On the first day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…

"It was a kind of tradition in my family when we were kids," said Apollo.  "Believe me, it’s one of the few times that being Kobolian was fun, the twelve days of the Yuletide festival.  Thinking up the presents for everyone was the hardest part."

"Mmn," said Starbuck, for whom finding the money to pay for them would have been infinitely harder.  "And this is my Yuletide present?"

"This is the present you get today, on the first day of Yuletide." Apollo grinned as Starbuck took the tiny package. 

Starbuck opened it eagerly.  He tried not to let his disappointment show.  "A data crystal," he said flatly.

"Ah, but that’s not just any old data crystal," Apollo said.  "That’s a very sexy data crystal."

"Sexy?"  Starbuck could feel his eyebrow trying to reach the stratosphere.  "A data crystal?"

Apollo laughed.  "Can I ask you something?  Were we on the same patrol this afternoon?"

Puzzled at the change of tack, Starbuck nodded.  "We took off together and got back together, so I guess that’s a yes."

"I wondered.  I don’t remember going through the black hole and finding a planet populated by six-foot tall nymphomaniacs who tore my clothes off for hot sex, that’s all.  How did I miss it?  Was I injured and struck with short term amnesia?  Did I get zapped with a forgetting spell?  Or did you get this mixed up with some other patrol where you were out with one of the other guys?"

Starbuck shrugged elegantly.  "I was just testing to see if you really read my mission reports."

"I read everyone’s mission reports.  It’s what I’m paid for.  In fact, not only do I read them, but I grade them for spelling and grammar and in your case, to balance the negatives, I add marks for imagination and creativity."  Apollo grinned.  "And athleticism.  Ten out of ten for that one, Starbuck."

"I was always supple," said a self-satisfied Starbuck.  "But I don’t understand…?"

"I keep them, Starbuck, all those little stories you put into your reports to add a bit of life and colour.  I mean, I cut them out before I forward your reports to the Bridge, to make sure that neither of us end up on charges, but I *do* keep them.  Whenever life gets a little slow, they help while away a centar or so."

"And they’re all on here?"  Starbuck looked at the innocuous looking crystal.

"Every single hot, sizzling one.  The Starbuck Sexual Chronicles."

Starbuck smiled, flattered.  "Tell me," he said, carefully putting the crystal to one side and linking both his hands behind Apollo’s neck.  "What do they do for you, when you’re whiling away a centar or so?"

Apollo sighed.  "Fire the imagination in a way that’s hardly in keeping with the sober life of a widowed captain with far too much work to do and an energetic and only just six-yahren-old son to father, I can tell you."

"The six-yahren-old son who’s at your sister’s for the rest of the night?"  Starbuck leaned in and licked the side of Apollo’s jaw.  All the way down to the chin and up the other side.

"Mmmn," said the captain, in a tone that suggested his imagination was already well fired and sobriety was a concept he rejected wholeheartedly.  He pulled Starbuck in very close and kissed him ruthlessly.

"Mmmn," echoed Starbuck, when he got his mouth back.  He ran his fingers through Apollo’s thick dark hair.  "And what do you want for a present, Apollo?"

Apollo took his hand and pulled him towards the bedroom door.  "You.  Being supple.  Right now."

Starbuck sighed happily.  He just loved traditions.



                 On the second day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…  

"Did you say that this is going to happen every day?"  Starbuck asked, expectantly.  "Every day for twelve whole days?"

"It’s a tradition, isn’t it?  And you know me, I’m a slave to tradition."

"And there’s a reason that this tradition takes place in a locked storeroom, and I have to take all my clothes off?"

"I can’t palm Boxey off on anyone tonight," said Apollo apologetically, slim hips shrugging out of his pants, cock springing up ready and willing.  "I’ve forty-five centons before I’ve got to collect him from school.  This is all I can offer today."

He handed Starbuck another small package, beautifully wrapped with silver ribbon.  Starbuck tore it open, eagerly. 

Two long, rectangular cardboard boxes, stamped with the name of a well-known pharmaceutical manufacturer.  The only pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Fleet, as it happened.

"Two tubes of lube?"  Starbuck grinned.  "In forty five centons?  You’re optimistic!"

