I need to buy her something special this year…
Sayo let out an exhausted sigh, looking up at the display window in front of her with a frown.
It was nearing Christmas, and with Roselia’s Christmas Eve party, they had decided to do a secret santa.
Coincidentally, Sayo happened to be Lisa’s. Normally, this would be completely fine if it was anyone else. It’s just a gift for Christmas, after all. But Lisa was her girlfriend. She couldn’t just give her anything. She had to think about it.
It had to be perfect.
“...Is something the matter?”
“Mmm…” Sayo groaned, her brows only furrowing further.
Yukina glanced over at the display window, trying to figure out — or at least guess — what was causing Sayo to completely stop in her tracks to look at this display.
Actually, it didn’t take her too long to figure it out at all. This was a quite expensive accessory display Sayo laid her eyes on. The two of them decided to meet at the local mall since both of them were looking for gifts for the person they were assigned as secret Santa to. Despite the rather early hour of the day, the mall already seemed to be packed enough for it to be a little harder to walk through. Festive lights and various tools occupied entrances and display shelves, and the classic large pine tree a lot of people grew to associate with Christmas stood tall at the center of the building.
Although, despite the rush of the crowd around them, Sayo was pondering over her present for so long now…
“She’s going to get mad at you if you spend that much money on a gift for Christmas of all occasions.”
Startled by the sudden comment, Sayo quickly turned to Yukina, her eyes wide as her brows finally relaxed.
“H...Huh? Wh… what are you talking about?”
Yukina simply stared at Sayo, her expression completely unreadable and unphased.
But it was enough for Sayo to understand exactly what she meant. She saw right through her. She didn’t even need to ask if she already knew Sayo was Lisa’s secret Santa.
“...I can’t think of anything else to get her…”
“I don’t think she wants anything like that from you, Sayo. It’s just a secret Santa.”
“She’d say so, but…” Sayo groaned again, crossing her arms over her chest. “I want to get her something special anyway. It has to be…”
Of course, Roselia didn’t know of her relationship with Lisa. It was quite recent— it being only a few months since they began dating. Sayo wasn’t ready to reveal this yet. Or, at least she hoped nobody noticed how her behavior had changed around Lisa- or her tiny slip ups calling her by her first name.
Yukina glanced back at the display, her expression unchanged
“I think she would be happy with anything you got her, because it’s you .”
“...” Sayo looked back up at the display as well, letting out another sigh. “...I know, but…”
“...You could just get her something less expensive than this.”
“I… guess you’re certainly correct, yes.” Sayo nodded, backing away from the display, a small smile on her face. “Thank you, Minato-san.”
“No need to thank me.”
“Right… but I still need more time to decide. I want it to be the best one…”
You’re so bad at hiding this. Yukina wanted to say, but honestly, it was much more interesting to see how both of them would manage keeping their little secret hidden.
It was obvious. Watching her and Lisa for more than a minute was enough to determine there was something going on. And with Sayo pondering so hard over a gift for Lisa, it was even more apparent.
However, she decided against it. It would be best to give them the time to reveal this on their own. Besides, it was technically none of her business.
“Of course.” She simply replied with, giving Sayo a small, gentle smile.
But what am I getting her…? If it’s not something expensive, I need to find the perfect gift at a reasonable price, but the gift also has to be a good one at that price.
Sayo paced slowly through her room in circles. She held up her arm, holding her chin in the other.
It was already around 10PM now. She had to go to sleep soon… and yet her mind was completely restless.
“...Sis? Is everything alright?”
“What would be something she would really like?” She muttered to herself, not at all noticing her sister standing at the door. “Maybe earrings? ...but that’s so small… oh… maybe a Christmas cookie cutter kit? or… maybe a necklace…? hmm… but that’s…”
“Hm? A necklace isn’t a bad idea, though. It’s visible and she could always look at it and remember you! …we’re talking about Lisachii, right?” Hina chimed in as she sat down on Sayo’s bed, tilting her head slightly. If she didn’t even notice her entering she must be thinking really hard about this… It’s not every day Sayo can be caught off guard this hard.
“Hmm… yes, that does sound good… maybe I can go with that. Now what would she like…? maybe I can just go for a rose… or maybe a different flower? ...maybe I shouldn’t go for a flower at all… and find something else she likes. Actually, a necklace really wouldn’t be bad. And if she can look at it and it would remind her of me …” Sayo furrowed her brows, grumbling to herself further as she pondered over what the new voice added in her mind suggested.
“Hina?!” She stopped abruptly, her eyes quickly widening in surprise as she glanced to her bed. She wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or mad, given Hina just walked into her room and witnessed her embarrassing thoughts. Worst of all, she already figured it was about Lisa and deceiving her was no easy task.
Instead, she just stared at her twin sister, her mouth agape as she searched for the right words to use.
Luckily for her, she didn’t even need to.
“Well… I just heard you mumble some stuff from my room and wanted to check on you! I’ve never seen you so deep in your thoughts before! Kinda boppin’~♪”
Sayo sighed, finally sitting down on her bed by Hina and letting her legs rest.
“...Look, I…” She sighed again, her face already turning bright red. “...Want to give… um. Imai-san… something special.”
“You and Lisachii are dating, aren’t you?”
It came out of nowhere. Well, it didn’t. Of course Hina of all people would figure this out even without having to be around them for more than a second. But Sayo’s brain wasn’t ready to answer this question without possibly imploding from embarrassment. Fortunately, yet again, Hina spared her from that possibility.
