note: So 'tis the holiday season, and I bring a Chrismukkah fic. And those of you reading Like a Mother's Mourning Dress, worry not, chapter five is still in the works. Expect it sometime soon enough. Just to also note, there's mention of sexy times and some language usage, hence it's a VERY STRONG T. It's not graphic enough to be M, but it's no regular T.

Don't own MSB, and the title is from The O.C. episode 113 "The Best Chrismukkah Ever".

Enjoy!


the best chrismukkah ever
by, the ultimateSora

Saturday, December 4.

"We can have our own Chrismukkah!" Phoebe said, smiling, as she handed Arnold his hot cocoa. "Dreidels and candy canes and menorahs and a tree. I'll bring the 'Chris' and you the 'Mukkah'!"

He grinned and sipped the drink, the temperature slightly burning his upper lip. "I like it."

They were sitting in his living room, the fire burning in the fireplace and the snow falling outside (it was the most snow they had seen since they were in the third grade), and Phoebe got up. "I got something to show you then."

She went to the kitchen, put on her coat, and he heard her go out the back door. She came back a minute later, coat off, and she was wearing a blue Santa hat that said in bright red letters "Merry Mazel Tov!" on the front of it, and she put an identical one on his head. She also had a blue menorah that had snowmen as candle holders.

He laughed. "Where'd you get that?"

"I found a Chrismukkah store online." She smiled at the menorah. "I think it's cute."

She handed him the menorah and he looked it over, smiling. "Our first holiday together, and we're going to do Chrismukkah."

She sipped her hot cocoa. "Wouldn't do it any other way, would we? No more deciding between candy canes or gelt. Not with this couple."

They both laughed. Arnold had asked her out on her sixteenth birthday that past July, and December 13th would be their five month anniversary. Seven days after that would be the start of Hanukkah (and now Chrismukkah). Arnold now had to think of what he was going to get her for their anniversary and Chrismukkah, but he decided he'd just have Wanda, Dorothy Ann, and Keesha help him. Phoebe was hard to shop for. It was easy with the other three: Wanda liked jewelry or gift cards to fashionable stores, D.A. generally liked books (but that year, she was looking forward to a new surfboard and tennis equipment), and Keesha liked music and movies.

Phoebe kissed his cheek and got up. "I have to get home, and make me a list of things you want for our five month and Chrismukkah, 'kay?"

He got up, shaking his head. "No, you're not getting me anything." He gently took her upper arms in his hands and pulled her close, kissing the corner of her mouth. "I'm going to spoil you this holiday."

She giggled. "Don't over do it." She gave him a kiss on the lips and half-skipped to the back door. "Merry Mazel Tov!"

He realized he was still wearing the hat, and he took it off, smiling at it.


"So, it's like eight days of presents and one day of many presents?" Carlos asked.

Arnold shrugged. "Well, I don't know--"

"I wanna celebrate Chrismukkah!" Ralphie said. "I can get an entire new set of sports equipment!"

Tim laughed. "Just mooch off your rich girlfriend."

Ralphie shot him a look. "Wanda's not rich."

The guys were sitting in the Ramon basement the following day. Ralphie and Carlos were on the couch watching TV as Arnold and Tim played pool behind them. It wasn't that cold down there, thanks to a space heater, and the guys liked being down there, as it was their "Bat Cave".

"She carries a Dowlie Gabbyna purse," Carlos pointed out.

"Dolce and Gabbana," Arnold corrected as he took a shot at the eight ball. "Shut up," he snapped before Carlos could comment about him being a girl for knowing that. "Janet always bitches about Wanda's handbags."

"But going back to this Chrismukkah idea of Pheebso's," Ralphie said. "So what are you going to get her for nine days?"

"Well, actually only eight days," Arnold said. "Christmas falls in the middle of Hanukkah this year."

"Hell, I'd kill myself before I had to buy a whole lot of crap for D.A.," Carlos sighed. "But at least she doesn't expect me to, so I don't." He laughed. "Sucks for you, Arn, man. Pheebs would cry if you didn't get her anything!" Arnold huffed and threw the eight ball at the back of Carlos' head. Carlos put his hand on the spot where the ball hit him. "Hey, didn't we make rules? No hitting the head, face, or nads!"

