The potato fell, hitting Sasuke's toe at an odd angle, sending a jolt up pain up his leg.
"Son of a Nutcracker," he cursed as he curled his toes defensively. As soon he said it, Sasuke flushed and went to apologise, ashamed to have sworn in front of Naruto's parents. When he looked up everyone seemed amused, especially Kyuubi who had a huge smile on his face.
"I love that movie!"
The elf frowned, confused for a moment before he remembered the movie he and Naruto had watched the night before. "Oh, uh, I just saw it last night."
"How'd you like it?"
"I'll admit it had its moments, but it perpetuates harmful stereo-
Sasuke grunted as Naruto planted his elbow into his ribs.
"Sasuke's such a kidder," the blonde laughed, the sound clearly forced, at least to Sasuke's ears. "He really loved it. Big Will Farrell fan, this one."
Kyuubi looked even more interested at that and Naruto winced, blatantly remembering his brother's obsession. "Do you like Step-Brothers?"
"I'm sure they're nice, but I don't-
Naruto elbowed him again before shoving a basket of napkins into his arms. "Here, set these out would you?"
"He's got a flat, earnest sort of sarcasm. Very Scandinavian. I like it," Kyuubi said as Sasuke disappeared into the dining room. "I'm telling you, he's perfect."
"If he's so perfect you can have him," Naruto grumbled.
"If I wasn't marrying Karin, I might just make a move," his brother said, a considering look on his face.
"Hell, if I wasn't marrying Kyuubi, I'd make a move," Karin laughed.
"Me too," his parents chimed in.
"You're all awful."
"If you think we're awful, wait until Grandpa Jiraya meets him. Or Tsunada," Minato laughed warmly. "Just you wait. Sasuke had better learn to deal with it or he's going to be dropping potatoes for the rest of his life."
"Guys, seriously," Naruto said, putting down his peeler and turning to lean against the counter. "You're going to make him uncomfortable. Can you at least try acting normal?"
"Hmm, don't wanna scare him away, do we?" Karin hummed as she leaned into Kyuubi's side. "I guess we could tone it down. But only until the wedding, yeah? Then we're going full force again. Now, who's going to make the pie?"
"What kind do you want?" Sasuke asked as he made his way back into the kitchen, brushing something that looked suspiciously like glitter off of his hands.
Naruto couldn't help but stare at the stray smear of silver sparkles that had somehow come to settle on the elf's face, emphasising the graceful curve of his cheekbone. He gestured to the bag of apples that was sitting on the counter as Sasuke came to stand beside him.
"Do I even want to know how you got glitter on yourself?" he whispered under his breath, biting back a smile that was trying to make its way onto his face.
Sasuke cleared his throat as he reached up to fiddle with his headband again, "Shut up."
The he at least had the decency to look abashed as he started peeling an apple, his elbow brushing against Naruto's. "You'll find out eventually, either way."
"Uh-huh," Naruto said, amused as he leaned over to gently rub at the glitter with his thumb, only managing to spread it even further across the other's cheek. "That's going to take some water to get off," he said, reaching for a dishcloth to run under the tap.
"It's alright," Sasuke told him."I don't mind a bit of glitter."
"No, ah, it...well it looks nice at least," Naruto bumbled as he went back to his work.
"I've always enjoyed shiny things," Sasuke said, matter of fact. "A trait of my kind. Our eyes are naturally attracted to them."
"Like a raven."
"Yeah," Sasuke said with a delicate smile that lit up his features.
He had the sort of face that could look so serious, but Naruto had to admit he preferred when Sasuke was smiling. It make him look more elven, if nothing else, but it was also a pretty perfect smile, you know, as smiles went. Perfectly straight teeth, nice lips...Naruto shook himself. There was probably some weird magic about it or something. Like in those stories where the fairies could enchant someone just by looking into their eyes. Sasuke seemed like he could do something like that. Weird-ass elf magic and all that shit.
He glanced over to find all of the apples peeled and Sasuke already cracking eggs into a mixing bowl.
The elf spared him a sly smile. "I'm a quick worker. One of the fastest."
Naruto nodded dumbly as Sasuke added ingredients without having to spare a moment to measure.
