Author: WhyAye PM
Hobson and Hathaway are worried about Lewis spending Christmas alone. He shows them they needn't fret. And he invites Laura to begin some new traditions with him. My Christmas gift to fellow Robbie/Laura shippers.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,593 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-24-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6587129
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It's Robbie Lewis's round. He waits at the bar, patient (as he nearly always is), while the pints are filled. Hathaway would have to have stout. Takes bloody forever to pour.
At the table where he had been sitting, James Hathaway and Laura Hobson put their heads together and speak with low voices.
"Has he told you what he's doing for Christmas?" The doctor's tone is full of tense concern.
"No, not a word, even though I keep hinting that I'd like to know if he has as little planned as I do. He seems cheery enough, I must say."
"He always does, you can't go by that. We'll have to confront him. No way should he spend the holidays alone. This time of year, he can't seem to avoid thinking about how Val died just days before Christmas."
"I'll leave the confronting to you, Doctor, if that's alright. I still have to work with the man after the holidays."
She grimaces. "Thank you. Nice way to dodge any responsibility for the outcome. I'll do whatever it takes to ensure he makes it to twenty-eleven."
Lewis at last returns to the table and sets down the four pints. Laura clears her throat. "Erm, Robbie . . .?"
He catches her tone, and looks up sharply, cocking his head. "Yeah?"
When Laura doesn't speak immediately, Lewis looks from one to the other, and his visage becomes more stern. "This sounds like some sort of bollocking coming up, am I right?"
Laura swallows, glancing at James for moral support. "We want to be certain you will be, erm . . . constructively occupied over the holidays."
In response to his scowl, she continues hastily. "You don't have to say what you're doing, but we want to be certain you know that if things get . . . difficult for you at any point, you can call either of us, day or night." Her expression softens and she puts a hand on his arm. "We all know this time of year brings back some very sad memories for you, Robbie. Please let us help if we can, that's all."
He twists a bit of a smile. "Y'know, I've been dealing with this for years, now. And so far, I've made it through every bloody holiday season, alright?"
He takes a deep breath, and continues. "As a matter of fact, I've found a rather satisfying means of not only making it through Christmas, but looking forward to it, and feeling good about it afterwards. So if you two are so totally concerned about me, maybe you should join me on Christmas day."
Hobson and Hathaway glance at each other, checking to see if the other of them has any idea what Lewis is talking about. It is clear that neither of them does.
Lewis drums his fingers on the table. The heat in his face indicates he feels he has thrown them both a challenge: If you care about me as much as you say, come with me on Christmas and you'll see what fuels me.
"I'll go." Laura trusts him enough to sign on blindly.
But Hathaway isn't willing to commit without more information. "So, what exactly do you do on Christmas, Sir?"
Lewis looks cagey. "Aw, no. Either you're in or you're out. Do you trust me, Sergeant?"
Hathaway stalls, sipping his stout and considering the residue from the foam.
"Let me put it another way, Hathaway. Are you doing anything on Christmas day that's really important? If not, you have nothing to lose."
"Fine, I'm in. Now what, exactly, will we be doing?"
Lewis grins broadly. "We'll be volunteering at Pinewood for the day." He assesses their blank looks. "It's, erm, what do they call it . . . a 'secure training centre'—kiddy nick. Youth offenders. Me and the other coppers who volunteer, we help out with the holiday party, play some footie, serve them their special Christmas tea, y'know. Make it a fun day for the lads."
Laura furrows her brow. "And will I be able to help out too, even though I'm female?"
He gives her a grin that is a bit leering. "Oh, yeah. They love the ladies that visit. You'll probably be helping with the food, if that's alright. Though the lads will wish it was more than that. They'll all fall in love with you." His smile morphs into something far more friendly and warm. "Not many civilian women visit the prison. You'll make a huge impression." Then his brow furrows a little. "Actually, your being a civilian may be a bigger problem. I'll ring over there today and make sure we'll be able to get you in."
Then he refocuses and continues. "So, we all gather at Pinewood at around ten in the morning. Shall we drive up together?"
Hobson thinks for half a second. "How about I'll do breakfast? I'll come collect you boys and bring you to my place at, say, half-seven or eight? We'll eat and then drive up together? Then I can simply drop you at your houses afterward."
Lewis grins broadly. "That'd be terrific!"
Hathaway looks less ecstatic, but can't resist the tide of enthusiasm. "Sounds like it might be fun."
Lewis holds his sergeant by both shoulders. "It's not fun, it's revitalizing. You feel alive again. Especially if you haven't felt that way on Christmas in a long time. Believe me." His eyes penetrate, as though they can see through Hathaway's skull and into his brain.
Hathaway's eyes drop for a second. Does Lewis know how empty I feel on Christmas? He decides it's merely coincidence, and resolves to go ahead with this activity and see if maybe it's what he's been looking for to fill the empty space that for a long time has been Christmas for him.