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Christmas Special (Updated 5/16/13)


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Hey again, everyone.

I was working on a little something on the side, and after much deliberation, I decided to go ahead and post it. I feel like it's rather sappy and maybe a little too cute, but I really like this story. In my personal opinion, I think this might be one of the best ones I've ever posted here, but I guess that's for you guys to decide.

Before I start, I think it might be good to give a little background. This story was inspired by the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but it's in no way, shape or form a fanfic. If you've seen the movie, or are at least familiar with it, then go on ahead. If you have no idea what it is, all you really need to know is that in that movie (and by extension, this story) cartoon characters exist alongside regular actors, and when they're not filming anything, they can hang around with real people and do as they please, though they can still ignore the laws of physics at any time for the purpose of fun. That's basically all you need to know, so hopefully this will make some amount of sense.

And away we go...


Bill walked up and down the inside of the bar, absently wiping down a tumbler glass with a wet rag. He occasionally looked up to see if anyone was trying to order anything, but at this time of night, both the bartender and the patrons had mentally checked out. Everyone simply wanted to be left alone with their drinks. Especially since it was the holiday season, most of the bar's usual customers were nowhere to be found, leaving only the city's loneliest denizens.


A series of exaggerated, hitching breaths caught Bill's attention, and he subtly turned his head toward a strange woman sitting at the bar. Her skin and clothes were glossy and seemed to shimmer in the bar's dim light, giving away her true identity.


The woman's head dipped into her cupped palm as she let out an extremely unrealistic sneeze. She straightened up and sniffed almost silently, and then she noticed Bill staring down at her.

"What?" she demanded, glaring up at the bartender.

"Only a 'Toon could sneeze like that," Bill said, putting his glass down. "Bless you, by the way."

"Thanks," the inked woman said, turning her shoulders away from him. Knowing he would go mad with boredom without some conversation, Bill decided to pursue her.

"We don't get many 'Toons around here, you know," he said, not even sure what he was trying to talk about.

"I'm delighted," the woman said, sipping her drink.

"It's just that most of them don't handle alcohol as, well, civilly as you do," Bill elaborated, leaning on the counter top. The woman rolled her big, sparkling eyes, knowing the man wouldn't go away unless she indulged him for a moment.

"Well, I can. I'm 'realistic'," she said, putting up air quotes around the last word of her sentence. Her eyes fluttered again, and she reached a cupped hand up to her face to cover another oncoming sneeze.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahh! Ah-CHOO!"

"You still sneeze like the rest of them though," Bill said, picking up his glass again. The 'Toon gave him a resentful glance and rubbed her index finger back and forth under a small, triangular shadow just above her upper lip. As Bill eyed her, he noticed that she didn't seem to have much of a nose beyond the patch of shadow she was rubbing at.

"It could be worse," the woman said, still rubbing at the shaded underside of her nose. "I could have gone flying through the back wall. Be thankful for that."

"How do you sneeze, anyway?" Bill asked, shrugging. "You hardly even have a nose."

"What? Sure I do!" the woman said, sounding offended. She turned her head to the side, and looking at her in profile, Bill was able to see that she did, in fact, have a nose. It was long, concave and sharply upturned; overall much larger than Bill thought it would be. He shrugged and tossed his glass up once.

"You still don't have any nostrils though."

The woman turned back toward him and reached a hand up to her face. Extending a few fingertips, she felt around on the triangular shadow under her nose, drawing a blank.

"I suppose I don't," she said, raising a single, thick eyebrow. Afterward, she shrugged and turned her attention back to her drink. "I guess that explains why I have absolutely no sense of smell." She rubbed a single, long finger back and forth under her nose again, and as her eyes fluttered, Bill took a step back, knowing she was about to sneeze.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOO!"

"Bless you. What's making you sneeze so much anyway? The usual 'Toon Christmas cold?" Bill asked, searching under the bar for a tissue box. He stood up empty handed a few seconds later, and he had a feeling the 'Toon would have no use for them anyway, given her lack of nostrils.

"I wish," the woman said, holding her finger against the underside of her nose with a frown. "Two words: Christmas Episode. The writers thought it would just be hilarious if serious old me was allergic to the tree. Ever since then, I haven't even been able to look at a pine tree without my nose going haywire."

"And you don't even know what they smell like?" Bill asked, genuine pity crossing his face.


The woman turned around and stared at the tall, decorated tree standing in the corner of the room. Bill followed her gaze and admired the tree for a moment as well, but after a few seconds, he noticed the woman's shoulders tensing up.


Smiling slyly, Bill quickly slid a finger under the woman's long, upturned nose. Her skin felt like high-quality photography paper; smooth and glossy, but cold and lifeless. However, the way she moved against him told Bill that she was just as alive as he was.

"Darn it, stop that," the woman complained, her pointy, concave nose scrunching up slightly. "Just let me get it out. This feels awful." Bill removed his finger and held up his hands, trying to look innocent. The woman glared at him for a second, but her big eyes quickly began to flutter again, and she lost herself to her building sneeze.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOOO!"

"Bless you. Can I get you a tissue or something?" Bill said, leaning back down on top of the bar.

"Oh, what for? You said it yourself, no nostrils," the woman groaned, sounding slightly congested. She threw up her hands and then crossed her arms, pouting for a second. A moment later, she unfolded her arms and turned back to Bill. "Sure, fine, go ahead. It'll at least make me think I'm feeling better."

