Countdown to a New Year's Kiss

Summary: The Winx and co are gathered at the Frutti Music Bar for New Year's Eve. The mood is set for the perfect kiss to bring in the New Year. Too bad for my favorite canon pairing I'm the one writing this story. Done for Winx Writers Anonymous' themed section, enjoy it sîl vous plaît.

Disclaimer: The whole world is a stage- here's your badly written script feel free to adlib.

Dedication: To the few, the proud, the too tired and lazy to go out on New Year's Eve. Love ya Becky!

Eleven eighteen on December thirty-first, forty-two minutes until the new year and it seemed as though every resident in Gardenia over fifteen and under twenty-nine was crammed into the Frutti Music Bar to celebrate any way they could. There were couples off dancing in their own worlds and groups of university students enjoying their last few days of freedom by dancing, comparing gifts or even trying to drink each other under the table. One young woman with a deep cherry wedge cut wearing a lime green tea length dress and floral tights gave her friends high fives as she beat her new husband at one of the racing games. It seemed that the nearer the old year came to a close the more excited everyone became about welcoming in the new one.

Eleven twenty-three, thirty-seven minutes before Midnight: After helping Riven to convince Timmy that there had been no known cases of people dying from public humiliation and then physically escorting Timmy to Tecna and not leaving until the evidentially petrified young man and his girlfriend were dancing to All I Need by Within Temptation Brandon was curled up on a sofa in a secluded area of the club with Stella. In between the talking of their plans for the coming year they reveled in their privacy by cuddling and making out. Then all of a sudden Stella stood up and smoothed her bright blue satin shift dress and picked up her light weight leather blazer.

"What's wrong Stell?" Brandon asked in a concerned tone of voice as he brushed his hair away from his forehead.

Stella flushed nervously and twisted the jacket in her hands. "It's nothing Brandon," Her hazel eyes darted down to the glittering laminate floor as she tried to be reassuring but ended up sounding nervous anyway.

'Damn, I'm gonna get turkey dropped!' Brandon thought frantically as he searched for a rescue. 'And on New Year's Eve no less!'

"I just have to use the washroom real bad." The blonde half mumbled looking mortified at having to tell her boyfriend.

Brandon let out his breath in one big relieved whoosh. Of course, Stella could go around in public wearing next to nothing, tell anyone what she thought of them at any particular moment and fight dangerous magic creatures without flinching. However tell her you had to use the men's room and you may as well have told her she has to clean a truck stop restroom with her toothbrush. "Okay Stella, I'll wait for you around here."

"Don't worry snookums; I'll be back in time to wish you a happy new year properly." Then with a quick kiss on his lips and a cheeky wink Stella quickly rushed off to wait with the other ladies who needed to take care of nature's call.

Eleven thirty-two, twenty-eight minutes until Midnight: Stella still hadn't come back from the washroom and Brandon was getting anxious and checking the watch Stella had given him for Christmas wasn't helping matters. After nine minutes he was ready to take some action, the brunette stood up and decided to see who he could find to help him find Stella.

The first couple Brandon spotted was Bloom and Sky, he was about to ask them for help, but then saw that both of them were practicing for midnight so he didn't bother to interrupt them. Bloom wouldn't've taken too kindly to the interruption and neither would Sky for that matter.

Eleven thirty-nine, twenty-one minutes until Midnight: Brandon hadn't found any of his other friends or seen anyone who even looked slightly like Stella. He almost had a heart attack when a woman who looked exactly like Stormy when she'd disguised herself and infiltrated Red Fountain to get back at Musa during their second year rushed right at him. Lucky for Brandon and his medical history at the last minute the woman made a sharp left and rushed into the arms of a man with a dozen purple irises and a large smile.

'That was close.' Brandon told himself as he headed towards the crowd that was gathered around two familiar looking young women. As he approached he made out Layla and Musa in the middle of a dance off- which he guessed was the reason for their comfortable club outfits they'd chosen earlier.

Layla and Musa had deiced that a friendly dance off would be the perfect way to end a wonderful but crazy year. Roxy had been in it as well when they started at quarter to eleven, but a few minutes ago Artu had begun to get anxious by himself in the back of the club and was making such a racket that he could just about be heard over the music so Roxy'd ducked out to let the dog stretch his legs.

Out on the edges of the crowd it looked to Brandon and a few others gathered that Musa was getting ready to concede to her equally talented friend. But in reality Musa had just given Layla their signal and Layla had spied Brandon. Quick as a wink Layla adjusted her multiple bangles and grabbed Musa by her slim wrists spinning her in circles out of the center of the crowd until they both collided with Brandon.

Over the exuberant laughter of two of his female friends and the pulsing bass of the music Brandon managed to ask them if they'd seen Stella.

"Nope, sorry." Musa answered shortly as she adjusted the cap sleeves of her filmy magenta Mandarin style dress. Then she put her two index fingers on either side of her mouth and let out an ear splitting whistle to get Riven's attention while running over to him.

"Besides Brandon, even if Stella had been around here there were so many people crowded here we wouldn't've noticed." Layla added. Then spotting Nabu the grey eyed fluid fairy quickly patted the dejected brunette on the shoulder and rushed over to her boyfriend and a quick race car game.

Eleven forty-three, seventeen minutes to Midnight: Brandon was getting more and more anxious as the minutes passed. He was getting ready to head back to the place where Stella had left him, which would've made the most sense when he spotted Timmy and Tecna sitting together at a small table laughing with their heads together.

