Ordinary World Soap Opera
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Episode 642: When Christmas Comes

"I really wasn’t expecting company," Lucy said. "I’m sorry the place is such a mess." She cleared aside textbooks, discarded sweaters and takeout boxes among other things as she led Paul into her small living room.

"I probably should have called first, it is Christmas," Paul noted, taking a seat on the sofa. "Though you wouldn’t know it to look around here."

"I’m busy with work and classes." At least that’s what Lucy told herself. It made it mildly easier to swallow that she had no one to celebrate with, and no reason to decorate a tree.

"Maybe you’d be in a merrier mood if you saw Hope. I did. She’s amazing, Lu. She-"

"Please, don’t. Just-" She couldn’t hear about Hope, or think about her. "Please go."

"Okay." Paul stood, nodding. "I’ll go. I just thought you might want to talk."

He took two steps and Lucy grabbed his elbow. "How is she? How’s our girl?"

Brunch with his daughter at Christmas. No, she wasn’t a little girl anymore, Cal hadn’t gotten to see her go crazy ripping into her presents, and he remained skeptical of her fiancé, still, a few hours with her on Christmas was something he cherished.

He flipped open his phone and typed out a private message to his ex, attaching a few photos of their daughter. He figured Sarette would appreciate seeing their girl, even if she was too cowardly and concerned with appearances to make a move in Ava’s direction.

"Hey," Xavier said in a low voice, wandering over to where his boss stood at the living room window, watching a light Christmas snowfall. Quentin’s wife and daughter were busy on the other side of the room putting the new barrettes Xavier had gifted to Tansy.

Quent had told him he didn’t have to buy them presents, they’d be happy just to have his company. Still, Xavier had at least wanted to bring something for the girl. The barrettes had been cheap but they were sparkly and Tansy had reacted as if they’d come from a fancy store.

"Thank you for inviting me," he said to Quentin.

His boss nodded. "I told you Justine wouldn’t recognize you. She used to rib Sebastian about competing with you, but pop culture isn’t really her thing."

"We’re glad to have you, Just and I are a bit short on family this year, things are a bit strained."

"Yeah, I am familiar with family strain." To put it mildly. "I really do appreciate being included in a family like yours for the day. It’s the nicest Christmas I’ve had in a long time."

"Since Ava?" Quentin quietly asked and Xavier nodded.

Episode 643: Starlight

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