Actually, knowing Minako's desire to one day become a famous idol singer and performer, Havoc bought for her a deluxe karaoke machine and a fully furbished, private karaoke booth at the Planet Hentai. The fact that it was soundproofed was his gift to everyone else. "I also got you this water-sealed microphone!" Havoc enthusiastically added.
Minako scratched her head. "Why would I need that?"
"You haven't seen Angels In The Court, have you?" Havoc replied slyly.
Rounding out the last of the gift-bearers, Riot was thrilled to receive the newest collection of memoirs from Manji of Blade Of The Immortal fame, entitled 'I Hacked It My Way.' A most honourable purchase indeed!
"Wai wai wai!" Hysteria squeaked, ecstatic beyond all measure as she opened her box-chan. "What did Hysteria get? It's kawaii ne? Ne? Ne?"
"Hysteria," Dark Mayhem replied. "We all chipped in on this one, and got you a life!"
Hysteria: [prancing idiotically] v^^v "Wai! Life-chan life-chan life-chan!"
Pesti: [aside to Makoto] "Thousand yen says she'll suck it dry before the night's out."
Carnage gleefully eyeballed his stack of many small packages. "Sugoi! There must be one from everyone here," he muttered to himself. "Sometimes having a Tenchi Masaki Syndrome can pay off after all." With that, he tore into his first present and found that he was now the proud owner of--
"A bran muffin?" Carnage said, blinking in surprise. "Ano...thanks Pesti-chan."
Pesti-chan grinned. "No problem!"
Shaking his head, Carnage ripped apart the box for his second present, only to find--
"Another bran muffin?" he said, looking up at Setsuna. "Um...domo."
Setsuna gave a demure nod.
Suddenly fearing what was in his third present, Carnage unwrapped in and discovered.... "Yet another bran muffin. Thanks, Riot."
"You're most honourably welcome."
And so Carnage went through the rest of his stack of presents, each newly-opened gift revealing bran-filled goodness inside! "Ano... bran muffin from Ami," Carnage mused, growing ever more exasperated. "Bran muffin from Pandemonium...bran muffin from Usagi...bran muffin- chan from Hysteria...bran muffin from Michiru...has everyone gotten me a bran muffin for Christmas?!"
"Nope!" Chaos cheerfully responded. "There's a large bag of decaffinated coffee in mine!"
Carnage's eyebrow twitched. "FIREBALL."
Once they were able to peel Chaos' scorched body off the wall, it was time for Hotaru to unveil her present for Chaos.
"I'm seriously curious as to what she got for him," Pesti-chan admitted. "That many large, heavy boxes can't be good."
"Maybe she's decided to invest in a portable padded room for Chaos to bounce in wherever he goes," Dark Mayhem suggested.
Chaos gave a dry laugh. "Aha haaaaaa...shut up."
"Ready, Chaos-chan?" Hotaru said, handing him a box that looked as if it might house a kitchen appliance. "You'll understand what the rest of my gift is once you open this one."
"H-Hai," Chaos stammered, suddenly very self-conscious of his lack of gift for her. He stole a glance at Minako, who gave him the V-sign and some unexpected fanservice as Havoc made off with her bra again. Chaos quickly tore away at the wrapping, Hotaru pleasantly smiling and seated in front of him.
Chaos sweatdropped as he flipped open the lid of the box and found a giant egg with wings on it. "You got me the egg Nanami laid?" he asked.
Hotaru laughed. "No, Chaos! It's an Angel's Egg, for that new hit game Angelic Layer!"
Chaos' sweatdrops began multiply as he stared back down at his gift. "You...got me an Angelic Layer fighting doll?" he said.
Hotaru gave an energetic nod. "Hai! I've bought one for myself, and all these extra boxes are the parts for a special, in- home, Angelic Layer gaming arena we can set up here!" She then added in a conspiratorial whisper to Pesti-chan, "This way I've got a great excuse to come over here and spend time with Chaos-chan more often."
Pesti-chan laughed nervously. "Why are you implicating me in this?"
"Wow, it's like a Kung-fu Barbie doll," Demolition remarked, blinking a few times in surprise as he appraised the Angelic Layer doll's endoskeleton.
