idontreallyspar: ([Hatch] Graceson)
[personal profile] idontreallyspar
The box was under the tree Rachel had made him get, wrapped up fairly simply in red and green paper with a silver bow. It was small, too...tiny. Beside it was the real gift...a longer, though equally small box wrapped in much the same fashion.

One box had Rachel's Christmas gift...the other *didnt'* have Rachel's Christmas gift.

But that was the gag...and the point. The smaller box was *meant* to hold the gold cigar band engagement ring that was currently tucked in his pocket. He couldn't keep his hands off it as he waited for her to show up, slipping his hand inside every so often to make sure it hadn't morphed into something else while he waited.

He'd been sure for a while now that he was going to propose, but the few casual hints he'd dropped had told him enough: Rachel wasn't ready, or interested. Not yet, anyway...but he was sick of waiting, and he figured that maybe this little compromise he had in mind...well, it might go off okay. And what better time to lay it down than Christmas, right?

With Rachel's family out of the picture this year, all it had taken was the briefest mention from him that he wasn't big on the holidays for her to sweep in and declare that they were going to do up Christmas and New Year's right...he didn't know what New Year's would bring, but according to Rachel, Christmas would mean a tree (which she'd dragged him out to buy), a viewing of at least one Christmas movie (which he was praying *wouldn't* be IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or something), and presents...which he was fine with.

So, he decided to get a little bit romantic and a whole lot sappy. The longer box held Rachel's real Christmas gift...the one she could open and keep and gush over. It had taken some advice from Dixon, but the teardrop opal pendant with silver chain still seemed kind of austere. Still, after conferring with Dixon and even happening across Marshall's wife Carrie at the office, he'd gotten a resounding amount of approval on all sides.

The ring box was empty...and he was just praying he wouldn't scare Rachel off when he explained why.

So the lights on the tree were on, the presents were under the tree, and he'd put together a bottle of wine and made sure the kitchen was stocked in case they felt like eating.

All that was left to do now was wait for her to show up.

Date: 2006-12-27 06:38 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: (Expression = Cute Soft Smile)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Rachel was insane. She hadn't needed to go out shopping the day before Christmas, but she actually thought it was funny to watch the rest of the world panic over a holiday. All the times that panic in the world meant so much more was going on, it was nice to see that not having Season Seven of Seinfeld in stock was a huge crisis. So after wandering around downtown for a bit she stopped to pick up a coffee at the corner shop and head back up to Tom's. She had left all her gifts there earlier and had simply given him the excuse that she needed one more thing just so she could brave the crowds for no apparent reason at all.

Her family had opted to do a Christmas vacation, and Rachel actually encouraged it. In the back of her mind she almost missed being with them, and would have gladly gone on the trip with them. Instead though she knew she had to stay with Tom, it was their first Christmas together and she wanted it to be something special. Shopping for Tom was near impossible. The man didn't actually need anything at all, his simplistic approach to life was more than evident in his apartment. Still she had been a smart shopper and had found a few smaller things for him. She wanted to get him a new clip for his service revolver because he kept bitching that it stuck, but the one he needed was backordered through the agency.

Heading up the stairs Rachel paused outside the door to Tom's place and searched for her keys for a moment, then let herself in. "Tom," Rachel called out as she took her coat off and hung it on the hook behind the door. Tugging her shoes off her feet she moved into the apartment loving the smell of the pine needles that hinted on the air. Rachel moved toward the tree grinning at the cast of colored lights that shone across the wall behind it, her toe nudging at the gifts that hadn't been there before.

"Someone's been busy..." she breathed beneath her breath listening for him to come up behind her and startle her.

Date: 2007-01-01 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tom glanced away from the tree, which he'd been staring at for God knew how long when Rachel's voice rang out. He had the perfect vantage point from his place just inside the door frame to the hallway that she just missed seeing him as she walked into the living room.

He didn't answer her call right away, choosing instead to just stand there for a moment and watch her as she took in the tree, her eyes closing for just a split second as she inhaled the fragrance of fresh pine and made him suddenly just a little bit glad that he'd allowed himself to be talked into the tree.

When she saw the two new packages, he finally pushed off the doorframe and walked up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist when she finally picked up on his presence.

"Only a little." he admitted with a lopsided grin, overhearing her whispered words and pulling her lightly against his body and resting his chin atop her head. "All I did was stick 'em under the tree while you were traipsing around. Got the hard part out of the way a long time ago."

