Will liked Christmas, though it wasn't for the reasons that most people enjoyed the holiday. Most people enjoyed the feasts and the presents. Will had never really had any of that growing up. True, when he had been a lot younger, before the Crusades, before Robin had left Locksley, he had fed them Christmas dinner. Will was appreciative of the food, but it still wasn't his favorite part of Christmas.
He stared at the deer before him, slowly drawing his bow. It could be their Christmas dinner. Still, the feeling at the bottom of his stomach told him that it would not be the case. The uneasy feeling manifested as Morgan, appearing seemingly out of nowhere, hanging upside down from an overhanging tree branch, dangling a plant above Will's head.
"Look, Will! Mistletoe!" she proclaimed. Will remained unmoving as the deer bounded off across the snow. He liked Morgan, but he often asked himself why he allowed her to go hunting with him. He sighed, years of manners keeping him from snapping at Morgan.
"Morgan, that's not mistletoe. That's holly," he calmly pointed out, trying not to laugh at the sight of the girl in the tree. She was just like a squirrel.
"Oh," she muttered in disappointment, looking at the plant in her hand. "Did we catch the deer?" Will raised an eyebrow.
"Ah. I'll go get Djaq, then?" Morgan didn't wait for an answer before she pulled herself back onto the tree branch and running back to camp. Will shook his head, curbing the smile that was tugging at his lips. Bringing Morgan hunting was like a coin. On the one side, it always took longer to actually catch anything. On the other, she always seemed to know when she was grating on Will's nerves and would go back to camp, sending Djaq in her stead.
He knew that Morgan did it on purpose. She knew that he was in love with Djaq, just like he knew about her and Allan. If losing a deer or two meant that he'd get to spend time with Djaq, he wasn't about to complain. Morgan often asked him why he didn't just ask Djaq to go in the first place. Will never answered the question, though the answer was simple. He didn't want to be obvious.
Even so, as Djaq came about the bend, the snow crunching lightly under her feet, he couldn't hide the smile on his face.
"Ten whole minutes," she was saying. "A new record." She had a blanket pulled tight around her, shivering a little.
"I do not understand that appeal of all this snow," she chattered.
"It's a part of Christmas," Will replied. In a larger sense, it was technically part of winter, but snow was one of the things that Will had always loved and associated with Christmas. There was something cleansing about snow. It was like the white powder allowed a temporary cover for all the problems in the world.
"Ah, the Christmas," Djaq nodded. "Everyone seems excited about it. Much was trying to tell me about all the traditions. Carols and boars and presents."
"That's not what it's about," Will answered without thinking. Djaq looked at him expectantly, and he knew that he'd stepped in it. No going back now.
"Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus. It's not about the food and the presents and the bad singing," he paused as Djaq laughed at the illusion to Much's infamous voice. "Those are just traditions. It's about your friends and your loved ones and telling them how much they mean to you." Will stopped, sneaking a sideways glance at Djaq. It felt like butterflies had suddenly taken up residence in his stomach. God, how he wanted to tell her. He wanted to tell her that he loved her like he'd never loved anyone before. He wanted to tell her that she was beautiful. He wanted to tell her that, to him, she was perfect in everyway.
He almost did. He almost blurted his thoughts out, no matter how loudly his brain told him the timing wasn't right. Perhaps his brain was right, because at that moment there was the sound of a creaking tree branch. Suddenly, there was a very pleased looking Morgan hanging upside down over Will and Djaq. I'm going to kill her, Will thought.
"Look! Mistletoe!" she announced happily, dangling a new plant over them. Djaq wrinkled her nose in the cute way that she always did when she was confused, which wasn't very often.
"Mistletoe?" she asked. Will suddenly realized what Morgan was doing, and a hue as red as his named flooded his face. I'm going to kill her.
"It's just another tradition," he muttered. "If two people get under the mistletoe together… they're… well, normally, they're…"
"They're supposed to kiss!" Morgan supplied excitedly, shaking the plant as if prompting them to get on with it. Absolutely, positively kill her.
"Well, who are we to break a tradition?" Djaq asked, and before Will knew what was happening, she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. They sat there for what seemed like glorious minutes before Djaq stood, staring into the trees.
"I think I see a deer. Come on," she urged, sneaking off into the woods. Will stared after Djaq before glancing up at Morgan, who was still hanging upside down.
"I'm going to kill you," he whispered. Morgan laughed, flipping out of the tree.
"Sure you will. I'm off to see Allan. Happy Christmas, Will!" she waved the mistletoe over her shoulder, disappearing into the woods. Will's hand moved to his cheek, the blush returning to his face as he savored the memory of the kiss. Maybe I won't kill her, he mused, following after Djaq.
Whee! I know, I know, using the mistletoe tradition was anachronistic of me. Given the fun WillDjaq moment that it created, I don't think anyone will care. XD
More Christmas oneshots are on the way! If you have any requests or suggestions, let me know. I'll try to work them in. I still don't have any solid plans from Robin and Marian, so any help you guys want to give me will be appreciated.
I'll try to post one mini-story a week, kind of like a Christmas countdown or something, but don't hold me to that. Hope you guys enjoy!