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hyperion: the one above
ádis: powerful (also the greek for hades).
october 17th - left the hospital and met older brother who hit him hard enough to leave a permanent mark on his face
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The build-up to the holiday season was always painful. It reminded Lysias of his past and why he had become the way he was, what he had done to get there. He didn’t regret it - well - most of it. But he had certainly learned from past mistakes.
While the cold weather had started coming in and lights had sprung up on shop fronts and people had started thinking that ridiculous bobble-hats were now socially acceptable, Lysias had remained a scrooge about the whole thing. He dressed like he normally did, though sometimes he had a long dark trench-coat. He carried on business the way he normally did and he returned home like clockwork.
The first hint of Christmas came when Lysias discovered a trail of tinsel pieces leading off down the other end of his apartment. His eyebrows furrowed and he made a mental note to chase it when he had more time, but more time never came. The second hint came when his bar staff presented him with holiday themed cocktails and ideas for decorations. His face said not a fucking chance, but the promise of more customers had his lips giving the all clear. He stepped foot in the bar an hour later and quickly retreated back from the sight of twinkling lights and red and while hats.
Then it became all to clear that there was nothing to be done and he would have to embrace the holiday cheer with loathing and get into the festive season. He started by giving his employees a Christmas bonus, which resulted in him finding small gifts on his desk for the next few weeks. Nothing spectacular, but Carlos had bought him a rather nice cigar, so there was that. Then the decorations slowly spread up to his office - that was more because Atlas and Braden had found some spare and had begun throwing things up without asking. Lysias threatened to tear it all down, but Braden’s watery eyes stopped him, though he did move a few things when they were gone. He was pretty sure no one noticed.
After the decorations and presents he received, hints started popping up about presents he was supposed to be giving. Pictures left up on his laptop or magazines with a few words circled. Even his underwear draw wasn’t safe from notes and scribbles. While Lysias could be cruel, he wasn’t completely heartless. So on his way home from work he bought a small tree and a pot and allowed the boys to decorate it while he watched. After several broken baubles, a cut hand and glitched set of lights the tree was finally finished. It looked like a pre-schooler had thrown everything they could find at it and dusted their hands. Done. Lysias mentioned it looked like a cat had vomited on it, to which Atlas replied with, “You just don’t understand modern art.”
Their glee grew, however, when the next day two small gifts had appeared under the broken branches. Braden had been confused by the tag which had read “Love from Satan” instead of “Love from Santa”. But Atlas was happy to explain.
Now the tree had several gifts under it. Some were neatly wrapped with precision and others looked like that had more tape than paper on them. They were all different shapes and sizes and some rattled when they were picked up and others didn’t. Some weren’t supposed to rattle but apparently they had been damaged in transit - those weren’t ones Lysias had bought.
Lysias sat on the couch with scalding coffee in a mug, his legs crossed at the knee as he rested up against the lavish cushions. He watched with a hint of amusement as Braden and Atlas scurried around the bottom of the tree, trying to find presents with their names on. There was some christmasy music on in the background and Lysias almost caught himself humming along to it. The fire had been lit for the first time that year and while the boys were not children, Lysias had invested in a guard, just incase they decided to see if fire was still hot.
In his mantle were cards from clients and staff and people he probably should remember. He had added his name to the company Christmas card but that had been the extent of his effort. It was almost homely - if it wasn’t for the collection of knives and guns and the stacks of files and paperwork that contained the illicit dealings. Close enough.
“Did you get us a puppy?’ Braden asked, picking up a particularly large box with his name on.
“We already have a dog,” Lysias replied nodding over to where an elderly pit-bull was nodding off by the fire. Diablo had been with Lysias forever and while he had been a bodyguard in his younger years, it was clear the dog was certainly retired. He still didn’t let anyone except Lysias get too close and the boys had had a few nips to prove it.
“Diablo isn’t a dog, that’s a monster,” Atlas quipped and he frowned when Diablo rolled over onto his back and let his tongue droop out.
“Mhm, terrifying,” Lysias smirked as the ripping of paper and a squeal brought the attention back to Braden who was sat cross-legged with a giant pink gloomy bear suddenly in his lap.
“Oh my god this is the best! Thanks!” came a voice buried in the back of the fur followed by a -
“Are you fucking kidding me?” from Atlas who was holding up a bag of coal.
