MBP: Rini, stop sulking, and get out here!

Kio: Is Nee-chan okay?

MBP: Yeah, she's just mad because I did something she didn't tell me to. And she's hiding now.

Kio: B-because you wrote the OC story?

MBP: No, but she's still grumpy about that. No, its almost past Thanksgiving, so I want to do a Christmas story. A month early.

Kio: O-Oh...

MBP: Hey, it's not really to do a story, its to advertise the Christmas spirit! Sorry to everyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas, but its for the Holiday season too!

Kio: Okay...

MBP: Well, Rini doesn't really care about that either. She's mad for another reason. Which everyone shall hear about at the end! I don't own S.A!

Kio: E-enjoy...

Christmas Gifts

Snow. Bells chiming. Cake. Couples walking around lovey-dovey in the streets. You can sum all that up into one word.


Now, these two girls normally liked Christmas. But after having fallen in love, and then having to see other happy couples getting ready to celebrate together, it kind of put a damper on things.

Alisa and Megumi sat at an outside table of the cafe, drinking hot chocolate and watching the couples go by. They sighed in unison, seeing an especially happy couple walk by, talking in cheerful tones about their plans.

"I want to have someone to celebrate Christmas with... Is it sad that I'm eighteen and can't get the guy I like to celebrate with me?" Alisa sighed wistfully. Megumi sighed as well, taking a sip of her hot chocolate.

'Me too... But Yahiro won't...' Megumi scribbled unhappily. 'I already asked if he was doing anything.'

"And Aoi's got work," Alisa grumbled. "I don't think he even knows he could take Christmas off." She took a long drink of the hot chocolate and grimaced. "Ick... Too much vanilla."

Megumi giggled. She was used to Alisa critiquing the things they were served at restaurants. They'd made it a weekly thing to get food together, right after they both learned they both had unrequited love.

It's such a good bonder. They'd become fast friends, and were good influences on each other. Megumi calmed Alisa down a bit, and Alisa caused Megumi to be more outgoing. Though that had its bad sides... Alisa got too quiet, and Megumi suddenly got in the habit of whacking people with her sketchbook.

Still, they were good friends, and the people around them were happy about it.

Megumi sighed again. 'And its not like they'd notice if we went out with someone else...'

"That's brilliant!" Alisa clapped her hands. "We'll go out with other people and get over them!" Megumi stared and shook her head.

"You're right, that won't work..." Alisa pouted and finished her hot chocolate. "We'd be too hung up on Aoi and Yahiro to do that..."

'Well, we could go to that party...' Megumi scribbled, pulling out an envelope from her school bag. 'Have some fun for Christmas.'

Alisa eyed the invitation warily. It was too... cheerful to be real. Especially since the invitation came only to the two of them, and not the rest of their friends. "I don't think..."

'It would be fun! Plus, what else are we going to do? Barge in on everyone else?'

Alisa thought about it. Megumi was right. It would be fun, getting to dress up, and dance, and meet people. Plus... "It's a masquerade," Alisa pointed out. "We could go design fancy masks..." Alisa nodded after thinking. "Yeah, you're right! Let's go!"


Alisa put money on the table. "To the party! But before that..." Alisa grabbed her friends arm and pulled on her relentlessly. "We've got dresses to buy!"

Two weeks later

"Have you seen Alisa?" Aoi walked into the greenhouse calmly, fully expecting said girl to be there. She always was, when she wasn't getting food with Megumi.

"No! Aoi, you're working tonight?" Hikari looked concerned, seeing as he'd been in the hospital before for overworking.

"Yes..." He looked around. Jun and Sakura were sitting and talking, Tadashi was following Akira around, begging for food, Finn was teaching Ryuu to dance, since the Christmas Ball in her country was the next day, Kei was holding onto Hikari, and Yahiro stood in the background.

"I think she's with Megumi," Ryuu said quietly, spinning Finn effortlessly. "They've been planning something for weeks now."

"Yeah! And Alisa's been over everyday!" Jun pointed out. "She brought some packages over yesterday too."

"I see." Aoi looked at Ryuu and Jun. "Is Alisa still at your house?" "No, Megumi went over to yours and Alisa's apartment earlier. Didn't you see her?" Aoi shook his head in reply.

