I really don't know what I thinking when I wrote this. Most of it was written after one o' clock at night. Maybe I should stop watching a Christmas story?
Well anyway, it most likely takes before the Escaflowne series, and definitely before (Spoiler!) the Dragonslayers are killed. There's a lot of dialogue so I guess this could be considered a character development piece? There is NO SI or romance in this story. The only characters in here are the ones mentioned in the series. Well anyway, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or places in this story.

It was a cold winter day in the Zaibach capitol. Dilandau and the Dragonslayers had been stationed there for a few weeks since the Vione's main central control center was malfunctioning.

Six of the Dragonslayers, Gatty, Shesta, Dalet, Guimel, Viole, and Miguel, exited the castle and walked outside. It had snowed the night before and the snow must have been almost a foot high.

Dalet, who was behind everyone else, took off running and tackled Miguel into the snow. "Gotcha!"

"Hey, it's cold!" Miguel tried to fight his was out of Dalet's grasp.

Dalet put his hand on the back of Miguel's head and smashed it into the snow. "No need to state the obvious genius."

"Come on Dalet, this isn't exactly a vacation." Gatty spoke sounding a little frustrated. "We are supposed to be patrolling the castle walls."

Dalet let Miguel go and stood up. "You're no fun!"

"You're not the one who'll get in the most trouble for disobeying orders." Gatty pointed out. "All you guys will get is a slap on the face, I'll get a whole brutal beating."

"The sad thing is," Shesta began. "Is that each one of us will fall over just after one slap. After what ever Dilandau-sama does to you, you'll still remain standing."

"Or he might just slap Gatty six times for each of us and not even touch the rest of us." Miguel added standing up and brushing the snow off his uniform.

"Yes he's done that before." Gatty sighed. "I'll never forget the time I got it fifteen times."

"But it just wouldn't be right seeing you enter a room with out a red mark on you face." Dalet laughed making a snowball. He tossed it and threw it at Guimel hitting him in the side of the face. "Come on, it's become a tradition."

Gatty cocked an eyebrow at him. "Why don't you be second in command then. You are the one who usually gets me in trouble."

Dalet frowned at him. The Dragonslayers, walking in a straight single file line, began to circle the castle guarding it from and possible danger. The line order was Gatty leading them, then Shesta, Dalet, Guimel, Viole, and Miguel.

After a while, Viole spoke. "This is so stupid! Who's going to attack an entire castle? And even if they did, its not like we'd make it back in time to tell anybody about it."

"I agree," Gatty replied. "I'm not about to argue with Dilandau-sama or which ever high ranking Zaibach official who came up with this."

"Wouldn't it make more sense to patrol the outside of the walls?" Miguel added. "And why exactly was I selected to do this? I not one of Dilandau-sama's top five Dragonslayers."

"Because," Gatty started to feel annoyed. "Dilandau-sama likes fire, not ice. Since he obviously really doesn't want to do this, and the Ziabach officials want six people in a group to do this, we needed another person."

"And if there were to be a top six elite Dragonslayers, you'd be the sixth, Miguel." Dalet finished.

Miguel sighed.

"Hey, I really don't want to do this either." Viole spoke up. "Can I go back inside and send someone else out here."

"No!" Gatty yelled even though he knew Viole wasn't being serious.

"It's so cold, I can't feel my toes!" Shesta began to complain.

At hearing this, Dalet slowly snuck up right beside Shesta and stamped his foot as hard as he could.

"Ow!" Shesta cried. "Why'd you do that!"

"Hey, you said you couldn't feel your toes." Dalet said with a straight face. "I wanted to see if you were telling the truth."

"I said my toes! Not my entire foot!" Shesta yelled and began to limp.

After circling the castle a few times Viole felt himself yawn. "This is so boring!" He thought under his breath. He then saw a wooden support beam and a thought came to his mind. Viole then eyed Guimel who was a few steps ahead of him and he hadn't spoken a word since they began their job. Very casually he walked up next to his fellow Dragonslayer.

"Hey Guimel, you haven't said anything all morning." Viole began. "What do you think about this job?"

Guimel eyed Viole knowing he was up to something. "It sucks."

"I guess it's unanimous then, we all think this sucks." Viole responded. "You know, I hear that if you put your tongue to a wooden support beam on a cold day, it'll get stuck there."

