Christmas had finally arrived in Zelenyi Bor, The morning was a bright one, Despite the recent hardships between the students all seemed excited for Christmas, it was the day one student will be sent abroad to Moscow to be a prodigy student under Hydra corporations, Hertzog had posted the results on the board which everyone was frantic to see.
Asen was lying in bed still, after a hard day like yesterday he found the lack of energy to get up, despite the cheery holiday.
Renata walked into the room, finding her little brother asleep in bed, she nudged him lightly to get him up, no response. Asen was always a heavy sleeper.
"Asen- get up it's Christmas~" She teased, as a mother would on the first day of school, Asen seemed unbothered by the jostling. Renata, huffed before opening the door wide open, the gusty air circulating the room, on a snowy day like today it was like having ice on your back.
Asen shot up, rather groggily before wrapping himself in the covers like a hermit. Renata chuckled before shutting the door again
"That's more like it, Good morning Asen~" She sat beside him, holding a small envelope in her hands
"Morning..." He mumbled out, still half asleep as he rubbed the sleep out of his eye, in his burrito blanket.
"I wanted you to sign this, it's a card for the Professor..." She hands it to him
Asen takes the card and scanned over it, It was a handwritten letter thanking Hertzog for everything and wishing him a merry Christmas. Asen's shoulders dropped a little
"With love, Renata and..." Asen mumbled
"You just need to sign your name-" Renata points to the blank part on the card
"This card feels wrong..." Asen confessed, sitting up and letting the blanket fall from his head and fall on his bare shoulders.
"Asen-..." She sighed
"I know how much you care for him, but we need to look for each other first, best case scenario will be that Z is wrong, and we can make amends and beg for his forgiveness. but right now we have to look out for one another." She explains
"Still, we have until the new year until we figure this out," Renata hands him a pen
Asen begrudgingly signs the card, adding a small heart beside his name,
"Good! Thank you, Asen" She ruffles his hair and seals the card inside a white envelope. She then places the card in her pocket before heading out of his room. Renata comes back shortly with two presents in hand
"I got you some gifts!" She exclaimed placing the two in his lap, Asen perked up a little and looked back to his sister
"Really...?" He smiled a little
"Can...Can I open them?"
"Yes! Go on then!" She encouraged
Asen grabbed the bigger box and undid the twine that kept it shut, opening the box he finds six metal tuners to attach to a guitar. Asen lit up and picked one up from the box happily
"Guitar tuners!" He exclaimed
"I forged those myself, So you don't have to use wooden pegs anymore, and you can attach the strings properly" She sat beside him
"Right! Cause you can manipulate steel" He smiled, holding one up to the light
Renata nods happily and watched him enjoy her gift,
"Thank you!" He leans his head on her shoulder, looking at them happily before putting them back in the box carefully.
"There's one more for you-" She points to the smaller box"
"Right-" He sets the box of tuners down before going to the smaller box, he opens it carefully to see three guitar picks in the box, each a beige color and having a Russian R etched into each one
"What are they?" He asks her
"It's a pick, to play the guitar with, instead of hurting your fingertips. I noticed how rough your hands get because of how often you play" She hummed, picking one up gently to show him
"And this? This is our family's crest..." She points to the symbol on the other side of the pick
"I carved these out of wolf teeth, and etched it in" She explains
"What do you mean our crest...?" He lifts his head to look at her
"Our father was a soldier in the war, his name was Dennis Romanova...He passed away fighting. Mother always said that when he left...he took his family with him, She meant this symbol...The Romanova Crest" She points
"Asen I know you never knew our father, but in mother's letters, he was nothing but kind, when he died...Mother lost herself...That's why she left us" She explained
Asen softened and pocketed the guitar picks in his brown coat
"Thank you...I don't know if I can accept him as a father yet, but I appreciate you telling me." He hugged her gently
"Were family Asen, I'm not going to lie to you" She reassured, rubbing his back gently
"C'mon let's go into the hall and have a great holiday!" She cheered
Asen nods and picked up his coat, getting dressed and the two siblings make their way outside.
As they made it towards the Hall, the board outside was surrounded by students, all looking to see who made it to the capital. The two Russian siblings looked through the people and noticed Anton's name listed as the result
"Anton made it..." Asen muttered out
"I can't believe it, He's been here about as long as we have..." She murmured
"Based on what happened yesterday, I can't say I'm surprised..." Asen folded his arms, Renata nodding in agreement. The siblings walk inside the hall to see Hertzog serving everyone a lovely breakfast Renata walked to the kitchen to provide a lending hand.
