SAP ALERT! Prepare yourself for a transformation in style....dun dun dun! Lol...and again, I was feeling poetic while writing this...so have mercy. Lol... Please try not to kill me for my very cliché ending. Oh, and this takes place during the Christmas Break.
Wow...wait...wow...I'm....done. It's done. It's...::eyes water:: MY BABY IS FINISHED! I don't know whether to cry or...aw heck, give me the tissues! ::blows nose:: I'm going to miss you guys...It's been great hearing all the feedback, and you'll never know how my I appreciate it! And I'd like to give a special thanks to anyone and everyone who took time to give me feedback and comment on the story. It always made me smile, and I love you all! I feel all sentimental! ::blows nose:: I can't believe it's really over...Gosh, what am I going to do with my life and all my spare time now? ::nagging voice in head:: 'Uuupppdddaaattteee Ooonnneeewwwaaayyy Tttiiccckkkeeettt'...::blinks:: What was that?
Allie dearest- Yes...::sniffles and nods:: Yes, you keep my lazy butt in gear. Punctuality? What's that? But I feel sad because I had to whip this one out without your prodding. Where've you been, my precious? I miss you. :( Oops. You would think that after 70 chapters I could handle a simple disclaimer. XD Guess not. ::giggles:: Rah for Julie. Yep, Banks is delusional. ::smiles:: Love ya, hun. You've been a constant support, and I thank you for everything.
Banksiesbabe99- Oh course not, darling. XD But this is the final chapter...it's been a long road, and thanks so much for all your reviews and support. You've been with me since the beginning. Hope you find this to be a suitable conclusion.
Sarah- ::grins and blushes:: Thanks so much. I really am glad that you've liked the story. This is the very end, so I hope you like it.
Stef- 'Ello dahling! So glad you liked the happy ended...heh...like I could REALLY give him a sad ending. ::pets Charlie:: See? I can update and RP, I swear! XD Dude, I have so many stories on my plate it's insane. And no problem about reviewing your story. Here's your update, and I hope you like it. ::grins::...EEK! ::hides:: Hee. I'm being watched? ::twilight zone music:: Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo...Hehe...of course you do.
Katie- Hello! Lol...it's okay. I'm glad to know you've been reading it. ::blushes and smiles:: Thanks so much! Your review really made my day.
Emmy dearest- Thanks precious! ::huggles Emmy, still missing her greatly:: It's hard to believe it's ending...hehe...yeah, Banks forgot his Riddelyn, but could we expect any more from him? :P By the way, hun, is there any way I'll be able to talk to you now that Shattered Glass is ending? I don't wanna email you until I know you won't get in trouble. Miss ya dearly.
Brnnttebabe12- Lol...it only took 70 chapters! XD Thanks bunches!
Rach- ::randomly hugs you and breaks down crying:: IT'S OVER! ::sob:: Thanks for all your support, hun. And yeah, I heard about D4! ::squees:: I'm so excited!! It's supposedly all about Charlie! ::dies with excitement::
DodgerMcClure.aka.Drama-Queen- ::grins:: Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.
Adriana- ::grins widely:: I'm so glad you liked it! I'm also glad you liked those quotes. Heh...I try. Don't worry, hun. I'm not goin' anywhere. I'm still a die-hard Duck fan and I love writing, so I'll do my best to keep it up. The only other topic I'd write for is Dawson's Creek, but I can split it between. ::giggles:: Aww, well I appreciate your consent for the epilogue to be last. XD
ColeSR2005- Thanks! I'm glad you like it. ::beams:: This is actually the last chapter, but I'm thinking about a possible sequel...it's not written in stone yet, though.
Spunky-hyper-girl- ::giggles:: I'm glad, as always, that you like it. I'm so glad you've enjoyed the story, and your support has always been appreciated. I hope this is a suitable ending.
Tiff- ::smiles:: I'm glad you liked it.
Alley Parker- Hehe, I second that. He really is...::pets Charlie:: Thanks so much.
French Chipmunk- Thanks bunches, dear! Told ya it'd be a happy ending. Lol...
