A/N-I had promised a reviewer that I would write a Julia/Reese fic...I told him I had to finish my other Designing women fic first but then some things happened, like I broke my leg ( the Tibula ) then it took a while for an idea to come to me and one has and I will tackle the issue of Julia and Reese meeting. They never did really tell us how Reese and Julia came to meet. I kind of played with the idea in my last Designing women fic but this is more formal.

We are going back before Designing Women became as we first met them in 86, we are going back to the year of 1985! The year of big hair, big music and of coarse, big times! LOL.

In Sugarbaker's office, everybody is busy ! Julia sat at her desk, Mary Jo sat on the couch surrounded by Christmas wrapping paper and bows. Charlene sat on the other side of the couch finishing wrapping up a present and she wears reindeer antlers on her head. Christmas music played on the radio.

Mary Jo put down a piece of Christmas ribbon then she looked up at Julia who put a pencil in the pencil box then Mary Jo said,

"Thank you Julia for letting us wrap presents here."

Julia smiled then said, "No problem Mary Jo."

Julia got up and walked around her desk to the huge, magnificent Christmas tree and she put her hand on a ornament then Mary Jo went on and said.

"It's just that for some reason during the month of December he becomes the little American version of Sherlock Holmes."

Charlene laughed then she said, "Oh, Mary Jo, all children do that."

Mary Jo stood up, closed her eyes and smiled while wagging her pointer finger. She then said, "Not like my boy...he puts on this beige raincoat and matching hat then he found his grandfather's old pipe and he got he from England so it does look like the one that Sherlock Holmes had..."

Mary Jo and Julia laugh at Mary Jo telling of the story so Mary Jo continued, "And he gets a magnifying glass and he goes around the house inch by inch every single day for a month ! I'm telling you it's enough to drive me and Claudia crazy!..."

They all bowl over with laughter then Mary Jo continued to say, "So, after he did find one of his presents last year; I knew I needed to do something so thank you again Julia."

Julia wipes the tears of laughter from her eyes and she said, "You're very welcome."

Charlene then said, "And let me thank you Julia with all my brothers, sisters, aunts, cousin not to mention momma and daddy; my small apartment looked like a Christmas explosion last year!"

Julia smiled then she said, "I love it! It reminds me of elves working at Santa's workshop only I don't think it was the elves who wore reindeer antlers!"

Charlene smiled then asked, "Oh, what did you get Suzzane?"

"A cruise." Answered Julia then Charlene asked her, "Didn't you get her that last year?"

Julia turned around and walked down from the tree to the couch and she said, "Let me explain Charlene, Suzzane loves going on cruises, always has and this cruise lasts exactly 30 days; that will be my Christmas gift."

Charlene and Mary Jo laugh and Julia goes over and sat down in the chair then the door opened and in came Suzzane in a beautiful white dress with full red accents, red belt, red earrings and oh, red fur around the neck and hemline of the dress. Mary Jo, Charlene and Julia all look at each other after looking at her then Julia asked, "What is that Suzzane?"

Suzzane asked, "What's what?"

Mary Jo just flatly said, "Your dress Suzzane."

Suzzane smiled then she said, "This is my Santa dress."

Charlene asked her, "Santa dress?"

Suzzane shook her head and her big hair bounced then Julia got up and walked around to her sister then said, "Suzzane, for your information; Santa wears a red flannel suit outlined in white fur."

Suzzane then said, "Julia, I do not wear flannel, nothing but the very best silk goes on this body."

Mary Jo, Charlene and Julia all roll their eyes then Suzzane said, "Anyway, the reason I dressed up like this was to bring my gift Mary Jo, I got your name in the office draw so here it is."

She walked over to Mary Jo and handed her a tie shaped box wrapped in shiny blue paper with a silver bow then Mary Jo tore open the paper and opened the box and they are a pair of white leggings. Mary Jo looked at them then Suzzane and said, "Thank you Suzzane."

Suzzane then said, "To tell you how much I did for you Mary Jo, I actually went into that tacky store you call K mart..."

Charlene interrupted her then asked her, "You went into K Mart?"

Suzzane shook her head slightly then said, "Yes, I did but of coarse I wore a hat and a dark pair of sunglasses so nobody could see me. I asked a worker to help me and she said that these were popular Christmas gifts so I got them."

Charlene then asked, "Why did you get white ones?"

Suzzane spread her arms then said, "To match my dress of coarse."

This time, Mary Jo looked confused then said, "But I'm the one who will wear them so why did they have to match your dress?" Suzzane looked at her with a blank expression then said, "Because I was taking up to...what do you call it? Check out thingy, I would have got red but this fat woman in a shirt that said 'My Ugly Sweater' and believe me it matched her face! but anyway, she got the last red one so I got you white. Oh, by the way, here's your present Julia!"

