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Feeling His Christmas Joy (A Holiday Short Story)

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TW: for mention of one MC’s queerphobic parents. They don’t actually appear in this story

This story was inspired by this GIF 🙂

 

The Christmas music filtering through the studio was enough to make Alan want to tear his hair out, but then his hairstylist would murder him, after she’d spent however long taming the floppy mess of his hair. He really should get a haircut. Kyle had been jokingly telling him so for weeks. Even as he’d run his hands through Alan’s hair in those tiny stolen moments, that god damn smile so genuine and bright.

His co-star in question entered the waiting room and Alan’s eyes widened.

“No. There’s no fucking way I’m wearing that festive shit,” he blurted.

Kyle looked like Christmas had thrown up over him. Dressed in a sweater that proclaimed Feel The Joy, with little hollies all over it and two hands strategically placed over his pecks and a Santa hat that blinked on and off with brightly coloured lights. Kyle looked absolutely ridiculous, and cute. The lights washed his brown skin in a red, then a green glow. He was always cute. Damn him.

Kyle smiled, cheeks bunching as he stood in front of the couch Alan had been lounging on, waiting for this damn interview to begin so he could get the fuck out of here. “Such a Grinch. You don’t have to wear it.”

“She’s gonna ask where’s my sweater and then I’ll have to try my best not to be my sarcastic, grumpy self cuz it’s fucking Christmas.”

“No one expects you to be nice,” Kyle chuckled. True. His reputation as a grump preceded him in the entertainment community. “Besides, I’m cute enough for both of us, in this, so you’re good. Don’t you want to feel my joy?” He cocked his hip and Alan shifted on the couch.

“I want to feel more than that. Fuck you, you tease.” His hand twitched but he kept it to himself. Secretly dating his co-star had been a terrible idea from the start.

Terrible because he wanted to kiss his damn boyfriend right the fuck now and feel the shit out of his joy but if someone walked in…

He’d been the one to insist they not go public, so this whole mess was all his doing.

Kyle was the industry’s rising golden boy, the super nice actor who was genuinely a good guy, who everyone loved and Alan was the one they loved to hate. He’d gotten his long suffering publicist something expensive and nice, as he usually did every year, just for putting up with his always saying-the-wrong-thing-in-interviews ass. He’d tried to tone done the sarcasm and grumpiness over the years, really he did, but this was just who he was and he didn’t want any of his supposed bad boy ways to get Kyle flack for being linked to him in anyway. So they kept this thing secret which was the worst idea because he’d refused Kyle’s invitation to come stay with his family for Christmas. It would surely get out that he’d visited Kyle and the already speculating media would eat it up. Alan didn’t stay with anyone for Christmas. He was usually alone, not having any supportive family of his own to celebrate with. Hence why he’d gotten a reputation for being a Grinch.

Christmas just didn’t have good memories for him. His family had made it clear having a queer son just wasn’t on their agenda. Although they occasionally reached out since he’d gotten a measure of fame as an actor. Fuck them, they didn’t deserve his love, so he ignored them. He’d always been just fine alone, except now he’d gone and fallen for the most Christmas loving, family-oriented person he knew.

Dammit.

Kyle leaned down. “Just a quickie?”

Alan sighed, acting annoyed but his foolish heart raced as Kyle brushed his mouth against his for a quick kiss, that Alan immediately turned into something more, his tongue flicking out to meet Kyle’s. He had a reputation as a bad boy to maintain after all. Then Kyle ruined it by humming. “All I want for Christmas is you.” Those lush lips shaping into an amused smile because he knew Alan fucking hated this damn song.

“Dammit, Kyle,” he grouched but still traced Kyle’s cheek, loving the feel of his smooth jaw. He’d shaved immediately after filming wrapped. Alan had loved the stubble but he didn’t mind this either. He liked Alan any damn way. Fuck. When did he become such a sap?

The knock on the door drove them apart. Time to maintain their ruse of co-workers who tolerated each other for work. Well, that was Alan’s role. Kyle got along with everyone. Which the media knew and that was precisely why they kept getting stuck doing interviews together. The media ate up the juxtaposition of their personalities.

“Five minutes guys,” the Production Assistant announced.

Alan had a hard time fixing his face into something neutral when they walked into the studio. Jesus, the music was a tad bit louder here and he had nothing against Mariah Carey personally but he’d grown tired of the song because everyone kept blasting it, everywhere. Continuously. Could they at least change the damn song now?

“It’s so festive!” Kyle immediately whipped out his phone to capture the overly decorated studio. Did they really need a whole ass giant tree with every decoration known to man on it, and fake gifts under it? And random shit strung everywhere? This was overkill and Alan squinted at the brightly flashing twinkle lights. Jesus.

“I hate you for making me do this,” Alan whispered.

Kyle snorted. “I can’t make a grown man do anything.” His smiled turned secretive and wicked. “Well, almost anything.”

“Gentlemen!”

They focused on the blogger waiting eagerly for them. Alan couldn’t keep his brow down. She was literally dressed as an elf, complete with the fake ears and striped stockings. Kyle nudged him. “Keep it together Anderson. Don’t say a word, except hi.”

He was being tested. He’d known he should’ve refused this final request for an interview. He was tired. They’d been making the press circuit for months now and he wanted to spend his time with Kyle before he flew back to his island for a warm Christmas without him.

Which is your fault, his super annoying conscience reminded him.

Alan bit his lip as they exchanged greetings and settled onto the couch. Do not be rude. Be pleasant, his publicist’s words echoed in his head. A fair request, but people always tried to get a rise out of him with their questions because they knew he could be blunt. Which made for amusing sound bites apparently. He didn’t intentionally say the wrong thing but seriously that one reporter in that interview a few months ago, asking if he was a top or bottom had just been asking for his scathing reply.

“Wow, Kyle you look great! That sweater.” Emily Connors beamed at Kyle. To be expected. She was utterly charmed by him, as was everyone. As Alan had grudgingly been, after getting over how annoying cheerful the man was. What was Kyle even doing with a grouch like him?

Emily turned to Alan. “And Alan, as non-seasonal as always. I have a spare tinsel you can drape around your neck to get into the spirit of things,” she tried.

“Absolutely not,” he said trying to soften his words with a smile which probably looked more like a grimace.

“Anyways guys thanks so much for agreeing to do this! I know you all just want to get home to your families for Christmas, and are probably tired of answering the same old questions but you know I gotta ask.”

Alan didn’t like that mischievous glint in her eyes one bit, and he didn’t like that he and Kyle, to maintain their we’re not fucking or in love charade, left an appropriate amount of space between them on the couch. He needed the comforting feel of Kyle’s thigh brushing against his. He hated family questions, and he knew it was coming.

His leg bounced, a habit his publicist tried to wean him off of since it clearly telegraphed his nervousness. Most people knew of the strain between him and his family but it never stopped them asking about it, especially if his parents had said some shit in public, trying to make it seem like he’d shunned them.

“So, what’s the holiday plans?” Emily asked. “Kyle I know you’re going back to Trinidad for Christmas as usual. Please send me some sun when you get there.”

Kyle smiled, easy, casual, so god damn charming while Alan tried his best not to look as annoyed as he felt by this entire pointless interview. “I can’t wait to touch down. The first thing I’m doing is stuffing my face with pastelles and sorrel.”

“Tell us a bit more about what a Trini Christmas is like.”

Alan zoned out, eyes focused on one particularly shiny Christmas tree ornament. He was breaking Jen’s number one rule. Be present. Always pay attention. Don’t let them catch you off guard. It’s fucking rude not to listen when people speak. And he loved listening to Kyle, that deep rumble washed over him like a warm caress but he was too distracted by the terrible décor, and his intense desire to be elsewhere.

 “And Alan? Any plans for this holiday. Spending it with anyone?”