"That, or this is what happens when you cross-mutate Pokerats and those Sailormoon kewpie dolls," Sarcasm added. "Although I'm suddenly inspired to start up a line of bishie action figures so I can play with my harem in more ways than one."
"I know you said you saved up for the dolls and the duelling arena," Pesti-chan said, scratching his head in bewilderment. "But even still, Hotaru, the cost would be somewhere upwards of a hundred thousand Yen. Just how were you able to afford this?"
"Well, I've been doing a number of things to save up," Hotaru replied, ticking the points off her fingers. "I've been rolling kids for money at my high school--"
Setsuna promptly clobbered Carnage for being such a bad influence on her Hime-chan.
"--and I've also been slaying a couple of those large rubbery monsters who try to stomp down on Tokyo every other week. The city pays big bucks for that. By the way, Demo-san, those dragon-slaying techniques you showed me really paid off...but I still haven't been able to clean all that Battra larva ichor off my glaive yet."
Setsuna promptly clobbered Demolition for also being such a bad influence on her Hime-chan.
"I've also been speed-racing with Takumi Fujiwara and the Speed Stars on Saturday nights," Hotaru added. "My exposure to Haruka's high-speed driving tactics have really helped me master flying down those treacherous, winding roads of Akina late at night. I've been cleaning up on some of the betting pools for those drag races."
Setsuna's eyes narrowed, and she slowly turned towards the Jacuzzi in Dark Mayhem's room. "Haruka, when you're done in there, I'd like to have a word with you...."
"Oh, and I've also been selling my panties to Tokyo businessmen," Hotaru said, blushing sheepishly as she mentioned it. "It's embarrassing, yes, but the prices some of them have fetched..."
Setsuna: [evil, kowai Red Queen mode!] "Chaos, Havoc...RUN."
Havoc: ^-^ "Oro?"
Chaos: o.O;; "ME?! I didn't have any part of this!"
Setsuna: [swinging the BAK!] "Dead Scream."
Once Chaos recovered from having been rendered a large skidmark on the living room floor (Havoc got off with only a mild splooting), Hotaru eagerly sat herself down in front of him and looked expectantly into his eyes.
"You're the last one, Chaos-chan," she said, almost breathless in anticipation. "Where's your present for me? I can't wait to see it!"
Chaos looked at Hotaru like a Puchuu bear looks at an oncoming train. "A-A-Ano...."
Seeing him flounder like otaku watching a DBZzzzzzzz episode, Minako took the initiative and created a diversion by improvising a karaoke love ballad to Hotaru. With Hotaru and everyone else in the apartment distracted, Minako gestured for Chaos to scramble out the door and find her a present. Needing no further encouragement, Chaos took a flying leap off the balcony.
Now, fact of the matter was that Minako had just decided to announce the love ballad as something original that she and Chaos had written for Hotaru. Seeing as how no such song existed, Minako was forced to just start singing and make it up as she went along. The end result was a really peculiar hybrid somewhere between a Sana rap, the Pirates of Penzance and a Sir Mix-Alot song.
Minako: ^-^ [singing] "I like Gainax bounce, and I cannot lie! All you fanboys can't deny, that when Hotaru skips in with a genki genki chest and a white bra on her breasts, you get muffed! Yeah, baby got bounce!"
Hotaru more than anyone else in the audience watched with a mixed expression of morbid fascination and utter horror. Riot nearly tried to commit hara-kiri, and wound up having to contend with the 6 SD Pesti-chans, who were not about to spend all Christmas Eve mopping blood off the clean floor.
[Meanwhile, in the Jacuzzi....]
Haruka: [sitting up] "What is that horrible noise? It sounds like two cats screwing."
Michiru: "No love, I think that's Minako singing."
Haruka: [sinking back into the water] "Oh. Wow...."
And somewhere behind the bust of Ami, next to one of the bookshelves, a Mau cat heaved a sigh of relief. "Whew!" Luna breathed. "We almost got caught that time!"
"Ano...Luna?" Artemis said, on top of her. "We have got to talk about your exhibitionism, and the fact that it's making me lose more lives than a roving gang of youma."
