November came and went in one big 'whoosh,' leading straight into December without even so much as a 'see you next year.' Finals were looming dark on the horizon, and my suite became a bustle of frenzied activity. Each of the suitemates drew names and we planned a Secret Santa party for the weekend before finals.

I drew Amanda, The World's Most Difficult Person to Buy For™. I honestly didn't know who drew me, and I planned to deliberately not know, as well. Michelle and I combed Wal-Mart and the Dollar Tree trying to come up with something- *anything*- for Amanda. I finally put together a basket of bath supplies deliberately all chosen in green, as that is Amanda's favorite color.

Michelle drew Katie, the other nursing major in the suite. She bought a Playschool doctor kit for her; I thought it was absolutely hysterical.

While in Wal-Mart, looking for Katie's present, we were obviously in the toy aisles. Michelle was sorely tempted to leave me in the car.

"Look! Unicron's only $35 now!"

"You are NOT buying him, Roommate."

"But why not?" I whined, knowing full well what Michelle was about to say.

"Hrm, lessee, he appears to be roughly TWO FEET TALL. Your toys ALREADY try to kill us; why do you want a homicidal robot the size of a small child?!"

"Um… Because it's Unicron! Unicron is awesome! I could use him for a bowling ball on rainy days!"

"I'm going to pretend you didn't make that last comment." Michelle rubbed her forehead, obviously working on a migraine on my behalf. "No, roommate, you will not buy Unicron." I pouted but continued perusing the Transformers toys, wondering when- if ever- they would get a new shipment. They've got like fifty Hot Shots, but absolutely none of the cooler characters. (By 'cooler' I mean 'more G1 accurate.') I really want a Starscream- even though the Starscream I already have would pitch a royal conniption.

"Hrm… Just think, I could get some minicons and we could use them for bowling pins."


"We could use Starscream and Megatron, too!" I ignored Starscream's high-pitched protests coming from within my purse.

"NO." Michelle grabbed my arm and hauled me out of the toy section.

I'm wearing her down, I know it. She'll come around, just watch.

Our presents remained hidden in our closet, away from the prying eyes of suitemates and chibis alike. Finally, the day of the Christmas party came. Arcee was terribly excited- she'd found a bit of blue ribbon and tied it around her forehead, flapper-style- while the rest of the chibis didn't understand why *they* didn't get presents, too.

"I'll share mine with you," I promised. That mollified most of 'em. I headed out to the living room to help set up, noticing that Sarah was wrapping a present but thinking nothing of it. Roommate's hissed "Sarah!" gave away the fact that it was intended for me. Having not gotten a very good look *anyway,* I was banished back to the room until Sarah was finished wrapping.

"If you hadn't said anything, I wouldn't know it was mine," I admonished Michelle. She just shrugged and laughed hysterically. She does that a lot.

The chibis attended the party with me, spending their time on the table, finishing off the last of little Michelle's hand-dipped, hand-sprinkled fun Christmas white chocolate pretzels.

Every last one of 'em is a sugar fiend, I swear.

Michelle handed out the presents, all unlabeled, but Michelle, being a devious lil' bugger, knew who each present was from and for. People either came to her for advice (as I did) or she figured it out as each person delivered their presents to my two-foot tree on the living room fridge.

At any rate, we went around in a circle, each person opening their gift and guessing who their Santa was. (This wasn't terribly hard, as nobody in my suite but roommate Michelle can keep their mouths shut.) Amanda loved my present, which made me very, very happy. Katie thought hers was a riot and ran around taking blood pressure, though the cuff was so small, she could only get it around one's wrist. Kinda hard to take blood pressure from there, but eh, she was amused.

Sarah was watching me like a hawk when I opened my package, as were the chibis, all hoping it was something they'd enjoy- like a huge package of sprinkles or something. I'd shaken it, as my only guess was that it was Legos (the corner of the box I'd seen for that split second reminded me of a Lego box) but it didn't rattle quite enough to be my favorite present from the Danish Elves. Instead, wrapped up in more plastic than a chibi is made of, lay a "Galactic Defender." This guy is a knock-off Transformer who 'transforms' (not really) from a space shuttle to a robot to another, smaller robot and his own little scout ship, or something. The box wasn't terribly specific. It looks a lot like a Gundam, done mostly in black and grey, with purple stickers all over the place. He's pulling a Shockwave with his gun arms, and he has eyes in the back of his head. Literally.

"You're really gonna share him, right?" I rolled my eyes, knowing that voice. I could almost *hear* the drool.


"Well, what is he? Decepticon or Autobot?" Megatron wanted to know. I sighed.

"He's neither right now. He doesn't even have a *name,* guys. Give him some time for the Weirdness Radiation™ to sink in." My suitemates were all giving me blank looks. "Y'know, Weirdness Radiation™- I give it off in spades, or haven't you noticed?" Michelle fell off the couch, cracking up and laughing so hard she could no longer make noise. The suitemates exchanged looks, and a fairly unanimous 'yeah' rang out a moment later.

"It explains so much," little Michelle snickered.

"He's taller than me!" Ratchet exclaimed, frowning heavily. Bumblebee, having already gotten over his displacement as tallest house robot (though he's the tallest of the chibis still- Ratch is too ugly to be a chibi) patted Ratchet's leg and shrugged.

"You'll get over it." I sat the new robot down on the table, letting the other Transformers take a closer look at him.

"He… ah… Sorta transforms," Optimus said, trying to be positive. I laughed and thanked Sarah for the gift. Knock-off or not, a Transformer is a Transformer. Besides, the price range was $5-10, which is completely waaaay too low for Sarah to find a decent Transformer.

"He was cooler looking than the others, I know he's off-brand," Sarah said apologetically. I shrugged.

"He's awesome. But he needs a name."

"So do *I,* in case you forgot," Ratchet called from the table.

"I need two names, then. He kinda reminds me of Astrotrain, being a weird triple-changer and with the shuttle transform and all…"

"So why not call him that?" Ah, my ever logical roommate.

"Because he doesn't turn into a train."

"Oh. What about Columbia?" I thought about this a moment.

"Do you *want* him to explode into a bajillion pieces?" Michelle just gave me an innocent look. "Besides, a teacher died in that explosion. I don't think so." I sighed, surveying my nine Transformers. "That's it, I'm holding a contest on my site to name these two."

"What are you going to give whomever wins?"

"Um… The satisfaction that they named two of my toys?" Michelle shook her head.

"Hey, look! I think the radiation's finally taking effect!" Ratchet called as the nameless robot began to stir. His first reaction, upon seeing his new owner looming before him, was to shoot at me. As I'm getting used to this now, I was able to duck.

The wall was not so fortunate. Having no other place to go, it remained steadfastly in one place and took the blow.

I'm gonna owe the school so much money in repairs…

"Alright, goodnight, ladies, looks like it's time for New Robot Orientation," I said, scooping up my collection and high-tailing it for my room while everyone, sans Michelle, sat there and looked stunned.

Michelle had fallen off the couch again, laughing hysterically.

She does that a lot.

To be continued... When I'm not being a lazy author.