Let Them Know It's Christmas Time


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Scene Title Let Them Know It's Christmas Time
Synopsis A special episode of the Advocate goes to raise money for families struck by tragedy on November 8th, reach out New York.
Date December 24, 2010

Studio K

It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid

At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade

A long laboured breath has Russo standing at the front of the stage with a big grin while the familiar Advocate theme plays through the television set. Roarious applause accompanies the host’s entrance and prompt bow. “Thank you! Thank you! You are a wonderful audience. You are wonderful people and we are delighted to have you here today! My name is Bradley Russo, this is The Advocate Christmas special! Happy Christmas Eve! Happy Holidays! And belatedly, Happy Hanukkah! We are delighted you’ve chosen to join us today for this momentous occasion. We like our holidays and we like our viewership!”

“I recognize you have a lot of options today, but I’m glad you could tune in for our holiday episode. Today we’re running a fundraiser of sorts with all money benefitting families of veterans. It’s vital that we do what we can to send money to those who so valiantly work to preserve and keep our country great.” A hand smoothes his coat jacket and his shifts his weight from one foot to the other. “We are taking no profit from the advertising for this show today, so please support our sponsors. Their money is directly benefiting our chosen charity.”

“Here to give you more details about how you can get involved and what you can do to help, is my lovely producer the insatiable Kristen Reynolds~”

For the first time in years, Kristen is stepping in front of the camera. She’s looks— not as festive— as Russo but still in the Christmas spirit with a garish sweater that she’s wearing on a dare. It’s red with green trees, the trees have little bells on them in place of decorations. Unlike Russo, she’s wearing a pair of jeans and a headset.”Thanks Brad, we’re hoping to raise as much as we can to give some tragedy stricken families a special Christmas. Dig deep into your pockets, New York, we know you can help us with it.”

She pauses for a moment and then turns to camera one and gives a celebrity smile, “As a bonus, every dollar donated to the cause by the people of New York, I will match dollar for dollar from my own pocket and I’m sure that Brad will do the same…” The producer cuts a look to the master of ceremonies and gives him a winning smile before turning back to the camera. “So think of it this way folks, for every dollar you give… you’re actually giving three!”

With a whoop and a clap, she gets the audience going into a round of applause. “As an added bonus, the studio will be giving gift baskets of Advocate merchandise to every sponsor that donates a hundred dollars or more! Back to you Brad!” With that, the camera zooms in on the host and Kristen slips off stage.

And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy!

Throw your arms around New York at Christmas time

The Production Booth

“Alright people, let’s look lively, there’s a lot we need to get done in a very short time. I want those phones ringing off the hook,” Kristen announces as she makes her way back into the production booth. Commercials are almost over and already panic mode has set in on some of the less experienced staff.

Rolling her chair into position, the producer picks up her clip board and hands it off to her faithful dog (assistant) Dirk without a word. He’s already got his Christmas bonus, a nice fat check that’s enough to guy a new scooter, a new quad, and rent some lovely ladies to ride on the handlebars should the desire overtake him. Unless Dunham’s showcase girls actually take him up on the invitation, then no rental required. Already the ‘giggety giggetys’ are running through his head at the though of bikini babes on his handlebars.

“Dirk, I want you to get back into the office and start placing calls from the last five lines. We’ve got ten lines tonight, I want you to make sure there’s always a ringing in my ear.” Kristen’s not even looking back at him to make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to. The man might be a goof off but when push comes to shove, he’s always been there and has always pulled through.

But say a prayer — pray for the other ones

At Christmas time

Returning from commercial, Russo focuses his attention on the camera and shoots it his charming smile, complete with a bright flash of teeth.

The Advocate is unusually decorated today. Instead of its high-end trendy urban atmosphere, it's been transformed into a holiday set. The chairs at the front are red instead of their usual blue or grey. There's a Christmas tree decorated with sparkly silver tinsel and twinkling lights stage right of the host and his guest. Poinsettias line the coffee tables and the stairs leading up to the little stage, and there's an audience today. No reason to close down the set this time around.

