Many thanks to em_kellesvig for her wondrous beta reading skills.
Rating: PG16ish for sexual content.
Summary: A little sex, some red and green tapas, and a promise to keep.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Methos ran his lips over Triona’s bare shoulder, down across her collarbone, coming to rest at the hollow between her breasts. She had a scent and a taste that was all her own and he reveled in it now. There were times he felt as if he could melt right into her. Twenty-five years together, more or less, and she could still surprise him. Could still make him want to take her to bed with dinner preparations strewn all across the kitchen. Just like tonight.
“Where did you learn to do that?” he murmured against her pale skin, hands sliding up to cup her breasts. Her sigh of pleasure gently caressed his cheek.
“That?” She laughed softly. “Maybe I read it in a book somewhere.”
“I want to read that book!” he told her, propping himself up on one elbow, looking down at her with dark warm eyes. “No, never mind, I want you to read it to me. Then you can demonstrate.” He pushed her long honey blonde hair from her face, kissing her until they were both breathless.
“Reading is fundamental,” she said, lips twitching.
“Oh, absolutely!” he agreed. Gathering her in his arms, he rolled back, pulling her on top of him. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” She nestled her head against his shoulder.
“For what?” she asked in surprise, raising her head to look at him.
“I know you hate this place.”
Now she wasn’t looking at him. “I don’t,” she protested without much conviction.
“Yes, you do!” He put a finger under her chin. “It doesn’t have to be permanent. Well, permanent as far is it goes for us.”
“Methos!” she rolled off him, sitting up against the headboard. “I get it, okay? We had to move on. I haven’t complained.”
“You didn’t have to,” he told her looking up at her from where he lay. “I know you miss York, the farm, our life there. You’re allowed. You don’t have to pretend for me.”
After nearly fifteen years at Old Holly Ridge Farm, it had been time for them to leave that life behind. So they had come here, to Denver, a layover between York and the next stop in their lives, wherever that might be. He knew Triona hated the modern penthouse apartment, all gleaming steel and marble. That she missed the comforting twelfth century farmhouse they’d left behind, full of happy memories, their first home together after their marriage.
“Despite what you’d like to think, Methos, you don’t know everything! I’ve accepted it. I’m being a good little newbie Immortal. We can’t get attached to places and people, I know that!” She was getting annoyed and defensive, which was a sure sign he was right.
“You can be attached to some people,” he corrected with a mischievous grin as he ran a hand up her thigh.
She seemed to be immune to the humour as she swatted his hand away. “You know what I mean!”
Sighing, he pushed himself up to sit next to her. “There will always be places for which you’ll have an affection, love. No matter how many centuries pass, some losses will hurt more than others; even if you’re not a newbie Immortal.” ’Newbie Immortal’? Where on Earth did she come up with those sorts of sayings anyway, he wondered absently. “It’s okay to miss what we have to leave behind.”
She made a disgusted noise. “Who exactly is it that keeps bringing the subject up? Not me!” Shooting him an irritated look, she sniffed. “Maybe it isn’t me who has issues!”
“Oh, really?” He crossed his arms. “So tell me this then – why haven’t you decorated for Christmas? Hmm? It’s the day before Christmas Eve and the only thing remotely holiday related in the place is the card Mac sent,” he pointed out smugly. “See? I’m right!”
Sticking her chin out defiantly, she replied, “The new Triona doesn’t do Christmas!”
“Is that so?” he demanded, while a part of him wondered how they’d gone from amazing sex to arguing about Christmas in less than five minutes.
“It is! A new life, a new persona.”
“You have got to be kidding!” His voice dripped with disbelief.
“Why? How many people have you been, Methos? Are you the only one who gets to change personas like last year’s skirt length?”
Rolling his eyes, he got out of bed. She could be so damn infuriating! The warm glow of their lovemaking had turned into the heat of fist-clenching exasperation. Okay, so that wasn’t really anything new. But still! “So this new you doesn’t do Christmas then?”
“No, she doesn’t!” Now Triona had gotten off the bed, glaring at him from across the room. “This Triona thinks Christmas is best spent in trendy cocktail lounges, drinking overpriced martinis, and eating red and green tapas!”
“Well, maybe I don’t want to be married to that Triona!” he shot back.
“Then I guess that’s just your tough luck!” she shouted.
Suddenly, he started to laugh. “Red and green tapas? Seriously?”
“You have a problem with tapas?” Looking up at the ceiling, she shrugged. “Okay, it sounded good at the time.”
He strode over to her. “Come here, woman,” he commanded, pulling her into his arms, kissing her till he was sure she wouldn’t want to fight about Christmas anymore.
Finally, she whispered, “Woman?” But she didn’t seem terribly put out, wrapping herself around him like a cashmere blanket.
“Are you complaining?” he asked in a low smoky voice, while hands, tongue, and lips claimed everything that was his.
Shaking her head, she shivered a little. “No.”
“I didn’t think so.”
This time, she was the one to trace the naked contours of his body with her lips. All Methos had the will to do was lie there and let her do what she would. He really did need to take a look at those books she’d been reading.
She propped her chin on her fist against his chest. “It’s kind of hot.” One finger was tracing a circle at the hollow of his throat.
“Something specific or just in general?” Her finger had now made its way to his mouth, skimming it. Gently, he nipped at the tip with his teeth. Then her lips joined the finger and they shared a long, languorous kiss. He felt her smile and when she finally looked at him, what he saw in her eyes made him forget how to breathe.
“Mmm… you, being all masterful. It has its merits,” she finally admitted.
“Do tell?” he asked with a wicked gleam in his eyes.
“Don’t get too full of yourself!” she warned. “But every now and then? Yeah, it’s good.”
“Oh, it’s so much more than good!” he replied smugly, his hands sliding up across her back.
Triona kissed him once more before collapsing against him, molding herself to his body. “It’s more than good,” she agreed sleepily.
“I think it’s time, Triona.”
“Time for what?”
He ran the pads of his fingers back and forth along her spine. “I promised you that one day we’d travel. See the world.”
“I do seem to recall something along those lines,” she agreed, bemused.
“I think it’s long past time for me to make good on that promise.”
She was looking at him again, this time with eyes full of questions. “Why now?"
“We’re between lives and you’re grieving for the life we’ve had to abandon. You still don’t truly know the freedom that can come with immortality, only the constraints. I want you to know the joys, Triona, not just the sorrows. My gift to you, even if I never give you anything else.”
“Do you think you haven’t already given me more than I could have ever wanted, Methos? More than I ever knew I wanted?” She stroked his face with soft fingers. “You gave me my life when I thought I couldn’t bear to live another day of darkness.”
Methos wrapped his arms around his wife. “Then you’ll let me show you the world? Let me show you the joy that there is in living each day, despite what we have to leave behind?”
Searching his eyes, she nodded as he brushed away the tears that slipped down her cheeks. “Maybe this Triona does do Christmas after all.”
He reached up, kissing her forehead gently. “I never doubted it, not for a moment.”
* This takes place about twelve years after ‘Lavender at Midnight’ if you’re keeping track.