Chapter 15: Believe
December 25th 10:26 A.M. North Pole
Michael stood against the wall looking off into space and just imagining Gwen's face if her told her all about this. His little girl loved Christmas more than anything. But Steve had made it clear that him knowing was something that could be lived with, but no one else could be let in on the secret. In retrospect, he was taking this all rather well. He hadn't imagined this when he finally got up the nerve to visit his sister.
Speaking of, she was walking toward him- tears pouring down her eyes. "They won't let me in to see him. They re-started his heart and he's unconscious but his parents won't let me in there." He gently grasped her shoulders and looked her in the eyes for a moment. "You're right, babbling like a baboon isn't going to help my case any." She wiped her eyes and sighed.
"Let's try talking to them. You should be there." He gently guided his siter to the closed door of Arthur's room and knocked gently. He stepped in with Molly almost hiding behind him. Steve was on one side of the bed with his phone and his parents were on the other. The second the two of them caught sight of Molly their expressions turned to ice.
"Before you say anything," Michael started, hand protectively going in front of his sister, "Let me tell you about the girl I knew when I was eighteen." He saw her eyes bug out, but he gave her a look to trust him. "She was flighty, in trouble, scarred, and just about as naughty list as you could get." His parents raised their eyebrows but he kept going. "I haven't seen her since and now I see who my sister has become both over time and through your son. She is compassionate, truthful, and so full of spirit and belief that when I look at her I see her when she was seven all over again. She loves your son and it is his choice what he wants to do with that love. I know how hurt he was but you cannot look into her eyes and honestly tell me she doesn't love him and needs to be here. She may be Molly Scrooge, but she is an amazing woman who made a mistake that she's hurting herself for. She doesn't need your condemnation as well. Please... give her a chance."
He was met by blank stares so he took the opportunity to gently lead Molly over to the chair next to Steve and she took a seat. "The reindeer are ready to take you home now that the storm's passed," Steve told him. Molly's head jerked.
"Molly, I have to go spen Christmas with my family. But I'm here for you and I'm never going away again." He pulled her in for a tight hug. "I love you so much. And you did tell me so."
"I love you too." He pulled back and stared at her for a moment. "Call me?" He took her hand and nodded, causing the smallest smile to appear. With that, Michael rose and exited. He really hoped everything worked out for Molly. He really did.
He'd have to visit soon. That there was no negotiating.
December 26th 10:26 A.M. North Pole
"Molly, you need to stop pacing. He'll wake up when he's ready," Steve commented from his seat. Molly merely shot him a look and kept walking. Arthur's mom and dad sat on the other side if the bed where their son was currently unconscious.
She walked to his side and looked at him. His face was bruised and scratched from the hail and his heart had literally stopped from the cold when he'd collapsed in her arms. The elf had said when the reindeer broke loose he had physically tried to push the sleigh back to the base- leaving his coat around the elf so he could keep warm. He had slipped and managed to injure his leg pretty bad in the process. The doctor elves (apparently they existed) had promised he would be alright. He would wake up when he had recovered enough. They'd all have to be patient. Her patience was wearing thin though.
She then noticed his mother looking something over. "What do you have there?" The two of them hadn't spoken since her brother had made his decleration. Steve had been trying to keep her calm, but his parents had been silent. She knew she had to start again somewhere. It would break Arthur's heart if she couldn't get along with his parents.
"Oh, it's a treaty I'm looking over." She paused a moment. "You want to join me. You should probably start becoming comfortable with this stuff. It's a lot of work to hold the North Pole together but... I have a feeling you're going to be even better than I was." She noticed Steve let a satisfied smile appear on his face.
"That would be great." She took a seat next to her and looked her in the eye. "Thank you Mrs. Claus."
"I'm not that anymore. Soon enough though, I think you're going to be." A very tiny part of her went into survival mode but a larger part caused her to break out into a huge smile.
"I hope so."
December 28th 10:36 A.M. North Pole
Arthur ached all over. Once a wave of pain and grogginess subsided he slowly opened his eyes. He was in his room all warm and cozy in his bed. Moments started coming back to him: Gwen, delivering all the gifts, the elf falling out, the snow, the hail, the wind, the cold, and the most important one- her voice coming in slow and steady saying the most amazing things he'd ever heard. She kept him going.
