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Just A Dream


© NintendoGal55

Sequel numero uno of "Sewing Basket", taking place as if the events of that night were only a dream. Sad and distraught, it doesn't stop Jack and Sally from forming a very deep connection, that although doesn't come to fruition, will eventually do so in the long run.

Warning: Major Fluff.

Chapter: 1 2 3


This story will be split into about three or four parts, given its length. :3 Enjoy!

No worry, the OTHER sequel, which won't be connected to this one, will be out sometime soon. :3

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XXX

Jack snuggled a little into her too. "It'll all work out, Sally...We'll just ease into things...and we'll be okay..." He squeezed her hand. "It's a new day, after all..."

"...You're right...we will. It's a new day....and tomorrow, it'll start all over again..." She squeezed his hand back. "We'll make it..."

Jack nodded. "We'll be wonderful together...my love..."

They walked out of the graveyard gate, just quiet and happy together as they prepared to return to the real world...In love and ready to keep things that way...forever.

XXX

There was the sound of the undead rooster, crowing, signaling that it was morning. A new day. Strange, though Sally still slept, she felt...a little odd. But why? She felt all right, but, there was something weird in the air. And weren't they just leaving the graveyard? Together?

"Something's up with Jack
Something's up with Jack..."

Singing?

The sun was slowly pouring over her...and she opened her eyes, seeing that Vampire brothers standing nearby. They were singing about..Jack? Something was up with Jack? Sally immediately was wide awake, taking in her surroundings. She was sitting up against the stone wall next to Jack's gate.

“Don't know when we're ever going to get him back...”

The Vampire brothers then seemed glide away, covering their faces as the sun rose higher.

A moment later, the wolfman walked by, looking up toward Jack's home with worry.

“He's all alone up there
Locked away inside...”

"Never says a word." Said the Corpse mother, Bertha, as she and her son walked by, pulling him along on a leash.

"Hope he hasn't died." Said Ethan the corpse child.

"Something's up with Jack
Something's up with Jack..."

Stricken with worry, Sally peered around the stone wall, looking through the gate and up to Jack's tower, seeing him pacing around in there.

She had been asleep...outside. Alone.

Sadness overtook her.

It was a dream.

All that had happened last night and the morning after was a dream. Nothing but a dream.

It took all of Sally's strength not to weep. All that could distract her was her worry for him right now.

She had to agree with the citizens right now who had been passing by. There was something wrong. Something was up with Jack.

XXX

Meanwhile, inside of Jack's house, the Pumpkin King was indeed pacing away, feeling extra 'fervent' in regards to his Yuletide pursuits...In fact he was literally THROWING himself into his study of Christmas right now ENTIRELY...He HAD to...because otherwise he...well...so much of last night he had spent awake moderately puzzling over Christmas but during that last hour or so before sunrise he had sort of dozed off...after taking another inhale of that sweet bottle of fragrance and spice and butterfly smoke which a certain someone had sent him...and after that...he had sort of...had a dream...

But he did NOT want to think about it so now it was Christmas, Christmas, CHRISTMAS and that was all he was doing!!!!

Well, as anyone would not guess, for the most part, there was a lot more to his little current obsession with Christmas at the moment. Yes, he was indeed puzzled and still wanted to discover the deeper meaning of it, entirely! But, there was something else in his mind that happened to be plaguing his thoughts, just barely managing to creep their way into his field of current thought. It was even still fresh in his mind!

When he had first discovered Christmas Town, and finally had time to soak it all in, and really see it...there was one thing, no, one person he thought of when it came to Christmas. As well as the desire to share it with them.
And now...it was starting to plague his thoughts a lot more than one would think.
All because of a dream he had....

~Jack's Dream/Flashback to earlier~

The doorbell was ringing and screaming. Odd, who was at the door? Especially after a certain little friend of his just left a cute little basket? The doorbell was then followed by incessant knocking.

Jack blinked. "Who could that be...?" he wondered aloud to himself, glancing to Zero who merely barked and smiled. He stood up from his place on his couch (where he had been investigating a few of the things in his nice new basket...) and walked over to the door. "Yes, yes, I'm coming!" he called out politely, realizing that if the person was this insistent about coming in then it might very well be an emergency or something. He placed his hand on the doorknob and opened the door wide...only to see someone whom he had actually...seen not so very long ago...even though it had ony been for a moment...and with the entire height of his observatory house separating him from her. "Sally?" He blinked, looking at her with a touch of surprise.

"Jack! ....I...." Sally looked down at her shoes, playing with her hair nervously, and she was shivering a bit. "Jack...I...I hate to bother you...I'm sorry....but it's...it's so...so cold....I...."

Jack blinked several times...and then instantly became aware of her visible shivering , upon which his instinct as a host, a gentleman and a King took over and instantly he placed his hands on her shoulders and pulled her inside, shutting the door behind them and leading her over to the couch. "Sally, you're shivering! How long have you been outside? Certainly not since you delivered me my basket...." That had been almost an hour ago! And it was winter and dark and chilly and damp! He sat her down and then grabbed a blanket off of the back of the couch and wrapped it around her snugly and then checked the fire to make sure it was blazing brightly. He turned back to her, looking at her with concern. "Sally...what are you doing here?" he had to ask in puzzlement.

Sally first settled into the blanket, and she looked very happy and content for a moment. Then she looked at him with wide, shy eyes. "I....I had nowhere else to go..." She choked out, looking down. "I...wanted to see you....I've missed you so much, Jack..." Then her big eyes looked at him pleadingly.

Jack's eye sockets went a little wide and he felt a touch flustered for a moment. "Me?" he asked with a confused blink. "What do you mean, Sally...?"

"You're my friend...and I missed you...I was worried." Sally confessed in a soft voice just barely above a whisper. "...I'm so sorry to bother you...It was cold...and I...I wanted to see you..." She looked down again.

Jack blinked and looked at her with a touch of concern. "Oh....Sally....you don't have to apologize for wanting to see me. We're friends, after all..." He smiled at her. "And well, you did send me this lovely basket..." he gestured to where it was on the coffee table, "At least this gives me a chance to thank you properly, right?" He smiled a little more at her.

Now she looked at him again, seeming to be quite surprised, and then she looked bashful as she barely met his gaze. "I'm glad you liked it... I wanted to give you something to make you feel better...less stressed."

Jack let out a small sigh, his eye sockets going a little half lidded in a warm way. "Well, you did a very good job at it, Sally....Nothing's felt as much like Christmas ever since I returned home as that basket from you...It was so...pretty and...nice..." He chuckled a little and had to add, unable to help it now that the thought had occurred to him... "Sort of like the person who sent it to me."

Sally looked at him blushingly, and smiled. "You...really think so, Jack? I mean...I never would've thought you'd associate...all of this..a-and...me...with Christmas..."

"Oh but...why not?" Jack shrugged, still smiling. "Both you and Christmas are nice and always make me smile. And besides, you seem to understand Christmas better than anyone else here...After all, you sent me a basket full of things that can actually help me to figure out Christmas...but everyone else just seems to come at me with more and more Halloween stuff. I hope they'll understand things soon." He chuckled a little at everyone's goodnatured though misguided sweetness.

"Oh...well...I-I see...." Sally looked down, an uncertain gaze on her face. She looked at him again. "...Jack? ....Sit with me?" She looked at him pleadingly.

For a moment Jack's smile left again, replaced once more but a look of surprise. But then he just blinked a few times and nodded. "Oh, um...of course, Sally..." He did his best to smile normally again and then sat gently beside her on the couch. For some reason tonight he felt like she looked...different than usual. Just...with how she was looking at him... It made him feel a little funny. He swallowed and glanced down shyly, unsure of what to say really. "Are...Are you warm yet, Sally?" he finally asked politely but also with genuine concern, finally glancing back to her again.

"I...I'm very warm Jack...thank you so much..." Sally now looked at him with an adoring, grateful smile, her big eyes gleaming at him with joy. "You're so good to me."

