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"They're here!" Rin's thundering footsteps came crashing up the stairs and were soon followed by the door slamming open. Yukio jumped as he shoved his shirt down, in the midst of getting dressed.

"N-Nii-san?! What's going on?!" he squeaked.

"Our presents! From Renzou-kun and Ryuuji!" Rin bounded into the room and grabbed his smaller brother's hand in order to drag him to the stairs, but no such thing was needed.

"Really?!" Yukio bubbled with excitement and he, quite willingly, followed Rin down the stairs. There, on the kitchen table, was a box. Their father was in the midst of cutting the tape with a knife. The two boys clambered onto the chairs and leaned over the table as Shiro pulled the knife back. Nagatomo took it back to the counter.

"Ready, boys?" Shiro grinned at them.

"Yes!" they shouted in unison. They dove into the box and they each grabbed their prospective present. Rin tossed his wrapping paper with little care whereas Yukio dumped his in the large box that their presents had come in.

On top of all the things packed neatly into the cardboard box, there was a letter which Yukio grabbed and opened first.

Dear Yuki-chan,

So we're not sure when exactly this is all gettin' to your house, but either way, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday! Did ya see your presents already? Check 'em out before reading on!

Okay so first thing's first: don't touch the green thing! I'll get back to that later. Now, did ya spot the novels? I remembered ya mentionin' wantin' somethin' new to read. Neko recommended these. Consider the set a present from the both of us. I hope ya like it!

As ya can see, we got ya a shirt as well. Your brother's got a matchin' one. Ryuuji's mom sent ya guys some bread too!

Okay so about the green thing, have ya heard about Chinese finger traps before? They're really awesome okay. We got some the other day and Ryuuji got stuck in one for like an hour. He got so frustrated tryin' to figure out how to get it off! We didn't know how to help him at the time, but once we found out how, we laughed over it a lot. So, uh, I thought ya might find it funny watchin' your brother struggle with it. Or someone else. Anyway, in case ya don't know how it works, just get someone to stick their fingers on each end and then pull. They won't be able to get it off. The only way to do that is to push your fingers together. Have fun with it!

I hope you've had an awesome Christmas and birthday. Write soon, okay!

Until next time,

Shima Renzou

Yukio rifled through each of the things as indicated in the letter and as he finished reading the last paragraph, he lifted a long, thin, green and white tube. He glanced up and noticed Rin was half buried in his own box so he put the letter down and quickly tried it out. He put one finger into each side and pulled at the same time. The trap tightened the further he pulled and refused to let go of his fingers. He quickly pushed his fingers back together and worked the tube off quite easily.

"I thought ya might find it funny watchin' your brother struggle with it."

Yukio had an utterly indecent and mischievous thought cross his mind and he stuffed the letter back into the box before placing it on the table and moving over to his brother.

"Nii-san, look! Ren-kun gave me this!" Yukio held it up and Rin looked away from the shirt he had pulled out of the box to give the finger trap a quizzical look.

"What's that?" Rin plopped into the chair and took it from Yukio's hand, inspecting it.

"Ren-kun said that if you put in your fingers, make a wish, and pull your fingers out really fast, your wish will come true!" Yukio beamed. He ignored the way his father snorted from behind the fridge door.

"Really?" His eyes widened in wonder and Rin immediately stuffed his two index fingers into the trap. Yukio's heart leapt with excitement. "So, you just make a wish?"

"And pull your fingers out really fast." He nodded in confirmation.

Rin screwed up his face and closed his eyes, clearly concentrating deeply on his wish. Then, in a snap, he opened his eyes and quickly tugged his fingers apart. But the trap, as expected, tightened and refused to let go.

"Huh...?" Rin blinked and tugged again. "Huh?! Did I break it?!"

"Oh." Yukio tilted his head and struggled not to laugh. "That's not a good sign, Nii-san. Ren-kun said if you can't pull out your fingers, it doesn't like your wish! And it'll never let go!"

"No way!" Rin looked down in horror and tried again, pulling hard. The trap tightened just as much. "Th-This isn't funny!" He shouted towards the kitchen where Shiro and Nagatomo had their hands over their mouths, their faces red.

"N-No, Rin-kun. I'm not laughing…!" Nagatomo elbowed Shiro as he struggled to compose himself. "I'm… I'm crying! Really this is so tragic!"

"C-Completely serious!" Shiro exaggerated a frown but the laugh was still on the corners of his lips.

"Nii-san, I'm afraid there's only one way to get rid of it." Yukio spoke gravely. "We'll have to cut your fingers off."

Rin blanched and the two priests were no longer able to keep their composure. While Nagatomo still made an attempt, his snort through his hand was distinctive enough. Shiro, however, outright cackled, slamming his fist repeatedly into the counter.

"THIS ISN'T FUNNY!" Rin shouted in a high-pitched panicked voice.

"Alright, alright. Look." Shiro laughed as he approached the two. "How about I do some special Papa magic to get it off, hm?"

"Y-You can?!" Rin looked on the verge of tears.

"Yep, just watch." Shiro grabbed both of Rin's wrists, pushed his fingers closer together, and tugged the trap off quite easily. Yukio released a soft giggle as his older brother's eyes bulged in shock.

"I'm free!" Rin beamed. He then huffed towards Yukio. "Hey! What's the big idea, Renzou-kun sendin' you somethin' so dangerous!"

"It worked just fine for me." Yukio giggled and hopped back towards the rest of his presents.

It wasn't long before the incident was forgotten and Rin was quickly showing off his new action figures while Yukio huddled into a corner of the couch with his nose in one of his new books.


"Hm?" Shiro looked up towards Nagatomo as they prepared lunch for the boys.

"I think those boys have been smiling a lot more since they've started those letters." The other priest glanced back as Rin ran by, making whooshing sounds as he held his action figure in the air, making it fly.

Shiro exhaled softly, a smile covering his own lips.

"I think you're right."