A/N:Okay, before I say anything at all, I would like to give a great big thanks to Demile (Justine) for letting me use her story plot for this fic. Because I'm stupid and can't come up with anything on my own, I asked her to use this awesome idea dna put it into Finding Nemo version. Her story was for Hey Arnold, and what I usedto e obsessed before I saw Finding Nemo (which practically wiped everything from my head, not just Hey Arnold). But I still cry when I read her story, that's how good it is. So let's give her a great big hug for letting this story come to be! *hugs*

Now, warning! MAJOR drama alert.

And all us Nemo fans (and mostly Dorlin fans) should like this story. But if Justine's reading this, I hope her questions are answered. I knew she'd be confused on how I'd use her story plot for a Finding Nemo fic (lol).

So, here's the story!

OH, and as a last note. I posted this today, Christmas Eve just as I promised. I had just started last night.

Disclaimer:This plot belongs rightfully to Justine Lancaster. But the switching from Hey Arnold to Finding Nemo is mine. And nothing including Hey Arnold OR Finding Nemo is mine at all.

"The Perfect Christmas That Never Was"

"Thanks for coming to the party for my school, Daddy," Nemo said to Marlin who was swimming next to him. Marlin nodded and smiled. The Christmas Eve party had been good. Everyone was there and they all had a really great time. Except for the fact that Dory hadn't been there. Actually, Marlin thought. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen Dory all day. Marlin smiled at the thought of his dear blue friend.

"Daddy, can I go to see the Tank Gang for a little bit?" Nemo asked. "I wanna see them all before tomorrow."

"Sure, Nemo. Just be careful," Marlin told him. Nemo smiled and sped off towards the other side of the reef where Gill lived.

Marlin was going the opposite way Nemo was, to Dory's tunnel to celebrate Christmas Eve. He guessed that Nemo would join them when he got back from seeing his tank friends. Since Marlin didn't really have a close relationship with anyone, his Christmas would be small and simple. Most likely just him, Dory, and Nemo. And he was just fine with that.

Then, everything around Marlin began to grow dark. Not like he was blacking out, but the ocean water around was going black. He picked up a stench so powerful, it made him gasp in surprise, but he knew that had been a very bad thing. Whatever it was in the water, he had now just inhaled a lot of. It was getting darker, and Marlin tried desperately to get out of the blackness, but to no avail. He could hardly move, and the darkness just seemed to go on forever. He stopped moving completely as an dull, yet sharp pain engulfed his whole body. His eyes watered and his lungs ached for clean air. Finally, he couldn't see anything at all. He wasn't sure at first if he had passed out, or the water had just grown so dark that he couldn't see. But when he felt himself fall to the ground, he knew the answer.

Some time later, Marlin felt himself being pulled into the light. Or at least, it was lighter than it had been inside the black cloud. It was night outside, and his eyes slowly adjusted to the moonlight shining in the water. He tried to breath, but he gasped in pain as a sharp pain shot through his chest. He was only able to breath in very short breaths. His head ached and he felt like he had just swum ten miles; he was so tired.

Nemo and Gill had shown up to the scene while Nemo was on his way to Dory's tunnel. The little clownfish was in shock. He looked at his father lying on the ground, his breathing labored. Tears fell down his cheeks, but he was surprisingly quiet.

Gill had gone to talk to the paramedic (a lobster) about Marlin's condition and if he knew what had happened. He was told that Marlin had gotten caught in an oil spill, something that didn't happen often. The lobster old Gill that sadly, there was a slim chance Marlin would make it. Most fish don't survive oil spills.

The Moorish idol didn't tell Nemo this. It was bad enough that the poor boy had to see his dad like this, he didn't need to know that he was about to die. Gill felt so sorry for Nemo. His father dying on Christmas Eve had to be the worst luck in the world.

Not taking notice in anything around him, Nemo just continued to stare at Marlin. He hoped beyond all hope that his daddy would be alright.

Dory swam around in circles in her room inside the tunnel. She quietly humming the tune of Jingle Bells waiting for Marlin and Nemo to arrive. She looked forward to seeing them since she hadn't gone to the party. It had slipped her mind, due to her short term memory loss.

Suddenly, she head a familiar voice calling her name at the entrance of her tunnel. She swam out to see that it was Bruce. She smiled, but her smile disappeared when she saw his distressed expression.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"Dory, you have to come with me quick! I'll explain on the way," he said frantically. They swam off at a fast pace. Dory looked over the grate white.

"So what's going on?" she asked. Bruce shook his head. "I'm not quite sure. But I was just hangin' 'round when Chum rushed up to me n' started gaspin' 'bout something. I couldn't understand what he was saying. The only thing I heard was to get you and then bring you to 'where there's a huge black cloud in the water'. Or so he said," Bruce explained.

