Christmas with the Docs

December 22nd, 2004 – 10:00

Kate and Chris are busy baking some Christmas cookies in their kitchen. They are covered in dough. Kate is wearing a yellow dress, which is very sticky at the moment. Chris is dressed in a t-shirt and comfortable pants. Suddenly the doorbell rings. Kate runs towards the door, yelling that she will get it.

As she opens it, her eyes pop open at the sight before her. "Chris! Come over here! You've got to see this!" Right as Chris joins her, the large green thing that's blocking the doorway seems to tumble over. Kate and Chris both jump back and that's when they see a head sticking out between the branches of what is apparently a tree. A Christmas tree nonetheless. "Geoff? What are you doing there? And what is it?", Kate asks surprised. "Surprise!", he says. "I figured you guys had never seen a Christmas tree before so I took the liberty of ordering one for you."

Both Chris and Kate are too surprised to say anything, Kate is the first to recover and she asks him in. "Be careful with that thing. Are you sure it's meant to go Inside?", she asks. "Yes. And there is more. Could you get the boxes in my car? Careful, they're fragile." Kate and Chris bring the boxes inside while Geoff finds a place for the tree in the living room. He puts the tree down in a bucket he brought, filled with earth, so it won't fall over. When the tree stands he turns around with a smile on his face that says he's very pleased with himself. The girls however are staring at him and the tree without saying a word. He then starts to laugh. "What?" they ask in unison. "Did I disturb some kind of ritual?", Geoff manages to ask. They both look at each other and see what's so funny. They are both covered from head to toe in small pieces of dough, mixed with some green from the needles of the tree.

They all laugh and finally sit down on the couch. They look at the tree and Kate asks for an explanation. "Well", Geoff starts, "when I lived in Sydney, we would get one every year. It's custom in other countries. I saw it once when I visited France. And I liked it so much I made sure to get one each year. I know it's not the climate for these kind of trees here and they will not last long after Christmas, but it gives the holiday just that little extra touch of home. Of family. Of friends. Of love. Wait till it's complete. This is nothing yet. Where did you put the boxes?" Chris gets up to get the boxes and Geoff and Kate start to open them. "Now, where are the lights?", Geoff wonders. He finds them in the second box. "We start with these." He unwraps them and tests them in the nearest electrical socket. They give off a warm white light. He unplugs them and starts putting them in the tree. Kate and Chris stand aside, watching him. "Well? How about you two ladies give me a hand? It's more fun if we do it together." So they start helping him. After a while all the lights are in and Geoff plugs them in again. The tree lights up beautifully. "Wow!", both Kate and Chris exclaim. Geoff grins and says that they're not done yet. He opens the first box again, which contained the Christmas balls. One by one he starts hanging them on the branches. Kate and Chris soon get the idea and help. The first box is done in no time at all and they open the third box. In it are even more balls and some special shaped ornaments as well. They put them all up in the tree. When they are done, Geoff starts on the garlands and that's when the real beauty of the tree starts to come out. Both Kate and Chris are to flabbergasted to say or do anything. So Geoff finishes them alone. When he's done, he says: "Ok. Almost done. Just one more thing." And he reaches for the top-piece: a beautiful golden star. "Now which of you ladies is going to help me put this on top?", he asks. Chris looks at him with eyes that say: no way. So he turns to Kate, who is willing to help. "What do I do?", she asks. He tells her she can put the star on top of the top branch, while he will lift her so she can reach it. As he tells her this she turns slightly red in the face. But she recovers quickly and agrees. She takes the star from him and allows herself to be lifted by him. A shiver runs down her spine the minute he touches her, but neither of them lets on anything happened. She puts the star on top and Geoff puts her down. When they turn around, they see Chris standing there, looking at something in her hand. "Is this what I think it is?", she asks, while holding it up. Geoff looks at it and sees it's a branch of mistletoe. "That depends. What do you think it is?", he counters. "Well, I've heard about these things but I've never actually seen one. Is it mistletoe?" Geoff nods his head. "Yes. I didn't know that came with the package. They must have made a mistake. I didn't order it. You can leave it in the box." Chris wants to put it down but suddenly realizes they were baking cookies in the kitchen. "Oh God! The cookies! They must be burned!" She runs into the kitchen, still holding the mistletoe, while Geoff and Kate clear the living room of the boxes, which they return to Geoff's car. When they return, everything is back in order. The cookies were all right and Chris is sitting on the couch, looking at the tree. "You know, we should host the Christmas party here, at our house. So everyone can see the tree", Chris says. Kate immediately joins her in planning the party. Neither Kate nor Geoff notices the mistletoe that Chris hung above the door to the living room when they were outside.

