Notes: This will be a mini-series for my 12 Days of Christmas challenge. There’s gonna be 6 parts in total, and I’m gonna be honest: I”m not happy with how it turned out. But regardless, I hope you enjoy it xx (Graphic by me)
You had never been good at pointlessly flirting with men and leaving them high and dry. Naturally, that came as a shock to many people, as though because your body was covered in tattoos, you had to be a grade A bitch. You’d gotten used to it after completing art school and as the full back piece you had designed finished. People would always have their opinions, and nothing about that could be changed. Besides, there was a great sense of satisfaction that crossed your mind every single time someone cast you dirty look while hopping on the subway, knowing just how wrong they were about you.
Although, you had to admit: if you could have one trait of people’s expectations, it was the ability to talk to men.
“Why is it so freaking cold?” you
complain as you pull your coat tighter around your body. You can see your
breath as you huff in annoyance, and the visual effect fuels your bitterness.
“Weren’t you complaining about it
being too warm three weeks ago?” Bruce asks with a chuckle.
“You know I will complain about any
and all kinds of weather,” you shoot at him. “If it’s going to be this cold, it
needs to at least snow!”
Bruce laughs at your outburst. “You
are so beautiful when you get flustered like this.”
“Bruce, stop laughing at me!” you
huff. Your cheeks grow warm in embarrassment, and for a moment you are grateful
that they were already pink from the cold.
“I’m sorry, love, but I’m just
pointing out what’s true,” he wraps his arm around your waist and lowers his
voice. “But I always think you’re beautiful.”
“Well you manage to always look
like you’re ready to model for a photo shoot. Even when you’ve been working out
for an hour,” you say. “Especially when you’ve been working out for an hour,”
you mumble to yourself.
Bruce chuckles at your statement.
Somehow the man is completely unaffected by the cold air. While you are still
freezing with at least three layers of clothing on, he seems content with just
a fitted sweater. “How are you not cold?!” you finally ask.
“I guess I’m just used to running
around in bad weather,” he smirks.
“Yeah, well, it’s a wonder Batman
doesn’t catch a cold every week. Especially with all the rain this city gets,”
you sulk. “Remind me again why I’m out here with you?”
“Christmas shopping,” he says
“But why does that involve me?” you
“You get to hide the presents until
it’s actually Christmas,” he says as if it’s obvious. You give him an extremely
annoyed look. “You try hiding Christmas gifts from a house of detectives and
tell me what you come up with.”
“You owe me big time,” you mutter
and trudge forward.
Bruce stops short in the middle of
the sidewalk, and his hand on your waist keeps you from walking any farther.
You look at him with a raised eyebrow.
“What are you—”
You are cut off as he grabs the
scarf around your neck and pulls you forward until your lips meet. After the
initial shock of the action wears off, you wrap your arms around his neck and
return the kiss until somebody on the street clears their throat.
“Does that help?” Bruce asks.
“Now you owe me a little bit less,”
you smile before pulling him forward. “You can finish paying me back after we
finish your Christmas shopping.”
You can find my schedule for which fandom I’m doing here
Day 1: Miraculous Ladybug, One Christmas Present
“If you throw that snowball, you
Chat Noir froze, arm lifted behind
him with a perfectly round ball of snow balanced in the palm of his hand. “How
Ladybug turned her head to grin at
him over her shoulder, eyes sparkling in the glow of the hundreds of Christmas
lights that littered the park. She was leaning against their statue, elbow
tucked comfortably against her own fake knee and her ankles crossed. “You seem
to forget that our suits enhance our senses, you silly kitty.”
Chat pouted and dropped his hand
and the snowball to the ground, lacing his arms together over his chest. “You
ruin all my fun, you know that M’Lady?”
He said it with a teasing lilt to
his voice, one that made Ladybug giggle a little and shake her head. “So sorry
to spoil your fun, Chat. But we need to be serious.”
His smile dropped and he lowered
his voice. “Is there an akuma? Seriously? On Christmas eve?”
“Hmm?” Ladybug asked dismissively.
