Moments of Christmas
Starting from their second Christmas together, this story catches glimpses of Daniel and Betty during the Christmas season.
Disclaimer: Though I write, I did not write for Ugly Betty nor do I own any canonical piece.
Part 1: Not Alone (Takes Place December of Season 2)
"Hold on a moment. I'm coming!" Daniel shouted towards his front door. He slipped into a pair of sweatpants, not caring if he was commando or not, and grabbed a towel to finish drying his hair and face. His eyes were still half covered when he opened the door and said, "Yes?"
"Daniel!" Betty squeaked. Forgetting the cold from outside, her cheeks warmed at the sight of Daniel's bare chest.
"Betty?" he gulped, "um, what are you doing here?"
Averting her eyes, Betty asked, "Can you put on a shirt first or at least take this box?"
"Uh, sure." Daniel grabbed the box.
Betty glanced around for the tell-all sign of another woman's presence. "I didn't interrupt anything, did I?"
"No, I went to the gym today and was just getting out of the shower when I heard the knock at the door." Daniel made his way to his living room with Betty in tow.
She tried not to focus on Daniel's body as he walked away from her, but his sweatpants were hanging enough that she knew he didn't have on boxers and the muscles in his back seemed to call to her to touch him. She quickly brushed off the idea and studied his lit fireplace instead. Ever since they met over a year ago, she'd have these moments when she definitely understood why women wanted Daniel…and those were women who didn't even know the caring and vulnerable person he hid so well from others.
"Betty?" Daniel's voice was muffled as he put on a Harvard sweatshirt. He chuckled softly. "You can look at me now. I'm dressed."
She let out a nervous giggle.
"So…what's with all this stuff?" he asked gesturing to the box he put down on his coffee table.
"Well, I figured that since it's nearing Christmas and the last month has been hard on you and your family, I would help spread a little Christmas cheer."
"I thought you were supposed to be spending time with…you know?" Daniel hated saying Henry's name. The mere idea that Betty chose to be with him even though she knew her heart would be broken soon was something that truly bothered him.
"Henry…" her voice drifted off for a moment before coming upbeat again. "Well, he's heading to Tucson, and you're stuck with me." She walked over to the large box and opened it. "Tonight we are going to make some ornaments.
Daniel let out a sharp laugh, "What!" As soon as he saw the light in her eyes and her smile start to fade, he quickly changed his tone. "I mean, uh, Betty, I don't even have a tree. Plus, most Christmas memories have been bad…uh, except when I helped your family last year. But this year," Daniel paused, sat on his couch, and put his head in his hands as his situation hit him again. His dad had only died a few weeks before, his mother was back in prison, and his sister still wanted to control everything. His eyes filled as he looked up at Betty. "I don't know if I can do this, Betty. Maybe I should just go away."
"Daniel, we've been over that, and that is not an option for you." Betty sat next to him and comfortingly rubbed circles on his back. "You've already made it through so much. You are going to make it through all of this, too." Her face lit up with her smile again. "And you're not alone. I'm here." She glanced at her watch. "And your tree and our dinner will be here in an hour, so we need to get started.
"Okay, Betty," Daniel chuckled. "What's first?"
By the time the tree arrived, lights had been checked, popcorn had been popped for stringing, and several ornaments were drying. While Daniel and Betty ate dinner, the Meade's florist team set up the tree in the living room in a corner near the fireplace. Betty turned on Daniel's sound system and found a radio station that was playing all Christmas music. When the team left, Daniel began to string the lights while Betty started on the popcorn and cranberry garland. His spirit was lifting as he laughed and talked with Betty. Then the conversation took a turn he wasn't expecting right as he sat down near her to start working on more ornaments.
"You did what?" he choked out.
Betty threw a handful of popcorn at Daniel. "I knew I shouldn't have told you," she pouted.
Daniel smothered his laugh. "Well, how did it go?"
The look on her face said it all, but she answered anyway. "Badly. He got mad and yelled at me. I only wanted to try something different, something exciting, and…" Betty didn't want to go any further. They've talked about lots of things including his sex life, but this was the first time they talked about hers.
