Hi guys! Here's that Christmas fic I promised you! 13 FREAKING PAGES OF CHRISTMAS FIC! (I went a little overboard) It's an early present to hold you off until tomorrow morning when SANTA CLAUS COMES! Yes! :D I originally was gonna double this up as both my Christmas fic and my challenge fic, but I went way, way, WAY over the word limit, and I didn't have the heart to delete anything. D: So, this is for you, readers. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays...and, all that jazz. :P
I don't own these characters...if I did, they would get together in the game!!! D: WHY, SQUARE ENIX, WHY?!?! eckem...moving on...
The Pineapple Trinket
Wandering the streets of Bowdam, I aimlessly browsed through the vendors' goods, occasionally stopping to examine a trinket that had caught my eye. I had the week off, a fact that irritated me before (I hated not being productive), but relished now. Dusk setting on the horizon, I basked in my relaxation, contentedly listening to the crashing waves and ignoring the excited chatter of tourists. I had been walking for hours, and sand had managed to sneak inside my boots, shimmying through my socks and onto my feet; my face and hair sticky from the constant sea breeze.
When I saw his head towering over the rest of the crowd and bobbing in my direction, I knew my quiet complacency would soon come to an abrupt end.
Glaring straight ahead, I tried to ignore Snow, hoping he would do the same. I glanced up and caught his eye. Shit, I thought. Quickly averting my gaze, I chanted, Keep walking. Just keep walking, hoping he would somehow supernaturally receive my message. But he wasn't one of my indifferent acquaintances. He was Snow; foolish for me to think he would just leave me be.
"Lightning!" he called with a wide wave and an even wider smile. "Over here!"
Groaning softly and forcing a tight grin, I crossed my arms and sauntered over to him. I attempted to keep a low profile, but Snow loped up to me, packages jutting out of his arms and a big smile plastered on his face, destroying my attempts at allusiveness; everyone was staring at us and our blown-up reunion.
"Hey Light! How ya been?"
"Will you please quiet down?" I begged between my teeth.
He cocked his head and asked, "Why?"
I glared at him in disbelief. "Do you not see the crowd of people staring?"
His eyebrows knitted, and he glanced around, the herd immediately averting their eyes and shuffling along. Turning to me with a shrug, he suggested, "Just ignore them."
"Psh. Right. Easier said than done," I muttered, rolling my eyes.
He grinned and adjusted the packages in his hands, one falling onto the floor.
What the hell? I wondered, bending down to pick it up for him. I always tried to show as little interest in Snow's actions as possible, but curiosity got the best of me so I asked, "What are all these for?"
"Christmas!" he exclaimed, his smile widening even more.
Ah, of course. Christmas, I remembered, handing back the box. I grimaced at my own stupidity. I was on vacation wasn't I? I should have realized the reason for my sudden (and forced) holiday.
"Only you would grimace at the thought of Christmas, Light," he mused, chuckling at my expression.
I shook my head. "I wasn't grimacing about that." But, the thought of Christmas did seem slightly unappealing at that moment.
"You are such a humbug," he retorted, shaking his head.
I snorted and brushed him off, not having the energy to take part in a pointless argument. Looking at the packages, a large one strapped to his back caught my eye. "What's that?" I asked, pointing to the brown parcel.
"This," he began, placing all the other packages on the ground and grabbing the one from behind, "is Sazh's present."
Snow held it out in front of him for me to have a better look. My eyebrows knitted in confusion. "Yeah, but what is it?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Snow asked, carefully unwrapping the brown paper. The removed packaging revealed a pair of shiny blue planks with sporty white emblems streaking across them. "They're skis!"
They were indeed skis.
"Skis," I stated blatantly.
With a grin, he responded, "Yep!"
I stared at him. "Skis for Sazh."
He nodded his head smugly before drawling out an "Oh yeah."
I looked at the beaming man disbelievingly, irritation seeping through my pores. "What the fuck is Sazh gonna do with a pair of skis?" I spat, his smile disappearing. "We live on a beach, hours away from any snow," I exclaimed before adding, "and, he doesn't even know how to ski!"
Snow clutched the skis to his chest protectively. "It's the thought that counts!" he argued.
"What thought could have possibly gone into getting him a random pair of skis?" I questioned in complete awe at his stupidity.
The man's mouth fell open. "Lots of thought!" he countered. "Who doesn't want to learn how to ski?"
I waved him off and turned away. "I can't believe you," I muttered as he scooped his parcels off the ground. Is he really this stupid? I wondered; turning around to glance at his sorry attempt to balance all his parcels in his arms, my thoughts were confirmed. With a heavy sigh, I announced, "I need a drink."
