Sleigh Bells Ring by heyshalina

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Family, Romance
Published:2011-12-25 17:36:56
Updated:2011-12-25 17:36:56
Packaged:2021-04-22 02:10:40
Summary:Well, everyone wants something different for Christmas. Angel wants to see Santa Claus. Gazzy wants to give Nudge the perfect gift. Max wants Santa's cookies. Fang just wants to sleep through the whole thing. Can he? Of course not, it's Christmas.

Sleigh Bells Ring

Merry Christmas, everyone! I wrote this little one-shot for you people with all this holiday spirit lingering around and clogging all the space. Gotta get rid of it somehow, right? Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you guys enjoy these cute little stories I took the time to write. To all of my awesome readers, Happy Holidays. Here's my present; from me to you! :D And don't forget to give a gift in the form of a review! Make my Christmas!

Disclaimer: I in no way own Maximum Ride, Christmas, Santa, or Chrismahanukwanzakah. Just read, you'll see.

Fang and Angel

A tale of a bunch of sweet family crap, cliche stuff about believing, and the toll little child adorableness has on even the hardest, most stubborn mind.

Just a little bit farther...



Fang leaned back on the ladder, sighing silently in frustration as he drew back his hand. The glittering star was still clenched in his tan fingers after his third attempt at placing the darn thing on top of the Christmas tree. The ceiling in the house happened to be significantly taller than most, and so Gasman and Iggy had gone out and chopped down the tallest, fattest, ugliest Christmas tree they could find.

Fang hated it. He hated it so much.

Even though Iggy had a good three inches on Fang, and his arms were at least four inches longer, Max refused to let him put the star on the top of the tree. Something about him falling off the ladder and smashing the Christmas tree along with his face. Because apparently Iggy's face was more important than Fang's.


He sighed again, looking down from his perch on the ladder. A pair of big, bright blue eyes looked up at him from the ground, head tilted all the way back to see him. Angel blinked, swinging her hands and tossing her long, glossy blond hair. She smiled innocently at him, bringing her hands together in front of her.

"What, Angel?" Fang said testily, weighing the cheap plastic star in both hands impatiently. Angel blinked again and hops up and down on the balls of her feet.


Fang sighed audibly now, turning around and trying to put the star on the top of the tree in another fruitless attempt. He didn't have time for the little kids, he still had to get Max a present, and it was Christmas Eve. Some things were more important. "Look, Angel, I'm trying to do something, so-"

"Wait, wait!" Angel jumped up and down again, and Fang rolled his eyes as he leaned back again. "I really have something to say."

"What is it?" Fang deadpanned, putting his hands behind his back. He glanced sideways at the top of the tree and flicked it off so Angel wouldn't see, even if he was sure she knew anyhow.

"Okay, well..." Angel shifted on her feet. "Do you think that Santa likes Skim Milk or Whole Milk? Or Goat Milk! Or Two Percent?"

Fang, realizing that this project of his was going nowhere fast, slid down the ladder and plopped himself down on the couch, listening to Angel's tirade of words.

"And then the cookies! Does he like sugar cookies or chocolate chip or peanut butter? Is Santa allergic to peanut butter? Or maybe he likes macadamia nut. Should I just give him Oreo's for his milk, or should Iggy and I make the cookies because I don't want Santa to be upset so he'll give us presents this year."

For the millionth time Fang sighed, putting his head in his hands. Poor kid. "Angel-"

"You don't believe in Santa, do you?"


"Uh..." He stammered, instantly faced with the horrible uncomfortableness that comes with telling little kids what people believe to be the truth. Fang was now happy he wasn't the leader; he was no good at this kid stuff, and it wasn't like people (especially Iggy) would even listen to him.

"You don't," Angel choked, her voice full of heartbreak. All Fang wanted to do was dive under the couch and hide there until this painstaking holiday was done with. He couldn't deal with tears. Actually, he couldn't deal with Angel being sad whatsoever. It made him want to crawl in a hole and cover his head in case Max exploded all over him.

And yet, she was six. It was time.

"No, Angel." Fang looked up at the little girl honestly, his heart close to breaking at the tears forming in her eyes. "No, I don't."

Suddenly the tears in Angel's eyes were replaced with a fire of anger, and she crossed her arms and stomped her foot. She pursed her lips, searching for the worst Christmas-themed word in her mind. "You-you're're a scrooge!"

"Yeah, well you're a little girl with wings."

