A/N: Hello everyone. Hey, where are you two going?
Sword: To put on a Christmas Carol play. I'm the Ghost of Christmas Past
And he's Scrooge.
Pen: *grumbles* No. The Ghost of Christmas Future.
Well wait up and I'll...They're already gone. Well guess I'm left along to do the Christmas story. Again. We do not own any of the characters as they belong to Sega. Also, this story was inspired by REO Speedwagon's song "Can't Fight This Feeling", and the lyrics in bold belong to them as well. Also, thanks to Chocovi for beta reading this. Enjoy.
Why Fight This Feeling?
Tails was confused.
That in itself was a rarity to say the least. The young genius had an IQ matching several of the smartest people in the world and could figure out the odds and ends of nearly any machine, explaining in full detail how it worked. Not to mention that he was the proud inventor of several contraptions that not only consisted of helping him around the workshop, such as a vending machine that spat out whatever tool he requested or a stove that would cook food and flip or stir it when it sensed it was well done, but also aided the Sonic team as well. The blue hedgehog himself had acknowledged that without Tails, "Eggman would've gotten us by now".
Yet this girl puzzled him to no end. Perhaps it was due to him never feeling connected to any girl like her before. Sure he would admit that he was a bit shy in social situations, but the sandy fox believed that he was able to freely socialize with most people.
Or maybe it was because this was the first kind of girl he had met who was so kind, exotic, mysterious, and captivating all at once. The only other girls who he was on relatively good terms at the time that even came close were Amy and Rouge. And half the time, he knew he needed to stay out of their way lest their rage and fury be the untimely death of him.
What he did know was that he could not fight this feeling any longer. And yet he was still afraid to let it flow out of his heart around her. It had been such a sudden thing to him too, finding out how bad he had fallen for her. In retrospect, it had most likely been a gradual change, slowly building up inside his heart like water that had been dammed up too long. What started out as friendship has grown stronger. Much stronger than any feeling he had ever known.
He only wish he had the strength to let it show around the girl. But her beauty and sweet demeanor always tied his tongue into a knot. He loved saying her name though, even if he could barely speak while she was around. Just calling her by name and having her acknowledge him was wonderful.
The fox blinked, falling out of his daydream and back into the real world. The world where he was carrying tinsel over to the tree in the middle of Amy's cream colored living room, while the pink hedgehog herself and Cream adorned it with ornaments. The world where he was staring into the gorgeous blue eyes that shone like sapphires from the white face of his crush, while her leafy green hair sought to veil them from the world. He muttered a short "Never mind" to Cosmo and rushed over to join them, his face burning bright and hot.
Since Amy's request to help decorate had proved ineffective to take Tails' mind off the plant girl, especially since she was here to help as well, he had done his best to ignore it. But he knew, deep down, and he told himself that he can't hold out forever and that there is no reason for his fear. That did nothing to alleviate the problem though.
Which is why earlier, he had taken the opportunity to inquire as to Amy's opinion on the subject and maybe find a way to show his affection through a gift. After all, if anyone knew about the pain and struggles of infatuated feelings, it was she. Unfortunately, all of this had yielded another conversation that divagated into a spiel about how she would win Sonic over this year. Even now, as he hung ornaments on her tree with Cream, she was still adamantly talking about the blue hedgehog.
And that is when it hit him. Sonic! Maybe he would have an answer. Granted, Tails was the smartest one of the group, but no one else was as well traveled or as well versed in the world as his older brother was. He might be able to offer a few nuggets of wisdom from his treasure trove of worldly knowledge.
Dropping the tinsel onto the stiff branches of the tree, in a rather ugly fashion, he told everyone that he needed to run an errand. Bidding them farewell, even Cosmo, he left, grabbing his baby blue scarf and earmuffs off the coat rack by the door, and began his search for the cerulean wonder.