Jack blinked and his smile went a little funny for a moment and then he cleared his throat. "O-Oh, um...yes, well...you're always welcome of course, Sally. I...A-Anything I can do to be of assistance..." He gave a little sheepish shrug.

Right then, she scooted closer, and snuggled against him. "You've given me so much, and helped me more than I can say..." Sally then looked up at him with pleading eyes, which were almost tearful. "Save me, Jack...I need you...Please..."

Jack's eye sockets flew open about as wide as they could get! 'Wh-Wh...Huh?!' His breathing picked up and he just looked at her in total shock and confusion! "S-Sally...what...what are...What do you...I..." he barely knew what to say and he suddenly felt nervousness coursing through his body.

"..Sorry! Sorry..." She looked down. "I didn't mean to get carried away... I'm just...scared...a-and unsure...and I..." Sniffles were heard from her then.

Jack blinked, his skull tilting to the side. "S-Sally...what is it?" he asked gently. "Is something bothering you...? You can tell me..." he assured caringly.

Now her eyes were filled with tears as she looked up at him, her lips trembling. "...Jack...I....I... ...I love you..." Came her tearful, soft, but genuine response. "...I just wanted you to know that." Now she looked down, and trembled again.

"Ah...I..." barely squeaked out of Jack's mouth, his jaw utterly dropped. What was...What did...He felt like things in the room were spinning and like HE was spinning and like she was...like she...was...she was...awfully close, wasn't she..."L-L-Love..." squeaked out of him sort of... "L-L-Like...how?" It was such a stupid question--after all, how many possibilities were there for the 'how' in this case...But he was plagued with denial at the moment and, well...he...She was just so close!

A hurt look came to her eyes as she shrank back, burrowing herself further in the blanket. "...I'm in love...with you, Jack...I-I understand you don't feel the same way. ...I just wanted to tell you the truth...." Sally began to cry softly, trembling. "I'm sorry..."

Jack took in a sharp gasp at her saying it again...confirming it...He was just frozen, just utterly frozen! He...she...And then suddenly it hit him that she was actually crying!!! Crying...all over him! Over being in love with him...And not in the way some of his more 'enthusiastic' female Pumpkin King admirers swore they 'just loved' him...No, this was so very much more, just from looking at her! "N-N-No, I...s-s-sorry...N-No, I...." The words were stumbling and bumbling out of his mouth, and in every pitch and tone it was possible for his throat to squeak out. "D-Don't cry..." was all he could come up with finally, "Please don't..." He didn't want her to be sad...and also he suddenly realized he couldn't bear the sight of it...It made him feel sad too...feel like crying. "Don't cry..." he managed again...all but ready to collapse in silent sobs himself.

Sniffles were heard, and her face disappeared within a few folds of the blanket. Sally looked up at him then, tears were streaming down her face like two thin waterfalls, her lips were quivering, and she was shaking a bit. "Jack..." Was all she said before she looked down again, still sobbing softly.

Just...the way she said his name like that...touched Jack in a way nothing ever had before. She looked like she was convinced he hated her or something...but of course he didn't...wouldn't...couldn't...never about anyone but especially about her! And it wasn't her fault...that she...felt...that way...about him...If anything it was probably his own fault--after all, the mayor and everyone else often said that he had a natural charm about him and knack for winning over the ladies. What if he had put those things into effect around Sally without even realizing it? How could he ever make something like that up to her? And... Jack blinked as something occurred to him... "S-Sally...what do you mean...you n-need me....to save you...?" he asked quietly, curiously.

"....I'm trapped, Jack...trapped...locked in my room all the time...never allowed to see the outside world." Was all she said, sniffling. "I want to get out, and be free."

"But...But Sally...you'll always be free...I...I know you have to help Dr. Finkelstein with so much but...I...H-How can I...help?" he asked with a small squeak in his voice, barely sure of what to say anymore.

A stricken look came to her face, and she bit her lip, looking unsure. "It's not that easy. ...I'm....no...I won't burden you like this... I-I should...g-go...."

"No!" It flew out of him before he could think about it at all! And now he realized, after it had been said, he had a hand on one of her wrists and he was holding it...and not letting go. He gulped at the sight, too paralyzed and nervous to do anything about it though. "I...I-I mean...I...N-No, I...wish you would...let me...h-help you..." he managed in the shyest voice he had ever used with anybody else ever.

