Late at night, Jasper and Ness walked through the doors of the Pentagram. Ness had a camera around her neck and a hat on her head, while Jasper wore a novelty tourist shirt saying, "I Love Washington, D.C.".
"We finally did a real tour of D.C.," Jasper said. "A lot of monuments. A lot."
Ness nodded. "I bet Aiden's stir crazy he hasn't been able to visit them daily.."
"Trust me, he was."
The two finalists shared a laugh.
"I can't believe it," Ness said. "Our last night in the Pentagram."
Jasper nodded. "It's going to be hard to sleep."
She poked his side. "Not you, with your massage bed and silk sheets."
"Yeah, I'll be real comfy while having a panic attack about the finale tomorrow."
"I still can't believe I'm in the final two," Ness admitted.
"Same," Jasper said, quickly adding, "Uh, I meant me being here."
"Tell me about it!"
The two turned around. Jenny sat in a lounge chair, Elaine the vulture resting on her shoulder, in the middle of a game on her elevator shaft was open and the room slightly raised, with a pair of long legs sticking out. A red toolbox was close by.
"I had you two pegged as your team's first choice for elimination," Jenny said. "I guess I was half-right."
Jasper glared at the redhead.
"But we started on the same team," Ness said.
Jenny shrugged. "I figured with your luck, you wouldn't be placed on a team with another obvious early out. Kudos for subverting that."
Ness joined in on glaring at the redhead.
"I mean seriously," Jenny continued ranting, "Your audition tape was just a filmed prank while Jasper was cast by accident. Can't blame me for thinking you'd be out soon."
"I guess fate wanted one to be the winner."
Jasper gulped as Ness shivered.
Toby slid out from under the elevator. "This thing is almost ready."
"Finally," his cohort sighed. "I almost worked up a sweat watching you fix this."
"Fix the elevator?" Ness asked. "Why would you do that?"
"The hotel has to open soon," Toby said. "Can't be a real hotel with a broken elevator."
"What about the confessional though?" Jasper asked.
Toby rolled his eyes. "I just need to tweak the panel a bit before it takes off again. You can confess any last thoughts before I do."
"Make it snappy," Jenny added.
Jasper shifted uncomfortably. "Is it weird I'm not sure what to say? I've been freaking myself out with thoughts about what would happen if I lose...and what would happen if I win. Now I have to give my final thoughts? I guess I want to say...I'm glad I was here. Being voted out sucked, but returning was cool. To anyone who is actually rooting for me; I won't let you down."
Ness shook her head. "This is really it. When they first told me I got cast, by dad talked to talk me out of it. If I had listened, I'd have missed out on the best experience of my life. I'm tired of not trying new things because I'm afraid of my luck. What I'm trying to say is that I wish every fan can experience it. If I win, I hope you can live through me and enjoy it."
Ness exited the elevator. Toby nodded and entered, screwdriver in hand.
Rhonda walked up, flipping through a stack of papers in her hand. "Hey you two, I need you to fake a few signatures for a building inspector and then...oh. Hey final two! Ha, ha, ready for tomorrow?"
"As much as we can be," Jasper admitted.
"Guess you can't give us hints at tomorrow's challenge?" Ness asked.
Rhonda smiled. "All I can say is that it won't be easy."
"Wasn't expecting it to be," Jasper replied.
"I wish it had a bigger budget," Rhonda said. "Still, it was fun planning my last challenge."
"Last?" Jasper asked. "What about next season's challenges?"
"There is no next season."
The two finalist's eyes grew wide. "No more Total Drama?!"
"Not stateside," Rhonda replied. "I'm sure Canada will keep the brand alive. We're cancelled."
"Wait," Ness said, "that's why you were acting so weird at the final four?"
"Don't tell me Blainerson's responsible," Jasper sighed. "Ruining another thing I love."
"Not directly," Rhonda said. "The network was pulling our plug regardless. His own show didn't change that."
"Can't you do anything?" Ness wondered. "America's wanted its own Total Drama for forever!"
"I tried pulling every favor I had left," Rhonda said. "Nothing. It'd take a miracle."
Jasper tapped his chin. "What kind of miracle?"
"I don't know," Rhonda said. "The network would have to think it's a surefire hit. Be certain people would turn in for it than any other show. If I knew how to do that, I would've done it this season."
"What about a famous celebrity," Jasper suggested.
"They'd have to be one of the most famous people on Earth," Rhonda stated. "More famous than even Blainerson is."
Jasper frowned, but tapped his chin faster and faster. "Maybe…"
"You have to do something," Ness pleaded.
"I am," the hostess replied. "I'm trying to make our last episode a great one. We already have an amazing final two."
Jasper stopped thinking and blushed while Ness beamed.
"You two get some rest," Rhonda encouraged. "You have a big day tomorrow and we start early!"
The two quickly nodded.
Toby motioned to the elevator. The two stepped inside, waving goodnight as the automatic doors closed and it took off.
"You know," Rhonda said. "I'm really going to miss these kids."
"I'm not," Jenny said.
"Yes you will," Toby said. "We all will."
Jenny sighed. "Yeah...we will."
The three walked off together.
In the suite she had lived all summer, Ness was packing. She zipped her suitcase and patted the bulging bag.
"To think my luggage was stolen the first day," she recalled. "What a simpler time."
She frowned, taking in the blank room. She moved her suitcase to the nearby empty bed. She plopped down. She started fidgeting with her charm bracelet.
"I know things can't be good if they don't end," Ness told herself. "Stars are pretty because they're actually balls of light dying out, we're just now seeing them. My time here wouldn't be so amazing if it didn't end."
She sniffled. "Doesn't mean I'm ready!"
She took a deep breath. "I need to stay focused. I need to make everything I've done count by winning tomorrow. I can do it!"
She tried making a tough face, throwing up her arms...and accidentally punching herself.
"No pain, no gain," she groaned. She rolled over to turn off the lights.
Jasper was pacing inside the luxury suite. He stopped and peered at a mirror, staring down his reflection.
"Don't psych yourself out. You want to win. ...No, you will win. You have to. Then...I'll be somebody."
He forced a smile, running a hand through his hair and slicking it back. "Yeah, people will remember me after this. Fans will come up to me in the streets. I'll do talk shows and conventions...I'll get a girlfriend and have my first kiss."
He leaned against the mirror, winking at himself. "My win will be the start of a lot of good things. My life will change!"
His slicked hair bounced back to it's old style. His face fell. "Will it? Will I just be forgotten again?"
He turned his back to the mirror, slouching down to the floor. "I'll only find out if I don't win. Everything I did was building towards this moment. ...It meant something."
He crawled into bed, turning on the massage feature. He clapped; the lights went out. Tossing and turning, he whispered to himself. "I can win, I can win, I can win..."
At 8 A.M., the final two were woken up by the sound of a rooster over the P.A. Neither looked like they slept. Heading to the dining hall, they found the hosts waiting with a small breakfast buffet.
"Really?" Jasper asked. "For us?"
"The first of many surprises," Rhonda said.
Jasper and Ness took their seats, filling their plates with protein and fruits. Jasper pulled out a piece of paper and started writing.
"Whatcha doing?" Ness asked, in-between bites.
"Writing a letter," Jasper said. "Waking up, I had an idea that might actually save the show."
"Ooh!" Ness exclaimed. "Maybe you have the gift like Seraphina."
"I wish," he replied. "I just hope it can get there before it's too late."
Rhonda cleared her throat as she walked out of the kitchen. "While you finish breakfast, we have our next surprise. There are a few people who want to talk to you privately. Who's first?"
Ness gulped. Looking at Jasper writing, she shrugged and stood up.
Ness took a seat inside the lobby as Toby wheeled up a monitor.
"Hmm," Ness said. "Isn't that the computer from when our loved ones-"
Ness froze. "Dad?"
On the laptop screen was Ness' father Richard. He sat alone on a used coach. On a nearby stand were a few photos; Richard and Ness' stepfather Markie at their wedding, a younger Ness and seemingly her older brother at Christmas, and a tall, brunette woman that bore more than a passing resemblance to Ness.
"What are you doing dad?" Ness asked.
"The show said it was having finalists video-chat with their families," he answered. "I wanted to see you."
Ness shuffled uncomfortably. "Oh. Where's Markie? Or my brother?"
"I asked to talk to you alone," Richard said. "I'll grab them in a moment. I just...I know the last time I saw you was tense."
The jinx crossed her arms. "Yeah. You told me I should quit. Then...I kind of went off."
Richard nodded. "Since then I've been watching every episode. I wanted to say...I was wrong for telling you that."
Ness raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Of course," Richard replied. "I'm sorry I didn't see it before. You've been trying so hard. It's made you really happy. I never knew school was so bad or how upset your were at home. I didn't know you were so miserable."
"How could you not?" Ness asked.
"You had a happy front," her father replied. "I took it at face value. I guess I didn't want to look deeper than that."
"I didn't want to make you unhappy," Ness replied. "I already stress you out enough with my bad luck. I wanted you to be happy with Markie and have a happy life...but I'm tired of pretending things are okay when they aren't."
"I'm so sorry honey," Richard said. "I hate I made you feel had to put on a front. You're right, your...accidents do stress me out. That doesn't mean I don't love you. I want you to be happy now."
Ness smiled a bit. "Thanks Dad...thanks."
"I'm so proud watching you," her father said. "Not just making the finals. Just you making friends and enjoying yourself. How hard you tried at challenges too. You're not my little girl anymore. You're your own woman Ness. Your mother would be proud."
Ness laughed, but was clearly tearing up. "Aww, dad!"
Jasper shuffled to the open chair in front of the laptop. As the feed turned on, Jasper raised his eyes in shock.
On the monitor were Jasper's parents unpacking suitcases in some hotel room. Both were in their early thirties and in good shape. His mother had black hair tied in a bun, brown eyes, and wore a white dress to match a pearl necklace. His father had brunet hair, wore a white suit, and had a stylized mustache.
"Oh darling look," his mother said. "It's that son of ours."
"Hey kiddo," his father replied. "How's it going?"
Jasper stared for a second. "Um...hey? What's going on?"
"Some TV people said you were on a show," his mother said. "Good for you!"
"I'm on Total Drama," Jasper replied. "Didn't you notice I wasn't home?"
"I was wondering where your mother left you," his father said.
Jasper's mom laughed. "I meant to ask you the same thing."
"You really didn't realize I was gone all summer?" Jasper asked. "Weren't you worried? I could've been in danger."
"You're a teenage boy," his mother added. "You go and you do things and then other things. It's what boys do. No need to worry."
"Instead you were on TV," his father chuckled. "Trying to make your older brother jealous, eh?"
"Didn't Blainerson tell you he saw me?" Jasper asked.
"Oh, so he helped you onto the show?" his father asked. "Glad to know you boys are getting along."
"No! Well...kind of," Jasper replied. "Did Blainerson really not mention being here? I defeated him in a duel!"
"Not a word of it," his father added. "Speaking of words, I'm using mine to say we have to leave."
Jasper frowned. "We just started talking. I haven't even told you about all the things I've done. I've won five-"
"-Sorry dear but Blainerson brought us to France," his mother said. "His big Europe tour kicks off today! We have a cheese tasting in ten minutes."
"Is a cheese more important than talking to me?" Jasper asked.
"Of course not," his mother replied. Then adding, "but it's French cheese. The European Wisconsin!"
"I bet you Blainerson scheduled this concert now on purpose," Jasper said. "He knew what was today!"
"This has been weeks in planning," his father replied.
Jasper rolled his eyes. "You know, I'm in the final two. I could win two million dollars today!"
His parents shared a look…
"You really think so sport?" his father asked.
Jasper shrugged. "You'd have to watch and find out."
His father stroked his mustache. "Maybe we could record it…"
"Darling, you know the DVR is full with Actual Housewives I need to catch up on," she said. "How will I know if Lisa and Cheryl went to Karen's brunch after she didn't go to Morocco?"
"Too true," he said. "If you do win we'd love to hear all about it Jerry."