"I've been baking pies since I was an elfling. It's one of the first thing we learn how to do. Easier than toy making, but it shares many of the same skill sets. Concentration, attention to detail, quick hands, and good taste," he said as he starting mixing everything together with a flourish.
"What can't you do?" Naruto asked.
"Well," Sasuke started, considering as he continued working absent mindedly. "I'm not a great singer."
"I was joking," the blonde told him flatly.
"Oh, well, it's true, anyway. I can't carry a tune to save my life."
"I can't either," Naruto laughed as he added the potato he'd been working on to the pot to soak. "I sound like a 'duck being put through a blender'," he said, quoting his ninth grade music teacher.
"I was the worst in the entire Elvish Choir," Sasuke said, his voice sombre and apprehensive, as if his failure was deserving of the utmost secrecy. "Eventually my father let me quit, but it was a scandal."
"Quitting the choir was a scandal?"
"We're supposed to be good at everything, and perfect in as many things possible."
"Sounds like a lot of pressure, if you ask me," Naruto grimaced. "My parents never really cared what we did as long as we were safe and having fun."
"There's not much room for fun in the North Pole," Sasuke shrugged.
"That's gotta' be the biggest oxymoron ever. I thought Santa's village was supposed to be like...the centre of fun. The funnest place on earth."
"Who've you been talking to?" Sasuke asked him disbelievingly, the incredulous look on his face sending Naruto into a fit of laughter.
By the time Naruto had peeled the entire bag of potatoes- Kyuubi adored mashed potatoes with the fervour of a man possessed- Sasuke had already finished the pie and even had time to putter around the kitchen. Naruto wasn't sure if it said more about Sasuke's efficiency, or how shit he was at peeling potatoes. It was probably the latter, but he was also pretty sure a pie took at least an hour to bake, not twenty-minutes, so who the hell knew?
Sasuke pulled the pie out of the oven, placing it neatly on the counter before he reached back in to pull out two more pans of cookies. Seriously. What the fuck.
"Where the hell did you get the sprinkles and the food colouring? Fuck, when did you even make these? I didn't even see you do it," Kyuubi said, awe colouring his voice as he examine the delicate designs and shapes.
"I always keep some food colouring on my person," Sasuke said, as though something like that were not only completely normal, but to be expected.
"What else do you keep on your person?" Kyuubi asked, quirking an eyebrow suggestively.
"Only the necessities."
He pulled a small bottle of food colouring from up his sleeve and then proceeded to pull five candy canes, a spool of ribbon, a bottle of glitter, and a carrot from various other places.
"Jesus, kid. How the hell did you hide all that?" Kushina asked, looking dumbfounded.
"Trade secret," the elf said, looking almost smug as he unwrapped one of the candy canes and passed it to Naruto to snack on. The blonde thanked him before popping it into his mouth, not even bothering to question it at that point.
Fugaku stood over Claus, staring down at the idiot that'd lost his youngest elfling.
"I trust you've learned your lesson."
The man moaned in agreement.
"Good. Never let it be said I don't know the concept of mercy. I trust you can see to your own care," he said as he signalled to his son that they were leaving. "I'll be taking your blasted sleigh and getting Sasuke back. If this ever happens again, it won't just be your teeth that you have to replace," he said with a nod before he swept from the room with all the grace afforded to an elf of his station, leaving Itachi and Kisame standing over the quivering mass that was their boss.
Itachi crouched down next to Nick, a bland look on his face.
"I'll be telling Mrs. Claus about your latest cholesterol levels," he said, poking idly at a bruise on the man's face.
"And the blood sugar readings that you've been ignoring. I'll admit, I'd been hoping you'd lapse into a diabetic coma or have a heart attack one of these days. I wondered if a stroke was too much to ask for," he added wistfully.
"But I think the diet she's going to put you on will be good enough. I know how much you hate to diet, and you know how much I enjoy watching you suffer."
Santa groaned as Itachi grabbed him by the collar, pulling him until their noses were almost touching.
"I hope she makes you drink soy milk," he hissed before he shoved the man away. "Come, Kisame. Father will be waiting for us."
Thanks for all the reviews! I'm glad you're all enjoying it so far. If there's anything you'd like to happen in the story, let me know. I'm here to please.