The window pane has a coat of ice. It is fogged and quite opaque. The house smells of cinnamon, spices and cheer. Evergreen decor lines every doorway. The dinning room doorway contains a tidbit of mistletoe, which her parents kiss under every night. A sparkling tree, wearing red ribbons, gold tinsel, and shimmering candles, is in the front foyer. It towers over guests as they walk in the door. Songs of hope and good will fill the air.

A young girl, with hair of gold, sits by the frosted pane. She draws little faces in the fog. The child's face is lit up with excitement. Her parents smile at her as they walk past. Food is being prepared. More guests arrive. Children the young girl's age crowd around. They are dressed up in little suits and little dresses. The golden-haired girl smiles at her friends and leaves the frosted window. The children frolic through the house, enjoying the warmth of the fireplace. The adults converse, laugh and joke. Everyone is merry and everyone in bright.

The adults calm the children, and entice them with the roasting of chestnuts in the fire place. The mother of the house begins to set the large dinning room table. The daughter of the house approaches her mother. She tugs upon her skirt.

"Momma, when is Godfather Raven coming?" the little girl asks with wide blue eyes. Her mother, with hair of a similar blonde shade, smiles down at her daughter. She pats her head.

"I'm sure he'll be here soon, Lancia. Very soon," she replied.

"He's bringing lots of toys for my friends and I, isn't he?" the little girl asks again.

"Of course... you know how he loves to make you trinkets and toys," his mother says. Lancia smiles brightly. She leaves her mother to her chores and returns to the other children.

A loud knock comes to the door. The children all stop their playing to look to the door. The father of the house approaches the door and opens it. Standing in the doorway, half covered in white snowflakes, is a very tall man. He is wearing an all black ensemble, containing a cape and top hat. His hair is long, black, and tied back loosely. Lancia smiles, noticing the familiar black eye patch.

"Godfather Raven!" the blonde girl cries with joy as she runs at the tall man. She lunges forward. Raven catches the girl in his arms and picks her up. He grins his mischievous grin.

"What did you bring me!?" Lancia asks excitedly.

"Lancia, mind your manners," her father scolds. The golden girl bites her lip and nods.

"Sorry," she pauses, "Godfather Raven, did you bring us any gifts? Not that it matters, but I'm curious," the little girl tries to rephrase her question in a less rude manner. The godfather laughs.

"Of course I did," he replies with another grin. Lancia's face brightens. The other children cheer. Raven walks into the door and shuts it after. He shakes off the snow, and walks to the living room. He taps his silver-tipped, long black cane against the ground each time he takes a few steps. The children follow him like the piedpipper. Raven sets down Lancia and walks to the center of the room.

The godfather looks around at all the children. He then spreads his cape like a black hawk spreading its wings. When he lowers his cape, there are two large presents behind him. They are only a bit shorter than he is... which makes them quite tall. The children stare at the large packages.

Raven turns to one of the two boxes. It's wrapped in shiny silver paper, with a big blue bow. He unties the bow... and the box falls open. Standing in the center of the fallen box is a red coated solider. A female soldier, wearing black boots, spotless white britches, and a tall black hat. Two polished red circles adorn her cheeks, and a musket it resting upon her shoulder. Her face is youthful and in a stern position. Her hair is as white as the snow that lays on the ground outside. The little children stare up at her. Raven walks behind her, and sticks a giant golden key into her back. He turns it a few times, winding up the soldier woman ... like a toy. He steps away with the key.

"March for them, Razen," he chants to the soldier.

The children's eyes widen as the soldier begins to move. She marches from her place. Then she takes her musket and begins to spin and twirl it about in a military-esque routine. The dance-like march lasts for a few minutes before the soldier stops in place, back in her rigid position. The children clap and giggle. Raven looks pleased. He folds up the box around her.

He approaches the other box. This one is wrapped in golden paper. The ribbon is a dark crimson. He unties this box and it too falls open. Standing in the center of the fallen box is a ballerina. The tutu is fluffy and pink. The tights are a pale rose. But the ballerina is flat and broad shouldered. His hair is of snowy white. Two pink circles blush his cheeks. Raven smirked, clearly knowing something that the others did not about the ballerina. He picks up his golden key and puts it into the ballerina's back. He twists it like he did with the soldier. Then he pulls it from the ballerina man's back and steps away.

