Merry Christmas, Squall Leonhart
Once on a cold December morning, someone said Merry Christmas to Squall. Squall said "...Whatever." and walked away, not caring at all for the stupid holiday.
That's the way every year went, Squall wouldn't do anything for Christmas. Even Seifer at least decorated his dorm, sure he was mean to everyone up until the 24th, took a day off and then continued being mean, but, at least he had SOME Christmas Cheer.
Squall, showed none. Whenever someone said, "Merry Christmas" he'd live up to Zell's character summarization on the trip to the SeeD Field exam: "Scrooge!"
This year was the same, even with the defeat of Ultimecia and with Rinoa entering his life... Squall still seemed to be "less than cheerful." Even to his friends...
"Heeeeey! Booyako!" Selphie shouted, dragging Squall with her to a CD display in the Balamb shopping mall, "Yume has a new Christmas CD! I bet Zell would love this!"
Squall looked at the CD, "...No."
"Why not? He doesn't have it!"
"It's not that, it just has Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer as the first track... ...I had to destroy his last Yume CD because of that song..." Squall said, putting the CD down.
"Because it was annoying, he played it on his boom box at full blast... ...For hours."
"But it's a great song!" Selphie said in defense of the song, "Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking down the sidewalk Christmas day... You may say there's no such thing as santa..." She continued.
"...I'm out of here..." Squall said, turning to leave.
"Whaaaa...!" Selphie ran in front of Squall, "Come on! We both have to finish our Christmas shopping!"
"I don't Christmas shop."
"Exactly! It's time to make up for all those years you didn't- Heeeey!"
Squall just left, "No." He walked out of the mall, ignoring the chill in the air.
"Deck the hall with boughs of holly! Fa la la la la la la la la!" Zell sang through the streets of Balamb, "'Tis the season to be jolly! Fa la la la la la la la la! Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la la la la la la la-" He stopped, "Yo! Squall! Heya!" He shouted, rushing through the snowy streets to greet his friend.
"...Zell? What are you doing?" Squall asked.
"Caroling! It's one of my favorite parts of the Holidays!" Zell said, proudly, "Come on! Sing a song!"
"Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open the sleigh! O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way! What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight! Hit it Squall!"
"...Whatever! ...Whatever! I am leaving now!" Squall replied, sarcastically singing to the tune of jingle bells.
"...That's not how it goes!" Zell shouted back to Squall, "It's Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! Jingle all the way!" Squall ignored him, "SCROOGE!"
"Psst! Selphie!" Rinoa whispered from behind the hyperactive girl.
Selphie turned and greeted her friend, "Rinoa!"
"Not so loud!" Rinoa wishper-shouted, "Is Squall here?"
Selphie shook her head, "He left a while ago." Selphie sighed, "He's worse than ever this year..."
"What do you mean?" Rinoa asked, she hadn't known Squall long enough to know what Selphie meant by this, "Is he sick or something like that?"
"Well, it's like this, every year since the orphanage... He hates Christmas." Selphie explained, "Weeeeell... Not exactly hate but, he never really shows any spirit for Christmas."
"He doesn't?" Rinoa was surprised, she thought EVERYONE would show some Christmas Spirit at this time of year.
"Nope, he didn't even Christmas shop this year! ...Or last year... ...Or the year before that... Or... Ever!"
"Has he even given out hand made gifts?"
"He hasn't even given out gifts!" Selphie sighed, "I once tried to get him a gift, all he did was give me a blank stare and left. He didn't even open it!"
"What was it?" Rinoa asked.
Selphie thought, "It was an anime Christmas CD!"
Rinoa sighed, "Well, it may be a lost cause, but, I still want to find him something."
Selphie smiled, "If it's from YOU he'll open it!" She got an idea, "Heeey! Maybe I can help you buy something for him!"
"Dashing through the snow!" One singing on the street corner sang.
"IN ONE HORSE SLEIGH!" Sang another, throwing off the beat of the song.
"O'er the hills we go, laughing all the way! Ya know?" Sang another, attempting to pick up the beat of the song.
"How fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight! Hey! Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Jingle all the way! O what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh!" All three sang together.
They were the three members of Balamb Garden's disciplinary committee were, and they (like Zell) were caroling in the streets of Balamb. This may seem odd to most, but, they've done it every year since they met. All three looked forward to it every Christmas.
Though, as usual, Squall would somehow run into them... And get annoyed by Seifer.
"Hey! Squall!" Seifer called, this year he was actually being friendly... Something was wrong, "I thought you didn't leave the Garden this time of year!"
"...I was dragged here." Squall replied, annoyed as expected. Conversation alone annoyed him, conversation with Seifer was a million times worse.
"Hey! Wanna carol with us?" Raijin asked, "It's a lot of fun, ya know?"
"AFFIRMATIVE!" Fujin nodded, handing Squall some sheet music, "RUDOLPH RED NOSED REINDEER." She said, pointing to the title of the song.
"No." Was all Squall said, pushing the sheet music away and leaving. Not even a Merry Christmas to any of them.
Seifer wasn't happy, "Fine! This next song is dedicated to you!" He handed out sheet music to Fujin and Raijin. They began to sing, "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel! You're as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch."
"BAD BANANA WITH GREASY PEEL!" Fujin shouted.
"You're a monster, Mr. Grinch. You're heart's an empty hole! You're brain is full of spiders, you've got garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch!" Seifer sang, again.
"I wouldn't touch you with a thirty nine and a half foot pole, ya know?" Raijin shouted.
The three carolers continued to sing.
Of course, the song didn't bother Squall, he was too busy going back to the Garden.
Rinoa picked up a CD, "Christmas CD?"
Selphie was looking through a display of jackets, "By who?"
"He'd probably throw it out a window no matter WHO it's from!" Selphie commented, remembering Squall's feelings about the first track of the CD.
"See any good jackets?" Rinoa asked, putting the CD down.
"Heeey! Maybe he'd like this!" Selphie held up a sweater that said 'Merry Christmas' in large red and green letters.
"...He'd like cutting it up with his gun blade." Rinoa replied.
"Awwww... I'd like it!"
Squall entered Balamb garden, hoping to get away from Christmas cheer for at least one day...
"Steady... Steady... Hold the ladder steady, Irvine- IRVINE!" A loud crash was heard as a large metal ladder crashed to the ground.
"Good afternoon." Irvine tipped his hat to a young woman, "Lovely time of year this is, no?" He tried to sound romantic.
"IRVINE! GET ME DOWN FROM HERE!"
Irvine's attention shifted to the head master of Balamb Garden, clinging on to a tree (a large 100 foot tall tree on display in the center of the Garden's main hall) for dear life as the ladder Irvine was SUPPOSED to be holding was on the floor, "...Uh... Sorry?" He said, a glass Christmas ornament shattered on his head.
"JUST GET ME DOWN!"
Squall sighed, "At least it was more interesting that tone deaf singers and price gouging..."
"IRVINE DON'T DROP THE LADDER! DON'T DROP THE LADDER!"
"I'M TRYIN' NOT TO! I'M TRYIN' NOT TO!"
A splash was heard as the head master fell into the fountain that circled the hallway, Squall did his best not to laugh as the argument between head master and transfer student raged on.
"I'm tellin' ya, between you and the ladder, I think I slipped a disc!"
"Once I'm through with you, that'll be the LEAST of your worries, Kineas!"
"Hey! How about this?" Selphie held up a Playstation game.
"What is it?"
"Something called Final Fantasy!"
Rinoa recognized the title, "Selphie, this is just a retelling of our battle against Ultimecia... ...Who MADE this?" She looked at the side, "...Dinchtsoft? Zell, you sell out!"
"Hey, they've even got a demo!" Selphie pointed to a video game system with a TV near the display of video games.
"...It's at the Ultimecia battle." Rinoa played it.
Ultimecia had just begun her rant, "Blah blah blah Time Kompression. Blah blah blah Lokusts. Blah blah blah I rokk! Blah blah blah You die now!"
Rinoa and Selphie looked at the game in surprise... "...Wow, that's pretty close to what she really said." Rinoa said, "Right down the the right number of blahs!"
"...What's with the Ks?"
"...Beats me, Zell was never good at spelling."
Squall walked down the halls of the Garden towards the dorms, until he passed the infirmary and was stopped by Dr. Kadowaki.
"Hold it, Squall!" The doctor stood in front of him, "It's cold and flu season, do you know what that means?"
"...I should get back to my dorm, make some hot chocolate and pretend there was no such thing as Christmas?" Squall asked, sarcastically.
Kadowaki took Squall by the arm, "Actually, it means you need a vaccination shot..."
"Oh, joy..." Squall muttered as he was dragged into the office.
"Sit." Kadowaki pointed to a chair. Squall took his jacket off and rolled up his sleep as he sat down. Kadowaki walked to a drawer, "You should be glad this only comes once a year..."
Squall gave Kadowaki an odd look. Shouldn't it be 'It's too bad this only comes once a year.' That thought was then replaced with 'Oh, GOD!' once Squall saw what Kadowaki really meant...
...It wasn't Christmas, it was the vaccination shot, which included a VERY large needle.
"Just relax, only three of these and then you get a candy cane and a healthy Christmas!"
Squall did his best to keep from flinching as Kadowaki came at him with the needle...
Meanwhile, in the Garden Hall...
Cid gave Irvine a gold colored glass star,"Okay, Kineas, I'll let YOU put the star up." He held the ladder.
"Up THERE?" Irvine pointed to the top of the tree, "But, it's...REALLY high!"
"I'd do it, but, I'm still wet from the fountain!" Cid said, as an excuse, "I could slip and fall!"
"You already DID fall!"
"Just get up there." Cid said, holding onto the ladder as Irvine took a deep breath and started up, "Don't look down! It'll make it easier!"
"Easy for you to say, old fart..." Irvine muttered, at about half way up Cid lightly shook the ladder, "HEY!"
"Earthquake!" Cid shouted, "You didn't feel it?" He shook the ladder again.
"Cut that out, Cid!"
"That's HEADMASTER Cid, to you!" Cid laughed, until the ladder began to tip backwards, "...Uh-oh..." he started to run... The ladder came down upon him, knocking him to the ground and Irvine fell into the fountain.
"Where's the star!" Cid shouted.
