Prompt: Dex and Sloane’s first Christmas as a married couple told from the different couples POV.
*** CONTAINS RELATIONSHIP SPOILERS FROM TRIED & TRUE ***
“Is this a schematic?”
Calvin stared down at the large, intricate diagram of what looked like Dex and Sloane’s house, along with a detailed layout of—were those Christmas lights? When Dex had approached him, Calvin had expected a few strings of lights, some wreaths, a few outdoor decorations. He’d never thought he’d be involved in something that involved a schematic created by a government intelligence agency.
Ethan rested his chin on Calvin’s shoulder, and reached over him, snickering as he pointed to a particular spot on the schematic.
“That’s….” They both tilted their heads. “Is that a tiny digital Dex and Sloane in the window?”
“Yes!” Dex bounced over to Ethan and threw a hand up. Ethan high-fived Dex without moving his gaze away from the schematic. His boyfriend was way too amused. He should be more concerned. Terrified actually.
Calvin narrowed his eyes at Dex. “Can you read this?”
“Of course he can,” Ash replied with a smirk. “It’s all pictures. No words.”
“Bite me, Simba.” Dex flipped him off, and turned to Ethan with a huge smile. He was looking a little unhinged.
“Is that Sloane on your ugly Christmas sweater?”
Dex looked down at his knitted red sweater with alternating snowflake and heart pattern running across it. In the center was a black jaguar wearing a Santa hat.
“Isn’t it amazing?”
“It’s… something all right.”
Christmas did weird things to Dex, and Dex was weird enough at the best of times. Calvin turned to Cael to ask how much sugar Dex had already had, but quickly realized asking the guy stuffing his face with sugarcoated Chex Mix was probably not the best idea.
“What?” Cael asked through a mouthful of crunch. His pupils were looking a little big.
Calvin smiled then took hold of Ethan’s elbow, and turned him away to whisper at him. “We’re looking at an optimum Threat Level Fuchsia situation here. Get the fire extinguishers ready, and make sure Rosa’s bringing her medical kit.”
Ethan nodded, and gave him a salute, before darting off to prepare for Dex-induced mayhem.
Since everyone would be with their respective families for Christmas, Dex had decided they should all get together to celebrate their own Christmas a couple of weeks early. He’d put off decorating until today, and poor Sloane was staying at Tony’s until the surprise was ready.
The room suddenly burst into Jingle Bell Rock, scaring the crap out of Calvin. Before he could say anything, the doorbell rang, and Dex bounced over like a reindeer on crack, the bells hanging from the reindeer antlers on his head ringing. Calvin once again asked himself what the hell he had gotten himself into.
“It’s worse than I thought,” Calvin murmured to Ethan who stepped up beside him. He looked up to ask Ethan if he was ready with the stuff when his words failed him. “What’s on your head?”
Ethan beamed at him, and flicked the little bell hanging from one of antlers, the name “Comet” stitched in white up one of the brown antlers. He held a headband out to Calvin.
“I’m not wearing that,” Calvin grumped.
“Suck it up, Summers,” Ash said as he walked past him toward the door, antlers on his head. “If I gotta wear this shit, so do you.”
Calvin glared at Ash’s back. “Yeah, because you got Blitzen. Why do I have to be Prancer?” He growled at his stupid antlers before putting them on, ignoring Ethan’s delighted gasp. He leaned in and kissed his cheek.
The girls had arrived, and cheerfully put on their antlers. Rosa was Dancer, and Letty Vixen. When Seb and Hudson arrived, Seb was given Donner, and Hudson Dasher. Cael was Cupid, and Dex Rudolph.
“Okay, who picked these?” Calvin asked. “Why am I Prancer?”
Everyone went quiet and turned to him before they burst into laughter.
“What?” They were losing their minds. Oh God, it was catching. Dex pulled his phone out of his pocket, and walked over. He tapped away at it, and Calvin eyed him warily.
“This is why.” Dex handed him the phone, and Calvin hesitantly pressed play on the video. His jaw dropped. No way. It was a video of him, drunk off his ass at Dekatria, dancing—no prancing—to Barry Manilow’s Flashy Lady. “You’re such a flashy lady,” Dex teased.
Calvin’s face went up in flames. “Delete it.”
“After you help put up the Christmas lights for my beautiful unsuspecting husband.”
“I’m gonna kill you, Daley!” Calvin launched himself at Dex, but Ethan caught him before he grabbed Dex’s antler’s and gave him a different type of holy night.
“Such a grumpy little reindeer,” Dex said with a laugh. “You have my word that I will delete it the moment the lights are up.”
“Fine,” Calvin grumbled.
Ethan wrapped his arms around Calvin, and pulled him close against him.
“Did you know about this?”
Ethan shook his head. He leaned down, and pressed his lips to Calvin’s. Damn him. It was hard to stay annoyed when Ethan kissed him all sweet like this. Calvin let out a sigh.
“Okay, let’s do this.”
“I brought my medical kit,” Rosa said, winking at Ethan.
“Really, guys. It’s just some Christmas lights,” Dex said walking into the sea of lights in the middle of the living room.
Rosa arched an eyebrow at him. “Which Destructive Delta are putting up according to a schematic you had made.”
Letty turned to Rosa. “Hey, how many agents does it take to put up Christmas lights?”
“Six,” Rosa said motioning to the rest of them. “The same number it takes to cause a citywide incident
“Don’t include us in your crazy,” Seb said, holding Hudson close against him.
Ash patted Seb’s shoulder. “Not only did that ship sail long ago, it’s been docked in Crazy Town for a while now.”
Hudson sniffed Ash. “Have you been drinking the spiked eggnog? Because if you have, I want some.”
Everyone laughed, and Hudson blinked at them. “What? Are you saying there’s no alcohol?”
“You can sniff the eggnog, and get drunk after the lights go up,” Ash said.
Dex clapped his hands together to get everyone’s attention. “Rosa, Letty, you take the banisters. Hudson, you’ve got the fence. Seb, the windows. Cael, you, me, Hobbs, Ash, and Cal are on lights. Any questions, just let me know, otherwise, just look at the schematic. Decorations that are not lights can be found in their respective boxes in the dining room. All the boxes are labeled.”
Calvin had to admit, he was pretty impressed with how organized Dex was. Maybe this was actually going to be okay.
PART THREE NEXT WEEK.
Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.