NOT safe for work. Language and sex.
Yule crept up on them. Gabe hauled out his tiny table-top tree, a sad little fiber optic thing that was missing the base. He set it up on the table and they decorated it with the reindeer and ring ornaments.
Sean leaned over and kissed him. "So how do we manage presents when I can't get to the store without you?"
Gabe thought for a minute. "We go to the store but check out separately and meet outside." He looked up from the cards. "Sean, you don't have to get me anything."
Sean slid down to sit on one of the floor pillows. He stroked Gabe's hair. "But I want to. Nothing big, just a little something." He grinned. "I think you'll like what I have in mind."
"You already gave me a great present." Gabe leaned in and kissed him. "Several of them. You don't have to get me anything else."
"Too late." Sean kissed him back. "I already ordered it from eBay." He sighed and held Gabe more tightly. "I wish we could take the bus to Rockefeller center and watch them light the tree. Just not up for that." He stretched his legs and winced. "I hate winter."
"That's why we have Yule. Hope of spring in the middle of the cold darkness and all that." Gabe kissed his nose. "Okay, I'm old fashioned and all about the Saturnal."
Sean looked at him funny.
"Faunus the Roman Goat-God," Gabe sang, to the tune of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, "had a very rigid prick. And if you ever saw it, you would say it's quite a trick."
"Gene Autry is spinning in his grave," Sean moaned. Gabe laughed and kissed him.
"Here, hang this." From the decoration box, Gabe pulled out a long holly garland, interspersed with mistletoe.
Sean looked at it for a moment and then held it at waist level, pretending to wrap it around his body. "Maybe I should wear it as a sash, instead."
Gabe laughed until he gasped for breath. "Just hang it, you dork. The hooks are already in place." As Sean found the hooks around the altar, Gabe sang some more as he hand walked over to the altar.
"The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry tunes
As we all sing with cheer.
The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
The Goddess brings the Solstice Sun
To allow our hopes to bud
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The Green Man and the Holly King
Are always welcome here."
Sean sat back down beside him. "Looking downright festive in here. And I don't think I've ever heard you sing."
"Seemed appropriate,'" Gabe said. "I haven't been able to hang that in years. Thank you."
"It looks great. Sounded great." Sean kissed him. "Sometimes guys with nice voices can't carry a tune."
Gabe nuzzled him. "Now about kissing you under the mistletoe." His hands were busy at Sean's waist, opening his jeans. "Always happy to kiss you there. Or anywhere." Gabe looked up from his work. "You're commando, you naughty thing."
Sean grinned as Gabe discovered he wasn't wearing any underwear. "Had to be ready for that unexpected kiss under the mistletoe." He looked up at the altar and the picture of Cernunnos. "Is this okay? I mean...it's like a church over here."
Gabe nuzzled the head of his cock, rubbing it along the edge of his beard. "No more appropriate place, really."
"Ah right, fertility god." Sean stroked his hair and then gave a soft noise as Gabe swallowed him down with no more teasing. "Oh, Gabe, I was," he caught his breath, feeling ready to melt under his lover's tongue, "just teasing."
"Mmhmm," Gabe acknowledged, not letting go of his cock. He did the swirl thing that Sean loved and then sucked hard and deep. As usual, Sean didn't take long. Despite ring-training and teasing, he was still hair-trigger.
He pulled Gabe up for a kiss. "Love you. Happy Yule."
Gabe smiled at him. "Happy Yule, lover."
Sean cuddled him for a minute before saying, "Your present should get here in a few days. Man, I love the Internet."
Gabe kissed his chin. "I have to go shopping. I'll sneak out when you're all absorbed in writing. You won’t even notice I'm gone."
"I'll be fine," Sean reassured him.
"I need a credit card, so I can shop the net, too. I'm so low tech, just a checkbook and EBT." Sean stole a kiss as Gabe said that. "Oh yeah, cash. I love cash." Gabe grinned at that.
"We all love cash," Sean teased.
"Oh? Maybe I should stuff some in your nonexistent underwear. Dance for me?" His grin got bigger.
Sean rolled his eyes, put on a blank expression and mimed chewing gum as he rolled his hips. Gabe laughed.
"Admit it, you love me bare."
Gabe agreed readily, "Oh yeah."
Sean's hand slid down to cup Gabe's genitals. "So, uh, anything else you need me to hang?"
Gabe took stock of the situation, looking very thoughtful. Sean knew his new meds lowered his sex drive considerably.
"Hmmm... nope. Not right now. Drat."
Sean cuddled him instead. “Babe, are you sure about those new drugs? Lithium seems pretty extreme.”
“It's not the first time I've needed it.” Gabe snuggled in closer. “I tend to be bipolar. Lately, it's been fairly level. But you really don't want to see me at either end of the mood swing.”
