We do not own GIJOE, we only own our imaginations and our own characters. Please ask permission if you like to use them, thank you. This story takes place between GIJOE Wedding one and two, so we hope you have read Joe Wedding one. Enjoy! Reviews would be lovely, thank you. Enjoy! Much thanks to Pixie Red for Beta reading so quickly!
Scarlett Slipper and Alison Hart-Burnett
The snowflakes fluttered from the gray sky, swirling around, floating gracefully down towards the ground, where they landed one upon another, creating mounds of white cotton hills. A gushing wind blew from the north, causing the snow to fly across the fields, creating a realm of white streaks. The fields, valleys and woods were mostly dominated with deep snow. A howl of a hungry wolf could be heard from a distance. The trees stood frozen still, decorated by the icicles and snow. A branch broke from the frozen weight, and a rabbit madly dashed back into a hole, trying to escape from becoming a wolf's supper.
The old farmhouse stood in the midst of the fearsome winter storm, huddled against several trees. Smoke rose from its chimney, and several candles stood in its windows. Colorful lights dangled across the porch, blinking in white, green, yellow, red and blue. A large pine wreath hung on the front door, swaying from the wind's mighty strength. From somewhere in the fields, the sounds of soft jingle bells merged with the wind, creating an enchanting holiday sound. A horse neighed and hoof beats passed the old farm house, pulling a large sleigh. The young stallion sounded grateful returning from a long sled ride, to a warm stable and a mouthful of oats.
Inside the house, a majestic tree stood in the corner of the living room, filled with the family's treasured ornaments. Several wrapped gifts lay underneath the tree, along with a nativity, displayed in between them. An animated St. Nicholas stood beside the Christmas tree, moving his arm up and down, creating an illusion of putting presents on its branches. The fireplace looked warm and inviting, the orange-red flames danced in an uneven rhythm. Stockings hung from its mantle, each with a name embroidered on them.
The home had transformed into a holiday wonderland, filled with many decorations. Angels, in different sizes stood on a long table, each one, more charming than the next. On the sofa, a doll with long brown hair and gray eyes, sat dressed in a red dress, and wearing a red Santa hat. Next to her, a large stuffed frog had stationed himself, wearing in his own holiday attire.
The aroma of gingerbread cookies, and other holiday delights floated from the kitchen, begging to be eaten. Sounds coming from the kitchen indicated that someone was creating more delicacies for the evening's meal. A whine of a begging dog sounded from the room, followed by some scolding. But several minutes later, a golden cocker spaniel trotted out of the kitchen, holding a chicken leg in its mouth. He entered the family room, jumped in his warm basket, and began to gobble his treat.
Two women occupied the room, one sitting close to a century old stove, in a rocking chair and a six month old child sleeping in her arms. She wore a green turtleneck shirt, and black dress pants. Her short brown hair was gathered on the side with a hairclip, resembling a white holly. Her hazel eyes looked down upon the child, as her gentle voice hummed a lullaby.
The other woman in the room, had stationed herself next to the warm fireplace reading a book, with her ever quick roaming brown eyes never leaving the entrancing pages. Her long brown hair hung loosely around her shoulders and traveled down to her waist. The flames glowed on her face, making her feel cozy in the warm red sweater and chocolate long skirt. The clock above the mantle ticked each second, as the hour slowly drifted by.
Several car doors slamming, followed by some Gaelic cursing, made both the women look at each other with a smile. The baby began to stir and the mother rocked the child back to dreamland. The other sprang from her chair, dropping the book in haste and dashed out the door, calling behind her, "Mama! They're here!"
She raced down the snow covered stairs, almost slipping from her haste, and rushing into the driver's open arms. "Dash!" she cried out loudly.
"Nancy!" Flint smiled down his youngest sister, embracing her tightly in his arms. "How are you?"
"Great!" Nancy replied excitedly, then turned to the woman next to him. "Allie!" she greeted, embracing her. "So, what did Dashie do this time?" Giving her brother a teasing glare.
