Title: (Maybe) Secret Santa
Pairing/s: Tyler H/Dylan O
Character/s: Tyler H
Summary: Tyler always sent a whole bunch of holiday cards to people he'd worked with before, to friends and colleagues from projects he'd been in. He didn't expect replies, though he was sure some would come. Then, a package arrived at his door, sender unknown.
Content Notes: RPF, post-TW
Submission Type: ficlet
Word Count: 1k
Prompt: #255 - surprise
Author's Notes: I have no idea where this came from, of if it makes sense. But anyway, have some Tyler thinky thoughts about holidays. Unbetaed.
The whole show had been filming on and off for almost eight years. In all those, they weren’t always around for any of the holidays. In fact, it was rare that they were anywhere near the set just before or after them — everyone has families of some kind, after all — so the people involved were not normally included in festivities. Especially not Christmas, when they made sure that everyone had time to fly home, to have their own traditions.
Tyler’s, of course, had always been very traditional. Now that there were kids around that weren’t just extended family who wouldn’t visit until after Christmas Day, his parents went all out, more so than usual. When he was young, it was the one time he always looked forward to: everyone together, no commitments, no schedules, no rushing from training to filming and back to training again.
So when the hype around Teen Wolf ended, for him it was just another thing that went back to normal. More so than in the two years before the series wrap, because he expected fewer cards as everyone went off in their own directions. He himself only sent a few cards the year after, mostly generic ones — with the exception of Colton and Ian, because he couldn’t resist finding the most glittery and bright cards along with the cheesiest socks and novelty wine-related gadgets for both — so when the cards started appearing in his mailbox, he couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about those whom he forgot.
There was one from Ryan, a “family” portrait that included his cats. Melissa somehow dug out vintage ones, because of course she did. A few others, from cast members he remembered but hadn’t thought of tracking the addresses for.
But then, a few days before he officially clocked out from socializing and drove his bags to his parents’ house, a small package arrived at his doorstep. There was no handwriting on the unassuming label, no return address, nothing to tell him where or who it was from. Only a small note that told him to not open it until Christmas Day, alone.
There was a limited amount of people who had the exact address for his place, the one he moved to after leaving the apartment he’d been renting after Everybody Wants Some. He’d only texted it to one list on his phone, to the people whom he trusted as much as his family. Because of that, he knew it wasn’t anything he should worry about, but the mystery still haunted him for days.
It was also — not that he’d admit it — the reason why he woke up early on the 25th. Too early, if the silence of the house around him was any indication.
The package was on the bottom of one of his bags, stashed away in the closet in his old room where he was spending the holidays. Tyler dug it out, and lingered over the tape holding the sides of the wrapping paper together. Then, unable to contain his curiosity any longer, he slid a finger under the tape and tugged.
While he was making his way through the layers — there were three — of packing and wrapping paper, he kept running the possibilities of who was the sender through his mind. He’d have guessed Ian, had he not received a card and a gift weeks ago. Not Colton either, since they made arrangements to meet before New Year’s Eve to exchange gifts.
It wasn’t until he pushed aside the last layer of paper, and revealed a card on top of a gift box, that it suddenly became clear. The card was handwritten, and that was all that Tyler needed to see.
Of all the people Tyler knew, of all the possibilities he’d been considering, Dylan wasn’t even a consideration. Sure, Tyler sent a card to him, or rather to the whole family, since he was not sure if Dylan had moved out or not, for all the talking about his own place he’d been doing for years.
Tyler stared at the card for a few beats, mind running through the memories. Over the course of the show, they had been on (for as much as they could with Posey living with them) then off (Dylan returned from filming The First Time firmly attached to Britt), then on and off again through the years. When they left the final wrap party, Tyler firmly ignored the limbo that their relationship and friendship was in. They’d done everything they could to keep their communication between them, enough that the majority of their fellow cast members didn’t find it suspicious that they didn’t make an effort to be seen together.
Just before Tyler had left the party though, he found Dylan, and he pulled him away into a private corner. Emboldened by the few drinks he had that evening, he found the courage to ask what he’d wanted to for years.
“If there was a chance to make this work, would you?”
But Dylan got pulled away before he could answer. Not that Tyler could blame him for jumping at the chance to get away. For days after, he beat himself up for putting Dylan on the spot like that, for pushing the issue. He thought that Dylan simply didn’t remember that moment, because their texting and calls continued as they’d been before the wrap party only a few days later. Until Tyler opened the package.
Because there, right on top of the box that he didn’t dare open yet, was the note that changed everything.
I would. If you asked me to, if you wanted it to work, I would.
Finally, with noises starting to trickle in from the rest of the house around him, Tyler opened the gift box. There, in a setting fit for a piece of jewelry, was a single key under another card with an address that Tyler didn’t recognize. He turned it over, and found another handwritten note.
Door’s open anytime. Finally got a place. D.
Tyler was still stunned in surprise when Tanner burst in the door to drag him out for opening the presents.