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How the Egg Stole Christmas
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How the Egg Stole Christmas; Vanilla's Christmas party last year was a disaster, so a change in the guest list would make everything run smoothly, right?
Topic Started: Dec 19 2010, 03:00 PM (724 Views)
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...victory. yay.
Vanilla/Shadow: Last Christmas's party was a complete dis-as-ter. Keeping that in mind, Vanilla opted to hold the party at a friend's house which was much larger and better suited to the chaotic behavior of her daughter's friends. In addition, the guest list changed dramatically. She still had open invitation for friends-of-friends, but specifically avoided were the Chaotix and a certain rotund Doctor who was likely to cause more hostility at the dinner table.

No, we would be having none of that this year, and so the invitations had been sent out, the parties invited, and surprisingly the first to arrive was Shadow the Hedgehog, who, upon realizing the fact, was equally surprised with the fact that no one else had arrived, and offered his services in getting the home ready for the next guests.

Eggman: The doctor, on the other hand didn't exactly take being snubbed in stride. As opposed to the year before, where he tried to show a softer, gentler side to the creatures he was usually at odds with...well, he was up to no less than his usual dastardly habits. This time with a decidedly festive flare. In full regalia, Eggman gave out a dark chortle, "Hmph! Well, I suppose if I'm not allowed to bring Christmas to them, they'll provide me with all the jolliness I'll need well into next year! ...though I suppose I could redistribute my fortune for a eh...," he rubbed his gloved thumb and index finger together before grinning devilishly, "Nominal fee. Hmhmhm...hahaha...HOOOOOHOHOHO!! WHOOP!!" He lost his footing upon the snowy roof and gave out something of a girlish scream before he clambered back into his "sleigh", the ever present Eggmobile.

Sonic: A certain blue one hoped to arrive as the very last guest on the doorstep of Vanilla’s house, or wherever it would be that his entrance would be made. He kept his eye on the clock and gave it as long as his patience could hold before zipping over, box of gifts in arms as he opted to actually use the door to get inside. His anticipation of the excitement to come kept his attention from the shadows and voices coming from the roof. His foot was his last option to open the door, offering a jolly, “Hey, guys!” as he bound inside. Upon receiving the image of an empty, party-less house, however, he frowned as his parcel was set down at his feet. “Quite the party you have goin’ on here.”

Bunnie: Vanilla may have held other holiday parties before, however, this would be the first time this particular person would have been seen by the others. A classically voluptuous body was clad in a warm, violet holiday dress that quite purposefully hid her legs and arms, fur further obscured by a pair of elegant gloves peeking from under a fur-ruffed cuff. " Hey, 'nilla-cake, need any help with..." she trailed off a bit on seeing it was already being handled by a certain black hedgehog, and she gave him a warm grin of greeting and a jaunty little wave.

Vanilla/Shadow: Vanilla greeted Sonic with a smile, "Oh, I didn't hear you at the door. Come in!" She stepped out of the room for a moment, leaving Shadow alone to eye the gifts with apprehension. The striped hedgehog peered over his shoulder at the clock, wondering if he had time to buy gifts for each of the party-goers before everyone showed up, or even if he'd have any idea what to get? Maybe if he gave each of them a little pocket money before they left?

He really should have given this more thought before now.

Vanilla returned with an armload of dishes, which Shadow instinctively began to set out with her, until Bunnie approached. "Well, aren't you just beautiful in that, Bunnie. This is Cream's friend, Mister Shadow. That's Mister Sonic in the living room." Shadow blinked up at the unfamiliar face, then looked at Vanilla, assuming they were related right off the bat. Shadow nodded with a calm, "Hello," and excused himself to the living room to mingle with the blue hedgehog.

"I don't suppose you took the time and trouble to select each of those yourself," he guessed, making a jab at the hedgehog's impatience.

In the meantime, Vanilla watched him go and nodded to Bunnie, "I think this is everything." Sure enough, the food was already set out this year, in hopes no one would fall asleep in the mashed potatoes (which she neglected to make, instead choosing fingerfoods.. just to be safe). "Just enjoy yourself, dear."

Tails: A straggler came into their midst in the form of one young Miles Prower. He was quite a sight to behold, covered from almost the neck up in a rather festive scarf and from the tips of his tails to his hind quarters with some rather...embarrassing tail warmers the hostess of the evening had made him. Surely they were a little restrictive, but he couldn't help but appreciate the thought from Miss Vanilla last year...especially considering with all that had gone wrong then. With a meek wave and a light pull at one of his bangs, the young engineer called out, milling into the gathering crowd with packages in tow, "Uh, happy holidays everyone!! ...heheh." A sweatdrop formed upon his forehead as his ever present friend showed that legendary impatience. Nonetheless, it was cozy, heartwarming to see everyone coming together...though that almost always was shattered by a certain "Baldy Nosehair".

Eggman: And that certain someone was in fact making his rounds, taking names and presents, making sure to check names twice, not caring who had been naughty and who had been nice.

Sonic: “It’s cool,” he assured Vanilla with a wink, unwinding his emerald scarf – and pretty much the only winter attire on his figure – from his neck and dropping it onto the closest clothes rack. The only other article of clothing worth mentioning was his usual white gloves, replaced with large green mitts that matched up to his scarf. Of course, plucking those off revealed his typical whites underneath, and he hung those awkwardly with his scarf before fully stepping inside. His grin broadened as the few faces that had arrived so far showed up. Again, with the foot, he nudged the box over to Shadow on the way to the dining area.

“Maybe,” he grinned. Maybe not. Truth be told, he had kind of gathered randomly appropriate things around the house and wrapped them in pretty paper. It had been a rushed job involving lots of tape. Wasn’t it the thought that counted anyway? “Why don’t you check it out for yourself?” With that being said, he waved to the newcomers of Sally and Tails. “Hey guys. I dunno about you, but I’m checking out what’s cooking.”

Bunnie: Bunnie watched Shadow retreat, blinking jade eyes after him with some bemusement. "He don't talk much, huh, 'nilla-cake?" she stated before giving her cousin a mock salute. "Oh, b'lieve me, ah don't need no encouragement t' have a good time!" she laughed, stepping after Shadow herself. The double-tailed fox caught her attention immediately. Everyone else was probably used to the sight, but having never met Tails before, she was a little shocked. Well, who was she to stare at something unusual? Besides, he was a sweet-looking kit. She put her hands on her knees and leaned to smile at him. "Well aren't you jus' a lil bit' a' sugah?" she greeted, tapping his nose with one finger. "You one a' Cream's lil friends?"

Shadow: If Shadow knew exactly what Sonic had done, he would have begged to differ. At least, on whether that was actually 'thought.' "I'll take that as a 'no,' " he decided, turning to the buffet alongside the blue hero. He primarily skimmed the table's contents with his gaze, choosing a small and inoffensive drink to take to his seat at the table. While curious, he didn't want to select something unfamiliar which he may regret very quickly.

Tails: The fox couldn't help but blush a bit and crinkle his nose before nodding, "Uh-huh! I've known her for a while now...in fact, I'm pretty well acquainted with everyone here. And uhm...it's a pleasure to meet you, Miss!" With a polite bow of his head he smiled somewhat sheepishly before staring at Sonic for a moment, his ears falling back, "Wait for everyone else before you dig in, Sonic!!"

Eggman: Peering down the chimney with a scowl, the doctor gave a hearty growl, "Hmph, enjoy your feast while you can you little rodents. I'll have the last laugh, after all." Placing his palm against his chest he let loose with a cackle before going to his vessel, pulling out a multi colored, segmented tube that he began to lower down the length of the flume.

Sonic: Sonic didn’t have a majorly sensitive nose, but he didn’t need one to indulge his senses in all the different plates set on the length of the table. Eagerly, the hero slid into the closest chair, finding it a bonus that it was next to Shadow’s. He could entertain himself by prodding the other with his elbow every few minutes and counting and use his lightning speed to put the periodic piece of food on his plate to see what he would eat and or see if he would notice him doing it as well. As far as his own plate went, Tails’ caution only reached his ears by the time half of it was already overflowing with Christmas delicacies. For a split second he debated about putting it back as if it had never gotten there, but decided that the evidence was already on his gloves. Slowly, he sat down, grinning sheepishly. “Okay, okay. Anyone else wanna sit?”

Vanilla: Vanilla laughed at Sonic's offer, catching on to the situation at hand. She seated herself at the table with the others to give Sonic the opportunity to eat, where otherwise she would have waited for all of her guests to be seated before she dared do so herself. "Everyone please sit down," she offered encouragingly, not as an order, but an invitation. Everything really was going so much more smoothly with a smaller guest list.

Shadow: Shadow grumbled instantly as Sonic took shop next to him, and turned to offer him a much better seat ... elsewhere... when he noticed that his plate magically had food on it. He gawked for a moment, before watching Sonic place more before him even at such advanced speeds. He shot the hedgehog a look of abject horror crossed with a glare, the marriage more likely to amuse than to intimidate such a determined prankster.

Tails: Tails blinked as dinner was so suddenly announced, ears perking up before he smiled and trotted over. His tails folded over his lap, the fox scooted his chair to the table before shooting a polite smile to everyone. And then a knowing one at Sonic before stifling a laugh and shaking his head as he called out to the outwardly stern GUN agent, "Are you alright Shadow?" With a legitimate look of concern (masking restrained amusement), young Miles tilted his head.

Sonic: Sonic waited (heavens knew the day would come) for everyone to be semi-seated and for Vanilla to encourage him into digging back in. “Thanks.” Sonic picked up right where he left off, building a mountain where his plate used to be until satisfied. He didn’t mind pouring himself a glass of that eggnog, either, leaning back into his seat as he admired his little work of art. To Shadow, he offered an innocent wink, which really defied innocence to perfection.

“He’s fine. Totally fine,” he answered for Tails, grinning as he took up a fork to begin poking and swallowing down the peak of his cuisine tower. He tried not to snicker or laugh as he chewed, making a sore attempt to not make too much of an idiot of himself. He rubbed at his mouth with one of the nearby serviettes. “We could, ya know, let the guy eat in peace.”

Bunnie: She giggled. "Mah name's Bonita, but everyone calls me Bunnie. What's yer name, Sugah-fox?" she straightened to look past at Sonic. A blue hedgehog? Hmm, his posture and bearing just screamed he was trouble. She kind of liked him already for that. At the dinner announcement, she was happy to seat herself, but carefully, as though afraid she would break the chair...and she might. It did seem to creak a bit underneath her.

Shadow: Something about the way Bunnie seated herself caught Shadow's attention and he turned to watch without saying a word, but Tails soon piped up and he turned to face the kit. He knew immediately to what the fox referred and narrowed his eyes just a hair before looking back at his original target. "Indeed. So we could. Without helping, I might add." Regardless, he lifted his fork and poked tentatively (but not so much obviously) at the objects on his plate, before cutting a small piece from what appeared to be a fried cake or nugget of some sort, and ate... very slowly, deciding whether he could endure the rest of them or not.

