The weeks following Meenah’s disappearance dragged, but they slowly changed from quiet and awkward to more normal, even if the house didn’t change and stay unusually quiet most of the time, Cronus started feeling better. He sometimes would bury himself under the blankets on his bed while you read books to him, or you started bringing your laptop over and you watched movies together until one or both of you fell asleep. Things were pretty much back to as normal as they could be by the time christmas rolled around, You spent Christmas eve with your family and then slipped away with excuses about Porrim so you could spend Christmas day with Cronus. He ran down the stairs when you had opened the door and hugged you, he pulled back and stood there bouncing on his heels.
“Cronus what are you” before he screamed
“Christmas!” and thrusted a small soft object in your hand. Looking down, you found a red stuffed crab resting in your hands, one of his eyes was slightly off set, but he was still really cute. You hugged Cronus and dug in your bag to find the present you had gotten him, He directed you to the living room where he had stuck Christmas decorations on the wall, ranging from tree ornaments to paper santas. There was a fire going in the fireplace that made it warmer and happier than the rest of the house, you sat down on the couch and sighed at the warmth of the fire. It was snowing outside and cold everywhere.You had never been in this room for an amount of time, so you took your time looking around, staring at all the stiff, dusty paintings on the wall.
Cronus came in and set two boxes on the table in between you, he settled lightly on the couch beside you, you turned and dug the small presents you had gotten him out of your bag. You set them on the table and pushed them towards Cronus, his face lit up just like it did when you had given him the toy when you had first become friends. He pushed the red box he had set on the table to you and you opened it, finding a box filled with Brownies and a note from Muelin.
“hapurry holidays Kankri! I’ll leave these with Cronus, I think your brother ate them the last time i left them at your house” and was signed with a green cat face, You lifted one into your mouth as Cronus examined and began opening his first present. Biting into it, you understood what all the fuss was about. You let the somehow still warm Brownie set in your mouth for a second before swallowing and finishing the one you held. Cronus gasped and you looked over to see that he had unwrapped the phone you had gotten him.
“kanny, this is insane” he commented, turning the package over to read the back
“now you can talk to me whenever you need, I charged it and programmed in my number already” he looked up at you suddenly frowning
“right, they have to charge” you pushed another of the boxes at Cronus and he unwrapped it to find a solar powered phone charger. He reverted back to his five year old excitement as he opened the phone and started playing with it. You showed him different things it could do, how to call on it and all of that, Then the two of you sat on the couch while Cronus played Christmas songs off youtube and ate brownies. You were halfway through your second round of jingle bell rock when There was a knock at the door. Both you and Cronus stopped and stared at each other, you stood and slowly made your way to the door. Cronus peeked through a Curtain before laughing and swinging the door open, on the porch stood Kurloz in a bright purple turtleneck and matching hat, and Muelin, with a bag thrown over her shoulder, in a green coat over her black dress, she waved, her hands covered with green mittens. Cronus moved back and you stared dumbfounded as they entered and both hugged Cronus like nothing was suspicious.
“We didn’t know if you were going to be here or not, so we came to see Cronus” she rolled her tongue over his name as she hugged you, moving automatically into the living room and settling in front of the warmth of the fire, she began pulling oddly wrapped packages from the bag she was carrying. She made stacks as she sang along to the song, even reaching over to restart it when the song ended. You returned to your position on the couch, Kurloz and Cronus came in a few minutes later, all the experiences with hanging out with ghosts for the past year could not add up to strange this experience was. Kurloz sat on the other side of the table in the only arm chair as Muelin finished the stacks. Cronus settled in on the couch beside you, reaching into his own box and and munching on a brownie. Muelin adjusted so she was sitting cross legged on the floor, the fireplace lighting up behind her threw eery shadows off of her, she handed a package from each of the stacks to each of you before settling one in her lap, Kurloz opened his first, it was a box that held a little charm in it, he smiled and pulled a necklace from under his sweater and attached the charm, he slipped it back under and Muelin blew him a kiss before she turned towards you, you cautiously unwrapped your present and found a red sweater, you smiled and shrugged out of your jacket, you pulled the soft turtleneck on over your shirt
“I knitted it meowself” Muelin said when you had gotten it on, it was really comfortable.
