Sholeh: Sneaking
Sholeh Zeela a Zahar 3girls_1core
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Room 303, Christmas Eve
Zeela had been lurking in the third floor common room until she heard Evan and Ozzy making their way down the hall towards the stairs. There was some good aspects of her sister's boyfriend being a complete and utter nerd and his punctuality was one of them. She waited an extra minute or so once she heard him leave, just in case he'd forgotten anything, and then made her way to his room.

A few minutes, curses, and bouts of jiggery-pokery later, and Evan's door was open. "There you go, Sholeh," she said, rolling her eyes, though mostly for effect. "One room, ready for the decorating."

Once the sisters were in the room and the door was closed again, Sholeh came into view and went to frenzied work. She'd spent the last week researching Christmas traditions and was now determined to bring them to life in Evan's room. The tiny tree she'd bought and decorated with ribbons and paper ornaments went in front of the cardboard fireplace that was propped in front of his desk. There were two stockings thumbtacked to top of it and Evan's tablet was propped on a mound of pillows and set to fauxfire.com.

Colored lights were hastily strung around his room, with several electric candles set to 'flicker' on any available surface and surrounded by bunches of holly and ivy. The flower store in town was having a sale, so she'd gotten a good price for all of them. Zeela had made her buy a bunch of mistletoe to hang, as her price for helping with this whole endeavor. The last decoration was a home-made wreath hung on the inside of his door.

Now all that was left was to wait for Evan to return and see his face.

[Room modded with permission!]

genesishero

2013-12-24 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Christmas Eve, Evan had decided somewhere around the time he'd rolled out of bed that morning, was easily the worst day of the year. At least, it was for any kid who remembered Christmas fondly from years long gone, who knew that it was never going to be the same again.

And he'd gone through his day that way, avoiding the internet and flipping through books that had nothing to do with the holiday or even anything reminiscent of home, right up until it was time to take Ozzy for his walk.

... Coming back to find his door unlocked had been unexpected, but he was going to chalk it up to him forgetting to lock it properly on his way out. At least, he would buy that explanation until he opened his door and peered into the room to see it hung with lights and mistletoe.

"... Whoa."

Merry Christmas indeed.

3girls_1core

2013-12-24 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sholeh was standing slightly off to the side, trying not to fidget or look nervous as Evan glanced around his room, taking in everything she'd done.

"Merry Christmas," she said softly when his eyes finally lit on her. "From all of us."

genesishero

2013-12-24 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

And for a moment, even Evan wasn't entirely certain if he was going to laugh or cry. He settled for splitting the difference, smiling as he made his way across the room to wrap his arms around Sholeh, tears forming in his eyes.

"Thank you all," he murmured as he pulled her close. "So, so much. I thought... I mean, I didn't think this year would... Thank you."

3girls_1core

2013-12-24 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

*He's very welcome,* Zhahar said warmly. *We're glad he likes it so much.*

=Tell him I only did it because of the colors you turned when I made you buy the mistletoe.=

"I hope everything's okay," Sholeh murmured into his shoulder. "And they both say that you're welcome."

Yup. Both of them.

genesishero

2013-12-24 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

"They do?"

Look, Evan and Zeela had met.

"This is great, though. It's more than I thought I'd have this year, and... I mean, it's the best surprise I could have asked for." He lifted a hand to wipe at his eyes as he eased back again to smile at her. "There's a tree and everything."

3girls_1core

2013-12-24 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

=You didn't tell him what I said.=

"Zeela says that you're extra welcome," Sholeh reported solemnly. Because she could be just as much a brat as either of her sisters. "She can imagine how tough it is to be...far from home on a holiday like this."

Which Evan wasn't, exactly. But it was the closest analogy Sholeh could come up with off the top of her head.

"And Zhari made a yummy casserole for us to eat, too. Later, I mean. When we get hungry."

genesishero

2013-12-24 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Better, anyhow, than, 'not having any real place to call home at all.'

"You'll be staying for a while, then?" Evan smiled a little more. "I'm glad. I can't think of anyone I would like to spend Christmas with more."

He could think of plenty of people he would enjoy spending it with, of course, but as much as Sholeh?

"You don't even have Christmas where you're from, do you?"

3girls_1core

2013-12-25 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)

"Not at all," Sholeh said, shaking her head. "Did I get something wrong?"

Look, she'd only had a week, okay? And that week had also been finals.

genesishero

2013-12-25 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)

And that was completely understandable! Finals were important!

Evan had done his finals with antlers and hooves. He understood.

"Not that I can see," he assured her. "I just... I'm touched that you researched and put all of this together for me, and it's not even your holiday."

3girls_1core

2013-12-25 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)

"It's not my holiday, but you are my boyfriend," Sholeh said, glancing up at him with a tiny smile as she said it. "And I knew you'd be sad, so I tried to think of what I could do to make you smile. And, well, this came to mind."

She'd decided to give him something to celebrate.

genesishero

2013-12-25 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)

She was an excellent something to celebrate. Evan was so very, very thankful that she was here.

"I was a little sad," he admitted, "but this helps. It's... cozy, with the flickering candles and the lights and the tree..."

Charlie Brown, eat your heart out.

3girls_1core

2013-12-25 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Damn right her tree was better than that hot mess. Zeela had been adamant about that.

"And the holly and the ivy and the mistletoe!" Sholeh said, proud of herself. "And the fireplace and the stockings! I mean, the stockings were a little weird, but everyone said they were important."

genesishero

2013-12-25 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)

"Presents go into them," Evan agreed, giving her a smile that was leaning from nostalgic over to kind of silly. "I... don't actually know why people started doing that, but they are kinda important."

