Twelve Days of Christmas — Manny Style by Samj Chapter 1

Republisher’s Note: Except for the names of the kids, and Michelle’s decision to become a lawyer, I think this sounds a lot like their life could have been if Danny had really been able to leave the mob and run SanCorp as a legitimate company, which would have been the smart thing to have happen all the way around. Oh well, you’ll enjoy this peek into what might have been.

Author’s Note: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And I, for one, am hoping for lots of holiday fic. (I’m still waiting for someone to write a fic where Danny has problems assembling a toy!)

This is just my humble attempt to get things started. (Apologies if I’m jumping the gun on an official Christmas challenge. If I don’t post, I just keep revising….) Its a light, fluffy, (hopefully) funny collection of snapshots from twelve days during Mannys Christmas season.

And it’s (huge surprise) alt nothing from the show applies after the Towers party. Maggie is almost five (she’s Manny’s daughter from that first pregnancy) and Tommy is somewhere around two and a half. Keep in mind, please, that I’ve broken one of my fic writing rules here (no, not that one!) by writing kids I have no kids, I have no real contact with kids these ages, but Carrie gave me a thumbs up so. Let me know what you think!

Twelve Days of Christmas – Manny Style by Samj – Part 1

On the first day of Christmas my true love said to me….

“Any more ornaments, and I think this trees gonna topple.”

“It’s a very sturdy tree, Danny,” Michelle assured him. “And Maggie’s ballerina is very light.”

“Look at her spin, Mommy!” Maggie exclaimed, watching as her Christmas ornament twirled around.

“I see sweetie,” Michelle answered, putting her daughter down and fixing her dress. “You’ll have to thank Uncle Rick for buying you those special lights with the twirling motors.

“I will Mommy, promise.”

“It’s your turn, Buddy,” Danny informed Tommy, using one arm to hold him and the other to prevent him from chewing on his Baby’s Third Christmas ornament. “You ready?”

Tommy nodded vigorously and reached blindly for the tree.

“I think that’s a yes,” Michelle laughed.

“What do you think, Buddy, is this a good spot?” Danny asked, pointing to a bare branch close to the one where Maggie’s ornament continued to dance.

Again, Tommy agreed enthusiastically.

“Okay, then, here we go,” Danny announced, flying his son over to the tree and helping him hook the ornament into place.

“Good job!” Michelle praised, ruffling Tommy’s hair.

Danny handed Tommy over to Michelle and dug quickly through the now-empty boxes. “Looks like all we have left is the star.”

Maggie ran over to Danny’s side. “Can I help with the star?” she asked hopefully, not ready for the decorating to be over yet.

“I think we should all help with the star,” Danny decided, scooping her up and walking back over to the tree. “Everybody hold on,” he instructed, and (with the help of a step-ladder for Michelle) all four of them were touching the star when it finally came to rest at the top of the tree.

When they were done, Danny, Michelle, Maggie, and Tommy sat on the couch to admire their handiwork.

“Perfect,” Michelle pronounced, entranced by the tree and thinking about the special meaning behind some of the ornaments.

Danny looked over at his wife and children, bathed in the glow of the Christmas lights, and found that he couldn’t agree more.

*****

On the second day of Christmas, my true love said to me…

“I can’t believe I made it out of there alive! I’ve seen riots that were more peaceful and less dangerous.”

“You seem to be all in one piece,” Michelle observed, biting her tongue to keep from laughing at her husband’s hyperbole.

“Barely,” Danny retorted, discarding his tie and jacket. “You should see the bruises on my shins from where not one, but several women tried to cripple me by crashing into me with their carts.”

“Maybe later,” Michelle drawled.

“I’m telling you, the next time Maggie wants the must have Christmas toy I’m calling one of my contacts in Chicago. I’d rather deal with the other families than with a bunch of caffeine-deprived mothers in a toy store at 6 AM on a Tuesday.”

“Danny!” she gasped, her laughter completely forgotten. “I’ve been entirely understanding about the whole breaking ties slowly thing, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I let you use your mob connections for gifts for my children.”

Danny noted, not for the first time, that whenever talk of the other families came up Maggie and Tommy suddenly because Michelle’s children instead of their children.

“Calm down,” he soothed, walking over and kissing her forehead. “I was kidding. I promise.”

Seeing the truth in his eyes, she relaxed again. “But you did get it, right?”

“Of course,” he assured her, dropping a box in her lap. “Just don’t ask me who I had to tackle to do it. I didn’t even try to get it giftwrapped I was afraid someone would snatch it right off the counter.”

Michelle looked down at the package and gasped. “Oh Danny!”

Danny could tell by her tone that whatever it was, it wasn’t good.

“What’s wrong?” he asked tentatively.

“This is the BLUE Magical Talking Trout of Good Fortune.”

“Right, a Magical Talking Trout of Good Fortune which is exactly what I was supposed to get.

“You were supposed to get the GREEN Magical Talking Trout of Good Fortune. Maggie already has the blue one.”

“The color matters?” Danny asked in disbelief.

“Of course the color matters!” Michelle explained in exasperation. “There’s a whole set, and the green one is the last of it. Besides, what would Maggie do with two blue Trout?”

“Um, apparently not the same thing she’d do with one green and one blue Trout?” Danny ventured tentatively. “Look, Michelle, sweetie, I’m really sorry that I screwed this up, but the store is completely out of Trout of any color…. so short of painting this one green…..”

