"(F/n)! (F/n)!" your little sister shouted to you as she ran from the direction of her school, "Did you see Santa?"
Smiling at her antics, you shook your head, "No, Paula, I didn't. Did he come visit you?"
The brunette girl grinned and took your hand, tugging you to her classroom. "Yeah!" she cheered, "Come see!"
You let the five-year-old drag you back into the school that you used to be a student of. A few teachers poked their heads out of their classrooms to greet you. You acknowledged them, but were unable to stop Paula for longer than to say a hurried 'Hello' and keep walking.
"Before we go see Santa, what did you do in class today?"
Still not stopping, Paula rattled off a list of seasonal activities the class had participated in. As a last minute thought she added, "And we made Christmas ornaments!"
Finally, you made it to Paula's classroom and the small child released your hand. The teacher greeted you with a smile and you talked to her for a while before Paula shouted at you again.
Giving an apologetic smile, you looked in the direction Paula was pointing at. A thin man who looked to be about your age was dressed in a red suit was sitting in the teacher's rocking chair. He had a warm smile on his pale face and was eagerly talking to your sister, who was pointing at you.
The man's violet eyes locked with your own (e/c) ones when he looked in the direction of Paula's finger. The small girl whispered something in 'Santa's' ear, then ran over to you to bring you to the man in red.
A small blush heated your cheeks when Paula shoved you on to the man's lap.
"Now tell Santa what you want for Christmas!" the brunette girl cheered.
Still flushed pink from being pushed on some random guy's lap, you looked at the man. "Sorry," you mouthed.
The sweet faced man smiled gently. "It's fine," he whispered to you.
Paula still stared expectantly and you cleared your throat. "Well, Santa, I guess all I want for Christmas is," you paused, thinking. What you really wanted was your parents to come home; you hadn't seen them in years, but that was unrealistic. You pursed your lips, thinking. "I don't know. What did Paula ask for?"
"That's cheating!" said girl huffed, "He already knows what I want!"
'Santa' laughed a bit, a calming sound, and murmured in your ear, "She just wants you to be happy."
You were stunned. Your little sister, instead of asking for anything for herself, asked to make you happy. Tears pricked in your eyes and you bit your lip. "Well, then, Mr. Claus, is it possible you could get Paula all the toys and treats she wants for Christmas?"
The man smiled again, violet eyes understanding. "Of course," he nodded.
"Wake up!" Paula whined, jumping on your bed, "It's Christmas! Come look what Santa brought!"
Groaning, you opened your (e/c) eyes to the small girl's grinning face. "Alright, alright," you shoved her off of you, "Let's go see what Santa brought."
She jumped away from you, running out into the living room and back like an excited puppy. Tightly grabbing your hand, she skipped over to the tree, leaving you stumbling after her. You froze when you saw the many brightly wrapped presents under the tree.
Paula dropped your hand and grabbed a large, poorly wrapped present from under the boughs of the tree. A small ornament made of green foam spun around, eventually resting with a picture of Paula smiling out. Red and white candy cane stickers covered the frame, courtesy of the child.
Shoving the present wrapped in golden paper in your hands, Paula watched you with careful brown eyes. You stared curiously at the golden sparkles falling onto your hands.
"(F/n)!" Paula shouted.
With wide eyes, you looked at the little girl. She gestured to the gift in your hands. "Open it!"
"Oh! Right!" You grinned sheepishly and began to carefully pulled the paper away. Paula groaned again, but this time you were doing it on purpose. Smiling, you revealed a card made on red cardstock. On it, Paula had drawn a picture of the two of you holding hands with Santa. In her sloppy handwriting, you read the words "Merry Christmas!"
You carefully pulled the card out of the wrapping, laying it gently next to you. Inside the golden paper, there was a (f/c) knit sweater.
"I asked Peter's dad to make it," she said, "But he let me pick the color and help." She seemed very proud of the sweater. Smiling, you pulled it over your tank top and examined the carefully crocheted article of clothing.
With happiness shining in her dark eyes, Paula bounced on the balls of her feet. You looked up from the soft (f/c) material of your new sweater and grinned at Paula. "Go on, open yours now."
A brilliant grin lit her round face. The first present she grabbed was the one from you. It was wrapped in pink paper decorated with red peppermints. It was the best you could afford.
As though she were pressed for time, Paula ripped through the glittery paper, revealing a painters kit. She beamed up at you, expecting that to be her only present, but you could tell that the others, all wrapped in the same blue and white paper, were directed to her.
"There are more," you said, voice sounding almost like a song.
Surprised, the young girl quickly adapted to the many presents under the tree and ran over, ripping through all of them. Except for one.
She read the label, then smiled. "This one's for you," she whispered.
A small, blue and white present with a label reading 'To (F/n), From Santa'. Furrowing your brows you opened the wrapping. Inside was a small, black box. Inside said box was a small silver necklace. It was partially painted red, the cap commonly worn by Santa. Clasping it around your neck, you saw a little slip of paper that had been folded under it.
Curious, you made sure that Paula was distracted before walking to your front door. Cautiously, you opened the door and stepped out into the cold air outside.
"Hei." You heard a man's voice say.
His violet eyes shone from under pale blonde bangs. He wore a heavy white sweater and dark grey jeans. On top of his white blonde hair was Santa's cap.
Hugging yourself, you greeted the man, "Hello."
With a gentle smile, he looked up at you from his spot on the ground, "Your sister asked to make you happy. Are you?"
"Are you happy?"
You fingered the silver necklace and rolled the question over in your mind. You were lonely, but Paula kept you company as often as she could. You also wished you could find a more providing job to make your precious little sister happier. Though, you had what you needed, and you didn't want to bother the man in front of you. "Yes," you decided.
His smile grew, "Liar."
Taken aback, you looked at the small man. "Excuse me?"
He grinned, "Sorry. But you're not, I can tell."
"Of course you can."
He pouted a bit, "It's the truth!"
Crossing your arms over your chest, you smirked at the man. "Prove it."
"Tino," he said, but then sensed your confusion and clarified, "My name."
You considered your choices before answering. "(F/n)."
"Merry Christmas, (F/n)."
Unable to help it, a wide smile spread over your lips. "Merry Christmas, Tino."
He matched your smile. "That's it."
Tino turned around and began walking away. "You're happy."
Touching a hand to your cheek, you felt the hot blush covering your face. Your face hurt from smiling and your heart was racing.
"No," you said to yourself, turning back into your house to see Paula painting with her new art supplies, "that's something else entirely."