After Halloween had come and gone, Merasmus stormed off in a sulk, leaving behind a gaping hell-mouth nobody could figure out how to close. Not the type of people to leave a pit to the very bowels of the earth lying around unexploited, the team dug a trench from the nearby lake and filled it with water.  In no time at all they had themselves a swank hot springs that they would lounge in at every opportunity. After a while, it seemed that not a night would go by without most or all of the classes seated in or around the water, sharing drinks and stories.

“Y’know what this reminds me of?” Soldier knocked back the rest of his beer and leaned back, his arms pillowing his head. “That time Doc and I were trying out a sauna and in walks, of all people, Saint ‘Father Christmas’ Nicholas himself—”

Scout groaned. “Aw, c’mon, Solly, not dat cock and bull story again.”

“It iz not cock,” Medic interjected before Soldier could start a fight. “I can personally vouch zat everything Soldier has told you about what happened in Europe after ze war—after ve started traveling togezzah, anyway—is completely true.”

Scout remained skeptical, though his doubt wavered now that Medic was backing up Soldier’s claims. “But Santa? Really? C’mon, even I’ve stopped believing in dat years ago.”

“You vere zere when Australian Santa vas murdered und yet you are skeptical about ze genuine article?” Medic closed his eyes in remembrance. “Granted, he may not have been Sinterklaas—”

“Of course he was the genuine article!” Soldier exclaimed, slapping the water so hard it splashed everyone else sitting near him. “Who else would have such an epic beard? Or that package! You’d got to have serious Pals With Jesus points to have equipment like that!”

Engineer covered his ears. “Dagnabbit, Solly, I didn’t need ta hear about how well hung ya think Santy is!”

“How do you think I feel? I saw The Area with my own eyes, and I didn’t know what do to! Obviously it was rude to stare, but how was I supposed to look away from it?”