Christmas With Japan
You sighed, looking out the window of the hotel's waiting area. The sky was the color of steel, rainy and cold. You sighed again, your breath fogging up the glass. You were in Japan, waiting for Italy to get out of the world meeting. He had invited you to come with him, and, seeing as how you loved him like a little brother, you came with. Little did you know, you would be forced to sit, bored and alone, for three hours with nothing to do outside the meeting room door. Your mind wandered a bit, easing your boredom. . . . . . . . .
Next thing you knew, you were shivering against the freezing glass. You looked up at the sky. It was dark now, and it looked like it was about to snow any minute. "Are they still in the meeting?" you voiced aloud curiously, as you peeked at the door. Your eyes widened, mortified. The room was dark and empty.
Italy and everyone else had left. Without you.
"NO!!" you whimpered loudly. You stood up quickly and ran to the main desk, hurriedly asking the clerk about the group's whereabouts. The clerk shrugged. You started to tear up. Here you were, stuck in a huge hotel with no money, no food, and no way to get back home.
"Vee! Kitty!! There you are, I was looking for youuu!!"
You turned around, teary eyes lit up. It was Italy, calling your nickname. How many times have you told him? Your name was Cat, short for Catherine, not Kitty. Right now, you didn't care though. That sinking feeling in your chest dissipated as you hugged him. "Where did everyone go?" you asked, walking with him towards the elevator. "Oh, England and America got into another fight and it was really loud and Germany got frustrated like usual~ sooo we all decided we were gonna go home! I can't wait to go home. That means I get to eat pasta!!" he exclaimed happily.
The elevator door opened and you stopped short. Inside was Japan. You felt your face flush and your throat get tight, but you kept your head down and followed Italy into the small box. As Italy continued talking about pasta the whole way to the door, you noticed out of the corner of your eye that Japan kept eyeing you. You looked up just a bit, and his head turned away quickly. You blushed again and ignored it. "He's just. . . I dunno. He's just." you told yourself, trying to make up an excuse.
"OH, KITTY KITTY KITTY!!"
Your head snapped up. It was a common reflex. Unfortunately, you never could tell when he was talking to you, or talking about a real cat. Before you had time to respond, Italy was chasing a cat down an alleyway, and left you alone with Japan, who had tagged along quietly. You shouted for Italy to come back, but he never did. You could still here him calling "Kittyyyy" from across the street, echoing farther and farther away. Your heart dropped for a second time today. You slowly turned back to Japan, eyes tearing up. Your teeth chattered and you could see your breath. Your thin jacket wasn't doing much to help with the now-snowing weather, and now you were alone with Japan.
He looked at you with hardly any expression except for a slight worried glaze in his eyes. "Are you alright?" he asked in his smooth voice. You nodded slightly, then shook your head no. With Italy gone, you had no way to get home. "Er. . ." Japan started. He looked like he really wanted to say something. Before you really had time to think, he had pulled you into a very bright and colorful store. It was decorated for Christmas, and it was ever so warm and cozy inside. You almost immediately stopped shivering. "Are you better?" he asked, and you nodded, beaming at him.
Truthfully, your heart was pounding, and your fists were shaking, hidden in your jacket pockets. It was all you could do to keep your knees from giving out.
"Since we are here. . .would you like to get a better jacket?" he asked you, avoiding eye contact. You shook your head quickly, not wanting to impose or spend his money. "N-no, I'm fine!" you stuttered, but your body betrayed you by sneezing. It was the beginning of a cold. You cursed under your breath. Japan inhaled sharply and took your hand, leading you to the coats section of the pretty store. You were so shocked that you hardly noticed how expensive everything looked, how gorgeous. . .
When he let go of your hand, you were about to faint, and grabbed onto the nearest thing to steady yourself -- a beautiful, dark, suede, furlined peacoat. Marveling at the touch, you delicately took it off of the hanger and tried it on. It was so comfortable, and you instantly could feel your body heat being trapped like a warm blanket wrapped around you. You turned to Japan, smiling. "I like this one." He looked at you, blushing slightly. He reached for you and your eyes widened, heart skipping a beat. Your eyes squeezed tight as he fixed the ends of your hair out from underneath the coat. Your hair was short. It barely reached your shoulders. Which meant his hand was brushing your cheek. You blushed a deep red, biting your lip.
"Ah, sorry," he said quickly, blushing as well and retracting swiftly. "We should go," he stuttered and walked to the front counter to pay for your jacket.
You mentally kicked yourself as you watched him walk away. "How could I be so stupid!" you hissed to yourself. It was so obvious (you felt) that you liked him, but no one else seemed to notice. But there was no way you could tell him. You were clumsy, ungraceful, and overly shy around him. Years of martial arts and weapons training had made you physically strong, but. . . when it came to affairs of the heart, you could barely be in the same room with him without your stomach twisting into knots.
You found yourself outside again with Japan, walking in the cold weather with your new jacket. It was such a beautiful sight. Every single store had Christmas lights, decorations, trees, and snowflakes in every window. It was even bigger here than in America, you thought. Being out here with Japan made you smile, but your heart clenched with every glance he chanced to direct at you.
