Disclaimer: This is a work of fan-fiction. The here fore used don’t belong to me (though I’d wish some of them did) and I just borrowed them. The only profit I hope to achieve with this is the pure pleasure of the reader, so no copyright infringement intended. Please do not sue me, I don’t have money and won’t be getting some from this story.
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Author’s notes: The story is set after the final episode of the show, the castle was destroyed, yes, but it had been rebuilt and Derek survived the explosion somehow and is alive (anyway, I won’t even go into explaining how he survived that onslaught and is now alive again, just take that as given that this little fic happens some time after TBW and he lives, so deal with it).
This one is my first try at writing something lighter, something more fun so I hope you’ll like it. Since it was my first time writing fun stuff and I am always told that I have a strange sense of humour, please go easy on me with the flaming, I do like getting a nice tan during summer, but since it is winter, I don’t; and besides extra crispy doesn’t look that good on me *g*.
A little warning though, the story has no plot whatsoever and is plainly meant for fun purposes, do if you do expect that, don’t start reading it. Maybe I’ll get one like that for you next year. The story is also un-betaed and my first language is not English, so please forgive any mistakes in grammar or funny sounding English.
(…) are just the ramblings of the joker who wrote this (namely me)
italics stand for the tiny little voices in your head...er the voices inside one of the characters heads (wonder who the annoying speaker is anyway)
Special thanks to my two good friends Pari, who reminded me to write this one in the first place and Kiva, who really cheered me up enough to finish this one and helped me find a fitting method of payback, so thank you. You both encouraged me to boldly go where I have never gone before in writing – to comedy (so for all that follows from this point on, I cannot be blamed for ;)).
‘twas the week before Christmas
It was the week before Christmas and everything seemed to go to hell. Well, that was to be taken figuratively but since it was the Legacy involved, everything was possible.
The House stood silent
high above the cliffs on
Inside it was not that silent and definitely not that peaceful like it had been on the outside. But that were things to come. It was still early in the morning and the mansion was empty, save the few folks who actually lived there and the many invisible ones who cleaned up the huge castle, prepared the meals (come on, since we haven’t seen our ‘heroes’ doing that, there must be someone doing it) and the very dangerously short-lived job the butler owned for himself. Nick Boyle was already awake and had gone for his morning run around the island, to get himself in shape or to remain in shape or whatever (does he really need to, the shape he is in is really worth to look at…especially without having any clothes on… anyway back to the story). He did that every morning for these very reasons and had managed to conceal the true reason with it pretty well.
In the kitchen the breakfast already was prepared by one of these invisible magic helpers (who since they hadn’t a sentence on the show have a good chance of staying alive a bit longer) and the scent of the freshly brewed coffee swept through the mansion. Fresh croissants and eggs, and pancakes and everything else stood on the table, ready to be eaten by the hungry pack of wolves that was about to come into the room for breakfast; well not just about now since Nick still was running around the island.
Derek Rayne just entered the kitchen room and plopped down on a chair at the table. He looked as if he’d had a rather wild night, his hair was a mess, standing out in every four directions and his shirt looked a bit different, it hung rather wrong down from him and he had failed to notice yet that some of the buttons were not properly closed. He had his eyes half closed and for an unsuspectingly visitor it looked as if he still was sleeping or sleepwalking or un-dead, which was not so uncommon concerning his work and all three combined would have been fit to describe the state he was in; every morning.
It took a while but Derek managed to get out of the kitchen after having drowned several cups of strong coffee. Once he was gone past the corner, the two female members of the House peeked into the room.
“Is he gone? Is it safe now to have breakfast?”
“Yes he is”, Rachel answered to her companion and Alex sighed in relief.
“Good, I cannot stand his ranting anymore about having his reports finished and god knows what else this time. By the way, have you seen what he looked like today?”
Christmas was approaching soon, there were only a few days left and the castle buzzed with excitement. It would be a day where all forces of evil would take off and keep it down a while. Afterwards they would be coming back full force, well rested and with new plans to take over the world. They would not need to get a tree decorated, well get the tree in the first place, or run around the city in search of gifts to give so that those who received them would only go back to the stores after the holidays to change them into something different. It was every year the same and it would continue to be that way, well for at least the next year but probably a good while longer, and on and on…
Derek was depressed (well
duh, as if you couldn’t tell by the rambling), he always was when a year ended.
It meant for him to finish all reports and send them as soon as possible, better
yesterday to the main House in
“Would you please shut up”, Derek sighed to nobody. “Someone is trying to concentrate here.”
The faint “Sorry!” in the back of his head made him sit upright and he silently cursed himself for giving in again to these unseen voices inside his head. He noticed then that the mail had been put on his desk by the current butler, one whose name he had forgotten already (doesn’t matter, he will be dead soon after having had a few lines – and he is not even wearing a red uniform) so to change his mind and focus his attention on something else, he went through the mail.
Meanwhile in the kitchen Rachel Corrigan and Alex Moreau were having their breakfast when Nick entered the room.
“Good morning, Nick”, they chorused loudly and Nick jumped back a bit, noticing the broad grins that were displayed on their faces. If it weren’t for the ears, they might have gone round the head he thought to himself.
“Well, a good morning to you, too”, he answered carefully and took his seat at the table. “I see that you seem to be having one already.”
He was about to get himself some coffee when he saw the mugs of coffee sitting in front of them and settled for some orange juice. If there was anything inside the dark liquid, it definitely had already gotten into them so he wanted to remain sane for the moment. There were some serious things ahead to do, and he had never belonged to those who believed that Christmastime meant time off for demons and other forces of evil. Suspiciously over the slice of bread he was eating he watched his female colleagues giggle and laugh at seemingly nothing.
He hurried to finish breakfast, but he felt whatever they had, it seemed to be contagious and a small grin spread out on his face too.
“So ladies”, he asked them with that evil grin that had appeared out of nowhere. “Did you have your Christmas shopping finished?”
Nick enjoyed the panicked expression on Alex’ face, he knew very well that she was one of these last-minute-shoppers and he also knew that she had a lot of work left before the holidays. He sipped his orange juice and even more enjoyed watching her squirm a little as she tried to convince him of the fact that she had done it already. It didn’t work very well though (hey as a fellow last-minute-shopper I can only say that much, don’t *ever* reveal it to your friends, they’ll get you every year with it)
“I for my part had them done already”, Rachel threw in, trying to save Alex. “What about you, Nick. What are you giving Derek this year? Not again some gun oil or what else that awful stuff was you gave him last year, aren’t you?”
“No”, came Nick’s reply, but it felt a bit insecure to her. “And it was not awful, he liked it.”
“Yeah, whatever”, Rachel also took another sip at her coffee and then glanced over to the watch. “Oh my god, I have to get Kat from her friend, we’re going to pick up a tree for the House. See you guys later.”
So it was Rachel’s duty this year to get the tree and decorate it. Alex also hurried to finish her breakfast so that she could get away from Nick before he would start again to tease her with the shopping for Christmas. So before he was able to start again with it, she bolted out of the room. Nick’s grin spread out and this time it almost went around his head.
In his office Derek had spent a great deal of the morning, well to be exact the whole morning, over his mail and more precisely one small package and its contents. Somebody had sent him some old scrolls with a plea for help with the translations. All the other mails had been either junk mail or some bills. But then he had found the small parcel and was extremely glad for the chance of a distraction. So he’d shoved the offending reports aside (do I need to mention that the fell accidentally off the table into the waste basket? thought so) and had started to straighten out the scrolls. The moment he wanted to begin with the translation, the first one had crumbled underneath his fingertips and dusted instantly.
The second one he handled with more care. Very slowly he touched it, almost gentle and tried to concentrate on the words that were written on it. The parchment the scrolls consisted of was old, that much he could tell from the disintegrated one, and they felt funny to touch. The words on it had been written neatly by someone who’d had a nice and readable handwriting; at this point Derek was extremely grateful for the invention of the computer for in some time when his writings would be found, they’d be on a disk and his handwriting would be much easier to decipher that way; but the colour was a bit off, like dried blood.
“Probably the scrolls are human skin.”
“Yeah, probably, why does it have to be human skin anyway, can’t it be some animal skin or what?”
“And what is it with the writing in blood kinda thing, isn’t that a bit lame?”
“Will you please finally shut up!” Derek willed his mind to get silent again. After the first few words he stood up to get himself some books from the library and another huge pot of coffee. He was sure he’d need it.
“Caffeine is not good for your circulation. Have some nice herbal tea instead.”
Nick had sat down inside the control room when Alex entered. He didn’t notice her at first but then she slammed down some folders on the table in front of him.
“Whatever it is, the answer is no”, Nick cut her off and turned around to face her. She sighed and put on her best smile, the most innocent one she knew he’d never been able to resist. Added to that the pleading look of her deep brown eyes he was lost, she knew it.
