Amu and Rima blinked as they came back upstairs, staring at the scene in front of them.
Kairi was pinching his nose, shaking his head. Yaya was laughing her head off, Nagi was chuckling, Ami was smirking, Ikuto was hissing at anything and everyone, and Kukai and Utau were sitting on the ground in soaking wet clothes.
"Why?" Amu asked.
"Isn't it obvious?" Rima remarked. "The prank backfired and those three got burned…or rather, soaked. I'm just surprised that Ami let Kukai and Ikuto get out of their costumes."
Kukai and Ikuto turned to her sharply as a glint formed in the ten-year-old's eyes. Ami jumped to her feet and grabbed the boys by the back of their shirts, using an incredible amount of strength for a girl her size, and dragged them downstairs.
"FUCK NO; DON'T BRING MY MOTHER INTO THIS!"
"AMI; LET US GO RIGHT NOW!"
"WHAT DID YOU TWO IDIOTS DO TO YOUR ADORABLE COSTUMES?!"
Everybody sweat-dropped as they listened to the four of them scream and various crashing noises were heard.
"Those two honestly scare me," muttered Utau, standing up. "Oy, can I dry off?"
"Huh?" Amu looked up at her. "Oh, yeah; sorry about your clothes. There are some old clothes of mine in the bathroom; you're a size six, like me, right?"
"How do you know these things about me?" Utau asked accusingly.
Rima made a 'tsk' sound. "Just because you never cared about her, it doesn't mean that she didn't either…dumbass."
A vein throbbed on top of the singer's head as she snapped, "I wasn't talking to you, midget!"
Topaz met amethyst and the glaring match began.
"I know those two never liked each other, but still…" Amu muttered as she shivered; she could literally feel the tension in the room. "This is almost as tense as when Rima became suspicious of Nadeshiko."
"That was funny, I don't know what you're talking about," remarked Yaya, chuckling as Kairi's mouth quirked upwards slightly and Nagi sighed. "Watching the normally cool and collected Fujisaki Nagihiko, whoops, Nadeshiko, break into a sweat and begin to stammer whenever Rima commented on how much 'she' resembled a guy…"
The fourteen-year-old wiped away a fake tear, laughing. "Oh, that was definitely the best thing back then! He was pretty good at acting though, so it's really weird that Rima saw through his mask!"
Rima looked away from the taller blonde and smirked at the group. "It wasn't because it was weird, Yaya; it was because he used to have a crush on me."
Nagi blushed and looked away while Amu smirked. "Yeah," she agreed. "He used to have a major crush on you, Rima."
"Amu-chan," murmured the purple haired male while Yaya and Kairi exchanged confused looks.
"But of course," continued Amu, still smirking as she glanced over at her best friend. "I also know that you liked him too."
Rima's eyes widened and she sputtered for several seconds. "W-what? I did not! How the heck did you find out?!"
The pinkette chuckled. "I was and still am your best friend."
"Oh, so you guys finally made up?" Utau remarked boredly. "Is that why you didn't bother to bring up anymore food?"
"You'll get fat if you eat too much," stated Rima, making another vein pop on the other girl's head.
"Why you…! You stupid midget; I am not fat!"
"Hm, I saw some girl standing in front of the new ramen shop the other day, claiming to have won the challenge to eat 10 bowls under two minutes. She looked exactly like you."
"That…that was nothing!"
"What are all of you shouting about?" Ami asked as she entered the room. A satisfied look was on her features and the fact that Kukai and Ikuto were nowhere in sight gave them all chills.
"Um, nothing," replied Amu. "Where are the guys?"
The ten-year-old sighed sadly. "Auntie Souko agreed to let them out of their costumes if they could be handcuffed to me for the rest of the evening," she explained. "They're downstairs repairing the costumes now."
"You're Satan," said Utau approvingly, half-smiling at the girl.
"I knew there was a reason I liked you," agreed Rima, making the young girl smile sweetly.
