What to Give Tono-sama for Christmas

By: Phinal Phantasy

(A/N: I know this is a little late in posting, but this story is special as it's a Christmas gift to my g/f MysticFireBlood and I wanted her to read it first before anyone else. This can be considered an AU of Episodes 42 and 43 as those were the "official" Christmas related story [and a great story at that]. I hope you all enjoy. Also this is my first Shinkenger story so I hope I do well with them.)

(Disclaimer: I don't own the Shinkengers, I'm just spreading a little cheer with their help.)

Genta had just finished selling sushi for the day and was packing up his cart when DaiGoyou suddenly remembered something important.

"Boss! Today is the day we're supposed to go shopping with everyone for Takeru's Christmas present!"

"Oh crap. I can't believe I almost forgot," Genta replied. He took his cart back to his place as quickly as possible and then ran to the Shiba mansion but was completely out of breath by the time he got there. As he entered, he saw his fellow Shinkengers minus Takeru gathered and discussing in whispers what they wanted to do for their Tono-sama.

"I'm sure whatever we do he'll like," Chiaki said.

"That's no excuse to be so lazy about it," Ryuunosuke countered, "Tono-sama deserves the very best!"

"He could use some cheering up, he's been through a lot lately," Mako pointed out.

"Should we all chip in and get one thing, or each get him something individually but have a price limit?" Kotoha asked. Just then they noticed Genta.

"Gen-chan! You're late!" Chiaki scolded.

"Sorry guys, business has increased since I got featured in that magazine," Genta replied.

"That's no excuse. Christmas is coming after all," Mako said.

"Well did you decide on anything before I arrived?" Genta asked. Just then Takeru entered the room with a distant look on his face.

"Hello everyone. I know that Christmas is coming soon and you probably want to do something special, I don't have a problem if the five of you want to do something for each other, but please don't do anything for me. I really don't want anything."

"Tono-sama…" Ryuunosuke started.

"That's my final word. Christmas is not a time of year that I celebrate. That is all. I'll be in the practice field if I am needed. Don't let any celebrations get in the way of your duties." With that Takeru left the main room of the Shiba mansion. Before anyone could get up to follow him, Hikoma entered the room.

"Please don't be hasty everyone," Hikoma started, "It's just that this time of the year is especially harsh on Tono-sama."

"How so?" Kotoha asked.

"Tono-sama used to celebrate Christmas with his father when he was a young boy. However when his father died in Dokoku's attack, so did Tono-sama's love for the holidays. Christmas used to be the time he looked forward to the most, but now all it does is make him miss his father and remind him of what he lost. I've tried to help him, but this is one time I've failed him…" Hikoma said, looking down in sadness.

"How sad…" Mako commented.

"But I always thought you were his family," Ryuunosuke said.

"Maybe so," Hikoma replied, "but it hasn't been enough these past years."

"Well Jii-san, this year you have something you didn't have before. You have us," Genta grinned.

"Takeru's been like family to all of us these past several months," Mako added, "Let's show him what that means."

"We're going out Jii-san!" Chiaki said, "Don't bother us unless there's a Gedoushuu attack!" he waved at Hikoma as everyone left the Shiba mansion.

The five of them arrived at the shopping district of Shinjuku and saw it was bustling with activity, full of other shoppers.

"Hmm…" Ryuunosuke started, "How about we each split up and go to different stores first, then we meet for dinner and then go to one last store to buy a group gift."

"Sounds like a plan," Chiaki nodded. They all scattered to various shops.