Jasper glared. "Forget it, I don't care if you know. I don't need to impress you. This win isn't about you, it's about m-"
"What was that hon?" his mom asked. "I was checking your father's ears for wax. You know how good he is at making wax."
"And you know how good your mother is at finding it."
The two shared a chuckle, as Jasper gave them a confused, yet annoyed look. "Who's going to be at this concert anyway?"
"Everyone!" his mother replied. "Blainerson flew out the family, cousins and all. Not to mention the biggest celebrities."
"Anybody who's anybody," his dad replied. "Did...did Blainerson not invite you?"
The parents shared a look.
"Like I'd want to see him lip synch," Jasper replied. "Are all those people really going to be there?"
The two nodded.
Jasper rubbed his chin. "I may actually save the show in time! Listen, I need you to do something! It's really important to me and a lot of people."
His father flicked his mustache. "Our cheese tour-"
Jasper groaned. He pulled his letter out of his back pocket. "Just take a photo! Then write it out, word for word. Then deliver it at the concert. Please!"
Jasper's parents shared a look. "Well, if it means that much to you…"
"This might actually save the show," Jasper whispered, smirking.
"Who are we giving it to?"
Jasper returned to breakfast. He sighed, contently, and started chewing a piece of bacon.
"Have a good chat?" Ness asked.
"Not in the least," Jasper replied. "I just got something off my mind. Now, I can focus. You?"
"It was...nice," Ness admitted. "I think I feel relieved too. All I have to think about now is winning!"
The two shared a smirk, before chuckling nervously.
Ness took one last bite of her egg. "This is the last supper of Genesis. Err, breakfast. No more meals here."
"Not if one of us wins," Jasper said. "If we miss it, we could always rent a room."
Ness giggled. "Maybe, but I might regret spending the money."
Jasper, Lifting his orange juice glass, said, "Well then, to Total Drama Genesis! And being in the final two!"
Here, here!" Ness added.
The two clinked their glasses and chugged them. Their plates cleaned, they nodded and pushed out their chairs.
It was time.
The finalists followed Rhonda outside the Pentagram's entrance. In the hotel's courtyard, a stage had been built, with two podiums in the center. To the right were green bleachers and a banner of Jasper's face. Identical yellow bleachers were to the left, a banner displaying Ness' face.
"Welcome final two," Rhonda said. "To your final challenge! Jasper, Ness. Ness, Jasper; it's time to find out who earns two million dollars and becomes the winner of Total...Drama...Genesis!"
The two let out a cheer.
"Let's start with part one," Rhonda said. "Winning over our Peanut Gallery of Losers. You'll start by making opening statements. Then our losers will come out one by one. They may ask a question, make a statement, or say nothing. They'll then choose who's section to sit in. If they hear anything that changes their mind, they can move sections until the last supporter has taken their seat."
The finalists nodded.
"Great. Ness, you've been randomly selected to start us off. They'll watch from a monitor in the lobby."
Ness forced a smile as she and Jasper stood behind the podium closer to their respective sections.
"Hey everybody," Ness greeted, looking directly in the camera. "I'm thrilled I'm here! I'm just so happy I got to do this and meet a lot of you. I admit, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for some good friends. Still, I'm actually proud of myself!
"I mean, I won two invincibility challenges and contributed to some team wins, like the scavenger hunt and the Awake-a-thon. Not to mention all those tiebreakers! I think I've played hard and proved why I'm here. I overcame a lot of odds. I know I seem like a klutz and jinx, but I hope you respect how I've played enough to support me. I'm a huge fan and I've been living my dream. I want to make that dream come true by winning!"
She threw her arms up. Rhonda, Jasper and the co-hosts clapped, while Ness blushed and nodded.
The brunet boy gulped, but nodded. Clearing his throat, he leaned into the podium's mic. "Maybe some of you don't remember me...but you should. I'm a finalist and I deserve to be here too."
"I know a lot of you are probably thinking, 'Jasper returned. That's unfair. He shouldn't win'. I believe that thinking is unfair. You can hate returning, but blame that on Rhonda or the show. It's part of Total Drama, always has been. You can't fault me for taking advantage of part of the game. If you can honestly say you wouldn't do the same, then you can fault me I guess.
"But I never gave up. Not when I returned, nor when I was going to lose a challenge regardless. I never gave up. I kept going and going. That's why I won five challenges. That's why I'm here. That's why you should support me."
Jasper nodded as the others clapped.
"Wonderful speeches," Rhonda said. "Let's see if it convinced any of the losers. Supporters, let's get going! Peanut Gallery of Losers?"
Bethany jogged out, forcing a smile. "First again. Not that I care or it upsets me. Nope, totally over it."
Jasper and Ness raised their eyebrows.
"First congratulations to both of you," Bethany said. "I agree, you both so deserve it. Between the two of you, you have some impressive accomplishments. So, what's your secret?"
"Huh?" Ness asked.
"Secret?" Jasper said.
"You know," Bethany said. "How did you win challenges? What's your greatest strength?"
Ness nodded. "I think for me, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle. I'm not the strongest or the smartest, especially here. But what I couldn't outmatch, I could out think. I had to figure out a solution to my problems, play to my strengths or weaknesses in my opponent or loopholes in the system. Besides that, I made the right connections. I drafted the right team, to speak jock."
Bethany nodded, then turned to Jasper.
"I don't think I 'outmatched' Ness persay," Jasper admitted. "I mean, I'm no physical threat. I did my share of thinking. I solved a murder mystery! My greatest strength is that I don't give up. I found a way to keep fighting, even when I was sure I'd lost. I don't know why; I wasn't confident in myself. I just knew I had to try."
Bethany nodded. Finally, she took a seat in Jasper's support section. Jasper's face lit up. Bethany shot an apologetic glance at the jinx.
"Sorry Ness," Bethany said. "You're a lot stronger than the girl who I saved from scarabs, but Jasper's answer just spoke to me, you know?"
The jinx sighed, but nodded.
Bethany shot finger pistols at Jasper. "Just remember, that you-"
"-Next!" Rhonda called.
Hayden strolled out of the door. "Hey you two. Hats off to making it here. We all wish that was us, but we're happy for you. My question is; you played with twenty other folks. Who was your one greatest ally?"
Neither spoke for a minute.
"Only one?" Ness asked.
"I didn't have one," Jasper admitted. "I worked with anyone who would. I was close with Lita and Tessa, but they went home soon after. I always ended up alone."
He frowned while Hayden gave a sympathetic yet condescending look.
The big brother turned to Ness, who finally shrugged. "I won't pick one. Lita and Seraphina's friendship meant so much to me. You need friends like that in this game. Then, Melissa was that friend at the merge. Our girls' alliance certainly got us far. Her and Ignacio were there for me. He comforted me a lot.
"I have to pick at least those four, but all my friends were important."
Hayden smiled. "Perfect answer."
"Really?" she asked. "But you said one-"
"-It was a trick question dear," Hayden replied. "Life isn't about being alone, but making the right friends. You did."
Hayden sat in Ness' support section. "I still remember on the first day when I helped you out a trash can. They grow up so fast."
"We're tied," Rhonda said. "But not for long! Give it up for, Pascal!"
Pascal forced a smile as he strutted out the door. Behind the pop star, his former rival turned girlfriend hopped after him.
"Oh em gee!" Mandy squealed. "EEEEEEEEE! This is even cooler than our finale Pascal. Remember, ya remember? The weather was like, so nice, but then turned so bad and I thought-"
Pascal raised a finger to Mandy's lip. She looked at it like it was a foreign concept.
"Super cool you guys are here," Pascal said.
He turned to Ness, who frowned at him. She gasped as he and Mandy took a seat in her support section.
"Ness," Pascal said. "I lied to you and it was not super duper nice. I'm really happy you're here. You're way cool, the coolest person here!"
Ness blushed. "Oh wow, thanks Pascal. I appreciate it."
With a wink, he said, "You got this! Remember; if you believe it, you'll achieve it."
"I don't actually count as a supporter," Mandy said. "But I'm going to be cheering for you Ness! Cause like I can't forget how nice you were to me! Eeeee! I hope we both be winners and do cool winner things together!"
Ness giggled, while Jasper scowled.
Pascal cleared his throat. "Also, I know some guys have kind of sucked, but don't count yourself out. There's somebody for you. Like, actually really close-"
Mandy shushed him now.
"Moving on," Rhonda said. "It's Aiden!"
Marching out of the door was said patriot. Aiden reached the two, taking off his cap and saluting the finalists. The two forced a smile and saluted them back.
"Gee golly those were good speeches," Aiden said. "I'm a little undecided. I think you both have what it takes to be America's first winner."
The two beamed.
"Help me out a little," Aiden said. "If you were America's first Total Drama winner, what would that mean? What would you do to represent us?"
"I'd be honored to represent us," Ness said. "I don't know if anyone would want me, but I'd try do interviews and speak at conventions. I always wanted to do a Youtube channel on Total Drama!"
Jasper nodded. "I'd do a lot of the same things. More than that, I'd fight for the show to be renewed. Fans in America have wanted their own season for forever! I don't want it to end now. Genesis means a start, not an end."
Aiden sniffled and nodded. He marched over to Jasper's support section, saluting the boy before taking his seat. The support sections were two each.
Griswold walked up next.
"Super cool that two Fizzled Fireworks are here," he said. "I knew one of us would win! WOO!"
"Woo!" Ness cheered.
"Woo," Jasper added, a little forced.
"I don't think it's a surprise," Griswold said. "But I got to go with-"
He tore open his varsity jacket, revealing a shirt with Ness' face on it; it read 'NESS IS THE BEST'. Ness grinned and giggled.
"She's such a fighter," Griswold said. "Girl survived everything this show threw at her...and even stuff it didn't. Couldn't be prouder we were teamies dude."
"Couldn't have asked for a better captain," Ness replied.
Melissa skipped out of the Pentagram. She was carrying a plate covered in tinfoil. "I'm so happy for you two! Know whoever wins, you're both amazing to me."
She removed the tinfoil, revealing pastries in the shape of Ness' face.
"I'm supporting my girl Ness," Melissa announced. "So for her support section, I'm showcasing a new recipe; Ness Neapolitan Napoleons, or mille-feuilles. They're chocolate, vanilla, strawberry wafers with homemade icing in between!"
Melissa offered one to her friend, before sitting in her support section and passing them around.
"Mmmm," Griswold sighed. "Tastes like...victory."
"This isn't a bribe," Melissa added. "I think everyone should support Ness because she played the best. I think her social game was super."
The girls winked as they enjoyed their treat.
"Did anyone make anything with my face on," Jasper mumbled.
With Melissa as the sweet, Diamonique exited next to bring the spice.
The scatterbrain strutted up. She turned to eye Melissa's treat, before turning her nose. She waddled over to Jasper's support section, winking at the surprised boy.
"I told a lot of lies," Diamonique said. "I'm not proud of it. But the one time I wasn't lying was to you Jasper."
"Really?" Jasper asked.
"I really did want us to be the final two," Diamonique replied. "I genuinely thought we deserved it. Two returnees with nothing to lose."
She looked off into the distance, smirking for a second. She frowned and shrugged at the finalist. "I let you down. But I'm glad you're here. Team Jasper all the way!"
She set down with a thud, nearly flinging Aiden off the bench.
Xidorn walked out, flashing a peace sign. He was wearing his sweatshirt's hoodie up.
"Props on making it to the final two!" Xidorn stated. "As a fellow fan I'm pumped...but also super jealous."
He laughed as the two smiled. "I'd ask a question, but to be honest I've already decided who I'd support."
He dropped his hoodie, revealing his hair was dyed green.
"I think you've played a killer game Jasper," the film buff said. "It's not just the record of wins, while impressive. I think to make it this far after the position you started in is super impressive. You got this man!"
Xidorn jumped up to Jasper's support section, causing the finalist to smile.
"Now put your hands together for...Frannie!"
Frannie cartwheeled out of the Pentagram, before jumping and doing a split in front of the finalists. She whistled and her lemur Ziba landed on her shoulder.
"Hey final two," Frannie said, "Why did the cross-eyed teacher get fired?"
The finalists shrugged.
"Never approving her timecard?" Jasper suggested.
