Authors Notes: Most people who read this are going to be like "I have no context for any of this wtf," but for the few that do, I hope this nearly 8k word oneshot finds you well. While not every character from Grave Danger gets a chance to speak, I made sure to include everyone at least a little bit as a final send-off to the five months of fun I got to read through. But what this one-shot chiefly centers around is the Finalists, and one of the newly formed couples of Grave Danger.
I'm not going to lie, it gets very cheesy towards the end, but I think for something like this a fluffy ending makes sense. But still, as this has been written a few days until Grave Dangers official end, don't feel like what's written here should be the definitive take on how things should end up. This is a fanfiction (or I guess, a fanfiction of a fanfiction, if you think about it) so yeah. Hope y'all Grave Danger-ers, enjoy what I cooked up, and the easter eggs throughout it.
For those who are still reading on that have no idea what I'm talking about yet still are interested in reading, the basic gist of this oneshot is that it takes place at an afterparty of a hypothetical seventh season of Total Drama set in Transylvania, with past contestants from three generations and a few from the Ridonculous Race. Hints of pairings, mostly fanon, will be sprinkled throughout, but if you've checked the tags on AO3 or the character sorter on, depending on which site you're read this on, you probably already know the main pairing (for AO3, I may have more tags on the pairings so you may be already privy to some of them before reading.)
Also, because this is an afterparty filled with young adults, some of them will let loose with a few swears (including one "F-bomb) and be a little "buzzed" as the kids say. It's nothing too major, but I thought it be best to warn folks who aren't into that sort of stuff.
But without further ado, I humbly present: A Gravely Dangerous Afterparty
A Gravely Dangerous Trio of Finalists
As the sun set on this particular night of Romania, cloaking the central region of the country in a darkness that would only be broken once it rose next morning, all seemed to be ordinary. The citizens that called Transylvania their home all returned from work and to their homes, preparing for slumber so they could be well rested to continue their lives when the sun returned. Those who were fortunate to afford heating made it paramount to turn it on, as the nights in central Europe this time of year proved to be chilling. This one proved to be no different, as a steady wind seemed to sweep over the region in a deep cold.
This was ordinary. This was expected. This was normal.
But deep in one of the myriad of forests that dotted the landscape in the region, something decidedly not normal was going on.
As most Romanians were either already sleeping or getting ready to, twenty-one young Canadians were getting ready to party.
For on this particular night, the seventh season of the hit show Total Drama had just finished filming its' finale. An assortment of past competitors of the show (and a few from its' spinoff) had finally ended their quest for fame and fortune, enduring intense physical and mental stress to surpass one another.
Three women rose above the other eighteen to make it to the final challenge; an intense race that would push them to their limits.
Gwen was a former finalist on the shows inaugural season, coming ever so close to victory but being beaten by a plate of brownies, an industrial fan, and her friends' insatiable appetite. Her subsequent performances in later seasons were marred by relationship troubles, so she entered this one adamant on not letting any boy distract her this time around. And with her ex being the first one eliminated, Gwen had proven herself right in fulfilling that promise to herself. No boy got in her way, and she proved with enough grit and determination that she wasn't a one-hit wonder by making it to the end.
Izzy was never a finalist, and had only merged once in the shows first season; no one had expected she'd get far. But the Psycho-Hose Beast was truly a wildcard, and her bubbly personality and infectious upbeat attitude managed to make it all the way to the end. Her fun-loving exterior allowed her to make a new best friend in Sammy, whose elimination in the penultimate episode spurred her onto to try her hardest to win.
But in the end, Stephanie reigned victorious over the other two. Like Gwen, her previous reality television performance had been marred by relationship troubles. While placing a respectable fifth in the Ridonculous Race, the first place slot had eluded her mainly due to her dysfunctional relationship with her partner (both romantically and competitively) Ryan. Despite making up with him once they were eliminated, they quickly ended things once the two returned home. This caused Stephanie to return to the fray with gusto; vowing to not let something as embarrassing as a lovers' quarrel ruin her chance at glory.
And she did.
Whether from fellow competitors like Josee, Jo and Alejandro or the frustrating challenges of Chris himself, Stephanie hadn't let any obstacles thrown at her knock off her game. And despite horrendous luck on one of the first parts of the finale (seriously, girl had to pick damn near every grave in the cemetery before she got the medallion) she had run the gamut; finishing first ahead of her two final competitors in the gauntlet of challenges to prove victorious.
Stephanie was the champion of Total Drama: Grave Danger.
But even with her million-dollar case in hand, something felt… off.
Indeed, Izzy was the only finalist who felt completely content about the outcome. Even if she came up short, she had a blast doing so! Messing with her old pal Chef, making friends with Sammy, and just playing the game again gave the crazy-girl so much happiness; happiness she wanted everyone to share, especially to her two fellow finalists!
And so, as the party finally went into full-swing, the hyperactive red-head was already forming plans in her mind. Even if she wasn't fully aware of it yet.
