December 25

Christmas Day

"Shun...Shun, wake up." the brunette whispered softly as he shook his friend. The boy groaned and rubbed his eyes sleepily as he grabbed Dan's wrist to stop him from moving him any further. "What time is it..?" he muttered in a grumpy and sleepy tone. "It's Christmas." he grinned back.

"Aah...right...I'm going back to sleep."

"No, wait! Don't you want to help me open the presents..?"

"It's too early Dan..." he whined.

"No it isn't!" the raven-haired male quickly glanced at the clock. Even if his vision was blurry, he could still see the hands quite well. "It's six am." and with that he turned away and went under the blanket. The young brunette pouted as he tried to push him off the mattress. Shun didn't budge at all, so he had only one resort left.

He started poking at the parts he knew that were ticklish to anybody. As what Dan thought, his friend couldn't help but kick and scream as the child tickled him like crazy. "Okay okay okay!" he shouted as he failed to shove the boy away from him. "I'll go I'll go! Just stop!"

"Heh, I knew that would work." he beamed as he did his signature nose-flick. Shun grumbled silently as he tried to regain his composure. But after that, his whole body was totally sensitive. If ever someone would just lightly tap him, he would flinch and take a step back. Yeah, that's what a tickle attack can do to people.

The two silently went down the stairs and approached the Christmas Tree. Dan's eyes sparkled as he gazed at all the nicely wrapped presents below. Shun had no reaction though and was somewhat there just to watch him in case he would go overboard. One by one, the brunette would take a gift from the tree and claw it open. Most of the time his face would be filled with delight, but there were also some letdowns...for example, his uncle gave him a food container for this year. "And I was hoping it was something awesome judging from the size of it..." he muttered in disappointment.

Pretty soon, the only presents that were left were his parent's gifts. Everything else that he had gotten was placed on a table and will be used somewhere in the near-future. " what do we do?" the raven-haired boy asked.

"Light up Shun! It's Christmas! You know, we're going to eat out for dinner later. Wanna come and join us?"

"Will...that be alright with your mom and dad?"

"Of course!" he took his friend by the wrist and pulled him to the TV. "I forgot to show this to you yesterday."

"And what am I supposed to be looking at?" the brunette pointed at the thin white box that was sitting beside the black screen. "Mom bought me a Wii for Christmas!" he then quickly took out a blue and white guitar and gave it to Shun. "She also bought this for Guitar Hero. Though...I kind of suck at it. Maybe you'll have better luck at it Shun." before the older male could even answer, Dan had already opened console and placed the CD inside. The TV was now on and the volume was turned down so as not to wake up his parents. Soon they were on the title screen, and the younger child gave a swift rundown on the controls. Picking a song, they started with something easy, and then the ninja started playing.

"Woah..." all Dan could do was stare in amazement as his friend hit nearly every note that came along. If ever he missed, he would curse quietly and continue on going without losing his cool. The song ended, and Shun got a 97% accuracy rate. Not bad for a total newbie. "This is your first time, and you're already better than me."

"Really? I don't find it that very challenging to be honest."

"Man, I kind of envy you now. You're the king of ninjas AND video games!"

"Well not-" he was cut off when Dan pressed the button for the next song, and Shun had no choice but to play it. He didn't have a chance to tell him that his arm was already sore...


The ninja was relieved that Dan's parents allowed him to stay longer. Actually, he was more relieved that his grandfather gave permission to do so. It was always his grandfather that made everything look so complicated...he then realized that he never did greet his mom Merry Christmas. Concerned, he asked he could be with her in the hospital for the day and then just fetch him before dinner. They agreed, but unexpectedly though, the brunette did not. "Why not?" he asked; surprised.

"'Cuz...I don't want you to spend the whole day doing nothing."

"Are you telling me that it's useless to stay with my mom for Christmas?" he growled in anger. "What happened to all that talk about being with family?"

"B-but-! I..." he stopped himself from going any further, or else he'll just spout out the promise he made last night to himself.

"Hmph. Whether you like it or not, I'm going."

"Fine, then I'll come with you." he said firmly.

"W-what..? You...can't be serious..."

"I mean it. However you're going to spend your Christmas Shun, I'll...I'll always be there for you. No matter ho-what it is." he was about to say 'boring', but then that would have angered the raven-haired boy more. Still, he wasn't planning to go back on it. He was dead serious. Even if it meant passing up two hours on the indoor playground with guns that shoot plastic balls and awesome slides and stacked jungle gyms. Yes, he would sacrifice that for Shun. He hadn't done anything at all ever since his mom went to the hospital. Dan never knew how to cheer him up. This was the least he could do.

"...okay. But don't blame me if you regret it."

"I...I won't." he replied. And in a small whisper, he mumbled to himself quietly. "I promised myself that I won't."


"Another day..." Shiori thought as she tried to breathe as smoothly as she could. The sickness was getting worse, and now she couldn't get out of bed unless there was someone to assist her. Every day, she would think about her son, wondering how he was doing with his grandfather. Was he doing well without him? Is he healthy and well? So many questions would swim around her mind as she stared blankly at the white ceiling. The morning was the same as always; the same usual routine. But in the afternoon, someone came to visit her today.

"Mom?" Shiori nearly cried in hearing his voice again. They both hugged as soon as they saw each other, though for the boy, it was a tiny bit awkward since...the brunette was there by the automatic door. "You brought Dan as well..." she muttered. The raven-haired boy noted how ragged her breathing became. That wasn't a good sign.

"Oh yeah, Merry Christmas Mom." he greeted softly. She nodded in reply as she showed him a sincere smile. "Maybe I shouldn't have come after all. I feel like I'm disturbing their reunion." Dan thought with a little guilt.

For the rest of the day, the two were telling all kinds of stories to his mom. About times when they went to different places together, school activities, and all kinds of other interesting topics. The young brunette even told Shiori about the time when Shun cried from the injection he had earlier this year in the school clinic. The ninja tried his best to stop his friend from telling, but in the end all he could do was listen and blush in embarrassment. It definitely made her day to see the two kids so happy with each other. It was like they were meant to be best friends.

Before they all knew it, it was already five in the late afternoon and they had to leave. Shiori couldn't help but shed a little tear as her son left the room, for she knew that she wouldn't stay that long in this world anymore. She cherished every moment she had with her son...for every time she sees him...may be her last.


In the end, they had a hearty dinner in a foreign restaurant. For some reason, Shun has a liking to shrimp and ordered the spicy one to Dan's protest. They also had fun scribbling on the place-mat that was sort of a piece of paper in there. When they were done, the young brunette heard the sounds of fireworks going off and decided to check it out. The raven-haired boy had no choice but to follow him out of the restaurant and outside. The duo did not expect the fireworks to be so close from where they were standing. There was even a guard there to tell the crowd to take a couple steps back because they might get hurt from the fireworks. It was amazing to see the explosions up close, and even though Dan was closing his ears, they both were amazed and gaping as they were gazing up in the sky. A perfect way to end the day.

"Merry Christmas Shun." Dan muttered as the fireworks were drawing to a close; the big ones were the next to come up; the ones that signaled it was the finale.

"...Merry Christmas Dan."

A/N : I am sorry if it didn't come out as nice as expected. I was in a terrible rush to finish this you see 'cuz tomorrow we're going to leave early morning and going out of the city...and well, it's 10:30 pm at the moment. Yeah, I was in a rush. I only started and finished this from 9 to now.

Yay~Merry Christmas everyone! Now you should review as a Christmas present for me. XD Man, I now officially hate deadlines. In update form.