Hertzog smiled warmly and greeted her "My little Renata, you're looking so pretty today on this lovely Christmas!"
"Merry Christmas to you too, professor," She says as she puts on an Apron
"Still no Z?" He asks her
"I'm sure he'll be up shortly, I wanted to give this to you...From Asen and I, I wanted to give you some flowers as well but I couldn't find any..." She hands the card to the older gentlemen
"How generous of you Renata...I know how you favor in lady-luck but I'm afraid the season of the artic rose has passed, nevertheless, I don't need flowers, this is more than enough my dear." He reassures, looking over the card quietly before a small smile formed on his face
"Aren't you two the most heartwarming joys to this frozen land..." He patted her head gently
"Merry Christmas to you both, I'll hand out your gifts later don't you worry, but let's focus on breakfast first..." Hertzog suggested. Renata simply nods and begins to finish up on breakfast preparations as the hall filled with indistinct chatter
Asen was sitting beside Vera folding his arms over the table, thinking quietly before Ivan sprung behind him, Wrapping his arms around the Brunette and giving him a kind-hearted noogie
"There's the golden child!" He chuckled
"I-Ivan!" He scrambled
"Merry Christmas!!" He cheered before letting go and sitting on the other side of him
"How are you doing Vera??" Ivan looks at her
"I-I'm fine!" She gave a kind wave before spotting HJ
"I-I'm going to go...go with HJ now!" she points before standing up
Ivan just waved happily as the two boys saw the French girl off.
Ivan turned back to Asen, giving a dorky grin
"What?" Asen pouted
"C'mon you haven't asked her to the Banquet yet~?" He smirked
"The Banquet..?" He asked
"Yeah! You know the Christmas banquet, the one that happens every year!" Ivan reminded
"Right- that- Sorry I forgot..." Asen murmured back. With everything going on, Asen had completely forgotten about the ball that happens every Christmas night to send the capital prodigy off.
Ivan picked up Asen's mood before deciding to change the subject
"Ah well~ It seems the supply ship hasn't arrived...normally it shows up just before Christmas,"
"Doesn't that have the yearly supplies?" Asen asked
Ivan nods quietly "It does, but it has all of the Christmas gifts too...seems like it will be a late Christmas" He chuckled quietly
"You seem awfully torn about the gifts rather than the supplies" Asen teased lightly
Ivan chuckled nervously before looking away to avoid the question. Vera suddenly made it back, HJ in tow, she looked very nervous as she sat beside Asen,
"H-Hey-" She nudged him. Asen then turned to her, eyeing her curiously. The blonde had a bright red face, her Green eyes averted his gaze and looked down sheepishly to her feet
"T-the ball...is tonight-...." She started
Asen flushed lightly, realizing what she was getting at
"I-I was wondering If you'd be my...my date..? Please...?" She whispered out
Asen was silent, eying her carefully, he could see she was being put up to this by HJ. He softened a bit and stood up, walking over to her quietly Asen stood up,
"And...that's what you want..?" He eyes HJ who rolls her eyes
"Of course it's what she wants!" HJ huffed
Asen looked back at Vera, those same kind emerald eyes he loves. He hugs her gently, holding her in a loving embrace. Both Ivan and HJ winked at each other, being proper wingmen in the scenario.
Vera chuckled and patted his back gently "I-Is that a yes...?"
Asen nods and parted from her to cup her face in his hands, he adored every little feature in it. His eyes were filled with so many emotions, the Heart-shaped pupils watched the reflection in her Emerald eyes.
"Oh boy~" HJ hummed quietly before nudging Ivan to follow her. He smiled and follows her out to leave the two alone
Asen softened as he watched her quietly, struggling to find the words
"Chiot...?" Vera asks gently
"Vera I-..." He stops himself as he watches Hertzog in the distance, he bites his lip to refrain from him speaking. He lets out a sigh and offers a pained smile
"I wouldn't want anything more than to go to the Banquet with you..." Asen covers up, kissing her forehead
Vera's face flushed a deep red as she chortled sheepishly, she sank her face into Asen's cupped hands.
Asen's heart nearly exploded at her reaction, he found his own face flushing up
"What~? Moya Dusha You're hiding~" He teases lovingly
"A-Asen---You're embarrassing me!" Her voice muffled through his hands, she was giggling
"Good! Payback for not letting me ask you first!!" He lifts her to meet his gaze, lightly scolding her.
"T-That's no fair~!" She laughed.
Renata watched in the distance as Vera and Asen teased back and forth. She watched her brother and saw the smile on his face. She was happy for him. She sighed quietly as the realization set in.
She prayed that if doomsday came that she can save everyone. Especially Asen.