Logan’s apartment smelled amazing, and Alec knew that was mostly to do with the cookies baking in the oven. There were already two dozen cooling on racks, cluttering Logan’s usually tidy kitchen, but Alec only grinned at the sight and wondered how quick the guy would get back with more flour and other desperately needed supplies. With how fast he and Joshua were working, it wouldn’t be long until they were going stir crazy from lack of ingredients, and Alec hated when Joshua improvised.
Alec threw a glance over at the big guy, dubiously eying the bowl he was vigorously stirring. He was tempted to dip a finger into the bowl, but a Joshua who was covered nearly from head to toe in flour yanked it away before he made contact. Well, if he couldn’t taste test then he could always just ask. “You're using icing this time instead of paint, right, big guy?”
Joshua nodded eagerly and handed a frosting tube over to Alec, who couldn’t help but lick his fingers and moan once he realized there was probably more frosting covering the outside of the tube than what was currently left inside. “Alec help me frost. We go with blue now.”
Alec wiped away some of the frosting on the tube to try to make out the label. “Sky blue, huh? Good choice, Josh.”
“Think Christmas colors are red and green, Joshua,” Max popped in and stole a cookie off of one of the racks. Last time, Alec had been close enough to catch her but hadn’t expected an X5 to use her skills to steal cookies out from under both Alec’s and Joshua’s noses, or at least didn’t expect Max to do it. This time, however, he guessed he could blame it on being too far away, what with having to keep an eye on Joshua in case he slipped something inedible into the bowl.
He still protested, especially since she was currently leaning casually against the wall and munching on said cookie. “Hey!” Max only stared at him deviously, nibbling even more delicately on the cookie. Alec had wanted one for over an hour now and apparently had a lot more willpower than the ‘Queen of the Transgenics’ herself. “Other people around here are hungry too.”
“You’ll live, tough guy.” Max pulled herself forward and patted his stomach, and he shot her a glare for her feigned sympathetic expression. She left the kitchen then, but not before stealing another cookie, no doubt for Original Cindy, who was probably still sprawled out on the couch in the other room. “Now get to work on that frosting, or OC and I will start decorating the tree without you,” she called over her shoulder.
“You wouldn’t! Josh, back me up here.”
“Plenty of cookies to go ‘round. Logan will come back soon.” Joshua patted his shoulder and honestly, Alec was getting pretty freaking tired of people giving him these touches that were supposed to be comforting. He swiped a cookie the next time his stomach rumbled, squirting some icing onto it before he bit into it, and marveled at how Joshua could make something this good. The ‘head baker’ couldn’t seem to resist the temptation either and took one off the rapidly emptying first rack.
Alec shook his head at his decorating skills though. “Come on, man, you’re putting on too much frosting, and who the hell has three eyes? These are gingerbread people, remember how Logan showed us?”
Joshua shrugged, and even though it looked like the frosting tube had exploded over his cookie, the sweet substance dripping from his fingers in globs and falling to the floor, the way his face lit up at the mouthful of icing made Alec laugh.
The big guy gave him a playful nudge at that, “Alec go with Max and OC to decorate tree. Alec go have fun.”
A weight lifted off the transgenic, and with it came a fondness for Joshua warmer than he’d ever had before. “Thanks, man. I’ll be back before the next batch is out of the oven.” But Joshua wasn’t listening, already resigned to Alec spending some time with the girls in the other room before Logan got back.
And that was perfectly fine with him.
Max was hanging an ornament when he wandered into the living room, and without turning Original Cindy held out an arm for him to step into. It was kinda weird, how good she was getting at knowing he was there, but her comment drained any lingering reluctance out of him. “Get the hell over here, fool, before I drag you over.”
Alec beamed and accepted the arm, allowing it to mold comfortably against his back. The kiss he gave her oozed out that prior weirdness and replaced it with a warm tingling from his hair to his toes. Alec wrapped an arm around her and then held his other out for Max, wanting more than anything to be sandwiched between them.
They were the best of both worlds.
They were family.
“You done, boo?” OC seemed to knock some sense into Max, enough for her to finally figure out where she wanted the damn ornament to hang. She took Alec’s arm and settled it around her, fitting in against him just as well as Original Cindy did. Alec caught her smile and held onto it, pulling her closer and pressing a small kiss to the side of her mouth. It wasn’t a sunny Christmas, unfortunately, but as the rain melted the harsh world that lay outside the windows, Alec was likewise melting under the glow of the Christmas tree and between the warm embraces of his girls.
And when Joshua got bored and brought with him the second rack of cookies that had cooled, Alec hoped there would be many more Christmases like this to come.