Jack walked around the burrow glancing every so often at the bear walls. Christmas was just a week away and still there was yet to be a single Christmas decoration to be hung. He loved his pooka just the way he was but he did wish he would get into the sprite of Christmas a little more.
He wanted this Christmas above all to be special because it was the first one they would share as mates. It was almost depressing to see the lack of holiday decoration in the burrow. If there was only so place he could barrow a some.
At that thought Jack stop and idea forming in his mind. He smile as he took on last look at the burrow that was completely devoid of any form of Christmas cheer. Before opening a tapping the ground twice with his staff allowing the ground beneath open a tunnel to the Pole. Smiling to himself Jack took off down the into the newly formed tunnel on a mission to bring his mate some Christmas magic.
Bunny walked home tiredly. It was had been a long day of pre-easter season preparations. Ones that for the most part he had forgotten about in the chaos of the past months. Now however they were done and he could go home and relax for a little while until Jack returned home. Winter was just about to start which meant his mate wouldn't be home till late if he even made it home. In which case he would send Bunny a messenger egg so he wouldn't worry.
Bunny reach the path that lead to the burrow. As he looked up the path he could see lights on through the window. At once Bunny instantly brighten. Lights on mean Jack was home early. Bunny quickened his pace anxious to see his mate once more.
Bunny bounded thought the door excitedly only to freeze at the sight he was met with. He blinked once, he blinked twice, he blinked a third time but still the scene before him did not change or go away. If he hadn't known any better Bunny would swear that he hand just walked into one of the rooms of the Pole.
The walls were decorated with yards and yards of evergreen garland, big red velvet bows, and lights. The mantle was draped in more garland and lights as well as red pillar candles, cranberries, and pine cones. In the corner of the living area sat a large fir tree decorated just as magnificently as one found at the Pole. On the kitchen table sat an arrangement of candy cane striped candles with more evergreen branches, pine cones, and cranberries. Though these appeared to be dusted with the slightest hint of silver glitter. Beyond the table he saw a modest size gingerbread house. Though despite the modest size was just as grand as the rest of the decorations. The construction was expertly done with careful attention paid to every little detail.
The whole burrow was from what Bunny could see decked out for the approaching Christmas holiday, and if he were to look through the rest he had no doubt that there were only more Christmas decorations to be found. There was only one problem that Bunny could see. It was Christmas.
Bunny looked around trying to figure out who was the culprit behind turning his home into another one of North's festive rooms. He just knew that North had arranged all of this to mess with him.
"Oh Aster you're home," the oh so familiar voice of his mate called breaking Bunny from his thoughts. Bunny had been so lost that he had not noticed Jack entering the room. Bunny eyes followed the direction of his voice to where they found Jack standing in the archway leading to the hallway. In his arms were what looked to be leftover Christmas decorations.
"Yer the one responsible fer this," Bunny asked his jaw dropping ever so slightly. For some reason he couldn't quite wrap his mind around the idea that his mate was the one responsible.
"Yep, doesn't it look great," Jack answered with a proud smile as he set the box down on the near by table "I thought I'd surprise you by decorating and getting the place ready for Christmas." he continued when he was facing Bunny once more. The smile never once leaving his face.
"Great! It looks like Christmas bloody exploded in 'ere," Bunny all but yelled.
"You mean you don't like it," Jack asked taken back by his mate's out burst.
"Like it why would I like my home bein' turned in ta on of North's bloody Christmas displays," Bunny said raising his voice as he motioned to their surroundings. Though as he did so Bunny failed to see the heart broken look in his mate's eyes.
"But I thought…" Jack began trying his best to keep the hurt from his voice.
"Did it ever occurred ta ya ta ask me 'bout somethin' like this before ya went and done it," Bunny half asked half demanded. He did nothing to hide the displeasure in his voice.
"I just…," Jack started trying to fight back the tears that were making it hard to speak. He had though that decorating the burrow would make his mate happy. He hadn't been trying to upset him as he had.