With a smile, Bill headed into the back room and returned with a box of tissues. He opened it and slid it across the top of the bar, where it came to a stop next to the inked woman. She pulled a single tissue from the box, held it to the triangular shadow above her upper lip, and then blew. Bill was still utterly confused as to how she could do that, but he didn't question it this time.

"Thanks... Bill," the woman said, pausing for a second to read the bartender's nametag. Bill glanced down at it himself before smiling up at the woman.

"You know my name. Now, what's yours?" he asked, crossing his arms and leaning toward her slightly. The woman rolled her eyes, but she stood up from the bar. Now that she was standing, Bill noticed that she was dressed in a proper, dark blue uniform. It almost looked like a typical navy uniform, but with a bit more flair to it. Suddenly, the woman snapped to a salute.

"Captain Monika Stargazer of the starship Gemini Alpha," she said, her voice dripping with deadpan sarcasm. Bill could tell she had given that introduction a great many times, and she probably didn't want to do it anymore. Her name sounded vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite place it.

"Captain who of the what?" Bill asked, hoping for more information. Monika sighed, pinching the thin line that made up the bridge of her nose.

"You know, Gemini Alpha? It's the name of the ship and the show? They're the same? It's not that hard!"

"Nope, sorry, I can't say I know it."

"I knew you hadn't heard of me," Monika said, sounding subtly choked up. "Nobody's heard of me anymore."

"I'm sorry," Bill said, scratching the back of his head. "It does sound kind of familiar though. Maybe I'll remember it later."

"Oh, why would you have heard of me? I aired back in 1986! You were probably two! I'm old!" Monika wailed, her face slamming down on the counter top. Bill glanced nervously around the bar, thankfully that everyone else had left by now.

"Well, that sounds about right, actually," Bill said in regards to his age. Clearly misinterpreting him, Monika sobbed. Bill panicked, completely at a loss for how to react. He wanted to comfort the clearly distressed 'Toon, but he felt it would be an invasion of her personal space if he touched her.

"Uh," Bill stammered, struggling to find the right words. "Please don't cry, miss."

Monika's head suddenly shot up from the counter top and she glared at the bartender. Inky mascara was starting to run down her face around her eyes, and Bill decided it would be for the best if he didn't mention this. However, he did finally notice Monika's big, sparkling eyes, especially glossy now that they were watering. Obviously much larger than a human's eyes, there was still something endearing about them. Perhaps it was the color; the same dark blue as Monika's uniform.

"I'm not crying!" Monika snapped, bringing Bill back to reality. She quickly swiped her index finger across the shaded underside of her nose, sniffling sloppily as she did. Bill took a step back and held up his hands. In one quick motion, Monika dropped a twenty dollar bill on the counter top and grabbed a tissue to wipe her eyes. Before Bill could react, the 'Toon was already headed for the door.

"Keep the change," Monika grunted, picking up a black overcoat from a hook next to the door. She also grabbed a feminine officer's cap from underneath it and quickly placed it on her head before stepping outside into the snow.

"Wait, where are you going?" Bill asked, reaching a hand after Monika. When he realized what he was doing, he quickly drew his hand back and rubbed his wrist.

"Back to my apartment, to get away from your darn Christmas... Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOO!" Monika interrupted herself with another sneeze, the mere mention of the pine tree aggravating her allergy. She rubbed her finger back and forth under her nose and pushed the door open. "And to be alone." With that, Monika stepped out into the snow.

"Wait, miss!" Bill called out after her, extending a hand. After glancing around just to make sure the bar was empty, he leaped over the counter and ran out the door as fast as he could while still turning the "Open" sign over and flipping the deadbolt.

"Monica!" the bartender shouted, sprinting after the distressed 'Toon. Monika turned back to him with a scowl, pulling her overcoat tight around her thin body.

"It's spelled with a K!" she shouted, giving Bill the best evil-eye she could. Bill staggered, feeling confused.

"How do you even know how I'm spelling it?" he asked, bewildered. Monika snorted, blew a lock of her brown, shoulder-length hair away from her face, and then turned her back on him again. Bill ran after her, starting to slip in the snow. Eventually, the bartender managed to catch up, and he slowed to a walk next to the bundled-up woman.

"Look, I'm sorry," Bill said, holding up his hands again. "I'm not trying to insult you or anything. Your show does actually sound kind of familiar, and you... You look sort of familiar too," he said, hoping Monika would give him the pleasure of another glance. She stopped and turned to face him, a bit of snow falling from the top of her officer's cap as she looked up at him.

"What do you want?" Monika asked, sounding slightly less impatient than he had a moment ago. Bill scratched the back of his head and shrugged.

"I just... I didn't want to see you leave feeling so miserable," he said, putting his hands on his hips. "And all I've got to do after work is be alone too. I thought maybe we could be alone together." Bill tried to reach a hand toward Monika's face, but before he could touch her, her big eyes started to flutter and her nose scrunched up slightly.


Bill quickly pulled his hand away as Monika's head tipped back.


"Bless you," Bill said, digging around in his pockets for a tissue before realizing he didn't have any. Monika gently rubbed the shaded underside of her nose with her index finger and sighed.

"Sorry. It's cold," she said, shaking her head slowly. Monika pushed the tip of her nose up for a second and sniffed. The triangular shadow above her lips widened for a split second as she sniffed, as if her imaginary nostrils were flaring. Finally, Monika rubbed her finger from side to side under her nose again and turned her attention back to Bill.

"I hope you're not getting sick," Bill commented, trying to sound comforting. Monika shook her head again, shrugging her shoulders.

"Don't worry about it. It's cold, I'm a 'Toon. I sneeze. It's only natural." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, placing her finger back under her nose. "Look, if you really want, you can come back to my place for a while," Monika continued, turning around again to continue back to her apartment. "But you really need to come up with some more creative ways to invite yourself over."


"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOO! Ah-CHOO! Ah-Ahh-Ahhh-CHOOO!"

Monika sneezed three times as she stepped through the door of her apartment, shaking the remaining snow loose from her officer's cap. She hung up her cap and overcoat next to the door and gestured for Bill to follow her inside. Once he was through the door, Monika shut it behind him and began to rub her nose slowly but firmly with her finger.

"Bless you. You sure you're okay?" Bill said, in regards to Monika's brief sneezing fit. She nodded, pushing the tip of her nose up gently with a quiet sniff.

"Yeah, I'm fine. That always happens when it's cold out. It's like an establishing shot or something. I come inside, I sneeze, and then everyone knows I was cold outside. I don't know. 'Toon stuff. Anyway, I should be fine now."

"I like your place," Bill said, glancing around the small apartment. "It's cozy."

"Is that what they call it these days?" Monika grunted, shrugging her shoulders. She headed into the kitchen, but Bill stayed in the entryway, still looking things over. The walls were painted a boring, off-white color, and there was very little in the way of decoration, but everything fit together well enough anyway.

"I'm going to make a midnight snack," Monika called from the kitchen, starting up the stove. "You want anything?"

"No thanks, I'm good," Bill replied, heading into the living room. It was a small, square room with a high ceiling and a fan. Bill noticed it lacked a fireplace, but it did contain a fairly large TV, and one corner was filled with various props and memorabilia, most likely from Gemini Alpha. Most prominent was a life-size cardboard cut-out of Monika herself, standing tall with her hands behind her back, a stern expression on her face, and her nose turned up proudly.

"Is all this from the show?" Bill asked, turning his head back toward the kitchen. He heard Monika opening and closing a few cabinets before replying.

"Yeah, it is. Please don't touch anything!" Monika replied, suddenly appearing in the doorway from the kitchen. She had a comically large oven mitt on her right hand, and she held a pepper shaker in her left. Bill raised an eyebrow when he noticed the shaker; Monika was a 'Toon, she should know better.

"It's all I have left of Gemini Alpha, and it's all laid out exactly how I want it. It means the world to me," Monika explained, a genuine, sorrowful tone to her voice. She let out a quiet sigh and tried to smile, but Bill only noticed the pepper shaker creeping closer and closer to her face. Bill had only ever seen this happen before when the pepper shaker in question was a 'Toon itself, but he supposed Monika's bad luck knew no bounds. A brown cloud of pepper slowly began to rise from the shaker, menacingly approaching Monika's nose.

"Uh, Monika?" Bill said, pointing to the shaker. Monika raised an eyebrow at him, taking a second to realize what he was gesturing to. After a moment, she got the message and turned her eyes toward the shaker in her hand.

"Oh, come on," Monika groaned, rolling her eyes. As soon as she noticed the cloud of pepper, it accelerated and zoomed toward the triangular shadow above her lips. Before Monika could react, the pepper disappeared up into her nose, once again despite the 'Toon's lack of nostrils. Her eyes fluttered and her chest began to heave, and Bill quickly approached to lend a hand.


Monika's breath hitched, her body undergoing an exaggerated pre-sneeze spasm. However, before she could let loose, she felt Bill press his index finger to the shaded underside of her nose. Monika's urge to sneeze died down, but she still felt an awful tickle inside her concave nose.

"Th-thanks," she breathed, panting as the pepper furiously tickled her nose. Bill nodded and placed a hand gently on Monika's shoulder. Without another word, he started to lead the helpless 'Toon back to her kitchen so she could rid herself of the troublesome pepper shaker. As soon as the counter top was within reach, Bill snatched the pepper shaker out of Monika's hand and placed it on the stone surface. He kept his finger held firmly under Monika's nose for a few minutes, feeling her breathing steadily calm down as the tickling in her nose sorted itself out. Finally Monika breathed a sigh of relief and Bill removed his finger.

"Thanks again," she said, gently punching his shoulder. Bill nodded and turned his attention to the stove top, admiring Monika's cooking. It appeared to be some sort of chicken dish, but it wasn't a recipe he recognized. Probably another 'Toon thing.

"What are you making? It looks nice," Bill asked, not noticing Monika's continued distress. Determined to make the poor 'Toon sneeze, the pepper burst back out of Monika's nose in a malevolent cloud, forming itself into the shape of a long, sharp feather. The woman stared cross-eyed down her nose, eyeing the pepper-feather for a second before it reached forward and gave a fierce stab at the triangular shadow under her nose. The feather slowly, torturously tickled its way back into Monika's nose, making her gasp and wheeze.


Bill finally noticed Monika's predicament, but by the time he turned his attention to her, it was already too late. The last of the pepper disappeared into the underside of Monika's nose just as Bill turned his head, barely giving him time to catch sight of it.

