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The Chrismukkah Dialogue Fic challenge

Title: Chrismukkah
Author: Phil
Beta: radiotardislive
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.

Xxx

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.”

Matt grinned.

“Let’s go home, kid.”

The End

Thanks for reading :)

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
katwoman76
Feb. 3rd, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
This was so sweet. Thanks for sharing.
derschatzi
Feb. 3rd, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
OT
Hi, this is kind of off-topic but I was wondering whether you had the original picture of the icon you're using? It's so adorable!
Re: OT - katwoman76 - Feb. 3rd, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: OT - derschatzi - Feb. 3rd, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: OT - katwoman76 - Feb. 3rd, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: OT - derschatzi - Feb. 3rd, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - philippa_ - Feb. 3rd, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
derschatzi
Feb. 3rd, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
Aww, how cute! I love the introduction of Matthew in this story - he was portrayed really, really well! I loved his initial hesitation and loved how he warmed up to the Cohens. Great job!
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)

I'm glad you liked my Matthew, I really enjoyed writing him so thanks for letting me know what you thought.

(Deleted comment)
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks erynn :)

I'm really glad you liked this. I've been wanting to do a story with the boy from the finale in for ages and I really enjoyed writing it. I like to think of Ryan as Matthew's Sandy Cohen.
malinr
Feb. 3rd, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
Very good as always. Love the fluff. Hugs
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks malinr :)

I'm realy glad you liked this *hugs*

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but I absolutely adore your icon.
radiotardislive
Feb. 3rd, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
That was so adorable!! Is the kid really called Matthew, or did you make it up?

I don't know about you, but I see some potential Matthew/Sophie in the future, just to make them all really close... or is that kind of illegal? What is Sophie to Matthew? Aunt? Ok, maybe not then....
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
I made it up hehe. The boy is unnamed just like Julie's son is unnamed. I think it's quiet sad really.

Haha that would be so awkward if they broke up. Technincally I think it would be legal. Yeah, she'd probably be his aunt haha.

Thanks Loz :)
fredsmith518
Feb. 3rd, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
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.

enjoyed this fic, especially these lines, most insightful. Will you be returning to this 'verse? Just a thought:)
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks Fred,

I'm glad you enjoyed this. I actually really loved writing Matthew so I might possibly. I've got so much to write though on fanfic.net so it's finding the time.
(no subject) - fredsmith518 - Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
ros_marinus
Feb. 3rd, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
So sweet :) Although I feel sorry for Matthew and the impending cuddly-toy quality-time...
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)

Haha yes. I have had many experiences with cuddly-toy quality-time with my now 4 year old cousin. Poor Matthew.
indigorayne
Feb. 3rd, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Awww, that was lovely. :)
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
beachtree
Feb. 3rd, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
I love when Chrismukkah keeps coming. We can consider this part of the gift that keeps on giving, right?

You've created a wonderful, burgeoning relationship between Ryan and Matthew that feels very real and incorporates so much of Ryan's past with his own feelings and recollections as he interacts with Matthew in the present. Even if they haven't known one another very long, Ryan's innate ability to empathize through so many very unfortunate, but apparently similar experiences, provides a real sense of connectivity and mutual acceptance between them. They both seemed very attuned to one another, and certainly more "cut from the same deck" than Ryan and Sandy technically were. The fact that Ryan is so young and they're so close in age only makes that more casual bond stronger.

Putting it all in the context of the holiday provides the opportunity to revisit how lost, uncertain, and just plain overwhelmed Ryan was for his first Chrismukkah- and maybe his second, and third too. It's also a reminder of how the holidays were just one extreme example of the confusion, insecurity, awe and culture shock that would have been part of each day for Ryan. Now you show us that through both sets of eyes.

I love that Ryan is the unwavering support that Matthew needs, as he obviously recalls all too well how much he needed someone in that role. He's protective, reassuring and constantly considers Matthew's perspective as best he can- and one he can identify with himself all too well. You seem to hint more than once that Ryan has grown more accustomed to the Cohens and their celebrations, but that he'll never entirely be completely comfortable with them. He'll always have so many other memories to compare them to.

It's good to see Sandy so open and welcoming and so much Ryan's dad too. I'm glad that Kirsten has apparently grown by leaps and bounds and become a "hugger" after all. Maybe it was having a baby girl that changed her most significantly? I'm relieved for Matthew that she seems so genuinely warm to him without seeming to either be wary or pitying him. It seems Ryan is the one who sadly had to pay the price and pave the way. During that very first weekend when Ryan was in her home, it was clear she not only didn't trust him, but did consider him to pose a threat and even blamed him for being forced out of his "home" for what had to have been intolerable behavior. And oh would she be proven wrong, huh? Now we see no labeling or judgement with this new boy who will have some role in her life- and vice versa.

The dynamics with Ryan and Sophie and Matthew and Sophie are wonderful and very engaging. There's a great balance of the fluffy stuff and the more reflective and deeper emotions too. This is a very charming glimpse at the future family and the foundation of one that's still growing. The parallels between Ryan's camaraderie with Matthew and Sandy's own with Ryan are undeniable and inserted with care. It makes me hope for an even better bond between the next generation.

Thanks and... Happy New Year (belated) too!
philippa_
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
See, that is a good way of looking at it. These fics aren't late, we're just being year round santas!

I think Kirsten became quite a big hugger by the end of seaosn 4. Plus, a daughter would definately make her more of one. Little girls definately need hug with their mums. I don't know how you could be a parent and not a hugger.

I'm glad you like my Sophie and Matthew dynamic. I could just imagine how Sophie's first encounter would be with Matthew. You'd have Matthew, just kicked out of the house, completely out of depth, meeting his new "guardian"'s sort of sister for the first time. Then you'd have Sophie, so young and accepting. That equals surprise, overwhelmed Matthew Hehe it's great.

Happy belated new year to you, too. I can't believe how quickly January went.

Thanks for reading and giving another wonderful comment.
(no subject) - beachtree - Feb. 4th, 2008 06:56 am (UTC) - Expand
smc36
Feb. 4th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
So can I ask for the Ryan/Matthew discussion of Holidays Gone Wrong Pre-Cohen?
Please?

philippa_
Feb. 5th, 2008 08:07 am (UTC)
I'll give you a maybe on that one but thanks for letting me know you want one :)
kazfloyd
Feb. 4th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Very nice job. I really enjoy the stories that have Ryan being the next Sandy Cohen to a kid who needs it. Thanks for sharing.
philippa_
Feb. 5th, 2008 08:08 am (UTC)
Thanks :)

I'm really glad you liked it.
60schic
Feb. 4th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
“I’m gonna call him Matty,” - and with this, Matthew is part of the family!

I agree with smc---we need a followup - 'Holidays Gone Wrong'
philippa_
Feb. 5th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
There's a maybe on the followup but I did like writing Matthew and Ryan so we shall see. Thanks for letting me know you want one :)
cheekymice
Feb. 4th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Oh Phil that was wonderful in every single way!

Seriously a perfect fic to go with that line darling and for that I love you!

And I third the need for a follow up! ;)
philippa_
Feb. 5th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC)
Aww thanks Cheeky.

I'm really glad you liked it. Thanks for the line and I'm sorry it's so late.

We shall see on the follow up front. I'm glad you want more :)
mel39
Mar. 16th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Really lovely Phil. I like the fact you used the boy in the finale and yet you didn't need to explain what was happening between him and Ryan, it all felt right. Good that it is Sophie that helps break the ice. Thanks for taking part and sorry it's taken me so long to read!
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )