Alison and Beth got out the car and walked to the house on a dark cold December night. They have just returned from dropping off Gemma and Oscar for their sleepover at Nanny Hendrix's house, and Beth was seriously looking forward to some alone time; she had been thinking about it all day at work. As they walked, Alison looked up at the roof with a sigh.
“Beth, you’re going to have to hurry up with the lights." Alison stopped walking to complain, shivering and warming herself up, rubbing her gloved hands. "I don’t want to be out-competed by Aynsley Norris like I was last year."
“Yes miss,” Beth rolled her eyes, saluting Alison. “Seriously though. How much is her electricity bill?” Beth pointed over to Aynsley Norris’ very festive house, covered in Christmas lights all over. Aynsley had gone the whole hog, as she did every year. There were not just simple multicolored Christmas lights on the house, there were also colourful greetings signs that illuminated 'Merry Christmas from the Norris household' and 'Happy Holidays'. She even went to the extreme of making her front lawn white and placing inflatable snowmen along the path to her house. Beth thought it looked hilariously good, but she couldn't justify spending that much money on decorations just to get new ones next year.
Alison tutted at Beth. Whilst she did have a point, the Christmas lights on Bailey Downs are a yearly tradition. Her house needed to look as good as the others. There's no way every other house in the neighborhood is neatly decorated with Christmas decorations and the Hendrix-Childs household isn't. They had a reputation to maintain, especially with Beth being the neighborhood detective. They needed to set a benchmark, to try and beat Aynsley Norris at her own game. “It’s only once a year,” Alison reasoned before tapping the bobble on Beth’s hat. “Now hurry up. I’m getting cold.” She shivered before walking up to the porch.
“I could warm you up if you want,” Beth smirked, quickly catching up to Alison and rubbing her body against her. Alison knew Beth was going to jump on her as soon as they got back; she was surprised she hadn't done so already. The way Beth looked at her in the car, rubbed her hand on her thigh and basically became even more of a distraction for the whole journey back made Alison worry she'd lose control of the wheel.
“Not here. There may be neighbors watching.” Alison quickly put her hands in her coat pocket to get the house keys. She didn't want to be staying long out here - it was very cold and Beth was being too touchy-feely for her liking. It's not that Alison didn't want her - she certainly did. It's just that she'd prefer Beth to wait until they're in the house. At least there they won't be peeked at through the curtains by the nosy neighbors.
“Who cares Ali,” Beth whispered in her ear, putting her hands on Alison’s waist and pulling her closer.
“Beth!” The silver house keys were dropped to the floor thanks to Alison’s clammy hands.
“Stop doing that!” Alison sighed and reached for the keys. She wasn’t quick enough though, as once she looked back up the keys were jingled in her face.
“I got them,” Beth said, a creepy smile on her face as she waved the keys. Alison moved away from Beth, who now leaned against the front door with a smug grin. She tapped her foot impatiently and folded her arms.
“Open the door.”
“Make me.” Beth bit her lip with a wink.
“Open the door, Beth,” Alison said tiredly, not in the mood for Beth’s jokes.
“Kiss me.” Beth gazed in adoration as she took in the sight of her wife. “Kiss me and I’ll open the door.” She soon closed her eyes in anticipation with a nerdy smile.
Alison shook her head with a smile before walking up to Beth and placing a kiss on her cheek, stealing the keys out of Beth’s loose grip.
“Hey! That doesn’t count!”
“Too bad. I’m freezing my tush off out here.” The keys were placed in the lock, opening the door.
“Woah!” Beth almost fell over as the door she was leaning against wasn’t there.
Alison squeezed past with an innocent smile and went straight to the craft room.
“Ali? Ali? Where are you?” Beth let out a sigh as she took off her winter coat and hung it up in the kitchen.
“In here!” Alison sat down at the table in the craft room, playing with her necklace worriedly. Beth soon walked in.
“Hey,” Beth said with a smile as she sat across from her. “What’s up? You seem a little...checked out.”