"Monika, are you-"


The tickled 'Toon sneezed so hard that she fell on her rear. Letting out a quiet gasp, Bill knelt down next to her and helped her sit up. Monika's eyes spun for a second, but as soon as she regained her balance, her eyelids fluttered and the bridge of her nose scrunched up.

"Are you okay?"


Monika let out three rapid sneezes, small clouds of pepper bursting from her nose with each one. After the final sneeze, she appeared to have finished, but the bridge of her nose had turned lightly pink.

"This is ridiculous," Monika groaned, rubbing the underside of her nose slowly but firmly with her index finger. "I get less add less realisdig every day. This dever would have happed to be id '89." Her voice sounded horribly congested, and Bill nearly cringed at how pitiful she sounded.

"Cad I have tissue or sobethig?"

"Oh, of course," Bill responded, standing up. He grabbed a tissue from a box on the counter top and then helped Monika back to her feet. Handing her the tissue, Bill took a step back to give her some breathing room. The stuffed-up 'Toon smudged the underside of her nose into the tissue and gave a wet, bubbly blow. Bill watched in wonder as the pink drained from Monika's nose as she blew, and when she finished her blowing with a trio of quiet sniffles, she looked no worse for wear.

"Shouldn't you have learned not to cook with pepper by now?" Bill asked teasingly, leaning toward Monika. She gave him a death glare and crossed her arms.

"I'm a 'Toon! It's funnier if I forget about it, only to remember at the worst possible moment," Monika explained, her voice blank as if she were reading from a script. She spun away from Bill and pouted, turning up her nose at him and facing away every time he tried to stand in front of her again.

"Don't you want your chicken... Thing?" Bill asked, not quite sure what to call the dish Monika had been preparing. The pouting 'Toon shook her head.

"I'm not hungry anymore," she said, wiggling her nose. Monika sniffed damply and swiped her index finger across the underside of her nose before turning away from Bill again. Bill moved to step in front of the 'Toon once more, and before she could turn, he quickly reached a hand up to her face and grabbed her nose. It crumpled like thick paper in his grip, and Monika's eyes bulged.

"Led go of be!" she demanded, backing away. Instead of breaking free of Bill's grasp, Monika's nose stretched out as she tried to distance herself.

"As you wish, ma'am," Bill said teasingly, releasing Monika's nose. The stretched nose snapped back into place like an extended tape measure, flailing around before smacking Monika in the forehead and finally returning to its proper shape.

"Ouch!" Monika grunted, placing a hand on her forehead. The tip of her nose wobbled erratically as it settled into its original position, and the 'Toon gently grabbed it with her free hand to hold it still.

"Sorry, didn't know that would happen," Bill said, holding up his hands. Monika gently massaged the top of her nose and shook her head.

"No, it's okay. I didn't either. Never happened to me before."

"Are you sure you're alright?" Bill asked, taking a step toward the 'Toon. He reached a hand toward her shoulder and she shied away, but after a moment she allowed him to touch her. Monika sighed, staring down at her feet.

"Yeah, I'm fine," she said, sounding a little choked up. Monika gently pushed the tip of her nose up with the side of her finger and sniffled damply, closing her eyes.

"Do you want to talk?" Bill asked, pulling her a little closer. She shook her head.


"Maybe you should," Bill encouraged gently. Monika glanced up at him, the look in her eyes more scared than angry.

"Do I have to?" she said, her voice shaky. She pushed her nose up and sniffled again, lowering her gaze. Not sure what else to do, Bill put his arms around the 'Toon and gave her a gentle hug.

"You don't have to do anything. I just think you might feel better if you got it off your chest. Plus, telling me about your show might help me remember it. It sounds familiar, it really does."

Monika took a deep breath through her nose and then sighed, relaxing her shoulders as much as she could. After a moment of thought, she nodded and took a step away from Bill.

"Okay, I'll tell you," she said, running her index finger across the underside of her nose. "But I'm probably going to cry. Make fun of me and I'll kick you out." Bill held up his hands defensively and shook his head.

"I wouldn't dream of it. Clearly this means a lot to you."

"Well, back in 1986, there was this little sci-fi cartoon called Gemini Alpha. I was actually the main supporting character rather than a main character. The main characters were a group of cadets serving on my ship. My role was to be the strict but fair caretaker of the group, I suppose, so I guess I was written to be closed off like this since day one," Monika began, sounding proud of her subject matter. Bill took a seat and watched silently as the 'Toon paced around the room, trying to gather her thoughts.

"Anyway, it's pretty obvious we were supposed to cash in on the popularity of stuff like Star Wars and Star Trek, but we actually had some pretty good writers. Every episode was fun and original, and we grew together as a family, as both characters and actors. The original writers wanted us to end after 3 seasons, and then we could all move on to bigger and better things. Sure, I would miss Gemini Alpha, but everyone has to move on sometime. But, we were making a ton of money for the network, so naturally they didn't want us to stop. So they..."

Monika trailed off, clenching a fist under her chin. She sniffled once and wiped her index finger under her nose, starting to tear up. Bill was about to offer her another tissue, but she resumed her story before he could grab the box.

"They fired the writers and brought in a completely new team. The cast and I didn't really know what this meant at first, and things were okay for another half of a season. After that though, things really started going downhill. We were basically just redoing popular old episodes again with a few names changed, and it was clear the new writers were just there to keep us going for more money."

Closing her eyes for a moment, Monika paused again. She sniffled again, rubbing her finger under her nose. This time, Bill successfully offered her a tissue, and she accepted it gratefully. Monika pressed the tissue to the underside of her nose for a second, and then she continued on.

