The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn – Chapter 100: All I Want For Christmas
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
A/N: I lied! I said it would be soon, and then I made you wait until Christmas! And it ain't gonna be long. This is just kind of a snapshot into the future. The not-so-distant future. Since I never really specified a very specific timeframe or month or date or whatever other than "winter", and since I consider this my Christmas present to all of you, you may guess exactly what this is. Anyway, sorry for lying, I didn't mean to. But you get your epilogue. If it will make things any better, I'll put on my little red Santa dress, put my hair up in a ponytail, draw a scar across my nose and do a cute little dance to the song of the chapter. Since I already have one entirely choreographed thanks to my dance teacher, this won't be too hard, darlings. This really is the final hurrah for TGTYEL, so I hope you enjoy it. So long and thanks for all the fish, guys! Whatever, merry Christmas! Sorry for the wait! In the spirit of Christmas, forgive me! I'm not going to put another note at the bottom, so I'll leave my plea for reviews here. I just want to end this fic as it deserves – without my bitching and randomness. I felt so…so…happy, sad, overjoyed, in love writing this chapter. I feel blessed to have gone through this journey with all of you and my characters, and I promise I'll visit them in other incarnations at some point. I love you guys. So, make my wish come true - all I want for Christmas is you~!
Warnings: I promised sex, didn't I? Well, this is where I disappoint you. This is a story that has porn in it, and I think I've delivered. Don't you think I delivered? Sorry, but I can't manage another chapter of sex. I just wanna conclude the story of my favourite boys.
Disclaimer: Fuck you Kishimoto!
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas
I froze in my tracks, one socked foot still hanging in the air just above the floor, bundle of neatly wrapped presents under one arm. Slowly, I turned my gaze from the tasteful tree stuffed in the living room corner towards the source of the greeting. My face coloured. The bobble end of the silly, oversized Santa hat perched on my head fell forward, not quite obscuring my vision.
"I was trying to be sneaky! Go back to bed! Right now!" I snapped, but I couldn't stop my lips turning up in a smile. Kakashi's smirking figure in the doorway shook with a chuckle before retreating – though the door didn't fully close. I glared at the gap. "Bed!"
"But sensei!" he wailed. My smile turned into a proper grin. It wasn't possible to be grumpy at Christmas.
"Bed! Now! Or no presents!" I shouted, clutching the bundle of presents to my chest possessively. Naturally, the threat was completely empty; he would get every single one of these presents after I spent so much time trying to covertly work out what he wanted and what he'd like and what would be meaningful somehow.
I crouched to arrange the presents neatly to the left of the foot of the tree, big ones on the bottom, little ones on the top, trying to hide the gaudy tree stand Kakashi insisted on using despite its hideousness. Everything was so much easier once my cast had come off, last week precisely. Wrapping up presents was the hardest challenge. I got through at least twice as much paper as I should have, and countless rolls of sellotape. I resisted the temptation to squeeze any of the other pile, my pile, on the right. Many were book shaped. A smile crossed my lips again; he knew how to make me happy.
It would have been sensible to arrange them in the night, but the thought didn't occur to me until we were otherwise occupied. Hiding the presents had been a challenge in itself. It hadn't taken long at all to move into the same flat – mine, naturally – and it hadn't taken long for a team of dogs and Kakashi's keen logic and oddly attuned nose to find anything I tried to stash away, especially food and Christmas presents.
A flash of doubt entered my mind. What if he didn't like what I'd gotten him? What if it was all wrong, or brought back bad memories, or if it was just stupid? As if to dismiss my thoughts, a cold nose nudged my neck. One hand absentmindedly reached back to pet the soft head before straightening another parcel.
It should be fine. It would be fine. He loved me, so it would definitely be fine.
"Okay, you can come out now!" I called as I stood up and straightened my hat.
And thus, the great unwrapping began. Shreds of wrapping paper that would require intensive hoovering out of the carpet flew everywhere, dogs chased and chewed balls of scrunched up wrappings, and presents formed a less-than-neat circle around us. Kisses were exchanged as thanks for presents and just because. I think I preferred the just because ones.
Finally, surrounded by bright, festive detritus and gifts (the socks were definitely a hit), a final box appeared. It was smaller than everything else, wrapped more plainly in red tissue paper. Wordessly, I took it into my hand and carefully peeled off the paper. I didn't want to tear it, even though it was just the wrapping. Inside was a scuffed box that had probably been covered in velvet at one time, with rusty hinges and a small stain on one corner.
I paused. If this was like every other romantic story ever, I knew exactly what it was going to be, and that scared me. I looked up, my gaze loaded with questions and worries and-
"Open it," he said softly. My free hand stroked once over the lid, silently asking, 'are you sure?' "Go on,"
So I did. And it wasn't like all those movies and books and songs. No cheesy romantic music started playing over cliché dialogue, no fire crackled in the hearth, no mistletoe appeared over our heads. It was just a single gold band lying on a bed of silk. A part of an inscription winked in the light: 'to the one-'
Immediately, I snapped the lid shut. It almost hurt my eyes to look at it, but it was a good kind of pain. I wanted to open it and look again and again so I could keep feeling that pain, that glorious ache, that built in my chest just thinking about it. I kept my head bowed, not daring to look him in the face. If I did, I probably would have laughed and cried and screamed and said all kinds of ridiculously romantic and probably very stupid things, and I wasn't sure I wouldn't explode.
"You don't like it," his voice was barely audible. My head snapped up, breaking my internal rambling. "I'll understand if you don't want it, it isn't important-"
My lips collided with his before I really knew what I was doing. I just had to shut him up somehow. My hand tightened around the little box as the other supported my weight, newly repaired wrist twinging in protest at the sudden exertion, but I didn't care.
"Thank you," I gasped as the kiss broke. "Thank you,"
"You want it, then?" he said incredulously, grey eyes filling with indescribable emotions. His whole face lit up, and mine changed to mirror it. Every single detail, every line, every angle, I had committed to memory again and again, I wanted to remember this expression. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
"Of course I do, you idiot! I'm only sorry I can't give you something like this back!" I replied breathlessly, grinning like an idiot.
"It was my father's wedding ring. We can't be legally married, but you can wear my ring. Seeing it on your hand every day will be enough for every Christmas for the rest of our lives," Kakashi explained. "And maybe things will change one day. Maybe one day, we can get it done legally – if you'll put up with me until then, that is," he winked, and my heart melted.
The ring slid on like it was made for me, and then he kissed me until I cursed my dependency on oxygen. My heart raced; I slid my hand under his shirt, and his beat just as fast to the same da-dum rhythm as mine.
Not fine. Perfect.