Santa's Little Helpers
by Smitty

"I really appreciate you coming with me," Zatanna Zatarra said sweetly as she tramped over the powdery North Pole snow.

"Bleedin' elves can't get their toys made on time," John Constantine muttered, cupping his hands around the tiny flame he was trying to use to light his Silk Cut. "No reason to put ME out just 'cause they can't meet a deadline."

"Don't be like that," Zatanna scolded, her hands buried deep in the white muff that matched the trim on her winter cloak. "You know it's been a tough year, with all the kids wanting their parents back home for Christmas."

John stopped short.

"You're tellin' me Santa Claus is responsible for that?"

"Live and learn, John," Zatanna said serenely, heading toward the little house puffing smoke merrily from its chimney. "Bloody cold up here," John grumbled, hunching his shoulders against the wind as he followed Zatanna. "Couldn't have gotten us any closer?"

"You know it spooks the reindeer, John."

"They're bloody magic reindeer! If they can't deal with a little magical transport now and again--"

Zatanna turned as John cut himself off and watched him lift his foot and examine his shoe.

"John? What's wrong?"

"Bloody reindeer!"

Author's Notes: Zatanna alluded to a relationship (or at least a shared Tantric Sex Seminar) with John Constantine in one of the Alan Moore issues of Swamp Thing. The Kingdom Come Zatara was intended to be their child. Thank you, Mark Waid.

Ralph Dibney/Sue Dibney: Christmas Shopping Blues

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