Vanilla: At the realization of the situation Bunnie faced, Vanilla tensed, and reached a hand out to delicately touch her cousin. "If you would rather sit on something more comfortable... I could fetch you an armchair or something more supportive." She hoped she hadn't said anything to offend the girl, but it might be more embarrassing for her if the current chair didn't hold up...
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...victory. yay.
Tails: The young engineer picked and nibbled at his food, making sure to dole out compliments to the hostess of the evening before his eyes widened and he realized that he had forgotten something. Or rather, someone. Clearing his throat he timidly called out across the table, "Miss...uhm, Bunnie? Sorry about dashing off earlier," he wanted to say that attending to Sonic's uhm...lacking manners held some precedence, but that was no reason to be so rude himself, "My name's Miles, but everyone calls me Tails!" An equally shy smile crossed his face as he lightly knocked a fist against the side of his head with a nod.

Eggman: Unbeknownst to the party-goers, Eggman was well into his operation. With a click of his trademark glasses he had already caught a glimpse of the pile of holiday joy, and with a dark grin he rubbed his hands eagerly before bounding over and flipping the switch on one of his dastardly devices. "Just a few more minutes everyone~ Keep up all the niceties and drivel you like, because this evening is mine!" He promptly thumped his thumb against his chest, giving out a cackle before clapping a hand over his mouth. It was hard to contain an outburst of maniacal exuberance, really it was.

Sonic: In all but a few minutes, Sonic had vacuumed off a good portion of his serving, waiting until the prime moment to bring himself back into the equation of the dinner conversation. Or rather, his crafty ability to fill Shadow’s plate and not be visibly caught. Even if there was nothing but a breeze as he dropped another item on there, it wasn’t exactly a mystery as to what was happening. Back in his original position, he tapped at his chin with his fork, scrutinizing the array of foods.

“Gee, I didn’t actually know you could be that hungry, Shads,” he commented. Satisfied with his mission so far, he turned his attention to the newcomer, grinning. “Bunnie, right? Nice to meetcha.” He would have reached across the table to shake hands or something, but held back, sipping at his glass of eggnog. “You from around here?”

Bunnie: Bunnie giggled at Tails and gave him a little wink. "S'awright, sweetiepie, you got places t' go an' people t' see!" Then she smiled apologetically to Vanilla. "Ah'm fine, 'nilla-cake, but ah'll letcha know if that changes." She was utterly unaware of Shadow's attention, instead concentrating on keeping her weight distributed so the chair would not be overly stressed. "Bunnie indeed, Blue!" she greeted Sonic. "Ah'm from a lot further south'n hea', actually. Got a right healthy appetite there, dontcha?"

Shadow: Shadow glared dangerously over the rim of his glass making an equally fast grab for the hedgehog's wrist as he added more food, but with such limited room, and without knowing exactly what Sonic was reaching for, he missed on his first go and hid his movements quickly by resting his free hand back in his lap. He placed his tea back on the table and closed his eyes to mask his growing impatience before sampling another object on his plate.

Vanilla: The rabbit tilted her head before giving a soft chuckle, "If you insist. I just want you to be comfortable, so do let me know." She began helping herself to some of the offerings and poured herself a glass of eggnog. "Mister Sonic is a growing boy," with a metabolism the size of a small country, "so I've prepared more in case I need to make a second round." It felt nice being prepared.

Tails: Tails couldn't help but blush at the wink before nodding, "Hehe, I-I guess so!" The young fox took a sip from his glass of water, idly watching the exchange between the two rival hedgehogs before letting out a bit of a sigh and giving that uneasy smile, thinking to himself, I'll know who to blame if I end up with more than what I bargained for. With that said, he piped up, "Miss Vanilla? I just wanted to say that the meal's great! Sonic and I really appreciate all the hard work you must've put into all of this!" Sitting upright, the boy bowed his head slightly with a warm smile. ...though he was worried about the escalation going on between those two. Sonic can be such a handful at times, he thought to himself idly.

Eggman: The doctor was watching carefully, particularly looking on with a burning sense of envy as those meddlesome rodents sipped at eggnog. EGGNOG without Doctor Eggman?! How cruel!! Face suddenly turning crimson, he stamped and set his machine into high gear, which went about its way snaking towards the pile of gifts and slowly sucking them up one by one...filling his bag of goodies and replacing them with some gifts that had a little more "personal" charm, having come from the Doctor's very own workshop. Though saying they were put together by elves would certainly be a stretch...in fact, they were a bit too geometric to be considered anything other than robots, but that was another tale for another day.

Sonic: “Sure do,” he agreed wholeheartedly, swiping his seconds to just as well prove his point. In no time – literally – his plate was full again. However, through his second round, he took more time, meaning it wasn’t exactly in his stomach just as fast as before. “Nice to see new faces, though.”

Knuckles: Knuckles wasn’t that late, really. It wasn’t his fault that a sudden pick up in the winds had blown him off course from Vanilla’s. So, had he been without the delay, he would have been just on time. Really. Disgruntled, he swung into the house, immediately stopping just inside at the sight of some...vacuum thingy eating up what gifts had been laid out and distributing new ones in place. His eyes followed the machine to the chimney. Slowly, he walked up to the machine, laying his foot down over the tube to test its strength. Cupping a hand to his mouth, he called into where he heard everyone else.

“Vanilla, you didn’t have some device installed in your chimney, did you?”

Bunnie: Bunnie put a hand to her mouth, chuckling softly. Such a polite boy! Almost as polite as lil Cream. They must really know how to raise kids around here. "Mah stars, Blue, you gonna taste any a' that food?" she grinned, savoring hers a bit more slowly. Good food deserved some hang time on the tongue, no? "Mmm..." she breathed, plushing her lips around her silverware. ((And somewhere, Antoine falls over, twitching.)) She only flicked an ear towards the fresh voice. It was reasonable to assume some guests would be late, after all.

Vanilla: "Thank you! I'm happy you enjoy it." Honestly, though, Tails didn't have to speak for Sonic when he was devouring the food as quickly as possible. She was certain that he would stop if he consumed anything too offensive, but she was starting to wonder if Bunnie was right. There was no way he could actually taste the complexities when he forced everything down one-after-another. Aside from that, such manners were painfully lacking. Vanilla's once-warm smile started to hesitate, but she approached a bit more delicately than she might have on a more casual basis, "She's right, dear, don't you think you should keep a relatively normal pace at the dinner table?"

Knuckles's voice kept her from saying anymore, and she furrowed her brow. "A device? Excuse me," she said to the others, standing with a slight bow. She started towards the living room, frowning and speaking loud enough for the echidna to hear as she walked, "I haven't looked; it might be a gas or electric fireplace? This is my friend's home."

Shadow: The second Vanilla was out of earshot (or so he hoped,) Shadow swallowed the bite of food he'd been mingling on the last minute and put his glass to his lips without drinking, voice low. "If you put one more thing on my plate, I'm going to return the favor tenfold. And then see how Miss Vanilla likes it when food goes to waste, Mister Sonic."

Tails: A sweatdrop formed on Tails' forehead as Sonic continued to scarf down his meal without a thought for the work their host had put in. It was tough, but they were the best of friends, through thick and thin...and terrible table etiquette. With a perk of his ears, the boy gave a smile to that voice, though it quickly faded when he heard of the...odd happenings that seemed to be going on in the living room, "Miss Vanilla, maybe I should take a look as well!" He reached out for a moment before stopping dead in his tracks, promptly excusing himself from the table with a slight bow. After all, manners were of the utmost importance in this household.

Eggman: The good doctor was continuing his "grand" heist with gusto, in fact a small jig had him so enthralled that he didn't even notice the dreadheaded echidna's discovery or the approach of one motherly rabbit. Not that it would stop his plans, "Ooooh~ You're a mean one, Dr. Eggman, you reeeeally are a cad!! OOOOHOHOHO!!"

Sonic: Sonic’s tongue poked out to lick his chops. “Uhh, right. Woops.” The taste in his mouth, had much of one existed, did consist of Christmas food and Vanilla’s cooking. Guess he had been too busy trying to get himself full and warm. His eyes darted over to Shadow, smiling curtly. He didn’t need to be threatened twice. A smart retort was already on the tip of his tongue before the guardian next door spoke, spiking Sonic’s curiosity. Without standing, he turned around in his chair, ’accidentally’ kicking out one of the leg’s to Shadow’s chair so he, too, could get a better view. That is, if he fell in the right direction. Standing quickly – because he was definitely in hot water now, even if Shadow had saved himself – he stepped back into the living room to join the investigation.

Knuckles: “That’s new,” he mused. “Santa must be getting lazy or somethin’.”Knuckles waited patiently for Vanilla, rolling the tube over on his snow-covered foot and prodding at the suspiciously wrapped gifts. Sonic didn’t wrap like that. His handy work typically involved more skotch tape than wrapping paper. The echidna rubbed at his brow, pursing his lips to the hostess. “If electric fireplaces need this, then yeah.”

Bunnie: "Aw, 'nilla, y' already worked so hard t' cook an' set this up, y' oughta sit down an' enjoy it!" Bunnie admonished, gazing worriedly after her a moment before finally just standing and trotting over to catch up with her. "Go siddown, shug', ah'll see 'bout this. 'Sides, ah'm better with mechanics." she kind of had to be, all things considered.

Vanilla: Puzzled by the object in the hearth, Vanilla crossed the room and stooped to inspect it. "This wasn't here just a few minutes ago..." How weird. She narrowed her eyes and stepped over to the window, looking out. She wasn't sure what she expected to find, and she did find nothing, but she had a suspicion something was about to ruin her perfect party.

Shadow: "Uwagh--!" Shadow grasped for the table, dragging the tablecloth a few heartstopping inches before he realized he had to let go and take the fall on his own. He tumbled onto his side, growling even as he got to his feet and replaced his chair. Fists clenched and quills bristled, he stomped after the blue hedgehog, only being distracted from Sonic's certain doom by the thing in the chimney. "Hmph. I'm not needed." That said, he went to 'share' some of his helping with Sonic in the next room, after he adjusted the tablecloth exactly as it was, that is.

Tails: Tails came over to inspect the tube, extending his index finger before oh so carefully...giving the mechanism a poke. What happened next caused the fox to reel back as a brightly wrapped present was shot out of its opening. Of course, one of the most prominent features of the package was its tag, which had "To: Shadow" written on it accompanied by an Eggman insignia. To anyone in the room, this revelation made it clear as day who was at the bottom, or rather, at the top of this scheme.

Sonic: Sonic pretended not to notice Shadow, instead focusing his attention on their new issue at hand. With his interest at its best, he also took a questioning nudge at the machine, flinching as it spat out a fresh present. He half expected the label to real “Santa Claus,” but couldn’t exactly say it was much of a surprise as to who the real fat, jolly gift-giver culprit was. He rubbed at his nose, poking the box once to see if it would explode. As if it were a bomb, he tossed it over to its rightful owner, grinning.