"I don't believe that." Guimel tried to ignore Viole.

"They why don't you try it?" Viole challenged. "You can disprove the theory."

"No, if someone sees us, we'll get into trouble." Guimel decided and kept walking.

"It will only take a second since you don't think it will get stuck." Viole argued. "Let's ask Miguel, he's the only one with half a brain here."

Dalet turned around and eyed Viole. "And what exactly are you saying about the rest of us?"

Viole ignored him and turned around to face Miguel. "Hey Miguel, do you think that if someone puts their tongue to a wooden support beam on a cold winter day it'll get stuck?"

Miguel groaned. "I really don't know and I don't care."

"See Guimel, not even Miguel knows." Viole pointed out. "I bet you're just too scared to try it."

Guimel stopped walking. "I am not!" He could see that the other four Dragonslayers were starting to take interest in the conversation. Dalet looked as though he were about to join Viole in pressuring Guimel and Shesta kept looking back to see what was going on. Miguel who was behind everyone else was keeping very close so he could hear everything that was said. Even Gatty looked as though he were interested. With him though, it looked as if he were praying that if Guimel or any of the other Dragonslayers did take Viole's challenge, that their tongue wouldn't get stuck.

"Really? Then why don't you try it." Viole continued to pressure. "It'll only take a second. But if you're too scared, I understand."

Guimel breathed heavily. "Fine!" He marched off to the nearest support beam and Viole and Dalet followed.

"Hey, where are you guys going?" Gatty asked running after them. Shesta and Miguel followed. "You're not actually going to do it Guimel."

"It'll only take a second!" Guimel responded not even looking back at Gatty.

Gatty sighed, "Please only take one second." He thought to himself.

The six Dragonslayers surrounded the support beam and Guimel stepped up to it and stuck out his tongue. He hesitated.

"Go on!" Viole began to feel impatient.

Guimel quickly put his tongue to the beam. "See." But when he tried to remove his tongue it was already frozen to it. "Ah! It's stuck!"

"Wow, it really does stick." Viole commented with wonder.

The other four Dragonslayers looked less than thrilled.

"Great." Gatty sighed almost ready to panic. "Now just how are we going to get it unstuck? Guimel try pulling really hard."

Miguel nearly laughed. "Yeah, his entire tongue might rip off."

Shesta cringed at the thought and Guimel looked very scared.

"What do we do then?" Gatty asked. "Viole, this was your idea, do you know how to get it unstuck?"

Viole shrugged. "I don't know, why don't we get someone else to get his tongue off the pole. I'm sure they have ideas."

"We could do that, but when this gets all around Zaibach, Dilandau- sama will have us killed for sure." Gatty responded.

"Why don't we try pouring hot water on his tongue?" Miguel suggested.

"We have to get it from inside the castle." Shesta pointed out.

"Yes, and what is you're point?" Miguel spoke to the smallest Dragonslayer.

"It's along walk from here to there." Shesta began. "Won't it be frozen by the time we get it to here?"

"Good point." Miguel agreed.

"Shesta! Gatty! Dalet! Guimel! Viole! Everyone else!" That was Dilandau calling them.

Dalet and Viole immediately began to run towards the castle.

"Where are you guys going!" Gatty demanded sounding angry and panicked at the same time.

"Dilandau-sama is calling us!" Dalet explained and kept running.

Miguel hesitated, then took off running after them.

"Don't leave me guys!" Guimel cried as he watched three of the Dragonslayers run off.

Gatty looked at Shesta. "What should we do?"

Shesta hesitated. "Maybe we should go in, we don't want to get in trouble for both this and for being late."

Gatty sighed. "I guess your right. Jeez, this is the last time anyone ever takes a dare from Viole!"

Gatty and Shesta took off for the castle leaving Guimel stuck to the beam.

"Don't leave me guys!" He cried after them.

"We'll be back." Shesta assured him.

Five of the Dragonslayers reentered the castle and began to walk towards the room where they were to meet Dilandau.

"Great, I wonder how bad this will be." Gatty mumbled then noticed that Dalet was snickering right beside him. "What's so funny?"

Dalet threw his head back. "I can't wait to see the look on Dilandau- sama's face when he finds out what's happened to Guimel."

"Well, I can." Gatty replied. "And I can tell you he's not going to be too pleased!"

