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Chapter 2 - Quest to the North Pole

All Christmas Specials go here.

In the very first GeneX Christmas Special, Copter doesn't seem to get Christmas. In fact, he seems annoyed by it! Can anyone get through to him?

In the second, Gemini is feeling homesick. Fortunately, a reindeer crash helps to distract from it.

Chapter 2 - Quest to the North Pole

Chapter 2 - Quest to the North Pole
Sonic GeneX Christmas Special
Quest to the North Pole

Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.

Snow was falling, lights were strewn all around the city, and despite the cold, people were out and about with a busy hustle that could only mean one thing; The holidays were right around the corner once again. Even Darkegg Fortress was getting festively decorated by Rainbow the Echidna, with some grudging help from Punchy. During all of this, there was Gemini the Fennec, sitting in the base's control room with the chair facing the corner, a wistful sigh escaping her lips. Rainbow was busy hanging tinsel garland around the control console, while Copter the Fox watched, shaking his head. "We...don't need to decorate every room..." he mumbled. "We come in here often enough, so I'm decking these walls, Two!" Rainbow declared. Gemini didn't look at them. She was lost in thought. "How long now since I last saw home? ...Will I ever return? COULD I ever return? Sometimes I think going back in time was a mistake..." she thought. Copter glanced at her, and could see she was thinking quite hard. "What's wrong? I honestly expected you to be up there with Rainbow, covering the place with balls of holly and gray apparel..." he mumbled. "Whaaat? And they say I come up with weird names for things!" Rainbow said in response to Copter's ignorance. Gemini got up and started to walk away. "Leave me be... I...I'm not in the mood..." she sighed. Punchy frowned. "How come I couldn't get out of this by sayin' that?" he mumbled. Gemini quickly made her way outside, not even wanting to have the decorations around her at the moment. She sat on the snow-covered beach and looked out at the ocean. Before long, however, the silence was broken by something plummeting onto the beach from the sky, accompanied by a freaked-out scream! Gemini scrambled to her feet, looking around to find a small crater in the snow. Sprawled out within it was a brown furred creature with antlers on its head... a reindeer!

Copter had come to check on Gemini, and by the time the reindeer started to come around, Punchy and Rainbow had joined them. "Hey... How'd you wind up here, pal?" Copter asked calmly, kneeling down and, with Gemini's help, lifting him to his feet. "H-huh? Here? Wh-where is here...? I can't... Something...important... Can't...remember..." he groaned. Rainbow gasped. "You must be one of Santy Claus' reindeer!" she yelped. Punchy stared at her. "First...why doesn't Santa get a dumb nickname like Tubby? Second... There's no Santa you goof." he said. While the echidnas started arguing, Gemini looked at the reindeer carefully. There was a striking resemblance to her lost friend, Timothy, the very reason she'd gone to the past in the first place. "...Tim..." she mumbled, "Guys, we have to help this poor fella!" she insisted. The reindeer rubbed his head and nodded. "Yeah... I'm pretty sure I gotta get back to Santa... Oh! I remembered my name! Holy night! Oh, I'm Booster!" he said, shaking Copter's hand excitedly. "Errr... Booster? Never heard of ya. You sure you're alright?" he mumbled. Booster nodded. "Yeah! Well, not sure I have it in me to fly right now... Can you take me back to the North Pole? I can't remember why I left, but maybe something will jog my memory on the way!" he said cheerfully. Copter glanced at Gemini, who nodded insistently. "If the Hurricane has the gas for this trip, I will dress as an elf for a week. Fine, let's go!" he groaned, prompting Gemini to hug him. "Thanks! You're a good guy!" she said. Booster hugged them both as well. "Yeah! Group hug!" he cheered. Punchy backed away slowly. "Bah, humbug. I'm staying put." he said.

