Chapter 25

Shigure's "punishment" didn't let him sleep very well. He was so close to Kyomi but unable to do a think about it. She however had the best night's sleep she had had in months.

"We should do that again." She said sitting up and stretching. She gave Shigure a big sleepy grin which he returned with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and then pushed her over causing laughter to come from the small woman.

"I would much prefer being able to properly sleep next to you." Shigure said as he stole the sheet from her to wrap around his waist. Kyomi hummed to herself as she watched him head to the bathroom.

"That's not likely to happen until after the curse is broken you know." She said.

Shigure's shoulders fell a touch. "I've never been more ready for that to happen."

Kyomi came up behind him and laid her forehead on his spine, her hands carefully on his sides. "I know, me either."

"If I was a less mature man, this would be the part where I started throwing things in anger." Shigure said with a hint of that anger darkening his voice, his hands clenched by his sides. He felt Kyomi's hold tighten on him. He sighed heavily and turned in her hold to lay his forehead on hers, his eyes closed. "Only time will tell if our theories are correct. We will just have to make the most of it in the meantime."

Kyomi nodded, "I just hope that it's soon enough for Kyo."

The next few weeks flowed by slowly. Kyomi decked her home tastefully in white lights and red and green plaid decorations in preparation for Christmas. She even had been able to find a beautiful holly wreath just like her father's parents used. Since she had remembered her Irish heritage, she had been trying to remember the few traditions she could so she could tell them to Luc. She had been relearning some of the carols she had forgotten as well. She wasn't sure what everyone was doing for Christmas, but she was planning on at least asking herself over to Shigure's to have a nice quiet Christmas. She had already infiltrated his home with a small, decorated tree in his yard. The boys hadn't been particularly impressed, but Tohru thought it was beautiful so they went along with it for the girls.

Kyomi and Shigure hadn't really had any official dates, but that's mostly because they found great enjoyment in tormenting the teens in his home. Her brother especially seemed to find it difficult to see them show any signs of familiarity. Once Luc started calling everyone a pervert however, Kyomi put a stop to that language. Tohru however, loved seeing Shigure and Kyomi interact, and even Yuki was happy seeing the couple together as long as they weren't kissing or anything. Secretly, Kyo was happy that his sister had found someone again. She had seemed so much happier and at ease since she had been together with Shigure and although he balked at the thought of them being brothers-in-law, he knew he would bear it for her. Plus the dog possessed man seemed to have mellowed out a little. He also seemed a little less ominous in his scheming.

The week before Christmas, Haru and Momiji had come over for dinner with Kyomi and Luc. Kyomi and Momiji had gotten into a lively discussion reminiscing about European Christmas traditions and Kyomi shared what happened in America though it changes greatly from family to family.

"I went to a German Christmas Markt when we lived there, did I tell you that?" Kyomi asked Momiji as they all sat down to eat.

"Really? Which one did you go to? Wasn't it beautiful?" The small blonde boy gushed.

"It was Rudesheim, a small town on the Rhein. The town was small so it wasn't a large Markt, but we loved it all the same. The town was gorgeous with the lights strung from building to building, across the roads. The streets right in the center of town were closed off and stalls lined both sides of most of the streets. We got candied pecans? I think is what they were, a candied nut of some kind anyway. And gluhwein! Oh that is the perfect thing to drink on a cold winter evening. Beautiful drive too from Wiesbaden to Rudesheim. It went right along the river if you didn't take the Autobahn. I loved seeing the lights on the river." Kyomi sighed, putting her elbow on the table and her chin in her palm staring across from her, past Shigure, to sightlessly watch the sky darken behind him. "I would love to go back especially around Christmas." She said.

"Well, one day when I am all grown up, I shall take you there myself and we will have all the Gluhwein we can drink!" Momiji said.

Shigure was bobbing his head into Kyomi's view trying to get her attention when Momiji made that declaration. He turned to glare at the small German boy. "Not if I take her first."

Kyomi's thoughts came back to the table at that point. "I might just take myself and leave you with Luc if you aren't careful." She said smugly as she picked up her chopsticks to continue eating. She didn't say who she was speaking to, but the whole table knew anyway and the recipient of her words looked contrite.

"As long as you bring me back a souvenir, I could handle that." Shigure said dejectedly.

Kyomi just chuckled and winked at him eliciting a groan from the orange haired boy on her other side.

"However, until that trip comes to pass, I would like to ask you out on Christmas day. It seems to be somewhat of a tradition for couples to spend the day together. We would come back in time for a dinner here with the family. Tohru and Kyo have already agreed to watch Luc for us that day. So my dear, would you do me the honor of accompanying me that day?" Shigure said gallantly.

Kyomi's face had lit up more and more with each word he had spoken. "That would be wonderful! Oh how fun! I can't wait! Of course I will go with you, mo grá."

Shigure grinned at her, "A date it is then my dearest."

…..

Kyomi and Tohru went a few days later to go shopping and left Luc with the boys at the house. Kyomi was looking for something specific. She described it to Tohru and they chatted and laughed as they searched, also looking for any good deals on other clothes. The holidays always offered a chance at a good deal if you look hard enough. Tohru was the one to spot the skirt and Kyomi found the top not long after. There were already a black peacoat and boots waiting in Kyomi's closet, so with the procurement of those two articles, Kyomi was ready.

Christmas morning dawned with Kyo and Tohru at her door bright and early. Kyomi was in her fluffy robe, mug of coffee in hand as they whisked Luc away into the freshly fallen snow. However, they weren't able to get away without a tin of cookies and a hug from the older woman. She settled for a hair ruffling and a quick peck to the forehead for Kyo which made him blush but he accepted it nonetheless. Kyomi watched the trio head out, Luc jumping in the snow in his snow outfit. She smiled at how much they looked like a little family, tears coming to her eyes in gratitude that all of them have more family now that they were actually close to and cared for. Kyomi was very thankful she had some water proof boots to navigate the snow in. Shigure would be coming soon so she went to finish getting ready. She had already done her hair, nothing fancy, just a few swipes of a straightener and pulling her sides up with pearl clips. She finished her makeup, again simple and accentuating her dark red hair and gray green eyes. She pulled her clothes on, a bump smoothing bodysuit with shorts first. Age and childbearing does that to a person. Then finally her cream long sleeved lacy shirt. The neckline was high so all she put on was a simple emerald pendant on a gold chain and matching earrings. She then pulled on the emerald green velvet skirt and her black ankle snow boots. Thankfully she had some nice comfortable boots. She was even able to wear her favorite fuzzy socks with them which made them even warmer.

She heard a knock on the door and went to open it. She almost didn't recognize the man at the door. Shigure must have borrowed clothes from Hatori again because he was in nice pants, white shirt, a black tie, a burgundy v- neck sweater, and a black overcoat.

Both of them stood in the doorway staring at each other for a minute before Kyomi pulled him inside. He had almost a menacingly intense look on his face as he backed her up against the entry wall. Once her back hit the wall, he captured her lips in a kiss she felt all the way to her toes. Her hands found the sides of his face and around the back of his neck to play with his hair like she loved to do. He smartly refrained from touching her hair. He learned that in elementary school. He had gotten hit with her bookbag plenty of times for messing with her hair.

It was some minutes before they broke apart to rest their foreheads together. "You look beautiful my dear." Was Shigure's whispered complement. Kyomi smiled and pecked one more kiss to his nose before they separated so Kyomi could get her coat and purse.

"You don't look so bad yourself Mr. Author. I finished your latest book by the way. It was pretty good. Very sappy, but I've grown to expect that from you." She said coming back with her coat on and purse in hand, a smile on her face.

Shigure opened the door for her. "Ready my dear?"

"Why yes I am mo grá." Hand in hand, they walked down the street.

…..

"Kyomi, what does mo grá mean?" Shigure had been trying to figure it out and they were almost at their destination for brunch before he finally decided to ask. She turned, confused, to look at him.

"Was that what you were trying to figure out this whole time?" Kyomi's laughter rang out and a few heads turned to watch them. She reined in her mirth, turning back to Shigure. His face conveyed a mix of consternation at her laughing at him, but also pleasure that he made her laugh.

"Gure, it's Irish for my love." She said smiling.

"Is that so my darling?" He said lifting her hand to kiss the back of it.

All the young girls in the immediate area swooned at the sight of the handsome man so obviously in love with his companion. Kyomi's attention was momentarily stolen by the attention of those around them, but Shigure just winked at her as he dragged her into the small café. They had a very good brunch chatting with each other about the most random unnecessary topics. Shigure had been sure to find a place with an excellent wine pairing menu which Kyomi promised herself to thank him for properly later.

They left feeling appropriately satisfied. Shigure was smiling and looking way too pleased with himself as he guided Kyomi towards a large ice skating rink and then around the back of it. She was very confused since she thought ice skating was not a safe activity for them to take part in. She knew she was fairly sure footed on skates, but those around them could not say the same. She'd been fallen on herself once or twice. They had come around the back of the rink however and Shigure waved at a guard who waved back and opened a small gate for them to pass through.

"What are we doing Gure?" Kyomi asked a little concerned. They had walked into a small ice skating rink surrounded with pine trees decked in white lights. It was also completely empty.

Shigure just smiled at her and guided her to a small bench which already had two pairs of skates on it. "We are going to ice skate. What else?"

"But isn't that a little risky?" She asked quietly.

"Under regular circumstances I would agree with you. However, when a person reserves the party rink for just two people for half the afternoon, it becomes less so." He took her hand and kissed it. "As long as you don't get mad when I let you fall. I promise I will kiss any injury away after." Kyomi giggled at him and shook her head.

"I don't mind since it's what we have to do. And I'll hold you to that promise Shi." She said with a smile. She pulled his face towards hers and gave him a lingering kiss. "Although, I don't know if you remember skating when we were young, but I'm not that likely to fall." And with that she whisked off onto the ice. Her hair flowing behind her. Shigure grinned and took off after her to catch her.

They spent the next few hours skating around and chatting and laughing on the ice. They took a break at one point to warm up with some hot coffee. Kyomi was very happy to find that they had Irish coffee available. Shigure just shook his head at her. "I think your drinking puts me to shame." He teased. She grinned at him. "You do realize I'm part Irish right?" She teased right back.

There was a party at the rink that evening so when their time was up, they thanked the workers and took their leave. Shigure and Kyomi walked towards the square where shops lined the street and a huge decorated tree reached towards the sky. They perused a few shops that they found interest in, a used bookstore in particular they spent a long time in. By the time they were done, the sun was beginning to set. Shigure pulled her towards the tree so they could get a picture.

After that they headed back towards home. It was a bit of a walk, but neither one of them minded. Shigure was holding Kyomi's hand and had tucked it in his coat pocket for warmth. Whenever they stopped at a light, Kyomi rested her head on Shigure's arm. They were fairly silent at this point, just enjoying each other's quiet presence. They also knew once they got home, it would be anything but quiet.

At the bottom of the steps leading up to Shigure's house, they stopped and Shigure pulled Kyomi into a long and lazy kiss. He didn't hold back from playing with her hair this time and she didn't mind one bit. They were in their own world and didn't notice the dark car that slowly passed by.

They were however, interrupted by peals of laughter echoing from the top of the hill. They laughed themselves and trekked up the stairs to see what Luc was laughing about. They reached the top and Kyomi's jaw dropped. The house had been tastefully decorated in lights and greenery. The trees right near the house had been similarly decked. She turned to Shigure.

"Was this your idea?" She asked with a huge grin on her face.

He raised his hands in denial and pointed to the bashful orange haired boy hiding behind his nephew in his arms. "Regretfully, I cannot take credit for this. It was all your brother's idea."

"Yuki, can you please take my son inside for me?" Kyomi said as she headed towards her brother. Yuki had just slid the door shut behind him when Kyomi tackled Kyo in a huge bear hug resulting in that familiar puff of smoke and she snuggled the small orange cat in her arms even closer. Shigure smiled at the pair and followed Yuki inside, Tohru not far behind.

"Thank you Kyo. You have no idea how special this is to me." She said finally letting the boy down having gotten into the entryway with his clothes. He turned back and got redressed as she continued speaking. "I haven't really had a Christmas since I got married. We were always away from our family and we made the best of it, but it wasn't the same. I may not have any of that family around me anymore, but this is more special for me. We all found each other to create this family. It's something I wouldn't trade for the world." Kyomi had sat down on the step while he dressed and Kyo sat next to her when he was done.

"I think your family would be happy you found us. If they were as great as you say, they would have wanted you to be happy and move on with your life." He said.

"I think you are right. But it's also because I had them and lost them that I can be so appreciative of you all. It helps me to not take any of it for granted." Kyomi smiled at him.

"Even the overgrown puppy you call a boyfriend?" Kyo grumbled.

Kyomi laughed and bumped his shoulder with hers. "Especially the overgrown puppy."

Said puppy popped his head around the door frame. "Mi-chan, your son and puppy are very hungry and dinner is ready. Are you two done yet?"

Kyomi laughed and Kyo huffed at Shigure as they went in to eat their dinner together as a family.

BTW, if you want to see Kyomi's outfit, if you look up green velvet skirt on , it's the tiered one that comes up😊 That top is also what I described. It may have also miraculously made its way into my cart… Full confession time, I had to google date ideas because ever since we got together over a decade ago, my husband and I's idea of a date is watching a movie or a show and ordering food in LOL. Or hiking. But its winter. So…