Have a Hap-o Jap-o Christmas

Shute shows the Gundams how he spends his Christmases; struggling between the Middle Neotopian (American) and Upper Neotopian (Japanese) sides of his family. Okay, he's not really struggling, but it's still pretty weird to watch. Meet Shute's wierdo relatives: Uncle Izzy; Cousins "Teddy Bear" and "Chiclet"; "Obaa-chan" Yukiko; Grandpa Stewy; and more!

Shute had spent the past hour in his workshop explaining to Zero and Captain how to act at his family's Christmas get-together. Bakunetsumaru didn't need to be taught anything; every Shute needed to teach him, he already knew (odd). Zero and Captain knew enough social skills to get by, but it was Christmas, and Shute's relatives were coming from Upper Neotopia. Everyone knew that Upper Neotopia's customs, people, and language were near-completely different from the people in Middle Neotopia.

Everyone but Captain and Zero, anyway.

"Okay, so when we're about to eat, you fold your hands like this," Shute demonstrated. "You close your eyes, bow your head, and say 'Itadakimasu'. You try."

Zero folded his hands. "Itadikama- Wait, I messed up."

"Itadakimasu," Captain repeated without effort, blinking and folding his hands politely. "Shute, why do we have to say 'Itadakimasu'?"

"I-ta-da-ki-ma-su," Zero sounded out. "I-ta-da-ki-ma-su. Itadakuki- Rats!"

"I dunno why," Shute shrugged his shoulders. "Obaa-chan just taught me to say it before eating when I was little."

"What's an obaa-chan?" Zero asked.

"It's what I call my Grandma on my Mom's side." Shute threw his arms around in his anger. "Look, don't ask why, just say 'itadakimasu' before you eat or everybody on my Mom's side of the family will get mad!"

"Itadakimasu. YES!" Zero jumped into the air and happily spun around in circles. "Ha ha!"

"Zero!" Bakunetsumaru called from the other side of Shute's workshop. "Bet you five rice balls I can say it faster than you can."

"Say what faster?"

"Itadakimasu." Bakunetsumaru shot out the word with a smooth and fluent tone that made Shute's muscles tingle.

"Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo," Zero shuddered. "Fine! Itadaiku-masi-masu- GAAAAAAH!"

Zero's buster sword just barely missed Baku's head. "Curse you, Samurai!"

"Okay, REVIEW!" Shute pushed the two Gundams apart. "Alright, Obaa-chan doesn't know a lot of English, so when she asks you your name, you say...?"

"Watashi no name wa Zero," answered the blue knight.

"You forgot the 'desu'!" Bakunetsumaru teased.

Captain nodded his head. "Watashi no name wa Captain desu."

"D'oh!" Zero clenched his fist. He grunted/sighed in rage, and continued, "If not for my knightly courtesy, I would not bother learning this third language. I do this for your grandmother, Shute."

"Thanks, Zero," Shute sighed. "And when she asks where you're from, you say..."

"Uh..." Zero sunk back into the ground. "Oh, Maana, help me!"

"Watashi wa Neotopia shussin desu."

"VERY GOOD, CAPTAIN!" Shute hugged his Gundam friend. "You rock! Okay, word test! What is yes?"

"Hai!" yelled the three Gundams.

"What's no?"


"I'm sorry?"

"Gomen nasai!"

"Please and thank you?"

"Kudasai and domo arigatou!"

"Mr. Roboto!" Bakunetsumaru sang, making everyone crack up laughing.

"YEAH!" Shute jumped into the air and pumped his fist. "Gundam Force rules!"

Keiko's voice flittered through the air like a butterfly on the breeze. "Shute, your cousins are here!"

"They're here!" Shute grabbed Captain's arm and ran to the door. "Come on, you gotta meet my cousins!"


"Down there!" Takeshi called to his little sister, Chikako. "There he is!"

Takeshi stood Shute's height, but he was a little more rotund than his cousin. His straight black hair was still wet from being washed and combed out thoroughly by his mother. His face was wide, and his eyes small and a dazzling green. He was wearing his favorite clothes; blue t-shirt with khaki pants and a pair of yellow tennis shoes. He was looking down at Shute's workshop from the patio, pulling his little sister beside him.