As the Hurricane took off with Copter, Gemini and Booster, Punchy and Rainbow waved, wishing them good luck. Then, Rainbow rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "You know, this'd be a great time to get my Christmas shopping done! C'mon, One!" she said, grabbing his arm. "Shopping?? With what money!?" he stammered. "I'm sure Two won't mind if I borrow his card!" Rainbow giggled. From a mile out, Copter shuddered in the cockpit of the plane. "I have a bad feeling about this trip..." he grumbled. Before Punchy knew it, he was in Station Square with Rainbow, bundled up and looking quite grouchy. "Okay, let's get this over with..." he grumbled. "That's the spirit, One..." Rainbow muttered, obviously not paying attention much. Suddenly, Amy and Blaze ran over to them. "Well, well, Rainbow! Crawled out of your cave for the holidays?" Amy smirked. "I don't live in a cave anymore!" Rainbow protested. Blaze smirked at Punchy. "I like your winter outfit. Cute." she teased. "On your way..." he growled. Just then, Violet the echidna ran up as well. "Oooh! Sis!" she shouted, hugging Rainbow as she arrived. "Are you going shopping? I was just going to pick out a gift for a certain special someone..." she said giddily. "Not as special as my Sonic!" Amy teased. Punchy sighed. "Great. You all go together... I'd just be a third wheel..." he mumbled. "Don't be silly, One! We'll all go!" Rainbow decided. Blaze nodded, giving Punchy a catty smirk. "And of course, a GENTLEMAN would carry the bags..." she said, making Punchy sweat. "H-help me... I shoulda went with Copter..." he whimpered, realizing he'd been roped into something he'd enjoy even less than a trip to the North Pole.

Heading north, the Hurricane passed over a jungle once known for its truly massive trees. Loggers had taken most of the original giant trees, but the story had a happy ending, as now pine trees had been planted in their place, and were growing tall and strong. "So many Christmas trees! Reminds me of home!" Booster said, smiling as he enjoyed the view from the plane's wing. "They're not there for Christmas... Hey, what's that??" Copter babbled. Ahead was one of the original giant trees. Atop it, a high-tech building was perched. Robots were patrolling around the premises, and as the plane neared, several Egg Flapper robots took flight to chase them! "Copter! It's Eggman's Tree Fort!" Gemini realized, remembering that she'd been here before. "Eggman DOES have a Tree Fort?? I thought Punchy was making that up before..." Copter stammered, "Well, you got the magic! Zap those bots!" he suggested. Booster looked a bit nervous. "Wait, fight them? That's naughty list talk! Why would you do that?" he whimpered, only to yelp as the Egg Flappers fired at them, forcing Copter to turn the plane out of the way. "Is it okay if they started it?!" Copter growled. Gemini gripped her wand and waved it toward the robots. "Anti-Gravna!!" she shouted, hurling a white light at the Egg Flapper in the center. It seemed unaffected, but the other robots were suddenly drawn to it as though it had become the center of gravity, and as they struck each other, they exploded! "...Quit showing off." Copter grumbled. Meanwhile, at the fort, the Egg Pawn guards had set up a dangerous-looking cannon, and were aiming it at the plane. "Crud! Where'd they get that!?" Copter yelped, trying to steer away only to find the cannon was tracking him. Before it could shoot, though, a familiar blue blur sped up the side of the tree, and swiftly tore through the robots and the cannon, destroying them! "What the? ...Nah, that couldn't be..." Copter muttered. "It's Sonic!! Oooh! Hey, Sonic!!" Booster shouted, waving excitedly. Copter smacked his forehead as the Tornado came up beside the Hurricane, piloted by Tails. "Hey, Copter! What're you doing out here?" the fox asked. Sonic turned away from the Tree Fort and waved back at the group. "You on the trail of Eggman, too?" he asked, "Seems he can't even be bothered to take the holidays off!" Copter looked profoundly annoyed, but Gemini just shrugged as he glanced at her. "More the merrier." she said. Booster was excitedly calling out to Sonic. "Yo! Hey, Sonic! Can I get your autograph? The other reindeer are gonna be SO jealous!" he said giddily.