Lysias’ eyebrow raised and he shrugged, “I don’t make the rules.”
A few minutes later the floor was littered with wrapping paper and tape and ribbon and Lysias’ two assistants surrounded but their Christmas presents. Lysias hadn’t been completely awful to Atlas - he had received a new laptop to replace the one he’d smashed against a wall and keys to a second-hand truck Lys had picked up. He wasn’t overly keen on Atlas driving. Minus the dangers of having him on the road, it gave him an option to escape with. However he knew it would be worth having someone else able to go further a field to work. Braden wasn’t trusted walking properly so there was no way the kid was getting a car.
Atlas had also received a fair few comics and a couple of weird figurines he’d been asking for. Braden had been treated to a couple of new t-shirts, a vintage playstation and a nightlight.
“Aren’t you going to open yours?” came Braden’s voice from around the back of the tree where Lysias’ presents had been sat. Placing his mug down on the side table Lysias leant forward and indicated for the presents to be brought to him - he was comfortable after all. Atlas launched a present that narrowly missed Lysias’ coffee, but with catlike reflexes he caught it by the loop of the ribbon. He pulled it in and recognised the scribble as Atlas’ writing. He smiled at the generically cheesy pun on the label and hooked his finger under the tape. It was then he noticed Braden had crawled over and sat at Lysias’ feet, eyes wide, waiting for the big reveal. Atlas, also sat on the floor, had leant up against the wall, pretending not to care what Lysias thought of the gift while internally caring very much.
Ripping the paper painfully slowly, Braden now sat on his ankles, he revealed the corner. Braden’s knelt up and pressed his hand onto Lysias’ thigh trying to get a better look. Like a dog trying to steal food from your hands. Lysias pushed him back and pulled off more paper.
“What is it?” Braden asked, ignoring the push and getting on the couch so he could see better.
“If you give me a fucking second I’ll be able to open it,” Lysias said, taking off more of the paper and catching Atlas’ eye. There was something in the expression that maybe whatever was inside was not exactly legal and Lysias was right. It was a small street sign that had been ripped off a wall. Mission Boulevard - it was near the beach front where Styx was and consequently near the apartment. But that wasn’t why it was an important street name in particular - not his was the street where he’d nearly killed both boys after they’d threatened to stab him. Braden’s hands grabbed for the sign before Lysias had a chance to say anything.
He sat on the couch tracing the letters with his fingers, Lysias leant back on the couch and put his right arm along the top so he could curl the back of Braden’s hair through his fingertips. While Braden was slowly making the connection Lys beckoned Atlas over and the other man slowly got to his feet - like he was unsure if Lysias was mad or not.
When he got close enough, Lysias grabbed a fist-full of his shirt and pulled him in for a quick kiss, guiding Atlas onto his lap with his free hand.
“You’re a soppy fuck aren’t you?” he teased as the tips of Atlas’ ears turned a bright shade of pink. Atlas shook his head and punched Lys in the chest to prove otherwise, but it was far too late to save his reputation.
Lysias’ left hand traced lazy patterns on Atlas’ inner thigh up to his crotch where he gave a light squeeze. “You’re a good boy really,” he whispered, as the blush from Atlas’ ears extended to his face and he promptly head butted Lys’ shoulder to hide away. “Fuck off,” came the mumbled reply.
“My turn,” Braden announced suddenly, oblivious to the two people next to him, throwing the sign to one side he slid off the couch to grab a box he had clearly wrapped himself. He returned seconds later and pushed it into Lysias’ lap, forcing Atlas to shift to the arm of the couch and off Lys’ lap. Braden jumped into the space Atlas had left and presented the present with glee. Lysias smiled at the gift, already able to see what it was from the poor wrapping but pretended he couldn’t. Giving it a little shake and raising his eyebrow at the bell noise that came from inside. Braden smiled and leant forward ‘helping’ Lysias take the paper off to reveal a box. Lysias recognised the box straight away. It was from Bunny’s. The shop he and the boys would go to on a monthly basis to pick up a few things. Lysias was also pretty sure that whatever was in the box had been bought with his money. But that didn’t really matter because Braden’s face was getting ever closer to Lysias’ as he lifted the corner of the box to peek inside. It was red. Whatever it was. Which made a nice change from the pink Braden usually picked out.
