1Author Notes: in a rock star way Hello San Francisco!!......I mean, Hello World!!!...lol..anyway!! I'm here with this Christmas/New Years/Valentines Day/Summer/Halloween/Thanksgiving/back to Christmas fic!! Haha...you're probably going "what the....". Well here's the deal. Basically each chapter is going to be one of those holidays...most likely in that order. If I add one I've forgotten, well good for you because that's one more chapter you get to read! By the way, if you're starting to read this and either you're not a big Les/Andy fan or really you're not a Andy fan then don't continue if you don't want to. I won't be hurt. Basically this entire story will be focused on that couple plus Jessie and Lizzy. I probably will add in some nice Lu/Andy friendship moments, even maybe some Lana ones, if you're lucky. Well, I think that's all I really have to say. If you do read this, please review. I love reviews!! They put the smile on my face and the brightness in my day. Thanks! OH! One more thing, when you come to reading the song, the dots (......) in it are for when the singer holds the notes really long.
Disclaimer: Yeah..I own nothin'. Lol....umm don't sue!
Dedication: How about this time we just make this whole story dedicated to Patricia Richardson and her fabulous job on Strong Medicine. I think all of us fans are going to miss her like crazy! I know I will and I just know that I will never stop writing about the characters she played whether it be Andy or Jill, or somebody else in the future. Ya never know.
"Ok, girls, off to bed," Andy said and stood up from her spot near the Christmas tree. She quickly straightened her slim jeans and flipped the semi-long flowing brown strands of hair away from her face.
"But Mom!...." Lizzy whined.
"No buts, come on," She pulled her youngest daughter up from the floor and led her to the stairs. A silent grunt came from her as she stomped her way on the wooden floors, Andy's hand gently holding onto her shoulder. They both looked back at the two left sitting by the tree.
"You to Jessica Campbell," Andy ordered jokingly.
"Mom! It's only ten o'clock."
"No arguments. She's right," Les said unexpectedly and stood up from his position on the floor. "Besides, the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner Santa comes."
"Dad..." Jessie said in an annoyed voice and a look on her face as if her father was the stupidest person in the world.
"Ok, well....the sooner you can wake up and open the rest of your presents," He responded. "Now go," He pointed to the stairs.
Jessie, also somewhat stomping, joined her sister.
"Goodnight girls," Andy said and kissed both their foreheads. "Sweet dreams."
Both the young daughters started up the stairs towards their separate bedrooms. Lizzy turned back around and hugged Andy.
"I love you Mom," She said quietly.
Andy smiled and squeezed her youngest offspring, slowly whispering, "I love you to Lizzy," back in her ear.
Lizzy then moved to hug her Dad.
"I love you," She said.
"Love you to sweetie," He responded, holding her tightly.
The little girl turned and headed up the stairs. Jessie stopped and turned around this time. "Goodnight Mom, goodnight Dad," She said and then paused with a slight chuckle. "You know, it's nice......telling you both goodnight at the same time and place, I mean," She added and then followed her sister upstairs.
Les and Andy exchanged glances for a few seconds then both walked back to the Christmas tree to clean up the wrapping paper mess. They were quiet for awhile, both thinking about what Jessie had said and about Christmas in general.
"You want something to drink?" Andy asked unexpectedly.
"Uh...sure, what do you have?"
"Umm...." She thought. "Wine.....egg nog, water...."
"Wine would be nice," He said.
There was a pause but Andy interrupted it. "Wine it is," She said with a slight smile and headed for the kitchen.
When she returned the rest of the wrapping paper was cleaned up, the lights were off except for the white ones on the Christmas tree, and Les was standing near one of the bookshelves and playing with the radio.
"What are you doing?" She asked.
He didn't turn to look at her. "Just finding some nice music."
"Don't turn it up too loud.....cause you know..the girls."
"I know. I won't," He responded, finally looking over at her.
Andy walked towards him and placed one of the two wine glasses in his hand. "I hope white's ok. It's the only kind I had."
"It's perfect," He said and took a sip. A smile formed on his face indicating that he found a station on the radio that he liked. Andy studied him. She hadn't noticed that he seemed thinner than the last time she saw him. And even though there was a small spot on the back of his head that was slowly becoming bald, he still looked handsome like the day she married him.
Andy shook the thoughts from her head and walked closer to the brightened up tree next to the couch. He followed her.
