LxL Holiday Spirit
These are challenges for the Lezard and Lenneth community. Mine are al set in a completely impossible crack universe where everyone hangs out in Valhalla and Lezard is constantly trying to impress Lenneth. Other pairings include AliciaxRufus. I never completed the challenge, but I wrote some fin mini-fics! Here they are!

#1: "Wreath"

"Lenneth, my darling," Lezard said in a sing-song tone. "I got that wraith that you wanted for Christmas. Want to hang him on the door?"

"Lezard," Lenneth replied in a tone of the upmost annoyance. "I saidwreath."

"Oh." His ego deflated for a split-second. "Er... I'll just hold onto the reciept."

#2: "Mistletoe"

Lezard stands before a spread of food piled up on a table, decorated fully with garland and mistletoe. There are all kinds of delicious entrees steaming hot and smelling delicious.

Lenneth enters the room and gasps in amazement. "Lezard!" she exclaims in surprise. "I can't believe it! You've actually done quite an amazing job this time!"

"Yes, yes!" Lezard replies, eating up her attention hungrily. "I've made the favorite dishes for all of our friends--Mystina, Arngrim, Alicia and Rufus, Brahms, and your sisters of course! I went carefully by the list you gave me and incorporated a theme ingredient--Mistletoe! Mistletoe cookies, mistletoe stew, mistletoe roast duck, mistletoe potato chip dip--everything that we need for a party!"

Lenneth's expression of joy flattens as he continues to describe his work with such enthusiasm. "Er," she begins, trying not to be too hard on him, "You are aware that mistletoe is highly poisonous, are you not?"

Lezard smiles cheerfully. "Yes, and...?"

Lenneth just stares at him blankly, although definitely not in disbelief.

#3 -- "Holly"

Lenneth walked into one of the many chambers of Valhalla once again to find that the ceiling was decorated with beautiful holly. The deep green leaves and bright red berries covered every square inch. She smiled, hoping that perhaps, finally Lezard had done something right!

Lezard popped out of the background, having waited for her to enter. "How do you like it, my love?" he asked, hopefully. Then he leaned forward on his heels so far towards her that he was straining not to fall over, and puckered his lips, expecting a kiss.

"What are you doing?" Lenneth replied, looking at him flatly.

"Well, we're under the holly," he said to her carefully, quite sure that he had done something wrong again. "Don't I get a kiss? I covered every inch of ceiling! Just for stepping into this room, by all rights, you should have to kiss me."

Lenneth folded her arms and sighed in dismay. "Holly is just for good cheer," she explained. "Mistletoe is the plant that you kiss underneath."

He pushed his glasses up and returned her stare with a blank and confused one. "I thought that mistletoe was for poisoning your friends?"

"No, we've been over this..."

When she saw how depressed he looked that he hadn't done a good job, like a little puppy who was scolded for bringing in a stinky present, she was heartbroken. "Oh, never mind that," she said softly. "At least you didn't hurt anyone this time, and it is rather pretty... I shall just pretend that it is mistletoe."

"Really?" he beamed with joy.

Lenneth leaned over and gave Lezard a soft kiss on his cheek.

Lezard grinned foolishly, then his expression flattened as she pulled away.

"What?" Lenneth asked him, expecting him to be ridiculously excited.

"Well, that's a lot of 'mistletoe' up there," he replied. "Mathematically, I think it demands at least a little tongue, if not top removal."

Lenneth's eyebrows furrowed together as she groaned and clenched her teeth. She raised her hand and slapped Lezard with it before stomping off to spout all of her troubles to a willing audience of valkyries and female Einherjar who would no doubt be after him very soon.

Lezard sighed sadly, but cupped his hand to his cheek in accomplishment.

#4 -- "Green"

Lezard presented Lenneth with a lovely package wrapped in a bow. "My dear," he said softly. "It is a bit early, but this present should be useful to you during the holiday season, so please accept it prematurely."

"It shall be an early gift then," Lenneth replied, and tore the wrapping away from the package. Fearing what she might uncover, she opened the white box underneath, uncrumpled the paper inside, and revealed... a beautiful green dress. It was short and lined with white fur. Packaged with it was also a matching hat with a bell, and two black boots. It was a festive elf costume. "How adorable," she said, smiling brightly. "This will be wonderful to wear at the Christmas party." More importantly, it didn't seem to involve him killing anyone. "Thank you so much, Lezard."

She held it up to herself, checking the size. Lezard grinned and blushed as he imagined her in it... the green cloth just covering her thighs...

"It shimmers like satin," she went on. "Pray tell, what is it made of?"

