Dedicated to Lance, Chris, Joey, J.C., and Justin: without your truly bizarre and nasal version of "jingle bells" (who knew the song could have so many notes?) I would never have been in a warped enough mood to write this story.
Author's Note: This takes place during Jedite's too-brief stint as Beryl's main lieutenant. Do you think I'm going to call them generals? Ha! Anyway, the Scouts (Yes, you heard me; "Scouts", not "Senshi") consist of Serena, Amy and Raye. No Lita yet. Sorry to all you distraught Jupiter fans out there! Go read something else!
"You shouldn't have!" Serena Tsukino yelled excitedly. She ripped the wrapping paper off in a flurry of activity, screaming the entire time.
"I'm beginning to believe that myself," Raye Hino grumbled good-naturedly. She and Amy Anderson grinned at each other as Serena stared dumb-founded at her gift.
"A calculator?" Serena asked, looking up.
"All Amy's idea." Raye replied smugly.
"I thought it would be good for you, since your average in Math is only 31," Amy added.
Serena frowned for a moment, but cheered up quickly. "Anyway, thanks guys, it's still a great present, even if it is a...a...calculator." She put the unwrapped-but-still-sealed box on the coffee table and leaned back on the sofa to enjoy her mug of steaming hot chocolate. Just then, her mother walked in and placed a tray of cookies on the table in front of them.
She picked up the box. "A calculator! Just what Serena needs. You two are so thoughtful!" she exclaimed as she left the room, leaving the three friends to sit peacefully in the calm silence, as Christmas carols played softly on the radio.
"So stop stalling already, Meat-ball head!" Raye cried suddenly, causing Serena to jump momentarily and spill her hot cocoa.
"Stalling?" Serena asked, her mouth full of Christmas shortbread.
"Where's our presents, you greedy piglet! You mean that you didn't get us anything?!" Raye yelled. Serena gasped and started choking on the crumbs. Amy patted her back and said sternly:
"Now, Raye, the spirit of Christmas is giving, not receiving."
"Exactly!" Raye said with a smirk. "And I'm waiting for Serena to give."
"As it happens, Raye,"Serena said, looking extremely proud of herself, "I did get both of you something." She reached under the couch and pulled out two wrapped boxes. Raye was stunned. She accepted the present, and gingerly unwrapped it, not being able to guess what was inside.
"Uh, good job wrapping these," Amy said as she tried to get the duct tape from off her good blouse.
"I know," Serena beamed. "Took me all afternoon."
Amy managed to pull the tape off just as Raye took the lid off the box. "Oh, Serena! I can't believe it!" she said, astounded. "It's that lime green sweater that I've been saving up for! This will go perfectly with my pink roll-up overalls! Thanks, Meat-ball head!"
"Oh, wow, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity on tape! As read by Leonard Nimoy! Now I can listen to it while I sleep! Thanks, Serena!" Amy exclaimed.
The trio hugged each other excitedly. "And I thought that you were just a lazy good-for-nothing too busy shopping for yourself!" Raye said happily.
"Was that a compliment, Raye?" Serena asked, grinning. Raye grinning back, and started throwing the cookies at her friend.
"Guys!" Amy exclaimed.
"I think I've finally found the perfect way to get energy," Jedite said with an evil cackle. "Every December thousands of pathetic human children line up to sit on some old fat guy's knee."
"Really?" asked Queen Beryl, while waving her hands around her crystal ball. "That sounds rather perverted."
"It's all in the name of Christmas, which is an international religious holiday symbolizing the birth of some guy nearly two thousand years ago." Jedite said, proud to show off his research.
"Is there a point to all of this, Jedite?" Beryl asked, impatiently.
"Actually, yes--this holiday is also celebrated by adult humans expending vast amounts of energy buying useless gifts for the people around them. If we can gather that shopping energy, as well as the energy of the children, we would be able to release the Nega-force faster than you can say "jack frost"!"
"Jack who?" Beryl paused. "I'll give you this chance, Jedite. But don't fail me."
"I won't." Jedite said confidently. He heard a snicker in the crowd behind him, but when he turned the soldiers were as stone-faced as ever.
"I love shopping just before Christmas!" Serena exclaimed happily. She and Amy were patrolling the local mall, on the look-out for sales. Luna trailed behind them disgustedly.
