Title: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine
Summary: A story in the 'Untold Truths' universe. Little Ata experiences the wonders of Christmas for the first time and it is nothing short of magical.
Disclaimer: I do not own Beyblade or any of its characters. Any and all unrecognizable characters belong solely to me and are not to be touched. I am not making any money off of this and I write with the sole intent to entertain.
A/N: I'm in the freakin' mood. Christmas all around, so I had to write a Christmas fic that takes place in my favorite story arch. The characters (Kai, Ata and their friends) are fairly young in this one.
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
by Ladya C. Maxine
Strange. That was something he had never seen before…
"Kai?" he asked, tugging on the other nine-year-old's sleeve.
"Wha?" the bluenette roused from where he had fallen into a light sleep on the bench they were sitting on while they waited for Natasia. She had gone into one of those girly shops to buy Saskia clothes but neither boys had been eager to enter so she had strictly ordered them to remain on the bench where she could see them from within the store at all times.
"Who's that?" the small redhead asked, pointing to the red-decked man walking around the food court nearby, waving at the other kids and giving them what looked like candy.
"That's Santa Claus," Kai yawned, rubbing his eyes.
"No, Santa Claus."
Ata looked miffed. That's what he had said, wasn't it?
"What's a Santa Claus?"
"That's a Santa Claus."
"What does he do?"
"He gives kids presents."
"Because that's what he does."
"Don't you know who Santa Claus is?" Kai frowned, sitting up.
The redhead, sitting with his legs drawn up to his chest, mirrored the look, pointing at the bearded character who was slowly getting closer to where they were sitting, still laughing merrily and stopping to take a picture with a group of teenagers.
"I thought you said that that was Santa Claus."
"But you didn't know that."
"I do now."
"But why didn't you know him before?"
"I never met him before. Have you?"
"Grown ups are always telling stories about Santa Claus and all his elves in the North Pole."
"North Pole? Isn't it cold there?"
"He lives in a big house where the elves make toys for good kids."
This was all very new and fascinating.
"What about bad kids?"
"They don't get anything."
"Does he do bad things to bad kids?" Ata asked worriedly, inching closer to him and away from Santa, who was now just a few meters away.
"Nah. Santa's a good grown up. And very smart. He knows where everyone lives and gives all the good kids presents all around the world in one night!"
"Wow!" Ata breathed. Crawling over to the end of the bench, Kai following, he sat on his heels with his hands on the metal arm rest, staring with newfound awe at the really jolly man. "But he's old. How can he move so fast? Does he drive a car or take the train?"
"He rides in a sleigh with lots of bells on it. And he's got flying reindeer."
"Reindeer can fly?"
"His can. They fly all over the world and land on rooftops and then Santa comes down the chimney with a big bag of toys and leaves you presents under the Christmas tree!"
"Isn't he afraid that the police will arrest him for breaking in?"
"He doesn't break anything. He's really quiet. I stayed in the living room once so that I could see him but he came and didn't even wake me up. But I know he was there because he ate the cookies and milk."
"He stole your cookies and milk?" Ata gasped. "That's mean!"
"No-oh," Kai sighed. "You have to leave him cookies and milk. Traveling around the world makes him very hungry. Some people even leave him stuff like cake and brownies and candy. He eats everything before leaving. That's why he's so fat," he explained all-knowingly.
"I'd get sick if I ate so much," Ata said but still pouted at the idea that Santa could get away with eating all those nice things and not get told off for being greedy. The frown melted away and he turned back to Santa. "Kai?"
"Why didn't he ever bring me presents?"
Ata shook his head,
"It would have been nice to have some toys to play with in the house…And when mama and papa came for me Santa never brought me anything in the mountains either. Was it because I was bad?"
"I don't think so. But mama and papa always said that I wasn't good enough so…maybe Santa thought so too…"
Kai's brows furrowed.
