Anubis, Train, Mason, and Sephiria fluff.
Warning: it is not suggested for anyone without a high maturity read this because of excessive alcohol usage, and mentions of pornography. I am not responsible for any permanent scars resulting from this fanfiction, so please read at your own discression. I also apologize if Mason, Anubis, Emilio, and Belze are slightly OOC, but I had to tweak them to fit the plot line. Besides, I always thought that Belze was a closet pervert for some reason… NO idea why but you'll discover why in this One Shot.
Disclaimer: Kentaro Yabuki owns Black Cat, not me!
Author's Note: I was really saving this for a snowy day, but for some reason, I really want it to snow… Maybe this OneShot will convince the weather to do it's thing and SNOW! WHEEEEE!
Let it Snow
Everything seemed like an illusion now, the companionship with her subordinates, the work, the assassination missions, all of it was almost like it was all a sham. It was strange, but only now, on January 1st did she feel that way, it was an annual event as she sat and observed her life, and would shake her head about everything that made it phony. Her smiles, her confidence, her masks, everything about her was just a lie, however, she was never going to tell anyone that. Not Anubis, not Mason, NO ONE. She could never level them with her because sometimes, it was better to have confusion than pity. Sure, guilt did haunt her, nevertheless, it was for the best. She smiled forlornly, she had used a quote from him, of all people, him. How could she bear even thinking his name with that incident fresh in her mind?
Sensing danger, she shook those thoughts from her head, yawning as she completed the last of her paperwork and shoved it into a pile by her desk. Anubis, sensing her readying to depart, got up from his lying down position on her feet and jumped playfully in her lap. Sephiria chuckled merrily as he nuzzled affectionately into her cheek, and she found her right hand immediately patting it gently, just like old times. Stealing a glance out of the window, Sephiria was unsurprised to discover it snowing softly, already a heavy blanket concealing the barren ground, almost like a muffler. All was quiet outside as Anubis watched the scene outside her window with her, cozy and warm in the still, cold silence that had engulfed them. It was snowing heavily, the flurries falling from the sky like butterflies, as the dark evening suddenly became a world of white, a winter wonderland. With a small fire crackling in the corner, Sephiria felt quite cozy in the nicely heated office (even with the paperwork) as she surveyed the peaceful scene outside. There was nothing more peaceful than to just admire untouched snow lit up by the moonlight, especially from a window. To observe two things so cold and untouchable together, while you were in a place where you could taste the warmth in the air was absolutely fascinating. Opposites only separated by a thin sheet of glass, coexisting at the same time in perfect harmony.
Smiling slightly, Sephiria knew that Chronos Headquarters would not be this way, would not be this peaceful, if the others had not had that drinking contest last night for New Year's Eve, but it did make a nice change for instance. Anubis softly pawed her leg, causing her to glance down expectantly. Her voice echoed in the ominously empty room as she inquired, "What is it Anubis?"
The wolf raised an eyebrow in wonder, as he murmured back as quietly, "It's your birthday, or have you forgotten? You used to celebrate it back when you were five, when I last saw you before you became Captain. Not anymore then?"
Sephiria ruffled his fur fondly as she responded; her azure eyes far away, as she remembered her father, a broken bottle, and the intoxicating smell of alcohol. "No, I haven't celebrated my birthday since you last were with me; some things are worth leaving at that, so they sparkle like diamonds in the rough."
Anubis didn't pry as he stood up by placing his paws to her shoulders, another action he enjoyed when Sephiria had cared for him as a young adorable pup. "Well, I suppose the last one would have been hard to top, after all, I was there."
Her face showed a smile, but some part of her was far away as she tried to shut out the growing fragments of what had occurred soon after Anubis was taken away. The Shattered Bottle. Broken Picture Frame. Bloody Dagger. Drunk Dead. Blood all over the Floor. All her fault. All her fault. She rubbed her eyes tiredly, no she would not cry, she had trained herself to outwardly appear to be devoid of emotions, even if internally she was breaking down. No, she couldn't lose her cool now.
Anubis' innocent eyes found hers as she stared down at him, his concern evident as he curled around her on the coach, snuggling up to her. Her eyes fluttering with fatigue and overwork, Sephiria felt herself drifting off to sleep as she felt his paw tenderly stroke her forehead, like she had done when he first arrived with his nightmares. The gentle strokes of the paw allowed her to rest easy as she vaguely felt a warm woolen blanket being draped around her, before the world was swimming in black, and her memories became clearer than ever. But it gave a rise to the shadows as well…
New Year's Boke
"I don't think we should have had that drinking contest," Jenos moaned as he struggled to stand up. Failing miserably every time, so he contented himself with the floor instead, lying down, and kicking an empty green beer bottle in exasperation.
