And the Suit is Dry-Clean Only

"Yes, ma'am, I understand. All right, I'll be there at four today. Good bye."

David closed his phone, sat on the bed, and stared off into the floor. Jack thought he looked a little paler than he had before. They had both been hanging around David's room before he got The Phone Call. Well, Jack had been hanging around. David had been getting ready for work, adjusting his elf-hat and making sure his costume was wrinkle-free. For three Christmases now, for reasons that Jack couldn't understand (no amount of money was worth wearing that stupid outfit in his opinion, which was why he worked a respectable few hours a week at the local Christmas Tree Lot), David went out to the East Lake Mall and got a job as a minion of Santa. Jack had been doing his best that afternoon to distract David from getting ready. They were both getting used to the whole being-together-in-the-relationship-sense-of-the-word thing, and he was debating whether or not to make a move on David (the pros were quickly outweighing the cons) when he was interrupted.

"Uh, David? Davey?" David was still staring at the floor. Jack tried to resist the urge to wave his hand in front of David's face when he didn't respond, knowing how much that annoyed him. He gave in and did it anyway. That seemed to snap David out of his funk.

"That..." David paused to swallow. "That was Mrs. Fleming."

David's boss. Judging by David's reaction, whatever she had called to tell him hadn't been good news.

"Did you get fired or something?" Jack guessed. David just shook his head and continued to stare at the floor.

"No," he said. "It's worse."

Jack wracked his brain to try to think of something that could be worse to David than just getting fired.

"You got fired for...being...a slacker?"

David gave Jack a skeptical look, and Jack shrugged.

"She...," David paused to take a deep breath, "apparently Mr. Beasly, you know, regular Santa...well...apparently he broke his ankle in some sort of tree-trimming incident. And...since I'm the resident Senior Elf, and the Mall Santa Agency doesn't have anyone to replace him...I'm going to have to be Santa for the rest of the year."

There was a pause as Jack digested that information. And then, he started laughing. A lot. For at least a minute. David was not amused.

"What? What's so funny?"

"Nothing," Jack said, catching his breath and still chuckling. "It's just...you're acting like this is something horrible, Davey!"

David looked baffled at Jack's reaction.

"This is horrible! This is beyond horrible!"

"Please. All you have to do is say 'ho-ho-ho,' and give kids candy-canes."

"Jack! I'm not ready for this kind of responsibility! All I had to do as an elf was smile and make sure kids didn't beat up Santa. Now I have to be jolly, and merry! Little kids are counting on me! You don't know what kind of pressure I'm under! I'M JEWISH! HOW CAN I BE SANTA?!"

Jack just looked at him, silent. David sighed.

"Okay, fine, I might be blowing this out of proportion a little."

"Just a little."

"But still. How can I be Santa? I'm not fat, I'm not old. I'm not particularly jolly. You know, last week Tony made fun of me for being the most serious elf, and when I tried to prove him wrong, I made a kid cry."

Jack snickered at that, but then David glared at him and he turned it into a cough. Then he gave David his patented "innocent-face."

"I'm pretty sure you can handle it. You have been there the longest. Besides, being Santa is a state of mind. You just need some practice, is all, getting into the Christmas spirit. Now, repeat after me," Jack grinned mischievously. "Ho-ho-ho!"

"This is stupid," David grumbled. But after a second he added, "...ho-ho-ho."

"Aw, come on, Davey! Put some feeling into it!"

"Ho-Ho-Ho!"

"Great! Now..." and before David could protest, Jack launched himself into David's lap.

"Jack!" David yelled. "Get off of me! You're heavy!"

"Mom! Santa said I was heavy!" Jack just grinned at him, while David glared. Finally, he stopped struggling and just crossed his arms.

"You are so weird."

Jack just ignored him, and started in a sing-song voice, "For Christmas, I want a pony... and two Easy Bake Ovens...and another pony! And-oof!"

David struck fast, catching Jack by surprise and pushing him out of his lap. Jack managed to grab David's arm though, and they both fell into a heap on the floor, laughing. Suddenly, they both stopped. Jack took a long look at David. He was flushed, and still smiling. And his goofy elf-hat was all crooked. Jack thought he probably looked about the same...without the elf-hat.

"You know," Jack said, looking David in the eyes. "I think you'll make a great Santa."

"Why?"

"Cause, you already got me exactly what I wanted."

David looked at him, confused, until Jack leaned up and kissed him. Jack felt David smile into the kiss. When they finally broke apart, David was somehow even more flushed than he was before, and Jack just knew that he was grinning like an idiot. But he didn't care.

"That...was lame," David said, but he was still smiling as he pushed himself up, and held out a hand for Jack to take. Jack pulled himself up, and straightened out his clothes.

"Nah, it was great," Jack said. "You're just too lame to appreciate it."

"Right. Merry Christmas, Jack."