The Horrors of Last-Minute Shopping

x by Ebony x

It was December 24th, the day before Christmas, and as usual, Sasuke had left all of his Christmas shopping to the last minute. He hadn't been planning on doing any at all, actually, but Orochimaru quickly intervened after discovering a disturbing lack of presents while snooping through Sasuke's room.

"I don't like Christmas," Sasuke protested when he was finally confronted. "It's a waste of time – shouldn't I be training instead of participating in this over-commercialized crap?"

"Don't be a sourpuss," Orochimaru said, and plunked a Santa hat down on Sasuke's head. "You are going to go out there and brave the crowds of rabid shoppers, and be back with presents for all of us – or at least something special for me (wink wink, nudge nudge) – by midnight tonight. Consider it a mission, and don't expect to be welcomed back if you fail."

"Good luck!" called Kabuto sarcastically, as he smirked and pushed Sasuke out the door.

Fifteen minutes later, Sasuke found himself in the chocolate aisle of Sound's largest department store. He started shoving boxes into his cart, trying to ignore the smell. He'd hated chocolate ever since that Christmas…

"…when he was six, and he stuffed himself full of it until he vomited all over the carpet. He sure got a spanking for that one."

Yes, Sasuke thought, that's exactly what… hold the phone!

He turned quickly to his right and discovered none other than Itachi standing there, dropping a Terry's Chocolate Orange™ into a basket held by Kisame.

"It's you!" Sasuke exclaimed, pointing dramatically at his brother.

Itachi glanced over at his brother, nonchalantly. "Oh, hello Sasuke. Fancy meeting you here. Anyway, Kisame, I've just got Sasori left to by for, and I was wondering if you have any ideas."

"What did you get Deidara?"

"The chocolate oranges – he'll like smashing them. But I mean, what the Hell would Sasori want? He likes puppets, and that's about it… ew, those puppets. Who knows what he does with those things when he's alone with them."

"You!" Sasuke shouted dramatically once more. "What the fuck are you doing here?"

"Language, little brother," Itachi said, shaking his head. "And not that it's any of your business, but we're here to blow up the department store as part of our Super-Evil Plan of Ultimate Evilness."

Sasuke's eyes grew wide. "You… I… I'm going to kill you."

"Hey, hey, hey," said Kisame. "Don't get your panties in a bunch, kid, he was just joking. We're Christmas shopping like everyone else."

"No, I'm going to fucking kill him!" Sasuke shouted, reaching to his pocket for a kunai. But he wasn't fast enough, and before he even touched the blade, Itachi had caught his wrist and twisted his arm around behind his back. He felt his cheeks redden as Itachi leaned forwards to peer curiously into his shopping cart, his brother's nether regions brushing his ass in the process.

"Foolish little brother…" Itachi said. "How do you expect to avenge your deceased clan members when you can't even do your Christmas shopping right? Look here, you see how you plan to by all these little boxes of chocolates? Why don't you just get a bigger box and save money? Really, Sasuke…"

"Yeah," Kisame added. "That's Christmas Shopping 101."

Itachi was about to lecture his sibling some more, but Sasuke had decided that he'd had enough.

"Get off of me, you bastard!" he shrieked, squirming and trying to kick at Itachi's shins. "I'm going to… I'm going to gut you through the heart and rip your head off, and carve out your eyeballs, and then shove your testicles into your eye sockets! And after that, I'll–"

He was sent crashing into his shopping cart when Itachi let go of him abruptly, earning the trio dirty looks from the old ladies passing by who shook their umbrellas in disapproval.

"Well, this has been fun, Sasuke," said Itachi, "but Kisame and I really have to be going if we want to get back in time for our Super-Evil Christmas Eve party of Ultimate Evilness. See you around – maybe next time you'll be able to follow through with those threats of yours? I admit, you get points for creativity, but maybe it would be more beneficial if you spent your time training instead of fantasizing about me all the time. Merry Christmas, little brother. Let's go, Kisame!"

"I know, I know," Kisame said. "Hey, do you think we could convince our leader to change it to a Super-Evil Christmas and Hanukkah party? Everyone always forgets that I'm Jewish…"

"You can try, I guess." Itachi shrugged, and together they disappeared from sight.

"No, wait!" Sasuke yelled once he had dug his way out from under boxes of chocolate and the overturned shopping cart. "Wait, I'm not done yet! Itachi, you cheap bastard, I'm going to kill you!"

Sasuke raced to the end of the aisle to follow his brother, but Itachi and Kisame had already disappeared into the sea of late shoppers like himself. Frustrated and full of angst, he clenched his fists and wandered back towards his shopping cart, looking utterly defeated, and the P.A. system sang with a joy Sasuke couldn't help but despise, Oh, it's the most wonderful time of the year…

"Bah, humbug."