Secret Santa

Shopping with a Little Lamb

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/12/10

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Mu was a bit amused by the whole Secret Santa idea. Although it wasn't something he would have done by himself, since it was for Athena, he might as well enjoy it. Besides, Deathmask's reaction had been amusing to him, and from the look on Camus's face, Aquarius wasn't too happy about it either. He followed his fellow Gold Saints out of the temple wondering how many of them would actually go shopping.

One the way down he passed through Leo and found a very pale Aioria standing in the middle of his temple staring at the piece of paper in his hand.

"Are you alright?" He stopped and asked the Leo Saint. Aioria jumped and crumbled the piece of paper.

"Oh, I'm fine," the Leo Saint answered, trying to smile. "I just...have to go see my brother now..." With that Aioria turned and headed up the stairs toward Sagittarius. Mu watched him go.

"I wonder who he got," the Aries Saint mused as he started back towards his temple.

"Master Mu!" was Kiki's greeting when he finally arrived. "How was the meeting?"

"Interesting," was all the Aries Saint said as he headed toward his private rooms. Once inside he willed the Aries Cloth to leave him before he sank down into a chair and opened the small piece of paper.

"What's that?" Kiki asked as he came over and tried to see what his teacher was doing.

"This is the name of the person I have to buy a gift for." Mu said calmly as he read Camus's name. "Athena is having a party and wants all of the Gold Saints to play Secret Santa."

"A party?" Kiki looked up hopefully. "Do I get to go to?"

"Yes." Mu smiled, knowing full well that Kiki would have found a way to invite himself anyway. The rest of the day was spent finishing up small chores that he had let go for too long. An hour or so after the meeting ended, a cheerful Aldebaran passed through Aries temple, and waved at him as he went by. Since the tall Saint was wearing casual clothes, Mu assumed that he was heading toward town.

A half-hour after that was when Camus and Milo passed through, both of them dressed in casual clothes as well. The sound of raised voices had brought him out into the main portion of his temple. Milo grinned when he caught sight of him.

"Hey Mu, guess what! Camus here," The Scorpio Saint clapped his friend on the back, "is looking forward to the Secret Santa thing!"

"No, I'm not," Camus said irritably as he brushed Milo's hand away. "I just want to get this over and done with!"

"Suuuure," Milo grinned.

"Well, have fun," Mu said grinning. Camus gave him an icy look, and Milo just laughed as the two Saints headed out.

Milo and Camus were actually the first to return. They came back with Milo still grinning, but Camus looking absolutely exhausted. They had both nodded as they passed through but they didn't stop to talk. It took another hour for Aldebaran to come back. Kiki had noticed him first and gone to talk to him, while Mu just stared at the myriad bags that the Taurus Saint was carrying.

"Please don't tell me you bought a present for everyone in Sanctuary," Mu said as he walked up to his friend. The large Saint had just laughed.

"In a sense, yes. I'm going to cook something for the party!" Aldebaran had said grinning broadly. Then he had continued on to his temple.

The next morning, Mu decided that he should finish the few chores that were still left undone, and get try to find a present for Camus tomorrow. After he and Kiki finished breakfast, Mu washed the dishes.

"Kiki, I want you to run through your training alone today," he said out loud. When there was no reply, the Aries Saint turned around frowning. "Kiki?" A quick search of the rooms showed that his student wasn't there. Thinking that he might be playing in the main portion of the temple, the Aries Saint walked out and began to search there. It was then that he noticed he wasn't alone in the temple.

"Master, Roshi, what are you doing here?" It was unusual to see his Master away from the main temple, let alone see him in casual clothes. He wasn't surprised though, when he was told it was because of the Christmas shopping.

"Looking for something?" Dohko asked when it became apparent that he was only half paying attention to the conversation.

"Yes, Kiki. He was here a few minutes ago," Mu answered as he frowned. He couldn't imagine where Kiki had disappeared to so suddenly.

"By now he's up at Taurus helping Aldebaran cook." Dohko said and Mu looked at him in surprise. Then he remembered Aldebaran's delectation and realized that Kiki would never have been able to stay away. The Taurus Saint always let him try whatever he was cooking.

"I should have known." Mu said to himself and started up the steps to retrieve his student.

He smelled Taurus Temple before he even set foot in it. The aroma of gingerbread was starting to waft all through Sanctuary. Inside he made his way straight to the kitchen and encountered a kind of orderly chaos. Mixing bowls, spoons and ingredients covered almost every surface in the Taurus Saints kitchen. On some of the counters, carefully cleared off, were several baking sheets full of cookies waiting to be decorated. Aldebaran was by the oven checking on something inside it and Kiki... Kiki was sitting in the corner by the done cookies, nibbling contentedly on a gingerbread man.