Watching them through a monitor within a frosty, ice covered fortress, was Dr. Eggman. He was dressed extra warmly in a fluffy red coat, looking almost like Santa Claus were it not for his wild moustache standing in place of a white beard. "I see you when you're running, I know when you're in that plane; You cannot stop my scheme this time and to try it is insane!" the doctor sang, chuckling. He turned around to find his minions, Orbot, Cubot and Char the Chao playing around with some dolls and toys in the corner. "Haha! This is the funnest plan ever! Can we steal a sled now?" Char giggled. "Ooh! And some ice skates!" Cubot added excitedly. Eggman glared at them in annoyance. "Swiping toys was just a recon assignment you dunces! Orbot, why aren't you uploading the data you gathered on Santa's castle!?" he growled. Orbot looked over at the doctor apologetically. "Sorry, boss... I guess I got wrapped up in this Christmas stuff... I'll get right on it!" he said, rolling on his way over to Eggman's computer. "Make it snappy! We need to take over the North Pole for my latest plot for world conquest to succeed!" he shouted. "Why? Are you gonna bribe everyone with toys?" Cubot asked. Eggman stroked his moustache while grinning. "I wouldn't expect you dolts to understand, but Santa's workshop actually makes a strategic base to launch an attack from. Think about it. That chubby old guy somehow makes it all around the world in the space of just one measly night! If I can harness his secret, imagine if I could duplicate it! I could send my armies on a global attack and claim rulership of the while world...all by Christmas morning!" he explained with glee. Char looked up nervously. "W-we still get toys, right?" the Chao asked. Eggman turned to his monitor with a sinister chuckle. "If my plan works out, Char, we get ALL the toys! Hehehehe... Err... Hooo ho ho ho ho ho!!" he said, laughing in a manner meant to mock jolly old Saint Nick.

It seemed to take forever, but the two biplanes soon reached cooler climates, the snow falling thicker and covering more of the landscape as they pressed onward. Booster hummed cheerfully as the ride northward continued, but Copter was shivering as he piloted the plane, and Gemini had a melancholy expression as she looked down at the scenery as it passed by. Booster soon noticed the glumness of his companions. "Hey, what's wrong? Are you sad?" he asked. Copter grunted. "I'm freezin' my tails off, you clod!" he snapped. Gemini sighed. "Huh? Oh, I... I'm just homesick, I guess..." she explained. Copter glanced back at her briefly. "Homesick? Say... you've never mentioned your home before. Maybe we should pop over there on the way back." he suggested. Gemini frowned. "We'll do no such thing. Drop it." she growled. Booster glanced between them and smiled a little. "Heeey, know what'd warm our hearts up nice?" he asked. "If you say singing, I'll-" Copter started to say, only to have his fears realized. "Singing!" Booster said enthusiastically. "Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green! Here we come a wandering, so fair to be seen!" Booster started singing, as Copter groaned and Gemini giggled softly in spite of her sadness. Meanwhile, a beeping was coming from the back seat of the Tornado. "What's that?" Sonic asked. SPOT, the robo-puppy, poked its head up from the seat. "I brought SPOT along to scan for Eggman activity! What's his screen say, Sonic?" Tails asked. Sonic had to squint to read SPOT's screen from his position on the wing across from the seat. "He's picking up some sort of... tempura signal??" he mumbled. Tails shook his head. "Temporal signal. It must be coming from Santa's Workshop! To deliver presents to kids all around the world in a single night, Santa Claus must need something similar to Chaos Control!" Tails hypothesized. He and Sonic grinned as Gemini joined Booster in singing. "Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too! And God bless you and send you a haaappy new year! And God send you a happy new year!" As they sang, Copter clutched the wheel of the Hurricane furiously. "Stop that infernal waffle song or I'll crash us!!" he snarled.

