A Very Farron Christmas

Fang's eye twitched. "What is all this?"

In front of her the normally orderly front lawn of the Farron household had become like something out a nightmare. There were enough red, white, and green lights festooned over the fence, the trees, and even the flowers to almost blind her. Stranger still was the small herd of plastic reindeer in the middle of the lawn pulling a sled with a mannequin of a scarily jolly fat man dressed in white and red at the reins.

"Fang, you're back!"

Fang blinked as Serah came out of the house. Rather than her usual clothing, the younger Farron was dressed in a short red dress with stockings, funny boots and a strange, droopy sort of hat on. "Serah… what… is all this?" Gripping her spear a little tighter, Fang was struck by the sudden urge to throw it at the mannequin in the sled.

"Come inside first, Fang, and put that spear away!" Serah said as she tugged Fang into the house past a group of revellers.

Inside, Fang found herself confronted by even more red, white, and green. There were ribbons of the stuff everywhere, along with more lights and what looked very much like the top of a pine tree in the middle of the room. She'd expected a number of things after spending a fortnight in the wilds trying to cool off after her last fight with Lightning, but this certainly wasn't one of them. Maybe she'd actually been bitten by something poisonous and was hallucinating, it would certainly make more sense.

Looking for a place to put her spear, she caught sight of Sazh and Dajh over by the tree. Sazh was hanging a few more lights on the tree while Dajh looked to be doing his best to convince his chocobo that it belonged at the very top, something the bird did not seem to appreciate if its angry squawking was any guide. In the corner of the room, Lebreau had a table set up with drinks and food, and Snow and the rest of NORA were there, talking.

A boisterous laugh caught Fang's attention and she turned to find Hope and his father trying to fend off Vanille who looked to be more than a little bit inebriated. Unbidden a grimace came to her lips. Honestly, she loved Vanille, but the younger woman could be absolutely terrible when she was drunk. Not violent, but flirty, especially with Serah, something that Fang found both unbelievably hilarious and utterly disturbing.

Still that left one member of their little group unaccounted for and Fang's brow furrowed as she looked around the room for Lightning. She and the older Farron hadn't exactly parted the best of terms. In fact, the bruise on Fang's jaw had only just faded. She supposed it was only fair. She'd promise Lightning, sworn actually, that she wouldn't push for more than friendship until the pink haired woman was ready, but she'd just gotten so tired of waiting.

Lightning was all sorts of brave when it came to fighting, but when it came to relationships she was the complete opposite. One day she might be all warm and cuddly – well as warm and cuddly as Lightning could get – and the next she might be trying to cut Fang's head off and frankly Fang was sick of it. So two weeks ago she'd done exactly what she'd promised she'd never do and kissed Lightning silly. Oh it had gone well – for all of thirty seconds. After that, Lightning had gotten her wits back and done a pretty good job of punching Fang silly. Needless to say, Fang thought some time apart would be good for them, and coincidentally, for her own health, as well.

"Fang… hey, Fang, are you there?"

Fang jerked back as Serah waved a hand in front of her. "Stop doing that." She scowled. "So come on, tell me. What is all of this?"

"It's a Cocoon tradition," Serah began before Vanille stumbled over to them.

"You're pretty," Vanille cooed, throwing one arm around Serah and leaning in close. "Really pretty…"

Fang grimaced and pried Vanille off Serah. "What have you been giving her?" she asked the younger Farron.

Serah winced. "All we've really got is eggnog. I've never seen anyone get drunk that quickly on eggnog, although she did drink a lot of it…"

"Great…" Fang held Vanille back as the red haired girl tried to grope Serah. "So you were saying something about a Cocoon tradition…"

Serah nodded. "Yeah… it's called Christmas." And with that she began to explain what Christmas was. It was no easy task either, what with Vanille doing her best to break free of Fang and making no small number of somewhat interesting propositions in a voice that was a tad too loud for Serah's liking.

At the end of Serah's explanation, Fang's eye was twitching again. "So let me get this straight. There's some jolly fat guy called Santa Clause and he kind of stalks everyone throughout the year to see if they've been good or not and if they've been good then he breaks into their house through the chimney and slips a present under their tree and nobody thinks that's creepy?"

Serah winced. "Well, when you put it like that, I suppose it is a little creepy. But really, Christmas is all about getting together with family and spending time together."

"Speaking of family," Fang said, "Where is that sister of yours? She and I have some talking to do."

Serah grinned widely. "Don't worry you'll be seeing her in a second."

Suddenly an excited hush fell over the room as the large clock on the wall began to strike midnight. Snow moved over from where he was talking with the rest of NORA and grabbed a microphone.

