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Christmas with you

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Michiko was forming rice balls in her hand when the oven dinged. Some of the rice clinged on the apron as she wiped her hands on the cloth.

When she was about to head over for the cake, Mary's voice rang through the kitchen. "Mon amour, let me get that."

"Thank you Mary-chan," she turned to her lover and her eyes widened. "Mary, you're supposed to-"

Too late.

"Ouch!" Mary retracted her hand and cradled it as she sat on the floor, pouting. Michiko would have called it cute if she wasn't panicking.

She knelt beside her lover, grabbing her hand and inspecting the damage. It wasn't anything major aside from a red mark where the pan touched her fingers. Nevertheless, she still scolded her, "You should have worn mittens and be careful-"

"Kiss it."

Her ramblings stopped and she looked at Mary, blushing. "You did this on purpose, didn't you?"

A sly smile was on Mary's face, "Maybe? Now kiss the pain away Mon amour."

She sighed in disbelief before bringing the ex-queen's hand to her lips and gave it a small peck. She knows what would come next, as Mary pulled this move many times, yet she hesitated on doing it.

"I think… I think there's a bit of pain," She pointed to her lips, "here."

Michiko's face heated even more as she gave her lover a chaste kiss. But Mary pulled her by the back of her head, deepening the small gesture. At that moment, the Geisha forgot about her kitchen duties as they had their lips locked while sitting on the floor.

"Mums!"

They pulled back instantly as they heard Robbie enter the kitchen. Mary stood up first and helped a still flustered Michiko on her feet.

Robbie tilted his head to the side, "Why are you both on the floor?"

Michiko retreated back to making onigiri, the tip of her ears tainted red. Mary chuckled, "Hm… I do not know Robbie. Incidents may have happened. Now, would you like to help me decorate the cake?"

The boy beamed, "Sure!"

Mary removed the mittens from the rack, wearing them and knelt down, the aroma of strawberry wafting through the air as she opened the oven door. She took the pan as gentle as possible, careful not to tip it over as she placed it on the center island table. "Now, let's start decorating."

Robbie climbed a chair to reach the table top. He placed a clump of white icing on the cake and evened it out with a knife while humming a soft tune.

Mary heard a faint sound of wheels rolling and dropped the ball of fondant on the cutting board. "Galatea," Her voice raised with excitement as the sculptor arrived at the entrance of the kitchen, mostly because of genuine fondness and partly because it would save her the frustration of having to carve out figures.

"Can I help?"

Mary helped wheeling her beside Robbie. "Of course! You can do a better job at making cake decorations than me."

Galatea ducked her head, averting her eyes away from the older woman. "Thank you for the flattery, Miss Mary."

A warm smile spreaded on her face as she patted the small girl's head. "Remember, you are a great sculptor Galatea. Now," she took the cutting board with the fondant and placed it on the girl's lap. "I can not wait for what you would make. Well then, excuse me, I still have some cooking to do. Work together alright?"

"Okay!" "Yes, of course."

Mary ruffled both of their heads before leaving to go to the stove.

Michiko watched the interaction with a small smile, her chest filled with a familiar warmth. She looked away, not wanting Mary to realize she was staring and went back to rolling the rice but was startled when a pair of arms wrapped around her waist. Mary nuzzled her nose on her neck, soft breaths hitting her skin. "Mary-chan!" She yelped as a small kiss was placed on her shoulder. She felt her lover grin as she lightly slapped her arm.

Mary giggled against her, "Is there any problem?"

Michiko shook her head in content while she leaned back a bit against her girlfriend's front. She closed her eyes, absentmindedly rolling the rice. But as much as she loves smelling the faint scent of Mary's perfume, they still have tasks to do. "I think your carbonara sauce and pasta is cooked now."

Mary's arms retracted and she immediately missed the (almost) warmth she gave. "Ah, thank you for the reminder Mon amour." A quick peck was placed on her cheek, "I shall check now."

