An Islander's Christmas
One thing well known in the worlds, at least, among those who knew of Rydia, knew one thing: Rydia knew how to throw one hell of a party. And the biggest party Rydia threw each year (despite the fact that Rydia was a pagan) was her Christmas party.
So this explained why Rydia, Rosa, Cecil and Kain were surrounding a massive tree in the middle of the Great Hall, decorating it with various ornaments and magical lights. Decorating a thirty-foot tall evergreen takes a lot of time.
So it was with plenty of relief that Rydia climbed the ladder, supported by Cecil and Kain with a large, ornate star in her hand. Or it would be.
"GET OVER HERE YOU LITTLE PERVERT!"
Four heads turned to the main door of the Great Hall. A slim black man with a parcel in his hands was cackling as he threw open the doors, dashing inside the Great Hall, closely followed by a young Asian woman. "Elliot, if you give me those back RIGHT NOW, I'm going to.... WHOOOOA!"
The floor had been freshly waxed, a small feature Elliot and Allison had failed to notice. Couldn't blame them really: running at speeds most Olympic sprinters would be envious of, while focused on the acquisition or retrival of the parcel, made for slight ignorance of their surroundings.
As thus, about three steps inside, both Elliot and Allison crashed to the floor, their forward momentum continuing to send them along the floor.
Rydia only stared at them, like a deer in front of a pair of headlights. Rosa did her best to scramble away from the impact zone, and Cecil and Kain let go of the ladder...
CRASH! The tree was the first to topple. Elliot's momentum was as such he acutally slid under the tree as if fell, finally stopping about five feet away. The ladder, even with Rydia's weight, was not nearly as sturdy. BAM!
Rydia found herself caught by Rosa. She just smiled up at her friend. "Thanks Rosa. I didn't know you cared." Rydia kissed Rosa's nose and giggled. Rosa just rolled her eyes and dropped Rydia on her ass.
Elliot and Allison were getting up, unsteadily to their feet, looking at the carnage they're impromptu slide had caused. It only took three seconds to come to an agreement: they ran the hell out of there, hearing Rosa, the normally polite, reserved and kind Rosa, screamed various obscenites at them as Cecil and Kain took the damaged tree away.
About the same time, two lovers were setting up the christmas lights in a nearby hallway. In this case, it would be electric lights. Zidane and Garnet wanted to do their part to help, so Zidane was on the ladder, while Garnet untangled the wires. Everything was going well.
Zidane could note several voices down the hallway. He recognized one of them: Kuja. The other voices, judging from the debate that was going on, would be his fellow WarMages. And thus it was. Princess Aurora, Kuja, Janus, Ultimecia and Seifer followed behind the Master WarMage, Robert. And it seemed like Aurora was arguing heatedly with Seifer.
"I don't care HOW funny it was, nor what we do, but a demon's entrails DO NOT MAKE APPROPRIATE TINSEL!"
Seifer smirked. "It's a Christian holiday, Aurora. I think they'd appreciate a slain demon as a gift."
Robert shook his head. "Hardly. It's less a Christian holiday now than really a multicultural one. Expressing joy, love, sharing..."
"Gag." Kuja rolled his eyes.
"Hey, Rydia celebrates it, and she's anything but Christian."
"She vould love any excuse to haff a party, I tink." Ultimecia laughed slightly.
Fact #1: Despite being one of the most cunning, vicious, and deadly warriors ever to live, when distracted, Robert is ASTOUNDINGLY clumsy.
Fact #2: Zidane and Garnet had yet to tape the wires from the floor to the ceiling.
Fact #3: Transparent tape, in preparation of stapling said wires, is not a particularly good adhesive.
Fact #4: Despite Fact #3, it is strong enough to trip a 200 pound man.
Robert did not notice the wire against his ankle. Nor did anyone else. Until Robert went flying, ass over kettle, to the floor, pulling off the Christmas lights up until where Zidane was holding them. Janus, Kuja and Seifer burst out laughing, while Ultimecia and Aurora did their best not to burst out themselves. Robert just pulled his face from the floor, grumbling up to Zidane dangerously. "This had better be a joke, Zidane, because I know you're not setting tripwires in the halls."
