Disclaimer: No matter how much I wish for it, I do not own No. 6. But maybe if I'm a really good girl this year and update all my stories in a reasonable amount of time, Santa will give me the owner rights next year for Christmas! YEAHHHH-no. ;-;
Snow. Pure white snow. For the moment, it was sparkling in the moonlight as it spiraled down from the sky. To Shion, it seemed as though each snowflake came down in pairs instead of individually. Over there was one snowflake dancing around another as though they were celebrating, and then falling less than an inch away from Shion's nose, tinted red from the cold, was a pair of snowflakes that floated down to the earth right beside each other, neither of them even so much as a millimeter ahead or behind the other.
He knew that, soon enough, the freshly fallen snow would be trampled by hundreds of people, some of them only slightly cleaner than mud, and then it would turn into brown slush. But for now, it was glistening in the silver shafts of light, untainted.
Shion turned around to see Nezumi standing not too far away from him, his hands tucked neatly into his pockets and his scarf pulled tight up around his neck and chin.
"What are you doing out here?" Nezumi called out.
He rolled his eyes. "Idiot. Of course it is." His gaze slithered down Shion's body, causing the victim to shiver as a wave of heat came with the intense stare, and then frowned. "You're not even wearing a proper coat."
Shion picked at his clothes. Nezumi was right; he was only wearing a sweater underneath a light jacket, and his pants weren't really the type to hold in heat. "Oh."
"'Oh'? That's it? You're going to freeze to death and all you have to say is 'oh'?"
Nezumi sighed. "Get inside," he grumbled. "I'd hate to have you die and then I'd be left with dealing with your body."
Shion started walking towards him. "Your concern is touching."
In all honesty, it wasn't that much warmer inside their apartment. It was getting more and more expensive to buy any source of heat or even any sort of fuel, and despite both Nezumi's and Shion's hard work, they hadn't had quite enough money to keep up. Shion could tell that, even though he was trying to hide it, Nezumi was getting irritated by their money situation.
Shion eyed his coat, which was draped across the arm of the couch. He wanted to put it on, but he also didn't want Nezumi to feel bad by the fact that he needed his coat on even while inside. So instead, he remained standing next to the couch while Nezumi sat, trying to keep his blood circulating by bouncing on the balls of his feet slightly. Without even realizing it, he started humming.
Nezumi looked up at him after a minute. "What's that?"
Shion blinked. "What's what?"
"That song," he replied. "You've been humming a song. I don't recognize the tune."
"Oh!" Shion thought for a second, trying to recall what had been running through his mind a moment ago. He flushed. "It's… it's nothing."
Nezumi's piercing gray eyes narrowed. "Don't tell me it's nothing. What. Is. It?"
"It's just… an old song my mother used to sing," Shion tried to look at Nezumi, but failed. He didn't want to bring up his old life in No. 6, especially not now. But Nezumi remained silent, though Shion could still feel his gaze trained on himself. When the tense silence continued for several minutes, Shion couldn't help himself.
"S-she said it used to be a traditional Christmas song," he stammered. "Most people don't know it nowadays, but… I-it's called "Twelve Days of Christmas." Maybe… you've heard of it?"
"Why should I know it?" Nezumi leaned back into the couch, closing his eyes. "I've never really dealt with things like Christmas."
"Ah." What else was there to say? What else could he say?
Nezumi creaked open one eye and glanced at Shion. "Do you remember all the lyrics to it?"
Shion jumped. "What?"
"The lyrics. Do you remember them all?"
"Y-yeah… I think."
Shion felt the blood rush to his face. "I'm not one much for singing…"
"Just say it then."
Shion stared at Nezumi for a second, then quickly looked away. He couldn't stand Nezumi's sharp, steadfast stare; it was like his gleaming gray eyes were slowly cutting into Shion's soul, sliver by sliver, trying to figure him out. Shion tried to throw up a shield, but the gray knives still found him, no matter what.
But... maybe he didn't need a shield.
Shion took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to remember first the tune, then the words that naturally came with the soft melody.
"On the first day of Christmas," he said, slowly and carefully, "my true love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree."
Shion went on until he reached the last verse. Nezumi's gaze didn't leave him once the whole time. Shion could have sworn that the other boy never even blinked. When he finally finished reciting the song, he simply stood there, returning Nezumi's unrelenting stare. They sat there for what felt like days, neither of them backing down, neither looking away. At last, Nezumi let out a soft chuckle as he relaxed in his seat.
"Did you lose track of time?" He asked.
"Huh?" Shion blinked, confused.
"Remember what day it is?"