A few bubbling sounds came from the fountain. Suddenly the star landed between the two of them, shattering into thousands of pieces.
"...Aw damn it..." Cid muttered.
Irvine stepped out of the fountain, "So, now what do we do?"
"...Go to Balamb and buy a new star." Cid replied, he walked down the hall, "We change first, and pray Kadowaki doesn't run into us."
"Why not?" Irvine asked.
"Two words: Vaccination shots."
"Big scary needles."
Irvine tiptoed to his dorm as quietly as possible, Cid went around to the elevator, going into his office.
Squall walked out ot the infirmary, with a huge bandage on his arm (Holding his jacket over his shoulder) and sucking on a candy cane.
He walked down to his dorm...
...Only to bite down hard on the candy cane, one half dropping to the floor, the other Squall almost choked on in surprise.
During the time Selphie had dragged him off to go Christmas shopping, his room had been decorated with ribbons, garland, tinsel, bows, lights and even a fully decorated Christmas tree with a star on top.
Squall knew of only ONE thing to do with all of this...
Quistis was dumping trash off at a dumpster behind the dorms when suddenly a fully decorated Christmas tree was thrown out the open window of a dorm, and landing into the dumpster with a loud KER-SMASH from the glass ornaments.
"...I take it you found my decorations!" Quistis shouted into the dorm window, knowing full well that it had to be Squall. The response she got from Squall was a trashbag full of tinsel being dumped out the window and into the dumpster, most of the tinsel ended up on Quistis.
Quistis expected this to happen, of course. The only reason she had decorated Squall's room was in hopes that having Rinoa in his life would change his attitude towards Christmas...
When the garland and ribbons were thrown out next, it confirmed that he still hated Christmas.
Quistis just sighed and went back to her dorm.
"I drive, Cid!"
"No way, I drive us to Balamb!"
"If you drive as good as you hold a ladder, I'm WALKING!" Irvine shouted. He and Cid changed into dry clothes and were currently arguing by a car in the Garden's parking lot.
"I'll have you know I'm an excellent driver!" Cid replied.
"That means you're a SLOW driver!" Irvine argued, he opened the door as quickly as he could, getting into the driver's seat, "HA!"
Cid growled as he went around and got in the passenger side, "I'd BETTER get to Balamb in one piece."
Irvine grinned, "Oh, you might..." Irvine drove the car out of the parking lot, quickly picking up speed.
"I..Irvine! In this weather it's a little dangerous to be driving this fast!" Cid commented. It was true, it had begun to snow, and it was snowing a fair amount. The freshly plowed roads were already starting to turn white.
"Yeah, it'd be dangerous to do THIS!" Irvine suddenly swerved to the left, then straight on the road.
Irvine laughed, swerving the car once more, "Oops! Earthquake! Didn't you feel it?" Irvine asked.
"All right, I'm SORRY about the ladder incident!"
Cid glared at the SeeD driving, "Now drive like a SANE person!"
"I'll think about it.." Irvine said, grinning evilly.
Seifer, Fujin and Raijin had finished their caroling songs for that day, and all of them agreed it would be a perfect time to go Christmas shopping. They split up at the entrance and agreed to meet at 17:00 for an early dinner at the food court.
Fujin was shopping at a bookstore, in hopes of finding a book Raijin might like.
"Hey! Fujin!" A voice called to her. Fujin turned.
"...RINOA! SELPHIE!" Was Fujin's reply as she waved to her friends.
"You STILL give one or two word responses around Christmas?" Rinoa asked.
Selphie laughed, "Who are you shopping for?"
"STUPID." Fujin motioned to the various comic books at the display she was looking at.
Rinoa laughed, "Raijin, eh?"
"Need help?" Selphie offered.
Fujin was silent for a second, "...PLEASE."
Selphie looked at the comic books, "...Final Fantasy the comic book?" She picked it up.
"...Don't tell me Zell wrote it..." Rinoa muttered.
Selphie looked at the front page, before flipping through the book, "No, it was Irvine- ...Oh, he is so dead for this..." Selphie growled as she stopped at one page.
Rinoa read it, it showed Selphie, Quistis and herself holding Irvine, cartoony hearts in all of their eyes, "I know you all love me so much, but, I can only choose one of you. For a man noble as I should only date one woman..." Rinoa growled, she looked to another store and marched off in anger.
"...Where do you think she's going?" Selphie asked, putting the comic down. Fujin read it.
"...I do NOT speak in full sentences like that!" Fujin shouted, glaring at one page, suddenly realizing what she said, she quickly turned to Selphie and gave her an embarrassed look, "Errr... I mean... RAGE!" Selphie just laughed behind her, "...Silence." Fujin muttered.
Rinoa returned a moment later with a handful of money, and a large bag of charcoal, "I took back the gift I got for Irvine and got him this..."
"ALL?" Fujin asked.
"Just enough to fill his stocking..." Rinoa said, she picked up the comic, "The rest I'm going to use to barbecue this."
Selphie looked at the display, "Geez, I can't believe the guys are making money off our adventures like that!"
"I can't believe they didn't tell us!" Rinoa added, "I wonder what else we'll find..."
"I'm almost afraid to know..." Selphie replied, she then got an idea, "...I figured out what I'm getting Irvine and Zell..."
"Too late, I already got coal for Zell, too." Rinoa said.
"Oh, I wasn't going to give them that..." Selphie grinned evilly, picking up a copy of the comic book.
"...K?" Fujin was reading one of the pages.
"It's our fight with Ultimecia again." Rinoa said, "...'Kurse you SeeDs. I kan't believe you kould get this far, you are fool to think you kan win. Kya ha ha ha ha!' Why do they do that?"
"UNKNOWN." Fujin said, "STRANGE."
"Either Zell and Irvine can't spell or we're missing out on something." Selphie flipped through her copy, "That's weird... When Squall says 'I can't stand you people' they spell it with a C..."
"Hey! Either buy 'em or get out!" Shouted the owner of the store.
"Sorry!" Fujin, Selphie and Rinoa said in unison.
Squall sat in his dorm, using a computer he had bought earlier in the year. He smiled to himself, sucking on a new cherry flavored candy cane. He was doing some online work...
"Squall?" A voice came from his door.
Squall recognized the voice and quickly switched to another program, casually, "...Yes, Quistis?" He didn't turn away from his computer.
"I managed have a spare tree ready, I was wondering-"
"No, Quistis." Squall said, knowing what Quistis was going to say next.
"Come on, Squall! Your dorm is the ONLY one without ANY Christmas cheer!" Quistis said, "You at least need a wreath hung over the door or something."
"I don't celebrate. You've known me long enough to know that, right?" Squall asked.
"But, not even ONE decoration?" Quistis asked, a little shocked.
"Not even ONE decoration." Squall repeated, he finally turned to face Quistis, "Quistis, please, I have some work that I need to get done as quickly as possible. Could you come back later and bother me with Christmas then?"
Quistis sighed, "...All right, Squall. I'll come by later."
"Thank you." Squall said as she left, turning back to his computer. He switched back to his online task, "...Excellent." He whispered to himself.
Raijin groaned, looking at the ridiculously high prices of various items in a weapon shop, "...Geez, it's a good thing Christmas prices only come once a year, ya know? It must pay to shop early..." He picked up some accessories for a gunblade, including an extra blade (in a protective casing for transportation in public) for Seifer's model of gunblade, "I bet Seifer would like this, ya know?"
He purchased the accessories and walked out of the store.
Next to that shop, Cid and Irvine had just bought a new glass star, arriving a few minutes earlier.
"Man, I just can't believe this was the last one!" Cid said, "I didn't know so many people actually used these this time of year. It's bigger than what you'd find on a majority of Christmas trees!"
Irvine held the star carefully, "Yeah, it's not like everyone has giant trees like the Garden! My old Garden didn't even HAVE a tree this time of year!"
Raijin was walking down the mall, trying to balance the gunblade accesories and new blade with other gifts he bought, "Whoah...!" He shouted, almost dropping a box, as he moved in one direction to keep the box balanced, the blade slipped and fell, hitting something on its way to the ground.
Raijin immediately panicked, worried that it hit someone. He turned...
...Only to see that he didn't hit a person, but, something the person was carrying.
Cid and Irvine stared blankly at the now shattered glass star in Irvine's hands, as well as the blade that shattered it at Irvine's feet.
"Uh...Sorry... It was an accident, ya know?" Raijin slowly backed away as Irvine dropped the remains of the star, he and Cid stepped towards him, glaring in anger.
Selphie, Rinoa and Fujin were shopping for Seifer at an music store, when they heard a loud scream...
"IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, YA KNOW! PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!"
The girls turned their attention to the middle of the mall, Irvine and Cid were chasing after Raijin, who was diving into the mall fountain for cover.
"...IDIOTS." The three girls said in unison, turning back to the CD display.
Rinoa carefully hid the bag of charcoal behind a display from Irvine's view.
"...DOUBTFUL." Fujin stated.
"What?" Rinoa asked. Selphie gave Fujin a confused look.
Fujin coould tell they didn't understand her, and Raijin wasn't there to translate. She sighed, "...I doubt Irvine's going to know that's for him." She looked a little upset, she (sort of like Squall) didn't like talking (or at least wanted to make her conversations as short as possible).
Rinoa was a little surprised, this was the second time Fujin had ever spoken a full sentence in front of her, she thought for a moment for a response, "Well, if he does see it, it'd still take the fun out of all of it."
"AFFIRMATIVE." Fujin agreed. She looked a little upset, "...You didn't hear me say anything coherent, got it?"
"AFFIRMATIVE." Rinoa replied. Fujin just chuckled.
"GOOD." Fujin picked up a CD, "SEIFER?"
Selphie looked at the band's name, "THTC? Why not?"
Squall walked through the halls of the Garden, keeping an eye out for anyone who might be following him.
He had finished his online work only moments ago, and had only one important job left.
Squall reached the elevator, he double checked to see that no-one else was following him. He pressed the up button, the doors opened a moment later. He entered.
Cid and Irvine had lost Raijin in the mall parking lot after he ducked into the street, with various cars swerving to avoid hitting him.
They had been walking through the town, trying to find a store that would sell a giant glass star for a tree. Sadly, many of the stores they stopped were either sold out or merely laughed at their request. At this time, though, they were resting in the park, Cid crying into his hands.
"Christmas at the Garden is ruined, and it's all my fault...!" Cid cried.
Irvine pat his back, "Well...Sure, if you didn't play that stupid game with that ladder, this could have been easily avoided," Cid suddenly cried ever harder, "But, we also have to blame a good portion of this on Raijin!"
Cid stopped for a moment, "..Y...You're right... But..." Tears welled up in his eyes again, "Christmas is STILL ruined for us all! The Garden can't have a Christmas tree without a star! It's just not...Christmas-y!"
"We'll find one!" Irvine said.
"No we won't! We checked every store in town!" Cid shouted.
Irvine sighed, he tried to think of a way to help Cid, who continued crying.
During ths time, Zell was walking near the park, with a giant glass star in hand, whistling a Merry Christmas tune to himself.
"I'm gonna take this baby home and fill it with Christmas candy!" He announced to no-one in particular, a large smiling spread across his face as he thought of said delicious Christmas Candy.
Then the SeeD heard a sound rising over the snow...
It started in low, then it started to grow...
But the sound wasn't caroling, why it didn't even sound merry. It's as if the source had seen something scary.
And the SeeD, with his SeeD feet ice cold in the snow, stood, puzzling and puzzling...
"What the hell is that?" Zell finally said.
It was the sound of Raijin, running through the park in a panic, thinking Cid and Irvine were still chasing him, maybe the mall Santa that had joined in the chase. For whatever reason, he was still running and screaming.
"LOOK OUT!" Zell tried to dash out of Raijin's way, but the two collided.
The star flew through the air, Zell did not see where it went, only the snowy ground as Raijin tripped over him, both landing face first in the snow.
Cid was still crying, "It's ruined! Ruined! Ruined! RUINED!"
Irvine smiled, trying to lighten the situation, "Come on! Miracles always happen around Christmas! Maybe a miracle will occur and we'll get a star for the Garden's tree!"
Cid gave Irvine an annoyed look. "As much as I believe that miracles happen around Christmas, I doubt our situation is really worthy of a miracle from the heavens!"
Suddenly, without warning, a giant glass Christmas star flew through the air and landed safely in a pile of snow in front of them.
"...Is that a miracle?" Irvine asked.
"...Works for me!" Cid shouted in pure joy, running to the star. He picked it up, "Help me carry this to the car!"
The Headmaster and the SeeD carefully carried the star to the mall parking lot, placing it in the trunk of the car after locating it.
"You drive," Irvine said, "We'll need a slow and careful driver for this one!"
Cid nodded, getting in the driver's seat of the car, Irvine closed the trunk and got in the passenger's side. He backed out of his parking spot...
...Only to be rear-ended by someone behind them, who by chance, was backing out as well. The sound of glass shattering could be heard loud and clear. The car behind them slowly drove back into its spot.
Cid and Irvine exchange glances. Cid nodded to Irvine.
Irvine reached for his gun, he cocked it and got out of the car, marching over to the other car. The driver stepped out of the car, Irvine aimed his gun until he could see the driver's face...
"Laguna?" Irvine asked, lowering his gun.
"Aw, geez. I am SO sorry about that, Irvine..." The President of Esthar looked at the rear end of his car, "Damn it... This was a rental, too!"
Cid stepped out fo the car, "Irvine, where's the sound of the gunshot and body falling to the ground I was expecting?" He asked, impatiently.
"Sorry, Cid, I can't kill Laguna for various reasons. That and killing people is just NOT the kind of thing done around Christmas...Much." Irvine muttered. Laguna ignored the Head Master and the SeeD as he walked around to his trunk.
Laguna opened his trunk, looking in the back, Awwwww... Man!" He snapped his fingers in disappointment, "It broke!"
Irvine and Cid looked in Laguna's trunk...A large glass silver star was shattered.
Cid and Irvine exchanged looks again, they opened the trunk to their car...
Their star was safe and sound in one piece. Not even a chip or a crack could be seen.
"Wow, you guys were lucky!" Laguna said, "Sorry about the accident, though. I didn't see you backing out."
"Well, no harm done to us." Irvine said, he looked at Laguna's star, "What did you come to Balamb for?"
Laguna paused for a moment, "I got an email from a friend the other day, he wanted the finest and largest Christmas tree ornaments from Esthar sent to Balamb. The rest already got there, but, I wanted to deliver the star personally." He sighed, "Man, he's not gonna be happy about this..."
Irvine turned to Cid. Cid could tell what Irvine was planning to do, he sighed loudly and nodded reluctantly.
Irvine stretched out his winter coat and used it to sweep the broken glass aside in the trunk. He and Cid lifted their gold star and placed in Laguna's trunk, "...Merry Christmas." They both said.
"What? You guys can't be serious!" Laguna shouted in surprise, "You guys need it, too, don't you?"
Irvine looked away, "Eh, it's better to give than to receive."
Laguna smiled, he walked back to his back and sat in the driver's seat, talking could be heard, "Yo! Kiros! Could you do me a HUGE favor? Send a bunch of the Esthar glass works best decorations to Balamb Garden! Include the biggest and COOLEST star they've got. Make sure it's here ASAP! Thanks, pal! Oh yeah, and..." Laguna whispered something on the car phone before he got out of the driver's seat and faced Cid and Irvine, "You're right, it IS better to give than recieve."
"But..." Irvine stuttered, "Esthar has...has the best glass works...o-on the planet!"
"Exactly, my friend!" Laguna grinned, giving Irvine and Cid a thumbs up.
"Thank you, Laguna... But, how quickly can it get here?" Cid asked.
"Oh, ever since you guys came back from the Ultimecia adventure, we've been using a faster version of air mail..." Laguna turned away, "Head over to the Garden, it'll be there when you get back." He got in his car and waited for Irvine and Cid to get out of the parking lot before continuing. He began to back out of his parking space again...
...Only to get hit in the side with another car's hood, glass shattering was heard. Laguna sighed, picking up the phone again and hitting redial, "Kiros, make that TWO of the best stars they've got..."
"Xu, I want you to keep Quistis busy. She's the only one of them at the Garden. We got lucky when Cid and Irvine left." Squall said.
Xu saluted, "Right!"
"They'll be here soon, and she can't find out to tell the others." A slight smile appeared on Squall's face.
Xu walked to the elevator, "Think they'll expect any of it?"
"I've been 'in character' since last month." Squall replied, "They won't suspect a thing." Xu nodded and left to the He turned to Cid's desk, "Nida, I want you to help me when they get here."
Nida smiled, "Squall, you are the coolest."
"...Whatever." Squall replied, looking out the window in the direction of Esthar, "We just have to hope Xu can get Quistis out of here."
Xu knocked on the door to Quistis's dorm, "Quistis! Are you there?"
Quistis opened the door, "Hello, Xu. What did you come here for?"
"Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?"
"Not all of it, I still need to find something for Seifer, Fujin and Raijin."
"Excellent, so do I!" Xu lied, "Want to come with me to the Balamb mall?"
"Well, I still need to wait until Squall leaves the garden so I can redecorate his room."
Xu needed an excuse, knowing how much Squall needed to get rid of Quistis, "I just asked him to go shopping with me, he said he's not leaving the Garden until New Years!"
Quistis cursed under her breath, "Another failed year at getting Squall into the christmas spirit..." She looked up at Xu, "All right, let me get my coat!"
Xu smiled, "Thanks!"
"Geez, what's with all this snow?" Irvine mumbled. The light snow storm earlier had begun to turn into a small blizzard, it was getting harder to see the road.
"The weatherman didn't say ANYTHING about a blizzard..." Cid turned on the car radio, "Let's see if we can find out anything here..."
Cid found a clear radio station on AM, he and Irvine listened, "Merry Christmas, everyone! This is your K-SPOONY weatherman here, with info on this sudden storm to hit us tonight."
"All right!" Cid turned up the radio.
"The storm is expected to drop a good four feet of snow by tomorrow, and this isn't even the worst of it, folks! If you're on the road now, GET OFF! GET OFF THE ROAD OR YOU ARE DOOMED! DOOMED I TELLS YA! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!"
Cid silently turned off the radio, "...Let's just pretend we DIDN'T hear that, all right?"
"...Agreed." Irvine said after a moment.
It was 17:00, Seifer was waiting at the food court for Fujin and Raijin, he was having his gifts wrapped while he met up with them, so Fujin and Raijin wouldn't find out what their gifts were.
He laughed to himself, thinking about the gifts he got for his friends. He even got gifts for Squall and his friends, even Squall...
...Well, if you can really call a Grinch doll a gift. He knew that Squall wouldn't open it, but hey, if there's the off chance he DOES open it, why not get him his Seussian counterpart? Every Christmas he always compared Squall to the Grinch, from the fact that the two never smile to their hatred of Christmas.
Even Seifer showed Christmas spirit, sure it wasn't as much as others, but, it was STILL Christmas spirit.
Squall never got excited about presents, at the orphanage he slept in late on Christmas morning while the others were getting up early to open presents... Always the same, every year. Squall slept in late, occasionally screaming "Shut up!" to the others when they woke him up while opening presents. He was one troubled kid, not getting excited over the most exciting morning of the year. Seifer always laughed thinking about how Squall would turn down gifts, or give others a blank stare as they said "Merry Christmas."
He returned from memory lane as two hands covered his eyes from behind, "HEY!"
"GUESS." Commanded a voice.
"Fujin!" Seifer shouted.
"Yeah, RIGHT!" Seifer threw the hands off his eyes, "Who ELSE would use..." He turned, facing Rinoa, "...One word sentences...?"
Fujin and Selphie laughed from behind Rinoa, who smiled at Seifer, "Merry Christmas, Seifer." Rinoa said, giving Seifer a wrapped gift.
Seifer took the gift with a thankful smile, he motioned to the other chairs at his table, "Sit down." He offered.
Fujin, Selphie and Rinoa sat down, "Go ahead and open it!" Rinoa said, smiling excitedly.
"Thank you, Rinoa." Seifer nodded his head politely and opened the gift.
It was a framed picture off Squall, with a word bubble saying "Bah Humbug" on it. Seifer laughed, "Excellent, Rinoa. I couldn't agree more."
Rinoa giggled, "I knew you'd like it! I made it a few minutes ago at the one hour photo, they had a computer that did things like that, I couldn't resist."
