A Fushigi Yuugi Christmas Carol
Chapter Three- The Second of the Three Spirits

Tamahome was awaken this time by the loud gong of his clock as it struck two. He sat up, wondering about the next spirit, and clung to the covers in fear,f or he did not wish to be surprised this time.
“Tamahome!” boomed a voice suddenly from outside of the curtains of his canopy bed, startling Tamahome anyway. He very slowly raised a trembling hand to part the curtains, and immediately saw light. The whole room was lit up with bright candles and holly berries and mistletoe and ivy. On the floor lie a huge feasts with every kind of meat imaginable and fruits and breads and bunches of food. In the center of the floor sat the Spirit. She was very beautiful and had long, shiny purple hair in an intricate braid. She wore a large velvet robe lined with white fur.
“Come in! Come in and know me better, man!” the Spirit beckoned to Tamahome. Tamahome timidly entered, for being very beautiful, she was also very intimidating.
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Present!” said the Spirit, “Look upon me!”
And Tamahome did, being a man of course. But as he was *ahem* looking upon the Ghost, he noticed something wrong. The robe was loosely fit, and hung down, revealing wash-board abs.
“Why, you’re a man!” Tamahome cried, almost horrified that he’d been checking out someone of the same sex.
The Spirit rolled his eyes, “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
“But...but you’re so beautiful!”
The Ghost of Christmas Present smiled, “Really? You really think so?
Tamahome sweat dropped and the Ghost went on, “You have never seen the likes of me before.”
“Yeah, really.” Tamahome muttered, avoiding the Ghost’s eyes.
“Hey,” the Spirit, normally seeming jolly, began to get angry, “I don’t wanna hear any cross-dressing jokes, got it?”
The Ghost was still very intimidating, Tamahome decided, and nodded quickly.
The Ghost of Christmas Present rose from his spot on the floor, “Touch my robe.”
Tamahome did as the Ghost said, but muttered under his breath, “Do ghosts just have a thing for me or something?”
The Ghost shot a glare at him, “That wasn’t a come on, you ass. I prefer tall, black haired swordsmen, usually in a royal family or something.”
The Spirit got all dreamy eyed, thinking of someone who looked an awful lot like Tamahome’s old colleague, Hotohori.....Tamahome sweat dropped, and the Spirit snapped out of his reverie.
As soon as Tamahome took hold of the Spirit’s robe, the room vanished, the food, the bed, the lights, everything. They appeared the e next second out on the cold, snowy streets again, in front of a small, old house. They peered into the window and Tamahome exclaimed, “Why, this is the house of my clerk!”
The Ghost nodded and gestured for Tamahome to keep watching.
They could see inside the small house a women, Suboshi’s wife, hurrying around the kitchen, preparing dinner and attending to many children running around. Suboshi’s wife, Yui, was young and beautiful, but looked tired and stressed.
“What is keeping your father?” she asked the children.
“He is at church with Tiny Tetseya,” all the children answered.
“Well! Never mind so long as he comes,” Yui sighed, wiping her hands off on her apron, “come, and sit down by the fire, my dears, and be warm.”
All the children and Yui sat around the fire, and in came Suboshi suddenly, with his son, Tiny Tetseya, on his shoulders. In Tiny Tetseya’s hand was a small crutch, for he was crippled.
“Merry Christmas Eve!” Suboshi announced, sitting down by his wife on the couch and setting Tiny Tetseya on his knee.
“Merry Christmas Eve, dear. How did Tiny Tetseya behave?” Yui asked
“He was as good as gold and better.” Suboshi smiled dreamily as Yui.
Yui looked unnerved and a bit disgusted by having Suboshi stare at her so. She looked up towards the sky and asked in an annoyed voice, “I did *not* agree to this, you know. How could you make *him* my husband?!”
{Sorry, Yui. It was the only was he’d agree to be Bob Cratchit. We made him Cratchit for Tamahome, so he could push him around.} the author said apologetically. Yui seemed unhappy with this, but turned back to Suboshi.
“What a good son we have,” she smiled fakely.
“God bless us, everyone!” came a happy cry from Tiny Tetseya.
{Uh...Tetseya, it’s not your line yet.}
Tiny Tetseya looked embarrassed, “Oops. Sorry.”
“Yeah...” Suboshi was still staring dreamily at his beloved Yui-sama, “hey! I’ve got an idea! Why don’t we all just go to bed!”
Yui made a disgusted face, “Uh...but dear, we haven’t eaten dinner yet, heh heh.”
Suboshi looked disappointed, “Oh. Well, okay then. Let’s have Christmas Eve dinner.”
As the family got up to sit around the table, Tamahome turned to the Spirit, “Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tetseya will live?”
“I see a vacant seat,” the Ghost replied sadly, “in the corner of the room, and a crutch with no owner. Unless these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”
“No, no!” Tamahome cried sadly, “Oh, no, kind spirit, say he will be spared!”
“There is nothing I can do unless the Future is unaltered,” the Spirit told him. Tamahome hung his head, then turned back to the window, where the family was sitting around the table eating dinner.
“To Mr. Tamahome, the founder of this feast!” Suboshi announced, raising his glass.
“Founder of the feast, indeed,” Yui huffed, “I wish I had him here so I could give him a piece of my mind to feast on.”
“My dear, the children!”
“It should be Christmas Day I’m sure to such an unfeeling man as Mr. Tamahome. You know he is, Suboshi. You know it better than anyone.” Yui went on. Suboshi started to defend his boss, but exclaimed, “Why *am* I defending him? He *is* unfeeling and mean! I don’t like him!”
{You wanna be out of a job, Suboshi?}
“Yeah! Why do I have to be calling him a mean old ogre1? I like Tamahome!”
Yui agreed, “you got our characters a little mixed up.”
{Look, Cratchit is nice to Scrooge because he doesn’t want to be out of a job. Mrs. Cratchit doesn’t have to kiss Scrooge’s butt because he can’t do anything to her. Just go with it, ‘kay?}
They both looked mad, but didn’t say anything else.
“God bless us, everyone!”
{Not yet Tetseya.}
“Damnit! I mean, er, dag blast it!”
“Please dear, the Children. Christmas Day,” Suboshi pleaded with his wife.
“I’ll drink to his health for your sake, and for the day’s. Long life to him, and very merry Christmas.”
“A very merry Christmas to us all, indeed,” Suboshi smiled.
“And God bless us, everyone,” Tiny Tetseya said, with perfect timing and everything. {Bravo, Tetseya!}
Suboshi looked at Yui accusingly and asked softly so the children couldn’t hear, “Are you sure he’s mine? He looks an awful lot like...”
“What ever are you talking about dear pass the gravy,” Yui said quickly.
“I want a beer!” piped up the other son, Keisuke.
Tamahome was looking at him feet forlornly, “Spirit, this makes me very grave. I wish to see no more.”
Tamahome looked up for the Spirit, but he was gone, and soon, so were his surroundings. He appeared suddenly in his bed, and didn’t have time to fall asleep, for the clock struck three, and a hooded Phantom approached Tamahome.

1 Please ignore the pun.

Onto Chapter Four: The Last of the Three Spirits!