Snow snorted and mumbled, "No kidding."
Glaring at him, I swiveled around and knocked a package out of his hands.
With a loud groan, he clumsily bent down to retrieve it. "Oh, come on!" he exclaimed. "That was low." But, I was already walking away.
I fumed as I walked towards the nearest bar (a tiki monstrosity covered in Christmas lights); my entire peaceful night, ruined, by that ogre of a man. Sitting on a bar stool between some fondling couple and a drunk who kept repeating the phrase, "Someday, I'll crack that egg open and see the hollowness of it," I ordered a vodka on the rocks, hoping that alcohol could salvage at least a fraction of my happiness from before. But, throwing my drink back, I heard the tell-tale crunch and rustle of Snow and his packages quickly approaching; I sighed and closed my eyes.
Dropping his parcels at his feet and plopping down in the chair next to me (the drunk had scurried away), he ordered a gin and tonic before turning to me and announcing, "I feel like that was uncalled for, and very childish."
I groaned, my head in hand, leaning on the bar, and mumbled, "Please shut up."
"No," he continued, "I think Sazh will really like his gift."
"You do, do you?" I drawled, not really caring for an answer.
With a curt nod, he answered, "Yes. I mean, who doesn't want to learn how to ski?"
Shaking my head and sitting up, I argued, "It's not so much that he doesn't want to learn; it's the fact that he has a child to care for, and he won't have the time."
Snow chewed thoughtfully on a peanut before finally admitting, "I hadn't thought of that."
I snorted and replied, "Of course not."
"Well," he began, turning to me, "what should I get him then?"
Thinking, I glanced at the touching couple beside me. By now they were feeding each other pineapple slices and licking off the juices from each other faces. I grimaced and attempted to contain the urge to vomit. Looking back at Snow, I found that he was watching them too, distaste clouding his features.
He caught me staring at him, and grinned. Grabbing a slice of pineapple, he thrust it dangerously close to my face, and loudly suggested, "Let's do that too!"
Disgust pulled at my expression, but surprise took it a second later. Snow mashed the pineapple onto my mouth, and before I could react, dragged his big slobbery tongue across my lips.
I screamed and pushed him away, spitting out his germs and wiping away the sticky, wet residue. The couple watched in awe as Snow doubled over, laughing, and I spewed profanities and curses.
"Goddamn it, Snow!" I yelled, fury pulsing through me. Watching him laugh his ass off was not helping to calm my twitching fists.
"Oh man," Snow managed to say between his fits of laughter. "That was too much."
"Oh, fuck you!" I screamed, shaking with anger. The couple behind me gathered their belongings and scurried off, not wanting to deal with our public display of aggression.
Snow composed himself and said, "I'm sorry." Cue that bubble of laughter. "I simply couldn't contain myself."
I snarled and grabbed his untouched drink, gulping it down. "Menaces like you should be locked behind bars," I growled, slamming the empty glass on the table and walking away.
"Oh come on, Light," he called from behind me, collecting his packages. "It was all in good fun."
I snorted. "Count on the lunatic to not know the difference between fun and molestation."
"Hey now," he said, loping to my side. "You're just being testy."
"Psh. Right. I'm being testy. You try having some lummox lick you like some kind of ravaged dog, and see how you react."
"Ravaged dog," he repeated. "I'm not a ravaged dog. I did us a favor!"
Stopping to look at him, dubious, I asked, "What favor?"
"I got that couple to go away, didn't I?"
"That's hardly a favor," I countered. "Anyone could have done that."
"Ah, but no one else did," he replied with a smirk.
Rolling my eyes, I responded with an annoyed, "Whatever," and continued walking on. By now, night had begun to fall, and only a few streaks of pink light remaining.
The blond man followed me relentlessly, ignoring my foul mood. "Can we stop by my hover-bike real quick?" he asked suddenly.
"We?" I asked skeptically.
"Yes, we," he answered. "You said you'd help me pick a better present for Sazh."
"I didn't say I would help you," I argued. "I said that I'd try to think of some ideas." He simply stared at me. "On my own time." No change in his expression. "Away from you."
"What? No!" he whined, finally understanding. "I'm tired of shopping alone."
I glared at him dubiously. "You're a grown man!"
"So?" he asked. "Just 'cause I'm grown, doesn't mean that I'm not bored and lonely." He watched me, looking for a reaction. "Come on. Just come with me. It's not like you have anything better to do."
