Yes, AJ, There is a Santa Claus

By TaraKerry

Characters first seen in the Academy Halloween Specials: Halloween 2002
and Halloween 2003

The women edged their way through the line of people waiting to go through airport security. The tall brunette carried a leather overnight bag and her shorter, blond companion carried a garment bag that was as tall as she was when it was unfolded.

"Tell me again who gets married on Christmas Eve?" AJ questioned as she placed her bag, coat and shoes on the X-Ray conveyor belt.

"You’re sister," Chase answered as she watched AJ walk through the metal detector. Of course the machine began beeping furiously.

"Please step over here ma’am," a male security guard ordered. AJ rolled her eyes as she moved to the search area and placed her stocking feet on the designated foot markings. She automatically moved her hands out from her sides.

"Ma’am, do you mind if I do this or would you prefer a female agent?"

"You’re fine." The teacher really didn’t care; it wasn’t like it was a strip search.

While AJ was getting wanded, Chase picked up both of their possessions. She grinned when her partner’s bag jingled when she picked it up. She couldn’t believe Lauren, the bride to be, had SILVER BELLS placed on the bridesmaid dresses.

AJ stalked over and grabbed her boots from Chase, "I swear they have a button they push when they see me walk through."

"Maybe it’s that alien implant in your neck."

"Well, maybe they’ll abduct me on the flight so I won’t have to go to this wedding." She finished tying her laces and took the garment bag from the brunette. She cringed as she heard the tinkle of JINGLE BELLS, "And why would anyone put bells on a bridesmaid dress?"

Chase couldn’t help herself, "Well maybe she thought since you look like an elf, you might as well sound like one too."

AJ rolled her eyes and walked away towards their gate.


"You know, I think planes should be separated into kids and non-kids sections," AJ explained as another baby began wailing, "and they should be in a sound proofed area."

"Uh huh, and knowing your luck, we’d be seated right in the middle of the crying section." Chase paused and listened intently for a moment, "DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?"

"What? The babies are finally harmonizing?"

"No, the landing gear is going down."

AJ frowned as she checked out the window, everything was white with snow, and it looked like a WINTER WONDERLAND out there. "Well that’s not white sand and surf out there." The kid behind her took this time to start kicking the back of her seat, "Hey, LITTLE DRUMER BOY, give it a rest," the blond ordered as the intercom crackled to life with the pilot’s voice.


"Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Skippy. I’m afraid I have some bad news. Due to the wintry weather conditions we’re experiencing some mechanical problems. Nothing serious, but we’re going to land in Indianapolis to have them checked out. Hopefully we’ll have you in Florida without too much of a delay."

"Captain Skippy" AJ repeated, "What the heck kind of name is that?"

Chase ignored her comment, "I guess we get a scenic stop in Indianapolis. Hope we can get off this plane and stretch."

"This really sucks," the teacher complained.

"Well, you were the one this morning saying LET IT SNOW," Chase reminded her partner.

"Yeah, I was hoping for a blizzard so we could stay at home and have a WHITE CHRISTMAS, not get stuck in Indianapolis."

"You should be careful what you wish for."

"Uh huh, or make sure I’m really specific." AJ grabbed the armrests of her chair; she really hated takeoffs and landings.


The plane had landed without any problems and the passengers were allowed to disembark into the terminal area. Chase and AJ wandered around the carpeted gate area waiting to get back on the plane, or find out what was going on.

They passed a bar on the way back to their gate. "I could use a buttery nipple…or two," the blond announced.

"AJ, it’s nine o’clock in the morning."

"Nuh uh, this area doesn’t turn back their clocks so it’s ten here."

Chase rolled her eyes, "Come on, it looks like a crowd is forming at the check-in area. I’ll make sure you get your buttery nipples later."

"Promises, promises."

The good news was the plane was fixed; the bad news was the weather had shut the airport down. They weren’t sure when it would reopen and all the flights to and from Indianapolis were canceled.

"Oh well," AJ tried not to smile at the news, "I guess we can’t make it to the wedding. I’d better give Lauren a call."

Chase shook her head, "AJ, the wedding is a day and a half away. I’m sure they’ll have the planes moving by then."

The blond sighed, "Can we rent a car and drive down? I don’t know if I can spend anymore time on that plane."

The taller woman knew her partner was being serious about the plane. AJ wasn’t a real good flier. The only way she’d talked the blond into the flight in the first place was bribery. She’d promised to let AJ pick the next five movies they went to see.

