How Can You Tell?

This was written in response to a group’s ‘Body Language’ Challenge and ‘Christmas Firsts’ Challenge. 

“We’re home!” Micah hollered as he ran into the living room where his partner was, or had been, enjoying a bit of peace and quiet before a roaring fire. 

“Yes, the slamming of the back door was a bit of a give-away,” Jeremiah drolly responded as he gazed up into his Brat’s beaming countenance. His eyebrows furrowed in puzzlement as he accepted the small package handed to him.

“It’s tobacco. It’s cherry flavoured.” Micah dropped down on the floor next to Jeremiah’s knees.

“How did you buys this? You don’t have any money.”

“I kinda earned it.” Micah’s grin widened.

Jeremiah rolled his eyes. “Just how much trouble did you get into?”

“Huh?” Micah’s eyes grew wider and his mouth opened just enough to portray an expression of naivety.

“You need not feign innocence, my boy. I know you’ve been up to some mischief.”

“How can you tell that when you weren’t even with me?” Micah sat back on his heels and glared disbelievingly at his partner.

“You think you may appear to be idly sitting there, but to the trained eye you are about to burst with pent up energy. Your shoulders and hips are swaying ever so slightly to that age-old internal tune of yours which is a definite sign of self-satisfaction. So while I appreciate this gift,” Jeremiah lifted the pouch of tobacco, “I insist on knowing the details as to how you acquired it.”

 Before Micah could respond, voices were heard coming from Glen’s study.

“You should have seen him, Glen. It was the first time he’d ever seen anything like those musical Christmas things and he was fascinated by them. He walked up and down the aisle pushing little buttons, pinching various body parts and pulling strings on anything that moved and made noise. Then he kept doing it over and over again. He was soon going fast enough to have over two dozen going simultaneously”

“He must have caused quite a stir,” Glen merely commented as he sat back in his chair and waited for the story to unfold.

“The funniest part was that no one could see him. They could just hear songs and weird sounds playing all at once. The clerk couldn’t get them to stop and she sent for the floor manager, who also failed to quiet things down. They must have thought the decorations were malfunctioning or something.”

“And I can’t see you being of much assistance, right” Glen’s eyes were sparkling as he tried to envision the goings-on.

“Are you kidding? I couldn’t even remain upright, I was laughing so hard. I really enjoy watching that kid’s reaction to something new. It was the best entertainment I’d had in a long time. And well worth the price of a pack of tobacco Micah wanted for Jeremiah.”

Glen’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Did you put him up to this?”

“Not exactly. Well….he had gotten the idea when I told him the decorations were display models for folks to test out before buying them.” TJ frowned as an unpleasant thought came to mind. Hey, Glen. You’re not going to tell Jeremiah, are you? And get Micah into trouble?”

“There would be no need of my doing so, even if I was so inclined,” Glen smiled and pulled his partner down onto his lap. “Micah will inadvertently confess all.”

“Ya think?”

“Oh yes….we can count on it.”

“How come?”

“Because Jeremiah is very adept at reading his Brat’s body language.” Both men laughed at that observation.

Jeremiah tapped Micah on the head to regain his attention. “Over two dozen?” He raised an eyebrow.

“But I didn’t scare anyone, Jeremiah,” the younger man adamantly declared. He felt it important to clarify this fact right from the start. “And nobody actually got angry. I think it just kind of had them wondering.”

“Yes, I can understand that. I rather wonder things myself from time to time. Like why I ever let you out of my sight.” Jeremiah tried hard to sound stern and for a second or two it seemed as if Micah took him seriously.

“You’re not going to forbid me to go shopping with TJ again, are you, Jer?”

“Well….” The older man appeared to be giving this idea some thought. “I’ll not forbid it as long as you promise to keep the playing of musical decorations down to less than a dozen.” He chuckled when an overly enthusiastic man landed on his lap.

“Next time maybe you should come with us.”

Jeremiah merely grunted, contented for the moment with just having his Brat here safe and sound in his arms.

The End

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