He refocused on Emily, all too aware of Kyle’s eyes on him. Emily was obviously waiting for him to give his usual answer of “I’ll be spending it alone.” Effectively squashing the rumours and questions everyone had been asking them. That they’d both brushed off. Alan a little more forcefully and with a death glare thrown in for good measure. But this time, he wasn’t satisfied with saying that. He could have something different if he wanted couldn’t he? More time with Kyle but he was being foolish.

He turned to look at Kyle, the man who’d entered his life with his too cheerful grin and optimistic attitude, whose deep brown eyes widened. He knew Alan was about to do something reckless. They’d gotten to know each other’s little ticks over these long months of working together.

“I’m thinking,” he said, holding Kyle’s gaze. God, he loved those expressive eyes. He’d face Kyle’s jolly Christmas loving family just to see them light up the way they did when he smiled. “I maybe should be spending it with a special someone.”

“Really?!” Emily squeaked.

“What are you doing?” Kyle asked, gently, not an ounce of judgement in his tone.

“Something.”

“Um…”

He ignored Emily. She didn’t fucking exist right now. Kyle had wanted this but Alan had to be sure before he made some public declaration and embarrassed them both. He wanted this too because he was tired of feeling scared of fucking up Kyle’s reputation. The fear was still here but Kyle had been reassuring him over and over that Alan would not tarnish his rep and he was maybe more inclined to believe him.

Kyle’s smile was radiant, a slow thing curving his lips upward. God, Alan wanted to kiss him but PDA was so not his style, regardless of what the media thought. Those stealth photos taken of past moments with exes, without his permission, didn’t fucking count.

“You sure?” Kyle asked.

“So fucking sure.”

“Are you two…wait, hold on? Is it true? Are you two really dating? Oh my God, ARE YOU DATING FOR REAL? IS THIS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE HAPPENING BEFORE MY EYES?”

Emily again. Jesus. Alan scooted closer to Kyle, finally there was that warmth he needed to do this. His damn leg was bouncing again and his heart was ready to jump right out his chest but he took Kyle’s hand, curling their fingers together before resting their joined hands on his legs.

He turned to Emily who looked ready to literally explode. An exploding elf, now that would be fun. “Jesus, fuck, okay yes we’re dating. What of it?” Alan deployed his best scowl and Kyle’s entire body shook from laughing so hard. He was eating this up. Damn, annoying, infuriating cheerful man.

“This is literally the best gift anyone has given me,” Emily crowed.

“I feel sincerely sad for you if that’s the case.”

Kyle nudged him in the side with his free hand. “Behave.”

“When have I ever behaved, Kyle? Is your family gonna be okay with me being so grumpy?”

Kyle squeezed their still clasped hands, they both ignored Emily who was basically typing away furiously on her tablet, muttering about blog hits or whatever. Alan could care less. “They’ll love you, because I do,” Kyle said and Alan allowed himself a rare smile.

#

This was it. The moment Kyle felt most powerful.

Alan sat between his nieces and nephews, tinsel draped around his neck, his trademark scowl replaced with a bemused look as he helped the children colour one of the many Christmas scenes from their colouring book.

Kyle had gotten Alan “I will eviscerate you with a look” Anderson to wear a tinsel boa without making a fuss. Perhaps he’d been too sated by the super quiet but oh so hot sex they’d had earlier to refuse. Kyle wasn’t sure how it happened but Christmas morning had dawned and the house had been abuzz with noise already because his family were early risers, much to Alan’s dismay. Kyle had snuck into Alan’s room last night because come on. His mother couldn’t expect him not to want to be snuggled up to his boyfriend when Christmas arrived.

According to her rules only married couples were allowed to room together. She’d then proceeded to give them both pointed looks that had Alan sweating. Kyle had just laughed. They were so not there yet, but it was his mother’s way. Always trying to marry off her children. At least she hadn’t mentioned kids.

Mr. Rule Breaker himself had been worried about Kyle’s parents just knowing what they’d gotten up to and telling him to leave but Kyle had finally reassured him it was fine. His parents and family were totally cool with him being queer and way too excited about meeting Alan because they just adored his movies.

It was annoyingly adorable how his family fawned over Alan, who had been so sure they’d be turned off by his lack of Christmas cheer, but of course they were amused by his reaction to the outside decorations and icicle lights, their tree and the decorated living room.

Alan had said nothing which meant he’d been bursting to say something but didn’t want to offend anyone.

Alan adjusted the Santa hat on his head and Kyle melted. Kyle’s niece had offered it to him about twenty minutes ago and Alan’s pleading look at been priceless. The fact that Kyle hadn’t saved him meant retribution at some point, preferable in bed. He could live with that. He’d been a good boy and definitely deserved gifts.

“Hey there hot stuff.” Kyle sat down next to Alan. “All good? Want any more pastelles? Bread and ham?”

As usual his parents had out done themselves. Breakfast had consisted of fresh baked bread with your choice of turkey or ham, or both. Pastelles, Sorrel or Ponche de Creme.

Alan patted his tummy. “I’m good, really. Your mom asked me. So did your dad, and your sister. I can’t eat anything else. Please I beg you.”

Earlier Kyle had posted Alan’s breakfast plate to his Instagram stories poll feature asking: Do you think this white boy can handle all this seasoned food? Alan had been offended by most people answering no.

 “Okay, no more food until lunch, got it. Please take a Christmas selfie with me?” Kyle tugged on the end of the tinsel. “You’re so cute right now it hurts.”

Alan rolled his eyes but he snuggled up next to Kyle. “I think that Ponche de Creme’s going to my head.”

“Excuses, excuses, you know you like taking cute pics with me.”

“A man’s gotta have some secrets in this world, Kyle.” But he gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

Alan did enjoy taking photos together but not so much sharing them with the world, which Kyle totally got. He didn’t post any of them together unless Alan was comfortable with it, especially after that interview when everything had blown up. They’d both been inundated with messages from their other co-stars and fans that ranged from “I knew it!” to “He’s so not good enough for you Kyle.”

Kyle mostly ignored all the negative ones, and had to tackle Alan to the ground so he wouldn’t respond to assholes because one thing Alan was good at was cutting people to the bone with his words and his poor publicist needed a rest. That woman was overworked. Kyle was going to smuggle back some pastelles for her or something.

He captioned the selfie: A rare sighting of a seasonally dressed Alan Anderson. It’s a Christmas miracle! #cutenessoverload #trinichristmas #agiftfromustoyou

“Aww, so cute.”

Alan blushed as Kyle’s mom swept into the living room just in time to get a peek at the selfie, the bouncing Christmas trees on her headband almost whacking Kyle in the nose. “Better turn your phone off, hun. That one’s gonna get a lot of attention.”

No kidding. Kyle’s phone was already buzzing with notifications but he ignored it. It was time to exchange presents. They’d sauntered out the room late and had missed that part but his mother knew they were both catching up on much needed sleep after going non-stop all year.

“You good over there, Alan?”

Kyle disguised his laugh as a cough when Alan looked positively scared at the thought that his mother was going to try to make him eat anything else.

“I’m fine, Mrs Davis, really.”

“I told you to call me Annmarie. None of this Mrs Davis thing for my future son-in-law.”

Alan sputtered and Kyle said, “Mummy, come on.”

“What?”

Kyle didn’t buy that innocent look one bit. His family loved to tease, not maliciously so but Alan was so not used to this.

His mother glanced over at the tree. “That package looks a bit large for an engagement ring.”

“Mom!”

“Okay, okay, I’ll leave your man alone.” She winked and breezed back into the kitchen.

“Regrets?” Kyle asked, only half joking. Alan had taken all this in stride, but Kyle didn’t take it for granted that he was comfortable with his big, loud family who randomly busted out in singing parang songs and Christmas carols when they felt like it.

