Author's Note: This is my first story in a while, so bear with me…

Covering My Ass: Parker belongs to Lucie Brody, and everyone else but Tessa belongs to Roland Emerich and FOX.


The Best Chrismukkah Ever (Seriously)

"You can't ruin Chrismukkah. It's got twice the resistance of any normal holiday."

Seth Cohen, 'The O.C.'

The December holidays were impending over the crowded areas of the southern United States, and despite the lapse into the new Ice Age going into effect, there was barely any snow at all. There were only a few scattered flakes here and there--small flakes that looked more like accumulating dust particles--just enough to be noticeable. After three hours of this pitiful display of nature, Sam Hall could still see the green grass peeking out from beneath its white coating. This was the snowstorm Dad had been having such a fit about last night? It was depressing, almost, since it was his daughter's first Christmas, and despite usually having more than plenty of snow to go around, Sam actually wanted it to snow.

But it wasn't like his childhood was filled with snowy memories either. Growing up in Washington D.C., there usually wasn't extremely white Christmases. But, since the climate had shifted nearly ten years previously, even here in Texas, there should be heaps of snow!

Tessa, his little three-month-old who was scarcely larger than a boot, pressed her tiny nose against the glass that separated her from the outside world as Sam held her close. She giggled as she saw her breaths fog up a petite section of window. In spite of her young age, she was observant, and had a profuse amount of brunette curls atop her head.

Sam sighed loudly, stepping away from his living room window and slumped onto the couch, and Tessa released a brief cry of protest, but her shrieks subsided when Sam pressed a pacifier between her lips. Temporarily satisfied, she suckled on the rubber in her mouth and reverted her attention to a bare pine tree in the middle of the room.

"Your mom's going to freak," Sam informed Tessa, imagining the look on his wife's face when she stepped in the house to find a Christmas tree. This wouldn't bother most people, but since Laura was born and raised Jewish, she'd take it into offence. Suddenly, a knock on the door sounded, and Sam groaned forcefully, getting up with his daughter to answer the door.

"HAPPY CHRISMUKKAH!" came a shrill voice from behind the door, belonging to a certain, blonde someone.

"Parker," Sam greeted, "Didn't I say to come decorate the tree—"

"I know, I know," Parker, his half-sister, insisted. "But I wanted to see ickle Tessakins…"

"Tessakins?"

"Well, she likes it…"

"Didn't you say that babysitting Tessa was the ultimate birth control?"

"Well… we best decorate 'fore that crazy wife of yours gets home—"

"Parker, are you kidding? Laura's JEWISH!" Sam interrupted crossly.

The blonde grinned, after securing her odd-looking earmuffs that resembled little dead pink animals attached to her ears, and picked up a lumpy, damp cardboard box Sam hadn't noticed before. "Dude, I brought a menorah."

Within a few short hours, the suburban house had undergone a complete makeover. The fireplace that was bare was now decorated with holly, wreaths, and the menorah Parker mentioned atop the mantle. There were so many outdoor lights; a person who walked by might have been blinded for a few seconds. And, not to mention, the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room was adorned with ornaments, lights, and wrapped presents beneath. With luck, Laura just might not brutally murder Sam.

"C'mon, little brother, say it." Parker radiated a grin so youthful, there was an impression that she was a teenager all over her.

"Say what?"

"Kutza!" Tessa shrieked, which probably meant something along the lines of, 'Thank her, you idiot!'.

"Uh, dur, a thank you would be nice." Parker said, exasperated. But her azure eyes lit up when the door swung open, revealing Laura.

"Uh… hi sweetie…" Sam greeted, his ears turning hot and red.

"MAMA!" Tessa squealed, flailing her arms. 'Mama', 'Papi', 'Jack', 'Luce', and 'Park' were the only recognizable words in her vocabulary, and she liked to flaunt them. "MAMA, MAMA, MAMA!"

"Sam, Parker…" Laura whispered loudly, taking her daughter into her arms. "… what did you do?"

"It was him!" Parker pointed to Sam, acting like she was seventeen again.

"No it wasn't! She did most of it… besides, she made me do it!"

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did not, not, not, not, not, notnotnotnotnotnotnot! NOT!"

"SHUT UP!" Laura yelled above her husband and sister-in-law's voices effectively. "You guys," she smirked. "You got me a menorah?"

"Yep," Parker grinned too, glancing at Sam as to say, 'Told you so'. "Happy Chrismuakkah!"