Lysias slowly lifted the lid and peered at a mass of material and golden bells. Braden was practically bouncing on Lysias’ lap and even Atlas had leant forward to take an interest. Pulling it out of the box Lysias' held it up so he could get a full picture of it.
It looked like a brown leather harness, but it was decorated with red and green ribbon as well as little golden bells. It was like something Santa would give Rudolph before he strapped him to the sleigh. Instantly it reminded Lys of lederhosen and he tried not to laugh, he knew Braden already had a fully fledged plan for the little outfit and he didn’t want to spoilt it. So he noted the glee on Braden’s face and he smiled, bringing Braden forward and place a peck on his cheek - well that had been the intention but Braden had turned at the last second and the had shared a short but sweet kiss.
Lysias felt Braden’s lips curl into a smile, like a victory had been won by the fact that Lysias was still holding onto the harness. Pulling away from the kiss, Lysias felt two hands slipping under his shirt and tracing letters over his skin. “You going to model this for me?” he whispered, lips pressed against Braden’s ear. His assistant grinned and bit his lip but refused an answer. Playing coy was something he was getting better at and Lysias found himself appreciating it more and more.
Suddenly an alarm went off on a phone and Lysias put the harness down on the couch next to the sign. Food. Smacking Braden’s ass to get him off the couch the three went through to the kitchen where their Christmas dinner was waiting for them. It was cooked to perfection and as Lysias dished it up the two boys sat impatiently at the table, jabbing their forks into the table and then into each other.
“Alright alright, behave,” Lysias muttered as he put the plates down in front of them.
Food demolished and plates left empty they returned tot he warmth of the fire and the comfort of the couch. With the tv on playing some children’s movie, Lysias found himself sat with Braden’s head in his lap - either breathing slowly or asleep - and Atlas resting on his shoulder trying to watch the movie but his eyes dropping every few minutes.
As the movie came to and end, Lys found himself trapped on the couch by two sleeping bodies. With a sigh he untangled himself from the splayed limbs which Atlas immediately woke up from. Lysias smirked and shook his head at the boy’s hair, stuck up in all directions with a hint of drool out of the corner of his mouth.
“Bed?” Lysias asked and Atlas grunted in reply and gingerly got to his feet, stumbling over the street sign that had fallen on the floor. Lysias took the opportunity to hold onto his assistant, holding him steady while he found his feet.
“‘M fine,” Atlas mumbled, rubbing his face with his sleeve. Lysias raised his eyebrow and Atlas shrugged and then stumbled forward pressing his face into Lysias’ chest groaning. With a chuckle Lysias slipped his hand around the back of Atlas’ neck, curled fingers into his hair and tilted his head back so they could kiss. Atlas, eyes closed, hummed and smiled. Sliding his hands down to Atlas’ ass, he gave it a rough squeeze before taking a step back to deal with his other sleepy assistant.
With a sigh he hooked his arms under Braden, who had not made a sound since the movie had ended, and lifted him up holding him like a small child. Braden’s head rested in the crook of Lysias’ neck as he lead the way back to the bedroom.
Tucking Braden into bed he turned back to Atlas who looked just as tired, if not more so. “Go to sleep,” Lysias said, running his hand through Atlas’ hair. Atlas made a face that suggested he was about to argue but Lysias cut him off by grabbing the base off his t-shirt and pulling it over Atlas’ head. Throwing it to one side he sucked a bright red mark onto his assistant’s neck.
“How can I sleep with a boner?” Atlas grumbled
Lysias grinned and pulled off, reaching down to unzip Atlas’s jeans, pushing them down to get the other man out of them.
“I’m sure you’ll survive,” Lysias reasoned, as Atlas’ wandering fingers reach for his shirt. Shaking his head he pushed Atlas’ hands away. “I have work-“
“But it’s Christmas…”
“I know. Go to sleep, I’ll wake you up when I’m done,”
Atlas opened his mouth as if to argue but then thought better of it. Lysias supposed it was the little promise of allowing Atlas to sleep next to Braden undisturbed for a while.
Sharing one final kiss Atlas curled up next to Braden and Lysias made to leave the room.
“Thanks Lys,” came a quiet voice from the bed and Lysias turned to find Atlas already had his eyes closed and was breathing in time with Braden.
MERRY FREAKIN' CHRISTMAS