DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to the people who destroyed a once great show; if they were mine, season 2 & 3 would be completely different.
SUMMARY: Snapshot of Christmastime with the characters from my fic In Your Eyes. I didn't realize I hadn't put this up on the repost board yet, so here it is.


“Max just shove it in!”

“I’m trying Liz, but it doesn’t want to go.”

“What do you mean it doesn’t want to go?”

“It’s too big to fit in that small space.”

“Max, there’s never been a problem fitting one in before.”

“Have you ever had one this big before?”

“This isn’t the first one Max. Just shove it in and let’s get this show on the road!”


“Dad, why don’t we just tie it to the roof?”

Max looked at his son, then at Liz, then at the 12 foot Christmas tree he was attempting to fit in the back of their SUV. “Good idea. Would you go ask the cashier if they have any rope we could use?” As his son jogged off to get the rope, Max looked at Liz as he pointed at the tree. “Do you always get a tree this big?”

“Maybe not quite as tall,” she replied, “but what good is having a cathedral ceiling if you don’t put a big tree up? Besides,” she added as she came up to him and wrapped her arms around his waist, “now that I have TWO big strong men at home, I can go wild with the decorating.”

“Oh you think so, do you?” Max whispered before placing a sweet kiss on her lips. “So you’re saying that you’re going to play the Christmas Nazi in Isabel’s place this year?”

Her answering laughter warmed his heart. “No, but I would like to put lights in all the trees in the yard this year. I thought you could teach Max some cool shortcuts for that.”

“Here you go Dad, this should do it.” Their son returned and handed one end of the rope to Max and they worked on securing the large evergreen to the rooftop.

“OK, time to get this thing home and get decorating!” Liz enthused as she jumped in the car.

3 hours later

“Is she like this every year?” Max whispered to his son. They had erected the tree in the living room and were attempting to put the lights on the large tree to Liz’s specifications.

“Just with the tree lights. She likes it lit from the inside out, with every branch wrapped and no light wires visible. That’s why we have a million strings of lights,” Max Jr. answered.

“I thought your Aunt Isabel was bad,” Max huffed.

“Hey! Enough chit chat. We’ll never get this thing decorated if you two don’t get cracking!” Liz said as she surveyed their work.

“Well if you weren’t so picky about stringing the lights we would have been done by now,” said Max as he handed his son another string. “Do you realize how long it’s going to take to finish a tree this big?”

“Forget it Dad, she’ll never agree to do it any other way. Believe me I’ve tried.”

“And every year don’t you tell me how beautiful our tree is and how it was worth all of the effort?” Liz said. “Besides, you’re more than halfway done. Now be good boys and finish it so we can start with the ornaments.”

After another couple of hours and some good-natured teasing of Liz, all of the lights were on the tree and they began to open the many boxes of decorations Liz had brought down from the attic.

“Now is there any particular placement scheme I should follow or can I just hang the ornaments like a normal person?” Max teased his wife.

“No, just the usual; smaller ones at the top and larger ones toward the bottom. Max honey, why don’t you go up the ladder and we’ll hand you the little ones to do the top half of the tree,” Liz said as she searched through the boxes looking for one ornament in particular.
“OK Mom. Did you find it yet?” he asked as he climbed the ladder, knowing what she was searching for.

“No- oh wait- here it is!” Liz held up the Popsicle stick and yarn piece, and with a huge smile on her face handed it to her son. As they watched him find a suitable branch to hang it from Liz said to Max, “that’s the first Christmas gift he ever gave me. He made it with Maria and it’s always the first ornament we hang on the tree.” She glanced up to where it was now hanging. “It looks great there sweetie. OK, now we’re ready for the rest.”

As they hung the decorations Liz and their son shared stories of past Christmas’s and the special meaning that some of the ornaments held with Max.

“Remember this one Mom?” Max was holding up a small felt mouse dressed as a colonial soldier playing a fife.

Liz chuckled as she nodded and looked toward her husband. “We got that in Williamsburg, Virginia when Max was about eight years old. He thought that the colonial uniform was the coolest thing. He wouldn’t rest until I bought him a fife, and I couldn’t rest after he had it, because he played it incessantly.”

“Yeah but I got pretty good at it. I played a mean Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you recall,” Max said.

“I recall the migraine you gave me from playing it for six hours in the car on the ride home,” Liz teased. “Oh honey, remember this one?” she said, holding up another ornament.

As Max listened to Liz and their son reminisce while hanging the many special pieces he grew quiet. After hearing how one year Liz rigged up bells on the roof and rang them so Max would think it was Santa’s reindeer flying away, he felt his eyes welling up with tears and said “I’ll be back in a minute” before making a quick exit to the front porch. It was there that Liz found him a few minutes later staring out into space. She could feel his melancholy mood through their connection as she sat next to him and gently took his hand in hers. “Max? What’s wrong?”

Max sighed deeply as he continued to stare straight ahead. “It’s just that you two have all of these great memories of Max when he was growing up. I was picturing him on Christmas morning as a little kid, all excited about his presents.” He turned to look at her, and the sorrow she saw in his eyes made her heart break. “I missed all of that Liz. I never got to see him doing any of the things you both were talking about. I never got to see him take his first steps, or teach him to ride a bike, or help him with his homework. I missed it all Liz. I should have been here.”