"Maybe he just couldn't find you, that's all. Your mama and papa hid you in a room and then they took you away; Santa probably couldn't keep up with you."
"So…do you think he'll bring me something this Christmas?"
"I always get stuff at home from Santa, and so does Saskia. You're gonna be here for Christmas, so you'll get something too."
"Ho ho ho! And what have we hear?"
Ata jumped back at the sight of the towering man before them who had walked over while both had been too engrossed in their conversation to notice.
Santa sounded scary this close, his voice was a lot louder than he'd expect of someone who was supposed to be so quiet when bringing presents. His pure white beard covered his entire face and all Ata could see were his eyes that were bright, covered by very bushy eye brows. He wore a funny cap and his red jacket and pants were lined with fluffy white fur. When he laughed he held his belly, which was big and round and shook.
Slipping behind Kai, Ata peeked over his friend's shoulder, earning chuckles from the shoppers passing by.
"What do you want for Christmas, young lads?" Santa asked.
"I already sent you my letter," Kai said proudly, craning his neck to look up. "But the mail's always slow so I guess you didn't get it yet."
Santa laughed, holding his belly as it jiggled.
"I'm sure it has reached the North Pole and I'll make sure to read it when I get back before Christmas Eve."
"And I also sent you a list for Saskia because she's too little to write one herself."
"Is she your little sister?"
"How did he know?" Ata gasped, watching Santa with wide blue eyes.
"Santa knows everything," Kai answered, urging him forward but he wrapped his arms around the bluenette's chest, still overwhelmed at Santa's appearance. "Go on, ask him something."
"Yes, little boy, what do you want for Christmas?"
Ata hesitated, thinking hard. He didn't really know what to ask for. Though he usually was in the Abbey, when at Kai's big house on the top of the hotel he thought he had everything he wanted. Toys, video games, beyblades, clothes, candy, plus his best friend. Did he want anything else?
"Um…Can you really get me anything?" he asked, stalling.
"If you were a good boy anything is possible," Santa answered, patiently waiting. "But remember, the true meaning of Christmas is not how many toys you get, but who you share them with."
The blue eyes sparkled at that as he came up with a really good idea.
"Oh! Is it a wish you want? That's something entirely different. You cannot say your wish out loud or it will not come true," Santa said, holding up a gloved hand to stop him. "It must remain between me and you. Now, what is it you wish?"
Daring to leave the safety of Kai's back, he slowly got to his feet on the bench, bringing him up to Santa's chest where he could see the shiny gold buttons holding the jacket closed over that round tummy. Cupping his hands, he accordingly whispered his wish to Santa, who had leaned in with a hand behind his ear and was now nodding as he listened to the small redhead's wish.
"Ah, that would be lovely indeed," he said, straightening.
Ata immediately sat back down, biting his lower lip excitedly.
"What did you wish for?" Kai asked.
"I can't tell you," Ata reminded. "It won't come true if I do."
Someone giggled behind Santa and he turned to reveal Natasia with Saskia in her pink stroller, a bunch of shopping bags hanging on the handles. Saskia, merely one year old, smiled widely up at the funny looking man with the silly hat, happily gurgling as she shook her rattle.
"I see you've met someone special," Natasia smiled, winking at the man beneath the costume who winked back. To her he was just a mall employee in a suit, but to her two charges he was someone worthy of admiration by the look on their faces. "And what have you been telling Santa?"
"He's going to read my letter when he goes back home!"
"And I made a wish! But I can't tell you 'cause it's a big secret."
"I see," the woman said with a look that gave the impression that she found this as amazing as the two boys. "We'll have to make sure to put out some cookies and milk. And a pillow."
"A pillow?" they echoed.
"When Santa comes down the chimney he needs something soft to land on," she said casually, earning a hearty chuckle from Santa. "That bag is pretty heavy, you know."
"Oh…" they nodded, having never considered that.
