"What the hell is this?! I'm not wearing this!"
"Aw, come on, you'll look adorable!"
"That's precisely why I can't wear it!"
"Hmp, you're not cute."
"Exactly! I'm cool, I'm hot, I'm sexy! I am not goddamn cute!"
Kukai and Nagi exchanged looks as they entered the Tsukiyomi household. They had been called over by Souko a few minutes earlier, requesting their help. She had hung up before either of them could ask what she needed help with.
"Come on, please! You agreed to wear it!"
"I did no such thing, woman!"
"You'll choke them with your cuteness!"
"Why can't you choke me instead? No way in hell!"
"Is…is that Ikuto?" Kukai asked cautiously as he peered up the staircase. "He sounds so…different."
Nagi sighed as he gripped the banister, starting to walk upstairs. "Well, I'm sure Amu wouldn't appreciate it if we let him get killed or whatever's happening up there so let's go."
"Yeah, yeah," replied the brunette as the two of them walked up the stairs, following the shouts to a bedroom they remembered as Ikuto's.
They pushed open the door and blinked twice, staring at the sight.
Souko was attempting to hold down her boxer-clad son while trying to force a cuddly-looking reindeer costume. The blue haired teenager looked so flustered and lost as he struggled to get out of his mother's surprisingly tight grip.
The two of them looked up when the door creaked open and Ikuto paled considerably as a horrified expression formed on his features while Souko grinned.
"Oh, good, you're here," she exclaimed, getting off her son. She grabbed him by his ear before he could run to freedom, making him cringe. "Thank goodness; I need your help getting Ikuto into his costume!"
"…why?" Kukai questioned as he grinned at his childhood friend, who gave him a dirty look. "I mean, I'm sure my sister would appreciate your presence but…"
"Don't you think he looks cute?" Souko interrupted, pinching her son's cheeks. "I figured, what better way to impress a girl than to dress up as a cuddly character?"
"Oh, gee, I don't know," replied Ikuto dryly. "How about doing anything else? This is such a girly costume! I'm a guy; I can't wear girls' clothes! It's wrong!"
The temperature of the room dropped as a dark aura formed around Nagi, who smiled casually at his friend. "Oh…is it wrong now?"
Ikuto glanced at him and cursed, "Shit. I forgot you were here…"
Kukai and Souko grimaced as they watched the purple haired male force Ikuto into the costume with an incredible amount of strength. A few moments later, Ikuto had his arms crossed with a scowl on his face as he sat on the ground in his reindeer costume.
"I fucking hate you," muttered the blue haired male darkly, glaring at Nagihiko who simply smiled and turned to the blonde haired woman.
"Oh, thank you, Nagi-kun," exclaimed Souko gleefully, clapping her hands. "Make sure you take a lot of pictures for me at the party, okay?"
Kukai chuckled as he snapped a picture of Ikuto with his phone. "Don't worry; Yaya and Dad will definitely make sure of that." Ikuto turned his glare towards him. "But if you knew Nagi could get him in the costume, why did you need me here?"
Ikuto smirked and was about to reply when somebody appeared in the doorway.
"Idiot; haven't you figured it out yet? She has costumes for you too," explained Kairi, pushing up his glasses as he revealed his equally cute elf costume.
Souko squealed, "Oh, Kairi-kun, I knew it would look good on you! Your hair color is just perfect for being an elf!" She seemed awfully uncharacteristic but the holidays usually did that to her. "Oh, Kukai-kun, Nagi-kun, I have your costumes right over here!"
Nagi blinked once before he chuckled, thanking the woman for remembering them. The two boys already dressed in their costumes didn't look happy, but were somewhat satisfied to see Kukai's stunned expression as his cell phone fell to the ground.
"I feel slightly better now," remarked Ikuto later on as he dragged his childhood friend out of the bathroom, poor Kukai flailing his arms around in his snowman costume. "Remember to get your picture taken, Hinamori."
