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December 27, 2011
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Summary: A Total Drama fanfic. After accidentally putting Kris Kringle in traction, Cody is charged with delivering all the remaining presents in Canada! Fortunately, another accident lands him some help part-way through his run. Cody/Gwen, some Duncan/Gwen.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(A small town near Toronto, Ontario...again)

Knock-knock-knock. "Gwen? Gwen, honey? Are you awake?"

"Ugh..." Gwen poked her head out from under her comforter, blinking blearily. "Mom?"

Gwen's mother gave an airy laugh from her doorway. "You're asleep too? Ha, I can't believe it—this must be the first time that you and Kevin slept in on Christmas morning! Usually you two are up before dawn."

"Wha...Christmas? Christmas morning?"

"That's right! Merry Christmas! But it's almost Christmas afternoon—well, it's after 10, anyway. Off to a late start this year, aren't we? Now come on, get up! Santa left lots of presents for you to open!" Gwen's mother honestly sounded more excited about it than Gwen did.

"Okay, Mom." Gwen sat up, letting her covers fall off as she stretched her arms. Her mother frowned.

"Oh, gee—it must have been really cold last night, wasn't it?"

"Hmm?" Gwen was still only half-awake, wiping hair out of her face. "Whuddya mean?"

"Your jacket! Kevin wore his to bed last night, too. Anyway, hurry up! I'm sure your brother is already going crazy pawing through everything."

She pulled her head out and closed the door, not noticing the way that her daughter was staring down at herself with wide eyes. Gwen had been wearing her jacket to bed, but as she glanced at it now, she saw that it wasn't hers—it was the same color, a very similar style, but a little different, heavier, less worn. Now fully awake, Gwen quickly jumped out of bed and crossed the room to her closet, throwing open the door to confirm that her usual jacket was, indeed, hanging up right where she had left it. She took a shaky step back, looking back down at her new jacket in confusion.

As she examined it memories started to return to her, of a bag, a sleigh, an endless supply of clothes with her and Kevin's names on them...Cody in a red suit...

"No way..."

"Gwen! Hurry up, dear!"

"Agh! Um—just a second, Mom!"

Gwen shrugged the new jacket off onto the floor and ran out of her room, passing through the hallway into the den. Immediately her eyes were drawn to the Christmas tree, and the gifts—a huge collection of them—sprawling beneath it and taking up a huge part of the room. The arrangement looked almost familiar...but no, she decided, that was dumb. An arrangement of packages was an arrangement of packages, and besides, she didn't think that there had been quite this many in her dream. Because it obviously was just a dream, she thought, as her eyes drifted around in search of the sack that Cody had left behind.

Gwen could hear her mother in the kitchen, probably making coffee, while Kevin sat on the sofa with a wrapped package in his lap. He jumped as Gwen entered the room, then smiled awkwardly. "Good morning, Gwen. Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," Gwen said distractedly, looking around the room for...something. She didn't know what—anything, really, that might have been a clue. She finally turned to Kevin, giving him an equally forced smile. "Um...how are you feeling?"

"Fine, fine," he said hastily; he was looking at his package again, only glancing at Gwen out of the corner of his eye. "You?"

"Good. Except I had a...weird dream last night." She barely breathed, watching him for a reaction.

He turned to her slowly, looking as apprehensive as she felt. "...Oh. Really? Uh...about what?"

"Um..."

They both looked at each other in silence for a long moment, each afraid the other would call them crazy if they spoke, and each realizing that the other acting crazy more or less confirmed their suspicions. The moment was broken, however, when their mother poked her head into the room, covering the phone with her hand. "Gwen?"

She jumped, spinning around. "Yeah? !"

"Ooh, calm down! Ha-ha. It's that boy—"

"You mean Duncan?"

"No, no—though I'm sure he'll call later," she added; Gwen had not mentioned their fight to her, but she had figured out that something had obviously happened between them. "It's that friend of yours—Cody, I think?"

"Cody?" Gwen's eyes had widened again, and Kevin had blanched. Feeling her heart pounding in her chest, Gwen took the phone and quietly slipped back into the hall, as her mother turned to Kevin and spoke out of the side of her mouth.

"Cody's the sweet one from the show, right?"

"If you mean the one who has Gwen's bra framed in his bedroom, then yeah."

"Hmm." Gwen's mother frowned slightly, disappearing back into the kitchen as she tried to remember the name of that one handsome boy who played the guitar.

Over in the hallway, Gwen took a deep breath and put the phone to her ear. "Hello?"

"Oh, Gwen! Hey. Um—merry Christmas!"

