Baby, it's fucking FREEZING outside

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ethan's a guy with a heart of gold. Oliver's not the kind of guy to ruin someone's childhood dreams and fantasies, especially not Ethan's. The cost of keeping those dreams intact, however...

Submitted: July 15, 2016

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Submitted: July 15, 2016

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There was the Grinch, and then there was Oliver. Oliver made the Grinch look like one of Santa’s Elves; he hated Christmas that much.

And yet there he was in their house on Gregory Street; hanging golden tinsel on the Christmas tree that stood proudly in the black and white living room as though he enjoyed the festive season. The things he did for people. Well, a certain person, that is.

Oliver sighed for what could have been the fifth time that minute and glanced over at his boyfriend, who was crouched at a lower section of the green pine-tree (that was thankfully plastic), carefully deciding if he should put the golden bauble next to the candy-cane? Or the hanging rocking-horse?

To add to Oliver’s annoyance, Christmas songs played on the stereo from the small side table beside the black leather couch, a couch that Oliver was very tempted to flop into after they were done with all this shitty Christmas business. Through the white, lace curtained window, the sky was already beginning to darken and it sent shadows into the room; yet it wasn’t even four o’clock.

And the sky was also turning a violent shade of brown. That meant snow; which meant a shitty day for Oliver when he went outside to find the snow firmly set and covering each inch of the ground. Or better yet, he’d find ice everywhere that was there just to fuck with him.

It was generally obvious that Oliver well and truly hated Christmas, but Ethan didn’t, and he caught him looking and smiled back at the black haired man with wide green eyes.

“I really hope he likes our tree!” he told Oliver excitedly.

Oliver frowned at him in question. “He?”

“Oh! I mean Santa. Being good is what he’s looking for, but it can’t hurt to leave a good impression by having an excellently decorated tree.”
Of course their tree was excellent: Oliver had taken part in decoration, and everything he did he liked to do at a professional standard.

Oliver blinked at the younger man in confusion. He knew Ethan had been preparing for a long time, since the beginning of December, and thought it was just something people did when they actually liked Christmas. It was the night before Christmas, and they were decorating because Ethan had insisted they do it on that night “to be festive”.

All the while and today, Oliver had been very “bah humbug”. But this… this twenty three year old man, who had a job in a business company after several years of university, who was living far away from his parents and with his year long partner, this man actually still believed in Santa Claus? As in, Jolly Saint Nick? The fat man in a red suit? He believed in that?

“Aren’t you a little old to be getting presents from Santa?” Oliver worded his sentence carefully, not wanting to tread on any bombs.

Ethan’s eyes lit up and he sat down cross legged after he was done messing about with his decoration.

“I did think so for a little while, but I find presents from him every year! Mom and dad said it must’ve been because I’ve been good.” He leant back, rocking on his heels as he looked at Oliver thoughtfully.

“I think adults don’t get presents from Santa as much as kids do, because when you grow up your morals are kinda screwed up, and they don’t care as much about being good.”

A little life lesson for Ethan: Adults don’t get presents from shitty Santa because most people found out the truth when they discovered Santa’s name was written with Mother’s writing and peeked over her shoulder the next year to see she really was writing Santa’s name-even though her name wasn’t Santa-and forget about being good because the truth is that there are forged signatures in the world and it’s fucked up and the whole thing was traumatising for Oliver-

Ethan’s parents had never told him the truth.

“Ethan, do you usually spend Christmas with your parents?”

“Yeah, that’s why they’re coming over later.”

They always pretended to be Santa-even during University-and they were going to do it again; tonight. That was the real reason why they were coming over. That must have meant his friends had never told him either. Oliver hadn’t known that he even needed to be told. Ethan did need to know Santa wasn’t real, right?

“I wrote my Christmas list in November, do you think he got it? I sure hope he did, but it’s not like I asked for too much. He’s probably busy anyway. And it never hurts to do something good each day, like I do, even if I won‘t get anything.” Ethan frowned at Oliver worriedly. “Do you think being good makes up for all the times that I’ve been bad? I really hope I’ve been good more than bad.”

Then again, ignorance was bliss, and Ethan looked adorably blissful and lit up like the Christmas tree when he talked about Santa.

Oliver nodded at him with a small, knowing smile. “I’d say so.” He leaned down and ruffled the brunette’s hair then returned to the tinsel. “It’s only fair, after all. We’re only human, so we all do bad and good things.”
Ethan’s thick brow furrowed. “I think people use that as an excuse. People should be smart enough to not do bad things.”

Oliver folded his arms, giving up on fiddling pointlessly with the tinsel and sat down opposite him on the black carpet.

“When you get angry at John, shouldn’t you be smart enough to not shout?”
Ethan looked away as the realization dawned on him. “I am, but…”
“Well then. It’s just what people do, whether they know better than to do it or not. Can we finish this tree sometime soon? I need to start dinner since your parents are coming over.”

---
Some time later, Oliver heard Carol’s frantic voice from where Ethan stood with his phone in the living room. He slipped the chicken in the oven and leant on the smooth, speckled black counter to listen in.

“No, Mom, don’t bother going through the snow if it’s going to be that bad. Please, just stay home. Yes, it’ll be sad not spending Christmas with you and Dad, but maybe you could come up on Boxing day? What? Why not? No, mom. It’s fine, you don‘t need to come up tonight. I have Oliver, don’t I? You met him that one time at dinner…”

Oliver cleared away the spare dishes, unable to protest that of course, he was devastated Ethan’s parents couldn’t come over. With them out of the way, he and Ethan could have some “special sex”, maybe with the golden tinsel from earlier. Mmm that sounded good. Real good. But then again, Ethan might be serious about the whole Santa thing and try to go to bed early.

“Yeah, I’ll be sure to get to bed on time tonight.” Ethan giggled.
Oliver facepalmed with a wet hand. Of course. Of course he was serious. Of course, of course, of course. He heard footsteps as he leaned dramatically over the counter, turning to see Ethan with his phone stretched out to Oliver.
“She wants to talk to you about something.” He whispered.

---
Of all the things he could be doing tonight; how was it that Oliver found himself tiptoeing down the hallway and peeping into their room to see if Ethan was still sleeping on the double bed? Dressed as Santa, at that, in case Ethan did happen to wake up and saw him?

“Do it for Ethan, please.” Carol had asked of him. More like do it for the vine.
“We just never had the heart to tell him.”

Ethan looked angelic; his usually furrowed brow was smoothed out, brown locks fanned out over the dark coloured pillow like a halo against a night sky and he snuggled into the blankets with a tuneful sigh that suspiciously sounded a lot like “Santa Claus is coming to town”.

Okay, so maybe Oliver wouldn’t have been able to tell him either. Or that Santa was already in town. In their house, actually. And that tonight; Oliver was his Santa.

His first mission: deliver all of the presents.

He cringed as he walked over a creaky floorboard, snapping his head up to see Ethan stir slightly-but was thankfully still asleep. He’d already cleared the living room; re-wrapping presents he’d hidden in the hollow of the couch, that Ethan didn’t know could be lifted up, with different wrapping paper, and signed his name as Santa -as much as that pained him- but with a blocky writing style that was completely unlike his own. Perhaps Ethan wouldn’t get what he’d asked for, but Oliver was his boyfriend, for crying out loud.

They’d been going out for the better part of the year, and Ethan had moved in with him after he’d finished University; give Oliver some credit for being able to guess what he wanted for Christmas, at least. (There was that, and also the fact that Ethan had already told him. Also Carol. And their friends Jade and Andrew. Hell, even Ethan‘s co-workers had told him.)

There was no light in the large room apart from the glowing green numbers of Ethan’s alarm clock on the bedside table (set at five o’clock in the morning rather than three AM). Oliver had cleaned the room earlier, so there were no obstacles in the way.

At least, they’d been no obstacles earlier, but Ethan had put up a trap for "Santa". Brilliant.

Thankfully, his boyfriend was pretty stupid (and slightly lazy) so the trap was just a skipping rope tied from one end of the room to the other and attached to an alarm bell (where the hell had he gotten the alarm bell from??) so Oliver was quite easily able to lean over to grab the stocking on the foot of the bed and empty the remainder of his sack in there, shaking it so that the bigger presents fitted.

He leaned over the rope again to put it back and found out he was stuck. The stocking had made his arm heavier and he was much closer to the rope than before, now unable to reach the bed. He couldn’t duck underneath because he couldn’t lift the stocking without hitting the rope. Oh! Idea. He reached his other arm into the stocking and took a couple of the presents out, throwing them quietly onto the carpet beside him. Success: the stocking was returned and Oliver would put the excess presents under the tree.

He went back into the living room where he’d left the light on and carefully placed the presents under the tree. He glanced over at the small table beside the couch and saw more tinsel that surrounded a plate and a glass of coke (they’d ran out of milk and no way in hell was Oliver or Ethan going out in the storm).

Mission two: Eat the cookies.

But the thing was, Oliver was allergic to the peanut butter cookies. There were three of them. Three cookies to tackle. He’d considered throwing them out, but guessed that Ethan would want actual evidence that Santa had been there, like bite marks in the cookie and a note saying how amazing they were (even though they were store-bought).

He drank the coke though, leaving half of the glass full and read the note Ethan had left “Santa”: “We left some cookies for you Santa! We hope it fills you up after all those parkour rounds of jumping into chimneys!” Parkour? Seriously? Okay, maybe it was a sort of parkour-a random one at that-but still…
Oliver rolled his eyes as he sighed at his boyfriend‘s cute stupidity, taking the ball point pen that Ethan had left and the spare bit of paper, writing a blocky “Thank you Ethan and Oliver!” and leaving a cartoon smiley face with a Santa hat (he was such an amazing artist. He hoped so anyway).

Now, what to do with the cookies… He could tear a chunk off, but that wouldn’t look like bite marks, though some people did tend to eat cookies by the chunk. He slipped them into his Santa suit pocket, deciding he’d plan to deal with them later. Did it count as a mission failure? Technically he hadn’t failed, only postponed the mission. He just had to remember to do it later.

Mission three: Get the “reindeer” to eat the carrot.

In Oliver’s other pocket, he had a bag of glitter. So when he walked outside in the shitty cold snow that had fallen during dinner, he left a trail of glitter around the carrots that lay on the grass. He stared down at the orange monstrosities.

He had to eat these too. Or pretend to, at least.
He looked at his pale hand, grimacing at the sticking glitter (confetti next time, for sure) then pulled an even more disgusted face at the carrots. Eight of them? He had to deal with eight fucking carrots?

He leaned down, gingerly taking one into his hand and tried to snap it in half, not really caring if he left bite marks in these things. But of course, as anything would be when left in snow for several hours; it was completely frozen solid. He grunted with the effort of trying to snap it, but nope. The orange little bitch just wouldn’t break off.

FUCKING SHIT WHAT-He jumped with a start as he heard a dog begin to bark from next door neighbour’s garden and the sound echoed around the neighbourhood. Really? They were people heartless enough to leave their dog outside in the snow? Suddenly, he had an idea. He piled the carrots into the sack he was still carrying, trying not to squeal at the wetness of the rubbery vegetable, and hauled it over to the fence where the Border Collie was still yapping loudly.
“Hey you little shit,” He dangled a carrot over the fence and the black and white dog stopped barking, looking up at the carrot with wide brown eyes.

“Come eat a carrot like a good mutt.” he coughed. The dog stood on its hind legs and leaned on the fence, sniffing the carrot and not taking much interest in it.

“Who’s a good dog, who’s gonna eat the stinking carrot for Oliver?” he baby-talked to the dog with a cooing voice, relived when it’s ears perked up and its tail wagged.

The dog reached up and took the carrot from his hands with it‘s teeth, dropping it on the ground as it ate the carrot. “Aw, good dog!” Oliver whispered in encouragement.

One down, seven to go. The dog had been chewing for some time (probably trying to get past the thick layer of ice on it) and Oliver realized something.
“Oh shit, wait, I need that thing back, come here mutt, give Oliver back the carrot.”

The dog looked up at him with an innocent expression, then wandered off to sit in the owner’s porch and fell asleep. “Seriously?! Get up you lazy mongrel! I can give you a cookie this time…” He suggested temptingly. The dog didn’t move though. Figures. But he still needed that carrot back.

With a heavy sigh that turned into a white cloud in front of him he said to himself; “I really hope the neighbours don’t have CCTV, otherwise this’ll look really bad.” And hopped over the fence.

The dog came running up to him, barking again as he hurriedly grabbed the slimy carrot and threw it over into his garden, trying to get back into it as the dog barked.

“Ew ew ew ew ew Dog slime Dog saliva Ew ew ew We are never owning a dog Ethan okay Never Never Never” He fell over the fence, landing face first in the snow.
The snow stung his face, making him hiss in pain and he pushed himself up, already shivering from the snow that had reached his backside and wet his suit. He looked down at his flaming, red fingertips.

“One day, one day I will look back, and laugh about this, but today is not that day.” He leant his head back onto the frosty fence, the dog still barking but he was too tired to give a shit.

“Hello?” He heard snow-muffled footsteps from the porch. That woke him up. He scrambled to stand up and hid his face under the red hat. “Is that…? Wait, Oliver?”

Oh shit. “I was just getting milk from the store, go back to bed.”

“Milk?” Ethan asked. “Then why are holding a carrot?” He wasn’t going to ask about the alarmingly red Santa suit he was wearing?

Oliver threw the carrot away. “Ah, well, as it turns out, it’s been eaten, you know, chomped on, because when I came back from the store, I think I must’ve scared the rest of the reindeer away. So none of them have been eaten.”

Ethan’s eyes lit up and he looked to where the carrots had been on the glittery grass/snow. “There’s no carrots though.”

“Okay then, maybe they stuffed themselves first then ran off.” Oliver hid the sack of carrots behind him with a kick of his foot. “Also, I think you should go back to bed. It’s freezing out here. I’ll catch up to you in a little while.”

A thankfully tired Ethan yawned and nodded sleepily then returned inside with a “Good night Santa.”

---

He gave up. He just gave up and threw out the carrots, the sack, the cookies and the suit. Threw them all in the bin. He put the bin bag outside to make sure there was no evidence, but in the bin it was. His ears were cold. His hands were freezing. And he’d never be able to look at carrots the same way ever again. Never.

If Ethan needed bite marks in food and glitter around some carrots, he probably didn’t believe in Santa enough. Like that Thomas guy in the bible that didn’t believe Jesus had risen or something like that. He trudged back into the house after brushing his teeth and washing his face and hands (having a shower would wake Ethan again) and finally, finally made it back to their bedroom and ducked under the rope, then got in the bed beside Ethan, who was fast asleep.

“Happy Christmas Ethan.” He kissed his forehead and then settled down on his pillow.

Ethan’s alarm went off.

Oliver quickly turned it off.

But Ethan was already awake.

“Oliver IT’S CHRISTMAS WAKE UP.”

Oh fuck life. Just fuck it. And just so you know, Oliver’s heart didn’t grow three times in size. Like hell it did. In fact, he hated Christmas even more than before.

Thankfully, Ethan liked it enough for both of them; as was evident when he dragged Oliver out of the warm bed and tore the rope down in his haste, setting off the screeching alarm and stumbled onto the floor, then abandoned Oliver to go into the living room because PRESENTS.

His efforts had been worth it though, because when Oliver walked into the living room, and the Christmas lights were on, on the tree; he saw Ethan’s face light up far brighter than them when he saw the message that “Santa” had left him and frantically opened the parcels as though he were a little kid.

---

“Oliver! You burned the carrots! We have to have the carrots! It isn’t Christmas dinner without the carrots! What are we going to do?!”

Oliver glared at him as he dumped the deliberately burnt vegetable into the bin. “We‘ll live, that‘s what. And it’ll be a much happier life than if we‘d eaten them.”
 


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