"Kiki," Mu said warningly. His student looked up guiltily and swallowed the piece of gingerbread he had been eating.

"Hello Master, Mu," the boy said.

"Mu!" Aldebaran boomed, and waved an oven mitten hand. "Come join us!"

"I would, but I have something I want to finish..." Mu gave his student a look, "and Kiki has training to do." The boy sighed and jumped down from his seat.

"It's Christmas, Mu!" Aldebaran said. "Surely it won't hurt him to have one day off?"

"He will...but not now." Mu said but sighed when he saw the disappointment on Kiki's face. "But you can come back when you have finished your training for today, alright?" Kiki smiled and said a quick "yes", then dashed off. Aldebaran chuckled.

"He's a good kid, Mu," was all the Taurus Saint said. Mu just smiled and grabbed one of the gingerbread men for himself before heading back down to Aries temple.

Kiki did go back to Taurus after he finished his training, and then fell asleep in Aldebaran's kitchen, forcing Mu to go pick up his student. As he carried Kiki back to the temple, he realized that he was going to have to do something to stop Kiki from eating so many sweets each day until the party. At least he had a good distraction for tomorrow.

"Would you like to go to Athens with me?" he asked his student over breakfast. Kiki looked up and smiled.

"Of course! This is for that Secret Santa thing, right?"

"Yes," Mu answered and stood up.

"Who do you have to go shopping for, Master Mu?" Kiki asked.

"Camus." Mu sighed. He knew a little about the Aquarius Saint, but Camus wasn't exactly an easy person to get close to. As far as he was aware, only Milo had managed that. Still, he had a good idea of what to give the Aquarius. They finished breakfast, then they started down towards Athens, Kiki running a little bit in front the whole time. Finally they reached the shopping area.

"Stay close to me," he told Kiki as he eyed the crowds. His student nodded, and kept close as they navigated the streets. Mu found that after the isolation of living in Jamir, he felt almost claustrophobic in the press of people. At last they reached the shop that Mu had remembered from previous trips into the city.

"Kiki, you wait for me here," he said as they reached a lamp post that had been decorated with green and red ribbons. "I'll only be a few minutes."

"Yes, Master Mu." The boy sat down next to the pole and Mu smiled as he made his way toward the wine shop. He knew that Camus liked wines, everyone in Sanctuary knew that much, so he had been going to buy the Aquarius Saint a bottle. Then he walked into the shop and realized that it might not be such a good idea. He himself did not drink and had almost no knowledge of wines, so swiftly he got confused by the names and realized that he had no idea what kind of wine Camus liked. He thought about going back and asking Milo for help, but then he noticed a set that held two wine glasses and a corkscrew that were engraved with a swans. Smiling he bought the set, thinking that Camus would appreciate it.

Outside he headed for the lamp post where he had left Kiki...only to find that no one was there.

"Kiki?" He called out, half expecting the boy to pop out from behind the pole. There was no answer to his call. A quick search in the immediate area showed that Kiki wasn't near the lamp post. Mu began to worry that something had happened. Although, sometimes Kiki would disappear without telling him where he was going, but he never disobeyed a direct order. If something had happened to him...

The Aries Saint took a deep breath. Kiki was a Gold Saint in training. If something had happened, then he would have been able to defend himself or at the very least call for help. Mu knew he would have sensed his student's Cosmo if that happened. Mostly likely Kiki had just wandered away and gotten lost. If that was the case then Kiki would be able to find him by homing in on his cosmo. If he couldn't do that then he had probably teleported back to Sanctuary and would be waiting for him there. Despite the logical assurances, Mu couldn't help but glance around hoping to find his student.

"Master Mu?" came from behind him. He turned around to find Kiki standing there.

"Kiki," he said relieved, even though he knew that his charge had been in no real danger. "I told you to stay here."

"I'm sorry," Kiki said. "But I saw a bunch of kids with these and they said a Santa was making them back there." He waved behind with... the balloon dog he was carrying. "Do you know how to make balloon animals, Master Mu?"

"No...that's one of the skills that's not a required of a Saint." Mu smiled slightly. Kiki might have been mature for his age, but he hadn't had the chance to see much of the world yet and the Aries Saint kept forgetting that. He let his student lead him around for the next two hours, going into the shops he wanted too. Although he only bought Kiki a small bag of candy when he asked, he did managed to hide his purchase of a balloon animal kit from his student. It would make a nice present for him on Christmas Day.

* * *

Next time: Aldy looks for a present for Saga.

The End of Chapter 3 -- Continued in Chapter 4

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