"Oh!" Lezard replied, beaming in accomplishment. "I hand-crafted it from the finest elf hair!"

Lenneth paused. "You... hand crafted..." she trailed off, sensing something horrible. "...Where is Rufus?"

In the distance, Lenneth could faintly hear Alicia screaming.

"It's nothing inhumane!" Lezard said defensively, before Lenneth could even turn and look at him accusingly. "I only sheared him!"

Lenneth raised an eyebrow, surprised by this very little, but boggled by another matter. "Just how did you get Rufus to--"

Lezard chuckled in amusement, stroking his chin. "Oh ho, well--that's where the chloroform came in."

They heard Alicia's voice once more. "LEZARD!" she screamed all the way from another segment of Valhalla. Lenneth had never heard her shout that loudly.

Lezard cupped his hand to his mouth and smiled as he answered her pleasantly. "You can thank me later, Alicia! Merry Christmas, enjoy him--I mean, it!"

Lenneth groaned. Lezard shrugged. "What?" he asked innocently. "I give early Christmas presents to everyone."

At least he was being thoughtful of others.

#5 -- Red

Everyone was getting hungry, so Lenneth walked into the kitchen of Valhalla to materialize up some snacks. As she was trying to remember what everyone liked to eat without having to write it down, she realized that Lezard hadn't been present. Now, what did Lezard like to eat again? Oh well, it didn't matter. All she had to do was tell him that she made it herself, even if she had only materialized it. Then he would eat it all.

She was shocked to find that Lezard was already in the kitchen. At least that solved the mystery of where he had been. What was he doing? She glanced over his shoulder stealthily and saw that he was rolling out some kind of sugary substance into candy-cane shapes.

"What are you doing?" she asked, causing Lezard to jump high in the air. That was guilty behavior. She did not like that.

"Oh, my dearest Lenneth!" he exclaimed, holding his hand to his chest. "You do possess the power to make my heart stop beating without having to sneak up on me like that, you know."

"What are you making?" Lenneth replied, ignoring his come-ons.

"Oh, just some brightly-colored holiday candy!" he replied, and went back to rolling with a smile. Lenneth saw that he was getting really into this, wearing a polka-dotted apron and oven mitts.

Lenneth looked at the candy and saw that it was all dark crimson red. "Uh," she began. "Where is the white part?"

"White part?" Lezard asked her, looking at her strangely from behind his thick glasses.

"Yes," Lenneth replied. "The mint in the peppermint?"

"Peppermint?" Lezard laughed. "No, no, Lenneth! These are my famous Christmas candies, made with my very own special flavor recipe!"

Lenneths's face faulted for the umpteenth time this week. "I am not certain that I truly wish to ask this, but..." she took a deep breath. "What are they made of?"

"Oh, just the flesh and blood of innocent children!" he laughed, chuckling pleasantly.

Lenneth's eyes widened and her mouth fell open in shock. "Lezard!" she shouted. "I know that you're... well, you--but this is really quite a few steps too far!"

Lezard cackled madly. "Oh, relax Lenneth!" he chuckled. "I was merely joking, honestly... do you think that I'm some kind of monster?"

Lenneth sighed in relief. "I apologize," she said. "I'm sure they taste lovely."

"Would you like to try one?" he asked, holding one out. "My lady love can be the very first."

"Certainly," she replied, and took it. When she bit into it, she tasted sugar of course, but also a bitter coppery taste. Disgusting. "And," she groaned. "You say these aren't made of children?"

"Well not real children," Lezard sighed. "They don't let me into the orphanage anymore since... that one incident, so I was forced to use imitation child flavoring."

Lenneth opened her mouth and let the candy drop out of it. "I find this offensive."

"I know," he said in agreement. "You just can't find any excess orphans these days! I'm so sorry my love, this candy is mediocre."

"No," Lenneth interjected. "I mean..."

Suddenly Rufus burst into the kitchen. "I smell candy!" he declared. Alicia was right behind him, always fond of sugary treats. Lenneth was happy to see that thanks to the Divine Hair-Giver gifted to Rufus by Freya, Rufus was no longer bald. In fact, Alicia was so enamored by his temporary change of hairstyle that Rufus had forgiven Lezard for the entire incident.

"Candy!" Alicia squealed. Both grabbed a piece and began eating it hungrily.

"How... can you eat this?" Lenneth asked in disbelief as she watched them eat more and more.

"I think it's good!" Rufus replied, then paused and stroked his chin like a scholar. "It has an intricate interplay between the bold bitterness and sweet sugar flavors."

