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Whoo, I hope everyone had lovely holidays! Mine certainly rocked.

'Nother big thank you, [livejournal.com profile] airtravel, for the Christmas morning Raphael and Asmodeus art. That was amazing and caught me completely by surprise. ^__^ And thank you to [livejournal.com profile] jestana for the Asmodeus/Raphael fic (sooo hawt!) and for the really thoughtful British monarchy book you sent me. (I squeed when I unwrapped it.) Since I like to write historical fiction set in various time periods of Great Britain, that book will be such a handy quick reference. :D

Christmas Day was great for my family, and travel schedules coincided perfectly. My crazy relatives came to my family's house, everybody brought food, and we threw wrapping paper balls at each other, etc. A fun time was had by all, haha. And a fun time is still mine: there were some leftover mini-lobster rolls that my grandma made. Guess who's been washing the mayonnaise off and then dipping the lobster in butter? *grin*

Also, here are the Christmas ficlets plus one extra. War, coercion, oath breaking, mistaken identities, dead ducks, and demon porn! Happy Holidays, everybody!

Title: Green
Fandom: WWII era, original characters
Rating: a very mild PG-13
Pairing: Wilhelm/the General
Summary: Wilhelm cheers up his General.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] aurora_knight. It started off a bit angsty, my dear, but hopefully the ending is happy enough. ^^;

"...and Captain Vertz from C quadrant says he's still heard very little from the Russians in his area but that he would like permission to fortify the trenches anyway just in case and—sir, are you listening to me?"

The General focuses again on Wilhelm and seems to consider the question before opting for honesty. "No," he says. "No, not really."

A wall clock ticks tiredly. "Sir..."

"I got a telegram today," the General chimes in, voice almost conversational despite the obvious strain in his face. "A childhood friend of mine was shot a dozen leagues south of here. We haven't seen much of each other for a few years, but I... It was such a surprise. I didn't even know he was involved in the fighting."

"What was his rank?" Wilhelm attempts to match the other soldier's lighthearted tone but misses by a mile.

The older man shakes his head. "He was a medic."

"I'm sorry," Wilhelm tries. He knows it doesn't help, but the General nods anyway as he tenderly reaches out, caressing Wilhelm's cheek. His hand brushes against the shrapnel scar cutting a jagged slant across half of the younger man's face, but the General's gaze is firmly on Wilhelm's eyes.

"Sir?" the younger man asks.

"If it wasn't for your eyes, I think I'd forget what the color green looks like."

In response, Wilhelm attempts a reassuring smile but can't quite get his mouth to go that way so instead he shifts the General's hand a little to the left so that he can more easily kiss the older man's fingertips.

"Maybe the war will be over soon," the sergeant offers hopefully. An end to the fighting is something Wilhelm desperately wants more than ever since the General has expressed his desires that they might live together after the hostilities have ceased. Wilhelm is an orphan, was raised in an orphanage, and the very idea that the General would want to share a house with him is dazzling. This post-war possibility touches Wilhelm's heart more than he can convey in words. "Maybe next year we can go home."

"Maybe," the General murmurs, not looking at Wilhelm, not really looking at anything. "And maybe Herr Hitler will propose marriage to a Jewish rabbi."

Wilhelm sighs and sets aside the paperwork. He nudges the General gently but insistently toward a low table bracketed by a pair of chairs, saying, "Why don't you have a nice sit down, sir, and I'll grab the chess set from your desk? A good game or two might help you unwind."

"With my mind as scattered as it is tonight, you'll likely have no difficulty besting me."

"That would be a nice change from usual," the young man jokes, and his older companion forces a smile but only barely.

One hour and a few games later, the General has still managed to win best two-out-of-three, but Wilhelm hardly cares; he's just happy to see the older man a little more relaxed. Boldly, the sergeant stands from his chair and crosses over to his companion's. The General's chair is too small for two people so Wilhelm straddles his lap instead, grinning in that devil-may-care way that youth pulls off so well.

The General smiles then at his young lover, a genuine smile, and the chess board is quickly forgotten.