Nezumi rested his arms on the back of the couch and let out a sigh. "Christmas. It's Christmas." He snickered. "I thought you of all people would remember some sappy holiday like that."
"Well, sorry to disappoint you," Shion replied with a sigh as he, too, sat down on the couch. "I've just been busy."
"Yeah, well, we both have."
Shion glanced at Nezumi out of the corner of his eye. "So why did you remember it, then?"
This time, it was Nezumi's turn to blush, even though he hid it much more well than Shion with a hand covering his face casually as he leaned forward on his elbows. "Like I said," he coughed, "I thought that you would be into a corny holiday like Christmas. I was merely bracing myself for the worst."
Shion was quiet for a second, then he smiled.
Nezumi eyed him warily. "What's that stupid grin for?"
"Nothing, nothing, I was just…"
"Just thinking that you might have actually been looking forward to Christmas."
Nezumi choked on the very air he was breathing. "Where on earth did you pull that lame idea from?"
"Your face," Shion's grin widened. "Just now, you looked as though you had anticipated something."
"Yeah, I had anticipated you acting like an idiot."
"Well," Shion leaned back and stretched his arms across the couch like Nezumi had been doing a minute ago, "guess you were wrong. I had really forgotten that Christmas was today, so I didn't prepare anything for it. Oh well."
Nezumi nodded. "Good."
"You look…" Shion chewed on his lower lip for an instant, trying to think of the right word, "disappointed."
Nezumi scoffed. "Do not."
"Ugh," Nezumi groaned as he rubbed the back of his head. "You sound like you're five."
"Do not," Shion protested.
"Do-" Nezumi shook his head violently. "Agh! Forget it!"
Shion snickered. "A bit touchy today, are we?"
Nezumi gave his shoulder a shove. "Shut it, Snowman."
"Hey," he reached out and gently tugged on a piece of Shion's snow-white hair, "it fits, doesn't it? Anyways," he said, his hand dropping, "I guess, since you aren't interested in Christmas, you don't want to see what I had gotten… oh, well…"
Shion fidgeted in his seat. "You… got something?"
"Yup," Nezumi put his hands behind his head, interlacing his fingers. "But since you forgot all about Christmas, I guess it doesn't matter…"
More squirming. "Um… well…" Shion felt his heartbeat speed up like a little kid's does on Christmas morning when he sees all the presents stacked underneath the tree. "I… I could still…"
Nezumi smiled softly. "Thought so."
He ruffled Shion's hair. "Nothing. Here, come on."
Nezumi stood up and hefted Shion up by his elbow. He dragged him into the rows of bookshelves until they reached the very back wall. He turned right and stopped, letting go of Shion's arm and stepping to the side, a smug, satisfied smile washing over his face. Shion stood there, his jaw slowly dropping open in surprise.
There, only a foot away, was a small, green tree. It only came up to Shion's neck, but it was filled out with bristling green branches and filled with life. There were some strands of sparkling silver tinsel dangling from the ends of the branches, as well as a few ornaments nestled within the branches themselves.
"How…" Shion reached out to stroke the tips of the branches; a piece of tinsel slipped through his fingers.
"Rikiga gave it to me," Nezumi explained. "He said he didn't need it and figured you would like it. I found the decorations on my own."
"Nezumi…" Shion spun around and, without thinking, threw his arms around Nezumi's torso. "Thank you," he whispered.
Nezumi was shocked into silence for a minute before he returned the embrace. "Idiot," he murmured into Shion's silky snow-white hair. "Merry Christmas."
Wow… that end… it hurt me. So cheesy. ;-;
But I love cheese! ^-^
I hope everyone is having a fantastic Christmas so far! I know I am! We got a flat screen TV and a blu-ray player, and it takes flash drives, so now I can take the 104 episodes of anime I have on my computer that I haven't watched yet and watch them on the TV after working on fan fictions for my hourly turn on the computer, then go back after my sister's hour and work more on my fan fiction or read manga! Sweetness, right?
What did you guys get? I WANT TO KNOW! Seriously. Tell me. Like now. -
This fan fiction is obviously themed for Christmas. I'm going with the 'Twelve Days of Christmas', but not quite the one most of you might know. At first I was going to base it off the song, but then decided to change it. Now it's based off of the twelve days of a Christmas tree.
If you want to know what I mean by that, I'll explain it in further A/Ns in further chapters. As some of you may have guessed, I will update one chapter a day for the next twelve days. I will! I CAN DO THIS!
But for now…
MERRY CHRISTMAS! ^-^-^-^-^-^ LET IT SNOW SO MUCH THAT WE NEVER HAVE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL!