Author's note: Blame the 1993 Nutcracker with Mасаulay Сulkin. Whoever watched it, probably remembers Drossy trying out the Nutcracker toy before a crowd of children and eating the first nut by himself. ^_^ Seriously, so cute I even broke the usual "no bellyssimos for Dross" for once. Hard to say whether I'd been imagining this one or my favorite Lacewood one as I wrote this. Nope, he won't stay like that for long - give him a day or so and he's back to his twiggy self :]

The term almondous is a rough translation of a Russian term, meaning "acting all lovey-dovey/friendly" (usually with a person who doesn't deserve it. Martha deserves.)


It was hard to believe. Had Drosselmeyer been a regular human, it would seem absolutely foreign and strange to him. But with his current, magic-inhanced, semi-toy body, it seemed only natural that it had just fit in about a couple jugs of almond milk, and that Martha, admiring him with utmost delight and love, strokes soothing circles on his middle – which, by now, was nearly resting on his lap, almost like his cousin's, the velvet waistcoat stretched over it.

She'd been admiring him like that since the moment he knelt by the Lake of Almond Milk and tasted the first handful of it. She handed him a wafer lily flower that would serve as a cup and would be more comfortable to drink from. She didn't say a word after the flower melted in his mouth after all the milk, – only planted a kiss just under his sternum, at the very beginning of the soft, velvet-clad curve.

With the massage and the way Martha was looking at him, all Drosselmeyer could do was relax and reward her with a radiant smile. It just looked like Martha found a somewhat tricky way to fill him up with her love – making it rather visible. Audible, even; he blushed, thinking how out-of-place these bubbles might possibly sound on a regular dinner… but not here, in one of the most quiet corners of the Land of Sweets. The clockmaker's face glowed again at Martha's touch, as if he still couldn't fully believe it all was happening to him.

"So this is what…", a mere glimpse of a thought crossed his mind before it got once again flooded with sheer bliss. "This is what being mar… being loved means".

The thought got echoed by yet another bubble – right into Martha's palm as she rested a hand on his waist. "Uhrmacher", she whispered, giving it a gentle pat. "Knurrmacher… So wonderful…"

Nestled by Drosselmeyer's side like that, she reminded him of a baby chick, – a thrush chick, for the first part of their surnames was Drossel, a thrush. Before long he felt the last remains of the wafer flower getting dissolved by magic – for there was too much milk for him alone. A big, strong thrush feeding his mate; what a wonderful thought. He gave Martha a quick, playful glance, as the magic coated all the way from his stomach to throat, and –

– pressed a kiss to her lips; or so Martha thought for the first few moments. Then came a delicate, nutty and a bit sweet, taste that startled her at first – but soon calmed back down as it dawned on her. Having spent so much time within her husband, warmed and saturated with his magic sparkles, the former almond milk turned into a true essence of Drosselmeyer, and this was what he decided to share with her.

"She's but a small chick". A warm thought washed over the clockmaker as he kept feeding his wife the elixir, little by little. "My tiny, hungry chick; I can't do less for you".

By the time their lips parted, the slightly slimmer Drosselmeyer gave Martha another glance – a much longer, almost fatherly, sleep well one, – before he drew her closer to himself and both closed their eyes, surrounded with a golden glow.