Who: Tess and Open When: December 15, 2010 Where: the complex community kitchen What: making hot cocoa for everyone
Before the years she had spent among humans, Tess’ experiences with Christmas were bad ones. Nasedo had been a less than warm presence in her life, mainly just staying by her side to make sure that she made good on the deal that would take innocent lives. Once, when she was just a child, she tried to give him a present, but he refused to even unwrap the box. She spent the holiday roaming by herself, peering into shop windows and enjoying the ambience outside of her house instead of focusing on her mentor’s Grinch-like attitude.
When Tess moved in with the men of the Valenti household she was finally able to really experience the spirit of the season. They were a little reluctant to deck the halls at first, wanting only to watch football and eat Hungry Man microwave dinners, but Tess’ efforts paid off. Soon, the house was decorated with lights and there was even a tree in place. It was the first time since her life on Antar that she ever really felt like she had a place in a family.
Now, even though it was the end of the world, Tess felt that she could embrace Christmas once again. She didn’t have a whole lot of cash, but she had set out to get the people who had welcomed her to Lawrence a sort of Christmas present. Cookies had been made and she figured she would provide something to go with them. She’d gone out to a wholesale store and bought a vast collection of different flavored hot cocoa mixes at a cheap price along with two jugs of 2% milk to make hot chocolate with.
The box that held the packets of hot cocoa mix was too big to stuff in a cabinet, so Tess left it on the kitchen counter. She pulled out a packet of minty hot chocolate mix and emptied the contents into a mug, then pouring an appropriate amount of milk in after. All she had to do after that was hold her hand over the mug, heating the contents within using her powers. Tentatively, she took a sip from the mug and licked her lips, satisfied with the warm drink. This Christmas wouldn’t be so bad.