A/N: This is the eve before the Christmas Madeline talks about in Hot Spot.

The title of this fic is taken from a song from the musical "Songs For A New World." Look it up, it's funny, yet terrifying at the same time. And hopefully you'll understand why I chose this title.

"Ma? Where's Dad?"

Madeline paused for a moment, grateful Michael couldn't see her face as she winced and closed her eyes momentarily.

"He's, uh... He's out doing some late Christmas shopping," she said quickly, setting down the present she was carrying. Keeping her back to Michael, she pushed the present under the tree, very aware of Michael's disbelieving stare on her head.

"It's Christmas Eve, Ma," he pointed out, setting down the package he had and pushing it under the tree as well. "We're actually going to have more presents than this?" He gestured to the meager amount of packages the two of them had been setting out.

"So what if we are?" Madeline asked testily, still refusing to look at her son. Quickly, she walked back to her room, to the closet where all the presents had been hiding. Michael followed her.

"He's out drinking, isn't he?" Michael asked stubbornly. Madeline stayed silent, grabbing a present and walking past him. Michael threw his arms in the air.

"He's out getting drunk while you and I play Santa Claus! And he'll come home in the morning, angry and smelly and ruin the holiday. He's bad, Ma, but he's usually not this terrible."

Michael had followed Madeline out back to the tree without a present, his arms crossed angrily over his chest. Madeline set down the present she'd carried out and slowly turned to face her son finally.

"Lower your voice, Michael," she said quietly. "We don't want to wake up Nate," she reminded him, standing up. "He still believes in Santa Claus."

Michael laughed humorlessly. "Let him hear. Because, I bet, if Santa Claus was real, he'd be just like Dad. A drunkard. And a bastard."

Madeline stared at her son blankly. After a brief moment, however, she shook it off and walked back to her closet to get another present. Michael stood where he was, trying desperately to calm himself down. Finally, he turned to follow his mother and help only to catch a brief glimpse of Nate turning heel and running back to his bedroom.

A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!