A/N: MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you're all enjoying your day so far! :) And wow, can you believe we're already on the last chapter here? I really hope you guys enjoy the ending, despite the various outcomes it could be. I will say this though: I was serious in the first author's note when I said I viewed this story as a Christmas present to all of my readers and reviewers this year, so thank you all immensely for all the kind words, and I do hope you enjoy it. Anyway, here's the finale. Merry Christmas!
Quick Note: There's a pretty massive author's note at the end of this, and it would be really appreciated if you gave it a read. Thanks!
Disclaimer: I own a very large nothing.
"On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings!
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!"
JD was sitting under the tree, surrounded by his friends and a heavy amount of unwrapped presents. Turk had been the first to awaken, in which he promptly awoke his wife and his two best friends. Elliot had been invited to spend the night, allowing her to spend the whole Christmas day with her friends instead of having to come over later.
JD watched from his spot on the floor as Turk went about clasping the necklace around the Latina woman's neck. It was the gift the surgeon had been eagerly awaiting for to come in the mail; the night where it had ended up being JD's basket of pears instead.
JD closed his eyes, thinking back on the day his admirer had sent him his first present based off of "The 12 Days of Christmas." It felt like weeks ago now, but really, only eleven days had passed since the brunet had received his first present. Now it was Christmas day itself, and as much fun as JD was already having, he was admittedly and undeniably nervous.
The doe eyed doctor turned towards the hesitant voice of his friend, smiling at the obvious concern her eyes held. "Yeah?"
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just nervous about today, you know? Not really about what the present will be: I've learned to trust my admirer when it comes to that. But I'm nervous about who the admirer will be, or how they plan on telling me who they are. But what if I'm wrong all together? What if they never plan on telling me who they are?"
Elliot smiled comfortingly, taking a seat next to her friend on the floor by the tree. "JD, I'm sure whoever's gone through all of this trouble just to show you how much they care wouldn't just leave you hanging. That'd make no sense! And as far as who they are, what about that worries you?"
The doe eyed doctor fiddled with a loose piece of thread on the hem of his pajamas. It'd been a thought he had ever since receiving his "Ten lords a-leaping," present, but it was one he'd yet to express. Finally, JD spoke. "This whole time…I've been imagining my admirer as someone I didn't know. Maybe a new nurse or something that thought I was cute and just didn't know how to tell me until now. Maybe someone I've talked to once or twice but just didn't remember, and they wanted to get my attention in a way that would show me how much they liked me. But when I realized that it was my admirer who put that blanket on me while I was sleeping, I…it sounds weird I guess, but I felt like whoever it was, was somebody that I already knew pretty well, you know? The gesture was comforting, but also…personal. Like whoever this is doesn't just have a crush, but…but really cares about me, you know?"
Elliot nodded, her expression clearly taking in JD's words. "I understand, JD, I do, but why does that make you nervous?"
"Because, I…I don't know how I'm going to react. What if I end up hurting them? What if I don't feel for them what they obviously feel for me? Or what if they reveal themselves, suddenly realize it's me who they're dealing with, and decide the whole thing's just been a huge mistake?"
"JD…I highly doubt whoever's doing this would suddenly call it a mistake. And even if your admirer turns out to be someone you already know, or someone you don't have immense feelings for, wouldn't you still give them a chance?"
JD nodded. "I would. I realized earlier this week that I would. But I don't want it to be fake either, Elliot. I want to be…I want to be happy it's them. Whoever it is. I don't want us to just end up going on a couple of coffee dates and me having to wave goodbye."
Elliot reached over to rub JD's back soothingly, doing her best to calm away his nerves. "Don't worry about that right now, okay? You'll know when the time comes. You'll know, JD. You'll know what to do."
The brunet smiled gratefully, taking in Elliot's reassurance and allowing himself to relax. After all, it was Christmas, and he was extremely excited to be there with his friends. "Thanks, Elliot. I appreciate it."
The blonde doctor smiled. "Any time."