Date: 2007-01-01 10:33 pm (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: ([Tom] How Much I Love You)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
She really did love the holidays, which was probably just remnants of growing up in a house that tended to go a bit overboard on the good ones. Halloween, Christmas the Gibson family was no stranger to making the neighbors feel like they didn't do quite enough. This though, was good. It made Rachel feel at home with Tom, and didn't push Tom too far into the commercialism of the holiday itself.

Rachel's hand rested easily atop his arm pulled across her waist, as her free hand drifted behind her up to the back of Tom's head scritching her short nails against his hair. "I was not traipsing... it was taking in the insanity of people that weren't clearly as organized as myself."

Smirking to herself she leaned back against him a bit more loving the way that she could fit right against him without having to readjust herself all the time. It was all of those smaller things that had built up into this huge thing that she really couldn't avoid thinking. Rachel could have stood there in his arms her fingers splaying through the short hair on the back of his head in the lights of the tree for the rest of the night and been content.

"So the hard part... I take it I'm not as easy to shop for as you thought?" Rachel shifted herself from beneath his chin twisting around in his embrace to let her hands rest on his shoulders as she leaned away from him a bit. Narrowing her eyes at him a bit she tried to read him, which even with all the training she had still wasn't exactly easy to do, and he knew it. Giving up she just smiled at him, the corners of her mouth barely showing the emotion that was truthfully always in her eyes.

"Merry Christmas," she said softly before leaning in to kiss him, her hand sliding back up to the back of his head while the other moved down to rest upon his chest. She could have stayed like that for the rest of the night as well, and she knew he knew that too just by the way he kissed her back.

Date: 2007-01-02 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tom snorted softly at her explanation, shifting to press a kiss to the top of her head before leaning back just a little into the affectionate scratch of her nails against his scalp. "Honestly, I'm not surprised." he remarked. It was the truth, just seemed like such a Rachel thing to do, going out to observe the rest of humanity in action. She was a people watcher by nature...and as such, had turned him into a little bit of one as well...started with watching her, then watching others. She took a private delight in the idiosyncracies of people as a whole, and on certain occasions he could see why.

"So the hard part... I take it I'm not as easy to shop for as you thought?"

As she turned in his embrace, he tried to decide if she was attempting to get a read on him or not. It wasn't hard to tell that she was, so he chose his answer carefully while keeping his features impassive.

"Hard to find the perfect gift for the perfect woman." he quipped, smiling as he returned her kiss, tightening his arms around her waist. "And Merry Christmas right back atcha."

After a moment of just standing there, enjoying the quiet and the warmth of her in his arms, he felt his nerves flare again...that uneasy restlessness that felt both good and just a little nauseating. He wanted to do this...question was, *could* he?

"So," he sighed, rubbing her back lightly before drawing away just a little bit, "since you're leading this Gibson-style version of Christmas...what's next on the agenda? Grab a drink...presents...corny Christmas movie..."

Date: 2007-01-02 04:35 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: (Pretty = R Red for Rachel)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Letting her head rest against his chest, she inhaled deeply smiling at the warm scent that Tom had. It was always more of a clean smell laced with a bit of aftershave that actually was more than likely from the day before than that morning. That warmth paired with the hint of pine from the tree and Rachel was pretty happy. Exhaling slowly and pressing her burying her face into his neck she kissed him lightly talking against skin, "Gibson-Style Christmas... Mmm... I think Gibson-Grace style Christmas suites it better. Gibson Style Christmas you would actually hear Christmas Music for weeks before the actual day, and that is something I knew not to put you through... yet. I think we should get some wine curl up on the couch... maybe distract ourselves for a moment..."

Rachel smiled against his neck, her lips parting seductively against skin just hinting around at all the things she knew that he liked, "Or... you could just give me my presents now and see what your odds are at getting lucky after I open them."

Date: 2007-01-02 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The nervous knot in Tom's stomach tightened up a bit at her response, even as that damn wonderful *wicked* little mouth of hers tried to distract him. But at the same time, it only strengthened his resolve. He was nervous...scared...but the fact that he still felt so sure about what he was doing made him a whole lot happier than it ought to.

"Well...we could do both." he replied with a small smile, nodding to the kitchen. "C' me get drinks together, then maybe we can...I dunno, both open a present or something."

As she accompanied him to the kitchen, his hand slid into his pocket again, fingering the ring. Impulse made him want to pull it out and ask...forget his little speech about waiting, forget the whole plan he'd made...

...and it was an impulse he just couldn't curb. Not completely. His mouth started moving as he headed for the fridge, where he had a bottle of wine chilling.