"Dance, Crezan! Dance!" the godfather nearly cackles.

The ballerina's eyes snap open to reveal crystal blue orbs. In motions more fluid than the soldiers, he begins to dance. Upon his toes he steps along the wooden floor. He twirls a few times, then leaps past the fireplace. He is quite graceful to watch... but some of the children laugh at the poor ballerina man who wears a tutu...

He soon stops upon his toes and shuts his blue eyes. Raven boxes up the ballerina man. The adults and children of the party clap. The black clad relative takes a bow. As he stands to his full height, he spins about once. When he faces the front once more, in his arms he holds many smaller gifts, all with tags labeled to the children of the party. The young babes' eyes widen with wonder as they crowd the mysterious Raven.

To all the young boys, he hands out tin soldiers. And to all the girls, he gives porcelain dolls. The children fawn over their gifts. The boys begin to battle with their soldiers. The girls take care of their dolls. Lancia is left without a doll. She looks up at her godfather.

"Godfather Raven, do I not get a gift?" she asks, sounding a bit heart broken. His one eye, of a green shade, holds a playful glint.

"Not at all. I have a very special gift for you, Lancia," he says with a grin. From behind his back he pulls another toy... This one is not a soldier, nor is it a doll... it's...it's...

"What is it?" Lancia asks after staring at the toy in her godfather's hands. Raven hands her the wooden toy.

"It is called a Nutcracker," Raven explains to her. He shows her how the nutcracker would crack the nuts between his teeth when a lever in the back is pulled. Lancia nods her head in understanding. She ponders the nutcracker's face.

"He's ugly!" another little girl says as she cradles her pretty doll. Lancia looks over at the girl and her doll. Then she looks back to the nutcracker. A distressed look comes over her face. Her brows then form into a V.

"He is ugly... I don't like him! I want a doll!" Lancia cries. She throws the wooden nutcracker hard against the floor. It hits the wooden floor boards with a loud crack.

"Lancia! That was very rude of you! Apologize to your godfather!" Her mother scolds. Lancia, teary-eyed, shakes her gold head and stomps up the stairs. Her mother sighs.

"I'm so sorry, Raven. I don't know what came over her," her mother apologizes. The black clad godfather smiles understandingly. He kneels down by the broken nutcracker.

"She is young yet..." he says as he wraps a handkerchief around the nutcracker's broken jaw.

Lancia sits curled up in her bed. She hugs her pillow. She hears footsteps out in the hall. Her door is opened a ways. She glances up to see Raven in the doorway. He walks to the bed, carrying the nutcracker in his arm. He sits upon the edge of the child's bed.

"So you think he's ugly, hm?" her godfather asks. Lancia stays silent, instead looking at the wounded nutcracker in her godfather's arm.

"... It's all Marlene's fault... She said it first," Lancia whimpers.

"Is that so?" Raven asks. The little girl sits up and reaches out for the nutcracker. Raven hands him to her. The golden haired child cradles the nutcracker to her chest.

"I'm sorry, nutcracker," she whispers. Her godfather smiles.

"Take good care of that nutcracker. He is very special," Raven says. The young girl nods her head. She smiles ever so slightly. Raven kisses her forehead then stands.

"Merry Christmas, Lancia," Raven says as he walks to the door. He then shuts it, leaving the young girl to her own. Lancia continues to hold the nutcracker in her grip. Before long, she falls asleep holding the nutcracker in her arms.

Soft scratching awakens the young girl. Lancia slowly opens her eyes. The scratching grows louder. She pats around her bed. The nutcracker is no where to be found. Her blue eyes widen as she sits up with a start.

"Nutcracker?" she calls. The room is dark. The house is quiet except for the scratching. Lancia sits silently for a moment before climbing from her bed and slipping on her slippers. She pads down to the living room, following the loud scratching. To her surprise, the tree is still lit. It glows in the utter darkness... looking very magical.