"...Jack...I...I....okay." Now Sally smiled a bit. Then she came closer, and embraced him.

"Ah...O-Oh...Oh...Oh..." Lots and lots of things were processing through Jack's mind right now, and to be honest he was sort of on the borderline of panicking right now though...it was more because of himself than because of her. I-It was just....she was...n-nice and...he...and she...and...she really was just... "S-S-Sally, I...I don't know what to say..." he finally barely whispered in his overwhelmed state.

"It's okay, Jack...you don't have to say anything...but...thank you so much." Sally said softly. "I...I feel....a lot better now, Jack..." There was a tinge of sadness in her tone. "...A-Are you okay?"

"I...don't...know..." slipped out of him quietly, his eye sockets still so wide...breathing still so shallow...as she held him so very close...

Now Sally pulled back, looking really concerned. "...Is there anything I can do?" It was a lot to process, and how close she was, the way she looked concerned was quite a lot to take in, even for him. There was something motherly, and yet very intimate about her displays right now.

Jack gulped at that question. What she could do... "I...w-well, I...you...are...y-you could...um...You love me." It was a thought going through his head over and over and over and it awkwardly slipped out in his confusion and wonder before he could even realize it was on the tip of his tongue to escape him.

"...Yes...I do..." Sally looked down a bit, now gripping his shoulders, gently. "I-I know it's...a lot to put on you...but I just wanted you to know how I feel...that's all...I-I would never force you to love me back." She looked at him with sad eyes, but her smile was sincere, as well as her words.

'L-Love her...b-back...' And now a whole second universe of chaos exploded into Jack's mind. Before he had just been filled with the realization of her feelings...now he was filled as well with the realization of...how he could respond to those feelings. "I...am...happy you told me..." he spoke truthfully, barely sure what was going to leave his mouth until it left it, "...I-I didn't...didn't know...I-I don't think..." Her hands were still on his shoulders...It was making that whole 'room spinning' feeling start to come back. Her fingers and hands were soft, warm cloth, and after missing out on so much sleep lately thanks to Christmas, they felt so...relaxing upon him...

"Jack...I.... I'll always be there for you...however you want me to be..." Sally whispered sweetly, and came closer. "I'm here for you...you're not alone...I promise." Then the sight of her midnight red lips came closer, and planted a little kiss on his temple.

Jack felt like he had been shot right through the ribcage. Her little kiss came and then it left but in that brief flash of time when her lips had been upon his skull, everything in his bones had all but burst in a something like all of Christmas condensed into a single perfect joyous drop of time! 'Kiss...' They kissed in Christmas Town too...all little kisses and hugs and love... "You kissed me, Sally...." He just couldn't help stating the obvious again. After all what the heck was going on here exactly a-and...w-wasn't this 'wrong' or something...Up here, alone, with her, unsupervised...and kisses... What was he supposed to do now???

"...Sorry...was that too much?" Now she looked at him with worry, biting her lip, and then looking ashamed and slightly nervous, as if waiting to be scolded.

"I-I-It was...a-a-a l-lot..." he breathed out, and suddenly realized his breathing had gone from shallow to heavy, his chest rising and falling deeply. "Where...Where did you learn to give kisses, Sally? I...I've only ever seen kisses in Christmas Town...." He realized the moment after he asked that it was such an awkward and personal question, and yet he couldn't help but be curious. He really had never seen anyone in Halloween Town kiss each other ever!

Sally looked a bit embarrassed, biting her lip. "...Story books. Pictures I found in a recycling bin for storybooks. And I...instinct...I suppose..."

"Oh. You did very good at it...g-giving kisses, I mean..." he replied shyly and quietly, glancing down...his forehead hot from where her lips had touched.

"Oh....thank you...." Now she scooted back shyly, shrinking more into the blanket.

