This little ficlet is for strangecreature & chlare who are my Lindsey and Angel. To novascotiasam who is always my biggest Lindsey chearleader.
Merry Christmas one and all. [I could list all the holidays but this Jew likes Christmas. lol]
Title: First Christmas
Author: Nora [remember_nomore/simply_shiny]
Word Count: 2114 [I don't think this could be called 'ficlet' as it was intended...]
Authors Note: I think this is somewhere in the verse of Headlights & Dark Roads [which I fully intend to finish this year! For my Lindsey and Angel who love my girl endlessly.
“Do I have to go in there?” he wasn’t whining, Lindsey McDonald didn’t whine.
“You said you wanted to do this, it was your idea remember?” Angel reminded him, getting ready to drag the former lawyer into the store if he had to. “It’s not for you or me.”
“It’s for her,” he sighed, picking his feet up and moving his way into the store, eyeing everyone around him shifty. “I told you, places like this just…they.”
Angel groaned and Lindsey stopped the words, knowing that the dark haired man was at his limit. Looking around, Angel adjusted his jacket and made his way through the isle, pointing when he found what he was looking for. “How many do you think we need?”
“One isn’t enough?” Angel was silent. “Damnit. I don’t know, thirty I guess.”
“It’s eight feet tall, you picked it out.” It was that moment he knew he had spent too much time around Cordelia when he resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “How about we get one hundred and whatever is left over will get put under it in the box.” If he was going to be drug into this he was going to do it right, she was his girl after all.
“Fine. White, I guess works best. Oh, and don’t forget the holders.” Lindsey’s tone was changing, the image of their plan starting to form solidly in his mind and knowing the look she’d have on her face…It was enough to quiet his fears for a while. “Silver ones, with the hooks under it. Oh, and we need some of those long things that…These.” Lindsey started to get into what he was doing and quickly moved around the store, Angel shaking his head as he walked behind him.
Such a domestic moment seemed normal to anyone who spotted them, two men walking through a store, one pushing a cart while the other piled it full. If anything they’d laugh at the sight of the two of them; then again so would anyone who knew them.
“We’re done…right?” Angel arched his brow, looking at the shorter man as he glanced down at the cart that couldn’t fit any more. “I’m not sure how you managed to go from Grinch to this…” A tiny smile played at the corner of his mouth. “Have you decided to get medicine for those mood swings…”
“Shut up, soul boy.” Lindsey shot at him over his shoulder, pulling the edge of the cart to the front of the store. “There is nothing wrong with me.”
“Shame, if there was then I was going to have to strap you to the bed and take care of you.”
“Who say’s I’ve got to be sick for that…”
“I don’t want to come off as a sadistic bastard or anything.”
Lindsey’s eyes twinkled as he looked behind him. “You know, my throat has been a bit sore…” With that he proceeded to act out the worlds weakest fake cough that only made the vampire chuckle and shake his head. “Let’s get out of here before the store closes and we’re stuck here all night.”
Lindsey’s all too happy mood faded quickly when they got back to the hotel, the convertible loaded down with bags and he spotted it sitting in the lobby in all it’s glory. It was eight feet, if not more and almost live enough to reach out and snatch him off his feet.
“Come on. I didn’t pick out all this crap.”
“It’s not crap. Like you said in the store; it’s for her.”
“Uhhuh.” Angel grunted, his arms loaded with bags as he made his way through the hotel doors and disappeared into the lobby.
Lindsey picked up a box filled with wax candles, all one hundred and eighteen that the store had on their shelves, and memories started to prickle the back of his mind, burning into his skin like a bad sunburn. It wasn’t about then, it wasn’t about the spells and magic. Tonight wasn’t about lighting candles to summon a demon or open some gateway in Wolfram and Hart’s basement.
Tonight was about her and the fact that Lindsey did something ‘old day’s’ and happened to find her book and he accidentally read something he shouldn’t have…
It’s been a few years since I’ve even thought of having a real Yule tradition like momma and I had when I was younger. I don’t even think I’ve had a tree except that one-year in Sunnydale with Willow; but Ms. Kitty attacked it dead long before the holiday really took off.
There are times I miss it and then there are times that I can’t imagine doing it without momma. She’d make cider and while Donnie and my father were out hunting we’d have a quiet weekend to ourselves. The box of decorations would be out of the attic before they were even out of the driveway and we’d have what she joked as the worlds quickest celebration.
I do think about what’s to come, I’m earthbound for the foreseeable future and I know I should live my life instead of letting myself be trapped by ghosts.
What I’d like one year is an old fashioned tree; something like they used to have in the old day’s before people would swear when the stringed lights were tangled. Maybe a tree that glowed and had love on almost every branch; something warm that said ‘I’m home’ when you looked at it instead of something so commercial and ‘new’.
“Will you come help me?” Angel was getting snippy again, this was all Lindsey’s idea and now he was just standing there while the still bare eight-foot tree tilted to the left in the middle of the hotel. “You are the one that started this and I don’t think that Tara had a crooked tree in mind when she thought of this.” Angel sighed and pulled off his jacket, letting it rest over the round couch in the middle of the lobby, before crouching down to adjust the stand. “How exactly did you two come about talking about this again?”
