Part 3: Do you hear what I hear?
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: The best made plans....
He pushes her against the fridge. Eagerly kissing back, she moves closer to him. She knows she can’t stay much longer though.
“Justin, please, stop. I have to go to work.”
“Your mom won’t mind if you’re a few minutes late.” Justin says.
“No, but Tommy will. He’s watching me like a hawk.” She moans. Justin lets go of her.
Yes, he can remember what it felt like having to work for Tommy. No fun. His phone rings and he picks up.
“Hi Mom.” He says. Rebecca makes a move to leave his embrace, but he pulls her back. “I’ll have to ask Becca….” She looks at him, a question in her eyes. “Mom wonders if we would like to spend Christmas with her?… She managed to get a house where we could stay with the whole family…?”
Rebecca nods. It’s alright with her.
“What about your mom?” Justin asks to be sure.
“My mother hates celebrating Christmas. She doesn’t care much about it.”
“You’re sure?” Justin asks and she nods.
“I have to go.” She says and after a quick kiss she rushes off.
Tommy has enough of it. He is glad that the Christmas-holidays are coming and that he will be free of Holly for a few days. He doesn’t know what is wrong with her. She’s quickly irritated and finds faults in everyone. He sighs. He misses Saul. He misses Sarah…. They left because of her and because of him and he is so sad about that.
A few weeks ago he noticed it for the first time. He was beginning to dislike going to Ojai in the morning. The idea of having to work with Holly was becoming more unbearable. Especially passing Saul’s office and seeing Rebecca there. He doesn’t begrudge Rebecca her job and, he has to admit, she works hard. And she’s trying very hard to please.
But Rebecca is not Sarah or Saul. They were the ones who, together with William and Tommy himself, built this company and no matter how he hard he tries not to think like this, Holly and Rebecca are intruders. And he feels cheated. When Holly discussed the possibility of a merger of Walker Landing with Ojai, she had implied that she would concentrate on Walker Landing and he would take care of the Ojai part.
That made sense to him, they learned together where Walker Landing was concerned. Holly knew that part as well as he did, but he grew up, lived with, worked at, breathed Ojai. She didn’t know much about the dealings in Ojai. So he felt he could support her idea of a merger. But quickly after signing the papers he found out that Holly had other plans…
He never assumed that he would have many problems with Sarah or Saul, but Holly constant bossing around didn’t make it easy for him. She promised ‘no micro-management’, yet, she turned a lot of good suggestions down and at first he had not noticed, not being able to imagine Holly wanting the merger to be a failure and believing Sarah to be bias…. Now he’s not so sure anymore.
There’s a knock on his door.
“Hi. Can I come in?”
“Always.” He smiles, taking his beautiful wife into his arms and kissing her gently. Nothing can bright up his day more than seeing her, unless of course it would be…
“Left her with the baby-sitter. I needed fresh air, the wind through the cobwebs in my head and adult conversation.” Julia laughs. “Hungry? You left so early this morning. ” She holds up a bag of sandwiches. Tommy nods, gets coffee for both of them and a few minutes later, they enjoy the late breakfast.
“I have a question.” Julia says, wiping her mouth. “What do we do for Christmas?”
“Don’t know yet. Why…?”
“Mom called me this morning. She and dad would like to make plans to meet up with some old friends of theirs, but they can’t do that if we’re coming… feeling it is unfair that they would have to divide their attention between their friends, which they haven’t seen in 8 years and us. Plus, they’d have to put those friends in a hotel… or us…”
“Do you want to go to your parents?” Tommy asks. Julia bites her lip. There is the 1 million dollar question. She doesn’t know. The phone rings and Tommy picks up.
“Oh, hi mom…. I don’t know… I see…. Wait, I’ll put you on speaker phone. Julia is here with me.”
“Hi Nora.” Julia says.
“Hi honey. As I just told Tommy.. I could arrange an nice big home for Christmas… And I can invite the whole family. I would love it if the three of you would come as well, but I’ll understand if you made other plans….” Nora says. Julia raises an eyebrow. That would be a first. She catches Tommy’s equally cynical look and smiles.
“We would love to go with you.” She says.
“But…?” Nora expects.
“No ‘but’, we will be there.” Julia replies
“You will?!... You will. Oh. Good. That is five, with Sarah and me. This is so exciting. Now I have to call Kitty. Bye and thank you.”
“We’re not going to your parents?” Tommy asks surprised, like Nora he had expected a turn-down of the offer. Julia shrugs.
“I know you’re heart-broken by this decision….” She says, Tommy nods, faking sorrow. “… but I’m sure I’ll have more fun with your family. See, I know those friends of my parents….” She grins and Tommy, happy to be with his family, takes her in his arms and kisses her once again.
Sarah couldn’t be more surprised to see Joe standing there at her front-door.. and she wishes she looks a bit better, rather than dressed in these old jeans and t-shirt.
“Hi.” He says nervously.
“Hi.” She says calmly. After a few seconds silence between them she says: “The kids aren’t here. They are with you. Remember?” Though it sounds as a joke, she’s also a bit defensive.
