Checking his watch for the fifth time in just five minutes, Gilbert gave a little start. Nearly seven in the evening, Matthew should be coming to join him soon. He paced, digging himself a nice trench through the snow covered ground. This night always made him nervous, it was such a big deal to Matthew. Not that he would ever come out and say that directly, always hiding how he truly felt but Gilbert knew. This night meant more to him then all the other nights of the year, which Gilbert found rather odd but he didnt questioned it. Once again he checked his watch, only one minute having passed and he jumped feeling something wet hit his cheek. Looking up to the cloudy night sky that had a twinge of orange to it he saw it was snowing lightly again. That was good, in fact it was perfect, he thought relaxing just a little bit. Even though he could very much do without the powdery precipitation, Matthew lived for the stuff. One more glance at his watch as he continued to pace, having worn his trench down to the grass below, yes if his gift worked out the way he wanted it to, it would be the perfect Christmas Eve.
Maybe Matthew got his affinity for Christmas Eve from Francis, Gilberts longtime friend who happened to be his Birdies father, he pondered as the pacing intensified. Snow falling or not he was still very nervous. Gilbert laughed, as many Christmas Eve parties as he had been to at Francis house, he knew that was the big celebration for him. Not so much the day after, which Francis generally reserved for recovery. Matthew was different of course, he didnt like to party that hard on this day and he celebrated the day after as well but he did have one tradition reserved for this night. Gilbert felt his heart beat get faster, only a few short minutes till seven. They each exchanged one gift on this night and it was usually a big one. Gilbert froze in his tracks and focused on the lighted path he knew Matthew would be walking up in a few moments. The red eyed man gulped, he hoped he had done better this year as compared to the lameness of years past.
It had never been his strong suit, buying gifts for others. Gilbert was better at the receiving end of things, he preferred it that way. Usually he didnt even get a gift for his own brother. But Matthew was different. Very different. It was an unusual feeling for the once great Prussia to have this sort of compassion for someone. He just wanted Matthew to be happy, to feel loved, most of all to feel wanted by someone. For so many years he had watched the others trample all over the poor man, ignoring him at every possible turn, refusing to even listen to him. He had been amazed by the way the man could just take it all, without so much as an ill word against any of them. Gilbert knew thought, he could sense how broken he had become. It was a feeling he could easily relate to, they shared that commonalty. Gilbert felt like he was connected to this man and ever since that one day at the conference center where he had stood up for Matthew, they had been together.
He shook his head roughly, this year would be the most awesome of all the years yet for his Birdie. How foolish his gifts seemed now, so predictable, so unawesome. Why had he not thought of this idea before? In the past he had gotten Matthew the usual gifts, various manly jewelry, fancy wines, rare books, and other predictable things. Every time, Matthew accepted the gift with the same loving attitude, he never told him he didnt like it. Gilbert ran his fingers through his hair smoothly, typical. Matthew would never tell him he hated it, even if the gift was lame. This time around would not be lame. No, this year would be perfect. He would make his Birdie happy this year, or at least he hoped. Why did gift giving have to be so hard?
What if he had gone too far out of the box? What if he was wrong about this? What if Matthew ending up hating it after all? Gilbert threw his hands up in frustration and began pacing again. Thank Gott this night only came once a year he thought, the stress was not awesome at all.
A twig snapping in the distance finally halted his pacing for good, Gilbert stopped and squinted down the path. There in the distance was a tall thin man, walking effortless across the deep snow. Like he wasnt even trying, like it was the most natural thing to trudge through the snow. Gilbert smiled, Matthew was a beautiful sight in the snow. The falling flakes landing gently in his blond hair, the way his hands were tucked firmly in his hoodie pocket, even the foggy breath swirling around his head made the Prussian watch in awe. How could he look so perfectly at home in the snow? As he drew closer, Gilbert found himself wanting to pounce at him. Much like a snow leopard against defenseless prey. He was conflicted, he could have watched Matthew walk up the path all night but he also couldnt wait to get the man into his arms. His instincts flared, just run to him, they urged. After an internal debt lasting only a few seconds, Gilbert took off running ready to seize the man he loved.