"You violated the nads rule!" Ralphie pointed out. "When Wanda was dragging me to that stupid ass ballet, you threw a basketball at my nuts and said, 'Have fun at the NUTcracker'!"

Arnold put the pool cue back on the cue rack and grabbed his coat, heading for the stairs. "Well, I'm out. You three jackholes have a nice afternoon."

"What'd I do?" Tim and Ralphie both yelled after him when he went upstairs.

Arnold buttoned his coat, put on his hat and gloves and walked out in the 23 degree weather, snow flurrying around. It was another freak winter, like the one eight years prior, but he didn't mind it. He got in his 4Runner, glad his dad got him snow tires for the SUV, and he drove over to Wanda's, where he knew D.A. and Keesha were also at. He parked behind Dorothy Ann's little 1978 Mercedes 450SL (her dad had rebuilt it and gave it to her for her seventeenth birthday, making her the second to last to get a car. Phoebe was now the only one not to have a car).

He got out and walked up the shoveled walk and rang the bell. Wanda answered it. "Oh, well isn't this a surprise. Did you want us to give you a facial?" She clapped her hands and smiled. "No! You want us to give you a manicure?"

Arnold furrowed his brow. "I just need help deciding what to get my girlfriend for Chrismukkah."

Wanda grinned. "Ooer, 'Chrismukkah'? Fancy big word. C'mon in. The girls are in the kitchen."

He followed her to the kitchen, and Wanda told D.A. and Keesha they were to help him come up with gift ideas for Phoebe. "What the hell's 'Chrismukkah'?" Keesha asked him.

"Christmas plus Hanukkah," he said. "Phoebe's brining the Chris and me the Mukkah."

"So you have eight days of presents?" D.A. asked, knowing Christmas fell during Hanukkah that year.

He nodded and pointed at the girls. "And that's where you three come in."

"Well," Wanda said. "Pheebs isn't a materialistic girl...which I can't understand," she added with a slight eye roll. "So she'd be the kind of sucker who would...appreciate...crappy gifts."

Keesha put her hand on Wanda's face and pushed her back. "Don't listen to tits for brains. Here's something you could do that is sappy, which Phoebe would adore, and somewhat romantic."

Arnold's face lit up. "What would that be?"

"Think of everything from when you first met Phoebe that reminds you of her," she explained.

Arnold thought about it. "We first met in Ms. Frizzle's class."

Keesha gently pressed on his chest, pushing him back slightly. "Exactly."

He snapped his fingers. "It's perfect! Wanda, you have a pad and pen?" She got one from the drawer close to the phone and handed them to him. He made a list one to eight. "Okay, help me think of some things."


Chrismukkah Day One. First Night of Hanukkah.

For their anniversary, Arnold and Phoebe decided on no gifts, just dinner at a nice restaurant. Chrismukkah Day One was upon them, and Phoebe came over to the Perlstein house that afternoon. Arnold lead her up to his room where he was going to give her his gift to her. He noticed she had a small silver tin in her hands, and he furrowed his brow.

"I told you not to get me anything," he told her, getting her gift from his desk drawer.

"It's nothing you wouldn't deny, believe me," she said, grinning.

He set her wrapped gift on his desk, and she held out the tin to him. He smiled as he opened it, and he found Christmas tree cookies with dark blue frosting. On the frosting was silver frosting in the shape of the Star of David. She knew he loved her homemade sugar cookies, and that was exactly what she made him.

He took one and took a bite. "Mmm, Chrismukkah cookies."

"You like them?" she asked, biting her lip.

He smiled, blue frosting on his lips. "Pheebs, you have never made me a bad batch of cookies...or any food for that matter."

She giggled and shrugged. "Well, your mom did tell mine not to feed you or you'd keep coming back."

He kissed her, getting blue frosting on her lips. "And it worked." He turned around and got her gift, turning back to give it to her. "Here's yours."

She opened the gift and saw a small red box under the wrapping. She opened the box to find two silver butterfly hair clips. Her green eyes went wide, and she slowly looked at him.

"Arnold...they're...they're..." She set them down on the desk and cupped his cheeks, gently pressing her lips to his. She slowly pulled back and grinned. "They're beautiful."

He took the clips out of the box and put them in her hair. "They look gorgeous on you."

She gently ran her fingers over the clips. "I love them."

He smiled. "Glad you love them, but don't expect all your gifts to be as gorgeous."