"Uh...no. She couldn't control her pupils!"
Frannie tittered while Ziba facepalmed.
"Anyway," Frannie continued. "I have to say...I'm supporting Jasper. I wasn't sure, but your speech convinced me. What you said about second chances...I understand. I wish I could've had one."
She forced a smile before flipping over to Jasper's support section.
Riley strolled out, waving at the finalists.
"Pastor Jasper, Loch Ness," the bro said. "Congrats! Honor to compete against you animals. This may seem like personal bias, and it kind of is, but I got to support my girl Ness!"
She held up a giant foam finger with Ness' face on it.
"Thanks Rye," Ness replied. "I thought maybe after voting for you-"
Riley shook her head. "I told you not to sweat that. You're in the final two, yeah? So it was the right choice. You were an important teammate and you killed the merge. Now take home that win!"
Riley winked, taking a seat next to Griswold. She kissed his cheek, before waving around her finger one last time.
Zipporah walked out next.
She sighed and shrugged. "I guess it's cool you guys are the finalists...if reality shows weren't just false narratives constructed by corporations to reinforce societal norms in the general public's popular consciousness. Like all mainstream media. But congrats or whatever."
Jasper scratched his head while Ness just stared wide-eyed.
"Anyway," the goth continued, "Hayden asked who was your greatest ally. I want to know who was the biggest competition. Who do you think was the biggest threat?"
Jasper tapped his chin. "Melissa probably. Everyone knew she'd sweep your guy's votes, plus she was more strategic and strong than she appeared. I felt like she was the frontrunner the smaller it got."
"Kalino," Ness answered. "He was behind a lot of eliminations, including some of my closest friends and allies. He had a lot of power with the flash drives too. I can't say I'm not glad it backfired."
Zipporah turned to face Jasper. "You say Melissa, but you made a final two deal with her? And you voted Riley off before her? How does that make sense?"
"She was never my top choice to go against," Jasper said. "Still, I'd rather compete against her in the finals than not be in the finals. I was trying to give myself options, while never forgetting she's a threat. It's why she's not here and I am."
Zipporah nodded. She took a seat in his support section. "I guess it worked out for you. Hoping the final challenge does too."
Weston walked out. He happily ran up, almost tripping, but stopping and catching himself.
"It's so cool you're both here!" Weston greeted. "Honestly, I think I'm going to go with Jasper!"
"Not much suspense," Rhonda mumbled.
"We just had some good times," Weston said. "Like remember when we were arrested for streaking?"
Jasper blushed. "Yeah, how could I forget."
"I hope you win it man!" Weston cheered, jumping in Jasper's support section.
Jasper tried not to smile as his support section started to pull ahead. Ness did smile however, as a familiar face walked out.
"Hey guys," Seraphina said. "It's awesome you're both here and you want it so bad. I don't think it's a shock who I'm supporting. Love you Ness."
She smiled at her former roomie.
"I do want to take a moment to say some things," Seraphina said. "You guys aren't giving Ness enough credit! A few of you might even think she's lucky to be here. Ness? Lucky? We're talking about the same girl, right?"
A few of the losers laughed.
"Fact is, Ness has been to more elimination ceremonies than anybody but Ignacio," Seraphina said. "More than him if you count this challenge as one. Jasper wasn't eligible to receive votes at most, which is an accomplishment. I think surviving them without that safety net is more impressive. Sure, she had to survive three ties...but doesn't that speak to her game that people were willing to go to a tie for her?"
A few of the losers murmured to themselves, but nobody changed sides. Seraphina winked at Ness before sitting in her section.
Throwing the Pentagram's doors open like they were a saloon, Vance sidestepped over to the finalists.
"Howdy final two," Vance greeted. "You two should be happier than a tick on a fat hog. Anywho, I'm supporting Jasper. His wins seems mighty impressive. Plus, I owe him a little for that horse fiasco."
"Can't argue with that," Jasper whispered.
Vance tipped his hat before taking a seat in Jasper's support section. He and Xidorn fistbumped as Jasper's section maintained its lead.
Next to walk out was the last newcomer to have left. Ignacio smiled and waved at the final two.
"Nice to see you both so soon," Ignacio stated. "Jasper, you're a great guy. Regardless, it's not shocking that I'm supporting Ness."
Blushing, he turned to her. "Ness, you're amazing. I hope you know that. I'm extremely grateful I met you, and I hope you can win it."
"Thanks Ignacio," she replied.
Ignacio took a seat, ignoring the looks from the rest of her support section and even a few in Jasper's.
Tessa was the next to exit. Holding something behind her, she smiled at the final two.
"Hey you guys," Tessa said. "Congratulations to both of you. You played really hard! You earned this spot. I won't lie, I'm glad it's two people I like."
Tessa smirked as she turned to Jasper. "I'm supporting Jasper. I'm happy for you Ness, but Jasper's my bud."
Ness nodded and shrugged.
"I just want refute a few things real quick," Tessa stated. "Seraphina made some good points about Ness, but she's totally underplaying Jasper! Yeah, Jasper was safe at five eliminations. Six if it weren't for 'Immunity Gate'. So what? That wasn't luck! He had to work hard in each challenge. He beat the toughest of us. He made his vote count too. He was a target but had the right connections to shift it. None of you should be doubting him."
From behind her back, she pulled out a large and glittery sign. In gold and green letters it read, JASPER IS #1. Above it was a picture of his face...mid-sneeze.
"Sorry," she said. "It was the only photo I could get in such short notice."
Jasper smiled. "No, I love it. Thanks Tessa."
She nodded, before taking a seat in his section and holding it high.
The older twin walked out next, hand in his pocket. He waved at the finalists who waved back.
"Kudos to making it to the finals," Easton stated. "You both did a lot to get here. You're both deserving. So…"
From his pocket, he pulled out a quarter. He flipped it, caught it, then shoved it back in his pocket. "My fate in the game was decided by a coin-flip. I think it's only fitting if that were true of you two, if only a little. I'll support whoever based on a coin flip. Someone call it."
"Tails," Ness blurted, almost covering her mouth.
Easton nodded. "Heads, Jasper. Tails, Ness."
The twin pulled the quarter out of his pocket. He flipped it, letting it fall on the back of his hand and covering it. He moved it, revealing the coin to the cameras…
"Tails," Easton said. "Ness it is! Looks like lady luck is on your side today."
Ness looked shocked as Easton joined her cheering supporting section. He nodded at her.
In truth, Easton had always planned on supporting Ness; they were teammates for a long time and he respected her. The coin was double-sided and he had another quarter in his pocket that had only heads if Ness was heads. He wanted to convince her that she'd be lucky at challenges..and prank her a little.
Both finalists eyes lit up as a familiar face flashed them a smile.
Lita waved and called out, "Hey!"
Ness eagerly waved back while Jasper waved slowly and smiled dumbfounded.
"It's great to see you both," Lita said. "I was hoping you two would be the Final Two when I was eliminated. You both are so amazing, it's not surprising you made it this far."
Lita turned to Jasper and gave a soft smile.
"Jasper," Lita said, "You deserve to be here. Know that and own it."
The brunet boy nodded.
"I'll never forget how nice you were to me…but I have to support my girl Ness. I'm sorry."
Jasper forced a smiled. Tessa and Bethany shared a look in his support section.
Lita turned to Ness. "My roomie, my teammate and my bestie. I said I knew you could do it and you did! You deserve to win for surviving all the mayhem those three nutjobs cooked up. I'm proud to support ya."
Ness sniffled but smiled. "Thanks Lita."
The knockout blew her a kiss before taking a seat next to Seraphina.
The two finalists suddenly tensed. They stared at the entrance of the Pentagram, waiting for someone to exit...but were only met with uncomfortable silence.
Jasper felt a chill. Turning to his right, he gasped and nearly fell over. Ness did fall over. Cynthia stood there, staring at the finalists.
He gulped. "H-hey, Cynthia…"
"You bested me at the first merge challenge," Cynthia stated. "Then you told your former teammates to vote me out. You're responsible for my defeat."
Jasper tried not to tremble, taking a deep breath.
"I respect that."
Jasper sighed as Cynthia sat in his support section. "You're a worthy competitor."
"Thanks," Jasper said, smiling a little.
Weston glomped his girlfriend, pulling her closer...while everyone else scooted a bit further away.
The last newcomer strolled up. Kalino shrugged at the finalists.
"Heyyyy Jasper and Ness," he said. "Cool you guys are here. You're both super awesome."
Rubbing the back of his head, he said, "You both did a lot of wicked stuff to get here. I've been thinking a lot about the future though, and what this experience all means...I guess I want to know what you'll do if you win. What does the money mean to you and your future?"
Jasper frowned. "Well, I'd use the money for college. I know my brother's famous, but I doubt any of his money will help me...if he actually has any."
"What would you major in?" Kalino asked.
Jasper rubbed the back of his head. "I'm not entirely sure yet…"
"I'd still like to pursue my dream of owning a zoo," Ness admitted. "With a state of the art veterinary hospital dedicated to research and treatment. Of course, that'd start with going to vet school and saving the money to actually create the zoo."
"And you really believe that's a possibility?" Kalino asked.
Ness shrugged. "Even with the prize money...it's still a big dream. It'll take a lot of hard work, but I really want it! Even if I don't win, I'm going to try. I made it this far on the show, so maybe it's not that impossible after all."
Kalino nodded. After a moment, he sat in Ness' support section. A few of the other newcomers, including the finalists, raised an eyebrow.
"We have our cheering sections!" Rhonda announced.
In Ness' bleachers, Melissa, Hayden, Griswold, Riley, Easton, Seraphina, Lita, Ignacio, Pascal (and Mandy) and Kalino roared and clapped.
To the right in Jasper's section, Bethany, Aiden, Diamonique, Frannie, Vance, Xidorn, Weston, Cynthia, Tessa and Zipporah cheered just as loud.
"Whoever got the most finalists would've had an advantage in the final challenge," Rhonda explained. "But it looks like Jasper and Ness are tied with ten supporters each. Oh well. That'll just make things more intense…"
Jasper and Ness nodded, staring at the hostess intensely.
"Our first challenge tested a lot for you newcomers," Rhonda explained. "Your social skills, strength, intelligence, accuracy, courage, balance, creativity, vigor, speed, leadership, endurance and teamwork. You've done a lot since then, but it's time to put what you learned into practice! For your final challenge you'll be doing the Eleven Labors...in reverse!"
"You'll be given a map, racing from the Pentagram to different stations all over Washington D.C. You'll complete a task at each station in reverse order. No skipping. For each task you complete, you'll earn a firework.
"Once you have all eleven fireworks, you'll race to the Lincoln Memorial and set them off. Then you'll race on foot back to the Pentagram. First to cross the finish line wins two millions and Total Drama Genesis!"
The newcomers roared again.
"Wait," Jasper said, "Teamwork is one of the skills, right? Is there a twelfth labor again?"
Rhonda shook her head. "No, but you're correct that this challenge does involve teamwork! Each finalist can pick up to three of their supporters to join them!"
Jasper and Ness eyes lit up.
"A supporter can do one of the tasks in the finalist's place," Rhonda explained. "Once they do however, you'll have to continue on without them.
"So, who will you pick?"
Jasper started to scan his support section while Ness immediately pointed.
"If this is my last challenge," Ness said, "then I have to finish it out with my BFFFLs."
The two girls shared a smile, running up to the stage and glomping their final roommate in a hug.
"We got this honey," Lita said.
Seraphina nodded. "We won't let you down."
Ness furrowed her brow. "And…Ignacio."
The model's eye shot up in surprise. "Me? Are you sure? Griswold is stronger and Melissa-"
Said sweetheart pushed him up off the bleachers. "Nonsense! You'll be great!"
"I want you Iggy," Ness said. "You've won a couple challenges and we were great partners for the wedding challenge. Please?"
"Well, if that's what you want," Ignacio said. "Then I promise to help you win!"
Riley whispered, "Tell her how you feel already Brojack Horseman."
Ignacio shot her a look as he joined the others, only to blush as Ness tackled him in a hug.
