An Old Fashioned Christmas








“Skinner, what the fuck is that thing?” Alex shouted as his lover dragged a heavy cardboard box toward a corner of their living room.  Walter then proceeded to remove the contents of said box which were seemingly an unending amount of shiny aluminum hairy sticks.


“It’s an old fashion Christmas tree,” Walter calmly replied, ignoring his partners huffs, snorts, and other unsavory and very un-holiday like comments.


“Excuse me?”


“A Christmas tree.  You remember what those are?”  Walter couldn’t resist the snark.


“Walter, just in case you’ve failed to notice, we live on the side of a mountain range near an extremely thick forest.  We have thousands of opportunities for obtaining an old fashioned Christmas tree.  That thing, besides being very dusty...”  Alex punctuated his remark with a loud sneeze.  “That thing in no way resembles a tree.  No species of tree I’ve ever seen.”


Walter again ignored Alex as he removed the last of the silvery arms then the spine of the tree and base.  Satisfied with his progress, Walter returned the box to its storage closet and came back with another huge box that contained the tree skirt and decorations.


“If you insist on putting up this monstrosity then I’ll leave you to it.  I need coffee,” Alex grumbled as he stomped his displeasure all the way to the kitchen. 


“Make me a cup!” Walter called out over his shoulder as he immersed himself into his task.  He wasn’t concerned or surprised by Alex’s reaction to the aluminum Christmas tree. After the 60's and the 70's, such things went the way of the dinosaurs.  Besides, Walter knew that Alex never had a real childhood, Christmas or any other holiday held little meaning for Alex.  But Walter was determined to re-educate and tame the beast that was once known as Alex Krycek, master assassin and triple agent.


It took several hours for Walter to get the tree to look like he wanted, but in the end it was all worth it.


“Wow!  That thing isn’t half bad,” Alex stated as he leaned up against a wall to watch Walter plug in the lights.  The sun had just about set, the lights from the tree gave the room a warm glow.


“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Walter said with a smile.  Alex crossed the room to join his mate by the tree.


“Did you have one of these when you were young?” Alex asked with almost boyish innocence.


“Yes I did.  And the first thing I did when I moved out to live on my own was to buy one for myself.  Of course by that time these things were very unfashionable.  But as they say what comes around, goes around.  And somehow they came back into fashion.  It was okay again to put one up.  I wouldn’t do it every year but sometimes I get feeling nostalgic for more innocent times.  And this tree reminds me of those times.”


Alex sighed.  The men sat on the sofa to quietly admire Walter’s handiwork.


“I’m sorry you don’t have happy memories to fall back on,” Walter said as he took Alex’s hand into his own.


“Don’t be.  I’m very grateful that you’ve shared yours with me.  And we’ve been making our own happy memories.  I thank you for that,” Alex replied.


Walter turned to fully take in Alex’s face.  It took several years but Walter now had confidence in his ability to ‘read’ Alex.  Walter saw only sincerity in the moss green eyes.  There was a genuine smile on Alex’s face, his dimples showing.  Walter gave his lover a passionate kiss then nestled into Alex’s arms as they turned to watch their old fashioned tree twinkling in the night.

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