Happy Xmas


delilah_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif sable_icon.gif tess_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

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Scene Title Happy Xmas
Synopsis Robyn Quinn and Elaine Darrow throw a Christmas Eve party for their friends. Merriment abound, presents given, and wonderment over a small child had.
Date December 24, 2010

The Village Renaissance: Elaine and Quinn's Flat

Christmas Eve - truly one of the most wonderful times of the year, or so the songs tend to claim. It's been a long time coming, the opportunity to relax, spread cheer, and have fun that Christmas represents, and for many it's been hard in the wake of the events of the last few months. But tonight, that's exactly what Elaine Darrow and Robyn Quinn are hoping to do - relay, spread cheer, and have fun, even if the day itself has been more arduous than expected.

In that effort, several days ago invitations were sent out with the promises of a fun, if somewhat cramped holiday party on Christmas Eve, welcome to one and all regardless of faith or other factors. And it's only just a few minutes ago that preparations were really finished - after many of the invited guests had already arrived! But now food was ready, numerous sweets and finger foods set out for people to munch on and Quinn's HDTV set to BBCA America in the hopes of catching both the marathon of Doctor Who Christmas specials as well as that evening's airing of this year's Christmas Special

The musician herself is haning up a few lingering decorations - a string of assorted flashing lights - though this particular one almost entirely lacking in teh traditional Christmas colours of red and green, and even sneaking a piece of mistletoe up near the entrance of the kitchen, mostly in the hopes of causing a few laughs over the course of the evening - for once, no devious intentions on her part!

With that hung, though, she reaching for a glass and making her way back into the common room, a smile on ehr face, wave given to her friends. She has something to say for the holiday, but she's saving it for the moment.

Arriving had Tess giving Quinn a big hug and a small, wrapped box, but then she spotted the sweets. Her weakness. That's where she is now, picking among the choices, grabbing one randomly here and there while she looks around and grins. Especially since, as of yet, she doesn't know most of the others who have been invited. That will almost certainly change though, and soon, knowing the friendliness of the Cajun girl.

Red-dyed hair bound into a waist-length braid, Ygraine is dressed to show off. For once, there's nothing sporty about her current red and black outfit. A plunging neckline displays an impressive decolletage; behind, her near-backless top leaves bare the elaborate artwork Xiulan created for her some months ago: two dragons, Celtic or Anglo-Saxon in design, twine around each other in white and red coils. Each scale is picked out, the colours are impossibly bright, and the detail and artistry are what might be expected of the master-craftswoman.

Further down, a swirl of pleated silk covers her hips, with red fishnets providing a pretence of modesty between it and the thigh-high boots. A silk choker supports a silver brooch - another Celtic dragon, shaped into a twist of knotwork - while more knotwork decorates each wrist, secures the end of her long braid, and encircles the ring finger of her right hand.

Emerging from the kitchen, the Briton fiddles that last bit of knotwork more securely back into place, touching Quinn on the shoulder as she moves to claim a glass. "And that's the last of the washing-up done", she murmurs, "ready for us to mess it all up again in short order."

Elaine, in her red sweater and jeans, is more than happy to play hostess. As people show up, she's pointing out that presents can go by the tree and where to find the beverages. She does stick close to Quinn, smiling a little as people show up.

Kendall has been slightly depressed this year around Christmas time due to the fact that it's almost been a year since he was abandoned in the streets, so the invitation to a party did much to raise his spirits. After all, this is Quinn's party, and Quinn is crazyfun! Plus, she was his first date ever, even though she's not into guys. So he shows up with a box of candy, since he's not sure what else to bring. Women like candy, even lesbians, right? "Hi." he calls in, shivering from the cold outside. Meh, stupid winter.

Choosing not to dress very festively, Magnes shows up wearing an Orange Lantern shirt under his long unzipped leather jacket, and a simple pair of neatly fitting blue jeans. He has a sack of gifts slung over his shoulder when he arrives, and walks over to the tree so he can sit them next to it. "Sorry, I won't be staying for the party, I just wanted to drop some gifts off." He slips his hands into his pockets, then is already beginning to head back over to the door, appearing a tad moody.

Walter definitely won't remember his first Christmas, but Delilah surely will; he is still at the Wiggle-Giggle-Eat-Shit-Sleep stage. Dee hasn't had the chance to get out much, with winter setting in and the baby hardly able to navigate the use of his neck. It's a tricky time, especially when most of her friends have been hard to find. It is something like this that she has been needing for a week or two. When Magnes wanders in, Delilah is just getting off of the elevator with a bundle in the front of her coat and a bag hanging from her shoulder. Of course, by the time she does get to the apartment door, it's when Sir Mood-a-lot is aiming himself the same way he came in. Not that anyone would probably just let him leave.