“Your face is so red it’s almost glowing! Woah! I’ll take it as a yes~” Hina grinned, proud of herself for immediately seeing through her sister. “I think a necklace is a totally boppity boppin’ idea though, you know!”
What is that even supposed to mean…
Regardless of her confusion with Hina’s comment, there was nothing Sayo could do about this. In fact, she would be surprised if Hina hadn’t figured out her secret relationship with Lisa yet, since she and Lisa are quite close anyway.
And so, after recovering from her quick shock, Sayo crossed her arms, looking down thoughtfully.
“I… I guess you’re right, but… would she really like that? What if she expects me to get her something better? Something different? What if—”
“But what if she also didn’t want anything? She would probably get mad at me in this case… and—”
“You’re overthinking this.”
“Sis!” Hina raised her volume slightly, finally snapping Sayo out of her spiraling thoughts. Startled, Sayo turned to her, her eyes wide once again.
“I think Lisachii would be happy with anything you give her. You’re dating! She’d just be happy to know you thought of her, y’know?”
“That’s… exactly what Minato-san said as well…. m-minus the dating part… however… you’re right…” Sayo’s mind finally calmed. She could finally think rationally. She had nothing to worry about now. She hoped so, at least.
“I think a rose necklace is a great idea! Again, knowing Lisachii she would probably be super happy with it!”
“A red rose…” Sayo scratched her chin gently, furrowing her brows in thought. “It’s the classic way of saying ‘I love you.’ to someone. It represents love and passion… and red is also the color representing Lisa in Roselia…”
“A red rose necklace! Sounds very romantic!” Hina encouraged, holding her fists up in excitement as she listened to her sister possibly once again overthinking the situation. It was kind of fun to watch, actually.
“...This is perfect. The party is also at her place this year… It would be very good and I could maybe find a way to give it to her myself…” Sayo mumbled, once again furrowing her brows in thought.
“You say that… but you look so angry~”
“I’m not angry at all, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Still frowning, Sayo turned to face Hina. Why was she suddenly giggling? Did she do anything funny? …She couldn’t care less right now. She had to think how to both give the necklace to Lisa and where to get it in the first place.
“Good luck with giving Lisachii the necklace. I believe in you, sis!” Hina chuckled, standing back up.
“Hm?” Hina looked back down at Sayo, tilting her head slightly. “What’s up?”
“...Did she tell you?”
“Not directly. But talking about you with her sure revealed everything I needed to know.” Hina thought to herself, humming softly. “Like when she told me you hang out a lot more often now…”
Sayo frowned slightly. She knew where this was going.
“Yes, yes she is correct. But—”
“Oh and when she told me you’re very cute when you concentrate really hard on your note sheets…”
“Oh! And when she said— lovingly — that you wrote her a s—”
“Th-That’s enough! I get it!” Sayo barked, her brows furrowing as her face glowed crimson red. “Y-You can stop revealing what she says about me! I-I don’t need to know!”
“So you call her by her first name?” Hina swiftly changed back to the topic, swinging Sayo’s embarrassment right back to her face. “‘Cause she almost mentioned that while gushing about you! You did struggle saying ‘Imai-san’ earlier, too!”
How is your perception so sharp… Quickly defeated, Sayo let out a sigh.
“...Y-Yes. I do.”
“Romantic~” Hina grinned once again, prompting Sayo to give her a quick glare.
“...Please don’t mention this to anyone for now. Not even Hazawa-san.”
“Huh?! Not even Tsugu-chan?!” Hina’s eyebrows shot up, but she seemed to quickly recover from her very quickly thought plan being ruined. “Hmm~ but both of you are super bad at hiding it. Wouldn’t it be easier if you didn’t?”
“Fiiiiine~ Good luck regardless, though!” Hina said, finally reaching the door to go back to her own room. “I’m sure Lisachii will be happy with what you give her!”
And with that, she was gone.
Maybe Sayo was overthinking all of this. Maybe it really didn’t matter all too much like Hina and Yukina mentioned. Hell, maybe Lisa isn’t even expecting anything from her.
But on the 23th of December, she finally had the perfect gift she planned for Lisa. Of course, now Sayo just had to figure out how to make this romantic. As much as she could manage being romantic, at least.
But it’s so tiny ...What if she will be disappointed just seeing it? S...Surely I could get something else with it— Hmmm… what would Hina do…? Ah, maybe I can get a plushie. Oh. That’s actually not a bad idea at all. Thank you, inner Hina.
It didn’t take her long to obtain said plushie either. She went with a teddy bear, although its size was big enough to have the necklace fit on its shoulders. It looked perfect. Of course, the plush was but a disguise for the actual present… but the value of the necklace was a bit bigger than the plush here.
Yes. This was perfect.
She sat back into her chair, looking down at the teddy bear. The red rose necklace was neatly placed around its neck, the red immediately sparkling against the brown of the bear plush, even if the necklace itself was a bit out of proportion with the bear.
She stared into its black, shiny plastic eyes. Part of her felt like it was somehow judging her…
Frowning, she leaned back, glaring at the poor plush now.
I’m… sure she’ll like this. It’s cute and also fashionable, I think, at least… so there’s no reason to worry. Besides, if she doesn’t— mmm… I can think of something else, but I won’t jump to buying anything else for now.
She paused for a moment, tapping her leg against the floor as her anxiety began to quickly overrule her rationality.
Again, she’d get mad at me if I do. …So why am I worrying? Why am I feeling like this teddy bear is suddenly judging me?! Ughhhh… I-I have to relax…
She was exhausted. At this point she could even just take a nap for today.
