Christmas Story Continued beyond Christmas
I know I promised everyone one more installment of this story. Seems the Characters had other ideas. I wrote the next segment, however, as you’ll see, I can’t leave it here…
Part One: Santa’s New Line: http://dontkickmycane.livejournal.com/146309.html
New Year’s Day was warmer than it should have been; unseasonable, in fact. It might have been a perfect day for a walk, but Cody couldn’t bring himself to haul his ass out of bed. Beside him, Kriss snored softly, one arm flung over his eyes.
“Where did you really come from?” he asked the sleeping elf-who-wasn’t-an-elf.
They’d spent the week eating, sleeping, and making love. Reaching into the bedside table drawer, Cody pulled out the little slip of paper. The green sharpie words were slightly faded, but still clear.
I know you don’t exist, but someone who understands would be nice.
He chuckled at his fifteen year old self, but only for a moment. He well remembered the feeling, the desperation to have someone who knew what it was like. His older brother had shrugged when he told him he was gay, and told him he should try girls. He’d like it if he just did it right. It had never come up again. His father had grunted and said he didn’t want to know. He’d never brought a boyfriend home. In fact, the last few years, he hadn’t even gone home for the holidays.
“Do you miss them?” Kriss’s voice was sleepy, lazy, and Cody looked down.
“You look best all mussed from sleep and fucking.”
Kriss made a face. “Not fucking.”
“When you put your cock in–”
Kriss stopped him with a finger over his lips. “Call me girly, but fucking is rather crass for what we’ve been doing.”
Cody kissed the tip of his finger then pulled his hand down. “So what would you call it, then?”
Kriss leaned in, dropping kisses along Cody’s stomach and chest. “Love.”
“That’s a big word,” Cody mumbled, sinking back into his pillow, closing his eyes, feeling the tiny explosions of sensation burst out away from Kriss’s lips and spread through him.
“Only four letters.”
“Those are the biggest of all.”
Kriss stopped his gentle explorations and looked up, his brow furrowing. “Should I take it back?”
Cody smiled, cupped the elf’s pale cheek. “No.” He spread his legs apart under the sheets, tipped his head. “Actually, I’d let you do it again, if you were inclined.”
“So much for preserving my innocence.”
“Exactly. And don’t think that just because I’m letting you distract me with sex I haven’t noticed you didn’t answer the question.” Kriss rolled up and over so his upper body was draped over Cody, his lower half nestled between his spread legs.
Cody gazed up at him innocently. “There was a question?”
Hours later, Cody leaned on the kitchen counter, clean, sweet-smelling from the shower and a little sore from Kriss’s enthusiasm.
“You can sit.” Kriss waved a spatula at the kitchen table. “I’ve got scrambled eggs and toast figured out.”
“I’m sorry.” Kriss frowned. “I’m not used to…”
Cody’s brows went up. “Topping?”
A shrug jostled Kriss as he turned back to his eggs in the pan. “Guess guys always just figured…I never minded, really. You should have said something.”
Cody set his cup down and circled his arms around Kriss’ waist from behind. He rested his head comfortably between the taller man’s shoulder blades. “You were in my head, Kriss,” he whispered. “You know I was enjoying myself. It’s not a big deal. Promise. It happens, and frankly, it’s nice to feel where you’ve been,” he pressed his lethargic, but valiant half-hard cock against Kriss’s ass, “know you’ll be there again.”
Kriss turned and pushed him off by both arms. “Not until you’re not sore any more.” He looked so serious, so very concerned and Cody barely held back a laugh.
“Not until then,” he assured his elf. “I’ll happily turn the tables…”
Kriss’s stomach growled. “Maybe after we eat.”
Cody laughed. “Fair enough.”
“Speaking of fair,” Kriss turned back to the cooking as he spoke, “you ruthlessly distracted me from my question this morning. Were you ever planning on answering it?”
“What was the question?”
“I asked if you miss them.”
Cody tilted his head, studied his lover. “You seem to have dropped a whole lot of elf attributes, like never needing to eat or sleep, but you can still read my mind. Curious.”
“I’m not letting you change the subject again.”
Cody sighed and set his coffee down, leaned both hands back on the counter. “I’ve missed them since I knew I was gay, Kriss. Even before I told them. They don’t want to know. Don’t want to–”
“Did you try?” Kriss asked quietly.
“I told them. Jake, my brother, told me to get a girlfriend and get over it. Dad said not to mention it again. Like that part of me is invisible to them. Just not there. I don’t–” Cody swallowed hard and glared out the window at the wet pavement and rising fog of the too-warm day. “Keep telling myself half a person is better than nothing, but it isn’t. They don’t want to know who I am. Who I love.”
“I want to know them.”
“No!” The vehemence of the response surprised Cody, but didn’t seem to faze Kriss. “No. Bad enough they treat me like that. I won’t subject you to it.”
“You’re not subjecting me to anything. I volunteered.”
Kriss set down the spatula and took the pan off the heat before turning to face Cody. “Because they’re your family. You asked for someone to understand. I get about being gay. I’ve been wandering the world long enough to understand how people are. I understand about being on the outside.” He moved over and leaned against Cody. “But that isn’t really what you wanted, is it?”
Cody wiggled out from between Kriss and the counter. He pursed his lips as he pulled plates out of the cupboard and began dumping eggs onto them, shook his head over and over as explanation after explanation presented itself and was dismissed. The pan clattered as he set it into the sink a little too hard. Toast crumbs sprayed over the counter, black bits tumbling over the edges of the plates.
“Cody–” Kriss reached for him but he picked up the plates and carried them to the table.
They ate in silence.
Kriss was setting the last of the cleaned dishes back in the cupboard before he spoke again. “You want them to understand.”
“They do, Kriss. In their own way.” Cody poked at the numbed pocket of disappointment and resentment he felt, that he’d always felt, toward his father and brother. “It’s not that they don’t love me. They just don’t understand. They don’t have to.” He’d stopped hoping to feel welcome in their homes a long time ago. It was just what it was.
“Nor do they accept you,” Kriss said.
Cody snarled, an inarticulate sound of frustration. “Stay out of my head.”
“I can’t help it, love.”
“I’m not your love. I’m some guy you met in the street.” Cody’s heart twisted and jerked in his chest. He turned his back and stormed out of the room, unable to look Kriss in the eye.
“Maybe,” Kriss said, his voice restrained and tense, “I can still feel what you’re feeling because I haven’t finished my quest after all.”
Cody whirled. “Your quest. It’s a piece of paper. I don’t know where you got it or why you’ve been carrying it around for fifteen years, but it is isn’t anything. It doesn’t define my life or anything about me. You,” he poked a finger in the elf’s direction, “don’t know me.”
Kriss stood staring at him, face pale, breath coming fast. “I told you where I got it. I told you why I’m here. I’m real, Cody. I swear.”
“Santa?” Cody tried to laugh. It came out a snarl that ripped painfully at his core. “I stopped believing a long time before I wrote that, Kriss.”
“You believed yesterday.”
“Yesterday was nice. This whole week was nice. But my family? My father? Jake? That’s real life.” He shook his head. “You don’t fuck with my real life. It’s fucked up enough as it is.”
“I’m real,” Kriss insisted. Something glittered in his eyes, making them too bright, leaching more colour from his face. “I am, I swear.”
Cody glared at him. He wanted to take it all back. He wanted to rewind the morning and not have this sharp-cornered lump of anger in his chest making it hard to breathe. He wanted to crawl back into bed, into the fantasy. He imagined introducing this blond, beautiful, vulnerable man to Jake and cringed. Jake would scoff, say something hurtful, derisive, something to tear them apart.
“You should go.”
“Please. It’s best.”
Kriss wrapped his arms around himself. “I don’t know…”
Cody shook his head, glaring hard at the floor, unable to look at the other man, Unwilling to see the hurt in his eyes. “I have to get back to my life, Kriss. It’s time.”
You aremy life.
Kriss said nothing, didn’t move.
Cody wasn’t sure where the thought had come from. Was it his own wishful thinking? Was it what he hoped Kriss was thinking? What he wanted him to say? He kept his lips clamped shut and his face averted.
Silent, Kriss slipped his feet into his shoes and picked up his parka from the hall chair. He hesitated with his hand on the door but Cody didn’t turn around. “Cody–”
“Christmas comes round every year, Cody,” he said, his voice quiet and firm. “I can’t stay if you don’t want me, but I’ll be back.”
The soft click of the door latch hammered through Cody and he sagged. “Why didn’t you read my mind that time?” he wondered out loud. “Why didn’t you stay?”
Had he really wanted Kriss to leave? Is that why the elf hadn’t stayed, because in the deepest part of himself, Cody wanted to be alone? Terrified, he spun, lurched for the door and flung it open. In the time since he’d last looked outside, the whether had changed, temperature plummeting and now snow swirled and spun, greying out the day. The street was empty.
“Kriss!” He ran out, bare feet sticking slightly to the cold, wet sidewalk. He dashed to the end of the walk, but there was no one in either direction. “Kriss!”
His voice drifted off and disappeared under the drone of wind and snow.
His feet ached, reminding him he was not dressed properly and he trudged back inside and closed the door. A glance around revealed nothing but his small, empty house in a forlorn little town north of everything. The only sign he’d not spent the last week on his own was a missing cup of soup and the empty hole in his chest.