Hi all! Sorry, nothing new here. This was my contribution to the Very Merry Wilson Holiday project. I just thought I would post it on my page in case anyone missed it the first time around. If you have not checked out the WilSon Holiday Stories account yet, do yourself a favor and take a look, and don't forget to favorite/follow it. There are lots of great writers putting up fantastic stories, poems, limericks, etc. BIG thanks to Jen for allowing me be a part of it and I can't wait to read all the Valentines Day additions starting February 1st! Cheers!
It is Christmas Eve in the small, sleepy town of Salem. Sled tracks and the small footprints of children break up a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground. Brightly colored lights twinkle their reflection in the windows of the shops along the town square. A picture perfect night, or so it would seem, for in this town of Salem all is not as it appears. Within the homes of this quaint village are the residents of Salem, those who lie and manipulate and cheat to fulfill their own prideful desires. The worst of these being the crotchety miser Stefano Dimera, who on this Christmas Eve has sent an eviction notice to the owner of the local bar, Club TBD. In the corner of the town square, in the dimly lit back office of the bar, sits a man who is unique to this town of Salem; a man with an innocent soul, a man true of heart who puts the needs of others ahead of his own. But this night finds Sonny Kiriakis at a point of deep despair for the future of his beloved husband and daughter. In the depths of his pain and with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel, he contemplates giving up the one thing most dear to us all, life itself. What Sonny doesn't know is that from the heavens far above Salem, another innocent soul was being summoned back to Earth, and help was on the way…
"It's a WilSon-derful Life" by WillsSonny
Sonny picked up the letter and read it again. "Thirty days to vacate property." He grumbled in frustration. He tossed the letter on his desk atop the stack of unpaid overdue bills and final notices. "How did it come to this." he wondered aloud as his phone rang. He picked up the phone and saw Will's picture smiling back at him from the display and he started to cry. He wiped his eyes and pressed decline. Sonny hadn't told Will how deep they were in debt, that the bar was about to be foreclosed on or that they were about to be evicted from their apartment. He ruffled through the pile of bills until he found his life insurance policy. "I have to make it look like an accident…" he reminded himself, "…or Will and Ari get nothing." Sonny took a swig from the bottle of whiskey he he'd been drowning his sorrows in and picked up his phone again as the voice mail chimed.
"Hey you, when are you coming home?" Will's voice asked. "I still don't understand why you had to work tonight. I mean its Christmas Eve, Son. You should be here with us. Just… please come home, okay? We miss you."
Sonny glanced over at the clock on the wall and saw it change from 11:59 to 12:00, Christmas day. He tossed the phone on the desk and rubbed his tired, heavy eyes once more. He took another swig of whiskey and laid his head down on the desk. "I'm so sorry, Will, it's the only way out of this mess." he mumbled drunkenly to himself and shut his eyes.
Sonny lay there quietly for what seemed like only a few seconds when he heard a noise coming from the front of the bar. He lifted his head and looked down the hall then heard the noise again, a knocking sound. He stood up and slowly walked to the front of the bar. He glanced toward the door and could make out the shadow of someone on the other side knocking. "Sorry, we closed!" he shouted from across the room. Sonny turned to walk back to the office when the television over the bar suddenly came on. He glanced up at the screen and saw Clarence tell George Bailey that he was his guardian angel. "What the hell?" he murmured, wondering how the television turned itself on. He grabbed the remote off of the counter and turned the television off. Another knock came from the front door. "Damn it." he grumbled, shaking his head at the door. "I said were closed!" He started back toward the office when the television came on again, the same scene repeated, Clarence telling George he was his guardian angel. "Are you freaking kidding me?" Sonny grabbed the remote again and tapped it on the side as if it were broken. He pointed it at the television and again turned it off. Another knock came from the door. "Ugh!" Sonny growled in frustration. He walked over and swung the door open, "Didn't you hear me? I said were closed!" he barked at the man standing on the other side.
The short, portly young man jumped back a bit, startled as Sonny opened the door. "Ooh, you scared me." he let out with a whimper.
Sonny looked at the meek and unassuming looking guy standing in front of him. He looked to be the same age as him but was about six inches smaller than Sonny, and about six inches wider as well. His curly reddish blond hair covered his head like a nest at the top of a tree. His winter kissed cherubic cheeks framed a comforting smile. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." Sonny apologized.
