Day of the Dead
Author: Gothic Spook
Category: Follmer/Reyes romance! Pre-XF
Rating: G
Summary: Halloween and traditions spent with a loved one.
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: If you recognise it, I do not own it!
Archive: Fanfiction.net. Anywhere that wants it! Just let me know!
Feedback: Love it! Always welcomed!
Authors notes: I'm not from Mexico, I just did some research on the internet so I apologise if I get any of the traditions wrong!

Monica smiled as she looked at the calendar. It was only a few days until her favourite holiday of the year. El dia de los Muertos. Day of the dead. Or more commonly known as halloween. She loved the traditions. She loved the celebrations. And she loved the stories. This year she would be sharing her tradition with Brad. She knew he wasn't the biggest fan of halloween. But she was and he would do anything for her. Just like she would for him.

While Brad was at the office Monica set up an alter in the living room next to the window. At that time it was pretty plain. But on halloween Monica would fill it with decorations and honour the traditions she had learnt from Mexico when she was a child.

An hour later Brad came home from work. Monica was in the kitchen making dinner. Brad took off his jacket and set down his briefcase. Walking in the kitchen he heard the radio on to a station playing Mexican music and he heard Monica's sweet voice singing to the words in her home language. Quietly he walked up to her and placed his arms around her from behind.

Welcome home, Monica whispered and then continued singing along to the song as her and Brad swayed to the music which flowed in the room. Since Brad couldn't speak spanish he just hummed the tune for the rest of the song as Monica sang the words to him. Once the song was finished Monica turned around in his arms and gave him a sweet and tender kiss. How was your day? She asked as she rested her head against his shoulder as they slow danced through the next song.

Full of paperwork and meetings. I'm glad to be home. How was your day off? Brad asked.

Lonely without you. But I did make some suprises for halloween. Brad looked down at her.

Honey you know I'm not one to celebrate the kids holiday, he reminded her.

I know. But it isn't just a kids holiday. On halloween I'll show you there's more to it than seeing how much candy a child can collect, Monica told him as she nuzzled into his neck. Breathing in the scent of him which she loved.

Okay I'll go along with whatever you have planned. As long as I don't end up in a costume looking stupid, he told her with a laugh. She couldn't help but join in and laugh with him at the image of Brad in a halloween costume.

I promise. No costumes. Just good old fashion tradition, she promised as she turned back around in his embrace, facing away from him so she could finish the dinner. He planted a kiss on the back of her neck before letting go and going up to their bedroom to change out of his suit and clean up before dinner.

October 31st - El dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead / Halloween
Brad arrived home to find the pumpkin he and Monica had carved the night before outside their apartment door. The candle glowing from the inside. He smiled as he remembered the story she had told him as they carved out the features of how she heard the tradition came along.

:: Flashback ::

Brad carved out the pumpkins frightening features into the surface as Monica was next to him. Preparing to use the leftover pumpkin to make a pumpkin pie.

Do you know the story behind the Jack-o-lanton? She suddenly asked.

There's a story behind it? He asked, he just though people did this for fun.

Yes. I was told that a man named Jack, who was atrocious like a drunkard and trickster. Anyway he tricked Lucifer into climbing up a tree. He then carved a cross in the tree's trunk, which resulted in the devil being stuck up the tree. So Jack decided to make a deal with the devil. If he would never tempt Jack again, Jack would promise to let him down the tree. But the whole thing backfired. After Jack died, he was wasn't allowed through heavens gates because of his evil ways while he was alive, but he was also refused into Hell because he had tricked the devil. So instead of going into heaven or hell. The devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the cold darkness which would forever surround him. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer. Monica explained.

So why are all of the world using pumpkins instead of turnips? Brad asked.

Because pumpkins are a lot easier to make hollow and last longer than a turnip.

That makes sense, Brad laughed as he completed the carvings. He turned it around and showed Monica. She smiled when she saw a frightening face.

:: End Flashback ::

I'm home! He announced as he stepped in the door, he took off his coat and set down his briefcase as he always did when he arrived home. He looked down and saw flower petals around the door. Leading to the sitting room. He looked at them with curiosity.

In here! Monica called from the sitting room. Brad walked in the direction of her voice. The flowers leading to the sitting room where he found Monica lighting candles on top of the fire place. Instantly the smell of incense hit him. He looked by the window and saw what looked like an alter with the incense burning, candles were alight, flower petals, orange and yellow covered the surface and small dishes of small amounts of food rested on the alter, surrounded by candles. Monica lit the last candle and blew out the match.

Brad silently questioned as he looked at all the candles. They gave the room a warm orange glow.

Come her Brad, she whispered as she held out her hand to him. He placed his hand in hers and allowed him to lead her to the alter. She knelt down in front of it and he followed her actions. Back in Mexico we would go for a small feast next to the graves of ones which have past away. It's believed that on this day the dead come back to us as spirits, they come to see us once more. On the offering table we would place an object which belong to a deceased relative or friend. Or a photo of them. Monica took out a photo from her pocket. That was my Grand mama, when she was alive we were so close. I would spend hours listening to her stories. I was heartbroken when she passed away when I was twelve. She placed the photo on the offering table and paused as she saw Brad reach into his wallet, he too pulled out a small photo.

That's my brother Peter, he was killed in a car accident a few years ago, Brad explained as he followed her actions and placed the photo on the offering table. Monica couldn't help but grin, he was accepting her traditions and was willingly taking part.

The flowers and the smell of incense help guide the spirits to us, she explained. She knew he was still wandering about that.

How do we know if the spirits are here or if they've come at all? Brad asked as he slipped his arm around her waist. Just at that moment a phantom drafted flew around them. Blowing out the candles on the alter.

I think they already have, Monica whispered as she blew out the one remaining lit candle on the offering table.

What do we do now? Brad asked as they raised themselves from the floor.

Now, we watch some horror films and eat some candy, she told him as she went to turn on the lights. But Brad pulled her back to him.

No, leave the lights off. The candlelight is beautiful. You look beautiful in candlelight. He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her soft lips. As he pulled back he saw the smile and shine on her eyes. So is watching movies and eating candy part of the tradition in Mexico?

No, but it is over here. And I thought since we've done my tradition it's only fair we do yours as well, she explained.

Well I think your traditions are mine as well.

Do you believe in the myth of spirits awakening for one night? Monica asked as they sat down on the sofa.

Yes I do, Brad replied with all honesty.

Thank you. She was saying thank you to more than he knew. She was saying thank you to him for allowing her to have her traditions. For him wanted to be apart of her traditions. For him being in her life. And most of all, for him loving her. And hopefully this was the start of a new tradition. One which would be repeated for years to come.

THE END