Knuckles: Knuckles began to grumble, striding over to the fireplace and rolling up the sleeves of his winter jacket. “First few seconds here and Eggman is already on us.” Getting down on his knees and elbows, and began to squeeze into the hole. His hands groped for the tube, using brute strength to pinch it in to stop the flow of evil presents. He didn’t plan on meeting Vanilla’s friend, so he hoped the damages wouldn’t be too severe if it happened to blow out from pressure. Crawling back out (and slightly soot covered), Knuckles clapped his hands together. “Anyone want to go meet him?”

Sonic: “I got it,” Sonic volunteered immediately, not even throwing his scarf and mitts back on before zooming outside and throwing himself on to the roof. From behind Eggman, he climbed up the drift of snow. “I think Santa’s had one too many cookies, huh?”

Bunnie: "'nilla!" Bunnie admonished with a sigh, then she frowned at the...decidedly odd reactions from everyone. "What's an Eggman?" Someone apparently didn't watch much television... "Hea' now, th' gentlemen got it under control, you go sit down, Shug'..." She wanted poor Vanilla to actually be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of her labor. The boys had things in hand, after all.
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...victory. yay.
Shadow: Shadow looked up from adjusting the table, something zooming towards him in his peripheral vision. He caught a glimpse of the look on Sonic's face and caught the package, instantly extending it at arm's length. The dark hedgehog narrowed his eyes at the name tag, peering up at Sonic as he darted out the door.

Finding no answers there, he stepped cautiously untied the ribbon and unwrapped the gift. No alarms were exactly going off, but he was ready to Chaos Control outdoors at a moment's notice if it looked dangerous.

Vanilla: Vanilla covered her mouth as she turned to see the soot-covered echidna. Immediately she grabbed for his nose (considering his lack of ears) and pulled him for the front door. "No no no no no! Not in this house!" Content that Knuckles wasn't tracking filth around the house, she dusted her hands off and looked back at Bunnie. "Eggman is... well, he's not quite a friend of Mister Sonic's, but he sometimes gets a bit mischievous. And as long as he doesn't cause us any more trouble, it's nothing to worry about, dear." But he BETTER not cause anymore trouble. She glared outside. She wasn't quite ready to take Bunnie's advice and sit down.. not just yet.

Tails: Tails was still recovering from his near box to face experience, shaking it off with a bit of a groan he promptly flung himself back on his feet. Scratching his head, the young engineer seemed outright perplexed by these presents. They weren't ticking, they weren't brimming with tiny robots (equally filled with ill intent) they just seemed to be...normal presents. Of course, the contents of such were to be questioned, but the fox learned that Eggman wasn't always a bad guy. Even if he had been snubbed, maybe he did something nice for the holidays. Maybe. With a pensive look, Sonic's lil' buddy called out to Shadow, "Uhm...what'd you get...?"

Eggman: The doctor meanwhile was furrowing a brow as he inspected his simple "Grand Gift Theft and Replacement System". The name would need some working on, but that was the least of his problems. As he peered down the chimney, trying to take a closer look he heard an all too familiar voice. It took a moment to register for the crouching egg, but he promptly let out a shrill scream and quite nearly went tumbling off of the roof. "Y-you!! DON'T DO THAT!! You could hurt some-...waitaminute!!" Mustache frayed, he stamped his foot repeatedly, shaking loose some of the decorations on the house in the process, "I suppose we ought to get to the witty banter, eh? Sonic?!" Straightening that GLORIOUS stache he gave a grin, "Not that it'll make any difference. This year my infinitely cunning mind has Christmas in the bag, literally."

Knuckles: Knuckles hadn’t exactly kept in mind as to whose house he was in. Then again, it wasn’t even Vanilla’s. Had he been in her house, the nose-pinching and painful, motherly dragging might have been a lot worse. Startled as he was grabbed, the echidna moved with the rabbit without resistance, barking his, “Ow, ow, ow!!” as he went. He landed outside with a stumble, quickly patting away the remaining soot with accompanying mutters. Once sure he was decently clean, however, he didn’t venture back inside, but lingered outside in the chill just in case something went wrong. In which it usually did.

Sonic: Sonic double checked the invisible clock on his wrist, yawning as Eggman’s attention finally found him and suppressing what could have been a good laugh at his fumbling. He almost wished he had tumbled all the way just so could imprint himself in the snow on he ground and never be able to find his way out. With all his weight, it’d be pretty deep, after all. The speedster flashed his best grin. “Yeah, we really ought to. It’s all I get to look forward to,” he replied. “So, if you don’t mind, I’d love to know what you got for us.”

Bunnie: "Mischievous, huh? We got polite kids an' older troublemakers 'round hea'..." she observed with some amusement, standing back with crossed arms to observe what may come of all this other than the increasing mess.

Vanilla: The rabbit backed away from the door, smiling, "It sounds like they're just talking for now. I suppose you were right... these exceptional young men have it taken care of." She put a hand on Bunnie's back to coax her back towards the table.

Shadow: Shadow frowned. He caught a glimpse of something ... pink... but was wary from the get-go. Why was he having a sudden bout of deja vu? Would the Doctor actually...? It would seem so. He removed the lid completely seeing a neatly folded familiar pink jacket at the bottom, almost lovingly wrapped.. if it weren't so ... factory-pristine.

Tails: Tails clapped his hands over his mouth to avoid giggling before he regained his composure, "Oh...uhm. Wow. I knew the doctor had poor taste, but I don't really think that's you, Shadow." The fox took a little bit of pity on the hedgehog, considering how much he was getting picked on by Sonic and uh...Eggman's questionable gift choices.

Eggman: "Hmhm, always in a hurry, rodent! But I'm afraid you'll have to wait till tomorrow morning to find out what lovely gift I got for you. And rest assured, I went to great lengths on your present. Well, ten minutes sounds about right, give or take!" He rolled his wrist before idly resting his elbow in the opposite palm, shooting his blue rival a devious grin. With a tap of his nose and no shortage of crying, he shot across the roof and into his trusty Eggmobile, "You know, I'd make some jokes about hedgehogs roasting on an open fire, but I feel that would be in poor taste!!" With a hum, several ports near the headlight of the vehicle flipped open to reveal small grade laser cannons, "Either let me leave with all my ill gotten holiday goodies, or I'll open fire!!"

Sonic: Sonic probably could have timed his ‘pretending to check the time because this is really long winded’ act better, but actually faked giving Robotnik his ears this time, nodding thoughtfully and offering exaggerated raisings of his brows. “Really? I’m offended.” The hedgehog fanned himself. “I’d at least thought you’d spend more time on my gift. I mean, you must have a loooot of time on your hands.” He nodded at the whole get-up, subtly bending in the knees and half-turning his body to face the laser. “Are you sure you want those?” He pointed at his filled sack, biting his lip so as to not grin as a certain red echidna’s head appeared just behind the other. With two birds in one stone, he could actually try to appear nervous. Not.

Knuckles: It didn’t take sensitive ears to hear Eggman’s boasting and raving. Quietly, though the doctor would never hear him over his own lips flapping, he jogged around the side of the house, moving to where he least suspected voices to be thrown. If he was off, he could adjust himself. Clinging to a nearby pipe, the echidna skilfully scaled up to the roof, poking his eyes just over the layer of snow. Surely enough, Sonic was facing him, and Robotnik was not. Shaking his head, he clambered the rest of the way, sneaking behind Eggman before grabbing his collar and tilting him backwards. It took effort. “You talk way too loud.”

Bunnie: "Awright, awright, but you come along too, Miss Hostess..." Bunnie agreed, ambling back to the dining room. There was still dessert to be had, impending chaos or no.

Shadow: "Hmm, yes," Shadow agreed with the kit. This was far from what he would ever ask for, were he to ask for anything at all. The social connotation of pink as a women's color was enough to make Shadow wonder if the Doctor thought this was some kind of classy joke. No matter, he had better plans for this sparkly garment. "Say, Tails, how good are you at wrapping gifts?" Already he was wondering how long it would take him to get wrapping supplies.

Vanilla: "Certainly, Miss Bunnie," She beamed warmly, taking her seat alongside Bunnie once more. Speaking of dessert... "I found an old recipe in a box last week, and made a carrot cake from scratch just like Mother's." If only any of the boys outside understood just what that meant, they'd stop their silly bickering and line up for a piece.

Tails: Tails nodded a few times before wondering the same thing. Tilting his head to the side, the kit crossed his arms in thought before giving just one more nod of the head, "Oh, sure! I'm not very good with ribbon, but the wrapping itself I can do! If you'd like, I can teach you while I'm at it." A gentle smile crossed the young engineer's face as he excitedly motioned for Shadow to follow him.

Eggman: Those unseen eyes widened behind his glasses as Eggman was pulled back. His holiday cap seemingly fell to the soft ground below, causing a torrent of sweat to drip along his bald dome, "Eh...eh...ehehe...h-hello Knuckles. So good to see you!!" He called out in a breathless, rushed manner, "You know, you must be doing a grand job at guarding the Master Emerald to afford a trip out he-...heeee...heeeee!!" The craft tipped over, sending the rotund rogue tumbling out, flailing and screaming as he bounded lightly off the roof and finally left a heavy imprint in the snow below. Raising a single hand, the doctor winced, "...I'm okay...really."

Knuckles: Knuckles hadn’t meant for the whole vehicle to completely totter backwards. He didn’t want it to do anything but tilt and maybe spook the doctor a bit. As it careened dangerously in his direction, Knuckles’ eyes also took on a widened shape. He moved to get out of the range of the rolling ball, but only managed a step before a blotch of echidna was also caught in the rolling mess and thrown off the side of the house. “Waaagh!” Luckily, at a lighter weight than the other, he fell..somewhat slower, and was, very thankfully, not impaled by too much of a man. Instead, he bounced off of what was protruding and landed face down in the snow several feet off.

Sonic: The only reason Sonic hadn’t leapt to his friend’s aid was because he had become too busy falling face-first into the snow of the roof and making some demented angel as he rolled around in helpless laughter. Once finished, he crawled to the edge, peering down at the two holes below and wiping a tear from his eye. “You okay, Knux?”

Bunnie: "Oh mah, then they're really missin' out, aren't they?" she giggled, again reseating herself oh-so-carefully, slow and deliberate. She winced at the thumping on the roof, however, casting the ceiling an annoyed glare. "What in tarnation 'r those boys doin' up there?" Don't make me come out there... That's it. Bunnie decided they had ten minutes to get back inside and stop being rude to their hostess, or she was going to drag them all back inside by their scruffs.

Shadow: "Yes. One moment." With a flash of light, and no further warning, Shadow was gone from his spot. He only hoped Sonic would remain distracted long enough for him to accomplish the task...

Vanilla: At all the racket shaking the house, Vanilly visibly tensed, a stern look crossing her features. She was trying VERY hard not to play mommy for all these little boys and one middle-aged scientist but it was getting increasingly more difficult with each 'thud,' 'thunk,' or 'crash.' She grabbed three dessert dishes and scooped carrot cake onto each, handing one to Bunnie and to Tails, and reserving one for herself. "I don't... know..." She answered Bunnie shakily.