"I left early for work."

"You should rest!" Hikari scolded cheerfully. "It's Christmas Eve! Have some fun!"

"I'm going to check up on Alisa before I go into work," Aoi said to Kei.

"Alright. Leave by midnight." Kei took Hikari's hand again, and brought it to his lips as Aoi left. Aoi heard the screams and knew that Akira was yelling at Kei angrily.

() () () () () ()

"Megumi, hold still, I'm trying to do your eye shadow!" Alisa ordered, laughing at her friend as she squirmed.

'I don't wear makeup!' Megumi held up her sketch board in protest, frowning.

"You do tonight!" Alisa grinned. "Come on, it's a party! And you'll have a mask on, so no one will even notice!"

Megumi pouted, but sat still while Alisa put on the eye shadow easily. "There! Was that so hard?"


"Oh, stop being difficult! And don't eat cake!" Alisa snatched the cake away from Megumi before she could take a bite. "You'll ruin your makeup!"

Megumi frowned, and Alisa laughed. "You can eat later if you promise to be careful! Go get dressed in the bathroom, I'll get dressed here."

Megumi grabbed her dress as she headed into the bathroom, looking back at the cake hopefully. Alisa just grabbed the plate and moved it farther away, causing Megumi to shake her head and slip into the bathroom.

Alisa pulled out a dark red gown, and looked at it for a moment before slipping it on. It was sleeveless, cutting down low in the back, and flowed out towards the floor. She turned to look at herself in the mirror she'd bought for her bedroom. The rich red fabric hung on her easily, emphasizing curves she normally kept hidden, and stood out well against her dark hair and lighter skin. Her normally straight hair was curled into thick waves down her back, and pulled into a low ponytail. She had put on light blush, and mascara, and only the minimal amount of red eye shadow to match the dress.

"Hey, Megumi, hurry up!" Megumi couldn't reply, since she didn't actually talk, but Alisa assumed the loud bang meant something along the lines of, "I'm going as fast as I can, and you'll wait until I'm done."

"Megumi! I'm going to eat this cake if you're not out if ten seconds!" Alisa threatened playfully.

Megumi barged out of the bathroom immediately, blushing slightly. 'No!'

"Relax, I wasn't going to!" Alisa laughed. "But we do have to leave soon." Megumi grimaced. "Hey, what's with that face?"

'The dress.'

"What's wrong with it?" Alisa asked, pushing Megumi to the mirror. "Have you even seen it? You look amazing!"

Megumi looked at herself hesitantly. The dress had two parts, a white shift that hung to every curve that she had tried to hide over the years, and then a light blue vest-like cover up that actually covered most of the shift, and flowed in waves to the floor. There was a little bit of lace near the bottom, barely noticeable at all. Her light brown hair was pulled into a bun at the back of her head, with tendrils of hair drifting down to frame her face. Alisa had forced her to wear makeup, and at the moment was wearing brown eyeliner, clear mascara, and blue eye shadow, all of which had been applied by Alisa, in the name of fun.

'I guess...' Megumi looked doubtful.

"Oh, come on, no one will even notice the makeup!" Alisa giggled. "And we'll just go and have fun, okay?"

'Okay...' Megumi nodded and reached for the cake again, only to have her hand slapped.

"No. We have to go!" Alisa picked up the masks and grabbed Megumi's arm. "Come on, let's go!"

"Alisa?" Alisa groaned silently as they ran out of her bedroom.

"Aoi, shouldn't you be at work?" Alisa asked, looking for a chance to get out.

"I'm heading back in a bit. Where are you and Megumi going?" Aoi sounded overly protective, which is never good with Alisa nowadays.

"Somewhere you're not," Alisa replied, frowning at his tone. "Does it matter?"

"It does when you're dressed like that." Now Alisa frown deepened.

"Aoi, I'm eighteen years old. I can dress like this if I want, and go out without telling you where I'm going. Plus, Megumi's coming with me, so... I'll see you tomorrow." Alisa pulled Megumi away and out the door. Aoi stood and stared for a moment, before following them back outside. There was no way he'd let Alisa go somewhere without him knowing... She'd probably end up getting herself hurt. But first...

