'Tis the Season

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly!" Specs sang loudly, stringing plastic green...things around their dorm room. "ĎTis the season to be jolly!"

"First, you forgot the falalalala lalalalas," Dutchy commented from his desk, where he was painstakingly working on an essay for his history class and trying to tune out the other boyís preparations. "Second, itís only the first of December. Why are you putting up tacky plastic holly already?"

"Because!" chirped Specs, jumping off Dutchyís bed, trailing holly behind him. "Once December starts, so does Christmas! Come on, join in! Joy to the world..."

"Youíre joking, right? Iíve never decorated anything until the twentieth. Ever. Long-standing Jansson family tradition."

Specs dropped the end of his holly strand, picking up some tinsel to sprinkle on Dutchyís head instead. "Thatís too late. My brother and I had the whole house bedecked by the second. Every single year. How can you live in December without being surrounded by things that blink and light up and glitter and smell good?"

"Very easily," Dutchy replied drily, picking silver tinsel out of his hair. "I just did. Youíre not decorating our dorm for Christmas. Not yet, at least."

"But Dutchy..." Specs whined.

"But Specs..." the blond mimicked, turning back to his project. "No buts. And no carols. And no decorations."

The dark-haired boy flung himself onto Dutchyís lap. "Youíre ruining all my favorite childhood traditions!" he exclaimed.

"And youíre ruining my concentration," Dutchy retorted. "Besides, isnít the whole point of college to break free of holiday traditions?"

"Youíre keeping your traditions," Specs pointed out sulkily.

"And besides that," the blond continued as if he hadnít heard him, "isnít the whole point of moving in with your boyfriend to come up with new and exciting holiday traditions?" He grinned suggestively at his boyfriend, wiggling his eyebrows.

Specs brightened. "Well, why didnít you say so? Iíve always tried to look towards the future instead of clinging to the past." Pushing himself up, he gave Dutchy a long, slow kiss, sucking gently on his lower lip.

"Then look to a future after Iím done this essay," Dutchy said after a moment, pulling away and nudging the other boy off his lap.

Specs tumbled onto the floor, where he crossed his arms and pouted. "Youíre a mean one, Mr. Grinch," he grumbled.

By the fourteenth, Dutchy had given up all attempts to curb Specsí Christmas enthusiasm. Their dorm room was completely bedecked with bright red ribbons, tinsel, sparkles, and candy canes. Santas and reindeer sat on every available surface, which Dutchy just found creepy. It was like they were watching his every move, waiting for the moment his back was turned to instigate some evil plan.

Still, he had to admit that his boyfriendís spirit was infectious. And there was something adorable about the sight of Specs staring up at the sky, praying for snow, with a Santa hat perched atop his dark hair, sucking on a candy cane.

Well, Dutchy amended to himself, Specs sucking on a candy cane was less adorable and more erotic, he had to admit.

Still, even other people in their hallway had stopped pounding on the door to get them to turn off that damn music, for fuckís sake and started sliding cards under the door, or dropping by when the door was open to steal candy canes or have a tinsel fight. The whole campus was starting to get into the spirit of the season, even though there was still not a single flake of snow on the ground.

By the seventeenth, Dutchy had finished buying and wrapping all his Christmas presents, and had mailed off the gifts for his family. Specsí present was hidden in the absolute last place the other boy would ever look: behind his English textbook.

Specs, on the other hand, came into the room the night of the twenty-second, collapsing against the door with his hands full of shopping bags. "My God, itís like the Apocalypse out there," he panted, dropping his purchases. "I donít think Iíve seen that many people crammed into a single shopping mall since..."

"Since last Christmas, when you put off your shopping this late?" Dutchy interjected. "Weíre opening the presents the day after tomorrow. Is there really any point in wrapping them now?"

Specs looked at him, shocked. "What do you mean, opening in a couple days. Thatís only..." He paused, counting the days in his head, "the twenty-fourth."

Dutchy chuckled. "Itís a family tradition to open presents on the twenty-fourth," he explained. "Iíve told you that before."

Specs blinked. "Oh. Oh, shit." He slapped his forehead. "I was going to wrap then. Um..."

"Should I leave the room?" Dutchy asked, raising an eyebrow.

"No, your presentís all ready. I just need to wrap these. Which means..."

"No sex? Because, of course, I feel completely comfortable fucking you in front of Santa, Donner, and Blitzen," Dutchy said drily.

