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    That's Christmas to Me: An Irongale Holiday AU

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    That's Christmas to Me: An Irongale Holiday AU Empty That's Christmas to Me: An Irongale Holiday AU

    Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:12 am

    Wow, I'm surprised I managed to get this done by Christmas! Probably helps that I actually tried to keep this short, keeping it from turning into a 10,000+ word monstrosity.

    The song title (as well as the ending few lines) is ripped from Pentatonix's That's Christmas to Me. I do not own that, nor any of the other Christmas songs I mention in this (because I do mention a fair amount.)

    Merry Christmas! santa

    ~ ~ ~

    "Grandma got ran over by a reindeer," Karra sang to the tune that blared from the Bluetooth loudspeaker. "Walking from our house on Christmas Eve." She spooned out another helping of whipped cream from the bowl, plopped it onto the pan of jello, and spread it with a spatula. "You can say there's no such thing as Santa, but as for me and grandpa, we believe."

    The music was so loud that she could barely hear her own voice, as she liked to have it when she was alone in the house. In hindsight, it was probably because of that that Karra placed the decorated jello tray along with the other food in the kitchen, turned around, and jumped right the heck up when she saw Alric suddenly standing there like some ghost from a tacky horror movie.

    "Geez, Alric." Karra turned down the volume so she could actually hear herself. "You startled me!"

    Alric bit down on his lip, trying hard not to laugh. Jerk, Karra thought. "Sorry."

    "No you're not."

    He shrugged, which was an indication she was right. "Work was slow, so they let me go early." Good thing they had. With that blizzard churning outside, it would have taken Alric twice the time to drive home. "If you need any more help preparing the food . . . "

    "It's almost done, actually." Karra took another look at all of the dishes they'd prepared, spread out across the counter like a buffet. Alric had (wisely) chosen to prepare most of the dishes before he'd been called in, having cooked the ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and butter, beans, and fruitcake. Karra had finished off the other cake -- the chocolate cake -- for him, and had made a special jello desert, careful to follow all of the instructions.

    Alric scrutinized the chocolate cake and the jelllo, making Karra feel like she was a contestant on some cooking show, dishes now subject to judgement. "Hey, these look great! You're getting good at this."

    Karra beamed. "Of course it's good, I made it." Then she paused. "I'll admit there's still something I'm unsure of, though."

    "Yeah?"

    "I . . . kind of put egg shells in the cake."

    Alric gagged. "You what?"

    "Hey, the recipe called for egg whites!"

    "That means the liquid inside the egg, not freaking egg shells!"

    "I have zero cooking experience, how was I supposed to know?!"

    Alric sighed. "Well, I'm sure it'll, uh, still taste good. If not . . . worst comes to worst, we've got the fruitcake." That was sad, considering they'd only made the fruitcake to troll their guests.

    "Is there any time to make another?" she said.

    Alric checked the time and grimaced. "They're going to be here pretty soon. We should probably just start setting the table."

    They set to work fetching dishes and silverware, spacing them across the table. They expected four guests tonight, so that meant six chairs. Perfect, considering the table had six seats.

    As the song changed, Alric looked up from the table as the singer recounted how Santa Clause bombed his workshop and killed his reindeer. Frowning, he placed the last plate at the table and made his way over to Karra's phone, which was laying next to the loudspeaker.

    "The Night Santa Went Crazy," he read from her playlist. "Twelve Pains of Christmas, Jingle Bombs, I Really Don't Hate Christmas, We Wish You Weren't Living With Us . . . dude, do you have any serious Christmas songs on here?"

    "Would you rather I play Mariah Carey?" Karra shot back. Alric was always going on and on about how 'All I Want For Christmas is You' was oversung. Having that song blasted in the house would be his worst nightmare. "Because I can do that if you'd rath- hey!"

    Alric had picked up Karra's phone and stopped the music. In turn, he got out his own phone, tapping the screen. "Sorry." Why did he keep saying sorry when he didn't mean it? "But I'm not playing a song where Santa goes Rambo in front of my girlfriend. Or her brothers."