“But Nick, please”, she pouted and batted her eyelashes. “I really could use some help with these and you are the only one I could go to with. You are the only one who can give me the help I need. And I do have so much else to do now before the holiday season, I at least have some three more cases to solve and I only ask you to help me with one. Please, pretty please.”
There was that pout again and Nick melted.
“Okay, I’ll do it, I will help you…” he hadn’t finished his sentence when she again bolted out of the room, the faint thank you still hanging in the air where she’d stood.
“Ah, well”, Nick sighed and pulled the folders closer. “So then let’s see what she has given me this time to do, that only I am able to help her with.”
He opened the folder and quickly scanned the notes inside.
Rachel had collected her daughter from the friend’s house where she’d stayed for a sleepover and told her about the special mission.
“We are going to get the Christmas tree this year?!” Kat squealed with delight. “I mean, really we got to get the tree and decorate it?”
“Well, yes”, Rachel answered and tried to concentrate on the street and not get distracted by her daughter jumping up and down in the back of the car. “He probably didn’t want to have it decorated with all the fuse and foil and left over ammunition like last year when Nick got the job.”
“But it had such a nice angel on top of the tree”, Kat protested. It had been her who had helped decorating and putting it on the tree after all.
“Honey, that wasn’t an angel, it was …”then Rachel remembered that she’d have to explain what it really had been and corrected herself quickly. “Well, yes it has been; an unusual and bit misshapen angel. So where do you want to go first for the tree?”
Alex stormed the shops and threw herself into the chaos that was commonly called Christmas shopping. She had no idea what to get for the other ones, but that hadn’t stopped her the last year, or more the last years so she was determined to find something. So with all that determination and pure need to find something before Christmas actually came, she made her way through the lines and racks of gifts. Soon she found herself lost inside all the special offers for the holidays and all the other things that were sold only at this time of the year and her eyes gleamed with delight.
Nick fumed. How in the hell had he gotten himself into this? Again. He wasn’t quite sure, but he knew that it must have been some spell or something like that. Next to him a neat pile of folders stood on the table and seemed to grin innocently at him. Funny that all these grins had Alex’ face behind them. He sighed and took another one of the ever-growing pile of folders and started typing again on the computer.
It was well in the afternoon when Nick, who was still sitting in the control room typing, noticed the arrival of the women on the surveillance screen. He got up and stretched; his back aching from the long hours of sitting and his eyes burned a bit from watching the computer screen for that long; and walked towards the women to greet them. Oh, he would get Alex, he’d get her good. Payback could be such a bitch and he grinned inwardly already at the thoughts of things he’d do to her.
She had her hands full with packages and put them down inside the hall. That had been a very productive day, she thought to herself as she eyed all the packages. Then she noticed Nick and the way he glanced at her and she started to worry. She did her best though to hide it.
“Hi, Nick”, she greeted him with a friendly smile and to her surprise he smiled back.
“Hi, Alex”, he said, studying her closely; that innocent smile still on his lips. “I hope you had a nice day in town?”
“Ah, yes it was, thank you for asking, how was yours?” the moment she’d asked the question she instantly regretted it, knowing very well, what he’d been doing all day. The fact that his smile seemed to be frozen on his face and never wavered or changed made her a bit worry. In fact, it made her worry a lot and intensified her fears of what he’d do to her in return.
“Oh, it was nice actually. I had the chance to do a lot of work finished”, he put a little more emphasis on the last word.
“Well, that’s good then”, Alex still looked at him suspiciously, waiting for the blow but Nick also eyed her and still had this smile on his lips that sent shivers down her spine (well, it’d be shivers of pleasure if he would look at me that way, but then I’d do so much more…get back to innocent thoughts and on with the story!). He knew what she was thinking and thought to himself that it wasn’t time yet, she’d simply have to wait a bit more, squirm a little and when she wouldn’t expect it, then…Ah the things he could do, there were so many of them (I’d know what to do with him).
“Ah, Rachel, did you get a tree?” Alex quickly asked her fellow Legacy colleague. “Hi Kat, so did you find a tree?”
“No”, she said and tried not to look all that miserable. “They aren’t selling them until Wednesday, so we’ll have to look then.”
“But you will find a beautiful one, sweetie”, Alex assured the girl. “I am sure of it. And you will decorate it even more beautifully.”
The girl smiled happily and went off into the kitchen from where she smelled some hot cocoa.
“Have you seen Derek?” Rachel asked Nick, she had something to discuss with him, but since she hadn’t seen him after breakfast, and even then successfully avoided him, she now wanted to talk to him.
“No, but he is probably in his office, working on some paper work”, again he stressed the last word a bit and Alex cringed. Served her well to have at least a little guilt to deal with now.
Nick eyed the many bags Alex had brought with her, there were an awful lot of them, but he hardly suspected that she had finished her Christmas shopping. It was more likely that she’d gone crazy in the stores at all the sales and special savings so that she simply had bought stuff, straining the limit of the credit card to its extent.
“Got everything for Christmas, Alex?” still this unnerving smile on his face.
“Huh? Oh, no not exactly but I am almost finished. I already have 17 percent of my shopping done.” What she did leave unmentioned was the fact that these 17 percent, meaning one sixth of the shopping consisted of things for herself. But then Christmas was six days away so she didn’t need to worry. There was always tomorrow.
Derek awoke with a start as the first rays of the sun danced over his face and bathed him in their light. He jolted upright, successfully knocking the papers off the desk and almost falling off the chair when he tried to remain his balance.
“Dammit!” he cursed aloud. “Must have fallen asleep over the desk last night. I still cannot figure out the translation. But I have to; I got to finish this work.”
“Yeah, otherwise you would have to find another good excuse as for why you haven’t finished the year’s end reports for the Main House.”
“You shouldn’t have destroyed the first scroll, I am sure that there was the key for the translation on it.”
Derek ignored the little voice in his head, thinking of them as the literal little angel and little devil sitting on his shoulders, only that in this case they both seemed to be little devils and straightened himself up. He heard the joints popping into their places as he stretched and sighed. Maybe he truly was getting old in his days. But he dismissed that thought even more quickly. Derek went down into the kitchen to get himself some more coffee and tried to do his best to look like the official leader of the House should look like, confident and purely business and he failed completely by doing so with sleep in his eyes, rumpled clothes and a nice imprint of an amulet in the middle of his cheek where he’d fallen asleep on the table last night. Lucky for him, nobody saw him and so he made it unnoticed back into his office where he closed the door behind him.
Derek poured himself another cup of hot steaming coffee and downed it instantly, having at least two more before he finally managed to get his mind to truly wake up. He shuffled the papers together and tried to sort them again.
“No, wait, this was paper one and this one paper two and…damn, now I have to start again”, he muttered under his breath.
“Would you’ve done it right the first time, you wouldn’t have to start again now.”
The voice in his head teased him again and he ignored it, focusing on the paper sheets in front of him. Somewhere he heard a faint knocking which he also ignored, again dismissing it as something coming from the voices. “What does that mean now… now I cannot even read my own handwriting, that is so great!”
“Shouldn’t you cease using that much caffeine? You know that it makes you cranky in the morning, well it does also in the afternoon or night but who cares. Want some nice tea?”
“I am European, but not English! So, shut up already!”
“And a good morning to you, too Derek”, Rachel greeted her boss. She stood there in front of his desk and watched him carefully. When he hadn’t answered her knocks on the door, she’d just entered and found him talking to himself, which made her a bit suspicious but also worried her (and now she will be start talking psychobabble soon … god sure hope she doesn’t).
“Oh, Rachel, I didn’t hear you coming in”, he stammered embarrassed and glanced up. “But it is not good manners entering without knocking first.”
“Which I did, a lot if I remember correctly but you seem to have not heard me”, she answered him sweetly.
“I am sorry, Rachel”, now he was even more embarrassed than before. “What do you want, er, how can I help you?”
“Is everything alright, you seem a bit distracted”, Rachel asked concerned but Derek waved it off.
“Yes, yes, everything is alright, it’s just this translation I am working on. It is a bit more difficult than I imagined it to be. So how can I help you?”
“I only wanted to talk to you about something…wanted to ask you something, but now I seem to have forgotten it”, now it was Rachel’s turn to look embarrassed. “Sorry.”
“Ah, but if it is important, then it will come back. If you’ll excuse me now, I have some work to do.”
“Okay, Nick wanted to know whether you have finished the final report already, so that he can send the security files with it”, she added before turning to go. Derek looked up at her.
“No, I haven’t had the time, I was kinda busy with the translations, but if you would do…”
“Ah, gotta go, you know, places to be”, Rachel interrupted him, hurrying towards the door. “See you around.”
With that she vanished out of the door and left Derek alone again. Well, as alone as somebody could be with all these tiny little annoying voices in his head.
