Hello, all and Merry Christmas! :D

I've got a lot of Christmas stories planned for after the holiday, and I hope you enjoy them!

This story is a present for the amazing Crescent Moon Dancer, who has been a good friend, reviewer, and inspiration for some of my characters! Please, I cannot recommend her amazing stories enough so go and leave a review! :D

Also please check out my Youtube channel (Link in profile) for my covers of some songs from the musical Hamiltion!

I hope you enjoy this story!

...

She paced outside the apartment nervously, biting her lip as she weathered the cold breeze, kept warm solely by her nerves. In five minutes, he would walk out of the building and she would ask him a question which would change their relationship.

It was the day before Christmas Eve, and his family had been snowed in for the winter. He was a family lover, and when the news came that all roads and planes had been shut down and grounded, it had hit him harder than he let on.

Still, he was her best friend, and she wasn't going to let him spend Christmas alone. She just hoped what she was asking wasn't too much.

The door opened and she looked up, bunching her hoodie around her as he walked down the stairs, smiling at her. "Hey you," He smiled, running up and throwing his arms around her. "You look like you're freezing."

"I was" She chuckled, taking his warm hug greedily. "Not now though."

Once they let each other go, she slipped her hand in his, squeezing softly as they walked down the street to their favorite hangout.

….

Doc's parlor was the best pizza place in the entire city and the perfect place for a great meal and good company.

Once they had ordered, he sat down across from her and smiled "So your text said you wanted to talk about something? Anything you need?"

She swallowed, saying a quick prayer in her head before looking him in the eyes. "I know your family is snowed in for the holidays and can't come up here like you planned… so would you like to come to church with me? I'm having a little gathering for an early Christmas Eve service, just a few friends, then we're having dinner and going caroling."

"Oh, I can't intrude on you…"

"You're not" She interrupted "my parents are also snowed in, so my friends and I are just celebrating ourselves. It's just four other girls and me, and we'll have fun."

She finished and waited, checking in her head to make sure she had covered everything. He had autism, and social gatherings were a manageable hurdle for him, but he needed to know all the factors before making the decision. She'd told him the schedule, how many people were there, and everything else… now she just had to wait.

It was going to church with her that she was nervous about. She was very religious herself, and although she knew he had been saved by God and was a follower, but he never talked about it unless she initiated the conversation. Still, going to the service on Christmas Eve was a must for her, and she wanted to share that sense she got by going with him.

The pizza came and she began eating, anything to allow her to stop staring at him as she waited for an answer.

"Sure." He swallowed, beginning to eat his food "I'd like that."

Joy filled her heart as she reached over to squeeze his hand "Thanks, you can come over at 4:00 and we'll start from there."

He squeezed back "Spending Christmas Eve with you. Might start a new tradition."

As the hours ticked by until four, she found herself growing more and more nervous. Her friends noticed and tried to console her, but questions still plagued her brain, made worse by the cookies she was absentmindedly eating.

"What if he changed his mind?" She muttered to herself over the light sound of Christmas music playing from her radio.

Her best friend Kay squeezed her arm "Trust me, dear, he won't pass up a chance to be with you."

Before she could ask what that was supposed to mean, the doorbell rang.

Opening it, her fears calmed down as he entered, hugging her tightly. "Hey… sorry, I'm late, driving on icy roads takes a while."

She hugged back, registering the slight "aww" that her friends muttered in a voice that wasn't a whisper at all.

When they parted she checked her watch as her friends swarmed him, giving him hugs, hot chocolate and a plate of cookies to welcome him to the party.

"We've got about twenty minutes before the service." She said, sitting down on the chair. "Takes five to get there, so we've got some time to kill."

He nodded, motioning to the food and drink he was carrying, "This is delicious, did you make them yourself?"

Another girl, Jenna, raised her hand with a soft blush "I did, and I'm glad you like them."

As he returned to his food she rolled her eyes at Jenna. The cookies were store bought and she had made the cocoa from a packet in her pantry. Still, it was nice to see her friends were eating him up, and if the rest of the night went this smoothly it would be a nice Christmas Eve to remember.

….

When they got to the service, she sat beside him in the pew, holding his hand tightly. The church was crowded with all pews having at least four people in them. The church thrummed with the low noise on controlled chaos, and although it wasn't too loud for him the noise took some getting used to.

His fingers twined with hers as the service started, and his hand didn't leave hers until the candle lighting.

It wasn't for comfort anymore, it was just something they did, and it felt good. Another warmth was added to the warmth she typically felt during this service as hid fingers tightened, filling the spaces between hers perfectly.

Once the hymns were sung, prayers prayed, and the Christmas story of Jesus's birth told… it came to her favorite part.

The candle lighting, taking the flame from an advent candle and spreading it throughout the sanctuary. She loved the feeling that she was spreading faith and goodwill into the world and was part of a larger following of God.

As the lights dimmed and the opening chords for Silent Night began to play, she turned to smile at him, passing the flame and giggling as his candle didn't catch on her flame. He grunted in annoyance and moved his candle until the wick caught before he passed it on.

As the song ended and the pastor made his closing remarks, wishing goodwill upon all who walked in the light, he turned to her gently kissing her cheek as the lights came back on and the candles were blown out.

She hid her blush well, attributing it to the cold as the doors opened and people began entering and exiting the church before they left.

…..

They got home quicker than expected, given the traffic, and while he turned the music back on the girls began warming up the dinner.

"Fair warning ladies, I can eat like a starved man for a meal like this… I'll try to save some for you though" He remarked as he motioned forward "So ladies first."

