A/N: I'm baaaaaack! Here is part one of A Cal Lightman Christmas.

This is a sequel to A Cal Lightman Thanksgiving, which was a sequel to It's the Great Pumpkin, Cal Lightman. If you've not read those, you can get by with this bit of information, I think: Cal and Gillian are in an est. relationship.

Throughout its course, this fic will include- Christmas tree shopping, christmas tree decorating, Gingerbread house making, a cameo by bitch-tastic Zoe, presents, cider, copious amounts of Christmas Decorations and general Christmassy-ness, plus Charlie Brown!

I know we're all a little miffed right now-and we have reason to be- BUT, NO MATTER WHAT, WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE FIC. And please, they'd never show this kinda stuff on the show, ANYWAY.


It was the first Monday after Thanksgiving and Cal Lightman sat in his office, his feet propped up on his desk thumbing through papers detailing the residuals from his books.

Emily Lightman burst through the door of his office, "Hey, Dad!" She offered, a bright smile on her face as she unwrapped the scarf from around her neck and slid the baby blue hat off her head.

"Hey, Em." Cal greeted his daughter, "You out of school already?" He asked, and then glanced at his watch, "Where did the day go?"

Emily raised her eyebrows at her dad, placed her hands on her hips and looked at him expectantly.

Cal tossed the residuals back on his desk and threw his arms in the air, "What?" he asked, his voice adopting a particularly innocent tone.

"You know what." Emily replied, fixing him with a stern gaze. "I can't believe you didn't call me this weekend!" She said, the disbelief was absolutely reflected in her tone.

Cal fixed her with a blank stare and then quirked one eyebrow.

Emily sighed, demonstrating her utter impatience, "Gill?" her tone was heavy as she crossed her arms, "Well? Did you work everything out?"

Cal thought about Thursday night and then grinned—Gillian had been upset. Truthfully, she still kind of was. But, Cal used adult measures to ensure a speedy forgiveness. He recalled the night fondly as a smirk passed across his face.

"Oh, ew!" Emily said, wrinkling her nose in disgust, "TMI, Dad." She said, plopping down in the chair across from him.

"Oi!" Cal kicked his feet from his desk and leaned forward, "When did you become an expert face reader?" He inquired, arching an eyebrow at her.

Emily rolled her eyes, "I know enough."

Cal grinned. "Blessing and a curse, isn't it?"

Emily laughed lightly, "Well," she said, leaning back in the chair, "I'm glad you woked it out, at any rate." Emily looked at him, reading the look that flashed on his face, "You guys did talk, didn't you?" She asked him, her gaze hard.

Cal shifted his eyes downward and then shifted in his chair, "Course we did."

Emily brought her hand up to her forehead, "I swear, Dad," She said, shaking her head, "Sometimes I worry about you," She finished, a small smile playing on her lips.

Cal pursed his lips, "Makes two of us, darling."

Emily giggled, "You need to tell her." She said simply. At Cal's look, she responded, "Everything."

"There are some things that can't be put into words, Emily."

Emily shrugged, "That is such a copout, Dad." She stretched her legs out in front of her, "Those are the things that need words most."

Cal was taken aback by his daughter's comment. He had avoided giving a name to his feelings for Gillian rationalizing it with the thought that it didn't need a name—that naming it would change it or defeat some mythic meta-purpose or something. In reality, he was rather scared about it all, actually—about the gravity of it.

Cal regarded his daughter with nothing less than awe, "When did you get so smart?" He questioned, smiling at her.

Emily shrugged again, then returned his smile—"While you were pining over Gillian," She said, her tone humorous. She leaned forward in her chair, "So, I've had a lot of time." She said, laughing at his expression.

Cal narrowed his eyes at her in mock anger—he pointed his finger at her and waggled it.

Emily just laughed, "So," She began, "Did you ask Gill if she wants to come with us today?" At Cal's look, Emily groaned, "You didn't ask her?" She asked, her tone full of incredulity.

Cal ducked his head slightly, "I forgot!" He exclaimed, pushing his palms out in front of him.

Emily's mouth opened with disbelief—then, she spoke, "I can't believe you forgot Dad." She said, fixing him with a hard stare, "It was important…What if she has plans now?" Emily asked, her tone near a whine.

Cal looked chagrined—"I'm sorry, love, I've been rather busy today."

Emily looked pointedly at his near empty desk. "Clearly." She said. At Cal's expression she let out a laugh, and then muttered under her breath, "I can't believe you forgot to ask Gill."

