A short story I wrote inspired from a prompt on Imagine Your OTP @ Tumblr. Please enjoy it while I work on my larger planned Christmas fic!
The boxes of Christmas ornaments were strewn across the floor of Delia’s living room in Pallet Town, sparkling with tinsel and glitter and blown glass. As Mr. Mime flailed about helplessly, trying to free himself from a strand of lights he’d found himself tangled in, Giovanni and Delia struggled to get the porcelain angel to stay put on the top of the tree.
The angel itself was a Ketchum family heirloom, one passed down from Delia’s great-great grandmother. The fine golden hair and handpainted face seemed to glow in the light of the blazing fireplace.
“I think I’ve got it- no, a little to the left, Delia, it’s not quite there- almost-” From the short step ladder Delia wobbled on top of, she could barely see Giovanni motioning which way to move the conical base of the doll. “Just a few more inches-“
“This way?” she asked, now on her tiptoes to reach the tree’s highest branch where the angel was meant to find its home. “Is it me, or is this ladder a little wobb-“
“Delia! Be careful!”
Giovanni’s warning came too late, as Delia found herself losing her balance on the stepladder and slipping, sending her, and the angel in her hands, plummeting to the floor. He raced over to Delia, extending a hand.
“Are you alright?” he asked, as he helped her up.
“I’m fine,” she replied, seemingly unshaken by her fall. “I’m not sure about the angel, though.” She looked in the direction the decoration had flown. It lay on the ground, and from where its legs were positioned under its voluminous skirt, it was clear the delicate porcelain body had broken in half.
“Oh no,” Giovanni said, rushing over to retrieve the broken keepsake. “This is my fault, Delia…” One of the few chances he had to spend time with her, without feeling need to worry about his other obligations, and he feared he’d ruined it for her. The holidays, no less.
“There’s glue in the kitchen junk drawer,” Delia added helpfully. “Let me go find it.”
As Delia left to retrieve the glue, Giovanni absentmindedly slipped off the glittering dress and fiddled with the hollow pieces to fit them together. Along the body of the doll were numerous, faint gray lines, slightly raised.
He ran a finger over them, tracing the serpentine pattern they formed.
“I’m back!” Delia said, a tiny tube in her hand. “Let’s see the damage.” Giovanni handed one half of the angel to Delia.
“It’s only in two pieces,” Giovanni said. “I suppose it could have been worse. I’m sorry this happened.”
“This old thing?” Delia laughed. “Please, don’t worry about it. It’s cheap porcelain, this isn’t the first time it’s happened.”
In that moment it occurred to Giovanni that the strange markings along the angel’s body were the places it had fallen apart previously, glued together again, hidden under the resplendent dress.
“Quite honestly,” Delia added, “I don’t think a Christmas has gone by that it hasn’t broken somewhere. You could call it a tradition of sorts.”
She passed the lower half of the angel, the broken edge now wet with glue, back to Giovanni, and he put the two halves back together and held them in place to dry.
For a moment the room was silent except for the faint chimes of Persian batting about an errant jingle bell.
Delia’s soft hand, lightly scented with her favorite perfume, brushed against Giovanni’s. “I think it’s dry now,” she said. She couldn’t help but notice his face was more emotionless than usual. “Is anything the matter?”
Giovanni blinked and came to his senses. The angel’s scars from all the years, hidden under her beautiful gilded dress, as though they never even happened, were oddly profound.
“No, just lost in my thoughts, I’m fine,” he said.
“Do you have anything in particular on your mind?”
Giovanni almost opened his mouth to speak when he realized just how ridiculous, how unlike himself it’d be to admit to Delia that a broken angel doll got him thinking about life. Although they were as open as any couple could be about their thoughts, there were just some things that were too strange for him to admit to anyone else, even Delia…
Besides, he didn’t necessarily need words to express what he was truly feeling at the moment.
He put his arms around her and kissed her lips gently. “Just that,” he said, smiling faintly.
Delia returned the kiss. “That’s what I was hoping for,” she said. She slipped the gold dress back onto the angel, returned the fallen stepladder to its original place, and carefully repositioned the angel on the tree’s top branches.
“It’s not perfectly straight, but I think it’ll do,” she said.
“I think it looks lovely. I think we both deserve something after all this.” Giovanni left for the kitchen and returned with two glasses of red wine.
“Merry Christmas,” Delia said, snuggling next to him on the couch and sipping at her wine.
The fire roared on as the angel twinkled from her spot at the top of the tree, watching over the peaceful scene that December night.