The Wildcard's Push
"Gotcha! Izzy wins!" Izzy laughed, grinning ear to ear with a bottle of booze in her hand. She found herself in the main lounge of the Losers Lodge at the foosball table, triumphantly watching her ball slam into her opponents' goal, earning her a clean ten to zero sweep in victory.
Brody, who was the poor naïve bastard to dare challenge her might in foosball, moaned from the other-side, "Cowabummer, dude! You're even better than Geoff at this…"
Sammy, who had been watching the match unfold next to the surfer-dude, gave a comforting smile. "Aww, well you tried your best."
Brody looked back, giving the nice-twin his signature goofy grin and Izzy saw from the other side her friend giggle with a blush of crimson. She always knew that Sammy had a crush on the lovable Ridonculous Racer, and how devastated she was when Brody had to leave the game due to an injury when the merge came. Now the two could finally just chill with each other without the game getting in the way, and seeing her friend open up to a possible romance for the very first time filled Izzy with joy.
"Maybe your best isn't enough to be ol' Izzy…" a smirk began to escape the redheads' lips, "But maybe if you two try to take me on together…"
Brody's eyes lit up, "Then we could win!" He turned back to Sammy, his face brimming with child-like excitement, "Come on Sammy, let's do it!"
"I dunno Brody, I don't think I'm that good…" Sammy laughed, flicking her wrist in that cutesy sort of way.
"Aw, come on! You're already the good-est girl here in so many ways, so you're probably awesome at this too!" Brody grinned.
The cheerleaders' cheeks turned a deeper shade of red, "Aww, you're so sweet! Sure, I'll play!"
"Awesome-sauce! If I have the good-est girl by my side, we're sure to win!"
"Well, I think you're the good-est guy, so we must make a pretty good team!"
Izzy watched the two flirt back and forth with a joyful smile. She had to admit that she wasn't so sure Brody picked up how much she liked him yet, but it was only a matter of time before Izzy expected he'd get it.
Turning her attention from the blossoming couple to the rest of the party, Izzy felt even more content, and reminisced on the events that had brought them all together.
Shortly after the finale, Chris and Chef had brought each of the twenty-one contestants back to the Losers Lodge for one last final shin-dig before they all flew back to Canada in the morning. While the Lodge was large, the only places that were suitable for a large party like this was the lounge on the bottom floor and the pool area outdoors as the upper floors of the lodge only consisted of individual bedrooms. Still, especially with the pool (which was why everyone had changed in their swimsuits), this was more than enough space for twenty-one young people, a middle aged host and a cantankerous old Chef to work with, and Izzy took note of what everyone was doing before they all had to say goodbye.
Starting in the lounge, Izzy could hear Rock, Sugar Sam, and Sadie singing their hearts out. The foursome was facing the large television set, currently bopping to a rock n' roll remix of "We Built Gwen's Face" from Sam's karaoke video game he brought to the show. The three together looked to be a pretty odd assortment to an outside observer, but they were absolutely killing the World Tour remix playlist, and that's all what really mattered to Izzy (though she wasn't so sure if the other three would go along once it got to Sugar's 'Craptree' remix from Pahkitew.)
Behind the singing trio lay a small table close to the ground, where Duncan and Josee were kneeling across from each other and engaged in a friendly arm wrestle. Well, friendly, might have been playing a little loose with the facts. Duncan had an uncharacteristic first boot due to the insults he'd thrown the Ice Dancers' way, and judging by their dripping wet swimsuits, Izzy guessed that they had just gotten out of the pool to finally 'settle the score.' Both were pretty tough, with Josee having some surprisingly strong upper body strength, so they were locked in fierce stalemate with neither budging.
Further behind the table lay a small couch where Shawn and Staci were locked in a surprisingly deep conversation. The formers elimination proved to be quite a surprised, as Izzy was tricked by Josee into thinking Shawn was out to get her, causing the redhead to lead a crusade for his ouster. Initially she had failed, as the Ice Dancer received the most votes initially, but Sammy, knowing that Izzy really wanted to get Shawn out, used her idol to save Josee, and leaving the conspiracy nut to be the last male eliminated. This proved to be quite a blow to him, as Sammy and his girlfriend Jasmine were extremely close back on Pahkitew Island, and Izzy could only imagine the Aussie's face watching the cheerleader eliminate her boyfriend on live television.
But if Shawn still held any bitterness, he certainly wasn't showing it now. The Conspiracy Nut looked enthralled as Staci rattled off how her great-great-great-great-grand uncle's plumber's wife was the first female Canadian necromancer, and that she made schematics on potential bunker designs in case the undead ever rose up on a large scale. Izzy doubted the veracity of what she was saying (and believe her, she told enough lies herself to know what was phony) but as long as Shawn was happy, she was happy.
Izzy turned her gaze towards the opened sliding glass door that led to the pool area. Surprisingly, more people chose to be outside than in the lounge, despite the frigid weather. Izzy chuckled to herself; it had to be the alcohol. She was a bit buzzed herself and felt an avalanche of warmth. Wait, was that even possible? Whatever, if Izzy wanted to describe her intoxicated feeling of warmth as an avalanche than that's what Izzy was going to do!
