After waking up from a not-to-pleasant dream of a memory from a long time ago, Nick wakes up to a reminder of how good things really are.
"Bob... Bob... Get him to stop," Jane groaned as she turned over and put her back to her barely sleeping husband. "It's too early for this." She pulled the covers over her head and curled her knees to pull her feet out of the range of the jumping child.
Bob Carter grumbled deep in his throat and turned his head, the motion alone making Nick stop his bouncing to stare at he figure under the covers. He peeked an eye open and fixed it on Nick, who only smiled more to see he had his father's attention. "Nickolas Gene Carter, go back to bed," he stated quietly, but firmly.
Nick's smile faded just the smallest bit. "But Dad, it's Christmas! You have to get up!" He exclaimed, confused as to why, on the happiest day besides his birthday, he was being told to go back to bed.
"Nickolas, bed, now."
"Nickolas! I said go back to bed!" Bob snapped as he turned his head away from his son, whose shoulders were now slumped, and joined his wife in pulling the covers over his head.
- - - - -
"Daddy, wake up!"
Nick groaned and turned over as the covers were ripped off of his sleeping body. "Ugh, no, cold," he pouted as he opened his eyes to see the beaming smile of his six-year-old son. "Buddy, what has Daddy said about pulling off the covers in cold weather?"
"Not to do it unless it was urgent," James stated in a matter-of-fact tone, his smile being replaced by a serious look before another smile replaced it.
"Is it urgent?" Nick questioned, fighting back a smile since he had a pretty good idea of why he was being woken up. Behind him, another sleeping figure slowly awoke with a soft sigh.
"What's going on?" Questioned Nick's wife, Jackie, who turned over and slid her arm around his waist as she snuggled up against him and lightly rested her chin on his shoulder so she could see what all the ruckus was about.
"Well, Jackie, it would appear to me that there is an urgent matter at hand," Nick answered, keeping his face straight as he looked at his wife out of the corner of his eye, and then to his son. "Isn't that right Jimmy?"
James nodded quick and smiled wide once more. "It's Christmas!"
Nick gave a confused look. "Christmas? But that's not until next week James, go on back to bed, okay buddy?"
James, not finding any of this new amusing, proceeded to rest his chin on the edge of his parents' bed and stare at his father with a pair of greenish gray eyes that matched his Mother's. "Daddy, today is Christmas. The twenty-fifth of December," he stated, looking at his dad like he had gone crazy. "Today."
Jackie smiled at her son and lightly pressed her head against Nick's. "Nick, he's just too smart for you this time," she smiled as her son's smile returned. "Isn't that right little man?"
James gave a very enthusiastic nods and bolted out of the room with the word "Christmas" dragging out behind him in a joyful cheer.
Nick waited until his son was out of the room before he turned over and captured Jackie in his arms. "When the Hell did our son get to be so smart? And who does he get it from?" He asked as he softly stroked her back while her arm snaked around his waist and her body snuggled close once more.
"About three years ago, and I think he got it from me," she answered, smiling playfully at him. She giggled when he nuzzled her neck and nipped at her with lip-covered teeth, being careful not to hurt her. "Are you ready to go down there?"
Nick shook his head. "Bathroom, warmer clothes, then I'll be downstairs. Think you can keep him from tearing into the presents while I warm up?"
She stole a quick kiss before she stood up from the bed, shivering when her feet touched the cold floor. "I'll even have a cup of coffee for you," she answered, "that's how magical I am." She turned and gave him a small smile before she disappeared out of the room in her pj bottoms and top.
Nick waited a few moments before he quietly got up from bed and crept down the stairs behind her, knowing where to step to not make any noise. He peeked around the corner and couldn't stop the smile that came to his lips when he saw James buried under the large tree, quite possibly searching for the biggest gift for himself. How in the world could my Dad never appreciate this? He thought to himself as he listened to his wife's giggles as she lightly chided him to be mor careful, and to not bring the tree down. Every year I get to enjoy this blessing. Having a family who loves me no matter what. Having a son who looks up to me and doesn't care what I do wrong as long as I come home to play with him. Having a wife who adores me no matter how long I'm away from her.
As Nick stared at the two, a thought popped into his head and he nodded before he turned and headed up the stairs, being just as quiet as when he came down, to change into some warmer clothes. /I'll never be ungrateful for all I have. I'm already better than him./[Author's Note: Sorry this was short, but it came to me out of nowhere and it had to be done. It's as simple as that. Merry Christmas to everyone, or whatever you celebrate, enjoy it =)]