Chikako, his little sister, was only five years old and stood up to her brother's hip. Satu had her brother's straight hair, although it was much thicker and fuller. Her eyes were also a sparkling green, and her face was small and childishly innocent. Chikako was wearing a green jumpsuit with watermellons embrodered into the legs of her pants. She wore a pair of white backless sandals with flower snaps.

Takeshi and Chikako gasped as their brown-haired cousin galloped out of his workshop.

"Is's Shute!" squeaked Chikako. "Is's Shute! CHIBI-CHAN!"



Shute looked up the boardwalk and focused on his two most beloved cousins. "TEDDY BEAR! CHICLET! YOU'RE HERE!"

He ran at full speed up his little walkway while "Teddy Bear" Takeshi and "Chiclet" Chikako tumbled down to meet him. They all ran eachother somewhere midway and rolled down in one big hugging lump until caught by the Gundams.

Teddy Bear and Chiclet righted themselves while Shute jumped up to introduce his unique friends. "Teddy Bear, Chiclet! This is Captain (he rocks), Zero (he's a knight), and Bakunetsumaru (he's a samurai)! Guys, these are my cousins Teddy Bear (he's my age) and Chiclet (she's a munchkin)."

Teddy Bear and Chiclet bowed politely. "Hello, nice to meet you," they purred in unison.

Zero nodded, Bakunetsumaru returned the bow, but Captain was the only one to say something. "It is nice to meet you to. It seems Shute was mistaken; you actually speak English."

"WA! NO!" Shute jumped in front of his friends. "I meant Obaa-chan doesn't speak English, Captain! I'm sorry, guys!"

Teddy Bear sighed and shook his head, laughing. "Chibi-chan, you of all people should know we don't get mad at stuff like that."

Shute felt a drop of sweat on his temple. "Oh, yeah, it's been so long I forgot."

"Shute!" Keiko leaned over the guardrail. "Hurry up and say hello to your grandmother!"

"OKAY, MOMMA!" Shute pushed past his cousins and started up. "I'm coming, Obaa-chan!"

Teddy Bear began to follow Shute, waving his hand for Captain and the others to follow. Chiclet drifted to Bakunetsumaru's side. "Are yoo really a-samurai?"

Bakunetsumaru looked down on the little girl. "Uh... yes?"

Chiclet squealed in happiness. "I always wan'ned to meet... um... meet a reall samurai! Are you a hero?"

Zero floated past Baku's head. "You've got a little fan, Bakunetsumaru."

Bakunetsumaru blushed. "Yeah, I know," he whispered as the little girl gushed over him.


"Obaa-chan, konnichiwa," Shute recited as he bowed to his stooped-over, aged grandmother.

"Oh, Shute..." was all Shute could make out until Obaa-chan started mumbling on in muttered Japanese. Poor Obaa-chan didn't know that much English; it didn't matter, Shute still loved her anyway (okay, that and she got him good presents).

"It's nice to see you, too!" he snickered. Shute turned around to face his mother. "Now, what else was there?"

"You've got a new baby cousin," Keiko smiled. "He's right over there, playing with Nana."

Shute gasped and hurried to meet his newest cousin, ignoring the out-of- breath Gundams which followed him. Obaa-chan, aka Yukiko, tapped her daughter's shoulder. "That's your sister's eighth child. Seven of those eight children have been boys. Why have you not given me another grandson?"

Keiko blushed. "Mother! You know I can't have anymore babies; it'll kill me!"

"You did not say that when you gave me a granddaughter," Yukiko growled. "You make too many excuses to stay working and not give me any more grandsons."

Keiko gritted her teeth. "If you will excuse me, Mother, I need to introduce Shute to his new-"



"I DON'T THINK HE LIKES YOU, BAKUNETSUMARU!" Shute covered his ears as his newest baby cousin, Toshi, began to scream his lungs out. Nana, who was lying beside him, began to fuss as Toshi wailed and groaned. Keiko's sister, Aiko, picked up her baby and cuddled him selfishly until he quieted down.

"I don't understand!" Bakunetsumaru wondered aloud. "Shute's sister loves me! Why would a boy be afraid of me when a girl is not?"

Bakunetsumaru proved his point by little Nana by the armpits. She giggled and smiled through her patsy, patting Bakunetsumaru on his face-mask affectionately.

"Well, personally, I think Toshi's a chicken," Teddy Bear whispered to Captain. He waited for a laugh, but it didn't come, so he turned away. "Chicken Toshi."

