Rosa Hontou Naraba...

Hmph, December 24th... There's nothing special about tonight... So what if it's Christmas Eve. I don't get excited about this time of year, unlike other people...

It's the same as it is every year around here in my apartment... Dark, cold and empty, just me to take up space. The only light comes from the kitchen, a simple table with a lit candle, two glasses of wine.

I guess it's always going to be this way, every Christmas is the same. A glass of wine and memories of the past... ...And Rosa. The only time I ever think of her is at Christmas time.

I've made a bad habit of doing this every year. It doesn't bother me, as long as no-one else knows about it.

A single candle on a table with two empty chairs. The only other thing on the table is two empty glasses and a bottle of Merlot '91. Not always the same wine, but always the same year...That year. It's been how long, now? Twelve years? Hmph. I should stop doing this, Rosa doesn't seem to care. Then again, she never did to begin with.

It's almost midnight, I don't see her. Where could she be? ...Probably in the same place as last year. That dusty old closet. Yes, I hide her in there everytime a guest visits... Usually, she's sitting on my dresser...Alone.

I wander into the bedroom, not even bothering to turn on the lights. The closet is by my bed, I open the door and pull her out. "Let's get this over with." I mutter under my breath, bringing her into the kitchen, setting her on the table.

I look at her in the candlelight... The same red silk ribbon around her neck, faded after all these years. A stuffed rabbit... ...I've kept it since I was fifteen, a childhood memory. I pour a glass of wine for her, "...I should stop doing this." I say to her. "I should just forget about you, maybe throw you away..." ...No, I could never do that. As much as I sometimes want to.

No response.

I pour wine for myself. "Work went well, today. There is no such thing as Santamon. We got rid of some wild ones. How about you?" I sip the wine.

No reply. What else would I expect from her but silence?

I sigh, this seems so ridiculous, but... ...Damn these memories. I pick up Rosa, one of her ears falls forward over her eye, some dust floats off of into the air. My gaze falls to her other ear... The tag attached to it. The letters have faded over the years, but I still know the note by heart...

My parents won't let me see you any longer.
I wish I could change things, to always be with you.
But things have been hard since they caught us.
I'm so sorry.
Please, accept this Christmas gift.
Her name is Rosa.
With love,
Jiangyu Li

I set Rosa down once more on the table, by her glass. I sip my wine, "...Merry Christmas, Rosa." I lift my glass. The toy looks at me with no emotion, but with so many memories of my past...

...My love...



Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
The story behind this is a friend sent me a picture of Yamaki and "Rosa," who he mentions in "Black X'Mas," his song from the Tamers Christmas CD. In her picture, Rosa was a stuffed animal...

...So I wrote this. That's pretty much it. The reason it didn't go up earlier in Taiki's project is because I sorta lost it. A couple old fics got misfiled when I transferred them between computers years ago. Most of the lost ones were crap, so it wasn't anything I'd really miss.

Taiki's Notes:

I get the feeling that if this fic were in the same continuity as Christmas Dinner (which Ori says it is not), it would explain why the Li family is so open to Jianliang and Takato's relationship. I wonder how that conversation between Jiangyu and Jianliang would go if Jiangyu ever told him about "Yama-chan."

Hint hint, Ori?

Janyuu and Yamaki, certainly an interesting pairing. I have to say I now support it.

-Taiki Matsuki