“I know… Can I come in?” She opens the door further and Joe comes in. There’s paperwork all over the living-room.
“I’m doing some back-ground checking on a few things for Greenatopia.” She says.
“Oh, yeah, I heard about that. Kids told me.”
“Why are you here, Joe?” she then asks.
“I came to ask a favor…. Would you take the kids for Christmas?”
“Because….?” Her question is a bit icy. She would love to have her kids, but she does not want Joe to think that he can dump them at his convenience. He has to take his own responsibilities.
Joe looks indecisive, he hopes that Sarah will not make this difficult for him.
“I’ve been back together with some of my old band-members and we have a gig on Christmas evening. It will be a good opportunity and I want to be there. But Paula and I can’t take the kids with us. And I thought….”
“I’d love to have the kids.” Sarah says with a stiff little smile, really not interested in the problems Joe may or may not have with Paula. Joe nods.
“Well, that’s two down, one more to go.” He says.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“I have to figure out what to do with Gabe.”
“How about your sister?”
“Gabe hates her. Besides, she has plan for Christmas.” Joe replies. “And Gabe will be disappointed, he really wanted to spend Christmas with Paige and Coop….?”
This remark is made with a little question and Sarah almost falls for it, but stops herself just in time. Putting her thumbs in the pockets of her jeans she defiantly she says:
“If you have a question to ask, ask it! But don’t expect me to fish for it.” Joe nods again. Of course Sarah would see through that one.
“I know Gabe would really love it, if he could spend Christmas with you and his brother and sister…. Would it be possible…?” He leaves question to fade, but when he sees Sarah still won’t surrender, he continues: “Would you be so kind as to also take Gabe with you..?” Oh, he knows he has no right to ask this of Sarah, but he was her stepson once and she looked after him like a mother would and…
“See, that wasn’t hard, now was it?” Sarah asks with a little smirk and then gentler, as she talks about Gabe: “Of course, he’ll be welcome. Have to warn you and him though, we will spending it in the mountains, with my family and hopefully lots of snow.”
“He’ll love it… I’ll have to go…” Joe informs her after a quick look at his watch. This time it’s Sarah who nods. He bends over to her to give her a kiss on the cheek, but she steps back.
“I’ll look forward to seen the kids. All three of them….. Bye, Joe.” She opens the door for him, making it very clear to him, that the conversation is over and that there will be no kissing. But once he’s gone, she lets herself fall against the door and slides down until she sits on the floor. She wishes he wouldn’t still be able to get to her, but he does. She sighs. And she knows she has to call her mom and give her the good news.
“Kitty, this is delicious.” Jason compliments. Kitty beams, wisely deciding not to divulge that the recipe came from Scotty and Scotty said it couldn’t fail, (to which Kevin replied that it was obviously never tried by Kitty). Scotty was right. It was easy and delicious.
“I’m glad you like it.” She says with a smile. “And I’m glad you’ll join us to see uncle Jack.”
“Yes, he was happy to hear I would come as well…” Jason smiles. Kitty is about to ask when Jason talked to him, when their telephone rings.
“I’ll get it.” Kitty says, getting up. Robert and Jason continue to talk, softer to not disturb Kitty, but Kitty returns to them, telephone in hand.
“You should listen to this….” She informs them with a serious look on her face. “Go ahead.”
“Robert? Jason?” they hear uncle Jack’s voice and confirm they’re here. “I’m sorry, but you can’t come here. I started to feel bad yesterday and I have the flu. So you can’t bring the kids here, or yourselves. I’m so sorry.” He sounds very sad.
“Uncle Jack, it’s alright. Just concentrate on getting better.” Robert says softly.
“I agree, uncle Jack, your health is more important.” Jason’s voice betray how much he loves his uncle. Kitty listens how they encourage uncle Jack not to worry, to take his rest and become strong and healthy again. And, watching her husband, Kitty cannot help but love Robert. As the conversation closes, she approaches the table again and says:
“Well, there go our Christmas plans.”
“Yes.” Robert admits and he thinks about it a few seconds before he suggests: “Would it be too late to join you mother’s Christmas plans?”
“For mom? No. Off course not. She’d love for us to be there with the kids and Jason.”
“Oh, I’m not sure….” Jason starts.
“Kevin and Scotty are not coming. Scotty has to work that night and Kevin would prefer to stay close to Scotty.” Kitty wipes his objection away.
“You think your mother won’t mind if I come too?” Jason asks still unsure.
“To mom, Christmas is about uniting the family and you’re Robert’s only immediate family other than the kids. So don’t worry, she won’t object….” Kitty replies with certainty.
Nora puts down her telephone. And she counts. That will make Sarah, 3 kids, Kitty, Robert, Jason, Robert’s 2 kids, Tommy, Julia, Lizzie, Justin and Rebecca… and herself. 15 people. She regrets that Kevin and Scotty can’t come. She sighs. Or maybe she’ll call Scotty and ask him to talk Kevin into coming along anyway? No, that would not be a good idea. Kevin has his priorities straight. They are just married and should be together.
END OF PART 3