"Okay, let’s see what they have."

"Woo hoo, road trip!" AJ did a little dance, her garment bag jingling.

The line at the rental counter was a long one, apparently everyone had the same idea. They finally made it to the front.

"What do you have left?" Chase inquired, not real hopeful that there’d be any cars left.

The frazzled looking worker checked her computer, "I have a Geo Metro Convertible, that’s it."

"Ooh, a convertible. We’ll take it." AJ announced excitedly.

Chase leaned over to the blond, "It’s snowing outside," she reminded her traveling companion.

"It’s not like we’re going to take the top down. Besides, it’s the only one left." She gave the taller woman her puppy dog eyes.

Chase sighed, "We’ll take it."


The tall brunette eyed the small, red car. "And I’m supposed to fit in that how?"

"No worries, just slouch a little, you’ll be fine."

"Uh huh," Chase moved around to the driver’s side door.

"I can drive if you want," AJ offered.

"Umm, that’s okay, I’ll see how it is," Chase quickly answered. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust her partner, it just seemed she had back luck driving cares that weren’t her own.

"Fine, let’s get going them," AJ opened the door and chucked the garment bag in the back before settling down in the passenger seat.

Chase opened the door and moved the seat back as far as it would go to make sure she didn’t bang her knees against the dash. She looked at the wind driven snow they were about to head out in, "Okay, Pensacola or bust."


The snow was still coming down pretty steadily and didn't appear to be stopping anytime soon. AJ kept pushing the seek button on the radio looking for a station that wasn't country. She paused on one song because the lyrics were almost laughable. "My wife drank my beer, stole my truck and ran off with my best friend, but I still got my dog."

"AJ, change the station," Chase requested.

"What? Don't you like this?" she cleared her voice and began singing her own version, "My sister's getting married, my dress has bells, my girlfriend thinks I'm crazy." Chase shook her head, "You're certifiable."

"Yep, and you still love me, what does that say about you?"

The brunette didn't get to answer the question because as she turned the curve, she found a giant snowman standing in the middle of their lane. "Oh shit," she applied the brakes, but the road was slick, despite driving slow, and the backend of the small car began to fishtail. They hit the snowman head-on.

They stopped a few feet after destroying the snowman. Chase looked over at AJ, "You okay?"

"Aside from some whiplash, I think I WILL SURVIVE. What about you?" "Well, I'm doing better that that snowman. And who the heck would build a snowman in the middle of the road anyway?"

"Maybe it walked out there. It could be like the evil snowman in Jack Frost.

Chase turned in her seat, a feat in itself considering the size of the car, and placed a hand under her partner's chin and tipped it a little so she could get a better look at her eyes.

"What are you doing?" AJ frowned.

"Just checking for a concussion since you're talking about a killer FROSTY THE SNOWMAN.

AJ gently pushed Chase's hand away, "When we get home, I'm going to rent Jack Frost and make you watch it," the blond looked at the steam that began pouring out the front end of the car. "Is the car a goner?"

Chase nodded, "Yeah, `fraid so," she paused a moment, "I think we should get out of the car and cal the rental people to give us a new car."

"Why? It's freezing out there," AJ complained.

Chase didn't want to panic the smaller woman, but she needed to get her out of the car, "I smell gas and I think it would just be safer if we waited outside." "Well damn, why didn't you say that in the first place?" AJ opened the car door and stepped out into the snow, it was about mid-shin on her, and clung to the bottom of her jeans as she walked.

The architect argued with the rental people on her cell phone as AJ watched the smoke pouring out of the car changed from whitish to a much darker color. "That doesn't look good." The she remembered the garment bag was still in the car. She really didn't care that much if the bridesmaid dress went up in smoke, but her favorite pair of jeans was in there too. The Gap had stopped manufacturing them, and AJ wasn't about to lose the last pair she had. "It should be fine," the smaller woman told herself as she jogged over to the Metro and was in the process of grabbing the bag when she heard Chase yelling something. She took hold of the bag and was pulling it towards her, when arms suddenly wrapped themselves around her from behind and picked her up. Fortunately she kept hold of the bag.

Chase set her partner down a safe distance from the car. The blonde's back was towards the car. "Hey, what's the big deal?" AJ questioned, "You trying to show me you're a MACHO MAN by picking me up?"