3girls_1core

2013-12-25 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)

"As long as I get them back, I don't mind them being used," Sholeh assured him. "I, uh, didn't get any presents to go in them, though. Sorry."

genesishero

2013-12-25 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)

"That's fine," Evan replied, leaning in to give her another squeezy little hug. "We can pretend. And I got you a present to open, if you like..."

Maybe, if he could get her to stick around for a while, he could put... something into hers, at least. School supplies, or some of his extra bookmarks or something...

3girls_1core

2013-12-25 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)

"I have one for you, too!" Sholeh said happily. "I put your presents near the tree!"

They couldn't go under it, of course, but nearby was good enough. And there were two gifts. One from her and one from Zhari. Zeela had decided that helping was present enough, thank you very much.

genesishero

2013-12-25 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Evan probably would have been suspicious of a present from Zeela anyway.

"And yours are..." Evan held up a finger, and then stretched one arm across his room, to rummage through his closet. There was no way he was going to let go of Sholeh when there was quality hugging and being adorable to be done, here. "Over there. But they'll be under the tree as soon as I dig them out!"

They were under a small mountain of Ozzy toys.

3girls_1core

2013-12-25 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Fair enough!

"But we can't open them until tomorrow, right?" Sholeh checked. "Christmas Day is for opening presents, Christmas Eve is for...I don't actually know what Christmas Eve is for."

genesishero

2013-12-25 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Right," Evan replied, deciding that it was probably for the best, given the lack of actual heaps of presents, that he not tell her about his family's tradition of opening one on Christmas Eve before bed. "Presents are for morning. Christmas Eve is for being close to the people who matter... Maybe listening to Christmas music or singing carols or reading stories by the fire or playing board games or... lots of things."

3girls_1core

2013-12-26 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Well, we have Christmas music and a fire," Sholeh said happily, pointing to his tablet. "I found the website on a list of ways to make your holiday a little more old-fashioned. And since I didn't know where else to get carols and I would never light a fire indoors, it just seemed like the best idea."

genesishero

2013-12-26 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

"It's a great idea," Evan decided, smiling a little more and nodding in the general direction of that tablet fireplace. "If I set up my little heater there, it'll be almost like the real thing."

Because of course he had a little heater in his room. All the better for curling up and reading by.

3girls_1core

2013-12-29 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)

It had come in handy several times already this winter!

"I hope this makes Christmas Eve feel more like the real thing, too," she said, giving him a soft smile.

genesishero

2013-12-29 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Feel like it...?" Evan shook his head a little. "Not even, Sholeh. It is the real thing, no question."

There was a moment's pause, and then he glanced up and smiled a little more.

"Found the mistletoe."

3girls_1core

2013-12-29 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

And, hey, guess what Sholeh's involuntary reaction was!

"That was Zeela's idea," she mumbled, fighting off a smile. "She said she wouldn't help unless I bought some and hung it up."

genesishero

2013-12-29 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

But Sholeh's blushes were adorable! It was entirely possible that Evan actually pointed out things like this just to see them, now and then.

"Well, it was a good idea, I think... You must know what mistletoe is for, right?"

3girls_1core

2013-12-29 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sholeh nodded her head, peeking up at him under her lashes. "Kissing," she said softly. "If you stand under it with someone else, you get to kiss them. Am I right?"

genesishero

2013-12-30 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)

"That's exactly right," Evan agreed, ducking his head a little and giving her a smile that was somewhat on the shy side. "It's tradition. You've done a lot of research, huh?"

He was impressed!

3girls_1core

2013-12-30 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)

"Well, it was important!" Sholeh exclaimed. "I wanted to give you the merriest Christmas ever. You're just lucky I didn't show up with a statue of a Caganer or dress up as a Krampas."

Zeela had offered those suggestions. Of course.

She licked her lips and glanced up at the mistletoe. "I tried to strike the best balance of weird and, umm, charming, I guess."

genesishero

2014-01-23 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

"The mistletoe was a way better decision than dressing up as a krampas would've been," Evan decided, glancing upwards and licking his lips.

Oh. Oh, right. Mistletoe meant that...

"I mean... if you'd dressed up like a krampas, I'd be way less inclined to..."

To lean forward with his eyes closed, say.

3girls_1core

2014-01-26 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oooh! That was a good idea, Evan! Good job!

Sholeh also quickly closed her eyes, but stayed where she was so their noses didn't bump. That was sometimes awkward. But she did reach forward to clasp Evan's hands just about the same time their lips touched.

This was much better than a krampas!

genesishero

2014-01-26 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Or that other thing that Sholeh had mentioned, which Evan was never going to think about again, since there wasn't much in the world that was less attractive than that.

Kissing, though? Kissing, Evan could get behind, wrapping his arms around her and holding her close.

So far, this Christmas was far better than he'd been anticipating.

3girls_1core

2014-01-27 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)

But the important thing was, she had researched Christmas for him! What was more attractive than that, Evan? The idea of Sholeh surrounded by books, her studious face on, making a list of notes to refer to when decorating!

Sholeh brought their hands around behind her, leaving Evan to hold her close while she curled her arms around his neck, holding him close to her. "Merry Christmas," she breathed when they moved apart to breathe.

genesishero

2014-01-27 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)

"Merry Christmas, Sholeh," Evan replied, closing his eyes and nuzzling his face into the crook of her neck. Oh, there would be plenty more kissing where this came from, and sitting down and reading those stories that she'd brought, and sitting around together and appreciating the decorations on the little Charlie Brown tree she'd brought for him.

But for now, there was this. His arms around her and a smile on his face and everything was just a little bit more perfect than he'd hoped it could be.

"And thank you."