"Do we really need all this mistletoe?" Ja'far asks, exasperated.

"Come on, Ja'far, don't be a Grinch!" Pisti chirps happily, getting on her tiptoes to place another hanging of the ominous plant to hover over their heads. Ja'far jumps as far away as possible, only to find himself standing beneath yet another hanging. He groans.

"This is ridiculous!"

Yamuraiha and Sharrkan, worryingly in sync for being sworn enemies, wear identical grins on their faces.

"I think you're jealous," Yamuraiha teases, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"Why would I be jealous?" Ja'far frowns, confused.

"Because of Sinbad-san, of course," Sharrkan supplies immediately and for once, Yamuraiha nods in fervent agreement with something he said.

Ja'far goes beet red. "Th-that is…Um…Wh-what do you mean?" he stammers slightly before calming down enough to ask for the elaboration.

Sinbad, who has been watching quietly all along, suspects his face shows a much lesser degree of disinterest than he would like to imagine. 'Keep a straight face, keep a straight face,' he tells to himself repeatedly, but it doesn't seem to do it. His thoughts are a mess of rainbow colors and freckles and silver hair and thin red bracelets around those slender, perfect wrists.

"Well, Sinbad-san gets all the girls, doesn't he," Sharrkan explains, a hint of annoyance in his voice. "So, it's normal for us ordinary folk to be a bit jealous of him, isn't it?"

"Ah, of course, yes," Ja'far breathes in relief. "I am a bit jealous myself, but there's no helping it," he concludes fervently, crushing all Sinbad's hopes to the ground.

"Come on, we've got to get going," Pisti hurries them, pushing Ja'far through the door. "There's still so much to do before the party tonight!"

As they exit the door, he can see Yamuraiha looking pointedly at Sharrkan, sighing: "You idiot." He has no idea what that could be about.

So, Ja'far wanted a girl. And Sinbad wanted Ja'far. It was simple, so simple and so obviously hopeless. So why did it make his head hurt so much?

He only wanted a taste. Just a taste of those perfect, smart and smart-ass alike, perfect, soft-looking, perfect, gorgeous lips. Did he say perfect? And, all be damned, a taste he will get. He's never been too considerate. Why start now?

Sinbad has a plan. A 'Get Ja'far under the mistletoe and claim those delicious lips' plan. It should be easy enough, or so he had thought.

The first time he tries to get in a five meter radius of a mistletoe (which isn't exactly hard, considering they are hanging from just about everything they could be hanging from) he bumps into an energetic Pisti, who just so happens to be carrying a glass of punch, and who just so happens to spill the said punch all over his very white, very likely-to-get-Ja'far-swoon-if-he-has-as-much-as-a-single-gay-bone-in-his-body tuxedo.

"Oh, I'm sooo sorry, Sinbad-san!" she cries, embarrassed.

He smiles politely at her: "It's not a big deal. Don't worry about it," he says and proceeds to make his way towards his goal.

"Ah! No, no, no! You can't possibly stay like this! You have a reputation to uphold," she states seriously and all but pushes him through the door. He really wants to tell her how he doesn't give a rat's ass about his reputation at the moment but figures it would be rude. So he begrudgingly comes along.

It's almost an hour by the time he returns to the party and he can feel the weight of wasted time on his shoulders.

His second try is not much more successful than the first one.

"Sinbad-san!" the fiery duo of Yamuraiha and Sharrkan steps in his way.

"Sinbad-san!" the girl demands excitedly: "Which do you think is better? The Lord of the Rings," she scoffs at the name, "or Harry Potter," she says in a much more approving voice.

"Yeah, Sinbad-san," Sharrkan butts in, annoyed. "Which is better? Gay magic stuff or real fighting? They have swords and everything!" he says with fire in his eyes.

"Umm, I really wouldn't know – "he starts, but it seems the two aren't paying much attention to him anymore.

"Magic is a thousand times cooler than your stupid swords, idiot swordsman!"

"Say that again, you witch!"

"Oh, well, thank you for the compliment."