"I’m horny," said Apollo, throwing himself onto Starbuck, skin to skin, hard cock rubbing against Starbuck’s hard cock in a way that had the lieutenant making a high-pitched keening noise that would, in any other circumstances, have made him blush with mortification.  "You’ve been waving that cute little arse of yours in my face all day.  And I want it.  Now."

Starbuck almost broke a tooth tearing through the packaging to make sure the Captain got it.  And that he got it, too, of course.

Twice.  Apollo wasn't exaggerating about the horniness.  Not one iota.



               On the third day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…

"This is getting to be a lot of fun," said Starbuck, sitting back in the OC and waiting, expectantly, for his next present.

"Don’t get too excited.  The Council’s decided to hold a Yule party.  I’ve been ordered to attend.  No time for fun and games tonight."

Starbuck pulled an unhappy face and hoped that it made Apollo want to kiss him happy again.  From the yearning look he got from his lover, he was pretty sure that he’d succeeded.   "And I’m not invited?"

"Believe me, you don’t want to go.  Deadly, deadly dull."

"Great, that’s the evening ruined.  So where’s my present?"

"I’m saving that for tomorrow.  Tonight, all I can do is buy you another drink."

"That’s all?" demanded an outraged Starbuck.

"I’ve bought you two already."

Starbuck sighed.  "Three beers.  Not exactly festive."

Apollo grinned and leaned forward, his hand under the table.  He ran it up the inside of Starbuck’s leg, letting the nails dig in, and it was all the lieutenant could do not to moan aloud.

"Never mind love.  I’ll make it up to you tomorrow.  I promise."

Starbuck sighed, sorry that he couldn’t get as much of his lovely captain as he’d like, that he so often had to give way to duty.  "Can I have that in writing?"



          On the fourth day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…

"A promissory note for sex?" Starbuck undid the ornately wrapped and corded scroll.

"That’s what you said you wanted.  You said you wanted it in writing."

"You hereby promise to ravish me four times?  Four?  Why the rationing?"

"It’s not.  It’s last night's and tonight’s, added together."

"You mean I get all four tonight?  Now?  Before morning?"  Starbuck let the smile come slowly, but made sure it was dazzling.

"I’ve been taking my vitamins," Apollo assured him, hot hands roaming down over Starbuck’s buttocks and pulling him in closer.

Starbuck moaned softly and kissed him.  "Boxey?"

"I drugged his cocoa."

"Reprehensible, and, I suspect, completely untrue.  Not that I care."  Starbuck kissed Apollo again, and decided that he *really* didn’t care.  He waved the promissory note in his lover’s face.  "Lock the bedroom door, Apollo.  It’s time to collect.  Right now." 



          On the fifth day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…

"This looks more like it!" enthused Starbuck.  "Jewellery!"

The little box was covered in a dark blue velvet.  This looked expensive and fun.  He opened the little box and smiled.

"Well, now...gold rings!  I love gold."

"Matches your hair," Apollo said softly, his long fingers carding through the said hair.

"And sapphires?"

"To match your eyes."  And Apollo planted a gentle kiss on each blue eye.

"But of course."  Starbuck could be hideously complacent.  "An earring – for the left ear, of course -  two nipple rings, a navel ring … and this one?"  He pulled out the fifth, noting the huge size.  "Not a thumb ring.  I mean it has to be three times the diameter of my thumb…"

His voice trailed away as he took in the wicked, wicked smile of his favourite lover.

"Oh no," he breathed.  "Oh no!  There’s no way you’re going to get me to wear that!  It’ll cut off the circulation and…"

"And you’ll last longer before you come," said Apollo and the smile grew wickeder and wickeder.   "A *lot* longer."

"There is that."  Starbuck put the box carefully onto the shelf beside the bed, and took the sapphire studded cock-ring into his hand.  He smiled at Apollo and licked his lips salaciously.

Apollo sighed in happy anticipation, and lifted his legs up onto Starbuck’s shoulders. 



          On the sixth day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…

"Can we do this all yahren round?" asked Starbuck.

"We can do the sex all yahren round, but not the presents.  I’m a man with a generous nature but a limited imagination.  I’m running out of ideas."

"Sorry you started this now?"

"What?" Apollo sounded alarmed.