"You're cruel," muttered Kukai as the four boys stood in Ikuto's room. Souko was squealing with delight as she eyed them. "At least I'm not trying to impress any girls, Mister I'm-Going-To-Date-Your-Sister." Ikuto scowled. "And why does Nagi get to be the teddy-bear Santa! That's not fair!"
"Well, I thought Nagi-kun would look the cutest in it," replied Souko, meaning no offense as her son in all but blood fell to the ground.
"Hey…I'm cute," said Kukai weakly.
"Anyways," started Ikuto, ignoring his friend, who let out a hurt cry from the ground. "I wonder why the hell you would want us in these things."
Souko smiled sweetly at her son. "The mood is going to be tense, considering not many people know why Amu isolated herself so they'll be kind of stiff towards her. I figured dressing up good-looking guys in cute costumes would brighten the mood!"
"…am I being punished for something?"
"Would you rather go with your father's idea? He wanted you to serenade her with a song before proclaiming your love."
Kukai, Nagi, and Kairi exchanged amused looks as Ikuto's expression changed to one of chagrin.
"Now, that would have been a sight worth seeing," remarked Kukai, smirking at his friend. "Although, Amu probably would have been embarrassed and fled from the room. Not to mention, Utau would flip out and possibly attack her."
"Not that she has any right to, considering we've been unofficially broken up for weeks."
"Does she know that? In any case, she'll probably end up blackmailing you or something if she isn't busy gushing over your adorable costume."
"Rima might blackmail you," pointed out Nagi.
"All of the girls in our circle of friends would blackmail him," said Kairi. "Rima and Yaya especially, though I believe Ami would have simply teased him about it."
"Nevertheless, you boys are not allowed to leave here until the party starts," said Souko as she smirked. "It's always a great idea to make a grand entrance, you know? And if you try to escape out the window, I will find you even more embarrassing costumes and show your baby pictures to everyone at the party. This means you, Ikuto. Although, I do have several albums from your childhoods as well, boys."
She smiled at them before slamming the door shut.
"Dude, your mother is scary."
"No shit, Sherlock."
Midori chuckled as she read the text from Souko. Ami, who had been helping her mother in the kitchen, looked up.
"What's so funny?" She asked curiously.
"Nothing; just make sure you charged your camera," replied Midori, still chuckling lightly. "And don't worry if you don't see your brother; he's rather occupied at the moment."
Ami raised an eyebrow, not liking the look in her mother's eye, but figured it was nothing as she returned to pressing the cookie cutter into the dough.
It was Christmas Day and everybody in the Hinamori household was bustling around, trying to get everything ready. Midori and Ami were working in the kitchen, having given the staff the holiday off, while Tsumugu worked with Aruto-who had been kicked out his home by his wife for some reason-to clean the house. Yaya and Amu were in charge of the decorations.
The pink haired teenager sighed as she heard a crash from down the hall, meaning her sister had fallen off the stepladder once again. "Yaya, are you sure you don't want me to help you with the streamers?"
"No, Yaya got this!"
"Stubborn girl," muttered Amu, knowing the fourteen-year-old only talked in the third person when she was frustrated. "Oh, well. Man, where are the guys? They said they would help out."
She blew a strand of hair out of her face as she finally stepped down from the stepladder, admiring her work of the paper snowflakes dangling from the ceiling. A hand was placed on her stomach, which growled hungrily as the finished product of Ami and Midori's work wafted through the vents.
Yaya had paint smudges on her face as she closed the balcony doors, her clothes and hair completely ruffled and messy. Her face was flushed as she caught her sister's eye.
Amu raised an eyebrow. "I swear, Yaya, if I didn't know better, I would have thought you were just coming back from a make-out session with Kairi." Her sister's face turned bright red.
"S-Shut up, Amu-chi," she muttered. "I need to go change." The carrot haired girl dashed into her bedroom, leaving behind her hungry and amused older sister.
