A/N: This is my submission for SerialXLain's Slash Secret Santa! It's still Christmas Day, but if you don't see it until tomorrow or the next day, maybe it will relieve your after-Christmas blahs.

Four feet crunched the fresh snow as Devon and his tall, blond partner in sin, Parker, walked up the sidewalk to Devon's childhood home. Devon juggled his suitcases and freed a hand to press the doorbell. After a moment, his mother came joyfully to the door, hugged him, and greeted Parker with only the tiniest strain to her smile. As she ushered them in, they stopped to rest for a second in the entryway, putting their suitcases down and removing their coats. Devon also took that opportunity to enjoy the heat, the smell of cinnamon, and the red ribbons wound around the banister. His mom had already bustled away, busy with the preparations. She had never hosted Christmas dinner here at the house before; it had always been her mother, but Grandma was getting on in years and Devon's mother was anxious to get everything right.

"Ready?" Parker asked, hoisting his share of the luggage, and Devon took his cue to follow with the rest. They climbed the stairs to the room that had once been Devon's, deposited their luggage, and stood for a minute, taking in the room and the house in which they now found themselves. Parker raised his eyebrows and smiled encouragingly. Devon sighed, more overwhelmed than excited about the challenge of introducing his boyfriend to his rather religious family. "C'mere," Parker continued when he saw Devon's face, and pulled him in. "You'll do fine. They're your family. They love you, and that's not gonna change. Okay?" Parker reexamined Devon's pale face and big, brown, bespectacled eyes, and finding them somewhat comforted, gave his lover a supportive kiss on the forehead. "Now let's go downstairs."

They did, and in the living room were more sparkly things, stockings, and the tree decorated meticulously with all kinds of delicate, colorful ornaments, ribbons, and lights. Devon's father in front of the TV completed the picture that looked like it belonged in a magazine. The two of them joined him just sitting and watching.

All was well until an advertisement came on asking for donations to the Salvation Army, as they usually did at Christmas. "They're doing the Lord's work," Devon's father nodded toward the TV appreciatively. "They can do so much more for the needy than any secular organization can."

"Oh, because you're the ptochology expert," Devon whispered under his breath, rolling his eyes. He resisted the temptation to say anything aloud, though, because it was going to be hard enough getting through this trip in one piece.

***

Stirring a pot of boiling potato cubes, Devon gave his life partner an annoyed look over the frames of his glasses. "Someone's coming," he warned, and the offending hand was removed from his right buttock just in time for his younger brother's appearance around the corner. Parker rolled his eyes at the false alarm, but it could just as easily been Devon's mother instead of the apathetic sixteen-year-old with headphones in his ears and his face in the fridge.

Devon understood Parker's frustration, but he wished Parker had a better grasp of his. Devon was the favorite, the overachiever in a proud, Catholic family, the opposite of Parker's Bohemian, gay-loving parents. Coming out to them at all had been an ordeal, and the current level of harmony hard-won. He didn't want to wreck it just yet.

Devon's brother must be gone, he surmised from the fingers edging under his sweater and the mouth just brushing the top of his ear. "What's gotten into you? Someone could walk in any second!"

"I know, kinda hot, isn't it?" Parker returned mischievously only to receive Devon's Your vacivity astonishes me look. "Come on, who here doesn't already know?"

"That's not the point, Parker, we've been through this. Just because they know I'm gay doesn't mean they're ready to see me trade saliva with a man they've never met. Besides, people will be here shortly who don't know I'm gay."

"We wouldn't want to give them any kind of clue before you spring it on them, would we?" Parker said with a sigh as he disengaged himself from Devon.

Devon didn't reply. All they did was talk in circles when it came to this subject, and he was sick of it. He stirred the potatoes. Devon had suggested bringing some really original, complicated dish to Christmas dinner to impress the family, but when Parker had joked, "We don't want them to think we're that kind of gays," Devon had taken it to heart.

Eventually Parker left Devon to finish the potatoes in peace, and was asleep when Devon joined him in the room they were sharing for their stay. Devon had a much harder time drifting off that Christmas Eve.

***

The following morning, Devon awoke to Parker's shaking him while his mother's voice rang through the halls calling "Up, up, up, everybody, they'll be here at eleven!"

