A/N: This is for embroiderama because she sounded like she needed it.
Christmas Eve always made Elizabeth a little bit sad. Nothing bad had ever happened to put a damper on the holidays, she just got a case of the blues from time to time. Usually she could whisk it away with shopping, or Peter’s office party or a catered event, but this year it just settled in and wouldn’t leave.
Which was why she was sitting in the living room at 3:54 a.m. holding a cup of tea. All the lights were off except for the ones on the tree. It’s warm glow cast shadows throughout the house, but she really didn’t feel the holiday spirit.
She knew that tomorrow morning they would open presents. Peter would start apologizing for his gifts before she even tore a piece of the wrapping paper off. What he didn’t understand is that the worse the presents were, the better she liked them. It meant that he had tried to find the perfect things and even though they hadn’t worked, the love and effort he’d put in WERE the gifts.
This year would be a bit different because Neal was part of the equation. More presents under the tree, extra food that he’d helped her prepare, deflected questions when they went upstate to visit her parents. If someone had told her six months ago that she would have the two most incredible men in the world in her life, in her bed, in her heart, she would have laughed. Now she couldn’t imagine her days without them.
She heard a creak as one of those wonderful men padded softly down the stairs. She knew which one it was – cat feet versus confident stride. He took a seat on the couch and gathered her up in his arms. Resting his head on hers, he kissed her temple.
They were still. He asked no questions; expected no answers. Just offered a quiet, soothing balm of acceptance. Slowly a sense of peace surrounded her, banishing the melancholy.
“Come back to bed,” he said softly, after a time. He took her teacup, put it on the table and rose, drawing her up in his embrace. Taking her hand, he led her back upstairs to the warmth of their room, where her other love slept in blissful innocence