A Jonesy Kind of Christmas - A Halo Christmas submission
Posted By: Hedgemony<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 17 December 2009, 5:45 am
Hey guys, hope you like this quickly written piece of Christmas fluff. Do with it whatever you like. Cheers.
A Jonesy kind of Christmas.
"Anyone seen Jonesy?", said Private Dickens as he hurriedly walked about the mess hall of the Pillar of Autumn. For the last two days he had asked everyone he could find this question, some two or three times to the point of frustrating his crew mates.
"Try engineering." Nope, not in there.
"Try the cryo bays." Again no sign of Jonesy.
"Will you let it go, Dickens!"
No, I can't let it go thought Dickens as he headed towards the bridge.
No one really seemed that concerned. I guess being in the middle of a war didn't help, but Dickens had to find Jonesy. After all, it was Christmas. Wasn't this the time of year to celebrate with family and loved ones? With all creatures great and small? Sure, after a couple of days Jonesy would stroll back from whatever nook it called a bed as though it had never been away at all. Rubbing up against the legs of crew members, jumping onto the laps of the bridge officers and generally going about it's business. Blissfully unaware that the Covenant wanted them all dead or perhaps would most likely eat Jonesy as an entree.
Dickens washed the thought from his mind and approached the bridge, standing just outside of the entrance.
"You can't go in," said Private Moore. "If the Captain see's you here again he'll lock you up. Again."
"Oh, come on Clement. It's me, Charlie, the guy who makes you dinner and dinner for everyone else here. I need to speak to the Captain."
"I can't let you in," said Moore taking a step closer to Dickens. "Sorry, but I have my orders."
Dickens considered charging past, making a mad dash until he got to Captain Keyes. They'll shoot me dead, he thought. Yeah, not too bright of an idea really is it?
"So, ah, Dickens? Are you making apple pie this year?"
"No, I decided on mince tarts this year," he replied, still scheming of a way to get to talk to the Captain. "I'm a bit short on apples this trip."
"But you do have enough to make at least one pie, yeah?"
"What are you asking me Clement?"
Dickens kept his eyes on the bridge door, hoping to sneak a peek inside. Maybe I could wave to Keyes and he'll call me in...
"Well, I could pass on a message to the Captain in exchange for, you know..."
"I'll make you the best pie anyone has ever tasted since they invented baking."
"Okay," said Moore, his face beaming with a wide grin at the thought of a taste from Earth. "What do you want me to ask?"
Dickens waited and waited for what felt to him like an hour, pacing backwards and forwards awaiting the return of Moore. Until finally, he appeared and not too happy judging by the expression on his face. Dickens sheepishly approached Moore, anticipating the bad news he surely had for him.
"Well? Well? How'd you go?"
Moore took a deep breath, adjusted his helmet and wiped seat from his forehead. Finally, after settling his nerves he said, "Good, I guess. Looks like when I finish guard duty I'm cleaning the flight deck."
"And he asked why he should have the ship's AI do a complete sweep of the ship." Moore took another deep breath in.
"To find Jonesy." said Dickens.
"Yes, to find a cat."
"Well..?" Dickens stared at Moore who shot him a look of 'What do you think?' As far as he could tell he'd have to go back to pestering the crew or putting up more posters. Maybe even ask one of those Spartans to help him look. Apparently they can do anything and everything. Finding a cat should be easy for them if the press, as well as the whispers on board the Pillar of Autumn were any indication.
"Thanks anyway Clement and sorry I got you into trouble."
Dickens went to wrap his arms around Moore but thought better of it when he saw Moore's fingers increase their grip on the AR rifle he was carrying. Moores fingers relaxed as Dickens stepped back.
"Oh, it's okay Charlie. For a reminder of my mother's home baked pie it's worth it. Anyway, the Captain said to tell you to get back on duty and don't worry about Jonesy. He'll turn up."
Dickens returned to the mess hall, fed the crew and cleaned up until everything was spotless. The entire room was full tonight with laughter and celebration, an hour or two of just forgetting that at any moment they may be fighting for their lives. Even the ODST's were in fine singing voice, belting out dirty Christmas songs just to amuse everyone. Just like back home he thought, everyone he cared about in the one room enjoying the holiday. But that was before the Covenant wiped his family from existence, his mother, sister and Feist, the family cat.
Dickens ran to the oven, put on his mits and opened the door removing an apple pie he had promised to Private Moore. It was perfect in every way from the crimps in the golden brown pastry to the smell that flooded his nostrils.
"Perfect', he said aloud in appreciation of his own culinary prowess.
"I'll be the judge of that," barked a familiar voice from behind Dickens.
"Sarge, sir!" Dickens stood to attention, oven mits out with a pie presented before him.
"That's Gunnery Sergeant Stacker to you, son. Now give me that pie."
Stacker put out his hand and took the pie from Dickens. "I should report you for holding out on us. But I won't. Because it's Christmas. Now I'm going to do you a favor and take this delicious pie with me before someone else less forgiving than myself comes along and does report you."
"Sir, thank you sir!", Dickens yelled as he pointed to a tray filled with forks situated behind Stacker. Stacker walked away but not before reaching into the tray.
Once Stacker had left the room, Dickens relaxed his body, reopened the oven and removed a second apple pie. He smiled, knowing that Private Moore was going to get his slice of home tonight after all.
Captain Jacob Keyes looked at the photo of his daughter, Miranda, framed and taking pride of place on his desk and wondered what she was eating for Christmas dinner. The toughest part was not being able to send a transmission to her, even to find out if she had opened the present he left behind for her. Another reason to hate the Covenant he thought as the door opened to his quarters.
"Are you ready for some good old fashion Earth tradition Captain?" It was Sgt. Pete Stacker, carrying two forks and one fresh from the oven apple pie.
"Do you think Private Moore will be unhappy by this little development," Keyes said trying to hide his full smile.
"Now that depends on how good this pie really is, doesn't it Captain."
Stacker handed a fork to Keyes and together they ate the pie. Not a word said until the last mouthful had been savored and washed down with brandy. Stacker was the first to break the silence.
"Now that was a damn fine pie. Moore is going to hate it when I tell him."
Keyes laughed, knowing that Stacker would tell Moore and give him a full description of every bite. "By the way sir, I'd like to thank you for looking after Jonesy."
Jonesy, hearing it's name, raised it's head from where it had been sleeping on a chair in the corner of Keye's room. Jonesy looked around the room, noticed nothing particulary exciting and went back to sleep.
"My pleasure", replied Keyes. "At least we know where he is in all this recent chaos."
Stacker rose from his chair, took the plate and cutlery from Keye's desk and moved to the door. Turning back to Keyes he said, "Have a good Christmas, sir. And you too Jonesy."
"Merry Christmas Pete."