Back in Station Square, Punchy found himself waiting in a checkout line, holding a heavy shopping basket full of junk. Rainbow and the others had ditched him there to look at clothes, and the look on his face could only be read as "Bah, humbug." Waiting in front of him was young Tommy the porcupine, holding a pink hat in his hands. Behind Punchy were two grumpy looking human guys, one behind a shopping cart while the other clutched a pack of cigarettes urgently. They'd been ranting about their mutual distaste for the holidays, and were now going on about Christmas songs. "Gah, but the one I really can't stand, y'know, is that song 'Christmas Shoes.' It's so disgustingly preachy..." the guy with the cigarettes said. "Never gave it much thought myself. Kinda morbid, I guess. I mean, kid's mom is gonna die. Pair 'a shoes isn't gonna stop that." the guy with the cart grunted. Punchy shrugged. He'd never even heard this song before. The chatter seemed to bother Tommy, though; He clutched the hat tighter and clenched his teeth, trying to resist saying anything. "Since the kid's gonna be homeless, maybe the guy in the song should do everyone a favor and put him out of his misery, that way we don't have to hear his whining singing!" the guy with the cigarettes laughed. Punchy rolled his eyes. "Shut up... No one makes you listen to a song..." he grumbled. The unpleasant guy shrugged, and soon Tommy came to the register. However, after counting his money, the cashier looked at him grouchily. "You're short, kid." he said. Tommy shook his head. "Nuh-uh! It's on sale!" he protested. "Sale ended yesterday." the cashier grumbled. Tommy froze. "B-but... I... I gotta get this for my mom..." he sniffled. Punchy looked at him with concern. "Hey, what's up? Can't you come back with the money?" he asked. Tommy started to cry, shaking his head. "Mom's been in the hospital for a long time... I sorta took her for granted, I guess... But the doctor called this morning. Her time is almost up. She might...any moment!" he sniffled, utterly distraught, "I was gonna give her one last Christmas present tonight! What if... What if she dies before I get it to her!?" he stammered. Punchy's expression softened, and he leaned down to Tommy's level. "Look, kid... Seems to me...the most important Christmas gift your mom could possibly get tonight is you." he said. The cashier glared down at them from his counter. "Guys, we gotta keep the line moving..." he grumbled. Punchy stood up and shot him a dirty look. "Hey! Can't you see we're having a moment here! Alright, here, I'll cover the difference for the kid's hat, and you can start ringing up this garbage, you stone-hearted punk!" he shouted, thrusting the money and the shopping basket in the cashier's face! Amy and Rainbow showed up at that moment. "What's all the yelling, One?" Rainbow asked. "Is this jerk trying to pull the old 'the sale ended yesterday' scam again??" Amy added. As they glanced at the cashier, they could see him sweating. "I-I'll add the difference as store credit!" he babbled. Punchy growled. "You'd better, you bastard!" he shouted. Tommy smiled as the cashier handed the hat to him, and gave Punchy a hug, surprising him. "You were right, Punchy... It's more important that I see my mom than having a gift for her... Thanks for everything!" he said before hurrying on his way. Punchy sighed and smiled a little as he watched him go, but glanced back in confusion as he heard sniffling behind him. The guy with the cart was sobbing. "I should c-call my mom, too!" he bawled, making his friend with the cigarettes groan. "We're still not playin' Christmas music on the way home!" he grunted.

As the planes landed, arriving at the North Pole, they found Santa's castle workshop under siege. Egg Fighters were ramming the gate with what appeared to be a massive candy cane. The robots themselves were dressed up to look like elves, a disguise that clearly had fooled no one. "Figures. Eggman wants to take over Santa's workshop." Tails sighed. "Probably outta spite for always bein' on the naughty list!" Sonic added. Copter and Gemini joined them on the icy ground, shivering but raising their fists in preparation to fight anyway. "I don't care what Eggman's up to... I want in where it's warmer!!" Copter growled. "Anything jogging your memory, Booster?" Gemini asked. Booster hopped into the air and started to fly in a circle around the planes. "Well, I'm rested enough to get in the air... but no, don't remember... I'm sorry, I really wish I could. I feel like I'm forgetting something terribly important!" he whimpered. Sonic shrugged. "We'll just wreck these elf-bots, then!" he smirked. A couple snowballs in front of them burst open suddenly, startling the group and revealing Orbot and Cubot! "Ha! We got the drop on you!" Cubot shouted. "Good plan, buddy! Um... now what?" Orbot asked. Everyone groaned and simply ran past the small robots, heading right for the Egg Fighters. "Boo! ...Aw, they weren't scared at all!" Cubot whined. "I take it back; terrible plan." Orbot sighed. As the robots banged on the gate, a familiar voice called from within. "For the last time, we're not interested in cable where you have to dig underground to hook it up! Go away!" Copter raised an eyebrow as he heard the voice. "Gator?? What're you doing in there??" he stammered. "I works here! Great vacation time!" he replied through the gate. During the distraction, Sonic got the attention of the Egg Fighters, wrecking several of them swiftly with a few homing attacks. One of their elf hats went flying and landed on Tails' head. "Very funny, Sonic! You did that on purpose!" he shouted before taking off the hat and dropping it on SPOT. "I am not amused, either." read the text on the robot's monitor. Gemini waved her wand, eager to help in the fight. "Poppration!" she called, sending firework-type blasts from her wand to quickly wreck the hands of the Egg Fighters that were trying to fight on without their bodies. "That seems like overkill. Guess they don't need us foxes..." Copter sighed, glancing at Tails, who shrugged with a grin at his words.