"By the end of our fifth season, we had been completely run into the ground. Only our most devoted fans were still watching, and the rest of the cast and I all knew this was the end. Instead of finishing on a high note like we should have, we were shamed and humiliated. The network even sold the rights to the show, so we pretty much lost all hope. The rest of the cast is still around, but we don’t see each other much anymore. So, yeah, that's the sob story of Gemini Alpha."

Monika turned back to face Bill, horrified to find him smiling slightly. She took a step back, her big blue eyes welling up with tears.

"Why are you smiling!?" Monika sobbed, burying her nose in her tissue. She took a deep breath and heaved a loud, bubbly nose blow into the piece of paper, quickly saturating it. Bill stood up from his chair and approached her, and while she began to back away at first, Monika quickly gave up and began to cry openly, large, exaggerated tears falling from her eyes. She loudly blew her nose into her tissue again just as Bill gently put his arms around her and gave her a soft hug.

"Monika, I remember why you seem so familiar," Bill said, gently cradling the back of the 'Toon's head. "I understand if this is a bit sudden, but if you'd come back to my place with me, I have something to show you. I think it'll make you feel a lot better."

"You promise?" Monika asked, sniffling damply. She rubbed her finger under her nose and began to sniffle continuously, tears still falling from her eyes.

"Yes, yes I do."


Bill's apartment was roughly a twenty minute walk away from Monika's, but the trek was mostly silent. Bill was busy leading the way through the snow, and Monika was still sniffling back tears even as they arrived. She hung up her overcoat and officer's cap on a hook next to the door and took one last deep sniff to clear her head as Bill closed the door behind her.

"Your place is cozy too," Monika said, looking around the entryway. Bills apartment was much larger than her own, but he still had a stable source of income, so she wasn't terribly surprised. She headed into the living room and quickly spotted something that made her roll her eyes in frustration.

"Oh no..." the 'Toon groaned, catching sight of a decorated Christmas tree in the corner. "Why do you have to have a... Have a... Ah-Ahh-Ahhh!"

"It's fake, you know," Bill said, walking up behind Monika as she built up to an unnecessary sneeze. As soon as the word "fake" left his lips, she immediately calmed down, but she gave her nose a quick rub with her finger anyway.

"You couldn't have told me that sooner?" Monika grunted, elbowing him gently. Bill backed away with a chuckle and then led her into the room, offering her a seat next to the tree. Monika eyed it suspiciously, her nose still feeling strangely tickly whenever she looked at it. The 'Toon scratched the shaded underside of her nose and rolled her eyes, facing away from the plastic plant.

"I'll be right back," Bill said, disappearing around the corner. Monika relaxed in the chair, listening to Bill rummage around in his closet and eventually pick up something that sounded very heavy. After a few minutes, he returned to the living room carrying a large metal case. He set it down in front of Monika, the heavy case falling to the floor with a loud thud. Monika stood up from her chair and knelt down in front of the case opposite Bill.

"What is it?" she asked, raising an eyebrow up at him. Bill took a deep breath and then blew a layer of dust off the top of the case. In true 'Toon fashion, the dust swirled around Monika's head for a moment before zooming up her nose.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOO!" Monika sneezed, expelling a cloud of dust from her nose. "You did that on purpose!"

Bill smiled and wiped away the rest of the dust with his hand, revealing the words "Storyboards - Season 6" engraved on the case's lid. Monika's breath caught in her throat as she read the words.

"My uncle was an animator," Bill said, sitting down next to Monika on her side of the case. "He always told me about how he'd been working on 'that space show' since day one, and he and the other animators were getting fed up with the bad writing. On their own time, they got together with the show's original writers, and they came up with an entire sixth season."

Monika choked, her eyes welling up again. She wiped her finger under her nose and sniffled back her tears, allowing Bill to continue.

"I saw a few sketches here and there, but I never actually knew what show he was talking about until tonight. I don't think he specifically meant to leave this case to me, but I ended up with it somehow anyway. When the network sold the rights, I think they just wanted to keep this hidden so nobody responsible for ruining the show would ever find it. Want to take a look?"

Monika nodded, wiping a tear from each eye. She sniffled a few more times and Bill gestured to the case, offering her the honor of opening it. Closing her eyes for a second, Monika allowed a tear to fall from each eye before removing the lid from the case. Another cloud of dust shot into the air, and it once again found its way up the 'Toon's nose after just a few seconds.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOOO!" Monika sneezed again, falling back down into a sitting position. After setting the lid down, she looked inside the case, seeing a folder labeled "S6 E01" at the top of a pile. Monika removed it from the case, feeling another tickle in her nose as she inhaled some of the dust that covered it.


Not wanting Monika to sneeze on the folder or anything else in the case, Bill quickly slid his finger under her nose and pushed up slightly. He held his finger in place for a few seconds, waiting until Monika's breathing calmed down. Once her shoulders relaxed and her eyes opened, he moved his hand and gave her a quick wink. She smiled back at him and opened the folder.


Bill and Monika silently read through each and every storyboard, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. The 'Toon's eyes filled with tears of joy as her life's work was slowly but surely restored to its former glory with each passing episode. Since the episodes were merely storyboarded and never actually animated, new characters and events they introduced never actually existed, but they still gave Monika a great sense of pride. Even if these episodes never came to light, she would know how Gemini Alpha was truly meant to end.