Dee's long coat and knee-length festively colored skirt contrast greatly, the reds of her hair virtually matching a poinsettia barrette at the back of her head. "Hello, civilization! I'm back." It almost sounds like an announcement. Maybe it is. Punctuated by a murmur from Walter, where his stocking'd head peeks up against her chest under the buttons of her coat.

QUinn looks largely pleased with the turnout so far, even if a few faces she had really been hoping to see hadn't turned up - granted, she hadn't been expecting a lot of them, but it's still a bit of a sad fact. Standing by the entrance to the kitchen, Quinn leans against Elaine with a smile, watching the presents pile up under the tree. "I am so glad all of you could make it," she announces loudly, smiling wide as she looks from person to persno. Magnes' arrival is, admittely, met with a mix of emotions that begins with surprise and ends with scepticism, no mention to be made of everything in between, but even as she watches him, teh greeting extends to him.

And then Delilah arrives with Walter, and it's like the baby is bright bulp of happiness presently attached to a mom shaped figure, Quinn's expression brightening back up considerably. "Oh God, Walter's first Christmas," she says with a laugh, "is going t' be spent here? Maybe I shouldn't have bought so much alcohol!" she jokes. …sort of. "I didn't really prepare anythin' in particular for us t' do t'night, but if anyone thinks a' anythin', I'm open t' suggestions."

"Wait, there's alcohol? Point me to it! Ya got some 'nog with lots of rum in it, right?" Tess speaks up, grinning impishly before popping something sweet in her mouth. "I personally vote for mild drunkeness for somethin' to do. Or there's always that mistletoe. Quinn, everyone walked under it, I demand kisses for all!" And again the grin, full of dimples. Fear the dimples!

Civilization has its discontents, but there are certainly things to put in the pro column. Things you miss when you don't get them regularly, things like - I don't know - hot showers. Showers at all, in fact. It will take more than a single scrubbing, however vigorous, to free Sable of the thick odor of woodsmoke that has accreted onto her person, nesting in her unruly dark hair and darker lines of soot that have insinuated themselves under her fingernails. That said, she gave it her damned best shot once borne to the doors of Quinn and Elaine's shared apartment, giving out smoke-scented greetings before trying to make up for days out in the wilds of Staten.

Her spikey mop, growing it's way towards longness once more, is still damp from the shower, where she lingered for some time, and when she emerges, her button up shirt hands loose over the waist of her slacks. Polite society is something Sable has to ease back into. Yellow eyes dart across the room, taking in the sights of more people, more familiar people, than she's seen in one place in what feels like forever, though it's not been so very long.

Hitching a crooked smile to her lips, she saunters around, first moving up to Ygraine. "Look killer, hon. Almost criminal, honest. Thanks so goddamn much f'r gettin' me here," she says, taking her hands and squeezing them. Then she's on to Quinn, the hostness. "Quinngirl, thanks f'r openin' th' doors, throwin' this. Sure beats sleepin' in a goddamn manger, however appropriate." Then Elaine, who gets a kiss on the cheek, though of course only once Sable's on tiptoe. "Howzit y' look prettier than I remember, darlin'? Don't seem possible," is delivered with a grin. Tess gets a little dip of a bow, with a flourish, "what a fine fuckin' Christmas yer makin' it, gal. Nice t' see y', spirits high," her eyes dart, conspiratorial, "speakin' 'f high 'n' spirits… later?" A wink. Next is Magnes, who gets a blow to the shoulder. "There's m' boy. Good t' see y'. Sorry I up 'n' vanished. Shit is too crazy, like y' dunno." Kendall gets a jack-o-lantern grin. "Someone don't look no older than on his birthday. Fresh 's a spring flower. You been plucked yet, son?"

Last is Delilah, who receives a kiss on the corner of the mouth, bold as anything. "Sorry I ain't been 'round," she says, a bit softly, "weren't in my power. Good t' see y'," her eyes dart down to Walter, "little man behavin'? C'n I hold th' critter? Promise I won't drop 'im 'r nothin'."