The camera crew is all a-bustle to make this particular show work today. It's harder on them than their usual run-of-the-mill episode. Between the 'on-location' discussions with locals and the frequent back and forth between cameras, it's been a difficult day.

”Welcome back folks!” he greets amiably with that same bright smile and an equally bright tone. “Happy Christmas Eve! We’re delighted to have you joining us today. I’m here with Dr. Harve Brennan.” He turns to his guest now, “Dr. Brennan! It’s always a delight to have you on, thanks for joining us to celebrate the holidays today! What kinds of traditions does your family do?”

"Always a pleasure to be here with you Russo, I'm glad that I could carve out a little time for you today. As for traditions" Brennan leans back in the red chair, a charcoal suit, red tie and smiles. "Not much more different than I'm sure what others do. We gather for a big meal, we have family in from France. Only difference is there's a newborn in the house so things are a little quieter this time around is all really. We'll gather for a meal, have some friends over, hang stockings. We'll be tracking santa on Norad to make sure he'll be arriving on time" He flashes a smile to Russo. They carry on the belief in Santa in their house. "Marlena's likely glued to her twitter, watching where he is right now"

It's hard, but when you're having fun

There's a city outside your window

Russo manages a quiet chuckle as he stretches in his chair. “How is the little one doing? Especially the newborn? I imagine having kids around at Christmas is pretty rewarding.” He wouldn’t know as an only child and serial bachelor. “When does Santa come? Are you an open presents at night kind of family or a morning package family?”

"Well Henri is bearing it well. Stout little soul he is, sleeping through most of it. The kids are convinced Santa brought him early. It's very rewarding though, noisy, stressful but in the end, I enjoy it. I came from a big family myself, Michelle didn't." he shakes his head, one elbow resting on the arm of the chair, forefinger scratching just below his lip.

"Santa comes when Santa comes, at the stroke of midnight. But we are very much a morning presents kind of family. They get to open one present before going to bed, their stockings in the morning, then we settle in for a nice big breakfast and then we'll be opening the rest of the gifts. We were aiming for a more simple Christmas this year. Everyone had to make something for everyone else. I know for a fact, that I'm getting macaroni tie"

Brennan offers up a laugh. "I don't know what suit I'll wear it with. Might have to go buy a new suit."

And it's a city of dreaded fear

Where the only water flowing is a bitter sting of tears

”Maybe one of the kids will have to make a matching suit?” Russo arches an eyebrow at the camera and gives it a little wave. “Hear that Brennan kiddies? Your Dad needs a macaroni suit to go with the awesome time you made him!” he winks before sliding back to the back of his chair.

His fingers lace together in front of him. “So— how goes the career? Working on a new book that you can share tidbits about?” His eyebrow arches slightly. “And how is the Suresh Centre doing post November eighth?”

"No new book. Unless someone approaches me about parenting, but I highly doubt that would happen. I'd point them towards our lovely Nanny and give her all the credit. As for the Suresh Center, all is well. Repairs have been done, and we are open, always open, to care for and help those who are SLC-Expressive with all their needs." Brennan nods his head. "I go in every day and I enjoy seeing the people who come and go, the smiles on their faces when they realize that they have a resource, they have people they can turn to in their time of need who won't turn them away. Who get them and get what they're going through, for better or for worse"

And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom

Russo chuckles lightly at the joke about parenting, but quickly regains his composure to ask a much more serious question, and from the prompting at the production booth, he needs to start wrapping already. Siiiiiiigh. This variety program hasn't allowed him to enter any remote amount of depth in his shorter interviews. "What do you find to be the most useful and used resource at the centre?" He pauses while he leans forward, allowing his elbows to rest on his knees. "I realize the holidays can be a lonely time for a lot of people, families can be separated for so many reasons… some because of prejudice towards the evolved and the like? And for young evolved out there who are perhaps feeling lonely around the holidays thanks to such rejection, what kinds of resources do you have?"