"Look at all those people, spending all that money on absolutely nothing--Serena! What are you doing?" the cat cried as Serena darted off towards a store display.
"Look at those Christmas cakes," Serena said, nearly drooling visibly. "I could eat them all!"
"No one is doubting that," came a dry male voice from behind them. The two girls turned to see who the speaker was.
"Darien!" shrieked Serena. "You are SO MEAN! Can't you ever be nice for once?!"
"You're right, Meat-ball head." Darien conceded. "Tis the season. Here, I got you a present."
"Wha...?" Serena trailed off, as Darien presented her with a small pink paper bag.
"Sorry I didn't get you one, Amy," Darien apologised, "But I didn't know I'd meet up with you. I knew Serena would be here--she hasn't missed a sale yet."
"It's all right, Darien." Amy answered. "What are you waiting for, Serena? Open your present."
"Yeah, don't just stand there, Meat-ball head." Darien added, with his infuriating grin.
"Omigod! It's a gingerbread man!" Serena exclaimed. "With... with...its head missing! What kind of cruel joke is this, Darien?!"
"Ha...forgot about that...uh, well..." Darien stuttered, one hand behind his head in embarrassment.
"YOU ARE SO MEAN!" Serena screamed before bursting into tears. She was beginning to draw looks from passers-by, adding to Darien's embarrassment.
"Don't worry, Darien, I'll take care of her." Amy said, putting an arm around the sobbing girl. Darien nodded his thanks and dashed off.
"All right, Serena, you can stop the waterworks now." Luna said, relieved to be able to talk again.
"He's SO MEAN!" repeated Serena, still wailing.
"Look, you big cry-baby, Darien probably bought the cookie for himself, and gave it to you, forgetting he'd already taken a chunk out of it. So just stop bawling your eyes out, all right?!" Luna said exasperatedly. Serena nodded, the tears coming to a gradual end as Amy patted her back.
"Let's do something to cheer you up, okay?" Amy suggested. Serena sniffed, then nodded again. Suddenly her eyes lit up and she pointed. Both Amy and Luna followed her finger.
"No, Serena..." Luna began...
..."Not Santa's Workshop," Luna repeated under her breath for the hundredth time. "I can't believe this!"
"If it makes her happy," Amy said, shifting the cat's weight onto her shoulder.
"So, little girl, what do you want for Christmas?" "Santa Claus" said, grumbling under his breath.
" I wanna dollie," the little brown-haired girl said. "And I wanna bike. And I wanna baby brother. And I wanna puppy. And I wanna..."
A good dose of the Nega-force, Jedite thought to himself, while the girl prattled on.
"Well, little girl," Jedite interrupted her finally, using his "Jolly Old St. Nick" voice. "I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, why don't you and your nice mommy get some candy-canes from Santa's Helper?"
"Okay!" agreed the wee tot, leaping off Jedite's knee and bounding towards Jedite's servant, dressed as an elf. She handed the girl and her mother a red and blue striped candy cane. The pair wandered off, and Jedite watched them from the corner of his eye. They were nearly out of sight when the little girl yawned and nearly fell asleep on her feet.
"Oh dear. Shopping must have tired you out, poor thing." the mother said, picking her daughter up. "Come to think of it, I'm pretty tired myself." Then they were out of Jedite's view. The Negaverse lieutenant smiled to himself, even as another human brat crawled on his knee. This one insisted on pulling on his beard to make sure it was real. It was, as far as the Negaverse disguise spell went, and Jedite winced, but suppressed the desire to toast the toddler into oblivion. Just close your eyes and think of the Negaverse, he thought...
"We've been in line for twenty minutes," Luna grouched.
"Whatever makes her happy," Amy repeated wearily.
"Forget this. I'm going for a walk." Luna jumped off Amy's shoulder and disappeared into the crowd.
She hadn't got very fair when a funny feeling made the fur along her back stand up. "What is that?" she wandered. Then a couple and their child caught her eye. They were all holding or eating strange red and blue candy canes. Their energy, invisible to humans but very visible to Luna, was being drained out of them right before her eyes.
"It's the Negaverse!" she cried, softly, to herself. She bounded off, to get to the bottom of this horrible holiday happening.
"There's only three people more in line!" Serena chirped cheerfully. Amy sighed and looked at her watch. "Hey, look--you get free candy canes too!" she continued. Amy rolled her eyes, and checked her watch again, but it hadn't changed.
