Author's Note: I'm so sorry this took so long! I had to modify this part of the story from its original form, and I wasn't quite sure how I would do it. Anyhow, this is the finished product; I'm sorry it's so short! Hope you enjoy.
"What time is it anyways?" Doug asked as he and Jack climbed into bed.
Jack glanced at the clock beside the bed. "Two-thirty."
Doug grunted a bit. "You better not be waking me up at six in the morning to open presents, young man."
Jack laughed as he curled up next to his lover. "What if the reason I'm waking you up isn't presents?"
Doug raised an eyebrow as he looked down at Jack. "What exactly did you have in mind?"
Jack giggled. "A Christmas morning surprise … from me, only for you."
"It won't be much of a surprise if you tell me about it now."
"Fine." Jack leaned forward and kissed Doug quickly. "I won't say another word about it."
Not long after, as Doug snored slightly at his side, Jack's mind wandered back to that Christmas Eve night six years ago. He thought of his best friend and of the passion that they had shared that night.
Tobey was already sprawled across his side of the bed when Ryan climbed in beside him. He cuddled up to Ryan's warm body, curling into the arms that wrapped around him. Ryan kissed the top of his head.
"When Jack and Doug were joking about us being married … did that bother you?"
A short pause followed.
"Did it bother you?"
"No." He kissed the head below him again. "I love you, Tobey."
"We are married."
Ryan gave him a gentle squeeze.
"I love you too, Ryan."
"I know, babe."
Tobey cuddled into the warmth of his lover and thought of how lucky he was. Lucky for the man who loved him. Lucky also for the friend he had who had been there for him at the worst of times.
Jack, his eyes closed, cuddled deeper into Doug's embrace. He felt safer and happier in these arms than he had ever felt before. He knew how rare it was to share the unconditional love that he and Doug shared and for that, he felt lucky.
He also knew how rare it was to share the special friendship that he and Tobey shared. He and Tobey understood each other, had a connection to each other, and in a way, needed each other. They had the present, they would have the future … and they certainly had a past.
Christmas morning came and two men woke up in different beds. They kissed their lovers beside them, they wished them a merry Christmas, and they were happy. They were happy in the lives they had but they would not forget their past. Their past was a part of them and they did not regret it.