Berwald scratched his head as he stared down at the eraser-smudged piece of notebook paper on his desk. He'd been trying to write an acrostic poem for Tino, but he'd only gotten 3 out of 4 letters of his wife's name done so far.

Terrific

Ice Cream

Nice

Not too sure the "I" one is much good. Tino likes ice cream, but he isn't ice cream. The poem is supposed t' be about things that ya are. Maybe...interesting? Yah, that works. Tino is the most interesting person ever!

Berwald erased "ice cream" and wrote in "interesting" in its place. The notebook paper didn't look very attractive at this point, but that was alright. It was just a rough draft. The final draft would go on the back of a picture Berwald had drawn of his friend riding on a sleigh while shooting a paintball gun at a "naughty elf" who looked a lot like Mathias.

Now I just need one for "O"...

"What's a good "O" word, Puppy?"

"Arf!" the white floof of fur on his lap replied.

Berwald frowned "That doesn't ev'n start with 'O'. Yer spelling is off Puppy, ya need t' get t' sleep."

The ten year old gently lifted the dog up into his arms and carried her over to his bed. He set Puppy down on the side of his pillow and pulled the blanket over her, leaving only the dog's fluffy white head poking out.

"Nh. There ya go. Get t' sleep so ya can spell better when ya wake up," Berwald gave her a goodnight kiss on the forehead and walked over to his bathroom sink.

He flipped the light on and looked at his reflection in the mirror. The bandages were off now that it was nighttime, so the large section of scar tissue and burn marks on the side of his face was clearly visible under a thin, shiny layer of ointment.

Please get better before December... Berwald thought as he looked at the small pink patches of new skin starting to grow over his wounds. Please. I'd really REALLY love to go to Tino's birthday sleepover, but I can't go if I still look gross like this at nighttime. Please get better, pretty pretty please?

Berwald flipped the light off and walked back over to his desk.

O words...Ostrich? No, that doesn't have anything to do with Tino, plus that makes no sense. What about...'okay'? No, Tino is WAY better than just 'okay'. What about-?

*THWACK*

A thwacking sound turned Berwald's attention towards the far corner of his room where the window was. No further noise came from that direction, so Berwald shrugged and turned back to his poem.

O words...my last name starts with "O". But Tino doesn't have the same last name as I do because we're not married for real yet. Why can't the last letter of his name be "S", that way I could write "sniper rifle"-?

*THWACK*

Berwald stood up from his desk chair and walked over to the far corner of his room. He pushed back the curtains, undid the window latch and started to pull the glass up. Just as he finished opening the window all the way, something bounced off the top of his head and landed on the floor of his room with a squeak.

"Huh?" Berwald looked down to see a squeaky-toy shaped like a bright red "Angry Bird" character.

What in the world?

"Oh no I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hit ya in the head. Please don't be mad at me!"

Berwald's head shot up. There, less than a meter away, was Tino, looking out from his own bedroom window, face turning cherry-red as he covered his hand with his mouth.

"T-Tino?"

"I'm sorry Berwald!" the eight year old started to step back from the window, looking like he was on the verge of tears "I just wanted to see if ya were inside. I just wanted to talk to ya, please don't be mad."

"Tino wait! Please come back, 'm not mad."

Tino sniffled as he approached the window again "Are ya sure? Did I wake ya up?"

"No, I was 'lready awake."

"Really?"

"Yah, even if I wasn't I wouldn't be mad at ya. Yer m' wife."

"I don't know…" Tino put his hands on the windowsill and poked his face out "Mom is Dad's wife, but I think he might be at least a little mad if she woke him up by throwing squeaky birds at him," Tino started to giggle "That sounds funny. I don't think grown ups would even do that."

Berwald had to suppress a smile as Tino broke into a giggling fit.

Cute…

"Yer silly. How did ya find out about this ev'n?"

"About what? Oh, our windows being like this? I just guessed it since ya live next door."

"Hmm…" Berwald nodded and then looked down at the fence and the small strip of grass between their homes "That makes sense. Our houses are really close together."

"Yah," Tino agreed as he looked down too "It's pretty cool-hey!" His head shot up "I bet we're close enough to hold hands even! Here, reach out!" Tino stretched his hands out toward him.

Berwald's insides went all slushy as their fingers laced together. Tino looked like an angel, with the yellow glow of light from his bedroom encircling him like a halo. He smiled at Berwald, looking all too adorable as his brown eyes reflected the glow of a nearby lamp post and the night breeze gently blew through his blonde hair.

"Yer…beautiful…"

"Um, actually I'm a boy. Don't ya mean 'handsome'?"

"Yah, that's what I meant. Yer handsome, m' wife."

"Hee hee, thank ya! You're really handsome too, I can see your pretty blue eyes a lot better when ya don't have all those bandages on."

Berwald gasped as he let go of Tino's hands and covered his face. Oh no. No, I forgot! He wasn't supposed to see-

"Hey! Why did ya let go? Hold hands with me! Please?"

Berwald's head was spinning with confusion and his heart was pounding as he uncovered his face and joined hands with Tino once more.

But, he-he said I was…handsome? He doesn't think I'm…gross-looking?

"Yay! We're holding hands again!" Tino beamed "Hey, when we get married for real, can we have everything at the wedding be Christmas stuff?"

And he still wants to be married to me? How is-?

"Yah, that sounds good," Berwald couldn't believe it, Tino knew what he looked like and he still liked him! But this must mean… Berwald's eyes widened. He knew what the "O" word was now.

Tino is m'-

"Really! That would be the best, I love Christmas. Oh, can I bring a paintball gun to shoot Mathias with in case he sneaks in?"

Berwald nodded, too happy that Tino was talking about them being married for real to really think through what he was agreeing to.

"Cool! Can ya be the one who wears a wedding dress instead of me?"

"Whatever ya want, m' wife."

That was probably going to have interesting repercussions years from now.

"Yay! I think ya would look really cute in a wedding dress."

Tino just called me 'cute'. *heart symbol*

" 'm so glad yer m' wife," Berwald sighed dreamily.

"Me too!"

"TI-NO! Who are ya talking to?"

"Eeek!" Tino flinched "Gotta go. NOBODY MOM! See ya tomorrow, okay?"

Berwald nodded and gave Tino's hands a gentle squeeze before releasing them and watching his wife disappear behind the bedroom curtains.

He let out another dreamy sigh before pulling himself back inside and closing the window glass behind him.

Berwald then walked back to his desk, picked up a bright blue marker and carefully wrote down the final draft of his acrostic.

Terrific

Interesting

Nice

One true love, forever...

Ta da! Thanks for reading everybody! And a special thanks to my nifty reviewers. Please leave a final review if you feel so inclined, I really do pay close attention to the feedback. Peace out and love all around!