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Christmas in South Beach

Stacey (prehistoricsea)

skripka (skripka)


Nathan Fillion/Sean Maher


Prompt: A trip away from L. A. and meeting an old friend or two.

Happy holidays, skripka! I hope you like it!

Was the resurrection of Firefly as Serenity the result of an unprecedented guerilla marketing effort on the part of fans? Maybe not. Maybe it was Santeria.

“Besides, there might be food in Florida. Is there food in Florida? ‘Cause I’m not sure I can face that right now.”

Nathan was lying on Sean’s couch, his hands over his face. (He thought this might give Sean the hint that he did not want to have this conversation.)

“All the better. I think if I watch you drink another Slimfast, I might throw up.”

Sean leaned up against the counter, arms crossed. (He thought this might give Nathan the hint that he meant business, even though Nathan was refusing to look at him.)

“Shut up! We’re not all naturally thin, like you. Not everyone can eat a bag of Tostitos for dinner every other night and still look good.”

Sean was quiet for a moment. “You think I look good?” Sean grinned at him, teasing and flirtatious, so Nathan couldn’t resist shooting him a mock leer as his lover came around from behind the couch to get closer to him.

“You look good.” Nathan took him by the waist, trying to pull him down. “You’re going to look even better, pinned beneath me on the bed, naked, moaning, me licking Slimfast off your body . . .”

Sean erupted into laughter, falling down on top of him, so Nathan couldn’t help but grin and pull him close. He loved that laugh, he was coming to realize. Still, going to South Beach together for Christmas? Sounded so - committed.

Sean was kissing his neck, up and around his jaw now, and Nathan was pretty sure that by time Sean made it to his lips, he was going to forget all about travel plans – hypothetical or no –

Sure enough, their lips brushed and then Sean was kissing him with soft wet lips, wrapping his arms around him pressing their hips together.

“So you’ll come?”

Damn it.

Nathan sighed. A little overdramatically, too, thought Sean. Natural hazard of dating actors.

“Yeah, I’ll come.”

* * * *

“Doesn’t seem right, that’s all.”

“Quit complaining and just enjoy it. It’s not that much warmer than L. A., and how long have you been in L.A.? It’s not like this in New York either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome.”

“It’s 37 degrees! I think I might melt!”

Sean gave him an odd look. Celsius never failed to mystify him.

“Besides, do you see all these ‘hurricane evacuation route’ signs?”

They were walking briskly down the sidewalk, carrying overnight bags on their way from the bus stop to Sean’s friend’s apartment.

Christmas in South Beach, thought Sean. Well, almost. Nathan was catching a plane to Alberta on Christmas Eve: his family had a big get-together every year. Sean knew it was way too early in the relationship to be invited, but he couldn’t stop himself from wondering if there might come a time when he would be invited.

“I’m so glad you came. You’re going to love Martina. After all, she’s been my best friend since high school -”

“I know, I know, you’ve told me.”

Nathan tried to sound annoyed, but Sean caught his smile. He resisted the urge to reach out and take Sean’s hand. They were both under strict orders from their management about stuff like that. Wrong kind of publicity. But it was getting harder and harder to remember that.

* * * *

Martina made them curry tofu for dinner. They sat around the table in her simple but elegant apartment. She was every bit as beautiful and sophisticated as Sean had said.

“So Sean tells me you work in advertising.”

Nathan had been stealthily moving food around his plate, giving a most convincing approximation of having eaten something.

Martina smiled. “I do! Right now, I’m working on a car commercial that has zombies.”

Sean raised an eyebrow skeptically, but Nathan seemed genuinely intrigued.

“Really? Huh. I love zombies.” He nodded seriously. “I’d buy a car from a zombie.”

Martina laughed and beamed across the table at him, taking a sip of wine. “Well that is the idea, silly.”

* * * *

Later, after Martina had gone to sleep (she had to be up early for work), Nathan and Sean were lying on the bed in her guest bedroom. Sean rested his head in the crook of Nathan’s arm, lazily running his hands over’s Nathan’s shirtless stomach. Still on Pacific Time, it seemed way too early to go to bed. Night air drifted in through the open window, filling the room with the smell of ocean.

“So you guys met at theater camp?”


“I still can’t believe you went to theater camp. You seem so normal.”

“Please! You know how many hot girls there were at theater camp? And how little competition for them there was?”