"Ask me what?" Gillian asked, standing in the doorway.

At her words, both Emily and Cal turned to look at her—both flashed the same expression: happiness.

"Hi, Gill!" Emily said, from her seated position.

"Hi, Emily." Gillian returned with a warm smile. "Ask me what?" She repeated her question as she stepped further into Cal's office, stopping near his desk and folding her arms across her chest. She looked curiously between Emily and Cal.

Emily smiled at her, "Well," She said, shifting in her chair so that she was facing Gillian, "Dad was supposed to ask you, but he forgot," She said, shooting a pointed look to Cal, who mouthed I'm sorry, drawing a slight laugh from Gillian, "But, every year on the Monday after Thanksgiving, we go and pick out our Christmas tree—" Emily said, her excitement lacing her words, "You know, to take the pain of the first Monday back from a Holiday and lessen it," She explained, watching Gillian's face. Gillian smiled and nodded her understanding, "Well, anyway, this year, I wanted—" Emily shook her head, looked at her dad, "We wanted," She amended, "You to come with us!" Emily finished, leaning slightly forward, still looking at Gillian.

Gillian chuckled at the expectant expression, "Sounds fun." Gillian said.

Emily nodded, "It is." She said enthusiastically, "Well? Can you go?" She asked, her eyes filling up with hope.

Gillian glanced between Emily and Cal, who was watching the exchange with a silent smile—when Gillian cocked her head to the side and looked at him, Cal's smile widened. "So, like a tradition, then, would you say?" Gillian asked, turning her attention back to Emily. She was wary of the word—last time she'd heard that word, things hadn't turned out so wonderfully for her.

Emily nodded, "Yep." Thinking quickly, she added, "A family one." Emily's face grew serious, "And we want you there."

At Emily's tone, Gillian felt her heart swell—she smiled warmly at Emily, "Who—" Gillian broke off, suddenly uncomfortable. She wasn't sure how to ask the question—"Who all… partakes in this tradition?" She asked, her tone gentle.

Emily furrowed her brow in confusion, and opened her mouth to ask Gillian to clarify her meaning, but Cal chuckled and broke in—

"Just me and Emily, darling." He said, his tone light, his eyes serious as he looked at her, "And, we hope, you." He said, simply—then, he smiled at her.

Gillian felt a rush of relief pass through her body. Cal had understood the question and allayed her fears. Gillian looked at her watch, "What time are you leaving?"

Emily shrugged, "Whenever."

Gillian chuckled, "Alright. I have a bit of paperwork to finish up," She said—

"Blow it off." Cal said, his tone light, "You're the boss." He said, his eyes dancing.

She rolled her eyes at him—"I can finish in thirty minutes." She said, as she turned to leave, "And I'd love to come—" She said, in case she hadn't made that clear. "Thank you, Emily," She said, throwing a glare toward Cal.

Emily giggled and Cal chuckled as Gillian crossed the threshold and headed back to her office.

Emily turned to look at her father, who was busy watching Gillian walk down the hall. She took notice of the way his eyes tracked Gillian until he could no longer see her—and even then how his stare lingered rather wistfully. She noticed the way his eyes crinkled at the sides as a slight smile graced his face, more than likely without his knowledge. She took in the way his posture was relaxed—even more so than usual—and the way he nearly had to force himself to look away from the last point he saw Gillian.

When he finally did turn his gaze and fix it back on his daughter, Emily was staring at him with an expression that conveyed her incredulity.

"What?" Cal asked her, leaning forward in his chair.

Emily shook her head, "Dude." She said, smiling, "You've got to tell her." She said.

Cal raised his eyebrow. "Dude?" He questioned—it wasn't a word he usually associated with Emily's vernacular—Emily shrugged. "Mind your own business," He said, but he couldn't help but smile as he said it.

"Sorry, Dad," She said, pulling her knees up in the chair with her, "You are my business." She chuckled at the look he gave her, "And so is Gillian." She said, smiling smugly. "I can't believe you forgot to ask her," She said, shaking her head.

"Hey, she's still going, isn't she?" He asked, his tone playful.

"Yeah," Emily said, "Lucky for you!"

Cal smiled at her, and his voice was quiet when he spoke, "Yes, indeed."


TBC

I, too, am quite sad re: the news-

reviews, however, always seem to make me smile. if you can find the energy-i'd appreciate it! :)

peace, love, and LIE TO ME (we hope.)