Part 1 Part 2
I don’t have a clue how it happened. Maybe I was delirious from this new thing that Simon was doing. Namely, kissing me. Admittedly, I had dreamed about it long enough that when it actually happened I sort of fell into a dream-like state.
But in a moment of complete post-kiss stupidity, I invited him home for Christmas. With me. With my family.
What could I have possibly been thinking?
Oh right. I wasn’t. Thinking, that is.
But the bigger question remains.
Why in the world did he say yes?
Christmas takes forever to arrive. It sounds childish to wait for Christmas, but honestly, I might have been waiting for it to be over.
Because having Simon Snow in my house has been a nightmare.
I should have seen it coming. Of course my family would be horrible, pasting fake smiles on their faces in front of him and watching our every move when they thought he couldn’t see. Of course they would judge me for inviting my – our – sworn enemy into the house out of the “goodness of my heart”. They’ve been acting like he’s the vampire, and now that I’ve let him in he’ll drain us all in our sleep.
Mordelia asked me why he was here. She said it like it was an accusation. I told her that we weren’t fighting right now and that he needed a place to stay for Christmas and be nice. She gave me that look with the narrow eyes like she knew it was more than that, which she didn’t. She never does when she gives that look. She just does it to make you think that she’s on to you, so that you’ll reveal the rest yourself. I simply fixed her with a glare and sent her on her way. There’s not much more I can do with her.
Aunt Fiona isn’t talking to me. I can’t blame her.
But easily the worst part of the situation is Simon himself.
Because he hasn’t kissed me since that afternoon in our dorm. He hasn’t made any moves, he hasn’t mentioned it, he isn’t showing any signs that it happened in the first place.
Which almost makes me wonder if it even did happen. I couldn’t have dreamed that up, could I?
I have no bloody idea what to do.
I kissed Baz.
His house is big, much bigger than I expected, which is saying something. Apart from that, his family is pretty much exactly what I thought they would be like. His dad is quiet and stern-looking. His stepmom is awkwardly friendly for my sake, but I’ll give her credit for even bothering. His aunt is cranky, and his sister is… creepy. That’s really the only way I can describe her. She doesn’t talk to me, even if I try to talk to her. She just stares at me with this weird mix of curiosity and horror, like I’m the creepy one.
Baz is the only one I can stand to be around for extended periods of time, which is honestly really pathetic, considering our history.
But then again, what does our history even mean now?
After all, he invited me to his home for Christmas. After I kissed him.
And I kind of want to do it again.
Instead I do the opposite. I act like it never happened.
Because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what this means.
Because he’s the enemy, whether either of us wants it or not.
Is he really?
I can’t kill him if I want to kiss him.
I don’t know how I’ve gotten any sleep this whole holiday with him in my room. It’s stupid, I know, since we’ve been sharing a room for years, but this feels way more intimate than that. It makes me feel so much more exposed.
His room is cold, like him, but at least it doesn’t have any monsters under the bed, or anywhere else. Apart from him, anyway. Assuming I’m right and he is a vampire.
That should bother me. It always has.
I didn’t feel any fangs when I…
He’s given me every spare blanket he can find, and I’ve piled them up on top of me to peel off one by one when I start to overheat, which happens nearly every night. I wonder if he’s ever too cold in here, or if he finds this comfortable.
I wonder if he would overheat if I were to hold him while he slept. Assuming he ever lets me get that close again.
I wonder why I want him to let me, and if I’ll ever be able to stop wanting things.
I can’t kill him if I want to kiss him.
So maybe I’ll have to make a choice.
And maybe I already know there’s no way I could kill him now.
I wake up on Christmas morning to find Simon already gone from his little nest on the sofa at the foot of the bed. I let my head fall back to the pillow, not ready to get up yet. The sun has only just peeked over the horizon and through the window.
Come to think of it, Simon is up really early.
He could just be in the bathroom.
Or he could have left.
