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Good Night and Joy be to you all

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“It’s the winter solstice in a few days, Cor; have you gotten something for your better half yet?” Monica asked, her smile knowing, and Cor froze.

Shit.

He had forgotten all about it. Cor thought about it as he finished his paperwork for the day, but couldn’t for the life of him think of a damned thing. Nyx wasn’t big on material goods, minus the occasional keepsake; he wasn’t one for fashion, he already had a phone, and his precious kukri were of world-class make. Sword polish was just boring, and while clothing was practical, that was also...too easy. The few people he had traditionally gifted to got easy to purchase consumables: a fine liquor of some sort for both Regis and Clarus, something that could strip paint for Cid, Monica got the fancy fruitcake she liked plus a cat toy for her fuzzballs, a little cake for Dustin, usually something useful sent by hunter out to Auburnbrie, gift cards for the rest of the Crownsguard-

He was pretty predictable. However, he now had a boyfriend. He was an adult in an adult relationship, and while he knew that Nyx would just laugh it off if he didn’t get him anything, Cor knew he’d feel horrible.

So.

Another day passed, and he still hadn’t figured it out. Nyx had been silent on the subject, and as far as Cor could tell, things were continuing as per usual. Maybe Nyx didn’t celebrate? Maybe he just didn’t care? Cor didn’t know. If he had actually opened his big mouth and asked at some point all of his stewing could have been avoided, but he was an idiot. He knew this, and Monica’s drily amused looks told him that she thought much the same.

Cor generally accepted that he made a good figurehead for the organization, and Nyx liked to say he looked great on the magazine covers, but honestly, Monica and Dustin kept the damn Crownsguard from crumbling under his stupidity sometimes.

He was just wrapping up an eval when he loaded up the news on his computer, something in the corner of the screen drawing his eye.

He would never admit that a popup advertisement on his computer gave him the idea for Nyx’s solstice gift.

Twenty minutes later he had a little inclusive vacation package booked at Galdin Quay for the twenty-second through the twenty-fourth, returning on the twenty-fifth, and he even had the forethought to call down to Altius and Ostium to verify that he could safely kidnap Nyx on those days before letting his head fall to his desk with a sigh.

A vacation actually sounded rather nice.

The morning of the twenty-first started much the same as usual, with Cor and Nyx moving around each other as they got ready for work. Nyx totally got a grope or two in while Cor managed to corner Nyx for a quick make-out session by the door before they left, so it was a good start to the day. Work was the same as usual, he was still wrapping up end-of-year evaluations, and what felt like half the office was out on holiday vacations of their own. Lunch was a boring premade salad, which did nothing to fill him up as he continued to slog through his paperwork.

“Happy Solstice, Cor, got any plans for the evening?” Monica said, her voice chipper and pleasant, and Cor hadn’t even noticed the door open.

Stupid paperwork.

“Nothing I know of for tonight,” he said. “Tomorrow we’ll be gone, though, so call me only if it’s an emergency.”

Monica waved away his concerns, then turned to leave. “Have a wonderful trip, marshal, you two deserve some time to yourselves.” The woman was gone before he could even reply, and he returned to his paperwork. A knock on the doorframe a few minutes later drew his attention, and he looked up to see Nyx leaning against it, a rucksack thrown over a shoulder.

What?

“Hey gorgeous, shut that down, we’ve got places to be,” Nyx announced, and Cor went into auto-pilot, saving what he was working on and wrapping everything up without a single word. He joined the Glaive at the door a minute later, Nyx hooking an arm around his and leading them from the Crownsguard offices and to the elevators in silence. It wasn’t until they were walking out of the Citadel did Nyx finally huff out a laugh. “Not even a question as to where we are going?”

Cor shrugged, nodding to the guardsmen they passed as they walked towards the gates. “I trust you, Nyx.”

Nyx actually flushed slightly, then leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek (Cor ignored the scandalized cough from Guardsman Fortis.) “You know just what to say, don’t you?”

By the time they did the second transfer on the subway, Cor was quite certain where they were headed, but he continued to keep his mouth shut as he leaned against the small space to the side of the door, Nyx tucked right against him as they travelled on. It was nice. As they pulled up to the closest station to Little Galahd, Nyx patted his side and turned towards the door.

“Time to go.”

The station was definitely more crowded than he had seen it in the past, but Cor didn’t think a thing of it; it was the solstice, after all, people were travelling.

Then they reached above ground.

“Welcome to a proper Winter Solstice celebration, Cor, Galahd-style,” Nyx said with a grin, and Cor spun slowly in place as he admired the bright decorations adorning the buildings, then watched the spinning dancers clad in clearly significant costumes move to the vibrant music that filled the area; his nose took in a delightful mix of scents both sweet and savory, and his stomach rumbled audible despite itself. Oops. Nyx laughed, before leaning in and giving him a quick kiss before taking Cor’s hand in his. “Let’s go find you some food first, I bet you just had one of those boring salad things for lunch-”

Nyx pulled him over to a street vendor, buying him a sweet drink that made his muscles unwind and his mind relax in minutes, and Cor found himself smiling as Nyx sat him down at a restaurant a block down the road from the drink vendor.

“Ah, I think I should have fed you before getting you that,” Nyx snorted, before he signalled for a waiter. “Of all the people I ever suspected of being lightweights, you weren't even on the list.” Cor hummed, not bothering to dignify that with a response. He wasn’t a lightweight.

The meal was excellent, and Cor was able to enjoy the rest of the festivities with a clearer head as they traveled around; they bumped into several of the Glaives, including Altius and Ostium, but they just wished them a happy solstice before continuing on their way.

“You don’t want to stay with them?” Cor asked, but Nyx shook his head.

“This is a night for us, Cor,” Nyx said, his expression sweet as he pulled them into the dancing crowd. Cor wasn’t a horrible dancer, but he didn’t know the steps; thankfully, Nyx didn’t even wince as Cor tried to figure them out as they went, and they were both laughing as they staggered away a few songs later.

“That could have gone worse, I suppose,” Cor commented, leaning in and giving Nyx a kiss with a heady grin. Nyx wrapped his arms around Cor’s neck and deepened the kiss, which Cor was entirely on board with. After they separated, Nyx took a small box out of the bag he had been carrying and handed it over with a smile.

“Happy Solstice, babe.”

Cor opened the box to discover a candle, and blinked at Nyx, who plucked it out of the box before summoning up a lick of flame to light it before swapping out the box in Cor’s hands with the lit candle.

“It’s traditional, Cor; we are thanking the year for its blessings while welcoming the new one,” Nyx said, before meeting Cor’s eyes directly and waving his arm, indicating everything. “It’s been a good year, hasn’t it?”

Cor didn’t even hesitate, nodding as he watched most of the people light their own candles before turning back to Nyx, wrapping an arm around the shorter man’s waist.

“Thank you, Nyx. This is a wonderful gift.”

A few hours later saw them ensconced in Altius’s apartment (Nyx had borrowed it,) the two settling down into bed (Cor was careful to only have one more of those delightful drinks, and thusly didn’t need to be poured into bed.)

“So where are we going tomorrow?” Nyx said with a smirk, and Cor groaned.

None of those damn Glaives could keep a secret.

 

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Galdin Quay was amazing. Minus eating and other biological necessities, they didn’t get out of bed for two days straight. Cor couldn’t remember the last time he had been able to do anything like that in general, and certainly not with anyone else. It was heavenly.

“We should do this more often, Cor,” Nyx commented as he ran a hand down Cor’s side, and Cor sighed happily as he shifted and gathered the man into his arms, tucking his face into the side of Nyx’s neck with a little smile.

“Definitely.”