Celebrations

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Aaron Stone.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I am not American, but am using American holidays. If there are any errors, let me use that as an excuse. Thanks!

St. Patrick's Day

May your blessings outnumber

The shamrocks that grow,

And may trouble avoid you

Wherever you go.

(Irish blessing)

"Pssst."

Charlie Landers looked up from his algebra textbook, which he's been using as a pillow. He felt a nudge in his back and he turned around in his seat, quickly checking to make sure his teacher didn't notice. The guy that sat behind him, Robert, passed him a folded piece of paper. "Pass it on afterward," came the instructions in a hushed tone.

Charlie unfolded the paper. It had a little comic of a leprechaun in the corner, beside the headline, which proclaimed a St. Patrick's Day Irish Pride-themed party at Seamus O'Toole's house. Seamus was the pitcher on the baseball team and came from a huge Irish Catholic family. Fortunately, the Catholic part of the family didn't factor too much into his parents' decision to constantly let him throw huge parties at their rather large home. "ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARTY! BYOB!" screamed the green and white paper.

Charlie quickly scribbled down the details on his hand, refolded the paper, and passed it forward to Catherine Lawson. "Pass it on afterward," he repeated to her. Whether or not he'd actually go to the party most likely depended on Mr. Hall and his little after-school job as Aaron Stone. Maybe if he was lucky, he'd actually have a night off. The luck of the Irish, as it were. Charlie chuckled to himself under his breath. He'd talk to Emma and Stan.

He was putting his books back in his locker when he caught a faint whiff of jasmine. He smiled to himself, "Hey Emma."

"You didn't even look! How'd you know it was me?" Emma grinned up at him as she leaned against the locker next to Charlie's.

"Super stealth, etcetera?" Charlie suggested cheekily. He grabbed the appropriate homework accessories from his locker, tossed it in his backpack haphazardly, and closed the locker door as he swung the bag over his shoulder. "Walking home today?"

Emma rolled her eyes and followed her friend out of the school. "How else would I get home?" She skipped a step to keep up with him. "Slow down, Charlie!" She elbowed him in the side. "Your legs are twice as long as mine."

Charlie laughed. "Sorry, Em. I just really want to get home and play Hero Rising. My thumbs have been twitching all day." He tossed an arm around her shoulder. "It's almost like I am Aaron Stone." He grinned.

"Ha-ha, Charlie. I have a feeling that even if you weren't working for Mr. Hall and I, you'd be just as addicted. Look at your brother for example. Jason is as close to being Terminus Mag as Randall Davies is to being Brad Pitt."

Charlie laughed, but stopped abruptly. "Wait. Working for Mr. Hall and you? Oh, now you're gonna get it!"

Emma caught the glint in his eye and grinned. "Oh please. Aaron would be nothing without Tamara." She suddenly broke from his side and began sprinting home. "Watch and learn, hero-boy."

"Oh, now you can keep up?" he called after her, his arm dropping to his side.

Emma turned around and ran backwards as she flashed a cheeky smile to Charlie. "I can more than keep up."

Five minutes later, the two came barrelling into Charlie's driveway. They touched the garage door at the same time and immediately began arguing. "I totally won," Charlie proclaimed.

"Oh please! That victory was completely mine-"

"Are you serious? I beat you by a clear margin!"

"I'm sorry, in whose dreams is this alleged win taking place?"

"I've gotta agree with Emma, bro."

Charlie and Emma's heads snapped up. Jason was hanging out of his bedroom window, smiling down on them.

"Well, thank you, Jason," Emma commented, brushing herself off a bit and straightening her clothes. Jason waved comically and retreated back into the house. "At least somebody in your family knows a real winner when they see one."

Charlie caught the sparkle in her eye that betrayed her jest. He shook his head. "Jason's clearly only saying that because of how he feels about you."

Emma feigned hurt. "Are you saying that I'm somehow taking advantage of your brother's crush on me to prove to you that I beat you in a race? Why Aaron, I can't believe you'd even suggest such a terrible thing." She gave him a quick once over and tsk-ed. "You've got your clothes all haphazard here, Aaron."

Charlie inhaled sharply as she made quick work of his attire, straightening him up a little. His skin started tingling a bit where her fingers touched him. "Uh, thanks." He wrung his hands and remembered the party details that he'd written on it. It was smudged a bit. "Damn it. I messed up my notes," he said, showing her his palm by way of explanation.

Emma grabbed his hand and tried to read the letters. She shook her head. "I'm not illiterate. You obviously aren't writing in English. It's also not Indonesian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, or Italian."

Charlie frowned at her and withdrew his hand. "It's English!" he protested. "Well, it used to be. Details for Seamus's St. Patrick's Day party."

"Ah, yeah, a flyer was passed around English lit today." Emma looked at her shoes, suddenly very interested. Charlie nudged her, and her eyes lifted to his.

"So, are you going?"

