(The Sun rises up giggling)
(The camera slowly moves up a hill and toward the Tubbytronic Superdome. The Windmill spins slowly in the distance)
Narrator: Over the Hills and Far away......... Teletubbies come to play.
Tinky Winky: One.
(The logo puffs in. Purple trim floe over the words)
(The purple trim floes out of view. The logo bursts)
(The Teletubbies run down the house towards some voice trumpets which come out of the ground)
Voice Trumpet: Time for Teletubbies. Time for Teletubbies. Time for Teletubbies. Time for Teletubbies.
Singer: Tinky Winky.
Tinky Winky: Tinky Winky.
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po: Teletubbies.
Singer: Say... Hello.
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po: Eh-oh!
(Tinky Winky and Dipsy run and bump)
Singer: Tinky Winky. Dipsy.
(Laa-Laa and Po run and bump)
Singer: Laa-Laa. Po. Teletubbies.
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po: Teletubbies. Big hug!
(The windmill starts to spin faster)
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po: Uh oh!
(The Teletubbies run out of view)
(A Voice Trumpet rises in front)
Voice Trumpet: Where have the Teletubbies gone?
(The scene cuts to the sun smiling)
(The scene cuts to Teletubbyland)
Narrator: The Perfect Gift. Narrator: It was winter time on the Island of Sodor.... (The scene cuts to the Island of Sodor) Narrator:....and all of the engines were happily going about doing their jobs. They all enjoyed the holidays, and Christmas was fast approaching. Thomas was going along his branch line with Annie and Clarabel, singing Christmas carols to himself.
Thomas: # Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way... # There was no snow on the Island yet, but it was forecasted that some would fall within the next week. All of the engines looked forward to that.
Once Thomas came to a complete stop at the station, he stopped singing. Annie and Clarabel gave his singing high praise.
“That was wonderful, Thomas! You do enjoy your singing, don't you?” Annie asked. Thomas smiled.
“Of course I do! Singing is a great way to get into the holiday spirit! It's also a great way to make friends.” he said, before going silent. Wonderful, but painful memories of a friend he'd made months ago entered his thoughts.
It was one of the engines at the Great Railway Show. The one who had gotten left behind on Sodor, and had helped Thomas see the good in himself.
Thomas sighed as he replayed all of his memories of her in his mind. He missed her dearly, and much more than she would probably know, if she even still remembered him.
“Thomas?” Clarabel's voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Y-Yes?” Thomas asked, refocusing on his job. He noticed the conductor waving a green flag in front of him, signaling that he could proceed.
“Oh. Sorry!” Thomas said, before blowing his whistle and leaving the station.
“Are you alright Thomas? Not even five minutes ago you were singing songs, and paying attention. Now, you're glum and spacey.” Annie said, concerned for her engine. Thomas sighed again.
“Oh, it's nothing Annie. Just memories.” he replied, puffing down the line. Annie and Clarabel were worried.
“It's not like you to be down this time of year, Thomas. Is there something bothering you?” Clarabel asked. Thomas didn't respond, which just confirmed his coaches suspicions. Something was bothering him, but he most likely wouldn't tell them what.
. . .
When Thomas was finished with his branch line, he was assigned shunting duty at Knapford Station. He quietly chuffed around the yard, biffing cars to the left, and bashing them to the right. Gordon wheeshed into the station, preparing for the Express.
“Look alive little Thomas, I need my Express coaches!” he said. Thomas was briefly pulled from his thoughts.
“Right. Sorry Gordon!” he said, quickly reversing away to fetch the four passenger coaches. Once he was coupled to them, he slowly hauled them behind Gordon.
“It's about time! You might have made me late!” Gordon complained. Thomas was not in the mood to argue.
“Sorry Gordon.” he simply replied. Gordon was surprised, and even a little concerned. He teased Thomas, but he was still Thomas's friend, and he knew Thomas would normally have a cheeky retort at the ready for anything he could say. But Thomas's quiet response was unusual, and Gordon was befuddled as to what had stopped Thomas from continuing.
Instead of figuring it out, Gordon just waited for his passengers to seat themselves in silence, before blowing his whistle and leaving the station.
Thomas watched him go, heading towards Vicarstown, which was the station between Sodor and the Mainland.
