The Hyuga district was one of the most incredibly secure areas of the village, more secure in many ways than even the Hokage's tower or ANBU headquarters. The reason for the security, of course, was because it boasted the highest density of authentic Hyuga eyes in the entire village. Hyuga eyes were both a valuable commodity, reportedly being worth around a million ryo to the right buyer, should one viable for transplant be found, and the method by which their homes were guarded.
Even young children, provided they had activated their byakugan, had the ability to see through walls and pierce genjutsu as if it wasn't there. Among the clans of Konoha, only the Inuzuka and Aburame could boast similar levels of security, both due to far more effective senses than the ordinary human possessed. Still, Inuzuka could be fooled by being completely silent and scentless, and the Aburame insects would admit literally anyone who had the right pheromones which theoretically only a kikai queen could produce. Hyuga didn't rely on anything but their own eyes, and even techniques to render the user invisible used some chakra, which stood out like a lantern in a moonless night to Konoha's pale eyed ninja clan. It also helped that they were, almost without exception, ninjas, generally of some skill, with all the paranoia and wariness that came along with it.
It was basically impossible for anyone to enter the Hyuga compound without someone noticing.
Nevertheless, shortly before 3am one foggy Christmas night, Hinata Hyuga, curled up happily asleep on her side beneath a large, warm comforter, twitched in her sleep as an indistinct form crossed her vision, sneaking stealthily down the hall.
Unlike the rest of her clan, Hinata's eyes were black, black as the empty void between stars, that strange piping abyss where a blind idiot god of destruction lay quiescent. And unlike the rest of her clan, whose eyes only gave them an, admittedly amazing, perception of the world they lived in, Hinata's eyes saw through dimensions and angles of reality as well. They also worked on the borrowed demonic power of the Nine Tailed kitsune lurking inside her boyfriend Naruto's belly, not off her own human energy. So, as much as she might want them to sometimes, they didn't turn off when she slept, although she could put a filter of sorts over them by wearing her specially sealed forehead protector as a blindfold.
Hinata tended to have some truly …unusual …dreams.
Something in the ninja part of her brain told her that that form was real, and wasn't supposed to be here, in her home, the main house nestled deep in the most secure part of the Hyuga compound.
Groggily, only barely clinging to wakefulness, for she'd imbibed a few too many eggnogs at the rookie Christmas party only a few hours earlier, Hinata slid out of her bed, the kunai she kept under her pillow already in hand, and stalked silently down the hall to the family room, where the large intruder was rooting through their pile of presents beneath the tastefully decorated Christmas tree.
So Hinata stabbed him at the base of the skull and went back to bed. She was very sleepy.
A Very Team Lie Christmas
Your special gift
About an hour later, Hinata's eyelids snapped wide.
Who had she just killed?
Almost fearfully, she slid her forehead protector up, uncovering her eyes, left the bedroom, and tiptoed down the hall to the family room, where a tall, fat male corpse in a red outfit trimmed with white lay cooling face down in a puddle of blood.
Hinata crept up on him slowly.
She poked him with a stick.
Yeah, he was dead.
She carefully rolled him over. Eyes that might once have held a twinkle were now dull and glazed with death. The beard, now matted with blood, was once long and white. The belly still jiggled like a bowl full of jelly, though. Rigor hadn't yet set in.
Hinata face palmed.
She'd killed Santa Claus. Christmas was officially ruined.
Naruto! Naruto would know what to do!
Hinata bit her thumb hard enough to draw blood, formed seals, and wished really, really hard for Naruto to come fix things.
Naruto, still in his pajamas with a goofy looking animal hat flopped down over his face, appeared at her feet in a burst of chakra. He was still asleep.
"Naruto! Naruto!" she demanded, grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him gently or really hard depending on which end of the shake you were on. "Wake up! I killed Santa!"
"Huh, wuzzat? 'nata?" Naruto mumbled sleepily, his head flopping back and forth with little pops of his spine.
"Naruto wake up I killed someone I shouldn't have!" Hinata demanded again.
"Well doton the corpse and kill any witnesses," he said with a yawn, finally getting his feet under him and standing on his own power. "What, is there a bunch of them?"