"Ah, Japan, where are we going?" you inquired, stumbling after him. No matter how warm your jacket was, your face was still freezing. He cleared his throat and said, "If you want, we can go to the park and see the lights there." He looked at you from the corner of his eye. "You are cold?" You hesitated and nodded guiltily. You could almost have sworn that you saw a faint smile tug at the corner of his lips, but it vanished. "Let's go back to my house. We can have hot tea and sit under the kotatsu." He called for a cab, and in a few moments, you two were on your way back to his estate. You had only been there once, but you could still picture it in your mind. . .
That memory. . . . .
It was an autumn night and you and Italy were in the bath house. Oddly, you felt comfortable with him there, when any other person would have made you shriek. He suddenly pointed at the sky and wished repeatedly for a real bowl of pasta and not Japan's "soba". You smiled and asked what he was doing. "I'm wishing on a shooting star, Kitty! Here, I'll make a wish for you too~" and at the next falling star he wished repeatedly for "Kitty and Kiku to be happy." You blushed and splashed him water. "Heeey, what was that for! I was making sure that you and Japan will be happy together! He's always looking at you, and you're always looking at him, it's totally obvious you like each other!!"
. . .totally obvious. . . .
You blushed suddenly, realizing that maybe Italy's wish for you had come true. You shook your head to clear the thought, and Japan shot a confused glance in your direction. "Do you not want to come?" he asked, sounding faintly hurt. "No, sorry, I want to go! It's just, my thoughts are running wild right now," you stammered, tucking a piece of your glossy brown hair behind your ear. You noticed he was staring at you again, and you finally had the courage to meet his gaze. "You have pretty eyes, Ca-Cata. . . Neko," he struggled. You blushed a deep red, ducking your head down. You didn't know what was more shocking, him telling you that your eyes were pretty or that he called you the Japanese name for "Cat" because he couldn't say it in English.
The cab driver stopped. You looked out your window and there was his estate, glowing faintly from the snow that had fallen.The cab driver and Kiku exchanged a few short words in Japanese, then departed. As he walked up the front steps with you, he cleared his throat a few times. "Do you like the decorations, Neko?" He stuttered. You nodded, taking in the gorgeous sight of all of the little candy canes and small things that lined the walkway, all the way up to the door. Inside, you could see through the window that he had a perfect Christmas tree lighted and ornaments hanging delicately from the branches. "It's amazing," you replied, breathless.
He walked ahead of you and unlocked the door, carefully removing his shoes in the walkway. You did the same, and gasped at how pretty everything was. The bamboo floors and paper walls glowed warmly from the lights on the tree, and the kotatsu sat welcomingly in front of the tree. You noted that there were some presents under the tree. He motioned for you to sit at the kotatsu and warm yourself, which you did without question. You slipped off your new coat and tucked your legs under the heated table. You watched nervously as he plucked two presents out from under the tree and set them on the table.
"Do not open them until I get back," he instructed, and you waited quietly as he disappeared. You didn't even dare touch them. Your mind raced, and you felt dizzy. You managed to get a peek at the tag of one of them. Your poor Japanese skills put you to your limit as you tried to read what was written. However, you could definitely tell who it was adressed to. こねこ。Not "Neko", not "Cat", but "Kitten". "Koneko". You felt your throat get tight as he returned with tea for the both of you.
"Merry Christmas", he smiled faintly, and pushed one of the packages to you. It was the larger one. You gulped and delicately unwrapped it, hands shaking in the awkward quiet. He sat across from you underneath the kotatsu, intently staring at you to watch your expression. When it was finally open, an adorable Lucky Cat sat wrapped in bright colored ribbons and tissue paper. It had "koneko" inscribed on the coin. "For good luck," he pointed out. "Thank you, it's so cute," you whispered, straining.
He paused for a bit, then slowly pushed the second and much smaller box towards you. That one had no tag or decorations. It was a plain navy blue box. Your hands shook uncontrollably, so much so that he placed his hand on top of yours to help you open it. You wanted to run away. It was too much to handle. Your emotions had been so frantic today, it was unbearable.
As the lid slid off, a sprig of a green plant with white berries lay inside. You were confused.
But, only for a split second.
Your eyes widened as you looked up at him quickly. He blushed. "It's mistletoe," he murmured. "America told me that I needed this to kiss you." Your eyes welled up with tears. "I've liked you for a long time," he continued, and your tears spilled over making him scared. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry, I just thought. . . " You shook your head, shaking tears off through your watery smile. "You have no idea how long I've liked you, Kiku! This makes me so happy! I'm sorry I'm crying," you laughed through the tears.
The clenching in your chest had disappeared, the shaking in your knees, the shortness of breath. . .
You were entirely happy, and it was all you could do now not to throw your arms around his neck and kiss him right here right now.
"I invited the others here to have Christmas, but I don't think anyone is coming--" Japan said, but right then, a knock at the door interrupted. It was France and England, both with gifts in hand. Japan looked back at you. "Should we let them in?" he asked, seeing if you would rather spend the night alone with him, but you just smiled. "Let them in, silly, it's cold outside."
As he stood up, he took your hand and gently brushed his lips against it. You blushed deeply, and as he pulled you up, he kissed you delicately on the lips. The knocking interrupted yet again, pulling Japan away. You smiled up at him, touching your lips with your fingers. "Aishiteru," you murmured, practicing your basic Japanese.
"I love you too."