[fic] Myths

Aug. 4th, 2007 02:56 am
niq: (Default)
[personal profile] niq
Because I haven't posted fic in awhile and I don't know when I will manage to finish any of the many, many WIPs, I am posting what I have on this.

The Santa Clause
Content some readers may find disturbing. Um. This is all [livejournal.com profile] jmtorres's fault. Rated SPARKLE DREAM.
Bernard doesn't have a time machine so he gets to suffer through wet dreams and mood swings and the possibility of losing the best Santa they've ever had and, you know, his home, his friends, and his entire existence. And then Toy Santa tosses him in the brig, as it were.

"I have hair. I have hair places no elf should have hair. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?"

Bernard is not, exactly, what you'd call coping. It's understandable. Puberty is traumatic enough when you're expecting it; after fifteen hundred years of being elfin and child-like, it's extremely traumatic.

"Well, Bernard," Santa says, reasonably, "there comes a time in every young man's life--"

"Oh my god, you are not giving me The Lecture. Do you *know* how old I am?" Bernard says, gesturing wildly. "I don't need The Lecture!"

Santa cocks his head. "It seems like you might. You've put on some height."

Bernard buries his face in his hands. "I have. Three whole inches! It's horrible, I'm like some kind of freak. This isn't normal!"

"What could have caused it?" Santa asks. Because Santa is all about the problem-solving. It's part of what makes him such a great Santa, but it's horrifying to have directed at you when you're facing one of the biggest crises of your very long life.

Bernard looks up. "You really don't want to know," he says, flatly.

"I'm pretty sure I do!" Santa disagrees. "You're my Archelf, Bernard. If something's wrong, I need to know."

Bernard sighs and looks up at the ceiling. "Well, it's like this, Santa. Elves don't pubesce. It's just, you know, the way we are. Except, we're magical. And sometimes, occasionally, rarely, in legend, an elf grows up. When he or she meets a human match."

"Oh, but that's great," Santa says. "You've found someone! I love seeing my elves find happiness."

"CHARLIE," Bernard says. "IT'S CHARLIE."

Santa blinks. "What about Charlie?"

Bernard contemplates crying. It's not very becoming an elf as senior as himself but under the circumstances he feels it'd be understandable. "Charlie. Is my human match."

"You're kidding."

"Oh, I wish I was," Bernard says. "The fact that I have hair," he gestures at his arms and vaguely at his crotch, "tends to give that the lie. You're the only other human--well, mostly human--around, and it's not you."

"Charlie is sixteen, you're, what, ten times that. What the hell, Bernard!"

Bernard glares. "It wasn't exactly my *choice*, Santa; believe me, no elf wants to go through this! It's kinda neat in legends but not when it's HAPPENING TO YOU."

Santa glares back. "You're telling me that you're in love with my teenage son. What kind of reaction did you *expect*? You're staying away from Charlie the next time he's up here!"

Bernard strangles a scream. "Santa. It's not like I wanted this. If I could turn back, I *would*. The hair *itches* and also, do you *know* what kind of a freak I am? Humans are *weird*. You're large, and hairy, and it's not freaking normal. I didn't ask for this!"

"I don't care! He's my son, you're leaving him alone," Santa says, with an air of finality, as if a pronouncement will make it all go away. He acts like it, anyway, like that statement solves everything, makes Bernard back into a regular elf.

So that's about how Bernard's life's been going when Curtis finds the Mrs. Clause tucked away on the little red ribbon of the card. Bernard dimly remembers the writing of the contract and if he had a time machine? He'd go back and kick everyone involved because, really, the whole damn mess is about as bad as underneath a Christmas tree on Christmas morning after the kids had gotten through with all the presents.

Bernard doesn't have a time machine so he gets to suffer through wet dreams and mood swings and the possibility of losing the best Santa they've ever had and, you know, his home, his friends, and his entire existence. And then Toy Santa tosses him in the brig, as it were.

It's really not his best year ever.

--

My whole life as become about secrets, and I hate it!

His dad is Santa and that's been the biggest secret, but it's not the only one.

It's not that he thinks Mom and Neal or even Dad would care, except. The age difference is not unnoticeable. It makes Buffy and Angel look like a perfectly normal teenage romance because Bernard is fifteen hundred years old and Charlie is sixteen.

Charlie's read enough of Neal's books to have some idea what Neal would say. Bernard was kind to him, was a friend at a bad time in his life, was formative, and Charlie developed an attachment. And maybe that's a little true, but it's more than that. Bernard is what Charlie misses most about the North Pole, who he wants to call with the snow globe.

