The Damned-est Christmas Ever
by Dyna Dee
The tree was as beautiful as any they'd ever had, with a colorful array of blinking miniature lights and a variety of ornaments that ranged from Santa Clauses to elegant glass balls, each one holding a treasured memory. Presents were wrapped and stashed under the decorated pine branches. The fireplace was aglow with several logs extending light and warmth to the living room. Christmas music was playing softly in the background and a plate of cookies was set on the coffee table. Everything was as it should be this evening. Well, almost.
Folding his arms across his chest, Duo sighed deeply, sinking into the melancholy mood he'd been fighting off for the better part of the week. No matter how hard he'd tried to convince himself that it was all right, he knew that Christmas wasn't the same as it had been, and probably never would be again.
He was still lost in thought when two familiar, plaid flannel covered arms wrapped around him from behind and a warm body pressed against his back. Two mugs of hot chocolate appeared in front of him.
"Quit brooding. It's Christmas Eve."
"I'm not brooding," he replied, carefully taking one of the steaming cups, the one with melting marshmallows on top.
A kiss was placed on the side of his head. "I know it's different this year, not what we're used to. But it can still be good. I'm still here, aren't I?"
Leaning against his lover's chest, Duo welcomed the tightening of the arms circling his waist. Heero was his anchor, his one constant in an ever-changing world. "You're right, and I'm sorry if I've made you feel like you're not enough. But it's hard, you know? It just feels so... empty now that they're gone. I can't help but wonder if this is how it's going to be for the rest of our lives, the two of us growing old all alone."
Heero sighed. "You make it sound like we've got one foot in the grave, Duo. Being in our forties is not exactly old and doting. I know it's been hard on you, being left behind again, but it's only natural that they've moved on. Neither of us had parents to give us examples, so being empty nesters is a new experience for us, not unlike anything else that came with raising two boys."
"Sometimes I wish we'd had a girl."
Duo felt as well as heard the chuckle from the man behind him. "Why would a girl have made any difference?" Heero asked.
"Sally told me that girls generally tend to stay close to their family. There's even a saying for it. I think it's something like, ‘A boy is a son until he takes a wife, but a girl is a daughter for the rest of her life'. If we had a girl, then maybe she'd be home for Christmas."
"Our boys are still our sons," Heero insisted. "Whether they're here tonight or not."
"I guess," Duo agreed somewhat sullenly. "But some other parents are enjoying them this Christmas, not us."
"Duo," Heero's voice took on a gently chiding tone. He took the mug out of the other man's hand and set both cups down on the nearby table before turning to face his lover. "It's only natural that Ki remains with his wife on L4. You know she's not allowed to travel to Earth in her condition, so he really didn't have a choice in the matter. He'll call tomorrow, I promise."
"I know," Duo said, though clearly not mollified. "But why did he have to marry so young? He's only twenty-two and now they're having a baby. Do you actually think Quatre and Trowa will let their grandchild out of their sights once it's born?"
"Of course they will," Heero replied patiently. "And you know Ki and Safia waited until her fathers gave their permission for them to marry, once she turned nineteen. They weren't thrilled that she married that young either, but they understood that she was in love and that Ki's a good man. If you'll remember, we began our relationship at a much younger age than they did."
Duo didn't want to continue the argument that he'd had many times with Heero and their eldest son before Ki asked their friends' daughter to marry him. He never could seem to win a point of argument with his lover and the son who took after him. "Well, Jake could have come home," he said, stubbornly petulant. "He didn't have to go with his girlfriend to her parent's house."
"He's in love," Heero said with a smile. "Remember how we never wanted to be apart when we were young and so besotted?"
A reluctant grin came to Duo's face. "Are you sure besotted is the right word to describe how we felt back then?"
"Head over heels in lust and love might be more apt," Heero grinned back, recalling the time when they couldn't keep their hands off each other.
Moving a step closer, Duo leaned up against Heero's chest. "Not that we've changed much, in that respect," he whispered just before pressing his lips to his slightly taller lover's mouth. Both men's hearts and bodies warmed in recalling memories of their tempestuous, early years together.