Angel scoffed. "I'm an angel," she argued. "I'm beautiful. Scrooges are ugly."

"She burned you!" A hysterical male voice laughed from inside the kitchen. Fang held his hand against his thigh.

"Shut up, Iggy!" He yelled.

There was silence, and then Iggy spoke again, hardly keeping his laughs inside himself. "Bah humbug!"

If there was anyone in the world that had a dent in his forehead from performing too many face palms, it was Fang.

"Angel, the truth is," Fang spoke exasperatedly, slapping his hands on his legs. "The truth is that...there is no Santa Claus."

Angel's gasp was full of utter disbelief. "You're lying."

"No, Angel-"

"La la la la la la la la!" Angel slapped her hands over her ears, dancing around in a little circle defiantly. Fang glanced over at the fireplace, the stockings, the starless Christmas tree, and then back at Angel again. He reached out for her tiny hand, but she yanked it away, glowering at him.

"I don't believe you." She stated, setting her jaw. "Santa is going to come down our chimney tonight, and he is going to eat my milk and cookies, and I am going to prove you wrong!"

"Angel, sweetie," Fang bit the inside of her lip, getting up and crouching beside her. "You can read minds, right? And you know how special that is?" Angel nodded her head tentatively, tears bordering on her eyelids, making her bright blue eyes glassy. "So you know when Max, Iggy and I, Ella and Dr. Martinez too, think about presents, you know that Santa doesn't..."

"But he does!" Angel cried, shaking her head now. "Santa comes! Iggy and Ella believe in Santa, and Max told me he's real! And-and when we watched the Polar Express and Elf and stuff, they said that even though someone thinks and believes Santa isn't real, he is! That you have to believe, which you don't, so Santa's not going to bring you any presents this year! You. Are. Lying!"

Tears now flowing down her small cheeks, Angel tore from the room, bolting up the stairs with alarming speed. A door slammed, and Fang resisted the urge to punch himself in the face. It was official. He was a real first-class douche.

Well, that ruined his Christmas.

He groaned out loud, hanging his head back on the couch. Fang clutched the plastic star and threw it, effectively losing it inside the Christmas tree and moaning once more. Why him?

"You know you're going to have to fix that, right?"

Go away, guilt.

"Right, Fang?" Max crouched down in front of him, waving her hands in his face. So it wasn't guilt, or his conscience, or God. In a way, Fang was pretty disappointed.

"Yeah," He griped in response, standing as slowly as an old man and rubbing his sweaty palms on his jeans. "Yeah, I know. I'm going to go fix it now. But-"

"In eighty-six percent of this house, Santa exists," Max pointed an accusing finger in his face. "In the other twelve percent you can sulk around and get drunk on eggnog. But Angel believes in a big fat guy in a red suit eating way more cookies than humanly possible, so you have to too. If that means building a chimney in her room and falling down it, so help me, do that."

Fang diverted his eyes from Max's gaze, trudging toward the stairwell in moral defeat. "I don't even like eggnog." He called back.

"Then I'm drowning you in it tonight."


Fang crept slowly up the stairs, running a hand through his hair. He needed a shower. If it was up to him, Fang would sleep all Christmas Eve, gorge himself on cookies, grab all of his presents and then lock himself away in his man cave for three weeks. But obviously, that wasn't an option.

It wasn't even snowing out.

Fang took a deep breath and knocked on Angel's bedroom door, cowering under the sheer cuteness of the many colorful drawings on the wood. Fang had to turn away from the crayon drawing of Angel flying on a unicorn with a bunch of narwhals, the utter amount of swirling color giving him a headache. Her letter to Santa Claus was taped near the doorknob, and Fang mentally slapped himself.

"Angel?" He muttered hesitantly, walking into the bedroom. All the pink nearly gave him a heart attack. "Angel, I'm sorry."

In the corner of the room, between the bed and the wall, there was a mess of sheets, poles and pillows that somehow stood on its own. Angel's voice issued from inside.

"Go away."


"Rudolph hates you! Go away!"

Fang breathed heavily and knelt down, poking his head into the Fort of Sheet Magic. Angel was squished into one corner, surrounded by numerous pillows and stuffed animals. The little girl had buried herself in her toys, clutching her stuffed reindeer to her chest. Fang hissed as his head caught on the edge of Angel's bed, but he managed to crawl into the tiny space without majorly injuring himself. Angel's white fluffy wings stuck out of her dress, fluttering over the toys and making the makeshift igloo seem almost...angelic. No duh.