Jasper scratched his head, overlooking his supporters. "Um…well I trust Tessa and we won the wedding challenge. Plus, she's an Olympic athlete."
Tessa smirked. "Hold my poster."
She tossed the sign to Xidorn and jumped up, cartwheeling to stage and back flipping next to Jasper. The two high-fived.
Jasper looked back to his supporters. "Then…Cynthia."
Tessa trembled. "Cynthia?"
"She's really good at challenges," Jasper said. "I mean, if she wants…"
He turned around to find Cynthia already standing there.
"I'm taking that as a yes," Jasper gulped.
"I'll enjoy this," Cynthia replied. She stared at Ness' group who tried, and failed, to look unconcerned.
"Oh yeah!" Weston cheered. "You got this babe!"
Jasper looked back at his supporters. "And um..."
Vance stood up. "Don't worry partner, I'll shoulder the burden for ya."
"NO!" Jasper's supporters shouted. Xidorn pulled Vance back to the bleachers.
"I'll just go with two," Jasper said.
Rhonda shrugged. "Then let's get this show on the road!"
She tossed the finalists maps. "Your first destination is quite far away, so you'll follow our old friend to it; the slip and slide!"
She pointed at the giant yellow slide going up the road from the Pentagram.
"We've even provided transportation…"
Toby pushed out two familiar toboggans, wheels still poorly glued on them. Jenny poured a can of grease over them.
The finalists stared down the gates. Their supporters getting ready.
The two teams jumped off the stage and started racing.
"You can use these to travel to your first challen-"
The two teams ran past Rhonda, out the gate screaming, "Taxi!"
Rhonda wiped away a tear. "They remembered the loophole."
Both groups stood beside each other at the sidewalk, waving down the street.
A yellow taxi drove right past Jasper and stopped in front of Ness' group. In seconds they were off.
"Really?" Tessa asked.
"Ness does have Ignacio and Lita," Jasper sighed. "A taxi would notice them."
"This is a busy city," Tessa reassured. "There are plenty of taxis!"
An entire row of taxis drove right past them. "...Of course."
As the tried to wave down another taxi, they heard several cars honk. A pink Cadillac swerved through the streets and onto the sidewalk, knocking over garbage cans, dislodging a fire hydrant and almost hitting several pedestrians.
Jasper, Cynthia and Tessa barely jumped out of the way as the pink Cadillac halted to a stop. Diamonique tilted her head.
"Hop in losers, we got a challenge to win."
In the taxi, Seraphina sat in the passenger seat meditating. Ness squirmed in the back between Ignacio and Lita.
"Hey Seraphina," Ness said. "Um, you wouldn't happen to know-"
"-If you end up winning?" Seraphina replied.
Ness shrugged and gave a sheepish smile.
"I've seen a lot of different outcomes," Seraphina admitted. "But I don't know all the specifics. I'm trying not to see too much of the future."
"Is it not good?" Ness asked.
"More like if I know exactly how you win...I'll try to replicate it, but it won't work."
Ness nodded. Seraphina turned around and winked. "I don't need my powers to know you can win. And I plan on using them a little bit…"
Ness perked up. "I've missed you guys."
"We missed you," Lita stated. "We're so happy for you."
Ness sniffled. "It hasn't been the same without you two."
"Same," Seraphina replied.
The three roommates joined hands, each with their charm bracelets on.
Ignacio cleared his throat. "Sorry to interrupt, but shouldn't we get in the fast lane?"
"No," Seraphina replied. "We shouldn't."
Jasper squeezed the arms of his seat as Diamonique cut through a bike lane. Tessa sat in the back, wearing two seat belts. Only Cynthia seemed unconcerned.
"Thanks for this Diamonique," Jasper said. "Are you... allowed to do this?"
"You can have three supporters, right?" Diamonique asked. "Well, I'll be your third."
"Rhonda didn't say you couldn't add one," Tessa said.
"I meant what I said," Diamonique admitted. "I wanted one of us to win and I feel like I let you down. Let me make it up to you! You deserve to win and I'll help you."
Jasper smiled. "Okay, let's do this!"
Diamonique threw her hands in the air, letting go of the wheel as it turned everywhere. "Woo!"
"Don't let go of the wheel!" Tessa screamed.
"Let's do this ladies," Diamonique stated. "Our team needs a name like...Jasper's Angels."
"Not sure I like being somebody's angel," Tessa replied.
"I don't care what you guys call yourselves," Jasper said. "I'm just glad to have you! How did you even get this car Diamonique?"
"My parents bought it for me," she said. "A gift to make me feel better for losing."
"They're on the right," Cynthia stated.
Lita looked at the window as the pink Cadillac sped up. "Uh, they're passing us. Girl, you sure about this?"
Seraphina smirked and nodded.
"We're taking the lead!" Diamonique chuckled.
"Wait, why are they letting us pass?" Jasper asked.
"Cause we're awesome?"
"No, something is-"
"Oh crap," Jasper muttered.
The Cadillac spun out of control, crashing into a mailbox as the taxi drove off.
"You knew there were landmines?" Ignacio said.
"I peeked a little in the future," Seraphina replied. "I mean, it's Jenny."
From the Pentagram, Jenny watched with binoculars and giggled.
"I think I'm going to miss blowing you all up with landmines most of all," she sighed.
The Peanut Gallery shared a look between themselves.
Ness' team arrived at the first labor, where a large sign saying '#11 Endurance' was. Toby stood at a table, with two covered trays.
"Time to get my first firework!" Ness said. "What do I have to do?"
Toby removed the first tray, revealing a pint glass of frothy...liquid. Chunks of meat floated in it, occasionally squirming.
"I'm going to regret asking...but leftovers of what?" Ness said.
"Gross dishes from previous challenges," Toby answered. "Blended cockroaches, bull testicles, ghost pepper wings, fried butter, escargot salad, an actual cup of dirt, kung-fu soup, monkey brains and meat scraped off of Howard Taft High's cafeteria floor. All found in the back of the fridge."
Ness tried not to make eye contact with the glass.
"Ooh, and a little dollop of icing. Black licorice icing."
Lita, Seraphina and Ignacio gasped, Lita grabbing her heart like she was clutching her pearls.
"Hasn't there been enough black licorice?" she cried.
"We still have some leftover. It's the only way to get it eaten."
Ness smiled a little. Throwing her head back, she chugged her glass back. At first, the drink didn't move, dripping slowly like molasses...till at once it poured down her throat. It took a solid minute, and a little chewing, but finally Ness finished the beverage.
"Easy," she sighed, her face drained of her color.
"Ness is the bravest girl I know," Ignacio whispered. Seraphina nodded.
Toby removed the second tray, uncovering a yellow and green firework. Ness' team cheered as she claimed her firework and they dashed off.
Next, her squad arrived at Washington's Southwest Duck Pond. Seeing a camera crew near a boathouse, they made their way and found an attendant with pamphlets containing instructions.
"The leadership challenge," Ignacio recalled. "So, who are you leading?"
Ness picked up cage of five baby ducklings."I have to take a swan boat and lead these sweet little duckys back to their mother on the other side. Awww!"
"You even get a duck whistle," Seraphina said. "This sounds concerning easy…"
"I love it!" Ness exclaimed, putting on a hat shaped like a duck head. With a whistle around her neck, she hoped into a swan boat. Opening the cage, she petted a duckling's fuzzy head.
"Don't worry, I'll reunite with your mama, you cute little-"
The ducklings jumped her, beginning to peck and tug on her hair. One who had developed teeth started biting her ear. Ness screamed, but the swan boat was already taking off. Her friends could only watch as it departed.
Jasper's team arrived at the endurance challenge, where Toby 'shared' his recipe for leftover special.
Tessa tapped the glass mug. The drink tapped back. She jumped, eyes wide almost clutching Cynthia.
"Even I wouldn't eat that," Diamonique admitted. "And eating is like my defining trait. Besides being fabulous."
Jasper stared at the glass for a moment, before chugging it as fast as he could. When it didn't start moving right away, he stuck his tongue in the mug and started moving it.
He slammed the glass down when he was finished.
"How was it?" Diamonique asked.
"Tastes like two million dollars," Jasper replied. His stomach rumbled. "Come on, we have to pass them."
Tessa and Diamonique shared a smile. They cheered as Jasper collected his first firework and they returned to the race.
Ness groaned as she steered the swan boat back to her team. The ducklings were rough, but too young and small to be that painful. The mother duck on the other hand...well ducks are far more disturbing animals than media would lead you to believe.
Ignacio grabbed Ness, using his sleeve to wipe her bloody nose. "I'm so sorry Ness, one of us should have done it."
Ness coughed up a feather. "It's fine. The duck threw my firework at me, so two down!"
She forced a smile while Ignacio lead her back to their taxi.
Lita glared at the lake. "When you win, how about we serve duck for the after party?"
The four newcomers made their way to the next labor, arriving at the junkyard coliseum from the racing challenge.
"The speed test," Seraphina said. "Makes sense."
Inside the coliseum were two familiar looking vehicles; a red go-kart and a small, olive-colored punch buggy.
"The Jubilee Jalopy!" Ness exclaimed. "It's still in perfect condition!"
The kart's front headlight fell off.
"More or less."
"It looks like the course has been stripped bare," Seraphina stated.
"The challenge says you have to do one lap in under five minutes," Ignacio stated.
"Well get to honey!" Lita exclaimed.
Ness nodded. The key in the engine, she made her way to the starting line. A scoreboard had been added to the stadium, and started a countdown as Ness raced her way through. The new course was a shorter, more straight-forward race track than the go-kart race.
"Eeek!" Ness screamed, as barrels started to rain down from the sides. The course wasn't without its own obstacles however.
Ignacio sighed in relief as Ness avoided the barrels. It was then he noticed Lita and Seraphina glaring at him.
"When are you going to tell her?" Seraphina asked.
"Like I said when I arrived at Playa Des Losers," Ignacio said. "I don't want to distract her. It's a lot of pressure and she's got enough of that in the final two. When the challenge is over."
Lita rolled her eyes. "Fine. You better though or I swear I will-"
Lita was cut off by the honk of a horn. The three teens barely jumped out of the way as Diamonique drove her Cadillac through the coliseum wall.
"We made it!" Diamonique cheered. Her passengers were completely disheveled.
"Did you really have to drive through the wall?" Jasper asked.
"NO TIME," Diamonique yelled.
"Crap," Seraphina muttered.
Cynthia exited first and found the rules. "You have five minutes to do a lap."
"Go-kart racing," Jasper said. "Easy."
Jasper jumped in his kart, snapped in his seat belt and burned rubber. He never let his foot off the pedal, not when barrels started falling or oil slicks were blocking his path.
"Let's go Jasper!" Tessa cheered.
"Yeah," Diamonique added. "Jasper and the Uh We Had To Name It are speed machines!"
"How did you catch up so quick?" Lita asked.
Tessa smirked. "Jasper's a challenge beast. It wasn't hard. I mean leading ducklings? That's like baby's first challenge."
Lita looked away as Tessa raised an eyebrow.
Ness crossed the finish line. She sighed in relief, but stopped as she saw another kart on the course.
Retrieving a firework from an attendant, her team left as fast they could.
Soon, Jasper finished his lap with two minutes to spare.
"That a boy Jasper," Diamonique stated.
Jasper smirked. "Come on, we might be able to actually catch them!"
Third firework in tow, he lead the charge to the next labor.
Diamonique swerved through traffic, scraping by a city bus.
"Remind me," Tessa said. "Do you have a license?"
"I lost it," Diamonique replied.
She smashed through a hot dog vendor. "Why?"
Tessa glared at the fashionista, picking relish out of her hair.
"I didn't lose it for driving," Diamonique replied.
"I'm going to regret this, but how did you lose it?"
"I let the kid I was babysitting drive."
"How old was he?" Jasper asked.
"Anyone else concerned?" Tessa groaned.
"No time," Cynthia said.
Jasper pointed ahead, where a speeding taxi was in the fast lane. "I think Diamonique's driving actually got us close. Can you pass them Diamonique?"
Diamonique gave a dark grin. "I can do better than that!"