"Naruto, you don't understand! I killed Santa Claus, Christmas is ruined!" she hissed, trying not to wake up everyone in the compound.
He blinked owlishly. Looked around at the decorations and tree and presents wrapped with care. Scratched himself. Looked puzzled.
"Do ninja celebrate Christmas?" Naruto asked dubiously.
"I'm just asking, is all, since we don't have Jesus Christ in our culture and everything…"
"Will you please wake up and take this seriously?" Hinata pleaded. "Santa is dead, and no one is going to get their presents now! Everyone is gonna be sad and they're all gonna blame me!"
"Oh." He blinked a few more times as his brain started coming on line. He thought about the situation a while, his oft over analytical mind exploring the ramifications of Santa dying by Hinata's hands.
"Heh heh, yeah, you're screwed," he chuckled, scratching the back of his head as he did so. "Whatcha want me to do about it?" It wasn't a dismissal, he was honestly too sleepy and still too buzzed from his own overindulgence at the party to decipher her intentions.
"Fix it, please!" Hinata begged.
"Oh, okay. Fix it, huh?" He rubbed his chin speculatively. Looked around. Bent down, grabbed Santa by the feet, and dragged the corpse outside into the yard at the center of the main house, where Hinata and her closest relatives often trained.
Hinata followed, watching to see what he'd do.
Naruto started forming seals for a doton jutsu.
"Not the body, I mean the presents!" she said, grabbing his hands mid-jutsu and interrupting. "You have to take Santa's place and deliver the presents to everyone so they don't know Santa is dead."
"Oh, THAT'S what you want me to fix. Christmas. Ah hah hah, I got you." He chuckled, embarrassed. "Where's his sack?"
They found it overlooked in the family room, not far from where Santa had been killed laying out presents for the good little Hyuga. It was heavy, but not unmanageably so.
"Alright, so I'll just make an army of clones," Naruto began, preparing to apply his solution to everything.
"But then all the presents will be shadow cloned, not real. You have to deliver real presents or they'll know something is wrong," Hinata pointed out.
Naruto gave her an exasperated look.
"Hinata-chan, I love you and all, but you're really nitpicky tonight. Okay, okay, I'll personally deliver the presents. Any other restrictions?"
"You'd probably better look like Santa, or someone's gonna stab you. Hold on." She ran outside, only to quickly return with Santa's floppy hat. She perched it incongruously on Naruto's head after she removed his funny animal one.
He looked like a sleepy ninja in light grey pajamas… and a santa hat. Nothing at all like the real Santa Claus, especially since he was a full head too short.
"Maybe if I cut off his head and you wore that…" Hinata mused.
"Hinata-chan, I am not delivering presents wearing Santa's head like a hat," Naruto told her very seriously. "That's going a little far even for me. I'll just use henge." He sat the sack down, formed a few seals, then transformed his whole body into a perfect copy of Santa, clothes and all.
"You look perfect," Hinata admitted. "Now you'd better hurry, or people are gonna wake up and see you."
Giving her a jaunty salute, Naruto shouldered the sack and ran off to begin his deliveries.
The first stop was actually pretty fast and painless. And the second. The civilians were either still asleep or welcoming. The few times he ran into people, mostly old timers, or ninja on patrol outside, they seemed to accept his Christmas Spirit.
The Inuzuka, not so much. He left a trail of wrapping paper, destroyed presents turned into chew toys, and the seat of his santa pants behind as he hastily leapt walls and ran across rooftops in an effort to get away from a pack of ninja dogs.
To hell with this, he needed a distraction.
Back with the pack, Kuromaru called off the chase and spat red cloth out of his mouth with a happy doggy grin.
"Finally! I've been after that guy for years!"
Sasuke slept lightly. There were only two people in Konoha he felt comfortable enough with to sleep around. Therefore, it was a little bit of a shock when a flung magazine, its pages flopping in the wind of its passage, smacked into his face.
"What the fu- oh hey tits," he said, waking up far more quickly than Naruto or Hinata had and getting a look at the porn magazine that Naruto had thrown. "Nice ones."
"Ho ho get your ass up and come on, Sasuke, Hinata killed Santa and now I'm delivering presents. You're going with me to make it look a little more official and to run interference for when people start throwing knives and dogs at me." Naruto flashed him a hand sign they'd worked out long ago, proving his identity.
