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A Merry Little Christmas

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“Ash…” A light whisper cooed. 

Ash was soundly asleep, barely registering the voice. It was surprising that anything was getting through to them. When they were this asleep, they could usually sleep through a hurricane. They were actually having a pretty good dream, too- they were back in their own universe, but their entire family fully accepted them for who they were, and they were just kind of cuddling with all their pets- past and present. That’s how they knew it was a dream. There were some things there that shouldn’t be there. The best things about that life. The parts whose absence had made it easier on Ash to leave it all behind. Sometimes, in dreams, they would come to a place like this. They’d always thought they’d made it to their ideal world (as much as they’d love to be in the Glade, things were even more dangerous there than they were in Hatchetfield), but dreams like this made them wonder…

Shaking. They were shaking, they realized. No. They were being shaken. Lightly. So lightly that there was really only one person who could be the culprit. Even Peter was more aggressive than that when he wasn’t trying. It had to be Hannah shaking them awake. For Hannah, they would make the effort to wake up. They opened their eyes, groggily taking in their surroundings- or what they could see of them. It was mostly just Hannah’s face. They couldn’t help but smile a little. They were going to have to work on Hannah’s respect for personal space, But still… the almost-six-year-old was cute, especially with the grin she had on her face. Ash’s smile grew as she woke up a bit more. 

“Hey, Banana.” Ash hummed. “What’s shakin’?”

“It’s Christmas!” Hannah beamed, still whispering. “‘N Webby says Santa came!”

“Did she?” Ash smirked amusedly. 

“Uh-huh!” Hannah nodded excitedly. She climbed off the bed, satisfied that Ash was awake. It gave Ash a better view of their matching pjs. Everyone in the house was wearing them. They were green long-sleeved shirts with Rudolph on them with green and black plaid pants. “Gotta wake everyone else up!”

“What time is it?” Ash mumbled, sitting themself up in bed. They wiped the sleep from their eyes, stretching a little. 

“Uh…” Hannah thought, before noticing Ash’s clock. “Four!”

“Four AM?” Ash paused for a moment. Then they sighed, continuing in their motions. “You know, I was gonna say that was early, but… it’s Christmas and you’re five.”

“Almost six!” Hannah corrected. 

“Almost six.” Ash chuckled softly, getting on their feet. “Alright, banana… who are we waking first?”

“E!” Hannah cheered. 

Ash was almost a little torn by that decision. Because yeah, Ethan had been their first boyfriend, and obviously he was the one Hannah knew better. But they didn’t want Peter feeling undervalued by Hannah or themself. He’d been really, really good with her lately. But at the same time… Peter also understood that Ethan and Hannah had a close relationship. Ethan was basically a big brother to Hannah. Peter was getting there, but… a part of Ash thought that maybe she’d always be closer with Ethan. They sighed, nodding at Hannah. 

“Alright… but remember to be gentle with E, banana.” Ash teased. “If you’re too rough on him, he’s gonna think you want to wrestle.”

“Mkay!” Hannah giggled.

That was a new thing they’d started doing- playfighting. Very gently, and on Ash’s insistence, always while they were around. Just in case he went too rough. Peter refused to do it for that reason alone (and also a bit of personal history). Hannah loved it though. Ethan always let her win, and she thought she was getting incredibly strong. While it was good for her ego, they both understood that soon they were gonna have to tell her that the fighting was only play . That they weren’t actually fighting. But that was for another time. They made their way into the room Ethan and Theo shared. Hannah tiptoed across the floor, climbing onto Ethan’s bed. She started on the same routine she’d used with Ash. Ash walked in behind Hannah, waking Theo, who gave them a very groggy and confused look. Ash smirked. 

“Eeeee…” Hannah trailed, shaking him. Ethan groaned, turning over. Hannah frowned, and Ash held up a finger sitting on the edge of the bed. They rubbed his back gently. 

“Hey, Ethan?” They cooed gently.

“Mmmm?” Ethan hummed. 

“It’s Christmas!” Hannah cheered impatiently. 

“Banana?” Ethan mumbled, turning back around and opening his eyes. 

“Mhm!” Hannah nodded eagerly. “Christmas!”