And just like that, I can’t get the thought out of my head, even though I know it’s dumb. After all, where could he possibly go?
But it’s too late. The thought has taken purchase and it won’t let go.
I throw back the covers and shove my feet into my slippers, grabbing my robe before leaving the room. The house is quiet, apart from the gentle sighs of the ghouls in the curtains. I don’t hear Simon’s usual too-loud bumbling footsteps, or Mordelia’s Christmas morning tiptoe, or anyone else moving through the house.
I almost don’t see him when I pass the Christmas tree in the fireside room, but a shock of blonde hair catches my eye and I double back.
There he is, lying under the tree, sound asleep and snoring gently.
Maybe that’s why I woke up. The absence of snoring.
I approach him quietly and find myself smiling sadly, wondering if he’s ever gotten to sit under a real tree on Christmas Day, surrounded by packages and ribbons and sweets. It looks like he’s actually tried to wedge himself underneath the branches like he’s trying to blend in with the presents, but his legs stick out and his one arm is long above him, and a bauble is dangling directly over his head, brushing his curls as it sways.
I should wake him and get him back to bed where he can sleep properly until the sun has come up, but as cliché as it sounds, he looks too peaceful. He always has this weight on his brow, like the entire World of Mages is standing there on his eyebrows and furrowing them together. In a way, I suppose that’s exactly the case.
“Snow,” I whisper softly, close to his ear.
He stirs, and then wakes up suddenly, jerking up and knocking the bauble off of its bough, the whole tree shaking with his movement. When his eyes meet mine they’re anxious for a second before they fill with recognition.
“Thank Merlin it’s you,” he sighs in relief. “It would have been mortifying if any of your family had found me first.”
“Lucky you,” I mutter. “What are you doing down here, did you sleepwalk?”
“I was waiting, but you took so long that I fell asleep.” Simon yawns, brushing a ribbon from his arm and climbing out the rest of the way from under the tree.
“You were waiting for Christmas by sleeping underneath the Christmas tree.”
He blushes and looks down. “Yeah, well, I had a stupid idea.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Do tell.”
“You know how you got me that dagger for Christmas?”
“And you know how I wanted to pay it back?”
I feel myself starting to blush at the memory. “Yes.”
His cheeks are blazing red. “Well, I still don’t have a present for you.”
“Snow, you let me give you a place to stay for Christmas, that’s enough.”
“And that’s another thing. I can’t offer the same to you, so I didn’t know how we could break even on this one.”
I shake my head. “Why are you so obsessed with breaking even? I don’t want anything, Snow.”
He meets my eye. “Nothing? Really?”
I blush fully.
“So I had this stupid idea,” he pushes on, looking away again, “that maybe when I… paid you back the first time that you wanted it, and that we could maybe do that more often.”
I can only blink in shock at what I’m hearing.
“So I thought,” he continues, “that even though I can’t give you anything wrapped in paper, I could give you… me.”
I almost burst out laughing at how crazy this is. “You?”
He shrugs. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I really liked kissing you.” He says kissing quickly like he wants to get it over with. “And I really like not fighting with you.”
I can barely breathe. “I like not fighting, too.”
He peeks up at me. “Yeah?”
“Do you think we could… not fight more often?”
“I think we could manage it.”
“And do you think,” he gulps, “that maybe we could…”
He looks at me with a kind of fear I’ve never seen on him before. He’s afraid I’ll turn him down. It’s the kind of fear that’s been keeping me from telling him everything for years.
And now that I’ve seen that fear in his eyes, I feel mine start to dissipate.
I lean in. His blush deepens and his eyes dart to my mouth and back.
“Definitely,” I murmur, and we’re so close I can feel his hot breath grazing my lips.
It’s Christmas morning and I’m kissing Simon Snow under the Christmas tree, and he’s sighing into my mouth and his fingers are in my hair and I can barely tell up from down.
And Crowley, am I glad I woke him up.