December 23rd, 2004 – 15:47

Emma and Kate are in the pub, putting up an invitation to whoever wants to come to celebrate Christmas at Kate and Chris's house. Kate is wearing another yellow dress. Vic and Nance promised to help out with the catering and DJ is already looking for the right Christmas songs to play. Nobody has been allowed inside the house yet, because they want it to be a surprise for everyone. "Too bad Violet isn't here anymore. She would have loved this", Emma says. "Why don't we call her?", Kate asks. "That's a great idea!" Emma says and she walks straight to the phone. She gives the number to the operator and waits for an answer. After about a minute the operator tells her there is no answer at the given number. Emma thanks her and puts the phone down. "Oh, of course... it's 4:47 over there now! Of course she won't answer. She's sleeping!" They finish putting up the invitation and leave the pub. Next stop: Maggie's store.

December 24th, 2004 – 9:28

Kate and Chris are up early. They are preparing the last of the arrangements for the big party tonight. Kate is still wearing her yellow dress. Around 10 o'clock they are finished and everything is as it should be. "Thank God we cancelled the clinic run today. I don't know how we would have done this if we had had to work all day as well", Chris says. "Neither do I. Let's sit back and relax for a little while before all hell breaks loose", Kate suggests. They do so.

December 24th, 2004 – 17:52

Both Chris and Kate are ready for the party. Chris is dressed in one of her finest dresses, she keeps special for these kinds of opportunities. Kate is dressed in another yellow dress, which looks great on her. "What's with all the yellow dresses?", Chris asks her. "Nothing special, I was told it brings good luck and I felt I needed some, but I really don't. There's only one thing that would make me more happy than I am right now, but that won't happen either way", Kate answers. At that moment, Geoff arrives and Kate turns red. Chris doesn't notice however, because Geoff is dressed in a tuxedo and he looks really sharp. Both Chris and Kate nod in amazement. "Wow, like it wasn't hot enough today", Kate quips, herself again. Geoff actually blushes from that remark. "Oh, how cute. He blushes", Chris teases Geoff. Kate giggles. Geoff quickly walks past them into the living room and changes the subject. "Everything ready here?" he asks. "Ready and waiting. Let them come!" says Kate. And promptly the first guests start to arrive. Each and every guest looks amazed at the tree and asks about how they got it and all. Of course they give Geoff all the credit and Geoff starts to wish he had never given them the tree. He doesn't like all this attention. But seeing Kate so happy makes it worth it for him and he decides to stick it out.

Around 18:30 everyone is there and the party is already going strong. Suddenly the phone rings. "Please don't let this be an emergency", Chris says. She goes to answer the phone while Kate motions for DJ to turn down the music a bit. She then sees Chris waving her arms to her to tell DJ to stop the music altogether. She tells him so and when the crowd senses the wanted silence they quickly quiet down. Chris walks into the middle of the room, with the phone still in her hand. "I've got a phone call here from someone who would like to speak to each and everyone here tonight. Who's first?" "Who is it Chris?" someone yells from the back of the room. "Its's Violet! From London! So hurry up, it's an expensive call and she got up at 7:30 just so she could talk to you guys." Suddenly everybody wants to get to the phone and Chris hands it over to the first available hand. Everybody takes a quick turn in saying hi and wishing her the very best. They tell her that she is greatly missed but that everything is working out fine. No, she doesn't need to get on the first plane to save them all. When all have said their goodbyes and best wishes for Christmas and the coming year, Violet finally puts down the phone, after having soaked her handkerchief with tears from happiness at hearing from all her old friends again.

December 25th, 2004 – 1:49

The party is almost at its end. There are only good friends left and everybody is happy and content. Sam asks Emma to join him in a dance and they swing throughout the room. They all look in awe as the couple shows some definite professional moves. But while dancing with such enthusiasm, Sam forgets to pay attention to the relatively small room and accidentally bumps into the Christmas tree, which starts to fall over as a result. Geoff is sitting nearest and he tries to catch it but to no avail. The tree falls down. Lots of balls break and the lights turn of, because they are unplugged by the fall. And the worst is: not only the tree falls, but Sam and Emma fall as well.

