Title: Stocking Stuffers

Author: Amethyst Hunter

Rating: PG (very minor violence/adult content)

Word count: 800

Warnings/Spoilers: None

Notes: Done for both Akabane's and Ban's birthdays (11/23 and 12/17, respectively). Merry Christmas! -grin-

Disclaimer: GB is not mine. Akabane isn't mine. Ban isn't mine. Excuse me while I go cry now.

Summary: Akabane and Ban combine each other's birthdays with the holiday season into one long celebratory period.


It started with a new hat, and then the money. Then things got interesting.

Enjoying a rare flush period where the money was flowing faster than the monkey-trainer's bullshit, Ban was in unusually good spirits this holiday season. Most of the time Christmas and its accompanying debris soured him, though he did his best to put on a cheery front for Ginji's sake, knowing how much the glitter and glitz thrilled his childlike partner.

Akabane, however, knew how to put on a show. And did he ever. Ban began to suspect something was up after the third time the Get Backers ran into the transporters and the assignment proved to be almost ridiculously easy to complete by their standards. He'd have accused his lover of pulling his punches, except that Akabane was focusing more on giving Ginji a harder time than Ban. Once Ginji confessed that Akabane seemed to be favoring metal scalpels these days, Ban decided turnabout was fair play.

He invented excuses to horn in on any jobs that involved Doctor Jackal, and saw to it that the transporter was amply compensated for his trouble. Aesclepius seemed to enjoy it as well, but Ban had to pace himself so that he didn't wear out the Jagan too soon. Coming up with frequent and creative visions was harder work than it looked like.

Akabane, being of the mindset that gratitude ought to be properly expressed, had a tendency to reciprocate generously – a fact which Ban and Ginji found out, much to their glee, when one day they showed up at the Honky Tonk and discovered that their mountainous tab had been paid off in full. Needless to say, the Get Backers did not go home with empty stomachs.

In return, Ban took a little trip to Mugenjou and brought back a souvenir, which he left – bloodied and dangling – from the coat hook where Akabane hung his coat. He knew his lover wasn't one for jewelry, but he figured that Akabane would appreciate a memento of Kyouji Kagami's defeat.

He wasn't mistaken. The very next day, Akabane gifted him with a torn, bloodied set of gloves. That Takuma Fudou's hands were still in them was only a bonus as far as Ban was concerned.

Ban bit the bullet and grudgingly bribed Natsuhiko Miroku for an afternoon. After what felt like an endless series of raw carnage, the fight eventually had to be called for a draw due to the late hour. But Akabane had gotten to play; he'd learned some new tricks and was still swooning with delight as Ban carried him back home to nurse his wounds.

Later on, Akabane was more than happy to play doctor for Ban – though this version of the game involved a lot less bloodshed and far more pleasure than either of them was willing to discuss in public.

Ban knew Akabane was enjoying his early Christmas present when he started finding little hearts with "J + M" written inside them carved into several surfaces, one of which happened to be the corpse of some unfortunate opponent stupid enough to interrupt the good doctor's amusement during a job. Several Honky Tonk clients, Ginji among them, paled noticeably when Ban casually mentioned one day that Akabane no longer carried one hundred and eight weapons.

The Subaru got new tires and a full tank of gas. The wardrobe received several new pairs of white gloves and black trenchcoats, each pressed perfectly to the inch. Ban got a rare painting and a violin he'd wished for ever since he was a kid. Akabane got a custom-made cologne designed by the mistress of scents herself. He took Ban out for expensive sushi and wine, and came back sporting a serpent tattoo to match the one on his left arm. (Ban drew the line, though, when Akabane offered to give him a scar to match the puncture one made by his Bloody Sword; they compromised and Akabane bought him a J-shaped pin to wear instead.)

Christmas Day found them tucked into a booth at the Honky Tonk along with everyone else, sharing the feast that Paul, Natsumi and Rena had spent hours preparing. As he brushed aside the sprig of mistletoe attached to the front of his hat by a ribbon, Akabane smiled at Ban and leaned closer.

"Do you know what I enjoy most about the holidays, Midou-kun?"

"Our annual giftfest?" Ban said with a grin, fingering the new pair of glasses he'd found slipped beneath his pillow earlier that morning.

"That, and being with you," Akabane said with a smile, and kissed him. "Happy birthday and Merry Christmas, my beloved."

"You too, Jackal." Ban nuzzled his lover's mouth and squeezed him tight, careful not to muss the tie that bore his and Ginji's silk-screened likenesses. "You too."