Disclaimer: I don't own Chrono Crusade, or Gift of the Magi.
Anyway, once again I'm choosing to call Chrono 'Chrono'
instead of 'Chrno'. Why? Well, it may be written as 'Chrno'
on the Japanese manga cover, but that's not the way they'd
pronounce it. Which is probably why the dubbers changed it. The
Japanese can only make 'Cha' 'Chi' and 'Cho' sounds when
it comes to 'c's. Because of this, 'Chrono' is spelt in
katakana as 'Kurono', which sounds closer to 'Chrono' then
Author's Note: I'm kinda surprised no one has done this parody before. But it struck me as 'kawaii!' during mass today, so. . . Yeah. XD
Anyway, once again I'm choosing to call Chrono 'Chrono' instead of 'Chrno'. Why? Well, it may be written as 'Chrno' on the Japanese manga cover, but that's not the way they'd pronounce it. Which is probably why the dubbers changed it. The Japanese can only make 'Cha' 'Chi' and 'Cho' sounds when it comes to 'c's. Because of this, 'Chrono' is spelt in katakana as 'Kurono', which sounds closer to 'Chrono' then 'Chrno' does.
. Does that make any sense at all? ::sweat drop:: Ah well.
Please enjoy anyway, and Happy Holidays!
"26. . . 27. . . 28."
Chrono whimpered involuntarily as he counted his last penny, placing it on top of the little tower he was making. This wasn't good. . . Not good at all. He began nervously gnawing his bottom lip, ruby red eyes widening with tears. "That's it. . . ?" he muttered to himself dejectedly. "A measly $1.28?" He counted again.
Yup. That was it.
The devil sighed from his seat on the hard convent floor, poking at the single dollar bill and the random change littered in his lap. This sucked. . . This sucked bad. He could never get Rosette a Christmas present with this sort of money! And he was so sure he had saved more than this. . . He had been so careful with his money this year- he had so desperately wanted to get her a wonderful gift! (Especially after last year's macaroni-necklace-incident. Brrr. . . The mere thought gave him shivers of fear.) "Maybe I left a quarter in my other pair of pants?" he reasoned desperately, fishing through all of his extra pockets. But alas, he was still stuck with a buck twenty-eight.
. . . Maybe he shouldn't have offered to help her cover those stained-glass window expenses from last month's. . . accident.
But it was too late for that now.
Blowing out his cheeks, Chrono pushed himself to his feet and walked towards his bedroom window, staring out into the bright winter morning. Resting his chin on his hand as he leaned against the sill, the demon watched boredly as hundreds of people bustled through the nearby city, laughing and joking and throwing snowballs- shopping and selling in rapid preparation for Christmas. 'Lucky ducks,' he mentally grumbled, playing with a stray lock of his hair as he observed the humans below. So busy they were! Some were coming from the bakers, some the toy shop, others the candy store, and a few from the hair trimm- - -
". . ." The devil blinked once, the finger twirling his bangs freezing. The hair trimmers. Didn't that bloke make wigs, too? Chrono paused, straightening as he whipped his braid around, staring down at the soft violet strands tied by a yellow ribbon. Should he. . . ?
Chrono was not a very rich man. Heck, he lived in a convent. He owned two pairs of clothes, and both were pretty worn. He wasn't even all that powerful of a demon anymore. The only thing he really prided (no matter how secretly, since it was sort of petty, he admitted) was his hair. He loved his hair. He loved the feel of the wind rushing through it, he loved the feel of it against his back, he loved the feel of Rosette's combs running through it in the mornings.
. . . Rosette.
He frowned, tugging on the thick tassel of strands at the end of his braid. He loved his hair- and he certainly loved not being bald!- but. . . He loved Rosette more. Most of the time. (Hey, his hair didn't beat him up every ten minutes!)
Sighing, Chrono buttoned on his jacket, stuffed his $1.28 into his pocket, and began rushing down the steps to the church's front door.
'You better appreciate this, Rosette!'
"Um, Rosette, we told Sister Kate we'd be caroling. . . Not gambling."
"Quiet. I know what I'm doing!"
. . .
"Er- if you know what you're doing, then why did you just lose- - -?"
Azamaria sighed and hung her pretty head as Rosette gnashed her teeth, glaring at the toothless man she'd previously been beating at poker. Now she had lost, and was dead broke. 'Damn.' This wasn't good. . .
"'Nother round, love?" the geezer grinned. He reminded her a lot of the Elder. . . Especially the way his hand was creeping towards her dress, "Ya could bet yer clothin' this time. . ."
The nun snarled as she conked the man over the head, knocking him unconscious; a vein throbbing on her forehead. "Sick bastard!" she snapped, throwing her remaining cards at him. They didn't do much harm- only tickled him before fluttering slowly to the frosted ground.