Sinbad rolls his eyes and walks away carefully, as he is not completely sure they have willingly let him off the hook. Something tells him the pair is just too engrossed in their verbal spat at the moment to even notice that he is gone.

He finally spots Ja'far in the far-off corner of the room. But before he can make his way towards the mistletoe hanging dangerously close above the young man's head, he is pulled underneath a much nearer one and by none other than the mischievous young lad he is not overly fond of.

Judal smirks as he claims his lips in a quick kiss, but a kiss nonetheless. The room goes quiet for a moment and Sinbad suddenly becomes very much aware of countless eyes on him. He searches the room for Ja'far.

He isn't looking at him! He isn't even looking at him. Sure, there was a slight movement of his head that Sinbad thinks he caught, but it couldn't have come from anything but a mere glance. He doesn't know what he expected to see in Ja'far's eyes. Jealousy? No. He was still holding on to the tiny bit of hope, but no. He wasn't fooling himself. But for Ja'far not to even look at him for more than a second…Amusement, annoyance at Judal's usual, but still irritating antics, anger because of them causing a scene – anything would do! Any expression caused by Sinbad on Ja'far's face. But nothing was there. So, naturally, it makes him even more determined to fix the problem at hand.

He frowns and pushes a laughing Judal on the side, striding confidently towards his goal yet again. This time, it's the biggest obstacle yet.

Masrur is not the type of guy you would want to make angry, but Sinbad honestly doesn't remember doing anything to upset him. Recently, at least. So he takes a careful look at Masrur's face, just to make sure. And indeed, there is no emotion whatsoever there. But it is hardly a surprising fact. This guy has a range of facial expressions that goes from disinterested to angry, worried sometimes, with absolutely nothing in between. Sinbad sometimes wishes for such a mask.

"Masrur!" he greets him happily, friendly, as if he was looking for a chat, when in fact the only thing on his mind is getting the hell away from there and closer to that damn, still very much far-off corner of the room.

"So…how are you?" Sinbad asks eloquently, urging his mind to pick up the pace.

"Fine," Masrur answers solemnly, but doesn't budge otherwise.

"Fine. Ok. Masrur, could you please move," he asks politely, but with anxiety evident in his voice.


'Great," Sinbad thinks to himself. 'Just marvelous.'

"Masrur. I'm in a hurry. Let me pass," he demands now, annoyed at the strange situation.

"I cannot."

"Why not?"

"I cannot say."

'Absolutely bloody fantastic.'

Something wasn't right here. Something, or someone, was clearly messing with his head. Four obstacles in a row. And not at all minor ones at that. The world was conspiring against him. It was playing dirty. So, obviously, if the world could play dirty, he would return the blow.

He takes out his phone and pretends to read a message.

"Oh, dear," he breaths, making sure a look of dread appears on his face, but keeping it down as to not turn it into a look of complete horror. He doesn't want to worry the poor guy too much.

He carries on with the worrisome news: "It's Morgiana," he starts, and he can already see a worried expression on his victim's face. The girl is like a sister to him, after all. And he knows Masrur will most likely kill him for this afterwards, but he simply doesn't have a choice.

"She had an accident. She's at the hospital, the one two blocks away from here. It's nothing too serious – "

But Masrur is already long gone. Sinbad smirks in victory and carries on. He doesn't have time to feel guilty now. He's getting, closer, closer, closer…

Suddenly, there is a flash of pink and Sinbad has just about enough time to think 'Oh crap' before feeling a soft pair of lips against his own. Lips which are, though admittedly soft and pretty, nowhere near as perfect as the ones he wants to be kissing right now.

Ren Kougyoku is a nice girl, so he pushes her away as gently as possible and tries not to show his annoyance. She giggles and apologizes, blushing deeply and averting her eyes. Sinbad sighs in defeat and tells her not to worry about it. He can feel eyes on the two of them. Not as many as during the Judal incident, but still quite a few. He turns around to search for Ja'far's eyes with a small amount of hope. Maybe, just maybe – yes!