She smiled and wrapped her arms around his waist. She pressed her nose against his and said, "I don't expect anything nicer. These are enough."

"Well, that's too bad because I already bought all your gifts."

She grinned. "Then I'll just have to accept them, huh?"

He kissed her. "That would be nice."


Chrismukkah Day Two.

Arnold and Phoebe finished building a snowman in her front yard, and they went inside, hanging their wet coats, gloves, and socks in the bathtub and putting their snow boots in the tub. They sat in her living room with a fire going in the fireplace, and they watched holiday shows on TV. Arnold got up, walking through the kitchen to the back door, and Phoebe turned to see him walk back in with a large bag.

"What's this?" she asked

He put it down and smiled. "See for yourself."

She grinned and got up. She pulled the tissue paper out, and he smiled bigger when she gasped. "Is this a...?" She pulled a giant stuffed fox out of the bag. "Arnold, it's so cute!"

"Remember when we were foxes and you pulled me out of that shed by the tail?" he asked.

She nodded. "Yeah."

He grinned, his cheeks turning pink. "Well, when we turned back into people, I had deep bite marks on my butt."

Her face turned red, but she laughed. "Really?"

He un-did his belt and jeans, pulling them down, along with his boxer-briefs, enough to show her his right butt cheek. "See the faint scars there? Looks like a kid's teeth marks?"

She gave his butt a little pinch. "I can't believe I scarred your butt in the third grade with my teeth. And what a nice tokhes, too."

He pulled his pants back up, smiling at her use of Yiddish. "You think so?"

She nodded. "Know so. You being a swimmer's paid off." She clapped her hands together. "I have your gift in the kitchen."

His face lit up. "More food?"

She came back and handed him a plate of jelly doughnuts. "Sufganiyot."

He smiled from ear to ear. "I haven't had jelly doughnuts at Hanukkah since I was little!" He took a bite of one and smiled even bigger. He swallowed and said, "Raspberry! My favorite! Pheebs, these are almost as good as my great-grandma's!"

She smiled, and her cheeks turned pink. "I'll take that as a compliment...especially since it's her recipe I used. Your mom gave it to me."

He was surprised. "My mother gave you great-grandma Rosen's recipe? She swore she'd never let anyone outside the Rosen family see it."

Phoebe shrugged. "She said something about how since she doesn't cook, she might as well let me borrow the recipe. So they came out okay?"

He finished his first doughnut and took another. "Pheebs, my stomach is dancing with joy right now. That's how good these are." He smiled. "So do I get food the other six days? Because that would be amazing."

She kissed him, tasting raspberry and powdered sugar. "Maybe I'll give you scars on the left cheek."


Chrismukkah Day Three.

The gang had a massive snow ball fight at the Walkerville West End Park near Walker Lake, and they were all wet, cold, breathless, and had the most fun all winter. Carlos managed to get snow down Arnold's jeans as payback for throwing a pool ball at him, and he laughed that the snow would cause Arnold shrinkage.

"But I'll still be bigger than you, Carlos," Arnold countered, getting the snow out of his jeans.

Carlos, though about three inches shorter than Arnold, was slightly wider and more built, and he ran full speed into him, the boys scuffling in the snow. D.A. and Phoebe just watched, already used to the boys' rush of testosterone causing them to fight. Carlos and Arnold rolled around in the snow, Carlos having the advantage of being on the wrestling team, but Arnold had the advantage of longer arms and legs. Arnold managed to pin Carlos down with his legs, and Ralphie went over to the struggling Carlos and gave him a wet willy.

"Ralphie, when I get loose, I'm going to kill you!" Carlos shouted.

"Ha, I'd like to see you try. I'm five inches taller than you. And bigger, I must say." He gave him another wet willy.

Tim went over to Ralphie. "Together?"

Ralphie smiled and nodded. "Totally." Both boys licked their fingers, and Ralphie got Carlos in the left ear, Tim in the right.

Phoebe went over to Arnold and took his arm in her hands. "C'mon, I have your gift at home."

He let Carlos go, and Carlos proceeded to pounce Ralphie. Arnold and Phoebe walked back to the 4Runner, and he opened the passenger door for her. He got in on the driver's side, and they drove to her house. He parked in the street, and as they walked up to the front door, he said, "I knew I'd eat what you made me right away, so I didn't eat this morning."

She giggled. "You? Not eat? I am surprised."

