Sunday, December 24, 2017

Lost Tales: The 12 Nuts of Christmas, Part 12 - Xander

December 24th
Celest had finally finished all of her Christmas shopping, and had managed to teleport it to all of the people that she needed to get them too, all of course, except for her family. She would have to deliver their gifts in person and honestly she wasn’t looking forward to it. Christmas in the mage realm, especially mage royalty, was less then enjoyable, a lot of pomp and circumstance and all the things that Celest hated about royalty, and none of the things she enjoyed about Christmas. She almost would prefer to go visit her family early next year as apposed to at the holidays. But she had no way out of it.

She wasn’t looking forward to going home either, she knew that Xander was hoping to find a way to get her to stay home this year, but she couldn’t think of a way to let him down that wouldn’t upset him. So she decided to do the right thing and just tell him, flat out what was going on.

As she got to the door she took a deep breath and opened the door, ready to break the news to a feverishly working Xander. But to her surprise as soon as she walked through the door, the door behind her slammed shut and an alarm sounded. “Warning: Celest has returned early, activating level one security program.” The home security system announced.

“Wait a minute” Celest thought, “when did we get a… Hey!” she shouted as a magic inhibiting net landed on her holding her in place. “Get this thing… Xander!” she shouted angrily.

The door to Xander’s work room flew open and xander came running out, unfortunately for him he had put a trip wire in front of the door as security and he tripped over it face first into the floor. “owww!” he said as he got to his feet and moved over to the netted Celest. “Your home early” he said with a devious grin.

Celest was decidedly not in the mood to deal with this kind of idiocy. “Your right I am now get me out of this thing…Now!” her voice portrayed the wonderful “do it or I castrate you.” Tone that xander had learned to recognize.

“I am afraid I can’t do that just yet my dear.” He said with a bit of a grin.

“I am afraid I am removing your reproductive organs dear. Now get me out of here.” She said quite matter-of-factly.

Xander smiled a bit and laughed moving over to a small end table near the door that had a weird looking blue candle on it. “I would love to, but I am not done with your Christmas preparations, I need another hour or so, I wasn’t expecting you back this soon but if I let you out you might try to leave, and or find out what I’m doing so I can’t do that.” His voice was flat, caring but not sarcastic or concerned, he knew he had the upper hand but wasn’t trying to gloat about it. As he spoke he knelt down and lit the blue candle which started to spark a bit as a blue flame appeared on the candle.

Celest sighed really not in the mood for his antics. “Look Xander, you know I can’t stay for Christmas this year, and I have to get ready, I came home to spend the extra time with you, now please let me out of here so we can get the ‘killing you’ portion of the evening over and can spend some time together before I leave.” Her voice was angry, but sweet at the same time. Although she couldn’t figure out why but she was starting to get very tired, the day must have worn her out more then she realized.

Xander smiled and moved over to Celest and hugged her through the net. “That’s very sweet, thank you” he said with a warm smile. “But I have to finish my surprise, besides you could use a little nap I think.”

Celest blinked and her mind finally caught up with why she was feeling more and more tired. Xander wasn’t draining her, but the candle had been a special variety, a magical variety, the kind that causes a deep, deep sleep in mages. She would have to figure out where he got this one and remove it from existence. But right now her mind was getting foggy, and a nap sounded so nice.

Xander knew that Celest was on the verge of passing out and lifted the net off of her, he leaned in and kissed her and scooped her up into his arms. She struggled a bit as he picked her up but then drifted off to sleep. He laid her down on the couch and stroked her hair, then rapidly ran back to his work room, tripping over the trip wire again and landing face down into the work room.

Celest started to stir about an hour later, the first thing she noticed was that the blue candle was gone. She would have to find that later. The second thing she noticed was that the whole penthouse was fully decorated with wreaths and evergreen garland, a beautiful tree and white lights all over the room. Numerous, traditional, candles illuminated the parts of the room that were not lit by Christmas lights, and the fire was warmly burning with a strange green tint to it. A trick she had seen Xander do before, simply add a few pine cones to the fire and it takes on a bluish-green tint, a nice touch she thought. The third thing she noticed was that the tree was loaded with presents, of all shapes and sizes. And, ironically, the final thing she noticed was a huge six foot by three foot box in the middle of the room.

She started to sit up when Xander came in and smiled at her. “Wow the effects of that candle wear off fast when it’s blown out don’t they?” he asked with a playful smile.

