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Facing Down for hollow_echos
dresden_mod wrote in dresdenficathon
Author: templemarker
Recipient: hollow_echos
Title: Facing Down
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1200
Pairing/Character(s): Thomas Raith, Harry Dresden
Notes/Warnings: Happy holidays! For the prompt "Harry tries to surprise Thomas with a gift for the holidays, and subsequently learns how Bad of an idea it is to try to surprise a guy who is basically a walking arsenal."
Summary: Harry frowned down at his options. Red douchey silk scarf, or blue douchey silk scarf? Either color was going to look revoltingly good on Thomas, for which Harry felt it was his fraternal duty to hold against him for the rest of their lives.

Harry frowned down at his options. Red douchey silk scarf, or blue douchey silk scarf? Either color was going to look revoltingly good on Thomas, for which Harry felt it was his fraternal duty to hold against him for the rest of their lives.

He'd bought the douchey scarves at some weird little boutique in Wicker Park, just off Milwaukie while trying to dodge all the annoying hipster kids trying on slouchy hats. It wasn't really his thing--actually, it was about as far as a store could be from being his thing. He kept feeling like he was going to break something just by looking at it, or that the organic locally hand-crafted products were going to look at his thrift-store wardrobe and start spontaneously screaming.

Harry sighed, and threw a mental "fuck it" out into the universe. Thomas was just going to get two douchey scarves for the winter holidays. It's not like he'd need them--stupid sex vampire never got cold, the bastard--and Harry couldn't really afford them and expect to live off of anything but soup and boxed mac and cheese for the next week or two. But he did think Thomas would like them, and more importantly, Thomas was his family. Harry wanted to give something nice to his family. It meant something to him.

The major snowfall had happened earlier in the week, and everything had been plowed into large, dirty curbs that decorated the sidewalks throughout the city. Their ugliness was almost festive, after awhile. It's how you knew winter was here. (Though, to the best of Harry's knowledge, Winter was not in fact in Chicago, but residing in Anchorage for the season.)

After enough visits to Thomas' overpriced, overclassed apartment complex in the Gold Coast, he'd finally broken down and asked for a parking pass. It was just too expensive--and too chancy--to try and find street parking when there was a warm, dry parking garage with a row of pristine visitors' spots he could slide the Beetle right into. As he turned off the engine and got out of his car, he caught the eye of a snooty-looking woman eying him, and the Beetle, aghast. He gave her a wide, almost manic grin, and clutching his Snoopy Christmas holiday bag under one arm, made for the elevator without looking back.

Thomas, of course, lived many, many floors up from the lowly parking garage, and Harry leaned against the back wall of the elevator idly watching passengers get on and off. Most of them looked harried or bored, but there were a few kids whose delighted screams made him grin. Kids were cute, as long as you could give them back at the end of the visit.

Finally getting off on Thomas' floor, Harry loped to the door and debated whether to knock or use his key. He mentally shrugged--the last few times he'd knocked, Thomas had said in this condescendingly amused voice that Harry should of course feel welcome in the apartment. They were family, after all.

Harry still wasn't sure if that was sarcasm, but he pulled out the key and fitted it to the lock. He was slightly surprised that it did work--he swung the door open, and said, "Hey, Thomas, it's Harry--augh!"

In the breath between "it's" and "Harry, he was tackled to the ground, all the air blasting from his chest like a hot furnace and the douchey scarves going flying.

When he got his bearings, Thomas was hunched over him, pinning him to the ground with a manic snarl. Harry put his hands up in protest.

"It's just me," he said as calmly as he could manage, breath hard to come by with Thomas' hand clamped down on his collar like a vise. "Seriously, chill out, I just came by to give you your present. I guess I shouldn't have taken you seriously about that key thing, huh?" he said, trying for a little laugh.

Slowly, very slowly, Thomas started to release his grip on Harry, and his face retreated from its berserker visage. Harry sucked in a deep breath and scrambled back when Thomas rested on his heels, watching Thomas' face clear from a good ten feet away.

"Harry?" Thomas asked uncertainly, looking down at his hands.

"Thomas?" Harry said cautiously, trying not to rub his throat even though he kept wanting to. "You okay there? What happened?"

"I..." Thomas trailed off, looking absent from himself. Harry's eyes narrowed, and he said Thomas' name loudly, causing Thomas to snap back to attention.

"Shit," Thomas breathed. "Harry, what are you--what are you doing here? I thought I was going to see you later this week, I wasn't expecting--"

"Have you been eating?" Harry asked bluntly. "Have you eaten at all this week?"

Thomas blinked slowly. His blue-grey eyes were startlingly clear, almost otherworldly. But then, Harry thought grimly, Thomas himself was otherworldly.

"No," Thomas said slowly. "The--the hair salon, she closed it, for the Christmas holiday. I didn't schedule appointments. I just... stayed here. I was just going to stay here, so it would be quiet, and then I would go back to work, and I wouldn't be so..."

"Thomas," Harry said helplessly, scarves all but forgotten. His idiot brother didn't really know what moderation meant. Hell, that seemed to be true of both of Morgan Le Fay's sons, but surely Harry had never done anything this willfully stupid.

Or, at least nothing Harry was willing to admit to right now.

"Thomas, you need--something. You can't be like this, you'll go insane." He hesitated, watching the blank look cross Thomas' face again.

They were silent together for a long moment, but then Thomas took a deep breath, almost fortifying, and said, "Call Lara."

Harry closed his eyes; he really, really didn't want to call Thomas' half-sister, who was a bitch when she was on her best behaviour and a hell-bitch when she wasn't. But he scrambled for the phone, and tried to keep himself from exuding magical wavelengths at the overly technical little device. "Just sit tight," he said to Thomas. "We'll get it figured out."

Thomas nodded absently and stood up, padding out of the room. Harry called up Lara on the speed-dial, and muttered, "Merry Christmas from the Dresden-Raith clan."

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First, an apology for commenting this late. I tend to like to do all of my Christmas fics on Christmas, it's a bit of a tradition. As such, I finally got to sit down and enjoy this fic properly (it was killing me to put it off ever since it was posted lol!).

Such a great interpretation of the prompt. I adored how Harry's snarkiness came through from the dirty sidewalks to the douchey scarves, so very very him. My favorite part was probably them in the apartment together, you just really can't sneak up on a vampire that well lol. I also like the little bonus h/c we got, with Harry working to talk Thomas down and make sure that he got fed. This was a fantastic fic, thanks so much!

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