After that funny diversion in her mind, the redhead directed her vision towards the shallow end of the pool, where Cody and Amy were seen splashing around and having a grand old time. Now what led up to that surprised even Izzy. During the outset of the game, the tech geek suffered a wicked blow: Gwen had rejected him. The redhead knew her fellow finalist let him down easy, but it still led to a stint of depression for him… and right into the arms of the meaner-twin. And this was where Izzy felt conflicted. Sure, she was glad the Codemeister finally was getting some action, but it was with Amy of all people. She was like, a super duper meanie pants on steroids! Especially to her new best friend Sammy! Not cool, broski.
Wow, the alcohol must've really been getting to her now. Broski? Amy was totally a Braski!
But whatever 'ski' she was, Cody had fallen for her hook line and sinker. To the point where when she was voted off, he volunteered himself to go in her place. But he wasn't even on her team at the time, and Chris was pretty peeved that the geek had snuck into the ceremony that he eliminated both on the spot. Pretty harsh, but Cody seemed to be happy, so Izzy figured it was good enough for her. Even if Amy could be a poop-head sometimes.
To the left side from the shallow end lay three chairs, with her giant fore-headed buddy in Noah talking with Ezekiel and Dave. The homeschoolers performance this season was mixed; he was no longer a bootlegged Gollum and managed to last farther than the first episode for a change. But he still got out early on, as Alejandro used an invincibility idol to save himself, and Zeke got the second amount of votes. Still, Izzy couldn't forget Al's face when Ezekiel cursed him off in Spanish before he went to the lodge, and she smiled.
She really liked Dave though! He was kind of like Noah in a way; super sarcastic and super fun to mess with! She was a tad bit worried about him though, he went to the bathroom like a lot. Even if half was just to wash his hands cuz' he hated germs, it was still an ungodly amount. Maybe it was because Izzy hardly ever went due to her bladder of steel, but she still felt that Dave went, like, all the time. He probably should see a doctor about that…
As for Noah himself, things were mixed. Despite their closeness in the past, the redhead actually hadn't talked with him as much as one would've thought this season. Izzy suspected that it was because he and Emma had broken right before the Grave Danger began…
Suddenly, a cold shiver was sent down Izzy's spine, despite the warm alcohol filling her tummy. A memory of a certain overweight blonde flashed in her mind…
She shook her head quickly, and the feeling vanished. Her own breakup with Owen was a long time ago, and those memories were certainly not going to ruin Izzy's night of partying!
Her eyes moved away from the three boys and landed on the deeper side of the pool, where Izzy was surprised to see an intense water wrestling duel going on. Amidst a flurry of splashes, she could make out that the participants were Lightning and Jo, and just like during the competition, they were at each other's throats. Even so, Izzy wouldn't be surprised to see them get hitched in a few years, and had even bet a cool hundred bucks to Noah on it during their ride to the Lodge. Her sarcastic friend laughed in her face when she suggested it, bringing up that Lightning slugged Jo in the face when he was eliminated. Izzy didn't think that'd be too much of an issue, as Jo seemed to be giving him payback for it right now.
Above the pool was Alejandro who, clothed only in a speedo, was watching Lightning and Jo with a dull stare, hoping he didn't have to intervene to keep one of them from killing the other. Ol' Al had softened up since she last saw him on the Jumbo Jet years ago. In fact, Izzy wished she had listened to him more this season. He was spot on at calling out Josee being a tad bit of a meanie; deceiving her and Sammy like that and all. She didn't really hold that big of a grudge against the Ice Dancer over everything in retrospect, but still. Oh well, it was still funny to watch him guard over Jo and Lightning though. Heather must've really softened him up in the years since World Tour.
Suddenly, despite all the music and laughter swirling around her, Izzy picked up something in her peripheral vision and darted her head from looking outside towards the stairs. The redheads' eyes widened: it was Stephanie! Her fellow finalist that managed to beat her and Gwennie to the punch and win that fat cashola! She was still carrying her shiny, silvery, case of loot in one hand, Izzy saw (not that she was going to swipe it… probably) but something was off. As Stephanie finished walking down the stairs, Izzy noticed that something was different.
She looked to be the only one out of everyone here that wasn't smiling! Or laughing! Or trying to beat the ever-loving shit out of someone like Jo and Lightning! But how could that be, Stephanie had just won a million dollars?
"Jinkies, it looks like Izzy has a mystery on her hands…" She whispered to herself. She turned to Brody and Sammy, who were… still flirting with each other? Gosh, how long was Izzy fumbling around in her own head? A minute – or five – or ten – or –
"Heya, hi so it looks like y'all need some one on one training before you can take me on, 'kay?" Izzy slurred to the both of them. "Say we get back in… half an hour-ish?"
Brody and Sammy both looked at her and blinked.
"Uh, was she speaking Transylvanian?" Brody whispered to the blonde.