It's not something he can tell anyone, not anyone at all--at least his Mom and Neal know about Dad--and it's driving him mad.

--

They save Christmas from Nazi Santa. It's all good. Really.

Bernard stays away from Charlie as ordered, like a good Archelf. He seriously considers making a real gun and shooting himself in the face, but he stays away. Charlie goes home, and everything will be fine, as soon as Bernard gets the hang of *shaving* without lots and lots of blood being involved. He'd let himself have the beard, bizarre or not, but he doesn't actually get a beard, he just gets a thick stubble that itches horribly.

"Why so glum?" Santa asks, full of good cheer. Well, he would be; newly-wed Santa is apparently the jolliest thing ever.

Bernard is not jolly. Possibly it's the teenage hormones talking but he really kind of wants to hit things a lot. The toy soldiers are being broken apart for materials and Bernard should probably go find one and beat *it* up, instead of Santa.

"Gee, I don't know, Santa. Maybe the fact that I'm *still* going through puberty has something to do with me being moody?"

Santa frowns. "I thought we sorted that out," he says, a hard edge creeping into his voice.

Bernard doesn't punch Santa. Or break down in tears. It's a very near thing. "Not so much," Bernard says. "You said I was going to stay away from Charlie. Which, I want it noted, I did. But I. Look, my grandmother was half-human--it happens every few thousand years. My family's a bit taller than usual but we're otherwise *perfectly normal* elves. Except I'm not anymore! I still have *hair*. I've grown another inch. It's not going away just because I'm not allowed to be near him!"

"Bernard, this has got to stop," Santa says.

"Great! You know how to reverse puberty, then? Because that's a trick that Mother Nature can't manage," Bernard asks, sarcasm slipping through.

"No! You've got to get over Charlie, whatever this is, it's not healthy! You're literally a hundred times his age; I don't understand what's gotten into you," Santa says, perfectly reasonable.

Bernard buries his face in his hands, hiding behind his curls. "Santa. I'm sorry, okay? It's not something I went into with a plan, 'hey, let's fall in love with the boss's kid and grow up into a perverted elf freak!'"

Santa heaves a sigh. "You're not a freak," he says, belly shaking. "You're actually turning into a pretty handsome young man. I can give you some time off! I'm sure you can find a nice girl--or boy! that's not my problem with this--and you can settle down, get all this out of your system."

"I don't want a girl," Bernard says, frustrated. "I didn't, I *don't* want a human. And no elf is going to look twice at me, now. So, really, not going to work. Just. Look, don't ask me stupid questions like 'why so glum?' and we'll be okay, Santa."

Santa purses his lips as Bernard stalks off. He's newly-wed, though, and is quickly distracted by his new wife.

--

...knowing isn't a burden. It's a gift. You know, most kids stop believing in Santa Clause when they grow up, but I get to believe in him forever.

It's nice that Lucy knows now, that his biggest secret of all is less of one, that he can share that gift with his sister, but it doesn't make the rest of it any easier. Bernard avoided him the entire time he was up at the North Pole. It hurts more than Charlie really wants to think about. Bernard's always made sure Charlie has cookies and cocoa and consults him for new ideas in the Santa-proofing department, especially when it's been awhile since Charlie's last visit.

Charlie used to fit in fine with all the elves; they were all older than him but it was okay. They looked like they his age or even younger. But he grew up and he doesn't blend anymore. He hasn't stopped believing, he'll never stop believing, but he has gotten taller and broader. Bernard had treated him exactly the same, though, 'til now.

The one time he'd managed to get Bernard alone, his friend had dashed off, swearing that assembly line three was about to explode. It hadn't been, Charlie knows this in his bones. He's not Santa, he's not an elf, but he knows that workshop inside out.

After he puts Lucy down to bed, Charlie locks his door and curls up with the snowglobe Bernard gave him years ago and pretends he isn't crying.

--

They really hadn't thought through the part where Principal Newman--Carol--was, in fact, a principal of a high school and that winter break lasts until about a week into January and high school principals don't get to quit in the middle of the school year without any notice. So Santa and Carol had time for a honeymoon but not a lot else before she had to get back to running her step-son's high school.

Charlie made her agree not to talk about the fact that she'd married his Dad because it was traumatising enough for *him* to know. The entire school knowing? Well, Charlie probably *would* run away to the North Pole. Even if Bernard still isn't, for some reason, speaking to him.

