All I Want for Christmas.

By: Crystal_V_Princess

Disclaimer: All stories (except for the one I'm writing, of course) and characters are the sole property of Rumiko Takahashi (God bless her genius!). Note: This is a little out of season, but hey, I got an idea and I'm not one to let 'em pass. I'll just re-post it at Christmas time!!!! Heeheehee!

One heart's enough for me- One heart to love, adore- One heart's enough for me; O, who could wish for more? The birds that soar above, And sing their songs on high, Ask but for one to love, And therefore should not I? One pair of eyes to gaze One pair of sparkling blue, In which sweet love betrays Her form of fairest hue; One pair of glowing cheeks, Fresh as the rose and fair, Whose crimson blush bespeaks The health that's native there.

One pair of hands to twine Love's flowers fair and gay, And form a wreath divine, Which never can decay; And this is all I ask, One gentle form and fair- Beneath whose smiles to bask, And learn love's sweetness there.

-Levi Cheyney.

A soft white shower of snow floated carelessly down to the icy streets of Nerima, tossed about by the cold air; it was quickly nearing Christmas and getting closer every day.

Ranma Saotome walked glumly down the blanketed sidewalks, kicking the snow at his feet dejectedly, making a strange, makeshift caterpillar path on the pavement. He grumbled unconsciously under his breath, cursing the currently drained state of his pocket money. "Only me." He growled, his breath emerging in small white puffs.

The pig-tailed boy dug his hands deeper into the pockets of his Chinese army jacket and tucked his head further into his chest. Things were definitely not going as he had planned. However, nothing ever did, so this wasn't that surprising of an event.

"Something wrong, sonny?" Happosai said, appearing seemingly out of nowhere.

Ranma was not in the mood. For Happosai, for Shampoo, for Mousse, for Ryoga, or any of the other miscreants that plagued his daily life. Lashing out in speed near impossible to any normal human, the boy thrust his fist at the small, old man, with the unquestionable purpose of violent destruction. Unfortunately for him, Happosai was an extremely experienced martial-arts master and dodged the blow with the ease of blinking. Which was automatic, so obviously, very easy.

"Go away, you old freak!" Ranma shouted, as his unconcerned opponent sat contentedly on a fence, smoking his pipe with his short legs crossed.

"You're not as fast as usual." the decrepit old man drawled, looking up at the depressing grey sky stretched above. "Something is wrong." He stared down at his less than willing pupil and shook out the burned tobacco in the belly of his pipe. Suddenly, he jumped up, landing next to Ranma with enthusiasm. "Nothing that the obtaining of lovely silk panties won't cure though!" He practically glowed.

The boy looked disgustedly down at Happosai and closed his eyes, striving to gain control of his flaring temper. But, control was not one of Ranma's strong points and he kicked out a Chinese-slippered foot, nearly catching the older man in the head. Nearly.

The dwarf-like man bounded up onto the fence again, pulling back his lips to stick out his tongue. Ranma picked up a handful of snow and hurled it at him, knocking him back onto the frozen waters of the canal. His small body broke the ice from the momentum and he bobbed up in the hole, shivering. "How dare you do that to your master!" He shouted, leaping from the canal to the snowy ground. "You shall pay!" He flipped into the air and caught the boy's elbow with his pipe, sending him flying high into the snow-filled air.

"Damn!" Ranma growled, as he picked himself up off the asphalt, "I hate that old pervert!" He brushed himself off furiously and turned to find his way home, nearly bumping into a large wooden sign.

In bright red letters it read: "Need extra money! Fear not! Here at Nerima Shopping Center we need all the help we can get! Substantial paycheck! Apply inside for positions."

The boy's azure-blue eyes brightened and he looked at where a red arrow was pointing toward the mall. Quickly, he found his way inside and stepped up to the information desk.

"Hello," a bored looking man with glasses said, picking his nails, "This is the information desk. May I help you?"

"I'd like to apply for a job position," Ranma said, completely self-assured.

The man pointed at a big metal door marked: "Employees Entrance" and sighed. "Go in there, they'll give you the proper forms to fill out."

Ranma nodded and walked over to the door, he pulled it open easily and stepped inside. "Hello?!" He shouted, his voice echoing in the massive hallway.

A plump man emerged from another door and ushered the boy into a small room. "You here to apply for a job, kid?" He asked, flicking ashes from the cigar he held between two fingers.

"Yeah. The sign said you needed-" He was cut off quickly by the cigar-smoking man.

"Yeah, yeah. Here's the form. Report back here early tomorrow morning." Ranma picked up a pen and set to work.

The next morning he appeared from behind the "Employees Entrance" door with a grimace. For from head to toe, he was every inch Santa Claus.

Walking over to the huge snowy fake Christmas tree set and sat down on the large gold and green throne. Beside it was an over-stuffed bag of wrapped box props and a plastic reindeer. "Ho, ho,ho." he mono-toned, blank-faced, "I hate my life."

After having hundreds of screaming, crying, drooling, violent, runny-nosed toddlers sit on his lap, tell him their wishes, have their picture taken and try to rip his fake beard off all day, he was more than ready to go home and never come back, when a familiar voice caught his attention.

