Chapter 1: Mistletoe Christmas
A new story for the holidays! This chapter is dedicated to Orwell is watching-xoxo.
Happy birthday Orwell, you are now an old lady.
Un-beta'ed, as always.
- o - o -
Chapter One: Mistletoe Christmas
There were some days, Orwell decided, that she wanted to do nothing more than beat her partner's skull in with his coffee mug. Today was one of them. On a typical Saturday morning, the vigilante would usually have been up at the crack of dawn, checking over crime reports and brewing the disgusting sludge he called coffee. Alternatively, he'd be dragging himself back into the lair from another night of fighting the scum of Palm City as the Cape.
Today, though, he was lying in bed and moping. Orwell had checked the calendar half a dozen times and still couldn't figure out quite what was bothering her partner. (Okay, it was Christmas, but she didn't really see the big deal.) There were no birthdays, no anniversaries, and no bank robberies to distract him. (She'd even called Max to ask him if something was up. The old carnie was apologetic, and had offered very little advice. Apparently on of Raia's tigers was sick and the girl was moping around the tent.)
It was just her luck, then, that Vince had picked today to be a mopey grouch. The blogger contemplated throwing a pen at her moody partner, but decided against it. Ever since his first encounter with a Tarot assassin, the vigilante had become obscenely good at catching anything that was thrown at him.
Orwell sighed and looked around the lair. Maybe that was the problem then… No tree, no decorations… Hell, Vince hadn't even set his radio to one of the million stations that was playing non-stop Christmas music. He. Was. Moping.
The blogger glowered up at her partner, who was reclining on his bed and staring up at the cracked plaster ceiling. Fine. He could act like Scrooge on Christmas, but not for long… Hopefully she'd find a store that was open on Christmas. (WalMart was always a decent bet…)
"I'm going out, Vince," she said loudly, breaking the relentless quiet in the lair. She scowled at her partner when he grunted in reply, and shrugged. Going over a mental checklist, Orwell added in espresso beans. How would Vince react to real coffee instead of that sludge…?
She grinned at the thought and left, pulling on a light jacket.
- o -
Vince woke up to a somewhat familiar smell. For a few seconds, he'd thought he was back in West Palm, at the home he'd shared with Dana. He'd woken up to what smelled like honest-to-God real food—something he only got if he went to the diner or was invited to a meal with the carnival. (That was actually happening more often, come to think of it. Ever since Scales had been released, due to a miscarriage of justice nearly a year ago, the carnival had been keeping an eye on Vince.)
At least Dana wasn't around to shoo him out of the way, this time. Ever since the incident in base housing, back when they had first been married, Dana hadn't allowed him back in the kitchen under pain of death.
Sighing, the vigilante cracked one eye open. He blinked in confusion, then opened both eye wide; to be on the safe side, he pinched himself. It hurt, so he obviously wasn't dreaming. And, if he didn't know better, he would have sworn that somebody had decorated his lair for Christmas and… (Was that eggnog on the command center?)
"Orwell…" he said slowly, sitting up. "Did you do…all of this?" The blogger smiled up at him, brushing a strand of dark brown hair back behind one ear. There was a red headband he'd seen somewhere before holding the rest back.
"Food's getting cold," she replied. Vince didn't know if the smile on his partner's face was a good thing or not. One thing was for sure though: He was not the kind of person to give up eggnog, hot food, or what smelled like real coffee.
"Merry Christmas, Vince," Orwell said when the vigilante finally sat down. She pointed up at the ceiling, a playful little smirk on her face. Vince, dreading whatever it was that Orwell was point at, looked up. He grinned and sighed, shaking his head.
"You set this up, didn't you?" he asked, a smile crinkling the corners of his eyes.
Orwell smiled back. "It's mistletoe, Vince," she said. Vince got the hint and leaned over the table. He sat back down, wearing his own self-satisfied smirk, and began spooning mashed potatoes onto the paper plate.
The blogger smiled, feeling slightly shell-shocked. It had only been a joke, honestly, but… Well, at least he wasn't moping anymore. Orwell grinned and touched her lips, which were still tingling. It had been a very quick kiss, but hey, who was she to complain?
"Merry Christmas, Orwell."
She grinned. Mission accomplished.
- o – o -
So, what did you think? Like it? Hate it? Wondering why the mistletoe was there? Drop a line and let me know!
Author's note: This may very well be the only instance of Vinwell I ever write.
Chapter 2: Tis the Season
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Theoretically set three years after BIOTP.
Merry Christmas, WtchCool.
Un-beta'ed, as always.
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Chapter Two: Tis the Season...
