Disclaimer: I own neither the story nor the characters. This is heavily adapted from the SS thread: さんたさんへ くりすますぷれぜんとはお○んぽみるくがほしいです！
It all started with a simple question.
A simple question that, as the leaves lost their color and clothes became thicker and warmer, was quite expected of the time. It was a question that was asked between two people, whether brother or sister, friend to friend, or lover to lover. It was a simple question that went:
"Is there anything you want for Christmas?"
"Your family name."
"What?" Saihara Shuichi blinked in surprise, not really sure what to say. While he would admit that it was only recently that he was able to gain people he'd honestly want to give a present to, the answer he had received left his mind boggled.
Well, as he had learned throughout the year, Akamatsu Kaede had a way of leaving him speechless.
"I said I want your last name, Saihara-kun." The pianist smiled back at him, not noticing the boy detective's confusion.
"You mean my family name?" Shuichi asked, trying to gain more insight to explain what she was talking about.
However, all he got was a shy "Yeah.", her cheeks dying pink.
At the moment, it was just the two of them in their empty classroom. The school day had ended and the afternoon light gave the room a warm orange glow. If Saihara Shuichi was a romantic, he'd have noticed how romantic the atmosphere and the mood between the two Ultimates were and used it to his advantage.
Unfortunately for the both of them, Shuichi was a detective and so instead just kept silent as he tried to understand what Kaede was talking about.
"I…don't understand." asked the detective, killing any mood in the air.
This time it was Kaede's turn to be surprised.
"Wait, you don't get it?"
"Not really." Shuichi shook his head. "In the first place, how do I even give you my last name? It's not really something I can put in a box…"
Kaede pointedly looked into Shuichi's eyes, searching for a sign that he was lying but to only find confusion. She could only sigh, her body visibly deflating as she slouched down.
The sight concerned Shuichi. "What's wrong?"
"You know, I already knew you were insensitive but…" Again, Kaede sighed, this time shaking her head. In a way, it was quite cute. On the other hand, it didn't help her at all. How did he remain this obtuse yet interacted daily with Iruma Miu. Well, maybe, it was because he had to interact with the inventor that he had to in order to retain his sanity.
Kaede crossed her arms and pouted, a glare aimed at the boy. "You know, I used a lot of courage to reply to you just now. Maybe, the rest of the year's supply!"
"I'm…sorry?" was the only thing Shuichi could offer back in conciliation. Even though he didn't know what was happening, he did know an angry Kaede was something to be avoided. It would be best to appease her.
"Even if you tell me that you want my last name as a Christmas gift, I honestly don't know how to give it."
"So you really don't know…" The blonde slumped down for a moment before she regained her vigor and pointed a delicate finger at Shuichi. "Please think of the answer yourself!"
"You have till Christmas to think of an answer!" declared Kaede before she turned away from him and started to walk away.
"Wait!" Shuichi called out to her but she didn't seem to have heard or just ignored him as she continued making her way out of the room.
However, right when she arrived on the doorway, she turned back to the boy, still frozen in place. All anger seemed to have left her body as she once again sent him a shy look complete with a slight blush on her cheeks.
"…Christmas." Kaede's voice was as soft as a whisper yet it echoed across the room. "I'll be expecting a lot on Christmas, okay?."
With those last words, the Ultimate Pianist entered the corridor, closing the door behind her.
It took an embarrassing amount of time for Shuichi to remind himself that he needed to breathe.
"I'm back!" Shuichi called out as he entered the club room. The door shut behind him and he nodded to the two other occupants as they looked up from their phones to acknowledge his return. His body directed him to his usual seat automatically as his brain was still trying to process what had just happened.
"Welcome back," nodded Hajime, as he returned his phone back into his pocket. There was an open bag of chips in front of the older boy which Shuichi assumed he had been snacking on.
