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Topic Title – The name of the story. If you can't think of one, just give it any title. If you want it changing later then contact a librarian.

Topic Description – Give the names of the central characters or Entire Cast if the fiction includes the entire cast. Also an official rating (see BTTB Ratings Guidance in link above)

Type of story: one-shot/ long fiction/ short fiction/ undecided

Rating: (See BTTB ratings guidance in link above)

Main Characters: ie. Lucas and Belle / Multiple character

Genre: Drama/ Romance/ Angst/ A mixture

Warnings: Any content you feel needs a warning: ie. Violence, sexual content, coarse language etc.

Is Story being proof read: Yes/No

Summary: Briefly summarise your story (5 lines max).

Thanks, Librarians

A little Christmas present to all Zoe fans :P Merry Christmas, you guys.


Unsure if his legs were going to carry him any further, Drew collapsed onto the hard bus seat, breaking down into a sobbing mess.

He was so caught up in his emotions that he barely noticed the streetlight blinking on overhead; only half an hour too late. He didn't even notice the eerily thick fog that had floated in off the water.

"Hi," now that he noticed. Drew lifted his head from his hands and looked up at the curly haired young woman wearing a bright red jacket with a backpack slung over her shoulder. The fog curled ominously around her legs. "Do you know if the bus to the city has passed by yet?"

"Don't know."

"Oh," the woman frowned before leaning down and peering curiously at him. "Are you okay? Your eyes are all-"

"Get stuffed!" Drew exclaimed defensively, swiping angrily at his wet red eyes with the back of his hand. "I wasn't crying!"

"I wasn't implying that you were," she said, taking a seat beside him and unzipping her bag. "I was going to ask if you had allergies. 'Tis the season, after all. I remember a few summers ago we had really a bunch of really bad bushfires. I'm telling you, with all that smoke, I didn't have dry eyes for weeks," she babbled, rummaging through her bag. "I think I've got some eye drops in here somewhere-"

"That's okay." Drew said quickly, not wanting to take advantage of the strangers kindness. In a way, she kind of reminded him of Colleen. But cuter. Way cuter. "I'm fine now, thanks."

"You sure?"


"Okay," she zipped the bag back up and dropped it to the ground, before sticking her hand out for Drew to shake. "I'm Zoe, by the way." The hand that Drew had been reaching out stilled instantly. "Oh, I know, psycho killer Zoe, right? Trust me, I get it all the time and I don't even live in Summer Bay! You know, I really wish that people would have more consideration for the people who share their names before they go on their killing sprees or whatever. I mean it's probably not a big deal in like America or wherever but...small towns, you know."

Drew smiled and took her hand. He couldn't believe his brief moment of terror. How could he possibly think that this grinning, babbling girl, who didn't look to be that much older than himself, could be the nutjob that everyone had told him about. "I'm Drew," he introduced himself, turning on the charm. "And I know what you mean about small towns."

Zoe raised an eyebrow, "Oh yeah? Been caught up in a scandal yourself, have you?"

"Something like that. I don't really want to talk about it." Just thinking about his fathers betrayal hurt enough.

They sat in an awkward silence for what seemed like forever, the only sound coming from the shifting of the dirt as Zoe scuffed at it with the toe of her shoe. "I really like your jacket."

"Thanks." Drew replied, absently running his fingers along one of the leather sleeves. Peter had sent it too him as a birthday present when he'd turned fourteen and it had sat untouched in the back of his closet for two years after that. Having no clue about his son, Peter had bought him a jacket that was at least three sizes to big. Drew had only taken it out again the day that he'd found out that Peter had died and was surprised to find that the black leather, he'd once been swimming in, now fitted him perfectly.

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this bus probably ain't coming." Zoe sighed, checking her watch. "I guess it won't kill dad if he has to wait an extra couple of hours to see me...pity." she admitted, biting her lip. "I mean, I know he's sick and all but my dad's a real prick. But you know what they say, you can't choose your family."

The mention of her father caught Drew's attention. "You got that right."

"Oooh, so you have daddy issues too? Sorry, that was nosy. You don't have to answer that."

"No, it's okay. Who knows, it might do me some good to talk about it." After all, that's what happened on tv, characters talk about their problems and they automatically got over, who says that it wouldn't work for him. "Dad didn't even know that I was alive until Mum wanted me out of the way so she could marry her douchebag of a boyfriend, but Peter was too busy too have kid hanging around so he paid for me to go to boarding school. He says that it was because I didn't want to get to know him but if he really wanted me around he would've forced me to live with him, right? He would've tried So everything was sweet for a while until some guy I don't even know rocks up one day and tells me that my dad's dead, how the hell am I supposed to react to that-"

"But I thought-" Zoe frowned in confusion.

