Disclaimer: I do not own D. Gray-man or any of the characters.
Author's Note: A Christmas present for causmicfire - she requested Cross/Cloud Nine, humorous, Bak/Fou (with some teasing at his expense when it comes to the stalker issue). Also, if you squint and tilt your head sideways, there's some Allen/Lenalee and one-sided Lavi/Lenalee. Overall, I enjoyed writing it very much, even though it came out so . . . random. And yes, I'm aware that there are probably lots of anachronisms in there, but this is borderline crack-ish. Enjoy!
Of Mistletoe and Monkeys
Despite being a largely Catholic Organization, the majority of the Black Order's members were not actually Catholic; in fact, many weren't even of the Judeo-Christian belief at all. This, of course, led to a very eclectic Christmas celebration that was hardly centered around religion, but primarily around their strange definition of family.
After recent events, it had been deemed prudent to relocate – for the time being – to the Asian Headquarters. At first, Komui and Bak had been wary of the possibility of a Christmas celebration in such dire times, but it was decided that with help from General Cross – Lenalee had implemented her 'secret weapon' against him so he would stay – and Maria, they could manage a few days of happiness in this dark age. The deceased exorcist wove her song, melodies ringing through the halls of the old building, shielding them from view and on the alert for any suspicious activities. (Many members were delighted to learn she knew quite a few Christmas carols as well).
It was a grand party, full of alcohol for the adults, and plenty of close substitutes for the younger attendees, and served as a birthday party for one Allen Walker as well. Presently, Lenalee shuffled in, red velvet skirts swirling about her weakened legs as she led her reluctant companions inside.
"I still don't get why Allen gets to be Santa," Lavi grumbled, resituating the jingly green hat on his head.
The girl turned and fixed some pointy prosthetics onto his ears. "Because he has the hair," she reminded him, chipper as always.
Allen spit out some stray beard fuzz and switched the large bag to his other shoulder, shedding a few feathers from the pillow strapped to his stomach.
Lenalee led the way, dragging Allen along by the fingertips, leaving Lavi to scurry along after them – he refused to let Allen get all the attention – as the boys were obliged to deliver all of her Christmas presents to each and every last person in the Order.
Nearby, a young man, no taller than Allen, was waiting to make his move, mistletoe in hand. He crept silently through the shadows, darting behind Christmas trees and garlands, following the trio from a safe distance, looking for the perfect moment. Yes, the two young exorcists had finally left, due to a pillow malfunction it seemed. He started forward . . .
"You dropped this."
He turned to see the resident guardian deity, one hand, err arm, planted on her hip, the other waving around a photo of none other than Lenalee Lee.
"I'm not a stalker!"
Fou frowned, glanced at the picture, then to Lenalee, to Bak, to the mistletoe in his hand, and finally back to the photo. A mischievous grin passed her lips. "Ooh, maybe I should tell Supervisor Komui," she said in a playful tone as she glided in that direction.
"Fou, no!" he cried, tackling her to the ground with a loud thud, arms encircling her waist, sending the picture and mistletoe flying in the process.
She grunted and squirmed in his grasp, turning over to face him, ready to berate him like always, but found herself, instead, staring open-mouthedly, one limb forming fingers to point at him.
It was then he realized with horror that the mistletoe had somehow landed on top of his head.
He could already feel the hives forming.
General Cloud Nine took a sip of her wine, watching the scene in idle amusement, fully aware of the arm draped across her shoulders.
The man beside her frowned. "Damned cheap wine."
"Not everyone can force their apprentice to pay off their debts, Marian," she reminded him sternly, finishing off her glass and setting it aside.
Still, he managed to bark at some poor Finder to take this rubbish from his sight and only to return when he found something more suitable.
They sat in a companionable silence for some time, until a cheerful Lenalee found them, holding out two glasses of eggnog. "Here you are, Generals," she beamed. "I made it myself! Well, I helped Jeryy make it."
Cross smiled at the girl and accepted the beverages, handing one to his companion – who was currently occupied watching as her beloved monkey tormented Kanda – before briefly laying a hand across the young girl's cheek. "Thank you, Lenalee."
Santa and his elf were soon dragging her away, casting sour looks at Cross.
He grinned in amusement, resuming his previous position – an arm around his fellow General – and taking a drink of the obscenely spiked eggnog.
"Isn't she a bit young?" Cloud said, sipping at her own.
"Komui would have your head," she pointed out.
He quickly finished off the rest of his drink and set it aside, fishing around for a cigarette. "Why do you think I hate Headquarters so?"
The man was infuriating to put it lightly, but she couldn't deny genuinely enjoying his company, and found herself leaning just a tad bit closer.
The night continued along in much the same manner, Lenalee keeping them thoroughly supplied with eggnog; delightful warmth settling in their cores.
"Why are you so sad?" he asked finally.
"I'm not sad," she remarked evenly, setting aside her now empty glass. "I think you're drunk."
His hand, formerly draped over her shoulder, lifted to pull her hair from the left side of her face, revealing a mass of pale, gnarled scars, pulling her lips up in an uncomfortable grimace at their junction, and a milky white, unseeing eye. She stiffened. He leaned closer and whispered huskily, "You really are a beautiful woman, Cloud."
She moved her head, pulling her hair from his grasp as she found her voice, her mouth suddenly dry. "Now I know you really are drunk."
But soon she could feel his breath on her lips, reeking of alcohol and the delicious holiday treat, some remnant of cigarette smoke lurking there. Her fingers reached out to touch his hair as she drew nearer . . .
There was a loud screeching sound and they broke apart instantly, watching as her monkey scrambled up to hide in her hair. The little animal peeked fearfully over the top of her head to see Kanda, fuming, chasing after him.
Cross merely sighed and tipped back another glass of eggnog. Damn Headquarters.