"Can we all just agree never to let the three of them be alone together…ever?" Yaya exclaimed, looking concerned.
Kairi, Nagi, and Amu all just nodded, sweat-dropping.
"Oy, Ami, you're one scary chick," remarked Kukai, laughing as he and Ikuto entered the lounge room as well. He was back in his snowman costume but he seemed happier about it for some reason. Ikuto, on the other hand, looked ready to kill someone.
Yaya spotted his look and jumped to her feet, racing over to the older boy. She stood on her tippy toes and peered at him, getting into his face and startling him.
"Hey, what are you looking at?" Ikuto demanded.
Suddenly, the fourteen-year-old grabbed his cheeks and exclaimed, "Wah; Yaya doesn't like it when such cute boys frown! Don't frown, Ikuto-kun; not in Yaya's house, at a Christmas party!"
Amu chuckled when the violinist's frown deepened. "Yaya, I think you made his mood worse."
"How so?" Yaya asked curiously.
The pinkette walked over and tugged on Ikuto's antlers. "This perverted cat doesn't like being called 'cute', remember?" She smirked. "But that's what makes him so cute."
The older male glared at her while the others hid their smiles.
Utau smirked and, at the same time as Kukai, she asked, "Did you just call him cute, Amu?" The blonde's eyes widened and she turned to glare at Kukai, who merely grinned at her. Her cheeks flushed as she turned away, back to Amu.
The sixteen-year-old froze as her cheeks turned a bright red, and she was suddenly on the other side of the room as she leapt away from her childhood friend. "What? No way; don't be ridiculous!"
Rima, who was still embarrassed by her friend's earlier remark about her crush on Nagi, smirked and said, "Eh, but I thought you liked him, Amu? Didn't you used to tell me that you wanted to confess to him in the fifth grade?"
"S-Shut up; that was years ago," shouted Amu, her face turning bright red as she hid it behind her hands.
A sadistic smirk was on Ikuto's face by this point. Kairi looked disinterested, Rima was smirking, Nagi and Kukai looked amused, Yaya was giggling, and Utau looked conflicted on whether she should smile/smirk or frown.
"It's alright, Amu," said Kairi, sighing as he pushed up his glasses. "Tsukiyomi-san told my sister that Ikuto-san planned on confessing to you back then too."
"That woman doesn't know how to keep a secret," growled Ikuto, looking away while Amu's blush brightened.
"Hmph, that reminds me," started Utau, glancing at the clock. It was nearly twelve. "I should get going back home." She turned towards the door. "Thanks for inviting me, Hinamori; and Kukai, next time, I won't let you win."
She was halfway out the door when she stopped. "Oh, yeah; I still haven't given Amu her gift yet. Ikuto, I'm breaking up with you so don't screw up, okay?"
Utau glanced over her shoulder and smirked slightly when she saw all of their surprised expressions, minus Rima, who wore a smirk, and Amu, who wore a soft smile.
For just a second, the blonde smiled and her eyes softened but it was quickly replaced by a scowl as she barked, "But don't think you that you can beat me, Hinamori Amu! I won't ever lose to you!"
And then she left the room.
Finally, Amu smiled and remarked quietly, "I knew you were a good person…" She glanced over at her older brother, who was wearing a surprised expression. There was a flicker in his eyes though and she recognized it as hope. "Whether or not you get together, you'll always have something special."
"What are you muttering about?" Ikuto asked, suddenly appearing by her side. She smiled, crossing her arms.
"Nothing, really," replied Amu, glancing at her brother when he suddenly groaned. "Oy, what's your problem? I thought you would have been happy to get your ramen-eating buddy back."
She said 'buddy' as if it was something else, and Kukai blushed slightly.
"I am," he exclaimed, blushing a little more when Amu raised an eyebrow. "I mean, it's not like that! I don't like her like that!" This time, Ikuto and the others gave him incredulous looks. "Whatever, don't look at me like that! I was just going to say that there's no more food on the table! I thought you were supposed to bring some up with the midget!"