He laughed as Matthew looked up in time to see him crashing into him. The delighted look of surprise made Gilberts heart soar. Using the extra momentum from the running start, Gilbert spun them both around until they fell laughing into a snow bank on the side of the path. Kissing him softly on just about every part of his exposed face, Gilbert felt the mans cheeks flush with embarrassment. He loved that Matthew could get so easily flustered, it only fueled the fervor more, Gilbert becoming slightly more aggressive with his caresses. Finally, Matthew laughed and cupped his face in his hands, drawing him in for one swift, but powerful, kiss on the lips. Gilbert could have just stayed lying on the snow for the rest of the night after that, but Matthew pushed himself up, bring Gilbert along with him.
Staring at him with the beautiful purple eyes that Gilbert adored, he wrapped his arm around his waist and brought him in so that their hips pressed firmly together.
Well hello and Merry Christmas Eve to you too Bear. Matthew chuckled gently. Gilbert beamed at him.
You know I gotta make und entrance awesome Birdie. He quipped back. Not that the entrance had been unawesome, he thought. In some ways, Matthew was more awesome then Gilbert ever hoped to be. Smiling even harder, Matthew reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small white envelope, with Gilberts name carefully written on the outside.
If you want your gift, unfortunately, one of us is going to have to let go for a moment eh. He teased. Gilberts internal debt raged again. No he wasnt letting go, he didnt want whatever was in that envelope near as badly as he wanted Matthew in his arms. He pulled him in tighter and Matthew laughed.
Nien Birdie. Im not letting go. He said, like it was game. He wanted to shout the word ever to go along with the words but he didnt, his love and excitement overwhelming him. Matthew nodded and unfolded himself from Gilbert.
Its ok Gil, Merry Christmas. He said softly handing him the envelope. Gilbert took it, somewhat dejectedly. Either way, he was getting love from his Birdie, what more could he want.
Carefully, not wanting to rip whatever was inside, Gilbert opened a slit in the top and tugged out a very thin, lamented pass. Curious, he glanced over it and was almost brought down in shock. He looked from Matthew to the pass in complete amazement. How did his Birdie always know the precise gift to get him? The one that without a doubt would make him the happiest. Gilbert gulped, he didnt know if his gift would match the awesomeness of what he had just received.
In his hand, he held a week long pass to the German Metal Rock Band Fantasy Camp! Come hang out with artists, learn new skills or brush up on old ones. Only for those who are truly AWESOME enough to handle! It was the most amazing gift and it was perfect coming from Matthew. Only his Birdie could think of something so wonderful and so awesome. Tucking the envelope into his own back pocket he wrapped his arms around Matthews waist and kissed him again. When he drew away, Matthew looked up at him almost expectantly. Now it was his turn, he gulped again, he hoped he had done good enough.
Without a word, Gilbert ran his hand down Matthews arm and laced his fingers in his own. One big tug they were off, walking down the path towards his gift. He could tell Matthew was slightly confused but he gripped his hand tightly, feeling the man give a little squeeze back. Good, he trusted him. Of course he had no reason not too but it was still good to know that he would follow Gilbert wherever he led him. That was an awesome feeling, Gilbert smiled happily.
It seemed to take much longer to follow the path down to the small clearing he had set up then it did earlier that day. Maybe he was just too anxious or too excited, either way it seemed to be twice as far. He felt his nerves returning slowly and he gave another squeeze to Matthew hand, receiving one back. Just for a second he glanced back and saw Matthew staring back at him intently, a curiosity stretched across his fair features. Good he had his interest peaked, he thought turning back to the path. Almost there, almost moment of truth time. Gilbert knew what it was and his own anticipation was building.
With just a few short feet until they reached the clearing, Gilbert stopped and turned to face Matthew. The man cocked his head at him. Gilbert smiled, he loved when he did that. He didnt say a word but went behind him and wrapped his hand over Matthews eyes. He laughed and shook his head, leaning back further into Gilberts grip. Ok, this was it. Gilbert guided him into the clearing and over to a bench to sit him down gently.