Amu chuckled to herself as she also slipped into her room to change. It was nearly four and people would start to come over soon. She sighed as she saw her reflection in the mirror, pulling the scrunchie from her hair.
"Man," she muttered, deciding to take a quick shower as she stepped back into the hallway. To her dismay, she saw that Ami was sitting against the wall across the bathroom door. "Is Yaya in there?"
"No, Papa is," replied Yaya as she exited her room. "Apparently, he found out that Mama invited boys to the party."
Amu felt her eye twitch. "Did…did he just find that out now?" Her sisters nodded and she groaned, walking over and pounding on the door. "Dad, get out of the bathroom so we can shower!"
"No, if you can't shower, you can't get ready for the…the boys! My sparrows cannot leave the nest, not now, not ever! Not when I just got my precious Amu-chan back too!"
Amu, Yaya, and Ami exchanged looks before they all screamed, "MOM, PAPA'S CAUSING TROUBLE AGAIN!"
"Tsumugu, come help me in the kitchen or I'll take your camera away!"
A second later, a disgruntled Tsumugu reluctantly left the bathroom and trudged down the stairs, muttering something about sparrows flying away. His daughters exchanged amused looks before all three of them dashed into the bathroom, finally figuring out a compromise after several minutes of arguing.
Ami and Yaya got the separate bath while Amu claimed the shower, though all three of them were already drying their hair when the youngest Hinamori sister said, "Hey, there are over ten bathrooms in this house; why didn't we just use one of those?"
Yaya and Amu froze before all three of them shook their heads at their own idiocy. They then dashed into their separate bedrooms to get dressed. A few minutes later, they stepped out simultaneously and admired each other.
Ami was wearing a white, long-sleeved shirt with a Christmas tree on it, along with a red skirt that was short enough for her to wear white tights underneath. She also had on black dress shoes. Her light brown hair was put in a side ponytail with a red heart clip.
Yaya was wearing a spaghetti strapped green dress that hugged her body just right to show off her growing figure, along with a dark red cardigan. Seeing as the dress ended just above her knees, she wore red and green striped tights with black ankle boots. Her carrot colored hair was worn down, revealing how long it was since it came down to mid-back, but she wore an elf-hat headband.
Amu was wearing a crimson red, butterfly-sleeved shirt with a black flared skirt, along with red and white striped tights underneath. She also wore black Victorian boots that came up to her knees since her skirt stopped mid-thigh. The ends of her hair had been curled so she wore it down, and she wore a Santa-hat headband.
"You look cute," exclaimed Yaya, squeezing her younger sister's cheek. The said sister slapped her hand away and glared at her for a second before she smiled brightly.
"Thanks," said Ami. "I'm sure Kairi will appreciate your outfit!" That shut up the fourteen-year-old, leaving her sisters giggling. "Oh, by the way, Mama said to make sure our cameras were fully charged."
"Huh, why?" Amu asked as they descended down the stairs.
The ten-year-old shrugged. "I don't know; she started to laugh when I asked though."
"Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the boys didn't show up to help?" Yaya guessed. "Kukai was supposed to help me decorate the big Christmas tree outside, the meanie!"
"Oh, well," said Amu as they appeared in the living room, where several guests had already arrived and settled into.
The three girls quickly greeted their relatives and family friends, smiling and hugging them. Amu's greetings were awkward, of course, but that was expected considering she had practically cut them out of her life. She even somehow greeted Utau, who was standing in the corner and gave the pinkette a cold nod. The holiday atmosphere softened her personality, though not by much.
Suddenly, there was a roar from the corridor and everyone looked up as four people entered the living room. Midori covered her mouth, giggling, while her husband looked conflicted between either snapping pictures or crying in the bathroom.
Ami choked on her drink as she stared wide-eyed at her brother and his friends for several seconds before she raced up to her room to find her camera.
Yaya was three steps ahead of her as she squealed, her eyes twinkling as she snapped several pictures of the boys with her camera phone. It completely slipped her mind that her outfit matched her boyfriend's.
