The first Christmas there were no presents. Too much eggnog at Huggy's led to three separate goodbye kisses, which carried them up the stairs and over a cliff. Christmas morning was a blur of mistletoe and missing shoes. Double time on Christmas day meant too many glances over too many bad guys. Christmas night forced them into plum pudding with all the people they hoped to hell didn't notice when they disappeared after dessert, gasping and grasping, praying between pressed lips this wasn't just the eggnog, or the pressure, or the scars they could feel against their heavy hopeful hearts.
This Christmas there were too many presents. He could hardly keep up with the wrapping paper, much less the leering glances from Huggy's latest girlfriend slash home care nurse. He escaped into the kitchen and was immediately shoved against the fridge, hands scrambling under his shirt, fingering the scars, finding the one place in the center that still held the pain, just a whisper after thirty years. He felt Hutch's breath on his chest, his neck, his lips and he closed his eyes, counting heartbeats between kisses, tasting the eggnog on Hutch's lips, knowing their prayer had long been answered.