"Shut your trap, Hinamori," snapped Rima irritably, glaring at him with a deadly ferocious look that sent him cowering in the corner. "Or else I'll send all your baby pictures to Hoshina!"
"You don't have my baby pictures!"
"No, but I'm sure Ikuto's mom does and she'd be happy to hand them out!"
Amu shook her head, rolling her eyes. "Knock it off, you guys; I'll go get some more food."
"I'll help," said Ikuto, smirking as he stood up. "You'd probably eat everything on your way up."
"What's that supposed to mean?!" Amu exclaimed, offended.
"Nothing, nothing," replied the blue haired male, brushing past her as coolly as he could in his cuddly reindeer costume. "I hope there's something more than cookies and cupcakes; I don't want to end up all fat and jiggly like you."
The pinkette's jaw dropped and she spun around, sputtering after him as she chased him downstairs. "You….you bastard, come back here!"
Yaya groaned. "When are those two just going to kiss and get together?"
"They're in denial," stated Rima. "Even though it's really obvious they like each other."
Kairi cleared his throat. "Yes, well, even smart people can become oblivious when it comes to matters such as love." He gave a knowing glance towards Kukai and Nagi, who both glared at him. "According to studies, girls-especially blondes-tend to gather the most attention from certain males."
Rima gave him an odd look while Kukai and Nagi intensified their glares, Yaya giggling knowingly. Ami sighed.
"You guys are so dense," she complained, looking at her nails. "Even Amu would get it, and that's saying something!"
Speaking of her older sister, the pinkette was awfully aware of the handsome blue haired man next to her as they approached the kitchen. Once again, she was down here with the mission to get food, but this time, it was with a person she considered was on a completely different level than Rima.
Amu nervously shifted around the kitchen, piling up platters of food to take upstairs before her brother began to riot. Though the sixteen-year-old had to admit…if Kukai did get out of control, he'd probably be put right back into place by their youngest sister.
"Shouldn't you close the door, Amu?"
Amu jumped, startled, as she turned towards Ikuto, who had his arms crossed as he raised an eyebrow. "What?"
He smirked, nodding towards her. "You're leaving the door to the fridge open," he repeated.
Amu blushed, quickly shutting the metallic colored door. "O-Oh…right…" What was it about this boy that made her feel like such a child all of the time?
She scrambled to pile up the plates of food, avoiding as much eye contact as possible.
"Amu, can you really carry all of that?" Ikuto remarked.
"O-Of course," replied the pinkette, though she couldn't even see over the pile of dishes in her arms. "W-Why don't you help out instead of just standing there, huh?"
Suddenly, the plates were taken out of her hands and Ikuto placed them delicately on the dumbwaiter that went up to the lounge. "Jeez, you were going to drop them."
"I was not," she protested, crossing her arms as she leaned against the kitchen doorway with an irritated expression. It was amazing how he could change her mood so quickly and easily. "And what's with you anyways? You've been practically ignoring me all night."
"Do you want me to pay attention to you?" Ikuto asked, smirking playfully at her, making her blush as he sauntered over to her.
"N-NO!" She shouted, even though she didn't really mean it. She'd never admit it, but she loved it when he paid attention to her; he made her feel like she was the only one he saw. "You'll do something perverted, I know it!"
"You're right," agreed Ikuto, still wearing that blasted smirk. "But in this case, it's your sister's fault."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Amu demanded.
"Yaya was in charge of decorating again, wasn't she?" Ikuto continued, earning a nod from the confused pinkette. His smirk grew though his eyes were staring into hers with such intensity that she couldn't speak.
What did Yaya's decorating have to do with him doing something she would deem perverted? It was a Christmas party for crying out loud, with children scattered all around; what could possibly be set up to initiate something like…
Amu's train of thought crashed into the wall and was set on fire just as she looked up, getting a glimpse of the damn mistletoe right before Ikuto cupped her face and began to kiss her.