"Dogs?" Sasuke asked.
Santa Naruto turned around and showed his boxers where the seat of his red pants should have been.
"Laugh it up sleepy head; I've got less than two hours before everyone in Konoha is up and wanting to open presents. We've got to get moving."
"I get the cookies, okay?"
"You mean you haven't been eating the cookies and drinking the milk?" Sasuke asked, aghast. "No wonder they've been giving you trouble! You're not Santa unless you eat the cookies and drink the milk!"
"Fine, you get the cookies, just come on!"
"But you drink the milk. I don't like milk," Sasuke added.
"Let's just gooooo," Naruto pleaded.
With Sasuke running interference, which could be anything other than a quick word, a genjutsu, or in one memorable occasion wrapping a kid up with ninja wire, stuffing a pair of Christmas socks in his mouth, and leaving him hanging upside down from a doorway.
A pair of socks was was the only present in the sack for that kid, so he must have been a brat. Of course, Naruto thought pretty seriously that Santa shouldn't be so discriminatory. So he rattled the sack a few times, kicked it, and it spat out a dozen more gifts, including a bicycle.
The kid was grinning when they left.
What the hell, they started leaving extra gifts everywhere. The sack was pretty full, and it seemed like even when they pulled a bunch of stuff out it didn't get any emptier.
Even the sack seemed to give up and just start spitting stuff out at random. Despite the rush, though, they did at least attempt to leave appropriate presents.
As funny as it might have been, Naruto simply refused to leave a whole family of dolls for a kid who was obviously a boy, or a nightie for a big burly man, or an OH MY GOD I DIDN'T KNOW SANTA LEFT THOSE AS PRESENTS for anyone who wasn't a pretty woman.
More than once.
Well, yeah, look at him; he's obviously on the girly side.
Oh, she's gonna love that.
I wanted one when I was a kid, he'll treasure it.
So what if he does put his eye out? I've heard they've developed some really amazing blind fighting techniques. He'll be fine.
Okay, that's enough, Sasuke.
…alright, but this is the last time, okay?
Don't give me that look, you hypocrite. No, I'm not the hypocrite, I said you were first. Just guard the door, okay?
For people they knew, they really tried to be thoughtful. For instance, the sack produced a shogi set with Shikamaru's name on it. How boring, the guy probably owned two dozen of the things by now, surely he had other interests.
So for the laziest rookie in Konoha, they left a paint by numbers set, a Sudoku book, two volumes of Icha Icha, and a body pillow with the picture of a girl in lingerie on it as, theoretically, Shikamaru's perfect girlfriend. It was a girl who would always be happy to nap with him.
Kiba had already gotten a yard full of present shreds to pick up, which was totally not Naruto's fault, but Shino got an insect collector's kit, with euthanizing agent, pins, lacquer, a net, and a display case for the dead insects. Sasuke kept snickering, but wouldn't tell him why. They also left him a bicycle because it kept getting in the way of other stuff when they reached in the sack.
Sakura got a book on psychology entitled 'Schizophrenia and You, and You, Too', which they found hilarious, a set of reinforced gloves, and a couple of padded bras, as well as an elegant new hairbrush inlaid with green jade that would probably look good against her pink hair.
At one point they ran across a finger trap with someone's name on it they'd never heard of, so they saved it for Neji, even though the Hyuga presents had already been delivered. They also saved him a hula hoop because he was such a grouch.
After all, even if you hate everything, no one hates hula hoops.
Under the same theory, they got Hinata's little sister Hanabi her own hula hoop, basically to keep her from stealing Neji's, a Kari the Kunoichi doll (tm), and her equally trademarked eternal rival, Faceless Shinobi Man with Real Taijutsu Grip (tm). The former came with a fold out chart of hilariously inaccurate chakra diagrams and pressure points that Hanabi might get a kick out of, and the latter included a pair of cheap wooden shuriken, which they swapped out for a pair of good standard issue ones from Sasuke's pouch.
Cheap, blunt, and wooden though they might be, Sasuke still managed to fling them hard enough to kill an early morning pigeon roosting near the warmth of a chimney they were planning on sneaking down.
