"Mission HQ, Ocean elf speaking."
"Good morning, Ocean Elf,"
Ben chuckled at the warm welcome, then asked, How is your father doing?"
"He's out of the hospital, and doing well! Thanks for asking!" the elf said happily.
"That is great news! And how are you doing?"
"Just fine. As long as my loved ones are, I am." said Ocean.
"Haven't been sick, don't feel like you'll get sick or anything?"
"No." Then something clicked. "Am I needed?"
"Yes. Elissa is driving everyone up the wall with her attitude."
"Yes. It's 'us elves' this, 'we elves' that, she really thinks she's a rung above the rest of us for being an elf."
Ben didn't see Ocean grimace and scowl, but the indignation was clearly heard in her voice.
"Oh, she needs a reality check, because that is bull!"
"Thank you, Ocean, I thought you might say that."
"You're welcome. So, when would you like me to come?"
"Great. I'll be there as soon as I can."
It was Saturday, so Elissa and Felicity got to sleep in. They were blissfully unaware of Ocean's arrival and the welcoming commotion it caused.
A nock was followed up with "Let - me in, it's freezing cold out! Fa-la-la-la-lah, la-lah, lah, lah!"
"Ocean." Shmi chuckled, and got up to let the elf in.
"Shmi!" Ocean threw her arms around her.
"Oh, I missed you!" Shmi said.
And that was only the first of several hugs.
Once everyone was through at the entrance, they ushered Ocean into the general visiting area and offered her some refreshments.
So, they caught up on all the news, and the subject of Elissa came up. Ocean heard about how Elissa took over for Beru and then tooted her own horn over it when everyone said how delicious that meal was.
"I'll have to get you to help me out instead if she volunteers again," Beru said to Ocean.
"And then I'll try not to taste too much of whatever we're making." Ocean said back with a grin.
"Ocey!" Felicity exclaimed, coming out into the visiting area.
Ocean got up and embraced Felicity. "Oh, I missed you!" she said.
"I missed you too! So you really don't think you're better than us because you're an elf, right?"
"Of course not, Felicity!" said Ocean reassuringly, "You know that." She patted Felicity's shoulder, and then the two took their seats.
Felicity blew out a relieved breath. "It's just that Elissa says you think you are better than us even if you don't come out and say it.
"Wait, what?" Ocean suddenly stiffened. "She actually said I thought - "
"We didn't mean for you to find out this abruptly," said Sheev, "but she told Felicity that some time last night."
Ocean fumed silently for a few moments, then said, "If that's what she said, it is a big lie. What exactly is she trying to accomplish with this crap anyway?"
"If she didn't come from Santa's, my guess is that she'd be trying to scare us into submission to her and maybe someone else she might be working for," said Shmi, "but I think she just wants to be important."
"Ugh." said Ocean.
A while later when Elissa was up, being introduced to Ocean disconcerted her. Ocean was not rude or nasty toward her in any way, but neither was she as adoring as the others had been on first meeting Elissa.
Felicity often refused help from Elissa that day. Beru had nothing she needed help with either.
The one person who accepted Elissa's help that day was Shmi, who still had work to do on the carvings she was making as a Christmas present for Felicity.
"What's that on the counter?" Elissa wanted to know.
It was a small gift-wrapped box. Elissa picked it up to examine it more closely, without asking Shmi's permission first. And it was to her own regret. The words ""Merry Christmas Ocean Elf, Love, Shmi" were written on one side.
"That's a small set of figures. One of myself, the other of Felicity that Ocean asked me to make for her. The rest are for Felicity."
Elissa grimaced, and put the gift down. "Maybe you could make a figure of me for her as well." Elissa suggested.
"Or, you could," Shmi replied."
Elissa brightened up. "That's a great idea! I think I will!" Then she remembered something else. "Did you make a figurine of Ocean Whatsherface already?"
"Ocean Elf." Shmi corrected quietly, "and yes. She is among the others that are finished."
"Wow, let's see if I can pick her out." Elissa said gleefully.
"No, I think it's best you get to work carving your own likeness. Then you can get to work on those unfinished ones there." Shmi said.
Elissa agreed, and set to work.
While Elissa became engrossed in her work, Shmi took Ocean's gift, then found the figure she had made of Ocean for Felicity. She took those and put them in her pocket, planning to take them to her room so Elissa couldn't get her hands on them.
That afternoon was more relaxing than those of the past week or so, with Elissa occupied helping Shmi, leaving Ocean to spend time with Felicity and the others. But Ocean still came into the workshop to visit with Shmi as well.
Dinner time came, and Elissa darted in front of Owen to dish up a plate for herself.
"Hey, you little jawa," said Owen, "I was here first."
