Summary: Christmas was in three days, and Adam Parrish was a bit frazzled. What do you get the Greywaren who can dream himself anything?
AN: Surprise, Raven Boys fic for Christmas. I'm never quite sure where these guys come from when I'm writing them, and I always end up doing a bunch of weird research for them. This time it was meanings of stones and crystals, and then I got interrupted by having to go to family dinner while all I wanted to do was quick finish the sex scene.
For Glad and Golden Hours
Christmas was in three days, and Adam Parrish was a bit frazzled.
"I am not frazzled," Adam informed Blue. "I'm fraught."
Blue, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor of her room with two whole skeins of yarn tangled around her forearms, barely spared Adam a glance. "Yes, fraught does sound more masculine."
"Listen, you don't understand," Adam said patiently but somewhat condescendingly, as if Blue had somehow never met Ronan Lynch and all his gleeful disasters. The truth was that Blue probably did understand, but it made Adam feel better to explain it out loud and Blue was nice enough to humor him. "It was bad enough before. But now he can dream me things. Ridiculous things."
"Well, he can't dream a more ridiculous thing than you," Blue said mildly. It was somewhat hypnotic, watching her shift loops of yarn back and forth from one arm to the other. They had watched the YouTube tutorial for arm-knitting on Gansey's phone half a dozen times earlier that afternoon, but when Blue did it, it looked less like a craft and more like she was trying to agitate the yarn into a producing a scarf out of self-defense. "Anyway, what's the matter? You've got a present for him."
Adam did. He'd picked up the last pieces he needed over the weekend and was more than halfway done putting it together. He would have been done already, except for Ronan's penchant for invading Adam's apartment unexpectedly and at all hours of the night. Adam could have complained about it, but he didn't exactly want Ronan to stop invading his apartment at all hours of the night, especially not when recently Ronan often brought him coffee or blowjobs, or both.
"It's just different this year," Adam finally settled on. Better different, he tried to remind himself, but in his old life he had at least known what to expect, and Adam wasn't very comfortable with surprises. Beside him, Blue gave the yarn on her wrists a merciless shake, and suddenly it turned into a scarf as if she'd done a magic trick, the loops falling into their neat rows. "That's nice. You can make me one of those, you know, for practice."
"No no no," Blue scolded, doing something quick and complicated to tie off the loops still hanging from her wrists. "Handmade scarves are definitely not on the Miss Manners approved gift list for ex-boyfriends. Plus I've already promised Gansey not to instigate more Ronan tantrums a day than are strictly necessary. Unless you're trying to get him to dream you up a leash."
"So long as he doesn't expect me to wear it to mass with his brothers," Adam replied lightly. Adam had already promised to go, too surprised by Ronan's sudden request to think of a reason not to. He had though of about two hundred reasons not to since then, but too late now.
"Besides, I've already made you something," Blue said. When Adam was released from yarn-winding duty, Blue sent him on his way with a drawstring pouch she'd sewed him to hold his tarot cards, the fabric for some reason covered in jaunty owls, and a tin the size of his head filled with sugar cookies, peppermint bark, and peanut butter balls.
Adam left the tin in the car after work, not trusting himself not to binge on the whole thing if he brought it into the apartment until he was utterly sick. Instead he brought it in with him when he stopped over at Monmouth Manufacturing the next day, hoping to share at least some of the pain.
"Oh my god," Gansey moaned around a peanut butter ball, and even Noah was nibbling on one a little, which spoke deeply about their transcendent quality. "Tell Jane she can never make these again. Also hand me another one."
"It'll go straight to your thighs," Noah informed him. Gansey waved a hand in his direction as if shooing off a fly.
"Tell her yourself, along with the other sweet nothings you whisper at her during your secret midnight phone dates." Adam blinked as Gansey shoved a padded mailing envelope over towards him with the hand that he wasn't currently licking peanut butter off of. "What's this?"
"Early Christmas present," Gansey said. Adam's expression darkened.
"Gansey, we agreed," he started as he tore the top off the envelope. His face went thunderous as he tipped two bright red stones into his palm, about the shape and size of marbles an inch across, each with a neat hole drilled through the center. "Gansey—"
"For Ronan," Gansey interrupted, voice breezy. "I didn't get you a thing, but I couldn't exactly give Ronan his present without ruining your surprise, and I can't be bothered to wrap them either, so be a pal and take care of that, could you?"