Eggman: Eggman, meanwhile, was trying to keep himself conscious long enough to make some sort of raincheck...OF VENGEANCE. He probably would have slipped into that warm blackness if not for the incessant cackling of a hedgehog. One could swear that the temperature of the surrounding snow banks was rapidly rising, with visible heat lines in the air to boot.

Knuckles: Knuckles got to his feet...in time. Eggman had actually broken the brunt of his fall, and so he wasn’t so much as in pain so much as his eyes were just reeling and the world lurching under his palms. Ignorant to Sonic’s question, as he really doubted he was too concerned, the echidna stirred to his feet. “Fine, just fine...” he managed. “I’m going back inside, though, thanks.” And so, slightly wobbling, he made it back to the front door and re-entered the building with the hopes that everyone inside wasn’t too disgruntled with the mannerisms outside.

Sonic: Sonic was concerned. As the good blue buddy he was, he would have been fired had he not been. However, it wasn’t so strong that he actually would hop down to check to see if the poor guy had any bruises. He grinned, his eyes trailing over to the semi-conscious form of Eggman, shivering as the snow he had previously been frisking around in began to melt into his fur. Brr. Guess that scarf would have actually been a good idea. “Hah, ya know what, I think I am, too.” Then again, he wasn’t sure what to do with Eggman.

Bunnie: Bunnie took it with a polite thanks. The boys had seven minutes left.

Vanilla: "Oh! Knuckles! Cake." She said at his return. No formalities. He was just one. Two more were outside... or perhaps more. Where -did- Shadow go? She hadnt' heard from him since he unwrapped his 'present.'

Shadow: Surprisingly, he reappeared at that moment, nearly crashing into the echidna. He stumbled back, muttering something similar to an apology, and looked for the fox, a new bag in hand. Spotting him in the dining room with the others, he stepped cautiously in. For now it appeared Tails had found something else to do, so he would wait politely until the boy finished eating.

Tails: Tails was idly kicking his legs back and forth while he enjoyed his cake, dabbing at a few crumbs with his napkin before Shadow made his rather sudden re-entry. With a slight jump and ear perk, the fox waved a bit and placed his plate down, "Oh! That was pretty quick." The kid gave the hedgehog a big thumbs up and slowly shifted his seat back (taking care not to offend Vanilla's currently...sensitive...state of mind by being as polite as possible, complete with a few bows and requests to be excused from the table).

Eggman: The snow finally settled around the scientist and he called out wearily, "Fine! Have your presents, have your fun!!" Eggman slowly pulled himself from the slush and laid upon his side, looking quite pathetic in his now sullied Santa regalia. Pouting, the middle aged megalomaniac sat up and placed his cap in his lap, before grumbling. Oh, how he was going to take this out on his flunkies when he got back.

Wechnia: This was probably not the best time for the pale echidna to show up, but he had been told that he had to come for something or other, and there was food. He wasn't exactly sure on the details, only that a relative of his was there, and that was how he had heard of it. He blinked at the sight in front of him: people on the roof, Santa in the snowbank, and a very irritated looking Guardian just making his departure... Had to be the wrong house.

Knuckles: This time as Knuckles entered the house, he was finally able to remove his jacket and scarf and hang them up properly, regaining his composure just in time. His night wasn’t exactly ruined, but it hadn’t been the beginning he had imagined coming to. Running a hand over his face, the last hedgehog he expected to run into was Shadow. Rather unlike the violent tumble outside, however, he merely bumped into the striped one, muttering something of his own apology before taking his slice of carrot cake, minding whatever other weird business the place had in mind. “Uh, thanks.”

Sonic: Sonic waited for Eggman to move, sliding nimbly down the closest pole and landing near the imprints. He took a careful nudge of the lard, and confirming his unconsciousness, zipped back into the house. Making sure to shake the snow on the front matt, he quietly snuck back in, hoping to maybe not face the wrath of those who could be mad at him. Then again, he wasn’t sure why he suspected so. Just a feeling in his gut, really.

Bunnie: Bunnie was all smiles at seeing the group reconvening to respectfully seat themselves and partake of this hard-earned feast. Or at least, they had better be. "Is this Eggman a' yours a guest?" Should I drag him in?

Wechnia: After confirming that none of the other houses in the neighborhood belonged to anyone remotely similar to his relative, he came to the sad conclusion that it had to be the crazy house... He was almost scared to knock, but he had to get rid of this cassarole one way or another.

Shadow: Shadow removed the wrapping from the previous box (without opening it again) and tucked into a nearby wastebin as Tails was excusing himself, and lay out the wrapping paper and tape neatly in a corner. "I think I can make better use of this present," he explained to the fox, unraveling some blue ribbon to match the plaid green wrapping. "Don't you?" With a slightly mischievous smile, he looked over at the boy, wondering if he had any idea to whom he intended to give the gift. Rouge was the most likely candidate for Shadow to give it to, of course.

Vanilla: "If he agrees to sit with his nose in the corner for ten minutes and then clean up this mess in the living room floor," she chirped, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. "Wipe your shoes!" She whipped around quickly to face Sonic, unaware that he had done so.

Tails: Tails cupped his chin and nodded knowingly with an impish smile, "Oh, I think I might know a certain someone who would be thrilled by this sort of thing. In fact, I think it's such a nice gift we might just have to take back the other ones!" Sweet as he was, the fox wasn't one to avoid a little mischief when it was well deserved. And bonding with Shadow was a rather rare opportunity anyways, so he figured he may as well go with it as far as he could.

Eggman: Somehow the doctor had already found himself with his nose in the corner, boots dry as a bone and bag set near the treet. How he had done this in such record time was anyone's guess, but surely it couldn't do any harm if the old man was this compliant.

Sonic: Sonic visibly flinched as he was addressed by Vanilla, and rather than protest, whirled around to quickly do so a second time just to be safe. Wrapping himself into his scarf, he curtly scooped up the bag in the corner that had all of the original gifts in it. With a shrug, he also emptied the remaining, slightly less innocent presents in before hauling the load back into the dining area. That is, if Vanilla was okay with that. Sheepishly, he shrugged as he entered. “Anyone up for opening presents?” He eyed the cake. His adventure outside had put his appetite back on, not that it had left, exactly.

Bunnie: Bunnie seemed to agree with that stipulation, finishing off her own plate of cake and getting up to begin gathering empty dishes. She sashayed her way around the table, softly humming a merry tune. Things were calming, and she wanted to keep things running smoothly.

Wechnia: He knocked quietly, not wanting to disrupt anything. Just his luck, they'd probably all be leaving by now. Wechnia hefted the heavy cassarole dish and tried not to drop it. Someone had to be coming to the door soon, right?

Shadow: "In a bit, perhaps," Shadow responded to Sonic, attempting to use his broad quills to cover the top half of what they were doing in the corner. Tails, fortunately enough, had bushy enough tails to cover most of the bottom half, whether he was intentionally trying to not. It may still be obvious by the scattered bag, scissors, and tape, but it was a nice thought to believe they were being highly inconspicuous.

Vanilla: The instant Bunnie grabbed a plate, Vanilla stood, "You don't have to do that; I was just about to start cleaning." She already was creating a stack of her own, not about to let her guest beat her out. Just then, she heard the knock and looked at the door. "I suppose Doctor Eggman decided to join us after all...?" She placed the plates down on the table and answered the door, peering out with caution. "Oh! Wechnia, come in!" She stepped back with a smile. "I'm afraid we've started without you, but make yourself at home. "Everyone, this is Wechnia. He helps me on those few troublesome times when I can't avoid using a computer."

Tails: The young fox couldn't help but be passionate about his work at the moment, that mischief charged grin spreading from cheek to cheek as he taped and cut with gusto. His trademark tails bobbed happily every moment or so...even though Tails was a good boy, he certainly wasn't above matching a bit of trickery with his own.

Eggman: Turning slightly away from the wall, the ovoid man called out lightly, "Vanilla my dear, I'm eh...already here...and ahem," he blushed with a bit of frustration, mustach drooping slightly," taking a time out. As per your request, madame." How he had heard it or even had time to act on it was a question that could easily take days to ponder. But then...he did manage to waddle at abnormal speed and survive cataclysmic explosions on a regular basis, so.

Sonic: As addressed by Shadow, Sonic’s interest sailed through the roof as he studied their backs and...secretiveness. Returning the bag to its original room and noting to avoid the red blob in the corner, he stole in behind the two to attempt at peering over their shoulders like the snoop he was. “Whatcha got there? I think it’s a bit late to be making new gifts, dontcha think?”

Knuckles: Knuckles finished off his cake relatively slow, but enjoyed it and set aside the plate once finished. Excusing himself, he made his way back into the front room, deciding to casually take a look around while babysitting Eggman. Guarding was in his nature, after all.

Bunnie: "Whup!" Bunnie took Vanilla's collection as the other rabbit went to answer the door. Bunnie had actually gathered quite a few rather heavy plates, but did not seem to be struggling with the stack at all. She ferried these to the kitchen while Vanilla saw to the new arrivals.

Wechnia: He appeared to be intensely uneasy by the situation, and held the cassarole in front of him like it was a shield. "I brought food..." As someone who didn't exist, considered perhaps only a glitch by most organisations while he worked to steal their money and information, all this attention was frightening.

Vanilla: Vanilla glanced over at the lone human in the corner, "Yes...? If it's cake you want, you'll wait nine more minutes, Doctor Eggman." She closed the door behind Wechnia and dimmed the lights in the living room so that the tree became the most vibrant object in the living room (and hopefully the soot and other such mess would become less noticable.)

Shadow: Shadow waited for Tails to finish his handiwork before holding out the expanse of ribbon. He honestly had no clue how to do this, but he wondered if perhaps Vanilla or her cousin might. He searched for the younger, but she was nowhere to be seen. Best to do it himself, he supposed, even if it looked like a standard shoelace tie... And so he did. Last but not least, the nametag. Shadow signed it to Sonic, but looked at Tails, wondering who to write in the "To" blank. One or both of them? Just in case, he signed and left a little room for Tails.

Tails: Tails looked at the package pensively for a moment, one of his fuzzy appendages lightly (and intentionally, might I add) flicking Sonic on the nose, "First off, you shouldn't be nosing about when there's gifts being wrapped! Secondly, it's never too late to get in the spirit of the holidays, Sonic!" His voice was a tad strained, he was at his limit as far as not bursting out into laughter, but held out a little longer so that he could quickly scrawl his signature along with a tiny (and I mean miniscule) doodle of his insignia.

The fox beamed and gave Shadow a big thumbs up, before simply stating, "Mission accomplished!"