    Karra scowled, but didn't actually do anything as he selected 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.' This was both the Aldaines' and the Forevigors' first Christmas without family. Karra and Alric's father had been incarcerated for years, but last January, their mother had succumbed to a sickness, leaving Alric to take care of his younger sister. The Forevigors had similarly lost their mother years back, but it wasn't until a mere few weeks ago that their father also disappeared. Since both sets of siblings were missing their parents this year, Alric had invited the Forevigors over to their home to spend Christmas Eve with them. And since Alric had invited the siblings, Karra had also insisted that she invite Iliyana.

    As though the thought had summoned them, Karra heard a knock at the door. Alric was on it in no time. "Hey Karra, Iliyana's here!"

    Karra dropped what she was doing and rushed to the door, where a familiar tall blonde was shedding her coat. Beside her was her bodyguard -- yes the Mahons were rich enough to hire a bodyguard for their daughter -- who kept loosening and tightening his tie.

    "Raemin, how many times do I have to tell you?" Iliyana said. "Don't keep wearing ties if they irritate you so badly."

    Karra hadn't thought the walking wall of muscle was capable of blushing, but the faintest hint of red appeared on his cheeks. "I thought it might be appropriate for the occasion."

    "Oh, relax, it's just a dinner." Iliyana turned, noticing Karra's presence. "Why hello! You look lovely."

    "Normally, this is where I say, 'Of course I am, I'm the loveliest,'" Karra said. "But since you're in the room, I would be lying if I said that."

    "You? Admitting someone's prettier than you? We must have a Christmas miracle on our hands." Iliyana held her arms out for a hug, and Karra was happy to oblige.

    "I brought Raemin along," Iliyana said, nodding over to the black-haired man. "I hope you don't mind."

    "Not at all." One more person couldn't hurt. Karra might even be able to find a spare chair for him in the garage. "I can just -- "

    There was another knock at the door, and Karra saw her brother grin widely. "Hey Briony," he said, receiving the green-eyed girl into a hug.

    "Hey!" Briony stood up on the balls of her feet to give Alric a quick kiss, then took his hand as she came inside. "I like the music."

    "I can appreciate it, too," said Noelle. Wait, Noelle? Karra spun around to see Kiel and Noelle squeezing past Alric and Briony as they came inside, swaddled in heavy coats and scarves. The white-haired young woman sniffed. "Is that ham I smell?"

    "It's gotta be," Pippin said with a chuckle. He kept the door open for Irene, who gave him a smile as she passed by. "I'd recognize that smell from anywhere."

    Iliyana frowned. "You invited Pippin?" she said to Karra, none too subtly. "Have your standards sunk that low?"

    "Hey!" Pippin said.

    Alric clapped his hands, looking between Noelle and Irene. The Aldaines hadn't them to show up, either, but Karra quite liked Noelle, and she supposed Irene was nice enough. If they were already having one extra guest, then maybe two more wouldn't hurt?

    "All right," he said. "Good to see you all made i-" He paused when his eyes came to Kiel. His gaze trailed up to the top of his head, where a Santa hat with a fluffy white ball rested. "Um . . . "

    "Briony made me," Kiel grumbled. He shot her a nasty look, but she just stuck out her tongue.

    Noelle elbowed him. "What, not edgy enough for you?" she teased. "What if we made it black?"

    "That would be -- "

    Whatever it would be, Karra would never know. Because just as Alric moved to shut the door, a hand popped out from the other side, keeping him from shutting it in time. What in the world . . .

    "Hello!" came Wendy's voice. Before anyone could stop her, she skipped into the house, arms laden with presents adorned with sparkling ribbons and bows the size of Karra's head. Felix shuffled in after her, looking sheepishly among the living room's occupants. "Irene told me there was a Christmas party tonight -- "

    "Wendy," Irene said, "I love you, but . . . the thing is, it was actually supposed to be just -- "

    "So I invited everyone!"

    "What?" Karra barreled past everyone, shoving them aside and swinging open the front door to see who 'everyone' entailed. Her jaw dropped at seeing the amount of cars pulling up by the sidewalk and people hopping out into the open blizzard.

    Karra had understood Alric's wanting to celebrate Christmas with a few people. She didn't even mind Raemin, Noelle, and Irene. But Wendy and Felix? Jaromir and Nira, Finn and Kiana, Tristen and Aurora? And Ian? Who the hell was Ian? She only knew him by his first name.

    She glanced at Alric, who, with his mouth opening and closing like a fish, seemed to be struggling for what to say. Don't invite them in, don't invite them in, don't invite them in --

    "I, uh, come in." He stepped to the side, gesturing for Jaromir and Nira to enter. "We'll be having food in just a few minutes."

