Secret Santa

A Sagittarius, Shopping and the Arcade

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/12/20

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A/N: Aiolos's chapter. I discovered that I can't seem to write Aiolos without adding some angst, so I added something fun in to try and balance things out.

Christmas had never crossed Aiolos's mind before. He had heard of it, of course, but it had never meant anything to him. It seemed to mean something to Athena, though, or else she wouldn't have decided to have a party on that exact date. It would be fun, even if it meant he had to buy a present for one of the other Saints.

He drew a name and went down with the other Gold Saints, wondering who he had gotten. Even if he had drawn Aioira, it wouldn't be easy, not when there was a thirteen year gap between them. But that was something he preferred not to think about. At last he reached Sagittarius temple and opened his piece of paper. He glanced at the name curiously. So he had to buy a present for Mu then. He had no idea what to get the Aries Saint, but he wasn't overly worried about that. There was bound to be something that would work down in Athens. It was a big city with tons of shops. The only problem was money. The other Gold Saints rarely bought anything or went into town, but he had been hanging out with Seiya and the Bronze Saints lately. They liked to go to movies, restaurants and other places that required money. Aiolos knew he had been careful to save at least a little each time but he wasn't sure it was going to be enough. The Sagittarius Saint headed toward his room, and pulled out the box the kept his money in. He was in the midst of counting it when he heard someone come in.

"Aio," he said catching sight of his brother. "What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost." The Leo Saint came over and sat on the bed, then showed him the piece of paper he had drawn. It amused Aiolos that he had drawn Mu and Aioria had drawn Shion, but he couldn't help but feel his little brother was overreacting just a little. He doubted Shion even cared about Christmas. The Pope probably didn't even care if he got a present or not, so he would be happy with whatever Aioria got him.

"Don't think about it so much." Aiolos smiled and clapped his brother on the back. "It's Shion. It'll be fine. Now come and spar with me, maybe that'll calm you down. It's been a while since we've actually fought against each other anyway."

"You really want to get your butt kicked?" Aioria said grinning, worry momentarily forgotten.

"You shouldn't talk that way to your big brother," Aiolos said jumping up. "I trained you, I know I can still beat you."

"I've gotten better since then," Aioria grinned. "You haven't seen what I've come up with since you've been...gone." Aiolos stopped smiling involuntarily, the weight of those thirteen lost years pressing down on him.

"I know," he said sadly, then he gave himself a mental shake and grinned again, determined not to make Aioria worry about him. "Race you to the training grounds?"

"Only if you think you can actually be a challenge to me!" Aiolos tried to forget about everything as he and Aioria ran down to the training grounds, then tried to loose himself in the sparring session that followed. He did manage to push it to the back of his mind, but once he was alone in his temple, those feelings returned once again.

As glad as he was to be alive again, the Sagittarius Saint sometimes had to wonder if it would have been easier if he had remained dead. Thirteen years were a long time and so much had changed. All the Gold Saints he had known as children were adults now and even his younger brother was older than he was! The now older Saints respected him, but it just wasn't the same as before. That sense of brotherhood that had bound the Gold Saints together when they were younger was gone. It had disappeared during Saga's reign, and despite the unity they had showed during the war with Hades, most of the Gold Saints still stood apart from each other.

That was why he preferred to spend time with Seiya and the other Bronze Saints. Even if he wasn't one of them, they still had that sense of...unity that the Gold Saints lacked. Seiya at least accepted him without problems. Aiolos shook himself to clear his head of such gloomy thoughts and headed off to bed. He would think things through in the morning.

The secret Santa thing was the first thing on Aiolos's mind when he woke up, and he realized that it might be a good idea to ask Shion about Mu. The Pope wasn't in the main temple, though, and one of the servants said that he had left with Dohko earlier. The Sagittarius Saint headed down toward the practice grounds. Athena had gone somewhere with the Bronze Saints after she had announced the Christmas party, and wasn't back yet. Going through Scorpio was amusing. His brother was balancing a tall ladder and yelling something to Milo who was standing down below. Since they both looked busy, and slightly annoyed with each other, Aiolos continued down rather than be dragged into whatever they were doing. As he trained, Aiolos realized that it might not be such a good idea to ask Shion for help. The Pope was missing the same thirteen years he was, and it might not be a good idea to remind him of that.

Aiolos decided to stop putting it off and actually head down into Athens the next day. He headed downstairs that morning, and passed through Scorpio. There was mistletoe everywhere. At least it answered the question of what his brother and the Scorpio Saint had been doing yesterday. Aioria wasn't in his temple when he reached it, and Aiolos continued down, slightly disappointed. Aldebaran was baking again today, the smell was all over the temple. The Sagittarius Saint debated on whether or not he should go see what the Taurus Saint was cooking, then reminded himself that he had something to do and headed down the temple steps. He would visit Aldebaran when he came back from shopping.

Aioria was in Aries temple when he walked in.

"Morning, Aiolos," his brother said when he saw Aiolos. "What are you doing here?"

"Going out," was his reply. "You are too right?" he asked, noting that Aioria was wearing casual clothes. " Have you finally figured out what you're going to get Shion?"

"No," Aioria said tensely and looked around. "Mu's not here and I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet."

"Maybe Mu's shopping today?" the Sagittarius suggested. "Or he's busy."

"Then I guess I can't go today," Aioria grumbled. "Without help I'm not going to be able to find anything that Shion will like."

