XD I do celebrate Christmas…so thus, I present something for all of you to enjoy. Utter randomness, true to my claim to fame, shall ensue! Enjoy and don't sue 'cause I don't own!
Dashing through the Snow
Chapter One: Spirit Team Captain
"I'm not making any more hot chocolate or eggnog or gingerbread until you give me an answer."
"For the last time, NO, Noel!"
The girl would have slammed the cyborg over the head with her giant candy cane, but company protocol kept her from doing such. Her white hair with its natural red streaks was cut into a bob, and her bangs swung just above her twinkling red eyes. From her pointed ears hung real snowflakes. Several people had protested against the skimpy uniforms, yet to no avail. The red with white fur trim shawl to cover the red tank top remained, as did the black belt that she had to triple loop, and the red skirt that went to her knees with the white trim, and the red boots and their white fur trim. But the boots were special. They had little balls of fur. And just to help her as an elf, she wore a Santa hat and carried a five-foot tall, notably wide, candy cane. This would be Noel, Spirit Team Captain.
"Give me a reason, and that candy cane." Noel demanded, yanking the candy cane from the side of the American's mouth. He would protest, but considering that it was his twenty-first one within the span of two hours, he let her. Noel broke off the part he'd eaten and popped it into her own mouth.
"I don't have anyone to celebrate Christmas with, and I've never done it before. I hate warm, fuzzy feelings because…" Jet said, evenly matching Noel's eyes. For some reason, he had always imagined elves to be short, yet Noel was almost as tall as he was.
"That's why I brought you here. You see, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, MAYBE MILLIONS, like you, Jet." Noel said, crunching the candy cane. She jumped onto desk and stared at the cyborg on the other side of it. "I want you to help me persuade them that A BIG FAT MAN JUMPS DOWN CHIMNEYS ONE NIGHT A YEAR! I WANT YOU TO CONVINCE THEM THAT I AM A REAL THING!"
She was silent as she held her candy cane up and wore a determined-to-be-the-best look on her face. Jet stopped for a minute to consider her latest words. Over the speakers of the giant workshop, Jingle Bells floated around. The perpetual smell of gingerbread called to his nose.
"No." Jet said, plucking the green candy cane he'd been eyeing from Noel's bowl of them. However, she was faster, and beaned him on the head with her monstrous weapon before he could unwrap it. "OW! WHAT WAS THAT FOR, YOU STUPID ELF?"
"First, because you lied to come with me." Noel snapped, temper being tried by this stupid human.
"Did not. You said you'd give me candy canes, eggnog, gingerbread, and hot chocolate." Jet protested. Noel caught his neck in the crook of her cane.
"Second because you've wasted time. Third, I just don't really like your hair." Noel said, finally blowing her top and lifting Jet with the candy cane, then throwing him against her office door. Having exhausted herself, the elf jumped from her desk and walked to where Jet was.
"On the other hand," Noel said, now smiling merrily, "I have some pictures from that last Christmas with the rest of your little tribe. This one is particularly dirty…"
She waved the picture in front of Jet's face. His garnet eyes opened to their max and he whimpered. It was that one. The one where they'd gone a little bit too drunk and Albert had suggested strip poker. Why Albert, well, he'd been going a bit too heavy and couldn't really hold it in much longer. But this picture…where the hell had it come from?
"Here's the way I work, Jet," The elf snapped, seizing the picture from Jet's hands. "I give you all the Christmas stuff you could possibly want, like eggnog and candy canes for example, and in turn, you get Christmas spirit out there! Oh yeah, the fine print says that if you don't work your ass off until January first, I get to blackmail you."
Jet stood up. For the first time, he took into account the Christmas tree in the corner and the snowflake motif all over the office. It was also then that he realized that Noel had hair that looked rather like her candy cane.
"Do I get one of those?" Jet asked, pointing at Noel's weapon. Noel smiled. The song switched to Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.
"No, you don't. Do you agree?" Noel demanded. She led him back to the desk and sat in her swivel chair once again. Out of a drawer, she took an official-looking document and a candy cane pen.