Tails finally found his brother much later, running as usual down a deserted road outside of town. He had been able to flag him down and, once he made sure they were alone, the little fox had spilled his secrets. Everything from how frightened he was of Cosmo and these feelings and yet how he embraced the affection and felt so secure when they're together, yet scared and naked.
"It's like she gives my life direction and makes everything so clear," he wrapped up, "but muddled at the same time."
Sonic chuckled and tussled his little brother's head. "It sounds like ya got the love bug. And ya got it pretty bad."
"What should I do?" Tails lamented. "I can't even talk to her."
"Well," the azure one scratched his head, "I'm not sure. Amy knows more about this stuff than I do." He took one look at how the younger rolled his eyes and Sonic smirked. "But with that face, I'm guessing ya already tried and it turned 'ta me instead."
Tails nodded and Sonic stroked his own chin, deep in thought. "Maybe ya could get her a present. After all, it's almost Christmas and if there's one thing I know, it's that girls love presents."
That was true. And even though he had dwelled on the notion already, he had not seriously considered it, having only kept it in mind in case he could not verbally tell her. The only problem was what to get her? Cosmo was not as materialistic as someone like Rouge and did not voice what she would want like Amy would. So, he would have to use intuition and logic on this; two of his strongest assets thankfully.
When he voiced his concern to Sonic and asked for his input, the blue hedgehog shrugged. "Maybe something to do with plants?" he suggested before waving farewell to Tails and taking off, leaving a trail of sharp, biting wind to accompany the chill in the air that ruffled the younger one's orange and white fur. Not that the fox was insulted by that gesture. He knew that his brother could never stay still for very long anyway.
"Something to do with plants, huh?" he wondered aloud to himself. He had seen some carved jewelry in town in the shape of trees and flowers, but that did not seem to suit Cosmo. No, it would have to be something more fresh in nature and something that came from the heart.
He spun his namesakes and took to the skies, hoping the thin, colder air above could clear his thoughts. The whole time, he flew over the forest of fir trees across the frozen lake from the town. Each snow-covered branch was weighed down as much as his heart by his fretting over what to do. And the icy lake offered no comfort than to reflect the gray clouds overhead that still held a reservoir of snow to be released at their discretion.
Eventually he landed on an outcrop of land that jutted out from the forest and over the frozen water. It gave a direct view of the town and held at its junction with the mainland the largest and most magnificent tree for miles. It was one of the few places outside of his workshop that Tails liked to come and think, having found it one day while doing field research.
He settled himself under the tree, further inside against its trunk so as not to be the victim of any dropped powder, and laid back. He let his eyes roam upwards, gazing and admiring the inner branches that weaved and criss-crossed like a network of neurons, interweaving each other in a variety of ways and waiting to fire an impulse through them. Which is exactly how his mind felt as he repeated Sonic's words over and over, hoping and praying that something would trigger and grant him an idea.
Fortunately, while studying a squirrel that briefly ran out on a branch and tested the cold air before dashing back into its home, an impulse in the form of an idea did fire around, lighting up each neuron and causing Tails to jump up in excitement. "Eureka!" he cried loud enough to shake and dislodge some of the snow from the tree. But he paid it no mind. He knew what to get Cosmo for Christmas. Something that would be both thoughtful and, in a way, show how much he cared for her. Or at least he believed it would and hoped so.
But he had no time to waste. So, flying fast enough to rival any reindeer, he sped away to the town. He would need to work fast if he wanted to make it in time.
"Tails, where are we going?" Cosmo questioned as he walked behind her, his hands shielding her eyes from the view around them.
"I already told you. It's a surprise," he answered, kicking up snow as their short legs trudged through it. He had considered just flying back to the large tree in the forest, but it would ruin his secret gift. So the hoofed it back there instead.
He was giddy over the prospect of her seeing what he had done for her. He had headed into town, buying the rights to the large tree just for Cosmo before having created several decorations and lights at his workshop large enough to hang on the tree. And ever as he wandered to all his destinations, he had been keeping her in sight the whole time in his mind's eye, nearly shaking in anticipation over her reaction to it.
