(AN: I don't own Twilight, nor have I ever claimed to. Don't sue ^.^ I just like toying around with characters on occasion. This is a set of four drabbles written for a friend on LiveJournal for Christmas. I hope everyone has a happy holiday!)
I don't know who put it up. It was probably Alice. The sadistic little wench probably saw the amount of fun the little plastic bunch of leaves and berries would bring her. No one would admit that they had done it and each and every member of the family somehow managed to block it from their mind if they had done it.
The first to fall victim to the prank was, of course, me.
Well, I guess it wasn't just me, since you can't really be the butt of a mistletoe-based joke unless there's someone else there.
Emmett was the idiot who tried to go through the threshold to the living room at the same time as me. Now, I know that Rosalie is usually the one I'd vote Most Likely To Be Bitchy At Christmas, but when she started laughing and held up her hands to make sure I couldn't proceed any further, I awarded her the permanent title.
She pointed above me and then looked at Emmett, who wore the same astonished look that was probably painted on my face, and then stepped back and crossed her arms.
"Come on, babe, that's not funny," he said. So completely unfunny, he added in his mind.
I turned toward him and let out a dramatic sigh. He looked down at me and rolled his eyes.
"You're sick, you know that?" He said toward Rosalie. She just shrugged.
He leaned forward and pecked me on the lips and then drew back immediately, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his sweatshirt as he did.
He tried to yank the offending plastic plant from the ceiling, but it held fast and didn't budge.
"Great," he said.
It was a few hours before I had to remember that it was there again. This time, I was walking into the room with Alice and Esme was the one who "tsk tsked" and pointed at the little bundle of plastic.
I sighed and didn't even try to argue with her. I kissed Alice quickly and went on my way.
I heard Jasper trying to take it down a few minutes later and didn't have the heart to tell him that there just wasn't a way to get it down.
He was still trying to get it down when I went into the living room later that night. It wasn't like he was losing energy or anything... But, of course, being in the doorway at the same time as him caused Alice to giggle and point at the two of us.
"It's so cute," she said, seeing us in her mind's eye and waiting for it to be live--well, as live as it could be--in front of her.
"That's not fair," I said.
She shrugged. "It's the rule."
Jasper stared at me for a second, as though he was just grasping the fact that I was standing there under it with him. He looked at Alice in protest, but she crossed her arms and gave him a look that must have told him he had to do it. He rolled his eyes and kissed me just as quickly as Emmett had. What was it with the girls wanting to see their partners kissing me?
When the room was finally deserted sometime around 4 in the morning, I was watching infomercials and wondering what would be under the tree for me in the morning. It was cruel, really. We were awake 24/7, but we had to wait until at least 10 a.m. to open our gifts when we could have easily opened everything at midnight and been off using new ski sets or folding new sweaters into drawers by dawn.
Carlisle walked in and when he paused in the doorway, I realized he was probably the only person who hadn't been subjected to the mistletoe. It made me suspicious of him.
He saw my glance up at the arch and reached up over him and pulled it down with ease.
"How did you--"
"Secret," he said, holding it out in front of him. "So how many kisses did you get?"
"Three," he said.
"You'd think you would've learned not to come in here," he said with a smirk.
"I kept forgetting it was there."
He kept it in his hand and walked over to the couch, plopping down next to me. He was wearing a pair of pajamas, despite the fact that he wasn't going to be sleeping and therefore didn't need to worry about wrinkling anything any time soon.
"So you put it up?"
I was surprised at how quiet his mind was. I couldn't hear anything but the person on the TV trying to sell some kind of detergent that, apparently, would get any stain out of any fabric.
"So you knew well enough to avoid it," I said with a laugh. "Smart."
"Apparently I was avoiding it at the wrong times," he said, lifting it out in front of him. "Though it looks like someone tried to take it down. Two of the berries are crushed."
"That was probably Emmett. Jasper tried to take it down, too."
He nodded and lifted it higher. I followed it into the air with my eyes until it was between our heads, several inches higher, and I was eye to eye with Carlisle.
"Well, I think you know the rules by now," he whispered as he closed the space between us.
02. Deck the Halls
"No, no!" Alice cried. "No!"
She slapped my hands, effectively causing me to drop the spool of ribbon.
"What?" I snapped.
"You're going to do it wrong," she said simply. "So I'm going to show you how to do the ribbon."
"How about you just hang the ribbon," I suggested. "I'll go over here and--"
"God, no!" She said, sounding as though I had just made the single worst suggestion of the century. "If you go over and help with the wreaths, you'll just put an uneven number of berries on each one and--No. No, it's just not a good idea."
I rolled my eyes and she started to demonstrate exactly how she wanted the ribbon wrapped around the railing.
"Why are we even doing this?" I asked. "It's not like anyone comes here, anyway."