"You think?" Train Heartnet rolled his eyes haughtily as he managed to position himself in a chair normally. "Who's stupid idea was this anyway?"
"Mine," Emilio groaned with an alcohol-ridden voice, "worst idea ever, I thought I might catch the Captain's eye but...guess it backfired. My head feels like it's going to explode from the pain and dizziness, I think I'm going to throw up."
All Numbers murmured their ascent to that statement, everyone endeavoring with all their might to remain conscious, not at all thrilled at the idea of attempting to get home.
"Has anyone seen Sephiria?" Belze's words were still slurred, however, his grey eyes were sharp as he realized this, and were instantly searching around the room like a hawk to make sure every human Number was in sight.
"She doesn't drink alcohol Belze," Mason replied drowsily as he burped up some bubbles, "for various reasons, but it's not my place to tell you. Anyhow, she's probably in her office finishing paperwork or something, so don't get your trench coat all billowed into a knot. Anubis is a good watchdog; he'll make sure that she doesn't do anything naughty with anyone." Mason chortled heartily at this, though the majority of the Chrono Numbers joined in, Train felt this uncomfortable sensation that Mason was hiding something, but he dispersed it quickly. Why should he care? After all, Zagine's words had been care for yourself, look after for yourself, and trust no one; there was no reason to not follow that code now.
"Hmph," Belze muttered, but he seemed to be content with that answer.
"I'm surprised she didn't go home yet," Jenos started vaguely, "I mean, it being New Year's and all, kinda eccentric much?"
Mason shrugged, his grey eyes glittering as he surveyed all the competitors of the drinking contest with some sort of growing resent. Train gave him a confused glare, before receiving a very passionate glower in return, causing the Black Cat to shrink back in astonishment. Then, obtaining no explanation for his eccentric behavior, Train gave up and began observing the entire room. Beluga, Baldor, Kranz, David, and Ash were all sleeping, drool glistening down their mouths as they most likely were dreaming inappropriate dreams, meanwhile, Nizer and Jenos started this serious conversation on alien invaders coming from outer space (both of them most likely still experiencing the effects of the beer). Belze had loaded up the computer and was probably cutting and pasting Sephiria's head to those weird porn books he had in his closet, Emilio was watching him with growing admiration. "Dude! When you're done, I'll pay you for some of those Sephiria pictures! You closet pervert you!"
Rolling his eyes, Train found himself sitting next to Mason, both of them the least drunk of the entire bunch other than the people who hadn't participated in the beer chug last night. As the awkward silence drifted through the both of them, Mason was the first one to initiate the conversation.
"I'm surprised no one remembered Sephiria's birthday." He shook his head sadly as he murmured, "Young people these days, I mean, Sephiria's alright for your generation; she's the one who always manages to send everyone something on their birthdays but… Well, I guess I'm just an advocate to the idea that someone will always remember you, I think that's the true meaning behind having a birthday. The people who celebrate your birth are the people who care and love you."
"Though," his face turned sorrowfully as he closed his eyes sadly, "in Sephiria's case, she hasn't exactly been lucky with my last sentence."
Train said nothing as Mason continued on slowly, his voice becoming almost clearer with every syllable, drowning out all the useless conversation and babble the others were making. It was almost like it was stronger than the rest of them, more determined, instilled with a better sense of purpose. "If you wondered why she didn't want to see the sight of the alcohol, well, her father is the explanation of that."
"Her father?" Train found himself echoing Mason's last words, his interest finally piqued, what did his stunning Captain have to hide? Only a drunk Mason knew, and he found he wanted to find out. He remembered her paling face as the other Chrono Numbers offered her a spot in the drinking circle, how she had immediately refused and left the room even before the booze had been opened, Anubis trailing behind her.