She chuckled at him as her friends moved forward, piling their plates with turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes, and thick gravy before she filled her plate last and smiled "Have at it then."

He advanced on the food, easily putting double portions on his plate while leaving enough for them, before sitting down.

Kay chuckled, "Watch yourself, boy, we're still going caroling afterward…"

He smiled at her, picking up a turkey leg "Yes ma'am I will."

….

As they ate and talked, she noticed he was becoming more and more comfortable with her friends and the situation in general, and her friends were loving him.

True to his boast, he somehow managed to eat the entire double sized plate and another one just like it without a pause before taking the dishes after they were finished. Despite their protests he took them all, already turning on the sink.

"I don't know if it's a tradition or just really bad luck, but I always seem to do the dishes on Christmas… no arguing, just let me do this."

And with that order, the girls were left speechless as he cleaned up.

Kay leaned over to her and placed a hand to her ear "I love him… and you are so lucky!"

Before she could again ask her friend for clarification, he was done and placed the last dish in the washer. "Alright, that's all for that. Anything else you need?"

She stood and smiled "Just your voice. Let's get caroling!"

If the girls were upset about caroling after a meal, they didn't show it, probably because they reached the same conclusion.

If they sat down on a sofa with full bellies, then they wouldn't be getting back up anytime soon.

….

The weather had warmed up a bit as they walked outside, letting her lead as she pointed towards some of the houses.

The Christmas lights and decorations shone like a multicolored blanket on the pavement as they walked, admiring them as she led them to the first house.

The couple who answered had two children, and they sang along to Jingle Bells almost as well as the carolers did.

When the song ended they moved on, showered by applause and cheers, as they knocked on the door to the next house.

After renditions of Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Deck the Halls, and Wish it could be Christmas Everyday, they walked to the last home, admiring the lights along the way.

Jenna leaned over to her "Well Kay is right you know, your friend does have an incredible voice. You're one lucky girl."

She turned to Jenna, a bit impatient with all this secrecy and hinting "What do you mean?"

"You can't be serious" She whispered in disbelief "He likes you!"

"What?" She muttered, blushing fiercely. "No, he doesn't!"

"He kissed you in the church, he did the dishes for you, he's been extra respectful, and it's obvious he cares about you by the hugging alone? How do you not see it?" Jenna rolled her eyes playfully and patted her shoulder "Well, now you know!"

She shook her head. All that could be easily explained away. The kiss was on the cheek, a friendly gesture at best. Doing the dishes was something he wanted to do, he was always respectful to her, and the hugging was normal! Him seeing her as more than a friend… it just wasn't plausible.

She shook off the lingering emotions and instead walked to the last house. They knocked on the door and when a woman answered, they sang Joy to the World for their finale.

….

After the song ended they walked back towards her house, entering just in time for the extra cookies and cocoa to warm up and provide a nice dessert for the meal.

"Thank you guys for coming and being a second family for this Christmas Eve… it means so much to me." She smiled as she drank her glass.

A chorus of "Always and anytime" answered her statement as they relaxed and reflected, until finally, the girls moved to leave one by one, with Kay being the last to go, tossing a soft smirk to her as she said her goodbyes.

He exhaled in relief as the last one exited, before jumping in panic as she squealed in delight. "Look out the window! Snow!"

He stood and watched the white flakes fall, hitting the ground as he smiled sharing in her joy. "Finally, a white Christmas here."

She squealed again and hugged him as she watched the snow fall. "Best Christmas Eve ever! But I can't let you go."

He let her go "Why not?"

"It took you forever to get here with just ice on the roads, driving home in the snow especially this late, is not fun. You can sleep on the couch and spend Christmas morning with me."

He nodded and smiled "I don't want to be alone tomorrow anyway, I already opened all my presents."

She got two blankets and a large pillow out of a closet and arranged them on the couch. "I'll pull up Netflix and we can watch a holiday movie together, I'm not tired at all."

Standing up, he examined her pantry and pulled out a bag of popcorn, making it and placing it in a bowl before he returned, curling up on the couch.

"Move over" She teased, sliding herself under the blanket with him as she let him wrap an arm around her, sharing his body heat.

The movie White Christmas started as they both took the moment to appreciate the irony. She rested her head on the shoulder as they let the movie play, him humming along to Bing Crosby.

When it ended, they were both half asleep as she turned off the Tv, rising to leave for her bed.

"No…" His arms tightened around her "Stay… you're warm and soft…" He moved his body so he was laying on the couch lengthwise and putting her on top of him.

She rested her head on his chest, too tired to argue as he kissed her forehead "Thank you for letting me stay here tonight and for inviting me to the party."

Her ear rested on his heart as she yawned "Anytime. Kay and Jenna seem to think you like me as more than a friend… and if you did… I wouldn't mind at all."

Suddenly she stopped, dumbstruck by her confession as her rapid heartbeat woke her up, her entire body tense as she waited for his response.

"I'm glad" He grumbled, massaging her back "I was afraid you'd never notice."

She smiled as the same strange warmth she felt at the church filled her again and she leaned up to kiss his cheek, nuzzling him softly as she fell asleep.

When she woke up, she looked up into his eyes and smiled, seeing that a fresh layer of snow covered the ground.

"Looks like we'll be spending Christmas inside." She mused, wondering how much persuasion it would take to get him to volunteer to shovel her driveway out…

If she did that, then the tradition of having him over would get a lot better.

...

I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy holidays! :)

As always leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day!