"Asshole," Adam grunted, still irritated but the sharp edge of his temper slipping away. The stones were already warm against his palm, light catching in their centers when he held them up to examine them. Noah leaned over Adam's shoulder, giving a soft ooh.
"Ruby," Gansey explained. "Have you done your homework properly, Parrish?"
"Ruby for vitality and leadership," Adam's cheeks darkened, "and sex. Gansey, I can't—"
"Do you want it to work, or do you want it to work?" Gansey asked, folding his arms.
Adam looked away first, lips pressed into a thin line, but he tipped the stones back into the envelope. "Thank you."
Gansey nodded his approval. "Happy Christmas to you too. Now come look at this hat I've got Jane and tell me whether you think she'll hate me forever. And hand me another one of those blasted peanut butter balls."
Mass with the Lynch brothers was less awkward than Adam had feared. Matthew grinned at Adam from Ronan's other side, his tousled curls and pink cheeks making him look like the very picture of Christmas excitement. Declan sat on Matthew's other side, looking bored but at least not interested in fighting at the moment. Ronan had promised Matthew a trip out to visit their mother in Cabeswater the next morning for Christmas day, accounting for some of his excitement, and Adam had given him the last of Blue's peppermint bark, much to Matthew's delight.
Adam did feel a little underdressed in just his sweater and slacks when most of the other men in St. Agnes's were in suits. Ronan had brushed off his concerns when he'd come to pick Adam up, reaching to tug at Adam's collar where it touched his throat and grinning at the shock of static that passed between them. Adam could still feel the crackle of it on his skin as he sat beside Ronan in the pew, their thighs not quite touching and fingers brushing unnecessarily as Ronan handed Adam the hymnal. Adam couldn't say that he got a lot out of the service in general, but he did like the singing, especially with Ronan's voice ringing in his good ear.
It was raining when the service ended, the unseasonably warm snap they were having making snow impossible. Matthew pouted about it as they said their goodbyes in the vestibule, Declan looking impatient while Ronan ruffled Matthew's hair and promised to pick him up tomorrow.
Even the dash across the lawn to Adam's apartment left them blinking water out of their eyes and shaking it off their hair as they climbed the stairs. Adam's sweater and Ronan's tie came off the moment they were in the door, and Adam took two steps towards the bathroom to get a towel before Ronan hauled him back by the wrist for a rough kiss. His hands were warm splayed across Adam's back through his thin T-shirt, chasing away the chill of the rain still sliding from Adam's hair down the back of his neck. Adam's own hands found their way to curl in Ronan's dress shirt, thumbing the little white buttons without exactly undoing any of them.
Chainsaw, left in the room earlier with a trashcan of Adam's discarded essay drafts to destroy, rustled and kraaaked in greeting. Neither Adam nor Ronan paid any attention.
"Presents," Adam mumbled against Ronan's mouth after a minute, before they got too distracted. Ronan broke the kiss to grin at him with fierce excitement, his expression a mirror of Matthew with the peppermint bark.
They'd stuck their presents under Adam's tree before they'd gone to mass. Adam hadn't wanted to bother with a tree, but Ronan had insisted, of course. It was a real tree, filling the apartment with the smell of spruce, covered in the folded paper stars and popcorn chains that Blue and Noah had spent a whole afternoon making, sitting on Adam's floor while Adam and Gansey had taken turns trying to cram enough calculus into Ronan's head for him to stand a chance at graduating. The tree's blue needles made such a perfect Christmas tree shape that Adam would have sworn it was a thing that Ronan had dreamed if he hadn't helped Ronan cut it down at the Barns himself. It had taken two days for Adam to finally rub all of the sap off of his skin from hauling the thing to the car, and Ronan's BMW still smelled at least as much like the tree as Adam's apartment did.
Come to think of it, Adam had realized later, just the fact that it came from the Barns didn't preclude it being a dream tree after all. Ronan had definitely dreamed the lights if nothing else; they were plugged into nothing and in the dark of Adam's apartment they twinkled through colors that Adam had no names for.
