Christmas

Sep. 11th, 2010 07:26 pm
queenriley: (bridge and z)
[personal profile] queenriley
Title: Christmas
Fandom: Power Rangers SPD
Rating: G
Summary: Bridge tries to make Christmas for the very first time.
Disclaimer: Not mine, not in any way, shape, or form. Wishing won't make a thing so.

For [livejournal.com profile] schmoop_bingo prompt holiday.



Bridge walked into a dark and seemingly empty apartment. He was late. Z should have been home by now. He shook the rain off his hair and shuddered. It was cold for December in California. He headed quietly towards the back of the apartment to change out of his wet clothes when he finally spied her. She was sitting on their bed, phone in hand, talking low. They’d been married for just under a year and he’d never seen her look so sad. Even with his gloves on, if he focused, he could see the greys just seeping out of her.

“I miss it sometimes,” she said into the phone. He really ought to announce his presence, he knew that. But he wanted to know what was wrong. She’d never tell him what was really bothering her and he wanted to help. Maybe if he listened he could find a way to erase those greys, to make her feel better, to make her smile. He wanted her to be happy.

“Do you remember that first one we had?” she asked. She chuckled at whomever she was talking to.

“And that green trashcan we painted red dots on! Then when you tried to light our fire…” she trailed off. The other person was obviously finishing the story. She was smiling, but she took a shuddering breath as if trying to hold back tears.

“It was the best Christmas ever.” Christmas. She missed Christmas! Bridge crept back to the front door and opened it quietly. He closed it quickly and loudly, stomping his feet at the entryway as obviously as he could. She came out of the bedroom then, phone still in hand, a smile plastered on her face. He knew she knew she wasn’t fooling him with the false happiness. It was more a message than anything else, her clear way of saying she didn’t want to talk about it and just pretend it wasn’t an issue. He gave her that, and smiled, spending the rest of the evening ignoring her sadness. But a plan was forming in the back of his mind. He’d help her if he at all could.

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He had no clue what he was doing. He’d never done any of this before. So he had no idea how to go about making Christmas. It all looked so easy on tv. You got a big tree, some ornaments and lights, wrap a few presents, and viola! You had a picture perfect Christmas. It seemed so easy. And maybe it was easy for everybody else. Just not for him.

He was sitting in front of the most pitiful little tree he’d ever seen with boxes of little glass coloured balls strewn around him. It had taken him ages just to pick those out. He’d never known just how many different ornaments were made this time of year. He was tangled up in strings of lights and was ready to give up on the tinsel he’d bought. He sighed and looked at the clock. He had one more hour to get this sorted before Z was coming home. He would never figure it out in time. Giving up the fight, he picked up the phone.

“Jack? Are you busy? I need your help.”

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Not fifteen minutes later, Jack came charging through the front door. He never knocked, and Bridge was never more grateful for his unusual little family of choice. Jack suppressed a laugh at the sight of him and Bridge ignored it, ushering him into the room.

“I can’t figure it out!” He was hopeless. Jack looked skeptically at the tree.

“It’s a little small. And bare.” Bridge sighed.

“It was the only one on the lot I could afford! I never knew a tree could be so expensive. I mean, it’s just a tree. It grows in the ground. You don’t even have to make it. But I got a free stand with it. Took me an hour just to get it to stand up.”

“It’s Christmas Eve, Bridge. I’m amazed you found a tree at all.”

“I had to fight the crowds at the stores, but I got lights and I got these ornaments. I thought she might like them. See? All the ranger colours, and I got extra yellow for her. But I can’t figure out how to get them on the tree. Well, to stay on the tree. And how do the lights go on? I did it once but it was all bright at the bottom and dark on one side and the plug was at the top and… don’t laugh at me like that, Jack. It’s not nice.” Jack looked as if he were about to fall over from laughter, but he at least tried to stop when Bridge chastised him.