As Minako crooned, fanboys cried in pain and the Inner Senshi tried to think about something more pleasant (like their agonising death scenes at the end of the first season), Chaos frantically raced through the streets of Tokyo like Excel on an triple espresso binge from hell.
"Gotta find a present. Gotta find a present! GOTTA FIND A PRESENT!!!" Chaos exclaimed, tearing apart the pavement beneath his feet and sending cars flying through the air as he bowled into them. Yet for as fast and fansubbed as he searched, half the stores were already closed, and the other half were filled with things he knew Hotaru wouldn't like or would consider an inferior present.
"This is insane!" Chaos called out to the heavens. "There has got to be someplace open tonight where I can find a gift Hotaru will love!!"
He suddenly skidded to a stop when suddenly a mysterious video store named Gokuraku appeared before him. Chaos glanced back up at the skies. "Thank you." Dashing inside, Chaos waved to the aged store clerk and began perusing the shelves for their video titles. "Ano...ano...what the hell? Hey, all these videos are starring half-nekkid video girls! What sort of store for the pure-hearted is this anyways?"
Half an hour and a lot of unexpected encores later, where Minako had resorted to performing singles from her seiyuu album, Hotaru began anxiously looking around the apartment. "Ne, where did Chaos-chan disappear to?" she said quietly. "He's been gone for so Long...he didn't forget about my Christmas present...did he?"
Minako's eyes widened as she saw the potential tears start pooling at the corners of Hotaru's eyes. "No no no! Chaos isn't doing that at all! He's just wanting to...er, surprise you with... um...a replacement gift!"
"Replacement?" Hotaru asked. "What happened to my original gift?"
Realising she'd just dug herself into a deep pit, Minako sighed and told Hotaru the whole fiasco involving the Sailor Saturn plushie and the voracious PMS-2 console. Hotaru listened without saying anything until the very end of the recap. "Chaos is doing all this for me?" she said. "He's going through so much effort just so I can be happy, and here I doubted him."
"Oh, it's not your fault anymore than it is his," Minako said, patting Hotaru on the back. "After all, 'Love's perspiration leaves you smelling like you need a shower!'"
Hotaru paused and blinked. "I don't even know what that quote was originally supposed to be, Minako."
"You mean I botched it again?" Minako lamented, laughing nervously. "I guess that leaves me between a rock and a hard place in the sun."
That made Hotaru laughed as she wiped away her tears. "Minako- saaaaaan! But thank you. And no matter what it is, I'm going to be happy with whatever Chaos gets me tonight."
Just then, Chaos threw open the door to the apartment and, gasping for breath, collapsed onto the floor. "M-Made it!" he panted, holding a small, fancifully-wrapped box up in one hand.
Minako and Hotaru shared a knowing glance. "Um...don't let him know I told you, okay?" Minako asked. "You're not supposed to know about the plushie."
"Konban wa, Duo-san!" Minako abruptly called out in a loud sing-song voice. She immediately leapt to her feet, dragging a somewhat startled Hotaru behind her. "I see you've been making sure to give Hotaru-chan her present right at midnight! Hurry up, you've got two minutes left to go!"
Before Chaos could even catch his breath or make a silly face, Minako hoisted him over her head, and then tossed both Chaos and Hotaru right into Chaos' wall scroll. "Ah, it's good being an agent for love," Minako sighed wistfully as she dusted her hands off.
"Ne, Minako!" Sarcasm called out from in front of the TV set. "Hurry up, you're about to miss Raiden's nekkid bishie flips on Metal Gear Solid 2!"
"Hai!" Minako cheered, skipping over and joining the game in progress, where Pesti-chan was starting to warily inch away from a surprisingly body-count-kill-happy Setsuna.
Pesti-chan: [sweatdrops a plenty!] "Do you enjoy slowing down the guards' reaction time with your Talisman, and then capping them in the crotch, woman?"
Setsuna: "Aw, relax and have a cookie."
Inside Chaos' room, Hotaru could hardly contain her curiousity and excitement as she sat down on the foot of Chaos' bed. A part of her wanted to childishly bounce on the mattress, and the other part of her wanted to wrap the fanboy up in a warm, sensuous kiss for all his troubles.
"Hotaru?" Chaos said, very nervous about what her reaction might be. "Hai, Chaos-chan?" she answered.