"I love looking at the Christmas tree while the rest of the room is dark," She commented quietly.
"I know," He said. "That's why I turned the lights off."
Andy looked at him and smiled. "For me?" She asked curiously.
Les nodded and then sat down on the couch next to the tree. "So how are you Andy?"
"I'm good," She said, still standing, and slowly sipping her drink. "I've been better but you know, I'm holding up."
He nodded again in understanding and set his wine down on the coffee table in front of him.
"Do you remember that Christmas we spent in Dakota," Andy said with a slight laugh.
"Yeah, boy was it cold then."
"We kept each other warm," She added.
Les smiled at the fact that she mentioned them being close. It also made him laugh quietly.
"That was one of my favorite Christmas's."
"Just cause," She answered with a shrug. "We were so in love Les...even with a baby constantly crying all night," There was a pause and Andy just stared at the tree. "I remember it was late and Jessie wouldn't go to sleep and instead of rolling over and telling me...to go get her....you let me sleep and you got up. I had been trying to get her to calm down and sleep all night and then it only took you once....to get her to stop crying and close her little green eyes, which she inherited from you," There was another pause. "Your were always so good with her....you still are."
Les didn't respond right away. "I may be good with Jessie Andy but it's nothing compared to you. A daughter as no closer relationship than the one with her mother. You were there for the puberty and the school bullies....and you'll be there for the wedding gown fittings, the reassuring, the first pregnancy."
Andy smiled at that. She kept quiet as he continued.
"I was wrong with what I said that night, you need to know that Andy. When I said that you didn't know how to handle her and when....I called you a....machine.....I was wrong. And I can't express how much I'm sorry for that."
Her smile faded into a slight quiver of her lips. She remembered back to that night. The night that broke the last straw of her marriage to him. He hadn't only hurt her physically but emotionally to.
"I know you're sorry," She said, admitting the truth and finally looking at him since the conversation started.
"And I'm getting help." He added slowly and looked down at his hands that were folded at his slightly parted knees.
Andy sat down next to him, not too close, and set her wine next to his on the coffee table. "Are you?" She asked.
He looked at her, his face slightly in shock. It then turned to sadness that she would ask that.
"I need to know Les. The last time you told me you were getting help...well, you weren't," Andy said, looking into his eyes. "That hurt me...." There was a quivering in her voice and he could tell this wasn't the first time she's cried or wanted to cry over the subject.
"I am," He said firmly, looking into her eyes. "I am," He repeated himself. "I've been going to the Anger Management workshop in California for nearly a year now Andy and I've been doing additional therapy on the side with a great psychologist, Dr. Kaplan. He's amazing, really helps me get in tune with why..." He noticed Andy looking deeply at him, which made him slow his talking pace. "I...went...off...the way I did."
There was a long pause where Andy and Les kept perfectly silent. Their eyes didn't move from each others. Thoughts flew through Andy's mind over and over again. For some reason, this time, she really believed him. He was getting help, she could tell by the tone in his voice, by the look in his eyes, by his generous actions.
All she could do was nod, break the stare, and go back to sipping her wine. Taking the hint, Les changed the subject.
"You know which Christmas was my favorite?" He asked.
"1990. Virginia. That apartment in Richmond that we had for....not even a year," She answered unexpectedly.
"How did you know that?"
"You told me, plus...it was my favorite Christmas to."
"Wait, I thought your favorite Christmas was in Dakota?" He questioned.
"No, I said that was ONE of my favorite Christmas's, not my all time favorite," She corrected.
"So, why is Virginia your favorite?"
"Why else Les....." She trailed off and he knew what she was thinking.
"Because it was...the night Lizzy was conceived."
Andy nodded and smiled at him. Their eyes met again and it sent immediate butterflies to her stomach. After a few seconds, she quickly broke the stare in fear of it developing into more.
"It was a special night," was all she could say.
He nodded and stood from the couch, slowly moving to the radio. He slightly turned the volume up and it made Andy glance towards him. She smiled and so did he. It was "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Barbra Streisand.
"Would you like to dance?" He asked politely as he held out his hand for her to join him in the middle of the room.
"I'd love to," Andy replied, accepting his offer and joined him. Les grabbed her right hand in his left and then placed his other arm around her waist, pulling her in close. Andy placed her free hand around his back and slowly they started to dance, him leading, around the room to the slow beautiful voice on the radio.
"I've been dreaming tonight
of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back...