The arrival of Mr Varlane banishes Ygraine's smile - that had lingered since Sable's unique version of thanking her for a lift - and she moves to stand in front of Quinn and Elaine, offering the latter a reassuring smile. "You'll be all right", she murmurs to the natural redhead, before glancing around and laughing merrily at Tess's demand.

Elaine doesn't really look at Magnes when he arrives, instead looking over towards Tess. "Y'know, it's actually brandy that is traditionally put in eggnog. Well, classically. It's what they originally put in. So we've got some of that, but we've got loads of other alcohol and stuff too." She moves over and offers an arm to Tess. "C'mere, I'll show you the way. I think I need a drink myself." She moves towards the kitchen.
Kendall stares over at Magnes and his choice of outfit. "Really? Orange Lantern… on Christmas Eve?" he asks, incredulous. "That's like…. automatic Naughty List admission." sorry, Magnes, you've been waylaid by another superhero geek. Kendall even moves to intercept the guy on his way out the door. But on his way there, though, there's a Sable. "Erm… plucked?" Kendall has a feeling that means something dirty and sexual, but he's not quite sure if it is or not.

"Walter!" Magnes offers his finger to the baby, easily stopped as he follows Delilah. Baby magnetism! "This Walter will actually grow up with some respect, unlike another one I know." He rolls his eyes at the air, but then Kendall's saying words. "Sorry, I wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit at first. Anyone seen Elaine?" He didn't immediately spot her.

THere's a point to Sable, and he tries to motion her over. "I got presents for anyone I expected to be here, don't know her though." There's an eyeshift to Tess, indicating whom he means.

"Hello everyone… and not that he'll remember, Quinnie. We can roll him around under the lit tree for a couple hours and that'd probably be that." Delilah is all smiles as she puts down the diaper bag and wiggles out of her long coat, Walter leaning up against her dark green sweater. Sensory immersion is just getting going, which is probably why he likes the feel of the soft fabric on his face. That, or he's feeling peckish. "I know." Dee leans in to give Sable a warm kiss on the cheek, the pressure of it on her skin quite more than she probably remembers. So very glad to see her, it seems.

Walter, when offered a finger, plants his own around it and turns his eyes to look at what he has. "Sure, Sable, you'd be doing me a bit of a favor, I gotta pee real bad…" The young mother takes her time in getting the little ginger monster free, before offering him for Sable to take up. Well- "Another one you know?" Dee does give MAgnes a vaguely wary look, as if she didn't want to hear that. God only knows why.

Quinn blinks for a moment, motioning for Tess to follow after Elaine. "That's Tess, Magnes. Get t' know her, she's going t' be the band's official photographer. She's awesome, I promise." A look over to Kendall, and Quinn grins. "From what I've read a' Green Lantern an' all that, I'd say it's pretty fittin'. I mean… people love their presents at Christmas. I think it's a perfect fit." A nod is given in Magnes' direction as Quinn pushes away from the wall, looping an arm around Ygraine's. "Roll him under the Christmas lights. L-like a ball?" CLearly, it's a good thing Quinn isn't a parent at this point in her life. "I think there's presents for everyone here under the tree, though, if people want t' tackle that now. Whatever works, I'm not picky as t' what we do." Her other hadn reaches out and ruffles Sable's shaggy hair, a wide smile on her face - she' glad to see her dimnuative rocker.

Sable gets a big ol' Zarek grin. "Maybe I'll catch ya under the mistletoe later," Tess promises with a wink before there's an Elaine, and she's laughing, arm draping over the other woman's shoulders. "Rum, brandy. It's all alcoholic. But yes, onward! Lead the way, oh bearer of Christmas cheer!" she says, using her other arm to point dramatically towards 'onward'. She does, however, glance back at Kendall, eyeing him for a moment. Like she's thinking something dirty and sexual. Probably something about plucking. But it passes and her focus returns to the impending alcoholic cheer. Kendall's innocence is safe. For now.

Hearing Quinn as she wanders off with Elaine, she laughs and nods. "Damn straight I am! And I'm gonna be a kick ass photographer too! I'm gonna make you guys look fabulous!"

The augmentation of the kiss is duly noted, eliciting a sly, sidelong look at Delilah the moment her back is turned. Until then, however, she's all pleasant smiles and relatively contained good cheer, even sans potables. Tess's threat earns a huff. "Delta women… think y' c'n do whatever y' want!" she tips a wink, "mostly right 'bout it, too, is th' worst 'f it."