"Here, here," Ronan said, shoving a squashy package into Adam's hands and watching him expectantly. "No, don't sit down, just open it."
Rolling his eyes, Adam obediently tore the paper off (owls again — what was with owls this year?) and a scarf fell out into Adam's hands, making his breath hitch from the softness of it. It was a blue dark enough to be almost black but not quite, and for some reason it reminded Adam of the sky when they were driving back from the Barns, when it was late enough for full dark to have already fallen.
Adam didn't bother to fight off the amused smile. "You didn't knit this with Blue, did you?"
"What the fuck does that mean? Come on," Ronan ordered without waiting for an answer, pushing Adam by the shoulders towards the door. "Try it out, hurry up."
"Try it out?" Adam asked, confused and nearly tripping headfirst down the stairs with the way Ronan was hustling him along. At the door, Ronan paused only long enough to loop the scarf around Adam's neck twice before shoving Adam out the door. "Lynch, you asshole, it's pouri—"
Adam cut off, puzzled. It was still pouring, if anything harder than before, but the expected cold shock of water never came. Adam looked down and realized that, just before they hit his skin, the raindrops were turning to snowflakes. When he held out his forearm, the snowflakes landed on it gently, easy enough to brush off before they melted. He was a bit cold, just in a T-shirt with snowflakes pattering down on him, but that was all. Grinning wildly, Adam looked up to find Ronan leering proudly at him from the doorway.
"You love it, right?" Ronan called over the patter of the rain. "I'm a genius."
"It's ridiculous," Adam said, heart racing with how much he did actually love it. "I'm going to look like an absolute tit when I wear this around in the summer." Tilting his head back, Adam caught snowflakes with his tongue until Ronan had to stomp out from the doorway's safety and got half-soaked dragging Adam back inside.
They plopped down next to the tree for Ronan to open his present, Ronan with Adam's only towel draped over his shoulders after rubbing water off his head, and Adam with the blanket from his bed wrapped around his shoulders. Adam felt anxious as Ronan tore the paper off the small box, and even more anxious as Ronan peered in puzzlement at the contents, tossing the crumpled paper to Chainsaw, scratching about on the floor near him. Nestled inside the box was a jumble of long leather straps, not that different from the bracelets Ronan usually wore, each strung with a bead made of natural stone, all about the size and shape of a marble with some variation.
Ronan picked up one of them, rolling the green stone between his fingers and raising an eyebrow at Adam.
"It's, they're stones," Adam fumbled his explanation. "Focus stones. People use them for meditation and things, but I thought they might help for when you're dreaming, if you're trying to dream a particular thing. I tried to make sure they were all natural-formed stone, but a few I'm not sure about, so if they don't work…you're supposed to put them on a pulse point, like your throat, but I thought you'd end up strangling yourself in your sleep. So if you tied them against your wrist…"
Ronan was picking up various stones, brow furrowed in scrutiny as he held them up to the light. It was stupid, Adam thought wretchedly, weird and new agey and oh he'd been spending too much time at 300 Fox Way with their tea and crystals and Ronan hated it.
"What's this one?" Ronan asked, picking up the green one again and thrusting it towards Adam. He waved his arm impatiently, and it took Adam a second to realize that he meant for Adam to tie it on. The anxiety in the center of Adam's chest drained away, replaced by relief creeping in slowly. Ronan didn't think it was stupid. Ronan didn't think Adam was stupid.
"It's moss agate," Adam explained. He tugged at the leather bands covering Ronan't wrists, slipping the frayed and chewed leather over Ronan's hand a few at a time and setting them aside. "Moss agate's for strength and to promote varied dreams. It's also supposed to ward off storms." Adam paused for a moment, stroking the scarred skin of Ronan's wrist with his thumb, feeling Ronan's blood pulsing under the thin skin.
"Hnn," Ronan said, watching as Adam centered the stone over his pulse, then wrapped the leather around his wrist. The strap was long enough to go around Ronan's wrist two or three times; hopefully it would be long enough to keep the stone sort of in place and for Ronan to tie himself one-handed. Ronan flexed his fingers, the tendons in his wrist shifting the agate against his skin. With his other hand, Ronan shook the box. "What are the rest of these for? That's amethyst."