The Mainland. The place where he had participated in the Great Railway Show, and had let Ashima win the shunting competition. Even though it was considered a tie, he still knew that Ashima had won.
While Thomas was sitting in the yard alone with his thoughts, Sir Topham Hat himself pulled up in his blue car.
“Thomas!” he called, getting out. Thomas looked his way.
“Yes Sir?” he asked, putting on a blank face. Sir Topham Hat walked over before continuing.
“I'm getting all of my engines something special this year for Christmas. We've had a record setting year in productivity and efficiency. Everyone deserves a reward. I've asked all the other engines, and you're the only one left. James wants a new coat of paint, Gordon wants to pull the special Christmas Express, Emily wants to spend the day at Ulfstead Castle, and so on. I need to know what you'd like for Christmas.” he boomed. Thomas was quiet.
“There's only one thing I want, Sir. But I don't think it's possible for me to have her, or even see her again.” he said glumly, before chuffing away to continue his shunting.
Sir Topham Hat was surprised, and thought for a few minutes.
“Her?” he said to himself. He climbed back into his car, and sat for a moment. “Thomas never mentioned that he was interested in another engine. Even if he was, why wouldn't he be able to see her again? All of my engines stay on Sodor.” he said to himself. Suddenly, he realized.
“Unless... it's not one of my engines.” he said, before quickly driving away back to his office.
. . .
As Thomas reversed into his shed that night, Nia noticed Thomas looked sad.
“Hey Thomas, what's wrong?” she asked. Thomas sighed, and cast a sideways glance at Nia.
“I miss Ashima.” he said. Nia of course had no clue who Ashima was, but could tell by his tone that it was someone special.
“She was a special engine to you, eh?” she asked. Thomas nodded quietly. Nia released a cloud of steam.
“Why not tell Sir Topham Hat about it? He wants to get all of his engines something for Christmas, you know. Maybe he can get you something to remind you of her? I've asked him for a new headlamp. Mine is old and wearing out.” she said. Thomas forced a smile.
“I can remember her just fine, Nia. That's the problem. It hurts to remember her. I never even told her how I felt, and she probably doesn't even remember me at this point. She has a life back in India, and I'm sure she's busy with it. I just wish I could forget her and move on.” he said, before closing his eyes.
Nia watched him as he fell asleep.
“Well, maybe it still couldn't hurt to ask, eh?” she said to herself, deciding to mention Thomas's wish to the Fat Controller in the morning.
. . .
When Thomas woke up the next morning, he was alone in the sheds. All of the other engines had already gone.
“Oh dear, I'm late!” he said to himself, quickly rushing out of the shed. He quickly ran to fetch Annie and Clarabel, but discovered that they weren't in their shed.
“Whose got my coaches?” he asked aloud. Emily puffed over.
“Sir Topham Hat had Nia take them today. She left the sheds early today for some reason, and she's been assigned all of your jobs today. You have the day off. How lucky!” she told Thomas. Thomas was confused.
“Why would he have given Nia all of my jobs? At least having jobs partially distracted me from Ashima.” he muttered, slowly chuffing to the docks. When he wasn't busy, he sometimes found himself staring out at the ocean, wondering what Ashima was doing across the ocean in her home of India.
Today in particular, he was staring at the ocean in silence, imagining a ship on the horizon heading towards Sodor with Ashima on board. A tear rolled down his cheek as he tried to force all thoughts of the beautiful mountain engine from his boiler.
“There's nothing I can do to bring her back, might as well stop thinking about it. Maybe I'll go watch the children play in the fields.” he said, backing away from the sea side.
. . .
Earlier that same morning
Nia opened her eyes, and glanced at her surroundings. All of the other engines were still asleep. Perfect. She could go see Sir Topham Hat without the others knowing. Especially Thomas. She knew he would be cross if he knew that she was going to tell Sir Topham Hat about his personal problems.
Once her fire was built up, she quietly puffed out of the sheds, and onto the mainline. It was so early, the sun hadn't even begun to rise yet, and the air was brisk and icy cold. As she puffed through all of the smaller stations, she smiled as she looked at all of the Christmas decorations glowing in the dark. Strings of lights and tinsel hung from the roofs and trees.
Once she arrived at Knapford Station, she slowed to a stop. Sir Topham Hat, who was in his office filling out paperwork, noticed Nia, and came out to see what the problem was.