Eggman: Eggman was getting quite bored in his little corner of the world, that pink beak of a nose slightly bent as he leaned into the wall with a bit of a grumble. Straightening up whenever he felt the judging eyes of the hostess upon...it was an eerie presence at times, "Oh, you are truly a darling, Miss Vanilla! Truly!" Perhaps, he thought, buttering her up a bit would lighten his sentence.
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...victory. yay.
Sonic: Sonic blinked rapidly as Tails’ namesakes flicked him over the nose, taking a step back out of reach and defiantly resting his hands on his hips. He would have meandered off had there been more action elsewhere in the house, but apparently watching his little brother and broody friend dressing a box was as exciting as it would get, especially since Eggman’s scheme had been squashed. Besides, they were holding up the more exciting, unwrapping part. Without thinking, his foot began to tap. “Okay, you got me,” he decided, shuffling his way back, despite his interest continuing to ascend at catching a glimpse of his name.

Knuckles: Knuckles, his attention still somewhat over Eggman, cautiously took the bag Sonic had stuffed with every present and dumped its contents by the tree in their rightful place. Although they would be gone quick, he could at least try and help fuel the homey image of Christmas.

Wechnia: He still had no idea exactly what was going on, why Santa was in the corner being talked sternly to, or why the blue thing was taking off with the presents... "W-where do you want the casserole?"

Shadow: Shadow breathed a sigh of relief as Sonic finally stepped away, not that it mattered at this point. The striped agent stood upright, looking defiantly at the hedgehog. "Besides, didn't you say it was the thought that mattered? I would assume from that, that timing is irrelevant." By now his smirk was gone. If there was one thing Shadow had going for him in a social situation, it was a killer poker face.

Vanilla: "Not working," she said in a dull tone. The mother-of-one got a very flat look on her face as she wandered towards the kitchen after Bunnie, stopping only to fetch some used glasses from the table. By the time she opened the door to the kitchen, though, she was all smiles again.

Tails: Tails gave a rather broad grin to Shadow's uncanny ability to keep a straight face. At least one of them had it. Grasping at their hastily put together present, the fox trotted over to the tree and waved to the guardian a little, "Wow. That's really nice of you Knuckles! You've really done a lot for Miss Vanilla this evening, y'know..." The fox poked at his own bottom lip thoughtfully upon saying this, not knowing the red echidna to be one to join in bright festivities usually...in fact, he often imagined him merely sitting near the Master Emerald on chilly nights like this. Maybe I should get him a blanket, the young engineer thought to himself.

Eggman: The doctor grumbled as Vanilla walked away, snapping his finger as pangs of disappointment hit him, "...curses. I was sure that would have worked!! All my genius plans, paving the fast lane to legendary cake ruined!!" Leaning further into the corner, he resigned himself to the eight minutes of hard time left.

Sonic: “Hey,” Sonic managed as Shadow pressed, raising his hands in defence, “You got me once, guys. I think that’s good enough.” Or at least Tails had, and now the score was two to...whatever insane score it was that Sonic had piled up. Oh well. If it was the thought that counted, maybe whoever received his can opener would appreciate it. Then again, had he known what was actually laying at the bottom of the box Shadow had wrapped, he might not have agreed so much anymore.

Knuckles: Knuckles had even gone to straighten a few out of boredom, stitching his arms as Tails pulled up next to him. “Sure,” he agreed, though not so warmly, warily eyeing the gift under Tails’ arm. “I just had the Chaotix stop in,” he explained, unconsciously assuming that the boy was wondering why he wasn’t at his rightful place. The anxiety was always sitting like a pebble in his gut whenever not around, but he could manage. So could Vector and the gang. “They weren’t invited anyway, were they?”

Bunnie: "Everythin' awright out there, 'nilla?" Bunnie asked, piling everything neatly before moving to fetch a broom. There was soot and debris to be dealt with, after all. She moved back out into the house at large and began pulling the broom along from one corner.

Wechnia: He winced as he went totally ignored. Then again, that was what he wanted, sort of... and there were all sorts of strange and interesting people here. Heck, if Ms. Rabbit had Santa over, and some guy dressed up as Sonic the Hedgehog, then he was 'normal'... "I'll... just put this on the counter..."

Vanilla: "So far," she told Bunnie. She cleaned the last of the dishes and put them in the sink, looking at the clock. At last the time seemed to have passed and she called out of the kitchen door, "Bunnie, let the Doctor out of time out so he can help himself to some cake. We're about to open presents." Spotting Wechnia, she added, "Oh, I'm sorry! I've been so distracted with everything going on, Mister Wechnia. Please help yourself to anything you would like and take a seat in the living room."

Shadow: "Mm," Shadow seemed to relent, but couldn't resist. "But even if you wouldn't generally expect this from me, will you at least promise to try it before I leave? Just so I can make sure it works for you properly?" He seemed very genuine in his request, even as he looked at Tails, he never betrayed his calm exterior.

Tails: Tails nodded politely as Knuckles spoke, "Mm, I see...well, give 'em my best when you see them, alright? And yeah...after the whole fiasco with Ray and Vector last year I'm not even sure if we should be talking about them. Our hostess might shoot steam out of her ears." After setting down his and Shadow's present to Sonic, he drew imaginary lines from his ears for illustration before giving a little bit of a chuckle and a friendly smile. The echidna was gruff, but Tails always tried to talk to him when he could.

Sonic: Sonic’s ears gradually perked as he listened, his risky sense of curiosity still getting the better of him. His lips pursed, his eyes following Shadow’s glance to Tails and to the package signed from the both. What did he know? “I dunno, Shads,” he grinned suspiciously, poking him once in the chest, “How do I know if I’ll even like it?” Not entirely fond of making promises that would turn against him (not that he was entirely aware), he kept on. “Or if it’s the right size?”

Knuckles: Knuckles scoffed instantly at the mention of the previous year, pinching his brow as if it would help relieve some of the memories. “Yeah, you’re probably right. Let’s just keep it to ourselves.” He glanced quickly to Vanilla just in case, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Seems like there’s been too much already,” he commented. His amethyst eyes narrowed in Eggman’s direction. “Right?”

Bunnie: "You heard th' woman, Mister." Bunnie prodded Eggman's leg with the broom. She had no idea who the human was beyond what she had been told. That he was a troublemaker was enough. Not that Bunnie didn't enjoy a good rumble, but this was not the place or time. She pointed the fringed end of the broom at him, one hand on a plush hip, brow raising. "An y'all better b'have, too, or ah'll break this off where th' sun don't shine. Don'tcha give mah 'nilla any trouble." With that, she went back to sweeping, humming cheerfully.

Wechnia: He at first was cautious with the food, not wanting to get any attention, but then once he noticed how much there was, and how no one was watching, he piled his plate. He hadn't eaten this well in weeks.

Shadow: He almost looked ...hurt at the idea that Sonic wouldn't like his gift, but it was faint and certainly passing. "Well, I intended to be vague that it was clothing, but that's why I ask that you try it on. You could at least see if it fits," he scoffed, seemingly offended. He knew at this point he was probably wasting his time. Sonic was either onto them or was not one to buy into a little persuasion. He might have had better luck with Knuckles. "All I can do is ask," he shrugged, then, as if waving it off, and wandered away to take a seat.

Vanilla: Vanilla came back into the room briefly, only to ask each person if they'd prefer Russian tea, cider, hot chocolate, or spiced coffee, then rushed back to prepare the last treat of the night.

Tails: The little engineer pursed his lips for a second, "Y'know...I think so long as the chaos isn't happening in the dining room and we all keep our manners in check, everything should be fine. Collateral damage kind of comes to us, I've noticed...," he gave a nervous chuckle before perking back up, "But uhm, I think everything'll be fine!"

Eggman: Eggman had nearly fallen into a nap. And by nearly, you should read fully. With a start he gave out something of a gasp, a bubble protruding from his nose promptly popping as he got to his feet in an attempt to regain his composure. There was no small amount of flailing. Straightening his mustache with a nervous grin, the doctor gave something of a gracious bow, "Mischief and me, going hand in hand? Perish the thought my dear...eh...," the rotund rogue didn't catch Bunnie's name (due in part to his highly selective hearing), but merely flicked away any sort of remorse with a dramatic sweep of his hand. My, does switching between limitless hospitality and brutality of an unheard of degree run in the family? This thought quickly passed as the doc waddled next to Wechnia, making uncharacteristic dainty and polite motions towards the food as he began small talk, "Well hello there! Don't think I've seen you around." He quirked a brow at the echidna.

Sonic: Sonic frowned as he picked up the very subtle traces of Shadow’s mood change, if there really was one. The hero certainly hadn’t meant to hurt feelings; his mouth often moved as fast as his feet and certain things could have popped out that could’ve been taken the wrong way. Apologetically, he placed a fleeting hand on his shoulder with a smile. “Don’t worry about it,” he assured. “I promise to at least give it a try, alright?” And having absolutely no idea what he was actually accepting, he also searched for a place to get comfy.

Knuckles: Knuckles nodded to Tails in agreement. Usually everything that came out of his mouth was true anyway. “Yeah,” he repeated, somewhat dully. Straightening his posture, he didn’t let his eyes leave Eggman’s colossal behind as he was excused from the wall. “But don’t jinx us. I really don’t want to see what else is possible around us.”

Wechnia: He blinked as Santa approached him, and tried to swallow the lump, sorry, mouthful of food he currently had. Santa had a rather strange and vibrant coloured moustache, reminiscent of another fat man. "I'm only a tech support... I like your waredrobe... it's similar to the visionary Dr. Robotnik's..." Ouch, already at his fascist leanings without the special eggnog...

Vanilla: At last Vanilla returned with everyone's drinks in a matching tea cup and saucer set and handed them over with care. "Careful; they're hot. Who wants to pass out the presents? Cream usually volunteered when they had company, but she was tuckered out early.

Shadow: "Fair enough," was the last thing Shadow said before Vanilla handed him his second helping of Russian tea. The fact that he chose perhaps the most feminine of the choices did not seem to occur to the dark agent as he immersed himself in the fruity scents and spices.

Tails: Tails set down his saucer and cup full of hot chocolate with a smile after taking a few sips and appreciating the warmth, "Oh! I would love to pass them out, Miss Vanilla!" It was one of those moments where Tails' childish side was apparent, but he just couldn't help but be excited at the prospect of presents. ...though that one from Sonic looked suspiciously like his workbench lamp back home...vaguely wrapped in newspaper clippings about Sonic's triumphs over Eggman.

Eggman: The doctor, meanwhile, was less occupied with his food (a miracle, I know) and more intrigued by Wechnia's mentioning of his name, but just to clarify he chimed in, "Ohooo, now would this be that gentleman Gerald...or his glorious, genius, and quite handsome grandson? You know, the underappreciated mind behind the most advanced robotics known to man?!" Practically beaming, the giant egg was more than willing to give the gift of a good ego boost to himself. In fact, that's the greatest gift he could get for Christmas.

Sonic: Sonic himself dove right for the hot chocolate. And by hot...well, hot. Sitting on the floor by the couch, he curled up right to the source of warmth, still slightly damp from his laughing romp in the snow. He took an inquisitive sniff before taking a grateful gulp...and instantly burn his tongue in a shrill yell of “Ow!” Embarrassed, he ducked his head into his shoulders, beaming at Tails to turn the attention that had swarmed to him into a better kind. “So, uh, who’s first?”

