Yes, I KNOW it's out of date. I'm not waiting four months for this, though. I refuse. And so there. I am STUBBORN.

Gordon/Kimberly ahead!


TODAY'S THE DAY

Challenge: "Everything For You"

Timeline: Doesn't matter

Required Reading: None

Rating: G

Good day to you, Human Kimberly.

Perhaps it's obvious who I am, with a greeting such as that. I do hope it is. I've been trying for a while now to put my name into this letter, but I simply cannot bring myself to. The pencil hits the paper, I go to write the name, and then nothing. Look.

My name is

You see? In my mind I know you'll realize it's me because I'll be the one handing you this, and if I'm not then certain things I mention should make it obvious soon enough, and yet I still can't write my name on this. I don't quite understand. Perhaps later on.

It is currently the afternoon of February 14th as I write this. I am sitting at a desk in an out-of-the-way corner of the room in an attempt to minimize distractions. Next to me is a trash can filled to the brim with crumpled papers which are, at this point, beginning to topple onto the floor. All the result of about three days' worth of work. Work that, in the end, has amounted to nothing. You see, with Valentine's Day fast approaching, I figured this would be the best time to confess certain things to you. However, there's absolutely no way I could EVER tell you in person. My tongue twists, my insides melt, and I generally just make a fool of myself. I thank you for never mentioning that, by the way. At any rate, I've decided that the only way I'm ever going to manage this is if I write a letter, give it to you, and wait to see what happens. At least once its in your hands, there's no way to take it back like I have been. I can finally get all this off my chest.

What am I trying to get off my chest, exactly? Well, it's kind of hard for me to say. Another case of the pencil hitting the paper and nothing happening. I suppose I'll start from the beginning. Do you remember the day we met? Waffle met you first, invited you over, I ended up giving you your nickname by pure mistake... I was still just a kitten, but even though I wasn't sure just what was going on or if it had a name, I still knew deep down that I

I can't seem to finish that sentence. Let's try again. Oh, what about the time I told you I'd show you a unicorn? I honestly didn't say that with the plan of faking it in mind. I wasn't aware of what I was even saying until I had already left, and at that point, going back and telling you I lied... I couldn't do it. I couldn't face you and admit to hurting you. Why I thought CONTINUING the lie and roping my brothers and Hovis into it would be any better, I'm not entirely sure. I guess one's mind can get clouded when one's in

OK, forget that last part... point is, I just didn't want to hurt you with my stupid mistake... and so I went and made an even dumber mistake that almost got us all killed. No, it wasn't bright of me at all. But the fact you forgave me so easily... sometimes I wonder, why? I suppose it's just a testament to how deep our friendship is, that we went through such a thing and came out of it still as the best of friends. And even after you swore you never wanted to see me again... what happened directly afterward... I don't know if I'm reading too much into why that happened, but... oh, if I wasn't so distracted at that point...

But never mind that. This isn't ever going to get where I want it to. Hm,what else is there for me to say... I don't want to stop writing, but I'm not sure what else TO write... oh, I know! Something I've been wondering for a while now. Do you remember that day that Blik and I kept giving you gifts? Waffle was around too with a scoreboard, but I'm not sure if you noticed him, I didn't see him until he said something... but anyway, I'm just curious. What did you make of that day, exactly? What did you think we were trying to do? It's an honest question. I'd rather not come out with the truth of the matter just yet. I'd like to know what you think first. Same goes for the next night, when you ran out and saw Blik and me in the rocket – did you wonder what was going on there in the first place? Obviously, your first priority was getting us down from there, and I thank you immensely, but after all that... again, I'm just wondering. It does have relevance to why I'm writing this letter. I'm certain I'll get to the point eventually. For now, I'm simply stalling for time. I do apologize. This isn't easy.

Another thing I've been wondering, while I'm on this track... what about the incident with Sachiko? I'm imagining you found him with his cage unlocked. I'll admit now, I am the one at fault. I was just so jealous, you were spending more time with him than me, and, well... I kind of sneaked into your yard that night, took Sachiko, and... I didn't do anything, I promise. I almost did, I don't know what I was going to do but I almost did SOMETHING, but thankfully I regained my sense before anything happened. I thought something had, but... let's not get into that. Quite frankly, it's a wee bit embarrassing. Just don't ask where that sick rabbit came from. What did you end up doing with him, if you don't mind me asking?

