Long Lines

"This was a bad idea," Skittery muttered. He shuffled the items in his arms. Gifts for his parents, his brother, and a few select people.

Race reached over and quickly smacked him hard upside the head, "I have been telling you that for the past two weeks."

"It's not my fault! I had to work."

"Then you should have gotten your shopping done before the busy season," Racetrack rolled his eyes and fumbled with the DVD in his hands, the only thing he was buying that evening, everything else was done. It was very last minute and an extra gift.

Skittery pouted. "I can't believe you're buying Batman Begins for someone for Christmas, and it isn't me."

Race looked ahead of them as the line shifted slightly, only a dozen or so more people were in line ahead of them.

"I told you," he said, "my brother wants it. Why would I buy it for you?"

"Because Christian Bale is sexy!" Skittery shouted.

Race turned and looked at him, "You say that like you don't have a perfectly sexy boyfriend standing next to you."

"Hey, I need something to look at when you're not around to drool over,"

"That was a weak comeback," Race informed him, "You can come buy the movie after Hanukkah, your mom always gives you gift cards for here."

"But that's no fun..." Skittery whined before cheering up considerably, "The line is moving." He took half a step forward before stopping again. The next woman in line had a huge order. "Why didn't I do my shopping earlier?" he asked.

"Hey don't look at me for that answer," Racetrack put his hands up in his own defense, "I don't know what goes on in that strange mind of yours. All I know is that it never makes sense."

"Why do I date you?" Skittery asked, "Really, how is it in my self interest to date someone who picks on me as much as you do. Verbal abuse is a response for everything!" He tried to point and lecture Racetrack but only ended up dropping the pile of gifts in his arms. "Gah!" he cried, "everyone hates me."

Racetrack just shook his head, "I'm going to pretend that I don't know you."

"Raacceee, help me."

He reluctantly got down on his knees and scooped a few of the gifts into his arms, lightening Skittery's load. He looked at the gifts and shook his head.

"Skitts, where do you come up with these gifts?" They took another step as the line moved again.

"What d'you mean?"

"You got him waterproof playing cards."

"No, those are for Spot."

"Why does Spot need waterproof cards? You could get four regular decks for the price of that one."

"If you remember correctly, Spot dumped eggnog over us two years ago and tends to spill his drinks after he's had a few. I figured since he's in his poker craze this year and drinking and poker go together for him all would be well in the land of Drunken Poker." Skittery grinned and nodded.

A grin tugged on the corners of Race's mouth. "and the coffee mug with the really obscene comment? That's not for me, is it?"

"No, that's for my brother. I visited him at school last year and that boy is the epitome of bitchy until he has had his caffeine."

"You're worse."

"No," Skittery shook his head with certainty, "I am not."

"I had a black eye for two weeks!"

Another step.

The two stood in a comfortable silence. The radio was echoing through the large department school, a Christmas song played, one by a rock group. Race drummed with his unoccupied hand against his leg. He suddenly stopped and the two of them started up again.

"That's what I need."

"Huh?"

"I need new drumsticks. Did you get me a Christmas present yet?"

"Umm... maybe."

"That's a no, we'll go to Guitar Center after and you can get me a new pair.

Another step forward.

"Race, I'm buying all of this!"

"So?"

"I'm broke. Besides, your birthday's only like a week after Christmas. I'll buy something for you next week."

Race scowled.

That made Skittery grin. "What, no comeback?"

"Fuck you."

"Ooohhh... very biting," Skittery smirked, "You're losing your edge."

Racetrack very promptly let Skittery's gifts go from his arms and took another step forward.

"Jackass!" Skittery hissed, scrambling to pick them up before the old woman behind him tried to step past him in line. The woman behind her had three screaming kids and Skittery did not want to be forced to deal with her.

"Oops, it slipped."

"Slipped, my ass."

"And what a fine ass it is too." Race grinned.

The man in front of them stiffened slightly and moved to get into another line. Race glared after him.

"Asshole," he muttered, although it had narrowed the line down to six people for them.

"So, do I still get to come over tomorrow?" Skittery asked.

"Are you dense? My mother would shoot us both if you didn't come. Sometimes I think she likes you better than me."

"That's because she's had to put up with your wiseass comments for nineteen years."

"Ha. Ha." Race rolled his eyes. "Man, wait until we eat tomorrow. My mom cooks the best food on Christmas."

"I don't know, Race, Thanksgiving is going to be pretty tough to beat."

"Mmnn... you won't say that after tomorrow," Race told him, "Oh, and if you can get to my house by eight I'm making cinnamon rolls."

Skitts' mouth practically watered as he took another step forward.

"...and then we'll go to your house and do the Hanukkah thing with your family like we did last year."

"Oh, so a repeat of me kicking your ass at dreidle."

