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Is there a Santa Claus?

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"Seriously, you have to find out about Santa Claus. This is need to know stuff Bo. Inquiring minds here."

"Inquiring mind, singular. Yours, Kenz, not mine." Even on their way into Trick's bar, Kenzi was still badgering Bo about their conversation from earlier. Bo rolled her eyes, making her way across the floor to snag two stools near the bar. "I told you I have no idea if Santa Claus is real, or Fae, or Light or Dark. I'm not the repository of knowledge of all things Fae, you know."

"Sure, sure," Kenzi waved off Bo's objections just as she'd waved them off every other time. "He totally has to be Dark. I mean, watching us while we sleep, judging who's good and bad? Does that sound like light Fae doing to you. Oh man, can he see me in the shower? Gross!"

"And bringing gifts to children doesn't make him Light?" Bo bit back a laugh, nodded her greeting at Lauren who'd come up behind Kenzi. "Hey Lauren, sorry, we're having the great is 'Santa Claus Dark or Light Fae' debate."

"Oh, that old one." Lauren laughed as she squeezed Bo's hand and kissed her quickly. "Hey Kenzi."

"Yeah, whatever, hey." Kenzi said shortly. “Look, is there some sort of Fae vision-impairer spell we can put around the place, cause I don’t want some old bearded dude looking at me when I’m naked.”

“At your place?” Lauren raised a brow as she looked to Bo, “something tells me he’d have more interesting things to look at.”

Bo slapped her, giggling. “Stop it.”

“Yeah, stop it,” Kenzi said indignantly. "This is important. Really important."

"What's important?" Trick's greeting was a welcome relief to Bo, who was hoping he’d either have an answer for her best friend or that he’d distract Kenzi enough to change the conversation.

“Trick. Tricky, Trickster, my man.” Kenzi leaned over the bar, nearly face to face with Trick as she explained what she needed. “They don’t understand that I need to know this. Need Trick, or I might die.”

“Sure you will,” Trick was already pouring them drinks. “What do you need to know. If I don’t know I can probably find an answer.”

“Is Santa Light or Dark Fae.” Bo said with a sigh as she passed a drink to Lauren. This conversation had already gone on too long, most of the day. “I told her he’s probably not even really Fae or-”

“He’s real,” that came from Lauren, surprisingly, and Bo blinked. “At least he was real. It’s in the records. There are quite a few mentions of him because of-”

“The Great Christmas War.” Trick nodded, his eyes sad as he remembered. “It was awful. We don’t like to talk about it, especially to humans. It took place almost 200 years ago.”

“What?” Kenzi’s voice had risen to a shriek, as she looked from Lauren to Bo in complete disbelief. “Are you telling me that Santa is DEAD?”

“For a long time. He was Light Fae, but he went over to the Dark. From what I’ve read he thought that he should do more to those who were naughty, had his eyes set on total human domination. Something about making human children behave badly so he could punish them.” Lauren shrugged again and Bo did her best to not laugh at the preposterous explanation.

“You’re kidding me, right?” Kenzi’s voice was getting higher with every word, the panic she felt showing in her wide eyes. “Santa went Dark Fae and you killed him?”

“We had to,” Trick explained, grave and sad. “He started enslaving elves by the dozens, forcing them to lure children into bad beahvior. No one wanted to. We all thought we could convince him to turn back, to leave off with what he was doing. But I guess all those years of watching over humans and Fae as they did awful things to one another got to him. He snapped. LIke I said, it was a very long time ago.”

“You- You killed Santa.” Kenzi clung to her beer, looking every bit like a child whose dreams had been crushed. That only lasted a few seconds before rage took over. “You- you bastards!”

“No, of course we didn’t kill Santa, you idiot.” Trick’s laughter burst out of him, not able to hold it in any longer. “He’s light Fae. He just can’t do the same work he used to. He’s old. Now he only brings gifts to Fae children, not that there are a lot of those. He still gets all the good ones. It doesn’t matter if they’re Dark or Light. He’s one of the few things all Fae agree upon. I didn’t realise you didn’t know until you called, Bo, I would have told you otherwise.”

“You- You called him? You called them?” Kenzi looked from Bo to Lauren to Trick and then around the three of them again. Bo and Lauren trying to hold in snickers, Trick actually chuckling. “Wait. Wait. This was all some sort of joke? Seriously? Santa being evil and dead is a joke to you people?”

“Oh come on Kenz. You wouldn’t drop it all day. Besides, you were convinced he was some sort of Dark Fae pervert spying on you all the time.” Bo grinned, pretty pleased by her joke. It had been orchestrated rather well she thought, and Kenzi would finally get off her back about Santa.

“You are all bad people. Every one of you is getting coal.” Kenzi hopped off her stool, pausing only to drink her beer before grabbing her coat and purse. “Every one of you. Put that on Bo’s tab.”

“Kenz-” Bo sighed as her friend stormed out, but the raucous laughter of Trick and Lauren made her smile too. Kenzi was annoyed right now, but Bo hoped she’d get over it . “You know I’m going to be the one buying pizza all week, right?”

“Probably. I’ll send you home with some of my special brew.” Trick offered in a rare moment of generosity. “Maybe then we won’t all get coal in our stockings.”