Part 2/7: It’s gonna be a cold Christmas (without you)….
About: Walkers, Wandells, McCallisters, Harpers, Whedons, Holdens, the whole shebeng
Disclaimer: B&S doesn’t belong to me. Written with love, not for money.
Summary: Christmas-plans anyone?
“So, are you just dropping in for a nice conversation or…?” Robert lets the question hang between them until Jason clears his throat.
“The bishop wanted to talk to me this afternoon.” Robert feels a pang of worry. The last time he heard those words, Jason left for Malaysia.
“Are they sending you away again?” he asks quietly.
“I’ve been offered a place in Florida.”
“For how long?”
“Indefinite.” Jason replies.
“Jason, you hated being in Malaysia, you were terribly home-sick. And now you want to leave again? What makes you think it will be easier this time?”
“I was home-sick for a reason, Robert.”
“Kevin.” Robert understands.
“Yes… Once Kevin broke up with me, there was no reason to long for home. And I …. I ended up loving Malaysia, my work and just building a school there.”
“Are you going to take it?” Robert asks hesitantly.
“I don’t know yet. I also had a request from another minister, a friend of mine, if I wanted to help in his congregation. He’s been diagnosed with cancer and …needs his strength elsewhere.”
“What is the difference?”
“The other one, my friend’s place, is in Bolivia...” Robert looks chocked. Bolivia is not exactly a safe country. “The one in Florida will bring more responsibilities, I will be in charge of several other ministers and it will be more behind the scenes work. In Bolivia I’ll be alone with my friend and his wife and that’s it… I don’t know yet what to do.”
“Take Florida. You can handle the responsibility. It was time that they showed some faith in you and it’s time to move up and not to take a step back….. Mom always wanted you to be the next pope….” Robert reminds Jason and Jason starts to laugh.
“I’m glad she didn’t put the bar up too high for me…”
At first Robert laughs along with him, but then he says more seriously:
“You know what I mean. Be the best that you can be. Always reach higher. I’m sure you’ll do a lot of good work in Florida.”
“Yeah.” Jason says, not entirely convinced, as he sips some more wine. “So, what will you do for Christmas?”
“Kitty and I will spend it with uncle Jack… I’m really looking forward to that.”
“Will you have the kids?”
“Yes... Kitty and I really would like the kids to have a nice little holiday before their new brother or sister joins the family.” Robert sighs. Jason nods, it makes sense, this will also be odd for the children.
“And you? I assume you’re preparing for the mass…”
“I’m not, actually. I’ve taken a step back… I am so in doubt about what I should do. There are two other ministers who are very good and, in all honesty, I’m glad that I don’t have church-duties this year…. It will give me a chance to see how the new ones are doing.”
“You know, why don’t you join us to celebrate Christmas with uncle Jack?” Robert suggests.
“Robert, just because I don’t have to give a sermon, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be there for my congregation in other ways.” Jason laughs.
“I’d like you to really think about it. It will be fun to celebrate together and Uncle Jack will love having you at his place.” And Jason laughs that he’ll think about it.
“This will be the worst Christmas ever.” Sarah laments, sitting in Nora’s kitchen, where Kevin also showed up to ‘steal’ some food.
“Tell me about it.” Kevin sighs. “Why will it be the worst Christmas for you? No kids?”
“With Joe.” Sarah replies “And you? Scotty has to work?”
“Until late.” Kevin complains.
“So back to spending Christmas at mom’s, huh?” Sarah asks herself.
“Beats sitting home alone.” Kevin admits and Sarah nods in agreement. At that moment Nora comes in. She still feels completely smug for having arranged the house.
“You won’t believe….”
“Mom, Sarah and I will have dinner here with you this Christmas.” Kevin announces.
“That would be lovely, honey, but I won’t be here for Christmas.”
“What?!” Kevin’s jaw drops.
“Come again?” was Sarah’s comment.
Nora watches her two kids and revels in the feeling of being able to shock them.
“I’m was with Janet this afternoon.” Kevin and Sarah look at each other. “She has a home in the mountains and it’s vacant this Christmas and I want to go there and bring the entire family.”
“Ahm, mom, does ‘Thanksgiving’ ring a bell?” Kevin asks.
“What do you mean?” Nora wonders.
“You just said the entire family is coming…. Does ‘the entire family’ know about this? ‘Cause I do believe that Robert has other plans and Tommy and Julia promised to go to Julia’s parents to compensate for Thanksgiving, I think.”
“Yes, and maybe Justin will go with Rebecca to Holly’s….”
“He won’t. SHE had him for Thanksgiving.” Nora is slightly irritated at the thought. Sarah and Kevin exchange looks. This is not a good start of the Christmas planning, they know.
“And…” Kevin starts carefully. “With Scotty working, I’d rather not leave town. What little time we will have I’d like to spend with him. Even if it's just a few hours.... I'd rather be with him.”
Nora’s shoulders drop. No, she cannot expect Kevin to leave his husband behind. She also vaguely remembers Kitty mentioning being away for Christmas. And of course it would make sense for the others to have made plans as well. Why hadn’t she thought of that? Oh, she hates having to go back to Janet and tell her that she won’t be going anyway…
It’s nearly 5 o’clock in the morning when Holly wakes up from the same nightmare she had every night these last few weeks. Her nightshirt is soaking wet. The bed is a mess, looking like she had a boxing-match in it, which isn’t come far from the truth. There is sweat on her forehead making her blond hair stick to her skin. She breaths shallowly as if there is not enough oxygen in the room.
She turns on the lights and barefoot she goes into her kitchen where she pours herself some cold water from the fridge. She only takes a few sips and then hold the glass to her heated skin, trying to cool down. Walking around, her body-temperature goes back to normal and now she shivers from the cold. She puts on her vest.
One look at the clock tells her it’s 5.17 a.m. and she knows it will be no use to go back to bed. She will not be able to sleep anyway. So she makes coffee for herself. Sitting with her elbows resting on the table, she plays with her cup and takes in the caffeine. Then picks up the file she brought from work. Better get some work done, now that she’s awake.
END OF PART 2