Summary: It all starts with the Allen-household's Christmas tradition. "Ever since forever we've always put up a branch of mistletoe above this doorway around Christmas time, and any two people who pass under it at the same time are obligated to kiss. Otherwise you don't get Christmas dinner." Wally made such a dejected face that Dick couldn't help but laugh. Birdflash. Fluff.
Author's note: Merry Christmas you all. (I'm totally not late what are you talking about.) I figured after being in this fandom for three years and not having a single holiday-themed fanfic up was utter blasphemy, so here you go: a three-part fluff overdose for the three Christmases I've missed.
"Robby! I'm so glad you could come!" A fourteen-year-old Kid Flash attacked his friend in the doorway of his aunt and uncle's house. The younger boy was wrapped up from head to toe in a red scarf and hat, snowflakes powdering his coat, and he was possibly the most adorable thing Wally had ever seen. (If only it weren't for the stupid sunglasses but… Bat-kid secret identities and stuff. Wally didn't really get it.)
Robin laughed, a bit awkwardly, untangling himself from the gangly octopus that had wrapped itself around him. "Merry Christmas to you too, Kid."
"Ah Bats, Robin, welcome. I take it the mission was a success?" Barry opened the door wide for their two new guests, shaking Batman's hand and tousling the Boy Wonder's hair as they passed. Wally didn't wait for pleasantries – and frankly, Batman scared the crap out of him so he really didn't want to hang around – thus he grabbed Robin's wrist and tugged him down the hall into the kitchen, disposing of his best friend's winter garments along the way. The Garricks were already there, helping Aunt Iris finish the Christmas dinner, and defending the pot-roast from the two incorrigible speedsters who inhabited the house.
"Robin, how lovely to see you again," Iris exclaimed, pulling the bemused boy towards her. Though Dick had been over at Wally's several times already, he'd not yet gotten used to the overt displays of affection that characterized the Allen household. Bruce was, well… Bruce. A comforting hand on the shoulder or the twitch of a proud smile was the most fatherly affection Dick had ever gotten in the three years that he'd been the Dark Knight's sidekick. Not that Dick was complaining; the scarcity made the few times Bruce did let his guard down all the more precious. But when it came to Wally and the rest of his family, Dick felt so very out of his element.
Wally sat down on the edge of the table, waving Dick over. "So the mission went okay? Seriously, that's harsh even for Gotham's standards to stage a heist on Christmas Eve, of all days."
"Mm. Poorly planned and easily ended. Seems like even our villains were too busy dreaming of a Christmas dinner to have their hearts in the game."
Wally chuckled. "Well, I'm glad you got it over with this quickly. You'll see, Christmas here is a-ma-zing. Plus, Aunt I bakes the most delicious apple pie I have ever tasted, and believe me, I've tasted a couple thousand. It would be cruel to leave you all alone with the Batman in your cold, dark cave or whatever you guys live in, sitting around eating… flies."
Dick's lips twitched, thinking of the lavish manor that he and Bruce called home. "Something like that." He shifted on his seat then, wincing at the bruises that were most definitely blooming across his skin by now, hidden under his hoodie. Stupid henchmen with their fists of steel.
Wally caught the wince but he didn't say anything; he knew how Robin tended to close himself off immediately when offered help. And right now the Boy Wonder was smiling and he seemed to be in a good mood, so Wally really didn't want to ruin that.
"Want something to drink?" he offered, reminded by a pointed side-glance from his aunt that he was supposed to be a host right now. "We have orange juice, cider, and," he lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, "I know where the champagne is being kept."
Dick shook his head with the ghost of a smile. "I'm good. Maybe later. Um… could I use your bathroom, though?" He gestured subtly to his side where he could now feel the telltale sticky heat of a re-opened wound seeping blood through a layer of cloth. It wouldn't make a very nice impression if he came to sit at the dinner table with a blood stain still fresh on his clothes. Also, Bruce didn't know he'd been hit, and Dick preferred to keep it that way. He hoped his quick nod in his foster-dad's direction would be enough for Wally to catch his drift.
Wally blinked then smiled grimly in understanding. "Yep. Follow me, I'll get you some…" he stopped himself from saying 'bandages' as he noticed Batman's eyes on him, "…toilet paper."