There's always a serious question and Brennan is always glad to tackle them, answer them. He shifts in his seat, leaning forward, in a it. "The greatest resource at the center is it's people. There is always going to be someone there, be it a volunteers, the doctors on staff, the support staff, even other patients, to talk to, even myself. No question too stupid, no worry that is too trivial. Someone is always there, if you're in trouble, if you need help. We're there to help everyone from those who haven't manifested and are worrying about what they might develop, people who have freshly manifested and need the help to get the upper hand over their new found ability or even those like myself and my wife who are veterans to the whole SLC-Expressive circumstances. Come on down, come talk, come see that you aren't as alone as you think, there's many more out there"

Brad gives a firm nod at Brennan’s answer. “That is excellent, Doctor!” His smile extends as he’s signalled to wrap again. “If you are feeling lonely and you are evolved, remember there are people here for you that do care, even if it feels like you’re all alone.” He glances towards his guest and then back to the camera, “Thank you so much for joining us today, Dr. Brennan, you provided an important reminder to our viewers. If they’re looking for somewhere to go, the Suresh Centre is a good choice.” His smile grows as he addresses the audience and camera, “When we come back, Robyn Quinn will give us a brief performance of one of her excellent songs.” The show cuts to commercial.

Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

The Production Booth

“Doing a good job, Dirk. Artie, I need you to cut in on some of the audience. Mason, try to get that one guy in the back to quit looking like someone pissed in his cornflakes this morning.” Kristen falls silent for a moment as she studies the cameras and listens to the security man as he deals with the surly audience member. “I don’t care if you have to dress up like an elf in tights and do a little jingle bell dance, make him smile or get him out. We can’t afford to have someone looking like that when we’re begging for cash.”

Splitting her attention between the ten screens in front of her, the petite brunette points toward one of the far ones on the right. “Artie, take a look at that… I think one of the band members’ nose is shiny. Get makeup out there during commercial for a touch up. Make sure everyone has plenty of water and make sure Brad’s cup just has water. I don’t need him liquored up before the end of this one.”

The director is trying his best not to crack his poker face, but it’s hard. Life is hard when you’re running the betting pool on when which of the two (producer and host) is going to crack first. “Right away Miss Reynolds. Joanie, make sure you check the floors around them too, I think I see a bit of tinsel near the drums and that’s going to affect the shot if the light hits it just right.”

And there won't be snow in NYC this Christmas time

The greatest gift we can give each other is life

They had cut to commercial following Quinn's performance. It was a convenient time for a break, and an easy way to usher her back to the discussion area. She'd played to roaring applause, the crowd is particularly happy today, but who wouldn't be amid the array of gifts, cheer, and smiles?

"And we're back," Bradley Russo flashes the cameras a charming, albeit, bright smile from his red reclining chair. The dimples crater deeply within his cheeks as he glances over at his next guest.

Everything about him speaks holiday today. Well not everything, but his tie certainly does. It's a Rudolph the red nosed reindeer tie. And it lights up. Yes, his tie is not just flashy, it's flashing. Otherwise, his black Armani suit is well tailored and suited for him. "I'm sure you all really enjoyed listening to Robyn Quinn just before the break, a very talented young lady with lots to offer." He now directs his attention away from the cameras to his guest. "Robyn, it's a delight that you could join us on this lovely Christmas Eve Day. Now that's an oxymoron, isn't it? 'Christmas Eve Day'." He smirks while casting a quick glance to the production booth and nodding up towards Kristen.

It’s not Kristen who speaks up from the Producer’s booth, touching his mic before he sends the sound down. Kincaid usually leaves much of these shows to the main Producer, but sometimes he speaks up, “Where is your hat, Russo?” The voice may be a tease.