“I’m okay. It’s just there’s so much to do, with it nearly being Christmas,”
“I know. Which is why I,” Beth held Alison's hand and kissed her knuckles. “Wanna make you feel good.”
“I have things to do though,”
“They. Can. Wait.” Beth repeatedly kissed Alison’s knuckles before looking at her with a relaxed smile. She got up and walked close behind Alison again, putting her hands on her shoulder. “How about I,” Beth purred in a deep voice in her ear, which always seemed to drive Alison mad. “Pour you a nice, warm, bubble bath, order some takeout, and we can relax. I could massage your feet whilst we watch some crappy musical.”
“As much as I’d love to do that...” Alison leaned into Beth’s touch, slowly finding herself becoming convinced before she opened her eyes. “I really need to get things in check. Christmas is only a few weeks away and everything needs to be perfect.”
“I know, but come on,” Beth’s hands glided down to Alison’s waist. “We’ve got the house to ourselves.”
Beth just knew what makes Alison squirm, what makes her crazy. When Beth's lips pressed against her neck, Alison knew was a goner for sure.
“We could do whatever you want, wherever you want,” Beth mumbled against bare skin, her eyes closing as she let Alison’s perfume consume her. “In the kitchen, on the couch. In here...”
“Beth. I will hold you to all of them things later,” Alison nodded, her cheeks flushed at the sheer thought. “But first, I need you to do something for me.”
“Sit down here, and close your eyes.” Beth and Alison swapped places, and Beth sat down on the chair eagerly, eyes tightly shut.
“Yep.” She smiled.
“Now just wait there for one second.” Alison wagged a finger even though Beth couldn’t see. She tried hard not to show her amusement as she walked off and saw Beth smiling in the corner of her eye.
“Okay. One. Ali, you done yet?”
“No. Count to 5.”
“Uhh,” Beth made a pained noise. “One,”
“Keep going, Beth,” Alison replied from the next room, looking for her special equipment.
Alison quickly found the box she was looking for. Just what she needed to get the job done. She sauntered back into the craft room with a pleased smile. Beth heard her approaching and instantly became more impatient.
“Three-four five!” Beth shouted, quickly opening her eyes to be met with a loud slam of the box on the craft table. “What the?”
“That’s cheating. Count again,” Alison tutted, running around the room, reaching for her color-coordinated stationary supplies. Beth watched on with a confused smile.
“Alison, what are you doing?”
“Open the box,” Alison replied, not even looking at Beth as she searched for more things.
“You’ll just have to find out.” Alison turned around, a pair of pink scissors held close to her face. Beth shrugged and wondered what was inside the box.
Hmm, maybe Alison’s just playing coy. She likes doing that.
Beth’s eyes wandered from the box back to Alison, who was now on her knees on the floor, trying to look for something.
Yes. Beth zoomed in on Alison’s figure. A tease indeed.
“Are you just going to smile like a clown all day?” Alison groaned, shaking her head. “I know you’re staring at my ass.”
Beth’s eyebrows raised. Well, it looks like I’ve been caught out. Oh dear.
“How can you tell?” Beth smirked and folded her arms, still enjoying the view. Alison liked to grumble, but she secretly loved being ogled, so Beth thought.
“Because It’s you. You’re Beth Childs. You like asses.”
“You’re damn right,” Beth said her usual reply and Alison was not at all surprised to hear that response. It was slightly endearing - not when she used it all the damn time though.
“Yes. You like to hang around asses too.”
“You know I can’t resist you in them lululemons Ali,” A long sigh came from Beth’s mouth as she continued to observe Alison from afar. This may as well be torture. How can she walk around in lululemons and not expect me to be checking out her ass? Who even wears lululemons in the middle of winter anyway?
“That’s not what I meant,” Alison turned back around, waving the scissors back at Beth like pink scissors were going to be intimidating in any way. “I meant the people you hang around with are asses.”
“I know Art can be a bit of a hard-ass but he’s my partner. I have to work with him,”
“I’m not on about him. I’m on about your other friends,” Alison returned back to the table and sat down, not before wiping the invisible dust from her legs. Beth rolled her eyes.
“Hey, Mika isn’t an ass!”
“I wasn’t referring to her.”
“Cosima isn’t either!”
“Hmm, not really. She can be a clown though.”
“Fair point. But I thought you wanted to adopt her?”
“I was very drunk,” Alison placed a hand on her forehead and cringed when she thought of that night a few years ago when she had more than a sip of wine. “But it was your idea.”
“Not mine, Felix’s actually,” Beth reasoned with a smile before playing with some scissors on the table. “Mother hen.”
“Let’s have some mom and daddy time.”
“No. Just no. I blame that ass Sarah for all this.”
“But you love us all being a family.” Beth grinned, her teeth caught on her lower lip. Alison gave in and let herself return the smile. She did love all them idiots.
“A very weird family.”
“Auntie Felix, uncle Tony,” Beth began to snigger. “Lil' Diddy Mika.”
“Snotty smelly Sarah,” Alison thought of Sarah with a grimace. “She’s such an ass for no reason.”
“True, but you need to realize it’s only banter, Ali. She doesn’t mean much harm.”
“What about the time she babysat Gemma and Oscar and she called to tell us the central heating wasn't working when we had that heavy snow? I was expecting to come home to an ice rink and all I see is Rachel Duncan sat on the couch!” Beth laughed at how worked up Alison got over Sarah’s shenanigans. She couldn’t tell whether it was the event that was funny or whether she just thinks Alison is funny when she’s mad.
“To be fair, it was pretty funny,” Beth covered her mouth with her hand as Alison glared over. “Rachel didn’t even know what was going on.”
“I don’t mind if Rachel wants to come over here but coming home to her just sat on the couch and Sarah nowhere to be seen was...”
“Weird. Slightly scary.”
“I mean, it may as well have been an ice rink.” Beth giggled to herself. "What with Rachel Duncan the ice queen freezing up everything." Alison looked at Beth, unamused by her joke.
“Moving on now. I’ve got everything out, all the scissors and such. Open the box.”
“Is it sexy lingerie?” Beth asked with a smirk and a wink. “It’ll sure put them scissors to good use whilst I’m snipping them off of you.” Alison walked over and tried hard not to roll her eyes, choosing to play along with it.
“You’ll have to open the box to find out,” she placed a hand on Beth’s shoulder. Beth rubbed her palms together, eager to crack open the box.
“Ooh. Open sesame!” The lid of the box was lifted and Beth held it in the air as she looked at the contents inside the box. Her excited smile quickly turned into a confused frown.
“Correct.” Alison smiled, pointing to a large amount of Christmas cards in the box. “I’m going to be writing Christmas cards. Actually, we are.”
“I’m so late with them this year. They should’ve all been sent out by now!” Alison sat on the chair next to Beth and emptied the box. The stationary on the table was brought closer and a large basket of crayons was placed in the middle of them.
“Ali, can we not do this some other time? Like, when it’s not a Friday night and the kids aren’t at Nanny Hendrix’s?”
“You know how much of a handful Gemma and Oscar can be, especially when a certain someone doesn’t stick to their routine and gives them sweets and caramels.”
“Hey! They’re kiddos. They’re allowed a few candies now and again.”
“Less than 100 grams, Beth. The recommended serving.”
"Who even eats the recommended serving anyway?" Beth laughed, holding her hands up in the air with a shrug. It's true though - who stops eating pringles without getting at least a quarter of the way through the tube? Who settles on eating just one candy in a bag of possibly fifty candies?
"People who are watching their diets," Alison grabbed a plain piece of card and folded it before cutting out pictures of Christmas trees to decorate it. "I need to watch what they are eating. We need to. You're their mother too, Beth."
"I know, but c'mon they're allowed a treat every once in a while," Beth sighed, reluctantly picking up a piece of card and sprinkling blue glitter on it. "I like a treat too."
"You have treats every day. I don't know how you stay so fit with feasting at Dunkin' Donuts nearly every day."
"Well, Ali," Beth pointed to her biceps and showed off her toned muscles. "This is what peak performance looks like."
"You make me work for it," Beth winked and continued to spray glitter everywhere. "You and the police station."
"Beth what are you doing?!" Alison jumped into action and stopped Beth from shaking even more glitter on the card. "That's enough. Let me do it."
"I want to help." Beth sighed and felt useless as Alison snatched the card from her.
"They all need to be identical."
"What? How many are you even doing?"
"Well, I've got the whole of the neighborhood to send to. Oh, and the parents of all of Gemma and Oscar's classmates," Alison held her finger in the air as she remembered more people to send to. Beth's eyes widened. How many Christmas cards do we need to send?
"And there's Cosima and Delphine, Mika, Krystal, MK and Krystal,"
"Wait, why send MK and Krystal individual cards and then send them a couple card?"
"They're not a couple yet, but if we hint at it they might become one," Alison reasoned, gluing the Christmas tree to the piece of card. "Ooh, and we need to send some to Felix and Tony, Mrs. S and...maybe Sarah," she said with a shudder.
"Don't forget Rachel," Beth winked and gave Alison finger guns. "Helena, Scott, Jennifer Fitz..."
"And all of your work colleagues..."
"I'm not sending Art a card. Can you imagine his face when he opens it?" Beth exclaimed. Everyone knows that Art wasn't a lover of Christmas (or anything, for that matter.) It's no surprise that everyone called him the Grinch whenever Christmas rolled around at the station. Beth could just imagine Art's face if he was to receive a Christmas card (and he wouldn't be that amused.)
"Good point, but you should still send him one," Alison nodded whilst she made her custom Christmas card.
"Who's that one for?" Beth pointed.
"Aynsley. Get her out the way first," Alison said while writing the message in the card, the same one she wrote every year.
"Merry Christmas from the Hendrix-Childs household?" Beth read out the message Alison had just left in the card with a smile.
"Yep." Alison smiled as she put the lid on one of her favorite gel pens.
"How many have we got to do?"
"A lot, there's the list," Alison handed the list of names and addresses to Beth, whose eyebrows still raised even though she wasn't that surprised.
"Shit, we have all those to do?!"
"Language, Beth." Alison scolded her, wagging her finger in the air.
"The kiddos aren't even here," Beth sighed, pushing the list of names away and closing her eyes. "So, we're going to be here all night?"
"The longer you complain and distract me, yes," Alison put a sprinkle of glitter on Aynsley's card make it look nice. "But, if you co-operate and keep fairly quiet, it won't be too bad."
Beth huffed and rested her chin on her arms as she watched Alison decorate her cards. She soon spoke up after a few moments of staring.
"Can I not kiss you?" She groaned as Alison cut out more pictures of presents, trees, and snowmen to stick on cards. Alison stopped cutting for a moment and stared ahead, her cheeks slowly turning a light red.
"Why would you want to kiss me? All I'm doing is making cards." Alison laughed awkwardly as Beth continued to stare at her, not hiding it whatsoever.
"I wanna kiss you all the time Ali, especially now. You're so cute when you're doing crafts and when you're feeling passive-aggressive," Beth's comment made Alison give her a decent amount of side-eye. "At work, all I thought about was getting home and making you feel special, and kissing you."
Beth gave Alison the puppy dog eyes, her lips pouting as she stared back at her.
"Fine, I'll let you have a kiss." Alison gave in and smiled, leaning in to let Beth kiss her. But Beth didn't just want a quick peck, she truly went for it.
"Mmm, Beth. That's enough," Alison moaned and broke the kiss as Beth began to deepen it.
"Why though? You were clearly enjoying it."
"Yes, I did, but I need these Christmas cards finishing. The last thing I want is to be turned on while I'm writing a card to Sarah Stubbs..." Alison blushed as the pen shook in her hands whilst leaving the message for Sarah Stubbs. Her loopy handwriting became even loopier after the intense kiss.
"I turn you on?" Beth smirked and rested her head on the table, touching her lips to imagine Alison's still there.
"If you didn't, I wouldn't be with you."
The couple continued what they were doing. Beth gazed longingly at Alison, who continued to make cards and cross people off the list once they were done. When Beth offered to help, Alison swatted her hand away, so as not to waste all the glitter. Each card needed to be perfect, Alison couldn't allow for many errors. Beth wasn't the artsiest person out there. She certainly tried, but it just wasn't up to the standard the Hendrix-Childs household needed to set, as far as Alison was concerned. To Beth, a card was just a card. It's nice to give and receive them, but once Christmas is done, they're likely to go straight in the trash can.
Only the most memorable cards are kept, and Beth can't imagine many people keeping the Hendrix-Childs household's Christmas card (unless you're Sarah and you need new material to embarrass people at birthdays and other occasions.)
Just when Beth thought of Sarah, her phone began to buzz on the table.
"Who's that calling you on a Friday evening?" Alison asked with a hint of jealousy as she cut out more pictures. "Well?"
"It's Sarah." Beth rolled her eyes with a smile. Trust Sarah to call when Alison had just been complaining about her. She probably wants to go to Bobby's for a beer or something.
"Don't answer that," Just as Alison told her not to answer, Beth picked up the phone.
"Heeey Sarah!" Beth said with an uneasy smile as Alison glared at her, scissors still in hand. "How you doing?"
"Eh, alright. I'm fancying a beer at Bobby's. Wanna come?" Sarah asked and Beth wasn't surprised at all to hear that. Alison seemed to guess correctly too, as she put down her scissors and folded her arms. That, or she has amazing hearing.
"Uhh...." Beth looked at Alison and smiled uncomfortably. "I'm... a bit tangled up right now."
"What's Alison crapped her lululemons over this time?" Sarah joked and laughed down the phone. Beth shifted awkwardly and Alison cocked an eyebrow.
"Uh nothing, it's just we're otherwise engaged," Beth scratched her head as she thought of words to say.
"You're not rollin' in the hay are ya? If you are jus' hang up," Beth could hear the disgust in Sarah's voice down the phone and rolled her eyes.
"No. Okay fine, we're busy making Christmas cards."
"Christmas cards? You've gotta be joking right?"
"No, I'm not joking."
"Bloody hell. And here I was feeling sorry for myself. Making Christmas cards on a Friday night. Shite." Sarah once again laughed loud down the phone, and Beth was certain the phone may have accidentally been put on loudspeaker as Alison looked ready to explode. "Christmas cards are a load of bullshite."
"Listen, Sarah, if you're just gonna laugh at me, hang up. I'm not coming out with you, I'm spending the night with my wife." Beth cautiously looked towards Alison, who had seemed to have simmered down a bit but still looked very annoyed.
"Good luck with that. Don't worry, help is on the way."
Before Beth could reply, Sarah had hung up. Beth just knew that wouldn't be the last she'd be hearing of Sarah for the night, and it was no surprise when she turned up on the doorstep fifteen minutes later.
"You shouldn't have turned up."
"Oops, I kind of just have," Sarah butted past and walked into the house, holding a crate of beers. "Not like I was interrupting anything, right?"
"Sarah take your shoes off. You know Ali doesn't like shoes in the house."
"I'm not wearing silly slippers," Sarah shouted back and helped herself to use the bottle opener in the kitchen. "Where is Alison anyway?"
"Craft room of course. Where else," Beth sighed and grabbed a beer for herself before following Sarah down to the craft room. Alison was still in the same spot, finishing decorating her card to Mrs. Bowles.
"Hiya Alison. How're the cards going along?" Sarah took a seat at the table and giggled when she saw the stationary laid out on the table.
"Fine," Alison replied with a tight smile and got to work on the next card. "Where's Helena? How's Kira?"
"Helena's at kickboxing class. She seems to really be enjoying it there," Sarah smiled and had a sip of beer. "Kira's being babysat by Rachel at Charlotte Bowle's house."
"What's Rachel doing babysitting?" Beth laughed and offered Alison a beer. Alison shook her head, not really liking the taste and much preferring a glass of wine.
"She likes children actually," Sarah said, not taking offense and smiling. "I think she's thinking of working with children."
"Well, she deals with you enough," Alison spoke up, avoiding all eye contact whilst decorating another card. "You're more childish than Kira and Charlotte combined, what with your stupid pranks."
"Oh my god Alison, how many times do I have to apologize for that prank? If it makes it any better, Rachel was slightly mad too." Sarah put her hand on her forehead with a pained expression and Beth sat down next to her.
"How come Rachel was mad?" Beth nudged into Sarah, causing her to sway slightly on the seat.
"She thought she was comin' over for..." Alison looked at Beth, eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. Beth looked relaxed, almost like she was expecting it, and took a sip of her beer. Sarah stared at the glitter that covered the table, avoiding all eye contact. "Well, she wasn't expecting that."
"I bet she's thankful you didn't accompany her to babysit at Marion's then," Alison said sharply. All Beth and Sarah could focus on was the sound of the scissors cutting through paper. "Unless you had a prank in mind..."
"No," Sarah slowly replied after a short silence and the silence resumed. The sound of pencils and crayons against paper card were the only sounds audible in the room. "An' it's a bit hypocritical you callin' me childish while you're sitting there coloring in,"
Beth slowly lowered her face to make contact with the table, dreading what reaction would come out of Alison this time. Sarah loved winding Alison up, she got a rise out of seeing her angry for some reason. It was usually quite funny, but judging how adamant Alison is to finish these cards, Beth wasn't expecting much fun and games tonight.
She just knew Alison was annoyed though, as she watched her get up and push her chair in. "I'm going to get a glass of wine."
And, when Alison said she's going to get a glass of wine, it usually means the full bottle.
This is going to be an enjoyable evening.
Beth made sure to watch her walk off though. She couldn't miss a perfect opportunity to see Alison model the lululemons. Beth wasn't the only one watching either.
“Lululemons in the middle of winter?! Yep. She’s definitely gagging for it.” Sarah scoffed as she checked her out and took a sip of her beer.
"That's my wife's ass you're watching." Beth groaned.
"I wasn't watching Beth. Come on, you can barely miss it!" Sarah laughed and nearly knocked her beer over. "Totally not drawing any attention whatsoever."
"I guess you've got a point." Beth nodded and Sarah clinked their bottles together.
"Yep, she's definitely drawing attention to her arse. On purpose of course. I think she's just playing hard to get with all this Christmas cards shite," Sarah pointed to the pens and pencils scattered on the craft room table and chuckled.
"I doubt that. The Christmas cards are a yearly tradition, not another excuse to play hard to get or flirt or whatever you're going on about," Beth shook her head at Sarah and seriously wished she wasn't slowly getting drunk with Sarah Manning whilst her wife was angrily making Christmas card, highly likely to get drunk too.
"Well, you don't know with Alison Hendrix. You need a strategy guide to even have a vague idea of what goes through her head,"
Thankfully Alison didn't return until Sarah finished her sentence, but she probably heard all of it anyway. She came walking in with a glass and a bottle of wine and placed them on the table before sitting down and glancing at Beth.
"Hey, baby. Are you okay?" Beth cooed and Sarah winced in disgust. For the first time since Sarah had arrived, Alison had given her a small smile.
"I will be once these cards are done," Alison sighed as she looked at the work she had to do. Beth felt bad - it didn't look easy to put that much effort into making the cards, and making them for a lot of people. So, she did what she did best.
"I love you." She said and reached for Alison's hand.