"I'm not a jawa," Elissa retorted, "I'm a hard-working elf, and I'm famished."
"Well, if you want to play that game," said Owen, "I've been working hard all day, along with Luke and Mr. Wick and some others on our new home. Can you top that?"
For once, Elissa was at a loss for words. But she wasn't out of tricks.
Elissa suddenly seemed to be having trouble deciding what she wanted to eat. She went back and forth, looking at this, nearly helping herself to that, then changing her mind again.
It was really bugging Owen, who heaved a sigh behind her.
Elissa couldn't help the naughty snicker that escaped her, and grinned impishly.
Sheev saw this whole thing, and he frowned at Elissa.
Owen finally gave up waiting. He planned to get his dinner when Elissa was sitting down to eat.
Others who had seen what went on, also decided to wait.
Elissa still seemed to linger when Ocean came up behind her. "Hey you," she half whispered menacingly, "make way."
"And if I don't?" Elissa countered with a wicked grin.
Ocean got in front of her and seized the plate which was half filled with food.
"Ocean...!" said Yoda, raising his eyebrows at her.
"Hey, give that back!" Elissa protested.
"Sorry, Yoda," Ocean replied ruefully, "but Felicity's waiting for her share." She began quickly dishing up the rest, making sure to put foods she knew Felicity liked in the plate.
"And why the hurry to get Felicity's supper anyway?" Elissa asked. "What's she done today? Just sit around?" Elissa retorted. "I earned this, besides, I should get first dibs, being a Christmas elf."
Ocean glared and reached down to give Elissa's hair a yank.
"All right you two, cool it!" Ben admonished. "I'll dish up for everyone, so just go find a place to sit."
Ocean nodded and moved off to give Felicity her plate.
"I'm the one who's supposed to be helping Felicity now, not you!" Elissa snapped at Ocean.
"Elissa!" said Shmi disapprovingly, "Don't talk to Ocean like that again, and I suggest you apologize."
"She's the one who started it and - "
"Enough!" Shmi warned "If you didn't deliberately try to see how long you could make us wait for you to get your food, this wouldn't have happened.".
"Fine! Fine! Fine!" Elissa snapped quickly, more than a little perturbed.
"Oh, shut up!" Ocean snapped back..
"I said that's enough!" Shmi repeated.
"Sorry, Shmi," Ocean said quietly, "she's getting on my last nerve."
Elissa slowly moved off and had to wait patiently for her food. She ended up being served last. She responded to this indignity by scowling.
"What is the matter? Don't you want it now?" Ben asked in as innocent a tone as he could manage.
"Yeah." Elissa muttered.
Luke couldn't help snickering at this.
"Of course," Ben grinned, "I could always serve you root leaf stew."
Elissa recoiled. "Ew! No!"
Ocean winced in agreement.
Ocean stuck her tongue out at him.
"That's really disrespectful to a Jedi master, you know," Elissa admonished her sarcastically through a mouthful of meatball..
"Oh, and stuffing your mouth right before talking isn't?" Ocean countered.
"All in fun she does it, Elissa," Yoda said, "No offense do I take coming from this good friend."
"Thanks." Ocean said with a warm smile.
"Still, you should know better." Elissa said.
Ocean opened her mouth to make a retort, but Ben cut in with, "Never mind, Ocean,, just eat up. Elissa, if you don't stop this rude behavior, I will do something that should no longer need to be done to someone your age - put you in a time-out."
That comment caused Felicity to laugh so she choked on some pasta.
Ocean thumped her on the back between the shoulder blades.
Elissa glared indignantly at Ben, then resumed eating.
Things should have settled down for the remainder of the day, but they did not.
Elissa followed the sound of piano music to the music room, where she discovered Ocean playing "Silent Night" without any music sheets or books in front of her. Much as Ocean made her uncomfortable, she had to admit to herself this was a nice arrangement of the song.
Elissa's applauding startled Ocean when the song was through. The musician turned in the direction of the sound and blushed. "I didn't know I had an audience."
"That was great, where did you come up with it?"
"From a Simon And Garfunkel track." came the answer.
"All by ear or did you memorize it after learning the score?"
"By ear." came the response.
"That's interesting. I wonder if there is a S&G version in sheet music."
"So did you learn it from Mp3 or cd?" Elissa asked.
"Neat. So have you got any favorite music you play?"
"Can I hear it?"
Ocean winced and began to study the keyboard as of she couldn't decide what to play next.
"You don't like to talk about yourself much, do you?" Elissa probed.
Ocean shook her head, then suddenly straightened up. "I've got one." she said.
It was the Worksong from "Les Mis" A completely different feel from "Silent Night"
Elissa winced, startled by Ocean banging out the first chord.
