Belated Part 2 is belated, apologies! I've been avoiding the computer as the room it's in is freezing and I've literally only this week managed to get a new computer chair which is actually comfortable!
Last time we saw Max and Juno they were readying the living room for Christmas...
Christmas Eve came and went as it usually did, curled up in front of the TV with whatever cheesy festive films were on, and an evening mug of hot chocolate. Finally, the next day dawned and with it the promise of presents. They'd both promised not to spend too much on each other but both also knew neither of them would hold to that!
While Juno was up and about at what Max considered the crack of dawn, (it wasn't) Max herself took slightly longer to come to. She was absolutely not a morning person, even at Christmas.
'Just five more minutes?'
'No, get up or I'll open your presents too'
'Urghhhhhh, fine, you're the worst'
'Love you too, Max'
To stop him from potentially wrecking the tree and/or ripping up all their presents, rescue dog Baxter had been locked in the kitchen overnight. After a quick breakfast he followed them through to the living room, ears pricked with interest.
'Ready to see what we've got, eh, boy?'
They had stockings to open later, but they were mostly full of silly things and chocolate so they usually left them til the evening, so they weren't tempted to scoff the chocolate before breakfast.
While Juno gathered up her gifts, Max got the fire going in the stove. There was just something nice about the sound and smell of crackling logs to get you in the festive mood.
'Alright, here's your main gift, I've still got the receipt so you can swap it for something else if you don't like it...'
'Oh shush, I'm sure I'll love it'
While Juno kept Baxter distracted, Max got started.
'It's very well wrapped, lots of tape and...oooh, I see a yellow box!'
'Ahhh! A new Breyer, awesome! I don't have this one!'
'I'm really glad you like it - it took me ages to choose and I knew if I asked about your collection you'd suspect something...'
'Haha, yeah! I love it, thanks babe!'
'There's actually some more in the bag...'
Max ripped open the packaging to reveal two more models.
'Oh these are just too freaking cute!...'
'...just like you.' said Max, planting a giant kiss on her nose. Juno furrowed her brow and fought back a grin.
'This is payback for hauling you out of bed early isn't it? You being so sweet it's almost sickly?'
'Yup. I know you love it though...-'
'...Wait, what's that? You didn't get me more, did you? We agreed!'
'Sorry, but I saw these and just had to get them for you, agreement be damned!'
'Oh my god.'
'You know me so well, I love them, they're perfect, thank you so much!'
'OK, these are officially the comfiest slippers ever.'
'How do I look?'
'Right now? A bit of an idiot, they totally don't go with those shorts.' Juno deadpanned.
Max tutted dramatically and flounced off.
'Hey, I'm in my PJs here, if you'd wanted me to go all matchy matchy you should have got me a dragon onesie or something to go with them! Hey, that's actually a pretty good idea, maybe there'll be one in the sales somewhere, hmmm...'
After rummaging in the pile of gifts under the tree for a moment, Max finally extracted Juno's presents. She was down one, as the first had already been opened a few days before. The tin of homemade iced gingerbread had mysteriously found its way onto the sofa and the lid had accidentally come off one evening, revealing its aromatic and spiced contents.
They hadn't lasted long.
'Sorry this one's a bit bashed' said Max, sheepishly. 'I think Baxter tried to sit on it earlier...'
'I know how much you love your ridiculous Christmas jumpers so when I saw this the other day...'
'It's so awful and tacky....I love it. I'm going to put it on right now, hold on...'
While Juno wrestled with her dressing gown to try the jumper on, Max rushed off to catch Baxter, who had decided to 'help' with the scrap wrapping paper...
Now that they both had frankly terrible outfits to show off, the slightly more serious presents could be opened. Juno had asked for a few new books, so they were hardly a surprise, though much appreciated regardless.
'I wonder what this one is...it's squishy - another jumper?'
'This is just too cute.'
'Is this your subtle response to me saying that we need to add a cat to the menagerie?'
'Maybe...this one doesn't need a litter tray, so that's a bonus!'
After a mug of cocoa and some more gingerbread, Max returned to the tree to hand out the final present.
As a rescue dog, Baxter hadn't ever really been in a home environment for Christmas, and as much as the staff at the rescue centre had tried, there was really nothing like having his own family to spoil him.
'Hey Baxter, what's this? What's in the bag?'
The collie cross snuffled at the paper bag, tail wagging furiously as he detected a familiar smell within.
A couple of new chew toys and a whole box of treats!
This was easily his best Christmas ever.
As for the girls, the rest of the day was spent with family, and after a more than filling meal, they headed home for their now traditional Christmas Scrabble tournament.
'For the last time, 'lolz' is not an acceptable Scrabble word!'said Max.
'Ha! No, it definitely is!*' replied Juno, 'I saw it on the internet the other day, look it up!'
'Oh well if it's on the internet it must be true!' scoffed Max, taking a sip of hot chocolate. 'It's too...I don't know, slangy, isn't it?'
'Look, I'll google it if I have to - don't make me google it!'
Admitting defeat with a laugh, Max relented.
'Fine, alright if you're so sure...and damn, on a double word square too? You're killing me here!'
'Bwahaha, fear my knowledge of all things wordy!'
While they didn't get a white Christmas, they did get a little snow a few weeks later. Not quite enough for snowman building but certainly better than nothing!
Ta-da! I realised after writing all this out that I've never actually introduced you all to Baxter so I'll try to make that my next post...
*It really is! Also 'cakehole', 'augh', 'grr' and 'yeesh'