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Deck the Halls

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Tony was a futurist, just like his father. Which was surprising, considering his mother had been a first wave Italian-Catholic immigrant, and Ana was a Jewish refugee. But despite being a futurist, he did take the time to appreciate other people's beliefs and holidays; so every Stark Industries property was decked out for all the winter holidays, whenever December rolled around. It was why he insisted on a 'Holiday' party for the staff, and a 'Winter Ball' to raise money for charity. And regardless of his personal beliefs, Tony did have a hidden sentimental side, so there was a twinkling Christmas tree in the corner of the penthouse's lounge, decorated with the opulent ornaments his mother had collected when she'd been alive. But Tony was still a futurist, and a workaholic too, so you were sat alone in the quiet apartment. In all honesty, you imaged Tony had probably forgotten what day it was, and the fact he'd asked you to stay over.

You weren't offended though, since being side lined for engineering and science binges came with the territory of dating on Anthony Edward Stark. It had been a foregone conclusion really, and you'd still accepted his invitation; armed with a good book, and contenting yourself with curling up beside the twinkling lights, with only the tree for company. Granted, you technically had FRIDAY to speak to, but although you were rather fond of the plucky AI, she was a poor substitute for your boyfriend; who would most likely be in the lab for another few hours at least, and accepting that knowledge as fact, you snuggled into the plush armchair and settled in for a marathon reading session. Truthfully, you'd been so engrossed in your book, that you hadn't even heard the elevator ping a few hours later, so the brightly wrapped package that landed unexpectedly in your lap was quite a surprise.

How you hadn't dropped your book when you'd instinctively flinched was a small miracle, so you hurriedly marked your page before looking up to glare at Tony; though that was derailed when you took him in, clad in red and gold plaid pyjamas, prompting you to shake your head in disbelief. Really, you really hadn't expected to see him until at least three in the morning, but before you could get up to greet him, Tony was kneeling beside your chair grinning and gesturing to the parcel. Obligingly, you tore open the gaudy paper, and laughed when you saw a matching pair of pyjamas. Then considering how intimately you knew Tony, you didn't even bother to go into the bedroom before changing into the cosy set, leaving your clothes in a neat pile behind the armchair, and not exactly surprised your boyfriend had stole your seat. In retaliation, you simply curled up on his lap; a smile tugging at your lips, as you breathed in the sandalwood and vetiver scent of him. A smile that only grew wider, as Tony's strong arms hugged you close, whilst his soft lips pressed against your forehead.

“I got you something,” he whispered.

“I noticed,” you teased. “And they're very comfy.”

Tony shook his head, which made you frown slightly. You'd previously insisted that if Tony wanted to get you anything, he should donate to one of your favourite charities... you didn't want his many... and since you'd already received a gushing thank you card from several, you knew he had. However, instead of calling him out on it, you took a moment to really look at him. Tony always had a reason for the things he did, and since he seemed uncharacteristically nervous, you guessed this gift was something important. So you watched as he pulled a small red box from his pyjama pocket, and carefully opened it when he handed it to you. You're heart raced, and your breath caught in your throat. There on a bed of white satin, sat the most stunning ruby pendant you'd ever seen.

“It was my mom's,” he told you, quietly. “She had this tradition of exchanging one really meaningful gift on Christmas eve, and I know she'd have really liked you.”

“Tony, it's...” You paused, blinking pack happy tears. “Thank you.”

Grinning, the engineer gestured for you to turn around, and you quickly moved so he could fasten the delicate gold chain around your neck. His calloused fingers ghosted along the side of your neck once he was done, though you quickly pulled his arms around you again. You cupped his cheek, taking a moment to let your thumb trace the line of his precise facial hair, before you gently pulled him to you; capturing his unresisting lips with yours, and pouring all the love you felt for him into a tender kiss.

“I was stupid enough to stick to our 'no presents' agreement?” you chuckled. “So I'll make you breakfast in bed in the morning.”

“But you're already my gift,” Tony grinned, pulling you close.

“Soppy,” you teased, hugging him back. “Anyone would think that Tony Stark had a heart.”

“It's a little know fact,” he retorted. “Though at the risk of quoting George Michael, it's more accurate to say I gave it away.”

You smiled at him indulgently, even as you rolled your eyes. “Cheesy. But I promise to keep it safe.”

Tony rested his forehead against yours, his chocolate eyes regarding your surprisingly seriously as he whispered: “I know.”