Secret Santa, Part III

Previously: Part 2, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas [U]

This is the final part of Yeeben’s Secret Santa gift and it may be the fluffiest fluff that was ever fluffed. If you have a low sugar threshold, you definitely shouldn’t read this.

* * * * *

Secret Santa, Part III: There’s No Place Like Home (For the Holidays)

Ashley opened the door to her suite, hardly noticing the breathtaking panoramic view it afforded, and slumped down onto one of the chairs. The rest of her band and crew were in RAIN, the Palms’ nightclub, celebrating the end of the tour. Ashley had shown her face long enough to be polite, before heading back up to her room. So much for her rockstar image!

She was seriously considering getting herself a drink from the wet bar when the phone rang. She knew that her sister was the only person who’d call her at this time, probably just to check that she was okay. Leaning over, she picked it up and answered, “Hey, Kyla.”

“I am not going to dinner with you!” an irate voice exclaimed down the phone.

“Spencer!” Ashley replied grinning. “How did you get this number?”

“One of the many members of the press who have been accosting me outside the hospital since your little three-ring circus yesterday was only too happy to tell me which hotel you were staying at.”

“And they put you through?” The hotel staff were under strict instructions not to put any calls through, ever.

“Apparently, the staff at your hotel also know who I am and felt that you’d probably make an exception for me,” the blonde continued, still obviously angry.

Ashley had to stop herself from giggling with child-like glee. “They were right. I would definitely make an exception for you.”

“Look, I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this, but this is not funny. This is my job. The nurses and the doctors can’t come and go without being asked about you or, worse, about me. They called my parents, Ashley. My parents! And the hospital management have asked me to take a leave of absence so that they can get back to treating sick people without having to fend off photographers and reporters.”

Ashley grimaced. Kyla was right: she had probably not thought this through properly. “I’m really sorry,” she mumbled.

“Sorry?” Spencer shouted. “You’re sorry? You turn my life into some kind of freak show and that’s all you can say? That you’re sorry?”

“Well, if you come to dinner, I can apologise in person.” Ashley knew that it was probably the wrong thing to say, but it was out of her mouth before she could stop herself.

“You’re kidding? You seriously think that I would go out with you after all of this?”

“Did you get the flowers?” the singer asked, trying to change the subject.

“How could I miss them? You must have cleaned out every florist in a five-mile radius. Every ward in the hospital has some of them now.”

“Did you like them?”

Spencer sighed heavily. “Look, Ash, I’m really very flattered by all of this. Or, at least I was before you decided to ruin my career. But this can’t happen, for all the reasons I gave you before and about a million other reasons besides.”

Ashley smiled. She’d used the nickname again, probably unconsciously. Despite what Spencer was saying, Ashley was sure that it signified something important.

“What if I was just a normal person?” Ashley pressed. “Just any other patient who’d come through your ER?”

“But, you’re not just a normal person. You’re you. And I’m a doctor, not some groupie.”

“But you would?”

“This is a pointless discussion,” the blonde sighed. “I’m asking nicely for you to leave me alone.”

“I don’t think I can do that, Spence.”

“Goodbye, Ashley.”

And with that, she hung up.

* * * * *

Ashley decided to look on her less-than-encouraging phone call with Spencer as a minor hurdle and resolved to find a better way to get through to her. She was pretty sure that she had had an affect on the blonde, and not just one of irritation.

Her first thought had been to check into the Saint Gregory, as she had planned, but Kyla reminded her that the press would most likely be camped out there, waiting. Instead, Kyla called in a few favours and found Ashley an apartment in an exclusive building in Nob Hill that one of the record company executives had bought as an investment, intending to rent it out.

Kyla had also insisted that they release a statement, stating that Ashley’s intention had merely been to show appreciation for the medical care that she had received and apologising for any inconvenience that she had caused St Bartholomew’s and the Carlin family, asking also that the press leave both the doctor and her hospital alone. Secretly, Ashley had also arranged for a sizeable donation to be made to the hospital as both apology and thank you, although she had insisted that detail was left out of the press statement.

The next stage of the plan to throw the press off the scent was to extend the stay at the Palms for Ashley Davies and her extended entourage, who were only too happy to have some extra days’ vacation at the boss’s expense. She even stayed the weekend and made sure that she was seen by sufficient people so that the press got the message that she had not gone to San Francisco and was emphatically not at the Saint Gregory.