They walked in the warm and cozy house, and they left their wet coats and boots by the door this time. He plopped down on the couch in the living room, and she went in the kitchen. She came back with a green plastic bowl filled with dreidel-shaped fudge that had the Hebrew letters nun, gimel, hei, and shin in red frosting painted on.

"Happy day three," she said, smiling, as she handed him the bowl.

"Fudge! And in dreidel-shape!" He took a bite of one. "You did well on drawing on the letters."

"Took me hours to get it right," she giggled.

He got up and went to get the flat, wrapped object on the breakfast table. He came and handed it to her. She opened it find an antique copy of Jack and the Beanstalk. Her jaw dropped at the beautiful Victorian-era style art, and she turned to Arnold.

"Arn...this...this..." She honestly didn't know what to say.

He laughed. "Yeah, I seemed to remember a certain third grade class eight years ago that put on the tame version of Jack, and this cute little auburn haired girl was the star."

She cracked a smile through her surprise. "Wanda played Jack, the cross-dressing boy/girl. She was the star."

"Ah, yes, but...there would have been no Jack and a beanstalk...without..." He pointed to her.

She held her head high with fake arrogance. "I was the star, wasn't I?"

He kissed her cheek. "The best. So..." He clapped his hands together. "What delicious food do you have for me for tomorrow?"

She tapped his nose with her bony finger. "Wait until tomorrow."

"When will that come."

"Soon enough."

With a grin, he whined, "That's not soon enough!"


Chrismukkah Day Four. Christmas Eve.

Arnold saw blue and red lights flash from behind him, and he pulled off on the right shoulder of the road. A police officer wearing a Stetson, despite the cold, walked to the front of the 4Runner, nodded at something, and came towards the driver side door, tapping the window. Arnold lowered it.

"I wasn't speeding was I, sir?" he asked, feeling his heart palpitate. He had never been pulled over (unlike Wanda, who was not allowed to drive in three counties because of speeding tickets).

The officer, an older, rugged face man with a thick regional accent, took off his sunglasses (even though it was cloudy outside, the snow still made everything bright). "Son, do you realize it is illegal in the state of Texas to drive without a license plate in the front?"

Arnold opened his mouth and thought about what to say, but all that came out was, "It...was there yesterday."

"License and registration please."

Arnold pulled his wallet out from his pocket and got his license out. He handed it to the officer before reaching in his glovebox for his auto insurance card. He handed it to the officer, and he gulped, not believing he was going to get a ticket. The officer looked at the license and back at Arnold.

"You Stephen Perlstein's boy?" he asked. Arnold nodded, knowing his dad was going to kill him. The officer chuckled. "My wife works with him. Nice man."

Yeah, nice until he skins me alive for getting a ticket, he thought to himself. Carlos is behind this. I know it.

The officer went back to his patrol car to get Arnold's information down and to print out the ticket. He walked back to the 4Runner a few minutes later, and he handed Arnold back his license and insurance card. He held the ticket up for Arnold to see.

"Just take this to the Collin County courthouse here in town before January third. You will be eligible for ticket school, and that'll just take this ticket right off your record."

Arnold nodded. "Thank you, sir."

"Be careful on these icy roads. Merry Christmas."

Arnold gave a small smile and nodded. He watched the patrol car drive off, and he drove to Carlos'. He saw Ralphie's Xterra and Tim's Jetta in the street, so he knew he'd enjoy this. Mrs. Ramon let him in, and he went down to the basement where the guys were watching TV. He saw his license plate hanging on the wall with a sign over it saying "PERLSTEIN'S" and an arrow pointing down. Arnold went over to Carlos and smacked him across the back of the head.

"I got a ticket because of you!" he shouted.

Carlos held his head and got up. "You hit me with a ball--"

"THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!" Ralphie and Tim both yelled, smiling.

"--and Ralphie put spit in my ear 'cause you held me down!" Carlos went on, ignoring the other two.

"Didn't mean you had to steal my license plate!"

"Yeah, it did!" Carlos shouted back.

Arnold tackled him, and the boys scuffled on the floor, the other two watching with amusement. Arnold got Carlos in another leg hold, and Carlos reached around and twisted his nipples. Arnold let him go, and he held his chest.

"Dick move!" he yelled, getting up. He went over to the wall and took his license plate. "I'll see you assclowns later."

