Word count: 1291
Summary: Matthew’s (as in the boy who Ryan offered to help at the end of the final) first Chrismukkah with the Cohens. Contains some fluff :)
Authors Note: This is for the “Chrismukkah Dialogue Fic challenge” started by mel39 I’m sorry this is so much later than Mel asked for us to try and have our stories written by. Unfortunately family issues arose and I haven’t really been in the Christmassy mood this year. However I’ve been in a ficcy mood lately and so decided to just go for it before next Christmas happens.
Thanks Mel, for organising the challenge.
Happy belated Chrismukkah everyone :D
I had cheekymice’s line: “Christmas was never like this for me”
Ryan made sure to keep a reassuring hand on Matthew’s shoulder as they entered the Cohen house. It was his first Chrismukkah with the Cohens and Ryan knew from experience what that was like.
As soon as they entered, they were bombarded with an excited Sophie. She leapt into Ryan’s arms and he laughed as she began talking manically about something that had happened at school the week before. She could be so like Seth sometimes.
Ryan shot a quick glance at Matthew who was watching Sophie with awe. Ryan’s heart ached at the thoughts that must have been running through his head. Thoughts that he’d once had when he’d seen Seth hurrying over to Sandy, babbling away to his dad. He gave the kid a reassuring smile and saw him look down nervously at the floor.
Matthew had only been with him a few weeks and he’d only really met Sandy. Ryan had tried to prepare him for Seth and Sophie’s banter, not to mention Kirsten’s hugging tendency but it was clear that he was already getting overwhelmed.
He put Sophie down and she began pulling him into the family room.
“Remember, if it all gets to be too much, let me know and we’ll make an excuse to leave, okay?” He whispered to Matthew quickly.
The blonde boy before him nodded, and followed after him as Sophie dragged him into the other room.
“Ryan!” Sandy exclaimed as he saw his eldest son. “…And Matthew, how are you?”
He came over and shook Matthew’s hand, careful to keep within any boundaries. Matthew returned the hand shake, looking to Ryan to see if he was doing it right.
Ryan gave him a reassuring smile and nod in reply.
Sandy moved on to Ryan and pulled him into a hug, slapping his back heartily. “How’s it going, kid? How’s that contract you were working on going?”
“Yeah, not too bad. We’re hoping to finish it before the new year.”
Ryan had to fight back a chuckle when Sophie came running back, demanding their attention.
“Daddy…” she began but Sandy took her in another direction before she could continue.
“Hey, Soph. Have you met Matthew?” she shook her head, frowning at the strange boy beside Ryan.
Ryan felt sorry for him as he squirmed, uncomfortable in the lime light.
“Yeah, Matt’s gonna be living with me now. He’s gonna be like a new brother for you.” he added in, clapping Matt’s shoulder.
The kid looked at the floor and Ryan could almost feel his worry that she wouldn’t accept him. The same feeling he’d had with Kirsten.
“Cool!” she squealed and Ryan chuckled as Matthew’s head shot up in surprise.
She immediately took his hand and pulled him over to the sofa.
Ryan watched as she began introducing him to all of her dolls and bears. He watched Matthew’s eyes widen at the sight of all the expensive toys.
Kirsten came into the room and immediately hurried over and pulled Ryan into a hug.
“Hey honey,” she rubbed his back affectionately and he returned the hug. He loved the way she always smelt of perfume. It was a big change to his mom who had always smelt of cigarettes and alcohol.
She pulled away and scanned the room for someone. “Where’s Matthew?”
Ryan pointed towards where the poor kid was being interrogated by little Sophie. He looked completely overwhelmed and Ryan decided it was time to swoop in and help him out.
“Hey, Matt.” He smiled as Matthew turned to him, a relieved look on his face.
“I want you to meet Kirsten, she’s Sandy’s wife.” The boy looked up at the blonde woman before him and Ryan could almost see him bracing himself as she came forward for a hug.
Ryan could see her making a conscious effort to keep her hug not too threatening as she spoke to him. “It’s lovely to meet you.”
She broke away and Matthew looked at the floor nervously.
“So when do Seth and Summer get here?” Ryan asked, putting a reassuring hand on Matthew’s shoulder.
“They should be here any minute. Seth called earlier saying that they should be here before dinner.”
“Matthew,” Sophie said in a sing song voice and the kid grinned. Ryan knew how good it felt to have someone finally wanting your company and attention instead of shouting at you to be quiet or to get out. Seth had been his Sophie.
“Matthew.” She repeated in the same tone.
She giggled as her dad went over and lifted her up, tickling her.
“You doing alright?” Ryan whispered to Matthew as Sandy distracted her and he nodded.
“Christmas was never like this for me,” he whispered, and Ryan nodded.
“Me neither… before I met the Cohens.” He paused. “How about after this we share Christmas horror stories?”
The kid hesitated for a minute, watching Sophie as she was whirled around. He nodded thoughtfully. “Okay,” he said, so quietly Ryan barely heard him.
With dinner finished and with it the introduction of Seth and Summer, the only things left were the presents.
“Right, going from youngest to eldest. One present for Sophie, one present for Matthew…” he began handing the presents out one by one.
Ryan watched as Matthew’s eyes widened as Sandy handed him the well wrapped present.
He watched as he passed it from one hand to the other, cradling it in his arms.
“Thank you,” he said, grinning up at Sandy.
“You’re welcome, kid.”
Sophie automatically began ripping the wrapping paper off of her present.
“A bear!” she shouted. “Thanks mommy and daddy,” she ran over to hug them and settled herself on Sandy’s knee.
“I’m gonna call him Matty,” she said firmly and Ryan gave Matt a smile.
“You have a fan,” he joked quietly and he blushed.
“Come on Matty, open your present.” Sophie ordered and Seth snorted.
“You’d better follow her order, she can get rather scary waiting for her presents.” He warned jokingly and Sophie scowled at him.
Matthew slowly and carefully began picking open the present, careful not to damage the wrapping paper.
He gasped when he saw what was inside and a smile curved his lips.
“What is it?” Sophie asked impatiently.
He pulled into sight a pair of sneakers, brand new and sporting the “Nike” logo.
“Wow Matt, those are so cool.” Ryan said leaning over to get a better look.
Kirsten had called Ryan the week before asking what Matt would want for Chrissmukkah. He’d seen him ogling over a pair of sneakers a few days before at the mall and so had suggested to Kirsten for her to buy him a new pair.
“Thank you,” Matthew said, looking at Sandy and Kirsten, a smile on his face.
“Do you like them?” Kirsten asked anxiously and Matt nodded.
The rest of the present giving went rather smoothly, and soon Ryan found himself saying his goodbyes and leading Matthew back to the car.
In the car, he watched as Matthew ran a finger over the new pair of sneakers.
“So, how did you find it?” he asked as he waved back at Sophie who was running after the car.
“It was cool,” Matt said, returning the shoe back to the plastic bag that Sandy had given him for all his presents.
“I can’t remember the last time my mom brought me a Christmas present,” he said quietly and Ryan looked at him.
“I know how that feels,” he gave him a small, sad smile.
There was a pause.
“Thanks for bringing me,” Matt said sheepishly.
Ryan looked at him. “There’s no way I wouldn’t have brought you.”
Matt turned away, embarrassed and Ryan decided to change the mood.
“Oh… and now that Sophie’s got her eye on you, be warned, you’ll be invited to numerous tea parties with her and Matty.”
“Let’s go home, kid.”
Thanks for reading :)