"I think something bad happened to someone we know," he finished sadly. Dory's felt her stomach lurch unpleasantly. Had someone gotten hurt? Or even worse? And who was it? Gill, Anchor, Nemo? Dory cringed. She didn't want to think about it. What would she do of someone she knew was hurt?

Neither Dory or Bruce could miss what Chum had been going on about. You could see the black could from so far away. Dory's stomach ached with nervousness the closer they got to the black mess. Even though she desperately tried not to, she though of who it could have been.

From where she was, she could see Nemo, Gill, all of the Tank Gang, and Anchor. She racked her brain for anyone she knew, but nothing came. She felt panic overtake her body and she sped down the rest of the way towards the scene. As she passed all the fish gathered around, she noted each one as someone she knew, and making her list smaller and smaller. Then, it hit her.

"No…" she whispered to herself, now slowing down. "No, please, it can't be…"

Dory pushed through the remainder of the crowd and gasped in horror. She saw Marlin lying on the ground, and she saw he was having a hard time breathing. Her eyes welled up with tears, and without thinking, she automatically rushed to his side. But a large parrotfish who was one of the paramedics held her back. She tried her best to get free from his hold, but he kept a strong grip on her. She was crying hysterically and screamed out his name.

Dory saw him weakly look over to where she was, and that was the last straw for her. She hit the fish that was holding her as hard as she could. He hadn't expected it, so he loosened his hold enough for her to get away and swim over to Marlin.

He smiled. "Dory…" He was so glad she came. He knew that he wasn't going to make it out of this and he hoped that he would be able to see Dory one last time. She tried her best to smile, but her lip kept quivering.

"Hey, Marlin," she said softly. She took his fin and held it tight as if he were going to disappear at any given second.

"I'm so happy you made it here, Dory," he said. "I didn't see you all day, and I hoped that I'd be able to see you before I leave." Her eyes went wide and tears kept coming.

"Wh-where are you going?" she asked. She knew the answer, but she was in denial. There was no way she was going to believe what was happening. It was all just a horrible dream.

"It's too late for me, Dory. We both know I'm not going to live."

A sob escaped Dory's throat. "No, Marlin. Please don't leave me… please don't go away. N-no one's ever stuck with me for s-so long b-before." With all the might that she could, she remembered the words she had said to him long ago. He realized that she was saying the same words, also. As tears formed in his eyes, they stung his cheeks as they fell.

"And if you leave," she continued. "If you leave… well, I just – I remember things better with you. I do, look; P. Sherman forty-two Wallaby Way Sydney! There, see I remembered it that t-time." He laughed softly, then coughed.

Dory knew she was losing him now. "I remembered it because when I look at you, I can feel it. And I look at you and… I'm home." She subconsciously touched his face with her other fin.

Slowly, Marlin lifted his fin and placed it atop hers that was on his face and he looked into her eyes. They stayed that way for a while before Dory leaned down and kissed him. She didn't know what she was doing, but it had been the right thing to do. And with all he had left in him, Marlin kissed her back. More tears fell as the kiss continued and both felt as if something had been released. A longing buried deep within had finally been taken out into the opening.

The kiss ended and they were quiet for a few seconds, surprised, yet happy at what had happened.

"Dory, promise me you'll take care of Nemo," Marlin said, breaking the silence. She looked at him and shook her heads frantically. "No, don't say that. You're gonna be okay," she said sadly.

"You know that's not true," he told her. "Please promise me that."

Dory closed her eyes. Yes, she knew it was true… and now she knew her optimism wasn't going to do her any good this time. "I promise," she whispered. He smiled weakly. "Thank you."

She looked into his eyes for what she knew was the last time. As a single tear fell from her eye, he reached up and wiped it away. "Dory… my dearest friend…" Marlin said quietly.

"I love you, Dory."

Dory couldn't describe the emotion that passed through her at Marlin's words. She didn't remember ever feeling like this in her lifetime. So happy, yet so terribly sad.

She was knocked from her thoughts when she felt Marlin's hold on her fin completely loosen. "Marlin?" she whispered, shaking him lightly. He didn't reply.

"MARLIN!" she screamed, beginning to sob uncontrollably. She put her fins around his lifeless body and continued to cry. She clung to him, never ever wanting to let go.

She felt someone touch her fin lightly and she looked up to see Gill looking at her sadly. Nemo was a few feet away, crying also.

"He's gone, Dory," Gill told her. She didn't respond, but just stared at Marlin. His eyes were closed, and she tried to just pretend he was sleeping. But she knew that he was gone. And this time, nothing was going to bring him back to her.

Then she whispered, "I love you."

A/N:Wow! That only took me a little more than an hour and a half to write! That's a new record for me! I guess I was just THAT inspired… plus listening to my Titanic soundtrack helped. I cried writing this, just like Justine said she cried writing hers.

So, I hoped you all liked it, and Merry Christmas.