"Yeah, well turns out that his death was faked and he was in witness protection the whole time." Drew said, his anger over being forced into thinking that his father was dead bubbling to the surface.

"Oh! You're that detective's kid!" Zoe exclaimed in recognition. She reached over and pushed Drew's hair of his face so she could get a better look at him, the sudden contact made the teenager blush. "Yeah, I can see a resemblance."

"How do you know about Peter?"

"Small town. A local detective comes back from the dead, it makes the papers." Zoe explained.

"Oh right." Drew remembered the headline from that day 'Local Hero Lives!'. And so Drew spilled the whole long, sordid story to a sympathetic and clearly interested Zoe.

"I have to say," Zoe said once he had finished telling the tale. "I admire your restraint. If my dad did that to me I would've decked him."

Drew gave her an amused smile. "Aren't you meant to be all violence is never the answer?"

"Oh, I'm all for violence when it's required. And it definitely sounds like your dad deserves it."

"I'll keep that in mind the next time he tries to justify what he's done, you know he's such a hypocrite! Telling me how evil Amanda is and then the next minute he decides that he loves her." Drew whined. "And the worst part is that they think that I'm jealous, that this is all about Amanda but it's not." Talking about it really did help, it helped him to clear the fog of confusion and see what it really was that got to him. "All of this has just made me realize that I'm all ways going to come second with him, to Amanda, to his job. I bet if I'd been around during that stupid Zoe thing, no offence-"

"None taken."

"Then he wouldn't have even cared unless she like took me hostage or killed me or something. Father's shouldn't do that."

"No, they shouldn't." Zoe agreed seriously. "You're right, you should come first."

"Thanks." He looked over at Zoe and smiled. "Really. Maybe when you get back into town we could get a drink sometime?"

"I'd like that." She noticed Drew stifle a yawn with the back of his hand. "It's late, you can sleep if you want to, I don't mind."

"But what about-"

"Don't worry about me, I've had like four Red Bulls, I'm wired. I can keep a lookout, you know in case any axe murders decide to drop by." Drew raised an eyebrow. "Well, you never know around here!"

Drew looked at her, he was so tired that he could barely keep his eyes open and home was a two hour walk away, besides it wouldn't hurt to let Peter sweat for a night. "Thanks," he said, curling up into a ball on the hard seat, falling asleep almost the moment his head hit the hard wood.

Zoe waited a few minutes until she was sure that he was well and truly in the land of nod before pulling out her mobile and sending off a quick text message. Only moments later a dark Mercedes pulled to a stop on the lonely country road and the window rolled down.

"Need a ride?" the driver asked.

"You know my grandfather always said not to get into cars with strangers." Zoe answered coyly, titling her head to the side.

"Even ones with candy?"

Zoe opened the door and slid into the passenger seat. "Especially ones with candy." She leaned over and kissed her girlfriend. "Did you get any good shots?"

"See for yourself." Tracey handed Zoe the digital camera. "Check out shot five, it's very cute."

Zoe smirked as she scrolled through the pictures. Perfect. "You know I think that you missed your calling, Trace," she off-handedly remarked as Tracey began driving. "These are going to make the perfect gift."


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-Fall At Your Feet-

The feeling of Brad's kiss still lingering on her lips, Sally fished around her purse for her car keys. She was sure that the coming year was going to be better than the last, there was no way it could possibly be worse. She smiled when she felt a presence behind her. It'd be just like Brad to make sure that she got to her car all right. "You forget-" her words died in her throat as she turned to see, not Brad as she'd expected, but Zoe ominously backlit by the flickering yellow light.

"You?" Sally gasped in shock, her cars keys slipping from her suddenly sweaty hands.

"Me." Zoe confirmed mockingly, casually dropping off the shallow step and slowly swaggering towards the stunned educator.

"I-I don't understand." stuttered Sally, willing her legs to start moving. But paralyzed with fear, they were only going in one direction: backwards. For every step Zoe took forward, Sally's took a step back until her back collided with the cool metal of her car. Nowhere left to run. "I thought you were dead."