When he had finished decorating the tree and setting everything up, Tails had sprinted back to Amy's house, where he had seen Cosmo through one of the windows. The fox had paused in his stride, allowing his heart to rapidly beat faster with each second he gazed at her. She was as radiant as a candle in the window on a cold dark winter's night, illuminated by the glow of the Christmas tree inside the house.
He eventually had beckoned her outside and, after she dressed in appropriate winter attire of a scarf and mittens, she had joined him. And together, they walked down to where Tails' gift waited, as they were now.
The young fox could scarcely believe what he was actually doing. Weeks ago he would not had had the courage for such a stunt and now here he was getting closer than he ever thought he might. But there was little time to dwell, since night was settling in for its shift and they were nearing the tree. They would have a hard time navigating the forest at night and could possibly get lost, but the lights from the decorations would provide enough of a glow to hold the darkness at bay and would be the safest place where they could see their surroundings. But they would have to hurry, which is why Tails picked up the pace, forcing Cosmo to move faster.
Thankfully, they did reach the spot, just in time for him to witness the city's light come on across the lake, obscuring some of the horizon's stars behind a soft, white hue. But the lights on the tree, in his mind, would rival those. And maybe, just maybe, the moment of it being almost Christmas and the sight of the lit-up tree would bestow the courage he wanted to confess to her. Or at least he hoped so.
Removing his hands from her eyes, he allowed the girl to take in the view. She eagerly drank up the sight. "Oh wow," she exclaimed. "This is such a nice view of the city."
"Yeah," the fox nodded. "And here's your present."
She faced him, obviously expecting something that was wrapped and topped with ribbons or a bow. But when she saw nothing of the sort, she tilted her head to the side in confusion, her face begging for an explanation. To which Tails pointed to the large tree, laden with the shrouded bulbs and other ornaments, and said, "It's yours."
He whipped out the certificate from his glove that he had obtained from town hall, verifying that the fir tree did indeed belong to Cosmo, and presented it to her. He waited as she took it and soaked in what he was saying, but when she did, he was more than thrilled to have earned the broad smile that graced her face then.
"Oh Tails," she said, lowering the paper, "this is so nice. Thank you."
"That's not all," he added, a mischievous grin sliding onto his lips as he decided to move onto the next step. He pulled out a small remote control, aimed it at the tree, and flipped the switch on it, fully expecting both of them to be dazzled by a brilliant display of colors.
But no such rainbow cascaded from the tree over the two. In fact, nothing at all happened. The giant fir stayed just as it was, silent and dark, and looking down on the now panicked fox as if asking him, "What did you expect me to do?"
This was a disaster for Tails. He could not understand what went wrong and furiously flipped the switch back and forth, to the point where it was in danger of breaking. In his mind, he ran through all the preparation and knew that he had set it up perfectly, which meant something must be wrong. Perhaps a blown fuse or something disconnected.
Tossing aside the remote into the snow, he flew up into the fir's branches for a brief moment before returning with a black box that had coiled wires attached to its sides. On it were several screws, to which the boy genius pulled out his emergency screwdriver and undid them. Once that obstacle was removed, he opened the box and his face immediately fell. He could see the problem and, if he had the right tools, it would be a simple fix. But he had not bought the equipment he needed that he had been meaning to buy that would fix this problem. And now it was much too late, as all the stores were closed early on Christmas Eve and would not be open until the day after tomorrow. Not to mention that he could not just leave Cosmo here, alone and with no clue as to how to exit the forest.
So it could be said that during his lamentation and frustration, he was quite surprised when a box, wrapped in baby blue paper to match his eyes and held together by a green ribbon to match his crush's hair, was thrust into his face. His eyes followed the trail from the gift, to the arms holding it, to the face of Cosmo smiling sympathetically at him. Just what he needed, for her to feel sorry for him. That really dashed his spirits even further.
