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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Member MrsSquarepants. ♥21/Female/Germany Group :iconkamiho: Kamiho
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“My dear students, I ask all of you to pause your current conversations for this annual event as a crucial part of every prom night all over the country. I am most excited to tell you that it is now time to announce this year’s prom king and queen”

The music had been cut off and everyone had known immediately what it meant. The last conversations had soon died out in anticipation even before the principal had entered the stage. To some students this was the one moment all those years in High School had led to. Of course, there were actually much more important things. But right now, with all the lights directed at the stage and the two crowns that were carefully placed on two red pillows held by two junior girls, even Chandley could feel the anticipation rising…even though being a freshman was only one of the many reasons for why he would never get a chance to wear either of those crowns. Not tonight. Not ever. Matt was still unimpressed, though. Hollie and Lou were as curious about the spectacular outcome as everyone else, their eyes fixed on the stage where the principal was opening up the envelope that had been given to him just a second ago.

“As always – Ladie’s first -, we’re going to start with our gorgeous queen” He formally announced before even having read the names on the paper. He should have, though. Because now he paused, visibly irritated by what his eyes had just seen. He shot a quick glance at the young teacher behind the stage who had given him the envelope. Questions were now rising among the crowd. Students were looking at each other, mumbling and not understanding what was going on. The young teacher who had obviously helped count the votes nodded eagerly, then shrugged.

The principal cleared his throat. “I’m sorry for that disturbance…there appears to be no prom queen this year.” There was a short uproar among the crowd. “All of you have given their votes as to who you’d like to see as the perfect couple representing our school and the majority voted Henry James Sullivan as well as Alec Diego Van Allen to take up their posts as this year’s prom kings”

There was a shattering silence while the spotlight was searching for the two boys in the crowd. Someone was clearing their throat somewhere in the back. Then the laughter began. There was no reason for this to actually be a surprise to anyone at this school. There must’ve been enough people that had voted for those two. Apparently, most of them had meant to be joking with no intention of actually having an influence on the final results. Now they were laughing about their own success and also at the expense of their co-students. It was funny, because it was true. There was no more perfectly fit couple in this school than Henry and Alec.

As the spotlights had finally found Alec somewhere in the back of the crowd, he was still speechless. People around him had already started staring at the two boys, urging them verbally as well as nonverbally to get up there and receive their crowns.
“There’s no way I’m getting up there” Alec hissed. Henry, however, had joined everyone’s laughter with glee.

“What’s the sudden fuss about? I thought you wanted to become prom king?” He could barely pull himself together for long enough to actually speak in full sentences.
Alec didn’t feel the need to provide an actual answer. Henry knew damn well what the ‘fuss’ was about.
“Come on, Ally” Henry chanted, now putting both hands on his friend’s shoulders to lead him towards the stage that was still patiently waiting for the two kings to take their place. “I’m even going to wear the queen’s crown, so you don’t have to. It’s prettier anyway”
“Stop” Alec barked and harshly freed himself from Henry’s grip.

Now that the laughter had died down for the most part, everyone was just waiting. The principal was visibly unsure as to whether he should keep on asking the two boys to come to the stage until they eventually would or whether he should blow the whole thing off altogether. Finally something was moving as Henry stepped out of the crowd overly graceful and elegant. He was a queen now after all. He shot a quick look back at Alec. “Whatever. You’re a diva”

Maybe it was the smug smirk on his best friend’s face. Maybe it was his sassy hair flip or the way he had said the word. Diva. During the course of their friendship he had heard Henry refer to him as a lot of different things. Idiot, asshole, block of ice, buzzkill…were only few examples of playful insults they threw back and forth at each other on a regular basis. Diva, however, was new. He hadn’t heard that one before. And he wouldn’t just let it pass. So maybe that was the final reason leading him to change his mind and follow Henry up onto the stage. Henry didn’t actually notice that until they were already standing next to each other, both equally blinded by the spotlight that had finally found them.

