A/N: This is another variation of the first chapter.

Disclaimer: Own plot, but nothing else.


Mistletoe Magic (Variation)

Max didn't bother to look up as she heard someone come into her office and put something on her desk. It was heavy, judging by the way her trusty table moaned.

"Merry Something-mas and all that holiday crap."

"What a scrooge, Maxie."

Max put down her pen and glared at the transgenic standing in front of her. She couldn't see who it was because of the large glittery cube blocking her view, but judging by his voice she had a pretty good idea of who it was anyway.

"Alec…"

"Bah humbug," Alec said in a very good impersonation of Max. That earned the idiot a slap upside the head.

"What's with all the hitting? I even got you a present."

Max felt her insides melt at the mournful puppy-dog eyes he gave her. They had been together for a while already, and she was still amazed by how with just one smile she turned into goo.

She got up and wrapped her arms around his neck, standing on tiptoe as she pressed her lips to his cheek in greeting. "I know, I'm sorry. But you did deserve it."

Alec smiled. "I always deserve it, don't I?"

"Alec, I was doing something important. You coming in like that was enough to make me snap."

The cocky transgenic guided the brunette to the tattered sofa, Max with her head on his lap as he played with her hair. She enjoyed the feeling of his touch, and knowing that it was hers alone was enough to bring a smile to her face.

"Ah, but you enjoy being interrupted in the middle of something importantly boring."

Max cracked open one eye, managing a death glare at him. "How did you know that?"

Alec leaned forward until his eyelashes were almost touching hers. "I have my sources."

Despite the fogging of her brain and the dulling of her senses by his nearness, she still felt him take something out of his back pocket.

As the transgenic pulled away, Max could see something green with red berries hanging above her on the roof of her office. That was odd. She didn't remember putting something there before.

"Look, Maxie." Alec pointed up with a so-obviously-guilty-but-trying-not-to-show it tone of voice. "Mistletoe."

Max wrinkled her nose. "What's mistletoe?"

The blond looked askance at her. "What's mistletoe?" He repeated, sounding melodramatically shocked. "My dear Max, mistletoe is the life of the every self-respecting Christmas party. Christmas is not Christmas without at least one sprig of mistletoe."

She laughed as she sat up, turning around to face him. "And why is that?"

"Because," he explained, leaning close to Max's face. "Tradition says when one boy and one girl stand under a sprig of mistletoe together, they must kiss."

"Mustn't defy tradition." Max could feel her heart speed up as he brought his lips ever closer to hers. He had kissed her so many times, but each time was one that she treasured. This one seemed all the more beautiful because it was Christmas.

"Merry Christmas Maxie," he whispered as he closed his eyes and brought his lips down to hers.

Ah. Merry Christmas indeed.