Bruce's thoughts regarding his first Christmas with Dick.

by DC Lady

Can this year be different?

The tree is up, the house decorated with Alfred's impeccable flair.

Another year of pretense? Of remembering happier times with family and friends?

Or has everything changed? Can I actually have hope in the guise of this child that now lives here?

A child who is not my son, but I can't help but feel the connection nonetheless.

Yes, the tree is up, and Alfred is making the Christmas cookies I haven't smelled since my own childhood--wouldn't let him make since that last Christmas when I was happy. But the burden this time of year seems to bring me is lifted just a little as I watch the child sneak off with a cookie that was cooling on the tray. I smile at my own memories of stolen cookies and peeking at presents.

Can this year be different?

My longing and heartache for the past remains, but the darkness that constantly threatens me has been diminished by a bright light.

Yes, this year is different, I think, as I steal my own cookie from the tray, joining my ward in the den with our snack.

Merry Christmas, Dick.