My mouth dropped open, and my eyes narrowed. "I've got plenty of better things to do!"
He snorted and replied, "Yeah, like walking around for hours on a boardwalk."
"I was having a very nice time," I began, "and then you walked in and ruined my night."
"Okay! I'm sorry," he snapped, staring at me. "Will you just come with me, please?"
When I found nothing but integrity in his eyes, I begrudgingly gave in. "Fine."
And with that, he led the way to his bike, dumping most of the packages into the back compartment, but holding onto the skis.
"So," he began with a grin, "where to?"
"Sazh wants to go…to Nautilus Park?"
"That's what I'm saying."
He remained silent before asking the question I knew he would ask. "Why?"
"He told me once that Dajh always wanted to go. Get two tickets and both of them will be happy as clams."
Scratching the back of his head roughly, he replied, "If you say so…"
"Come on," I commanded, cocking my head towards the booth. "Let's hurry before the line gets long."
Grinning, Snow shrugged and ran to catch up with me, falling behind me in line. He had returned the skis for a full refund to the more than grumpy vendor, and was now relishing the fact of having free hands, constantly fidgeting or touching something; it made me twitch.
The whole atmosphere of the park annoyed me. Screaming children and frantic parents as far as the eye could see. This paired with chaotic, neon signs and games only added to my impatience.
When we reached the booth, the woman was whispering to another man in the back. "Think of it this way, when I finally get what I want, you won't have to work for me anymore."
I didn't have a good feeling about this park anymore. "Snow, maybe we should get them something else," I suggested.
Waving me off, he replied, "Nonsense. This place is great!" He glanced around in awe at the rides and lights before looking at me once again. "Let's get tickets for ourselves!"
His face fell. "Why?"
"This place makes me twitch," I answered honestly.
"Lightning," he began, ordering multiple tickets, "everything makes you twitch." I averted my gaze. I couldn't really argue with that; lots of things did in fact make me twitch. "We'll just play a couple games, okay?"
I sighed, and finally gave in. "Fine. Whatever."
He grinned and gently pushed me through the gate when I resisted walking in myself.
Dragging me through fun houses and rides, Snow took me all over the park. I had hoped we'd only be there for a few minutes, but how wrong I was. The stupid man was constantly shouting, "Let's ride that!" or "Hey Light, look at this!" Nautilus Park was my own personal living hell.
I could barely stand the crowds on the boardwalk, but this was a whole new level. Every three seconds, Snow apologized to someone for stepping on their foot or bumping into them. Eight times out of ten, it was my foot he was stepping on.
"Oh crap! I think I stepped on that little girl's foot…Yep…She's crying. Damn it!"
"No, that was my foot."
As I said, this place was my own personal hell.
On a break (that I insisted we take), Snow was forcing cotton candy down my throat and asking me more questions than I'd ever been asked in my life.
"So, have you always known how to fight?"
"I guess so."
"What was the first weapon you ever used?"
Childhood memories of Serah and I sparring with bamboo swords and stink-bombs crossed my mind. "Uh, I dunno," I responded intelligently. "We just used whatever we could find."
He was silent for a moment, lost in thought. "We meaning…you and Serah?" he asked carefully.
With a sharp intake of breath, I stopped in my tracks, staring at the cotton candy in my hands. I tried not to think about Serah; it was too painful. But, my attempts were fruitless. She was always on my mind when she was alive, and still was even after her death. "Yeah," I replied. "Me and Serah."
We left the conversation at that. I continued walking forward, Snow trailing not far behind.
"Let's get a drink," Snow suggested in response to my change of attitude. I shrugged and walked through the door.
The bar was dingy and dirty, filled to the rim with carnie drunks. Some kids' place, I mused. I had hoped for some quiet in here, but the walls were so thin, the volume from outside was simply turned down. I heard, "Nope, no one here, just us dust mice," echo from the children's theater next door.
I took one more step when some screamed "Stop!" from the bar. I searched for the source, and my eyes landed on a toothless, skinny man with a wild look in his eyes. I recognized him as the man sitting next to me at the tiki bar, the one going on about eggs.
I glanced at Snow in search of insight, but he simply shrugged. Rolling my eyes, I asked, "Can we help you…sir?"
The man pointed to the top of the doorway, and the people gasped. Cautiously looking up, I saw something green and horrifying and grotesque: mistletoe.
"Oh shit," I spat, Snow staring at the hell-spawned green plant.
"Kiss!" the drunk chanted, encouraging the crowd to join.