"Angel, you have to understand-" Fang started, with no plan formulating in his dumbfounded little brain.

"There's nothing for me to understand, Fang." Angel peered up at him, itty bitty tears forming in her big eyes. "But you have to understand that Santa exists."

"The spirit of Santa, maybe," Fang weighed his hands. "But Ange, do you really believe that a big fat guy that lives in the North Pole can actually fit through our chimney?"

Angel thought for a minute, and then spoke softly. "Magic."

"Magic isn't real."

"Science, then."

Fang bit his lip. This girl had way too many loopholes. He found himself agreeing with that logic. "Yeah, science, maybe-hey!"

Angel shrugged apologetically, even though she didn't look particularly sorry. "We exist, Fang, so why can't Santa."

Fang scowled. "You're a devious child, you know that?"

"Ooh! Ooh!" Angel came to a revelation, sitting straight up. "In Glee, Santa brought that kid in the wheelchair those special walky-thingies."

"Glee isn't real either, Angel."

Angel's expression suddenly hardened, and then there was a stuffed reindeer being thrown at his eye. Fang scrambled out of the fort, bombarded by a wave of happy stuffed fluff-balls of doom. He covered his head as he ran, looking behind him at the furious little girl. Angel had her little pointer finger protruding in his direction, her eyebrows furrowed.

"Get out! GET. OUT! Scrooge!"

Fang spun around the doorway and slammed it behind him, listening to the several soft slams on the wood following his retreat. Fang groaned yet again and slapped himself on the side on his head. He walked down the stairs again, ducking as Angel through a final stuffed bunny at him. As soon as Fang reached the bottom of the stairwell, he directed his eyes toward the one known as Iggy, who of which happened to be leaning on the doorway to the kitchen with a smug look on his face. He spoke one sentence, five measly words. Fang nearly socked him.

"The suit's in the closet."


"I'm not even going to ask why Iggy has a Santa suit," Fang muttered to himself as he stepped out of his room, scowling. "I'm not even going to ask."

He had a sinking feeling that Iggy was the mall Santa. It was a horrible suspicion. And yet it seemed so logical.

It all made sense now.

Fang crept silently through the hallway, which for him wasn't very difficult, and made his way down the stairs, lugging a giant bag full of presents behind him. When Iggy had told their plan to Max and Dr. Martinez, both women had been more than happy to throw all their presents at Fang to carry and place under the tree so they could go to bed early for once. Fang grumbled inaudibly and shoved the red hat farther down on his head, plodding into the living room. He swung the bag onto the coffee table, flinching under the noise. Hastily Fang began to open the bag, taking the presents (carefully wrapped in Dr. Martinez's case, taped with newspaper in Max's) and trying to put them under the Christmas tree in a stylish manner so that Nudge wouldn't have a coronary. He ignored the few boxes that were already under the tree, assuming that they were extras Iggy might have put there early. He forgot that Iggy gave his presents after everyone because he didn't like wrapping after the 2005 Ribbon Incident. Fang took the last present from Dr. Martinez out of the bag, a chemistry set for Gasman (that foolish woman), and placed it on top of Nudge's huge box, which Fang was sure was a portable walk-in closet or something. He was just about to turn around when he heard the sound of soft little footsteps on the carpet. He swung around, taking the bag and smashing it into a ball, tossing it behind the couch. Angel stood very cliche-like at the living room doorway, rubbing her eye with her right hand. Her left hand picked absentmindedly at her pink nightgown. She stared at him, and then her mouth twitched into a knowing grin.

"Santa?" She asked, barely containing her giggles. Fang stumbled over the coffee table, shoving the hat onto his forehead.

"No, wait-yes! Maybe." Fang stammered, finally giving up and standing in the middle of the room awkwardly. Angel took a step forward, the smile on her face stretching from ear to ear. She pointed at the side table slyly.

"Aren't you gonna eat the cookies, Santa?" She asked sarcastically. Fang nodded quickly, tripping over to the plate of cookies (half of which were suspiciously missing) and stuffing a few into his mouth, forgetting the milk, which was only a third full. Fang swung around, facing the little girl that was looking up at him.

"Well, er, Merry Christmas, little girl." Fang made his voice deeper, flopping his hands uselessly. "Sorry about my beard, I had an...accident with one of the elves. But...I hope you like your presents...and stuff."