Magnes gets a level look. "Hold yer horses. I got th' gift 'f life t' handle here. Get yerself a drink. Christmas spirit's only 's good as th' Christmas spirits, eh? Mebbe you 'n' me c'n step outside real brief, too. Get some air." By which she means smoke. But for now, Sable is stone sober and…

And so a tiny fragile life was entrusted into the ever-so steady and capable arms of Raven Diego. Impish yellow eyes regard the round, protean face of baby Walter, brass discs hanging over a slanted smile. "Mum's gotta pee," she informs him, keeping him up to date in Delilah's absence, "now yer with mean ol' Sable. Put th' right terrors in y'." And to this end, she flashes a wide, toothy grin, pointy canines gleaming.

Though Ygraine responds to Quinn taking her arm by smiling with fond warmth at the Irishwoman, her general demeanour remains distinctly watchful. Remaining poised to bar the way to the kitchen, should the wrong person choose to pursue Elaine, she chuckles somewhat absent-mindedly at Quinn's question about Walter. "Yes. You can buy these wonderful baby-balls, like over-sized hamster-balls", she explains dryly, expression deadpan - something aided by keeping her gaze off Quinn, carefully alert in case of trouble. "Just pop in the infant of your choice and enjoy hours of family fun. You'd want to make sure the tree was well-anchored, however…."

Elaine catches the comment about baby-hampster-balls, laughing as she moves to scoop some eggnog out of a big punch bowl and pour some brandy in for Tess, and one for herself as well. "Give it a taste, brandy's right here if you wanna add more. Sometimes it's hard to get the right mix." She glances idly towards the other room, but goes back to distracting herself with Tess and booze. "Did you get Quinn to agree to something-or-

Kendall looks over at Delilah with her baby, and just shakes his head. He's already awkwardly held one baby recently, that's enough for him for the next ten years. Notice he stays exactly where he is? Babies make him nervous. "So… yeah." he goes over to Quinn and wordlessly holds out the candy he brought as a gift. He wasn't sure if he'd know anyone else here, so he just brought the one thing. But hey, candy can be shared. "Well yeah, but people at least put on a facade of being the opposite of greedy around Christmastime." another glance at everyone going gaga over the baby, and he shakes his head again.

"Some jerk who looks like Danny Bonaduce, doesn't like following rules." Magnes shrugs, watching the exchange of the baby, glancing to Tess again when Quinn mentions her being the photographer. "I don't like to get drunk in these moods, and are you alright with him? He's so small." His brain seems to lock up a bit when it comes to babies, hovering in front of Sable with his hands out as if she's holding a giant egg. "I'm not greedy, but I think I share Larfleeze's recent Christmas wish."

"Sure, yeah, like a ball. Ever lay under there and look up at the lights? It'll be amazing. All without hamster balls, really." For Walter, it will be amazing. To them it will just look like a baby wiggling around and booting his limbs about under a Christmas tree. Delilah does her best to slip away to find the bathroom, momentarily leaving Walter with his various uncles and aunts, and Sable grinning down at him. The olive colored bodysuit under his winter layer proudly displays what appears to be his character sheet. Really. 'Level 1 Human', etc. Incidentally, the CHR box is marked 18. 0 EXP, 2 HP, you get the idea.

Walter's response to Sable is a blink of his eyes and a half-smiling open mouth. Teehee. Then Magnes comes into view and it is an equally entertained reaction. Lol, people.

"I didn't mean like—" Quinn sighs, arms slouching a bit. "I don't plan on turning the baby int' Karamari, even if we could do it with Tess here." One of the few video game references Quinn can actually make! Woo! A hand runs back through her short black hair and she laughs, peering over at Walter. "I'm glad t' see everyone cares more about the baby than presents. That's rather heartwarmin', you know." She grins as Sable takes the baby into her arms. "Sure he's not too big for y'r arms, Sable?" She giggles, after a moment looking back at the kitchen for a moment.

Tess flashes Sable a grin and starts to sip at her eggnog before Elaine makes her bust out laughing. "Get her to agree? Duuuuude. She was all for it! That's how it got around to the band thing," she says, beaming over at Quinn. Who she then informs, quite seriously, "I care more about presents. You don't mess with the presents at Christmas!"

Ygraine looks utterly blank, in response to Quinn's reference - but she does squeeze the woman's arm, attempting to be reassuring, at least until the Irishwoman laughs. Relaxing a touch, she leans over to plant a peck on the musician's cheek. "I'll go and look for my present, too," she announces with a smile to both Quinn and Tess. "I think that Walter's receiving enough admiration for the moment."