Sean nodded. “It’s okay. There's always later. Do we need a ritual or anything for fucking in front of the altar?"
Gabe shrugged. "Maybe say a few things. But the sex is the ritual. All acts of love and pleasure."
Sean kissed him. "Nice and simple." He sat up. "Time to get back to work."
"Yeah. Me too." When Gabe kissed him, Sean lingered a long time.
"Mmm, sweet." Gabe kissed his chin. "Work. Write hot sex. Give good readings. Yeah." He took one more kiss before breaking away.
"I'm going to check the mail." Sean always went and got the mail. Gabe encouraged this, saying it was good for him to get out of the apartment by himself. He got the bills and a new contract and was pleased to see a large box had arrived. He wasn't sure how to get it into the apartment, but figured as long as he left it sealed, the present would remain a surprise.
He came back to find Gabe in mid-reading. His lover turned over the Two of Cups, but looked up briefly. His eyes widened at the sight of the box. Sean flipped him a grin, dropped the electric and cable bills on their pile and sauntered into the bedroom.
When he came out, wrapped box in hand, he saw Gabe had finished the call.
"Oooh, stags," Gabe said. "Can I shake it?"
Sean looked at the gold deer on the green paper. "I think they're reindeer." He handed it over. "Shake it like a maraca, babe."
Gabe shook the package, wearing a look of intense concentration. There was no noise since the gift was well packed.
"Done?" When Gabe nodded, Sean set the tree on the altar and the box under the tree. It was bigger than the tree, and covered about half the surface of the little table. "Now I work." Sean sat down and fired up the computer. When he opened the word processor, he scrolled to the top of the last page as was his habit in order to pick up the thread of the story. He skimmed his way down the scene
"Oh, you little..." He looked back at Gabe who had just hung up the phone. "Jed mashed his throbbing cockmeat against Josey's puckered starfish, the pre-cum weeping from his piss-slit making the way easier as he rammed his fucktool into the rancher's tight boyish ass," Sean read the altered text off the screen, barely able to keep a straight face.
Sean scowled, but couldn't maintain it. "I have my dignity! I have my authorial integrity!"
Gabe laughed. "I don't!"
"I have cranky editors who will pimp-slap my happy PTSD ass into next week like the little bitch I am." Sean was grinning now.
"No way. That's my ass to bitch-slap!" He hopped up on his palms and strutted over menacingly. "Writer better have my book. Not a table of contents. Not a synopsis. All my book."
Sean slid to the floor, laughing helplessly at his lover doing an Antonio Fargas impression. When he caught his breath, he gasped, "I should spank you."
"For what? You'll nevah take me alive, coppah!" Antonio Fargas melted into James Cagney.
Sean caught Gabe and bore him to the floor. "For high crimes against taste. For failure to turn in your queer card upon wearing a Hawaiian shirt. For abuse of the romance clichés and turning my spicy romance into god-awful porn. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will only get you spanked. You have the right to an appeal. The higher court is my cock. You have the right to legal counsel but I waived it in lieu of spanking you."
"Oh good." Gabe just grinned as Sean sat up. He draped himself over Sean's lap at once and Sean flipped his Utilikilt up.
"And you called me naughty for going commando," he teased, laying a light swat across Gabe's ass cheek.
Gabe jumped just a little, but pushed up for more while Sean rubbed his bottom. He jumped as Sean landed a second, sharper swat. Sean cupped the perfect buttocks and swatted them again, before rubbing some more. Gabe wiggled a little and Sean swatted the other cheek.
"I must have been sooo bad," Gabe said.
Sean answered by kissing the swatted spots. When Gabe moaned at the treatment, Sean swatted him harder, enough that his palm stung, and then kissed the hand print. After a few of those, Gabe was humping his leg.
Unable to resist, Sean scooped him up and carried him to the futon. He plopped Gabe on his back, flipped his kilt and started sucking in earnest.
"Careful, flyboy. I'll think you like it. You're getting really--" Gabe's breath caught when Sean did a deep Hoover motion with a tongue flick, "good," he finished.
Sean grinned and returned to working him over. Gabe went wordless, breathy sounds escaping him. After a moment, Sean swallowed all of his cock, burying his nose against Gabe's pelvis and flicking his tongue out to touch his balls.
"Fucking hell," Gabe whispered, amazement coloring his voice.
Sean, breathing fast through his nose and humping the futon, moved down to suck Gabe's balls, running his tongue over them and taking them in one at a time.
"This is hot. Oh gods, this is hot," Gabe moaned.