“Hang on a minute.” Michelle reached into the drawer and pulled out a large stack of advertisements, circulars, and random sheets of notebook paper. Finally she smiled and said, “Here we go. There’s a toy store in Clayton that’s getting a shipment of Magical Talking Trout of Good Fortune in tomorrow. If you’re there when they open, you might manage to get a green one.”

“Let me guess, they open at 6 AM,” he sighed, mentally calculating how long it would take him to drive all the way to Clayton.

“Nope,” Michelle smirked. “Five.”

“Oh, no way! I’m finding the green paint!”

*****

On the third day of Christmas, my true love said to me….

“What’s the matter? What happened? Where’s Tommy? Is everyone okay?”

Danny’s only thoughts as he had walked through the front door had centered around food. He’d been mentally raiding the fridge when he had heard Maggie crying loudly in the den. Rushing in, he’d found Michelle rocking her in her arms and trying to sooth her.

“Tommy’s asleep, everyone’s fine,” Michelle whispered.

“Obviously Maggie isn’t fine,” Danny countered, his eyes still wide with panic. “And you look like you’re on the verge of tears yourself.”

“She’s just a little upset about something we saw on television,” Michelle explained over Maggie’s whimpers. “And you know me I can’t stand to see the kids cry.”

“Maggie, honey, what’s the matter?” Danny asked gently, rubbing his daughter’s back.

“Frosty died,” Maggie announced, her tears increasing in force.

“Huh?” Danny’s expression was one of blank confusion.

“We were watching Frosty the Snowman, and there’s a part where Frosty gets trapped in the greenhouse and….Well, he m-e-l-t-s.” Michelle paused, and tried unsuccessfully to get Maggie to look at her before continuing. “But everything turns out okay because Santa opens the door and the wind makes Frosty a snowman again.”

Danny shrugged. “So whats the problem?”

“She was so upset when Frosty turned into a, um, p-u-d-d-l-e, that I had to turn it off. And now it’s over, so I can’t show her that he’s okay.”

Danny immediately started listing off the places where they could rent or buy a copy of Frosty the Snowman. When he finally stopped to take a breath, Michelle placed her hand on his arm and informed him, “I already called Harley. Phillip’s on his way over with a copy.”

“Good, because I really didn’t want to have to recreate the story with sock puppets,” Danny joked, shifting gears.

Knowing that he had no hope of dinner until after Frosty’s revival, Danny eyed the bowl of popcorn on the table hungrily and sighed. “I don’t suppose I could dip into your snacks there?”

*****

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love said to me…..

“Mmmmmm, you really are good at this, you know?”

“I live to serve, “Danny replied as he massaged Michelle’s hand. “Should I do the other one too?”

“Absolutely!” Michelle practically purred before catching herself. “I just meant, it cramped up too from putting the cards in the envelopes and everything.”

“You know, you really didn’t have to write out all of the envelopes by hand. That’s why they make address labels that run through a printer.”

When Michelle didn’t respond he continued, “And Christmas cards with your name already stamped right on them, for that matter.”

“Well, I don’t want people getting Christmas cards that say, hey, the Santos family has a really nifty computer. I want our friends to know that, at least for a few minutes, I was really thinking about them.”

“And do you think they want you to developed carpel tunnel syndrome doing it?” Danny persisted, switching to her other hand.

“Okay, I realize now that I shouldn’t have done all of them at once,” Michelle conceded. “But when you’re a wife, and a mom, and a full-time student, you learn to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.”

“Did one of your classes get cancelled or something?”

“I wish,” Michelle responded. “When Blake came over to pick up Maggie for a playdate this morning, she offered to let her sleep over. I figured I’d better get the cards finished before Maggie started coloring all over the envelopes like she did last year.”

Danny cringed a little at the memory of Maggie’s specially decorated envelopes they’d certainly added a personal touch to the cards, but they’d also made it necessary to hand-deliver them. “At least you’re all done now, right? The cards are all in the mail?”

“Almost,” Michelle sighed. “I still have to seal the envelopes and put the stamps on them.” Glancing down at her hands she offered a lopsided half-smile, “I couldn’t.”

Danny gave her hands a gently squeeze. “I tell you what, I’ll do that part for you.”

“You will?” Michelle couldn’t help but ask in disbelief.

“Yes, I will,” Danny repeated. “But I’m warning you now that I’m using a sponge.”

At Michelle’s look of mock-disapproval Danny continued, “I promise that our friends will never know it wasn’t my very own saliva.”

Michelle couldn’t help but laugh. “Your secret is safe with me.”

Suddenly, realization dawned. “Did you say that Maggie is with Clarissa all night?”

“Mm-hmm.”

“And Tommy’s fast asleep I checked on him before I came in here.”

“He’s such a good baby,” Michelle observed.

“So what the hell am I doing just holding your hand here?”

“What else did you have in mind?” Michelle asked playfully.

“Well since you asked…” Danny replied with a seductive smile, “maybe you could let me unwrap something?”

“It’s awfully early for presents, Danny,” Michelle teased.

“Even one of my favorites?” Danny persisted, moving his hands up Michelle’s arms to her shoulders and massaging there lightly.

“Hmm, you might be able to persuade me.”

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