Merry Christmas, Sadie

"You know what I've never really gotten Drew?" I ask Drusilla as she drags me into the gigantic mall, pink polished nails digging into my skin as I'm blinded by the statistic beauties sporting what could only be described as not very much in the posters on clothes shop windows.

Drew looks up to me, her heavily – but not so heavily as to appear slutty – mascared eyes batting languidly. "Do I really want to know?" she says, whiney, and then when I smile she rolls her big brown eyes at me.

"Why do people use baby pictures against one another?" I ask her, furrowing my brows. Drew, whose eyes had drifted back to all the stores since her eye rolling ceased, stopped in her tracks, hands on her hips. She turns her head very slowly, and tilts it up at me, staring. I smile bemusedly under her gaze and she heaves out a huge sigh.

She looks back to the stores, eyeing them all critically and pressing her lips together. "We're going to have to get you a really good dress to make up for that personality."

I don't get offended. I mean, she just doesn't understand me. Me being a genius and all, and thinking about other things aside dresses and hand bags and what nail polish to wear. Not that her thoughts are limited to those things, because they're not. They just so happen to be limited to those things whenever she comes within a mall. And it just so happens mine are always limited to 'weird', apparently.

According to the world of Drew Hartnett, that is.

"Because if anyone showed me my baby picture, and then tried to use it against me – it totally wouldn't work. I mean, I happen to like my baby pictures." I continue, ignoring Drew ignoring me, and deciding to pretend she's listening. "Besides, it's not like they can prove it's you. Most people look nothing like their baby pictures, and if they were really that embarrassing couldn't they just go 'hey, that's my cousin. Yeah. She's weird' instead of freaking out about it?"

Even though I'll totally take credit for being the little cherub in my baby photos. I was so much cuter, back then. I don't know what happened to me. My mum says 'you grew up' and shakes her head all mournfully, when I ask. Which, can I just say, isn't very encouraging.

Drew heaves out another sigh and closes her eyes, raking a hand through her curly blonde locks.

"Probably, and I like my baby pictures too," she says with a shrug, deciding to give in. I nod in agreement. Her baby pictures are cute; almost as cute as mine, maybe cuter even. But Drew just hasn't stopped being cute. Drew blinks her eyes open and points. "Look over there."

A new independent dress shop has opened, apparently, and it's got a sale on. Which is kind of perfect for me, seeing as I much rather spend money elsewhere than on a dress. Especially one I'll probably wear once, seeing as even though my best friend – Drew – likes to go out heaps; I manage to avoid all that.

"It's perfect," I say and Drew nods, not speaking, just starting to walk in a zombie-like fashion towards the store, hands outstretched. And it is. The store is perfect. At least, from over here it seems perfect. The sign is way cool and Something Spesh – that's the name of the shop – seems like my kind of shop. ALL kind of colour dresses, from what I can see. "Hey wait up!"

Drew is already in front of the shop, and is standing there, hands on hips and peering in through the entrance. And then a cute boy walks past her and puts a new and spiffy looking dress onto a rack, side glancing at her and then looking back to the dress, seemingly not interested.

But Drew, who is so used to every boy she meets being interested in her, doesn't even look like she cares. Those dresses must sure be something. Maybe I might even wear the dress MORE than once, this time. And not like that dress my mum made me wear to my older sister's wedding, which I've never, ever even worn or looked at again.

Drusilla, grinning like a cat whose owner's goldfish had jumped out of the bowl, turns her head and just curls a finger at me, gesturing that I come, and quick she mouths. I have no qualms and fast-walk across to her as she stands there, eying me and looking impatient.

"Come on," she says with a roll of her eyes when I come to a stop in front of her. Tossing her blonde hair off her shoulders and sauntering right on into the store, grabbing dresses off racks as I follow behind her, in a little world of my own. The dresses, the dresses in this shop – they are divine. I'm serious. Divine.

I grin goofily, watching over my shoulders as we pass pretty dresses left, right and centre. One of them is an Elmo dress, although it's just up for display, apparently. Which is a shame because I need a dress, and I happen to like Elmo. It'd be totally perfect, not to mention original. Although all the dresses in this store are original, not one of them is the same as any other in the store.

As I wander behind her as she goes in circles and more circles, having trouble finding a dress she doesn't like as opposed to the trouble she has with finding a dress that she does in most stores – anyway, as I wander, I feel someone's gaze on me. I look way over my shoulder this time, and spot the cash register boy looking at me.