Alan took Kyle’s hand, slowly rubbing his thumb across his knuckles, a smile causing his rarely seen dimple to appear. The dimple that Kyle had secretly swooned over since they’d met. It had been difficult to act like he hadn’t been slowly falling for Alan’s gruff charms but it had been a losing battle from the first kiss. “Not a single one,” he said, dark eyes filled with heat and something softer.

“Let’s open our gifts.”

Kyle’s nerves were in overdrive. He was good at gifting but Alan was picky and prickly. Kyle had wanted to get it right. Alan urged him to open the perfectly wrapped box in his outstretched hand.

“For someone who dislikes Christmas this is pretty festive wrapping.”

Alan shook his head. “I told Jen subtle, but clearly I was ignored.”

“You gave your publicist to wrap your gifts? I’m definitely bringing back some Ponche de Creme for her. That poor woman.”

“I’m terrible at this,” Alan admitted. “And she’s amazing at everything. And I couldn’t ask anyone else because they’d be suspicious.”

Kyle shook the box slightly trying to glean what was inside. The red wrapping paper decorated with jolly Santas and a festive Ho Ho Ho at the bottom was too cute not to snap a quick photo with their tree in the background. “You know she chose this paper to specifically annoy you right?”

“I’m aware.”

Kyle loved Jen because she was barely fazed by Alan’s grumpiness anymore and had totally guessed they were dating. She hadn’t come out an admitted it but she’d been giving them suspicious looks for a while now and had definitely shouted at Alan for not prepping her before he’d dropped his announcement to Emily.

“Can you open it now, please?”

Alan’s knee bounced as they sat cross-legged on the ground. A sign he was nervous, so Kyle put him out his misery and ripped into the wrapping. His mother would have a fit at how he tore into it—she was the queen of recycling paper and gift bags—but why waste time? Kyle opened the box and blinked down at the trio of small mason jars. He jerked his head up to Alan who was waiting patiently for some kind of reaction.

“Alan,” he whispered as he took the first jar in his hand to inspect the tiny glittery tree inside. “You made me snow globes. There’s glitter on this. You willingly got near glitter for me?”

Alan flushed. Kyle loved when he blushed. “I know you love snow globes.”

Love didn’t quite cover it. Kyle had quite a collection going. As a boy growing up in the Caribbean he’d been fascinated by his grandmother’s collection of globes with tiny scenes inside that you could shake and cover everything with snow. He’d never seen snow and when he’d eventually moved to the U.S. to actively pursue his acting and had experienced snow for the first time he’d been in awe, and had also frozen his ass off. But he’d taken up his grandmother’s hobby of collecting snow globes from different parts of the world he got to travel to. Because even though his Caribbean ass still wasn’t used to snow, he adored the globes.

“I didn’t even know you were crafty.” He pulled out the second and third jars, still in awe that his cranky boyfriend had made these for him. The other two had a tiny Olaf snowman and another snowy pine tree complete with reindeer.

“The glitter was a bitch to handle but I managed.”

Kyle felt the burn in his throat that meant tears weren’t far behind. He cleared his throat. “If you make me cry on Christmas day I’ll kick your ass I swear to God, you asshole.”

Alan grinned. “You promise?”

This damn man. He cradled the jars in his lap as he reached for Alan’s gift and thrust it at him. “Merry Christmas.”

When Alan unwrapped Kyle’s gift he didn’t say anything for so long that Kyle wanted to snatch it back. God, did he hate it?

“Now who’s trying to make me cry?” Alan finally said, turning the picture frame around. “Where’d you even get this? God, it’s perfect. It’s us.”  

It was them, caught in a candid moment on set. Them sitting side by side, a small, genuine smile on Alan’s mouth as Kyle looked at him. There was no disguising the emotion in Kyle’s eyes or the happiness on Alan’s face. He remembered the moment so clearly, realizing he’d gone and fallen for Alan. Neither had realized anyone was watching but the behind the scenes photographer had caught it and had given the photo to Kyle joking that they looked like they had more chemistry than Kyle and his on-screen love interest, who played Alan’s character’s sister.