"Yahiro? I think you need to see this..."

() () () () () ()

"Wow..." Alisa looked around, smiling happily at the dancing. "So pretty!" She had put on her mask, a shiny gold one to match her wrap and her shoes.

Megumi nodded, a white mask framing her face. 'I see cake...'

Alisa giggled. "Fine, we'll get some cake, and then dance okay? Then we'll check for mistletoe, and manipulate some guys underneath it!"

Megumi coughed, following the giddy Alisa to the refreshments table. Alisa took only a few things, and a glass of punch, while Megumi just took a big slice of cake and some punch as well.

"Mm... I want to know who did the cooking for this! This pastry is amazing!" Alisa took another bite of the pastry happily.

Megumi nodded, enjoying her cake immensely. 'Yummy!'

Alisa knew Megumi would be preoccupied with the cake for a while, so she scouted out a table for them. When she found one, she nudged Megumi in that direction, until they were able to sit down.

Sitting and eating, the two girls watched the other dancers. Most of the men were in tuxedos, wearing black or white masks, while the ladies were an assortment of colors. Dancing in blurs of red, gold, and other shades, too many to list, the scene was beautiful and festive.

There was a beautifully lit tree in the corner, where Alisa and Megumi noticed couples talking to each other. They frowned momentarily, but then grinned at each other. The party was too much fun to frown at, and all they had done was eat.

"Excuse us?" A pair of boys wearing black masks approached from behind them. They both had dark hair, and cheerful eyes from what the girls could see.


"Do you need something?" Alisa asked, smiling at the boys, who started to stammer.

"W-would you d-dance with us?" They chorused, each looking at a different girl.

Megumi looked at her cake, which she wasn't even half done with yet. Cake or dance? Well, Alisa already had an answer, and Megumi knew what Alisa would do to her if she chose cake.

"Sure!" Alisa stood up as Megumi scribbled her answer down.

'Sure...' Both boys took their hands and bowed, leading them to the dance floor.

() () () () () ()

"It's a dance."

Aoi looked at Yahiro, who looked extremely bored, with a mask on top of his head, as they stood by the staircase, looking down at the dancers. They had just arrived, and Aoi was trying to find Alisa in the crowd.


"You do realize that Alisa is no longer under your watch, and this is completely unnecessary?" Yahiro yawned.

"She is much too young..." Aoi started, putting his own mask on his face.

"It's a dance. A party. And she's eighteen, not an idiot." Yahiro stretched.


"Now, if the idiot girl was here with her, I'd understand your concern." Yahiro turned to leave. "That's just not a good combination to have."

"But Miss Yamamoto is here." Yahiro turned and glared at Aoi, who had turned to look for the girls again.

"You couldn't have told me that earlier?" Yahiro growled.

"You said you didn't care what the idiot girl's friend was doing; I had to drag you here as a favor to me." Aoi replied. "There they are... No, never mind."

"Why are we doing this?" Yahiro asked, shaking his head. "Shouldn't we both be working?"

"Watching Alisa is my job."

"Hasn't been for years," Yahiro muttered under his breath. "Why do you think I care that the idiot and her friend came to a dance?"

"I don't. I called you because everyone else was with each other."

"Jeez, thanks for making me seem lame and anti-social," Yahiro drawled. "And I don't care by the way. I'm heading to work."

Aoi glared at the dance floor suddenly, and Yahiro felt his sudden and unexpected death aura. He turned to see Aoi watching the dancers furiously.

"What is your..."

"I found them." Yahiro glanced at what Aoi was staring at relentlessly.

"Which ones are they?" Yahiro asked quietly.

"Red dress, gold mask... blue and white dress, white mask... By the tree..." Aoi growled, starting down the stairs slowly. Yahiro searched for them, trying not to seem too eager to see Megumi, but all attempts at indifference ended once he found them. His own eyes narrowed and he started to follow Aoi down the stairs, pulling his mask over his face.

() () () () () ()

Alisa and Megumi giggled, sitting down near the brightly lit tree as they waited for their dance partners to come back with drinks.

