Snuggled up with Steve, a fuzzy blanket on your lap, you watched the forms of Bing Crosby, who played Bob, and Rosemary Clooney, who played Betty, yell at each other. After days of begging, you'd finally convinced Steve to sit down and watch your all-time favourite Christmas movie with you.
You knew it so well, had watched it so many times, you knew every line and every song, and if you could have danced at all, you likely would know all the steps. The way the women looked, the costumes they wore, made your heart flutter. And the men, each was such a gentleman, and Danny Kaye, who played Phil, so funny and adorable. The way they moved, spoke, and acted around the women gave you butterflies. Just like Steve.
Filmed only a decade after he went into the ice, the mannerisms of the people on screen were so close to his own. You wondered if the movie would make him sad, but every time you glanced up at him, it appeared he was enjoying it too.
The scene with Betty at the Carousel Club was coming up, and you nudged him in the ribs. “The dress Betty wears here is the same one Pepper helped me have made for New Years.”
“Yeah?” he smiled down at you. “Should I close my eyes, so I don’t ruin the surprise?”
You giggled and shook your head. “It's fine. Consider it a sneak peek.”
When Rosemary Clooney came on in the flowing black velvet gown with its shimmer of diamonds at the peak of the train and her long white gloves you gave a dreamy sigh and snuggled closer. She was so beautiful.
“Wow. Damn, doll. That’s what you’re wearing?”
“Yeah, though I don’t quite have that figure,” you chuckled.
“Yeah, you do,” Steve said. “You’ve got all the right curves in all the right places, sweetheart.”
“Aw.” You smiled up at him. “You’re so gonna get lucky later.”
“That’s good as I plan on touching all those curves, baby girl.” He ducked his head and kissed you with lazy grace, all tongue and teeth and sneaky lips that tugged on yours. He pecked you a final kiss, and you turned back to the movie.
You watched as Betty returned to the inn to her sister Judy after realizing Bob wasn’t the bad guy she’d thought he was. The surprise when the General who both Bob and Phil had served with during the war was honoured by his men all those years later. And the further surprise when Betty arrived on stage to dance with Bob and the others. It made you giddy inside, even after all these years. But at the end, when Bob and Betty began to sing White Christmas, Steve shifted away and stood up to offer you his hand.
“Dance with me.”
He chuckled. “Dance with me.” Without waiting for agreement, Steve tugged you to your feet and began to sway with you, gently leading you around the footstool to move in slow circles in the space before the television.
You were dressed in fuzzy pajama pants and a spaghetti strap tank top wearing thick wool socks, dancing with the man who held your heart between the TV, sofa, and Christmas tree. It was silly but adorable, and so like Steve you couldn’t help but smile when you looked up at him. But there was something in his eyes that worried you.
“What’s wrong? The movie didn’t make you sad, did it? Was it too nostalgic?”
“No, darlin’.” He smiled and shook his head. “I liked it. Everything’s just fine.”
“Then why do you look like you licked a lemon?”
Steve burst out laughing. “Guess I’m just nervous.”
“Nervous? About what?”
He glanced at the TV with a grin and had you following. “Look at that; Bob got a present. A knight on a white horse.”
“Yeah. It’s Betty’s way of saying he’s her knight. That he’s always been her knight, and even when she thought he’d slipped off his charger, he never had.”
“Huh. Ain’t that something.” Then he turned toward the tree and dipped you back over his arm. “Well, would you look at that. There seems to be a shiny gold present on the tree just like Bob’s.”
“What?” You tilted your head back to see the glimmer of paper on the branches. “Where did that come from.”
“No idea. Maybe you should check it out and see who it’s from.”
He lifted you to your feet, and you looked at him suspiciously. “What are you up to?”
Steve only grinned. He had that look that said he wasn’t about to give up his secrets, and you turned toward the tree to discover the secret for yourself. The gift wasn’t quite as big as Bob’s, but it was nearly identical in gold wrapping and bow. The dangling tag read, “To Y/N. Love Steve.”
“Steve, what is this?”
“Open it and find out.”
“But Christmas isn’t for two more days.” You smiled cheekily, tormenting him a little. It was only fair as he was being all super sneaky spy.
“Ooh, Captain face.” You made yours all stern but couldn’t hold it and giggled when he arched a brow and crossed his arms. “Fine, fine.” You tore at the paper only to find an army soldier figurine. From the style of dress, it was from the nineteen forties. “Oh, Steve.” A small jingle had you looking down to the red ribbon tied at the base as you dropped the paper on the ground. You turned the soldier over and gasped. “Steve?”
He slowly lowered to his knee and plucked the figurine from your lack grasp. “I’ve never claimed to be a knight, I’ve always only ever been a soldier, but if you’ll have me, Y/N, I promise I’ll love you with every ounce of my heart and soul. I know it won’t always be easy, and we’ll have moments of challenge along the way, but I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy because there isn’t a doubt in my mind that we belong together. Marry me?” He held out the sparkling diamond ring.
With a frantic nod and tear-streaked face, you cried, “Yes!”
He slipped the ring on your finger and surged to his feet to kiss you like his life depended on it. When, finally, he released your lips to let you breathe, you gasped air and laughed happily. “You little shit! You’ve seen White Christmas before!”
“Just this week. I was trying to figure out how to ask you to marry me, and Wanda recommended I give the end of this movie a look.” The credits were rolling when he nodded toward the TV. “I only watched the end for this idea, but now I’m glad I did.”
“It was perfect, Steve. Just perfect.”
“Merry Christmas, sweetheart.”
You clicked off the TV. “Merry Christmas, Steve.”
With a smirk, you dragged him down to the floor and made love to your fiance for the first time beneath the glow of the tree’s lights.