Gia was starting to regret meeting up with Hazel and Lucas at the pizza place already. Those were two people who she wished would never meet. Everything could go horribly wrong and Hazel and Lucas could end up friends, or in another horror image of the future, they’d become mortal enemies. Gia already had to deal with her dad hating Lucas, she didn’t need the two of them fighting with each other, too. She couldn’t handle that.
The pizza place where they agreed to meet was not too far from the mall and in the centre of the town, so it was quite popular. However, as it had been taken over by high-school students, it was always packed and really loud. Unfortunately for Gia, who hated crowds, Hazel and Lucas both loved the tiny pizza place.
As usual, the place was filled with teenagers, enjoying their Christmas vacation from school and stuffing their faces with cheese, pepperoni and tomato sauce. But through some miracle, Gia spotted Hazel immediately through the crowd. The dark haired girl was sitting alone in one of the booths with the plastic-covered menu on the table in front of her.
“Hey. Did you order yet?” Gia asked, sitting down on the opposite side of the table.
“Not yet. I figured I’ll wait for you. When is Lucas coming?”
Before Gia could reply, they heard a voice, loud enough to be clearly audible over the noise coming from the other booths and the music from the jukebox that was in the corner.
“You can relax now, ladies, I’m right here,” Lucas said, sitting down next to Gia, and then he looked at Hazel. “Hi, I’m Lucas.”
“Yeah I figured. I’m Hazel. Nice to finally meet you. I feel like I already know you from what Gia has told me.”
“Oh? All bad things, I hope.”
“You bet. Let’s see… According to her, you’re lazy, dirty, perverted, egoistic… And your room is like a dump. How do you plead?”
Lucas shrugged with a wide smile on his face. “Guilty as charged.”
“Okay enough of that,” Gia said before they could get to what she had told Lucas about Hazel. Not that Hazel would mind, and Gia hadn’t exactly been insulting either of them, but you never know. “Food?”
“Yes!” Lucas shouted excitedly and grabbed the menu from the table. “I haven’t eaten in ages. Let’s see… A double cheese, pepperoni pineapple tomato tuna onion pizza, family size? And what will you guys have?”
“You’re gonna eat a family size pizza all by yourself?” Hazel asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Oh please, he’ll probably end up eating half of mine, too” Gia said. The two girls told him what they wanted and Lucas went to order their pizzas.
“He’s cute,” Hazel said as soon as Lucas had gotten out of earshot.
“Lucas?” Gia asked in disbelief, just to make sure she understood correctly. “You think Lucas is cute?”
“Well yeah. Don’t you?”
“I don’t know.”
“I’m telling you, if you don’t snatch him soon, I’m gonna.”
“You wouldn’t!” Gia gasped.
“Hey, all is fair in love and war. And by the way, I love the new hair color. I don’t particularly like pink but it suits you.”
“Who’s at war?” Lucas asked, setting down the drinks on the table.
“Nevermind,” Gia mumbled, shooting a warning look at Hazel, who just smiled back.
“So Lucas, what do you think of Gia?” Hazel asked in a cheerful voice.
“Oh I think she’s kind of uptight, but she has potential. Plus she could be a bit bigger on the boob area.”
“I am not uptight!” Gia argued, deciding to ignore the boob comment. She admitted to lacking in the breast department, but it was one of the things she did not enjoy talking about.
“Actually, you kinda are,” Hazel grinned.
Gia opened her mouth in shock, but nothing came out. Her eyes went from Lucas to Hazel and back, until she just shook her head. “Oh god, now there’s two of you.”
Gia was right. This meeting never should have happened. For the rest of the little get-together, Hazel and Lucas covered the topics “Why high school sucks and how it can be punished”, “Gia’s dad is an asshole but Gerard Way rocks” and “Let’s have an awesometastic sleepover and watch horror movies that will make Gia puke.”
Fun fun fun.
On Christmas morning Gia woke up feeling unusually cheerful. Usually Christmas was just like any other day for her, but for some reason, this year the Christmas spirit had finally caught up with her. And that is why she didn’t scream at Lucas to leave her alone when he jumped on her bed.
