All I want for Christmas is....

From the Story Arc: Green and Red: A Christmas Story

Previous Story in the Arc: A Very Thorny Christmas by Bestial Boy (Monday, December 27, 2004)

(posted Tuesday, December 28, 2004)

NYET! NO! NEIN! NOOOOOooooo!

Carpathia wailed as she saw the smoke rolling from her stove. Running in, she choked and coughed her way to the kitchen window and shoved it open so she could see. Turning around, she expected the dinner she had been warming to be in charred cinders on top of or in the stove. But instead, she saw a pot holder which had gotten too close to the burner and had caught fire. Grabbing the thing with a pair of tongs, she tossed it into the sink and turned on the faucet, dousing the flames. She opened the balcony door and every window in her apartment so the smoke could leave and sat about lighting every candle she could get her hands on. The phone rang and she sighed, "Is one thing after another".

"Hallo?"

"Carpathia, child, is everything all right? I heard the smoke alarm and smell something dreadful from up there."

Car groaned, "Ja, is all right. Pot holder is being caught fire. Is out and am being airing apartment out now. Danka for concern, Mrs. Murphey."

"Well, be careful, dear. And Merry Christmas." Mrs. Murphey hung up and Car went back to getting everything ready for Dr. Night and Zach to come.

She wore a simple pair of black slacks and an ivory sweater. She'd left her hair down and applied her makeup with care.

At precisely 6:30, the doorbell rang and there stood Dr. Night. Smiling, she leaned down, kissing him soundly on the cheek after removing his hat briefly. Laughing at the shocked look on his face, she pointed up, "Is Mistletoe. Is tradition to kiss person under it, ja?"

She could tell he was smiling and he nodded, "Yes, Miss Carpathia. It's tradition. Merry Christmas."

She smiled widely. "Be welcome to home! Please to be coming in!" She stepped back and allowed him to enter. He handed her a nice bottle of white wine that he said the man at the wine store said would go well with turkey very well. His nose turned up a bit, " Do I smell smoke?"

Blushing, she laughed, "Ja, pot holder was being caught fire."

Nodding, he went into the living room and stopped dead still at her tree. Not only was it huge, but looked like something off a showroom floor.

"Did you decorate your own tree, Miss Carpathia?"

Car beamed happily, "Ja! Is it not beautiful!"

"Yes, it is. Very beautiful. I wanted to say thank you for the invitation." Looking ill at ease, he looked around and said quietly, "I hope I have not put you in danger by accepting."

Car waved him off and "psh"ed him. "Doctor (sounding more like "Dok-tour") you are being friend. Is risk I am being willing to be taking. Please to be making self comfortable."

She left him to do what he wished while she put the wine in the fridge to chill. While she was checking dinner, the doorbell rang.

Smiling at Dr. Night, who sat on the sofa looking as if he'd bolt at any moment, she walked to the front door and opened it, immediately bursting out laughing at the very large, stuffed green teddy bear.

"OH! Is green!" Looking around it at Zach, "Merry Christmas, Zachary." Leaning over, she planted a kiss on Zach's mouth and he returns it quite enthusiastically. Grinning, she pulls back as he stammers, blushing a darker green, "What was that for?"

"Is Mistletoe!" Pointing up at the sprig of the plant hanging in her doorframe.

Zach grined widely, "Remind me to pull you out here a lot tonight."

Blushing, she giggled and took the bear and noticed the other things he'd brought, "You have brought too much!" She took the flowers he handed her and put them in a vase with some water and sat them on a table in the living room so she could enjoy them.

"Nah, it's good. Just the right amount."

She then sat the bear by the hearth, where the 2 little bears sat atop the mantle. She pointed for Zach to place his gifts beneath the tree to wait for later.

About that time, the timer for dinner rang and she hustled off into the kitchen. She soon returned with a huge platter with the turkey, then the carp, then the sides, rolls, and other "fixings", as Mrs. Murphey had called them, to set them all out on the table. Dr. Night, of course, tried to help, but she ran him out of her kitchen with the order to sit down and enjoy himself, relaxing.

She called the 2 men when everything was ready and they all sat down. She said grace, thanking God for all they had been provided, for friends and family, near or far, and asked God to provide them with strength to continue their daily fight against the evils of the world.

She carved the turkey and served everyone some and served herself some of the carp and they were soon eating and talking, enjoying themselves, laughing, and such until it was time for desert. She returned with the pies and whipped topping, then went back for the coffee.

They went to the living room for desert and the opening of the presents. She presented Dr. Night with a large box wrapped very prettily. "I have found I am just as inept wrapping gifts as I am being at cooking."

Dr. Night and Zach looked confused. Zach blinked, "But dinner was great, Red."

Laughing, she nodded, "Da! It should be! I did not make it!" She laughed her way through the explanation and all that had happened, by the time she'd finished, tears of laughter had coursed down her face and the 2 men sat laughing with her, she realized. Not at her.

Dr. Night opened the box to reveal a VERY nice, black fedora with a charcoal grey band. She could tell he liked the gift by the look in his eyes as he looked up at her. It was obvious he did not expect a gift. She patted his knee with a smile, "Merry Christmas, Friend." She'd said friend very deliberately and he managed a slight nod.

She then looked at Zach and handed him 2 boxes. He opened the larger of the two first and inside were 2 giraffes, their necks wrapped around each others. Cute thing was that one's spots were green and the other's spots were red. Car beamed happily and he laughed, "It's us!" Nodding, she grinned wider, "Open other gift!"

He ripped the paper off the smaller box and inside was a small pad of paper that stapled on the side. It appeared to be a coupon booklet, but it was hand made. It read on the front "Coupons to shop at Carpathia's". He looked confused as he began to flip through it, then delight as he read what some of the coupons said, "Free: One Kiss", "Free: One Back Rub", "Free: One Date At Home", and "Free: One Date On The Town". There were other more personal coupons as well. Grinning, he looked up at her when she said, "Is more in box!"

Looking back into the box, he saw a long slender jewelry box in cobalt blue. He picked it up and opened it to find a very nice, watch inside. It wasn't the most expensive watch money could buy, but it was a nice watch. He picked it up as she sat, looking like she was on pins and needles, "Be looking on back". He turned it over and there on the back was inscribed, 1st line "Fire&Brimstone" (Tight fit), 2nd line "1st X-Mas" (Christmas, of course, wouldn't fit), 3rd line "2004". He looked up at her, stunned. She smiled widely, "You are liking?" He nodded and hugged her tightly, then gave her her gifts. She cried her way, although happily, through her gifts, immediately putting the beautiful ornament on her tree, the flowers she had already put in water and immediately found a nail and hammer to hang the picture in the frame. She smiled through her tears, "Is best Christmas ever!"

Dr. Night soon excused himself, wearing his new fedora and carrying his old one. She smiled happily.

Zach helped her clean up from dinner and they soon sat down and watched "White Christmas" together, curled up on the sofa with each other. She leaned against him, her head on his shoulder, able to hear his heart. She smiled.

"Merry Christmas, Zach."