Sammy chuckled, "Maybe, but I think she just wants a little break before we have our game." She turned to her red-headed friend and gave a faux salute, feeling the buzz of alcohol too, "Okay Izzy, but when you get back prepared to get... served!" She broke her stance, "Uh, I mean no one serves in foosball but you get what I mean, hehe…"
Izzy grabbed her bestie by the shoulders and leaned in with a deep, hardened stare, "I completely get you…" Then it changed back to her normal chipper self, "Okay, love you, bye!" And the redhead skedaddled off before she could even see her friends' reactions.
After speeding across the room, and almost knocking over the karaoke foursome of Rock, Sugar, Sam and Sadie in the process, Izzy made it next to the stairs to intercept Stephanie, "Yo, Steph!"
Stephanie turned and smiled a smile that Izzy could tell was a sad-smile, "Oh, hey girl. How's it going?"
"It's great!" Izzy grinned. "Just kicked Brody's ass in foosball!"
Stephanie continued smiling her fake-smile, "Nice, what was the score?"
"Ten to zip!" Izzy thrusted her arms in the air, "Woo!"
Stephanie laughed, but Izzy could tell no humor came from it, "Awesome…" A beat of silence passed, and the winner of the season cleared her throat, "Uh –
"Why are you down in the dumperinos?" Izzy pulled out her trusty fake Sherlock Holmes-esque pipe from the ether and put it in her mouth.
Stephanie blinked, "Where did you get, uh, never mind." She shook her head, "I'm not sad Izzy. I just won a million bucks!" Izzy saw the fitness girl form her first real smile since she walked down the stairs, "After all the crap I went through on the Race, after being put in a furry wolf-suit and all the other shit Chris threw my way, ya' girl finally did it." She paused, and Izzy saw her real smile vanish.
"You did!" Izzy smiled at first but then narrowed her eyes and said, "But why were you up stairs and not partying down here?"
Stephanie eye's widened, "Uh, you know…" she looked up to the ceiling, "Just trying to find Gwen…"
Izzy's eyes widened as well. While Brody and Sammy were flirting and Izzy's kind of got lost in her own head looking at what everyone was doing, she actually didn't see Gwen anywhere. Actually, she didn't even see Gwen since they arrived at the Lodge for the after-party. Huh.
Stephanie looked beyond the redhead's shoulder, "Is she around here now?"
Izzy shook her head, "Nah. Izzy checked outside and inside. And Izzy's guessing you couldn't find our lovely fellow finalist in any of the rooms upstairs?"
The fitness girl sighed, "Nope. And I haven't seen her since we got to the lodge either. I thought she'd eventually turn up –"
Before Stephanie could say anything else, Izzy put her palms on the taller girls' shoulders and slurred, "I totally getcha' now! We're the Grave Danger finale trio and we gotta stick together. But you're the winner. You should be down here getting buzzed, letting loose, living it up." She took her right arm off of her shoulder to poke her in the chest, "Imma gonna go find us our goth girl 'kay?"
Stephanie frowned, "Izzy, if Gwen doesn't want to be around me right now then we shouldn't force her to –
"Gwen was fine when Owen beat her…" Izzy slurred off again, waving her hand away, "Why wouldn't she be fine with you beating us?" She shook her head, "Nah, nah, leave it to ol' Izzy…"
Before Stephanie could protest any more, Izzy leaned in and pecked her on the cheek before pivoting around her to dart upstairs. Her jaw dropped.
"What the hell just happened?"
Little did she know, the Wildcard was about to try to Push things in the right direction.
The Goth Girl's Reception
The sky of rural Romania held the blessing of ignorance. It had no knowledge of the troubles of the world, so it would only concern itself with illuminating the countless stars in space, creating a tapestry of wonderful light. Sadly, this ignorance meant it had no idea that pervasive fog that filled the air nearly every night obscured its' beauty from most of its agrarian citizenry…
Unless if one was high up enough.
Gwen sat on the roof of the Losers Lodge and gazed at the stars displayed for her. She then closed her eyes, feeling an overwhelming ache in her heart, and let her other senses take over, hoping that they'd distract her.
She could still hear, even all the way up here, the raucous sounds from the party raging on downstairs, and she grimaced. Splashes from the pool, laughter from her once fellow competitors, and even the smell of hard-liquor all wafted from below to smack the goth with a torrent of memories of the latest season of Total Drama. It also didn't help that the karaoke machine was currently blasting World Tour remixes, tempting Gwen's mind to drift towards her past mistakes…
Gwen had many weeks to get used to the cold nights of Romania during her time on Grave Danger, so despite the lack of alcohol numbing her senses, she didn't feel cold. Nevertheless, she crossed her arms, gripping them tightly around her chest. This sucked.