"Yeah, no good drunk if I knew one," Mason said sadly, "her mother was a great lass you know, my Captain way back when, but hardly ever home. Hardly knew her own daughter if I do say so myself, only even talked to her during the Taoist War time when we needed her to eliminate the Taoists. Now her father, why my Captain married him I have no clue why, but marry him she did and they had her. Now, he when he wasn't drunk, her father was a very kind man; he always gave to charity, watched his language, was very charming, and was kind and compassionate to animals. But when he was drunk, which was pretty often at night, he got real nasty; Sephiria often would come hiding out at my place when that happened. Such a sweet tempered child; would not be cruel unless she was forced to; God bless her soul. However, you wouldn't expect a child at five to act all mature in a situation like that. No sire." He paused, picking up the broken emerald glass from the ground, the remnants of the bottle Jenos had kicked earlier. Almost contemplating its feeble existence before tossing it headlong into the trash can without a second glass.
His voice was soft as he continued softly, his grey eyes startlingly soft, "After the Taoist War when her mother died, and she came back scarred from her assassinations, while I was up in the hospital unable to move because of my casts, it got real bad. Seemed to me like her father really loved her mother, and without her…he needed the drink to forget. Got really bad for her, especially when she was the one who needed the hug herself, until finally, one night, like this one, all snowy, dark, and cold, he came home with a half full bottle of beer, this brand exactly actually," Mason showed him the green bottle, nodding his head knowingly.
"Started beating up on her real bad, wouldn't let her escape, I bet I couldn't especially at seven years old. But you know what? Sephiria had just gone through war, murdered people stronger than her mother with that legendary dagger of hers, and she was taking a pummeling from this guy? NO, she wasn't going to take that no more, I think she just automatically used that bloody dagger of hers in self-defense, that's how she always fought her battles. Only if you attack her first, so she killed him. Got him straight through the jugular, and even stabbed him clean through the aorta, he was dead before he hit the floor. Some kids thought it was creepy and made it into a ghost story because the police thought she was dead like her father. The only thing in that house broken other than the corpse was this bloody broken picture frame that had a photo of them altogether as a family. Couple of punks thought it'd be funny to pretend that the ghost of the child murdered haunted the house; that scared the living daylights of folks living there, people in that area sure cleared out fast. No one wanted to get involved with the supernatural. However, there was no ghost, silly; Sephiria had moved in comfortably with Chronos by then. She was good enough at such a tender age to be Captain too, but officially she didn't become Captain until nineteen, 'cause the Elders didn't want to show favoritism. The Captain before her was just a figure head, all the Numbers back then knew who the real brains of the operation was. Tragic huh? At least Anubis is comforting her; it's a good thing for her to have some company now."
Mason fixed him with such a hard stare and spoke in such a diamond hard voice so it caused even the still conscious Numbers to pay attention. "You didn't know boy? That incident happened today twenty years ago! From this day! At this EXACT time."
"Oh." Train was speechless as he observed Mason have a single tear descending from his eye.
"Yup, must have really cut her up 'cause today's her birthday, it's no wonder she didn't tell you all the date. Why would anyone want to spend it in festivities when it's also the day you murdered your father?"
Anubis snuggled contentedly by the fire as Sephiria got some well earned rest. The weather outside had taken a turn for the worse as it started to turn into a blizzard. The wind howled with misery as it shook the window with growing ferocity; the flurries dropping like hailstones onto the ground, piling up so that it had covered half of a street post's height. However, being a wolf, this weather didn't bother him the slightest, he was glad that Sephiria had the foresight to forget attempting to get home earlier because of the snow. Imagine them being stuck in the snow now with no place to go in the middle of nowhere, not a lovely thought.
Raising his angular black head to gaze upon his sleeping caretaker, he saw her face scrunched together, almost matching the weather outside. Placing his head on her open palm, Anubis sought to comfort her, however, this battle she could only fight alone. Dreams were not his expertise to walk into; his skills were more for delivering people to Death. Nightmares, fears, rusty daggers in the heart, he could hardly even manage to brush that subject with Sephiria throughout their complicated relationship, she always had to keep everything bottled up inside. Half of the time, he was tempted to just get her drunk to discover how she really felt about certain situations because her mask was always donned. You could always see what she wanted you to see, a false image, an illusion of someone who never seemed to be backed into a situation. Everything she was supposed to do, she did, so she was perfect, as flawless, and beautiful as the Captain of the Chrono Numbers, as hard and cold as her mask.
However, Anubis knew her better than that. He knew that she knew he knew underneath her body was physically and emotionally laced with scars that even today was just the tip of the iceberg. But what was a wolf to do?