Lenneth slapped her forehead. "Since when are you a food critic?"

Alicia clapped her hands together and stared at Rufus in adoration. "I just love sensitive men who will watch the Food Network with me."

"Hey, hey, I am the chef here!" Lezard pointed out, waving his hands. At this point though, Silmeria and Hrist were in the kitchen.

"And you did a really good job!" Alicia commended him as the two valkyries grabbed handfuls.

"Ooh, I bet Brahms would love these!" Silmeria exclaimed, as she and Hrist began to munch. "You have to get me this recipe!"

"Of course, my dear," Lezard beamed, soaking up everyone's attention.

Lenneth grumbled something under her breath and left the kitchen without materializing a damned thing for any of them.

#6 -- Christmas Tree

Everyone gathered to decorate the biggest damn Christmas tree in Valhalla.

For the decorating of the tree, the entire group had pitched in to create a unique event. Arngrim supplied the booze, while Alicia had baked treats for everyone, and she was double sure to make tons so that enough would survive Rufus eating them as fast as she baked them for everyone to have some. Mystina and many of the Einherjar had put together a kareoke machine and rigged it to play christmas carols, but Freya had gotten ahold of it and would not let anyone else have a turn. Thus, they were subjected to her off-key blurting of horrible lyrics.

All of the Einherjar were invited too, so there were plenty of hands to help decorate the tree and hang all of the other decorations throughout Valhalla. They began to place their presents under the tree and guess at their contents.

Finally, when the tree was hung with garland, lights, and ornaments, it was time for someone to place the topper on it.

Silmeria looked through the boxes of ornaments and could not find anything suitable. "Hey!" she shouted and grabbed Rufus by his ear. "Where's the angel?"

"How should I know?" Rufus sputtered as his ear turned red from the abuse. "This is my first Christmas in Asgard!"

"Aren't you supposed to use a star?" Alicia said as she nursed Rufus's ear by rubbing it tenderly. This caused his nose to start bleeding. "Oh my, you've suddenly gotten sick," she fretted and began to wipe his face with a tissue. "I told you not to go out into the snow!" Rufus replied in indecipherable gargling noises. Silmeria rolled her eyes and ignored them both.

"It's got to be an angel!" Hrist bellowed. "That's the tradition of the gods!"

"All right," Mystina grumbled. "Sheesh, so where is your ceremonial angel then?"

Hrist turned to Freya, who was up on the makeshift stage. "Hey, Freya!" she shouted. "Where did you stick our tree angel after we packed up last year?" Freya was not paying attention. She was too busy singing Achy Breaky Heart at the top of her lungs.

During all of this commotion, Lezard had been reading a book while sitting in the background with the other quiet characters and sipping on his egg nog. He watched as Lenneth rose from her seat to watch over the activity and make sure that no one hurt themselves. What a good sister she was, he marveled! What a responsible lady!

"AHEM!" he coughed loudly, rising to stand. The members of the crowd turned to look at him. "I have a replacement angel right here," he said, and reached into his cloak.

"Oh god," Mystina gagged as he dug around deep into his pockets. "We don't want to see what's under your robes, Lezard!"

"Aha!" Lezard shouted in success and pulled out a silver figurine of Lenneth Valkyrie. This particular one had a cute pose and little angel wings on the back of it.

"Ooh, pretty!" Alicia exclaimed. "It will make a very nice ornament!"

"And if that one isn't suitable," Lezard went on, and kept digging, "I have this one--and this one--and this one--"

Lenneth watched in horrified amazement as he continued to pull out figurine after figurine, each in her likeness with different poses. "Lezard!" she interjected, stopping him short. "Where in the world did you get so many of those... things?!"

Lezard blinked at her innocently. "Well... Rufus gave them to me," he explained. "Traded them all to me for one Alicia figure... they're super rare, you know!"

"Mah... wah...?" Rufus mumbled, still not completely conscious having gone off to his Happy Place quite some time ago from Alicia's concerned touches.

"Whatever!" Hrist said loudly, and cracked her halberd against the floor. "It'll work, but who is going to put it up there? Freya can fly, but she's..." They all listened and heard a mutilated cord from My Heart Will Go On. "She is possessed by some banshee demon at the moment."

"I will do it," Lenneth offered. "Hand me the item."

Lezard grinned and gave her his prized Lenneth angel figurine. Lenneth used a quick transmutation to adapt it into an ornament. "Stand back, everyone."

They each took a few steps back, and Lenneth leaned forward. Lezard's eyes grew wide in amazement as her ethereal white wings took shape around her body. She ascended to the top of the enormous tree, and placed the item at the top of it. She was so beautiful... so, so beautiful...