Ashley stopped calling Spencer and sending flowers. She would have done that anyway, however; she genuinely felt bad about the impact that she’d had on Spencer’s career.

Three days was a lifetime in the ever-changing cycle of celebrity gossip, so, by Sunday, the press in the Palms had thinned out considerably; most of them had moved on to better, more obviously interesting stories, and only one or two print journalists, who had longer deadlines than the TV media, remained. Kyla suspected that they were just using Ashley as an excuse to get a couple of extra days in Vegas. Her loyal band and crew, however, planned to continue to visit Ashley’s suite after she had left, to maintain the charade that they had merely decided to keep the party going all the way through to Christmas.

Some discrete phonecalls from Kyla to the St Bartholomew’s senior management confirmed that the press were now gone from the hospital site as well and that Dr Carlin had been told she could return to work on the Monday.

On Monday morning, at some godawful hour, Ashley went down to the Palms parking garage, where a delivery van, driven by one of her roadies, whisked her all the way to Jean, Nevada, on the border with California. There, another friend of Kyla’s was waiting with a nondescript sedan for Ashley to borrow. She took the I-15 and then the I-5, careful to remain within the speed limit for her eight-hour journey. The last thing that she needed was a speeding ticket from some over-zealous Highway Patrolman to spoil her plans. Although she was tired and hungry, she couldn’t risk stopping for a proper meal on the way. Mick, her capable roadie and getaway driver, had, however, told her about a couple of rest areas which were usually pretty quiet and had some restrooms and vending machines, but not much else in the ways of amenities. She didn’t think that a Coke and a bag of Cheetos had ever tasted so good.

She eventually found her Nob Hill hideaway late in the afternoon. It was somewhat sparsely-decorated, definitely to a man’s taste, with chrome and leather predominating, but it was more than she needed. She knew from Kyla that Spencer would be working the swing shift, so wasn’t likely to get off shift until around midnight. With nothing better to do for the moment, she sat down on one of the leather couches and planned what she might say when she met the blonde again.

Around 11pm, she started heading towards St Bartholomew’s and, as she was navigating her way through downtown San Francisco, it suddenly occurred to her that she didn’t know if Spencer drove to work or took the cable car. This was when Ashley had what she liked to think of as a stroke of genius. Pulling into an almost-deserted level of the visitors’ parking garage, and flipping out her cellphone, she got the number for the ER from directory assistance and left a message for Dr Spencer Carlin to the effect that her sister was unexpectedly in town on business and was waiting for her on level three of the parking garage. Feeling inordinately pleased with herself, she reclined her seat a few notches and waited for Spencer to appear.

* * * * *

Ashley was awoken by a sharp knocking on the window of her car. Bleary-eyed, she looked at her watch and saw that it was past three in the morning. Turning her head, she saw Dr Spencer Carlin in her familiar blue scrubs, but with a jacket worn over them, leaning against a nearby pillar, her arms folded over her chest.

Ashley got out of the car and leaned against its driver’s door.

“I don’t have a sister,” Spencer commented, sounding very weary.

“Oh. Why did you come, then?”

“Somehow, I knew it was you.” The blonde examined her fingernails, picking at an imaginary piece of dirt. “I thought you were supposed to be in Vegas. I read all about how you stood me up in favour of a week-long party in the papers yesterday.”

Thus far, this was not going as Ashley had hoped. All the smart and funny things that she had thought of to say that afternoon had completely vanished from her head. She could see that Spencer looked tired and, judging by the time, figured that she’d had a hard night of it. She was gripped by an entirely uncharacteristic desire to sweep the blonde up into a large hug and soothe away all the tension that she saw.

“I had to see you,” Ashley finally replied.

Spencer massaged the bridge of her nose between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand. “Ash, did I not ask you the other day to leave me alone?”

The brunette nodded sadly, even as she allowed herself a tiny bit of hope from Spencer’s constant use of her nickname.

“And, yet, here you are, at my workplace, on my first day back from an enforced vacation caused by you?”

Ashley just shrugged and repeated, “I needed to see you.”

“Why? What is it that I have done to deserve this… whatever this is?” Spencer looked defeated, and Ashley’s heart contracted with pain.

The brunette shrugged again. “I can’t explain it.”