The taller woman grabbed AJ be the shoulders and slowly turned her around to face the car, which was now engulfed in flames. "Now if we had some chestnuts, we could have CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE. Though I'd prefer marshmallows, it's pretty cool when they catch on fire and become Cajun marshmallows…"

"What did you think you were doing?" Chase interrupted knowing AJ babbled when she was nervous…" The teacher knew trying to explain to the woman before her about needing to save her favorite pair of jeans wasn't going to work. "Uh, well Lauren would have killed me if I'd shown up and told her I let my dress burn."

"Nah, we would have turned around and went home," Chase assured her, "but since you were so thoughtful in saving the dress, we'll carry on."

Damn, she should have let it burn, she could have found the jeans on eBay. "Really?" AJ watched as the flames engulfed the rest of the car. The smoke from the burning vehicle rose high in the air, "Eww, that really stinks."

"Yeah, it's sure not gingerbread."

"So what did the rental place say?"

"They don't have any cars available in the area right now, but they'll send a tow truck out to pick up this burned up POS and take us to a hotel until they can get us a new car."

"And how long will that be?" AJ was hoping they could just forget Florida and the wedding and just go home.

"They weren't sure, it depends on the weather too."

The wind picked up causing AJ to shiver, "BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE they say how long before the tow truck gets here?"

"Within half an hour was all they could promise," Chase wrapped herself around the smaller woman trying to block the wind from her as they watched the flames begin to die down on the car.

"I wish we were HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS," AJ commented as she snuggled closer to her partner, "with our fiber optic tree Christmas tree with presents underneath it and eggnog."

"That would be nice," Chase admitted, "but you know "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU, so as long as we're together, I'm happy."

AJ Smiled, "You're right. Christmas isn't about presents wrapped in PRETTY PAPER, eggnog or carols. It's about spending time with the people you love. It'd be a BLUE CHRISTMAS without you in my life. I love you Chase." She gave her partner a tight hug.

"I hope the tow truck driver gets here soon, I think you're becoming delirious from hypothermia, "Chase teased before she returned the hug, "I love you too AJ."

AJ was sure there would be no thawing out her toes when the tow truck driver pulled up to them about five minutes later. The driver's door opened and a very big figure climbed out all bundled up in a coat and hat. The person glanced at the car and then at the women standing by the side of the road.

"Large Marge," she said as she walked towards the pair, "looks like you had a bit of car trouble."

The taller woman nodded, "I'm Chase and this is AJ. We hit a big snowman that was built in the center of the road."

Marge shook her head, "Bet it was those darn Brown kids again. There are three of them, each more rotten than the next. THE FIRST NOEL was suspended from kindergarten for trying to shoot the school's mascot, "RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER, with a paint gun. She kept saying her GRANDMA GOT RAN OVER BY A REINDEER and she suspected it was that one so she wanted to mark it incase it tried again. What a scene, all the kids screaming `RUN RUDOLPH RUN."

AJ had actually heard about the story, but had believed it to be one of those urban legends that were all over the place. "So what are the other kids' names?"

"Oh, there's Noel Jo and Noel Sue. Their folks weren't real creative when it came to naming them youngsters."

"Have they built snowmen in the road before?" Chase inquired as she watch Marge survey what was left of the car.

"Well, last year they did something like this, but Bubba just drove his truck right through the thing. Course there's a big difference between his vehicle and yours. What was that itty bitty thing?"

"A Geo Metro," Chase answered, "it was the only thing they had left."

Marge noticed AJ looked cold, "Hey shorty, you can jump in the cab of the truck if you want and warm up some."

AJ smiled, "Thanks," she headed off to the promise of warmth the truck offered, garment bag in tow. She knew Chase would want to stick around incase she could help.

"So, where were you guys headed before you met up with the abominable snowman?" Marge began undoing chains from the back of the truck.

"Pensacola, my friend's sister is getting married in a couple of days." AJ decided not to disclose the true nature of the relationship between her and the petite blond. They were in an unfamiliar area and she wasn't sure of the reaction she would receive.

"A wedding, huh? So the thing in the bag doing the JINGLE BELL ROCK would be…?"

"AJ's bridesmaid d ress."

"Marge snorted, "Don't think anyone could pay me enough money to put something like that on."

Chase laughed, "Yeah, it's killing her to have to wear it."

"I bet," the tow truck driver began hooking up the vehicle, "and what will you be wearing at this shin dig?"