Summoning every last ounce of resolve, Chaos bowed and held the gift out before Hotary. "M-MerryChristmasHotaru-chanIhopeyou- likeit!"
Hotaru regarded the offering with a little confusion. "You got me a Puchuu?"
Puchuu bear: ^-^ "PUCHUU!"
"Er, no, not that," Chaos said, lobbing the Puchuu over his shoulder and into the iron maiden sitting in the corner. "I don't know where that came from."
Puchuu bear: >.O "Bad touch! Bad touch!"
Underneath the Puchuu lay the gift. Hotaru took the box in her hands, carefully unwrapped it, opened the lid and peered inside. "What do you think?" Chaos asked, trying to stay optimistic.
Hotaru in turn tried to hide her amusement and confusion as she drew a garlic press out from the box. Not wanting to disappoint him, she said, "Um...thank you, Chaos-chan! It's...it's exactly what I wanted!"
Chaos boggled at her. "Really?"
Still giving him a sincere smile. Hotaru nodded. "Hai! Domo!"
Right then, the large flathead panda clock hanging on Chaos' wall chimed midnight. A mischievous grin made its way across Hotaru's face, her fingers slowly working their way up Chaos arms and around the back of his neck.
"Ne, Chaos," she purred, drawing him closer. "There's still one other Christmas present we have to give each other on this special night."
Chaos sweatdropped. "Ano...."
Before he could make any protests, Hotaru pulled Chaos down on top of her and fell back onto his bed. Bringing their lips together, she gave Chaos a very passionate kiss. And naturally as misfortune would have it, at that exact instant, Naoko Takeuchi popped up from behind the Gema-shaped beanbag chair where she'd been sleeping off her boozing with the Nakago bust. The sight of Hotaru locking lips with an avatar immediately sobered the manga goddess up.
"CHAOOOOOOS!" she bellowed, hauling out her 1000t mallet. "You think while I'm not around, you can get away with a self-gratuitous lemony moment with my girls?! SHIN'NE!!!!"
Still kissing Hotaru, Chaos' eyes bugged out to enormous proportions.
Seconds later he was walloped by Naoko's mallet and sent crashing right through his pan-dimensional ceiling and the next 18 pan-dimensions after it. Luckily, though, his landing was softened by one of the large carnivorous alien plants Washu had locked up in her lab.
Hotaru dreamily smiled, her eyes still closed. "Mmmm, this was the best Christmas ever, Chaos-chan. Chaos-chan? Chaos-chan?"
Well, to wrap this second Christmasfic, which featured a lot of turkeys despite a lack of poultry, Hotaru emerged from Chaos' wall scroll clutching her gift. And soon after, Chaos came barrelling out from the wall scroll with an irate Naoko hunting him down. Everyone else was busy partying and snacking on all the food. The DDR machine had become a battleground between Carnage and Demolition (who argued that tearing away his shirt in mid-step should have gotten him an extra 100 points), while Pandemonium was busy laying the smackdown to an exasperated Michiru on the PMS-2 game, Twisted Metal Black. Michiru was responding with some very unladylike language, much to Haruka's embarrassment.
"You think this is bad, you should see her in a poker match," Setsuna muttered to an eyebrow-twitching Riot.
Pesti-chan, while walking from the bathroom to the living room, wound up getting chased by a roving herd of Chocobos. Hysteria unveiled her newest culinary dish: a fantastic-looking strawberry sherbet, which everyone, in spite of its overly-kawaii presentation, sampled. Ruckus took to stuffing Sarcasm's bishies down his own stockings, while Dark Mayhem and Ami tried out their gift set...and managed to set off the sprinkler system in his room. Rei shook her head in bewilderment as a small, slightly singed newt scrambled out across the hall. "I'll give these boys one thing," she remarked as she passed Minako. "They certainly know how to make life a lot more interesting than usual."
And still keeping up with the guise that she was in fact loving her garlic press from Chaos, Hotaru ensured that everything she ate for the remainder of the night had garlic on it. She ate garlic potato chips, garlic strawberry sherbet, garlic pocky, garlic okonomiyaki, garlic mochi, garlic sashimi, garlic gummies, garlic Angelic Layer Food Cake, and even garlic chocolate-covered Puchuu's.