    "Alric!" Karra hissed.

    "What?"

    Karra scowled and dragged him aside into the hall. All the guests, either oblivious to Karra's displeasure or deciding to give her and Alric some space for the time being, chatted with one another, welcoming the new arrivals and shaking hands with those they didn't know.

    She didn't stop until they were a good few feet away. "What are you doing? Get them out!"

    "Hey," Alric said, "I can't just tell them to leave -- "

    "Yes, you can! Here, watch me do it." She turned around, marching back to the living room before stupid Alric stepped in her stupid path. She tried walking around him, but their house was small, so their hallway wasn't the widest.

    He folded his arms in front of his chest. "What's gotten into you? You were perfectly fine with the Forevigors and Iliyana."

    "Yeah, but we're close to the Forevigors and Iliyana. It would make sense to spend Christmas with them. But a bunch of strangers? I didn't sign up for that!"

    "The more the merrier!"

    Karra nearly stamped her foot on the floor, but doing that would have made her look immature. She already felt like a five year old, badly arguing her misinformed point to an adult, and. "One, whoever said that needs to die in a ditch. And two, we're not prepared to host this many people!"

    "We have quite a lot of food," Alric pointed out. "There should be enough for everyone to have at least one serving. And I'm sure other guests wouldn't mind sitting in the living room."

    Karra balled her hand into a fist and hit it against the wall. "God, Alric, can't you just . . . "

    Her words died in her mouth when she noticed that the force of her hit had rattled a picture frame hanging on the wall. She held a hand out, half-expecting it to fall at any moment, but it remained hanging on the nail.

    She swallowed as she looked into the picture. It had been taken long ago, but not so long ago to include their dad. Alric and Karra sat on a bench outdoors while their mom stood behind the bench and between the siblings, one hand on each of their shoulders. Her face was full, youthful -- nothing like the rasping Lilla Aldaine with gaunt cheekbones, the shell of a woman that had died in the hospital with countless tubes needled in her body.

    Karra checked the thermostat, because she could have sworn the room's temperature dropped by fifteen degrees. Christmas music, faint at this distance, floated adrift, and she barely paid attention as she raised her hand to the picture.

    She sensed that Alric's eyes had followed hers. "This is our first Christmas without her." A shot to the chest would have hurt less than saying those words aloud. "Every year, it's just been the three of us. And now, to just have so many people here . . . " She tore her eyes away from the picture and into the eyes that matched her own.

    "I don't think I'm ready to move on," she said.

    Alric put an arm around her shoulders, bringing her closer to him. "I know. I'll admit I've been trying not to think about that, that she isn't here." He rested his head on hers. "Or maybe she is here with us, in spirit. Thinking that kinda gives me comfort sometimes."

    She nodded. She had never been one for telling comforting lies, so she couldn't confirm to herself that their mom was still here. But if she imagined it for a second . . . some of her pain ebbed away.

    Over the Christmas music, she heard Iliyana's voice. Karra couldn't have made out the word, but it must have been particularly sassy or savage, because everyone was howling with laughter. She moved her head, drawn to the warmth of them.

    "Maybe we have a new family to celebrate with," Alric said.

    "That's a scary thought."

    "Usually the things worth doing are scary."

    Alric dropped his arm and stepped away from Karra, but not without holding out his hand. She put her hand in his, and let him lead her back out into the living room.

    "All right!" All heads turned to Alric when he once more clapped his hands together. "There's food in the kitchen, so just go ahead and help yourselves. Men, please let ladies go first."

    "Hear that?" Though her voice was halfhearted, at first, Karra slowly gained some vigor as she speed-walked to the counter in the kitchen. "That means I get to go first, people."

    Kiel smirked. "Are you really sure you count as a lady, Karra?"

    Karra grinned. "I'm the most boss lady there is, bitch."

    As she dug a spatula into the mashed potatoes, Iliyana discreetly made her way up to her, taking the spatula after Karra. "Are you okay?" she said, dropping her voice. "You seemed agitated when everyone started flooding in."

    Karra shrugged. "I was a little, yeah." She plucked out a roll and spread butter over it before depositing it on Iliyana's plate. "But you're here. So I guess it can't suck too bad."

