The Holly And The Eggnog
Giles was finishing putting up his decorations which had taken up his whole evening since he had closed the shop. He had also been merrily imbibing the festive eggnog during that time. It felt very warming and he had had several glasses whilst he had been busy. What he wasn’t aware of though, was that Spike had emptied a whole bottle of whiskey into the eggnog earlier when he had seen the bowl chilling in the fridge awaiting Giles’ consumption.
Giles finished trimming the tree and he decided that he wanted some holly to drape across his mantle and picture frames. As he was walking towards his garden, he heard a knock at the door.
“Xander! Ah my very good friend, Xander. Do come in, dear boy.”
“Are you okay, G-man?”
“Xander, I have asked you repeatedly not to call me G-man, you must call me Rupert.”
“Rupert? Are you sure that’s what you want me to call you?” Xander looked surprised.
“Oh yes, yes, of course. Now come on in and have some eggnog. I made it myself and it’s quite delicious.”
Giles poured Xander a glassful and then topped up his own glass.
“How many of those have you had?”
“This is only my third or fourth.”
“Just exactly how much booze did you put in here?”
“Not much, I followed the recipe exactly. Don’t worry, you’ll love it.”
Xander took a tentative sip and when he felt the warming effects for himself he decided he liked it and downed half his glassful in one go.
“Mmm, you were right, this is fabulous.”
Giles took the ladle and refilled both glasses again. They both drank some more whilst they were looking round at Giles’ decorations.
“We don’t have decorations at home,” said Xander, “in fact, I usually try and ignore the whole thing. It just gives my dad a legitimate reason for drinking bottle after bottle and then venting his fury on me over what a disappointment his life has become.”
“Oh Xander, I’m so sorry you have to go through all that. Listen, why don’t you come here for Christmas and spend it with me. I always have too much food just for one and I would certainly be grateful for the company.”
Xander’s eyes widened.
“Do you mean it? You aren’t just saying that.”
“Of course not. It really will be a pleasure to have someone to cook for and spend the holiday with.”
“Well, in that case, I’d love to, thanks.”
“Here, let’s toast our bargain. Have some more oggneg. Cheers”
The men both raised their glasses and downed it in one. Xander, who wasn’t used to alcohol, was now as drunk as Giles.
“I was just going to get some holly to put over my pictures. Do you want to come outside and help me.”
“Sure, lead the way.”
As the pair walked outside, the fresh air seemed to hit them both at the same time and they swayed in unison as the alcohol’s effect increased. They made their way over to the shed where Giles kept his step ladder. They carried it back to the large holly tree at the bottom of Giles’ garden and set it up with much wobbling and giggling as they bumped into several plants and other objects on their way. Giles fetched his secateurs and as Xander held the ladder for him, he carefully climbed up and reached across to snip down the first branch.
He held on to the tip of the branch and carefully passed it down to Xander, who dropped it on the ground behind him. Giles cut down several more branches, his confidence levels rising with each cut, and he stretched further and further over to get to the higher branches with the best berries.
Just as he reached up to the top of the tree to cut a particularly bountiful branch, he lost his footing on the ladder and he overbalanced forwards heading straight for the middle of the tree. Xander reached out to grab Giles, to stop him from hitting the tree, and he managed to stop his forward momentum, but as he pulled him back he lost his own footing and the pair of them toppled backwards. They landed first on the grass which wasn’t so bad, but then they rolled over onto the pile of holly.
Luckily because they were so drunk that hadn’t tensed up on the way down and had had a fairly soft landing without causing serious damage to themselves. Their roll into the holly, however, was another matter. They sat up as quickly as they could and each had holly leaves sticking out from various parts of their skin.
Giles tried to pull one of the leaves off his cheek but the barbed hook was caught and he cried out as he let go. He had tears in his eyes as he looked over at Xander, who was in a similar predicament.
“Wait Xander. Don’t pull at them. I’ll take yours off, if you’ll do mine.”
“Okay, but be quick, this is agony!”
Giles sat down in front of Xander and reached up to the first leaf.
“Now, hold still Xander.”
He took hold of the leaf and bent it up to allow the barbed edge to slip out more easily.
“Ow, ow, that hurts!” Xander said, as a tear trickled down his cheek.
“Oh, Xan. Don’t cry, it’s okay. I’ll make it better.”
With that, Giles leant forward towards Xander and kissed his cheek on the place where there was a little drop of blood showing where he had pulled out the leaf. They looked at each other for a moment.
“There, all better”, said Giles
“Thank you. Let me take one of yours off now.”
Xander reached for the leaf that Giles had tried to pull out. He carefully lifted the leaf upwards and the barb slipped out. Giles sighed in relief and Xander leant over, and as Giles had done, he kissed the other man’s cheek where the holly had been.
The two of them continued to remove the leaves from each other’s arms and faces, kissing each place after they had done it. They were watching each other closely as they did it, only losing eye contact when they had to pull out a leaf and then, immediately, locking on again as they leant in to kiss away each other’s pain.
Giles pulled out the last leaf from Xander’s face and kissed it better. Xander reached up and touched the corner of his mouth.
“You missed this bit.”
Giles looked at Xander and smiled adorably at him, then leaned forward and kissed the corner of his mouth. Giles moved his own finger onto the middle of his lower lip.
“This bit hurts.”
Xander smiled back at him and he kissed Giles’ lower lip, then caught hold of it with his own lips and gently sucked on it. He let go but didn’t move back this time and Giles’ tongue flicked out and licked over the place where Xander had kissed him. Xander watched the tongue sliding across the lip, then pushed his own tongue forward to trace its path. Giles opened his mouth and caught it, sucking it inside and then their lips clashed together as they hungrily deepened the kiss.
Their hands rose simultaneously and they embraced each other, their hands travelling rapidly over their bodies and heads, ruffling hair, grasping necks and trying to seal their bodies together.
Giles pulled back for a moment, holding Xander’s head between his hands.
“Well, it looks like this could turn out to be the best Christmas ever.”
Then he pulled Xander towards him again and dived in for what he hoped would be the first of many more kisses they would be sharing this Christmas.