Author's Note: These are a series of holiday one-shots based on the fanfic Robin's Guest by Galieo Figaro in a modern AU setting. The first one is a Hanukkah story for the ship of her OC Orchid (Lola)/ Patsy.
A Very Spamalot Christmas
Part I: The First Hanukkah
Lola stood before the bubbling pan of oil that sat on the stove, a little nervous about the task at hand. After all, this was her first time making potato latkes and to be perfectly honest, cooking something new and something so loved by her husband was intimidating to her. Yes, she could cook, well enough to suffice she and her husband that they didn`t break their budget by eating out all the time. But let`s be honest here- she was no Julia Child. Besides, her husband adored potato latkes- he had been raised on them- and this particularly recipe was actually stolen from his mother`s kitchen. She had swiped it from the little recipe box on the kitchen counter when they were invited over for dinner. So completely screwing up something so synonymous with Patsy`s childhood wasn`t something she really wanted to do.
This whole Jewish thing was really new to her anyway and this was her first Hanukkah- their first Hanukkah. She wanted to make it as special as possible.
When she and Patsy first got engaged and they seriously started thinking about the wedding, the only request Patsy had said he wanted was they get married by a rabbi. Lola, in response, said she would go all the way and convert for him. She had never been extremely religious to start with - a Christian, but she wasn`t very punctual about going to church. When Patsy brought up the Jewish wedding, she said it was something that she wanted to do- for the both of them.
Well, it has been several months since they had gotten hitched and yes, they did celebrate the Jewish holidays that had come between then and now, but those were holidays she had never celebrate before in place of another one. Hanukah was just that. She was celebrating it instead of Christmas. Lola was looking forward to the holiday, but like anything that was taking over another, it was going to be difficult to adjust to this new normal.
She tried to get into the spirit of the holiday. She wore Star of David printed socks to her work, but they were hidden under the pant leg of her blue work scrubs and in her white tennis shoes. She tried to find Hanukah music at the local music store, Joyful Noise, by asking Herbert, one of the employees there and the man who hired her as a maid a while back when she and Patsy were strapped for cash while trying to pay for a wedding and a new house, but her quest to find a CD of Hanukah songs failed when he couldn`t find a single CD.
Another attempt was to decorate for the holiday. Well, the small holiday was crushed under the insane amount of green and red, tinsel, Santa Clauses, and angels at the party store and what she could find was measly little rack. And all too sadly, when she got excited over what little she could find, she realized that their budget was strained enough as it was with paying off the wedding and a new house and that Hanukah decorations were a luxury that they could live without. Still, she polished and spruced up the silver menorah and bought new candles in a beautiful cornflower blue color.
With that track record of not being festive for the holiday, she was determined to get something right this first Hanukah. Ergo, she was trying to get these potato latkes just right for Patsy.
Looking down at Mrs. Goldstein`s loopy scrawl, she squinted at the directions. "Let potato mixture fall in oil and fry to golden brown," she read and, with confidence, told herself, "Seems easy enough."
She did as the recipe instructed her and smiled as the potatoes began to sizzle and hiss in the heated oil.
After that she heard the door the garage hum that familiar hum that meant Patsy was home. Following the garage door was the sound of Patsy`s old car rumbling into the garage and followed by that was the sound of the garage door closing once more. Not thirty seconds after that, her husband emerged into the kitchen, which was adjacent to the garage.
"Hello, darling," Lola greeted her husband with a smile as she stood over the stove.
"Hello, my flower," he said with a sigh as he dropped his briefcase on a chair at the kitchen`s little round table.
Patsy murmured something under his breath. "You know how Arthur is. He doesn`t like to rest on anything and he drags me along for the ride."
"Well, at least he pays pretty well," Lola said with another sigh. "Helped us pay for my big, fat, Jewish wedding."
"That he did." Patsy smirked and walked over to his wife, wrapping her in his arms. "And he did make a moving speech during one of the toasts. And seeing him and Gwen getting a chance to do the Hora was too funny." He bent down and gave her a tender kiss.
"The best part was with Lance and Herbert," Lola added. "Herbert looked a little frightened to be suspended in a chair like that."