I promise you.........
I'll be home for Christmas
You can count one me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And present 'round the tree
Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only...in my...dreams............."
Andy and Les glide around the small area they have as a dancing floor and smile at each other as there is a saxophone solo in the background. She looked at his face, it was glowing and not just because of the Christmas tree lights. He returned the stare with a smile and then she moved to lay her head down on his shoulder, making their bodies press tighter together as the singers voice picked up again from the solo and continued.
"I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and lotsa mistletoe
And presents 'round the tree
Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in...my...dreams......
The song ended slowly and so did Andy and Les's movement. For some reason they still held onto each other, feeling their bodies pressed tight. It was comforting, to be in each others arms again. They saw past all the hardships and all the pain and their memories shot back to the good times. The wedding, and the first baby, then the second, many anniversaries and 'I love you's'.
Eventually they parted and Les moved to turn the radio down to the normal volume and Andy stood near the tree again. She noticed her wine glass was becoming empty.
"Do you want some more wine?" She asked, noticing his glass was nearly empty as well.
"I'd love some," He responded. She headed for the kitchen. In a few seconds, she returned with a bottle of white wine in one hand. It wasn't long until she was pulling the cork out, pouring some in his glass, and handing it back to him to drink. Then she poured some for herself. They slowly sipped on it while picking up their conversation.
"So what are you doing for New Years Eve?" He asked randomly.
Andy thought for a second before trying to talk. "I actually-"
"Have to work?" He guessed, interrupting her.
"No," She responded. "I am actually..not working. Delgado is running one of her all night clinics and I just told her to call me if any of my patients showed up."
"Really? So your on call?"
"Well, sort of. Why?" She asked, wanting to laugh at all the random questions.
"I...I was just wondering if you...maybe wanted to do something."
Andy didn't respond.
"Me..you..the girls to."
"What did you have in mind?" She asked unconsciously flirtatious.
He smiled. "New York."
"City?" Andy questioned, almost choking on her wine, which wasn't that great of a feeling. New York wasn't far away but it wasn't known as the safest city, not to mention the crowd on New Years Eve.
"Yeah. Times Square. We can watch the ball drop....together."
"We've already been to there for a New Years Eve though," She commented.
"But that's when Jessie and Lizzy were little kids. They've grown up since Andy."
"I know," She mumbled quietly and took a sip of her drink while thinking.
"Come on Andy, it would be fun. We could drive up there Friday morning, go to Time's Square for midnight, spend the night in a hotel, do some sight seeing the next day maybe, and then come back," He suggested, looking at her with hope.
She smiled. "That does sound like fun. It would be nice," She paused, thinking it over once more. "Ok."
A smiled formed on his face. "Really?"
Andy nodded and it made his smile grow more. There was something about the look on his face that night that kept sending thousands of little butterflies to her stomach. It was as if she was a teenager all over again and she had just recently met this cute boy in school and was interested in him. Andy remembered the day she met Les. She never would have guessed that she would end up loving him and then marrying him. She thought about it when they were dating just like any other teenage girl. But she always told herself to stop fantasying and get a clue.
Les cleared his throat and it made Andy break her train of thought.
"So, umm...I need to fly back to California for a few days to get some things together and then I'll be back," he noted.
She nodded, not knowing what to think about all the plans they were making for the upcoming holiday. Andy hadn't expected him to even be in Philadelphia, much less all of them being together in New York for New Years Eve. After she thought about it awhile, she figured it would be fun..and nice. It would be a change, but maybe change was a good thing. Maybe she needed some of it.
Just then, the front door swung open and seconds later, the gentle face of Kayla Thornton appeared before them.
"Thornton," Andy acknowledged.
"Hey Andy. What are you doing up this late?....Mr. Campbell," Kayla noticed Les and nodded towards him in greeting.
"What are you doing home this late?" Andy questioned with a grin on her face.
Kayla grinned back.
"Did your 'date' run overtime?"
"It wasn't a date," Kayla corrected, while taking off her coat, scarf, and gloves.
"Really," Andy said, in doubt. "Then what was it?"
"I was just helping Peter out at the soup kitchen.....Although...."
"Yeah...." Andy motioned for her to continue, she was loving the gossip.
"We did...kiss..under the mistletoe," She said with a smile.
"Finally!" Andy said and stood from her seat on the couch. She walked to Kayla and gave her a hug. Les shook his head at all the estrogen and got up to carry the two glasses and wine bottle to the kitchen.
