Chapter 12

Erik struggled to close Madeline's suitcase. OK, there had definitely not been this much when she had arrived. The suitcase had been closed for a start.

He sat on top of it and forced the clasps to close. They did, unwillingly. Erik grinned and revelled in his victory over the inanimate object. He lifted it into the living room where Christine and Madeline were making sure she had everything, when it promptly burst open again.

Ignoring Erik's swearing, Madeline checked her handbag one last time.

"Ticket?" Christine checked.

"Yes."

"Passport."

"Yes."

"Luggage?"

They looked at Erik who glared at them as he threw Madeline's clothes back into the suitcase.

"Oh, let me do it." Madeline said tiredly, folding the items neatly. Erik scowled and watched as she packed things, chatting as she did so.

"You really must come over and see me for a week in the summer."

"But you're coming at Easter?"

"I wouldn't miss it for the world, Christine dear. Pass that jacket, would you?"

Christine passed the tweed jacket. Madeline slipped it on and closed the suitcase as easily as… as Erik hadn't. Thoroughly miffed he threw a deadly look at the case before saying,

"Are you sure you don't want me to come to the airport with you, Mother?"

"I'm a big girl, Erik, I'll manage to get a taxi." She said, vaguely, making sure on last time that all of her possessions were safely packed away.

Erik went to fetch himself a glass of milk as Christine tidied away the various Buffy boxes that he had left lying around from his marathon watching of the previous few days. Madeline was powdering her nose in a cracked mirror.

"Erik, why exactly are all of these mirrors broken?" She asked curiously. Christine sighed.

"He got a little crazy with a candelabra. He was going through a rough patch."

"Hmm." Madeline straightened a wonky picture frame and looked at the clock.

"My taxi should be here any moment."

"I'll go and look out for it." Christine said, slipping out of the door.

Madeline and Erik looked at each other. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.

"I, uh… I just wanted to… well…" He took a deep breath and braced himself. "I'm glad you came."

"So am I." Madeline smiled. "It's been far too long."

"Yes."

"I look forward to Easter."

"Me too." Erik said, and was rather surprised to find that he actually MEANT it.

Christine returned.

"Madeline, the taxi is here." She said. Madeline looked at her son and smiled, putting her cheek to him. He kissed it obligingly.

"Goodbye Mother."

"Goodbye Erik. Thank you having me, Christine."

"Thanks for coming; it was lovely to meet you at last." Christine said, kissing Madeline's cheek.

The door closed and she was gone. Christine and Erik let out heavy sighs and collapsed onto the sofa together. Christine looked at her husband.

"Well… we survived."

"We did. We should congratulate ourselves." Erik commented.

"Good for us." Christine said. Erik nodded in agreement and looked around the cellar, with its decorations now removed and back to its original, far more preferable state of existence. He smiled happily.

"I very much prefer it like this, you know."

"Like what?"

"Just us. Alone." He said, putting an arm around her. "It's very… nice."

Christine smiled and stroked his hand.

"You know… there's still one more gift I wanted to give you. Well, two, I suppose."

"Oh?" Erik looked at her, rather interested. "Better than my DVD's?"

"I think so."

"Well, give me!" Erik said, grinning.

Christine leant over the edge of the sofa and pulled into view a pair of tight leather trousers, a cute t-shirt and a wooden stake.

A Buffy costume.

Erik's jaw dropped delightedly and he made to kiss Christine but she grinned.

"Don't you want to know what the other present is?"

"Right after I take advantage of you."

"Oh. OK."


By the time their… ahem, activities, had ceased both Christine and Erik were extremely hungry. Christine went to prepare omelettes whilst Erik put up their new calendar.

"So, what was my other present?" He asked curiously. Christine poked her head around the edge of the door and smiled at him.

"Well… I'll give you a clue."

"Clue?"

"Yes. It's due in about nine months."

THUD.

"Oh, for goodness' sake…" Christine said as she looked at the passed out figure on the floor.

And that, I believe, is where the story ends.

And this time I really mean it.

I promise.

A/N: This is my Christmas present to everyone on PPN and PFN. You guys are awesome.

It is also a gift to anyone who has read and reviewed it. Most of the people who have reviewed my stories have been wonderfully supportive of my writing and I can't express exactly how much that means to me. I'm not good with words when they're from me. Which is why I write fanfiction.

A Merry Christmas to you all and God bless.

Love

Katie