Hey folks. So, back in October there was a writeathon, and I posted a little short called 'Being Meiling' in the rookie category. It seemed to go over alright (or at least wasn't totally hated), so I thought I'd post something of a continuation in this Christmas thread. The original story is >>/th/162111 if anyone's curious about the characterization I did there. Anyway, only the second story I've ever posted here, so... hope you like it.
The mansion is beautiful in the winter.
The roof covered with snow, shimmering in the weak light. Icicles with the light dancing merrily all over them. The grounds covered with a gentle light blanket of snow, with just a hint of the gardens slumbering beneath. Even the view of the lake is pretty, with the surface frozen solid, fairies dancing gaily in the air, and little Cirno playing with her friends, laughing merrily. Skating today, I think. It looks like they're having a good time.
As for me, I'm freezing, because I'm not wearing any pants. Normally I do, a plain, warm set of white ones I wear under my dress when it gets cold. This morning, they were all missing and I didn't have the chance to go look for them. I strongly suspect Sakuya. She can be petty like that.
Oh well. I know some tricks to deal with a cold, and I'm not going to freeze to death in any case. Besides, I'm busy making snow sculptures for the mistress. What with the heavy snow fall, Miss Remilia decided that she wanted the grounds to look decorative, and put me on the job. It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself, but I have to wonder at her taste in subject matter. Specifically, Miss Remilia wanted gargoyles wearing Santa-Claus hats. I think they look ridiculous, but she seems to like them, and Miss Flandre thinks they're hilarious. So I guess that's the important part.
Christmas is something the Mistress brought with her when she moved to Gensokyo. Some knowledge of it had already seeped in, but Miss Remilia was more familiar with the holiday by far, and I think we're the only place in Gensokyo that celebrates it. Well, the human village makes a token showing, what with it being a human holiday and all, but they apparently miss the important points. Miss Remilia had to actually sit Reimu down and explain that no, nobody was trying to summon a zombie prophet to Gensokyo. No, gifts of valuable oils and spices and gold were not in fact customary, not even to the local shrines. Reimu was relieved at the former revelation, disappointed at the latter.
But I dunno. I think a zombie prophet would fit in just perfectly around here. Kinda scary, when you think about it.
Okay... done! That's the last of the sculptures! Not bad, if I do say so myself. Sakuya's done her part as well; the entire mansion looks gorgeous! Inside and out, the whole place has been decorated, with Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. The Scarlet Devil Mansion looks very... festive. Warm and welcoming.
Kind of ironic that a vampire celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, but I think the mistress appreciates the irony. Besides, it's fun! Anyway, with my work done, I'm going on a quest for pants.
"IT'S ALL SO PRETTY!"
I can't help but laugh at Miss Flandre, who's soaring through the halls looking at everything, her eyes sparkling as much as the decorations. Or her wings. Those thing really fit in with the decor. Also, she's wearing a Mrs. Santa outfit. I can't wait until Miss Remilia sees that. She'll probably chase her around the house, hysterically screaming at her to change into something less "indecent". It happened last year, and it was pretty hilarious. I finally found the two curled up on a couch together, completely exhausted. It was pretty cute, actually.
"She looks excited," I hear Koakuma say next to me.
"Yeah, she-" I cut off as I catch sight of Koakuma. She's wearing a particularly abbreviated Sexy Mrs. Santa outfit... and an enormous fake white beard. "Why?" Is all I can say.
"Because," Koa quips, a smile evident in her voice, if not exactly visible on her face. Over her shoulder, I can see Miss Patchouli staring at her in absolute disbelief, expression suggesting the librarian's brain has been broken by the sight. Maybe that's all the reason Koa needed to do it. Incidentally, Miss Patchouli hasn't dressed up for the holiday. Spoilsport.
As I head to my room, I notice the fairies getting into the spirit of things in their own scatter-brained way. Miss Remilia likes Christmas Eve to be a strictly mansion-only thing, with the doors opening on Christmas Day for the actual party, Which generally does quite well. As I pass through the halls towards my room, I pass by Sakuya, who has donned a red maid's uniform for the occasion. She has a perfect smile on her face, which doesn't flicker in the slightest as we pass by each other, not saying anything. Though, I think I feel her eyes boring into my back as I turn the corner. Somehow, I get the impression that she won't be getting anything for me this year. Probably for the best; last years present was a pair of her panties with a damp spot on them. Awkward. We didn't talk for a week.