Alec accepted the crown without further comment. It wasn’t necessary. His expression said it all. Henry was much more excited about the sparkling plastic crown now decorating his head and insisted on giving an acceptance speech. He thanked all kinds of people that might or might not actually exist in his life while pretending to be constantly on the verge of shedding happy tears and having to give everything to keep himself together. He concluded by wishing for world piece, fake tears in his eyes. He handed the microphone over to Alec in order to receive his obligatory flowers, but Alec looked like he was about to beat someone to death with the microphone, so it was quickly taken away from him.
Henry was leaning over to kiss Alec on the cheek, but since his friend was fast enough to step out of the way and lightly push Henry away, Henry mouthed, directed at the other students. “He is just shy”

The principal wasn’t quite sure how to proceed and there was another moment of awkward silence before he lifted the microphone towards his lips to go on as usual. “Along with the honour of representing our school for the next year and the complimentary flowers, I will also present you this year’s prize that will be given to you after this night. You two will…well…” He paused to clear his throat, briefly pondering whether he should just keep going like normal. “…you two will enjoy a romantic surprise date together…at our school’s expenses”

While the audience was clapping, Alec shot Henry a warning glance. “We’re not going” He mouthed, but Henry simply pretended to not understand. He linked arms with Alec. “What do you mean, you don’t want to go on a romantic date with me? I am insulted”
“Sure you are” Alec groaned, quietly accepting that Henry’s and his arms were still linked as they both retreated from the stage. He would need a good bit of alcohol to be able to join his friends without feeling the embarrassment boiling up inside of him.
It’s not an actual date. Chandley had to keep reminding himself. Now the evening was getting closer. The fact that Hollie was going to be picked up by Lou separately while Matt would come and pick Chandley up a little later didn’t make things any less complicated.

If it wasn’t an actual date then why did it feel like one? The sole purpose of this ridiculous idea was to get Chandley to attend prom alongside his friends. Of course, it had been Hollie’s plan. But she got Matt to play along after only little resistance. So maybe it wasn’t as ridiculous as Chandley made it out to be.

Hollie’s parents had been super excited about them both already going to prom after their freshmen year. Chandley had eventually come out to them as well and they had never even questioned the fact that out of all people it was Matt taking him to prom. If anything, they had been happy for him the same way they had been happy for Hollie and her date.

Right now Chandley was critically eyeing himself in the mirror. He felt like there was not much you could do as a boy to set yourself apart from everyone else at a formal event like this. Unless you went completely crazy…and that wasn’t the way he usually approached things. Eventually he had chosen a black slim fit suit and a black shirt underneath. Since black wasn’t exactly ‘his’ colour, he had added a white tie as some sort of contrast. There were two small flower arrangements, consisting of mainly a white rose and few green grass stalks lying on his desk. He grabbed one and attached it to the breast pocket of his suit. The other one he left for Matt. Hollie had gotten the two flowers. She had also been the one to suggest that Chandley’s and Matt’s outfit should match. They were going together after all. Even though it wasn’t a date. Chandley was painfully aware of that.

He heard the doorbell ringing from downstairs and assumed that it was Lou. He was right on time. Hollie wasn’t ready yet, of course. But the boy was supposed to wait for the girl to come downstairs. Anyone who had ever watched a good old fashioned High School chick flick knew that. Because that way the boys could fully appreciate the girl’s beauty in a state of breathtaking awe. To be honest, Chandley didn’t want to miss that moment for the world either. And neither did her parents. So it happened that all four of them were waiting at the front door, casually keeping up the small talk. Hollie’s parents thought Lou was quite charming and Chandley didn’t remember much of the trivial conversation either, because his mind was preoccupied with other thoughts. He wouldn’t let Matt wait. That was for sure. He didn’t have to, anyway. He was ready to go. And he wasn’t a girl either. And this wasn’t a date.

Suddenly everyone fell silent. Quiet steps from upstairs had interrupted their conversations and now all eyes were directed to the top of the stairs, anticipating. The suspense was undeniable. And there she was, swirling around the corner. Her hair was tied up on one side and loosely falling in light curls down her shoulder on the other side. Her dress was simple and green. It was a nice contrast to her hair. In fact, the colour made her hair seem even more redish.

There was not a single doubt in this room that Hollie was going to be the most gorgeous young woman in the gym hall tonight. Any guy who would get a chance to dance with her tonight, maybe even lightly brush his hand against hers could consider himself lucky. Lou knew that. Chandley could see it in his eyes. He felt a sense of pride rising inside of him. That girl right there. She was his cousin, his family. The girl he had sometimes seen over the summer. The girl that used to play hide and seek on the farm with him all day. He hadn’t seen her for a couple of years and now she had turned into this gorgeous young woman.

She greeted Lou with a light hug. Her father couldn’t resist drawing his little girl into a tight hug as well. He was smiling, but there was something about his eyes that gave away that he would prefer to cry right now. It wouldn’t have been appropriate, though. Hollie wasn’t actually graduating yet. That would’ve been a good reason to cry about the time having rushed by so fast. He turned to Lou after that, quietly talking to him. He was better telling him that he should not ever mess with his daughter if he valued his own life. But he probably didn’t. Chandley didn’t hear it anyway because Hollie had turned to him next with a sweet smile. “You look so handsome”
He chuckled. “Said the prettiest girl in the room”

“Shush” She punched him gently, giggling. The punch turned into her drawing him into a warm hug. She continued patting his shoulder after she had released him. “I’ll see you later”
Lou shook everybody’s hand politely before he held the door open for Hollie and just like that, they were gone.