"You thought?" Zoe challenged, raising an eyebrow and getting right up in Sally's face. "But you didn't know for sure, how could you? You just left me there to burn. Again. Now, Sally, that is the kind of thing I take offence to."

"I'm sorry." Sally whimpered, not wanting to enrage Zoe even more by saying what she was really thinking. You deserved it.

"No, you're not...but that's okay. I would've done the same thing." admitted Zoe, her words not a comfort in the slightest.

"Why have you come back?" Sally's voice was trembling as much as her body. "You got your revenge, why can't you just leave us alone?"

"You think that that was my revenge?" Zoe laughed. She leaned in even further, until their noses were almost touching and whispered conspiratorially. "That was just the beginning, the calm before the storm. Nothing compared to what's coming...shame you're not going to get a chance to see it."

Sally's eyes went wide with fear, she really was going to die in that parking lot. "Zoe, please don't, Pippa needs me-" Zoe pressed a finger against Sally's lips to shush her.

"Using your daughter as a bargaining chip isn't going to help you now."

"Zoe-" This time it wasn't a finger Zoe pressed into Sally's lips. Sally trembled and let out an involuntary moan as the memory of her last kiss, Brad's kiss under the mistletoe, so filled with joy and the promise of new beginnings, was taken from her and replaced, twisted into something dark, filled with terror, regret and shame.

"Say hi to Flynn for me." Zoe breathed into Sally's ear and before the brunette had time to react the knife was already plunged deep into her belly, the sharp blade easily sliding through her flesh, like a hot knife through butter.

A gurgled moan spilled from Sally's mouth as her legs gave out and she fell against Zoe, the knife still embedded deep within her. Zoe held her up for a moment, long enough to give the dying teacher hope that perhaps her would-be killer had had a change of heart.

Those hopes were dashed when Zoe jerked the knife out and, like a dam bursting it's banks, the blood that had been held at bay by the steel started gushing freely from the wound; warm and sticky and red.

Zoe stepped back, and without her support, Sally slumped to the hard asphalt, face first. She looked up at Zoe, her dark eyes pleading Don't let me die here, and weakly reached out and took hold of the dark fabric of the blonde's pants. Help me. Sally knew that Zoe could save her if she really wanted to. But there was no sudden revelation, no crushing guilt over what she had just done. No last minute shot at redemption.

Zoe kicked Sally's hand off as a car pulled up behind her, she opened the door and got in, taking the digital camera handed to her by the driver. "Smile," The flash went off, blinding Sally, taking away what was left of her rapidly deteriorating sight.

Satisfied with the pictures, Sally's last moments captured on film for the world to see, Zoe looked pensively at the now lifeless body. "You know, I really did like you, Sal."

"Are we done here?" Tracey asked impatiently, she never did like to hang around a crime scene for too long.

Zoe did a final check of the photos she'd taken and took one more for the road. "We're done."


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-Silent Night, Deadly Night-

It had been a hell of a year. Between the Zoe saga, Gillan, returning from the dead and then dealing with the fallout of the Amanda/Drew drama, Peter had been looking forward to a nice relaxing Christmas holiday. Unfortunately the universe seemed to have other plans.

His first case when he returned to work was the murder of Sally Fletcher. Now there was something he'd never thought he'd have to do, Sally had been through so much and had always managed to come out on top. It didn't take a genius to figure out why it had happened. Only days before the stabbing, Sally had been instrumental in taking down a gang of thugs and Peter knew, better than anybody, that was not the kind of thing that didn't come without serious repercussions.

If Ashton Nayder had followed proper procedure and handed the case over to a detective the moment it got serious, they would've told him that parading the criminals past the star witness, so they could all get a good look at her, was not a good idea. Idiot constables trying to handle cases on their own. That's why Peter liked Lara Fitzgerald, unlike Jack and Ash, she knew her place.

No, the question wasn't why, the question was who. Rocco Cooper, the brother of the gang's leader was a strong candidate, he'd disappeared without a trace the night of the murder and hadn't been heard from since.

But still, it was Christmas Eve, and Peter had promised Amanda that he wasn't even going to think about work. Speaking of Amanda, she really should've been back by now. She and Ryan had made an emergency run to the Diner to pick up some eggnog -Ryan had developed a taste for it while living in America and, for him, it just wasn't Christmas without it- almost half an hour ago but Peter wasn't too concerned. Colleen was probably talking Amanda's ear off about what she thought of the Christmas Pageant. Her professional opinion, of course.

