The Night Before Ricksmas
Morty found it weird that even though it was Christmas Eve on Earth, space still looked the same.
"Not everyone celebrates the holidays around this time Morty," Rick explained from the passenger seat, taking a sip from his flask.
Morty relaxed his grip on the steering wheel of the ship, suddenly aware of it. Rick's Christmas present to him was a trip around the galaxy to wherever he wanted.
The two were steadily cruising through the black expanse when they encountered an asteroid belt. Morty, feeling brave, decided to try his hand at traversing the difficult terrain.
As Morty navigated, he couldn't help but dart his eyes over to Rick, an invisible request for approval.
"What are-are you looking at me for? It's -uuurp!- your Christmas present."
Morty returned his gaze back to the windshield and lightly dodged the asteroids. When he thought he was in the clear, Morty let the car drift, his hands off of the controls. In the tranquility, Morty could tell that his grandfather had dozed off, as he could hear Rick snoring.
Things would have been more relaxing if not for the surprise asteroid that came out of nowhere.
Morty's hands flew back to the controls, but he only managed to whack the side of the ship against the asteroid, sending it rocketing off into the black expanse of space.
"What the fuck?" Rick jerked from his sleep and squinted to see what just happened. "Morty, you idiot. Did you dent the ship?" He climbed over his grandson to get a look at the side of the car when Morty saw and they both heard a loud crash come from afar.
The asteroid Morty hit had made impact on a red and green vehicle that sent it plummeting into the planet beside it.
"Oh my God," Morty shouted. "R-Rick, I think I-I-I j-just hit someone. We have to go down there and s-see if they're okay."
"Well, obviously I can't trust you with the ship," Rick retorted. "Move." He shoved Morty into the passenger seat and steered the ship towards the planet that the stranger fell to.
Rick landed the flying saucer on a snowy ground with a crunch. Morty pushed open his door and got out, shivering at the temperature change while Rick lounged in his seat drinking.
Morty ran over to a bloody patch that stood out in the cold night. The sleigh the victim was in was dented on one side, the driver slumped over next to it. The person appeared humanoid with a white beard and wore a red coat and hat lined with fluffy white material.
With great hesitation, Morty turned over the person and felt for a pulse. There was none to be found. But what Morty realized next caused the color to drain from his face.
"Rick," Morty called. "I-I um, n-need you h-help with something."
Rick angrily grunted and kicked open the ship door to approach Morty. "Morty, what the hell is so hard about this? It's just -uuurp!-
fucking-" Rick cut off when he saw who the dead man was. "Jesus Christ Morty,"
"What?" Morty said.
"You just -uuurp!- fucking killed Santa Claus!" Rick concluded.
"S-Santa Claus?" Morty cried. "Isn't he just a myth? What the hell?"
"Morty, you gotta calm down!" Rick said, placing his hands on his grandson's shoulders. "Morty! Listen to me! Morty!" Rick, fed up with Morty's panicking, slapped him on the cheek.
Morty flinched and put his hand on the place that Rick hit. "You're right. I gotta calm down." Morty linked his hands behind his back and paced back and forth.
"What are you doing?" Rick asked.
"Thinking." Morty responded. He abruptly stopped. "And I have a solution to this."
The sky below them was a second outer space from the red sleigh the pair were in. Morty maintained a tight grip on the leather binds that held the reindeer to their vehicle. The sleigh bells on their leashes jingled their own tune that spoke of the excitement of Christmas.
"Remind me again why the -uurp!- hell I'm with you to f-fulfill some fa-uuurp!- antasy goal from a guy who shoves his fat ass down a chimney and leaves gifts?"
"Because you agreed that my Christmas present was my own adventure," Morty explained. "And this is how I'm choosing to spend it."
Rick folded his arms across his red Santa-type coat. He opened the coat, dug out his flask, and his Santa hat swished in the wind as he gulped from his alcohol container. Morty wore an identical outfit.
"This looks like a good first stop." Morty said. He tugged on the leather rope to signal the reindeer to land. They didn't respond. "Come on, land!" He pulled harder on the leash to no avail. Rick pulled out a small ray gun from his coat and shot all of the reindeer in their heads, effectively killing them.
The sleigh loudly skid to a halt in front of a suburban house, the dead reindeer leaving a bloody trail in front of them. "-uuurp!- Nice landing, Morty."
Morty threw Rick a shocked expression. "What the hell was that for?"
"They wouldn't land, so I took care of the pro -uurp!- oblem." Rick belched.
"J-Just g-go," Morty ordered. "Take some presents with you." Morty dove into the crimson sack and reappeared with an armful of presents of varying sizes in his arms.
"Gotta get up to the chimney," Morty muttered to himself. He climbed the sleigh and placed the gifts on the roof. Luckily, the house was short, so Morty could easily hoist himself up to join the presents on the roof. He hiked up to the chimney, dumped the wrapped boxes in, then slid his own body down the white chimney.
Morty landed on a piece of unused firewood when he fell down the chimney, his face covered in soot. "Rick, are you coming down?" Morty coughed in a hushed whisper up the chimney.
"What are you talking about?" Rick asked in normal volume, lounging on a couch in the room.
"How did you get in here so fast?" Morty questioned.
"I used the front door, dummy." Rick answered. "The kids wouldn't have known the difference. It really would have been better to just use the damn door instead of very dangerously climbing a roof to-"
"Alright, I get it, shut up," Morty interrupted. "Quit busting my balls for it."
Morty recollected the presents from the iron gated fireplace and arranged them in a neat fashion under the heavily decorated Christmas tree. The presumably living room had a rough feeling dark blue rug that matched the color of the couch Rick was lying on. The rug sat atop a light colored hardwood floor, which reflected the soft moonlight coming in from the two windows on either side of the front door, the gold tinsel and some of the ornaments on the tree also glimmering.
Morty heard the banging of cabinets behind him. He turned around from the tree to find Rick ransacking the cupboards. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Looking for a drink." Rick said. "If I'm stuck giving lame ass toys to spoiled brats, I'm gonna get something out of it." In his search, he found the customary milk and cookies, in which Rick proceeded to munch on.
"I can't believe you right now!" Morty whisper shouted.
A light padding could be heard from the carpeted stairs, which Morty didn't notice. He placed the last gift under the tree and turned to leave when he heard an innocent voice say "Santa?"
"Oh crap," Morty cursed under his breath. He turned around to meet the doe eyes of a little boy no older then seven in baseball themed footy pajamas. "Uh, y-yes, I-I a-am Sant-ta,"
"Grade A acting there, M-uurp!-orty," Rick belched. He was guzzling down a fresh bottle of bourbon he scavenged in the light wood cabinets to wash the cookies down with.
Morty glared at Rick to silence him. "Don't listen t-to him," Morty froze.
"Brandon." The kid said. "Wouldn't you already know my name, Santa?"
"Er, y-yes," Morty stuttered. "And you're o-on t-the nice list this year, and um," Morty froze.
Rick sighed and placed the bourbon bottle on the marble counter by him. "L-uurp!-isten kid. G-get back upstairs or y-you're not getting shit this year. Get it?"
More padding came from the stairs, but heavier and angrier. Morty looked up at the area to find the faces of presumably the kid's parents come into the soft amber glow of the kitchen light Rick turned on.
"What's going on down here?" A person Morty assumed was Brandon's father said, an aluminum baseball bat slung over his shoulder.
"W-well, you see," Morty began.
"The jig's up Morty!" Rick shouted. "Run!" He bolted towards Morty, grabbed him by the wrist, and dragged him out the front door into the cold night, which was quickly approaching dawn.
The pair dove into the sleigh, the reindeer energized by the conflict. Rick swiftly gripped the leather binds and gave a hard lash. That sent the reindeer on their way into the now pink sky, the sleigh bells chiming their song once again.
"Ugh, that went horribly." Morty said, his head in one of his hands.
"Damn right it did," Rick replied, retrieving his flask from the lab coat he returned to his body and sipping from it. "I told you that tradition was stupid."
"I just feel bad for all those kids, you know?" Morty sank into the passenger seat of the ship, refusing to make eye contact with Rick. "What's going to happen next year?"
"Y-You know what? I got a big secret for next year."
"Really? What is it?"
Rick leaned towards Morty. "I d-uuurp!-on't give a fuck." he whispered.
"Just take us home."