Title: "Emma's Christmas Socks"
Author: Pirate Turner
For: My beloved Jack and our babies as part of their presents for Solstice/Christmas/Kitsmas
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Sean notices Emma's new socks and longs again to have the honor of getting to know his beloved co-headmaster better.
Timeline: This fic turned out to be a sort of prequel to the author's "Jubilee, the Advisor" several years ago
Warnings: Het, Unconventional Pairing
Word Count: 1,702
Date Written: 20 November 2010
Disclaimer: Sean "Banshee" Cassidy, Emma "White Queen" Frost, Jubilation "Jubilee" Lee, Angelo "Skin" Espinosa, all other characters mentioned within, Generation X, and the X-Men are & TM Marvel comics, not the author; are used without permission; and may not be used without permission. Everything else is & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

If asked, Sean Cassidy would have once said that he had known his co-headmaster for years. For all those years that stood between them, she had been a plague in his life, a thorn in both his and the other X-Men's sides, but for all those years of knowing her, Sean had come to realize, since they'd began working side by side, that he had never once really known her. Now he found himself seeking her out, searching desperately for ways to get to know her little secrets, and so it was that, the morning after Christmas Eve, he noticed her socks.

Emma's socks had never really stood out before. Indeed Sean wouldn't have even thought that she wore socks at all. A woman like Emma would wear garter hoses, satin and silk stockings, if anything at all upon her usually bare, beautifully sculpted, and deliciously long legs, but that Winter morning, she breezed into the kitchen with red socks sticking out of her white high heels.

Sean watched her walk to the refrigerator with a puzzled look upon his handsome face and a single, piqued eyebrow. Did any other woman wear socks with high heels? He was hardly an expert on women's fashion and barely knew a thing about it as it had never really mattered to Moira or Maeve, but there before him stood the most spectacular woman he'd ever known wearing what he couldn't help but to think of as a definite fashion paux.

Emma closed the refrigerator door after pouring herself a cup of eggnog and continued to stand with her hands wrapped around her Xavier's School mug and her back to Sean. She was fully aware of his enchanting, emerald orbs feasting upon her body and had been for longer than either of them would like to admit. Yet this morning, for the first time since she'd been a child, she felt just a tingle of uncertainty. Was he staring at her, . . . or the darned socks that Jubilee had given her and then pouted all night long, or at least any time she'd been in her presence, because she'd not liked them?

They were a ghastly sight, what with their lace trimming; thick, red cotton; and green Christmas trees covering them, but it wasn't the gift that had mattered to Emma. She'd been shocked the child had gotten her anything, and she had yet to figure out how Jubilee had managed to buy the things. The girl had so little money, but she had bought Emma the first Christmas present she had received in . . . Well, once more, since she had been a child.

The gifts she had received then had been bought out of a sense of duty and requirement, but Jubilee had truly bought these socks, such as they were and as silly as it seemed, in a way, to Emma, out of love. She had felt the girl's crushed feelings when she had opened her present, and although Emma had tried her best to reassure the budding teenager that she liked her gift, Jubilee had known better. Today, however, she was going to prove her wrong, but then again, she'd not stopped to consider what Sean would think.

Why should she care what the blasted Irish man thought, any way? Emma demanded of herself, anger suddenly flushing her. She was a woman who could and had, many times over, taken on the world. She could wow any man and bring any being to their knees before her, but yet Sean made her tremble inside in a way that she'd never felt before.

She wanted him to like her. She wanted him to do far more than just like her, but she could settle for him to truly like her if only he could ever see her for herself and not be blinded by her past. Emma understood now the error of her ways, but she knew that she had a long way to go to proving to the world that all she truly wanted was to help her people. What the world thought of her didn't bother her, but yet this one man persisted in getting underneath her skin.

She whirled around him and fixed him with a prideful glare over her mug. She missed the feeling of her long, white cape flinging about her body as she turned; the short, leather jacket she wore these days did little to add to the dramatic edge of her clothing. Still she refused to let her doubts or any of her other thoughts show as she gazed into the emerald eyes that always threatened to steal her breath away and spoke huskily, "Like what you see, Mister Cassidy?"