"Takeshi, you talk nice about your baby brother!" Aiko snapped.

Captain muttered to his friend. "Shute, I do not believe that your family gets along well together."

Shute grinned evily. "You haven't met all of my older cousins yet! And then playtime starts onc-"

A loud, obnoxious car horn (it played "La Cucaracha") screamed out from the horizon as a apple-red convertible zoomed into view, nearly hitting Zero out of the sky. It skidded into a 180 and stopped in the opposite direction from which it came. In the car was...

A large man with Shute's hair tuft adorning his forehead, although his hair was blonde. He was at least 6' 11'' with a 68 inch waist and a size 10 Hawaiian shirt. He jumped out of the car with a ripple of his tremendous gut, his brown eyes covered by thick, grizzly eyebrows. He held a carton of egg nog in his left hand and car keys in his right.

He spotted the kids, threw out his arms, and yelled, "THE MUNCHKINS!"

Shute, Teddy Bear, and Chiclet all gasped delight. "UNCLE IZZY!"

The three pummeled into the fat man as he picked them all up, threw them over his shoulders, and walked in a small circle singing "I've got the munchkins! I've got the munchkins!"

Zero chose that moment to fly up to Uncle Izzy, hovering just above eye level with the man. "Excuse me, sir, but you almost knocked me off the hill with your vehicle!"

Uncle Izzy simply stared. "Huh?"

"Uncle Izzy's been drinkin' egg nog, Zero," Shute explained, his face red from being thrown over Uncle Izzy's shoulder. "He's out of it."

"I like Uncl' Izzy!" Chiclet giggled.


Everyone had been gathered into Shute's living room for "role call". Captain then got to meet Shute's grandfather on his Dad's side, Grandpa Stewy. Stewy was a heavy-set man like Uncle Izzy, stooped over with old age and arthritis. His gray hair was all but gone, save for a few stray strands here and there. Grandpa was asleep, cuddling his cane like a teddy bear.

"Grandpa?" Shute nudged his sleeping ancestor. "Grandpa?"

"Shouldn't we let him sleep?" Captain inquired.

"He'll be okay," Shute comforted his friend. "Grandpa?"

"Eh?" the old man woke from his sleep, rubbed his bald head, and fell back asleep.


"MONKEYS!" Grandpa bolted upright, holding his cane like a sword. "Monkeys! Evil!"

Shute fell on the floor laughing as Grandpa Stewy fell right back asleep. "Oh, I love it when he does that!"

"Doesn't that bother your grandfather, Shute?" Captain asked, a question mark hovering above his head.

"No, not really," Shute giggled, bounding back onto his feet. "Hey, Captain, it's time for the kids to go play outside, you comin' with?"

"With who?"

"With me!"

"Oh, of course, Shute."

The brown-haired boy just chuckled and gave his Gundam friend a friendly slap on the arm. "You're a kook. Don't ever change, okay, Captain?"

Captain cocked his head. "Um, alright."

Shute then cupped his hands to either side of his mouth. "ZERO! BAKU! YOU WANNA PLAY OUTSIDE WITH ME AND CAPTAIN AND MY COUSINS!?"

Bakunetsumaru and Zero, who were on the other side of the room, looked at eachother.

"WHAT ARE YOU GONNA PLAY?!" screamed Bakunetsumaru.


Obba-chan began hitting Shute over the head with her purse, shouting out an order in Japanese that Captain was not taught. Captain pulled Shute towards him and covered his head with his hands, protecting his human friend from further abuse. Obaa-chan stomped away as Bakunetsumaru joined the two friends.

"I asked one of you cousin Teddy Bear's brothers what 'karioke' was, and it sounds really fun! I'm coming with you!"

"I'm staying inside," Zero announced, forming a rose in his hand. "Knights of my calibur do not stoop to playing children's games for amusement."

"Okay, but you're missin' out!" Shute wrapped both arms around his friends. "Okay, follow me!"


Haruko and Jiro, Teddy Bear's oldest (and twin) brothers, set up the karioke stereo at lightning fast speed. Bakunetsumaru watched over them eagerly, Chiclet bouncing around the Blazing Samurai's feet. "Will it be much longer, Haruko and Jiro? How much longer will it be?"

"Gee, chill, man!" Haruko pushed back a tuft of hair. "Give'us a minute!"

Jiro mimiced his near-identical twin brother. "Yeah, man, just give'us a minute! You act like you've never done this before!"

