An assassin and White Christmas

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"Though the weather outside is frightful," Farfarello sang at the top of his voice, and remarkably in tune, "the fire is still delightful, and since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."

"Farfarello," Crawford said cocking his magnum and looking at the gathered hostages that were sitting around a particularly garish silver Christmas tree. "Enough with the Christmas songs."

"I can't help it." The mad Irish man whined, "I just love Christmas."

"but Christmas is the holiest day of the year," Schuldig whined from where he had been forced to watch reruns of Christmas movies solidly for two days and was tied to the garish silver fibre-optic Christmas tree that Farfarello had liberated from a mission several nights before. Nagi was asleep and drooling on his thigh. "It's The day God was born, you hate god, ergo you hate Christmas."

"Christmas is nothing to do with god." Farfarello grinned, "it's about consumerism and eggnog and presents and greed. No one goes to church on Christmas so I love it, Christmas hurts god more than a belly full of Easter chocolate hurts Nagi."

Crawford removed the safety on his gun. "You love Christmas, fan-bloody-tastic, now please stop singing Let it snow."

Farfarello gave his most evil grin, "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, the snow is glistening, a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland."

"Oh, bah humbug." Crawford said, un-cocking the gun and putting it back in his shoulder holster.

"And the grinch's heart grew so much that daaaayyyy…" Schuldig said but was cut off by Nagi waking up and squeezing his thigh, then turning over and trying to get comfortable before realising he had put his face in Schuldig's crotch.

"Aarrgggghhhh!" He screamed jumping up as the windows around the apartment shattered blowing themselves out in a telekinetic explosion. "Ugh, unclean, unclean."

Farfarello had pulled on a Santa suit and matching fur hat and was managing to sing jingle bells in a rather fair baritone.

As Crawford started counting, under his breath, the phone began to ring. Nagi wrapped his hand up in a handkerchief and lifted the handset. "Hello." He said, no one ever phoned this number, the phone was dedicated to phoning in takeout. "Aya-san?" He asked. "Okay, I'll give him the phone." He turned to Crawford. "it's Weiss, for you."

Crawford looked surprised, but took the phone, he made a few grunts, hung up and then picked up his winter coat. "I'm going out." He said, "Nagi, if you're coming, stop shrieking unclean and put your shoes on."

"Why?"

"Because you're invited too. Weren't you listening, and besides if I leave you with that pair you may go slightly strange." He looked at the boy, and then back at Farfarello dancing with a plush reindeer he had acquired from somewhere and Schuldig trying to untie himself from the silver Christmas tree. "Okay, very strange."

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There were several neutral meeting grounds that Weiss and Schwartz made use of when they were publicly enemies. McDonalds was one of them. Abyssinian and Bombay were sat at a booth trying to look as inconspicuous as possible when one is blonde and the other has hair the colour of a coke can. Crawford moved over to them while sending Nagi to the counter with some money to get himself something to eat. Nagi had finally reached that age when nothing filled the great gaping chasm he had for a stomach. He often managed to eat six whole bowls of rice by himself.

"You wanted to see us?" Crawford said sliding into the booth.

"Yep, yes, yeah, and all of the above." Omi grinned bouncing and chattering excitedly.

Aya rolled his eyes and moved the paper cup away from him, "that's enough sugar for you, and I told you to get diet."

"So, what is it?" Crawford asked, as Nagi came back to the table with a tray laden with food, although none of it looked remotely healthy.

"We're inviting you for Christmas." Omi said with a massive grin, and stealing one of Nagi's fries. "We," Aya grunted, "I mean I," he looked at Aya, "want a family Christmas whilst I'm still young enough to appreciate it, and so we're inviting all of Schwartz on a Christmas amnesty, and you're to come to the Koneko for Christmas eve to stay over, and have Christmas morning with us, and have Christmas dinner and then we can all open all our presents together. We never get missions over Christmas since that time I cried at Manx, and if we're not doing anything you can be sure that you're not, so are you coming, please, please, say you're coming, I can talk and talk and talk and talk until you say you are."

Crawford blinked under the onslaught before removing his glasses and rubbing them clean with a napkin, it gave him a few precious seconds to actually interpret what was being said. "I don't know." He said, "not because we're deadly enemies, but Farfarello goes a little strange at Christmas."

"Please, Crawford," Nagi said, making his blue eyes very large and very vulnerable, across the table another pair of blue eyes were making themselves very large and very vulnerable.

"You don't understand." Crawford protested, "he sings Christmas song, he's more full of Christmas cheer than a drunk Santa on crack, and Schuldig's worse, he hates Christmas."

The two pairs of eyes managed to get even larger and shinier as a pair of lower lips began to wobble.

"You're outgunned." Abyssinian said quietly, "though I didn't know Nagi had perfected the "you just kicked my puppy" face. Admit defeat gracefully. We have brandy butter." It was almost a gentle tease, from anyone else it would have been, hell if they had been alone it would have been.

"Okay," Crawford said, "I'll invite them, but I'm not forcing them, in fact I'd rather pop them on a plane to Lapland with instructions to come back in the new year with reindeer jerky."

Omi jumped across the table to glomp him. "Thank you, thank you, thank you." Then he looked up at him with quite a wicked smirk, a smirk that was trademark Schuldig. "Hey, has anyone ever told you that you smell really nice?" Omi suddenly moved backwards pulled by a pair of arms in a rather garish orange sweater.

"No fraternising with the enemy in public, Bombay." He chided, tapping him on the nose with his finger. "You know our address, be there on the twenty fourth around lunch time. Knock on the back door three times and Siberian will let you in. Try not to be seen."

