vinyl tablecloth

The Best Christmas Dinner

For @driftnfly​ for 2015 Captain Swan Secret Santa gift exchange. Sorry this was a bit late, but I do hope you like it. It was wonderful getting to know you and I hope you have the merriest of Christmases!!

Summary:  A series of shared Christmas dinners over the course of Emma and Killian’s lives mark the milestones of their relationship.

On A03



The first Christmas dinner they share she is 15 years old picking holes into a red and green striped vinyl tablecloth in the dimly lit basement of the local YMCA. There are crafts, and handmade paper chain decorations, and an earnest but slightly pathetic volunteer “Santa” in an ill-fitting suit handing out presents from a metal folding chair.

It should feel sad and awkward, these wayward orphaned children clutching their generic gendered gifts as if they are precious treasures, but the basement is warm and the kids are excited and Emma likes the lights.

It’s much better than her last Christmas at the Owen’s where the only gift she received was a bulk holiday card with a candy cane taped to it from her homeroom teacher, the same bulk holiday card each and every student received that day.

Her Christmas dinner that night hadn’t been too dry turkey covered in lumpy gravy and sticky stuffing but a microwaved bowl of Spaghetti-o’s and one solitary chocolate covered cherry she had saved special from the pack she lifted from the drugstore.

He is there with his volunteer older brother, his accent surprising, and his expression sheepish, but he offers her a warm smile and his blue eyes twinkle, and Emma blushes immediately, looking away.  Their elbows brush as they eat with plastic forks off compartmentalized festive red plastic plates and drink slightly flat, watered down, soda from green Solo cups.   

His name is Killian she finds out, as he shuffles, embarrassed to the front when his name is called to collect his gift, and he is just slightly older than her. He avoids her gaze as he plops into his seat, and picks at the paper but doesn’t open the gift, frowning down at it through thick dark lashes instead.

Anger flares in her belly.

Keep reading