(1937-12-19) Humbug
Details for Humbug
Summary: Gideon shows his inner Scrooge when Niamh tries to enlist his help to decorate for the Christmas holiday. (Mild mature content.)
Date: December 19, 1937

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.. dammit! Niamh is going to finish the decorating of the flat if it kills her, or more like it, kills the grumpy, Ebenezer Gideon. She's got wassail downstairs during the day, and in the evening, she's got it upstairs, giving the flat an earthy, spicy smell. She's.. had a couple, okay, more than a couple of cups, and now, with one hand, dips into an open box to pull out decorations while balancing her mug of mulled mead and spices in her other hand. "Choroin Aghaidh an babhla iomlan; Le olann uan milis.." is recited in her lyrical Irish, the beginnings of her wassail poem even as she pulls back to set the bits of green on her table. Next crown the bowl full off; with gentle lambs wool..

Gideon's heavy footfalls on the stairs a oddly in the cadence of the poem. He comes in the door, pausing momentarily at the sight of the box of decorations. First Shakespeare. Now decorating. "Ah," he starts warily, "Fancyin' the place up for the season, aye?" He hangs up his coat and hat, moving to wrap his arms around Niamh and press an I-missed-you kiss to her cheek.

And there are the more than familiar footfalls of a man returning home after a long day. Niamh turns towards the cauldron in which she's got the wassail, hanging over her fireplace, and dips the ladle in to both refill her own cup and get one for him before coming over to greet her returned lover. She hands him the cup the moment his hands are free from hat and coat, lifting onto her toes for the kiss. Her eyes are bright and merry.. and her words are in a happy lilt. "Aye, we are," she purrs, "I can't have the place lookin' as if it's just another day, so.." Here, she veritably beams, "An' I'm hoping a second Christmas miracle happens. The first is tha' Keen actually decorated his flat without me.. which, I'll have ye know, is a feat unto itself. A miracle of biblical proportions.."

Gideon gladly accepts the hot drink in his cold hands. It's been a freezing night, and the warmth of the beverage, and the loft as a whole, are very welcome. "Oh, aye? What's the second miracle?" He curls an arm around her waist in an effort to lead her to the sofa for a sit down.

It's something that Niamh prides herself on; a warm, welcoming home to any that cross that threshold, though Gideon, even moreso! There is that impish grin that rises, and she allows herself to be led, if only for the first few steps. "The second miracle.. that ye help me with the loft. There's lots to do still.. an' we've got all night. I've warm drink, and pies." Pausing in her step, then, she turns into Gideon and rises to her toes again to plant a kiss on his lips. "Help me?"

The kiss earns a smile, and is quickly followed by a sip of the hot wassail. The trickle of warmth down his gullet tells him just how cold he really was. "Of course I can-…wait, you mean with decorating?" He eyes the box like it might be full of scorpions.

"Aye," and she sounds ever so hopeful, everything set in the single word. Niamh's gaze flickers from the drink back to his face, that handsome face, "Good enough?" She takes a step away, slowly, reaching for his free hand to lead him to the boxes. "I mean with decorating, aye. It would be so grand, Adamantus." And she sounds so very hopeful, if not a little.. slurry.

Gideon allows himself to be led, but he lets a small sigh escape him. "It's nae exactly my thing, love. The holidays are…" He just shakes his head. "I dinnae want to ruin this for you."

Niamh pauses at the table, and she turns to face him, her brows rising as she waits for the rest of that first part. Lifting her finger to his lips, she offers a soft 'Shhh' before she cants her head, her expression softening. "I know it's nae easy to be pulled into family traditions, an' I'm tryin' to make it easier on ye." Her brows rise then, and she puts her cup down before she takes a step backwards, her hands rising to the buttons on her blouse. With the.. somethingth cup of mead, she's.. feeling quite happy. "Ye can't ruin a thing for me."

Gideon takes a heavier quaff of the wassail, and sets it down. "It's nae that, Nymph. I dinnae celebrate Christmas. Nae since I was a…boy." His effort to explain doesn't get much further, as his thoughts drift away when her blouse starts to come open.

