Author's Notes- Happy holidays anyone, whatever winter holiday you may celebrate (New Year, if nothing else)! This little bit of a fic isn't much more than wintertime fluff and romance with a (very) small side dish of drama, just some fun to commemorate the holidays. The rest of the fic will be published in daily updates beginning on December 27th and continuing until January 1st, barring any complications. I will be visiting my grandparents in Arizona starting on the 27th and will only have access through my phone, so there is a slight possibility there will be an interruption in posting, but I'll do everything in my power not to let that happen.

This is a few years post-manga. You're free to envision any timeline you want, but I have the characters pegged in an age range from late teens to early twenties.

Okay, boring stuff over, now have a story.

❅ Prologue

Soul decided, in retrospect, that it was entirely Maka's fault.

Well, maybe not entirely. Some of the blame had to go to Patti, who had first conceived the idea that they all needed a vacation, and to Liz, who had agreed whole-heartedly and joined in the effort to badger Kid about it until he decided to give the entirety of Spartoi a week off after Christmas. So yeah, maybe it was a little bit Kid's fault, too. Tsubaki wasn't exactly innocent in this whole thing, either. She was the one who had bemoaned the fact that they never got to spend any quality time together any more and inspired the whole "group vacation" idea. Come to think of it, he wasn't too happy with Kilik and Harvar, either, because they were the ones who had suggested skiing. And since everybody else had been so completely taken with that particular idea, but completely unable to agree on a destination for such that was both affordable and could accommodate all fourteen of them, he supposed they ought to shoulder some of the blame as well.

If anybody asked, however- not that they would, but it was the principle of the thing- he was going to maintain that this was completely, totally, 100% Maka's fault... if only to cover up the fact that really, he had no one to blame for this but himself.

Well, technically he supposed he could blame Maka at least a little bit. If she weren't so damn endearing, he wouldn't be such a complete sucker for those stupid wistful eyes of hers. But it wasn't her fault that he had about as much control over his hormones (to say nothing of his runaway sentimentality, which was the real cause of the trouble in this case) as the average cocker spaniel. So sue him, he'd been in love with her since he was like fifteen; he could be forgiven for doing incredibly stupid things for her once in awhile. Or all the time.

If it had just been a question of Kid refusing to use Shibusen funds to subsidize the renting of a ski cabin (something about "frivolous use of taxpayers' capital"), he would never have ended up in this situation. No skin off his back if they couldn't figure out how to make a week of skiing happen. Personally, he'd have preferred to go to a beach somewhere anyway. Snow sports weren't his thing. But then, of course, Maka had to go and make that forlorn little comment about how she'd never really gotten to see snow except on missions thanks to growing up in Death Valley, and there wasn't a whole lot of time to really experience the novelty when you were fighting for your life.

Well, when she put it like that, what the hell was he supposed to do?

So of course, like the complete idiot he was, he'd volunteered the piece of information that, actually, his family had a ski cabin in Aspen that was perfectly big enough to comfortably house them all. Genius, Soul Eater, really genius. And that was how he had ended up being forced to make this really fucking delightful phone call.

"Hey, Wes? Yeah, it's me. Yes, your brother. What, I can't call for no reason?" A sigh. "Okay, fine. I just wanted to ask if Mum and Dad were planning on using the lodge in Aspen the week after Christmas?"