This story is for Freaky Disaster.
The idea comes from Love Actually, multiple stories in the lead up to Christmas. I hope you enjoy and I got your OC's right.
Two weeks before Chistmas
The couple laughed as they made their way along the icy street, her fingers gripping tightly onto the arm of his jacket as she struggled to remain upright in her heels. "I don't think I should have had that last glass of wine," she confided.
"I think your sudden inability to stand has more to do with your heels," he chuckled wryly.
"This dress doesn't go with flats," she replied, her lips settling into a slight pout that was so unlike her that he couldn't help but laugh deeply.
His arm slid around her waist, helping to steady her. "I do like the dress, and I suppose that I can put up with having to practically carry you home."
"Such a gentlemen," she teased.
"I know," he replied modestly.
She was still laughing as they paused outside her front door, Jackie turned to face him, one arm winding around Robbie's neck, the other around his waist, as she pulled him close into him, telling him, "I had fun tonight."
"Me too," he replied simply, feeling a shiver run up his spine as her fingers softly teased the nape of his neck. He cupped her face in his hands, thumbs brushing along her cheekbones as he leaned in, his mouth simply brushing hers at first, until her felt her fingers tighten around his neck, trying to pull him closer.
He deepened the kiss as her mouth opened under his, manoeuvring her backwards until she was pined against her door. She moaned as he was pressed against her, his thigh slipping between hers and she gasped into his mouth as she felt him hot and hard against her. Rolling her hips she smiled as he let out a barely muffled groan.
As he rocked against her, she forced herself to break the kiss, surprised to find that already her breath was falling in almost desperate pants. "We need to stop," she murmured quietly. "We're taking it slow, remember?"
Robbie wanted to yell his frustration, but instead he let out a low hiss of breath and took a small step back, for once thanking his lucky stars that it was so bloody cold. "Yeah." he nodded. "I remember," he concluded grimly.
Jackie's face creased in concern, they'd been dating for almost two months now, and she'd been reluctant to take the next step. After all Robbie was well known for sleeping with women and then losing interest and she didn't want that to be their story. "I'm sorry, I just don't want to rush."
His face softened, his hand cupping her face again. "No, I'm sorry. I don't mind waiting-"
"Liar," she teased.
His eyes gleamed. "You didn't let me finish. I don't mind waiting if it's what you want. I want to show you that I'm serious about this…us. So I'll wait," he concluded seriously.
"It won't be forever," she promised him.
He nodded, taking another small step back because he knows that if he doesn't he'll just end up throwing himself back into her arms and torturing himself some more, and he knows there's only so much he can take in one night. Leaning forward he kisses her cheek chastely, giving her a longing look, he tells her, "I better go."
"You don't want to come in for coffee?" Jackie asked, trying and failing to conceal her disappointment.
Robbie hesitated, he thinks of what waits for him inside, coffee that will be discarded for more slow, lingering kisses and even though he knows that he'll find himself leaving and feeling even more tortured, he just can't help himself. He wasted so many years, he's not going to waste another minute." "Coffee sounds good," he murmurs as he leans forward, kissing her once more.
"It has to be perfect," Stuart mutters, chewing at the skin surrounding his fingernail.
Reaching across Ewan pulled his hand down. "Stop it," he told him calmly. "It will be perfect, we'll make it perfect."
"It's our first Christmas with her though."
"Really?" Ewan asked, looking surprised. "I'm surprised you haven't said before…no wait…now you mention it I remember you saying something about it once, or twice, or about a thousand times." He laughed, ducking behind his arms as Stuart threw a cushion at him.
"Don't tease," his partner told him, suppressing a smile. "You know how important this is to me."
"I know," Ewan commented, picking up the pillow and propping it behind his head as he lay down on the floor, turning his head so he could look at Stuart. He reached up and squeezed his hand again. "And it will be perfect because the three of us will be together, presents are just a nice little extra."
Stuart nodded. "I do agree with you-"
"But…" Ewan prompted with an amused grin.
"But she's never had a proper Christmas before, so I want to make this one she'll never forget."
"Ah, that'll be why it looks like someone vomited tinsel over the Christmas tree then," he remarked dryly.
"Remind me again why I'm with you?" he asked.
"Probably because of my rugged good looks and the fact I'm sensational in bed."
"That'll be it," Stuart replied, rolling his eyes. Holding out the toy catalogue to him he told him, "Just have another look and circle anything you think she might like."
"The things I do for you."
"Get on with it," Stuart told him, dropping a pen onto his partner's chest.
"On one condition, once I'm done we have an early night."
Burke took a swig of his whisky as he stared out of his living room window, his eyes narrowing as he surveyed the city. He could see Christmas lights twinkling away from where he stood and it made his frown deepen. He hated this time of year, had done for years.
