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Snow Day!

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"Snow Day!" - an I Love Mummy fanfic!
Written by Djehuti


James was abruptly awakened one brisk December morning by someone
rapidly shaking him. He came to consciousness in sleep-induced
confusion, not registering the panicked cries assaulting his ears.

"Hrn? Wuzzat?" He mumbled, voice thick with sleep.

"Royal Protector! Royal Protector get up! Oh Ra in Heaven, the world
is coming to an end!"

James groaned in recognition -- that British accented voice was
unmistakeable. "Aw Nuff!" He protested, not wanting to open his eyes
and aknowledge the mummy's problem yet. "You thought that the world
was going to end when there wasn't any more pickles left in the
fridge!"

"This is worse than that!" Nuff persisted. "Besides, there's more
pickles in the fridge. Slave Mother must have gotten some more..."

James grumbled slightly and opened his eyes, shoving Nuff away so that
he could get out of bed. As soon as he left the warmth of his bed and
put his feet on the floor he shivered. "It's freezing in here!"

Nuff nodded rapidly and pointed a shaking finger towards James'
bedroom window. It was then that James noticed how hunched the mummy
was standing and realised that there must not be any heat in the
attic.

The young thirteen year old headed to the window, noticing that Nuff
avoided the frosty panes like the plague. He was almost acting as
freaked out as that solar eclipse a couple of months ago.

When James peered out the window all he could see at first was white.
Squinting as his eyes focused, James grinned as he watched the white
fluffy snowflakes come down to pile in drifts in the backyard. "Nuff
it's snowing!" He said happily. "It's nothing to be scared of!"

Nuff walked slowly over to the window to peer out apprehensively.
"What is this snow? Why is it so cold?" The mummy held his arms
tightly around himself and shuddered visibly.

"It's like rain except its frozen." James said in explanation. He
figured that Nuff was freaking out like he was because Egyptians were
used to desert weather, not this cooler climate.

Nuff frowned as he looked out the window. "I do not think I like this
snow..." He muttered.

James in contrast, seemed to be in bright spirits. "It's real fun! I
should take you sledding...or even skating!"