Her eyes widened before she returned the kiss, ignoring how right it felt as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to her. Vaguely, very vaguely, she heard voices in the back of her head.
Ran cheered, "Go, go Amu-chan! Be honest with your heart!"
Miki blushed as she exclaimed, "Yoru, get off of me! Your whiskers tickle!"
Su was giggling, "Ooh, don't forget to make him chocolates for Valentine's Day, Amu-chan desu."
Dia was smiling, "You are definitely glowing with your radiance, Amu-chan. Keep on shining and don't forget yourself!"
Finally, Ikuto pulled away. His smirk was gone, replaced by a small, warm smile that made her heart skip a beat.
"Merry Christmas, Amu," he whispered, leaning down and resting his forehead against hers.
She returned the smile, though hers was a bit shyer. "Merry Christmas, Ikuto."
"I don't know if I made it obvious enough for your dense little mind, but I really do love you," said Ikuto, his breath on her chin and neck making her shiver in delight.
"I…I guess you have made it pretty obvious," replied Amu. "And I don't really know if I've made it obvious, but I think I love you too…both in my fantasy world, and in real life."
Ikuto smiled and kissed her again before grabbing her hand and taking the plate of dishes off the counter, heading back upstairs with her right behind him.
When they reached the lounge, they were greeted by an odd sight. Before, everyone had been teasing or arguing with each other. Now, they all look flushed while Ami wore a pleased look. Only Kukai looked unaffected, though the drool coming out of his mouth might have had something to do with all the food he had grabbed out of Ikuto's hand.
"I guess Ami helped out with the decorating too," remarked Ikuto, only now spotting the dozen pieces of mistletoe scattered around the room. Amu giggled, catching their attention before everyone's eyes landed on their intertwined hands.
Yaya let out an exasperated sigh, falling back against the couch. "Well, finally! Jeez, I was wondering if I would have to lock you two in a motel room or something!"
Amu blushed, glaring at her younger sister. "Hey, watch it you! Or I'll tell Papa about that time you snuck out to go to the carnival with Kairi!"
Yaya's eyes widened. "How did you find out about that?!"
The pinkette calmed down, smirking lightly as she straightened and placed a hand on her hip casually. "I didn't. I just figured it was something you would do. But thanks for telling me, Yaya."
The fourteen-year-old's jaw dropped in utter shock, staring at her older sister in disbelief for several moments before she finally grinned and ran over to hug her. "Oh, thank goodness; I finally know where Ami and I get it from!"
"Get what?" Nagi questioned.
Yaya shrugged. "Yaya-chi doesn't know; Yaya-chi is just happy right now!"
"I forget," began Ami, tapping her chin. "Is it a good thing or a bad thing when she begins to talk in the third person?"
"Third person is happy, baby-talk is super happy," replied Amu, her honey golden eyes wandering around the room. Her eyes landed on the clock. "It's almost two am! We have to give out our presents now!"
"Why?" Rima asked just as Kukai, Ami, and Yaya all gleefully shouted, "It's Christmas morning!"
Amu's siblings all suddenly had serious expressions on their faces, standing side-by-side with crossed arms as they stared at the rest of the party.
"Uh…guys?" Amu started, looking at her sisters and brother like they were mental.
"Quiet," barked all three of them together in perfect unison. "Sit and wait your turn for the present."
"I forgot the unofficial reason why we stopped having Christmas parties at your house," remarked Rima, looking on as the Army Three began to examine the dozens of presents under the Christmas tree. "Those three turn into little monsters."
Nagi chuckled while Kairi stared at his girlfriend in both awe and fear. Ikuto was trying not to laugh at their ridiculousness while Amu shook her head, pinching the brim of her nose as she muttered under her breath.
"You guys, let me help," said the long haired boy, walking over to them with a cheerful smile on his face. "After all," he laughed, patting his costume covered belly. "I'm Santa Bear, remember?" Nagi's eyes twinkled with mirth. "Don't you want to help Santa pass out presents to everyone?"
Almost immediately, the stern looks on Kukai, Ami, and Yaya's faces dropped and were replaced with delighted ones as they all bobbed their heads, racing over to help Nagi-ehem, Santa-pass out the gifts to everyone.
Soon, holiday songs were being played and everyone was smiling…even Ikuto, in his cuddly reindeer costume, had a genuinely content look on his face as he sat on the couch, his new girlfriend on his lap, his arms around her waist, as they watched their friends frolic around.
Yaya was dancing with Kairi, giggling with both of their faces flushed, and singing to the American song, "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey. Well, Yaya was singing and Kairi was more or less mumbling the words, avoiding eye contact with everyone.
Kukai was playing the new video game he got, shouting when Ami beat his high score, the ten-year-old's new charm bracelet maker abandoned on the ground as she clutched her pink controller.
And Rima was sitting on the windowsill, swinging her legs absently with a faraway look, obviously thinking that once again, her parents were too busy to spend Christmas with her.
Or, at least, she had been until Nagi suddenly took her by the hands and danced with her around the room while quietly telling her the newest jokes he had made up. Eventually, her frown disappeared and was replaced with a smile that never dropped as the small blonde danced with the Santa bear.
Finally, after a few more hours, Midori came up and told them it was time to kill the party.
The boys finally took off their costumes and got changed at the Tsukiyomi house while the girls got dressed in the Hinamori household, deciding to have one big sleepover in the lounge room.
And so, as the sun rose to alert everyone it was December 26, the light revealed the face of a certain blonde singer, sleeping soundly in her bed at home, a peaceful smile on her lips for the first time in years.
A carrot haired girl had her left arm wrapped around a stuffed bunny wearing a bonnet with her right arm stretched out, her fingertips grazing a certain green haired boy's while his right hand rested still over his abdomen.
A boy with messy light brown hair was sprawled out on the couch, his blankets tangled up on the floor as the sunlight shone on his drool covered his face. A few feet away, a younger girl with mousy brown hair curled up with her yarn doll that she had secretly kept from when she was a toddler, wrapped up in her sleeping bag like a finely wrapped burrito.
A girl with long blonde hair was curled up on the windowsill seat, a half-smile on her lips as she held a certain bracelet to her chest. A few feet away, the purple haired male was smiling in his sleep, his hand outstretched towards the girl.
And finally, a handsome blue haired male slept on a futon, his left arm firmly placed around the waist of a pretty girl with pink hair, her body halfway on his with her head on his chest, their free hands holding onto each other.
Souko, Aruto, Midori, and Tsumugu all stood in the doorway, looking at the scene with smiles on their faces.
A long journey was still ahead of them, but their family was beginning to heal.
I don't own Shugo Chara!
Wow, this took a long time; sorry about that. It was mostly writer's block.
Okay, so the chapter was originally meant to be al humorous and then it turns emotional again to have Amu and Ikuto get together; but then I realized, they already love each other; there's no point in making it too dramatic, right? Especially since I have other plans…
Utau's turning to the good side, though she's still too stubborn to admit "defeat" to Amu.
Hm…nothing much to say…oh, in case you haven't figured it out, which I don't blame you for since it was very vague and not expressed very well, Nagi's costume was supposed to be parallel with what Ryuuji did in Toradora for Taiga. You know, the hint I gave you? "Small blonde", Santa bear?
It's alright; like I said, I didn't do anything to make it clear or anything but that was my intention.
Oh! I finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist; now I'm watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. And I know I didn't mention my list of preferences for anime selection in this story, but I finally watched Madoka Magica, expecting it to be all girly and lovey, and…well…
I WAS SO WRONG.
Just…just…nope. I realized I was wrong by the third episode; just nope, nope, and nope.
Anyways, don't hesitate to tell me what you thought or if you found any mistakes. What do you think will happen next in the story? Share your thoughts (not because I have writer's block or anything, haha…haha…ha…)