As Christmas drew closer, things were getting pretty hectic around the Mason house. It seemed like everybody was trying to find the perfect gift for everyone else. They were also busy finalizing last minute holiday plans. Kendra was walking home, after having been at the nightmare that was the mall during the holidays. She had gotten gifts for almost everybody, but Kendra was still having trouble trying to figure out what to get for Jimmy. She wanted to get him something special, since he was so nice to help her out with Spinner's gift. Even though Kendra gave Jimmy enough money to cover half of the cost of the MP3 player, despite having to threaten to beat him up if he didn't take it, she still had quite a bit left. But she was unsure of what to get for him.
"What do you get for the guy," Kendra thought to herself, "that can buy whatever he wants?" Then it occurred to her. You get him something that he can't buy. Kendra hurried inside of her house to see if she could pull off her brilliant idea.
Later that afternoon Kendra went over to Nadia's house to make her daily visit. Nadia's Dad answered the door and showed her back to her room. Kendra could hear the sound of music coming from her room.
"So, are you trying to set a record for playing your Michelle Branch CD the most consecutive times?" Kendra asked as she entered Nadia's room.
"I just really like it. Besides it not any worse than you, and your love for Avril Lavigne tunes." Nadia responded.
"Okay, okay, I see your point. Here, look what I got for Jimmy." Kendra said as she handed a shopping bag to her.
"Wow, that's really nice. This is probably the last thing he's expecting to get." Nadia said as she complimented Kendra's gift idea.
"I just hope he likes it."
"He will, I'm sure of it." Nadia assured her.
"I guess we'll find out on Christmas Eve. You are still coming over, aren't you?" Kendra asked Nadia.
"I wouldn't miss it." Nadia replied.
"Good." Kendra said, "So, I see you and Lee are getting pretty cozy again."
"I don't know, maybe." Nadia replied shyly, with a huge grin on her face.
"There's not much doubt in my mind, Lee spent almost as much time in the hospital as you did." Kendra pointed out, "He was there every day during visiting hours."
"I know. He was just worried about me is all." Nadia responded.
"More like he's in love, which I think is so cool. But how do you feel about him? Kendra told her.
"I think I love him too, but we both agreed to take things slow for awhile." Nadia revealed to her.
As they talked some more, Nadia finally told Kendra about what happened when she and Lee went to the movies on their first date. At first Kendra got mad at Lee for not sticking up for her, but Nadia told her about Lee's apology and how she thought he deserved to get a second chance. Kendra said she could understand Nadia's feelings and said Lee had better not hurt her like that again. Kendra said if he did, he would have to deal with her.
"Look, I hate to bail, but I need to go over to Ashley and Toby's house before it gets too late. I'll call you when I get home tonight." Kendra said.
"I hope everything goes okay." Nadia replied as she showed Kendra to the front door.
Kendra started down the sidewalk, walking towards Ashley's house. Kendra had been spending the past few days trying to figure out what she was going to say to her. She knew that no matter what she did say, it wasn't going to change what had happened with Craig. But Kendra wanted to at least show her the same support that Ashley had given her a few months ago.
Kendra knocked on the front door and waited for someone to answer.
"Hi Kendra." Toby said as he motioned her to come inside.
"Hi Toby. I bought this for you." Kendra said as she handed him her gift
"Thanks, what is it?"
"I can't tell you, that defeats the purpose of it being a surprise." Kendra replied.
As Toby opened his gift, he was surprised to see she had gotten him the first two volumes of the anime DVD set he had been telling her about.
"You know me as well as I do, this is something that I actually want. I wish my Dad and Kate would take some lessons from you. I don't have your gift here right now, but you'll be getting it in about two weeks." Toby told her.
"What did you get for me?" Kendra asked him.
"I got a one year subscription to Shonen Jump magazine for you. That way you don't have to stand in line at the bookstore and you get it a couple of weeks before everyone else." Toby revealed to her.
Kendra was overwhelmed by the sheer thoughtfulness of what Toby had done for her. For just an instant, Kendra let down her guard and let her emotions guide her. Toby was stunned when Kendra actually kissed him. Not just any kiss, but the kind that would make, even the toughest teenage boy, see fireworks.
"Um, I didn't…mean to…" Kendra stumbled as she realized what she had just done.
"Now that's what I call a thank you." Toby, who enjoyed her show of affection, said as he tried to ease the awkwardness of the moment.
"Um, sure." Kendra answered as she regained her usually reserved composure. "Is Ashley here?"
"She's upstairs. Paige, Terri, and Hazel were here earlier to see her." Toby told her.
"How's she been?" Kendra inquired.
"She seems better, but she hasn't really said much to me about it since that night. I'll go tell her you're here."
Toby went up the stairs and knocked at Ashley's door. Kendra could hear them from the end of the hallway as Ashley invited her to come into her room. When Kendra entered, she saw Ashley sitting at her keyboard. It looked like she was in the middle of working on a song.
"I didn't mean to interrupt your music, I just wanted to say hi." Kendra said to her.
Ashley who was sitting in her dimly lit room told Kendra she could sit down.
"You didn't interrupt anything. I was just working on another song, but I needed to take a break anyways." Ashley replied.
"What kind of song is it?" Kendra asked.
"A song about people that say they love you, but are only saying what they think you want to hear and not how they really feel. I guess you could say I know about that first hand." Ashley revealed to her.
"I guess you do. You know I'm sorry about everything that happened." Kendra said.
"You don't have any reason to be sorry, it's not your fault that Craig is a no good, fucking liar." Ashley said with a tone of cold resentment, "I mean I could have handled it if he wanted to break up with me and I probably could have handled it if he wanted to leave me for Manny. But every time I asked him how he felt about us, he was never honest and up front about it. He was seeing her secretly for weeks behind my back, it's like he was playing some kind of game to prove how much of a real man he was. Some real man, huh? You know, I've been thinking. Maybe this is some sort of punishment for the way I've hurt people close to me in the past."
"You may have made mistakes," Kendra said as she sat in a chair that was turned around backwards, "but you didn't do anything that would justify what Craig did to you."
"Maybe, but enough about me. I hear you and Toby are getting pretty friendly again." Ashley said as she smiled for the first time in a long time.
"Um…we're just friends again." Kendra said as she thought about what happened with Toby downstairs.
Kendra talked to Ashley for a little while longer, trying to avoid the subject of Craig specifically, but showing that she was concerned about Ashley and letting her know that things would get better. Kendra then wished Ashley 'Merry Christmas' and she let herself out. As Kendra was making her way out of the house, she heard the sound of beautiful music coming out of Ashley's room. Ashley was putting all of her experience with love and heartbreak into her new song.
On Christmas Eve, anticipation was running high for everybody. Spinner had invited Paige to spend Christmas Eve at their house with them. Kendra had invited Jimmy and Nadia over as well. As their guests started to arrive, Kendra and Spinner made room in their living room where everybody could sit. Nadia was the first to arrive as her parents dropped her off at the Mason house.
"Hi Nadia." Spinner said as he answered the door, "Kendra, Nadia's here."
Nadia wheeled into the living room and Spinner helped her out of her wheelchair and onto the sofa where she could see the TV.
"Just get comfortable, Jimmy's bringing over some movies for us to watch." Spinner said as he headed upstairs for a moment. As he went upstairs, Kendra came out of the kitchen.
"Hi." Kendra greeted her.
"Look at what Lee gave me." Nadia said as she pointed at the necklace she was wearing. Kendra inspected the heart shaped locket and saw the inscription that read 'L.R. Loves N.J. 4 Ever'."
"That is so sweet!" Kendra said as she returned it back to its place around Nadia's neck.
"I know." Nadia replied.
As they were talking the doorbell rang and Spinner raced downstairs to answer it.
"Hi honeybee." Spinner said as he welcomed Paige into the house.
"Hi Spin." Paige replied, "What are you hiding behind your back?"
"This." Spinner said as he showed her some mistletoe that he was holding in his hand. He then held it up over both of their heads. Paige then grabbed it from him and tossed it to the side.
"We don't need that." Paige said as she kissed Spinner.
All four of them gathered in the living room and talked while they waited for Jimmy to arrive. Finally they heard the doorbell ring again.
"What's up, James?" Spinner said as he answered the door.
"Nothing, Gavin." Jimmy replied as he walked in holding a rather large bag.
"What's in the bag?" Spinner asked him.
"Just the movies and something Kendra asked me to hold for her." Jimmy told him.
"What would you be holding for Kendra?" Spinner inquired.
"Spin, why don't you let him come inside and maybe he'll tell us." Paige said to Spinner.
Jimmy came inside and took off his coat. He then handed the wrapped box to Kendra.
"Here you go." Jimmy said.
"Now are you going to tell me what it is?" Spinner said.
"I was going to make you wait until tomorrow, but since you've been on your best behavior, I guess I'll give you your Christmas present early. It was my idea, but it's from Mom, Dad, Jimmy, and Me." Kendra said as she handed him the box.
Spinner unwrapped the box and his eyes lit up when he saw the gift.
"An MP3, you got me an MP3 player. Awesome!" Spinner said as he admired the gift, "Thanks you two."
"No problem." Jimmy said as he started to make his way over to the TV.
"Not so fast." Nadia said, "Are you going to give Jimmy his present Kendra?"
"Yeah." Kendra said as she rushed over to a closet in the hallway.
"What present?" Jimmy asked.
"Just be patient." Spinner said with a smirk.
As Kendra came back from the hallway, she brought a long cylinder tube with her and handed it to Jimmy.
"Go ahead and open it." Kendra instructed him.
Jimmy looked around at everyone in the room and then unscrewed one end of the tube. He pulled out what, at first, looked like a large poster. But as he unfolded it, he realized it wasn't a poster. It was a large portrait of Jimmy, Kendra, and Spinner when they were younger. At the bottom was an inscription 'He ain't heavy, He's my brother'."
"How did you get this done?" Jimmy asked her.
"Simple. I went and asked my Mom to help me go through her photo albums. We found a picture she took of us one summer. I took the picture to an artist studio and had him paint a portrait based on it." Kendra said.
"Wow, this is the best present I've ever gotten." Jimmy said. He really meant it too. This was something he intended to cherish for the rest of his life. He then hugged Kendra and gave Spinner their special handshake. Then everybody got some snacks that Mrs. Mason and Kendra had prepared in the kitchen. Then they gathered around the TV to watch the movies that Jimmy had brought over. Life, to the group, didn't seem like it could get any better than this.
A/N: Well, that's all for this story for now. I'm going to pick it up again whenever they show us the second half of Season Three here in the US. In the meantime, I'm going to write some other fan-fics, possibly focusing on other Degrassi characters, including some of the older ones.