Everybody looks in horror at the scene evolving right before them. Sam can catch himself on the couch by grabbing the armrest and the end of Jack's knees, who is sitting on the couch. Emma however is not so lucky and she falls down hard, with her head hitting the floor at such a speed that everybody gasps as they hear something crack. Everybody forgets about the tree and turns towards Emma, who is lying awfully still on the floor. The music has stopped as if on cue and for a second nobody moves. Then all hell breaks loose as everybody hovers over Emma to see if she's all right. "Let me trough!", Chris yells. They all obey and give Chris the room she needs. "Emma?", Chris softly asks Emma who opens her eyes. "Stay still, Emma. Don't move. You hit your head and I need to check if everything is alright." Emma has no intention of moving as it hurts too much. Sam hovers over Chris, hoping to catch a glimpse of Emma. "Hey, Emma. I'm so sorry. Are you ok?" he asks. Emma looks at him with unfocused eyes and says: "Who are you? And why are you sorry?" At this, everybody looks at Sam, who's face turns grey very quickly. "I'm Sam. Your husband. Em? Chris? Why doesn't she recognize me?" Sam starts to panic. Kate pulls him back on the couch and tries to comfort him while Chris and Geoff look at Emma. "Emma. Can you tell me what day it is?" Chris asks. Emma looks at her strangely and answers: "Tuesday, right?" Chris looks worried at Geoff. He shrugs. "I don't know what day it is either. Ask her another question." "Ok, Emma. Do you know what the date is?" Emma has no clue. Chris turns around to Sam and the rest and tells them she thinks Emma has a concussion. She needs to go to the hospital. Suddenly it is clear that this is a team, which works well together. Everybody knows what to do and does it without question. Within 10 minutes everybody is either at the hospital or at home, making sure they don't run in the way of anyone.

After Emma is taken care of, Chris offers to stay the night in the hospital to check on her, while Geoff and Kate go back to the house to clean up the worst of it. Everybody else has gone home at this moment, except for Sam, who refused to go home and eventually got a bed next to Emma.

When Geoff and Kate return to the house and see the mess that was left behind, Kate breaks down and starts to cry. Geoff holds her and comforts her while telling her that everything will turn out fine in the end. Emma will remember Sam in the morning. This kind of temporary amnesia is common with concussions, she should know that. And Kate does, but she's not herself right now. And the mess will be cleaned up. People will come and help tomorrow. "We should leave it till tomorrow. Only, let's put the tree back up and see if we can clean up the wet floor, where the beer and other drinks fell when the tree fell on them." Kate agrees and they carefully put the tree up again. It is not as badly damaged as it looked earlier. Geoff plugs the lights back in and it even looks like a real tree again. They clean the worst of the mess and then they stand in the doorway, looking at the rest. "The rest is for tomorrow", Geoff says. He looks around one last time, to make sure nothing can go wrong if they leave now. From the corner of his eye he notices something that attracts his attention and as he turns his head towards it, he realizes it's the mistletoe. Kate notices him staring up and looks up. She then sees the mistletoe as well. They both look down into each other's eyes, for they know what it means, even if they have never actually been under one. They have heard the stories. And so they gaze into each other's eyes trying to decide what's the smartest thing to do. And what is the right thing to do. That's more important. Kate starts to turn her head away, but Geoff decides he can wait no longer. And this is the perfect moment. He gently cups her face, before she can turn it away completely and turns it back towards him. And before she can say anything he kisses her. So softly, she almost missed it. But he kisses her again. A little bit harder this time. And Kate finds herself returning the kiss. He feels so great against her lips. And she has wanted this for so long. She can no longer hold back. And neither can Geoff. The kiss grows more passionate every second and soon they have to stop for air. As they do so, they both look at each other and then at the mistletoe. They smile. They give each other a quick kiss and then stop again. With their eyes they make each other a silent promise. From now on, they will let nothing stand in their way anymore. They love each other and it's time they gave into that feeling. Geoff then carefully takes the mistletoe off the wall and holds it in his hands. "I'm thinking I'll hang this somewhere in my home. And whenever you feel like coming around, remember. I'll be waiting."

The End