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Jay and Acacia

(to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

You know Dafydd and Ilraen and Bulldog and Barid

Tawaki and Cupid and Gremlin and Makes-Things

But do you recall the most famous agents of all?

Dafydd Ilraen cocks his head. "Well. Pleased though I am to make the top ten, I have to admit I haven't heard of half of the other 'famous agents' on this list." He smiles fleetingly. "Perhaps that just means I have an enduring legacy? Though not, of course, as enduring as…"

Ja-a-ay and Acacia

Killed themselves a lot of Sues

"Yes. Them."

But if you ever asked them

They might say it wasn’t true

"I'm not at all sure they-"

All of the nasty Flowers

Tried to take away their pay

"I don't recall that ever-"

But brave Jay and Acacia

Continued to save the day!

Dafydd reaches out and hits pause. "The trouble with this song is that it's entirely too fast. How am I supposed to talk about it when I can't get a word in edgeways?"

He shakes his head and looks at the computer disapprovingly. "Anyway. This song clearly takes some liberties with history, but as my first series of Ardolindi showed, that's hardly unusual. Presenting Agents Thorntree and Byrd as self-effacing, put-upon heroes is no worse than trying to paint my father as a hero." He leans over and pushes the button again.

Then one badfic in Loh-tee-ar

Drove them quite insane

Boromir was kissing Sues

Legolas suddenly turned gay!

Pause. "So far as I'm aware, this doesn't describe an actual mission undertaken by Jay and Acacia." Dafydd shrugs. "Though, honestly, despite their fame as the first report-writers, they had a lot of missions they never wrote down. So maybe it's true?" He smiles into the camera. "At the least, Acacia's… fondness for Boromir is well known."

So then Jay and Acacia

Decided to run away

Pause. "And ultimately, that's true." The elf gestures at the house around him. "Like many of us, the legendary Assassins realised that the stress, the heartache, the dangers of the job had begun to outweigh the benefits."

His lip quirks in a half-smile. "Perhaps we're all just getting older." Then he laughs. "Well, not me, obviously. But the other retirees. With age comes maturity, purportedly."

He shrugs again and looks at the screen. "Ultimately, the accuracy or otherwise of this song isn't the important thing. The most significant thing about it is that it's a PPC christmas carol. Back when I did the Duty, I listened to HQ-written songs on missions, and I am… inordinately pleased to know that they are still being written, despite all the changes in those grey halls."

Dafydd leans back and stretches. "Christmas," he says firmly, "is one mortal tradition I'm happy to adopt. I'm Dafydd Illian, this has been Ardolindi… and merry Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, and any other holiday you care to commemorate."

The moral of this story

Is agents should really get paid!

"Saturnalia? Really?"

Dafydd looked puzzled. "Did I pronounce it wrong?"

Constance rolled her eyes. "No, you didn't pronounce it wrong. But you don't list the ancient Roman orgy-festival in your christmas sign-off!"

"Actually there weren't that many orgies." Dafydd leant back in his chair and drummed his fingers on the arm. "I don't see why not. Chanukah is just as old, and I don't hear you complaining about that."

Constance hung a tiny glass harp on the tree and reached back into the box. "That's because it's still celebrated, Dafydd. I realise you don't like to admit that time actually passes, but-"

"Not there," Dafydd interrupted as she tried to hang a faceted bauble next to the harp. "You'll unbalance the whole layout."

"Critic," Constance mumbled, but obediently shuffled round the tree. "You know Oleander's just going to pull them all down again."

"It's the thought that counts." Dafydd stood up, crossed to the fireplace, and prodded the heap of logs with a poker. "Do we still have any of those powdered metals, to change the colour of the flames?"

"If not, I'm sure you can make some more." Constance rummaged through the box of decorations and pulled out a battered wooden horse. "Aha." She frowned and held it up. "Speaking of which… did you call me old?"

Dafydd hesitated. "I think I said mature."

"You said old." Constance pointed the horse's nose at him. "You, Mister I've-Lost-Count-Of-The-Millennia, do not get to call people old."

"Well, I'm not mortal- wait, no-"

Constance snorted. "For that, you get to finish decorating the tree. This little old lady is going to bed - and you are not invited."

Dafydd managed to look more contrite and guilty than he ever had before. "You are still as young as ever," he said in a small voice, "and fairer by far than when I first knew you; please accept this rash fool's most heartfelt apology."

Constance gave him a long, level look, then sighed and held out her hand. "All right," she said, "the tree can wait. Are you going to apologise properly?"

Dafydd hung the poker back on its hook. "I thought I wasn't invited."

Constance poked out her tongue at him. "Don't make me come over there…"

Disclaimer: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written by Johnny Marks; the filk was written by Iximaz. Middle-earth and everything in it was created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The PPC is the work of Jay and Acacia. Dafydd and his family belong to me and Kaitlyn.

Author's Note: Midwinter is also the Feast of the Unconquered Sun; apparently that one never made its way up to Wales for Dafydd to hear about it.

Every December, the PPC Board does a Holiday Filk Game, courtesy of Neshomeh. It's been going on for many, many years now, and is always fun to watch. This year, I decided to get Ardolindi in on the action. Iximaz's contribution was chosen because everyone knows the tune, and because it's the most Middle-earth-y (this is ARDOlindi, after all!).

Merry Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, one and all!