It was dinner time, and doctors, surgeon, and nurse, were sitting around the table, eating appreciatively of all the things Carla had taken the time to cook up for them.
"Baby, you have out done yourself!"
Carla beamed at the compliment, reaching over to place a giant peck on her husband's cheek. "Thank you, baby. And Elliot? Bambi?"
"Amazing, Carla, seriously."
Elliot nodded her immediate agreement. "I wish I could cook like this! But I'm only good at certain things. Apple pie, apple bread, or apple centered –"
"Anyway, Bambi, looking forward to tonight?"
"Your admirer, dude!" Turk cut in. "Aren't you looking forward to your last present? Or at least how they plan on telling you who they are?"
"To be honest, I was really nervous about it before. Well, I still am, but I'm a lot calmer now. I've trusted my admirer so far, so I shouldn't stop trusting them now, right?"
Carla nodded her approval. "Right."
A sudden knock at the door startled the four from their conversation. JD suddenly found all eyes on him, waiting for him to get up and answer what was obviously meant for him to retrieve.
"Go on, Bambi," Carla said, nodding towards the door. "You know it's for you."
JD nodded, heart racing wildly. Was this it? Was his admirer just going to show up at his apartment as the twelfth gift themselves? But when JD finally did open the door, he was proven wrong in a heart beat. At least, he thought when his butt collided with the floor, he didn't shout as loudly this time.
Twelve drummers – professional, from the look and sound of it – marched into the apartment together, all in step as they did so. They circled JD as he remained on the floor, stunned and staring up at them. They wore outfits like one would see in a marching band, except their colors were red and ivy green; the bottom of their hats trimmed with ivy. JD continued to stare as the twelve finally turned to leave, but the last one, much like the tenth lord a-leaping, stayed behind. Without a word, he removed the top of his drum and reached inside, pulling out a small, black safe. He handed this to the still slightly shaken brunet with a smile before turning to depart with the others, closing the door as he left.
Knees still a little wobbly, JD stood carefully from the floor, clutching the safe to his chest as he did so.
"You alright, buddy?" Turk asked as he stood from the table, making his way over to help out his friend.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Startled, but what's new about that? In retrospect, I should have seen that one coming. This though…" JD stopped to hold out the small safe for his friends to see, "This though, I didn't expect. A safe? What am I supposed to do with it?"
Carla rolled her eyes. "Call me crazy, but I'm guessing you should open it."
"Yeah, but how? It's a safe, Carla. A safe that clearly needs a combination to get into. A combination that I don't have."
"Look on the bottom!" Elliot chimed in, doing her best to help. "The combination could be there."
JD flipped it over to see if her guess was right, but he found absolutely nothing. The brunet sighed, frustrated. "I don't understand. Something's gotta be in it that I need, but why not just give it to me? Why a safe? I guess it'd make sense if I actually had the numbers to open it, but –" JD stopped mid sentence, the realization of his gift, of an earlier gift, hitting him all at once.
"I do, you guys! I do have the numbers for it!"
JD sprang to his room, leaving the safe on the table for his friends to ponder over. It only took him a second to find the post-it note he'd written the seven numbers on that he had originally found painted in the middle of each of his seven swans a-swimming. "Here!" JD exclaimed excitedly, waving the small piece of paper as he bounced out of his room. "The numbers on the swans, remember? They've got to be the numbers to the safe!"
The three beamed, clearly excited by JD's revelation and hopeful that it was, in fact, right. The brunet entered the numbers as quickly as possible, curiosity about what awaited him inside finally getting to him. It was a little hard, however, when his hands continued to shake with nerves.
Finally, the numbers were entered. Holding his breath, JD took hold of the handle and twisted.
The safe opened immediately; no squeaky protests whatsoever.
The three on-lookers instantly untensed, happy that JD's idea had indeed been correct. Now the big question was what, exactly, laid inside.