Zidane groaned, leaning his head against the wall and trying to not to beat it into the wall. "Probably because I'm setting up Christmas lights."
Aurora nodded, still tittering as she helped Robert to his feet. "You need to watch where you're going, Robert."
Robert sighed, rubbing his sore head and shooting dangerous looks at his Apprentices and their Apprentices. "Let's just go alright?"
Garnet nodded. "Just be careful around here, alright?"
"Alright. Need help with those?"
Garnet and Zidane looked at each other before turning back to Robert. "No. That's fine."
After his troup had gone, Zidane went around, stapling the lights to the wall and ceiling, out of the way of clumsy feet.
Fact #5: In a set of Christmas lights with a serial connection, all it takes is one light to put all of them out.
Thus after plugging in the lights and hoping for a rather elaborate display of christmas lights along the hall, Zidane and Garnet groaned as they went to look for the one light in a set of about a bajillion that put them all out.
Of course, on the Island, there was two parties. One on Christmas Eve. That was the big gala, with dignitaries and heroes from every sort of world. And then there was the private affair, with a nice little feast and gifts being exchanged. The tree, now properly set up and a mound of presents under it. But first the feast.
Thus, the various Islanders were sitting around the table, making small talk. Actually not much different than the usual dinnertime, except that it looked a lot more fetive. And the Christmas jokes.
"Edge, if you don't get that mistletoe away from Rydia, you won't be kissing anyone for a week."
Edge reluctantly put the pole down as Terra scolded him, trying to keep the smile off of her face. Rydia gave him a kiss on the cheek for his troubles.
Robert looked up at Edge. "Well, if you're not going to use it, give it to me."
Aurora raised an eyebrow. "Since when did you need it?"
Terra snatched the pole and tossed it away. "That thing is going to be trouble. I have no idea why you made it, really..."
"I didn't make it!" Edge protested, "Edward did!"
Anna eyed Edward suspiciously. "And why would you make something like that?"
Edward shrugged, swallowing a mouthful of mashed potatoes. "Edge asked me to."
Terra swatted Edge playfully on the back of his head. Edge just rolled his eyes. "Some friend you are. I hope you get coal in your stocking."
Edward shrugged again before spooning another bit of mashed potatoes into his mouth. "Don't need to. You'll get plenty yourself."
Edge shook his head and sighed. "The Force is strong in you, rookie."
Edward smirked at the ninja. "I have not yet begun to fight."
Rosa wagged a finger. "Play nice, boys."
Rydia laughed softly. "Since when were you nice?"
"I'm a perfect angel, Rydia."
Rydia eyed her friend. "I notice my whip's gone missing again. Am I going to find it in your room again?"
Rosa blushed furiously as Cecil faceplanted into his plate. Marle just blinked as she scooted away from Rosa. "Too much information!"
Aurora blinked as she faced her mother. "Mother... that's a flaming bullwhip!"
Rydia winked and laughed. "What made you think I only had one?"
It was Robert's turn to scoot away. "WAY too much information!"
Everyone laughed a little before diving into the meal. Perhaps the newcomers were a bit discomfited about it, but most everyone was used to the relaxed atmosphere. It was a time with friends, a sort of extended family bonded through blood, sweat and a common cause.
"All this talk has me thinking..." Ultimecia looked up calmly and then over to Janus. "Perhaps ve could haff our own private Khristmas avter dinner..."
Glenn, sitting across from Ultimecia and Magus, nearly choked on his turkey. Crono beat on his back for a moment until Glenn managed to swallow. Most of the others tittered, trying not to break out laughing.
Janus eyed Ultimecia, his face motionless save his mouth. "Then tell me where Molor would sleep?"
Ultimecia looked thoughtful for a moment. "Vell, he kould join in."
Molor, who was on the other side of Janus, only stared at Ultimecia, rasping, "Keep me out of your fantasies."