"Rosette. . ." Azamaria murmured nervously again, tugging on the older girl's coat. "I don't like this part of town. Or gambling." Tightening her shawl around her shoulders, the doe-eyed child gazed fearfully at the Sister. "It reminds me of. . .of. . ."
'Ricardo.' Rosette sighed, standing as she brushed off her outfit. "Well, we can't have that, can we?" She smiled a bit thinly before taking Azamaria's hand and leading her out of the smoggy alleyways and towards the packed city center. "We'll just have to find another way to get some cash."
The angel child blinked blankly up at her best friend, confused. "You had cash before. You had five whole dollars worth of it! Why did you bet it all away if you needed it?"
". . ." Rosette's shoulders slumped a bit as her gaze slipped to the gray stained snow underneath her feet, sighing. "I needed to double it," she finally grumbled, looking frustrated. "And that was the quickest way I knew."
Azamaria still looked lost. "Double it?" she repeated, cocking her head. "But why?"
"Chrono," the nun replied wearily as she exhaled, coming to a stop before a shop window. The younger of the pair turned towards it with wide, awe filled eyes as she pressed her little hands to the glass, admiring the window decorations. "I wanted to get him the perfect present this year," she admitted embarrassedly, rubbing the back of her neck. "Last Christmas I ended up giving him a batch of cookies that I had made 'cause I'd spent all of my salary on new guns. It made him sick for a month."
Azamaria bit the inside of her cheek to keep from giggling, though inside she was privately astonished that he was only ill for a month.
"Anyway," Rosette continued, a hint of disappointment in her voice, "I wanted to give him those." She pointed a gloved finger towards an enchanting comb set in the middle of the display, watching the tortoise-shell beauties shine in the noon light. Azamaria's dainty mouth formed a perfect 'o' as she admired the set, wishing that she, too, could have such a beautiful collection of intricately carven combs.
"Those would be perfect," the younger teen agreed before turning to face Rosette once again. "He loves it when you play with his hair."
"Yes. . . But they're too expensive. I couldn't afford them then, and I certainly can't afford them now." Rosette's grin stretched sadly, making the angel's heart hurt. This was awful! She knew how much her friend loved Chrono. . . There must be something she could do to help.
"Rosette," she offered timidly, taking the Sister's hands in her own. "We can sell my hair if you like. I'm sure you could make enough to buy the combs from that."
Rosette's eyes widened in shocked surprise as she instinctively pulled her hands away. "What? No way! It's my fault that I can't afford them. You're not going to be the one to pay for it! . . . Literally." She chuckled at her own joke. This made Azamaria smile slightly, but it was still evident that Rosette felt awful. Something needed to be done. . .
It was then that the child's gaze fell upon the sign on the shop's door, making her eyes widen. "Rosette. . . ?" she trailed off, pointing towards the announcement with one hand and tugging on the nun's sleeve with the other.
"What- - - ? Oh." Rosette, too, blinked- and then beamed, laughing joyfully as she forcibly dragged Azamaria into the shop, through the door with the sign on it that read: Trades and Bargaining Accepted.
Chrono flushed self-consciously as he creped into the nearest store, never having felt more naked in his life. Actually, he felt quite a bit lighter, too- what with having five pounds of body weight hacked off with a pair of dull scissors. He was now stuck with a hair cut much like Father Remington's- short, boring, flat. Apart from his bangs, of course, which he wouldn't let anyone touch.
All the same- no matter how embarrassed he felt, how cold the back of his neck was, or how dreadful the thought of Rosette's reaction to his hair style was- he couldn't help but hum happily. After all, he now had $20 more dollars in his pocket and- he continually reminded himself- hair grows back. So he hadn't really lost much, had he?
In the long run, anyway.
Smiling as he excitedly browsed through the shop's merchandise, the young devil looked frantically around for the perfect gift. Something that screamed 'Rosette' without being too flashy, too cliché, too gaudy, too flammable, or too dangerous.
. . . That pretty much knocked everything off of the list, didn't it?
Chrono was beginning to feel the cold dread of anxiety again when- behold!- he suddenly found it. The perfect present.
A watch chain. The most fantastic watch chain.
The pocket watch's chain was getting old, right? Wouldn't a new one be the best thing ever? The devil's grin became wildly enthusiastic as he lifted the decoratively chained links to his eyes, examining the ornate designs and inlayed silver on the golden-colored piece of perfection. Yes. . . It was absolutely, 100 per cent Rosette. And- thank God!- it was exactly $20.
This was going to be the best Christmas ever!
"No. NO! No no no and no!"
