Hello all. I feel I owed it to you to churn out another chapter before the end of the year. Not much to say really, just a nice festive chapter for you all to enjoy. Somehow I don't feel like I really gave it my all, compared to some of the previous chapters, due to some hasty writing, but that's for you to judge. Again I love hearing from you in the review section, criticisms and compliments alike. Merry Christmas guys and gals, and enjoy.

The seasons skipped over in a flash, like an almighty being was fed up of the current state of the world and turned a dial on the earth's thermostat. The transition from autumn into winter was alarming. The night before Christmas, A flurry of snow coated the area overnight. My cabin stood firm against the icy winds and snow, a stubborn entity in a brutal abyss of whiteness. I got up out of bed, and yelped from the sheer cold present in the room. Naturally I did what every half asleep halfwit does in the morning and got back into bed as fast as I could. My shocked expression persisted. Firewood. I need firewood, pronto. Gardevoir was sleeping soundly, despite the frequent howls of wind outside. I composed myself, got out of the bed, and darted for the wardrobe. My hand gripped the copper handle. I winced at the cold, and flung it open. There was my winter attire, packed away against everything else. I dug it out. A nice woollen undershirt, a red plaid shirt, double fleeced coat, woollen tracker hat, extra thick socks and all terrain boots. Yeah. I'm pretty prepared for this kind of thing. I kitted myself out, and entered the main room. As far as decorations went, tinsel was draped across the walls, stockings were pinned to the fireplace and a measly Christmas tree sat in a plant pot in the corner of the room, because the cabin wasn't big enough to house anything bigger. I had bought a holly wreath to hammer onto the door, and a neat white and green Christmas sweater with snowflakes and reindeer patterns on it for Gardevoir. I had purposely chosen a bigger collar to accustom to her bosoms and her red spike. I had also stocked up on a little booze for celebration. Nothing heavy, just some champagne and few bottles of locally brewed ale for myself, probably enough to get properly drunk off though. I realized I should probably stop daydreaming before I froze on the spot.

Naturally, I took my trusty axe out from under the sink, removing the protective cover. I admired the craftsmanship on it. A finely balanced, oak handle with a great steel head. An audible groan was emitted from my stomach. I noticed some leftover coffee in the press. I downed it all, and took some bread from the breadbin. The snow had packed against the windows so much you couldn't make out anything through them. Gingerly, I creaked open the front door, quickly stepping outside and closing it to shut out the wind. The cold went straight to my head. The winds buffeted in my face, making it contort, like I was eating something sour. Focus Alex, focus. Firewood. I looked around. I decided not to attempt to chop the trees down directly next to the cabin. The snow crunched satisfyingly underneath my feet as I waded between trees and other frozen vegetation. I'd done this before, lots of times in fact. I just seem to forget since it's yearly. Like I forgot winter's birthday or something, I guess this is my lament for it. I sized up each individual tree I passed, with the species and the size. I came across a medium sized birch tree, fairly separated from the rest. It was rather young, If my knowledge of trees was anything to go by.

I patted the tree, as if I was giving my apologies to it, for preying on such a weak one as itself. I positioned myself, firmly placing my feet into the snow. I took the first swing, and the axe gave a nice thud. I tugged it out, and repeated. I wonder if Gardevoir woke up. I don't even know how she deals with the cold. Does she hibernate? Oh crap, she might do. With this, I put a little more backbone into the swings. Each swing sent a jolt up my arm. The process took god damn ages. The time it was taking only seemed to make me angrier and swing harder. I spaced out for a while, letting my mind wander. I felt deeply sorry for anyone who had to do this for a living. The snow was falling rather lightly now, and the wind had become more gentle. I breathed out heavily, making large puffs of condensation in the air. The tree was fairly close to tipping point. I grit my teeth and swung some more. Surely enough, the tree started to tip. I looked up. "Timmmmbeeeeerrr!" I shouted, but it came out a little hoarse, making myself feel embarrassed. The birch fell down with a great creak and "whump" onto the snow. Oh shit, how am I going to move this thing again? I tried lifting the tree. My eyes nearly popped out, but I managed to haul the bottom end of the tree on my shoulder. I groaned and started dragging this poor hunk of mass back to the cabin. I traced my own markings in the snow and vegetation back. The force being exerted on my shoulder was hard to bear.

"Better get sympathy sex for this..."

Sometime later, the cabin became visibly viewable from the naked eye, a beacon of hope in this god forsaken wasteland. By now my shoulder was positively numb, and there was nothing more I wanted in the world right now than a hot fireplace and somebody to snuggle up with. I finally let the tree drop into the snow right next to the cabin. Stumbling into the cabin, I found Gardevoir laid on the couch in the main room. I puffed out a great sigh of relief, then poked her a little to make sure she wasn't dead. She tossed and turned a little. Must be snoozing. She doesn't seem to be affected by the cold, so that's good. I took out a mini saw out from under the sink and got to work on sawing the tree into manageable chunks. After some time I had amassed a fair bunch of tree matter to burn. I carried it into the cabin, clumsily tripping on the doorstop and making the wood spill out onto the floor with a crash. Gardevoir tossed around a bit more. Her eyes wearily flickered open. She winced and stretched, letting out the cutest yawn I've ever heard, somewhere between a lion cub's roar and a cat mewling. I hurriedly assorted the wood into the fire, and grabbed some fire starters from the store cupboard. With a few attempts, the tinder caught alight, along with my own satisfaction. Gardevoir had rolled onto her side, and was simply looking at me and the fire. Her eyes opened wide. She squealed and jumped up out of the couch, her face pale.