“I begged the behind the scenes photographer to give it to me.”

“You’ve had this all the time? That was months ago.”

Kyle fidgeted with the reindeer antlers on his head. “I knew it was a special shot and that I wanted to frame it. For you.”

Alan gently placed the frame back in the box and took Kyle’s hand, tugging him to his feet and dragging him to the guest bedroom he’d been given at the back. As soon as the door closed behind them Alan crowded him against it. 

“Yes? Can I help you?” Kyle grinned at Alan.

“You sure as shit can. You pull this sentimental shit and make me feel things. I should spank your ass for that.”

Kyle released the smirk he knew got Alan revved up. His golden boy persona wasn’t a fraud. He’d truly been raised to treat people decently and with respect but Alan had gotten to see his naughty side, several times, and Kyle wasn’t averse to deploying it to get what he wanted.

“I’ll hold you to that later. Kiss me.” He reached for Alan’s jaw, tracing his stubble with his thumb. So soft, just like Alan on the inside. And he was so grateful he got to see that side of him.

There was no build up with this kiss. Kyle dove into it, sucking at Alan’s tongue letting him know he wanted fast. Slow was for later when they could take their time, but right now he reveled in the taste of this man who was all his, grumpiness and all.  Kyle reversed their positions pushing Alan against the door, knocking the Santa hat off Alan’s head to delve into his soft locks, free of any hair products. He loved it like this. Loved getting a good grip on it when Alan went to his knees. They would be doing that later too.

“Fucking finally,” Alan growled kicking the hat to the side. “My head was getting hot.”

“You could’ve taken it off,” Kyle pointed out, nipping at Alan’s bottom lip which earned him a throaty groan.

“And make a small child cry and then everyone hates me? No way. I don’t think even my reputation will survive that. ”

“God, I love you,” Kyle murmured against Alan’s mouth. “Thanks for coming to spend Christmas with my family. It means so much.”

“Kyle, please. I can only stand so much sappiness, you jerk. I think my too small heart’s gonna explode. Was that your long con game all along? Revenge for how I acted when you suggested I audition for that Christmas movie?”

“I still think you’d be excellent for the part of the long suffering grumpy single dad. It’s basically you, minus the dad part.”

Alan shook his head. “Not happening, and I love you too. Best fucking gift I ever got. Seriously, and your family’s great.”

“Sap,” Kyle said affectionately, fingers moving from Alan’s hair to trail down his neck, then chest, then lower. “Do you think we have time for…?”

The knock and subsequent rattling of the door knob made them both jump. Kyle’s mom’s voice came floating through the door, cheerful. “Now, I’m just going to assume you were both so overcome by emotions over your gifts that you needed a moment to cry it out in private. Because I’m sure you’re not doing anything else in there.”

“Definitely not, ma’am,” Alan replied, eyes so wide with fear Kyle couldn’t suppress his snort.  

“We’ll be right out, mummy.”

“Good.”

They moved away from the door. 

“How is your mom the cheeriest yet scariest person I’ve ever met?” Alan asked.

Kyle patted Alan’s chest. “It’s a gift. Let’s go before she comes back.”

Alan stopped Kyle with a light touch on his wrist. “I meant what I said. You’re the best gift ever Kyle Davis. Thank you for just…loving me for me. I haven’t had a Christmas like this in a long time.”

“You’re the grump who stole my heart, you goof. So we’re even.” Kyle brushed his lips against Alan’s then gestured for him to exit to room.

“You just want to ogle my ass,” Alan tossed over his shoulder and Kyle couldn’t argue because he planned to feel all of Alan’s Christmas joy tonight.

He might even break out his terrible KISS ME UNDER THE MISTLETOE SWEATER with the strategically placed mistletoe.

 

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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