OK, moving on... what else to talk about... other memories... well, I would like to thank you for how you handled that slumber party incident a while back. That was kind of my idea to crash it. I know there's no possible way you didn't recognize who we were, but the fact that you didn't out us and allowed us to stay as long as we behaved... and two of us did. I'm not naming any names, BLIK. ...sorry. But while Blik and Waffle were really only in it for the free root beer – and I suppose Waffle was in it for the whole "beauty salon makeover" thing as well, don't ask me, I haven't a clue – but that wasn't the main reason I wished to be there. I quite liked the idea of spending the night with you, my best friend. I still feel terribly guilty for that lie as well. I realize I'm not often honest with you with some things. I'll try to be better at that, I swear.

But there are things I HAVE been honest about – what about when I changed the Earth for you? Some people claim they'd do such a thing for the people they care about, but I'm one of few who can say I took that quite literally. I couldn't stand to see you so upset, I thought it would cheer you up, and so... not that it went that great for most involved. Especially not after things went haywire. But I know you quite enjoyed it beforehand... I'm glad I was able to give you that much, even if it was short-lived. I just love seeing you happy. You're my best friend, after all...

...no. No, that's not right. Not completely. Oh, sure, you're definitely my best friend, but... well, I... there's something more... I won't let myself put this pencil down this time, I will NOT, I am going to write the one sentence that could have taken up this entire letter and still held the same point... really, I'm just wasting paper... I should just cut to the chase... I'm writing to tell you that, well.. I... you see... I... I'd do anything and everything for you, anything you ask of me I'd be more than happy to give you, I just want to see you smile... because... I...

I love you.

I am Gordon Quid of the Highland Quid Clan, and I am in love with you, Human Kimberly.

Nothing else needs to be said.

Sighing, I placed the pencil down on the desk.

"Did I really...?"

I picked the paper up, flipped it back to the beginning, and read what I had written. Surprisingly, I barely even remembered writing most of it. The paper was covered with eraser marks, and the handwriting was a messy scrawl, particularly toward the end when the pencil was barely touching the paper. My paw was obviously shaking when I got to that point; I doubted anyone but myself would have even been able to read the end of it. However, there was no turning back. I'd said that I was going to give this to her, TODAY, and I wasn't about to break this promise. I opened the drawer on the table where I sat and began to dig through it.

"Where did they go?" I muttered to myself, not finding what I needed. "Waffle?!" I called, looking around the mansion to see if anyone was near. "Hovis? Danny? Marie? Beth? Is anyone here?"

"I am, Uncle Gordo!" came a young female voice. A yellow kitten came running into the room, the stick of a lollipop hanging out of her mouth. "Ya need something?" she continued, not bothering to remove the candy.

"First off, Beth, I've asked you not to call me Uncle Gordo..." I said, knowing as it came out of my mouth that it was utterly hopeless.

"Why not?" Beth asked, walking over to the table. "Dad calls you Gordo all the time."

"It's simply not a kind thing to say," I explained.

"But it's your name without the n," Beth rationalized. "I know what it MEANS, but... it's also your name! So you're Uncle Gordo." She gave a final nod, as if to quickly end the matter. I gave in, having more things on my mind than arguing with my niece over the unfortunate nickname.

"Listen, Beth, could you do me a favor?" I asked. "There was a pack of envelopes in this drawer here, but I can't find them..."

"Oh, Uncle Waffle took those. Said he wanted to make cards for his newts."

"That doesn't surprise me at all," I chuckled. "Well, could you go get one for me, please? I don't think I have much time left, it's kind of important..."

"Why don't you get it yourself?" she asked, fiddling with the stick to her candy.

"I'm kind of worried that someone will see my-" I started, but stopped abruptly.

"See your what?" Beth asked. "Whatever it is, there's no one else TO see it."

"There's not?" I said. "Where did they go? I know your parents are out on their date, but I didn't see anyone else leave. I've been kind of distracted."

"Uncle Waffle said that Gomez and Stella wanted to go on a date, too, but that he had to hang around and 'supervise'," Beth told me, making air quotes. "Marie went along with him just to see what the heck a newt date is like. Hovis said that today's a holiday and that he refuses to work on holidays. Last I saw him, he was going up to his attic with a book. Don't know where Danny is. Probably causing mischief. I haven't heard any explosions yet, though."

"Well, that's good," I said, at this point used to Danny disappearing, returning looking like he'd been up to something, but nothing unusual ever turning up. He's frighteningly good at getting into trouble but never letting us know what trouble he'd gotten into.

"What're you writing?" Beth asked, suddenly noticing the paper in front of me and moving closer to get a better look.

