Author's Note: This is a pretty big event right here. With this story, I have officially published over one hundred thousand words in just "Sonny With a Chance" stories. Woooo!
Anyway, so this is a mix of a Christmas story/ an after "Sonny With a Choice" story. Since this episode premiered the Sunday before Christmas, I'm taking the creative license and will say they broke up right before Christmas for the sake of this story. This isn't really a happy Christmas story.
Well, enjoy. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything Sonny With a Chance related. Or the lyrics to the song "This Ain't a Love Song" by Scouting for Girls.
"And I'm a little bit lost without you
And I'm bloody big mess inside"
-"This Ain't a Love Song" by Scouting for Girls
With a slight bounce of the bed, he moved over towards his bedside table, reaching for a small, wrapped box. He felt his fingers glaze over the smooth paper for a moment before he grasped the box and pulled over toward him, as he sat cross-legged on his mess of a bed.
Sighing, he ran his finger along the evenly taped, patterned paper. There was no need for the item to be wrapped anymore for it wasn't the gift it once was anymore. It was nothing more than a vicious reminder of the failure that had been his supposed fairy tale romance.
What good was a present if it had no recipient?
Moving his finger under the edge of the paper, he drug his finger towards the taped edge, breaking the seal between the paper and the adhesive material. Gingerly, he began to strip the paper from the small, black box. Once completely unwrapped, he neatly folded the wrapping paper up into a square and placed it on the bedside table.
He set the box down on his bed in front of him and stared at it for a brief, but elongated moment, before reaching to open the lid of the box. The lid opened smoothly, revealing a triangular trilliant shaped diamond ring stuck tightly in-between two soft, satin pillows.
A smile played at his lips when he thought of the expression that was bound to be on her face when she opened the box, but, just as quickly as the smile crept its way towards his face, a wave of disappointment and chilling sadness overcame him when he realized he'd never see that expression.
She was long gone, and she took her expressions with her.
Releasing another sigh, he closed the box.
"Guess I should return this…" He mumbled to himself, allowing his eyes to fall on the closed box. "It won't do me much good now." He could feel a sharp squeeze in his throat; the same one that had strangled his speech two days ago.
Haphazardly, he shoved the box into his robe pocket, crushing the feeling overcoming him. He couldn't – wouldn't – humor the idea of crying over what was done and dead. Completely and utterly dead. That was their relationship.
He would cry no more over the girl who was everything to him.
Shifting in his unmade bed, he glanced over the room of his childhood dreams. His boyhood toys were scattered about, lying in no particular order, but yet, in perfect order for him. His red, racecar bed was almost entirely covered by the piles of blankets, pillows, empty soup bowls, half-filled mugs of ice cold hot cocoa, grilled cheese crumbs, magazines, among an array of other items that had accumulated over the past two days.
As soon as he had left the studio after his talk with her, he had driven straight to his parent's home – one of the few places he knew no media would be able to find him - all but plowed through the door, raced upstairs to his childhood bedroom, and threw himself into the most comforting bed he had ever known.
And there he stayed for two days, ignoring the calls from the studio and his cast mates, eating all the alphabet soup and crustless grilled cheese his mother sent up, and reading every magazine article about "Channy" he could find, as if reading what was once his could bring it back.
Two days and he hadn't heard a word from her.
His phone – the one he actually answered – buzzed as it vibrated on his bedside table. Perhaps it was someone from studio calling again to tell him that they had given him the week off, but - if it were possible – would he be able to come back sooner. MacKenzie Falls filming could be on hiatus a week, but the studio would prefer to keep things moving.
Or maybe it was another reporter, digging for the latest dish on what had become of "Channy."
Or maybe - just maybe -it was her. She was calling to kill him with her words again, to make him wish he'd never gone through with the stupid recount. She was calling to tell him that she hated, that she never liked –loved – him, only hated. Just really, really hated him.
No matter how many times he rolled her words over in his head, he couldn't make sense of any of what happened. It all seemed so perfect. He was making things right for both her and him – for them – but all of a sudden it fell apart.
As each day passed, he knew he deserved it. A person can only push someone so hard before they topple to the ground. He had pushed their relationship, pushed her and her buttons until one day he pushed too far causing it all to collapse in one fell swoop.
And although every calendar in his house was now three days slow thanks to him, there wasn't any denying what had happened. He could change the date, but he couldn't change her words.
He could hear the faint footsteps that could only belong to his mother. He knew she was only concerned, but he didn't want to talk to her right now. Luckily for him, she merely crept up the stairs just enough to peek into the open doorway, just to make sure he was still in there, before simply turning back and walking back.
A sudden urge filled him to call to her and so did just that.
"Mom?" His voice wavered from the sheer lack of use. "Are you there?"