Nuff looked confused but James grabbed his arm and tugged the mummy
towards the door and down the stairs. "Let's eat breakfast..then I'll
show you how much fun snow is..."

~~~ LATER ~~~

Nancy was standing on a chair in the livingroom putting up some kind
of holly garland along the wall, humming Christmas carols to herself.
Ed was working but she had the day off. Later on when he got back from
work they were going to go out and get a tree. She couldn't wait since
one thing she really liked was decorating for Christmas. She had all
ready helped decorate at the old folks home she worked at and made it
nice and festive to the delight of the people who lived there.

James came in from the kitchen heading straight for the closet. "Hey
Mom", he greeted as he opened the door and stepped in, rummaging
around through the winter clothes.

"Good morning dear", Nancy said cheerfully. She stepped down from the
chair she had been balancing on. "Sleep well?"

James slid a box full of mits and scarves outside the closet door and
poked his head out. "Yeah..until Nuff practically jumped on me.."

Nancy dug around in a box of Christmas decorations and came up with a
sprig of Mistletoe. "Why would he do that?" She wondered as she hung
it from the ceiling.

"He's afraid of the snow.." James said as he sifted through the
winter gear. "He's never seen it before."

The kitchen door burst open at that and Nuff stood there haughty and
indignant. "I object to that! I? Prince Nuff of Abu Simbel afraid?
I think NOT!"

James snickered. "You weren't saying that earlier..." Nuff strode
across the livingroom and peered at all the strange decorations in
that area that wasn't there before.

"What is all this?"

Nancy pulled out a small Santa Claus doll holding candles. She
placed it on a shelf. "It's Christmas decorations Nuff...it's a
festive time of year so people decorate their houses all..festive!"
She chuckled a little as she pulled out an angel doll to put next to
the Santa one.

Nuff still looked confused until James enlightened him.

"It's almost like a harvest festival with presents and a big dinner
and stuff -- except there isn't anybody symbolically cutting corn-
stalks down..oh and the holiday has a different meaning too.."

Nuff's eyes went wide in delight at that. "Lots of food? In that
case I can't wait!"

At that moment, Steph came down from upstairs all ready showered,
dressed and looking like she was going to head out somewhere. Nuff
went up to her with a wide smile, holding up a sparkly piece of
garland. "I never knew about this 'Christmas'...it sounds wonderful
with all the food and presents I am hearing about..Did you sleep
well Stephy?"

Steph looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Yah sure..if waking up
to your screaming is what you would call pleasant.."

Nancy happened to glance up as she took the tree stand out of it's
box. "Oh how cute!" She said looking up at Nuff and Stephanie.

Steph looked up at her Mother oddly. "Huh?"

Nancy stood up and pointed. "You two are standing under the Mistletoe!"

Steph turned white..than turned red. "Mom!"

Nuff just looked confused. "And this means..." He said as he turned
his eyes upwards to the little plant.

James tried to hold back his laugh at his sister's expression. "It
means that the two people underneath it have to kiss or it will be
bad luck."

Nuff's eyes went huge and he stared at James, Nancy and then Stephy.
"I...I uh...have to...." He said looking suddenly shy and embarassed.

Stephy stared back at Nuff and shook her head. This was way too much.
Not now like this! Especially in front of James and her Mother. "No
way.." She said, suddenly grabbing her jacket, hat, mits and bag --
making a dash for the door and slamming it on the way out.

"Don't worry about her dear...that whole Mistletoe thing is just
a tale..nothing true about it at all.." Nancy soothed, not wanting a
war starting between the kids at Christmas.

Nuff stood there with a suprised look on his face..than he sighed a
little and lowered his head. James watched with hidden shock. He was
_disappointed_? Well, he did look all embarassed about it..then again,
so did Stephanie. He decided to change the subject to be safe. He
grinned as he held up a winter jacket that used to belong to Ed.

"Here try this on...you want to be warm when you go outside!"

Nuff stared at the bulky thing and shook his head. "Who says I'm
going outside?"

James slowly backed towards the front door. "I thought you said you
weren't afraid.."

Nuff shook his head and drew himself up to his full height. "I am
not afraid!"

Quickly James whipped open the door, a cold blast of air and some
snow blew in. Nuff recoiled like a cat in water and bolted up the
stairs yelling in terror. The attic door could be heard being slammed
