NOTE: Before I start, since I couldn't find any info on Nahi or the series she was in that was in English and I needed a character with a bit of magical powers (which I assume she has) so I want to apologize if I get somethings wrong with her powers or personality.
No one said it was going to be easy. Especially if the very concept of manning a grappling hook was more alien to you than the entire Sakrohm clan. But now was not the time for Narenda to fret over it. If his beloved Ratanah said it work, he knew it would even if it meant standing out on a cold Christmas Eve night, covered in flour, wearing chains and the only suit he owned (which was ten years out of style) and trying to break into Zatman's mansion.
"Achoo." A cute, tiny little sneeze drew his attention to the breast pocket of his suit.
"I know little one." He gently patted Nahi on the head with his index finger. "We'll be in soon enough."
"Grrr." Cursing the horrid weather, she attempted to wrap the pocket fabric around herself like a blanket. Oh nudists, Narenda knew he'd never fully get them.
Swinging the grappling hook over his head, Narendra could still proudly remember the day Ratanah became the Leader of Roots. Three years ago Aristotle Finch's, their founder who could best be physically described as a cross between Neale Donald Walsch and Mr. Rogers, heart was finally giving out. Only 58-years-old and it still felt like he was too young to be downing enough pills to sedate an entire nursing home and going through those painful bi-weekly treatments at the hospital. Maybe that was why he suddenly stopped and gathered his clanmates at the time to give his last words.
"That is why…" Aristotle pulled out his favorite walking stick from the side of his bed. From the corner of his eyes, Narendra could see Matthew (Aristotle's unofficial assistant) walking over with his hands almost outstretched. "I want you to take over, Ratanah."
"Her?" Matthew's jaw nearly dropped as Aristotle placed his stick lovingly into her hands.
"I know you'll do a good job."
And that she did. Other than having to put up Matthew's sulking for an entire month, Roots was running as well as ever. Narendra had to reminded himself that they had been through worse. Especially when he accidentally triggered the alarms in that animal lab they got Kiki out of. He'd just have to believe that everything would fall into place just as the grappling hook went right through Zatman's bedroom window…or maybe not.
Thankful that Lilly deactivated the alarm system, he shrugged his shoulders and began climbing. It was a silly idea when he thought of it, but just maybe they would be able to pull a few of the Upper's heartstrings despite having less than two hours to put it together. Given all the endless "Christmas Carol" take-offs in existence, it was ironic that until yesterday Ratanah had never seen the any of them let alone the original. Neither had he, at least not all the way through, when he thought about it as he finally climbed up to the window and let Nahi through the hole so she could open the window from the inside.
The sound of footsteps began to fill the air as he hurried to squeeze himself through the window and think of a place to hide. "Quick, in here." He pointed behind the clothes hamper for Nahi to hide and handed her his handkerchief to wrap herself when that familiar Ghost of Christmas Past role was needed. At least she was nice enough to wear something for that. Now for him. Under the bed? No, might be too narrow of a fit. Behind the door? Too risky. By Vishnu there had to be something...the closet. If Gina Glitt's episode of "Homes You'll Never Afford" was any indication, his closet had to be at least the same size (of a small room) as hers.
"What the Hell?" Zatman's voice froze him in his tracks just as he was about to touch the knob. Narendra could hear the smacking of a fire place poker against his hand as he slowly turned around to face an angry, final evolution Zatman.
"Wooo. Patrick." Narendra quickly gulped before dramatically moving his hands up and down. Ok, it looked like Zatman wasn't going to kill him. "My dear son, these are the chains I have forged with my greed." Kicking the message into gear, Narendra dramatically lifted the chains until they were eye-level with his "son." "Or at the very least, let those nice people at Roots have that park you want to bulldoze."
"You're right "father", I should share with others." Narenda breathed a quick sigh of relief as Zatman walked over to his bed and fished for something under it. "Starting with this rifle you got me when I was ten."
"W-wait a minute." He tried to back up and slipped on the throw rug behind him.
"God, you didn't even get the words right." Zatman took a step closer and removed the safety from the rifle. "Now give me one good reason for me not to use your head as target practice."
"Zatman." Nahi voice broke the Upper's concentration and pulled his focus on her. Just as she promised, she turned the handkerchief into a makeshift dress. "Do you doubt your senses?"
"No, I'm doubting my restraint in not blowing both your heads off."
Brushing his anger off as the common recklessness of Mortals, a ball of mystical energy slowly began to grow between Nahi's hands. "Let us look into your past."
"Fine. Let's get this over with." Thankfully, the ball of energy that had now grown to the size of a fourty inch TV screen managed to catch Zatman's attention long enough for Narendra to sneak out. An image of the inside of a school house appeared with Arno (with his hair slicked back and covered in flower.)
"I'm so lonely with no one to spend Christmas with." Arno said in what could be best described as reading straight from the cue cards and almost shouting his lines out.
"Stop looking at the portal." Miken Moose could be heard, unseen and across from him and probably holding the cue cards.
"I'm not looking at the portal!"
"Yes you are." The squealing of Arno's pet monkey, Pistachio, began to arise from all the yelling as it crawled out of her hiding spot under the jacket of the fake school uniform Arno was wearing.
"Pistachio wants to be in the movie, too." He tried his best to keep her freaking out and crawling all over the place with not much success. Not that she wasn't a normally a good little monkey, but old habits die hard.