JD peered into the opening, noticing instantly the small piece of paper that lay in its center; a red, silk ribbon tied neatly around its middle. The doctor pulled it out with shaky hands, untying the ribbon quickly. When he finally opened it though, JD's hands just continued on in their shaking, excitement and nervousness now completely coursing through his body.
In neatly typed up lettering, the note read a simple: "Tonight on the roof. 11:00pm. I'll meet you there."
JD swallowed, handing the note for his friends to pass around, as he stared up at the clock on their wall. Eight thirty pm. His admirer had left him just enough time to get ready.
"Bambi?" Carla finally asked after all three were done reading the note. "Are you okay?"
JD didn't even hesitate before spilling out his worries. "I'm excited! And nervous! And, and…what roof? Where? No. No, I know that. Sacred Heart's roof. It's gotta be. But, but…what am I supposed to say when I meet them? What do I do? And what does somebody wear when going to meet the person whose been secretly sending them gifts over the past twelve days!?"
"As to what you say and do, well…that's really up to you," Carla answered calmly. "But as to what you wear? I think your admirer already answered that for you."
It took JD a moment to realize the meaning of the Latina woman's words, but once he did, he couldn't help but grin, despite the nerves still coursing through him. Of course! The outfit from the "Eight maids a-milking!" He had to go get ready. He had to go to Sacred Heart. But before all of that, he had to go take a shower. He'd taken one earlier that morning, but now that he was getting ready to go meet his admirer, well…if whoever it was liked the scent of warm vanilla shampoo, then he was damn sure gonna use warm vanilla shampoo.
JD stood on the roof of Sacred Heart Hospital, rubbing his hands together nervously. It was almost eleven o' clock at night, and the Christmas butterflies were causing quite a storm at the base of his stomach. The night, however, was beautiful. The air was crisp with cold, but not so much that it made the weather uncomfortable. Lights trimmed the roof of the hospital, and as JD looked out and stared at the city before him, he could see the star at the top of the parks Christmas tree, along with the many various houses that had decorated their homes for the holidays.
JD was so lost in his silent contemplation (having chosen to think about his surroundings rather than who his admirer was, considering he was already extremely and utterly nervous) that he did not notice the sound of the roof door being opened.
JD whirled around, almost tipping over in the process. What was Dr. Cox doing here? He could've sworn he had off too. "Dr. Cox? What are you doing here?"
The older man smirked. "Sorry to have disturbed your overly-sentimental contemplation there, Angel."
JD took in a long, cleansing breath, a little relieved that he hadn't just made a fool of himself in front of his admirer. He was used to making a fool of himself in front of his mentor, though. "So what are you doing here, Dr. Cox? And - oh! Are you meeting someone up here too?"
JD, for the first time upon his mentor's arrival, noticed what it was the curly haired man was wearing. A black suit jacket and pants, much like his own, with the same grey t-shirt JD had seen him wear on other fancier occasions.
When the brunet looked back up at his mentor, expecting some sort of answer, he was met with only a…a look. A look JD couldn't quite place. Blue eyes locked in with his own, making the younger of the two flush. What? What did he do? And what was that look on Perry's face? It was…was that…disappointment maybe? Restraint? He couldn't tell, but –
"I was going too," the older man answered suddenly, lips strangely tight, "but I decided to just let them blow it out their ass, so here's ridden to ya', Newbie. Hope you have a fantastic Christmas."
JD winced as his mentor was gone in a flash, the roof door slamming closed behind him. What the hell just happened!? For a moment, JD thought of running after him, thinking that maybe if he invited him back to their apartment for their Christmas gathering one more time, then just maybe he'd take him up on his offer. But Dr. Cox had already, and very clearly, declined his earlier invite.
And besides, it was already a little past eleven. If he left now, then surely he would miss his admirer.
It was quarter after, and still no sight or sound from JD's secret admirer. The brunet hugged himself tightly, a fear he had from close to the beginning of this grand adventure coming to fruition: He had gotten stood up.
Whoever his admirer was, had been, had left him hanging, most likely after realizing who it was they'd been sending secret presents to. JD wanted to cry. He didn't, but he really, really wanted to.