shut as James shut the front door.

Nancy shook her head with an amused smile. "I'm sure he'll like the
snow once he gets out there dear..."

James nodded with determination in his eyes, than headed up to the
attic. As he opened the door Nuff could be heard talking with someone
in panicked tones. As he stepped in, he saw a tall man wearing blue
robes and recognised him as Master Set - Nuff's advisor.

"Master Set, you wouldn't believe what's happening!" The Mummy was
saying in a rush.

Set looked over and saw James, nodding in greeting. "Is what Nuff
says true?" He _did_ notice that it was quite cold in the attic and
was glad his robes went to the floor today to keep his sandaled feet
warm.

"About the snow? Yeah.." James said going over to one of the curtained
attic windows and tugging the thick material back. Set turned toward
it and jerked back in shock. There was a couple of inches of strange
white stuff against the windowpane! Nuff pointed at it with emphasis.
"See? I wasn't lying!"

Set's eyebrows rose in amazement as he stepped towards the window,
peering out. "Ra..." He murmured in shock. "It covers the ground like
sand yet....it is not.."

"I explained to Nuff earlier that it's like rain except it's frozen."
James said, stepping up to the window to look out on the winter
wonderland.

"Fascinating.." Set said impressed. Nuff joined the both of them at
the window and looked out quietly, figuring that if Set wasn't alarmed
than it was all right. Indeed, as he watched the small flecks of white
drift down, he had to admit it was quite beautiful. Peaceful even.

James noticed that Nuff didn't seem afraid anymore and grinned. "So
you wanna go outside?"

Nuff paused to consider, watching the snow outside. He reached out
and touched the cold glass of the window. "All right." He said finally.

Set grinned at his charge, noting the change. "Ah...you remember one
of your previous tasks to conquer your fears. Very good."

Nuff turned from the window. "Well now that I've really looked at it,
I am kind of curious about what it's like..."

James grinned and tugged Nuff towards the door. "Thanks Master Set!
See you later."

Set smiled and waved before disappearing in a shower of golden
sparkles.

TBC...







Chapter Text

"Snow Day!" - an I Love Mummy Fanfic!
Written by Djehuti


Nuff felt awkward and just plain stupid as he peered at himself in
the full length mirror in the back of the closet. He had on a navy
blue winter jacket that used to belong to Ed, as well as a dark grey
woolen hat. James had insisted he put on water resistant wind pants
to protect his linen wrappings and an extra pair of Ed's winter boots
found in a box.

In fact, Nuff thought he looked as common as the rest of the family
wearing all this - well except for the kohl outlined eyes peering out
from above the green scarf wrapped around his neck and the lower half
of his face. "MMmpph mmmph eerrrmph!"

James tugged on a winter hat and looked up as he zipped up his
jacket. "What?"

Nuff tugged down the scarf. "I said I feel like I am wrapped well
enough to go back in my sarcophagus for another 3000 years!" He
complained.

James snickered and handed over a pair of gloves. "Well it's cold -
we got to stay warm you know..." He grabbed a scarf and his own pair
of gloves and clumped out of the closet. Nuff followed him and watched
as his young friend went to open the door.

"Have fun you two!" Nancy said, coming in from the kitchen to sit
and take a break from all the decorating.

"Sure Mom...I won't be out too late." James reassured as he tugged
the door open. The cold wind blew in causing Nuff to cringe. The
Egyptian paused at the threshold and stared outside.

"Move it Nuff! The cold air is coming in!" James urged, pushing his
friend from behind.

Caught by surprise, and feeling off balance from the heavy clothing
he was wearing Nuff, stumbled forward and fell off the veranda to
fall face first into a snowbank.

James closed the door behind him and stared at his friend spread
eagled in the snow, then burst into loud laughter. "AAAHAHAHAHA!!!
You look SO FUNNY HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" He had to lean on the rail of
the porch so that he wouldn't fall off from laughing so hard.

Nuff raised his head from the snow, his face completely covered with
it, and caking his eyelashes. "RA IN HEAVEN IT'S COOOOOOOOLD!" He
shouted loudly.

"Yah..it's rain frozen into crystals remember?" James said between
giggles as he hopped down the steps and bent down to assist Nuff in
getting out of the snowbank. The mummy lurched to his feet, muttering
in what was distinctly not English. James decided not to bother asking
for a translation as he looked around the snow covered front yard.

The snow had stopped falling mostly, except for a couple of flakes