“Wake up! It’s Christmas!” Lucas cheered with a Christmas hat on his head.
“What are you doing up so early?” Gia asked, sitting up on her bed with a bright smile. Lucas usually slept until noon on holidays, so to see him awake at 9 am was truly a Christmas miracle.
“I didn’t sleep all night,” he answered with a mischievous grin. “This Christmas is going to be awesome!”
“Oh, and why is that?”
Lucas had been sitting on the bed next to her, but now he stood up. “Because this year Tina can’t force me to go caroling. She can’t invite a thousand guests to the house for Christmas dinner and eat all the white meat, she can’t force me to clean my room and she can’t stop me from eating all the candy and gingerbread cookies from the tree. Like honestly, that’s the whole point of putting real food on the tree! The fun is that you can eat it!”
“Wait, am I missing something here?” Gia asked, confused. Tina didn’t seem like the kind of person to allow people to eat her Christmas decorations.
“Tina went to visit her parents. Dad and her had some sort of a big fight, so she packed her shit and told him she won’t come back even if he begs her to. Dad’s kinda down, so we’re gonna spend the day playing videogames, eating junk food, and I think he’s gonna let me drink some beer even.”
Gia instantly felt horrible, and she couldn’t understand the bright smile on his face. “That’s terrible! And on Christmas, of all days… It must’ve been a pretty big fight.”
“It was,” Lucas agreed. “I was upstairs but I heard the whole thing. She thought it was unfair how he’s not paying attention to her enough, and he called her spoiled. Some things were thrown, my name came up…”
“Well, do you think this is… it? Are they getting divorced?”
Lucas shrugged. “No idea. We’ll see. I’m just gonna enjoy her being gone while it lasts. Anyway, I only came here to bring you your present. I put it under the tree. It’s the blue one with the green swirly shit on it.”
“Did you wrap it yourself?”
“Then I’ll find it,” Gia said, smiling. “Hey, does my dad know you’re up here?”
“Are you kidding me? I’m still alive, aren’t I? He and Linds were watching TV when I sneaked past them.”
“Then you better go before he decides to come wake me up,” she said. “And by the way, about your present… You’ll get it tonight, okay? When you come over.”
“Yeah that’s fine,” Lucas said, still lying on the bed. Then, suddenly his face brightened up in a mischievous grin.
“Oh no, I know that smile,” Gia said in the horror of impending doom.
“Well, since it is Christmas, and you do owe me a present…” Lucas wiggled his eyebrows in a very creepy manner.
Gia simply shot him a very stern look, pointed at the door, and said: “Get out. Before my dad sees you.”
“Relax, I’m going,” Lucas said, getting up from the bed and walking to the door. “And by the way, Merry Christmas,” he said before he was out of the door.
“Merry Christmas, Lucas,” Gia answered with a smile.
“I’ll see you tonight, babe.”
“Sure. Don’t be late.”
With this farewell, Lucas was gone. All Gia could do now was put on a robe to cover her nightwear, and go downstairs, where her father and stepmom were already swimming in Christmas spirit.
“Gia! Merry Christmas!” Gerard greeted, his arms spread wide and mouth full of gingerbread cookies. When he hugged her, Gia couldn’t help but groan. He got the gingerbread crumbs all over her hair, so she would have to take a shower.
“Yeah, Merry Christmas to you too…” Gia said, trying to get the crumbs out of her hair.
“He’s been like this all morning,” Lindsey, who was wearing a Christmas hat, explained. Her dog Susan Michelle was wearing an identical hat but it was meant for dogs, but she looked a lot less enthusiastic about it than her owner. “I think he overdosed on Christmas.”
“I’m not surprised.”
“Why are you two so depressing?” Gerard scoffed. “It’s Christmas! The best day of the year! The day of giving! Jesus’ birthday and all that crap! Who doesn’t love Christmas?”
While Gia and Lindsey weren’t too sure if they should let him continue with his rant about the fantastic awesomeness of this joyous day, Gerard’s gaze ventured over to the Christmas tree, which was even more ridiculous than last year. Last year the tree’s top curled slightly at the ceiling, but in the new house, the ceiling was much higher, and therefore, Gerard had more room to express his creativity.