Knuckles: Satisfied that Eggman wasn’t going to do anything too much more drastic, Knuckles plopped down by Sonic, only scooting away several hairs in fear of the other spilling hot chocolate in his lap or anywhere vital on his person. And after another moment of thought on who it was, he got up completely, taking his own cup of –regular- tea and finding a more vacant place to sit.

Bunnie: Bunnie put the broom away and settled down happily amidst the others, finally taking her own tea. "Aw, somebody get him a lil Santa hat!" she giggled at Tails, smoothing her dress carefully over her legs.

Wechnia: "The current one." He scoffed at him. "Sure, the grand-dad was okay, but he was into organics, and then with the whole time-in-space-go-cookoo-and-claim-to-have-built-something-or-other-Ultimate? I don't buy into that. Robotnik has always been, and always will be an inspiration to me... he practically got me into the whole 'robotics, technology' thing." He smiled weakly, probably not supposed to rant at a Christmas party.

Shadow: Wechnia's soap box discussion caught his attention and Shadow frowned, but said nothing. Despite Gerald's last days, he still held a great respect for the man and had even been through the same sort of uncontrollable revenge his creator felt, therefore he felt he had little basis to judge. Alas, that seemed far from what this echidna's complaint about the professor was. As for himself, what was there not to buy? Shadow closed his eyes and furrowed his brow. Best to keep his mouth shut. Besides, the Doctor did design Omega, a valuable member of Team Dark.

Vanilla: "I'm not sure I have one," Vanilla said at last, sitting near Knuckles, "but there's an elf hat Cheese wore for a Santa pictures." She reached into her pocket and unfolded the small green take on a Santa hat... not quite your standard elf hat, but it had worked (in her opinion) for Cheese quite nicely. "It might be a little small," she laughed, holding the hat at a distance to seem like it was on the fox's head.

Eggman: Eggman furrowed his brow at the echidna's rant, a stern look crossing his face for a moment as he said, "Now see here, young man...Professor Gerald Robotnik was the very inspiration for your idol. There isn't a day I...er...he doesn't think about the wonders he brought upon the world. Yes, the ARK incident was unfortunate. But you know what? To scientists everywhere, particularly one Doctor Ivo Robotnik, as bold and brilliant as he is, the man was an innovator and truly ahead of his time!!" Taking a deep breath, he looked over to Shadow with some concern. Yes, they were on opposite ends of the law these days, but nonetheless...the hedgehog was one of the few people he could call friend. In fact, they were due to have tea in the doctor's personal Chao garden some time soon, but that was another story altogether.

"But moving along," the egg-man cleared his throat, "any particular items that interested you? Perhaps the bio-battery theory." Highly unreliable these days...but I'm still working out the kinks, the doctor gave a proud grin to himself.

Tails: Tails, on the other hand, was beaming with childish delight and blushing as the elf's hat perched precariously upon his head. "Well, I guess I do a lot of stuff in a workshop, so it fits~" Grabbing a few presents, he placed them at the feet of their recipients, wishing each person in the room a happy holiday with all the cheer he could muster as he passed them out.

Sonic: From there on, Sonic sipped more tentatively at his drink, idly wondering if it was how he should have treated the food as well, as his stomach was growling for the seconds he had never gotten to polish off. Slow wasn’t usually part of his mind-set, but he did understand that consuming food at a more steady pace did make one full faster. He just didn’t bite it. However, he set aside his drink as a parcel was placed by his feet, eagerly tearing into the paper to see what was inside waiting for him.

Bunnie: "Aw 'nilla-cake, that's even better!" Bunnie laughed into her mug. "Wish ah had a camera!" She was much more pleasant now that everyone was behaving and Vanilla could join in on the festivities.

Wechnia: "Okay... Okay!" He backed off hurriedly as Santa got angry. Sure, he wasn't the greatest, but he didn't want to be put on the You Know What List... "I... guess I just haven't... researched him... as thoroughly as I should have... " He poked his fingers together worriedly, hoping Santa wouldn't go on and on about it. "Bio batteries... were an interesting concept, but somewhat inefficient... Mobians - erm, I meant, hypothetical animal forms - have only a short life-span or power source to them. That would mean more chasing and capturing to provide more power, at the same time wasting it... The Cybernik suit was particularly intelligent though, if one had to use an organism as the power source, and you'd get more vrrroom out of it..." He thought about it. "Really though, his realistic programming and groundbreaking developments in cybernetics are perhaps his best accomplishments, in my eyes... Then again, I'm biased..." He giggled nervously.

Shadow: He peered out of one eye to watch Eggman's reaction, frustration gradually fading into what one might almost mistake as a smile. The moment the Doctor looked his way, however, Shadow was buried into his drink, cupping his lips around the rim with an unreadable expression.

Vanilla: As Bunnie's gift was passed to her, Vanilla couldn't help but beam with recognition. That was most certainly the wrapping paper she used. Of course, being that no one else here really knew Bunnie, the only two gifts for her here would likely be the ones from Cream and herself.

Eggman: Eggman couldn't help but give an authentic smile, something that almost made him look like a normal old man for a moment as Shadow hid his reaction for a moment. "Indeed you haven't, my fine fellow. But there's always time to rectify such mistakes, no? And hmhm! Seems as though you have done your homework on Dr. Eggman, eh? Though to be honest," he pushed up his pince nez glasses, "That information's typically kept under lock and key by the government or within a heavily guarded mainframe wherever that fabulous man may hide. The question is, where do I know about it from, eh?" Lightly tapping his index finger to the side of his rosy nose, Eggman gave a cackle, "Perhaps I really am Santa Claus!! OOOHOHOHO!" With that bit of food for thought planted in the echidna's mind, the doctor shot a glance towards the gathering crowd, "Come on now, even if you didn't give or receive...surely there's some joy to be gotten from at least watching it all, eh?"

Tails: Still blushing, Tails began to hum a bit as he passed a present from Cream to Bunnie. Though the rabbit's comment was oddly fitting seeing as the kit had actually heard Vanilla regretting that she couldn't capture some of those precious moments with her daughter and had in fact put together a simple to use, but more than effective camera for the dutiful mother. He really had to contain a smile as he passed it over to the hostess. Another was for Knuckles, a reinforced set of digging claws...seeing as the others were prone to warping or breaking after too much use.
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Sonic: In no time at all, Sonic was sliding out his first gift, letting the two new gold buckles sit in his palm before checking who the parcel was actually from. His lips pursed at the familiar signature of Eggman, his doubts rising. Then again, holding the latest one up to its original brother, he couldn’t help but admire how the newer of the two shone and twinkled like the former used to. While it was definitely a prize he thought suited him and was thankful to receive, he couldn’t help that nagging suspicion of the possibility of it exploding while attached to hit foot or doing something out of the ordinary. After all, one had to consider who it was from and who it was to. So, he brought it close to his eye as if that would help determine its level of dangerousness.

Shrugging finally, he unclipped the older ones and replaced them out of Christmas spirit, if nothing else. “Thanks, Eggman.”

Knuckles: Knuckles didn’t expect much of any presents placed in his lap, but went ahead and unwrapped them anyway with a nod of thanks. He was offered a pleasant surprise as the brand new shovel claws appeared under the paper, his brows shooting up before a faint grin took his features. He fit them over his hands, flexing his fingers and getting a real feel for them. “Haha, wow. Thanks, Tails,” he spoke, embarrassed that he would doubt Tails’ ability to get him something definitely handy.

Bunnie: Maybe it was a camera. 8D She teased the end of Tails's elf-hat befor ehe got away from her. "Thanks, Shug'!" she grinned before turning the present over in her hands, pleased just to have gotten something. "Aw, 'nilla-cake! What is it?" she asked even as she began tugging away the wrapping.

Vanilla: Soon enough Bunnie would find it was a mid-range professional salon set. Vanilla would have liked to be able to afford the best, but she hoped this brand would be recognizable enough to stand out to someone far more knowledgable than herself. "You might already have something like this, but I know how much you like styling hair... hopefully this will be enough to get you started."

Eggman: The doctor sauntered over and leaned rather casually upon the back of the sofa with a smug grin, "If I were to try anything, it wouldn't be with something as simple as belt buckles, my boy. After all, a worthy rival deserves a worthy challenge." Stroking at his mustache, Eggman quirked a brow, "And I may be considered something of a...ne'er-do-well by some," he exclaimed with his typical theatrical flare, "I'm certainly not the sort who would give dangerous gifts!!" Placing a gloved finger to his chin, the scientist glanced about a bit...hoping that no one remembered the explosive Easter Egg fiasco. Clearing his throat, the doctor threw his hands into the air,

"ANYHOW~ I suppose even if I haven't replaced your Christmas with one of my own grand design...it would be a crime to let these well thought out gifts go to waste, wouldn't it?!" Shoulders raised, the old coot cradled a present with no small amount of pride welling up inside him...if one looked carefully, they could probably see the musical note rising from under his cap.

Tails: Tails was attempting not to be so shy, failing miserably, but trying nonetheless. With a proud little smile, the fox shot Knuckles a thumbs up, "Hehe, well, I figured someone with a passion for digging like you would appreciate 'em. Now," the kit continued with a poignant raise of his index finger, "Those have a lifetime warranty, so if you ever run into any problems, bring them by the workshop and I'll see if I can fix them for you." With a nod, he giggled a bit, thinking his pseudo sales pitch was kind of amusing. As far as Vanilla went, he waited, tails wagging for her to open his present. Finally turning to Sonic, the part-time elf gave a pensive look, "Hrmm...now what could I have for our dinner time trial champ?" A little bit of a chuckle escaped his throat before he offered the blue hedgehog a rather boxy package. Within it was a book on chili dogs from around the world, recipes included.

Sonic: Sonic wasn’t even going to begin trying to thoroughly decipher Eggman’s...rant, or speech of sorts. It had started off good and soon became nothing but dribble falling through his ears..only picking up those random or important phrases that he could better make sense of. Maybe it was the warmth of the hot chocolate? Usually he didn’t skip out on picking out stuff to mock the Eggster with. He offered a second shrug.

“Right, right,” he waved off. “Not dangerous at all. Gotcha.” Nonetheless, his eyes kept darting to his shoes in furtive glances until Tails was offering him another gift. Feeling more secure about this one and its secrets, he grinned from ear to ear. A little more enthusiastically, he exclaimed, “Thanks, bud!” Just as excitedly he opened it, immediately skimming through the book’s pages. Now, Sonic wasn’t much of a chef, either (the scorch marks in their kitchen was proof enough), but if there was one thing he knew how to cook it was chili dogs. With the help of a recipe book, it would become even easier. “Now I can cook up those super spicy Shamar ones again..”

Bunnie: She let out a delighted squeal. "Oh MAH, 'nilla, yer sweeter'n rhubarb pie an' ten times as lovely!" she laughed, popping up to hug her. She settled back down to watch the others continue their festivities. So many new people to learn about...though she thought she had most of them fairly well pegged.