He began to walk away, but a small hand tugged on his sleeve. He turned around and Angel leaped onto him, giving him a big hug. Fang picked her up and hugged her back in one of those sudden and rare displays of affection he was known for. The little girl kissed his cheek.

"Merry Christmas, Fang." She whispered, snuggling into his shoulder. "Thanks."

"No problem, buddy." Fang set her down and patted her head, motioning her to be quiet as he climbed the stairs back to his room. "Merry Christmas."

Gasman and Nudge

A tale of small child affection one eight-year-old might mistake as love, odd concerns about being politically correct and getting a bunch of presents, even more icky cliches and cooties. Lots and lots of cooties.

Gasman twiddled his thumbs, breathing heavily. He stood outside the living room, gathering himself. The twelve dollars and twenty-six cents started to feel heavy in his jeans pocket. He couldn't do this. Maybe he could get Iggy to help him out after he was done helping Fang out with whatever it was. He couldn't do it. He wouldn't. He had to breathe.

In. Out.

In. Out.


"Hey Gazzy!" Nudge cried, zipping around the living room at a furious speed. "Come in here and help me, just standing there won't solve anything!"

How right she was.

Gasman gulped and turned around, entering the living room slowly. He put his hands in his pockets. They were shaking. He looked at the Christmas tree, and then at his shoes.

"H-Hey Nudge," He quivered, kicking the carpet a bit. "Oh, hey, I was wondering, it's Christmas Eve and all, I mean, what do you want for-"

"Christmas!" Nudge exclaimed, jumping on the couch and holding a star up to the wall. She nodded, and then took a tack out of a box and pinned it to the wall. Gasman wasn't sure if Dr. Martinez would appreciate that, but then again, she didn't appreciate him blowing her shed up, and this was minimal in comparison. He was still grounded. It had happened in June. "Sure, we can celebrate Christmas, but what about everything else?"

Gasman furrowed his eyebrows. "What do you mean?"

"Holidays, Gazzy!" Nudge shouted exasperatedly. "I mean, so many people celebrate Christmas every year, and it's great, but what about the other holidays? Aren't they like...offended?"

"Nudge, I don't think it works that way."

"Chanukkah! Kwanzaa!" Nudge jumped off of the couch and over to a giant box in the corner of the room, heaving a giant Menorah up and over to a lamp stand. She paused for a moment, looking at the lamp, and then knocked it to the ground, displaying the Menorah proudly on the table. Then she ran back to the box. "We have to celebrate all the major cool holidays, because really, Gazzy, it's all about religion and such, and we have no clue what we are! So we can celebrate everything! It's going to be so awesome! Of course, I think Chanukkah's already started, so we'll just light all the candles that have to be lit, and then Iggy can just give everyone ninety cookies for Chanukkah, you know? Ten for each night! It'll be awesome! And then Kwanzaa! I mean, I can't go out and find the seven symbols, but it happens after Christmas, so we'll be ready by then. I'll just put a Kinara in the kitchen-it has seven candles instead of nine, but personally I think nine is better even though there's only eight of us-wait, there's nine, counting Total! Sweet!"

Gasman began to become dizzy watching Nudge run around the living room in her holiday fever, and he shook his head. He handled the money in his pocket. Nudge took out a bundle of mistletoe and dragged a chair over to the doorway, smiling as she slapped duct tape onto the top. Gasman blushed, and he looked at the ground again.

"Uh, so...Nudge, I was going to ask-"

She cut him off, not listening. "I'm so excited! We're going to celebrate all these holidays and it's going to be great! You know what, I think Total is Jewish...or maybe he said he was squeamish. Hm. I looked up the word for like, all the holidays together, and it's s awesome. We're celebrating

Chrismahanukwanzakah! Isn't that awesome! It's Christmas...and Chanukkah...and Kwanzaa, together! It's too bad we can't celebrate the Solstice, that's already passed."

"What about Festivus?" Gazzy inquired, looking up at Nudge, who was now on the ladder next to the Christmas tree. She looked down at him and smiled patronizingly.

"Don't be silly, Gazzy."

Officially put down, Gasman turned around and sulked out of the living room, kicking open the swing door into the kitchen and plopping himself on a stool. He put his cheek on the heel of his palm, staring gloomily at Iggy, who was busy making massive amounts of cookies for the mutant household. Gasman took a glance out of the window that separated the kitchen and the living room, sighing. Iggy smirked and turned around at him, throwing some oven mitts onto the kitchen counter.

