This isn't so much a full fic, as it is a fragment of one. The idea of Joy here popped into my head around… well, around Xmas time obviously. It's a little late for the holiday season, but I figured it was a cute scene. I have enough stuff happening in my life as it is, and it seems a shame that nobody will see it if I don't post it as fragments. I may finish it at some later date because the boys really need to be more spirited.

And frankly, this section needs more fics. So here you are. An extremely belated Happy Christmas to you all.

I'm pretty sure I didn't come up with the term Winterfest. That was either Nat the Rat, or Blue Inked Frost's idea.


Ace Lightning and the Joy of Winterfest.

Mark brushed tinsel out of the doorway and tried to ignore the jingle jingle of what he still wasn't convinced was a real voice, even though for some reason, he could understand it was one quite clearly, ringing in his ears. 'You, this whole Winterfest thing is really... taking off, Chuck.'

'You're telling me,' Chuck muttered. 'I mean have you seen what they've apped onto Dirty Rat... Wait, you're actually calling this Winterfest?'

'Um... Yeah? Well... they call Christmas in the Sixth Dimension, and it's not like this is Christmas, or anything.' Mark muttered, shuffling his feet. Over their heads, their new found "enemy" was tossing silver coins in the air which turned to silver confetti as they fell. And laughing. Laughing a lot. In spite of Ace's oh so polite instance that she be quiet earlier. She just couldn't seem to her herself. She flittered around the ceiling like a translucent red, shimmering, person-shaded wasp. 'And can you do something about all the sparkles in here? Seriously, they're starting to annoy me.'

"Sorry, dude, it's all part of the package," Chuck flicked through the ornately red-and-green, cheerful, glittering booklet absently. Mark didn't care what they said, the sight of a cover featuring random virus in a Christmas hat and Sparx with mistletoe was just wrong. 'They don't do anything they just... float around and look pretty. It's kinda nice, but it is causing a bit of background static in the—'

'Chuck, focus.'

'Right right. Looking for Fear, now...'

'Who needs to look?' Random growled as he passed (he sounded evil. He wasn't. He was just less than pleased about the games-add on addition hats-with-silver-accessories. Turned out that when the game box said "Extra Power Boosts - With Bells On!" it really meant it). 'Just ask miss glittery up there to pull him outof her sack, seems she can pull just about anything else out of there. Me included.'

Mark rolled his eyes. 'Well, Ace did say if he wanted anything for Winterfest, it would be his friend back.'

'I don't think he meant it literally at that present moment.'

'Aww don't be a scrooge, 'Gut, man, I swear you two are gonna find lumps of icy-coal in your—'

'Chuck!'

'Okay, okay" sheesh, where's your Christmas spirit, dude?'

At home, Mark thought moodily. Waiting for December. And for me to actually do that history assignment.

'Chuck, if we don't find Fear, get whatever he's taken form.. .from her...' he tilted his head at the being swooping around the rooftop. 'And get her back into the game already, then there's a good chance the whole town is going to go down in chaos within a few hours. Anything could happen, I mean we could be facing...'

'Lord Fear stealing all the presents, huh?' Chuck was grinning. Mark didn't blame him. It sounded really funny when you put it like that.

'Okay, so maybe it's not that big a risk. But this is still really annoying. So she's...'

'Park of the game package dude. I think she's the spirit of Christma—I mean, Winterfest,' Chuck grinned sheepishly. 'She just pops up and goes wherever the spirit takes her.'

'Rrrrright, and she's doing this because...?'

'Program. When in doubt, man, just blame it on the program. She thinks its Winterfest here and so it is; the logistics of the thirty degree weather don't apply to her. You're supposed to fight her later on.'

Mark looks back at the... the whatever-she-was, all lucent red, laughing and glittering, and the lights of the Thunder Tower were somehow glistening too. With bright green sparkles, no less, and...

...Was that mistletoe wrapped around the telescope? 'And we're supposed to fight her.' Mark said, blankly.

'Yeah, I know. Don't ask me why, she seems harmless enough. Annoying, but harmless. I'm getting all this from the forums, and the game adaption isn't popular enough for anyone to have done much with it. Nobody even knows just how it ends; I just know that she's listed as a Total Good alignment in the guide.'

'Then how are we supposed to fight her?' Mark looked at the figure now draping tinsel from the lights. She didn't appear to have anything in her hands. It just sort of appeared wherever she went, and when she laughed Mark could distinctively hear the jingle bells. 'I mean... look at her! She's putting drapery on the 'Flash!'

'I dunno, man, maybe this is one of the Evil Role Play editions? Oh wait... no, listen to this:' Chuck sniggered, holding up the game book and reading in mock seriousness. '"Winterfest in the Sixth Dimension is supposed to be a time of joy, merriness and the joining of lights both good and evil! Yet presents are no longer safe in Magery City, when the nasty Lord Fear unveils his most vile deed to date – the theft of every Winterfest gift in Magery city! Play a—'' Chuck had to stop for a moment to choke down a snigger. Mark had to admit, it sounded... funny. 'Sorry, sorry. "Play as your favourite superhero Ace Lightning in this entertaining holiday bash where you must recover the stolen presents and return them to their rightful owners. Before the Magery Clock strikes thirteen, and the joy of Winterfest spirit is gone forever!"' Chuck paused dramatically.

Mark burst out laughing.

'I know!' Chuck sniggered. 'It sounds like a Christmas movie I saw when I was five.'

'Yeah and from the looks of her,' Mark jabbed over his finger at where The Winterfest Spirit was trying to tease Ace into using the mistletoe. 'It's going to play like one as well. We haven't got time for this, Chuck! Anyway, presents? What presents?! It's the middle of August!'

'I dunno, but do you think it means we'll get presents too? Like early? Because I've totally got my eye on whatenevert the next addition to this game is, I hear there's a great one they'rebringing out for Thanksgiving involving Lord fear evoking the God of previously eaten turk—'

Mark started, not sure whether to laugh again, or panic. 'Chuck, no! A thousand times no!'

'Kidding, dude, I'm just kidding!'

Mark sneezed as somebody dropped a piece of tinsel into his face and it tickled. Yeah, the Joy of Winterfest was going to be a formidable opponent alright.

And damn it, he was still ignoring the jingle jingle.