Christmas With Who?
I’m browsing the internet for any new criminal activity around the world, smirking as I see the global crime statistics at an all-time low.
Around the rest of the internet, on all the news articles I see, they all have a recurring theme. “‘Tis the season… ‘Twas the night before… It’s beginning to look a lot like… Oh, the weather outside… Deck the halls… Geez, these guys are never original.” I click on another article. “Christmas came early… Oh, I haven’t heard that one before.” I groan out, sinking deeper into my chair, before subconsciously throwing my legs over my left armrest.
Only a few minutes of mindless internet strolling later, my phone rings. I sit up normally, before picking it up with the usual, “Hello?”
“Hey, Mirai.” Light’s voice responds, a slight hesitancy in his tone.
“What’s up, Light?”
“I was hoping that you’d join me for Christmas this year. You know, since you were sick last time.”
“Not my fault! It was legit!” Though being sick to avoid spending time with someone else sounded like a classic excuse, I was actually coughing up a lung last year. Pneumonia, the doctors said. “Just for the twenty fifth, right? I’ll check my schedule and get back to you on that.”
“Alright. See you.”
After quickly hanging up, I glance at my calendar, though as I don’t cross off days, it means nothing to me. “Hey, Ryuzaki, what day is it?” I call out into the halls.
“Of the month.”
“You’re kidding, right?” I groan.
“Did you forget something?”
“But I was busy with schoolwork! Transferring from Criminology to Psychology actually isn’t as easy as some people might think!” I rub my eyes, already feeling tired. “Great, now I’ve got to act like one of those terrible fathers who forgets everything until the last moment.”
Ryuzaki pops his head into my doorway. “So, what did Light want?”
I spin my chair to face him. “He wanted to know if I could join him this year for Christmas. I’d assume for the entire day.” At the slight falling of his features, I begin to ask. “There something wrong?”
He looks away, breaking his gaze. “I was kind of hoping that we’d get to spend Christmas together. After all, if you leave to hang out with Light, I’ll be here by myself.”
My eyes widen. “Oh god.” And my hands fly to my head as the stress comes out of nowhere in an avalanche. “If I do that, then my conscience will be nagging me the entire time about how I left you alone on the holidays, and Light’s still being watched, so I can’t bring you with me, and if I stay, I’ll also feel terrible for ditching Light.” I slump backwards in the chair, half falling out of it. “If I stay, I’ll feel bad. If I go, I’ll feel worse.”
“You could always fake having Pneumonia again.” He suggests, and my stress quickly turns to a small rage on the flip on a coin.
“I did not fake it! That stuff was painful as hell!”
“I suppose I could up and leave the country for a few days, but then it’d be even worse!” I groan pathetically, being over dramatic. “Maybe you two could do a contest or something to see who I’d spend Christmas with…” I sit up, before giving Ryuzaki the widest, most innocent eyes I can muster, paired with an innocent smile. “Maybe you two could each get me a puppy, and whoever gives me the better puppy, I’ll spend the day with!”
“No.” He responds immediately, before giving me a small glare.
“No. If you got a dog, where would you keep it?”
“In my room!”
“It needs more space than that to run around. It’d be cruel to lock it up in here.”
“The puppy wouldn’t be alone! You’d be here!”
“Yes, like I would take care of your responsibility. You won’t be getting a dog, Mirai.”
In a fashion very unlike me, I go to glower in the corner of my room, hugging my knees to my chest as a cloud of gloom settles around me. If this were an anime, I’d be growing mushrooms. “Fine. I’ll give up on getting a puppy for Christmas.”
“Good.” He turns and leaves, and as he walks down the hallway, I hear him muttering, “I wonder how long it’ll take her to realize…”
“Oh god.” I say as it comes to me. “It’s the fifteenth.”
“There it is.”
I jump up to grab my jacket and wallet, before running out of the flat, calling back to Ryuzaki, “Oh god, I haven’t bought anything!”
After a frantic run down to the garage and a quick drive to the nearest mall, I’m standing in the middle of a store when I again realize something.
‘I don’t even know what I need to get… Why am I here?’
From the back of my mind, I vaguely recognize Kiyohime laughing her ass off at me.
Mindlessly, I wander through the aisles, somehow ending up at the stuffed animals aisle of the kids section. Immediately, I spot a large Panda plushie sitting on one of the shelves, and smirk to myself. I make a note of where it is, before continuing to browse the large toy store.
Only a few hours later, I’ve almost gone through the entire mall looking for gifts, and seem satisfied with the large assortment of candies and toys I’ve gotten just for Light and Ryuzaki, and the one set of detailed black lace gloves for Misa. I only bought them as an obligation gift, so I couldn’t really care less about what she thought of them.
Just as I walk out of the gothic store, speak of the devil and she shall appear, Misa comes around the corner toting five times as many bags as me. And I’m carrying seven!
Quickly, I try to continue walking, ‘Maybe she won’t see me if I don’t look at her…’ when suddenly, she cries, “Oh! Mirai-chan!” ‘Damn it.’ She runs over to me, though doesn’t hug me due to the many bags in her arms. “Are you doing some extra shopping, too?”