"What do you mean finally?"
"I mean, it's about time. You've had the 'hots' for him since you started working here."
"I have not!" Kayla argued.
Andy gave her a look of doubt and then turned to go sit back on the couch. When she didn't see Les there, she looked around.
"I'm going to bed. See you in the morning," Kayla said and headed for the stairs.
"All right. Goodnight. Sweet dreams, about Peter I'm sure."
"That's not funny," Kayla called back to her as she was slowly walking upstairs.
Andy laughed quietly at the young woman and then looked for Les again. When she walked into the kitchen he was there, rinsing the wine glasses.
"I figured you were done. The glass and bottle were empty," He said, turning his head to look at her.
"Yeah, it's late. We should call it a night. I mean, after all, the girls will probably be waking us up at the crack of dawn."
"Do you still get up at that time Andy?" He asked.
"The crack of dawn? Mostly," She laughed. "Basically yes. What can I say? I don't need much sleep and I was trained all my life to wake up then so...." She trailed off.
"I wasn't criticizing, just asking," He pointed out.
She nodded and sighed afterwards.
"I'll need a pillow and blanket. Don't worry about anything else."
"For the couch...for sleeping," He informed her. "Did I catch off guard with that question or something?"
She laughed. "Just a little, sorry. I'll get the stuff," She added and headed towards the hall closet. When she walked into the living room to set it down on the couch, Les was already there. She smiled and handed him the pillow and blanket.
"Is that enough?"
"Yeah, it's fine," He answered and started placing it where he would be sleeping.
"Well, I guess I'll get to bed...upstairs...." She said slowly as she backed towards the stairs.
He nodded. "Goodnight Andy," He said politely, looking into her eyes.
"Goodnight," She said uneasily before turning around and heading upstairs.
Andy crawled into bed and closed her eyes, loving the feeling of the soft covers and pillows. It was one of the things that happened in every day life but everybody ignored. Where you just jump in your soft, cushy bed and relax for a few minutes until your eyes are fluttering closed and your breath is slowing down to the point of total satisfaction and then you're asleep. She sighed, not feeling the complete 'satisfaction' and not knowing if she would soon or not. She wasn't that tired.
There was a knock at her bedroom door and then it slowly creaked open. Since the room was in complete darkness and there was no light on the other side of it, she didn't know who it was.
Now she knew, it was Les.
"Andy?" He whispered.
"Yeah," She whispered back.
She laughed. "Obviously not. Is everything ok?" She asked, sitting up in her bed. She could tell that he now had moved entirely into the room and shut the door behind him.
"No, I just couldn't sleep."
"Oh," was all she said even though she knew that he had only tried for about twenty minutes. "Me either."
"You wanna talk?"
There was a pause. "Sure," She said and laid back down in her bed. It wasn't long before she could feel Les slowly lay down on the bed next to her, but not too close. She sighed, unsure of whether him being there was a good idea or not. Andy figured that she would just see how it went.
"So what do you want to talk about?" Les asked.
"I don't know, you're the one who came in here," Andy responded.
"Well, how is everything?"
"Fine," She laughed.
"What's so funny?"
"How am I funny?" He asked surprised
"I don't know," more laughter. He laughed back at her.
"You know usually we can hold up a pretty good conversation," He said.
"Usually..." She repeated and turned on her side to face him. Les did the same. Since the room was all dark except for the little bit of moonlight coming in the windows, they could hardly see each others faces but they didn't seem to mind. Andy could hear his slow breathing, something she hadn't heard from another person in her bed in months.
"Do you remember the first time I met the General?"
"Do I?! I was so nervous when I had to bring you home to my strictly Military family where my dad grilled the heck out of you until the point where I was unsure if dating you was a good idea or not."
"Yeah he definitely grilled me. I think that's the most information I've handed out in under an hour in my entire life."
She laughed at his comment. She seemed to be laughing at him a lot that night, something that hadn't happened in a long time. He used to be able to charm her and make her laugh at everything, but once the marriage was ending, that ended as well. Now, for this one night it was back and Andy wasn't sure if it would stay or leave again.
They talked for hours it seemed....about any random thing. Memories, upcoming events, 'what ifs', and even jobs. Nothing really got too personal in the conversations. Neither of them wanted to say something that would strike feelings of discomfort. Eventually, Andy's eyes began to flutter and she curled up in her comforter, her head laying gently on the pillow, and her breathing slowing to that satisfaction point. Les was getting the same way, tired and needing sleep. He yawned which made it's way to Andy, making her yawn as well.
