Author: S.H. Marr PM
Rey never really thought about the reasons that make staying out late a bad idea until he discovers one: the rest of the people out in the middle of the night are insane. Insane, pushy, arrogant, and maybe kind of adorable. Slash.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 55 - Words: 84,831 - Reviews: 301 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 64 - Updated: 01-05-13 - Published: 04-14-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3013457
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rey removed his arm from around Eiryu's shoulders as his uncle, aunt, and cousin opened the door. "Hi, Uncle Frank…Aunt Susan…Felicia."
The two of them had been sitting on the love seat, waiting in the living room with the rest of his family for…well, the rest of his family to come. His father's brother, his wife, and their kid were coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Rey's parents had taken quite a bit of convincing, but they had eventually agreed that Eiryu couldn't spend Thanksgiving alone and allowed him to come over.
His uncle, Rey's father's older brother by four years, released the warm hug he'd given his brother and sister-in-law and stared at his nephew. "Rey, hi," he said. "And who is this?"
Rey winced. He hadn't realized he would have to introduce Eiryu to the rest of his family, who didn't know him and Eiryu and…well, that it would be hard to explain a boyfriend. "This is, um, Eiryu."
"What's he doing here?"
"Well, he's not able to go see his family this year, and…um, well, we thought it would be best if he came here instead."
"Oh," his uncle said. "Well, hi, Eiryu. That's a funny name."
Eiryu shrugged. "My parents named me."
Rey's fifteen year old cousin, Felicia, looked around her mother. "Is he your boyfriend?" she accused.
Rey sighed and looked over at Eiryu. "Yes, he is."
An awkward silence fell. Rey hadn't wanted one, but he'd expected it, and he wasn't going to lie to avoid it. "Oh," Rey's uncle managed. "I see. That's…nice."
Rey smiled and pretended he didn't feel the tenseness in the air to the hesitation in his uncle's voice. "Isn't he cute?"
"Actually, yes," Felicia said. "I didn't think you could get somebody that good."
"How would you know how 'good' he is? Maybe he has a horrible personality," Rey grumbled, crossing his arms across his chest.
"You wouldn't date someone with a horrible personality."
Eiryu turned his attention from Rey and his cousin to Rey's uncle. "Hello. I'm sorry if my presence here makes you feel uncomfortable. I promise that Rey and I can keep our affections to ourselves."
Rey's uncle didn't say anything, but he probably didn't know what to say, and he least he didn't seem upset.
"So, uh, how have you been?" Rey's mother finally asked.
"Oh, good," Rey's aunt Susan finally interjected, desperately latching onto a change of subject. "Felicia just finished up the school play last week?"
"We did The Crucible," the teenager added.
Rey made a weird face. "Kind of weird for right before Thanksgiving, isn't it?"
"You know, I have no idea," Rey admitted. "It sounded right when I said it."
"The Crucible?" Eiryu asked, looking at Rey expectantly.
"You know what? I'll explain later," Rey said, waving him off. Given the content of the play, Eiryu would have more than a few comments that he wouldn't want his extended family to hear. Or his sister, whom he and his parents had yet to figure out how to tell about Eiryu's….differences. "Mom, is dinner ready yet?"
"Just about, honey. Take their coats and put them in our room, would you?" she called from the kitchen.
Rey shrugged, stood up and let his family members pile coats into his arms before disappearing down the hall to dump them on his parents' bed. After completing his task, he returned to the living room to find everyone else sitting down at the kitchen table.
On one side of Eiryu was Mae, on the other…Felicia.
"Hey!" he protested. "Move over!"
The girls looked up at him and gave him nearly identical looks of disbelief. He should have known they weren't going to get up without a fight about it.
"My boyfriend," he said. "I get to sit next to him. Move, Felicia."
Felicia rolled her eyes and moved over a single chair. Rey took her place and smiled at Eiryu.
"Now," Rey's father said. "What are you thankful for this year, Mae?"
"I'm thankful for Mrs. Robinson, my teacher, because she's nice, and I'm thankful for my family," she said.
"Fair enough. Ashley?"