She's actually a lot nicer, now. Admittedly, Charlie's not acting out quite as much, but Carol is, well, *Carol* most of the time, and not Principal Newman.

The only problem is, being his step-mom now? She feels compelled to care why he's being moody and withdrawn and is very interested in getting him to talk to her about things. And that is just awkward.

"So, Charlie," she says, catching him after school. "I understand where you were coming from a lot better these days, and I just wanted to say I'm sorry."

Charlie sighs. "Princi--Carol. Don't get me wrong, it's cool that you and my Dad are happy together and it's nice that someone else knows about Dad but there is no way this conversation isn't going to suck so can we just---*not*? And say we did?"

"Now Charlie," she says, admonishingly.

"Okay! You're sorry. Apology accepted," Charlie says and fiddles with the straps on his backpack.

"Charlie!"

Charlie rubs his face with one hand. "What do you want from me? I'm not spray-painting school property, I'm not acting up in class, I'm not even staying out past curfew."

Carol purses her lips. "I'd like you to be *happy*, Charlie. You're not acting up, but you look miserable," she says, like she really does care.

Charlie shoulders his backpack. "Yeah? Okay. Let's never have this conversation again," he says and stomps off.

It's so not the best way to end the conversation but right now, Charlie doesn't care. He's going through growing pains again, his legs hurt all the time; he really doesn't want to talk about his love life--or lack thereof--with his principal/step-mom.

It's Friday and he doesn't have any homework due; he cons Neal and Mom into agreeing to a weekend at the North Pole pretty easily. He packs a bag and pulls out the snowglobe.

"Hey there, sport. What's up?" his Dad asks, when he shows up.

Charlie grabs his bag. "I'm staying with you this weekend," he says.

Santa blinks at him. "What?"

Charlie sighs. "I hate this town, I hardly got to see the elves at all this year, and I figure staying a weekend with you and Carol will make her happy. She's all worried about me, thinks I'm miserable."

"Are you?" his Dad asks, seriously. It's a nice change from getting yelled at but Charlie's sick of the question.

"Yes!" Charlie says. "I'm frustrated, hormonal, and generally going nuts. Can we *go*?"

Santa wanders downstairs, checks with Laura and Neal, and then they're off. Thank god. Charlie kind of misses the sleigh ride but he has to admit it's a lot faster to just do the fade-out, fade-in thing that Bernard's always done.

"Home again, home again! Go on, Charlie, put your things away. I'm going to go pick Carol up," he says, with a scary moonstruck look in his eyes and Charlie is just as glad to see his Dad disappear again as he was to have him show up in the first place.

Charlie looks around the workshop, sees Bernard hovering over some elves, and heads that way. It hurts more than he wants to admit when he sees Bernard look up and immedieately excuse himself and head away.

"Bernard," Charlie calls out. "Hey, Bernard, wait up!"

Bernard stops and sighs. "Look, Charlie, I'm really busy; your Dad's got me running ragged, what with being so occupied with the missus."

Charlie looks down at his feet, trying not to let the hurt show. "You always used to have time for me," he says, softly. "Even when you were really busy."

Something flickers through Bernard's eyes when Charlie looks up. "I'm sorry, Charlie, I really am," he says, voice catching as he turns away. "But I really can't talk."

Charlie hunches his shoulders. "Okay. I... just. Whatever I did, I'm sorry," he says.

Bernard stops in his tracks and turns back around. "Charlie, no, it's not like that at all. It's just, your Dad doesn't want me talking to you and I can't exactly disobey Santa."

Charlie blinks. "Why doesn't Dad want you to talk with me?"

"It's complicated," Bernard says. "Just... go visit your Dad, Mrs. Clause, okay?"

Charlie pulls out the snowglobe, looks at it hard. "Bernard," he starts and stops. "I... think you should have this back. It's yours."

Bernard closes his hands around Charlie's. "Charlie, I told you to keep that safe. If I wanted it back, I'd ask for it. No, you keep that," he says and it's like every time he's ever visited Charlie, every time Charlie's been up at the North Pole again.

Charlie holds back a sniffle--he's too old for this, too old to be crying, too old for all of this. "I don't get it," Charlie says. "Was it that I grew up?"

"No, Charlie; it's more that I grew up," Bernard says. "I told you, it's complicated. Look, I'll see if I can talk to your Dad, okay? Get him to let me explain it to you."

Charlie wipes at his eye and hugs Bernard before he can run off again. "I missed you, Bernard," he says.

