Tortured Souls

Disclaimer: I do not own Good Luck Charlie


Chapter 35 (Best Duncan Christmas)

The following year was a frenzied rush to the airport, just days away from Christmas, and Teddy was hoping to beat Gabe this year. Last year they spent Christmas at PJ's, and they were repeating that this year. The family wounds were gone, and everyone was healing pretty well. There was still a tiny bit of sensitivity where memories were concerned, but all in all, no one could really complain. "Come on we're going to be late!" Teddy called out, motioning the others through the airport.

Rick was there with them, he and Teddy were engaged to be married. She never felt happier to have a man there in her life. Amy was doing a lot better this year, having healed from much of her emotional wounds, she'd regained her strength and was always happy to be spending time with her grandchildren. Toby was still in a long distance relationship with Regina, the two were able to visit each other from time to time, so there was no harm there. Charlotte was still her usual troublemaking self, but strangely enough, she'd pulled Toby into some of her mischief!

Even now, she was wanting to do something with Kimi and Violet, but Teddy had to put her foot down on those plans. While running to the Airport, Amy was certain she'd forgot something and was constantly going on and on about how she wanted to go back to the house and check on what it was she forgot.

This year, as last year, Gabe's family and Teddy's family would be staying in hotels. It was fine, and Teddy was looking forward to seeing the two new additions to the family again. PJ's daughter Quinn had been born on December 5th, last year, and Gabe's son Jacob was born on November 2nd last year. Both children were a sign of a new time in the family's life. PJ and Skyler received their Doctorate degrees in their respective careers, and were now officially a Music Professor, and Doctor. Teddy was doing extremely well in college, and was still considering a career in journalism.

"Teddy I'm serious, I swear I left my wallet on the coffee table!" Amy called out. Teddy looked back as the family ran for the terminal.

"It'll be fine, Mom, we don't want to miss the flight. Besides, you don't want to leave the dog wondering where we're at, do you?" Amato was being flown in as well to join his family on this trip. Charlotte shook her head, laughing at the exchange. "We have got to get going."

"Hey if Grandma misses the flight, can I miss it too so I can go see the ice show with Violet and Kimi?" Teddy rolled her eyes and shook a finger at Charlotte. "What? Grandma and I could get a plane back."

"No you may not, and besides, there are no more flights until after Christmas!" They all made it out to the plane and started taking their seats. The plane had three seats on either side of the aisle, all in a row. Rick, Toby, and Teddy were in one section together. Behind them was Charlotte and Amy. Rick looked at Teddy with a subtle smile and put his hand to hers.

"Relax, just a few more hours and we're all in New York."

"I know. Sorry I've been so stressed lately, there's a lot going on." She leaned back and closed her eyes, sighing heavily. The stewardess stepped out into the aisle and asked if anyone would like a free ticket, as the plane was overbooked. Teddy's eyes flew open and she heard her mother call out. "Oh god no…" Rick raised his eyebrow as Amy began rushing down the aisle. Charlotte got up and called out.

"Grandma! Don't worry Mom, I'll go after her!" Toby smacked his forehead as Charlotte ran off. Teddy rolled her eyes and groaned, of course Charlotte would take advantage of this.

"Get back here you two!" Teddy hurried from her seat and chased after them. Rick and Toby looked at each other and sighed as the stewardess closed the door.

"What are we going to tell PJ and Gabe?" Rick asked. Toby lifted his shoulders and shook his head.

Outside the terminal, once Teddy caught up with Amy and Charlotte, she was very angry with both of them. Amy pulled her wallet from her back pocket and paled. "Uh…whoops…" Teddy's eyes widened and she pushed both back to the ticket taker. She was not happy with either of them for jumping off the plane.

"Ma'am I need to get back on that plane."

"I'm sorry, we're no longer seating," The woman said. Teddy chuckled and put her fingers to her forehead.