“Hello Nia. What could have possibly persuaded you to be up this early?” he asked. Nia smiled.
“Good morning Sir. I wanted to talk to you about Thomas.” she said. At the mention of the number one engine's name, his smile faded.
“Thomas. Have you noticed his change in behavior these past few days? I think something is bothering him, but it doesn't seem like he wants to say what. It's beginning to affect his work. I might have to give him some time off if it keeps up.” Sir Topham Hat said.
“I know what's bothering him, Sir.” she said. Sir Topham Hat looked at her, intrigued.
“You do? Did he tell you, or is this just a guess?” he asked. Nia bit her lip.
“He told me, last night. I know he'd prefer that I not tell you, but I really want to help him, and you're the one to ask. He misses Ashima. I don't know who that is, but he's talked about her before. Whoever she is, he had some feelings for her, and really misses her. I think he wants to see her again.” she said. Sir Topham Hat removed his hat and held it in his hands.
“I should have known. He mentioned yesterday something about the only thing he wanted for Christmas was “her.” I didn't know who he was talking about, but it would make sense that it would be Ashima. I knew those two had been close, but I didn't think they were that close.” he sighed. Nia thought.
“He never told her. I think that is Thomas's biggest regret.” she said. Sir Topham Hat looked towards Nia.
“Well, maybe there's something I can do. After all, I want to get all of my engines something special this year, and I think having Ashima here would be very special to Thomas. I'll see what I can do. Why don't you take over for Thomas today. Maybe having a day off will help cheer him up some.” he said. Nia perked up.
“Oh, yes Sir! I love working with his coaches!” she said eagerly. The Fat Controller smiled and walked back into his office. Without hesitation, he picked up his telephone, and made a call.
. . .
Within four days, it had begun to snow. Thomas was huffily chuffing along his branch line with his snow plow attached, which didn't improve at all. If anything, it made it worse. Annie and Clarabel had tried to cheer him up, but even they couldn't get him to smile.
As Thomas stopped at the next station, he noticed Nia sitting in a siding, taking on water. Once she saw him, she smiled.
“Hello Thomas! How are you today?” she asked. Thomas merely harrumphed in response. Nia's smile faded.
“Oh. Still feeling down? Well cheer up, it's almost Christmas! Maybe you'll have a Christmas miracle!” she said grinning cheekily as she puffed away. Thomas watched her go, and felt bad that he hadn't said hello, but he just didn't feel like being social.
“Thomas, why didn't you say anything to Nia? She's such a sweet engine, and was only trying to be friendly.” Clarabel said. Thomas sighed.
“I know that, but I just... would prefer keeping to myself right now. Maybe after Christmas I'll get better.” Thomas sighed.
“You don't want to lose friends just because you're in a slump.” Annie said. Thomas knew she was right, but tried to ignore her words anyway. He blew his whistle, and left the station.
Christmas was tomorrow, and for the first time ever, Thomas wasn't looking forward to it in the slightest.
As the sun rose on Christmas morning, all on Sodor was silent. There wasn't a peep from any engine, bus, or helicopter. The rails were as silent as the towns. Everyone was still asleep, having pleasant dreams of Christmasy things. A gentle blanket of snow covered the entire island, giving everyone the white Christmas magic. But, at the docks, there was something happening.
A medium sized cargo ship had just pulled in, and Carly was waiting for the ships top cargo doors to open, so she could unload the fragile cargo inside.
“Where is this ship from?” she asked Cranky, who looked at the writing on the side of the ship.
“India. Right on time.” he replied.
. . .
“Merry Christmas everyone!” Sir Topham Hat said as the Tidmouth Shed doors opened. All of the engines slowly woke up, before remembering that it was indeed Christmas.
“Merry Christmas Sir!” they all replied. Sir Topham Hat smiled.
“Everyone's gifts are ready. Emily, you have the day to spend at Ulfstead Castle, James, Victor is waiting for you at the Steamworks so you can get your new coat of paint, and Nia, you may go with James to the Steamworks. Your new headlamp is ready to be fitted.” he said, continuing to tell all the engines about their gifts. Finally, he came to Thomas, who looked indifferent to it being the holiday.
“Thomas, you must go to the docks to find your surprise.” Sir Topham Hat said. Thomas was a little confused.