"Look over there, Nabiki!" Akane Tendo giggled, pointing straight at Ranma, "Santa!" For a moment, the boy seriously considered fleeing for his life, but then decided facing the merciless tormenting and teasing of the two younger Tendo sisters now was probably a wiser idea. He sighed dejectedly and leaned back against the padded chair.

"How about we go sit on Santa's lap!" The youngest Tendo girl squealed grabbing her sister's hand and running over to the snow-covered set. "Come on!"

Nabiki rolled her eyes. "No way. I have a reputation to uphold. If any of my friends saw me getting my picture taken with some old geezer dressed as Santa Claus I'd never live it down." Akane folded her hands and looked at her sister with pleading velvety brown eyes.

"Pleeeeeeeeeease, Nabiki!" She implored, biting her lip for a second. "Please! Pretty, pretty please! For old times sake!" The brown-haired girl stared absently at her begging sister and sighed.

"Okay, okay. But just for old times sake, and I'm not getting my picture taken!" She stepped into the red-velvet ropes and dug into her pocket for her billfold.

Abruptly, Ranma realized that he hadn't been recognized and for a minute sighed with relief. His respite faded quickly as he grasped the fact that he would have both Nabiki and Akane sitting on his lap.

Nabiki wasn't much of a temptation, she was fairly cute, but didn't make his heart flutter the way Akane did. Akane. The name sent butterflies through his stomach. She was the whole reason he had wanted to get this job.

Since the beginning of the month he had been in a rush to buy his friends and family Christmas gifts, and had succeeded. But when it came to the subject of Akane, he was without any ideas.

He'd spent weeks trying to figure out what to get for her. It had to be perfect. But nothing ever seemed to fit the expectations he'd set for the perfect gift to give her.

And then he found it. Just the day before, he'd been out shopping and caught sight of a dress in a nearby boutique. It was powder pink with white-lace sleeves and a short, fluffy skirt, surrounded by another overskirt of white-lace, dotted with painted pearls. At the collar- line was circle of pearls and a small lace bow at the center. It was exactly the type of thing he'd been looking for. It was flawless. It was exquisite. It was five thousand yen.

So there he was, his pockets empty of any speck of currency, staring retribution and twelve months of stock-solid heaven in the face. Or, what he supposed might be retribution and twelve months of stock-solid heaven if he ever managed to earn enough money to buy it for her. That was when he'd gone job-searching. Now, he was dressed as Santa Claus with the one girl he was bearing all humiliation for talking her sister into joining her in a rendezvous with an age-old legendary figure who was actually her fiancé. It was too much to take.

"Sorry, ladies," He grumbled, muffling his voice to try and disguise it, "We're closing." Akane turned suddenly, blinking in surprise.

"Closing?" She questioned skeptically, "But it's only five o'clock!" The short-haired girl took a step toward the padded chair. Ranma pushed himself even further back into its cushioning, gulping.

"Nonetheless," he choked out, "We're done for the evening. I'm sorry. You'll have to come back some other time." Hopefully by then, he'd have finagled his way out of this job, collected his paycheck and bought the dress. Then all would be well with the world.

Nabiki pushed past her younger sister, hands on hips. "Surely you won't deny just one of us." She stated more than queried.

"I-I-" Ranma stuttered, adjusting his beard to be sure she couldn't recognize him. The brown-haired girl leaned closer and inspected him with a careful eye.

"Or do we have to go to the manager about a Santa whose lax in his duties?" Her voice was hard and threatening and suddenly the pig-tailed boy realized how she managed to cheat people out of their money. But more importantly, that she really was devoted to Akane, and the thought was surprising enough to throw him off guard. His body relaxed in the chair and he looked at her, surprised.

It was all the chance she needed, and she pushed the younger girl toward him quickly.

Akane seated herself on his lap and turned to look at him. The smile that could melt an iceberg dancing across her lips. "I'm sorry," she sympathised, tilting her head cutely to the side, "My sister's a little assertive. If you really don't want to do this."

Ranma unexpectedly realized what Dr. Tofu, Kasumi and so many other people had told him about this girl. She really was sweet, and kind. "No," he gulped, smiling weakly beneath the fake beard, "It's okay. I guess I can do one more before the evening ends."

The girl's large, round eyes brightened and she squeezed her hands into fists. "Great!" She looked at him expectantly, and Ranma become conscious of the fact that he was supposed to ask her what she wanted for Christmas. He had been so wrapped up in trying to keep himself cool despite the fact that he had a this girl would could make his entire world spin sitting comfortably on his lap. And it felt right. Too right for his ease.

"Well, my-er dear, what would you like for Christmas?" He ho-ho-hoed quietly and cleared his throat, waiting for her response.

The pretty girl leaned closer and grinned slightly, biting her lip for a second, thinking. Her black-hair brushed his cheek and his mind filled with nothing but her lavender scent.

"Santa?" She questioned, a puzzled look on her face, "Santa, are you alright?" He snapped back to attention, struggling to ignore the new form of distraction she had introduced to his wildly beating heart.

