Yamamoto rushed inside the house, closing the door quickly behind him to stop the wind and snow from blowing in and spoiling the toasty warmth created by the lit fireplace to his left.
He shivered slightly, then took off his coat and put his boots aside, hanging the coat near the door and placing the package he had brought underneath the large tree that was to the right of the fireplace.
Before he left for the kitchen, he gazed up at the tree itself and smiled. Shrouded in brightly colored lights and tinsel and ribbons, and graced with ornaments, some simply round, and others in shapes such as reindeer and snowmen and snowflakes.
And there, at the very top, sat the star: shining golden from its almighty perch above the rest of the room. But even its glow paled in comparison to the silverette wearing a red and white picnic-cloth apron who had just poked his head around the kitchen doorframe and spotted him.
Gokudera smiled playfully, "About time you got here. What took you so long?"
Yamamoto grinned, subtly pushing the package further under the tree, "Haha, sorry. It's just so beautiful out there, I couldn't help but stare a bit." the brunette sheepishly rubbed the back of his head as he gestured towards the door.
Gokudera rolled his eyes, but he was still smiling, "Well? What're you waiting for? Come and have a look."
Yamamoto smiled and got up, making his way over to the kitchen that Gokudera had disappeared into again. Upon walking in, his senses were assailed with the loveliest of all aromas, and he stared in wonder at the fruits of Gokudera's labor as the silverette admired his own handiwork, hands on hips.
Oat and sugar cookies, both sprinkled with brown sugar, sat cooling on a section of the spacious countertop, along with a bowl of delicious-looking homemade mashed potatoes and green bean casserole with freshly made biscuits. On the stove, a pot of fragrant soup was being kept warm, and Gokudera's pride and joy was almost done cooking in the stove: the Christmas Ham.
Yamamoto's eyes widened in amazement, "This looks great Hayato!" He turned and planted a kiss on his boyfriend's cheek, "But isn't it a bit much for only two?"
Gokudera shrugged and blushed slightly, "I go all-out on Christmas. What can I say? I have to make up for Sis's horrible cooking."
Yamamoto chuckled, "Well, I'm glad that you were the one cooking dinner either way. I'm lucky that I can make sushi. Though it probably has a lot to do with the fact that there is barely any actual cooking."
Gokudera smiled, taking off the apron and laying it over the back of a chair, "I'm glad you think so." He glanced at a timer and turned back to Yamamoto, "Do you want to do the presents now? We have around another twenty minutes until our main dish is done."
Yamamoto smiled, "Sure, but let me save yours for second okay?"
Gokudera raised an eyebrow, but was soon smiling again, "That's fine."
They walked back into the room with the tree and sat down between it and the fireplace. Gokudera was still smiling as he fished Yamamoto's present out from under the tree and handed it to him. The brunette smiled and took the small blue wrapped and ribbon-tied box from the silverette.
When he had taken off the ribbon and paper, Gokudera's face seemed to light up with excitement. Yamamoto opened the box and found himself looking at a video tape, the label of which simply read 'Recital'.
He gave Gokudera a questioning look and the silverette explained, "Do you remember the song Clair de Lune? The one I played for you? Well, I remembered how much you liked it, more than the others at least, so I made a video for you. It's just that song though, I was having, uh…issues with the recorder." Yamamoto grinned and stood, and Gokudera's eyebrows came together, "You're not going to play that now are you?"
He was blushing, and Yamamoto nodded with a grin, "Of course I am!"
Gokudera's blush deepened, "Couldn't even wait until tomorrow huh?"
He was slightly embarrassed, but he was smiling, and Yamamoto popped the tape into the player of the television on the other side of the room. There was a couple seconds of static, then a shifting picture off Gokudera took form.
There was a muffled curse, presumably the result of a frustrating battle with the camera, and then the picture stilled.
Tv-Gokudera made his way over to the piano and sat down and started speaking, voice slightly altered by the camera, "Hey there baseball-nut. I suppose the first thing I should say is Merry Christmas, but that isn't all I have to say. Another thing is that this is the twenty-first time I've done and redone this, so you'd better be grateful!" the silverette on the television screen cleared his throat, and his eyes seemed to soften, "And now, without further adieu, I present to you, Claire de Lune. I love you Takeshi."
The last utterance was said with genuine love, and Yamamoto couldn't help but grab Gokudera around the waist and sit him sideways across his lap as tv-Gokudera began to play.
The song was a light, feathery thing that made the listener feel as if he or she was flying through a clear night sky, far, far away from their problems and worries, just free. It picked up somewhat towards the middle, but other than that it was very tranquil, which was what had led Yamamoto to like it in the first place.
Now, on the last measures of the song, it ended with a lighthearted scale, and the last thing visible on the tape was the small smile and blush on Gokudera's face.
Yamamoto stopped the tape and turned to the blushing silverette in his arms, "That, was magnificent. I love you too." He gave Gokudera a quick peck on the lips, then reached for the second present underneath the tree, "Now it's your turn."
He guided the silver-wrapped present into Gokudera's hands and smiled, "It's not as good as yours, but I think it'll do."
Gokudera smiled and began removing the paper and eventually the lid to the box, "Don't be silly, I'm sure it will be…perfect."
He looked down at the picture frame in his hands with a smile. The picture frame itself was carved to look like the keyboard of a piano, with the ebony keys decorating the top and the ivory keys on the bottom, as well as a bass or treble clef in each corner and multiple music notes dotting the sides.
But it was the picture inside the intricately carved frame that had melted Gokudera's heart.
It had been taken just a little over a week before, on the day of the blizzard that they normally got at least once a year, which Yamamoto and Gokudera had decided to venture out into.
What had begun as a mere walk to view the huge icicles and snowdrifts forming had turned into a miniature snowball fight and eventually snow-wrestling match, and they were both covered in so much snow they could have been snowmen. This picture had been taken by Yamamoto after said wrestling because he had conveniently decided to bring his camera.
They were both smiling so wide it was a wonder that their faces didn't split, and Gokudera noticed, not for the first time, that it was getting harder and harder over the course of the evening not to keep grinning like a complete idiot, but for once, he didn't care.
He also remembered what had happened after they went home. They had both been half frozen, and had to thaw out in front of this very fireplace for over an hour before the warmth of the house stopped making their extremities burn from being out in such intense cold for so long. The hours after that had been a wondrous blur of passionate kissing and lovemaking by the light of the fire, underneath the mistletoe that hung above their heads; getting lost in one another until they both fell asleep in each others arms.
Just one glance at the picture in his hand brought it all back in vivid detail, and it practically stole the breath from him. After another moment of gazing at the picture, he turned his face towards Yamamoto and kissed him slowly, lovingly.
When they broke apart, he stood up slowly and placed the picture on the mantle of the fireplace, trailing his fingers over Yamamoto's face in the picture before turning to the genuine article and encircling him in his arms, kissing him again, "Not as good? Don't say that. Its got to be the best Christmas present I've ever gotten, and I love it. I love you."
He gently kissed Yamamoto's lips again, and then he smiled, nodding his head towards the kitchen, "When dinner is over, lets just lie down. Here, in front of the fireplace." He glanced up at the sprig of mistletoe that hung from the ceiling above the fireplace.
Yamamoto caught on to his meaning and kissed him in between his eyes as he continued, "I want to relive the night when you took that picture, I want to remember it forever."
Yamamoto smiled and pressed their foreheads together, "I feel the same way. I love you. Merry Christmas Hayato."
"Merry Christmas Takeshi."