A/N: So this is gift!fic for someone for being an incredibly sweet human being.
Warnings: Fluff, schmoop, sexual innuendos, rambling, run-on sentences (and lots of 'em).
Also this is a rough version, there might be edits later when it's not almost two in the morning.
The apartment Joanne and Maureen have is nice. It's smaller than The Loft, but also in a nice part of town. And it's fancy. There's open space nicely balanced with furniture and even a few decorations that are there simply because Maureen and Joanne like the way they look.
It is also completely chaotic. It is balanced and fancy, but it doesn't really look like it. Maureen has gone to work parties with Joanne and she knows that her work fellows have homes of cream and white and simple colors, but Maureen is Maureen and she likes the dramatic, and simple colors just aren't dramatic.
Roger once said that it looked like an abnormally bright rainbow threw up all over their apartment. Collins had laughed, Joanne had said, "I know." and Mark had smacked Roger on the arm in reproach. Maureen ignores them all, she knows Joanne likes it, at least a little, and anyways she's in love with Maureen so that counts for a lot.
But right now it's Christmastime and Maureen loves decorating, so the apartment is festive as can be. Joanne lets Maureen decorate because she loves Maureen (especially a happy Maureen) and because she hates doing the actual decorating, even if Maureen goes a little overboard. It's really a win-win for everyone involved.
It's tradition now for their gang to get together at their apartment on Christmas every year. They used to have it at The Loft, but Mark and Roger seem to never have heat, and this is New York. They'll never say it, but Maureen is pretty sure that Mark and Roger secretly love coming over to a warm place with filling food once in a while. Some days she thinks that Mark is really sick of it and will get up and leave the starving artist life, but she also knows that he'll never leave Roger, and that Roger clings to their lifestyle because he's not so fond of change.
She thinks of all this as she decorates, but the Joanne comes home and her thoughts are interrupted by something infinitely more pleasurable.
Maureen wakes up early on Christmas Day because she's never outgrown the excitement of it. She lets Joanne sleep in, however, because that's a little gift within itself. She makes breakfast, which is another little gift. Maureen can cook, and cook well; she's just a little lazy and prefers not to after all those years of doing all the cooking for the boys in The Loft.
When Joanne wakes up she greets Maureen with a long, lazy kiss against the counter. Eventually they break apart to eat and afterwards Joanne disappears and returns dressed and carrying a small, wrapped present.
Maureen kisses her, just because, and with one thing and another, Maureen doesn't really have time to change before their doorbell rings.
Collins has apparently worked out some sort of freaky mind-link with Mark and Roger because all three of them are there when Joanne opens the door.
Maureen's the only one not fully dressed, she only has a tank top and her underwear on, and although Joanne is sending her looks, she doesn't mind. She and Roger used to play strip poker whenever they were left alone together in The Loft, Mark has seen everything before, and Collins is, well, Collins is gay and it's not like he never walked in on her and Roger and threatened to tell Mark and April unless they let him play too.
They all say Merry Christmas and Maureen kisses Mark on the cheek in greeting, and Roger quickly on the lips, just for fun, which makes Collins laugh and Roger grin while Mark and Joanne both frown. Collins picks her up and spins her around, and Joanne tolerates hugs from everyone even though she isn't really a tactile person. Except with Maureen, but that's a different story.
They all exchange gifts and Mark gets two from Maureen, a recent tradition, one for Christmas one for Hanukkah. The first year she'd given him two was her third year in the apartment, and it was an attempt to show him that she knew how awful she'd been to him and how she'd hurt him and how she was sorry and how she really does care for him, love him, in that brother/sister/friend way. Mark understood what she was trying to say because he's good at understanding people, and he'd just hugged her and they'd stayed like that for a while, not even talking. But then Maureen decided it would be tradition since she kind of likes that she can still make Mark feel special, even that's mostly Roger's job now.
As they sit around Maureen ends up in Joanne's lap, and Mark ends up in Roger's, which Collins comments upon, which leads to teasing Mark about being the girl of his relationship.
He simply shrugs says, "We switch positions," which is more personal information than they're used to coming out of Mark's mouth, and Roger flicks him on the head, blushing lightly.
"Who taught you to be so bold?" he teases, to which Mark simply replies, "You."
Roger doesn't really have a comeback and Collins remarks on Roger's habit of shooting himself in the foot and everyone laughs and more normal conversation starts up.
Maureen leans back into Joanne more, and her girlfriend wraps her arms around her waist. This gets Maureen thinking about if Joanne is still her girlfriend. Maureen doesn't like how simple that sounds, like they're not permanent, but she doesn't like the words "lover" or "partner", she'd really like to call Joanne her wife, but of course that's illegal…oh fuck it, they can call each other "wife" is they want, society be damned. She really ought to talk to Joanne about it, she knows, but it's just a thought that slips by because she's happy and comfortable and warm and surrounded by friends. And later she and Roger will get smashed on eggnog and beer and Collins will get happily drunk with them, and Mark will protest but Roger will get him drunk anyway, and Joanne will get buzzed because she doesn't really like drinking all that much. Eventually they'll all stumble off to bed, Collins and Mark and Roger way too drunk to get home, but that's okay because Maureen and Joanne have a couch and a guest bedroom. Collins will fall asleep on the couch almost as soon as he lies down, and Mark is (hopefully) still sober enough to remind Roger that they're visitors and that fucking on someone else's bed is rude, and Maureen will fall asleep curled against Joanne, happy with the sounds of other life in the house.
The next morning will be hell. Maureen and Roger will both be too severely hung-over to do basically anything but whine and vomit, but Joanne will completely sober and have to take care of Maureen. But she loves her so she'll save her lecture on drinking for the next day. Mark will either be sober enough to take care of Roger, or hung-over enough that he yells at Roger to stop his goddamn bitching because he has a motherfucker of a headache, and that will shut Roger up, because he'll have a headache too, and Mark's yelling will only make it that much worse. Sometimes Collins is sober enough to help, but most of the time he's just able to take care of himself. Or he likes being able to lie on the couch and laugh privately at the other four them suffering in hell. And it's always hell, because they always do it, even though they know the next day is going to suck. Every Christmas and New Year's Eve they do it, and no one has any regrets, although someday their livers might.
Later in the day the hangovers will get better, and they'll all laze around the apartment, watching TV and movies and reading, and order in Chinese food. Mark and Collins and Roger will end up staying another night, because no one really likes going anywhere after a day of being hung-over, only to be back four days later to do it all over again on New Year's.