Karina always walked home from work by herself. It was a daily routine for her since she was always out late. Being a HERO in Sternbild was stressful work, but when the holidays came around, it was always cheery and warm. Tonight was the Christmas Eve bash they always held, and since Barnaby was a new member, they threw a bigger party than usual. They all had given each other gifts, and she held her batch within her tote bag with the B.T.B logo she had gotten from one of their gigs.

They had given her a lot of nice stuff. Keith gave her a Polar Bear plush "Since you have Ice powers and all!" Barnaby had given her a simple brooch that was really nice, Pao-Lin and Ivan had given her a makeup kit together, with beautiful hues of blue. Antonio had given her a knitting set, since one day she asked him to teach her how to knit. Nathan gave her a gift card for a Spa, and pulled her aside and said

"To make you look fine and flawless for Kotetsu!" this made Karina pout and blush madly, but she thanked him anyway.

She left Kotetsu's gift last because she didn't want to open it just yet. She knew she'd react in a way that she didn't want anyone to see. Blushing and squeeing all over the place, so she had to put up a cold demeanor

"Hmph, I'm not opening it now."

"Aw, why Karina? It's a really good gift, please?" Kotetsu laughed and smiled

"It's probably some gag gift!" she pouted and stomped away. She saw the disappointment in his face, and she felt a little bad. But she noticed the time and had to leave.

She walked along the unusually desolate streets. Weird, she would think people would be out Christmas Eve. But no matter, she just wanted to get home and open her gift. Karina then heard low crunches of snow behind her. She quickly saw two guys behind her, in ski masks. She didn't think anything of it until she felt a pull on her bag, and one of the guys trying to run past her.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing?" She yelled and pulled back, hearing the straps tearing from the pulling. Karina kicked the front man in the stomach hard, hearing a Oooffrom him. She backed away from the sidewalk and against the building, when the other guy, one in a green ski mask, grabbed her.

"Get off of me! Ergh!" she struggled and kneed him in the crotch, his grip lessening and she was able to run away into the alley. She heard one of them going after her down the alley. She soon reached a dead end.

I can just use my Ice Powers and-...No...That'll give away that I'm Blue Rose. I can't do that...

Karina looked around for a blunt object when she found an old broomstick lying there. She grabbed it and held it out in front of her.

The mugger in the black ski mask tried to grab her but she slammed the stick against his shoulder, sending a loud crack from the broomstick, cracking a little. The man winced but advanced ahead, grabbing onto her arm with a tight grip. She cried out in pain when she saw the other ski mask mugger behind him

Oh no, I have to use them now, or I'm going to die!

She closed her eyes, and started to activate her NEXT powers when she heard grunts and cries, and the mugger's hand letting go. Karina then heard two heavy thumps on the ground

She slowly opened her eyes to see a taller man standing there, with a cat shaped beard.

"-! K-Kotetsu!" she gasped. Karina slowly got up from the ground and walked closer to him

"How...did you know I was here?"

Kotetsu smiled at her and spoke

"You forgot to take my present with you! I started to run after you when I noticed that you ran into the alley way and those guys did too! I had to help you..."

Karina pouted and started walking past him.

"Hmph, I had it handled you know!" she was truly happy though, that Kotetsu came to her rescue. She couldn't admit it, though, she would never do that!

Kotetsu followed after her, walking into the main street with her, chuckling

"Oh sure, that broom would've helped tons!" he said while digging into his own bag

"I'm a grown girl, I know how to protect myself, I know how to fight!"

"Ya know, you don't have to be like that! Some people need help sometimes, and there's nothing wrong with that." Kotetsu said in a matter-of-fact tone

Karina's faced turned red from embarrassment, and she yelled at him

"Well that's because you're an old man!" she huffed and continued walking, clearly angry.

Kotetsu was a bit shocked, and a bit hurt by her words. He just wanted to be her friend and try and help.

Kotetsu pulled his hat lower and continued to walk with her in silence until they reached her front door.

Kotetsu gingerly pushed a small box into her hands, and Karina was truly surprised

"Merry Christmas, Karina, Kaede helped me pick it out." he said while she opened the gift

"She said that girls around your age like this..." he said with a bit of pout "But you're picky with thi-"

Karina gasped and made Kotetsu stop talking. She pulled out a small, blue necklace, it was fairly simple with a small, blue diamond. Her eyes watered up a bit, this was amazing, she never expected this

"Thank you...Kotetsu..." she said.

Kotetsu looked around in embarrasement, and a bit amazed

"I'm glad you like it..." his eyes caught on something "Oh a mistletoe." He said in a whisper.

"It's really pretty, I hope it didn't co-" Karina was cut off by the feeling of his lips on her cheeck, actually nearer to her mouth. It was warm and sweet, and sent warm waves all over her body.

Kotetsu chuckled and started walking down the stairs, waving

"Have a good Christmas, Karina!"

Karina stood there frozen, her face red as a beet, trying to form words

He...He...He...K-K-Kiss-...Kissed Me.

This would be a very Merry Christmas for Karina Lyle.