“It just…came up the other night.”
“You two have strange pillow talk when I work cases.”
“Yeah,” he breathed shortly, running a hand through his hair hoping that the conversation was dropped and an argument avoided. Lindsey pushed the box of candles aside with his boot, ignoring it and going to another bag of decorations instead.
Angel stood up and looked up at the tree, satisfied at it’s stature he turned to Lindsey and watched as he carefully unpacked all of the bags, ignoring the candles that obviously needed to go on the tree first. “Lindsey…” his tone was soft at first, but turned harsher when he was ignored. “What’s going on?”
“Nothin’,” he mumbled, running his fingers through his hair roughly as he started to pull packages of bells open, the sound echoing against the high ceilings of the hotel.
“You can’t lie to me, you never could. You’re the one that came to me and told me about Tara wanting a tree with candles and now I can’t even get you to look at them.” Lindsey replied with a mumble that even Angel couldn’t put together. “What?” His patients were running thin despite his feelings towards the younger man.
“I don’t like candles.” Lindsey shook his head an stood up, looking over the tree with inspecting eyes, ignoring the looks he was getting from Angel. “Haven’t you ever noticed? They…”
Angel’s eyes narrowed with disbelief. “Don’t tell me that...”
“Haven’t you ever noticed that every time you need a spell done for a case that I’m the one that suddenly goes missing? I don’t go into the magic store; candles and me don’t go together.” He sighed heavily. “They remind me of the firm and all the fucked up things that go on. Do you know if you say the wrong word in front of one and a strand of hair gets burned in the flame that person will most likely end up dead the next day?”
“Breathe.” Angel sighed and softened a bit, finally realizing that Lindsey might be done with the firm, but it was far from done with him. “We don’t force things in this relationship. Tara isn’t like the witches the firm uses, she’d never hurt a hair on that head of yours.” He leaned in and smirked at Lindsey. “Unless you touch that spot; you know the one on her neck when…” Instead of finishing the sentence he kissed Lindsey’s neck in just the spot he was talking about; remembering how each time either one did it to the girl they ended up with a head full of Tara fingers.
Slowly Angel pulled away, resting his hand on Lindsey’s face and letting their eyes meet. “You’re fine now, remember?”
“I know. This is what Tara wanted and even if the thought of touching wax makes my spine feel like nails on a chalk board we’re going to finish this tree.” He was determined now and he knew that his discomfort would be minimal compared to the joy that would be all over his girls face when she walked in from her errands. “We should start, she’ll be home soon…”
Quick footsteps hit the wet pavement as Tara hurried back to the hotel, her bag weighing down on her shoulder with neatly wrapped presents for the two most important men in her life. An empty journal for Angel with three pressed Lilly petals pressed into the front cover from when he first arrived on her doorstep, pleading insanity for blowing up at her when he found out she was friends with Lindsey. And an equally empty notebook with lines for a musician to fill with notes, with a letter on the back page about her feelings and the image she sees of him after their time together.
Simple gifts for two complicated men that managed to claw their way into her heart with their stubborn determination and seemingly endless devotion they showed individually.
Tara isn’t sure how they ended up in the relationship and bond that they have now, not when she looks back at the beginning and remembers nothing but fists, fangs and jealousy. It took some time and a lot of heartache for them to realize that any combination of two would be missing something profound without the third.
Why should any of them have to go without something so willingly near?
The wind picked up and she bundled herself tighter, wondering what the day brought the men and if there was some case that needed to be finished or if all was well in the world for a moment.
Pulling her hands out of her pockets, Tara pressed her hands onto the wooden frame of the hotel doors and entered as she had so many times before. “I’m ho-” her words were cut off as she took in the room before her. Her eye’s lit up as she walked further into the hotel; her messenger bag slipping from her shoulder and onto the floor as she took measured steps down the stairs. “What…” breathlessly she looked at both men, a small smile quirked her lips as she watched them trying to fit into place in such a ‘normal’ setting. “A tree…you.”
“We got you a tree. I guess…” The tree stood over them, all the lights off in the hotel lobby except for the delicately lit candles that covered the tree, the light reflected against the silver bells on nearby branches. It looked like something out of a christmas tale.
“It’s our first Christmas together so why not enjoy it as a family.” Lindsey smiled and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Do you like it darlin’?”
She grinned and touched his face, leaning up to kiss him gently before wrapping him in a hug. “This is…” Her eyes met with Angel’s as she disentangled herself from Lindsey and moved to him. “How…”
“I guess you wouldn’t believe elves.”
Laughing she shook her head. “I believe in fairies, the verdict is still out on elves.” Tara hugged him tightly and rested her cheek against his chest, looking up at the tree that towered over her that was lit brightly by only the candles that adorned its limbs. “Angel?” she whispered, “I don’t think the hotel insurance covers this many candles…”
“I know,” he groaned into her hair, shooting Lindsey a look as he walked closer, their eyes meeting and causing his dark eyes to soften. “We’ll take care of that later…” He smiled. “I think Lindsey bought mistletoe…”