I had planned on wearing a nice pantsuit, but AJ told me since she had to wear a dress, I did too. We're going shopping when, or should I say if, we get to Florida."

"Well that sure bites the big one. What are you gals going to do now?"

Chase lended a hand hooking the car up to pull up on the flatbed, "The rental place told us to get a hotel room and they'll call us when they have another car available."

Marge chuckled, "I'm guessing they didn't tell you were out in the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as Johnsville. There's only one hotel here and it's closed for the holidays. But if you want, my family has a big place and you're more than welcome to stay with us."


"We wouldn't want to inconvenience you." She also didn't know how AJ would react to the offer.

"What? No, they always say the more the merrier. Why don't you go pass the idea by your friend and see what she has to say about it while I finish up with the car? And be sure to mention my mom is an expert cook and has won blue ribbons for her food at the state fair every year for the last 50 years."

Chase smiled, she knew that last part might be enough to get AJ's attention.

Chase climbed into the cab of the truck where AJ was sitting nice and toasty.

"I can feel my toes again," she announced happily. "How are things going out there?"

"There's a bit of a problem. Seems there's only one hotel in town and it's closed for the holidays," she saw her partner's skeptical look, "yeah, I know it doesn't sound right from where we are from, but maybe here celebrating the holidays is more important than making money."

AJ nodded, "Okay, so what are we going to do?"

The brunette took a deep breath and released it, "Marge has offered to let us stay with her and her family."

"What? How do we know they aren't like the family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre?"

Chase gave her a droll look at the idea, "And she says her mom is an award winning cook."

"Uh huh, and did she say exactly what was in those dishes? Could be like Motel Hell when the motel owners used people as the main ingredient to make its popular sausage."

The taller woman rolled her eyes, "Remind me to never let you watch a movie that's not rated G and made by Disney."

The blond stuck her tongue out at her partner, "Okay, I trust your judgment and will do what you decide. But no one had better be chasing me with a sharpened tool intent on making me part of the dinner menu."


They had dropped off what was left of the car at the local garage. AJ had made Chase take a photo of the car for the scrapbook she was planning to make about this nightmare trip.

The truck was now headed to Marge's house and AJ was trying to keep track of which roads they were on incase the family was indeed psycho and she needed to summon help. "How far away is your house?"

"It's just OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS a bit," Marge explained. "It's a real nice place. If you go UP ON THE HOUSETOP on SILENT NIGHT you can really see the stars and hear the trains go by."

"Do you have any malls or stores nearby?" AJ knew landmarks were always good for directing rescue personnel.

"There's a Grab and Go a spot down the road," Marge turned onto an unmarked dirt road. "THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS sales they have after Thanksgiving are really great. And when SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN he always makes a stop at the Grab and Go."

At the mention of the big guy in red, AJ involuntarily shivered. Chase looked over concerned that her partner was cold. She saw the blond had a far away look in her eyes and could sense there was a story there, and she'd ask her about it after they were settled.

"You know," Marge broke the silence, "I forgot to ask where you ladies are from."

"CHICAGO." Chase answered. They actually lived in a suburb, where AJ taught, just west of the city, but the architect found it was easier to just say Chicago.

"Really? That's a great place. Have you ever seen Oprah?"

Chase looked over at AJ, "Uh, yeah we have. We were in the audience of her show once."

Marge turned into a driveway, "I heard that during one taping of the show a fight broke out between to ladies over something some actress threw in the audience. Were you at that show?"

AJ's face reddened considerably, "No, we must have missed that one," she replied as she felt Chase's body move with silent laughter. It hadn't been just some actress, it was Lucy Lawless, and it was a limited edition t-shirt from her new show that was at stake.

The tow truck driver pulled the vehicle to a stop, "Okay, here we are."

AJ looked out the window at the house, it was a very cute white house with dark green shutters and it was covered with multicolored Christmas lights. "Wow, that’s a great house," and she meant it. The structure certainly didn’t look like a psycho house."

"Thanks, and wait until you see the inside. We really know how to DECK THE HALLS properly." Marge excited the truck and closed the door.

Chase glanced down at AJ, "You okay with this?"

AJ nodded, "Yep, let’s go meet the Munsters," she saw Chase give her the look, "Uh, WHAT I MEANT TO SAY was yes, I BELIEVE I am.

