(1937-12-25) Present Exchange
Details for Present Exchange
Summary: After seeming like forever, Niamh finally gets a quiet moment with Gideon out in the Greenhouse of the O'Shea residence in Cornwall.
Date: 25 December 1937
Location: O'Shea Residence (Cornwall)

All the preparations, all the chaos and brough-ha has culminated in this day, Christmas Day. Christmas Eve Vigil has been attended by the O'Sheas, minus Keenan, and Christmas Morning? Again.. ordered chaos, what with the Tribe of up and coming O'Sheas, all under the age of 10. Presents have been handed out, and the children are off into another room to play with their 'ill gotten goods', leaving the adults to slowly wake on their own with tea.

Niamh's excused herself again, and rising to her feet with her mug of tea, grins at her mum; she's been given access to some of the cooler stuff in the greenhouse, and it's time to start to take the cuttings! As she moves through the room, her gaze flickers around until she locates Gideon, and smiles fondly before exiting the room, her hand on doorway until she's passed through completely, and onto the greenhouse!

Gideon has struggled a little to find his place in this house full of so many people and generations. Having grown up the only child of a single-parent home, he is ill-prepared for this sort of environment. Still, there is a certain comfort to be found in Irish hospitality, and Niamh's mother has certainly helped him feel at home, never allowing his hand to go long without a mug of tea or some other libation warming it. He's never had to pee so much in his life.

Niamh's eyes on him draw his attention like a moth to a flame, and that smile has him hypnotized, suddenly forgetting about anyone else in the room. After she has stepped out, he isn't long after her (tea in hand, lest Mrs. O'Shea sense him tea-less and come running). He is soon leaning in the doorway of greenhouse, bundled warmly in a new wool sweater, steel-blue eyes tracking Niamh over the rim of his mug.

Niamh's very proud of her Scot.. as he's been referred to by her siblings. 'Where's the Scot?' 'What do we think about the Scot?'. At least he's not English! The Ireland-born siblings (at least her youngers) are more than happy to give the ginger the benefit of the doubt for those two things; their sister seems to be fond of him, and he's NOT English. Da, too.. though that Talk hasn't happened. Nor, really.. has it been threatened. Might be because da thinks Ni a scrapper in her own right? God help the man.

Niamh moves through the house like her nickname, the nimph, reaching the greenhouse, and looking about to see if her lure happened to work. It does! Her smile broadens; all the affection, the adoration held there within, brightening her face. She's in the middle of the plantings, however, as she's turned to look at him, and her voice is low. "Ye are an amazing man, Adamantus.."

Gideon's brow arches. "Och, me? You're the amazing one, Nymph. You and your family." He saunters further into the room, coming around behind her to wrap an arm around her belly and rest his chin on her shoulder. "Thank you for inviting me here. I'm sorry I've not been the best Christmas companion. I'm trying." For her, he'll try. It's a hard concession, but it obviously means so much to her.

Niamh beams at Gideon, and waves a hand to 'summon' him to her side. "Ye are so patient with me, with us. I know it's nae easy to be thrown into the middle of us all, but if ye can survive tha', then ye can survive anything that may be thrown at ye by us." She moves to meet him halfway, if he's going to step into the O'Shea women's garden. "Ye look quite nice in that jumper. It suits ye. An' ye suit me."

Gideon grins, turning her about to face her now. He finds a place to set his mug so he can hold her properly. "I'll nae lie, it's been…interesting. But your family has been wonderful to me. It's clear to me how you became such a generous and loving woman."

Niamh wraps her arms around the back of Gideon's neck, her hands hanging loosely; such a comfortable position, out there in the middle of all those plants. "I'm glad ye like them, Adamantus.. because they're part o' me. Ye can see why I'd come back here in case of aught.. though, ye should know that I'd come runnin' to ye in the same breath." She rises on her toes to kiss his lips gently. "It's what a family should be, an' I wanted ye to see that.. to show ye what we can be." She looks a little.. self-conscious; they'd discussed children before, they had! "I'm glad they've been good. I didn't expect aught else.. an' that ye are comfortable with them. I.. didn't expect aught else either."

Gideon grins, inhaling her scent when she places those soft lips on his. It's like breathing whisky, pure intoxication. "I know, love. I may not have lived it, but I know what family can be. I want it…I do. I suppose there are just a few things I'll have to get used to."

The smile brightens, if that is at all possible, and Niamh nods, her eyes gleaming in pleasure, in that all encompassing love, "I suppose there are just a few things ye will have t'get used to." She grins before she begins to slowly extricate herself, but she's not willing to let him go completely; she grabs at his hand to lead him. "Come an' collect some cuttings with me. Mum's letting me take a bit more back with us, an' I could use it."

Gideon quickly collects his mug before allowing himself to be tugged along behind her. "Mmm, you'd better do the collecting. I'm likely to cut off all the wrong parts," he chuckles. When she gets to her destinatino, he interrupts her again. "But first…surely you dinnae think the wreath was your Christmas present." He smiles, reaching into his back pocket, and producing a small, wrapped box, about the size of a man's wallet.

"As long as ye don't cut yourself, I'll be fine t'teach ye.." and as Niamh walks through the small greenhouse, she finds the spot where she'll be trimming. At his words, however, she turns and looks up at him. "I.. did. It meant a lot t'me.. knowin' what I do. A holly wreath?" It did mean a great deal to her; and she made sure it was on her door, their door in the flat. "I know it was.." and as she's talking, he begins to pull that little package from his pocket. Hazel eyes move towards his hands now, and her brows rise in question. She looks.. pleased, and she shakes her head, though she can't pull her eyes from the wrapped present. "Ye didn't have t'.. that holly wreath.."

Gideon smiles. "The wreath was an apology for bein' an arse about decorating. This is your Christmas present. Go on, open it." He presses the package into her hands. When opened, inside she'll find what appears to be a small book with a frame for a picture set in the front cover. But when it is opened, she'll find that it keeps opening, unfolding impossibly into a much larger photo album. For the moment, only a single picture is placed inside: a shot of Adamantus as a young man, standing in front of the official M.L.E. seal at the Ministry. He occasionally glances away from the camera, stifling a laugh at some unheard joke. "There's a lot of room in there for more."

"It was a lovely gesture, beyond just apologizin'.." Niamh reaches out for the present, and begins to open the present. As it unfoldss, she watches it, a breath exiting her sounding like an excited, though soft, squee. To see the picture of the young Adamantus Gideon in front of the MLE, well.. she is drawn to it, and again, simply can't take her eyes from it. Reaching out to touch the edge, she doesn't want to disturb the cycle of motion. "Look at ye," she whispers. "This.." and she looks back at him, her eyes bright with the emotion, "Such a wonderful present.. an' aye. There is.. an' it's a present t'us?" She's declaring this, now, the first truly shared item. "So handsome."

Gideon nods solemnly, wrapping an arm around her. "Aye, Nymph. To us. A record of our future together." He presses his lips into her hair to kiss her head. He glance down at the photograph. "Aye…I was handsome back then. Handsome, young, and what an idiot," he chuckles. "That was my first day on the job. Freshly graduated from training."

Niamh swats gently at her love; "Ye still are, ye handsome brute." She chuckles and rolls her head back so she can see his face. "Ye are handsome, nae quite so young, but I'm nae either.. an' it depends on the time as t'whether or nae ye call yourself an idiot. But, all's said an' done, ye are the perfect one for me." Rising onto her toes again, she presses a kiss to his lips again. "I don't know if ye found your present under your pillow. Seems it was left the other night.. by elves." Uh huh. It's a pillow in the shape of a small heart, filled with the herbs that she prefers; with an embroidered message, 'It's yours'.

Gideon eagerly returns those kisses, curling her tighter into his embrace. "Aye, I did, love." He shifts a hand to her bosom, pressing it over her beating heart. "I'll treasure it, always."

It's so easy for Niamh to fall into those kisses, and Jesus, Mary and Joseph, how she wishes she were home right now, so they could.. excuse themselves. But, they've been good.. and not flaunted.. too much before mum and da. It's not hard to see how much she loves him, and one would have to be blind not to see it. "I longed t'slide into bed with ye.." But she was good! Really! She smiles and exhales in a sigh, nodding, "I know ye will.. an' keep it from harm." She has to take a deep breath, really, to keep the heady feelings from washing over her again, and raising a hand to stroke his face, she whispers, "We'll be headin' home before too long. Next couple of days, an' we can bid mum an' da.. an' Seosiamh, Padraig.. an' the kids g'bye. Ye won't have t'see 'em again until Easter." Here, she gives him an impish grin. "The two biggies."

Gideon gives her a desirous growl. It's been hard, not sharing a bed with her. So in these few moments they have alone, he'll drink deep of her kisses while he can. "I dinnae mind seein' them. I told you, they're wonderful. But…I will nae mind bein' back home as well." He runs a hand through her hair and down her neck. "Such a fine woman you are, my Nymph. Happy Christmas."

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