The goth flung her arms away from her chest and gasped in fright. Her eyes widened as she saw Izzy was kneeling right in front of her with a goofy grin and a bottle of liquor in each hand. Gwen froze in utter shock; she had thought she'd be the only one who'd be up here right now; it was a stroke of luck when she accidentally walked into Shawn's room and saw his makeshift ladder up here. A sense of dread filled her stomach. She did not want to deal with Izzy's antics right now…
But instead of proceeding to babble a million miles a minute, Izzy simply raised one of her bottles of booze and smiled softly, "Wanna drink?"
Gwen blinked. How could Izzy be this calm while drunk, "Sure." The redhead handed her fellow finalist the bottle, and the goth took a quick swig. "Uck!" That proved to be a mistake, as the alcohol was way stronger than she expected, and Gwen yanked the bottle away from her face and coughed.
"I should've warned ya." Izzy chuckled, "These Transylvanian booze ain't for the faint of heart…"
"You're telling me…" Gwen muttered. She delicately placed the bottle back to her mouth, taking a slow sip. Instead of her body fully rejecting it this time, the only objection Gwen felt from it was a small burning feeling in her throat, and the glowing warmth she felt from afterwards more than made up for that.
After she placed the bottle down next to her Izzy said, "I guess you know why I'm up here, huh?"
Gwen shrugged her shoulders, "To find the stars?"
The redhead slurred out a laugh, "To find you." She grinned one of those grand Izzy grins, "A Total Drama: Grave Danger after party isn't complete without its' kickass goth girl finalist!" Her grin turned to a small smirk, "Stephanie was looking for you, while I was kicking Brody's ass in foosball, which you should totally watch by the way, but anyway, what's up? Why don't you want to come down?"
Once Izzy said the winner of the seasons name, Gwen averted her eyes downward. A beat of silence passed, and in spite of herself, Gwen admitted, "I'm sad about losing, okay?" She quirked her eyes at Izzy, "Aren't you?"
"Well, I would've loved to win," Izzy giggled. She leaned into Gwen again, startling the goth by putting her hands on the other girls' knees, "But we tied for second out of twenty-one! That's still pretty coolio in Izzy's book!"
Gwen grabbed Izzy's arms and pried them off of her knees, "Well in my book, it still sucks. Things were supposed to be different this time; I came up short again."
The redhead looked confused, "Isn't it different, though? Instead of living on an island or a plane we got to live in a Castle! We got to meet so many different people from all the generations of the show, and even people that aren't in Total Drama!" Izzy's voice faltered for a moment, "Isn't that enough, even if you came up short?"
"No." Gwen hadn't meant to come off as curt, but it was true. She took another swig of alcohol before saying, "It's different for you, Izzy. It's more about just not winning." She paused, "It's how I lost."
"The final ladder challenge?" Izzy blinked.
Gwen moaned, the buzz from her drink really getting to her now, "No… before that…" she sighed, letting her worries flow from her gut and into her words, "I don't know if Steph told you this but… she asked me out in the second to last episode…"
"Really!?" The redhead gasped, and for the first time Gwen saw the crazy girl look truly dumbfounded. Her left hand went through the curls of her hair after she took another swig from her bottle, "No foolin, huh? Damn, I thought for sure she had a thing for Lightning…"
"Lightning!?" Gwen barked out a cool laugh in spite of herself.
"Aw come on, Izzy thought that she was flirting with him!" The redhead protested before shaking it off with a smile, "Ah, it doesn't matter now. That's great, Gwen! Stephanie is super-hot!" Izzy paused, "Unless – do you not swing that way?"
Gwen was lucky that they were both buzzed, or Izzy might've noticed the furious shade of crimson growing on her cheeks. "I've never dated a girl before, but that isn't really the issue. I told her I was open to trying it, actually."
"Hm?" Izzy massaged her chin, "Is it that you don't like her that way?"
Gwen sighed; she couldn't believe she was spilling her guts to Izzy of all people, "Honestly? I only realized until after she asked me out, but I sort of was beginning to like her…" she coughed, "in that way. And it kind of makes sense when you think about it," she began to count on her fingers, "Duncan, Sam, Dave, Codythe quitter, all the people I was 'friend-ish' with got eliminated before the merge." She shrugged, "And with Alejandro, Jo, Sugar and Josee at each other's throats, I kind found myself spending a lot of my time with her. Then, I guess, one thing led to another and well…" Gwen's cheeks were brimming red, "Being with Steph just feels right."
Izzy clasped her hands together, "Aww… super cute!" Her hands parted from each other and she quirked her brow, "But if that's true, why aren't you downstairs smooching up a storm with your new sexy millionaire girlfriend right now?"
"Because I went in the game this time around to finally win; not get distracted by another relationship." Gwen whined. She took another swig of alcohol, "I was so close to winning in our first season, and the only reason I hadn't did so well in the next two was cuz' of shit with Trent and Duncan. And All Stars was just a mix of Duncan, Courtney and Mike's shitty bad guy persona screwing me over. This time was supposed to be different…"
Izzy narrowed her eyes in ever more confusion, "Izzy doesn't get it. This time was different. You only thought about smooching anyone after our second to last challenge. And you still made it to the finale!"