Celest gave him a sideways smile and punched him, “that’s what you get for putting me to sleep, I’ll castrate you later. What is all of this?” she asked knowingly but not able to really process it all yet.

Xander smiled “I wanted to give you a good old fashioned, classic Christmas. I have a dinner all prepared for us, and some holiday movies and everything.”

Celest sighed as her shoulders sank, she looked at Xander with a tear in her eye. “Hon, you know I can’t stay.” She said really feeling bad given all the work Xander had done. But to her surprise her revelation that she would have to leave didn’t even phase Xander. He simply smiled and walked over to the large package in the front of the room.

“This is for you” he said with a smile as he put his hand on the box. “Open it.”

Celest moved to the package, feeling a bit confused and defeated but she figured she would humor Xander while she could. She grabbed the paper and pulled it aside then gasped in shock. Inside was a large box that gave the package its shape, but inside the box was a life sized, real looking copy of Celest. “What the hell is this?” she asked confused as hell.

Xander smiled and moved the box aside and pressed a part of the duplicates back. The duplicates eyes popped open and she smiled at Celest and in a perfect simulation of Celests voice said. “Hello Celest, wow you are even prettier in person.” The duplicate smiled.

Celest moved around the duplicate and touched it once or twice. It felt Human, looked human, it was breathing, and it had a pulse, in every respect it looked like an exact clone of her. Celest grabbed Xander by the throat and pulled him in close. “Start explaining… right now… what is this thing?” she demanded.

Xander, despite being choked smiled. “This is a beta unit, it’s my creation, it is a perfect copy of you, in every way, physically, mentally, emotionally, even magically. It looks like you, it sounds like you, it moves like you, it does magic like you, it’s exactly like you, in every way to the tiniest detail.” There was a bit of a perverted grin on Xanders face as he said that last part.

Celests nostrils actually managed to breath out steam at this point. She punched Xander and tossed him on the couch. “What the hell do you think your doing making a copy of me?” she demanded as she stormed over to the couch.

“How inconsiderate, you made a copy of your girlfriend, what the hell!” the duplicate demanded taking up an identical position next to Celest. “If I were her I’d lock you up upside down over a pit of sharks wearing razor wire and leave you there till your hair fell out!” the duplicate continued.

Celest blinked a few times then looked at the duplicate confused. “That’s… not a bad idea actually.” She said rather upset that she had to admit that.

The duplicate nodded. “Don’t worry you would have thought it up in a moment or two, I knew he was doing this and had time to think about the punishment that I would do to him. It really is rude of him to do it. But honestly you are a lovely woman and this body of yours is so nice.” Said the duplicate in an honest compliment.

Celest smiled a bit and nodded “thank you, you wear it well” she said before she shook her head and glared at Xander. “Great now you have me literally talking to myself!” she shouted.

Xander smiled and stood up, moving behind the duplicate and pushing a button to turn it off. The eyes of the duplicate seemed to flash for a second before they went dull. “Don’t you want to know why I did this?” still with that same smug look he had earlier, the look that says that he has the upper hand.

Celest glared and crossed her arms at him. “If the word three-some, or anything similar crosses your lips, I’ll turn her on and we’ll both kill you.” She said tapping her foot angrily.

Xander smiled and cocked his head “hadn’t thought of that one actually… Ow!” he rubbed the arm that Celest had just punched. “Ok, ok, calm down” he said as he moved to the couch and sat down, taking Celests hands and making her sit next to him.” This beta unit is you, perfectly, right down to the smallest detail. It can even use magic which was no small feet I might add. It is so perfectly you, that no one will notice that it’s not you. Not even your family.

Celest was about to yell at Xander when the realization of what he just said sunk in. “my family… won’t be able to tell it’s not me.” She said getting a far away look and a grin, before Xander could react she stood up and ran to the double turning her on. “You, can do magic?” she asked in a hurried voice.

The double smiled and raised her hand, muttering something and then handing her the Calla Lillie that she just created out of thing air. “99.5% as accurately as you can.” The double smiled.

“And what about my family? Do you know all of their quirks?” she asked getting even more excited as Xander stood up slowly and moved behind Celest.

The double grinned “everything that you know, Xander copied your memories while you were asleep one night, you really never should have taught him sleep spells, it was a bad idea, sweet, but kind of self defeating.” The double said in a perfect mimic of Celest.