"Oh, that's alright." The man said. "I saw the light on and was hoping for a cup of coffee."
"Sorry, like I said, were closed."
"Please?" the man pleaded. "I've come a very long way and I had forgotten how cold it could get down here. What do you say, just one cup of coffee?"
Sonny sighed heavily at him and looked back at the empty coffee pot on the bar. "I have to make a fresh pot. It takes a while." He told him, hoping the man would give up and go away.
"That's okay, I don't mind waiting." The man replied cheerily.
Sonny sighed again in defeat. "Alright, come on in." he conceded and opened the door for him. "Have a seat. I'll start the coffee."
"God Bless you. It's a cold one out there." The man walked in and shut the door behind him then sat down at the bar.
"Yep." Sonny replied half heartedly, filling the coffee maker.
"Working late, huh?" the man asked with a cheery tone.
"Yep." he replied again.
"Are you okay? You seem a little down."
"I just have a lot on my mind." Sonny told him as the coffee began to drip. "It will only be a couple more minutes." He turned around and leaned down to grab a to go cup from the counter under the bar when he smelled something. He sniffed into the air and a curious look came over his face. "Do you smell french fries?" he asked the man.
"Oh, that." the stranger said with embarrassment, "I'm afraid that's me."
"You?" Sonny asked as he poured the coffee into the cup. "Why do you smell like french fries?"
"Well, the answer to that is a pretty good story." he started "You see, about 25 years ago I was out to eat with a bunch of friends and I was carrying a tray full of french fries to the table. Boy I tell you, they smelled really good, so I leaned down and picked a couple up off of the tray with my mouth, but they went down the wrong way and I choked, just stopped breathing, if you can believe it. I collapsed right there in the middle of the restaurant, face down in tray full of french fries." He finished and shook his head. "What a terrible way to die. Darn smell won't go away." The stranger chuckled.
Sonny stood there in front of him holding the cup of coffee in his hand with a stupefied look on his face. "You're telling me that you're dead?" he asked in disbelief.
"Sure am." The man admitted.
"Sooo, you're a ghost?"
"Well, not a ghost so much…"
"You know what, never mind." Sonny said handing the man his coffee. "I don't care. Just take your coffee and go. I don't have time for crazy tonight."
"Oh, I can't leave yet." the man insisted. "I'm not done down here."
"I said I'm not done down here yet. I haven't completed my mission."
Sonny sighed impatiently and rubbed his eyes in frustration. "Alright, fine, I'll bite. What's your mission?" he asked in a sarcastic tone.
"Why, it's you, Sonny." He said as his comforting eyes met the pain in Sonny's. "I'm here to save you."
"How…how do you know my name?" Sonny asked as a tinge of fright crawled up his spine.
"I know all about you, Sonny. I've watched over you for your whole life."
"Look, man, you're starting to freak me out." Sonny backed away from him and pointed toward the door. "You need to leave. Now."
"I'm sorry. I can't do that Sonny." He said in a gentle voice, trying to calm Sonny's nerves.
"Who are you?" Sonny demanded.
The man gave Sonny a friendly, warm smile and took a sip of his coffee. "Mmm, that's really good. I miss coffee." He said, placing the coffee cup back on the counter, then turning back to Sonny. "My name is Charles Merrygold, but you can call me Chuck. Everyone always called me Chuck."
"You didn't answer my question, Chuck." Sonny interrupted him.
"Like I was saying, my name is Charles Merrygold and I died on March 19, 1988."
"That… that's the day I was born."
"Yes it is, Sonny."
"Okay," Sonny said angrily, "I'm going to ask you this one more time and if you don't answer me, I'm calling the police. Who are you?"
Chuck smiled warmly at him again and motioned toward the television. He lifted his hand and snapped his fingers. The television turned itself back on and one more time Clarence told George Bailey he was his guardian angel.
Sonny watched the television and then looked back to Chuck, shaking his head in confused disbelief, "You're saying you're my guardian angel?" he asked.
"That's right, Sonny. I know it may be hard to believe, but..."
"Hard to believe?" Sonny quipped. "Look, I don't know how you know so much about me, but I'm done with this. I'm calling the Police." Sonny walked back behind the bar and picked up the phone.
"Who's going to tell Will?" Chuck called out.