Chiaki found a video game shop and soon lost himself browsing the newest titles. "No this isn't for me, it's for Takeru," he scolded himself. He wanted to find a gift that Takeru would enjoy, not himself. Then he saw it. He could only hope that the others would forgive him because it would be a bit pricey…

Kotoha smiled as he entered the music shop. When thinking of what to give Takeru and it be from the heart, there was only one solution. She found what she wanted easily enough and cheerfully paid and left the store…

Mako looked a little depressed as she entered the pastry shop. The pink Shinkenger really wanted to bake something for Takeru but know that her culinary skills were…lacking and her friends probably wouldn't even taste anything she made herself. But Mako wasn't about to let that stop her form trying to treat her Tono-sama to something sweet and personal…

Genta knew exactly what to go for and instead of walking to a store he found exactly what he needed just outside one of the larger shops. He looked at the lines of Christmas trees and wanted to find one perfect for the Shiba mansion. There was no way he could carry the tree with him, so he would have to arrange for it to be delivered, that and the decorations to go with it…

Ryuunosuke was having a hard time trying to decide what he wanted to give Takeru. Everyone else had their talents that they could share with their Tono-sama, but Ryuunosuke was a kabuki actor and he gave that up to become a Shinkenger. Then he saw a street corner Santa ringing a bell and Ryuunosuke got an interesting idea...

Genta was the first to arrive at the agreed upon restaurant and waited on the others. He saw they all had shopping bags of various sizes when they arrived and Chiaki's was the largest.

"Wow Chiaki, that's a huge bag," Ryuunosuke commented, "I thought we agreed to a price limit."

"Yeah about that…" Chiaki said nervously, scratching his head, "I went over, but I couldn't think of anything else to get him." When the others started to glare at him, Chiaki waved his hands in protest, "If this works out the way I hope, I would like to consider this a present for everyone?"

"The point is this is for Takeru!" Mako chided.

"Don't be too harsh on him, Mako-chan," Kotoha replied, "Takeru does seem to be hard to shop for."

"Really? You had trouble?" Genta asked, "It wasn't too difficult for me."

"You've known him longer though," Ryuunosuke pointed out, "and it doesn't look like you have anything."

"That's because my gift needs to be delivered. Anyways aren't we getting one last thing for him that we all need to chip in for?" Genta replied.

"Yeah. I think I know what to do, but we'll need Jii-san's help," Ryuunosuke said.

"That shouldn't be a problem. What's your idea?" Mako asked. Ryuunosuke leaned in and told them…

It was almost midnight and Takeru was still practicing his swordsmanship, unaware as to how much time had truly passed. Hikoma walked out and called to him.

"Tono sama. It's getting late, maybe you should retire for the night," Hikoma suggested.

"All right. I think I'll take your suggestion." When Takeru waked into the mansion, he saw the kuroko finishing decorating the main room.

"What's this?" Takeru asked.

"Merry Christmas Tono-sama!" The Shinkengers shouted out.

"I thought I said I didn't want to do anything," Takeru reminded his retainers.

"Please don't be angry Tono-sama," Hikoma said, "I told them the reason you don't celebrate the holidays."

"We know you miss your father, but I believe we've become a new family for you," Ryuunosuke said.

"We aren't trying to replace what you've lost, that would be very wrong, but we do want you to be happy, especially at this time of the year," Kotoha said.

"We all love you Tono-sama," Mako said simply, "and we want you to have something to celebrate." Chiaki and Genta looked a little embarrassed at Mako's bold statement.

"We each got you something and we hope you like them," Chiaki said.

"All right…I guess I can give this a try," Takeru said with a soft smile.

"Great I'll go first!" Chiaki grinned and handed Takeru a pair of wrapped packages. Looking at Chiaki with curiosity, Takeru tore the paper and underneath was a new Wii with a copy of the newest "Samurai Warriors" game.

"Chiaki…" Takeru said, "You know I know nothing about video games."

"That's why I got this one. It's multiplayer and I can teach you easily, plus it's about various lords leading their troops into battle. Sounds familiar?"

"Oh cool," Takeru replied, "Thank you Chiaki. I look forward to trying it." When he put it down, Mako approached him next, blushing a bit.

"Here you go, Takeru," Mako smiled softly, presenting Takeru with a cake that had the Shiba family crest and the symbols of each Shinkenger decorating it.

"Wow Mako-chan…I don't know what to say."

