Oh? ...Christmas Tree

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13 December 2020


"What—" Milos stared at the snow-speckled boxes stacked beside Alex on the porch. "What the fuck are those?"

The largest, a wide, square box almost half Milos's height, slammed into his chest, and it suddenly became difficult to breathe. "Take that," Alex snapped, struggling to pick up the others, "and get inside before it snows on me again."

Milos stumbled backwards, almost falling over the doormat as he went. Why the hell did it feel heavy enough to contain a dead body?  Milos hesitated, staring down at it just in case a red stain began to spread across the bland cardboard, and only came back to reality when Alex shoved past him.  "What's going on?"

Alex didn't answer immediately. Milos trailed after him into the living room and waited patiently until the other man put the boxes down and turned back to face him. "Why are you still holding that?"

"I have no idea," Milos muttered, lowering it to the floor. Still no red stains, but that didn't mean anything. Alex could have bagged the parts. "Now you're in, do you want to tell me what all this is in aid of?"

"Christmas," Alex said bluntly, taking the box from in front of Milos and putting it with the others.

"Yes. I'm aware."

"Clearly you're not." Satisfied the stack wasn't going to fall, Alex flopped onto Milos's sofa and stared up at him with those irritatingly unfathomable black eyes. "Do you even own any decorations?"

Was that supposed to be rhetorical? "Do you ever remember seeing any?"

Alex sprawled further across Milos's sofa; if Milos wanted to sit, it'd have to be on him. "No, I don't."

"There's your answer, then." Maybe he ought to buy a chair. He'd never needed one before, but given he'd spent over a year using his bed as his sofa and even Alex had never managed to hog all that no matter how hard he tried, unlike the sofa...

Alex's expression never changed. "Thought so." He nodded over to the boxes, his eyes never once leaving Milos's face. "Open the big one."

Milos stared at him but Alex's gaze never wavered; grudgingly, he moved over to the box and began the slow, awkward wrestle with the excessive packing tape sealing the top shut. Once it was torn free, to horrific ripping sounds and Alex's badly-disguised chuckle, still staring at the bastard Milos plunged his hand into the box.

And yelped as something rough and ragged dragged over his palm and wrist; something sharp grazed along his skin. "What the fuck?!"

"Stop complaining and pull it out."

Where had he heard that before? At least this time it only related to ... well, whatever this was, at least it wasn't a cock. He hoped. Tentatively Milos reached back into the box and pulled a face at the unfamiliar feeling. Whatever the shape was it was narrow and not as spiky as it first felt. His fingers closed around it; he grimaced at the way it collapsed under his touch, and pulled.

What he got was something tall and spiky, falling open as he lifted. Only part-way, he couldn't help noticing as it came free in his hand — a hand much higher above his head than he liked — and he stared blankly at what he slowly realised was the top section of an artificial Christmas tree. "What. The. Fuck."

"You're blind as well as deaf?"

"But ... but why?" Milos laid down the top and pulled out the second section; even that wasn't enough to empty the box. He had to upend it to let the final part fall free, followed by the clattering sections that made up the base. Three pieces of tree, and even scattered across the floor he could tell they'd combine into something taller than himself. He turned back to Alex, who hadn't moved. "I don't get it."

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