Luna crept around the back of Santa's Workshop just as "Santa" finished with one child. Then a woman, after handing out the treacherous candy canes to the child and her father, announced that Santa was talking a five minute break.
Now's my chance, Luna thought, creeping into the small hut labeled "Workshop" just before the door slammed shut.
"Aw," Serena whined. "We were only one away from the front."
"Did you just see that?" Amy suddenly exclaimed.
"No--what?" asked her friend.
"I think Luna just went into Santa's Workshop!" Amy replied in a hushed voice.
"She jumped in line!"
"No--I think something might be up--something involving the Negaverse!" Amy said. "We should check it out."
"Luna will tell us if something's wrong." Serena said firmly. "We're only one away from the front. I'm not budging." She folded her arms across her chest to prove her point. Amy sighed.
"I hate every minute of this," Jedite said angrily, taking off the red hat to reveal his still-blond hair.
"I think the white beard is becoming on you," the "elf" said with a smirk.
"I don't need any of your opinions, Sinter." Jedite sighed, then generated the ball of nega-energy that was forming inside the Workshop. "At least we're gathering enough energy for Queen Beryl."
"More than enough." Sinter added. "Hey--" she whirled, hearing a faint noise. "Who's there?"
Both she and Jedite glanced around the small room, but no one was there. "Hmm." she said. "I thought I heard something."
"Well, time for me to get back out there." Jedite said, putting his hat back on, making sure his blond bangs didn't show. He left, followed by Sinter, leaving Luna to crawl out from her hiding place, determined to alert the Scouts.
"Finally!" Serena exclaimed. "It's my turn!"
"Finally," Amy agreed, less than cheerful. Serena plopped herself down on Santa's knee, ignoring the small groan from Santa as she did so.
"How are you doing, li--, uh, girl?" Santa switched mid-sentence as he realised how big Serena really was. "Don't you think you're a little old to be doing this?"
"I was doing it, you know, for a trip down memory lane." Serena said.
"Oh." Santa answered.
"Hey, you look a little familiar." Serena said.
Santa coughed delicately into his gloved hand. "Can we get a move on, girl?"
"Are you Darien?" Serena asked suddenly.
"What?" asked Santa, confused.
"You are, aren't you!" she cried. She whipped off his hat. "I knew it--what?!"
Jedite stood up, the rest of his costume intact, and Serena fell to the floor with a thud. "You're being very rude, girl," he said with a growl in his voice. "Santa would like his hat back, if you don't mind." He snatched it from her hand, and put it back on his head, arranging it Just So.
"I know you--!" Amy cried suddenly from behind Serena. "You're JEDITE!"
"What?" Serena screamed, backing quickly away from "Santa".
"Serena! Amy!" Luna suddenly yelled as she bounded towards the two girls. "Santa's really Jedite!" Jedite and Sinter looked around frantically to find the source of the voice, but as it never occurred to them to look down, they didn't see the black cat at all.
"Thanks, Luna," Serena said sarcastically. She and Amy glanced at each other, nodded, then bolted off into the crowd and away from Jedite.
"What was that all about?" Sinter asked, leaning over to Jedite.
"I don't know," Jedite said darkly, "but I have a bad feeling about this."
Another child climbed on his lap. "I guess it hasn't effected business," Jedite muttered. "Well, what do you want for Christmas, little boy?"
"He deserves not to have his beliefs fouled up!" came a high pitched female voice from somewhere above Jedite. He looked up just in time to see Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury leap down to land in front of him.
Mercury grabbed the little boy, and whisked him out of harm's way, as Sailor Moon took up her familiar fighting stance.
"I am Sailor Moon, and I stand for Love and the Christmas Spirit! In the name of the Moon, I will right wrongs and triumph over evil, and that means you, Santa-impersonating-scum!"
"At least that one is original." Jedite stood up, and while he did so, his disguise vanished, leaving him in his ordinary negaverse uniform, sans beard. "Sinter?"
Sinter bowed, and her elf costume disappeared, replaced with a skin-tight green and red outfit, while she grew about two feet and developed silver skin. As she changed the candy canes that people were holding turned bright red, and began draining the energy from everyone around them. The people dropped to the floor, senseless.