For Christmas this year, all I really want is for Sakuya to grow up a little bit.
Surprisingly, when I get back to my room I find that all of my pants have miraculously re-appeared. Maybe Sakuya smartened up a little bit? Or maybe the Mistress just had a word with her. Either way, I'm off duty now and figure What The Hell? Might as well dress up a little. So, I put on an outfit that the Mistress got for me last year: A red dress that's halfway between my regular outfit and a Miss Santa suit. Santa hat of course. Looks pretty darn good on me, if I do say so myself.
We have a big Christmas dinner that evening. Miss Flandre won't remove her Mrs. Santa costume, much to Miss Remilia's dismay. Koakuma's still wearing her outfit, beard included. I can't figure out how she manages to eat wearing that thing. Miss Patchouli's changed into a nice red dress, possibly at Miss Remilia's insistence. Or maybe Koa's, that beard really is hypnotic.
Sakuya won't make eye contact with me. Nothing new there, but I was hoping... I mean, it's Christmas and all, and we've celebrated for years... Well, never mind. Wishing never changed anything.
Afterwards, under the giant Christmas tree (I have NO idea how Sakuya got that thing inside the mansion) it's time for the gift exchange. Everyone's pretty happy with the gifts I got for them. They're modest, but I hope meaningful. For the Mistress, a little miko outfit so that she can be "twins" with Reimu. Sounds silly, but she's already excitedly making plans. Sakuya seems quite keen to see her in the outfit. Actually, it is a cute thought.
For Miss Flandre, I bought some fantasy novels, mainly about dragons, that I bought at Kourindo. Little Flan with an interest in dragons... kind of a scary thought, but when her face lights up like that, she's just so darned cute! Patchouli gets some new health drinks from EIentei to keep her strength up. For Koa I got a set of reading glasses, giving her the "sophisticated" look. She pulls it off pretty well.
For Sakuya, I got a new set of bandoliers for her knives, embroidered with her initials. She actually smiles and thanks me for the gift. That's... kind of a pleasant surprise. Maybe she is letting Christmas get to her.
When it comes my turn to receive gifts, they're all pretty good. The misress takes the direct approach and gives me a large Christmas bonus (Yay!). Miss Flan gives me an adorable stuffed dragon she apparently made by hand (so cute!), while Miss Patchouli gives me some notes she wrote herself on how to convert chi into magical energy, which she thinks will make me more effective in spellcard duels (ohthankyouthankyouthankyou).
Koakuma smirks behind her fake beard and hands me a box with, er, tools. Yes, tools. For use on lonely niNONEVERMINDLETSNOTGOTHERETHANKSKOA.
The fairy staff pitched in and got me a big batch of chocolates, while Sakuya just says she will give me my present later, in private. I can't help but feel nervous. I really hope it isn't panties again.
Sometime later, I meet Sakuya in private, and she hands me a thin, rectangular package with a blank expression.
"Here you are."
"Thank you," I say politely. I open the package, expecting something dangerous, or inappropriate, or-
It's a picture. Of me and Sakuya. The season is summer, the gardens behind us are in full bloom, and we're standing together, smiling. Laughing, even. I... remember when this picture was taken. It was years ago, before things turned sour between me and Sakuya. When we were still friends.
"Sakuya, this is..." I trail off as I see Sakuya's face. She looks... sad, regretful even. And then Sakuya does something I'd never expect in a million years. She bows to me.
"I'm sorry," she says quietly. "I'm a real bitch, huh? We had a good friendship, and I just had to screw it up. I knew you weren't interested, but I still had to..." she hesitates, then presses on. "But even then, I couldn't take it like an adult. I was hurt, even offended, and I've been taking it out on you ever since." Sakuya straightens up, and I swear to God there are tears in her eyes. "I found that picture this morning, and I remember how things used to be. How things used to be better between us. I... really miss those days, Meiling." A deep breath. "Can you forgive me? Can we go back to being friends?"