"He's worse than before," Selphie said, "He started to act like a scrooge before any of us even mentioned Christmas, in NOVEMBER!"
"Must have said, 'I'll do my Grinching early this year'." Seifer joked.
"RAIJIN?" Fujin asked.
"I haven't seen him for a few hours." Seifer replied.
"We saw Raijin getting chased by Cid and Irvine, I guess they either caught him or chased him out of the mall." Selphie said, "They looked pretty upset."
"I remember seeing him run through the center of the mall, where they've got that Santa Calus," Seifer said, "Raijin tried to jump over the display, but ended up knocking over Santa's chair. The guy chased after him, even after Raijin cut through the mall fountain."
"Were Cid and Irvine after him?" Selphie asked.
Seifer thought for a moment, "Yeah, they stopped chasing him at the fountain. Cid tripped over Irvine, and they both fell in face first. I think I saw them later, drying off in front of an electric heater and the appliance store."
Selphie and Rinoa laughed, picturing Cid and Irvine splashing around in a fountain while chasing Raijin.
They continued talking about what had happened that day, leaving out what they got each other for Christmas (of course). Rinoa and Selphie even mentioned the strange game and comic they found.
Outside the weather had gotten even worse, Cid and Irvine were in the middle of the road, the snow was coming down so quickly that they couldn't see more than three feet of road ahead of their car. The wind was so strong that Irvine had trouble keeping the car driving straight.
"Argh...! Darn it! Why does Christmas have to be in DECEMBER? Why can't it be in a nice warm and SNOWLESS month like July!" Irvine shouted as the car almost took a sudden turn to the left.
"They made a movie out of that, I think..." Cid muttered.
A sudden gust hit the car, it fell on it's side and rolled down the side of the road, down a small hill. Cid and Irvine screamed until they finally hit the bottom...
Both remained silent, the only sound that could be heard was the sound of the wind blowing...
Xu's jaw almost dropped as she looked out a window, near the entrance of the Garden, "...My God..."
"...That's the worst snow storm I have EVER seen..." Quistis stated. It truly was a terrible storm, the ground was covered in at least three feet of snow, and it was impossible to see much past the first few feet of the garden.
"Darn it..." Thought Xu, "Squall needed her out of the Garden for when they came..." She needed a way to distract Quistis. But what? But how?
Xu's train of thought was interrupted when the bell-sound of the PA was heard, playing to the tune of Jingle Bells, before Nida's voice could be heard, "Xu, please report to Head Master Cid's office. You are needed at Head Master Cid's office."
Xu turned to Quistis, "Sorry, I'll be back in a few minutes." She ran to the elevator in the center of the garden and went to Cid's office, where Squall and Nida were waiting.
"I got a call from them," Squall began, "Laguna's stuck in the mall parking lot in Balamb because of the storm, and they'll be delayed until about 3:00 tomorrow morning, they need to pick him up from the mall and the storm is giving them trouble with the delivery."
Xu sighed, "This complicates things..."
"Not really," Nida explained, "The others probably won't be able to get here until tomorrow, we'll have the plan in action by then, they won't see what's coming to them..."
Xu smiled, "So, the storm is on our side."
"This time, yes." Squall looked into the distance, "I'll keep watch for them, you try to distract Quistis. She can't catch on to any of this."
Xu saluted, "Yes, sir!" She went back to the elevator and went back down to the bottom floor.
"Irvine! Irvine! Where are we?" Cid shouted, hoping to find Irvine in this strange place he was in. It was a weird place filled with clouds and mist...
"I'm here, Cid! I don't know WHERE we are!" Irvine walked next to Cid from the side, "I just remember getting thrown off the road...Then I found this in my pocket..." He pulled out a card and gave it to Cid.
"Official Member of the Ghost Of Christmas Past union?" Cid read. He reached into his pocket, finding the same card, he read his, "Official Member of the Ghost Of Christmas Present union?"
"...We might have..."
"DIED!" The two men shouted in terror, grabbing each other in fear.
"I can't be dead now! I'm too young to die!" Irvine cried, "I still had so much to do before I died! I never woke up early to see the sun rise, or walk through the park on a warm sunny day, or even try so many foods I wanted to try!"
Cid cried, "I never did any of those things, too! Especially the food thing!"
Irvine suddenly realized something, "...Wait... We're dead...That means... We're ghosts..."
"...You're right..." Cid grinned, knowing what Irvine was hinting at, "...Wanna go to Balamb and haunt Zell's house for a couple weeks?"
"Oh yeah! He owed me 100 Gil!" Irvine looked around the cloudly void, "...Wait, how do we get out of here?"
"Yeah...Are we in heaven or hell?"
"I should HOPE heaven!"
Cid thought, "Think this could be some sort of weird 'in between'? Like between heaven and hell?"
"Isn't that where we just were?" Irvine asked.
"In the sense of the afterlife."
"Oh, in that case... ...Nah."
"Well, wherever we are, let's try to find a way out..." Cid and Irvine began to explore the strange void together.
Zell and Raijin blindly walked through the snow storm, "I can't...feel my arms...ya know?" Raijin mumbled, freezing.
"H...Hey, at least you can feel your legs..." Zell shivered.
"I haven't been able to feel those for a while now..." Raijin replied.
The two had been trying to get to Zell's house, but the storm struck its hardest while they were still on their way. Now they were stuck, walking blindly through the storm...
"...Raijin...I...I think we're doomed..."
"Ya think?" Raijin replied.
"...I thought it was 'ya know'?" Zell mumbled. He then collapsed.
Raijin couldn't walk any further, "Ugh...My last words will be..." He fell to his knees, "...Ya... know..." He fell, face first in the snow.
Another cold wind blew...Until the sound was interupted by two people talking.
"Hey! We're out of that mysterious cloud-place!" Irvine said, passing through the storm, "Whoah...Man, if we weren't already dead, we'd be dead now walking through Balamb in this storm..."
"Yeah, it's weather like this that gives our union more ghosts of Christmas Present." Cid joked, looking at the snow fall.
"Or ghosts of Christmas Past!" Irvine added. He stuck his tongue out and caught snowflakes (Which wasn't hard to do in this storm), "Hey! Try to catch snowflakes on your tongue!" He did it again, "It's fun!"
Cid did the same, "Needs sugar."
"Doesn't that melt snow?" Irvine asked.
"No, that's salt." Cid said. He and Irvine continued walking through the park, until Irvine stopped.
"...What's wrong?" Cid asked, stopping and turning to Irvine.
"...I stepped on something..."
Irvine bent down, he swept snow off of what he stepped on with his hand, "GOOD GOD! IT'S ZELL!"
Cid ran to Irvine, until he paused, "What the?" He stepped on something, too, he swept snow away, and jumped back screaming in terror, "AND RAIJIN!"
"What should we do!" Irvine shouted.
Cid bent over and shook Raijin's frozen hand, "Congratulations, Raijin. Welcome to the Ghost of Christmas Present unio-"
"Not THAT!" Irvine shouted. He looked into the distance, as if by some miracle the storm died down so he could see the city better, "Look! Zell's house is just down the street! Let's take them there!" Irvine grabbed Zell, and dragged him to the house, Cid did the same with Raijin, even though he was having trouble.
"Urgh... Geez...How many candy canes did he EAT this Christmas!" Cid complained, "If I wasn't dead, my back would have gone out!" A crack was heard, "AGH! I think it did!" Cid paused and rubbed his back, he continued to drag Raijin.
They reached the house, Irvine knocked at the door, "Let's go." He said, walking next to Cid.
"We're ghosts, I DOUBT they can see us..." Cid said. Pointing to the door, Zell stood next to him and watched.
Ma Dincht answered the door, "OH MY GOD! ZELL! SOMEONE HELP!" She and a couple people spending Christmas with Zell's family carried him and Raijin into the house to thaw them.
"...We did good, Cid, we did good." Irvine said, putting his hand and Cid's shoulder, "...Let's go and haunt the mall food court."
"Sounds good to me!" The two turned around...
...Only to end up in the strange void again, "Aw, damn it!" Irvine shouted, "I wanted to get a Soda..."
"...Well, maybe after wandering around, we'll end up in the mall." Cid suggested.
"...Eh, it worked for getting to Balamb!" Irvine said, he and Cid walked through the void together.
Back at the mall...
"...We're trapped..." Selphie stated, looking out the glass doors of the mall, "When did this happen?"
"Must have just hit..." Rinoa stated.
Seifer tried to look at an electric sign outside the mall that gave the temperature, "...It's... -4 degrees out there!" He looked at his watch, "...It's only 19:00...That means it's only going to get colder as the night goes on..."
"TRAPPED." Fujin said.
"Yeah, we are until the storm's over..." Rinoa said, "At least we're at the mall, and not in the storm!"
Suddenly a snow covered figure approached the doors, pouding on them, "HELP! HELP! LET ME IN! NEED WARMTH!"
"AAAHHH! KILLER SNOWMAN!" Seifer jumped back.
Rinoa attemped to open the door, the storm winds were too strong for her, Selphie and Fujin helped. They tried their best to hold the door open as Seifer carried in the figure. When the figure was taken in, the girls closed the door.
"Who is it?" Rinoa asked as Seifer attempted to take snow off the figure.
"It's Frosty! Ya know!" Selphie began to sing, "Frost-y the snowman, la la la la la-"
"STOP!" Fujin suddenly shouted.
"Why?" Selphie asked.
"...STUCK." Fujin replied. Selphie and Rinoa gave her an odd stare. She sighed, "...Every time someone sings that song, it gets stuck in my head. I can't get it out...And sometimes it stays in there until Valentines day...You didn't hear me say anything past 'STUCK', okay?"
"AFFIRMATIVE." Selphie and Rinoa mock-saluted.
"...GOOD." Fujin replied. She turned around and began humming a tune, "...CRAP. STUCK..."
"Sorry..." Selphie said.
"..Guys! It's Laguna!" Seifer shouted to the girls, who turned to face Laguna laying still on the ground.
"..I...Is he dead..?" Rinoa asked.
"C...Cold...so...cold...Snow...cold...Ice...cold...mall floor...cold..." Laguna moaned, Rinoa kneeled next to him, she felt his cheek to see how cold he was, "COLD HAND!" He shouted, his eyes opening.
"...What?" Rinoa felt her hand on her arm, "...Well, that's probably from that snow cone I bought at the food court..."
"Laguna! What are you doing here?" Selphie asked.
"Oh, I was...doing my...Christmas shopping." Laguna replied, "I was taking my purchases to my car, when the blizzard stuck. I tried to get to the mall when it was obvious I couldn't drive in this weather, but..."
"BUT?" Fujin asked.
"...I kinda had a bad parking job and my car was at the far end of the parking lot, so, it was a long walk..." Laguna sighed, "...I guess I'll have to wait here until the storm's over..." He then thought, '...Or until the others get here...I need to find a phone...' He got up, "Ah, well... Thanks for saving me. I'll make the best of this and finish my Christmas shopping! See you all later!"
Selphie waved to Laguna as he walked away, "Bye Laguna! Good luck with your shopping!"
"Get something for the Grinch!" Seifer shouted, referring to Squall.
"Will do!" Laguna shouted, giving them a friendly salute and running off.
Laguna found the pay phones, which were crowded by a line of people, most likely regarding being trapped at the mall by the storm, "Oh...No..." Laguna groaned, seeing the line, knowing chances were he'd be there for hours...
"Xu, explain to me what we're doing, again?" Quistis asked as Xu led her to the training area.
"Uh...You know that secret spot the students go to? Well, we could use the window there to see how bad the storm is." Xu said, walking into the training center of the Garden.
"All right..." Quistis looked around the training center, "...Hmmm, that's weird, there aren't any monsters...I wonder where they went."
"Probably hid because of the weather outside, even the temperature in here is starting to drop." Xu replied. A low growl was heard behind them, "...Quistis? Did you hear that?"
"...Should we turn around or just start running?" Xu asked.
Quistis turned...A large T-Rexuar was glaring at them, "Um...Candy cane?" Quistis asked, holding a candy cane to the large beast. The T-Rexuar let out a large roar, "...I thought not. RUN!" She and Xu took off through the training center, the T-Rexuar followed.
"You just HAD to go to the training center to see the storm, didn't you?" Quistis shouted.
"Well, sorry! I didn't expect the T-Rexuar to be near by!"
"Well, guess what? It WAS!" Quistis shouted. Anothe roar was heard, "AAAHHH!"
The T-Rexuar eventually chased Xu and Quistis into a corner, "This isn't good..." Quistis stated, she turned to Xu, "Got any ideas or last words?"
"...When it jumps towards us, jump to the side." Xu said, getting ready.
"Interesting choice of last words."
The T-Rexuar jumped, Quistis and Xu jumped away from the large dinosaur, it looked back, "Grrr..?" It looked forward, it's eyes widened slightly, "GRRRR-RRRGGGHH!" It groaned loudly as it crashed into the wall of the training center, Chibi Quistis and Xu heads circling around its head. It began to slide down the wall, until the wall cracked and the T-Rexuar fell into the storm with parts of the broken wall. It roared in pain and eventually ran back into the training center, behind Xu and Quists.
"What the...?" Quistis asked, as the T-Rexuar limped past them, glaring.
"T-Rexuars are weak against ice magic." Xu stated, "Same must go for blizzards."
A growl was heard from behind the two girls, they turned... Finding two T-Rexuars (probably friends of the one they just encountered) facing them, the wounded one recovering by a heating unit.
"...RUN!" Quistis and Xu ran out of the large hole in the wall, and into the storm. The two T-Rexuars skidded to a hault, glaring.
One of them, suddenly began laughing in a growling-like manner, the other gave it an odd look. The laughing T-Rexuar growled between laughs, the other joined in laugh-growling loudly.
"..What's so funny?" Quistis asked.
"We're out in a blizzard," Xu said, "They realize they can't go out, but, we can't go in! They're laughing at our misfortune."
"Damn T-Rexuars and their twisted sense of humor!" Quistis shouted, glaring at the two laughing Dinosaurs.
Meanwhile, the two T-Rexuars spoke to each other...
"(So, what's so funny?)" The wounded T-Rexuar asked its friends, who were waiting by the large hole.
"(Steve told a REALLY good Santa joke, wanna hear it?)" One of the T-Rexuars growled between laughs.
Back to Xu and Quistis...
Xu and Quistis continued glaring at the T-Rexuars, "...Yeah, they're all laughing at this. We're stuck out here, and they're inside, laughing it up..." Xu muttered, starting to feel the cold wind of the blizzard through her jacket.
"JERKS!" Quistis shouted, picking up a handful of snow.
Back to the T-Rexuars...
"(Oh my GOD! That's hilarious!)" The wounded T-Rexuar growled, letting out a (literal) roar of laughter, after a minute it stopped, "(Hey! Wanna go back to my place for a good 'ol fashioned T-Rexaurian Christmas party?)"
"(Wait, wait! Let me tell this one joke first... Rudolph walks into a bar and-)" The T-Rexuar stopped as a snowball hit it in the side, it roared in slight pain, "(OW! COLD! COLD! I HATE COLD! Grrrrr...Whaddya say we wait here and watch them turn into human icicles?)"
"(Yeah!)" The other two T-Rexaurs growled in agreement. They faced the two humans outside, glaring.
About seven minutes went by...
"(...Man, this is getting boring...)" One T-Rexuar growled quietly.
"(Shut up and keep looking ferocious!)" Growled the wounded T-Rexuar.
Quistis and Xu watched the T-Rexuars glare at them.
"...They'll leave...Eventually." Xu said, "My book on monsters states that T-Rexuars have very short attention spans..."
The T-Rexuars continued glaring...
Laguna was still in line, in the forty-five minutes he had been standing there, at least sixty more people joined the line behind him. There must have been another thirty ahead of him. Laguna sighed, "...Darn it..." He sadly looked down.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw it...
He couldn't believe it. He lifted his head, turning to check... It couldn't be.
It was! It truly was! A pay phone! A payphone without a single soul in front of it on the other end of the mall! Yes, a simple pay phone, but to Laguna it was a shiny golden pay phone of hope and ads for collect calls.
He lept from the line, darting through the crowd at full speed. He wouldn't let another line build up in front of that phone, not a single person!
He reached it, he reached his hand deep into his pocket and pulled out a gil coin, other coins in his pocket falling to the ground. He put it into the phone, dialing a number quickly.
He listened... There was no sound on the other end, no sound at alll... Not a ring. Not a dial tone. Silence.
Laguna finally noticed something else about the phone... A piece of paper taped to the phone book, "Out of order."
Laguna fell to his knees, he lowered his head. He was silent for a few moments.
Finally, he turned to the line he had just left... At least eighty people. He walked to the line...
...Now it was at least eighty one people, "...I hate Christmas." Laguna mumbled.
"I told you, if we kept walking around that weird void we'd end up here!" Cid shouted, walking out of the food court with Irvine, holding a soda can. He and Irvine weren't noticed, they couldn't be seen by the living. Though, their soda cans could be seen... People didn't seem to notice too much, assuming some kid just cast a float spell on them. It was a common prank, especially during halloween.
Irvine sipped his soda, "Ah...Think it was wrong that we stole this?"
"Nah, besides, who's fault is it we're dead?"
"Whoever controls the weather?" Irvine asked.
Cid shook his head, "No, the mall."
"Well, think about it. The reason we were even AT the mall was to get a Christmas star for the tree, right?"
Irvine nodded, "Yeah."
"Well, the mall didn't have a star, until we by a miracle got one out of the sky. Even then, we still had to give it away. But, because the mall DIDN'T have a star, we had to spend HOURS in Balamb, letting the storm come closer and closer to us!"
"So, what you're saying, it's the mall's fault we couldn't find a replacement star and because we had to search so much, the storm came and caused our deaths?" Irvine asked.
"Exactly! Therefore, if we steal ANYTHING from the mall, it's perfectly okay because the mall is the cause of our death! And stealing is little compared to killing!" Cid drank his soda.
"But, if you look into it, isn't it more Raijin's fault because we DID find a star here and he broke it, and that star happened to be the last one?"
Cid paused and thought, "..That's true... Whaddya say we steal some sodas from Raijin's dorm next?"
"Sounds good to me! Think he'd have any chips?" Irvine asked, finishing off his soda and tossing it in a trash can, startling a couple of people standing near by it, "Hehehe! I can get used to scaring people like that..."
Cid looked in the line, "Hey! It's Laguna!"
"Too bad we're dead, we'd be able to talk to him!" Irvine said, "Hey, he looks kind of sad, doesn't he?"
"Yeah, well no wonder, he's got like a hundred people ahead of him in line to use a phone, from the looks of it!"
Irvine hang his head, "Poor Laguna..."
"Poor Laguna..." Cid added.
"...Hey, Cid. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"...Does what your thinking include scaring the living daylights out of about a hundred people?"
A grin spread across Irvine's face, "Oh yeah..."
"Does it involve taking cans of soda and spraying them?" An evil grin spread across Cid's face.
"It does now..."
Irvine and Cid turned to each other.
"LET'S DO IT!" They shouted, running back to the food court and grabbing as many sodas as they could.
"What the...?" A man said, looking as two floating piles of soda cans passed him. Other people were exchanging confused glances.
Cid and Irvine walked to the front of the line, they dumped the sodas on a nearby bench, each picked up one can and shook it furiously.
"This is gonna be fun..." Irvine grinned, walking to a woman talking on a pay phone.
Cid did the same, they both held the cans to the woman's side.
"..What the...? Joe, I'll have to call you back... There are two floating cans of soda...AAAAHHH!" The cans were opened by an unkown force, the soda sprayed her, she ran from the pay phone, as did a few others. Soon Cid and Irvine did the same to anyone else who went near the phone until they were out of soda, and people to scare. Others watching were either laughing or running away screaming, mostly laughing.
Laguna stepped up to the phone, stepping in the puddle of various sodas. He was expecting to get sprayed like the people in front of him, but he had to make that phone call.
Instead of getting sprayed, a gil coin floated through the air, and was deposited into the payphone, "Uh...Thanks... Merry Christmas?" He said to the unknown force that was causing all this. He dialed the number, "Hey! Kiros... It's me, has the shipment left Esthar yet? No? Good. I need it to stop at the mall in Balamb, a huge storm struck, I can't get to the Garden..." There was talking on the other end.
"Garden? What does he want there?" Cid said alound. Irvine shrugged.
