December 23

Once upon a time in a city very far away, there was a boy of nine who was staring outside of his window; sighing as the little snowflakes fell from the sky. His black hair was tied up to a thin ponytail, and his brown eyes were drooping from the early morning. He had recently woken up, and already he was slightly annoyed. It was three days away from Christmas Day, and Shun did not want to participate.

Well, he knew that there's no arguing with Dan though.

The boy had anticipated this after what happened on Halloween. His friend was indeed quite shocked when he found out that Shun didn't know about occasion. What more if he knew that he didn't know about Christmas? A supposed holiday for girls and boys to receive presents from Santa Claus? Shun didn't like it. Not one bit. He hated Christmas because he found it so kiddy and make-believe. "Why would an old man be wasting time making toys for children around the world and go through each and every chimney anyway?" he mumbled while letting a snowflake touch his open palm.

Shun looked down and gazed at the white blanket of snow on his yard. He did so for a few moments until he noticed something moving down there. It was a little hard to see with the light fog surrounding the house, but he was sure that it was a person. That's all he needed to know. The to-be ninja groaned as he forced himself to get dressed, for any minute now the doorbell would ring and he had to answer the door.

-o-

"Hi Shun!" the brunette greeted cheerfully as he gave a big toothy grin. "Oh, yeah, Merry Christmas!"

The raven-haired boy sighed as his serious face didn't change. They were both at the entrance to his house, and Shun was leaning at the door as his attention was on his friend. "It's not Christmas yet Dan."

"I know, but it's normal to greet people before it anyway." he replied while rubbing his nose with his mitten. The older male inwardly groaned. "What are you doing here?"

"To bring you down town! I knew you were going to hang around here all day! Don't you get bored of doing that?" the other shook his head, and Dan frowned. "Well today's going to be different. Me and my buds are going to have a big snowball fight today, and you're helping our team out!"

"And why should I help you throwing balls of snow at other kids I don't even know exactly?"

"...you're mean Shun." he muttered; pouting. "Anyhow, c'mon! Let's go!" without warning, the brunette grabbed his wrist as usual and dragged him outside. Shun was happy that he dressed himself up in some nice, warm clothing before he opened the door...for he may have froze to death in the open cold. The pair went straight down the path and was soon surrounded by various buildings. Dan's home was somewhere along the way, but the two were headed to the park in the city. The big showdown between different teams will be there.

Once the duo reached the large area, the other member of Dan's group was there waiting. "Glad to see you're here Dan." the short blond said. He quickly noticed his companion and smiled. "You're name's Shun right? Dan told me a lot about you."

"Shun, lemme introduce you. This is Marucho, we met a day after he moved here with his parents."

"Nice to meet you." Marucho greeted as he did a small bow.

"Same here." the raven-haired boy replied.

"Okay, enough with the greetings, let's build our fort!" the brunette shouted as he pumped his fist up in the air. Shun was a little skeptical though. "I thought we were going to start hitting other people?"

"I knew Dan didn't explain it that thoroughly..." the blond muttered while exhaling sharply. "We're actually going to play Capture the Flag Shun. We're only given a short time to build some kind of defense; an obstacle enough to slow down the other teams from getting our flag easily. The snowball fight was just the offensive part of the battle." he explained. "We're up against three different groups. Each positioned at the far ends of the park. Since the place is almost a perfect square, we're given equal ground to fight against them."

"...for a seven-year-old, he's knows what he's talking about. He's even smarter than Dan..." the raven-haired boy thought.

"So let's stop chatting and let's get started! The others must be starting already or something!" the brunette exclaimed.

"Alright, since Dan is more experienced in making snowballs, he'll be in charge of our ammo." Marucho said. "I'll start with the fort. And Shun, since you're kind of new to this, can you spy the other teams to see their progress?"

"You're asking the best person for the job Marucho. Shun's grandfather is a ninja after all!"

"Well I haven't trained much yet but-"

"Okay okay!" the eight-year-old cut in; interrupting him. "We should begin as soon as we can!"

And so, the three did their separate jobs and all took it very seriously. Even Dan was, for there was a prize involved to whoever team win. The eldest did not know about it though, still, it wasn't an excuse for him to slack off. Pretty soon, he was staring at an enemy group from a bush nearby them. He felt like he was in some kind of secret mission or something. And the people down there were doing as Dan thought. They were piling up the white stuff, and he could see the green flag right there, completely unguarded. He could snatch it now without them knowing, but that would have been unfair. This was supposed to be the allotted time for them to prepare.

Back at the base, Dan was making hills of snowballs and didn't plan on stopping either. Marucho was doing a pretty good job too making a kind of cage that surrounded their flag. He also did this to other nearby areas so that the enemies would have a hard time figuring out which one contained the flag. A little while after, Shun came back and reported what he saw to the both of them. The brunette then said that they had to wait for the horn to be blown to start moving in. That was the signal. "All three teams are making the same type of defense. I think that Dan and I will be in the attack, and Marucho will stay here in case anyone tries to take our flag."

"Remember, we need to collect all three different flags to win." Dan reminded. "So when our flag gets captured. It still ain't over till it's over."

"Yeah." the other two agreed in unison. Right after that, they heard a loud sound echoing from the middle. "That's the signal! Let's go!" Shun nodded and swiping a couple of snowballs from the pile, they ran ahead in to the clear path. They soon were standing right in the middle, and to the nine-year-old's surprise, he saw others approaching from a distance. "Dan, think that you can take care of this?"

"What are you planning Shun?"

"I'm going to sneak in and take their flag when they're not looking. I need you to distract them and make sure that they won't get through this path okay?"

"That's a great idea! None of my friends would dare go over the fence!" he replied while showing a big smile. The other boy nodded and jumped to a nearby tree, landing safely on a thick branch. "Good luck Shun!" he shouted as he threw a snowball at another kid. The war had begun, and the amateur ninja was able to escape it thankfully.

Moving quickly, he jumped from one branch to the next and was soon at the first base he checked out. There was one girl there, standing near her wall and ready to throw if she sees a person coming. Shun smirked as he moved to the rear and silently removed the plastic, white stick from the snow. And as quickly as he came, he left and headed towards the next one.

This time, they were two boys that we guarding the flag. "This is going to be tricky. They're right behind the flag this time." he muttered to himself. He needed a way to get them off their position. "Oh yeah, I still have a snowball with me..." the rookie ninja then threw his ammo not far from their base so that they can hear it. "What was that?"

"I dunno. Let's check it out!"

"That was almost way too easy." Shun thought. He had to act fast though, or else they'll realize that it's just nothing and come back. With a quick swipe, he grabbed the blue flag from its post and left the scene.

The only thing left now was the yellow flag. And it was a whole lot more complicated than the previous two. This time, none of the members have left their fort. Each of them had a different post and were looking around like an eagle or something. The trick he used last time wouldn't work on them. Gripping the two sticks tighter, he decided to do a direct assault and run for it. It wasn't his style, but it would be better than to sit and wait. After all, his friend Dan was being was probably being plummeted by snowballs now just trying to stall for him. The ninja gulped, but then he steeled himself for the worst. "Here we go."

Building up power on his legs, he launched himself high up in the air, and landed smoothly right behind the yellow flag. All three of the kids were too stunned to move; they just stood there and gapped as Shun grabbed the flag and sprinted away from them and headed straight for the battle field.

For a few moments, everyone was quite shocked when a boy suddenly jumped so high it's as if he came from the sky and dodged the snowballs thrown at him. They were even more surprised that he was holding each of their flags, and he was headed back already! But as much as they tried, Dan wasn't a total pushover and was able to cover for the nine-year-old till he reached Marucho.

And that signaled the end of the game.

-o-

"Wow, you were amazing Shun! I never knew you could move that fast! You're like a real ninja!" Dan exclaimed as he licked his lollipop.

"You...never told me that there was candy at stake here." he replied as he was licking his own lollipop.

"That doesn't really matter, after all I got to see your skills in action!" he beamed. "You're definitely going to be in my team if we have another snow war!" the boy groaned, he didn't want to go through that again. Though he had to admit, it was kind of fun...

"Oh yeah Shun? Can I ask you something?"

"What is it Dan?"

"Can you sleepover at my house tomorrow?"

"How come?"

"My mom said that we need more help in preparing for Christmas you see. We didn't get to set up all the decorations yet."

"And so you're asking me..?"

"Yep! So can you? Please..?"

"...alright. I guess...I can help out."

"Yay! Thanks Shun! You're the best!"


A/N : Were you guys surprised that Marucho makes an appearance here? No? Oh well. Anyhow, yay I made it! This is the sequel to A Halloween Trilogy. But it was so hard to stick to three themes only, so I decided to make it three days. So it's the same drill. One chapter per day. And Christmas is going to be the end.

Shun hates Christmas huh? That's...a little cute. Can Dan change his opinion? We'll have to see tomorrow! Please review guys!