"I didn't make it if that's got you worried. Feel free to try it."

"I'll accept your gift happily, but I was hoping to see how your cooking has improved," Takeru replied.

"Really?" Mako smiled at Takeru and her eyes brightened, "I'll help the kuroko-tachi with dinner tomorrow!" she announced and everyone besides Takeru paled a bit. Mako turned around and smiled at her friends but noticed that Ryuunosuke was gone.

"Huh? Where's Ryuu-chan?" she asked. Then they all heard the sounds of bells jingling in a regular rhythm and before anyone knew it, Ryuunosuke rushed down the hall, dressed in a Santa suit and had bells tied to his wrists and ankles and he was doing a kabuki dance, the sound of the bells replacing the usual sound of wooden blocks slamming against a wooden stage floor. He ended his dance grinning and then bowing to Takeru who was trying but ultimately failing to contain bursts of laughter.

"Oh my God Ryuunosuke," Takeru laughed, "you look ridiculous!" the others laughed as well as Ryuunosuke grinned.

"Yes! I achieved my goal! The gift of laughter!" he shouted proudly.

"I can't believe you did that!" Takeru wiped his eyes after tearing up from laughing so hard.

Kotoha waited until everyone calmed down before standing in front of Takeru smiling shyly and pulling out her flute, "Tono-sama. I hope you enjoy," she said before playing a soft slow, and very beautiful rendition of "Silent Night." While Kotoha played, the other Shinkengers listened intently. Chiaki and Mako smiled softly while Ryuunosuke and Genta were trying not to cry, but Takeru seemed to be the most emotional for once, wiping his eyes throughout the performance Kotoha smiled her soft smile when she ended the song and Takeru sniffled a bit before regaining his composure and looked Kotoha in the eyes.

"That was very beautiful Kotoha. You sounded angelic."

"Really? I just taught myself that song tonight," Kotoha blushed.

"That's hard to believe. You did it so flawlessly," Takeru replied.

"Thank you, Tono-sama. I'm glad you like it," Kotoha smiled brightly. Just then the kuroko arrived with a tree and several boxes.

"Ah it looks like my gift has finally arrived," Genta grinned. Takeru went and opened the boxes which were filled with various decorations.

"Wow Genta," Takeru said, looking at the high quality of the lights, ornaments, and tinsel, "Great job."

"I got them so we could decorate together like a family," Genta smiled and put an arm around his old friend.

"But before we start, there's one last thing," Hikoma said. The kuroko went to the front of the room and put up the white flags in front of the wall. When the flags were taken away, there was a photo album on a stand. On the cover was a picture of a young Takeru and his father on a Christmas morning. The cover had the words "Family Memories of the 18th Head of the Shiba Clan" on it. Takeru opened it and there were several photos of Takeru and his father, then him and Hikoma, and a few with a young Genta as well. Then the next pages had pictures of him with his fellow Shinkengers, both in and out of uniform. Takeru put the album down and looked at his retainers, Hikoma, and the kuroko. He knew then, they were all his family now and he cared about them deeply.

"Everyone…" Takeru said, "Merry Christmas and…thank you for everything. Your gifts are wonderful, but what means the most to me is the fact that we're all together…as a family."

"We knew you'd love Christmas again if you gave it a second chance," Mako said.

"Let's make spending this time together a new tradition…even after we defeat the Gedoushuu let's still be close like this," Kotoha smiled.

"I like that idea," Ryuunosuke agreed.

"I'm just glad things worked out today," Chiaki said, "Let's continue to celebrate all night long!"

"And we'll start by decorating the tree!" Genta grinned and pulled out DaiGoyou who had a paper sign with the kanji for "Star" written on it taped to him.

"Boss…what're you doing?" DaiGoyou sweatdropped as he was placed on top of the tree and then the decorating began, Takeru smiling again like he did so many years ago.

THE END

(A/N: Well I hope you enjoyed this little holiday fic. Please leave me some reviews to let me know what you thought.)