Saber Marionette Fan Fiction ❯ Gifts ❯ Here Comes Hana-Claus! ( Chapter 3 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Lady Aoi's Notes: ...I'm speechless. I completely forgot I'd written most of part three of this until I clicked on an oddly named document two nights ago! Heh. Go me.

"More rice pudding!" Lime cried, pushing her special bowl into Cherry's face.

"Hai," the violet-haired marionette sighed, dropping a fifth ladle of pudding into Lime's bowl.

"M-- *hic* more!" Bloodberry chuckled, managing to fill her cup with more sake in spite of her shaking hands.

Otaru Mamiya beamed as he sat his empty bowl down. "Sugoi!! You really outdid yourself with this year's dinner, Cherry! This pudding is the best thing I've ever tasted!"


But Cherry was far too busy gazing lovingly into her master's eyes to do more than simply push Lime's hand and bowl away from her now sparkling eyes.

"R--really, Otaru-sama?"


Bloodberry happily belched and just as happily refilled her cup.

"Hai! This is the best pudding I've ever tasted!"

"Oh, Otaru-sama..."


It was snowing outside, and Cherry, clad in a festive red and green candy-stripped kimono, sat patiently by the door, cradling Otaru junior and anxiously awaiting _his_ arrival.


As Cherry watched each delicate snowflake fall to the ground, she hummed a soft lullaby to the boy asleep in her arms. As she reached the song's second verse, however, the door in front of her slid open, revealing --

"Welcome home, husband."

"Cherry," a shiver of delight coursed through her as Otaru entered the apartment and began removing his jacket.

~Ohh, he has such a gorgeous body!~

"And was Junior a good boy today?"

"Hai, Otaru-sama! He was a perfect angel..."

"Just like my perfect angel..." Cherry trembled slightly as Otaru loosened his tie, his smoldering dark eyes locked onto her body the entire time.


"Cherry," the young mother blushed as Otaru lasciviously pulled her into a hug. "I want to give you your Christmas present early this year..."

"E--early, husband?" Cherry blushed prettily and hugged the baby closer to her. "Demo... the baby....iee!"

"No, Cherry, my love," Otaru insisted as his hands began undoing the kimono's closures. "He has to learn of these things sooner or later. And besides -- I must have you now... right here on this table!" And with that, he tore the rest of her garment off.




" ...."


Lime, Bloodberry and Otaru stared on dumbly as Cherry dropped her ladle and threw her arms around herself.

"Ohh, Otaru-sama!! Not here!!" She cried as her hips gyrated wildly. "You'll knock the candles over!! You'll wake the baby!! You'll break the table!!!!"

Bloodberry shook her head and took another swig of sake. "And she says I drink too much."


The apartment's occupants barely had time to grab their bowls before Hanagata burst through the trap door beneath the table. "NEVER FEAR, OTARU-KUN!!" The young man cried as he elegantly backflipped through the air. "HANA CLAUS HAS JUST ARRIVED, AND YOU'VE BEEN A VERY GOOD BOY THIS YEAR!!"

Landing on the table, Hanagata spun around wildly on his tip toes, his short santa skirt twirling up just far enough with the motion to reveal his matching white fur-trimmed red velvet underwear. "So why don't you come sit on Santa's lap and ask him --"


"Gahh!!" Hanagata landed on his back, legs pointed obscenely up at the ceiling. As his eyes spun, Bloodberry dusted her hands off.

"Put yer legs down *hic* Hana-ko. Looking at that pasty white ass of yours is making me lose my appetite."

"Humph!" Hanagata snorted, immediately sitting down beside the table and folding his legs as delicately as his injured pride and short skirt would allow. "Just for that, Hana Claus isn't going to give you anything this year, Bloodberry."


"Otaru-kun!! Tell her to stop hitting me!!"

Otaru sighed. "Alright, Hanagata. What's with the weird outfit?"

"I already told you, Otaru-kun! I'm Hana Claus, and I've come to fill your home and your hearts with Christmas cheer and --"

"Merry Christmas everybody!!"

"Mew mew mewwww!!"

Immediately marionettes and man turned their attention to the door, where Yumeji stood wearing a festive green bow and a Santa hat. Next to him stood a maroon ponta cub, similarly adorned.

"Hao, Yume-chan! Come sit by me!"

"Yeah, make yerself at *hic* home, kid."