"Totally manly, Iggy." Gasman griped. "Baking cookies."

"Hey." Iggy snapped sarcastically, pointing a bony finger at Gazzy. "Cookies are manly, and don't you forget it. They're so manly that Chuck Norris makes cookie versions of himself and then eats them to gain more Chuck Norris strength." When Gazzy didn't even chuckle Iggy biffed him on the the side of the head, sitting down on the counter. "What's wrong, buddy?"

Behind them, in the living room, Max had entered. She was currently trying to peel Nudge and her numerous decorations off the wall. It made a considerable amount of noise. Gasman stared up at Iggy, forcing himself not to look. "Iggy, what do you think a girl would like for Christmas? Should I even get a girl something?"

Iggy, on the other hand, was now directing his sightless eyes and sensitive ears directly into the living room. Somehow his clouded irises made direct contact with the older girl, who had her arms wrapped around Nudge's midsection and was dragging her away from the Christmas tree.

"Chrismahanukwanzakah!" She shrieked.

"Girls?" Iggy asked distractedly, an odd look forming on his face. He didn't look at Gazz. Gasman furrowed his eyebrows. "Girls...ew."

"Ew?" Gasman asked. Iggy snapped out of his trance and turned his head at Gazzy.

"Did I say ew?" Iggy wondered. "Yeah, ew. Gazzy, at your age, girls have...cooties."

"Cooties?" Gasman inquired, interested. "Are cooties bad?"

"Oh yeah, very bad." Iggy nodded. "And contagious, too. Don't want to catch cooties. Icky, they are. Not to be mistaken with cookies, which are the most delicious things in the whole wide world, of course."

"Cooties." Gasman echoed. The concept seemed completely disgusting. Girls had a disease? It all clicked together. "Do girls...outgrow cooties?"

Iggy smiled at the window again. "They sure do, buddy." He grinned, and then shifted his neck, shaking his head. "But that's when you're older, Bud. So don't worry. You can get her anything you like, and she'll still like it. See, when girls have cooties, they don't care about what guys get them. You have no problem. Fang and I, well, we've got to worry."

A huge, childish smile suddenly broke out across Gasman's face. "Thanks, Iggy!" he cried, jumping up. "You're the best!"

"Of course I am." Iggy smirked. "Now get out of here, your fumes are contaminating my cookies."

Gasman ran out of the kitchen and up the stairs to his room, stopping at the closet and grabbing some tape and wrapping paper. He swung into his room and slammed the door, propping a chair against it and then standing in the middle of the room. He looked around his room, thinking hard. What would Nudge like? Or, rather, what would Nudge not hate?

Alarm Clock bomb? No...

Total's chew toy? No...

A burnt rubber band ball? No...

A potato?


There is was. That was it. It was perfect.

He grabbed the most perfect thing he could find in his entire room and began to wrap it, surrounding it at least twenty times with different strips of paper and at least a pound of tape. This was the mark of the Gasman. When he was satisfied, he picked it up, wrote NUDGE sloppily on it with red Sharpie, and then threw the chair out of the way. He stepped confidently down the stairs to the living room, tossing the present under the tree with the rest of his gifts. No cooties on that one. He was sure of it.

Not even Angel would give a better present, and she could read minds. Take that.

"Hey, Nudge!" He cried, looking around the room. He peered into the kitchen, but Iggy was still just making cookies. He trotted up the stairs and looked in her room, but she wasn't there. "Nudge! I got you something for Chrisma...hanawhatsakah! Or whatever! Nudge? Max?"

He walked down the stairs again and poked his head into the kitchen. "Iggy, I can't find Nudge, and I got her a great gift. Do you know where she is?"

"Sorry, Gasser." Iggy bit a gingerbread man in half. "Haven't seen the little mocha girl. Maybe you should check-"

"Guys!" Suddenly Max's cry echoed throughout the whole entire house. Gasman ran into the foyer of Dr. Martinez's home, where Max and Nudge were standing at the door. Angel, Ella and Total came running in, Fang and Iggy slowly following. "Guys, come here! Now! Guys, guys, are you seeing this?"

Everyone gathered at the door and window, staring outside. The little kids began to jump up and down in glee, and Max shook Ella's shoulders. Iggy sighed resignedly. "I was able to see once," He muttered. "But then I took an arrow to the knee."

Max rolled her eyes, and then settled for thumping Iggy on the back of the head. "No! It's snowing, Iggy! It's snowing!"