~fin




Title: Forgiveness
Fandom: Biblical fiction
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Lucifer/Gabriel
Summary: In the wake of Jesus's Easter Resurrection, Gabriel tries to make amends with Lucifer.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] mypaleangel with the prompt "Forgiveness".

"You're awfully bold, old friend," Lucifer sneered, looking down at his throne room's newest 'guest'. "Just because your Savior has temporarily thinned the barriers between Hell's plane and Heaven's doesn't mean you ought to come down here."

"It's been thousands of years, Morningstar. I would wish an audience with you." Gabriel bowed deferentially before kneeling down in front of the gilded throne Lucifer currently occupied.

"You abandoned me during the Great Battle and let me be cast out of Heaven. Ergo we have nothing to say to each other. But by all means," the demon mocked, "feel free to put that pretty mouth to other uses anyway since you're already kneeling."

Gabriel's face crimsoned, but he did not stand. "Please..."

"Away with you," Lucifer scoffed, waving a hand dismissively. "What can you possibly hope to accomplish here?"

"Lucifer," Gabriel whispered, standing and taking a few tentative steps nearer to the throne, "you were always my dearest friend. I love you. Is it so strange that I would want you not to hate me?"

"Is that so?" Lucifer snapped, fangs bared. "Fine, dear brother, if you love me so, why not prove it?" The Devil sauntered down from his dais to circle Gabriel, like a wolf eyeing up a lamb. "Strip off that gauzy robe, and I'll let you 'love' me."

The words rang hollowly in the huge, empty room, but they should be enough to drive Gabriel away. Lucifer waited for righteous outrage, for Gabriel to reject him (again), but instead the Archangel only fixed him with hurt blue eyes and replied sadly, "If that's really all you want then..." White gloved hands reached up, and Gabriel undid his robe's clasp, pulling back the cloth to reveal creamy pale shoulders. Then the angel let go, and the garment fell about to his hips before Lucifer darted forward and caught the silky fabric.

"Damn it, Gabriel," the Devil hissed. He carefully pulled the angel's robe back up and fastened it though really all he wanted to do was rip it apart. Instead Lucifer settled for holding his former-friend in a tight embrace. "Foolish Gabriel," the demon murmured defeatedly, "I could never truly hate you."

~fin




Title: The Other Choice
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean/original characters (MoTF) crossover
Rating: PG
Pairing: James Norrington/Jean-Marie Florian Renault/André Marien
Summary: Norrington is starting to realize that maybe siding with Lord Beckett wasn't his brightest idea. Fortunately someone offers him a way out. [takes place between PotC 2 and 3]
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] proudpansy. André managed to weasel his way in here too. Yay threesome, lol.

"Greetings, Admiral Norrington."

James Norrington turned in the foyer of the East India Company office building to see a short, bespectacled man approaching him. Ah, he thought, it's the French officer from this morning. The man, Jean-Marie Florian Renault, had arrived with a small ship seeking aid from Lord Beckett. Norrington had overheard the ensuing interview and knew it hadn't gone well for the Frenchman.

"Beckett's lapdog," Jean-Marie smirked. "Fair you well, monsieur Admiral?"

The navy officer ignored the jab; he'd been called worse. "Well enough. You don't address him as 'Lord'?" Norrington asked somewhat incredulously.

Jean-Marie smirked. "Why should I? 'E's not a true aristocrat if 'e 'ad to buy 'is rank."

"I take it you're the genuine article then," Norrington scoffed dryly.

Rather than taking offense at the vaguely insolent remark, Jean-Marie seemed amused instead. "Indeed. I am a Count, and I didn't need to shell out a pretty pound for it."

"Yes, although it seems your francs aren't enough to buy a new navigator," Norrington replied airily.

"Touché, Admiral." They reached the door of the EIC offices, and Jean-Marie gestured to the door. "Walk wiz me zrough town?" Norrington nodded, and the two men left the EIC.

"So you know I need a navigator. I take it you were eavesdropping, non?"