Sonny paused at the sound of the question he'd been thinking about all night. He hung up the phone and turned to Chuck. "What did you say?"
"Who's going to tell Will that you're dead?" Chuck questioned, repeating the thoughts that Sonny had been trying fight all night. "Who's going to tell your husband and daughter that you drove off of a bridge and drown in the icy waters below? Have you thought about that?"
Sonny collapsed onto the stool behind the bar. "How?" he asked in a state of shock.
"I told you, Sonny. I'm here to help."
"You're my guardian angel? Is that what I'm supposed to believe?" Sonny asked looking up at Jimmy Stuart on the television. He shook his head at Chuck, "It's just a movie."
"Yes, it is. But, you've never heard the term 'Based on a true story'?"
Sonny managed a chuckle between the tears starting to spill from his eyes. "So now what? You show me my Christmas past, present and future and I just change my mind?"
"No that's A Christmas Carol." Chuck corrected him, "Have you never actually watched 'It's a Wonderful Life'?"
"Look, Chuck, if you're really watching over me then you should already know it's too late. I've lost everything. I can't pay the mortgage on my business. We're losing our apartment and everything else. My daughter is not going to have a place to live or food to eat. What choice do I have? This is the only way."
"Life is too precious, Sonny. Believe me, I know. This is not the answer." Chuck pleaded with him.
"It's the only way. With my life insurance, Will and Ari will be set for life when I'm gone. They'll never want for anything." Sonny argued.
"Except for you, Sonny, they won't have you." Chuck reminded him.
Sonny shook his head. Blinded by the pain of the thought that he had let Will and Ari down, he blamed himself for their situation and was resigned to make it right, regardless of the cost to himself. "I have to do this. They'll be better off without me." He said as he started to sob into his hands.
"You don't mean that." Chuck walked behind the bar and tried to console a heartbroken Sonny.
"I do. It's all too much." Sonny said through his tears as all his fears and emotions came rushing to the surface. He grabbed Chuck by the coat and buried his face in his side as he cried. "I never want to hurt him. Make it go away. I wish Will never met me. I wish I was never born."
"I wish I was never born." Sonny cried again through his pain, clutching onto Chucks coat. "Make it stop."
"Is that what you really want?" Chuck asked.
"Yes." Sonny pleaded.
Chuck looked up to the heavens for guidance, then closed his eyes and shook his head. He gently laid his hand on Sonny's head. "Okay… it's done."
Sonny wiped his eyes and stood up. "It is? What does that mean?"
"You got your wish, Sonny." Chuck told him with disappointment. "You were never born."
Sonny looked around the bar, but nothing was familiar. The room was completely empty, with dust and debris covering every corner. "What happed to the club?" he asked Chuck.
"You were never born, Sonny. So, there never was a Club TBD. It never existed."
Sonny looked around again, then back to Chuck. "So, what happens now? Do I go to Heaven with you?"
"No, Sonny. You didn't die. You were never born." Chuck told him. "I'll go back to Heaven and you'll just… go. You'll be nothing."
"Oh." Sonny said dejectedly. "So, does this mean that you get your wings? Like in the movie? You know, because you granted my wish?"
Chuck looked at him through his sorrow, "No, Sonny. I don't get my wings. I've failed you, don't you see that? I've failed you."
"I don't understand." Sonny questioned.
Chuck kicked at the ground, irritated at his failure. "Dang it!" He shouted out. He walked away from Sonny to the other side of the room and looked up. "It's not right, Joseph." he whispered to the heavens. "I need more time. I can make him understand. Please, give me more time." He stared upward, waiting for an answer. Chuck straightened the lapels of his coat and tightened the scarf around his neck. He quickly walked back over to Sonny and stuck out his arm. "Take my arm." He said angrily.
"What? Why?" Sonny asked, confused.
"Just do it." Chuck ordered him.
Sonny wrapped his arm around Chuck's and suddenly they were standing in front of the gate of a large mansion. "Where are we?" he asked looking around, "How did we get here?"
"I'm an angel, remember?" Chuck replied.
The gate in front of them opened and Sonny heard a car coming up behind them. "We better get out of the way."
"Don't worry about it."
"What do you mean don't worry about it? There's a car coming up the driveway!"