The cute cash register boy.

And he isn't looking away either. In fact, his eyes are WIDENING. His eyes didn't widen for Drusilla, which in itself is the definition of amazing. I can't believe he's looking at ME. I mean, I may be weird, and I may not wear dresses or buy them all that much – but I still CARE when a cute boy is checking me out. Which I think he's doing.

"Hey, you're –" gorgeous? Beautiful? Oh he musn't. It'd be a lie. A total lie. But still, it is nice hearing those sorts of things. Especially from cute boys and especially since your mother is all you-were-so-much-cuter-as-a-baby-Sadie. " –about to run into a pile of shawls."

What? What is a 'shawl'? Is this some kind of joke, is he trying to make me laugh –

"Oof," I fall over backwards and a pile of what appears to be these 'shawls' he speaks of, and by the looks of them they are one of those things my sister made me throw around my shoulders with the dress. Well. I think so, anyway. My vision is kind of clouded with all of them, and it's hard to tell what they look like from this angle and closeness.

Pink ones, blue ones, all kind of colours – are in my face, and no matter how much I paw at them, they only seem to get entangled with the bangles around my wrists and catch on my necklace. I can't tug at them when there lies the risk of recking them, and so I decide to give up and sit still until Drew comes to my rescue.

Only she doesn't. He does.

I blink and squint my eyes, all the pretty, bright colours going away, and the shawls piled into a neat pile beside my head as the register boy looked anywhere but at me, putting everything back where it was and shaking his head to himself.

"That's the tenth time I've had to clean those up today," he says sullenly.

His voice is deep, and even though it sends thrills through me, and makes me think eeeeeeee – I frown at him, "Hey. Maybe you shouldn't put them in the middle of the walkway."

He looks at me and he smiles. He actually smiles at me, and shakes his head before stacking the last back where they were and standing up.

"Come off it," he says and holds out his hands to me, as I'm lying on the floor, "I wasn't annoyed with you; my aunt put them there. I'm not going to blame you for being clumsy because at least nine of those times I've cleaned it up is because I've knocked them down."

I can't help but give him a shy little smile back and reach out for his hands, which – when I do – close around mine, all warm and nice, and pull me right to my feet without one hint of a struggle. When I'm up he looks at me, his eyes narrowing, and not in a mean I don't like you kind of way, either. Like he's inspecting me.

My face reddens as the moments go by and he's still holding onto both of my hands. Him, observant boy he is, once noticing the redness in my cheeks – he looks down at his hands and then laughs, letting go and scratching his head.

"Sorry about that," he smiles sweetly, looking down at me through his lashes. "Have fun and if you need any help – call on me!"

He walks off, leaving my hands still hanging in the air where they were before he let go of them. Blushing, I shake it off – literally, my shoulders and everything – and slide my hands into my pockets, walking over to where Drew is standing with a whole pile of dresses in her hands, smirking at me.

"What?" I say innocently. I take a dress off of her pile and she takes it back, scrunching her nose at me. I blink, and gesture towards the dress – a white mini dress with a white bow around the middle and cherries all over the skirt of it – and ask her, "Do you want this one, or something?"

"I do like it," she says, smiling in a way that says she knows something I don't, "but that's not the only reason you can't try this one on."

Is she calling me flat? I mean, it's strapless, and my boobs totally aren't as big as hers. But, I mean, they're totally big enough to hold up a strapless dress. They aren't teeny tiny. They are normal size, and well, hers just happen to be like, rock melon size. Or something like that. Maybe grape fruit size and/or a particularly large orange.

In any case, regardless of the enormity of Drew's boobs, mine are big enough to hold up a strapless, yet not big enough so that I have to get a bigger dress because the size of my boobs make the skirt of the dress all short, like Drew's.

"I'm not flat," I say, ironically – flatly. She just stares at me and then her mouth turns 'o' shaped, and then she shakes her head and hands me another dress; this one a long sleek one...with, with frills? It's orange and yellow, and it looks like the kind of dress Daisy from Mario would wear if she went to a ball. But it''s so not me.

But I've got to say; it certainly is original. But um, original or not I am not wearing that dress. It's too well, frilly. I'm not a frills kind of girl, to tell the truth. I'm a tall sort of girl, with a dark brown layered bob and thick frame glasses. Frills just don't do it for me and that dress looks tight, so tight it will make it hard for me to walk.