The nearby grandfather clock chimes midnight. Lancia jerks her head in the direction of the 12 gongs. A black lump is sitting upon the clock. The little girl stares as her godfather unfurls his cape. He smiles his mischievous smile at her from atop the clock. He vanishes in a few moments. Lancia stares at the top of the clock.

"Godfather Raven? What was he doing on the clock?" she murmurs to herself. She squints her eyes... the tree seems even bigger than usual... The scratching noise becomes unignorable. Under a nearby armchair, she sees... a big ball of green fluff.

Noticing the clock and chair also seem too big, Lancia looks around the rest of the room. The entire room looks gigantic... Lancia looks to herself.

"I look like a doll!" she proclaims loudly. The scratching suddenly stops.

"Who goes there?" a hissing voice asks. Lancia looks toward the armchair. The green ball of fluff has turned about. It is a snarling rodent... with a golden crown upon its head. Lancia shrieks upon seeing the green rat.

"Oh, just a stupid human. Leave me alone," the rat says with a groan before turning away. The scratching noise starts up once more. Lancia takes a few steps closer. Her blue eyes widen when she notices what is causing the scratching.

"Release my nutcracker this instant!" Lancia yells as she runs at the rat and starts pounding her fists on the rat's side. Being gnawed upon is the tall military like black hat on the nutcracker's head. The rat squeaks in protest and glares at Lancia.

"I told you to leave me alone. This is my nutcracker that I can do whatever I wish with," the rat hisses.

"No, he is mine! My godfather gave him to me!" Lancia yells at the rat. The rat rolls her eyes.

"That old hack... he doesn't know what he's doing these days. This is my nutcracker rightfully. He has no right to be giving it to you. So it is still mine!" the rat hisses again. Lancia bites her lip momentarily. But her blue orbs widen when she notices another source of movement.

The nutcracker has arisen. His hat has been completely chewed off... His wooden joints begin to move. He picks up a bobby pin. The rat notices the look on Lancia's face and quickly turns around. She screeches and attacks the nutcracker.

The wooden toy and green rat tumble upon the floor. The nutcracker wards off the rat queen with the sharp pin. Lancia looks about frantically for something to help the nutcracker. More green rats crawl out from holes in the wall... and surround the nutcracker. Lancia spots a bowl of hard holiday candies. She quickly scrambles to the bowl and begins throwing the hardened pieces of sugar at the menacing rats. The rats become distracted and hiss at the little girl. Many of them begin to approach her...

Having run out of candy, Lancia pulls off one of her little slippers and begins to swing wildy at the rodents.

"Nutcracker!" She cries out. Hearing to call, the nutcracker immediately starts cutting through the rats to get to Lancia. A few of the rats latch onto her night gown. They pull harshly upon the fragile material. There comes a loud rip. The rats, the queen... and even the nutcracker stare momentarily.

"... It's a boy!" one of the rats states. It is true... Lancia stands there...in "her" nudity. The parts of a boy hang between "her" legs. The little child notices his naked element and quickly looks for something to cover himself. His eyes sting as tears of embarrassment come to the rims. The rats fall over laughing.

"Stop laughing!" the little boy cries. The nutcracker quickly pulls a ribbon from one of the packages under the tree and wraps the poor boy in the green ribbon. The little boy quivers under the ribbon, crying from being so exposed. The nutcracker looks to the little child, then toward the rats. He glares at them and their aching sides.

"Jaki... and her followers... you shall regret defiling this child!" the nutcracker yells out at them. The young boy stares up at the nutcracker, having never heard him speak before

"Hah! Raven messed up in giving you to your "bride"! You cannot marry a little boy!" Jaki, the evil rat, cackles. The nutcracker continues to glare at her. He finally lunges forward at the ugly green rat. The young child shrieks as he sees the rat bare her sharp fangs. He shuts his eyes. All goes silent. When he opens his eyes... he sees the rat queen, dead upon the floor. A well placed wound to the neck bleeds profusely. The little boy looks up at his nutcracker. A thin coat of red blood has bathed his pin. The other rats stare at their dead queen. They pick up her dead carcass... and scurry back to the holes from which they came. Her gold crown is left upon the floor.