"Oh, so now you don't want to die?" Chuck said sarcastically and held onto Sonny's arm so he couldn't move as the car drove right through them.
"Whoa, that felt weird." Sonny said, looking down at his unharmed body.
"They can't see us, hear us, or touch us." Chuck told him as the car came to a stop in front of the house.
"Who can't see us?"
Chuck pointed to the car as Nick and Gabi got out and headed up the walk. "Them."
Sonny looked over and could not believe his eyes. "Are you kidding me?" he exclaimed. "She's back with Nick? What the hell is she thinking? She's knows that guy is a bigoted psychopath."
"No she doesn't." Chuck informed him. "Gabi found out about Nick when he had problems with yours and Will's relationship."
"I still don't understand." Sonny said.
"You were never born, Sonny. So Gabi never found out who the real Nick was. At least not until it was too late." Chuck stuck his arm out again.
Sonny grabbed his arm and they were suddenly in a large dressing room with Gabi sitting at a desk in front of a lighted mirror. "What is she doing?"
"Taking off her makeup." Chuck said.
"She doesn't look happy."
"But this huge house and the fancy car, they must be loaded."
"Money doesn't equal happiness, Sonny. She's lonely. Nick sent the kids away with the nanny for the holidays because they were too loud. She misses her children."
"She let him do that? Why would she let him…" Sonny stopped and stared in disgust at the mirror as Gabi slowly wiped away her makeup, revealing the black and bruised eye below. "He hit her?" He growled. "Why doesn't she stop him?"
"She's scared of him. You and Will gave her the confidence to stand up to him and see who he really is. Without you, that never happened." Chuck stuck out his arm again. "We have to go."
"Wait a minute!" Sonny commanded. "What about the kids? Does he hit the kids? If he so much as looked at Ari wrong, I'll kill him!"
"Arianna doesn't live here." Chuck said as a matter of fact.
"Thank god." Sonny let out a sigh of relief. "She's with Will then?"
Chuck stuck out his arm again, avoiding eye contact with Sonny. "We have to go."
Sonny took his arm. He looked around the small apartment trying to place it. "I know this place." He said. "This is the apartment over the pub."
"What are we doing here?"
"You'll see in a second." Chuck motioned to the door as it opened and Will walked in.
"Will, oh thank god!" Sonny called to him and rushed over to hug him, hitting the wall behind him as he passed right though Will.
"He can't hear us, remember? He doesn't know we're here."
"Why is he here? Why isn't he at home?"
"This is his home."
"What about the apartment?" Sonny asked.
"Then why doesn't he go to Sami's or Lucas's. Why is he alone on Christmas Eve?" Sonny asked, following Will as he sat down on the bed. He sat on the edge of the bed next to Will and watched his face. "He looks so sad."
"He doesn't talk to his family much, anymore." Chuck told him, looking sympathetically at Will. "They never really accepted him after he came out."
"But they got through all that." Sonny told him. "I helped him talk to them. Lucas and Sami, they both came around. They didn't care he was gay, they love him."
"But you never existed, Sonny, remember?" Chuck put his hand on Sonny's shoulder as Sonny stared at Will.
"He doesn't look like the Will I know. His eyes are so…clouded." Sonny wiped a tear from his cheek. "What's the matter with him?"
"He doesn't like himself." Chuck said, "He never gained the confidence to accept who he was. Because…"
"…because I never existed. I'm so sorry, Will." Sonny reached out for Will's cheek, but couldn't touch him. "I can't stand seeing him like this." Sonny wiped the tears from his eyes and looked around the room again. He stood up abruptly and glanced around again nervously. "Wait! Where's Ari?" he asked in a panic. "Chuck! Where is Ari?"
Chuck put his arm out again. "It's time to go, Sonny."
"NO! I'm not going anywhere until you tell me where Ari is!" Sonny shouted.
Chuck cocked his head and gave him a knowing look. "Sonny, I'm sorry but…"
"No. You're wrong on this one." Sonny argued desperately. "Ari is Will and Gabi's daughter. That has nothing to do with me being born."
"Will was confused and hurt when he and Gabi slept together that night Arianna was conceived." Chuck reminded him. "Do you remember what happened that day that made Will that way?"
"Nope… No…" Sonny shook his head in denial. "This isn't right. This can't happen."
"You found Will in the town square and you argued with him. Why did you argue with him?"
