In a desperate bid to catch up, bit of a 221B that's actually a 221G…

The December 9 and 10 prompts, as assigned by silvermouse and Emma Lynch:

Gaudete/holding hands and loving it


Christmas Eve. She sat curled in his lap, her hand clasped tightly in his, as the snow fell outside their window. The smell of wood smoke hung in the air, stinging the inside of their noses, fresh and dark, tinged with fruit tea that warmed by the stove. The coals, colored rich, glowed against the stone of the hearth. They warmed the room with a gentle heat as snow drifted outside the window.

Singing was heard outside the room, the voices of children harmonizing together in the light of street lamps only just lit. Their carol rose to mingle with soft breaths of husband and wife as they listened together.

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus

Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!

His hand squeezed hers again and she leaned her head against his chest, inhaling, exhaling. A soft hum escaped his throat, contentedly holding her close.

Tempus adest gratiæ

Hoc quod optabamus,

Carmina lætitiæer

Devote reddamus.

She lifted her head, looking at his eyes with a soft smile, bringing her lips to his and kissing them, so soft and gentle. Seeing him home, his strong arms around her, his eyes joyous and quiet.

Twas a night that came once a year, and one that they treasured so dearly.

"Merry Christmas, John."

"Merry Christmas, Mary."

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus

Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!