Negima 4: The Best Christmas Wish
Chapter 25: You'll Always Be With Me On Christmas
Outside, as the cold wind whisped and snow came down overhead, Asuna was all alone. She kept her jacket zipped up as high as her neck and wrapped her scarf around her neck.
"Th...That idiot Negi. I can't believe he actually said that to me! What does he mean "don't simply worry" about it? Does he even know how much this is worrying me? Does he?" Asuna thought. She looked back at the hotel for a moment, thought back to Negi's face as she left and sighed.
"Well...fine. Have your little party Negi. I don't need you." Asuna muttered. She continued off, walking off into the evening. Back inside, Negi rubbed his face from where Asuna had punched him. The other girls were all with him.
"No way. Asuna punched you?" Kazumi asked. Negi nodded. Ayaka growled.
"Why that...obnoxious little monkey! How DARE she strike her teacher in such a malicious manner! When I find her, she's going to get the talking of a life time!" Ayaka exclaimed. Takahata tried to calm Ayaka down as Nekane patted Negi's cheek with a washcloth.
"Negi...what happened? What went on between the two of you? I thought you were going to talk to Asuna." Nekane asked.
"I...I did Nekane. But...whatever I said must've upset her so greatly that...she'd do this." Negi said. Anya sat nearby, looking at Negi as he was about to cry.
"It's hard to understand what goes on in a woman's heart. Lucky for me...I don't have to." Gregor said. Nina scoffed.
"Gregor! Do you know how insensitive that sounded? We might not be humans, but that doesn't mean you can just bad mouth them because of something like this!" Nina exclaimed. Ayaka exclaimed that Asuna deserved such talk, seeing as she would strike Negi.
"No! Asuna's not like that! She's been under a lot of stress lately and it's been bubbling around in her! It's not her fault!" Konoka exclaimed. Ayaka scoffed.
"Oh sure! TAKE her side! You two ARE roommates after all!" Ayaka cried. She suddenly felt Setsuna grab onto her shoulder, glaring at her angrily.
"You dare to say something like that about Miss Konoka...and you'll REGRET those words. I don't care if you are our class representative. NO ONE places blaim for such actions on Miss Konoka! Understand?" Setsuna asked. Negi looked around, seeing everyone starting to argue between one another. He thought back to Asuna's last words, seeing tears flying off her face. He knew she was in pain and Negi had to do something to fix what he caused. He suddenly stood up.
"Uhh...Negi!" Nekane gasped. Everyone looked to Negi, who quietly went to get his coat and approached the door. He also noticed something on the floor and picked it up, slipping it under his arm.
"Wh...What are you doing? Negi!" Makie cried. Negi looked back at the others.
"I'm sorry everyone! But...Asuna needs me now! She's my student and I have to try and fix this! Please forgive me!" Negi called, hurrying out the door with staff in hand. The others merely watched. Anya was surprised, amazed really, to see Negi willingly go after Asuna after she struck him.
"Go on Negi. I know you can heal Asuna's heart." Nagi thought. Now outside, Negi rose his staff in the air and whispered a magic. Once the spell ended, footprints in the snow started shining brightly in a blue aura, marking Asuna's trail.
"Asuna...I'm coming." Negi thought. He kept his eyes on the glowing trail, following it out from the hotel grounds. He soon found himself far from where the hotel was, passing through a few streets of town. All the shops around him were closed early for Christmas Eve.
"Asuna...please help me. What did I say that could've hurt you so much? You mean so much to me. Please let me make this right." Negi muttered. As he kept walking, his memories of him and Asuna started flashing through his mind, starting from when they first met. The trail of blue footprints kept Negi on the path. He soon found himself arriving out by the park in the center of town. And, taking a good look, he saw Asuna sitting down on a bench by an outdoor skating rink.
"There she is." Negi said. He slowly walked over towards Asuna, unknowingly alerting her to his presence with his feet crunching in the snow.
"Ugh. What now Negi? Did you come to say something more hurtful? Or wasn't earlier enough for you?" Asuna asked. Negi raised his hand.
"Please Asuna. Let me talk to you. I didn't understand before. But...But now I want to try and fix what I caused." Negi said. Asuna huffed.
"Yeah right. Go back to the hotel Negi. I don't need you." Asuna said. She was just about to get up and leave, but Negi rushed over and caught her hand, causing her to stop. They looked at each other.
"Asuna...please." Negi said. Asuna took a long look at Negi, seeing true sincerity in his eyes. She sighed.
"All right." Asuna said. Negi took a seat as Asuna sat back down again. Following that, Asuna truly opened up to Negi, saying exactly what she wanted to say. She told him about how she thought he could simply brush off that kind of future as nothing when she's been quelled up inside with all kinds of tossing emotions.
"Well, the reason for that is...I'm confident about how such a great future awaits us. It makes me happy to know that we can be happy." Negi said. Asuna sighed.
"But Negi...to know that someday you're gonna be marrying your teacher, tell me that isn't a BIT unsettling. What about Nodoka and the others?" Asuna asked. Negi looked up at Asuna.
