Notes: The characters are not mine (except Bourbon), and the story is, though the entire idea must be credited to Aubrie! And yeah, I know it's not Christmas yet, but I couldn't wait till then to write it!
Gin was not what one would call a festive person. He was much too serious to engage in celebrations and parties and whatnot. He hated the music, the loud guests, the uproarious laughter, the wild dances and the other games, the idiocy of the people once they would get drunk. . . . And of course, he also hated how people would try to get him to participate in such events.
Vodka disliked it as well, though for different reasons than Gin did. Or maybe, he reflected once, not so different. Gin did not want to look like a fool. Vodka did not, either. But while with Gin it was largely a matter of pride, with Vodka it was mostly due to his shyness, and the fact that he would likely end up highly embarrassed.
He still remembered his disbelief when Gin had informed him that they had to spy on a Halloween party. Both of them had found the entire setup ridiculous. And in the end, Gin had refused to go at all and had made Vodka go alone. Vodka had picked a generic zombie mask and had stayed well-concealed for the duration of the party, not socializing with anyone unless he had to. Some people had still tried, anyway, but since they were all supposed to stay in character as their various Halloween creatures, Vodka had received some of the most bizarre attention imaginable, from vampires, witches, ghosts, and the like.
All of these thoughts were going through Vodka's mind now, as he and Gin walked through the door of the nightclub that was secretly run by the Black Organization. Everything was decorated for the Christmas season, with holly and wreaths and garland and brightly colored lights. People were crowded at the tables, talking and laughing boistrously, and others were out on the dance floor. Gin weaved his way around all of them, wanting to get to the bar in order to report in to Vermouth. She was behind the bar tonight, in disguise of course, so as not to be recognized as Chris Vineyard, and she seemed to be enjoying herself. Or rather, she was enjoying the prospect of teasing Gin and Vodka, which she knew would come.
Her smirk only widened as the two approached the bar and stopped. "I wasn't expecting to see you two already," she purred.
"It was a simple assignment," Gin grunted, placing a cigarette in his mouth and flicking on the lighter. As he applied the flame to the cigarette, his eyes narrowed. "What's so funny?" he demanded.
Vermouth snickered. "Well, Gin dear," she answered, in her usual syrupy tones, "it seems like the two of you have just wandered into a compromising situation."
Vodka stared at her, his eyes filled with confusion behind the dark sunglasses. "What do you mean, Vermouth?" he exclaimed, and then wondered if he honestly wanted to know.
In response, Vermouth pointed upward.
Gin and Vodka followed her gaze, taking note of a small, innocent-looking plant sporting white berries that was attached to the ceiling directly above them. At first neither knew how to react, but then Vodka swallowed hard, continuing to gape up at the object. He knew what it was, but he did not want to believe it.
Gin's lip curled in annoyance as he looked back down at Vermouth. "So what?" he snapped.
Vermouth grinned. "Well, you do know what that is, don't you, Gin?" she replied. "And you know what the tradition is when two people end up under it." She paused for effect, reveling in every second of this opportunity to tease them that was too good to pass up. "Usually . . . they end up . . . kissing."
Vodka was now staring at Vermouth instead of the mistletoe, fully aware that he had turned as red as the flashing lights behind the blonde woman. He could feel other eyes upon him, and on Gin, but Vodka did not dare look around. It seemed to him that the entire nightclub had fallen silent and that everyone must be watching. And though that was not the case, a good number of the patrons were, indeed, fascinated by the situation and gazing in goggle-eyed interest.
Gin puffed on his cigarette boredly, his eyes showing how irritated he was and how insignificant he found it all to be. "Tradition, eh?" he retorted then.
"Oh, of course," Vermouth smiled. "You know, I wonder what Bourbon would think if she were here. She certainly does have some . . . unique ideas about what you boys' relationship actually is. And we all know she's a paranoid person, but still . . ."
Vodka could not comprehend this. He was still staring at Vermouth in shock, unable to look away. He knew that Gin was likely not feeling anything except intense annoyance, but he himself was embarrassed beyond belief. Suddenly he did not want to come in here ever again. He could still feel the eyes upon them both, silently wondering what they were going to do. . . .
Slowly Gin reached into his coat. Seeing him out of the corner of his eye, Vodka turned his attention to the tall blonde and gasped when Gin withdrew his gun. "Bro . . ." he exclaimed, wondering what on earth the other was planning to do.
But before Vodka had a chance to ask, Gin raised the weapon above his head and fired. Dead silence reigned in the nightclub then, and Vodka felt the plant plop down on his hat. Too stunned to move, he watched as Gin reached over and plucked it off, laying it down on the bar. Then Gin turned to go, his hair and coat sweeping out in back of him. Coming out of his trance, Vodka immediately hurried to follow him.
He froze when he heard Vermouth's voice behind them.
"Oh, Gin, you know you'll be bringing bad luck on you both," she said calmly, and Vodka had the feeling that she had known all along what Gin would do. But of course she would have known that he and Vodka would never . . . that they would not have any reason to . . . that they did not even feel that way about each other in the slightest. . . . Vodka started blushing anew just at the thought.
"I started a new tradition," Gin said flatly.
"Really," Vermouth remarked, picking up the mistletoe and turning it around in her hands.
Gin nodded coldly and disappeared through the door, followed by Vodka. Once they were gone, the conversations in the club began again in earnest.
Vermouth listened to them in amusement, still thoughtfully holding the plant. "Those two will probably be remembered here for a long time," she grinned to herself. "Of course, I know they're not really in any kind of a romantic relationship with each other, but it's too much fun to tease them about it."