It was the sound of hurt that now made itself apparent in Jack's voice that drew Bunny's attention away from the decoration to his mate. He saw now how deeply his words had cut at his mate. The tears that were welling in his eyes, but refused to fall.
"Jackie I…" Bunny started only to have Jack turn his head from him.
"If you didn't like it you could have just said so," Jack stated all the hurt he felt clear in his voice.
Bunny ears flattened against his head as he began to realized how badly he had screwed up "Jackie, luv, I'm sorry," Bunny tried again.
"Don't Aster, you've already made it clear how you feel," Jack snapped. He did not want to hear what ever apology his mate had. It was not so simple that an apology could erase the hurt Bunny's words had caused in his heart, nor did he want to stick around for more. Without so much as a glance Jack turned and retreated back down the hallway from which he had come.
"Jackie wait," Bunny called after him as he followed after. He was not about to let the matter go. Not until he could convince Jack that he was sorry.
Jack pace only quickened as heard Bunny behind him trying to catch him.
Bunny followed quickly as he tried to catch his mate.
Bunny followed after Jack until they reached their bedroom at which point the pooka had the door shut abruptly in his face. He stopped just as he would have crashed face first into the door. Though the moment he did he wish he hadn't knowing it was no less than he deserved for what he'd said. A moment later Bunny heard the tell tell click of the lock.
"Jackie luv, I'm sorry fer what I said. I didn't mean ta 'urt ya, ya just surprised me with it all." Bunny called through the door remorse clear in his voice. When he received no replied Bunny rested his head against the door eyes closed ears back "please luv ya gotta know I'm sorry." he pleaded his voice soft.
"Go away," was the reply that met Bunny's ears.
"I'm sorry Jackie, didn't mean any of it I swear," Bunny pleaded his still soft and remorseful.
"I said go away," Jack shouted back through the door. Bunny closed his eyes tighter. he knew that this was a battle of will he couldn't win. Jack could be just as stubborn as he if not more especially when he was hurt. Bunny knew this far too well when he let his mouth run away with itself, for more often than not Jack would be on the receiving end.
Most times Jack let him finish his rant before he would say anything. At which point he would throw back Bunny's words often pointing out the faults of his words. It was a difficult at times, but Jack wouldn't let such hurtful word get to him. Especially when he knew Bunny never mean any of them. It was one of few faults that Jack disliked about his mate, but one he dealt with all the same. Besides it wouldn't take Bunny more than a few moments into Jack side of whatever quarrel before he'd realize what he had done and begin to try and apologize.
However there were other times when Bunny's words would cut too deep, and Jack would leave without a word and in tears. Bunny would try to stop him to apologize but ultimately if Jack wanted to be away from Bunny than there was never a way to stop him from doing just that. It would then become impossible for Bunny to reach him until he was ready.
Now was one such time. Jack had shut himself off from him with no intention of allowing him back in until he had calm down. Bunny bowed his head in defeat cursing himself for being so hot headed again. Why Jack put up with it was beyond him in all honesty he felt as if he didn't deserve him. Sighing in defeat Bunny turned to retreat back down the hallway.
As he emerged from the hallway Bunny looked around at the burrow once more. Though this time he took his time to actually look at the decorations. Setting aside the fact that they were Christmas decorations Bunny saw the amount of time and effort Jack had to but into it. They were beautifully done in every last detail. As Bunny continued to look over they rooms he noticed for the first time as small green object beneath the tree. Slowly he made his way closer to the tree and to the object that lay beneath it. As he grew closer he could see it was in fact a present wrapped in a beautiful deep green paper. Gently he picked up the small object and turned it over in his paws until he saw the tag. It was folded and tucked into the ribbon that was a silver and gold color. Careful not to mess up any of the wrapping Bunny removed the tag opening it so he could read it: To the one I love more than anything in the world. Merry Christmas Bunny I hope that every Christmas finds us just as happy as we are now.