here and there. The wind had calmed too, and it wasn't as biting as
before. It was still cold enough to cause James' breath to cloud in
the air, and make his face turn rosy.

Nuff was wandering around and watching in fascination as his
footprints stayed in the snow behind him. Sand most certianly didn't
do that. This was much more interesting than sand. His fear from
earlier was forgotten as he stared around himself wide-eyed like a
curious child. Squatting down and pulling off a glove he grabbed a
handful of snow and discovered it was cold and wet as it melted in his
hand.

"Hey Nuff!"

Nuff looked up in response to James' call and was hit in the face an
instant later with a large wad of cold white snow. Reeling back in
surprise, Nuff fell back onto his butt hearing James erupt into laughs
again.

"That was NOT funny Royal Protector!" Nuff protested, wiping his face.

"It was so!" James said, bending down to scoop up another handful with
a playful glint in his eyes. Nuff watched him a moment, than pulled
on his glove with a mischeviously evil face of his own. He gathered
up a handful of snow, falling back again as another ball of it thrown
by James hit him on the shoulder.

"WOOHOO! James scores again!"

"That does it.." Nuff muttered, making a snowball. Without warning,
he lobbed it in James direction, smiling in satisfaction as it hit
James' laughing face squarely with a splat.

"Bwaahahahaaaa!" Nuff laughed, pointing. "Now that is perfect aim fit
for a Pharaoh!"

James wiped the snow off and quickly dove for another handful. "Hah
that's nothing!" He boasted getting ready to throw again. The snowball
fight that followed was quick yet brutal -- ending when they tried
to shove each other into the snow. The two rolled around for a moment -
each trying to pin each other and shove their faces into the snow,
until finally they collapsed onto their backs in fits of laughter.

Nuff was the first to get under control and he enjoyed watching James
for a moment. He never saw the boy so happy before. James sat up after
he got his breath back and started clumping snow together in his
gloved hands again. "Hey Nuff..I got an idea..let's make a snowman!"

Nuff tilted his head. "A what?" His hat had fallen off during the
snowball fight and his short dark hair was damp and spiked up a little.

"A snowman...you roll the snow in large balls and pile them on top of
each other to make it look like a person..it's like a sculpture made
out of snow! I never really made one before..it sounds fun!"

Nuff shrugged as he tugged on his hat again and helped James roll the
snow. It took a while, but they succeeded in making three to balance
one on top of the other. Looking over their handiwork, James brightened
as he got an idea. "Oh, be right back!" He ran into the house for a
moment, coming out with a box full of old winter things. "Mom was
planning on giving this stuff away anyway..I figured we could use
these for the snowman.."

Nuff thought of something as he looked through the box. "Let's make
this one look like my father Ramses the Second! I can start another
to be Queen Nefertari.."

"Cool!" James agreed as he picked out a scarf to drape around the
'neck' of the snowman to look like an Egyptian collar.

Since he now knew what he was doing, it didn't take Nuff long before
he had another slightly smaller pile of snow next to the one James
was dressing. With the stuff in the box as well as some extra pieces
of the Egyptian costumes in the closet, they made a passable Ramses II
and Nefertari. Nuff's parents.

"Wow, wait until Dad sees these when he gets home from work!" James
said as he looked over their efforts. "They look great!"

Nuff made a sound of agreement as he made a small bundle of snow
wrapped in a scarf to place where Nefertari's arms would be. James
watched this curiously. "What are you doing?"

"It's Menkaure the Youngest...he was not even a year old when
I...died." Nuff said softly.

"Oh.." James said with silent understanding. Figuring Nuff wanted
some quiet for a moment, he picked up the stray pieces of clothing
that they didn't use and placed them back in the box. He put it next
to the door on the veranda, than stepped down to walk over to Nuff,
who was standing with his back to him and his head lowered.

As James walked up to him, he watched for a moment as Nuff drew
absently into the snow with his finger, drawing sleeping features on
the bundle of snow that he called Menkaure. A muffled sniffle caused
him to look up -- and somehow it didn't surprise him to see tears
trickling down Nuff's face.

"Nuff?" James asked quietly, causing the mummy to jerk with a start.
"Are you okay?"

Nuff turned sorrowful dark eyes to him and nodded a little. "I'm
fine..." He murmured sadly. "I guess.."

"I thought you said your tear ducts were embalmed.." James said with