Very few people were privy to what went on behind closed doors in the Fleming-Faraday home. Even though the two men had been married for nearly three years, information on their private life was surprisingly scarce. Vince Faraday was rather notorious in reporting circles for his dislike of the press (especially so since Scales had been released from prison last year, due to a reporter who was no longer employable in Palm City); his partner had the money to back that dislike up.
If any of the reporters who camped out in the vicinity of ARK Towers these days, praying for a tidbit from Palm City's "royal family", were privy to what happened in the penthouse during the holidays, they would have made a fortune. (And been promptly contacted by ARK's legal department, but that wasn't the point.)
Vince Faraday (or Fleming, depending on which man was asked) had the flu. The former police officer was rather miserable, as one—it was Christmas, and two—his son, now thirteen and moody, was visiting. His partner wasn't helping matters any.
- o – o -
"You're sick again," Peter observed, leaning against the doorjamb. There was a mug of hot tea in his hands, and he appeared quite smug. Vince sneezed loudly from inside his blanket-cocoon, as if to prove the older man right.
"Shut up Fleming," Vince growled, before sneezing again. He had no idea what had caused this bout of flu, and it was making him cranky. The vigilante wished, not for the first time, that he could simply immolate the smug man by sheer willpower. Yes, he had the flu, but that didn't mean his beloved husband had to rub it in.
"Need I remind you," Peter replied lightly as he sat down next to his partner, "that we have shared the same name for the last three years?" Vince grumbled something rude under his breath as his blanket shifted, letting in the cold air of the penthouse.
"That wasn't very polite, darling," Peter admonished the former police officer. "I do seem to recall that you were the one who insisted on running around the city in that get-up of yours, night after night." He smiled teasingly at Vince, who glowered back. The dark look was somewhat ruined by the subsequent sneeze and another bout of coughing.
"Go away," Vince finally mumbled, flopping back against the mattress. This was one thing he really hated about his life: When he got sick, he got really sick. There was no middle ground, or even a gentle end of the spectrum; he simply got sick. Having the Ebola virus might have been a walk in the park, compared to the flu.
"No," Peter replied with a smile. "I don't think I will." He set the steaming mug of tea on the bedside table close to Vince, before resting his hand on the younger man's forehead. He tsked mentally and made a note to call in their doctor. He could probably cook an egg on his husband's forehead if he wanted to, at this point.
You could always let him die, you know, Chess muttered in the back of Peter's mind. Peter sighed and rubbed his temples, doing his best to ignore the homicidal maniac. Despite his best hopes, Vince had found out about the homicidal maniac; hopefully, in his fevered state, he wouldn't guess what was going on. Peter's wish was rewarded almost immediately.
"Don' ge' sick too," Vince slurred, looking up at Peter with concern. "Jamie'll kill us if we both end up with the flu."
Peter looked at his husband of three years for a few seconds before he burst into laughter. "Vince," he said after a few minutes, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes, "I do believe being sick suits you. Your sense of humor is improving." The billionaire leaned over and pressed a gentle kiss to Vince's forehead.
Vince made a rude gesture, ruining the moment. Peter sighed and stood up.
"Get some sleep Vince," he said gently, placing another gentle kiss on the younger man's forehead. Vince mumbled something sleepily under his breath, and was asleep before Peter left the room.
Half an hour later, Peter re-entered the room. Vince was sitting up and attempting to drink the mug of lukewarm tea and pull his socks on at the same time. Peter sighed as he watched the younger man struggle with his tasks. Vince was so stubborn sometimes…
Just drug him and put us both out of our misery Chess said, vanishing before Peter had even registered that the maniac had been there.
"Vince," Peter said reproachfully, "What are you doing?" Vince looked up at him, an innocent smile on his face.
"Getting up," Vince replied, as if that explained everything. "It's Christmas, and—"
"The city will be quite safe, dear," Peter said, striding over to the bed. "And you are going back to sleep, even if I have to make sure you do." To emphasize his point, the billionaire crawled into the bed next to his partner.
Vince grumbled sleepily as Peter's arms encircled him, but quieted down in seconds.
"Merry Christmas Vince," Peter whispered into Vince's ear.
His partner was asleep, but a small smile curled around the former vigilante's lips all the same.
Neither of them really cared that their respective children were still in the penthouse's living room, no doubt planning to use their combined resources to take over the world. Or, in Jamie's case, teaching her step-brother how to use a point-and-shoot camera to gather blackmail material for next Christmas.
- o – o -
So, what did you think? Good? Bad? Not enough romance between Peter and Vince? Drop a line and let me know!
Blame it on the Perfume, over on Fanfiction.net, is an amazing story by WtchCool. It's amazing and oddly sweet. Definitely worth a read.
Chapter 3: Sliding
So, it's the last chapter-a Christmas present to myself. Pre-series AU, not canon-compatible for anything.
Un-beta'ed, as always.