The partying carried on until far into the early hours of the morning, when suddenly Havoc stood up from his pile of recently- acquired panties. "Does anyone hear that scuffling on the roof?" he asked.
"Havoc you idiot," Carnage replied. "We're not even on the top floor. How can you hear something way up on the roof?"
"But my yuri senses are tingling!" Havoc exclaimed.
Usagi's eyes widened. "That's not all that's tingling on you," she said, pointing to his crotch.
Chaos immediately covered Hotaru's eyes.
Off Havoc bounded like a (nekkid) flash, jumping onto the balcony and taking a flying leap upwards. "It's him!" the others could hear him call out. "It's Panty Claus! He's finally here!"
There were a few moments of silence as Havoc presumably scuttled about on the rooftop of the apartment tower. Then abruptly Havoc was heard to elatedly exclaim, "Panties for Havoc! How did he know?!"
[Cue the facevaults!]
Later that Christmas day, sometime in the late late afternoon...
Very little noise came from a living room congested with wayward pillows, spilt bowls of food, and groggy people scattered all over the place. Everyone looked absolutely stricken, Senshi and fanboy alike squinting at the sunlight streaming in through the balcony windows.
"Oooooh, I feel like I just watched a Masami Obari marathon," Pesti-chan groaned, crawling off the DDR dancepad.
"I don't ever want to eat again," Usagi said, holding her stomach and trying not to turn green in the face.
Nestled up against Tora (who had gone from orange to an ill shade of blue), Catastrophe gave a weak chirp. "chu chuuuuuuuuu..."
"This is the exact same, nauseous feeling I got when I read your Vampire Hunter D Wars fic, Chaos," Dark Mayhem said.
Out from between the couch cushions wobbled Chaos' middle finger. "Urusai, Newt-boy...URP! Oh, that's gonna need a mop!" Ruckus weakly managed to pry himself off the wall, and curled up onto a chair. "Ne, where's that tomboyish-looking Senshi?"
"I think Haruka's holding Michiru's hair so it doesn't fall into the toilet," Demolition mumbled. With dilated eyes he glanced down at Setsuna, who was fumbling for a bottle of Advil. "Ne, Setsuna, you didn't tell me you had a twin."
Even Havoc was looking pale, breaking out in a cream lemony sweat. He dabbed at his brow with a bra, then wrung the whipped cream out over a martini glass and added some chocolate shavings.
Havoc: "Can't let it go to waste now, can I?"
Abruptly, who should emerge from the bathroom, fresh from the warm, relaxing waters of the tub, but Hotaru wearing Chaos' Megatokyo bathrobe. "Ohayo!" she cheerfully called out, her hair wrapped in a towel. "Merry Christmas, everyone!"
"You're disturbingly awake today," Pandemonium said, refraining from CTRL-ALT-DEL'ing the contents of her stomach. She reached back and tried to see if her antennae had been unwittingly been deployed from behind her ears. "And loud too. Is my sonar array sticking out again?"
Hotaru blinked a few times in surprise at everyone's inherent lack of response. "Well, getting tongue-bathed by one of those Bougu things is surprisingly refreshing," she admitted. "I'm thinking of asking Michiru-momma if you could show us where you bought it from."
Pesti: [sweatdrop!] "Um...we didn't install those things."
Demolition: --;; "Hysteria, that little idiot. I told you we shouldn't have let her watch Alien 9."
Hotaru glanced back over her shoulder, " Ne, does anyone know why Michiru is giving a technicolour yawn?"
Dark Mayhem muttered ruefully, "I don't even have the strength to retort with 'morning sickness.'"
From where he was propped up against the wall, a sickly Rei curled up in his lap, Carnage glanced down at the small stack of Pocari Sweat cans next to him. "Why the hell do we all feel hungover if there wasn't any alcohol left in this fic to drink?"
Ami felt a horrid-tasting burp try to crawl up her throat. "A flu bug can't be this virulent and strike virtually everyone down in a matter of hours. It must have been something we ate."
"Food poisoning?!" Minako squeaked, still feeling absolutely chilled despite the fact that she'd buried herself in Havoc's pile of warm & recently stolen panties.
Everyone immediately turned to Chaos.