Finally, only an hour before sunrise, they arrived at the final episode. Monika opened a folder labeled "S6 E26" and she and Bill began to read through. The Gemini Alpha and its crew faced off against an old and powerful enemy, but unlike the light-hearted episodes in the past, they knew it was a fight they wouldn't win. However, just as the eponymous ship was about to be destroyed, another ship mysteriously appeared from nowhere to save the day. With their enemies driven back, this new ship revealed itself to be the Virgo Beta, sent back from 50 years in the future and commanded by who Bill and Monika could only assume was Captain Stargazer's daughter.

The new captain was virtually identical to Monika, the only distinguishing feature being a pair of rectangular, rimless glasses which she seemed to adjust constantly. Without an enemy to face, the crew of the Gemini Alpha spent the rest of the episode bonding with their future relatives and counterparts, with particular attention to Monika and her daughter. Monika had never been a main character of the show, but this final episode would have given her a chance to shine. Finally, as the episode drew to a close, the Virgo Beta returned to its own time period, and Monika noticed that her daughter had oddly never been given a name. She turned the final page of the folder, and to her surprise, one final piece of paper fell to the floor.

"Oh wow," Monika breathed, picking up the page. Bill gently grabbed one corner of it, and he immediately noticed the high-quality photography paper felt identical to Monika's skin. On the page was a fully colored rendition of Monika's daughter, adjusting her glasses and turning up her nose in the same proud pose Monika herself usually held in the show's promotional images. Another tear fell from Monika's eye as she gazed longingly at the picture, trying to imagine what her daughter might have been like.

"I wonder why they never named her," the 'Toon said, sounding very choked up. Bill placed a hand on her shoulder and then gently rubbed her back.

"Well, we'll never know for sure, but I think this means you can name her," he said, giving Monika a quick wink. She smiled up at him and sniffled back the rest of her tears, not wanting to drip on the pristine image.

"You might not believe it, but I've been thinking about this for a while. What it might be like to have a daughter, I mean. I already have a name all picked out," Monika explained, wiping her finger under her nose. Bill nodded and stood up, heading into his bedroom for a moment and quickly returning with a permanent marker. Monika gratefully accepted the marker and carried the image over to the small table next to Bill's Christmas tree. She gently placed the picture down on the table and then signed the name "Danielle Stargazer" in the empty space next to her daughter's head. Once she finished her signature, Monika gave the picture a quick kiss on the forehead and backed away.

"Pretty name," Bill said, kneeling down next to the 'Toon. She nodded, beginning to cry again. Monika dropped the marker on the floor and gestured to the tissue box sitting on the arm rest of one of the chairs. Bill retrieved it for her and handed her a tissue, which she quickly accepted and immediately blew her nose into.

"She has my nose," Monika said, her voice shaky. She wiped away a few tears and then heartily blew her nose again.

"That's all?" Bill said incredulously. "Take away those glasses and you two would be identical." He put an arm around Monika's shoulder and gave her a sideways hug, shaking her gently. The 'Toon blew her nose one more time and then leaned against Bill, closing her eyes.

"Thank you,' Monika said, balling up her tissue. "For everything. I know the show's probably still not going to get picked up again, but at least I know how it was really supposed to end. Just... Thank you."

"You're welcome," Bill replied, squeezing Monika's shoulders for a moment. "Oh, and by the way, that tree's not really fake. I'm amazed you lasted this long." Monika's eyes bulged and she immediately shoved her finger under her nose.

"W-what? How c-could you!? Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! Ah-CHOOO!"


And there you have it, folks. I actually finished this story way before Christmas, but I sat around deciding on whether or not I'd post it for so long that I sort of missed the mark. Hopefully it's not too late though. I hope you all enjoyed this, and if not, thanks for taking the time to read anyway! Again, special thanks to all my brain stormers and beta readers, you know who you are.

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Awwww!!! No such thing as TOO cute! ;)

It was sweet. Generally female and/or cartoony is not my thing- but I thought that this was just really sweet. :)

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Look, Blah, you've gotten someone to de-lurk with this! :D

I'm glad you posted it and I think it's freaking adorable. I like the title too. :P I look forward to reading this again and again when I'm in the mood to feel warm and fuzzy.

Excellent job. :hug:

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Such length! Such prose! You had me at the pepper feather, haha. It's interesting to see something in this style, to be certain! Keep up the awesome stories. :)

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Wow. Clever, funny, and heartwarming. Bravo, sir. This would make a great short film. I can only imagine what Monika looks like.

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Oh my goodness. I'm SO glad you went ahead and finished this! :D It turned out FANTASTIC! I love these two so much. B'uh. :wub:

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Oooh you posted it. :D Awesome. ^^ I think your writing style and this sort of story go very well together. And the idea of the writers giving her an allergy to Christmas trees that doesn't want to go away is adorable. ^_^

... I'll go and re-re-read it now. ;)


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What a brilliant idea! Has it ever been done before? I loved the way her nose appeared when in profile.... I was rather hoping she would be a bit like Jessica Rabbit and that when she blew her nose it would produce a cartoonily overdone honk plus the hankie would balloon out horizontally and flutter in the blow.

Excellent work! And so many possibilities.........

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This was, as usual, hilarious, sexy, and extremely well-written, Blah-san. :) Thank you for gracing us with another one of your masterpieces!