She moved away from him and Jack almost felt a little chill go over him. He hadn't realized until right now how much of the warm going through him had been from her as opposed to the fire. Also, her moving away from him like that made him think about how sooner or later she would leave her completely...He didn't want that. The thought struck him so distinctly that he couldn't deny it even if he tried. He did not want her to leave him. "You're...welcome..." Hoping he wasn't being too forward he moved a little closer to her and took her hand and gently lifted it up... He let out a breath and decided to start as slowly and gently as possible. "Sally...?" he looked to her sweet face with all the understanding in the world.

"...Yes?" Sally looked at him with nervous curiosity, blinking a few times.

Jack took a breath, considered his words, and spoke to her with a kind smile. "First of all...I...am very flattered...and honoured...that you...love me..." He almost had to glance away in a touch of bashfulness at having to say it out loud like that...and while they were so close and alone. "I...feel like the luckiest man in all of Halloween Town, actually..." he added with an extra touch of shyness.

"O-Oh...." Sally looked down bashfully. "Jack...I hope...y-you know...it's not just because you're the Pumpkin King...I....you...you could be an average citizen and it wouldn't make a difference....because...I love you, Jack Skellington..." She had never said his full name, not to his face, before, and it must have felt weird considering she looked a little funny as she said it. But she smiled a bit. "...Lucky? You do?"

Jack blinked, certainly not having expected her response and all of its details. In fact it struck him rather forcefully because, well...most of the time when a Halloween Town lady expressed a degree of 'amour' for him, she would go on and on about how it was because he was the Pumpkin King and the most frightening being in the whole town! But....Sally...didn't care about that...at all! She liked him because he was...him? And she had even said his full name with so much...passion! Like she adored him so very deeply. "I...y-yes, I feel lucky...A-After all, you're a very nice and sweet gir...uh...w-woman..." He cleared his throat. "Smart and clever and funny and p-pretty, like I said before..." He gulped. "B-But...Sally, I..." he sighed, looking at her in a touch of confusion. "I don't understand...If you don't love me for being scary and the leader...what in the world could you have possibly come across to love me for?" He just had to ask, genuinely puzzled as he was right now.

"...Jack...you're more than just the scariest of the town. You're....kind, generous, intelligent, and sure...you make your share of mistakes..." She looked funny admitting that. "But nobody is perfect. And...you're not like other rulers. You said so yourself, and I believe it. You've always been more of a protector and a friend to the citizens, and that's truly admirable. You're a gentleman...and I...well...like that a lot in a man...and you're creative as well, very much so... And...oh, Jack...there's just so much I love about you...but I love you..."

If Jack could have blushed he would have...and darkly. "K-Kind...i-intelligent...p-protector...g-gentleman...c-creative..." It was all racing through him so very quickly. He blinked several times, unable to help smiling. "O-Oh, well, I...I, erm...I just...try to be good and fair and nice. I c-care about everyone very much after all. But I...I'm happy that how I am..." his eye sockets traveled back up to look at her large, expressive eyes, "...makes you so happy..." he finished...then paused...just smiling...eye sockets a little half lidded...caught up and unable to look away...and not even realizing it was happening.

"Of course, Jack...you're not afraid to be yourself...and to express yourself...and to be whatever you want to be..." Sally sighed softly, but was smiling now. She came a little closer. "A little rag doll like me...can't help but find everything about you so attractive."

Jack gulped, something in his bones starting to flutter...which had never happened before, but...it felt nice enough that he didn't exactly 'complain' about it... "I...a-attractive...w-well, I...um..." he had never felt so tongue-tied in his life, and as his mouth stumbled onward, the little grin on his face only grew more and more. "I...d-d-didn't realize..." He gave a little gulp again. "A-And you're not such a little rag doll...You were only made a little while ago but... you're practically a young lady, after all..." His little goofy grin just kept growing.

"...Oh...well I...thank you, Jack...." Now Sally came closer, and actually brought her arms around him once more, snuggling into him. Her lips then gently touched his cheek in a little kiss!

"Ah!" escaped Jack in a little gasp and he almost felt himself reel back but stopped himself from doing so by...wrapping his arms around Sally's little back and waist to hold himself up steady...against her, as the case turned out. He was just frozen now in this new position, eye sockets wide enough to crack his skull, and all the while those little lips of hers were giving a little kiss to his cheek and his cheek felt practically aflame!