"I forgot how much I loved dancing!" Alisa said, watching the dancers enviously. "I wish I wasn't so thirsty, or I'd keep dancing all night!"

Megumi grinned, and looked for something to write on. She didn't see anything, so she decided to speak. "It... is fun..." She whispered.

Alisa stared, and then laughed. "You spoke! Did you lose the sketchbook?"

"Y-yes... at our first table..." Megumi giggled again, feeling giddy. "But... it's fine... Yahiro's not here to yell..."

"You're right!" Alisa giggled with her friend. "Oh, they're back!" The boys appeared, holding two glasses of punch each.

"Here you go." The boys handed the girls a glass, and then kept a glass for themselves.

"Thank you!"

"Thanks..." The girls grinned at the boys, who looked like they were blushing under their masks. It was amazing what being anonymous could do for a girl's self-esteem.

"Why don't we dance some more?" Alisa asked after a moment. "I feel like I could dance all night!" She took one of the boys hands, dragging him off to the dance floor, winking at Megumi, who giggled, and took the other boy's offered hand.

They got into position and started dancing to the music easily, and both Alisa and Megumi stayed near enough to each other to feel comfortable. The boys were more than happy to dance near each other, and smiled at the girls.

Megumi felt herself being spun, and laughed happily as the boy brought her back to him easily. She had forgotten how much she loved dancing as well.

Alisa let herself be dipped towards the ground, and giggled giddily as the boy brought her up. She leaned unconsciously closer to the boy as she nearly tripped, and grinned at him happily.

They were close enough to see each other enjoying themselves, and to speak every so often. They were also close enough to hear the boys voice's behind them as their shoulders were tapped.

"May I interrupt?"

() () () () () ()

Alisa nearly froze in shock as she heard Aoi's voice behind her, and she could see Megumi's reaction was the same with Yahiro. Their dancing partners didn't seem to notice the tension, and let them go.

Aoi took her hand and led her from her old dancing partner, before spinning her closer to him and placing a hand on her back... the portion of her back that was left bare from the dress. She placed her free hand on his shoulder unconsciously, and moved with him during the dance.

"Um..." Alisa started anxiously, stopping when he looked at her with an unexplainable look in his eyes.

"Never mind..." Alisa muttered, just letting him lead her, while she looked at the ground. Forget wanting to know why he was here, she'd rather keep quiet, and maybe get through this without dying.

Alisa almost squeaked in fright as he suddenly spun her, and when he pulled her back in, she grabbed onto him and pulled herself closer to his body. When she noticed this, she blushed deeply, and then tried to pull away, only to be kept in place by his hand.

Aoi was holding her close to him, and Alisa felt weak in the knees as he continued to dance with her silently. She refused to look at him in the eyes, feeling slightly afraid of him for the first time.

The dance ended, and Alisa breathed a sigh of relief, and once again tried to pull away. Aoi let her, but kept a firm grip on her hand and led her away from the dancing, and into one of the connecting hallways.

That was where Alisa put her foot down. "Aoi, I want to..."

He sent her another glance, and let her go, only to block the door back to the party. "Aoi, I want to go back to the party. Now get out of the way."

"No." "How'd you even get in here anyways?" Alisa asked angrily. "This was an invitation only party."

"Yahiro didn't need one."

"Oh, so it's your fault he's here?" Alisa glared, and then tried to push past him. "Come on, this isn't even fair. We can come to a party without you two trying to ruin everything!"

Aoi refused to move, which only unnerved and infuriated Alisa even more. "Aoi, move it! I was having a perfectly good time, enjoying Christmas Eve at a party, and dancing with perfectly nice boys! And then you had to come and ruin it!"

Aoi's eyes narrowed at her, but she didn't notice. "Now, I'm going to go back out there, and... Hey!"

Aoi pushed her backwards into the wall, holding her in place by her shoulders. Alisa put her hands up to push him away, but he only moved so that he was holding her back by her wrists, standing between her legs so she couldn't kick him, which she was trying to do. "Let go of me!"

"Alisa, you listen to me!" Aoi growled quietly, pressing closer to her as she struggled desperately to get away.