“Fine, Ashley. Look, I don’t know if this is all just some big game to you. I’m just…” She shoved her hands into her jacket pockets, stamping her feet on the concrete ground to try to generate some heat. “I have had a really long day – a really shitty day, in fact – and the last thing I need is some… celebrity stalker who thinks that they can bully me into dating them by sending flowers and asking me out in front of the national press. Maybe that works for you, but it certainly doesn’t work for me and I really don’t understand why you’re picking on me, when I have quite specifically asked you not to. Please just stop with all of this.”

The blonde turned on her heel and started to walk back towards the elevators, when Ashley instinctively dashed after her and grabbed her arm, spinning the startled doctor around to face her.

“Spencer, this is not going to make any sense to you,” she began, knowing that she had to do everything in her power to stop the blonde from leaving, no matter how foolish it made her look. “I know it doesn’t make any sense to me, but, the second that I met you, the instant that I saw you, I knew that you were the one. Not that you were just beautiful or attractive – which you definitely are, by the way, don’t get me wrong there – but that you were it for me. I’ve never felt that way before and I know that I’ll never feel that way again. I don’t even believe in love, never mind love at first sight, but I knew that I had fallen in love with you. And, when you spoke, I knew that yours was the voice that I wanted to hear for the rest of my life. And, when you laughed, I knew that I wanted to be the one who made you happy and that there wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t do just to make you laugh again.”

She paused for a deep breath and tried to ignore the fact that Spencer was staring at her in stunned amazement, almost horror, before ploughing on. “Since I had my whatever it was that I had, the only thing that has made any sense, the only shred of my life that seems to be real, is this feeling that I have for you. I feel like we must have known each other in another life, because I have these… I don’t know… memories or fragments or something of us being together. And I feel like this is my second chance with you, even though I honestly don’t know how we could have had a first chance when we only met ten days ago.”

“And I know that I sound crazy and you’re probably thinking that maybe I did have a major psychological break or severe head injury or something, but all I am asking is that you give me a chance.” She was running out of arguments and Spencer wasn’t looking any less horrified. “So, maybe, you would just let me buy you a cup of coffee and we could get to know each other again or for the first time and we could see if I’m truly certifiable or if I’m right. Because I truly believe, with all that I am, that I am so right about this, Spencer.”

The blonde continued staring at her without speaking, then slowly pulled her arm from Ashley’s grasp and started to turn away again toward the elevators. This time, when Ashley spun her around, she didn’t bother with words. She reached up and cupped the blonde’s face in her hands and kissed her with every ounce of feeling that she possessed.

It was less than a second before she felt Spencer responding and suddenly the kiss was consuming her. Having been the aggressor, she was surprised when it was Spencer who grasped her by the hips, hauling her closer, and that it was Spencer who parted her lips, inviting Ashley’s tongue within.

As they kissed, Ashley was once again assaulted with many images of her and Spencer – younger, happier, in love – and she had the distinct feeling that Spencer could see them, too: that, somehow, some of these were Spencer’s memories and not hers, and that made even less sense to her. She moved her hands from Spencer’s face to inside the blonde’s jacket, wrapping her arms around her waist, as she moaned softly into the mouth that was so urgently pressed against hers.

She was suddenly thrust away, almost violently, and Spencer stared at her, her breathing coming in large gasps. The blonde started shaking her head.

“This isn’t… This can’t… This is just too weird, Ashley. I can’t do this.”

This time, Ashley was too shaken to stop her. She just watched meekly as Spencer stepped into the elevator and the doors closed, ushering her away and out of Ashley’s life.

* * * * *

After what had happened, Ashley couldn’t face seeing anyone. She called Kyla the following morning to check that it was okay for her to stay on for a few days in the borrowed apartment. She refused to tell her sister any of the detail of what had happened with Spencer, but Kyla had immediately gathered that her sister was distraught. Kyla argued against the idea of Ashley being on her own and only relented when Ashley agreed that Kyla could come over on Christmas Day so they could at least have their holiday meal together.

She spent the whole of the twenty-third holed up in the apartment, weeping her heart out. She often looked out of the windows, so that she could see St Bartholomew’s, feeling that it somehow that kept her close to Spencer, but she knew that it was nothing but a fanciful idea.