To say that the aforementioned guest is nervous might be a bit of an understatement. She's performed in front of people, certainly, both as a corseted DJ and as a more subdued musician on various instruments. But television cameras were a new thing for her - the idea of her music being broadcast into people's homes was both nerve-wracking and thrilling. The idea of sitting and talking afterwards was just nerve-wracking. Still, she's managing to largely hide it outside of an occasional fidget or split-second glance towards the camera. Nothing, hopefully, that would give her away too much as a total newb at something like this.

Sitting back in the chair and relaxing is helping, though. The warm studio probably is too. Dressed almost identically to how she had seen Kristen a few days before - black, frilly shirt that surely was rather cold without her jacket, black ankle length skirt and matching stocking, short black neck length hair and a hat to match - she probably looks a little more sullen than intended, at least on outward appearance. The smile she wears on her face belies any such gloomy demeanour, though, and when Russo addresses her, she smiles wide at him.

The song she had just played was one she had finished just recently - it hadn't even been recorded yet - called Whiteout, a snow centric song that seemed fitting of the holidays and the impending winter, even if no one really wanted to see know again after the storm earlier in the year. She had a second prepared, an acoustic cover of Else Kjelstrom's Shores of the Empire State, but there hadn't been time for it yet. Hopefully, she'd be able to get it in before her time on the show was past.

"It's a silly name," she replies, Irish accent clear as day. "Christmas Eve is Christmas Even No need t' add more to it." She leans back a bit, grinning still. "I'm glad t' be here, Russo! I've seen the show quite a few times, it's nice t' be able t' come on and talk, so close to the holidays," she continues cheerfully. "So, I'm glad you were able t' have me."

And we hope out children grow

To know that hate's not status quo

The host leans forward as he grasps his coffee mug full of… water. Real water, not vodka… this is some kind of moral victory for the production staff. Following the water? He reaches below the coffee table and dawns… his Santa hat. Oh lucky Russo! His grin extends, "I agree. It's Christmas Eve all day long." With a wink directed at the camera, and therefore, to his viewers at home he shifts in his seat, leaning a little to the side, he rests his arms on the arms of the chair, finding a comfortable vantage point to chat.

"Now, I'm sure those of you at home and many in the studio are aware of the love we have of the arts here at the Advocate. While we focus on the political sometimes more than we ought, K Studios actually really supports local talent." He brings the mug to his lips again. "But I think it's a wonder to everyone here and at home how the artistic process works." The mug is replaced on the table, "What inspires you? For example.. That song was incredible. What inspired you to write it? Where did you get the lyrics from?"

Quinn looks thoughtful for just a moment, not wanting to remain too quiet for too long while on air. "Honestly, it's the people and things around me that inspire," she replies simply. "Trite, I know, but that's how it is. That song in particular, 'Whiteout', was inspired by that dreadful snowstorm we had earlier in the year. Hence all the talk of snow an' whiting out the world an' what not." She offers a smile both to Russo and the camera, before taking a sip from her own mug, also mercifully empty of alcohol (for the moment).

"I've written songs about lots a' people around me. Friends, old girlfriends, even people that piss me off. Just… sometimes things spring t' mind, or you notice that one trait about someone that's so inspirin'. Or see that one perfect thing, or have that one perfect day." She gives a bit of a shallow nod, reaching up to adjust her hat. "I don't really think anything I've done worth recording wasn't inspired by something like that."

Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

"I envy that," Russo muses as he leans back in his seat, allowing himself to recline more within it. He grins brightly and allows his hands to clasp together in front of him, shifting again to lean forward in his seat, allowing his elbows to rest on his knees for a moment, only to smile sheepishly and straighten again.

"How long have you been writing? In a way I imagine it's kind of therapeutic to write about something rather than wallow in it, right?" his eyebrows arch slightly. "I know my grandmother used to write short stories and always felt that it was her release. Of course, the woman never aimed to publish anything in her lifetime." He shoots Robyn a lopsided grin.

