AN: This is the first in a short series of one-shots, detailing the adventures of Gotham's villains during the holidays. This first one is horror but the rest will probably be some other genre. I'll decide when the time comes.
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Alberto Falcone's manor was quiet and peaceful on this evening, as most homes tend to be on Christmas Eve. It was dark outside but he felt safe in the knowledge that he had ten guards patrolling the grounds. Not that there was much danger; no-one would order a hit during the holidays. Still, in light of recent events, one was never too careful.
He cast such thoughts aside and watched with a smile as his seven year old daughter raised a wrapped package and weighed it with a contemplating look on her face, then shook it carefully. His wife and his sister sat in a sofa opposite him, chatting about something he would never be able to relate to.
Rolling the wine around in his glass he looked back at his daughter.
"Isn't it about time for bed, Anne?"
She looked up at him from the floor, a surly pout telling him exactly what she thought of his suggestion. He took no heed and picked her up and ruffled her hair.
"Stop making faces at me or I'll tell Santa. Wouldn't want that, now would.."
He was interrupted by the sound of a gun being fired outside. He felt his blood run cold.
"Panic room! Now!"
They all ran for it as the sound of gunfire escalated. He cradled Anne's head against his chest as he ran and led his wife by the hand. They reached the panic room and closed the door behind them.
His sister went for the phone and dialed for the police while he muttered meaningless words of consolation to his daughter, who was now in her mother's arms, sobbing loudly. His wife glared at him accusingly, as if this was all his fault. Which it was, in a way.
Minutes passed and nothing happened. Either his guards would come and report their success or someone else would come to search for him. They could only wait.
He only knew of one monster who could possibly be attacking at such a time. Shit. Why couldn't he have remembered to grab a gun. They just had to hope the steel door held until help came.
Something brushed against the door and they all went quiet, their eyes transfixed on the steel. From outside there came a sniffing noise, followed by a deep growl.
It really was him. Or it. For a moment everything was quiet. Then something smacked into the door with a loud crash. The door held and again all went quiet. Again it came.
And again it held.
BAM! Quiet. BAM! Quiet. BAM! Quiet. BAM! The steel had started to moan and creak with every hit. BAM! Dust was starting to fall from the ceiling. BAM! Alberto could hear it's labored breath. BAM! The door started to bend inwards. BAM! The creature made a sound resembling a laugh. BAM! His daughter's sobs changed into wailing. BAM! Nothing but crying and the monster's breath. BAM! The door looked on the verge of breaking and everything quieted down, even his daughter's crying.
He strained his ears, hearing nothing but his family's whimpering and his own strained breathing and hammering heartbeat pounding in his ear. Moments passed and nothing happened.
Then he heard the sound of its running footsteps coming closer, heard the monster's weight slamming into the floor with each step. He ran at his family, knocking them out of the way seconds before the monster barreled through the door and sent it flying through the room.
He looked up at it from the floor, his arms stretched in a show of protecting his family. It raised itself to its full height, towering over them and staring at them with its cruel eyes. Blood dripped from its jaw, falling silently to the floor. Then it spoke in that deep rumble.
He got to his feet, standing between the monster and his family. Its eyes moved to his daughter and the wrapped package she was clutching to her chest. The creature's lips curled upwards in a grotesque parody of a smile, revealing its sharp and bloody teeth.
"Christmas, that's right. Make a deal."
He stared at it in confusion for a moment, then found his voice.
"Special Christmas deal."
He said nothing, couldn't grasp the creature's meaning.
"Hungry. Four snacks here. Spare all. But there's a price. And a message."
He couldn't believe what he was hearing, shouldn't. But something akin to hope erupted in his breast.
"What's the price?", he finally stuttered.
"Four arms, three legs, two eyes, an ear. Stuff you live without. Kid don't need to lose nothing. Choose who gives what."
His jaw went slack and he felt like he could collapse to the floor at any moment. That was not something you survived unless you were near a hospital and even then a miracle was needed. Still, the cops were on their way so there was a ray of hope, however faint. And if it meant saving his daughter's life, however traumatized she would be, was the only thing that mattered.
"You get me and only me."
An amused glint appeared in the reptile's eyes.
"No. You can't choose, so I do. You give most, women share rest."
The monster grabbed his arms and leaned close to his face, its putrid breath almost making him wretch.
"The message: No more hitmen. Taste bad."
Its teeth tore their way into his flesh and his shrill scream pierced the room and blood sprayed in all directions.
Ten minutes later, Killer Croc jumped over the wall separating the manor ground's from the outside and ran through the snow with a red-tinged bag hanging over his shoulder. Blood fell onto the pearly white snow and the music of police sirens sounded throughout the neighborhood.
He couldn't help himself.
"Ho ho ho."