I don't think wearing a dress that makes it harder than it already is for me to walk – is a very good idea. I already have too much leg to know what to do with, and so I trip over all the time. "Um, I'm not wearing that."

"No," she agrees, "but you're trying it on, because it has a zip at the back, and you're going to ask mister tall dark and handsome over there – to come zip it up for you," she shoves me into one of the changing rooms, "excuse me, my friend needs a little help!" she blocks and closes the door so I can't burst out and say I don't.

Only, what am I going to say? I can't ask him to zip my dress up. I mean, I can totally zip it up myself; I don't need his help. Besides, I'll probably be distracting him from his work. I can't distract him for his work. I mean, his aunt will probably get all mad at him or something.

That's it. I'll just zip it up myself and say thanks, but no thanks, when he comes over and offers his assistance to me. Because I don't need to be assisted, even by someone who has such nice hands, all big – bigger than mine even, and being tall I have kind of big hands! Bigger than Drew's anyway. But she does have tiny hands.

I pull off most of my clothes and pull the dress over my head, just getting it on right when there's some chatter and then a knock on the door. "Are you decent and wanting my help?"

Um. Yes, I'm decent, pretty much. But I don't want you coming in here. I don't want you coming in here and seeing my hello kitty bra strap, or my back. Because it's not like I wear bikinis; I am not used to people looking at my back. Let alone my bra. Even if it's only the back of it.

I don't feel comfortable with that. Him seeing my bra, I mean.

"Um, yeah," I say, my subconscious obviously getting impatient with me and deciding to speak and make decisions for me all by itself, "I'm decent. And um. I want your help. I just um, um. I can't seem to get this zip up. The zip at the back of the um, dress. Um yeah."

UM? How many times do I have to say that in a sentence? It's not even a word! Oh God. My subconscious also doesn't seem to have very decent people skills, or brain to mouth coordination. Whatever you want to call it. All I know is that wasn't what I WANTED to say, and it definitely wasn't what I was planning to. It just came out.

"Is it unlocked?" He says, and then he tests it, pulling the door and finding that it, indeed, is open. I find myself staring at the pile of clothes I've left at my feet. But they're not helping me very much. "Could you turn around...?"

"Sadie, my name's Sadie," I turn around robotically and cross my arms over my chest, cheeks reddening. I hope he doesn't take any notice of my bra straps. I mean, hello kitty is cute and all, but do I HAVE to wear a hello kitty bra? He probably thinks I'm such a kid. A kid stuck in a giant-legged and armed body.

"Thanks, Sadie," he says and his hands reach out and...

Oh my God. He TOUCHED me. Well, of course he did. He had to, to zip up my dress. But still. I wasn't expecting to feel quite like that. His fingers send zings up my spine and I nearly arch my back like my cat, Zoey, at home. But I resist. I just stick to not moving.

His fingers curl around the zip and pull it up slowly, delicately, as if he were zipping up a princess's dress, and not some clumsy git's who just turned over a pile of shawls upon herself. A pile of shawls that he had to clean up. He probably only said the thing about him being clumsy to make me feel better.

The zip reaches it's destination, and it's all over – the touching – way, way too soon for me. He pats my shoulders chummily, "Turn around and have a look," he tells me and caught in the moment – the moment being listening to his voice, and that IS a moment, because it's all so very deep and nice and FRIENDLY – I turn to look to the mirror.

My face falls. Oh my God. Oh my God. This is – this is, that...that dress, it's, making me feel nauseous. I mean. Just look at it. All the other dresses here are so nice. WHAT HAPPENED? Oh God. And now I'm going to have to buy and wear it, I just know it. I can't insult his aunt for God's sake. All these dresses are made by his aunt, even this one.

I tug it down a bit, trying to flatten out the frills.

His aunt has to be cool, considering all those other dresses. But I just want to know, was she like, on meds when she made this or something? Or did she wake up on the wrong side of the bread? Because this – I just cannot believe this – is made by the same lady who made the Elmo dress.

"How do you like it?" he wants to know, his face kind of scrunching up as he says it, not like he thinks I look repulsive but like – I don't know. It's the kind of look Drew gets when she sees me getting lectured by my neighbour, on how I should go to church or burn in hell when I die. "Isn't it great? It's my favourite."