"Maybe this can help," she suggested, still offering the package to him. "I bought it a couple of days ago."
Not wanting to appear ungrateful, he accepted it in spite of his mood. He just felt awful as he untied the ribbon, letting it fall to the snow, and unwrapped the present, knowing he would not be able to give Cosmo hers.
But never let it be said that the magic of Christmas does not work wonders and that the spirits are not without a sense of ironic humor. For lying inside the now-opened box were the very tools that could fix the lights. The exact same tools that Tails had been meaning to buy. He gaped at it, not sure whether to only feel shocked at the up-and-down nature of his luck or to laugh. So he settled for a slight smirk.
"Sonic mentioned that you had been wanting those," she said, kneeling beside him.
"Cosmo," Tails mumbled, lifting a pair of pliers out of the set, "this is perfect! Now I can fix everything!" And with that, he set to work like one of Kringle's elves, busily clipping, pinching, twisting, and reattaching all of the complicated parts inside the black box.
After a few short minutes, he shut the case and replaced the screws. He searched for the remote he had thrown aside, picked it up, and grabbed the tiny switch. The orange fox closed his eyes, silently pleading that it would work as he threw it. He kept them shut tight for fear that he may have failed once again.
He was brought out of his squinting darkness by a cry from Cosmo. "Oh Tails! It's beautiful!" Lifting up his eyelids, he too was dazzled by the bright, twinkling lights that both outshone the city, yet were soft and pleasing to look at. The star on top had a polished sheen to it and each light stood out as proudly as a rainbow. Even the smaller ones, tucked away into their branch beds, lit up like little children who refuse to sleep when they believe they might catch a glimpse of the red saint on Christmas Eve. They also illuminated every bauble, ornament, and all the trimmings and trappings that he had dressed the tree in and it was stunning. It was, as he had hoped it would be, simply breathtaking.
Which is why he was proud that Cosmo was unable to speak upon seeing it. He considered it a sign that she liked it, but he would rather have definite confirmation to settle his uneasy stomach. "So do you like it?" he stammered, embarrassingly averting his eyes to anywhere else but her face.
She tore her eyes away from the beautiful spectacle and smiled, nearly chuckling at his nervous gestures. "I love it," she corrected. "This is the best gift anyone has ever given me."
Tails beamed more than the fir itself, but was still unable to confess as he had wanted to. Despite her appreciation, it appeared he would just have to wait.
But he was thrown off-guard when Cosmo stepped closer to him, leaned over, and met his lips full-on with her own. She caressed them softly, going over his fully. It was during that moment of passion that he realized he did not need to openly tell her what he was feeling. For he felt, in her kiss, that she understood and loved him just as much as he loved her.
As she pulled back to witness the goofy, dizzying grin on his face, which gave her cause to giggle, he knew one thing for certain. He could not fight this feeling anymore and, at this point in time, he had forgotten what he started fighting for. All Tails was concerned with was reciprocating her act, as he leaned over and initiated the kiss this time, wrapping his arms and his namesakes around her.
"Merry Christmas Cosmo," he said once, as he pulled himself back for a quick breath of air.
"Merry Christmas Tails," she returned, barely getting it out before he was on her again.
And as the night waxed on, they stood there, under the magnificence of the fir tree, passionately holding one another close and pressing their lips tightly against the other. No passerby, nor weather, nor puffy, numb lips, nor any burning desire for air from their own lungs could stop them. They were oblivious to the entire world that prepared for Santa, or to be haunted three times, or those attempting to sell something precious in exchange for a sweetheart's gift. There were only the two of them in that moment.
A/N: Well I hope you enjoyed it. Let us know what you thought with a review, whether it's a comment on something or a critique or anything else. As you can probably tell, I was in the middle of reading a few certain stories while writing this. Anyway, as you journey out this holiday season, have a fun and safe time with your family and friends and may it be a time that your treasure and remember. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. And have a Happy New Year. *picks up a Christmas Carol and reads by himself*