Alex waited until Nick had gone out for his daily run and then rushed to finish breakfast before he would come back. She had watched him closely when he’d gotten up, to make sure that he would not tamper with her breakfast like she suspected him to. She knew that there was huge payback involved for what she’d done to him, what she didn’t know were the when and how of it. So she thought to herself, better safe than sorry, and besides who wouldn’t want to watch Nick early in the morning and get a good look at that well shaped body and muscular chest (I definitely would). Today would be the day when she would finish buying the Christmas presents for everybody, of that she was sure and with a very determined expression on her face she stood up and went out to the city.
Nick had to keep himself from grinning too much. He had very well noticed that Alex was following his every move to make sure he wouldn’t plant anything inside her food or anywhere else. So she wanted to find out what he was going to do to her, but now he couldn’t allow that to happen, now, could he. But he had to admit, that she was doing her stalking act very carefully so that he wouldn’t see her or know that she was there, but against him she hadn’t had a chance (come on, he is a trained SEAL, trained to do stuff like that, so what chance against him would she have anyway – not that I wouldn’t try to prove him differently). When he was out of sight in the woods, he burst out laughing loud. This was going to be a lot more fun than he’d expected it to be. But first he wanted her to suffer a bit and then strike when she wouldn’t expect it at all. Yes, oh you sweet revenge.
Inside Derek’s office a rather grumpy precept tried to sort through his notes before he finally gave it up and started making new ones, this time trying to write a bit more readable. So far he had managed to translate at least half of the first page, which was actually already the second pace when one counted the disintegrated one in. He had returned several times to the kitchen to get himself some more coffee and some sandwich which still laid untouched on a plate next to him. No one had disturbed him so far and Derek had enough time and peace to go over the scrolls, failing to notice the main reason for leaving him to be that nobody wanted to be the one to write that final report Derek had postponed and was still shoving around in front of him.
“So from the east and the west they shall come forth…now what does that suppose to mean?” he asked no one particularly.
“Means that somebody will be coming, are you dense or what?”
The little voices seemed compelled to be helpful anyway. Derek continued to read on the translation, going over it again until he found a tiny little footnote at the end of the scroll that referred to the first page that he had accidentally destroyed; a very important one to be said.
“See, told you so.”
“Ach, leave me alone, go bug somebody else.”
“My, aren’t we a bit cranky today, get some more sleep next time.”
“Why does it happen do be me? What did I do to deserve this?”
“You’re special, we like you. Technically we are you, but we like you anyways.”
In the back of his head, Derek could feel the broad grin that must have been displayed on the invisible faces of these invisible voices and he sighed again.
In the living room Kat jumped around her mother, looking at her expectantly and slowly, very slowly getting on her nerves.
“So, we are going to get that tree”, the girl exclaimed happily. “And then we will get decoration for it and…”
“Slow down a bit, honey, will you”, Rachel tried to smile at her daughter but inwardly she sighed deeply. It was every year the same, she seemed to get extra agitated come towards the holidays and Rachel had not the slightest idea why that might be. “Why don’t you go ask Nick to help you with the candles and decoration? I am sure, he will be glad to help you get it from the cellar.”
And then I will be having a bit peace and calm here, she added mentally. She did love her daughter more than anything in the world, but she was indeed stressful at times like these. Kat bounced off to go look for Nick. Rachel knew that it would be a long week.
“Do you know where Nick is?” a voice sounded tentatively from the door and Rachel half expected her daughter to be back again. She had managed to keep her occupied with decorating the mansion together with Nick so that she could finish writing her report and Christmas greeting cards but now and then he daughter would come back to ask her for stuff or wanting to show her the decorations. This time it only was Alex and she stood in the shadows in the door, not exactly wanting to go inside. “Is he inside here?”
“No, I don’t know where he is”, Rachel looked at Alex, wondering why she wouldn’t come in, but after she’d said that he wasn’t here, Alex entered and it seemed as if she’d let out her held breath before.
“Oh, good”, Alex tried to sound normal, but Rachel knew that something was wrong.
“Okay, spill it then.”
“I don’t know what you mean”, Alex smiled confidently.
“Cut the crap, I want to know why you are acting so weird around Nick lately.”
“I am?” Alex asked back. “I am definitely not, but if you see him, don’t tell him I am back again.”
”He’ll probably know anyway, with all the cameras around and so”, Rachel looked up from her writings to face her colleague. “So, what’s up with you and Nick anyway?”
“Cameras? Ah, I forgot”, Alex was a bit embarrassed but then something else occurred to her. “Does that mean I do have also a camera inside my room? When I change my clothes and…” she didn’t need to finish the sentence; even before she came to that part, Rachel already also had a similar horrified look on her face.
“We do not have cameras in our sleeping rooms, do we?”
“Nick, Nick, Niiiiick!” the little voice of Kat sounded through the halls.
“Yes, sweetie, what is it?” he asked, a bit tired from him having to lift all the heavy cartons of Christmas decoration yesterday.
“Do you come with us, buying the tree? Please say yes, please…”, she looked up to him out of her huge eyes, the practised innocent look apparent that so many times had worked wonders in Nick and also every other member of the Legacy.
“No, honey, I do have a lot of work to do, why don’t you go ask Alex?”
“What are you doing, Nick?” Kat asked curiously as she watched Nick going over some surveillance tapes.
“Ah, nothing”, he said quickly but she wasn’t satisfied.
“So, why are you doing it then, you could go with us to buy the tree instead”, she reminded him and he sighed.
“I meant, nothing that you need your little head to worry about, sweetie”, he corrected quickly. “I really have to finish this, so why don’t you go and find Alex, I am sure she’ll help you buy a tree.”
“She’s not here”, Kat still smiled sweetly but this time, she also started to get a little disappointed that it apparently wouldn’t work.
“Then go ask somebody else, would you? I really do have to get this ready, but I will help you decorating it. It’s only fair, because you helped me doing that last year.”
When she rushed out of the room, he sighed and continued to work on these tapes. He was sure, she’d be back soon and he wanted to have this finished before she could see something she wasn’t supposed to (not what your dirty minds are thinking by now…or was that my dirty mind, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the need to write something to it, and no, it is nothing voyeuristic).
Later that afternoon one by now extremely grumpy precept made his way down from his office only to be right in time to see Rachel bringing in the Christmas tree for this year. After her an even happier child bounced into the hall, ready to decorate the tree she had made her mother buy for this year’s Christmas celebration.
“Ah, Derek, there you are”, Rachel greeted him, for the moment ignoring his already disapproving look at the tree. “Good to see you out of your office for a moment. How’s work going, I hope you are getting enough fresh air, you look pale. What do you think of our Christmas tree?” (now it is the motherly attitude again, doesn’t she ever get tired of it?)
“Hi, Derek!” Kat was bouncing up and down with excitement and Derek wondered briefly whether she’d had too much sugar or something. “Do you like our tree, do you like?”
She pointed towards the small package in the corner and grinned brightly. Derek followed her finger and had to look twice. No way, he was putting this thing up for Christmas.
“But Kat, I thought you were going to buy a Christmas tree?” he asked her, forgetting a bit of his grumpiness at not being able to make anything out of his translations.
“Yesss, and we did, so do you like it?” her chest swelled with pride and she almost affectionately stroked the package in the corner.
“Do I like it?” Derek repeated slowly. “There is no way you are putting this thing up as Christmas tree. It’s not natural.”
“Well, duh, of course it is not”, the little one replied as if she’d be explaining it to a child. “It is an artificial Christmas tree. That way we won’t need to get another one next year and can spend more time baking cookies for me.”
She left unmentioned that then it would be hers that would be the one to last forever, hers alone. Rachel stood aside a bit, watching as Derek’s face turned a slightly redder shade than before.
“Well, she liked it so much and that way you won’t have to take care of all the needles and all that”, she tried to explain, but Derek only got redder.
“Who cares about the needles? In my whole life I have never had an artificial Christmas tree”, he nearly shouted. “I will never have an artificial Christmas tree, not as long as I can help it. It is not natural, and I won’t allow this to happen in my House!”
With that he stormed out of the hall, back into his office where he slammed the door shut behind him leaving a slightly disturbed child and her mother behind, who was now supposed to explain her daughter why the tree wasn’t good enough; not to mention that she now had to go back into the city to get another one tomorrow.
“Why is Derek so angry, Mom? Why wouldn’t he like my tree?”
Nick left the House whistling happy tunes which made Alex even more suspicious. Carefully she watched him leaving and then went through her whole room in search of anything he might have planted there. When she didn’t find anything, she gave in to the thought that he might not be doing anything at all. Maybe it was everything in her imagination and only there. Yeah, probably he wouldn’t do some trick on her to get her back and maybe he really was doing her work for her because she’d asked nicely (no chance in hell, sweetie, but good that you don’t know that). Again she went to town to finally get some presents for the others before her extensive Christmas shopping truly reached her credit limit.
