Just Another Day in Paradise

By Archangel

Dedicated to Vickie Nash and her Edgemuse.

Matt hummed softly to himself as he chopped celery at the kitchen counter, scooping up handfuls and dropping them into the bowl of homemade stuffing. Despite the overhead lighting the counter before him was bathed in the soft pink-red glow from the Christmas lights in the window over the sink. In the other room the stereo was playing holiday tunes. Lucas was chewing on his early gift of rawhide, lying in his bed in front of the heat vent. All was calm in the house and so was Matt. He raised his head and blinked as the backdoor flew open.

"Get back here! I'm talking to you, young lady!"

"You're not talking! You're yelling!"

"Either way, get your ass back here right now!"

Matt wiped his hands on the dish towel as Ruby came storming into the kitchen, throwing her coat and hat down while shaking snow out of her long black hair. "Pick those up. What's going on?"

"Dad is being totally obnoxious!"

"That's bullshit!" Adam snapped as he came in, looking infuriated. Either that or his cheeks were red from the cold. "I cracked a joke and your hormonal ass took offense!"

Ruby's jaw dropped. "Ugh! I am not hormonal! You are insensitive!"

"You're as crazy as your mother!"

"At least Mama is sensitive!"

"Shut up!" Matt yelled over them both, silencing them. "Mama has had enough of this. Now tell me what happened."

"He said-"

"Wait," Matt halted his uppity teen. "Not you. Addy."

"We went out to chop down the tree like I told you we were going to do," he started, pulling his hat off and shaking out his hair, melting snow twinkling on the blond and gray locks. "I picked one out that was pretty big because I know you always love the big round ones."

"Uh huh..." Matt leaned on the counter, waiting for the point.

"Well, as soon as she saw I was aiming for the fat one she said she was going back to the truck. So I cracked a joke and she turned all superbitch on me."

"I am not a bitch!" Ruby snapped.

"No, you're a superbitch!" Adam snapped right back.

"Stop!" Matt halted them again. "Don't ever call her that. You know I hate it when you do that."

"You know I don't mean it in literal sense."

"But still."

"Tell him what you said to me," Ruby butted in haughtily.

Matt blinked at her, then at Adam, who was glaring at her. Matt had to force himself not to smirk at this. They were father and daughter, but they acted more like brother and sister sometimes. He cleared his throat at Adam to catch his attention.

"What'd you say?"

Adam hesitated a moment. "I said, 'Sure, turn tail and run."

Matt blinked, instantly seeing what it was that upset Ruby so badly. He had a feeling Adam knew what he'd said, too, but he was stubborn even when he knew he was wrong. Matt looked over at Ruby, who was sulking with her arms crossed over her breasts, leaning against the wall at the far end of the kitchen. She looked like a black-haired, brown-eyed, female version of Adam.

"Well... Baby, you know that your father didn't literally mean your tail. It's just a figure of speech." Said tail whipped back and forth angrily before it wrapped tightly around Ruby's tiny waist, the black appendage looking like a belt with her red outfit. She huffed and looked away. "But Addy, as soon as you heard her get upset, you should've told her exactly what I just did."

Adam opened his mouth to protest, but sighed. "I didn't think it was a big deal." Matt pointed at Ruby, telling him without words that he had to apologize. Again he sighed. Matt smiled though as he moved to do just that. "Baby, I'm sorry. I thought you'd know what I really meant."

There was a long moment of silence then Ruby looked up at him warily. "And what about the superbitch thing?"

"You know I mean that as a compliment," Adam smirked.

"And the hormonal comment?"

"But you are hormonal."

"Ugh! Mama!" Ruby looked at Matt for help.

"What?!" Adam exclaimed, also looking to Matt.

Matt burst out laughing at them, shaking his head and waving them off. "You two figure it out. In my opinion you're both hormonal superbitches and that's why you clash so much." He glanced over his shoulder as he grabbed his knife again. "But that's also why you get along so well."

He looked back down at his celery, continuing what he had been doing prior and pretending not to listen to his husband and daughter plotting behind his back. He knew how it went. First they'd be mad at each other and want him to pick a side. He'd find them both at fault then they'd gang up on him. It was utterly adorable the strange way that they bonded. He scooped the last of the celery into the bowl as Adam wrapped his arms around his waist from behind.

"Thank you, Carolina," he said quietly.

"For what? All I did was prove you both wrong."

"Yeah, but you know how it goes," he said as he plucked a piece of stuffing from the bowl, making a face. "Blech!"

"It's not even mixed yet, you goof."

"Oh. I was about to tell you that you're losing your touch." He sighed and reached up to stroke over Matt's short curls, tugging one to watch it sproing back into place. "Merry Christmas, Matt."

"Merry Christmas, sweetheart." He kissed him. "Go help Ruby wrap up her gifts for her cousins. Jeff and Bren will be here in less than an hour."

"Father and Shannon are coming, too, right?"

"They're in the living room, probably laughing their heads off at hearing this big fight in here!"

"Oh... Niiiice..." Adam groaned and walked away.

Matt smiled and went back to his cooking. In the other room there came the squealing of the twins and Gaby at seeing their big brother, as well the ringing laughter of Gangrel paired with the giggling of his husband. Matt sighed contently, looking down as his leg got pawed. Lucas looked up at him, focusing his good eye on him and whimpering.

"Aw, here ya go boy." Matt knelt down and handed him a piece of ham he'd set aside just for him. "Such a good old boy, yes you are. Another perfect Christmas, huh Lucas?" The dog licked Matt's face and hobbled carefully back to his bed to settle down for the night. "Yep, just another day in paradise."

The End

Legalities: Chris Jericho, Gangrel, and Luna Vachon are copyright to themselves. Christian Cage and Raven are copyright to TNA Wrestling. Ruby, Gabrielle, Abigail, and Brennan are copyright to Devlin Burke. Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and any other mentioned characters are copyright to World Wrestling Entertainment. I claim no knowledge of their sexuality or personal lives. I gained no profit from this story. This work is complete fiction.