"Because we're being festive," she said cheerfully. She had finished wrapping one portion and pointed to it. "Do it right."
I rolled my eyes again as she pranced off, presumably going outside to help Emmett and Jasper hang the Christmas lights on the trees lining the drive.
When the railing was wrapped right, it looked like a candy cane. When it was wrapped the way I had started doing it before, well... It looked more like a red stick. I wasn't very good at spacing it all properly. I could get medical degrees and pass high school fifteen times, but I couldn't wrap a banister with red ribbon.
I heard a soft chuckle from behind me and I didn't need to turn to know it was Carlisle.
"You look frustrated," he said.
"I'm not good with ribbon," I said, turning toward him. "It's not cooperating."
"We'll have to make it, won't we?" He smiled and took the ribbon from my hands.
How many doctors does it take to decorate the stairs? Two.
How many times did we nearly knock each other down said stairs? Seven or eight, give or take seven or eight.
How many times did I hear Alice giggling in her mind from around the corner? The entire time.
When we were finally finished and had passed with Alice's approval, she sent us off to wrap all of the picture frames in the halls, as if they were meant to be presents. She pressed two packages of colored bows into my hands, handed three rolls of paper, some scissors, and tape to Carlisle and we were on our way.
We had wrapped most of the photos in the hall before running out of tape.
"I told you not to use so much," I told him, pressing a bow onto one of the freshly-wrapped picture frames. "You were using way too much."
"You'll just have to go get more, then, won't you?" he smiled at me and unstuck one of the bows.
"I don't think so," I replied, reaching for the bow he was holding.
"Ah, ah, ah!" He said, pulling the bow away from my reach. "Tape. Go get it."
I shook my head and advanced on him, determined to get the shiny bow he was now wagging in front of my face.
Before I could move any further, he plopped the bow down on the top of my head. I looked up in surprise, as though I could see the bow through my mess of hair and skull.
I looked back at him, unamused.
He, however, was wearing a smirk that told me he was proud of himself.
"If I go get the tape, can I wrap you in the paper with the elves on it?"
"Why would you want to do that?" I asked, reaching up to take off the bow.
He stopped my hand mid-reach and entwined our fingers. I listened in my mind to see if anyone was around, but I heard nothing.
Because then I could unwrapyou, Carlisle thought.
He leaned forward and kissed me slowly, letting his lips linger over mine for a moment before pressing further. I closed my eyes and savored the rare moment, the cool and moist kiss that usually only happened when we were the only two in the house. Now, however, he ran one of his hands along the back of my neck and into my hair, ensuring that my status as "The Vampire With Permanent Sex Hair" would never be won by another.
Too soon, I heard Alice coming down the hall, humming a merry Christmas tune under her breath.
Carlisle pulled away from me, plucking the bow from my head as he did.
"I saw that you needed some tape," said Alice when she turned the corner. "I would've waited longer, but if I had, you would've been wrapping yourselves in the paper." She winked.
03. O Christmas Tree
I wasn't really sure why we all bundled up to go outside in the snow.
Scarves, hats, heavy coats, gloves... It didn't do anything but keep the cold in. It wasn't like we were actually cold. But I think we did it to feel more human, even when no one else was around. If we weren't in the practice of putting them on every time we walked out the door, it was likely that I would go to the hospital in jeans and a t-shirt and Edward and the gang would go to school in Hawaiian shirts and bermuda shorts.
Okay, so that last part wasn't true. Rosalie wouldn't be caught dead in a floral pattern and Jasper hates anything that doesn't cover his legs.
The current problem was that Edward's jacket was just so heavy and I couldn't get close enough to him and there were far too many buttons.
And when you're playing hide and seek where Alice is the seeker, you only have so much time.
But when Alice is the seeker, she knows to find you last.
We were up a tree. Up a tall tree. We hadn't meant to hide in the same place, really, it had just happened that way. But once each of us realized that the other was only fifty feet away up or down, well, the idea of playing hide and seek in the wintry mix of snow and ice was shot to hell.
It was a strange position to be in, really... One might sing a nursery rhyme about it. Carlisle and Edward, sitting in a tree. Yes, that was us. I was seated on a rather unstable branch and I might have cared if I didn't know that Edward had perfect footing on the branch below.
The thing that was most troublesome to me was that each of us was becoming more desperate with every kiss. I could feel the entire tree moving, sending bits of snow from their branches and into Edwards hair. His hat had fallen to the ground long ago and now, since each of us was so cool, I could feel the snowflakes from his hair between my fingers, unmelting.
I wondered if the shaking was giving it away that there was someone in the tree.
Well, at least Alice would know better than to find us if she came by.