"Yes," Norrington admitted unabashedly. His brief tenure as a pirate had desensitized him to some of the pettier actions of men that once would have brought a guilty frown to the navy man's face. "What happened to your previous navigator, and what made you think Beckett would provide you with a new one? Our two countries are practically at war already."

"Beckett and I did some trade business together briefly. Clearly I remember ze transaction more fondly zan 'e does," the count added, rolling his eyes as though this were merely just a minor annoyance. "But it's fine. I've still found ze perfect navigator."

"Who?"

"You, monsieur Admiral. Your reputation precedes you, and I knew I would 'ave to seek you out."

Norrington glared skeptically. "You only want me specifically because Beckett did not deign to help you. While I'm hardly invaluable to him, he would be annoyed if you wooed me away."

Jean-Marie grinned slyly, not even bothering to deny it. "Zere is also zat. But truly I would appreciate your services. Of course, you would be graciously compensated, and once we reach Nouvelle France, I would arrange passage for you to any place you desired to go. You can't really say zat you are 'appy 'ere, are you?"

Norrington stared out at the open sea on their left. Was his discontent really so obvious that even passing foreigners could so quickly detect it?

Jean-Marie looked Norrington up and down and then said very seriously, "You look like an 'onerable man. Do yourself a favor, monsieur: don't squander it on the likes of Beckett."

"I swore myself to his service..."

"Zat oath is only good so long as you're 'ere. If you change your mind," the Frenchman cajoled, a friendly smirk playing about his lips, "my ship will be in Port Royal until dawn tomorrow."
***


The next morning, a little before sunrise, Jean-Marie and the Femme Bleue's captain were running last minute checks on their vessel when a solitary figure came walking down the dock. He was dressed in plain civilian clothes with his dark hair tied back into a neat queue and two canvas bags slung over his shoulders. The captain and Jean-Marie welcomed the newcomer onto the ship, and the rest was history.

The "quick trip" to New France had turned out to be very long and had included a surprise detour to Old France. After a week though, Norrington had settled in well enough and had little to complain about. After a month, his French had drastically improved, and he was sharing personal quarters with Count Renault. Norrington had nothing to complain about then.

Before the final arrival in Canada, the Femme Bleue docked in New England to trade with trappers. And to pick one up.

"So you're the mysterious André Marien?" Norrington grinned, sitting across from the man in a small pub. The French trapper reminded Norrington a little of Jack Sparrow, but an infinitely kinder version.

The tall colonist matched Norrington's smile. "Has Florian been telling stories about me, eh?"

"Hmmph, 'ardly," Jean-Marie muttered into his beer.

"No, but I saw him writing letters to you."

"Ah, yes, I did receive a few of them."

"Only a few?" Norrington said sadly. Mail was so damnably unreliable.

"Oui." André raised an eyebrow. "How many did 'e write?"

Norrington elbowed Jean-Marie playfully. "One every day."

Jean-Marie actually blushed while André let out a deep, rolling laugh. Norrington instantly took a liking to the other man.

Now with André in tow, the Femme Bleue finally made port in New France.

"You should stay wiz us," André suggested.

"Yes," Jean-Marie seconded. "I will, of course, provide for passage elsewhere if zat's what you'd prefer, but we would greatly appreciate your continued company. Please stay."

Norrington agreed without a second thought.

~fin




Title: Priorities
Fandom: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
Rating: PG
Pairing: Sebastian/Antonio
Summary: AU. Instead of returning to Olivia's house to marry her, Sebastian goes in search of Antonio.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] jestana. Antonio was one of my favorite characters in this play, the poor guy.

Sebastian's head was all awhirl as he staggered away from Lady Olivia's house. Olivia who wanted to marry him, a stranger she'd never met before! And those men who tried to fight him... He hadn't even known them either! Then Olivia had intervened only to confuse Sebastian further, bestowing gifts and pleading for a marriage.

She'd only barely agreed to let him go, and as he'd left, she'd spoken of fetching a priest. His head spinning, Sebastian quickly made his way back to the inn in town to find Antonio. Right now he really wanted his friend's counsel to sort out this madness.

Yet the sun shone; he felt it warm his face. And Olivia's attendants, they served her faithfully. Surely servants wouldn't work so diligently for a mad woman?

Reaching the inn he and Antonio were staying at, Sebastian ran up the stairs two at a time. He would speak with his friend; Antonio would know what to do.

Except there was no Antonio; the room was empty. Sebastian scanned the area, dismayed. I was so sure he'd be here...

"Antonio," he moaned miserably, crumpling onto the bed. Sebastian sighed. So Antonio was not here? Ought he to be returning to his newest benefactor then? If he was gone much longer, his lady suitor would likely worry. But he really needed an anchor right now, a constant in this rapidly changing farce.

Whether a dream or madness, he should be happy. Did men not fantasize about such things? About besting rash opponents and winning the affections of beautiful women? Yet why did Sebastian feel so frustrated?

After all the trouble that has befallen me, the shipwreck and my poor lost sister, why can't I be happy with this turn of events? Sebastian wondered.

As delightful as he found the Lady Olivia and her affections, they paled somewhat in comparison to Antonio's devotion. Perhaps he'd been too hasty in refusing Antonio's attentions... And such sacrifice, especially to enter Illyria where he was a wanted man.

Sebastian sat up with a start, and he gasped as a more sinister possibility finally struck him. What if Orsino had found out that Antonio was here? What if Antonio had been captured or worse? Olivia and her pinings would just have to be sorted out later. Right now finding Antonio was the most important thing in the world.

Forgive me, Lady, Sebastian thought, but there are others before you who are more worthy of my allegiance.

~fin




Title: A Backhanded Compliment
Fandom: Good Omens
Rating: G
Pairing: none
Summary: After the not-Apocalypse, Aziraphale and Crowley are feeding the ducks in St. James Park when someone else joins them.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] airtravel. ^^

About a week or two after the Apocalypse-that-wasn't, Aziraphale and Crowley were feeding the ever-hungry ducks of St. James Park. The bag of bread the angel carried was just down to the last scraps when abruptly one of the ducks keeled over. Dead.

Aziraphale shot Crowley a Look, but the demon held his hands up innocently. "It wasn't me, angel. Well, not this time anyway."

"Oh dear," the angel sighed. "Should we...?"

DON'T BOTHER.

Aziraphale's head snapped around so fast that if he'd been mortal he would have had whiplash

"Oh, er, hello there." The angel waved awkwardly. Crowley strategically hid behind Aziraphale's back.

Robes billowing ominously, Death crouched down and seemed to examine the fallen duck before straightening and fixing the two man-shaped beings in front of him with what might have been a glare. The oldest Horseperson didn't seem to be in a chatty mood although considering his limited ability for facial expression, it was hard to tell, really.

I REMEMBER YOU TWO. YOU'RE THE ONES WHO HELPED CAUSE THAT WHOLE MESS A FEW WEEKS BACK.

"Er, we're sorry, old chap?" Aziraphale tried hopefully while Crowley offered what he hoped was a winning smile.

FORTUITOUS THAT ADAM WAS THERE TO PROPERLY STOP EVERYTHING. IF YOU'RE BOTH GOING TO ACT AS THE GUARDIANS OF EARTH, YOU SHOULD TRY NOT TO COCK IT UP SO MUCH NEXT TIME.

"..."

GOOD, Death replied, raising his skull and sweeping a glance over the park around them. A generous observer might have suggested that Death was marveling at Creation; a more cynic person would've said he was only stretching his neck joints.

SO IT'S BEEN FUN, BUT PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO...WELL, YOU KNOW. He made a vague, twirly hand gesture.

Crowley and Aziraphale both nodded like idiot bobble heads and inched discretely away from the apparition of Death. Then he was gone.(1)

Crowley cautiously peeked over Aziraphale's shoulder. "What jussst happened, angel?"(2)

"I...I think he congratulated us. Kind of. Not that the whole thing was all our doing, but I suppose—oh, look, Crowley! The duck is okay!"

And so it was.

~fin

______________
1. Sort of. Death is kinda everywhere at once. Don't let the complex metaphysics of it hurt your brain.
2. Crowley tends to hiss a little when he's nervous.

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