The goth grit her teeth, "Yeah, but the only reason Steph made it to the finale with us was 'cuz she told me that she wanted to go out with me!"
"R-remember?" Gwen slurred, the full effects of hard Romanian ale hitting her brain now, "The final four was you, Samey, Steph and I. You had invinci-munnity, or some shit, so Steph and I couldn't vote for you. We hadn't really talked about definitively voting for Samey, so…" Gwen trailed off, "I had been thinking of maybe… voting off Steph." Izzy's eyes widened, but allowed Gwen to continue, "Just cuz', I loved Steph, but I thought it was just as friends, ya know? And I was so close to being a two-timed finalist! I didn't want to face a strong fitness girl in the finale! But then Steph had to pull me aside and asked me out on a date and I felt sparks, so I settled on voting out Samey." She let out a deep sigh, "Then the tiebreaker happened, Samey lost, and then Chris pulled a three-way finale out from under us where Steph kicked our asses."
Izzy frowned, "Don't sell yourself short, missy! We both were giving that sexy buff goddess a run for her money in the end!"
Gwen groaned, "She still beat us. All because I chose relationships over the game… again! Even when I promised myself not too!" The goth buried her head in her hands. "It isn't even about the money; it was proving to myself that I could control my emotions." She barked out a bitter laugh, "So much for that I guess…"
A long stretch of silence passed, where Gwen only looked at Izzy's knees as they sat close together. Her eyes were focused downward, so she had no idea what the crazy-girl could possibly be thinking. Maybe all of her own bullshit she just dumped on Izzy was finally enough to crack her; to cripple those infectiously charming giggles that had brought the redhead to the finale?
Suddenly, Izzy grabbed both of Gwen's shoulders, pulling her in close. The goth gasped, expecting Izzy to try to kiss her, but she stopped at the point where their noses nearly touched, "Gwen, I'm going to tell you something I never told anyone before. Not Noah, not Sammy, not my imaginary friend Phil, no one." Her breath reeked of booze, but Gwen was too caught up in the moment to care and nodded along. Izzy saw this and hiccupped, "Y-you remember back in Jamaica, when I hit my head and got super-duper smarty pants smart?" She didn't even give a chance to answer, and slurred, "Well that was the worst day of my fuckin' life. And ya wanna know why?"
Gwen didn't know what to say, so she went the obvious, "Because you and Owen broke up?"
"Wrong-o…" Izzy giggled bitterly, "It was what happened afterwards. When I got better and not super-duper smart anymore, I felt so uncomfortable over what happened that I avoided Owen for the rest of the stupid seasoning god-damn season. And after that, Noah told me that Big-O wanted to end things at first cuz' I kept kicking him in the kiwi's and not taking things seriously and shit." She sniffled, "That screwed me ten days to Sunday! And that's, like, three more days than in a normal week, so I was pretty darn screwed! So after that, even though I still loved him, I didn't want to talk things through. And it eventually got awkward and –
"I'm mostly over it now, but it still stings sometimes." Izzy shook her head, "And it's stinging right now 'cuz I don't want you to make the same mistake I made. Y-you should talk to Stephanie to all of this stuff you told me, Gwen. You clearly-ly like her, and she likes you! Everyone was so happy at the party downstairs except her. Even Brody was still happy when I totally curb-stomped his butt in foosball! But Steph just wants to hang out with her new sexy goth friend, not cuz' she wants to just make-out and shit, but cuz' she wants to talk…"
A beat of silence passed, and Gwen could only stare at redhead with a slack-jaw that rivaled her one when Cody announced he was quitting the game with Amy. A tornado of emotions battered her mind, and with the alcohol, the goth felt like she couldn't see straight. To see Izzyof all people, hold in this inner turmoil, to see Izzy of all people admitting that she shared Gwen's vice of wanting to control her own emotions, to see Izzy of all people –
Then, all at once, the tornado in her mind parted, replacing itself with a grand tsunami of water colder than any frigid air she had felt in Romania. And it awakened her. She did not want to go through what Izzy had gone through.
And she knew what she had to do to.
"Y-you're right. Enough feeling sorry for myself…" The goth grit gingerly rose to her feet, "I'm going to go find Steph and… talk to her about this."
Izzy beamed, jumping up to a standing position, "Atta' girl! Let's hoist the sails of the S.S Gwephanie and finally sail this ship!"
"It'll be awkward, telling her I actually considered voting her off and shit…" Gwen stumbled forward, almost tripping over her boots. Man, Romanians didn't screw around with their liquor, "But I just gotta' try…" She put her hands on her thighs, closing them as a wave of dizziness watched over her.
"Here," Gwen looked up to see Izzy holding out her hand, "I'll help you down the ladder. Izzy just realized that it probably wasn't the best idea to get drunk on the roof, now that she thinks of it."
