My hands were kept steadily on the steering wheel as I drove, carefully riding along the black ice. I glanced outside to see the large mounds of snow sitting on people's driveways and lawns. It was nearly two feet high, and the shoveled paths were narrow and left a small margin of error when it came to forcing your way through them.

The snow also left barely any room for pedestrians to wander the sidewalks, mountains of the white shit piled high on the sides of the streets. I liked snow. I liked snow a lot. But I didn't like snow that was taller than me and Aleksi standing on top of each other.

It was raining, and I drove slower than usual so I wouldn't die a slushy, disastrous death. A head bobbed behind the mountains of snow, a wet red cap and a fuzzy red ball prancing along the sidewalk. At the rate my tires moved I strode along right with him until the point where the valley of white suddenly stopped, and the fuzzy red ball revealed it's owner.

I recognized the blonde hair and the tiny physique. His hands were jammed inside his pocket and his back was arched to the point where his abdomen was practically parallel to the ground. His jacket hung loose and unzipped, his pants sagging below his hips. The cap had two long, fuzzy strings that framed his white face, and he fumbled to tie them around his chin so the ear flaps would successfully cover his cheeks. He looked pathetic.

He glanced at me, the guy inside the car that was stalking him, and I spun the steering wheel and tried to park where he was, but before I realized Kaspar was splashed with several pounds of dirty slush. I rolled down the window and his mouth dropped open. I wanted to laugh. So I did. He didn't say anything, he just stared at me with two large eyes and a quivering lip. He was like a puppy.

"Where in the fucking world are you going in this weather?" Puppies irritated me. Kaspar looked taken aback, and he somehow shoved his knuckles deeper into his pocket abyss. The flaps of his coat dropped to his sides as he stood up straight. I tried to raise one eyebrow, but it didn't work, so I just blinked instead.

"Your house, actually," he frowned and looked away. "I wanted to talk things over with your brother." I let out an exasperated, exaggerated sigh. I told him to get in the car as I unlocked it, and I watched him hesitate. The rain was pouring heavier than it was so most of the slushiness had been cleaned off. I repeated my offer and he reluctantly opened the car door, climbing into the back and getting slush and wetness all over the seats. I told myself not to cringe, and it didn't work.

I heard the seats squeak, and I turned around to find him leaning over to get closer to me. He apologized for yesterday, and his face went red again. I ignored his apology and started to drive back down the block. "I think Aleksi should be home," I told him. It had been the last day of school before vacation, as tomorrow was the day before Christmas Eve, but it was just like my brother to go partying on a Tuesday night.

"Does he have his own car?" No, he flies home. I told him yes, and Kaspar didn't say anything else. The rain pounded the hood of my car relentlessly, and the windshield wipers vigorously tried to mop up the water obstructing my view of the street. The sound of them wandering back and forth overwhelmed the car, squeaking and pounding.

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, and I wanted to ask a question that didn't pertain to Aleksi. "Where's your car?" I asked. He was quick to answer he didn't have one. "I only got mine last year, and it's old, but it's something."

"I'm saving up for a nicer one," he replied. Thanks Kaspar, thanks so much. You make me feel so good about myself. Do you have a specific one in mind? "No, not really." So just generally better than my car. Nobody likes you, Kaspar. I hope you know that.

His warm breath touched my ear, and I turned around to see how close he actually was. His chin was perched on the shoulder on my chair, the exact place my lips would be when I turned around to look. And where his lips would be. I wouldn't call it a happy accident, but it was nice kissing him again.

The moment I started to skid I flew back around and rammed into the sidewalk, jerking myself forward. Kaspar tumbled into the front seat, his adorable head landing on my lap. I was breathing heavily, my hands still glued to the steering wheel, and I heard the click of my seat belt. I altered the position of my arm so it would retract and I wouldn't be restrained.

I looked down at Kaspar and his large blue eyes, and he stared back at me. I watched his thin, pale hand reach for both ends of my scarf, and he tugged on both of them until my mouth met his again. His hands roamed my back again, and I managed to fit my own arms under him. He sat up while I was still attached to him, and wormed his way back to the backseat where he and I fell onto the floor, entangled in each other.