Disengaging from Quinn, she moves across to the tree - sinking down into a careful crouch, to reduce the risk of flashing more than intended at either end. Arms resting on her thighs for a few moments, she scans the presents under the tree in search of the one with her name on it, intent on snaring it and retreating to a post by the kitchen door, there to open it in comparative quiet.

"Awww, y' hear what Auntie Quinn jus' said?" Sable coos to Walter, casting a single, evil glance at the Irishwoman, "she's runnin' her mouth 'gain, is what she's doin'. Thass 'cause Auntie Quinn is a wiseass. See?" she tilts Walter towards Quinn, letting him get a look at her (assuming he deigns to in his infant imperiousness), "wiseass." Sable is already teaching Walter words! The key is to start small. Four letter words first.

"I got 'im fine, boy, don't you worry. This ain't my first shitmachine duty," Sable lets Magnes know. When and where and how it is Sable was previously entrusted with a baby is left mysterious, and maybe rightly so. She holds Walter with a confidence that is maybe not remarkable, but it's a confidence matched with a certain ease that maybe is worth nothing.

Ygraine and her activity are briefly eyed, though eventually Sable's gaze slips over to the actual presents. "Gotta admit, I don't got nothin' f'r no one, not really," she says, pulling a face, "sorta been on a, like, wilderness retreat. No malls 'round, convenient-like."

Elaine returns near the entrance to the kitchen with her own eggnog. "Well, I find people hard to shop for. I was tempted to just make people baked goods. I mean, really, who can pass up baked goods? So, uh, if I didn't get you something, just assume delicious food here is for you." She glances over with a smile towards Sable and Walter. "Babies are so freaking cute. I know they're made that way so you forget that they cry and make messes and don't let you sleep."

Kendall turns to look at Quinn, then immediately starts humming the theme song to Katamari. It's addictive enough to threaten getting stuck in someone's head upon utterance. It's followed by an angelic smile full of innocence aimed towards her. If she knows the game reference, she's gotta know the song too, right? "Uh…" aw, man. This is the problem with there being a baby in the middle of a bunch of women! He kinda sidles in Quinn's direction, looking a little lost. "Hi?" he's here too!

"Well, I think I'm going to get, well, going." Magnes slides his hands into his pockets, smiling down at the baby, then turns around to head for the door. "I need to figure out what I'm doing tomorrow, I don't feel like spending Christmas by myself."

Delilah almost had no idea the month was ending; good thing someone got in touch with her for this, right? She'd have stayed home or been drug off my her aunt. Walter is as good as a present, right? Everyone will totally get a turn. He seems torn when he is adjusted to look at Quinn, eyes moving about to try and locate where Sable went. When she comes back into view, she and everyone else in that direction is rewarded with a bubble of spit.

When Dee wanders back from the hall to the bathroom, she looks like she needed a night out; she has some makeup on, but true to Elaine's words, she looks very tired- though content about it. "You got that right. I've almost forgiven the spit-up from this morning."

"I'm sure you'll find somethin' just fine," Quinn states with a glance over to Magnes, the Irishwoman quirking her lips. "I'm- sure you can think of some friends of ours who could use some Christmas help an' company?" Because she can't say Go to Pollepel in mixed company, unfortunately. Turning herself back to the baby, she laughs and starts towards the tree. "No one had t' bring anything. But I did my best t' get presents for people when I could. I think a few are gettin' giftcards, but it just can't be helped, you know? I wasn't sure what t' get everyone."

The presents are eyed, the eggnog is eyed, then Tess puts her cup to her lips, tips it up, and downs it. Licking her lips and making yummy noises, she sets aside the glass then grins. "Okay, gimme present. I have to bide my time until Sable's put down the poop machine so I can harass her. So for now…I get to harass you." And it's off to the tree in search of her present. "Oh, and hi everyone I don't know and haven't said hi to yet!" she says, looking around with a bright smile.

"Hello again", Ygraine says, flashing a smile to Tess as she glances up from the process of carefully unwrapping her present. Rather than ripping into it, she seems to revel in the intricate task of delicately unpicking the sellotape without damaging the paper. Throughout, she looks rather impressed at the weight of the sizable box in her hands.

As the paper comes off, she commences cheating - lifting out smaller items, that look like DVD or games cases, and setting them absent-mindedly on the wall behind her, before finally being left with a boxed Blu-Ray player, at which she stares in apparent disbelief.