"Thanks, pal. See you soon, Merry Christmas!" Laguna hung up the phone, "Yes!" He cheered, turning around to the food court until he bumped into someone... Drenched in soda.
"You're YOU must be the guy who caused all that trouble..." It was a large man, looked to be a weight lifter.
"N...No! Honest! I don't know wha-" A loud punching sound was head throughout the mall, Laguna slid across the floor and puddle of soda, hitting the payphone, "Ow..."
Cid and Irvine exchanged looked and walked away, whistling innocently as Laguna was beaten to a pulp by various people covered in soda, "Sorry, Laguna!"
"S...So...So...So cold...So cold..."
"They're waking up! They're alive!" Shouted a voice.
Zell's eyes opened slowly, his mother and and relatives were standing around him, he was on a couch in the living room, "Ma... I'm home... I had this amazing dream...And you were there..." He pointed to his mother, "You were there..." He pointed to a relative, "You were there..." He looked to Raijin, who was resting on another couch "You were there... And...Santa was there..."
"I had a dream, too..." Raijin said, waking up, "I dreamt I was flyin' and Santa was there and so were Cid and Irvine... Ya know...?"
"Thank God you're all right, Zell!" Said Zell's uncle, "We were worried you wouldn't make it!" He turned to Zell's cousin, "Told you he'd make it!"
Zell's cousin reached into her pocket, "Yeah, yeah... Here's your twenty gil..." She gave him some gil.
"Did anyone bet on me?" Raijin asked.
"Nah, we all thought you were a goner." Zell's uncle replied.
"Oh, cool!" Raijin smiled, "I guess I proved you all wrong, ya know?"
"...You're a moron." Zell stated, glaring at Raijin.
"Xu...They're still glaring at us..." Quistis was near freezing, she glared at Xu, "I thought they had a SHORT attention span..."
"...Just give them another half hour."
"You said that half an hour ago!" Quistis shouted, "I'm starting to go numb from this cold!"
"J...Just wait... They'll leave..." Xu replied, "I'm getting numb, too..."
Quistis and Xu continued to stand in the snow and wait...
Meanwhile, the T-Rexuars were talking...
"(...Guys, I'm REALLY bored...)" Said one T-Rexuar.
"(We all are, Phil!)" Replied the wounded T-Rexuar.
"(...They'll freeze to death soon, I mean, I heard somewhere humans froze quickly. Just give them another half hour." Said the third T-Rexuar.
"(You said that half an hour ago!)" Snapped the wounded T-Rexuar, impatiently, "(My foot's falling asleep from standing like this!)"
"(Just wait, they'll freeze...)" Stated the third T-Rexuar, "(My foot's starting to fall asleep, too...)"
The T-Rexuars continued to glare and wait...
"Squall! I think it's here!" Nida shouted, sitting down his binoculars and pointing out the window in the direction of Esthar. Bright lights were seen in the sky from some sort of airship.
The room began to shake, "It's happening..." Squall whispered, smiling.
The lights shined over the garden and then began to pass.
"Wait!" Squall grabbed Nida's binoculars, "They're passing over us!" He looked through the sky, "...What in the...?"
It wasn't what Squall was hoping for, "...Nida, it's that weird flying saucer again. It's carrying a Christmas Tree." He gave Nida the binoculars.
"...What the...? What's that thing doing here?"
"First the pyramid, a cow, then the strange symbol...Now a Christmas tree... What's the connection?" Squall asked.
A little green alien pressed buttons on the control pannel of his ship, "PuPu...phone...home..." A ring was heard on some speakers, the sound of a phone being picked up was heard.
"Hello? Pu residence. PaPu speaking..."
"Son, stop that stupid E.T thing. That's the last time I rent ANY Sci-Fi movies taken from Earth..."
"...Sorry, mom. I'll be home for Christmas dinner, okay?" PuPu said.
"All right, son. Have a safe flight back home, see you when you get here. Don't hit any asteroids, and wear a sweater."
"I will, Mom. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, PuPu." The sound of a phone hanging up was heard. PuPu pressed a button on his space ship, it flew off into the distance.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS, EARTH!" PuPu shouted as he left the atmosphere.
Back in the Garden, Squall and Nida continued looking out the window.
"Looks like it's gone..." Squall said. Suddenly the phone on Head Master Cid's desk rang. Squall picked it up.
"Mom, I almost forgot, I'm bringing some Earth Christmas food for-"
"Who is this?" Squall asked.
"Ack! Sorry, sir, wrong number!" There was a click and a dial tone.
"Who was it?" Nida asked.
Squall looked towards the sky, "...The truth is out there, Nida." He then remembered something, "Oh, wait..." He pressed star 69.
"Hello, PuPu can't take your call right now, I am phoning home at the moment. Please leave a message and your call will be forwarded to my voice mail. If this is my boss calling about my research mission, I ASSURE you, I'll be back on the job after the Earth new years! It's ONLY six days away!"
"..." Squall slowly put the phone down, "I think the alien called me by accident."
"...Dude, lay off the egg nog, I'm starting to get worried." Nida said, "That thing we just saw was probably swamp gas or something."
"...Since when does swamp gas appear in the shape of a flying saucer with a Christmas tree? And there isn't a swamp in 500 miles of the Garden!"
"...It was a weather balloon?"
"...Let's just get back to watching for 'them'."
"Hey, what's going on?" Rinoa asked, turning to a bunch of shouting coming from the pay phones.
"Looks like Laguna's getting beaten up by a mob of angry people." Seifer said.
Selphie pointed to the crowd, "MALL RIOT!"
A group of people around the group exchange glances, someone at a furniture store picked up a chair, "Well, what are we waiting for! Grab a chair and find a nice skull to smash!" Various people cheered and joined in the riot.
Seifer, Rinoa, Fujin and Selphie stood, shocked.
"...You're supposed to try and STOP the riot, not let more people JOIN IN THE RIOT!" Selphie shouted, but her voice could barely be heard over the shouting, kicking, chair throwing and overall insanity from the payphone area, "...This can't be good."
Fujin sighed, "...IDIOTS."
"At least they aren't fighting over some new toy craze." Rinoa said.
"Nah, that riot ended before we got here today." Selphie replied.
Fujin groaned, "...STUPID SONG..."
"Still have the song stuck in your head?" Seifer asked. Fuijin nodded, "Geez... Want us to try getting another song stuck in your head?"
"...FROSTY SUCKS." The group took that as a 'yes'.
"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel... You're as cuddly as a cactus, and as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch..." Rinoa sang.
Fujim shook her head, "STILL."
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la! 'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la la! Don we now our gay appearal..." Seifer sang.
Selphie thought, she began to sing the best she could, she began to sing her favorite Christmas song from her childhood, "Fa who foraze dah who doraze..."
Fujin's eyes widened, "NO! SELPHIE! NOT THAT SONG!" She screamed in a panic.
Selphie was too caught up in singing her best, "Welcome Christmas come this way... Fa who foraze dah who doraze... Welcome Christmas, Christmas day..."
"What's wrong?" Rinoa asked.
"That...song...whenever I hear it... It's stuck in my head...for months...I once had it stuck in my head until JUNE..." Fujin said in too much of a panic to care about speaking in full sentences or not, "It's why we...don't...sing it...when we..go caroling..."
"I thought it was because Raijin and I never remembered the words." Seifer commented.
"Fah who foraze dah who doraze..."
Soon, though, rioters around them began to hear Selphie sing... They exchanged glances, looked at the beaten and bloody Laguna... One person took Selphies hand, "Welcome Christmas...Come this way..." They sang.
Rinoa joined in, "Fah who foraze dah who doraze...Welcome Christmas, Christmas day..."
More and more people joined in. Soon the entire riot had stopped, and the entire mall was singing, all feeling as if their hearts had grown three sizes.
"Fah who doraze...Dah who doraze welcome Christmas, come this way..."
Fujin sighed, taking someone's hand and joining in, "Welcome welcome fah who ramus...Welcome, welcome dah who damus... Christmas day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp..."
Seifer finally joined in, hoping to remember the words, "Fah who ray moo... Yah Who hee haw..." Sadly, he didn't, "Welcome Christmas bring your-" He tried to think of the words.
"Cheer." Fujin sang, rolling her eyes.
"Cheer!" Seifer quickly sang.
"Fah who foraze dah who doraze," The entire mall sang, "Welcome all Whos far...and...near..." The song ended.
The people in the mall smiled, even Laguna smiled the best he could, despite the swollen jaw from from a kick to the face.
"I haven't heard that song in years..." Said one man, "Reminds me of when my entire family used to sit around and watch that show..."
"Amazing! Music tames the savage beast and brings and end to riots." Seifer commented.
"...STUCK...STUCK!" Fujin almost cried, "WHOS...WILL...PAY!"
People apologized to Laguna, and continued to go about their shopping, their Christmas cheer restored.
"Laguna, are you okay?" Selphie asked.
"Aside from the fact I can't feel most of my face?" Laguna asked, "Fine..." A tooth fell out of his mouth and to the floor as he spoke, "...Well that can't be good..." He picked it up and put it in his pocket.
Cid and Irvine stepped out of the food court, seeing all of the people in the mall in a happy and friendly mood, "...Did we miss something?" Irvine asked.
"Probably nothing... Want to got to the arcade and play some games?" Cid asked.
"Sure thing!" He and Irvine turned around...
Ending up in the weird void again, "DAMN IT! I hate this thing..." Cid groaned, "Shall we wander around aimlessly until we find the mall again?"
"Sounds like a plan to me, it worked last time!" Irvine said. He and Cid began to walk around the void together.
"Ward, fire her up! We're going to Balamb!" Kiros commanded in the cockpit of the Ragnarok. Ward nodded, starting the engines of the airship, "We've got a surprise for the people of the Garden, and we want to make sure they get it in time..."
Ward grinned and nodded.
The ship took off into the night, flying straight to Balamb.
"...Damn it! I told you we should have taken a right turn!" Irvine shouted, stepping out of the void and into a snowy field in front of the Garden, "I wanted to play Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade..."
"Wouldn't that attract a lot of attention?" Cid asked.
"I don't care, that game rocks!" Irvine said. He looked in the distance, "Aw, crud... Look at what happened to the training center!"
