ONE YEAR LATER
The next time Anna falls (yes, falls, she hasn't quite got the hang of this yet, and it's not even her damn job) down Jonathan's chimney, she's still royally pissed off at her brother and his complete lack of responsibility, and she doesn't really notice that she's in Jonathan's house at all, because, come on, they all look kinda the same anyway.
So, what she is not expecting is for a vaguely familiar voice to say, dryly; “How nice of you to drop in,” and then add, after a pause; “literally.”
“Oh,” she says dumbly after a moment, and it's pitifully feeble, but hey, at least she hasn't broken anything.
...she hasn't, right?
“Hey,” Jonathan says, and she can't see his face, but she can hear the laughter in his voice, and she's seven hundred percent sure it's because of her.
“Go on,” Anna grumbles, but there's no real bite to it. "Laugh. But it's not like you could do much better."
“I'm not laughing,” he says, but she can finally just see his face, and his eyes are bright, and all it takes is a disbelieving look on her part to set him off into fits of laughter. Anna rolls her eyes and feels her way through the dark to the kitchen table before sitting patiently at it and waiting for him to finish.
“I'm sorry,” he gasps eventually, still breathless, and Anna can't help but snort a bit as well - his laughter is infectious. "It's just...funny...how you...and you..." he trails off, takes one look at her, and collapses back into a series of snickers.
“When you're done...”
“I'm done,” Jonathan tells her, although with all the chortling he's doing he doesn't seem very done at all. Eventually, though, he does manage to get his laughter under control, enough for him to point to the plate nearby and say; “for you.”
“For me?” Anna repeats excitedly, eyeing the plate, which is laden with enough iced cookies to probably feed Jonathan’s entire town.
“You seemed to like them last time,” Jonathan responds with a knowing grin.
She make an eager grab for the first cookie her fingers can reach, bringing it to her lips and sighing blissfully after the first bite. “Seriously, these are the best,” Anna tells Jonathan sombrely, accidentally showering herself in a cascade of biscuit crumbs. “How do you even make them?”
“Family recipe,” Jonathan chirps. “If I told you I’d either have to kill you or marry you.”
“I’d marry you for these,” Anna informs him gravely.
“They’re that good?”
“They’re that good,” she agrees, swallowing down her first biscuit and reaching for her second.
“Well,” Jonathan says with amusement, “I’m glad you think so. How’s life been since last Christmas Eve? Any particular reason it’s still you and not Nick coming down my chimney?”
“Ugh,” Anna scowls immediately at the mention of her twin brother. “Don’t even get me started. I literally – ugh. I don’t even want to talk about it.”
“Okay,” he laughs.
“He just – ! Ugh!” Anna says articulately, pausing in her biscuit eating to stare at the cookie angrily. “And he’s so...ugh! You know?”
YOU ARE READING
Twelve Ways To Spend One's Christmas EveShort Story
"Anna dislikes being stuck three-quarters of the way down a chimney. She really does. Not to mention, she's still going round North America, and there's, like, three continents still to get through in about as many hours."