Title: Christmas Coffee
Note: Alternate universe because they needed a proper Christmas.
While he had never been much for Christmas, Diego did greatly enjoy one thing about the holiday season: It gave him the perfect chance to spoil his precious kitten without the effort of having to come up with a justifiable excuse. As such, he had taken the time to get out of the apartment after a case just to have the time to buy his lovely partner something special. He had even disguised the trip as one to buy more coffee, which he was in fact nearly out of at the time.
Now that it actually was Christmas and the two attorneys at last had a break for some time together, he was doing what he could to make sure that things went as planned. It just wouldn’t do to have Mia finding her gift before she was supposed to, so it was kept tucked safely away in a pocket. A pocket that happened to be part of an outfit reserved just for Christmas itself.
In place of the jacketless suit that he usually wore, Armando had donned something much more seasonal that still fell within the same vein of clothing. He still wore a red shirt, buttoned up the front, but the collar of this one was embroidered with chain of holly leaves and small bells. The cuffs were similarly adorned and his tie, while still black, bore images of reindeer and elves. The vest that was worn over the shirt was a dark green and had small points of holly here and there along its black pinstripes.
The morning passed fairly slowly, with much time spent reviewing cases that would be resumed as soon as the holiday ended. There was the occasional sign of affection shown, but never more than a momentary distraction for neither wanted to fall behind and wind up losing to the appointed prosecutors. A kiss here, a brief hug there while coming back from refilling his mug. They had both decided beforehand that they would work until lunch and spend the rest of the day celebrating.
Diego was getting up to refill his coffee mug once more when Mia rose at the same time and looked at him with a smile. “I think it’s about time for the promised gift exchange oh great coffee addict. You also said that you would do the cooking, yes?” Since they had met, Mia had grown into a fine, confident defense attorney, one good enough to rival her older mentor.
After quickly checking the time and giving his usual cocky laugh, the elder wrapped his arm around Mia’s waist and pulled her up against himself. He leaned down the short distance to claim a kiss before answering, “Of course, Kitten. You know I don’t go back on my word.” He grinned, meeting her eyes, before continuing. “You go ahead and get ready. I can take care of everything out here.”
It was a while later, while Diego was still laboring over their meal, that Mia emerged from the room they sometimes shared. When he looked up from his cooking to comment on how long she had taken, his haughty remark caught in his throat and his only response to the sight now greeting him was an appreciative chuckle. “Well aren’t you the stunning one, Kitten.”
Smiling as she shook her head, Mia mused, “Just don’t forget that this ‘kitten’ still has her claws. You’ve gotten yourself scratched before.” In the time that she had been away, the younger attorney had changed out of her usual outfit and slipped into a deep red dress that stopped just above her knees. Matching stockings patterned with stars covered the rest of her legs and a simple pair of shoes kept her toes covered.
Another appreciative chuckle and Armando nodded, returning his attention to the meal he was supposed to be preparing. It wouldn’t look too good on his part if he managed to burn one of the few things that he could actually cook well.
Lunch was a quiet affair for the couple. Light discussion, most of it about work and hopes for the next year, eating, and, on Diego’s part, much coffee. Here and there, something else would come up, but it usually slipped back into the void it had come from to allow them to resume their usual conversation.
It wasn’t until after they had cleared the small table they had sat at that gifts were pulled from their hiding places. A slender box from Diego’s pocket and a not so slender one from Mia’s closet, both wrapped in festive colors.
Smiling, he didn’t mind festivities after all, Diego led Mia over to their couch and allowed her to sit down before taking a seat next to her. He watched her quietly for a moment, once again noting her well-tailored dress, before asking, “Would you mind if you got your present second, Kitten? I’d love to let you open it first, but that would throw one thing off. Saying what would spoil the surprise.”
Returning the smile that she was faced with, Mia replied, “Not at all, Diego, but I really would prefer it if you used my name for a change.” She held out the brightly wrapped package for him to take before deciding to set it on his lap.
Tan features flickered with amusement as he carefully peeled the paper from the box holding his gift. His gaze shifted briefly from the box to Mia and back again before he worked the package open. Situated inside was a bag of coffee, a flavor that he hadn’t tried before, and a mug. He carefully worked a finger into the handle of the porcelain work and pulled it from the case to look at it properly.
Most of the mug, handle included, was white. On one side was a picture of a kitten that held a resemblance to Mia. Hidden on the bottom, where it would be less obvious when set down, was the signature of the artist and a small dedication reading: From your Kitten, Mia.
Diego chuckled and looked from the mug to his younger companion. “It’s a pity I’m only allowed my plain white mugs during the trials. This is such a treasure that it shouldn’t go to waste.” He leaned forward to set the gift on the coffee table, beside his current cup of coffee, where it wouldn’t get misplaced.
Now certain that he had gotten was safe, the elder held out his own gift for Mia to take. He watched quietly as she peeled the wrapping paper from the slender box and pulled the lid off. Her eyes lighting up at the sight of what lay inside the small package told him that he had gotten her something that she’d wanted and a warm smile settled onto his features.
Lying inside the box was a silver bracelet adorned with small charms, several shaped like the magatama worn beneath Mia’s usual scarf, and a slender chain bearing a pendant in the shape of a heart. The younger attorney carefully lifted the former from its position and examined it, nearly beaming with happiness. “Diego, these are beautiful…” She undid the clasp of the bracelet and strapped it on about her wrist, still looking fondly at the necklace.
While Mia had been distracted by her present, Diego had gotten up and move to stand behind the sofa. Laughing quietly to himself, he posed a simple query. “Do you want to wear it now or let it wait there for you?” Her response, aside from a slight jump at the unexpected location from whence his voice had come, was to place the necklace in his hand.
Carefully pushing brown hair out of the way, he draped the chain about Mia’s neck, carefully checking the clasp before pulling his hands away. Instead of moving around to where he could look and see how the pendant looked on his Kitten, Diego leaned forward and wrapped his arms about her shoulders and kissed her cheek. Smiling, he purred, “Merry Christmas, Mia.”
Title: Holiday Forgiveness
Note: Spoilers for T&T.
He rather liked it when it rained on Christmas Day. While others spent time visiting family and other loved ones, he had never gotten that chance. If things had worked out differently, he might have, but in the end, Diego Armando, hidden behind his more recently claimed alias of Godot, had no one to turn to for company on what should have been a cheerful day. Instead of spending it celebrating like most others, he made sure to visit her grave and leave several flowers before the headstone.
He stood silently before the marker, gazing at it through the visor he could only wish to have never needed, ignoring the light drizzle the grey sky had offered for the day. A simple hat kept moisture from shorting the vital circuits in the headpiece, allowing him to stay there, remembering what little time they had spent together.
He lay with his head resting on one arm, the other off to one side with a pen held loosely in his hand, where it had been when he had finally dozed off. It wasn’t a deep sleep; merely a brief needed one that he could easily be woken from. He had been working hard ever since the incident with Terry Fawles, often to the point where he would fall asleep sitting at the table they were laboring at.
At a quiet laugh and the presence of a gentle hand on his cheek, Diego opened his eyes and looked up at a familiar face. Mia Fey stood over him, smiling. “You don’t have to work so hard, you know. That’s not going to bring things to light any sooner for us.”
He pushed up from the table, giving a quick glance at the empty mug sitting off to one side, and grinned, playing things off as though he hadn’t even closed his eyes. “And leave a Kitten on her own to play with the lioness? That’s hardly my style, you know.” Diego turned towards the work scattered across the table and began to gather it up, placing things into several piles.
“You still need to sleep, though,” she reminded. “Unlike me, you have a case tomorrow, and need to be ready when it starts.” Brown eyes watched the familiar tan hands sort through the papers, knowing exactly what each sheet was without having to read it. “Besides, if you get sick, I’ll be on my own anyways, or be the one looking after you instead of the one receiving help.”
Diego laughed, looking up at the younger attorney from where he sat. “All right then, Kitten. You win. I’ll get some sleep for you.” He stood up from his chair, pausing briefly in his movement to claim a small kiss, and retrieved his mug. “But I do have one question. Could you have some coffee ready in the morning?”
Taking a step forward, Godot crouched down before the grave marker. He ran his fingers over the figures carved into the stone, memorizing the texture of the dark rock. Hidden eyes focused on the indentations, the name that he would never forget. Quietly, he spoke her name. “Mia…”
It had been a wonderful night, the two of them alone, taking a break from the research they had been doing for so long. The movie, dinner, the other activities that had followed… They had all been relaxing and comforting in their own ways. Now, as they lay together, Mia wearing a large shirt of his that was several sizes too big curled up against him, he watched her, smiling. The way she slept, to him, was beautiful. Her features were peaceful, hair splayed out behind her, and he couldn’t help but admire the woman that he had unexpectedly come to love.
For a long moment, he considered pulling the visor off, sacrificing his sight just to press his head against the cold stone before him. Instead, he remained motionless, fingers still splayed across the name. Water that was starting to build up on his hand slid down its back to further dampen the sleeve of his jacket, something that he hardly noticed.
He sat looking across the table, a triumphant grin stamped on his features. The menu lying before him went ignored as he spoke. “Well, Kitten, things have finally changed for the better. Our little lioness has agreed to meet with me to discuss what we’ve been working so hard on. She even gave a specific date and time for out little chat.”
Mia gave a brief exclamation before asking, “Is that why you wanted to have lunch together today? To let me know about her?” She held her copy of the menu, fingers idly playing at a corner. “It’s nice to see our effort finally start to pay off…”
Diego nodded and answered, “There was one other thing, Kitten. Something a little more important than Hawthorne.” He reached into a pocket, hesitating for the briefest of moments before pulling a small box out. He set it on the table, keeping his hand over it for several seconds. Normally confident and utterly assure, he for once found himself somewhat nervous. Finally, he slid the box across the table, stating, “You don’t have to rush for an answer, no matter how much I want one.”
Picking up the small black container, Mia watched Diego’s face. She opened the lid to look at the delicate ring housed in the box and smiled. Setting it down on the table, still open, while holding the ring in one hand, she said, “Diego, if you’re not expecting an answer, you should know better than to even make the offer.” She slid the ring onto one finger, still smiling, and added, “I couldn’t think of a better man than you to spend the rest of my life with.”
Godot pressed the top of his head, hat and white hair under it, against the tombstone. His hand, which had been lying atop the figures of Mia’s name, clenched into a fist where it was as he clenched his jaw. “I’m so sorry Mia. I wasn’t there to protect you when I should have been. We were getting too close and I fell right into her trap.”
There was a pause as he fell silent to regain his composure. It was still too soon to give up, to admit his fears. Trite was still there, doing his job despite having failed her.
Straightening his jacket, the prosecutor stood to his full height once more. He looked at the marker again, wishing that things hadn’t gone so wrong. “I still love you, Mia, and I hope that on today of all days that you might still be happy and forgive me for what I put you through…” With that, Godot turned away and walked off into the rain.