"Would you like some rice pudding, Yumeji-kun?" Cherry asked, slapping Hanagata's hand away as he reached for the bowl.

"CHERRY!! THAT'S SO UNFAIR!!" Hanagata bellowed, clutching at his now enlarged and very red hand. "You didn't offer me anything and I've been here longer than Yumeji!"

Cherry silenced Hanagata by throwing a ladleful of pudding in his face.

"As I was saying, Yumeji-kun, would you like some rice pudding?"

"Oh, that's ok, Cherry-san," Yumeji beamed. "I can't stay too long, anyway, 'cause I gotta get to bed real early. See, onii-sama and me haveta get up really early to go visit Daddy, and we'll probably be there all of Christmas Day, so I wanted to make sure you got your presents before we left."

"You got us presents?" Otaru asked.

"Yay!! Presents! Presents!! Presents!"

"Hai!" Grinning ear to ear, Yumeji held out four small baskets, each marked with a name. "I hope you like the baskets. I made them myself in school. Gomen nasai, Bloodberry-san," he said, bowing, "But I couldn't get the ribbon on yours to tie that well."

But Bloodberry was too busy admiring the small bottle of sake in her basket to notice.

"Sugoiiii," she cried, shoving a fingernail into the bottle's top. "Arigatou. *hic* Yume-chan!"

Cherry barely had time to glare as Bloodberry began greedily gulping down Yumeji's gift before her present sent her into paroxysms of joy. "Oh, my! Look at this wonderful new apron! Yumeji-kun, you shouldn't have!"

"WAI!!!" Lime tightly hugged her stuffed ponta kun and beamed at the young boy. "It looks just like a ponta-kun, only I can squeeze it as tight as I want without hurting him! I love him, Yume-chan!"

Otaru clicked his pocket knife open. "Arigatou, Yumeji. I've been needing a new one for a few weeks now."

"We have your present right here, Yumeji," Cherry said, handing the young boy a small package.

"Ohh!" Yumeji's eyes widened as he tore the wrapping paper away.

"I hope it fits, considering how you've been growing these days," Cherry apologized as Yumeji held up a red, green and purple sweater.

"Waiiii..." the boy murmured, his eyes widening as he looked the garment over appreciatively. "It's all different colors! Just like you guys' eyes!"

"Yup, that's right!" Lime chirped, reaching out to pat Yumeji's hair. "That's cuz Cherry, Bloodberry and me all took turns knitting it."

"Uh-oh," Bloodberry giggled as Yumeji slipped the sweater over his head. "Looksh like *hic* the kid's gonna haveta do sum growin' into it *hic* *hic* firsht..."

"Nahh, that's okay," Yumeji grinned as he rolled the sweater's sleeves over his wrists. "I'm growing so fast these days that Daddy says I'll be as big as him in a few years. So if that's the case, it'll fit in no time!"

"Maa, what a pathetic gift!"

Three pairs of eyebrows twitched and six fists immediately clenched as Otaru's marionettes shot Hanagata a nasty look. Cherry was the first to speak, and in a sickeningly sweet tone.

"Would you mind repeating yourself, Hana-chan?"

"I said it's a pathetic gift! I could buy him a better looking one at my Da-- at any department store."

As the three marionettes fumed, Yumeji shot Hanagata a dirty look. "Hey, Onii-sama, don't be so rude," he said, petting the sweater as if it were an injured puppy. "They worked real hard on this present and --"

"And now it's time that I showed them just how superior my gifts actually are! Stand back, Yumeji!" Yumeji let out a surprised little cry as Hanagata pushed him aside to leap onto the table.

"Do you MIND?!?" Cherry shrieked, grabbing the bowl of pudding just seconds before the force of Hanagata's sudden jump sent it crashing to the floor.

"Yeah, Hanagata, stop the stupid melodramatics and get the hell off the table," Otaru growled.

"That's not fair! Otaru-kun!" Hanagata cried, stamping his foot until the jingle bells on his striped elf shoes rang with abandon. "I'm just trying to spread love and cheer in my cute little Hana Clause outfit!"

"Well, *hic* fiine. Give us yer stupid ass presents, spread yer *hiiiuc!* damn love an' scheer... an' get the ... get outta the housh, Ana-koh," Bloodberry growled.

"Yeah, Hanagata. Just get it over with, already," Otaru repeated, folding his arms over his chest and glaring at the skirt-clad youth on the table in front of him.