By Christmas Eve, she had started thinking about ways that she could make things right, but she didn’t even know where to begin. The woman that she knew she was in love with was horrified by her, thought she was some kind of freak, felt humiliated by her. It was late in the evening when Ashley was aware of her stomach grumbling and realised that she hadn’t eaten in close to two days and that she was suddenly ravenous. Feeling the need to get out of the apartment and get some fresh air, she decided to walk until she found somewhere suitable.

Walking down Powell in the direction of the Bay and Fisherman’s Wharf, she was surprised to see that the cable car was still running, despite it being Christmas Eve. She walked past several restaurants, which were full of happy people in the festive spirit. Several of them wore silly hats or were wreathed in garlands of tinsel. She was struck by the feeling that she had somehow done this before, but she struggled to associate that feeling with an actual memory; she was getting used to that, however.

Looking up a side street, she noticed a small diner that appeared to be quiet; there were certainly no people sitting by any of its windows. Heading towards it, she noticed that the street, unlike most of the others in the vicinity, was almost deserted. That seemed strange for this time on Christmas Eve but, then, she didn’t really know San Francisco that well apart from a couple of hotels she normally stayed in while on tour.

Stepping inside the diner, she was overwhelmed by yet another feeling of deja vu. She looked over at the young waitress behind the counter, who indicated that she should sit wherever she fancied and that she’d be right over with coffee and a menu.

“That’s okay,” said Ashley. “I’ll have the steak and eggs special.” As she sat down in a booth near the back corner, she wondered why she’d ordered that when, normally, she would have picked something healthier. She smiled at the waitress as her coffee was poured and thanked her.

“Don’t I know you?” asked the waitress.

“No, I don’t think so,” Ashley said, hoping that the young woman wasn’t a fan who’d want her to sign something.

“I’m sure we’ve met somewhere before,” the young woman affirmed.

Ashley chuckled mirthlessly. “That’s usually my line.”

“What’s that, honey?” asked the waitress.

Ashley shook her head. “Nothing. It’s nothing. Thanks again for the coffee,” she said, picking up the cup and sipping at the hot drink.

She didn’t notice as the waitress made her way towards the back of the diner to have a quick conversation with an older man with a well-trimmed beard and close-cropped snowy white hair, nor did she see the man pull on his red hat and slip out the back door.

* * * * *

Spencer zipped up her jacket against the wind that was sweeping in from the Bay. She normally drove to work in the winter, but, this morning, she had felt like riding the cable car. That was fine on a bright and crisp December morning, but now seemed less of a good idea in the cold night air.

Rubbing her arms with her hands, she crossed the street and headed in the direction of the nearest stop. Her attention was caught, however, by the sound of a bell ringing and a booming voice calling out, “Merry Christmas.”

Turning in the direction of the noise, she saw a Santa Claus on the street corner, with a collection bucket in front of him. Checking her watch, she saw that it was well past eleven. She fumbled in her backpack for her wallet and pulled out a ten.

“You’re working late tonight, Santa,” she noted. “Don’t you have somewhere else to be?”

Up close, Spencer could see that his suit was perhaps the finest she had ever seen. It was a deep red velvet, with shiny silver buttons and what looked like very bushy fur trim. His hat was equally as impressive. He almost looked like the real thing.

“No, Miss, the elves have everything in hand. I just have one more important job to do and then I can get on with my deliveries.”

Spencer chuckled. His voice even sounded as you would expect Santa’s to be: warm and rich and full of good humour.

“So, what can old Kris Kringle get you for Christmas, in exchange for your generous donation?” he asked, just as Spencer was about to step away.

“Nothing, Santa. I have everything I need already.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, searching her face. “And you can call me Kris, by the way. All my friends do.”

Spencer just shook her head and replied, “No, Kris, I’m sure. But thank you for asking anyway.”

She was heading in the direction of the cable car stop when she thought she heard him ask, “But what about what she wants?”

Turning around, Spencer stared at the old man. “I’m sorry. What did you just say?”

He smiled. “I said, ‘What about what she wants?’ Your young lady, I mean.”

This was becoming very surreal. “My what?”

“Your young lady. Ashley,” he added helpfully.

Spencer was outraged. “I don’t believe her! Has she put you up to this? How much is she paying you?”

Kris looked offended. “She’s not paying me anything. Well, unless you count the dinner she bought me in Seattle.”

“Seattle? You met her in Seattle? And when was this?” Spencer thought back to Ashley’s delusions about having been in Seattle and wondered if the fantasy had become so real for her that she had paid this man to become part of it.

The older man laughed. “Oh, time is such a relative thing in my job. It was nearly two weeks ago, but it was in a different lifetime.”

“You’re not making any sense, Santa. And I’m not falling for another of her ridiculous ploys.”

“Please, call me Kris, Spencer, and I promise you that Ashley doesn’t know that I’m here. In fact, if you ask her, she won’t even remember meeting me, but she did. She has a very generous soul, by the way, although she tries to hide it. And all she did was talk about you.”

Spencer frowned and rubbed her forehead. This conversation was making her head really hurt. “I didn’t meet Ashley till the following day.” She sighed. Even she was starting to buy into this nonsense. “The day after she thought she’d been in Seattle, that is. How could she talk about nothing but me when we’d never met?”

Kris shook his head. Young people, these days, had lost that sense of wonder and magic that used to be so easy to conjure. “You don’t really believe that you’ve never met her before, Spencer. If you look inside yourself, you’ll see that.”

She opened her mouth to protest, when she thought back to the kiss she had shared with Ashley in the parking garage, that incredible kiss that she had been trying to pretend hadn’t really happened the way that she knew it had. She could see the images in her mind of Ashley and her – maybe a different Ashley and her – laughing together and holding hands and waking up together. She had told herself that they had been random flashes of a future that she had known they would not have together, but she could sense now that they were not.

“I don’t understand,” she said.

The old man came to stand next to her, putting a comforting arm around her shoulder. “She needed a second chance, Spencer. She belongs with you. She needs you. She loves you. And it’s the same for you. You were meant to be together.”

“A second chance? What happened?”

Kris squeezed her shoulder. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can be together now.”

Spencer hadn’t even been aware that she had started crying until she reached her hand up to wipe away her tears. “No, I can’t. I.. I sent her away. I don’t even know where she is.”

She felt the older man use the arm around her shoulder to turn her towards the side street. Spencer couldn’t remember ever having noticed the street before, or the diner that she could see a few hundred yards away, even though she must have passed it every day since her residency began. Turning to look up at the man in the red hat, Spencer saw him nod and felt him push her in the direction of the diner. She’d only walked a few steps when she broke into a run, dashing towards the little restaurant, and pulling the door open.

There, in the back corner, looking miserable and sipping a coffee, was a crying Ashley.

As the bell above the door tinkled, Ashley looked up and stared in disbelief. She was even more stunned when Spencer rushed over towards her and pulled her out of her seat, wrapping her arms around the brunette and kissing her.

“I thought you’d gone,” Spencer murmured between kisses.

“I couldn’t leave,” Ashley mumbled, her hands furiously working their way inside the blonde’s jacket so that she could clasp the girl even tighter.

They stood there, swaying together, kissing and murmuring for minutes on end. Ashley had never felt happier in her life and still couldn’t believe it was real. Much as she did not want to drag her mouth away from the blonde’s, especially when Spencer was making such encouraging little moans and whimpers, she had to know.

Pulling back, she whispered, “What happened?”

Spencer laughed through her tears, leaning her forehead against the brunette’s and looping her arms over Ashley’s shoulders. “I met a friend of yours, Kris. He told me that you belonged to me. That I belonged to you.”

“I don’t know anyone called Kris,” Ashley said, confused.

Spencer kissed Ashley’s cheeks and nose and forehead. “He said you’d say that. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I love you.”

Ashley grinned. “Say that again.”

“I love you,” Spencer whispered in her ear, taking the opportunity to suck Ashley’s earlobe into her mouth and bite gently with her teeth.

Ashley moaned. “Again.”

“I love you.”

The sound of a throat being cleared alerted them to the fact that they weren’t alone. Spencer buried her face in Ashley’s neck, while Ashley addressed the waitress standing behind the blonde.

“I’m sorry. We’ll, uh, go.”

The waitress smiled. “I wouldn’t normally rush you, but it’s nearly midnight and I have places to be. It’s Christmas Eve, you know.”

“Oh, I know,” replied Ashley, hugging the blonde even tighter. Reluctantly, she let Spencer go and picked up her jacket. “How much do we owe you?”

The young woman shook her head. “For two lovebirds on Christmas Eve? It’s on the house!”

“No, you must let me pay you,” Ashley argued, feeling Spencer move next to her and take her hand. She squeezed the hand that held hers. Nothing had ever felt so perfect.