The woman then smirked, noticing a little brown spot on the tip of her husband`s nose. "You have a bit of smudge a somethin', on your nose."
"How did-" Patsy grumbled, his hand instinctively swatting up to try and get it off.
"Don`t worry, I got it." Lola rubbed her fingers against the rounded tip of Patsy`s nose and with a few wipes, she managed to get it all off.
"There. It`s gone now." She kissed the tip of his nose for emphasis.
"I honestly don`t know how that got on there," Pasty told her. "I swear I get dirty without even noticing it."
"Nobody pointed it out at that big, fancy-smancy meeting you were at?" Lola asked.
Patsy only shrugged. "Nope."
"Come on. Why don`t you sit down for a bit? Lola offered, peeling off the layers that surrounded her husband- first his coat, then his scarf, and then his matching hat. "Let`s have a Coke and then we`ll light the menorah and dinner will be ready."
"I was going to say something about that," Pasty told her. "It smells delicious in here. Like my mom`s house."
Lola went across the room to the fridge where she pulled out two cans of Diet Coke and then back to the table where she popped open both cans, handing one of them to her husband.
"Do you wish you were celebrating the holiday with them this year?" Lola asked thoughtfully.
Her husband`s answer was shocking.
"Absolutely not," Patsy said with a chuckle. "Being shoved under the rug by my sisters hogging for my mother`s attention, not to mention their combined dozen kids and their husbands, in such a small house? And being tugged on by my nieces and nephews to play Dreidel with them and break up fights on who stole whose chocolate coins? No. I love them, but they drive me to insanity."
He took a sip of his soda and smiled, reaching his hand over to rub his wife`s. "Besides, you and me together, eating latkes, that`s the best Hanukah."
Lola giggled a bit at that remark. "I don`t think I could ask for a better- holy shit! The latkes are on fire!"
She panicked, seeing her potato cakes were now a-flame.
"I`m going to get some water on it-" Patsy, just as shocked but a little more calm, offered, rushing to the sink until Lola stopped him in his tracks.
"No! It`s an oil fire! It needs baking powder!" She cried and at once Patsy began to frantically search for the baking soda inside the cabinets. He kept opening and slamming them, frenzying around to find it until he finally did in the third cabinet he tried. At once, he threw the powder upon the pot of latkes and the fire was extinguished.
Lola gave a heavy sigh and sank to the kitchen floor, leaning against the cabinet doors below the sink, letting her head fall back onto the wooden frame. Her husband followed suit, sitting right next to his wife.
"I`m a terrible cook, aren`t I?"Lola asked, trying to mask her disappointment in herself with a small, weak smile.
"You`re not a bad cook," Patsy insisted, reaching for Lola`s hand and squeezing it. "You make. . . really good salads."
"Any moron can make a salad."
"Not as good as yours. And you did make the apple sauce for tonight, right?" Patsy gave his wife`s hand another squeeze.
Lola murmured something and shook her head, admitting to that. "That I did."
"See? Cheer up, Lola! It could be worse!" Patsy patted Lola`s knee cap with his free hand and stood up. "Well, how about I try and re-make the latkes for you? My mother used to put me on latke-duty since I could handle being around hot oil. You could get the other things ready and I`ll take care of this."
"Okay. I can do that," Lola said.
She did as Patsy had suggested and got the kitchen table ready for dinner, hanging Patsy`s coat and weather gear on the hooks by the door, setting his briefcase in right spot, and fixing up the table by setting the plates and silverware, the pitcher of water, and the apple sauce that she had made to accompany the latkes. Not to mention, she got out the bagged-present she had bought for Patsy from its hiding place in the linen closet.
Soon, Patsy had finished preparing dinner and said, while they cooled for a bit, they would light the menorah.
The menorah was new- a sliver one that had been fairly cheap and in their narrow price range. Yes, it wasn`t a luxurious as the antique one that Patsy`s family had owned for generations now, but they had picked it out together. The cornflower blue candles were fresh out of the box, lacking the trickle of wax down the side that all of the other candles that Lola and Patsy owned had. They had set the menorah on the window sill in their living room that lacked curtains (for fire safety) and the way Patsy described the nights of Hanukah, it was a breath-taking sight to see when all the candles were lit up at the end of the eighth night, with the lights dimmed and the snow falling outside the window where the menorah`s light glowed. It was magical, as he described it.