Apparently Seifer had hit his breaking point. "I'm leaving, NOW!" He pushed away his food and stood up, almost fleeing the table before Ultimecia stopped him. "You think I vould?"
Ultimecia laughed as Robert smirked, looking up at Seifer. "Wow. I'm glad I don't have your mind. Get back here and eat. Leftovers suck. Ultimecia, Janus, you two be nice."
Seifer joined the table again, although a little reluctant to eat now, it seemed.
And so it went until all the stomachs at the table were full to bursting. And then some. Now to get up and find somethig to do, wether recreation, training, or the like.
Seifer hated it when Robert or anyone else called him that. Backtalking or screaming at the Master of his Master would not be wise though. So Seifer simply turned around as Robert tossed something to him.
Plucking the small bag out of the air, he saw it contained two earplugs. "Ultimecia has the room next to you, so ya might need these."
Ultimecia was in earshot, and so was Janus. Ultimecia chuckled as Janus rolled his eyes. Seifer laughed. "Yeah, I think I might need these."
Rydia yawned and stood up, eyeing Ultimecia tiredly. "I better not be needing some. I'm taking a nap. I need my beauty sleep."
Robert winked to his wife's mother. "Didn't know you needed it."
Dinner was ended with a playful swat as the Great Hall was cleared, ready to be cleaned for the party the next day.
"GET BACK HERE YOU MANGY FLEABAG!"
That was the only warning Bartz got when he was bowled over from behind by a very fast wolf pup. Followed by being run over by an angry woman, chasing after said wolf pup.
He would be come across a minute later by Giligamesh, who only stared at Bartz. "What happened to you?"
Bartz groaned, as he tried to get his face out of the floor, "Do I have fleas?"
Gilgamesh knew better to ask.
But as for the angry woman, and the wolf pup, who was supposed to be the focus of this part anyway...
Karl ran like his life depended on it. Considering he had one of the Christmas hams in his mouth, and Terra was busy trying to hunt it and him down, it probably did.
"WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU, YOU LITTLE MUTT..."
About thirty feet away (Which was a moot point, the acoustics of the palace made sure everyone heard what Terra was screaming, which prompted Rydia to make a mental note to deal with, which she forgot five minutes later) Hawk looked up from the sketch he was working on. "Think Terra means you, Kev."
Kevin blinked. "But I not do anything!"
Duran snickered. "There was that one time..."
"That you, you blame me."
"Ohhhh yeah.... Wonder who she's chasing down?"
Kevin shrugged as he stepped out the door. "Dunno, I go check."
Kevin just at the time to open the door before Karl cam bounding in... followed in short order by Terra. While Karl could slip past Kevin....
WHAM! Two car pileup.
"Owwwww...." Terra moaned as Karl jumped over Kevin and her, scrambling back out. This fact wasn't lost on Terra as she quickly got to her feet and dashed out the door. "GET BACK HERE YOU HAM-THIEVING PEST!"
Kevin shook his head, wondering for a moment wha thit him, as Duran helped him to his feet. "Wow, I wish I had the ladies all over me like that," Duran smirked.
"Owww... I don't."
Hawk looked over at Kevin, getting to his feet. "I think Terra's going to kill your dog. Better go stop her."
And thus Kevin, Duran and Hawk chased after Terra.
Meanwhile, back at the Great Hall...
"Whew. It took all night, but it's finished!"
Rosa smiled as she admired the tree she helped set up with Rydia, Cecil and Kain. Rydia was climbing the ladder to set the star. It was even bigger than before, standing 35 feet. It was truly a vision of magnificance.
Of course, once you think you gotten one over on life, it throws you a curveball.
In this particular case, the curveball being a general canine shape that tore into the Great Hall. Apparently Karl knew what he was doing. He flew under the tree, knocking over a few ornaments.
And the floor was still slippery. And like clockwork, Terra fell down. Fortunately she missed the tree.
Hawk was the next one in. He didn't fall though. Thiefly dexterity counts for something after all.