Chase opened the door and helped her partner out before grabbing her own bag and following Marge up the steps to the front door.

They entered the house and Marge was right about the decorations. The inside was decorated to a T. AJ’s eyes wandered around the area, taking in all the lights, tinsel, figures; it was an awesome sight.

AJ’s viewing was temporarily interrupted by a child’s voice, "WHERE ARE YOU CHRISTMAS?"

"Christmas is one of our cats," Marge explained. "Hey Emmy, this is AJ and Chase, they’re going to be staying with us. Can you say hi?"

The small girl suddenly became shy and hid her face against Marge’s legs. "Emmy’s the youngest of the kids, she was a bit of a surprise for my folks."

AJ knelt down to get closer to the same level as Emmy. "Hi, how are you doing? Is your kitty’s name Christmas?"

The child nodded, "She’s black. Do you know where she is?"

"No, sorry I don’t. But I’m sure she’s probably just playing hide and seek with you."

"Emmy, why don’t you go look for her and when you find her, you can show her to Chase and AJ."

That seemed like a good idea to the youngster and she headed off to locate the cat to show her new friends.

"I think the rest of the family should be in the den decorating the big tree."

"How many are in your family," Chase questioned as they continued walking down a hall. The house was a lot bigger than the exterior showed.

"Oh, there are ten kids and my mom and dad. Then there are various pets too."

"And are they all here?" AJ heard lots of laughing and talking coming from a room up ahead.

"As a matter if fact they are, and some of their spouses and kids too. I think we’ll be about seventeen strong this year."

"Wow, are you sure we won’t be imposing? That’s a lot of people."

Marge laughed, "Nah, my mom was thrilled when I called and told her about you guys. She always says WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS) is more people to share the holidays together and then maybe everyone would get along better. I’ll introduce you to everyone and then I’ll take you up to your room."

They walked through the doorway and were met with a scene of barely controlled chaos. People were throwing ornaments to others who placed them on the tree. Another group was threading popcorn onto strings. It was kind of like an assembly line of sorts.

"Hey everyone," Marge called out, "This is AJ and Chase, they had some car trouble and will be hanging out with us until they get a new car."

An older woman walked over to them, "WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, I’m Betty. Sorry to hear about your car. Those darn Brown kids, one day they’re going to be sent away to the Little Sisters’ Home."

AJ almost snickered at this because there had been many times when her own mother had threatened to send her away to live with the nuns. One day AJ had called her bluff when she’d packed a suitcase and told her mom she was ready to go. Her parent had sighed and told her the religious women would probably just send her home anyway, so she’d might as well keep her around.

"Thank you Betty," Chase replied as she got ready to elbow AJ who had an odd smirk on her face. "You have a lovely home and we really appreciate you helping is out. Right AJ?"

The blond snapped back to the present, "Yeah, that’s right." She gazed around the room once more at the happy commotion in the room. "I feel like I’M IN the South Pole or something with all this holiday glitter and cheer."

Betty smiled, "Thank you dears. Marjorie, please take our guests up to their rooms."

AJ and Chase heads turned when they heard the plural rooms, "You know," AJ began, "you have so many people here, we’d be more than happy to share a room to free up some space."

Their hostess shook her head, "Nonsense, there are more than enough rooms for everyone here, plus some. Now go get settled in. Dinner will be ready in about an hour, and then we’ll have time for proper introductions.

"Yes, ma’am," sprang to AJ’s lips and they turned and followed Marge out of the room.


"At least the rooms are next to each other," Chase reminded AJ as she tried to find something positive in the situation. "You can always sneak over to my room after lights out."

"Hmmm, good idea." She relaxed on Chase’s bed and stretched out her small body. "You have a real comfortable bed." Her eyes moved around the room then stopped on a Santa Claus doll, "but I’m afraid that has got to go."

"What?" Chase turned to see what the teacher was pointing at. "The Santa doll?" AJ nodded. "Okay, what’s up with you and the big, jolly guy?"

AJ shook her fair head, "It’s nothing really."

Chase sat down on the bed and took a smaller hand in her own, "It must be something. Go on, maybe I can help you if I know what’s going on in that head of yours."

The petite woman took a deep breath and slowly released it, "IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR…"

"Excuse me?" Chase interrupted.

"Would you prefer, ‘it was a dark and stormy night’? Whose story is this anyway?"

"Fine, carry on," Chase got comfortable next to AJ.