"So that's what Playa Des Losers was like," Ness said. "Kind of sad I missed it."
"You don't have anything to be envious about it," Seraphina said. "Especially in the final."
Ness blushed. "Of course! It'd just be nice to have a beach day with y'all."
"Ooh!" Lita exclaimed. "Let's do a road trip after the show."
"Eeeeee!" Ness squealed. "That'd be so much fun."
"Anywhere but Washington," Seraphina stated. "I think I'm over this city."
"You'll feel nostalgic for it eventually," Ignacio said. "I know I will."
"Even it's traffic?" Seraphina asked.
"The traffic isn't-"
All four were jolted as the pink Cadillac rammed into them.
Diamonique honked her horn, before trying to slam again. The taxi swerved however, causing Diamonique to bump the car in between.
"That's game she wants to play, huh?" Lita asked. She had grabbed the steering wheel, swerving between traffic and ignoring the driver's concern.
Seraphina rolled down the window and flipped them off.
The scatterbrain tried to ram them again, but missed and dinged a van. She groaned. "They're going to get away…"
"No. They're not."
Cynthia tossed off her seat belt. She stood up, gave Diamonique a look, then prepared. Diamonique nodded and floored it.
"They're gaining!" Ness yelled.
Seraphina had taken the wheel now, since she was in the passenger seat, and was trying to keep a car's distance away. It was distant enough from the Cadillac.
But not from Cynthia. From her stockings, she pulled out knives. Standing on the trunk of the car, she tossed them and sliced the tires up. Finally, a front and back tire punctured and the taxi was forced to a sudden stop.
Diamonique chuckled, now flipping off Ness' team. Tessa and Jasper high fived. The Cadillac slowed down just enough to make sure they were seen. Cynthia stared down the taxi.
"Stay down," she commanded.
The pink Cadillac sped up again, leaving exhaust as it hurried to the next challenge.
"There goes our lead," Ness sighed. "But...it's not over yet!"
"Exactly," Ignacio said. "We'll just get a new taxi and then we'll-"
The newcomers turned to their driver who was aggressively texting.
"You're not getting another cabbie in this town ever again!"
"Pssh, you don't control every taxi in Washington," Lita replied.
"Well I'm letting anyone and everyone I know to stop giving rides to you," the driver stated. "I mean what has this show done for D.C.? Releasing dangerous wild animals, stalling traffic, closing streets for challenges, and ruining taxis!"
"Ness is the one who saved this city from that psychotic horse," Serahina stated.
"And where did that horse come from?"
The four looked down at the ground as the taxi driver glared at them.
"Total Drama is a plague on this city. Good riddance to it."
The taxi driver walked off.
"This went from bad to crap fast," Seraphina stated.
Ignacio rolled his eyes. "We'll find another ride. We're not giving up on Ness."
"I didn't say that."
"Thanks guys," Ness replied. "Maybe we can try an Uber."
"Smart thinking," Lita replied. "Anyone already have it?"
No one raised their hands. While Ignacio tried to download the app, Lita tried to flag down a taxi. But as their former driver promised, no taxi would stop for them.
While it seemed like their opponents would continue to extend their lead, someone shouted out to them.
"Pardon me, aren't you the girl who stopped that rampaging horse?"
A well dressed man approached, in a buggy drawn by two brown horses. Ignacio quickly stood between Ness and the horses, but the steeds only bowed at the blonde.
"You are!" the driver exclaimed. "Oh thank you!"
"You're welcome," Ness said. "I was just doing a chall-"
Lita elbowed her, but winked.
"That horse was ruining Washington," the man said. "And it was hurting business. No one wants to be reminded about a demented horse, so no carriage rides. Everyone at 'The Horse Awakens' would like to thank you."
The horses trotted up to Ness and started to lick her face. She giggled and started petting their manes.
"Especially the horses."
"I'm glad I could help them," Ness said. "Poor Tinfoil wasn't an evil soul, just in a lot of pain. I'm glad I could help any horses."
The two mares nuzzled Ness, who seemed like she'd die with joy.
Seraphina approached the businessman. "I hate to ask this, but do you think you could do us a favor? Ness here is in a race for two million dollars, but our taxi was…"
Seraphina pointed to the destroyed vehicle. "Taken out. Could we borrow your horses for the challenge? We promise to take good care of them and return them."
The man scratched his chin.
"Not to mention if Ness wins, your carriage business would get a major publicity boost," the psychic added. "If not, it'd still be a television appearance on a very anticipated season finale."
The carriage driver perked up. "Well, your friend does seem like an animal lover. I guess if Aaayla and Luminara are up for it, then-"
The horses neighed, jumping up and down.
"Alright, you got yourselves a deal!"
After being freed from their carriage, Aalya grabbed Ness' sweater by her teeth and pulled her on her back. Before Ignacio could react, he was pulled on top. Lita and Seraphina got on Luminara.
"What did Vance say?" Ness asked. "Oh yeah; high ho Aayla!"
"Ride like the wind Luminara!" Lita added.
The two mares threw back their head, neighing as their manes flowed in the wind, before riding off.
The carriage driver called out, "May the horse be with you!"
Diamonique crashed into the wrestling arena for the original labor of vigor.
"Really!" Tessa screamed. "Why did you-"
"NO TIME," Diamonique screamed.
"Vigor or fighting spirit," Jasper recalled. "If it's here, it's going to be a fight. But against who?"
"A past contestant?" Diamonique questioned.
Tessa shook her head. "Maybe Riley because she wrestles or Griswold because he's muscular, but I doubt it. Both would go easy on Ness. And there's no else as tough."
Their answer came quick enough when an iron cage lowered in the wrestling arena.
Inside was a large black bull. A sign above the entrance read, 'Toro: Champion Spanish Fighting Bull'. Each of Toro's large horns had a key hanging from it; one green and one yellow. Two smaller cage descended from the ceiling, both with an over-sized lock and corresponding firework. The black bull bellowed, baring into the newcomers with bloodshot eyes.
"He seems friendly," Jasper said.
"The one challenge on this show Vance might actually be good at," Tessa groaned. "And we didn't pick him!"
"Who needs him?" Diamonique asked. "If Cynthia has her chainsaw-"
"I don't leave home without it," Cynthia replied, already revving it.
A smaller sign lowered from the first. 'No Weapons Allowed'.
"That won't make a difference," Cynthia stated.
"Hold on," Jasper said, "We may need your talents elsewhere. I want to try to challenge Toro on my own."
"Really?" Diamonique asked.
"I've faced bigger and scarier animals."
"If Jasper wants to, then he can do it," Tessa stated. "He can do it."
Trying to be silent as possible, Jasper tiptoed to the cage. Realizing what he was doing, the girls moved to the opposite end of the cage to cheer for Jasper, taking the bull's attention away from the entrance.
Jasper opened the door and slowly approached the bull. However, the cage door swung shut. The bull immediately swerved, grunting as it charged.
"Of course the raging bull notices me."
Jasper just jumped out of the way. Toro left a considerable dent in the cage. The bull chased Jasper around the ring, the brunet boy only just jumping out of the way every time he charged.
"You got this Jasper!" Tessa cheered. "Though, Cynthia's ready to tag in just incase…"
Jasper glared. He jumped on top of the cage as the bull charged.
"I'll admit this show kind of forces your reflexes to improve," Jasper stated.
The bull bellowed, his horns trapped in the cage. Jasper smirked, jumping on the bull's back. Unfortunately this only provoked Toro more. With an unholy moo, he bucked. Freeing his horns from the cage, Jasper screamed as he clung on for dear life.
"I can't believe I'm saying this," Tessa said, "But really channel your inner Vance!"
Jasper nodded, holding up a finger over his lip like it was a mustache. Her ripped his key off the horn, tossing it to Tessa. As the bull continued to try and buck Jasper, she freed his firework.
"I have it!"
"Time to end this ride," Jasper groaned.
He yanked on the bull's septum piercing, halting it. Jasper jumped out, slamming the door behind him as the bull charged at him.
Diamonique drove through the wall of Howard Taft High, straight into an art room. Toby, wearing a black beret, raised an eyebrow.
"You know there's parking, right?" Toby asked.
"NO TIME!" Diamonique screamed.
"What's the creativity trial?" Jasper asked.
"You need to write a list of ten unusual types of cars," Toby replied.
"That's not hard," Tessa said.
"All answers must be creative," Toby stated. "If they all aren't, you have to wait five minutes to start again."
The co-host threw a paper and pencil at Jasper.
Jasper shrugged and started writing a list; Cadillac, Tesla, Honda, school bus, racecar, BMW, tow truck, Audi, go kart, and an ice cream truck.
In red pen, Toby crossed off everything but ice cream truck.
Tessa facepalmed as Jasper scratched his head.
Ness' faithful steeds arrived at the wrestling ring. Inside the steel cage, Toro the bull was holding his horns against a sharpening wheel.
"He's got the key," Ness said. "Maybe he'll like me and-"
"No," Ignacio, Lita, and Seraphina said in unison. Even the horses neighed in agreement.
"I won the original vigor test," Lita said, "I have twice the fighting spirit representing my sister from another mister. Ignacio, give my your sweatshirt."
"You know most fighting bulls can't actually see red."
"It adds flair."
Ignacio sighed but threw off his sweatshirt. Like Griswold, he wore a 'NESS IS THE BEST' T-Shirt. He turned red as Ness blushed and giggled.
"Let's do this!" the knockout cried.
Lita draped the jacket over her right shoulder like a matador. The bull bellowed as she entered, but Lita only responded by holding her head high and raising an eyebrow, as if daring the bull to make her care.
Flourishing the jacket, Lita taunted Toro as she waved it about. The bull charged. Lita paused for a few seconds, only to discern it was clear the bull had too much momentum to stop, and sprung into action.
Throwing the jacket directly in the bull's face, temporary blinding him and slowing him slightly, Lita jumped off bent bars and elbow dropped the beast. With a cry and forced stop, Lita worked quickly to put her legs around the beast.
It was meant to be a chokehold, but the bull's neck was too wide. Shaking his head, he jumped up and started trying to buck her. With her legs around it, Lita wasn't being thrown.
"That all you got beefhead?" Lita asked.
"Punch it in the snout to establish dominance!" Seraphina yelled.
Lita grinned and delivered her right hook straight to Toro's nose. It send his nose ring flying out.
Seraphina smirked. "I learned that one from Riley."
Toro let out a faint 'moo' before collapsing on all four. He stuck out his tongue, almost smiling, and his red eyes seemed to turn blue.
Lita jumped, tossed Ness her key and bowed. Ignacio got Ness' fourth firework as the girls clapped.
"If I had roses I'd toss them at your feet," Ness cheered.
Lita tossed her hair. "I'll see you at the Pentagram girl. You got this!"
Ness nodded and ran out after the others.
In a short amount of time, Ness' group arrived at Howard Taft High. Jasper had just failed his latest list.
"I love you Jasper," Tessa said, "but you literally may kill me over this."
Toby explained the rules Ness.
"Sounds like fun," she said, taking a pencil and paper.
Ness made a quick list: bookmobile, moon rover, Delorean time machine, the Magic School Bus, carpet, cartoon, carbon, carnivore, caramel, and Carmen.
Toby never uncapped his red pen. With a thumbs up, he handed Ness her fifth firework and the three took off.
"There goes our lead," Diamonique whined.
"I'm sorry I'm choking," Jasper said. "I think I've got it. Give me another shot and then if I screw up again someone else can tag in."
"It's your two million," Cynthia said. "Whatever you want to do."
When the five minute penalty up, Jasper jotted down everything he could think as counting; ice cream truck, monster truck, dune buggy, limo, bumper car, hearse, flying cars, the Batmobile, KITT from Knight Rider, and Lightning McQueen.
Toby overlooked the list and shrugged. "Flying cars is kind of a weak answer, but I guess the idea itself is creative. Here's the firework."
The teens cheered...only to be drowned out by sirens.
The pink Cadillac was suddenly pulled out of the wall by a tow truck.
"Uh oh, it's the popo!" Diamonique cried. "I knew I should've driven my little red corvette instead."