"He tried to kill me on the way up the drive," Jaye said, glaring at her husband. She had been really cranky lately.
Brenna chuckled from the doorway when she heard that comment.
Nancy's jaw dropped. "How in the world did he try to do that?" She asked, sending an evil glare to her brother.
The warrant officer lifted his hands in surrender. "I didn't do anything!"
Both the women gave him an 'Uh huh.' look.
"Allie, come in. It's freezing out here." Nancy said sweetly to her sister-in-law. "I'll help Dash with the suitcases."
"You almost ran us off the road, you ditwad." Jaye shot at him, walking up the porch steps.
Brenna stood in the entryway of the great room where they had just entered, holding the six-month old baby girl named Molly McKenzie Faireborn. "I'm glad to see you both made it."
Jaye rushed over and fussed over the little girl cooing at her, which made the baby laugh.
"Brenna!" Flint cried out, his voice sounded happy from the doorway. He set down a very enormous suitcase and hugged his sister. "Is this my niece?" His eyes traveled to the little bundle in Brenna's arms, watching his wife kissed the baby's forehead.
"Yes, Dashie," Brenna answered, with a proud smile. "This is Molly. She's grown since you saw her last."
"She's just precious, Brenna. She looks so healthy and happy. And I bet she's not spoiled at all," Jaye said, with a bright smile.
Nancy came in the doorway, holding two suitcases in her hands, "Wait til you see her room, Allie!"
Flint shook his head. "Let me guess, it's overpopulated with evil plastic things. Right?" He laughed at his sister who stuck her tongue out at him.
"And frogs," Brenna added. "You want to hold her?" She asked her older brother and laughed at his petrified looking face, thinking he might drop the baby.
Jaye walked over to Nancy. "Come on, I'll help with the bags."
"Thanks Allie, you can take this one," Nancy replied, handing her one of the smaller suitcases. She then sent a wink to her sister-in-law, "But Dashie is taking the one with the bricks up on his own."
"You know Nancy, you're worse than Beach Head's training," Flint stated, taking the suitcases from his sister and starting to carry them up the stairs. Suddenly, something red and gold ran from underneath his legs, causing him to lose his balance, and flip backwards on the floor.
His head rose from the wooden floor, "Rowdy!! I'm going to make you into a sweater!" he threatened the dog, while the others laughed at his expense.
Jaye started laughing so hard, she was doubling over, while baby Molly of course thought her uncle was hilarious.
"Well, at least someone finds this all humorous. What will I tell Hawk when I report back to base with broken bones?" Flint asked, standing up, rubbing his thigh.
"Dashiell! Alison!" Jean Faireborn's voice came from the kitchen area, "Girls! Why didn't you tell me they arrived?"
"We were just about to, Mom." Nancy said, picking once again the suitcases and headed up the stairs.
Jean hugged her son and daughter-in-law. "Did you have a good trip coming here? I was worried sick with all this snow. Never seen such weather for twenty years!"
"Yes mom, we arrived just fine," Jaye said, as she hugged the Faireborn matriarch.
Brenna put the baby down in the playpen and picked up another suitcase and took it upstairs.
"Brenna, be careful dear with that." Jean warned her daughter.
"Mom? Where's Dad?" Flint asked, looking around for his father.
Jean smiled. "Well, he's taking care of Murdock and Ace. He restored that sled of his, and took it on a test run. From the sound of it, I think he just drove it back in the stables."
Jaye picked up the baby from the playpen and cuddled her.
Flint smiled towards Jaye, watching her cuddle their niece, "I think she likes you." She returned his smile. "I'll take these upstairs, you stay with Molly." He turned, and started going up the stairs.
"Dash, I'm going to go out and get the gifts from the car." Jaye called after him.
He stopped on the third step. "Oh no, you're not. You just recovered from that cold. I'll get the presents later with Nancy. Now go and sit and relax, okay?" He looked at her with concern.