"That's a bit of an understatement." Dalet laughed.

"Maybe he won't notice he's missing." Viole suggested doubtfully. After he said that, the other four Dragonslayers stopped immediately and Dalet burst out laughing.

"Keep it down!" Miguel ordered Dalet. "Dilandau-sama is going to be mad enough as it is!"

"Good one Viole!" Dalet ignored Miguel. "He'll notice a tiny microscopic scratch on one of our Alseides units but he won't notice when one of his faithful Dragonslayers is missing."

"Hey, I was just trying to make Gatty feel better." Viole closed his eyes.

The five Dragonslayers then entered a large dimly lit room where they were too meet Dilandau and each took their place, Dalet, Gatty, Shesta, and Viole up front kneeling down, and Miguel standing with the rest of the Dragonslayers.

Dilandau stood over them all and eyed each one of them. It didn't take long before he noticed that one of them was missing.

"Where's Guimel?" He asked coldly eyeing the empty spot to the right of Dalet.

Gatty swallowed and swore he felt himself ready to break out into a sweat. He silently hoped that one of the other Dragonslayers would speak up.

His hopes were crushed when not one of them said a word and Dilandau stepped right in front of him.

"Gatty!" Dilandau spoke. Gatty stood up trying not to make eye contact with his commander. "Where is Guimel? He was with you!"

Gatty felt himself begin to shake and he spoke quietly. "He's um, He's.he's."

"Spit it out already!" Dilandau became impatient.

Out of the corner of his eye, Gatty could barely make out Guimel's form through a clear window to his right. "Right there." He pointed.

Dilandau stamped towards the window and looked into the distance. "What the hell is he doing out there!" Dilandau immediately ran from the room and outside towards Guimel. Gatty, Shesta, Dalet, Viole, and Miguel followed.

Shesta was the last to exit the castle and he heard the faint sounds of the rest of the Dragonslayers burst out laughing when they realized what had happened.

"Just what happened here!" Dilandau demanded angrily. "What do you think you're doing!"

"Itss thuck!" Guimel said as clearly as he could.

"Why did you get you're tongue to the beam? Are you all trying to ruin my good name!" Dilandau yelled and grabbed the back of Guimel's head and tried to pull his tongue from the beam.

"Ah!" Guimel cried.

"Shut up!" Dilandau roared. "You got yourself into this!"

"Dilandau-sama don't do that, his tongue might rip out!" Gatty cried then wishing he hadn't said any of that.

Dilandau let Guimel go and walked quickly over to Gatty. He slapped across the face and then punched him under chin. Gatty staggered backwards. "And just who do you think you are to give me orders!" Dilandau then kneed him in the rib cage.

"Forgive me!" Gatty pleaded sounding winded as he tried to catch his breath.

Dilandau then went back to Guimel and frowned looking at the beam. "Why don't I just burn this thing down!"

"Aah!" Guimel sounded terribly frightened.

"But you'll probably kill Guimel if you do that, not to mention burn the entire castle down." Miguel informed.

Dilandau left Guimel once again and slapped Miguel across the face sending him to the ground. "And do you have a better idea!"

Miguel knew not to answer.

"I don't care if it kills you." Dilandau began when he was once again right by Guimel. "I'm ripping your tongue from that beam! I won't have this getting around Zaibach!" Dilandau grabbed Guimel's face and began pulling if from the beam. Guimel began screaming from the pain and Dilandau punched him hard on the top of his head.

Dalet stood right behind Dilandau and watched and he tried to free Guimel from the beam. "Maybe burning the beam was a better idea after all." He thought to himself.

Shesta chose to watch all that was going on from a distance. Watching someone's tongue being ripped from a support beam wasn't something he wanted to see up close. Viole walked up next to him, and Shesta saw a large snowball his right hand.

"What do you think you're doing! This isn't the time for that!" Shesta exclaimed in a loud whisper.

"Relax, I'm just going to hit Dalet." Viole assured and threw the snowball. Unfortunately, his aim was a little too high and the snowball hit Dilandau in the back of the head. "Uh oh."

Dilandau turned around angrier than ever. "WHO THREW THAT!"

Viole felt his shoulders droop but then he eyed Shesta. "He did!" Viole pointed at Shesta and took off running.

