04.07.12 The powers that be here at SearchLight Academy finally gave me permission to go home for Hanukkah. Huh, as my Mark is fond of saying. I’m over a thousand years old, it’s been nearly that long since I called any one place my home, and now only Mark’s house, Mark’s bed, anyplace where Mark lives, is my home.
I still don’t know what to give him for what he terms this “child’s holiday,” but I have until sunset. A few more hours. Maybe Mark will give me an idea.
Luke popped into existence in the kitchen of the company house. He sensed his lover nearby and turned a full circle, but Mark wasn’t in the room. He transported himself upstairs, and heard the soft splash and mumble of water in their bathtub. Silent as a shadow, Luke crept to the partially open bathroom door.
Mark’s dark tousled hair showed just above the water; Luke noted that his dragon lover was soaking in an oatmeal bath. Good. That would help his second-ever shedding.
“Mm,” Luke said. “It’s a little late for breakfast, but you’re making me hungry, Mawster.”
His lover splashed water over the side of the tub, went under, and came up spluttering. His eyes, bright sapphires, blazed at Luke as he wiped his face. A grin started at the corners of his mouth, and Luke laughed as his lover tried to glare despite the obvious joy radiating off him.
“What are you — ? No, don’t answer that.” Mark stood. Water cascaded off him. “Is this my Hanukkah present?”
“Maybe.” But only if I can’t think of a better one. He crossed to his lover, poofing a towel from his lamp and using his magic to warm it before wrapping it around Mark. “How’s the shedding?”
Mark scowled. “Itchy.”
Luke held out his arms. “May I?”
“Only because you enjoy it so much.” Mark licked his lips. “And because I’ll make you pay for it later.”
Maybe a sexual gift? With his lover safe in his arms, Luke strode into their bedroom.
He spotted the card on the dresser and magicked it over so he could read it as he settled on the bed with Mark still in his arms.
“It’s from my brother.”
The homophobic bastard. Although to give Jonathan Tavery credit, the few words he’d spoken to Luke over the last two months had lacked their previous malice.
Mark squirmed, and Luke let the water dragon off his lap. He poofed a tube of lotion into Mark’s hand. “I’ll help you in a second. I want to read this.”
“It’s your funeral.” But Mark’s lips twitched again.
Luke flipped open the card, seeing it was originally blank inside. Jonathan had penned a short note on top. On the bottom, he’d attached a picture of an old style Pontiac.
Not just any Pontiac. That’s Mark’s Pontiac back when it was brand new.
‘You’re going to have to give up my car eventually, but here’s a picture of her in her glory days.
‘Happy Hanukkah to you and Luke — Jon’
Luke dropped the bit of cardboard and paper and stared at Mark. “Your car was his car?”
Without looking up from his industrious application of lotion to both arms, Mark said, “I needed something of my family’s to take with me. When I left, I fully expected never to go back.”
Luke magicked the card into his pocket, glad his lover wasn’t looking at him. “I’ll be back with your present in a few hours. It’s a special order.” Please let me be able to do this for him. He’d never tried something quite this complicated, and he’d definitely need magic to paint it, but the construction would be by hand.
Mark glanced up, and his disappointment was clear.
The genie leaned in and kissed him. “I promise it will be worth it.”
“How long are they letting you stay?”
“Until the sixteenth. But I’ll be back on the twentieth after I take the finals I missed, and then I don’t have to leave again until the New Year.”
His lover nodded. “Go on. I’ll actually make dinner instead of the take-out I was planning.”
Luke kissed him again, and then vanished.
“Is it fragile?” Mark lifted the box with both hands and settled it on his lap. “Like the clay dragon?”
“A little more delicate than that.” Luke bounced on the balls of his feet. The gift had exceeded his expectations, though he’d used more magic than he’d expected. Who knew making such a seemingly simple thing could be so difficult?
Mark opened the box, his fingers deft and quick. “Luke, what… Oh…” He drew the model out, his face full of the wonder of a child. “It’s… Where did you get this?” He held up the model of his late 80s Pontiac. The whole car was no larger than his two fists. “Did you make this?” He ran a finger lightly over the roof and down over the hood. “Is it made of paper?”
“Parts of it are. I’ve been studying origami for a long time.” Luke crouched in front of his lover. “Is it right?”
“Down to the tiniest detail.” Mark returned the model to its box and set the box on the coffee table. “Thank you.” He tugged Luke forward until their lips met.
Happy Hanukkah, my Mark.