"…and highly sensual when done properly," Daniel finished her sentence.
"Yes," she quietly answered. "At least that's what I wanted it to be."
Daniel looked at Betty, letting himself truly see his friend. She was young and inexperienced but this desire she had was new to both of them. He shifted slightly as his body reacted to the brief thought of being her teacher in matters of sensuality, but he pushed away the idea like he had other times she pierced his heart in an unexpected but extremely good way. Right now she needed her friend, not a horny guy on the make. He cleared his throat. "So what went wrong? Why would…he get so upset?"
Betty could easily sense that Daniel was starting to get upset with Henry. "It was really my fault. He really tried to go along."
"Well, what did you do?" Daniel tried to concentrate on his ornament so that what she said would not affect his body.
"I made a five-scoop sundae on his stomach."
Daniel quickly looked up. "Five?"
"Yes, the way I like my sundaes with whipped cream and cherries…the complete works."
Daniel stifled a chuckle.
"Well, I guess I took too long making it because he asked me to hurry up since he was getting cold. So I dove in, but I got too much ice cream in my mouth and on my glasses. He kept complaining, so I thought a little hot fudge would warm him up, but it was too hot. I ended up freezing part of his stomach and burning the other part."
Daniel could hold his laughter no longer. Betty crossed her arms and stared at him. "Oh, Betty, come on," Daniel gasped out while laughing. "You know it's funny. You would laugh if I told you a story like that. You know you would." He poked her arm from across the table.
A smile began to play at the corner of her mouth. "I guess." Then a small snort of laughter escaped her.
"Ah ha! See!" Daniel exclaimed.
"Okay. Okay. Anyway, I won't try that again any time soon."
Daniel stopped laughing and seriously looked Betty. "Wait! You're just going to give up?"
"I guess. Henry's kind of straight laced about things. I mean, he did try to dance for me at a club afterwards, but I think he's not into anything adventurous when it comes to other things."
"You mean sex?"
"Dag, Daniel, yes," she blushed and giggled. Holding up her homemade garland, she added, "I think that's enough."
Daniel helped her up. As they began to hang the garland, Daniel's mind kept going on Betty's situation. Finally, he spoke, "You know, Betty, maybe he's not the right guy for you."
"Daniel, we've been through this."
"I know, just hear me out. The right guy for you should not only be willing to explore your sexuality as you develop your tastes and explore your desires, but…" He stopped her and looked her in the eye. "He should never yell at you if something doesn't work when you try it. The bedroom is not the kind of place for that kind of yelling," he smiled.
Betty felt tears sting her eyes. "Thanks, Daniel. Maybe that will make his leaving a little easier to handle." She smiled weakly before pulling him into a hug.
Daniel let his anger towards Henry fade as he held his small friend. She had kicked off her shoes, so she was even smaller than usual. He wanted to keep holding her. He wanted to protect her from guys like Henry or Walter. There was something about her that made him want to be the man and friend on whom she could rely.
After a few moments, Betty sniffed and gazed up at Daniel. She wiped a stray tear from her cheek. "Thank you, Daniel. You really are an amazing person."
She saw the shift in his demeanor. It was quick, and she could see him try to push it away.
"Hey," she gave him a slight shake within their hug. "Hey." She got his attention again. "I'm not the only one who thinks that."
"Thanks, Betty, but I know that Team Daniel only consists of you and my mother," he sighed.
Betty let go of him and put her hands on her hips. Even at her height, she looked formidable. "I can't believe you still think that."
Daniel turned his eyes from her, so she grabbed his hand and led him to the couch.
"There's something else I wanted to tell you tonight."
"Does it involve Henry?" He let out a soft rumbling laugh to let her know he was trying to lighten the mood.
"No," she smiled. "It involves your father, and why I needed to come back to you and Mode…I guess it even explains why we needed to do this tonight."
The firelight danced and the Christmas lights twinkled, while Daniel's eyes filled with curiosity, sadness, grief, and happiness as he listened to Betty tell him the story of his father's dying request and her visions of him since then.