The pawn shop owner sighed patiently, lacing his fingers together on top of the front counter. "I'm sorry, ma'am. The only item I'd be interested in buying off of you would be your antique watch. Take it or leave it."
"Look, mister," Rosette growled, slamming her fists on the counter top to keep herself from whipping out her gun. Azamaria scooted nervously into the corner. "I can't sell my pocket watch! It'd be like selling my soul!" 'It would be selling my soul,' she thought dryly, the irony not escaping her. "I'll sell anything else- even my gun! I just can't sell you my watch. Please?!" Azamaria's eyes softened as she heard that last word- it wasn't a word said very often by this nun.
The store keeper, however, was not impressed or affected by her plea. "Sorry," he shrugged. "I've got too many guns as it is. I'll give you the comb set for the watch, but that's it."
Rosette began grounding her teeth together as she clutched the pocket watch that dangled around her neck, staring undecidedly down into its face. The second hand ticked incessantly on, the minute hand groggily pulling itself from one tick mark to the next. She didn't have that much longer. . . This Christmas needed to be the most special of them all!
". . ."
She pulled the rusted chain of the watch over her head. . .
The store bell jingled in excited joy as Chrono thanked the clerk and pushed his way out into the streets, the watch chain held tightly in his hot little hand. Time to go home and help start dinner. . . Rosette and Azamaria had told him they'd be back at the convent by two, and it was already 1:30. He'd better hurry; now that he thought of it, he still had to wrap the chain and Azamaria's present- a treble staff shaped broach made of brass. (Thankfully, he had been wise and bought it three weeks ago, when he noticed it was on sale.)
With a giggle and an innocent smile, the little devil began to skip off home; singing the only few stanzas of 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' that he knew.
"Rosette. . . Are you sure that was wise?"
The obvious answer to that, of course, was NO, but what else could she have done? The Sister beamed happily as she held the tissue-wrapped comb set close to her heart, trying to replace the missing weight of the pocket watch with cheer. It wasn't working, but she couldn't complain. At least she had the combs. And because of that, it was going to be the best Christmas ever! "It'll be fine, Azamaria," she carefully replied, pushing a few stray wisps of blonde hair out of her face. "I'll get the pocket watch back again later! But for now, let's have some fun, okay? Chrono won't be expecting us home until 2."
"Well. . . fine," the small child smiled, though inside, nerves had already begun eating away at the pit of her stomach. "What shall we do?"
"Hmmm. . ." Rosette's forehead crinkled comically as she mused. "I know!" she gushed, yanking Azamaria's hand as she began racing off through the packed streets. "Let's go to the park and build a snowman!" The nun laughed at the mere thought as she watched her friend trip over her feet, trying to keep up with the pace. But during this moment of lapsed attention. . .
". . .ye faithful -somthing, something- triumpha- - - OOF!"
"Ow!" the blonde teen whined, shocked to find herself suddenly on her throbbing behind, sprawled in the middle of the street. "Dammit. . ." Groaning as she slowly pushed her torso upright with her elbows, Rosette tried to get to her feet- but found her movement impaired by a body lying, face down, on top of hers, making a sort of lopsided cross. "Oi!" she barked at the moaning form. "Get off me, ya pervert! And watch where you're going next time!"
"Um- Rosette," Azamaria interrupted softly, somehow still on her feet as she stood over the pair. "One, it was your fault, and two- isn't that- - -?"
"Hey!" the Sister continued, oblivious to the younger girl. "I'm talking to- - -" Her sapphire eyes widened as they suddenly fell upon the snowy ground beside her, where her combs lay by some other imprint of an item. "Shit!" Making a rapid struggle underneath the man's weight, the nun desperately tried to grab her demon's gift from the ground- - -
And in the process flipped the boy on top of her over, revealing the swirly-eyed face of Chrono.
". . . ?!" Rosette gaped blankly as she clutched the soaked combs to her breasts, stunned stupid as the devil slowly came to- blinking his blurry eyes while he sat up. "Chr- Chrono. . . ?" she choked, horrified. 'What in all that is holy did he do to his hair- - - ?!'
The dazed boy froze, turning his surprised face towards the girl. "Rosette. . . ?" he gasped, equally scared as he hastily grabbed something from the snow, hiding it in his hands. "What're you doing here- - - ?!"
"I could ask you the same question!" she barked, making the devil quake in fear. "You told me you'd be busy today!"
"I was- am!" Chrono replied forcefully, not wanting to be thought of as a liar. "I was out sho- - -!" But here he paused, noting something amiss. "Wait a minute. . ." he frowned, eyes narrowing before snapping open wide. "The watch!" His gaze snapped up to the girl's, making her shift uncomfortably. "Where's the pocket watch?!"