"Anyway, as I was saying, it was around midnight, I was eight years old and should have been asleep, but I was too excited that it was Christmas and Santa was going to bring me presents. I crept out of my bed and down the hall in my footy pajamas trying not to make any noise. I took each step very slowly so not to make them creak. I was near the middle of the staircase when I looked down and I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS. At the same time our evil cat Percy decided to attack me and I cried out. Santa was pretty mad when he saw me and pointed his finger at me. ‘Don’t tell anyone what you saw or your name will be on my Naughty List for the rest of your life and you’ll get nothing but coal from here on out!’ I started crying and ran back to my room. It scared the hell out of me."

"AJ, you do know that wasn’t the real Santa Claus, right? It was your dad in a costume." Chase placed a kiss on the top of AJ’s head. "That was a pretty mean thing to do."

"Actually my dad was out of town that night, snowed in on a business trip. He didn’t get home until the middle of Christmas Day. I never did tell him what I saw, but that was the period of time I got into a lot of trouble. I figured if Santa wanted to put me on his Naughty List, I’d give him good reason to do so. I think I had my very own personalized chair outside the principal’s office."

The brunette was frowning, "Okay, so if it wasn’t your dad kissing your mom in a Santa suit, who was it?"

"Well Santa, of course. Never liked the guy after that night. And it seemed things between my parents went bad then too, they got a divorce when I was 10. I figured it was because I was on Santa’s shit list."

Chase stared at AJ in disbelief, "You don’t really believe that do you?"

AJ shrugged, "Seems as good a reason as any I guess."

"But AJ…" A knock on the door interrupted the conversation. "Dinner’s ready guys," Marge called out through the closed door.

"Great, I’m starving," AJ answered as she quickly hopped down off the bed.

"I want to hear more about this later," Chase told the hungry woman, "I think there are some things you need to consider."

"Sure, fine, whatever. Can we go eat now?" AJ smiled.

"Of course, wouldn’t want you to starve to death." Chase wrapped an arm around the small shoulders of the woman she loved as they headed for the door.


AJ collapsed on the bed fully stuffed from all the food she’d eaten, "Boy, that was good. But I’ll never remember all the names of the people we met."

Chase laughed, "I don’t think they really expect you to. She checked her watch, "It’s after midnight, so it’s officially Christmas Eve."

"Do you think I should call Lauren and let her know we may not be making it to the wedding after all?"

"I think we should wait until morning and see what happens. Strange things happen sometimes, maybe we’ll get a call from the rental company. The wedding isn’t until late anyway."

"True, you never know." She eyed the door and then Chase, "I don’t think I could move to my own room if I wanted to, which I don’t. I hope it doesn’t cause too much of a disturbance if I stay here."

Chase took a spot on the bed next to the teacher, "I don’t think it’ll be too scandalous."

"Good." AJ curled her body against Chase’s, "I don’t think I could sleep without you." She closed her eyes and drifted off, exhausted by the day’s events.

It was dark when AJ was awakened by a noise in the room. Her head was lying on Chase’s chest, so she knew it wasn’t her moving around. "She nudged the sleeping woman, "Chase, wake up."

"Hmmm? What is it?" the architect rubbed her sleepy eyes.

"I think there’s someone or something in the room." AJ answered, fear evident in her voice.

Suddenly light flooded the room and AJ automatically closed her eyes against its harshness. When she opened one tentatively, she gasped when she saw a large man, dressed in red with a big, white beard standing at the foot of the bed. "Come on you two, I haven’t gotten all night you know. It’s already Christmas in some places."

Chase sat up along with AJ unbelief written on their faces. "Santa?" AJ questioned softly.

The old man smiled, his nose crinkling as he did so, "Yes, child, I’m Santa. I heard you tell your story tonight and I felt so bad about what happened when you were little, I thought I’d try and make it up to you."

"So that was you kissing my mom that night." AJ climbed out of the bed.

"No, that wasn’t me, that was Mr. Levitan." Santa explained.

"The mailman?" Suddenly everything became clear to her. "Oh Santa, I’m sorry I’ve been thinking badly about you all this time, I just thought…"

His belly jiggled as he laughed, "Don’t worry about it young lady. Now I believe there’s somewhere you need to be."

"Yes, my sister is getting married today, but we don’t have a way to get there."

"You do know." Santa motioned outside.

"We get to ride on the sleigh!" AJ was filled with excitement at the possibility.