"Did you hear that guys?" Snow asked. "That's midnight and that means it's time for Santa to arrive. I hope you've all been good boys and girls." A mix of cheers and boos filled the air.

Vanille giggled. "I can't wait for Santa to get here."

"So let me get this straight, you're going to have someone dress up as Santa, and from the looks of it isn't Snow." Fang shot Serah a curious look. "Just who are you getting to dress up as Santa?"

Serah's grin became positively evil. "Just watch."

"Wait, what's that I hear from the chimney," Snow said theatrically as he cupped one hand over his ear and looked at the fireplace. "Is that Santa?"

And right on cue there was a whoosh from the chimney and Fang had to slap her hand over her mouth to hold back a wave of laughter as Santa appeared. According to Serah, Santa was supposed to be a jolly, fat, and male. This Santa had a glare fit to freeze water, was anything but fat, and was distinctly female.

"Serah," Fang asked as she tried with increasing difficulty to hold back her laughter. "Is Santa supposed to have a gun blade?"

Serah, eyes alight with mirth, replied, "Well, not really, but she absolutely refused to leave it off."

"I see." Fang dissolved into laughter as she watched several of the children at the party approach Lightning cautiously, their love of Santa and presents warring with their almost instinctive fear of the obviously less than ecstatic soldier. To her credit, Lightning did try to smile, but the sheer awkwardness of the expression combined with the impressively sharp gun blade she held in the same hand as her sack full of presents made for a somewhat scary situation.

Still, by the time she started handing out presents to the former l'Cie, Lightning's smile, though small, was genuine. She even managed a hug when she was giving Serah her present, although Snow's attempt to garner a hug of his own was met with a stiff glare and the promise of an even stiffer left hook if he persisted.

Finally, it was Fang's turn.

The two of them just looked at each other as the others back away. They'd learned that distance was an important thing to have after the second fight the two had had. That fight had involved a couch, a ladder, and several other pieces of furniture, all used as makeshifts clubs or projectiles.

"You're looking good there, Sunshine." Fang had to fight to keep the grin off her face. Lightning was dressed in a white and red suit with a funny hat on her head along with too big boots and gloves. In short, she looked ridiculous.

"I saw you laughing at me earlier," Lightning replied.

"What can I say, I like watching Santa Clause in action." Fang smirked and looked over at Snow. "Mind telling me why you're Santa and not that big lug over there?"

Lightning made a disgusted sound. "While you were gone we tried to get him down the chimney. The fool got stuck." She growled. "It took us four hours to get him out and after that they decided that I should be Santa. Apparently, I'm just perfect for the role. More likely, I was the only one who could fit and make the jump down the chimney in one piece."

Fang chuckled. "Seems about right."

Lightning nodded and then Fang felt her insides clench as the older Farron's expression turned serious. "About what happened before…."

Fang sighed. "I know I promised I wouldn't push you but… damn it, Lightning… you know…" Fang ran one hand through her hair in frustration. "Look I –"

Lightning cut her off. "Before you say anything else, have this." She handed Fang a present.

"Thanks for the present, Lightning, but –"

Lightning stopped her again. "Just open it."

Feeling more than a little frustrated, Fang practically tore the present apart. Inside the box there was nothing but a small wreathe of some kind of plant. Behind her, the others gasped, but she ignored them, choosing instead to glare at Lightning. "What the hell is this, Sunshine?"

Lightning smiled. It was a real smile, soft and warm, and gentle. It was a smile that made Fang wonder about the kind of person Lightning could've been if she'd been allowed to stay Claire, and it was the kind of smile that made Fang want to grab hold of Lightning and absolutely refuse to let her go. "It's mistletoe, Fang."


Lightning leaned up close, so close in fact that Fang could feel Lighting's breath along her cheek as the pink haired woman whispered into her ear. "There's a tradition in Cocoon about mistletoe."

Suddenly, inexplicably nervous, Fang could barely get the words out. "What sort of tradition?"

Lightning pulled back and the grin she wore on her face as she looked into Fang's eyes sent the huntress' pulse racing. "Hold it up over the two of us and I'll show you."

Fang nodded dumbly. "Like th –"

And then couldn't say anything else because Lightning's lips were on hers.

When they finally parted, Lightning's eyes were softer than Fang could ever remember seeing them.

"Merry Christmas, Fang."


Author's Notes

First of all, I neither own Final Fantasy, nor am I making any money off this.

Heh. I came up with the idea for this story after spending most of today cooped up in shopping malls listening to endless reruns of Christmas carols. I'm not sure about what that has to say about my state of mind. In any case, I think Lightning would be an awesome Santa. Not only would she bring presents for the good kids, she could definitely punish the bad ones. I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Reviews and comments are appreciated.