"Well…it's only for a month, right?" Jet asked, taking the pen in his hand. Noel nodded and leaned her candy cane against the desk. Scrolling down to where the "X" was, Jet signed his name. As soon as he had, it vanished in a small explosion of golden sparkles.
"Welcome to the Spirit Team!" Noel cheered. "We need to get you a uniform. I don't know if any of the spares will fit you, but we'll try. Follow me…wait, you need a pass from me. But that can wait until we get you into a uniform."
She picked up a badge from the desk and clipped it to her shawl. Grabbing Jet by the hand and holding her candy cane in the other, Noel pushed the door open into the rest of the workshop. To say the least, it was huge. Other elves meandered about, carrying packages of varying sizes or merely running from place to place. However, all of them seemed to salute Noel as she passed. Noel would wave her candy cane in recognition and continue on through the place.
"Whoa, Noel. Who's this guy?" A security guard (Jet guessed) asked.
"He's the new recruit. I'm taking him for a uniform so he can actually put in some time before New Year starts harping at us." Noel said, flashing her badge at him. The guard laughed and allowed them through.
"Good luck, newbie! You'll need it with her!" He shouted after Jet, smiling like a maniac. Now more than ever was Jet freaked out about working for Noel. The elf paid him no attention and continued to drag him through the snowfall. They reached a small, somewhat outcast shack. Noel slid her badge through something, and it opened.
"Noel, Noel, you're back!" A younger elf cried, dancing around Noel.
"That's right. Could you fit this guy, Gloria?" Noel asked, shoving Jet at Gloria. Jet looked down to Gloria. She was a foot shorter than Noel, but had longer green hair, tied up into pigtails and adorned by holly and mistletoe. Her uniform was identical to Noel's own, except spruced up by boughs of holly.
"Come on, Christmas isn't getting any farther away." Gloria said, now dragging Jet off to be fitted for a uniform. Once they were far enough away from Noel, Gloria muttered, "I almost feel bad for you. Tell me, what sort of thing is she blackmailing you with?"
"Pictures." Jet said in equal silence. Gloria shook her head and seized a tape measure from a nearby table.
"Well, since you're human, I don't know if this is going to fit." Gloria said. Her red eyes locked with Jet's. "But you'll like it. The past several years, since I've been old enough, I've worn this uniform and I like it."
"Do you all have red eyes?" Jet asked as Gloria went into a sea of pine needles.
"No, not all of us. Strictly speaking, Noel and I are second cousins, so it's a family trait for us. Most of the others on the Spirit Team have green eyes, and some have golden ones, some even silver, but those are almost as hard as red eyes to come across." Gloria explained. "Here, try this on. It'll be a little tight, but you should be all right."
She emerged and motioned for him to go back where she'd just been. "That's good, because I know a guy with red eyes. If you all had red eyes…well…"
"I understand," Gloria replied. Jet heard her laugh. "Tell me, how old do you think I am, newbie?"
"My name's Jet." Jet snapped evenly. Gloria laughed again.
"Okay then, Jet. How old do you think I am, then Noel?" Gloria asked.
"You look like you're maybe sixteen, and Noel only a few years older. She's got a shorter temper than I do! By the way, do you have any candy canes?" Jet gave her the answer.
Gloria laughed. "I'm three hundred, and Noel is five hundred seventeen. I have candy canes out here; I hope you like fruit ones."
Jet, whilst pulling on the hat to his uniform, nearly fell over. They were that old? He stepped out from behind the pine needles to see himself in the mirror.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE?" Jet shouted in horror. Noel and Gloria had been right: this uniform was a tight fit. The red pants had become shorts on him, and the long-sleeved shirt had become a t-shirt. The hat looked like an ornament on his vast amount of hair. Noel rounded the corner and glared at her little cousin.
"Could you fix that, Gloria?" Noel demanded, readying her candy cane for action. Gloria meeped and pointed a finger at Jet. In seconds, the uniform was a perfect fit. Jet even had a little badge of his own with his name on it. Gloria smiled at her captain.