Once more Derek awoke with his face sitting on the desk in his office. Damn, when was the last time he actually had slept in his own bed? (and can you say bed head, or in this case rather desk head…hehe). He ran his hand through his hair to get them at least a bit in order before stepping out of the room and back to civilization (meaning out of the dusty little place where no dust cleaner had gone before; where all the scrolls written on human skin were and back into the rest of the House which is always getting cleaned up so neatly by these unseen helpers). On his way to the kitchen he came across Alex.
“Good morning, Derek”, she greeted him smiling and he looked at her.
“What are you doing up so early?” he asked a bit confused but she continued to smile happily.
“What do you mean, early?” she asked in return. “It is almost and I was wondering what you’ve been doing up so late. We haven’t seen you for a few days now.”
“I have to finish some serious work”, Derek replied. “A friend of mine has sent me some scrolls with a plea for help with them in translation and seeking out their meaning. He knows about our reputation for work with these things and probably has nobody else with that expertise we have.”
“Yeah, in your dreams. He probably sent them only because otherwise it’ll cost him something.”
“Or it is his kind of payback for the weird books you promised to send him and still haven’t done so.”
“Shut up”, Derek replied out of habit by now and Alex was a bit startled.
“What did I do now?” she asked angrily and Derek stared at her.
“Oh, sorry, Alex”, he stammered nervously. “I d-didn’t mean to, I just…it just came to my mind that I have to do some urgent work, send somebody some stuff I almost have forgotten about…see you around.”
“Now, was that weird or was that weird”, Alex murmured to herself and continued towards the kitchen.
“Good morning, Derek, you look awful.”
“And thank you for mentioning it, Nick”, the precept replied having his thermos refilled with new coffee.
“I wouldn’t drink that stuff if I were you”, Nick warned. “It is some weird blend the kitchen staff tried out; makes your toenails go straight up aside from the part that the spoons will stand at attention in it.”
“See, told you that coffee isn’t good for you. You really should settle on some tea, or some cocoa.”
Derek willed the voices to finally shut up, but like the past days he hadn’t had much luck with it.
“So, Rachel and Kat are gone back to Frisco to get a new tree” Nick told him. “What was so wrong with the one they got?”
“Ah, it was not the right tree, it was not even a right tree”, Derek explained absently.
“So it was an artificial one, who cares”, Nick answered him after some sips of his mug. “We had one for years.”
“And it was such a beautiful one, Kat really must have searched for it for hours.”
“Yes, and you made her sad, that wasn’t nice of you.”
“Poor little girl, probably was crying all night about that, you were mean to her. And what does it matter whether the tree is artificial or not. It is a tree after all.”
“No it is not, and I won’t allow an artificial tree in my House!” Derek shouted at an unsuspecting Nick.
”Gee, Derek, get a grip on yourself”, Nick eyed him carefully. “What did I do now?”
“Uhm, nothing”, Derek quickly tried to disguise his slip and changed the subject.
“So, your final reports on the security systems are finished yet?”
“Yes, they are, in fact
they are only waiting to be added to your reports and then be sent to
“Ah, of course…well, there is one thing, I wanted to ask you to help me…”, he didn’t get a chance to finish the sentence as Nick already bolted upright and hastened for the door.
“Sorry, Derek, but I have already a date; demon waiting for me to be slain, bye”, Nick hurried out of the door and left Derek alone with his coffee and the little voices in his head.
(Do I need to mention that all of Nick’s hotter dates so far had been demons? Not that I’d mind having been one of them, having him alone for myself…unclothed and did I say hot?...got carried away there a bit, on with the story again)
“See, nobody wants to write your stupid report for you.”
“It’s a classic shelf warmer. Guess, you now have to do it yourself.”
“Ach, shut up already, you are getting on my nerves.”
“Took a long time then.”
“But, Mom, I still don’t understand why Derek didn’t want my tree”, Kat complained as they were strolling around Frisco in search of another one.
“Well, sweetie”; Rachel tried to think of something that would explain it to her and in the same sentence not hurt her feelings. She knew how much her daughter had fallen in love with the tree, so she’d kept it for her own house, though she also rather had wanted a real tree. The thought of not having to clean up after all the needles had fallen off the tree had also been really tempting since she didn’t have all the cleaning staff in her own house on the main land. Not to mention that she could leave all the decorations on it when she put it back into the carton and in the garage for next year. It was not that she would have much time in decorating it anyway with her work, and they did the decoration thing in the Legacy House, so Kat sure wouldn’t mind (yah, how funny is it to get the tree out of the carton already fully decorated, really gets you into the right Christmas mood every year again).
“It is just that Derek looked for the safety reasons”, she finally told her daughter. “I am sure that he doesn’t think that it wouldn’t be a nice tree, which I am sure it would have been. But since it is all plastic it is more likely to burn than a real one, honey
“But on the package it said that it was fireproof”, Kat interrupted her mother. Rachel sighed.
“Well, then it probably is not very safe to have a tree that huge around. You do know what happened last year, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do remember”, Kat said apologetically and looked down, embarrassed but also so that her mother couldn’t see the smirk that formed around her lips at the memory.
“So what do you say, we find ourselves a nice tree that Derek will sure like this time”, Rachel cheered her daughter up a bit. “And the other one we’ll keep for ourselves.
Meanwhile in town Nick sneaked around some abandoned buildings in search of his demon, or rather the demon Alex left for him. But a small smile danced around his face when he thought of what he’d in store for her, now that she was no longer suspecting it from him. Now was almost the time to strike. Just a little bit of waiting and then…
“Did you notice anything weird about Derek?” Alex asked later that evening when Rachel was back from her tree shopping and she herself from her own shopping spree.
“In what way?”
“I mean, acting a bit weird, not quite himself”, Alex tried to explain but then stopped. “You are the psychiatrist, you tell me!”
“I indeed have noticed something different about his behaviour in a rather disturbing manner…”, as she continued with her psychobabble Alex simply tuned it out and sipped from her mug of tea until the resident psychiatrist would be finished.
“Huh? Ah, yes, so what do you think is wrong with him then?” she wanted to know, overplaying the fact that she hadn’t heard a single word of Rachel’s scientific explanation of Derek’s possible condition, which had included schizophrenic or paranoid parts in it (of which of course nothing was true, she just had to brag around with her psychiatric knowledge a bit; come on, why is it, that always her patients are the ones that go crazy after sessions with her on the show?).
“I think he came back wrong”, Alex said. To Rachel’s absolutely clueless facial expression she started to explain. “You know, after the explosion and what happened, when he came back, I think he came back wrong somehow.” (oops, wrong show, sorry)
“That means he must have been right in the first place (so much for the professional opinion, shrink). Or maybe he’s gone crazy after all”, Rachel suggested.
“Who’s gone crazy?” A voice from the door asked them and caused them to completely silence at once.
“Uhm, hallo Derek”; Alex found her voice back. “We didn’t hear you coming in. How’s research going?”
“Nick, Nick is going crazy…crazy after those cookies the staff baked for Christmas”, Rachel helpfully added quickly. “And now he’s gone off to find some more or threaten the staff to bake more.”
“Ah, well. I didn’t mean to interrupt you in your obviously fascinating conversation”, Derek said and got himself another pot of coffee.
“Derek, you really shouldn’t drink that much coffee, it is not good for you”, Rachel told him but he dismissed it quickly.
“Bah, nonsense”, he poured himself a cup and drowned it in one shot. “I need to stay awake and to concentrate for this work I need to. And since you are all so really helpful in helping me with my reports, I also have to do them afterwards, so I really need it.”
“Of course, no need to get all grrr on us”, Alex smiled at him. “We are only concerned about your health, that’s all.”
“See, you really should settle on something lighter than caffeine, maybe some camomile tea.”
“Besides, if you hadn’t had these reports shoved away from you for the whole last weeks, you would have finished them by now already.”
“Weeks, make that months rather.”
Derek winced and stopped himself from shutting them up verbally again and restrained himself to a mental “SHUT UP ALREADY!”. He left the room quickly afterwards.
“And after all he hasn’t even asked for the tree.”
It began like the last two days for Derek, who by the way no longer was dressed in the same clothes (which would be disgusting considered that he would be in them for five days by now, imagine the stink after that long without a shower…no I won’t write the shower scene with him, that’s even more disgusting and by the way, I am trying to keep this one G rated, though I could do otherwise…but I won’t, at least not in this one) but still had kept his desk hair because of again having fallen asleep on his office desk. This day it would be different though, that much he had vowed to himself. He would no longer be distracted by the voices inside his head but instead concentrate more on the scrolls, which he still hadn’t quite figured out yet much to his great dismay.
