Just a Touch of Holiday Cheer

David stood on his toes on a stepladder just inside the doorway to their apartment. After a whole afternoon spent working at it, he was almost finished hanging decorations. And not a moment too soon- Jack would be home sometime in the next half-hour and David wanted everything to look perfect. He and Jack had been dating for a little over a year and ten months, and this was their first real Christmas together. The year before had been marred by David's younger brother Les falling suddenly ill with appendicitis. They'd spent the holiday at the hospital trying to keep David's mother from worrying herself sick.

David's family didn't celebrate Christmas of course, but Jack's always had- back when he'd had one anyway. They'd agreed to skip it this year, celebrate Hanukkah with David's family instead. But David saw the way Jack's eyes always lit up at the Christmas displays in the windows of stores they walked past. He'd seen the wistful look Jack had given the enormous tree in Rockefeller Center. He knew that Jack just wanted to spend time together, that he didn't really care so much about the holiday itself. But David also knew that something about the holiday made his boyfriend happy, and he liked nothing more than making Jack happy. It could be, he supposed with a small smile, that Jack just liked the shiny lights. In any case, he hoped his decorations would bring a smile to Jack's face. He'd gotten out of work on the 23rd, while Jack still had to work on the 24th. So he'd taken advantage of his extra day off to go pick up some Christmas decorations- on clearance at this late date- and set about decorating their small apartment. A small plastic tree with built-in lights sat on an end table, and sparkly tinsel hung from the walls all the way around the room.

That's why David was on the stepladder. He hung the last bit of tinsel, pausing for a moment to give it a small pat. He hoped it would be enough, there hadn't been much left at the store this close to Christmas. He stepped off the stepladder and surveyed his work. He smiled- the room looked festive and cheerful, and very shiny. With a small chuckle he picked up the stepladder and put it back in the small supply closet where it belonged. He then moved to their small kitchenette and began preparing some hot chocolate for both of them- Jack was likely to be freezing when he got home and in need of a warm drink.

Twenty minutes later, David was sitting at the small kitchen table absently sipping his mug of chocolate when he heard whistling in the hallway. A broad grin spread across his face, and he put his cup down. As the whistling got louder, David moved to stand in the doorway between the kitchenette and the main room. He slouched against the doorframe, hands in his pockets, and watched the front door. He heard it open and close, and the sound of Jack sliding the deadbolt into place. He waited as his boyfriend took off his boots and heavy winter coat and scarf before emerging into David's line of sight.

Jack met David's eyes and smiled. Then he froze, blinked, and turned to look at the small tree on the end table. His face lit up as he slowly turned around and took in all of the decorations and the tinsel David had so recently hung. He turned back to David with a look of wonder on his face.

"Davey?" he asked. David smirked in reply.

"Merry Christmas Jack," he said. "I know it isn't much," he shrugged, "but it's all they had and I just--"

He didn't get a chance to finish however, because in a few swift strides Jack had crossed the room and thrown his arms around David, kissing him. David kissed back eagerly. When Jack pulled back, he made a great show of looking around.

"What, no mistletoe?" he asked teasingly. David smiled knowingly.

"Turns out I didn't need it," he replied. Jack laughed before giving David a brilliant smile and leaning in to kiss him again. David smiled inwardly at his plan's obvious success. Merry Christmas, indeed.