Genre: Despicable Me
Word Count: 1775
Prompt: When Santa's elves are ill, he decides to take on some replacements. Such a bad idea.
reapermum, I hope you enjoy your Christmas fic. Out of all of the very enjoyable prompts, I had the most fun with this one. Again, a tip of the hat to sparky955 for her beta help.
Cough, cough, sniffle.
Santa sighed and rubbed his forehead. Usually his factory floor was abuzz with activity at this time of the year, but only a handful of elves soldiered on and none of them sounded anywhere near healthy.
“Why now?” he asked the fat cats that lolled by his stocking feet. For her part, Holly just yawned and rolled over, exposed her tummy to the warm glow of the fire. Tinsel was too lazy to even do that. He snored on.
“Merry, go home and take Happy with you.”
“But, Boss,” Merry’s usually cheerful voice was hoarse and made Santa wince. “We can’t disappoint the children.”
“Nor can we cause a worldwide epidemic. Go home and get some rest.”
“That goes for all of you. Go home and rest. Get well.”
There were some feeble protests, but most of the elves were either too tired or too sick to do much more than offer a token gesture.
Santa watched them with a heavy heart. It was going to make the Christmas push even harder. To cheer himself, he reached for a cookie and a letter. The children always made him feel better.
He picked up one decorated with a fluffy pink unicorn and a little girl in a Princess gown riding it. He smiled and opened it.
I hope this letter finds you well. I have tried to be a very good girl this year, even though Daddy Gru is sometimes bad. Last year I asked you for a Mommy and you brought us Lucy. We love her very much. Thank you.
Santa sighed. He’d, of course, had nothing to do with that, but he loved it when things worked out for the best. He continued to read.
My sister, Edith, says you don’t exist, but my other sister, Margo, says you do and she’s older so she should know. I hope you are real because I’d hate to think I’d wasted my time with this letter.
Santa allowed himself to be just a little disappointed with Edith. He’d have to correct that misgiving this year.
I’ve tried to be good, but this year what I really want is something nice for my cousins. They work really hard in Daddy Gru’s lab, but they never get a chance to play. I was wondering if you could use some help. I think they would be wonder with toys.
Santa’s mouth dropped open and he looked skyward. “Thank you,” he murmured and reached for his favorite writing pen.
A week went by and Santa looked out over his empty factory floor with dismay. There seemed no end to the cold and flu season for his faithful helpers this year. Mrs. Claus was working double time in the kitchen trying to keep up with all the calls for chicken soup.
A knock on the door broke him from his thoughts and he got up to answer it. Pulling it open, he looked out onto an expanse of white. He was just about to close it when he heard a cough.
He looked down and saw four little figures, their parkas covered with snow. “Can I help you?”
The tallest for the four held out a sheet of paper to him and Santa took it. He scanned it. “You are Agnes’s cousins?”
“Si. Pwede na?” They were attempting to look around Santa’s frame.
“Um, I have no idea what you just said, but come in.”
Within the span of a few second, the parkas were stripped off, reveal four little yellow figures. The shortest one was carrying a teddy bear that Santa recognized.
“Si! Santy!” Bob rushed forward and hugged Santa’s leg.
“This is all well and fine, but I’m afraid I would need an army of you to get done what needs to get done.” Santa sighed, but the tall one merely went to the door and whistled. Suddenly, there was a massive stampede and wave after wave, five in all, flowed in. Santa looked around his facto and everywhere he looked was occupied by little yellow figures.
“Pwede na, Santy?” Dust shifted down from the rafters and Santa, still slightly shell shocked, nodded.
“Bello! Tulaliloo ti amo!” The little brown-haired doll announced and Santa shook his head. The was the sixth one he’d tested that chattered gibberish
“What is it saying?” He looked at Kevin… no, perhaps it was Dave… or Phillip. He really should make them wear name tags. “It’s supposed to say, hello, I love you.”
“Si, si! Bello! Tulaliloo ti amo!” Randolph was ready to wash his hands of the whole affair.
“I don’t know what you are saying.”
“Um, hi!” A young girl wearing pigtails suddenly appeared from behind a box. “I’m…”
“Margo!” Santa exclaimed. “I’ve known you since you were a small girl.” Another young girl, all dressing in pink wandered out, her face blank.
“You gotta be sh--” Margo’s eyes widened and she clapped a hand over the girl’s mouth.
“Sure. You gotta be sure,” Margo finished.
“And this must be Edith.” He offered his hand and already wide eyes widened more.
“You really are real.”
“Told you.” A tiny girl peeked out from behind Margo’s dress.
Santa kneeled and held out his hand. “And you must be Agnes.”
