Title: 12 Days of Christmas

Author: Starling Sinclair

Word Count: 667

Octopus' Garden

"Are you serious?" Mamoru asked.

The acne-prone teenager in the orange hardware store vest nodded. "Yes, sir," he said with a cracking voice. "All available extension cords have been moved to the holiday section."

Mamoru looked towards the swarms of shoppers buzzing around assorted lights and inflatable Santas then scowled. This was suppose to be a quick and easy, Christmas-free errand.

An Odango headed blonde skipped to the front of the crowd and seemed to be critiquing an inflatable snowman. Mamoru smiled. At least it wouldn't be a total disaster. He even felt his anger towards the pubescent personnel ebb.

"Is there anything else I can help you with, sir?" the boy asked.

"No, I can handle it," Mamoru responded.

"Merry Christmas, sir."

Mamoru rolled his eyes and headed towards the holiday hordes.

"Come on, Usagi, get serious," Raye scolded.

Odango clutched a small box. Pictured on the front were four, light-up holographic...lobsters?

"But it works so well with the octopus! It could be an underwater Christmas, like the Little Mermaid! Come on, Ami, don't you agree with me?" Usagi pleaded.

Mamoru hid behind a row of shelves, watching through a gap in Christmas light supplies.

Ami looked away.

"This is a decorating competition! We can't do anything silly," Rei chided.

"It's not silly! It's creative!" Usagi argued. Much to Mamoru's dismay, he actually agreed with Usagi. Her idea was creative and original.

"Come on, Usagi, if we don't leave soon, we won't have time to get everything up before judging," Makoto reasoned.

Usagi sighed defeated and placed the holiday lobsters on the shelf Mamoru was watching through.

"Let's just stick with our 'Santa's Workshop' theme. It's a good idea," Minako continued.

He couldn't see Usagi's reaction, but he watched as the five girls and their shipping cart of Christmas cheer moved towards the check-out.

Mamoru found the extention cords below his window to Usagi. He grabbed one, and an extra so he didn't have to come back anytime soon. The he looked back up, staring at the dancing lobster box through the shelf. Slowly, he pulled the box through. It really was a clever idea. The net lights could be strung like fishing nets. With those glowing balls and icicle lights he could make a jellyfish. Didn't she say something about an octopus?

Mamoru sighed, looking back at the extension cords. He was going to need more.

***

Usagi took the long way home from Motoki's house. They had lost the neighborhood "Christmas Spectacle" exterior holiday decorating competition, which basically meant a yard that was at risk of causing a neighborhood wide brown out. The winner was a carnival themed Christmas extravaganza that blacked out the entire block. They never stood a chance. They were the fourth "Santa's Workshop" themed house on the block.

Nobody had done an underwater Christmas.

Usagi kicked at a rock on the sidewalk, shoving her hands in her pockets. She blew her breath out, watching the cold air condense in front of her face. As the mist cleared, she saw it. Her underwater holiday on a miniature scale on a balcony of the apartment complex in front of her. Her Merry Octopus' Garden.

The octopus was blue with a red Santa hat and a candy cane. Its tentacles hung over the edge of the balcony. The lobsters were tied to the railing. A school of multicolor fish were swimming towards a Hawaiian Santa holding a net light, like, well a net. A jellyfish hung where a potted plant might. A man was finishing hanging blue icicle lights across his sliding glass door. When he finished, he turned around.

Usagi gawked. Even from the distance she could make him out - Mamoru-baka. Then quite surprisingly, he leaned against the balcony and waved.

Dumbstruck, she waved back and watched him laugh. Rolling her eyes, she continued home, but she couldn't keep the smile off her face.

***

AN: So, my shortest story so far, probably over all. This one was actually inspired by my own yard. I didn't get to do everything Mamoru did, because I couldn't afford to like him, but the octopus, net, and lobsters are currently in my front yard. I think it's great. Hope y'all enjoyed it too.

A special thanks to kireisnowtenshi and skye668.

As always, reviews are appreciated.

Disclaimer: Still don't own Sailor Moon.