Dick snorted but followed Wally obediently out of the kitchen.
"Hey hey, you two, stop!" called Barry's voice, halting them in their tracks. He was grinning widely at them with that dangerous glint in his eyes that always spelled trouble for Wally. Seriously, his uncle was as bad a prankster as Robin. It was a nightmare living with him. "Look up, kiddos." The boys did as told, and Wally let out a pained groan.
"Nooo…. Uncle B, that's no fair. Rob doesn't know the tradition."
Barry laughed genially. "Irrelevant; you do. So come on."
Dick frowned up at the sprig of mistletoe above his head. "What tradition?"
Wally sighed, cheeks flaming red as he shot his uncle a death glare. "Ever since forever we've always put up a branch of mistletoe above this doorway around Christmas time, and any two people who pass under it at the same time are obligated to kiss. Otherwise you don't get Christmas dinner." Wally made such a dejected face that Dick couldn't help but laugh.
"Don't look like that, Wally, I had to kiss Batman here two years ago because of this," Barry added, winking in Dick's direction.
"WHAT?!" Wally spun around so quickly he nearly got whiplash. "No one ever told me that!"
"On the cheek," grumbled Bruce, crossing his arms over his chest. "He hadn't told me about the tradition either."
Dick covered his mouth with one hand in an attempt to stop the laughter, because he knew he was just further irritating his wound with every movement he made. But seriously, Wally's flabbergasted face and this whole scene was priceless.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Iris stated, appearing in the doorway with her hands covered in flour.
Wally was still obviously trying to gather his thoughts after this new tidbit of information, so Dick took the initiative. He grabbed the front of Wally's shirt and stood up on his tip-toes, pressing a swift but sure kiss to the corner of his best friend's mouth. Then he sprang away, grinning wildly.
Wally looked, if possible, even more astonished than he had before.
"What—Rob, wait… No, I didn't mean an actual kiss! Oh my god, he just kissed me! On the lips!"
Dick waltzed out of the room, feeling mighty pleased with himself. "Sorry," he said flippantly, sounding far from apologetic. "I must have missed."
Leaving Wally standing confounded under the mistletoe, staring helplessly at his uncle who was laughing so hard there were nearly tears in his eyes. Some family.
"Walls! I don't know where your… toilet paper is," Dick called from the direction of the bathroom. The speedster ran his fingers through his hair, shaking off the odd buzz in the pit of his stomach.
"Yeah… Hold on, I'm coming." Jeeze, even Batman was almost-smiling. What a strange Christmas this was turning out to be.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!" the team speedster shouted as he shot out of his room and tore down the halls of Mount Justice. "Rise and shine! The day is young, there are presents under the tree, and- oh my god you guys it's even snowing!"
When his rousing speech had no effect other than to elicit a chorus of groans, Wally spun on his heel and began individual attacks.
"M'gann! We can't enjoy your gingerbread cookies if you don't take them out of hiding! I promise I won't eat them all at one go. Supes, help me wake your girlfriend? I'll give you half my share of the cookies. Actually, I take that back. Arty, Zee, wake up! Kaldur, you're supposed to be on my side. C'mon, you guys are such spoilsports. It's Christmas! Do you all have no sense of holiday cheer?"
"It's six in the morning, you insufferable numskull."
"It's also Christmas morning, Arty."
The League had been busy with a case up in the Watchtower for two nights now, which meant that Robin, Kid Flash and M'gann wouldn't be celebrating Christmas with their mentors/father figures. Since Conner, Zatanna, and M'gann lived in the Cave anyway, they'd all decided to celebrate Christmas as a Team, (even though Artemis' mother had relinquished her daughter rather reluctantly.)
"Where's Robin?" Superboy asked Zatanna as everyone gradually migrated towards the lounge where the tiny Christmas tree had been set up. The whole place had been nicely decorated, courtesy of M'gann and Zatanna, with sparkling garlands adorning the walls, mistletoe above the kitchen doorway, and enchanted snowmen made of real snow sitting atop countertops.
"He's not here yet?" That was strange. Wally knew Rob had steadfastly proclaimed he would be doing his midnight patrol in Gotham despite it being Christmas Eve, but he'd promised them he'd be at the Cave by morning.
