DISCLAIMER: I do not own Army Wives, if I did the CJ/Denise kissage would have made it farther than the blooper reel. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Tis' the Season
By Disillusioned Warrior


Tis' the season, Claudia Joy sighed into her coco. From her perch on the couch she took in the festiveness that adorned her living room. The tree with its bright lights and twinkling ornaments, splendidly wrapped gifts sitting beneath its branches, hell, even the throw blanket she was wrapped in bore an embroidered Christmas scene. Her eyes fell on the stockings hanging from the mantle, and she had to choke back a sob. Three. Only three stockings when there should be four. The first attempt at decorating for the holidays ended up with Claudia Joy in a sobbing heap on the floor, clutching Amanda's stocking. It would be unrealistic to believe the wounds would ever completely heal but she had thought she was over spontaneous crying fits, and for the most part she was. Enough time had passed since Amanda's death that the raw, searing pain was replaced with a dull ache and fond memories. But every now and then something would trigger the flood a scent, a sound, an object. It was happening more and more infrequently though when it did the effects were devastating. Claudia Joy shook her head in an attempt to clear it, determined to keep it together this time. The crackling of the fire and the warmth of the hot chocolate aided to free the flow of her thoughts. Since teaching Emmaline to drive their relationship had improved. She was grateful everyday that she was able to reach out through her own grief to embrace Emmaline. Claudia Joy wouldn't have survived losing another daughter even on an emotional level. Yes Amanda was gone, but Emmaline, Emmaline was still here and she deserved the best Claudia Joy had to give. She refused to fail Emmaline, their relationship was a beacon of light in the darkness. Her thoughts then drifted to Michael. She could feel them drifting farther apart but simply couldn't bring herself to do something about it. He had tried, she saw that, but it still didn't change how she felt. It had nothing to do with Amanda's death. At most it could be said Amanda's death brought emotions to the surface, feelings no one was prepared to deal with at this moment in time, if ever. Brown eyes and a heart-stopping smile flashed in Claudia Joy's mind. Yes, never seemed like a perfect time to deal with such matters. Claudia Joy finally decided, finally taking a sip of her no longer hot chocolate.

The End

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