What. It's his – his favourite? This dress is his favourite dress in the whole store? This dress? That can't be, he has such nice hands, and his clothes are pretty nice. Even though I'm pretty sure it's uniform, button up black shirt and slacks and all. But this – this monstrosity?

I look at the dress in the mirror, trying to find something likeable about it. But I can't. I just can't find anything about it that I like.

"Sadie?" he says inquiringly.

"It's um, it's GREAT. I love it, it's your favourite?" I ask and he nods, looking quite serious. I look back to the mirror, incredulous. "Well it sure is something."

Something I would never wear in my life. Something I'm going to have to buy now, as well as some other dress because I just can't wear this to the Christmas ball. That'd be awful. No one would want to dance with me. Not that they would anyway; me being taller than atleast half of the boys that go.

I run my hands down the sides of the dress, trying to flatten out some of the frills – and then I see something, a little twitch of his lips in the mirror. I'm sure it's a trick of the eye, but then it happens again. And again. Until he – whatever his name is – covers his mouth, closes his eyes, and starts shaking.

I blink, and then think; OH MY GOD HE'S HAVING A FIT. I knew I should have taken health past ninth grade. I KNEW. But I didn't, and now I don't know what to do. What if he falls on the ground and hits his head and gets knocked out and – is he laughing?

He is. He is LAUGHING at me. Why is he laughing at me? Did I say something funny and not notice it? Sometimes I do that. What IS he laughing at?

"What'd I do?" I ask, looking over his shoulder for Drusilla's help but she's off, finding more dresses and holding up barrettes to her hair. I wave over his shoulder to grab her attention, as he's obviously gone mental or something. Or maybe I said or did something. I don't know! I don't know what to do.

His eyes are all scrunched up, and he's wheezing, covering his mouth, "T-that dress is awful, oh my God, you a-actually believed me! Ha! Ha!" He guffaws. "IT'S GREAT! I LOVE IT! Is it really your favourite? Ha! Ha!"

"I didn't say really," is all I whimper, faintly annoyed. How embarrassing. He pulls a joke on me and then starts to laugh and then I think he's having a fit and even BEFORE that I run into all his shawls. He must think I'm such a freak. A COLOSSAL freak. Oh God.

I'm going somewhere where I can have intelligent conversations. I mean, put me near a cute boy and WHAMMO out goes my intelligence. He can't be good for me.

"The look on your face when you saw that mirror, Oh God, I thought you were going to die." He finally stops laughing long enough to speak normally and smile at me, all cheekily. "I'm sorry for teasing you. I shouldn't be harassing my aunt's customers; you might not come back."

"Damn straight," I find myself retorting, "if you do that again next time I come here I'm going to – I'm going to do something really bad. REALLY bad."

His lips twitch again, "Is that so?"

I grr and stamp out of the store. Like a dinosaur. And Drew doesn't even notice I'm mad, she just looks at me, and then at him and says, "I've picked out our dresses anyway, so bye-bye....Fynn, if that is your real name." She nods and places her purchases on the desk – and I want to go in and all and pay, but I've had my DRAMATIC EXIT, I can't go back in – along with her dad's credit card.

He comes over and nods, "Nice choices, serious this time, tell your friend I think she's cute."

CUTE! If he thinks THAT is going to work, he is so totally wrong. Tricking me like that, hah. I don't forgive that easy. He can go jump in a really deep, really cold lake, and stay there.

I cannot believe I'm here again. What am I doing in here? I don't even like shopping. I already have a dress – and a fabulously picked one at that thanks to Drusilla – and I certainly am not here for him. Certainly not – he is the last thing I'd come to the mall – and the shop over there, Something Spesh – for.

I just needed some pretty accessories, or something. That's all.

"Are you going to come in?" Fynn – I found out his name from Drew, who spied it off his name tag (smart girl) – is standing there, hands on his hips and smirk on his face, towering over my tall self. His messy dark brown hair is all shiny and his equally dark brown eyes are shining just as much – but with mischief.

I cross my arms over my chest and jut out a hip, narrowing my eyes at him. "Yes, I was just – just admiring the view."

"Am I that good looking?" he kids and I try and cover up my blushing with a laugh-snort and turn my face, shaking my hair in front and hiding behind it.

