Alpacca bites: I don't usually do holiday-inspired fics, but this one just wouldn't go away! Don't really know what brought it on, it might've been the snow we've had here in New York recently, it might've been the marathon holiday decorating I had to do a couple days ago. Either way, here's one for the season. Enjoy. 12/4/07

Silent Night: Helen and Jake

Snow Fall

Jake Morgendorffer sighed and sipped from his mug. It was a contented sigh, though one tinged with just the smallest sadness; in just a few months Daria would be graduating from Lawndale High and be off to college, and Quinn would (god willing) be following in short order. In a way, this would be their last Christmas as a family... and as proud of his daughter as Jake was, he did not want her to go. Christmas music played softly in the background as through the large picture window to his left, Jake noticed heavy clouds roll over the moon.

"Jakey?"

Jake was shaken from his bittersweet reverie by his wife's gentle voice. Helen's high brow was creased in concern to find her husband sitting up at this late hour, staring moodily at their tastefully decorated Christmas tree and sighing deeply. The livingroom was dark but for the tree lights, which made it hard for Helen to read her husband's expression. A few seconds passed without a reply and, her concern growing, Helen's lips parted with every intention of again posing her query.

"You think we did good, Helen?"

The question, it was unnecessary to say, took her by surprise. Jake swirled the dark contents of his mug and Helen was surprised to be hit by the rich scent of chocolate. A gentle smile lifted full lips as she lay soft hands on Jake's strong shoulders and kneaded gently.

"Well, Jake, that all depends on what you're asking. If you're asking about our life, well, we're not saving the world like we hoped to be doing when we were in college, but I think we've done well for ourselves. We live in a good town in a fine home. We're healthy and, despite some rough patches now and then, I'd say we're happy. What more could you ask for?" Jake was silent so Helen lowered herself to his lap and continued. "Now, Christmas has gone very well, in my opinion. We managed to get the girls everything they asked for, within reason, we don't have to attend any tacky office Christmas parties and we'll be able to celebrate the holiday as a family." She leaned down and kissed her husband warmly on the temple. "All in all, Jakey, I'd say we've done very well for ourselves."

There was another moment's silence as Jake mulled over Helen's reply and absently wrapped an arm around her waist.

"What about the girls?" Helen blinked. "Daria's going to be leaving for college soon. Ever since we moved here, she's had her mind set on getting as far away from Lawndale as possible. What if it's more than that? What if we're the real reason she wants to leave?" The desperate pleading in Jake's voice tore at Helen's heart and she unconsciously held him tighter. After a second she blinked the tears from her eyes and turned Jake's face to hers.

"Ever since they were little we've been telling the girls they could be whatever they wanted and they should never be satisfied with mediocrity. Daria is too stubborn, too independent and far too intelligent to settle for anything like a state school-- and that's a good thing, Jakey. She wants a challenge." She smiled lovingly down into Jake's deep brown eyes and lay a hand tenderly on his cheek. "Our girls have their faults, but they're good girls. Quinn may be a bit self-absorbed, but she's driven and every bit as intelligent as Daria is, even if she's not willing to show it. And as sarcastic and cynical as Daria may be, she has a good head on her shoulders. We've raised two intelligent, beautiful, unique young women, Jake Morgendorffer. What reason do we have to be anything but proud?"

Jake smiled gratefully up into his wife's beautiful face and pulled her down for a kiss. A heavy moment passed and their eyes were drawn to the window. Helen leaned down to rest her cheek on the top of Jake's head as her eyes gleamed.

"It's snowing." Jake murmured wonderingly and held his wife tighter.

Upstairs in their respective rooms, Daria and Quinn Morgendorffer slept peacefully, minds adrift in star-strewn tides and filled with the childlike excitement they had not admitted to in nearly a decade. In the livingroom of 1111 Glen Oaks Lane, two lovers sat lost in the silent night, willing witnesses to the small miracle that is snowfall.

---------------

Happy holidays, everyone.