<<< Back to the backwards holidays
Nami blushed, nearly choking when her mother scratched off the thirteenth day of February. "What is it?" Kelly asked.
"N-nothing!" Nami insisted as she downed her orange juice.
"Huh?" Kelly looked back at the calendar and grinned wryly. "Thinking of a certain friend?"
"Please don't start that..." Nami pleaded.
"You still haven't told him, huh?" Kelly asked.
"There's nothing to tell," Nami insisted. "Now give me money so I can go get the three of them something."
"What're you getting Nagi?"
Nami glared at her mother, "He likes Hershey Kisses," she said calmly, "Anka loves chocolate bars and Lulu likes fat free chocolate."
Kelly sighed, handing Nami a twenty, "You should
tell him, you know."
"And say what, exactly?" Nami asked as she stood.
"Whatever comes to mind," Kelly replied.
"Okay, 'hey there, morning boy...you're my friend so everything is more awkward than it should be, but, cuddles?'" Nami said sarcastically.
"You two are so cute," Kelly cooed.
"Going now!" Nami shouted as she slipped her trench coat and boots on.
Lulu smiled warmly. "Thank you very much, Maria."
Maria smiled and handed her the tray of brownies, "No problem dear. You just need a little practice and you won't need me telling you how to make them step-by-step."
"You're like a mother to me," Lulu whimpered happily.
"And you're like a daughter to me...since I did raise you for the most part," Maria replied.
"Yeah, you were the one telling me to stay away from sex," Lulu said thoughtfully.
"Yes, and was I right about the lack of romance to follow?" Maria asked.
Lulu sighed, "I've baked brownies for my friends and myself. What do you think?"
"You'll find a man soon enough," Maria assured her.
"Mom?" Anka asked as she stepped into the kitchen.
"Good morning, sweetie," Kelly said happily before taking a sip of her coffee.
"She went to by some chocolate," Kelly responded calmly.
"Can I steal the oven?" Anka asked.
"It's all yours," Kelly nodded.
"Good, I expect Nagi to be here any second," Anka explained, "So I'm getting his cookies baked," she said as she preheated the oven.
"What do you think he got for Nami?" Kelly wondered.
"It doesn't matter," Anka said, cracking an egg. "She'll dismiss it as him just being friendly anyhow. What are you and dad doing tonight?"
"He hasn't told me, actually," Kelly said thoughtfully.
"If I know him it will be romantic," Anka smiled as the oven beeped.
"He is quite the charmer," Kelly stifled a giggle as she placed a pair of oven mitts beside the stove.
"Indeed," Anka said as she slipped the tray of cookies intended for Nagi into the oven.
"Hello?" Nagi called as he entered the kitchen.
"You'll be booted for a few minutes in ten minutes," Anka said firmly to him.
"You predicted right," Kelly conceded.
"Of course I did," Anka chirped as she poured herself a cup of coffee. "You woman isn't here, so you can relax."
Nagi blushed, "She and I aren't..."
"Yet," Kelly offered.
"Why do I put myself through this every day?" Nagi asked as he settled at the table.
"Because Nami's worth it," Kelly replied as she settled down across from him.
"True," Nagi sighed.
"Hot cocoa, morning boy?" Anka asked.
"Sure," he said dryly.
Anka chuckled, handing him a packet, "What's wrong?"
"You know what's wrong," Nagi replied as he stood, starting to prepare his hot cocoa.
"So just blurt it out," Anka said as she continued stirring the cookie dough.
Nagi's cheeks grew even more red, "Yes, that will work when I stutter."
"Which she finds cute," Anka reminded him. "Now get your sun-loving self out of the kitchen until further notice," she said as she stopped the beeping oven.
"Fine," Nagi poked her as he passed her to return to the living room.
Anka quickly tossed Nagi's batch of cookies into a baggie before hiding them in a brown paper bag. "You can come back now," she said, poking her head into the living room.
"Lulu's here," Nagi informed her.
"W-wha? Stall her!" Anka said as she quickly dropped the cookies onto the fresh cookie sheet.
"Hello, my loves," Lulu said as she stepped into the living room, kicking off her snow-covered boots.
"You're banned from the kitchen," Nagi said from the couch.
"Why?" Lulu pouted.
"Anka's baking," Nagi replied.
"Oohhh," she nodded in realization as she settled beside Nagi on the couch. "So what'd you get the princess?"
"Princess?" Nagi blushed.