"Oh... of course," and grinning ear to ear, Hanagata reached into his sack and pulled out three sloppily wrapped packages. "For you!" Lime blinked as he thrust one into her hands. "And you" one to Cherry. "And you too, of course."

"Hey, watch it, Hana-ko!" Bloodberry slurred. "Ya almosth hit me in...inna face with yer schtupid gift."

Hanagata clenched his fists. "It is NOT A STUPID GIFT!!!" he roared, flailing his fists in the air. Otaru and his marionettes gulped and only narrowly dodged the flames that spurted from Hanagata's mouth. "IT'S A VERY SPECIAL PRESENT THAT TOOK ME HOURS TO FIND SO SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, OPEN IT AND LET ME SPREAD SOME FUCKING CHRISTMAS CHEER ALREADY!!!"

A long silence followed as marionette and man stared at the furious skirt-clad young man. At last Yumeji sighed and turned to his maroon ponta friend.

"Ne, Ponta-kun? Onii-sama really needs to switch to decaff, huh?"

"Mew mewwww!"

"So are you going to open them or not?" Hanagata hissed, ignoring Yumeji as his eyes continued to flash.

"Fine, whatevvah," Bloodberry sighed as she bent down to untie the gift's clumsy bow. "I wonder whag crappy thing he got us this year."

"Perhaps I can sell it at the market later," Cherry shrugged as she began to do the same.

And once again, Hanagata bristled. "What the hell did you just say, you stupid ma--"

"Ne, ne, Otaru? What's this funny thing?" Lime asked, holding up her gift. At the sound of her voice, everyone in the room turned to look. Lime was staring quizzically at the roll of green duct tape resting in her gloved hands. "It smells kinda funny."

"What in the world?" Cherry asked as she removed a red roll of duct tape from its hastily taped wrappings.

"Heh. This is schtupid." Bloodberry hiccuped, fingering her roll of white duct tape as if it were a dead rodent she'd just found in her sukiyaki.

And at their less than positive reactions, Hanagata went ballistic.

"No, it is NOT 'SCHTUPID', BLOODBERRY!!! THOSE ARE SPECIAL ROLLS OF CHRISTMAS DUCT TAPE!!" Grinning, Hanagata posed with one hand on the table, and one hand over his heart. "Behold! Lime's smells like limes, Cherry's like Cherries, and yours, my dear girl, like --"

"Like a damn septic tank!" Bloodberry growled, her hand tightening around the roll of tape as smoke begin to curl out of her ears.

"No, it actually smells like pine trees. But it's obvious that you're uneducated enough not to know that. You may all thank me now."

"Oh, sure. Let's all thank Hana-ko properly now..." Bloodberry purred.

"It's about time," Hanagata humphed, crossing his arms over his chest and pouting, his eyes closed to the three marionettes' actions. "Of course, I found the perfect gifts because I, the manly Hanagata Mitsurugi, am none other than Japoness' own number one super shopper!"

"Let 'im have it, girls!"

"Huh?! Hey!!" Hanagata cried as a stream of white duct tape coiled around his hands. "Just what the heck do you think you're --"

"Giving you *our* little Christmas present, Hana-ko," Bloodberry purred. And Otaru, Yumeji and Ponta-kun stared on in complete and utter shock, the girls proceeded to wrap Hanagata head to toe in duct tape until he resembled a mummy attempting to get into the holiday spirit.

"This isn't exactly peace on earth, good will to mennnnnnnnnn!" Hanagata wailed seconds before being silenced by a strip of green tape across his mouth.

"Aww, really?" Bloodberry asked, bringing her face close enough for Hanagata to smell her sake-tinged breath. "Well, good thing you're not a real man then! Ready gals? One... two..."


"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!"


And with these words, Hanagata slammed through the roof and flew into the night sky.

"Heheheheh!" Lime clapped and giggled as Hanagata became nothing more than a twinkle among many stars. "Look! It's the Christmas star!"

"Yeah, it sure is beautiful!" Bloodberry hiccuped, putting her arm around Lime's shoulders and grinning up at the sky.

"Indeed," Cherry added, turning her eyes upwards as well.

"Could this Christmas be any merrier?" Otaru wondered out loud as he followed the marionettes' gaze.

"Hey, that was kinda mean, you guys."

"Huh?" The marionettes and Otaru turned around to find Yumeji frowning at them, his hands on his hips. And although Ponta-kun wasn't exactly frowning, his black eyes glittered disapprovingly as he stared at the quartet.