"No, no you don't understand, we were already on the plane. We need to get back on, accidently got off."

"I'm sorry ma'am, unless you have your tickets, you're not getting on…" Her eye twitched as Amy and Charlotte exchanged nervous glances. Rick had all of their tickets. She was in no mood for all of this.

"Look lady. I'm telling you that we need to get on that plane. Our tickets are on that plane. My fiancé and little brother are on that plane, we need to get on that plane." The lady leaned close, glaring into her eyes.

"Either you show me your tickets, or I'm calling security."

"You want me to show you something? Well guess what!" Before Amy and Charlotte could stop her, all the rage boiling inside of her, she brought her hands up and flipped both middle fingers up at the woman.

PJ sat on the couch with Gabe, laughing at a joke. Jo and Skyler were making some finishing touches to the Christmas turkey, and the children were all playing out in the back. Both infants, Quinn and Jacob, were asleep in their cradles. "Man it feels like it was just yesterday that we were all sitting around here with each other, getting to know each other again," Gabe said with a smile. "I'm glad we're all back together."

"Yeah, makes life a lot less lonely." He looked to the window that revealed the backyard. His children were constantly impressing him. Tyler had skipped grades once again this year, and would definitely be hitting college next year! Lucy was almost always dependent on him, but spent quite a bit of time playing with the baby as well. Zachary was still a troublemaker, much like his Uncle Gabe, and would blame a lot on the baby. He started kindergarten this year, so now PJ expected a long line of terror-stricken teachers to begin. "Everyone's a lot happier now…How's Jo and Jenny doing these days?"

"They're great, and Jacob's definitely a quiet baby. Jenny won't stop spoiling her baby brother." PJ laughed and brought his coffee mug up to his lips. He wasn't all that surprised, Jenny seemed truly happy to have a younger sibling. "You know, it's nice not having to prepare for this holiday."

"Well we went to your place for Thanksgiving, so it's only fair." He smirked and nudged Gabe in the side. "Next year though, we need to visit Teddy's place." Gabe snickered and pat PJ's arm.

"I can only imagine Teddy trying to set up her apartment for Christmas." Was it even possible? Although, there was the question of where Teddy would be living. She and Rick were getting married in January, so likely she would be moving in with him. Gabe looked to the front door and window and smiled. "Speaking of which, they just pulled up."

"Really?" He got up from the couch and moved to the door. When he opened it and looked out, he only saw Rick and Toby. The two left the car and waved anxiously at them. PJ leaned against the doorframe and raised an eyebrow. "Rick? Toby? Where are the girls?"

"First Mom ran off," Toby answered. "Then Charlotte went after her, and finally Teddy had to catch them. They never got back on the plane…we're hoping they'll get here soon." Rick nodded and lifted his phone.

"Last I heard, they're on a bus to New York. If all goes well, they'll be here in twenty hours."

"Are you kidding me!" Teddy screamed at the departing bus. Charlotte and Amy were standing behind her, freezing. They were stuck somewhere in Geneva, Ohio. The passengers on the bus were disgusted by Teddy's constant use of the bathroom, and elected for the bus driver to kick her off. "Come back!"

"Great, we're stuck out in the middle of nowhere," Charlotte complained. Teddy growled, annoyed with her daughter. They wouldn't even be in this mess if her mother and daughter hadn't decided to jump the plane. She started walking, looking back to make sure they were walking with her.

"Next year, I'm strapping you two to the plane seats. Just watch me." The two chuckled nervously while she threw her hands up into the air. "How in the hell are we going to get there? I don't want to miss Christmas!"

"We'll get there mom, don't worry…"

"Well the next person that refuses to help us, I swear I'm putting an elbow in their face!"

"I don't think that's necessary, Momma." She started muttering as her stomach began shifting aggressively. She was not enjoying the bitter cold nor the walking, and hoped to come upon someone that would help soon enough. She was in no mood for any further trouble. "Grandma, I think Momma pissed."

