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This story is written for hxchick for the Christmas Gift Exchange. Her prompts were: Rossi/JJ; The Carol of the Bells, fluffy white snowflakes, Christmas stocking, hot apple cider, Naughty/Nice list, heavily spiked eggnog, It's a Wonderful Life. It is a return to the "In Sickness and In Health" Universe. Sue, I hope you enjoy the walk down Memory Lane.
A Familia Christmas
As Ben DiLuca stared around the home of the fearless leader of La Familia, he shook his head. Dumbstruck, he couldn't find the fortitude to even begin to voice his opinion on what he was seeing.
"Benny!" David Rossi called merrily from his position on the floor of his living room, surrounded by wrapping paper and boxes that seemed to overflow from every surface. "You made it, Old Man. Come in. Grab some eggnog," he invited, nodding toward the table in the corner. The bowl on the left is heavily spiked for our holiday pleasure," he advised with a wink.
Blinking as he stared at one of the most powerful men on the Eastern Seaboard, Ben shook his head. "Do you realize you've got a red bow on the top of your head, Davey?" he asked gravely. "Not exactly the look we want for La Familia, is it? Tooty fruity won't exactly fly in most of our circle."
Arching one inky eyebrow, Dave frowned. "The kids were helping me wrap JJ's presents," Dave countered as he shrugged, patting at his head. "Marina got a little carried away with the project," he snorted, wincing as he pulled the sticky tape from his hair.
"I can see," Ben agreed, ladling some of the doctored eggnog into a glass. "It looks like Santa's Winter Wonderland threw up in your house," he groused, barely suppressing a shudder as he took a sip of the holiday beverage.
"With an attitude like that, you're about to make the leap for the nice to the naughty list," Dave warned, climbing to his feet as he dusted off his jeans. "Did an elf take a piss in your cornflakes or something this morning?"
"I guess I'm just missing my family," Ben muttered as the sound of a child's laugh drifted into the room. "Although, I think watching your two kids on Christmas morning might take the edge off the ache," he acknowledged with a faint smile. "I still can't believe you and Jennifer are hosting Christmas this year."
"It's what JJ wanted...the whole family together first thing in the morning. And after all the trouble of the past year," Dave sighed, remember the dark days of months past, "there isn't much I won't do to make her happy, Ben. I swear to God, if I have to hijack Santa's sleigh and kidnap that damned jolly elf, she and the kids are going to get the Merry Christmas they deserve."
"Yeah...but all of us? Under one roof? Again?" Ben winced as he drained his egnnog. "I mean, the last time that happened, Emily and Gideon were at each other's throats...you and Jennifer couldn't keep your hands off each other...a psychotic half brother was trying to off you..."
"And now Gideon and Emily are getting married and you'll be happy to know that JJ and I have installed functional locks on each and every door of this house," Dave informed him with an amused smile. "And the psycho is dead. Life is good, Benny. We need to enjoy it," Dave said meaningfully. "Relax, man. Plug in "It's a Wonderful Life" or something," Dave pressed, nodding at the television.
"He doesn't know how to relax," a familiar voice drawled from the doorway. "The word isn't in his vocabulary."
"Christ, it's the Potatohead," Ben muttered darkly, glancing over his shoulder. "I thought you and the Dollface weren't gonna be here until later."
"Nice to see you, too, Ben," Gideon smirked as he ambled into the room. "We decided to try and beat the blizzard here," he remarked easily, leaning against the doorframe.
"Say what about who now?" Ben asked sharply.
"Do you ever watch anything besides ESPN and Nightline? There's a snowstorm moving into DC. It's supposed to hit tonight," Gideon said with a nod at the fluffy white snowflakes falling outside the darkening window.
"I'm about to get snowed in?" Ben yelped, flashing Dave an alarmed look. "With HIM? You didn't mention that little fact when you called me this morning, Davey," Ben grumbled under his breath, stuffing his fist in his pocket.
"Would you catch some Christmas spirit, Ebenezer, before my kids get in here?" Dave retorted with a hard look. "If I don't have a problem with the idea of hijacking Santa, I've got no problem with shoving a Christmas tree up your ass," he warned pointedly.
"It's beginning to sound like Christmas is running amok in this room," another deep voice said, joining the melee. Popping a bourbon ball into his mouth, Eddy Prizzo chomped happily as he clutched the crystal candy bowl to his barrel chest.
Pointing at the newcomer, Ben yelped indignantly, "Hey! Who let him liberate Mama Rossi's bourbon balls?"
"I'm her favorite," Eddie stated smugly, popping another chocolate treat into his mouth.
"I'm her son," Dave growled, lunging for the candy dish. "Gimmee that," he demanded, pulling the holiday candy toward him even as Eddie attempted to hold it out of reach.
"I thought I taught you to share with your friends, my son," Sophia Rossi chided from behind Eddie her lips twitching in amusement as she walked into the room, carrying her own, much larger bowl. "I made enough for everyone to be satisfied," she said as she smiled, dropping the candy on the coffee table. "Jennifer is almost done giving the bambinos their hot apple cider," she told the men. "I advise you all to put on your most festive faces for those children. Else, you deal with me," she stated, shooting an imperious gaze over the room.
"Tell 'em, Mama." Dave nodded, gesturing with a bourbon ball. "Especially that Scrooge," he growled as he pointed toward Ben.
"Don't be too hard on our Benjamin," Sofia admonished, squeezing Ben's arm supportively. "It was not so very long ago that I found you, yourself, sadly lacking any form of holiday cheer, Davey."
"That's ancient history, Mama," Dave assured her, pressing a kiss to his mother's lined cheek.
"Not so distant that I can't remember it," Sofia countered evenly, patting her son's chest.
"Or me," Gideon added knowingly.
"Or me," Eddie agreed, grabbing another bourbon ball.
"I remember the time he threatened to mount Rudolph's antlers ..." Ben began as Henry ran into the room.
"Where, Gramps?" Henry asked eagerly, his eyes wide as he caught Ben's statement.
"Daddy's gonna kill Wudolph," Marina whimpered from the doorway, her dark eyes filling with tears as her gaze narrowed on her father.
"Thanks for that, asshole," Dave growled under his breath as he hurried toward his little girl. "Of course not, Princess. Daddy just wanted to groom that Reindeer so he looked his Christmas best that year," he assured her, lifting his baby into his arms and pressing a kiss to her flushed cheek as he shot a warning look at the others as they choked on their laughter. "Rudolph and his antlers are just fine."
"You didn't mess with his nose, did ya, Daddy?" Henry asked worriedly, tugging on Dave's jeans. "'cause that's how he finds his way."
"His nose is perfect, kiddo," Dave nodded solemnly, pulling his son close.
"Rudolph's nose might be okay, but your wife's is lookin' a little out of joint," Ben said, nodding over Dave's shoulder toward the doorway. "Jenny, whatever it is, I had nothing to do with it," he declared innocently.
Please let me know what you think!