It was a busy time for the shops in Japan as they prepared for the end of the year festivities. Friends, families, couples and singles, all took to the decorated shopping district of Tokyo, stopping to look into the brightly lit storefront windows filled with all sorts of gift ideas for your loved one.
Both you and Bakugou dressed warmly for the cold Winter, walking arm in arm down the snowy evening pavements, as chattering groups of people bustled throughout the glowing streets. You shifted your gaze upwards to a grumpy looking Bakugou, “I thought you hated shopping more than you hated crowds” your puffs of breath visible as you chuckled.
“Don’t remind me.” He muttered against the thickly woven scarf you bundled snugly around his neck as you closely held onto his arm. Meanwhile, his other gloved hand scanned the icy ground in front of him with a thin white pole that swayed with the movement of a pendulum for any oncoming obstructions.
It was your first outing where Bakugou used his white cane to guide him within the constant moving crowds. After the last incident where the loudmouthed man blew chunks due to you almost spit-roasting him alive, you both sat down and had a long honest talk.
Bakugou admitted that whenever you and his pride were threatened, all logic and ration was immediately thrown out the window, causing everything to turn into a vivid red.
Moreover, you and your wellbeing would always come first to him; so instead of losing his cool when someone would unapologetically bump into him, Bakugou figured it was best to just go ahead and whack any pair of feet in front of him, before they got the chance to come in too close. Also because, the last thing you needed was to see Bakugou on the eight o’clock news laughing like a lunatic, after beheading an innocent fire hydrant.
Though you were surprised when you arrived home, much earlier than usual today and Bakugou suggested the both of you to visit the area. He confessed it was something he silently missed tagging along with unlike before, when he insisted on staying home preferring to not be packed in with some random strangers like a smelly can of sardines; leaving you to go with your group of friends to do some holiday shopping.
“This is nice Katsuki” you replied sweetly, looking on in excitement. The aroma of freshly baked spiced gingerbread, steaming cups of rich hot chocolate and nutty brewed coffee from the busy cafes/bakeries, only added to the warm and fuzzy feeling you could only get during the season.
“Truth is I wanted to be with you the most whenever I visited this side of the town. Remember how we used to run here in the freezing cold right after school, just so we could eat those chocolate chip shaped hero cookies and drink hot cocoa with loads of whip cream on top?”
Bakugou’s previous frown relaxed into a pleasant smile, “Yeah, I do” as he could still clearly recall the two of you getting the same All Might baked treats, and making sound effects as the both of you each bit into a different “limb” of the hero.
You giddily conjured up another fond memory, “Do you remember how you got whip cream all over your face when you tried drinking the hot chocolate without a spoon? The store owner thought you were a mini yeti that got lost and walked into his store.” You let out an affectionate laugh recalling just how adorable Bakugou looked with his still spikey ash-blond hair, and his scarlet eyes blinking through all the whipped cream.
[Cough] “I don’t remember that ever happening,” Bakugou embarrassingly denied with a growing blush on his cheeks, which was clearly not from the outdoor temperatures dipping.
Once through the crowded upper portion of the neighborhood made to look like it was sparkling and twinkling everywhere you looked, the two of you walked into the area dedicated to selling Christmas trees. The fragrant scent of fresh, sweet and refreshing pine lingered in the frosty air, as soon as you walked into the tent.
Holding hands, you both browsed through the densely packed section of White Firs that were covered with fresh snow, when you came across a table selling snow globes. There were your traditional ones made to look like it was snowing on the inside when you turned it upside down, and ones that would play music when you winded the silver key on the bottom.
However, in the middle of table sat a snow globe that was completely black with swirling patterns, all embellished with glittering gold paint.
Nearby stood a short and elderly woman with her hands crossed behind her back, admiring a tree strung with fairy lights when she could hear the sound its weighted base being lifted off the wooden table.
You couldn’t see a thing to what was inside the glass no matter how you angled it up to the well-lit lamps hung above you in the tent.
“That one is a specially made snow globe,” you looked up from the dark dome. The old woman with her back faced towards you kindly began, “Only two of them were made this year, and you’re holding the last one.” She turned around to reveal herself with a familiar smile.
“Rina! What are you doing here?” You were startled to see the woman that was not only Recovery Girl’s older sister but also the head nurse of the Deika City main hospital. She spent numerous days attending to Bakugou after he was rushed in from his fight with the villain that possessed a powerful telekinesis quirk. Which you later found out was a hitman personally hired by the Puppet Master himself, in hopes of luring you back to him.
Meanwhile Bakugou was standing behind you feeling the dense needles of a tree, when his ears perked up at the name of the woman that would take no nonsense from the young hero. He released his grasp on the branch as it sprung back into place.
“Rina? Who the Hell-oh, it’s that old bat back from the hospital. What’s a hag like you doing out here?” Bakugou smirked, joining you at your side.
You internally face palmed yourself, whispering to him earnestly from the corner of your mouth, “Katsuki!” as you fiercely nudged his ribs with your elbow. He definitely forgot how Rina beat him like a piñata back at the hospital, when he rambled on without a filter and how she wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
You gulped when you could see Rina seething, her pale complexion burning violet. You swore you could hear the sounds of her ears whistling like a steam train, with smoke shooting out of them. You sighed. Of course, with your boyfriend being the why-quit-now-when-I-can-keep-going Bakugou, he just kept this train rolling.
Bakugou snickered, “Shouldn’t you be at home knitting a scarf for your damn cat or something?” This was it, Rina was going to be the one to end him first and repaint all these white trees with his signature hero colors of orange and green.
‘He brought this on himself.’ You thought as you turned away, not being able to bare seeing the homicide that was about to take place.
You shut your eyes and covered your ears, ‘Here it comes-‘You waited for what felt like forever but it was actually only ten seconds. You heard clattering off to the side, followed by complete silence.
You slowly turned your head around and dared to peek with one eye squinting open towards the scene of the crime, “Katsuki?” You turned all the way around and took a deep breath, opening both eyes. What you saw was completely different from what you were expecting to be left after Rina was done with him.
There stood Bakugou, tied to the metal prop made to look like the North Pole with his hands bound behind the pole and his feet tied together with candy cane-striped ribbons; all while wearing an antler headband and a round blinking red light attached to his nose, resembling that of Rudolph’s.
You tried your hardest to hold it in, but it was no use. The sight was just too priceless, “Pffttt…Bwahahahahahaha!”
Bakugou was steaming through his antlers as he roared, “I’ll get you for this you damn-“ Rina took a huge peppermint flavored jawbreaker the size of a billiard ball, and leaped off the ground, stuffing it into Bakugou’s mouth.
She let out a satisfied smile, “Hmph! Suck on that kiddo!” as she dusted her hands off of the confectioner’s sugar it was dusted with. You slid Rina a low high-five when she walked back towards you, making sure Bakugou couldn’t hear the sound of your palms slapping together in her obvious victory.
It had been a long while since you laughed until you cried. Your sides were hurting in pure joy as you wiped the corner of your eye with the last of your giggles, “Ahh that was too funny Rina.” You could hear the string of curses coming from Bakugou’s muffled mouth around the pin-striped solid ball of pure sugar.
“That boy’s language is fouler than 10 truck drivers put together. I can only hope his children don’t take after their father’s temper,” Rina let you know of her desperate prayers as she shook her head side to side.
“What brings you here Rina? Aren’t you busy at the hospital?”
“I’ve been retired for a while now dearie. I still carry the title of head nurse until they find someone to take my place,” you nodded your head along.
“I come here to look at all the beautiful trees and help hand out sweets to the people that take them home.” She offered you from the bowl containing an assortment of candies, and taking a butterscotch candy for herself.
You happily obliged, “Thank you” as you unwrapped the cellophane wrapped peppermint with a soft chocolate on the inside, “That’s sweet of you to volunteer your time Rina.” You followed her back to eight foot tall Douglas fir, she was admiring earlier. It was strung with golden/warm lights and hung simply with gold and white ornaments.
You stood staring wonderingly at the tree before remembering the curious object from before, “Rina, about that snow globe.”
“Ah yes, bring it here dearie.” Rina requested, without taking her eyes off the warming sight before her.
“Press the button and try winding the key at the bottom.”
You first pressed the protruding button underneath, and almost immediately, the surface of the pitch-black glass faded, and brightened with an ethereal white light.
Inside the dome was falling snow, with two small children-like rabbits wearing ice skates. One appeared to be a boy wearing a blue and grey striped scarf and a pair of brown ice skates. But most noticeably, were the pair of dazzling blue eyes that sparkled like two stones made of turquoise.
The other standing a distance apart from it, was a girl rabbit with a pink and white striped scarf, with the same brown skates, and a pair of eyes that looked exactly like y/e/c (your eye color).
Then, you wound the gold painted key as far as it would turn. As the key slowly unwounded, the melody of a lullaby tuned to sound like a music box softly played, as the two rabbits that stood apart, began to skate separately around the small frozen pond in circles.
The LED light blinked once, changing the background inside to look like a night sky with a shade of midnight, adorned with an illuminating crescent moon and twinkling stars.
When the gears slowed to its last few cranks, the melody slowed and the two rabbits skated to the middle of the pond to meet one another and lean forward as if they were kissing, while the boy’s paw reached out to hold her paw. It finished when the light dimmed and the globe turned black.
“He always did love this time of the year” Rina gently spoke, bringing you out of the wonderland you held in your hands; and while watching the scene inside made you feel warmth and happiness, it also made your heart feel somewhat sad.
“I’m sorry Rina, whom are you referring to?”
“My husband was an ordinary craftsman born without a quirk. He could carve everything imaginable out of a block of wood. Whether it was a cuckoo clock, a dining table with chairs, or even a toy train, he could bring to life whatever your heart desired. It was love at first sight.” You looked onto Rina who spoke with sorrow in her voice.
“We would come here every year, standing in this very spot. Sadly, while I waited for him here one night as he was closing the shop for the night, a fire broke out. The flames trapped him inside, and he died along with it.”
You unknowingly held the snow globe closer to your chest, as you felt your heart ache at her tragic story, “I’m so sorry Rina.”
“Being surrounded by all these warm lights, gives me a sense of hope and makes me feel like he’s still standing here next to me.” You smiled warmheartedly, at the woman that honored her deceased husband’s favorite memory of the two of them, at the place that brought them so much joy and most of all, peace.
You looked down to the snow globe you still held carefully in her hands, “Rina, when you said two of these were made, do you know who bought the first one?”
“He was quite the looker,” her voice chirped “and what a charming young man.” That wasn’t much to go on, there were a lot of good-looking and charming people wherever you went nowadays.
“What a splendid hobby that boy has. He made all of these himself in the spare time he had. Also, he mentioned that someone might come here to buy its partner and asked to remain anonymous if anyone should ask.” You found it odd that someone wouldn’t want anyone else to know the name of the artist that created these pieces of art.
It was wistful how the two rabbits lived separated in darkness, until someone turned the key from the outside so they could finally find each other in the light.
Rina turned from her spot with a gentle expression, motioning you to bend down to meet her height. She cupped her hand over your ear, “The most noticeable thing about him were his eyes. They matched those of the rabbit boy inside the snow globe.”
Your heart stopped and you would’ve dropped the fragile glass had it not been for Rina holding onto your hands. There was only one person in this world that you knew that had the same piercing eyes.
Your voice was almost inaudible except to Rina, “Dabi…” Tears were beginning to well in your eyes and your brain couldn’t make sense of the thoughts running in your mind at a 100 mph.
“My ass is freezing over here, are you two done yet?” Bakugou interrupted, not enjoying how he was being left out of the conversation as if he wasn’t already there.
Rina patted your shoulder with an encouraging grin and gave you a brief nod as you stood back up. You sucked in a stuttering breath and cleared your throat, heading over to untie Bakugou.
You could hear him crunching down violently on the jawbreaker, “Katsuki, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to bite down on those things.”
“The next time I see that hag, I’m gonna blow her ass to Mars,” he promised with a vengeance.
“I heard that!” You chuckled while taking off Bakugou’s reindeer headband and the red blinking, ‘nose so bright.’
Rina buttoned up her coat and walked over with her cane, “Well, I best be off now. This old body knows when it’s bedtime.” Bakugou snorted a laugh while rubbing his tired wrists.
“Did you need us to call a taxi for you Rina?”
“No need for the trouble dearie, I can get back by myself. I’ve taken quite the liking to evening strolls while looking at the sky.” She held out a small Christmas themed gift bag, containing the magical snow globe; inside a white box neatly tied with a red felt ribbon, along with a handful of candies inside.
“Oh no Rina, I couldn’t” you quickly waved your hands in front of you.
“It was made with you in mind (Y/N). You wouldn’t deny a gift from a frail old woman would you?” Rina cornered you with no other choice and a knowing smile, as she held out the bag.
“What is it?” Bakugou held your waist with one arm and tried to feel for what was inside with the other.
Rina slapped his hand with her cane, “None of your business!”
“Ow! You-“ You continued the slap fest with slapping your hand over Bakugou’s mouth before he would be the one sent flying to Mars.
You gave her a, ‘I know, he’s helpless’ smile. “Thank you Rina,” you held onto the braided handles with both hands and bowed, Rina journeying home for the night.
You straightened your back and wrapped your arms around Bakugou’s waist. You burrowed your face into his plush jacket as he wrapped his arms around you.
He could hear you sniffling “Are you crying?” He tried to pry your face off so he could feel for the tears wetting your cheeks, but you only nuzzled yourself closer against his chest.
“I’m just so happy that we could come here together,” you mumbled in between your sobs.
Bakugou pulled you closer and kissed the top of your head, “Me too.” You clung onto him like a child afraid of being left alone in the dark. Except, it was indeed the inevitable fate you would have to face, with only one more day remaining.
Before the both of you left to return home, you approached a female volunteer wearing a Santa hat, and handing out candy canes near the entrance/exit side of the tent. “Excuse me, do you know if Rina will be returning here tomorrow?”
“I’m sorry, who?” She looked at you clearly confused.
“She’s about this tall,” you motioned to your hip where Rina’s head would meet, “and elderly. She was over by that table selling snow globes,” You pointed back towards the thicket of decorated trees, “She was also passing out sweets to those that purchased a tree.”
The woman tilted her head unsure and turned around to the table behind her to look through the list of volunteers. She reached the last page of the clipboard and turned back around, “I’m sorry but there’s no one by the name of Rina.”
You looked to Bakugou and then out the flap of the tent towards the direction Rina had gone, only to find that she was nowhere in sight. You scratched the side of your head, “I could’ve sworn that was her back there.”
In the basement of an abandoned apartment, the sounds of a hammer tapping on wood and an automatic drill echoed throughout the room lit by a single lightbulb.
Inside sat a man at his workbench, with a wall filled with all sorts of snow globes neatly placed on the shelves behind him.
He sighed his tired figure into his crossed arms resting on the wooden table. His long fingers lifted the sturdy base; pressing the small button and winding its adjoining key, before placing it back down onto the table.
A familiar melody played as he stared into the particularly dark glass of his most recent creation with his turquoise eyes, “Merry Christmas (Y/N).”