"Damned T-Rexuars!" Cid shouted, "Don't they know how much it costs to repair that wall whenever they break it?"
"Yeah...Hey, isn't that Quistis and Xu standing there?"
"The T-Rexuars must have chased them there..." Cid and Irvine approached the two women in the snow, "...They're frozen..."
"The T-Rexuars must have trapped them in the blizzard..." Irvine said, "They're weak against ice so they couldn't chase them out here... ...You thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Quistis, I would like to welcome you to the union of Ghosts of-" Irvine groaned as Cid shook Quistis' frozen hand.
"Not THAT! Dude, seriously! You suck at this! I was gonna suggest throwing snowballs at the T-Rexuars to get rid of them!" Irvine shouted.
"That would be quite fun, my friend." Cid said, grinning evilly and picking up a snow ball.
The T-Rexuars didn't see it coming. Snow balls were thrown at them, from just outside the hole in the wall, too! They panicked and ran away in a few minutes, wounded from the cold.
"Well, let's carry them in..." Irvine picked up Qustis' frozen body, Cid did the same with Xu. They carried them into the Garden, placing them in front of a heater in the hallway.
'Geez, we saved four people from freezing to death..." Irvine said, "...Maybe this whole dead thing isn't so bad."
"Yeah, you get to help people..."
"Whaddya say we go help some more people?" Cid asked.
"I'm with you Cid, let's go." The two turned, ending up in the void again.
"...Why didn't I see that coming?" Cid asked.
"...Damn this stupid void thing..." The two walked through the void trying to find a way out once again.
Inside the mall, the sporting goods store layed out sleeping bags and blankets for the people trapped near the fountain in the center of the mall.
Seifer lay in his sleeping bag, "This isn't so bad, it's like a camping trip, except without having to worry about things like bears and poison ivy."
"I like the fact we're in the mall, this is SO cool... I've always wondered what it was like to be trapped in a mall for a night." Selphie said, she went to sleep, "Good night, everyone."
"Merry Christmas, everyone..." Rinoa yawned, falling alseep on her sleeping bag.
"...MERRY CHRISTMAS." Fujin fell asleep.
The lights in the mall went off, everyone was sleep... ...Except for one person.
Laguna stood at the entrance of the mall, waiting silently.
"Xu...We...we're alive..." Quistis said, waking up.
"We...didn't die in the blizzard..." Xu almost couldn't believe it, "D...Did the T-Rexuars help us?"
"Th...They must have..."
"...They must be hurt..." Xu said, "They had to go out into the blizzard and carry us."
"...You're right. Let's get some potions and see if they're okay."
Xu and Quistis got up, walking to their dorms and getting as many potions as they could carry.
"Think they'd like this peppermint flavored Christmas potion?" Quistis asked, carrying a bunch of potions into the halls, "They had a bunch of them for sale at the item shop."
"Why not?" Xu asked, "It's Christmas! Bring all of them!"
"Come on, Uncle Sid! Read it...Pleeeeaaaaase...?" Zell begged his Uncle, "It's Christmas!"
"I've read this stupid story every year, I'm starting to feel stupid..." Zell's Uncle said, holding up a book.
"Please Mr. Dincht! Please?" Raijin begged.
The entire family sat around a chair, Zell's Uncle sitting in it.
"..All right..." He sighed, opening the book, "The story of how Tellah the mage Saved Christmas." He cleared his throat, "Once upon a time, the evil villain Sephiroth wanted to steal Christmas from the Kingdom of Ivalice because he hated celebrations and joy. When Tellah found out his plan as he drunkenly ranted on and on about it in a bar in Nibelheim, he turned to Sephiroth and said... You spoony bard."
"Come ON, Uncle! You've gotta say it with emotion..." Zell said.
"Yeah, and say it like Tellah says it!" Zell's cousin said.
"Do I have to?" Zell's uncle said, he turned and saw Raijin's face, tearful and please, "Oh all right..."
"YAY!" The Dinchts cheered.
"He turned to Sephiroth and said... YOU SPOONY BARD!" He screamed.
"Yahoo!" Raijin shouted.
"Cut that out!" Zell's Uncle said, turning to Raijin.
Xu and Quistis walked into the training center, "I think they're over there..." Xu pointed to a waterfall with a heater near it.
She was right, they were behind a tree, all three of them. They looked wounded, from cold. They looked at the two women, a little scared. They were too wounded to fight.
"It's okay..." Quistis opened up one of the potions, she gave it to one of the T-Rexuars. It ate the potion, bottle and all, its wounds healed a little. Xu and Quists did the same until all three T-Rexuars were able to stand up and walk.
"There you go, thanks for helping us- AAAHHH!" Quistis screamed as one of the T-Rexuars lifted her into the air. Xu looked away, realizing their mistake, the T-Rexuars didn't save them, they were probably going out there to eat them, but went back because of the snow. Someone else must have done it. She couldn't watch as Quistis was eaten...
She then heard laughing, she looked up...Quistis was riding ontop of one of the T-Rexuars, "This is...fun! It's like riding a giant prehistoric chocobo!"
A T-Rexuar gently picked up Xu, and put her on the back of another T-Rexuar, "Thanks!"
The T-Rexuar growled in a friendly manner, and gave (sort of) a smile.
The two T-Rexuars carried Xu and Quistis to the entrance of the training center, "Thanks, I hope you feel better, soon!" Quistis said as she got off a T-Rexuar.
The T-Rexuar growled politely in response, it turned to its friends and nodded. They went back into the training center.
"See you pal, get better and Merry Christmas!" Xu said, petting the T-Rexuar on the head.
The T-Rexuar did its best to growl "Merry Christmas" in return, but it turned out to sound like "rr-rrrii Grrrrrgrrr.".
Quistis and Xu left the training center.
"(...We should have eaten them, Steve.)" Said one of the T-Rexuars.
"(Shut up, Phil!)" Replied the T-Rexuar, glaring. "(It's Christmas!)"
Quistis had gone to bed, it was near midnight... Xu smiled, her job was complete. She went back to Headmaster Cid's office, where Squall and Nida were waiting.
"Any sign of them, yet?" Xu asked as she stepped out of the elevator.
"Just a UFO sighting." Squall replied.
"...I see..." Xu looked out the window, "Hopefully they'll be able to make it in this storm..."
"It's only -35 out there." Nida stated, "They said they'd be here no matter what."
"They'd better be..." Squall said, "If not, the plan is all ruined..."
"Hey! Look! There's something in the sky!" Nida shouted, pointing to some lights.
"ARGH! I can't believe I forgot the presents!" Pupu screamed at himself, "Now I'm gonna be late! Darn my forgetful self!" He pounded on the controls to his space ship in anger, hitting various buttons.
The Christmas tree he had in his tractor beam fell to the ground.
In Cid's office...
"It's the UFO again... Looks like it dropped the tree..." Nida said.
"Crap, it's falling onto a part of the Garden!" Squall said, watching the tree fall.
Quistis was sleeping in her bed, visions of sugar plums danced in her head...
When all of a sudden, a Christmas tree fell through her window, breaking into many splinters, "AAHH!" Quistis woke at the sudden sound and the fact that a glass bulb from the tree hit her in the back of the head, and shattered, "WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?" She looked at the wreckage... A tree had fallen out of nowhere, through her window and smashed a bookshelf, "...What the...?"
Quistis stepped into the garden hall, "...If this was Squall sending me a message, he is SO dead..."
Squall looked in the direction the tree fell, "Crap...It hit Quistis' dorm... Xu, you're back on distraction duty..."
"Darn it..." Xu went back down to the main hall.
"Xu! Did you hear that crash?" Quistis asked.
"Yeah, I couldn't believe it either!" Xu said.
"Was it Squall! I know he's mad because I decorated his room again, but..."
"No, Squall's...Uh...Not here!"
"That means he could have dropped that tree onto my dorm from the roof!"
"No...He's...In Balamb! And no idiot would carry a tree on a roof like that in the middle of THIS blizzard!" Xu explained.
"Right..." Quistis sighed, "Want to help me clean up the tree in my dorm?"
It was almost 1:00, and all through Balamb, few creatures were stirring...Just a sleepy man in the parking lot, his tired vision blurring.
Laguna waited by the mall entrance in silence, in hopes the Ragnarok would soon be there. Zell and Raijin were fast asleep in their beds, while visions of combat king magazines danced in their heads...
Xu was in the garden, trying to keep Quistis from noticing "the event". While Selphie, Rinoa, Fujin and Seifer slept soundly in their sleeping bags.
"Come on...You guys have got to be here soon..." Laguna whispered. Suddenly a low rumble could be heard over the winds of the blizzard, "...Finally." He stepped outside, the Ragnaroke had landed in the parking lot, Kiros and Ward ran out to help him into the airship.
"Thanks guys..." Laguna said as he borded the airship, "You didn't crush any cars while landing, did you?"
Kiros' looked over the snow covered parking lot, "...Cars?"
"...Nevermind. Let's just get to the Garden!"
"Squall! They're here!" Nida shouted, "It's the Ragnarok!"
"Excellent! To the Quad! They're unloading the supplies there!" Squall and Nida ran to the elevator.
Quistis and Xu were resting by the fountain after cleaning up Quistis' dorm, "Well, that wasn't so hard..." Xu said. Out of the corner of her eye, behind Quistis, she saw Squall and Nida sneaking by, Squall mouthing the words 'They're here!'
A loud roar was heard as the Ragnarok landed.
"WHAT THE?" Quistis was about to turn around to the source of the roar, until Xu suddenly pushed her into the fountain, "AGH!"
"Sorry, Quistis!" Xu helped her out of the fountain as Nida and Squall ran to the quad. They ran back with Laguna, Kiros and Ward, carrying various boxes and taking them into another part of the Garden. Quistis was about to turn to their direction, "LOOK! IT'S THE GRINCH!"
"Squall?" Quistis asked, looking in the other direction, she was about to run in that direction, until she slipped and fell into the fountain again, just as the group ran back to the Ragnarok to get more boxes.
"Geez, Quistis! Lets go back to your dorm, you're soaked!" Xu said, helping Quistis up.
Quistis was about to turn in the direction of the dorms, the same direction as the Quad, until Xu pushed her into the fountain again as Squall and the others ran back to the Ragnarok, "AHHHH!"
"Sorry! I slipped on a puddle of water!"
This continued for another ten minutes as the group carried things from the Ragnarok and into another part of the Garden, finally they were done and Xu helped Quistis to her dorm. Quistis was in bed a little later, Xu had let her sleep in her dorm, because of broken window in Quistis' dorm.
Xu ran into the another part of the Garden, the Cafeteria...The Cafeteria workers and Dr. Kadowaki helped in removing all of the tables and chairs.
"...Let's get to work." Laguna said, grinning.
"They won't see this coming..." Squall said, evilly.
The group laughed to themselves and went to work.
It was a 8:00 the next morning...The storm was over...
Cid woke up next to Irvine, "Hey, Irvine... Wake up!" He shook Irvine...Suddenly realizing...He and Irvine...
They were in the car! They were in the car! They were ALIVE! They didn't die, they LIVED! They SURVIVED! Not even a scratch on either of them.
Irvine woke up, "Cid...What's go...My God...WE'RE ALIVE!"
"WE'RE ALIVE! WE DIDN'T DIE!"
"Then what was all that?" Irvine asked, "I thought we died in that crash!"
"We didn't we're alive! WE'RE ALIVE!" Cid reached into his pocket, his union card wasn't there, instead it was a phone card, good for 1,000 free minutes.
Irvine reached into his pocket, it was the same thing.
The two looked around the car...Everything was there, they were fine, nothing was broken...Finally, Cid found a card in the glove compartment, "What's this?" He read opened it, two checks fell out, one for Irvine, one for Cid.
Irvine took the check, "For 60,000 Gil! ...Awesome!"
Cid read the card, "Thank you for the fine job as part-time workers as Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present. We hope you suffered no discomfort from your out of body experience, please take these checks as a token of our gratitude. Sincerely, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost Of Christmas Future."
"PS: Your car has been repaired by the Ghost of Christmas Future, and we added a full tank of gas as a bonus. Drive safely this holiday season, don't drink and drive."
"...Good tip." Irvine said. The card slowly faded away, "...Let's go to the Garden after digging this thing out of the ditch we fell in?" Irvine began to step out of the car, "...Cid, we're on the road." He got back into the car and closed the door.
"Wow...Ghosts of Christmas are nice guys."
"Yeah, but let's not try to get ourselves killed next Christmas."
Cid nodded, "Yeah, suppose they don't hire us this time..." Cid and Irvine drove off to the Garden.
Zell and Raijin stepped into the streets...The storm was over.
"Ma, I'll be back tonight for dinner. I gotta pick up the gifts I left at the Garden!" Zell told his mother, "Raijin's gotta pick up his friends at the mall, too."
"We'll be back tonight, Ms. Dincht. I can't wait to try your Christmas turkey." Raijin said.
Ma Dincht smiled, "Be sure you bring some of that Christmas pudding you were telling us about. I'd love to try it, Raijin."
"I will, Ms. Dincht! Thank you!" Raijin ran off to the mall, and Zell left to the Garden.
"WAKE UP." Fujin shook Seifer. Seifer let out a yawn.
"What is it, Fujin?" Seifer asked.
"STORM. GONE." Fujin pointed outside. The sky was blue.
"YES! Rinoa, Selphie! Wake up! The sky! It's blue!" Seifer shouted waking the two girls.
"Tell us something we don't know..." Rinoa mumbled.
Raijin burst into the mall, "Guys! Are you all right!" He saw his friends, he ran as fast as he could towards them, hugging them all at once, "I was worried, ya know? It was a bad storm, ya know?"
"We know, we know..." Seifer said, "Raijin, let go of me...I can't breathe..."
Raijin let go and apologized.
"Raijin, where were you?" Rinoa asked.
"Zell's house, his family let me spend the night during the storm." Raijin explained, "It was cool, ya know? We watched Christmas movies and his Uncle read the story about how Tellah saved Christmas!"
Rinoa smiled, "That's one of my favorites."
"I got worried near the end, when Tellah cast meteo to save Christmas, ya know? I thought the spell killed him! But, a Christmas miracle saved him! I was so happy, ya know?"
Seifer groaned, "Raijin, it's a Christmas story. Christmas stories ALWAYS have a happy ending..."
Selphie smiled, "Hey, let's pick up our packages and head to the Garden! I wanna get some breakfast!"
The group nodded to each other, they picked up their giffts at the Gift wrapping area, and left to Seifer's car...
"SWEET MERCIFUL METEO!" Seifer shouted, his car had been crushed, "...Let's walk."
Fortunately, the Garden and Balamb weren't too far apart.
About half an hour later, in front of the Garden...
Zell arrived at the Garden about the time Cid and Irvine did, "Hey, did you see this?" Zell asked, motioning to a sign.
"Everyone! Something's happened! Come to the cafeteria immediately! -Squall." Irvine read, "I wonder what this is about."
Seifer and the others arrived moments later, they too were concerned because of this note. They dropped their gifts off in their dorms.
Quistis walked into the hall as the others began to leave, "What's going on?"
"Squall left this note, we're supposed to meet in the cafeteria." Selphie said, showing Quistis the note.
"Let's go." Quistis said.
They walked to the cafeteria...The doors were closed, which was unusual for the Garden.
Rinoa opened the door, it was dark...The windows were covered.
"...Come in." Said a voice. They recognized it as Squall's.
"Squall, what's going on?" Rinoa asked as she and the others stepped into the room.
Squall chuckled, "All of you...Trying to get into this stupid Christmas thing..." He said.
"Don't speak! I'm sick and tired of what you've been doing! Asking me to carol with you, go SHOPPING with you, to ACCEPT and GIVE gifts... ...Bah freaking humbug..."
"Squall..." The others were shocked to hear this."
"...Why would I do that TWICE in one year! Did you EVER think of THAT?"
"What!" Cid's voice was heard, the lights suddenly turned on. The Cafeteria was decorated, a giant tree in the center, with decorations The tree was a little bit smaller than the one in the hall, but, it was still very big and very beautiful. A banner that said "Merry Christma Everyone!" hung from the ceiling, Squall stood in the middle of the room, wearing a Santa claus jacket over his normal clothes and a Santa Claus hat on his head, "...Merry Christmas, guys."
Laguna, Kiros and Ward walked out from behind tree, with trays of food, they were followed by Kadowaki and various cafeteria workers, some of them also bringing out gifts and putting them on tables.
Rinoa stepped forward, "Squall...?"
"I made sure I was extra Scrooge-y this year. I hope I fooled you all." Squall smiled ever so slightly as Nida and Xu brought out more gifts and food.
"...You did all this...for us?" Cid was shocked.
"Yep, that's why I was in Balamb, so I could deliver the Christmas star from Esthar myself. Sadly, we've got another problem..." He motioned to the tree...There was no star at all.
"The ladder was broken, apparently it fell and the metal fractured in a few places." Laguna explained, "We already had the other decorations on, but...Well, for tradition's sake..."
Quistis spoke, "Wait right here! I have an idea!" She ran out of the room.
"What the...?" Kiros looked at the star, which was sitting on a table, "I wonder what she has planned."
Suddenly, a T-Rexuar burst into the room, Quistis was riding on it.
"GOOD GOD SHE'S GONE MAD!" Cid screamed as he and Irvine ducked behind a table. The others backed away.
"Relax! He's gonna help us!" Quistis shouted, the T-Rexuar nodded, "Okay, I'll take the star...I need to stand in you to put it on the tree, okay?" She whispered to the T-Rexuar.
The T-Rexuar nodded moving to the table the star, letting Quistis pick it up. It walked to the tree, being careful not to knock over any tables or presents with its tail. Quistis climbed on its head, and put the star on the tree.
Everyone in the room cheered, even the T-Rexuar once Quistis climbed off its head.
"Merry Christmas, everyone!" Squall shouted, "And a special thanks to Quistis and that T-Rexuar." He looked at a large Christmas turkey from Esthar, "We have three of these..." He picked up the plate and gave it to the T-Rexuar, who gladly ate it, growling at Squall to thank him.
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's party!" Raijin shouted.
Laguna began to play music, the others had their party, eating, laughing, opening gifts, even the T-Rexuar had fun.
Raijin was helping himself to the Christmas taffy Squall bought, "This stuff is good, ya know?"
"VERY." Fujin said, eating a taffy.
A low growl was heard behind her. She picked up a taffy and gave it to the T-Rexuar.
"Grrr...!" The T-Rexuar lowered its head and at the entire bowl.
"...Fujin, don't give that thing any more food."
"...RIGHT." Fujin nodded.
Irvine and Zell, during this time were drinking egg not and talking, a fair distance between them.
"Geez, this is the one part of Chirstmas I dont like..." Zell looked at the mistle toe that hung in the space between them, "Thanks for stopping me..."
"No problem, Zell." Irvine said, "I just hope Quistis or Selphie walk under it..."
As if on cue, Cid stepped between them, "Hey, having a great time?"
Zell and Irvine quickly turned 180 degrees and walked way.
"...What?" Cid looked up, "...Oh."
In one corner of the party, though, Squall was standing...Alone.
"Squall! It's your party, why aren't you talking with the others?" Rinoa asked.
"Just a force of habit, I guess..." Squall smiled, he reached into his pocket, "...I got you this, by the way. You can open it now if you want." He gave Rinoa a small box.
Rinoa smiled opening the box, a necklace with a diamond pendant was in it, "Squall... Thank you..."
"Merry Christmas, Rinoa..." Squall smiled back.
The party went on like any normal party, Seifer got drunk and hit on Fujin. Fujin responded by tossing a Christmas taffy in his hair, and the T-Rexuar chased after him in hope to get the taffy.
Christmas that year was the most amazing for any of the SeeDs, all of them had amazing memories not even a GF would make them forget. Especially Squall, who, for the first time, had fun on Christmas and celebrated with the rest...
...Even though he still woke up later than the others on Christmas day.
Notes: ...Good GOD, this is a long fic...I started writing this last Christmas, stopped, and then continued last August, and finished in September. This is definately the longest Final Fantasy VIII fic I've ever written..
I spent most of the morning HTMLing this fic from Five parts into one part (I hit AOL's text limit too many times on this one...). It took me about two hours, but it was worth it!
Last note: Try and guess all the references to the following Christmas specials:
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
I referenced all of these at least one time.
Merry Christmas, everybody! And happy new year!