Sephiria murmured incoherently about Anubis going away before drifting back off into the world of silent dreams, her hand his muzzle was pressed to stroked it gently.
He remembered that moment.
And it had hurt. More than the wounds he had experienced in battle. More than being ripped from his mother. It just marred his soul beyond repair, some part of him so wounded that the only way he would describe it even now was those two words. It hurt. That was all.
She had been the one to give him the love he needed, something that stopped that painful ache in his chest when he was domesticated and utilized to become a weapon. A perfect weapon, a naturally proficient assassin tuned to murder human instead of his normal prey. That was him, just another lab specimen, just another number.
Nevertheless, under her care, she spoke to him like a little child she was in charge of taking care of, teaching him certain things he found useful later on, the quirks of human nature, the ability to enter without being seen, and the magic of nature. Soon, he was able to see. How happy he had been when Chronos had installed a chip in his mouth to allow him to converse in human tongue. Where one-sided conversations had once existed, he could reply, stating his opinion on the topic.
Once he had caught an eagle, but decided to let it go, stating to an amused five year old, "It's better for a majestic hunter to die in the skies instead of passing on as pathetic prey."
"Perhaps," she smiled, as she stroked his fur leisurely, her eyes alight with amusement. "But someday that's what happens to all hunters, even the mightiest shall fall, and discover the eternal sleep."
That friendship wouldn't last forever, the innocence of youth could never stay gold. Soon, Chronos found him proficient and knighted him as a Chrono Number, Chrono Number VI to be precise. Then he had his own living quarters, his own assassination missions, and his own life. However, she was missing. There were no more talks of butterflies, of the beauty of a hunter killing its prey; no more walks by the lake where they would prance around like two pups romping around in the forest similar to the roughhousing he had experienced in his pack. There was no more of that, and when he finally saw her again, she had changed.
Her azure eyes had lost their sparkle in them, cold, dark, they almost drew you in like pools of icy water, daring you to come in and drown. Something had happened, something perhaps that she didn't want to speak about, not to Mason, not to Anubis, not to anybody; she just wanted to keep it locked up to eat her soul out until she passed away. Even Mason could only say what he thought happened based on the evidence, but that story he told didn't contain important information to make it all add up.
Of course, after awhile she had that empathetic spark to them once again, but it wasn't the same. It didn't seem real, it just seemed there because that's how she was supposed to act: strong, powerful, cunning, manipulative… She was convincing, not even the Elders at any second would doubt her for even a moment.
But if he could make her do anything at all, he thought as he curled down on the woolen rug before the crackling fire, he would make her let it all out, just to see what pain she had hidden underneath her masquerade.
The blizzard outside had, after whipping up into the nastiest storm Anubis had seen in years, finally died down, the snow slowly settling down once again to the ground. Peace was in supremacy throughout, as the full moon returned to the starry evening, the clouds that had darkened the sky disappearing. Almost like shadows dispersing before light.
Mason strolled down the hallway blearily, his mind's wheels and cogs turning as he thought of what he had just done. Why had he told the Black Cat Sephiria's personal business? Slamming his head into the door, he knew she was going to murder him once word of this got out. Knowing the other Numbers, this news would spread like wildfire, even faster than old grannies playing Bingo with their gossip. Peeking into Sephiria's private office within the Headquarters, Mason noticed a hearty crackling fire burning bright, Anubis curled up before it, while Sephiria was wrapped in a warm blanket, and was sleeping on the sofa. Smiling as he saw opportunity to enjoy some warmth, Mason invited himself into the office, plopping down and warming his hands on the fire. He was surprised to discover that Train Heartnet joined him as he ruffled his spiky brown hair in mild irritation.
His amber eyes found Mason's and with a tinge of blush on his face, he muttered, "I couldn't take Emilio and Jenos anymore." He gave a shiver. "Them and their porn… I think they're still drunk." Mason paled as Sephiria's entire body on the sofa became rigid at the mention of that word, her eyes snapping open as her hand plunged through the air, in the exact spot where a person's heart should be. Her hand seemed to have caused a shadowy figure above her to vanish without a trace. Seeing Sephiria's face, he found her pale and shivering, as if she had been just dunked in icy water, her breaths coming in labored pants as she struggled to reign in her emotions. Waking with a start, Anubis jumped onto the sofa and nuzzled beside her, earning a tender caress from Sephiria, whose face had returned to normal, and her usual calm demeanor was her current mask.
