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Joe tossed the bag of rubbish into the dumpster behind the store and was just turning to go back inside again when it happened. He was hit from behind by a large snowball which exploded, sending snow down inside his jacket and down his back. He shivered and turned to look for his assailant. This time he was hit in the face.

Growling he brushed the snow out of his eyes and took off towards Lucas, who was standing by the swing seat, grinning at him. "You menace!" he shouted, bending to scoop up some snow as he closed on his errant lover. "You are in so much trouble now."

Lucas took off around the building, grabbing the fire escape and swinging himself up onto it. Unfortunately, while was climbing he couldn't dodge and Joe took the opportunity to throw snowball after snowball at him until he could finally wriggle through the window and into Joe's office, shaking himself like a dog as he tried to get rid of the snow. A thump behind him told him that Joe had followed him and he scrabbled at the door, slipping through it just as his lover's fingertips brushed his sweater.

Joe launched himself at Lucas, tackling him down onto the couch and kissing him when he had him pinned. "You are a brat sometimes."

"Dad! Do the two of you have to do that where people can see? It's ewwww."

Joe rested his forehead against Lucas' shoulder for a moment, feeling his lover shaking with muffled laughter underneath him. "Warren, it's my store. If I want to kiss Lucas, I'm going to."

"Aren't parents supposed to not want to do that kind of thing in front of their kids?" Warren grinned at them from the doorway, ducking when Joe hurled a cushion at him.

"Anyway, you're not my kid," Lucas pointed out with a smirk.

"Thank God," Warren shot back.

Joe groaned. "What are the chances that you'll go away and let me get back to kissing Lucas?" he asked.

"Depends, what's in it for me?" Warren leaned casually against the door frame.

"I don't fire you for slacking off?" Joe suggested.

Warren laughed. "Dad, if holding the store up at gunpoint got me hired, you're not going to fire me for laughing at you."

"He's got you there," Lucas teased. "Come on. We can make out later. I'll go and help Warren out front. If you finish all your paperwork like a good boy I'll make sure I have a special reward for you when we get home."

"I'm still here and it's still ewwwww."

Joe sighed and glared at him. "Aren't you supposed to be good in the run up to Christmas so that Santa leaves you presents and not a stocking full of coal?"

Warren rolled his eyes. "I know 'Santa' is a six foot music shop owner with a drum kit in his office. I'm not five."

"Then you should know I'm even less forgiving than Santa and I will take your presents back."

"Yeah, yeah. Love you too, dad." Warren grinned. "Hey can you lend me some money so I can go Christmas shopping tomorrow?"

Joe sighed. "I'm paying for my own presents, am I? Or are these gifts for a certain short-skirted blonde?" He raised an eyebrow and grinned.

"Hey, the first time I saw her she was wearing only an apron and prancing around like a stripper. How do you expect me to react? I'm a teenager. I have hormones. Whereas you are very, very old and should know better than to be rolling around on a couch with your boyfriend." Warren looked superior and Lucas gave up all pretence and laughed out loud at the look on Joe's face.

"Well, I happen to think you're just the right age to be rolling around with your boyfriend," he reassured Joe, between giggles. "So hold that thought for later, after we close." He pulled Joe's wallet out of his pocket and extracted a handful of bills. "And lend Warren the money. Christmas is hard on your budget when you're a teenager."

"Not just when you're a teenager," Joe said, looking at his empty wallet. "Go on, work, both of you before I decide to send you both back where you came from." He stole another quick kiss from Lucas and ruffled Warren's hair, ignoring the boy's indignant squawk, and then headed back into his office to get a start on the paperwork.

From inside his office he could hear his lover and his son teasing each other as they tidied the break room up and then headed back out into the store. He smiled. It might not seem it to outsiders, but he felt like Empire Records was the happiest place on earth. Sometimes.