The ex-queen removed the metallic lid and stirred. Michiko was right, the sauce was already cooked. Then she checked her pasta and with a spoon, poked a bit. It was already firm, meaning it was good to eat. She turned the fire off, waiting for both to cool.

"Good evening ladies and little boy!" A woman drawled and upon a quick look, Mary realized it was Demi Bourbon. " The smell of your alcohol is not ideal ," she exclaimed in a lousy French accent, "Bullshit! Just admit you're a fucking light weight who can only handle wine photoboy." Mary watched in amusement as the barmaid opened the fridge as if she was trying to rip it from its hinges.

Michiko, on the other hand, wasn't as pleased. "Language Demi! There are kids here."

"Calm yer ass lady. Not everyone has someone to keep their mouth occupied," she slammed the door of the fridge, a bottle of red wine in her hand.

Michiko just gaped, shaking her head while Mary chuckled when she heard a quiet "stupid blabbering sapphics" from the barmaid as she stumbled out of the kitchen.

A while later, Yidhra slithered in with 8 of her followers after her. They each took a tray filled with food and, with careful steps, walked out of the kitchen. The eldritch stayed, watching Mary pour the sauce on top of the pasta, Michiko adding final designs on the plate filled with onigiri, and Robbie and Galatea designing the cake. She broke the silence, "You four should hurry up because it's 3 minutes before midnight. We shouldn't be kept waiting." And with that, she slithered away.

Michiko exhaled a breath she didn't even notice she was holding. "You heard Miss Yidhra. Is everyone finished on what they are doing?"

"Yes mum!" "Yes miss Michiko." "Oui, mon amour."

"Oh my, that's so impressive Galatea and Robbie! You did that in such a short amount of time."

Michiko peered at the cake perched on the sculptor's lap and Mary was right, it was gorgeous. Santa Claus was on a sleigh filled with gifts and being dragged by 8 reindeers, 4 prancing mid air and 4 stable on the ground. Behind them was a Christmas tree, decorated by colored lights. The figures were so detailed, they almost looked real. Lines were engraved on the deer, on Santa's clothes and beard, and on the tree.

Michiko's heart swelled with pride for her almost adopted children. "I wish there would be a way to preserve these. Such a shame it has to be eaten."

Robbie jumped up and down, garnering the two older women's attention. "Me and Teya will eat them." He tapped his stomach like a drum and Michiko laughed, patting his head.

"Alright alright, let's go. We don't want to miss the countdown do we?"

They carried their dishes, with Galatea cradling the cake on her lap and Robbie pushing the wheelchair. They arrived at the dining hall, where various other foods were on the table.

Everyone gathered to look at the cake with awe. There were various praises on the designs and Galatea's skill.

"Everybody, it's 5 seconds before midnight!"

"Five!"
"Four!"
"Three!"
"Two!"
"One!"

"Merry Christmas!"

Antonio's violin played a Christmas carol as the tree lit up, with some of the survivors singing along. Most of them cheered while some were already diving to the table to get food. Those who are close started exchanging gifts and chit chat.

Michiko was watching them when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned to the person, who was actually Mary pointing upwards. She followed with her eyes and caught sight of a mistletoe. "Xie is holding it Mary-chan."

An arm wrapped around her waist, pulling their bodies flushed against each other. "Even so, it's tradition you should not reject a kiss under the mistletoe." Mary's face went nearer and nearer with every word, until their noses were almost touching while a flirtatious smirk was on her face.

Michiko's brain basically haywired and turned to mush at this point that she only stuttered an "alright" before meeting her lover's lips. Her arms slung at the shoulders of the other and she had to lean down a bit for one of Mary's hands pulled her head down. They stayed like that for a couple of seconds, not caring that Xie flung the plant on their heads.

"Dégoûtant, there are so many available rooms for whatever business you two are having." They heard Joseph complain as they pulled away from each other.

"Don't be so jealous Joseph. It's not really a crime to spend time with your loved ones during Christmas, ñ'est-ce pas? Now, may you excuse us, we still have plenty of things to do."

