[Author's Notes]

Hello, folks; it's once again time for the [Twelve Shots of Summer] challenge over on Fanfiction dot net! This year, I decided to use my one shots as an opportunity to do developmental work on the cast of my next original project, Trey + Whiskey. As such, these one shots are likely all going to be super messy, but hopefully there's something enjoyable in them from a reader perspective.

If you have the time, we'd love to see you over at the [Twelve Shots of Summer] forum. It's twelve weeks of prompts with the goal of creating twelve one shots across the summer, and it's lots of fun. With that out of the way, here's to the first prompts of the summer!



Little Gifts

By: Paige K Duffy

A Trey + Whiskey One Shot Collection

[Twelve Shots of Summer: Seventh Soul 1/12]

[Parameters: "Mollycoddled" + "Misguided"]


"Brother dearest! It's time to wake up!"

A groan bubbled up Cyneric Lucassen's throat as he lifted his head. For nowhere close to the first time, he'd fallen asleep over his desk in the lab, and his back protested at both the position he'd been in and when he tried to move out of it. A glance at the nearest clock indicated that it was midnight on the dot, but that wasn't anything too unusual for him, either.

No, what was more unusual was his sister standing before him.

In contrast to Cyneric's tall and lanky frame, Harper Lucassen was short, even when she proudly drew herself up to her full height, as she was doing now. Her chestnut waves poofed in their pigtails, and her green eyes were sparkling with excitement—which could either be a good or bad thing, depending on which thought ended up in her head. While the white lab coat should have leant some form of professionalism to her appearance, the party hat perched atop her hair was a bit of a detractor.

"Ah," Cyneric said, popping a crick out of his neck, "is it that time of year already?"

"Yup!" Harper produced a second party hat and leaned over the desk to put it on Cyneric, the elastic band snapping under his chin. He let her do as she liked. "Congrats, Cy. You are officially one year closer to being an old man!"

Cyneric snorted, the laugh helping to chase some of the sleep from his brain. Getting woken up at midnight by Harper had been a staple in their lives for years. She was the type to not let go of an idea once she latched onto it, and Cyneric was the type to go along with whatever his sister wanted, so long as it wasn't too dangerous.

Losing out on a few hours of sleep was an acceptable loss.

"Well, you've woken up this old man, so you gotta take care of him now." Not quite yet feeling up to standing just yet, Cyneric instead closed his now sleeping laptop and set it aside. "You don't gotta tell me the rules. I know no work until twenty-four hours are up. So what's your plan until this carriage turns back into a pumpkin?"

"Whoa, an old man princess. That's some serious gap right there."

"You've been talking to Whiskey too much again."

Harper giggled. "Oh? You think so? Maybe I'll just hang out with Lia more instead." Cyneric couldn't help the fresh groan that spilled out of his lips. Harper was a force to be reckoned with on her own, but combine her with select others, and she became even more unstoppable. "Okay, Boomer, no need to look so worried. You know that you're my favorite dearest brother ever."

He was also her only brother, but that wasn't even worth commenting on. "If I'm a Boomer, what does that make you?"

"The correct answer to that question is 'adorable,'" Harper said with zero sense of shame whatsoever. Having apparently determined that a handful of minutes on chatting was enough of a warmup for the day, Harper snatched onto Cyneric's arm and started to tug him out of his chair. "But you're not allowed in the lab today, mister! So let me know if you want IHOP or Denny's so I can tell the Uber where to take us."

"The only acceptable meal options in the middle of the night, hm?" Knowing that some coffee would be much needed to survive the rest of the day, Cyneric let Harper tug him towards the door as his body remembered how to keep its balance. Getting woken up for breakfast was only the first stop, and Harper surely had planned out everything else. "Surprise me."

Having expected that response, Harper grinned. "You got it, Cy. Just leave it up to me." She saluted, dexterously operating her smartphone with her free hand without missing a step. The campus outdoors was still active thanks to those running Regulator patrols, creating a different atmosphere to the day, but that didn't matter much.

For the next twenty-four hours, Har and I get to inhabit the same world and see the same things.

And, no matter what else Harper chose to spoil him with for the day, that would be the only real gift Cyneric could ask for.