The goth accepted her hand and the two walked towards the ladder together, "Yeah, dying right after figuring out what to do would suck." As the two reached the ladder, Gwen gasped as she saw Izzy hop down first before letting out a sigh in relief seeing the red-head had made it inside Shawn's window, extending another hand to help Gwen down the ladder. As the goth began to climb down, another thought occurred to her, "Izzy… I still keep in touch with Owen… and if you ever wanted to see him again, I could help…"
Izzy didn't say anything at first, waiting until Gwen was safely down the ladder and into Shawn's room. Once she was, the redhead smiled, "Izzy would like that very much… thanks Gwen."
The two of the three finalists of Total Drama: Grave Danger walked out the door, intent on finding the third.
And with The Goth Girls' Reception of the Push from the Wildcard's, their problems were one step closer to being solved.
The Fitness Model's Embrace
"How long have those two been at it?" Stephanie muttered aloud to no one. After giving up on her search, the winner of Total Drama: Grave Danger had been meandering around the grounds of the lodge before finally settling back in the Lounge, currently sitting around Duncan and Josee's fierce arm wrestle on the floor.
"I dunno, about thirty minutes?" Stephanie turned to see Sammy sit down next to her.
Brody had followed quickly behind the blonde and added, "I dunno, babe. It seems more like a half an hour to me."
Sammy let out a cute giggle at the surfers' shenanigans while Stephanie sighed, "Whatever, I guess I'll root for Duncan."
"Ha!" Josee barked a haughty laugh, "As if someone who got eliminated first will snatch gold from me!"
Duncan glared back, "Hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but the only one who 'got the gold' is sitting right there." He used his free arm to jerk his thumb towards Stephanie.
The ice dancer sneered back, "If this is obviously so unimportant to you then concede!"
"What's important to me is pissing you off," Duncan smirked darkly. Stephanie rolled her eyes at the punks' bravado. How could he have gotten so far in the game before with such a bad attitude? Not like her own attitude was much better but –
"Howdy-ho buckaroos, look who Izzy found!"
Stephanie darted her gaze from the match towards the bottom of the staircase, where Izzy currently had her arm around… Gwen. Stephanie shot up like a rocket from the floor and stared. She was relieved that Izzy had brought back her crush, but a rare sense of a nervousness still washed over her.
Duncan glanced back from his opponent and widened his eyes at the sight of his ex, "Pasty?"
Josee saw his distraction and took full advantage, using the last of her strength to break the stalemate and slam the punks hand on the table, "Haha, yes! I've won the gold!"
"Shit!" The punk swirled back to this opponent and swore, before trying to play it off cool, "Psh, so you had to use a distraction to beat me, big deal…"
Gwen walked over to the group and smirked at the punk, "Aw, is someone still distracted by me?"
The punk didn't take the bait and stood back up with a smirk of his own, "You wish." Stephanie watched him playfully slug her arm, and felt a sense of dread. Did Gwen still have feelings for –
"Izzy!" Sammy stood up as well and ran to hug her with Brody not too far behind her, breaking the fitness models thoughts.
"Sammy!" Izzy cheered, pulling back from their hug. She looked over the cheerleaders' shoulders and gave Brody a determined grin, "Ready for the rematch of a lifetime?"
Brody grinned back, "Yup!" He leaned forward in order to wrap Sammy around his arm, not noticing the pink hue beginning to form on her cheeks, "With both us we're sure to win!"
"Well then what are ya waiting for? Let's foos some ball!"
As the redhead bolted back to the foosball table with her two opponents, Gwen turned towards Stephanie, blushing at her with an awkward smile, "Hey, can we talk… outside-ish maybe?"
Stephanie gave a reassuring smile back, trying to mask her nervousness, "Sure. The lodge has a small porch out in the front where we can chill."
The goth nodded her head, and Stephanie began to lead them to the front of the lounge. The party had mostly drifted towards the backyard at this point, as Chef Hatchet (allowed to cook them all good food now that the competition ended) was now manning the grill and making late-night burgers for everyone, so Stephanie and Gwen had a clear path towards the front door.
As they exited through it, both girls turned to find a small bench beside it and sat down. As they did so, Stephanie felt Gwen's arm graze her own, and unconsciously flinched back due to how cold it felt. The goth noticed this and said, "Sorry. I actually was on the roof for a while so I might feel a little chilly."
Stephanie chuckled, "I already knew you were there, girl."
Gwen's eyes widened, "Huh? Why didn't you come up, then? Izzy told me that you were looking for me earlier."
"I was, I checked every room upstairs for you." Crap, Stephanie realized that must sound pretty lame, "But once I got to Shawn's room and saw his ladder propped up to get to the roof from the window…" She shrugged, "I figured you had used it to get up there so I wouldn't bother you, so I left."
Inwardly, Stephanie was hoping she was dead-wrong on that front and Gwen just went to the roof for shits and giggles. Unfortunately, she wasn't, "Yeah, kinda."
Both girls averted their gazes, and the only sound for a while came from the music blaring in the backyard mixed with chirping of crickets. Stephanie bit her lip. Here was this super chill girl she had met in the competition, and she probably had already scared her away by asking her out in their second to last episode. Why couldn't she have just tried to stay friends instead of trying to make it anything more… even if she was super cute.
