Title: Serenade
Author: Lil
Feedback address: cuspofqueens@yahoo.com
Date in Calendar: 29 December 2004
Fandom: Mutant X
Pairing: Emma/Shal
Rating: G
Date Written: 5 September 2004
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC04

Author's Disclaimer: Mutant X and it's characters are not mine. I make no money off of this. I have no affiliation with Tribune. If there's something I've forgotten, it still stands that I didn't do whatever it is.

Beta: A. Magiluna Stormwriter

Jesse settled himself onto the couch with a sigh. The holiday season, as happy and exciting and wonderful as it was, was just exhausting. Brennan collapsed onto the seat next to him, causing Jesse to smile tiredly.

Brennan sighed loudly. “It's almost over, Shal promised.”

Jesse nodded in agreement, looking around the crowd of people gathered together in Christmas cheer. “Long night.” Jesse perked up, remembering. “But hey, the best part should be yet to come.”

A dark head nodded. “Yeah, I heard. Tonight's the night. I wonder if Emma even has a clue.”

“Do I have a clue about what, guys?”

Jesse and Brennan turned to see Emma standing behind the sofa, a glass of eggnog in her hand, curious smile playing around her mouth.

Brennan aimed a charming smile at Emma. “If you even know how beautiful you look tonight, and how every person in this room has been making eyes at you all night.”

Emma grinned, blue eyes sparkling. “Riight. You know, Brennan, if you keep lying like that, santa's not going to leave anything in your stocking but coal.”

Jesse laughed. “That's mean, Em. But you know, it is true. You do look gorgeous tonight.”

Emma grimaced a little and tugged on her dark blue gown. “I feel like dress-up Barbie's homely cousin.” Tucking a strand of red hair behind her ears, blue eyes scanned the room idly. “I mean, I don't know what made me let Shal talk me into this thing…” She trailed off, her eyes coming to rest upon Shalimar laughing at something a guest was saying on the other side of the room. Long golden hair fell in a riot of waves and curls, spilling over a metallic gray dress, long and flowing and shimmering. She gave the impression of complete carelessness and festivity, swaying almost unconsciously to the music. Emma loved the way she moved, graceful and confident. It made her think of a ballerina, all long, flowing lines and soft curves. A blush rose on her cheeks as her thoughts took a different slant. Glancing down, she became aware of Jesse and Brennan grinning at her mischievously.


The boys shook their heads at the same time. “Nothing.” Jesse said, blue eyes dancing merrily.

“Not a thing.” Brennan confirmed, grinning widely.

Emma said one word, brow arched imperiously before moving off to speak with Adam and Jennifer. “Coal.”

Jesse shifted again, blond head bobbing in satisfaction. “Oh, this is gonna be nice.”

“They do deserve each other.”

“Yes. Although, you know this means if they get together, you and I are going to have to move into a completely new part of Sanctuary, right?”

Brennan nodded happily. “Oh, yeah. Between Emma's broadcasting and Shal's…vocal appreciation, neither of us will ever get any sleep.”

“Not that that's bad.”

Brennan grinned evilly. “No, not at all. I mean if we're in range and we happen to pick up something Em shares with the world…who are we to be upset?”

Jesse shook his head, smiling. “Who, indeed?”

They rested there quietly, waiting in anticipation. Finally, close to ten, the unmistakable sounds of Shalimar's boyband music came through the room. The main floor was cleared and attention was turned to Shal, standing nervously in the center.

“Hi, guys. Um, thanks for coming!” A cheer rose up through the audience, and Shal smiled, more at ease. “Well, as you all know, Christmas is a time for wishes to come true, for everyone. But the gods help those who help themselves, right? And if you want something you have to go after it yourself, right?” Brown eyes scanned the room, searching for her. “So, I don't know why I thought I'd share this with you all, but my Christmas present --- what I want more than anything else in the world--- is right here in this very room.”

Shal glanced at Brennan, Jesse and Adam, who were all smiling at her in encouragement. “So. This is the part where I sing to you, accompanied by my good friends, Jesse and Brennan!” Laughter and applause broke out among the crowd and Emma stepped closer, grinning at the horrified looks on the boys' faces. Shalimar clapped along with the crowd, and grinned unrepentantly at them. “You talked me into this, and if I'm going down, you're coming down with me.”

Glancing at each other, Brennan and Jesse stood up and to the side, waiting for Shal's cue. “Alright, like I said, I'm singing. Hopefully, this will get my message through to the intended party.”

A helpful soul in the back hit the lights, dimming them so that Shal was the only one clearly visible. Shal bowed her head and took a deep breath to steady her nerves. Looking up, her eyes locked on clear blue ones, and the world went away. She heard the music start, was vaguely aware of the intro and her cue to start.

Shalimar wasn't the best singer in the world, but she could hold her own. Especially when it was this important.

“Snowy night
Where it's warm here by the fire
Here with you (here with you)
I have all that I desire
It's been a long year
But somehow we got by
Now it's Christmas Eve
And love is on our side

I don't need a hundred gifts beneath the tree (the tree)
Don't you know the best thing you could give to me?
Nothing else will do
All I want is you this Christmas.”

Stepping forward, she extended her hands to Emma, the invitation clear. Smiling, Emma let herself be pulled out to the dance floor, drawn into the arms of the one person she'd been dreaming about for what seemed like forever. Behind them, Jesse and Brennan picked up the next verse, letting the girls revel in the feeling of finally being in each others' arms.

“Children sing (Children sing)
Christmas carols at our door (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Spreading joy (Spreading joy)
That's what Christmas time is for
Though we don't have much
You've got me and I've got you
And with a little faith
Miracles come true!

I don't need a hundred gifts beneath the tree (the tree)
Don't you know the best thing you could give to me?
Nothing else will do
All I want is you this Christmas.”

Looking down into those beautiful blue eyes, Shalimar picked the song back up, singing directly from her heart.

“I don't want the love of any other girl
I want only one thing in this whole wide world
Nothing else will do
All I want is you this Christmas

Cheek to cheek
The lights are low
A kiss beneath the mistletoe
Your face lit by the fire's glow
That's all I want tonight.

I don't need a hundred gifts beneath the tree (the tree)
Don't you know the best thing you could give to me?
Nothing else will do
All I want is you this Christmas.”

Shal stopped dancing, and held Emma still. Framing her pretty face in both of her hands, Shalimar sung the last line quietly.

“Nothing else will do, all I want is you this Christmas.”

The music faded out, and the room remained silent, intent on watching the scene unfolding in front of them. Taking a deep breath, Shalimar took in the beauty of the woman before her, the sheer happiness in the smile that she knew was just for her. “Emma, you and I have been through a lot. You are my world, and you know me better than anybody else. I think, that if you gave us a chance, we could have something good together. All I'm asking for is that chance to show you how much you mean to me. I know that no matter what I did, no matter how long we lived, I would never, ever be able to show you how much I care for you. But I'd like to try. Please, Emma? Can I try?”

Emma laughed, and wiped at the errant tears on her cheeks. “You silly. Don't you know I've been waiting for you forever?”