She hesitated a moment, glanced over Santa’s shoulder, then launched herself at him, hugging him with all her might. “We’re here to help, too.”
“You three girls?”
“And our family.”
Santa turned slowly. There were two oddly-shaped men, obviously related, a woman who was waving and mouthing, “Hi Santa” and an older man who did not look happy to be there.
“Dear, what are you doing?” Mrs. Claus was usually in a happy mood this time of the year, but it was because her husband was so busy elsewhere. Now he hovered over her like a second shadow.
There was an edge to his voice that made her stop, draw a deep breath and find a special smile just for him. “It’s bad?”
“I miss my elves.” Santa looked in the general direction of the factory. “When I left, they were arguing whether the flame throwers should shoot fake or real flames. What if a child gets hurt? I can’t…”
She patted his cheek tenderly. “The elves are doing much better. They should be back on their feet in another few days, no more than eight.”
“Dear, there are but seven days left to Christmas. I am going to be forced to aim half of the world’s children with thermos nuclear devices.”
“You exaggerating just a bit, my love.”
“Alright, a third, then.”
Bob appeared, his face smeared with a kaleidoscope of bright colors. With a hopeful smile, he asked, “Me want banana?”
Mrs. Claus smiled and broke off a banana from the huge bunch she had hanging nearby. “Here you go, sweetheart. Now, wash your hands before you eat.”
“Si, Si. Tank yu.” Bob eyed his banana eagerly as he walked away.
“You understand them?”
“Not really, but when they come in with that look, I know what the answer is.”
“My dear, you think feeding people is the answer to everything.”
She smiled and nodded. “And how often is it right?” She looked past him to the queue of minions standing there, all with hopeful looks on their faces. “At least they are cheap to feed.”
It was Christmas Eve morning and Santa wasn’t feeling very jolly. In fact, he was feeling downright blue. His workshop was in shambles, half of the stuffed toys were sewn together wrong, there were far too many weapons, thankfully inactive, but still. They were just not up to his usual level of quality. Still, as he watched bag after bag being loaded onto his cart, he was thankfully he had anything to give at all. Two weeks ago, he had very little.
“Mr. Claus,” Gru cleared his throat. “I am sorry that things didn’t work out a bit better. The minions, they mean well, but they are genetically disposed to create evil. Toys are still a bit of a mystery to them.”
“At least they were about to fix Barbie and Ken,” Dru, Gru’s brother, chimed it. “Ken with boobs would have caused some uncomfortable Christmas morning questions.”
“As would Barbie with a five o’clock shadow.” Lucy watched her girls help the minions. “This has been such an amazing experience. Maybe we could do this again next year!”
“No!” Santa shouted and all activity paused. He cleared his throat and Agnes’s trembling bottom lip made him want to cry. “What I meant is that this means so much to the elves and they would feel so badly not being able to come up to your level of toys.”
The room seem to breathe again and the activity resumed. Santa bent over and picked up the little girl. “We have you to thank for this, Agnes.”
“I just wanted to help.” She became shy and Gru smiled tenderly at her. Santa saw the love shining in the supposed villain’s eyes and he felt a warm glow begin to engulf him, starting from his toes and making its way to his heart.
“Helping and being kind is what the season is all about. Now, I never did get to hear what any of you wanted for Christmas.”
She leaned close and whispered in his ear before pulling away. “That’s for Daddy Gru and for Mommy Lucy. And for Uncle Dru…” She returned to the ear.
“Do you think he deserves that?”
“And your sisters?” More whispering. “Are you quite sure?”
“And what about you?”
“Oh, I already have everything I need.” She wiggled her way free from Santa and ran to Gru and Lucy. Their eyes glistened with tears as did Santa’s and that of her sisters. “I have a family.”
The minions crowded around, hopeful smiles on their faces. “Para tu?”
“Oh, believe me when I say I will never forget what you minions had done for me.” The clock’s hand crept up to ‘launch time’ and he straightened. “Bananas are on the house.” He put on his goggles. “Can I drop any of you somewhere?”
Gru gestured skyward. “Thanks, but I brought my ship. We’ll race you home!”
Santa saw movement and watched his elves slowly approaching the minions. “You’re on! On Dasher, On Prancer!”
And just in case you weren't keeping track:
Twelve Minions Helping
Eleven Guests A'knocking
Ten Minutes A'Waiting
Nine Outfits Waiting
Eight Hours Passing
Seven Generations Passing
Six Days Hoing
Five Stolen Things
Four Doting Girls
Three Gloomy Addams
Two Aged Spies
A Time Lord in a Sunnydale Crypt
And this, my friends, is the end of the Twelve Fics of Christmas. I hope you had a good time with the stories and I will see you next year! Merry Christmas!