Came his shrill voice from between the couch cushions, "You're staring too loud! Quiet and let me suffer in peace!"
Riot shook his head. "Most dishonourable, that warlords and their armies flee from my l33t-fu, yet a tiny viral infection does me in. That fatty has hurt my instep!"
"It couldn't have been Chaos though," Pesti-chan countered. "He only baked the cinnamon buns for dinner last night, and those just flew out the window to terrorize hapless carollers in the local parks."
Carnage muttered, "But then who...?"
Suddenly everyone slowly looked over to the dining room table, where Hysteria was sprawled across the tabletop, moaning in pain- chan with a bowl of pretzels dumped over her face. "Barf- chaaaaaaan," she croaked.
Sarcasm lifted her head off Ashram's nekkid chest. "It was Hysteria's cooking that almost killed us?"
Rampage gave a faint hoot before coughing up a very unpleasant-looking hairball.
"The strawberry sherbet?" Usagi said. "And that tasted so yummy too!"
"Must have been a delayed gag response," Ruckus sighed. "Well, if she is Chaos' kid, she probably inherited her culinary skills from hell from him."
The couch cushions sweatdropped. "That is so not funny, Ruckus."
"You know how it goes," Dark Mayhem explained to the ladies present. "There's only two sorts of women in the universe: those who can't cook to save the world, like Yurika, Akane and C-ko; and those who are Iron Chefs in disguise, like Kasumi, Makoto and Dita. There are no in-betweens. There never will be."
All the Senshi managed to nod their heads in agreement.
"Yeah, but Hysteria fits the precocious & cute child profile flawlessly," Pesti-chan groaned, feeling his stomach churn unpleasantly again. "I thought she'd automatically fall under the kick-ass cook category."
"Evidently our author had other ideas," Chaos ruefully muttered from beneath the couch cushions.
Hotaru rolled her eyes as she plunked herself down on the couch and pulled Chaos back out into the open. "Daijobu, Chaos-chan, I'll nurse you back to health. Just let me find a thermometer and some chicken soup to heat up."
"Hey, wait a minute," Rei said. "Hotaru had some of that strawberry sherbet cake last night, and she's the only one here who isn't violently sick."
"How ironic given that she was the most frail person in the Sailormoon Super season," Carnage grumbled.
Hotaru blushed, suddenly realising that the only reason her immune system was working so well against Hysteria's culinary disaster, was because of all the garlic she had eaten the night before. She then became aware of a large shadow falling over the couch, and looked up to see Naoko Takeuchi staring down at her and Chaos.
"Chaos," Naoko said soberly. "For the fact that in some ironic, roundabout way, your gift spared my precious Hotaru from being incredibly ill, I shall in turn spare you from a vicious smiting this time."
Chaos sweatdropped. "How can you know that?"
Naoko shrugged. "Hey, come on, I'm a manga goddess after all. Omniscience is one of in inherent attributes, and is Usagi feeling up Captain Harlock instead of Mamoru?! CHA-OOOOOOOS!!"
Chaos: --;; "Next Christmas, I'm going to Acapulco where it's nice and safe."
Hotaru: ^-^ "Wai! I've been meaning to work on my tan. Chaos, you want to rub lotion all over my body?"
R. Nguyen once again, who first pointed out to me the existence of the Saturn & ChibiYam plushies on Ebay, which contributed quite nicely to the plot of this particular fic. Domo! ^^v
Deso, for the "Why for hast thou forsaken me, Death?!" moment.
Havoc, who helped prove that garlic is in fact a worthwhile present to give at $-mas.
Sincerest thanks to Naoko Takeuchi for the wonderful universe of hers we've exploited so much. And if you're reading this, Naoko- sama, it is our fondest hope that you have a sense of humour and decide not to kill us. Regardless, w3 ph33r y0ur l33t str1p-DDR sk1llz!
[Cue SD Pesti #3 walking out from the bedroom, peering down inside his valium-laced thong from Panty Claus!]
SD Pesti #3: "Hmmmm, it's oddly sedate today."
SD Pesti #2: [at the dining table] "Anyone care to tell my why there's a reaper's scythe in the koala march?"
SD Pesti #4: [BURP!] "No idea. Why?"