"Hey, I've been practicing."

"You'll still lose."

Somehow they had gotten down to two people in line in front of them and hear the cashier talking to the woman in front of them, "I'm sorry ma'am; this is going to be my last transaction before I go home."

The eyes of both boys went wide and they looked forward. Thank goodness they knew the cashier.

"Dutchy," Skittery hissed loudly.

The blonde looked up, "oh, hey guys."

"Don't you dare shut down now!" Race warned.

Dutchy looked at his friend for a moment before sighing and turning his light back on.

He rang up the two women in front of them as Race and Skittery reveled in being the next last ones in their line to be rung up.

"Hey guys," Dutchy said to them. He began ringing up Skittery's items and Race through the movie on the conveyor belt along with them. Skittery did not object.

"Long day?" Race asked.

"You cannot fathom how much my feet hurt or how much I want to kill the next person who asks me if we're selling Xboxes."

Race laughed, "Yeah, bet it sucks. You meeting Specs at the apartment after?"

"No," Dutchy yawned and shook his head before giving Skittery his total and taking his credit card, "He's getting in on a flight tonight. I'm going to go home and shower and change and then drive straight to the airport to pick him up."

"Well have fun man," Skittery told him. "We'll see you at the New Years party."

"Hell yeah, you will," he nodded, "Happy Christmas, Race; Merry Hanukkah, Skitts. Oh shit, how on earth did I fuck that up. I'm so glad I'm out of here now."

The two walked off laughing as their friend promptly shut off his register.

Race petted Skittery's corvette as they located it in the parking lot. He got in shot after a brief argument over who was to drive. They were at Race's house moments later.

They ran into Race's younger brother as they entered the house. He was all done up in a nice shirt and tie.

Race stopped dead in his tracks; Paul never wore anything remotely nice. "What the hell," he laughed, "are you wearing?"

"Winter formal," Paul explained as he brushed by them. A few of his friends were hurrying down the across the lawn. They all lived nearby and Paul was the only one of them with a big enough car.

"Umm... I'd say have fun. But it's a school sponsored event so umm... spike the punch..." Skittery raised his hands in a confused fashion.

"Taken care of," Paul raised a small flask. "Don't tell Mom and Dad."

The two boys walked inside and right by Tony's parents explaining only that they had gifts to wrap and were going to watch a movie. That's exactly what they did. The two crashed in Race's room, making a mess or wrapping paper, bags, tissue paper and tape as they took care of all of Skittery's gifts and what Racetrack had left to wrap.

Around midnight Racetrack ventured out of the room and came back with two pieces of his mother's famous cheesecake.

"She's going to kill you tomorrow," Skittery said as he flipped channels on Race's small TV.

"She made two," Race explained.

He collapsed next to Skittery on the bed, handing him a plate. They sat up and inhaled their late dinners as the channel settled upon one of the endless showings of A Christmas Story.

"Technically it's Christmas," Skittery reminded his boyfriend.

"Yeah, happy anniversary." Race wrapped an arm around Skittery's waist.

Skittery smiled widely and tried to kiss Race but the shorter boy backed out of his reach.

"And merry Christmas." He pulled out a thin, wrapped box from behind his back. Skittery's eyebrows rose. "Hmmm... a DVD shaped box." He ripped the paper away quickly and his grin grew even wider. It was the DVD Race had bought that afternoon.

"I knew it!"

"No you didn't, you totally bought the 'it's for my brother' story."

"Yeah, but I knew you'd buy it for me eventually."

Race rolled his eyes.

Skittery stood up and started toward the TV. "Let's watch it!"

"Ha!" Race pulled Skittery back by the collar of his shirt. "I think not. Batman Begins with the pretty boy my boyfriend will spend the whole time drooling over or A Christmas Story which has witty humor I can enjoy while making out with said boyfriend. The choice is not that difficult."

"But Race..."

"Here's your other Christmas present." Race through a plain paper bag at his boyfriend and Skittery continued to lecture him while glancing inside of it. His rambling stopped very suddenly. He looked up at Race and then back to the bag.

"It is going to be a very long night."

"Depends on how long you can keep it up." Race said before pushing Skittery back onto the bed roughly and kissing him.

Smartass, Skittery thought, though he was much too preoccupied to try for a comeback and the movie lay forgotten on the floor of Race's room.

*

"So," Race asked a few minutes later as the two of them lay curled up on his bed and the credits of A Christmas Story were rolling on the screen, "How's Christian Bale looking now?"

"Who?" Skittery asked.

"That's what I thought," Racetrack replied smugly, "I'm good."

"Uh huh," Skittery agreed, "I second that. All we need now is a drunken speech from Spot and this could be the night we got together."

Race's phone rang suddenly from the bedside table.

Both boys burst out laughing.

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