A/N: Merry Christmas!
The airport terminal was a mob scene as people hurried to make last minute flights back home to their families. Ed felt a familiar tightness in his chest at the realization that his flight wasn’t taking him anywhere near you. He pulled out his phone, pausing to look at the lock screen photo of the two of you. Both in your glasses and matching flannel shirts. It was terribly cheesy but it had made you laugh, and that was more than enough for him.
Needing to ease that lonely feeling, Ed clicked on your contact information. “Hey,” you said, rattling in the background.
A large family sat near him all talking over each other. It wouldn’t have normally bothered him, but he wanted to be able to talk to you. Getting up, he searched for a quieter space. Finding an inlet with some vending machines and old payphones, Ed ducked into the space and began pacing.
“Hey, I was just thinking about you.” A crash came from your end of the line. “Is now a bad time?” It was hard enough with time zones and work schedules to coordinate phone calls, but he would have listened to white noise if he knew you were somewhere at the end of it.
“No, not at all. I’m just trying to burn the house down,” you joked but he could hear a tired edge to your voice. He had asked you to move into the farm he had purchased. Yet, with his lengthy tour, he could count on his fingers the amount of time you two had actually been able to spend there together. It wasn’t that you ever complained, but that didn’t stop him from feeling guilty.
“Again?” he replied, relieved to hear you laugh. This call had been meant to sooth the loneliness, but it seemed to only make it more real. Phone calls instead of actual conversations, still miles apart. “I’d like a house to come home to, Love.”
He kicked at the title floor with his Air Jordans. “I’ll try to save the good parts,” you said, getting him to smile.
Ed ran a hand through his ginger hair. “That’s my girl. Well, I should let you get back to your dinner. I just needed to hear your voice,” he said, leaning heavily against the wall. “I love you. Merry Christmas.”
“I love you too, Ed. Get home to me soon,” you whispered. You always made an effort not to seem upset, but he could hear the melancholy in your voice clearly.
“I will. Take care now.”
Ed ended the call missing you now more than ever. This was your first Christmas together, and you wouldn’t even be together.
“Ed, the flight is boarding soon,” Stuart barked, bringing him from his daydream of waking up Christmas morning next to you. The Christmas tree you had put up a few days ago, that he had yet to see, surrounded by presents.
The announcement for the flight came over the intercom. He pushed away from the wall and walked back toward the gate. Heart heavy and hardly in the mind frame of Christmas cheer. This just felt all wrong. This holiday was about being with the people you love. He was in love with you.
“I need to go,” Ed said suddenly, picking up his backpack and looking around for the sign that would direct him to the exit.
“Go where? The flight is boarding. We need to get on the plane.”
“I know, but it is Christmas Eve. There is somewhere else that I need to be,” he answered calmly, following the path to the exit.
It was a long ride back to the farm. That was a good thing since he had a lot of explaining and rescheduling to do. He wasn’t typically impulsive, but this felt good. He knew that being with you for holidays was the correct choice.
After endless phone conversations, the car finally arrived. “Thanks, Mate. Merry Christmas,” Ed said, hopping out of the car.
The lights were off, and he knew you had gone to bed a few hours ago. He tried to keep his footsteps quiet as he unlocked the front door and went inside. Setting down his bag and kicking off his shoes, he hurried up the stairs to your bedroom.
Opening the door, he saw you curled up under a bundle of blankets. ‘Always cold,’ he thought to himself with a smile. He threw his jacket on the chair in the corner and climbed into bed next to you.
You let out a soft sigh, turning over into his awaiting arms. Ed smiled again, almost certain it wouldn’t leave his face for the next few hours, kissing you on the forehead. This was the feeling that kept him always coming back home to you: content. With you, he was finally home.
The quiet moment was broken when you began to stir. “You’re so warm,” you mumbled, gripping onto his shirt to pull him closer.
He let out a low chuckle. “That’s what I’m here for,” he whispered, planting another kiss in your hair.
Your eyes snapped open at the sound of his voice. “You’re not supposed to be here,” you cried, sitting up and turning on the lights.
Ed held up a tattooed forearm to block the light. “I missed you too,” he joked, blinking until his eyes started to adjust.
“Damn, right I missed you,” you said, lunging at him. “You must be in some serious trouble though.”
His pale cheeks turned a lovely shade of pink as he wrapped his arms securely around your waist. “A bit but I realized it wouldn’t be Christmas without you,” he confessed, leaning in to kiss you softly.
You stroked along the colorful tattoos that adorned his arms. “Best gift ever,” you said, kissing him again. And they both knew that it truly was.