"What clued you in, sweetie?" Amy asked.

"The fact that mom's flexing her hands and cracking her neck."

"Yeah, she's mad."

They finally arrived two days later, with Teddy frantic that she might miss Christmas. It was a hellish trip to New York, but they did it, and even had a bit of a Broadway act to boot. Hitchhiking and trying to earn money for travel was no easy task. When they arrived, Teddy fell into Rick's arms, exhausted with the travel.

PJ and Gabe rubbed her back, laughing as Charlotte and Amy told the tale of the trip. She couldn't help but to wonder what would have happened all those years ago if she tried to take that trip with Ivy. No matter, this was turning out to be a good Christmas regardless of the minor detour.

Christmas Day was packed full of colorful presents beneath the very large tree. The adults watched from the couch as Charlotte and Toby handed the presents out among the kids. Teddy sat beside Rick on the couch, with Rick's arm around her shoulder and her head on his. Her heart was aflutter watching the scene and cuddling up beside him.

PJ was busy recording the Christmas with his video camera while Skyler snapped pictures of everyone and their gifts. Gabe and Jo sat on the loveseat beside the couch, watching as their daughter held up her new dollhouse, laughing happily. Even Amy was enjoying the scene, with Amato at her feet as usual. This was a Christmas that they would look on for years to come, Teddy could feel it in her heart. Truly, all of the strains from before were gone.

Why had she ever forsaken this family? She couldn't remember. Maybe they could have healed years ago, if only they'd been willing to put their pride away and talk with one another. It should never have taken that long to communicate once more, and it should not have taken Charlotte rushing off to Denver for them to realize how messed up they were.

Truly, before they reunited, they had not been free. Their souls were still bleeding, crying out for union that seemed would never occur. Maybe they would still be torturing themselves, giving themselves a slow and lonely death as they continued to drift farther apart. Now, they were finally happy again, they were whole, and never again would they part from one another.

When the presents were gone, Teddy took Rick's hand and slowly stood up, smiling at her beautiful family. "There's one more thing," she announced with a joy escaping her voice. Everyone grew silent and Charlotte held back a squeal. "There's going to be another baby in the family, I'm pregnant!" Charlotte released the squeal, the children all cheered and laughed happily and Amy clapped.

"It's Rick's, right?" Amy asked, jokingly pointing a finger at her. Teddy laughed and nodded her head, grinning from ear to ear.

"Yes mama." Skyler cheered and threw her hands into the air, rushing over to hug Teddy.

"I'm not alone this year!" Skyler chimed. Teddy laughed as Skyler glared at PJ, who nervously rubbed the back of his head. Yes, she was pregnant yet again, but already five months, and with twins. Of course Amy was thrilled, all the more grandchildren for her. PJ was not thrilled, as he had to get a vasectomy afterwards.

Teddy smiled and closed her eyes. "You're not alone, Skyler." Aside from the slightly tense Christmas last year, this right here was the best Christmas ever. Teddy was certain, without a doubt, there would be many more like it to come.

Amy couldn't help but to giggle as she blurted out her joy. "Ten, count them, ten Grandchildren! God yes! Merry Christmas!" Perhaps more, Gabe was still young, and Toby wasn't even grown yet. Everyone else laughed, and the kids ran to hug their grandmother. Teddy wiped a tear from her eyes and smiled at the sight.

"This is truly, the best Christmas ever."

So, what did you like about the chapter? It's sad to see it go, but this was indeed the final chapter. I'm glad for all of you guys, and I hope you'll read my next GLC story coming up "Hidden Beneath the Mask" which centers around Skyler and PJ, with Skyler dealing with a bit of an identity crisis. That should be coming up soon, so I'll let you know. Anyway what did you like about this final chapter? It's the final chapter, so feel free to say whatever you like ^_^

Edit: Here's that story- fanfiction dot net slash s/8478533/1/