“Okay, buddy, okay. Here. We’ll start with the lights. You have to start at the top and wrap them around in a circle, working your way down the tree. Did you get two strings? You’ll need at least two.” Bridge held up two plugs and attempted to extract himself from the wires of lights. With Jack’s help he was able to get the lights mostly on the tree, though there weren’t quite enough to stretch all the way to the bottom, leaving the lower branches dark.

“Now, the ornaments. Did you buy hooks?” Bridge looked at him blankly. Hooks? He hadn’t seen any in the store.

“Nobody said I’d need any hooks.” Jack flashed him an indulgent smile.

“Got paperclips? Those can work in a pinch. Or string?” Bridge jumped up and ran to the desk, digging around until he found Z’s box of paperclips. They were multicoloured neon and she’d probably kill him for using them all, but he could go out and replace them later. Jack showed him how to bend them to put one little loop through the ornament and a bigger loop over the branch of a tree. He was less than helpful with the tinsel, however, begging off having never touched the stuff in his life. Bridge managed to unclump most of it, but he ended up having to just throw it on the tree for lack of any other ideas.

They were done with ten minutes to spare, and Bridge turned on the lights for the tree. The little tree was rather devoid of needles, and it leaned heavily to the right, but it was done. The lights glowed a brilliant blue and Bridge deflated when he realized how bad they looked with the red, green, blue, pink, and extra yellow balls.

“Do you have anything for the top?” Jack asked. Bridge frowned. He vaguely recalled people putting something special on the top, but he didn’t remember to buy anything. He shook his head forlornly.

“I have presents though, stuff to go under it. I gave her all her Chanukah presents three weeks ago, but I got some extras for her holiday.” He ran into the bedroom, riffling through the closet to find the four presents he’d wrapped earlier and stashed there.

“I had to use leftover Chanukah paper. I didn’t have anything for Christmas. Do you think it will matter?” he asked, arranging the shiny blue and silver packages, covered in chanukiahs and Happy Hannukah in script all over the paper, under the tree.

“Bridge, man, she’s going to love it.”

“You think? It’s kind of pitiful. Nothing like they show on tv.” Jack clapped him on the back.

“It’s better than anything she’s ever had before. And you cared enough to do it for her. Trust me.” Bridge smiled and sat down on the couch, a piece of tinsel falling from his hair, just as Z walked in the door.

“Jack! Hey, what a… surprise.” Z dropped her bag in shock when she saw the little tree in the corner.

“Jack?” she asked quietly.

“I just helped,” he said, pointing at Bridge. Bridge stood up sheepishly and shoved his hands in his pockets.

“You always celebrate my holidays with me, but we never do any of your holidays. So, Merry Christmas I guess?” Z reached up to touch his cheek and all the gratitude and love she felt coursed through his veins. He took a stuttering breath to compose himself.

“Oh, baby. I love your holidays. They’re my own now, too. I don’t need anything else.” Bridge looked into her eyes in shock. He never knew she felt that way.

“But you were so sad and I heard you on the phone and. I just wanted to make you happy. Don’t you miss Christmas?” he asked. Tears welled up in her eyes.

“I miss my friends sometimes. I miss the family we had on the streets. The cobbled together holidays and special times, making do with so little. I never had a Christmas with a real tree and real presents, though.”

“Do you like it? It’s kind of pathetic,” he asked hesitantly. He knew she was grateful. He could feel how much she appreciated it. But it was so small and so different and he’d never ever done Christmas before. He was sure he’d done something wrong. She pulled another piece of tinsel from his hair and pulled him down for a hard and desperate kiss.

“Best Christmas ever. Thank you,” she whispered, leaning her forehead against his. Jack cleared his throat from the couch to remind them of his presence, and clapped his hands.

“Well, that nauseating display of love aside, should we call the others over here? Make it a real family Christmas?” Bridge chuckled and wiped the tears from Z’s eyes. She nodded to Jack and he hastily made some phone calls. Before long, Syd and Sky showed up with presents in tow, and Boom and Kat followed not long after laden down with trays of food from the local grocer. It was an unusual little Christmas with an unusual little family, but it was the best first Christmas Bridge could ever imagine.

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