Rest Ye

by Skinner Box

Subject: [Spenderfic] Holiday Greeting and a Leedsville Snippet (Sp/K, rated G) Date: Tuesday, December 25, 2001 9:36 AM

Hello all,
Merry Christmas to all who observe it, and a late Happy Chanukah, Blessed Solstice, Joyful Eid-ul-Fitr, and any other applicable holidays to everyone else.
Sorry to have been AWOL all fall- I've gone back to school for my doctorate and despite my best intentions found myself too swamped to keep up with things Spenderish during the semester. Drovar- I'm very glad to learn that Bob is better- a late welcome back to you. I'm very much looking forward to going through the backlog of list messages and to reading the stories that were posted this fall. Best,
Skinner Box
p.s. Here's a wee Christmas snippet. I tried to sleep in this morning but was woken up by the sound of some kind of hooved animals on the roof- weird... and so wrote this instead:

Rest Ye
by Skinner Box
Email: BurrhusFrederic@worldnet.att.net Summary: Ecumenical sappiness. A Leedsville story. Rating: G
Pairing: Spender/Krycek
Spoilers/Timeline: none to speak of. Leedsville, December 1999
Disclaimer: The X-Files and these characters belong to Chris Carter and Fox Broadcasting. I play with them out of love and for no profit.
Note: Traditionally, Jews go out for Chinese food and a movie on Christmas. Sometimes we also write sappy fanfic snippets. Warning: Unbeta'd and self indulgent.
Archive: please ask first


Rest Ye
by Skinner Box

They we're getting a late dinner on, on December the twenty fourth. Apparently AME-turned-Anglican tradition didn't require any special foods for the occasion. Or at least Jeff had agreed on the practicality of clearing the fridge of leftovers in preparation for the mountains of turkey, stuffing, and other goodies Len had warned them they'd be sent home with after tomorrow's midday feast at the Gilmore's.

Jeff eyed a container of salad critically, then carried it out to the dining room. "You coming to church tonight?" he called over his shoulder.

Alex added a foil packet containing three meatballs to the other orphans warming in the oven. How did the fridge get like this? He was beginning to suspect Jeff just didn't eat when he wasn't around. Or lived on cereal.

"You reading?"

"Nah"

"Then I won't bother- unless you think I should."

Crouched in front of the open refrigerator, Alex eyed the half-loaf of challah he'd planned to save for french toast, and decided to keep on saving it. Jeff reached for the milk and the iced tea, one hand each, above Alex's head. Alex tilted his head back and saw his partner smiling vaguely, upside-down.

Jeff shook his head, a shiver of curls. "I don't think our cover demands that the resident Jewboy go to Christmas eve services."

Their weird supper was actually pretty good, with each of them finishing off whatever he'd liked best the first time around. Alex considered the macaroni and cheese, then left it for Jeff and went for the last piece of stuffed cabbage. Some odd ghost of his Orthodox boyhood still steered him away from mixing meat and dairy, at least at home.

After, Alex put the dishes and containers to soak, and threw away a small mountain of foil, while Jeff went upstairs to shower and change. T-minus thirty or so. Alex made a phone call.

He was starting in on the dishes when Jeff came downstairs, his good wool coat over his arm. Not bad. Not bad at all . . . Jeff in the right suit and tie was . . . dapper. That was the word. Big improvement over the man's fibbie days. Most Sundays Jeff wore a suit, and like tonight, Alex had cause to congratulate himself for having appointed himself the Jeffrey Moore cover identity wardrobe consultant.

"You outta here?"

"Yeah. See you in a few hours."


Jeffrey bet Alex would have liked the service if he'd come. The Christ Church choir was good, if small. Then again, what did Jeffrey know about the ins and outs of being Jewish on Christmas? Maybe it was one thing to come along when Jeffrey was lector, and another when the whole world had gone red and green for more than a month.

People asked after Alex as the congregation streamed out into the cold, "Merry Christmasing" one another and wrapping their scarves tight against the wind. The pastor wished both of them a happy and ecumenical holiday as Jeffrey shook his hand. Just eight months in Leedsville and everyone knew both their names.

Beautiful night. The snow was clean and shining on the headstones in the churchyard, quiet contrast to the overexcited children chasing each other in their holiday finery. Janine Penfield called him over. "I've got something for you in my car." Jeffrey's stomach clenched-it hadn't even occurred to him to get her something- his best friend outside of the Gilmores.

Janine threw him an exasperated look, then softened it with a smile. "Don't look so guilty," she said, "it's only cookies."

Jeffrey munched a few on the way back to the house. There were gingersnaps and lemon bars and pfeffernussen- Janine had gone all out in her baking. It occurred to him that he had no idea what Alex's taste in cookies was. He knew the man had a bizarre fondness for fruitcake, but beyond that . . .

Jeffrey stamped the snow from his shoes in the side door entryway, then went up the three stairs to put the cookies on the kitchen table before taking his wet footwear off. The house was dark but for the light above the stove. He felt an odd twinge in his chest that Alex hadn't waited up.

Wet shoes on the rack to dry, Jeffrey padded through the kitchen in his socks, overcoat in his arms. In the dining room he could see that there was some light coming from the living room- the lamp by the sofa, maybe, and the glow of a fire. Alex was probably reading. Jeffrey crossed the dining room, headed for the stairs.

Oh God. Alex had actually listened, weeks ago, when Jeffrey had told him about his best Christmas, ever. Mom had been home, she'd even had a job as a receptionist, and they'd gotten a tree, then discovered that all the ornaments were missing, lost some time in their travels.

They'd been in a small town that year, and the store had nothing but a string of white lights when they went shopping on the twenty-third. They'd spent all day Christmas eve cutting out snowflakes from the used office paper that she'd brought home for him to color on. With the white lights and the white snowflakes, and a cardboard star wrapped in aluminum foil on top, the tree had glowed in the dark of their apartment. Glowed like the tree Alex was standing by, lit with white lights and covered in paper snowflakes.

"How?"

"A conspiracy." Alex was smiling, a gentle smile Jeffrey'd never seen before. "Ruth and Les helped, and Corey, till he fell asleep. He's been cutting out snowflakes all week."

"He's a great kid." Jeffrey laid his coat on the sofa and crossed to where Alex was standing, haloed by light. It was a beautiful, beautiful tree.

"Merry Christmas," Alex said.

The End


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