Frohe Weihnachten mien Awesome Birdie. He whispered into his ear removing his hand. Matthew gasped in pleasure and smiled as Gilbert as he went to sit across from him at the picnic table.
On the picnic table, Gilbert had arranged a whole assortment of sweets. Some of Matthews favorite, the man did love his sweet treats. Little cakes in a variety of flavors such as chocolate and strawberry, a number of different fudges, cookies of every shape, size and flavor, there were cupcakes and chocolate dipped fruit. Set on a wintery table cloth, with candles flickering with the light wind that had kicked up. The snow that had started falling looked like a sprinkling of powdered sugar and it didnt affect the sweets at all. Gilbert set a mug in front of Matthew and proceeded to pour a good amount of hot chocolate from a thermos. The steam rose fast, the hot liquid fighting the cold air.
Gilbert watched as Matthew picked up the mug gently and choose a brightly colored cake from one of the plates. He popped it into his mouth and chewed happily, taking a sip of the chocolate. Gilbert smiled when his eyes lit up with surprise.
Gil, you made the maple flavored hot chocolate! You finally got it down! He cried happily, taking another, longer sip. Gilbert nodded.
It took me und unawesomely long time but I finally figured it out. He said taking a sip of his own. The hot liquid felt good on his very dry throat, and it helped warm him up. He was getting colder by the second. Matthew grabbed another cake and ate it with a huge smile on his face.
Soon he moved on to the cookies and then sampled some of the fudge. Gilbert watched lovingly as he enjoyed every bite, taking great drinks of his hot chocolate as well. The mug had to be refilled several times. Gilbert was fairly certain the man liked his gift, but he still wasnt sure if it was good enough. What if Matthew was just being polite? Gilbert knew that was what he liked to do, Matthew hated hurting peoples feelings. He often lied at the expense of his own. Gilbert didnt want that, he wanted to know honestly what he thought of the picnic in the snow. Taking another sip of his hot chocolate, still only on his first cup, Gilbert cleared his throat.
S-so, do you l-like your a-a-awesome g-gift? He shivered, his teeth clattering together. The snow was starting to fall harder and he was pretty sure his bum may be permanently frozen to the bench. Matthew rested his elbow on the table and then his chin in his hand, gazing at Gilbert.
Cold? He asked, Gilbert could tell he was not at all. The man was built for cold brutal temperatures. Gilbert was not, he did not like the cold one bit. Teeth still rattling, he nodded at Matthew.
To his surprise, Matthew got up and came around to his side of the table. Throwing one leg over the bench, he sat down and wrapped Gilbert into his arms. How was he so warm? It was impossible but wonderful. Gilbert sighed, nestling himself closer to Matthews chest leaning his head back to rest on his shoulder. If he could stay like this, for the rest of forever, Gilbert would be content. He took a deep breath, Matthews hair smelled of maple syrup and pine trees. Like Christmas. Matthew was as good as any gift he had ever received and he was grateful. Gently, he felt Matthew place his bare hand against his cheek. It was warm, Gilbert sensed heat radiate across his face. He sighed contently.
After a few moments, Matthew leaned down to whisper in Gilberts ear.
Yes Gil, I love the gift. Its perfect this year, you can stop worrying now ok? He said. Gilbert looked up at him.
Who said I vas worried? He quipped. Matthew rolled his eyes and gave him a small kiss on his cheek.
Bear, I know you too well. You cant tell me you werent. Matthew replied back. Gilbert nestled his face into the base of Matthews neck, kissing it softly. Of course he knew, Matthew was amazing at that reading the atmosphere thing all the others could do. He reached behind him and brought Matthew down for a kiss.
Birdie, your too awesome for words you know that? he whispered back, feeling his lips brush against his with every word. He felt Matthew smile against him, leaning down further.
That may be the nicest gift youve ever given anyone Gil. He said. Gilbert laughed and finally pressed his lips lightly against Matthews.