One year later. Christmas Eve.
Guillotine Square was quite a sight on this day of the year.
Ever since that fateful Christmas Eve exactly nine years ago, it had snowed in Halloween Town this day every year.
The whole of Halloween Town seemed to be outside this evening. Though the sky above was an inky black, the pristine white snow seemed to light the town from the air and ground. Corpse, werewolf and mummy children's giggles seemed to linger in the air as they built fanged snowmen and had snowball fights. Many of the adults hung around to watch the vampire brother's annual ice-hockey match.
The devil, witch and skeleton clad trick-or-treaters sat on the stony edge of the fountain. Its bubbling, cloudy green liquid was frozen solid. Hesper and Webb had ventured out of the Hinterlands for the day, and leaned against it next to them.
"You know," mused Lock thoughtfully as he watched the delicate flakes swirl from the heavens. "I never did get used to this whole snow thing."
"What's to get?" Shock replied, observing as Tearaway the clown grew more and more frustrated as his unicycle wheel became wedged in the snow. "It gets cold and white stuff rains from the sky. Simple."
"Come on, you two philosophers." Barrel teased. "Let's not waste it!"
Without warning he scooped up and threw a handful of snow at Webb, who easily deflected it back at Barrel with a flick of his wing.
"Th-that was s-so not f-f-fair!" said Barrel thickly as he spat the redirected snow from his mouth.
"You asked for it!" Webb laughed in return.
All hell broke loose as the five of them opened fire, handfuls of fluffy snow flying in every direction. A lot of foul play was involved too, with Hesper and Webb using their wings as shields, Lock creating flurries of snow with his tail, and Shock occasionally cramming her snow-filled hat on someone's head from behind.
Eventually they tired, however, and retreated to the tree-house for a while.
Heading into the kitchen, Shock made five mugs of hot-chocolate. She melted some chocolate from this year's Halloween stash and mixed it with warm milk. The drinks turned out a little overly-milky, as she wasn't exactly a hot-chocolate extraordinaire, but they were hot and that was what mattered.
She entered the living-room to find everyone seated on the floor around the warm, blazing fire. They sat in silence for a few minutes, soaking up the baking heat.
"Do you remember the day we first met?" Hesper asked suddenly, taking a sip from her pumpkin-patterned mug. Lock and Shock nodded.
"Yeah, I think I do," Barrel responded with a serious expression. "Weren't you the one who, oh, I don't know, shoved me from a tree?" he continued in a would-be-innocent tone.
"I did not push you!" Hesper argued indignantly, giving him a playful shove. "You fell and you know it!"
Barrel laughed. She was so easy to wind up. Hesper had been training herself out of her nocturnal habits, and was currently very sleepy.
Shock watched the two of them over the rim of her cup.
They were so sweet together. Many a day during the summer months this year, Barrel had gone walking in the Hinterlands with Hesper, simply talking for hours on end. She and Lock had occasionally joined them. In Shock's opinion, Barrel had never been happier, and she was both proud of and delighted of him.
Then her deep violet eyes fell on Lock, who was beside her, chatting to Webb. Oh, how she cared for him!
She couldn't say for certain whether it was love- she was only sixteen, after all- but it sure felt like it. Every time their lips met, every time he gave her his trademark smirk she felt as though spiders were rampaging in her stomach. It mad her feel almost giddy.
Sure, Shock and Lock still fought. It would feel eerie and unnatural if they didn't. But nowadays the mocking comments were accompanied by a good-humoured shove and a fond smile rather than a punch or a sneer.
She reached out dreamily and took his hand.
When she was a little girl, Shock had worried about when the day would come when Lock and Barrel wouldn't be there to make her feel better when she'd had a nightmare.
She smiled to herself, looking from Hesper's head leaning on Barrel's shoulder in a tranquil manner, to Webb's friendly face, and finally to Lock's bright yellow eyes.
And she knew now, in her heart, she would never have to face her nightmares alone.
Hesper and Webb would always be there for her.
Lock and Barrel were her best friends, and always had been. Granted, Lock was something more than that now, but he was still her friend, first and foremost.
Yep, things were going just horribly for Shock. And being in Halloween Town, that could definitely be considered a good thing.
A/N: And that's a wrap! Aw, I'm a little sad it's over…
I have three thank-yous for this story:
Danny Elfman and Tim B… because I wouldn't have three trick-or-treaters to write about if they hadn't created them.
Lock, Shock and Barrel, who accepted the challenges I threw at them throughout this story without complaint…most of the time. gets hit with a plunger, lollipop and broom
And, finally, my reviewers! You guys rock! You guys encouraged, advised, and (though I didn't deserve it) praised this story to a close! So virtual hugs to anyone who's ever reviewed!
On that note, now's the time to tell me what you thought of the story as a whole, so one review for the road wouldn't hurt! XD
For those who are interested, if I can think of a half-decent storyline, I may write a sequel. So if there's a character or whatever that you want to see more of in that, let me know.
So ta ta for now, people! Thanks for reading!
Dance in the Moonlight
xx xx xx xx xx