listentotherush answered: putting up the christmas tree, derian?
Julian can’t remember the last time he decorated a Christmas tree.
A huge tree would be delivered to his mother’s house every year, sure, but he’s never around to catch more than a glimpse of it, let alone decorate it. Even when his parents were together, his father had been busy with his films, and his mother focused on getting him one movie role after another. The most Christmas-spirited event Julian can remember is probably when his mother booked him a Christmas-themed photo shoot, complete with a new fake family with just as fake smiles, and a real turkey that Dolce Larson didn’t let him eat afterwards.
Derek knows all this, after years of friendship, so one year he forces, ah, persuades Julian to come home with him during the holidays.
“As if Carmen’s ever going to let me go,” Julian says, the feeble excuse posing as his last attempt to refuse.
Derek gives him a knowing smirk. “What if I told you she already said yes?”
After briefly wondering just at what lengths Derek went to for Carmen to let him go—(“You didn’t sleep with her, did you? Because there are certain lines that even you can’t cross, Derek.”)—the two Stuarts make their way to the Seigerson residence.
Julian barely puts a foot into the house, when Amanda takes both his and Derek’s hand in her own and eagerly pulls them out of the house, so they can pick out a Christmas tree as a group.
“You ever pick out a tree, Julian?” Amanda asks.
He shakes his head, his feet still moving quickly to keep up with her.
“Don’t worry,” the younger Seigerson smiles. “Derek’s the best at picking out trees. He’ll help.”
“There’s a reason I invited you over,” Derek shrugs, when the actor turns to look at him in mock disbelief.
After a couple of hours, they drag a rather large Christmas tree into the house, and set it up in the Seigerson’s living room. Tinsel packages explode all around them as Amanda brings out the Christmas decorations, moving with surprising ease to unwrap the lights and ornaments. Derek and Julian come to her aid, while Derek entertains the brunet with stories of Christmases past.
“It’s really crazy this time of year,” Derek says. “Our parents usually blast Christmas carols in the background when we do this.”
Somewhere behind them, as if on cue, Amanda starts singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
“Where are they now?” Julian asks.
“Off on a business trip,” Derek explains. “They’ll be back on Christmas eve, though.”
As the evening goes on, Derek has the fireplace lit, and his little sister takes a leaf out of Julian’s book and lounges like a cat on the rug. Derek then wanders into the room, two cups of hot chocolate in hand, and offers one to Julian.
“Better than spending the holidays alone in a big house?” Derek teases.
“Maybe,” Julian says. “But only because Amanda let me put the star on top of the Christmas tree.”
Derek glances atop the tree, where a glittery, gold star now stands in place. He frowns. “I used to do that.”
“I know,” the actor says, biting back a laugh and trying not to spill chocolate on himself. “That’s why I mentioned it.”
Derek scowls, then sits on Julian’s lap in retaliation.
He is too warm, too content to complain, so he shifts a little and allows Derek to further lean against him in silent thanks. Derek hums contentedly, and smiles into his hot chocolate.