"No, he's not. Please try again later," mumbled a tired voice from behind them. The Team spun around to see a bedraggled looking Robin, still in costume, dragging himself across the polished floor towards the kitchen.
"Wow. You look terrible. What the hell happened?" Wally said as he followed close behind, because Dick looked like he was about one step away from collapse.
"Coffee. Where is't."
"Coffee is a carcinogen," Wally couldn't resist pointing out, just to tease him further. Robin shot him his most cutting look, which was but a pale shadow of what he was usually capable of, given the circumstances. Wally decided to take pity on him then, and so as soon as Dick passed under the mistletoe, Wally zoomed over, shoved him against the nearest counter, and pressed his lips to his. The speedster pulled away with a self-satisfied smirk and pointed to the ceiling in response to Dick's raised eyebrow.
"Are you awake now?"
Dick's lip curled upward in a half-smile. He tilted his head, pretending to think about it. "Mm. Not quite."
Wally narrowed his eyes, perceiving the thinly veiled challenge, and leant in to clash their teeth together. This time, he nipped at Dick's unresponsive lips and slid his tongue into the other's mouth, pulling away teasingly again and again until he'd coaxed Dick's tongue into action as well. He instinctively fisted his hands in the fabric of Robin's costume, pulling the younger closer and happily dominating the kiss. That is, until something in the remaining rational part of his brain told him something about this whole scenario was… wrong. Like, the fact that he was kissing his best friend, his male best friend, in front of the whole Team. He pulled away with a jerk, staring at Dick's swollen lips, their breathlessness evenly matched. To his credit though, Dick looked wonderfully wide-eyed and awake now.
"Mhmm. Mission accomplished. See, no one can sleep through one of the Wall-man's epic kisses."
He turned to look at the Team for applause, but he was only faced with a sea of stares and dropped jaws. Oops. Maybe he should have explained.
"Wow. Um…" M'gann was blushing a pleasing shade of pink. "How long has this been going on?"
Wally laughed lightly. "It's not what it looks like. I mean, we're not actually gay or anything. Well, I dunno about him-" he jerked a thumb in Robin's direction, "but not me at least. It's…"
"Tradition," supplied Dick with a smirk.
"Exactly. Since our first Christmas together three years ago, we always kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. It's a long story."
Wally didn't think he'd ever seen such a blatantly disbelieving expression on Artemis's face before. "Riiight…"
"Oh come on you guys, you can't seriously think me and him—" He made a face at Dick, then shoved him out from under the archway. "Okay, you want me to prove my heterosexuality? Look, I'm giving away free kisses here."
All six of them gazed at him passively.
"Not even in your worst nightmares, Baywatch."
"M'gann~," he sang imploringly. She raised an eyebrow and shook her head.
"Hey, where did you learn to be so cruel? You, M'gann? You've been spending far too much time with Artemis." Wally ignored the glare Conner was shooting his way. Last shot now: "Zee, how could you possibly resist-"
"You forget I have a boyfriend, and he happens to be the one you were just kissing five minutes ago."
Wally groaned. Whoops.
Then brilliance struck again. "Fine, have it your way. But if I don't move, any of you who try to get to the kitchen are obligated to kiss me." He set his hands on his hips and smirked at them. There was no way around this one now; no one can outrun a speedster.
Artemis glanced at her teammates for confirmation, and then swiftly pulled her collapsible crossbow from the strap on her thigh, where she usually hid it whilst in civvies. She shot a polyurethane trick arrow at his feet in a matter of milliseconds, engulfing him from the waist down in the cloying, pinkish material. He was too caught off guard (a.k.a. full of himself) to flee.
"What the hell!?"
Dick burst into laughter from behind him, where he'd been busy making them all six mugs of coffee. "Well played, Artemis, well played. I'm impressed." From the grinning expressions on all his teammate's faces, the sentiment appeared to be mirrored by them all.
"Seriously?" Wally scowled, trying in vain to shift his feet and nearly losing his balance in the process. Vibrating out it would have to be. Welcome back, bloody nose. "You owe me one, you dick," he spat in Robin's direction, purposefully choosing the insult. "And you didn't even make me a coffee."