Nathan laughed. “Bet you were a real heartbreaker. Wait – you and Martina never -”

Sean shook his head. “Nah. She was too cool for me. We met in one of the first workshops – I don’t remember what the name of the workshop was – but basically, we had to prepare a monologue for each meeting, perform it, and then the teacher would critique you. So you could supposedly improve. And the teacher . . .”

Sean paused to roll his eyes and look exasperated. “Whose claim to fame was that he was in a Doritos commercial once, by the way. He wore black, mostly. And a beret, sometimes. No joke. A beret.”

Nathan laughed. He could just picture it.

“Anyway, he really thought a lot of himself, and he really, really got off on humiliating us. And being young teenagers, we didn’t know enough to know that this guy was a joke, that he was just putting us down to feed his own ego. All we knew was that he had been on TV and we hadn’t. If we wanted to be actors, we better take his abuse. He regularly made people cry, especially the girls.”

Nathan nodded. Sean thought he’d never get tired of Nathan listening to his stories intently.

“Usually, they cried after class, in the hallway, and their friends would hug them. But this one time, he actually got a girl to break down in front of everyone. It was awful. She’d just done a monologue from – I think it was – “To Kill a Mockingbird””.

Nathan rolled his eyes.

“I know. But keep in mind, we were all, you know, thirteen.”

“She’d actually done a really fabulous job. Her name was Carolina, I think, and she was pretty talented. She’d busted her ass, too, I’m sure, and she’d given this really breath-taking, dead-on delivery. Everyone was just stunned, really moved. When she was done, everyone burst into applause and cheers and stuff. She just beamed, just ecstatic, you know? She’d really given it her all and here everyone was, clapping and whistling for her. Everyone but Mr. Beret.”

“Ah.” Nathan couldn’t tell where this was going, but he could tell it was nowhere good.

“He just waits for the applause to die down. He’s silent for a moment, and the whole room is just dead quiet, waiting to see what he’d going to say. At first we assumed he was going to say how awesome it was, because it was, but as he just stands there, not saying anything, we start to realize something is up.”

Sean shakes his head. “Well, once he’s suitably, you know, dramatically paused, he just lays into her – not about her performance – but about her weight.”

“Aw, jeez.”

“I know. It was awful. Made no reference at all to this wonderful performance where she just poured her heart out, just started going on and on about how fat girls don’t get to be on TV, and would anyone have watched Breakfast at Tiffany if Audrey Hepburn had lovehandles?”

Nathan cringed. “What a bastard.”

“Everyone was just so embarrassed for her. We were shocked. And then she started crying.”


“Yeah. I mean who could blame her? So there’s a pause in his rant, and Martina interjects, loud enough for everyone to hear – ‘Yeah Carolina, you really oughtta lay off the Doritos’”.

Nathan’s mouth dropped open.

“Everyone just burst out laughing.”

“I bet.”

“We were laughing so hard, even Carolina started laughing. I mean, it’s not really that funny or anything, but it just broke the tension. Anyway, the teacher just turned bright red. He was stunned. Completely put him in his place. He just mumbled something and dismissed the class. After that, it was like the spell was broken. No one took him overly seriously, and he wasn’t so mean. The class was actually pretty fun after that.”

“Huh. None of this explains how you met Martina, though.”

“Right. After class, I went up to her, told her I thought it was a really cool thing she did. And that’s how we met. Been friends ever since.”

Nathan smiles. Sean pulls himself up on a elbow, thinking maybe he could go in for kiss.



“I’m really hungry. You think there’s any more of that tofu stuff in the fridge? Do you think Martina would care if I heated it up?”

Sean laughed.

“Nah. C’mon.”

* * * *

Nathan is ate microwaved tofu in Martina’s darkened kitchen, leaning against the counter, while Sean talked to him about their plans for the next day.

“Besides, I want to go to the botanica tomorrow,” says Sean.

“You mean like a garden?”

“No. Silly. God – you’re so – Canadian.”

Nathan dropped his fork at that one, crossing over to where Sean was standing, pinning him playfully against the counter with his body. “What’d you say?” he asked, mock-threatening. It was one of their favorite jokes.

“I said -”

Sean couldn’t resist, he burst out laughing as Nathan nuzzled his neck in the most ticklish way possible.

“I said -”

“That’s it. I’m taking you to bed and making you moan with my Canadian cock,” said Nathan, laughing.

Sean playfully tried to push him away, but Nathan was just too big. Sean shivered a little at Nathan’s hot breath on his ear. His lover was starting to nibble there, a little . . .

And suddenly they weren’t joking anymore.

