295 – Uno Reverse
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Some time after running away from John and Yudi, but before Christmas Day.

Titor adjusted the straps on his fat suit and then checked the velcro on his Santa outfit. Next to him, Amadeus tugged on her short skirt and muttered, "I can't believe I'm doing this."

Titor glanced at her and shrugged. "You can stay home if you want."

"And let you go around doing some stupid and crazy things unchecked? No thanks. I'd rather not see you making headlines." Amadeus shook her head and then sighed. She adjusted her reindeer headband and fixed the fake red nose over her face. "Let's just get this over with."

Titor hefted the bag of presents over his left shoulder and nodded. "Alright. Remember, in and out. Not a single sound. Just like we always do."

Amadeus blinked. "What do you mean, just like we always do?"

Titor waggled his eyebrow.

Amadeus blinked again. And then she turned as red as her fake nose and swung her hand to slap Titor. "Pervert! Lecher! Dumbass!"

Titor laughed and ducked under the blow. "Hey now. Save that for the bedroom, Wifey."

Amadeus gnashed her teeth and then let out a deep sigh. "...Whatever." She looked around and said, "Seriously though. What's the plan? You can't seriously intend to be Santa Claus for everyone in Japan, do you?"

They were standing on the roof of their lab in Akihabara, barely visible beneath the night sky.

"I intend to ride you-"

"I will STAB YOU."

Titor chuckled and said, "Fine, fine. But no, not everyone." He placed his bag down on the roof and then opened it up. "You see, after the mess that's happened recently, a few people deserve an extra little bit of Christmas joy. We'll just be... let's say 'avatars' of Christmas spirit tonight. And then in the morning, we have fun costumes for John's Christmas party. Win, win. Right?"

Amadeus looked into the bag and scanned the items inside. And then she blinked and said, "Since when did you have time to go shopping?"

"I didn't." Titor closed the bag up and tossed it over his shoulder again. "The Incarnation System is useful for making things too, you know?"

"...John's going to get mad at you about that. Especially if it makes things get messed up."

Titor waved his hand. "Don't worry about it, Honey. All of this is within plausible deniability. And causality."

Amadeus sighed. "Just tell me what we're doing already, dumbass. I want to sleep."

"Alright. Then we'll get this over with and cuddle up for some fun times before heading over to John's place."

Amadeus glared at Titor.

Titor shrugged and then held up his left hand. As he did, snowflakes and blue sparks started to swirl. "Now, to sum things up... Since it's Christmas, I have a bit of leeway to use extra powers as long as it fits the 'story' of Old Saint Nick. And that power's even stronger if we follow his story and give gifts to good children. Of course, we don't have to go perfectly on script. Just giving presents in the dead of night should be enough."

"...If you were anyone else, I'd be worried about that phrasing." Amadeus muttered and shook her head.

Titor laughed and said, "Don't worry about it. Now... crouch down."

Amadeus froze. "W-What?"

Titor waved his hand and said, "Crouch down. Old Saint Nick has to ride his reindeer to deliver presents. Don't you know the story?"

Amadeus glared at Titor and said, "And Old Saint Nick is going to lose his di-"

"Okay! Geez." Titor muttered and said, "I just wanted a piggy back ride."

"O-Oh." Amadeus blushed and looked away. "W-Why didn't you say so? Idiot."

Titor blinked. "Wait. What did you think I-"

"NOTHING!" Amadeus turned a beet red and crouched down. "L-Let's just get going already!"

Titor blinked again and then grinned.

Amadeus glanced back at him and then looked away.

Titor chuckled and then walked over. Draping his arms around Amadeus's shoulders, he smiled and said, "Now, all you have to do is wait. Leave the rest to me."

"...Wait? Hold on. If I'm just-"

The two vanished in a gust of snow and wind. And...

-----AI|IA-----

"That's how I saved Christmas!" Titor laughed and sipped on a glass of eggnog. "With presents in hand, I rode my trusty Rudolph and delivered presents to all the good children in Japan! Well, and a few otakus who needed a pick me up. Mostly because it'd be a pain having to deal with potential isekai targets, you know? Gotta give a little bit of hope before Truck-kun suddenly becomes a lot more attractive than waifus to those guys."

John let out a deep sigh. "Of course you did."

Why was John not surprised? Instead of having a nice and quiet Christmas Eve with Amadeus after leaving last night, Titor went out to do some crazy shenanigans instead.

Seriously, was he that bad when he was younger? Or was this how he would have turned out if he didn't decide to be more serious about things?

Titor didn't have anyone to worry about except for himself and Amadeus went along with whatever he did, regardless of how or why...

Was this how things would have ended up if it was just him and Yue? If Alphy, Betty, and Meggie were never born?

Seeing Titor letting out a wide grin and laughing, John shook his head and glanced at Amadeus.

She was a bit reserved, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate while standing off to Titor's side. Matching him, she was still wearing that reindeer headband and Santa outfit.

John sighed again and then reached out to pat Amadeus's head. "I'm sorry for his shenanigans."

Amadeus flinched and stepped back. "I-It's fine. It wasn't that bad." She mumbled and then looked to the side, her face flushed red.

Titor noticed and then quickly butted in, sticking out his hands. "Oi oi oi! NTR is bad civ!"

John pulled his hand back and then flicked Titor's forehead. "Yeah, and so is spending that much time on the net. Seriously, you're talking just like Chat would on one of the girls' streams."

Titor rubbed his forehead and then huffed. "Geez, take a joke, man. It's Christmas!"

John nodded. "That's right. It's Christmas. So we're all here for wholesome happy vibes, not a cringe fest. That's in April. But anyway." John pulled out his phone to check the time.

It was around seven. Still early. But if they were going to do the Christmas party later, he should really get started on the prep.

Not to mention that there was the mess with Meggie and the others to sort out... And he needed to make some presents real quick too...

"Husband?" Yue called out from behind John and said, "Are you going to keep those two out there this entire time?"

John blinked and realized that he had done just that. Since opening the door for Titor and Amadeus, he had blocked them off and demanded an answer for the nonsense... which meant they had been standing like that at the doorway for a good ten minutes or so now.

He coughed and then stepped back. "Sorry, Yue."

Yue shook her head and then said, "Honestly. Even if that Titor is a dark mark on your past, you should not be so cold to him. After all, he is still family... vaguely."

Titor walked in with a huff. "Vaguely? I'm practically John's half- grk." Titor cut himself off when he noticed Yudi standing beside Yue.

Amadeus walked after him and frowned. "What? Is she really that bad off after-" She suddenly cut off too, seeing Yudi.

The old man chuckled, stroking his beard. "So this regal self was correct." His jade green eyes turned sharp. "You have deceived Us."

Titor started to sweat and he backed up. "H-Hey, John, bro-"

"Oh no you don't." John picked Titor up by the scruff of his coat and plopped him in front of Yudi. "You're the guy who pissed off the Jade Emperor. You deal with it."

Yudi glanced to Amadeus, his eyes still sharp.

She squeaked and then stood still. "U-U-Um...?"

"And you. We had sensed it, but it seems that you have fashioned yourself in the form of Our beloved daughter. To take both her form and voice..."

Amadeus started to tremble and looked at Titor.

Titor noticed and then grit his teeth, quickly standing up. "So what?" He pointed his finger at Yudi and said, "Jade Emperor or not, I'm not letting you do anything to my Waifu!" He threw off his fat suit and raised his hands up. "If you want to do anything, it'll have to be over my dead- Bwaha?!" Titor collapsed on the ground and then spun around to the person who hit him. "John?! The hell are you doing!?"

"Reflecting on my past self." John groaned and rubbed his face. "Holy crap. I get why you hated me now, Dad."

Yudi's eye twitched, but then he smirked. "Indeed. A bit of reflection reveals quite a bit of truth."

Titor paused and then looked up. Glancing at Yudi giving off a grandpa vibe, Yue shaking her head in exasperation, and John sighing, Titor blinked and said, "Alright. What the-"

Yue narrowed her eyes and said, "Curse again before my lovely daughter and you will regret it."

Titor flinched and said, "What the *heck* is going on?"

John smiled and held up a red card with two arrows spinning in a circle.

Titor stared at it. And then his face distorted in shock and anger. "You son of a-"

*ding*

A chime echoed in the distance, interrupting Titor.

"Hm?" John blinked and then peered out the door to see who was there. When he did, he saw a familiar face. But one he definitely wasn't expecting to see so early in the morning. Or at all, really.

"Yoohoo!" Jenny waved from the elevator, carrying a small bag filled with baby toys and clothing in her other hand. "Merry Christmas, Onii-chan! Can I see my cutiepie niece?"

John blinked again and then smiled. "Of course. Merry Christmas, Jenny." He stepped to the side, leaving the space open for her to walk in.

Titor noticed and glared at John. "What's with the difference in treatment?! She's the same type of person as me!"

John glanced at Titor and said, "First of all, you're wrong. Second of all, she isn't. And third of all, Jenny is a cute and adorable Aunt and a good role model, unlike the chuuni Uncle Titor over here."

"Hey! I'm responsible. I just work hard AND play hard!"

"Which is half the problem, all of the time. But anyway..." John glanced at his phone again and then nodded. "Guess I should round up the crew and set things up." He looked at Yue and said, "Are you fine with this rowdy bunch, Yue? Dad?"

Yue rolled her eyes and waved John off. "Go get things ready, Husband. We will be fine."

"Great." John nodded and said, "I'll be back soon. And Aurora, don't stress out your mommy."

"Ba."

Yue blinked and looked down at Aurora. "Huh?"

Aurora giggled and stuck out her tongue.

"...Hah." John shook his head and then left the room.

Now, to grab all the ingredients, make the gifts, round up the guests, and set the stage.

Maybe some good ol' Christmas carols, gift openings... Ooh, he should get some old fashioned camcorders too for the authentic Christmas experience...

Got the system down, now just working on getting the reps in to make updates more frequent.

Also, finished setting up my Patreon page. It's just the usual patreon url with /HappyVainGlory at the end if you're interested.

I won't be paywalling chapters or anything, but if you're desperate for breadcrumbs... or want to make comments on the WIP google doc drafts, you can do so for $1 a month. And for $5 a month, you also get the entire writing trove of stuff I had lying around that I'm too embarrassed to put out in public otherwise.

Okay, enough shilling. See you soon!

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