Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 127

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 127: Holiday Spirit

If you were to ask him, Tim would tell you that Abby is one of the most capable people he knows. You need something done, Abby will shift heaven and earth to get it done.

That this is true has in no way negated the fact that he took one look at her with several hundred feet of Christmas lights, a lighting schematic, seven wreathes, (six little ones for the front windows, one big one for the door) a twenty foot ladder, and the tools necessary to attach said items to the house, and immediately took all of those things away from her and declared that he'd decorate the outside of the house.

It's not that he's feeling any burning need for a decorated house, let alone one bright enough to be seen from space. (First Christmas in the new house, and Abby's pulling out all the stops.) But there is no way in hell his pregnant wife is getting up on a ladder to drape lights all over their snow and ice encrusted house.

No fucking way!

Which is also not to say he's particularly enjoying the experience. It snowed twice last winter and twice the winter before that, so to make up for 2012 and 2013, 2014 was steadily dumping inch after inch of snow on them.

And in specific it's dumping inch after inch on him as he hangs more and more lights on the house.

And, though he wouldn't say it, while he was putting them up, he was sure this was going to be tacky as hell. The newest addition to the 'let's ogle homes decorated by people with too much free time and no taste' tour. (Okay, sure, they don't call it that, but every year Tony goes on the tour and brings back photos of the most incredibly tasteless Christmas decorations in the DC area.)

The "McGee" House
But once it was actually up, and he walked back to the edge of their property, it looked pretty good.

In fact, the house outlined in small white lights, wreaths in all the windows, circling a glowing candle (on the inside, Abby must have gotten them up while he was on the roof), more lights circling porch railing and posts, and, well, yeah, that looked really good.

He shot some photos of it, and, softly glowing house through a haze of thick, downy snowflakes was pretty damn close to a Hallmark Christmas Card house.

Abby came out a minute later, SLR in hand. (Yeah she takes a lot of photos on her phone, but her art shots are done on an old SLR, film, camera. If you've got three hours, she'll tell you all about how she did the artwork in her lab.)

"It's perfect!" She sounded a little breathless as she said it, rapidly shooting pics.

"Thanks." He smiled a little. Not moving anymore means the cold is staring to really settle into him, and he knows in a minute his teeth'll be chattering.

"I've got hot chocolate on the stove."

"Thank you!" That sounded significantly more heartfelt than the previous thanks. "I'm frozen!"

"Thought you would be." She took half a dozen more shots. "It's really beautiful." She kissed him, pressing in as close as she could with both of them fully bundled for winter.

"You designed it. I just put it up."

She smiled at that. "Still, I want you to know I appreciate you spending two hours in the snow, which I know you don't like, putting them up for me."

He nodded, and they headed in.

He was laying on the sofa, savoring the hot chocolate and reading.

"How is it?" Abby asks, basket of holly in her arms.

"So good!" It's super dark chocolate, laced with chocolate liquor, rich with lots of milk, spiced with cinnamon, and piled high with whipped cream. He hasn't had any chocolate since their honeymoon, and this is so good it hurts. He's pretty good about the no sugar stuff, but occasional treats make life worth living.

Abby was decorating the living room, literally decking the hall with boughs of holly.

Tim put down What To Expect When You're Expecting, took another sip, and said, "Books says this is about when morning sickness usually starts."

"Not gonna happen," she said as she draped holly over their mantle.

His eyebrows rise. He was mentioning it because maybe adding saltines or something like that to the grocery list might be a good plan, but she's sounding awfully certain. "Abby?"

"Kelly and I had a chat, and I explained that I save people's lives and put killers away, and being tired all the time was already slowing me down, so I can't be tossing my cookies on top of that. She told me she understood, and thus, there will be no morning sickness."

"Okay." A few thoughts hit Tim, but he figured he could wrap most of them into a one word question. "Kelly?"

She turned toward him and grinned. "Kelly McGee. She's gonna have dark blond hair, green eyes, and love games."

That was a mental image he could get behind. (Okay, that was a mental image that made him ridiculously happy.) Then one more thought hit him. "Is Jethro going to be okay with that?"

Abby looked perplexed. "Why wouldn't he be?"

"I don't know, salt in an old wound? Every time he sees her, she won't be his Kelly."

"Oh." Abby thought about it. "Then we'll ask him first."



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