Letting out a deep sigh, he placed the crystal glass onto his badly stained coffee table. He could still remember the days when he'd enjoyed it, loved it even. When Stephen was little it had been…well not sound clichéd… but magical. The wonder on his face, the sound of him laughing.
His mouth twisted, those days were long gone now, he hadn't even spoken to Stephen in years, and that wasn't for lack of trying.
Sighing again he turned away from the window, deciding that what he hated most about Christmas was the fact that he couldn't help but relive memories of what he no longer had; a family.
One week before Christmas
"I really need to stop leaving things to the last minute," Jenny commented, flicking a strand of red hair over her shoulder. It was the station's Christmas party tonight and she had absolutely nothing to wear.
Jackie's mouth twitched as she replied, "I'm sure being a psychologist you could analyse the reason behind you putting things off and fix it."
"I could," she admitted, a grin on her face. "But I make it a rule not to self analyse myself, because I never like the answer." She looked up from the rack of dresses she was flicking disinterestedly through and remarked, "Let me guess you have an outfit for tonight?"
"I do," Jackie confirmed. "Bought a new dress a few weeks ago that I've been looking for an excuse to wear." She held up an emerald green dress. "How about this?"
"I like it," Jenny told her, tilting her head to one side so that she could examine it better. "But I don't know if I love it." Reaching out she took it from Jackie and added it to the pile over her arm, telling her, "I'll add it to the maybes and try it on."
Jackie rolled her eyes. "I hope you're more organised when it comes to you Christmas shopping."
"I am actually," the younger woman confirmed brightly. "It's all done. Yours?"
Pulling a face, Jackie shook her head. "Still got Robbie to buy for and I have no idea what to get for him."
"Really? You always seem to pick things out for Robbie without any difficulty."
"Mmm," she mumbled, not quite meeting Jenny's speculative gaze. She wanted this years Christmas present to be special, after all it was their first together as a couple. It was just that they hadn't told anyone that they were together, which was making this conversation more than a little awkward. "What can I say, inspiration alludes me for once," she shrugged casually.
"Ah, I'd suggest trying the lingerie department. You'll probably find something he likes in there, admittedly you'd be the one wearing it but I'm pretty sure that'll make it all the better for him." She watched as Jackie opened her mouth to protest and interrupted her, continuing with, "And don't bother to protest, I know you two are dating, I've seen the looks you've been shooting each other. Hint, if you don't want to be found out then don't make goo goo eyes in front of someone who studies body language for a living."
Shifting on her feet, Jackie flushed pink and lowering her voice, told her friend. "Ok, so Robbie and I are seeing each other-"
"Don't interrupt or I won't tell you anything else," she warned her.
Jenny nodded, mimicking zipping her lips and waving her hands to prompt her to continue.
Shaking her head, Jackie let out a rush of breath and continued, "We're dating, nothing else has happened yet, we're taking things slowly."
"Oh." Jenny sniggered. "So Robbie Ross is getting blue balled."
"It's funny, admit it."
"Do you want to dress shop on your own?" Jackie growled warningly. Robbie wasn't the only one suffering through this and it was starting to make her tetchy.
"Not really, although I am starting to think that I have enough to try on."
Jackie sent a sardonic glance down at the pile of clothes in her arms. "You think?"
"So…how slow is slow?"
"It's been two months already."
"Ah." Jenny patted her arm. "If it helps I think he's serious about you and I don't think he's going to get bored. So if I were you I wouldn't completely dismiss my idea about the lingerie."
"I'll keep it in mind," she laughed. Her features creased into a frown. "Does anyone else know about me and Robbie?"
"You mean Burke and Stuart? God no!" she scoffed. "They're clueless."
"Barbie or Bratz?" Stuart asked, waving the boxes in front of Ewan's face as he leaned on the handle of the trolley.
"Either, she'll love both," he replied easily. He watched as Stuart continued to examine the two, turning them over and over in his hand, putting one down and then picking it back up again.. "You need to calm down," he commented.
"I am calm," Stuart mumbled, still engrossed. "Maybe we shouldn't go too girly."
"Right…what is this really all about?" Ewan asked. This had went on for far too long and there was a definite undercurrent to it all, and he wanted to know what it was.
"I told you this is our first Christmas with her, and probably her first proper Christmas over all."
Stuart looked up at Ewan and when he realised from the look in his eyes that he wasn't going to drop the issue, he put the boxes down and admitted, "I want her to know how much I love her."
Ewan looked at him, his eyes widening in surprise, his mouth opening and then closing again before he finally replied, "Ronan already knows that and she loves you."
