Somewhere I got the idea for a Fallout New Vegas Christmas story, and this is the result. Lily and Raul would probably remember Christmas and want to help out Marion the Courier in her attempts to "deck the halls" of the Lucky 38. The others would sit back and watch. This story is really more fun than good, but if ever a world was in need of some good, clean, wholesome fun, I'd say it was the Wasteland.
And PS, if you want to guess what denomination Marion belongs to, shoot me a message, or guess in a review. And of course, happy holidays!
The Fallout New Vegas Christmas Special
Boone got out of bed in the Presidential Suite in the Lucky 38 and noted that Raul was not on the sofa where he had been a few hours before. Veronica and Cass were still asleep in their bed; Cass was muttering in her sleep about dynamite. Things were a bit cramped in the old casino. The women didn't mind Platonically sharing their sleeping spaces, but Boone and Raul took turns sleeping on the sofa. Lily, due to her size, had Mr. House's old bed, and Marion and Arcade shared her room.
The sniper, upon hearing some strange noises cautiously walked into the hall. It was Marion, setting up an artificial tree, similar to those around Jacobstown, except it was covered in strange decorations. The tree looked quite pretty, but Boone didn't really appreciate it, or anything beautiful since his wife's death.
"Good morning," Marion chirped, picking up a handful of shredded silvery stuff, her dark eyes dancing. "Here, help me hang the tinsel."
"Tinsel, for the Christmas tree. Yesterday I suddenly realized that it was December 17th, almost a week 'til Christmas, so Lily, Raul and I decided to do something. We found this old tree and decorations; no star, though. But Raul said he'd make us one."
"Or 'Christ's Mass,' I'll explain later. Back in Wistful River, we always had a big celebration. Drove the nearby Legionaries crazy."
He folded his arms. "I thought you didn't know about the Legion."
"I didn't!" She tapped her scars with her free hand. "Getting shot in the head does tend to adversely affect one's memory, but Arcade's been helping me with that. I've made some real progress."
Boone rolled his eyes, and almost on cue Arcade and Rex appeared. The dog eagerly sniffed the tree then flopped down again in front of it with a big dog sigh.
"How'd your village stay independent?" Boone asked.
Marion shrugged. "Beats the hell out of me. They never could conquer us, but it wasn't for lack of trying."
"A Christmas tree," Arcade said.
"You've heard of them?" Boone asked.
"Sort of. When I was a kid I saw a holotape of an old pre-war movie, It's a Wonderful Life. Ironic title considering all that went on in the film."
The lift opened, and Raul got out, holding something behind his back. About five minutes later, Lily also appeared.
"Shall we wait for the other ladies, boss?" Raul asked.
"No," Marion pointed dramatically at the top of the tree. "Give the evergreen its crowning glory."
Raul handed the star he'd made to Lily. The Nightkin was able to top the tree without even having to stand on tiptoe. The ghoul, Courier, and doctor all applauded. Rex barked, and Cass shuffled into the hall.
"I was going to complain about the noise, but now that I see you've all gone crazy, I'll just go back to bed," she remarked.
"It's a Christmas tree," Boone growled.
"We'll explain when Veronica boots her lazy butt out of bed," Marion answered.
"Grandma's going to get started on her Christmas baking," Lily said, pushing past the group into the kitchen.
She made a great deal of noise whenever she cooked, and soon enough Veronica materialized, rubbing her eyes. She took in the tree, the decorations, and the assembled companions.
"Looks like I might have missed something," she said.
"We were waiting for you to get up so Marion could tell us about Christmas."
"Oh. Can we have breakfast first?"
"I can talk while you eat," Marion offered.
As they had breakfast (Lily's good coffee with anything else in the kitchen they wanted), Marion talked at length about the Nativity story, St. Nicholas of Myra, and of Father Christmas. Lily had several trays of cookies completed by the time she had finished.
"Wow," Cass said. "That's pretty amazing."
"Is there more?" Veronica asked, and when Boone looked at her, said, "I'm a Scribe! I make notes."
"Infinitely more," Marion picked up a cookie. "Wait until Easter. Then things really get dramatic… and important. Not that I'm belittling Jesus' birth. Mmm, these cookies are terrific, Lily."
"Thank you, sweetheart."
She took a second cookie and continued. "In my village, there was always a Christmas cookie contest, but it was also always kind of a joke. We just weren't a judgmental people. 'Neither first nor last….' It was practically our motto!"
Later in the day, Lily found an artificial sprig of mistletoe in one of the decoration boxes. She hung it up in the center of the hallway.
"I remember my first time under the mistletoe," the Nightkin mused. "I was just eleven years old, and someone hung it up at the top of the stairs…."
"What's the mistletoe for?" Veronica asked.
