Dec. 24th, 2015

prodigalflame: (quietly pleased)
They had left London from St Pancras on the Eurostar early on the Thursday morning, one suitcase between them and just a couple of bits of hand luggage: this was a short getaway, John had said, not an exchange program. Bobby had made a list, of course, and John had groaned and kissed him anyway.

He'd made sure to get decent seats on the Eurostar too - standard premiere class so they had enough leg room and space and food that wasn't crap - although he'd spent most of his time with his nose in one of his texts, a hand absently stroking along Bobby's forearm as it rested on the seat arm between them.

Disembarking in Paris had been a bustle, with Bobby trying to remember his high school French and John popping open the phrase book and pointing to maps on his phone. Fortunately they arrived at the boutique hotel a little way off Avenue Victor Hugo without much more fuss, and John had promptly dived onto the bed for respite after they'd checked in. It was a nice room, all wood paneling and space and kind of grand, the kind of thing John had picked out (and Bobby had said 'Fine, that looks good' to), but he hadn't been allowed to flop down for too long before unpacking, and then hitting the pavement, mostly to gawk.

Paris was Paris. It wasn't New York, or San Francisco, or London or any of the places John had been to in the UK (which consisted entirely of Brighton, Oxford, Leeds and Hull); it had a air and atmosphere of its own, with seemingly insane traffic, vaguely amused Parisians, other gawking tourists (so they fit right in); the Metro, the sidewalk cafes, the history, the sense that everyone local was somehow better dressed - John's hand found Bobby's and he held it as they browsed maps and tourist guides and took photos and wandered around. For his nerves (and he had been nervous the last little while, all too conscious of the rings he had back in a suitcase in the hotel), he was gonna hold that hand and be proud and let everyone see it, fuck 'em if they had an issue.

That day was Midnight Mass (Bobby's idea), and John who'd been raised in faith and torn it down like everything else he used to believe in was moved by the sanctity of it, the sense of community. Respect must be paid. And Christmas morning they had lingered long in bed before John had reminded Bobby to get his ass in gear, promising that his present would come later. There was after all, an Eiffel Tower to visit, an ice rink to skate on, and a proposal to propose.
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