DISCLAIMER: I don't own La Corda D'oro.. but I do own this fic.

NO FLAMES!

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A New year's special, presented by ISHIKAWA AYA-HIME

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DECEMBER DREAM

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It was a freezing winter morning. Len shut the windows tight, lighting the fireplace to keep warm. He wore his thick jacket and wrapped a long scarf around his neck.

He dragged a chair beside their bed where his wife rests, sitting beside.

Kahoko, noticing the presence of her husband, opened her eyes slowly to look at him.

"Len…?"

He held her hand with his, kissing it tenderly before asking; "What is it?"

She just smiled.

He tightened the hold on her hand. "Will you be okay here alone? I'm going to look for a job today."

"Maybe I should look for one, too—"

"No." he said firmly, cutting her words. "It's not good for your condition. Stay at home. If you need something, call me."

"But, Len…"

He leaned closer to kiss her forehead. "I'll be fine supporting our needs alone. I want you to rest, understand?"

She forced a smile. "Good luck, then…"

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"Since we are short-handed this month… all right, you're hired."

His lips suddenly curved into a big smile, a different kind of feeling overwhelming him. A feeling he has not yet experienced before.

Throughout his whole life, it's his first time to look for a job when supposedly, he was to inherit his father's huge company easily.

His life, their life could have continued; trouble-less. He could have given everything his wife wishes for. He could have provided their daily needs properly with a large

amount of money enough to be saved. If only… their company didn't go bankrupt that took away their mansion and assests in addition. Nothing has been left to them.

They shoud be living in luxury, happily, worry-free. Back then, he felt like they own all the money in the world. He used to waste them, thinking there are still a lot of

money to be spent. He never expected… that such a day would come that he will need money so badly. Someone's life is at risk…

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"Well? Are you just going to stand there and smile?" the owner interrupted.

"N-no! I'm going to start now." He bowed nervously in front of his boss before accomodating the customers.

Tsukimori Len is now working at a department store as a salesman. He's not fond of this job, not even through experience when shopping because his mother usually

sent him clothes. He seldom goes to department stores to shop. But good thing he went through training.

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He approached a woman, having troubles in choosing a shirt for a man.

"Excuse me, ma'am. How may I help you with?"

"Oh. Hello there. I'm just thinking if this shirt will fit my husband?" she asked without looking back, examining two shirts.

"I'm sure it will."

The woman turned to Len, staring at him from head to toe. "Say… You have the same body figure as my husband. Would it be a bother if I try it on you?"

Len blushed lightly. 'that would make me a living mannequin or a dummy.'

"It's all right." He felt so stupid for answering that.

"Thank you." And the next thing he knew is she is already unbuttoning his uniform. Gently, he shoved her hand away.

"I'm sorry, ma'am. But my wife wouldn't like this if she were here. You can just simply put it on without taking off my uniform, or…" he took the shirt from her hand and

wore it himself.

The woman grinned, clasping her hands in joy. "It fits you well! It suits you very much. I wish you were my husband instead." She joked then chuckled.

"T-That would be very unnecessary…" he coughed, taking off the shirt.

The woman grabbed another clothing.

"I wonder if this would fit my husand as well." She said, showing a black slocks she picked.

Knowing what she intends to ask or do, he immediately excused himself, sweatdropping, leaving the woman chuckling on her own.

"That woman is crazy…" Len said to a co-cashier.

The said cashier ignored him. Instead, "Tsukimori-san. Something happened at home. Can you cover up for me while I'm gone?"

Since he would rather prefer do calculations and such than to be a living, fitting manequin, he immediately allowed her.

He sat there comfortably in front of a computer and a cash register, watching as people pass by.

Until a man in black approached him, settling down clothes on the counter.

Len asked no more. He checked the tag prices and calculated the total amount.

"How much?"

"100,500 yen."

He watched as he searched for his wallet somewhere in his pants, then looked at him with eyes full of anxiousness.

"Oh no. I think I lost my wallet. Can I pay this tomorrow instead? 100,500, right?"

Since the moment Len started working, he has been seeing this man wandering around. Perhaps he was waiting for someone like him to be fooled.

Len kept on blinking, until his head nodded on its own, absentmindedly.

"Thanks." the man grinned, and immediately grabbed his purchased items before walking fast towards the exit.

When he was gone, Len forgot to hand him the receipt.

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Couple of minutes later, another customer with a blonde hair approached him.

"You're Tsukimori Len... right?"

Len's head tilted sidewards, blinking with confusion. "How do you know me?"

"Don't you remember me, Len-sama? It's me! Kaji Aoi."

"Len-sama? Kaji?" he repeated to himself, recalling if he knows someone with the surname Kaji who used to call him 'Len-sama'

"Yes. I used to be your houseboy when we were little, and my father used to be your family's personal chauffeur."

Len was tongue-tied, gawking.

"Remember the time when you rushed my father to the hospital because of heat stroke? You even paid his bills and bought him the prescribed medicines. We owe your

family a lot. Now, I'm a successful doctor."

"Good for you." he said with obvious envy.

Noticing his sudden change of mood, he decided to change the topic. "Hey... Why are you working here? I mean... You're already rich"

"We're not. Anymore." he cut him, unable to hear more from those for the reason that he already buried them in the ground, along with his parents. He doesn't want to

bring it up again. He wanted to open a new life, being contented with little money and little home with the people he love and care about.

"Oh... I see.." he replied, feeling sorry.

Len was about to open his mouth to speak when suddenly

"Mr. Tsukimori, how are you doing there?" his boss appeared from nowhere.

"Doing fine, sir."

Aoi gave him a light pat on the shoulder, a more easier way of bidding goodbye.

His boss' eyes wandered around, and sight landed on a particular receipt.

"Mr. Tsukimori. You forgot to give this to the buyer?" he asked, wearing a frown.

"Yes. Although I think it's much better. He said he'll come back tomorrow to pay his debts."

"WHAT? ! You sold it on credit? !" he shouted, veins appearing at the side of his forehead.

"Did you not know we don't allow credits in a department store? ! We don't even have discounts!"

Len's head bowed in shame, all eyes were on them. "Boss, I'm really sorry... I didn't know..."

The man ran a hand through his hair in frustration.

"Did he gave you his name? Contact number? Address?"

Len bowed his head more, readying himself for his punishment. "No..."

There's nothing they can do about it anymore. What done is done. The boss gestured his arm, pointing towards the exit and exclaimed;

"OUT! YOU'RE FIRED!"