stencilled: (kame_shades & peace)
[personal profile] stencilled
Title: 'Tis the season
Pairing: Gen, Youkai Ningen Bem
Word Count: 1,400
Genre: fluff
A/N: Written for Pat ♥♥ *throws snowball of condensed love~* :B this is what happens when you ask me to elaborate #yourfault Any corrections are welcomed! m(_ _)m

Summary: Bem wants a merry Christmas.


Candy canes frame the door and colourful gumdrops line the windows in makeshift Christmas lights. The roof and lawn are so caked with powdery snow that it's a wonder the walls haven't collapsed from all the sugary weight. But the house is stronger than that. Standing in the dark, snow-covered street with his toes tingling from the damp cold, the icing that glues the house together seems almost undestructable. Bemu presses a palm against the cool glass of the display and wishes they too had a home like this.

"Such a waste of food."

Bem lets his hand fall away and turns his back to the shop.

"They bring joy, Bela," he says softly. "It's not a waste."

"It is when we're the ones living off of hay and grass," Bela snaps, her voice as quick and sharp as her whip. "Ungrateful brats."

Bem sighs. He doesn't want to argue, not tonight of all nights. They might not have a tree or stockings to line their chimney - they don't have a chimney at all - but they do have each other. They have a family and that's one thing they can and will celebrate despite the lack of ornaments.

"Where's Belo?" he asks, taking a superfluous glance up and down the white street. He doesn't need to see when he can hear Belo's playful squeals tumbling across the chilled air like a snowball.

"Ara-ara, he's going to wake someone up," Bela mutters but there's a fond smile on her face that takes away the reprimanding sting.

They follow the laughs leading them towards the grand Christmas tree that stands like a dressed-up lighthouse in the center of the street. The houses - real ones; bricks replacing gingerbread - that line the streets have fallen asleep and their footfalls fall silently, swallowed by the snow.

As they walk, he watches the Christmas lights paint blinking patterns of green and red and gold and pink along the snow like fleeting gems, and smiles when Bela begins to sing, so quiet and sudden that it's likely unconscious. The sweet clarity of her voice tangles around Belo's mirth to make the perfect carol, the perfect memory.

He hesitates only for a moment before he adds his own note and begins to hum along. A returning gift to the ones he loves.

Their duet comes to a finale when they find Belo lying near the base of the tree, his arms and legs sprawled out like a star. Bem bottles away the delight shining on Belo's face in his memory, convinced that their star is far brighter than the one that tops the tree.

"You're going to catch a cold," Bela scolds, but her arms hang uncrossed.

"We never catch colds," Belo giggles before jumping up and standing aside to show them his masterpiece. "Look! I made a snow angel!"

And indeed he has. The angel even has a spike on his head to represent the tuft of Belo's hair that never falls flat. In the back of his mind, Bem thinks that there's something poetic about a demon transforming into an angel through the purity of fresh fallen snow.

"It looks great," he says and bends slightly to sweep the snow off Belo's hair. Belo grabs his hand when he moves to pull away and flashes a toothy grin.

"Bem, you make one too," he says, tugging on Bem's arm and turning to look at Bela. "And Bela!"

At Bela's snort, Belo tugs harder and shouts, "You have to! My angel is lonely on its own. It needs a family."

Bem stares at the small snow angel lying haphazardy in the long stretch of the street and sighs. He removes his hat before he lies down next to Belo's angel, the snow creeping along his neck making him shiver slightly.

"Bem!" Belo shouts, his smile so wide that his eyes are mere slits. "Now move your arms and legs - like this." Bem watches in amusement as Belo jumps down onto his angel once more to demonstrate.

"Ah, I see now," Bem says thoughtfully and he holds Bela's gaze for a moment before he begins to move, his limbs gliding easily in the snow.

A few more moments of swishing and Bela finally erupts in a frustrated groan, collapsing onto Belo's other side.

"My clothes will be soaked because of you two," she grumbles and the timing of Belo's laugh is identical to his.

"See, isn't this fun?" Belo asks and as Bem stares up at the night sky now illuminated with blinking, rainbow lights with the sounds of his family's joy filling his ears, he can't help but agree.

-

By the time they stand up to leave, dawn is on its way and Bela is proven right. They're soaked.

None of them can be bothered to care.

"We look so pretty," Belo says, pointing at their snowy portrait. Bela's is the biggest, Bem's has the sharpest edges, and oddly, Belo's has the largest wings. Bem wishes he had a camera to capture the image and hopes his memory is good enough, that it won't wash away like the snow will, eventually. It's a joy too good to waste.

As if reading his thoughts, Bela pokes his upper arm and says with a smile that is teasing and triumphant and entirely Bela, "It's not wasted if it brought happiness, right?"

Bem releases a small, welcomed chuckle before he notices what sits atop Bela's head. "My hat," he says with a tinge of childish accusation.

Bela shrugs. "You weren't using it. It goes well with my boots, doesn't it?"

She backs away with a twirl before Bem can reach for her and Belo falls into giggles.

"Bela," Bem says sternly. "Give it back. You know I can't let anyone see my horns."

"At this time of night, there's no one to see them," Bela returns, tipping his hat at him in a way that makes his chest clench. There's not a hint of barbwire in her smile, no needles in her eyes. He hasn't seen her this happy and playful for a long time and he knows in his heart that this is a Christmas he will never forget.

"It's almost morning," he says, now entirely for show because he knows he would give his hat away in an instant if it made Bela happy. He also knows Bela loves a challenge, even one as small as his feeble stubborness. "It won't be good if they see me like this."

"They'll think you're a reindeer," Belo chimes in and Bela's laugh fills the air like jingling bells.

"Bem the reindeer," Bela repeats, stalking forward with swift steps. Bem waits patiently as Bela closes in and, in a blink - there's a warm press against the tip of his nose. Another blink and Bela's finger is pointing at him in a shaky aim as she and Belo laugh and laugh and laugh.

Bem could stand like this forever, clueless and soaked and hatless and watching joy cloak his loved ones in a rosy-cheeked glow.

"Don't touch!" Belo says when he moves to touch his nose and when he tilts his head in question, Belo chirps, "Rudolph!"

"Rudolph the red-nosed youkai," Bela grins.

Bem who is prone to subdued smiles and short chuckles has never felt so much bubbling mirth in one night.

"Let's start heading home," he says, his lips still twitching. He walks past the tree and Bela moves to walk alongside him.

"Yosh! I'm hungry. What are we eating today?" Belo asks as he runs ahead, little footprints leaving a trail behind for them to follow.

"I picked some weeds today. They're the only things that survived in this weather."

"Ewwwwww! I don't want weeds."

"Then steal some candy off the tree."

"Bela," Bem warns.

"What? They're practically giving it away," Bela mutters. She's wearing his hat at an angle that hoods one of her eyes. "Don't be such a... what was it again?"

"Grinch!" Belo shouts back helpfully.

"Yes, that. Don't be such a grinch, Bem. I hear they're worse than youkai."

For the nth time that night, Bem laughs and says with complete honesty, "I don't think youkai are all that bad, actually."

With his heart surging with heavy warmth, he feels vulnerable. Powerful.

Loved.

He's never felt more human.



.end
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