I'm speechless. What do you say to something like that? Especially coming from someone like Sakuya? So I don't say anything. Instead, I just grab Sakuya and hug her, feeling her hug me back tightly. Oh geez, I think I'm gonna cry. No, scratch that, I AM crying, but how am I supposed to react, getting my friend back on Christmas Eve? Go ahead and call me sappy, but it's the best present I could have wished for. After a while, I finally manage to squeak out a "Thanks," before my throat closes up again. Sakuya just nods, taking a moment to find her own voice before saying,
Hello all, this is a Christmas short based on the story I resurrected, >>/shrine/25907
*Semi-canon* pulling on other places? Hmm?” Mima awkwardly makes sexual implications as she leans towards you. You calmly shake your head ‘no’ in response.
“No, it is just that usually Shinki’s the one to pinch my cheek from time to time, so it feels...wrong if someone else does it.”
“Interesting.” Mima stops leaning towards you. “Anyways, I had a request I’d like to ask from you.”
“Go for it,” you say. Why not?
“Could you...hold my hand?” Mima shies off, embarrassed.
You softly place your hand in Mima’s. You both sit in silence for a while, watching the snow fall from the heavens.
Finally, Mima breaks the silence.
“Why did you do that, no questions asked?”
“Because you deserve to have someone hold your hand if you feel lonely, too,” you whisper softly into her ear. Your answer was ready from the beginning. Of course you could talk about being comrades, about the Revolution. However, now is not the time. On occasions like these, simple, down to earth answers are better.
“But Shinki...” Mima dejectedly looks at the ground.
“Loves you too,” you finish Mima’s sentence. Mima should not be pointlessly self-degrading at the very time of the year in which it was unacceptable for you to be glum!
“I think...I see why Shinki loves you so much,” Mima looks up at you with a light smile on her face.
Mima softly rubs her hand against yours, before interlacing her fingers between your fingers.
“Aleksandr...The New Year’s coming soon. That means...”
“Yes, comrade, the duel challenge.”
“If you die, Alek, promise me you’ll come back and find me and Shinki.”
You notice that Mima used your nickname, an occurrence that has become rare as of late.
Smiling at your ghostly comrade, you tell her, “Of course. Wish me luck.”
Mima smiled back.
The rest of the day passed happily with your comrades. You wished that the joy of this holiday season would last forever, even though you knew it was a vain hope. In days, you will you fight for The Revolution, in days you will most likely die for The Revolution. In days you will sweat and toil, you will suffer and die.
But today, you celebrate your friendships. Today you smile happily into the world, simply glad at the happiness of others in this time of giving.
Twas the night before Solstice, when all throughout Gensokyo, Not a Touhou was stirring, not even their hats. They were all fast asleep without a care, Since tomorrow was a feast day, and everyone would be there.
The youkai were all snug in their beds, Even the Night ones, for they liked their heads. For the Wrath of the Hakurei was very strong, And the resulting extermination would be very long.
Out in Muenkaza, where Nazrin slept, a big burly figure, dressed in strange garb crept. Approached her doorway with nary a care, With a yell he tore down her door, right down to a hair.
The moon shone off his bald tattooed head, His face a vision that evil would dread. His tiny companion, a hamster named Boo, wondered briefly why he had not become goo.
Nazrin in her nightgown, woke up with a fright, Her eyes fixated on the sight of the stranger who broke her door, And then on his companion, who was on all fours.
With a loud guffaw, the stranger called out, "It's Solstice Eve, why do you pout? Don't mind me, I'm just lost. My Hamster pal was supposed to lead me to an outpost!"
Fear pooled into the little mouse, since a big burly stranger burst into her house. If something was not done soon, She'd never be able to feast, since she'd go pi-chun~.
He spoke not a word, as he conferred with his hamster. At the end of it all, his face became like alabaster. He said, "Boo likes you a lot, he wants to stay for a while. It's Solstice Eve, and I can't say no to his wiles."
He sprang to the wall and busted right out And away he flew, to ubnknown realms about. Nazrin heard him exclaim, as he dashed out of sight, "Happy Solstice to all, and to all a Good night!"
You mean Christmas/Winter Solstice/Non-denominational Coca-Cola Feastday/Ia Ia Cthulhu Fthagn isn't about strange men breaking into your house in the dead of night to leave you a gift?