"Get ready to receive your Christmas gifts, Sailor Twits. Donner! Blitzen!" Sinter yelled.
At her command, the two wooden reindeer flocking Santa's chair reared up on their hind legs, their red eyes glowing, and their antlers razor sharp.
"Oh no!" Sailor Moon cried, as the deer charged. She barely managed to get out of the way before Donner smashed into the fake christmas tree decoration behind her.
"Mercury Bubble Blast!" Mercury yelled, her bubbles creating a thick fog.
"I can't see them!" Jedite yelled.
"I'll take care of that--" Sinter replied. Suddenly her nose lit up bright red, dispersing the fog.
"Oh no!" Sailor Moon said again. Blitzen charged and managed to catch her, grazing her on the thigh before she was suddenly whisked away.
"Tuxedo Mask!" she said, breathlessly. He had swung across the mall foyer on one of the christmas decoration foil chains. He set Sailor Moon down on the railing, then swung back over to the other side, throwing two of his roses.
The roses each hit one of the reindeer, breaking the spell, and causing them to become their former wooden selves. It was a good thing, too, as Sailor Mercury had nearly become impaled on Donner's antlers.
"I won't let you distort this holiday any longer!" Tuxedo Mask cried out at Jedite. "You can't turn the celebration of the joy of giving and love of humanity into this mockery of our traditions."
"I think I can." Jedite replied with a sneer. "Sinter?"
"Try some of my super-sharp candy canes, you masked loser!" Sinter said, flinging a handful of the cadaverous confections straight for Tuxedo Mask. He retaliated with a handful of roses, thrown straight towards the candy canes of doom. The two parties hit straight on and shattered.
"Sailor Moon!" Tuxedo Mask yelled. "I think this over-grown elf needs to be sent back to the North Pole, and pronto!"
"Right!" Sailor Moon jumped down from her vantage point on top of the second-floor railing. "Moon tiara magic!"
As usual, the tiara headed straight towards its victim, who did nothing but stand there and yell: "Sinter Klaas..." before vanishing into a pile of moon dust.
Jedite scowled. He was out-gunned here. The trouble was he was out-gunned in the Negaverse, too, and Queen Beryl wasn't going to like this turn of events one little bit. At least he had collected quite a large amount of energy.
"Next time, Sailor Moon--" he warned, before vanishing through a dark portal.
As he vanished, the people around them started to stir and wake up. "Hey!" cried a toddler, barely three. "It's Sailor Moon!"
"I think it's time to get going, Mercury," Sailor Moon said. She looked around her. "Hey! Where did Tuxedo Mask go? I was going to ask him if he wanted to get a hot cocoa with me!"
"Come on, Sailor Moon," Mercury reminded her.
"Oh, all right. Happy Holidays, everybody!" Sailor Moon yelled before she and Sailor Moon vanished from the crowd.
"You mean you got to see that gorgeous, hunky dream-boat Tuxedo Mask, and you didn't even tell me?!" Raye fumed.
"There wasn't any time, Raye." Serena said. "But look, I bumped into Darien, and he got you a present." She handed Raye a slightly crumpled pink paper bag, with a funny grin on her face. Raye ignored it, and tore into the bag.
"Hey! This gingerbread man has a bite taken out of it!" Raye yelled. Serena giggled privately to herself.
"But--" Raye stopped mid-sentence to have a bit of a think. "Maybe this means he really likes me! Why else would he give me a present like this? Yeah! That's it! I'm going to go call him right now!" She bounded off, interrupting Serena's savouring of the moment.
"Hey, wait!" the blond pig-tailed girl yelled. "You're not supposed to react like that! RAYE!"
The End [Fa la la la, la la la]
Sailor Mercury: [During scene where Serena frantically rips all the wrapping off of her present.] Now remember, when you're opening your presents, try not to get the wrapping all over the floor--somebody could step in it and slip, and break their hip!
Sailor Mars: [During scene of Darien handing Serena the pink paper bag.] And clean up BEFORE your parents have to ask you!
Luna: [During scene where Luna discovers Jedite] Try and keep tinsel away from your pets--they might eat it and get really sick.
Sailor Moon: [As Sailor Moon is getting chased by insane reindeer] Have a fun Christmas! Sailor Moon Says: Ho Ho Ho! Just kidding! Teeheehee!
The REAL end. Promise!