Toby rolled his eyes as the four ran off, just as police officers entered through the hole in the wall. Toby pointed at the door and the officers gave chase. They ran in the hall...as Jasper's crew hide in lockers. When the coast was clear, they slipped away into the library.
"What do the cops want with us?" Diamonique asked.
Tessa glared. "You drove though two buildings, hit seven cars, break almost every traffic law, ran over a little girl and you don't have a license."
Diamonique scratched her head. "Yeah, so?"
"We need a ride," Cynthia said.
"We could hijack a school bus," Diamonique suggested.
"That'll get the cops off us," Tessa replied.
Jasper frowned. "I'm worried a school bus won't catch up to those horses. We need something different. I know what, but I don't know how to get it."
"Leave it to us," Cynthia said.
"Yeah," Diamonique replied. "We're your crew Jasper."
"We'll figure something out," Tessa replied. "What did you have in mind?"
Jasper smirked. "Well, there's one quick way to avoid traffic…"
Ness' squad arrived at two familiar skyscrapers. A high-wire connected both buildings, with fireworks at either end.
"Do you want me to tackle this one?" Ignacio asked.
Ness shook her head. "I figure I'll need your big brains for the intelligence test. The balance test is mine."
Seraphina raised an eyebrow. "But Ness-"
"This high-wire doesn't scare me," Ness replied. "I conquered one during the merge, didn't I?"
Her two comrades nodded. Ness smiled and started climbing a ladder up to the wire. With a determined glance, she charged.
Out of nowhere things started to rain down, including an air-conditioning unit, a kitchen sink, an anvil, a bathtub, a cow. Ness didn't heed it any mind however, simply picking up speed and just avoiding the falling debris.
Finally, the wire snapped. But Ness jumped, landing on the end platform.
Ignacio cheered. "Woo! Way to kill it!"
Ness held up her firework and bowed...only to trip and fall.
"Don't worry, I got you."
Ness opened her eyes to find Ignacio caught her. The two stared in each other's eyes.
"I'll always try to catch you," Ignacio said. "If you fall, then I'll be there to help you up."
"Ignacio," Ness sighed.
Seraphina coughed. "Uh…"
The two turned to face the psychic. "I hate myself right now, but we need to get going. We have over half of the fireworks. Let's keep that lead."
"Good point," Ignacio replied, setting Ness down.
Ness pouted for a second, but nodded. "I saw the cops towing their car though. I'm not worried-"
Ness was cut off by the sound of a large chopper. They looked up to see Jasper waving from the pilot's seat.
"Wait a minute," Ignacio said. "That's the police's helicopter! How'd you get it?"
Jasper and his lovely assistants shared a look.
The officers ran away as Cynthia held up her chainsaw, gently stepping closer to them.
Diamonique rammed into a police car, denting the door. With a swing, she opened it for Tessa.
Clearing her throat, the Olympian spoke with her best cop voice, "We need a chopper ASAP. We need to evacuate an injured person. Over."
In five minutes, a chopper arrived. Tessa lied on the ground, eyes closed, while Diamonique stood over her. She placed a weed in Tessa's hands.
When the chopper landed to investigate, Diamonique started telling a long story very slowly to the officers about Tessa's condition. As she did, Jasper snuck into the copter. Flashing a thumbs up, Tessa jumped up from the ground and flipped over to the chopper.
Before the cops could react, Cynthia and her trusty chainsaw were on the scene. The four made their getaway as they ascended to the skies.
"We asked nicely," Jasper replied.
Tessa opened the helicopter door. With a smirk, she jumped out and struck a perfect landing on the balance beam.
Ness' team shared a nervous look before calling their horses and heading out. At the same time, Tessa did a few flips, easily moving to the end of the high-wire. As a gymnast, it wasn't surprising she was skilled at balance. Securing the firework, she tossed to the chopper.
"That's it for me," Tessa said. "I'll be cheering for you Jasper. Remember: you can do it. You're more amazing than you think."
Jasper smiled and nodded at his friend. She waved goodbye as they flew off.
Flying across the streets, Jasper reached the next test first. Jenny waved at them from a shady looking alley. With no where to park the copter, Jasper descended down on a rope ladder.
"Taking to the skies," Jenny said. "Clever."
"Thanks," Jasper replied. "So, what's the courage test?"
Jenny motioned to behind a dumpster; the two wooden coffins from the original challenge laid there.
"You have to crawl in the coffin and can't leave for five minutes," Jenny explained. "If you do, it's another five minutes before you can try again."
"You're going to dump a bunch of creepy stuff on me before closing the lid, aren't you?"
Jenny nodded enthusiastically.
Jasper laid down in the coffin. "Let's get this over with."
"Kinda surprised you didn't have Cynthia do this one," Jenny said. She grabbed a bucket that was shimming away from her.
Jasper shrugged. "After hearing the rules, I don't see why. She can't do it any faster. Plus, I've faced a a serial killer, an eldritch demon, and my lame older brother. What's scarier?"
Jenny stuck out her tongue, emptying a bucket of spiders, worms, and scarabs before closing the lid. She set a time and stomped her foot.
A couple minutes later, Ness' gang arrived.
Ignacio shuddered at the coffin. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised you still have those."
"Wish me luck," Ness stated, hoping in the coffin before anyone could argue.
Jenny shrugged, dumping another bucket and slamming the lid as Ness cried, "Scarabs? Again!"
Another few minutes later, Jenny lifted the lid on Jasper's coffin. He seemed mostly unfazed.
"Really?" Jenny asked. "Nothing?"
Jasper sighed. "I don't think they realized I was in there. Didn't know the difference between me and a wooden coffin."
Jenny giggled as Jasper rolled his eyes. He grabbed his firework and then took off into the sky.
The next challenge, the accuracy test, proved to be straightforward. An archery contest. The challenger would stand behind a line with a bow and arrow and have to hit the bullseye on a target.
Jasper's strange ability to be average seemed to take effect; he usually hit the target but not the bullseye. Finally though, he managed to just hit the bullseye.
The chopper was off as Ness' squad arrived. The jinx had a handful of bug bites, but was all smiles.
While Jasper was out doing the challenges, Diamonique had taken over as pilot. She frowned.
"You guys know my memory isn't always the best," she said.
"Yeah," Jasper replied.
"Remind me; does E mean Enough Fuel or Empty?"
Jasper's eyes grew wide. The fuel gauge moved to E.
"Why do we keep letting you drive?" he asked.
"Look!" Diamonique cried. "The intelligence test!"
"We need to park the helicopter before-"
The chopper's blades started to get quieter as they slowed down.
"NO TIME!" Diamonique screamed.
Diamonique threw on an emergency parachute, scooped up the two in her arms and threw herself out the door.
"Relax Jaspy," Diamonique said. "I grabbed the parachute!"
She pulled the chute...and a sticky note came flying out. Jasper grabbed it.
"Reminder: Replace the parachute."
"Okay, now you can start screaming."
"Thank you. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
The helicopter had started to spin out control, whirling down fast.
"We're as good as dead," Diamonique cried.
"I can't die," Cynthia stated.
"Sorry you were involved Cynthia," Jasper replied.
"No, I can't die. You two...not as fortunate."
The three crashed through a skylight. Luckily, it was a skylight to Paradise Beach Hotel. The three landed in the hotel's fake sea.
Jasper emerged, spitting out water. "Well...that was extremely convenient."
"Yeah," Diamonique said. "We managed to survive with barely a scratch. What are the odds?"
"Poor," Cynthia added.
Diamonique scoffed. "Psh, stupid helicopter couldn't even stop us! Nothing can!"
"You might not want to tempt fate," Jasper said.
He pointed above where the helicopter was about to crash through the skyline. The three newcomers started swimming, just as the copter broke through…
Ness and company arrived at the intelligence test. Two giant frames held a puzzle with sliding pieces that was clearly meant to form the finalists' faces.
"Jasper's puzzle isn't done," Ness noticed. "What happened?"
Ignacio pointed behind them, where the roof of the Paradise Beach hotel was on fire. "Probably whatever that is."
"Sucks for them," Seraphina said, "A lead is a lead though."
Ignacio jumped off the horse, helping Ness down. Ness winked as he rolled up his sleeves. "Alright, time for my labo-"
Seraphina was already at the puzzle. She closed her eyes and stood silently for a second. The next second, she opened them. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she moved her hands quickly, like they moved independent of her. Sliding pieces left and right, it was as if they were moving on their own.
Ness and Ignacio blinked. After they did, the puzzle was finished.
"Woah," Ness said. "That was…"
"Bewildering and inexplicable," Ignacio stated.
Seraphina shrugged. "I've been practicing my abilities at the loser lodge. The point is, you can claim your tenth firework."
Ness glomped her friend. "Thanks Seraphina. You're the best."
She smiled. "That's you Ness. Now hurry, I don't think even a helicopter crash will keep Jasper down. He's not one to be underestimated."
She and Ignacio fistbumped before the two set off, leaving Luminara with Seraphina. She waved goodbye as they rode off.
The strength test was next, but like the archery test was not all that challenging. At a local gym, the competitor would have to deadlift a barbell. Deadlifting, a powerlifting exercise, is where the barbell is raised to the hips. The competitor would have to hold the deadlift for a minute.
They would do this three times, each with a little more weight on the barbell. The amount lifted would be based on a proportion of the lifter's overall weight, so neither competitor would have a direct advantage by simply being taller.
While Ignacio was more physically fit, Ness decided she would try the challenge first.
"I may need your help for the final labor," Ness argued. Really though, she just wanted to spend more time with the hunk.
While she almost dropped the barbell a few times, she actually succeeded in the task and retrieved her second to last firework. Ignacio carried her on his shoulders as they raced to their next destination.
"Lincoln Memorial," Ignacio stated. "We're almost there Ness."
At the same time, Jasper's crew wasn't that far from the puzzle challenge so they arrived shortly after. Diamonique, having bested a puzzle for the intelligence labor at the first challenge, volunteered. She made up considerable time, finishing it in only a few minutes.
Diamonique squashed Jasper in a hug. "You got this! Returnees all the way!"
"Thanks Diamonique," Jasper said. "It means a lot to me, your help and your friendship."
"I'll see you at the Pentagram after you cross the finish line," she replied. "TEAM JASPER RULES!"
Cynthia and Jasper were ready to leave, but had a problem.
"We don't have a ride," Jasper said.
"I got an Uber," Cynthia replied.
An old-timey looking car arrived. The driver, a girl with two long purple braids and a lavender ombre, honked her horn until they entered her car.
"Wait a minute," Jasper said, "Aren't you the maid from the hotel?"
"Heehee," the driver cackled, slamming on the gas once they were in. "I was, but only for the show. I just wanted some extra screen time. I'm hoping to be a character in one of these fanfics eventually."
"You mean on another season?" Jasper asked. "That would be a problem, for lots of reasons."
The driver rolled her eyes. "Forget it. Not enough kids are aware of the fourth wall these days, I swear. Back in my fanfiction…"
Ignacio and Ness arrived at the Lincoln Memorial. By now the sun was setting.
On the left side of the memorial were eleven stands to attach fireworks on. The right side had a similar set-up.
"Seems simple enough," Ignacio stated. "Now how do we get the last firework?"
"It's the social skills test," Ness said. "Hmm...there!"
She flagged the butler from the hotel.
He bowed. "Lady Ness, Lord Ignacio. Your challenge is simple. Get eleven pedestrians to sign a petition for you to win the show. When you do, I'll give you your last firework."
"Sounds easy!" Ness said.
Taking a clipboard from him, she ran to the first person she saw.
"Pardon me sir, would you be-"
The man continued to walk by. Ness ran up to another lady, directly blocking her.
"Miss, could you sign-"
The woman shoved Ness aside and continued walking.
"This sucks," Ness sighed.
She looked up when she felt Ignacio's hand on her shoulder. She smiled.
"It's my turn to help you."
Ignacio stepped forward, and tossed off his shirt. Flashing his model smile, he struck a pose that revealed his twelve pack. Passing cars stopped to stare at him and created a pile-up.
"Anyone want to sign something for me?"