Sean gulped and grinned guiltily. He'd been caught staring and felt as foolish and red-faced as a young boy gazing upon his first crush!

Emma ran her tongue seductively over her pursed lips. "There's much more to see."

"I . . . I . . . " Sean stammered while roaring inwardly at himself. {Come on, blast it, Cassidy! Get yer tongue untied, man! Begorrah, look at th' expression on her face! She knaes! How can she not knae, ye daft lad? Ye been starin' at her like a schoolboy!} And oh, how he would love to stare so much more!

Finding his tongue at last, Sean managed to weakly utter, "I was . . . admirin' yer socks. They're quite . . . festive."

"They were a gift," Emma said dryly, taking a sip of her creamy eggnog and wishing it was something else, though right now she wasn't sure if she'd rather it be a good, stiff drink or the Irish cream pouring from Sean's normally smooth and charming mouth, "from Jubilee."

Sean grinned. "Aye. Th' lass always has had a . . . " He scratched his chin as he sought a delicate way to turn the phrase, " . . . uniquely imaginative idea o' fashion."

Sudden, boisterous yelling exploded from the foyer. Sean's breath caught as Emma smiled, and her beauty and grace in that moment warmed him all the way through the tips of his curling toes. "The children are awake."

"Aye," he said and watched as she breezed out of the room, leaving him warm, tingling, and aching inside with a hole that he knew only she could fill. Ack, but he burned to know her! And as he trailed behind her, he wondered. Did she ever walk barefooted in her chambers in those socks? Did she leave a trail of clothes when she stripped out of them and the rest of her garments? Was she as beautiful when naked in real life as she was in his dreams, and would he ever get the chance to find out?

He wondered if he had any hope of making his own Christmas dreams come true, but ah, it was the season of dreaming, hoping, and wishing, after all, and Emma was surely at the very top of his Christmas list. Indeed, if he could have only one thing for Christmas, only one thing to make all his dreams come true, it would be the lovely Emma who had captured his heart so thoroughly that she made him want to burst into song every time she entered the room.

Grinning from ear to ear and hoping with all his heart for a Christmas miracle, Sean followed his Queen into the foyer to face the exuberance of their children. She stood alone, looking like the breath-takingly beautiful and startled Queen she was, and he ached to grasp her hand but dared not try so yet. One day, he vowed, one day, it was going to be him making her wear silly socks and laugh on Christmas morning. One day, she was going to be his Christmas present and he hers. He just didn't know when that day would come, but when it did, he knew he'd receive the best Christmas present ever - her love - and be made the happiest, little boy - or, aye, grown man - that Christmas.

Emma glanced at Sean and smiled at the sight of his warm smile. Christmas really did bring out the best and worst in people, but to her, though she'd never dare to tell him, Sean would always be the very best of all people. "Merry Christmas, Sean."

He stepped to her side but dared not take her into his arms though they ached to hold her. "Merry Christmas, Em."

Little did the teachers know that their interaction was being watched carefully by a pair of big, blue eyes. Jubilee grinned to herself and vowed silently that she'd give the both of them the very best Christmas ever next year. Sean and Emma were both wonderful in their own rights, but they'd never see what was clearly before their very faces unless they had a helping hand from Santa. She gasped suddenly as gray arms shot around her and giggled hysterically as Angelo pulled her to him . . . and underneath the mistletoe!

"How about a little Christmas cheer, chica?" he whispered against her ear.

"I already gave you your present last night," Jubilee returned.

"Si, but I want another one." He silenced her laughter with a kiss, and Jubilee knew that she had her ultimate Christmas present even if Angelo might never know all that he truly meant to her. She had her ultimate gift in this one, mind-blowing kiss with him, but next year, now that she knew what they really wanted, she'd make sure that Frostie and Irish got what they deserved as well.

"Merry Christmas, Jubilee," Angelo whispered across her soft, supple lips that were silently begging for more after they'd parted.

Her eyes danced as she gazed up into his dark orbs. "Merry Christmas, Angie." Then she turned to meet the room at large and wished silently that she could have given Sean and Emma a kick that would have sent them both underneath the mistletoe where they belonged. She reminded herself again that she'd find a way to make that happen next year as she called out to the room at large, "Merry Christmas, every one!"

The End