Disclaimer: Flash and all referenced characters belong to the Custodes Noctis universe from Muffy Morrigan's books 'The Legacy and The Hunt'. Characters used by permission.

Author's Note: There is a reference to Flash's aunt and uncle, of which his aunt appears via flashback in my previous story Talisman. Also I know this is late, but better late than never I guess. Thanks to Muffy for letting me play with her characters and for the beta.

Let me know what you think of the story.

Flash's Christmas Morning
by infinite shadow

Flash closed the door behind him and leaned his guitar against the wall as he yawned. It was nearly two in the morning and his ears were still ringing a little from the performance that night at the Rat's Nest. He smiled as he slowly removed his jacket that still had a dusting of snow over it. He hung it over the top of the guitar case and yawned again.

He hummed a nonsensical tune with no particular pattern or notes, no beats or real rhythm and left the lights off as he shuffled into the kitchen. Flash squinted, the refrigerator light was almost blinding in the darkness and reached in, snagging a beer. He twisted off the cap, tossed it in the direction of the sink and shut the fridge door as he passed on his way into the living room. He paused at the edge of the room and just stood in the dark quiet for a moment.

He huffed at his own silliness and slapped the wall a few times before finding the switch. The fireplace whooshed to light and bathed the room in a soft glow.

Garland and trinkets covered the room. It sparkled and winked at him and made him feel the glow of Christmases past. He plunked his beer down on the coffee table and just looked around for a moment. The Christmas cards that hung in a loop over the fireplace, the village that would light up in a moment going to span the mantle of the fireplace and sparkles around the room of decorations.

There were two trees, one that lit up and the other very small one that did not. His guitar tree that was so full that you almost couldn't see the tree anymore with different colour guitars of all shapes and sizes. He smiled, looking at the large dark tree in front of him.

Clapping his hands twice, the room lit up with a chaos of greens, blues, yellows and reds.

The decorations were muted in the lights of the tree but he knew them all by heart. Mostly handcrafted and hand-me-downs and he cherished every one of them.

Slowly he moved over to one and he looked at it for a moment before he cupped it in his hand and traced it with a finger. Every groove carved by his uncle's steady hand. It was a fir tree and in the middle a claddagh. It was a gift from his uncle to his aunt on their wedding day which had taken place just before Christmas.

As a child he'd stayed with his them more times than he could count. Christmas with them had given him the best memories of the day.

There were many traditions, starting with going out into the forest to find the perfect tree. Then they would decorate the house inside and out. Christmas morning was a happy affair opening presents and the smell of the turkey cooking. Sometime during the day his aunt would sit at the piano and play Christmas carols and all of them would sing.

Flash's smile brightened as he remembered the odd sounding chords the first time he heard them. And marvelled at the song his uncle sang. When he was older, he found the music and surprised them one year by accompanying his aunt on his guitar and played 'Christmas in Kilarney' as his uncle sang.

Even with the bright smile he couldn't help the tears that gathered on his eyelids. It stung every year that they were no longer with him. He knew that his aunt and uncle wouldn't want him to be sad so he wouldn't let the tears fall.

He took a deep breath knowing tomorrow was going to be a great day. His brothers, Galen and Rob, would be there to celebrate the day as would the rest of the band. Becci and Sarah would also be there, his heart warming and wishing he could tell Sarah how he felt about her. Dr. Mike and whatever woman he was dating at the moment would be there as well. Rhiannon would stop by just in time for diner with a bottle of whiskey or spiced rum and boxes of home baking.

Dr. Mike would complain about the brine the turkey sat in overnight before cooking and how all the salt was terrible for them all. To which Galen would laugh and wiggle his fingers at him in a private joke and would offer some of his and Rob's tofurkey.

He laughed softly, finding himself looking forward to later that morning when Sarah would be there to help him fuss over the turkey and spend some time with him before the chaos of the day ensued.

Flash sighed happily and let go of the ornament knowing his aunt would be happy that he had made a few traditions of his own. But he wouldn't forget the important ones.

He grabbed his guitar, settled on the couch and softly began to play 'Christmas in Kilarney'. In his mind he could hear the piano play and his uncle's thick Irish accented voice sing the words. As the last notes faded away he lifted his bottle, gave a silent toast and drank down the rest of his beer.

Gently he rested his guitar on the floor and stretched out on the couch. He could feel the warmth of the fire and bathed in the soft glow of the tree he closed his eyes.

"Merry Christmas wherever you are," he whispered in the silent night and fell asleep.

The end.