Annie's First Christmas
Under the Mistletoe
Auggie finds out Annie has never celebrated Christmas. And we find out more of his family history. The history is completely fiction and is not found in the TV show at all. I made this reference due to some research on the origin of his name; which is Swedish. I have no prejudice towards any religions. This was just a way I viewed what might have been Auggie's heritage.
Disclaimer: All Covert Affairs characters belong to USA Network and their respective groups. I am just a fan making a story.
"So, wait, you have never really celebrated Christmas?" Auggie was shocked. His best friend, Annie Walker, never celebrated Christmas.
"No, dad wasn't much into that stuff. Plus with all of the moving we did, mom couldn't handle worrying about that. And every time we tried to celebrate it, something would come up. Before I knew it, I was spending Christmas in a dorm by myself, studying." She spoke as they followed Danielle's car to the tree farm.
"Well, what about after?" Auggie just couldn't seem to wrap his head around what she was saying. There is no way his best friend hadn't celebrated Christmas at least once.
Even when he was a kid and even after he joined the CIA and the Army, he still managed to celebrate Christmas with his friends and family. How can a person like Annie not know how to celebrate Christmas?
"I backpacked remember? Two years traveling doesn't let you leave much room for presents. Although I learned how some cultures celebrate it, most didn't include a stranger going into their home for the holidays. And even after I came and joined the Agency. I was always training. Danielle has tried to get me to be home for it but something usually comes up." She followed Danielle's car into a turn as they made it to Nick's Trees.
The gravel drive way wasn't very long. Soon they made it to a small, but crowded parking lot. Christmas lights were on poles surrounding the area, and loud holiday music was playing from a few speakers. Once out of the car, Annie lead Auggie along towards the entrance where Danielle and the girls were waiting.
"Hey, Auggie! Thanks again for coming with us. We really needed a good, guy's opinion!" Danielle beamed. Katia and Chloe were running on ahead.
"Hey, no problem. I was looking for a small tree for my apartment anyways," Auggie replied with his usual smile. "It's getting a little old and boring to just have a menorah."
"Wait, you're Jewish?" Danielle looked at Annie with a puzzled look. Annie just shrugged. She didn't know. The girls' voice rang out in the distance.
"Come on Mommy!"
"Girls! Don't go too far! I don't want you to- girls!" Danielle ran after them, leaving Annie and Auggie alone. They both giggled as Danielle faded into the crowd.
"So, you're Jewish." The statement posed more as a question. They walked along at a leisurely pace into the tree farm, Annie's arm intertwined in Auggie's as she guided him through. Auggie merely shrugged.
"One-fourth from my father's side," He said simply. But after what felt like an awkward silence and feeling like she was staring at him, Auggie finally told his story.
"My grandmother was born in Austria and moved to the border region of Poland and Germany as a child. By the second World War she fled to Sweden where she met my grandfather. She buried her religious beliefs until they immigrated to America. By then she had already married and was expecting a child. She made it clear she wanted to let her children know but to maintain the Christian faith for our safety. As time went on, we decided to only celebrate Hanukkah and Passover as respect to her sacrifice."
"Hence, you don't wear the hats or anything?" Annie ventured.
"Correct. We, my brothers and I, were brought up as Catholics. Christened, baptized, the works. But once we turned eighteen, our parents let us choose whatever faith we chose. A couple of my brothers stayed catholic, one chose to invest himself as a Jew, and I just did my thing."
"Which is?" Annie asked, absorbing his story like a sponge. She wanted to learn more about her best friend.
"Accept both religions, but chose neither as my spiritual lifeline. Hence I have both a menorah and, at times, a tree."
"Meaning?" Annie was feeling a bit confused.
"Meaning, I won't lean to either as my salvation. It is simply one God. Just viewed from two different paths. As long as I believe that when my day comes for Judgment, it won't matter how I believe except for the fact that I believe." Annie then nodded at the assessment. She couldn't quite understand it, but it worked for him so she wasn't going to argue. It was his belief anyway. However he viewed it was his business.
Finally catching up to her sister and nieces, they began looking at trees together. They looked for what seemed like hours for the perfect tree. Danielle was able to talk more with them this time.
"So, Auggie," Danielle spoke in a too-casual tone, "Think you can help me get Annie to stay this time for Christmas?" Annie was just out of earshot as the girls tugged her away looking at another cluster of trees.