When Lenneth came back, she found Lezard sitting on the floor next to Rufus with the same glazed look in his eyes and drooling, slack-jawed expression. She raised an eyebrow. "I suppose there's a bug going round," she noted. "Take your vitamins, my noble Einherjar!"

#7 -- Lights

Rufus popped into the library, where Lezard could almost always be found when he wasn't stalking Lenneth. "Hey, Lezard!" he shouted into the enormous chamber of books. "Where are youuuuuu?????" His voice echoed in the vast library.

"I'm right here," Lezard replied. "I'm in the black magic section just as I always am! Why do you have to shout?"

Rufus sprinted over to the section labeled BLACK MAGIC in a hurried fashion, then skidded to a stop. "Hey, Lezard!" he panted. "I need your help!"

Lezard turned, annoyed, and raised an eyebrow. "My help comes at a price, Sir Rufus," he said in a velvety voice.

"Don't talk like that," Rufus complained. "You sound all creepy, it makes me uncomfortable."

Lezard cleared his throat so that it would be less raspy. "Sorry," he said. "What could I help you with... and how are you going to pay me?"

"Oh, I think you are going to help me willingly," Rufus smirked. "You shaved me bald!"

"Yes, but your hair is back," Lezard replied. In fact, Rufus's hair had already grown past his ears and was sure to be back in a ponytail again by Christmas.

"Yeah, but look at this!" Rufus fluffed his hair, parting it in a certain way, and then threw his head back. It was cut in the exact same way as Lezard's. When he was done, he slipped on a pair of costume glasses. "Ta-da!" he exclaimed. "Look, I'm Lezard... only taller!"

"What?" Lezard choked. "Stop that! How am I going to get Lenneth's attention if there's a taller, prettier version of me walking around?"

"I don't know," Rufus said confidently, placing his hands on his hips. "So, will you help me?"

Lezard grumbled under his breath and then answered. "Fine."

"We can consider it your Christmas present to me," Rufus replied. "And then I can get you something, and it'll be really good, I promise."

"I don't want your ridiculous gift," Lezard snapped in return. "Just tell me what it is you need me to do to stop wearing your hair like mine!"

Rufus suddenly lost his smug expression and appeared to grow sad and vulnerable. He began to poke his two index fingers together timidly. "I need you to help me cheer Alicia up," he said. "The Christmas lights that Freya put up all over Valhalla look exactly like the ones from Dipan, and it's made her depressed. She's so sad..." Then, fierce determination lit up like a fire in his eyes. He raised his fists in the air. "You must tell me how I can return her lovely smile to her angelic face!" he shouted.

"Would you shut up?" Lezard growled quietly, slapping Rufus's shoulders with the palms of his hands like a girl trying to fight. "This is a library!"

"There's nobody else here!" Rufus answered, and started slapping back. Slap-slap-slap-OWWWW Lezard slapped Rufus on the nose, which shut him up for a minute. "Hey that hurt," he whined quietly, while Lezard went on.

"I don't know what you expect me to do about it," he said, folding his arms and turning his back to Rufus.

"Well," Rufus replied, "You're like... some kind of expert when it comes to trying to impress some girl who's ignoring you, right? Plus... you're MAGIC!"

Lezard turned on his heel and glared. "I fail to understand you at all, Sir Rufus."

"What?" Rufus mumbled. "Why?"

"Because," he explained, holding up a finger to make his point. "The girl that you love pays plenty of attention to you, and you don't take advantage of it at all. Alicia would more than happy to let you into her princessy pants, and you're just bumbling around like an idiot trying to get other people to please her! Have you even tried to meet her under some mistletoe, or make her a holiday-themed dinner, buy her a wreath, or get her to wear a skimpy elf costume? No, you haven't done any of those things! Yet, Alicia would easily go for any of that!"

"I just want Alicia to be happy," Rufus pouted, poking his fingers together again. "I don't care if I get anything for it."

"Hmm..." Lezard considered this while stroking his chin in thought. "That is... maybe that is the secret..."

"Lezard?" Rufus looked at him, blinking. "Are you okay?"

"I know what you must do!" Lezard answered at once, having a breakthrough. "You have to ask Alicia to go with you on a date to see all of the lights, and then she won't be sad around them. You can hold her hand, and give her a little kiss... yes..."

"I-I-I can't do something like that!" Rufus sputtered. "I'd pass out!"

"Fear not!" Lezard replied. He reached into his coat and pulled out a vial. "I have in my hand..." He paused to give it more flourish. "A potion of courage!"