When he left, Carlos looked at the other two. "He really is a whiny little girl."


Arnold was pissed as he walked up the stairs to his room, but he was glad that his parents were not home (they were at a company holiday party hosted by Mrs. Perlstein's employer). He could hear music behind his closed bedroom door, and it was a Christmas song but it sounded like Hanukkah music. He opened the door to find the Chrismukkah menorah lit with four candles on his desk, and he turned to see Phoebe sitting on his bed wearing nothing but a see-through blue nightie with white, furry trim and her Chrismukkah hat.

"Happy Day Four," she said, grinning.

He let out a relief-chuckle. "Let me guess...are you my present?"

She nodded and got up, going to his desk. She handed him a glass of red wine. "Wanda managed to get it for us, as a holiday favor. Said her parent's wine collection was so big, they'd never notice one missing."

Arnold could see her even better up close, and he felt every blood vessel in his body dilate. Every red blood cell in his body made their way to the area between his legs. "Wow...you're...you're...you're naked under that, huh?"

She nodded. "I figured...why make you a sweet treat when you can have..." she put her finger on her chest. "...this treat?"

He chuckled. "Wanda tell you to say that?"

She giggled and flushed. "Yeah."

After taking a few sips of his wine, he set it down. "Well, before we go under way with our first time doing it, I'm going to give you your gift."

She smiled. "I think tonight will be enough."

He shook his head and pulled an envelope from his desk drawer. "Here."

She took it from him, opening it, and she pulled out a certificate. "I adopted a portion of the Great Barrier Reef?"

He nodded. "Remember when we were partners in third grade for our coral reef project?"

"Of course," she giggled. "I had the biggest crush on you after that dinosaur field trip, and when the Friz put us together, I nearly fainted."

He pointed to the certificate. "Well, coral reefs make me think of you, so I adopted a portion of the Great Barrier Reef in your name."

She put the certificate and envelope down on the desk, and she tugged at the bottom of his shirt. "C'mon, time for your present."

He cracked a smile. "You don't know how crappy my day has been, and this...this just makes up for everything."

Her response was nipping his bottom lip with her teeth as she unbuttoned his jeans.


Chrismukkah Day Five. Christmas Day.

Arnold pulled the skinny, warm body closer to him, pressing his lips against her freckled shoulder. He turned his head over and saw it was 6:24 in the morning, and he gently shook Phoebe awake. She grunted, so he bit down on her upper arm, hard enough to leave defined teeth marks. She still didn't wake up. He got up, leaving her to sleep before he drove her home at seven (her parents got up at eight on Saturdays, except since it was Christmas Day, they slept in to eight-thirty).

He went in his bathroom, and after he washed the sleep from his eyes and brushed his teeth, he lathered his face and shaved. When he was done, he looked over his chest and arms to see if any hair was growing back (he waxed his body hair for swimming, hating the way the follicles looked from shaving), but his upper torso, belly, and back were hairless to begin with. Unlike the other three, he never had grown chest hair, but he had a thin happy trail.

He washed his face and walked back to his bedroom, plopping down on the bed beside the sleeping Phoebe. She snorted and turned on her back, the sheet slipping down a bit. Arnold kissed her ear and sang "Christmas Time is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas in a bad falsetto. She grinned, waking up, and she kissed his clean shaven cheek.

"I have morning breath," she croaked, covering her mouth.

He smiled. "There's some Listerine under the sink," he offered.

She got up, and he watched her lanky body walk out to the bathroom. He smiled as he laid back, pushing his hair back off of his forehead. He couldn't believe Phoebe had been the one to initiate the sex. He always thought he'd have to coax her into it. They kept it slow, hoping it wouldn't have been awkward, and he could clearly remember the look on her face during it. She looked surprised and scared, and she told him afterwards she felt like she let him down. He assured her practice makes perfect and decided to play with her south of the border.

She walked back in the bedroom, and she crawled back in bed. "I'm glad your parents' bedroom is downstairs."

He nodded, kissing her shoulder. "Me too."

"What time do you want to exchange gifts tonight?" she asked.

"When are you having Christmas dinner?"

She shrugged, running her finger along his smooth chest. "About five. Mom's making a honey roasted turkey for her and Daddy. I'm sure they could use the extra mouth."

He smiled. "Then I'll be over at five."