His hands unbuttoned my pants while I parted from him momentarily, trying to remove his sweater. He quickly threw it off himself and shoved me back into him, and he rested my head on the cold leather seat. My body was sprawled out and he lay on top of me, kissing my ear softly. It was cold in my car, and my hands felt icy when his fingers weren't intertwined with mine.

My belt was in the font seat, my pants were around my knees, and my own shirt was being tugged. I lazily held up my arms and it slipped off, both my undershirt and hoodie together, and my chest felt warm as he pressed against it. His hips rotated against mine and when I groaned, he moved faster.

I slid out from under him and stuck my thumb inside his underwear, and without hesitation he slipped them off. I didn't feel like I was thinking. My tongue was wet when I put him inside my mouth, and his hands grasped my head while he jerked me back and forth. I didn't look at him.

When he released me I took him out, the inside of my mouth feeling warm when he dropped to his knees. I shuddered when he licked me, my hands groping the seats and window when he put his entire mouth around me. I fell to the floor and he stayed on me, and my fingers clutched his shoulders as his head bobbed up and down.

I whimpered when he let go of me, and he took his thumb and wiped off my lips. He leaned over me, his chest heaving, and he kissed me again, harder, his teeth hitting mine. My skin felt like it was burning when he put both his hands around my waist and flipped me over. He entered me and I screeched, but quickly I gritted my teeth and tried not to make much noise. He started to go faster, his hands digging into my skin, and I grunted and squeezed my eyes shut. I wanted to tell him that it hurt to the point where I wanted to scream.

My body felt encased in sweat, and I grunted harder when I felt him come. He pulled out and dropped to the floor, my eyes still closed and my breaths heavy. He fell on top of me and hugged me from behind, breathing just as hard. I felt him pressed against me, and I laid my head on the bottom of my car, the fuzzy interior scratching my ear. A trail of drool spilled out of my mouth and I ignored it. He squeezed me harder and I didn't move; I suddenly felt numb. I kept my eyes closed. I couldn't bring myself to open them.

###

He stopped me on the way there. I reluctantly pushed the break, and he fell forward just a bit. His blonde hair was matted against his face with sweat. "I don't want to talk to him anymore," he said. I didn't respond to him. Wordlessly he unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the car door, sliding out into the rain. "I'll see you later," he said. My head barely moved when I nodded. He slammed the door, the only way to close it, and walked back up the street. I kept driving.

Aleksi was in the window when I rolled into the driveway. I snatched the keys from the ignition and drudged up the narrow path of snow, my ankles covered in sludge by the time I reached the front door. My brother opened the door before I touched the knob.

"Aleksandr," he grinned, and I walked inside. "Я нашел кошку!" I found a cat, he says. Good for him. I walked past him as if I were a ghost. "что ты делаешь?" If our mother was home he wouldn't be speaking Russian. Aleksi took advantage of it when he could, but it wasn't like he was ever going to forget the language.

"Я ничего не делаю," I'm not doing anything, I said. Aleksi frowned and told me that the cat was up in our room, which made the venture upstairs ten times as delightful. I grasped the railing and with my eyes half closed, bounding up the stairs and into my room. Indeed, on the bed, there was a cat stuck inside a mitten. "Как вы это называете?" I called downstairs to him.

I could hear the smile in his voice. "Mittens!" How creative. I sat down on the bed next to the cat and picked it up gently, cradling the mitten in my hand. It had large, almond-shaped eyes that stared at me, trusting me to release it. I tugged on it's paw and it cried, so I immediately let go. A small piece of thread was tangled inside one of it's claws, and as painlessly as I could I unraveled it.

The thread fell, and the kitten jumped out and onto my hand. I dropped the mitten and put the kitten on my lap, and it sat there for a moment purring. I smiled at it. I scratched it's head with the tips of my fingernails; it was cute. I scooped it's tiny body in my palm and paused, wondering what to do with it. I walked out of the room and to the railing, and I called down to Aleksi, who looked up at me and hesitated when I asked. "Do you have a… cage or something you want to put it in?" I said in English.