"Let go, let go, LET GO!" Alisa yelled, her mask falling off in the struggle. Aoi kept her closed in between him and the wall, trying to calm her down. "You stupid jerk, let me go!"

Alisa kept up the fight, refusing to even look at him as he fought back patiently. Her hands were forced above her head and held with one hand, and Aoi's free hand went under her chin and lifted it up. Aoi's eyes pored into her own as she glared angrily.


"Let. Me. GO!" Alisa growled furiously. "You're not my caretaker anymore! I'm eighteen years old, and you have no right to..." Her eyes widened in shock suddenly.

Aoi pressed his lips to hers, pushing his body closer. As Alisa's eyes closed, he released her wrists, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Aoi let one hand run through her hair, tangling it as he let his hand rest at the back of her head, keeping it in place. The other hand, he let drift to her back, pressing her closer to him, instead of against the wall.

Alisa moaned, letting herself react to the kiss. Sure, maybe that hadn't been her plan, but take what you can get, right? She'd wanted this for years, so if she wanted to take this kiss, and then go party some more, than she would! It was probably all business on Aoi's part anyway.

Aoi couldn't think of anything at all at the moment, let alone business. The only thought in his head was that he was kissing her at last. He held her closer to himself, and kissed her harder, anything to make the moment last a little longer.

Alisa snapped to her senses suddenly. Why exactly was she kissing him, when this would mean nothing in the end? She put her hands on his shoulders and pushed Aoi away.

"Alisa..." Aoi looked like he was in a daze, and Alisa was sure she was as red as a tomato at the moment. Hell, she probably was as red as her dress! She bent and picked up her mask that had fallen earlier, at a loss for what to say.

"Alisa, I..." Aoi looked unnerved, which was different for him. "I..."

Alisa turned and looked at him, still trying to find her own words. He avoided looking into her eyes uneasily, which didn't help Alisa's confidence at all.

"Alisa, I apologize," Aoi said, trying to sound composed and dignified. "What I did was unacceptable."

"Following me to the party, or kissing me?" Alisa asked, choking on the words. She was not sure she wanted to know that answer.

Aoi didn't answer, and Alisa nodded slightly, taking a deep breath. "Well... we're both not sure what to do..." Alisa said quietly. "So... why don't we forget that this ever happened?" Easier said than done. She'd never forget what had happened tonight, ever. Aoi still didn't respond, which Alisa took for agreement. "So, I'll, um... see you tomorrow morning..."

"No." Aoi's voice stopped her in her tracks, and Alisa fought to stay calm.

"You'll be gone tomorrow?" Alisa asked, feeling unsteady. Oh, please don't let what happened ruin the relationship they had had. Even if he only thought of her as a child, or as a job, he at least paid attention to her. She didn't want to lose that.

"No, I won't forget what happened." Aoi stood behind her, and put his hands on her shoulders. "I don't want to forget." He turned her back around to look at him.

Alisa stared at him, and held still as he embraced her. "I know following you was wrong. I know that stopping you from dancing with that boy was a bad idea. And I know that kissing you was definitely unacceptable. But I don't regret it." Aoi pressed his lips to hers again lightly. "I won't regret it. And I don't you to feel that you should."

"B-but... why would..." Alisa held onto him, feeling like she was about to faint.

"Alisa, I love you." Aoi held her to him gently, and rested her head on his chest. "I've loved you for years. But I'm also four years older than you, and..."

"It doesn't matter." Alisa's heart started to fill with happiness. "As I keep having to repeat, I'm eighteen now Aoi. I can make my own choices. And I love you."

"Alisa..." Alisa grinned at Aoi and placed her mask back on her face, and then turned to the door.

"Well?" She sent him a devilish grin. "Are you coming? I feel like a dance!"

() () () () () ()

"May I interrupt?" Megumi thought she was going to faint when she heard those three words, and from the looks of it, Alisa was going to as well.

Of course, their dancing partners backed off, and Aoi took Alisa somewhere, leaving Megumi alone with a very angry Yahiro. She could feel herself shaking as he dragged her into the crowd, and as he placed his hand on her back to dance.

Yahiro didn't even look at her, just danced mechanically, although he danced very well, and then as soon as the dance was over, he let her go and headed to the balcony. Megumi stared at him, and then followed him silently until they stood alone on the balcony.

Yahiro leaned on the balcony, looking up at the sky, not even reacting as Megumi stood next to him. "Y-Yahiro?"

Now he reacted. "Don't talk." Megumi frowned at him, but she didn't have her sketchbook to hit him with this time. Not like she'd be brave enough to even if she did have it.

"B-but... my s-sketchbook... it's somewhere... in there..." Megumi gestured to the ballroom. Yahiro scowled at her, and she flinched.

"You left it... in there?" Yahiro growled angrily. Megumi nodded silently, shaking visibly.

Yahiro started to mumble under his breath, and Megumi felt it would probably be best to leave him alone. "I-I'll go now..." Megumi felt her hands get covered, and forced back onto the balcony.

"Stay." Megumi obeyed, standing there quietly, feeling Yahiro's warmth too acutely. She shivered in the night air, feeling the cold breeze over her bare arms, taking all the warmth from her small body.

She didn't dare complain to Yahiro. She didn't want to get him angrier than he was already. She tried to suppress her body from shivering from the cold.

Suddenly, she felt a jacket fall onto her shoulders. She looked at Yahiro, who was now just wearing his dress shirt over tuxedo pants, avoiding her gaze as she looked at him gratefully.

"Yahiro... thank you..." She murmured easily.

"Stop talking." Yahiro still didn't look at her as he ordered her again, and Megumi frowned. He could at least look at her, especially after he'd ruined a perfectly good evening.

Megumi turned away again, and didn't stop when he took her arm again. She just pulled away and went to go back into the ballroom.

"Megumi!" Yahiro pulled her back towards him, glaring at her. Megumi glared back and tried to pull away, but not towards the ballroom, but for the balcony stairs. The forward motion surprised him, and he let go of her, and she dashed for the stairs. "You idiot, wait a moment!"

Even as he grabbed her, Megumi pulled away... only to end up falling down the stairs, dragging Yahiro with her. Yahiro grabbed her, and pulled her towards his chest, flipping them so that he landed on the stairs with Megumi on top of him. They ended up rolling the remainder of the way down the stairs.

Yahiro lay at the foot of the stairs when they'd finished moving, and Megumi looked at him, worry in her eyes. "Yahiro!" She shook his arm and tried to see if he was okay. "Yahiro!"

She tried to shake away the sudden tears, turning away slightly, just as Yahiro opened his eyes. Yahiro watched in a strange kind of clarity. He never realized that she'd actually cry for him, that she'd actually be worried if he got hurt. That she'd actually care.

"Oi... Idiot." Megumi turned back towards him, tears still in her eyes.

"Yahiro!" She pounced on him, holding onto him as he winced in pain.

"Ouch..." Megumi got off of him in a hurry, which kind of disappointed Yahiro. He almost... liked having her holding onto him. "Hey, what are you doing?"

Megumi was standing now, and seemed torn between going for help or sticking around. "Um... Well... y-you need..."

"What I need is for you to stop talking..." Yahiro groaned as he tried to sit up. "I'm just a little sore, that's all." Megumi went up to him and grabbed onto his arm as he winced in pain. She supported his weight as he leaned heavily on her, and helped him stand up.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Megumi asked quietly.

"I said I'm fine..." Yahiro grumbled. More fine now that he could lean on the girl next to him without feeling like he was about to pounce on her and kiss the living daylights of her until she couldn't even think. Without feeling like she was being manipulated into being kind to a lie.

Well, it wasn't a lie. He was in a massive amount of pain at the moment, and so he could accept her kindness without feeling guilty. And thinking about this did not help the matter about wanting to kiss her now.

"Yahiro... d-do you need help up the steps?" Megumi looked at him. He was acting so strange... he wasn't yelling at her for talking to him.

Yahiro looked back at her. Need? No, he could probably get up himself. Did he want her help? Definitely. "So you could pull me down again? No thanks."

Megumi frowned at him. "I-I didn't... Sorry..."

Yahiro frowned back. He hadn't expected that. She was supposed to get angry at him, and then be angry. She wasn't supposed to apologize.

"Don't apologize idiot." Yahiro kept using her as a crutch, and she allowed him to lean on her. They climbed the stairs silently, and Megumi leaned him up against the balcony as if he were a child.

"I-I'll get Alisa and Aoi..." Megumi murmured, going to leave.

"No." Yahiro grabbed her arm and pulled her to him, falling down at the sudden loss of balance, pulling Megumi down on top of him. They were in the shadows, not close to being able to be seen, but there was light enough so that Yahiro could see Megumi turn bright red.

"Y-Yahiro.." Megumi tried to get off, but Yahiro merely shifted so that he was on top of her, and smirking at her easily.

Her hair had fallen out of its bun, and hung down in waves by her face. Yahiro pulled off her mask, revealing her face, shocking Yahiro with the mere fact that she was making makeup. It had done a miracle, transforming her childish face into that of a grown-up. It was slightly disturbing, but at least she was still acting the same.

"W-what are you..."

"Stop talking, or I'll have to make you." Yahiro smirked at her confused look.

Megumi glared at him in confusion. "What are you talking about? You're making..."

Yahiro rolled his eyes and then pressed his lips to Megumi's, silencing her. Megumi jolted in shock before closing her eyes, and reacting to him.

Yahiro placed his hands under Megumi's head, pressing his lips to hers harder, deepening the kiss. He moaned in both pleasure and pain as she wrapped her arms around him, hitting his sore muscles. Yahiro was done caring about if he wasn't all she thought he was, done caring if he was just going to hurt her, he was going to have her. He wasn't going to let her go again.

"Yahiro? Megumi? Are you out here?" Alisa's voice called out from the ballroom, penetrating the darkness.

Yahiro drew away and barely restrained from releasing the string of curses. "We should probably go in."

Megumi giggled quietly, and nodded, slipping out from under him. Then, she helped him back up, and Yahiro took her help willingly, holding onto her tightly.

"Hey, idiot." Yahiro placed her mask back on top of her head. "Forgetting something?"

Megumi took the mask and slipped it back on happily, and took his hand. Then, she reached up, and pulled his own mask over his eyes. Then, she grinned her own challenge at him, and pulled him back into the ballroom.

The Next Day

Megumi pulled on a long red dress and grinned at her reflection. She left her hair hanging down in waves as she combed it happily. As she exited her room she pulled on a white hat that had pompoms hanging from it. 'Bye Ryuu-nii, Jun!'

She ran from the house before anyone could respond, and headed down to the group in the street. "Megumi!" Alisa called, and waved cheerfully, holding onto Aoi's arm. Aoi smiled at the girl, a new expression for him, and Megumi could already see Alisa's impression on him.

But Megumi looked at the third, and last, in the group, with a happy smile on her face. 'Hi Yahiro!'

Yahiro smiled at her sincerely, reaching out a hand, which she took happily. "Merry Christmas Megumi."

"Come on, hurry!" Alisa cheered, pulling on Aoi and Megumi, who held onto Yahiro. "I have a surprise for you!"

They all let Alisa drag them to an empty ice skating rink. It was shadowed, and only one worker was there. "Hi!" Alisa called out happily. "Can you turn the lights on for us?"

"Sure thing!" Alisa turned to us as the worker went to turn them on.

"Okay, close your eyes until I say so!" Alisa made sure everyone had their eyes covered, and then waited a moment before saying anything. "Now you can open them!"

The group opened their eyes, to see the lights spelt out a message.

Merry Christmas!

Alisa grinned at the group, expecting a happy reaction. "Do you like it?"

"It's great Alisa," Yahiro said, holding onto Megumi. Megumi nodded and then reached into her dress pockets.

'I have gifts!' Megumi scribbled in a hurry, and then pulled out the gifts from her pockets.

"You didn't have to..." Aoi said.

"What did you get?" Alisa asked excitedly.

Megumi handed out the gifts happily. Aoi opened his to find a brand-new watch. He accepted it gratefully, since his had broken a few weeks ago, and he'd never replaced it. Alisa watched him open it and then tore her own package open. Megumi had gotten her a ring that Alisa had admired on one of their trips after they'd eaten lunch.

