Disclaimer: I do not own Mutant X, but I do own every character you don't recognize from MX. This is a follow-up to my story Dominion Wars. Checking out that story is advised, cause this story might not make sense if you don't.

Melodie568 challenged me to write a Christmas story, so feel free to tune in while I fall on my face trying. It will be 3 chapters long, one each for planning, Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Chapter 1: Planning

Jesse, Melodie, Alex, Shal, Max and Lexa were sitting in the living room when Adam walked in with Mike and Emma who was eight and half months pregnant. Adam stretched out his arm to let Mike and Emma know where to sit. "Glad you all could be here tonight. As soon as the others get here, we'll get to the point of this meeting."

"Adam, come on, quit playing games," said Shalimar. She was in a bad mood, and everyone knew it.

Before Adam could say anything, Brennan walked in with Mari. Gabriella, Ashley, Zack and Zane followed them.

Ashley spoke up; "Hey Adam, me and Gabby met these guys in the garage. What's going on?"

"You and Gabriella sit down, your dad's coming too."

"Ashlocke?" asked Shalimar.

"Yes, Shal, Ashlocke. He's not evil anymore."

"I know, but."

"No buts!"

Gabriel Ashlocke walks in as Brennan sat down next to Melodie and places his hands on Alex's head, messing up his hair, "Hey little guy."

"Brennan, stop it!" said Jesse, angrily. Alex looked up at his dad, then moved away from Brennan, and sat in Jesse's lap.

"Jesse."

"Shut up, and don't talk to me Brennan."

"Jesse," said Melodie. "Don't act like this in front of our son!"

Gabriel awkwardly walks past Mari, who was standing beside Brennan, and hugs his daughter Gabriella and son Ashley. "Miss seeing you guys."

"We miss you two dad. Wish Adam hadn't moved you to team Sanctuary."

"I never thought I'd be a member of Mutant X, much less allowed in Sanctuary," he laughed. "Maybe someday I can move back to Haven's team."

"Yeah, you mean when Shal calms down," said Gabriella, just loud enough for Shal to hear.

Shal opened her mouth to say something, but Gabriel stopped her, "Wait, let me handle this. She is my daughter Shalimar. Gabby, I don't ever want to hear you talk to her like that, again. Shal is weary of me, I did a lot of horrible stuff to her, she has ever reason to hate me."

"But you're not that person anymore!" yelled Gabby.

"I know that, but she doesn't yet. In time, I hope she will. Now sit down, and listen to Adam."

Emma looked up at Adam, "When do we get the big news?"

"As soon as Josh and the others get here."


15 minutes later….

Josh, Lulu, Rosalie and an angry looking Dax walked into the living room. Shalimar looked up, "Now do we get the news? If not, I'm leaving."

"Ok, you get the news. I think this will come as a big surprise for all of you. But since our war with the Dominion is over, I've decided it's time we celebrate the old fashion way."

"Are we having a party?" asked Alex. Jesse almost laughed out loud at his son's anxiousness.

Adam smiled, "Yes, Alex we are. We're going to celebrate Christmas."

"We are?" asked Brennan. "We've never done that before."

"We've never had the time before," said Adam. "And we need to celebrate the downfall of the Dominion."

Adam walked over and picked up an old brown hat. "Everyone place your name in this hat."

"Adam, what for?" asked Shalimar.

"Secret Santa. Alex can you hand out these papers and these pencils?"

"I'll hand out the pencils Adam," said Jesse. "He's too young to carry that many pencils."

"Right, sorry, still not used to having a real little kid around," said Adam.

"Who you calling little!" yelled Alex.

Everyone almost collapsed in the floor laughing. Melodie tried sshing everyone, but she was laughing too hard herself.

Adam kneeled down, "Alex, I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything by calling you little. I just meant you were shorter than…me."

"Ok," he smiled. He passed out the papers, and Jesse passed out the pencils. "Do I get to put my name on paper too?"

"Yes, Alex."

