Secret Santa

A Sheep Goes Shopping

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/12/10

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A/N: Now I shall start things off with Shion. Thanks to everyone in the chat who gave me suggestions about what Aphrodite's present should be.

The Gold Saints all exited the room after Athena had gone. It was interesting to observe the different ways they reacted to their new 'mission'. Deathmask hadn't obeyed their goddess' instructions, instead opening his paper as soon as she was out of sight, then snarled and crumpled the paper into his fist and stormed off muttering something in Italian. The looks on the others' faces ranged from resignation to outright excitement. Shion felt that he fell in the 'resigned' category.

Since he had no temple to go to, the Pope just waited until all the others were gone, then sat down on the throne and unfolded his piece of paper. He stared at the neat row of letters on it then sighed.

"Well, this will be interesting." He muttered out loud as he stared at Aphrodite's name. Shion stood up and stretched, trying to think of something that would make a good present for the Pisces Saint. Nothing immediately came to mind and he sighed. The problem was he had no idea what Aphrodite was like anymore. The last time he had been really close to any of the Gold Saints had been when they were children. All of them had grown up and changed drastically since then. He hadn't had a chance to spend much time with the Pisces Saint since their resurrection, so outside of rumors he had no idea what Aphrodite was like anymore. It was somewhat depressing now that he thought of it, but going out to remedy things right now wouldn't help.

Aphrodite would know that something was up if he suddenly showed up. Even though he was thrilled with the idea he would abide by the spirit of the thing and at least try to keep it a secret. But today...he was busy. Maybe an idea would come to him if he thought about something else besides Aphrodite's present. But no bolt of inspiration struck and by the time he went to bed, Shion realized that one was unlikely to.

The next morning Shion tired to think of something that would help. None of the other Gold Saints except Deathmask were really close to the Pisces Saint, and the Cancer Saint wasn't likely to be helpful. It looked like he would be forced to go talk with Aphrodite and hope the younger Saint didn't guess what he was doing.

"Hey, Shion!" The Pope smiled as his old friend walked in and hailed him.

"Good morning, Dohko. Going into town?" He asked, noting that this friend was wearing casual clothes, something that very rarely ever happened.

"I have to, don't I? There aren't really any shops around here." The Libra Saint smiled. "Want to come with me? You have to get your present, too, you know and there's only five days left."

"I know." The ex-Aries Saint sighed. "But I have no idea what kind of present I should get."

"I guess you didn't get me then." Dohko grinned. Shion smiled, too.

"I'm supposed to buy a present for Aphrodite, and frankly I have no clue what to get him. Do you have any ideas?"

"Umm...something with roses on it?" Dohko suggested scratching his head. "I have to clue either. Why don't you come with me and see if we find anything that way? Sitting around here probably won't help. At least going out will give you some ideas."

"But I have my duties..."

"And Athena's the one who ordered you go buy a present." Dohko said smiling mischievously. "Getting some fresh air will be good for you anyway, old man!"

"You have no right to call me old." Shion smiled. "But I suppose you're right. Give me a few minutes." He stood and made his way toward the small rooms that he stayed in here. It took him longer than he thought it would to find the casual clothes he owned. They had been shoved to the bottom of the chest that held his clothes since he didn't use them much.

Aphrodite was apparently still asleep when they went through his temple. For some reason Shion felt relieved by this, even though he knew that Aphrodite would have no way of knowing who he was shopping for. Most of the trip down was normal, but when they passed through Scorpio, they found Milo balanced precariously atop an extremely tall ladder, trying to hang something on the doorway that lead into the temple. He shouted a cheerful good morning down at them as the came up.

"Milo...what is that?" Shion asked, staring at the plant the Scorpio Saint was holding.

"Mistletoe." Milo answered grinning. Shion sighed and Dohko laughed as they hurried past the offending plant.

When they reached Leo, Aioria had been there and jumped when he saw them. Then he stammered out a quick good morning before he disappeared into his rooms.

"Maybe he has Marin in there," Dohko said, amused by the younger Saint, "and doesn't want her coming out while you're here."

"I doubt it," Shion said. "He's not Milo, and anyway, he's the only Saint here."

"So? Wouldn't you be lying low, too?" Dohko said as they continued down. Shion didn't comment.

There was a delicious smell wafting up the steps from Taurus, though. Dohko stopped and sniffed once they were inside.

"What is that?" He asked.

"Gingerbread, I think." Shion said after a moment's pause. "I think it's traditional to have gingerbread at Christmas."

"Oh." Dohko looked in the direction of the Taurus Saint's private rooms. "I didn't know Aldebaran could cook..."

"He's supposed to be good at it," Shion replied as the two exited the temple. Midway down the stairs to Aries they encountered Kiki.

"Good morning, Pope Shion, Dohko." The boy said politely.

"Good morning Kiki. Where are you going?" Shion asked.

"Aldebaran said that it was going to be cooking day, and that I could help!" Kiki said smiling.

"That way you get to try everything, huh?" Dohko chuckled. "Well, have fun!" Kiki nodded, then ran off.