"I know firsthand what caffeine does to speedsters and… no way. Besides, you don't want to get cancer do you?" he smiled sweetly. Wally huffed and refused to look at his best friend. As he passed by, Dick leant in and gave the immobilized speedster a peck on the lips as the Team was distracted with the promise of coffee. Close enough for Wally to see him wink through the domino mask. "Merry Christmas, Kid."
"I hate you."
"Nah, you know you love me."
Wally stepped up behind him and slipped his hands around Nightwing's waist. "I love you."
Dick smiled, leaning his head back against his boyfriend's shoulder. "Yes, you tell me that about once a day."
"Well, I can't deny the truth." He tightened his grip and brushed his lips gently against Dick's neck. They were currently admiring the Christmas tree Wally had surprised Dick with earlier that evening. Dick hadn't thought they could fit a tree into their tiny Blüdhaven apartment, but Wally had been determined to prove him wrong. And here stood his result, just in time to herald the coming of Christmas Eve. It would be their first Christmas together in their own place, and Wally wanted to make it as special as can be. Besides, what was Christmas without a tree? Seriously. Where else would he put all the presents?
Speaking of presents… Wally sighed deeply through his nose and attempted to detach himself from his boyfriend. The velvet ring box in his pocket weighed him down like a sack of lead. As far as he knew, Dick had no idea about his plans, but… Wally couldn't help but be terrified of that very fact. If Dick of all people didn't suspect a thing, maybe it was because the thought hadn't ever occurred to him. Wally had always known they were on the same wavelength, as tuned in to each other's thoughts and wishes as two peas in a pod. But perhaps the prospect of marriage wasn't something they would agree on: Wally knew Dick wasn't half the romantic Wally himself was. He was the kind of guy who would always put his duties as a crime-fighter before those of his personal life, wouldn't let anything interfere with his performance. Wally liked to think he was the exception to that rule, but even now, after over a decade of knowing this man, Wally still wasn't crystal clear on how Dick's mind worked.
And he really couldn't bear the thought of him saying no.
"You're being awfully clingy today," Dick pointed out, reminding Wally that he still hadn't actually let go yet.
"Well. It's Christmas. You know how much I love this time of year. And you. I mean, I love you any time of the year, but now it's Christmas too."
Dick chuckled, slipping out of Wally's grasp. "I have a surprise for you too, you know." He padded over to the door where he'd dropped his bags earlier upon beholding the decorated Christmas tree, and rummaged through one of them. He pulled out a familiar object and held it out to Wally.
The speedster laughed. "Of course. How could we forget?" He took the sprig of mistletoe from Dick's hand and reached up to fasten it above the doorway into the bedroom, it being the only doorway in their two-room apartment.
It occurred to him then that he might not get as good a chance as right now to follow through with his plans. (And also, Dick was looking particularly fetching in his police officer outfit that he still hadn't changed out of, the Christmas tree lights catching in his coal-black hair so that he looked like some ethereal creature from Wally's dreams.) So when Dick leaned in for the expected kiss, Wally placed a hand over Dick's muscled chest to hold him back.
"Wait. I have a question to ask you first."
Dick looked marginally surprised, but then he nodded, blue eyes bright and smiling.
Here goes nothing.
"I know the kind of life we lead doesn't allow for a lot of kindness and affection," Wally started. "We go out there day after day and we see the worst of the worst. People at their worst. And I know sometimes it makes us sick, sick to think that we are even so much as the same species as those who are capable of such inhuman cruelty. But… but despite this, or maybe because of this, I don't believe we should deny ourselves the same simple pleasures that other people, normal people, have. Because there's still good in humanity, and we need to hold on to that."
Dick opened his mouth to say something but Wally silenced him with a finger.
"Hold on, I'm not done." He swallowed. "Dick, from that very first Christmas we spent together where you came and kissed me right on the lips because that's just how you roll, I looked at you and I said: him. That's the one I want as my best friend. Because I'd never felt that way about anyone else before, and I never have, for that matter. I admired you, Robin, and I envied you too. You were everything I'd ever hoped to be: smart, quirky, confident, and everyone genuinely liked you. Then, of course, I got to know you and… I realized I was so so wrong."
