A/N: First of all, YES, this is the second Holiday fic I said I would do when I posted Heavenly Peace. Unfortunately, this is not the one I had in mind at the time. That one turned out to be too long and complicated for the time I had allotted. I thought I wouldn't do anything at all, and then I got this idea in my head. Secondly, a WARNING. Okay, so a HUGE warning on this one…well, two huge warnings: (1) as I told Kysra, this is what happens when Fluff Monsters Attack; and (2) this is not only not beta'd, this hasn't even been re-read by me. It was also JUST written, and written under the influence of two and a half glasses of Chianti and a very full stomach. Other than that, please enjoy! Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays! Happy Fluff-Days. All that stuff. I hope you enjoy.
"We're snuggled up together / like two birds of a feather would be…"
- Sleigh Ride, Traditional
The sleigh arrived just in time, and, as expected, the sound of the bells and the neighing of the horses brought his friends out of whatever contemplations had taken their fancy. It was Cyborg, however, who was the first to speak.
"It's a little early for Santa Clause, isn't it?" Cyborg asked half his mouth quirked in his typical smile.
"That can't be Santa," Beast Boy assured. "He only comes after you've been asleep!"
"And does the Santa Clause not usually go to the roof of structures?" Star inquired innocently.
"And it's not like he'd have a hard time landing on our roof – unless the big landing pad we've got up there threw him," Raven quipped.
"It's not Santa Clause," Robin confirmed, smirking the way he always did when he knew something they didn't.
"How can you be so sure, Boy Wonder?" Raven asked, knowing he wanted someone to ask him.
"Because it's an early Christmas Present to all of you from me," Robin answered, standing from the desk and motioning them all outside. "Now grab your warm gear and get on outside."
They all walked outside and were about as amazed as he expected them to be by the cherry red sleigh pulled by two chestnut horses decked out in shining silver bell harnesses.
The man in full livery seated on the driver's seat stood and reigns in one hand, tipped his hat at the assembled party. "Right on time fer ya gov'ner," the man said in a heavy cockney accent. "As I promised ye."
Robin smiled and nodded. "Good work…" he trailed off and the man supplied his name.
"Thank you, Jenkins." Robin turned to his friends. "Alright, everyone, let's get on…we're going on a sleigh ride!"
Starfire hugged him and flew into the sleigh, promptly examining each and every thing inside, from the padded seats to the heated blankets waiting for their use. Cyborg grinned and shook his head, climbing aboard, and Beast Boy showed about as much enthusiasm as Starfire did, calling dibs on the end of the seat and snuggling under the blanket.
"Hey, where's Rae?" Cyborg called out, frowning.
Robin turned around and sighed, finding that Raven had snuck off back into the house in all the excitement. No doubt she had noticed the same thing he had counted on.
"Go on, you guys," Robin called up to them. "We'll catch up."
"But how?" Starfire asked. "If we take the wonderful Sleigh?"
Just in time, another sleigh, this one dark, royal blue pulled by one spotted white and brown mare and one black mare made its way up the drive, the silver bells on the bright red harness jingling just as merrily as the other one had done.
"I took the liberty of calling up me brother James to bring 'is sleigh, if ye pardon' gov'," Jenkins said to the party at large. "I didn'a tink all five of ye'd fit comf'tably." He shrugged.
James was attired much like Jenkins was, and he also tipped his hat in greeting when he pulled along side his brother. "Even'nin' gov'ner," James said, his accent just as thick as his brother's. "Sorry I'm a bit late, right," he said sheepishly.
"Just in time, James," Robin said. "You know the route we're to take?"
James nodded. "Aye, gov', me brother's told me all about it, he has."
"Good," Robin said, smiling at the others. "Go on, I'll get Rae and we'll catch up with you." He turned to the second driver. "You'll wait a moment for me?"
James winked and sat down. "Take yer time, gov'n, the snow's not going nowhere."
Robin waved the others on and when they started to go, he turned back to the Tower.
Raven was waiting in the kitchen, her hands around her favorite mug and the smell of chamomile tea wafting into the air.
"You think you're slick, do you?" Robin asked as he approached.
"You didn't notice," she answered, taking a sip of tea.
"Who says?" he countered.
She raised a brow, but opted for drinking tea instead of answering.
"You couldn't have waited to have tea until we got back?" Robin asked, still approaching.
"We don't all fit into one of those," she pointed out.
"So you think that means you can stay home while the rest of us go?" Robin countered. He sighed and shook his head. "Raven, I'd think you would've learned a bit more about us than that."
