Title: Just a Little Christmas Story.
Characters: Rob and Tim
Author's Note: Key to some Australian words down below.
**** Summer Sundays were made for this. The backyard was flush with bright growth, brought on by a few weeks' drought-breaking rain and the subsequent sunshine, and they could hear the faint whine of a mower starting up down the street. Cicadas hummed in a drone that would be as constant a background to the season as the seemingly endless cricket commentary. Six days to Christmas and it was already warm enough to kick the covers off on mornings like these. The lawn could wait. Rolling atop his partner, Rob caught his lip in a kiss, which Tim happily returned. Running a hand down his side, Rob grinned at Tim's reflexive jerk as fingertips ghosted over that spot just inside the man's right hip that always guaranteed a response. Never worked on the left, though Rob had tried often enough. Shifting slightly, Rob was just getting comfortably distracted when the warbled sound of "Frosty the Snowman" penetrated their room, followed by the oscillating wail of a fire brigade alarm. Tim bucked strongly and threw Rob off, stumbling as he tried to exit the bed, hit the floor and pull on yesterday's jeans in one move. Hopping as he unravelled his sock from the inverted cuff, Tim looked back at the baffled man still in bed. "Come on!" Rob's head thumped back on the pillow as he waved Tim away, "Go, go, enjoy", but he was talking to himself. **** Tim picked his way across the lawn, hissing as a bindii prickle lodged in his bare foot. Brushing it loose, he waved once more at Santa- who this year was actually Errol from the footy club and the volunteer fire brigade's treasurer. A half dozen local kids had chased the fire truck down the street as Errol and his helpers threw lollies to those too shy or young to leave their front yards, but Tim had managed a good handful for himself. Well, one had to uphold and support local traditions, right? He unwrapped a caramel and popped it in his mouth, enjoying the rush of sticky sweetness. Okay, not the best he'd had, but passable. Rob stood on the verandah in his jeans, hands resting on his belt as he leant his bare back against the warm brickwork. Tim tucked the lolly into his cheek and talked around the overly sweet mouthful. "Couldn't resist, huh?" Tim teased. "I knew it. I knew you had a heart in there somewhere, Scrooge. Want one?" Rob raised his eyebrow, noting he'd been offered the less-favoured barley sugar and not one of Tim's favourites. Schooling his features, Rob straightened up and gave his partner a stern look, whilst fingering the buckle on his belt. "Tsk tsk. Timothy, did you really steal lollies from those poor kids?" Tim's heart gave a thump, and he looked his partner in the eye, unable to keep the grin from his face at the tone. "Yep. What are you going to do about it?" The End Bindii = small prickly burr that invades lawns in summer. Early balance and athletic training is provided free to all Aussie kids as they try hop on one foot to remove these buggers. Footy = Australian Rules Football (AFL). Lolly = candy, sweeties.