She hands Julia a red envelope and Julia opened it then she got out a card, opened it then said, "Why, this is for the same cruise I got you!"

Suzzane walked over to the door then said, "I know, I got you a ticket so we could go together! Tah dah! Merry Christmas!"

She shuts the door then Charlene turns up Glenn Miller Orchestra as Mary Jo and Charlene both smiled at Julia.


Julia goes over to get her coat and purse off the coat rack then said: "Well, I'm off, please just turn out a few lights but leave this one on please, and lock the doors."

Mary Jo put a present in a pile then she said, "Julia, this is just strange what you are going to do?"

Mary Jo tied her coat then picked up her purse then she asked, "Strange? What's so strange about going to listen to classical music?"

Mary Jo then said, "Well, nothing as a whole but it's not like you are going to an opera house or even a theater, you are just going...somewhere."

Julia looked thoughtful then she said, "Well, yes it's true that Ancel Verrette is a little strange in where he chooses to have his orchestra play, he says it inspires him."

Just then, Charlene spoke up and said, "Talk about strange! I heard that one time he tried to go to the Antarctica and they tried everything to talk him out of it until he found out that it got to -128 F., in 1983."

They all laugh then Mary Jo finally quit laughing enough to ask, "Yeah, but that was just a record wasn't it?"

Charlene walked around the room then said, "Yes but when he found out the possible range of cold, he quickly changed his mind!"

A twinkle came to Mary Jo's eye then she said, "Well, no wonder when he found out ...his 'pipes' could freeze, he got out of that."

Charlene looked at Julia then Mary Jo then said, "Pipes? What do you mean by that?"

Mary Jo and Julia looked at each other then Julia said, "Well, why you explain that to Charlene, I'll be going, bye!"

Julia happily went out the door then Charlene looked at her friend then she asked, "What pipes? Do you mean his musical pipes?"

Mary Jo's eyes both roll within themselves while Charlene looks confused.


Julia walked on a sidewalk and looked up at a beautiful white house on the hill then takes a postcard out of her purse and looked at the address. She then looked up and saw a handsome man with silver in his hair coming from the opposite direction, he smiled when he saw her and her heart skipped a beat.

She composed herself and walked with the address postcard in her right hand then when they got within personal distance of each other, she said; "Well, are we the only ones to come to Ancel Verrette's night?"

He turned and looked to the back of him then he turned back to Julia then he said, "I suppose we are, it's really a shame; people don't know what they are missing; he really is a talented fellow."

She smiled then he said, "I'm Reese Watson"

Julia put out her gloved hand for him to shake then she said, "I'm Julia Sugarbaker."

Instead of shaking her hand he takes it and gently turns it around like an old fashioned gentleman and gives her gloved hand a gentle kiss. A rose blush heats up her cheeks, she smiled but can't say anything for a fleeting moment of time then she finally said, "Thank you."

He did a half step back and put his arm out for her to go up the walk to the beautiful farmhouse, they go up a set of three steps but before they get to the next set, Julia stops and she said, "Oh, let's just stop and take in all this gorgeous view!" She turns around and he agrees.

They both look up at the beautiful farmhouse and surroundings. The house is fairly large, painted white with a 2nd floor, 6 medium size trees with 6 little buses surround the house. The house had a wrap around poarch with a round side; garland lays on top of the porch railings decorating it. A small address sign is hanging from the porch roof, a live Christmas tree stood beautifully decorated on the west side of the porch. 2 wreaths were on either side of two small windows. One window was on the south side of the room on the 2nd floor then there was an even smaller window on the attic with a half moon window.

There was a huge dusting of fake snow everywhere making it a perfect Christmas scene then Julia said, "Oh, it's such a shame that it didn't get cold enough in Atlanta for it to really snow!But it's all so beautiful!"

Reese then said, "It is! I just have to take a picture of this ! "

He reached inside his coat to get a slim camera to take a picture and Julia happily looked around and she started to go on up the next set of steps but stops and gasped a little. Her eyes went huge as she looked down at the steps turning into ...like moving water. They were moving all the time, she looked back at Reese who was putting his camera back into his inside coat pocket and she asked him, "Did you see that?"

"See what?" He asked and she looked back down and everything looked normal, she blinked her eyes and shakes her head then she said, "Oh, I thought I saw an insect but I guess I was wrong."

Reese laughed then he said, "Well, in the state of Georgia; there's no telling what you will see Miss. Sugarbaker."

Julia smiled then shyly said, "Julia, call me Julia."

Reese smiled then said, "You may also call me Reese...Julia."

The smile stayed on Julia's face and Reese escorted her up the steps and the other ones until they get to the house, they step up on the porch and go to where the Christmas tree is. They also see two rocking chairs and a swing then Julia said, "Oh, it's just all so beautiful! I can't wait to see the inside."

Reese opened the door and they step inside. They go inside and Julia's face light's up and she walked in the room, looked at the dark red wood on the walls and the small half-wall against the small mud room and the living room then she said, "The layout of this home, is just about like my aunt's in South Carolina, oh, it's bringing back so many memories!"

Julia finally stops walking around then she asks as she faced the wall, "I wonder how we will listen to Ancel Verrette? There's barely enough room for the left side of his orchestra in here!"

Just then they hear a loud orchestra drum starting then changing into a double bass piped in over an intercom and it goes into "Santa Claus coming to town" and Julia jumped then she smiled then said, "Goodness! I guess we know! I believe we know now, well Mister Verrette has come up with a new and inventive way to enjoy his music this month."

Reese laughed then said, "Very creative, that may be way there is only the two of us."

Julia smiled then said, "Maybe so, I believe that song is from his 1972 debut album."

He bows his head slightly then said, "I believe you are right madam"

She smiled then blushed then suddenly he looked at a table set against the wall before him. It has three rows of white plastic coffee cups then a large silver coffee maker and his face twists in confusion then he said, "I didn't see that before."

Julia turned around and she said, "I didn't either! But then again, I was too busy looking at the delightful decor!"

She goes over and gets a cup then she moves to the coffee maker then pours herself a cup and she looks and smells the steaming cup of black gold then she said, " Oh, it looks so good." She took a sip then said, "It's delicious."

Reese went over and did the same thing as Julia then he said, "I like cream and sugar in mine." He took a sip then said, "Just as every bit as good as the good lady said."

She smiled then asked, "Shall we go sit on the couch and listen to this wonderful music?"

He puts his hand out for her to go ahead, she does and they sit on the couch then a few minutes later Julia said, "I'm grateful for the coffee but it is getting cold in here."

Reese shook his head in agreement then before both a fire blows up in the gorgeous fireplace! Both their eyes go wide with wonder and their hearts beats but then Julia said:

"I, I know...Verrette somehow made that do that to amuse and warm us."

Reese looked at the fire then he shook his head then said, "I'm sure you are right."

Just as they sit back and relax sipping on the coffee and listening to more lovely sounds of the orchestra, they slowly being to realize that someone or something is picking up a coffee cup, pouring coffee and they hear something walking in heavy shoes toward them. They hear the shoes but do not see them or the person wearing them, just the coffee cup in the air.

The "thing" sat down in the rocking chair beside the couch and the chair began to rock. Julia and Reese looked at each other then he said, "It must be done with strings!"

They both laugh and Julia agrees then Reese got up and went over to the rocking chair and he felt around then he said, "And strings that can't be felt."

He sighed then sat back down and Julia said, "It has to be some kind of trick, let's just not worry about it; let's just sit back and listen to this wonderful music."

Classical chimes of music just keep pouring out from hidden passages . Julia and Reese do their best to ignore to the rocking of the ...trick but once in a while or closer than that; their eyes follow to the rocker that amazingly, creeks out in time to the music.


Thirty minutes later, the couple had fallen asleep but Reese slowly woke up, his mouth full of cotton, he looked over at his empty coffee cup on the coffee table, he looked over and saw the woman he had just met, Julia Sugarbaker and she had fallen asleep as he did. The beautiful strings, flutes, violins and many more instruments of the orchestra still played music and he could see why they fell asleep, on this comfortable couch, warm coffee in our bellies, warm fire and comforting music and he was about to get up and go get some more coffee, he picked up his cup then something made him look up...the very instruments that he imagined them playing in the music was dancing like the sugar plums in the book The Night Before Christmas, he gasped and Julia stirred and awoke, he looked at her but when he looked back up, the instruments were gone.

Julia yawned then she said, "Oh, did I fall asleep? I'm so embarrassed."

Reese smiled then said, "I did the same...do you want some coffee?"

She shook her raven colored head and said, "Yes, please."

He went over to get some coffee for the both of them and she reached in her purse for her brush and looked over and saw the rocking chair still going and the cup still in place then she said, "I see the chair is still going."

Reese poured hers and walked back to give it to her then said, "Ah, yes."

He thought of the instruments then went back to go get his coffee then he went to go sit back down on the couch then Julia got up at that same instant and she twirled around the room and said, "Oh, what a wonderful Christmas night! Such wonderful Christmas music in this beautiful house, even with all the craziness..."

She twirls around again, until she twirls to the kitchen and she stopped, the color drained from her face and she asked, "Reese...why do we have dancing instruments in the kitchen?"

He closed his eyes and he said to himself, "So that's where they went."