"When two people are under the mistletoe together, they have to kiss," Lily explained, sounding very girlish. "I remember how Danny kissed me on the nose. I rubbed it in everyone's faces at school the next day!"
"Oh, Cass," Veronica called impishly.
"Forget it, kid," Cass answered grouchily. "I heard what Grandma said, and I'd like to point out that I'm reasonably sober today."
The Scribe pouted, and then a pair of female arms wrapped themselves around her neck and turned her around. It was Marion, who gave her a soft kiss on the lips.
Veronica smiled then turned back to Cass. "Now that we've got that out of the way, how about we play some pool?"
Marion and Raul went out in search of some spare parts that he would need to really make sure that the elevator would be safe for Lily, planning to be back at the end of the day. Arcade immersed himself in one of Mr. House's old diaries from before his self-mummification, but he got hungry after a few hundred pages and began to drift in the direction of the kitchen. Maybe he'd have a few more of those delicious cookies.
Meanwhile Boone was thinking about his wife again. What would she have thought of these Christmas festivities? Of course she'd have been thrilled, he thought. Any chance to celebrate….
The two men collided painfully as their paths coincided. Arcade looked up to apologize, saw that they were standing under the mistletoe, yelped, and jumped back. Boone also glanced up and jumped away from the taller man, knocking a wreath off the wall.
"What's Arcade yelling about?" Veronica poked her head through the door, saw them, and began to laugh.
"Shut up," Boone growled.
She picked the wreath up off the floor. "Well, what should we hang- the holly or each other?"
"Preferably the holly," Arcade said. "Excuse me."
He disappeared into the kitchen. Boone shook his head, muttered something unintelligible, and took the lift to another floor, one without mistletoe or holly.
Cass put her pool cue down. "I'm getting my ass whupped here. Why don't we call it quits Veronica, and I'll give you a lesson on how to do your hair?"
Marion and Raul returned and set to touching up the lift's machinery. Lily went into the kitchen and exclaimed that all the cookies were gone. Everyone looked at Arcade.
"I only had six," he said airily.
Rex whimpered and spat out what was left of the cookies.
"Fascinating," Arcade said, putting down the diary.
"Gross," Veronica corrected him. "You weird dog, Rex!"
"Oh well, I'll just make more," Lily said.
Soon the air was filled with the smell of cinnamon and baking, and Rex lifted his head up to drink in the air. Marion scratched his ears and said, "Don't even think about it."
He whimpered and placed his nose between his forepaws. She patted him again and stuck her head into the kitchen.
"Hey," Cass clapped her hands once. "Everyone check out Veronica!"
Everyone looked. She was wearing her dress, and her hair was in an untidy but sexy French twist. She looked like a totally different person. Marion wolf-whistled.
Lily said, "You look very pretty dear."
"Thanks," Veronica did a spin. "This is better than those old Scribe robes, and that Power armor- whoo!"
Lily handed Raul the last tray of cookies; he was not expecting it. "That reminds me… Grandma needs to wrap her Christmas presents. No peeking!"
She disappeared into the lift, which, thanks to Raul's tinkering, did not protest as much.
"Presents?" Veronica looked a little guilty.
"Don't worry about it," Marion fingered her own dark blonde hair. "But having Christmas presents for everyone will certainly make Lily happy."
"Poor thing," Cass grabbed a half-empty bottle of whiskey. "And I thought things got bad when I drink too much."
"Has anyone seen Boone?" Marion asked.
"Not in a while, boss," Raul picked up one of the cooled treats. "But he's around. Why?"
"I wanted to raid the Legion drop boxes; there's usually plenty of medicine and stuff like that in there. Thought he might like that."
"They just leave those things lying around?" Cass asked.
"Well… Caesar is still under the misguided impression that I'm an ally."
"Boy, you are a snake."
It was a long trip to Cottonwood Cove and back, and it was Christmas Eve when Boone and the Courier returned with the spoils of war. Lily was stacking her Christmas presents under the Christmas tree and humming to herself when they arrived. Oddly enough, the sound was not unpleasant.
"Whatever are you giving me?" Marion asked, picking up the package clumsily labeled with her name and giving it a cautious shake.
"Wait 'til tomorrow," Lily took the package back and set a lumpy one labeled "Boone" on top of it.
He stared at it then went to put the loot where it was stored. Arcade appeared holding a small handheld device that could have been a miniature terminal.
"I found it," he exclaimed. "Is this what you were referring to? 'In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all should be registered….'"
"Yes, that's the Nativity."
"Fascinating. 'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night when lo!" He paused, adjusting his glasses.
"Keep reading," Marion sat under the tree. "You do it well. Every Christmas Eve we would finally hear the whole thing read, or sometimes see it acted out. I was always the only kid willing to be Herod when that happened, though."