"What do you mean?" Auggie spoke in a calm but slightly puzzled tone. Danielle couldn't possibly know that Annie was CIA, right?
"I mean she's always out on her job for the Smithsonian. I can't remember her ever having Christmas with us." Good, she still didn't know. Auggie just had to keep on playing by ear.
"Why? Didn't you guys celebrate Christmas?" He already knew from Annie, but he had a feeling her sister could fill in on the missing details.
"Well, no. Dad didn't really like Christmas. And our mom was too busy trying to keep what she could for us. We always moved as kids. We never lasted more than a year in one place. Annie tried a few times but, it never seemed to work out. Not with dad anyway. By the time I got married and she was in college, she would always end up….then she traveled for two years. And now she's been working nonstop. I know she has responsibilities, but…"
"You just want her to have a real family Christmas for once," Auggie finished for her. Danielle nodded as she looked at her kid sister inspect a tree with Chloe and Katia.
"She acts like it's no big deal, but…I know. She's always wanted to have a real Christmas." There was a pause. Feeling the emotions coming in, Danielle straightened herself out.
"Sorry," she started.
"It's ok, I understand." Auggie leaned in. "I'll be glad to help pull some strings." This left Danielle almost speechless.
"Oh, Auggie," Auggie smiled.
"It'll be our little secret." He spoke quietly as Annie approached them with the girls in tow.
"We found our tree Mommy!"
Danielle took her cue and followed the girls as they showed her their tree. Annie took her place next to Auggie.
"Sorry about that, hope Danielle didn't traumatize you," she teased. Auggie chuckled deep in his throat.
"Nah, she wasn't any trouble." He couldn't help but smile. He knew what he needed to do, and he had a week to do it. He had a week until Christmas.
The next day Auggie played on his keyboard and phone. Whenever Annie came around, he would stop quickly and hide whatever he was doing. Whenever Annie asked him about it he would evade it and draw her attention elsewhere. At first, Annie didn't expect it was much. But the following day, she started to get suspicious. It wasn't like Auggie to lie to her. And whenever a meeting was made on a mission, Jai, or someone else was set on it.
After work, Auggie took Annie with him as he went shopping. He never said why. Later, they went to his house to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. They also decorated a small tree Auggie picked from the tree farm. And that was how it was for the next two days. They head to work, he'd hide in secret and spoke on the phone in hushed tones, they would go window shopping, only to not buy anything after their first night, and then celebrate Hanukkah at his house.
On Friday, Annie got a call from Danielle while she was at work doing paperwork before the Christmas party. She didn't have a mission in days, and she started to feel on edge. But that didn't stop her from acting cheerful to her sister.
"Hey Annie! I was just wondering, why don't you invite Auggie over for Christmas dinner?" Annie paused for a moment. Did she hear Danielle right?
"You want me to have Auggie over for Christmas?"
"Yeah, why not? Wait, are you going on another trip?" She could hear a sliver of disappointment building on the other end.
"No, not yet. They haven't asked me to go anywhere."
"Great! Have Auggie be here at six. Dinner is at seven." Before she could object the line went dead on the other side. Annie didn't understand.
As she puzzled through the thought she made her way to Auggie's office. He was busy on his computer while sporting a emerald green vest and red tie over a white buttoned shirt. It actually matched her red dress and emerald green blazer that cropped to flatter her tiny waist. At her approach, Auggie turned to her with his usual greeting.
"Annie, how can I be of service? Any last minute requests before the Christmas party?" He smiled.
"Actually, Auggie, Danielle has asked me to invite you over for Christmas dinner, unless you have other plans." Though that last part posed more as a question, Auggie ignored it.
"Sure, sounds great. What time do you need me there?"
"Uh, six. Dinner will be at seven."
"I'll be there," he smiled again. As she walked out he spoke again, to himself this time, with a twinkle in his eye. "I'll be there to make sure everything is perfect."
They later went to the party where Annie received a gift from Jai as her Secret Santa. It was a gold bracelet with topaz stones integrated into it.
"It brings out the gold flecks in your eyes," Jai said with his most charming smile. Hearing this made Auggie swallow hard as Jai helped Annie put it on. Just hearing the Prince of Langley made his blood boil. He didn't like how Jai moved in on Annie, though he'd never admit it.
"It's beautiful, Jai. Thank you," Annie smiled.