After a few moments, however, Ygraine sets it, too, on the wall, leaving it perched there in defiance of all conventional laws of the world, and strides over to grab Quinn and pull her into a warm hug, and a fairly enthusiastic kiss. "Thank you. I'll… go and put all this away safely. Make sure I don't forget anything in the chaos tomorrow morning." Another kiss, then she pulls back, grins, shakes her head at Quinn, and turns to bounce off to peel her array of presents off the wall, and move to stash them in her rucksack in the bedroom.

"I'd keep y' company, boy," Sable says to Magnes, mouth quirking down at one corner, "but I got someplace I gotta be." No details forthcoming. She's doing her best not to be a security leak, and bit by bit she's learning.

When she returns, Sable renders unto Dee that thing which is Dee's, namely the aforementioned poop machine. Walter is offered up like a sacrifice, with half-bent knee and everything. "I hope y'all peed with th' peace 'n' dignity 'f a virgin," she says, solemnly and incomprehensibly, "but I think this here b'longs t' you."

Shortly freed of her burping, bubbling burden, Sable rolls her shoulders and casts a look and a grin at Elaine. "Y'all plan t' pop one 'f yer own out someday, darlin'? Think y'd make a fine mother, raise it t' speak in every tongue, 'n' draw every eye." Tess gets a lifted brow. "…hard pressed t' do anythin' t' me I'm likely t' call harassment, babe, but yer welcome t' try."

Elaine's gaze flickers towards Magnes with a horribly guilty and uncomfortable look, and she quickly turns away, glancing to Ygraine's present. "Quinn's a generous gift-giver, I feel." She chuckles, distracting herself as she looks towards Sable as she looks over. "I plan on having kids one day, for sure. Got big plans for my kids… just dunno quite when I'll have one."

"Something will come along." There's a dismissive shrug and Magnes is out the door, no doubt to brood on a roof somewhere.

"'Sup, big man." Delilah accepts her broodling back from Sable, lifting him into the curl of her arm. "For now-" She starts, quite pointedly, "-you can play with mine. Unless that condom has a pinhole break too." Just sayin'. "I think one spawn will do us for a bit, right?" She wanders to the nearest empty chair and plops herself down, Walter on her lap looking up at various ceilingward things. It is hard for her to disregard the boys and the way they act, but really, there is little she can do about it. Not to mention she feels more like settling down than being abrasive.

Ygraine's reaction to the present is about what Quinn expected, and yet she's still caught rather offguard by the embrace and kiss combination. "Mm. I try. I doesn't hurt that I had more money than usual this year," she says sheepishly in response to Elaine, shrugging a bit. A look as Magnes makes his way to leave. "Keep your phone with you, Magnes! We have shit t' do!" We, of course, meaning the band, and it's the truth - far too much time spent apart from each other, and it's making Quinn uncomfortable. Moving to lean her against ELaine, she smirks. "I doubt I'll ever 'ave kids m'self. That whole process, just… I don't think it's for me. I love the kids at the Lighthouse, though…"

Tess hunts until she finds the package with her name on it, and she shoots Quinn a grin before she finds a spot to plop down so she can tear into it, a bit more like a kid than an adult. She's just having fun with it. "Sable, darlin'. Tryin' is half the fun," she tells the other woman with a wicked grin before she gets enough paper off to see what the present is. When she does, people are treated to a rare sight. Tess both immobile and speechless. For all of five seconds. Then she lets out a squeal that could very nearly shatter glass. That too, luckily, is brief.

The rest of the paper is torn off to reveal a camera, a nice one, and she hugs it to her chest before jumping up, leaving the paper where it is, and running to Quinn to catch her in a crushingly tight embrace. "Ohmigawd it's awesome, it's perfect. You're awesome. I totally love you, you know that?" is said in a pace even more rapidfire than her usual speech. Then, perhaps just so her thank you isn't overshadowed by Ygraine's, she kisses Quinn too. But it's more a loud smacking smooch than a real kiss. The sentiment is there though, right?

'Loot' safely stashed, and not expecting any other presents, Ygraine returns from the bedroom - fortunately just late enough to miss the worst effects of Tess's squeal, though she does catch sight of her delivery of thanks to Quinn. Laughing at the photographer, Ygraine makes a beeline for the pair, delivering another kiss to the Irishwoman and a one-armed embrace to each.

"Thank you for hosting this", she murmurs gratefully - this time including Elaine in the gratitude, and glossing over her own role in the preparations. "I'll serve another round of drinks, shall I?"