Down in Aries, Mu was peering behind one of the pillars of his temple when they walked in. "Master, Roshi, what are you doing here?" He said when he noticed them.

"Only passing through." Shion answered. "I might as well finish my holiday shopping today." Mu smiled slightly. "Good luck then, Master." Then the Aries Saint stepped back and peered into the corner of his temple.

"Looking for something?" Dohko asked.

"Yes, Kiki. He was here a few minuets ago..." Mu frowned.

"By now he's up at Taurus. Helping Aldebaran cook." Dohko chuckled. Mu looked and him in surprise, then seemed to remember something and shook his head.

"I should have known." The Aries Saint muttered, then started in direction of the second temple. Both elder Saints chuckled, then continued down. The rest of the trip into Athens was uneventful.

Unfortunately, as they soon learned upon arriving in the shopping district, waiting until the last five days to do your Christmas shopping was apparently a bad idea. It was crowded, even at nine o'clock in the morning. Shion had a headache after the first few minutes from the Christmas carols were over. After Dohko had gone into two toy stores, then left without buying anything, Shion spoke up.

"Who are you shopping for anyway, Dohko?" He asked, slightly irritated after being jostled everywhere. It had been a nice surprise when he realized that the women throwing admiring glances their way weren't only looking at the Libra Saint, but even that had paled in the face of the shopping.

"Aiolos." Dohko admitted. "And I'm in the same boat as you are. I just don't know him well."

"You know the Bronze Saints. Get him something one of them would like. He's the same age they are." Shion pointed out.

"That's true." The Libra Saint said as they entered another store. This one was combination hobby and toy store, with a ton of puzzles and unique toys. Dohko disappeared into the depths of the store and Shion wandered off.

On a shelf in the back, there was a display of small plush toys that were designed to be the animals and symbols of the zodiac. He chuckled softly then found the Ram and it had golden horns. He grabbed one, thinking that it would make a good present for Kiki, then after a moment grabbed one for Mu as well. His student would probably find them amusing, too.

Near the front of the store he found a figure of a little green man from something called Star Wars that reminded him of what Dohko had first looked like when he had seen his friend after all those years. He decided to buy that too, since he thought it Dohko would find it amusing. His friend came up after he had finished paying, grinning after having managed to find a gift for the much younger Sagittarius Saint.

Outside Shion let out a long sigh.

"And I still have no idea what to buy." The Pope ran a hand through his hair and gazed around at the bewildering array of shops. "Maybe I should just go talk to Aphrodite..."

"And ruin the surprise?" Dohko grinned. "Here, I have an idea." The Libra Saint took off toward a small shop that Shion had overlooked earlier. Inside he stopped cold, a massive area of sweet smells almost made him gag. Bottles of perfumes and lotions lined the walls, and there were several displays of makeup setup.

"Dohko, what are you doing?" He hissed as his friend as he became aware that they were the only males in the shop, and that most of the other patrons were staring at them.

"Just come on." Dohko grabbed him over to a corner of the shop.

"Perfume?" Shion asked. "You really think Aphrodite wears perfume?"

"He smells like roses all the time. I doubt that's just from his attack." Dohko pointed out, picked up a bottle. "You could just give him some."

"I don't know." Shion muttered picking up a small bottle and giving it a test squirt. The smell nearly made him sneeze.

"Hi, can I help you?" A saleswoman asked them.

"We're just looking," Shion said, then tried not to listen to the giggles from some of the women in the store.

"It's a present for your girlfriend, right?" The saleswoman said brightly. Dohko half choked, and started sniggering into his hand. Shion glared at his friend, then turned back to the woman.

"No... not really.." Shion said, trying not to sound embarrassed. After several minuets they left the shop, without buying anything since Shion did not think Aphrodite would appreciate it if he bought him a bottle of perfume.

"You know... That saleswoman was very attentive, wasn't she?" Dohko grinned.

"Oh, be quiet, Dohko!" Shion muttered. They walked for a few minutes, but Shion didn't see anything that looked promising. Finally, more to get away from the crowds, he ducked into the first mostly empty store he saw.

"Shion, what are you doing?" Dohko asked as he gazed around the antiques store they found themselves in.

"Trying to find something in an unexpected place." Shion answered as he headed deeper into the store.

"You do realize we are older than most of this stuff." The Libra Saint muttered as he poked at a shelf of knick-knacks.

"So?" Shion moved aside a doll...and paused. He picked up the mirror that was laying there. There was small crack in one corner of the glass, and it looked like it needed to be polished but other than that it was beautiful. The dark wood it was made out of had been carved in the shape of various plants, he turned it over and chuckled. "Look Dohko." He said and showed his friend the rose that had been carved on the back.

"I guess you did find something." The Libra Saint said as Shion headed toward the front to pay for the mirror. Outside Shion let out a sigh of relief.

"I guess you were right, Dohko. I just need to go out and look." He said to his friend.

" let's head back. I want to see what Aldebaran's gingerbread tastes like."

* * *

Next up: Mu looks for a present for Camus.

The End of Chapter 2 -- Continued in Chapter 3

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