Patsy reappeared from the bedroom where he had donned his yarmulke and had a matchbox in his hand. He reached for the light dimmer and dulled the light in the living room to almost-darkness.
"Ready?" He asked when he came to Lola`s side by the window sill.
Now Lola had taken Latin in high school and college and being an obstetrics nurse, her brain was brimming with all kinds of medical vocabulary that was mindboggling, but Hebrew was still a new thing for her. Patsy had been speaking bits and pieces of it since he was a kid, not to mention he went to Hebrew class at the synagogue before his Bar Mitzvah. She was a bit nervous about her pronunciation of the prayers- so she left it up to Patsy to say the blessings over the candles as he light the first one. She just basked in the glow of the candle, listening to Patsy`s rehearsed Hebrew as he said the final blessing.
It was a beautiful occasion. It was marking their first holiday as a family- their own family. They were marking a milestone in their marriage, an important date. And Lola wanted to treasure it.
Patsy tenderly kissed her forehead, breaking her from her thoughts. "And there are eight more nights of this. So, you hungry? I think the latkes fried up pretty good, once I got them into a new pan of oil that wasn`t drenched by baking soda."
"That sounds perfect, Patsy."
So they enjoyed their holiday dinner- a humble little feast of the latkes and apple-sauce with a lemon-custard pie to finish off for dessert.
"Hey- I have something for you," Lola said, after finishing her own slice of the pie. She reached for the bag and handed it to her husband, who took it with gratitude.
Patsy dug through the blue paper that filled the bag until he found what it truly contained: a new sweater in a sunshine yellow and a book of Dilbert comics.
"I know you said they were supposed to be small presents over the eight nights, so I have better things in store than this," Lola explained.
"I love it," Patsy told her with a smile.
Lola chuckled softly.
"Well, I think you`ll be disappointed by the fact that you`re getting the biggest gift first," Patsy said, reaching into his pocket for something. "And sadly the next seven days is just a bunch of knickknacks."
What was in his pocket was a little black box with a silver present-bow attached to the very top.
Lola`s breath hitched when she saw the box. For one thing, she immediately recognized the box to belonging to the jeweler that had sold Patsy the engagement ring he had given to Lola when he proposed to her. It was crazy expensive- and with them watching their budget, she was so shocked that Patsy went out and bought her something as frivolous as jewelry.
She loved him so much.
"Patsy," she breathed as she accepted the small box into her hands. "This must have cost you a mint-"
"It did. But Arthur gave me my Christmas bonus early this year." He beamed and then gently urged, "Go on. Open it."
Lola followed her husband commands to find a simple -but elegant- amethyst necklace on a silver chain.
She shook her head in disbelief. "Oh, Patsy."
"Happy Hanukah, my flower."
"It`s gorgeous," Lola said with a sigh. She got up from her seat and kissed her husband, strong and passionate, sucking him into her embrace, gathering him into her arms. It was all she could do to thank him.
"Let me help you put it on," Patsy offered, taking the box from Lola`s fingers and gently taking the silver necklace out of it. Handling it carefully and pushing back his wife`s raven hair as he clipped the necklace`s chain together.
With tears budding in her eyes, she whispered, "You`re too good to me, Patsy."
Smirking, a little pleased with himself, Pasty whispered back, "I know. But you deserve it."
The couple hugged once more, commemorating this happy moment.
For the rest of the first night of Hanukkah, Patsy and Lola spent their time snuggling each other on the couch, watching National Lampoon`s Christmas Vacation on TV, which Patsy got really excited over. ("Who says a Jew can`t love Christmas movies?" He defended himself when Lola gave him a curious glance.)
Laughing along with Patsy at Clark Griswold`s bumbling ways, Lola couldn`t help but sigh with contentment as her fingers delicately touched the precious gemstone that now hung around her neck.
So what if this holiday wasn`t the one that Patsy had grown up with? Things had changed. They had changed. They were together and everything didn`t need to be the same as before.
And, with every new territory they came across in their marriage, they were making it their own.