Broken Sword, Khan, the ideas behind the both etc. all belong to Revolution Software. I'm not associated with them in any way and this story was not written with the intention of making any money.
I know this comes a little late, but I didn't have the time to write it until now. Just to make it clear, this story takes place at the Christmas before George's first adventure. It might be a tad stupid to write a Christmas fic about Khan since he's not a Christian, but bear with me. He's not celebrating anything here anyway.
IT'S A KHAN CHRISTMAS
The room was filled with happiness, laughter and warmth. Siblings, uncles, aunts and other relatives who hadn't seen each other since last Christmas were all gathered in small groups, glasses of mulled wine in their hands and wearing pullovers that grandma made them every year. The balding Uncle Harry was telling his new son-in-law about the time when his brother Roger got stuck in the chimney. Children had given up trying to be polite and were chasing each other around or trying to steal a peek into some of the glittering presents under the tree.
Alicia Caldon stood like a beacon of light among her guests. A mouth full of white teeth was spread into a wide smile. The hand holding the glass was carrying a new gold bracelet, and the new red design dress was far more expensive than anything anyone else was wearing.
"This is such a lovely party," a family friend complimented. She had soft, blonde locks falling down her shoulders and a short blue dress that hugged her generous figure. Alicia was glad to notice that at least her earrings were fake.
"Why, thank you Charlotte," she thanked. "Though I have to admit that I didn't do it all alone."
"Oh? So you did manage to convince Eric into helping you this year, didn't you?" Charlotte cooed. She brought her glass to her lips and took a sip. She was wearing lipstick that didn't stain.
"Eric? Don't be silly! He's too wrapped up in his work. I'm not sure he even knows it's Christmas. For all I know, he could come down those stairs and wonder why the whole family is gathered in his house," Alicia remarked.
Both women laughed.
When the laughter died, Alicia continued, "No, it was dear Pam who helped me put this all together. She may be old, but she still knows how to celebrate Christmas. Those snow flakes up there were her idea."
"Oh, I wondered who put them up there. They're very pretty."
A chubby little hand reached up to grab Alicia's dress, but she pushed it away quickly.
"Peter, no. Don't touch my dress when you've got your hands sticky with candy. What is it, dear?" she asked and turned her attention to her five-year-old son.
"Where's daddy?" the child asked. He had his mother's big, blue eyes. Not only that, but he had followed her example and knew how to use them to get what he wanted.
"He's still up in his study. You know how busy he is. Come here, I know something that'll cheer you up until he comes," Alicia said and took her son's hand after wiping it clean with a napkin. She led him to the other side of the room where a big chair stood alone. Charlotte followed them like a loyal puppy.
"What is it? Do you have something planned?" she asked eagerly.
Alicia made her son stand next to the chair and turned to her friend.
"Well, I lied a little when I said that I and Pam did it all alone. Eric did arrange one thing, after all. I think he should have arrived by now." With that she went to the door that led to the servants' rooms and peered inside. "Are you ready? Fine. You're a little late, so remember to keep the children entertained for the rest of the evening."
She returned to her son and Charlotte who looked like she was more curious than the child. Little Peter wore a bored expression on his face and eyed his mother with half-closed eyes.
"What is it?" Charlotte whispered excitedly.
"Oh, you'll see," Alicia replied.
Not long after the door opened and a thick and red Father Christmas stepped into the room.
"Santa!" the children exclaimed with eyes like saucers and rushed to the merry man. He sat down on the chair preserved for him and picked up little Peter.
"And what do you wish for Christmas, lad?" he asked. Peter didn't reply, merely stared at the bearded man.
"A choo-choo train?" Santa suggested after a few painfully quiet moments. That got a reaction out of the small boy and he nodded eagerly, a small smile playing on his lips.
"Bah. I could have done that," Uncle Roger remarked among the adults who had stopped their chit chat to see what the children's excitement was all about.
"Hey, you had your chance and you screwed it up," Uncle Harry chuckled.
The adults soon forgot the scene and returned to what they thought was important, leaving the children alone with Santa. Soon there were more than one of them climbing all over him, demanding presents and asking why they never got what they really wanted.
"Eric arranged a Santa? How sweet of him!" Charlotte told Alicia.
"Wasn't it? He thought the children needn't get bored like every other year," she said with pride in her voice. Of course it was her husband who came up with all the good ideas.
"Indeed." Charlotte's expression turned careful and she leaned a little closer to her friend. "But was it just me, or does he have a... funny accent?" she asked then. She took a wary glance back at Santa who was currently telling a small girl why she couldn't have a pony.