Bunny read the words of his mate over and over again. Each word bringing another tear to his eye, and making his feel even worse for the way he had reacted. Especially as he began to realize the motives Jack must have had to go through so much trouble. The only reason he could think as to why he would have gone through all the trouble was because he wanted to make this Christmas special. He wanted to make their first Christmas as mate special.
Bunny couldn't help but want to beat his head into the ground as he felt a groan escape his throat. How was he ever going to apologize for this one. Here his mate was just wanting to do something special and he had damn near bit his head of because of it.
He though for several moments before an idea came to mind. There was only one way he could think of that seemed right, and if North were to find out he would never be able to live it down. But to hell with that Jack was his mate and if there was one thing he would do for him it would be anything to insure the happiness for his mate.
Jack lay on the bed he shared with Bunny as silent tears slid down his cheek. He still couldn't believe the way Bunny had reacted to the decorations. Were they really that bad? True his Bunny was The Easter Bunny and for the most part really didn't like Christmas, but it was Christmas after all. A time to spend with the ones they loved. True it would have been a better idea to ask Aster about decorating the burrow as a posed to going head and doing it. He knew he had a bad habit of over reacting to things, so in all honesty why was he so shock by the way Aster had reacted? Jack sighed heavily as he sat up wiping the tears from his eyes. Though it still hurt him the way Aster had reacted Jack couldn't find it in himself to be angry with him. In either case he would have to face Bunny sooner or later.
Jack looked to the clock only to raise an eyebrow. It showed that it was now just a few minutes passed eleven o'clock in the evening. Had he really been lying there that long? Apparently he had Jack though as he rose and stretched his stiff limbs.
Jack walked slowly and quietly to the door pausing only for a minute to unlock and open it. He continued out the door and down the hallway. The only sound to be heard was that of soft tap of his steps as they made contact with the warn wooden floor. It was uncommonly quiet even for this late hour, for on most nights at the very least one could hear Bunny's soft snores or other sounds of the Warren. However that was not the case for this night.
The mystery of the silent burrow only deepened as Jack entered the into the living area. Though it was dimly lit illuminated only by the light given by the fire that burned upon the hearth Jack could see that it too was empty. Though what caught his attention the most was the fact that the door was ever so slightly ajar.
Jack crept slowly to the open door. It was not a normal thing to see the door to the burrow open at this late an hour. At least without someone standing near it. Cautiously and ever so slowly Jack opens the door just a little more. Just enough to see out into the Warren. As with the rest of the burrow it is quite. The moon giving off just enough light so that all was not dark and one could just barley make out the tree line.
Not a stone nor blade of grass seemed to be out of place. Everything seemed to be as if it were any other night in the Warren. The only thing that appeared to be amiss was the door. While one could easily assume the latch did not catch when it was closed allowing it to open itself. Jack could not believe such a thing. Especially when his mate was so particular over such little details. On the other hand Bunny could have in his own frustration not bothered to make sure the latch had caught behind him.
All these thoughts ran through Jack's mind as he stepped out into the burrow even more. Looking around Jack let out a sigh. He need to talk to his Bunny though as he stood in the doorway he saw that he would have to wait for him to return. For before him he could see nothing but an empty Warren as empty as the burrow to his back. Sighing once more Jack turned to retreat back inside only to holt at the sound of leaves rustling off to his left. As Jack turned his head towards the direction of the noise it stopped. He waited for several moments for it to start once more but it didn't. Brushing it off as to be an egglit Jack turned to head inside once more. Only to have the noise start once more only this time much closer, and again only to cease when he turned in its direction. Pressing his lips slightly Jack turned his head back to go inside and again the noise returned. Jack turned his head again annoyed by the fact it started and stopped as quickly as he could turned his head. As he expected it stopped. Though this time instead of turning to retreat back into the burrow. He took off towards the direction of the sound with the intent of finding its source.
Judging it by the volume and pitch Jack was able at least focus his search on to a small group of bushes a short distance away from the burrow. Pushing back the limbs Jack searched through the foliage trying to find the source of all the commotion. Pulling back one branch Jack discovered what he had suspected all along. There hidden beneath the green leaves was an egglet.