What did he do wrong? When, exactly, had his admirer lost interest? There was no way it was just a matter of being late. So far, they'd been on point about everything. They wouldn't start slacking at the last minute. But no one showed up. No one. The only person to have come to the roof was Dr. Cox, but that was just –
JD turned around sharply to face the roof's door, blue eyes wide with realization. Maybe, if he stared long enough, the older man would just conjure himself back into place.
But that was impossible. And now, yet another one of JD's fears was coming true: He just absolutely crushed the person who had gone through such lengths to show him he actually cared. And not by rejecting him, but by not even acknowledging that Dr. Cox was just as big of a possibility as any other person that could have potentially been his secret admirer.
But now what? What was he supposed to do? Suddenly, JD was recalling a conversation he'd had earlier that morning; a conversation with a certain blonde doctor: "You'll know when the time comes. You'll know, JD. You'll know what to do."
Without another moment's hesitation, JD ran.
He was there in the hospital parking lot, having just gotten into his car. JD dashed for the Porsche, swallowing a mouthful of fear as he heard the vehicle come to life, its driver slowly beginning to back it out of its parking space.
"No!" JD shouted hurriedly, but just as he was beginning to think it was too late, he took another giant leap in his run, practically throwing his entire body onto the front window of Perry's prized possession.
Out of breath and dizzy, yes, but JD was still aware enough to see the older man startle – an extremely rare sight – and still very aware enough to hear him mutter a string of curses before climbing angrily out of his car.
"Newbie! What the HELL!?"
JD rolled off the car awkwardly, throwing his hands in front of his body as he waved them about wildly. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I was just trying to keep you from leaving. I didn't scratch it, did I? If I did, I'll pay for it, alright? But I had to find you before you left. I just –"
"Can it, Newbie. If you're here to yet again invite me to what sounds like thee most God-awful Christmas party to ever exist, I really don't –"
"It was you, wasn't it?"
Perry's eyebrows shot up, not very used to being cut off mid-rant by his protégé. Instead of yelling though, the older man chose to cross his arms and flick his nose, jaw becoming tight once again. "Elaborate," he demanded.
JD bit back a sigh, remembering yet again how stubborn his mentor was. "It was you, wasn't it? All this time…you've been sending me those presents, haven't you? You're…you're my secret admirer…"
A long silence encased them both, and JD couldn't help but watch the string of emotions that went through the older man's eyes. Yet his body remained the same: Cold, stiff, and looking as though its biggest fear was to be broken. "Yes," he answered finally, stern but quiet. "Yeah, Newbie, it was me. But as you can see, I'm trying to leave here with my dignity intact, so if you could just –"
"I was happy!"
Dr. Cox stopped, staring at the young man before him cautiously. "What…?"
"I was happy, Dr. Cox, when I realized it was you. I was scared that I wasn't going to catch you on time when I realized you were my admirer; I was confused that it was you, in since, well…it's you! And you're kinda, well…you! But the whole time I was running, I never once stopped and thought, 'What are you doing? He's your mentor! He's a guy! He's Dr. Cox!' I just kept running, scared that I wouldn't catch you on time. And it wasn't just out of the fear that I had hurt you, either. It was…I was happy it was you. I was, Dr. Cox. I promise."
"…That was quite an impressive rant there, Holly."
JD smiled. "It was, wasn't it? So please don't go. I'm sorry it didn't even occur to me. It just…it didn't. I'm dense like that."
"You don't have to tell me that, Newbie…"
"But you've been harsher than usual anyway, and I just…it didn't click, that's all…"
JD watched, muscles tensed with anticipation, as the older man closed his eyes, taking a deep breath of the night's winter air. Finally, his arms dropped to his side, though one of his hands reached up for his head and began to massage their lightly. "Alright, Gloria, alright. I won't go yet. Just…what do you expect me to say, here?"
JD thought on this question, and it didn't take him long at all to know what it was he felt the need to ask. "How?"