"Yea!" he yelled as he jumped up and down.

"And besides the Secret Santa, you are all allowed to buy as many gifts as you want for each other. Team Sanctuary will stay with us doing the holidays."

Shalimar stood up and walked toward the kitchen, "I need some water."

"I'll be right back," said Jesse as he followed Shal. "Shal are you ok?"

"No, I'm not ok. I don't want to spend the holidays with Brennan and Mari."

"I know it isn't going to be easy, but we're going to get through it."

"We're?"

"I haven't talked to Brennan since he left to move to Haven. Nobody hurts my sister and gets away with it."

"Jesse, I never wanted you to lose your friendship with Brennan."

"He's no friend of mine."

"We'll talk about this later, let's go pull our names from a hat."

Back in the living room….

The 20 members of the Mutant X family passed the hat around and each pulled out a slip of paper with a name of the person they were to buy a present for.

Adam stood up, "Alright, go to bed, we have 4 days till Christmas. Shopping can wait till tomorrow."

Everyone got up, left the room, and headed to their rooms. Each was waiting till later to read their piece of paper.

Behind close doors…

Mike walked down the hall, and took the piece of paper out of his pocket: Alex.

'How do I shop for a kid? Ok, if I were a kid, what would I want? That isn't going to work, I haven't been a kid for a long time. Ok, I'll go to Toys R' Us and ask someone. It will give me great practice for when Emma's and mine child gets here.'


Emma walked into her and Mike's room and headed for her bathroom. She turned on the shower, and pulled her clothes off. She reached down and the pulled the piece of paper out of the pocket of the pants lying on the floor. She was hoping it would be someone easy to shop for.

That hope ended when she read the paper: Ashley.

'I don't even have a clue of what to buy for Ashley. He's my nephew, and I barely know him. He lives here, and I don't know him well enough to buy a gift. Maybe I can change not knowing him. Maybe invite him to hang out with me shopping tomorrow. Surely, we can talk some then.'


Gabriella walked into her room. She was moving around her stuff, so her boyfriend Zane could stay in her room. She pulled the paper out of her pocket. She almost laughed when she read the paper: Zack.

'Zane's twin brother? He hates me, seriously hates me. He has tried to get Zane to break up with me. Of course, he has good reason, I did almost get him and Zane killed. But maybe a Christmas gift could break the ice.'


Ashley walked into his room and climbed on the top of his bunk bed. He reminded himself to go ask his dad to join him in his room. He climbed back down, and remembered to read the paper. His heart sunk when he realized whom he'd have to buy a gift for, Lulu.

'She still blames Gabby for killing Shelly, even thought Gabby didn't. The fighting got so bad the Lulu was moved to Sanctuary. How do I buy a gift for someone who hates my sister?'


Max walks into the dojo and pulls the paper out of his pocket. He got Dakota.

'Why him? This shouldn't be hard; after all, he is my brother. However, I haven't talked to him in 2 months. Every since he left and moved to Sanctuary, he has been so distance. He's even pulled away from Rosalie, and nobody knows why. Maybe while he is here I can get him to open up.'


Josh walked out of the rooftop door and went to stand on the balcony. She had known whom she chose from the second that touched the paper: Zane.

'I know exactly what he wants. However, how to I get it without causing another fight with Gabriella? She was convinced I wanted him until I started seeing Zack. Will this gift start the battle all over again?'


Zane knocked on Gabriella's door, when she didn't answer; he pushed the door open. He heard the shower going and decided to wait till she got done. He sat down on her bed and pulled out the paper. He joyfully realized he had gotten Gabriella.

'How lucky am I? I get to secret Santa shop for my girlfriend. Wait. How do you shop for a girlfriend? Oh man.'


Zack walked to the kitchen to get a bottle of water to take with him to bed. He was still unclear where he would be staying, since he and Josh stayed at Sanctuary. He guessed sleeping on the couch was in his future. He pulled the paper out of his pocket. The one person he wanted to buy a gift for Josh.

