The Joy of Christmas
It was just half an hour after the Christmas Eve Concert, and the boys were chilling out in the dressing room. Kakeru sat at the head of the table with a plate of strawberry shortcake from Ran, Shun was playing a game on his phone beside Kakeru, Tommy was next to Shun and Kira was on the opposite side. Away from the table, Makki was brushing his teeth.
"Hey, guys," Tommy spoke. "What're you gonna do on Christmas? You know, besides exchanging presents."
"My family'll have a party as usual," Kira answered.
"Just a simple dinner with my family," Kakeru replied.
"Makki said he'd plan our date for tomorrow," Shun said. "Right, Makki?" he asked his boyfriend.
With a mouth foaming with mint-scented bubbles, Makki garbled incomprehensibly, "Yar, yar! Gow id arr pland!"
"What?" Tommy asked, puzzled.
"He said, 'Yeah, yeah! Got it all planned!'" Shun translated nonchalantly.
"Weer gunna go ta da arked an den da muzig sto!" Makki continued.
Calmly, Shun deciphered each word out loud, "'We're gonna go to the arcade, and then the music store!'"
"What about presents?" Kira asked.
Makki froze. At that moment, the rest of the boys knew that Makki had totally forgotten to buy a present for Shun.
"Ay dint ferget!" Makki said loudly, garbling as usual.
"'I didn't forget'," Shun translated again.
"Idz a sarpryz!"
"'It's a surprise'." Then, Shun said, "Well, I'll know when I come over tomorrow."
The next day, it was Christmas. Children woke up excitedly to tear open presents while adults stand by and watch. But at Makki's apartment-
"Gotta get Shun's present!" he cried as he rushed out of his home early at seven in the morning to Harajuku.
Of course, he forgot! He's Makki, after all. But it wasn't totally his fault. With Christmas Eve Concert coming up then and having to plan their date for the special day, the idea of getting Shun's present had slipped his mind.
So, Makki rushed to the station, hurrying past the ticket gate and jumping onto the last train. Shun will arrive at his apartment with his gift at nine before they go out, so Makki has at least two hours to get the present.
In the train, Makki dropped onto a bench tiredly, calming himself.
"Makki?" said a familiar voice.
Makki looked up, and saw Kira staring at him curiously while holding onto one of the train's rails. The latter's head was tilted to the side in confusion.
"What're you doing here so early?" Kira asked. Then, he realized: "You forgot to get Shun's gift didn't you? How expected!"
Makki's eye twitched a bit. "Shut up. What're you doing here?"
"No particular reason," Kira replied.
Makki ruffled his hair and sighed frustratedly. "ARGH! I can't believe I forgot!"
"Well, I don't think Shun would be upset," Kira said. "I mean, he's pretty much expected you to forget."
Makki looked up with an expression that said he was going to snap at Kira, but it turned into a sly smile. "Do you have any free time?"
"Why the Hell am I following you?!" Kira asked angrily as he was dragged out of the train by Makki.
"Because I'm your leader, so you have to listen to me!" Makki replied. "Besides, you don't have anything important to do right now, do you?"
Kira grumbled a bit but said nothing more.
To avoid unwanted attention, the two boys put on hats and sunglasses to hide their faces despite the lack of pedestrians. Makki, keeping an iron grip on Kira's arm, dragged him through the streets.
"If I have to help you," said Kira, "then I'll need to know what you want to get for Shun."
"Well," Makki said, "I was making something for him."
"You made something?" Kira repeated, puzzled. "Where did you make it?"
"At Daichi-san's workshop."
"What did you make?"
"A music-box-snow-globe hybrid," Makki answered. "Well, I was making it, but one thing led to another and I kept putting it off, so it's still in progress."
"You know I'm not much of a carpenter, right?" Kira said. "In fact, my school doesn't even have Workshop classes."
"It'll be faster if I had help, okay?"
So, Makki brought Kira to a stairwell and up to the second floor. They stopped in front of a door that had a plaque hanging there, titled, 'HIROSAWA SCAFFOLDING'. Makki rang the bell and the door opened, revealing Daichi.
"Oh, hey! Nice get-up," the man greeted, and invited them in. "Here to finish the thing?" he asked Makki.
"It's not a 'thing'," Makki grumbled as he walked in. "It's a music-box-snow-globe hybrid!"
The two boys took of their caps and shades. Makki went over to a shelf where a small crate sat, took it, and up-ended the crate over the floor. It's contents spilled out- gears, boxes and other things. Makki took a toolbox out of his bag and got to work. Meanwhile, Daichi had left the place to them because he needed to do some outdoor work. Kira sat beside Makki, watching him quietly, bored. When the younger boy thought that he wasn't going to be needed, Makki passed him a small glass cylinder, inside it was a thick transparent gel and some white substance, which Kira realized was supposed snow, for this was a snow-globe. There was a small brown owl in the centre of the snow-globe which Kira recognized as a small Cat.
"What do you want me to do with this?" he asked as he shook the little novelty, watching the fake snow float inside the gel.