"Amethyst for insomnia," Adam met Ronan's eyes briefly, "and for clarity. Garnet for constancy in friendship and protection on a trip. Black tourmaline for luck. If you rub it for a bit, it generates a magnetic field."
"The hell is this?" Ronan asked, holding up the tiger iron and peering at its stripes of orange and red. It made perfect sense Ronan would be attracted right to that one, Adam thought.
"Tiger iron for physical vitality and creating reality out of dreams. You'll use that one the most, I bet," Adam said, and sure enough Ronan rolled that one between his fingers longer than the others, seeming reluctant to put it down. Adam pointed at the last few stones. "Hematite for war. Amber for courage. I wanted to get the amber from Cabeswater itself, but I couldn't think of a way to do it. Maybe if you ask it, you can pull a better one out for yourself."
"You skipped that one," Ronan pointed out. He held up the strap with Gansey's damn ruby, and Adam's cheeks colored almost to match its red glow.
"Look it up yourself," Adam grumbled. Ronan blinked at him for a second, before he gave a bark of laughter. He shook his wrist imperiously, and Adam's cheeks grew even redder as he unwound the moss agate from Ronan's wrist and tied the ruby on instead.
There was a matching strap underneath Adam's pillow at the moment, but Adam didn't think that Ronan needed to know that just yet.
"They might not all work," Adam said, just to fill in the empty space. "Calla said not everyone responds to some stones the same way. I tried to pick out ones that had to do with strength or that sounded right, but you might have to try—"
"Jesus, just shut up the fuck up already, Parrish," Ronan swore with affection, leaning across the gap to kiss Adam. Ronan's mouth was possessive and unyielding; Adam melted into it willingly as Ronan yanked him closer. This time Adam's fingers found Ronan's buttons and undid them on their own; he pulled back just enough to watch as he shoved the shirt off Ronan's tanned shoulders, somehow different than when he pulled off Ronan's usual black tank top. This way felt more like unwrapping a present, and Adam grinned even as the back of his neck heated up at the mental image of Ronan underneath his christmas tried, tied up in red ribbon just for him.
"It's ridiculous how you still blush like that," Ronan announced, his own hands busy yanking Adam's T-shirt out of his slacks. Beside him, Chainsaw clicked and rustled with annoyance at being ignored, but Ronan shooed her off to her perch with a distracted hand, eyes still on Adam. "Really fucking hot, though."
Ronan shoved Adam down onto his mattress, pressing Adam down into it as he settled his weight on top. The slide of Ronan's skin against Adam's bare chest made his heart skip half a dozen beats at least, Adam shifting his weight until their hips slotted together just right. Ronan slid an arm under Adam's back and didn't seem in a hurry to rush through this part, which suited Adam just fine. He could feel the ruby still tied to Ronan's wrist digging into his back just to the side of his spine, but it wasn't unpleasant, the stone already warm from their skin.
Well. Calla had said they would have to charge some of the stones…
Adam's lungs were burning when the kiss broke, his lips stinging pleasantly from being crushed against Ronan's. Ronan never seemed to need to breathe when they were making out, somewhat to Adam's exasperation, and Adam only managed to suck in half a breath before Ronan's mouth was on his again. Adam squirmed, light-headed, and when that failed to distract Ronan, tore his mouth away and turned his head to bare his neck in open invitation.
Ronan never could resist marking him. Adam shuddered head to foot as Ronan worried a bruise against his skin, too high for his Aglionby sweater to hide definitely, his cock twitching against Ronan's hip. Tilting his head back for more, Adam made a low noise that buzzed against Ronan's mouth. Ronan bit down harder on Adam's throat in response, and Adam moaned again, a vicious cycle. Adam was really good at those.
Fortunately Ronan had other ideas, apparently deciding Adam had been sufficiently claimed for the moment. Trailing his mouth down Adam's collarbone and ribs, he left a scatter of wet, red marks that started fading almost immediately but that Adam could still feel after Ronan's mouth had moved on. Adam whined softly when Ronan sat up to undo Adam's belt, and Ronan seemed to think that was appealing too, given the heat of the gaze he raked over Adam.
There was something else in that gaze, a thing Ronan hadn't named out loud yet, but that made Adam shiver at least as much as the graze of Ronan's hands down his thighs.