He could hear the footsteps on the stairs quicken and increase in volume as she rushed back up the stairs to his room. He knew that reaching out to her was exactly what she wanted. It wasn't like her to pass up the opportunity to comfort her "baby boy." After he had gotten fired from the studio, she had spoiled him rotten as soon as he arrived at home.
"Yes, honey," his mother's voice infiltrated his bedroom prior to her physical being.
"What's the matter?" She asked as she walked over to his bed and sat down on the end of it, reaching over her hand to brush his bangs from his eyes.
"Nothing," he lied poorly. "I just wanted to ask if you would drive me—"
"Of course, I'll drive you." His mother jumped at the chance to drag him out of the house and allow him to breathe some fresh air. "Where would you like to go?"
He sighed at her enthusiastic response to his request, pulling out the small box from his pocket.
"I need to return this. And I really don't want to be noticed, so driving my own car is out of the question."
"Oh," she mouthed silently. "Well, we can go as soon as you make your bed and clean up a bit. I won't be caught walking around Los Angeles with a son that looks like he hasn't taken a bath in five days." She ruffled his hair, causing him to cringe.
"Mom," he complained. "First of all, it's only been two days. And secondly, do I have to make my bed now? I have the rest of the day and I really just don't want to right now."
"Chad Dylan," she threatened. "Make your bed, get yourself cleaned up, and meet me downstairs in an hour, okay?"
"Fine," he reluctantly accepted, shoving the ring back into his robe pocket.
He readied himself hastily, carelessly tossing his bed into some kind of order. He just wanted to get this over with. He didn't want to have such an item of mockery in his possession any longer. It was, after all, a present without a recipient.
"Mom, I'm ready." He called to her as he stood in his foyer with his hands pressed deeply into his coat pockets, clenching the ring box in his right hand. "Can we go now?"
He glanced over into the living room, seeing the bright lights of the holiday that was approaching ever so quickly. The tree was decorated with an assortment of different ornaments, multi-colored lights, and sparkling garland, all hung with perfect precision. Smiling holiday portraits ridiculed his inner turmoil and utter disdain for the happiness that was plaguing the world at this very moment.
How could the happiest time of the year turn into the most miserable?
His mother appeared in the foyer, giving him a soft smile as she did. She hated to see her baby upset.
As soon as she had heard the news, she instinctively knew to unlock the front door to the house and await his arrival. Mother's intuition you could say. She opened up and prepared a can of alphabet soup, carefully removing the letters S, O, N, and Y as to prevent any unsavory names from appearing in his comforting meal. While the soup heated, she made a grilled cheese sandwich the way he had eaten them since he was a small child; lightly toasted, gooey, melted cheese and no crusts.
He never enjoyed crusts after his grandmother had told him they were the cause of curly hair when he was three. After that day, he pledged to never eat another crust again, for he couldn't dare let his hair become curly.
"Ready?" She questioned, pulling a light jacket on.
He nodded and sauntered out the door towards her car, hoping this little escapade would just fly by as quickly and painlessly as possible. He couldn't take another blow to his heart, though maybe this was what he deserved.
He had never been the heartbroken; he had always been the heartbreaker.
He was seeing things from the other side, and, frankly, he did not like it. He didn't like it one bit.
Noticing the uncharacteristic quiet emitting from him, his mother walked slowly up behind him and wrapped her arms around him, just as she had when he was a little boy.
"It's going to be just fine, sweetheart." She ran her fingers through his hair. "There will be other girls. Ones much better than that Sonya." She intentionally said the wrong name to avoid having him hear her real name. But just as soon as she had made the intention mistake to protect him, he immediately corrected her, negating all of her protection.
"It's Sonny, Mom…" The squeeze was back in his throat as he felt a sharp prick in his eye.
Biting his lip hard, he moved closer to the car and motioned with his hand. "Can we go, please?"
She nodded and got into the car with him.
The car ride was uneventful. It took thirty or so minutes to maneuver themselves through the busy streets of Los Angeles, which were filled to the brim with holiday shoppers and tourists, among others, all in a rush to finish their holiday check lists.
Chad sunk back into his seat, pulling the pair of sunglasses he had brought with him out and putting them on to conceal his identity. Ever since the break up, the media had been hounding him, trying to find out all the details of their relationship. The rumors flew as they usually do.
None of them true, but that didn't stop assault on both of their reputations.
He was the heartbreaker again some headlines blared. Other magazines were shouting about how she had been seeing James Conroy on the side, using old pictures from more than a year ago to prove their point. And then there were some magazines that used the ridiculous claim that he and Tawni had been having a secret relationship behind closed doors.
They were being silently mauled by words from all sides, but there wasn't a thing either one could do about it; unless they wanted break their silence on what had actually occurred.
