The end at last! Also, a beginning. Will it be in time for Christmas? I'm hopeful. I want to thank all of you so much for sticking with this story and for all the kind support you've given me, it means the world to me. Thanks, Sandy

Anywhere I Hang My Head is Home

Epilogue

"Lin? You awake?"

"More or less."

"Nadir called."

"I've changed my mind, I'm asleep"

Faun nudged his lover with a sharp elbow.

"He and Min and the guys were wondering what to do at Christmas."

"I have several suggestions."

Faun nudged him again, harder.

"I had one too, I hoped you wouldn't mind if I invited them here for the holiday?"

"I take it you've already invited them?"

"I knew you wouldn't really mind, after all, they're family."

Lin sat up.

"How did that happen? When did that happen? Where was I at the time?"

"Tsin is family, so Min must be family and his closest friends are family by extension. And I was hoping to have a real Christmas."

"As opposed to a fake Christmas?"

"You're being exceptionally difficult this morning, would coffee help?"

"Possibly."

"Good, come into the kitchen and I'll make you some while we talk."

"I have to get up?"

But he was whining to Faun's retreating back. Lin rose and pulled on a robe before following.

"I'm here and listening."

"I wanted to invite all our friends and family for the holidays. I thought it would be fun; we could decorate and have a big meal and open presents and everything! Taz said he'd help with the decorating. And Tsin's family could come and Hoshi and Tear and.."

'Hold on, Hoshi and Tear? That's going to be a bit difficult isn't it? I was assured that Tear couldn't leave his immediate area and Hoshi can only move about in a limited way. And only in an insubstantial form, and only then when the wards are down."

"We've been thinking about that and we may have a solution."

Faun handed Lin the freshly brewed coffee while he mulled that over.

"Tell me."

"Well, if we could get a whole bunch of extra energy for them Hoshi thinks that Tear can kind of incorporate this house into his house, if you know what I mean. He explained it at length but I'm afraid I got a bit lost on the details. But they seemed to think it would work out okay."

"And just how would you give them all this extra energy?"

"The usual way. Taz and Tsin would help. And Rain and Janet."

"Seems a bit on the chilly side for an outdoor orgy."

"We can bring blankets. And it doesn't have to be done all at once, we can take turns. And you're just about in.. well, you're about due."

"Tell me that those last two statements have no connection to each other."

"What? Oh, no! Not take turns with...Lin; you're going to break that cup any second, put it down! I didn't mean that and you know it, you're mine and nobody else gets a turn, now or ever!"

"That's a relief. So, a serial orgy and then we get annexed into Tear's little kingdom? I'll have to think about that. And I'll have to talk to him about it."

"He's really very nice and he seemed to know you would want to talk it over. We could go over later today?"

"Okay. And if this works?"

"He can explain it better but if it works then our house will be in both worlds."

Lin considered this over a second cup. Faun, long used to his ways, bit his tongue and gave him some silent time.

"It would have advantages. And as long as we keep an eye on the outside world it shouldn't interfere with our lives. If we slide too far into faerie things could get complicated though. We'll just have to be careful, not a bad idea in any case."

Faun smiled and nodded and continued silent.

"It would certainly make it easier for Hoshi, he could read his own newspapers for one thing. Having him ethereally hanging over my shoulder and sighing when I turn the page too fast is a bit trying."

Faun got him another cup of coffee and took his hand.

"And he does have a tendency to forget privacy issues and just walk through closed doors, I know he doesn't mean anything by it but it's jarring to reach for the shampoo and run into a cold mist."

Faun smothered a giggle, the sight of a wet and naked Lin vaulting over the furniture on his way through the house chasing a wraithlike Hoshi who was apologizing a mile a minute was one he'd cherish forever.

"Well, it actually doesn't sound bad, maybe we could put up some tents in the grove? I don't want you to catch pneumonia over this."

"Sounds nice. Although a big campfire would be fun too. We can toast marshmallows between bouts."

"Sounds eerily wholesome. Okay. And now onto the next matter. Christmas? As in what do you call a real Christmas?"

"An old fashioned one. With a big feast and music and games. Like the one in Dickens."

"A Christmas Carol?"

"Yes, that one. I thought we could do all those dishes for dinner and have a live tree."

Lin didn't mention that having been cut down it would be more like a tree on life support than an actual living one. He was too busy trying to remember the meals. The food hadn't really caught his attention at the time, although he seemed to remember something about goose. Or duck. Something of the type. And trifle. What the hell was a trifle?

And there were going to have to be some substitutions in any case, about half the people invited were vegetarians, not that he couldn't work around that but it would require some planning.

And mulled wine was good, he liked it, he could probably manage that. He'd need to scan a few cookbooks and make a list of supplies needed and...

Faun broke in to his thoughts:

"I thought we could dress up?"

Lin smiled and Faun gave himself points, Lin usually dressed well but casually, the main point seemed to be the cost and feel of the fabrics involved, a Lin with cashmere against his skin was a happy Lin. But he also loved to dress up, dangle eveningwear in front of him and he was putty in your hands.

"And I could research some traditional decorations from that era, unless you remember off the top of your head?"

Lin shrugged, Faun had never given up attempting to find out exactly how old Lin was and Lin had no plans to help him pin it down.

"I remember one year at home Mother did skulls. It was quite striking really. At the point of sun return they all burst into flames. She'd enchanted them to add some really life like screams too. I'm pretty sure it was just an enchantment, although she may have bound the souls to..."

Faun broke in hastily:

"I was thinking of something a bit more, well, a bit more cheerful."

"Ah, well you and Taz can sort that part out. I'll deal with the cooking and I'm sure Tsin will help you find all the authentic sort of games and dances. It just might be fun."

"Of course it will be fun, you'll be there."

"No mention of presents, rich and rare and numerous?"

"Goes without saying."