THIS TIME ROUND: SCENES FROM A STEEL CHRISTMAS
(some Holiday double-drabbles)
I. The Secret Is in the Frosting
Madeleine the Ogron eased the two layers of Christmas cake out of
the oven and set them on the counter, beside the already-completed
cakes. She'd been saving _this_ one for last, so she'd be sure she
had the recipe just right. Those others were just for sale, anyway.
Now, a spread of white frosting to go between the layers. Though it
would never be seen, it was laid on as smoothly and as painstakingly
as the cakes' festive exterior decorations. Now to lay the second
layer on top of it--
But first... No... Maybe? Should she or shouldn't she? Hadn't she
baked it with exactly this in mind? But now that it came down to it...
The Ogron shook her shaggy head, chuckling at her own foibles. She
could hardly go to all this effort and then _not_ follow through.
Grabbing up the red frosting, she carefully drew a heart in the expanse
of white. Then, above that, in her best penmanship, 'Madeleine'. And
finally, her courage _almost_ deserting her, below the heart she wrote
Not pausing to admire her work, Madeleine quickly set the other cake
layer atop it, hiding her heart from the world... as always.
II. Goodwill to Man?
"I am torn," sighed Scarlett. "Wine or a bomb?"
"Pardon?" asked Izzy, who'd just come in for coffee.
"Which to give the Proprietor for Christmas?" the one-eyed barmaid
clarified. Beside her was a bottle of aged and obviously high-quality
red wine. Next to that sat a crude gunpowder bomb with a long,
"Why give him anything?" Izzy wondered.
"He and I drew each other's names at the Nameless Merchants'
Association meeting. 'Tis obligatory that we gift one another, yet
I am undecided as to the best course. I might take the high road,
with a gift he'd want." She tapped the wine bottle. "Or, I might take
the chance to do him ill, as he likely intends for me. Yet, if his own
gift for me proved real, I should feel quite the bitch for maiming him
"You got a Christmas card, Scarlett!" announced Bella, coming in
with the mail. "It says, 'Season's Greetings, you one-eyed vagina-
bandit. I'm giving you a holiday truce -- no more mischief or dirty
tricks from me 'til January. Happy Christmas and drop dead, the
"Hmmm," said Scarlett. "I'll need a bigger box."
"He's getting wine _and_ a bomb."
III. Yuletide Warrior
Izzy clucked her tongue. "She's been in there all day? That's
probably not good."
Bella shrugged, though she looked worried herself. "All we did to
Varla was download a bunch of data about Christmastime into her.
But instead of joining in the festivities, she just gets this
_purposeful_ look and marches off to the toolshed."
"You probably glitched her again," Izzy scolded. "I'm no
robotologist, but if you keep adding things to her programming
without making sure they fit, it's hardly a wonder if the poor thing
It was right then that the 'poor thing' herself came striding into the
bar, a determined look on her face and a large-bore pistol in her hand.
Before anyone could react, she swung toward Scarlett, bringing the
gun to bear on her.
"Varla?" Scarlett began. "What are you--"
"How do you want it?" the Movellan demanded. "Head or gut?"
Getting no answer, she raised the pistol. "Head it is, then." She
A half-second later Varla leaped across the bar and planted a
deep, lingering kiss on the stunned barmaid's mouth.
Right after Scarlett realized she wasn't dead, she noticed the sprig
of fresh mistletoe now splatter-glued to her forehead.
"Why the grim expression, Tegan?" Nyssa asked over a typical
"We received a Christmas party invitation, that's why." Tegan's
voice was as sour as her grapefruit.
"That's nice," Nyssa said tentatively.
The Aussie grimaced. "It's at the Steel Maiden."
"Oh." Nyssa carefully chose her next words. "Well... we _are_
both eligible to get in, considering certain past fan-fictions..."
Tegan just looked at her.
Nyssa blushed a little, but soldiered on. "I mean, it's not as if they'd
ask you to prove your orientation at the door, or anything."
"It's not _that_," Tegan insisted, a bit pink-cheeked herself. "It's
that the invitation is from Tsukuyomi."
"Tsuku--? Ah! That girl we work with in the 'Truest Magic' stories.
The cute little thing with the swords. And the massive crush on
"I'm glad you find that so bloody amusing," Tegan grunted.
"Don't be like that, Tegan. It's sweet that she admires you so much.
Why, it'd be a shame to break an innocent schoolgirl's heart by not
Tegan's eyebrow arched. "She sent me a present. A rope."
"Your 'innocent schoolgirl' also said that if I wanted to make _her_
Christmas merry, I should bring the rope with me..."
'Doctor Who' is property of the BBC.
This Time Round created by Tyler Dion.
Tsukuyomi is from 'Magical Teacher Negima', property of Ken Akamatsu.
Type(s): Steel Maiden; drabble set
Blurb: A few glimpses of the Christmas spirit at the Steel Maiden Bar and