Secret Santa

Of Fishes and Christmas

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/12/22


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A/N: Finally the last of the Saint chapters! Only two chapters left in this fic now.


Aphrodite groaned, then slammed his elbow into Deathmask's gut to stop the Cancer Saint from cursing any more. Of course the Cancer Saint was going to protest, Athena herself must have known that! But there wasn't much you could do about Deathmask, Aphrodite knew that first hand. About the best thing you could do was let the Cancer Saint react and try to convince him that killing someone was not the best course of action...

The Pisces Saint took the last slip of paper from the bowl and returned to his place, feeling a little anxious about the Secret Santa thing. He was actually looking forward to the party, and he liked shopping but wasn't used to shopping for anybody but himself. About the only other person he had bought something for in the past few years was Deathmask. It would be a lot more of a challenge to find a present for someone else.

Athena left, and so did all the Gold Saints. Grateful for once that he lived closest to the main temple, Aphrodite went to his rooms and checked his piece of paper. Then he closed his eyes and sighed. He had gotten Dohko. One of the oldest and most respected Saints in Sanctuary. The Libra Saint also happened to be the person that Aphrodite had talked to the least. Aside from greetings whenever Dohko passed through his temple, the Pisces Saint hadn't said anything to the older Saint, let alone had a decent conversation with him.

He did know some things about the Libra Saint, but he wasn't sure if a few facts would be enough to enable him to choose a present. Idly he wondered which Saint had the misfortune of having Deathmask shopping for him. He very much doubted that Deathmask would do anything about the secret Santa idea. Tomorrow he would go and see if he could get the Cancer Saint to participate. But he would let the other Saint cool off for today. There was no telling what would happen if he tried to talk to Deathmask now.

Going down through the temples the next day let him see that Milo at least was enjoying this. The Scorpio Saint was decorating his temple with multiple sprigs of mistletoe. Aphrodite wondered how he had managed to convince Aioria to help him and where he had gotten the Christmas music that was echoing through out the temple. It was surprising that the Scorpio Saint didn't have a headache from it yet.

Cancer temple was surprisingly quiet. Aphrodite poked his head into Deathmask's rooms when he realized the Saint wasn't in the main portion of his temple. The Pisces Saint frowned at the mess he saw on the other side of the half open door.

"Please don't tell me you got drunk," he said as he walked in and nudged one of the bottles lying on the floor with his foot. Deathmask just glared at him from where he was picking more bottles up. "Wasn't that a little extreme?"

"No." Deathmask growled in reply. "If I forgot who I drew then I wouldn't have to find a present for him anymore!"

"So you'd tell Athena that you couldn't participate because you got too drunk to remember who you were supposed to buy a present for?"

"Yeah. Not like I care what she thinks of me anyway," Deathmask said. "Besides, it's not like she could do anything about it."

"She might figure out a way to find out who you had," Aphrodite pointed out. "She is a goddess after all."

"I don't care," Deathmask snapped. "I'm not going to buy a present for the damn lion, and I am not going to that damn party!"

"It's Athena's wish."

"Screw Athena than!"

Aphrodite paled. "Do you want to get thrown in Cape Sunion?"

"I'll lock myself in, if it means avoiding that damn Christmas party!"

Aphrodite sighed and shook his head at the Cancer Saint, wondering what was going through his friend's head. "It's just a party, Deathmask."

"One I don't want to go to," the Cancer Saint growled. "Once I get dragged up there I'm going to get drunk off my ass and try to forget about everything." Aphrodite shuddered slightly when he thought of the damage a drunk Deathmask would cause. The Cancer Saint was already unpopular with the other Saints and if he managed to upset Lady Athena...or worse if he managed to do something that embarrassed all the Gold Saints, it would be very, very bad. Aphrodite knew that there was nothing he could do or say now that would stop Deathmask. He would just have to make sure that the Cancer Saint didn't do anything stupid on the day of the party.

"Do what you want!" Aphrodite settled on saying for now. "But try not to do something that will get the rest of us in trouble, too."

"Why should I care?" he heard Deathmask say, but he just shook his head and walked out. He wanted to check on his roses. There was that one bush that didn't seem to be taking the slightly colder weather well and he was worried about that. Working in his garden helped him relax after the confrontation with Deathmask, and he spent the rest of the day there. He liked spending time with his flowers, he found their beauty very soothing.

Over the next two days, the Christmas spirit seemed to invade Sanctuary. Aphrodite thought it was amusing, although Deathmask didn't share his opinion. Most of the rest of the inhabitants had heard about what was going on and would not stop talking about it. Aphrodite knew the guards were planning on having their own Christmas party and the few lesser Saints who hadn't been invited were feeling slightly jealous.

It was then that the Pisces Saint glanced at the calendar and realized that the next day was Christmas Eve, and that he had better get his shopping done before then. He changed into his casual clothes quickly, realizing that it would still be incredibly chaotic down in the city. It would have been better if he had gone earlier, but he had completely lost track of the days!

Passing through Scorpio on his way down, Aphrodite saw Milo...but the Scorpio Saint went pale and ducked behind a pillar before he could say anything. The Pisces Saint only gave a passing thought to what he was doing before he continued down. Most of the other Saints barely spared him a glace. Taurus was full of a tantalizing smell, but there was a note pinned on the door leading to Aldebaran's rooms that had a bunch of things like 'Secret Project', 'Keep Out!' and 'Don't peek' written on it. Aphrodite knew that the larger Saint was making something, but only wondered about it for about a second before he hurried down into the city itself.

It was a zoo in the shopping district. Aphrodite paused in the swirling crowds and wondered what he should get for Dohko. He hadn't actually thought about that part yet and now he was regretting that he didn't even try to come up with something for the elder Saint. A sign on a clothing store caught his eye and he paused. Although it wasn't his original intention...but it would be nice to have some more festive clothes to wear to the party and as long as he was here anyway, why couldn't he buy something nice for himself, too?

Inside he headed straight to the racks that held some of the more appealing bargains. After going through most of the racks, he frowned. There was nothing here in his size! Well, nothing in this section anyway. Those other clothes weren't on sale which was why he had avoided them at first, but he really did need a new outfit. Suddenly he noticed a white hoodie with a tiger on it near the back of the store. For a second he hesitated, then headed over to it. He wasn't sure if Dohko actually wore clothes like this. But...it would look good on the older Saint and wasn't that all that mattered? Aphrodite took it, then turned back to the rest of the store. There was still that cute shirt he had seen and he really needed a new outfit.

It would be hours before the Pisces Saint returned to Sanctuary, carrying several bags.

* * *

Next Chapter: It's Christmas Eve and the Gold Saints are decorating for the party...

The End of Chapter 14 -- Continued in Chapter 15


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