Pulling away, still chuckling to herself, the tattooed Briton duly sets about playing the role of hostess for the remaining guests.

It probably goes mostly without saying that Sable isn't interested in gestating anything besides the products of her own vaunted, self-declared creative brilliance. Boys are gross, after all. And it's really all for the best. Sable's moody and erratic enough without being overloaded with hormones. Plus babies with yellow eyes would be super creepy.

The diminutive musician grimaces, one eye squeezed shut, as Tess destroys the heirloom crystal in this and all adjoining apartments. She watches the present opening with crossed arms, sidling over to Delilah's side and casting her a quick smile, but no words. It doesn't occur to her that there might be anything under there for her. Not that she thinks her friends would forget her, but Christmas is a ritual she spent too long getting too little from to have any natural expectations.

Elaine chuckles a little in general at their guests before she makes her way towards the tree. She knows she's got presents under there, so she pulls out the gift from Quinn, flopping down into a seat next to the tree so she can open it. She slowly pulls open the box after tearing off the rapping, and she pulls out the books one by one. Language books in Dutch, Latin, Greek, and Czech, an old copy of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass in French, as well as The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in Russian, and The Lord Of The Rings in German.

Elaine glances back towards Quinn, grinning a little before replacing the books in the box. "You're fantastic, roomie. Maybe I'll have to start reading you bedtime stories from my books then. You'll be speakin' German in your sleep." She teases, getting up to go hug Quinn.

Walter thinks the noises coming from Tess are especially odd. He looks confused for a moment, debating if it is a bad squeal or a good one. Delilah settles in to watch the girls open gifts, her hands on the baby's fists, his feet rustling about in a bit of a fuss that he can't see what he is hearing. He does however, get to turn enough to stare intently into the tree. He'll be quickly and probably for a while, mesmerized that it exists. Christmas lights, ornaments- it is all very astounding.

"Maybe you should read him some. Gimme a night off." A suggestion- Delilah glances at the girls, and Sable again. "Now that I'm in the world again, anyway. I think I've had enough time to ourselves, haha. Right?" Walter agrees, if cooing is a 'yes, mum'.

Tess' reaction gets a bit of a startled motion from Quinn, flailing a bit as she kissed by her friend - not the first time, considering the trip to her place of work that one time, but rather jarring regardless. "You better be careful once you hit that eggnog," she replies dryly, shaking her head at Tess. At Elaine's reaction, she beams, eyes open to receive the hug, and when Elaine reaches her, Quinn responds with a quick peck of a kiss. "If you can get me speakin' German at all, I'll buy you dinner for a week," she repsonds with a laugh, before looking over at Delilah.

"If you wanna go out one night, Delilah, you can leave Walter here. Elaine an' I'll watch him. We'll show him Doctor Who an' how t' play violin. And Elaine'll probably teach him French or something." She doesn't ask before volunteering the other woman, she just shrugs and smiles. "It''ll be practice for Elaine, an'… I dunno, somethin' different for me. I'm more used t' the Lighthouse Kids, but I'm sure I could manage. I just hope he and Schrodinger don't piss each other off…" Speaking of which, the cat has been oddly quiet, which now has QUinn looking over Elaine's shoulder for the wayward cat.

Tess feigns a rather believeable pout. "Oh sure, I get a warning, she gets a hug?" She sniffles a few times. "I see how it is." Then she can't hold onto the act any longer and busts out laughing, hugging the camera box again before finding a place to sit down and open it. What better time to take the first pictures with a new camera than at the party she got it at? "Hey Sable, once I figure this thing out, you gonna pose for me? Your eyes'll look awesome on film."

Sable's smile is crooked as she lifts her chin. "Babe," she answers Tess, "didn't I tell y' yer gonna put me on th' cover 'f Rollin' Stone?" She nods. "Y'all set th' date, I'll do what I can." Promises of presence have become, all of a sudden, very hard for Sable to make. And Tess, sadly, is one of those she can't properly explain herself to. So she plays it off like she's being enigmatic. Effectiveness… to be determined.

Elaine's excitement draws a wide smile to Sable's face, and she eyes Quinn. "Quinn's a giver like no other, it's true. Jesus, it's a gift t' me jus' t' see y' so pleased, Elaine. Good on y', Quinngirl." She clicks her tongue, casting a look over to Delilah, brows arching in an inverted V of helplessness. "Darlin', I gotta get y' sometime when yer freed up. Stars may have t' align but, hey," her eyes squint a bit as she smiles, "got th' luck 'f th' devil, sometimes."