Dr. Eggman arrived in his Egg Mobile as Sonic and Gemini took out the robots. Char was with him. "Aw, Sonic wrecked our helpers!" Char grumbled, drawing the attention of the group toward Eggman. "Sorry, doc, you can't be Santa... you're TOO overweight!" Sonic snickered. The doctor growled, but composed himself quickly. "Oh, but I'll be a better Santa... I've got a gift for everyone and not just the nice... A gift of robots, taking the world by storm all in one night!" he grinned. Copter shuddered at the thought. "Can we return it in advance, then?" he muttered. "Don't be that way; I brought something especially for you! Happy Holidays!" Eggman chuckled, pressing a switch on his Egg Mobile to call forth his latest minion. A massive robot suddenly burst forth from beneath the snow across from the gate! It resembled a snowman with a big top hat, robotic arms, jagged metal teeth and a big red moustache just like Eggman's. "We've taken to calling him Frosty the Eggman! What do you think?" the doctor smirked. "I've never seen a scary snowman before..." Tails remarked. "Think it'll melt if I set it on fire?" Gemini asked. Booster watched this from the air and gasped. "You twisted a beloved holiday figure into something...mean! How could you!?" he shouted. Eggman glanced at him excitedly. "Ah, that reindeer is back! Go get him, Frosty!" he ordered, prompting the metal snowman to turn in Booster's direction. "Yikes! Um... help!!" he stammered. "Watch the door, guys, I got this!" Sonic said, rushing off to get Frosty's attention. "Watch the door? Why? The robots are gone, except for that thing..." Copter muttered. "Blastrotall!!" Gemini shouted, firing bolts from her wand to frighten off Orbot and Cubot as they tried to sneak by. "You forgot a couple!" she noted. Tails glanced at SPOT's monitor nervously. "They're the least of our worries... Eggman has reinforcements coming!" he warned. Frosty, meanwhile, was blowing frigid air at Booster, likely intending to freeze him solid, while his robot arms were scooping boulders of snow and hurling them at Sonic! "Whoa! I'd better find a weak spot on this thing before we all catch frostbite from it!" Sonic grunted, dashing to and fro to evade the giant snowballs.