"You're beautiful," the dark, but handsome coworker said smoothly. Before she could respond Joan called everyone together for announcements and the moment was briefly forgotten. Later as the party wore on, Auggie called Annie to go shopping with him again. Annie was feeling frustrated as she didn't see any point.
"Auggie, the last several times I went shopping with you, you didn't buy anything." They were alone again in his office as he collected his belongings.
"That's because I haven't found the perfect gift yet," he said calmly to her near yelling.
"Well, do you know what this person likes?" Auggie made it seem like he was in control, but internally he felt panic. He couldn't tell her who the gift was for. Or else-
"I do, but most of the things they like is something they would buy on their own usually or have enough of."
"Ok, that doesn't help much."
"Which is why I need your help. There's a few new places I wanted to try. See if we can find anything."
"Alright Auggie." Before she knew it, they were in downtown D.C. looking through the shops. They continued to talk about the holidays and the party. As Auggie listened to Annie, the conversation came to a subject he wasn't ecstatic to cover.
"I think Jai is trying to ask me out."
"And?" Auggie looked calm on the outside, but on the inside he could feel his blood boiling.
"Do you want to go out with him?" He hated to talk about it. But he wasn't going to ruin Annie's happiness with Jai Wilcox if she wanted it.
"I don't know. I mean, he seems nice. But I'm not sure if he just wants to have a go under the sheets and that be it."
"Based on what I've heard about your appearance, it wouldn't surprise me." Auggie felt a twinge of regret in saying it like that. "I mean, Jai has had a reputation for being a ladies man and such."
A quiet 'hmm' was his reply as he felt Annie slow and, for a moment, leave his side. Taking a moment, he thought of the store they were in front of. He remember it was new because it was under construction a month ago when he last walked through this area. He needed to know what it was that caught Annie's attention in the window.
"Annie?" She snapped out of her trance and caught up to him. "I want to look inside this store. I think I might find something."
"Auggie, this is a Tiffany's store," she protested as he stepped in.
"Relax Walker, just browse around while I see what they have." He turned to find a nearby saleswoman while Annie walked around. Making sure he was out of earshot, he spoke quietly to the saleswoman. He used his best smile as he spoke.
"Excuse me, my friend saw something she liked in your window by the door," he pointed towards the window Annie stared at. "I would like to get it for her for Christmas. But, as you can tell, I don't know if it's only one thing by itself or surrounded by other items. Think you can help me out?" The saleswoman, Jessica, glanced over at Annie and smiled.
"We can deliver it to your house first thing in the morning, gift wrapped and everything. I'm assuming it's a surprise."
"Yes ma'am." He smiled back. He liked this girl. She knew how things worked. Signaling another coworker to walk Auggie around to make it look like he was shopping, Jessica walked over to Annie to find out what she liked.
"Good evening miss, can I interest you in anything today?" She gave off her best smile. Annie was looking at a case, unsure of what she liked.
"I'm just sort of browsing while my friend looks for a gift." She spoke without raising her head. Jessica's eyes flashed at how this was going to be. Remembering what the gentleman said, she drew out a few of the items from the window.
"May I show you our latest items? We have here a gorgeous ring made to look like feathers, a growing trend these days." Annie looked but didn't seem to be too impressed before Jessica could refer to the label. Jessica revealed a few more items with the same response. She soon was on the last piece.
"This is our Paloma's Venezia Stella pendant. It is based off of Paloma Picasso's work." She revealed a gold necklace with a gold charm that looked like a sun or star. In the middle was a diamond. Annie looked at it in both awe and amazement. It was simple, clean, and elegant. Jessica then smiled. Giving her coworker a nod Jessica continued her charade while Auggie paid for what was to be Annie's gift.
The moment he was finished paying, he smiled over to Jessica and made his approach.
"You were right Annie. Nothing here I could use." Annie, once again out of her trance, nodded and led Auggie out back into the chilly outdoors. A few more stores and a purchase later, they left to drop Auggie home. Annie was too tired to argue and just wanted to sleep.
The following morning was Christmas Eve. Auggie was invited over for dinner and at six on the dot he arrived. When he arrived his arms were laden with Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. He also brought his menorah so he could teach the girls about the Miracle of Hanukkah. They played many games together, including the game of Dreidel for Hanukkah.