Rubbing her head ruefully, Sephiria murmured, "Oh, how was the drinking contest last night you two? Who won?"
"Beluga did," Train replied, his face turning a crimson shade of red, as he surveyed Sephiria wearing a casual spaghetti strap tight fitting shirt, clearly showing more skin than her normal uniform did. Mason gave a slight chuckle before falling silent at Sephiria's insisting eyes; he always found young boys so hilarious in terms of even a slightest hint of 'the subject'. "But he's out like a light, all the people who were even close to him are sleeping, though Belze apparently has a high alcohol resistance, and is still up even though he got second place."
"I see," Sephiria pulled Anubis closer to her as she raised an eyebrow at the booze bottle Train was twirling. "Samuel Adams Unlimited?"
Mason watched as Train nodded, laughing as his awkwardness level increased. Apparently, Jenos and Emilio had filled his head with perverted inappropriate images before he came here, oh he did have to hand it to Belze for his ability to cut and paste to create pornographic images. Poor youngsters, Train probably never knew what hit him when they bombarded him with the new 'information'.
"It was the only thing we had an abundance of," Mason jumped in, saving Train from instantaneous embarrassment, "sorry about that Sephiria, but it was the cheapest thing and most common, so it was perfect for a chug contest."
Sephiria said nothing as she joined them on the woolen rug, wrapping the blanket around all of them. Mason was surprised, he had expected Sephiria to go on a tirade on the dangers of drinking, and chugging, but she said nothing. It was her question that really knocked him down on the floor flat as she inquired, "What's it like? Drinking I mean."
Train piped up, recovering from his earlier mortification. "Terrible, I don't really like it actually, I prefer milk. Trust me Captain; you're not missing much. Anyway, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday."
Mason found that this conversation was taking a turn down he had never seen before. He remembered clearly that Train last night had been complimenting the booze, perhaps, he was taking the sensitive subject into account as he answered his Captain. And he took her birthday into mind as well, considering Mason had ranted and raved about it (thereby hinting he should wish her some congratulations). Or… Mason smiled evilly, did he see wedding bells in the future? He watched as Anubis got his idea seconds later, stealing Mason's part of the blanket and pushing the two of them beside each other, each looking uncertainly at the other, but Anubis growled something under his breath, and they got closer at once.
He had the feeling Anubis threatened to spread something, some sort of rumor or perhaps he merely blackmailed them with the idea that they would get tied up together all night long if they didn't snuggle. That wolf… It seemed more human than Sephiria at times, he didn't know what she did to Anubis, but whatever she did, and it clearly was still in his heart even after twenty-two years. Impressive, he should get her to teach him how she did that; if she managed to manufacture her method, Mason swore she would be a millionaire with teachers banging on her door to fully comprehend her master of the subject. Smiling slightly, Mason lounged around on the couch, watching the fire with a growing warmth in his heart, as if somehow that common room blaze managed to melt it.
Train reluctantly enjoyed this particular situation as he found his arm wrapping around Sephiria's slender waist. She was really beautiful up close, delicate like a rose that would bloom only once every ten years, yet her fingers had that unmistakenable sense that she knew what she was doing. Her aroma was attractive, intoxicating him in the silence that had fallen over the four Numbers with the silent snow outside. She whipped her long blonde hair with a resignful sigh as she glanced at the burning log.
"You know what this reminds me of?" Sephiria smiled sadly, her azure eyes beginning to glaze over so it seemed that she wasn't really gazing into the embers, rather into something deeper, memories she had forgotten. "A song my father used to sing during wintertime, when he was up to it of course." That phrase seemed to hurt her as she stopped with a lengthy pause before continuing, her voice cracking as she resumed the thread of thought. "I forget how it goes, but today seems to fit it really well, I think it was like-"
"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful," she sang, her voice smooth, and shimmering in the air magically as Train found himself leaning his head on her, discovering himself at ease. He was completely ignoring Zagine's words now, them seemed so far away. All he could think of now was her scent, that intoxicating, overflowing smell that he was beginning to have an addiction to, something about piqued his interest so it dwarfed milk in comparison of importance.
"And since we've got no place to go… Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it Snow!"
They did have nowhere else to go, Train decided, his amber eyes confused as he surveyed the room around him, unless they liked porn they would be stuck in here for the rest of the night. Besides, they couldn't even leave Chronos' iron grip without suffering severe penalties or death if they defected, they only had this place as their home. That was a fact.