"I love you too, Beth." Alison accepted Beth's hand with a smile. Their moment was cut short though when Sarah began to cough rudely. "I wanna help Ali. We want to help."
"Ya wha'?" Sarah almost choked on her sip of beer and actually coughed this time.
"Well, if you're wanting to help, you can start by cutting out these pictures," Alison smiled in Sarah's face and gave them the pictures and the scissors. Beth got to work and Sarah continued to stare at Alison with her resting bitch-face. "Chop chop!"
So they all got to work on the cards. Beth was pretty good with the scissors, whereas Sarah needed more guidance initially. Sarah didn't really do much art and preferred using spray paint. She did like flicking paint at Felix's face occasionally though. After Sarah finished cutting out another Christmas tree, she placed down the scissors.
“Why not just send out a group message? Add a few festive emojis, maybe the pile of shite one for Aynsley Norris then bam! Sent all your Christmas cards.” She said as she studied the number of completed cards on the table.
"A group message is not formal, Sarah. Christmas cards are traditional and it'd make us look lazy if others went to the effort of sending Christmas cards to us only to receive a text message in response." Alison replied, showing Beth where exactly to stick the pictures on the card. "Beth, turn it at a bit of an angle."
"Why not just buy a pack of cards and send them then?" Sarah said and stopped cutting again.
"It's less personal."
"Right." Sarah sniggered and reluctantly continued to cut the card.
"It makes us look good if we create our own cards," Alison reasoned.
"But how many cards are you sending?"
"To all the people on the list," Alison passed the list of recipients to Sarah, who stared at it closely.
"Where am I?" She frowned as her eyes trailed down the long list. Beth joined in to see where Sarah was.
"Shit Sarah, I don't think you're on there," Beth said and giggled when she saw the confused look on Sarah's face.
"Ooh look, Rachel's name is there though," Beth pointed out Rachel's name on the list with a grin. Alison started to giggle as she watched Beth tease Sarah.
"Where's my card?!"
"Looks like you're on the naughty list." Beth winked. Sarah shook her head.
"No, this can't be right. So you're sending a card to Marion Bowles who you barely know, but you're not sending one to me?!"
"I do know Marion Bowles actually," Alison said firmly but began to laugh again. "I bumped into her at the supermarket the other day."
"For what? Ten seconds? Where's my card?!" Sarah complained as she continued to trail through the list. "An' Grandma Kendall gets a card instead of me! She's my grandma!"
"She's everyone's grandma Sarah," Beth retorted and folded her arms. "She even said so herself."
"Plus she helps so much with the kids. Her cake recipes are amazing," Alison grinned and bit her lip when she saw Beth giggle again.
"I don't believe this," Sarah huffed and sulked, not believing she wouldn't be getting a Christmas card.
"I thought you said Christmas cards were 'bullshite'?" Beth said, poking Sarah's shoulder with a smirk.
"Well, they are... but-"
"No, you can't take it back now," Alison interrupted pointing a finger at Sarah and shaking her head. "That goes for you too, Elizabeth,"
"Woah what?" Beth stopped laughing to look at Alison with confusion. "Why me?"
Alison put down her glue stick and flicked her hair with a grimace. "You both think Christmas cards are worthless, and you can't lie, Beth. I know you think they're pointless and they just get shoved in the trash can. What about the children? What about the Christmas spirit? You're the Grinch, Beth. The Grinch! You're no better than Art Bell!"
Beth looked at Sarah, who looked just as shocked as she did because of Alison's sudden outburst.
"Uhh....okay. Yeah, I did think that, until I met you," Beth groveled as Alison watched on. "I met you and realized there's a reason for Christmas cards, to get into the Christmas spirit. For the kids, for...Bailey Downs!" Sarah held back a laugh as she watched Beth plead, who was now on her knees on the floor by Alison's side. Alison looked shocked yet pleased at the same time. "Please, forgive me? I'll do anything, even write a card to Art, just please don't let me sleep on the couch tonight."
Sarah chortled at Beth's expression of love and almost fell off her chair because she was too busy laughing. Alison put a hand on her chest and held Beth's hand.
"Aww, Beth," she replied, her voice warm. "I was only joking. But, you're still going to have to send a card to Art. Oh, and hand-deliver all the cards to every neighbor on Bailey Downs."
"Oh thank god. Wait, what?!" Beth shouted as she realized what exactly Alison had asked of her. "The whole of Bailey Downs? There's tons of houses here! It'll take forever!"
"Does that mean I'll be gettin' a card now? Considering we're forgiven?" Sarah asked with a small smile, looking at Beth who looked very annoyed.
"Hmm...we'll see. If you and Beth stop complaining and we can get to work on the rest of these cards, then maybe," Alison said with a delighted smile, continuing to write messages in cards.
Beth and Sarah looked at each other worriedly. They were in for a long night.
A long night it was. There were still more Christmas cards to make hours later, and Sarah was picked up by Rachel that night as there was no way she was staying any longer to write more cards. Luckily for Beth, sleeping on the couch that night wasn't an option. Things still didn't exactly go her way though, as Alison ended up falling asleep on the couch from the exhaustion of writing cards. The glasses of wine didn't help that much either.
The next day, all the cards were finally completed and Beth was rewarded for her hard work. It put a real spring in her step to get Alison relatively stable and back to normal after completing all of the Christmas cards. She wasn't looking forward to hand-delivering them to nearly every resident on Bailey Downs, but Alison said she can drag a few friends around with her to make the process a bit more enjoyable (Alison didn't volunteer herself as that would be tiring. She did plan to follow them in the car though, just to make sure they weren't slacking.)
Beth's first person on the naughty list, or a special helper, was Sarah. She even thought of roping Cosima in. Helena and Sarah were inseparable, so she'd have to come along too. Beth also thought of asking Mika to come along. She'd sure make a cute elf.
On Monday morning at the station, Beth giddily skipped through the doors and up to her partner and favorite grumpy person, Art Bell.
"What's got you so happy Beth?" Art asked with the same frown he wore every day, stood making himself a coffee at the machine.
"I'm just in the Christmas spirit," Beth replied, wearing her ugliest Christmas sweater for Christmas jumper day. Beth was in the Christmas spirit, but there was another reason she was so happy. Waking up to Alison did make her very happy, but the very late night the night before with Alison caused Beth to be a morning person this morning (there was also the surprise in the morning, thanks to Alison, that definitely made her a morning person.) Beth couldn't just say the word 'sex', she decided to be a little more conservative than she usually was, until she changed her mind. "And sex." Okay, she tried to be more conservative like Alison, but it wasn't gonna happen. At least she was being honest.
Art rolled his eyes. "Right," he grunted.
"Here." Beth handed him a white envelope with a smile.
"What's this?" Art looked at the envelope with curiosity.
"It's a card, dummy. Open it!" Beth jumped with a giggle and watched Art open the envelope with a bored expression.
"Hmm, very arty," Art raised an eyebrow as he saw the glued on pictures of Christmas trees and snowmen stuck at a crooked angle. The real surprise came when he opened the card and a clump of blue glitter fell out from the card and all over him. "What the?!"
"Merry Christmas from the Hendrix-Childs!" Beth shouted with a cheeky grin before running away to leave Art with the card and the mess on the floor.
"You little shit." Art mumbled and watched Beth run away, most likely to avoid the wrath of Hardcastle who'd most likely ask her to clean up the glitter and other mess that fell off the card. Beth ran off to see to her next victims, handing Christmas cards to an unsuspecting Angela Deangelis and Raj Singh.
All Art knew was that there was going to be a lot of cleaning up to do at the station, thanks to Beth Childs. Art took another close look at his card and noticed something he originally missed, the 'piece of shit' emoji. He immediately shook his head.
Beth Childs. You little shit.