My tongue slipped passed Edward's lips and was met with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes, when we kissed, I missed the days when he had been human, when the taste of his mouth would burn my throat and ignite every one of my senses at the same time. He had always tasted like peppermint. Right now, he didn't taste like much of anything, but I could smell the peppermint lotion on his skin, his own way of constantly reminding me of the past.
I finally got past the buttons on his coat and was greeted with the three shirts he was wearing under it. I growled against him and he chuckled softly against my mouth and I slipped my hands under the layers and found his skin, cold as the snow that fell from above us when he jumped at my touch, and gripped one of his hips.
He slipped a hand under my scarf and tugged at it with the other. He probably would've choked me with his force if I needed to breathe, but as it was, I didn't, so as the scarf slipped from around my neck and he tossed it into the branches, I didn't care.
His lips left mine and he sank his teeth into my neck, just enough that there would probably be a mark from his teeth for a few hours. I bit down on the scarf that kept his skin from me in order to keep from crying out.
Didn't want to be found, after all.
But then Edward pulled away with a scowl on his face and I knew that the jig was up. Either that, or I had lost my appeal.
"Emmett is coming," he said.
I raised a suggestive eyebrow.
"I mean to find us. Alice told him she couldn't find us. He doesn't buy it. He saw both of us come out this way." He sighed and moved in to brush his lips over my neck again. "You will never lose your appeal."
I smiled and was about to kiss him again when the tree began shaking from below.
"Hey!" Emmett called. "I know you two are up there. Get down here. You're it."
"Who?" I called down.
"Both of us," Edward said, his eyes twinkling as he began to hop down through the snowy branches.
Well, at that rate, no one will be found, I thought. I heard him laugh as he hit the ground below and I started down, collecting my scarf and his hat as I went.
"What did Carlisle get you, Edward?" Alice asked, her eyes glittering mischievously.
I looked up at her and frowned, something that was interpreted by Esme as unhappiness rather than the "shut up" message I was sending to Alice.
He forgot again, didn't he? Esme thought.
"I didn't forget, if that's what you're wondering," Carlisle said, entering the room with a box and handing it to Esme. "I just had to order it online. I have no control over the postal service."
Esme laughed lightly and opened the box he had handed her. It was a light blue cashmere sweater.
"It's fine," I told him. "I'm used to it."
His eyes met mine and the corners of his mouth turned up only slightly enough for me to notice.
Alice looked between us and said, "We should all get going soon. The snow is coming faster than I thought."
Carlisle and I each looked at her, our moment broken by her words, and then around at the others, who were starting to pile their gifts into neat arrangements and getting up to go.
"I wish we could join you," Carlisle said, putting an arm around Esme as they walked toward the door. "I just feel like I have to give the other doctors time with their families. They don't get to do this every year like I do."
I grinned once everyones back was to me. Carlisle hadn't worked at the hospital in the days following Christmas for years. It was just the excuse we used to ensure that we could have the house to ourselves while everyone else went hunting.
When everyone was gone, he returned to me and slipped his arms around my waist as the rest went off into the woods.
"They'll be gone for three days," he said. "Emmett will probably hog the first five or six animals they find. They'll all be starved by the time they find any of the deer."
I laughed and leaned against him. "Do you think they'll ever suggest that we all just go hunting before Christmas?"
"Alice knows better," he said, brushing his lips against my neck. I turned my head, granting him better access, and felt his teeth scrape lightly over the surface of my skin. I shivered, remembering the first time he had done that and how badly I had wished for him to break the skin, and tried to move closer to him. "And Esme insists on tradtion," he added. His tongue traced over my Adam's apple making me gasp for air I didn't even need. "She believes in a big meal on Christmas. I don't think she'll ever be broken of that."
"Not that we mind," I said shakily.
"I'm rather thankful for her connection to her human life," he said as he began to unbutton my dress shirt. "If she didn't like Christmas so much, we might not even get this time..." His hands slipped inside and splayed out across my chest.
I let my hands wander up under his sweater. Christmases were worth watching him with her for the other 364 days of the year. It was like he turned into something shiny and new every time I got to touch him once everyone else left.
And the only one who had any idea was Alice.
I've missed this, he thought as he took my mouth again. I've missed you.
I wanted to tell him that I was always here, but I knew that my efforts to convince him of anything further than our Christmases were futile. He had made his choice when he took up Esme as his wife. Christmases were just a gift to me in remembrance of what we used to be before he found her. It would range from one day to three, depending on how long it took everyone to hunt.
Alice was usually good at predicting what state of undress we would be in when they arrived home--and we were always in some state--and did her best to convince everyone that they needed to find more elk or deer or whatever was out there where they went if it meant they were going to arrive and find us in the living room. But if she found a time when we were going to be separate and ready for them to arrive, she suggested that everyone had had enough.
These days flew by too fast, but if they were all I could have, I'd be thankful for them. For Carlisle.