Ronan settled between Adam's thighs like he belonged there, licking a teasing stripe up the crease of Adam's thigh, and Adam had given up months ago being surprised how much Ronan liked sucking him off. Adam had suffered through half a dozen of Ronan's blowjobs in a wretched mix of embarrassment and arousal, trying to convince Ronan that it wasn't a thing he had to do just for him, before he finally understood that Ronan liked doing it for its own sake. That was just fine by Adam; the first wet touch of Ronan's tongue sending lust crawling like spiders over Adam's flushed skin, Ronan's fingers digging into his hips tight enough to leave more marks and drawing desperate noises out of Adam's clenched teeth. Sometimes these days Adam could barely look at Ronan talking for the image of his mouth wrapped neatly around Adam's cock that Adam's brain unrolled at the most inopportune moments.
Palming the back of Ronan's head, Adam wished Ronan would grow his damn hair out so he would at least have something to hold onto while Ronan broke him into pieces. He dropped his other hand to Ronan's shoulder and dug his fingertips in tightly enough that he might leave some marks of his own. Ronan grunted his approval around Adam's cock, then drew back his mouth far enough to leave only Adam's tip between his lips, licking at it messily. A strangled moan escaped Adam's throat, and Ronan seemed satisfied enough with that to suck Adam back in fully until he bumped the back of Ronan's throat.
Adam tried to hold out as long as he could, a battle of wills between he and Ronan that he inevitably lost. He could feel it already, the ball of want wrapping tight around the base of his spine like barbed wire. When Ronan hollowed his cheeks and scraped his teeth just so, Adam lost it, nerves crackling almost painfully with bright pleasure.
Maybe, he thought hazily, he should start wearing the moss agate after all.
Ronan fell on Adam in a lazy, self-satisfied heap, all elbows and knees and pants gone fuck knew where, long before Adam was ready to sort out his senses. The heat of their skin sliding together was almost too much on its own, making Adam shudder with helpless aftershocks. He grabbed clumsily for Ronan's cock almost out of self-defense. Ronan was hard and twitching, more proof of how much he liked pleasing Adam than Adam's barely on-line brain was capable of dealing with just then, or ever, and fit into Adam's curled fingers like Adam had already worn a perfect grip into Ronan's skin.
Thrusting into Adam's hand, Ronan swore colorfully with his mouth pressed against Adam's shoulder, swore and demanded more and used Adam's name in a way that made Adam's softening cock twitch. He hooked a leg over Adam's thigh and ground down against him, and when he came in hot pulses against Adam's skin, Adam moaned breathlessly along with him, completely carried away by the feel of Ronan coming against him, because of him.
"Shit," Ronan cursed sweetly. He tried to lean up for more kissing but his elbow slid out from under him. Instead he slid his hand into the back of Adam's hair and yanked his head down, still chanting, "Shit, shit," like a prayer in between messy, open-mouthed kisses.
They made out long enough that Adam was starting to get hard again, slowly, and his neck was in agony when he tried to straighten it. He let his head drop back against the pillow with a grunt of discomfort, trying to stretch it out; Ronan turned his attentions back to Adam's neck without missing a beat. One of his hands was thumbing at Adam's right nipple, and the other was pinning Adam's left wrist to the mattress up over his head.
"Should've got the lights while we were up," Adam said, weighing how much he wanted to see Ronan lit up with just the tree lights versus how much he wanted Ronan's mouth to stay on his own skin, just there.
"Are you fucking kidding me," Ronan grumbled against Adam's throat. "Like am I doing it fucking wrong or something?" he demanded, twisting Adam's nipple until Adam laughed and groaned at the same time.
Then Ronan actually got up and turned off the light, and Adam's chest went tight at the savage beauty of Ronan standing naked in the center of his apartment, at the center of everything, glaring down at Adam while he did exactly what Adam had asked. In the improbable lighting of the tree, Ronan was all oranges and reds and the black lines of his tattoo; right at that moment Adam thought he saw spiked leaves of mistletoe mixed in with Cabeswater's grasping branches and Chainsaw's curled talons.