He is looking at them, at him. He is looking at him with a wide range of emotions on his face, he realizes. He looks carefully to detect those emotions and is unpleasantly surprised by what he finds – hurt, anger, betrayal and was that – jealousy? Sinbad stares at Ja'far's face in bewilderment when it finally hits him. Of course. It's obvious. How could he have been so stupid?

The conclusion is obvious as the light of day: Ja'far likes Kougyoku. He's just kissed the one girl at the whole damn party he shouldn't have kissed. Well, she kissed him, but there isn't much difference. There won't be to Ja'far, at least. Oh, he's leaving the room now. That's just great.

He runs after Ja'far out of the room and into the backyard.

Ja'far is sitting on a bench by a small pond, staring pointlessly in the dark water and taking no notice of his companion whatsoever. Sinbad takes a few tentative steps towards him, then asks carefully:

"May I join you?"

Ja'far nods curtly, not looking at him.

Sinbad is at loss of words, at loss of what to do. So, naturally, he starts babbling: "So. I was trying to get to you, but everyone kept jumping in my way. Weird, huh?"

The corners of Ja'far's lips twitch slightly: "Ah, that. That was because of Pisti. She tasked us all with a difficult task of not letting you get close to any innocent girl's lips tonight," he explains briefly.

'Oh, the irony,' Sinbad all but groans inwardly.

Pisti – trust that girl to always be up to something.

"Figures," he sighs, exasperated.

He realizes something then: "Wait, so Kougyoku – "

Ja'far shakes his head: "No. Wasn't a part of the plan," he says and Sinbad can almost feel the bitterness in his voice. "So, I guess you could say the plan failed. Well, I failed. Since I was the next one responsible for stopping you"

Sinbad really can't take this any longer. Ja'far is obviously like this because of him and he can't have that. He has to apologize; he has to say something, anything! So he ends up saying a lot more than he originally intended to.

"Listen, Ja'far. I'm sorry for kissing the girl you like. I really had no idea."

Ja'far's head shots up and he looks at Sinbad with a scandalized expression on his face: "I don't like Kougyoku," he protests weakly, almost desperately.

"It's alright Ja'far. She's a very pretty girl," Sinbad carries on, barely registering Ja'far's denial. "I – I just have to tell you this. Don't be mad, ok?"

He takes a deep breath and starts speaking urgently, trying to get it all out as soon as possible: "I…wanted to kiss you." A jerk with which Ja'far sits upright goes unnoticed. "I tried desperately to get to that damn corner of the room you were in, under that damn mistletoe. God, I got so annoyed. I was kissed twice this evening and neither time by the person I wanted to kiss. I know you like girls. You even said you were jealous of me because of the attention I usually get from them. And then I go and kiss the girl you like. I'm so sorry. I only ever wanted a taste," the last part is whispered, as if it was a secret. And it had been, just minutes ago.

Ja'far's blush is more than prominent as he speaks: "I was jealous," he admits. "But I wasn't jealous of you."

"But – "

He smiles: "I was jealous of Kougyoku."

And then, before Sinbad can comprehend the meaning of his words, Ja'far kisses him. It's slow and it's sensual, there is no battle for dominance as Ja'far slyly slips his tongue into Sinbad's still unresponsive mouth. Then, just as the older man's lips start to move against his own, tongue touching tongue tentatively, almost experimentally, Ja'far breaks the kiss. Sinbad stares at him for longest time.

"But…when Judal kissed me – "he starts, confused. He has to set things straight. This is too good to be true.

Ja'far scoffs: "Judal was a part of the plan. I didn't really expect him to settle on that approach but – you know him. Him and his antics," he sighs in resignation.

Finally, after much gaping and untamable thoughts, a grin dawns on Sinbad's face.

Ja'far's smile mirrors his own as he leans closer, whispers: "Oh, and Sin? Mistletoe is overrated," then kisses him again.

Sinbad has to agree.

The next day, they happily burn the evil parasite. They don't get in a five meter radius of the stupid plant ever since. Sinbad claims it gave him enough trouble for a lifetime.

Merry Christmas everyone! :) I hope you'll like this silly little story.