"Uh, no," Snow attempted, "we're not—"
But, the crowd continued. "Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss..."
"Damn it, Snow!" I exclaimed, smacking him in the chest.
"Lightning, I am so sorry," he pleaded, desperately glancing at the crowd, willing for them to shut up.
The crowd kept chanting, getting louder and louder. Knowing what had to be done if I was to get my alcohol, I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. I'll get him someday for this, I promised myself.
Glaring up at the frantic man, I grabbed his collar and pulled him to me, our lips colliding. We kissed only for a second before I pushed him away, wiping the back of my hand across my lips; he stared at me blankly, unable to do anything else. I was slightly thrown too; his lips were surprisingly soft for such a violent kiss.
"There," I announced to the crowd. "There's your kiss. Now can we please get something to drink?"
"Kinda cold out too."
"Lots of stars out tonight."
"Just shut up."
We were walking back to his bike, away from that horrible park. That blasted place should not be referred to as an 'amusement park.' I was not amused at all while I was there.
On a different note, Snow had been awfully quiet since the...well, let's just call it "the incident." It was starting to get on my nerves.
"What's wrong with you?" I snapped.
He jumped, returning to the real world and asked, "Huh?"
"Why are you so quiet?" I could feel a rant coming on, but I tried to hold it back. "Was it that kiss?" Oh no. "Is that why you're being so weird?" Here it comes. "It's not like it meant anything so…whatever. Just get over it already! Serah was my sister, and you were going to marry her. I'll admit; it's a little strange that we kissed, but I'm totally over it so you should be too. I mean, it's no big deal so whatever...and stuff." And, rant complete.
Snow stared at me in total awe. Shaking his head, he stuttered, "Woah. Wait. What?"
I pivoted and continued walking. "Never mind. Just forget it."
Running to catch up with me, he mused, "I think that's the most you've ever said in one go." With a smug grin he asked, "Have I put a spell on you, Lightning? Does my appealing air just enrapture you?"
"Ha! More like your 'appealing air' smells so bad that I just want to run away," I retorted, glaring at him.
"Someone's a little defensive," he smirked.
"I have to be when I hang out with psychos like you."
He laughed and pulled his out his keys. Turning around, I realized that we were at his bike already. "Need a ride?"
I lived a couple miles away. I could have walked, but as much as I hated to admit it, my feet hurt and I was tired, so I begrudgingly hopped on the back, throwing on a helmet. I never liked hover-bikes, having seen one too many documentaries about their danger and general hazard.
His love for speed did not help any.
Due to my irrational fear, I found myself clutching embarrassingly to Snow's coat.
"Do you have to drive so fast?" I shouted over the roar of the engine.
"Come on, Light," he yelled back. "Live a little."
I groaned when he suddenly flew straight up into the air, a scream escaping from my mouth. He laughed while making a loop, and then nose-diving back down. I wrapped my arms around this torso, saying my prayers and bidding farewell to this world.
Although we sped the whole way home, I felt like we couldn't get there soon enough. Slowly untangling my stiff, aching arms from around Snow, I stumbled off the bike, struggling to contain the vile rising up inside me.
"Woo!" Snow shouted. "That was fun!"
"Once again," I said, "you're angle on fun is severely distorted."
"Ah, come on," he mocked. "It wasn't so bad."
Clutching my stomach, I replied, "Yes. Yes it was."
He chuckled before jumping off the bike as well, swinging his arms around to stretch; I sat down on a rock in an attempt to ease my gurgling stomach.
We were silent for a few moments, but silence never lasts long with Snow around. "I got you something," he said.
I glared at him skeptically. "What kind of something?"
"A Christmas something!" he announced, reaching into the back compartment. He pulled out a small purple velvet box with a bow and handed it to me.
"What for?" I asked, examining the box; I almost expected something to pop out of it like some kind of joke.
"You think I'd get Sazh a Christmas present, but not you?" he asked dubiously. "You really don't think much of yourself, do you?"
I glared at him momentarily before continuing to stare at the box.
Snow tapped his foot impatiently before finally asking with a heavy sigh, "Well, are you gonna open it?"
"I'm trying to figure out what it is!" I retaliated.
"That's what you open it for," he mocked, making a face.
I growled softly, but untied the bow nonetheless. Upon opening it, I found a gold necklace with a small pineapple charm on it.
"I found it at a little stall while you were in the bathroom," he explained, smiling. Oh crap, I thought. I went to the bathroom multiple times during our time together just to get away from him for a few minutes; I didn't think he would do something like this. "I thought it was both ironic and clever."