“I love this tree. I mean I like you two, but I love this tree,” Gerard gushed, looking like he was a little boy on… well, Christmas. “Let’s open presents!”
“I have a question though,” Gia said before her father could dash towards the tree. “Why are there plants growing on our ceiling?”
Lindsey and Gerard looked up, and saw that there were mistletoes scattered all around the ceiling. Above the couch, above the piano, above the fireplace, at every doorframe, pretty much everywhere you looked.
“This smells like Frank,” Lindsey announced, but they were all thinking about it. She just said it out loud.
“Well, you know what this means, don’t you,” Gerard grinned. If Gia had seen what was coming, she would’ve ran away from the two of them as soon as possible.
“Oh my god! Get a room! There are kids present!” Gia shrieked when Gerard’s arms snaked around Lindsey’s waist and the two kissed. Lucky for her, the torture ended pretty soon, and Gerard and Lindsey pulled apart.
“Now, as for you,” Gerard said, diverting his attention from his wife to his daughter.
“Oh no,” Gia gasped, dashing off away from him before he could get to her. Unfortunately, Gerard was faster, and Gia didn’t get far before she was tackled by him, and fell on the couch. “Get off of me you fat ass! You’re crushing me!”
“Oh, I’m so hurt,” he mocked, and gave her a big kiss on the cheek before releasing her from his wrath of abnormal amount of Christmas spirit.
“Eww,” Gia said, making a disgusted face while using a hand to wipe the drool off of her cheek. “I hate Christmas.”
Lindsey, who had caught the whole thing on camera, smiled at the sight of the two bickering. Gerard had picked up another Christmas hat and was trying to make his daughter wear it. This resulted to a chase-scene around the house, which made Susan Michelle and Jersey nervous and caused the dogs to jump around the two of them, barking like crazy.
“Okay, I’m tired of running,” Gerard said, gasping for air after a few minutes of running around the house. They had ended up back in the living room, where Lindsey was peacefully finishing Gerard’s cookies.
“Told you you’re fat,” Gia smiled.
“Shut up,” he groaned. “Now, seriously. Let’s open the presents.”
A few minutes later Gerard was sitting cross-legged on the floor, handing out presents. Lindsey, whose stomach had grown even more, was comfortably seated on the armchair, and Gia was lying on the ground on her stomach with Jersey mimicking her next to her.
“This one’s for you, from me and Linds,” Gerard said with a huge smile, handing Gia the biggest present she had ever gotten. It was honestly bigger than Jersey. The dog, not the state. Also it was kind of heavy, which just made her more suspicious. Worst case scenario was that they had stuffed Frank inside a present and he was gonna jump out and start singing the dirty versions of popular Christmas carols.
“You’re kidding,” Gia said when she saw the size of the thing.
“No, open it,” Gerard hurried, and Gia glanced at Lindsey to make sure they weren’t kidding.
Shrugging, Gia carefully unwrapped the paper covering the present, and there was a white cardboard box inside. When she opened the box, she saw a black guitar case.
“Oh no,” Gia gasped. “You didn’t.”
“We sure did!” Lindsey answered, now looking almost as excited as her husband.
“Lindsey picked the color, she thought you like pink or something…” Gerard said, obviously disapproving the choice of color. Gia also caught him glancing at her pink hair, and she knew very well that he didn’t approve of that choice either.
Gia opened the case to reveal a light pink acoustic guitar, and a black guitar strap. There were also a few guitar picks, which, surprise surprise, were My Chemical Romance. “Oh no,” she repeated, not sure what to say. She loved it. It was perfect.
“Well? Am I the best dad ever?” Gerard asked, spreading his arms, expecting her to jump and hug the life out of him, but instead…
“I have to go call Lucas!” Gia gasped, grabbing the guitar which was back in the case, and ran upstairs.
Gerard, who had been left hanging with the hug, frowned. “Well I did not see that coming.”
Only a few seconds later, Gia ran back down the stairs and hugged her dad tightly. “Thank you for the guitar,” she said, and gave Lindsey a hug too, only not as bone-crushing because of her current baby-growing-inside-belly situation. After that, Gia attempted to run back upstairs, but Gerard was faster. He grabbed her arm and pulled her down to the floor.