"I am counting on it. The language thing. If you're gonna learn'em all.." Delilah laughs and grins over at Elaine, giving Quinn a bit of a nod. "That's good to know, you guys. He can't really pull yet, and animals are good around him. So he won't like, latch onto her tail. Yet." She coughs a bit, glancing at Sable with a bit of a wistful look. "Anytime, really. It's lonely at home, cause people can't come onto the island yet." There may be something else in there, but only for Sable.

"I'd love to even just- get out of the house and come hang here. I've had the last weeks for getting used to Walter, it's about time for him to get used to all of you."

"I'm going away t' Canada with Ygraine for most a' next week, but when I get back… I'm going t' be doin' a lot with Studio K an' around here with music. You're always welcome, Dee, here an' up in the studio." Quinn gives a bit of a nod, keeping an arm around Elaine as she moves beside her. "I can come get you even. I don't, uh, plan ont ellin' anyone official like that I might not be workin' at Ichihara for the next month. I like havin' access t' Roosevelt."

"I meant tonight," Tess says with a grin to Sable. Then she's giving a sad look to Quinn. "Aww…you're leavin'? Sucky. And speakin' of, you like that Kristen girl? The producer? She seem all awesome, enough to make ya rich'n famous as you should be?"
What something else is there, Sable attempts to interpret with slightly narrowed eyes. At length she leans down and gives Delilah a very level look. "I'll make th' time. I swear it, darlin'. You shouldn't never be lonely. I won't stand f'r it." Principles are so awesome when they coincide with desire!

And wait, tonight? Sable blinks at Tess with surprise, but then gives a shrug and a smile. "Y'all wanna make it happen, babe, I won't keep y' waitin'." Back to being as cool as a cucumber. Which are, by repute, the most hip of all vegetables.
The news of Quinn's departure… is it news? Sable recalls Quinn telling her about it, but it had faded from immediacy in her mind. "Aw… gonna be gone, Quinn? Right, riiight. Well, don't come back too folked up from th' lands up North. They'll prettify yer rock, given half th' chance." Elaine gets a peering look. "Elaine, love, y'all gonna be somewhere too? Quinn ain't leavin' y' t' yer lonesome, is she?"

"Bring him over and hang out anytime, Dee. I could use the company. And Walter's such a darling… cute little ginger, you'll make the rest of us proud, won't you little man?" Elaine smiles, then looks towards Tess. "You can always take pictures of me. I don't think I've had any decent pictures of me since I was like… I dunno, fourteen?" Kinda hard to have photos when you don't have anyone wanting to take photos of you. "I'm practicing the violin a lot, Dee, so if you bring Walter by I can serenade him. We'll see how much he likes strings." Her eyes flicker between Dee and Sable, then between Quinn and Sable. "No. No plans." Then suddenly. "And especially not with him." It's not implied what exactly she means, but the sharp breath that went along with it is exhaled. "Sorry," she murmurs about the outburst, then she looks at Sable. Or rather, in Sable's general direction. "I'll find something to do. Could help out more at Oh So Sweet… plus I've got to work more on my violin… got lots of stuff I can do."

Delilah just smiles a secret smile and leaves Sable a peck on the cheek. Can't say nobody here is light on the PDAs, after all. "Deal then, I'll come around. He's pretty musical, he hasn't fussed about anything I get him to listen to, seems like. He kind of likes techno-pop for some reason. You should see him and Gaga, seriously. La Roux drives him bonkers, he practically just starts rolling. Kinda likes reggae too." The baby seems to have personality already. They'll all have a good time with that.

"Been there, done that messed around, I'm having fun, don't put me down, I'll never let you sweep me off my feet~" Delilah sings a verse for him, and the baby on her lap giggles and kicks when she leans in to do it.

"Ha! We'll have t' get him some Little Boots too. Hell, I'll put on Gaga for him now, if he wants." And Quinn peers at young Walter, as if waiting for a verbalised response. "I think these next few days are going t' be great, we'll have t' spend them all t'gether since I won't be ehre for New Years. Finishin' touches on m' album, Tess here can finally do a proper photoshoot, an' just… lots a' stuff t' do." Her grin widens as she starts towards her computer - her threat to play Gaga was not an idle one, elaving Elaine to turn off Doctor Who so that they can giggle over Walter's reactions to the music Quinn chooses to play. "But I say we all do as much of it t'gether as we can, right?"

That's what the holidays are all about after all, isn't it?

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