Christmas Interlude

Okay, so I saw this challenge and what do you know, my Muse kidnapped me and the next chapter in the 'Off key' story was put on hold.

BUT if you recall in the 7am chapter Olivia remembers the Christmas party at the Lab…well I used this setting for the challenge, so it kind of fits in…

All Americanchick & Oranfly's fault BTW ;)

The challenge is simple. Take the 6 quotes that we have picked and use each quote once. No repeats! You can also only use reoccurring characters.

Quotes:

1. "If you're hands aren't shaking you haven't had enough coffee."

2. "Would you like fries with that?"

3. "Duct tape equals silence."

4. "But I like dancing naked."

5. " Showers are good for yodeling."

6." I like my men, like I like my coffee."

*FRINGEFRINGEFRINGEFRINGE*

The cold air made Peter tighten his coat around him as he climbed out of Olivia's SUV. He scanned the deserted campus. Most students had left for the Christmas break and it was unusually quiet. Darkness was falling and the air smelt of snow which promised a white Christmas. This was going to be Peter's first Christmas back in Boston since he left all those years ago and his first Christmas with Walter since his childhood.

He grimaced at the thought. Walter had been excited about the prospect of celebrating Christmas as a family and the kitchen had been filled with the comforting smells of Christmas baking over the last weeks. Astrid had been just as enthusiastic as Walter in the pursuit of culinary delights associated with Christmas. There would be no escaping the Christmas cheer.

Olivia locked the car and walked around to meet up with Peter who had waited for her.

'What a day! Next time around I'm heading for the hills before I sit through another six hours of mental health training for law enforcement agents.' Olivia rolled her eyes.

'You're complaining about sitting in a circle singing Kum ba ya?…what about the six hours of my life I'm never getting back pouring over the FBI forensic evidence protocols Broyles requested I review!'

'Well, if you are gathering evidence for the Bureau you need to know the protocols…'

The school mistress tone irked Peter.

'Heh, and looking at the bottom of a Johnny Walker bottle isn't good mental health management either, Agent' was his curt retort.

'Touché!' mumbled Olivia as she picked up the pace and moved briskly towards the building but the hurt reflected in her eyes didn't escape Peter.

He sighed and his hand shot forward to grab her arm making her turn to face him.

'Sorry, Olivia… that was uncalled for…it's Walter...he's got these plans for Christmas and …' Peter shrugged unable to find the words to describe the jumble of emotions he found himself in.

The tightness around Olivia's mouth softened and she had to fight down the urge to laugh at the miserable expression on Peter's face.

'Don't over think it, Peter. Relax and let it happen…who knows you might enjoy it after all!'

She reached over and patted Peter's hand that was still holding on to her arm.

He nodded at her words, grateful for her understanding and dropped his hand before they walked the last few yards in silence.

The heavy door opened onto the illuminated corridors where the smell of floor wax hung in the air. Their footfall echoed along the empty corridor and in the distance Christmas music could be heard.

Peter looked at Olivia who had raised a questioning eyebrow.

'Walter in Christmas mode, I fear. His record player has been going non stop with Christmas music since the first advent. Some of those records belonged to his parents…'

They arrived at the door of the lab and Peter pushed it open.

The Lab had been converted into a Winter Wonderland. Artificial snow had been sprinkled liberally around the various work counters, stencils with Christmas motives applied to the windows and glass surfaces and a small Fir tree in a bucket of water stood in the corner with silver tinsel hanging off the branches. The light from groups of candles which had been placed through out the Lab gave a warm glow to the room though their presence most likely broke several fire marshal rules of Harvard University.

The aroma of spices such as vanilla, cloves and cardamom filled the air mixed with the heaviness of red wine.

The notes of 'Oh Christmas tree' resounded through the lab as the deep baritone of Walter Bishop directed their gaze to Gene's stall.

'Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum… Wie treu sind deine Blätter! Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit…'

'Walter, what is the meaning of this?' called Peter 'I thought we had talked about limiting the celebrations to our home'

'Peter, Agent Dunham, finally…we have been waiting for you.'

Walter stepped out from Gene's stall, a small tankard of spiced wine in one hand and candied apple in the other. His red cheeks indicated that he had sampled the spiced wine liberally before their arrival.

'Astrid, they are finally here! Bring out the cakes and the spiced wine.'

Astrid came out from the kitchen area her eyes wide with a broad smile on her face as she carried a tray with two mugs of spiced wine and a plate of Christmas cookies.

'Merry Christmas Olivia! Merry Christmas Peter!'

It was difficult for Peter not to be swept up in the exuberance of his father who danced around the lab singing loudly 'Oh Tannenbaum'

'Nice voice, Walter!' Olivia complimented with a bemused smile

'Thank you. Olivia. Showers are good for yodeling but Glühwein is much better…'and to prove his point Walter took a deep breath holding the single sound in his chest voice pushing through to his head voice breaking into the familiar wordless sound.

Peter held up his hands.

'Walter, please…they can hear you right across campus!'

Olivia accepted the mug with steaming spiced wine and selected a cookie from the plate that Astrid held out for her. Her nose wrinkled faintly at the aroma of wine and spiced cookies before taking a small bite from the star shaped treat.

'Mh, these are lovely Astrid. I can taste the cardamom and cinnamon…'

'Thank you, Walter helped me bake them today. There are two more Tupperware containers full of biscuits. One is for you to take home and share with Rachel and Ella over Christmas!'

Peter sidled up to Astrid and selected a Christmas treat and took the mug with Glühwein.

He placed his lips to the rim of the mug and cautiously took a sip.

'I think this needs a little sugar…' Peter headed towards the kitchen looking for the sugar cubes.

'Peter, bring the camera with you. I want a photo of us all…' called Walter after his son.

'Come on Olivia, Astrid …I know the perfect place' He headed off to the back of the Lab.

'Hallo old girl…' Walter stood next to Gene who had a dainty flower chain around her neck. He waved Astrid and Olivia to his side as Peter returned from the kitchen armed with a camera and the sugar. The latter he put down on a table close by with his spiced wine and moved up to the group camera in hand.

'Okay everybody say Merry Christmas…'

Walter pulled Astrid into a close embrace while Olivia lifted her mug up all three singing out loudly in unison

'Merry Christmas!'

The flash made everybody blink and Gene mooed loudly stomping her front hoof. The sudden movement caused the flower wreath to fall to the floor and Gene promptly dipped her head to scoop up a mouthful of flowers.

'Oh, no Gene…no, no don't eat the flowers' cried out Astrid in dismay but too late as half of the wreath had vanished into the cow's mouth.

Walter laughed out loud, patting Gene on her neck as her jaws worked on grinding up the flowers.

'Would you like fries with that?' he offered with a broad grin on his face.

Peter shook his head and turned to fetch his Glühwein from the counter. Olivia was already helping herself to the sugar cubes watching as one by one fell into the hot red liquid.

'Ah, Olivia, I'd go easy on the sugar…'

She looked up at Peter, her pupils dilated and a rosy flush on her cheeks.

'Don't worry, I can hold my liquor, Peter'

Her voice had a faint lilt and she winked at Peter as she stirred the red liquid.

'Alright then…' Peter shrugged and grabbed a sugar cube for his drink.

Walter had taken Astrid and was waltzing around the lab still singing at the top of his lungs. The junior agent threw her head back with peels of laughter ringing out as his father twirled her around.

Peter sat down on a chair close to him beckoning Olivia to come a sit down next to him.

'These Christmas cookies are something, Peter. Have you tried one yet? I'm already onto my third!'

'No, but I'll correct that omission promptly' He reached over and took a Christmas tree shaped cookie from the plate decorated with white icing and little silver sugar pearls.

His eyes grew wide as he watched Olivia shove the last of the cookie into her mouth, lick her lips with her pink tongue and sigh in contentment. She sipped from her wine watching Walter and Astrid dancing around the lab.

'Maybe Walter has the right idea about Christmas…I'm feeling much better now!'

This was a side of Olivia he hadn't glimpsed before as her mask slipped the tension around her mouth and eyes vanished replaced now by the glow of happiness.

'I need some more wine…'

Absentmindedly he took a nibble from his Christmas cookie as he watched Olivia get up to walk over to the kitchen where the pot with the Glühwein stood on the stove. The seductive swaying of her hips made him nearly choke on his cookie but when Olivia turned ever so slowly to glance over her shoulder back at him, her red lips slightly parted with her little pink tongue darting out to wet her lips he nearly fell off his chair.

'What the…' suddenly he sat up straight and looked at the biscuit in his hand in horror.

He took a small bite of his cookie, tasting carefully before groaning out loud.

The spices in the Christmas cookies made it harder to detect but his father had spiked the cookies with marijuana.

There was a crash in the kitchen which made him leap up and hurry towards the direction of the noise.

Olivia had removed her jacket throwing it across the room at a chair but knocking over some wine glasses on the table instead. She was in the process of unbuttoning her white shirt, her delicate lacy bra peaking out when Peter walked in.

'Heh, Olivia…' He grabbed her wrists stopping her from removing her shirt though it began to slip from her left shoulder. 'What are you doing?'

Peter took a deep breath forcing his eyes to stay locked on her face, refusing to acknowledge the warmth coming from her body so close to his or take in the creamy whiteness of her skin.

'I'm going to kill you, Walter' he thought as he lost himself in the dark green pools of Olivia's eyes. 'God, if Olivia ever realized what Walter had done, she would do it for him!'

