing with anticipation. I'm going to do it today… I WILL do it today! Her fingers flexed over the letters as she took a deep breath.

"RARG!" She shouted before tackling the keys in a nonexistent rhythm. She was semi-aware of someone coming into the room behind her but didn't look up from her task figuring it was probably Ayumu. The numbers and letters flashed across the screen sending her character scurrying around to finish the tasks she was throwing at it. The obstacles continued to get worse but Hiyono was unfazed; this is where her practice came in.

"Should you really be using the school computers for games?" Ayumu's voice asked. Hiyono was expecting the question, especially from Ayumu; she wasn't expecting however how close the question seemed to be coming from. Hiyono jerked her head up to see Ayumu leaning over her to look at the computer screen.

"Na….Narumi-san!" She gasped in surprise, suddenly her character on the screen was hit by a bomb. The game over music played tauntingly. "AAAH!" Hiyono screamed. Ayumu moved and stared down at her with his usual blank expression.

"What's the big deal, it's just a game," he said offhandedly.

"The big deal is that I was finally going to beat it today before I went home!" Hiyono growled, "And I was so close I was going to finally win that contest."

"A contest for nerds?" Ayumu asked, Hiyono awarded him with a one of her puppet punches to the stomach.

"There are different contests; one of them was beating this game within the hour with a high score. All the other prizes weren't very interesting so I went for this one."

"What's the prize?" Ayumu asked, Hiyono's eyes sparkled and she grinned widely.

"It's a collection of hand made puppets all Christmas based," she said with a dreamy look.

"Can't you go to the craft store and get materials for puppets?" Ayumu asked still not seeing the glory Hiyono seemed to be imagining. Hiyono suddenly grinned mischievously,

"Maybe I should start hitting you with sock puppets," She said evilly. Ayumu shook his head disgustedly,

"Anyway, are you ready to go yet?" Hiyono sighed, sad that Ayumu didn't see how wonderful a collection of Christmas based characters would be.

"I'll be ready in a minuet," She said, she closed her notebook with the average scores of all the other participants in it before skipping out the door with Ayumu.

--------------------------------------------

Hiyono awoke the next day still groggy from staying up late waiting for the results. The winner of her contest had been her unnamed rival, Itachi. Hiyono crawled out of bed and got ready for school. She couldn't shake the sleep from her eyes as she braided her hair and headed out the door.

Hiyono searched for Ayumu when she reached the school gates but she couldn't find him anywhere. With a frown she went to her first class, then her second, then her third.

She searched for him on the roof during lunch but he wasn't anywhere. With a growl she went to the newspaper club room. She sat down at her computer desk and turned the screen on. Her automatic calendar flashed up at her marking how many more days until Christmas. Hiyono was again reminded that she needed to think of a present for Ayumu, but then once again forgot as she started working on a letter to her parents.

It was really late when she finally heard the door open, she spun around.

"There you ar…" she trailed off as she saw that the newcomer was not her Narumi-san. "Oh, Can I help you?" She asked, the boy was probably about as tall as Ayumu, his hair was a darker brown then Ayumu's and his eyes were a shocking blue.

"I noticed that today your usual escort wasn't here, and I wondered if you would like to walk home with me?" Hiyono stole a look outside her window, the sky was getting dark. Hiyono sighed,

"Sure," she said offhandedly, she was used to walking home with Ayumu so the thought of walking home alone terrified her. The boy grinned,

"I'm honored," he said genuinely, "My name's Itachi by the way, but I figure you'd already know that," Hiyono froze and stared at him, He must be the winner of the contest She thought darkly, she smiled at him.

"And I'm Hiyono,"

Hiyono was surprised at how much she liked walking with Itachi, not only was he lively he actually talked to her unlike SOMEONE who didn't show up to school without her knowing it. When they stopped at her apartment Itachi smiled and waved, something Ayumu would never be caught dead doing.

"See you at school tomorrow," Itachi called before turning and walking away. Hiyono went into her apartment and found something to eat before sitting down at her home computer to finish writing her letter.

-----------------------------------------------

A week later her automatic calendar popped up telling her once again how far Christmas was. Hiyono didn't have any other projects to work on, and Ayumu had remained absent, Hiyono had gone over to his house but no one answered when she knocked and the door was bolted locked. Hiyono sighed and began to browse the internet to get ideas for her Christmas present for Ayumu.

"HIYONO-CHAN!" Itachi called as he poked his head into the door. He was grinning from ear to ear. "Guess what I got!" Hiyono turned to see him holding a bag of fried chicken. "I got us something to eat," He said continuing to smile, Hiyono nodded then turned back to her search.

"Whatcha working on?" Itachi asked sitting down on a chair, he began eating a wing while Hiyono sighed.

"I'm browsing for a Christmas present for Narumi-san but I can't figure out what to give him." Itachi swallowed before looking thoughtful.

"Why not make him a scarf or something," Hiyono thought about that, "Where is he by the way, I was surprised that he didn't come meet you the first day but after a week… it seems strange to not see you two together." Hiyono sighed

"I don't know where he is," she said,

"Whooooa! The goddess of knowledge doesn't know something!" Itachi said teasingly. Hiyono didn't answer; she was frustrated with this fact as it was.

Itachi had started to come around and hang out with her in Ayumu's absence, it seemed a little strange to her at first but Hiyono came to like being around him. They packed up for the day and left walking to Hiyono's apartment. She still didn't know what to give Ayumu and there was only 12 more days until Christmas. Itachi seemed to notice her distress and was talking excitedly about ideas for Ayumu's disappearance. When they came to Hiyono's apartment Itachi left with his usual wave.

"I'll see you tomorrow Hiyono-chan, and don't worry about Ayumu, I'm sure he's fine," Hiyono nodded before opening the door. She blinked in surprise to see a box sitting at the door step she looked at it closely to see a tag that said "Hiyono" in large blunt lettering. She picked it up, by then Itachi was gone so she slipped into her kitchen.

She took the wrapping off the box to find a card.

On the First day of Christmas, my true love gave to me-a partridge in a pear tree Hiyono then looked in the box, she gasped as she picked up the object. The puppet was a partridge, the detail was fine and on the wing of the bird was a letter.

I

Okay, heres the first chapter tell me what you think! ^.^