This is in response to WL’s Christmas Challenge issued by PJ, and was requested by Dizzy.


Jeremiah glanced up from his reading as the door softly closed behind his partner. Micah’s expression was one of sadness and it was obvious he was searching for comfort. The older man put down his book and opened his arms invitingly. He grunted when Micah landed with some force on his lap.

“Have you and TJ finished baking cookies?” Getting a grumble response that he took to be in the affirmative, Jeremiah continued what seemed to be a rather one-sided discussion. “Do not tell me you’ve actually eaten enough cookie dough to give yourself a stomachache.” A head shaking against his shoulder let the ex-captain know his partner wasn’t physically ill. “Can you give me a hint as to what is bothering you, please?”

“I don’t want to be on the naughty list,” Micah mumbled and tried to hide his face against Jeremiah’s chest.

“All right,” Jeremiah was bewildered and definitely caught off-guard. “I am going to need a little more information if I am to participate in this conversation, Micah.”

“TJ and I were listening to Christmas songs. One kind of worried me some.”

“I assume this was a song well-loved by millions around the world that you took offence to?”

“It just made me sad. You see, Santa keeps a list of naughty and nice folks. I really prefer to be on the nice one.”

“What makes you think you are not?”

“I’ve been a bit of a bother this past year.”

“I agree there have been a few incidents, but we took care of them in our usual fashion, love. And we do not keep a tally.”

“It works that way for us, Jeremiah. But Santa may think differently.”

To Jeremiah’s mind, this tête-à-tête was bordering on ridiculous. It was a subject matter that would never have come up if Micah wasn’t so overtired. Jeremiah knew his Brat had a tendency to stay visible a lot longer than usual during the festive season. Doing so was rather draining on them, and was why the ex-captain tried to encourage Micah to better pace himself.

The older man planned to start correcting the problem this very day. In the meantime, he’d do whatever it took to soothe his Brat.
“Santa may have a special empathy for Brats. He could possibly identify with them.”

“Why would you say that?” Micah looked up expectantly. He slid himself off his partner and nestled in beside him on the big recliner.

“I read somewhere that Kris Kringle is a Brat. Of course it may have just been someone’s tongue-in-cheek bit of fun to entertain his friends.”

“Hmmm,” Micah took a few moments to give the idea some serious thought. “It is imaginable at that. I mean he does live with a large number of elves, and although they’re very busy most the time I bet there are many occasions for mischief-making. And Santa is the jolliest old elf there is, right?” Micah’s eyes sparkled at the thought. “Do you think he has a Top?”

Gazing upward and rolling his eyes, Jeremiah pretended to groan. “Good heavens, one could only hope so.”

The older man found joy in witnessing the rapid change in his lover’s mood. Micah may get upset easily for the most unpredictable happenings, but he could be quickly mollified if loving understanding and acceptance were employed.

“Are you feeling better now?” Jeremiah inquired.

“Much,” Micah responded, wrapping his arms around his Top’s neck and kissing his cheek. “Even though I know you were undoubtedly pulling my leg, weren’t you?”

“Perhaps,” Jeremiah chuckled and gave Micah a hug. He wasn’t about to admit or deny anything.

The End

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