"No… just give her to me," he said, rounding the staircase and jogging up to me. I placed the small cat in his hands and he wandered into our room. I leaned against the railing for a while, staring at the navy carpet. The kitten was adorable, I thought. As adorable as a blonde German boy I knew.

I went into the bathroom and started the shower. I didn't feel like thinking.

###

I folded the wrapping paper over, smoothing it down with my thumb. "Tape," I said, and Aleksi shoved a roll of scotch tape into my open palm. I taped the folded piece of paper down and flipped over the box, checking for any spots I forgot.

The doorbell rang, but a moment later the door opened by itself and Frederik stepped inside, pounding his shoes on the welcome mat. I grinned at him and he grinned back, and I got up and ambled up the stairs wordlessly, and he followed. "Aleksi found a cat, apparently," I told him as I pushed open my door, ignoring the muted squeak.

"What kind of cat?" He asked. I frowned and shrugged, beckoning to it lying on the bed. The small gray kitten stared at us, and Frederik stared back with equal intensity. The kitten was motionless, and he slowly crawled onto the bed, continuing to stare at it, until his nose was inches away from hers. The cat looked away. "I win," he announced triumphantly.

"Nice job," I commented, and dropped onto the bed next to him. Mittens got up and pawed over to the end of the bed, at the edge of the pillows. I turned to Frederik. "I'm driving home yesterday," I began, and he turns to me. My own nose is only inches away from his. "And I see the kid, who's name is Kaspar, by the way."

He laughs. "Did you pick him up and did you guys, you know," he thrust his pelvis toward me a couple times. My entire face went red, and my hands shot up to cover my expression. Frederik instantly stopped smiling. "No, no! Did you really, Alex?" I tucked my knees into my chest and turned away. I felt his hands roll me back over. "Look at me, Aleksandr," he said, and I uncovered my face. "Did you actually… fuck him?" And they were over my face again.

I heard him mutter something exasperated in Dutch that I didn't understand, and he too turned away. I took my hands off my face. Frederik stared at the bedspread. I hesitantly sat up on the bed and looked at him, and his eyes, harder and less amused, looked back up at me. "When he first… kissed me in the, in the thing, he thought I was Aleksi," there was a lot I haven't told him yet.

Frederik seemed to be looking past me rather than at me. "Oh," he commented. I said yeah, it was odd being mistaken for your brother in that situation. "Yeah," he said, and turned back to the bed. I frowned and furrowed my eyebrows, and I grabbed his sleeve. He looked up at me.

"Hey," I said, and he raised his eyebrows. "Talk to me," I grinned, and he smiled back, a small, uncomfortable smile. I tugged on his sleeve again. "Frederik," I called softly, and he smiled a little wider. His eyes sat on mine, and his clammy hand touched my own as he moved closer. A lump formed in my throat, and his nose gently pressed my cheek before we heard footsteps.

I hastily pushed Frederik away and reached for the gameboy sitting on my nightstand. I switched it on and it started up, the annoying sound it makes echoing in my ears. Frederik curiously leaned over and went to watch what was on the screen the moment Aleksi opened the door. We both looked up. "Hey," he said, nodding to the gameboy. "What are you playing?"

I responded almost automatically, "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney," and I turned back to the game. I spoke in Russian because I felt uncomfortable speaking to Aleksi at all with Frederik so close to me. "What do you need?" I asked, and Frederik looked up at me with surprise. He rarely heard me speak anything but English.

"The cat," my brother answered in the same language, striding over to Mittens and picking her up. "I haven't showered mother yet. Are you going to finish wrapping?" he asked. I shrugged. He shrugged also and closed the door behind him.

###

I didn't know what to do with Frederik. Yesterday he… I didn't know what he was planning on doing. The entire situation confused me, and I tried not to think about. My main task was to strategically place tinsel on the Christmas tree. That was to be my priority.