The nutcracker kneels down and picks up the golden crown. He then rests it upon the little boy's head. The young child looks up at the nutcracker with tears in his eyes.

"Please... tell me what is going on..." the little boy says as he trembles. The nutcracker nods his head. Then he picks up the little boy in his arms.

"Everything shall be explained to you, do not fret," the nutcracker assures. He approaches an open present box. The inside is dark. The nutcracker carries the child into the box. They both disappear into the darkness.

They end up in a world covered in white. But to the child's surprise, it is not snow. It is powdered sugar. The powdery sweetness falls upon them like falling snow. The golden haired boy leans his head back, catching the sweet sugar in his mouth.

"Why is it that you were under the guise of a girl, Lancia?" the nutcracker asks gently. He continues to walk with the young boy in his arms. Trees... with candied fruit upon their branches... are covered in powdered sugar. The child stops looking about the new environment for a moment to look to the nutcracker. He then looks down.

"Mother wanted a daughter... so they raised me as a daughter," the little boy whispers.

"... What name shall I call you from now on?"

"... Lance... is my male name," the boy replies, then continues, "What is your name, nutcracker?"

"Tybalt."

"Tybalt?"

"Yes... Tybalt," the nutcracker says with as best a smile he could with a face made of wood. The powdery surroundings lead to a river bank. The river is a creamy white---Eggnog. Lance squirms in Tybalt's arms. The nutcracker lets the child down. The golden haired boy approaches the river of eggnog. His eyes are wide with curiosity. He leans over the creamy river. He pauses before taking a drink... for his reflection looks different. No longer is he wearing a green ribbon about his naked form. He is decked in a royal suit, more expensive and fancy looking than he had ever seen. He looks down at his hands and feet, noticing the reflection does not lie. He turns to the nutcracker.

"Tybalt! My clothes... they..." he stops in mid-sentence to stare. The nutcracker too has changed. No longer does he have a wooden exterior. He is dressed in a regal suit. Black leather boots up to his knees, white britches that end under a dark blue coat with two long coat tails in the back. His face too has changed... it is not longer goofy nor ugly... It is... handsome. The one eye that shows through his curly blonde hair is of the same green at Raven's. The little child cannot help but stare at the nutcracker.

"You... you've changed too," Lance stutters. The tall man picks up the little boy.

"Indeed I have... In this realm, I can be who it is that I am..."

"... Did Jaki curse you?" Lance asks. The nutcracker nods.

"But why?"

"... Well..." Tybalt inhales deeply, "Jaki, you see, is my mother. She did not used to be a rat. She used to be a human. Raven had a child with her... which was me. When she tried to marry me, her own son, my father got angered and turned her into a rat... And as revenge for being turned into a rat, she turned me into a nutcracker," Tybalt explains as simply as he can.

"... Mothers shouldn't marry their sons," Lance murmurs. Tybalt nods his head in agreement. Lance looks Tybalt up and down.

"So did this place break the curse?" Lance asks.

"No... it merely relieves me of it while I am here... When I leave this world, I will be a nutcracker once more," Tybalt says in a sigh.

"How do you break the curse?" the golden-haired boy asks.

"I must marry someone who can love a nutcracker... which is you," Tybalt says with a smile. Lance falters and shakes his head.

"But you can't marry me... I'm a boy," Lance says quietly.

"Yes I can... this place does not frown upon such unions," Tybalt says with another smile. Lance pouts his lips a bit.

"I'd like to help you, Tybalt... but I really don't want to get married... I'm too little... and..." he rambles out of uncertainty. Tybalt presses his index finger to the child's lips.

"You do not have to make a decision yet..." the ex-nutcracker says with reassurance. He walks upon the sugary banks of the eggnog river. A bridge of candy comes into view. At the other side of the bridge lays a large castle... all made out of gingerbread, marzipan, icing, gumdrops and jelly. The little boy's blue eyes widen immensely at the sight. Tybalt looks at the little boy's expression with amusement. They cross the candied bridge and into the castle.

The inside is intricately decorated with more sugar and candy than a million children could eat in a life time. Servants scuttle about carrying trays of delicious goodies and setting tables. Eloquently dressed guests dance about on the large ballroom floor.