"Don't talk like that!" Aiolos said. "I bet you'll find something if you actually go down and look. I'm going to go buy something for Mu now. Why don't you come with me? I'll be bored by myself anyway, and even if you don't find something you can always ask Mu for help when we get back."

"I guess I could." Aioria sighed. "Although I doubt I'll find anything. I still have no idea what Pope Shion likes!" Aiolos just laughed at his brothers stubbornness and started down, sensing Aioria following him.

Athens was always crowded, but Aiolos had never seen it as crowded as it was now. He remembered someone mentioning that it always got crowded around Christmas, but he hadn't believed them. The Sagittarius Saint was very careful to dodge around the people in the crowd, but Aioria wasn't and he heard his brother curse a couple times when someone ran into him.

He let Aioria lead the way since his brother seemed so agitated about buying something for Shion. After visiting several shops, Aioria still hadn't bought anything and was beginning to get upset.

"But aren't you supposed to be shopping for Shion, and not the Pope?" Aiolos said wisely after Aioria complained about not being able to find a present for the Pope. Aioria just glared at him, then opened the door to the next shop. It was some sort of craft store. The Leo Saint hesitated.

"Do you really think there'll be anything here?" Aioria said uncertainly. "There are flowers everywhere and I'm not shopping for Aphrodite."

"Just go in!" Aiolos gave him a shove and the Leo Saint was forced into the shop. Once inside, Aiolos went off in the opposite direction from his brother. He didn't think Aioria wanted him looking over his shoulder while he searched. After a while, Aioria came over to him holding a box.

"What do you think about this?" Aioria showed him a window-sill herb garden kit. Aiolos looked it over, then grinned.

"Get it."

"You think he'll like it?" Aioria said surprised.

"Yeah. At the least you did try to find something, and I'm sure that's what Athena meant when she started this. Shion will probably appreciate that, too."

"Hmmm..." Aioria looked at the box...then headed up to pay for it. Aiolos trailed along after him. Outside, Aioria looked over at his brother. "Well, I'm done. Do you have any idea what you're getting Mu?"

"Not really," Aiolos admitted. "But that's the fun part, isn't it?"

"Says you," the Sagittarius Saint heard his brother mutter as they headed toward another shop farther down the street.

On the way to a shop he had noticed, he paused in front of an arcade. Seiya liked these places, although the others weren't really fond of them, Shiryu called them a waste of money. That didn't stop the Pegasus Saint from dragging them to the arcade regularly, though. Suddenly he caught sight of one of the machines inside and grinned.

" Why are you grinning like that, 'olos?" Aioria said coming up beside him. "I get worried when you start grinning like that..." The Sagittarius Saint just smiled, then ducked inside. He heard Aioria follow him inside. "Why are we in an arcade?"

"To have fun!" Aiolos called over his shoulder. "Come on."

"Why are you acting like such a kid?"

"Because I am a kid?" Aiolos said, grinning over his shoulder. Then his smile faded. Aioria looked startled. "Aio, what's wrong?"

"Nothing..." the Leo Saint said, but Aiolos could tell something was bothering his brother.

"Over here!" Aiolos said to distract him. Aioria looked at the machine dubiously.

"What is that?"

"A dancing game."

"And how does a dancing game work?" Aioria walked around the machine curiously.

"There are arrows on the stage, see? When the arrows come up on the screen you step on the matching arrows on the stage. It's simple!"

"If you say so." Aioria looked at him. "How do you even know about this game, though?"

"Seiya showed it to me a while go."

"Why am I not surprised," Aioria sighed. "Seiya has been corrupting you."

"So?" Aiolos ignored the remark and stepped onto the stage. "Want to try it?"

"Why would I?"

"Scared you can't do it?" Aiolos grinned.

"Hey!" Aioria scowled. "I'm not scared of a machine!"

"Then get up here!" Aioria gave him a look, but stepped up anyway.

"Now what do I do!"

"Just wait for a second," Aiolos dug in his pockets for enough change. This was going to be fun...! He selected one of the easier songs because Aioria was a beginner. Not that he would tell his brother that, though. Aioria wouldn't believe he would need an easy song.

Then the music started. Aiolos tried to concentrate on his own steps but he messed up because he kept snickering watching his brother flail around. Gold Saints could move at light speed but it didn't help any here. He had learned that the first time Seiya had challenged him. Toward the end of the song, the Leo Saint stumbled, almost falling off the stage. Someone in the arcade snickered at him and Aiolos started laughing.

"Can we get out of here now?" Aioria said, bright red from embarrassment as the song ended. Aiolos snickered and nodded. Aioria glared at him. "I am never doing that again!" the Leo Saint hissed once they were outside.

"Sorry," Aiolos said innocently. "I just wanted to show you what it was like." Aioria grumbled something, but Aiolos had caught sight of a store window. The display looked interesting, so he darted inside. Aioria hurried in after him.

There was a hodge-podge of stuff in the store, from candles and statues to music and posters. Aiolos was looking through things interestedly when he found several tabletop fountains.

"Does this look like something Mu would like?" he asked Aioria who was standing nearby.

"I think so," his brother said looking at it.

"Good," Aiolos said, then grabbed one that was made up of an orb on top of a pile of small stones, then quickly headed up to pay for it. He had already bought Aioria a shirt with a picture of a lion on it early when his brother had been distracted, so he was set.

"Are we done now?" Aioria asked when they were outside.

"Yeah. We can go home now."


* * *

Next Chapter: Shura goes shopping for Milo

The End of Chapter 11 -- Continued in Chapter 12

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