Fandom: Jonas Brothers, The Academy Is...
Main Characters: Kevin Jonas, Mike Carden
Adult Content: Nope
Summary: The only thing Kevin wants this holiday season is for his family to accept him again. Unfortunately, that's the only thing Mike can't give him.
Teaser: When Kevin gets back from church the next day, there's a tree all set up and lit in the living room, waiting for ornaments. It's fake, but there's a pine tree candle burning on the coffee table, and the room smells like Christmas anyway.
Notes: Written for the anon_lovefest; prompt is the summary.
A week before Christmas, Kevin waits until Mike's out of the apartment and calls his mother. He's been doing so well, lately, can even go for two or three days without thinking about home, about the parents who won't speak to him and the brother he's not allowed to see. If Mike thinks he's backsliding, Mike'll just get all weird and hovery and protective again, and Kevin can't feel normal if Mike's acting like he thinks Kevin'll break any minute.
It's not a relapse, or anything, it's just that Kevin looked at the calendar and figured if there's any time for a tearful reunion full of apologies and lots of time playing XBox with Frankie, it's Christmas, and he wants to get the ball rolling in time to make plans. That's it, that's all. Kevin can handle whatever the turnout is.
Her phone goes to voicemail on the third ring; when Kevin calls from the landline, just to see, she picks up on the first. Knowing she ignored his call when she knew it was him should've been enough, but Kevin tries, anyway, just a tentative, "Mom?"
She takes a deep breath, and this is totally it, the tearful invitation home.
"Please don't call again, Kevin," is all she says, and the line goes dead.
Two days later, Mike comes back from a lunch with Bill carrying an obnoxiously large package, grumbling the whole way but not making much of an attempt to make it convincing.
"I think Joe sent you more boots. Tell him we're out of closet space, and not to send any more until we move somewhere with six hundred square feet of closet. And an elevator."
Mike drops the box in the middle of the living room floor – and something shatters.
"I take it you didn't see the 'Fragile' on the side?"
"Sorry. At least we know it's not boots."
Kevin tries a glare, but from the way Mike rolls his eyes it's apparently not very threatening. Whatever.
The box turns out to be full of Christmas stuff – Kevin's stocking (the one his Mom made him, needlepoint from a kit while she was pregnant) laid out neatly on top of two layers of carefully-wrapped decorations. And one box of not-so-carefully wrapped red and gold bulbs. At least it's one of those that broke.
Mike's face darkens for an instant, that I'm-gonna-punch-whatever-upsets-you face, then he just sighs and settles in behind Kevin, presses up against his back and kisses his neck while Kevin starts to unwrap.
"We're gonna need a tree," Kevin says, as the pile next to him grows (three Baby's First Christmas ornaments, five or six popsicle-stick picture frames sprinkled with red and green glitter, guitars and Disney characters, all the ornaments that are all about Kevin and all the ones that aren't but he insisted on being the one to put on the tree anyway). What he means is "I need a tree," but he's still not very good at being selfish.
"I'm not lugging a fucking tree up those stairs," Mike grumbles against his neck, but his arms tighten around Kevin's waist.
When Kevin gets back from church the next day, there's a tree all set up and lit in the living room, waiting for ornaments. It's fake, but there's a pine tree candle burning on the coffee table, and the room smells like Christmas anyway.
"We'll be done with presents and shit by noon, so we're catching a two o' clock flight, 'kay?"
"You don't have to."
Joe's been insisting for three weeks he's coming up for Christmas, whatever fights it might cause at home, and two weeks ago Nick added himself to that plan. And it's stupid, 'cause it's just gonna make more trouble, and Kevin keeps telling them that, but you can't really stop Joe once he has an idea.
"Yeah we do. And since we're missing dinner, you'd better be cooking us something awesome."
"We have cereal," Kevin says.
Christmas Eve, Kevin can't stop fiddling with his phone. He flips it open, Contacts, Home, flips it closed again, drops it in his lap, picks it back up, flips it back open, doest it all again.
Mike was laid out on the couch, watching him with that look on his face Kevin had stopped seeing when he'd finally started feeling more like himself than a depressed pile of crap, but he got up with a sigh twenty minutes ago.
He just wants to call, wish them Merry Christmas. They won't answer when they see it's from him, so he'll only have to talk to the answering machine, and he can be the bigger man, here. Except Mom asked him not to call, so maybe being the bigger man is honoring that request.
Mike wanders back in, wearing the one pair of jeans Kevin's told him are actually almost nice, dark and hole-less, and a red sweatshirt. "Get dressed," he says.
"You don't do church on Christmas Eve?"
Kevin blinks. "The service doesn't start for another hour and a half. I - "
"We'll get dinner first. Come on."
Kevin wakes up on the couch, where he'd been curled up with a blanket and bottle of wine last night, watching the lights on the tree blink. Mike's on the floor, sitting with his back against the couch, snoring with his mouth open. There's just a little light coming in through the window, orange-tinted with the sunrise.
"Mike," Kevin says, nudges him until he startles awake.
"You should've gone to bed," Kevin says, shifts a little so he can rub at Mike's shoulders.
"Yeah, well. Merry Christmas," Mike says, instead of I wasn't gonna let you wake up alone on Christmas, Jesus.
Kevin hears it anyway.