"Ha-ha, very funny. I meant the clothes of course," I say and breeze – yes, I actually manage to breeze! – past him, concentrating on getting my cheeks back to their normal colour, "as they are very lovely – but I'm here for some accessories."

"Do you need a mask?" he asks curiously and I blink back at him, wondering how he knows about my going to the Christmas ball and my needing a mask – even though, actually, I don't even need a mask as Drew's already made me one. But what else can I get here? Shoes maybe? Some rainbow bangles to go with the dress?

"Um, yeah, how did you know?" I ask just as curiously and he shrugs, looking away with a faint smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.

"I didn't, it was just a guess – people have been coming in for masks all day." He says with a weird sort of tone, playing with one of the key chains dangling from a rack. After a while of being quiet, and me standing there, looking over my shoulder at him and blinking, he looks down to me. "I'm going too."

"Really?" I say, trying not to sound like I'm interested or anything. Because I'm totally not. In fact, it's annoying that such an annoying person is coming. What if I bump into him or something? He'll definitely know what I look like. He's seen my dress.

"Yup." He says with a nod and a grin. "Do you need any help on the accessory front? Because I'm good with –"

"No thankyou," I say quickly and speed walk further into the shop. I don't need any more exposure to those hands of his, if he wants to help pull on a heel, or do up someone's necklace clasp – he can go help some other girl. "I'm fine thanks."

Not looking where I'm going and concentrating on looking like I don't want his help (because I don't. Like, at all) I don't happen to notice the shawl pile. For the second time that day.

"Ooof," I go tumbling over it this time, and somersault over my head before landing on my butt, a pile of shawls come cascading once more over my face. I groan and sink into the shawls, wanting to sink through them and into the floor where I can't be seen and laughed at by Fynn.

Speaking of which; I can hear his muffled laughter through the shawls.

My face burning red I push the shawls away, and they're luckily not tangled with my bangles this time. I wriggle out from underneath them and sit up, arms crossed over my chest, face burning, and eyes glaring embarrassedly into the orange wall at the other side of the room.

"Are you r-really fine?" he wants to know, and I daren't look over his way to give him the satisfaction of seeing my burning red face. "Because you sure don't look like it."

"Shut up." I mutter, crossing my arms even tighter across my chest and frowning. I can't believe it; no matter how fantastic this store is I find its value in my eyes is seriously decreasing because of one of the employees. No matter how cute he is.

I hear foot steps behind me and find myself being hauled up by way of his hands under my shoulders, like I'm a sack of potatoes. He spins me around and grins at me, looking down through his lashes, the corners of his eyes crinkling with good humour, "Sorry, but you're just too cute not to laugh at."

I blush even harder, and overcompensate my embarrassment with anger. "Oh, yeah, right. I'm going you jerk. God, you're so annoying. So, so, incredibly annoying with your – your..." I stop, not being able to think of anything, and instead just make a frustrated noise.

"My annoying what?" he wants to know, tapping his fingers where they still rest on my shoulders.

I don't say anything, just shrug his hands off my shoulders and walk out of the shop, burning with embarrassment rather than anger, and a flush of pleasure too. Did he really mean it? Does he really think I'm 'too cute'?

"Okay then, I'll see you at the big dance, sunshine. Don't fall over again and bruise your pretty face." He calls after me.

I clench my hands into fists, burning with indignation. Of course he doesn't think I'm cute.

But he's not cute either.

"Get up and dance," Drusilla holds out her hand for mine, eyes determined and lips pursed in exasperation. Her voice is cool and demanding, and when I don't get up and take her hand she snatches mine up in hers with a grip as hard and as cold as ice. "Now."

I don't get up though. I feel like I can't move, because in here it's all very bright and shiny, all painted with white and littered with fake snow (even though it doesn't even snow in Australia on Christmas. Hardly! It's Summer). When I get up it's like I'm a deer caught in the headlights – because no one, and I mean no one, is wearing anything too colourful.

They are all in red, green, white or silver – with little santa hats and matching silver glitter and fluff covered masks for the masquerade part of the ball.

I'm not silver, or white or green and red and my mask doesn't match anyone else's aside from Drew's. I'm rainbow coloured, my dress is rainbow coloured, and it goes down right down to the floor in a mermaid sort of fashion with a halter neck. Plus she made me wear heels. Heels! I'm taller than some of the basketball players now.