Frosty's top hat popped open at the top, and missiles started firing from it, homing in on Sonic as he fled the snowman robot's assault. A stray missile turned to head toward Booster, and Sonic wasted no time in leaping up to knock him out of the way with a quick homing attack! The reindeer tumbled to the ground, his head getting stuck in the snow. "Ooof! By jingle, that smarts..." his muffled voice grumbled. A small, shiny red object fell into the snow as well, seeming to come from Booster's person. As he pulled his head out of the icy ground, he spotted the shiny object and gasped. "Wha!! I remember!!" he stammered. "Remember what??" Sonic said as he slid back and forth on some ice, trying to dodge the snow boulders tossed by Frosty. "This emerald piece! I left the North Pole to keep it from Eggman! It's part of the Christmas Emerald; the very power source that lets Santa speed across the world in one night!" Booster said hastily. Eggman smirked upon hearing this. "Glad you remembered! Robots, forget the gate! Grab that reindeer and his bauble!" the doctor ordered. Gemini sighed with relief as the horde of incoming robots turned away from the gate. "And stay out!" she shouted. "Hey, come back here you cowards!!" Copter yelled, shaking his fist at them. Sonic glanced from Frosty to the robot horde to Booster. "I think even I might have trouble protecting you by myself, Dancer. Fly to safety!" he suggested. Booster held the piece of the Christmas Emerald tightly and nodded. "Er, name's Booster, Sonic..." he said, standing tall and staring down the incoming robots, "And I'm through running! You've taught me that sometimes you gotta be brave and fight for what's right... even though fighting is wrong!" he announced. Sonic scratched his head and shrugged, sidestepping one of Frosty's missiles. "Well, errr... be careful?" he said. The fragment in Booster's hand started to glow, and he began to move at incredible speed! "Dash away, dash away, dash away all!" he cried, crashing through the robots with his antlers as he sped through the area far too fast for them to keep up with! "Hey! Chaos Control is cheating! Well, I'll just have to wreck this snowman just as fast!" Sonic smirked, dashing over to Frosty and running up the side of the huge robot before leaping inside his top hat! "S-sonic!! What are you-?!" Tails gasped, covering his eyes. Frosty seemed to jolt back and forth as something rattled around inside him at high speed. "...I hate that hedgehog..." Eggman grumbled as Sonic burst through the robot's chest in a spin dash, and Frosty exploded seconds later! Booster had taken out the robot horde as well, leaving just Eggman, Orbot, Cubot and Char. "So... does this mean no more toys?" Cubot asked. The heroes turned to Eggman, all glaring, and he backed away slowly. "N-now, where's your Christmas spirit?" he babbled. "Um, I just remembered, I got cookies in the oven!" Char stammered, flying off while Orbot and Cubot followed. Eggman didn't get off so easy, as Sonic and Booster charged his Egg Mobile and sent it flying into the distance! "You guys are on my list for next yeeeeaaaar!!" Eggman shouted as he soared away.

With Eggman defeated, the castle gate opened, and grateful elves and reindeer rushed out to meet Sonic and the others! Several elves hoisted them into the air and carried them inside, much to Copter's surprise. "H-hey! Put us down you creepy little gnomes!!" he stammered. Gator was just beyond the gate holding a clipboard. "Hey! No one called break time, you lazy kids!" he babbled, "...Aw, heck!" he shrugged, tossing his clipboard away and joining the celebrating group in heading for Santa's toy workshop. It was a huge, highly advanced looking workshop, filled with every toy-creating device imaginable. At the center was old Saint Nick himself, supervising construction of a few last minute gifts for Christmas. "Boss! Booster came back! And he brought help!" announced one of the elves. Santa Claus turned around, his twinkling eyes and full white beard unmistakable. Booster stood at the back looking a bit sheepish, and Santa stepped over to him as the elves dropped Sonic and the others. "Woo, this place looks like what Eggman might've built if he weren't evil..." Sonic mused. Booster handed Santa the fragment of the Christmas Emerald, and he turned it over in his hand. "It was reckless of you to take this away, Booster..." he began, "...But your heart was true, and everything turned out alright. Ho ho! Why the long face? We should be celebrating!" he smiled, pulling out a red and green emerald from inside his coat and returning the missing piece to it, "Oh, but that Eggman fellow held things up a bit! Elves, prep our friends' biplanes for the journey home! And let's finish our preparations! Christmas is nearly here! Ho ho ho ho!" he said with a jolly, excited voice, eager to proceed with business as usual now that the threat of Eggman had passed. The elves and reindeer went to work, singing carols as they went, and Sonic and Tails decided to help a bit in the meantime, Tails building some toy robot dogs that kind of resembled SPOT while Sonic ran about wrapping gifts at lightning speed! "This is kinda fun! We should do this again sometime!" Sonic chuckled. "What do you think, SPOT?" Tails asked. "Imposter! I cannot be replaced!" the robo-puppy's monitor read. Gemini was using some magic to help speed up a batch of cookies in the nearby kitchen, while Copter made himself busy prepping the next batch using cookie cutters. She smiled. "Well, I may not be able to go home, but turns out, it can be just as good spending Christmas with you..." she said, glancing at Copter, who was unwittingly standing under some mistletoe. Gemini blushed, thinking about calling attention to it, when suddenly a female reindeer pranced over to him and planted a kiss on his cheek! "Augh! W-what in the??" he stammered. "Can't leave a cutie standing under the mistletoe without a kiss!" she winked. "Vixen! Cut it out!" shouted Booster from outside the kitchen. As the evening was winding down, the heroes started to gather back at the gate, Tails walking up beside a red-nosed reindeer. "So, they used to laugh and call you names, too, huh? Well, I'm glad that's stopped." the reindeer said. Tails nodded. "Yeah... If anyone did tease me, Sonic'd have my back anyway!" he smiled. Santa and Booster met the group at the gate. "Your planes are gassed up and ready! ...Thank you, guys... Especially you, Gemini. If you hadn't found me, I don't know where I'd be." Booster said. She smiled and nodded. "Merry Christmas, Booster." she said. Santa waved as the gate opened. "I'll see you all Christmas Eve night! won't see me! The Christmas Emerald gets me moving pretty fast, ho ho!" he said. Sonic smirked. "Well, if there's anyone I wouldn't mind outrunning me, I guess it's you. Merry Christmas, guys!" he waved, prompting the entire workshop to cheerfully bid them farewell at once.