Preciousbabyblue- ::pats your back and cries too::
Shanks- Lol...you crack me up. ::giggles:: Sorry for the insanely long wait on One Way Ticket...I WILL update it...maybe it'll be easier now without another long on-going story...I won't abandon it, though. I've just been busy and trying to finish this. Lol...hehe...
Neblua- ::giggles:: Why am I not surprised that you liked that line? XD But seriously, thanks for your support all this time. I've always appreciated it. ::smiles:: Hope you like the ending.
Disclaimer- Nope. Not even after all this time do I own the Mighty Ducks...it's a real shame. Seventy chapters worth of not owning something really starts to wear down your self-esteem...
Charlie Conway could smell the apple cider and the aroma of hot chocolate drift through the room. Laughter trickled in from the kitchen where some of his friends were gathered.
He knew that if he were to turn around, he could see the elaborate decorations and lights strung around the living room of his house.
His house...he had a home.
A content smile found his lips as he realized this. He finally had somewhere to belong. As always, it had been right in front of his face the whole time. He had just needed to be reminded again.
The now fifteen-year-old boy shifted in his seat on the large, plush armchair.
The flickering of the fire had held his interest for the past ten or so minutes. He was drawn in by the warm, comforting aura and the glow it provided.
His life for the past year had been, in short, a nightmare. A living, breathing nightmare.
Charlie pulled his knees to his chest and rested his chin on them, still watching the fire with awe.
He snuggled into his hoodie a little tighter before shifting his gaze to the group of people gathered around the big, flat screen TV in front of the couch.
Cocking his head ever so slightly and watching with curious eyes, he observed the ever-exuberant Ducks mill around the house as if it were their own.
Eight months ago, that would have made him bitter. He would have become upset that they could enjoy themselves without him.
If anything, Charlie figured he had grown up in the past year. While most of his friends could go through each day in a breeze, he still had to be careful about moderating his mood. Unlike his friends, he had to keep up the responsibility of taking his anti-depressants. However, he was told if he kept up the good work, they might be able to gradually take him off them soon.
He had known the pain of what it feels like to be unwanted by the one person who was meant to love you unconditionally. Felt the searing pain of being unworthy of his own father's affection.
The big difference was he had stopped letting these things bother him so much now. Instead of bottling it up and cynically assuming everyone was out to get him, he had allowed himself to get help, no matter how reluctant at first.
Not to say that he didn't have an occasional day were the world WAS out to get him when he did NOTHING wrong, but he was an average teenager. All teenagers have those moments. Some more often than others.
Charlie's eyes lightened as his lips curved into a small smile. His eyes were drawn to the kitchen door where Averman was being attacked by Connie with marshmallows and Goldberg was eating them off the floor.
A small laugh escaped as he shook his head. How had he gone so long without his Ducks, anyway?
He stretched out his long legs and let out a sigh before standing up.
His attention was drawn to the window seat a few feet away from him, about five feet from the front door. He saw tiny white flecks of snowing floating down to the white sheet of snow covering the grass outside.
Taking a few steps, he sat down on the velvet-padded window seat and leaned up against the wall. He looked out the window and watched the crystal flakes drift around, only to inevitably fall to the ground.
Another sigh escaped his lips as he stared at the perfect layer of snow encasing the ground. Untouched. Unmarred.
Charlie pulled his knees to his chest again, resting the side of his face against the cold surface of the window.
As his eyes flicked from one snow-covered object to another, his mind numbly drifted around, thinking nothing in particular.
Across the street, he saw a young child playing in the falling snow. Bundled up nice and warm with a protective mother hovering around, insuring safety.
It had been almost a year since he had last seen his mother. In fact, this was the first Christmas he had ever had without his mom. His fifteenth birthday had been the first birthday that his mother had not seen. The past Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving that he had not spent with her. His first day as a sophomore was the first time his mother hadn't been there to make him take a 'first day of school' picture, insisting he would regret it later if he didn't.
It was safe to say there was a picture taken anyway.
He could hardly believe she was truly gone. But he had come to accept it. Instead of getting angry or slinking into an insurmountable fit of depression, he was simply sad. Sad that he no longer had a mother, but glad that he had someone who had become something almost as good. Or even possibly as good as having his mother.
He had a father.
Not a father in the biological sense, considering he now denied any blood relation to his 'real father,' but in the sense of what a father should be. Someone who cares and would do anything to protect his son, even if it meant dragging him to therapy kicking and screaming. Literally.
Charlie closed his eyes and sighed, relaxing against the cold glass window and hard surface of the wall.
He felt a brief pressure against his lips for a moment before it disappeared again. He opened his eyes to reveal Julie pulling away from his face and sitting down next to him.
"Hey Conway." she said with a smile. "Antisocial, much?" she said lightly, smiling to let him know she was kidding.
He smiled back. "Yeah, I guess," he replied.
"What are you doing over here all by yourself anyway? I thought we were rid of antisocial Charlie," she asked with a smile, pulling her legs up on to the window seat.
"Thinking," Charlie replied with a shrug.
"Now, now, we all know that's a very dangerous practice. You wouldn't want to cause any permanent damage. It most only be executed in moderated intervals," she said with a grin as he batted at her legs, a grin on his face as well.
"Yes, of course. How could I have forgotten? I need to be more careful," he said before turning back to the scenery outside the window.
Julie watched curiously as Charlie stared out the window, almost as if he were in a trance.
"A penny for your thoughts?" she asked softly, scooting over and leaning on his propped-up knees.
Charlie straightened his legs slightly and wrapped his arms around her body, cradling her against his chest.
His chin rested in her blonde hair as he continued looking outside the window.
"A dollar," he reasoned with an impish grin before she swatted his arm, not lifting her head from his chest.
"In your dreams, Conway. A nickel. And that's my final offer," she said softly, closing her eyes and smiling.
"You drive a hard bargain, Gaffney. But I can live with that...a nickel it is," he said with a faraway smile, laying his head down atop hers. "I guess I was just thinking about this past year. My mom. Christmas. Coach Bombay...You guys...random stuff like that all wrapped up with a pretty bow," he said, slightly more serious than before.
"A pink bow?" she asked absently, sighing into his chest.
"Nope. Blue," he answered simply.
"Aw, why not pink?" she asked jokingly, though she wasn't all that partial to pink herself anyway.
"Nothing that comes of my mind will EVER be pink, I assure you," Charlie replied with slight disgust.
Julie smiled to herself, just happy to be with him.
"So how are you doing?" Julie asked after a few more moments of comfortable silence.
Charlie shrugged slightly; just enough for Julie to feel a slightly movement against her shoulder and back. "Good, I guess."
She moved her head to look up at him, disrupting the placement of his head. He looked at her, and she looked right back.
"You sure?" she asked, catching his blue eyes with her own.
It seemed as if he took a moment to really think about it. Not so much hesitation, but more like really thinking it through.
A genuine smile appeared on his face. "Yeah. I think I am. It's a shocking thing, but I think I might actually be happy."
Her faced brightened as she smiled back. "Good to hear, Charlie," she said, leaning forward slightly.
As if on cue, Charlie leaned in and pulled her into a kiss.
She smiled and returned the gesture, placing her hand on his shoulder as they deepened the kiss.
"Hey, lovebirds! C'mon, we're roastin' s'mores! And if ya don't hurry, Goldie here's gonna eat all the marshmallows!" Russ called out from the couch across the room while Averman, Portman, and Fulton did catcalls from the kitchen door.
Charlie and Julie broke the kiss and sent playful glares to their fellow Ducks.
After a few seconds of recovering for any and all forms of aggression for ruining a 'moment,' Charlie stood up and held out his hand to Julie.
"Shall we?" he asked, grinning.
"We shall," she said back, placing her hand in his as he pulled her up.
Charlie smiled and intertwined his fingers with Julie's. She smiled up at him, and they walked over to the rest of the Ducks.
As Charlie surveyed the room, he could feel a sense of contentment wash over him. These were his friends. This was his family.
Adam Banks leaned over and handed Charlie a metal rod with a marshmallow stuck on one end.
Charlie watched as Gordon Bombay pulled open the screen shielding the fire in the fireplace from the rest of the house.
Leaning forward slightly, Charlie held the white, sticky marshmallow to the fire along with those he held dearest.
He was truly happy, and he couldn't ask for more.