The holidays were a little quiet, now with both of the boys out of the house. She knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, but lonesome little Haddie chose to act out her aggression with her new toys.
Haddie: Bye Atlas, I'm running away with Haddie now.
Hadron had taken the extra time to set up shop in the garage. His latest passion, Robotics. Hadron paused as his wife walked up behind him.
Alice: Geeze, you sure have taken over the garage. So much for my laundry center.
Hadron: Sorry about that, I'll straighten up when I'm finished.
Alice: That'll be a lifetime from now. I think I'm going to go upstairs and make some cookies. Haddie put in a request for cut-out cookies again.
Hadron: I'll be up as soon as I'm done with this piece.
Alice was disgusted by the afternoon dishes still sitting on the kitchen counter, but she just didn't seem to have the energy to keep up with all of the daily chores like she used to. Even with Haddie's assigned chores, it just didn't seem to be enough these days.
Alice: [to herself] Why am I so fatigued all the time? Maybe I should go see a doctor. I'm not exactly a spring chicken anymore.
While Alice was busy getting the cookies underway, the telephone rang.
Haddie: I'll get it!
It was Atlas and Seamus checking in for the holidays. You would think Haddie would be ecstatic, but she seemed to hold a little resentment over their absence.
Haddie: I asked Santa to bring you both back for Christmas, but he didn't do it.
Atlas: You almost got you wish, with Seamus anyway. No thanks to his grades.
Haddie chatted with her brother until her father made his way upstairs.
Haddie: It's Atlas!
Hadron: Now, what's this about Seamus' grades? Could you please put him on the phone?
Hadron: So, care to discuss what happened?
Seamus: Well, there was this girl I was seeing, and... I dunno? I guess I was just spending too much time with her, because I kept getting distracted.
Hadron and Seamus chatted for several minutes, when Alice finally bounded out of the kitchen. Haddie tried to occupy herself, while eagerly listening in on their conversation.
Alice: Hi, we got your package today. So, how's college life treating you?
Hadron: Haddie, don't bother your mother while she's on the phone.
Alice: Me? Well, to tell you the truth, I've been a little tired. [laughs] I'm getting old, probably about to start my change.
After catching up with their parents, the boys sat around the Christmas tree, and basked in it's glitz.
Atlas: I'm a little worried about mom.
Seamus: She's a workaholic. She's always had a tendency to spread herself out thin.
Atlas: But, what if something happens? I'm not around to save her this time.
Seamus: Such the voice of encouragement.
The Hartman and Newson kids decided to hold a New Years Eve party at their dorm. Growing a little nervous as the hour drew near, Candice decided to make a few phone calls to those who didn't respond to her RSVP invitation.
Candice: Hey, Justin? You guys are planning on coming tonight, right? Alrighty, we'll see you at 8:00 then.
Lance: Woot, let's get this par-tay underway!
Ginger put out the Spodi, and decided to sample it while they waited for their guests to arrive. It must have been pretty potent, since suddenly she had the overwhelming urge to crush the plastic cup onto her forehead after finishing.
Ginger: That's some pretty good shit.
Gavin put the 'Grease' soundtrack into the cd player, and tried to get everyone in the party mood.
Gavin: Come on, I'm sure everyone here knows the hand-jive!
"Born to hand-jive, baby..."
Still good friends, Jaqueline asked Seamus to dance with her, and he obliged.
"How low can you go... How low can you go..."
When Seamus asked Lainey to come along, she thought it was as his date, and didn't take too lightly about him dirty dancing with his former girlfriend.
Seamus: Come on, Lainey, join in!
While Anders was making his way toward the Spodi, he couldn't help but notice Lainey's foul mood. He felt it was his duty as a friend to try and cheer her up, or at the very least, be a shoulder to cry on.
Anders: Something wrong? I'm all ears if you need someone to listen.
Lainey: Nothing. Seamus is a big jerk, that's all!
Gallagher: Making the moves on other people's girls again, I see.
Anders: I swear, I didn't know you were dating Candice at the time. She's the one you should be mad at, if anyone. I don't mean any trouble.
Gallagher: Bullshit! I think it's time you've learned your lesson.
Anders tried to walk away, it was New Years Eve after all. But, Gallagher ran up behind him and pulled him in for a clinch hold.
The music stopped, and a crowd formed. Anders put up a good fight, but Gallagher got the best of him in the end.
Afraid that the party would end before the clock even struck midnight, Ginger and her brother devised a plan to get everyone's minds back to the party.
Ginger: I'll go out and get the fireworks started. Why don't you try and see if you can get everyone dancing again. Or, remind them about the Spodi; we've got tons more in the fridge to finish up.
Gavin: We could watch the ball drop in Times Square on the TV.