'Yes! I know exactly what do get her. This is going to be the best Christmas ever! Never thought I'd say that. Who ever knew I would fall in love with a crazy chick though.'


Dax walked down to the garage. He did not intend to stay for this little party. He pulled the paper out of his pocket and threw it.

"You leaving?"

He turned to see Lexa standing there. She was leaning against the wall smiling.

"Yeah, why?"

"Cause I was hoping you'd stay. I was hoping to get to know you better."

"Lexa I forgave you for what you did, betraying my brother and I even accept you marrying my brother, but please don't try to be my friend."

"I'm not good at making friends anyway. Dax, we used to be good friends when you were younger. Remember your mom and dad would bring you to Sanctuary to hang out with Max and me."

"Yeah, I remember."

"Then you remember how you used to tell me secrets."

"Hold it, I see where this is going."

"Do you?"

"Yeah, you're trying to trick me into telling you why I'm a jerk," he joked.

"Not trying to trick you, just trying to remind you that you don't have to go through whatever you're going through, alone."

"You're one to talk, you're usually the one going through stuff alone."

"Yeah I know, but I'm trying to change that."

"Alright, I'll tell you on one condition."

"Name it."

"Promise you won't tell Max."

"He's my fiancée, Dax."

"Ok bye," he said as he turned to leave.

He walked about 15 feet before Lexa stopped him, "Alright, I promise."

"Rosalie broke up with me," he said turning back toward her.

"What? She's crazy! I know she loves you Dax."

"We'll I guess not. I gave her everything!" yelled Dax in anger.

"Dax, calm down."

"Don't tell me to calm down, I love her! I've never loved a girl, like I love her, Lexa. I was going to ask her to marry me."

"Dax, let me talk to her. Maybe it's just a misunderstanding."

"Would you? But don't tell her I miss, don't want her pity."

"What is it with you Laken men and your pride."

"You think we're bad," said Dax with a smile. "You should see Zack and Zane fighting in the dojo, and getting whooped by their girlfriends."

Lexa laughed, "Look you have to stay, you can stay in Max's room. And find out who you're gift shopping for."

"Do I have to?"

"Yes, you do."

Dax walked over to paper he threw. He picked it up and read it: Rosalie.

"Life sucks," he said walking back toward the garage door.

"Where you going?"

"Shopping, I'll be back."

"You better, or our deal is off."

Lexa watched as Dax got on back of the motorcycle that Zane got him. She wanted till he drove off to pull her paper out of the garbage where she threw it before Dax came out. Her paper read: Melodie.

'I like her, some. However, I have to admit I am angry with her. Jesse was mine when she came back into his life. Technically, he was with Dasi, but we spent ever night together talking. The night before Mel joined Mutant X, Jesse said he was going to dump Dasi and I was hoping he would want me. Then he turned around and called Melodie. Now I have to get her a gift.'


Jesse walked into his room, his left foot caught something under it and he went flying up, landing on his back in the floor. He slowly sat up, reached under him and pulled out a rubber ducky. He fell back laughing. There was no end to the joy that his son brought to his life. Alex and Melodie had finally made his life complete.

He reached into his pocket for the piece of paper, and read the name. The smile all but faded when she read Brennan.

'I am not buying that jerk a gift! How do I buy a gift for the person who broke Shal's heart?'


Gabriel Ashlocke walked into Ashley's room. Looked around and found Ashley asleep. He crawled into the bottom bunk and pulled out the paper. He wasn't sure he wanted to participate in the secret Santa, until he read the name on the paper: Adam.

'What do you get the man, who ruined your life? Nevertheless, he also saved my life a few months ago. Maybe the gift can end all animosity between us. Or at least get me through the holidays.'


Mari went into her old room at Haven to find it completely empty. There wasn't even a bed. It was fine with her; she was used to roughing it. She pulled the paper from her pocket; secretly praying it wasn't Shalimar. What do you get the girl who lost her boyfriend to you? Instead of Shalimar, she got Max.