"Ayan," Omi said, "it's only Christmas, not a mission."

"Omi," Aya said with a bit of a frown, "you've never had a family Christmas, they're harder to execute than missions, far more things can go wrong." He stood up and lifted the paper cup which Omi had obviously been drinking from. "See you then, and bring presents or Siberian will not let you in." He grabbed Omi by the collar from where he was bouncing, "come on, Omi, or you're walking home."

"can we get more cola?" Omi asked excitedly.

"No." Aya said firmly.

"Top ups are free." Omi wheedled.

Aya's eyes momentarily flashed up with yen signs. "Okay. But you're not drinking it in my car."

Nagi chose that moment to look at Crawford and grin brightly. Then without any other warning, glomped him exactly as Omi had. "Thank you." He said, "I've never had a family Christmas, hell I've never had a family before you, thank you." Despite being a cold hearted assassin, despite being a fully signed up member of Evil Incorporated, and despite being in the McDonalds in the middle of the Shibuya shopping district Crawford, for a moment, felt overwhelmed with Christmas cheer, and he thought he might cry. Then he shook it off, for crying out loud he was a grown man, and big boys don't cry just because Nagi had called him family.

"Come on then," he said a little more gruffly than usual, "it's the eighteenth now, that gives us six shopping days till Christmas."

"Crawford," Nagi asked looking up at him, "are you feeling all right?"

"Perfectly fine, why?" Crawford said climbing out of the booth now that Nagi had finished eating and lifting the tray.

"Well, you just suggested willingly parting with money."

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Crawford wandered around the shopping district with his hand rubbing over the gun in his pocket, it was the only thing that so far had stopped him from just gunning down the next group of teenagers that barged in front of him, giggled, labelled Nagi as kawaii and then tried, rather unsuccessfully, to lure him away. He had started muttering under his breath. He hated shopping. He hated gift shopping and he hated Christmas gift shopping most of all. Nagi, on the other hand, seemed to be having a whale of a time.

He flitted from shop to shop picking up items and asking "would he like it?" before putting it down and picking up an almost identical item and deciding he would like it more before taking Crawford to the counter and having him sign for it and then carry the items, and do his best not to commit mass murder in the meantime.

"Are we even nearly done yet?" Crawford asked.

"Almost, we only have to buy for Aya-san, and a gift for the old lady that works there, and something to thank them for having us over." Nagi chewed on a fingernail for a moment. "There are some nice lace shawls in the department store that will work for their cover, and wine and cake will do for the thank you present, but I have no idea what to get for Aya-san."

"Did you remember Aya-chan?" Crawford asked.

Nagi went pale, "I completely forgot, I mean I know we're not meant to know about her, but it would be awfully rude if we didn't get her anything, and what do you get a teenaged girl anyway?"

"Are you and your brother looking for a gift for your girlfriend?" One of the assistants asked stepping out from behind a large display of cushions. "I know just the thing."

"Dear god almighty," Crawford swore, his hand reflexively tightening about the butt of his gun, "you nearly scared ten years off me."

"Certainly sir," the man said with an obsequious smile, "now if you will just follow me, I'm sure we have the perfect gift for the young lady in our jewellery collection." Crawford swallowed- this was going to be expensive.

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Aya looked at the gathered members of Weiss in the mission room. "So far everything is going to plan." He said, Omi bounced up on the sofa excitedly, Yohji sat on the stairs in what he considered a provocative sprawl, and Ken was sat on the floor looking at Aya in wonder. "They will be arriving on the 23rd with presents. Now I must remind you that Omi has asked for this for Christmas and we all capitulated."

Ken raised a hand.

"Gave in." Aya corrected looking at Siberian. "Now I understand that Crawford will be giving a similar speech to the members of Schwartz. These are the rules we're to follow whilst they are staying with us. 1. No killing them, it's very difficult to dispose of bodies in the holiday season. 2. No overt fraternizing, Balinese I'm talking to you." Yohji looked affronted for a moment and then shrugged in a way that said if anyone was caught fraternising it would be him. "3. And no poking under the tree. By having Schwartz here on Christmas morning when we open the gifts we can assume safely that there won't be a bomb. Any questions?" Ken raised his hand. "Siberian?"

"If we're just having them over for Christmas why are we having a mission briefing?"

"Of us all," Aya said looking around the room, "I am the only one that's ever had a normal family Christmas, Ken you were raised in an orphanage, Omi, you were raised by Kritiker, Yohji, your mother struggled to raise you alone." All three of them looked sheepish at this, "therefore none of you know the horror you have subjected yourselves to. Omi, we've only given into this so we never ever ever ever ever have to do it again. Any other questions." The rest of them grumbled. "And Christmas is the time of year when people are most likely to commit suicide, therefore I suggest we implement the buddy system to prevent any of us doing that over the Christmas period. Omi, you pair up with Ken, Yohji, you're with me."

"I knew you loved me." Yohji said with a gush.

"Yohji, while it's difficult to dispose of bodies in the holiday season, it's not impossible."

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Author's note:

Ken was going to be sat trying to tie his shoelaces but even I had to draw the line somewhere, I kind of imagine him to be like David Beckham, really good at football but the lights are on a really low wattage.

Any how, I am still working on AA&Wbaby, but I thought you'd like a Christmas Special. The stuff about Ken in the orphanage came from Dramatic Precious CD, which suggests that Ken and Nagi have a past, du du der!

Please review. Please. It's Christmas.