"Dash, I'm fine." Jaye countered, a little irritated. She didn't think he knew that she had gotten sick three times that morning at the hotel which they had stopped overnight.
"I know you are, but I don't want you getting sick again. Not a pretty sight." He grinned at her scowling face, and crossed arms at him.
"Allie, let Dash and Nancy take care of the bags. They love doing mule work." Jean grinned. "How about some hot chocolate?"
"I would love some." Jaye answered with a smile to her mother-in-law.
Brenna took the baby from Jaye's arms and watched Jaye follow Jean into the kitchen. Then, the middle Faireborn sibling walked over to her brother. "What's wrong with Allie?"
"She just had a flu bug that has been going around the base," Flint explained. "I'll take these up and be right back, I bet you that sister of ours is probably already hunting in my stuff for her gifts!" He shook his head and started climbing up the stairs.
"Alright. I'll make sure she gets something to soothe her stomach." Brenna said, walking into the kitchen.
Jaye had sat down at the kitchen counter, and was looking around at the decorated room.
Jean poured warm milk in one of the holiday mugs, added some chocolate with a hint of mint and lastly threw in a few large marshmallows. "Here you go, dear. This will keep you nice and warm." She said, handing the mug to her daughter-in-law. "Brenna, would you like some too, dear?"
"I would love some, Momma." Brenna answered, sitting down next to her sister-in-law.
Jaye smiled at Brenna. "You look considerably more rested than the last time I saw you."
Brenna nodded, "Yes, I --" but her words were interrupted by a loud booming shout.
All eyes looked up towards the ceiling, as they heard thumping sounds running down the hallway upstairs and then running down the stairs rigorously.
Nancy darted in the kitchen, wearing Flint's beret, with a wide smile on her face.
Jaye shook her head with a huge grin on her face. "So much for a nice quiet holiday."
"Young lady! Give me back my beret!" Flint hollered from the stairs.
Nancy's eyes widened. "Gotta go!" She madly dashed out of the kitchen and out of the house through the back door.
Flint raced into kitchen. "Alright, where is she?" he asked, glancing around for his mischievous sister.
Jaye just pointed to the back door. She looked exhausted, despite her make up.
Flint shook his head and was already heading to follow his sister's path, but Jean's voice stopped him, "Dash, leave her for now. You can kill her later. Let's have dinner and relax. It's been so long since we've seen you both last."
He turned and smiled. "Alright, Mom." he said, walking up to her and embracing her in a hug.
Dinner was quiet and uneventful. Jean kept giving Jaye a concerned look, but Jaye kept trying to ignore it. After dinner, she wanted to help clean up but Jean told her to go relax. About an hour later, she stood up from the couch in the living room. "I hate to retire early but I'm beat. Goodnight." she said, and headed for the stairs. "You don't have to come to bed if you're not tired, Dash."
"I'll join you, Allie." Flint smiled at her, watching her slowly walk up the stairs, she looked exhausted, probably from the busy schedule they were both keeping lately. He then turned towards his sister Nancy, "Wear that now, but tomorrow, the beret is all mine!"
He stood up from the oversized chair. He bid everyone goodnight and headed up the stairs but stopped in his tracks when he heard Jaye in the bathroom. He slowly knocked on the door. "Allie? Are you alright?" He asked with concern.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Jaye called out through the door. "I'll be out in a minute."
"All right," Flint called back. He then walked down to the guestroom, where his mother already had it all set up for them.The bed had around six blankets this time. He turned down the covers, added extra pillows and took out Jaye's nightgown. He had just slid under the covers, when she walked in. "Are you sure you feel fine? maybe it's that bug again. Didn't Shana have it too?"
"She still does," Jaye said. Her face was white as a ghost and her eyes looked a little dull.
Flint looked at her with great worry. "Why don't you put on your nightshirt and come to bed? You need some rest, Allie."
She nodded, as she undressed, and on her nightgown slowly over her head. She climbed to bed and into Flint's warm arms.