"So how was it?" asked Makoto, straight to the point, from his place sitting next to Shuichi. The boy looked at him with big expecting eyes so Shuichi decided to be honest with him even if he wasn't entirely sure on what the truth meant.
"Well, she said she wanted my surname."
To his confusion, the answer caused wide grins to spread among his clubmates faces.
"Hey, that's great!"
"You did it!"
Shuichi just sent a look of confusion to both of them. Maybe, they knew something he didn't. "Wait, but I don't think you can give a surname as a gift."
"What are you…" began Hajime but stopped when he saw the genuine confusion on the boy's face. "Are you serious?"
Before Shuichi could answer, Makoto asked another question.
"What kind of reaction did Akamatsu-san show when you told her?".
Shuichi turned to the shorter boy and replied what he could recall, "She was depressed at first but then she got a little angry by the end."
"That's right. It's only natural." Hinata nodded, understanding the pianist.
"I feel bad for Akamatsu-san." The luckster sounded genuine in his words.
"I…don't understand. Do you know what she means?"
Hajime turned to Shuichi, his face serious and his arms crossed. "Look, Akamatsu wanted your last name because she wanted to marry you."
"W-wha?!" Shuichi physically recoiled in surprise at the older boy's words.
"When, a woman gets married, they usually get the surname of the husband, right?" Makoto's explanation was much softer and less blunt than Hajime's but that didn't make any of his words brain-mushing. "Well, if the male can do it as well, but I'm sure Akamatsu-san just professed she wanted yours."
"In, other words," added Hajime. "Akamatsu wants to marry you and become Saihara Kaede."
"That's why she wants your surname," finished Makoto with a small smile on his face.
"S-Sai…Saihara…" Even though it was something he was born it, Shuichi found it surprising that how difficult it was to say his own surname at the moment.
"Hey, good for you!" Hajime directed a wide grin at Shuichi from across the table "To be loved that much by Akamatsu."
"Congratulations on your marriage," said Makoto along with light clapping.
"W-wait a moment! You're all saying that she wants to marry me but…such a thing…" Shuichi felt his cheeks on fire from embarrassment on the two boy's ribbing and the very idea that they were teasing him with.
"Well, did she say anything else?" asked Hinata.
"She said…" Shuichi recalled Kaede's last words. "She was expecting something on Christmas."
His words only returned his clubmates grins.
"Isn't that…" asked Makoto to Hajime who agreed.
"Yup…it's that." Hajime turned to Shuichi, one eyebrow raised "A man has to meet a woman's expectations, right? Especially the kind you get when you're married…"
"Ah…" Shuichi tipped his cap to cover his face, his mind supplying him exactly what kind of marital expectations a wife expected from her husband, especially those that happened at night.
A few seconds later, the detective's head hit the table with a thud as he fainted, his mind overloaded.
Makoto was the first to move, and held the unconscious boy up, to check if he was okay. He held the back of his hand to the younger boy's forehead. "It's hot!"
"Even though it's winter…"
With Hajime's help, the two were able to move the unconscious boy to the clubroom's sole couch.
"Man, he's really red." pointed out Makoto, noticing how flushed Shuichi's face was. "You think he'll be okay?"
As if he heard the question, Shuichu mumbled words that sounded like "Akamatsu-san", "Marriage", and "Cinnamon".
"He'll be fine." Hajime waved off as he headed to the door. "Besides, it looks like its my turn to ask."
Makoto nodded although he moved his chair so that he could sit next to Shuichi's prone body to look after him. "It's Nanami-san, right?"
"Yeah, it's just Nanami so it'll be fine. She'll just want a game or some kind."
"Good luck then!"
With that last note, Makoto watched as Hajime left the clubroom.
It wasn't hard to find the Ultimate Gamer. She in their usual spot by the fountain, sitting on a bench as she tapped away to her gaming console. That she was doing this while her eyes were closed and lightly snoring was just testament to her title.
"Oy, Nanami! Nanami!"