Several long and satisfying moments later, Duo rested his head on the other man's shoulder and sighed contentedly. "What would I do without you?" It was a question he never truly wanted to contemplate.
Heero's hands moved in soothing circles against his back and answered, "That's something you'll never have to worry about."
They stayed like that, holding each other close while standing in the middle of their festive living room. Then Duo leaned back and searched Heero's eyes. "I love you, Heero, more than anything, but I just can't help missing them. They've been a integral part of our lives for twenty-two years. I can't seem to let them go as easily as they've let us go."
Seeing the sad look on his lover's face, Heero wondered what he could say or do to make Duo feel better and salvage the holiday. Cupping the forlorn face in his hands, he waited until the blue-violet eyes looked into his own before speaking. Though they were considered to be middle aged, he could still catch a glimpse of the spunky, long-haired teen in the black, mock-priest outfit with a wicked grin adorning his handsome face. He'd fallen in love with that boy, but what he felt now for the man in his arms far transcended any verbal expression he could utter.
Stroking his lover's cheek with his thumb, he replied softly to Duo's feelings of abandonment. "They haven't abandoned us, Duo. Ki and Jacob are both the independent, intelligent and prepared young men that we raised them to be. You should be proud of them, not lamenting their absence from home."
"I am proud of them," Duo said adamantly. "But I'd like to be proud of them here, spending Christmas with us. What about our traditions? Reminiscing over past Christmases while eating homemade cookies and sipping hot chocolate; getting up in the morning to open our presents and eating gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Who's going to play board games with us and put together the new jigsaw puzzle if they're not here?"
"Duo," Heero sighed wearily. "We began those traditions when the boys were growing up. Now that it's just the two of us again I think we should come up with some new traditions. Or, we could celebrate like we did before the boys were born?"
The space between Duo's eyebrows furrowed as his thoughts returned to the past. "Funny, the only thing I remember the two of us doing on Christmas back then is spending a great deal of time in bed." A mischievous grin tugged at his lips. "Not unlike any other holiday though, is it?"
Heero's smile matched his lover's as he replied, "Those are some of my more treasured memories." His hands began to roam his lover's body which was covered by a soft, plaid flannel shirt and faded blue jeans.
Rubbing the palms of his hands over the slender hips, he leaned forward and whispered into Duo's ear. "Why don't we put a blanket on the floor in front of the fireplace, unwrap each other and make love all night long under the lights of the Christmas tree?"
As Heero's tongue traced the folds of his ear, Duo melted into his embrace with a moan. "Sounds like a pretty good plan."
Heero pulled back slightly, wearing a frown. "Pretty good?"
"Er... well.. I mean.. Since the boys can't be here."
"So now I'm second best?" Heero was teasing, but from time to time over the years the thought had crossed his mind that he had indeed become second best to Duo in regards to their sons.
"No, Heero," Duo was quick to reply, pulling his lover back to him by the waistband of his pants. "You're my everything, my heart. You know what I meant."
"Maybe I don't."
That simple comment brought an instant reaction from Duo. Once again Heero found Duo flattened against him, his lover's lips devouring his own, trying desperately to convince him that he was the center of his life. He returned the kiss with equal enthusiasm. Kissing Duo had always been one of his favorite pastimes. He could spend hours melding his mouth with his lover's and never grow tired of it.
Hands began to roam and soon buttons and zippers were being unfastened and unzipped. The coffee table holding the two, untouched cups of cocoa and the plate of cookies was moved to the side, the blanket draped over the back of the sofa was hastily laid out on the floor in front of the fireplace and a tube of lube was quickly located.
The flashing lights on the Christmas tree and the flickering glow from the fireplace cast a romantic glow over the two naked men with their legs and arms entwined as they teased, explored and aroused each other's bodies. They took their time, in no rush to end the pleasure they were both enjoying.