"There are no monkeys in "A Christmas Carol."" Miken Moose said through gritted teeth while having a one-man battle with his frustrations. It was bad enough that he was thrown into such a small time frame that kicked out his usual free-flowing style of directing, but Arno was reminding him of the reason he normally didn't like working with children in the first place.
"Well, this one could."
"Oh what fools these Mortals be." Nahi did a facepalm, failing to notice that Zatman had left about a minute ago.
"He's coming downstairs?" An older, male voice could be heard from Zatman's sitting room. "Good."
"Oh God." As if things couldn't get any more annoying, Ben greeted him in a green bathrobe, a wreath on his head and a tall pile of organic fruitcakes behind him.
"Come over and get to know me better man." The Roots member did his best to summon his impersonation of Santa Claus.
"Where the hell is my butler?"
"Uh, it's his day off." Going back to his normal voice, Ben edged his foot toward the right end of the fruit cakes and nudged Jeeves' chloroformed body further behind them.
Just as he was about to reach for his shotgun, Zatman realized that he left it in his bedroom and wanted to kick himself. Whatever Ben had planned as he pulled out one of the energy balls Nahi gave him ahead of time, smashed it on the ground, making another portal appear would hopefully be less painful to watch.
The dining room of a shabby, lower middle-class house appeared inside the portal. A dark blond man in his late thirties was pouring some wine in front of a nice Christmas turkey with his ten-year-old daughter and Noodlie posing as his wife.
"What's Robert doing here?" Not the employee Zatman would've chosen for the part, but at least they went for some originality.
"And here's to Zatman," Robert conjured up a smile and raised his glass. "Founder of...."
"Founder of the feast." She whispered to him.
"Hell no." He slammed the glass down, spilling wine everywhere. "If that jerk thinks he can cancel my Christmas bonus and still expect me to kiss his ass, he's got another thing coming."
"Robert." Noodlie's voice got a little strict as she elbowed him.
"Here!" He yanked out his wallet and shoved two bills into her hand. "You can have your twenty clintz back."
"God bless us everyone." Beltran chirped, dressed as Tiny Tim, as he hobbled in.
"Beltran, not now!"
"...." Words could not describe this fiasco.
"It was either this or having Arno act again." Ben turned to him and adjusted his glasses. "By the way, I didn't exactly bring these fruitcakes over for free so you wouldn't mind buying one would you? They're only five clintz each."
"Ahhhh!" In a feat of strength that Ben never suspected the Upper even having, he dragged Ben over to the front door and tossed him out. At least seeing the aging hippie skid across the snow did make him feel a little better until...
"What?!" His eyes came upon Ratanah and five of her clanmates waiting for him. Other than that obnoxious panhandler, Rico, who was dressed as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and Jerry who was itching from the clothes he had to wear, the other three were pretty much unknown to him. Not that he really cared either.
"I just want to apologize." Ratanah pulled out a round object, wrapped in recycled wrapping paper as her clanmates began singing Christmas carols. "It was wrong of us to try to manipulate your feelings like that."
"I still say we should've hit you over the head with a sack of coal." Ben grumbled, brushing the snow off his clothes.
"Ben!" She lovingly took out Zatman's hands and placed the present on them. If Aristotle was watching, she hoped that he would approve. "I just hope that you can understand that those children don't have anywhere else to play and that you could look into your heart and let them keep it."
"I'll see." Nearly spitting out the words, he slammed the door in their faces. What would this gift be? Another portal ball showing whatever member they could scrape-up standing next to a box that was supposed to be a tombstone? A bomb that shot flowers? "Oh don't keep me waiting."
Accidentally pressing on the top of the present as he tore off the paper, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" began to play. His mind briefly flashed back to how his late mother would love to sing along with that song as he gazed upon the glass ornament now in his hands. Whether or not Roots had been spying on him or bribed Mo DiFalco to get this information, he didn't care or even want to know. Granted he could do without it resembling Roots logo, but even he couldn't ignore the professionally crafted glass obviously created by a loving hand and the charming rendition of the carol. "Damn them."
"Well fearless Leader." Matthew said as the bulldozers began revving up the next day, ready to tear down some swing sets. "Should we chain ourselves to the playground equipment or throw ourselves in front of them?"
"I'll get the chains." Ratanah sighed as she walked over to one of the vans. "I tried, Aristotle. I really did."
Just as she was contemplating whether to go for one of the trees or the jungle gym, a familiar voice called out. "Wait! Stop the bulldozers!"
"Zatman?" Ratanah and her clanmates turned to see him running as fast as he could, waving to stop them. Knowing better to question him, the workers turned off their machines.
"Here." Zatman tossed her a rolled up sheet of paper he was keeping in his coat.
"It's a deed to the park." The urge to pinch herself arose as she read it. "And it's in our names."
"And this is for you." He handed Ben a check. "This could cover all those fruitcakes."
"You're really going to eat those things? I mean they're not very good."
"Oh, I have my uses for them." Hopefully sending them all to Ludwig with a note that said, "Sorry about the cosmic radiation" would at least shut him up.
"You're wonderful!" Ratanah's eyes come close forming tears of joy as she rushed over and hugged Zatman. "I just knew the Christmas spirit would make you change your mind."
"No it didn't." Making a face, he disdainfully pried her off. "It's just that you hippies now owe me one." With that, he began to walk off.
"At least we got what we wanted." Ben sighed, putting the check in his pocket. "In the most asinine way possible."
Just then, Zatman stopped in his tracks, looked around, turned to them and said in a neutral tone. "Merry Christmas."