He wondered if she had already spilled all the details to a magazine for thousands of dollars. Had she already sold their personal lives in an attempt to expose him for who he truly was? Would she ever do such a thing?
He shook the thought from his mind.
Sonny might hate him forever, but she wasn't one to sell anyone – herself and himself included - out like that.
When they arrived at the jewelry store, his mother mentioned that she was going to walk down a block or two to see if she could find anything for his father for Christmas. She instructed him to come straight back to the car after he was done. She would be no more than an hour, so he shouldn't have to wait too long.
Planting a gentle kiss on his forehead, she told him to be careful and don't talk to strangers.
He flinched at her kiss, but just accepted it, for he was too tired of fighting anymore. Sonny had killed that drive the day she broke his heart.
He watched his mother put money in the parking meter before walking off.
He sighed, unbuckling himself and getting out of the car. He locked the doors and shoved his hands into the pockets of his coat, allowing his eyes to fall upon the sight of the sidewalk. He did not want to see any of the happy shoppers or joyous children anxious with the thought of Santa's arrival. He just wanted to see the dirty, solid, cement sidewalk beneath his feet.
His eyes remained on the sidewalk for a few feet of his stroll to the jewelry store, but, all of a sudden, he wished he had never left his house.
There they were. Her words, her voice were hanging in the air for all to hear.
"That's the worst part about it…"
He glanced up and felt his heart sink when his eyes met hers. There she was, sitting with Santiago Heraldo doing an interview on their relationship on the latest episode of Tween Weekly TV. Chad was almost sick at the sight of her sitting there painting a picture of their relationship.
He listened closely for the part where she admitted she never loved him, that he was merely a waste of her time, but it never came. Instead the she continued with the original sentence that had caught his attention.
"That's the worst part about it," she said with a smile. "People expect him to break my heart because he's "Hollywood's Bad Boy." She laughed at the title. "But people don't realize what a sweet guy he can be."
It was an old interview they were using to prove the point that he and Sonny never appear to be on the rocks.
The scene quickly changed to Santiago staring at the camera, asking the question everyone was wondering.
"What happened to the Channy of just a few weeks ago?" Santiago grinned. "Here with all the latest Channy news, I'm Santiago Heraldo. Have a happy and safe holiday season."
Chad turned away from the television inside the store window and continued his walk towards the jewelry store to return his Christmas present for Sonny. His gift would mean nothing to her now. The ring meant nothing anymore, but yet it meant everything to him.
He was just about to push open the door of the store entirely open, when something caught his eye. In his peripheral vision there she stood on the street corner, attempting to wave down a taxi as a mob of paparazzi charged in a herd towards her.
In his mind he played over and over the variant of scenes that could occur. She could catch a taxi and escape, be trampled and attacked by the paparazzi, or he could save her.
There wasn't much time to debate, but it was becoming clearer she wouldn't escape the media's charge. He had to step in and protect her.
Letting the jewelry store door slam close, Chad pushed his way through the crowds of people surrounding his ex-girlfriend, taking pictures of her, begging her for details on their failed relationship, and trying to get her autograph. She remained with her eyes on the street as she waved furiously for a taxi to stop, but, as if by fate, no one did.
The paparazzi were closing in and there was no escaping now.
"Sonny!" His voiced cracked as soon as her name escaped his lips. He could see her visibly stiffen from the sound of his voice.
She took a step out onto the street to try again for a taxi. If the paparazzi weren't bad enough, now he was breathing down her neck. He hadn't been back to the studio in days, and she had praying she wouldn't have to see him until at least after the holiday, but alas here he was.
"Sonny!" He tried again with no luck. "Please."
Time was up.
They were almost on top of her.
Ripping the sunglasses from his face – dismantling his disguise - he rushed in front of the group of paparazzi, only to be welcomed by a flood of flashing lights and questions. He noticed Sonny giving him a look from the corner of her eye, as if asking what he was doing.
However, instead of hanging around to find out why he had just revealed himself to the media frenzy that was following her, she flagged down the next taxi and fled from the scene, a white paper dropping from her hand accidentally. She was leaving him alone to be swarmed.
Chad watched her leave sadly, clutching the box in his pocket.
His eyes shot to the paper that had dropped from her hand. He picked it up and, to his surprise; he realized what she had been doing. She was returning the gift she had with no recipient.
He crumpled the receipt in his hand and threw it at the ground.
The questions were flying behind him, and he just couldn't figure out why he had thrown himself into the fire to save her after all that had happened. Holding up his hand, he tried forced his way through the crowds of people swarming him, but they were holding him back. He was under attack from their questions and concerns on his love life and for the first time in his life, he wished he was an invisible nobody.
He could see his mother standing at the car, searching for him. When she noticed him in the crowd, she hastily swooped in and pulled him out of the crowd of people. Stating that he needed to return home for family activities and that dinner would be late if they didn't return home quick, so if everyone didn't mind moving out of their way.