With a quiet hmmm, he reaches for the mug again, this time only to hold it rather than to actually drink. "What's your favourite song you've written?"

"It actually gets a little annoying sometimes," Quinn replies with a bit of a laugh when envy is mentioned. "I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a killer idea for a lyric or a song an' not been able t' get it down before I lost it. Like losin' a dream before you get the chance t' tell someone about it. An' people don't always take well t' bein' written about either. Had my fair share of tempers lost over it."

There's a bit of a fidget and Quinn sits up, giving another little shrug at Russo. "Long time. I've been playin' music since mum started me learnin' piano when we lived in Ireland when I was a kid. Started writin' my own music in high school, even recorded a demo in Boston. That was almost nine years ago, though. Now I'm working on something a bit more contemporary.

The question of her favourite song bring a bit of a sad smile to Quinn's face, though it is fleeting. "My favourite song I've written… is probably one called 'Waiting For You'. It's a very… personal song, I've never really played it for people or intended to record it. Besides that, I have a song I wrote early this year called Empire of the Sun that I just adore. It's a very fast paced song, pop rock with keyboards and a very quick, not quite electronic backing sound to it. It's a lot of fun to play."

Here's to you

Looking out for number one

The answer is accompanied by a little chuckle, "At least your ideas were good in the first place! Have you ever thought that an idea was brilliant and then when you actually wrote it down and read it the next day or hours later you realized it was like the stupidest idea ever." Russo chuckles again as he shakes his head. "I think anyone with any creativity has had that experience. Or anyone who's written a master's thesis." He shoots her a toothy grin.

"Any chance you'd consider recording that song? Or is far too personal? I can imagine some work is like it." He unclasps his hands and leans back in the chair again to grasp each of the arms in his hands.

"What's your favourite instrument? And which would you rather be doing— DJing or playing? Does it matter on the when or where as to what appeals more?"

"I think half the songs that get rejected are because I finally play them for someone an' they're like, 'that is the worst bunch of rubbish I've ever heard!" She laughs, leaning forward a bit as she does, a wide smile on her face. She's clearly enjoying herself! Or acting really well, it's hard to tell. "But all your ideas can't be crap, Russo. I mean, you invited me on, didn't you?" Sarcastically said, but she's still stroking her own ego a little.

"As for that song, maybe some day. At the moment, it's not likely, but you never know, right?" Quinn folds her hands in her lap, mug set aside. "One thing I do know is that if I ever do release a version of it, it'll be of my own accord, and not though the whims of a producer or record company. That's part of the reason I don't really play it too often; I feel it's really quite good and I'm not ready for people t' be askin' t' hear it."

The last question gets another moment of though. "Violin," she answers rather quickly. "Piano an' bass right behind it. I do love t' sing, though, an' it's quite hard t' pull that off while playing violin." Tapping her cheek, she grins. "I love both very dearly, but if I had t' pick, I'd rather spend my days playin' my own music rather than someone else's. But I have nothin' but love for DJin' an' the New York club scene. It's been good t' me over the years."

Here's to them

Love can never be overdone

He glances up at the production room and issues it a quick nod before turning back to his guest. Russo's smile becomes somewhat apologetic to and even more so when he faces the camera. "I'm sorry to say this folks, but I only have time for one last question for Robyn today." That's the nature of the this particular episode; they've had to be disciplined with the time in order to fit everyone (and everything) in.

A glance is given to the production room again, whatever question he's being pushed to ask, he's ignoring it, choosing one of his own as Quinn's last for day. "I imagine we have lots of younger viewers trying to make some headway in the world you live. What would you say to the aspiring artists out there? What advice can you give them?"

