Kyo stared angrily out the window at the snow, as if his glaring would make the stuff go away. He shivered; he hated snow with a passion. It was cold, soft, and above all, it was wet. If there was anything that he hated most, it was any form of water, unless it was being used for drinking. Snow, though, wasn't any good, even for drinking. It was useless and unwanted.

What's more, the snow was falling thick and heavy, and it had trapped him indoors, in the small house with that idiot Shigure and his archrival Yuki. Kyo hated being housebound, too, but it was only slightly better than being out in the snow, than being cold and wet and shivering. At least here, he had blankets and warmth and dry air. It was just a matter of ignoring the other Zodiacs in the house. Should be simple, right?

A loud 'thwack' sounded, as a snowball smacked into his bedroom window, and Kyo snapped, hissing as he opened the window wide so he could yell at whatever idiot had thrown that stupid ball of wet whiteness. The words died in his throat as he found himself glaring at a wide-eyed Tohru, the snow falling around her and beginning to coat her hair and eyelashes as she stared up at him innocently, her large eyes clueless. She didn't understand why he didn't like the snow.

Sighing, Kyo closed his eyes and slowly counted to ten. It would do no good to yell at Tohru; she was too innocent, and had no idea what she had done wrong. Besides, it wasn't like the snowball had hit him, right? And she had been the only outsider to ever see him for the monster he was, and to still like him regardless. He owed her something for that, at least. And perhaps this was one of the things he could do, because while he couldn't change his bad personality, he could at least be gentler with the girl.

Opening rich carmine eyes, Kyo stared down at Tohru, swallowing as he prepared an apology. Before he could get the first word out, though, another snowball came flying in from the side and smacked against the side of his face, leaving him stunned, cold and wet as the snow melted. With a wild screech, Kyo leapt out the window to confront Yuki, who was casually packing another snowball, his expression as calm and collected as always.

He realized his mistake only after he sunk a foot into the snow, his bare feet and cargo pants no match against the snowy weather. Still, it was a matter of pride now, so he bared his teeth at Yuki, snapping, "What the hell was that for, you stupid rat?!"

Yuki just stared back at him a moment before pulling his arm back. "You were going to yell at Miss Tohru," he murmured, and Kyo scowled, a guilty blush spreading across his cheeks. As he stood there motionlessly, debating whether it was worth it to back down and go inside where it was warm and dry, Yuki lobbed the next snowball at him.

Kyo tried to duck, but slipped in the snow, unused to the icy stuff, and fell backwards. The snowball was heading right for him, and he lifted his arm to block, but suddenly there was a body in front of him, crying out as the snowball made contact. Tohru stumbled forward, her arms flailing as she tried, unsuccessfully, to regain her balance. Kyo reached out instinctively for her, trying to catch her and keep her from landing on top of him in the snow.

Next thing he knew, he was curled up and shivering in Tohru's arms, held up out of the snow as the girl cuddled him to her chest. "Yuki-kun, that wasn't very nice," she scolded gently. Kyo released a smug purr as he heard the rat apologizing to Tohru, although he didn't actually sound apologetic in the least.

"Come on, Kyo, Yuki," Tohru said, smiling as if nothing had happened. "Let's go inside and get something hot to drink, shall we?" Standing, she pulled Kyo tighter against her body, her natural warmth emanating outwards and warming Kyo's fur. His eyes narrowing to slits, Kyo purred, pleased to hear Tohru's laughter at his obvious enjoyment of her attentions.

Pulling off a mitten, Tohru scratched him behind the ears as she walked into the house, Yuki right behind her. The smells of pine and incense and delicious food wafted through the building, and Kyo's purr turned into a deep rumble. It looked like Christmas dinner was ready and waiting for them.

Turning to face Shigure, Kyo let the dog see the happiness that radiated from him. Shigure stood in the doorway watching them, smiling as Tohru and Yuki shed their coats and boots. "Merry Christmas," he said to them, beckoning them into the kitchen where a feast had been ordered.

Three voices replied back to him, "Merry Christmas." Kyo decided that, just this once, he could actually allow himself to enjoy the snow outside. As long as he only had to watch it.