Sensitive Renard Noses


joanna_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Sensitive Renard Noses
Synopsis Making cookies, planning present deliveries, and a night in watching movies make for a quiet Christmas Eve for the Renard women.
Date December 24, 2010

Solstice Condominiums Joanna's Home

Christmas Eve will find me

Where the love-light gleams

I'll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams.

Home is where the heart is — if that's so, Tasha is torn in two not for the first time, nor will it be the last. Joanna's condo is her home, or the one she'd known for her teen years, and the one she knows she's always welcome to, that will always be waiting for her as long as her mother lives there. But part of her heart is kept elsewhere — wherever Colette is. Tasha knows she's supposed to be in town tonight, to keep a secret to her sister, but travel has been difficult due to weather and martial law, so nothing is ever a given.

The teen is doing her best not to dwell on that part of her heart, and to give all the love in the rest of her to her mother at this moment, and, through baked goods, to her father. The kitchen counter is cluttered with a riot of baking supplies: flour, chocolate, bowls of frosting, nuts, three kinds of sugar.

As Tasha spoons out cookie batter onto a sheet, she glances at her mother. "Does he even eat cookies? I don't really remember ever seeing him eat a cookie." It's not meant to be a criticism. "I'm sure the kids will eat them if he doesn't, though. He'll like everything else we're sending him, I hope." Everything else includes some more clothing, an iPod and batteries full of music that Tasha chose for him. Books. Crossword and sudoku puzzles.

"Just because you never saw him, doesn't mean he doesn't. In the few years when we actually all lived together, did you think it was me who ate the cookies that you left out for Santa?" Because it wasn't Joanna. "He eats them. Doesn't over-indulge, but he eats them" There's likely still much about Vincent that Tasha doesn't know.

Sheets of parchment paper on cookie sheets wait, racks out cooling the ones already finished and awaiting to be packaged, dispersed to neighbours. What's not eaten by then or reserved for Vincent. Today is another good day, yesterday not so, nor the day before. Both were painkiller hazes, but today, over the counter seems to be working and she's moving around as if all was normal. Presents under tree's, christmas music playing, it's panning out to be a nice Christmas Eve. "You tucked in the solar charger too right?"

"Santa didn't eat the cookies??" Tasha says incredulously with wide eyes before smirking. "I don't know. I didn't think about it when I was a kid. I also didn't believe after second grade but I pretended to for two more years because I wasn't sure I'd get as many presents if I didn't."

It's apparently confession time.

"Yeah, it's in there," she adds regarding the charger. "I can't even imagine what it must be like for him not being able to work, though I'm sure he's doing something useful."
"It give shim more time to perfect his guitar solo's" Straightly, dryly spoken by Joanna as she starts plucking up cookies and dropping them gently into tins. "You got as many, we just didn't label them from Santa anymore. So hard to keep that innocence these days. What with other children blathering it and breaking the illusion. I cried the year you told us that you knew santa wasn't real."

"Well, I know that now but seven and eight-year-olds, logic isn't their strong point, right?" Tasha says brightly, then laughs fondly at the fact her mother cried over her loss of faith in Santa. She moves closer to offer a hug, kissing Jo's cheek before grabbing the sheet full of cookies to load into the oven.

"My tough legal eagle mother crying over that. Did the chauvinists in the office give you a hard time, or did you keep it under wraps from them?" she says playfully. "I'm sorry I made you cry. But just imagine how much worse it would have been if I did it at seven instead of nine!"

"Bee bottom, if you apologized for all the times that you made me cry, you'd be wearing out your tongue" She returns the kiss in return, pinching her cheek before the tray is taken away and she returns to cooling cookies. "Yes, seven year olds should believe in Santa, it's a crime and those who break the illusion should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law" The chauvinists never knew. her work and home life were always seperate. There were even some who never knew she had a kid until her divorce started. "Thank god you weren't mad at us for perpetuating the farce about a fat man who magically crawls down chimney and leaves presents" Or in their case, an air vent, since at the time they'd had no chimney.

"Well," Tasha breathes out, choosing to focus on the joke rather than on the fact she's constantly breaking her mother's heart, "I considered suing you for fraud. But then I considered the opposing team and knew the jury would never be on my side."

She begins putting dough on another sheet. It's mindless work which she needs, with the bonus of cookie dough nibbles now and then. "What do you want for dinner? I'll make it. You should rest after this. And no, you can't just have cookies for dinner, no matter how hard you beg."

JOanna turns, a pleading look on her face, lower lip ticking out. "Oh but I want cookies and milk for dinner. Pretty please, can't I have some. I'll be the best behaved mother tomorrow and I'll let you open all your presents first, pretty please with cherry on top?" Which, in the end, looks so strange and funny as she's trying to look sad, and beggarly like, but trying to not also break into laughter.

Tasha snorts and brings her batter bowl to the sink to fill it up. "I always get to open all my presents first anyway!" Well, she did when she was a kid, before she realized giving was also fun. "Well, if I'm cooking dinner - unless we order out - it means you get… spaghetti, meatloaf, pancakes or waffles, or stroganoff. That's all I know how to make."

The spaghetti, at least, is a Lazzaro family recipe and Tasha makes it well. "But we do have Ben and Jerry's for dessert, so it won't be a totally epic fail."

Joanna says, ā€œSpaghetti. I would like spaghetti. I don't want to tempt fate and you make spaghetti so well and it's easy" Turkey is likely not to happen tomorrow, unless Tasha makes it, Joanna has another good day or Diane and her family end up descending, which is a possibility as well. "I don't want to order out and send some poor delivery person out into the snow and I don't want a thousand more dishes than we already had going"

Joanna reaches out to snag her daughter and pull her in close, press her nose into Tasha's short hair. "Thank you, for sticking here, for staying the last few months. For helping me Tasha. I really appreciate it."ā€

The sudden hug has Tasha suddenly teary and she wraps her arms around her mother, being sure to squeeze at the shoulders and not lower where it will hurt her. "You're my mom," she says quietly. What doesn't get said is that she blames herself for Joanna being hurt in the first place — she's already apologized for it, already been forgiven, if Joanna had ever thought there was anything to forgive.

"I love you, Mom." She bumps her head lightly against her mother's. "I'll make dinner and then I'll run out to get this to the person taking it to Dad, then we can cozy up and watch Christmas movies and pretend we're too tough to cry over them and that we're just teary because of the Christmas tree aggravating our sensitive Renard noses."

'Such sensitive noses" She nods to her daughter, relishing the affection. "And I can drop these off with the neighbours. I think tonight the visual menu shall be… A christmas Story, Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Elf and… it's a wonderful life for the end, yes?" As it's been for a long time, save with the addition of the Elf in recent years because for some reason, Joanna likes the movie.

Tasha grins and returns to the sink to start on the dishes. "I see your Elf, Christmas Story, Vacation and Wonderful Life, and raise you with The Grinch. The television one, not that horrible one with Jim Carrey."

It'll be a quiet night, mother and child, hopefully with more laughter than tears.

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