The girl awoke to the sound of her name. Heavy eyelids opened slowly to reveal pink irises. When they met his own, a soft smile grew on Chiaki's face.
"…Eh? Oh. Hinata-kun? Good morning."
"It's afternoon already. Also, don't sleep here or you'll catch a cold."
"Don't go back to sleep!"
Hajime sighed at the girl's antics though he couldn't stop his own smile from growing on his face. It was just typical Nanami. He sat down next to her, making sure that she'd stay awake this time with a few shakes and nudges.
He waited for the girl to finish a loud yawn before speaking again.
"Anyways Nanami, I want to ask if you want anything for a Christmas gift."
The girl turned to him and tilted her head cutely. "Christmas gift?
"Yeah. I mean, you've always been helping me out since day one." Hajime turned away from her gaze, feeling slightly embarrassed. "So I want to get you something as thanks. Anything's fine."
"Nothing too expensive, at least. Nothing like a game console." If he was honest, Hajime found buying just the games themselves to be somewhat pricey. Still, if it was for Nanami…
He turned back to her to see Chiaki with one finger on her lips as she looked up, clearly thinking. Hajime was already used to her, what he called, loading times, as she took her time to think about his offer. While he was happy that she looked to be taking it seriously, a part of him (his wallet) was worried how long she was taking.
Eventually she did move again but she first reached into her bag to take out a piece of paper before speaking up.
"Well, then…" Nanami handed the piece of paper to Hinata who took it in both hands. "…please deliver this to City Hall."
Hajime read the heading of the paper.
Hajime read the heading of the paper again.
He then flipped it over and rubbed his eyes, yet the words didn't change at all.
"Nanami…san." Hajime held the paper with the same carefulness and caution he'd give a detonator from Komaeda. "What on earth is this?"
"It's a certificate for marriage," stated back Chiaki, matter-of-factly.
"That's right, but what I mean is-"
"Look!" suddenly a hand entered Hajime's vision as Nanami pointed out something Hajime hadn't noticed as he still stuck at the top. "I already finished filling out everything, I only need Hajime-kun's stamp to finish it."
"Y-yeah, my name's already there, isn't it?" Also, the name of his parents, his home address and other things Hajime didn't remember ever telling her about. He didn't remember ever telling anyone in the school.
He forced his gaze away from the paper to the girl next to him. Chiaki looked at him excitedly, two fists held close to her chest.
"Let's go and submit it on Christmas!"
"No, well, this is a little…" Soon. Sudden. Unexpected. A lot of words could be used but Hajime couldn't choose one. He turned back to the paper in his hands then back at the gamer, her expression unchanging. "Wouldn't you normally want a game or something? Why a marriage certificate?"
"Does Hinata-kun not want to marry me?" To his horror, Hajime saw tears start to form in Chiaki's eyes. Naturally, he took his words back.
"It's not that I don't want to marry you. It's just-"
"Let's go on Christmas then!" Immediately, Chiaki was back to normal as she stood up to take the document back from his numb hands. "It's a promise."
With a small hum, the gamer walked away leaving Hajime along on the bench along with a pit of dread in his stomach.
When Hajime got back to the clubroom, Shuichi was already back up.
"Oh, you're back."
"Saihara-kun was resurrected."
"…" He just silently nodded at their greetings as he made his way to his chair to drop down on it.
Shuichi and Makoto exchanged glances at the silent behavior of their friend. He looked like a shell-shocked veteran who just came back from war. It was Makoto who decided to speak up first.
"So, what did Nanami-san want? Was it a game after all?"
Hajime looked down into his hands as if they held answers to the questions in his head. "She wants to submit a marriage certificate to city hall."
"I'm…" Hajime audibly swallowed, as if he knew his fate was already sealed. "I'm going to marry Nanami."
"Wait wait! Weren't you just going ask what she wanted for a gift?!" Makoto knew he had to stop his friend's train of thought.
"Ah." It worked as Hajime blinked as if snapping out of a stupor. "That's right. I totally forgot!"
"It seems Nanami-san had full control of the conversation. How did such a conversation lead to the topic of marriage in the first place?" wondered Shuichi, completely ignoring how he was also in the same boat as Hajime.
"Maybe, she used hypnotism? Or Mitarai-kun's brainwash animation," answered Makoto, unsure as well. Either one, didn't seem to help his friend as Hajime held his head in his hands.
"Damn, how did this happen? I mean, I don't mind marrying Nanami but it's way too early!"
Makoto nodded. "Hinata-kun and Saihara-kun are still students after all."
"Wait, I haven't decided on that yet," spoke up the detective.
"But I think you and Akamatsu-san look suit each other."
"E-even if you say that…"
Makoto's reply got the boy detective to blush and look away shyly. He then turned to Hinata who looked to be rambling to himself on whether he should still bother proposing or not.
The luckster smiled wistfully at the sight. Shame he didn't have anyone like that for himself. It may be a good time to leave to get his mind off that idea.
"It's my turn then."
Saihara turned to see Naegi stand from his seat. "Who are you going to ask? Kirigiri-san?"
"Yeah. Although, I wonder if I'll get married as well," joked Makoto, enjoying the horrified expression that went over Shuichi's face. He had always found it amusing how intimidated Shuichi was to his fellow Ultimate Detective. Although, it wasn't like Naegi didn't also feel unease with Komaeda-senpai as well.
"W-with Kirigiri-san? Really?"
"It's just a joke. There's no way something like that would happen." Makoto waved off as he left the room. "After all, it is Kirigiri-san."
.Finding the female Ultimate Detective was easier than Naegi expected. It was actually quite fortunate that he had been able to find her at all as she normally was out of school when she was helping with a case. He had found her sitting along in the dining hall, drinking a cup of coffee. A bunch of case files were in front of her but she seemed to be in a break as she enjoyed the cup with both hands.
Makoto made his way to her table then taking a seat, silently waiting for her. The detective finished her cup before acknowledging him.
"Good afternoon, Naegi-kun."
"Yeah." He squirmed in his seat a bit, unsure where to begin. Also, the previous events were still fresh on his mind and made him strangely nervous.
"…Naegi-kun?" His nervousness didn't go unnoticed as the detective raised a single brow. "Do you need something from me?"
"Take you time."
"Right." Calming himself and dismissing any weird thoughts from his head, Makoto took a deep breath before continuing. "I wanted to ask if you wanted anything for a Christmas present."
"A present, you say." Kyoko cupped her chin, in thought.
"Yeah, since it's getting closer to Christmas, I'd like to be able to give something to Kirigiri-san."
"Hmm. Wouldn't it be better if you found out yourself?"
"I guess." agreed Makoto, undeterred. He was already used to her being right anyways. "but I still want to at least ask if you wanted anything specific."
"Then I'll tell you what I told you a few months ago, I'm not used to being given gifts, so I have no real preference." Kyoko brushed her hair back, to show the glimmer of an earring. "Just use the same thought you put into my birthday gift as well, Naegi-kun. I quite liked them."
"But those are different! A birthday gift is something I want to give to you while a Chirstmas present should be something the recipient wants." Besides, it was hard enough thinking of and finding her a good birthday gift, he didn't need to go through that again.
"I don't think it's really that important, Naegi-kun." The Kirigiri crossed her arms as she stared him down. "why are you so insistent on getting me a gift in the first place?"
"Huh? Isn't it obvious?" Makoto blinked once before a simple smile as genuine as his voice covered his face. "It's because you're someone precious to me..."
"Naegi-kun…" His words warmed Kyoko's chest more than any heating pad or fireplace could and drew out a soft genuine smile she had found herself using more and more around him. Really, this boy…
"…one of my important friends."
"…Naegi-kun." His words cooled Kyoko's head faster than the icy winter outside and drew out a tired sigh she had found herself using more and more around him. Seriously, this guy…
Noticing her new frown, Makoto asked, "Is something wrong, Kirigiri-san? You suddenly look tired all of a sudden."
However, all his concern got was a small huff as the detective looked away from him.
"I said it's nothing!"
"Uh…okay." The luckster could only scratch his chin in confusion. From what he's learned with dealing with her, it was best to leave her alone when she got into a mood. The stoic detective could get surprisingly emotional when she got annoyed.
"…Now that I think about it, Naegi-kun. There is something I want."
"Really?! What is it?" Not expecting her to speak up so soon, Makoto immediately grasped the line she threw him in order to placate her mood.
"I want a ring." Kyoko stared, no glared, at his own eyes with the same hard scrutiny he had seen her use on potential culprits to get them to talk.
"So…a ring?" If he were to be completely honest, it was honestly frightening the amount of pressure she was directing at him. It had taken all of Makoto to just repeat what she was saying.
"Yes." Her nod was as sharp as her tone. She raised her left hand to show the back of a glove. "Specifically, I want a ring I can put on the ring finger of my left hand."
"Naegi-kun." In one smooth motion, the detective stood up, gathering her files with one arm and her empty mug on her other. She sent him one last look, one that told him not to disappoint her or suffer the consequences.
"You can tell by now, can't you?
"Oh you're back." Shuichi turned to the sound of the door opening to spot Makoto walking towards his chair, the same expression Hajime had earlier etched on his face.
"Did something happen?" asked Hajime even though he already had a feeling on what the reason was.
"Hinata-kun, Saihara-kun…" Makoto finally made his way to the couch before dropping down face first. "I was also swallowed by the flow of marriage…"
"You too, huh?"
"What am I going to do?" Makoto flipped over, face-up, to stare at the ceiling. "How much is an engagement ring anyways?"
Shuichi did a quick search on his phone. "Apparently, the average cost is around 300,000 yen.
"Th-three hundered thousand?!" exclaimed Naegi to which Shuichi could only give a solemn nod.
"I…I also would like to buy one for Akamatsu-san."
"That's just too much for us students," sighed Hajime as he rubbed the back of his dead. He was sure Nanami would also expect him to get one as well. "How are any of us supposed to earn that much before Christmas?"
The three of them shared a brief look of despair at the hopelessness of their situation.
"Well…" Makoto took out his phone to look up a certain number. Desperate times called for desperate measures and there was only one person a desperate Naegi would call. "I wonder how much Togami-kun would lend me. The interest shouldn't be that bad…"
Hinata opted to look down on his body. His still very healthy and functioning body. "Should…should I borrow money from Natsumi?
"Will that be okay?" asked Shuichi although Hajime could only give an unsure shrug.
"My organs will be fine…probably."
Shuichi nodded as he also tried to think of anyone else in his class that would be wealthy enough to lend him money. Well, first he had no idea how much being in a "secret organization" paid for nor did he know the extent of how much Miu got for her patents. "Maybe, Amami-kun would pay me if I help look for his sister?"
"Anyways," Naegi spoke up, feeling hope (and debt) start to grow once more within him. "Let's all do our best!"
[Heroine trio wants to get married]
AN: First part done. Three heroines for each character left. I honestly love Elvira's stuff even if most of it is OOC. I was heavily debating between this one or Love Hotel Go! for a pre-Christmas treat but went with this one as at least everyone's still sort of within character even if Love Hotel Go is much more fun but gets pretty OOC. This one also has more girls in it at least. Maybe, I'll do the latter in Xmas though I've already planned to write something for the despair sisters' birthday. And Naegiri week,if that's stil a thing.
Most of the original fic is literally just in dialogue format so I had to add more than usual. This is obviously my favorite part of the fic actually. Maybe, I'm just a canon whore who likes how well the main heroines were all made to be foils/compliments to the heroes. So sue me.
Next route: [It's normal to want a part of your lover's body, right?]