"I just think that she doesn't quite understand who I am to her yet," Stuart confided. "And I know from experience that when children don't understand family dynamics, it isn't good. You're her Dad, and I'm her-"
"Dad," Ewan told him firmly. "You're her Dad as well."
"I'm not sure that she understands that yet. I just thought that maybe if I could get her just the right present she'd understand just how much she means to me and…it was stupid," he mumbled in conclusion.
Covering Stuart's hand with his own, Ewan squeezed it gently, telling him, "It wasn't stupid."
"She doesn't even call me, Dad yet," Stuart confided. "It's like she doesn't seem to see me as permanent."
"She's been through a lot, she might just be wary. I mean you can pretty much guarantee that Krystal had a steady stream of men coming and going."
"I do know that, I do…I just want to change it."
"You will and in time with both of us in her life she'll understand that we're both her Dad's and that we both love her equally."
"You're right," Stuart finally replied. "But if it's all the same I still think we should spoil her rotten this Christmas."
"Oh I definitely agree with that," Ewan laughed.
Burke wanted to physically wince at the lurid Christmas lights the canteen had been decorated with, he hated the annual Christmas do, but as he was expected to attend he pasted a smile on his face and just got on with it.
He looked over to where Stuart was talking to Jenny, the pair excitedly laughing over Christmas traditions, and he grumbled under his breath. Turning to the side he saw where Jackie and Robbie were also standing talking, watched as they leaned closer and closer into each other. Taking a fortifying gulp of alcohol he decided that if they got any closer he'd bang their heads together.
His frown deepened when he saw a giggling PC head over to them, mistletoe in hand, and he went to head them off, he was not going to watch his two senior detectives embroiled in a game of tonsil hockey just for the sake of a bloody holiday.
As he set off quickly across the room, he decided that Scrooge may have had a point.
"So what are you doing for Christmas?" Robbie asked.
Jackie shrugged. "Spending it at my brother's I suppose."
"Not really," she admitted. "I know it sounds awful, and I do love them but all three of them at once with all their families it's a bit too much, especially all day. What about you?"
"Nothing, Jamie's spending the day with his Mum." He pursed his lips for a second before drawing in a deep breath and asking, "Spend the day with me?"
Her eyes widened. "You want us to spend Christmas together?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Is this because you think I'll cook you dinner?" she asked suspiciously.
He laughed. "I thought I'd cook…well try."
"I'd be happy to help, as long as you realise that you're going to be doing the bulk of the work."
"Slave driver," he teased.
"You love it."
It was just past midnight when Jackie stepped out of her car, crossing her arms across her long wool jacket in an attempt to ward off the cold. As her heels slipped ever so slightly on the frosty ground, she tried to remind herself why she'd decided that this was a good idea, because it had seemed like one when she'd thought it up.
Still she'd come this far so there was no way in hell she was backing out now. So taking a deep breath she pressed the buzzer to Robbie's flat before she could chicken out.
There was a frown on his face when he came to the door, obviously wondering who would be calling round very, very first thing on Christmas day, his face relaxing into a warm smile when he saw her there. "You're early," he told her, his eyebrow arched in amusement.
"I know," she replied simply. "But I wanted to give your present just now…or at least part of it."
He stepped aside, letting her into the flat and shooting her a curious look as he did so. "Must be exciting," he remarked as he shut the front. Watching as she dropped her bag and a small gift bag onto the floor.
"Fingers crossed," she mumbled under her breath.
"What was that?" Robbie asked.
"Doesn't matter," she assured him.
"Right…want me to take your coat?"
Her fingers hesitated over the buttons for a second as she fought the butterflies in her stomach. "Yeah, then you can unwrap your present," she told him. He wasn't even looking as she unbuttoned her jacket, too busy locking the door, his hand reaching behind him to take it off her. Jackie suppressed a nervous smile as she watched him haphazardly hang her coat off one of the hooks that lined his wall.
Robbie turned, his eyes widening and his jaw actually falling open an inch or two as he took in what Jackie was wearing. The short silk dress was deep purple, and it was only now he could appreciate how long her legs looked in the heels she had on, and how she'd applied her make up and managed to accentuate her eyes and mouth.
She turned and he inhaled sharply when he saw the crisscross of ribbons across her back. "I unwrap here," she told him, her voice slightly huskier than usual.
He stepped closer to her, his hand coming up to rest against her back. "God, Jacks," he breathed out. "You look good."
"Glad you think so. Oh and Robbie,"
"Mmm," he mumbled, his lips already pressed against the back of her neck, eliciting a shiver from her.
"I don't want you to stop tonight."
His mouth stopped it's exploration. "Are you sure?"
"Positive," she replied, turning in his arms so she could brush her lips ever so lightly against his. "In fact I've never been surer of anything in my life."