“I heard you.” Ethan chuckled dopily, running a hand through her hair. He looked up at Ash, smirking smugly. “You’re in on this too?”

“It’s Christmas, E.” Ash chuckled softly. “Besides, it’s already four . Santa’s already been gone for probably…

“Four hours!” Hannah told Ash. 

“Oh, he came right at the stroke of midnight?” Ash smirked. 

“Mhm!” Hannah nodded. 

Four ?” Ethan blinked. “Come on, banana… can I get an hour more of sleep?

“Nuh-uh! Time to wake up!” Hannah shook her head. 

“Well, I’m up.” Theo sighed, sitting up in bed. 

“Aw…” Hannah frowned. “Wanted to wake you!”

“I mean in a way you kinda did…” Theo tried to soothe. 

“Fine. I guess I’m up.” Ethan relented, sitting himself up. 

“Yay!” Hannah beamed. “Peter next!”

Peter was probably one of the more interesting cases. Peter had, of course, settled into life with the Hidgens-Foster family. He’d adapted quite well. And the relationship was smooth sailing. Actually, it was more a conversation with Webby that had made things… interesting. Apparently, in the timeline Nick Lang was following… well, there was quite a bit to cover. First and foremost, Nick was actually the one to play Peter. But also, they’d canonized that Peter was Ted’s little brother. Now obviously that wasn’t the case here, but everyone still liked to tease about it. Ash had found it admittedly a bit weird at first, but then again, there were plenty of things Webby had revealed in that conversation that felt weird. Like what some of Henry’s interests were in cannon Starkid… or Ape Man in general. But none of them were true in this timeline. Especially not about Peter. They’d checked, thoroughly. Peter… was really starting to form a connection with Hannah. Which was great. Aside from Ash, her dad, and Ethan… Peter was probably one of her favourite people. She ran into his room and climbed onto his bed, trying Ash’s approach this time. 

“Peter…” She cooed, rubbing his back. Peter, being a light sleeper, turned over to her very quickly. 

“Hey banana…” He mumbled. “Let me guess… present time?”

“Mhm!” Hannah nodded. 

“Guess it’s time to wake the others, then.” Peter smiled softly, sitting up. Ash blinked. 

“Wow, Pete… you’re… that was quick.” Ash chuckled. 

“Well, if I’m honest… I’m a big fan of Christmas too.” Peter chuckled, taking their hand and kissing their cheek. “Merry Christmas.”

“Damn, I haven’t even gotten my first kiss in this morning.” Ethan realized, kissing their other cheek. 

“Thanks, guys…” Ash blushed. 

“Gross…” Hannah teased. 

“Alright, banana… who next?” Theo asked. 

“Megs!” Hannah told them, already starting out of the room. 

“You have a whole plan, don’t you Banana?” Peter teased softly. 

“Mhm!” Hannah giggled, running to her sibling’s room. 

Of the original five, four remained. Cara had been unceremoniously carted off by her grandmother just as she had begun to outstay her welcome. Which they all assumed meant that in the other universe, perhaps the same kind of things might have gone on and they’d had a falling out. Sometimes, Webby said, there were still parallels. Apparently, there was a whole new roleplay group now in the other world. But what mattered was who was there now. In this universe. Almost every one of the teens was awake now. It was only Megs and Lucy who were still asleep, and out of the two of them… Hannah had admittedly gotten closer to Megs. Which wasn’t really either of their faults. Webby had just told Hannah to be especially nice to them since everything had happened. And… being as nice as she was, she’d just gotten to know Megs a little better. She slipped into Megs’ room, knowing what to do and slipping into their arms. Megs blinked awake, smirking. 

“Hey, Hannah Banana…” Megs hummed sleepily, their voice rough. They looked at their alarm clock. “Someone’s up early…”

“Christmas!” Hannah announced. 

“I know, banana.” Megs chuckled. “You and I have a lot in common. I’d usually be up in the next half hour anyways. I can barely sleep on Christmas Eve.”

“Me either!” Hannah giggled. Megs surveyed their surroundings. 

“Ok, so we got Ash, E, Pete and Theo… we just gotta get Lucy up and then we can go harass the parents and hope to god they didn’t decide to… spice things up…” Megs thought aloud, smirking a bit. “What, Banana, I’m #4 in your whole ranking scheme?”