"Something personal..." I mumbled, folding my arms over it and blocking it from view. Beth gave up and turned her attention to the garbage can. "You wrote all THIS?!" she exclaimed. "TODAY?!"

"Well, over the past few days, but – Beth, NO!" I cried as she uncrumpled one of the papers and began reading it out loud.

"'Oh, my love with such lovely brown hair and sweet sparkling eyes and musical voice and...'" she stopped reading and cringed. "Uncle Gordo, what IS this?!"

"I've been working on something for someone..." I murmured, feeling my face grow hot. "Put that back in the trash. It's horrible."

"I'll say," Beth said. "Whoever this is for, never try writing her poetry again." She crushed it back into a ball and dropped it onto the heap. "So, who's the lucky cat?"

"Well..." I started, wondering how on Earth to start explaining the whole thing.

"Is she pretty? What color's her fur? Is she a warrior like you? Tell me!" Beth insisted, shaking my chair. "C'mon, I didn't know you had a girlfriend! Why haven't I met her yet?"

"She's not my girlfriend," I said, not yet ready to bring up the species confusion. "I'm just an admirer, that's all..."

"You're not stalking her, are you? Girls don't like that, you know."

"It's nothing like that!" I said hurriedly. "She's a friend of mine. I've had my eye on her for a while, just never got farther than friendship... today's the perfect day to change that!"

"And I'll make sure you do change that! It's the only way I'll have an aunt! Or cousins!"

"Why is that?" I asked, still not pointing out the several things wrong with those hopes.

"You think Uncle Waffle's ever going to get a girlfriend? Or even want one?" Beth asked.

"Perhaps you have a point."

Beth nodded and took the stick out of her mouth. The candy on the end was bright red and cut into the shape of a heart. She examined it for a moment before sticking it back between her teeth. "So, tell me, who-" Before she could finish her sentence, the doorbell rang.

"I got it!" she announced, bounding off. "You finish your letter! Make sure you can impress your friend with it!" I returned to looking over the paper and mouthing the words, hoping that everything was just right. It was too late to fix it now; Kimberly would be done school any second...

"Oh, hey there!" I heard Beth shouting from a few rooms away. I strained to see if I could hear the visitor's voice, but it simply didn't carry as well as Beth's shouting.

"You wanna see Uncle Gordo? I dunno if I should, he's sorta busy..."

I stopped looking over my letter and continued straining to hear. I could tell the other speaker was female, but I couldn't understand a word she said. The voice seemed so familiar, but I just couldn't place it...

"What's he busy with? Well... did you know he has a GIRLFRIEND?"

I wasn't even down there and I still turned slightly red from that. "Why would you tell people that, Beth?" I grumbled to myself, wishing she could hear me. Not that it'd matter; she'd probably keep pressing the issue. The identity of Beth's mother was certainly obvious.

"No, I don't know who she is either, but he's writing her a letter! Shh, keep it quiet, though, I don't think I'm supposed to tell anyone..."

Bit too late for that, now, isn't it?

"Well, I'm sure he'll stop with the letter for a bit to talk to you. I know you two are friends! And you brought him a present, too! How sweet! C'mon, Kimberly, I'll show you where he is!"

"YACK!" I yelped against my will, and as quickly as possible, I pulled the drawer open, stuffed the paper in, and slammed it shut again. It was just in time; seconds later, Beth came rocketing back in, Human Kimberly following closely behind.

"Hi, Gordon!" she said, smiling happily. To her chest, she hugged a red, rectangular box tied with a pink ribbon. "Happy Valentine's Day!"

"Happy Valentine's Day!" I replied with as much eagerness as I could manage, considering my heart's current position in my throat.

"Where's your letter?" Beth asked me.

"What letter?" I responded with a huge, false grin. "Beth, why don't you go see what your brother's up to?"

"You're never concerned about that, especially when nothing's crashed yet," Beth responded.

"GO SEE WHAT YOUR BROTHER IS UP TO," I repeated, not shouting, but certainly placing more than necessary emphasis on the words as I said them through shut teeth.

"Oh... kay..." Beth said slowly as she looked from me to Kimberly, as if not entirely sure what was going on. "I'll go look for him. You two have fun, then." She walked off slowly, occasionally looking back at the two of us, trying to figure it out but not quite getting it. I waited until she was certainly down the hall before resuming my conversation.

"Is that present for me?" I asked Kimberly, indicating the box. "You didn't have to get me anything... I didn't get something for you..." I tried my hardest not to look back at the drawer, at what I was GOING to give to her, but was starting to have second thoughts about.

"It's OK, I wanted to give you something!" Kimberly said, still smiling and holding the box out. "Go on, take it!"

