It was the night before Christmas and all through the house – everyone wasn't just stirring, they were wide awake. This was no ordinary household mind you, everyone there was nocturnal; they slept all day and woke at night.
Jenna was busy feverishly writing Christmas cards to friends, family, colleagues and anyone else she thought she should, shoulder-length red hair shimmering under the lamp light. She was wearing a woollen green sweater with a picture of a felt reindeer with a bright red nose. Its' nose was supposed to light up but this had long since stopped working and she didn't really mind.
Olivia was rigging up the Christmas lights, or at least trying to. Jex kept yelling at her about the cold and the fact she was doing it all wrong. The girls were wearing a long mossy-green coat with white fluff on the edges and burgundy pants.
Seven-foot Fransiscostein was in a pink, woollen sweater with a female reindeer wearing a spotted pink and white bow on each ear and a knee-length lavender skirt over the top of red and white candy-cane-like stockings. She was sitting on Lucille's bed discussing what the smaller girl was going to wear for the evening.
In the lab, Clark was working on a formula for something his twin brother Toby couldn't understand. The two were in normal clothes, aside from which Toby was wearing a Santa hat. TARS – who Toby was playing with – had a headband with a pair of felt antlers. They were the least festive-looking three despite the fact Toby and TARS loved Christmas the most out of all of them.
Wolfie was cooking a special Christmas meal for all as JJ complained about his cooking techniques – namely the fact he might as well own a BBQ if all he was gonna cook would be various meats. The former was wearing just his usual outfit of blue jeans while the latter was in a striped red and green shirt with one red sleave and one green one. A picture of a candy cane could easily be seen on the front.
A moment later Leonard came out drying his ears with the red, fluffy towel draped over his shoulders. Droplets of water were easily visible in his hair and he was wearing a green sweater that had the words "Green sweatered red-head – I look like Christmas!" written in red and a pair of white jeans with a small picture of a snowman over the back pocket.
"Merry almost Christmas." He smiled to Wolfie. "Same to you." Wolfie replied. "Only four hours to go." JJ's French accent was easily apparent – either this meant he was annoyed or excited. Leonard decided he didn't want to know and left to put a hat on and help Olivia.
Some time passed before Clyde came out. He was wearing a long black trench-coat in place of his usual cape and his pale skin seemed even paler surrounded in falling snow. "Leo." He said. Leonard looked down from his spot as he held one part of the lights still for Olivia.
"I've created a-" Clyde's sentence was cut short as Jex began yelling again.
"Leonard, I thought I told you to hold still! What part of 'still' don't you understand? Geez louese! I have to do everything around here!"
"Sorry Jex!" Leonard hastily called out, holding completely still again. When Jex was in one of her moods you just didn't mess with her.
"Clyde, can you go get the extension cord?" Jex called out. Clyde cringed and rushed in to get it.
"What do you mean 'there's no extension cord'?" Jex yelled as Olivia finished with her parts of the lights and rushed to help Leonard.
"Th-They said th-there aren't any." Clyde called back, stammer worsening from nervousness. Jex sighed in annoyance and tugged on the lights so they moved closer to the window.
"Leonard, I wrote a song." Clyde spoke timidly. "Vant to hear-"
"Now why the heck are they blinking!" It seemed Jex had turned on the lights for a trial. "Leonard, fix it!"
"Not now Clyde." Leonard said as he hurried over to his window, climbing in. "Coming Jex!" He called as he rushed out the door.
The thin man sighed, disappearing inside. He was about to enter the kitchen to see who there wanted to hear his song but as he walked in he quickly changed his mind.
"I dedn't say you can't have meat, just zat you have to senk of ze rest of us." JJ exclaimed.
"At least I'm being helpful, unlike you!" Wolfie retorted with a growl. "All you're doing is complaining!"
Neither of them appeared to have noticed Clyde yet and he took this chance to back out of the room. With a sigh, he walked down the stairs to see if the twins were any cheerier. The moment he opened the door to the lab it quickly became apparent that he wouldn't have luck with them either.
"I wanna a pony!" TARS was whining, shaking his arms as he sat on the bench.
"No, you'll only love it for a minute before moving onto the next thing." Clark was soldering something.
"I wanna pony!" TARS yelled. "Pony, pony, pony!"
"Toby, shut him up will you!" Clark obviously had enough of the screaming.
"But I want a pony too!" Toby whined.
Putting down the soldering gun, Clark shot his brother a look. "You're older than him and I will not tolerate this from both of you!"
"What's got a bee up your bum?" Toby responded.
"You two constantly complaining and being childish!" Clark poked Toby in the chest. "When will you grow up and be a responsible adult?"
"When you start having fun!" Toby exclaimed.
"I'm bored!" TARS was crying now.
Clyde closed the door and went back to his room, almost dragging his feet. He sighed. Barely an hour before Christmas and everyone was in a bad mood. He was just going to hide in here, playing his song.
"Are you sure this is safe?" Leonard asked Jex as he fiddled with the box for the lights. "This is Clark's department, not mine."
"You're better with electricals than I am." Jex retorted in defence. "Now are you going to fix the lights or what?"
Leonard sighed. "Okay, but I still don't think this is safe."
"Are you done yet?" Jex sighed, leaning against the wall in boredom.
"It's barely been a minute. Just let me work." Leonard wished he had stayed in the kitchen.
"Now?" Jex asked.
"Not yet." Leonard answered.
"How about now?"
"Look, do you want me to do this or not?" Leonard was getting visibly annoyed now. Jex was silent and he continued.
"Are you done yet?" Jex whined after about a minute.
"Look, if you're so smart, you rig up the lights!" Leonard shoved the electrical box in Jex's hands and stormed off.
"Fine, I think I will!" Jex yelled back. She looked at the box a moment before giving up, shoving all the wires inside and screwing it back together. "That'll do." She shrugged.
"Jex, I wouldn' do tha' if I wer' you?" Olivia spoke, her Scottish accent obvious through both cold and worry.
"Oh shut up Scotty. I know what I'm doing." To prove a point, Jex plugged the lights in and turned them on. The blonds begun screaming as all the lights went out.
"Oh come on!" Wolfie exclaimed. "Now I'll never finish cooking!"
"Maybe someone's trying to prove a point." JJ responded smugly.
"Has anyone seen Clyde?" Leonard asked as he came into the kitchen.
In Jenna's room, the young woman looked around in surprise. She stood, moving to get her flashlight and promptly banged her knee on the table. Swallowing a scream of pain she rubbed her knee as she bent down, feeling blindly for the flashlight. The girl grinned as she turned on the flashlight but this smile promptly dropped off her face as she realized the batteries were dead.
Feeling around the room, Jenna finally managed to locate the door. She opened it and walked out, closing it behind her. Hearing voices she felt her way along the floor towards them.
"What just happened?" She asked causing the three in the kitchen to look in her general direction. Only Wolfie, with his natural night vision, actually saw who it was.
"I don't know, one minute I'm cooking for everyone and the next... Well." He indicated his surroundings, which was strangely redundant, considering the others couldn't see him.
"You can't have been cooking for everyone!" JJ exclaimed. "I don't want to have onlee meat!"
"Guys, it's nearly Christmas. I think that was a very nice thing for Wolfie to do, even if he didn't factor in Clyde." Jenna admitted. JJ was glad of the power cut at that moment, so no one could see him blush.
Before anyone else could speak, Clark and Toby came up, Toby carrying a shivering TARS, both their eyes tightly shut. It seemed the man-child and the little one were both afraid of the dark but Clark didn't say anything about it.
"So, who overloaded the power circuit?" Clark spoke up, causing the others – minus Wolfie – to get a fright.
"Sorry guys."Olivia looked meek. "That was our fault."
"Speak for yourself." Jex huffed, crossing her arms defensively.
Before anyone could speak a sudden thud was heard, followed by a groan.
"What just hit me like a truck?" JJ picked himself up.
"My bad." Frankie helped Lucille to her feet. "Are you okay JJ?" She asked.
"Fine, fine." The short man grumbled.
"Has anyone seen Clyde?" Leonard repeated himself. He'd noticed the tall man wasn't there and though he didn't have night vision like Wolfie, he did have better eyes than the others and could see outlines of everyone pretty clearly already.
"I can't see anysing, geneeus." JJ growled.
"Actually, now I think about it I think I did." Wolfie spoke up. "He came in and left again."
"I think I need to find him." Leonard couldn't hide the worry in his voice. "He wanted to talk to me earlier but I was busy with Jex."
"Shh." Wolfie suddenly cut off further conversation. "I think I hear something."
Everyone went silent. Sure enough there was a small noise. It was barely audible but without sight everyone's other senses were heightened.
"I'll go check it out." Leonard decided.
"Don't just leave us here." Toby fought to keep his voice from shaking.
"Come on then." Leonard grabbed someone's hand.
"Hey zat's me!" "Oh, my bad... Sorry JJ."
Due to Leonard and Wolfie being the only ones able to see anything the others had somehow been roped into following them down the stairs. As they got closer they realized it was Clyde.
"I'll be back, you guys do what you want." Leonard told them in a whisper. He didn't know why he was whispering but assumed it had something to do with the darkness. As he opened the door to speak to Clyde he froze. Clyde was in his room surrounded by candles, playing the guitar. Presently, he began to sing.
Oh, Christmas bells are ringing
The snow at night
The love is shining through
The midnight sky
The star of Bethlehem
Brings to us
A special babe
Oh Christ, the gentle Lord
A feeling so special
I feel inside me
Threatening to break through
Because of a child
Which brings us together
And shows us...the meaning...of love
Almost instinctively, the group broke into applause and a very surprised and embarrassed Clyde turned sharply, almost blushing. Hearing him sing, everyone had time to think and reflect on their own lives. Christmas was never about the presents or the decorations – it was about family and friends, and a little boy who had nothing to give to the world but his love.
With a smile, Frankie sat down next to Clyde and begun to sing. This was followed by Leonard, and JJ, and soon everyone was packed into the bedroom, singing.