"What time is it?" Devon asked, rubbing his eyes and cursing his terrible night's sleep.

"Ten," Parker answered after rolling over to look at the clock on the wall.

"Jesus," Devon swore sleepily, to a suppressed snicker from Parker.

***

Hastily showered, dressed, and convened, Devon's relations arrived in minivan-sized groups at his parents' house. Bulging bags of brightly-colored presents came in with them, as well as steaming dishes for the dinner, which Devon's mother arranged buffet-style. His father said grace and they all crossed themselves in unison.

"Look, I found the lardlet!" Devon said when he reached the turkey, pointing with his fork at a small brown thing in the pan.

"No, honey, that's just the ham hock," his aunt corrected him as she spooned corn onto her plate.

They sat all around the vast table and dug into their dinner before digging into the presents, and the really small kids even dug into the mounds of castoff wrapping paper afterwards.

With everyone milling around and exchanging greetings after not seeing each other in months, it was only a matter of time until someone asked who the tall, blond newcomer was. Devon hid the flutters in his chest and the shaking in his hands behind a too-big smile and a lot of enthusiastic hugs until the moment of truth tapped his shoulder.

"Who is your friend?" Devon's grandmother asked, politely reaching out to shake Parker's hand.

"Grandma, this is Parker, my…" the flutters grew to a rattling in his whole body and he heard a rushing in his ears. "My roommate."

To Parker's credit, his smile didn't falter as he shook Devon's grandmother's hand. Devon knew what lurked beneath that smile, though, and prepared to be toast. Still smiling, Parker turned to Devon after the chitchat with his grandmother was through.

"Can I talk to you privately?" Parker asked as he put his hand on Devon's back to guide him away from prying ears, and Devon slunk through the hall behind him. "So I'm your roommate, am I?" Parker began once they reached an empty room. "Should I invest in a separate bed, then?"

Devon sighed. "Parker, you know I was just… just… I just…" Devon trailed off helplessly. His command of words always failed him at moments like this.

"You just lied to your grandmother about me, Devon. I don't like being lied about."

"But… Parker, you know this is hard for me! Maybe I'm just not ready to tell everyone!"

Parker put his hands on Devon's shoulders. "Devon, honey, we had a lot of long talks about this. You were just as much for it as I was, then. You said you needed to do this. If you're not ready, then I really shouldn't even be here, because I don't want to be in the closet. That's where you're putting me, Devon."

"This is where I am, Parker. This is where you have to meet me. You didn't grow up with these people. I did. I will come out to them in my own time."

"You didn't feel that way a week ago," Parker said, dropping his hands.

"I wasn't face to face with my grandmother a week ago!"

"If you're going to give up whenever it gets scarier than the two of us speculating about it, you're in for a pretty long wait." Parker crossed his arms.

"That may be, but it's my decision."

"I was under the impression you'd already made your decision, though."

"So was I!" Devon exclaimed, lifting his small hands in a frustrated gesture.

"Okay, look, honey," Parker cajoled, taking Devon's hands and lowering them gently. "I understand that. What I'm saying is you brought me into it. I'm a part of it now because that lie forces me to pretend to be something I'm not. I mean, I could tell them I'm gay, but that's really not the salient point if they think I'm just your roommate."

"Well, they might raise a stink actually…"

"That's not my point, either. The point is that I'm your boyfriend. I'm not just a tagalong friend. I like to think I'm a pretty important part of your life," Parker continued, putting his arms around Devon and linking his fingers.

"Of course you're important, Parker, I love you!" Devon's last few words were lost as he buried his face in Parker's chest.

"I love you, too, honey," Parker replied, raising Devon's face back up to look him in the eye. "And I don't want to hide that. I want to tell the world," Parker finished, starting to look a little misty himself.

"You're right," Devon said with a sigh. "But I still don't know if I can go out there and…" Devon went stiff as he turned to look at "out there" and found his grandmother standing there equally stiff in her pink suit. After a moment, she appeared to recover the power of motion and used it to cross herself.