They discussed the possibility of getting her a henna temporary tattoo kit and cutting a little stencil of the branch family manji forehead seal out of some cardboard, but Naruto finally dismissed it as hitting too close to real insecurities, making it more mean than funny. After all, this was Christmas.
The sack spit out tights with built in armor weave for Anko, apparently in deference to the cold and that she still wore skirts. They tossed in a new whetstone set and a kunai hammock, under the theory that, while yes, Anko probably had a diverse range of interests, it was best not to get involved.
They got into a fight when they got to Chouji. Sasuke wanted to leave him weights, porn disguised as aerobic videos, weight loss pills, and a diet book. Naruto wanted to leave him a cheese tray, a sausage tray, a cheese and sausage tray, and an entire Christmas ham. They compromised by leaving all of it, which confused the shit out of Chouji when he woke up.
They were in complete agreement when they hit Tenten's apartment. She got a set of kitchen utensils minus the knives, a couple of pots and pans, some oven mitts, The Joy of Cooking, and a T-shirt that read 'I should be in the kitchen.'
Kakashi got porn. Just porn.
Ino got training weights, shin guards, and a wakizashi with lovely floral scrollwork. It was hard for them to think of anything funny to get her, since she had no obvious buttons to press. Tenten was almost all business and proud of it, so gifts telling her to stick to domestic female duties was more of a gentle tease than a mean spirited gift. Ino, however, was actually pretty balanced between girly and professional. Hence, she was boring.
Asuma got several boxes of elaborate, naughty lingerie… But they left them under Kurenai's tree. Kurenai got a box of condoms, ribbed for her pleasure.
After some serious discussion on whether or not she'd be able to track them down and murder them, they went to Asuma's place, where both of the jounin were actually staying the night, and left popcorn and a movie collection that featured strong, independent women doing strong, independent things in hopes the jounin kunoichi would forgive their little joke and not hunt them down like animals.
Ibiki got an ice cream scoop. Sasuke didn't ask. Naruto didn't stop shivering until they were more than six blocks away.
The Hokage got a package of warm woolen socks.
They paused for a brief break just outside the apartment of their old teacher, Iruka, to pant heavily and Naruto to pee in some bushes. All that milk was really working on him.
"Well, we've got maybe a few hundred houses left, and dawn hasn't broke yet. I think we're gonna make it," Sasuke said thoughtfully, nibbling at a cookie. His pockets were stuffed full of them, and he'd even taken a detour by his apartment to drop off a sack of cookies, as well as some of the more interesting and expensive presents the sack had produced. He and Naruto had an agreement to divide them equally with Hinata, later, as perks of the job.
"Yeah, seeing all these happy families celebrating Christmas together really makes you wonder, huh Sasuke?" Naruto said, shaking and fastening his pants.
"About when we started celebrating Christmas since we don't have Jesus Christ?" Sasuke asked.
"No, not that," Naruto said exasperatedly. "I dunno, it's just… Sometimes I wonder what it'd be like to have parents." He looked down and sighed.
Sasuke shrugged. "Sure, it sounds good, and I guess it was alright while it lasted, but it's nothing to mope over. I mean, just think of it like this; sure, you missed out on the typical christmas events most kids get… but you're standing here, talking to me, and you have Santa's entire sack. I'd say that pretty much makes up for it."
"Huh. You know, I think you're right." Much cheered, Naruto lead the way once more.
They were extremely generous at the orphanages and at people's houses they knew or suspected to be critically short on family, and the sack, seemingly endless as it was, finally ran low. They finished it up at Gai's house by simply upending it and dumping four dozen random presents across the floor, then walking out immediately. They were tired.
Still, as they were walking back across Konoha in the cold morning air, Naruto couldn't stop grinning.
Sasuke didn't say anything.
Naruto nudged him with his elbow.
Sasuke didn't say anything.
Naruto nudged him again harder.
Sasuke still didn't say anything.
Naruto drew a kunai.
"ARIGHT FINE," Sasuke snapped. He rolled his eyes and sighed. "If you insist." He paused and pitched his voice up into a sickly sweet, mocking tone. "Oh, but Naruto! You seem to have forgotten someone. Whoever could it be? Could it be… Lee? Oh noes!"