"W-what are you doing?! You'll burn the house down!"

"Uh, no I won't, silly." I stuck a metal poker into the fire. The logs crackled and spat out tiny flames. "It's completely safe, see?" I smiled at her. She still looked uncertain. Silence persisted for a few more moments. My face lit up.

"I've got something for you, check the tree." I looked over to the measly excuse of a tree, clad in fairy lights and baubles of the sort. There was a medium sized package at the foot of the tree. I had picked up some nice snowflake wrapping paper from the textiles shop for it.

Gardevoir waded over to the tree, then got down on her knees. She picked up the parcel and sized it up. I looked on, with enthusiasm.

She looked at me, into my eyes, and said, patronizingly,

"It's a green sweater. With a reindeer pattern." I recoiled in surprise. She simply looked at me.

"How did you know?! Did I leave it lying around by accident?! Damn, I'm sorry it wasn't a surprise!" I was flailing around, attempting to recall a time that it may have been seen.

I turned to her again. Her cheeks were puffed, and her cheeks were bright red. She stifled a giggle. This made me agitated.

"What's so funny?" I say, giving a genuine mix of confusion and annoyance. She laughs.


"All right, whatever. Just try it on, please." I say, in a hushed tone. She obliged, carefully unwrapping it. The sweater remained in her hands, folded up. Awkward silence ensued.

She looked up at me

"Uh, well, heh, how do I?" She rubbed her head, embarrassed.

"Oh crap, sorry, hand it here." I walked over to her, my hands out. She hands it over.

"Alright, arms up." I lifted the sweater over her arms and head. She gave an audible moan, indescribable of nature, when her skin met the soft sweater. Man, I hope this fits.

"There you go." She got up, pulling the sweater down to her waist. The sweater gave a tight effect on her bosoms. My eyes widened. She looked at me, nervously.

"So... what do you think?"

"AWESOME! GREAT FIT, I SAY!" I shout, pulling out the two thumbs up. A small trail of blood leaves my left nostril. I have seen things that some men would die to see. I stood tall, for the sake of those unable to witness what I had.

"Oh er, right. My boobs." She nudged around with the collar, but to no avail. They were firmly bunched together. The red spike only emphasized them. The look on my face had surpassed anything beyond the likes of "coy" or "smug". Gardevoir was trying terribly hard to maintain her dignity.

She piped up. "IDIOT, AREN'T SWEATERS SUPPOSED TO KEEP YOU WARM, NOT EXPOSE YOUR SKIN?" I kept laughing. She looked disgruntled. She pounced onto me, making us both topple onto the floor. I kept laughing. She gave my chest a few light pounds with her fist.

"You win this time, Alex." She gave in. My laughter subsided to a few short chuckles.

"Aheheh, oh boy. I haven't laughed that hard in ages." My chest hurt a little, but that was negligible compared to what her body felt like on mine. I thought back to the alcohol.

"We should celebrate our first Christmas together in style, right?" I signaled Gardevoir to get up with a few nods of my head. We got to our feet. I walked over to the cupboard, taking out the bottle of champagne and a bottle opener from the drawer.

"This is the good stuff. Paid premium for this, y'know?" I polished the bottle with my sleeve, showcasing it to Gardevoir. I laid it down on the table, then retrieved some more fancy glassware from the cupboard. "Let's drink!"

And we did.

Oh, we did.

"Wow, dish shtuff ish great, it is!" I slurred, head back on the side of the couch. The whole room was spinning. There looked like there was maybe a few drops left in the bottle. I saw a couple of empty ale bottles on the floor. Damn, I had bit the bullet this time.

Gardevoir was laid on the floor, propped up against the couch. She swirled some champagne around in her glass.

"Yesh, but it shertianly meshes with your head." Gardevoir downed the last of her drink. "Alexsh, what, wash, was... whash the meaning of life?" Her head tilted to me on an axis I never though possible. I take some serious thought on with this question.

"BOOZE! ALCOHOL! DRINK! *URRRRRP*" I placed a hand on my stomach, half disgusted and half proud of the belch. Somewhere along this celestial journey of intoxication, I stopped thinking with my brain, and with my own erm, manliness.

"Sho, what shay he hit the hay, hozay?" I tried to put on a macho tone, but it came out horribly. I got up off the couch, stumbling over to Gardevoir.

"Ishe knows what exshaxtly what you're thinking! Don't mind if I *hic*, do!" She got up and we both clashed into each other, both laughing mellowly like idiots. We stumbled around the room, in a kind of abstract ballet duet dance. All the while narrowly avoiding smashing into anything from the tree itself to the glass doors for the bath. I gave a deep yawn. Gardevoir pushed us into the bedroom. I fell with my back onto the bed, and sweet bliss ensued. No, she wasn't pleasuring me or anything, the softness of the bed invoked such a large wave of relief that it nearly sent me straight off to la-la land. Gardevoir's cheeks were rosy pink. She clambered on top of me, inquisitively.

"Lesh do it." She fumbled with the buttons to my shirt. I was so out of it that I couldn't focus on anything else than the roof. She raised her head above me, sending multiple spinning views of her into my vision. I let out another sigh of relief.

"Come and ghet me, gurls!" I flung my arms open. Gardevoir teetered for a few seconds, then straight up fell onto me.

"Ey, Gardy, you're drunk! Howsh does it feel?"

"I'm notsh drunk! You're sho, sho drunk." She poked my face with a lazy finger. Her head collapsed onto my chest. I obliged, letting my head hit the pillow. God, It always ends like this, us on the bed, one way or the other.

So much for sympathy sex...