Makki passed him a bottle of glue and instructed Kira, "Stick it to the wooden base."
Kira sifted around the stuff on the floor, searching for the wooden base. When he found it, he uncapped the bottle of glue and squeezed an ample amount of glue onto the base. But Kira squeezed too hard, and the access went flying off the block onto Makki's shirt and into the gears of the music box.
The two boys shrieked, terrified.
"Kira, look at what you've done!" Makki shouted, scolding Kira.
The latter curled into a ball and scooted away. "Shut up! It's an accident! I'm sorry!"
Makki tried to wipe away the glue, but it just spread further, making the gears stuck and useless. Makki sighed forlornly.
"I guess I'll just have to get a new set of gears," he grumbled.
Makki got up and grabbed Kira by his arm. The boy was still curled up and flinched when Makki touched him.
"Come on," Makki said, urging him, "let's hurry."
Kira refused. "Can't I just stay here and watch the place?"
Makki stared at him for a moment before asking, "Do you have some kind of 'failure complex'?"
Kira looked away. "I just don't like messing up."
"Just come with me!" Makki said. "Besides, I don't think I can leave you here alone anyway; what with all these scaffolding stuff lying around."
So, Kira got up and followed Makki again through the town. They stopped by a mechanic's shop, and Kira waited outside while Makki went in to buy the needed materials. While waiting, Kira took out his phone and began messaging someone.
I might be a little late, he typed.
He got a reply: It's alright. The trains are currently under repair.
Because there was a small accident. They said the repairs will be done in an hour or so. It may be too long, so I might take a taxi.
Kira shut off his phone and put it away, but stopped suddenly. He'd seen something from the corner of his eye. Slowly looking up, his suspicions were confirmed.
Shun was jogging by the streets, on this very lane.
This was bad, Kira knew, because Shun can obviously tell its him. Kira ducked and went into the shop, and saw Makki paying for the new set of gears.
"Makki!" Kira hissed. "Shun's outside!"
Makki gasped. "What?!"
They both peeked out of the shop and saw Shun jogging towards the mechanic's shop.
"What do we do?" Makki asked. "Should we run out now or wait for him to pass?"
"He'll definitely recognise us from behind! He knows what kind of clothes we wear!" Kira said.
"But the workshop is the direction Shun is running at!"
"Then, let's just run behind him," Kira concluded.
"With this get-up?" Makki said incredulously. "We'll look like stalkers!"
"It's not like there're many people right now, aren't there?"
Ultimately, they decided to follow Kira's plan. The two waited until Shun had passed the shop and went out, walking briskly behind him. They ran to the opposite street when Shun seemed like he was going to turn around. Then, they had to wait for what like seemed like forever (it was only five minutes, really) when Shun decided to take a break right beside the stairwell to the workshop. Finally, they sprinted up into the workshop the second Shun walked past the stairwell. They slammed the door shut and went back to work. This time, Kira made no mess-ups, and they finished quickly. Now, Makki just has to get back to his home before Shun does.
"You can't take the train!" Kira told Makki when he was rushing to the station. "Your best bet is to take a taxi."
"But taxis are expensive!"
"Do you want to go home or not?!"
So, Makki relented and took a taxi home. He made a mad dash up to his apartment and shut the door quickly. Inside, he put the gift into a fitting box and wrapped it up in patterned paper with a pink ribbon. When he was done, Makki fell to his knees in exhaustion.
Finished! he thought happily.
At that moment, there was a knock on his door- Shun had arrived.
"Just a second!" Makki shouted, and threw off his coat and scarf and other disguises.
He took a few breaths, and then, he answered the door. Shun stood there, hair down, glasses on and a present in one hand. Makki smiled and invited him in.
After Makki had left, Kira took another taxi. He stopped at a park- actually, it was the park where he'd met Miss Black Coffee, the person he'd messaging earlier. Although Kira had let go of his crush on her, they'd met again on-line, and after learning of each other's identity, they decided to meet up during Christmas.
Sitting at the same bench had been Miss Black Coffee, and Kira went over to her.
"Good morning!" he greeted her, cheerfully.
"Oh, hello!" Miss Black Coffee replied, smiling. "What happened? You look pretty tired."
"My friend dragged me with him to go get a Christmas present," Kira answered. "What about you? What did you get from your husband?"
Miss Black Coffee brightened. She showed him the necklace she was wearing. It had a gold chain and beautiful brown jewel rimmed with silver. "He got me this. It's beautiful, isn't it?"
"Wow, it is!" Kira said, his eyes sparkling.
"What had you gotten for Christmas?" Miss Black Coffee asked him.
"Some new clothes from relatives," Kira said, "but I'm not allowed to receive any more gifts from fans or friends."
"Idols can't accept gifts from fans, can't they? Not even from fellow idols?"
"Not even from fellow idols," Kira confirmed. But then, he leant closer and whispered cryptically, "Sometimes, that falls to deaf ears."
Miss Black Coffee can only look on curiously while Kira giggled knowingly.