"This place is beautiful," Lance whispers, his eyes are still wide. The man carrying him chuckles.

"I'm glad you like it... for this is my palace... and will be yours if you marry me," he says. He lets the little child upon the ground. The guests all stop to bow and curtsey to their ruler and the little child. Lance toddles over to the goodies upon the long tables. Tybalt follows him. The young boy watches the guests continue to dance. He finishes his fill of sugar and pouts.

"What is wrong, dear Lance?" Tybalt asks gently.

"I'm too little to dance with anyone here," Lance mutters.

"I don't think you are," Tybalt replies as he takes the boy's hand. To Lance's surprise, his hand isn't engulfed by Tybalt's big hand... He notices that Tybalt does not seem to be as high up as before either. He looks down... noticing two long legs have spouted from his waist. He has grown.

"I'm... big?" Lance asks. Tybalt smiles and takes the young man out onto the dance floor. Lance blushes, noticing they were the only two men dancing together. But all the faces around them look pleased. Tybalt twirls Lance about. He is surprisingly an elegant dancer... for someone who's been made of wood for so long. He then pulls Lance to his chest and leans the young man back... and looks down into his eyes. Their faces waver an inch or so apart. The young man's face turns a tint pinker.

"I think I've had enough dancing," he squeaks. Tybalt brings Lance back up. Keeping his hand about Lance's he leads the younger man up to two thrones. He sits down in one. Lance hesitates before sitting beside Tybalt in the other throne. Lance glances toward Tybalt, then looks out upon the guests as they continue to dance. The nutcracker prince claps his hands. The guests stop dancing and clear the floor.

A couple, wearing outfits of chocolate, step out to the floor. The click-clacking noise of castanets, along with a few trumpets, begin to play. The couple does the salsa, the tango and the maramba... The smell of chocolate fills the air. Lance watches them pleasantly. The guests clap when the chocolate two finish their dance.

After them, an exotic belly dancer slinks out. Slow, zinging music plays as the flexible dancer performs her tricks. Her movements are graceful and move like water with the music. Her attire shimmers of blacks, browns and ambers. She smells of coffee, sugar and cream... She soon finishes her act and slinks from the floor.

Lance's eyes widen when a large tea pot is pushed out onto the floor. The porcelain is decorated with white and blue and very orientalizing designs. Suddenly, a Chinese woman and a Chinese man sprout from the pot. They land agilely upon their feet. The smell of freshly brewed tea fills the room. Their dance is fanatical and their movements seem surreal. They are quite acrobatic in style. The man lifts up the woman, sending her into the air, then catching her upon the soles of his feet... she rests her palms upon his feet and lifts up her body over her head. It is quite a sight to be seen. Lance watches avidly. The two Chinese people take their bows, then hop back into their tea pot to be pushed off the floor.

A few more exotic dancers, representing other delicious treats from around the world partake in dances. Lance watches them with curious eyes. He shivers suddenly... feeling something rub against his leg. He glances down. Tybalt's leg is rubbing against his own. A faint blush returns to the young man's cheeks. He looks up at Tybalt. The nutcracker prince looks to be watching the performers... but then his eyes move to the corners, meeting Lance's. The younger man blushes more and looks away. Tybalt smiles... and runs his hand along the top of Lance's nearest thigh. The blushing one swallows and pulls his leg away gently.

"You shouldn't do that... with people around," Lance whispers. Tybalt, not giving up that easily, stands to his feet. He takes Lance's hand once more and pulls the shorter man to his feet.

"What are you doing?" Lance asks meekly. Tybalt smiles cunningly as he pulls Lance down to the cleared dance floor. The lights dim... and a pale blue spotlight falls upon them. A soft violin begins to play... followed by a piano. Tybalt keeps his hold upon one of Lance's hands. He rests the other at the shorter man's waist. Lance, not having a dress to hold up, rests his unoccupied hand upon Tybalt's shoulder... after a moment of hesitation. The taller of the two smiles warmly. The two begin to dance... ballroom style. The other guests watch them quietly.