“No ranking…” Hannah furrowed her brows. Megs softened. 

“I know, banana. I’m teasing.” Megs assured her. They got out of bed, sighing softly. They eyed Ash and the boys playfully. “Found any mistletoe yet?”

“Not yet.” Ethan winked back. Ash blushed. 

“Okay, time to wake Lucy…” Ash mumbled. Hannah once again ran out of the room, into Lucy’s. Megs walked beside Ash. 

“You know what this means, right?” Megs smirked. “We’ve all known each other for at least half a year… I mean, months work differently here because we were plopped into November, but…”

“Yeah… that’s crazy.” Ash chuckled. 

“I wonder how things are for the rest of 2020.” Megs hummed. “We still have another year before we find out here.”

“God, I hope things are alright.” Ash sighed. 

“Me too.” Megs hummed in agreement. “I feel like things were about to go downhill there…”

“Me too.” Ash admitted. “But hey- we have another year to worry about that. And maybe whatever was going on there won’t happen here.”

“Yeah, I hope so.” Megs bit their lip. “Anyways… I, uh, got off track there. I wanted to thank you. For everything. You’ve been… I mean, in a time where it felt like I had no one there, you were right by my side. While I was trying to figure out who I was… you supported me. You really… I mean, you know I love Theo and Lucy too, but you mean the world to me. I know I might not say it a lot now, but I hope you know you’re my best friend.”

“Aw… Megs…” Ash beamed.

“Merry Christmas, Ash.” Megs smiled brightly. 

“Merry Christmas.” Ash grinned. By this point, they were in Lucy’s room. Hannah was already on her bed, shaking her. 

“Come on…” Lucy grumbled. 

“Lucy! Christmas!” Hannah grinned. 

“Already?” Lucy blinked awake. “Hannah, it’s four in the morning.”

“Presents!” Hannah cheered. 

“Can we wait like… two hours?” Lucy pleaded. 

“Nooooo Santa left them four hours ago!” Hannah whined. “‘S time!”

“Fine.” Lucy grumbled, sitting up. She was still very asleep. 

“Aw, come on, Luce! Do I gotta grab a bucket of cold water?” Ethan smirked. 

“You wouldn’t.” Lucy glared at him. It was never, never a good idea to challenge Ethan Green. 

“Watch me.” Ethan smirked, starting out of the room. 

“Ethan, I swear-” Lucy started, before following quickly behind him. He started into a sprint, snickering. 

“Oh boy.” Megs chuckled. 

“I’m putting twenty bucks on Lucy.” Theo smirked. 

“Oh, Lucy’s gonna kill him.” Ash agreed. 

“I don’t know, Ethan’s got size on his side.” Peter reasoned. 

“And Lucy’s got raw, chaotic power.” Theo pointed out. 

“Fair point.” Peter winced. “God, I hope he knows what he’s doing.”

“Eh… he’s loyal, and he’s sweet, but he’s lacking in the smarts.” Megs teased. 

“Hey!” Ash nudged them. 

“Am I wrong?” Megs smirked. 

“No, but I’m still not supposed to let you say it.” Ash sighed. 

“Time to wake Dads!” Hannah urged them. 

“Don’t you wanna wait for Ethan and Lucy?” Ash asked gently. 

“Nuh-uh. Take too long.” Hannah rolled her eyes. Ash snickered a bit at that. 

“Ok, Banana… we can head over there, but remember I’m gonna go in first.” Megs planned. 

“I usually do that.” Ash furrowed their brows.

“I know. You deserve a day off. It’s Christmas.” Megs chuckled. 

“But I wanna wake them.” Hannah pouted. 

“And you will, Banana.” Megs promised. “I just… We have to be sure they’re ready for you to wake them up.”

“Mkay.” Hannah sighed. She walked up to Ash. “Up.”

“Fine.” Ash smiled softly, lifting their younger sister into their arms. 