I did so, calming my quivering paws as much as feasible. Slowly, I tugged at the ribbon to untie it and lifted the lid. Inside was a bottle of root beer with a blue ribbon wrapped around the neck, a tray of gumdrops, and a card made of pink construction paper. I placed the box on the table and removed the card. There were no words on the front, simply an assortment of heart and cat stickers. I opened it, my organs twisting themselves into a tighter knot. Inside was a message written in glitter:

To Gordon Quid, my bestest friend in the world!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love, your bestest friend, Human Kimberly

"Well? What do you think?" Kimberly asked as I stared at the card in silence. "The tray came from a box of chocolate, but I know you can't have that, so I put in fruit candy instead... I cleaned it out, I promise, if you got sick from my present I'd feel terrible..."

I looked up from the card and at her hopeful face as she eagerly awaited a response. I opened my mouth in an attempt to thank her, but no words came out. Instead, I did the only thing I could think to do; I stood up on the chair to meet her height, reached out, and pulled her into a tight hug.

"Thanks," I finally managed to get out SOMEHOW; my heart was fluttering way too fast and I could barely breathe, but somehow I didn't care anymore. I smiled happily as she hugged me back for a few all-too-short seconds.

"I just wanted to say hi and to give you that," she said as she withdrew from the embrace. "I'm sorry I can't stay long, but I have to go home..."

"It's all right," I assured her. "It was great to see you, even if it wasn't very long. Sorry I didn't have anything for you..."

"That... that was enough..." she said quietly, suddenly facing the floor. Was she... blushing? "I'll see you again really soon, I swear!" she continued, finally lifting her head and regaining her cheerful demeanor. "Hope you enjoy the candy and the soda! Bye!" she said, turning and waving.

"So long, Human Kimberly!" I called as I waved back. As she walked away, I opened the drawer and pulled out the letter. I opened my mouth, ready to call her back and tell her I DID have something...

...but at the last second, I changed my mind, tore the paper into shreds, and tossed the pieces into the trash. I sat back down in the chair and sank a little, clutching the card and floating in my own little world.

"I found Danny!" I heard Beth calling, knocking me out of my stupor. "He's in his room reading comic books. Nothing was broken, though he did throw an action figure at me and yell at me to get out. I don't think the figure survived that."

"I think we have some model glue lying around," I said, completely ignoring what she'd walked in on. "Should be easy to fix."

"Is this the present Kimberly gave you?" Beth asked, peering into the box. "Candy, huh... you know, if I didn't know any better, I'd think Kimberly was trying to give your girlfriend some competition. When are you going to deliver that letter, anyway?"

"I'm not," I said, pointing to the shreds. "I don't think I'm ready to. Not yet. Perhaps next year."

"Aw, bummer!" Beth whined. "I wanted to know who it was for! Can't you at least tell me?"

"Sure, I can," I said. "It was for Human Kimberly."

"...she's a human," Beth said simply.

"I know," I responded.

"That... that's so... CUTE!" she finally responded. "So sweet, not letting something like species get in the way of true love! That's just like you, Uncle Gordo! I should have known, I KNEW it, especially when you sent me away, I should have GUESSED! Hey, Kimberly! KIMBER-"

I grabbed Beth and placed my paw over her mouth. "Shh, please, I don't want her to know yet..."

"Well, why NOT?" Beth whined. "LOOK at all this stuff! You think she's going to say no?! C'mon! Tell her! Don't let her walk away! That's BORING!"

"I'm just not ready," I repeated.

Beth sighed. "Fine... you're WEIRD, Uncle Gordo."

"I know," I said, reaching into the box and pulling out an orange gumdrop.

"You'll let me know when you DO tell her, right? I just wanna know when I can call her Auntie Kimmy. It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"

"I'll let you know," I assured her, not entirely sure about the whole auntie thing. After swallowing the gumdrop, I took the root beer, pushed the cap off with my claw, and took a long swig. Somehow, it tasted even better than it would have if I had simply gotten one from the vault. "Listen, Beth... can you keep the whole thing our little secret? Your parents and Uncle Waffle will probably figure it out, but I don't want anyone else to know yet."

Beth groaned, her hopes of revealing such a juicy secret dashed. "Whatever you say, Uncle Gordo... I'm gonna go see if there's any more taffies."

"You go on ahead and do that," I said, placing the card back in the box and replacing the lid. As she dashed off, ever the streak of energy, I picked up the box and headed to my room to enjoy the rest of my gift.

"Perhaps next year..."