Merry Christmas everyone, hope you like your present!

~*~*~*~

Colin fiddled with the bow on his package, shifting restlessly from foot to foot from where he leaned nervously against a brick wall. His teeth chattered from the cold, and he wished he had a watch so he could check how long he'd been standing there. Then he could watch the seconds to distract him from the wait. Instead he fixed his eyes on one individual snowflake at a time, watching each fall to the ground before lifting his eyes to the next one. He lifted his mitten-clad hand and caught one, the way he'd seen Tory do once, and it slowly melted from whatever miniscule body heat he still possessed. 'Melted just like my courage the moment I left the house,' he smirked in self-depreciation, but he wasn't about to go home. He'd be damned if he'd let weeks of effort be wasted. More importantly, he'd be damned if he'd wait almost an hour in the freezing cold for no reason.

Even so, he had no idea how he was going to go through with this. Sighing, he lifted a hand and absently brushed the snow from his soft black hair. He shivered as the wind picked up, and huddled his face into his scarf to keep the blowing snowflakes out of his eyes. Forcing himself to take deep breaths because the nervousness made him dizzier than most and being dizzy was worse for his health than most, he turned again to stare at the direction from which Tory would be coming, watching anxiously for any sign of the redhead. He wished he could already be wearing his sweater, but figured that would make the surprise of his gift a little anticlimactic in Tory's eyes.

Finally he saw Tory trudging back from the grocery store, a heavy-looking plastic bag in one hand and a large brown paper bag full of vegetables in the other arm. The taller male stopped walking when he saw Colin and, quickly glancing both ways, darted across the street.

"Hey, Colin!"

The redhead seemed rather cheerful for such a cold day. But Colin remembered that Tory liked snow. Well, so did he, just the wind and the chill weren't very good for him. But Tory hadn't been that happy a moment earlier, had he? In fact, he'd seemed a little grouchy at being forced to go get groceries for his mom. Colin shrugged as he put it out of his mind, and Tory looked at him in confusion.

"Um, I was waiting here for you," he said a little shyly, noting the way Tory seemed to perk up at this.

"Really?"

"Yea, I…" Unable to meet Tory's eyes, he thrust the present against the other boy's chest with a rushed "for you."

When Tory didn't take it after a few moments he glanced up, only then remembering that Tory's hands were full. "Sorry!" He apologized flusteredly, clutching it back to his own chest, looking down, his cheeks flushed.

"It's all right, here, let's get out of the wind," Tory gestured towards an alley with his chin. "You got me a present? Thank you," the redhead said as he set down his bags once they got far enough into the alley that they couldn't feel the wind. "I haven't gotten you yours yet though," he said apologetically.

"Got…no, it's fine, I don't want anything," Colin answered, blushing. "I made it. It's, um, a sweater. I made me one and I had enough time so I made you one too. For…you know, for always taking care of me and worrying." He was embarrassed that he was saying this much to Tory, but he just couldn't seem to stop rambling. Why did he even bother wrapping it? Jeez.

"Of course I worry," Tory answered, "it's normal."

"No one else does," Colin said.

"Oh…" Tory trailed off, blushing too.

"Um, here," Colin said, offering the gift to break the awkward pause. Tory opened it and unfolded it, noticing the beautiful braided pattern in the ribbing of the emerald green turtleneck sweater.

"Wow, Colin, it's really nice! You're good at this kind of thing, huh?" He held it up to himself. "It's perfect. Green's my favorite color."

Colin blushed deeply at the compliment. "Mine too, I like your eyes. I mean! Um, I made it green because it matches your eyes!" 'Stupid stupid STUPID!'

"I like my eyes too, it's not a common color," Tory answered, not seeming bothered. "The only bad thing is the allele for green eyes is generally linked to the allele for freckles on the chromosomes." He rubbed ruefully at his cheek as he spoke.

"But I like your freckles too," Colin protested. He bit his lip in resolve. "Actually, I like all of you," he admitted in a low, shy voice. "Tory, I…I like you."

He heard Tory's gasp of shock, and then, after a few seconds of utter silence, he couldn't bring himself to look up, chickening out. "Um, sorry, that's all," he whispered, ashamed, and turned to run home, intending to crawl under his covers and just cry. This had been such a bad idea. 'Idiot,' he chastised himself. 'Why couldn't you just suppress your feelings? Now you've lost your best friend.'

Before he could even take two steps, though, he felt arms encircle him from behind.

"Don't go," Tory whispered. "Do you mean it?"

His heart pounding, he just nodded jerkily, then tensed in surprise as he felt a kiss press into his hair just behind his ear.

"I like you too," Tory whispered, pulling back a little as he spoke, then bent to plant another small kiss at the spot just as Colin jerked his head to the side to stare at the redhead in shock. Instead Tory's lips brushed along his cheek before their lips met. Not moving for a moment in surprise, they then both began to press into the kiss, gently moving their mouths against each other. However, as Tory slipped his tongue out to lick at Colin's lower lip, the shorter boy pulled back.

"Wait." He turned around in Tory's arms, noticing the sweater pressed between them. Tory hadn't dropped it to catch him. He slid his arms up Tory's chest to wrap around his neck, just hugging him for a moment before tilting his chin up and parting his lips. He slipped his eyes shut as he felt Tory's mouth seal over his own and a warm tongue slide into his mouth. It tasted a little odd, but he wasn't complaining. After all, he was finally kissing Tory! Moaning a little, he stood on his tiptoes for leverage, squeezing Tory closer and putting more force on their lips. It was clumsy, as neither really knew how to kiss, and Colin felt saliva running in a slow drip down his chin and neck as he lost himself in Tory's embrace. His heart was pounding and he smiled around Tory's invading tongue, sucking on it some.

Soon after, too soon for his tastes, they broke off for air, their breath coming out in hot puffs of visible mist from the cold. He buried his face into Tory's warm neck, appreciative of the heat against his cheek. Sighing softly, he cuddled into Tory, who hugged him tighter.

"…just so you know, I'm kind of obsessive over you," Tory warned him as his heavy pants slowly faded to normal breathing.

"If you weren't you wouldn't care about me, because I'm such a pain to put up with," he answered. "I'm serious about you too."

"Yeah, but I mean…Colin, I love you," Tory whispered, burying his face into the other boy's soft ebony hair.

"…I love you too," he responded, blushing. He was pretty sure Tory was blushing too, and confirmed it when Tory pulled back to press another kiss to his mouth. However, instead of taking the invitation when Colin parted his lips, Tory kissed down the jaw, following the trail of saliva before pulling off Colin's scarf. Colin sighed a little in pleasure, tilting his head to give Tory better access to his neck. Tory pressed a kiss to the pulse point, then suddenly latched his lips to the skin right over the pulse, sucking. Colin gasped, then moaned a little, bringing his hands up to tangle in the redhead's hair.

"Mine," Tory hissed when he let go, squeezing Colin closer instinctively.

Colin blushed deeply. "…yours. …mine?"

Tory pulled back a little to look at him. "Yeah," he grinned, tilting his head away a little, baring his neck to the raven. Shyly, Colin brought his mouth to the pulse point, nibbling a little and then licking the spot before suckling on it. When he let go he licked the hickey, blushing a little brighter and rubbing his cheek back into the warm curve of Tory's throat. They may have marked each other equally, but he felt more like Tory owned him. It made him feel a little girly, but he found that it didn't bother him a bit. He liked the way Tory made him feel safe and special.

Tory rested his chin on Colin's head, and they shared a quiet moment of happiness, until Colin shivered rather violently. Tory jerked back and leaned down to pick up the scarf, catching the sweater before it could hit the ground too. He wrapped the scarf around Colin's neck.

"You should get home to warm up, and my mom's gonna kill me if I'm not back with that turkey soon. Walk with me?" He picked up his bags, the sweater draped over the arm with the plastic bag with the heavy turkey in it.

"Sure. Though you don't need to worry so much about me, I'm okay," Colin answered.

"For now," Tory retorted. "I'm allowed to worry; I care about you."

Colin softened, seeing the concern and love in Tory's eyes. "I know. Thank you." He stood on tiptoe to press their lips together briefly.

Tory smiled. "So now I need to figure out what to get you; I was still thinking about it," he pondered out loud.

"No, Tory, I don't need anything," Colin protested. "Anyway, I like homemade gifts better."

"But I'm not good with my hands like you are," Tory blushed, "so I wouldn't know what to make."

"Mmm…" Colin leaned against him, shy but determined. "Maybe you could…give me something I want…" he squeezed Tory's crotch lightly. Tory gasped and nearly dropped the bags before clutching them tightly.

"What, really? You want…you're ready for that kind of thing?"

"Yes, I'd like to try…" he blushed, not looking up. "You?"

"Me? Oh, definitely," Tory grinned. "I've had enough fantasies to know I'm interested in you like that as well." He started walking as he talked, and Colin followed. They exited the alley, starting for home together.

"Oh," Tory remembered as they walked. "My mom wanted to know if you and the doctor want to come over for Christmas dinner on Friday."

Colin smiled. "I'll ask him. I'm pretty sure he'll say yes. We'd be eating out if we don't, because neither of us can cook well enough for something like that."

"Okay," Tory smiled. As they reached their homes, they glanced around, then quickly kissed before parting to their respective sides of the street.

"See you tomorrow," Colin called, and Tory waved.

~*~*~*~

The next day, the last day of school before Christmas break, Tory wore the new turtleneck to cover up the hickey on his neck. It was made of a very warm wool, he noticed, so warm that he didn't even need an overcoat, just his hat and gloves. He checked himself in the mirror, admiring the way it fit him. It quickly replaced his green shirt as his favorite top. The color was really very striking with eyes. He hoped Colin would think he looked good.

When he got to school, he found that Colin was wearing his turtleneck as well, for the same reason. It was a deep midnight blue with the same stitch pattern. Tory liked it; the color made Colin's eyes an even deeper shade of black by comparison. Colin was wearing a scarf on top, though, because he chilled easier.

"You wore it," Colin said by way of greeting, his tone casual but his eyes happy.

Tory smiled at him. "You too." He looked Colin over again appreciatively, making the raven blush slightly.

As they turned to walk into the school building, Mandy arrived, and the first thing she squealed when she caught up to walk with them was "omigod you two match!"

"Shh!" They hissed at her in unison, glancing around with a blush, but no one was paying attention.

"Ohhh," Mandy said slyly, understanding immediately. "Finally you two get it."

"Get what?" Colin asked, glancing at Tory. There was no way she knew…right?

In answer, Mandy crossed her fingers on her left hand, bent them away from each other so there was a gap in between, and thrust her right index finger emphatically into the hole. Both boys gaped at her, blushing, and she smirked sweetly. "Just remember to eat lunch with me every once in a while, because I know lunch is going to turn into library snuggle time, isn't it?" She whispered with a wink. "And by the way, you two are adorable together," she added as she waltzed past them, heading to class, and they just stood in the hall staring after her bouncing pigtails.

Slowly they looked at each other, and then smiles broke out on their faces. It was an unexpectedly huge relief for Mandy to be so casual and approving of them; it was a first step towards a someday open and accepted relationship. Maybe someday even Mary and Dr. Garrets would give their blessing, but they could wait a while for that. After all, they both felt sure that this would be a lasting romance.

"I love you," Tory whispered quietly under the cover of the din in the hall. "I wish I could hug you right now."

Colin smiled. "I filled that sweater with all my love when I made it, so that it could hug you when I couldn't," he admitted, wishing that didn't sound so cheesy, even if it was totally true.

Tory didn't take it as cliché at all, grinning widely and leaning closer. "And someday soon I'll fill you with all my "love," so that you'll know that I've claimed you and you belong to me forever, whether you're in my arms or not."

Colin blushed frantically and ducked into the bathroom to splash his heated cheeks with cold water, his heart beating fast. Tory followed him, but since it was right before the time school started, there were other guys in the bathroom. He couldn't hug Colin there either, but he caught his boyfriend's eye in the mirror and rubbed at the mark Colin had left on his neck through the sweater, his eyes conveying his feelings. Colin mirrored the action, pressing two fingers to his own turtleneck, and they smiled at each other.

~*~*~*~

There you have it, (mostly) fluff. But hey, I wrote this about half a year ago and there isn't any actual smut, so you can't send me to hell for posting smut at Christmastime. Nyeh~! xD