'The idiot who spearheaded Brennan and me moving to Sanctuary. I didn't know until I heard it from Max himself. He said he wanted to make things easier on Shalimar. I agreed, but now it hurts to think about it. What do I get the man who caused that pain?'


Melodie walked into her room and saw Jesse lying on the floor. "Jesse! Are you ok?" she said running to his side. She almost collapsed in laughter when he held up the rubber ducky. "Alex..must have..left that."

"Either that are we need to talk."

"About what?"

"Why you need a rubber ducky," he laughed then stop abruptly.

"You ok?"

"Yeah, my back hurts though."

"Let me get you into bed, and I'll rub your back ok?"

"Ok, you still have that warming massage lotion?"

"Yeah. Get into bed, I'll get it form the bathroom."

"Ok."

Melodie walked into the bathroom and pulled the paper out of her pocket absent-mindedly. She reached for the massage oil, while trying to unfold the paper. She opened the paper just as she knocked over the Shampoo bottle she left on the back of the toilet that morning after bathing Alex. "I'm ok, just clumsy."

"Ok, hurry up though."

"Ok, Jesse, give me a second."

She picked up the shampoo, opened the door to the shower and placed it up on the shelf. She loved the fact that Alex stayed in the room across from them. She placed the paper of the side of the sink and reached for the massage oil. She turned to see Jesse standing in the doorway. "I was coming."

"I know, but I decided to change the game."

"Oh really," she smiled.

"Yeah, and your not going to need the massage oil."

He walked over to her and kissed her passionately. He let his hands travel down her back and to her waist. He began unbuttoning her blouse, and kissing the nape of her neck. "Want to join me in the shower?" he whispered.

"Yeah."


Melodie crawled out of bed and pulled on her robe. She glanced down and watched Jesse sleep for a second. She needed to use the restroom, and then she'd get back into bed.

She walked into the restroom and her eyes caught the paper by the sink. She walked over, picked it up and read: Lexa.

'Getting her a present should be easy. Although, I haven't really gotten to know her since I joined Mutant X. But I think she likes me. However, that doesn't make it any easier to buy her a gift. Wait I can ask Max. No, I can't, it's supposed to be secret Santa. Merry Christmas and the fun begins...'


Alex walked down the hall carrying his teddy bear. The dark scared him, but he knew where he was going. However, everything was different at night. He started to get scared when he heard the sound coming from the room he just passed. It sounded like crying. He went and knocked gently on the door.

He baked up slightly when he hear footsteps on the other side. He watched as the door opened, and Shal squatted down to his level, "Hey Alex, you ok?"

"Yeah, I need help though."

"Well, you come on in here, and we can do something about that."

"Ok."

Shal watched at the 4-year-old Alex walked into her room. She wiped her eyes one last time, and turned to watch him crawl up onto her bed. She walked over and helped him up. "There you go buddy."

"Thanks aunt Shal."

"Your welcome sweetie, now what do you need help with?"

"Getting a present for someone. I'm a kid, I can't go to the store," he pouted.

"I'll take you to the store, if you like."

"Really? Yeah, I' d like that."

"So can I know who you're getting the gift for, or you want to keep that a secret?"

"You can know, here," he said handing her the paper.

Shal smiled and opened the piece of paper: Jesse.

"So you have to shop for daddy huh?"

"Yeah, I never done that before, can you help?"

"Yeah, and while we're shopping we can get ice-cream. You like Rocky Road right?"

"Yeah, how did you know?"

"Lucky guess," she smiled, knowing it was Jesse's favorite too.

"Are you going to buy your gift too?"

"Yeah, I am."

"You don't sound like you're happy about it aunt Shal."

"I get like this around the holidays, don't worry, we'll have a blast tomorrow shopping."

"YEA!" yelled Alex.

"Shh! Grown-ups sleeping," smiled Shal. "Let's get you back to your room."