"Oh, wow!" Rufus exclaimed, and took it from him. "See, I knew you were magic, Lezard!" He stared into the bright red liquid, then looked back up to Lezard. "But hey... you are being really nice to me, what for?"

"Well," Lezard sighed. "Maybe if I can help bring joy to others simply for the sake of making them happy, then I'll finally be the kind of man that could win dear Lenneth's love."

"Wow, it sounds like you learned a lot this Christmas," Rufus replied. "Well, bottoms up!" With that, he drank down the entire vial. When he was done, he belched, and handed the empty vial back to a very disgusted Lezard. "Ooh," he mumbled with a hazy look in his eyes as if he might faint. "I feel funny..."

Lezard took a step back as Rufus began to lurch towards him. "Funny like... how?" he asked fearfully.

"Funny in a... a good way," Rufus droned, as his lips pulled up into a moronic grin. He clamped his hands down on Lezard's shoulders. "Now come here, Lezard," he said, and pulled the frightened made towards him. "Let me show you my appreciation for all of your help..."

Lezard screamed as Rufus puckered his lips and tried to kiss him. "HELP!" he shouted. "Lenneth, my love! SAVE ME!"

- - -

Alicia was just explaining to Lenneth about how her mood lately had been less cheerful than it should be in the holiday season. "I'm just kind of homesick," she told her. "And Rufus..."

"You don't like Rufus?" Lenneth asked her. This came as a shock.

"I do!" Alicia said, and blushed pink as she forced herself to calm down. "But he's so shy... sometimes I wish he was more outgoing like Lezard."

Lenneth grimaced. "No," she said flatly. "No, you don't."

At that moment, they heard Lezard's cry for help. "What could it be?" Alicia asked in alarm.

"I don't know," Lenneth replied, and drew her sword. "But there is a creature that can make Lezard cry out so, it must surely be fearsome! Come, we must protect Asgard!"

The two ladies sprinted down the hallway to the library, where they expected to find a powerful monster, or something like that, battling Lezard. Instead, to their surprise, they found a few knocked over book cases, and a half-undressed Lezard who was just lucky that he wore so many layers of clothing. Rufus was straddled on top of him, pinning him down.

"Oh..." Alicia stammered, pausing in the doorway. "Oh my goodness..." Her face turned bright red and a trickle of blood dripped out of her nose.

Lenneth was unamused, however. She raised her sword and pointed it at the two struggling men. "Some sexually depraved demon has possessed Sir Rufus!" she declared. "Come, Alicia! We must purify him!"

"Purify..." Alicia mumbled, as she watched Rufus and Lezard's lips get really close together. "Right..."

Lenneth paid no attention to Alicia and leapt into the air. She came down again with her sword, and cracked Rufus over the head with it. It was an instant KO. Rufus crumpled limply onto Lezard's body, where the poor mage was trapped until Lenneth pried the heavy, unconscious half-elf off of him. Lezard immediately clamped his arms around Lenneth's waist.

"Oh Lenneth! Lenneth!" he cried. "You saved me!"

"Yes, yes," Lenneth sighed, patting Lezard on the head. Then she felt Lezard's hands start to move lower down her back and cracked him on the head, too. Fortunately, not hard enough to render him unconscious. "Ow," he whined, and let go of her.

Alicia lifted Rufus into her arms and cast heal on him. He awoke. "Where am I?" he moaned. "Why do I feel... sticky?"

"Are you okay?" Alicia asked him. "You were... um... sick."

Lezard stood and brushed himself off. He found the vial he had given Rufus, and looked at the label. It was actually the very powerful aphrodisiac he had concocted at the request of Mystina for Christmas. He quickly hid it in his cloak. It would look really bad if Lenneth were to find out!

Luckily, no one noticed him. "Alicia," Rufus said weakly, looking up at the fallow-haired object of his affections. "Would you... I mean you don't have to if you don't want to, but..."

"What?" Alicia asked. Lezard and Lenneth both quickly turned around, as if to give the two some privacy, though they were both listening in intently.

"Would you... go on a date with me? We could go see the lights..."

"Yes!" Alicia replied, and gave him a hug. "That would be so much fun!" Rufus grinned and turned very bright pink before falling unconscious again. Alicia shook him, trying to wake him up. "Oh dear!"

- - -

The next night, Silmeria and Hrist were helping Alicia get dressed up for her date. They put her in a pretty sparkling dress and made her make-up. Well, Silmeria did. Hrist mainly just watched. She was just sitting in so that she could hear the big scoop about Rufus and Lezard's close encounter.

