Secret Santa

The Icicle vs Christmas

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/12/20

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A/N: Writing annoyed Camus is fun! And I kept listening to the song 'Greatest Time of the Year' while I was writing this...

Camus was beginning to wonder what he had done to deserve this sort of punishment. He did not want to go to a party. He did not want to buy a present. But due to the fact that it was Athena who had decided that all the Gold Saints would participate in those Christmas related activities, he didn't have much of a choice in the matter. There were several other Gold Saints, like Milo, who looked positively excited about this. Silently the Aquarius Saint agreed whole heartedly with Deathmask, something that he had not though possible before.

After Athena left he headed down to his temple, grateful that it was so close. He went straight to his rooms and shut the door, not wanting to deal with anyone, not even Milo at the moment. least Hyoga was probably happy about this. The boy had never shut up about it when winter rolled around, and never listened when he had patiently explained to him many times that Saints didn't celebrate Christmas. Although now that Athena was here that rule seemed to have flown out the window.

"I suppose I had better get his over with," the Aquarius Saint muttered as he looked at the piece of paper in his hand. He opened it then sighed. Aldebaran wasn't the worst Saint he could have gotten, but it was still annoying. He would have to go down into Athens at some point, he realized. No matter how much he wished to avoid it, the trip into town would be necessary. The Aquarius Saint realized that he could spend several days avoiding going to Athens, then rush down at the last minute to try and find something for the Taurus Saint, or go now and get it over with.

He changed into his casual clothes. It was better to get this over with now. There was already that party on Christmas Day. He didn't want to have to worry about both things at once.

The trip down went smoothly until he reached Scorpio. Milo was there and Camus just knew he would be happy about this. The party and the Secret Santa were things that the Scorpio Saint would enjoy immensely. Camus just wished that Milo wouldn't try to get him to enjoy them, too.

"Hey Camus!" was his friend's greeting. Milo gave him a curious look when he noticed the causal clothes. "What's going on?"

"I'm getting this secret Santa thing out of the way now," he said still annoyed about being forced to go shopping. "I already have to go to a party, I don't need this hanging over my head all week, too."

"You're actually willingly going into town?" Milo said amazed. "Did you freeze over hell while you were down there?"

"Oh, very funny," Camus snapped. "Now if you'll let me through..."

"Wait here for a sec, would you? I need to go change," Milo said quickly then ran toward his rooms. The Aquarius Saint shook his head and continued down the stairs. He hadn't wanted Milo to come along because his friend would feel the need to try and cheer him up even though he did not want to be cheered up. But now that Milo had decided to come, Camus knew that there would be nothing he could do to stop Milo from following him. At least he could try to keep the Scorpio Saint out of trouble.

Milo managed to catch up with him just before he entered Libra, complaining about him not waiting. Then he demanded to know who he had drawn for the secret Santa. Since he knew that Milo could and would follow through on his threat to annoying him, he decided not to fight with him about it.

"I drew Aldebaran," Camus told his friend.

"Huh, Aldebaran's easy to shop for," Milo said. "I drew Deathmask."

Camus wondered what mischievously evil force had decided that Milo should shop for Deathmask. The grin on Milo's face was enough to convince the Aquarius Saint that he didn't want to know what Milo was planning to get the Cancer Saint. At least he doubted Deathmask would actually try and hurt Milo in front of Athena...but then again, it was Deathmask they were talking about. Anything was possible with him.

By then they had reached Gemini. Years of knowing Milo made Camus aware that the Scorpio Saint would try something when they saw Saga standing there. He stopped his friend by stepping backwards onto his foot. At least while he was complaining about that, he wasn't saying anything weird. After he explained to Saga what he was doing, Camus continued down. He was used to Milo's complaints anyway, so he simply ignored them as they walked, answering his friend without really thinking about.

He wasn't fast enough when they reach Aries, though.

"Hey, Mu, guess what!" Milo said before he could stop him. "Camus here," the Scorpio Saint clapped a hand on his back, "is looking forward to the Secret Santa thing!"

"No, I'm not," he 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 also grinning. Camus gave the other Saint an icy look, and Milo just laughed as they headed down the stairs.

Two minutes after they had reached the shopping district, Camus was certain that of all holidays he hated Christmas the most. The lights, decorations and music were annoying but those didn't compare to the indignity of being crowded like this. He glared at anyone who got too close to him, feeling annoyed with the crowds and life in general right now.

"Why don't we try in here, Camus?" Milo said suddenly and started pushing him somewhere

"Milo what are you...?" Then the Aquarius Saint caught sight of the shop. "Milo...that's a gift shop. A tourist gift shop."