"My dad proposed to my mom during the holidays." he remarked, catching her eye when he emerged from the fridge. "My...*real* parents. Venomecci, not Grace." He paused, gesturing around absently. "I keep bugkillers up around here. Uh...I guess that's why the holidays have always been...kind of ambiguous for me. Used to be a real party when I was growing up, but after I left Jersey...not so much. I guess...I figured I owe you an explanation for me bein' such a Scrooge, y'know?"

Date: 2007-01-02 05:29 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: ([Tom] How Much I Love You)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Parting from him Rachel smiled as they made their way into the kitchen. Hearing him talk about his family before everything happened tugged at her a bit, wishing she could have the right words for every situation, but instead she just nodded and listened to him. Her brow knit up a bit when he suggested that he had to explain his lack of enthusiasm for the holiday itself though.

Her compassion and understanding showed in the relaxed expression and the gentle raise of her eyebrows as she turned to him with two glasses in hand. "Tom," her head shook lightly for a moment, "You don't own me any explanation, not many people like the holidays... unless they're twelve and under. In our family the past few years we had a twelve and under. My sister Beth... and before that Marcus." Rachel shrugged for a moment, "It was just another thing that made the Gibson family a little less like every other family."

Moving toward him she shifted the stems of the glasses into one hand and let her free one cradle against his jawline, "Even without the tree, and the lights, and the odd scary gnome ornament... which by the way next year is accidentally getting dropped, even without all that? It still would have been Christmas, and I still would have been happy."

Date: 2007-01-02 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tom found himself leaning into her touch just a little, smiling slightly as he turned his head just enough to kiss her palm. "Yeah, but still...your parade's the last one I'd ever wanna rain on." he replied softly.

Drawing back after a moment, he inclined his head, leading her out of the kitchen and into the living room, focusing on what he was saying...testing those waters. "It's actually a funny story. They'd been together a while, so Mom was bringing Dad home to meet her folks. Car broke down, and they were stuck in the car while they waited for the Auto Club with this hardcore storm going outside. Anyway, Dad got it in his head to he did. When they got to my grandparents' house, Mom didn't introduce Dad as her boyfriend, she introduced him as her fiancee...and they nearly had a stroke when she showed 'em the ring."

He paused as they reached the couch, setting the bottle on the coffee table as he straightened to take the glasses from her. "It was a paper cigar band he took from one he had in his glove compartment."

Date: 2007-01-02 05:46 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: ([Tom] Walking In Front of Me)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
A slow smirk crossed her features at the mention of her parade, "Oh? There's a parade?" A casual glance around the kitchen and she was grinning, "Nope. Just me 'n you. Shame, I like parades." A quick kiss to his lips and they headed back out to the living room. Following Tom with glasses in hand she listened to him finish the story. Actually really happy to hear something that he could tell her about his family that wasn't full of a bit of sadness.

Tom turned to her taking the glasses from her getting a sly wink from Rachel in trade as well, "Mmm.. so the inadequacies involving car repair? That's a family thing?" Rachel teased lightly about the lack of skill Tom had with most anything automotive. "Though I can see where the spontaneity in you comes from then too."

Date: 2007-01-02 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
At her wisecrack about car repair, he just rolled his eyes, setting the glasses down and sitting on the sofa, setting to work on uncorking the bottle. "That's enough from the peanut gallery." he deadpanned. "But it's kinda funny, Ma used to say that about me, too."

Once the bottle was open, he leaned over to pour them each a glass, hesitating only as long as it took to swallow past the small knot forming in his throat. "Believe it or not, she actually saved that cigar band...Dad got her a real ring, but then he had that paper ring dipped in gold and repainted for their fifth anniversary. Got to be their 'thing'...the story, the ring, the whole bit."

Date: 2007-01-02 06:20 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: (Expression = Cute Soft Smile)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Rachel took a seat beside Tom, leaning forward as her elbows set against her knees letting her chin rest against a fist. She watched him pour the wine and could hear the build up in his voice, though as to what exactly he was building toward she was clueless, but she still enjoyed watching him nonetheless. The swallow she saw in his throat made her eyes light up a bit, knowing he was nervous even slightly nervous was something new, and perked her curiosity up a bit. Her free hand took the glass of wine taking a casual sip of it.

"Sounds cute. My parents were pretty cliche, Dad did the asking permission thing, Mom was expecting it for at least a month before he got around to actually saying something. He swears she was in the dark, but in the time I spent with my grandmother before she passed I know she can't keep a secret to save her life."

Rachel laughed for a moment before taking another sip of wine, then curling up into the corner of the couch. Shifting so her feet could tuck beneath Tom's legs a bit.