Bakunetsumaru clenched his fist and threw his arms around in frustration. "GAAA! You're worse than Bell Wood!"

Captain, who had been listening to the conversation thus far, hung his head and sighed. Shute and another of his cousins noticed this at the same time and went to investigate.

"Captain?" Shute tapped his spectacled she-cousin's shoulder. "This's Captain, Bekka."

"Oh, hi," said the straw-blonde girl as she pushed her glasses up her nose. "I heard Mayor Gathermoon talking about you. She said you were a movie star."

"That is partially true," Captain monotoned, keeping his focus on the ground.

Shute grasped Captain's shoulders. "Captain, are you okay?"

Captain met eyes with the confused Shute; such direct eye contact made Shute uneasy, but he dare not break the Gundam's line of vision. "I have just realized that every December 25 of my activation has been spent at home base with Kao Lyn, Juli, and Bell Wood. I... I think I miss them."

"So?" Bekka squealed. Shute elbowed her, and she grunted in pain.

"Captain, that's good! That means that you're feeling emotions that you're not used to! You're learning!"

Captain began to "smile." "I guess you're right, Shute."


"Come on, let's go have fun!" Shute jumped up and away. "I GOT DIBS ON 'SHAKE SENORA'!"

Captain followed Shute with his eyes until he was out of sight. He turned to Bekka, who was still watching Captain with non-understanding and judgemental eyes. "Do you wish to do a song with me?"

Bekka perked up very quickly. "Sure! Do you know 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'?"


"What is this drink?" Zero fingered the glass in his hands.

"It's apple cider, Zero," explained Keiko's sister, Aiko. "It's a drink. Try it, it's good."

Zero took a large gulp and immediately regretted it. The bitter taste of the drink did not suite his palate; he swallowed it with difficulty and put the drink back down.

"Um... no thank you, m'lady," Zero wheezed. "Disgusting."

"You there! Uh... Four!"

Zero turned around to meet eyes with Uncle Izzy. "My name is Zero."

"Eh, knew it was a number!" Uncle Izzy smiled, taking a swig out of a large carton of something. "Here, try this! It's called egg nog!"

Zero sniffed the drink and took a tentative sip; once again, he was appalled by it. He shoved the carton back into Uncle Izzy's hands. "No more drinks!"


Shute's Middle Neotopian cousin, Brady, was busy turning the nozzle of the water hose as quickly as he could. "Whoooooo's THIIIIIIIIIIIR- STTYYYYYYYYYY!?"

"WE ARE!" howled the throng of children (and two Gundams).

Bakunetsumaru readied a fully-filled water balloon. "I wait for the cry of war to start the ba-"

Teddy Bear lovingly gushed a bucket of water on Bakunetsumaru's head. "There's no 'cry of war', STUPID! The war begins now!"

Bakunetsu responded by smashing the water balloon in Teddy Bear's face!

It was utter chaos outside, with twelve Super Soakers, one hose, three buckets, and 6 bags of water balloons at their disposal. Shute and cousins Chiclet and Bekka ganged up on Haruko (or Jiro, they couldn't tell) and began soaking him with their water guns.

Captain began to inch behind Shute, holding off various kids with a miniature water gun. Shute laughed, "Can you believe we do this every year?!"

"Affirmative," Captain laughed as a water balloon hit his chest. "This is like standard training at SDG base. We do this once a month with toy lasers."

"Awesome! Call me next time you have a training session!" Shute giggled before he was pelted by another blast from the hose.


Grandpa Stewy jumped as a water balloon hit the window near him. "MONKEYS! Sour Kraut and... Pokemon... zzzz."


"Have you heard of a game called 'The Minister's Cat'?" Zero asked one of Shute's female relatives. Who she was exactly, he didn't know or care; he was desperate for company.

"The Minister's Cat?" The woman shook her head.

"You know!" Zero snapped. "You sing 'the minister's cat is a-' and then a word to describe it?"

No response.

"You go up and down the alphabet?"


Zero sighed and sung the song (to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"), "The minister's cat is a... fill in the blank!"

"We don't play party games like that here!" gasped the woman, placing a hand to her chest. "It's embarrasing!"

Zero felt himself starting to sweat. "This whole thing is embarrasing... what's that music?"


"There should be a law against having 'Tequilla' on a karioke machine!" the cousins cried as Bakunetsumaru did nothing but dance with a microphone in his hand. The music blared, but the Samurai need not sing; he only did his insane dance while the children laughed.

"Tequilla" finally ended, and so Bakunetsumaru left the stage and surrendered the stage to Shute.

"Hey, Captain! Come sing with me!" Shute waved the Gundam to his side.

However, Bekka disagreed. She flung her arms around Captain's middle and decided she would not let go. "Nuh uh, he said he'd sing a song with me!"

"I wanna sing the next song with Baku-san!" Chiclet whistled, stomping her feet rebelliously.

"No, the next song's reserved for us!" screamed Jiro and Haruko.

"Hey, Teddy Bear, get the bean bags!" Shute shouted into the mic. "There's only one way to settle this!"

The cousins stopped their quarreling to take in a collective gasp. "BEAN BAG WAR!"

Captain stood amid all of the cousins, dodging bean bags and catching one every now and then to keep them from hitting Shute. Bakunetsumaru joined Captain in his little spot, holding a protective arm over the already-out Chiclet. "All this over you, Captain?"

"I wish to believe so, but that would be narcissistic," said Captain. "I believe they are actually fighting over song privileges."

"Oh, okay," Baku responded before another beanbag hit him in the back of the head. "HEY, I'm out already! Stop hitting m-"

But as he turned to see who hit him, everyone's head shot upward. He followed suite, and there was Zero hovering above him, holding a beanbag!

"Hey, Zero!" the samurai cried, jumping into the air. "You decided to join us after all!"

"Yes, well... the adults failed to amuse me." Zero landed with the grace of a feather and cooed, "Besides, most of the people here playing are over thirteen years old age, and that counts as being an adult in Lacroa. They are not children's game after all, then."

"ALRIGHT! Everybody tag Zero before he gets his turn!"



Zero stood in a small pile of beanbags, a drop of sweat rolling down his temple. "It's better than apple cider, I guess."


Later that day, the children had to run inside to change out of their wet street clothes and into their Christmas outfits. All the boys went in one room; all the girls in another. The Gundams waited somewhere between the two rooms, keeping themselves entertained by trying to rationalize what they'd seen that day.

"Alright, so Shute has about 14 cousins on either side of his family," Bakunetsumaru counted on his fingers. "And every year around this 'Christmas' time, all children go insane."

"They don't all go insane!" Zero countered. "Nana was acting perfectly normal when I checked on her earlier!"

"Alright, so all children over three years of age go insane." Baku scratched his head in thought. "Also, adults gather in large numbers and talk about insignificant aspects of their lives that no one cares about except them."

Zero looked away. "Well, that is true."

"I see why the children would be excited about this holiday, but it seems as if they could get together anytime and go insane," Captain rationalized. "Why would they look forward to this day in particular?"

A bell sounded somewhere downstairs. "KIDS, IT'S TIME FOR DINNER!"

The Gundam's eyes lightened immediately. "That's it!"

The children stampeeded past the Gundams wearing their Sunday best (mostly dresses and suits). Shute was the only one to stop, so the Gundams got to see his Christmas clothes; a white button down shirt with a red and green sweater vest and khaki pants (no shoes). "Come on, guys! Mom's made rice balls!"

"RICE BALLS!" Bakunetsumaru cheered. The four stragglers raced down the stairs, struggling to get past eachother's huge shoulders.



"Itadakimasi- drat!"

"Just eat, Zero."

".... Fine."

Bakunetsumaru and one of Teddy Bear's brothers struggled over a rice ball as Captain and Shute debated over what to put on their plates. Zero sampled food he liked and secretly dropped any food he didn't like under the table for Fenn ("Unknightly, of course," he thought to himself. "But fuzzballs have to eat too."). Obaa-chan and Keiko began having a heated discussion in Japanese; Shute did not understand what they were saying, but Obaa-chan kept shooting glances at him and Nana as she spoke. Grandpa Stewy spent 10 minutes forming his food into the shape of a monkey so he could eat off the head and push the plate away. Uncle Izzy and Mark... didn't eat. They sat at a different table and drank egg nog along with Aiko and her husband.

As Shute tore into a sausage, he whispered to Captain. "We're gonna go driving around to look at Christmas lights in a little while, then (chomp, chew, gulp) we're gonna come back home for presents."

"What do you mean, presents? From whom?"

"From everyone in my family and Santa Claus."

Captain cocked his head. "Who's Santa Claus?"

"I'll explain in the car," Shute giggled as Nana threw a handful of mashed potatoes into Obaa-chan's ear.


"Santa Claus is this big, fat Swedish dude in a red fur suit who climbs down the chimney and gives every good kid in the world presents every Christmas!"

The Gundams sat in silence in the back of Uncle Izzy's convertible, trying to analize the information that was just given to them.

"Wait," Zero finally stated. "He's obese, and yet he fits down a chimney that's not much bigger than my arm?"

"Yeah!" Shute suddenly heard the logic in that statement and said, "Well... Santa's magic!"

"You mean a wizard breaks into your house once every year!?" Bakunetsumaru screamed, his eyes bugging out of his head like they usually did when he was nervous.

"Well, yeah! And he leaves you gifts-"

Uncle Izzy interrupted the four Gundams (Shute was considered a Gundam by the other three). "Hey, guys, lookit that house over there!"

The four took a quick glance, said "Oo, pretty" in unison, and continued.

"So, this man breaks into your house and doesn't steal anything?" Captain deduced.

"He doesn't break in, he's a welcome guest!" Shute hollered. "We leave him cookies and milk and everything!"

Zero was confused. "So you bribe him into giving you gifts?"

"NO!" A vien started to appear in Shute's forehead. "He brings you the gifts whether you leave the cookies or not, we put the cookies there so he feels appreciated and doesn't quit his job like he did in that old movie!"


"Santa Claus is a movie star like us?"

Shute fell onto the floor of the car in defeat. "Yeah, okay, I'll take that. You guys are impossible."

"Look! Another house!"

"Oo, pretty."


"SANTA'S BEEN HERE!" Chiclet screamed as she ran towards the mountain of presents. Bakunetsumaru scooped her up before she went too far.

"Everyone, find a seat," ordered Aiko. "Let's see what we all got this year!"


Teddy Bear held up his box. "Samurai action set! Cool!"

"Those are not real swords!" Bakunetsumaru shouted. "Those are cheaply made plastic ones!"

"Yeah, but they still hurt!"


"OW! Shute, your cousin Teddy Bear hit me with his toy box!"

"Teddy Bear, don't hit Bakunetsumaru with the Samurai set!"

"Okay, Chibi-chan."


Keiko slipped the badly made knit cap onto her head. "Oh, it's... adorable. Thank you, Bekka."


"The leather pants!" Mark threw an arm over his brother's shoulders. "Been exchanging this present to eachother every Christmas for the past 20 years!"

"Still in the original box, too!" laughed Uncle Izzy.


"A Chumba bear!" squealed Chiclet as she unwrapped the pink-and-purple stuffed teddy bear. "Hmmm... Takeshi, I'll trade you!"

"Yeah, a teddy bear for Teddy Bear!" Shute yelled.

"I like that idea!" Zero giggled. "Go ahead and trade!"

"Alright!" Teddy Bear took the stuffed animal while Chiclet tied the cheap samurai armor around her middle, earning several laughs and a smack from Obaa-chan ("Little girls cannot be samurai!").


"I got a gift?" Captain was amazed. He opened the package slowly and pulled out... a little toy motorcyle.

"I got it for you!" Shute gloated. "I saw it and it reminded me of Gunbike!"

Captain examined the toy more closely. It did indeed have a few traits in common with Gunbike. "Affirmative. Thank you, Shute."

"You're welcome!" Shute laughed as he saw Bakunetsumaru open his Entengo- painted white stallion doll.


"Misteltoe on a string!" Chiclet laughed. "Oh, Baku-san!"

"What?" Bakunetsumaru followed the little white-berried plant as Chiclet hung it over his head. "What is that?"

Shute whispered something into Zero's ear, and Zero began to hold in a powerful laugh.

"You're under the misteltoe!" Chiclet sing-songed. "Now you've gotta kiss me!"

"I have to... OH NO!" Bakunetsumaru jumped over the sofa and ran down the hall, screaming his lungs out! "GET THIS THING AWAY FROM ME!"

"Baku-netsu-maru! You've still gotta kiss me!" Chiclet still sang as she ran after her samurai crush. The adults and children erupted into an uncontrolled laugh.

Zero gave Shute a hearty half-hug. "Shute, this is now truly my favorite holiday! I'm going to see if I can't pull this off in Lacroa. I'll see if we have anything that resembles misteltoe."

"I do agree, Shute!" Captain turned on his happy eyes. "Although I do miss being with everyone at home base, this has been an enjoyable experience."

Shute blushed. "Aw, thanks, guys. I'm just glad my cousins liked you!"


"Takeshi, hold him down!"

Bakunetsumaru made a wild leap over the sofa, only to be tackled down by all of Chiclet's brothers!

Zero gasped. "Everyone, hold him down!"

"Yeah, no one should break the misteltoe tradition!" Shute quickly caught on to Zero's plan. "Come on, everybody!"

All of the cousins, Gundams, adults (!), they all piled on top of Bakunetsumaru, pinning down every limb as Chiclet inched forward, misteltoe in hand.


"NO!" The Samurai began to struggle with every ounce of his strength. "Don't let that thing lay her lips on me!"

Chiclet leaned in and...



The rest of the family had finally gone home. Bakunetsumaru was asleep on the sofa, tired from trying to wash off the feeling of human flesh against his armor. Zero was still laughing; Shute was trying to explain to Captain what exactly kissing was and why you couldn't try it on just anybody like Chiclet had.

"Shute, everyone?" Keiko held four little gifts in her arms, Mark standing proudly behind her holding Nana. "I have a few more gifts for all of you."

"You do?" Zero gasped.

"But everyone's gone," Shute rationalized. "We always open the presents when everyone's here!"

"Yeah, well, these are a little too personal for the whole family to see," said Mark.

Shute and Zero shuddered in fear. Captain shrugged and shook Bakunetsumaru awake.

Keiko gave them all their respective presents. "Don't be shy, open them up!"

Despite the invitation, the Gundams carefully teased the paper off of the uneven packaging.

Just a few more pieces of tape-




"It looks just like me!"

Each Gundam held a small plastic action figure in their own image (except for Shute; his doll was made of cloth)!

"But- but- how?" Bakunetsumaru stuttered as he fingered his self-figure.

"Mayor Gathermoon had them special made for you," Keiko beamed. "It's odd though, Captain's is different."

Zero leaned over to see that Captain's figure was in his battle armor. "It see the resemblence."

"THANK YOU SO MUCH, MOM!" Shute placed his hand on Captain's arm. "Hey, Captain, can you and me trade?"

Captain grasped his figure tightly. "Why?"

"Well, it doesn't make sense to have something that looks like you when you know what you look like already!" Bakunetsumaru deduced while he and Zero switched figures.

"Yes, trading your little figures with eachother would be like keeping a little piece of your best friend," Zero finished. "To keep, cherish-" He popped a few roses onto the head of his Bakunetsumaru figurine. "Torture, you're choice."

"HEY!" Bakunetsumaru counterred by snapping off Zero's head.

"You rapscallion!" Zero blossomed about a thousand roses from out of Bakunetsumaru's head.

"Femme-voiced gardener!" CRACK went Zero's arm!

Zero finally snapped and chased after the Musha Gundam, running out of the living room and up the stairs. Mark and Keiko raced after them, hoping to stop their bickering before they woke Nana.

Shute and Captain sighed, shook their head, and exchanged their dolls. "Thanks, Captain."

"Thank you, Shute." Captain reached over and gave Shute a warm hug. "This's been my best Christmas yet."

"You're welcome, Captain." Shute pushed away to be let go, but he wasn't. Captain just held him tighter.

"SDG base here."

Captain's head fins began to flash as Juli's voice came out of a small speaker in Captain's ear.

"Come home, Captain. We miss you."

"Aw, man," Shute moaned. "Well, bye, Captain."

"Goodbye, Shute."

Captain weaseled Shute in closer for a tighter hug; he did not object, Shute usually did not get this much attention. The human boy was cuddled into Captain's armpit, and he couldn't see much past Captain's bulbous shoulder, but he didn't care. He was warm. The light from Captain's Soul Drive was shining into his chest, creating sort of a smooth, tingling feeling in his heart.

It was really freaky.

Something cold pressed against his forehead. It was... he didn't know what it was. Something smooth with a little bump on the lower bit. What was it?

Captain finally let Shute go and made his way out the door and back to SDG base. Shute gave him one final wave. "Goodnight, Captain."

"Goodnight, Shute."