The Geisha bowed, greeting him with a quick "Merry Christmas" before being pulled away by the hand. "Mary, where-"

A quick look shushed her, "Ah… you'll see."

Mary dragged her to the garden. In the center gone was the usual chairs and porcelain table and the cobblestone was lightly dusted with snow. Michiko looked up in wonder as fairy lights hung from the trees, giving the area a sort of a warm feeling. "I apologize that it is not that extravagant. Believe me, if I could, I would have thrown a party even grander than those I experienced in Versailles."

Michiko held her lover's hands, sighing, "Mary-chan… just being with you is already enough, and more."

The way she beamed, smile reaching her eyes made Michiko's heart warm and ache. "Well Mon amour, spending time with you and holding you in my arms exhilarates me more than all those expensive parties could do. Ah, wait, you must be getting cold… here."

"Mary-chan but what about-"

"No no, I insist," she threw her red coat over the Geisha's shoulders, who could do nothing when the other had made up her mind, "And you know that I like to see you wear my clothes."

Michiko stuttered, "Thank you."

Mary held out her hand to the geisha, "Would you like to dance?"

Michiko wordlessly accepted and let Mary put the geisha's hands on her shoulder as she wrapped her arms around her lover's waist. They swayed in silence, until Mary let out a shaky breath and began to sing.

Two queens in a king sized bed
There's no mistletoe above our head

Michiko giggled when she realized how ironic it is considering the earlier incident.

But I'll kiss you anyway on Christmas Day
Yeah, I'll kiss you anyway on Christmas Day

She paused and pecked the Geisha on the lips, "Well, mon amour, I'd kiss you every day."

I don't have a lot to give,
But I would give you everything

"And if I could, Michiko, I'd give you the world."

All my time is yours to spend

Mary pulled her lover closer and placed her lips right next to Michiko's ear.

Let me wrap you in with my skin
With my skin

They swayed to the beat of their hearts and the tune of Mary's humming as Michiko placed her head on her shoulder.

Mary pulled back from the embrace, "Mon amour, I have a gift for you." She reached into the pocket of her dress and pulled a black wooden box that's the size of her hand. With shaky hands, she gave it to her lover. "I hope you would like it."

Michiko opened it with care and was amazed at what's inside. It was a golden necklace and the pendant was just a bit wider than her thumb but what struck her was that it resembled her weapon when spread open, albeit the monture was made of gold and the leaves of the fan was replaced with what she assumed were rubies. The knife taped to her fan was replaced by silver, although, when she ran her finger over the tip, it was quite dull, to prevent accidental injuries perhaps. Now, she was a bit curious, "It's so beautiful. Did you create this?"

"Hm? Oh yes, I failed at first but I did succeed, and I hope I met your expectations." Mary replied, a bit bashful for the first time tonight.

"What? It's so gorgeous Mary-chan! I'm just curious, when did you make this and you know how to create jewelry?"

Mary giggled, "Well first, I made that when you were in the middle of matches. And second, I only have a bit of prior knowledge but I asked Monsieur Burke and he was quite reluctant at first but he… came around and taught me some things." She took the jewelry from the geisha's hand, "Well then, let's put this on?"

Michiko nodded and turned around, pulling her hair up. She felt the cold metal on her neck and shivered as Mary's fingers brushed against her nape. Once her lover was done, she faced her. "I also have something to give you." She took something from her kimono and held it towards Mary. "It's an Okiagari Koboshi, a Japanese traditional doll that resembles resilience, well because…" She tried to knock it down but it only swayed then stood up right.

"Oh my, it looks like me!" Mary took it from Michiko's hand with so much eagerness and placed it on her flat palm, pushing it down and giggled when it spinned back up. "It's adorable! Thank you!" She threw her arms around Michiko who hugged her back.

And they stayed under the moonlight, snow dusting their faces as they spent the rest of Christmas in each other's embrace.