Aw, that's sad! Quinn had been hoping for more, but you have to take what you can get, right? Any exposure is good exposure, for the most part. "Advice for artists - music are otherwise - is a tough thing, because no one really has the same experience. I m'self kinda lucked out as of late, after years of trying to get stuff started, fallin' int' place with some musically inclined fans, formed a band, came int' some money and found a studio where I use free of charge…"

Clearing her throat, she shakes her head. "I guess that's really the best advice I have - keep with it. You'll catch your break eventually, but it'll take time an' work t' get there. My mum's an artist, it took her forever t' sell her first piece of art, an' I've been doin' music for almost ten years, and I'm just finally gettin' around t' truly recordin'. An' that may sound discouragin', but if you really love it, it's not. It just means you might have t' work harder and longer than some others. But you'll get there." She smiles a smile that a teacher would give after lecturing her students.

Sad for Russo too, it always takes him a bit to get into the interview, but this is the nature of variety show day. On that note, "Thank you so much for coming Miss Quinn. It's been a delight to have you here." He reaches for something on the coffee table— a note card for himself. "The CD is Glass Wonderland. Robyn Quinn. Buy it, enjoy it, relish in it," he shoots a flicker of a grin towards the production room. "Everyone in our audience is getting a co— " the word is cut off amid cheering and massive applause from the audience, causing Brad to stand from his seat. He waits for the applause to die, but it just continues, bringing a more rueful smile to his lips. "Settle down!" He motions his hands downwards until things quiet a little, "You're getting a voucher for a copy. It's not out yet." He shakes his head slightly, the studio kicked in for the gifts regardless. "When we come back, a one-on-one with Nicole Nichols." Cue the commercial.

Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

The Production Booth

“Okay, queue up the music. And we’re back from commercial in five… four..” Three, two, and one are silent as the assistant director counts them down with a wave.

Up in the booth, Kristen and Artie (along with a small passel of other behind the scenes people) are making sure everything is perfect for the final segment. “Joe, dim the lights… Brad wants something soft for this one. Turn up the one over the tree, let’s make it the focus until they come into the picture. Camera one, swing over the set, grab the band, yes, tree, yes, Russo… freeze before you get to him. Cut to camera two, pant the audience… Beautiful. Mason, good to see the elf suit worked, I think the bells on the toes were a big hit. Camera three, focus in on the band… get Robyn. Look at that, she’s a born star. Perfect.” Kristen’s instructions are flawless as she directs the cameras and lights like a conductor in front of a symphony orchestra. Her team hasn’t changed much over the years. This year is going to be no different from any other…

Reach out New York

The happy toned Christmas music bringing the show back from commercial finds Bradley Russo in his preferred seat. His smile is broad, his attention is on the camera and only vaguely, and oddly, somewhat nervously (is he drinking again? is that why the nerves?) he smiles at the camera and then the production room in turn. There's no do-overs with this show and he's all too aware.

"And we're back! We're so glad you joined us today— this fine Christmas Eve that it is." He swallows hard, hard enough to see the distinct bob of his adam's apple behind his dress shirt. "And I have Nicole Nichols with me. We're delighted to have you on today, Nicole. Merry Christmas!" His lips flicker into a brighter smile, "And what are you doing this fine holiday, Ms Nichols." He already knows. Maybe it's just small talk…

Nicole is no stranger to this sort of set up at this stage in her life. She's the master of the art of the live press conference, though it's generally not her doing the speaking. She's usually the one standing two steps behind and to the right, ready with a bottle of water, a tissue, note cards or encouraging words.

But this is all off the cuff. Unruffled though she may be, Nicole Nichols has to admit to being marginally out of her element, but stubborn enough to face it and conquer it beautifully.

When Russo asks his question, she's quick with a smile, her glance out toward the audience, not to the camera, and then back to the host. "Thank you so much for having me, Mister Russo. I was only too happy to join you when you asked if I would like to be here for this special show!" Trusting and only too happy are not necessarily the same thing. If he hadn't been there, he might not actually know better.