"So?" Milo opened the door and shoved him inside before he could protest.

"I am not buying any of this overpriced...junk." The Aquarius Saint looked around the shop...which had a sea theme complete with garish decorations.

Then Milo shoved a Santa had on his head and set off into the shop. Camus threw the hat back at him, feeling slightly annoyed when his friend just caught it and put it on, then started his search for the most ridiculous present he could find in the shop. He had no clue why Milo thought it would be a good idea to mess with Deathmask, but choose to ignore it. If Milo had a death wish then it wasn't his place to interfere.

At least Milo decided on a pair of goggle-eyed crab slippers.

"Are you done here?" Camus couldn't help asking.


"Then I'm waiting outside." He wondered why Christmas seemed to involve playing the same songs over and over and over again until the listener got a headache. Maybe it was some strange form of torture to punish those who waited until the week before Christmas to do their shopping. Outside, the music was muted and there was fresh air, which did help some with the headache he was developing. It was still crowded though, and he thought he might have scared several people away from the shop when he glared at them.

Milo came out of the shop at last with a bag, looking far too cheerful for someone who had just been shopping.

"Well, I'm done. Now it's your turn!"

"I know," the Aquarius Saint replied miserably.

"You look like you're preparing for another Holy War," Milo said sounding amused.

"I would rather face another Holy War," Camus muttered under his breath.

"Come on, it's not that bad!"

"Yes. It. Is." The Aquarius Saint snapped and headed down the street, wondering how people could actually enjoy this holiday. All the shops seemed to have some sort of sign advertising a holiday sale near it, but he ignored most of them. Milo didn't, though. The Scorpio Saint abruptly grabbed his arm and dragged him over to a store window.

"Look!" Milo pointed gleefully. "That's mistletoe!" Camus looked at the green sprigs.



"It's mistletoe, Camus! You can't have Christmas without mistletoe!"

"Yes, you can. I think most people do. You just want to trap someone, probably Marin or Shaina underneath it. Which is a very bad idea, Milo."

"Why is that?" Milo grinned. Camus sighed.

"Aioria will start a thousand days war with you if he finds out you're going after Marin and I don't want to listen to Shaina screaming at you for going after her again either."

"But see, this is Christmas and mistletoe. It's different. It doesn't mean anything." Milo grinned. "Besides, I wonder what our dear Lion will look like if I manage to catch him and Marin under the mistletoe. Think he'll die from embarrassment?"

"Milo..." Camus shook his head as he followed the Scorpio Saint into the shop. There would be no changing his friend's mind now, at least not by using logic and common sense. While Milo went off to ask about buying his mistletoe, the Aquarius Saint looked through the shop. When his friend returned with another bag and a grin on his face, Camus sighed. This did not bode will for Sanctuary. "Just be careful that Aphrodite doesn't catch you under the mistletoe, Milo." The Scorpio Saint went pale.

"Don't joke about stuff like that!" he said horrified. Camus chuckled, a little of his good humor restored. That vanished a few minutes later after he had been pushed around by the crowds outside. He wondered why people like Milo didn't seem to be bothered by it. The Scorpio Saint must have noticed that he was getting stressed since he hadn't said anything annoying in the past minute or so.

"Look over there, Camus," the Scorpio said at last. Camus looked irritably, expecting to see another one of those annoyingly decorated tourist traps. Instead he saw a bookstore.

Bookstores were good. They were quiet and probably not as crowded as the other shops. Camus headed over to it. He slipped inside and felt himself relax a little, away from the pressure of the crowds. Milo looked at him in concern.

"You okay?"

"Yes," Camus said and straightened up. Aldebaran had been baking lately. Maybe he should get the Taurus Saint a cookbook. Those at least were easy to find. There was a book on making gourmet food that he thought Aldebaran would like, so he picked that one. He might have looked for a different book, but there were two girls in that aisle that kept staring at him and giggling. He found them very, very irritating.

After a quick check to make sure that Milo was absorbed in a magazine (what he was looking at, Camus did not want to know, although he could make a good guess what it was), the Aquarius Saint picked up a book on scorpions that he knew Milo didn't have. It was only after he had paid for the books that he tapped Milo on the shoulder.

"Find anything?" his friend asked.

"Yes." Camus held up his bag. "Now let's get back. I don't want to spend another moment drowning in this Christmas cheer."

"You still have the party..."

"Do. Not. Remind. Me." Camus growled. Milo laughed.

"You'll survive it."

"Maybe." Was all the Aquarius Saint said as they headed back toward Sanctuary.

* * *

Next chapter: Aphrodite goes shopping for Dohko.

The End of Chapter 13 -- Continued in Chapter 14

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