Several years ago now, I wrote a Pinto short Christmas fic where Chris was sick and Zach was making cookies. I have long since deleted and lost that fic. I decided to recreate it somewhat though in a lot of ways this is tremendously different. This is for J who wanted modern Pinto.

At the time Zach invited Chris to his cabin in Aspen, Colorado for the week before Christmas, it had seemed like a good idea.

Honestly, Zach had no reason to be in either New York or LA for the holidays. He wanted to go somewhere cold and snowy and away from everything he knew at home.

Chris had explained his parents had decided to take a cruise for the holidays. His sister had a new man in her life she wanted to be with. And Chris’s girlfriend would be working in another country over the weeks prior to Christmas.

So when Zach learned Chris had nothing particular to do, he’d invited him.

But Chris had arrived with a seriously bad head cold. Stuffy red nose. Earache. Cough. The whole thing. Not exactly what Zach had in mind, though he wasn’t sure what he’d had in mind anyway.

Still, he decided to make the best of it.

“What made you decide to get a cabin in Aspen anyway?” Chris asked.

“I wanted a white Christmas.”

“It snows in New York. You’ve been there a few months now.”

“No guarantee it will. Not in the city. And I wanted some place that wasn’t New York or California.” Or Ohio where his mother had passed or Pennsylvania and all its complications. He shrugged. “Mom’s gone. Joe’s busy. I’m currently, uh, obligation free, so I booked Aspen.”

Calling this place a cabin was a bit too cute if you asked Zach. The place was a damn mansion.  He thought the rental agent he booked with said it had like twenty bedrooms or something. Whatever.

He’d been allowed to set up his own tree and decorations, so he’d bought a bunch of stuff to do just that when he arrived in Colorado. Zach did not ski, so that hadn’t been his purpose. He really just wanted a peaceful place to celebrate life he guessed and having Chris there with him had been…nice.

Their relationship had changed a lot since Chris got his current girlfriend and Zach didn’t care for those changes, but it was what it was. He’d been glad Chris had accepted even still.

But the cold…

“You should lie on the couch there and rest, Pine. I’m going to do a little festive baking.”

Chris arched his all too sexy bushy brows. Zach loved those brows. “Festive baking? You?”

“I’ve been watching the Food Network. Lie down. I’ll get you a blanket.” He smirked. “I know you like to be cozy.”

Chris bit his lip and looked at the big plush couch. “I-I do like to be cozy.”

“Then do as you’re told.”

And just like that Zach got aroused by his own words. Dumb, Zach, he thought. He turned away.

“I’ll just go get that blanket.”

When he returned with one of those big, fluffy velvety soft blankets, Chris had laid himself out on the couch, a cushion under his head as a pillow. Zach eyed his bare feet as he placed the blanket over him.

“I know you have a think about socks, but don’t you think under these circumstances you should wear them?”

“Well.” Chris moistened his lips. He looked very cuddly. “I did bring some socks with me if you wanna bring me my bag.”

He rolled his eyes. “Now, I’m your servant.”

But he didn’t really mind. He fetched the small suitcase and brought it to Chris. Chris sat up to sort through it and then, with a sort of flushed look to his skin, thrust his socks at Zach. Zach now supposed he was supposed to actually put them on Chris’s feet for him.

He frowned looking at the socks. “Santa Claus?”

“It’s the holidays, right? You said we were celebrating, so I picked those up.”

He laughed then. “You are too cute, Pine. Fine then, give me those giant feet of yours.”

“I have dainty feet.”

“Dainty feet.” He shook his head. He bent over Chris’ feet and pulled the socks onto them. The beard on Santa’s face was a sort of fuzzy white fur.

“Thanks,” Chris mumbled.

“I’ll go make you some tea and then I’ll get to baking. I just hope I don’t have to tear the kitchen asunder to find what I need.”

Chris’s eyes widened. “Asunder. That’s a great word.”

“Glad you like it. Now rest so that you don’t ruin the whole week here.”

Zach went into the kitchen and made Chris a cup of the tea he had purchased at store. It was called Gingerbread, so he figured that was appropriate. He made himself a cup too.  He wasn’t that into tea, but he wasn’t against it either.

   Chris smiled when he brought the cups into the living room. “I feel better already.”

“Me too.” Zach took a chair next to the couch to admire his sick guest. He sipped the tea. He had added milk and sugar like they were British. It tasted good, though. “You want to listen to some tunes while I bake?”

“That sounds good.”

So after a bit, Zach handed Chris the remote for the stereo and returned to the kitchen. After a while he realized what Chris was listening to.  Bryan Adams’ Run to You.

She’s got a heart of gold, she’d never let me down
But you’re the one that always turns me on
You keep me comin’ ’round
I know her love is true
But it’s so damn easy makin’ love to you

Zach was shaking. His mouth dry. Why had Chris picked that song of all songs to listen to? The lyrics…

He put the baking sheet down on the counter and went back to the living room.

“I was, you know, thinking of Christmas tunes,” Zach told him.

“Oh.” Chris nodded. “Right.” He pressed a button on the stereo and Perry Como started crooning, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

Zach walked back over to the chair next to the couch. “You okay, Christopher?”

“I have a cold, Zachary.”

“I mean, other than that.”

“Other than.” Chris nodded. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this week in Aspen.”

“Me too. What have you been thinking?”

“It’s been…” Chris cleared his throat. “It’s been kind of a while since…”

“It has, yes.”

Chris licked his lips. “So. Yeah. That’s what I’ve been thinking.”

“You have a cold, Pine.”

“Just a cold. I don’t feel that bad.”

He snorted then. Got back up. Went over to Chris and kissed his forehead. “You have a fever. Go to sleep. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

He headed back into the kitchen to make cookies. Now it was Garland singing, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Maybe. Perhaps maybe. There was a better chance of that then he’d thought. Zach would see.

He hummed along and got to baking.