"We live in Arizona." Iggy scoffed disbelievingly. "And it is no way near April Fools Day, so I think you guys just love to mess with me. Trick the blind kid, fun for the whole family. Batteries not included."

"No, Iggy, it's snowing!" Angel cried. With a laugh Max flung open the door, and the whole flock (plus Ella) ran outside into the barely-an-inch layer of snow. Iggy held out his hand, and then smiled widely. Max gathered a bunch of snow into a tiny snowball and flung it at him. Iggy growled good-naturedly and knocked her to the ground. Ella showed Angel how to do a snow angel, and Fang stood there with what could have been interpreted as a grin on his face, letting the snow dust his dark hair. Nudge grabbed Gazzy's arm and pulled him out into the snow, falling down and rolling in the white stuff. Gasman picked some up and threw it at Nudge, which led to Nudge throwing some right back. Soon the two kids were lying on the ground, laughing.

"It's a Christmas miracle." Nudge muttered, and Gasman couldn't help but agree. His present now seemed completely stupid compared to this. This was great. This was better than cookies. However completely and utterly cliche it all seemed, Gazzy loved it.

He didn't even care if he caught cooties.

Max and Iggy

A tale of little green Christmas plants hanging from doorways, so many cookies it's not even comprehensible, and sweet, kind of disgusting holiday kisses.

"Oh my God." Max leaned over the counter and through the window that separated the living room and the kitchen, practically sticking her nose in the several cooling racks of Christmas cookies. Max inhaled deeply, a smile plastered on her face. "Oh, sweet, sweet..."

She reached down to grab a particularly large and gooey chocolate chip cookie, holding it in her hand like it was ambrosia. She held it up to her mouth, preparing to savor every last molecule.


Max whipped her head up, still half-way into the kitchen. Iggy stood in front of her with his arms crossed and eyebrows furrowed. He pointed uncannily at the sadly uneaten cookie in Max's hand. "Put it down. Bad Max."

Max scoffed and dropped the cookie, swinging her legs around and jumping into the kitchen. She shook her hair vigorously, and then glared at Iggy, knowing full well that meant nothing. "I'm not a dog, Iggy."

"Really?" Iggy looked confused. He reached out and ruffled Max's tangled hair, taking it in his fingers for a second. "Feels like a dog. Sounds like a dog. Oh! Smells like a dog-oof!"

Max whacked Iggy across the head, frowning at him. "Jeez, I was only kidding." Iggy complained, rubbing the side of his head. "I mean really, that is like, the second time you've hit me today. It's Christmas, Max! Aren't you supposed to be less abusive?"

"Nah," Max chuckled, crossing her arms now. She leaned back on the wall. "It's too much fun."

"I'm going to develop head trauma." Iggy moaned. "And when I die, no, you can't have any of those cookies."

"Why not?" Max whined now, sending a longing glance at the pile of baked goodness. "It's not like anyone else is going to eat them! Why can't I?"

"Angel will murder us in our sleep." Iggy laughed darkly. "She says Santa needs them, or else we're not going to get any presents tomorrow morning."

Max made a hmpf sound, staring out the window. "Oh, Santa," She griped, pretending to be genuinely hurt. "Why does he need any cookies? I mean, the man already gets several billion cookies in one night, and that keeps him fat for a whole dang year! I don't think not giving him a hundred cookies will do much. I, on the other hand, appreciate your cooking, and so I deserve to eat them."

Iggy rolled his eyes. "Angel wants to give them to Santa, and seeing what poor Fang has turned into, I really don't want to mess with Santa."

Max pouted for a minute before straightening up. "Okay, I'll just...take some into the living room...for Santa."

Ignoring Iggy, who had caught her selfish statement and was now glaring at her, Max grabbed a plate from the counter quickly. She snatched a handful of cookies from the cooling rack and jumped over the separator into the living room, cackling. It looked pretty ninja-like. Iggy, however, was not amused. He hissed in irritation and walked through the door, listening for Max on the other side. Said girl had already scarfed down three giant Christmas tree cookies and was going for the chocolate chip when Iggy grabbed the plate from her. Max growled playfully and went for the cookies again, knocking Iggy to the ground.

"Whoa!" He cried. The cookies went flying. "Crazy Cookie Lady on the loose!"

"Oh, so I'm a lady now?" Max sneered.