Amu, who had been politely offering Utau a cocktail weenie, glanced over and nearly dropped the plate as she burst out in giggles. Utau glanced around her, confused, and her eyes widened once she spotted the boys. Amethyst met topaz for one brief moment and suddenly, the two girls were on the floor laughing as they pointed at the boys.
That odd scene added to the catastrophe the costume-wearing teenage boys had created, and the said teenage boys didn't know whether to tear the costumes off and hide in the closet or continue to stare at the two rivals share a moment-even if it was at their expense.
Souko smiled as she entered the household, holding her amused husband's hand. "I knew that it would lighten the atmosphere."
Tsumugu blinked as he shook his head before shrugging and snapping several pictures of the mortified boys.
Kairi and Ikuto gave him blank stares, though they looked quite unpleased by the paparazzi treatment. Kukai was blushing as he tried to stay out of the pictures, though he did try to laugh it off by giving each of his sisters a hug. Nagihiko was the only one who it took in stride as he smiled politely for all the cameras, seeing as how the other guests had broke free from their stunned stances and were now joining in on the photo op.
Yaya had been laughing until she noticed one of her cousins gushing over Kairi, and something heavily settled in her stomach as she frowned and walked over to them.
"Kairi-koi, you look so adorable," exclaimed Yaya, hugging her boyfriend tightly before kissing his cheek. She ignored her father's mixed cry of shock and grief. "And look; we match too!" Kairi blushed, thanking her quietly for the compliment as he stated how nice she looked.
"Aw, my sister's jealous," laughed Kukai, who was suddenly tacked by his youngest sister. "What?"
"Kukai, you look so adorable," squealed Ami, pinching his cheeks. "Come on; you have to go pose for pictures over there with Auntie Nanami and Cousin Sakura! Did you know that Sakura-chan brought all of her pretty friends from her high school?" She smirked as she whispered, "Don't mess up the romance, ni-san."
Kukai blanched as the ten-year-old dragged him away, smiling brightly at anyone they passed.
Ikuto smirked as he exchanged looks with Nagihiko, who looked highly amused as he casually gestured towards the corner where Utau and Amu were still laughing. The blue haired male raised an eyebrow when he spotted them.
"Well, that's unexpected," remarked Ikuto.
Meanwhile, Utau was clinging to Amu as she struggled to catch her breath. "Did…did you see their expressions? They looked so adorable!"
Amu was practically wheezing as she nodded, tears streaming down her face. She nodded and managed to say, "They're normally so cool-looking but now they look like something in a toddler's TV show!" This set Utau off again and they started another round of laughter. "And…and did you see Kukai? Oh lord; I'm never letting him live that down!"
"S-Send me the pictures," replied Utau as they spent another few minutes chuckling before they realized what they were doing.
Both girls stared at each other before they awkwardly pulled away, clearing their throats as they not-so-subtly stepped away from each other. Amu was picking up the food off the floor from when she had dropped the plate while Utau began to play with her hair, trying to fall back into her icy persona.
The blonde was conflicted; she really did not want to lose to Amu or give up Ikuto to her, but also…it had been a long time since she had laughed like that, feeling so carefree without her guard up. It felt…nice.
Amu threw the ruined weenies into the nearby trashcan, her face still flushed from their laugh attack as she murmured, "Oh, well, um…glad you make it, Utau. And um…don't worry; I still have your number so I can send you the pictures…and uh, Merry Christmas."
She began to walk away as quickly as possible without seeming rude, but she turned back with a surprised expression when Utau grabbed her arm. The blonde looked just as startled as she did, her cheeks oddly pink.
"Y-Yes, Utau?" Amu asked.
The blonde opened and closed her mouth, seemingly not knowing what to say. An apology was at the tip of her tongue and about to slip out when the front door suddenly opened, revealing Rima.
Utau saw the pinkette's eyes lit up and the warm feeling in her stomach disappeared as she released Amu's arm, walking away. Amu didn't notice as she ran over to the blonde, who was wearing a red dress with black tights.
"Rima, you came," exclaimed the pinkette happily.
Rima raised an eyebrow. "Only because you threatened me," she replied coldly before she glanced at Ikuto and Nagi. "…why are the kitten and the cross-dresser wearing those ridiculous costumes?"
Ikuto glared at her while Nagi chuckled, blushing as he rubbed the back of his head to the best of his abilities in his Santa-bear costume.
Amu shrugged. "Who knows? They're weird." Rima's mouth quirked upwards slightly at that. "Anyways, I'm glad you showed up! Are you hungry?" She sniffed the air and frowned. "It looks like they're bringing the alcohol out early. It's a good thing Ami set up a buffet up in the lounge! Come on!" She grabbed Rima and Ikuto by their hands and began to lead them up the stairs. "Yaya, Ami, get the others up here! You too, Utau!"
Yaya laughed as she and Kairi followed them, Ami dragging Kukai out of the kitchen as they went upstairs as well. Nagihiko chuckled as he obeyed the pinkette's request.
Utau looked at the staircase, biting her thumb as she debated whether she should continue with her plan and follow them or go home and forget about the whole thing. She found herself unable to do such a heinous thing-that Tadase had been oddly too eager about-especially on a holiday. It was the holiday atmosphere, right? That was why she was getting soft, and why she had lowered her guard with Amu earlier. Right?
She was brought out of her musing when the said pinkette appeared at the bottom of the steps, an expectant look on her face. "Hey, Utau; are you coming upstairs or not? Don't worry; I made sure Kukai didn't eat everything. You still like gingersnaps, right?"
Utau looked up at her in surprise before she nodded. "Right…I'm coming up." The words slipped from lips before she could stop herself. Amu's tone…it had sounded as if she was talking to a friend, and not someone who had tried to ruin her. It was just like when they were kids.
Amu smiled happily as she grabbed the blonde by the wrist and led her up to the lounge room. "I thought so! I remember you used to have those cookie-eating contests with Kukai all the time!" She rambled on about past holiday events, bringing up warm memories for Utau.
The sixteen-year-old girl stopped, looking back at the blonde. "Yeah?"
Utau swallowed hard, looking away as she said, "Well, it's just that…um…I'm going to officially break up with Ikuto, okay? But not for your sake or anything," she added quickly. "I just thought you should know." Amu blinked.
"Oh…okay," she said. "Thanks for telling me, Utau."
The blonde nodded as they continued up the steps. She wasn't giving up just yet, but Utau decided at that moment not to go through with her plan to humiliate Amu.
I won't lose to you ever, Hinamori Amu…but consider this your Christmas present.
I don't own Shugo Chara!
So this is the Christmas party, Part One. I was going to put in the confrontation with Rima and sneak in some Amuto, but it just didn't fit without making the chapter extra long. So it'll continue in the next chapter!
Okay, I wasn't originally going to turn Utau from a villain to a good person but she's still human so I figured…if Amu had once been friends with her, then Utau must have originally been sweet too, right? Obviously, she was in my story since I'm the author and I'm making her like that…
I just confused myself.
Anyways, Utau's not completely heartless in this chapter though she's claiming it's because it's the holidays. She's no Grinch, so she decides to let Amu have a small victory by giving up Ikuto. However, without Ikuto as a final claim, can Utau really continue to compete with Amu-who looks ready to forgive her?
Hm, we'll see…and no. Before you guys ask, I did not have any specific plan for Utau to humiliate Amu. Just imagine it was something cruel and mortifying, alright?
Moving on, I hope you like the little costume idea I had for the guys. There's no actual meaning behind their costumes, really, but interpret it any way you want to.
Actually, there is some value in the costume I chose for Nagihiko. If you can find out why I made him dress up as the Santa-bear, then I'll give you a virtual brownie. (Hint: it involves a small blonde)
I hope you guys liked the chapter; don't hesitate to tell me if you found any mistakes!