“Oh, no. I meant this.”
“We’ve been over this, Sherlock,” John says, throwing his hands in the air in exasperation and piercing Sherlock with a look. “If we’re going to your parents’ house for Christmas, we’re bringing them gifts.”
“I’ve never brought them Christmas gifts before. Why would I start now?”
“Never brought…” John sighs heavily and pinches the bridge of his nose as he tries to will away the headache threatening to start throbbing behind his eyes. He looks back at Sherlock and shakes his head. “How you’re the favorite son, I’ll never know.”
“You’ve met Mycroft.”
“Fair point,” he concedes.
He grabs his laptop and takes a seat on the edge of Sherlock’s hospital bed, careful not to jostle him too much. “Alright, look, it’s your family, so you can do whatever you want, but I’m not showing up empty-handed. So do me a favor and help me pick something out, yeah?” He looks up just in time to catch Sherlock’s fond eyeroll.
“If I must.”
John browses through a few websites for ideas. Having only seen Sherlock’s parents as he ushered them out the door at Baker Street once, he has no idea at all what he’s looking for. He comes across a deep plum cashmere scarf that he thinks might actually look rather nice on Sherlock, the rich, dark purple contrasting nicely with his fair skin, the fabric soft and warm against his long, smooth neck. It reminds him of that purple shirt Sherlock used to have, always a favorite of John’s, the sleeves rolled up to expose several inches of alabaster arms, the collar undone as always to show off that tempting hint of sharp collarbones, the buttons straining across a taut, lean chest.
John flushes as he realizes where his thoughts have carried him. That’s not the kind of thing he should be thinking about right now. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he bookmarks the link and moves on, returning to his search for something suitable for Sherlock’s parents. Browsing pages of gift suggestions, he finds little that he thinks would be appropriate–Mr and Mrs Holmes undoubtedly do not need a clock that barks the current time like a dog or a glass paperweight in the shape of a boot or a set of mugs with moustaches on them. There is, however, a book about piracy during the rise of the British Empire that might make another good gift for Sherlock. Oh, and he should really look for that book on historical beekeeping methods that he saw online back at the start of summer. And there had been that set of antique microscope slides he had caught Sherlock eyeing when they were investigating that secondhand shop just last month. John wonders if they’re still there and tries to recall if he had seen a price on them.
He looks up to find Sherlock watching him with a hint of a smile on his lips. “I thought you were trying to find gifts for my parents.”
“How do you always… Nevermind,” he says. Sherlock’s ability to know what he’s thinking really shouldn’t surprise him after all this time. He bookmarks the page for the pirate book and quickly closes the tab.
“Do you want to, I don’t know, give me a hint here or something?” John asks. “Any sort of indication of what they like?”
Sherlock looks thoughtful for a moment, but when he looks at John again, he doesn’t offer any suggestions. Instead he says, “Come here,” and scoots himself over to the far edge of the mattress, raising the bed so that he’s sitting rather than lying down. The slight grimace on his face as he moves makes John’s chest tighten–that Sherlock is still in pain, that he still has to be so careful is a constant reminder of the situation that brought them to this, a situation John blames himself for putting them in. He’s the one who married her after all. He should’ve known somehow. He should’ve seen. And then she had nearly taken Sherlock from him, even though she knew what that had done to him the first time around. It’s unforgivable. And the fact that he is going to have to go to her on Christmas day and sham forgiveness, even if it is for his protection and Sherlock’s, only makes it harder. The last thing he wants is to go back to her. He wants to be here with Sherlock. Well, not here. Back in the cozy warmth of Baker Street would be far preferable to this stark and sterile hospital room, perhaps tucked into Sherlock’s bed, huddled together under the duvet to protect against the cold, naked skin on naked skin as John curls up behind him and presses feather-light kisses to the back of his neck, the tops of his shoulders, the gentle curve of his spine.
“John,” Sherlock says, drawing him from his thoughts again.
