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But It Makes Her Smile

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This story is No. 5 in the series "The McDonald Boys". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Christmas fic! Eliot asks Lindsey to make it snow for Parker at the end of “The Ho Ho Ho Job.” Part of my “McDonald Boys” verse (pre-“Sky’s Gonna Open”), but it’s not really necessary to read the other stories to get this one.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > LeveragepoestheblackcatFR1321,461051,27130 Apr 1230 Apr 12Yes

Humbuggery and Brohuggery

AN: This wasn’t supposed to be written, but it was, at about 3 am, under the influence of cough syrup. Remember “Drunk Dialing, the McDonald Way”? Eliot was the drunk one there. This time, it’s Lindsey, and he’s feeling a little lonely. *insert sad face*

Humbuggery and Brohuggery

Three states away, Lindsey watches the scene play out in a snow globe model of Boston and hides a bitter smile in his solitary eggnog.

Another Christmas spent alone.

Ho ho frickin’ ho.

At least this year, he has massive amounts of footage of Eliot in a Santa Claus costume. That’s awesome blackmail, right there.

He’s about to take another swig of his eggnog when the phone rings again.

“Hey,” Eliot says, slightly out of breath and with mirth in his voice (lucky bastard), “I forgot ta say earlier, Merry Christmas, bro. I love ya, man.”

The tiny plaster figure representing him in the snowball walks around a corner and disappears from sight, while the others likewise go their separate ways (Parker across the roofs, and Alec Hardison the normal way, albeit with an over-exaggerated limp). The curly-haired bit of plaster representing Nathan Ford goes back inside McRory’s with the dark-haired figure of Sophie Devereaux hanging off of his arm.

“You drunk or somethin’?” Lindsey asks to cover up the sudden blossoming of warmth in his chest.

“No, just won a snowball fight, that’s all,” Eliot huffs.

“Well congratulations,” Lindsey snorts, “That’s quite a feat, especially for the man who singlehandedly liberated Croatia.”

“Shut up,” Eliot says, sobering a little, “No need to be a Grinch about it.”

“Who’s a Grinch?” Lindsey replies, yet again cursing his brother’s ability to guilt-trip him without even meaning to, “I made it snow on demand. That is decidedly un-Grinch-like behavior. How many people do you know can do that?”

“Yeah, yeah. Well, anyway,” Eliot clears his throat, “I’m making Christmas dinner for the team and you’re welcome to join.”

Christmas dinner. Haven’t had one of those in…ages. “Nah,” Lindsey says, “got plans.”

Eliot snorts. “What, like sitting there all alone, watching A Christmas Carol on TV and getting drunk?”

Shit. Yes. “Shut up. I have plans. Real plans.” Like watching It’s A Wonderful Life right after A Christmas Carol. And then they’re showing Miracle on 34th Street after that. Meet Me in St. Louis has some catchy tunes in it and has Judy Garland as a redhead. He’s looking forward to that one.

He can just see Eliot shaking his head at him over the line, like he’s his mother instead of his brother. “Alright, Ebenezer. I’ll ship you some turkey and fixings overnight.”

Mmmm, he can’t help the next hopeful word that comes out of his mouth. “Pie?”

Eliot chuckles. “And pie. I’m makin’ three kinds. Ya sure you don’t wanna come?”

Lindsey sighs. “Yeah. Got- ”

“Plans,” Eliot finishes for him. “Got it.”

Lindsey clears his throat and tries another attempt at holiday cheer, for his brother’s sake. “Well, uh. Merry Christmas, then.”

“Yeah, you, too. Night.”

“Don’t let the bed bugs- ”

“Finish that sentence, Linny,” Eliot growls playfully, “I dare ya.”

Dare? Ha. “Bite?”

“Just for that, I’m leavin’ out the pie.”

Good for Lindsey, he knows just how to fix that problem. “Awww, Ellllllll…” He takes a deep breath. “Ellllllll…” he continues, a childish grin spreading across his face.

“Fine,” Eliot grumbles, not being able to stand that drawn-out whine for long, “Just ‘cause it’s Christmas.”

“Thanks, Eliot.” It was supposed to come out smug, but somehow, it turns into something a little more…sincere.

His brother obviously hears it because he blusters a little. “Naw, it’s just…Thanks for the snow.”

Lindsey appreciates the diversion tactic. A lot. He doesn’t need another invite because he’s drunk enough that he just might accept. “She like it?”

“Who?” Bluff.

“It was for Parker, right?”

“No, it was part of the con.” Liar.

“Yeah,” Lindsey agrees, “She like it?”

Eliot sighs, defeated. “Yeah.”

“‘S good.” Someone oughta be happy on Christmas. Everyone should be happy on Christmas. Except for evil people who sold their souls for a six-figure salary and a corner office.

“Get ta bed, Linny,” Eliot says in his most disapproving mama bear tone, “And put down the whiskey bottle b’fore ya do.”

“Eggnog, El,” Lindsey corrects, “It’s eggnog. ‘S different. Christmas spirit. Emphasis on spirit,” he cackles. Puns. They’re awesome.

“Whatever. Bed, ya sad drunk.”

“Fine. You, too, Mr. Santa Claus Snowball Fight Champion. Oh hey, I almost forgot. Ya know what I want for Christmas?”

Eliot sighs, but decides to humor him. “I’ll bite. What does ittle Linny McDonald want for Christmas?” Okay, sort of humors him.

“I want a Rubbery Robby!” Lindsey snickers.

There’s a long pause at the other end. “How…” sputters Eliot. “You know what? You have been very naughty this year, so no pie for you.”

“Awwwww…” Deep breath. “Awwwwww Ellllllll…”

“Alright, alright. Hang up right now and you
might get pie.” Heh, Eliot’s annoyed. It always makes for pretty good entertainment to poke at him when he’s all exasperated like that, even if it means pie is in the balance.

“You hang up.”

“No, you hang up.”

“No, you hang up.”

“You- Fine, on three?”

“One. Two. Three,” they say together. Then they wait a beat.

“You’re still there. I can hear you breathing.”

“Obviously. And so are you.”

“Hang up.”


“You’re still there.”

“So’re you.”

Half an hour later, and they’re still playing the “hang up already” game. It’s…homey. Like the “you still awake” routine they used to go through as kids.

Lindsey doesn’t remember who falls asleep first, but he wakes up with a smile on his face, for the first time in a long time (and miracle of miracles, only a tiny hangover). And when he glances out the window, he sees that it’s snowing. Real snow, not magic snow.

Lindsey laughs softly. “In Whoville they say,” he whispers, “that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day.”

Catching himself, he scoffs and glances around surreptitiously just in case anyone had witnessed his momentary lapse in Scrooginess.

Then he sits down for his Christmas movie marathon and (im)patiently waits for his brother’s care package to arrive.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

AN: How many people have played the “hang up, no you hang up” game with a friend/family member before? *raises hand* Good times. And I know, I know, no actual "brohuggery," but you have to admit, the title's kind of tongue-twistingly catchy...

The End

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