In spite of the long distance, the group still got back home in time for the annual holiday party, held at Amy's apartment once again. Copter and Gemini joined them, and they were surprised to see Punchy, Rainbow and Violet getting along with Amy, Blaze, Cream and Marine as well. "It's a season of miracles. Punchy's a party guy now." Copter chuckled. "More so than Knuckles, anyway!" Punchy grinned, glancing at his doppelganger as he tried to evade Rouge in the crowd. Later on in the party, everyone exchanged gifts. Cream and Tails exchanged boxes first. "Good thing I picked up something in advance! All the excitement would've made it tough to shop!" Tails chuckled. Cream opened her package to find a warm-looking scarf. Tails took it and wrapped it around her carefully, pinning her ears behind it, too. "This should keep you very snug this winter!" he smiled. Cream felt her ears, smiling. "Thanks, Tails! That's so thoughtful!" she giggled. Meanwhile, Rainbow had given Punchy a hang glider. "You always complain about how you can't glide, One." she said. He shrugged and chuckled softly. It wasn't practical like how Knuckles could glide, but it was the thought that counted. Blaze and Marine simply gave each other coconuts from Southern Island. "...I think we may have missed the point of this..." Blaze muttered. "No drama! Fact is, it's just what I wanted!" Marine smirked. Eventually, Sonic was cornered by Amy. "Well, I searched all over the stores, Sonic! But I found the PERFECT gift for you!" she said, thrusting a box into the nervous hedgehog's hands. "Err, but, uh..." he stammered. "Go on! Open it! Quick!" she said excitedly, jumping up and down. Sonic hesitantly started to rip the paper, and raised an eyebrow as he found white strips of tape. "Huh??" he muttered. "Sports tape! I mean, you're always running... It'd probably be good for you!" she said enthusiastically. Sonic frowned. He'd been fine without putting silly tape on himself so far, he wasn't about to start using it now. "OK! Now what'd you get me?" Amy asked. Sonic backed away nervously. "You see... here's the thing... I kinda went on a trip to the North Pole, see..." he began. Moments later, he was chased out of Amy's apartment, her hammer hot on his trail! "You... YOU JERK!! How could you forget to get me ANYTHING?? Not even a dumb card?!" she shouted. "You know, it's not technically Christmas yet! I still have a little time! AMY!! Cut it out!!" Sonic yelped, fleeing in a panic.