a knowing look. He figured that Nuff didn't like people knowing he
could cry and made that bit about the embalming up.

Nuff shrugged and attempted to wipe at his eyes. "It's this snow...the
cold is getting to my eyes.." He mumbled.

"Yeah.." James said, trying to think of some way to cheer Nuff up.
"Hey, how about I take you sledding..that should make you feel better."

Nuff wiped his face again and looked down at James with mild
curiosity. James could tell he was attempting to smile but it wasn't
working. "What is that?"

"That is for me to know and for you to find out", James said
mysteriously as he headed towards the garage. James glanced back
at Nuff and sighed as he turned to open the garage door. 'He must
really love and miss his family...'
James thought to himself as he
pulled out a crazy carpet and a large round and black disk sled. He
couldn't imagine what it was like for Nuff -- away from his loved
ones for over 3000 years and on top of that, stuck in a whole new
and strange time period!

James mulled that over and headed back outside with the round sled
draped over his back and the crazy carpet rolled up in his hands.
"There's a hill just down a couple of streets." He said with a
beckoning motion at Nuff as he headed to the sidewalk.

Nuff followed, gazing around at the snow covered neighborhood.
Everything looked different -- almost like a new world. When they
were at the end of the street, he noticed James grimacing as he
attempted to adjust the cumbersome sled on his back.

"Here, let me take that Royal Protector", Nuff said suddenly. "The
thing is almost as big as you!" James couldn't have been more
suprised as the mummy took the sled and balanced it on his own back.
James smiled up greatfully - feeling proud of his friend. If only
Set could have seen that.

"Gee thanks Nuff.."


TBC...

Chapter Text

"Snow Day!" - an I Love Mummy Fanfic!
Written by Djehuti


Soon they reached the hill and there was a handful of kids all ready
there playing in the snow. The area was pretty large since it was
situated in a park. James led Nuff to a spot on the hill that didn't
have anyone close by.

"So what is this sledding?" Nuff asked since he didn't see anyone on
hill at the moment. When he had seen the little commoners playing in
the snow they had been throwing snow at each other.

James held up the crazy carpet. "You climb to the top of the hill, and
slide down sitting on these."

Nuff's eyebrows rose at this. "Sounds hauntingly familiar to sand
boarding."

James shook his head. "Naah..c'mon! It'll be fun." He started up the
hill, trudging in the snow. Nuff followed, dragging the round sled
behind him. About halfway up, he flopped in the snow with a grumbled
complaint.

"Are we at the top yet?"

"Just a little more..almost there.." James said, clambering until he
sat with relief on the top of the hill, perching on a snowbank. Nuff
hauled himself to his feet and continued up the hill, muttering and
complaining all the way until he joined James on the snowbank. The
mummy flopped onto his back tired from the exertion.

James looked around and appreciated the view. His neighborhood was
visible from this height, and he could even see where his and Stephy's
schools were. There were trees behind where they were sitting and
scattered around the park - the bare branches covered in snow.

"Hey Nuff, you can see everything from up here!"

By this time, Nuff had sat up and was also looking at the view.
"You're right! There's the house.."

James grinned as he held up the round disk sled. "Care to try it out?"

Nuff nodded and helped as he held the sled and James sat on it. "All
right..now jump on and shove it forward at the same time!" James
instructed, gripping the handles on the edge of the sled.

Nuff nodded and pushed forward as hard as he could before hopping onto
the sled and gripping onto the edges. The sled tipped over the top of
the slope and instantly built up speed -- shooting like a rocket down
the slope. James wooped gleefully and Nuff yelled out in terror
as they streaked down the snow to the bottom. The skidded along until
they came to a stop, the momentum causing them to fall off with limbs
askew.

"Ha! That was great!" James said as he sat up, dusting the snow off
of his head. Nuff sat up a moment later, tugging the hat up on his
head so that he could see again.

"That was....wonderful! Let's do that again Royal Protector.." The
mummy said in delight with a wide grin on his face.

It didn't take as long to climb up the large hill this time, and
Nuff didn't complain as much either. Over and over again, they slid
down the hill, only to climb up as fast as they could. Nuff favored
the large round sled, while James took the crazy carpet. The Egyptian
got a great kick out of the fact that when going at a faster speed,