Date: 2007-01-02 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tom settled back comfortably after pouring his own glass of wine, smirking and shifting to accomodate Rachel as she tucked her feet under his leg.

"Sounds real cute." he remarked, taking a swallow of his wine. He kind of wished it were something was a hell of a thing, being nervous about something he wanted, something that he was so damn *certain* of.

The only thing that was uncertain was her answer to the question. And that was what he was scared of.

"But, uh...cliche is good, though. Or can be." he went on, taking one more sip before setting his glass on the coffee table, discreetly reaching into his pocket at the same time. The motion made him feel oddly calmer...not much, but a little. It felt and now.

It was perfect.

"Cliche ain't always cliche, sometimes it's cute." He went on. "Stuff like that...getting permission from the parents, buying the ring, asking in some hokey romantic setting..."

Pulling the ring from his pocket, he toyed with it for a moment before shifting to face her, letting the ring come into view.

"...or giving your girl your mother's ring."

He didn't wait for a reaction, only shifted off the sofa and sank to one knee in front of her.

"I had this whole thing." he began, all of his nerves disappearing, even though his words were just a little rushed. "The small box under the tree, it's empty...I was gonna show you the ring and tell you I was ready, even if you weren't...that I could wait. But I can't...I can't wait." He paused, meeting her gaze...searching for words he'd prepared in his mind, but were now totally gone.

All he had left was the truth.

"I can't wait, because there's only one thing I want for Christmas, Rach...and that's you. Forever." He paused, shaking his head just a little, his eyes never leaving hers as he reached for her hand.

"I can do a long engagement, I can keep it quiet for a while if you want...I can do this however you want if you say 'yes'...and I *want* you to say 'yes.' I'm starting to think it's the only thing I've ever *really* wanted in my whole life."

He swallowed hard, licking his lips nervously. "You've worked with me, slept with me...lived with me on all the weekends you've stayed over here...and you've saved my life in more ways than one. Makes sense for you to share it with me, least it does to me. Marry me, Rachel...please?"

Date: 2007-01-02 07:30 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: (Expression = Phew! That was... wow!)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Rachel let her eyes keep locked to his, seeing all the slight flickers of something she couldn't recognize. She was trying to guess him, but falling way short, and when he shifted toward her and she let her gaze break to glance to his hands... her heart dropped to her stomach. The words filtered into her head, but they were stuck in some holding area waiting for her stomach to give her heart back to her. Her hands felt like ice suddenly, a general wave of doubt and panic rushed to the surface making her a lot more flustered than she figured she should have been.

Then he dropped to one knee.

The rest of the world could have gone to ruin around her and she wouldn't have noticed. All that she could focus on was his eyes, and the warmth of his hand slowly warming her fingers back up. Each breath she took in stung a bit harder in her lungs, each swallow hurt a bit more as it went down because she knew her answer even before he had asked. Even if she wasn't ready, even if she knew it was too soon it didn't even really matter to her.

All the love that she had for him, all of the moments of near death and survival they had gone through... all of it meant so much more than it could have ever meant to her before. She didn't want him down there on the floor alone either. Her hand clung to his a bit tighter as she slide down the couch toward him, dropping to her knees as well. If she let herself think about it anymore she knew she would cry, and even as it was now she felt that knot building in her stomach as it was.

"Yes." The word was so simple that it almost didn't feel like she had said anything at all. It made it feel almost less of an answer, "God, that's all I need to say isn't it? It feels like I should say more." Rachel paused for a moment just to breathe again, "I love you, and you make me happy, and I'll marry you."

She still didn't feel like it was enough, so she leaned in and kissed him figuring that her actions could speak a hell of a lot louder than her words.

Date: 2007-01-02 08:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She didn't answer right was only a heartbeat, but the silence felt like years.

When she spoke, the 'yes' was all he heard...that and the 'I'll marry you.' Was there really anything else he had to hear?

She kissed him a moment later, and he kissed her back more reflexively than anything...this had to be what it was like to be so happy you could die. He couldn't move...couldn't speak, couldn't do anything...

Until he suddenly stood, hauling her up with him and scooping her into his arms, stepping back to avoid the coffee table (only just barely) and spin her around, whooping joyfully and laughing. He set her down on her feet quickly, drawing back to kiss her...*really* kiss her this time, feeling a new rush of fierce possessiveness as he held her close. His fiancee...his *fiancee.* God, that sounded good.