The doorbell rang. Again. Aleksi claimed it and walked out of the room, and I picked up another handful of tinsel, stringing the silver lace on the branches. My brother's voice wasn't very clearly heard from the next room over. "What… what are you doing here?" I stopped.

Their voices were muffled, and after what sounded like a brief argument Aleksi came back in. "It's… for you," he said, a bit annoyed. I threw the tinsel back in the box and saw Kaspar at the doorstep. He smiled sheepishly. I didn't smile back.

His hands were kept behind his back, and his body rocked back and forth. "Hey Aleksandr," he greeted, and I lifted up my hand temporarily. He asked me if I wanted to go somewhere with him the day after Christmas. "Unless you're not busy now," he said, peeking inside. Aleksi's light brown hair could be seen peeking out of the other room. I felt something in the pit of my stomach.

Kaspar stared at me, and then at his feet when I didn't respond. His face went red and his hand flew up to his hair to run his fingers through it nervously. I coughed. I was thinking of Frederik and his own hair, his dark tufts and his clumsy smile and his pink lips. "I'm sorry," I said, and Kaspar looked crushed. "I'll sleep on him – it. I'll sleep on it," I added hastily, and he nodded weakly. He said okay, and turned back around, and I closed the door as I watched him work his way through the slender path of snow.

Aleksi came out from the other room. "Why in God's name was Kaspar asking for you?" He nearly thundered, and I ignored him. I just wanted to forget about Kaspar for a while. I grabbed at the railing, but my brother caught my wrist. "Aleksandr," he said sternly, and I looked away.

I stare long and hard at the floor. "Monday I came in late… and he grabs me because he thought I was you… and I told him I wasn't, and then I drove him home yesterday… and we got to," I hesitated, "talking. And I don't Aleksi, I don't know." I look back up at him, but he's already flying out the door and racing down the porch steps. I jogged to the open door and watched him hop through the path of snow and out to the sidewalk. I heard him call for Kaspar and run up the block. I closed the door.

Later the doorbell rings again and Frederik lets himself in. I told him about Aleksi and how he went sprinting after Kaspar. Sitting on the floor near the tree, Frederik played with the fallen pieces of pine as he spoke. "What's the deal with him?" He asked casually, his eyes averted.

"Kaspar?" I asked. Frederik doesn't acknowledge the question. "He's cute, I suppose. I mean…" I coughed and Frederik turned to me, and I laughed uneasily. "I don't know," I said flushing, and I myself turned away. I placed my palm flat on the ground and craned my neck to look directly behind me, at nothing in particular. Frederik watched me carefully.

His cold fingers pressed against my cheek and he turned my face toward him. They traveled down to the back of my neck and he stared at me, his eyes as green as the tree boring directly into mine. I snatched his shoulder and moved in swiftly, softly pushing my lips to his. My eyes fluttered closed as my grip loosened, and I opened my mouth slightly, and Frederik followed.

I let go. He stared at me, and blood raced up to my cheeks as I stared at him as well. His fingers grabbed at the back of my head and he pulled me into him. My mouth opened as we tumbled to the floor, my legs intertwined with his. "Promise me you won't hook up with any more random German people," he breathed.

I knocked my head against the floor as Frederik hovered above me. "To be honest, I never liked his accent." He kissed my neck, and I grinned. Totally not straight. "It was kind of stilted, and he never pronounced his w's correctly."

"Neither did you," I felt his hand tangled in my hair. "You used to speak like some sort of tiny Stalin, except without the mustache."

"I don't like mustaches either," I mumbled. He kissed the area below my nose. "Today I'm kind of prickly, though."

He backed away and smiled. It was odd, seeing him smile like that. His head was wavering to the side, his lips were horribly red, and he placed his hands firmly on the rug behind him as he laughed. Just a hearty laugh straight from his belly. "What?" I asked, laughing myself as I sat up.

"Nothing, nothing," he waved his hand back and forth, dismissing the question as he struggled to contain himself. "I just like prickly."