"Try back in Matthew."
He frowned and pressed a button and the mini-terminal made a strange noise. "Stupid machine."
Lily yawned noisily. "It's too late for Grandma. I'll see you in the morning."
"I'm glad she's finally getting more sleep," Arcade said.
"Me too, and I think I'll follow her example. We ran into some Deathclaws on the way back, and I'm bushed."
Marion went into the main bedroom in the suite and undressed, changing into her pale pink sexy sleepwear. Arcade joined her a few hours later. Under ordinary circumstances he preferred to sleep bare, but sharing such close quarters required sleepwear, and fortunately the penthouse held a walk-in wardrobe full of Mr. House's old clothes, including his pajamas. Their pinkness bothered him a bit, but he couldn't be picky.
He was only asleep for a few hours before he was awakened by Lily ringing one of the service bells and shouting, "Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!"
"'Look at me, I'm giving out wings,'" Arcade muttered, still half-asleep.
Marion dragged herself out of bed, unintentionally letting the doctor see that she wore nothing underneath her nightie, and he thought that if he was interested in women, the sight of her like that would have woken him right up. But it only embarrassed him. Marion opened the door, revealing the Nightkin and her bell.
"Come on," Lily said, "It's Christmas!"
"Let me get dressed," Arcade asked.
"Don't bother! It's Christmas, the best time to go around in your jammies!"
He sighed and followed the Courier into the hall. Seconds later the others appeared, Cass and Veronica still in their underclothes. Boone was dressed, but lacked his shoes and shades. Raul was the only one fully dressed in his old Petro-Chico jumpsuit. Rex was stretched out on the floor.
"Merry Christmas," Marion said cheerfully.
"This could have waited 'til daylight," Cass muttered grouchily.
"Open yours first," Lily handed her a small, flat package.
Cass frowned and ripped the paper off her gift. "The Grapes of Wrath?"
"It's where your name comes from, dearie, but I should warn you that it's a very sad book."
"Oh, uh… thanks."
Lily thrust the lumpy parcel at Boone. "You're next, pumpkin. I hope it fits."
Boone did the impossible and made his face even more impassive as he unwrapped a sand-colored sweater.
"I don't see how you don't freeze to death in only that t-shirt," the Nightgown continued. 'Try it on for size."
Boone shed his beret for the two seconds it took him to put on the sweater over his white t-shirt. It was a little big for him, but Lily had already turned her attention to Veronica, presenting her with what he recognized as one of Mr. House's hat boxes.
The gift was in fact a hat, but not one of House's old fedoras or flight caps. It was an ornate woman's hat with a veil pinned to the front. Veronica squealed with delight.
"It even matches the dress! Thank you so much, Lily! This is great!" She carefully arranged the hat on top of her hair.
With the elegant hat, her bed-head, cami, and boy shorts, she looked absurd, but no one minded.
The next gift was for Rex: a Brahmin skull. He didn't seem to know what to do with it and barked at it a few times before flopping back down and staring at it. Intently.
Raul's gift was a cowboy hat; "so you don't get sunburned," Lily said, then seemed to realize that, being a ghoul, he wouldn't need to worry about the sun. However, he was quick to assure her that a hat was just what he needed.
She gave the bulkiest package to Arcade. "Dr. Henry said I could have these. I hope you like them; he seemed to think you would."
"Books!" Arcade exclaimed happily. "Wow… The Big Time, that's probably a novel, Commentaire by the real Julius Caesar, might be useful against him, an old medical journal, and ooh! Animal Farm! How did you know?"
"Grandmas know these things," Lily replied with a bone-crushing hug.
"Ow," Arcade moaned.
Marion quickly picked up her package. "It's heavy… did you get me a tombstone to go with my grave back in Goodsprings?"
Cass whupped her upside the head with her new copy of The Grapes of Wrath. "Very funny."
"All right, here goes," Marion ripped away the paper. "Whoa!"
It was a red lava lamp.
"My favorite color, too," she plugged it in, and everyone was mesmerized momentarily by the shapes that slowly formed and unformed themselves.
Raul produced a package, which he presented to Lily. "Here, thought you might like this."
It was a Mexican shawl, which Lily quickly replaced hers with, pinning her daisy to the new one.
"Thank you dear," she said. "It's very pretty. And just what I needed."
Marion looked around. "Is that everyone?"
"Seems to be," Cass said. "I'm going to go back to bed. Merry Christmas."
"Hmmf," Lily put one huge hand on Marion's shoulder. "We'll need to work on that one. But no matter- if she goes back to bed, she'll miss having milk and cookies for breakfast!"
"Milk?" Veronica asked.
The Courier smiled to herself, rocking back on her heels. "God bless us everyone."