Devon didn't recover his motor abilities until Parker's hands gave a little squeeze. When Devon recovered his senses, he found himself feeling strangely relieved. He disengaged himself from Parker only to stand up straight. "Grandma," he began, but she didn't stop muttering the Our Father. "Allow me to introduce you to Parker, my boyfriend."

She gave a little sob and covered her mouth with one hand just as a young cousin came to see what was the matter. This just created a chain reaction of concern, and soon everyone had come in and been introduced to Parker. A few relatives, like Grandma, stood shocked in the hallway, and a few walked away in a huff, some of these exclaiming derogatory terms. Others, though, came in, shook Parker's hand, and patted Devon on the back, giving rise to a shaky, surprised smile.

***

That night was the final night of their stay with Devon's parents. They wanted to get an early start in the morning, so they could unpack and nap liberally after they got home, but Devon snuggled up to Parker's back for attention. He wrapped both arms all the way around Parker's waist and squeezed affectionately. Parker gave a sleepy "Mmmm," and patted Devon's hand, but Devon had a little more than that in mind. He nuzzled Parker's shoulder blades for more emphasis, and began to let one hand wander around Parker's belly. He felt Parker realize what he wanted, and could almost see the quirked eyebrow, though it was currently faced away from him. Devon pressed his body into Parker's for added confirmation and felt an answering pressure. Parker shared his lubency, but then Parker was brimful of that anyway.

After a second, Devon had to let go, because Parker was rolling over to face him and shifting the sheets and blankets as he went, for the minimum heat escapage. When he was settled, Parker came in close for a kiss and Devon could feel his fully formed erection press into his lower regions, beginning to create one there as well.

Continuing to probe with lips and tongue, Devon hooked one knee over Parker's hip, and with easier access came Parker's hand, straight to Devon's pudenda. Soon Devon was moaning into Parker's mouth and grasping him with both hands.

"Sh-sh-sh, quiet," Parker reminded Devon, who seemed to have forgotten that they were in his parents' house with other guests in nearby rooms. Devon's blush was only faintly visible in the dark room. Seeing that Devon was ready, Parker began to tug at the drawstrings of his pajama pants, and Devon obligingly held still, albeit with some difficulty.

When that obstacle had been cast aside, Parker took a moment to enjoy Devon's newly exposed ass, lightly brushing and then squeezing the soft flesh before burrowing one long finger inside. Devon was trying to be quiet, but having a hard time in his impatience. Little gasps and sighs kept escaping him as Parker added fingers.

Unfortunately, when Parker removed the three digits, he encountered a problem. They hadn't figured on celebratory sex in Devon's parents' house, and he doubted Devon's parents stocked their guest rooms with condoms and lube.

"Uh, honey…" Parker began, receiving the most pathetic wounded puppy look from Devon at his tone. "We don't have any lube…"

Devon didn't waste words, but dove straight down to fix that problem. Despite seeing it coming, Parker gave a delighted little start at the feel of Devon's mouth down there, voraciously swallowing him down. He didn't think he had ever felt Devon's tonsils before, but Parker at least had the presence of mind to bite his bottom lip.

"Okay, hurry up," Devon urged, not wanting his DIY lube job to dry. Parker obeyed, trying to go slowly because of the jury-rigged nature of the lube, but Devon rammed himself down on it with another exclamation. Parker cupped his hand over Devon's mouth as he started thrusting and Devon started crying out with more abandon.

"Honey, honey, quiet!" Parker giggled as he shifted himself to be on top, his hand still muffling the cries that didn't cease. If anything, Devon became noisier, arching his back and bringing his legs up around Parker, who just shook his head and kept thrusting. Every time he pressed his fingers closer together or tighter to Devon's mouth, Devon only got louder, as if he liked the restraint, so Parker experimentally changed his expression and brought his elbow up as if to press harder, though he didn't actually press any harder for fear of hurting Devon. Apparently he'd been right, though, because Devon gave an especially enthusiastic growl. Parker added harder thrusts to the game and soon Devon went over the edge, making noises that brought Parker quickly after.

Laughing, Parker collapsed onto one side, letting his softening member slide out of Devon and commenting "I never knew you were that kinky, honey!"

"Neither did I," Devon gasped, still catching his breath, but satisfied.