I’m probably overthinking all of this. Lisa will be happy with anything I get her. But still… wouldn’t it be better if I at least got her something nice? We’re… dating, after all.
Regardless, she let herself lie down, slowly closing her eyes. She needed that nap. She had to store her energy. She’d be using a lot of it tomorrow.
Christmas Eve came quicker than Sayo would have liked it to. She wasn’t exactly ready, nor was she confident with her master plan on how to make it special for Lisa. She ended up walking to Lisa’s house with Yukina, since they decided to work on the card for their gift receivers. They were assigned to bring drinks together too, so this just seemed like a good opportunity to meet up beforehand.
Of course, Lisa’s present was prepared long before Yukina even arrived at her place, and lacked any card in the first place due to her plan. Yukina didn’t seem to question it at all, which Sayo found a bit… unusual, but she wasn’t complaining either. The less explanation she has to do the less embarrassment she has to suffer from it.
“So… you figured what to get for Lisa in the end?” Yukina began, seeing how awkward and quiet their surroundings were now. It was quite unique for Yukina of all people to realize and break the awkward silence, but once again, Sayo figured it’s better to not question it and play it safe.
“...Yes. I think she will like it.” Sayo answered, her tone low as she looked down at the present box in her hands. She packed it neatly, a red bow perfectly and firmly tied on top of it to keep the lid in place. She wasn’t that confident, and Yukina seemed to immediately catch that.
“I told you before, she’s going to be happy with anything you get her.”
“I-I know! I know… but…” Sayo sighed, her shoulders slumping down. “I want it… to be special.”
She got no response after it. Like before, Yukina only stared at her.
Was she expecting Sayo to explain? Was she expecting her to break and finally admit they’re dating? Was she—
“Then maybe you should give it to her when the party’s over.”
“Stay after everyone else has gone home. Just find a reason to give it to her after the party is over.”
That wasn’t a bad idea at all, actually. Provided Sayo could find a good enough excuse to not raise suspicion.
Yukina seemed to read her mind yet again. “Perhaps you can say you’d like to give it to her later because it’s something important to you. I don’t think she or the other two would mind. Besides,” Yukina looked down at her own present. “It’s Christmas Eve. I think it’s a good enough excuse to be a bit more affectionate, I guess.”
Since when is Minato-san so considerate of this matter? Does she know we’re dating? I-It doesn’t exactly seem that way… but at the same time, it does. Why would she suggest being more affectionate with a supposed friend? M-Maybe I’m thinking about this too much. I just need to get through this evening and hope this advice will work.
“You’re right. Thank you, Minato-san.”
She didn’t want to question it just yet. Maybe she was just overthinking this. She couldn’t have been that obvious, right?
They got up to Lisa’s house’s door, Yukina abruptly stopping right before Sayo managed to knock.
She turned to her, raising a brow.
“Good luck.” Yukina whispered, and knocked on the door instead of Sayo.
“Yukina! Sayo!~” Lisa’s voice suddenly boomed through Sayo’s brain, forcing her to turn to the brunette. She wore a small santa hat on her head, much to the spirit of Christmas.
“Good evening.” Yukina gave Lisa a calm smile. She acted as if nothing just happened. Sayo realized she should have been doing that as well by now. Unfortunately, she wasn’t quick enough.
“Sayo~” Lisa addressed, her voice already sounding teasing. “What’s with that face? It’s Christmas Eve, c’mon~” She giggled.
“I—” Sayo began, before Lisa quickly slipped a regular sized Santa hat on her head.
“Let’s cheer you up. Come inside.”
Sayo didn’t have a moment to react or think before Lisa pulled her inside, Yukina quietly following behind them.
“Ah! Sayo-san, Yukina-san! Took you a while!” Ako shouted from the living room, waving aggressively at the pair as Rinko very carefully leaned away from her so as to not get hit. She smiled gently at the pair as a greeting. They both wore headbands with reindeer horns, matching the Christmas theme.
“Hello.” Sayo simply responded, Yukina being no different in her own response to the greeting.
Sayo set down the drinks on the table and the present box where the rest were placed. She looked at the box under a massive pine tree as she sat down by Ako and Rinko— as if she was watching it…
“Oh, the cake looks really good. Nice job, Lisa.” Sayo pulled her eyes away from the presents, looking towards the table where the food and drinks were.
It seemed she didn’t even notice the strawberry vanilla cake beside the drinks, even though she was the one who set the drinks down.
I have to snap out of this. It’ll be fine… I can do this. I just need to find an excuse…
“Of course~ I put a lot of effort into this one, too.” Lisa revealed proudly, a smug smile on her face as she crossed her arms in victory.
“You make me wanna taste it now, y’know…” Ako grumbled, glancing at the cake. “I need energy to refill my HP…”
“Ah, if you need something to refill your HP,” Sayo perked up, digging in her jeans’ side pocket. She pulled out a lollipop, handing it over to Ako as the latter gasped in excitement. “Hina keeps giving me those randomly. Seems I forgot one in my pocket.”
“Ohhhh I’ll have to thank her later! HP refilled!” Ako exclaimed, happily munching on her treat.
“...Now,” Lisa clasped her hands together, drawing everyone else’s attention back to her.
“Ako brought us a neat game. ...No clue how to play it, but,” she turned to Ako, leaning her elbows on her thighs. “Why don’t we play that? We can get to the cake and reveal who was who’s secret Santa after it~”
“Yukina-san, Lisa-nee… aren’t you two playing with us?” Ako looked up at the two. Honestly, saying no wasn’t exactly an option for either of them. Not with the puppy eyes Ako was giving them.
