My Sensui/Itsuki Christmas story. I know, unoriginal title. Itsuki tries to make his and Shinobu's first Christmas together enjoyable.
Snow was falling outside the window, drifting down to earth to cover the world in a gentle white blanket. Inside the small apartment Shinobu shared with Itsuki, he tore his eyes from the window to look over at the yaminade, who was currently kneeling beside a sparsely decorated Christmas tree, putting on the last of the lights.
Itsuki had been bordering on fascinated when he was told of Christmas by the women at the bookstore he worked at. For a few nights after that, whenever they had a spare moment, Itsuki would ask him for more details about Christmas. Itsuki seemed quite interested in normal human life and whenever he found something new about it, he would always ask Shinobu for details. As he had only been in the human world since Spring, Shinobu doubted he had even really heard of Christmas before.
So, Shinobu told him all he could, about both the religious and non-religious aspects of Christmas. Itsuki obviously paid attention to all he said, he always did, but he seemed to have more of an interest in the non-religious aspects. The idea of decorating a tree, giving gifts to the people you love, and just spending time giving instead of taking and having at least an evening to just forget about the bad things in life obviously set something moving in his head.
Itsuki always seemed to have some kind of plot in his head. Never anything malevolent, but still, his mind constantly seemed to be planning, but for what, Shinobu never knew.
Over the few weeks from when Itsuki had asked him about Christmas, new artifacts began showing up in their apartment. There were already hundreds, possibly even thousands of knick knacks and other random things Itsuki brought home, but the new additions were obviously for Christmas. He found an old wreath and put it on the door. One day, he brought home a string of lights and hung them over the window. Half the bulbs didn’t light up, but Itsuki didn’t seem to mind too much. And over the course of the days leading up to Christmas, he dragged in a skinny, slightly sickly looking tree, a box of half-broken, ancient ornaments, and more strings of lights that barely worked.
And now on Christmas Eve, dressed in a pair of plain slacks and an oddly patterned red and green sweater he must have picked up somewhere, Itsuki was finishing up decorating. Candles, instead of incense burners now covered every empty surface, most of them in chipped little Santa shaped holders. The lights over the window were set to some weird blinking pattern and the tree lit up as Itsuki turned on the lights, smiling at his work.
“Itsuki.” Shinobu called. Itsuki obediently came over and sat on the window sill with him, his golden eyes meeting Shinobu’s blue ones.
“Yes Shinobu?” He asked after a moment of quiet, while Shinobu tried to put together the proper way to ask a question that had been floating around his mind ever since Itsuki had asked him about Christmas. Finally, he decided to just ask.
“Why are you doing all this?” Itsuki cocked his head a little, soft waves of teal hair falling over his shoulder. “I know part of it is just trying to at least appear human, but this is all a little…out there, you know? You don’t need to do all this so…why?” Shinobu asked, watching Itsuki.
“You mentioned a couple months ago that when you were little Christmas was your favorite holiday. I didn’t know what Christmas was at the time, so it didn’t stand out to me much, but when I heard about it at work, I remembered what you said.” Shinobu’s eyes widened.
Thinking back, he recalled vaguely a day a few weeks after he had first moved in with Itsuki and they had been cooking something. He had mention Christmas dinner and how he loved the holiday when he was little because the food was so good and it was all fun, and how it just made him feel happy.
“So,” Itsuki continued, “I thought I’d try to make our Christmas nice. You said that it made you feel happy, and with all our work and your school, I thought it might cheer you up some. It’s not fancy and I think some of the stuff I got is broken, but it doesn’t look too bad, does it?” Shinobu looked over what Itsuki had done. To be honest, its quality was, to say the least, questionable, but for the low amount of money they had and what they had to work with, it was perfect.
“It looks fine Itsuki.” The yaminade smiled.
“I’m glad you like it.” He rose from his place on the window sill, going over to the tree, kneeling down to pick up something underneath it. Coming back over to the window and holding it out to the teenager, Shinobu saw it was a present. Not nicely wrapped, but still, a present, complete with a messy bow of ribbon attached to it.
“This is for me?” Shinobu questioned, looking down at it. Itsuki nodded.
“I know I didn’t do a very good job wrapping it…” He replied, gently pressing the present into Shinobu’s hands, sitting down beside him again. “You can open it if you’d like, it’s only a few minutes to Christmas.” Looking up at a clock on a table across the room, Shinobu confirmed it. Midnight would be upon them in just a few short minutes.
Shinobu nudged a finger under the corner of the wrapping, beginning to tear it open, pulling the wrapping paper away, revealing a box. Removing the lid, he began to look through the contents. A mix of frivolous and necessary items was found inside. Some things he had needed, like a bottle of a special cleaning mix for his laundry which he had found to be the most effective in removing the demon blood from his school uniform that cost a fair bit most of the time. Other things were unnecessary, but nice, like a holiday sweater and a box of his favorite sweets, along with nice videos of his favorite TV shows.
“I wasn’t sure what to get you, so I just got a bunch of things I thought you’d like…” Itsuki explained, moving a little closer.
“Thank you…” Shinobu replied, looking up at his youkai partner who just smiled at him. “But I didn’t get you a present…” Itsuki shook his head.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to.” Itsuki rested his head on him, an arm slipping around Shinobu’s waist, like he did sometimes after a long mission or while they were watching TV. The yaminade was always sort of…touchy. He seemed to enjoy being close to Shinobu, who for the most part, wasn’t too sure why, but didn’t mind it too much most of the time.
Shinobu wanted to say something in reply, but wasn’t sure what to say, so he just set the box of gifts aside and pulled Itsuki close, wrapping his arms around him, feeling his partner relax against him, indulging the youkai, letting him stay close, a hand hesitantly coming up to rest in Itsuki’s long hair, almost instinctively beginning to pet him.
“Merry Christmas Shinobu…” Itsuki murmured a few second later as bells began to ring at a church down the street, signaling the hour. Shinobu pulled Itsuki closer, resting his head on Itsuki’s, his lips gently pressing a kiss to Itsuki’s hair.
“Merry Christmas Itsuki.”