Needless to say I stand out, which is what Drew says is just what she wanted for me. Because I'm a loser and I need to get a boyfriend – in her words, of course. It's alright for her, with her red and white dress with cherries - she fits in a heck of a lot more than I do.

But everyone's looking at me. And someone's even walking towards me.

I blink, and shift my mask (a hand held one made of silver lace that Drusilla actually crocheted) pulling the gold rod down a fraction and looking on in disbelief. It's a boy, and if what I can see of his eyes through his mask – he's looking right at me.

"Come on," Drew hisses once more and pulls me to my feet with surprising strength for someone so much smaller than me. "Get up and –" she's interrupted from the boy stopping a few feet short of her, and she looks over her shoulder muttering, "dance..."

She blinks at him and a smirk forms on her lips and she lets go of my hand. "I'll be back," and I look to her, helplessly, as she walks quickly, yet elegantly, off towards some guy sitting on a bench by himself. She doesn't even look back.

I look back to the boy, who's smiling softly at me with his hands in his pockets, a rose in his hand and a cape across his back. He looks just like Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, only better, because he's real. I blush under his gaze and he holds out the rose for me.

Damn. I'm blushing all the time today, what is wrong with me??

I take the rose, "Thankyou," I say politely, eyes narrowed in curiosity. Who is he, anyway? And why is he giving me a rose? Who else has he been giving roses to? Is it just me, or does he have a whole bag locked up in the boys' bathroom or something? Handing out roses to poor, innocent girls like myself and charming them into dances.

"Have you been waiting for someone?" He wants to know, with a cheeky sort of grin. "Because I've been watching you for a while now – and you haven't gotten up to dance with anyone."

"Maybe I don't like dancing?" I say, holding the rose to my side and trying to ignore how nice he smells. He looks at me, and holds out his hand. I look down at it and start, jumping in my black glittery heels and finding something familiar about that hand of his. I look back up at him sharply. "I'm not going to dance with you, you know."

"Oh?" he says as if he's not surprised by my saying so, and grins unleashing a mouth full of sparkling white teeth. "I don't recall asking you to."

I blink at him, confused, "But you held out your –"

"Assume makes an ass out of you and me – although I don't really feel like an ass..." he trails off and grabs my hand, squeezing it, " I guess you must have beared the brunt of that. Now, dance with me."

I find myself confused once more. Just before he said he didn't ask, and now he's saying he wants to? Won't he make up his mind or something? And didn't he hear me? I said I didn't want to dance because I don't like dancing and that I didn't want to dance with him.

I pull my hand out of his and give him an incredulous look, "I don't want to."

He raises his eyebrows beneath his mask at me, "Why?" he asks again, reaching for my hand.

I put my hand behind my back childishly and glare at him. How annoying, now he's the one doing the assuming – assuming I'm going to dance with him even though I said I didn't want to. Because I don't want to, and besides, I want to dance with someone else and not him, regardless of my dancing skills.

"I am waiting for someone, since you asked before," I say and then point a finger at him, stabbing him in the chest with it before stepping closer to chastise him, "and he won't be very happy if I go off 'gallivanting' with other men, thankyou very much."

I use quotation marks and put my hands on my hips, waiting for him to give up and walk off – something he doesn't even look in the least likely of doing.

"Who are you waiting for?" he wants to know.

"What?" I splutter, blinking at him furiously. "Why would I tell you who I'm waiting for? You don't even know me and really I think it's rude to even ask –"

"Frankly, my dear – I don't give a damn." He says cheerfully and then pats me on the head, messing my hair when I let out an indignant noise. Using great literature against me in such a situation – I can't believe it. In fact I can't even believe he'd know such a quote. "Just please – I'll leave you alone if you tell me who you're waiting for. I promise."

I'm about to decline but then roll my eyes and decide to tell him – after all, if it's going to get him away from me what better solution is there? I can't think of a better one that's for sure. But there's just one thing...who am I even waiting for? I'm not quite sure I – well okay. I'm sure.

But I'm just not ready to admit it to myself yet. Because he is very annoying too, even with those hands...and those curls, and those big, brown eyes.

"I'm waiting," I start, taking a breath and trying to ignore the beating of my heart – which has increased tenfold – and then staring up at him defiantly, "for the boy who works in Something Spesh, and frankly, my dear," I shrug my shoulders, "you are not him."