“Or maybe you are not the great researcher you think you are. I mean it is five days now.”
No, this time Derek would ignore the voices inside his head and instead go down for breakfast with the others, to have a nice and peaceful chat with his colleagues and clear his mind. And chances were good that then these annoying voices would be gone by then.
“No chance in hell, pal.”
When he entered the room, all the others already were there, or rather still were there, because after the last days they hadn’t suspected Derek being up that early again. So they were indeed rather surprised when he greeted them with a very cheery “Good morning to you all!”
“Uh, Derek, I see that you are awake so early”, Nick managed between the coughs because of having accidentally swallowed coffee much too hot after his voice had startled him, as well as it did the others.
“Yes, why would that be otherwise?”
“It is just, that…I mean, you haven’t been awake that early the past days, so we didn’t expect you today”, Rachel explained. “But you look good, well rested if I may say so.”
“And that even though you have again slept on your table.”
“Yes, it was a good nights rest that had been all I had needed, so I am well rested now and ready for new work”, Derek replied and the friendly smile unnerved them more than his usual appearance in the morning. It had something different within it.
“If you tell yourself that often enough, you might actually believe it. Well rested, on the table. They probably see the patterns of the amulet on your cheek but don’t tell you anyway.”
“Ah, yes, so have you finished your work on these scrolls?” Alex asked and Rachel added that Kat was looking for him to help her decorate the tree.
“Oh, you have found a tree, well that is nice, so where is it?” Derek asked and still smiled.
“Kat has put it into the living room, so that she can decorate it there. Nick already has put all the decoration stuff there for her”, Rachel explained and Derek continued his smile that made her worry a bit. It was unnatural for him to smile that much (but he does look much better when he does, still Nick looks even more better…especially without a shirt…crap, think innocent thoughts again, this is a Christmas fic after all).
“I shall take a look at it after breakfast then”, he began shoving loads of eggs inside his mouth and began to eat, still avoiding to listen to the voices inside his head.
After he had finished, he went out into the living room to look after Kat and the tree, closely followed by Alex and Rachel.
“Hallo, Kat”, he greeted the girl who smiled back at him happily. “Your mother has told me that you brought back a new tree yesterday and already started to decorate it, so let’s see it.”
“I am almost finished, Derek”, the girl smiled proudly and stepped back from the table in the corner. “Look.”
“Ah, but where is the tree, sweetie?” Derek asked confused as he wasn’t seeing any tree inside the room. Kat glanced up at him, even more confused than the precept, for he was looking right at the tree.
“But it is right here, in front of you”, she said, pointing towards the table. “On the table here.”
Derek took a few steps towards the table and tried hard to look at the tree standing there. Or rather he tried to see the rather dwarfish thing standing on the table as a tree.
“You cannot be serious”, he exclaimed then but another glance towards Kat proved him wrong, who now was a bit mulled at his strange behaviour towards her tree, one that she now had decorated with so much joy and heart.
“Oh, my! You can. But, honey, this isn’t a Christmas tree, it is…” Derek clearly was at a loss of words as he looked down at the tree Kat had brought from the shopping trip and now finished decorating with a very pleased and proud smile by putting a small angel on top of it. It was a really beautiful tree, decorated with care and displayed a lot of the heart and compassion the girl had put into decorating it with small candles and colourful little Christmas globes and glitter all around the whole tree. It truly was a cute little tree, and that was it exactly what it was.
“But that is a pine bonsai!?”
Nick Boyle was on the hunt. He had taken a good look around the location of the abandoned buildings the day before so that today he was familiar with all the surroundings and what else he needed to know about the demon Alex had left for him to slay. He still fumed a bit about that, but at least it gave him the perfect opportunity to get away from the House for some moments, away from the lately really weird acting Derek and from Kat. His back still ached a bit from all the crates he’d had to get for her from the cellar and to be honest, he also was glad to get away from the in his opinion a little bit too hyperactive child she was come Christmastime. So he sneaked around the building and got up towards some windows to peek inside. It still wondered him, why in all hell a demon should be residing in an abandoned building, but after all, it really didn’t matter to him, as long as he knew it was inside there and he could kill it fast enough to be home before dinner. In the file he’d read that this demon would be planning some sort of sacrifice right before Christmas eve and several girls had also vanished in San Francisco over the past few weeks. So Alex had suspected, since they all still were virgins, at least to their parents’ best knowledge, they also would be held hostage here for the sacrifice (anybody noticed, that it always are virgins for the sacrifice? Like they are so easy to find these days anyway, but that’s what makes them precious, isn’t it? As for political correctness I have to state that I do not want to offend anybody who is or is no longer a virgin by this comment ;)) It wasn’t like Alex to leave him with this sort of case alone or to give it away to him that carelessly anyways, but she also wasn’t the right person to do this kind of slaying, so he had taken over this one out of the goodness of his heart (how could he forget, that after looking inside her huge innocent eyes and the little pout she’d made, he’d been helpless against her and would’ve done anything she’d said then – in fact wasn’t that how she’d gotten him to do all her paperwork?).
Anyways, he slowly had climbed up and looked inside the building, ripping his jacket on a loose piece of metal by doing so. He cursed silently but he couldn’t change it anyways, so whatever. In the far corner of the building he saw a cage in which the girls probably were held. Silently he climbed down, ripping the other half of his jacket that way and walked towards the rear entrance of the building to heroically liberate the girls (in other words, he would open the cage and shoosh them outside, so that he could kill the demon in a real messy way, after they probably would’ve properly been swooning over him like all the girls he saves do).
“But that is a pine bonsai!” Derek exclaimed slightly shocked but Kat smiled proudly towards him.
“Isn’t it an adorable Christmas tree?”
“That no way is a Christmas tree! That isn’t even a real tree!” Derek nearly shouted enraged, that must have been a joke, it just must have been.
“But of course it is”, Kat corrected him. “It is a real tree and you said I should get a real one for Christmas, so I did.”
“There she is right, Derek”, Alex told him but refrained from adding something to that when she saw that his face had taken a colour that began to turn a bit redder than normal, a clearly worrying sign.
“And Mom said, that you didn’t want the other tree, because it was better for safety reasons”, Kat explained, proudly pointing at her work with the tree. “This one doesn’t even have real candles, it has electric ones so that they cannot set the tree accidentally on fire. And I decided to get us a smaller tree for this year so that it won’t bury you underneath it like last year.”
A small tear began to form in Kat’s eyes to underline her sincerity in her statement but Derek only had eyes for the small tree, and of course was lost in some thoughts at last year’s Christmas.
“Well… I guess the intention was good, then, but still that is not a Christmas tree”, he stated after a while. “But we will still having a real tree for Christmas. See it as a big brother to the little one.”
He didn’t want to upset the girl, but the idea of having a bonsai as a Christmas tree didn’t quite fit his imagination of what a real tree for Christmas should look like.
“Poor little girl, she has worked the whole morning on the decoration and you just don’t appreciate it.”
“Shame on you!”
“I do appreciate it”, Derek returned a bit louder than he wanted to but Kat only stared at him with huge eyes. “It is just, that this isn’t a Christmas tree!!!”
“It is okay, Derek”, she tried to smile, but couldn’t quite banish the disappointment out of her voice. “But I really only wanted to do it right this time.”
Now the tears began to flow and Kat burst out of the room.
“See what you have done now!”
“See what you have done now!” Rachel scolded Derek and went after her daughter.
“That was mean, I mean really mean, Derek”, Alex also said and glared at the precept with angry eyes. “She had put so much effort into decoration and all that. And she really is sorry for what happened last year with the tree. So you didn’t have to let it out on her. She only was trying to make up for it with the tree.”
With that Alex left also and Derek only stared at the little dwarf on the table that wanted to be one day a real Christmas tree and that was so lovely decorated. He began to feel a little guilty but still he hadn’t overreacted this time like with the artificial one, had he?
“You are so in trouble this time.”
“But it is a pine bonsai!!!”
Meanwhile over at the main land where Nick had saved all the girls and barely gotten away from all the ogling girls he decided it was time for some serious demon slaying. The fact that his jacket was ripped had not exactly helped getting rid of them when they all were desperately hoping for some sight of his exposed flesh that wasn’t yet that much exposed (not yet…)
The demon who had wanted to sacrifice the virgins of course had noticed by now that they were gone (just because it was a demon doesn’t mean that it would be stupid) and gotten real mad at that (wouldn’t you, if that had been your sacrifice? Well, forget that) and started to slash with its claws towards Nick and by doing so tearing the shirt he wore apart, exposing his muscular chest with that sensual body surrounding it and down deeper as another slash cut through his pants (now wait a second, that’s this far from getting it upped into higher ratings, no good, no good at all…though…).