She laughed sleepily. "I'm tired now. What time is it?"
"The clocks on your side isn't it?"
"Yes, but I'm too tired to roll over and see. You look," She said, her mouth halfway into the pillow.
He liked this side of her. It was personal and he had missed it throughout the years they had been apart.
"Fine," He agreed and sat up, slightly leaning over her body to see the digital green glowing numbers on the bedside table.
Andy could feel little parts of his body press against hers and for some reason, she didn't object to it. She just simply laid there, the way she had been for the past several minutes. When he laid back down next to her, this time unconsciously closer than before, he mumbled that it was almost two in the morning.
"Sleep," She muffled and yawned again.
"You're right. I guess I'll go back down to the couch now."
"No," She objected and grabbed his arm gently as he was heading out of the bed. "You can stay here."
"Do what?" He asked, unsure of how to respond to her objection.
"You can sleep in here. That couch is uncomfortable."
"Are you sure Andy?"
She nodded, forgetting he couldn't really see her. "Just no funny business," She added and laughed quietly. Her voice was drowsy and he could tell she was half asleep.
Les thought a minute and then with doubts, laid back down in the bed next to her, this time under the covers but not too close. He didn't want to overstep his bounds. They were instantly asleep, both dreaming of who knows what, both forgetting that Jessie and Lizzy and maybe even Kayla would find them there in the morning.
Andy and Les were still fully asleep the next morning when the rest of the people in the house woke with excitement. Jessie and Lizzy, as kids, were excited about presents, etc. Kayla, however, was excited about her first Christmas Day in Philadelphia and was trying to decide how to spend it wisely.
Lizzy ran to Jessie's room and jumped on her older sisters bed. To her surprise, Jessie wasn't in it. Seconds later, the teenager walked out of her bathroom, still in her pajamas and smiled.
"Merry Christmas Lizzy," She said.
"Merry Christmas," The little girl responded. "Let's go wake up Mom."
Jessie smiled even more and headed towards their mothers bedroom. They both opened the door and rushed in but suddenly stopped dead in their tracks before getting anywhere near the bed. What they saw shocked them but they both smiled at it. Andy and Les were still asleep, has they had been all night, except for one thing. They had shifted positions in the middle of the night. Les was laying on his back in somewhat of the middle of the bed and Andy was under his arm, her head resting on his chest.
Kayla walked by the door and peaked in. "Hello!" She said in surprise when she saw them and then came into the room fully.
"Mom! Dad!" Jessie said loudly, waking the two adults from their soundless sleep.
"What is it?! What's wrong?" Andy asked frantically, forgetting where she was or what day it was. When she saw the look on the three faces across the room, and then noticed someone next to her, her mouth dropped, realizing what they must be thinking. "Les!"
"What are you!...." She lowered her voice. "What are you doing in my bed?"
"You don't remember?"
Jessie and Lizzy's eyes widen and they tip-toed out of the room. Kayla stood there still however, still looking at the two in shock.
Andy noticed. "It's not what you think Thornton."
"I wasn't thinking anything!" Kayla stated and held her hands up innocently.
"Yes you were, don't lie."
"Ok, I was."
Andy laughed and then looked at Les. "I do remember....."
"So you can't blame this on me, you asked me to stay."
"You could have said no!"
"To you?!" He said.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
He fell silent. Kayla noticed the awkwardness and copying Jessie and Lizzy's moves, she slowly left the room.
"Les, what did you mean you couldn't say no to me? I mean was that supposed to be a compliment or was it supposed to be an-"
Les grabbed her arms gently, and pressed his lips against hers, interrupting her little ridicule of questions which she obviously inherited from her father. Andy paused, in shock, before kissing him back. When he pulled away from her face, she was speechless and so was he. Her look was of pure shock, but not quite discomfort. They kept staring for awhile, nothing but the sounds of each others heart beats echoing throughout their minds. The kiss had taken them both by surprise and they didn't know what was to come of it. Maybe it had potential? Or maybe it didn't. They would find out though....eventually.
Muahaha!! That took forever to put together. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have writing. Like I've already stated, there will be more chapters for different holidays. I dunno when they'll be posted but as always, reviews are welcome for this chapter. Thanks!