    Iliyana snorted, though Karra could see the beginnings of a smile. "Ever so eloquent."

    "I try."

    Karra's own smile widened as she sat down with Iliyana. Maybe Alric was right. Maybe this might not be so bad.

    Speaking of Alric . . . Karra craned her neck to see where that white-haired idiot was. Chatting with Briony. That meant there was no way he would pay attention to what she was about to do next.

    Karra rose up from the table and discreetly made her way over to the speakers, where it was now Alric's phone that rested beside them. Karra snatched it, fiddling around with it before she selected the song she wanted.

    She saw Alric jump when Mariah Carey's voice suddenly exploded out of the speakers. "I don't want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need . . . "

    "Karra!" Alric shouted, horrified.

    Karra grinned like a villain who had just completed her evil plan. This is payback for pausing my Christmas playlist. To further rub salt into his wound, she sang along. "I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree . . . "

    "Karra, I'm going to kill you!" Alric even went so far as to run for her. Giggling, Karra darted away, getting around the table before Alric tackled her from behind, wrapping his ams around her waist. She squealed, busting out into laughter.

    "Make my wish come truuuuue," Mariah Carey sang, "All I want for Christmas . . . is . . . "

    "IRENE!" Pippin shouted, finishing off the sentence. Kiel whistled, and Karra took great amusement in watching the way Irene buried her reddening face in her hands. Only after that did Mariah Carey finish with a long-drawn out, "You."

    Much to Karra's shock, Alric actually let the rest of the song play as everyone else served themselves -- except for Finn and Kiana, who were too busy dancing with each other to the Christmas bop. Karra chatted with Noelle, Alric and Briony teased each other, and Pippin made exaggerated winks at Irene as Iliyana critiqued his flirting skills. She didn't hold back. Even Kiel 'Edgelord' Forevigor looked to be enjoying himself, Santa hat and all, particularly when he was with Noelle or one of his siblings.

    Eventually, in a rare moment of quiet, Karra stepped back from the scene, watching the mingling as Wendy went to fetch the presents she'd brought earlier.

    A new family to celebrate with.

    ~ ~ ~

    It was getting pretty late.

    Later, Alric had to admit, then he'd expected anyone to stay. After the movie, everyone had congregated around the dinghy television set to watch the cheesiest Hallmark Christmas movie they could find. Everyone had been laughing at the absurdity, at first, though he could have sworn he'd seen Noelle paying rapt attention despite outwardly agreeing with them. But now all of Wendy's presents had been unwrapped, all the food was gone, and with the hour so late, most of the guests had fallen asleep.

    Including Karra. Alric sat up slowly, careful not to wake her. He'd have to make sure everyone woke up, eventually, since they needed to get home. But for now, he had no problem watching Briony, who had fallen asleep in between Pippin and Kiel, nor Wendy, whose head was snug in Felix's lap. One of the only ones still awake was Noelle, eyes glued to the screen as the once-brooding love interest, in a change of heart, set out to restore the spirit of Christmas and make things right for the beautiful heroine.

    He turned his head and looked out the nearby window. Snowflakes caught on the wind like falling leaves, drifting and flying until they made their gradual descent on the ground. Multi-colored Christmas lights shone like a beacon in the thick fog, and though he knew it had to be freezing outside, he couldn't be warmer.

    Alric looked back down at Karra. There was no Santa and a team of reindeer coming to drop off presents, nor a mother who would ever magically come home.

    But one look around the room told him that he had everything he needed to make his Christmas magical.

    Above the tv, the clock struck twelve, heralding the transition from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. Alric slid in closer to Karra, cherished her, and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

    "Merry Christmas, Karra."


    ~ ~ ~


    The only gift I'll ever need is the joy of family
    Oh why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me.

    _________________
    That's Christmas to Me: An Irongale Holiday AU Tumblr_psuz0sQPWk1t2vv2no5_500

    "I'll tell you where the real road lies: between your ears, behind your eyes. That is the path to paradise, and likewise the road to ruin."

    Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]

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    That's Christmas to Me: An Irongale Holiday AU Empty Re: That's Christmas to Me: An Irongale Holiday AU

    Post by Lady Senbonzakura on Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:43 pm

    0/10 wasn't gay enough




    jk I love it! Thank you so much for posting it ahhhhh~
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