Marshall panicked to get dressed, throwing on the first pair of clean clothes he owned, his alarm had failed him and he cursed the silent machine that usually had no trouble yelling at him to wake up in the morning. Today more than ever Marshall needed to be up and ready to go, he had places to be and secrete plans to start.

"Call Cody." His watch lit up and began to vibrate. He decided to FaceTime him, the cattle dog was notorious for being grumpy in the morning and he couldn't help be amused by his either accurate or embellished performances. The show began as Cody's face greeted him.

"The pup you are looking for has not had his cup of coffee yet, please hold." He groaned before his muzzle buried itself in his arm resting on the table.

"I thought you'd be ready by now." Marshall laughed.

Cody peaked up to the screen. "I am ready. Am I awake? No, no I am not." He gave a tired smile, monitoring the slow drip of the coffee machine. "But I'm working on it."

"Ok. Well I'll be over there in twenty minutes. I'll see you soon."

Christmas was just three days away, and Marshall had yet to get something for Cody. Now picking out the perfect gift was never high on Marshall's priorities before, but he wanted to show his appreciation of his new friend. And if that wasn't reason enough, than the shiny new watch on his wrist surely was. It's not like he forgot though, Marshall had already done his Christmas shopping for the other members.

Most of them.

He even made an attempt to look for Cody's gifts a week ago, even if he had nothing concrete to go off of as far as what he would actually want or use. After circling the mall once, he was prepared to wing it on nothing more than an educated guess, until a better idea came to mind. If he could get Cody to the mall and get him shopping, Cody could do all the work for him. As long as he wasn't too obvious, subtlety was key.

Marshall got in his truck and punched in the apartment complex address. A sane person might have just asked their new friend what they wanted, but Marshall was a sucker for a good surprise, and he couldn't help imagine how Cody might react if he pulled off his plan, as long as he appreciated surprises too. Marshall arrived promptly, the 20 minute drive flew by, and soon enough he spotted Cody standing outside of the tan building.

"Good morning." Cody said after he was seated inside the truck, working on strapping himself in.

"Morning." Marshall smiled. Once his passenger was situated he pulled away from the curb and proceeded to their destination. One that Cody still didn't know about.

The lush forest passing by did little to distract Cody from his growing curiosity. If anything their presence made it that much stronger. "So." Cody said breaking the silence between them, "Why do you need my help again?"

"I need a second opinion on some of the gifts for the boys. I couldn't ask any of them for help, it would ruin the suprise."

"Makes sense, so does your list include Chase?" Cody asked with a hint of apprehension in his voice, knowing he was taking a chance bringing up that name.

Marshall visibly tensed as his grip on the wheel tightened. "I think he has gotten enough gifts this year."

Cody sighed and returned his gaze to the road ahead. "Mabey talking with him would help? It is Christmas after all, a time of peace on earth. Forgiveness, love and kindness."

"I haven't exactly been able to get him alone. He and Everest are practically joined at the hip now. Did I tell you she moved into the lookout?"

"Oh . . . wow, that must be hard for you ." Cody said suprised. He understood better now why Marshall had been so insistent on spending as much time on the phone as they had throughout the week. He shook himself out of his daze and realized that they were sitting the parking lot. Marshall hoping out followed by Cody.

"It's been challenging, yes. And a gift would be pointless, compared to the one he has now." he said frowning, "anyway we are here for the others." He said, looking ahead to the black and white building.

Marshall's plan was simple in theory; Acouple innocent lies, indirect questions, and a lot of analyzing, and he would be set.

They started off in the clothing section of a designer store. Casually, Marshall hung back and let Cody take the lead.

"So who's first?" Cody asked over his shoulder.

"Rocky." Marshall said without thinking. They forged deeper into the sea of pup-clothes. Luckily for Marshall, Rocky and Cody were about the same size, and he already knew what size clothes Rocky wore.

Marshall tried to gain a better understanding of Cody's taste as he took in the outfit he wore. The navy blue knit sweater he wore fit him snuggly, a long black scarf wrapped around his neck. Mabey he'd appreciate something darker in color. Marshall moved past him to a row of black track suits that faced them. He pulled one off of the rack and held it up. "What do you think of this one?"

"Does Rocky usually were women's clothing?" Cody asked, tilting his head.

Marshall froze, looking behind him to the rack confusidly. He then noticed that he stood on the invisible line that separated the men's and women's section.

"No." Marshall said jamming the jacket back onto the rack.

Marshall found two more pieces of clothing that He though Cody would like, a dark green jacket and a blue scarf. Cody was quick to agree that Rocky would like the scarf, mentioning that he had a similar one at his apartment. After signing off on the bomber jacket too, Cody made an off-hand remark about not caring for the color of it himself.

This viscious cycle continued until they had circled the whole store. Marshall grew increasingly frustrated with himself. It seemed as if everything he picked, Cody would remark that the others would like it, but when Marshall faced him with the hypothetical question as to if he himself would were it, would politely decline.

By the end of their shopping spree, Marshall and Cody both had a full bag of extra gifts Marshall would now be giving the team, and nothing for his friend beside him. The frustration he felt was escalating by the second while a guilt-filled pit inside Marshall's stomach formed. Everything began to eat away at the happy mask he wore the longer he was with Cody. They had just stepped in line, when Marshall's face began mirroring his more negative emotions.

"What's wrong, did we miss someone?" Cody asked looking over the dally concernidly.

"We missed you." Marshall said with more of an edge than he ment.

"What do you mean?" Cody asked tilting his head to the side.

Letting out a sigh, Marshall fessed up. "I brought you here to look for your gift. I was trying to find things you would like but you didn't seem to like anything I showed you."

Cody was silent for a moment, processing everything before he replied in a softer voice. "I didn't realize we were giving gifts already."

"Really?" Marshall said holding up his wrist, indicating the watch.

Taking in a deep breath, Marshall let his mask fall, revealing a genuineness that Cody had yet to see before.

" I wanted to do something nice for you, there must have been something you liked." Marshall said smiling hopefully at him.

They sat in silence for awhile, before Cody broke it, smiling sheepishlyat him. "Well.." he trailed off looking over his shoulder.

"What, what is it?" Marshall said excitedly, his tail speeding up as he watched Cody intently.

"Just a blue beenie." He said.

"Well let's go." Marshall said rushing off, taking Cody's arm with him.

"You do realize that now I'm getting you something too, right?" Cody said with a giggle as he tried to keep from tripping.

"Haven't you gotten me enough already?" Marshall said holding up his watch.

"With my own money, I mean."

"So you admit that you stole the watch?" Marshall laughed triumphantly.

"Borrowing." Cody reminded him as they disappeared into the sea of colorful clothes. In search of the perfect gift, unaware of the real gift they already had.