His mother handled the crowd with grace and manners, but, at the same time, force and command. She was not going to allow her baby boy to be swallowed by any media frenzy.
Soon enough, they made it to their car and were on their way home within forty or so minute's time.
Chad pushed through the front door, not caring enough to close it. He swiftly proceeded up to his room, pulling the box from his pocket and throwing it full force at the wall. He watched as it ricocheted around for a second or two before hitting the floor with a soft thump.
She had given up on him this time.
And it was time he gave up on her.
His ring would never have a recipient because the only person ever deserving of it would never accept it from him.
The pricking in his eyes returned, causing him to wipe at them. He didn't want to cry over this again, but seeing her on the street corner, watching her flee into the taxi without a single word to him, killed him in more ways than one.
He fell onto his bed, unintentionally bumping the remote for the television in his room. The television flickered to life, bringing to light Tween Weekly TV's newly dubbed special "Channy Watch." Images of both he and Sonny appeared on the screen as questions flew about why they were seen together. The word "reconciliation" was being tossed around, but nothing was official by their reports.
He buried his head in his pillow, until he heard her voice for the second time that day. He thought for a moment it was another old interview, but with a single gaze at the television, he realized that it was an interview from today.
"So, Sonny," Santiago began. "What do you think of Chad Dylan Cooper now that you've become another of the girls he's heartlessly dumped?"
There was something in her eyes that kept Chad from turning away, but he couldn't put his finger on it exactly.
"I wouldn't say he's heartless –" Sonny paused for a moment to think. "But he's definitely Chad Dylan Cooper, if that makes any sense."
"Complete sense. He's still the self-centered, dog shoving actor he's always been." Sonny opened her mouth to protest, but closed it. Chad felt his heart sink further than it had all that day. She was truly done with him.
Santiago went on, "Word on the street is that you saw him on the way here." He leaned in more to hear her answer. "Tell me, what was that like, after not seeing him for an entire two days?"
"Well—umm—" She let out a breath, feeling herself want to shrink in her seat. "It was weird…We spoke almost every day for months, so to not speaking to – not seeing - him is…strange."
"Do you miss him?"
Sonny inhaled and exhaled once more. "Yes, I do."
She shook her head. "But I can't—I could neve—After what happ—I'm not sure if we were right for each other."
Chad nearly turned the television off right there, but he just couldn't move. He was frozen staring at the screen, looking at the train wreck he had caused. Everything had fallen apart and all he was left with were the scattered pieces.
There was a knock on the doorframe of his door. He wanted to turn his head, but he was too captured by the sight of her.
"Chad, honey," his mother's voice began. "You have a package."
She walked in and placed it on his bed next to. Promptly, she turned about face and left without another word about it. She didn't tell him who it was from, what it was or anything. It was just another thing he was in the dark about.
"You said," Santiago's voice lofted from the television Chad had been ignoring for a minute or two. "That you bought him a Christmas present you were still planning on sending. That's very interesting. Why is it that you - his ex- feel the need to buy him a present?"
"I—I didn't really buy it." She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "But I'm almost one hundred percent sure it's what he always wanted from me."
Chad unfroze himself and turned his head towards the package sitting on his bed with him. He could read on the label the return address and instantly it felt as if he had been kicked in the stomach.
It was from her.
"What is it?" Santiago pressed.
She shook her head, declining his request. "Can't say, but I'm sure it's what he always wanted."
Chad peeled open the tape, curious about what she had sent him. Maybe it was a letter of forgiveness, or maybe it was a letter of her hatred. He prayed for the first option, but he couldn't entirely be sure. Her answers in the interview had been more or less vague.
Opening the package, he felt a tear finally fall from his eye.
Three autographed pictures of himself.
The exact same autographed pictures he had given to her.
One when they met, one when he was saying he was sorry for stealing the Prop House, and the last when he was apologizing for how he acted when she canceled their first date. They were all there in flawless condition.
She was giving him back their memories.
He wiped at his eyes once more, trying to hold back the tears that were threatening. This was what she thought he wanted? To be the recipient of all the gifts she had been the recipient of?
There was a note lying under the framed pictures. He plucked it from the bottom of the package and held it up to the light to read.
I can't keep these anymore, and since I know how much you love yourself, I thought they'd be the perfect present for you.
The interview continued in the background as Chad sat staring at the note in the box.
"Is there anything you would like to say to Chad right now?" Santiago's voice hung in the background of Chad's attention.
Sonny took another deep breath and looked over toward the camera, "Merry Christmas, Chad."
Author's Note: Yeah...no happy ending. I really didn't want them to get back together at the end because of how emotional the break up was.
Anyway, thank you for reading! :) Happy Holidays!