the round sled had the tendency to spin around in disorienting
circles.

"Okay Nuff...one last go okay?" James said at one point in the late
afternoon. The sun was setting and it was starting to get dim out.
Nuff nodded with a grin and started heading up the hill as fast as
he could, trying to beat James to the top. It was a close call so
James considered it a tie.

"Hah, beat you to the bottom!" He grinned as he got ready to launch
himself on the crazy carpet. Nuff held the round sled with a playful
determination.

"Pharaoh's are destined to win.." He teased.

"Not if they were one for only one day!" James teased back as he
jumped onto his sled, pushing off.

"It still counts!" Nuff countered as he leaped soon after to race his
friend to the bottom.

The two hollered as they hit a patch of ice at the bottom, causing
the two sleds to rocket across the clearing to head straight for a
pile of snow against the fence along the street.

"Yaaaaaaah!"

"Raaaaa in EEEEEEEEE!!!!"

With a spectacular spray of snow, the two friends flew off their sleds
and flew a meter before landing in the snowbank.

There was a moment of silence, than both James and Nuff rolled onto
their backs laughing loudly.

"Oh MAN that was great!"

"Ra in heaven, that was the farthest yet!"

"What are you two wierdo's doing?"

James stopped laughing and stared through the chain links of the fence,
recognising the purple winter jacket as being worn by his sister.
"Stephy! We were sledding...." He said, not knowing wether to ask her
to join them or not. She would probably laugh in his face.

"Ah...the enchanting slave sister come to join us?" Nuff greeted,
a little uncomfortably. He was hoping she wasn't still upset from the
Mistletoe thing earlier. It had bothered him a little....

Stephy laughed. "Yeah right..like I would act like a four year old!"

Nuff got up and went over to the fence, looking at Stephy through
the links. "Please Stephy? If you are still upset from earlier..this
will cheer you up I promise! I know it did so for me.."

Steph looked surprised at this, and Nuff knew that if he could blush
he would be doing so. He of course had not meant the Mistletoe incident
but she didn't know that.

James saw the hesitation in his sister and grinned hidden beneath his
scarf for a moment. "C'mon..there is no one around...I saw the other
kids leaving -- and all of your friends are indoors right?"

Steph looked at her brother and Nuff, than behind them to the hill.
She hadn't gone sledding in years, and she _did_ miss it. She gave in
with a sigh and nodded. "Okay..just this once okay? Then we're going
for a hot chocolate or something.."

"Yes!" James said happily as his sister followed the fence to the open
gate so she could join them.

The three walked up the hill mostly in silence. When they reached
the top, they appreciated the view one last time before it got
too dark. Nuff seemed entranced. The neighborhood was lighting up in
various spots in many colored lights, twinkling in the twilight.

"Royal Protector...those are beautiful.." He commented, pointing at
all the different lit up houses. Stephy nodded in agreement as she
looked out from their vantage point. "It looks like it's going to
snow again..this will be the only time okay James?"

James nodded and picked up the crazy carpet. "You two can take the
disk sled while I take this one. It's too small for you Stephy.."

Stephy nodded, wondering wrily if there was a conspiracy involved as
she placed the disk sled on the ground. She was glad that this would
be her only time going down the hill since she wasn't wearing water
resistant pants like James and Nuff were.

Gingerly she sat on the round sled while Nuff held it for her. Then
Nuff sat behind her, situating her between his knees. "Ready Stephy?"

Before she could answer he had shoved off with his arms and they
were wooshing down the hill. It was all Stephy could do to hold on,
it took her a moment to realise that Nuff was holding onto her.

It didn't really matter after that as everything passed in a blur.
Stephanie found herself wooping with delight as much as Nuff was as
they raced towards the bottom. They skidded along the ice heading
for the snowbank once again.

"Nuff! Stop it before it --"

The two of them hit the snowbank in a spray of snow and before they
could move there was another spray and a thud as James hit them from
behind. The three were piled on one another and laughing hysterically.

After a few moments and still laughing, they untangled themselves
and sat brushing snow off. "I could go for a hot chocolate right now."
James noted getting up and picking up the crazy carpet. Nuff brightened
and nodded in agreement.

"Oh eating chocolate sweeties sounds like a great idea! I'm starving!"

Stephanie chuckled as she got to her feet. "Nuff you are always
starving.."

The three of them headed through the gate in the fence and down the
street tugging the disk sled behind them. "That was fun...I don't
know if I'll do that often..but it brought back memories.." Stephanie
noted as they walked slowly so as to not miss any of the brightly
decorated houses.

James agreed silently to that. Before Stephanie finished junior high,
she was always fun to do stuff with..but after she reached a certian
age..she seemed to change her outlook on life and drifted apart from
the family a little. He would remember this day for life he reflected.

They reached the house, and all trooped inside to see a wonderful
sight. Ed and Nancy had picked out a gorgeoous tree and had it by the
stairs. Tinsel sparkled as well as various ornaments that Nancy had
put on. There was even little ones of Egyptian gods and goddesses
hanging from the boughs, and Nuff went over to inspect them with an
amused expression after he took his boots and jacket off. He saw his
sandals and crown as well, and pulled them on.

"Oh look! Ra himself is on here...Isis...Anubis...Osiris..." He
murmured to himself as he identified them, lapsing into Egyptian as
he did so.

"So you like the tree?" Nancy asked as she came into the livingroom
holding a plate of cookies. "Ed is digging around in the basement for
the tree star. It wasn't with the Christmas things.."

Nuff looked up and nodded. "It's lovely slave mother...oh!" He noticed
the cookies and reached out for the plate. "Tasty morsels of sugary
goodness!"

Nancy gave him a look and lightly bapped his hand away. "It's not all
for you.."

James and Stephanie finished pulling off their winter gear and came
over to look at the tree as well. "Hey you did great with it Mom.."
James said in approval.

"Figures you would find something Egyptian to put on it.." Stephy
added deadpan.

"I found the tree star!" Ed came in holding the sparkling tree top
up triumphantly. It was with the Easter stuff for some reason."

Nancy smiled and took it, looking down at the glittery decoration. "Oh
that's a relief..." She glanced up at Nuff, holding the star out.
"Would you like to put it on Nuff?"

Nuff looked surprised at that, but nodded. "Of course..where do I put
it?"

James pointed. "On the very top.."

Nuff pulled over a stool and stood on it, reaching out to put the star
on the very tall tree. Nancy watched, while Ed held the power cord.
"Make a wish Nuff dear!" She called.

Nuff raised an eyebrow at her. "Is this another one of those strange
Christmas traditions?"

Steph sat against the back of the couch and nodded. "Kind of I guess."

Nuff nodded and looked as if he was thinking to himself for a few
moments...than he placed the star on the top of the tree. At that
moment Ed plugged it in and the lights came on causing the tree to
shimmer prettily.

Nuff stepped down and the five of them stood around watching the
tree for a few minutes in approval. "I..don't know what this
tradition means...but I like it." Nuff said suddenly.

Ed looked smug as he crossed his arms with a nod. "I picked it out
this year...pretty neat-o eh Jimbo?" He ruffled James' hair with a
chuckle as the boy tried to duck away.

"Merry Christmas!" Nancy said happily. She hugged Ed and her two kids
and Nuff watched this quietly, trying not to feel out of place. He
could tell that this moment was special to the family and he felt like
the odd one out. It was because of an accident that he was with them
after all...

Nancy glanced over at Nuff and smiled at him, pulling the surprised
mummy over and giving him a hug. "Merry Christmas Nuff dear.." She
said as she drew him in with the rest of them. Nuff's face lit up into
a beaming smile at this and felt for a moment a feeling of belonging.

"Hey look it's snowing again!" James said, pointing towards the
window. Indeed it was -- and this time it was the very fat snowflakes
that were gently floating down as picturesque as it could be. Nuff
wandered over to the window while Nancy headed to the kitchen. "Oh
this is great! C'mon James..it's your turn to do the dishes
tonight..I'll make some mint hot chocolate as a treat for everyone!"

Ed finished gathering all the extra things they didn't use and placed
it all in a large box, picking it up to take to the basement. "Sounds
like a plan to me!" He followed through the kitchen door.

Stephanie was watching the tree a moment when some movement caused
her to turn around. Nuff was opening the front door and he was only
wearing his usual Egyptian wrap around skirt, collar, crown and
sandals.

"Nuff! Put something on! You'll freeze or something.." Steph started
to say, but the door shut before he heard her. She headed to the
kitchen for a moment, figuring she could get him something warm to
drink at least.