"Uh. . ." Rosette cleared her throat, not really wanting to answer. Had- to- distract- - -! Ah! "Forget about that," she growled, reaching out and snagging a handful of his bangs. "What's THIS?"
"Owowowow! My hair- - - ?" he offered with a hiss of pain, gritting his teeth.
"But where's the REST of it?!" she demanded, pulling harder. "Did it fall off?! Tell me!"
"Owow- mercy! No! No, it didn't fall off! I sold it, all right?!" he cried, hiccupping gratefully as the girl released her hold. "I sold it to buy you a Christmas present!"
. . . Christmas- - - ? Keh!
"Oh, a fat lot of good that will do me now!" Rosette huffed, crossing her arms, frustrated. Chrono blinked blankly at her.
"What do you mean, you?" he inquired flatly. "It was MY hair!"
"Yeah, well, take a look at this!" she grumbled, chucking the small parcel of moist colored paper at him. He caught it deftly, bewildered as she glared at him. Then, with a curious cock of his head, he tore away the wrapping- - -
"Oh. . ." he breathed, picking up the largest comb of the set and examining it with wide eyes. "I. . . Uh. . . See the problem." Placing it back in his lap, he opened his mouth to say it was okay, he loved them anyway and that his hair would grow back- - - when a thought struck him. "But- wait- Rosette," he began, brow furrowing, "how did you afford these? They had to be worth a fortune- and you barely had a dime on you since Sister Kate made you help pay for the stained-glass window incident."
"Er. . ." it was the Sister's turn to stumble and glace the other way. "That's where the watch comes in. . ."
Chrono watched her wordlessly, not catching on.
Rosette sighed. "I sold it, okay? I sold the pocket watch."
Then- - -
Chrono's furious expression surprised both the quietly watching Azamaria and the speechless Rosette, making the latter of the pair cringe. "You SOLD the WATCH?! WHY DID YOU SELL THE WATCH?!"
"To buy you the combs, stupid!" she fought back, "Weren't you listening?!"
"Your soul means a lot more to be then some COMBS, Rosette!" he retorted exasperatedly, running a hand over his face. "Well. . . That and you just totally spoiled MY gift for you. . ." Sighing, he tossed the confused girl the chain; casting his gaze sideways as his face dropped.
"?" The Sister dangled the chain before her eyes, watching it as it sparkled playfully in the sunlight. "You sold all of your hair for this?" she stated, a bit monotonous due to shock. Chrono nodded. "Well. . . Um. . . Thanks," she told him, unsure of what else to say. "Though I dunno what I'll do with it now."
"I'll tell you what you're gonna do with it," the devil blew out his cheeks, feeling just as dejected as he had that morning. It was all for naught, wasn't it? Wonderful. 'I hate irony.' "You're gonna take it back to whoever you sold the watch to and trade for it. Then we're going to go home."
Rosette deflated as well. "But then he'll make me give the combs back! He won't just take a watch chain without a watch."
"Then we'll give back the combs, too."
". . . All right. . ."
Azamaria watched all of this with a thoughtful expression as the pair helped each other to their feet, both looking rather depressed and hurt.
". . . You know," the child began after a few moments of heavy silence, "you don't have to look so sad." She smiled at the forlorn pair when they glanced towards her, as if trying to humor her opinion. "I'm serious. It's the thought that counts, isn't that what everyone always says? You both love each other so much that you didn't care what you had to give up to make the other happy. Isn't that the best kind of thought one could have? And to act on it, too! Goodness, I'd be thrilled with such a present. I can't see why you two aren't. Maybe you should rethink your priorities. . . ?"
That piece of wisdom shared, Azamaria tilted her sweet head and giggled, spinning on her heel and hopping off down the street, hair fanning and fluttering out behind her; leaving the partners blushing in her wake.
Another long pause.
". . .She's right," Chrono finally murmured, stuffing his hands into his pockets and glancing towards the bright blue sky. Rosette turned her head to face him, blinking once. He smiled. "Thank you for the combs, by the way. I really do love them, but I'd much rather you have your soul and the seal."
The girl returned the grin instantly, taking his hand in her own and locking their fingers together. "No, thank you for the chain. It really was nice. Sorry we can't get you back your hair. . ."
He shrugged with a dark blush, trying to pass it off as nothing. "It'll grow back."
They continued walking in silence for a while, trailing a little ways after Azamaria, simply enjoying their time together. But after a few minutes, Chrono cleared his throat.
". . . Let's just give each other cards next year."
And they laughed.
It really was the best Christmas ever.
Yea! It took me all day (and I was kinda lazy when it came to
editing, so please be kind), but I finished! Heeheehee. . . Hope you
enjoyed! Please R&R! Ja ne!