"I'm afraid I must be off," Santa said, pulling out three candy canes out of his pocket. Giving one to each boy he crouched down, not an easy thing with that belly, and handed Saskia the last one. She waved it about, laughing and kicking her little legs. "I have a lot of children to see. I have to make sure they've been good this year."
"Have I been good enough, Santa?" Ata asked, enjoying his candy cane.
"I'm sure you are. I'll be leaving a lot of presents beneath your tree this year."
"And my wish?" he asked again but covered his mouth when he realized how rude that had sounded. "Sorry," he apologized through his fingers.
"No need, no need," Santa laughed. "If your heart truly desires something then that will be enough to make it come true."
Beaming, he relaxed and waved along with the others as Santa continued on his way, laughing loudly, the furry ball at the end of his hat bouncing with each step.
"I like him," Ata concluded, turning to Kai who had slid off the bench to open Saskia's candy cane's wrapper for her.
"Everybody loves Santa, and he loves everybody," Natasia said, checking her watch. "And I think it's about time we go meet up with Jeremei and Ivan."
Climbing off the high bench, Ata skipped over until he was walking alongside Kai, who was walking beside Natasia with one hand on one of the stroller's handles while the other held his candy cane. Not having a hand to hold on to, Ata settled for hooking his fingers in his friend's belt. He never liked walking in these big places without making some contact with Kai. Kai knew everything about the city so it was a good idea to stick close to him. In fact, Kai knew everything. He wished he'd be able to know as much as his friend someday.
"I wish I knew about Santa earlier. I would have wished for a lot of things then," he sighed, licking his sweet.
"What would you ask him?" Natasia enquired.
"I don't know…I could have asked him for mama and papa to be nicer. Or maybe he could have given me a new mama and papa since they didn't want me."
"Santa can't give you mamas and papas," Kai said quietly, eyes downcast.
"But you said that Santa can give you anything."
Kai couldn't have been wrong. He was never wrong about anything!
"I asked for my mama and papa last year but they didn't come."
"Oh, Kai," Natasia sighed, stopping the carriage and kneeling before them both. "There are certain things that not even Santa can get you, even though I'm sure he tried his best. No one can bring back those who are no longer with us. Do you understand?"
Kai nodded, having come to accept the fact that his and Saskia's parents were gone for good, but Ata blanched.
"What's wrong, dear?"
"I…I haven't been a good boy…" he stuttered, remembering a crucial detail concerning his history and current situation. "I…I killed my mama and papa…"
"That doesn't count. They were bad people," Kai, snapping out of his self-pitying at the scared sound of the redhead's voice, said defiantly. "Santa never brought them any presents because they were always on the naughty list."
His theory was not without faults, but Ata calmed down so Natasia decided to not to dwell on such matters. In a way she did agree with Kai; those heartless peoples' actions had simply turned against them in the end. This was the season to be merry, something Ata would never have been if his parents were still alive. She would not have her blue-eyed angel feeling down and guilty during Christmas.
"What's this? Sad faces, with all this wondrous goodness around us? I will not have it!" a man's voice said from behind them in mock outrage.
She smiled at the perfect timing.
"Are we really that late that you came looking for us?" she asked, rising to greet Ivan and Jeremei as they approached. Neither ever got the chance to answer as Ata's delighted shout interrupted their greetings.
"No way!" he cried, running over to the three boys in older men's company, Kai right on his heels. "It came true! It really came true!"
"What did?" Bryan asked as the redhead flung his arms around him in a hug as Kai and Spencer playfully embraced/head-locked each other.
"I made a wish and Santa made it come true!" Ata declared, letting the falcon go to grab Ian, who had been dragging his bag by its strap, and spin him around off the floor.
