So please just fall in love with me, this Christmas
There's nothing else that I will need, this Christmas
Won't be wrapped under a tree, I want something that lasts forever,
So kiss me on this cold December night
-Cold December Night
Sasuke adjusted his hat so that it covered his freezing ears as they touched down on the snowy rooftop. The clatter of the reindeers' hooves was nicely muffled by the snow as they sent waves of white soaring over the side of the house. It was well past midnight on their busiest night of the year: Christmas Eve. The lights hanging from the gutters cast them in a multicoloured glow as they set to work.
"Uzumaki," Sasuke read aloud as Santa stumbled out of the sleigh and staggered precariously close to the edge. "Sir, are you sure you don't just want me to get this one?" he asked, watching as the fat man nearly slipped on a patch of ice that surely would have sent him plummeting to the ground below.
Every year some misguided souls left out eggnog instead of milk, and every year since Sasuke had taken up his post he'd feared for his life as Nicolas drunkenly guided them around power lines and skyscrapers. It was no wonder Haku had retired so young.
His suggestion was ignored and he sighed to himself as he gently clambered out of the sleigh, his green leather boots sinking deeply into the snow that crunched beneath him. Nick was already waiting for him by the chimney so Sasuke grabbed the sack from the back of the sleigh and hurried over to his side.
"Sir, really, I can handle this."
"Nonsense," Santa laughed loudly, his stomach shaking along with the rest of him. "Who would eat the cookies?"
"I could bring them back up—
"Sasuke," the big man huffed, his face a bright rosacea red. "'M fine. Stop yer' worryin'."
The elf nodded, the bells on his hat giving a jingle as he did. Nick went down first, squeezing himself through the small opening and Sasuke shoved the sack of gifts after him before easily sliding down himself. He landed in a pile of soot, easily hopping over the still smouldering logs left behind from a fire probably put out only hours before. He almost tripped over a randomly placed ottoman, but saved himself by grabbing onto the arm of the couch.
Santa was grumbling as he dug through the sack looking for the appropriate gifts. "Uzumaki you said?"
Sasuke nodded and took a seat on the couch, his nose crinkling as he struggled to remember. "He wanted a new camera...and I think some ramen packets."
Nick looked over at him, shaking his head. "The fact tha' you can 'member that 'stounds me. Yer' jus' like yer' brother."
Sasuke didn't try to hide the smile that appeared on his face at the praise. Itachi was the youngest elf to have ever reached the position of Head Elf. Sasuke had spent most of his time as an elfling following after his brother as he went about his job, watching him work and all the while praying that one day he could be just like him. Naturally, their family had expected great things from him as well. And while it was nothing compared to being Head Elf, he was rather proud to have reached the position he had at his age. Head of Delivery was an important job after all.
"Aha!" Santa chuckled as he pulled out a medium sized box wrapped neatly in a lurid orange paper. He set it and two other gifts gently beneath the tree that twinkled with hundreds of lights before he noticed the plate of cookies and glass of milk.
"Sir, I'll just go fill the stocking," Sasuke said quietly as he dug through the sack and pulled out a handful of chocolate and a cup ramen. Nick nodded absentmindedly as he bit into a delightfully delicious looking chocolate chip cookie and plopped down onto the brown couch.
The raven haired elf made his way into the hallway, easily spotting the bright orange stocking hanging on the banister that was entwined with thick garland. He bit back a small yawn as he stuffed the stocking, desperate to stay alert. They still had a long way to go before they could head back to the North Pole, and with Nick driving he'd need to be awake enough to point out the power lines. A small sound met his ears and Sasuke looked to his feet to find a small cat sitting on the hardwood.
"Hello," he greeted calmly. The cat stared up at him, letting out another small meow. He bent down and gave it a pat on the head. "Feeling a little left out are you?"
The cat leaned into his touch as he dragged his fingers through the silky soft fur. Some people liked to leave out little stockings for their pets as well, but one glance at the banister told him that Uzumaki wasn't one of them.
"I guess we'll have to fix that. I'm sure there's something in Santa's bag."
He gently picked up the cat, knowing he'd have to brush the fur off of his shirt and vest.
"Hey Nick," he called quietly as he wandered back into the living room. "Do we have anything for the—
Sasuke glanced around the suddenly empty living room. "Nick?"
He looked into the adjacent dining room and found that it was empty as well.
There was a sudden clatter from the roof and at that moment Sasuke's stomach seemed to bottom out. He very nearly dropped the cat as he rushed to the window only to catch a glimpse of the back of the sleigh as it flew off. It'd been their last stop in this town. Santa was gone.
Now, a lesser elf would have started crying. They were emotional creatures after all. But Sasuke wasn't just any old elf. He was Head of Delivery. And more importantly, he was an Uchiha. And Uchiha didn't cry.
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