"...Jack?" Sally's voice came out in a soft coo. "Are you all right? ...Was that too much?"

Her voice sounded in his ear and Jack started breathing again, and rather deeply, his chest rising and falling...and it didn't help matters that now his chest was rising and falling against her own chest... "N-N-No one ever gave me kisses before...I don't know what to do...!" he admitted in embarrassment and a touch of panic.

Sally smiled, and lay her forehead against his. "You don't have to do anything, Jack...."

Jack gulped...and rather distinctly and audibly this time, his eye sockets looking shyly to her own...love filled...eyes. "B-But I must have to do something...I-It doesn't feel right to do nothing..." he admitted quietly...unblinking and un-breathing...

"You don't have to do anything unless you want to, Jack..." Sally whispered, and kissed his other cheek.

"Mmm..." came out of Jack in a little nervous squeak at another kiss upon him... Wh-What if she...she... He gulped, almost unable to bear the idea without having to pass out--after all...there was...certainly at least one other distinctly kissable space on any person's face. "S-S-Sally..." he whispered nervously as her lips remained on the side of his skull. "I..I'm not sure if...I-I mean, this...c-can't be r-right...e-even though it feels right...I-I mean, I wanted to tell you before...I d-don't...w-with anyone...b-because I'm just not the kind of guy who...b-but I...." He had to stop. He sighed and closed his eyes and couldn't help melting a little. Just couldn't help it...not at all...

Sally nuzzled her cheek against his in comfort, smiling more. "Jack...it's all right...I understand...you can tell me anything."

"I don't know the first thing about...women...or love. Not a thing at all..." slipped out of him, eye sockets still closed.

"That's all right...even I'm new to this...but...I do know how I feel...and it's just something you feel...it's not something you can deduct or research. I live with a scientist, I should know." She nuzzled against him a bit. "But once you feel it, and understand it...you'll know."

"I...don't know...I don't know anything...I..." His eye sockets opened and he looked at her so very unsurely. Then he gulped and locked up. "I...My arms are around you! I-I'm sorry! I was just trying to balance when you k-k-kissed my cheek! I didn't mean to, I...I..." His breathing was starting to pick back up again.

".....Oh...." Now Sally looked sad. "You didn't mean to? ....It's okay. I understand." Now she pulled away, scooting further back.

Jack blinked again, feeling now equally upset and stupid about offending her in this new way! "No! I...I mean, I did mean it, I just d-didn't want to make you uncomfortable! I didn't want to be too forward. I....I don't have any right to touch you without asking..." He gulped and his skull was turned down but his eye sockets were turned upward toward her.

Sally looked surprised, and looked sheepish. "Oh. ...Sorry. I misunderstood. Um...but Jack...I don't mind...you can...do anything you feel is right with me. I trust you... And...if I ever don't want you to do anything, I would say so."

Jack gave another significant gulp. "I...c-can do anything w-with...? N-No, I...I mustn't!" He shook his head. "I...I..." he let out a deep sigh, looking downward. "I...can't...with you...alone...here...e-even if I did...lo-...like you...too..." He almost cringed, feeling so...overwhelmed. And yet...yet...he...now that he'd had a few minutes to absorb the idea, well, he...wasn't...not liking it...In fact he was sort of...wishing for more kisses...though he pushed the thought away instantly as being far too forward.

"...It's all right Jack...you don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with." Now she looked down, nervous and shy again. "We can forget this whole thing if you'd prefer."

His eye sockets went wide and he looked directly into her eyes, almost pleadingly! "No...No, don't...Please don't...don't do that..." He shook his head. "I...don't want to forget...I like knowing...I like being with you, Sally..."

Now her eyes were wide, her long eyelashes were even practically reaching her hairline! "Oh...Jack...I...I..." She turned a little toward him again, gulping.

"Wh-What...?" Jack asked shakily, unable to breathe or blink...unable to move...

