Secretly Gladion understood that the second he asked Moon to be his girlfriend that he would have to deal with Christmas.
He dealt with the Halloween shenanigans before they even were together. Thanksgiving because Moon invited everyone over.
But Christmas? This was as new a territory as their relationship.
And it wasn’t Moon’s fault at all. If anything, she wouldn’t even know about his scorn and disdain for the whole month of December. However, she was smart and she probably could’ve guessed it. His father’s condition, the tension between him and his mother, the hours he had to put in at the hospital because of his family? Nothing really screamed Hallmark Christmas in Gladion’s life, except maybe Lillie--who he would meet up for breakfast and exchange a small gift with.
Maybe that’s why he seemed so surprised opening the door; not expecting Moon at his door cutely blinking up at him on Christmas Eve. “Moon? I thought we were meeting la--,” the statement dies down, his eyes noting over the box in her arms. It was overflowing with christmas decorations--her own ensemble, bright red with scalloped white trimming, her smile peeking out from behind it with a bright “Merry Christmas Eve!” that had him stepping out of the way as she walks ahead.
“What’s with the box, Moon?” Gladion finally musters out, offering to take the box only to have her shoo his hands away when she plops it onto his kitchen counter. He can notice her bright gray eyes scanning the living room, searching for something--And that’s when she lights up. Her head turning to him quickly “Gladi, you got the tree,” smile beaming in his direction as he follows her gaze to the bare pine tree in the darkest corner of his house.
He grumbles the “yeah,” well aware that he only got it because she asked nicely, and not at all because he was turning into a Christmas person. But Moon takes it all in stride, lifting on her tippy toes to press a kiss to his cheek and placing a santa hat on his head before escaping his grasp for the second time in a span of 3 minutes.
Her hands were digging deep into the box. Tinsel. Lights. Ornaments all being pulled out and placed into piles. His eyes widening, lips parting.
“We’re decorating,” Moon answers his unasked question, glancing at him matter-of-factly as it all comes together.
The “why?” fumbles off his lips all too quickly. All too defensively. And Moon simply tilts her head in a manner that was just so her.
“Because I want you to have a good Christmas, Gladi.”
He questioned whether it was too soon to say he loved her in response.
Christmas decorating, as Moon so proudly stated, was more than stringing lights on a mantle. She made him mix batter for cookies, his kitchen wafting the scent of cinnamon and sugar into the air. Glitter undoubtedly was all over his arms, his rugs, his couch--as he placed a slew of red globes on the tree. And Moon’s laughter between his judgement of the cheesy Christmas music was better than another other sound he had heard in regards to the holiday.
Everything was bright, and welcoming, and well, Christmas-y, and he found himself smiling at the image of Moon looking at his tree with the utmost approval. Shades of red and green dancing on her skin and hair before she turns to look at him.
The box had long moved from his counter to his floor, Moon quickly reaching in and crawling over to him with the most determined look on her face.
“Because this is your house, you get to pick,” Moon lifting two glitter-ridden items in her hand, “a star, or an angel?”
He couldn’t help the smirk that appeared on his face.
“Pretty sure I can’t place you on the tree.”
“Gladi,” she moans, blush reaching her cheeks adorably as her lips jut out into a pout. Her hands shaking the items once more; encouraging him to pick. “It’s the finishing touches, I swear!”
Gladion scoffs, pointing to what he assumed was an angel. It was a little misshapen--a white cone with a wire halo and wings, but his choice had her giggling all too quickly and pushing it into his hands.
“You need to put it on the tree, babe.”
“Me?” confusion resonating in his voice as Moon continues to hold his hand over the item.
“I’m a little too short to reach the top of your tree.”
It’s a cute confession if anything, Moon bashfully shrugging her shoulders as his eyes flicker between her and the tree they had decorated together. So slowly he moves to stand, urging her to come up with him, decoration in her hand, when he moves to pick her up.
She squeaks loudly in surprise. Yelping his name as her arms in a rush move to hold onto his shoulders. He couldn’t help the low chuckle rumbling from his chest, the smug look on his face that Moon’s met with when her head turns.
“Shouldn’t you be used to heights, Ms. Cheerleader?”
“Yes, but--” he laughs again, only causing Moon to giggle herself as she holds on a little tighter.
“Put it on the top.”
Moon stares into his emerald eyes, no hesitation evident, his voice so genuine it has Moon unable to argue. The top of the tree now reachable due to his leverage, and the smile on his face enough to melt her as she reaches to place the ornament.
“It’s not as cute as you," he observes glancing at his girlfriend's face.
“Gladiiii,” Moon whines, the visible pink flush returning all too soon as her eyes roll, but her smile remains. He feels his chest swell at the sight, at her, at what she’s done. And when he notices a small bunch of mistletoe hanging off her headband, he leans down without a second thought; coming in at just the right angle to plant a kiss on her lips.
It’s soft, and sweet, and all too short-- but it was just the first of many this holiday season.
“Merry Christmas, Angel.”