Vanilla: Vanilla laughed joyously at Bunnie's response, hugging her cousin in return. "Thank you, Bunnie dear!" She looked now to her own gift and noted who it was from before unwrapping it. Her eyes grew wide with excitement at the gift inside. "Oh my. How did you know?" Truth be told she intended several times to buy a camera but wasn't familiar with the newer models and always left the stores empty-handed. "Did you make this? You're very clever!" She beamed at the fox, "Thank you!" but promptly went to work trying to figure it out so she could use it as soon as possible.

Shadow: Shadow didn't say much but muttered something about Easter and folded his arms, smirking to himself and suddenly finding the Christmas tree absolutely fascinating.

Eggman: The doctor glared at his long-time rival, drumming his fingers on the sofa before snapping back to his rather jovial self (after deciding it was best to keep his temper in check this evening due to their hostess) and offering a present to Vanilla, "This one's for the little one, Miss." Surely enough, it was decorated in Chao gift wrapping, and while it would have to wait until the morning, it contained something surprisingly well...non-Eggman merchandise related. Instead, it was a small plush toy and a rather dapper new bowtie for Cheese. Just as he had set it down, the old man wandered over to his former partner in crime and chimed in, "

Marvelous, isn't it? All those lights glistening, why they'd only be second to my own brilliant mind!" With a light elbowing, the doctor grinned, "So, having a merry holiday, m'boy? Did you like what I prepared for you?" Eggman seemed to swell with pride, not knowing that his intended present had been mixed up and well...let's just say it wasn't meant to be a joke at Shadow's expense...or even Sonic's as it were.

Tails: Tails was too busy trying to deflate his own sense of pride, his index finger rubbing under his nose as he blushed a shade that rivaled the glow of the previously noted tree. With a nod to everyone, he began to pull at his bangs a bit (a shy little tic he hadn't gotten over since he was a tinier kit) before responding to Vanilla, "Oh! I prepared a little instruction manual for you as well...it's really accessible, even with all the features I tried to put in there." I had to be careful not to overdo it, the lil' engineer thought to himself with a bit of a grin before allowing it to fade. Turning to Bunnie with a bit of a frown, Tails promptly apologized, "I know it's a bit silly, just having met you Miss Bunnie, but I feel bad that I don't have anything for you this year. But y'know what?"

He straightened up, raising his index finger once more triumphantly, "This junior elf has a whole year and a workshop all his own to come up with something really nice! And that's a promise." With that said, he nodded, satisfied that he could at least make up for this year, even if it wasn't his fault.

Sonic: Setting aside his new book with his old buckles in a small pile, the hero stretched to his feet and also took up a place by the tree to admire its lights and perhaps find one of the many assorted gifts he had put together. He supposed he could match what he remembered to a more appropriate owner without Tails noticing...though, he wasn’t the one playing Santa.

Bunnie: Bunnie giggled, tilting her head at the little Foxling. "Aren't you jus' th' best lil vulpine this side a' Mobius! Don'tcha worry none 'bout Bunnie, you jus' keep bein' a sweetheart an' ah'll keep that as a gift."

Cream: The tiny rabbit kitten squeaked her delight at the gift, plucking up the toy and hugging it. "Thank you, Mister Ivo Eggman! You even got something for Cheese! Cheese says thank you too, Mister Ivo Eggman!"

Vanilla: "Thank you, Mister Eggman," Cream's mother repeated after her daughter, picking up her girl and placing her between the two older rabbits. She looked at the gifts she'd prepared for everyone else and wondered briefly if they were too motherly, but would wait for everyone to open them before she made her judgement against herself. For most of those remaining, it was a handmade sweater. Bunnie and Tails both lucked up, but the second gift to Tails (he wasn't exempt from sweaterdom) was a tool set, which would likely be already found in his lab. Cream had many more gifts to open in the morning, but those weren't technically to be from "mommy".

Shadow: Shadow winced as much as a Shadow does, at the mention of the gift. "It was... intriguing." He hadn't thought about Eggman being permitted to stay until now. He shot Tails a questioning look, wondering if they should hide the gift ... at least until a later date. Unfortunately Sonic was already pawing around under the tree, and their time may be limited. "I'm grateful you understood my desire for practicality over shiny objects." He shut his eyes, proud that even though he'd gotten something less desirable, the doctor didn't think he needed to be distracted by sparkly buckles unlike a certain hedgehog with a 5-second-attention-span.

Eggman: The doctor appeared to be choked up for a moment. Like a scene wrenched from the pages of Seuss, Eggman clutched at his heart for a moment before grasping for a handkerchief in his breast pocket, "O-oh!! Think nothing of it, my dear little Cream! Th-think nothing of it! And you too, my fine little Chao."

Sniffling, the rotund rogue promptly dabbed at the edges of his glasses before regaining his composure. Thankfully none could see under that magnificent mustache...lest they be blinded by the pink hues that were practically glowing. Stroking at his most prominent feature, the doctor quirked a brow at Shadow, "Mm, yes...I thought you could do with a kit to repair your shoes and polish them up a bit. They're looking a little ragged and well...I thought the sentimentality attached to them would be too much for a completely new pair but eh...," he looked at Shadow, mouth formed into a small "o" shape, "...well, I'm sure you don't need me to lecture you on something we're both quite passionate about, my boy." Given the hedgehog's reaction, he was a tad worried it hadn't been well received.

Tails: Tails donned the sweater with a bit of feigned excitement. It would at least keep him warm on those cold nights at the workshop...though that would lead to its own surprises. ...on the other hand, it wouldn't help that Eggman had a similar sentiment in mind. It's not like anyone could have too many spanners, right? He certainly bent his fair share on the craniums of the Babylons during the Extreme Gear GP...but that was another story altogether. Flapping his oversized sleeves a bit, the kit smiled, "Hehe, well, I guess I try, Miss Bunnie~ And Miss Vanilla? This sweater's really soft and comfy...!" Looking over at Sonic, Tails lowered his eyelids a bit. Stealth has never been your forte, bro.

Sonic: Sonic slunk away from tails’ knowing look, his broad grin turning somewhat guilty as he gathered up some of his obvious packages while resisting the urge to swipe and peek at a few more of the ones addressed to him. He had almost overdone it, having plenty enough to pass out to new owners, as it hadn’t been in his knowledge of who was coming and who was not. To Shadow he gave Tails’ workshop lamp, and a pair of washed socks for Knuckles (he’d like that one). A frying pan for Vanilla, and a rubix cube that Sonic had messed up some time ago for Cream to give a shot at. For Bunnie he decided to hand over the couch pillow and settled giving Eggman an extra comb he had discovered. Really well thought of gifts, no?

Cream: "Hee!" she beamed and gently kicked her feet back and forth as they hung off the couch. She loved Christmas! Everyone got together and they were extra nice to eachother and everyone got presents and lots of food! Even Mister Ivo Eggman and Mister Sonic Hedgehog were getting along! Cream's gifts to everyone were crayoned individual portraits of everyone, presented proudly in cardboard tubes that had been prettily papered and ribboned.

Bunnie: "Oh mah...I'll uh...try this on later, 'nilla..." ^^; "Er...thanks, Blue..." >_>

Shadow: "A what kit...?" Shadow slowly raised his head, deadpan look on his face. He had no idea what Eggman was talking about, but before he could inquire further, a package was dropped in his lap, and he began neatly removing the wrapping... at least, until he realized how impossible a task this would be and simply tore from the lamp. It took complete focus over every muscle in his arm to avoid smacking his forehead. It looked like Sonic spent as much time choosing and wrapping these gifts as he did doing anything else... though he was sure he caught Tails eye the lamp with some recognition, and he made it a point to remember to replace it, at least.

Vanilla: "You boys run around all day without any extra protection from the weather, so I hope they'll be useful. It's a cold year," she warned in a warm tone, but not without hints of her motherliness shining through. Like Tails with her gift, Vanilla seemed almost overjoyed at the frying pan. She pointed out Cream's gifts next, as if no one could tell.

Eggman: "A uh...repair kit. Your shoes, they're looking like they could use a bit of polish, some repainting, and a little bit of maintenance. Did you...perchance...get something else, Shadow?" The doctor leaned in, legitimately curious as to what those two geometric twits had bungled this time. While he was about to inquire further, and potentially turn all shades of red in the process...Cream came along with her gift, causing his mustache to fall in the process.

The waterworks were about to begin any moment, but he restrained himself, "Ohohoho!! Well a fine portrait indeed, I'll have to get this framed and mounted in my lab." And he meant it, too. This is what he loved about the holidays, the little sentiments...particularly towards him, but the shared joys. Pulling back his sleeve, he stared at a rather gaudy watch. Scrunching his nose a bit, he looked back towards his rival with a pause, "Mm? What's this? A comb? How unusually thoughtful of you, ro-...eeeh...Sonic." Flicking the single orange hair from it, the would be conqueror began to comb at his fine facial hair. Raising a single finger he exclaimed, "Well, this would-be Santa must be on his ways. Plots to be plotted, you know! ...and my underlings have probably destroyed my kitchen by now. But...don't think I've forgotten about you, my noble dread-headed fellow!"

The doctor grasped at his collar and straightened it proudly before presenting the echidna with a factory produced quilt (with Master Emerald print) and a new hat, the ornaments around the band containing faint Eggman engravings. "Merry Christmas, all. I assume our routine'll resume some time after the new year...and oh, do I have surprises in store for you!" There was a dark glint over his glasses before he promptly straightened up and gave Cream a pat on the head as he made his way to the door, "And you, may you have a grand little holiday, I hope that Santa brings you all you wish for! ...oh, and Shadow? I expect you by the base for tea tomorrow. We'll correct this little mix-up then! Ta ta for now!" With a flippant wave, the doctor left, a jolly "OOOOOHOHOHO!!" lingering in the air.

Tails: "Aw...Miss Vanilla, you're always too nice to u-...my lamp and my comb Sonic?!" He shot his dear friend a bit of a look before deciding to let it go with a bit of a chuckle. And then the doctor turned the whole thing into a bit of a scene with Cream's present. Smiling, he couldn't help but enjoy when the old man was a bag of sentimental hot air...it was times like these when he wondered why they fought. And before he knew it, the egg-shaped doctor was gone, "Y'know, other than him trying to steal everything...he really wasn't so bad this year!"

Sonic: Sonic had actually been rather thoughtful on Tails’ part. Being his little brother and all, the speedster had taken the time to actually browse through some city shops in search of something he would like or find useful. Ironically, after having wrapped everyone else’s, he found the perfect thing...and that was a new lamp for the workshop. A real nice one, too, he figured. Three different lighting settings and a bunch of other cool stuff he had tried not to fiddle with before he actually let it fall into the boy’s hands. His idea of a wrapping job wasn’t as rushed, either, though still sloppy. Feeling his pride returning (though not particularly injured in the first place), he ruffled the hair between his ears. “Sorry ‘bout the other stuff, but Merry Christmas, bud!”