She kissed his neck before getting up. "I'll have another place set then."

Usually the Tereses spent Thanksgiving in Baton Rouge with Mr. Terese's family and Christmas in Boston with Mrs. Terese's family, but since the airfare was getting expensive, they stopping going to Boston as much. The past two Christmases had just been the three of them.

Arnold watched Phoebe get dressed, and he decided to follow suit so he could get her home before her parents got up. Fully dressed, the crept downstairs, and Arnold cringed when the alarm sensor beeped when he opened the front door. He watched the master bedroom door as he quickly got Phoebe out, and he ran out behind her. The walked across the snow covered front lawn to the driveway, and he used the keyless entry. The leather seats were frigid, sending chills down Phoebe's back.

He drove across town to her house, and he parked in the driveway. She kissed him bye and jumped out. Phoebe's house didn't have an alarm system, and as she quietly opened the back door, she was glad. She closed it behind her, and she quietly went up the stairs, hoping they didn't creak too loudly as she went past her parents' room. She trotted down the hall to her room, and she quickly threw on her pajamas, throwing the nightie and her clothes in her closet before she jumped in bed.


"Turkey was excellent, as always, Mrs. Terese," Arnold said, sitting back.

Mr. Terese smiled. "Feel free to un-do your belt and pants button. Diane's cooking will do that to you."

Arnold chuckled. "No, I'm good, sir. Don't think Phoebe will like that much."

Phoebe put her napkin on her plate and got up to help her mom with picking up the dishes. "Arn, after the dishes, you want to exchange gifts?"

He got up. "Sure. I'll help."

He carried his and Mr. Terese's plates to the kitchen. Mrs. Terese patted his arm. "I'll get all of this. You two run along with your...Hannumas?"

Phoebe grinned. "Chrismukkah."

She and Arnold went upstairs to her room ("Keep the door open!" Mr. Terese called upstairs), and he surprised her with a vase of flowers like the ones she planted at her old school.

Her jaw dropped. "Arnold, they're gorgeous! These are nicer than the ones I planted!"

He smiled. "So you like them?"

She put them on her dresser, and she gave him a small kiss on the lips. "I love them. Now..." She gently popped him on the chest. "Your gift is in the fridge."

They walked hand-in-hand down to the kitchen, and as Arnold sat at the breakfast table, Phoebe took a plate out of the refrigerator. His eyes lit up when she brought him the plate. "Pheebs, are these blueberry blintzes?"

She nodded. "Grandma Rosen's recipe yet again."

"All right!" He smiled as he took a big bite. "Phoebe, there is a party in my mouth."

She kissed his temple. "I'll take that as a 'they're excellent'."


Chrismukkah Day Six.

"On the sixth day of Chrismukkah, my true love gave to me..." Arnold sang as he came from behind Phoebe, handing her a box.

He wrapped his arms around her waist as she opened the black velvet box, and he kissed her neck. She opened the box to find a silver necklace with a turquoise pendant in the shape of a desert tortoise. "Arnold, it's adorable!" she nearly squealed. She turned to face him. "Put it on me?"

He nodded, smiling, and he took it out of the box as she turned back around. "So you like it?" he asked, clasping it together.

She turned back around. "I love it!" She slid her arms around his waist. "A desert tortoise, I assume?"

"Yep. Got it at this neat little Western store at the Stockyards."

She giggled. "First off, which little Western store, and second, you drove all the way to Fort Worth?"

He shrugged. "No big deal."

She kissed his cheek. "You're too much."

He gave her butt a squeeze, hoping her parents wouldn't walk in while his hands were on her butt. "So...can I eat my gift now?"

She nodded, letting go of him. She went to the kitchen and lifted a tray of apple fritters. "I do admit...I bought these at a kosher bakery."

He smiled, taking one from the tray. He took a bite, smiled while chewing, and after he swallowed, he said, "Tasty find."

She put the tray on the breakfast table. "So you like them? I found a kosher bakery outside of Highland Park."

He grinned. "There are ones closer to Walkerville."

She giggled. "I know, but I wanted to get the best I could find."

He finished the fritter, and she wrapped her arms around his neck as she licked a piece of the fritter from the corner of his mouth. He grabbed her tongue with his teeth as gentle as he could, and they stood there, both smiling, with his teeth holding her tongue. She had a long tongue, longer than his, and she poked his palate with the tip, his teeth holding her in the middle close to her lips.