Celest smiled at the double then without looking elbowed Xander in the ribs behind her. “I’m sure I’ll find a suitable punishment for him.” She smiled at the duplicate.

The duplicate winked and leaned in to whisper “Consider the shark idea, it had me laughing for hours when I came up with it.”

Celest smiled and nodded then stepped back to look at Xander. “You did all this? Just for me?”

Xander smiled and nodded. “I knew you didn’t want to go through all the hoopla that your family had planned, and I knew you really just wanted something old fashioned and simple.” He nodded towards the tree and the fireplace. “It was a bit of a no-brain-er honestly.” He said with a smile.

Celest hugged him tightly and kissed him, not letting go after the kiss. “I'll take it!” she said as she held back a tear in her eyes.

Xander smiled and rubbed her back, the duplicate Celest feeling a bit embarrassed at the situation.

Celest turned to the duplicate with a grin. “Do you have any questions at all about what you need to do?”

The duplicate grinned and put her hand on Celests shoulder “don’t worry I know what to do, with your memories I have practically already done this numerous times over.” She said with a smile.

Celest nodded and hugged her duplicate. Which both of them found to be weird then she backed up. “Alright we had best send you on your way then.”

She was about to mutter the spell to teleport her to the mage realm when the duplicate smiled “No need.” She blew Xander a kiss and winked, then muttered a spell and vanished.

Celest turned and hugged Xander tightly then punched him in the gut. “If you ever… even think about sleeping with her I’ll do the shark thing, understand?”

Xander grinned holding his stomach. “They say love hurts… who knew this is what they meant.” He joked then smiled “don’t worry I won’t. Now allow me to finish my surprise.”

Celest watched as Xander hit a button on the end table and a table in front of the couch appeared, on it was turkey, and ham, cookies, and pies, deviled eggs, egg nog, hot coco, and fruit cake. He turned to Celest and sat down on the couch, pulling her in with him and situating them both so that they could easily reach the table, but so that Celest was more laying on Xander then the couch. He pulled a blanket over the two of them and the lights dimmed a bit as the TV came on.

Celest snuggled into Xander “what are we going to watch?” she asked.

Xander looked at her with a grin. “I figured we would watch something festive.” He smiled and kissed her.

Celest snuggled closely into Xander, until the movie started and she realized it was ‘Die Hard.’ She rolled her eyes and glared and Xander “Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.”

Xander smirked “Sure it is, see, it’s Christmas Eve.”

Celest lowered her eyes in a glare and Xander laughed a bit “alright, alright, I’m kidding” he said as the channel changed to show the start of ‘White Christmas.’ “There is that better?” he asked playfully.

Celest smiled “yes, much… thank you Hon” she said honestly.

Xander smiled and leaned in, kissing her tenderly. “Merry Christmas” he said with a smile and pulled her close.

The two spent much of the night watching movies, and all of the next day together, in a quiet, relaxing, classic Christmas. 


Christmas arrived as it always does, on the 25th of December. And although it does not always happen this way, the people in the story all found what it was that they truly wanted, what they truly needed. They found challenges in a life that had come easy to them. They found mystery in a world where they thought they had none. They found a use for their gifts. They found love, and they found friendship. And although the day may only last for 24 hours, some times the things we find on Christmas can carry us through the year, and some times through a lifetime. May you find all the things that you need this year, and may they carry you through all the times ahead.

Merry Christmas!

Celest is the property of RubyRain and used with permission.
(Having recently read this for the first time since I wrote it years ago. I realize just how abusive of a relationship the Xander / Celest relationship really is. Regardless of if you are male or female you should never be in a relationship where one party hits or punishes you in a serious fashion. Playful punishment can be ok and even fun. But, as I read this I remember how I felt in the actual relationship that inspired this story and it was not a good feeling. That is why these stories are non-cannon “Lost Tales” and not part of the larger “Spirals” story line.

Aside from that I realize just how dark of a place I was in when I wrote this, I love Christmas and I don't like to write stories where people are seriously hurt or killed, or abused or anything like that. Yes, I write playful peril from time to time but the people in the stories all brush it off like it was nothing. It's the great part about fantasy. But in this story I kind of get the impression that there is a more permanent harm being done. There would be scars of one kind or another. And I just get the feeling of how angry I was inside, how dark my life was at the time. I hope you enjoyed it for what it was, and Merry Christmas!)

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