"I'm, uh-fine, now, what was it that you wanted?" She looked around nervously and leaned moved her lips inches away from his ear.

"Ranma." She whispered, her warm breath tickling his shivering skin. For a moment he thought she'd finally recognized him, then realization hit him. Hard.

She didn't want anything bought for Christmas, she wanted him. And only him. A sudden air of reassurance drifted over him and he relaxed.

"Could you be more specific?" He asked her, gazing straight into her eyes. A spark of electricity passed between them and she moved a little in surprise.

"I want Ranma to love me-" She blushed, looking down at her hands folded in her lap. "Like I love him."

A blanket of warmth flooded through the boy's body and he licked his dry lips nervously. "To-to love you?" He repeated, barely able to digest the new information just revealed to him. He glanced about quickly, making sure that Nabiki hadn't heard. She was walking around in a store to the left of them.

"It's a stupid wish, I know," she sighed, twiddling her fingers, "But I want it more than anything." Ranma lifted her chin gently, forcing her to look at him.

"I think," he began, his heart pounding a mile-a- minute, "I think he just might." The girl's embarrassed face broke into another melting smile and she pulled nervously at the hem of her skirt.

"Y-you really think so?" He grinned back, reaching out to touch her arm gently.

"I know so. Merry Christmas." Akane beamed and slid off of his lap, taking his one hand softly.

"Thank you, Santa. Merry Christmas!" She released him quickly and ran off to retrieve Nabiki, turning once to wave. He wave back.

Next week was Christmas and everyone was opening gifts. Wrapping paper, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap were strewn all over the floor. Happosai was spinning around on a bottle of sake drunkenly and Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo were busily sticking wrapping bows onto each other's heads. Kasumi had begun setting the Christmas dinner out on the table and Nabiki was counting her presents she had received. "A definite drop from last year," she stated coldly, "What gives?"

Akane held up the powder pink dress she had just opened from Ranma, shrieking with delight. "Oooooooo!" She cooed, looking it over eagerly, "It's beautiful!" The dark-haired girl stood up and held it in front of her, pulling the skirt out to the side and spinning. Ranma smiled as his fiancée surveyed the dress with pleasure. The soft pastel fabric suited her porcelain colouring well, as did the short, bunched skirt. He watched in contented delight as the silky fabric draped delicately over her skin as she spun.

"So you like it then?" He asked, knowing full well what the answer was. Her smile was amazing.

"I love it!" She purred, hugging it gently. Ranma had a brief image of him being the one squeezed in her arms and found himself foolishly jealous of a piece of stitched cloth and lace. "Thank you so much!"

"Good," he sighed, patting himself on the back mentally. He needed to win over her undying thanks and affection more often. Those smiles and purrs were definitely a plus. "By the way," he pulled on the front of his new shirt lightly, "Thanks for the shirt. The way they were getting ruined in duels, I really needed a new one!"

Akane smiled shyly, her eyes roving the midnight blue silk of the Chinese shirt and the delicately painted gold dragon snaking up the chest and right shoulder. "To be completely truthful, I wasn't sure if you were going to like it." Her eyes met his and the same electricity from before surged between them. She looked confused and turned away, a brilliant red flush blazing across her cheeks.

"Oh, um, Akane," Ranma said, rubbing his left arm nervously, "I, uh, I have another gift for you too." The girl looked at her with interest.

"This is enough, Ranma," she said, holding up the adored dress, "Really." The boy gulped and twiddled his thumbs.

"But I wanted to give you this other gift too." She opened her mouth and then closed it, nodding.

"Okay, if you want to." She followed him into his bedroom and watched as he slid the door closed behind them.

He pointed sheepishly up at what looked like a weed with a red ribbon tied in a bow around the stem. Abruptly, the girl realized that what she'd mistaken for a weed was mistletoe. And it was hanging right above them. Her face turned up suddenly and her mouth moved to speak, but Ranma's own covered it too quickly.

Her arms stiffened at first, hands in fists, then she loosened and moved up his back with gently exploring fingers. She was caught between a façade of distance and the warmth of this boy's body so close to hers. Warmth won over and she nearly collapsed in the pig-tailed boy's arms.

As he pulled away softly, her eyes remained closed for a minute, replaying what had just occurred over and over at light-speed. As they opened she found herself gazing into her fiancé's deep blue eyes, and a sigh of contentment slipped through her partially opened lips. "Just what I wanted-" She whispered, leaning her forehead against his. "How did you know?"

Ranma grinned slightly and pulled her closer. "Let's just say, Santa told me."

Author's Note: Yes, yes, as I said, I know it's out of season, but I had to give it a shot. Please review. I'm also going to try a shameless boost fro my other two fics: "Wanna' Bet?!" and "Thinking 'Bout You.". Please seek them out and read away! I write as much for my enjoyment as for yours and it really feels good to know what people think of my writing. Good or bad. Hope you liked this one! Send me ideas for fics, I'll use them, and await my new fics too!!! God bless! -Crystal_V_Princess