"Nami, the girl you've been unsuccessfully pursuing for the past five years," Lulu said dryly.
"Thank you for reminding me," Nagi grumbled. "Well, I'm not giving it to her until we're alone and I'm not telling anybody what it is."
Lulu stared at him, "Proposing might be coming on a little strong."
Nagi stuttered, "I...I'm not...p-proposing..."
"Then why not tell us?" Lulu asked.
"It's embarrassing when everybody knows that there's more than friendship that goes into gifts..." Nagi rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.
"You can come in for a few minutes," Anka said as she poked her head into the living room.
"Alrighty," Lulu said as she and Nagi stood, settling at the kitchen table.
"So what did you get the rest of us?" Kelly asked Nagi.
"You'll see soon enough," Nagi said with a nod.
After several moments of random conversation, the oven beeped again. "Lulu, shoo..." Anka said before Lulu stood and entered the living room.
Nagi slipped his hand into his pocket, pulling his cell phone out. "Nami wants to know where we are."
"Well, it's not exactly a secret," Anka said dryly as she stuck Lulu's batch of cookies into the opaque bag.
Nagi nodded and continued conversing with Kelly as he typed out a message to Nami without looking at his finger's movements. "H-how can you do that?" Kelly asked as she watched Nagi turn the phone upside down, holding it in the air.
"Nami and I do this during class," he said sheepishly. "So I'm used to the motions of each letter." He set his phone on the table, setting the sound to low.
"I thought cellphones aren't allowed at school," Kelly chided.
Nagi blushed, "They're not."
"But he'll do anything to look cool in front of Nami," Anka teased.
Nagi glared at her, "No, it's nice to have somebody to talk to during the boring classes."
"You can come back in," Anka said to Lulu.
Lulu reentered the kitchen and went straight for the cupboard and the fridge. "I'm eager to see what Nami's getting..." Lulu said thoughtfully as she poured herself a glass of orange juice.
A loud rock song cut through the air before Nagi pressed a button on his cellphone. "She's freezing, but on her way," he announced.
"Warm her up, lover-boy," Kelly said as she ruffled Nagi's already messy hair.
"W-what's that supposed to mean?" Nagi's cheeks reddened.
"You usually end up cuddling, anyhow," Kelly shrugged.
"Uh..." Nagi started to speak but stopped when the loud music sounded through the air again, switching his attention to the reply from Nami. "She said that we need to go to her room and stay there until she's ready to give us our gifts."
"I'm not gonna argue," Lulu shrugged, refreshing her cup of juice.
"Good, they're done!" Anka said happily as the oven beeped. "I'll be right up."
Nagi stared down at his pocket, knowing that Nami's intended gift was safe. He glanced down at Lulu who was cleaning her nails and at Anka who was holding her bag protectively. "I wonder what's..." his loud ring tone interrupted his thought. "Oh, she's done."
"Why does she only txt you?" Anka wondered.
"Because I always reply," Nagi blushed, glancing away from Anka.
"So cute..." Lulu cooed. "Your little crush..."
"It's not a cr-" Nagi halted when Nami opened her bedroom door.
"I love all three of you," she said before tossing Nagi a pack of Hershey kisses, Anka a giant chocolate bar and Lulu a pack of Heath bars.
"Thank you..." Nagi blushed as he popped open the package and began delving into the sweetness.
"You remembered my diet!" Lulu sniffled.
"I love you too," Anka grinned. "Chocolate filled," she handed the bag of cookies to Nami, "Fat-free for your diet," Anka handed Lulu a baggie of cookies, "And I love you like a brother," who is in love with a girl that I consider my sister. Yeah, let's keep this thought to myself... Anka handed Nagi the back of cookies.
"Mine's not for anybody in particular," Lulu said as she uncovered the pan. "These are for all of us to much on."
"Oh, yummy," Nagi licked his lips.
"Wanna head downstairs and get fat while watching a movie?" Nami suggested.
"Me first," Anka grinned as she dashed out the door before Lulu.
"No gifts from you this year?" Nami questioned as she glanced down at Nagi.
"Actually," Nagi blushed as he stood. "Here..." he whispered as he slipped the contents of his pocket into Nami's hand.
Nami glanced down at it and back at Nagi, "Nagi...I can't..."
"Please?" he asked before she could finish her thought.
She blushed, "Five dollar limit for Valentine's Day, from now on," Nami shook her head as she watched Nagi fasten the bracelet.