The hand upon the younger man's waist tightens... then moves down a little... almost stroking Lance's side and thigh as they dance. He shivers once more... and looks down at Tybalt's hand upon his thigh. The nutcracker prince pulls Lance closer to his body and leans his head close to the younger man's. He nuzzles his cheek gently. Lance shivers further. They circle about the floor, twirling and spinning. The younger man feels a slight dizziness come over his head. The room begins to blur... the faces all meld together.

The air becomes chilly... the world remains a blur. Tybalt's face is the only one to stand out amongst the blur. Lance shuts his eyes, trying to stop the dizzy sensations... He gasps... feeling the warmth of someone's hands upon his skin. He reaches his own arms out into the blur... reaching for Tybalt. He grabs hold of something sturdy... the world slowly begins to stop spinning.

Darkness has overtaken the ballroom... The guests have all gone. The blue spotlight has turned off. And upon the floor...are articles of clothing... clearly shed while dancing.

Kissing... they are kissing. Lance stares up at Tybalt's face... oh so close to his it is... Kissing always seems so gross... but this... this is nice... very warm... and very soft. Lance slowly shuts his eyes. His arms have wrapped themselves about Tybalt's neck. The prince's warm hand runs up Lance's naked chest... then playfully running along the edge of his britches...

Tybalt draws his lips away from Lance's, instead bringing his mouth to the younger man's neck. The only pieces of clothing keeping them from being nude are their pants... which Tybalt is working upon fixing... His fingers begin unbuttoning the front of Lance's pants.

"S-stop... " the younger one whispers hoarsely. Tybalt stops and sits up. He looks down at the flushing youth below him. Lance looks back at the prince over him. He inhales deeply, trying to regain his composure...

"What is wrong?"

"... This is a privilege of those who are married..." Lance replies. Tybalt brushes some of Lance's hair from his face.

"That can be arranged...if you wish it so," Tybalt murmurs. He stroke's the younger man's cheek. Lance leans his head into the touch, shutting his eyes once more.

"I... I do wish it so..." Lance whispers. Tybalt runs his thumb lightly over the other's lips. He smiles quite happily.

"Then it shall be," he says as he whisks the younger man from the floor. The world seems to blur once more... guests arrive, servants redecorate, their clothes turn white, a priest stands before them, vows are said... everything goes so fast...

"I do..." is repeated twice... And then, a final sealing kiss. Lance clings to Tybalt's body, kissing him as deeply as he could. His body is lifted and steps are heard...

Tybalt rests the younger man upon a silken mattress. Then his prince begins to... nibble upon his shirt? The material gently rips apart. It too is made of sugar, like everything else in this world of sweets. Tybalt eats more and more of his mate's candy shirt, till it no longer remains. Lance timidly chews upon Tybalt's sleeve; it tastes of vanilla. He swallows the sweet material and takes another bite. Tybalt smiles down at the younger man, waiting for him to catch up in his eating. He soon does... leaving the two of them shirtless... and a bit sticky.

Lance looks up at Tybalt as he swallows his last piece of shirt. The man above him smiles, then leans down, placing a kiss upon Lance's lips.

"Shall we continue lower?" Tybalt asks in a husky tone. Lance looks lower upon their bodies. Already they have kicked off their shoes and socks. Once more their pants were the only clothes keeping them from one another.

"Yes... lower," Lance replies softly. His mate smiles and moves down upon his body. His lips rest upon the edge of his britches. He begins to munch. The fabric gives way in its sugary glory. Piece by piece, Tybalt relieves Lance of his clothing. His lips brush against the newly exposed skin. By the time the last piece is removed, the younger man is quite aroused. His cheeks are flushed by the unfamiliar feelings flowing through him. Tybalt smiles up at him, then buries his face between the young man's legs. Lance gasps loudly as the familiar, warm lips kiss along his length.

Lance's slender fingers reach down, digging down into Tybalt's hair. They grip tightly. He shuts his blue eyes, gasping louder as Tybalt works magic with his mouth... his warm, suckling mouth. Never before has the young man felt such strange yet pleasurable sensations tremble over his body. He cries out as the height of such pleasure is reached. He inhales deeply and stares up at the ceiling of the candied room. Tybalt sits up from between the young man's legs. He licks his lips like a cat after drinking milk...