The demon came back at him again, this time much closer and he avoided getting his head cut off only barely. Why in the world had he let himself getting into this again? Nick wasn’t quite sure about that anymore, he only remembered that it must have been a really weak moment of his state of mind (not to mention that I needed a reason to get rid off his clothes…think innocent thoughts again!!!). Even more frantically he tried to remember how to kill that thing in front of him, that looked like a gigantic mixture of a blob and a dragon with real sharp claws and fiery eyes (did I mention the fiery breath that burned his jacket and caused him to strip out of it?).
Nick fired his gun several times, hitting the demon right in the chest and that way killing it eventually (not before the demon had managed to rip off as much clothing as it could to leave Nick only covered with enough to hide the parts that would really make this story rated NC-17 pretty soon if left exposed, but I won’t go there…no I definitely won’t)
Back at the mansion Rachel had calmed down her daughter that much so that she actually could again think of decorating a new tree, one that they would be getting by tomorrow. Derek also had apologized for his rude behaviour, which he still didn’t quite see as that rude, but he had done so for the sake of the peace inside the House at Christmas. Needless to say, he had done so under the angry glare of both Alex and Rachel, but afterwards Kat had bounced around happily and started decorating the whole mansion in green, gold and red.
Nick entered the mansion, carefully looking around to make sure that nobody would see him entering in the state he was in. Which currently meant that he was wearing less than when he had left the House in the late morning, much much less due to the whole slashing part of the demony variant and now exposed the well trained muscles at his thighs because his pants were almost gone and that muscular chest again with the defined upper chest and stomach (mmmmhhhhhhhh, now I start with the swooning part, but I am to write the story, so write now – swoon later). Luckily for him, nobody was in the main hall when he entered and so he ripped off the tattered remains of his shirt, not only ripped but also stained with the remains of the demon. He really needed to get that stuff off him, fast and raced up the stairs towards the showers. Little did he know that he had been watched all the time and was now being followed as he hurried to get a nice hot and relaxing shower that would rid him off the demonic slime in which he was covered and relax his sore muscles. After he’d stripped out of his whole clothes (yessss, take them off, take them off) he threw them in the corner of the room, making a mental note to burn them in the morning (a real shame for the jeans, they were always so tight when he wore them, showing all those tasty body parts…innocent thoughts, must think innocent thoughts) and then stepped into the shower, where soon the hot steam surrounded his trained body (and sexy as hell also). Even littler did he know that he had been still watched while he had undressed (god, how I wished to have been that one seeing him really naked) and showered until the steam had blocked out the sight of this gorgeous body.
Alex awoke with a start. Something was wrong, she could feel it. She looked around but couldn’t find anything to confirm the weird feeling she had for everything seemed normal like on any other day. But still, something was very wrong, she just knew it. The only part she wasn’t getting was what exactly it had been that was wrong. But soon she would find out, very soon.
Alex’ scream echoed though the whole castle.
Derek found himself again inside his study when he woke up on this morning (but he does have a bed, I know it, I have it seen some time in the show, he just keeps falling asleep very often not inside it; though he does lie at times inside said bed, just not in this story). But this time it was a horrible scream that made him sit upright in his chair.
“Where am I? Who am I? And when am I?” he asked confusedly as he woke up from another strange dream that had included several scrolls laughing mockingly at him, curiously having the same voices like the ones inside his head.
“Again in your office and not inside your bed which would be more healthy to sleep in.”
“The joker who thinks he leads this House, but cannot even translate some puny scrolls.”
“That’s a stupid question, just one day later than yesterday.”
“And thanks again for your help!” he shouted angrily to no one particularly.
“You’re welcome!” the voices chorused back and he jumped slightly.
“I really do have to get a grip on myself, I am getting crazy.” Derek mumbled to himself,.
“When you continue talking to yourself, you probably will.”
“What am I saying; you are talking to yourself again, so you must be crazy already.”
“And you so much don’t really exist, so shut up! I do wonder what that scream was, it sounded almost like somebody was getting killed or something.”
“Well, not yet.”
“I AM SO GOING TO KILL HIM!!!” Alex shouted in rage. “That…that…” she clearly was at a loss of words now when she looked into the mirror and saw her reflection there. Her whole face was speckled with red dots that seemed not to get off with water when she tried to wash her face. She now was frantically scrubbing her face while still cursing and wishing him god knows what after (all things I will not repeat for they don’t belong inside the mouth of a lady; wonder where Alex got them all from?).
“HE IS GONNA BE SUCH A DEAD MAN!!!!!”
In the kitchen a very broad and pleased grin spread out over Nick’s face as he sipped at his coffee.
“What was that noise?” Rachel asked confused but also concerned for her daughters and her own safety. Her concerns were not even lessened by watching that grin spread out even farther on Nick. “Do you have anything to do with that?”
“I have no idea what you might be talking about, Rachel”, Nick replied innocently and had an even more innocent look on his face (and he is so cute when he does look that innocent, one can not stay angry at him for long). Unfortunately that was not going to save him from Alex’ wrath once she would be coming down from her room, which would be long in the afternoon when she would have finally gotten that stuff off her face.
“Revenge is such a sweet dish.” He murmured over another sip of his coffee.
The mansion was very sweetly decorated, thanks to the endless spirit in decorating of the youngest member of the House. She also had gotten a real Christmas tree now, one that was also inspected and approved by Derek, and begun putting the Christmas stuff on it. The little one she had put next to the bigger one, so that it wouldn’t be alone for the holidays.
“When I am finished, will you be baking cookies with me, Mom?” Kat asked sweetly and put another one of the shiny globes on the tree.
“Uhm, yes, why don’t you finish this one and then we’ll see to that”, Rachel replied absently, her mind deep inside the Christmas preparations of the dinner she and Alex were supposed to make (that’s right, they are supposed to make it, no invisible cooks this time, so beware).
A little time later.
“I am finished!” Kat exclaimed happily and jumped off the ladder she’d had to use to get the angel on top of the tree. “Can we now bake cookies?”
“Huh?” Rachel looked over to Kat as she was acting all hyperactive. “I have no time for baking, I have to prepare the plan about what we will have for dinner with Alex. By the way, have you seen Alex?”
“Noo”, the child said slowly. “Are you now going to bake cookies with me?”
“I really need to work with Alex on this one, why don’t you ask Nick? I am sure that he’ll be glad to help you with that.”
And thank god for the instant mixtures with which to make cookies, Rachel added mentally. That way Nick would be able to occupy the kid for a while without actually having to be able to cook real food (yeah, like we have seen her in the show make some dinner).
“’kay!” With that Kat took off and Rachel went in search for Alex.
“Nick, have you seen Alex?” Rachel asked the young man who was currently sitting again in the control room where Kat apparently had not found him yet. “What are you doing?”
“Huh? Oh, nothing!” Nick quickly hit some buttons on the keyboard and the screens went dead. Rachel wasn’t quite sure, but she believed to have seen Alex on the monitor; she quickly dismissed that thought again. “What was it, you wanted with Alex?”
“I need her for the preparation for Christmas Dinner”, Rachel answered and was about to go again when Nick stopped her.
“Rachel, can I talk to you for a moment?”
Rachel sat down and waited for him to begin.
“I had this very weird dream last night…and…well, since you are a psychiatrist, you could maybe tell me something about it…what it meant and stuff like that”, Nick began shyly. Rachel leant back in her seat and continued to listen (thank goodness that there isn’t a couch somewhere in the room, it would make the cliché fulfilled).
“See, I dreamt about when I came home yesterday. I had this very relaxing shower and…(cut the details, she doesn’t want to know that…but I do…no, still G rated)…anyway, I felt like I was being watched and then suddenly somebody was in the shower with me and…we were making out in the shower (use your imagination kiddies, I am not going into details, want them, you’re reading the wrong story).”
Rachel listened closely to what Nick told her, a smirk spreading out on her lips (naughty, naughty, but it wasn’t her…was me…ha how I wish!). That was going to be interesting. She also watched him and noticed something she hadn’t noticed at breakfast before.
“And then you know we were kissing and all and then she broke away from me and said…”
“Man, that’s a big hickey!” Now Rachel knew what it was that her attention had focused on.
“How did you know?”
After noon Alex finally had managed to get the red stuff off her face and was now ready to step again into the civilized part of the house (now wait, that was from Derek’s office; er, I meant into the rest of the House).
“Oh, Alex, good that I found you!” Rachel grabbed her colleague at the arm and pulled her with her towards the kitchen. “Where have you been? I was looking for you the whole morning.” (and look at the intellect, hasn’t even looked in Alex’ own room).
“But I was in my...yeah, whatever. So why have you been looking for me?”
“Well, stupid, we need to make preparations for Christmas dinner”, Rachel explained as it that would be the most natural thing in the world.
“But that dinner is not due until tomorrow?” Alex asked confused. “By the way, have you seen Nick?”
“Yes, he’s in the Control Room, watching some tapes, I guess”, Rachel told her, always so helpful. “Why?”
“Just curious. “Let’s get those preparations done.”
Inside his study Derek still was brooding over the scrolls and the translations, ignoring the little voices inside his head. And to his great surprise, they had stayed silent for the whole morning.
“So, this means that somebody is coming at the prophesised day which will be…” he waited for the voices to mock him again, but still nothing.
“I really should have handled the first one with more care”, Derek scolded himself but sighed. Now he couldn’t change it, so he had to live with it. A slight knock at the door rose him from his concentration.
“Derek?” Kat’s small head peeked inside the room. “Will you bake some cookies with me?”
“What? Cookies? No, sweetie, can’t you see that I am busy?”
“Well, yes”, Kat answered smiling. “Will you bake some cookies with me now?”
“Which part of I am busy did you not understand?”
“None” Kat answered sweetly. “Now will you bake some cookies with me?”
“Go bug your mother or someone else”, Derek scowled. Kat glanced up towards him out of her huge saucer eyes and made a little pout to underline her statement.
“But I do want to bake cookies with you, Derek”, she said, pressing heavily on being a real tear-jerker. “You are my favourite here in the Legacy. Besides, my Mom is real busy right now.”
“Then go bug Nick, I don’t have time right now, I really have to finish this before tomorrow.”
“Well, I’ll go, but I’ll come back later to get you when you have more time”, Kat stated and turned to go. “But you won’t get any cookies of those we made.”
“Thank god for small favours”, Derek exclaimed relieved after Kat had closed the door. “I really do not want to have to eat those cookies Nick made again.”
“But you really should have gone with her, make up for the things you have said to her, being so mean the last few days.
“Yes, she is such a nice girl, and those cookies aren’t that bad.”
“Boy, do you know!”
“Nick, Nick, Nick!” Kat ran towards the young man and almost running into him when he stopped abruptly. “Will you bake some cookies with me for Christmas?”
“Well, hallo Kat!” Nick was really surprised. “But I don’t have time right now.”
“Aww, but I really want to bake some cookies with you, Nick”, she said, blinking towards him with there round huge saucer eyes and making again that small pout. “You are my favourite here in the Legacy and I like you more than the others.”
“Really, I bet you tell that to everyone here”, Nick looked down at her, but already began to melt under her eyes.
“No, only to you, ‘cause you are my favourite!” she stated happily, blinking again and with that Nick completely melted.
“Alright then, we are going to bake some cookies together”, he told her and took her at the hand while walking towards the kitchen; still thinking that it always were those innocent eyes with that pout that got him into trouble every time.
“I got it, I got it!” Derek almost danced happily around his study and by doing so knocked almost every piece of paper off the table.
“Ach, leave me alone”, he scowled angrily and started to pick up all those papers again. “But I finally have finished translating these scrolls…”
“And you even managed to do so without the first one, to which several times is referred in the text, that’s quite an achievement.”
“Yeah, it only took you what, six days to do so?”
“Oh, no, it is terrible, the prophecy, it is terrible!” he exclaimed suddenly. “Something is going to happen, and it happens tomorrow! I almost have forgotten, how could I forget that?”
“Yeah, he finally realized now, that always something terrible happens on absolutely harmless occasions like birthday parties or simply vacation. Always has happened and always will happen.”
“Probably some unwritten rule in television show history.”
Day Seven – Christmas Eve
“Is it Christmas yet, can I get some presents?”
“No, Kat it is not.” Rachel tried to explain her daughter that it still was very early in the morning and she’d really get some more sleep before she had to get up and into the chaos that meant dinner preparation.
“But it is Christmas Eve”, Kat disagreed there heartily. “So, can I get some presents?”
“Later, honey. I really want to sleep some more, so go back to bed yourself.”
“Is it Christmas yet?”
“But Christmas Eve…”
“Go back to sleep, honey; I really need some rest.”
“Is it Christmas now?”
“Yes, sweetie, it is”, Rachel saw no point in trying to sleep when her daughter would wake her up every five minutes.
“Can I get some presents?”
“Huh, where am I; who am I and what is that noise?”
“Same answer as yesterday, except for the noise. That’s Kat; she wasn’t there before.”
“Thank you again.”
“For what?” Kat asked confused and Derek only glared at her out of his heavy sleep laden eyes.
“Ah, nothing. What do you want, little one?”
“Mommy won’t give me my presents.”
“I wonder why she would do such a thing. You were such a sweet little girl the past days.”
“No need to get sarcastic. Or no presents for you!”
“I was, wasn’t I?” she happily exclaimed. “So will you give me my present then?”
“Honey, it is…”
“Right shortly after dawn, veeeery early.”
“Very early in the morning, so why don’t you go back to bed…”
“I am not sleepy anymore”, she interrupted him.
“Well, then go down and have some breakfast with the others, I’ll be right there then”, he said and stretched a bit, all his bones popping back into their right places while doing so.
“’kay. Derek, why have you been sleeping on your desk?”
“Uh, I must’ve fallen asleep over my work.”
“That is not healthy, Mom says that you should sleep in bed”, she stated. “It is better for your back.”
“Uhm, I know, won’t happen again, but I really had some serious work to do.”
“What kind of work? I could’ve helped you and then we could’ve baked some cookies together. Now you won’t be getting some”, she scolded him and he silently thanked God again for that.
“It was very important work that needed to be finished before Christmas”, he said. “And now go back down to have breakfast, so that I can finish it.”
Derek then tried to get awake enough to concentrate on what it had been that had been so important yesterday and he apparently had forgotten by now. When he looked up again, Kat still stood there in front of him.
“What are those funny lines on your face?”
“Go down and have breakfast, Kat.”
“Terrible news everyone!” Derek greeted his colleagues when he entered the room where they sat together, having breakfast and until then everything had been peaceful.
“Nice entrance; overused if you ask me.”
“Good morning, Derek!” the others greeted him.
“How could I have forgotten it”, he mumbled to himself as he sat down and gulped down at least three cups of coffee before anybody intervened. “I would never have forgotten it before. I am getting old, that’s it.”
“Could you please stop that now and tell us what is so terrible”, Alex interrupted him. “Rachel and I wanted to finish so that we could go in the kitchen to cook..”
“Ah, yes”, Derek stared at them as if he now finally had become aware that they were also there. “The scrolls I have been translating for the past week…”
“And for which you have needed six days for; not to mention disintegrating one instantly.”
“…anyway, they reveal a prophecy. Someone will be coming”, he stated. “Something big is going to happen and it will happen today.”
“Well, we could’ve told you that if you only had asked”, Nick chimed in. “Today is Christmas Eve, which means that something already has happened. Otherwise we wouldn’t have this holiday.”
“Yesss, presents!!” Kat supplied helpfully. “I am getting presents.”
“No, I mean something real big is going to happen today.”
“Oh, you mean that?” Alex sounded not at least surprised. “Well, we also could’ve told you that before. I really am wondering that you have forgotten it. Are you alright, you look a little pale.”
“I am fine, you don’t seem to take me seriously”, now it was Derek’s turn to pout.
“Not really; not with all these funny lines of ink on your face from where you have fallen down to sleep last night.”
“And you are so not being helpful at all!” he burst out.
“Well, if you would’ve asked, we could’ve told you that and you would now have no need to get it out on us”, Nick replied sourly.
“I didn’t mean you…I meant…” he stopped himself when four pairs of eyes started to stare at him intensely as if he’d grown a third eye on his forehead. “Ach, forget it.”
“We really shouldn’t have given the kitchen personnel that day off, you know?” Alex stated later.
“Well, whose brilliant idea was it to cook for ourselves this year?” Rachel returned coughing, standing in the middle of thick greyish-black smoke that emanated from the oven.
“Not mine, that’s for sure.” Alex replied, equally trying to get some air into her burning lungs.
“Great, and what are we going to eat then?”
“Nobody wants to listen to me”, Derek pouted while walking up and down inside his study.
“We listen to you.”
“Well, technically we don’t want either, but we have no choice. So, go on.”
“They just don’t realize the depth of the situation”, Derek continued his rambling. “But I am precept here, and they should listen to what I say.”
“If you started acting like the boss, they’d see you as one.”
“Yes, but then you would need to stop talking to us.”
“I am not talking to you! I am not even listening to what you are saying, so will you please finally shut up for god’s sake!”
“If you say so.”
Several hours later.
“Are they here yet?”
“No, I don’t think that Rachel and Alex have retuned from the main land yet”, Nick explained Kat.
“So you will give me then some presents, won’t you?” she asked sweetly.
“No, I don’t think your mother would agree with that.”