- o – o -
Chapter Three: Sliding
Dominic Raoul was notorious for his dislike of Christmas, and for everything associated with it. Of all the people he knew, one was especially aware of this fact. His girlfriend of the past six months, Dana Thompson, had developed a deep loathing for that particular quirk of character in an already crazy boyfriend. She had never met anyone who was so infuriating in her life, and damned if she ever did again.
The eighteen-year-old law student was sitting on the couch in their apartment's living room, pulling on a shoe as she again tried to convince the reluctant man to come out of the apartment with her.
The small-time smuggler and union president was having none of it. He had, for the past fifteen minutes, been countering her arguments. Dana had yet to see what his nonexistent paperwork had to do with anything, nor work. (The Palm City docks were in a bit of a slump—and a lot of workers were being let go—due to the current depression hanging the city. The corruption in the police department hadn't slacked off though.)
"Dominic," Dana said as she tied her shoelaces, "either you come willingly and this excursion is painless, or you get to sleep on the couch for a month." She looked over at her boyfriend, who had a mulish look on his face. "Come on," she said brightly, "It'll be fun!"
Dominic grunted something under his breath. It was British and no doubt obscene. Dana scowled at him, before chucking his shoes at him.
"Come on, Nicky," she said, grabbing his hand to pull him off the sofa. "You can sulk later. But it's Christmas Eve, and we're going out. End of story."
Faced with that, Scales didn't really have any choice but to agree. His girl could be right sodding terrifying when she wanted to be…
- o -
Ever since she was five, Dana Thompson had loved winter and everything associated with it. What she liked most, though, was the snow. Now that she was grown-up—and had the money—she was determined to spread her love of the season around.
Even, she added with slight scowl to her boyfriend, who was scowling at the Christmas decorations up on 14th Street, if she had to deal with mulish boyfriends. The law student smiled and gave a mental shrug. There was no way he could avoid the holidays forever, or, she grinned, ice skating.
The look on his face when they arrived at Yemaya Ice Rink was priceless. Dana almost wished she'd thought to bring a camera along as she dragged the reluctant twenty-one-year-old into the building. She half-wondered if he knew how to skate as she paid for the skate rentals (size eleven men's for him, size six women's for her), but brushed it aside. She'd teach him when they got onto the ice.
She wasn't surprised when she encountered more resistance from Scales.
"Effing 'ell, I ain't getting' on th' ice."
Dana sighed and resisted the urge to beat her forehead against the Formica tabletop. "You only have to do one lap," she said patiently. "Hug the wall, if you have too," she added. "But you are getting on that ice, mister."
Dana Thompson had an amazing array of scowls. Each had been perfected on her boyfriend. They had never failed to compel him to do her bidding. She smirked in self-satisfaction as Dominic hesitantly made his way onto the ice, before following after him.
The law student was halfway done with a warm-up lap when she saw Scales fall down in an ungainly heap. If not for the children skating past him, Dana was fairly sure he would have started cussing at the top of his lungs. She sighed and skated back to him, coming to a graceful stop in front of him.
"I'm done," he announced, grabbing hold of the wall as he hauled himself up. Dana grabbed his hand as he tried to slide back to the entrance and pulled him towards her.
"No, you're not," she said firmly. The eighteen-year-old grabbed her boyfriend's hands and began skating backwards slowly. "It's like dancing, Dominic. Look at your feet, and follow how I'm skating."
Hesitantly, he complied. They made it halfway around the ring before Dominic collapsed again, pulling Dana down on top of him. He smirked in a way that let Dana know it had probably been completely intentional.
"I ain't skating anymore, ducks," he rumbled in her ear as he pulled her up. "I don' like the cold."
Dana stared at him as he skated away, still hugging the inside of the wall. She sighed, blowing a strand of red-blonde hair out of her face. Oh well. At least he was skating now—and she'd gotten him to leave the apartment, at least. The law student smiled and did a few more graceful laps of the rink, adding in a few moves she half-remembered from figure skating lessons as a child.
Scales was waiting for her back at the Formica table, two Styrofoam cups of hot cocoa sitting in front of him. His skates were nowhere to be seen. Dana laughed at his disgusted expression and sat down across from the deformed man.
"Did you at least have fun?" she asked, sipping from the cup he pushed at her. He smiled, closing his eyes.
"Go' any plans f'r New Year's Eve?" he asked. The law student took that as a yes and grinned.
Dana sipped more of her hot cocoa before replying. "Merry Christmas, Dominic." He looked at her, one eye opened in surprise.
"Merry Christmas, luv," he finally responded. There was a light smile around his lips, and Dana took that as a good sign.
Merry Christmas indeed.
- o – o -
So, what did you think? Good? Bad? Think Dana was right to drag her mopey boyfriend out of the apartment? Drop a line and let me know!