Shesta face faulted. "But I didn-"

It was too late, Dilandau had already smacked him across the face. He then grabbed part of Shesta's armor and lifted him up. "How dare you hit me!" Dilandau punched Shesta hard across the face then slammed him to the ground.

"Ow." Shesta whimpered laying in the snow.

Dalet approached Guimel and said quietly "Lucky for you, Dilandau- sama gets distracted very easily."

Guimel did the best he could to nod in agreement.

Gatty had just about enough of Viole and charged towards the violet haired slayer tackling him to the ground. He punched him hard in the face causing his nose to bleed.

"Hey, what's that for!" Viole demanded.

"What do you think you're doing passing the blame like that!" Gatty yelled and punched him again over his left eye. "And if it wasn't for you, none of this would have happened!"

"Guimel's the one who put his tongue to the beam!" Viole defended himself and tried to fight back. He only managed to punch Gatty in the forehead.

"But it was your idea!" Gatty demanded and kicked both of Viole's shins.

"Hey come on guys, break it up!" Miguel tried to interrupt their fight. "We're in enough trouble as it is!" Miguel then tried to pull Gatty off Viole.

"You mean I'm in big trouble!" Gatty fought to get away from Miguel.

Miguel sighed. "Thank god Dilandau is too distracted with Guimel at the moment. Shesta, Dalet, help me out over here, Gatty's gone crazy!"

Dalet hurried over while Shesta, who was still recovering from Dilandau's beating slowly limped over.

"I thought I'd never see the day." Dalet pretended to wipe a tear from his eye.

"Never mind that!" Miguel cried. "Just hold Viole back, Shesta, help me with Gatty."

"Aye sir." Dalet saluted mocking Miguel for giving orders.

Miguel rolled his eyes.

"Hey, Folken-san is coming!" Shesta pointed off to the distance at the tall bluish green haired man walking towards them.

Gatty and Viole both calmed down and Dilandau jumped in front of Guimel as if he were trying to hide him.

"What are you hiding Dilandau?" Folken asked trying to look over Dilandau's shoulder.

"N-nothing!" Dilandau replied a hint of fear in his voice. "Now, get out of here!"

"Nothing? Then would you mind letting me get by you?" Folken responded and tried to walk around Dilandau.

"No!" Dilandau shouted trying to block Folken's view.

Folken faked to the right of Dilandau and then forced his way past at his left. He caught sight of Guimel stuck to the beam. Folken then looked as though he were trying to hide a smile.

"Well, now I'm not exactly sure if I even want to know how this happened." Folken smirked then pulled out a knife. "Looks like we'll have to cut him free."

Guimel whimpered a little more and Dilandau jumped between Folken and his Dragonslayer.

"No, I'll take care of this, Folken!" Dilandau demanded.

"Ok then Dilandau, but do you have a plan to get his tongue unstuck?" Folken responded. "The longer you wait, the more likely this will get spread around Zaibach, and I'd hate to have that happen."

Dilandau breathed heavily in defeat. "Fine! Cut him loose. But one scratch on him and I'll kill you!"

Folken smiled. "That sounds fair enough. Now let's get to work."

Folken approached Guimel and put his knife a little bit above where his tongue was stuck to the wood. Dilandau and the other Dragonslayers gathered around to watch. Shesta looked nervous and he watched Folken slowly slice Guimel free. Viole's nose was still bleeding. The blood streamed down his face, stained a little bit of his uniform, and the snow below him had reddish spots.

Folken soon finished and Guimel was free from the beam. His tongue was so cold though, and he couldn't put it back inside of his mouth.

Dilandau looked at Folken.

"We'll keep this between us, Dilandau." Folken said and walked back towards the castle.

"Yeah, Guimel's free!" Dalet sang jumping up then put his hand on Guimel's shoulder. The other Dragonslayers frowned at him knowing that wasn't the smartest thing to since Dilandau wouldn't be in a good mood.

Dilandau looked down at his six slayers. "You're all incompetent!" He then slapped each one of them across the face sending all, except Gatty, to the ground. "I ordered you to do the simplest of tasks, and that had to happen!" He gave each of his Slayers a death glare. "If any of this gets around Zaibach, you're all dead men." Dilandau turned away from them and began to walk back to the castle, but Viole's blood stained uniform caught his eye. "Why the hell are you getting your uniform dirty!" Dilandau kicked him in the rib cage and then walked back to the castle.