Bernard smiles weakly. "Yeah, sport, I missed you too. Now go on, your Dad'll be back with Mrs. Clause any minute."

Charlie resettles his bag and goes to his room here. He's going to put his stuff away and then Santa's got some explaining to do.

--

It figures, really, that Charlie would corner him and ask him questions he really can't answer, looking so hurt; that's about par for the course, lately. The only thing that is keeping Bernard from losing it completely is the fact that at least he hasn't had to break in a new Santa in eight years and that's a record, lately.

"Santa," Bernard says, tiredly, when Santa arrives. "I know you want to spend time with your wife but we need to talk."

"What is it?" Santa asks, like he doesn't know. He probably doesn't, Bernard thinks, annoyed.

"You have to let me talk to Charlie," he says.

Santa looks at Bernard sharply. "No! Bernard, we've talked about this; it's not right."

"No, Santa, we haven't talked so much as you've told me what you want and completely ignored reality. Look, I'm not going to hit on him," Bernard says, impatiently. "But Charlie is hurt and confused and he deserves an explanation."

Carol looks back and forth between them. "Scott? What are you talking about?"

Santa sighs and runs a hand through his hair. "It's some kind of weird elf thing; Bernard thinks he's in love with Charlie. Which is pretty ridiculous, considering how old he is," Santa says pointedly. "I don't know what's gotten into him."

"You know what, Santa? You're the big guy, the boss, but do you know how many Santas I've been through? Why do you think I was so annoyed when you first showed up? I'm pretty much happy to follow your orders, you're a great Santa, but lately they've been pretty stupid orders. Toy Santa was a bad idea, I told you so, and I could have handled things up here; I was when we were running through a Santa every year or two. So, it's like this. I'm going to talk to Charlie and you can't stop me."

Carol holds a hand up. "You know, I'm pretty sure you could both take a break from each other," she says. "Scott, why don't you give me a minute with Bernard? I'll join you in a few minutes."

Bernard sighs as Santa stomps off. "Don't start, lady. I don't need another lecture on what a freak I am."

"I'm not going to lecture," she says. "Is what he said true?"

"Kinda," Bernard says. "It's like this; I never meant for anything to happen, I just didn't really get a say in it. See, elves don't grow up, we're magic. But sometimes, if an elf falls in love with a human, he or she does grow up. I only found out when I started growing *hair*. Charlie's, uh, he's pretty special. And I would never hurt him."

Carol smiles sadly. "I'm sure you believe that, but is it really a good idea to tell Charlie? He's sixteen and still kind of messed up over everything with his Dad."

"He deserves to know that I don't hate him," Bernard says angrily. "He tried to give me back the snowglobe! You mean well, lady, but you don't know very much about us, any of us."

Carol purses her lips but doesn't say anything when Bernard stalks off.

Really, Bernard could come to just hate humans in general. They're pretty much impossible; the only ones he really likes are the little kids and Charlie.

He finds Charlie sitting in his--Bernard's--room, on his--Bernard's--bed, the snow globe in his lap. "Charlie, what are you doing here? You have your own room!"

"Yeah, but I wanted to see you," Charlie says. "I don't care if Dad doesn't want you talking to me."

"God, your Dad is going to kill me," Bernard says and paces. "I mean, more than he already wants to."

"Why doesn't he want me talking to you?" Charlie asks and looks at Bernard with those big, wide eyes of his. "You're my best friend, Bernard; no one at school really gets me at all. I mean, how can they? So why would my Dad want to keep me from talking to you?"

"It's... I said it was complicated, right?" Bernard says and sits down next to Charlie. "Elves don't grow up."

"I know," Charlie says, not looking at Bernard at all. "I..."

Bernard cuts him off. "Yeah, well, I am." Bernard clenches his hands together in his lap and doesn't make Charlie look at him even though he'd really like him to because that would probably lead to kissing Charlie and that is not what this is about. "It's because of you," Bernard says. "That's why your Dad doesn't want me talking to you."

"Dad's... mad at me?" Charlie asks, looking up.

"No, he's mad with me," Bernard looks away. "It's... it only happens when an elf falls in love with a human."

Charlie blinks at him. "What?"

"Wow, there really is just no good way to explain this," Bernard says and rubs his face. "Somehow, I ended up in love with you, Charlie. And your Dad's understandably not too thrilled, and I don't even really blame him, although I do wish he'd remember the age difference between me and any human is pretty much just as bad."

Charlie's not looking at him again, which--really, the fact that Charlie isn't running away is better than he'd been expecting, but. It still hurts. "You're in love with me?" Charlie asks, softly.