I snorted; as bad a joke it was, the necklace really was pretty, the pineapple only the size of my thumb nail, the chain delicate and gold. I had never owned much jewelry, simply because I could think of better places to invest my money. But, I don't think Snow could have bought me a nicer gift.
"I figured you would rather have that then a pair of skis," he joked.
Laughing, I nodded. Quickly undoing the clasp, I placed it around my neck, securing it once again. After adjusting it a bit, I looked up at Snow. "How's it look?"
"Perfect," he said through a grin, "if I do say so myself." I smiled and held out my hand. Grasping it, he pulled me to my feet. "Feel better?" he asked, a slight worry coating his tone.
I nodded and glanced at the necklace now hanging from my chest, fiddling with it gingerly. "Thanks," I said, looking up at him.
With a shrug, he replied, "No problem."
It was then that I realized that I was still holding his hand. Quickly pulling my hand away, I stuttered, "Sorry."
He coughed and scratched the back of his neck. "No big deal."
We fidgeted for a few moments, me with my necklace and he with his sleeves.
"Well," he said suddenly, "See ya around."
I watched him carefully. "Yeah."
With a sad smile, he turned around, heading back towards his bike.
My feet carried me forward, and I grabbed onto the back of his jacket: the exact scene from our time in the meadow, only under different circumstances. He turned around to see me struggling to find the right words. Then I realized who needs words? I wasn't one for long speeches anyway.
Finally letting go of the necklace, I placed both my hands on the sides of his face and (gently this time) pulled him down to me. I stared right into his eyes before finally closing them and gently touching my lips to his.
Still for a few moments, I relished in the softness of his lips, how the bottom one fit perfectly in between mine, before pulling away.
He stared at me dubiously, and I stared back. Carefully, he cupped the back of my neck, and pulled me in again, this time caressing my mouth open. The kiss was passionate, but not messy. Excited, but calm. My heart fluttered, skipping strangely.
Eventually pulling away, he rested his forehead on mine, eyes closed; our cloudy breath mingling.
I laughed quietly, not wanting to disturb the silence surrounding us. "Well, that complicates things."
Snow chuckled and nodded, "Yeah. I suppose it does." He shrugged and continued, "I don't really mind though." He stared at me, searching for a response, and asked, "You?"
Shrugging, I answered, "Not really."
He smirked before falling serious once again. "I should probably go," he whispered.
I nodded, closing my eyes as he gently kissed my forehead. "Talk to you later?" I asked, glancing up at him.
"Sure," he smirked.
I grinned and pushed him away. "Get outta here, ogre," I teased. "I'm tired, and I don't want you to scare the neighbors."
He laughed and retorted, "They should be used to scariness if they live next to you. I've seen you in the mornings." He pretended to shiver in fear.
"Don't make me get my gun-blade out," I threatened over my shoulder as I walked towards my house.
Once at the door, I turned to watch him leave. Hopping on his bike, he glanced at me, giving me one last smile before starting the engine. He hovered in the air, waved at me, and took off into the night.
I stepped into the dark house, closing the door and turning on the lights as I moved further in. Pulling the velvet box out of my vest pocket, I opened it again. A note fluttered out of it. Confused, I bent down to retrieve it.
It said, Open it.
I stared at the note in attempt to understand it. Suddenly, I knew. Grabbing my necklace, I examined it to find a small line separating the pineapple in half. I opened it and gasped at what I saw.
A tiny picture of Serah and I resided in one of the crevices. The picture was dull with age, but we smiled cheerfully at the camera nonetheless. I knew that this was taken before my mother's death from my wide smile and laidback stance, my arm around Serah's shoulders. I remembered that day; all three of us went to see the fireworks after Serah got sunburnt from not wearing sunscreen. I grinned sadly at the memory.
On the other side of the locket, a faint, lacy inscription slept. I'm under those same stars. Tears pooled at my eyes, and I kissed the locket gently.
We were all under those same stars.
There's a nice, cheesy-babe romance for your holiday pleasure. I haven't written a happy fic in a while so this was SO much fun to write. PLEASE REVIEW! There is nothing more frustrating then having all these hits...and two reviews. Be a good person and tell me what you thought. AND BE HONEST! If you hated it...just tell me. It'll do me more good than bad, my friends. :P THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING!! :D
PS. WOAH! ... I just realized that this is the LONGEST fic I've ever written. Well, "The Benefits of Silence" chapters compiled together makes my longest fic, but this is longer than ANY of the chapters I've written for that. SHEESH! I really was on a roll! :D