“Ahaha… I don’t see why not, …Right, Yukina?” Lisa glanced at Yukina, her small smile and soft worried look quickly overruled Yukina’s very apparent refusal.
“...” Yukina let out a sigh, reaching to the game’s box and taking the game instructions out. “...Only this once.”
“Woo!” Lisa clasped her hands together, her smile widening into a cheeky grin. “Alright! You better start explaining what to do~”
“O-Oh! Um… I can… do that if you want…” Rinko smiled softly at the pair.
“Oh! That sounds great! Go ahead~♪”
“Tsk…” Another 1…
Sayo held onto her head with one hand, the other gripping the table beneath her as she glared at the cube in front of her.
“Your luck doesn’t seem great today, huh…” Yukina commented, taking the dice into her own hand. “...Oh. A one. ……….Karma.”
“H-How do you keep rolling that number? This is… the 4th in a row…” Lisa hissed quietly as she looked up at Sayo, taking the dice from Yukina after she rolled her turn.
“Ah, a 6—”
“How do you keep rolling that number?” Sayo groaned. She was in last place so far. The only reason Lisa wasn’t leading this game was simply due to her lack of a strategy against the enemies that kept pushing her back most of the time. Of course, due to the game’s competitiveness Sayo couldn’t tell her how to defeat them, even if Lisa tried asking for help.
“Aaaaaaaaand— a four! Woo!~” Ako triumphed over her advance. Of course, she was the lead, Rinko only a few steps behind her. Since the winning condition was to defeat the dragon at the end of the path, Ako and Rinko were the most fit to win regardless of their place. When advancing in the path turned to turn based combat, they were the most knowledgeable on how to do that.
Sayo glared up at Ako as the latter grinned.
“Just you wait.” She grumbled, taking the dice Rinko very carefully placed in front of her.
Her eyes widened at the result.
“A six!” She exclaimed, her eyes sparkling with excitement and determination as she grinned towards Ako. “ Just you wait .”
“Well someone’s fired up~” Lisa giggled. When Sayo looked towards her she looked so proud of herself, even though she just rolled a single six.
You look just like Hina somehow. Gosh… you’re so cute when you’re this excited…
“You’re still behind everyone else.” Yukina hummed. She gazed over to Lisa… why did she look so lovestruck? Nobody else seemed to notice but her— not even Sayo. Yukina never saw her smile like this. She couldn’t even describe it much… other than just how wide and goofy it looked from her side.
Lisa was leaning forward, her head tilted a bit as she pushed the weight on her left arm for support. There was no way Sayo wasn’t noticing this.
Unfortunately for Lisa, she had to leave the game for a bit as she rushed to get the chocolate chip cookies she prepared right before Roselia’s members’ arrival. Yukina swore she saw her sigh at that.
But Lisa’s sudden withdrawal from the game also seemed to catch Sayo’s attention almost immediately, and she seemed so distracted she missed the rest of the turns taken by everyone else before the dice came back to her.
“Sayo-san~! It’s your turn!” Ako whined, seeing Sayo hadn't picked the pair of dice yet. It was strange. She was so fired up just a single round ago. Ako softly frowned at that thought.
“Ah,” Sayo said, her voice low with the sudden surprise and jolt her mind went through to bring herself back into the game and away from the kitchen where Lisa hurriedly prepared the cookies.
Her voice was so sheepish even Rinko perked up at the opportunity to express her concern.
“Um… If you’d like to… take a break from the game—” She gazed over to Ako’s side, their eyes locking as the youngest Roselia member understood exactly what the keyboardist was thinking of. “...I-I don’t think… neither of us mind.”
“N-No, I’m fine, I’m sorry. I got lost in thought for a moment.” Sayo stiffened up, her eyes just barely showing her internal panic. A panic that Lisa immediately picked up on.
“Hmmm~ I think you do need one.” Lisa murmured as she came back, the tray of cookies now very temptatively placed on the table by the game board. She skipped her way behind Sayo, gently holding onto her shoulders. “How about we go outside for a moment? Take a breather, y’know~”
It came out so casually it took Sayo quite a bit to even formulate a cohesive response.
“...O-Of course.” She stuttered for a moment, her brain still trying to piece together even a single reasonable thought. Why was nobody else reacting to Lisa’s sudden enthusiasm? Of course, it was like Lisa to abruptly change a mood for the better… but this felt different. It wasn’t tension… but Lisa was definitely eager to know what was bothering Sayo now.
“You two enjoy! I’m hungry anyways!” Ako said, before dashing over to the table to refill her energy once again.
With one last glance at Yukina, she gave Sayo a small nod, her smile even smaller. She swore she saw her lips move, but at this point, Lisa was practically pushing her towards the balcony.
Now was Sayo’s moment, however. She had to make her brain work again. She had to find a way to express what she wanted to say.
“Sayo~” Lisa once again murmured once they found a spot no prying eye could see through.
“...Yes.” Sayo responded, doing her best to keep her eyes locked on Lisa’s.
She was getting nervous. She was anxious.
But what if she doesn’t like it? What if she expected more from me as her significant other…? What if this isn’t enough…?
“...Hey,” As if sensing her distress yet again, Lisa took a step closer, holding Sayo’s now cold hands in her own. “Is something wrong? You can always tell me, you know…” She said, her voice soft and quiet, almost like a whisper. It caressed and embraced Sayo’s mind, soothing away whatever stormy fog obscured her thoughts.