Drawing back, he took her hand in his and slid the ring onto her finger. "My mother always said if I ever found a girl that could wear this ring, I'd have found my soulmate. I gotta confess...I sorta pulled this out a while back and tried it on you while you were sleeping. I've been carrying it around ever since." He paused, looking down at the ring as it slid onto her finger...again, perfectly.

"Still fits like a dream." he breathed, meeting her gaze before pulling her in for a kiss again.

Date: 2007-01-02 09:00 pm (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: (Expression = Smug Smirk)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
It was a bit of a whirlwind display from Tom that Rachel rarely saw. He usually kept a lot of everything tucked away within him, keeping his emotions to the limited smiles and fits of laughter that she managed to pull from him from time to time. This though was something so out of the ordinary she almost wanted to ask him something personal to make sure it was really him.

When she was back on her feet and he kissed her though she had all her proof right there. When he took her hand and slipped the band on she laughed to hear about his late night dry run. "Lucky for you I have these huge hands then," Rachel teased before getting pulled in for another kiss.

Standing there in his arms she felt different, even if it was just a small bit, because she was now engaged... she had a new label to her as well. She was no longer the girlfriend... she was Tom's fiancé. Rachel pulled from their kiss letting her head rest onto his chest exhaling softly in his embrace, "You are getting very lucky tonight."

Date: 2007-01-02 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tom wrapped her in his arms as she leaned into him, letting one hand drift up to run through her hair as he buried his face against the top of her head, just breathing her in.

At her wisecrack, he couldn't resist grinning. "No," he corrected with a small smirk, "I'm getting very well-laid tonight...which, I might add, is not a bad thing." He paused, drawing back to stare down at her, reaching for her left hand and pressing a kiss to her ring finger, just above the gold band with a small smile.

"I got lucky the second you said yes."

Date: 2007-01-03 07:45 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: (Pretty = R Red for Rachel)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Smirking at Tom as he made with the charming routine she laughed softly, "Well I stand corrected then." Drawing up her shoulders she shrugged in his embrace, pulling herself in tighter against his arms. It was more for comfort than contact, but the contact was nice as well. Rachel had gotten so wrapped up in the whole proposal and acceptance and now the loving embrace of the man she loved that she had completely forgotten that there were actual gifts still to be given. She had one for him, and apparently there was a second gift that was not an empty box.

Rachel just didn't really want to do anything else except be in Tom's arms at that moment though. "Can we postpone the rest of Christmas until the morning... make it my first Christmas morning with the man I'm going to marry?" She buried her face against his chest, her hand pressed against him as well. Rachel kept looking at the ring, knowing how much it had meant to Tom's mother and sighed again feeling his hand rubbing against her back lightly. "I just kind of want this to stay just like this for now."

Date: 2007-01-31 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He could feel the shift of her in his arms even though he wasn't looking directly at her...he could feel the brush of her thumb against his shirt and the tilt of her head enough to know she was staring at the ring. The notion made him irrationally happy...that she really and truly liked the ring.

And her request was a welcome one as he smiled, kissing the top of her head and drawing back enough to look down at her. "Can we sit down first?" he quipped, earning himself a laugh before he got serious. "Yeah, I'm game for holding 'bout we compromise and curl up with one of those stupid Christmas movies you wanted to watch?" he offered, his smile growing as he waited for the playful swat or biting remark he was sure that he'd earned for daring to call her precious Christmas classics 'stupid'.

Date: 2007-02-01 09:04 am (UTC)
my_strappyshoes: ([Tom] How Much I Love You)
From: [personal profile] my_strappyshoes
Rachel smiled for a moment as she laughed, letting her forehead press to his chest as she bit back the overwhelming urge to force him to watch It's a Wonderful Life for calling her Christmas movies stupid. Instead though she just nodded for the moment pulling away from him and slipping free of his grasp to settle onto the couch a few moments before he joined her. Once he was situated she found herself slinking over toward him to curl up beside him. It wasn't a difficult task since they seemed to always be in the right position to just fit together.

Letting her hand lace into his atop his knee she rested her head against his shoulder, letting her eyes close for a moment just content next to him. Rachel tucked her feet beneath herself after a bit too curling in closer to him before remembering that they weren't supposed to fall asleep on the couch, they actually were planning on watching a movie.

"I should put the movie in..." she mused before untangling herself from her comfortable position and standing up to move toward the DVD player. She knelt down and skimmed through the stack she had put inside the cabinet from the video store on the corner. Deciding on one she put it in and let it start loading all the annoying FBI warnings while she headed back to the embrace of her future husband.

Curling up beside him she leaned in and kissed his neck softly as she brought her lips beside his ear, "So Die Hard takes place *during* Christmas... that counts right?"


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