"Time for shutdown, Captain!" Bell Wood mumbled. "Ya have a good day?"

"Very good, Bell Wood," Captain nodded. "No offense, but I find Christmas at Shute's house much more enjoyable."

"I don' blame ya. It gets kinda borin' 'round here, come the season." Bell Wood plugged in Captain's charger and patted his shoulder. "Anythin' int'restin' happen?"

"We had a water balloon fight and a bean bag war, and Bakunetsumaru got kissed under the misteltoe, and we pelted Zero with bean bags, and we looked at Christmas lights, and-"

"Woah, woah, Captain, slow down!" Bell Wood laughed. "Man, you did do a lot this year, didn' ya?" He paused momentarily. "Bakunetsumaru got kissed?"

"Under the misteltoe, by Shute's cousin Chiclet."

Bell Wood's eyes lit up with surprise; he supressed a giggle. "Shute has a cousin named Chiclet?"

"It is her nickname."

The glow disappeared from Bell Wood's eyes. "Oh. Is she pretty? How old is she?"

Captain thought for a moment and responded, "She is very cute, and she is five years old."

Bell Wood startled. "Well, there go my chances wid a pretty girl." Bell Wood noticed the toy in Captain's arm. "Nice to know ya got some good presents. 'Night, Captain."

"Goodnight." Captain snuggled his Shute doll into his arms before shutting off the rest of his systems.


"Well Shute, we shall see you in the morning," Zero stated as his mother tucked him into bed.

"Make sure you actually sleep tonight," Bakunetsumaru laughed. "We still need to see if these dolls can survive Tengyo Ken!"

Shute giggled. "You find that out with your action figure, I'm keeping mine intact."

"Goodnight, Shute," Keiko whispered as she kissed her son on the cheek.

"'Night, Mommy."

Keiko led Bakunetsumaru out of Shute's room. However, Zero stayed behind. He watched as Shute unconsciously pulled the Captain doll to his chest and snuggled it affectionately. He inwardly smiled; he was probably the only one to see Captain and Shute's final moments together that night; he was perhaps the only one besides Captain to know what happened.

He was the only one who saw it... Captain kissed Shute goodbye.

Zero pushed the covers away from Shute's face. He was happily asleep, a look of content and happiness covering his face.

"Merry Christmas, Shute," he whispered.

OH, I HAD SO MUCH FUN WRITING THIS! Captain and Shute are such good friends, it's almost sickening, but it's so sweet, because you don't see that anymore in kids because people are so paranoid and dirty minded! Okay, notes... um... lemme take a quick look, I'll get them...

Note #1: Title. Sorry if I offended anybody with the title. I know "Jap" is considered dirogatory, but "Have a Happy Jap-y Christmas" sounds every bit worse than "Have a Hap-o Jap-o Christmas". So, I'm sorry. Flame me in your mind, because I don't want to hear anything now. I've apologized already.

Note #2: Bakunetsumaru knowing everything. I figured "Bakunetsumaru's a samurai; he probably does all of the stuff Japanese people do. It's cool". Made for some cute moments.

Note #3: Disney pop music remakes of classic songs. They need to stop. Disney is getting out of hand. That's nowhere in the story. I'm just listening to the pop-ized version of "Once Upon a Dream" on the Disney Channel. The song was evil before, pop-ized version is even more evil. They did it with the Circle of Life; they need to stop, NOW! That's nowhere in the story. Just needed to vent. (Also, Hillary Duff must die.)

Note #4: Shute's nickname. He's called "Chibi-chan" which I think means "Little one". If it doesn't, tell me. I won't change it, but I'll know.

Note #5: Domo arigatou. Mr. Roboto. Couldn't help it. I'm an 80's music fanatic.

Note #6: The Minister's Cat. This's actually a game I saw in a play my friend was in (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!). It looked fun, and it seems like something people in the Middle Ages would play.

Note #7: Tequilla. I did actually see a karioke machine with "Tequilla" as one of the selections. HOW STUPID CAN THOSE PEOPLE BE! That song has three lines at the most!

Note #8: The leather pants. A pair of moleskin pants was once traded between two brothers-in-law every Christmas for 25 years. Go to snopes.com and search under "moleskin pants" for more info.

Note #9: Gundam action figures. Hey, now we know how Bakunetsumaru got that Zero action figure in "Zero's Head"! Cool!

Note #10: Ending. Aaaaawww......