All the Way Home

Christmas, for Lance, was not a time of snow. Mississippi, as a rule, did not have snow. There was rain, but no snow. Which was why Christmas in Miami wasn’t a huge stretch for him–still a little rain, but warm enough to run around in a polo and khakis. Not exactly the picture of a Christmas miracle, Miami.

But for JC, it was different. Maryland *definitely* had snow, and it looked like JC was missing it as much as he was missing his family. The plane he was scheduled to take was grounded due to weather in Maryland, and so JC was stuck here in Miami with Lance until they cleared the airport–which was going to be sometime tomorrow morning. Lance was planning on flying out then anyway, and JC had come back around to hang out until the airport cleared up.

Which left them sitting by Lance’s pool, the weak winter sunlight filtering down to the palm trees in the backyard enough that Lance was wearing his sunglasses. JC’s eyes were closed, and there was an unhappy set to his mouth that Lance wanted to rub away with his thumb. They hadn’t spent Christmas together in some time now, but JC had made a point of making the rounds to visit everyone this year, “to make up for lost time.” Lance usually did a big conference call so that everyone could talk over each other in a happy, slightly drunken babble; but JC was insistent about visiting, so Lance made time for him.

Lance shifted on his deck chair, trying to think of something he could do to make JC happy in less than a day. When the idea came to him, he sat up smiling, and the movement was enough to roust JC from his disappointed slump next to him. “What?” JC asked.

“Nothing,” Lance said absently, getting up from his chair. “Listen, don’t come downstairs for a little bit, okay? I need to do something, it’ll only take me about an hour.”

“Okay,” JC said bemusedly, sticking his hands in his pockets and leaning back. “Sunning myself beside your pool for an hour, check. Easy enough.”

“Perfect!” Lance said cheerfully, squeezing JC’s shoulder for a brief second before heading back inside. He shut the door behind him carefully and practically ran to his computer, searching Youtube for a single, perfect clip. When he found it he nearly clapped his hands in joy, but then stopped himself, laughing. JC was going to *love* this.

He headed downstairs to his home theatre, and set the room’s temperature to a handful of degrees cooler, then started up the system. He took some blankets from the side closet and threw them into a pile on the floor. Lance double-checked that everything was set up exactly how he wanted it, and ran upstairs to the wet bar, getting some tea and drinks ready. He carefully carried them back downstairs, where it had gotten cool enough to make the hair on his forearms stand up. He set the drinks down by the blankets, pressed play on the computer attached to the projector, and turned off the lights.


He walked back upstairs and out to the patio, where JC was hugging himself a little, staring sightlessly at the city skyline.

“JC,” he said quietly, shaking JC out of it, “c’mon, I want to show you something.”

“Okay,” JC said, getting up, hunching over a little, the way he did when he was upset about something. Lance tried to smother a smile. They walked downstairs, and immediately a shiver went through JC–he’d always been the first to get cold, anywhere they went.

“Lance, I know it’s Miami, but did you really have to turn on the air conditioner?” JC said in annoyance.

“Just hang on, I promise it’ll be worth it,” Lance said.

“Well, now I need to go get my sweatshirt, which is at the bottom of my bag, which is upstairs,” JC said, his frustration evident. “We can watch a movie, whatever, just let me get my–”

“JC!” Lance said, grabbing JC by the shoulders to stop him from going up the stairs. “Seriously, Jayce, just look!” he said, pointing ahead of them.

Reflexively, JC did. “Oh,” he said, his breath catching.

The big wall that made up the screen on the far side of the room showed falling snow, big fat snowflakes of snow, against a field of pine trees and beautiful, huge drifts of snow, snow, and more snow. The pile of blankets in front of it looked as though they were set in that same field, and snow was falling over them. JC lifted his hand as if he could touch, and Lance grinned.

“I thought maybe we could get you ready for this when you went home,” he said, drawing JC to sit on the floor, just in front of the screen, and covering him with a blanket.

“Oh, Lance!” JC said, his eyes shining. “This is amazing!”

Lance shrugged, but secretly he was proud. “It’s nothing, really. I know how disappointed you are that you’re not at home right now.” He handed JC a drink.

“Hot toddies,” JC laughed. “I love it!”

“Hey, anything for you, Jayce. You know that,” Lance said, rearranging the blankets so that their legs weren’t tangled up.

He felt a hand cup the side of his face, and he looked up to see JC staring at him with something close to wonder. “Not just anything,” JC said. “Thank you, Lance.” And then he pulled Lance close for a kiss.

When they pulled apart, it was Lance who felt like he’d lost his breath. “Merry Christmas,” Lance said, putting an arm around JC.

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” JC sang softly, as they turned to watch the snow fall on a warm Miami day.