Too bad he got knocked over by Kevin. The two went spinning across the floor... and into the Terra and the wall. A nice dogpile.
Duran was the last one in. Direct hit. Not only that, but when the tree fell...
Terra, Hawk and Kevin's moans ould be heard from under the top branches of the tree, while Karl ran out of the Great Hall, home free. He'd be having ham for breakfast.
Rosa just cried. Cecil sighed as he patted his wife's shoulder. "Don't worry love. We still have enough time to try again."
Kain just shook his head, muttering under his breath. Since nobody under the fallen tree seemed to be coming out, it was up to Rosa to check up on them while Cecil and Kain dragged another failure away.
"I don't know about this..."
"Relax, Aurora..." Robert smiled. "I've done it many times. I just want a pic of the tree so I can give it to my family. Nothing will happen."
Aurora looked skeptical. "You know your luck with teleporting."
"COME ON! It doesn't happen THAT often."
"True. It happened a week ago."
"Oh shut up."
Aurora shook her head. "Look, it would just take a few seconds to teleport outside and walk in..."
Robert looked adamant. "Give me some credit here, woman. I'm heading out." With that, Robert vanished. Aurora sighed, vanishing herself.
Meanwhile, in the Great Hall, about an hour before the party, was the viewing of the Christmas tree. It was even bigger than the last, and Rosa made sure to ward everyone from the room before the viewing. Even now, she made sure everone kept back.
Which an angry healer points a bow into your face at point blank range, you listen to whatever the hell she says.
And as the assembled heroes, heroines, ex-villan(esses) and so on gazed upon the tree and oohed and ahhed...
CRACK. About a foot from the tree a pair of legs appeared.. the rest of the body was apparently in the floor. "HOW does he DO that?" Bartz goggled.
Apparently the flailing legs was a great worry to Rosa. "GET HIM OUT! GET HIM OUT!"
A more appropriate shout ould have been "TIMBER!" The legs flailed wildly, striking the tree... and slowly, so slowly as everyone got out from under the falling tree.... CRASH!!!
"Uhm..." Rydia blinked as she stared at the legs and at the tree. Cecil and Kain pulled Robert out of the hole he made when he teleported, just as Aurora entered the Great Hall.
She took one look at the carnage of the Great Hall: Ornaments shattered everywhere, the tree on one side, and the shell-shocked decorators... She just held her head in her hands and groaned, "I TOLD him not to..."
Finally, with a POP! Robert was pulled free. He stood up, shaking his head and getting the dust out of his hair. Once he was done, he looked around and stared at the wreckage of the tree. "Uhm.. I screwed up, didn't I?"
Everyone was silent, until Rosa spoke, her voice practically breaking. "You. Die. Now."
Robert processed this for a moment, backing away... and then tore out of the Great Hall, Rosa on his heels.
"Lovely party, as usual!" Rinoa gushed as she looked over the festivities.
Squall nodded in agreement, then frowned a little. "Don't you usually have a tree?"
Rydia sighed, shaking her head as she chewed on a appetizer. "Let's say.... we had some trouble."
Meanwhile, in the kitchen...
Seifer sighed as he reached up into the cupbord. Salt. He needed salt. The potatoes were bland. And as he opened the cupboard...
"What the hell are you doing in here?!?!"
Robert stared out from the cramped space. "Hiding. And if you tell anyone, your lifespan will be shorter than mine."
Seifer nodded. "Rosa, huh?"
"THERE YOU ARE!!!!"
"Uh oh." Robert whimpered as he crawled out of the cupboard, dashing out of the kitchen as Rosa started closing his lead.
Seifer shook his head and chuckled. "I didn't tell you she just came in..."
And thus, everyone celebrated Christmas, eating, drinking and generally making merry.
Except for Robert who was too busy fearing for his life to be merry. It's next to impossible to make a WarMage feel fear, but Rosa did it very effectively.
Perhaps we should end it at the end of the party, at one o' clock in the morning, when Rydia send everyone off with "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
Except for Robert, of course. Who was too busy being in extreme pain by then to have a good night.