"I knew it," Jack whispered under his breath as he lifted the egg into his hand. As he pulled the small egg from the bushes he could see the shell was decorated. Even more so in the dim light of the moon he could see a Christmas theme painted upon the delicate shell and by Bunny no less. Jack raised his eyebrows is surprise. After the reaction he received from his mate on the decorations he had not expected to see this. An apology painted so beautifully and carefully upon the shell. Though it may seem strange to most for Jack to find an egg such as this one after such an argument was his Bunny's way of apologizing and admitting he was wrong.
Jack smiled at the small gift. Though he knew he would be hearing many more apologies when he did see his mate again. He could be patient enough to wait. With as soft smile upon lips he turned to head back inside.
Only the moment he did so the area around him lit up causing Jack to be taken back. Completely and utterly stunned by the brilliance an intensity he nearly dropped the egglet from his hand. Still in awe Jack walked from where he stood to take in the sights around him. Thousands of Christmas lights show brightly as they adorned the bushes and trees surrounding the burrow. There even some that clung to the burrow itself.
As he continued to take in the sight of all the lights. Jack still had a difficult time believing his eye, for he had not an idea as to where they had all come from.
"So ya like 'em," called a familiar voice from behind. Startled Jack spun around only to relax once he saw that it was his mate.
"I umm…," Jack stuttered no entirely sure how to respond. Indeed he did like them, but more than anything he was confused.
"Ya don't like 'em," Bunny asked ears back in disappointment as he took Jack's lack of words as a rejection. Though what could he really expect after the way he had treat his mate hard work.
"No, its just," Jack started looking for the right words "I'm a little confused is all. I thought you didn't want any Christmas decoration in the Warren." he explained still trying to wrap his head around what he was seeing.
"About that Jackie," Bunny began as he took several steps until he was standing before his mate "I was surprised is all and reacted poorly. I'm not use ta things bein' changed 'round 'ere, and hadn't even considered ya might wanna dress the place up a bit fer Christmas. I'm sorry fer the things I said and would give anythin' if I could change 'ow I reacted." His words were true and sincere. His tone was more than apologetic it was more of one that held regret.
"I know," Jack said with an understanding smile and if not a little devious as well.
"Ya know," Bunny asked catching the deviousness that Jack held in his smile. One that he knew far too well and was more than likely not going to like what his mate had in store.
"Yep, which is why I don't feel guilty about sending pictures to North," Jack stated proudly.
"Ya what," Bunny asked in disbelief of this new piece of news.
Again Jack smiled with his mischievous smile "gotcha," he said with a laugh. Bunny visibly relaxed hanging his head relieved.
"Keep that up and yer goin' give me a 'eart attack one of these day," Bunny said as he pull Jack into his arms.
"I doubt it, besides you would miss it if I ever stopped," Jack replied with a smug smile.
"Gettin' full of yerself aren't cha ya," Bunny responded with a smile of his own.
"And you're not," Jack asked.
"It's my nature," Bunny answered with his usual cocky smile. To which Jack rolled his eyes before laying his head against Bunny chest.
They stood there for a few minutes in silence. Content to be in each other's arms erasing that events of earlier.
"Aster," Jack said after a moment.
"Yes luv," Bunny answered.
"Merry Christmas," Jack replied content as he always was when he was with his mate.
"Merry Christmas Snowflake," Bunny said with a smile upon his lips.
Well there you have it my extremely late Christmas special. I can't begin to apologies for for not posting it sooner. Of all the time for writers block to hit. My mind was scattered into so many places I simply could not find the right words or direction for this plot. I know this is in no way related to what has been going on in previous chapters, but it was an idea I've been wanting to write for some time. Perhaps next Christmas I will write it a month in advance so that it my be published on time. Next chapter should find itself back on track with the currant time line. In the mean time I need to figure out where I left that one at. Keeping track of what has happened in this story is starting to become a task in itself. With any luck the next chapter will not take a month to write an published. In the mean time please review and tell me your thought of this latest chapter. Until next time…