"Steph – hiya!" Gwen covered her mouth after she hiccupped, "Shit, I'm sorry, it's just –"
"Did Izzy give you a couple drinks when she got up there?" Stephanie chuckled.
"Only one, but damn was it strong." Gwen laughed. The goth turned to her and hand on Stephanie's lap, causing the winner to blush, "I'm a little buzzed, and if I'm not thinking straight, it's just –
"Girl, it's fine." Stephanie shook away the blush from Gwen having her hand on her own thigh. She already knew what Gwen was going to say, and knew she had to be the bigger person. She had just beaten her at a chance for a million bucks today, so it was the least she could do, "I think I get what you're going to say."
"Look," The fitness model turned to where she was directly in front of Gwen, "I… knew when I asked you out at first it was kind out of the blue. You know I can kind of get impulsive like that… it's honestly kind of why things with Ryan didn't work out." She shook her head, knowing that delaying the inevitable was pointless, "The last thing I'd want to pressure you, so if we could just forget the whole date if –
But Stephanie was cut off.
A shockwave ripped across her body, one that felt like it could travel the entire globe, all from this little old spot in Romania.
The Champion of Total Drama: Grave Danger could hardly believe that Gwen's lips were pressed up against her own.
The kiss was brief, only lasting a few seconds before the goth pulled away and pouted, "You wouldn't let me talk."
Stephanie blinked, "I –
"Holy shit, I just realized how cheesy what I did just was," Gwen groaned, "There goes my goth 'cred…"
"Wait, you weren't uncomfortable around me before?" Stephanie was wide eyed.
The goth bit her lip, "I'm not uncomfortable around you, Steph. I never – well –" she hiccupped, "I do feel uncomfortable, but it's the whole situation, not you. When Izzy found me on the roof, we talked, and she made me realize just because I have some shit to work through, that doesn't mean I should have been avoiding you. And I should be the one apologizing to you for doing that…"
Stephanie quirked her brow, "Girl, earlier today I won a million dollars. I should be fine with having my ego bruised a little."
Gwen shook her head, "It's still a shitty thing to do." She hiccupped again, and Stephanie was caught off guard at how cute the goth looked as she did so, "The reason I went to the roof to avoid you was 'cuz of the second to last vote… I was kind of considering voting you off –" a beat of silence, "I was just so close to getting to the finale again, Steph. But then you asked me out and I felt sparks, so I voted for Sammy…"
"Oh." It was all dawning on Stephanie now, "And I beat you in the finale, so if you voted for me in the end, then you might've won…"
Gwen nodded shakily, "Yeah, but I need to you to know I never blamed you for any of that. I was, and still, kind of, mad at myself. Cuz' besides the first season… all my time on Total Drama got screwed over by relationship shit. Trent and Duncan, y'know? And the whole reason I signed onto compete again was to prove to myself that I wouldn't be held back by any of that stuff anymore…"
The fitness girl felt deflated, "Held back, huh?"
"N-no!" Gwen shook her head furiously, "Not like that, shit, that was bad wording."
Stephanie cut her off gently, "No, I understand it. When I was competing on the race with Ryan, I was so angry at him because I felt that he was holding me back. It was shitty and stupid of me, in hindsight. I probably screwed up more than him in the game…"
Gwen put her hand on Stephanie's thigh again, shutting her up, "By held back, I mean holding myself back, not you." Even through her pale makeup, the goth was starting to blush something fierce, "I know what I'm feeling is stupid, because I want to give things a try with you. I really, really, really, do, Steph. Izzy made me realize that not dealing with your emotions can push people you care about away, and I really care about you, so –
But this time, it was Stephanie that shut Gwen up. The fitness model cut her off with a kiss, one that felt and truly was longer than the first. Even as the cold foggy Romanian night hit them with them with a mighty breeze, all they could feel was each other in the moment.
This time it was Stephanie who pulled away first, "I think I get it now. Or… starting to anyway." A pause, "I do want to get passed this with you, Gwen. I care about you too. But for now maybe we should just head back to the party. I doubt we could get through everything in all one night."
Gwen smiled back, "Y-yeah, that's good. I'm glad we started though."
Stephanie put her hand over Gwen's palm, interlocking each of their fingers, "Me too…"
But before the two went inside, they took a moment to stare in each other's eyes one last time. Even when the fog had begun to drift near them, it didn't obscure their vision of one another.
And as the party raged on behind them, as the eighteen other contestants of Total Drama: Grave Danger sang, danced, and experienced one another as a group for one last night in Romania, none noticed Izzy had snuck off to the roof, looking at her two fellow finalists down below with a bittersweet smile.
She had help create a relationship that would hopefully last for many years to come, and as she looked to the stars, found long-lost hope of finally repairing one that she felt may have been lost forever.
"Coming to find you, Owen…"
And with The Goth Girls' Reception of the Push from the Wildcard led to the Fitness Girls' Embrace