“But Sir, I didn't ask for anything.” he said. Sir Topham Hat smiled.
“Maybe not, but I think I had a good idea of what you wanted anyway. I don't think you'll want to miss it.” he said, walking back towards his blue car. He was off to spend Christmas with Dowager and Lady Hat.
“Go on Thomas. Maybe whatever it is will cheer you up!” Edward said as he was puffing out of his berth. Thomas sighed, but decided he might as well. Staying in his berth all day wasn't going to help his mood any.
He puffed along the mainline for a good twenty minutes or so, going slowly to take care on the icy tracks.
Eventually, he arrived at the docks. Cranky and Carly were sitting there quietly, not having anything to do. The Sodor Railway didn't run on Christmas, so there was no incoming cargo.
“There's nothing here. The Fat Controller must have made a mistake.” he said, before stopping at the side track to gaze out onto the cold ocean waves. He heard a gentle puffing sound come from behind him, and stop at his side.
“I don't think there was any mistake. Or was I not what you wanted?” asked a voice. A very familiar voice. Thomas's firebox grew warm as he slowly looked to his right.
There, sitting next to him with a smile warm enough to melt the snow off of the entire island, was Ashima!
“Oh dear. I must be really far gone now. I'm seeing things.” he muttered to himself, turning his gaze back to the ocean. Ashima giggled, and blew her whistle, jerking Thomas from his trance.
“Do I look like something that's not real? I've been wanting to see you again very much you know.” she said. Thomas's eyes widened as he realized that Ashima was really there.
“Ashima!? It is you! It's really you! But how...” he said rapidly, looking to her for an explanation. Ashima blushed.
“Well, back in India, I missed you a lot Thomas. And a few days ago, your controller called mine, and said that one of his engines wasn't doing so good, and he thought having me on his island to keep that engine company would make it better, so... he bought me. I'm part of your railway now.” she said, looking back to Thomas. Thomas could hardly contain his feelings.
“He bought you!? You mean... you're here to stay?!” he asked. Ashima smiled and nodded. Thomas was so happy, he blew his whistle for a solid fifteen seconds.
“Oh Ashima, there was so much I never got to tell you before you had to go! But now that you're here, I don't know how to tell you.” he said, still wanting to tell Ashima that he loved her. Ashima smiled.
“Well don't worry Thomas, we have forever to be together now. But since I'm here now, I want to spend time with you. Would you give me a tour of the island?” she asked. Thomas smiled.
“Of course I will! I know you'll love Sodor.” he said, reversing back off of the siding. As Ashima followed him, he watched her every puff.
“The goddess of all engines, and she's here to stay.” he thought to himself.
. . .
As Thomas showed Ashima all of the interesting sights of Sodor, in his mind he was still wondering how Sir Topham Hat knew that he missed Ashima so much.
“Thomas?” Ashima asked, clearing his thoughts.
“Yes Ashima?” he asked, slowing to a stop. Ashima was sitting a little bit behind him, looking at a snowman next to the track.
“What is this white fluff? Is it snow?” she asked, looking at the cold powder on the ground. Thomas smiled.
“Yeah! Snow is great, for the most part. It's fun to play in, and it is fun to try and catch snow flakes with your tongue. But it can also be dangerous if you're not careful.” he said.
“And people can build things out of it?” she asked. Thomas nodded, and they began puffing again as he explained further.
“Sure! They can build small homes, snowmen, snow engines, anything you can think of as long as there's enough of it.” he said.
Thomas and Ashima stopped at Ulfstead Castle, the Whispering Woods, and even the Quarry. Ashima enjoyed all of it, but maybe it wasn't the sights she was enjoying.
After a little while, she stopped at a siding that overlooked the ocean. Thomas turned around, and pulled on the same siding directly in front of her, so they could face each other. Thomas was going to ask why she had stopped, but he wouldn't have been able to speak if he tried.
Ashima was gazing at him with her beautiful eyes, a rather intense blush on her face. She blinked slowly, letting her perfect eyelashes rise and fall. Thomas felt his boiler grow hot, and grew nervous.
“Thomas...” Ashima started. “India just didn't feel like home after I met you. I missed you so much, I nearly bored all the other engines to death talking about you. But it was the only way I could remember you. But now that I'm here permanently, and will get to see you everyday, I know that I'm home now.” she said, never taking her eyes off of Thomas.