"Aww, what was mean, Yume?" Bloodberry asked, returning to her sake.

"What was mean?! How can you say that, Bloodberry-chan! Onii-sama gave you some presents and you were mean to him, that's what!"

"Well, he shouldn'ta bought us such dumb-ass gifts, then," Bloodberry shrugged.

"Agreed, Yume-chan. Hana-chan behaved ungraciously from the moment he entered our home."

"So it was okay to throw him out? It's Christmas Eve, guys!"

"Hannie-chan gives bad presents," Lime huffed, toying with the cardboard roll that once held her green duct tape.

Yumeji's scowl only deepened. "And did you guys get him anything?"

The three marionettes blinked.

"Well, no, I can't say that we actually did," Bloodberry said at last.

"I didn't, either."

"Ne, ne, Otaru? Do we haveta get people presents if they give us crappy gifts?"

Otaru simply blushed and looked away, folding his arms over his chest. "Humph! Hanagata doesn't deserve a present if he's gonna barge in here and behave like a jerk when --"

"Even if he bought you a present too? Listen, everyone! Sure Onii-sama was stupid tonight, but he did his best to find you all nice presents. He just... he just kinda forgot that Christmas Eve was today, that's all."

Lime looked puzzled. "But it says it's Christmas Eve on the calendar."

"Well, Onii-sama was too scared to look at the calendar."

"Aww, so what was the big baby afraid of this time? Gettin' a paper cut if he *hic hic* turned da page?"

"You guys just don't get it, do you?!" Yumeji cried. "Onii-sama didn't look at the calendar because he's scared of Christmas! Last year, our Daddy beat him up for buying him the wrong gift, and Onii-sama had to stay in the hospital until the new year!"

"Hot damn, I think I'd like your Daddy, Yumeji!" Bloodberry cried. "Does he beat your stupid brother all the time or --"


"Yumeji, don't you want to stay for some more pudding?"

"No," Yumeji said, turning back as he reached the door. "I think I'm gonna go home and make Onii-sama a hot cup of egg nog. He's gonna need it when he gets home. Don't you understand? Holidays are really bad for Onii-sama, and he tried his best."

"Yumeji wait!"

"Myah myah myah!" Ponta-kun scolded before scurrying after his friend. Seconds later, the door to Otaru's apartment slammed shut.

Marionettes and man sat in stunned silence for a moment, and even Bloodberry looked a little ashamed. Finally, Otaru shoved his hands into his pockets and stood up.

"Well, that was really strange," he said. "Cherry, do you need some help cleaning up after -- huh? What's this?"

Otaru looked down to find an oddly-shaped parcel at the toe of his red shoe. Had he taken one step further, he would have crushed it. "Too my dearest Otaru-kun, my soul mate and eternal love, from your Hana-kins. Eh, it's just Hanagata's stupid present."

"Eh, it's probably another roll of duct tape with ecchi pictures on it," Bloodberry shrugged, going back to her sake.

"Do you want me to throw it out, Otaru-sama?" Cherry asked.

"No, that's okay, Cherry," Otaru replied as he scooped the gift up. "Might as well open it," as the wrapping paper fell to the floor, Otaru smiled. "You never know. It might be good for a laugh or --"

"Or what, Otaru?" Lime asked, looking up from her fifteenth helping of rice pudding as her master's voice trailed off. But Otaru did not answer. Instead, he found himself staring at the smeared image of Hanagata that stared at him from the center of a large glass... plate?

"What is it, Otaru-sama?"

"Yeah, is it *hic* really that butt ugly?"

Yes, Otaru had to admit, it indeed was. And yet, something about that smeared face, with its large pleading blue eyes and it's smeared drooling grin...

"Actually, it's kinda cute... look, Lime," Otaru held up the plate for the marionettes' inspection. "It looks like your bowl, don't you think?"

Lime turned her bowl around to verify her master's query. And upon seeing the smeared image, she looked back up at the plate and giggled. "Hehehehe. Yeah! It sure does!"

"Oh my, that is hilarious!" Cherry chuckled, covering her mouth with a dainty hand. And even Bloodberry gave the plate an appreciative smirk before returning to her sake.

"Aw, hell," Otaru said, putting the plate back onto the table. "I guess I should go over and thank him for this. I'll be right back, guys." And with that, he opened the front door and stepped out into the cold night air.

(end part 3)