Heero looked up at the man he had loved since his youth and forced himself to be still until he received permission to move. Duo was just as handsome to him now as he had been twenty-four years ago, when they'd first signed their commitment papers. Though the long hair Duo once wore had been gone for over a decade, Heero admired the broad shoulders, the strong arms, trim waist and lean hips, a total package that had both men and women looking over their shoulders in admiration. With Duo straddling his pelvis, his eyes closed while adjusting to the hardness invading his body, Heero felt immense gratitude that this warm and wonderful man was all his.
"Okay," Duo whispered with a slight sigh after several long moments had passed. Then leaning forward slightly, readjusting before he began to move. Heero's hands kneaded the thighs that were pressed up against his sides and thrust upwards into the welcoming, tight heat.
Duo rode him slowly, obviously wanting to drag their love making out for as long as possible. His lover moaned and whispered erotic descriptions of what he was feeling, seeing and wanting, bringing Heero closer to climax.
Then, just as the pace picked up, the unexpected sound of a key sliding into the front door lock and then the bolt drawing back caused both naked men to freeze in place. Their head jerked towards the direction of the sound and they watched in horror as two silhouetted figures entered the house and the front door shut behind them.
"Let me get your coat, Sherri. Then I'll...."
As the two stood frozen in place at the foyer turned, it was hard to tell who was more shocked, Heero and Duo, or the intruders.
Though slightly delayed by the surprised entry, Duo reacted as soon as he heard twin gasps by throwing himself on top of his lover and frantically reached for the corner of the blanket in an attempt to draw it over them. Heero's body, resting on top of it, sufficiently hampered his efforts.
Suddenly understanding Duo's actions, Heero threw his right arm over his lover's waist while grabbing the blanket's edge in his hand and hurriedly rolled the two of them over until they bumped into the sofa. All movement stopped, and the two naked men found themselves pressed tightly together, cocooned inside the blanket.
On his back once more with Duo on top of his chest, his face pressed into his neck, Heero realized that it was up to him to deal with the situation. Lifting his head up, he looked over Duo's shoulder and over the sofa's edge to the two intruders. "Not that we're unhappy about it, but what are you doing home, Jake?"
The young man, strongly resembling Duo, stood next to a young lady they'd only seen in pictures sent over the internet. While the young lady looked embarrassed, Jake looked positively mortified. "Dammit, when will you two grow up!"
Duo moaned into Heero's neck, where he attempted to hide his own embarrassment.
"Sherri," the twenty year old young man addressed his guest with a tone of disapproval aimed at the two on the floor. "Meet my Dads."
"Hello," she squeaked, and even with the dim light of the room, Heero could see the blush on her cheeks.
"Um... hello," he replied, uncertain about how to proceed. "And sorry. We thought you weren't coming home."
"Obviously!" Jake retorted with a roll of his eyes. "After Dad laid a guilt trip on me about you guys being all alone on Christmas with Ki and Safia on L4 with her dads, I asked Sherri if we could come here for Christmas then fly to her folks' home for New Years. I didn't think she'd get an X-rated version of the Night Before Christmas."
"Sorry, Jake," Duo mumbled, not daring to move in case the blanket covering himself and Heero came loose.
"If... ah... you could take Sherri to the kitchen, your Dad and I will... ah..."
"Make yourselves presentable?" Jake suggested, sarcasm heavy in his voice. "A little late for that, isn't it?"
"Just go... please," Heero pleaded.
"Come on, Sherri. The kitchen's this way. You'll have to excuse my Dads, they're..."
"In love," Duo blurted out after lifting his lips from the crook of Heero's neck.
"I think insane is a better description," Jake called out over his shoulder as he and his girlfriend exited the room.
As their footsteps faded, Duo moaned again, his warm breath tickling his lover's bronze skin. "Talk about a humiliating first introduction."
The moment it was determined the two young people were in the kitchen, both men unrolled from the blanket and scrambled to grab their clothing from off the floor. Clutching them to the front of their bodies, they raced to their bedroom. Duo slammed the door behind him and fell back against it, letting his clothing drop unheeded to the carpet. He covered his face with both hands. "Shit, Heero." He couldn't remember when he had felt more embarrassed.