Soon, it was dinnertime. Laughter and joy filled the air while they ate and shared stories together. Annie couldn't stop smiling. Danielle was happy as well. Her little sister was finally celebrating Christmas and, thanks to Auggie, Hanukkah as well. Actually, she had more to thank Auggie. Their phone discussions he kept secret as he updated her on his plans to prevent Annie from leaving the office. He went through a lot of trouble to make sure Annie was home for Christmas. She had to remember to find a means to repay him.
After dinner, Auggie led them in a short ceremony as the menorah was lit. After that was Christmas carols and reading the girls a Christmas story. They sat on the floor, each holding a doll Auggie had given them as one of their presents. Because on each day of Hanukkah, the children could receive a gift. As he spoke the fireplace that once held a roaring fire, settled into quiet embers. When the story ended, Danielle announced it was time for bed.
While Annie walked over and was about to guide Auggie out, Chloe shouted.
"Look!" She was pointing to the ceiling. And sure enough, right above Annie and Auggie, was a piece of holly and mistletoe. Annie's cheeks grew a hot pink in embarrassment. Danielle could only smirk. She could feel the chemistry between her sister and Auggie, even if they didn't. Auggie was darting his eyes in confusion.
"What? What's wrong?" concern was laced in his voice. Danielle smiled.
"You and Annie are under mistletoe." Annie glared at her sister. Did she have to do that?
"Oh, really?" Auggie said in his teasing, cocky manner.
"Yep, and in our house, the tradition is you have to seriously kiss for 2 minutes." Danielle smiled as her husband Michael snickered.
"Danielle!" Annie was really nervous. Her face couldn't be any redder than Santa's red suit. But then Auggie held her close as he spoke.
"It's alright, Annie. What's a kiss between friends under the tradition of the mistletoe?" He was right. It was just a holiday tradition. Taking a deep breath to relax herself Annie positioned herself in Auggie's arms.
Slowly leaning in to help guide him along, Annie felt Auggie place his hands to adjust and search for her face. Once he got close enough to where both their foreheads and noses were touching he slowly moved his hands. One went around her waist while the other to the back of her head. Auggie had his eyes closed. And Annie did the same. Tightening his grip on their embrace he went in.
The kiss was sweet, and tender. She could feel herself melt into the kiss. She felt her hands reach to where she had one on his back and another on the back of his head her fingers curled and played with his brown hair. She felt him growl in his throat as he tilted his head and his tongue licked her bottom lip for permission. She felt compelled to allow it, giving in to the kiss as it became a bit more passionate. It felt like she was on air. No one but her and Auggie in that moment. His grip tightened a bit at her waist, pulling her in even more to where they fit perfectly. The tiniest of moans slipped from her lips. But like many good things, this kiss ended as they slowly parted for air.
Already feeling the regret of leaving his arms Annie looked at Auggie. Only the distinct laughter of her two nieces distracted her. Blushing heavily Annie went to pack up Auggie's things as her sister put the girls to bed. Soon she was heading to his house as she dropped him home. The trip was silent until they stopped.
"You ok?" Auggie was a little worried at Annie's silence.
"I'm fine. Just like you said, it was two friends kissing by tradition, right?" Auggie nodded. He knew she felt nervous. He could hear it in her voice the moment it was brought up.
"Right. Although," he began to chuckle," I think Jai might get jealous if he ever found out." Annie punched him in the arm.
"Auggie!" He laughed as he stepped out of the car. But before he forgot.
"Annie," he reached out and gave her a small parcel with a card on top, "Merry Christmas." Annie smiled.
"Don't open it until you get home. I'll see you Monday." And with that he went to his apartment.
Later Annie was sitting at her bedroom window looking at the sky. Around her neck was the necklace from Tiffany's. And in her hand was his card. It said:
To My Shining Star
Don't Ever Stop Shining.
The Paloma's Venezia Stella pendant is an actual pendant from Tiffany and Co.
(Patterned after the gold eight-pronged stars featured on the backdrop to the famous lion sculptures gracing the Basilica San Marco in Venice. Pendant in 18k gold with a round brilliant diamond. On a 16" chain. Carat total weight .02. Original designs copyrighted by Paloma Picasso.)
**Ok, in truth, they never prove that Auggie is under any religion. But I thought it would be interesting to bring out a new aspect to the usual holiday epitome. So please, no haters! I respect all religions, and just thought this one worked well with my story.**