Christmas Eve night found everyone awaiting Christmas morn in their own ways. Knuckles, as usual, was lying peacefully beside the Master Emerald. Someone thought it funny to string red lights around the emerald, but their warm glow actually relaxed him as he tried to sleep. A stocking was hung from the side of the altar, and as Knuckles dozed off, a gloved hand reached in, leaving a bag of grapes inside. "Keep up the good work, guardian..." a jolly voice whispered before departing.
Guard the gargoyle was working security at the Hopebringer Center than night, his only company a collection of criminals, and also Spy, who was fast asleep in his seat. The gargoyle sighed looking at him, and stepped out for a moment, returning with a blanket for his snoozing companion. "Grrr... If he asks later... Santa gave it to him..." he muttered to himself.
Shadow the hedgehog found himself returning to the Space Colony ARK memorial, dusting the snow off the grave monument and looking for a familiar name. He heard footsteps, and turned to find Rouge and Omega approaching him. "I calculated an 80% probability that you would be here." Omega stated. "What do you want?" Shadow grunted. Rouge stepped over and offered him a cup of hot chocolate. "Just keep being you, Shadow... that's all..." she sighed, smiling.
Kosmo the morph was led into a church by Carrie the mirage. "Why are we here? I don't feel very welcome..." he murmured. "Nonsense..." said a male fennec wearing a priest's outfit, "Everyone is welcome." he smiled. Kosmo squinted. "I think I know him..." he muttered. "Never mind!" Carrie said, "Take a seat! The music's beautiful!" she said. As they sat and listened to a choir sing Silent Night, Kosmo nodded. "You is beautiful..." he said softly.
Silver the hedgehog was sitting on a bench in the city, gazing up at the stars. Beside him was Blaze. "Sometimes... I feel like I've known you all my life... Strange, huh?" he said, glancing at her briefly. Blaze chuckled. "Fancy that... I feel like I've known you for two lives." she chuckled. "Huh?? What do you mean?" Silver asked. Blaze got up to leave. "Nothing. I gotta head back to my world. Merry Christmas, Silver..." she said as she left. Silver waved, looking contemplative. "Two... Oh, well, she IS a cat..." he sighed.

Bucky the rat sat in his lab, his fully lit menorah reminding him of his Hanukkah traditions and the family he hadn't seen in decades. Soon, Lucky the cat, Zipp the hornet, Vortex the chameleon, Crash the rhino and Whisk the divine all marched into the room holding song lyrics. "Hark, the Herald Angels sing! Glory to the newborn king! Peace on Earth and--" they started singing only for Bucky to cover his ears. "Gaaaah! Now Lucky and Whisk have been seduced by the commercial side, too!?" he growled. "Hey, that'sss not fair, bosss, we did your holiday, too!" Vortex pointed out. "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel! I made it out of clay!" Whisk started to sing, making everyone but Vortex and Bucky groan. "Hey! Sssshe hasss a lovely voice!" Vortex hissed. "Better than yours, anyway!" Zipp teased, leading to a loud discussion that made Bucky sigh grouchily. "Well, we're officially a family..." he muttered.

By Christmas Eve, Sonic had defused the Amy situation, and was able to rest under the stars on a rooftop in Station Square. A sleigh pulled by a team of reindeer zoomed by overhead, and Sonic leapt to his feet. "Hey... spotted you! Let's race to the next house!" he grinned, speeding off with a chuckle.

It was late that night when Copter crept into the control room of Darkegg Fortress, finding it difficult to sleep. He smiled at the colorful decorations that had been set up inside, realizing that Rainbow was right to have them put there. Glancing around, he spotted Gemini in a chair across from the holographic image of the Chaos Emeralds, a decor choice by Eggman that was still in place. Gemini was fast asleep, it seemed, and Copter noticed that she was sitting under some mistletoe Rainbow had hung up. He looked at her with a blush, and stepped over, gently giving her a peck on the cheek. "Can't leave such a cutie under the mistletoe...without a kiss..." he whispered as he turned and walked away, a small smile on his face. "...Merry Christmas, Gemini..." he said quietly before leaving. As he left the room, Gemini stirred sleepily. "Merry Christmas, Copter..." she murmured, not even fully waking before she drifted back to sleep...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
The End!

"...RAINBOW!! You racked up over 800 rings worth of debt on my credit card?!?!" Christmas morning was interesting, too.

Happy Holidays, readers!


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