"Hmm. But Asuna, they would be happy for us. They're our friends." Negi said. Asuna glared down at Negi, turning away again.
"I don't know Negi. Somehow, I'm still not that sure. I mean...I think for me...I need some kind of assurance. What if something happens and...we're separated? I'd be devastated if something would happen to you." Asuna said. Negi lightly gasped.
"Somehow...since we met, I can't stop worrying about you. We're partners...but I still feel like you're always saving ME instead of me protecting you. What kind of partner am I if I can't protect the person I'm partnered with?" Asuna asked, starting to shed tears. As they came down her face, Asuna turned to Negi and grabbed his coat.
"Tell me Negi. What kind of partner am I if you're always saving me? I'm just...!" Asuna cried. But suddenly, her cries of sorrow were silenced when she was suddenly kissed by Negi. They both were blushing bright red, but Asuna slowly eased herself closer and when their kiss ended, Asuna looked on at Negi.
"You're the kind of partner...I always know I can count on. Someone I'd always want to be with...no matter what." Negi said. Asuna lightly gasped, starting to shed a few tears again.
"N...Negi...you..." Asuna muttered. Negi smiled, blushing still as he rubbed his head. Asuna smiled slowly as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
"Thanks Negi..." Asuna thought. She then glanced over at the ice rink, still seeing someone at the booth. She quickly took Negi's hand.
"Come on. Let's go skating." Asuna said.
"Wh...What? But Asuna, what about the others?" Negi asked. Asuna chuckled.
"They'll be fine. Come on. Let's have a little fun before we go back." Asuna said. Negi looked at Asuna, watching her starting to laugh. He started to chuckle himself, giving a nod.
"Okay then. Let's go." Asuna said. The two hurried to the ice rink and asked if it was too late for a Christmas Eve skate. They soon were on the ice and they were skating together as snow was coming down from above.
"Hey Negi! Check this out! I've been practicing!" Asuna exclaimed. She skated off ahead of Negi and crouched down before pulling off her best midair spin.
"Oh! Asuna! That was amazing!" Negi shouted. Asuna chuckled.
"Aww. It was nothing. Like I said, I've practiced." Asuna said. Negi then decided to show what he had learned. He started to skate faster and kept his back crouched over. Asuna was amazed at the speed Negi could go.
"Whoa! Negi! Look at you go! That's fast!" Asuna exclaimed. Negi started to slow down as he passed by Asuna.
"Thank you Asuna. I actually have had practice as well." Negi said. Asuna lightly chuckled. She then suddenly skated towards him and they met in a hug. Negi was a bit surprised.
"You know Negi? I'm really glad we have someone like you for a teacher. I guess...I know what my future self meant when she said I should consider myself lucky. You're thoughtful and considerate, you're extremely polite...and you always do your best to help others. Who can say that about other boys your age?" Asuna asked. Negi glanced at her.
"You've done so much for me, Konoka and everyone else in class. I don't think there's anything we can do to ever thank you." Asuna said. Negi smiled.
"What do you mean Asuna? You and the other girls can just keep being yourselves. That's all I would ever want for being your teacher. And...to be fair, you're just as special as how you've been talking about me." Negi said. Asuna glanced at Negi.
"Whaddya mean?" she asked quietly.
"You showed me that not every problem requires magic to fix, things sometimes are better when they play out normally. I've learned a great deal from you as well. So, I guess in a way...I really do think your my perfect partner. We make up so much of what the other lacks." Negi said. Asuna started to shed a tear again, wiping it off her face.
"Heh. I guess we do." Asuna muttered. After the skate rink, they went for hot chocolate and were soon making snow angels in the snow. Both were laughing as they made their angel's wings as big as possible. Asuna looked down at hers.
"Heh. Not too shabby." she thought. Negi looked at his and smiled, feeling pretty good himself. Just then, Negi and Asuna could hear faint music nearby. They turned to look, in complete surprise, as a nearby tree suddenly lit up in beautiful lights. The band played Christmas music nearby.
"Oh wow." Asuna muttered.
"A tree lighting. Look Asuna. The tree looks so beautiful." Negi said. Asuna saw a bench nearby and told Negi they could get a better view from there. And as they sat down, they could see the shimmering lights on the tree much better than before. Negi looked up towards the tree's top, pointing out its shimmering star.
"Wow. You don't see anything flashy like that on the tree at the dorm." Asuna said. Just then, Asuna noticed something next to Negi.
"Hey. What's that? Is that...hey! That's the gift I was going to give you!" Asuna shouted. Negi nodded.
"Yes. I actually found it before I came out looking for you. And...well...I thought you'd might like to know I didn't open it yet." Negi said. Asuna chuckled.
"Well then, what are you waiting for then? Go ahead and open it." Asuna said. Negi smiled and looked at Asuna's present. It was wrapped in bright green paper decorated with candy canes. It was tied together with a red bow. As Negi tore off the wrapping paper, he could see the gift within. Tearing the last of the paper off, Negi saw the gift was a small case sitting next to a miniature binder, decorated with stars and moons.