“Yeah, I almost forgot to go get gifts for everyone! Thank goodness I remembered in time…”
“Too bad you had to run into the goth Barbie, though.” Kiyohime’s slight snark I let slip past me.
“So, what’re your plans for Christmas, Mirai-chan?” Misa asks, drawing me back to the actual world around me.
“O-oh, nothing’s really been set in stone, what about you?”
“Oh, I’m going to spend all of Christmas with Light!” She places both of her hands on her face in a very love-sick manner. “Oh, it’ll be so romantic!” ‘Yeah, romantic my ass, knowing Light, he won’t even respond.’ Suddenly, Misa turns back to me, an innocent smile on her face. “Though, you are welcome to join us, Mirai-chan!”
And like a switch is flicked, my decision is made. “Thanks for the offer, Misa-chan, but I wouldn’t want to impose on your date. You don’t need to invite me out of pity; I’m fine with just a quiet day at home.”
After multiple tries to get her to stop talking to me, she eventually leaves me alone, and I can go home. I load all my purchases into the back of my car, before driving back to the apartment complex. After a struggle with all my bags trying to go up the stairs, I eventually reach the flat, and quickly run to my room to hide everything.
“Oh, Mirai. Welcome back.” Ryuzaki greets from the living room, and go to join him on the couches, reading.
“Oh, by the way, I’ve made my decision.” I say, just as I finish a chapter.
“On what?” He replies absent-mindedly, though I can tell that he’s actually paying attention.
“I’m going to be spending Christmas here, with you.”
“And what persuaded you to this action?”
“If I spent Christmas with Light, I’d have to also spend it with Misa-chan. Thus, my choice was made for me.”
Though he returns to him book immediately, I can see the slight shaking of his shoulders in laughter.
“Yeah yeah, you know you’d have done the same.” I shoot back to his unspoken taunt, but I quickly turn my attention to the story in front of me.
Christmas morning. I shoot open my eyes with a smile on my face, fully prepared to act like the small child I’m not. A glance at the clock proudly displays the four AM time, and my smile only grows.
Silently, I creep down the halls towards the kitchen to get the mountains of food ready, and I cook and bake for a good five hours. Only as I’m pulling out a lovely chiffon cake from the oven does Ryuzaki come into my hazardous work area.
“Mirai, how long have you been up?” He asks, looking at the mountains of dishes I’ll have to do later.
“Since four. How great a housewife would I be?” I shoot him a big grin as I put the finishing touches on the fruit cake, before pulling out a tray of cinnamon rolls from the oven. “Really glad we got the industrial oven…”
Ryuzaki leans against the counter in his usual white sweatshirt and jeans, and I’m dressed in my usual black and white pyjamas. “Come on,” he calls, “there’re presents to open.”
“Don’t you usually wait until after breakfast?”
“No, presents before, stockings after.”
“Fine, just a sec.”
He walks away to the family room, and after ensuring that nothing will burn the apartment down, I go to join him. Like children, we sit on the floor, passing and pulling gifts towards each other.
“This one!” I pass him a medium-sized box, and immediately laugh at his glaring reaction to the panda plushie.
“Open this one first.” Ryuzaki passes me a large box with a detachable lid. Lifting it, I discover the one thing I’d asked for.
“Puppy!” I cry in glee, lifting the black and brown creature from the box and immediately snuggling it. “Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!”
“I thought he’d be a good fit for you.”
“Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!”
“Just remember, he’s your responsibility now. You’ll have to take care of him.”
“Thank you thank you thank you!” With that final repetitive thanks, I put the puppy back in the box before jumping Ryuzaki in a hug.
I only hold the brutal embrace for a few seconds before letting go and turning adoringly to the innocent creature, letting Ryuzaki gasp for precious air.
“I’ll name him Genzai!”
“You’re going to name him present?”
“My parents named me future. Besides, he was a gift from you! Doesn’t present mean present in English? And present also means gift! So hah!”* I go back to pick Genzai up again, and snuggle him gently, giggling as he licks my cheek. “Tee hee hee! He loves me already!”
Genzai continues to kiss my face, when I ask, “Ryuzaki, where were you keeping him all this time?”
“He only arrived a couple days ago. Since then, I’ve been hiding him in my room.”
That drew away my attention from the excited puppy. “How’ve you kept a young puppy in your room for three days without me noticing?”
“It wasn’t that hard, you aren’t all that observant.”
“I take offense to that!” Genzai barks, bringing my attention back to him, and I immediately drop all my anger at the puppy’s innocent face. “Daww, he’s too cute!” I pick him up and snuggle him again. “At least you love me, don’t you Genzai?”
He barks in response, and I laugh again. “How’d you know I wanted a Doberman?”
The look on Ryuzaki’s face is surprising. The shock on his face is noticeable to the untrained eye. “He’s a Doberman?”
“Y-yeah… did you not know…?”
His eyes widen as I start to laugh at him. “You’ll tell no one.”
“No promises have been made this day!” I continue to laugh for a few moments, before calming down enough to thank him again. “Thank you, Ryuzaki. This is the best present I could’ve hoped for.”
“You’re welcome, Mirai.”
I gaze adoringly at the newest tenant of our flat. ‘Yeah. I definitely made the right choice.’