Bryan and Spencer met each other's eyes. Like their friend, they had grown up without believing in, or even knowing of, all that Santa stuff but they were now old enough to know that it was all pretend. In the abbey Christmas was about the birth of Jesus Christ, not some fat man in a red suit. The boys raised there knew nothing else but to celebrate the Son of God during this festive period. Boris wouldn't be too pleased with this, but both had to admit that the wolf was practically glowing in this environment, and that was worth a sour looking director once they got back to the abbey.
"What's a Santa?" Ian, the youngest, frowned once Ata finally put him down, swaying slightly. Like Ata, he had never heard of this thing before.
"He's the greatest! Look what he gave Kai and me!" Ata said, proudly showing his half-eaten candy cane. "And he told me to make a wish and I did and it came true! He's really awesome!"
"What did you wish?" Jeremei asked.
"Santa said that Christmas is all about sharing nice things with others, so I wanted to share Christmas with you guys so I wished that you were all here, and now you are! This is going to be the bestest Christmas ever!"
"Neat!" Ian said, eyes shining. "I want a wish too! I want a car! Will Santa give me a car?"
Ata went on to explain the details to the youngest, though he turned to Kai to fill in parts he missed. Bryan and Spencer listened along; though Santa wasn't suppose to really exist it was rather peculiar to them that Ata's wish had come true. Though it was expected of them, as the eldest, to know better, they were still kids anyway.
"I see Ata is enjoying his first Christmas," Jeremei said, standing next to Natasia and Ivan as they watched the five talk.
"I was afraid that Boris would not give you permission to take them away from the abbey for the holidays," she admitted softly, rocking Saskia gently in her stroller. "We had planned this get-together weeks ago but you know him; he is so possessive of his team."
"He didn't make it easy," Ivan said, rubbing his brow, "but I promised him that they would be back within a week. The abbey is currently undergoing some rebuilding and modifications so they wouldn't have been able to train anyway. I guess he agreed because he didn't know what to do with them in the mean time."
"That was so nice of him. We should send him a Christmas card and a fruit cake."
They shared a laugh at the image of the director's face upon receiving their thoughtful gifts.
"Natty? Can we go find Santa? Ian wants to see him," Ata asked as he hopped over, the others trailing behind him. His candy cane had disappeared and she could only hope that he hadn't swallowed it whole.
"I think we should all go see Santa and thank him," she said, giving Bryan and Spencer a hint-full look that asked them to play along for the sake of their younger friends. "And then we'll go home and have some hot cocoa, alright?"
"Yeah!" Ata and Ian shouted. Ata's excitement had rubbed off on the younger boy who was impatiently eager to meet this mysterious but generous old man.
Grabbing Kai's hand, Ata began to pull him back to where they had just come from, Ian running alongside them and still asking about Santa Calus. Handing their duffel bags to the adults, Bryan and Spencer followed. Santa wasn't really worth their time, but someone was needed to make sure those three didn't get lost and the grown ups were too slow to keep up.
Trusting them enough to follow at a less hurried pace, though Natty would call them to a stop when they got too far ahead, the three adults, and Saskia, though she had fallen asleep despite all the fuss, shared happy looks.
Their first Christmas together had just started but if this was any indication then, to quote Ata, this was going to be the 'bestest' Christmas any of them had had in a long time. Mainly because they'd be celebrating it with each other. And there wasn't a gift in Santa's magical bag that could ever outdo that.
Just a little fic I felt like writing since all this Christmas goodness is really rubbing off on me. The idea is that this was Ata's first Christmas (Poor thing never had one before, having those nasty parents, being comatose for two years and living in the Abbey kinda puts a damper on the season). Kai, having had a (brief) childhood with his parents, knows all about Christmas and so was teaching Ata the ropes. I decided to add the final three just to get the message across:
There isn't as great a Christmas gift than someone to share it with. (My own saying and belief).
This is a one-shot, but I'm thinking of writing a separate fic as a follow-up which will continue with the boys' first Christmas morning together. Anyone interest…? Come on, I know you are. That one will be posted on Christmas day.
Read & Review & Enjoy the holidays!