She shrugged, but said nothing more.
"They wouldn't have gone if there wasn't another Sleigh to take us…as a matter of fact, they wouldn't have gone even though there was another sleigh if it wasn't because I promised them it was okay."
Raven sighed. "I'm not going to get out of this, am I?"
Robin smirked, seeing in her manner his victory. "C'mon, Rae," his bare eyes twinkled with mischief. "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling," he took another step closer, "ring-ting-tingling, too…" yet another step. "c'mon," he said cajolingly. "It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!"
Raven frowned and raised a brow in turn. "That sounds awfully familiar."
He shrugged innocently as he got close enough to reach for the mug in her hands. Gently, he took it out of her hands and keeping one of her hands in his, used the other one to put the mug on the table. "Outside the snow is falling," he glanced at the window and saw the first flakes of the new falling snow. He pointed and turned her around. "And our friends are calling yoohoo."
Raven raised the other brow. "Our friends do not say 'yoohoo'," she argued. "And even if they could, we could not hear them since they have already left."
Robin laughed and started leading her from the kitchen. He stopped in the entry hall to pull her cloak around her, raising her fur-lined hood over her head. "So, I've got great hearing," Robin countered. "Trust me, Rae, you'll love it." He took her gloves and since he had never taken off his coat or scarf, led her out of the Tower.
"Didn't take ye long to convince the lady, gov," James commented, standing at his post and offering Raven a deep bow, even going so far as to remove his hat in a sweeping gesture. "M'lady."
Robin led Raven to the sleigh and handed her up into it, before following her. "Isn't it lovely weather for a sleigh ride together?" he asked as he snuggled the warm blankets around them both.
James, who had sat back in his box and raised the light whip, began whistling a bit of a melody and Raven turned to him with recognition riding her features.
"It's a song," she determined. "You were quoting a song to me."
Robin laughed. "Giddy-yap, giddy-yap, let's go," Robin said, getting comfortable next to her.
Raven sighed, her breath coming out in a white puff, as she settled back in the comfortable seat. "Let's look at the snow," she deadpanned, continuing the lyric of the song.
"That's the spirit!" Robin enthused.
"Don't get your hopes up," Raven announced. "I'm not going to keep singing."
Under the blanket, Robin found her hand and he wrapped his fingers around hers and smiling at her. "It's grand just holding your hand," he said, smiling cheekily.
"Oh?" she asked. "If that's all you need, I suppose there's no need to snuggle up close together as two birds of a feather would be."
Robin frowned. "Well…" he smiled charmingly. "We are two birds of a feather, aren't we?" he asked. "And we would be warmer if we snuggled…a little bit."
Raven snorted the way she does, delicately and under her breath, but she leaned in close to him and seemingly meaning to get more comfortable, let go of his hand only long enough to twine her entire arm through his before twining her fingers with his and leaning more fully into his warmth.
When his stare got too noticeable to ignore, she glanced at him and then snuggled even more comfortably. "Well, it is colder than I had thought it would be."
"Really?" he asked, all semblance of innocence. "Hmmm," he said, bringing his right hand out from under the blanket. "Maybe this will help?" he wondered, bringing his right hand out from under the blanket to cup her cheek, pulling her close enough to taste the chamomile still on her lips.
When they parted, Raven raised a brow at him. "Shouldn't we be looking at the snow?"
Robin laughed. "You're right," he announced. "Why, look at that patch of snow right there…" he said, placing gentle kisses on each of her eyes, effectively preventing her from doing just what he was asking. He pulled away and motioned to their left with his chin. "And that's a doozy right there…" he continued, before kissing her chin.
"You realize if you keep doing things like this," she said when she realized he would only continue in the same vein if she didn't say anything else. "The others are bound to catch on."
Robin smiled like the Cheshire cat. "James?" he called out.
"Aye, sir?" came James' voice just over the jingling of the bells.
"Are you sure Jenkins gave you the right directions to where we're going?" Robin asked, his eyes still on Raven.
"I thought 'e had, gov' but now that ye ask…seems I might've gotten a little turned around in these woods…"
"Hmm…" Robin said, smiling even wider at the look of dawning comprehension and just slightly mischievous understanding in Raven's eyes. "That's too bad…" he trailed off as his lips met Raven's again.
"Let me get this straight," Raven said between Robin's soft kisses. "We could be lost out here for hours?"
"'Fraid so, miss," James' voice announced, the humor in his tone obvious even to her.
"That is too bad," she echoed Robin, leaning into his kiss.