Adam wondered what Ronan saw as he leaned over Adam looking back, Adam with his wrist up by his head where Ronan had pressed it, with his left arm and leg still flung out to the side waiting for Ronan to crawl back in against him. Adam wondered if Ronan saw the thing he hadn't said out loud yet in Adam's face too.
Maybe, he thought as Ronan dropped onto him like the crash of a shopping cart. He hoped maybe, maybe, because he didn't think he could say it first, say it any better than tying a marble of ruby onto Ronan's wrist and letting him suck bruises into Adam's skin. Not even to Ronan, who was curling his fingers tight through Adam's, Ronan who had given Adam snow at Christmas and wanted to keep him dry when it rained.
They were hopeless, the both of them. Adam closed his eyes and let Ronan's hands and mouth scatter his thoughts like the sparrows Chainsaw liked to scare at the Barns, and then when he could think about nothing besides Ronan against him, Adam rolled them over suddenly and paid Ronan the favor back again.
The next morning, Adam woke up feeling like a sack of wet cement, ponderous and immoveable, his arm completely numb from Ronan's weight. They'd kicked the blankets off too far for Adam to reach them, but the room was warm from late morning sunlight, and anyway Adam liked being able to see all of Ronan like this when Ronan didn't know he was looking. It felt like a secret Adam got to keep to himself, how Ronan's eyelashes were dark smudges against his cheeks, how his hands curled into fists even when the rest of him was slack with sleep.
He didn't remember falling back to sleep, but he came awake with Ronan asking if he wanted to come along, Ronan's bare hip on the mattress filling Adam's field of vision when he peeled his eyes open.
"Oh," Adam remembered fuzzily about Matthew and their mother. He yawned, nestling deeper into the soft weight of the blanket draped over his shoulder, and let his eyes slip shut again. The pillow smelled of Ronan, moss, and mist, and Adam was never leaving. "No, m'sleeping." After a heartbeat, he also remembered, "Ask Cabeswater about the amber."
He was vaguely conscious of the warm, wet press of Ronan's mouth briefly against his, then the sounds of the shower, of Ronan calling for Chainsaw, and the door shutting. When he came truly awake some time later, Adam sat up to stretch, rubbing at the wild spikes of his hair and somewhat amused that Ronan had tied the amethyst bead around Adam's wrist.
"That's for insomnia, idiot," Adam said out loud to nobody. "Not sleeping stupidly late." He rolled the dark purple stone between his fingers, though, intrigued by how it still felt cool despite having been pressed against his skin.
Eventually Adam made his way over to Monmouth Manufacturing, unsurprised to find the others gathered there already. Blue was wearing a hat that wouldn't have been out of place in a Jane Austin novel and apparently did not hate Gansey forever since he was wearing a lopsided arm-knit scarf and holding another tin of the blasted peanut butter balls. Meanwhile Noah was sitting cross-legged on the couch, watching in fascination as Ronan rubbed his hands together vigorously.
"Adam!" Noah called cheerfully. "Come watch!" Adam dropped onto the couch next to Ronan just in time to see him part his hands and reveal the bead of black tourmaline. Ronan pressed the bead against Noah, and the hairs on Noah's arm all rose, making him dissolve into helpless giggles.
Ronan twisted suddenly to press the stone against the back of Adam's wrist and both of them jumped from the sudden static shock. Adam burst into laughter too from the surprise of it.
"Why's it do that?" Gansey wanted to know, watching all of them with fascination. Ronan carelessly tossed the stone to Gansey with a flick of his wrist, and Gansey caught it neatly, leather string trailing out of his fist.
"Magic," Ronan said, at the same time as Adam answered, "Magnetism," and Blue said, "No, stupid, it's true love."
Adam flushed as he laughed harder, Ronan calling Blue a rude word as he trailed fingers over the back of Adam's wrist in the same spot they'd shocked each other. Gansey muttered, "Interesting," and pressed the stone against Blue's arm. Nothing happened except for Blue giving him a skeptical look from under her hat.
"You have to rub it, dumbshit," Ronan informed him, not looking at Gansey at all.
"That's what she said," Noah called helpfully.
"Maybe it's just static from this stupid scarf someone gave me," Adam suggested, grinning fiercely when it provoked the desired result of Ronan hollering a war cry and tackling him off the couch in a tangle of knees and elbows.