My Christmas is delayed. This felt like coming out. If people like it, I'll continue it.

*Glasses Not Required

She knew she was dreaming when she walked down still in her robe to the living room. She had woken up Christmas morning and she had wanted to see the tree Alice had spent hours decorating. She wanted to see the tree in the same spot it always was. The spot AJ and Jason had dove into every year until they went off to school. The place Dawn would readjust the ornaments, lost in a house entirely too big for her. Where Emily would rearrange the presents until they looked perfect. Where Alan used to shake his presents when he thought no one was looking.

She woke up having to see the tree.

To see her lost family.

She wasn't surprised as she saw AJ examining a train car, sitting on the floor next to a sea of presents.

She wasn't surprised as he looked up with a smile. He had aged in this dream. She liked it. She had wanted him so badly to grow old. To grow into himself.

She simply smiled at him as he said her name and quickly stood up.

She felt his warm, strong arms around her, AJ had been a hugger, he had needed the reassurance they so often failed to give him, "I missed you so much Mom."

"I missed you too, my sweet boy," she could have died in her sleep she realized and she'd be happy. If she had her baby boy back…Anything was worth that.

"You aren't furious at me?" he chuckled against her.

She pulled back to look at him, "I love you, more than anything else in this world. I'm sorry, I couldn't…" no she could have, "I wasn't the mother you needed."

His brow fell, "You were always the mother I needed. You're the only mother I ever wanted." Light eyes promised her that he would always be a Mama's Boy, her boy.

"Merry Christmas AJ," she said lifting a hand to his cheek, to touch his warmth.

"Merry Christmas Mom," his lips twitched up, "you know you're supposed to be a lot angrier at me," he chuckled.

She laughed back.

"What in God's name," Edward exclaimed moments later.

Of course Edward would interrupt her dream, he interrupted everything else. She was almost sad she wasn't dead. "Go away Edward, I'm having a moment with my son."

"He's supposed to be in the mausoleum," Edward's face had turned white.

"Merry Christmas to you too Grandfather. Think you can at least try to act happy to see me because I not only come bearing ELQ's money, but great-grandchildren."

"Great-grandchildren?" The thought of that appeased Edward, distracted him from the impossibility of that. Rebecca was impossible too though. Emily's twin, a place his beloved granddaughter would always live on.

"Two soundly sleeping upstairs," AJ promised.

"This is turning into a very odd dream," Monica muttered to herself and walked away from the conflict, her son was less interesting involved in a fight with Edward.

AJ chuckled again, "Mom?"

"I wouldn't know if I'd call this a dream," Edward said under his breath.

AJ followed after his mother, "It's me, Mom," he said turning her back to him, "I'm here, I'm fine. I'd say call Jason so he could confirm, but I'm not entirely sure he won't kill me when he finds out I ignored his, "Stay Gone" order."

"That hoodlum did what?"

"Considering it was my girlfriend that got Michael kidnapped, I could see why he'd be angry, so you probably shouldn't hold that against him," he replied as if he was speaking of everyday occurrences.

"The house is too large to fill with carbon monoxide right?" Edward questioned Monica.

"Is he really here?" Monica questioned back.

"Brenda's upstairs too, she kept the kids up on the plane ride so they'd sleep in," he nodded.

"Bren-" the name died on Monica's lips.

"I need to sit down," Edward and Monica sad in unison.

"Come on," AJ smiled, "it's going to be great. We're going to have a great Christmas because I'm probably going to be arrested tomorrow."

Monica let out a loud breath.

"You at least never told anyone about the money right Grandfather? So they'll have to let me out eventually because I swear I was not at all involved with that whole kidnapping scheme. Lydia was just seriously pissed off I took our daughter and only gave her a million. Trust me, Jason would not have let me live if I'd been involved."

The room remained silent as Monica sat on the couch and Edward in an armchair.

"Mom?" AJ questioned after a moment, worried he'd given his mother a stroke.

"I need a drink," she creaked out.