Ginger: That's perfect!
Justin: Don't cross the streams!
Justin: It would be bad.
Ginger: Oh, what does a girl have to do to get a light around here?
Justin: You can get a start off mine, I guess.
Anders wasn't satisfied with the sissy sparklers, he went in for the big guns.
Somehow, something went terribly wrong.
Lance: [snickering] You're going to light off more? You're crazy, man!
Anders: Hey, why not? I didn't blow off any fingers.
A small crowd gathered around the television set inside.
Jaqueline: You know that this is all pre-taped, right?
Lily: I never really thought about it, but I guess it makes sense with the time zone difference.
Jaqueline: Oh yeah, otherwise it would be like 3:00 AM for them.
Pierce: I feel like my entire childhood has just been robbed.
Candice: You might to grab a noisemaker, it's almost midnight.
Katrina: Hang on, I have one more problem to finish up here.
Candice: The clock isn't going to wait for you.
Lance admired Lainey's form as he made his way over to the kitchen.
Reverting back into their youth, the twins tried to see who could blow their horns the loudest, and in each other's faces.
Seamus: Come on, Katrina. Live a little! (blows horn)
Katrina: I just spent New Year's Eve working on school work. How geeky is that?
Lance broke open the champagne and made the rounds.
Justin: To our new life together, and many years to come!
Seamus: Care to make a toast with me?
Lainey: Um, sure.
Lance and Ginger led everyone in the first dance of the new year, while 'Auld Lang Syne' played on the stereo.
"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?"
Justin: Help me, Atlas, I can't walk anymore.
Pierce: Darn, the bottle's empty.
Atlas: I think Justin had a hand in that.
Seamus: Is everything alright over here?
Atlas: Yeah, drunk boy here just polished off the champagne is all.
Justin: [laughing] I wanna lay right here on the table, it's so nice and cold.
The spirit of Auld Lang Syne rung true, even Anders and Gallagher decided to call a truce. No sooner had they cracked open their beers, when everyone collectively started to file out.
Anders: Hey man, what's going on?
Pierce: The cops are coming around the back.
Lainey: Come on, we gotta go.
Atlas: Wait, where's Justin?
Simon: I would have never guessed you as the married type. Are you happy?
Policeman: Party's over, wrap it up.
Atlas turned around to witness Simon making the moves on Justin. Only seeing, and not hearing what was actually being said, Atlas naturally jumped to conclusions.
Simon: I'd never let you out of my sight if you were mine.
Justin: Oh, yeah? And, what's that supposed to mean?
Atlas: Oh, God... no... please, say this isn't happening?
Feeling like he was about to jump out of his own skin, Atlas intervened.
Atlas: Hi, remember me?
Policeman: Break it up boys, it's time to go.
Simon: [sneering] What's the matter Atlas, can't handle a little competition?
Justin: Are you mad?
Atlas: Oh, believe me, I'm not mad. I'm fucking pissed!
Simon: You can do so much better, Justin. I'm tellin' ya.
After returning home, Atlas helped Justin change into some more comfortable clothing, and made sure that he got some food. This made for a very long night.
Atlas: Are you ready to talk now?
Justin: I told you, he was flirting with me. I didn't do anything.
Atlas: Yeah, but... you didn't exactly stop him either.
The following morning at breakfast, Anders recapped the fight, play by play.
Anders: Did you see? I got a few good punches in myself.
Lainey: Ha ha, you sure did!
Anders: Hey, Seamus! You saw the fight last night, right?
Lainey: [dryly] Oh. Hi there, Seamus.
Anders took the cue to go and left the lovebirds alone to settle their differences.
Seamus: You're getting awfully chummy with my roommate.
Lainey: Oh, and you're one to talk, dancing with Jaqueline.
Seamus: You were more than welcome to join or cut in at anytime.
Atlas left Justin upstairs to recuperate and took a seat next to the school mascot.
Atlas: Excuse me, but how do you plan to eat with that llama head on?
Mascot: Very carefully.
Atlas: I see you're up. Chatting with Simon?
Justin carefully got out of the chair and rose to his feet.
Atlas: I see how you are, taking the opportunity, while I was downstairs eating.
Justin: I'm really hung over and my head is pounding. It was all I could do to bring myself to the computer and try to occupy my mind on something else.
Atlas: So, are you seeing him?
Justin: Jesus Christ, give me some credit here. I know I was pretty lit last night, but I'm not an idiot. Don't you trust me?
Atlas realized that he was being ridiculous and brought Justin in for a make up hug.
Atlas: Of course, I do. I'm... I'm sorry. Forgive me?
Justin: [chuckled] Yeah, this time. Why would I want him anyway, when I have you?