To Eggman, he shot a thumbs up before a friendly goodbye wave. “See you soon, then?” he quipped. “Don’t keep me waiting too long!” Cooled down, he reclaimed his seat on the floor by the couch, again picking through some of his soon-to-be favourite recipes while sipping at the now lukewarm hot chocolate...and secretly giving Cream’s picture a fond glance.

Cream: "You're welcome, Mister Ivo Eggman!" Cream was...actually having a little trouble figuring out what the cube was supposed to be. A decoration? "Thank you, Mister Sonic Hedgehog!" Maybe it was candy? No, it kind of looked like legos. Maybe it was legos, yeah...

Bunnie: "Well, wasn't he a jolly ol' soul. Want me t' put Creamsicle t' bed?" she offered.

Vanilla: "That would be appreciated, Miss Bunnie." She sat upright, scooting ever so slightly to the edge of her seat to slide Eggman's glass back onto the serving tray.

Shadow: "Er," the agent searched for an answer, but soon discovered it was no longer required. Saved, that was the best description Shadow had for the doctor's leave. "I suppose it's time to give Sonic his 'community' gift." He unfolded his arms and leaned forward to place his empty cup on the tray. At the same time he removed his wallet, wondering how much was appropriate, and how to deliver a cash gift. Something told him handing it over in plain sight was not the way to go about it, but if he hadn't had the foresight to wrap it, he wasn't sure how to handle this situation.

Tails: Tails' expression went from one of a bit of annoyance to complete surprise. With a slight motion that betrayed his thoughts to the world he pointed to himself and blushed a bit, "For me? Really, wow...I'll be able to do even more work with this! It's really nice...and so is the paper." Sniffling a bit, the fox proceeded to hug his big bro, "Thanks Sonic, I know you know it, but you're the best friend I could ask for." Snapping to attention upon hearing news of Cream being put to bed, he exclaimed"Oh! Wait just a sec, Cream! I have something for you!" With a grin, the fox seemed to clap his hands together, balling one up shortly thereafter before unfolding it to reveal a small hand made wind-up Chao (with a small cap and bell attached to it for the season) in his palm. "Merry Christmas, Cream!"

Sonic: Sonic’s attention was easily stolen by Shadow’s mention of a new present in store for him, his mug of hot chocolate still at his mouth as his head perked. Playing stupid, he put it right back down and grinned into the cup, putting forth a rare focus to pay attention to the mouth-watering pictures displayed in the pages and act as innocently as possible. Of course, easier said than done. With his free hand he waved Cream a goodnight.

Cream: "Huwaa!" Cream cried out, her eyes growing shiny and liquid. "Oh Mister Miles Prower, that's so wonderful! I love it I love it! You made it, didn't you? Mister Miles Prower is really clever!"

Bunnie: "Well isn't that just th' cutest!" Bunnie chuckled her approval. Cream was going to have an armful to carry upstairs, and it wasn't even Christmas proper yet!

Eggman: Tails beamed for a moment and nodded, "Uh-huh! I made it just for you, Cream! Because you're such a good friend to everyone. Aww...I'm not that smart." He rubbed at the back of his neck and blushed a bit, waving and calling out, "Nighty-night, Cream!" Blinking for a moment, he thought about their distant friend and his gift for Sonic. ...and then he paused for a moment and realized he hadn't given Shadow his gift yet! Of course, with the supreme poker face that the agent had...well, it was difficult to choose for him. Going over to his own belongings, he pulled out a small parcel and waited for Sonic to get his present before offering his own.
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Sonic: Sonic took Tails’ bringing forth of Shadow’s gift as an invitation to go ahead and scramble to get his last one still waiting under the tree, having caught his attention multiple times already. Dragging it back to his seat, he peeled back the coloured wrapping and opened up. The splash of pink he caught from inside actually startled him. The fact that the colour was so often associated with something slamming into his side harder than a speeding train had become a mental alarm in his head. An unfortunate one, really, as he expected the parcel to do just what his brain thought that specific colour to do. Fortunately it didn’t and he didn’t have to worry about getting the wind knocked out of him as he examined the article of clothing.

Pink clothing? For him? Someone had the wrong name, or the wrong idea. Awkwardly, he pretended not to have noticed it in detail just yet (he really hadn’t anyway), fixing his attention on what Tails was handing over to Shadow instead and trying not to think too hard about it. “Soo..whatcha got?”

Shadow: Oh no, Shadow wasn't letting that go too easily. His own present was pushed aside as he folded his arms in a condescending gesture and glared at Sonic. "You're not even going to take it out of the box?" He'd waited all night for this and he wasn't about to let it slide. After all, Sonic did agree on trying it on, right? "You said you would give it a chance," the hedgehog snorted darkly.

Tails: Tails let out a chuckle before placing his hands on his hips, promptly raising an index finger, "Oh c'mon Sonic! After all, like Miss Vanilla said, it's a cold year, plus, we put a lot of hard work into that!" To further emphasize his point, he motioned towards his rather...er, spirited, sweater.

Sonic: Sonic immediately felt the pressure from his two friends, his shoulders rising in a defensive shrug. Intelligently he mumbled, “Uhhh..” Picking up the pieces of his ego, he continued with a rub of his neck, “Yeah, sure, but I dunno about this one.” With the very tips of his fingers he drew out the sweater, holding it out as if it would sting him if it got too close to his body. He shot Shadow a sceptical look. If one looked closely, he even held the faint puppyish, please-don’t-make-me-do-this element to his eyes. The very same expression was saved for Tails. “It’s nice, but I think I’m warm enough as it is.” Smile. Smiling was good, too. But based on both of their attitudes, he didn’t suppose he would be able to slink out of this one without more effort.

Vanilla: Vanilla had been watching the boys in silence for a few minutes, but now the faintest of choking sounds emerged before she returned to her previous, motherly smile.

Shadow: Shadow, the master of little emotion, still did not respond to his urges to laugh at the other's expense. He scoffed, "It's not going to bite you, hedgehog. I think it suits you. Blue and pink compliment one another nicely. Don't you agree, Tails?" The please-don't-make-me-do-this look was all but lost on Shadow, who might have even shot Sonic a similar look at the dinner table earlier before the blue demon dropped the GUN agent flat on his face.

Tails: The kit nodded with no small amount of enthusiasm, "He's right you know!" There wasn't much more to say than that, but if push came to shove, he was more than ready to play a forced joke at Sonic's expense. Rolling his eyes in feigned disappointment, Tails crossed his arms, "I didn't think you could act so...afraid of a color, Sonic. Water I can understand, but it's not like you're gonna drown in pink!"

Sonic: Sonic reeeeally didn’t want to let the unlikely duo win against him. He was the fastest thing alive, after all. Then again, a title meant for speed alone didn’t automatically give him the upper hand. Alone, he could trip up his friends, but when they ganged up on him like this... “Hey, I’m not afraid of pink!” he claimed, “Watch.” Standing, the hero pulled the sweater quickly over his head, a sudden surge of heat taking his cheeks as he pulled his arms through the sleeves. He glanced down at himself with a nod. Jokingly he asked, “Anyone got a mirror?” Inside, it felt as if a piece of Amy had permanently attached itself to his fur.

Shadow: Honestly, he didn't know what to think. He really didn't expect Sonic to go through with it, no matter what level of teasing the fox and himself stooped to. As Sonic pulled the sweater over his arms, he stared, brows raised in surprise before he dropped the left brow and looked back at the kit once more. By the time he met Sonic's gaze, however, the corner of his lip had begun to curve twitchingly upward. Shadow clamped his eyes shut and pursed his lips, quickly covering his muzzle behind the back of his hand. "You did not just take us seriously, faker." His shoulders should with obvious laughter, and his voice was strained. Shadow was highly amused.

Vanilla: The rabbit's neatly folded arms clasped over her mouth. "Oh my. It certainly is... striking on you, Mister Sonic." Unlike Shadow, Vanilla's restrained giggles could easily be heard.

Tails: Tails, with no small amount of fanfare, approached Sonic and clapped his hand down on his big bro's shoulder. Oh, that grin would be plastered on his face for days as he proclaimed, "Of course I've got a mirror!" Tapping at the handy-dandy ProwerTech multi-purpose watch, a medium sized mirror extended to show Sonic that glorious garment he had adorned. Faint giggles turned into sputtering as he attempted to contain himself.

Sonic: “Thanks, Tails.” Meh. So long as he was in it, might as well fly and have fun with it. Although still plenty humiliated at the other’s giggles, Sonic grinned and flashed a model-worthy pose for the mirror. Something had to be remembered this year, and Sonic didn’t mind making the books. It didn’t usually involve pink jackets, though. “Oh yes I did,” he admitted, with the layer of jokes still in his voice. One couldn’t take him too seriously in his new outfit. “Are you actually laughing, Shads?” he asked in disbelief, though very tempted to see more, even at his own expense. “Because I could get a mic and some karaoke, too, while I’m at it.”

Shadow: That ended it. Shadow did not appreciate being called out. It was as if being accused of laughter was an insult, and the striped hedgehog straightened up as soon as he began. He snorted, letting his hand fall to the armrest, "Hardly." Nohewasnotlaughingthankyouverymuch not that he saw anything wrong with it, but he did not like the attention drawn to himself. "Spare our ears. Besides," he pushed into standing position, "I think I've taken advantage of our host's hospitality enough for one night." Okay, so it wasn't really that bad to be caught laughing. He gave a smirk. "Do try not to wear that around the Doctor. He might think you've gotten soft."

Tails: Tails couldn't help but scratch his head as Shadow took such a defensive stance with Sonic. Shrugging it off the kit gave a bit of a laugh, tucking his scarf about his neck and preparing those tail warmers from the year before as he walked over to their hostess with a bow, "Thank you so much for the wonderful time, Miss Vanilla. I think Sonic and I should be headed out as well. Make sure Cream has a very merry Christmas!" With that said, he crept towards the door and waved one more time before opening it up to the wintery night, "If you don't hurry up Sonic, I'm gonna beat you to all those chili dogs waiting at home!"

Sonic: “Hey, you’re the one going to his place for tea,” Sonic retorted instantly, already removing the extra layer of clothing and tucking it back into its container. “I think you’d be better suited to wear this there, huh?” Finding the original box he had brought with him, Sonic piled his and Tails’ cool new things to take back home (even including his surprisingly comfy new sweater). Already he was yawning, the mountains of food he had emptied into his stomach now actually getting its chance to digest and use his energy. That didn’t mean he was ready for one more race back home, though.

“Hah, no way. I bet I could do it even with this box.” Arms full and back to the open door and chill, Sonic waved his foot instead to everyone left inside. “Thanks for havin’ us, Vanilla.” Much like earlier but to a different party, he kicked Knuckles’ recliner, startling the echidna awake. “Merry Christmas, guys!”

Knuckles: Slowly, the echidna sat up, buried under his new quilt and wearing a hat he didn’t remember going to sleep with. He scratched his head. “Did I miss something?”
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