Note: Birthday mathom for beizy, who requested Billy/Dom and a Christmas pudding, but will hopefully forgive me for only fulfilling 50% of her request. J

Sean didn't mind most of the British things Elijah picked up over the years. He got used to the overuse of the word 'bloody', no matter how awkward it sounded, the strange habit of watching overseas soccer games, which Sean refused to call football -- even the bottle of malt vinegar next to the ketchup bottle was something he had accepted, although he still cringed at the thought of mutilating perfectly fine fries in this manner.

But when Elijah disappeared into the kitchen one hot August afternoon, carrying two heavy bags from the British store at the other side of town, and announced that he was going to make a genuine English Christmas pudding, Sean couldn't help but exclaim: "What the hell for? You don't even cook – this is my part of the house, remember? And it's August – Christmas is four months away!"

Elijah didn't bat an eye at Sean's eruption. "Yes, I know – I'm late. Dom told me his mom always made the pudding in January, so that it got good and properly soaked in brandy. But I hadn't remembered until today."

Sean shook his head. "You can't even cook, Lij – and if I remember correctly you hated the pudding Dom's mom made for us all that one Christmas in New Zealand. Told me yourself that it was only marginally better than the haggis Billy served us New Year's Eve."

Still Elijah didn't seem fazed, just smiled and calmly continued to unpack his groceries, laying them out on the kitchen table. He even hummed softly to himself, a familiar melody Sean could swear was some Christmas evergreen. Then he walked over to where Sean was standing by the kitchen door and fit himself against Sean's body until he was completely wrapped around him, an art he had perfected long ago.

"It's not about the taste, Seanie! The holidays will be a Big Thing again, with about a million friends and family – which is cool, you know -- but I guess I just want the two of us to have one thing to ourselves… So if you help me make this pudding, and we'll light it together on Christmas Day – it'll be our own private ritual, something just between us."

Sean couldn't help the surge of fierce tenderness he always felt when Elijah did something like this, even after all these years. It had never been so perfect with anyone before, and he felt himself relax into the embrace. Looking into Elijah's hopeful eyes, even bigger behind the glasses he had started wearing when not in public, Sean smiled and came to terms with yet another British thing in his life.

"So it'll be our private Christmas tradition, yes? Well, as long as you don't make me buy you turtle doves for Valentine's Day, I guess it's even kind of romantic."

Gripping the doorframe next to him for support, Sean braced himself against the exuberance of Elijah's gratefulness – and tried very hard not to think of the havoc it would cause to Elijah let loose in his kitchen.

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