"I don't have any big plans for the holiday," Nicole murmurs. The slyness in her voice is subtle, but definitely there for Russo's benefit. "I'm sharing a meal with a dear friend. I may break out an obnoxious Christmas sweater for the occasion. I try to attend a holiday party each year, but in light of the current situation in the city, I've decided to keep things pretty low key this year." It could be a downer, mention of the current situation - martial law, - but she keeps her tone light.

Reach out New York

"So you've been doing this public thing for awhile, haven't you Miss Nichols?" Brad straightens his ridiculous-too-colourful tie and leans forward in his seat as a glance is given to one of the media guys, who merely nods his head slightly. "I suppose that's the nature of working for Mister Linderman, isn't it? What would you say the best party or gathering has been for you? Are you a black tie benefit type or more interested in the quieter less formal affairs?"

His smile becomes sheepish while he shifts in his set, "What about social gatherings? My understanding is we have some footage of you— " again his eyebrows arch expectantly.

"In light of the current economic situation, we at the Linderman Group decided not to hold our usual holiday party, but instead donated the fund to relief efforts for those displaced by the fires in Queens on the 8th." From anyone else, it might sound like it's just a PR spiel, but Nicole sells it. When she speaks, it sounds like giving back to the community is the one truly important thing to her.

Nicole smooths her hands over the skirt of her green dress. A black cardigan, decorated by an appliqué of a sprig of holly, hides her lapel microphone. She's conscious not to shift too much to disturb it. "I do enjoy the occasional black tie affair, I admit. I do enjoy the excuse to get dressed up and feel like a movie star, at times. But smaller parties amongst friends and family are always the best. I think most people would agree with that."

Nicole's head tips downward a bit, gaze lowering with a small smile on her lips. Thoughtful. At least until he mentions footage. That snaps her head right back up with wide eyes. "No way." Like she's calling a bluff. She's surprised, but the laughter that escapes her also proves she's amused and curious. "This I have got to see."

Reach out New York

Swallowing again and shooting a vague, nearly indiscernible glance up to the production booth, Brad issues Kristen a shrug. The viewers would think it nothing more than a production snafu, but Kristen will recognize it as an unspoken apology— this was not part of the plan as the production staff knew it. Rather… it was something Brad did all on his own, well, with the help of nameless thirty something media guy. Clearing his throat, he manages a soft smile and a deep sigh, "Roll it."

The clip itself begins with Deck the Halls as background music, it seems a lot of time and energy was put into it. Particularly as it contains video footage and pictures of Nicole (generally traipsing after Linderman) at one function or another and looking absolutely smashing in the process. Underneath the pictures a single word appears in distinct, curly, pretty italics Beautiful.

After several bars of music, however, the music ceases and video footage from the last episode of The Advocate Nicole was on flash across the screen complete with one of her answers, "There are some very heavy allegations levelled at some of the members of Unity's upper echelons. I don't want to speculate as to the validity of those allegations, but it certainly is the duty of the police and the government to investigate, to ensure the safety of society," underneath which the word Intelligent appears.

The music changes to a distinctly different tune. Bruno Mars begins to stream along with photos that Russo had collected from various places: yearbooks, publicity photos, anything he could get his hands on. And the lyrics? //It's a beautiful night~ We're looking for something dumb to do~ Hey baby~ I think I wanna marry you~"

Let them know it's Christmas time and

Reach out New York

“This was not the stuff I was working on,” Kincaid says in a rather surprised and shocked sounding voice, recalling the hours he spent in the studio after denying Russo of further coffee when he picked out footage and music for the Christmas Special. His voice is soft, and he begins to move back a bit, a sudden glance toward Kristen, as she begins to notice what is happening. A wary expression. Maybe anyone would be wary at a moment like that.

"Dirk, is that the music that's supposed to go with that clip?" Kristen's been too busy to actually look up and see the collection of photos. For one, she's sure the music isn't right. It certainly didn't pass by her desk on the way tot he production booth. Turning, she looks toward Artie, one of the video editors. "Did you see this before it went— " That's when Kristen turns toward the screens.


