boiling water

Now that all dishes had been washed and leftovers had been packed up and put away, the little group still sat around the table, still trying to decide whether or not they were watching a movie or if they simply were going to spend quiet time just lounging out and about in front of the fireplace.

Eoghan, still in the kitchen, was keeping track of the water, it was almost up to boiling point and he could get coffees, teas and hot cocoas out to those who had requested them.

He stepped out of the kitchen, knowing his kettle would begin to whistle when it was ready. “Have we come to an agreement?”

There were nods all around the tables, a few chuckles here and there and one single shrug though he understood where that shrug came from. He knew Mira had been working nearly non-stop on that blanket he was crocheting for his brother and Eoghan wasn’t all that surprised that the youth might have preferred a chance at going to bed at this point, he didn’t blame him.

“Well, as soon as the water is ready I’ll have the hot drinks out and we can head whichever way we need to. No one has to stay though, I’m looking at you, Mira. We’re not forcing anyone to stay and watch a movie or stay and lounge out along by the fireplace. If you’d rather head down to get some rest, no one will hold it against you.”

The teenager blinked, a soft frown touching his lips though he shook his head, the frown melting into a slight smile moments later. “I’m tired yes, but we’ve settled on one movie I’ve really been meaning to watch and I want to watch it. I know I might honestly fall asleep somewhere in there but at least I’ll have caught some of it.”

“You’re absolutely adorable, Mira.”

“Am not.”

“Are too.” Eoghan stepped back into the kitchen then, Mira huffing softly at not being able to make his point. Eoghan pulled out several cups, knowing he had more than enough water for everyone in his kettle. He prepared one cup after the other, knowing those who wanted tea had the prepared tea bags (hand made with loose leaf) already in hand.

He located one of his trays, set all cups to it and eased back into the dining room with his last heavy tray of the evening. Cups went out to each person settled around the table and he picked up his own once he was sure that the rest of his group had all they needed on hand. He did try his best to be a good host.

As the lights slowly grew in strength after the movie, they began to file out. Armin left first, a wide yawn escaping him as he settled into the elevator and went down to his floor to get back to his bed so he could curl under the cold blankets and make sure they warmed up quickly enough so he’d stop being chilled.

Quentin and Yael stayed a few more moments, helping with the finally bits of clean up. Cyrille stepped out just moments after Agni, a sleeping Mira tucked into his arms and against his chest. “Wonderful meal and good movie, thank you, Eoghan. All of this, it’s so different from what I’ve known all my life but it feels like home, I have no words to thank each and every one of you for that.”

Eoghan smiled, mussing Mira’s head gently. “There are no thank yous to be given, Cyrille. We’re just a tight knit group of people who do what we can to make our lives easier and we just keep track of one another. Make sure this one gets more sleep, he looked like he could have fallen asleep in his plate a couple of times during the meal.”

“I’ll try, he’s been working really hard on his project but I know he’s almost done, so he’ll get a lot of sleep after that.”

“You three have a good night now.”

“G’night guys.” Agni called out quietly as they stepped out. He looked between the elevator and the stairs and opted for the elevator. He knew well enough he could have taken the stairs and Cyrille would have managed too, even with his brother fast asleep in those arms but he didn’t really want to chance it.

“What has he been working on anyway? He won’t let me in his room and he refuses to tell me anything about it. I could help him if he’d let me.”

“Agni, if he could let you help him, he would. I’m pretty sure one of whatever he’s working on is for you, so letting you help him would be a bit of a moot point. I know how far along he is and I know that he’s just a couple of hours away from being done, at the rate I’ve seen him work, tomorrow, I try to keep him in bed for a while longer and he can finish up in the afternoon and then he’ll be gift-making free for a while.”

“All right, though I still feel a little left out.”

“Sorry, Agni. I’m sure he doesn’t mean to make you feel that way.”

“They’re growing up so quickly. I mean, I suppose I could have said that if I’d known them longer but I feel as though I’ve known them forever, they’ve changed so much from the meek, frightened boys we met when we were doing the rounds around the warehouse while it was still being renovated.”

“Eoghan, they’d never known anything else but the street and their sister. The fact that she hadn’t tried to teach them the language just adds to the whole thing, they didn’t speak a word of the language, they more than likely didn’t understand it either. It was surprising they’d done so well so far. They’ve adapted quickly to our life as it is now and I don’t think we could really change anything. I mean, other than how she’s wandered off and walked away from them but that’s out of our hands.”

“You think she might come back?”

Lex shrugged lightly as he looped one arm about Eoghan’s waist, walking with him towards their bedroom now that all of their guests had gone on their way. “She might, she might not. If she does, she’ll have to move into another apartment because I don’t imagine the twins telling Cyrille to move out so she can move back in.”

“I don’t think she’s a bad person, you know.”

“I don’t think any one of us think she’s a bad person. She’s just struggled all of her life to raise her kid brothers, living out in the street, protecting them and now that there is some normalcy with all of their lives, she’s found someone to love. She did try to get them to move in with her and the guy so she didn’t really want to completely abandon them here, it just happened. I believe they’re better off here as it is.”

“So we’re not bad people for having kept them here with us.”

“We’re not bad people. Eoghan, it’s almost Christmas, gifts and decorations and even more time spent together, this is a time for celebration, not for feeling poorly about decisions that were mostly out of our hands.”

“Why do we even celebrate? We know he’s not real.”

“I think it’s the commercialization of it and I think we’re mostly doing it so we can decorate the place prettily and you can spoil ever single one of our friends, they all need it in a bad way, think of it as a valid excuse to give them extra stuff.”
“I don’t usually need an excuse to give them stuff.”

“I know, but this is a valid excuse and it should be appreciated, that’s all.”

“Okay, all right. I guess you have a point and this place is pretty when it’s all decorated this way.”

“I’m glad you think so, now come on, time for some sleep.”

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