Dick's poker face wavered slightly at that last comment, but Wally ploughed on with a tiny smile. "You aren't just smart, you're brilliant. You're the only one who gets me when I'm talking geek and science. You're amazing on the field, always on guard, always sharp; it's honestly awing to work with you sometimes. You're witty, you always have a wisecrack up your sleeve, always know the right thing to say to make anyone smile. You're… you're not just quirky and cute, you're beautiful, Dick. And I mean that with everything I have. You're the most gorgeous guy… The way you move when you fight, it's like a dance. It's a show." He smiled. "You've always been a performer. When you told me about your past and all you'd gone through… it amazed me. That someone who had seen such darkness could be so dazzling. You're the most beautiful person I know."
Dick's eyes were fixed on him, guarded as always. Wally had no idea what he was thinking. "And… and no one likes you, Richard Grayson, we all love you. It's kind of impossible not to." He smiled helplessly. "So was it any real surprise that I would fall for you, too?" Wally's hand closed around the ring box in his pocket.
Dick must have caught the movement because he ducked his head and bit his lip, the hair falling into his eyes. But it was too late now to back away, so Wally squared his shoulders and continued, voice trembling slightly.
"So basically, this is my long-winded approach to, well…" He flipped open the box, letting the Christmas lights reflect in the blue crystal of the ring for a moment before dropping down to one knee. "Would you make me the happiest and the luckiest man alive by choosing to spend the rest of your life with me by your side? Because… why wait?" He gave a little self-deprecating laugh, looking imploringly into Dick's face. "You know me; I'm a speedster. Waiting's not really our thing."
He stared up at his boyfriend, feeling oddly detached from the scene. It was also possible that his heart was just beating too fast and he was slowly passing out from atrial tachycardia. Then Dick lifted his head, and his eyes were robins-egg soft.
"Well, now this is awkward," Dick said softly, voice slightly choked. "Here's the thing, Wally." The redhead swallowed. Okay. Maybe passing out wasn't such a bad idea after all because this sure didn't sound like much of a 'yes' so far. "I think we agreed many years ago that I'm the one most commonly in charge of this relationship, yeah? That, and the fact that I mistakenly thought you'd be too much of a coward to actually go through with a proposal… which led me to do this:" he grabbed Wally's wrist and pulled him up to his feet, where he swayed slightly, then stared in disbelief at the intricately carved golden ring with a tiny emerald embedded in the center that Dick was now presenting to him with a fond smile.
"That's… for me?"
Dick rolled his eyes with exaggerated exasperation. "No, Wally, it's for the Joker. Who else would it be for, you idiot? In case it escaped your attention, this is my answer."
Wally squeaked and then flung his arms around his startled boyfriend's neck. Oh god. Ohgodohgodohgod this was actually happening. Wally fought down the urge to pinch himself. "You have no idea how relieved I am," he half-moaned into the fabric of Dick's uniform.
"Oh Wally. You didn't actually think I'd say no?" Wally tucked his nose into the crook of Dick's neck and didn't answer. Dick only laughed and then squeezed Wally back reassuringly. "I'm getting married to an idiot. Oh joy is me."
Wally ignored that all-too-familiar jibe because the words 'getting married' coming out of Dick's mouth made him want to squeal and writhe helplessly on the floor, so instead he took the silver ring out of his box and slid it slow-ly, reverently, onto Dick's fourth finger. He couldn't help but think he'd had good taste; the ring fit perfectly and the blue matched Dick's shining eyes. Even Bruce had approved, and that was a miracle in and of itself. Then his fiancé took Wally's hand in his own slender ones and did the same to him.
The speedster stared down at the beautiful ring on his finger, feeling utterlypositivelyimpossibly elated, twirling it around and around with a mystified expression. This was his now. Dick was his. He was going to get married to the most amazing man on the planet and all he could do was gawk stupidly at his ring.
Dick chuckled – which made Wally wonder if he'd accidentally said that last part aloud – and tilted Wally's head towards him with a finger to his jaw. He sealed their lips together in a tight, promising lip-lock, as the mistletoe smiled down at them from above.
"Merry Christmas, Kid," he murmured against Wally's lips, in just the same way as he'd always done, year after year, since that very first time.
Best. Christmas. Ever.
- fin x.
Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed. Reviews are like presents under the tree for me! ;)