"Can I stay in here with you?"

"Sure, I don't see why not."

Shal helped Alex get under the cover and watched as he fell asleep. She crossed the room and picked up the paper from her desk.

' How do I buy you a gift. For so long now, I've hated you. I still hate you, and I have my baby to think of. Can I really afford to get you a gift? Can I afford to forgive you for what you've done to me?'

She laid the paper down and walked over to the bed, crawling in beside Alex. He wiggled closer to her and she placed her arms around him. Falling asleep, she thought one last time about the person she had to buy a gift for Ashlocke!


Lulu walked into the dojo to find Max hitting the punching bag hard. "Hey Max."

"Hey Lulu, how do you like being back here at Haven?"

"Honestly, I hate it."

Max laughed, "Me too."

"I like some of the people here, but not enough to spend the holidays with them."

"So who do you have to buy a gift for?"

"I thought it was supposed to be a secret."

"Yeah, it is, guess I was hoping you got someone I can shop for, so we could trade."

"Who did you get?"

"Dakota."

"I got Mike."

"Never mind on the trade then," he joked.

"Yeah, I couldn't shop for Dax, don't know him well enough."

"Yeah, and I punched Mike last week."

"You what?"

"I punched Mike for being a jerk. He got you moved to Sanctuary for personal reasons. He should have stayed out of it!"

"I agree, but I don't need you fighting my battles for me."

"I know, but I just blew it."

"Well just think how I feel buying a gift for someone who got me kicked out of here."

"Yeah, you got the hard one, no doubt."

"Well, I'm going to bed, so see you in the morning."

"Where you sleeping?"

"I think on the floor in Mari's old room, with her."

"You girls go stay with Lexa, in her room. I'm staying in a room with Dax."

"Is Lexa going to treat Mari bad? Cause I don't want to subject her to that."

"Since you've joined us at Haven, have you seen Lexa mistreat Mari?"

"No."

"That's cause Lexa doesn't want to get involved, and she doesn't have a problem with Mari. In fact, she's ask Mari to be her maid-of-honor."

"Wow, didn't know that."

"Nobody does yet, so don't tell, ok?"

"Ok, I'll get Mari and we'll share with Lexa, cause I'm tired, going to bed sounds really good right now."

"Goodnight Lulu."

"Night Max."


Adam glanced once more at his piece of paper; he was overjoyed to find that he would be buying something for Emma.

'My son's wife. I get to give Emma a gift. Before she was married to my son, she was already like a daughter to me. I cared for her and was scared for her. With her abilities, she was in so much pain when I found her. Now, she can handle herself with no problems. Since she married Mike, she's found some inter peace.'


Rosalie lay on her bed reading the name on the paper: Mari.

'Yeah I would get the one person I never wanted to buy a gift for. She will probably only get one. Shal is being so strong, pretending she doesn't care about Brennan leaving her to be with Mari. In addition to everything she is going through, she's pregnant. She's engaged to the father of the baby, but she cries every night. How do I get a gift for someone I blame for causing my best friend's heart to break?'


Brennan walked into the room he thought he was sharing with Mari to find it empty, with a white note on the floor. He walked over a picked it up:

Dear Brennan,

Lulu and Lexa invited me to stay with them in a room. I'm sorry to leave you like this, but I need to mend fences while I still can.

Love, Mari

Brennan leaned against the wall and slide down. He had wanted to talk to Mari. He looked again at the piece of paper with the name of the person he was to buy a gift for.

He had over head Adam telling Max, that he was going to find a way to expose whom bought what for whom.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the name he had drawn was Shalimar.

' I haven't talked to her since I moved out. She hates me, and for good reason. I have to admit I'm angry with her too. She moved on after me and engaged to another man, all in a month. I want to yell at her for being so dumb, but I have no right. How do I get her gift? I miss the friendship we had, but I can never have that again, can I?'

All right, nice long chapter to get you guys in the mood for a story. Next chapter will be posted on Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays!