Part of the SAC-2003

Challenges of Everyday Life 18:
Christmas Present

Orithain

December 2003

Disclaimer: Do you really think I look anything like Chris Carter? Trust me, I’m not. Sarah’s all mine though.

"What is that?"

Alex and Mulder stopped their attempt to put their brand new Christmas tree together and turned to look at the ghost currently glaring at them disdainfully.

"This is the Christmas tree you ordered us to get," Mulder replied cautiously, wondering what on earth they’d done wrong. He and Alex exchanged baffled looks, then turned carefully blank faces toward Sarah again.

"That thing is not a Christmas tree. That is a conglomeration of metal, nylon, plastic, and various and sundry other manmade products, none of which has anything whatsoever to do with a tree!"

"You wanted a real tree?" Alex ventured, the green eyes darting around in search of the best escape route.

"YES!"

"But it’s not environmentally conscious to chop down a living tree just to stick it in your living room for a couple of weeks and watch it die," Mulder tried to point out.

"Then keep it alive! But get a tree!" With a final glare, Sarah vanished, only her voice remaining for a moment. "Unless you think you can make your own meals and clean this house yourself!"

"We’re grown men. We can cook and clean," Mulder pouted.

"I’ve seen you cook, Mulder," Alex retorted, shuddering. "And how long do you think we would last with Sarah mad at us?"

Mulder sighed, deflated. "Good point. So where does one get a live tree?"

"A Christmas tree farm. Some of them specialize in trees that will be replanted afterward, so we won’t have to try digging up roots. Though if we have to do this every year, we’re going to end up with an evergreen forest eventually." Alex sighed and began shoving the artificial tree back into its box. "We can drop this off at one of the charities so someone can enjoy it."

"We should probably throw in some decorations too then," Mulder pointed out. "We can always get more for ourselves. Besides, if we’re doing this, how much do you want to bet that Sarah wants old-fashioned ornaments too? You know, popcorn garland, cranberries, velvet bows."

"And candles," Alex agreed. "I just hope we don’t go up in flames. I draw the line at candles on the tree. Lights there, and we can put candles in the garland on the mantelpiece."

"Sounds better," Mulder agreed. "Open flame isn’t my favorite thing anyhow."

They made quick work of packaging up the decorations they thought Sarah would dislike and then added some more so the tree wouldn’t be too sparse. That done, they went upstairs to change for their shopping trip, and they were on their way a little later.

They left the tree and decorations, as well as a hefty donation, at a local charity that put together packages for needy families so that the children would have something to open on Christmas morning. Then they went in search of tree that would meet Sarah’s requirements, rejecting the lots with the cut trees. Finally they found a lot that sold trees with their root balls intact, and they started to search for the perfect tree.

"Am I the only one flashing on A Charlie Brown Christmas?" Alex asked wryly a little later as they eyed a pitifully lopsided tree.

"Far from it. But unlike him, I want a tree that starts out pretty." Mulder sighed and headed down another aisle, only to stop in his tracks. "Alex! Look at this one."

Alex rolled his eyes, having heard similar cries several times before only to discover that something was wrong with the tree in question. As he approached Fox this time, however, his eyebrows rose. It did look, well, perfect. He circled around, seeing full, well-shaped branches, a healthy shade of green, and enough height that it wouldn’t be dwarfed in their living room.

"Looks good, Foxy."

Mulder suddenly grabbed hold of the stem, indifferent to the pine needles poking through his sleeves, as a family came down the aisle and looked at his tree. "We need to get it to the cash, Alex. Go grab a cart."

Instead Alex motioned to one of the salespeople, bringing the teenager to their side. "We’ll take this one. Do you deliver?"

"For an additional charge, sir."

"That’s fine. Let’s get this paid for, and I’ll tell you where to deliver it."

"We’re not going to take it home ourselves?" Mulder asked, pouting slightly.

"We need to go buy more decorations, remember? And lots of lights, all white, I think, to go with the theme."

"We have a theme?"

"Old-fashioned, traditional Christmas, remember? White fairy lights, red and gold satin balls and bows, old-fashioned angel on top."

"You ever consider a career in interior decorating?" Mulder chuckled.

"Ha ha. You’re so funny." The tree paid for, they continued on their way to buy the rest of the things they needed.

It took them a few hours, and they barely made it home before the tree was delivered. It was fortunate that they had since Sarah rarely if ever appeared to anyone other than the inhabitants of her home, and they were able to direct the delivery men to set the tree exactly where they wanted it in the living room, aided by a few ghostly prods.

"Much better," Sarah said in tones of satisfaction, appearing in front of the tree once the delivery men were gone. Her light brown hair was drawn back in a ponytail, and she wore a checked gingham dress. "Very nice choice, boys."

"We got decorations too," Alex told her, indicating the bags they’d set down in the corner.

"Perfect! You can decorate the tree while I make dinner." Sarah beamed a smile and vanished to check on her pot roast.

"Do you realize that we’re hen-pecked husbands without the benefit of marriage?" Mulder muttered sotto voce.

"From what I remember of last night, we have all the benefits," Alex retorted, grinning wickedly. "Or are you telling me you’d rather have Sarah?"

Mulder snorted. "I’m not that fond of having my ears boxed, thanks. Besides, I like my own personal elf-prince," he teased, running a fingertip over Alex’s slightly pointed ears.

Alex gave him a half-hearted glare as he swayed toward Mulder, arms going around his waist. "You know, after all our work today, I think we deserve a break before we start decorating," he murmured, rocking against Mulder suggestively.

The hazel gaze heated and Mulder’s hands slid into the back pockets of Alex’s black jeans, cupping his ass and pulling him closer. "What did you have in mind?" he asked huskily, backing Alex against the wall close to the tree, the heady scent of fresh pine permeating the room.

"The same as you apparently," Alex chuckled, his hands busy pushing up Mulder’s sweater and unfastening his belt and jeans. "Hard and fast, Foxy. Want you right now," he rasped huskily, now working on his own pants.

Mulder could only groan and push against the other man, now bare cocks gliding together, at first jerkily and then more smoothly as pre-come eased their movement. "Love you," he panted an instant before taking Alex’s mouth with his own, their tongues rubbing together, exploring first one mouth then other.

Alex tore his mouth free, his head falling back against the wall as he cried out, and the musky aroma of his come filled the air. Mulder gasped as he felt Alex shudder against him, and his hips rocked more rapidly against the softening flesh until he too came, for a moment not sure his shaky legs would hold him up.

They sank to the floor, arms and legs tangled together, sharing a softer, more tender kiss as they lay there. They slipped into a light doze, identical smiles on both faces, and a moment later a blanket rose from the couch and spread over them.

Sarah materialized at their side, smiling fondly at the two men who had become her family. "Merry Christmas," she whispered, not wanting to wake them.

END

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