The pen in her hands breaks in two from the force of her shock (and anger) as she figures out exactly what's going on. "CUT TO COMMERCIAL!! CUT. TO. COMMERCIAL!!" Even down below Russo can see the producer of his show up and frantic as she presses anything and everything she can to stop what is happening.

Let them know it's Christmas time and

Reach out New York

Nicole's eyes slide to a monitor where she can better see the video being shown and she immediately begins to blush. She reaches up to lay a hand over her chest, seeming to laugh. In reality, she's covering her lapel mic. "What are you doing?" she hisses to the Advocate host.

Wait. Is that Bruno Mars?

In stark contrast to her initial reaction to the video footage of her, Nicole blanches now, her hand coming up over her mouth as she searches Russo's face for any sign that this is a joke. The hand is only in place to cover the fact that her jaw is hanging open, and it would be rather impolite to look horrified by… Whatever this is.

Let them know it's Christmas time and

Reach out New York

The music to cut to commercial cues in, while the video finishes out, but Russo holds up a hand to the media people as his own cheeks tinge a faint pink. He manages a rather docile serene smile while his eyes become glassy. Why they're glassy is entirely unclear, but even with pale blue eyes glassy-ness the smile is almost strained, forced as if to fight any other outpouring of real emotion.

With a deep breath, his eyes focus on her intently, trying to seek hers out, asking one silent question that Nicole already knows; one he'd posed a lot recently. Slowly, carefully, he slides off his chair and settles on one knee. "Nicole Nichols," he clears his throat. This is the way he should've done it the first time. "You are… an intelligent, ambitious, heart-filled woman. You make me laugh, you make me smile, and you challenge me everyday…" he swallows again, catching his breath in his throat, "You can drink me under the table," that's a good thing for an alcoholic, "and you could out-debate me any day."

With another deep breath he manages the question, "I only have one Christmas wish this year… I would have the most outstanding amazing Christmas if you would do me the honour of agreeing to be my wife…" He reaches into his coat pocket and extracts a red velvet box which he opens, revealing a very sparkly large princess-cut diamond ring complete with blue topaz accents— Nicole's birthstone.

Let them know it's Christmas time and

Reach out New York

Nicole's hands fall into her lap only when she's sure her jaw is no longer threatening to hit the floor. The silence that follows his proposal is brief, but electrically charged in a way that has nothing to do with her ability. She doesn't look out to the audience, or up to the booth. She keeps their blue gazes locked and answers his silent question with the slightest dip of her chin.

The emotions on her face cycle openly. From something like uncertainty with a touch of fear, coupled with a shaky smile, to something else a bit more like disbelief and incredulity, and finally to a look of questioning. Her lips are still curled upwards around her words when she presses her right hand over her microphone and whispers to her suitor, looking a bit overcome. Nicole's voice sounds too loud in her own ears, even though it doesn't carry through the studio. Her breath catches in her throat as she finally turns her attention to the ring. Her eyes widen a fraction with surprise and awe.

Let them know it's Christmas time and

Reach out New York

Perhaps it's a lucky thing that Kristen was running between the production booth and the stage, because it gave Brad the time to get his entire proposal out. At the end, like the crash of a cymbal, the doors to the studio are flung open and there is the producer. Standing with her feet shoulder width apart, her hands clenched into tight little fists, and an expression of anger, hurt, and more anger.

Seeing the look on Nicole's face, the look on Russo's face, she clenches her jaw and wheels around. There's nothing but the swing of the doors to mark her departure. Kincaid will be left to finish out the rest of the special.

And before the audience can get the fill of whether this particular proposal ends joyous or not, the studio staff actually cuts to commercial so as not to further incur the wrath of the producer.

Mission accomplished.

Let them know it's Christmas time

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