"Damn right you're hot... horndog." Sean grinned and pulled away from his balls, only to lick lower, teasing Gabe's hole with his tongue. Gabe had rimmed him a time or two, and it made him crazy. He tried the licking motion he loved best.
"That's my middle name," Gabe managed before dissolving into an incoherent litany of praise for Sean's tongue, invocations to Cernunnos, and profanity.
"Need you." Sean grabbed a condom and the lube, used both hastily, slopping the lubricant onto the sheets, and slammed in.
Gabe came from the simple penetration. Sean, despite the earlier climax, didn't take long either. Three hard strokes and he was filling the condom and pulling out. He peeled it off and stretched out on the futon.
"Wore me out again, babe."
Gabe kissed him for that comment. "Maybe I should break out the antlers I wear to rituals since you're already down to such serious cock-worship."
Sean pulled him closer to snuggle and laid one hand on his cock. "It's worth worshiping. When is the next ritual?"
Gabe kissed his neck. "Turning pagan, are you? Gonna grow your hair long, take me forest-dancing on the Sabbats and Esbats?"
"Um..." Sean thought about it. "Maybe on the hair, definitely on the dancing and maybe on the pagan. I'm not big on religion."
Gabe rolled up to look at him. "No, religion isn't worth it if it makes you miserable. Only do it if it makes you happy. There's a god out there that'll make everybody happy."
Sean smiled. "I kinda like yours. He makes you happy and that makes me happy."
"Uh-huh. And I can eat very rare red meat and fuck all I want without threat of eternal damnation."
Sean laughed at that. "I'm sold. I'm thinking of converting. What's Cernunnos's position on beer? If it's proof he loves us and wants us to be happy, I could go for that kind of god. If I believed in any."
"Who knows? Maybe by Ostara, you'll be ready."
Gabe nodded. "The next time we dance. We missed the Yule ritual, since the coven always has it about a week before the solstice to accommodate the college kids. I always skip Imbolc. I don't like getting out in the cold. And Mother doesn't have much to do with me, so I figure if I help wake Her up, She'll be cranky." He looked Sean over. "You better be good for one by Beltaine."
Sean traced a pentagram on his chest. "Star my heart and hope to stay celibate."
"Hush, you. The Gods take that seriously." Gabe kissed him. "And so do I. You basically just made a sacred vow to go to the ritual."
Sean nodded. "I know. We'll go."
~* * *~
At sunset on Yule, Gabe lit candles and chanted a bit. Sean joined him in a chorus of "Faunus the Roman Goat-God," having looked up the words on the net.
Sean had made an odd solstice dinner. Miniature meat pies, tiny cocktail sausages, baby carrots and all sorts of little tidbits filled the plates. "Symbolizes the shortest day of the year," he said.
Gabe laughed. "I like this tradition." He nibbled at a chocolate petit four. "I have your present. And I'm dying to open mine."
Sean washed up and Gabe went to sit by the tree. Sean brought them cocoa, his special blend of home-made mix with extra cocoa powder and a little melted dark chocolate. Gabe fairly wriggled in excitement when he handed over his mug.
"Don't bounce, Gabe. You'll spill it and burn yourself and the clinic will have my hide."
"Now I know you love me. You give me chocolate." Gabe sipped and set it down. He handed Sean the little box. "Hope it works right."
Sean opened the box and found a copy of The Sims 2. He looked at Gabe, a mixture of wonder, greed and pain washing through him. He'd wanted the game since it had come out. But thirty dollars was a week's worth of food. "Who'd you mug? You can't afford this." He shook his head and made himself set it on the desk. His fingers didn't want to let go. "We'll have to take it back." He tried to sound firm, whether for Gabe or himself, he wasn't sure.
"The clerk at Goodwill said all sales are final. I stayed in our limit, promise." Gabe looked very hurt and more than a little angry. “Do you think I would jeopardize our finances over a stupid game?”
Sean's hands found the game again and he turned it over and over.
"In that case." Sean leaned over and kissed him. "Thank you, I'd been wanting one."
"I know. I watch you surf when you're blocked."
Sean set the game in his lap and picked up the other package. "I'm sorry I was a prick about mine. I hope you like this." He handed it to Gabe.
Gabe ripped in like an over-eager kid. He held up the skateboard and laughed. "Only you would get a skateboard for a man with no legs."
"I saw some streaming videos where the guy used it to get around. Go, give it a try."
Gabe set the board on the floor and seated himself on top of it. He pushed a little with his hands. The board rolled. He grinned. "I used to ride one of these when I was a kid. Not so different now."
With a good push, he scooted across the room. He came back to where Sean sat and kissed him. "I love it. Perfect gift. And a lot less tiring than hand-walking."
They made love before the altar again, with many kisses and a slow stroking. Gabe whispered words of joy and welcome to the returning light.