They all started down the stairs to Henry’s room. The house was decorated more festively than any of them had ever seen. Every rail was garnished with some form of tinsel, and ornaments hung from every surface that could support them. It was magical in a sense. Henry and Ted had, of course, been conscious to decorate with some Hannukah themed decorations for Theo as well. The entire house felt full of the Holiday spirit, but nothing more so than the tree in their living room. It had been magical enough before they’d gone to bed, with all the sparkling lights and the ornaments. But now, with all the presents stacked underneath, seeing the way Hannah’s eyes lit up… it made it become so much more. It wasn’t necessarily the anticipation of receiving the gifts that made it all so… inexplicably wonderful. It was the thought of giving them, and the fellowship that it would bring. Or at least that was how Ash saw it. They could imagine Hannah was probably more excited about the presents, being as little as she was. Soon, they were all outside Ted and Henry’s room. 

“Alright, I’m going in. Wish me luck.” Megs teased. They slipped into the room. Ted and Henry were (surprisingly?) in their pyjamas. Ted immediately stirred. 

“Peanut?” He mumbled.

“Uh, no… I gave Ash the day off of this duty.” Megs chuckled. 

“What time is… four AM?” Henry groaned. 

“Listen, Hannah’s out there and she really wants to wake you up.” Megs sighed. “I was just making sure you were decent. So… pretend to be asleep?”

“Of course.” Henry sighed. Megs slipped back out of the room. 

“Ok, banana… go on in.” Megs smiled softly. Hannah ran into the room. 

“Were they…” Ash checked. 

“Surprisingly, yeah.” Megs chuckled. “They kinda thought it was you walking in at first… which means we really need to switch things up.”

“Yeah, I’ve been scarred too many times.” Ash blushed. The teens walked into the room. 

“Daddies!” Hannah giggled. By the time they’d gotten in there, Hannah was already cuddled in bed with Henry and Ted, and squirming. Which probably meant they’d ganged up to tickle her. 

“This is what you get for trying to wake us at four in the morning.” Ted smirked. 

“Almost four-thirty!” Hannah protested in a squeal. 

“Still.” Henry chuckled softly. “Have you woken everyone else?”

“E and Lucy having a water fight.” Hannah nodded. 

“And Harriet?” Henry checked. Hannah’s face dropped. 

“Nuh-uh… in attic…” Hannah shook her head. 

Ash had almost forgotten about Harriet in the rush of things. Hannah’s apprehension about waking her wasn’t an indication of any resentment towards her. They all were close enough with her, and Hannah liked her well enough… just not her room. Hannah had taken a wrong step and fallen through a patch. She’d broken her arm, and it had emotionally scarred her. Now, she refused to go up there. When Tim visited, he was the same way. Even Ash was occasionally apprehensive, even though they knew where to go so that they didn’t hurt themself. Henry seemed sympathetic to that, sighing. 

“Right… I suppose I can wake her.” He nodded. 

“I’ve got it.” Ash told him. 

“Are you sure?” Henry checked, knowing they were apprehensive about it. 

“Yeah, I’d be happy to.” Ash smiled softly. 

“Alright, Peanut. Be careful.” Ted sighed. He turned to Hannah. “Now… let’s get you all cleaned up! Your Daddy Hen is gonna want some pictures, and we want you to look pretty!”

“Mkay!” Hannah grinned. 

Ash made their way out of the room and up to the attic, being careful on the ladders. They’d always been a bit tentative with Harry given her source material. She had been… morally grey at best, and at worst pure evil. But Megs constantly assured them that this was a different Harry, and… she’d been proving Megs right. While she was still cold and logical as was her trademark… she had been getting better with Hannah, and she was at least attempting to be kind. Ash could live with that. They sighed, carefully entering Harriet’s small room- her space, as she called it. It seemed to be a collection of everything she held dear. They paused, noticing a new addition to the room- a family photo. A recent one, with all of the teens, Hannah, and Ted in it. They smiled softly. So they really did mean something to her. 

“Harry?” Ash cooed gently. 

“Oh, I’m awake.” Harriet sighed, turning over, a notebook in hand. “Are we up already?”

“Hannah’s been waking us all up for presents…” Ash blinked, a bit shocked. “Did you sleep?”

“Do I ever?” Harriet chuckled rhetorically, sitting up. “I suppose I should make myself presentable? Henry takes an excessive amount of pictures for these things.”

“Are you ok?” Ash checked. Harriet blinked. 