"Oh, what is this?" They recognized Wanda's voice, so Arnold didn't let go. "We have to see you two literally eating each other?"

"I think it's sweet," D.A. admitted.

Keesha laughed. "I think it's hilarious."

"Le' go, Awno," Phoebe said.

"Nuh-uh." Phoebe tried to pull back, still smiling, and he said as best he could, "I'll on'y bite harder."

They saw a flash, and they realized Keesha took a picture with her digital camera. "Just got it for Christmas. This is a picture for the annual Gang Scrapbook."

Arnold finally let go of her tongue, and she wiped the dribble from the corners of her mouth. "I can't tell if this is my spit or Arnold's."


Chrismukkah Day Seven.

"The itsy..." Arnold kissed Phoebe's ankle. "...bitsy spider..." He ran his tongue along her skinny leg and kissed her knee. "...climbed up..." She giggled as he ran his teeth along her thigh, nicking her hip, and he flicked his tongue across her belly button. "...Phoebe's freckled body."

She smiled, running her fingers through his hair. "Did you get me a pet spider for Day Seven?"

They were in his bed, his sheets and comforter a mess from the afternoon sex they just had, and he shook his head. "No, but close." He reached over to his bedside table and pulled out a Spider-Man figurine. "I dunno...imagine it's me under that mask."

She giggled taking the figurine from him. "Well, you know what you could have done?"

"What's that?"

"Dressed up as Spider-Man, wrapped me up in a web, and cut me out of it like you did in third grade."

He shut his eyes in frustration. "Damn, that would have been sexy."

She smiled. "It would have been. You have the butt and build to be a slender Spider-Man. Not to mention...the uh...uh..."

He cocked an eyebrow and grinned. "Bulge?"

She nodded. "Yes."

He rested his head in the crook of her neck, his forehead pressed against her jaw. "Let me know if I'm crushing you."

She grinned. "You're fine." She softly giggled. "I didn't know it at the time, of course, but when your hands were on me when you were cutting me out of that web...I think I had my first sexual fantasy. Of course, to an eight year old, a 'sexual fantasy' is touching hands."

He chuckled. "And to a sixteen year old, it's what we just did a few minutes ago." He kissed her neck. "I'm almost sad Chrismukkah will be over tomorrow."

She nodded in agreement, brushing his hair back from his forehead. "Me too."

He pinched her hip. "Tomorrow's going to be the best day of Chrismukkah. I'm going to make it so romantic, even you will want to throw up."

She put Spider-Man on the bedside table, and she wrapped legs around his waist and cupped his cheek with her hand. "Nothing can be 'too romantic' to me, you know."

He kissed her nose. "I know."

"Want your gift now?" she asked.

He nodded. "Sure."

She slid out from under him, losing her balance and hitting the floor with a thud!, and she went to his desk, pulling a Tupperware container out from its hiding place in the drawer. She came back over to the bed and handed him the container.

"It's only more food."

He smiled. "Food is always good." He opened it to find brownies with red and green Star of Davids on them. "These are truly Chrismukkah brownies," he chuckled, taking a bite of one.

She bent down and kissed a hunk of red frosting off of his upper lip. He spread some more frosting on his lips, and he grabbed her hips, pulling her closer to kiss her stomach, leaving his lip marks on her skin in green frosting.


Last Day of Chrismukkah.

Phoebe hated make-up. Make-up always made her break out even more, but she put a little on to even out the skin tone of her freckled face. She didn't want to bother with the eyes, always getting sties whenever she wore eyeliner or mascara. She put some clear gloss on, and she stepped back to see herself in the mirror. Her red, halter dress was a simple cotton, and she was wearing simple red flats. Her short auburn hair was down, the sides pulled back with the butterfly clips Arnold had given her, and she didn't feel like bothering with her combed over bangs or messy ends. If she brushed it out, it would return to that state. Her mother used to use two cans of Aqua Net in her hair when she was a kid to keep it neat.

"Phoebe!" her mother called upstairs. "Arnold's here!"

Phoebe sprayed a little bit of citrus body spray on, and she grabbed her clutch she borrowed from Wanda. She trotted downstairs, her stomach falling at the sight of Arnold in a sleek, dark blue pinstripe suit.

"There she is," he said, grinning.

"You look handsome," she said, awkwardly grinning.