"Hmm... sweetest cream I've ever tasted," Tybalt purrs into Lance's ear. The younger man shivers from the suggestiveness of Tybalt's voice... How fluid it feels as it falls upon his ears. Tybalt lightly draws his fingertips over the other's skin, making him tingle everywhere. Lance shivers once more.

"If you wish for more... you shall have to remove my britches," Tybalt murmurs softly. Lance looks down at Tybalt's remaining pants... then back up at him. With a surprisingly forcefulness, he pushes Tybalt upon his back... then slides down. He begins stripping the sweet material from his mate's lower regions. The pants come off easily in pieces of silken sugar. Lance swallows the sugar avidly. He finally rids Tybalt of his last remaining garment. His blue eyes gaze upon his mate in his entirety... It causes him to flush and look away.

Tybalt smiles at Lance. He then reaches his hands down and pulls the younger man against his chest. He cups his cheek, and kisses him lovingly. Lance pushes his lips against Tybalt's, shivering more from the touch he is still getting used to. Gentle fingers trace their tips along Lance's slender back. Tybalt continues to kiss the younger man. His devilish tongue manages to sneak past Lance's quivering lips. The younger one moans softly as his mouth is invaded. His arms wrap about Tybalt's neck. His own tongue, quite timid, is provoked by Tybalt's dominate one. He moans more into his mate's warm mouth.

Clasping onto the blue-eyed man's behind, Tybalt slowly lifts the young Lance up a bit... then pushes him down upon his arousal. Lance inhales sharply as he is penetrated. He accidentally bites down upon Tybalt's tongue, and quickly pulls his head back to let out a loud cry. Tybalt lets Lance rest upon his member... not yet moving him off. Ignoring his injured tongue, he nuzzles the shaking Lance.

"It hurts..." Lance cries between gritted teeth. Tybalt strokes the younger man's cheek with his lips.

"I know... I know... relax yourself, Lance... It will help," Tybalt murmurs against Lance's cheek. The blue-eyed man quivers more, twitching from the bursts of pain flowing through his body. He finally begins to relax his tensing muscles. Tybalt captures his lips once more, kissing him comfortingly.

The motion begins... Tybalt raises Lance up and down upon his hardness... They start out slow. But they build up speed, as much as the younger one can stand before he cries out from pain. How Tybalt is able to tell the difference between a cry of pain... and a cry of pleasure... Lance is not sure... but he can tell.

Soon. Soon, the pain completely subsides. Soon, Lance feels nothing but a numbingly irresistible sensation running through him. It's similar... yet different than the sensation Tybalt has brought him earlier. He enjoys it just as much, none the less. This he makes clear through his vocalizing and arousing kisses whenever he can place them to his mate's delicious lips.

Completion spills over them both. Their entire being... mind, body, and soul, have connected... Lance cries out so loud---louder than ever before. Tybalt himself groans, clenching his eyes shut as the rewarding sensations cause his body to tremble. Their two nude forms rest, one on top of the other. The skin is hot and moist. Their hearts are beating fast, along with their breathing. But it does not matter, for they are both smiling... Lance nuzzles his head under Tybalt's chin, inhaling deeply.

Before sleep overtakes his body... Lance faintly hears three certain words drop from Tybalt's mouth. They start with an I... and end with a U...

His blue eyes open sleepily. He yawns loudly, sitting up in his warm bed. He looks around. Blue eyes widen upon realizing the room is not the one he fell asleep in... or is it? It is his own bedroom...from his house. He looks down at his body. He is a child once more... a young little boy. But... he is no longer naive. What has happened the night before... he remembers it quite well. He swallows hard in remembrance.

Lance frowns at his nightgown... after coming to terms with his male identity he does not feel comfortable as a girl anymore. He paws around the bed. The nutcracker is gone.

"Oh? Lancia? Are you awake?" his mother calls. She opens the door, and smiles gently at her child. Lance looks toward her. His mother, the sign of childhood. He frowns. His mother walks over to the bed and rests her hand on his head.

"We found you last night downstairs in the livingroom... you suffered a nasty bump to the head," she explains. Lance raises his hand to his forehead, finally noticing a bandage across the right of his forehead.