“Perfectly fine… just an insomniac.” Harriet sighed. Ash was hesitant to believe that fully. People didn’t just… not sleep. “If it truly worries you, we can discuss it at a later date. But it’s Christmas, and Hannah is waiting to celebrate. Let’s put it aside for now.”

“Fine.” Ash relented. 

“I’ll be down in a moment.” Harriet sighed. “You don’t need to wait for me.”

“Alright.” Ash nodded. “You sure you don’t want any help?”

“Oh, I’m just going to brush my hair and disguise the dark circles.” Harriet assured them. 

“I’ll see you down there.” Ash sighed, knowing that Harry probably just needed space. They climbed back down, spotting a soaked Ethan and Lucy once they made it down. “Uh… you guys are gonna want to change. Apparently, Henry is a huge pictures guy.”

“Oh, he’s one of those ?” Lucy groaned. 

“Yeah, he’s one of  those.” Ash snickered. “I think it’s sweet. So dry yourselves off and get going.”

“Do I gotta, like… dry my hair and everything?” Ethan sighed. 

“Yeah, babe. You gotta look presentable.” Ash smirked. 

“But I look sexier like this.” Ethan pouted teasingly. 

“Sexy isn’t what we’re going for.” Ash laughed. “Go on! Get ready!”

“Fine.” Ethan rolled his eyes. 

“You two are gross.” Lucy teased as they both headed for their rooms. At almost that precise moment, Harriet climbed down her ladder. 

“I told you you didn’t have to wait for me.” She chuckled. 

“I didn’t, actually. Just bumped into Ethan. He and Lucy got into a bit of a water fight.” Ash rolled their eyes playfully. 

“Of course they did.” Harriet chuckled. “Well, I suppose we ought to head down to Henry.”

“Yeah, he’s probably wondering where we are.” Ash sighed. The two of them started down the stairs. “Listen… I know you don’t want to talk to me about what’s keeping you up at night, but… for my sake, can you give yourself the Christmas gift of talking to Henry? I know it’s Christmas, but… he’s your Dad.”

“Uncle.” Harriet corrected. 

“He thinks of himself as your Dad.” Ash continued. “Knowing that you’d trust him with something like this might even feel like a gift to him.”

“I hadn’t thought of it like that.” Harriet considered. “It is… dark, though.”

“Save it for later, in private.” Ash nodded. “But please talk to him. He… he could at least try and help you.”

“Alright.” Harriet relented as they arrived in the living room. Everyone was already there, sitting on the couches around the tree. 

“Where’s E?” Hannah asked, situated on Ted’s left side. 

“E and Luce are just cleaning up.” Ash told her. 

“So the water war is over?” Megs smirked. 

“Who won?” Theo asked. 

“Well, both were soaked so I’m gonna say neither.” Ash chuckled. 

“Want them to hurry!” Hannah frowned. “Can’t start until all here!”

“Patience, Banana.” Henry cooed. He patted the seat beside him for Harry. “Come here, love.”

“Alright.” Harriet sighed. She sat by Henry, curling into him. Ash sat by Peter, curling into him. 

“It’s so sweet to see her so excited.” Peter smiled softly. 

“I know, right?” Ash chuckled softly. 

“Hey! You two didn’t wait for me?” Ethan called out teasingly from the top of the stairs. 

“What?” Peter blinked. 

“You started the cuddles without me!” Ethan huffed playfully. 

“Well duh! You were taking ages up there!” Ash stuck their tongue out. Ethan plopped down beside them, pulling both of them close. 

“Ugh…” Lucy teased, sitting next to Theo, who had situated themself next to Ethan. Megs lounged in a chaise all to themself.

“Megs… would you like to sit on my other side?” Henry offered, noticing that his child was the only one alone. 

“What… between you and loverboy?” Megs blinked. 

“Hey!” Ted tried to chide, but he ended up snickering. 

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Henry rolled his eyes playfully. “I just know I wouldn’t want to be alone my first holidays away from… well, I don’t want to call it home…”

“Why aren’t we getting this offer?” Theo snickered. 

“Well, you have your brother, and Lucy seems happy enough with you…” Henry blushed. “If either of you wants to sit here-”

“I was joking.” Theo clarified. 

“Alright…” Henry sighed in relief. “I don’t want any of you to think I’ve a favourite, or that you aren’t equally valuable to me…”

“Don’t worry about it, Henry. We know you love us.” Ash smirked, comfy in the hold of their boyfriends. 