He heard a sigh and turned his head to see her curled up in an armchair, asleep. She- she must have been here the entire time. Her words kept echoing through his head. She looked even prettier than before in a pair of jean with a huge Christmas sweater that had to have come from his closet. He felt his heart skip a beat just looking at her. She loved him. She believed in him. She was here.
Her eyes opened and took a second to register that he was awake, but when they did she practically leapt out of the chair. She jumped on top of him and pulled him in for a hug. It hurt but the moment far outweighed the pain. "Molly, you're kind of…"
She shifted back so her knees were on either side of him, hovering at eye level. She looked at him for a moment before grabbing his collar and pulling him in for a full on kiss. There were fireworks going off in his brain. His train of thought de-railed as her hands locked behind his neck and she leaned in even more. Yeah, he was pretty sure he was Jell-O right now.
She finally pulled back and both of them were blushing furiously. "Sorry, that was… I just… you must want your family. I sent them to breakfast, but-" he grabbed her wrist to keep her from leaving.
"You're fine. I want you here. I always will want you here."
"And I'm always going to be here. I'm so sorry for-"
Arthur cut her off before searching his brain to find the right words. "Molly... we both... what I'm trying to say is...my hand belongs in you hand," he smiled. He took her hand. She almost sighed in relief. She always got what he was trying to say. Then the perfect words finally came. "I forgive you. I love you. I heard every word and you... you saved my life."
"I love you too!" And she kissed him again, only stopping when they both needed oxygen. "Don't ever scare me like that again." He could only nod. "I meant every word. I don't want to live without you."
"That's great because I feel the exact same way." He paused and smiled at her like a complete idiot. She just smiled back, radiant as ever. "I like your slippers."
"I do too. They sing, you know." She reached down and pushed the button and started to sing along. "Silent night," Arthur joined in, "Holy night." They both faltered on the next lyrics and started laughing.
December 25th 6:39 A.M.
Arthur couldn't help but laugh when he found Molly passed out in his bed when he finally got through discussing how this year went even better than the last. He had noticed her absence but was confused when she wasn't in her own room. He took a seat next to her and she slowly woke up. "I'm sorry. I slept through it, didn't I?"
"Ah, you're fine. The elves missed seeing you though." Ever since she had used her lawyer skills to bring the elf union a daily cookie break Arthur swore she was more popular than he was.
"I swore to myself- ten minute nap." She sat up and leaned against him. "How'd it go?"
"Perfect. Your brother left this next to the milk and cookies," he said, handing her a Christmas card of her niece and nephew. "He wants you to visit sometime this month."
"Great- I do have all of January off. So... what did Santa get me for Christmas this year?" He yawned as he tried to answer and she rose. "Oh, you must be exhausted. I'll let you rest and go help your mom with Christmas dinner." She leaned in for one long kiss that like usual turned Arthur's brain to a jelly. "I love you."
"I love you too." She started out when he noticed a paper on her night stand. He saw it was her letter. "You know," he called, making her turn and see him reading the letter over, "if I remember correctly you have two wishes in that letter." She looked at him confused. "I can't grant the first unfortunately." She grabbed the letter and started reading frantically, only to stop and look at him. "Since you hate the last name Scrooge so much, how does Molly Christmas sound?"
"It sounds like the greatest gift Santa could ever give me." She kissed him again. "When did you get so smooth?"
"It was always locked up there somewhere. You just bring it out of me like I do with you." She laughed in agreement before leaning in a placing her head against his. He could see it now- a beyond happy life with a Mrs. Claus he loved. They'd make Christmas special for decades, her brother would be at their wedding, , they'd drink hot chocolate together, maybe one time his klutziness would put him out of commission and she's have be Santa for a year (another story for another time), and then out of their five kids their middle girl would become the first female Santa Claus (also another story for another time). They would make everyone happy together. It would be perfect.
She seemed to read his mind. "This is the part of the romantic comedy where we live happily ever after," she whispered.
I have to thank all of the beyond amazing fans of this story for each and every review. You were all so loving and open and opinionated and I loved every second of it. I was also considering another story since I think there's a lot more between these two- maybe a series of one-shots about some moments with the Christmases. Let me know it that's worth pursuing. I'll let you know when I do. Thank you again and I hope everyone had a wonderful, magical, safe holiday. Thank you.