"It doesn't show signs of stopping, and I brought some corn for popping…"
"Too bad we don't have any corn to pop," Mason grinned as the old man slyly glanced at Sephiria, "it would match that song perfectly."
Without even pausing, Sephiria reached up into a bookshelf and tossed him a bag of popcorn. "You were saying? I always kept one for a rainy, depressing day." Her smile was bright as she surveyed the scene outside the window with great interest. "The stars are out tonight," her eyes narrowed as she accidentally let it slip, "someone once told me that each star is a soul that was killed violently, they serve a purpose to remind the living not to follow their path."
"The lights are turned way down low… Let it snow! Let it Snow let it Snow!"
Even Mason held his tongue as Sephiria's eyes became more distant, her voice echoing in the small room, Train, pressing his advantage pulled her closer, so he could feel her warmth flowing into him as he nuzzled into her collarbone. His fingers tracing her arm gently as he tried to communicate things he had to leave unsaid. He was astonished to find that her fingers laced in his own as she looked at him with bright azure eyes. She whispered, "They said that a shooting star was a soul passing on to the afterlife since their brutal death could finally be released."
Train leaned forward as he tentatively cupped her head in his hands, giving her a clear view of the window. Outside, on that moonlit night, a shooting star lit up the inky darkness, the pure white light illuminating it, outshining the moon for an instant before it faded away. Her smile was bittersweet as her azure eyes blinked back tears, but she couldn't stop them as those bottled up emotions finally came out. Train timidly watched the shaking commander before he finally wiped the last of them away. He had never expected her tears to be so hot, they felt so full of sorrow, some things inside of them just couldn't compare.
Unsure of what to do, Train pressed his lips to her. If anything to try to take some of her pain with it, trying to just make it flow into him. Her tears, they seemed to burn his skin as he could just picture her haunted eyes underneath those eyelids. That part, that remnant of her true soul, underneath them as she finally let go. His tongue found her lip, and she opened her mouth slightly, enough to allow him to come in. Was your first kiss supposed to feel this way? So bittersweet like the salty tears he felt mixing into their gentle kiss. Those stormy emotions that they kept underneath, they were rising up as the kiss seemed to pull off their masquerades.
"When we finally kiss goodnight, how I'll hate to go out to the storm!"
He wiped off the last of her tears, surprised that he was crying as well. His parents' deaths, even Zagine's murder just seemed to come back with that shooting star. Everything seemed to hurt, but that pain, that ache, it seemed to allow everything to flow out, both of them liars to the world, had finally let go of their pride to allow their genuine bare skin to be shown to the world.
Glancing at Anubis, he found that if wolves could smile, Anubis was. Even Mason looked relieved at this development, helping himself to the covers and turning on the old wireless radio on the mantle of the fireplace. Anubis entered the warm blanket's interior, bringing in a cold draft that was quickly swallowed by the four Number's body warmth, Train's hand grasping Sephiria's hand tightly so their fingers were interlaced.
"But if you really hold me tight, all the way home I'll be warm…"
"I think," Mason said slowly, "that this is what having a family would be like. I would be the loveable grandpa, Anubis would be the pet, while Train and Sephiria would be the happily married couple. You know what we're missing?" He smiled, showing his sparkling white teeth, and even Sephiria couldn't feel a hint of anxiety when waiting for what he was about to say.
"Children, but that's Sephiria and Train's job, anyway, but you two should get a move on it!" He nodded knowingly until Train could withstand that no longer and socked him in the face. Anubis guffawed into Sephiria's shoulder as she weakly grinned with her eyes rolling in exasperation at Mason's gentle chidings.
"The fire is slowly dying, and my dear, we're still goodbying…"
They made a weird dysfunctional family, but somehow, it seemed more real now than any illusion could be. The Crackling Fire. Her Scent. The Warmth. The Radio. The Popcorn (which they shared at Mason's insistence).
Yes, they were a dysfunctional little family, but he thought, nuzzling up to Sephiria's shoulder, preparing to sleep, her arms encircling him automatically, her own head resting on top of his. But their love for each other was so real:
As real as the snow falling gently outside,
As real as the cold moonlight that lay beside
As real as the sleeping Numbers downstairs,
As real as the peace tonight found everywhere
As real as the streetlights across from the door,
Yes, their love for each other would last,
"But as long as you love me so… Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"