“Good.” Henry nodded. He looked to Megs. “So… are you going to join us?”

“I guess.” Megs chuckled softly, moving from their chaise to sit between him and Ted. Ted teasingly pulled them close, wrapping an arm around them. 

“Wanna start presents!” Hannah whined. “Waited a long time!”

“Alright, Banana…” Ted snickered. “Go ahead. Choose whichever one you want first.”

“Yayyyyy!” Hannah grinned, running to the tree. She picked up what was evidently the first present she saw with her name on it. Ash smirked. That was theirs, Ethan’s and Peter’s group present. Hannah ripped off the wrapping paper, gasping. “Jacket! Just like E!”

“That’s right, Banana!” Ash grinned. “Now you can look just like E does!”

“Thank you!” Hannah squealed in delight. Henry had his camera out, snapping photo after photo. She slung the jacket on haphazardly before she ran over to the throuple, throwing herself into the middle of their cuddles. “Perfect!”

“You’re welcome, sweetheart.” Peter grinned, ruffling her hair. 

“You look so cool!” Ethan smirked, holding her out so he could get a look at her. “Like a real tough guy!”

“Tough like E!” Hannah giggled. 

“That’s right! Tough like me!” Ethan chuckled. 

“Do you love it, banana?” Henry smiled softly. 

“Best gift ever!” Hannah exclaimed. 

“Alright, Banana… who gets a gift next?” Ash asked gently. 

“Uhhhhh Theo!” Hannah decided, running to the tree and pulling out a present, sloppily wrapped and clearly her own present for them. She passed it to them, bouncing on the balls of her feet. 

“Alright… let’s see what we… oh!” Theo hummed, opening the present. Wrapped up was a clay figurine of what appeared to be an animal of some kind, painted mostly yellow and purple. “... A kitty?”

“Uh-huh!” Hannah grinned proudly. 

“It’s beautiful, Hannah!” They grinned. “I’m gonna put it in my room as soon as we’re done here, okay?”

“Beside bed?” Hannah asked. 

“Yeah, Banana. The bedside table would be a great place for it.” Theo smiled softly. “You know what, I’m gonna put it there now. So no one knocks it over or steps on it while we’re opening the other presents.”

“Mkay!” Hannah giggled as they got up to put their present where it belonged. “Lucy’s turn!”

“Oh boy!” Lucy chuckled, willing herself not to make any sarcastic quips to the child. Right now, it was looking like she had handmade her gifts. She was handed what was clearly a sheet of paper wrapped in wrapping paper. Underneath, there was a drawing of… something. Again, the colour scheme was yellow and purple. “Is this me Banana?”

“Yep!” Hannah giggled excitedly. “‘M an artist too!”

“You… certainly are…” Lucy struggled. On one hand, it was sweet. On the other, Hannah had added an extra leg. “Thanks, Banana! I’m gonna keep this in my pocket, and then I’ll hang it in my room after.”

“Yay!” Hannah giggled. She skipped back to the tree, picked up a present and walked over to Peter. 

“Oh?” Peter smirked, starting to unwrap it. Underneath was a pair of Peter’s old glasses, bound together with sparkly purple tape on the nose piece. The lenses were, admittedly, not cracked anymore though. “Wow, Banana! Did you fix these?”

“Mhm! Made them pretty too!” Hannah grinned. 

“Yeah, you did!” Ash chuckled. “Good job, banana!”

“Let’s see…” Peter hummed, switching out his glasses to these new ones. “Wow… ok, I can actually see really clearly with these…”

“Webby helped.” Hannah shrugged. Lucy bit her tongue. There were jokes she could make, but she was not going to be that bitch.

“Thank you very much!” Peter grinned. 

“Welcome!” Hannah beamed. She ran to the tree again, grabbed a present that was absolutely a doll and passed it to Ethan. “Here!”

“Oh…” Ethan smirked, unwrapping it. Sure enough, underneath was a Build-a-Bear… Green, with a mohawk and leather jacket. It was holding a banana prop. “Oh, banana…”

“Press belly!” Hannah prompted. 

“Ok…” Ethan pressed the button. 

