Notes: This is in response to a comment made by my DH a few days ago about me being a bit of a grinch, and because Boxing Day turned out like shit. The thought of Blair not being the enthusiastic one intrigued me until this finally emerged.
Christmas lights twinkled in every window on Prospect Avenue, with the more enthusiastic occupants covering their frontage with Santa and Snowman shapes, outlines of reindeers and stars, chaser lights dancing to tunes only a sentinel could hear. It was enough to give anyone a headache.
Jim wove his way through the crowds and wondered what Sandburg had done with the Loft while he'd been away. It was just his luck that he'd had to go out of state to give evidence in a federal case, because he'd been looking forward to seeing Blair's enthusiasm over the festive season. The previous years had conspired against them, and this would be their first Christmas together. Not *together* together, more's the pity, Jim thought, but at least they'd be together. Shit, he was rambling. Get a grip, Ellison.
His step light, because he could hear Blair moving around upstairs, he entered 852 and took the stairs two at a time. Wreaths adorned the doors along the hallway and Jim's eyebrows rose in surprise when he saw there wasn't one on his own front door. Sliding the key into the lock, he allowed the door to swing open and placed his garment bag and holdall under the table beside the door.
"Chief?" he called and smiled when a rumpled Blair emerged from his room with glasses perched on the end of his nose and book in hand.
"Oh, hey Jim, you're back."
"Yeah, got away a bit sooner than I thought." Jim looked around at the bare loft; no tree, lights or even Christmas music playing. What was going on?
"That's great, although I haven't got much planned for dinner..."
"We can order in." Jim shrugged out of his coat and loosened his tie, "No decorations up yet?"
"Oh, I didn't know you wanted to do that." Blair looked surprised.
"I don't, particularly, but I thought that you might..." Jim's words trailed off at the incredulous look on Blair's face.
"What on earth made you think that?"
"I just imagined.."
"Jim," Blair took pity on him, "Christmas is a Christian festival."
"So what, you're a pagan?" Jim's joke fell flat in the face of his roommate's disapproval.
"Just because I don't normally observe the Sabbath doesn't mean I'm not aware of my heritage," Blair tone indicated he was going into lecture mode and Jim felt the need to sit down.
"I just assumed..."
"That I was a self serving little goober who'd be out for all the presents he could get?"
"I didn't say that,"
"You didn't need to." Blair's mouth thinned and he turned back to his room. Jim jumped up from the sofa and cut him off, lifting his hands to grasp Blair's biceps, holding him gently but firmly.
"I didn't mean it like that, Blair. It's probably because you don't advertise your religion that it didn't register that you wouldn't be celebrating Christmas." Jim sighed and brought them back over to the sofa where they sat down. He didn't realise he'd slid his hands down until he had them wrapped around Blair's. "Work with me here, Chief."
"I know that you're not religious, Jim, and with me being Jewish I honestly didn't see the point of getting caught up in the commercialisation of it all. Come on, Jim, do you really enjoy all the fuss that goes on?" Blair rolled his eyes, "the noise..."
"The smells..." Jim continued.
"Can't the loft be a haven of peace and tranquillity for a few days?"
"That should be my line, Chief." He finally dropped Blair's hands back into his lap and relaxed into the cushions. Blair turned and drew his feet up under him in a cross-legged position.
"Did you know that Christmas is the most stressful time of the year, Jim? It comes third after divorce and moving house, and between us we've suffered both." Blair leaned forward to get his point across, eyes sparkling with the enthusiasm that Jim had been looking forward to. "We shouldn't be made to feel guilty if we don't put up stuff."
"You really don't enjoy doing the whole Christmas thing?"
"It's not the trappings that matter, Jim. Regardless of everything, I still think Christmas, Chanukah, whatever you want to call it, is about people, and what they believe. It's a time of goodwill and families and togetherness," Blair shrugged, "I don't mind being here on my own if you want to spend it with Stephen and your dad." Blair's heart was thundering in his chest.
"Hey, you want to ruin the break for me?"
"Asshole," Blair grinned, relief obvious on his face.
"So, no turkey?"
"I didn't say that."
"No. We still get to pig out; just not wear the stupid hats."
"Good. I always hated those things."
"Nothing like messing up your hair," a sly grin curved his mouth, "or what little there is of it."
Jim's breath caught at the image of Blair's curls ruffled by his hands and without thinking he reached out and took hold of a thick strand, rubbing it between his fingers.
"Couldn't have that now, could we, Chief?"
"Jim? You okay, man?" Blue eyes soft with concern peered out from the curtain of curls.
"What makes you think I'm not?" Jim asked, still with a curl wrapped firmly round a finger.
"You're playing with my hair."
"And you're staring at me." Blair brought his knees up and hugged them.
"No, I'm seeing you." Jim corrected, moving closer; "There's a difference."
"So what do you see?" legs were unfurled and a hand reached up to grasp the one now buried in his hair.
"Someone who's not afraid to buck convention and walk his own path,"
"I thought you knew that already." A subtle nudge had them leaning back into the cushions, fingers entwined.
"What?" the rhythmic knead of sensitive fingers on his scalp was sending Blair into a hypnotic trance.
"What you said, about it being the season of togetherness." Jim prompted.
"Depends on how you define *together*."
"You, me, together," Jim waggled his fingers between them and waited for the light to dawn on Blair's face. In seconds he had a lap full of guide.
"So, Jim, what did you get me for Christmas?"
"I thought you didn't recognise it as a holiday?" Jim was astonished at the about-face but was soon distracted by the rasp of stubble on his neck.
"Self-serving goober, here." Blair laughed, tugging off Jim's tie and throwing it behind him onto the floor.
"You're picking that up later," Jim slid his hands around Blair's waist.
"We can always use it to decorate the loft," fingers worked on the buttons of his shirt next, "along with this."
"And this." Jim plucked at Blair's multi-coloured waistcoat.
"We can decorate guy-style." It flew off to join the tie.
"Is that even a word?"
"It is now."
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