"This present-giving tradition.  Why?  What did you think?"

"I thought you were having second thoughts about us.  You’re not, are you, Starbuck?"

"The hell I am!"  said Starbuck, wishing that he had the courage to say what he wanted to say.  "It’s the best fun I've had in ages.  Ever."

"Good," said Apollo.

"Very, very good, oh Captain, my Captain.  And what’s today’s present?"

"This."  Apollo handed over another ornately corded scroll.

Starbuck touched the little earring that he’d worn proudly all day.  "Mmn.  Oh well.  I suppose I can’t expect gold every day."

"On my pay?"

"It’s more than I get," Starbuck pointed out.  He unrolled the scroll.  "You promise to pay the bearer on demand six dozen kisses?"  He looked at the chronometer.  "Okay, I reckon collecting on that will keep us busy for about a centar.  What shall we do after that?  I warn you, I’m going to be very demanding."

Apollo just smiled and kissed him.

"One," he murmured and went in again.

"Who the hell’s counting?"



          On the seventh day of Yuletide my true love gave to me…

"Are you really running out of ideas?" 

"Well, not quite yet, although I am getting a bit desperate.  Let’s just say that not all of your presents come in a box and gift wrapped.  Some of them just come gift wrapped."  Apollo gestured to the gift wrapping he meant.

Starbuck’s smile grew broader.  He'd never seen Apollo's cock so... so festive.  "How many are there?"

"Seven was all I could manage," said Apollo, sadly.  "It made me a bit worried.  Did you ever wonder if you were… well, you know, less well endowed than you might be?"

"Not for a micron!  And nor should you, Apollo.  Seven’s a respectable number, especially one next to the other like that.  I mean, it’s not like they’re really narrow, or overlapping or anything.  And the bows are tied very neatly."  Starbuck smiled.  "*Very* neatly.  I can only admire your self control."

"I’m not so admiring of yours."

Starbuck grinned, turned to the shelf beside the bed and found his present from the day before yesterday.  The big cock-ring twirling on his finger, he turned back to his expectant lover.

"So, Apollo.  Just how desperate are you?"

The satin ribbons came off a lot faster than they went on.



          On the eighth day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me…

"I knew those ribbons would come in handy," said Apollo, tying the last bow.

"You’re really into this."  Starbuck, tied spread-eagled and naked onto Apollo’s bed writhed prettily against his bonds.  Prettily, but not too energetically.  After all, he didn’t want to break free.  "Why do you get to be the evil Imperious Leader about to ravish the naked bound body of the brave Colonial Warrior?"

"Who bought the ribbons?"


"And the pots of chocolate body paint?"

"I guess," conceded Starbuck.  He glanced at the eight pots of chocolate lined up on the shelf beside the bed, and smiled.  Apollo had to have cleaned up on the Fleet’s entire supply of that precious commodity.

"Now then," said Apollo, taking the first pot of chocolate and the paintbrush.  "Where would you like to be painted  and licked clean first?"


Apollo smiled.  "By your command."



          On the ninth day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me….

"Just leave me alone!" groaned Apollo, white faced.  "I mean it.  Go away and leave me alone."

Starbuck dipped a finger into one of the remaining chocolate pots and ostentatiously licked it clean.  "You expect sympathy?  After eating all that chocolate?"

"Go away!"



          On the tenth day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me….

"I can’t wait for today’s present!"

Apollo shook his head.  "You’re getting mercenary, Starbuck."

"Apollo, I’m not!  I just never had such a good time!"  Starbuck was eager and happy, and didn’t care who knew it.  "It’s not the presents, It’s that you’ve thought about me.  That’s what matters."

Apollo looked slightly guilty.  "Oh.  Well, I’m not sure that you’ll think that after today’s present."

"You couldn’t disappoint me.  Except last night, of course.  Give!"

Apollo shrugged.  "Well, okay," he said, sounding almost a little reluctant.  "Give me your hands."

Starbuck’s expectant smile turned to astonishment, as Apollo smoothed a thick, sweetly scented cream all over Starbuck's hands, then slid soft black silk gloves over them.

"Hand cream?"  said Starbuck.  "Silk gloves?"

"Well, I love the feel of silk on me…"

"After last night, you expect *me* to indulge *you*?"