"You'll be alright though," his mother says with a smile. Lance rests his hand. He looks up at his mother sternly.

"Mother. From this day on I want to be treated as a son, not a daughter," Lance says. His mother raises an eyebrow.

"Don't be silly, Lancia... you're our daughter," she replies. Lance shakes his head.

"I'm a boy, mother. Don't lie to yourself. I am your son, not your daughter," he says, quite serious for a child of his age. His mother stares at him. She looks very shocked.

"But... no... no you're my daughter," his mother says. Her eyes are a bit watery.

"... Mother... why does it matter if I'm a girl or a boy...? I still love you... you still love me... I just need to stop being something I'm not... don't you understand that?" Lance asks. He crawls from under the covers and into his mother's lap. His mother sits silently for a time. She gently rests her hands upon Lance.

"It will take some getting used to," she murmurs. Lance smiles.

"I know... but, I think its best for me," he replies. His mother nods finally and inhales deeply. She smiles and stands up, holding her son in her arms.

"We'll have to buy you new clothes... I'll miss your dresses," she says with a sigh. Lance looks up at her.

"... We could keep a few... I could wear them... every now and then... if that would make you happy, mother," Lance says meekly. The mother smiles and laughs a little.

"We'll see... We'll see..." she carries Lance from his room, and down the stairs. More presents were under the tree, signifying Saint Nick had been by that night. Lance smiles broadly. But then the smile fades as he realizes he no longer has his nutcracker. His mother sets him down.

"What's wrong now, Lan... ce...?" his mother asks.

"... I miss Godfather Raven's present to me," Lance murmurs. His mother raises an eyebrow.

"But Godfather Raven has not been by yet this season," she replies.

"Yes he was... he was here yesterday!" Lance says. His mother shakes her head.

"You must have been dreaming, silly," she smiles. Lance keeps shaking his head.

"No! He came! He gave me a nutcracker! Don't you remember?" Lance asks, looking a bit more worried now. Before his mother can reply, a loud knock comes to the door. She approaches the door.

"Ah! Godfather Raven! We were just speaking of you!" Lance's mother says with a giggle. Raven, clad in his black and eyepatch, smiles warmly and bows his head.

"It is nice to know I am mentioned in your home," he steps into the foyer and dusts off the snow. Lance runs over to Raven.

"Godfather Raven... what happened to the nutcracker?" Lance asks in a whimper. Raven too raises his eyebrow in question.

"Nutcracker? Whatever do you speak of, dear child?" Raven asks, as perplexed as Lance's mother. Lance's blue eyes look very forlorn. He looks down.

"Maybe it was just a dream after all..." he mutters. Raven ruffles the young child's hair.

"Raven.... who is that behind you?" the mother asks with curiosity. Lance looks up. A young boy, only a bit taller than Lance, steps out from behind Raven. His hair is a shade lighter than Lance's, and curls all over. His hair hides one of his eyes, but the one showing is green. He smiles at Lance. Lance stares at him.

"Oh, him? This is my son, Tybalt. He's been living with his mother for a while... but now he'll be staying with me. He wanted to come meet you all," Raven replies. The mother smiles.

"It is nice to meet you, Tybalt,"

"It is nice to meet you too, Ma'am," he replies with a bow. Lance continues to stare. His cheeks flush pink... and he looks away. Tybalt glances toward the younger boy... and smiles. He kneels in front of Lance... takes his hand and kisses it. The younger boy blushes further.

"Oh... Tybalt... she's... um... she's not a she anymore," his mother murmurs.

"Oh? Lancia decided she wants to be true to her gender?" Raven asks. His mother nods. Tybalt remains kneeling. He smiles up at Lance.

"It's alright... why not be courteous to people of both genders?" Tybalt muses. Lance's mother wears a face of slight confusion.

"Though if you don't want people to think you're a girl... then you'd better change your clothes. Come on, I'll help you..." Tybalt says gently as he takes Lance's hand... He leads him up the stairs. Raven and the mother watch the children go up the stairs.

"Well... they seem to be getting along quite well,"

"Indeed they are... Indeed they are..." Raven replies with a knowing smirk...