"Unless you’d prefer the BACKSEAT OF A GREYHOUND BUS."

AJ went over and shook Chase, "Can you believe it, we’re going to ride on Santa’s sleigh, with the reindeer."

The brunette appeared to be in a stupor, "Umm, okay. Where’s this sleigh?"


"Can I drive some?" AJ asked as they soared above the earth in Santa’s vehicle.

Santa saw Chase shake her head, "Uh, sorry AJ, I don’t have extra drivers on my insurance policy. Maybe next time."

AJ nodded, "No problem, I understand."

"So what would you like for Christmas this year? You’ve been a pretty good girl, well except for that incident at the Oprah taping." Santa couldn’t help but laugh at the expression on AJ’s face. "Yes, I saw that, but the woman really deserved it so it was only a small check in the bad column."

"I don’t know, I really haven’t given it much thought," her green eyes locked onto Chase’s blue ones, "I pretty much have everything I need already," she said with a smile.

Santa nodded knowingly, "Okay, then I’ll make it a surprise."

AJ thought a moment, "Well there is one thing I’ve always wanted…"


"AJ wake up, we’re here." Chase gently shook the woman next to her.


The taller woman chuckled, "Not the last time I checked. Come on sleepy head, we’re getting ready to get out of this tin can. Those pills the doctor gave you really knocked you out."

Small hands rubbed at still sleepy eyes before opening them, "We’re on the plane? But…" confusion marked her cute features.

"From the look on your face I’d say you had a really interesting dream, not to mention some of the things you were saying in your sleep." Chase teased. "Let’s get to the hotel and you can tell me all about it.

AJ nodded, "It seemed so real." Guess there really isn’t a Santa Claus after all, she thought glumly.


Once they were at the hotel, AJ’s stomach announced it was empty. The women went downstairs to the restaurant and decided to eat out on the patio. They were seated and AJ was telling Chase about her dream when a young man approached them with a medium sized box.

"Are you AJ Armstrong?" he asked shifting the box.


"Then this is for you, Merry Christmas." He placed the box on the ground next to the blond and left, seemingly disappearing into the crowd.

AJ regarded the box at her feet for a moment before making eye contact with Chase, "Is this from you?"

Her partner shook her head, "No, is there a card?"

The teacher found a small label attached to the box, "To AJ from Santa." A large smile appeared on her face as she opened the box already knowing what was inside. It was what she was getting ready to ask Santa for in her dream.

She lifted the lid and a furry head popped up, its nose furiously sniffing around. AJ lifted the Siberian husky puppy out of the box, its body wiggled with joy at being held. "Thank you Santa."

Chase watched the scene before her, surprise evident on her face. "Umm, want to fill me in on something?" She motioned to the furball that was busy trying to lick AJ’s face.

"Oh Chase, I asked Santa for a puppy and he brought me one, isn’t this great!"

The architect just smiled, she wasn’t sure how the puppy had come into their lives, but the look of happiness on AJ’s face made her silently thank whoever was responsible for it. "I guess we’d better come up with a name for her."

"What about Callisto?" AJ suggested.

Chase raised a lone brow, "You want the puppy to be evil?"

"Good point. I don’t know. I guess we don’t need to decide right now, we’ll just call you puppy for right now." An evil gleam glittered in her eyes, "How would you like to attend a wedding, puppy?"



Silver Bells #21

Jingle Bells #11

Do You Hear What I Hear? #5

Winter Wonderland #25

Little Drummer Boy #14

Let it Snow #13

White Christmas #24

I Will Survive-Gloria Gaynor

Frosty The Snowman

Macho Man-The Village People

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire #3

Baby It’s Cold Outside-Ray Charles

Home for the Holidays #8

All I Want for Christmas is You #1

Pretty Paper #16

Blue Christmas #2

The First Noel #6

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer#17

Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer#7

Run Rudolph Run #18

Jingle Bell Rock #12

Over the River and Through the Woods #15

Up on the Housetop #23

Silent Night #20

The Twelve Days of Christmas #22

Santa Claus is Coming to Town #19


Deck the Halls #4

What I Meant to say-Cyndi Thompson


Where Are You Christmas?-Faith Hill

What the World Needs-Wynonna

Welcome to the Jungle-Guns N Roses

I’m In (Lorrie Morgan)

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear #10

I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus #9

Backseat of a Greyhound Bus-Sara Evans


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