She felt at peace all of a sudden. And so with her shoulders now finally relaxed, she took a deep breath, readying herself for a possible tease from Lisa.
“I… well, I ended up being your secret Santa… and, um…” Sayo looked down, her cheeks and ears ablaze. Sure, she could excuse it with the cold weather, but she knew Lisa knew exactly how to distinguish between a blush of embarrassment and simply the skin reacting to the cold.
“...I’d like to… give you the gift after everyone else left. ...S-So I could… express myself properly.”
Lisa immediately smiled understandably, sighing softly. “Oh, of course~ ...You better have not bought me something super expensive because you thought a smaller gift wouldn’t suffice.” Said smile now turned into a pout, Lisa switching to squishing Sayo’s cheeks in mock offense. “I’m going to be mad if you did!”
“I-I didn’t! I didn’t…” Sayo mumbled through the limited ability to speak with her cheeks squished the way Lisa was doing it.
“Hmph.” Lisa puffed her cheeks quite childishly, now switching to cross her arms over her chest. “You better! Honestly…” She relaxed her posture, her soft smile returning to her face. “...Just being with you is the best gift I could ever get. Just spending time with you makes me the happiest, you know…” Now it was a whisper. Sayo recognized it. And just like each time Lisa used this tone, her heart skipped a beat.
And Lisa knew the effect her voice had on Sayo.
She closed the distance between them, pulling Sayo into a gentle hug.
“You’re the best.”
“...L-Lisa,” Sayo breathed out, feeling as though Lisa’s name leaving her mouth also dragged out the rest of her soul out along with it. “Y...You don’t even know what the gift is yet…”
“Do I need to? I told you, you’re the best gift I could ever get.” Once again, she knew exactly where to hit. She knew exactly what spot was Sayo’s weakest one.
“I…” Sayo sighed softly, returning Lisa’s embrace. “...And you’re the best gift I could ever get.”
Lisa let out a soft giggle, gently pecking Sayo on the cheek with a quick kiss.
“Now let’s head back. Food won’t distract Ako forever.”
The kiss was so quick Sayo barely had the time to punch it into her brain before Lisa backed away from the hug and slid open the glass door separating the living room from the outside.
And when she finally managed to punch it into her brain, she could finally react.
Her cheeks only growing redder, she held a hand up to where Lisa kissed her. This wasn’t the first time Lisa kissed her cheek. And yet it felt as though the same magical feeling she felt when it first happened was now repeating itself as if it really was the first time.
Seeing Sayo absolutely frozen in place, Lisa sighed quietly, walking back over to the taller girl.
“Come on… it was just on the cheek~” Lisa chuckled, taking Sayo’s hand into hers and leading her back inside.
Seeing she was approaching the rest of Roselia, Sayo quickly regained her cool, ready to excuse her intense blush with how cold it was outside. It wasn’t exactly incorrect, though.
“Ah! Whath Thook hou sho longh!?” Ako shouted from her place, a chocolate chip cookie in her hand and probably another one in her mouth.
“A-Ako-chan, y-you should finish… eating before you speak,” Rinko rushed to comment in a panic, making various hand gestures as she made sure Ako swallowed the cookie she was chewing on before speaking again.
“Sorry~ started a small talk and got so deep in it we forgot for a second that we gotta go back to you guys♪” Lisa excused. Ako was easy to convince… however the other two did not exactly seem too satisfied with the explanation.
Albeit a touch awkward and very nervous, Sayo stepped forward, hoping she could mutter enough of an excuse to drop the suspicion thrown at the pair.
“...Do not worry, I simply had to discuss a matter with Imai-san.” She quickly shot Yukina a glance, silently pleading for her to hopefully get the hint at what the pair discussed outside. And it seemed it worked.
With her arms now crossed over her chest, Yukina raised a brow directed at Lisa.
“...Next time take the cookies with you.” She pointed at Ako, though it was obviously sarcastic. How did Yukina learn to be sarcastic? ...Perhaps it was the Christmas spirit.
“H-Hey! I only ate three!!” Ako whined, stomping her way over to Yukina, glaring into her eyes as a very clear and exaggerated pout occupied her face, and especially her puffed cheeks.
“N-Now, don’t fight— I can always make more cookies! C’mon Yukina, if you want more cookies just say so~” Lisa smirked in her childhood friend’s way, quickly finding her spot beside the vocalist and teasingly leaning a bit closer to her. “Or are you going to keep that a secret from me?~”
Yukina crossed her leg over the other, now having both her arms and legs crossed, as she very calmly closed her eyes and straightened her back.
“I do not want more cookies, I was merely expressing my concern for Ako’s health. This is just—”
“Yuuuuuuukinaaa~” Lisa said in a singsong-like tone, poking Yukina’s cheek.
It seemed she poked a hole in her, that as soon as her finger made contact with Yukina’s cheek, it immediately glowed red, her brows furrowing into a very deep frown.
“I-I said I don’t want more cookies.”
“Oh? You don’t?~”
“Hmm… why are you blushing so hard then? Embarrassed much?~”
“I-I’m n—” Yukina quickly jumped to defend herself, but just like a sly fox, Lisa seemed to fool her right into a trap.
With a cookie now pressed against her lips, Yukina froze in place. Soon after recovering from the shock, she gently took the cookie from Lisa’s hands, looking away as her blush intensified.
“Always.” Lisa giggled, turning to the rest.
It was quite the show. And it was clear on everyone’s face how good of a show it turned out to be.
“Now~ Weren’t we all still playing a game~?” She turned to Sayo specifically, her smirk even clearer now. It sent a shiver down her spine. ‘You’re next,’ her expression seemed to say. Or, at least that was what Sayo’s mind screamed.
