The Christmas Tree
Author's Note: This story would take place somewhere early on in the B/J non-relationship, but I'm not sure just where.
Brian slid back the loft door and stepped inside. It had been
a bitch of a day at work. Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. All he
wanted was a drink, a hot shower and a good fuck.
He turned to slide the door closed. As he did so he heard humming in the background. It sounded like Deck the Halls. That meant a certain blond was home. A smile turned up the corners of Brian’s mouth. The third thing on his list was home, and had suddenly climbed to number one on his hit parade.
Brian wiped the smile off his face. No point in letting the little twat know how glad he was to have him there.
“What’s the matter?” Brian asked as he turned around. The humming had apparently turned to cursing.
“Oh fuck, I didn’t hear you come in,” Justin said with a gasp. “You scared me.”
“Next time I’ll stomp my feet.”
Justin’s face broke into a smile. Brian always had a way of saying something ridiculous that made him laugh. “I don’t think that will be necessary. You can sneak up on me anytime you want.” Justin waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Brian felt himself grow hard at the look Justin gave him. He cleared his throat. He was supposed to be the one in control. “So what were you cursing about?” he asked trying to sound nonchalant. “I liked the humming better.”
“These new lights that I bought for the Christmas tree are all tangled.”
“Christmas tree?” Brian asked. His face clouded over as he came around the counter towards Justin. “We don’t have a Christmas...” That was when he got a look at what was standing in the alcove of the loft. “Where the fuck did that come from?”
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Justin asked staring at the tree. “I was coming by a Christmas tree lot and I saw this one standing off to the side. It’s just perfect. Look at the symmetry.”
“Yeah, symmetry,” Brian said sarcastically.
“Don’t you like it? I think it’s beautiful.”
“I don’t do Christmas.”
“Everyone does Christmas.”
“Jews and Muslims don’t do Christmas.”
“Only because Lindsay makes her.”
Justin felt his forehead wrinkle in a frown. He loved Christmas, and he wouldn’t be having Christmas with his family now that his father had kicked him out. He wanted to have Christmas with Brian. “I … I really love the holidays,” Justin said sincerely.
“A dying tree with fucking bright lights makes for a really festive mood,” Brian snarked.
“It’s … tradition.”
“Yeah, a pagan tradition. The Romans brought in evergreen boughs during Saturnalia to represent life during the dead season of winter.”
“But it’s much more than that in the Christian tradition. And how do you know about Saturnalia?”
“I know about a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that I believe in them.”
“The Druids used evergreens too. They kept away evil spirits when the evergreen boughs were placed over the doorways,” Justin said defensively. “Aren’t you descended from Druids?”
“Fuck no! I’m one of the evil spirits. Hasn’t everyone told you that?”
“Justin, I don’t want a tree.”
“But it’s here, and I really want it. I bought it … and the lights. Can’t you help me get the lights on the tree? I’ll make it worth your while … later.” Justin batted his eyelashes at Brian and looked sorrowful.
Brian was about to tell Justin to take his fucking Christmas tree and shove it up someone’s ass, when it dawned on him that Justin was cut off from his family and really all alone, except for Brian. Justin was trying to make his life as normal as possible for the holidays, the way the holidays had always been at the Taylor home. Brian had been trying to make his life as normal as possible too, ever since he had escaped chez Jack and Joan. However, unlike Justin, he had tried to do that by denying that holidays and birthdays and celebrations were important. He didn’t buy into that shit. But Justin had … for his whole fucking life.
Brian shook his head. “Okay,” he said slowly, “the tree can stay.”
“And you’ll help me with the lights?” Justin asked with a hopeful glance.
“I’ll help you with the lights.”
“Great!” Justin gushed. He threw his arms around Brian’s neck and kissed him heartily.
“You better fucking stop that or there won’t be any tree decorating tonight,” Brian warned. That was exactly what he was wishing would happen, but he had told Justin…
“Yeah, right, okay,” Justin said quickly. “Can you help get these lights untangled?”
“Of course I can,” Brian said smugly. “How did you get them tangled like this?”
“I just yanked them out of the box. They were stuck and they kind of…”
“Never mind,” Brian said quickly. “Find an end and let’s get started.”
“Can I put on a CD? Christmas music?” Justin asked hopefully.
“Why the fuck not,” Brian said. “You seem to be full to the brim of Christmas spirit.”
“I am, and I bought a Christmas CD while I was getting the lights.”
“Aren’t we lucky?” Brian said sarcastically.
Justin started his new CD and Burl Ives was singing Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas and Justin was humming along and bopping his head as they gradually unwound the tangled lights.
By the third or fourth song on the CD they had the lights on the tree.
“It’s so much faster with two people,” Justin said with a big grin. “Ready to see what it looks like?” Brian nodded and Justin plugged in the lights. “Wow!” Justin reacted. He had spent all his tips from the diner on as many lights as he could afford.
“Not bad,” Brian said. That earned him a big smile and another kiss from Justin. “But shouldn’t it have decorations as well as lights?”
Justin’s face fell, and Brian mentally kicked himself for having made that observation. “I spent all my money on the tree and the lights,” Justin admitted.
“Well, it looks pretty good the way it is,” Brian replied hoping to make Justin feel better.
“I was thinking about using these,” Justin said. He held up a picture of Gus and Lindsay with a hole made in the top and a string run through it.
“A picture?” Brian asked quizzically.
“Lots of pictures,” Justin said. “I got some out of your desk, but I didn’t want to put holes in them if … you don’t want me to.”
Brian took the picture from Justin and looked at the angelic face of his son. “I think Gus would like this very much,” Brian said. He hung the picture on one of the branches of the tree. “There are more pictures on my camera. We … could go through them together and pick out the best ones.”
Justin beamed at him, his megawatt smile at full volume. “Have I told you how much I love you?”
“No, but you can show me.”
“And we make the photo ornaments later … together?”
“This is going to be the best Christmas,” Justin said taking Brian’s hand. They started towards the steps to the bedroom.
Justin let go of Brian’s hand as he climbed the steps, all the while divesting himself of unwanted clothing. Brian stopped on the first step and turned to look at the tree twinkling in the alcove.
Suddenly it didn’t matter where the idea of the Christmas tree had come from. The important thing was making traditions … together. And that was what they had just been doing. This was the real meaning of Christmas.
“Brian,” Justin said from the bedroom.
Brian turned to see a naked blond lying suggestively on his bed, waiting for him. And then of course, there were the gratifying rewards of giving … in whatever form they might take. And Brian liked this form very much.
He took one last look at the Christmas tree before he pounced.
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