"So who was uke?" Silmeria asked.

"It had to be Rufus," Hrist cackled. "Had to be!"

"Well," Alicia mumbled absently in embarrassment. "Lezard was on the bottom..."

"They're both uke!" Silmeria and Hrist said together, clasping each other's hands in fangirl glee.

"Wow, I didn't know that you were into that, Hrist," Alicia said in fascination.

Hrist lifted her halberd and cracked it on the floor. "That's because Hrist Valkyrie is always SEME!"

- - -

Lezard was left alone in his room on a perfectly lovely night, while the dumb guy he had helped was out having a good time with his girlfriend. He was probably getting to hold her hands, and kiss her cheeks, and--and look at her cute butt in that tiny sparkly dress she had worn for him! It would look so much better on Lenneth, he thought.

There came a knock at the door. He groaned as he stood to get it. All that he had been doing today was answering the door for the females of Valhalla, all who wanted samples of that damned potion!

He answered the door with his mouth already open to say NO! but instead, he held it there in shock. Standing in his doorway was Lenneth Valkyrie! His joy quickly turned to annoyance as he guessed what this was about. "Did you find out about my aphrodisiac and come to scold me?" he asked her. "I wasn't planning to use it on you, if that's what you think. It was all Mystina's idea!"

"No, Lezard," Lenneth replied. "I wanted to ask you what you learned from all of this."

Lezard pouted. "I learned that being a good guy doesn't get you anywhere!"

"You really tried this time, I know," she replied. "Rufus told me what you did for him. He told me that you were really being selflessly kind for the first time in your life, so..." she smiled up at him. "I was wondering if you would like to go see the lights with me."

"I-I-I-I would enjoy that very much!" he replied. "Oh, my darling Lenneth! At last!"

"Wait," Lenneth replied, holding up her hands. "There are some ground rules. Touch me inappropriately and it's called off."

"I swear against it," Lezard replied, bowing.

Rufus had kept his promise to return Lezard's favor after all, and for once, he didn't completely fail in every way possible. Lezard was so happy to be out on a "date" with Lenneth, even if she wasn't wearing a cute dress or letting him touch her, that the entire world seemed even brighter than it should with all of the fancy lights. For the very first time in his life, he actually felt good.

They sat on a high place on Asgard Hill and looked down at all of the festive lights below. "Would it be considered indecent if I dared to place my arm around your shoulders?" Lezard asked her.

"I will allow this," Lenneth said strictly, and watched him carefully as he did so.

#8 -- Dolls

Lenneth had not seen Lezard all day. This made her worried, so she peeked in to see how he was doing. When she looked into his study, she was alarmed to see Lezard sitting at a table of dolls which resembled her friends Alicia and Hrist. They were little and squatty with badly-drawn faces, but had a strange, uncanny resemblance nonetheless. To better scope out the situation, she remained silent. If Lezard had put their souls into the dolls, she would really have to punish him--but if he hadn't, then she would feel bad to accuse him of such a thing.

"Hello, miss Alicia, would you like a Christmas cookie?" Lezard asked the Alicia doll, and held up a freshly baked cookie.

"Mmm, I love cookies!" the doll replied--or actually, Lezard replied to himself in a feminine type voice as he crammed the Alicia doll's drawn-on mouth with a cookie. "Nom nom nom, you make the best cookies! Rufus can't bake for crap!"

"Oh, don't be too hard on him," Lezard replied with a soft chuckle. "He's doing as well as he can with such a dull mind." Then he turned to the Hrist doll. "Would you like a cookie, Hrist?"

"You tempt me with sweets as your offering? This is an offense to the gods!" Lezard said for the Hrist doll in a husky voice that was really even manlier than his normal tone.

"I have some cold cuts if you would like a sandwich instead," he answered. "It is spicy brown meat, and should be to your liking."

"Oh, Lezard," the Alicia doll sighed. "You are so thoughtful, I think you're sooooo awesome."

"I do too," he said in the Hrist doll's voice in its deep voice. "Let's all three of us make out!"

"No, no, ladies!" Lezard objected. "My heart belongs only to one woman--Lenneth Valkyrie! Please, you must restrain yourselves!"

"Lezard," Lenneth said flatly. Lezard jumped ten feet in the air, knocking the table over. He landed and tried to cover up the evidence with his cloak. "What are you doing?"

"L-lenneth!" Lezard sputtered. "Why, I was just testing to prepare myself for when I invite the ladies over for a cookie-baking party!"

Lenneth sighed. "Well, as long as you didn't put anyone's soul in the dolls or something like that."