"There will be no more Crazy Cookie Lady shenanigans in my house, you two." The voice caught Max a few inches away from the cookies on the floor. She snapped her head up toward the doorway, while Iggy stared blankly up at the ceiling. Dr. Martinez stood above them with her hands planted firmly on her hips. She narrowed her eyes at her daughter, and Max rolled her eyes back. Iggy was lost.

Dr Martinez kept her gaze locked on Max. "Dinner's in a half an hour, kids. Iggy, you've got chocolate on your shirt, would you go change?"

Iggy blinked, getting up slowly from the carpet. "Sure." He muttered, and then retreated from the room, skimming his fingers on the wall. As he sauntered up to his room, he listened to Max and Dr. Martinez talk, having no problem hearing their conversation with his sensitive ears.

"Max, I don't have a problem with you and Iggy's, er, relationship, but I don't think, well, I don't know, roughhousing in the living room is very appropriate."

"Okay, first off, who uses the word roughhousing anymore? And second, Iggy and I don't have a relationship. I wanted my cookies. They were rightfully mine."

"They aren't the only thing you think is rightfully yours."


Whoa. Who knew Dr. Martinez could be so suggestive? It was Christmas!

"Hey IGGY!"

Iggy snapped out of his frozen trance, facing the little jittery mess of Nudge in front of him. She pulled on his wrist and suddenly he found himself inside a closet, against a wall. Immediately he began to feel uncomfortable, squirming around a bit and sweating. He felt Nudge close the door, and he snapped.

"Hey, Nudge, I don't appreciate-"

"Mistletoe!" Nudge whispered excitedly.

Iggy stood, dumbfounded and confused. "What?"

"Mistletoe, Iggy!" Nudge grabbed his shoulders, and Iggy turned his head down at her hand. "Don't look so confused, Ig. You like Max, and it is so cute! So tonight I'm going to make Gazzy go to bed and Angel's going to pretend to be asleep for Santa, and Fang is going to do whatever you guys were talking about, and of course Ella and I will be talking for at least a half an hour, so you can kiss Max under the mistletoe!"

"Whoa," Iggy wiggled out of Nudge's grip, holding his hands out in front of him. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Nudge, I-I'm not going to kiss Max!"

"Oh, why not?" Nudge whined, dragging it out. "You-you guys love each other!"

"Nudge," Iggy gathered himself, trying not to freak out from the small space. "Love is a strong word. A very, very strong word. I love chocolate, I love cheesecake, I love Megan Fox-but I do not love Max."

Nudge sighed, and seemed to pout. She opened the door, and Iggy gulped in precious air. "Fine," She exclaimed. "But if you change your mind, Iggy-Max really likes you, so maybe she'd like a Christmas present."

These girls were all over the place.

"Kids!" Dr. Martinez called from downstairs. "Dinner!"

Iggy shook his head as he descended down the stairs. Nudge was completely crazy. Him? Kiss Max? Crazy. What if he got...cooties, or something? And she didn't like him, he knew it. Max wouldn't like was...blasphemy. Preposterous. Stupid. Yeah, it was stupid. Christmas stupidity.

"Yo, Igster!" Gasman skidded to a halt beside him right before he entered the dining room. "Do you think Total would like catnip?"

Iggy smirked. "Catnip's for cats, Gasser."

Gasman seemed to think for a minute, and then sulked away. "Always so technical."

Iggy made his way into the living room at sat down, the rest of the flock and the Martinez's coming and sitting around the table. Dr. Martinez placed the three turkeys onto the table, and Iggy put up two fingers-a new symbol they had come up with since having actual meals at the Martinez house. Everyone groaned, and Iggy smiled. Since he couldn't exactly grab all over the table with five other ravenous bird-kids and know what he was putting in his mouth at the same time, Iggy would put up two fingers as soon as he wanted food-which was always. Max said it was so that Gasman didn't elbow him in the face, but Iggy knew it was just because out of all of them, he was the skinniest, which was saying something. And after he got food poisoning from the chicken he and Fang had fought over for lunch, Iggy had learned to ask first and grab second.

"Who wants to say grace?" Dr. Martinez asked politely.

"Ooh! Me!" Gasman cried, and then was silent for a minute. "Uh, thanks for the food, and stuff. And Dr. Martinez for letting us stay here, oh, and none of us dying or something, because that would really suck. Yeah."

"That was nice, Gazzy." Dr. Martinez praised.