Alicia's smile withered a little. "Well, you know Eric. Always babbling about how we need to help those in need, at least once a year. He gave the job to some poor immigrant from Iran or Syria or something. I had my doubts, but since it seemed so important to him, I let it be." She sniffed the air, as if expecting to smell something bad. "Honestly, sometimes I just don't understand him."
"I know. But he seems to be fairing well. The children like him," Charlotte remarked.
The two women soon forgot Santa and children. Their conversation turned to more important matters, such as why Mary's oldest daughter hadn't wanted to join the party or whether there was a reason Billy always brought his best male friend instead of a girlfriend.
And so it was for the next fifteen minutes. Alicia was just telling Charlotte about the cookies Pam had baked for the party and encouraging her to taste them, to which Charlotte remarked that she couldn't possibly do that. She had to watch her figure. In the end she took a bite anyway and pretended that they were the best cookies she had ever tasted. She even begged Alicia to ask Pam about the recipe.
"Mommy?" little Peter's voice interrupted the pleasant conversation. Alicia looked down at her son. At least he had remembered not to touch her this time.
"What is it, sweetie? Mommy is a little busy right now, so why don't you go back to Santa?" she asked.
"But he's gone!" Peter wailed in disappointment.
Alicia turned her eyes to the chair that was now empty again, save for a few children that had taken over after Santa. She frowned in annoyance and huffed. "It's always like this when you hire a foreigner!"
"I couldn't have said it better myself," Charlotte piped up.
"I wonder where he went," Alicia said and looked around. However, Santa was nowhere to be seen.
Eric Caldon was a very important man. He owned his own company that made shoes in Taiwan, was friends with the Governor and had a reputation as a man who always kept his word. He had a lovely wife who knew how to make everything presentable and a small son who would get a place in Harvard.
Currently he was sitting behind his desk in his study and talking on the phone to another important person. The room was dim and only the small lamp beside his phone saved it from being completely dark. A green carpet covered the floor and expensive oak shelves were filled with leather bound books about medieval history.
"I told the Grand Master personally that everything is under my control. No, I didn't say that. Wait - What are you, stupid? Now hear me, I assure you that -" his angry remark was cut off when he noticed the door to his study open silently.
He was annoyed to notice that it was the Santa he had hired. He had hired the man without really thinking it over. A few days ago an honest but poor (weren't they all?) immigrant from a country whose name he had already forgotten had come to see him and asked for a job. That was when he had got the brilliant idea of getting a Santa join the family gathering, and so the man was hired.
"Hold on a minute," he told his acquaintance on the phone and glared at Santa. "Didn't I tell you that you'll get paid after the guests are gone? Now go back there and entertain them. I'll be down in a minute."
As he was a man who was used to people listening to his word he was very surprised when Santa didn't follow his order. Not only that, but the round man approached him, snatched the receiver from him and put it down.
"What do you think you're doing?" Eric asked angrily and stood up. This was his house dammit, and he wasn't about to let some Mohammed what's-his-name treat him like this! "If you don't go back this instant I'm not going to pay... you..." his voice died when he noticed that Santa had done probably the most non-Santa thing in the world, pulled a sharp knife out of his sleeve.
Now it was time for Eric to back against the huge window behind his desk. His breathing had grown fast and a trickle of sweat fell down his temple. "Now, listen to me. There's no need for that. I can pay you! I have my wife's jewellery in a safe behind that painting! Please don't hurt me!"
Santa wasn't in the mood for listening to whining. "Stand still and silent and it'll be over soon," he informed the poor man harshly.
The hand holding the knife came down and one swift, neat slash later Eric Caldon lay on his very fine green carpet letting out his last wheezing sound and leaking warm blood everywhere.
Santa eyed his work in silence. Then he slipped the stained knife back into his sleeve turned his attention to the enormous window. He pushed it open, climbed out with surprising ease, ran over the roof and jumped on the equally magnificent building next door.
And so he continued until he was well away from the Caldon household where people were just starting to sing carols. When Santa was sure he had got away, he jumped down to a deserted alley. He quickly took off his costume and stuffed it into an abandoned garbage can that nobody had emptied in months.
Behind the can was a bag of clothes that he had hidden there earlier that evening. The now revealed man got dressed, ran his fingers through his hair and made sure his tie was straight. Yet another job well done.
One look at the dark sky told the assassin that it was the night of the crescent moon. He found that mildly amusing and was in a good mood as he retired into his hotel room for the night.