A mob of squealing people flocked to Ignacio, knocking Ness to ground. The jinx shrugged and tossed her friend the clipboard. Ignacio tossed it back almost immediately.
"Thank you everyone for your help. Now if you excuse-"
"I didn't get to sign it!"
"Wait, aren't you that model from that show here?"
"I want a photo!"
"I want his belt!"
Ignacio gulped. "Ness, go ahead and-"
Ness cried out as Aalya the horse jumped in front of Ignacio. Flaring her nostrils and giving a neigh, the horse feigned jumping at the crowd.
"Another deranged horse!"
"Every mob member for themselves!"
The crowd ran away. Ness jumped down, giggling and hugging Ignacio.
"Of course! I admit your sexiness has perks, lots of perks, but I'm tired of people attacking you. They need some self control."
"It's worth it to help you win."
The two smiled at each other. Ignacio gulped, but grabbed Ness' hands.
"Ness, maybe this isn't the time to say this...but I can't deny it anymore. I don't know how you feel and however you do is fine, it won't hurt my feelings. Okay? But um...you know I think you're the most amazing girl ever. Amazing person! You're so kind and optimistic, super thoughtful and very clever. Plus you're cute. Like really cute."
Ignacio was redder then all the blood that was flowing to his cheeks. Ness stared at him.
"What I'm trying to say...what I've been trying to say for a long time...is that I like you. I mean really like you. Specifically...I mean...will you go on a date with me?"
"-You don't have to answer now! Maybe this isn't, I mean you can say-"
Ness jumped on top of Ignacio, knocking him to the ground. She planted a kiss on his lips.
"Wow," Ignacio gasped.
"Shut up and kiss me already!"
Ignacio shrugged and the two began to make out passionately.
Their horse raised an eyebrow.
At that moment, Jasper's Uber arrived. Completing the strength challenge was easy enough, and their driver was all too happy to drop them off. As Jasper ran to the butler, he raised an eyebrow at his rivals but said nothing.
"Hot," the Uber driver swooned.
Aayla whinnied, stomping her hooves around Ness and Ignacio. The two parted for air to see Jasper trying to flag down pedestrians.
"Ooh," Ness exclaimed. "I should probably get going."
Both jumped to their feet, blushing but smiling. Ness ran to the left, setting up her fireworks. When they were all ready, the butler handed her a match. Eleven yellow explosions lit up the sky.
At the Pentagram, Ness' cheering section went wild. Griswold and Riley shared a kiss while Lita and Seraphina hugged. Melissa and Mandy squealed. In Jasper's section, Tessa and Diamonique shared a nervous look.
"You're free to finish the race," the butler said. "But on foot, alone."
Ness turned to Ignacio, who had gotten on Aayla's back.
Her new beau blew her a kiss. She giggled, pretending to catch it.
"I hate to leave, but I'll see you."
"Good! We can pick up where we left off."
Blushing and laughing to herself, she ran down the street.
Ignacio smirked, shouting, "You've got this!"
"Would you sign this petition?"
The man didn't look up at Jasper as he walked by.
Jasper groaned. "Come on! Somebody sign this! Please! I'll do a little dance, I'll eat garbage, whatever you want! This means a lot to me."
Nobody even turned to look at him, if they even heard him.
Jasper shook his head. "Guess being in the finals can't change I'm invisible."
Jasper opened his mouth to ask another person, but was drowned out by the sound of a chainsaw revving.
"Sign this. Or else."
Cynthia grabbed the clipboard from Jasper. She turned to the people, holding it out with one hand as she waved her chainsaw in the other.
She stared down a man.
"Please, please! I have a wife and two kids that I-"
She held out the clipboard. Once he signed, she shooed him away. In a couple of minutes, she had scared eleven people into signing.
"Here," Cynthia stated, throwing the clipboard to the butler. "Get us the firework."
The butler nodded and handed Jasper his final firework.
"That was awesome," Jasper said. "I don't know what I would've done without you Cynthia. You're like an angel or something."
"I get that a lot. Now light it up."
Jasper smiled and nodded. Eleven green explosions brightened the night sky.
Now it was Jasper's section's turn to celebrate. Tessa and Diamonique high-fived, Vance, Xidorn and Weston jumped up and down. Even Zipporah smiled.
Jasper smiled as his last firework went off. "Thanks Cynthia! I've got a show to win! See you at the finish line!"
"Good luck," she replied.
His Uber driver and former maid clapped. "Get to it kid! Make sure the author actually finishes your story!"
Jasper wasn't sure how to respond, so he nodded as he started running.
The purple girl turned to the butler. "Come on Tameron! I want to see how this ends."
Tameron sighed, but joined the girl in his car. "I suppose I am interested in seeing Lady Rhonda's reaction."
The purple driver turned to Cynthia. "Want a ride?"
Cynthia nodded and got in the backseat.
"Gotta say, I love your work," the driver stated. "I generally like my chainsaws on fire, but you clearly didn't need it! Got any tips?"
Jasper sprinted as fast as he could. Eventually, he eyed Ness. She was panting heavily, but wasn't slowing down.
She didn't hear her rival arrive, but finally noticed him when he pulled ahead of her.
Ness tried to pick up the pace, but tripped over a penny. She faceplanted against the concrete.
"Sorry," Jasper called.
Ness shot up. "No, I'm not letting my luck take me out!"
She dashed as quick as she could and was hot on Jasper's heels.
The two, both breathing heavy, said nothing. Their eyes met however and gave each other a direct message; it's not over till it's over.
By now, all the losers had returned to their supporting sections. They chatted among themselves, the supporters answering any questions from what had happened during the challenge. All of them kept an eye on the finish line.
Rhonda sighed to herself, sitting on the edge of the stage. Toby and Jenny joined her.
"You okay?" Toby asked.
"Yeah," Rhonda replied with a smile. "This was fun. Wasn't it?"
"It actually was," Jenny admitted. "You know maybe America's done with Total Drama, but it doesn't mean you have to be."
"You could go back to Zac," Toby said. "The Canadian audiences loved you. Co-host with him. He won't admit it, but he's lonely and would love the company."
"What about you two?" Rhonda asked.
"We don't need Total Drama," Jenny said. "If Zac wants us to cameo or even help Mana, we could. I suspect I'll be in high demand after my leading role here though."
"I don't really care what I do after this," Toby added.
Rhonda hugged her two co-hosts. "I don't know, I'm not sure I can work for Zac again. I don't want to continue Total Drama without you two anyway. Maybe this is just where it ends for us. I can be proud of that."
"I see them!"
Everyone stood up. Given she was the tallest, it wasn't a surprise Bethany saw them first. Soon, both finalists could be seen making a mad dash for the Pentagram's gate. Both finalists booked it as fast as they could, running side by side but a fair distant apart.
"They're neck and neck!" Hayden cried.
"It looks like Jasper's pulling ahead," Frannie said.
"No wait, Ness is!" Easton added.
"Now Jasper," Melissa gasped. "No Ness, no Jasper...no…"
"It's toooooooooo close," Kalino said.
"They're almost here," Rhonda gasped.
Both finalists reached the finish line.
"And the winner of Total Drama Genesis is…"
The jinx's foot just crossed the finish line before her opponent's.
For less than twenty seconds, Jasper smiled. Only a few onlookers noticed. The camera caught it in a blink or miss moment. For less than twenty seconds, Jasper thought he crossed the finish line first.
Then he heard his opponent's name. His face looked like he was wounded.
Ness squeed harder than she had ever before. She couldn't stop running and ran straight into the stage. She didn't care, jumping up and down as new adrenaline kicked in.
Jasper watched Ignacio scoop her up in his arms. They shared a passionate kiss. Lita and Seraphina, her BFFFLs, reached her next and glomped her. Riley and Ness shared a high five that could have broken the sound barrier.
Melissa jumped up and down with her friend. Griswold rustled her hair and threw her over his shoulders. In minutes, her support section surrounded her. They cheered and tossed her into the air. Ness crowd surfed over them, thanking everyone. She was crying tears of joy.
Jasper didn't feel Tessa's hand on his shoulder. He noticed his support section migrate towards her. Diamonique forced a smile at him. Cynthia nodded. Vance tipped his hat. Xidorn shrugged. A few of his supporters just walked by, not even acknowledging him.
Tessa said something to him, trying to be uplifting. He didn't hear, but he nodded.
The only thing he did hear was one his supporters as they walked by.
"Sorry you didn't win James."
The rest of the newcomers surrounded Ness, all congratulating her. Jasper watched everyone smiling and cheering, lifting Ness up in the night sky like she'd ascend to heaven.
He watched Ness live the fantasy that only a few minutes ago he thought was a dream he would make real.
"Congratulations Ness!" Rhonda announced. "You are the winner of Total Drama Genesis! And, a two million dollar prize."
Rhonda presented a silver suitcase stuffed with green bills.
"I can't believe it!" Ness cheered.
"Believe it," Rhonda replied.
She handed Ness the suitcase. Ness jumped, holding it up like a trophy.
That's when a pigeon ran into the case and knocked it out of her hands. It fell to the street.
"Quick," Griswold said, "Somebody grab it before-"
A semi ran over the case. Then a taxi. Then a kid on a tricycle.
Ness forced a smile. "Maybe it's still-"
A city bus drove into it, sending it fall into an open sewer lid. Lightning then struck it. The glow of a fire could be seen coming through the sewer.
Ness jaw dropped.
"Yeesh," Rhonda said. "Glad that wasn't the real prize money."
"We figured something like that would happen," Rhonda admitted. "Especially if you won. It's just for show; nothing in it but Monopoly money. You'll get the real check sometime later."
Ness beamed and hugged Rhonda. Rhonda went stiff, before eventually returning the hug.
Jasper sat down on Ness' support section, watching everyone else talk.
Jasper looked up to see Lita standing over him.
"You were really amazing out there."
Jasper forced a smile. "I guess."
"Tessa told me all about it," Lita replied. "You gave that bull almost as hard a time as I did."
"Now that's something worth seeing," Jasper said.
Lita laughed. "I'm sorry you didn't win."
"It is what it is."
Lita nodded. "I know the show is ending, but that doesn't mean we can't hangout sometime, right?"
Jasper's eyes briefly lit up. "Really?"
"Yeah, it'd like to. Maybe somewhere more fun or homely and less haunted."
"Yes! I mean, cool. Do you have a cellphone?"
"But I have a home phone. Can I give you my number?"
Lita pulled out a pen and wrote her number on Jasper's hand. Jasper smiled for a moment, blushing.
"I can't wait!" Lita said.
Jasper wanted to say more, but Lita walked off. He watched her go, returning to her former roomie and squeezing her shoulders. Jasper nodded, returning to his thoughts and people watching.
"I guess this is it," Jenny said.
"Yeah," Rhonda replied. "This was our beginning, our genesis. Now it's our ending. Not unless some random deus ex machina happens, but there's no way that'll-"
Ring. Ring. Ring..
Rhonda pulled out her cellphone. "It's the producers?"
"Probably telling us to wrap it up," Toby guessed.
Rhonda answered the call. "Hello? Yes. Yes. We were just...wait, what? For real? An even bigger budget? Bigger crew? But I thought you said…WHO? Seriously, they want to appear? I mean...yeah we're in."
Everyone was watching Rhonda as she put away her phone.
She only said, "What The Heck?"
"What did they want?" Toby asked.
"They renewed us," Rhonda replied.
"Renewed?" Jenny said.
"Please tell me that means there's a second season?" Ness asked.
"It does," Rhonda said.
She suddenly burst into a smile. "It does! Total Drama has an official second season!"
"Not complaining," Xidorn said, "but how did this happen? Why did they change their minds?"
"Apparently someone really famous heard about our show," the hostess explained. "They want to compete next season."
"Who?" Pascal asked.
Rhonda smirked. "Imagine the most famous teen you can think of. Even more famous than that."
Only one newcomer knew who Rhonda was referring to, but he chose to keep that to himself.
"So," Jasper said, "will there be any veterans next season?"
Tessa smirked. "After all, we aren't newcomers anymore."