* * * *

Ah, so this is what a botanica is, thought Nathan. He eyed the tall, cluttered shelves filled with books, candles, prayer cards, plants, bottles of . . . what were those exactly?

He had just eaten (half of) the most amazing carne asada he’d ever had in his life. Sean had taken him to a restaurant called Guayacan, whose sign said “Closed Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation”. His stomach still felt all warm and full. Sean had convinced him that was entitled to wash it down with a bottle of Nicaraguan beer (Toña) because Sean was going to make him “work it off” later. Coming across a shelf of what appeared to be perfumes, he picked one up. The label had a crude graphic of a pair of handcuffs and police officer standing behind a squad car. LAW KEEP AWAY, it said.

He shook it around a little, watching the liquid roll around in the cube of glass. It was the color of Windex.

Sean talked to someone at the counter, who then went into the back room. When he returned, he had a tall, Hispanic woman in her sixties with him.

That must be her, thought Nathan. Sean’s other friend in Miami.

“Sean, my big famous TV star! How you like the new place? Bigger than my one in New York, eh?”

Nathan cringed at the “big famous TV star”. It reminded him of Firefly, and God knows how he hated to be reminded.

Nathan looked around while they caught up. He only caught part of their conversation.

“Your show? Which one?”

“Uh . . . the one about the spaceship.”

"The one about the spaceship? Ah, Sean, I haven’t seen that one. You know me, mostly I like the Monsignor Martinez. There weren’t any detectives in this one, no?"

“No, Lupita. No detectives.”

Sean motioned for Nathan to come with them as they headed into the back room and Lupita told them to have a seat at round, wooden table.

She handed Sean a small slip of paper and one of those thick charcoal art-pencils. Then she busied herself looking through white wooden cabinets for supplies. Nathan looked on as Sean took the pencil and printed carefully, in exaggeratedly neat letters on the piece of paper:


He stopped suddenly, looking at Nathan like he was weighing something in his mind.

“Lupita, may I have another piece of paper?”

Lupita, still digging in the shelves, motioned to a drawer. Sean found the slips of paper, returned to his seat, and began again:


Lupita sat back down with them, placing a small china teacup at the center of the table. Sean handed her the piece of paper, and taking it, she placed it in the bottom of the teacup, face up, and put a sparkly lodestone on top of it. Then she counted out eight slivers of wood, putting them in the cup as well.

“Poplar,” she said to Nathan, when she saw his looking at her quizzically - as if it were the species of wood that he was questioning.

Nathan just nodded.

She topped that with a few eggshells, come cocoa butter, and a few more slivers of wood from bottles marked amansa guapo and cocillana bark, and finally, eight spoonfuls of honey.

“You got the ribbon, hon’?”

“Yup, measured exact.”

“Very good.”

Sean produced an envelope from his pocket, taking a white ribbon with neatly cut corners out. Lupita took it and tied eight knots in it, equidistant. Then she placed it in the cup as well.

She down at the cup, silently. The men didn’t say anything.

“Okay,” she said. “You’re finished. Now we’ll place the cup before Obatala for eight days.” She rose and went to an altar with several statues on it, placing the cup in front of a figure of a large, solidly built man.

“And now,” she said to Sean, wrapping her arm affectionately around his shoulder. “Don’t worry about anything.” Sean smiled at her, then at Nathan, hugging her back.

* * * *

When the two of them stepped out of the shop and into the light, the bell on the door ringing behind them, the warm sun felt good.

They walked a couple blocks in silence, just lost in thought, taking in early afternoon in Little Havana. Most people are at work, and it was quiet. After they walked awhile and Sean stopped noticing what was in the store windows and started noticing the reflection of the two them in glass. Nathan’s figure was taller, broader. More relaxed, a little, maybe.

Sean didn’t expect it when Nathan reached out and took his hand, in public, right here on the sidewalk on Calle Ocho. He panicked, momentarily, but didn’t pull away.

“What are your doing?” he asked, tensely.

Nathan smiled at him, that smile that Sean loves.

“I’m not worrying about anything.”


 Left By:
llaras (llaras)

2006-12-26 13:07:47

Great premise! And Nathan's Canadian cock cracked me up! Fun!

 Left By:
2006-12-26 17:23:20

Oh, adorable. And I love all the Canadian jokes, they made me smile.

 Left By:
skripka (skripka)

2007-01-13 02:28:01

Oh, I'm so sorry I'm so behind, but I loved my story. Funny and sweet. Nothing like I expected, but that's the fun of ficathons! Thank you so much!