"You know that I love you, don't you?"
"Always," came the simple reply.
"Santa's been!" Ronan screeched, jumping onto the bed, right in-between Stuart and Ewan. Her long carrot coloured hair was sticking out in all different directions, her bright eyes shining with childish excitement. She pulled at Ewan's hand. "Daddy come see, come see."
The two men shared a smile, they knew that many would be surprised that Ronan believed at Santa at the age of eight but she'd been through so much and deprived of a proper childhood that they wanted her to have some of that magic, if even just for a short while.
They followed her into the living room, where just last night they'd sat up and painstakingly wrapped all of her presents, placing them around the tree. Ronan jumped up and down on the spot, her eyes wide and disbelieving as she looked at the presents. "Well," Stuart prompted, "are you going to open them?"
She looked up at him hopefully. "Are they for me?" she asked.
"Of course, I don't see another little girl here that Santa would deliver to."
A smile tugged at her small features as she stepped forward, sitting down beside the presents as she tried to decide which one to open first.
Her excitement grew after each one, she'd never had toys before and now she had so many she wasn't entirely sure what to do with them.
"How do I say thank you to Santa," she solemnly asked both of them later on that evening. "Do I write him a letter?"
"You could, but Santa will already know how much you like your presents, he always knows." Ewan winked across at Stuart who simply grinned, leaning back in his chair, stuffed from the large dinner he'd consumed.
Ronan frowned, clambering up onto Stuart's knee and throwing an arm around his neck. Smiling in surprise, Stuart hugged the little girl closer to him, asking, "So what was your favourite bit of today."
"Everything," she replied enthusiastically. "I really really like the lights on the tree," she told him. "They're pretty."
"They are," he agreed, watching as she tried and failed not to yawn. "Although I think that you need to go to bed."
"I don't want to go to bed yet, Daddy," she told him. "Want to sit up with you."
Stuart choked slightly as he replied quietly, "I think that can be allowed for once."
"Good," she muttered as she began to doze against his shoulder.
There was silence for a few long moments before Ewan asked mildly, "Good day then?"
"Don't be so smug," Stuart warned him.
"That wasn't an answer."
"The best," Stuart replied. "To be honest I don't think any Christmas present will ever compare," he confided.
"Doesn't mean we'll stop trying though."
Burke poured himself another drink, wishing that the day was over. He'd spent the day resisting the urge to go into the office, to distract himself. But he knew how that would look, so instead he'd sat resolutely in his chair and stared at the TV, bloody thing was all doom and gloom.
He shut his eyes as the phone rang, hoping that it wasn't another awkward phone call from John, his brother had phoned earlier and forced out an awkward Merry Christmas. Taking a deep, steeling breath he answered, "Hello."
There was a heavy pause before a familiar voice replied, "Hi, Dad."
Burke leaned forward in his chair. "Stephen," he breathed out. "I didn't expect to hear from you."
"I know…but I figured I should probably break the news that I'm getting married before an invite falls through your letterbox."
"You're…congratulations son," Burke told him, beaming in the empty room.
"Yeah…since last week. I wanted to call but the way things got left…it…"
"It was awkward," he finished for him.
"Yeah, but I figured that Christmas was the perfect time to phone, meaning of the season and all that."
"It's good to hear from you," Burke assured him. "Missed you."
"Missed you too Dad, look I dunno if you'll be in London anytime soon, I'd like you to meet Lisa before the wedding."
"I can come down, anytime."
"Great, well I'll give you my number."
"I'll get a pen."
"Oh, and Dad."
"Merry Christmas," Burke replied, suddenly deciding that just maybe this holiday wasn't that bad as he'd first thought.
Curled up in Robbie's arms, Jackie watched as it drew closer to midnight. "Christmas is almost over," she told him.
"Mmm, best day ever," he replied, leaning over her and kissing her soundly.
"We'll ignore the fact that you incinerated the carrots," she laughed.
"Apart from that it was perfection," he countered smugly.
"At risk of inflating your head even further, the meal wasn't the only thing that was perfection," Jackie told him, trailing her fingers up his arm and kissing his shoulder.
"High praise indeed." And even though she wasn't looking at him she just knew that he was smirking smugly
"I don't know why I love you," Jackie remarked, rolling her eyes.
Robbie looked down at her. "You what?"
"I thought you knew," she said, looking up at him in surprise. "Why would I have let you away with so much if I didn't?"
"Ah but that was the first time you've actually said it," he told her, the smile on his face now completely different, warmer. He rolled them so that he was leaning over her now, could feel her warm hands sliding up and over his back. "You're the best present ever," he laughed.
"Well you better look after me then," she warned him, half laughing.
"Oh I intend to."