Naruto grinned like a maniac and proudly displayed the empty sack.
"…you're a very bad man, Naruto, and I love you for it," Sasuke said in a wondering tone of voice.
Together, they snuck into Lee's apartment, winced at the garishly over decorated home, and left the sack wadded up beneath his tree as his only present. Then Naruto stomped the floor a few times and dropped the happy santa plate the cookies had been left out on with a clatter.
Then the two of them ran out before Lee could come to investigate. But unlike all the other times, they paused right outside and pressed against the wall near the window, their mouths open slightly as they strained to hear Lee's reaction from inside.
"What? Who's there? Santa?" Lee asked as he came skidding into his living room. "What'd you leave me, huh, huh?!"
"OH WOW! It's a magic sack that can hold tons but never weighs more than a hundred pounds! THANKS SANTA! This is the best gift ever!"
In an instant, Sasuke's happy expression fell. He gave Naruto a disgusted look.
Naruto face palmed.
The exhaustion and stress of sneaking into every home in Konoha in less than two hours was finally catching up to Naruto as he stumbled back to the Hyuga main house compound, dropping his henge as he did so, though he still had the santa hat that Hinata had put on him earlier.
He was so tired and frazzled, in fact, that the Hyuga guards just shrugged and waved at him. He waved back tiredly.
Hinata met him at the door, wearing Santa's outfit in a very… provocative manner. The robes were a dozen sizes or more too big for her, but she had gathered them in with her arms in such a way that they revealed plenty of pale, creamy skin.
That happened to be completely covered in a tracery of white scars, but Naruto had quit noticing that long ago.
"Did you do it?" she asked excitedly, her breath puffing visible in the cold Christmas morning air. "Did you save Christmas?"
Naruto nodded, his exhaustion fading away as he got a good look at her in the outfit.
Hinata scissored out one leg, shapely, pale, and gloriously bare as it emerged from the stolen clothes. She sashayed towards him, letting one shoulder of the robe fall to show off generous cleavage and prove that, yes, she was quite bare beneath those robes.
"My…" she said breathily, "hero…"
"Well, you know me," he said with a chuckle. "I've just got all kinds of Christmas spirit in me."
She arched one eyebrow provocatively.
"I don't suppose that you could help me …get some …of your Christmas spirit in me?" she asked, ignoring the sting of her bare feet on cold porch boards.
"I dunno…" he replied, eyes glued to her. "I've got a lot of Christmas spirit…"
She wrapped herself around him and he returned the embrace. Hinata squealed softly as his cold hands verified that, yes indeed, there was nothing but her underneath those robes.
He paused briefly.
Underneath those robes, which were still a little sticky with Santa's blood…
Oh well. He shrugged and resumed making out with his girlfriend.
"Hinata, why did you leave the fat naked dead man in your yard?" he asked.
"Shush, Naruto. That's what servants are for."
"Are you," she asked, kissing him, "ready for your present now, Santa?"
"Ohhh yeannnnnnnnn maybe?" he replied, suddenly puzzled. "I can't help but feel as if I've forgotten something."
Hinata writhed beneath his hands.
"Nope, must have been nothing important!" he chirped happily. "Yay presents!"
Merry Christmas Merry Christmas Merry Christmas Merry Christmas
Author's note: No lies, have as Merry a Christmas as you're able. Or Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever you celebrate. Personally, I'd love to write 'A Very Team Lie Hanukkah', because something tells me that would be freaking hilarious, but I'm not jewish and I don't have any IRL jewish friends, so I'm a little fuzzy on the details. Sorry.
Meanwhile, in Suna:
Gaara sat at the bottom of the sandstone steps that lead from his bedroom down to the living room of the apartment he shared with Kankuro and Temari. Despite the early hour, he had his enormous sand gourd on his back, but he was still in pajamas. He also clutched an old, worn teddy bear.
There, in the corner of the living room, their Christmas cactus stood. Streamers and ornaments dangled from its thorns, and a tinsel star topped the tallest stalk. The stockings were hung from the mantel with care…
But the floor was bare. The stockings were empty, the cookies and milk undisturbed.
Santa had not come.
A single tear rolled down his face.