“But she isn’t here…”
“She will be soon. I wonder what had happened in the kitchen”, Nick mused as he looked around. “They were only supposed to cook and not transform in into a battlefield.”
“They will be coming soon, and nobody is prepared for them!” Derek shouted, rotating his arms as he discovered the mess in the kitchen, or what formerly had been known as the kitchen (see what happens when you let two women loose in the kitchen that we’ve never seen cooking before the whole show? So much for the theory that all women are natural cooks. Maybe they should’ve let the men take over that duty…hm, we’ll see next year).
“Now he’s lost it.”
“But this is Derek you are talking about”, Kat disagreed with Nick.
“They will be coming soon and nothing is prepared!” now it almost looked as if he would soon take off that much was he rotating with his arms right now.
“Maybe you’re right.”
“All right, we have managed to get some dinner for tonight”, Alex sounded relived and Rachel could only agree with her on that one.
“The only thing missing are the others.” She added to it, while spreading out the plates on the table. “When were they supposed to arrive?”
“They are coming and nobody is prepared!” sounded a slightly crazed voice from the hall and hushed by. “How could I have forgotten that? It stood in the scrolls!”
“Now he’s lost it finally.”
“Told you he came back wrong.”
Later that evening.
“Are they here yet?”
“No, Kat”, Rachel answered. “They are not here yet, and no, you cannot get your presents.”
They sat all in the living room, the Christmas tree blinking in the corner in red, orange and yellow lights. Kat had insisted on the electric candles for safety reasons, or maybe because the memory of a slightly burnt Derek still made her giggle a bit though she also felt a little guilty about it; well only a little since it had looked too funny. All of them had something to drink in their hands, for Kat something sans alcohol and they were laughing. Derek also had enormously calmed down after realizing that the scrolls he had looked over for the whole week only had been some notes for the holidays about things that someone was absolutely not to forget to do (and if that was so, then where had his own notes he had sent to himself because of not forgetting gone? And why hadn’t he noticed it earlier in the first place?).
“What are we waiting for, can’t we just start to eat?” Nick asked later. “I am hungry.”
“You always are hungry, so please wait just a bit until the guests have arrived”, Derek sighed, having had answered this particular question several times by now; right after the ones from Kat about the presents.
“Can’t we just have one present now?”
“No, we will wait until the others have arrived and then you can get a present. But you will not touch yours, otherwise you’ll know what’s inside.” Rachel said absently. “I wonder what’s taking them so long.”
“They just might have some traffic”, Alex wondered aloud, but Nick interrupted disbelievingly. “In the plane?”
“Well, there can be some air traffic, lots of air traffic during the holidays, so what’s wrong about it?”
“I am hungry, can we not start to eat?”
“We will wait”, Alex sounded impatient and inwardly she fumed. Nobody honoured their cooking skills properly (hey, after having set the kitchen half on fire, what did you expect?) and nobody even had asked what they’d have for dinner.
The sound of the door bell roused them out of their Christmas depression. Kat bounced up and down towards the main hall and the thick door.
“I’ll get it, I’ll get it!!!”
She opened the door and frowned a bit. There was only one person standing in front of the door and she so much had wanted them all to come together, so that she could finally get some presents.
“Hi, Phillip, merry Christmas”, she said sweetly and pulled him inside. “Do I get a present from you?”
“Well, merry Christmas to you, too little one”, Phillip answered and hugged her. “Ye will get a present, but not now. Wouldn’t ye rather want to wait until all the others will arrive? That way all of ye will get their presents.”
She pouted at that, but said nothing because the others had arrived behind her to greet their former colleague.
“Hello, Phillip, it is so good that you could’ve come”, Derek took the priest’s hand and shook it. “Merry Christmas.”
“I wouldn’t have wanted t’ miss it in the world”, Phillip replied and put down his bags. (And he is a special inclusion for my good friend Brina, what would this holiday gift for you be without your favourite priest?).
“I still wonder what’s taking them so long”, Nick wondered. “There cannot be that much air traffic up there.”
“So Derek, tell me about this translation that has taken you so long this week”, Phillip, being the former language expert of the House, asked the precept.
“Ah, it was nothing, just a little prophecy”, Derek answered quickly. “Nothing serious, didn’t even took me that long to translate.”
“Yeah, tell us another one.”
“Why don’t you go tell him how you ran through the house today, panicking as if the end of the world would be coming beforehand.”
Derek winced slightly at the sound of the voices inside his mind. He was grateful that nobody besides him could hear them, and even more grateful for the sound of the door bell that decided to ring before anybody else could answer.
“Yes, with that much caffeine he’d ingested during the week, it is a wonder that he fell asleep that often over his notes and caused him to need almost the whole week to finish it”, Alex helpfully added before Derek was ever been able to get up to the door. (C’mon, did you think I’d get him that easily off the hook? I am evil, Christmas or not.)
“Let’s see who’s at the door, please”, Derek pleaded and headed out towards the main entrance. (Well, now that must be the rest of the gang, so that we can finally begin with the rest of the evening).
“Hello and Merry Christmas to all of you!” The precept greeted the newcomers and welcomed them inside the House. “Now that all of us finally are here, we can begin with dinner.”
“How was your flight?” Nick asked the ladies that had entered and pulled off their coats. “I hope that there wasn’t that much air traffic?”
“No, actually it wasn’t”, Bella, the leader of the German band of their fellow Legacy members answered sweetly, never taking her eyes off Nick. “But we had to pick up the rest of the gang on our way here.”
The other girls, members from the Houses from all over the world smiled brightly towards them. The initiators had met on Frankfurt airport in Germany and from there had to pick the rest of them up from their Houses in Britain, Israel, Canada and other places as well and of course finally from the States, which was where they all were from, on their way towards San Francisco, the home of the House there, the true Main House to them.
“You wouldn’t have started without us, would you?” another one asked who had introduced herself as Pari, taking Nick on the arm and dragging him towards the living room again.
“Actually, the dining room is over there”, he said pointing towards the next room. “I thought we could dine first and then get unwrap our presents.”
He didn’t notice that almost every single one of the newcomers had a broad grin or evil smirk on their faces.
“Of course, Nick, we can do that!” the girls chorused unison.
was so good, compliments to the delivery service from where the dinner actually
originated from”, Kiva, one of the members of the
“What do you mean, delivery service?!” Alex burst out and Rachel chimed in, that they had stood for hours inside the kitchen to prepare it.
“Yeah, tell me another one”, she said, dismissing it. “As if you could actually cook.”
“My guess would be that you have needed the time to clean the mess you have made inside the kitchen, so that we wouldn’t notice”, Baby said and Bianca and tee nodded in agreement, as well as several of the others from the German House who had introduced themselves as Luna, Imke and Patty.
“So, now that we are finished, we can go back open some presents, can’t we?” Kat smiled happily and hopped off her chair running off towards the living room.
“The living room is it then”, Derek agreed and stood up. The others followed him, leaving all the plates behind (where they’ll remain until the unseen helpers will come back, for have you seen anybody doing the dishes on the show?)
“I think it is time for the presents now”, Derek suggested and went over to the trees where some of the girls were standing, admiring the little one.
“What a cute little tree”, Brina said pointing at it and the others nodded in agreement.
“I have never seen a cuter Christmas tree in my life”, Pari told them and Kat exclaimed proudly that she alone had decorated it.
“See, I told you they’d like it”, she added towards Derek’s direction.
“All right, it is a cute tree, but I still like the other one better”, he admitted defeated, pointing to some presents. “Won’t you want to have your presents now?”
Kat squealed with excitement and hurried towards the presents. The others also started to open their presents and smiled happily at what they got this year.
“Now wait until I am going to unwrap mine later”, Pari whispered to herself, her eyes never leaving Nick (hehe, hope you’ll like your special present).
“I got some nice books about magic, thank you so much!” Kat announced extremely pleased and full of excitement. “Mom, look what I got! Mom…?”
Rachel must have slipped out of the room, because she was nowhere to be seen. The others had also opened their presents by now and Kat looked over towards what Kiva had gotten.
“Oh, look, that dolly almost looks like my Mom”, Kat said confused. Kiva held the small doll in her hands, but the fragile little thing broke with a small cracking sound in two pieces.
“Now you’ve broken off the head!” Kat told her, but Kiva only smiled.
“This story is especially dedicated to my friends
Brina, Bianca, tee, Luna, Patty, Imke, Cel, Sarah,
Pari, Kiva, Baby, Lua, Ndell,
and to all the other fans out there of the Poltergeist community.
I have to thank you so much for your friendship, support and for just being my friends. This year I have received the best present for Christmas I could wish for, for I got you all.
This story was my little Christmas present for you guys and I can only hope that you’ve liked it.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, peaceful and joyful holidays with your families and afterwards a Happy New Year. May it be more peaceful than the last one.
I love you all.