She began to leave, and then took one last look around Lezard's study. Over in the corner was something that she hadn't seen yet. There were two more dolls, one that looked like Lezard and one that looked like herself. They were sitting on a chair with their faces crammed together.

"Aha..." Lezard laughed awkwardly. "Those are for ah... um..."

"Uhg..." she groaned, and stomped out of Lezard's study.

#9 -- Bells

One lovely December morning, Lenneth and Alicia sat on a blanket laid over some grass outside of Valhalla in the flower fields. Occasionally the girls needed to have tea and cookies and talk about things of a womanly nature. Well, Alicia did mostly that, while Lenneth kept coming back to purification and punishing the damned, etc.

Alicia looked up at the sound of a feint tinkling. She could see nothing but an odd vague lump of purple hidden in the tall grass some distance away. Lenneth, who had even keener senses, did nothing but lift her tea to her lips and sip, unconcerned. "What's that?" she asked her.

"Lezard," Lenneth replied. "I put a bell around his neck so that I can tell when he's stalking me."

"Oh!" That made sense as Alicia thought of it. "But you don't seem very agitated. Could it be that you actually enjoy being stalked?"

"It isn't so much that I enjoy it--rather, I like to keep Lezard close at hand so that he doesn't commit any evil deeds, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The only time it bothers me is when I'm getting dressed, or when I'm trying to take a bath."

"And I am sure those are the times when he is the most persistent," Alicia agreed in dismay.

#10 -- Cookies

Lenneth glared menacingly at the pile of rough supplies laid out before her. Flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla? How was she supposed to create something edible with this? She thought back to the surprisingly innocent expression on Lezard's face as he had explained the rules.

It's a cookie party! Everyone bring a batch of your own cookie recipe, and we will trade and taste all of them while we drink tea and have a fun talk. The only rule is that you can't use materialization, that would be cheating! The cookies must be made by your own hands.

Lenneth sucked at doing things the old way. If her Einherjar needed something, she just spent some materialize points and made it! But Lezard had been so unexpectedly cute when he was trying desperately to be nice! She knew from the doll incident how much he had been preparing himself for today. If she let him down, then he would most certainly go back to his path of evil. She had to make these damned cookies!

- - -

That evening, Alicia, Hrist, Silmeria, Mystina, and Lenneth all arrived at Lezard's study with boxes of their home-made cookies. Lezard was happy to see all of them, and had his study outfitted with plenty of cushy chairs all placed around a huge coffee table.

Hrist looked around. "There's no other men here," she said. "Are you sure he isn't planning to use the sovereign's rite on us again?"

"I'm quite certain," Lenneth replied.

"Rufus is the only guy who would have wanted to make cookies," Alicia replied, "and after that last incident, I think he and Lezard are avoiding being seen in each other's rooms. There were girls with cameras after them..."

The valkyries each nodded in understanding, and Mystina looks away shifty-eyed pretending that she had not been one of those girls. It was at this point that Lezard emerged with his apron holding a kettle in one hand and a tray of colorful tea cups in the other. "I have Christmas presents!" he declared. "There is a unique a teacup for each of you ladies." He set the tray of cups down on the table in front of them. "Can you guess which one is for you?"

Alicia leaned over excitedly. "Is mine the one with a cute bunnies on it?"

"Yes, it is," Lezard replied.

Alicia picked up the cup and had Lezard pour her some tea. She held it out to Silmeria. "Look, this one is just like Rufus!"

Silmeria looked at the multi-colored rabbits and thought that they all looked the same. "Why that one?"

Alicia pouted. "Because it's green and has long ears."

"Oh, I see it now," Silmeria said, though she didn't really get it.

"This shiny black one is for Hrist, the lily print is for Lenneth, the striped one is for Silmeria, and the hot pink one is for Mystina."

"Thank you very much," Lenneth replied. Her sisters thanked him as well.

"Why did you get me hot pink?" Mystina grumbled, not happy.

"Because I know how you hate pink," Lezard replied with a snark grin. "You're welcome, everyone!"

"What does your teacup look like?" Alicia asked Lezard. Lezard held up a blue teacup with a chibi Lenneth making a cute face on it. Alicia was not surprised. "I should have guessed that..."

"Now let's see everyone's cookies!" Lezard said loudly.

"Geez," Mystina grumbled. "You're so excited when you say that, I have to wonder what kind of 'cookies' you are talking about."

Lezard looked at Mystina with a weepy face and began to whimper. "Mystina, you're going to make them think that I planned this party for ulterior reasons!"