She leaned over to kiss away the tear that had escaped his tortured eyes. Bringing her hand up, she softly brushed it over his cheek as she answered him in a quiet voice. “You couldn’t be Max, and you didn’t know about him, either. This was nobody’s fault. It was the hand that fate dealt us.” She kissed him softly and lay her head on his shoulder as she took his hand again. “What is important is that you are here now, and you will be here for all of the Christmas’s to come. We’ll make new memories, Max. The three of us.”

They sat together silently until their son came looking for them. “Are you two giving up on decorating already?”

Liz stood and pulled on Max’s hand to follow her. “No honey, we’re coming in right now.”

As they finished the tree Liz’s mind was churning on how to cheer Max up. As she mulled over one particular idea a secret smile began to spread across her face. Oh yeah, she thought; time for some new memories.

Christmas Eve

“Mom, dinner was incredible. I’m so full I think I might explode,” her son said as he rubbed his stomach.

“Thank you, but please don’t explode in here. I just mopped the floor,” Liz replied with a smile.

“Ha ha. If it’s OK with you guys, I’d like to go upstairs. I have to wrap your gifts and then I’m gonna crash. What time are we going to church tomorrow, Mom?”

“I thought the eight or nine o’clock service would be less crowded, if that’s OK with you two,” Liz said.

They all agreed, and after kissing both his parents goodnight Max went up to his apartment, leaving them to clean up the dinner dishes. After finishing they carried out the presents and set them under the tree. Max stifled a yawn as he put his arm around Liz’s shoulder and pulled her into his side. “It really does look beautiful Liz.”

“Oh, so all that work on the lights was worth it, huh?” she teased.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Another yawn escaped his mouth. “I am really tired. Do you mind if we hit the sack a little early tonight?”

“Not at all. I’m a little tired too,” she answered, trying not to smirk from the thought that he was going to be a whole lot more tired in a little while.

A few hours later…

jingle jingle jingle….

“What the?” Max thought as his mind tried to emerge from the fog of sleep.

jingle jingle jingle…

“Liz what’s that noise?” he said as he turned and reached out for her. Upon finding nothing but empty space next to him in their bed his eyes flew open.

jingle jingle jingle…

“Liz?” he called out as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. “Liz where are you?” he said again as he swung his legs over the side and climbed out of bed. “Liz?” he called to her as he walked into the hallway. He saw a soft glow emanating from the living room so he headed toward it, continuing to call her name.


Her name was frozen on his lips as he entered the room and took in the sight before his eyes. The tree lights were on and several candles were lit, but what had made him stop dead in his tracks was Liz. She was perched in an over-sized armchair with a sexy smile on her lips, and dressed in a Santa hat, red velvet micro-mini Santa-type coat held closed with two large buttons and a thick black leather belt, and black leather stiletto-heeled boots. In her hand she held a set of bells which she dropped on the floor as she rose. Max remained frozen in place as she began to move toward him, his mouth hanging open as his eyes roamed her body.

Liz’s eyes did some roaming of their own, taking in his beautiful physique, currently covered only by the boxers which he slept in. When she finally looked at his face she had to suppress laughter at his shocked expression. His mouth was moving but no words were coming out. She giggled softly as she walked around to stand behind him and whispered in his ear. “What’s the matter, Max; haven’t you ever seen one of Santa’s helpers before?” It was breathy and seductive and he felt like every hair on his body was standing at attention. Among other things.

She walked back around to face him and reached out to take his hand. She placed a kiss on the back of it and then began walking backward, pulling him along as she spoke. “So old man Claus tells me that you are in need of some new Christmas memories.” As she reached the large chair she pushed him to sit down while she remained standing in front of him. “He also told me that you’ve been a very good boy this year,” she said as she removed the Santa hat and dropped it on the floor. “And that you deserved something extra special for Christmas this year.” She untied the belt and let it fall to the floor as she continued. “And so I was thinking, what would be appropriate to give a special someone like yourself?”

Max’s eyes were as big as saucer’s as he watched Liz unbutton the velvet coat and pull it open. She allowed it to slowly slide off her shoulders and down her arms, revealing her body encased in a completely see-through red teddy. “I hope my gift choice meets with your approval,” she said, even as she witnessed his approval growing in his tented boxers.

All he could do was nod his head as his eyes raked down her body, taking in her perfect breasts, protruding nipples, slim waist, curvy hips, and that sweet special place he felt more at home in than anywhere else in the world. He finished his appraisal and looked up into her eyes. Once again he opened his mouth only to find that he was incapable of speech.

She raised her leg and placed a spiked heel boot next to his leg on the chair cushion. “Cat got your tongue, Max?” she teased as she began to lower the zipper on the boot.

“No,” he managed to choke out as his hand stilled her action. “I mean, leave the boots on.”

A provocative smile touched her lips as she obeyed his command. “Hmm, so maybe old man Claus was wrong about you, then. About being a good boy, that is.” She slowly lowered herself down until she was straddling his knees. “Because only a bad boy would want the boots left on.”

Max’s hands shot out and he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her tightly against his chest. “Yeah, bad boy,” he breathed before taking her mouth in a searing kiss.

Liz was getting quickly lost in the softness of his lips, the feel of his tongue, and the touch of his hands on her body. The presence of his aroused form against her leg reminded her of her plan and she tore her mouth from his. ‘Focus Liz,’ she thought to herself. ‘This is about him; don’t let him turn the tables on you like he usually does.’

She grabbed his hands as they were descending toward her bottom and placed them on the armrests of the chair. She moved her body back toward his knees as she began to run her nails ever so lightly across his torso. ‘How is it possible that one person can be so utterly beautiful inside AND out?’ she mused to herself. She caught his hands as he tried to touch her again and placed them back on the chair. “Don’t you know the rules Max?” She leaned toward him and breathed into his ear. “Bad boys aren’t allowed to touch, they’re only allowed to watch.”

A growl escaped his throat as he felt her tongue trace a path around his ear and down his throat. His eyes clamped shut at the feel of her licking and sucking the juncture of his neck and shoulder while her hands ran down his sides, only to come back up and spear through his hair. She kissed him hard, then trailed her mouth down his throat leaving kisses and bites as she moved further south. She smiled as she heard his intake of breath when her tongue found his nipple, and gloried at his groan as she sucked on it hard and then switched to give attention to the other. Her hands ran over his rock-hard abs in search of the waistband of his boxers. Grasping it, she moved off of his lap and pulled them down his legs and off, then kneeled down between his legs.

With a feather-light touch Liz ran her hands over his thighs as she leaned into him. Upon reaching his rock-hard member she looked up at him and said, “look at me, Max.”

He pried his eyes open only to clamp them shut again as he groaned out at the sight of her licking her lips. He felt her tiny hand grasp him and his body involuntarily raised toward her as his breathing began to quicken. Another, loader groan was forced from his lungs as her tongue ran around him and her lips encased his tip. His fingers dug into the armrests of the chair and he panted for breath while she pleasured him with her mouth and loved him with her mind. As he began to near completion his hips began to thrust, driving himself deeper into the recesses of her mouth as he moaned out her name.

With a strong suction Liz removed her mouth from his shaft and his eyes flew open at the loss. “Liz, please…” he begged while he tried to swallow air into his lungs.

Liz stood up and backed away from him a few steps. She tousled her hair and then slowly moved her hands down her body, caressing her breasts, over her flat stomach, and then meeting at the juncture of her legs. She began to rub her now aching center, and looked at him with dark eyes. In a deep, husky voice she said, “do you want me Max?”

“Oh god, yes,” he ground out.

She unsnapped the teddy and in one smooth motion pulled it over her head and tossed it aside. She moved closer to the Christmas tree and lay down. Propping herself up on her elbows she looked at him and said, “then come and get me.”

In a flash he was on top of her devouring her lips like she was his last meal. His tongue plundered her mouth as his hands held her head motionless for his attack. He ripped his lips from hers to suck in a gulp of air and moved on to take her breast in his mouth, sucking hard on her nipples until she was moaning his name in that breathless, desperate way that speared him right in the gut. She registered his hands grabbing her thighs and pulling them up over his hips, and before she could utter another sound he buried himself in her with one forceful stroke.

“Lizzz…” Her name poured forth as he rode her with abandon, feeling like he would explode inside her wet heat at any second. “Liz…I love…you…so much…can’t…last…”

Liz was mindless, totally lost in the exquisite feelings flowing through her body. The thought that Max filled her so completely, in every possible way, raced through her consciousness as she hurtled toward orgasm. She dug her fingers into his back and rasped out “Max…I’m cumming…my Max…”

“LIZ!” He came inside of her with the call of her name, his body shuddering violently with his release. “My Liz,” he moaned into her neck as he collapsed on top of her, completely spent.

Her boot-clad legs fell away from his body as she continued to whimper from the lingering convulsions rippling through her, her arms lying heavily across his back.

As he returned to sanity he placed soft kisses starting on her neck and moving over her jaw until he reached her lips. He framed her face with his hands while he first kissed her still-closed eyes and then her lips; sweet, loving kisses that seemed to go on forever. Finally stopping, his thumbs caressed her cheeks as he gazed into the eyes that would forever hold his heart. “I love you, my sweet angel,” he whispered before one more kiss was shared. He moved onto his back and pulled her to lie across his chest.

“So,” she said smiling as she raised herself up to look at him, “I hope you liked your gift.”

“’Like’ isn’t the word I would use,” he answered with a devilish smile as his hand ran through her hair.

“I’m glad. I wanted to start making new memories for you,” she said, blushing slightly.

“Good choice,” he whispered as he pulled her face up for a deep kiss.

Pulling away slightly, she murmured “Merry Christmas baby. I love you,” and then lowered her lips onto his again.

As they continued to love each other with words and touches, a soft snow began to fall outside, silently covering the earth with the promise of a fresh new day of memories still to be made.