"How did you pull all of this off? I mean…the planning, the presents, the time, the places…how did you do it?"
Perry smirked, his ego inflating at the more than impressed tone from his protégé. "I'm amazing, aren't I?"
JD rolled his eyes playfully. "Seriously though. How did you do it?"
"I admittedly had some help. I mean c'mon, Newbie. What did you expect? Can you honestly see me combing through a clothes store for 'Just the right outfit?' Please. I am see-hoe not that guy. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn't too sure about this little plan of hers either, but once she gets an idea in her head, she just can't let it go. 'But Bambi loves romantic stuff! And if you do this, especially around Christmas time, he'll be able to see how serious you are!'" he imitated in a higher tone.
"Carla!? Carla knew!? All this time!?"
"You bet, Josephine."
JD shook his head. Tricksy, tricksy nurse. "Okay, so Carla helped. Anyone else?"
Dr. Cox gritted his teeth in annoyance, the next name clearly paining him to say out loud. "Beelzebub. Eleven pipers piping was a hard one, damn it, and I needed him to get you in there. Now I have to work five weekends in a row…"
JD bit back a half appreciative, half amused grin. "Okay, so that's it then?"
"No. One more. Lurch."
JD's eyes practically popped out of his head. "Janitor!?"
"I got Soap Scrub to open up your locker so I could put those two doves in there, and then I got him to open it later so I could stick that candy in there too. He was also the one who convinced that weird guy Troy not to tell you who I was. That, and not to spit in your food. He was also supposed to keep an eye on you and let me in on when it was safe to come into your apartment so I could paint those damn swans, but he got distracted by a squirrel and went to catch it for God only knows what. When he told me about it later, it's safe to say I yelled. Shrek didn't take too kindly to that, and ended up taking his anger out on Ted. But then Carla told me that black wife of yours was on his way home, and I figured he'd get you out of the apartment, even if he was clueless as to whatever role he'd be playing in this whole crazy fiasco."
JD stared, wide eyed. "I…I can't believe you actually told people about this."
"Sort of…Carla guessed a couple of months ago that I –"
"Be quiet, Newbie. Carla guessed, and when I couldn't stand a second more of her poking around in my business, I snapped. But then – God, I can't believe I'm about to say this – but then she got me…she got me talking to her about it. It was annoying as hell, yeah, but for once she kept something 'juicy' to herself, and promised not to tell a soul. And then when December hit, she came up with the '12 Days of Christmas,' thing."
"So…" JD started, hoping the disappointment in his voice didn't show, "None of this was really done by you?"
Dr. Cox just rolled his eyes. "Give me some credit, Newbie. Sure, I needed help setting some of it up, and yes, Carla picked out the outfit, because that is just nee-hot my game, but I came up with the other ideas and how to do them. Though the whole thing almost went through the roof on the tenth day…"
"The 'Ten lords a-leaping?' What do you mean? I was shocked, yeah, but the gift worked just fine."
"You almost woke up, kid. Carla told me you had gone home feeling tired, so I waited a while, hoping you'd fallen asleep. I was right, but I had to tell those dancers a million and one times to be quiet before going in. And whaddya' know! The damn bastards couldn't stop whispering. You started mumbling and squirming, so I had to talk you back to sleep."
"You put a blanket on me too…" JD added, trying not to flush.
"Yeah, I did… Don't you give me that 'how cute,' look, Sparkles. You were shivering. What the hell was I supposed to do!?"
But JD only smiled further, seeing straight through the older man's hard ass façade. "Okay, I have to ask," he suddenly said, remembering yet another one of his questions, "What was with the nine nurses dancing?"
Perry smirked mischievously. "Enjoyed that, did you?"
JD rolled his eyes. "C'mon, tell me! Why throw on a sex show when it's you, you want me to be paying attention to?"
To the young doctor's surprise, the older man's grin only widened. "Because once you're with me, Newbie, you're never going back to the ladies again, so I thought I'd let you say goodbye to the girls with a bang. Besides, you're girl enough for the both of us."