He blinks and then a smile breaks out on his face as he laughs – not at me, but seemingly to himself – crossing his arms over his chest and shaking his head, his brown eyes twinkling beneath his mask – BROWN EYES?

"Can you be so sure?" he says and I feel like my hearts gone up my throat, and my palms are going all sweaty. I'm horrified. He can't be him, can he? He does have brown eyes, and he does seem to smell nice but – no. No that would be just to humiliating. I just said I was WAITING for him. Waiting for someone who likes to do nothing but mock me, he just can't –

I watch in anticipation as he reaches for his mask, and in terror in finding out that he is indeed Fynn from Something Spesh, and my being terribly embarrassed by the fact – I reach up and snatch his hands away from his mask, "You can't take it off before midnight," I insist, my own terrified eyes looking into his bemused brown ones.

"Okay," he agrees, his hands closing around mine, "but only if you'll dance with me until then –"

"Fine, fine. Whatever you want." I agree quickly and he smiles and takes to leading me to the middle of the ballroom floor. My heart is beating faster still, and it certainly doesn't help when we get there – and his arms go around my waist, and his head rests on my own, and I can smell his cologne...pine needles, he smells just like them.

I put my hand (the one not holding up my mask) hesitantly up on his shoulders, and then we dance...

I look over his shoulder up at the fairy lights hanging around the room, and the streamers of red and green too – and most importantly, the big net of snowflakes that on stroke of midnight – in about two minutes – will fall over everyone. Staring at the lights makes my eyes blur and I take to looking at his neck.

We've been dancing for hours – I did promise – with occasional toilet and punch breaks. He even bought me a slice of white Christmas from the canteen, and then a gingerbread house. Which he's had all wrapped because God knows I'm not going to eat it all now – he's just been sweet.

And all of the time I've had to pretend to be grumpy with him. Even though I'm anything but – remember that overcompensating thing? I'm doing that. Kind of a lot. But it's not my fault – he's making me like him so bad.

So bad that I don't want midnight to come, and for him to take off that mask and laugh at me. Because he has to be Fynn. I just know it. He's going to laugh so bad at me when he takes off that mask, and all the sweetness will be all gone. And then he'll go off and dance the last dance with someone else.

And then I'll be all by myself in the corner on a bench. Again.

"Hey, it's about to be midnight in," I hear him whisper in my ear, and pausing to check his watch, "ten seconds approximately."

9. I feel his breath plume down onto my ear and it tickles. I shiver against him. 8. I look up at him, my heart beating a little faster already. 7. He looks down at me, and smiles. 6. He whispers, "Just a moment now...". 5. I gulp and nod, trying to seem indifferent. 4. I look away.

3, 2, 1.

We step away in unison and I put my mask down just as he pulls his up. My breathe catches, and he pulls the mask completely off and sticks it in his chest pocket. He looks up from where his eyes are hidden by his hair, and I see it's Fynn.

He smirks and says quietly, "So, you were waiting for me, huh? And you think I'd be mad if you danced with someone else? Or your word for it would be 'gallivanting'..."

My cheeks redden and I look away, pouting my lips in denial, "I..."

But before I can say any more he's stepping forward and cupping my face with his hands, smirk turning to a smile, "am about to have the most amazing make out session," he finishes for me, and pulling from his pocket mistletoe he leans down and kisses me.

The snowflakes fall down over us and I drop my mask, wrapping both arms around his shoulders and kissing him back, a little zing going up my chest.

"Merry Christmas Sadie," he draws his lips from mine to say, before pressing them back against them, his arms tightening around my waist and sending a whole heap of zings up my chest.

Merry Christmas indeed, Fynn, and to all a good night.

oOoOo MeRrY XmAs oOoOo

Belated, of course. But I hope you enjoy it. Enjoyed, rather. Has anyone seen the latest Gossip Girl, when Chuck like falls into Blair's arms (practically) and is like "I'm sorry."? That was just the cutest thing. And Oh God, I've seen the promo for the next episode – and they better not make Blair and Chuck fight again.

Because I'll kill them all. If they do fight, it really can't drag on because they've just been fighting for so long. AND WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Dan and Serena again? AGAIN? Probs not for long now, considering certain events...

But still! You can't just dismiss Aaron (even if I don't like him) with a 'we broke up' we have to SEE IT. Unless Aaron's going to come back and fight for her (highly unlikely).

Dan and Serena need to stay together, or break up forever. Seriously.

You know you love me,