"Calm down," Lenneth chided him. "We all know that Mystina is just taunting you."

"Now, the cookies," Hrist said proudly, finally claiming herself an excuse to get everyone's attention. She unveiled hers, which were dark and shiny. "They are marshmallow sandwiched between dark chocolate cookies and dipped in more dark chocolate."

"Oh wow," Alicia moaned as a little bit of drool started to form at the side of her mouth.

Lenneth was really impressed by Hrist's cooking. She had counted on Hrist to be the only one whose cookies would suck more than hers did. When she saw how good they were, she sank into her chair.

"Mine are pecan sandies," Silmeria said. "They aren't very sweet or heavy, but they go well with coffee and tea."

"Ooh, I love those too!" Alicia squealed, very excited with all of this. Then she opened her box of cookies modestly and blushed. "I made gingerbread cookies to look like all of our friends. See... this one has glasses, and this one has green hair, and this one has white feathers on its head and this one has black..."

Lezard looked at her with big wide puppy dog eyes. "Can I have the Lenneth cookies, please? Please?"

"Only if Lenneth says it's okay," she responded.

Everyone looked at Lenneth. Lenneth hopped and hugged her own box of cookies to her chest protectively. "Uh... I do not mind, go ahead."

"Thank you, Lenneth!" Lezard cried as he gingerly took the carefully crafted Lenneth cookie from Alicia. "But... it's so beautiful, how can I eat it?"

"Okay, my turn!" Mystina exclaimed, trying to get away from Lezard's disturbing moral dilemma as quickly as possible. She grinned as she opened her box. "Ta-da!" Inside were a dozen oddly-shaped cookies. They looked sort of like lady-fingers, but with a bulb-looking thing at one end.

Alicia leaned in curiously. "Are they... mushrooms?"

"No, stupid!" Mystina groaned. "I used my novelty cookie-cutter! I even brought icing in different colors so that we can paint on the pubes."


"Yes, I even brought a green tube just for you!"

"Put that thing away!" Silmeria groaned, as Alicia blanked out to some other place.

"Shouldn't you be telling him that?" Mystina responded, and pointed her thumb at Lezard. He was starting to lick the icing off of the Lenneth cookie with a lovestruck glaze in his eyes.

"Come on," Hrist said. "The wang cookies might taste good, you never know."

"Uhg," Silmeria sighed. "Well, Lenneth, you are the last one."

"I," Lenneth began quietly. "I did follow the directions..."

Lezard looked up from his fantasy date with cookie!Lenneth in great interest. "My love, certainly anything that you have made is the best of all!"

Lenneth slunk in her chair. Why did Lezard have to idolize her so much? Why did the fate of mankind have to rest on Lezard's continued good-guy behavior? Why did that have to boil down to her baking skills?

She uncovered the cookies she had brought. They were charred black lumps.

"Um," Alicia mumbled, trying to look excited. "Are they chocolate-flavored?"

"No," Lenneth replied. "They are not."

Although Alicia was sympathetic, Hrist, Silmeria, and Mystina all broke out into laughter. "Lenneth can't cook!" they cackled. "Oh wow, the most powerful of the valkyries can't bake cookies!"

Lenneth flushed in embarrassment. She glanced over at Lezard. "I am sorry," she said.

Lezard returned her expression seriously and held out his hand to her. "Give them to me." He said this is such a brave and heroic tone that Alicia thought she must be watching a soap opera.

Lenneth handed him the cookies, and everyone watched in horror as he began to scarf down each and every last one of them. They were too aghast to even worry about his health or tell him to stop. When nothing but crumbs were left, he downed a whole glass of milk, wiped his mouth, and burped. "You fools missed out!" he said. "Those were the most amazing cookies that I have ever eaten!"

Then, he promptly fell over.

"Oh my goodness!" Alicia cried, standing up to help him. "I think he's unconscious!"

"Is he breathing?" Mystina asked, sounding fairly uninterested.

"Yes, but--"

"He's fine."

Lenneth smiled as she stood up. "They really were awful," she said.

The other girls watched in amazement (and some, once again, in horror) as Lenneth stepped over to the seat where Lezard had fallen over. She lifted him up and sat down, placing his head in her lap. "I suppose that if he can bear to eat my cooking that I can bear this sort of humiliation for a little while," she said, and felt his head. He didn't have a fever at least.

Lezard began to mumble in his daze. "Mm... frosting Lenneth taste like... frosting..."

Lenneth looked disgusted. "Maybe I spoke too soon."

See You Next Year!
That was fun, random, and silly. Unfortunately, that is all--at least until the next challenge.