Choosing to ignore his last comment, JD reached into his pocket, pulling out the Christmas corsage he had hidden there. "So this? Um…am I supposed to give this to you or something?"
Perry's eyes popped. "Me!? Hell no! That's for you."
"But…but girls wear corsages!"
"Like I said before: You're girl enough for the both of us."
Before JD could respond though, he remembered an earlier question from before, one which the older man had never fully addressed. "You still haven't told me why you were so comfortable with telling people about this, Dr. Cox…"
Perry sighed. "JD…would it make any sense to go through all of this only to hide whatever the hell it is we'd be doing? That's just straight out moronic."
"I'm not sure if 'straight' is the right word…"
"It is. Because you're a girl."
"So," the young doctor started again, "You're…you're really serious about this, aren't you? I mean…I want to. To try. I just…it's you, you know? I know you have a past with Jordan, and I don't, I mean…Are you sure? Because I'm not sure if you're really –"
JD was cut off abruptly with a kiss, surprisingly gentle for the person it was coming from. When Perry pulled away, much to the younger man's disappointment, the older doctor was grinning. "Do I look unsure? And put that pout away there, Tinsel. We'll have more of that kind of thing later. I'm sure you can recall a certain mistletoe."
JD could feel his cheeks turning red, hoping it was too dark for the older man to notice. "Oh…"
A long silence followed them both then, until JD finally found the courage to speak. "Hey, Dr. Cox?"
"Perry, Newbie, and what is it?"
JD decided to have a happy dance over being called by his real name earlier and getting the permission to do like wise when Dr. Cox – Perry – wasn't looking. "Do you think we could go back to the apartment? I think both Elliot and Turk would really like to know who my admirer turned out to be."
Dr. Cox nodded, though his face still had an expression of wary hesitance. "Sure, Newbie." The older man stopped suddenly, an amused chuckle escaping him. "What do you think Milk Dud will say?"
"He'll be supportive no matter what, just as long as he's kept hidden from any and all details."
"I'll have to remember that for when I want to torture him. And Barbie?"
"Same, except she'll probably want to know the details."
"Which she never will."
"I hadn't planned on it, but okay. Oh, and Dr. Cox?"
"Yeah, Newbie, what is it?"
To JD's surprise, the curly haired doctor reached over, taking the younger man's hand in his own. "Merry Christmas, Newbie."
A/N: Well, there it is! Alright, explanation time: First, I was going to have the one receiving the presents be none other than Dr. Cox himself, as I absolutely love writing for him. But then I figured the only person that would do that for him, and have it make sense, would be JD, which in turn would be way too obvious. So then I figured that if it wasn't Dr. Cox who'd be receiving the gifts, it would be JD, which leaves a lot of options open as to who it could be. Then I sat and thought for a long time whether or not I wanted it to be Elliot or Perry. (Trust me; it was not a five minute decision) But then, before I even thought of the rest of the story, I came up with the ending: I realized I wanted to have the admirer show up at the selected spot when revealing themselves, be right in front of JD, and have the poor kid not even realize it was them. I knew this before even knowing who I wanted the admirer to be, but when I came to that conclusion, I realized that would make the most sense if it was, in fact, Dr. Cox. If Elliot had been the one to show up, I believe JD would've known it almost instantly.
I know a lot of you thought "My Love Potion," was going to be my first attempt at slash ever (though it is also JD/Elliot) To be honest, so did I. In fact, it was going to be my first Scrubs story with any specific pairing ever, but I thought of that months before this story, and I thought going back to my profile and changing the description would be too obvious as well.
Also, please do not think that this means I will stop writing mentor/protégé – father/son fics, such as "My Hypnotism" and "My Second Childhood." I love writing those two with the father and son dynamic. I couldn't stop even if I tried. :)
Anyway, I know this was a really long explanation, but I felt the need to let you guys know what I was thinking when it came to all of this.
But yes – I think I've rambled long enough, don't you? Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope you enjoyed the story! :) Until next time!