"Can I...k-kiss you....Jack?" It seemed simple enough, but there was a look in her eyes and in her tone that spoke volumes about what she was saying.

Jack knew somewhere inside what she was exactly asking here but...there was still so much denial. "B-But...didn't you already...d-do that...th-three times so far?" He looked at her with all the nervousness in the world.

"I um...well I....meant..."

Plick!

A sprig of mistletoe fell onto the couch between them.

Sally blinked, and picked it up. "...Mistletoe?"

Jack was getting really close to passing out for about the millionth time tonight. He just stared at the little spring in her fingers and knew, knew, knew in every conscious way imaginable what she had been asking, what she had meant! His breathing became shallow, he couldn't handle this night anymore, he felt more vulnerable than he had ever had in his entire life, and he just... "M-Mistletoe..." escaped him in a whisper. "Y-Yes...i-it is..." He gulped at that little green plant.

"Why were you hanging it up?" Sally now looked from him to the little plant curiously.

Jack gave a little shrug. "B-Because I like kisses, and...when people are under mistletoe together, they give each other kisses..." He swallowed again.

"Oh...really?" Sally blinked. "Hanging mistletoe...and they kiss? Ooh...that's quite unique..." She giggled then and scooted closer, holding the mistletoe above their heads. "Well, it was hanging above us..."

"Mmmm!" Jack squeaked, backing up a little on the couch, breathing heavily, eye sockets wide. "I-I-I...l-l-like...o-o-on the ch-ch-cheek a-a-again, heh...?" he managed with a little gulp.

"No...I think...." Sally leaned closer. "Jack...do you know about kissing on the mouth?"

"Mmmm...Y-Y-Y-Y-Yes..." He was pressed back against the couch arm, she was all but on top of him... W-Would she really...really...actually...on his... "Wh-Wh-Wh-Why?" he asked, his voice riddled with nerves, unable to think of anything else to say.

"If you'll let me..." There was something off about her voice. It was...suggestive. "I'd love kiss you on the mouth..." She dangled the mistletoe above them, wiggling it.

"O-Oh, Sally, I...M-Miss Sally, I...you...b-but shouldn't I...love you first...Sh-Shouldn't I...I..." he all but stopped being able to breathe...stopped being able to think about and control his words...He could just see her eyes...and all of her...so close. "Oh Sally...you don't know what you're getting yourself into...I'm an utter basketcase, really. I-I'm up til all hours of the night, I can be elated one moment and eternally melancholy the next, I'm passionate to a fault, and I can be obsessive to one as well...I...y-you don't know who you're tempting...A-And if we did...w-we could never take it back..." He just watched and waited for her response.

"I can handle you more than you think I can.... And if I wanted to take it back...I wouldn't be getting myself into this in the first place..." Sally cooed, coming closer. "Please...?" She looked at him pleadingly.

Jack was just quiet...So quiet. And she.. "Yes..." It slipped out of him in a whisper and he gave a small nod, though he barely realized these things had happened at all...his bones currently feeling on fire to the point of being numb at the moment.

"Oh Jack...come here, my beloved Pumpkin King!" Sally tossed the plant over her head, landing somewhere behind her, and then she just pounced. She knocked them down onto the couch and proceeded to kiss him lovingly, sweetly, and quite deeply.

"MMMM!!! Mmm...Mmm??...Mmm...mm....." Jack had panicked, panting through his nose, squirming and wriggling and freaking out basically--anything to distract him from what was happening, but he lost that battle pretty quickly and now just melted underneath her and let his eye sockets shut and just...submitted...to all of it...a deep sigh escaping him peacefully through his nose. 'I...She...O-O-Oh...' He shuddered in a new feeling he had never known before.

Oh how she kissed him so thoroughly, so passionately, so....wow. It was hard to believe that the shy, sweet, soft-spoken rag doll he knew was this passionate! A lot to take in, that was for sure.

A few moments passed and she pulled away, panting a bit. "I love you..." She kissed him again. "So much..." Another kiss. "You're not alone anymore..." Another kiss. "Don't worry..." Another kiss. "It'll be all right." Another kiss. "And we'll celebrate Christmas...together...it'll be wonderful." Another kiss.