Megumi held a package out to Yahiro, blushing slightly.

"Thanks..." Yahiro opened it to see a brand new camera.

'You mentioned that you needed a camera...' Megumi wrote as Alisa and Aoi walked away to give them some privacy.

Yahiro had mentioned it weeks ago. He was surprised that she had remembered. "Thank you... and here..."

Yahiro handed her a small box that she opened slowly. Megumi's eyes widened when she saw a charm bracelet with Christmas charms on it. She looked at Yahiro with wide eyes. 'Thank you...'

"It was nothing..." Yahiro said, blushing as he looked away. "Really."

Megumi smiled at him easily, hugging him tightly.

Alisa watched the proceedings with a smile on her face, holding a pair of skates in her hand. "Aw... they're so cute together!"

Aoi was putting his skates on as he looked at her. He didn't reply, only waited for her to put her own skates on and join him on the ice. He held onto the wall and watched as she got onto the ice.

Alisa started to skate around quickly, doing spins on the ice as Aoi watched. "Aoi, come on!" Alisa grabbed onto his hand, but he shook his head.

"No, I'll stay here." Alisa looked at him confused, and then her face brightened.

"You don't know how to skate!" Alisa stated, grinning, proud that she had found out the one thing Aoi couldn't do.

"That's ridiculous," Aoi replied indignantly. "Of course I..."

"Then come skate with me!" Alisa giggled as Aoi grimaced, and then she pulled him out. As he nearly fell, she helped him stand, laughing at the picture that was being seen. Aoi, who was normally composed and very competent, nearly falling down like a child.

"Here, I'll help you!" Alisa helped Aoi keep his balance, and then attempted moving slowly, giggling as he nearly fell at the movement. "You'll be alright."

Aoi tried to move with her, but only succeeded in nearly knocking them both down.

"Try to keep balanced," Alisa said, trying to hold back her giggles. "And then... whoa!" She nearly fell as Aoi dragged on her arm as he nearly let his feet slip out from under him.

Alisa let the giggles go, and she couldn't stop laughing hysterically. "Wow Aoi, you really can't skate, can you?" She grabbed his arm and helped him back to the wall, where he clung for dear life.

"No..." Aoi muttered. He reached for his pocket and pulled out a box. "Here..."

"What is it?" Alisa opened it and saw a necklace laying there, with a silver angels wing as the pendant. "So pretty!"

"Do you like it?" Aoi asked.

"Like it? I love it!" Alisa hugged Aoi tightly. "Thank you!" She skated around him in a circle. "Your present's in your room by the way!"

Aoi took her arm and moved slowly as Yahiro and Megumi came onto the ice, holding each other's hands. "Well, I'll see it later I guess..."

"Yep!" Alisa grinned, and went to skate away when Aoi murmured in her ear.

"You didn't need to get me anything you know," Aoi said easily.

"What? But..."

"I already got what I wanted." Aoi kissed her gently on the lips, murmuring against them. "Merry Christmas Alisa."

Alisa kissed him back with the same gentleness. "And Merry Christmas to you."

Across the rink, although they didn't see them, they knew that Yahiro and Megumi were doing the same thing.

~Happy Holidays Everyone~

MBP: Well, that's that!

Kio: It's really long...

MBP: Well, yeah... but to my news! Since it is almost to the Holiday season, I have decided to get this up early, so that if anyone wanted a special one-shot, with their own pairing, they could request it for a present for the holidays!

Kio: So... you're taking requests for presents?

MBP: Yep! I will accept any pairing, even OC's with characters! But if you have an OC you want me to use, you're going to have to give me a character description! Oh, and tell me what genre you want it to be: romance, humor, you know the works!

Rini: I can't believe you're doing this...

MBP: Why, hello Rini! Have fun sulking?Rini: I was thinking... Well, readers, please review! And swamp her with requests!

Kio: Don't be mean Nee-chan...

Rini: Well, please review and tell her what you think...

Kio: I hope you enjoyed it... Jaa nee! *hides behind Rini*

MBP: See you all later!