A little later, five of the Dragonslayers were resting in a small room in the castle that was once used as a library. There were still books on the numerous shelves, but the room was now just used primarily as a lounge. Viole wasn't there because he was in the bathroom trying to get his nose to stop bleeding.

None of them had their uniform on anymore. They wore what they had under it, black pants and a light blue sleeveless top.

"That had to be the worst, no, the weirdest thing that ever happened since we became Dragonslayers." Gatty commented sitting in a chair.

"Yes, but when you think about it, it was so funny!" Dalet laughed. He was sitting on the floor leaning up against the chair Gatty sat in. "Come on, when we look back on this fifty years from now, we'll be laughing at it."

"If we live that long." Shesta mumbled.

Dalet cocked an eyebrow. "What, do you think were all going to die some horrible bloody death."

"I could happen." Miguel spoke closing his eyes.

"I know that." Dalet replied. "But that's not exactly my favorite thing to think about."

"You know, what happened today wasn't all that funny." Guimel commented his tongue almost completely thawed out.

Miguel snickered. "That's because it happened to you."

Guimel frowned.

"Don't worry Guimel." Dalet said. "You're a hero to all of us. I mean come on, wasn't that look on Dilandau-sama's face priceless when he saw you stuck to the support beam?"

"I don't know, I never saw it!" Guimel spat.

Dalet ignored him and looked at all the books on the shelves. "Who would want to read any of these?" Dalet pulled a very big book off the bottom shelf. If must have been eight inches thick. He read the title. "The History of the Civilized World, better yet, who even cares. You know, I bet this book weighs about as much as Shesta does."

Shesta shot Dalet a look. "And just how do you know how much I weigh?"

Dalet breathed and a grin spread a cross his face. "Remember that night when you were very sick in bed and you were puking all over the place? Well I had to carry you all the way down to the medical wing."

"Wait a minute." Gatty interrupted Dalet, "I'm the one who carried him down to the medical wing. All you did was lift him out of bed and you immediately dropped him on the floor."

"Hey, it's not natural for me to be awaken by someone's sudden screams in the night." Dalet defended himself. "I was still half asleep."

"I remember that now!" Miguel spoke up. "Shesta had his appendix out didn't he?"

"Yes, that's correct." Dalet replied.

"Great, you all remember that?" Shesta groaned.

"I only happened about a year ago." Miguel pointed out.

Gatty then smiled. "I remember it all very clearly. It was about the dead of night and you began screaming loud enough to wake up the entire Vione. A little later I'm carrying you on my back down to the medical wing which just has to be all the way onto the other side of the Vione. While I'm carrying you, you throw up all over the back of my neck. Then I'm walking back to the dorms and I meet Dilandau-sama on the way. He yells at me for waking him up, even though your were the one screaming, and then he yells at me for an uh. unsatisfactory appearance."

Shesta cringed. "I threw up all over you?"

"Yes you did." Gatty replied. "And you'll never know how gross it is when you have someone else's puke dripping all over you."

"You must have been really delirious that night." Dalet laughed. "Gatty was in the shower for along time after that. Thank god there's more than one bathroom on the Vione."

Shesta looked down feeling a little embarrassed.

"Well look at the bright side." Gatty tried to make him feel better. "Dilandau-sama didn't slap me. I guess it was all a little too gross, some of it was on my face."

"Let's talk about something else please." Guimel suggested feeling a little nauseous from the previous conversation.

"Here Gatty, why don't you read this." Dalet lifted the big heavy book onto Gatty's lap.

"Hey that's heavy-" Gatty then paused. "You're right, I think it does weigh about as much as Shesta."

Shesta shot Gatty a death glare.

Viole came out of the bathroom. There was a bruise over his left eye and his nose was still a little red.

"Wow Gatty, you sure hit hard," he complemented. "I didn't think my nose would ever stop bleeding."

"Yeah well you deserved it." Shesta growled. He was still angry at Viole for getting him in trouble.

Viole ignored him. "Well anyway, I heard that if you put-" He never got to finish. Gatty had taken the heavy book and hurled it across the room hitting Viole right smack in the face.

"Never again."

A/N: Hope you liked it! I never intended it to be this long.