Chapter 1: > Rose: Be savvy.
The way she saw it, she might as well be the designated Christmas emissary anyway. Kanaya was a troll; Jade grew up alone on a tropical island and probably absorbed all her knowledge of the season from holiday special episodes. If there was any one of them who had the power to save Christmas, or ruin it enough to be gloriously rescued as it deserved in the future, the mantle fell on Rose.
Naturally, she'd invited them both to her place. Conifers, frozen waterfalls, seven inches of snow with which to construct frosty eldritch terrors in the backyard--if there were any other ingredients she needed to alchemize the perfect quintessential Christmas, Rose didn't know it. Not that she had any particular predilection towards the holiday, but any traditions involving open flames were automatically out, so their festivities would sadly be free of kinaras or menorahs or yule logs.
... If she really had to be honest with herself, which she'd rather not whenever possible, she'd have to admit that her house was probably not that much of a fire hazard even with all the stashes of alcohol hidden around. But she couldn't give up the fight that easily. In any case, she'd been arming herself for this event for quite a while now. Half a year, to be precise. Only the most conscientious girlfriend prepared for winter gifts before the leaves even began to speculate on the possibility of falling in autumn. Rose could be proud of starting her presents in the dog days of July, when the closest thing you could get to snow were the ice cubes John and Jade shoved down everyone's shirts.
Of course, it wasn't easy coming up with the gift in the first place. What kind of Christmas present would it be if it was? She had to do some serious research in the matter to make up for the others' cluelessness. Kanaya was still learning the ropes when it came to multiculturalism and human customs; Jade might as well be an alien as well. The gift had to be sweet, but practical. It had to be gaggingly thoughtful, but not too overtly so. It had to be a product of her blood, sweat, and tears... or, Rose amended, perhaps just a few strategic all-nighters and a stress line or two on her brow when she hit 50.
She'd been rewatching quality Christmas present infomercials from a few years back when she found it, and immediately kick-started into scheming mode. While she could obviously alchemize it, what kind of person would she be to do something like that? Only the most high quality cashmere would be acceptable. Only the most eye-searing colors. Questions like 'is Kanaya at a high enough power level to understand the irony?' and 'how many yards of yarn would this thing even take to make?' were for lesser souls. She was doing this, she was making this happen.
The gifts had to be absolutely perfect.
Chapter 2: > Kanaya: Be Classy
She'd faced down ogres and endbosses and apocalypses. Compared to the Vast Glub or dying by false magic? Human holidays were a cakewalk.
Well, other than the Fourth Planetary Revolution of Earth's Seventh Lunar Perigee, wherein Gamzee had accidentally set off a firework straight at her hive and burned it down to the ground. Or maybe the Tricks or Treats raid of Hollow's Wean, wherein a particularly hyperactive group of wigglers they'd bumped into had tried to pull her horns off and all their accompanying lusus (the human term was babysitter, Rose had said) did to help was compliment her classic rainbow drinker costume.
Granted, Rose and Jade had been considerate enough to invite her over to their hives while hers was being reconstructed, so Kanaya was able to get some valuable experience in the human phenomena of 'sleepovers' out of the first fiasco. And the second provided her not only with a horn-yanking induced headache, but also interesting alien sweets like candy corn, and a subsequent sugar-overdose induced headache as well. But on the whole, she thought she was rather getting the hang of this whole multiculturalism bit.
For instance, the following human celebration of Giving Thanks had passed peaceably enough, except for Karkat's spaghetti incident. The less said about that, the better. Kanaya was quite looking forward to the next holiday, which promised to wreak either much less or substantially more havoc, considering she would be spending it primarily with Rose and Jade after the larger 12th Perigee's Eve dinner party with everyone else.
The human term was Christmas, Jade had said, and sheepishly admitted that she'd never really celebrated it with anyone else either. It could be a learning experience for both of them, she had said, and recalled never having the right trees on her island, or putting up decorations by herself since her grandfather never helped out. Kanaya had reminisced over making ornate baubles by hand, letting her lusus fly up to attach them at the top of particularly tall Behemoth leavings, curling by her side in a pile of cushions and reading faerie tales together until the perigee grubloaf was tender enough to eat. She'd gotten a lump in her squawk blister; Jade hadn't said or did anything besides offer a handkerchief, but that was enough.
She'd never really had anyone to give gifts to. Trolls weren't exactly a gift-giving race in the first place. But she had an alien culture to learn and two beautiful alien matesprits to celebrate with and despite not having touched her fabrics and sewing machine in what seemed like sweeps, she'd finally found the key to unlock them from her sylladex after Jade's conversation. It was time to Get Shit Done, and she knew exactly what she needed to do.
The gift would be absolutely perfect.
Chapter 3: > jade: be jazzy!!
Of course she was jazzed. She hadn't marathoned all her favorite cartoons' holiday specials for nothing, after all. Sure, she might not have ever tasted eggnog or eaten a candy cane or sat on anyone's lap in her life, but that wasn't going to stop her from having her first and best Christmas ever.
Actually, now that she thought about it, she'd certainly done her fair share of sitting in Rose's and Kanaya's laps, but that probably didn't count. Also, it occurred to her that 'jazzy' and 'jazzed' didn't really have the same definition, and that the writer was probably too clueless to try to look for a better adjective, but she could put on some fitting music if necessary. Breaking fourth walls is totally a thing she can do, remember? But don't worry because it's not like she makes a habit of abusing this power or anything, it's just neat to play around with sometimes! like now, to poke a little fun at an uncreative narrator, hehehe. okay fine ill stop jeez :(
Either way, in Jade's opinion, she felt that she was about as ready for the holidays as she could get. She'd baked a Christmas cake, even though apparently that was more of an animes thing than an American tradition. She'd memorized 17 different carols and made up 3 more, mainly by rewriting some lyrics to Squiddles theme songs. She'd bought a full box of mistletoe off of the internets, and if she had her way, no lips in Rose's house would be safe ever again.
Obviously, the most important part was the present. If she really had to be honest with herself, which she always was, she'd have to admit that she was a little apprehensive about it. Rose and Kanaya had experience making cool things like cute laptop cozies and elegant dresses. Jade, on the other hand, was more technologically inclined. She could go the John route and build a small robot or two to give them, but somehow she doubted that Rose and Kanaya would find them as adorable as she and her brother did, even if they had state-of-the-art AI, could sweep the floor, and even make a passable cup of tea. It took her forever to program that!
So, the truth of the matter was that she was about as skilled with the needle as Rose and Kanaya were with a wrench. It wasn't as if they hadn't taught Jade the basics, though she probably spent more time pricking her fingers and getting kissed better than actually making stuff. While she could obviously give them two clumsily-embroidered handkerchiefs, what kind of person would she be to do something like that? She had an alchemiter, a great imagination, and a pictionary modus that could give her the code for anything she wanted as long as it wasn't too complicated to draw. It was time to get shit done! And she knew exactly what she needed to make happen.
The gifts were absolutely perfect. She was sure of it.
Chapter 4: > Shit, Lets Be santa!!! :D
"It's called a snuggie," Rose said, watching Kanaya hold up the quilt-like object and stare as if wondering what she was possibly supposed to do with it. Jade, however, couldn't put hers on fast enough. "The inventor was quite the genius. All the warmth and comfort of a blanket, without the dignity of a Christmas sweater. If all of humankind were to be extinguished overnight and leave only a single item behind from which extraterrestrial life may deduce of our virtues and flaws and history, the snuggie would be it. Years, but not many after its creation, I am honored to be able to offer this beloved, handmade token as a symbol of our goodwill and a testimony to ultimate irony."
"Oh my god, Rose, did you knit all of the Squiddles in mine? All of them?" Jade performed a little princess spin, just like in the movies, giggling as the vibrant fabric twirled out around her heels.
"I did indeed." Trust Jade to adore her testimony of ultimate irony with all sincerity.
Kanaya finally gave up trying to figure the snuggie out and cautiously shrugged into its sleeves, as if afraid the blanket would come to life at any moment and try to choke her with its horrifically clashing color schemes. If she really had to be honest with herself, though, she had to admit that it was extremely comfortable and warm. How thoughtful to give a desert-dweller in a New York winter. "The gesture is appreciated, though I can't help but feel slightly inadequate now on behalf of my gift, as inanimate objects don't have emotions."
"Well, if it did, I bet it's totally feeling lonely in that little box." Jade lifted it up and shook it a little before tearing in. "Let's fix that!"
Rose examined the gift inside with an appraising eye. "A scarf? And yet there's only a single present for the both of us, Kanaya."
"It's actually for all three of us," Kanaya said as Jade continued to pull out length after length of the luxurious fabric until she had a generous armful of shimmering silk. The two other girls obediently let her twine the scarf fondly around their necks, then finally her own with a cheerful flip of the tasseled end over her shoulder.
"We should walk around like this forever! This is the best!"
"For inadvertent strangulations whenever one of us stops too suddenly, certainly."
"Hehehe, but that just means you guys can give me CPR, right? Maybe both of you at once?"
"From what little information I have of human anatomy and medical practices, I'm not sure if that's feasible."
"Jade," Rose said suddenly, as the thought occurred to her. "I believe your gifts are still left."
"Oh, that's right!" For a brief moment she had been afraid that Jade really was going to turn around to fetch them, despite her warnings, but seconds later Jade had warped the two small boxes conveniently into Rose's and Kanaya's hands instead. "Here, try them!"
Kanaya opened the gift. And stared, bemused. "By try, do you mean... wear?"
"Um, duh!" Jade stuck out her tongue, and before Rose could stop her she had already whipped off her headband. "What else? Come on, I know you guys would look cute in them!"
The two other girls exchanged hopeless looks, but it looked as if there was no way around it. They equipped the new accessories. If Jade was in an anime, her eyes would be doing the sparkling thing; as it was now, she could only squeak in glee and clap her hands together excitably. "They're perfect! Now we match!"
"Jade," Rose said helplessly. "These are cat ears."
"Well, yeah. You like cats, right Rose? And I don't know, I think Kanaya's more of a nekomimi person than an inumimi one. But still! You both look so adorable, I just want to take you home!" Jade reached out and scritched Kanaya's ears; despite her endless confusion, she couldn't help but want to purr.
"I suppose I can't argue with that--" Rose stopped herself as the chime of an incoming Pesterchum message suddenly rang out, and her ears twitched with surprise, at almost exactly the same time as Kanaya's did. She was pretty sure that none of them had brought any computing devices to the present-opening, Jade had been oddly insistent on that. Where was the alert coming from? And why did she have such a strange urge to bat at the frayed end of Kanaya's scarf?
"Oh," Jade added brightly as she leaned over to scratch behind Rose's ears as well, and this time both girls couldn't help but give in to the purring. "Also, they're computers."
-- gardenGnostic [GG] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] and grimAuxiliatrix [GA] --
GG: merry christmas!!!!
GG: i love you <3 <3 <3