Title: A Christmas Stolen (1/1)

Author: Allaine

Email: G

Spoilers: None.

Feedback: I hope everyone who has always been so supportive will continue to write.

Disclaimers: All DC characters are property of said comic book company. Ralphie is of course inspired by the novel and subsequent movie "A Christmas Story".

Summary: Fans of "A Christmas Story" will especially enjoy this homage, as Ralphie visits a department store Santa to ask for a - a what?

"What do you want for Christmas, Ralphie?"

Ralphie didn't answer. He was too intimidated by Santa. He didn't seem to be especially jolly tonight. In fact, he seemed more like an angry Santa. There was a look in his eyes that scared him so. All thoughts of the Christmas gift he wanted more than anything else - gone, fleeing for the hills. "Um . . ."

"Come on, kid, the mall's closing," one of Santa's elves grumbled. Perhaps Santa's mood was contagious, because the elf didn't seem too jolly either. She had an exasperated, put-upon look on her face. A few red curls poked out from her elfish headgear, bells tingling at the tassels' ends.

Perhaps if he were a few years older, he might have taken solace in the fact that her body was obviously made for the skintight red-and-black one-piece. But his hormones hadn't reached that point yet. Pity.

"He's holding up the line, Red."

Ralphie turned and stared at the other elf, the one who had led him to Santa's lap. She'd seemed cheerful before, her voice light and infectious, her figure petite and elfin and - well, we've already established why Ralphie's observation extended no further. Now, however, she looked impatient.

Obviously these elves were angry about being away from the workshop.

"One moment, Harl," the first elf said through gritted teeth. "I swear," she went on, mumbling to herself, "I hate this holiday. Pines, firs, spruces - millions of them sacrificed to a barbaric ritual. Christians are no better than Aztecs, I tell ya!"

Then she glared at Ralphie. "I bet you'd like a nice football, wouldn't you?" she asked. She almost seemed to be challenging him, as if to say, "Go on, tell Santa you want something else, I triple dog dare you!"

Pinned beneath the combined weight of the glares of the angry Santa and the antagonistic elf, Ralphie nodded, open-mouthed.

"Ho ho ho," Santa growled.

The unfriendly elf hoisted Ralphie up and propelled him toward the exit. "There you go, Merry Christmas, blah blah blah," she muttered.

Panicked, Ralphie turned and made a desperate last-ditch effort. "I want the limited-edition Batarang, the one with the lights and whistles that returns to your hand when you throw it, and the shiny black finish!"

Mad Santa and the Unsmiling Elf stared at him for a moment. Even the Increasingly Annoyed Other Elf was looking at him.

Then the first elf spoke.

"You'll poke your eye out, kid."

Oh, no! That was why they were so mad - Mom had gotten to them too!

The force with which she shoved him back toward the exit was a little more than he felt necessary.

"Finally," Poison Ivy muttered, rubbing the back of her neck as she finished stripping off her exterior outfit. "At least YOU didn't have to wear two sets of clothing," she added, adjusting her midnight green bustier.

The plan had seemed relatively simple. Dispose of the real Santa and elves, take their places, and then disappear after the mall closed and locked its doors. Once everyone else was gone, the mall's inventory would be theirs for the taking. Harley's outfit even looked like something an elf might wear, and she'd lent Ivy a spare for her to wear.

And unlike the fiasco with Bruce Wayne last year, this time Batman would not swoop in without warning.

They hadn't accounted for several hours of handling screaming children during the busiest time of the shopping season. Ivy's feet hurt. Her ears hurt. Her face hurt from too much smiling. She was sweaty. She probably smelled. She hated Christmas.

At least Harley appeared to be re-evaluating her opinion of the holiday as well. She stretched until her back made a popping sound. "Ooooh," Harley said. "Trust me, it didn't make that much of a difference. Maybe we could just leave, go home, and curl up by the fire?" A gas-lit fire, of course - as if Ivy would allow firewood in HER lair.

"After all that? No - way," Ivy growled. "We're getting our presents, and only THEN are we leaving . . . and then we can cuddle," she added after a moment.

"There IS one bright side to all this," Harley pointed out.


"Just imagine how much HE hated it."

They both turned to look at their "Santa", still thoroughly under the control of Ivy's kiss.

"Well, there is that," Ivy said casually. "I think holiday traditions are good. We should enslave a man every year. Feeling the Christmas spirit, Batman?"

The tips of his Bat-cowl quivered underneath the Santa hat. Notafinger!

The End.

Author's Note: For those of you who didn't understand the reference, "notafinger" is what Ralphie's father screamed after the leg lamp was broken.