"Hmm? What's this?" Negi asked. Asuna smirked.
"Well, the little binder is for you to write down any new spells or you can use it as a diary to write about how school went. As for the glasses case, I know how you don't like losing those glasses you always wear. So...I got you this to keep them in. I know. It's not much, but I couldn't decide on anything great this year." Asuna said. Negi looked down at them and smiled. He then fished around in his pocket.
"Thank you Asuna. And before I forget...here. This is for you." Negi said. He handed Asuna a small gift box, wrapped with a gold bow.
"Hmm? Who's this from?" Asuna asked. She read the tag and saw it was from Negi. She eyed him with a cocky smirk as she undid the ribbon and began opening the box.
"Okay. Let's see exactly what..." Asuna said, stopping with a gasp. Inside the small box was a charm necklace. It was decorated with miniature snowflake charms going down the center, which hung a small tear shaped pendant made from opal, Asuna's birthstone.
"I hope you like it. The shop that I got it from help me determine what your birthstone was. So I made sure it was included." Negi said. He looked on at Asuna's face, seeing tears once again forming and she turned to him, hugging him tightly.
"Thank you Negi. It's...beautiful." Asuna said. Negi smiled and lightly hugged her. But just then, he tapped her shoulder and pointed up to the street lamp overhead. They looked up and saw mistletoe hanging from the top.
"Hey look. Mistletoe..." Asuna said. Negi blushed slightly and chuckled. Asuna slipped on her new necklace and lightly kissed Negi's cheek. Negi smiled, looking away for quite a bit, before kissing Asuna back. From afar, they were watched by Nagi, sitting under a tree.
"Way to go Negi. That's my boy." Nagi thought. He then whispered a spell and disappeared in a flash of snowflakes, completely unnoticed by Negi and Asuna. Shortly after staying a while more to look at the lights throughout town, Negi and Asuna returned to the Shangri-La, where everyone else was waiting.
"Hey look! Negi's back! And so is Asuna!" Fuka cried. The girls all gasped and cheered loudly at their friends return. Negi smiled and waved. But suddenly, Ayaka gasped at the sight of Negi and Asuna holding hands.
"Wh...What is THIS? What are you doing holding Professor Negi's hand like a married couple you monkey shedevil? You STRUCK Negi! Remember?" Ayaka screamed. Asuna rose her hand.
"Cool down class rep. We patched things up now and I apologized. Besides...what's wrong? You're not...JEALOUS, are you...craddle robber?" Asuna asked, beginning to teasingly wave her new necklace in front of her. Konoka giggled.
"Let me guess. You two patched things up for good?" Konoka asked. Negi chuckled and nodded. Takahata smiled.
"Well, it's nice to have you two back. I knew you could take care of things Negi." Takahata said. Nearby, Nim groaned.
"Yeah. Yeah. That's great. Now can we eat, PLEASE? I'm STARVING over here!" Nim exclaimed "Just because I've got mechanical limbs doesn't mean I don't need food like a robot!" Everyone else burst out into laughter.
"Yeah. Come on. I'm getting hungry myself." Karula said.
"Hmph. The boy will PAY for making me wait so long to eat. Perhaps a little extra "punishment" during training then?" Evangeline said, crossing her arms as she walked. Everyone started back for the dining hall, joined by Negi and Asuna, walking side by side. They glanced up at each other and then away, blushing lightly.
"This...was the best Christmas ever." they thought. Throughout the rest of that evening, everyone was filled with nothing but Christmas cheer. At the dining table, Asuna and Negi watched all the fun chaos going on around, such as Fei Ku secretly stealing food off Chisame's plate until she was caught, Evangeline arguing with Karula, Takahata sharing secrets of his "World Class Delicacies" with the teachers and Kotaro playing with his food at the table like a clown.
Eventually after dinner, some of the girls got together in the recreation lounge for a LONG karaoke sing-a-long to Christmas hits. No one was more excited about this than Sakurako and Kakizaki. Everyone got a turn at the mike as the songs played on. Even Tina and Carol got to sing together along with Ariella and Mister Jerrah, singing songs of Hanukkah. Wenonah couldn't help herself as she also sang along.
As it was nearing nine o'clock, the party was slowly winding down and the buses returned to bring the girls back to Mahora Academy. The party had wore everyone down and they just couldn't wait to sleep. And as all of Mahora Academy was silent that evening, a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer could be seen flying past the moon. Inside the sleigh was a little old driver, so lively and quick. But we all knew in a moment that it had to be Saint Nick.
"Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Santa called.
The next morning, it was finally Christmas Day. The girls of Mahora all rushed for to the large Christmas tree in the center of the school grounds, seeing the presents, signs that Santa came and left. There were gifts galore, at least one for every student and teacher. As everyone rushed for their gifts, even those like Gregor and Doctor Nim found a gift for them and their loved ones. And as the gifts are passed around, the entire cast who came together in this Christmas tale look up the sky.
"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Mahora Academy!" they all exclaimed, bursting into a group laugh.
END OF CHAPTER
~ THE END ~