It was a dark piece, although very rhythmic, it was full of sudden accents, and what soft passages there were, sounded extremely uneasy. They were always followed up by sterner ones that hinted at some strong rage constrained only by the moderate tempo.
Elissa clapped again at the end, and Ocean put the piano lid down.
"Does anyone else play piano here?"
"It's possible," said Ocean, "Sheev plays violin, and Felicity plays flute."
"Well, at least with the piano, you can accompany yourself." said Elissa.
"But flute sounds fine on its own too, and so does Sheev's violin playing." said Ocean.
"You could beat them hands down I'm sure." said Elissa.
"No, I could not." said Ocean a little sternly. "I found violin extremely difficult, and am self-taught on the flute and I haven't picked one up in decades. So I've forgotten most of what I learned."
"But you're a musician, and if you are an elf, that would also put you at a distinct advantage."
Ocean quickly rose up from the piano bench and whirled to confront Elissa. Her face was crimson with anger. "And just what gives you that idea?" she rounded on Elissa.
Badly startled, the smaller elf shuddered and looked as if she'd like to back up and imbed herself into her seat. Her mouth hung open for a moment, until she finally had something to say. "Well, you are, aren't you? So naturally things would come easier to you than them."
"Wrong!" Ocean snapped, marching off the stage and advancing toward Elissa.
"Come on, Ocean, it makes a difference and you know it."
"First of all, you don't know if I am an elf or not, Elissa, and second, you shouldn't care, and third, that has nothing to do with me having perfect pitch, or being able to memorize music. That's like saying only Jedi meditate."
"I didn't say only elves have perfect pitch, I just said they learn things faster." Elissa retorted.
"Ugh!" Ocean exclaimed, exasperated. "This is exactly why I didn't want to play for you! This is why I'm sorry you heard me play 'Silent Night'! You have some nerve - "
"There was nothing wrong with that piece, Ocean!" Elissa said.
"I do not want to hear that from you!" Ocean shouted.
"Why the heck not? It's true." Elissa said.
"Okay let's talk about truth for a minute." said Ocean irritably. "The truth is you are stuck up,"
"What!?" cried Elissa indignantly. "I am not!"
Ocean continued. "And you assumed I should have the same attitude because I - " Even now, she was determined not to give anything about herself away to Elissa, "because you believe I'm something special along with you. The truth is you know nothing of who I am and you have an inflated opinion of yourself."
Sheev thought he heard someone playing earlier when he was making his rounds before bed. He hadn't heard Ocean play "Silent Night" before, so thought it might be her, or perhaps Elissa. When Sheev made his way back around to the music room again, he thought he heard voices raised in some kind of argument. As he drew closer, he thought he recognized them to be Elissa's and Ocean's. He quickened his step.
"Why won't you admit you're an elf?" Elissa asked Ocean.
"Like I said, you know nothing of me." Ocean repeated.
"Shmi called you 'Ocean Elf' when she mentioned you to me in her shop today, so - "
"And a padawan told me you are an elf, so it's no use denying it." said Elissa.
"None of that should matter to you, Elissa;" said Ocean. "do you just go around asking people what they are all the time? Talk about needing some kind of life."
"I can't believe I'm hearing this!" Elissa scolded incredulously. "Ocean, you should be proud of who you are!"
The argument continued growing in intensity when Sheev reached the vicinity of the music room, and then finally the room itself.
"You know what?" Ocean said ruefully, "I was never proud or ashamed of that. I hadn't even thought of it until my new friends found out and thought it was neat to have an elf as a friend. Strangers and acquaintances call me Ocean. My good friends call me Elf, and up until now, that has been a term of endearment."
"There, you see?" Elissa exulted. "Awesome!"
"Awesome nothing!" Ocean shouted. "You've just gone and ruined everything! You've annoyed everyone and nearly caused a little girl to doubt me as a friend!"
"Ocean, you are being ridiculous!" Elissa said incredulously.
"Am I?" Ocean countered. I was appalled just hearing about your stinking attitude during a phone call last night - "
"Who called you!?" Elissa, suddenly on the defensive, demanded to know.
"That is none of your business!" came the cool reply.
"The heck it isn't!" Elissa shot back angrily. "Who was it? They'll go on the naughty list for badmouthing me!"
Ocean rolled her eyes. "The point is, that person was definitely not impressed! And from what I saw of your conduct today, you deserve it! The reason I wouldn't tell you about myself is because of your freaking obsession, and your superiority complex over this! You actually make me feel ashamed about who I am!" Ocean was near tears. "I'm surprised my friends could even want me back after all this crap you've dished out! I'm afraid if I screw up, I will get chucked out on my ear because of who knows what you've all said and done!"
Sheev could now make out the conversation, and he flinched in sympathy for Ocean.
