On the third day of Christmas my Glitter Queen gave to meeeee. This one goes to my precious TK who's become one of my closest friends ever and I love her so much.

.

.

.

early bird gets the worm

.

.

.

In Gray's defense, he was just hungry.

What kind of moron would intentionally go into war at a shopping mall without getting some food first? It was like suicide at the worst degree and that was saying something since suicide was like one of the new touchy subject people shunned you for if you used it wrong in a sentence. But that was exactly how Gray felt right then and there, half swaying like the players in the video games when there's just one blow left before K.O.

He was damn fucking hungry and he was in some store inside the packed mall looking for Ur's gift at the last minute.

And who's fault was it?

Lyon's.

Lyon and Ultear's.

His siblings were fucking morons and Gray always had to pay for it. Who said something about him taking it easy because he was the youngest? No, they're wrong because Gray had to deal with their stupidity. Like Lyon's outfit; what the fuck was he doing wearing a goddamn polo and fucking khakis?

Gray slowly turned his gray-blue eyes towards Ultear, sizing her up and all her Eldest Sibling aura and practically scoffing in her direction. Except Gray didn't have enough strength even for that; he was so hungry. Who the hell skips breakfast anyway—most important meal of the day, god.

He groaned, throwing his head back and staring at the janky ceiling of the store they were currently trying to shop at.

"Gray if you groan one more time I swear," Lyon sneered, turning towards him and glaring.

Gray wasn't impressed.

"That's what I'm sayin' about your outfit, cumslut."

"Your language," Ultear hissed, smacking at his arm and glaring at Lyon as if threatening him if he continued the pointless argument.

Yeah, Gray thought, quit fucking making him think of insults; could Lyon not see that he was hungry?

He crossed his arms in front of his chest, looking around the store and glowering at the mob of housewives raking the place up for something half-priced except nothing was ever half-priced during Christmas because that's when the big shot tycoons made it big because a fifty-five dollar shirt was totally awesome for a Christmas present.

Gray rolled his eyes, thinking that even if he and Lyon and Ultear put their money together they still wouldn't have enough for a pair of gold hoop earrings.

Sucks being an undergrad, a dropout and a hipster with a tea shop.

(Her one and only employee was hot, though, Gray thought back to the blue haired girl he saw fixing a display the last time he went over to look for Ultear.)

"What exactly are we even looking for?" he asked, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket.

"At this point," Ultear sighed, "anything."

Gray shrugged a shoulder and looked around, grabbing the first thing that caught his eye. He held it up, glancing at it for a second before turning towards his siblings and giving them a crooked grin that would win him all the awards. "Yeah?"

"No," Lyon was quick to shoot down, running an agitated hand through his silver-white hair.

"She likes scarves," Gray sneered defensively, thinking back to the different scarves he's seen his adoptive mother wear.

"Okay," Lyon argued back, snatching the scarf out of his grip and holding it up and close so that it was the only thing Gray could see. "But are you blind? This is a gross shade of red."

No fucking way, man.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Gray swatted the scarf away from him, glaring at Lyon and backhanding his chest. "We're late Christmas shopping because you were away and Ultear doesn't have her priorities in check, everything is basically sold out and only the ugly shit is around." Here, he stared at a lady that was on the other aisle basically eavesdropping on their conversation. He glared when she caught his eye, looking appalled at his language and attitude before she walked away. "And you're being a snob over the color of a scarf?!"

"Both of you shut up," Ultear intervened, smacking them upside the head and lowering her head in embarrassment. "You are morons!"

"I'm hungry," Gray said, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"You're a Grinch," Lyon said, offhandedly. "That's it—that's all there is to it. Your negativity is bringing us down and that's why this is all going wrong it's your fault Gray it's always your fault."

"You—"

"I am going to kill you both if you don't shut up and be civil," Ultear growled, glaring at them with her dark eyes, her hand on her hips.

She turned on the heels of her boots, sashaying her way out of the store and Lyon and Gray had no other choice but to follow her. The mall was buzzing with a thousand conversations going on at once, people passing by, pushing and shoving and ignoring the fact that there were other people around trying to get by because apparently the world revolved around them and standing in the middle of perfectly good walking space was okay.

"So what do we do now?" Lyon asked, his hands shoved in the pockets of his khakis.

Gray tried to hide the snort.

"We're going to eat and regroup and think properly," Ultear said, leading the way towards the food court. "It's hard to think about anything to get her; Mom isn't the type to expect anything."

"Why don't we just take a picture with Santa?" Gray drawled, side-eyeing the long line filled with snot nosed kids and their jittery parents.

Lyon and Ultear paused in their steps, turning to face him with identical blank expressions.

.

.

.

Christmas dinner with his family was alright, Gray supposed.

Ur cooked a nice, delicious meal that always ended with red velvet cake for desert and Gray grew up with a thing for red velvet because it was Ur's favorite cake and as the baby of the family always got a second serving. And catching up was alright, too, he supposed.

Despite thinking his older brother was a dick, it was nice to hear he was doing good and that he was still as single as the year before. And Ultear and her tea shop and the hot employee (Juvia, he had to remember that; god it sucked that Gray was bad with names) and their mother…

It always felt like Ur was at a stand-still, just waiting for her baby birds to come home for a visit where she'd smile that warm smile of hers that crinkled her pretty eyes and listened to everything they had to say and was not afraid to punch them if they did something stupid.

Now, after the meal and the cake, they sat around the living room with a glass of rum and coke each and presents. Ur got them each something she knew they'd like because despite being twenty-three, twenty-one and twenty they were still the same and she knew it.

But their own gifts weren't important because in Ur's hand was a white envelope.

Gray, Lyon and Ultear locked eyes, sipping at their alcoholic beverages and gauging their mother's every reaction.

Ur opened the envelope and took out its content, her expression blank for a second as she scanned it once, twice, thrice… Before an award winning smile brightened her face. She looked up and Gray almost groaned in slight annoyance at the tears that glistened in her eyes, laughing at them as she looked back down at the picture and cooed.

They moved in closer to look down at it. There was a poor fool paid to dress as Santa and three grown half-adults surrounding him. And then there was Ultear with a smile that matched their mothers, her violet hair pooling down her shoulders, one hand on Santa's funky chair and the other on Lyon's shoulder. Lyon had his arms crossed in front of his chest, staring at Gray and half-smiling and looking just a tad awkward.

And then Gray, on the other side of Santa, with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his leather jacket, his hair a mess and a shit-eating smirk on his lips as he looked away.

"Oh," Ur cooed, "You guys, it's perfect. It's going on the fridge—right next to the one where you guys were still young."

"Score!" Gray shouted, deciding that he was a brilliant mastermind and that their mother's Christmas was saved because he was alive. And as soon as his paycheck came in and they huddled their money together, they were going to buy Ur the prettiest gold earrings ever.

He and Lyon high-fived and Ultear rolled her eyes as she grinned.

"Just putting this out there," Gray said, "Lyon tried to get you the shittiest red scarf ever, Ma'."

Lyon sputtered, "Goddamnit Gray!"