He then said, "Because they quit dancing on the ceiling, at least that's where they were before you woke up."

Suddenly the fire in the hearth flamed up without warning, then the rocker started rocking even faster and faster then suddenly, the stuffed dove that was perched on top of the mantel above the fireplace; became a raven and flew around the room. Reese and Julia wasted no time in getting their things and making fast tracks getting out of there.


Julia and Reese now stood in front of a grand opera house, they both look at each other then take a deep breath then Reese opened the door. They both look around the place in different directions then Julia saw two men that stood outside an office door so she touched Reese on his arm then said "Come on" and Reese said, "Mister Verrette! Terrell!"

The two men look at the couple coming to them and they smile and one of the men glady said, "Reese Watson! It's good to see you, you old chesnut!"

Reese laughed at his friend's joke then he said, "Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Julia Sugarbaker. Julia, this is Terrell Krokick, the owner of this fine establishment."

Julia smiled and both the men nod their heads and smile then Terrell said, "Miss. Sugarbaker, I have seen you in attendance of many of our shows here."

Julia smiled then said, "It's Mrs., my husband died not long ago sir."

Terrel said, "My apologizes and this is Ancel Verrette"

The handsome French gentleman smiled and Julia said, "I'm so very pleased to met you Mister Verrette."

Reese then said, "As I am sir."

Ancel smiled then he said, "It is always good to meet such a beautiful lady and her handsome friend but what are you both here on Christmas night ? Is it not a custom with Americans as well as the French to be at home and as you say 'Wrapped in family and friends?"

Julia and Reese laugh then both hand out their invitations and Reese said, "We are here by invitations! Well, not to here but to this location to be treated to a wonderful night of your music!"

Ancel looked at both invitations then he said, "I did not send these ! You should know that I make a strict rule NOT to play on Christmas night."

Reese and Julia look at each other with the color drained from their faces then Reese made one last attempt to save face: "I know but these invitations said this was for a special charity event so we thought..."

Ancel hands the fake invitations back to them then said, " Somebody must be playing a joke on both of you, I thought the time for American jokes was on what you call April fool's."

They all laugh then Reese said, "Well, thank you Mister Verrette, merry Christmas to you and to you Terrell."

The men smile and wave goodbye to Reese and Julia who hurry and walk out of there then outside, they breathe a sigh of relief then Reese put his hand on his forehead then he said, "I almost told mister Verrette, how embarrassed we were at leaving his place like we did knowing he had to have done all that! That would have been so embarrassing!"

Julia agreed then said, "I know, I'm thinking the same thing."

He then asked, "Who could have played such a joke on us?"

Julia thought about it then said, "I don't know, I would say my sister but she doesn't have a sense of humor, at least not like this."

He walked in down the steps from the opera then he turned back to Julia and he asked, "I don't know who could have done this either."

Julia then walked up to him and she placed her left hand on his chest then she said, "We may never found out who did this but let's PROMISE to never tell anyone about this!"

He laughed then said, "I was just thinking the same thing Mrs. Julia! How about we go get some Christmas egg nogg?"

Julia smiled then said, "I was just thinking the same thing kind sir, lead on."


Right at that same moment, back at that beautiful white farmhouse...a little elf in a red suit with white fur on it like Santa Claus dances on the roof. The little elf has red hair and freckles. He kicked out his foot and twirls around then Santa Claus suddenly appears and he is NOT happy! Instead of a twitch of his nose, steam came from his ears and his little kind eyes? Well, let's just say that's not what you would describe them.

"Andy!" He screamed and he had his right fist up and he was shaking it then he said, "What have I told you?!"

Andy the elf thought about then said, "To clean Rudolf's nose?"

Santa Claus rolled his eyes and sighed then said, "I told you to stop with these incessant jokes, especially on Christmas!"

Andy put his finger to his mouth then he said, "Oh gee, why Santa?"

Santa's anger comes to a rage then he said, "Because it's Christmas, not April's fools!"

Andy shrugged his shoulders then asked "Why not combine them?"

Santa ran his hand over his face then said, "Andy, we have had this talk before , you will not stop, we have complaints from everybody! The other elves ! Jack Frost told me about that one you played on him !"

Andy throws his hand down then said, "Oh, he's just a big bag of wind!"

Santa then told him, "Nevertheless, if you don't stop these, I'll have to turn you into ...the elf on the shelf!"

Andy thought about it then he said with a mischievous twinkle in his eye then he said to himself, "Hmmm, elf on the shelf? That sounds interesting ."

Santa then shouted at Andy,

"And Mrs. Claus would like her house back!"

Santa and Andy twitch their noses and the house, Santa and Andy all go back to the North Pole.

Well, here's my Christmas gift! Reviews,please

Sand n' Sable