"Hey. Merry Christmas." There was awkward silence for a few seconds, so Gwen asked "How have you been?"

"Oh, good, good! Heh. Ahem—so. Did you, uh, get anything...interesting...this year?"

"Um...I'm not sure. My brother and I actually just woke up, none of us have really opened our presents or anything."

"Oh," Cody said, for the third time in as many statements. "Have you, uh...looked in your stocking, at least?"

"My stocking? ...Why?"

"Well I, uh...you see..." Cody floundered with his words for a moment. "I had this...dream last night" Gwen's heart skipped a beat "and, uh...just look inside your stocking, okay? Heh, I just want to make sure that what I'm looking at is real," he added, sounding embarrassed or apologetic.

Gwen dropped the phone from her ear and slowly made her way into the living room; the stockings had already been taken down and left on the couch next to Kevin, who curiously watched Gwen take hers without saying a word. Gwen sped up, slipping into her room and dumping the stocking's contents on her bed. There was some candy, a toothbrush, a few paint brushes, a green envelope—

Gwen paused, picking up the latter. She put the phone back to her ear. "Are you talking about a green envelope by any chance?"

"Yes! Well...I got a red one, but that's probably the same thing. Open it!"

"Okay, geez, calm down..." Gwen said, despite the insane curiosity that was building within her. With shaking hands she ripped the envelope open, carefully removing the Christmas card inside. Her eyes widened when she saw it.

"Oh my gosh..."

The front of the card showed a familiar room, with a familiar bed, with Gwen leaning down to give Cody a kiss on the cheek. For a moment Gwen couldn't even speak—she opened the card, so shocked that she could barely read the message—Thanks again for all your help! Merry Christmas. Signed, Santa and Mrs. Claus...

"...You got the same card that I did, didn't you?" Cody asked in her ear.

Gwen nodded, then, remembering that he couldn't see her, managed to sputter "Yeah. That—That really happened, didn't it?"

"I—guess so."

Gwen's head started to swim—she thought about everything, the rooftops, the sleigh, the flights all over the country, the houses...she thought about Leshawna and Bridgette and everyone right now opening the presents that she had helped leave them...and (her stomach clenched) Duncan in jail, his family trudging out to visit him...

"Gwen! Hurry up, honey!"

Gwen shook her head, staring down at the card again—she closed it and examined the image of herself, looking slightly exasperated, and Cody with a ridiculous little gap-toothed grin on his face. She realized with a start that the presents her mom was calling for her to open were left by him of all people—not her mom, not even Santa, but Cody. Somehow, that seemed more surreal than anything, but the corners of her mouth tugged a bit at the thought, and the image of him in his Santa suit in house after house after house.

"Um—Cody? My mom's calling me, so I gotta go. I'll call you back later, okay?"

"Uh—okay. And, um—thanks. For last night. You know...helping me and everything."

Gwen's lips tugged a bit more. "You're welcome. And merry Christmas, Cody."

Cody couldn't help but chuckle, somehow. "Merry Christmas, Gwen."

Aaaand that's a wrap! Hope you all had a merry Christmas and enjoyed this long-overdue and hastily-finished story; with luck I'll have another one (...without that last problem) out soon! Until then, please review!

Chapter Five: [link]
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:icondoomslayer10000:
Doomslayer10000 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
dude, this story is amazing, i love the plot behind it of all things!!!! the story line was perfect, if i could write stories the way you do, i would have been a novelist by now. :D
Reply
:iconjoemerl:
JoeMerl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Student Writer
Why thank you very much, I'm glad you liked it! =D And thanks for the :+devwatch: too!
Reply
:icondoomslayer10000:
Doomslayer10000 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012
not a problem at all
Reply
:iconflaming-hailstorm:
Flaming-Hailstorm Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011
The ending feels sudden. I was expecting it to carry on into the problem with Duncan, since it now feels like a loose end that wasn't tied up.

I don't know, it just feels like it could've gone a lot farther than just this.
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:iconjoemerl:
JoeMerl Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Student Writer
Yeah, I don't think you're the only one to think that...I don't know, I always intended this to be open-ended, to be honest. :shrug: It just seemed like it would be hard to realistically break Gwen up with Duncan and get her with Cody in the course of one day, and going beyond that would have taken the focus off of this being a Christmas story. I figured writing it this way would let people come up with their own conclusions about what happens next.

Anyway, I hope you liked the story other than that. :-)
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:iconmastermitosi:
MasterMitosi Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome story!
Reply
:iconjoemerl:
JoeMerl Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks, including for the :+fav:!
Reply
:iconmastermitosi:
MasterMitosi Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:) Yer welcome!
Reply
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