“No. You can call him later,” Gerard said sternly.
“You’re not fair,” the girl complained, but picked up another present from under the tree regardless. “Oh, this is for Jersey. Here you go, handsome.”
The dog lifted his head up when he heard his name being said, and to help him, Gia took off the wrapping paper. Inside was revealed a whole bag of pig ears (which all three humans were disgusted by, but Jersey found to be his favorite thing ever), and a toy with a tennis ball connected to a thick yarn for pulling. Susan Michelle appeared to be quite interested in the ears as well, so both dogs were given one to chew.
“Who on earth could’ve gotten him pig ears?” Lindsey asked, disgusted by the sight of the dried body parts. Then again, she was pregnant, and even the smell of shampoo was enough to make her nauseous.
“I think it’s from Lucas,” Gia answered. She recognized the handwriting Jersey’s name was written in.
“Well of course it is,” Gerard rolled his eyes, carefully ripping open a present. Gia curiously watched him reveal a white box, and when he opened the box, it revealed a pink stuffed bunny toy, wearing a collar with the words “I love my best friend”, and a heart on its hand.
“Oh my god,” Gia gasped. “It’s so cute!”
“Frank is out of his mind!” Gerard shouted. “Here, and there’s a note. ‘Now you will think of me every time you see Mr. SnugglyBunny. Ps, press the left foot. Love, Frank.’”
“Go on, press it!” Lindsey hurried with a huge grin on her face. She was clearly enjoying this.
Gerard did as he was told, and the bunny started to sing ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ in Frank’s booming, cheerful voice.
Once the song was over, Gerard announced: “Okay, Christmas is over. I never want to hear another Christmas song again.”
Gerard marched out of the room, and Lindsey and Gia glanced at each other.
“I’m gonna make him wake up to that song every morning,” Lindsey announced.
“Be careful, you may be pregnant with his kid but he will kill.”
Despite his decision that Christmas was not to be celebrated any longer, Gerard soon returned with three cups of hot chocolate, and the three of them (plus the animal company), settled down on the couch to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
When the movie ended, Gia was wrapped inside the electric blanket she got as a present from Ray, nearly falling asleep, and Gerard had his arm around Lindsey’s shoulders, while her arms were around his middle-body and her head resting on his chest. If someone had taken a picture, it would’ve seemed like they were just any other family on Christmas Eve.
“I always tear up when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes,” Gerard said with a sigh. When he realized what he had said, he looked at his wife and daughter who were both staring at him. “Who said that?”
Ignoring her husband’s words, Lindsey released him from her grip and got up. “I have to pee,” she announced. “The baby is dancing on my bladder again.”
“Go get ready while you’re at it. We should leave soon,” Gerard said. When Lindsey was gone, he said to Gia: “You know you can still change your mind. I’m sure her mom would love to meet you.”
“Thanks but no thanks,” Gia said. Gerard and Lindsey were going to her mom’ house for a few hours to have dinner, but Gia had politely declined the invitation. She had other plans, which Gerard was completely aware of. He understood her friends were important to her, now that she had them, and anyhow, Gerard wasn’t exactly a regular parent. Luckily.
“Okay, but remember!” Gerard pointed a finger at her and gave her his best ‘I am a stern authority figure and I am to be feared’-glare. “No wild sex orgies, got it? No alcohol. But have fun. Just not too much. And everyone has to be gone by 10. Got it?”
“Yeah, I got it,” Gia said rolling her eyes. “Would you stop worrying for just like a second and realize that I actually might know how to behave without you reminding me every ten seconds?”
“Yeah, fine. Just, keep it PG, okay?”
“On second thought, let’s make that G.”
“Okay, take a cookie and stop talking,” Gia said, leaving the room before he could give her even more rules and limitations.
About a half an hour later Gerard came knocking on her door to say bye (and to remind her for the last time of how badly she will be grounded if he finds out she’s done something she shouldn’t have). After that, they were gone, and Gia went downstairs to get everything ready.