• I sighed as she quietly watched Tifa Lockheart and Cloud Strife kiss each other under the mistletoe. Their faces were red with either passion or that of embarrassment, I was not too sure, but they were certainly flustered. I heard shouts, yells, and cheers of joy, loud hoots and drunken cries from Barret Wallace,that Turk Reno (who might I add I was not very pleased to meet >: [ ) Cid Highwind, and the loudest of them all Yuffie Kisaragi. The only silent ones that currently occupied this celebration (save for me of course) were Lilith Anatolio, Genesis Rhapsodos, Vincent Valentine, Nanaki, Rei Crescent, of course there were a few other quiet ones whom I might have missed, such as Reeves Tuesti, and Rufus Shinra and his gang of bumbling imbeciles. Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockheart retreated back to their seats with extremely flushed faces. I watched in muted silence as Cloud Strife returned to the couch taking his seat beside Genesis, who was pouring himself another glass of wine, while Tifa Lockheart sauntered back behind the counter and resumed serving drinks to everyone. All of this seemed so foreign, but at the same time so nostalgic. I vaguely recalled a bit of memories where Shalua and I when we were younger, how we would decorate the tree, our mother would hang the star since she was the only one who could reach. I remember the distinct feeling of the warm family glow, the warmth, the kindness. But it all felt so unfamiliar, after my time in Deepground with the Tsviets had robbed me of all those human feelings that I once had.
    When I got there I was surprised no one knew what Christmas was, so I spent my first Christmas there without it being celebrated. The years went on and it almost seemed like everything faded, and time had stilled; there was no joy, no love, no family, and no warm glow. For ten years of my life I had abandoned all that which I was before. Thrown away my foolish innocence, forgotten who I was. I was as good as a doll. But he... He was the only one that helped me survive. And I know who it is you think I'm talking about. Vincent Valentine. Well you are incorrect. "Hey Shelke!! " I heard my name being called out, and I looked up to see that it was a thoroughly intoxicated Yuffie Kisaragi. I could tell she inebriated because of the smell of alcohol on her breath and it was very potent. It almost made me want to put my hands over my nose to block out the stench. But I did not because I did not think it would be an appropriate action, so I made it bearable, " Yes Yuffie Kisaragi?" I stared at her, and she stared back with doe-like eyes. She did not say anything, except just scratch her head, I arched a brow at her still maintaining my indifferent composure trying to put up with her own stupidity, (it must have all that alcohol it made her mannerisms worse) Finally she asked her question, "Have ya evas smooched some-un ." I resisted the urge to snicker at her speech impairment, and simply willed myself to tolerate her company, "You mean have I ever kissed anyone," I asked. She nodded her head energetically, and drunkenly, "Uh-huh? So wat hav ya *hiccup* " I bit my lip to hide the giggle, " Yes, yes I have." She gave me a drunken smile, "Oh yea with hoo?" Just now she sounded like an owl. I shrugged, "A person." That seemed to satisfy her, and she left me alone, probably to tired to ask anymore questions. I heard more shouts of joy as I watched Genesis Rhapsodos and Lilith Anatolio kiss each other under the mistletoe. I shook my head and stepped outside for a moment for bit of breath. What I told Yuffie Kisaragi was true.
    I was kissed, but it was not under the mistletoe and not during Christmas, I could not specifically recall what day it was but I would never forget what happened. It was my first kiss
    with Nero the Sable, the likes of which I had never experienced. No one knew what had transpired or how it had occurred, not even Weiss the Immaculate knew. The kiss between me and Nero was one that led to so many other kisses that had been shared and exchanged between us, but only no one was around to see it. I was never certain if Nero even loved me, but one thing was clear that I was deeply fond of him perhaps even in love with him. One day I told Rosso the Crimson and she seemed overjoyed but of course I swore her to secrecy. Sometimes we would not kiss, other times he would hold me while I was busy on the computers in Deep Ground, his rough hand would gently rub my leg in a comforting way. Other times his hand would touch my shoulder, and in front of Azul the Cerulean, who seemed a bit curious to the exchange between us. One particular moment I remember was when I had just completed a synaptic net dive that had nearly taken me a week. When I awoke the first one to greet me was Nero. He pulled me into an embrace, leaving me dazed and surprised. I remember returning his embrace, then I remember seeing Weiss standing in the doorway, so many emotions on his face; surprise, shock, contempt, disgust, outrage, and disapproval. That was the day I was punished and confined to my quarters. I shook my head and just watched as the snow fell, behind me I heard the door open, and Rei Crescent's voice calling to me: "Shelke we're opening presents." I nodded and informed her that I would be there in a minute, and waited for her to leave me. The door closed and I continued to gaze at the snow. It was a familiar sight. I smiled to myself: Deep ground never had snow... And that is when it occurred to me, Nero had never seen the snow, and nor had any of the other Tsviets. I felt cold again, just like back then......