“Right. Sorry.” John brushes away the fantasy and slides up the bed to settle next to Sherlock, leaning back against the raised mattress and pulling his laptop to where they both can see it. Sherlock takes over the search, and John lets him, content to listen to his running commentary on the ridiculousness of the gift ideas offered on these websites. He watches Sherlock’s face as he talks, so familiar, so beautiful, so full of life, and tries not to focus on how close he had come to losing him yet again. Everything he has ever wanted is right here, and John thinks that perhaps he could have it if he could just find the courage to ask.
“…can hardly believe that anyone would buy th-” Sherlock stops mid-sentence as he catches sight of John watching him, his hands freezing in the middle of some wild gesture. John wants to look away, embarrassed at being caught out, but he forces himself not to, to hold Sherlock’s gaze instead. He isn’t sure what his face looks like just now, but whatever expression is there, a faint flush creeps onto Sherlock’s cheeks in response. He smiles at John softly, the corners of his lips turning up just a little, his eyes warm and full of quiet affection, and his hands drop, one of them coming to rest lightly on John’s thigh.
I could kiss him, John realizes. I could kiss him right now, and he would let me. He would kiss me back. And it’s tempting, so very tempting, but he can’t do it like this, with them sitting side by side in the hospital bed John’s own wife put him in, with the shadow of all their mistakes still looming over them. But there will be time. Later, there will be time for this, time for them. For now they have to focus on getting through this Christmas and the unknown mess to come. But next Christmas, he promises himself, next Christmas they’ll do this proper. They’ll go to Sherlock’s parents’ house to actually share the holidays with them, not as part of a scheme to ensnare John’s wife. They’ll buy gifts for their families and friends together. They’ll decorate the home they share, hanging lights about the flat and trimming the tree. They’ll throw a party and not care who sees them kissing under the mistletoe. Maybe they’ll send out a Christmas card together; or maybe not–John can’t picture Sherlock getting on board with that one actually. Next Christmas, he thinks. By next Christmas we’ll be together.
He smiles widely at Sherlock and turns back to the laptop, feeling more hopeful than he has in weeks, months even. He lets his hand cover Sherlock’s where it rests on his leg and gives it a quick squeeze before reaching for the laptop again. “That’s your parents sorted, yeah? Now help me find something ridiculous to give to Mycroft.”
Summary: A surprise during Peeta’s walk home from the bakery could change everything. A little Everlark winter interlude post Victory Tour.
Written for @loveinpanem’s Yuletide in Panem 12 Days of Christmas Challenge. Day 1: Snow
The white powder crunches under Peeta’s boots as he trudges up the hill from the bakery to his home in the Victor’s Village. He focuses on each step, using the muscles in his good leg to propel his bad leg forward. His heel strikes the ground, followed by his toe. The thick rubber on the soles of his expensive boots holds him securely in place. He takes another step on his good leg and then repeats the process. Relearning to walk in the winter hasn’t been easy, but he’s making progress. His father had offered to walk home with him, just in case, but he prefers to figure these things out on his own. Plus, if he falls, there is no one to fuss over him, and he prefers that too.
He doesn’t relax until he crests the incline and crosses through the gate of the Victor’s Village. Finally taking his eyes off his feet, he notices the clouds are even more heavy and grey than when he left town. He hopes Katniss is already home from the woods. The snow is only going to get worse, and she could get stuck out there. If she doesn’t get back soon, he’ll have to find a way to convince Gale and Haymitch to help him look for her. He frowns a little. She wouldn’t be happy about a search party. It would probably undo most of the progress they’ve made since the Victory Tour, but that’s a risk he’s prepared to take. She could be hurt and surely three sets of eyes were better than one. Gale knows the woods as well as she does. If they-
The sharp cold of a snowball slaps against the back of Peeta’s head like a missile from nowhere, then drops inside the collar of the wool coat the Capitol had provided for the Victory Tour. Icy, wet fingers crawl down his back beneath his shirt. He freezes in place, still as a statue, his Victor’s instincts on high alert. Then he hears it.
A high-pitched giggle.
Followed by familiar snort and a whispered ‘ssshhh’ that Peeta knows all too well.