“A-Ah,” Sayo quickly snapped out of her shock and immediately looked away from Lisa, sitting back down beside Rinko on the floor. “R...Right.” She exchanged a surprised, mutually weirdly fascinated look with the latter, before looking back down at the game board.
To think she can get teasy with me, and to think it’s much more teasing than what she did to Minato-san just now… she truly knows her way around both of us…
“Right! Sayo-san!” Ako once again pulled Sayo back into the game, handing her over the dice for her to finally roll her turn.
“O-Oh, yeah. Thank you.”
It was unusual for Sayo to stutter that much, even when she was embarrassed. Although, it seemed she wasn’t acting too unusually, given how flustered Yukina still was from Lisa’s onslaught of teases.
“And the winner is… Ako!” Lisa announced with a clap, the purple haired drummer jumping into the air excitedly and pumping her fist in triumph.
“YEAH!!!” She yelled, earning a glare from Yukina for her loudness.
Both Rinko and Sayo seemed to simultaneously sulk for a second, before both returned their composure and smiled at the winner.
“Good job, Udagawa-san.” Sayo said with a soft smile, provoking a squeaky ‘Thanks!’ from the drummer.
“Y-You did a good job… Ako-chan!” Rinko added to Sayo’s complement, gaining a much more excited response from her than the response Sayo got.
“Now. Do you guys want to get to revealing who was whose secret Santa?~”
Sayo’s shoulders immediately tensed. It honestly wouldn’t hurt to just say ‘I’d like to give my gift to Imai-san later.’ And suffer a bit of the embarrassment she would feel after it. …But she couldn’t.
Luckily for her, Lisa was considerate enough to start from Yukina and not her.
“Alright! Yukina~” Lisa murmured, leaning forward to look into her friend’s eyes. “Whose secret Santa are you?~”
Yukina sighed softly, walking over to Ako. She placed the present in her hands before wordlessly returning to her spot.
“Oooooh~ Can I open it?!” Ako beamed at Yukina, her eyes shining similarly to the dim yellow light of the Christmas decorations lining the frame of the balcony. Yukina was very quickly overwhelmed with the expectation and anticipation for an answer.
“...Do as you wish.”
And she did so, excitedly ripping the wrapping paper to open the slim rectangular box. She gasped as she opened it, and as if her eyes couldn’t glow any brighter… they certainly did.
“...You mentioned your current drumsticks were quite worn out. So…” Yukina mumbled, looking aside as to hide her growing embarrassment.
Said gift was a pair of purple drumsticks, the same hue as Ako’s hair. Roselia’s name was printed on each stick, complete with signature curls and colors.
Ako hugged the box close to her, her smile as big and bright as her face could possibly manage to.
“Thank you, Yukina-san!! I’ll take extra good care of them!!!”
Yukina could barely see tears in her eyes.
“...I’m glad you like this. It’s… not that big of a deal…”
“Well~ Next up— Ako! Whose secret Santa are you?~”
“Ah!” Ako put down her precious drumsticks, holding up her own relatively small present box. She handed it to Sayo, her smile somehow becoming even bigger.
“Sayo-san!” She exclaimed, catching the latter rather off guard and startling her. “I hope you will like my gift… it’s a bit small… b-but I thought you’d like it—”
Sayo gave the younger girl a soft smile, holding the present close to her. “Thank you, Udagawa-san. However, the size of the present doesn’t determine its meaning.” Hypocrite. That’s exactly what you were worried about yourself.
Ako beamed, happy and satisfied that her gift already meant much to Sayo.
With her name being called, Rinko immediately jumped, having not expected it to be so soon. She timidly looked down at the present box in her hands, pondering over what to even say.
“U...Um…” She began in a near whisper tone, mustering up as much courage as she could to look at Yukina. She walked over to her, carefully handing over the box to the vocalist.
“I hope… you like it.” She said, a very small and gentle smile on her lips.
“She spent a lot of time thinking what to get you, Yukina-san!” Ako commented, causing Rinko’s cheeks to glow red as she scurried back to her spot and gently, yet quite sternly and worryingly looked at Ako.
“A-Ako-chan…!” She whispered, clearly panicking at the fact Ako revealed just how much thought she put into Yukina’s gift.
“Thank you, Rinko.” Yukina nodded at Rinko, putting the present beside her.
“Okaaay~ My turn!” Lisa chirped, skipping from her place over to Rinko with an almost overly decorated present box. Her smile sparkled brighter than the almost full moon in the night sky. Gosh, it sparkled brighter than the sun as well. Sayo felt her heart skip a beat looking at her as she handed Rinko her present and skipped back to her place.
“Been thinking about it for a long time, I hope you like it~☆”
Dear god. Her smile was blinding .
“Th…Thank you, Imai-san…” Rinko simply said, earning a cheeky smile and an excited thumbs up from Lisa.
So everyone but Udagawa-san aren’t opening their gifts now. M-Maybe I can just give Lisa the present and… stay after? B-But —
Now everyone has turned to Sayo. It was her turn. She was the only one left.
And she wasn’t ready for it at all.
The silence from Lisa also seemed quite unusual to the rest. No turning back now. Sayo decided she could go with her new plan.
“...Sayo-san…?” Ako finally spoke up, breaking the very short but intense silence the group fell into.
“...Right,” She took a deep breath, before approaching Lisa with the present in her hands. Their eyes locked for what seemed to be an eternity. Sayo wasn’t sure what she was feeling— or even thinking . But Lisa’s gentle eyes calmed her down. Looking into them felt like she was looking into a prismatic sphere, shining brightly with its beauty.