"And you look gorgeous. Ready to go?"

She nodded, grabbing her worn wool, tan peacoat from the coat hanger, and she said bye to her parents. They walked hand-in-hand to the 4Runner, and he opened the passenger door for her. She got in, and when he got in the driver's side, she asked, "So where are we going to eat?"

"The Lake House."

Her brows raised. "R-r-really? Arnold, I don't look good enough for there...! And it's...it's so expensive! And don't you have to be a Walkerville Country Club member to eat there?"

"My parents are members, and my dad's on the membership committee," he said.

She nodded. "Oh, right."

The Lake House was an exclusive seafood restaurant on Lake Walker, most of the freshwater and saltwater fish from local sources. Phoebe would make exceptions with her vegetarian diet, and seafood was one. It was the only meat she would allow herself to eat without guilt.

Arnold had reservations, and after verifying he was a junior country club member, they seated the two by a window overlooking the lake. Phoebe looked out, loving the way the reflection of the moon reflected off the frozen portions of the water. They each got a water, and Phoebe's eyes bugged out when she opened the menu.

"Arnold...the 'cheapest' thing on the menu is thirty-seven dollars!" she whispered loudly.

He grinned. "Don't worry about it. Dad said to just put this dinner on his tab."

She looked over the entrées, not sure what to get, so she decided on the simplest item on the menu, and the waiter came. "May I take your order?"

Arnold looked at her. "Phoebe?"

She nibbled her lip and then said, "I'll have the sesame crusted yellow fin tuna."

"And I'll have cornmeal crusted red fish, oysters, and jumbo shrimp," Arnold said, handing the waiter their menus.

She raised her brows when the waiter left, and she took a sip of water with a grin. "Oh, my fancy boy."

"Oysters here are amazing," he said, smiling.

He took a roll and bit half of it off, eating it in two chews. Everyone would assume Ralphie was the bigger eater in the gang due to his bigger size, but the truth was, Arnold could out eat him any day of the week. Like Phoebe fondly remembered, the first thing Mrs. Perlstein said to Mrs. Terese when Arnold first went over to Phoebe's house was, "Don't feed him because he will keep coming back." Phoebe liked to think her mother's cooking helped in Arnold's decision to ask Phoebe out.

"Your metabolism amazes me," she giggled when he ate his fifth roll in a row.

"Yeah, me too," he chuckled.

Phoebe thought her portion was too small for what it was priced when their food came, but she thought it was good. After dinner, they took a walk around the half-frozen lake. Phoebe looped her arm through his, and he stopped walking.

"I have your gift in my pocket," he said, pulling his hand out of his coat pocket.

She grinned when she saw it. "Another toy?"

He smiled, handing her the object. "Look closer."

She angled the object towards the moonlight, and her grin grew. "It's an Ornithomimus that has 'Catch me if you can' written on it." She cupped his cheek and softly kissed him. "I love you."

She realized what she said, and she stepped back. They hadn't dropped those three words yet in a serious setting. They'd joke from time to time, but she wasn't joking. Now, she worried about Arnold's reaction. His face was blank, and she felt her body shake (and not from the cold).

"Arnold, I-- I didn't mean it!"

He scratched his head. "You're taking back an 'I love you'?"

She was confused now. "Sh...should I?"

He shrugged. "Well...I don't know. I mean...well, let's think about this. We both enjoy spending time together, right?"

She nodded. "Right."

"We've had a lot of sex in the past couple of days, right?"

"Right."

"We both have no intentions of breaking up anytime soon, right?"

"Right."

"And...we know each other better than anyone else." He rubbed his chin. "Well, when I think about it, I think I might love you, too, Phoebe."

She pocketed her toy dinosaur, and she wrapped her arms around his waist. "Happy Chrismukkah, Arnold."

He kissed the tip of her nose. "Happy Chrismukkah, Phoebe."

They shared a soft, yet deep kiss, and Phoebe smiled when they pulled back. "Best. Chrismukkah. Ever."


note: some references:

-With a grin, he whined, "That's not soon enough!"
From Futurama.

- Ralphie and Tim giving Carlos a double wet willy while Arnold sat on him is from The 70's Show.

-"Best. Chrismukkah. Ever."
Kirsten says this at the end of The O.C. episode 310, "The Chrismukkah Bar-Mitzvahkkah".

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