They were sitting on Horatio's couch, wrapped in each others' arms. It'd only been a few weeks after Ryan's attack, but he was feeling better every day and was even back to work. It was quiet all around them, both listening to the steady heartbeat of the other. A thought donned on Horatio, Christmas was only a little more than a week away.

"You realize what's in nine days, don't you Mr. Wolfe?"

"You realize I hate it when you call me that?" Ryan joked.

Horatio smiled, "Sorry, Ryan."

"And yes, I do. It's Christmas. Do you realize what today is?"

"Today's something?" Horatio looked up.

"It's the seventh day of Hanukkah, Horatio. I'm Jewish, remember?"


"I've been meaning to ask you about tomorrow." Ryan sat up, out of Horatio's embrace.

"What about tomorrow, Ryan?"

"Every year I go to Hanukkah at my parents' house and every year they nag me about not having a girlfriend…"

"Oh no. No, no, no. I know where this is going, Ryan, and hell no. We went through that at the hospital."

"Horatio, please. It means the world to me to spend the holidays with the man I love."

"I-I can't."

"Yes you can. Please. Look, if push comes to shove, we'll leave. Simple as that, and we'll never have to do it again."

With Ryan's begging eyes staring straight into his, Horatio couldn't refuse, "Alright, handsome."

"Thank you so much, Horatio." Ryan replied, smiling the biggest smile, taking Horatio's hands in his.

"My pleasure." Horatio had a devilish look in his eye as he pulled Ryan in for a kiss. A simple kiss turned into deep passion as they sat on the couch, exploring each other's bodies and mouths.

It was Ryan who broke the kiss, "It's late. We need to sleep."

"Sleep can wait." Horatio dove in for another kiss.

"Horatio Caine."

"Fine." He stopped, giving in. They walked down the hall, hand in hand. After they'd taken off their clothes, they climbed under the sheets together.

"Night, Horatio."

"Good night, Mr. Wolfe." Horatio whispered, a laugh in his voice. Ryan rolled his eyes, and Horatio could tell. He knew all too well what kind of day tomorrow would be. He was just glad he wasn't doing it alone.

"Silver or black?" Horatio asked, holding up two ties.

Ryan smiled and walked over, pointing to the one he absolutely loved Horatio in, "Silver."

Horatio turned back to the mirror and was tying his tie as Ryan pulled a tan blazer on over his light green collared shirt. Ryan was just as nervous as Horatio right now. He hadn't seen or spoken to his mother since that day in the hospital when he told her that he was gay. How would his sister react? His father? Maybe this was a bad idea? Maybe he should—


"Yeah?" He asked Horatio, snapping out of his thoughts.

"Ready?" Horatio replied, reaching his hand toward Ryan's. He nodded, and took the outstretched hand. They broke apart outside to get into the Hummer, Horatio starting it, knowing the way to Ryan' parents' house. The ride was quiet until Ryan spoke gingerly.

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Of course, especially if it will make you happy. I love it when you're happy."

"I know I've been sort of different since… Then." Ryan replied. It was hard to talk about, still. Worse than his eye, this was psychological. Ricardo and his thug really fucked him up.

"It's okay." Horatio rubbed Ryan's hand affectionately. Their hands attached themselves to each other after Horatio had parked in front of the house. Slowly, they walked up to the front door, unsure of what may happen. Ryan rang the doorbell, its sound familiar to him, bringing back memories of past Hanukkah's when he wasn't the one ringing the bell, but answering the door. His mother opened it, first a smile on her face, now a strong glare.

"Hi, mom."

"Ryan." Janice Wolfe spoke, completely ignoring Horatio.

"I told you I'd be here for Hanukkah."

"And if we don't want you and your… Thing here?" She replied coldly.

"Mom. Please, don't do this." He squeezed Horatio's hand tighter, needing the support.

Ryan's sister came to the door, a smile on her face, "Ryan!"

"Hey, Sis." He replied somberly, put down by his mother. Her mother made no attempt to hid the scorn on her face as Annabelle had no reaction to the fact that her brother was holding another man's hand. She shook her head, ignoring her mother as her mother was Horatio and herself.

"You must be Horatio."

"Guilty as charged." He joked lightly, shaking her outstretched hand.

"You picked a great guy, Ry."

"You knew about him?!" Janice screamed.

"It was kind of obvious, Mom"

"Annabelle Wolfe, how could you not tell me?"

"Well, after the way you've been shoving the Torah down our throats our whole lives, I'm finding it hard to believe that Ryan told you. You didn't used to be this way, Mom. What happened to Joey, that gay friend of yours?"

"The rabbi told me—"

"If the rabbi told you to jump off a bridge, would you?"

"… No." Janice replied quietly.

"See! The rabbi isn't God. He isn't always right." Annabelle retorted.

"I can't hate my baby." Janice turned back to Ryan, who smiled a tentative smile. She pulled her Ry-Ry into her arms, hugging him until he was turning blue.

"M-o-om." Ryan managed through her death hug.

"Mrs. Wolfe?" Horatio questioned. She let go of Ryan and pulled Horatio into a similar hug. Horatio wore a surprised look on his face; it wasn't every day that he was hugged this way.

"Come in, you two!" Annabelle smiled, tugging on Ryan's jacket sleeve. Ryan looked over to Horatio, smiling, grabbing his hand as Annabelle pulled them inside, Mrs. Wolfe shutting the door behind them. Ryan's father looked up from the football game, doing a double-take after noticing Horatio.

"Janice? Annabelle? Ryan?" He questioned.

"Dad, now don't be angry…" Annabelle started.

"This is my… My boyfriend, Dad. His name is Horatio."

"Boyfriend?" Mark replied.


"When did this happen?"

"When did I know? Or when did I come out?"


"Dad, I've known forever, but you could call Horatio my first boyfriend."

"Well… I… As long as you're happy. Are you happy?"

"You have no idea." Ryan replied, ecstatic that his father was being so understanding. A timer went off in the kitchen and Janice ran to check whatever it was that was done. Mark stood up, walking over to Horatio.

"Horatio, right?"

"Horatio Caine. I work with Ryan." Horatio replied, holding his hand out to shake Mark's.

Mark took it, replying, "You better be damn good to my son."

"You have my word that I will." Horatio nodded.

"Good," Mark's voice took on a lighter tone, "Hate to say it, Son, but I always knew it."

"You and Annabelle both. Mom must've been in denial. You should have seen her at the hospital."

"Hospital?!" Mark and Annabelle exclaim together.

"Mom didn't tell you guys?" Ryan replied.

"She didn't say a word. Why the hell were you in the hospital?" Annabelle questioned.

"Err…" Ryan faded, still finding it hard to talk about.

"That was my fault." Horatio stepped in.

"It was not! Look, Horatio's from New York, he put this guy away ages ago, the guy got out, found out about us, kidnapped me, yada, yada. The rest is history." Ryan told them, avoiding the gory details.

"But, why wouldn't your mother even tell us?" Mark replied.

"She came to see me at the hospital and Horatio was there and she wouldn't stop going on about how I needed a girlfriend, so, I told her I was gay. She was…"

"Unhappy, to say the least." Horatio recalled.

"But, she's fine now, I'm fine now. Everything's fine." Ryan said, trying to finish the subject.

"Ryan—" Annabelle tried.

"It's fine, Sis."

"Dinner's ready!" Janice yelled from the kitchen.

"It's fine." Ryan replied a bit quieter.

Annabelle gave up as the four of them walked into the kitchen. The Menorah was on the table with seven candles lit, the Shamash next to it, and food all around it. Before they sat down, Annabelle picked up the Shamash, ready to light the eighth candle.

"Annabelle, why don't you let Ryan light it?" Janice suggested.

"Mom, it's fine." Ryan spoke.

"Go ahead, Ryan." Annabelle replied.

He nodded and took the helper candle, reciting as he lit the candle, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah."

"Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season." He finished, setting the Shamash back on it's holder.

Everyone sat down, Horatio and Ryan next to each other, as Mrs. Wolfe began passing around food. Horatio doled out small amounts of everything on to his plate, trying to be as polite as possible, as Ryan and the rest of his family heaped large amounts on to theirs. Horatio, awkward as he felt, was enjoying himself. He hadn't been in a setting like this since… Since he was a kid.

"So, Horatio, how did you and Ryan meet?" Annabelle smiled, taking a bite of roasted chicken.

"Well, we've been working together for a few years now and…" Horatio wasn't sure how to continue.

"And, it just happened." Ryan replied happily through a mouthful of potatoes.

"Don't talk with your mouth full, Ryan." His mother chided.

"Sorry, Mom." He replied, his words muffled by the potatoes he was trying to swallow.

"Well, I have some news." Annabelle shrugged, biting her lip.

"Oh, Annabelle…" Janice, sounding worried.

"It's fine, Mom. I just wanted to tell you I'm finally seeing someone. A male someone."

"What's his name?" Mark asked before taking a drink of his water.

"Rick. He's so nice. I met him at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Apparently, he's a tea drinker like me."

"What does Rick do, Sweetie?" Janice was getting excited now. All she wanted was for her children get married. Or, at least be happy.

"He's a police officer. Sort of. Like, a cop for cops!" Annabelle nodded, smiling. Two forks dropped to the table, clattering loudly.

"His last wouldn't happen to be Stetler, would it?" Ryan asked, his teeth gritting.

"Um… Yeah, it is. Why?"

"This can't be right. You can't be serious, Sis."

"What's the deal, Ryan?"

"Annabelle, he's basically Horatio and I's… If he found out about us—"

"Nothing would happen." Horatio replied shortly.

"What?" Ryan replied in confusion.

"Could I speak to you for a minute? Alone?" Horatio asked, wiping his mouth on the napkin.


They stood up and walked into the front room, away from the kitchen so they couldn't be heard. Ryan wasn't exactly sure what was going on, and truthfully, was a bit worried. Anything having to do with Stetler was always bad news.


"Rick knows."

"He knows?!" Ryan hissed.

"Shh. Yes, he knows. When you were still in the hospital I was giving my statement and he showed me pictures… Of us."

"How the hell did he get them?"

"I don't know. He wouldn't tell me. I'm so sorry, Ryan. I shouldn't have gotten you into all of this."

"Horatio, none of this is your fault. None of it. I love you, handsome. I always will, no matter what." Ryan pulled Horatio into his arms, comforting him.

"Ryan, I just—"

"It's okay, Horatio. We'll be okay."

"God, you guys are just too adorable." Annabelle sighed happily.

"Annabelle Elaine Wolfe! This is worse than when we were kids! I can't even have a private moment with my boyfriend when you're around!" Ryan stormed over to her.

"Relax, Ryan. I just love how right I always am." She replied smugly.

"Not to mention you're dating Rick Stetler." Ryan rolled his eyes.

"Don't you say a word about him." Annabelle frowned. Horatio wished he could have told Annabelle about Rick… About what he did to Yelina. But, he didn't want to intrude and this wasn't the time or the place.

"Children! Can we please continue Hanukkah?" Janice spoke from in the dining room.

"Do I classify as a child?" Horatio asked, a skeptical look on his face. Ryan fought the urge to laugh, and drug the two back into the kitchen. They all sat back down, finishing the dinner in a quiet, family-esque way. Horatio and Ryan were about to leave before Janice stopped them.

"Ryan, my Ry-Ry, I want you to know that your father and I are happy for you and that we will support you no matter what you do. And, Horatio, you are welcome here any time. You're part of the family now."

"Thanks, Mom. You don't how much that means to me." Ryan pulled his mother into a hug.

"And me." Horatio replied before getting pulled into the hug himself.

"Bye, Ryan! Bye, Horatio!" Annabelle waved from inside the house. They waved in return, clasping hands, and walking back to the Hummer.

"That went well." Ryan smiled.

"It did." Horatio returned.

"Thank you, Horatio." Ryan replied inside the SUV.

"You're welcome. But, I should be thanking you, Ryan. It was really nice to… To sit down with a family I could call…"

"Ours." Ryan spoke, his lips close to Horatio's. They kissed softy, lips enveloping the other. A perfect end to a perfect night. What could go wrong?