Emma made a face. "I don't know. Probably not. Parties aren't really my thing – besides, I'll probably be working on new intelligence and designs for Mr. Hall. And/or saving Aaron Stone's ass." She walked away from Charlie and pushed through the front door, into his house.

Amanda Landers looked up from a magazine. "Good afternoon Charlie, Emma. How was school?"

"Hi Mrs. Landers," Emma said with a smile.

"Oh, honey, Amanda, please."

"School was good, Mom." Charlie turned his attention back to Emma. "Come on, Emma, social gatherings can be fun."

Emma shrugged. "Okay, well, if everything works out- " she pointedly flicked her eyes to Charlie's mom – "then fine, I'll go with you."

Charlie broke out into a grin. "Yay! Okay. It's Irish-themed, so you're going to have to find something green…." He started up the stairs. Emma shared a grin with Charlie's mother and then followed him.

"I dunno, Charlie, I don't like green that much." She flopped onto his bed once they reached his room.

Charlie tossed his bag on the ground and grabbed two controllers. He sat down next to Emma. "Em, you have to wear green. It's St. Patrick's Day." He leaned over to her and tipped one of the controllers in her direction. "If you wear green, I'll let you win."

Emma rolled her eyes at her best friend and sat up, controller in hand. "Let me win? Oh please!" She met Charlie's eyes and sighed. "Okay, fine."

"I swear to God, Emma, I was soooo surprised that we didn't have to work tonight!" Charlie slurred, leaning half of his weight on his petite best friend as she led him through the mass of intoxicated teenagers.

Emma sighed and adjusted his arm around her shoulder. He was heavier than she thought, although she had to admit that in his St. Patrick's Day shirt and regular jeans he didn't look nearly as threatening as he did as Aaron Stone. "I kind of wish we worked tonight. If we had, I wouldn't have gone to this party with you, and you wouldn't be getting trashed, and I wouldn't have to drag you home by myself." She pulled him into the kitchen at Seamus's house and leaned him against the counter. "Here," she said, pushing a shamrock-shaped cookie at him. "Come on. Eat this, sober up, and start acting like regular Charlie again."

Charlie gave her an adorable drunk smile. "Of course, Em. Anything for you." He took the cookie from her hand, but set it on the counter instead of eating it. He gripped her shoulders and pulled her to him, holding her. "You know, Emma, you're my best friend."

Emma rolled her eyes. "Thanks, Cheesy Charlie," she replied, pushing against him lightly and grabbing the cookie again. "Cookies. Sober. Remember?" Not that she necessarily minded her current position in his arms, with his hands resting on her waist. She closed her eyes and allowed herself a personal moment to relish this feeling of being absolutely safe, mixed in with the knowing flitting in her stomach that arose as Charlie's fingers began to dance lightly across the skin that was exposed where her green t-shirt ended and her jeans began.

"Emma." Charlie mumbled her name hoarsely, his voice catching in his throat. She opened her eyes slowly to meet his, which had darkened. "Emma, I –" He stopped abruptly and quickly turned around, forcing the garbage can lid open and vomiting inside it.

Of course. Emma sighed again and went to get him a glass of water.

Half an hour, a precarious stumble into a friend's car, and ten steps too many up a staircase inside a house later, Emma managed to tip her drunken best friend into his bed. He opened a bleary eye to look at her. "Hey Em, what'cha doin' here?" he mumbled against an intoxicated smile.

Not bothering to reply, Emma grabbed the hem of his Kiss Me, I'm Irish t shirt and pulled it over his head. "Hey now, you just had to ask," he teased, eyes still closed.

She walked to the bathroom and carefully rinsed it in the most absolute of silences, getting rid of any trace of their illicit underage alcoholic activities, which she was fairly sure that Amanda would not appreciate. Hanging it up on the curtain rod and returning to Charlie's room, she found its sole occupant spread out across the bed, a quiet smile on his face and his eyes closed in contentment. Emma took the comforter and raised it over his body, taking a second to admire the muscles that had developed as a result of his work with HALL Industries. She was, after all, still a girl.

Just as she was about to turn to cross into her own home stealthily through the window, Charlie's hand reached out and grabbed her wrist. She turned to him. His eyes were barely open, but they had the same look in them as they had shortly before in Seamus O'Toole's kitchen. "C'mere, Em."

Against her better judgement, Emma laid down beside him. Charlie tossed the comforter over her as well and settled his arm around her waist. How right it felt frightened Emma a little.

"Em?"

"Mm?"

"I don't like green beer. Let's not have it anymore."

Emma laughed softly. She could feel Charlie's breath on her neck. Their hands intertwined and she brought them in front of her, kissing the back of his hand lightly. "Okay, Cheesy Charlie, we won't."

Fin du Chapitre

A/N: I'm considering doing this as a multi-chapter fic, each with a different holiday. Please review and let me know your thoughts, both on the fic and on any possible continuation. Thanks.