I own nothing, it all belongs to Disney, and the various songs belong the their respective artists. I merely enjoy listening to them. The history is real, and if you want to read about any of it, you can find it at History . com (remove spaces) and search Christmas. The Truce of 1914 was actually pretty cool (if you like opposing sides putting aside their fight to play soccer and singing carols together).

This... turned out as far from what I had planed as possible. Started off as a Riley and Ben have a 'traditional' Christmas with Patrick. And it turned into this. Thank you, all of you, who shared their own family traditions with me. Had this gone as I planned it, many of them would have been used. (No worries. I've already started another one. It wont be up for Christmas, but it should be finished soon)

Also posted in LJ comm Treasure_Geeks. And thank you to flatliner345 over at LJ for betaing this for me on Christmas. You rock for that! (Oh and this is post NT 1, but goes AU before NT 2 cause I haven't watched that one enough times yet. Only thing that stuck is Ben and Abi's break up.)

Enjoy, and have a very happy holiday!

Christmas in C-Sharp

Christmas Eve, 9:04 AM

"Don't forget gloves!" Ben calls out to him, just as Riley is about to walk out the front door gloveless.

He hums Jingle Bells as he pats his coat pockets, but the gloves are not there. Bens are sitting on the small table next to the door, so he takes those instead and heads out.

Once he's in his car, engine warming up and his Elvis Christmas CD playing, he slips them on. A piece of paper is tucked into the left one, and curious, Riley pulls it out.

'Lose your gloves, Ri?' It says. He laughs a little and looks up at the house. Bens outline is silhouetted in his study's window; Riley waves to him and Ben waves back. Bens gloves are slightly big on him, but it doesn't matter in the slightest.


Christmas Eve, 2:49 PM

"Christmas wasn't a holiday in early America," Riley idly says, sounding pleased that he knows something about history.

Patrick smiles at him from over the clothing display. "That's right. From 1659 to 1681, the celebrating of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. If you were caught celebrating you were fined five shillings."

He knows he should be getting bored about then, should roll his eyes and say some witty quip that would get Mr. Gates to humor him and stop, cause he didn't mean for his one tidbit to get explored upon, but he's actually finding it somewhat interesting.

"Was it like that everywhere?" He finds himself asking as Patrick holds up a checkered red and green scarf. Riley shakes his head.

The scarf gets put back and they move on. Patrick sends a small smile in his direction, looking surprised, pleased, that Riley is showing interest.

"Not at all. In the Jamestown settlement, Christmas was celebrated by all and went off without a hitch."

"Maybe you should get Ben a new desk chair?" Riley suggests, off topic, and it's Patrick's turn to shake his head.

"Family always gets family at least one article of clothing on Christmas."

Riley takes it in with a serious expression before walking a few steps away to another section and holding up elf printed black boxers.

Patrick laughs and says maybe, before asking Riley if he knows where the holiday was actually started.


Christmas Eve, 7:12 PM

Dean Martin is crooning Winter Wonderland, and Riley's singing along as he sets the grocery bags on the small island. Ben's standing at counter, adding chopped figs to his pudding, and Riley takes a moment to watch him.

"You can't make me eat the figgy pudding," he says lightly, breaking off his singing momentarily.

Ben doesn't even look up from his cooking, just nods, "I made you chocolate-strawberry."

It makes Riley smile, that Ben made a special dessert just for him.


Christmas Eve, 8:20 PM

There's no accompaniment this time, just Riley singing Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer as he finishes his last minute wrapping on the living room floor.

Ben's learned to tune him out, but can't quite do it this time. Maybe it's the holiday spirit, maybe it's the fact that he's finding the song oddly fascinating, or maybe it's because, after all this time, Riley's off-key singing has become almost operatic to Bens ears.

When Riley launches into the more sedate Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Ben joins in. And together? Their voices sound perfect.


Christmas Day, 4:04 AM

He's like a little kid when he wakes up Christmas morning. The sun hasn't even touched the horizon, and he knows-knows that Ben will be grumpy if he gets woken up now.

He's a morning person, sure. But a 4AM morning person?

Riley lays in his bed, cozily warm and snuggly, and tries to picture sugar plums in his head and fall back asleep.

When that doesn't work, he tries reciting the components that go into a circuit board. But that just makes him want to fiddle with Bens computer and give it-pardon his Tim Taylor-more power.

He thinks maybe he's doomed to languish away precious hours of Christmas.

With a huff he flops over onto his stomach, arms curling under his pillow.

He looks at his clock. 4:07.

That's better. He hurries out of bed, skids when he turns into the hallway and barrels into Bens room exclaiming "It's Christmas, Ben!"


Christmas Day, 4:30 AM

The mocha-rich coffee almost burns his tongue, but he doesn't mind. He leans against the kitchen island and watches as Riley prepares his own.

His friend's still fully sleep disheveled, with his hair sticking up at odd angles, vintage rock tee rumpled, grey sweats pushed up higher on his left leg and his skin still yet retaining that newly awoken flush. Ben idly wonders how that is, then chalks it up to the added excitement.

And he's humming. It makes Ben smile.


Christmas Day, 4:33 AM

Riley opens a present first and gets an old HAM radio. It needs work, he sees, but fixing it up to sync and talk to his computer… He grins up at Ben.

"How'd you know?" He asks, but doesn't wait to get an answer. He pushes a large, almost flat item over first, followed by a smaller, normal sized box. "You're turn."

The large one reveals an antique wall map, dated 1746- which Ben fawns over for a few minutes before Riley nudges the other box.

It's a pair of boxers that say 'kiss my books'.

He raises an eyebrow when he pulls it out of the box and Riley smiles, embarrassed.

"Your dad says you get family at least one article of clothing on Christmas…"

Ben just grins and pushes a box towards Riley.

He's almost suspicious as he tears the paper open and lifts the lid. A t-shirt with '01001101' largely across the chest, then smaller, in parentheses, 'geek' underneath.

Riley laughs out loud and swaps his well-worn David Bowie shirt for the new one. Ben wants to advert his eyes, but doesn't.

His heart does a funny flip, but that's just because he's happy Riley's happy.


Christmas Day, 7:24 AM

The sun is just about to come up, so Ben hustles Riley into his coat and snow boots and then out to the back deck. They're both clutching another cup of coffee, and it's warmth makes a wonderfully sharp contrast to the biting frost.

Riley stands a little closer, and Ben's a little more free with his arm placement-around Riley's back, not his shoulders- as the sun kisses the horizon and together they both say, softy, careful not to break the peace, "Merry Christmas."


Christmas Day, 8:37 AM

They spend the day with their presents. Ben can hear Riley in his office fiddling with his HAM radio and singing. It's Let It Snow at the moment and Twisted Sister is providing the percussion and backing vocals.

Sometimes his friends eclectic music taste is hard on his head, but for today he isn't going to tell Riley to turn it down. Besides, Ben's pretty sure he knows what CD he has on, and Tony Bennett is next.

He takes a few steps back, eyes his newly hung map. It's centered-perfect.

And Riley is singing in the background: "As long as you love me so; Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."

"Let it snow," Ben quietly echoes. And it does.


Christmas Day, Noon

"Did they really play soccer on Christmas in World War I?" Riley asks, breaking the silence in the car.

They're on their way to Patrick's for dinner, and they're probably going to be late. The roads are icy and the drivers that are braving the weather are braving it safely. An almost 3 hour drive is taking an upwards of 5.

Ben sends a glance Riley's way, eyebrows raised, surprise written on his face.

"Yeah, in 1914. Where'd you learn that?"

Riley rolls his eyes. "I did go to school, you know. Just because I'm not Super History-Aficionado Man, doesn't mean that I don't know stuff."

Ben just waits for it.

"Your dad told me, when I convinced him to eat in the food court."

Riley knows Ben's speechless, stunned that he didn't tune Patrick out. He'd be offended but past history shows that that's what he usually does so he just settles for shrugging a little and rolling his eyes again.

A few miles of silence. Then, "So they just decided to call a temporary truce?"

Ben can't keep the proud grin off his face as he tells about the Christmas Truce of 1914, and, for some reason, that makes Riley blush-something he hardly ever does.


Christmas Day, 4:18 PM

When they're only a block away, they have to stop at a red light.

"Ben?" Riley's looking out his window. The setting sun still reflects off the snow, dazzlingly white and shadowed. "Teach me to say Merry Christmas in German."


Christmas Day, 4:45 PM

The ham is still in the oven, but all they're really waiting on is the mashed potatoes.

Patrick is adamant that they be from scratch, not instant. So Ben gets his dads mixer-dusty with under usage- of a high cupboard and sets about peeling enough potatoes.

The sun has set and Ben glimpses his reflection in the window over the sink. If he angles a bit, he can see his dad and Riley setting the table.

Riley looks up then and right at him. Reflections catch, breaths catch; and Ben goes back to peeling feeling a warmth course through him that has nothing to do with the warm water or the holiday.

He's not sure he should tell Riley he's wearing his new boxers already.


Christmas Day, 7:39 PM

There are three presents under the tree, and, as per tradition, the first person who finds the apple ornament gets to open the first gift.

It's really only Riley and Ben looking, since Patrick did the hiding, but neither men seem to mind.

Although Bens eye roll seems to indicate he feels he's to old for the game.

Riley, however, loves it. The same thing every year, no matter what. Same ornament as well, and he knows it's been the wooden apple since Bens childhood when he played this with his parents; Patrick's as well, and that's why Riley loves it.

It's tradition. Something that will never change, something that draws the family closer together even as they race against each other.

He doesn't care that Ben's just found it, because even after all these years, Riley still feels honored, loved, that they include him in their family. And that's all that matters on Christmas.


Christmas Night, 11:53 PM

They had given him a joint present… Patrick knows usually only couples do that, unless one friend forgot and added on their name, but normally, it's couples.

He wonders if they realize that. They probably don't.

A small cough he picked up is tickling his throat, so he's heading down to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

His son and Riley are closer than they were last year-than they were last summer on their holiday to Germany. He's a dad, he notices things.

He wonders when they'll finally do something about it. He gave Riley and Ben both socks this year, for a reason, hoping they'd catch on. Family gives family clothes.

"Riley." Bens voice is soft, but it halts Patrick midway down the stairs.

"Hmm?" Comes the almost sleepy reply.

He walks down the rest of the way, stopping on the bottom step. He can see them now, the glow of the Christmas tree lights shrouding them in a red haze. He's in shadow, he knows. He didn't bother to turn on the stairway light.

Riley and Ben are paused in the doorway between the living room and entryway, standing closer than just friends do.

"Look up," Ben says, and he sounds happy, nervous, peaceful. Riley's head tilts up, and his lips part in a silent 'oh'.


Patrick put it there. If asked, he won't say it was just for them, but then, who will think to ask?

"Tradition." Bens hand reaches slowly forward, giving Riley an out.

He doesn't take it. "Yeah." Is all he says, and he's smiling now, almost shyly.

Bens hand cups the younger mans cheek, thumb gently running over his bottom lip, "yeah." And it's like an admission, and a promise of more.

Patrick turns back up the stairs as lips meet for the first time.

There's water in his bathroom, and they should be alone.

"Merry Christmas, Ben." Floats up to him at the top of the stairs. Then silence.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a new beginning. Patrick smiles as he closes his bedroom door.

So... who wants to share how to say Merry Christmas in their native language?

Reviews are love