"Hey, I'm sorry to interrupt." Brandon apologized quickly as he pulled out a chair and sat opposite Tecna and his roommate who may or may not have been considering revenge for Brandon and Riven- one could never tell with Timmy.

"What's the matter Brandon? You seem worried." Tecna observed while giving Timmy a sharp kick warning him not to make a snarky comment.

"I'm looking for Stella." Brandon explained quickly. "She went to the washroom about twenty minutes ago and I haven't seen her since."

"Have you tried going back to where she left you?" Timmy asked. "She may be waiting for you there."

"Yeah, thanks Tim, I'll try that." Brandon got up to leave then turned around, almost as an afterthought. "By the way, you didn't look half bad out there once you loosened up." And with that he made his way back to the darkened corner where he'd told Stella he'd wait.

Eleven forty-eight, twelve minutes to Midnight: As Brandon made his way back to where Stella has last seen him he saw Flora sitting by herself on a small dark green sofa twisting the laces on her deep rose corset top.

"Hey Flora, where's Helia?" Brandon greeted sitting again for a brief minute or two.

"Hi Brandon." Flora greeted in a distracted tone of voice. "Helia went to the washroom because he spilt his drink on his shirt. Where's Stella?"

"Same place." Brandon answered with a sigh. "Except the women's washroom and I haven't seen her in almost half an hour and it's nearly midnight."

Flora opened her mouth to say something comforting, but spotted Helia at the last minute. "That took a while."

"It sure did, the lines for both washrooms are out the door." Helia replied. "Hi Brandon, I saw Stella looking for you."

"Thanks, I was out looking for her too. Which way was she heading?" Brandon asked while looking around the crowded club for Stella. Even someone with blonde hair done up in a braid wrapped around her head would be welcome at this point.

"About the same way you were heading."

"Thanks." Brandon replied with a smile walking off into the crowd.

"Don't mention it." Helia and Flora told him in unison.

Eleven fifty-six, four minutes to midnight: Brandon made it back to where Stella had left him with literally minutes to spare, but she wasn't sitting there waiting for him. But since Helia had told Brandon he'd seen Stella near the washrooms heading towards where he now was Brandon was at least in a more upbeat mood. He pulled out a stick of peppermint gum and popped it in his mouth preparing for midnight. And the kiss he'd been counting down to since he and Stella had come in with their friends three and a half hours ago.

Eleven fifty-eight, two minutes to midnight: The lights had been dimmed in preparation for the count-down to the new year and all that was available through most of the club was colored stage lighting which lent an eerie glow to the establishment. Brandon's previous optimistic mood had begun to dim as his friends began to gather around wearing funny hats and blowing noise makers in practice for the new year. So far the only two people missing from their large group were Roxy who was finishing up with filling up the many plastic champagne flutes for the toasts and Stella who hadn't been spotted since Helia'd claimed to have seen her.

At one point Tecna offered the suggestion that maybe she was helping Roxy so their new friend could join them sooner, but everyone else in the Winx Club and their boyfriends- especially Riven doubted that Stella would do anything that would jeopardize her gel nails. That included helping their friend.

Eleven fifty-nine, one minute to midnight: As Layla blew an experimental toot from her metallic aquamarine cardboard horn Brandon began to give up hope of having a midnight kiss. Sure he could've chanced finding a single girl who had been partying with one of her friends, but his face and his friendship with the others couldn't risk him being an incurable flirt. That is until he was in his eighties.

As people around him began the countdown to midnight Brandon sighed dejectedly. So much for his new year's kiss.

"Ten seconds!" Timmy announced excitedly.

"Nine." Chimed in Musa.

"Eight." Bloom and Riven called out in unison evoking laughter from everyone else but Brandon at the thought of those two burying the hatchet.

"Seven… six… five… four… three… two!" Flora, Tecna, Layla, Nabu, Helia and Sky counted out one after the other.

Just as the entire club was about to shout one there was a high pitched bark and the distinct click of nails on the laminate flooring. Then just as Brandon had given up all hope of being kissed at midnight Artu leapt onto the brunette's lap licking his face relentlessly as Stella and Roxy chased after the disobedient dog calling his name and falling into each other as Roxy then Stella tripped over a chair leg and Musa's foot.

"Happy New Year!" Called Stella from her position under an embarrassed looking- from what Brandon could tell- Roxy. "Sorry we're late. I was on my way back from the… place I'd gone to, but Roxy looked frazzled so I decided to help."

If this had been an anime instead of real life, the other Winx girls, save Tecna who had made the suggestion, would be all on the floor right now.

"You were what? Am I on glue here?" Riven finally choked out in shock being the only one to voice what everyone else was thinking.

"Yes, my new year's resolution is to be more helpful." Stella explained as she and Roxy were helped up off the floor by their friends. Stella then gently moved an over excited Artu off of Brandon's lap and sat there herself. "I'm sorry I didn't get back in time for your midnight kiss Brandon."

"Don't worry Stella." Layla said with a big smile on her face as she leaned back against Nabu. "Brandon got his kiss at midnight that he'll never forget."

"That's for sure." Brandon agreed finally joining in on the laughter.

Happy New Year!

Yay! I finished my theme! And if anyone can't guess my goal for the new year is to learn French.