“Thank you Muelin” the combined effort of the fire and the sweater, the chill you had since you stepped out of your warm house was finally chased away. You turned in time to see Cronus finnish unwrapping his present, it was a orange book, he glanced at Muelin who nodded and he opened it to the first page, a small choked noise instantly came out of his throat. You leaned over to see a picture of Cronus, Meenah, Feferi, and Eridan flanked on each side by a smiling Kurloz and Muelin, the balcony doors behind them were open to let in light for the picture and you could see a wall of green outside.
“From last easter” Muelin Commented, Cronus smiled at her sadly and flipped through the rest of the pages, filled with Pictures of everyone from various holidays, including ones from last Christmas, even one from the fourth of july, Meenah and the kids sat on the top balcony with their legs hanging off, the picture panned out enough that you could see the exploding firework in the sky. there were more pictures, Cronus did not reach the end of the book before he had to stop to wipe at the tears on his face. Kurloz reached over and wrapped an arm around Cronus and pulled him into a brief hug, When they pulled back, Muelin handed Kurloz another present and motioned him out of the room before taking his chair. She kept passing out presents, including Kurloz in the rotation when he returned. He took her place in front of the fireplace, the light making him more creepy looking than Muelin had been with the jaunty angles of his face. The presents continued on until the piles had disappeared, Muelin dug around in her coat and made everyone squish together on the sofa. She produced a camera and after playing with the settings for a minute, propped it on the mantelpiece facing the couch, she ran quickly and the beeping began a countdown, She made it behind the couch and got into position, the light flashed and she ran over to it.
“That’s a good picture” she commented showing all of you, the picture looked a little empty compared to the ones you had just been looking at in the book, Cronus seemed to think that too even as he hugged Muelin. Everyone returned to their respective seats and Cronus started up the christmas music again, so the night continued with singing that got progressively more horrible as time wore on. Eventually Kurloz left with the promise of hot chocolate and real food, since the boxes of brownies had been eaten. Cronus got up and messed with the fire and Muelin took his spot on the couch beside you. You two walked about school stuff and normal life things like you all hadn’t shown up to spend christmas with a dead guy, Kurloz returned with all kinds of foods, ranging from s'more stuff and pumpkin pie to a bag of cheeseburgers, and lots of hot chocolate and soda. It turned out to be a fun night, like a big surprise sleepover, Muelin and Cronus ended up building a blanket for upstairs, so you all nested in and started making s'mores while the three of you swapped stories, Kurloz occasionally chiming in and Muelin translating the sign language for him. you honestly thought it was the best christmas you had ever had.
You spent new years with Cronus, and as apparently most holidays, Muelin and Kurloz showed up. Muelin brought dozens of light up balloons, and after the countdown to the new year, you all blew them up and played the biggest game of don’t let the balloon touch the floor you had ever seen. You had it going on in the foyer, but eventually moved it to the ballroom because of people kept bumping into the stairs, with a little encouragement, Cronus entered the ballroom, and slowly relaxed the longer he was in there, you understood his hesitation of wanting to be in this room but after a few rounds of the game things were okay again. Muelin brought dinner and all of you gathered around the table, celebrating the new year. A snowball fight followed, until you were all cold and Cronus made a fire in the fireplace that you three sat around, soaking up as much of the heat as you could as Cronus floated above you guys and cracked jokes about how ghosts don’t get cold. Muelin tossed a mitten at him and he laughed, You had settled into this new routine, and for the most part it didn’t seem like Either Kurloz and Muelin had brought up your mutual friend to the rest of your group of friends, But Porrim had questioned you several times about your sudden close knit friendship with two of the strangest people in your friends group, You shrugged it off with commentary of mutual interest, and man you really hope this wasn’t going to come back to haunt you.