Merry Christmas, Hani

“Big Brother!!”

That was the first thing that Neji heard as he opened the door to the Hokage towers.

The first thing Neji felt was the soft, light body that was thrown at him with a giant hug. He smiled, and then embraced the tiny child. “Hey, Hani.” He said, trying his best to act cool. But, then again, that was pretty hard when you’re being glomped by an adorable six-year old.

“Big Brother, do you know what today is?” Hani asked him excitedly. “Grandma and Auntie said that today’s Christmas Eve!”

Neji nodded as he lifted the child up. “Yes, Hani. Today’s the day when all good boys and girls get presents from Santa Claus.”

“Santa?” Hani asked questionably.

That’s right… Neji thought. This is Hani’s first Christmas…at least, the first she can remember.

Neji unconsciously glanced at the bandages that were ever-present on Hani’s arms and winced. This defiantly had to be a special Christmas for her.

“Santa gives presents to good girls?” Hani cocked her head questionably. “Does that mean Hani doesn’t get any presents?”

“No, Hani, you’ve been a very good girl.” Neji said quickly, racking his brains for a reason why ‘Santa’ had never visited Hani before. “Your grandfather just didn’t like Santa.”

That explanation seemed believable to Hani. Her grandfather never did like much, including Hani herself, which Neji had never really understood before. How could anyone hate such a sweet little girl?

Then again, the old man was senile.

“Big Brother?”

Neji snapped away from his thoughts. “Yeah?”

“Does Hani have to get Big Brother a present?”

Neji put Hani back on the ground. “No, Hani, I’m just happy being with you.”

“But did Big Brother get Hani something?”

Neji paused for a moment, and then nodded.

“Okay. Then Hani will make something for Big Brother, and Naruto-niichan too.”

Neji winced. “You invited Naruto over tomorrow?”

Hani nodded. “Uh-huh. ‘Cause Hani loves Naruto-niichan and Big Brother Neji!”

Neji couldn’t help but smile. “We love you too.”


The next morning was a busy one. Naruto decided to barge in at five AM, claiming that all children love getting up extra early on Christmas. Hani didn’t mind, but Neji was more the unwilling to get out of bed, at least until Hani tugged at him and started being even more adorable then usual. Neji grudgingly got out of the warm guest bed and was semi-willingly tugged down the stars to where the giant Christmas tree stood.

At the sight, Neji had to smirk. There stood Naruto, still clad in his orange, spiral pajamas, curiously examining the plethora of presents for Hani.

After Hani had opened all of her presents from ‘Santa’, Neji was surprised at the piece of paper, rolled up and tied with a light purple color ribbon that was thrust at him. Hani stared at him as he unrolled the piece of paper to reveal a child’s drawing of two figures, one bigger one with long black hair and a smaller one with brown hair and a messy, crayon-clad background.

Neji smiled as he kissed Hani’s forehead, aware that Naruto was staring at him with jealously.

“Thank you, Hani.”

“That’s not fair!” Naruto exclaimed. “I want a present, too!”

Hani bounded over to Naruto. “Hani’s got one for you, too, Naruto-niichan!”

Neji smiled, looking over the carefully drawn picture over and over again, eyeing all the details. It was simple for someone with the artistic skill of Naruto, but, then again, this was Hani he was thinking about--not even seven years old.

After a spastic Naruto episode filled with much hugging, laughter and girlish squealing, Neji finally set his present in front of the child. “Merry Christmas, Hani.” He said.

Hani quickly unwrapped the wrapping paper. “A box!” she said cheerfully, holding up the box with a bit of difficultly.

“No, Hani, there are things inside the box.”

Hani opened the box, dumping an assortment of dolls and doll clothes out. “Oo! Pretty!” she said happily. She set the clothes aside and climbed into the box. “It’s Hani’s box!”

Merry Christmas, everyone.