Olivia smiled at Peter, letting her arms fall to her side, lifting her head up as she leaned against Peter's chest. Her sweet warm breath caressed his face and her lips parted with soft sigh escaping from them.

It took all of Peter's strength not to dip down and claim those soft lips she was so willingly offering him.

At this moment Walter entered the kitchen, still humming along with the Christmas carols.

'Oh, what a good idea…' he exclaimed seeing Olivia in partial undress swaying in his son's arms. Walter commenced to remove his clothing beginning with his shirt and tie.

'Walter, you are not getting undressed!' Peter hissed as he held Olivia close looking over her head at his father.

'But I love dancing naked…!' complained Walter with a whine in his voice but on seeing his son's dark face and anger reflected in his eyes he backed out of the kitchen.

Peter held onto Olivia reveling in the closeness of her body against his while thinking what to do next.

'Coffee, I need lots of coffee…' he thought. 'Okay Olivia, I'm going to sit you down over here and I'm getting you some coffee…'

Obediently Olivia sat down on the chair next to the table, tilting her head backwards as her hands ran up Peter's chest grabbing the collar of his shirt and pulling him down close to her. He felt his heart miss a beat when she placed her lips up close to his ear and purred:

'I like my men like I like my coffee: strong and hot!'

Groaning inwardly Peter gently detached Olivia's hands from his shirt and backed away, turning towards the coffeemaker.

'This woman is going to be the death of me.' He thought while heaping several extra spoons of ground coffee into the coffeemaker, flicking the switch on and then glancing back at Olivia.

His Agent Dunham who was usually impeccably in control was sprawled on the table top, her cheek resting on her arm with her eyes closed and strands of blond hair fanning over her face. She looked quite peaceful and Peter felt a smile tug at his mouth.

The record had finished playing and only then did he realize that he couldn't hear Astrid or Walter moving about next door.

He walked out into the lab to find Astrid curled up on the floor with Walter sitting next to her with a dreamy faraway look. Quickly he located a blanket and pillow for Astrid before grabbing his father by the shoulder and dragging him up and to the back of the lab.

'Merry Christmas, son' a happy smile lit up Walter's face.

'Walter, how could you do that? What possessed you to put marijuana in the Christmas cookies?'

He shook his father roughly barely containing his anger at his father's reckless behaviour.

'They are federal agents…they are our friends, stoned out of their brains thanks to you!'

Walter pulled away from Peter. 'But I just wanted to add some extra Christmas cheer. Agent Farnsworth was having a great time…'

'Walter, it's bad enough I have to tolerate your indulgences in recreational pharmacology but you must realize the seriousness of what you have done here. They could loose their jobs!' Peter ran his hand through his hair.

He could see a stubborn glint appear in Walter's eyes.

'No one will know…'

'You're bloody right no one will know. You will not mention this to either of them, understood. I'm going to toss out all the cookies …'

'Oh, what a waste, son. I'll take them home and…'

'Not another word out of you, Walter!' warned Peter holding up his hand to stop his father from continuing the thought.

'You are not throwing out the last of my special hybrid Panama red!' Walter's voice rose to an agitated level, stomping his foot with petulance.

Peter snatched a role of discarded duct tape from the lab counter next to him and held it up in a threatening gesture.

'See this…Duct tape equals silence…what'll be?'

Walter huffed under his breath and shuffled away, seeking refuge with Gene.

Peter slammed down the duct tape on the counter and hurried back to the kitchen where the coffee aroma mixed with spiced red wine filled his nostrils. He poured a mug full of hot coffee and walked over to Olivia.

'Heh, gorgeous wake up…I've got some coffee here for you'

In spite of a grumbling response Peter pulled her up to a sitting position watching as her eye lids fluttered when he held the mug under her nose.

He spent the next thirty minutes coaxing two cups of coffee down her throat before Olivia pushed his hand away.

'I've had enough, Peter. Take it away!'

'Hell, no Olivia, if you're hands aren't shaking you haven't had enough coffee!'

'I just want to sleep. Please Peter…' her soft pleading made him relent. He put the coffee mug down on the table and gathered her up in his arms her body falling softly against his as she curled her arm around his neck and buried her face against his chest.

Arriving in the office he sat down on the sofa with Olivia curled up on his lap but when he tried to remove her arms from his neck she pulled him closer asking in a sleepy voice.

'Don't go Peter…'

The events of the day and night were claiming their toll from Peter and he didn't require another invitation. He lowered himself down onto the sofa, holding Olivia close to his chest and stretched out on the narrow sofa spooning Olivia who already was deeply gone.

'Merry Christmas' he whispered. He closed his eyes and his breathing deepened as he relaxed against Olivia's body.

So hope you enjoyed this little interlude...back soon to my original story.

Love reviews so leave one please!