Apollo blushed.  "I’ll do anything to make up for it."

Starbuck grinned and writhed his fingers experimentally. 

"Really?  Well, that has possibilities.  Where’s those ribbons?  My turn to be the Imperious Leader tonight, I think!"

Apollo’s breath caught in his throat.  "By your command!" he said huskily.



          On the eleventh day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me….

"How’d you manage it?"

Apollo sighed.  "Bribery and corruption.  You’re very bad for my morals."

Starbuck looked around the best stateroom on the Rising Star, a room whose sole purpose was to provide the most luxurious, sensual place possible for sexual congress.  He looked from the satin sheets on the huge soft bed to the equally huge mirror hung on the ceiling and if he sighed happily, it was because this was turning out to be the best Yuletide of his life.

He nodded, solemnly.  "I knew I had a higher purpose in life, to corrupt you.  I like the way your immorality runs to expensive bedrooms."

"That's guilt, because I feel very bad about the other night, being so sick."

"And greedy," Starbuck prompted him.

"And greedy," sighed the penitent meekly.

"How long do we have?"

"I've got to get back tomorrow for Boxey.  He's half out of his head with excitement and if I'm not there at breakfast to see him open his presents, he'll be unbearable.  It'll have to be the 6am shuttle back to the Galactica..."  Apollo peered at his wrist chronometer, his lips moving as he did the sums.  "About eleven centars."

"Eleven."  Starbuck was very reluctant to take his hands out of Apollo’s pants, but if he was to get himself thrown onto those satin sheets and taken hard, watching all the time in that decadent mirror, it was time to move things right along.  "My favourite number."



         On the twelfth day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me…



"It’s almost morning.  Almost time to go back."

"I don’t want to," said Starbuck, trying to cling to sleep and to Apollo.

"Me neither."  A pause.  "Starbuck?"


"Happy Yuletide, Starbuck."


"Have you been happy, these last few days?"

"Very," said Starbuck, abandoning sleep to prove it.

"Mmmn," said Apollo, a long time later.  "Me, too.  Me, too."

Starbuck kissed him again, deep and long and very, very passionate.

"I love you," said Starbuck, for the first time, staring, in the dim, romantic light, into wide green eyes that reflected him back at himself.

Apollo stared back, then smiled slowly and, almost, uncertainly.  "Do you?"

"So very much."  Starbuck added, shyly: "Do you love me?"

"More than anything in the universe."

They kissed again, naked bodies writhing slowly and sensuously against each other.



"I know we can't get married, precisely, but I talked with the priest-in-charge of the Galactica's chapel.  He's agreed a Blessing Ceremony – so, will you?  It's the closest we can get."

Starbuck’s mouth fell open, and Apollo, foul double crossing fiend that he was, took base advantage of that to look for Starbuck’s tonsils with his tongue.

"Tomorrow!" said Starbuck said as soon as he got his mouth back.  "Tomorrow, Apollo."

Apollo sighed and pulled him in close.  Very, very close.  "I wish we could.  But priests are a bit busy on Yuletide Day.  Beside, he said he wanted us to do the whole Calling the Banns bit.  A period for reflection about the seriousness of the step we're taking, he said." 

"How long will that take?" demanded a Starbuck who once fled screaming when his true love’s sister offered marriage, but was now furiously resenting any delay, however traditional and religious.

"About twelve days, I think."

"I can’t wait that long!"  Starbuck clung a bit tighter.  "This period of reflection – it doesn’t involve giving up sex until we're legal, does it?"

Apollo laughed.  "No."

"Thank God."  Starbuck said in relief.  "Thank God!  Can I have some right now?  Some getting-engaged-to-be-Blessed-and-I-love-you-to-death sex?"

Apollo kissed him.  "Of course we can!  But…"

"But what?"

"Can I be the Imperious Leader this time?"



All together now, on the count of three….


On the twelfth day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me
           Twelve days to "marry"
           Eleven blissful centars,
           Ten fingers writhing,
           Nine centars’ sickness,
           Eight pots of chocolate,
           Seven satin ribbons,
           Six dozen kisses,
           Five go-old rings,
           Four bouts of sex,
           Three cold beers,
           Two tubes of lube,
           And a very sexy data crys-tal.