“Love you, E!” Hannah’s voice giggled from inside the bear. Ethan gasped teasingly. “How’d you get your voice in there?”

“Magic!” Hannah giggled. 

“Aw, Hannah!” Ash swooned softly. 

“Megs’ turn!” Hannah bounced, doing her usual routine and tossing a package into Megs’ lap. 

“Ooooo…” Megs hummed, unwrapping the gift. Inside was a box. Inside the box was a macaroni necklace. Hannah had painted the macaroni yellow and purple, and interspersed some beads in in uneven ratios. In the middle was a locket. Inside the locket was a picture of them, Ash and Hannah. “Oh, Banana… it’s beautiful! I love it!”

“Thank you!” Hannah grinned. 

“I’m going to wear it everywhere.” Megs booped her nose gently before putting it on. Hannah reached in her pocket and pulled out another box. 

“Matching!” Hannah grinned, pulling out a necklace and putting it on. 

“Oh that’s perfect!” Megs beamed. “This is the perfect gift, Hannah.”

“That’s so sweet!” Ted gushed, looking fondly at his daughter. 

“I know.” Hannah scoffed sassily, causing a bit of laughter to erupt in the room. She ran to the dree, passing another box to Harry. “For you!”

“Oh, you shouldn’t have…” Harry chuckled nervously, hoping to God she reacted properly. She blinked, looking in the box. “That’s… one of my test tubes on a string.”

“Ornament!” Hannah nodded. “Painted pretty!”

“I can see that you definitely did paint it…” Harry hummed, holding it up. “It catches the light very nicely Hannah!”

“Mhm!” Hannah nodded. 

“Thank you very much! I’ll go put it on the tree.” Harry smirked, walking over and hanging the test tube on the tree carefully. “There! It looks wonderful.”

“Time for Daddies!” Hannah announced, grabbing two identical circular tins. Ash actually happened to know what these were. They’d been a part of making them. 

“Oh, we get our gifts together?” Henry smirked. He and Ted opened their tins together. 

“Chocolate chip cookies!” Ted beamed. “With M&Ms. How did you know these were my favourite, Banana?”

“Webby said!” Hannah beamed. 

“May I try one right now?” Henry asked. Hannah nodded eagerly. Henry took a bite, humming. “Banana, you’re a very good baker!”

“Oh my god… yeah.” Ted hummed in agreement. “You’re gonna make Daddy fat, banana.”

“Mkay!” Hannah giggled. She walked over to the tree, and then over to Ash, barely managing to keep her gift off the ground. Ash quickly took the gift, smiling softly. 

“What’s this, banana?” Ash smirked, tearing off the wrapping paper. 

Underneath the wrapping paper was a faux leather purple scrapbook. Ash blinked. They slipped open to the first page. It was the first picture they’d taken since they’d arrived when they’d let Hannah do some goofy makeovers on them, Peter and Ethan. Then onwards to some of the dates they’d been on… school events… some drawings of the moments they hadn’t gotten on camera. Pages dedicated to them and each member of the original rp group, and the dads… it was every beautiful moment they could imagine since they’d arrived. They looked down at Hannah, pulling her into a gentle hug. Tears started to stream down their face.

“Oh… banana…” Ash sniffed. 

“Ashy? You ok?” Hannah blinked. 

“I’m more than ok, Hannah. I’m great.” Ash beamed. “This is the best present ever.”

“Thought leather jacket was best present.” Hannah blinked. 

“For you. For me, it’s this. This is… everything I love.” Ash explained, wiping their eyes quickly and smiling softly at Hannah. “Thank you so much.”

“Welcome!” Hannah grinned. “Ok ‘s my turn again.”

The family continued in their festivities for hours. Plenty of other presents were opened- from makeup palettes to painting sets to dance shoes, no one was left without ample gifts to make their holidays special. But as Hannah had shown, it was truly the time together and the thought that went into the presents that counted. Once they were done with that, they had breakfast and played with their toys. Webby even made a visit to check on them. They made their rounds, delivering presents to their friends, and they had a massive snowball fight. But most importantly, they spent the day together. It was a holiday full of love, and warmth, and more light than many of them had felt in a long time. For years to come, they would remember it and smile. It might even be the best Christmas they’d ever have.