Yue stood in the back doorway of the Kinomoto house, watching snow drifting down to settle on the ground, joining the growing carpet that had fallen before he had woken. He heard the clacking of claws on the tile of the floor, but didn't turn to look at Kero.
"What are you doing up?" his older brother rumbled.
"To-ya telephoned; he's stuck at the airport in London. Apparently it's snowing a lot harder than this there," he sighed.
"He'll get back," Kero said, leaning his heavy shoulder into Yue's leg.
"Not before Sakura-san's Christmas party, she's going to be very upset. This is the first Christmas since Kinomoto-sensei died, she was counting on her onii-san being here," he said, looking down at Kero.
"What's he going to do if he can't fly today? It's Christmas Eve, there won't be any flights tomorrow, and he has no chance of getting on one the day after, they'll all be packed," Kero frowned.
"I don't know, I told him to call Hiiragizawa-san, I didn't catch most of what he said to that suggestion, but I don't think it was an agreement. I don't like it Kero, Sakura-san will be upset he's not here, but she has us, and Li-san, and Tomoyo-chan, and her other friends. To-ya is all alone there," he said.
"He'll be all right, and he'll get back as soon as he can. Come back inside and shut the door Yue, you're making the house cold. You should go back to sleep," Kero advised him, padding away and back up the stairs.
Yue sighed once more, shutting and locking the door, and walking back up the stairs to the room he shared with Touya. It had been Kinomoto-sensei's room before he had died, and Touya had been reluctant to take it over, but Sakura had insisted. Touya's old room really wasn't big enough for the two of them. The last couple of weeks without Touya though, the room had felt too big, too empty, even more so tonight, after he had received Touya's call. He would have gone back to Touya's old room until his lover came home, but Li-san was staying over the holiday period, much to Touya's ire. He smiled faintly at the memory of Touya's serious and repeated instructions to 'keep that damn Gaki away from the Kaijuu,' while he was gone.
He banished his wings and shed his clothes once more, sliding between the chilled sheets, and trying to get to sleep.
Yue stood in the kitchen doorway in his human form now, as many of the people at Sakura's party had no idea about magic. He could sense Kero somewhere in the room, and hoped that no one caught sight of him, as that would let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.
Sakura was standing with Li, talking with a couple of her school friends, a bright smile on her face. She had been very upset at breakfast, when he had told her that it looked like Touya wouldn't be able to get back before Christmas, but Li had convinced her that her brother would want her to enjoy herself anyway, so with her usual determination, she had put on her brightest smile, and set out to make this the best Christmas party ever.
The feeling of Kero's presence got stronger as Tomoyo glided up beside him, and he looked down at her.
"How are you keeping him out of the food?" he asked.
She looked startled for a moment, and the smiled up at him.
"Bribery and corruption," she told him.
"Sakura-chan looks lovely tonight, doesn't she?" she asked, looking over at her best friend.
"She does, she is determined to enjoy this, even though To-ya isn't home," he said.
"Li-kun isn't as happy as he appears though," she said sadly.
"He intended to propose to Sakura-chan tomorrow, but he considers it dishonorable to do it without speaking to her brother first," she said.
"Ah, that explains the rather odd thing To-ya said on the telephone when he called then. He told me I could warn the…Li…not to hurt Sakura just as well as he can," he said.
"He knew he intended asking her? I thought his powers were…" she trailed off delicately.
"They have been returning since before their father passed, he is stronger now than he was previously," Yue shrugged.
"Oh, so, should I tell Li-kun to come and talk to you?" she asked.
"When everyone else has gone, or at least, the people who do not know the truth, I believe To-ya would prefer that I was in my true form for the conversation, to ensure the point is made properly," he said, smirking briefly, he knew the expression always looked odd on Yukito's face.
"He's a bad influence on you," she smiled, rolling her eyes.
He didn't bother to answer her, knowing she wasn't serious, and that it wasn't true anyway. Touya had been a very positive influence on him, giving him the confidence to be himself, and allow the two halves of his personality to rejoin to make him whole once more.
"So, aren't you going to come and mingle?" she asked.
"No, I'm just here to keep an eye on things, it…it isn't the same without him here," he admitted with unusual frankness.
"Come on, at least come and talk to great-grandfather, he's been wanting to meet you," she said, taking his hand and squeezing gently.
"He knows about Touya and me?" he asked, surprised.
A trace of something faintly bitter flitted over her pretty face.
"Mother told him," she said, saying nothing more on the subject as she pulled him over to where the old man stood, talking to Terada-sensei, Rika-chan's fiancé.
"Great-grandfather, this is Tsukishiro Yukito-san, Touya-san's partner," she said.
"A great pleasure to meet you, Tsukishiro-san, Tomoyo-chan has told me a lot about you since Sonomi-san mentioned you to me," he said, holding out a hand for Yukito to shake.
"Very pleased to meet you too, sir," he said, shaking hands with the old man.
Yue lay in bed, his wings spread out trying to fill the void that Touya's absence left. It was Christmas morning now, 2am to be precise he realized as he looked at the clock with a sigh. It had been gone midnight by the time the party broke up, and he had meant to talk to Li, but he hadn't, he wasn't sure why he had put it off, he would have to talk to him when everyone got up for breakfast.
He tensed, hearing a soft click and almost imperceptible footsteps climbing the staircase, but he felt the familiar aura just before the bedroom door swung open.
"To-ya," he breathed.
His lover looked exhausted, Yue could see that even in the dim light of the half moon, his handsome face was lined with fatigue, and his hair stood up in spikes more untidy than Yue had ever seen it. He was across the room in a flash, embracing Touya firmly before he had even finished putting his suitcase down.
"You're home, I'm so pleased you're home," he said, pressing his face into Touya's chest.
He felt fingers stroke slowly over his wings, and Touya's voice rumbled through his chest under Yue's ear.
"I missed you too, koi," he told him.
"How did you get home? I thought you were stuck in England," he said, starting to pull Touya's travel rumpled clothes off as he towed him to the bed.
"It wasn't easy, but I didn't want to miss Christmas, I had hoped I would manage to get here for the party, but…" he shrugged.
"So how did you do it?" Yue asked, pulling him into bed and wrapping his wings around them, cocooning them warmly.
Touya hummed softly with pleasure as he snuggled closer.
"I got a train from London to some place called Manchester, flew from there to Italy, from Italy to Germany, and so on and so forth. I got the last plane that landed at Tokyo airport until after Christmas," he yawned.
"I'm so glad you made it, and Sakura-san will be thrilled in the morning when she sees you, as will Li, I'm sure he'll be so pleased he's going to be able to talk to you after all," he smirked.
"I shall look forward to it," Touya chuckled sleepily, leaning up to kiss Yue tenderly, before drifting off into an exhausted slumber. Yue fell asleep soon after him, finally relaxed now that all was right in his world again.