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That was a sweet story, and I'm glad Monika got a happy ending of sorts. It's no fun for the audience when a show gets cancelled or run into the ground, and I'm sure the actors feel the same way, so that part of the story rings true. And of course, the sneezes were cute too. Monika sounds like a wonderful character in general. If that show existed, I'm sure she'd have been my favorite character.

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Sorry for bumping this up but I realized I forgot to leave a review! I love this story so much. It just has a nice balance of everything: the toon moments are funny and hold a nostalgic quality, Bill and Monika are really adorable together, and the ending is just delightfully sappy, as any good Christmas special should be. And I love this part so much:

"It's spelled with a K!" she shouted, giving Bill the best evil-eye she could. Bill staggered, feeling confused.

"How do you even know how I'm spelling it?" he asked, bewildered.

When you first wrote it, I wasn't sure how you were gonna end it, but it was nicely bittersweet and adorable and YEAH. Honestly there's nothing to change. This story is just qual man :rudolph2:

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  • 4 months later...

Hey everyone,

I never thought I'd do this, but I actually wrote a little bit of a followup piece the other day. It's short and fluffy, but I think it's cute so I want to post it anyway. I may actually make this into a bit of a series-ish sort of thing. Not really a series, but if I think of more cute little snippets of Bill and Monika's daily life, I may write them out and add them here. I think their main story is over, so I don't really want to add anything as weighty or dramatic as the original story, but rather little cute moments like this one.

And again, many thanks to everyone who helped me put this together, and for all the kind comments I've received since then.


Moving In

After much deliberation, Bill and Monika decided it would be a step in the right direction to start living together. Bill's apartment was larger and more accommodating, so they agreed Monika should move in with him. As a 'Toon, Monika didn't have many material needs, but her apartment was stuffed to the brim with Gemini Alpha memorabilia. Bill wouldn't dream of asking her to give any of it up, so he helped her move everything in, storing it in his living room until they could organize it. The day after the move was complete, Monika was passing her time dusting off her various boxes while Bill checked the mail.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh... AH-CHOO!"

Monika sneezed loudly as a cloud of dust got up her nose. She sighed quietly and gently pressed her outstretched index finger to the triangle in the middle of her face that was the underside of her nose. As far as Monika knew, the writers of Gemini Alpha had only made her allergic to pine trees, but she was beginning to wonder if she wasn't allergic to dust too.

"I guess it could just be a 'Toon thing," Monika groaned to herself, gently rubbing her nose. She sniffed quietly and knelt down next to her biggest box, opening it up to examine its contents.

"What's a 'Toon thing?" Bill asked, reentering the apartment with a small box in his hands. Monika looked up at him and shrugged.

"Dust always makes me sneeze," she said, rubbing her nose again. As if on cue, her face scrunched up and she gave another loud "AH-CHOO!" Bill smiled and set his package down on the kitchen counter, and then he began digging through the drawers for a pair of scissors.

"I think that might just be a you thing, Monika," Bill chuckled, finding his cutting implement. Monika pouted and gave him a playful frown.

"What's that supposed to mean, mister?" she said, folding her arms.

"I don't know," Bills shrugged, carefully cutting his box open. "I mean, you kind of sneeze a lot anyway." Monika thought for a moment and then nodded, standing up from her dusty belongings.

"I guess you're right," she resigned, rubbing her nose as she approached Bill. She peeked over his shoulder to see what was in his package, but he hadn't taken it out of the box yet.

"Did you ever sneeze on your show?" Bill asked, reaching into the box. Monika shrugged and thought for a second.

"Yeah, actually. In the first episode, even," Monika answered, frowning to herself. "There's this really gross close-up on my nose and I hate it."

"Well, do you want to watch it?" Bill said triumphantly. He spun around from his package to show Monika a copy of Gemini Alpha - The Complete Series on Blu-Ray. Monika's jaw dropped.

"Oh my gosh. What is that?" she asked, sounding somewhere between excited, surprised and horrified all at once. Bill smiled and held up his box set.

"Well, I realized after all this time, I still hadn't seen your show. I went looking for it, and lo and behold it got a Blu-Ray release. So I bought it right away, and I thought we could watch it together."

"What's a Blu-Ray?" Monika asked, sounding genuinely perplexed. She cocked her head to the side and stared at the box, recognizing her ship on the cover but feeling baffled by everything else.

"Uh," Bill stammered. He'd never had to explain it before. "It's like a DVD, but it looks better."

"Oh!" Monika said, putting her hands together with a big smile. "Those are like CDs with movies on them, right?"

"Wha-? Yeah. Close enough," Bill responded, deciding to avoid the pitfall of explaining what a Blu-Ray disc actually was. The two of them sat down on the couch in front of the TV, which unfortunately for Monika was the dustiest place in the apartment. Bill opened a window for her as he walked over to his Blu-Ray player, but it would still take a while for the air to filter out.

"AH-CHOO!" Monika sneezed again as Bill turned the TV on. The 'Toon rubbed her nose slowly but firmly, snuffling to herself. As Bill sat down next to her again, he noticed a subtle strip of pink appearing across the bridge of her nose.

"Are you feeling alright?" he asked, giving Monika a gentle nudge. "We can go get some fresh air if you want." Monika shook her head, gesturing at the TV.

"No way," she said, placing her finger back under her nose. "I totally want you to see this. Ah... Ah-Ahh-Ahhh... AH-CHOO!"

