Categories > TV > X-Files

Christmas Dinner

by CerasiJ 1 review

Monica gets a manicure, and somehow she winds up with a teddy bear, a chicken dinner and... a new boyfriend?

Category: X-Files - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2006-01-19 - Updated: 2006-01-19 - 5004 words - Complete

Title: Christmas Dinner
Author: Cerasi J.
Rating: PG
Summary: Monica gets a manicure, and somehow she winds up with a teddy bear, a chicken dinner and... a new boyfriend?
Disclaimer: I don't own John, Monica or anything from The X-Files. I wrote this because I have way too much time on my hands.

Author's Note: I would like to dedicate this story to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Wendy Rossburg. My brothers and sisters? Yeah, real people. My house in the mountains? Yeah, real too. And you want to know why I wasn't ever good at math? Because I was too busy thinking up stories.

Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it, Rossburg.

D.C. Shopping Center
Christmas Eve, 6:08 p.m.

When I walked out of that salon, I took one look at my hands and decided I felt really graceful and elegant, almost like Grace Kelley or someone, and I wasn't going to go off in a rush to bust baddies and do something stupid. Like ruin my new nail job. It was so stupid, how a simple coat of polish on your nails could make you feel like Princess Diana, only without all the reporters.

It was actually really fun! It was the first professional manicure I had ever had. It felt really nice, and personally I think I deserved a treat. Instead of painting my nails I had them do the French-tip thing, where the tips of your nails are painted white and the rest of your nail is coated in a clear polish.

I wanted to make the first Christmas I spent in D.C. a special one. I planned to pick up some take out, rent a movie, (It was a toss up between Monty Python and the Holy Grail or /My Fellow Americans/,) and maybe pick up a small bottle of champagne, a very small bottle, since I don't drink much anyway. I only added the manicure as an afterthought, because I thought it would be fun.

As I walked to my car I took a deep breath. The chilly air seemed to momentarily freeze my lungs, but it was a good kind of freeze, the kind you feel when you go outside on Christmas morning to build a snowman.

A few tiny snowflakes started to fall, and, feeling silly, I opened my mouth and tried to catch one, but they were too small. I pulled my car keys out of my purse, careful not to damage my new nails, and I ran through a mental checklist. Christmas presents wrapped and shipped? Check, I did that two months ago. New suit from Sak's Fifth dry-cleaned and ready for work on Monday? Check, the beautiful navy blue is now gracing my closet with its style.

I hit the keyless remote entry button, hopped in, and relocked my doors, still going through my list. Called parents, wished them a merry Christmas? Uncheck; it's not Christmas yet. Stopped at Boston Market and picked up chicken dinner for Christmas Eve pig out? Uncheck, consider box of Godiva chocolates for dinner instead. Gave John his Christmas present? ...Chec-... Uncheck... wait. Did I even buy John something yet?

I paused, my left hand on the steering wheel, my right lingering in my lap. I bit my lip, John told me I shouldn't get him something... but I wanted to. To say thank you for everything he's done for me in my past year in D.C. He helped me find an apartment; he got me a job... he saved me from numerous evil people. I should at /least /get him something small...

I thought, Well, what should I get him then? Some sort of power tool? Guys go for the whole power tool thing, don't they? But John doesn't seem like the power-tool-worshipping kind of guy. I ruled that option out. A book? What kind of books would John Doggett read? Murder-Mystery? No, he's has too much murder in his life. Sci-fi? No... he's too down-to-earth for that. And he certainly wouldn't read romance.

Hm. What exactly do you buy a man like John Doggett? I mulled over this question as I pulled out of the parking lot. I mulled over it as I decided that Capital Cookies sounded pretty good for dessert later that evening. I was still mulling over the question as I pulled into a spot at the Georgetown Shopping Center, which was packed with last minute Christmas shoppers.

I got out, locked my doors and started towards the Sears entrance. It took me almost ten minutes to get inside, and by that time I was freezing. I paused just inside the doors as I looked at the directory. Men's Fashions, Women's Fashions, Automotive, Housewares...

I decided to head upstairs to Men's Fashions, just to look.


I barely escaped Men's Fashions with my life. There were so many people upstairs it made it almost impossible to even breathe. But, I had returned victorious. I had found something John might like: a red fleece vest. It was very warm, perfect for winter and it looked like something John might wear. So I decided on that, unfortunately, it was the last one, and I had to fight a very hostel young woman for it.

The vest had given me another idea, so I headed for the jewelry counter. As I stepped up to the counter, two young men, both wearing red ties, rushed forward to wait on me. So I explained I was looking for a nice watch for my partner. After about twenty minutes and fifty different watches I finally decided on one that would look very nice on John. To me, it seemed like a black, heavy thing that had a lot of buttons on it and did weird stuff like tell the time in Nicaragua. But I was sure John would like it.

I paid for both my items and had them gift-wrapped immediately. My journey was completed a little under 45 minutes. Next, I stopped by the Boston Market drive-thru and picked up enough dinner to last me until tomorrow. That way I wouldn't have to cook on Christmas. Then I stopped by Capital Cookies for dessert and picked up a dozen chocolate chip cookies. When the guy handed me the bag, I realized they were fresh because the bag was still warm.

As I walked out to my car I decided I'd go to John's house and drop off his gift... then I would go home and eat some dinner. Maybe I should invite John, too... I mean, I got enough food for two... Something I hadn't thought of before crossed my mind, What if John isn't in D.C. for the Holidays?

I hadn't thought of that before... But what if he is in D.C.? What if he gets mad because I got him something but he told me not to? Suddenly chickening out, I turned right down Pennsylvania Avenue, instead of left towards John's house, and headed downtown to the FBI building. When I got there I had to park on the street, because I realized the employee parking garage would be closed.

The building itself was closed of course, since it was Christmas Eve. But because I worked there, I had a special pass code to get in after hours. Before going in I eyed the bag of cookies sitting on the passenger's seat. They smelled so good... like the kind my mom used to bake... unable to resist any longer, I reached in, broke a chunk off and popped it in my mouth. This prompted me to pull two; warm, gooey cookies out of the bag and slip them into my coat pocket. I grabbed John's gift and headed toward the building.

Actually, I thought to myself, it wasn't such a bad idea leaving my present on John's desk, because then if he did get mad, he couldn't yell at me until after the Holidays, when I was back at work! When I got to the door I punched in my pass code. 5646, which stood for John, my partner's name. My code used to be 2723, which stood for Brad, the name of my ex-boyfriend. See why I changed it?

I walked into the lobby and instantly shivered. The bosses must turn off the heat while everyone's off work/, I thought. /Couldn't afford to pay the extra day's electricity. Cheap government fat cats.

I punched the "Down" button for the elevator and waited. And waited. Shivered, rubbed my arms, wished for a warmer coat and thought of those cookies in my pocket. Waited. Punched the button again. Swore a little and wished again for a warmer coat. Then something finally dawned on me. The little... never mind... didn't even have the decency to leave the elevators on!

My left hand shoved in my pocket, my right hand holding the cookie I was munching on, and John's gift tucked under my left arm, I started down the three flights of stairs to the basement office I shared with John. When I got there I had finished off my cookie and was willing myself to hold out on the second one. I peeked around the corner, and, to my surprise, found the lights in the office were on.

I blinked at them, puzzled. I turned the lights out, didn't I? I could have sworn I did... maybe I was mistaken. Oh well. I started down the hallway, went into the office and had a look around. This place was a mess! Well, at least John's desk was. I could have sworn he didn't leave it like that...

I shrugged to myself and started toward his desk.

I stopped when I saw something odd: John's computer was on. And I know for a fact he never, ever leaves his computer on. He always jokes that computers need sleep, too, and always shuts his off. I started to set the wrapped package on his desk, but the report on the computer screen caught my eye and I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of it.

I read the first few lines, but was stopped by a sudden noise. I turned my head away from the screen, listened, and heard nothing. I went back to reading, still aware that there was another tasty cookie in my pocket. I tried to ignore it, so I rubbed my hands together, was it getting colder in here?

"Monica? When did you get here?"

The sudden voice behind me caused me to slam John's gift onto his desk and let out a startled shriek. I whirled around, "John!" He was standing in the doorway, carrying a handful of manila file folders with a fleece blanket draped around his shoulders. I suddenly felt shy and stupid all at the same time, "Erm..." I turned around and stood with my back to his desk so he couldn't see the present I got him. Oh why oh why did I even come here? If I had gone to his house I could have left it in the mailbox or something! "John..." I stuttered, attempting to find an excuse as why I was in my office on Christmas Eve. "Um, weren't you... um, going to New York or something?"

"No," he said flatly, stepping into the room. "What are you doing here?" It wasn't a rude question, just a curious one. One that I was going to have one hell of a time answering. "Um," I said, backing up against his desk. "I, um, forgot I left my, uh, watch in my desk drawer... and, uh." Oh, dammit! A watch! I bought John a watch! Why did I have to come up with such a lame excuse? I don't even wear a watch!

John pointed this out to me, "Since when do you wear a watch?" he asked, coming three steps further into the room and setting the file folders on top of a bookshelf. "I, ah, don't... I guess..." I looked at my feet. I reached into my pocket, pulled out the other cookie and took a big bite, I wasn't doing this to be rude to John, I was simply doing it to shut myself up. "Hey," John said, eyeing my chocolaty treat, "Do you have another one of those? I'm starving."

I extended my arm and offered the cookie I just took a bite of. John must have been extremely hungry because he crossed the room and snatched the cookie from me. This surprised me; he's never done that before. Eaten anything I've already taken a bite of, I mean. But then again... he said he was starving.
I finally swallowed as John finished off my cookie. I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed... but that was okay, I had a whole package of them in my car. "So," I said, still leaning against John's desk, thinking maybe if I could get John to walk me to the door he wouldn't see the present 'til I was in the safety of the stairwell. "Why are you here? And on Christmas Eve, weren't you going to visit family?"

"Nah," John said around a mouthful of cookie, "Got too much work to do. And besides, the lines got iced and I didn't have power at my house." I shivered, "How can you work down here? It's freezing." He grinned a little and pointed to a small heater in the corner of the small office, "I found that in my garage," he explained. "And I got this from my truck," he held up the blanket. The blanket looked to be made from the same material as the vest I had bought him earlier.

John finished off the cookie and licked his fingers, "Man, I love those things," he said more to himself than to me, "I wish I had another." I brightened, "I have a whole box in my car, and I picked up take out too, if you're hungry." He raised an eyebrow, "Did you come all the way down here just to feed me?" I thought for a moment, "Um. Maybe." John chuckled, "Well, I'm game. If you wanna share, that is."

"Of course I do, let's go!"

I grabbed his hand and yanked him toward the door, hoping that if we got out fast enough he wouldn't see the present I was trying to hide. What was I thinking? A stupid vest? And a watch? What the hell is wrong with me? I lamented this fact all the way up the stairs and out onto the street... maybe I could get John to get the food and I could sneak back downstairs and hide the box in my desk drawer or something... he'd never know...

I unlocked my car, opened the passenger-side door and handed John the bag from Boston Market. "Ooh," he said, "My favorite. Take-out turkey at Christmas time."

"It's chicken," I informed him as I grabbed the bag of cookies and relocked the doors, "Sorry to disappoint you." He laughed as we went back into the building. When we got inside John gave me a handful of change, "Here," he said, "go find us some drinks and I'll set out the food." He plucked the bag of cookies from my hands before I had a chance to protest, "And don't worry," he said, "I'll save 'ya one." He winked at me and started downstairs.

Oh no, oh no, oh no... he'll see the present I got him... how could he not see it? It was wrapped in bright blue paper! What if he opened it? What if he didn't like it? What if he was mad at me for buying him something?

I chewed on my thumbnail as I made my way to the soda machine in the break room on the first floor. Oh, I hoped he wasn't mad at me... I stood in front of the machine. What did I like to drink again? I couldn't remember... the sight of John standing in that doorway with the blanket hanging around his big shoulders, looking all cute and stuff was still fresh in my mind.

I shook my head, attempting to remove the images from my overactive brain. What did John like to drink again? I had to hurry up and remember so I could get downstairs before he ate all my cookies!

I threw some change in the slot and punched a button, then picked up the two bottles of Pepsi from the machine. I started back downstairs, half running, half walking. When I got there, John had cleared off his desk, spread the food out and was now holding the blue-wrapped box and shaking it like a little kid who was too eager to wait until morning to open it. "What'd you get me?" John asked, his blue eyes bright as he tried to hide the smile forming on his lips.

"It's a surprise," I said, relieved that he wasn't mad at me. "Aw, c'mon Monica, you're probably going to make me wait until morning too, aren't you?" I grinned; the thought hadn't crossed my mind. "You can open it after dinner," I informed him in the way my mother used to tell me I could go out and play if my homework was all done.

He rolled his eyes at me, stepped around his desk, opened a drawer and pulled out a long, rectangular box that was wrapped in red paper and tied with white ribbon. He waved it in front of me, grinning like an idiot. That's when I realized the box was for me. "Oh... John," I said, touched, "You didn't have to get me something."

"Who said the box was for you?" He teased.

Talk about ruining what could have been a very romantic moment. I rolled my eyes, grabbed a paper plate and started loading it up with chicken and mashed potatoes. John did the same. I looked around to for a place to sit down; there was my desk, and John's desk. Not a whole lot of choices there.
John had finished fixing his plate, "Where are you gonna sit?" he asked me. I shrugged, "Wherever."

In answer to my statement, John plopped down on the floor in front of the portable heater. I frowned, I didn't want to stand on that cold floor, let alone sit on it. Reluctantly, I followed him and sat down beside him. The area around the heater was actually much warmer. It almost looked like a fire... I decided this was a very cozy sort of way to spend Christmas Eve. With John... in front of what sort of looked like a fire... eating dinner. I smiled. And almost, almost, wished he'd kiss me.

"What are you smilin' about?" John asked, playing with a biscuit on his plate. "It's Christmas time," I replied, "Why shouldn't I be smiling?" He shrugged, took a swig of Pepsi and said, "Didn't I say you didn't have to get me something?"
"You said I shouldn't get you something. And I wanted to."

"Well," John said, "I did get you something... it was supposed to be last year's Valentine's Day present, but I forgot."
I raised my eyebrows, my surprise clearly evident, "You bought me a Valentine's Day present?" He nodded in a shy sort of way and studied his plate, "Yeah, I did, but I forgot to give it to you."

Or did he chicken out? Like I did? This topic seemed worth pursuing. "Oh," I said in a playful tone, "Wow! I didn't think you liked me." He shot me an "are you crazy" look. "What do you mean by that? Of course I like you, Monica."

"I was kidding," I said, playing with my mashed potatoes and gravy. "I know you like me, I was just kidding."

John didn't look convinced, but he didn't say anything. I shivered, but not from the cold. He looked over at me, his eyes held a slight note of concern, "You okay?" I gave him a weak smile. Why did my partner, my co-worker, my FRIEND FROM WORK, have to have such a wonderful smile? Such charming blue eyes? Such big shoulders? You know... the kind that would have been really nice to rest your head on? "I'm fine," I murmured, and I forced myself to look at my plate.

This couldn't be happening! Was I... was I falling in love with John? My partner/? Now I truly understand Scully's problem. Being locked down here with Mulder for eight hours a day, five days a week, and probably weekends... no wonder she fell in love with the guy, it's kind of hard not to. And besides, I don't think I'd mind being stuck down here with Mulder, he's really funny and kind of cute... but he's just not my type. I shot a sidelong glance at my partner. /But I think I already know who's my type.

"What do you like in a woman?" I asked suddenly. I wondered where the question came from. John looked at me for a moment then said carefully, "Well... they have to be nice."

"And... they have to be fairly down to earth, you know? Not all of this 'let's be in touch with our emotions crap'. I hate that. And I can't stand women who flirt. Either come out and say, 'Hey, wanna go out?' or drink your beer and stop staring at me." Oops. Guilty.

I smiled, however, "What else?"
"Well..." John reached for a cookie, broke off a chunk and popped it in his mouth, "They have be kinda cute."

I laughed, "And what's your definition of cute?" I almost couldn't believe I was having this conversation. "Well," he ate another piece of cookie, "Scully's cute."

My heart dropped all the way down to my knees, "Scully's taken."

"I never said I wanted her."
"You implied it."
"Did not."
"Did to."
"Did not."
"Did to."
"I said I like women like Scully, I didn't say I wanted Scully herself."
"Who do you want?"

That was a bad question to ask. I knew it was when John turned away and grabbed the packages on his desk instead of answering me. He handed me the one with the red paper and said with a smile, "Here, open it." Now I felt kind of guilty for being so personal, I shouldn't have asked him that... I accepted the box with a sinking feeling, I knew it was going to be something really nice, and I got him something really stupid... oh, why me?

I gave him a thin smile and said, "Thanks." I fingered the ribbon for a moment and thought about giving the package back to him. But thinking of that crestfallen look on his face when he saw something disappointing, I couldn't stand it and I started to untie the ribbon. Instead of tearing into his own present like he looked like he wanted to earlier, he just smiled and watched me. I hoped he wasn't mad at me for asking such a personal question.

I tore off the shiny, red paper and revealed a cream-colored cardboard box. "Open it," John urged me. I used one of my newly manicured fingernails to slit the tape that was holding the box together. I stole a glance at John, he was smiling at me and nodding, so I lifted the lid.

"Oh John," I said, lifting it out of the box, "You shouldn't have... I had one just like this when I was little." In my hands I now held a soft, brown teddy bear. The bear had a pink silk bow around it's neck. It looked like the classic kind of teddy bear, the ones they had in 1910. I looked up at him and hugged the bear to my chest, "This is great! I-... I really did have one like this when I was little... but I lost it, in a fire. My best friend's house burned down when I was spending the night, we all got out, but I forgot my bear and it was too late to go back."

He looked slightly saddened by this. I know I was; I could feel tears rushing to my eyes all over again when I thought of losing my favorite teddy bear. How stupid! That was years ago! But... I looked at the stuffed toy I held in my hands; it looked so much like my other bear... I leaned over and gave John the biggest hug I could muster, "Thanks," I said. Those stupid tears would just not go away...

He hugged me back, "I'm glad you like it." He patted me on the back. I chuckled as another old memory floated forward and demanded my attention, "Heh, I remember... standing out in the street in the middle of the night, watching the fire trucks go by, and Lizabeth just standing there laughing at me, because I was standing in the street, crying my head off because I lost my bear."

As I pulled myself out of memories, I realized I had let go of John, but he hadn't let go of me. "What a mean thing to do," he said. "Yeah," I agreed, "But that was years ago." I pulled back and looked up at him, "Aren't you going to open yours?" A smile twitched the corners of his mouth, "Yeah... yeah, I almost forgot." He released me and set to work on the box.

He had his unwrapped faster than had I unwrapped mine, and he was lifting the lid sooner than I had hoped. "Oh... wow... Monica!" He lifted the watch out of the box, "How'd you know I wanted one of these?! I've been looking all over the place for one! Where'd you find it?" He turned to me, his eyes bright.
"Oh, um, the mall. In Georgetown," I said.

"Georgetown!" He slapped his forehead, "I didn't even think to look there! Wow, this is great, thank you so much!" Okay, this was getting strange. I actually found something he wanted and he didn't even tell me he wanted it? Really weird. "No-... no problem," I said, "I'm glad you like it."

He didn't show the same enthusiasm about the vest-thing, but he couldn't seem to get over the watch. He kept ranting and raving about how great this thing was because it had a built-it GPS tracking system for lost hikers. Blah, blah, blah. It was a watch, it told time, big deal. John finally showed his delight by grabbing me in a huge hug as I had done to him. This was really starting to unnerve me, I mean; John had never really hugged me before... I had hugged him, yeah, no big deal, but this... this was something.

John busied himself with strapping the watch on his wrist and setting it with the proper time. He also seemed very absorbed in the instruction booklet. While he was doing this I began to put the food away. When I finished my task I set it all neatly on my desk, and put my new teddy bear beside it. I would have to make it a point to put that bear on my bed just like I used to.

I plopped down beside John again, who was still deeply absorbed with his new toy. I supposed I should leave soon if I wanted to get to Blockbuster Video in time before they closed for the weekend. I hated to break up the little party, but since John seemed to be having a better time with the watch than he was with me, I decided that would be okay. "Well," I said, turning to look at the teddy bear sitting on my desk, "I guess I'd better get going."

This seemed to catch John's attention, "Oh... you're leaving already?"

"Yeah, if I want to beat the Christmas Eve traffic." I turned to look at him and I smiled, "Thanks for the bear, it's really great." John shrugged modestly, "I saw it at the store, and it just looked like something you would enjoy... so I bought it, but I forgot to give it to 'ya."

I was about to say something, but he turned to me and said, "I don't know if you came by because you knew I was here, or if it was just a coincidence, but I'm glad you did. I think this has been the best Christmas I've had since... well, since Luke died." I was truly flattered, "I'm glad I made your Christmas a good one, John." I smiled at him. He smiled back, and before my brain had a chance to respond I was wrapping my arms around him and kissing him back for all I was worth.


Monica Reyes residence
67 Bennett Ave.
10:37 p.m.

When I opened my eyes my apartment was dark, well, dark except for the TV, which was playing an old episode of /I Dream of Jeanie/. "Have a nice nap?" someone asked. I blinked and realized I had fallen asleep on the couch. I sat up, almost surprised to see John sitting beside me, smiling.

"Uh..." I said. How did I get here? And when did I fall asleep? "We came back to your house and watched a movie, because the power was still out at my place," John explained as if reading my mind.

"Oh..." I said again, then, "What did we watch?"
"/Star Wars/."
"Oh." I sat up, "What time is it?"

John looked at his new watch, "10:30 or so." I rubbed a hand over my eyes, I was tired! I yawned and sat back against the couch. John slipped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer, "Tired?"

I nodded and snuggled closer to him, I could really get used to this... John planted a quick kiss on my forehead, "Merry Christmas, Monica."

I smiled and let my eyes drift shut, "Merry Christmas, John."

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