“Ashima... I was miserable without you. For a while, I was able to focus on other things, but eventually, I just couldn't get you out of my mind. I really thought I'd never see you again, and that just made my firebox cold. I even thought you had probably forgotten about me entirely.” he admitted, before continuing. “The Fat Controller asked me a while back what I wanted for Christmas, but I didn't tell him anything. I didn't actually think there was anything he could do. I just couldn't tell him, or anyone else how I felt about you. I wanted to tell you first...” he trailed off. Ashima's pressure gauge skyrocketed at Thomas's words.
“By the time the Great Railway Show had finished, I discovered that I liked you... a lot.” he said. “I... I fell in love with you that day. I've never felt about an engine as strongly as I feel about you.” he finished, closing his eyes, waiting for Ashima to laugh at his words, and call him a silly engine. But Ashima didn't laugh. She didn't tease him. Instead... she cried.
“Oh Thomas, you have no idea how long I've wanted to hear those words.” she said, letting her tears flow freely. She puffed closer to him, and leaned her forehead against his. “I didn't honestly know how I felt about you Thomas, until I thought I'd never see you again. By then, it was already to late. I cried most of the trip home, thinking that I would never get to see you again, or tell you how I felt.” she sobbed. Thomas pushed his buffers into hers for comfort.
“There was only one thing I wanted for Christmas...” Thomas started.
“Something that I didn't think was possible to have...” Ashima continued. The E2 class tank engine and the Nigiri Mountain class tank engine looked at each other, off in their own world together.
“The only thing I wanted for Christmas... was you.” they whispered together, looking deep into each others eyes. All other sounds faded as the two of them slowly closed the gap between their faces, until there was nothing left. Thomas and Ashima's lips met gently, brushing against each other in a tender, but meaningful kiss.
The magical feeling lingered around them as the shared the kiss for several minutes, eventually going a little deeper into it. Ashima forced Thomas's mouth open with her tongue, and Thomas let her. As they made out, tears of joy poured from their eyes. Thomas pushed his tongue back at Ashima's, eliciting a small moan from the Indian tank engine.
Eventually, the broke contact, and stared at each other.
“I love you so much Ashima, that not having you around nearly killed me.” Thomas whispered. Ashima blinked slowly, and gave Thomas a serious sultry gaze.
“Well I'm here now, forever and ever. We have all the time in the world.” she replied, coupling herself to Thomas's linkage. The two engines pressed their foreheads together, and closed their eyes.
“All the waiting... all the pain...” Ashima whispered.
“It was worth it all for this moment.” Thomas finished. As the sun began to set on the two engines, a gentle snow began to fall.
“I love you Ashima. More than I've ever loved anything. More than I thought it possible to love someone.” Thomas whispered. Ashima nuzzled his face with her cheek.
“I love you more than life itself. More than anyone could ever know, my Thomas.” she replied. The two of them sat for a few more minutes, sharing each others warmth, before opening their eyes.
“You know, I don't have a place to stay yet, although Sir Topham Hat assured me I would stay at Tidmouth. Perhaps... I could... convince you to let me stay with you tonight?” Ashima breathed quietly, nuzzling Thomas's face. Thomas's breath became shaky.
“I suppose you could... somehow.” he replied. Ashima peppered Thomas with small kisses from her tender lips, and looked down at the ground.
“What is an engine to do? New home, nowhere to stay... a cold winters night...” she trailed off, looking back at Thomas, who was about to blow a gasket. He gently tugged at Ashima's coupling, leading her back onto the mainline.
“I'll drag you to my berth myself if I have to. I'm sure all the others will be occupied for quite a while. We'll have the whole shed to ourselves.” he said. Ashima's eyes brightened.
“Oh, is that so? Well then...” she paused, giving Thomas some heavily lidded eyes. “Maybe we can make some of the pleasants dreams I'm sure we've both had about each other a little closer to the reality side, and show just how much we've missed each other.” she said, pushing Thomas on to the sheds. No more was said.
No more was needed to be said.
As the two engines made their way back to Tidmouth for a night of Christmas magic, they both realized that Christmas Miracles really can happen.
And sometimes... sometimes they're worth everything to wait for.