After a moment of silence, a choking sound came from the other man. Thinking Heero was angry, Duo spread his fingers apart and peeked through them to see his lover standing only a few feet away with his hand over his mouth and bent slightly at the waist. It took a moment for him to realize that Heero was laughing.
"It's not funny," he hissed, dropping his hands from his face. When the other man continued to muffle his laughter, Duo left the door and walked forward to stand in front of him. "What's so damn funny?" he asked with his hands on his bare hips. "We just humiliated ourselves in front of our son and his girlfriend." It took several long moments before Heero was able to compose himself and dropped his hand to reveal a wide, infectious smile.
"How can you laugh at a time like this?" Duo hissed, trying to keep his voice down. "Jake is never going to forgive us."
Laughter was still dancing in Heero's eyes as he closed the distance between them and cupped Duo's face between his hands. "Of course he'll forgive us. He's your son, Duo. By tomorrow morning we'll all be laughing about tonight."
A dubious eyebrow rose. "Even Sherri?"
"If she isn't laughing by then, she's not the girl for our Jake."
As Heero's arms wrapped around him, Duo felt some of his anxiety slip away, and he calmed further when his lover's hands moved up and down his bare back several times before they lowered to cup his bottom and press their pelvises even closer.
"What are you doing?" Duo whispered. "They're waiting for us in the kitchen."
"Just reminding you that we weren't finished."
"No, but after we go out and make our apologies, I think it would be best to turn in for the night."
Duo chuckled at last. "You're crazy."
A finger teased the crease of his bottom as Heero whispered in his ear, "Maybe I am. Crazy for you, that is."
"Likewise," Duo answered. "But this sure is the damned-est Christmas ever."
"Certainly not one we'll ever forget or live down," Heero chuckled.
Following another long and passionate kiss, the two men got dressed and left the sanctuary of their bedroom hand in hand to face the two in the kitchen.
Both men approached the room with some trepidation, but after hearing their youngest son talking about them, they stopped short of the kitchen, the light within the other room filtering into the dining room.
"You can't believe how many times Ki and I have walked in on those two. They're insatiable," Jake said.
"How long have they been together?" Sherri asked.
"Since they were seventeen."
"Twenty-six years ago, right? That's impressive."
"It's embarrassing," Jake shot back.
"I don't know about that," Sherri replied, a smile in her voice. "After all that time and they're still hot for each other. That says a lot about their relationship."
"Yeah, I guess so," the young man agreed somewhat reluctantly.
"Think it runs in the family?"
"What? Being insatiable?"
"Well, there is that," Sherri laughed, a pleasant sound that was carried out of the kitchen door. "But I was thinking about the kind of dedication they have for each other, to their relationship. I envy them. They've lasted more than most couples and obviously still have a lot of passion for each other."
"Maybe too much, if tonight is anything to go by," Jake said, and the two men standing outside the doorway felt relief at the tone of humor that had crept into their youngest son's voice.
"Well, in all fairness, they weren't expecting us," Sherri said on their behalf.
Duo squeezed Heero's hand, already liking the girl their son had fallen for and knowing she was right on several points. Turning to look his lover in the eyes and realizing how very fortunate they were, he whispered, "I'm hot for you, old man."
A grin made the Japanese man's face even more handsome. "Love you, too."
Duo pointed to the not-so-fresh clump of well-used mistletoe that had hung over the kitchen doorway for the past three weeks, not far from where they stood. Heero's grin grew as he drew his lover closer and just before their lips met, he whispered, "Merry Christmas, love."
Their kiss was just getting good when an exasperated voice sounded from only a few feet away. "Dads!" Jake yelled. Sherri giggled and the two men broke apart to grin unabashedly at their son.
"Glad you're home, Jake," Duo said with a warm, unrepentant smile. "But next time you come home, ring the doorbell."
Merry Christmas everyone. May your surprises be a bit more pleasant than Heero and Duo's in this story.