"I need Mary, Angel, David, and the other subcaptains in here. I'm taking off with Jet to do a trainee mission. I'll be back soon, okay, Gloria?" Noel said. From a nearby rack, she pulled two pairs of flying goggles. She handed a pair to Jet and affixed a pair over her own eyes. "You're coming with me to learn how to do this. It won't take long."
Noel dragged him back outside. She sneezed.
"Bless you." Jet said automatically as she sniffled. Noel nodded in her thanks. She pointed at a small snowmobile and motioned for Jet to take the back seat.
"This has an eject button, which David modified last year so it self-decorated too. Any place near a home that hasn't been decorated, hit this button." Noel stated.
"Should I hold onto you while you drive?" Jet asked. He prepared himself for another hit on the head by the candy cane. It never came.
"Yes, that would be an excellent idea." Noel said, slinging her legs onto the bike. Jet slinked his arms around her tiny waist. "But if you try anything, and I mean anything, you will pay me forever."
Jet could only imagine a fate worse than this. But he didn't get the chance to as Noel shoved her badge into the slot, twisted it, and gripped the handles tightly. In seconds, they were but a red-and-white blur. Beneath his fingers, he could feel Noel trembling like a wet cat. The rest of the elf was inclined forward with the rest of the bike, swerving around trees and throwing out decorations rapidly.
"See, it's not that hard," Noel said, sliding to a stop. "But problems come along when you get into cities. In that case, which we won't do because I have to get back, you have to use…"
She never finished her sentence because she passed out, right then and there. Jet would have screamed; he thought this was part of the mission. Since he couldn't remember the way they came, he decided to try something very risky.
"Does this thing have any way to get us back to that place?" Jet demanded of the giant candy cane. In seconds, he was absorbed along with Noel and the snowmobile into a giant red-and-white vortex. And in the same amount of time it took for the vortex to appear, he was dumped in front of another elf.
This elf, unlike most he'd encountered, was male. He had white hair, which was gathered and pulled back into a thin ponytail at the nape of his neck. His silver eyes blinked in surprise as he saw Jet, but what really set him apart was the fact that he had multicolored Christmas balls tied all over his uniform.
"Noel! Holy crap, what happened to her?" The elf demanded. Jet stood up and found this elf to be just shorter than he himself was. He shrugged as he dropped Noel into the other elf's arms.
"She just suddenly passed out, I swear!" Jet answered. The elf took a quick glance at Noel, then to Jet.
"Come with me. You can help."
"David, what's wrong with Noel?" Gloria asked. David, the elf Jet had encountered, sighed.
"Noel's been working too hard." David said. "You know how she gets. 'Christmas is coming, get ready! Christmas is only a month away! Christmas is coming, I'm out for more recruits!' Apparently, the rest of her apart from her mind decided it was enough, and now she has a bad virus."
Gloria looked ready to burst into tears as she sat on the chair next to Noel's bed. Noel lay in the bed, stripped of her uniform and in pajamas. Cool cloths were magically glued to her forehead, due to her own tossing and turning and trembling. From time to time, the thin body would be shaken by coughs too powerful for her to handle.
"Well, Gloria…I hate to say this, but Noel's not leaving this bed for a good while, I'd say not until Christmas is over at least." David admitted. Gloria this time burst into tears, bawling her eyes out. "But there is one hope to set things straight…"
Bot Gloria and David's gaze fell to Jet. Jet glared holes into the ground.
"Please, Jet!" Gloria begged, wringing her hands. "You have to!"
"Yeah, 'cause I can come up with blackmail almost as well as Noel can." David said, smirking. "The fine print doesn't go out of effect if Noel's sick. I'm co-captain, and you're going through with this."
"I second that," Gloria hiccuped. "Noel may have a really high temperature, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us do."
Jet shrugged. It couldn't be that hard. He'd fought with cyborgs! He could take some bah-humbug crap! "…Fine, I guess I'll help you."
"Good!" David shouted, clapping his on the back. "All you have to do is get the entire group known as Black Ghost to believe in Christmas."
Leave a review or flame, and happy holidays! (And by the way, if you read Riprendere, chapter six will be here next year. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!)