Ocean continued raging. "And that lie you told Felicity!" she snarled.
"I never lied!" Elissa objected.
Ocean seized her by the hair. "You - lied!" she spat.
"Ouch! About what!?" Elissa cried out and tried to free herself.
"You actually told Felicity that I thought I was better than her because I'm an elf - now TAKE THAT BACK!"
Ocean's distress still didn't seem to register with Elissa, who shook her head.
Sheev quietly entered. Neither elf noticed him, they were too intent on each other.
"I didn't say better than just her," Elissa said, in a very bad attempt to dissuade Ocean's wrath.
"Take it back!" Ocean demanded.
""I wasn't putting her down - "
"Take - it - back!"
"I said better than everybody - "
"Lies! Lies!" Ocean screamed, delivering a couple of forceful slaps to Elissa's cheeks.
Elissa squealed and put up her hands to defend herself.
Ocean now fell to shaking Elissa silly as she snarled. "Don't - you - EVER - "
"ENOUGH, YOU TWO!" Sheev bellowed, hurrying toward them. "Ocean! Elissa! Break it up!" He took hold of both elves, one arm in each hand, and pried them apart.
The two looked at him with the exact same terrified wide-eyed stare. The "Oh, no, I'm in deep crap!" look.
"Now..." Sheev began in a quieter but no less firm tone, "What's this all about?"
Neither elf replied, and only kept staring ahead. But Sheev felt Ocean trembling in his grip.
"Elissa?" Sheev prompted.
"I praised her playing and she just flipped out!" Elissa replied.
Ocean hissed and rolled her eyes.
"Ocean?" Sheev prompted.
Too upset to articulate herself, Ocean clammed up and remained silent.
"Honestly," said Elissa, "I was just being nice to her and - "
"I didn't ask you to!" Ocean shouted back, looking daggers at Elissa.
"Elf," Sheev said, putting a hand on Ocean's head, "Look away. Look away." With this gentle persuasion and trying to guide her stare away from Elissa, Sheev got Ocean to turn stiffly away so that her glare was directed harmlessly out a window.
Losing the battle to hold back tears, Ocean wrenched herself free from Sheev and bolted out the door.
"What a case." Elissa muttered.
"Elissa," said Sheev, "I heard enough of your quarrel to know Ocean didn't just flip out over nothing."
"She hit me. I call that flipping out." Elissa objected.
"If that had been Luke you insulted, he probably would have brandished his light saber."
"But I didn't insult Ocean." Elissa protested. "I paid her a compliment."
"That you liked her music is irrelevant." Sheev explained. "It is everything else you've said and done that has been grating on all our nerves. Oceans, apparently more than we originally thought. Elissa, her nerves are already raw from her father being in hospital due to a very nasty viral infection. You have caused Felicity to doubt her friendship, and I see you have also caused Ocean to doubt ours. That is not okay."
"I never said anything to her about you." Elissa retorted.
"Elissa...! Did you not hear what I just said?" Sheev said sternly, giving her a slight shake. "Ocean's father is in hospital...!"
Finally Elissa lowered her head and looked away. "Sorry." she muttered.
"You should be." Sheev said a little more gently. "She does not need an unwarranted fear of rejection from us adding to that." Now, I think it's best you have as little to do with Ocean as possible until you think this over and are ready to make a sincere apology to Felicity and to her for this conniving behavior."
"I wasn't conniving, I was just stating facts."
"No, Elissa, you were stating your opinion. You went way out of line by implying to Felicity that Ocean had a similar attitude to yours. You have seen for yourself that is simply not true. Correct?"
Elissa had to admit Sheev was right. She responded with a weak nod.
"Whether you actually meant to badmouth Ocean to Felicity or not, if Felicity believed it, that would've put a needless strain on their friendship. You made them both doubt their worth to each other as friends. Felicity will bounce back from this just fine, I think she already has. But I'm not so sure about Ocean. You mortified her. I just hope she doesn't do something rash like up and leave during the night because you made her afraid she'll be unwelcome here."
"I didn't mean to do that." Elissa said. "I should go talk to her and try to make her see."
"That wouldn't do any good, Elissa, she is much too upset, and I don't want any more knockdown dragouts from you two. Now, it's almost time for bed. If Felicity wants to share her room with Ocean, you can sleep on the couch. There is plenty of room, and warm blankets for you."
"On your way." said Sheev.
Elissa ran out, and Sheev left the music room a few minutes later.
"Ben! Yoda! Luke! Sheev! Somebody!" Felicity called as she quickly exited her room.
"We're in here!" Luke called from the visiting/lounging area, "What gives?"
Felicity soon entered, agitated and breathless. "Help me stop Ocey from leaving.!"
">Holiday story index
Main story page