"Alright," he conceded, "And the common gift," he handed Nami a plushy that was dressed in goth with a matching bead bracelet that resembled the one he had just given her.
"Hand made, right?" she guessed, as she glanced back up at Nagi.
"My fingers now hate needles," he grumbled as he stared down at his hands.
"What about the others, do they get special gifts?" Nami asked.
"Indeed," Nagi replied. "But, let's join them before we miss something."
Nami threw her arms around Nagi, "You are the sweetest..." she blushed as he hugged her back.
"Nah," Nagi whispered before kissing her forehead.
"Don't be modest," Nami said as she pulled Nagi into a kiss. "You really are sweet..." she said softly as she eased her eyes open.
"Oh...kay..." Nagi said slowly.
"Ready to join the others?" she asked.
"Sure..." Nagi blinked, grabbing his gifts and following Nami.
"Cocoa's there and milk there," Lulu pointed to Nami and Nagi's cups that they had taken the liberty to prepare.
"Since you ran out on us," Nagi tossed a cellphone to Anka, "Here you go, you're on my plan of unlimited txt and you can call Nami, me, Lulu, and any of our homes for free. Other than than 400 minutes between us."
"You...bought me a cellphone?" Anka asked.
"Don't get too excited, it was a mail-in rebate," Nagi grinned as he tossed her the charger.
"What about me?" Lulu asked.
"This is something I never want to see again," Nagi said as he pulled out a small brown bag, handing it to Lulu.
Lulu peaked at what she got and her eyes twinkled. "You even got the Mister Valentine Centerfold Special Edition..." she sniffled.
"Yeah, you're still too young to purchase your own porn, so that should last you a week," Nagi said dryly.
"And, cuteness," Nagi tossed Anka a plushy that was dressed in goth as well with a trench coat. He reached in the bag again and tossed Lulu a plushy that was carrying a replica of her red bag.
"They're just like us..." Anka commented.
"And hand-made," Nami added, revealing her plushy.
"What have we here?" Kelly asked.
"This for you," Nagi tossed Kelly a plushy that was holding a heart with one hand and a rose in the other. "I have a cook book for Dan," he announced.
"You really go out of..." Kelly's eyes shifted to a glint of light, "Your way to please others..." she shook her head at Nami's bracelet.
"I try," Nag shrugged as he settled beside Nami.
"Oh, I love you!" Lulu whimpered as she hugged Nagi.
"You're welcome," Nagi laughed.
"Nagi gave you that?" Lulu hissed.
"Yes, why?" Nami asked.
"That is worth over seven hundred dollars!" Lulu exclaimed.
"It's what?" Nami gasped.
"It's made with onyx and gold. That is over seven hundred dollars and at least two carats," Lulu said firmly.
"You're sure?" Anka questioned.
"Do you think that I of all people don't know the price ranges of jewelry?" Lulu asked.
"Good point..." Anka muttered.
"What did I miss?" Nagi asked.
"We paused the movie, so nothing," Nami said quickly.
"I think your dad wants to kiss me," Nagi made a face.
"You know how he is with cook books," Nami shrugged.
"And cooking in general," Anka added.
"Do you think they'll ever have a believable romantic comedy?" Lulu mused. She took another brownie from the tray, taking a large bite of it.
"No," Nami and Nagi chorused.
"Why not?" Lulu inquired further.
"You wanna take this one?" Nami asked.
"Sure. Circumstances are never as perfect in real life as they are in the media. Think about how often you see two people who are perfect for each other who don't start dating until one major happening that brings them together. Think about the chance of even two particular people meeting in such a romantic way. Think about how the plot ends up with them together no matter what, and how many couples don't last after even one fight. Now, make that into a romantic comedy," Nagi nodded.
"Very nice," Anka said as she finished another brownie.
"And ironic," Lulu whispered to Anka.
"I see you've been thinking about this," Nami remarked.
"Yeah, my mom's been watching romantic comedies and they're the same, one after the other..." Nagi sighed. "And I have to either watch them or go to my room to get away from them."
"Poor you," Nami ruffled his hair.
"Hey, flip it over to the news," Anka said quickly.
Lulu punched in the channel number, "Why?"
"School delays," Anka said specifically.
"Wow, they've already announced a lot," Nami remarked.
"Aaannnd..." the four of them scooted forward. "YES!"
"2 hour delay!" Nagi cheered. "Awesome!"