Rey's mother thought about that for a moment before saying, "I'm thankful that we're all alive to have another dinner together."
Rey's father chuckled, nodded, and said, "I'm thankful no one's started fighting yet."
Eiryu started in his chair and looked at Rey warily. "Fight?" he whispered.
Rey rolled his eyes and shook his head before pressing his finger to his lip. They all had to say what they were thankful for before they got to eat, and staring at the bowl of mashed potatoes in front of him was starting to get to him.
Rey's uncle spoke up next. "I'm thankful for my new job and my wonderful family."
"New job?" Mae asked.
"We'll discuss it over dinner, Mae," Rey's father said. "Susan?"
"Oh, I'm just thankful we have all this food in front of us."
Rey's grandfather spoke up without any prompting. "My health, my family, and seeing my brother again this year."
Felicia rolled her eyes. "Um, I dunno. I'm thankful I live in America?"
It was Rey's turn then. "I'm thankful that I have a decent family, an understanding grandfather, my friends."
"Not Eiryu?" Felicia asked.
"Not exactly, no."
Eiryu gave him a wounded look.
"Shut up. It's your turn. What are you thankful for?"
Eiryu was a quiet for a moment, staring down at his empty, white, ceramic plate. His hand found Rey's as he said, "I'm thankful for you." His grip on Rey's hand tightened almost to the point of pain and he looked up at Rey with eyes that were suspiciously wet. "Everything that's gone right this year was because I met you."
"Oh, gag," Felicia muttered. "Can we just move onto eating?"
Dinner was amicable, nothing but small talk and catching up while everyone tried to force as much of the delicious dinner as they could into their stomachs. Thanksgiving was like that. Eiryu only reluctantly let go of Rey's hand, however, and Rey knew they weren't done talking yet. The conversation was simply being put off until they could talk in private. It would be a while, what with having to socialize for a while after eating, but they would get there eventually.
Unfortunately for their conversation, Rey's extended family stayed even later than usual, not leaving until after sunset to drive an hour and a half home. Rey didn't envy them the drive. As soon as they were gone, Eiryu dragged Rey bodily into his bedroom and sat him on the bed. "All right, what is this Crucible thing? I felt like an idiot every time your cousin brought it up and I was the only person who didn't know what it was."
"It's a play," Rey supplied helpfully. "About…about the Salem Witch Trials."
Eiryu's scowl dropped into something resembling confused disbelief. "What? Those? You people still talk about that nonsense? You wrote a play about it? A bunch of religious fanaticism and idiocy? None of it even makes sense. I don't even know why anyone decided you could get magical powers by making a pact with a fictional demon."
"Fictional? You're not religious, than?"
"I'm plenty religious. Just not Christian, or any religion your people remember. We'll talk about it later."
Rey shrugged. "That's fine. I have another question, anyway."
"And what's that?"
"What do you mean, that everything good that's happened this year was because you met me? We only met about three months ago. The year's almost over."
Eiryu sighed and sat down next to Rey. "It's true. I'm…not alone anymore. I have someone I can talk to about everything. Your grandfather…he and his brother give me a new connection to my father. I thought I'd lost everything. His ashes were buried in my family's backyard. I can't even go there anymore. I…I feel like I have a future again."
Rey winced. "That's not a lot of pressure on a new relationship or anything."
"I'm sorry," Eiryu said quietly. "But it's the truth."
Eiryu reached out and took Rey's hands in his own again. "Rey, look, I know everything has been crazy and stressful, and I can't promise or even guess that things are going to slow down. I can only hope that I'm worth it to you. I can only say that I want to help get through it with you. I don't know if I can do everything without you. I'm sorry, but it's true."
Rey shook his head and sighed. "I'm not ready to make huge declarations, Eiryu. But I've stuck around this long."
"I know. Thank you."
Rey grinned. "I can think of other ways to thank me…"
"Yes," Rey said breezily. "Bake me some cookies."
Eiryu laughed. "Okay. Whatever you say."
A/N: Crap, Christmas is coming up in this story. Any ideas for Christmas presents for the boys?