"Well, the point of it all is tha' ye get that magic back?" The buttons are a bit lower now, but she stops, the lace of her underwear peeking through. "It's nae hard. I helped ye find your smile," and stepping forward, Niamh reaches to take his hand in order to press it to her lips. "An' I'm sure I can find a way t'put ye in the mood.. to hang some greens?"

"That's nae the mood you're putting me in, love," Gideon says with a boyish grin. But he sobers a bit as his mind manages to grasp a thread of the topic at hand. "But it's nae about gettin' anything back. It was never really there, Niamh. And these days, I see the holidays leading to an increase in burglary, domestic violence…" Damn, it's hard to concentrate with her blouse handing open like that. He gently taking hold of the fabric, and slowly parting it further.

"We'll hang some greens yet.." and she smiles up at him, searching those blue eyes. Hands rise again, this time to stroke his cheek, "If all ye see is the bad, how can ye see any good 't all? I know it's in ye, Adamantus, t'look at the good.. an' the merry. I've seen ye laugh, an' it's a wonderful sound when it comes. Just as your smile lights your face, causing this, right here," and her hand rises to gently trace the lines around his eyes, "to fill. Laugh lines, it's called." Niamh shifts her weight a bit, a slight wiggle, "An', if ye do help, and are glad in it, I'll give ye a bit more t'be glad of when decorating?" Now, there's that attempt to be alluring, but it's a little hard, what with the sounds of a little drink hanging under the Irish sing-song tones. More like.. very cute?

Gideon sighs, half-smiling and torn. His arms slide under her blouse, wrapping around her bare middle. "Love…I told you before. Christmas is the only time I ever saw my father, if even then. But he'd always leave even before supper. I'm sorry. It just isn't a time of happy memories for me. I much prefer to just keep my head down and keep busy during the season."

Gideon's still slightly cool hands make her stomach quiver, a soft 'ooo' exiting her. Niamh smiles fondly, and she strokes his cheek gently for a moment longer. "Then it's time to make better memories for the time?" She's more than willing to start, and her hands pull back to finish the job; the buttons are finished, and she pulls the fabric from her skirt. "I don't want ye to keep your head down an' keep busy. I want ye to celebrate it with me. T'spend it with me. To play with me."

Gideon sighs again, visibly trying to be patient. "I know what you want, love. I realize this is how you've celebrates your whole life…and that's wonderful for you. But it's nae wonderful for me. Just…let it be."

Niamh studies his face, and her smile begins to slip as she searches those blue eyes. He's not willing to even try, and she lowers her head in a nod, reaching out for the drink, but drops her hand soon after. Not in the mood for the wassail. "I s'pose I'll just do it m'self.. an'.." She has a hard time keeping the disappointment from her tones, but the next time she looks up again, she offers a hint of a smile. "I won't ask again." Which probably means.. but she'll ask. "Does that mean ye are nae comin' home to Cornwall for the holiday?"

Gideon winces, not having considered that. "No…no," he backpedals. "It does'n mean that. I'll be there." He furrows his brow sadly at her, leaning in to kiss her forehead. For a few moments, he tries to find something else to say, to help her understand. But how could she? This season obviously means something completely different to her than it does to him. He reluctantly withdraws his hands from her, fingertips lingers on that bare skin for a moment. "I…think I'll turn in early tonight." He gives her an apologetic frown, and trudges into the bedroom.

She does understand, after a fashion.. and she's trying desperately to show him.. good, positive and fun for the holiday, rather than allowing him to wallow and mark time until it passes. Slowly. Carefully. And with all things, with a healthy does of love and affection, with a side order of playfulness. Niamh bites at her bottom lip, worrying at it, and she looks up at him, and nods at his declaration of an early bed. "Eehah wot, culla sovh, Adamantus," she whispers. Good night, sleep well. Looking down at herself, she begins to button up her shirt and begins to get back to work decorating the flat with the holly, the burlap sacks, the Advent calendar already up on the wall, chocolates missing from the countdown of days. Now, she moves slowly, getting the little bits of her history, her childhood, and family onto the walls, the tables..

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