"Dig in!" Ella broke in, and everyone dove into their food, non-mutant hybrids a tad slower than everyone else. All the winged children were finished with their first serving in five minutes, grabbing even more to eat. After his fourth serving Iggy sat back in his chair, burping loudly. Max chastised him, but Fang gave him a fist bump under the table.

"This turkey," Gasman exclaimed slowly. "This turkey is my love. Legit."

"No it's not, Gazzy." Angel said simply. "I heard you think-"

"No one heard anyone think anything." Max put in loudly. "And there will be no sharing of public thoughts at this dinner table. Or anywhere else, Angel."

"Thank you, Max." Dr. Martinez stood up. "Ella, Nudge, Max, would you help me with the dishes? Gasman and Angel, you go put out the cookies next to the tree. You guys will have to go to bed soon so Santa will get here. And have something to do, right?"

Iggy turned his head toward Fang, smiling devilishly and wiggling his eyebrows. Fang banged his head on the table, but Iggy grabbed him and was already dragging the shorter boy into the hallway. "That's right, Dr. Martinez, we got stuff to do! Official, awesome, top-secret stuff, so Angel can go away and Gasman can go with her!"

Gasman groaned, but the two siblings trudged into the kitchen. Iggy grinned and swung open the hallway closet door dramatically, gesturing broadly to the red suit that lay inside. Fang moaned in inner agony.

"Behold!" Iggy declared. "The answer to all your problems, the source of your humiliation and the key to people's amusement on YouTube for the next five months!"

When Fang moaned again, Iggy clapped him on the shoulder, smiling widely as he thrust the suit into his hands. "Oh, it'll be okay, buddy. Just go upstairs and put on the Santa suit, and then smile pretty pretty when you see the red light, 'kay?"

"What light?" Fang growled.

Iggy froze, and then pushed him away. "Get your ass out of here, I can't stand to not see it anymore. Leave!"

Iggy pushed Fang up the stairs and then walked into the kitchen again, snatching a cookie and stuffing it in his mouth. Ella and Nudge stopped chattering like the teenage girls they were as soon as he entered the room, and he frowned.

"Hey Ella," Nudge piped. "Come up to my room, I want to show you what I got Angel for Christmas, it's so cool."

"Oh yeah, and I need to tell you what I got Max, she's going to love it so much." Ella played along.

"And I got a new magazine yesterday, you're going to love it."

"Let's leave."


Iggy stayed frozen to the spot as something crashed on the floor above them, and Dr. Martinez burst in through the dining room, continuing out and up the stairs, shouting for Gazzy to put down the potatoes and the matches and to get his sorry butt into bed. Max slowly put down the platter she was holding awkwardly.

Suddenly, they were alone.

Just like that, Iggy knew he was going to do it. He had a feeling that the doorway behind him had that little green plant hanging from it, and even though he was blind he knew that Max looked so pretty he wanted to faint from nervousness. He cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck.

"Hey, Ig." Max broke the silence. Iggy coughed, pulling the hair in the back of his head to stay focused.


The silence overtook the room, and Iggy ran his fingers through the air to see if he could feel the awkward. He could. It wasn't pleasant.

"So did Fang-" Max started.

"Yeah." Iggy interrupted, and then felt like punching himself. "Angel will love it. Of course, Santa won't have a beard, but he could have easily had a mishap with an elf or fallen on a magical razor or something."

He became very aware that Max was now very close to him. Iggy took a tentative step back under the doorway, and Max took a step forward. "That's really stupid, Ig."

"Hey," Iggy shrugged. "It could happen."

Max scoffed. "At the North Pole."

"Exactly my point."

Max sighed slightly, and then straightened up, looking at Iggy's face. He stared into the space that was in her general direction, and she cracked a smile. "Well, good night, Iggy."

She stepped next to Iggy and turned sideways to squeeze through the doorway, her eyes cast down. Quickly and out of nowhere Iggy summoned his courage and grabbed her shoulder, taking Max's face with one hand and kissing her on the lips. It was quick, it was sweet, and to be honest, kind of gross, but it was perfect. Iggy stood smirking as Max stood close to him, too shocked to react. She stood on her tip-toes and pecked him on the cheek, swiftly ducking under him and walking up the stairs, blushing.

"Merry Christmas, Iggy."

Iggy tried to rub the red out of his cheeks, his breath gone. "Yeah, uh...Merry Christmas. Yeah."

Iggy leaned back on the wall, grinning, as sleigh bells began to ring through the air. He chuckled to himself, without any knowledge that the mistletoe he was thanking was hanging from the opposite door.