"Kinda," Bernard says. "I have the hair to prove it. I have so much sympathy for kids, now, no wonder you stop believing! Everything itches and no one gets how screwed up your hormones. You'd think Santa would, he was a teenager once too, but not so much."

Charlie looks at him properly and he's wearing this small little smile when he tackles Bernard. "I'm just glad you don't hate me," he says into Bernard's shoulder. "I thought... well. I couldn't deal with it if you did."

"What? No! I could never hate you, Charlie," Bernard says and hugs Charlie awkwardly.

And because this is Bernard's life, lately, that's when Santa stomps in.

--

"Jesus, Bernard, I can't believe you," Santa yells. "You drag him off into your bedroom? You said you weren't going to hit on him!"

Charlie hangs onto Bernard even though the elf is trying to spring away from him, and glares at his Dad. "I can't believe you! I thought he hated me."

"It'd be better than this!" Santa gestures at them.

Bernard's glitter is sparkling a little harder than it should be, the elfin equivalent of a blush. "Santa, this is so not what you think," he says, trying to shake free from Charlie. There's no way Charlie is letting go of Bernard now, though, and he just tightens his grip and sits up straight, as possessed and adult as he knows how.

"What if it were?" Charlie asks, sharply.

Santa looks at Charlie, suddenly. "What are you talking about?"

"Do you even pay attention to me? Ever?" Charlie says, angrily. "You can't tell me you've missed the fact that I want to see Bernard almost as much as I want to see you when I visit."

"Charlie, uh, I don't think..." Bernard says, trailing off Charlie when looks at him.

"First off? Bernard didn't drag me anywhere, Dad. I wanted to talk to him. Second, all he did was explain why you didn't want him talking to me. And third, so what?"

Santa gapes at Charlie, stunned, before sputtering, "What do you mean 'so what'?! He's a hundred times your age!"

Charlie looks down at his hands hard for a moment before looking back up, eyes hard and determined. "Yeah. And I'm seventeen in a month, okay? I get to make my own choices now. It's not like... if Bernard were going to try anything messed up, Dad, he would've already. He wouldn't have avoided me like you told him to."

Bernard winces under Charlie, for some reason.

Santa is clearly getting ready to start yelling some more, which, Charlie is really not in the mood to be yelled at more. He's had enough of that, lately. "Dad, go find Carol, rant at her, have sex, I don't care. Just... go away."

Bernard does twist away, finally. "Charlie! Stop it," he says quietly. "You... you shouldn't talk to your Dad like that. He's just worried about you. He's just trying to protect you. That's what parents do."

Charlie blinks away tears, "He made you stay away from me," he says, harshly. "I thought... I thought I'd gotten too old for you. You're my best friend and I. If that's protecting me, I'd rather he threw me off the sleigh."

Santa clears his throat. "Still here! Look, Charlie, I get that you care about Bernard, I do, but. This isn't healthy for either of you."

"You sound like Neal," Charlie says, flatly, and is kind of glad when his Dad flinches. "My Dad is Santa. I help him deliver gifts every year, and I can't tell anyone. I was going to be kind of screwed up, anyway. It could be worse, okay? It could be, I don't know, leather bars or something. The point is, you can't control my life."

"Can too; that's what being a Dad is about!" Santa says, petulantly.

Charlie rolls his eyes. "Whatever, Dad. If you'd like to join us here in reality, we'd be happy to have you. Now, go away. I promise Bernard and I will not start having wild sex."

"If you think I'm about to leave you alone with him, you've got another think coming, mister."

Charlie scrubs at his face and grabs Bernard's hand in his. "Is there somewhere we can go? That we can talk?" he asks.

"Uh, Charlie, maybe you should stay here, you know? You and your Dad should work this out," Bernard says, guiltily.

"No, Dad needs to get over himself. I need to talk to you, okay?"

Bernard sighs. "Okay, fine. I know the place."

"Charlie! No, Charlie, you can't--" Santa is yelling, and the rest, thank god, is lost as they fade out in a sparkle of glitter.

--

[livejournal.com profile] jmtorres, I'd get on AIM and chatter at you about Blackpool but my internet is being completely retarded, so. We'll just go with 'hm. David Tennant is sex.' :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-08-04 11:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tamtrible.livejournal.com
What have you been smoking, and why aren't you sharing? [g]

Profile

niq: (Default)
niq

December 2012

S M T W T F S
      1
234 5678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags