the pig omg. 😀
Feuilly knew he should knock, or call – or at least make more noise than was absolutely necessary setting his bags down – when he got home, especially at this time of the year, to let his boyfriends know he was home. Bahorel and Prouvaire may be many things, and he loved them both to bits, but subtlety had never been their forte. Never had been, really, and to be quite honest, Feuilly wouldn’t change them for the world.
He wasn’t especially fond of surprises anyway.
Tonight they probably expected him later than 9 o’clock – dinners with Enjolras, Combeferre and Courfeyrac usually lasted until early morning, conversation flowing uninterrupted for hours, but tonight Enjolras had excused himself, as he felt the beginning of a migraine set in, and Combeferre, badly affected by the lack of sunlight in early December, had seemed to literally doze off in his plate after a single glass of wine, so Courfeyrac had smiled apologetically and, after ordering their friend to rest (”You too, don’t. Fall asleep while… Cooking in your car-” “Sure we won’t. Good night, ‘ferre. See you next week.”) had driven Feuilly home.
The lights in the living room were the only ones on as Feuilly walked up to the door. Curious. As he entered the home, the smell of hot cocoa and oranges filled his nose. Philomena, their pet miniature pig, was sleeping soundly on her mat in her corner of their large kitchen, her thick middle rising and falling steadily with each of her breaths.
As he bent down to pet her gently – knowing it’d take more than a few pats to wake her up from her peaceful slumber, probably something like a trainwreck, or a massive earthquake – a voice finally reached his ears.
“No, that’s good,” Bahorel’s gruff voice, even and patient in a way few people knew it could be, was coming from the living room, and Feuilly noticed for the first time the quiet Christmas music that was also coming from the other room. “It looks good, I promise Just keep going.”
“It looks lumpy,” that was Prouvaire, sounding as disappointed and pouty as he ever did. “We’re wasting our time.”
“No, I promise, it looks just fine.”
“What does?” Feuilly called, coming into the living room, He smiled brightly as his boyfriends, both sitting on the bright orange woven rug that adorned, looked up at him, surprise and – was that guilt? – etched on their features.
“Nothing at all!” Prouvaire exclaimed, pushing behind him a large piece of knit a terribly gaudy shade of green. “Just a – uh -”
“Just teaching Jean here to knit,” Bahorel, apparently a much smoother liar even when he was wearing the most ridiculous Santa’s hat Feuilly had ever seen (where did they get that?), flashed Feuilly a warm but potentially dangerous smile. “He wants to make Philomena a present.”
(Despite the wine he had drank earlier leading to his current more-than-a-little-tipsy state, Feuilly didn’t miss the way Prouvaire’s eyes widened.)
“Yes, a present for Philomena! That’s what we were doing!”
Feuilly kissed Prouvaire’s forehead to keep himself from laughing and sat next to them, still grinning.
“That’s a very good idea. I’m sure she’ll, er. Like the colour!”
(Feuilly also didn’t miss the way Prouvaire’s dark cheeks coloured even more, or the way Bahorel glared at him, promising retribution.)
“I’m not sure if it’s a good idea after all,” Prouvaire laughed quietly, shaking his head. He jingled; Feuilly noticed he had tied dozens of shiny little bows and bells in his braids. Why, Feuilly wanted to ask, but he knew better by now. “It’s harder than I thought it would be. I’m not sure it’ll be done on time…”
“I can help you,” Feuilly said cheerily, ignoring the Christmas spirit-killing looks Bahorel was still throwing in his direction. “I’m a pretty good teacher, I think.”
Prouvaire’s mouth opened in a little “o” – he looked very much like a surprised Christmas tree – but before he could say anything, Bahorel cleared his throat.
“You know what, darling,” he said, pressing hard on each word to make sure Feuilly heard him loud and clear. “There’s still hot cocoa left in a pot in the kitchen. Why don’t you go and get yourself some? You’ll have to heat it up, though. Might take a few minutes.”
Feuilly leaned towards Bahorel and kissed him, too, before getting up. He was still smiling – his cheeks were starting to ache.
“Sure. I might go to bed after,” he said. Maybe he should be more merciful. “Read a little. Let you guys finish Philomena’s present. I promise I won’t ruin the surprise to her.”
(Was that just Feuilly’s imagination, or did Prouvaire just whimper?)
As soon as he’d left the living room, Feuilly heard Bahorel reassure Prouvaire – it’s alright we can do something else – and immediately felt a little guilty; maybe tomorrow he could claim he was more drunk than tipsy, that he didn’t remember a thing? His boyfriends had obviously been working hard, even though the result was, well.
But as he warmed up a mug of hot cocoa, he looked at Philomena, still sleeping, oblivious to the whole Christmas present drama.
Or maybe he wouldn’t lie. Philomena would look a mile better in that shade of green than he would, and she deserved to be warm, too.
Feuilly chuckled to himself as he made his way to the bedroom, mug in hand. Maybe he could even borrow it from her from time to time. Maybe he’d just dodged a bullet, there.
(And that is the story of how Feuilly and Philomena the pet pig ended up with matching bright green lumpy scarves – which they both wore more or less proudly for the rest of the season.)