~~~

Nuff walked to the end of the veranda in wonder, coming to a stop by
the bench swing. It was cold, but not as cold as it was in the morning.
The snow seemed magical as it fell, and he was entranced by it, holding
out his hands to feel the flakes caress his fingers. He didn't realise
how long he was standing there like that until he heard the front
door open and someone walking quietly to stand behind him.

"Nuff? Aren't you cold?"

Nuff turned to see Stephy with a heavy sweater on, holding two mugs
of what looked like hot chocolate. She looked real pretty in the soft
glow coming from the Christmas lights on the house. "Oh uh...not
really..." Nuff said with a slight shrug. "There's no wind.."

Steph handed him a mug, glad that it was dim enough to hide her flushed
cheeks. She was a little nervous since the two of them were alone. "I
brought you something warm to drink..."

Nuff sipped it and grinned suddenly. "That tastes delicious! I never
had...this hot chocolate before.." He found the warmth that radiated
from the hot drink quite pleasant.

Stephanie couldn't help but smirk at him. "I don't think there is
anything edible you don't like.."

Nuff nodded. "Most likely.." He happened to look up as something
caught his eye. Among the hanging garland on the roof of the veranda
hung a small sprig of a familiar plant. Nuff seemed to freeze and
stare at it, and Stephanie followed his gaze.

"I am so going to get Mother for this..." She muttered. She knew it
had to have been Nancy since her Mom loved to decorate everything at
Christmas time. They just happened to be standing underneath of the
Mistletoe and she felt her face get hot as she lowered her head.

"Fine...go ahead and do it..." She relented..heart pounding.

"Do what?" Nuff asked..than realisation dawned and he nearly dropped
his hot chocolate. He stared at Stephanie quite sure that if he had
been alive at that moment, he would have died of heart failure.

"Are you sure?...I..uh...You won't kill me?" He realised the absurdity
of that statement and made a half hearted nervous sounding chuckle.

Stephy sighed and shook her head, raising her eyes to meet his. "Look,
I'm sorry for running out earlier." She started, sounding nervous
herself. "It's just that with Mom and James there..I...No...I just
didn't want that..." She paused, scuffing her foot a little into the
snow that built up slightly on the veranda, drawing little patterns.
"But....now....um...I don't mind."

There was a few minutes where the two of them shyly delayed...sipping
their hot chocolates until finally Nuff placed his mug next to Stephy's
on the railing. Turning to her again, he reached out to take her
hands and she blinked in mild surprise, feeling their warmth. She
silently thanked the empty mug on the railing as he looked at her
almost imploringly, like he really needed to know the truth.

"Are...you sure you don't mind?" He asked in a slight rush. "I...I
uh..mean I..um..never r-really...done this...." He said not meeting
her eyes. Stephanie could feel a slight tremor in his hands and she
squeezed them a little, hoping that she was being encouraging.

"Nuff, it's okay. I don't mind." She stated quietly, her lips
twitching into a small smile briefly. "Go ahead and kiss me will you?
I want to go inside soon I'm freezing!" She tried to make light of
it, but she was shaking like a leaf inside.

Nuff nodded and slowly placed his hands on her shoulders, reaching
up to gently brush some of Stephanie's hair that had fallen in her
face. He swept the soft strands behind her ear to keep her hair out
of his way. He blinked in surprise as Stephanie reached up to take his
nemes crown off. She must have seen the questioning look because she
smirked. "I just don't want to share my first kiss with a guy who
has a wierd crown on his head with a snake on it.." She joked lightly.

Nuff chuckled a little and ran a hand nervously through his short hair
before he placed it gently on her neck, brushing it with his fingers.
He drew closer and Stephanie's eyes fluttered shut instinctively. The
first contact was surprisingly light, timid even -- barely a brush
against her lips. Not even realising she was doing it, she raised
her hands to his face, moving her fingers to his soft wavy hair as he
bent closer for another try.

She felt his lips close over hers and she soon forgot she was even
outside as the moment slowed down to a crawl, and the snow seemed to
stop around them. He was warm and gentle and almost painfully shy, but
still managed to make Stephanie think she was the most important
person in the world. She wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging
him close as she kissed him back feeling like her heart was going to
jump out of her chest.

Sooner than she wanted, the kiss ended and the two stared at each
other in shock. Not believing what just happened but at the same time
replaying it in their minds. Steph was the first to recover and she
smiled shakily. "Nuff...thanks.." She whispered.

Nuff nodded a little and smiled back. "Merry Christmas Stephy.."
He whispered back, thinking it the most appropriate thing to say at
the moment. Stephanie hugged him then..wrapping her arms around his
waist and hugging him tightly. Nuff was surprised at first, but
held her around the shoulders and rested his head on hers.

"Yeah...Merry Christmas.." He heard her whisper in response.

He was really liking this holiday so far..and as he looked at the
slow falling snow around them, wondered if the stuff really had magical
properties. Snow? Nuff decided then, that he really did like it and
couldn't ask for a more perfect moment.


~THE END~