“I hope you’ll like it, Imai-san.” Somehow, she managed to keep her cool.
“I’m sure I will~♪” She shot a quick wink at Sayo— although it felt like she just shot an arrow through her heart.
Sayo’s cheeks quickly began to heat up. Oh no… She hurriedly returned to her place, trying her best to hide her embarrassment.
“Alright~ Now that that’s done, who’s ready for cake?~☆”
Sayo and Lisa were finally left by themselves, the rest of Roselia returning to their homes soon after sharing the cake Lisa had made for the special occasion.
Now it was quiet. Too quiet.
They sat down on the couch, Sayo cradling the present box in her hands close to her, as if her life would abruptly end if she let go of it.
She wasn’t sure how to start… let alone admit her feelings right now.
But Lisa seemed to silently understand it. She put a hand on Sayo’s, looking up into her eyes.
“It’s okay. Take your time.” She said in a soft whisper, her smile even softer and tender.
It never failed to sway Sayo. No matter how many times Lisa smiled this way— no matter in what situation she did so— it always made Sayo go through the same experience she went through the first time she did.
She fell in love with this smile, and with the person it belonged to. She couldn’t get enough of it.
“Um…” She began. Being so soothed and relaxed by Lisa’s soft voice, she very much allowed herself to spill every emotion she would usually bottle and hide under layers of self control and expectations. Her voice was trembling, full of uncertainty and doubt. Her eyes drifted away from the brunette, leaving her to only wonder what she was thinking of.
“...I…I wasn’t sure… what to get you. I-In fact… Both Minato-san and Hina had to help me to even… figure this out… but…” She shakily handed her present over to Lisa, finally looking back up into her partner’s grayish-green eyes. “I… hope you like this.”
Lisa wordlessly unwrapped the present, her eyes widening at the sight.
Sayo couldn’t look directly at it after she saw her initial surprise. Her eyes drifted away, way too embarrassed to even try looking back up at Lisa now.
She could not like it… or think this isn’t enough, given I’m her significant other. Or maybe she does like it but wanted something else? Maybe—
As her thoughts spiraled into anxiety and worry, she just barely could make out her name being called.
She forced herself to look back up at Lisa— before she felt something pressed against her lips.
“...Thank you~♪” Lisa uttered in a lower pitched voice than her usual… and in a rather comical tone as well.
As Sayo looked down at what’s pressed to her lips, she also figured out why.
“It’s very sweet of you to give Lisa such a beautiful present~” She continued, her voice weirdly melodious despite the silly nature of it.
She was speaking for the teddy bear.
And Sayo’s cheeks quickly regained their crimson tone.
“...I-I-It’s not… I—”
She got so lost in her attempt at calming herself down with her own excuses she noticed way too late that Lisa had moved closer to her. Much closer.
Before she knew it, the Santa hat on her head was pulled downwards, covering her eyes and essentially blinding her.
And then, very soon after, she felt something soft against her lips. Something warm. Gentle. It was different from the plush.
She knew this feeling. It wasn’t her first time… but regardless, her heart stopped pounding for its duration.
It was a kiss.
And it was a kind Sayo hah never felt before. She couldn’t see, and yet she felt just how much love and affection Lisa put into this kiss. She felt her happiness.
And when she no longer felt Lisa’s soft lips against hers, her eyes were finally uncovered, revealing her partner’s even softer smile.
Well aren’t you cheeky. Sayo immediately thought to herself, not even expecting her brain to register these words as her initial response.
“Sharp~ Do you like this lipstick?” Lisa chuckled lightly, pressing a finger to her lips to mimic the press of Sayo’s lips against hers.
“...I-I do.” Sayo’s voice sounded more like some kind of a chewy dog toy now than that of a human being. Although confident with her first words, everything after it seemed and would probably go back to being nearly, if not completely incoherent.
“I’ll note that~ But… Sayo.” Lisa took Sayo’s hands into hers, gazing up into Sayo’s eyes. “This is amazing.”
If her blush wasn’t intense before, now it definitely was, and it made itself even clearer when she began speaking again.
“I… I’m glad you like it.”
“You know I’d like anything you got me. I told you; you’re the best present I could ever get. It never mattered what gift you got me.”
“I...I know, but…”
“Shhh.” Lisa quickly shushed, wrapping her arms around Sayo’s neck as she pulled her closer. “I don’t want to hear any ‘but’ s from you.”
She closed the already miniscule distance between them, nuzzling her nose against the side of Sayo’s, wordlessly asking for yet another kiss. She had to distract Sayo from her attempt at overthinking again somehow... And another kiss she got.
Sayo gently and very carefully held onto her hips, pressing her lips against hers once again. With the blindness gone and the readiness this time, it felt much better than the last one. Much more magical than the last one, though more short-lived.
“Sayo…” Lisa purred her name, withdrawing from the close physical contact they got themselves into. She held up the necklace, her smile slowly widening.
“Would you like to have the honor to put it on me~?”
“O-Oh,” Sayo jumped slightly, her shoulders jolting upwards and face heating up. It came in quite the delay— but it only made it cuter in Lisa’s opinion.
“I want to see it when you do— Can we go to my room?”
“Of… of course.” Just like the jolt of her shoulders, her legs lifted her up so quickly she barely had the time to remember how to walk.
Lisa let out another soft chuckle, leading Sayo to her room. She stood in front of a full length mirror, Sayo nervously standing behind her.
With the necklace handed to her, she very carefully and gently reached in front of Lisa’s neck, letting the red rose at the front carry the weight of the small metal chains holding it together. She clipped the chains together with a tiny spring lock, releasing the rest of the necklace to finally rest on Lisa’s neck.
With it now done, Sayo slowly wrapped her arms around Lisa’s waist from behind, resting her head on the brunette’s shoulder to view how the necklace looked on her.
Gorgeous. Gorgeous and perfect and beautiful and absolutely stunning were the words she could think of, and if she had more time to think she was sure she would have even more words.
It looked amazing on her. The small spark in her eyes told Lisa so, as the bassist reached to pat and hold the back of Sayo’s head as she pushed her back closer to Sayo’s front.
“...It’s beautiful.” Sayo murmured, cuddling closer to Lisa and nuzzling her neck gently.
“My god. I love it.” Lisa let out a breath, staring at her reflection in the mirror.
The red of the rose sparkled brightly against her clothes, making its presence ever so clearer.
“You’re the best. Did I tell you this before?” Lisa spoke in a gentle, hushed tone, nuzzling her cheek against Sayo’s.
“You might have told me so.” Sayo responded in a whisper, looking at Lisa’s reflection as well. “But I’m glad to know you like this gift.”
“Of course I do, silly.” Lisa giggled, sighing as she relaxed and eased into Sayo’s touch. “Now c’mon, let’s not just stand in front of the mirror.”
Sayo hummed, letting go of her partner.
“I should probably go home soon. It’s getting a bit late now—” She frowned as she pulled out her phone to look at the time.
They went back to the living room, Sayo now preparing to go outside.
“...Um… actually, Sayo,” Lisa called, her tone surprisingly low and quiet. “...Do you mind staying for a bit longer…?”
Sayo turned around to her, eyes very quickly widening. The soft hint of a blush on Lisa’s cheeks… the plea in her eyes… Sayo couldn’t possibly say no to this.
“...W-Well… it’s… only 9:38PM… I-I suppose staying for a bit isn’t… much of a problem.”
“Really?! Yay~!” Lisa beamed, taking Sayo’s hand into hers and excitedly leading her back to the couch. She flopped down, cuddling closer to Sayo the moment she sat down after taking off her coat.
“Y-You just wanted to cuddle for a bit longer…?” Sayo stuttered, her cheeks quickly gaining a tint of red.
“Mmmmhm~☆” Lisa hummed softly, wrapping her arms around Sayo’s bicep. “It’s not everyday that we get to do this, after all.”
“...True.” Sayo agreed, relaxing her shoulders and gently leaning her head against Lisa’s.
“So what’s with the teddy bear? I think I know why the red rose particularly, but a teddy bear…?”
“...I-I didn’t want to just give you such a small gift… s-so the plush was some sort of a holder for it.”
“Aww… silly~” Purring once again, Lisa leaned in and pecked Sayo’s cheek with a soft kiss, intertwining their fingers together as she held Sayo’s hand. “When will you learn? I don’t want any presents from you. Just you is enough.”
“G-Gifting your significant other with gifts they would enjoy and like is part of the experience…”
“Mmm~ fine. Prepare for your birthday, then.”
It sounded kind of menacing. But judging Lisa for choosing to get her a gift, and possibly a big one, would be hypocritical of Sayo. And Lisa knew she couldn’t say anything about this.
“...Say,” Lisa suddenly perked up, a rather playful grin on her face. Oh no .
“Can I be cliché for a moment?”
“...Cliché?” Sayo hesitated to ask. She knew where this was going…
And it went exactly where she predicted it to. Releasing Sayo’s hand, Lisa pulled out a mistletoe, loosely holding it between her and Sayo. With her free hand, she pressed her index finger to her lips, her grin only widening.
“Y-You could just ask for a kiss normally!!” Sayo sputtered, her face turning bright red. Lisa even pursed her lips out in a comical way, awaiting her lover’s kiss. Seemed like she ignored Sayo’s comment completely.
“Ugh… f-fine…” Sayo groaned, leaning forward closer to Lisa. If Hina gave you this idea both of you are going to be in trouble.
Regardless of her jumbled mind, she obeyed the laws of the oh so insignificant plant above her head and gently kissed Lisa, but with the amount of embarrassment and heat her head already seemed to boil with, she immediately pulled back, her face even redder now.
“The happiest I could ever be~♪” Lisa murmured, although her grin never left her lips. “You could say that… I don’t want a lot for Christmas…”
Oh no. She meant it when she said cliche…
“There is just one thing I need…” Lisa continued, her voice in a tune.
“I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree… I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come trueeee~♪”
Sayo was about to combust.
“...All I want for Christmaaaaaas is youuuuu~♪”
“Oh, come on .” Sayo sighed loudly, rubbing her temple with her thumb and index.
“Hey! That was clever! I totally nailed it.” Lisa giggled, now bumping her shoulder with Sayo’s as she cuddled close again.
“...A-Anyways.” Sayo said with a very quiet and quick ‘ahem.’ . She relaxed once again, holding Lisa closer to her as she gave her a soft kiss on the cheek.
“...Merry Christmas, Lisa.”
“...Smooth.” Lisa murmured in a low voice, grabbing Sayo by her shirt collar and pulling her in for another short, soft kiss.
“Merry Christmas, Sayo. This is by far the best one I’ve ever had~”
With a velvety smile on her lips now, Sayo closed her eyes, softly leaning her forehead against Lisa’s.
“It’ll only get better from here. I promise you.”