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Summary: Allen and Link walk home late one Christmas Eve, and Allen has something to say. Written for [ profile] 31_days.
Prompt: Lighted streets, distant stars, brilliant snow (December 25)
Note: [ profile] terryh_nyan has translated this fic into Italian here. As always, thank you!

After it had been dark for some hours, Allen made Link take out his pocketwatch.

“Yes, it’s past midnight,” Link pronounced after finding an angle where he could make out the numbers. The street was dark and empty.

“Merry Christmas,” said Walker.

“Yes, Merry Christmas,” said Link with less enthusiasm. “And a happy birthday, I suppose,” he added, having a good memory for numbers and a well-developed sense of politeness, although he felt that Mana Walker’s choice of date smacked of blasphemy.

“Thanks, Link.” Walker dumped two of his shopping bags back into Link’s arms, and they trudged through the streets in the direction of headquarters. Using the Ark for shopping purposes was, of course, not permitted—which is to say, Link had needed to remind the Exorcist several times that it was not permitted.

Link tried to shift the bags so that he could watch for icy puddles at his feet. Timcanpy was sleeping in one of them, and a stray wing obscrured his vision.

“This is a special season,” said Allen. “The lights decorating the town—”

Link looked doubtfully at the cracked and burnt-out streetlamps. It had not been a peaceful December.

“—the stars shining above—”

Above was a heavy cloud cover.

“—and the fresh snow blanketing the ground.”

In this part of the city, where much traffic had passed in earlier hours, there was more slush than snow. Link wondered what had caused Walker, who was not religiously minded, to sound like a Christmas card. He furrowed his brow. “Walker, it’s dark, there are no stars tonight, and the snow is either a brownish color or has turned to ice.”

“That’s all right,” said Walker. “It’s still Christmas.”

Link tried to determine what reasoning lay behind this statement.

“And I managed to find the gifts I wanted. I told you there would be stores open late tonight.”

Several months ago, Walker had left off paying his salary towards General Marian’s debt, which was much like ceasing to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. “This is not what I’m going to remember him by,” he’d said at one point, and shoved the box of receipts farther into the closet. Today he’d put his savings to good use.

“It was fortunate that there were,” said Link.

“Yes, seeing as the paperwork took longer than you said.” Walker turned towards Link with what had to be a glare.

“It was necessary that we finish those reports today, and it wasn’t my fault that—”

“Right, right,” Walker interrupted, which was rude, but then, they’d gone through similar exchanges any number of times.

“That’s right,” said Link. Perhaps they should not be bickering on Christmas.

“But I forgive you. You might even find a gift somewhere in the bottom of that bag.” Walker nodded to the one holding Timcanpy.

Link realized something important. “I’m afraid I did not get you anything.” He had not been sure that an Inspector ought to purchase a Christmas gift for the suspected heretic he was investigating, but this may have changed the answer.

Walker quickened his pace despite the distance they’d walked between the Order and the shops. “Strawberry cheescake on Monday. Macaroons on Thursday. Yesterday, ginger snaps. And a lot of other sweets I’ve forgotten about, though I do remember they were delicious.”

“Those weren’t gifts,” said Link, hurrying to keep pace. “I simply wished to bake.”

“Yes, and I ate most of the results.”

Link’s boots lost purchase where a patch of ice covered the cobblestones, and he nearly slipped. Walker looked back in concern. Link kept hold of the bags, though, and proceeded more carefully. He fought down the urge to complain about the cold.

“So. Um. Thank you,” said Walker. He fiddled with the straps of the bag he was carrying.

Ah, Link knew the reply to this. “You’re welcome,” he said at once.

The amber window-lights of headquarters rose before them, past the roofs of the nearer houses. Silent now, they walked side by side.

As he fell asleep that night in the warmth of his bed, Link could not shake the feeling that Walker had been thanking him for something more than mere baked items, but he could not for the life of him figure out what.

Date: 2010-12-25 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Omgwth love this. *____________*
I was looking for a Christmas-LinkAllen fic and I found this. *AAA* Love it, love it, love it! They're so adorable XD and Link's thoughts on what Allen was saying almost killed me. X°D
I was planning on asking your permission to translate "In Disarray" but this goes first. I'd really like to translate this, espicially because from 25th to 29th is LinkAllen Week. *w* I would like to elaborate a better comment but the only thing I can say right now is "loveitloveitloveit". "XD Many many compliments! *-* ♥

Date: 2010-12-26 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad you found what you were looking for, haha! I wrote it a few days ago, but couldn't post until now because of the challenge it's for. I think I have a weakness for Christmas-themed stories--I'm quite fond of them.

Ohh my, another translation! Of course you have my permission. *___* Once again I feel so lucky. Thank you. &hearts

There's a week for that? Excellent. I'm writing Link-and-Allen fics for the Dec. 25th and 29th prompts at [ profile] 31_days, myself. I'll keep my eye out for other works! :D

So glad you like it. Thanks for commenting!

Date: 2010-12-25 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I mentioned briefly in our convo how I enjoyed this ♥ Lemme repeat here: I LOVE THIS ♥♥♥

You worked with the prompt really well! The way Allen is glad to be out and welcoming the season for what it is, regardless of how it is less than picture perfect :) And Link, oh, so straightforward with his observations of how uncelebratory their surroundings really are.

I love the humour and the tinge of melancholy built into the description of how Allen stopped paying off Cross's debt. It's something that seems to still hang over Allen and I love how that is weaved neatly into the story.

And just, the entire atmosphere! Timcanpy sleeping in one of the shopping bags, the darkness and gloom surrounding them, Allen being all fidgety and saying thanks in the only way he knew how to, and the silence as they approach the headquarters - it all just works really well, the atmosphere oh I adored adored adored it ♥

This is such a lovely read, thank you for it *g*

Date: 2010-12-26 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, thank you for sharing your thoughts here, too!

Allen seems to look on the bright side, and strikes me as pretty happy (aside from when something terrible has just happened) considering how dark the series is. I wonder how he developed from being a cynical kid into the kind of person he is now. Clearly Mana was involved, but still...

As I mentioned, I do like Christmas stories. Little moments between characters, too. Also, taking the prompt literally would have been no fun.

Thanks. :)

Date: 2011-01-02 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Ahh, I like this one a lot *v*! Very sweet and I love the exchanges between them. Also the bit about using the Ark for shopping *laugh*. The mood is lovely here; exactly how a perfect Christmas evening should feel!

(Cheers for the masterlist as well. Sob, I already have my very favorites of yours saved to folder but this will make it easier to reread :D)

Hope the new year is off to a good start for you!

Date: 2011-01-04 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(No worries!)

Aww, I'm glad you like it and found the mood worked. Christmas and other holiday-themed fics are fun.

(\o/ I finally got around to making a masterlist. Somehow those stories managed to pile up, and I want them to be easy to find. By the way, the Noah Clan fics are in chronological order by when they occur in the characters' lives.)

Amazingly enough, it is. Happy New Year to you, too! &hearts

Date: 2011-02-22 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh man... this one tasted to my mind like one of Link's pastries probably to Allen's tongue...
So damn sweet and lovely and... d'aaaw.

Date: 2011-02-22 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww, I'm happy to hear that. I love reading and writing about little moments between these two.


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