"O-O-O-O-Oh...I-I-I...n-no, I...a-and yet, I...o-o-o-oh..." gurgled out from Jack. "S-Sally...O-Oh...." He was dying, he was burning, he was fainting, he was...he...Everything, it was like getting everything he had ever wanted in life, everything he had ever been missing, everything he had ever longed for, and getting all of it all at once! He positively adored it! You could even say he...he... "I love you...Kiss me, I love you..." It left his mouth and he didn't care to correct it, just smiling away blissfully as she coated his mouth with kisses and never stopped.

Sally gasped a bit, and then just smiled so much more!!!! "I love you too....I'll kiss you all you like..." She kissed him again, her hands now caressing his skull. She pulled back again, and this time, had her little tongue sticking out as she panted happily.

"Arf!" She said. "Arf? Arf? Arf!" She then proceeded to lick his skull, like a dog.

Jack blinked a lot of times. "H-Huh? Wh...S-Sally, where...S-Sally, are you..." He shut his eyes tightly and then shook his skull and finally opened them...only now it was for real...

In reality...no longer in his dream. At lot of things started to hit Jack at once...including the fact that Zero was still licking his face. "O-Oh, Zero!" He sat up, wiping off his skull a little and doing his best to get his bearings. "I...I was asleep...must have nodded off out here in the middle of Christmas research. A-And dreamed...I..I..." His eye sockets next lit upon the basket of goodies that a certain ragdoll had dropped off for him last night, and that he had fallen asleep investigating and savoring. At this point the dream started to resurface...upon which Jack's jaw fell and he felt more humiliated and shame-worthy than he ever had in his entire life! "I...Oh boy..."

"Arf?" Zero approached him, nudging his side lightly. He looked over at the basket, and then at his master, pointedly. "Arf?" He cocked his ghostly head.

Jack gulped and cleared his throat and squirmed a little on the couch, straightening his bow tie. "I...heh, wh-what is it boy?" He grinned sheepishly and did his best to sort of push the basket underneath a throw pillow or two, distinctly not looking at it.

"Arf." Zero looked at him, cocking his head again.

"Wh-What?!" Jack looked to Jack almost in fright. "I...N-Nothing's wrong, Zero. N-Nothing's wrong and n-nothing's going on, a-and..." he sighed, glancing back and forth and finally looking at Zero again, standing up. "O-Okay, fine, I had a dream, alright! I had a dream and dreams sometimes happen a-and it's not like I could control it or anything!" The little dog just kept looking at him curiously. Jack sighed and rolled his eyes, pouting a little. "Oh don't look at me like that! I-It's not like I sat down and tried to dream about her!" Jack's eye sockets went wide for a moment at actually having admitted to dreaming about 'her' even though he hadn't used her name. Somehow it just made it all twice as real! He shook his skull and pouted again. "I am just sleep deprived and I had too many candy canes yesterday---m-my body's not used to that much non-pumpkin-based refined sugar..."

Zero just gave him a look that clearly said, "Just how dumb do you think I am?"

Jack's eye sockets went to Zero again and he blinked and shook his head. "Oh and what, the other explanation is that I secretly want Sally to..." Actually saying her name maybe him uncontrollably gulp... He shook his head, trying to move along. "L-Look, I...I DON'T want that! I-I'm the Pumpkin King! Wh-Why would the Pumpkin King want...k-kisses with a girl!? I-I'm scary and dark and brooding and that's who I am!" He was scowling a little in frustration but then he blinked. "O-Oh, but, I mean, o-of course, I still want to do Christmas! B-Because sometimes I need a break from the scariness, heh...N-Nothing permanent, just a break! So it makes sense, you see..." He smiled sheepishly at the little ghost dog.

Zero stared at him, still with that sarcastic "Uh-huh, I believe you." look, before he floated off to nestle in his basket. He knew far well that his master was in complete denial, and that partly why he was so...passionate about Christmas, had to do with something a lot more than just the fact he liked it and was intrigued. And it had to do with the nice rag doll girl he liked.

XXX

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