New York City was blanketed in white snow as far as the eye could see, and to anyone else, it may have seemed cold and unforgiving. But in Margaret’s apartment, it was anything but. Warmth radiated from every corner of the room, with the walls decorated with pictures of stars and constellations, celestial decor everywhere that was still, the fireplace crackling, and the smell of cinnamon and peppermint wafting in from the kitchen.
A perfect picture of peace on Earth, to anyone looking in through the window. And yet…
“ That doesn’t count! ” Samuel insisted from his spot in the armchair. He pointed at the Scrabble board on the coffee table, which, connecting at the “ A ” in “Maple”, proudly boasted the word “Cassiopeia”. “That’s a proper noun, and you know it.”
Rose rolled her eyes, sipping her hot cocoa as though she hadn’t just committed Scrabble blasphemy in the eyes of her twin. “We never said proper nouns didn’t count.”
“That’s common knowledge.”
“Herschel, is this in any way, shape or form fair?” Samuel looked to the man who sat next to Rose, who clearly was more than amused at the squabble happening in front of him.
In response, however, he just got a raised eyebrow and a shrug, looking to Rose. “I play with proper nouns, so in my eyes, Rose is correct here.”
Rose laughed, tossing a “ X ” from the pile of Scrabble tiles at him. “That’s what you get for questioning the Scrabble master!”
“They’re made for each other.” Samuel sighed, leaning back in his chair and kicking his legs up onto the coffee table. “Menaces, Mags, what did I tell you?”
Margaret smiled as she flipped to the next page in her book -- a collection of illustrations of the moon that Rose had found for her birthday. She’d fallen in love with it, especially as the lights from the city burned just a bit brighter and the moon seemed just a bit further away. “You were right, what do you want me to say?”
“Exactly that, thank you.” Triumphant, Samuel extended his arms, nearly smacking Benjamin in the face. He sat in the chair next to Samuel, and as his hand flew out, Benjamin narrowly ducked, glaring up at him. “...Sorry.”
“Please don’t kill me,” was all he said in reply, but the tone was light. Benjamin had seemed happier lately, and a sense of that was evident as he sat in the room with them. Forgiveness was possible, it seemed, on all sides, and Benjamin was just one part of that.
It really was nice, this little family they had. Of course, Benjamin stayed in New York when the quartet went off on their expeditions -- he’d never been one for adventure, after all, -- but it was nice to come home and spend time like they used to.
“ That’s not a word .” Rose’s exclamation derailed Samuel’s entire train of thought, and he looked over to her to see her pointing at some word starting with “ Z ” on the board, placed there by Herschel. “Nope, not a word, I call B.S..”
“That is most definitely a word.”