—*****

Mistletoes

—*****

"Hey, Piko, you're blending in the snow!"

"My hair's not that white."

Christmas was truly the most beautiful time of the year: Snow was falling ever so gently on the ground, powdery and cold. Their part of the neighbourhood was almost always covered in a thick sheet of ice, so they decided to take a walk around the park, where lights and decorations were put up along the streets. Rin insisted they should take advantage of the cold getaway to escape her brother's baking practice at home, while Piko was naturally forced to come with her after an hour of looking through the DVDs he had with Rin's help as he persuaded he should have had some fun things to watch. He forgot that his mother confiscated all his material possessions, including his favourite movies, to make him 'realise' the 'joy' of a 'simple, white' Christmas.

Rin had this thing for jackets as much as a beret, so seeing her in them wasn't much of an unusual sight than anytime else. Piko had to admit, though, that scarf made her look—slightly—different.

They were walking past a bench when Rin stopped.

Piko turned around, his hands in his pockets, wondering why she suddenly halted. "What's the matter?" And then, "Are you frozen in your tracks? Have you caught the cold feet? Why're you looking so iced up? You need to chill—"

"That's my line!" Rin said, pulling down her beret, chuckling. "You know what I love about snow?"

"What?"

She suddenly bent down. Before Piko could register what was happening, a snowball hit his face.

"This!"

He staggered backward, groping at his feet for ice. He threw one at Rin, whose back was hit squarely. She didn't take that lying down! Soon they began a snowball fight amongst themselves, crouching down the bench or hiding behind the lamppost. It was an icy freezing game.

This went on for a while until Rin stood up, staring at the sky.

Piko blinked, shifting his gaze to where she was looking. What's up with the sky that bugs her so much?

He sat down on the bench, hoping she'd follow his lead. She did, not looking at him.

"So…" Piko started, feeling awkward. "Looking for Santa Claus?"

"Hmm…? No!" Rin pouted. She pointed upward, pulling him by the shoulder. He could see the streetlight, but… "See that?"

"Am I supposed to be looking at LED?"

He earned a nudge in the ribs. "No, try and look closer."

More than a little…freaked…about Rin's behaviour, he reluctantly tried to see what she did: There, hanging up the lamppost, was a cute little green plant.

She dropped her gaze and stared at the ground.

Piko scowled slightly. "What makes Mistletoe so special, anyway? It defeats the purpose of having to kiss anyone you like anytime you want."

"Because it's only hung up in Christmas!" exclaimed Rin, who believed more in denying Piko than what the plant was for. "You don't like it?"

"I hate it," said Piko, adjusting his own muffler. "And you so do?"

"No, but why don't you?"

"I just don't! It's too…cheesy."

"I bet you'll like it," muttered Rin, rolling her eyes.

"I doubt that."

"You will."

"What makes you so sure of that?"

It was a challenge. Rin stubbornly accepted it. She pulled his head closer to hers and kissed him. Piko was speechless. Eyes wide open at the surprise. It didn't take him long to respond: He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her back, running his hands on her, taking in her sweet citrusy scent.

Rin was about to pull away when Piko caught her lips once more, begging for another round, which she couldn't refuse. This time it was much more passionate, edging from chastity to sincere affection.

They both leaned backward to breathe, staring at each other's eyes. Rin was blushing, and so was he, most probably.

"Do you like Mistletoes now?"

Piko smiled.

"I might."