“Nonsense! I cashed up while you were.. uh…”

Ashley flushed red. She saw for the first time that the waitress had changed out of her uniform and was wearing a simple green dress, with a red coat folded over her arm. She must have been kissing Spencer longer than she thought. “Yeah, sorry about that.”

“No, no, don’t ever apologise for being in love,” the young woman cheerfully admonished, as she was ushering them out the door. Spencer was already out on the street and Ashley was just closing the door when the young waitress called out Ashley’s name.

“What?” Ashley replied, sticking her head back into the diner, pulling on Spencer’s hand to keep the girl close enough so that she didn’t have to let go.

“Don’t lose her this time.”

Ashley just nodded and shut the door behind herself. She was walking away, still holding Spencer’s hand, when she suddenly came to a halt.

“What?” the blonde asked, wrapping her arms around her girlfriend and nuzzling her neck.

“How did she know my name?”

Spencer burst out laughing against Ashley’s neck and pulled back to stare at her. “Everything that’s happening in the last two weeks and you think the strange thing is that the waitress knew your name? You are, you know, kind of famous.”

“Oh. Yeah,” Ashley replied, suddenly feeling stupid and letting Spencer pull her back onto the main street which was full of Christmas revellers and bustling with traffic. “Where are we going, by the way?”

Spencer shrugged. “Where do you want to go?”

Ashley looked all around and pulled Spencer closer, growling into her ear, “Somewhere a lot more private than this.”

“Are you saying that you want to have your wicked way with me?” the blonde exclaimed. The fact that she was nibbling on Ashley’s neck as she said it somewhat detracted from her message.

The singer nodded happily and stroked the back of Spencer’s head. “For the rest of our lives, Carlin.”

Spencer laughed and pulled back, kissing Ashley lightly on the lips. “Then, by all means, let me show you my apartment. It has a nice big bed that I think might interest you.” Spencer started to walk up the hill when she realised that Ashley hadn’t moved.

“I’m not joking, you know. I mean it. I’ll move here and, I don’t know, give up touring or whatever. I love you and I want to marry you – possibly in Canada now that it’s not legal here anymore – and I want to wake up with you every day and be -”

Her words were cut off by Spencer kissing her soundly once more. As she felt the blonde writhing against her in a way that was, at once, entirely familiar and yet completely new, she moaned softly into her girlfriend’s mouth.

“Ashley,” Spencer cautioned, “you have to learn when to stop talking. I’m not letting you get away from me ever again. We’ll figure something out. Now, will you, for the love of God, shut up and take me to bed or, so help me, I will take you here on the street?”

The brunette felt her heart swell with pride and she wanted to shout out to the whole world, “This is Spencer Carlin and she’s mine!” But instead, she shouted, “Crap!”

“Crap?” Spencer echoed.

“It’s Christmas. I’ve got Kyla coming in the morning. How do you feel about Christmas with me and my sister in my hideous borrowed apartment? Or, are you working?”

Spencer shook her head. “No, I’m not working, but I don’t think much of that idea.” She was about to elucidate further when a cable car approached. Fearing it might be the last one of the night, Spencer urged, “Quick, Ash, jump on.”

Ashley was still so stricken by Spencer’s previous comment that the blonde was forced to start bodily dragging her new girlfriend towards the cable car and almost pushed her onto the moving vehicle.

As Ashley held onto one of the cable car’s poles, Spencer slipped her arms around Ashley’s waist from behind, pulling the brunette as close as possible.

“I think,” Spencer murmured between soft kisses along Ashley’s neck, “that you should call your sister quickly – and I mean very quickly – when we get back to my apartment and you should invite her to Christmas dinner with us.”

Ashley had to bite her lip hard to suppress a moan when she felt Spencer’s hand slip inside her jacket and under her top to rest flat against her abdomen, the blonde’s slender fingers slipping just inside the waistband of Ashley’s jeans. At the same time, she felt Spencer’s teeth digging into the soft skin below her ear. She hadn’t had a hickey since she was a teenager, but she couldn’t have been more delighted.

“But make sure you tell her not to get there too early,” Spencer added huskily. “Rest of our lives or not, I intend to show you repeatedly just how much you’re mine, in ways you’ve never even dreamed of.”

Ashley wrapped her hands over her girlfriend’s arms and whispered, “You did hear the bit where I proposed to you, didn’t you, by the way? Before you shamelessly molested me on the street.” She felt, rather than heard, Spencer’s chuckle in her ear, which caused a ripple of desire to make its way through her body.

“I’m saving my yes for when you come back with a ring and ask me properly,” the blonde whispered back. She tightened her hold on the smaller brunette in front of her. “I’m giving you a week.”

Ashley’s response was muffled as the sound of sleigh bells echoed out across the night sky and a very clear “Ho! Ho! Ho!” could be heard. Everyone in the cable car leaned out to see if they could see Santa on his sleigh, but there no indication of where the sound had come from, nothing to see.

As the passengers muttered among themselves, Ashley leaned contentedly back into her girlfriend’s embrace and regarded the night sky. “Do you think it was really him?”

Spencer nodded as she followed Ashley’s line of vision. “I know so. But, it’s okay, he’s already brought me my gift.”

“Me, too,” Ashley agreed. “Me, too.”

* * * * *

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  1. iocaste
    Posted 28 December 2008 at 5.57pm | Permalink

    Awwww! That was fluffier than fluff!
    So adorable! Yeeben you lucky gal!
    And I loved aggressive Spencer…mmmmm!!!
    Thanks Dev :P

  2. BLB
    Posted 28 December 2008 at 6.04pm | Permalink

    Sorry I didn’t get a chance to comment on the second part.

    You were so right about this being the fluffiest of fluff. I loved the last half of this so much, I’ve reread it three times already. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the first part mind you.

    I love how Spencer just accepted what Kris was telling her once she stopped denying what she already knew. The part on the streetcar was adorable when Ashley misunderstood Spencer’s reaction to the invitation for Christmas.

    Thanks for writing this story, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. clomle4
    Posted 28 December 2008 at 11.51pm | Permalink

    This might be the cure for near fatal coughitis

    that or tablet.

    I don’t know.

    can I have some dev smut and see which works best?

  4. Ringo
    Posted 29 December 2008 at 1.57am | Permalink

    *squees and hugs everyone in the room*

    Awww…so many things I could say, and all I can think of is….

    *squees and hugs everyone again*

  5. Heart-san
    Posted 29 December 2008 at 5.27am | Permalink


    Awsome ending!

  6. yeahbutno
    Posted 30 December 2008 at 11.05am | Permalink

    Saint Gregory’s is that show…with that Brolin guy…..errrrrr maybe Hotel?????

    [Correct. Hotel with James Brolin.]

    And St Bart’s does exist, I used to work around teh corner from it…..and know what? it doesn’t have an A&E/ER department, used to make me wonder what would happen if I suffered an injury at work…..cause that might happen….in my line of work!

    [Your St Bart’s exists, but there’s no St Bart’s in SF and Spencer’s hospital should in no way be confused with that fine London NHS institution.]

    Ok Dev THAT was an AWSOME SS and a stand alone fic, Ash was a bit of an arse but I fricken loved her!!!

    The scene in the carpark, I knew that Spence would cut and run!!!

    And as ever Nob Hill makes me giggle, I KNOW it is a real area of SF and I know why it is called that but anyways it makes me giggle.

    God Bless Kris Kringle huh!

    When Spence ran in I had a bloody tear in my eye.

    And ohhhhh the cable car and the sleigh bells made me *sigh*

    And only a week and already getting married!!! CUTE!

    Awwww THANKS Dev that was so fricken fluffy and sweeter than any tablet.

    I will leave the swede’s comment after she reads it later this week.

  7. Wicked1
    Posted 30 December 2008 at 11.38am | Permalink

    Awww, that was cute and sweet. Nothing wrong with a lil X-mas magic. That was a good little holiday fic. Surprisingly there wasn’t an influx of christmas spashley fics this month, I think its because everybody is still depressed that SoN is over

  8. Tootsies
    Posted 9 July 2012 at 9.09pm | Permalink

    I saw this but kept on passing because…… I don’t know. I just didn’t want to read it. But… wow. What an interesting piece of plot. When I read part 1, knew that Spencer’s dead, I honestly didn’t know how the story would grow into. And when Spencer rejected Ashley for the last time, I thought the only way these two will ever meet is if Ashley get into an accident, and so I was waiting for it. Lol. But it turned out surprisingly different. It’s a great story. Thanks for writing :)

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