Alright, so it's a bit late...but who's counting? Merry Christmas and a Happy New year, all!
"Norman…it's the middle of the night. I can see you're freezing, and I don't see what could possibly be worth surprising me with all the way out here."
"That's the thing, Aggie," Norman replied to the loveliest spectre he'd ever had the pleasure of seeing, "you're not supposed to think anything good is coming yet. That's why it's such a great surprise!"
Agatha pouted, planting her arms upon her hips as she wafted through the cool December air. She cast her view upward, trying to make sense of Norman's navigation.
"And you're sure you're following the right stars?" she asked. Norman could swear he must have heard traces of her mother in the tone she was giving him.
"Well, about that Aggie…that part was a fib to sell the surprise. The truth is, I already knew exactly where we we're going," Norman said with an impish smirk. The snow crackled under his boot as he hoisted himself over a particularly large log. Agatha hovered over him on the other side, and Norman wondered how on Earth a girl of her age, ghost or not, could furrow their brow like that.
"Norman, you better find this place soon," she said. Her expression grew tender, and beads of yellow sparks began to drip from her eyes. "I wanted…to just spend time with you, and your family, without all the fuss and madness over gifts and twinkling lights and hot cocoa-"
"You said you wished you could try cocoa, I thought?" Norman interrupted, stuffing his hands in his pockets and matching her drift through the woods. Not much farther now…
"I did!" Agatha shouted, form sparking into lightning momentarily. "But…none of that was allowed when I was alive, not even with Mommy…"
The ghost girl wrapped up her boyfriend as best she could, separated as they were by time and body. Norman stopped in his tracks. The chilly breeze picked up, and snow passed right through Agatha into Norman's jacket. His heart ached with returned affection…and sorrow over the stark reminder of their situation.
"So I don't know what to do with all this…Christmas time…I just know that I liked the idea of you being home from school for a week." She pulled away to look at him with big, soulful doe-eyes. "And I liked the sound of being able to get closer to you…and the others in house."
"Aggie…" Norman whispered, "that's exactly why I wanted to show you this. Look around. Doesn't this all look familiar?"
Norman gestured to the entirety of the woods, and Agatha found herself soothed by the gently falling snow. Something about this place…
"This..this leads right to the tree." Agatha thought aloud. The realization began to quicken her mannerisms. "Wha-what does that have to do with anything, though?"
Norman grinned. "You'll see."
They walked just a few ticks farther, until Norman thrust his hand out to block Agatha's gaze as they passed over the final crest of the hill.
"No peeking, Aggie," Norman teased. He ignored the huff of indignation, accentuated by puffs of lightning. Agatha played along, hovering behind his hand until she was certain they were standing right before "their" tree.
"Okay, so…I know you didn't want me to do much, if anything for you for the holiday. But I couldn't resist, and…I just hope you like-" Norman cast away his hand, revealing a beautifully decorated tree.
Agatha's eyes went wide with awe. Her hands lifted to her face, instinctively trying to conceal her amazement at the splendor the object of her affection had created for her.
She floated slightly further into the air, to better see the details. The tree was laden with tinsel of all kinds, gold, silver, red, green, everything in between. Dangling glass balls of the very same color spectrum hung from the branches. Garland strung from pinecones and poinsettia flowers danced throughout, with symbolic testaments to Agatha's life and afterlife with Norman dotted all throughout this one cozy, solitary Christmas tree, planted in the middle of a New England forest.
No lights were needed; every bit gleamed like a light of its own in the pale moonlight.
"Um, Aggie," Norman chimed, running his hand through his eternally spiked hair. "Is it…erm, too much?"
She didn't answer. She just sank lower, back toward the ground.
"Too little?" Norman tried, voice beginning to crack a little with nerves. Still no answer.
"Are…are you mad?"
Agatha asked the preposterous question with a buss on the lips, and a close embrace.
"It's wonderful, Norman," she whispered to his ear. "It must have taken you so long though…"
"Heh. It was nothing. Once I convinced you to start meeting me in my room," Norman hugged her back, planting a kiss on her cheek, "it was what you might call a 'labor of love', I guess."
"You what? That's why-ohh, you…and to think you could have gotten a cold trying to do all this out here by yourself," Agatha laughed, voice too full of mirth to truly sound scolding.
"I had maybe an idea or two from Courtney, honestly…" Norman confessed, followed by more giggles. He could swear they sounded like the famed silver bells of the season.
"I think…I think I get what this holiday means to you now, Norman. It's a lovely thing, after all, to celebrate showing our love to one another." Agatha let her tiny smile grow into a full fledged grin, staring right through Norman's eyes into his heart and soul. He rubbed his nose with hers, smiling right back in the glow of the gift he'd made for her.
"Merry Christmas, Aggie."
"Merry Christmas, Norman."
The cocoa and gingerbread upon returning to the fireside in the Babcock home was fantastic. But both considered the sweetness in the promise of another year's devotion to each other, made with a kiss by the light of the moon and their tree, to be the finest gift of all that Christmas.