"Hey, I turned some of them around," Specs protested, pulling out a thick book that could only be for David.

"And naturally, having reindeer mooning me while Iím trying to have sex is infinitely better. Iíll leave you to your work," he said, picking up his laptop and threading his way through the piles of gifts to the door.

"You could stay," Specs said, grabbing his hand as he passed and pulling himself up. "I mean, I have tomorrow to wrap, and tonight we could..." He trailed off, nuzzling Dutchyís neck.

"Or, you could wrap today and spend tomorrow relaxing," Dutchy pointed out, though he didnít move away.

"But who knows what might come up tomorrow?" the dark-haired boy countered, trailing kisses along Dutchyís jaw. "Seize the day and all that." Reaching his mouth, Specs kissed him, tasting like candy canes and hot chocolate and Specs.

"I could help you wrap. It wouldnít take as long then," Dutchy murmured against Specsí lips, drawing back just a bit. "There would be plenty of time left over."

"You arenít letting me get out of this, are you?" Specs asked.

Dutchy laughed. "How many times have you put off something and Iíve had to do half of it for you?"he asked teasingly. "Why is it that you love everything about Christmas except the wrapping and shopping?"

"Those are the boring parts," whined Specs, wrapping his arms around Dutchyís waist. "I like the decorations and the parties and the food and the mistletoe." He grinned mischievously, and Dutchy felt his stomach flip-flop. It wasnít fair that the other boy could still do that to him, he thought distantly. "Especially the mistletoe."

"And getting presents, which means you need to wrap and give them," the blond said, trying to sound firm. "So wrap." With that, he pulled open the door and left for the lounge, leaving a dejected-looking Specs behind, surrounded by shopping bags.

A few hours later, Dutchy glanced at the clock and stretched. It had to have been long enough for Specs to be finished wrapping. And even if he wasnít completely finished, there was always tomorrow, really. There were so many more interesting uses for ribbons that should be used for now, he decided as he headed back to his room, humming Frosty the Snowman under his breath.

The scene in the dorm room was worse than even his glance last year into Specsí room a couple of days before Christmas. Wrapping, tape, and ribbons were everywhere, though mostly on Specs, and receipts had been haphazardly piled in a corner. Specs himself was staring at the pile of presents in front of him, a hopeless and bewildered look on his face.

"Youíre all done, then?" Dutchy asked, shutting the door and leaning against it. The laptop was dropped carefully onto his bed as he watched Specs look nervously from gift to gift.

"Um. Yes. Theyíre wrapped but..." Specs trailed off, looking sheepishly up at the other boy. "I donít know whose is whose."

There was a moment of silence as Dutchy tried to figure out what heíd done in his early childhood to have deserved something like this. Maybe the fundies were right and this was what came of being gay. "Why donít you know whose is whose?" he asked calmly, sitting on the edge of his bed. This might take a while.

Specs blinked at him, widening his eyes to try and look pitiful. "I just wrapped everything threw it in a pile. Just like I always do. But you werenít there to put on tags and now itís a mess and, oh God, what if David gets Spotís present? Heíll have a heart attack because heís a girl and Jack will never forgive me!"

It was inescapable. Dutchy dropped his head in his hands and laughed until he cried.

Once heíd gotten the last of his giggles under control, he glanced back at Specs, who was sulking as he sat on the floor surrounded by his mess. The blond slid off his bed, landing beside his boyfriend and resting his forehead on Specsí. "Youíre a freak, you know that, right?" he asked, grinning. "Look at it this way: you get to unwrap all your presents, wrap them again, and this time, label as you go."

Specs leaned back, grinning happily. "Youíll help me?" he asked eagerly.

Dutchy laughed, giving the dark-haired boy a quick kiss. "Iíll help you. Merry Christmas, you idiot."

"You love me, donít lie," Specs shot back, running a hand through Dutchyís hair. "Merry Christmas."

A few hours later, once the presents were re-wrapped and labeled and ready to be exchanged, Dutchy glanced out the window. The first flakes of snow were finally starting to fall, all their holiday preparations were done, and he was wrapped up with his half-asleep boyfriend. Smiling, he murmured, "God bless us, everyone."

"God, youíre lame," Specs muttered, rolling over and burying his face in Dutchyís neck. "Why do I love you again?"

Dutchy just grinned and closed his eyes.