Rhonda shook her head. "Sorry, the network wants a new cast. Reality shows are like that now."
"Darn," Weston said, "I really wanted to do more Total Drama."
Easton patted his brother's back. "It's alright bro, you've got a college to go to."
"True," Weston said. "I guess I can't do school and Total Drama...but it'd be fun."
"Maybe a future season," Rhonda replied. "You were all great...that reminds me! I have a couple of things to give out."
A few newcomers gave looks.
"The website was running a poll," Rhonda answered. "Fans voted for their favorite newcomer. The winner of this poll will receive the Fan Favorite Award...aka 10,000 dollars."
The newcomers gasped. 10,000 dollars wasn't two million, but it was nothing to scoff at.
"It was a close race," Rhonda admitted. "But somebody pulled away. Congratulations...Riley!"
"Say what?" Riley asked.
The other newcomers clapped as Riley took the stage. Rhonda shook her hand, giving her a little plaque with a star.
"I don't get it," Riley said. "Why did I win the Fan Favorite Award?"
"For being awesome!" Griswold cheered.
"Amen to that," Tessa said.
Riley laughed. "Thanks to all the dudes who voted for me! You guys are awesome. If I do get some monkey butlers I'll name some after the fans! Woooo!"
She cheered, receiving a hug from Tessa and a kiss from Griswold.
"Finally," Rhonda said, "one last piece of business to take care of. Ness?"
The jinx smiled. "Yes?"
"As the winner, it's my honor to present you with this."
She held out a familiar tray. On it was a single coffee cup that barred her name.
"The final coffee cup."
Ness squeed again. She ran to the stage, taking the cup in her hands and chugging the drink. After a moment, she stopped and raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, we ran out of coffee. But we still had some cups."
"I'll treasure it forever," Ness stated.
"Speech!" Easton shouted. Most of the former Fizzled Fireworks started shouting along.
Ness nodded. "All I can say is thank you. Thanks to my roomies, to my friends, to my teammates...to my new boyfriend."
She snorted at this. Riley playfully shoved her elbow at Ignacio who tried not to blush.
"I couldn't have done this without you guys," Ness said, "but I know I totally earned this! Goes to show that anyone can do it."
Raising her cup, she added, "This is for all the Total Drama fans!"
Jasper forced a smile he didn't feel. He started clapping. Everyone joined in.
"Alright, now that the show is over," Riley said, "I think we all know what comes next. It's time for the world's realest after party!"
The newcomers cheered.
"After party?" Rhonda asked. "We didn't plan-"
"-I did," Riley said. "We're not sleeping till the sun comes back up! Let's kick it! To the Paradise Beach Hotel!"
Diamonique shifted her eyes. "Um, you might want a different venue."
Ness smirked. "Anyone up for spending one last night in the Pentagram?"
"I could do a seance," Seraphina suggested. "Maybe we could speak to the real owner's ghost."
"Please don't," Lita sighed.
"This party ain't about the location," Riley said, "it's about the people! We'll raid Playa Des Losers for the food and supplies, then set up shop here. Let's do it!"
"Wait a minute," Rhonda said, "we don't have the hotel for-"
She was silenced by the newcomers hollering as they ran off.
As they walked back to the Pentagram with their supplies, the newcomers were abuzz. Riley chatted with Tessa about what she'd do with her new winnings, starting with a trip to Mickey D's. Tessa rarely was without a smile that night.
Griswold and Easton followed, the two bros playing a game of foosball. Griswold held Riley's hand the whole way there.
Weston and Xidorn were discussing the latest reboot. Vance walked with them, putting his arms around his two deputies. Bethany joined in the conversation when it turned to the newest Star Wars series.
Kalino followed the group, but said nothing. He seemed deep in thought.
Zipporah and Hayden talked as they pushed trays of food, though it quickly devolved into an argument. Diamonique and Frannie trailed them, Diamonique sharing her plans on how they'd tackle the buffet. Frannie nodded eagerly, while her pet lemur Ziba rolled her eyes. Ziba wondered how humans could claim to be evolved after this show.
Ignacio carried Ness in his arms. He was trying to ignore Lita's teasing, having already ignored Riley's, and was rather happy to finally be with Ness. Amanda Picklestein was telling Ness about a hotel exclusive to reality show winners they had to visit. Pascal tried not to cringe too hard as both short girls talked about their wins.
Seraphina walked with her BFFFLs, admiring her friendship bracelet on one hand while carrying her tarot cards in the other.
Cynthia and Aiden were helping Melissa transport the rest of the sweets she'd been making while at the Pentagram. They'd be bigger than the actual buffet. Cynthia saved the biggest cupcake for her boyfriend. He gave her a big rat he found that she killed and skinned into a pair of oven mitts for her best friend.
Melissa interrupted Ness and Mandy to present Ness with a surprise; a cake congratulating her win, more beautiful than most wedding cakes. Ness almost dropped it as she took it, but surprisingly caught it after. Ignacio suggested her luck maybe changed. Ness overlooked her friends and boyfriend and smiled.
In the back, Jasper walked by himself. He was forcing himself to smile while memorizing the phone number on his hand.
That night would be one of the funnest parties they'd have since the show started.
All the couples, Riley and Griswold, Cynthia and Weston, Aiden and Melissa, Mandy and Pascal, Ignacio and Ness, shared a number of slow dances...and make out sessions.
Rhonda decided if they were crashing the Pentagram they'd keep the cameras rolling, adding some bonus features to the DVD. Her and her co-horts Jenny and Toby didn't spend much time at the party, busy planning their next season.
Even they couldn't ignore this party however, and were soon celebrating like everyone else. Any remaining staff, even the maid and butler, we're invited.
In leftover supplies, Riley had found a lot of unused fireworks.
"We have to set them off," the bro stated.
As the fireworks prepared to go off, Ness had a request.
"A picture!" she said. "We have to do a group picture. This might be our last chance!"
Rhonda took the picture as the twenty-two newcomers stood on the roof of the Pentagram. She would snap the picture just as the fireworks went off.
"On three, say the show's name. One, two, three…"
"Total Drama Genesis!"
That's it. So many things to say and I know I'm not brief.
Since the second or third merge chapter, I knew who I wanted to be the final two and who I wanted to win. As more chapters came out, I did start doubting myself and considering other options. However, I felt this ending was stronger and stuck to it. I was nervous, but after the chapter was posted I'm confident that I made the right choice.
I'm sorry to anyone disappointed that Jasper didn't win. I know people on the wiki who were rooting for him and heartbroken he didn't. Jasper was always planned to be the first boot of his team and a minor character, who returned and become much more significant. When I posted the first chapter of Genesis, my original plan was for Jasper to win.
I'm not sure how a returnee winner would be received (although canon sort of ended up doing it and people seem to like it). With Genesis, I wanted to establish a lot about my stories. I particularly wanted an unusual winner that could show anyone could win. With Jasper winning I felt like it showed that anyone could win my stories, anyone could be the main character or hero. Even an early boot, even a nobody could be a winner.
So, why didn't Jasper win?
"Nobody remembers second place."
I remembered that quote and thought, "Oh dang. That's it. Jasper can't win."
I mean, that's half of it. The other half is that I realized Ness winning really worked as an ending for her story and as a foil for the person who beat Jasper. I think each of their stories is more impactful with this result. Ness is also someone who's based off an archetype that primarily exists for easy fodder. Ness and Jasper are similar in a lot of ways, which made them an interesting final two for me.
Ness' kindness, determination, creativity and learning to have confidence and self-worth help her overcome a lot of odds and gives her the ultimate happy ending. Maybe it's a little sappy or obvious with her 'growth' arc, but I like someone growing and that growth helping them win. It's satisfying to me. And it makes Jasper's fate more interesting in comparison. (That moment when Jasper loses kind of hurt to write honestly).
I hope whoever you were rooting for, you enjoyed the final result. I really like both of these characters and enjoyed so many jokes, moments and interactions with them. It was fun to explore and subvert these archetypical characters who traditionally are minor, early boots. It was also fun to explore with Jasper what it means to be voted off early and return, and to showcase a strong female friendship with Ness and her roomies.
On the chapter overall, I'm pretty pleased with it. I hope it wasn't felt self-indulgent, but I've been writing this story for four years and wanted to end on a big note.
The video calls from the loved ones felt important to have, giving some closure to Ness and finally showcasing Jasper's parents. (I imagine Jasper's mom and dad as talking like Frank and Sadie Doyle from the Thrilling Adventure Hour).
I love the idea of having supporters, and most people agree that they hate the latter seasons didn't feature all of the cast. Similar to the loser chapter, it's common on competition stories on the Total Drama Island Fanfiction Wiki to have the losers say something individually before picking a support section. I liked giving each character a little spotlight and figuring out who they'd choose and why.
The challenge was an idea I pretty much had from the start. No idea if anyone even remembers the early chapters. I'm not big on them, but I also weirdly liked getting to callback to them.
Each of the finalists three helpers were pretty easy to figure out. Ness would obviously choose her best friends, who have some skills, and I loved writing them again. Ignacio was also obvious, as I wanted to finally make them official. Jasper was slightly more tricky, but still not that hard. He and Tessa had become close friends. I chose Cynthia more because she was well liked and a stand out character, but she's also a reasonable choice by Jasper. I always planned for Diamonique to be Jasper's helper. The idea of her driving just stood out to me. While their relationship wasn't that focused on, I still wanted to acknowledge. I honestly love Diamonique this chapter.
You're probably wondering, what's with the maid/uber driver that breaks the fourth wall? I may have explained this previously, but that's Julie. She's an old OC from my first fic that I never finished. She was basically what I was known for, and I included her as a send-up. Hopefully, she'll get to be an actual contestant someday.
And as I mentioned before, readers voted on Genesis' Fan Favorite reward. It was only four readers and in a vote of 3-1, Riley won. The one stray vote? Jasper. Poor guy always gets second. I'm not sure if Riley is actually the most popular character honestly. I've had a few readers after express very different favorites. One didn't even like Riley...which is fair. I really love how different and varied people's favorites and least favorites are (and that's very Total Drama).
Really, this chapter just makes me happy. So many things paid off, so many fun moments and an interesting ending. I got to showcase all the characters, even the hosts, and I think everyone's personality came through pretty great. I hope you enjoyed it.
Well, Genesis is officially finished.
..But, there is another tradition we have the wiki. A reunion special. Basically, a chapter posted sometime after the story ended where the cast reunites a few months after the finale. They answer questions from the host and fans, talking about what's changed since the show or why they did certain things. If you've seen other reality shows, it's basically like their reunion specials.
The big thing about these reunion chapters is that readers ask questions for the characters to answer. I never did one though because no readers gave questions. If any readers here want to pose questions I'd be interested in doing it though.
...Oh yeah. There's also the sequel. There were clearly hints, including the big question of just who did Jasper ask to appear?
I can say that I am writing a second season with an all new cast of contestants. There might be some allusions (maybe even a cameo or two) to Genesis though. Unlike Genesis, I haven't written much of it and plan on uploading it here as I write it. Look forward to that, and a schedule for it, when it starts soon.
If you're curious for more about Genesis, I'd check it out on the Total Drama Fanfiction Wiki. It has trivia, character bios, some audition tapes and if you enjoy my rambling, a more in-depth analysis of the characters. A really sweet and awesome reader named Joe even made an edgic and confessional count for the season.
Finally, if you have read this far please leave a review. I'd love to hear some people's opinions and thoughts and answer any questions.
Overall, thank you for reading. I've been part of a Total Drama fanfiction fandom since middle school. I've been trying to finish a competition story for ten years and writing Genesis for four years. It's got it's flaws, but I'm proud of it and happy to share it.
Bethany (Eagles)- 22nd
Diamonique (Eagles)- RETURNED
Jasper (Fireworks)- RETURNED
Tessa (Fireworks)- RETURNED
Zipporah (Fireworks)- 21st
Hayden (Eagles)- 20th
Frannie (Eagles)- 19th
Aiden (Eagles)- 18th
Pascal (Fireworks)- 17th
Easton (Fireworks)- 16th
Seraphina (Fireworks)- 15th