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for this: Okay, the holidays are gettin' to me. I'm going to be
writing a holiday story. This shouldn't get in the way of
"Tergiversate" though, at least I hope it won't.
Note (1): Some of these chapters are going to be shorter than what I usually do; so suck up and deal with it.
Note (2): Renji and Ichigo have been together for about 8 months now (that's April, for you slow people), so they've already expressed their feelings for each other, and their friends are happy for them.
Note (3): If you've read "Liaison", you should know the name I have given to Ichigo's hollow. If you don't know it, you'll learn it eventually. I also have them on good terms, the hollow only taking over when Ichigo absolutely needs it.
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Closing the door, and locking it, Ichigo turned to his red haired lover. Renji stood near the stairs down the walkway a few rooms down. The wind was blowing, and promises of snow were in the clouds hovering over Karakura.
"Where are we going again?" asked Renji, curiosity in his voice.
"We're getting a tree for the apartment, baka. I've told you this twice already."
"Why do you need a tree? You have one already in your cheap apartment already."
"That, is a bonzai tree. We are going to get a Christmas tree," the orange haired boy responded, small hints of unbelieving irritation in his tone.
"A Christmas tree?"
"You don't know what that is, do you?"
"What gave me away?" Renji sarcastically inquired.
Ichigo rolled his eyes, and walked toward the red head. As he passed him, he gently punched Renji's head, and started down the stairs. Renji continued to stare infront of him for a few seconds before what Ichigo did registered in his head.
"What the hell was that for?"
"Nothing really, I guess I felt like ya needed it."
Renji proceeded to punch the orange haired teen when they both got to the bottom of the stairs. However, his punch was harded than Ichigo's; his orange haired hybrid stumbled a little to the side, looking a bit annoyed.
"That's what you get for punching me."
"I didn't punch you that hard!"
"Hm," the red haired shinigami pretended to think for a second. "Consider it interest."
Renji smirked and turned away from Ichigo. More irritation bloomed on the orange haired hybrid's face, when Renji started going the wrong way. Ichigo followed him to the sidewalk and stopped, watching the red head walking away from him. The calm breeze pushed its way through Renji's red hair, Ichigo continued to stare, transfixed by it.
'Yer starin'. If ya let him go too far, he'll ge' lost again.'
"Oh, right," Ichigo said aloud, shaking his head. "Renji, you're going the wrong way. It's on this corner," the orange haired hybrid yelled, pointing in the opposite direction of his lover.
The red head turned, half way down the block. "Why didn't you speak up sooner?!"
"Sorry," Ichigo stated, sounding like he didn't care; Renji knew he did though. He didn't wait for Renji to catch up to him before walking toward the tree lot.
The orange haired teen waited for Renji, before going into the partially tented patch of now busy land. Renji got wide eyed, this wasn't here the last time they went down this way. Pine trees filled the once vacant lot, a tent without canvas walls stood tall, about 20 feet up, covering half the space. Some trees were frosted white, others were their usual shades of evergreen.
Ichigo nudged his lover, and nodded his head in the direction of the smaller trees off to the side. They started to head over to the 3 to 4 foot trees, only a couple were frosted in this section.
"Why are some of them white?"
"It's supposed to look like snow."
"Do you like them white?"
"Nah, I don't really like snow. Besides, it'll blend into the walls of my apartment; don't like that."
"What's wrong with snow?"
"It reminds me of rain."
Renji glanced away, he was well aware of Ichigo's hatred for the falling water. On those days, Renji would wrap a thin blanket around his lover and they'd sit together on the small couch, near the fire, in the tiny fire place. He decided to get Ichigo's mind off this, so he pointed at a random tree.
"How about this one?"
"Did you even look at it? You can see half the trunk," Ichigo said, a small smile on his face. The orange haired hybrid could tell that Renji was trying to help, even if he wasn't good at hiding it.
They continued to survey the section of small trees, before they found one that met Ichigo's standards. It was about three and a half feet tall, green, full, a little more than 3 feet in diameter at the base, barely any tree trunk visible, a noble fir – the only kind Ichigo would allow in his home.
With help from an employee of the tree lot, their tree was put in a red and white net, making the tree more compact. The worker asked where their car was, so he could help them put it on the top.
"Nah, that's okay. We live down the street a couple of blocks, we can carry it," Ichigo said.
"But, these can be heavy, even if it is under 5 feet," the worker pretested.
Renji decided it best to stay out of this argument, so he watched. He was happy that he wasn't part of it, because he could feel his orange haired lover's patience wearing thin.
After ten minutes, the worker finally gave up. Ichigo had Renji hold the tree while he paid for it.
"Enjoy the tree, sir," the now timid worker said.
Ichigo just smirked at him, and nodded.
"Renji, I'll carry it."
"Nope, you paid for it. I'll carry it."
A smile grew on Ichigo's features, on of pure happiness and understanding. He knew Renji didn't like splitting responsibilities unevenly. Ichigo had given up on getting him to change months ago.
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When they got home, Ichigo moved the two foot banzai tree, and its table. The Christmas tree took its place, the banzai being moved to the bedroom. The orange haired hybrid had left Renji the job of unwrapping the tree, and ordered him to do it carefully, as to not harm the tree.
The red head started at the tree in thought, scissors in his hand. How was he supposed to free the tree, without causing harm to the fir?
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Ichigo was digging around in the small walk-in closet, standing on a two-step ladder. He was looking for the ornaments and lights for the tree.
"Where did I put that damned decoration box?" Ichigo mumbled to himself.
'It's off to yer left, in the second one from the wall, King. Yer blind if ya can't see it.'
The orange haired teen looked where Kuroji indicated, and sure enough, a box labeled 'Christmas stuff' was there. Ichigo had to control himself from slamming his head against the shelf, for his lack of observation abilities. He was thankful for his hollow becoming a "close friend" after the war, so much less stress piled on to him it seemed. The orange haired hybrid reached for the box, and slowly pulled it out; amazed he didn't fall off the step-ladder.
Ichigo slowly got off the ladder, and but the box down, outside of his closet. He closed the ladder back up, and stuck under the light switch. Turning off the light, Ichigo picked up the box, and brought it out to the living room.
Setting it down on the coffee table, he noticed that Renji still hadn't unwrapped the tree.
"Uh, Renji. Why isn't the tree unwrapped?"
"I don't want to ruin the tree. I'm not stupid enough to ignore how you get when you're pissed."
Ichigo sighed, and took the scissors from Renji, gently kissing his cheek while doing it. He walked over, and cut some of the links of the net. Within a minute, the net was sagging off the tree, and the orange haired teen was taking the net off the tree.
When Ichigo came back from the kitchen, Renji was examining the (fortunatly) plastic ornaments. They were metallic looking, red and gold, spheres. The orange haired teen was happy that he choose those over the glass ones.
"Okay, first, we put the lights up on the tree."
"Yeah," Ichigo said, taking out two cords, with tiny lights attached to them. He plugged in the cord, and red, blue, green, and gold colors came from the small bulbs. Renji's eyed widened in fascination.
"What do we do with those?"
"Not 'we,' you."
"You are going to wrap these around the tree," Ichigo stated, handing the lights to Renji.
"How do you do that?"
Sighing, Ichigo took Renji's hands, and lead him around the tree, having the lights trail behind them on the needle covered branches. They had only just enough cord, to cover the tree in an even, yet uneven way.
"Now I want you, to help me put up the ornaments."
Ichigo was trying hard to keep his occasional masochistic nature from coming up. He was amazed at Renji's cluelessness.
"The metallic balls you were looking at earlier."
Ichigo had to give a demonstration before Renji got it. Once he was sure Renji wasn't going to cause an apocalypse in his living room, Ichigo went into the kitchen, and started heating some water.
He came back, and Renji was finishing up the tree.
"What's this other stuff you have in the box?"
The orange haired teen looked in the box, and took out the garland for the fireplace, and a couple of stockings.
"This, is for the fireplace," Ichigo said, lifting the garland a bit. "And these are for the fireplace as well," he finished, raising the stockings.
"Your going to burn them?!"
"No, they are for decorating the fireplace."
Ichigo took out some small, slim nails and hammered them into the wood beam on top the the rock fireplace. He placed the garland on the beam, and hung the stockings on the nails.
"What's the point of the socks?"
"They aren't 'socks', they are stockings."
Ichigo got an idea, and we was going to enjoy the results later. "There is a tradition, where this fat guy comes down your chimney on Christmas Eve, and fills them with candy and stuff. His name is Santa Clause, and he also gives presents, which are placed under the tree."
"Why does he do that?"
"I don't know, he just does."
Renji looked at Ichigo in complete shock.
"Christmas is a time for giving, I guess that's why he does it."
"Giving? Giving what?"
"You give gifts to your friends, and they usually give you something back, if you mean anything to them at least."
"So, what's the point?"
"You'll figure it out eventually."
The red head wrapped his arms around Ichigo, and leaned most of his weight onto the orange haired teen. This resulted in them landing on the couch, Renji on top of Ichigo.
"I want to know," he said, closing the space between them. Ichigo completely closed the space between them, crushing his lips to his lover's.
"I not going to tell you," Ichigo said, smirking as he pulled away.
Renji smirked as well, kissing Ichigo again, their tongues beginning their usual fight. They only separated for air, both breathing in gasps. The look of desire in both of their eyes built up the lust in their actions.
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Ichigo woke up, and looked at his clock on the mantel. It was 2:37 in the morning, and they had fallen asleep on the couch. They were both shirtless; fortunatly they retained enough consciousness to put their sweatpants on before lying in each other's arms again, and fell asleep. The lights on the tree were still on, so Ichigo slowly slide out of his lover's grip, and unplugged them.
Renji woke up slightly when Ichigo got up, and he watched him unplug the lights. He smiled when Ichigo squeezed back onto the couch with him, and they were out within five minutes.
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Okay, what do you guys think. It's a little different than my usual pairing, but, it was fun. What do you guys think, should I continue this?
Your get to choose whether or not I continue this. So review, pwease.