Sonny sniffled as the tears fell. "Because I kissed him."
"But you were never born, Sonny. So you never kissed him, you never fought with him, and he never slept with Gabi that night."
"And Arianna was never born." Sonny sobbed, shaking his head in disbelief. "No…No…"
Chuck put his arm out again. "It's time, Sonny."
"No. I'm not going." Sonny protested, "I changed my mind! I want to be born, I want to live!" he turned to Will, sitting on the bed "Will, help me!" he begged in his grief.
Chuck stood in the corner of the room watching Sonny. A small grateful smile came over his face and looked up to the heavens again. "Thank you." He mouthed silently.
"I want to live!" Sonny shouted again. "I changed my mind. Do you hear me, Chuck? I want to live." Sonny turned around, but Chuck was gone. "Where are you?" Sonny called out, "Chuck? Chuck! I want to live!" He leaned against the door and slid down to the floor, his face buried in his hands. "I want to live…" he cried "I want to live…"
"I want to live…" Sonny mumbled as his eyes sprung awake. He lifted his head off of his arm and looked around the room. He was back in the office of the bar, sitting at his desk. "It was a dream." He rubbed his eyes and scratched his head, "It was just a dream." He glanced over at the clock, "It's only 11:00. It's still Christmas Eve. I can make it home before midnight." Sonny jumped up from the desk and hurriedly grabbed his jacket off the hook on the back of the door. He pulled the jacket over his shoulders and reached for his keys on the desk, stopping suddenly as he noticed the top of the desk was clean. "What the…?" The stack of unpaid bills and final payment due letters were gone, as was the eviction notice. The desk was completely bare with the exception of a single monogrammed envelope, lying neatly in the very center. On the back of the envelope, above the fold, was the letters 'CM' printed in gold calligraphy in the middle of a circle with feathered wings. Sonny picked up the enveloped and turned it over. On the front was a handwritten note. "Sonny, Thank you for the coffee on a cold night. Merry Christmas. – Chuck"
He opened the envelope and pulled out the document inside. He unfolded the piece and paper and read it, "The deed to the club." he gasped in amazement, "It's mine, I own it!" Sonny clutched the piece of paper to his chest and smiled happily, lifting his head to the sky, "Thank you, Chuck… Thank you." He put the envelope in his pocket, grabbed his keys and rushed out of the bar.
Sonny opened the door to the apartment as quietly as he could. He stood in the doorway, unnoticed by Will and Ari who were sitting on the couch cuddled together in the glow of the Christmas tree watching the end of 'It's a Wonderful Life' on the television. A tear escaped his eye at the thought of what he almost gave up. "Hey, you two." He said quietly, his voice cracked with emotion.
"Sonny!" Arianna squealed and rushed over to him.
"Hi, pumpkin." Sonny picked her up and hugged her tight to him trying to hide his tears as Will walked over to greet him.
"Why are you crying?" Arianna asked.
"I just missed you both, so much." He said, pulling Will into his arms.
Will held him close. "We missed you too, Son. Did you get everything taken care of at the club?"
"Everything is just how it should be. Everything is just perfect."
"Come watch the rest of the movie with us." Arianna said.
Will sat down on the end of the couch. Sonny laid his head in his lap with his arms around Ari, laying in front of him. Sonny closed his eyes and breathed in the happiness surrounding him. The feel of his daughter in his arms, the gentle stroking of Will's fingers in his hair and the contentment he'd almost forgotten.
"Don't fall asleep," Will told him, "You'll miss the end."
Sonny opened his eyes and smiled lovingly up at Will as ZuZu's voice came from the television. "Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."
"Is that true, Daddy?" Arianna asked Will. "Does a bell ringing mean an angel get its wings?"
"No, sweetie, it's just a movie. Right, Son?"
"I don't know Will. I heard somewhere that it was based on a true story." Sonny grinned at Arianna.
"Really?" Ari asked with delight.
"Really." Sonny nodded and hugged her close again, closing his eyes in the warmth of their love.
Will smiled at the two of them and gently ran his fingers through Sonny's hair, when suddenly he sniffed into the air. "Hey, do you guys smell french fries?"
I hope you all enjoyed this! Much love to Jen and everyone else involved in putting this WilSon Christmas project together. Merry Christmas! Hug someone you love. ~ David