And so it was Christmas Eve.
It was already winter break, and on this day, every person spent the time in their own way. Itsuki and Chitose brought their belongings as they gathered at Amane’s house.
It was 1pm or so.
Pizza and juice from the usual shop were on the table. They only started at this time however because there were too many orders, and it was pointless to make preorders, as the delivery was really late.
But it was not too late to have lunch. They showed up after noon had passed, and did not wait for long. Nobody really minded.
“Amane, you’re not getting into it! One more time!”
“The pronunciation is correct, but you’re still so lethargic, you know?”
Amane really wished he would not be compared to the already hyperactive Chitose.
Itsuki noticed that Amane was already somewhat enthused, so he coaxed Chitose as he showed his usual hearty, somewhat frivolous smile.
“Well that’s good enough. Let’s just eat, play and sleep, okay?”
“Don’t sleep in my house, you idiots.”
“Just joking. Of course I”m going to sleep at Chii’s house.”
“Make sure her parents aren’t in.”
“Ehh~, are you thinking of something H, Amane~?”
Chitose leered away, and Amane ignored her as he went to the kitchen to take out the cutlery and cups.
While she pursed her lips and looked displeased, I’ll help out, she chimed in, and followed him.
Of course, the kitchen was really clean and tidy, since it was already Mahiru’s territory, and the utensils and seasonings already arranged as she pleased.
“It’s unexpectedly clean.”
“Thanks for the compliments.”
He answered her casually, and took some small places and cups from the utensils, passing half of them to Chitose, only to find her staring at the cupboard.
Nimaa, he had a feeling she was going to pester him when she grinned away, a chill rising up his spine, but he insisted on ignoring her.
He noticed she had some grave misunderstanding, but he could not figure it out as she did not say what it was.
She looked happier, and his cheeks stiffened. They returned to the living room Itsuki was in.
“But this house sure is clean. It’s so big and tidy.”
Christmas songs were being played from the room’s speakers. Chitose was almost done eating, looked around the living room with only three people, and muttered.
The vast room was due to his parents renting this place, and the tidiness was due to Mahiru helping to clean up this place. “Thanks.” Amane had no comments about it, so he could only answer thus.
“Well, there was a period when it was really messy~. It’s amazing you got it clean.”
“Yep yep. Has a female smell to it~”
“What makes you think that?”
Amane had no idea how the room being cleaner had anything to do with the presence of a girl.
“Hmm? Nothing specific. Given your personality, Amane, it doesn’t feel like you’ll be the type to clean the house. There’s also how you arrange the books, the cords, and how you put the things in a way to avoid damaging them. Some utensils aren’t exactly the type you likeー”
He did put those things furthest in, but it appeared Chitose noticed them when he took out the cutlery
Amane himself had insufficient cutlery, so Mahiru brought a few from her own house, but he never expected the crude chatterbox Chitose to notice such fine details.
“Well, it’s fine anyway? Right Ikkun?”
Amane made a strange pause, and Chitose stared at him with some intent, before grinning as she leaned towards Itsuki.
The latter did not mind as he was probably used to it, and he reached his hand out, having her sit on his thighs, and hugged her. Amane himself really could not bring himself to look.
“Stop flexing in someone else’s house.”
“Are you jealous~?”
Rather than envy, he might say that he would have enough, so he really wanted them to rein it in. Considering that this was their usual selves, it was unlikely such advice would be heeded.
Chitose continued to cling onto Itsuki’s chest delightedly, looking up at the ceiling and his face.
“…Is everyone else so touchy feely now?”
“Don’t forget the folks crying tears of blood right now.”
It was impossible to think everyone was doing this same thing. Some would surely be spending time with their families, and their friends. And there were some spending their time alone.
There were many who viewed being single as a humiliation, and Chitose’s words might be dangerous if they went public.
“Do all boys want lovers?”
“Probably. I don’t really want one though.”
“But that’s because you’re a weirdo, Amane.”
“Well, everyone’s looking uneasy before Christmas. Especially the single guys. Speaking of which, there’s a lot of guys who went to the Angel and invited her for Christmas, but she rejected them all. There’s a mountain of corpses. She said she has an appointment with someone, so no.”
“Heh, is that so?”
Amane realized that the one she made a promise to was him.
While he felt he became the reason they were rejected, he did not mind her using this excuse, considering the guilt she would have when refusing them. At the very least, she did not use his name, so that was fine.
“The despair those guys had on their faces were really something. It’s rude, but I just laughed.”
“Don’t laugh at them.”
“But well, it’s impossible when they don’t have any relationship, and out of a sudden want to act cool during this event, you know? It’s too late when they never established a proper relationship, and how is it possible to say, we ain’t really close, but let’s spend time together and improve our relationship. Also, there’s the kind of people who say let’s party and seek out the chance for two of them to be alone. That’s scary to any girl, you know?”
There is no way she is a loose person who accepts any invites~, so Chitose spat her tongue, probably thinking of some bad memories as she clung onto Itsuki.
While Chitose and Mahiru were different, the former was a beauty herself, so she too had her own troubles. Once he considered that popular girls would be troubled by relationships, Amane started to pity her.
“Well, that Shiina’s not doing well either, given the many invites she got.”
“…You really don’t have any interest in the Angel huh, Amane?”
“Amane’s neighbor is the true angel after all.”
“Want me to chase you out?”
You’re annoying. Amane glared at Chitose, “Scary.” and the latter said with a silly gesture, clinging onto Itsuki.
“But you can’t pretend that the neighbor hasn’t been taking care of you.”
Guh, he was speechless, and she chortled heartily.
“Stop glaring~. sorry.”
Chitose did not sound apologetic, so Amane glared at her again. “Kyaa~” She made a cute voice, clung onto Itsuki…and looked towards the window behind Itsuki.
Amane saw her freeze, and wondered what was going on as he too diverted his eyes over. There was a trail of white fluttering down the blue skies.
“…Ah, Ikkun, look! Snow!”
“Ohh, a white Christmasー?”
It was late December, snow itself was common.
It was rare to see snow fall while it was sunny out there, but perhaps it was something to be happy about to the lovers.
Night had not fallen, but looking at the temperature, it probably would last into the night, a Christmas Eve night coated with snow.
Guess the couples are going to be excited, so Amane thought as he silently watched the couple next to him open the window and get onto the veranda, thinking that they were going to make out for a while as he stood up…only to hear abnormal noises from the veranda.
“Heh? Wh-why are you here?”
The last voice he heard was one he was used to recently, the sweet, cool voice.
He sensed a bad premonition.
He sensed the duo at the veranda looking startled, and hurried over…only to see Mahiru at the veranda, probably looking at the snow, and encountering the duo.
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