Peter set his glass of orange juice down on the kitchen table when he heard a noise at the front door. "It's about time you got back," he said good naturedly, pushing through the swinging door into the lounge, only to find the room empty.

He frowned when he noticed the envelope that he had been pushed through the mail slot. It wasn't unusual for people to hand deliver their Christmas cards in a town as small as Summer Bay, after all there was no point in wasting a stamp on someone who just lived down the street. But it seemed a little last minute to be sending them out on Christmas Eve.

Peter flipped the envelope open and pulled out the card, it was just one of those generic cards that came two hundred in a box, nothing spectacular or memorable about it. He opened it up and frowned at the inscription. Merry Christmas, Detective. Here's hoping that you get everything that you deserve. He supposed it may have come from one of the guys at the station but it was strange that there was no name on the card. He turned his attention to the envelope, hoping to find a return address and noticed the bunch of photographs that were still inside.

His hands shook as he recognized the two people in the first photo; it was Drew and he was sitting besides and smiling at the supposedly dead Zoe McCallister. Bile rose in the back of his throat as blind panic threatened to overwhelm him. He shuffled the picture to the bottom of the pack, the one underneath it shocked him even more; Drew blushing and grinning as Zoe pushed his hair back off his face.

The next photo was the one that really did almost make him loose his lunch. Sally Fletcher's pleading face, illuminated by the flash of the camera as she bled to death in the parking lot of the school she loved so dearly. It was Zoe, she was the one who killed her, Peter realized with an ever increasing feeling of dread. The gang was just a convenient red herring.

All the blood drained from Peter's face as he numbly flicked to the final photograph in the series, it was different from the others, it was a Polaroid. Amanda. Amanda laying on the ground, covered in blood, her eyes wide open and staring, a gaping wound across her throat that was so deep that Peter was sure that he could see bone. Peter swallowed back vomit and switched his detective brain into gear. He recognized the bricks she was laid out on, they were the bricks that surrounded the pool in the backyard.

Peter let the photographs flutter to the carpet as he raced through the house, screaming Amanda's name. She'd only been gone half an hour, how could this have happened? And where the hell was Ryan?

He collapsed to his knees beside Amanda's body, not noticing or caring about the blood soaking into the knees of his jeans. "No," he sobbed into her lifeless platinum hair. "No."

"Do you like my present? I hope so, I don't think I'm going to be able to get a refund on that." Zoe said mockingly, emerging from the shadows. Peter acted on impulse, letting Amanda's body fall to the ground, he charged at Zoe, almost slipping on the wet bricks.

"I really wouldn't do that," warned Tracey, stepping out from behind Zoe with her gun pointed directly at Peter's head. Peter skidded to a stop.

"Where's Ryan? What have you done to him?" he demanded furiously.

"He's fine, we locked him in the car." Zoe noticed Peter's relief at the news and frowned. "I don't hurt kids, Peter. How crazy do you think we are?"

"Why are you doing this? It can't possibly still be about Sarah."

"You're right, it's not about her. It's just really fun to watch you squirm, to know that I can outsmart you at every turn."

"You're insane."

"No sh*t." Zoe rolled her eyes and suddenly the silent night air was pierced by the sound an alarm as Amanda's Audi started shrilling loudly. Zoe turned in the direction of the noise and raised an eyebrow. "That kid is resourceful. I like him."

With both women momentarily distracted, Peter saw his oppourtunity and took it. He ran at Zoe, intent on tackling her into the pool, maybe he could drown her before Tracey could get a shot off. But Zoe had a different idea. She heard him coming and turned at exactly the right moment. She didn't even have to do anything but hold the knife steady, the same knife that had claimed Sally Fletcher's life, and Peter's momentum did the rest. He ended up impaling himself, the short blade plunging deep into his guts.

"Whoops!" Zoe giggled as Peter sputtered in disbelief. "Look what I did." She gave him a hard shove and he couldn't stop himself from falling backwards into the cold water of the swimming pool. The knife did even more damage coming out that it did going in.

Peter thrashed about for a few moments, the water turning crimson with his blood, before falling silent and still, his eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Zoe quickly pulled a camera from her back pocket and snapped a photo of the morbid scene. "Souvenir," she explained when Tracey looked at her expectantly.

"What are we going to do with him?" The older woman asked, nodding in the direction of the still loudly beeping Audi.

"We could take him with us." Zoe suggested after a moments thought.

"Well I always did want to have kids."



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