"Alright, if you say so," Bill said, picking up the remote. He mashed the skip button until the Blu-Ray arrived on the main menu, and then he pressed "play all." Monika plucked a tissue from a box on the table next to her and gave her nose a loud, honking blow as the Gemini Alpha main titles started to play. Bill felt it was a little 80s-overdosed, but it made sense given that was when the show actually aired, and he kept quiet out of respect anyway.

Monika blew her nose loudly again as the first actual scene of the show began. Bill didn't notice, but she was averting her eyes from the TV screen in embarrassment. A tall, skinny brunette walked through a futuristic corridor, and as soon as Bill recognized her hairstyle, he gave Monika a sly smile.

"Hey, is that you?" Bill asked, putting an arm around Monika's shoulder. She nodded shyly, lifting her tissue back up to her nose to quietly sniffle into it. Bill gave her a gentle, sideways hug, sensing how nervous she had become. Monika's shoulders relaxed a little, but Bill could tell she was still feeling shy.

On-screen Monika approached what appeared to be a classroom of some kind. The door opened to reveal a sea of unruly cadets, each table of them working on some bizarre experiment. It was all cartoon science, pouring one colored liquid into another to create little puffs of smoke and funny explosions. Monika stared at them for a second, a frown spreading across her face. Once she grew tired of being ignored, she stuck her thumb and index finger in her mouth and whistled loudly. The cadets fell silent and Monika began to lecture them about discipline.

The camera focused in on the table at the front of the classroom, leading Bill to believe they were the cadet protagonists who were the stars of the show. As prominent a character as Monika was, she was still on the supporting cast. As on-screen Monika's angry lecture continued, real-life Monika slowly drew her legs up onto the couch and hid behind them, peering nervously over her knees. Then, just as she had mentioned earlier, the camera shifted focus to on-screen Monika's face. It slowly zoomed in on her nose, showing the fumes from one of the cadets' failed experiments creeping ever closer to her. In predictable cartoon fashion, the fumes waved gently against the shaded underside of Monika's nose, putting a distracted look on her face. Her eyes fluttered, and then she threw back her head.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh! AH-CHOOOOOOO!!!"

"EWWW!" Monika squealed, hiding her face behind her knees and throwing her arms around herself. Bill laughed heartily, rubbing Monika's shoulders. On-screen, the cadets roared with laughter at Monika's comical sneeze until she silenced them with another earsplitting whistle, but by this point Bill was paying less attention to her and more to the Monika beside him.

"You're such a dork," he said teasingly, giving Monika a gentle shake. Without warning, Monika hit him, then folded her arms and pouted.

"I am not!" Monika said, turning up her nose and looking away. Bill frowned apologetically, reaching a hand toward her. Monika slapped it away and huffed.

"Hey, I'm sorry," Bill said, leaning toward the flustered 'Toon. Monika huffed again, louder and more high-pitched this time, but Bill wasn't deterred. "I didn't mean it like that." He reached a hand toward her again, and this time Monika huddled up away from him, but she eventually allowed him to touch her.

"Well, what did you mean then?" she asked, giving Bill the best stink-eye her proper face could manage. Bill could tell by her expression that she wasn't completely serious, so he decided to play loose.

"I think you know what I mean."

"Oh, do I?"

"Yeah, I think you do." Bill gently poked Monika's side, prompting her to pop up out of her seat for a split second. Her body language was still annoyed, but she was smiling now.

"Stop it! Why are you so mean to me?" Monika stammered, a bit of laughter creeping into her voice. Bill laughed back, poking her again.

"I think you like it," he said, reaching to poke her a third time. Monika slapped his hand away, and then her nose started to scrunch up again.

"Ah-Ahh-Ahhh... AH-CHOO!" Monika sneezed, barely managing to direct it away from Bill's face. She began to playfully slap at his hands as he tried to poke her, neither one of them realizing the TV was still playing.

"If you don't stop, I'm going to find that big cardboard cutout of me and hang it over your bed in the middle of the night," Monika laughed, grabbing Bill's hands. He smirked, holding his arms out to the sides to move Monika's hands away.

"Go right ahead. Maybe I'd like that," Bill said, leaning toward Monika. Then, he let his impulses get the better of him and he gave Monika a quick kiss on the cheek. Once he realized what he had done, Bill pulled back and saw that Monika's face had turned bright red.

"Monika? You okay?" Bill asked, feeling the 'Toon let go of his wrists. Monika looked up at him, her blush receding to just her cheeks and nose.

"This's the first time anyone's ever kissed me," Monika said, shyly rolling her shoulders. She blinked and then looked away, not sure how to express herself.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Bill said, waving his hands apologetically. "I didn't-"

"No," Monika said, silencing him. "I liked it. Maybe... Maybe we can do it again sometime."

Bill stared back at her, feeling himself blush a little too. Then, he smiled and reached for the remote on the table in front of the couch. Putting his thumb on the back button, he dropped the remote to the side and gave Monika a sideways glance.

"Well," he began, clearing his throat nervously. "Until then, maybe we should start this over." Monika nodded, and just as Bill was about to press the back button, he felt the 'Toon give him a kiss of her own.


And that's all for now! As I said before, I may add more little cute fluff stories as I think of them, but nothing's officially planned for now.

Thanks for reading!

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D'awww! So cute. xD I love how vividly you describe the toon-ness of it all. I hope she may return again later. :)

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