A Christmas Miracle by Kellie

Republisher’s Note: A nice Christmasy bit of fanfic. I’d also like to add I remember those inflatable green Hulk muscles in the Sears catalog that Nick mentions and I totally wanted a set. It came with a hand pump and you were an URGGGGHHH away (long pause to actually pump up the muscles) from becoming a Hulk yourself. Want to learn more about them? http://dontparade.blogspot.com/2005/12/when-you-wish-upon-book-revised-1221.html

Author’s note: This fic is set at Christmas, 2000 while Manny was separated.

Santa Nick from Guiding Light

Santa Nick

A Christmas Miracle by Kellie

Michelle shifted uncomfortably in the bed as she rubbed her expanding stomach and spoke; “You’re not even born yet and you’re already keeping your mother up half the night. I guess you’re practicing kicking field goals so you can play football for Springfield U.”

Awkwardly shifting, she sat up and propped herself against some pillows. Michelle reached over to the nightstand and picked up the necklace she had received last Christmas. As she fingered her 3rd grade spelling bee charm and the small gold house on the chain, tears rolled down her cheeks. “Some Christmas this is.” Michelle moved her other hand over her stomach, “Baby, I broke the promise I made your Daddy last Christmas. I promised him I would never give up, but I did…I gave up on him and took off to New York. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. I should have been stronger and fought to make things work then and maybe the things that happened when I finally did come back… Well, let’s just say that your Daddy would be here with us right now if I had handled things differently.”

Danny stood on the balcony outside Michelle’s bedroom door watching as she moved to sit up in the bed. He could see her rubbing the mound that was their child. “I love you, both,” he said quietly as he watched. Snowflakes began to fall as he recalled the Christmas they had shared last year. Despite the problems with the trial and Michelle’s stay in jail for Ben’s murder, it had been the best Christmas of his life. Holding the love of his life in his arms all night had made it a perfect holiday.

Danny’s thoughts were interrupted by a voice, “Danny, you can make this Christmas the best ever for you both if you just go through that door.”

Danny turned to face a man with a white beard. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“I’m Nick. I’m an old friend of the Bauers and of yours. I was just leaving from making my regular visit to Rick and I saw you standing here. Son, you’ve been through a lot this year and so has Michelle.”

“You don’t even know the half of it,” Danny softly said.

“Ah, but I do, Danny.” The old man put his hand on Danny’s shoulder as they looked through the window at Michelle. “You didn’t have a choice about what you had to do on that night on the dock. Your mother…well, she became a lost soul a long time ago and there was nothing you could do to save her. It’s time to stop punishing yourself for what happened.”

“How do you know about that? Michelle and Ray are the only ones who know what happened that night…Wait a minute, Michelle told Rick and…”

“No one told me anything, Danny. I knew. Remember the Christmas when you were 8. As I recall, your favorite gift that year was a set of inflatable green muscles that had been made popular by some TV show called the Incredible Hulk.”

Danny looked over at Nick in shocked silence before finally speaking, “How did you know that?”

“That’s not what’s important tonight, son.” Nick gestured towards Michelle, “That beautiful young lady and the baby she’s carrying are what’s important, son.”

“That’s why I have to stay away,” Danny said quietly. “They’re too important to me. I have to keep them safe, even if it means staying as far away from them as I can.”

“Danny, you deserve to be happy and so does Michelle. You deserve her love. Michelle and your son will make you happy.”

“All I’ve ever done is hurt Michelle. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to her or…Wait a minute, did you say my son?”

“Yes, Danny. That’s why Michelle came to see you with the tape of her sonogram. She had just found out that you’re going to have a son…A son that deserves to have his father in his life. The worst thing that can happen to Michelle and your son is living without you in their lives.”

“You’re wrong, Nick. I am the worst thing for them both. Ever since my family came into Michelle’s life, she’s had nothing but one problem after another. Mick tried to rape her and she ended up killing him, I bullied her into marrying me the first time, then she was accused of Ben’s murder, losing our first baby, and my mother kidnapping her and trying to kill her. She deserves better.”

Nick spoke as Danny looked through the window, “Son, out of those hardships, Michelle found her greatest happiness…loving you and receiving your love. I think that if you asked her, Michelle would tell you that the problems you have faced are insignificant in light of the love you share. Go in there and make this Christmas one of the happy memories that you and Michelle will look back on someday.”

Danny turned to face Nick, but the old man had vanished. He looked back in the window and saw Michelle’s tear stained face. Noticing that she was holding the necklace he gave her last Christmas, he reached out for the doorknob. As he softly opened the door, he heard her talking to their child, “Baby, I broke the promise I made your Daddy last Christmas. I promised him I would never give up, but I did…I gave up on him and took off to New York. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. I should have been stronger and fought to make things work then and maybe the things that happened when I finally did come back… Well, let’s just say that your Daddy would be here with us right now if I had handled things differently.”

“But I am here,” she heard a voice say.

She looked up as he stepped inside, “Danny?”

He crossed the room and took the hand holding the necklace and grasped it in his own as he knelt on the floor beside the bed. “Michelle, you’re not the only one who gave up. I gave up on us, too. We both have things we should have done differently.”

Danny reached up to stroke her cheek as she spoke, “I wish…”

“Shh,” he said as he laid his free hand on her stomach. Michelle laid her hand over his and guided his hand to the left; Danny’s eyes lit up as he felt their baby kick. “Is that…?”

Michelle nodded as she watched the look of wonderment in his eyes. “Our son is practicing kicking field goals tonight.”

The room with filled with silence for several minutes. Danny finally removed his hand from her stomach and reached up to wipe the tears from her face with his thumb as he spoke, “I’m sorry…The other day you told me not to come back until I was ready to be your husband and his father. I don’t know if I’m ready, but I’m going to try. I can’t live another day without you. I love you, both,” he said as he kissed her hand.

“Danny, what made you change your mind?” she asked as she reached up and ran her fingers through the hair along the side of his face.

“I was standing outside the door remembering last Christmas and how happy I was despite everything that was going on. Holding you all night…It’s was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.”

“Me too,” she softly answered.

“Anyway, this old guy appeared from nowhere and reminded me that I needed to stop punishing myself for Carmen…He said I deserve to be happy and to be loved. He reminded me of what’s important and then he vanished.”

“Nick,” Michelle whispered.

“Yeah, that’s what he said his name was. How did you know?”

“Rick’s talked about him and how little Christmas miracles seem to follow whenever Nick shows up. You coming home…that’s our Christmas miracle,” Michelle remarked as Danny leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her forehead before resting his head against hers.

“The real miracle is that despite everything, you love me,” Danny commented as he moved to sit beside her on the bed and placed his hand back on their child.

“We love each other,” Michelle corrected him as she looked over at the window and saw Nick. He winked at her. “Thank you,” she silently mouthed as he magically vanished from sight.

Archived Links

“A Christmas Miracle” – Once again a visit from our old friend Nick (I sure miss him) saves Christmas as a little timely advice moves Danny to action a few months early on the Christmas Michelle was pregnant with Robbie. Lots of good references to their Christmas before and to Danny getting a Christmas present as a little boy that I severely coveted from the Sears catalog at the time myself.
http://web.archive.org/web/20080201100916/www.kel88c.com/kellie/xmas.htm

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