After absentmindedly listening to his uncle’s and aunt’s opinions about Lou for a little while, Chandley noticed that he had forgotten Matt’s flower arrangement upstairs. There was hopefully still a little time until his older friend would arrive, so he naturally decided to quickly go and get it. He was so eager to grab the flower that he nearly took down a bunch of pens and notepads along with it. Before leaving he took a good look around the room to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything else, but one look down and he realized that he was still missing his shoes. Just as he bent over to put them on, he heard the doorbell ring.

For some ridiculous reason he didn’t want Hollie’s parents to open the door. He didn’t want them to talk to Matt even though they had known him for so much longer than Chandley had. But what if they asked about this date? What if they actually believed that he and Matt were going out together? Sure, they ought to know Matt better than that. Yet, he had never actually told them that Matt only took him to prom, because it seemed to be the easiest way for Chandley to be able to go at all. Of course, they had never asked explicitly…but he should have told them anyway. Now he felt like he had been lying to them. And he just didn’t want Matt to find out. It was too embarrassing.

Which is why he wasted no more time to get to the stairs. He hadn’t finished putting on both of his shoes yet and nearly stumbled over his own legs while trying to hop on one leg through the hallway and simultaneously putting on his second shoe. Lord knows how, but he managed it eventually.

“I’m going! It’s probably Matt” He yelled, completely out of breath while taking two steps at a time down the stairs. He nearly banged full frontal against the door, going so fast that it was almost impossible to stop himself. Good thing, the door handle was there to hold on to, before he yanked the door open, cheeks flustered, completely messed up hair and breathing heavily.

“Hey” He paused for a little while, trying to hide the fact that he had just been running. “You look…different” As Matt didn’t come up with an answer straight away, Chandley felt the need to quickly correct himself. “I mean, like, you don’t look different in a bad way. Just not what you normally wear, so it’s different…but still okay. I mean! Still good. You look good. A suit suits you” Chandley was cringing internally at his own words. If he could turn back time this would’ve been a perfect opportunity to do so. Just to open the door again and greet Matt properly.

Matt just laughed. An honest and rough laughter. Then he ruffled Chandley’s hair. The younger boy was so surprised by that sudden gesture that he was quite startled once Matt’s hand approached his head. Funny enough, his hair was magically less messy now than it had been before. “Don’t worry, I get it” Matt assured him, still chuckling occasionally. “But, believe me, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t wear this thing” He tugged his collar.

“I used to have a teacher in middle school…she told us how she used to be super excited for prom…back then when she used to teach in High school…because she got to see even the scruffiest teenager in a suit. It was special to her, because she’d seen all of them grow up. Most of them couldn’t care less for fancy clothes, but once their mothers had forced them into a well fitting suit, they seemed like a completely different person to her” He was still talking a little too fast, stumbling over his own words at time, but he was glad to have found his words again. “I just remembered that…She was kind of right, I guess”

“I think I look grown up enough without it…and it would be more comfortable too”
Chandley couldn’t deny. Then he suddenly remembered the flower. “There’s still something missing, though!” Without hesitation, he signed Matt to hold still as he took out the flower and carefully attached it to Matt’s chest. Their immense height different was perfect for that procedure, because Chandley neither had to reach up, nor did he have to bend forward. “It was Hollie’s idea” He explained, mumbling quietly, because he was concentrating on his task.

“Speaking of which…she is already on her way with Lou. So I guess we should go too”
Matt nodded. He took a quick glance down to check out the accessory Chandley had added. “Thanks for…” He patted the flower lightly. “…that”
“Thanks for taking me…”

Matt waved it off while they were leaving the house together. “Don’t mention it. To be honest, I wasn’t even planning on going to prom at all. I didn’t go last year either. It’s really just an excuse for everyone to get wasted…again” He wrinkled his nose. “And what’s up with all that fuss about prom queens and kings? Who cares?”

Chandley shrugged. “A lot of people do” He’d never even dreamt of becoming prom king, because it had always seemed impossible to achieve for someone like him. But the thought of being celebrated and envied by everyone for just one night only because those same people had voted for you to wear a silly plastic crown was kind of appealing. It made sense that it meant so much to some teenagers.

“I know”
“You know…I would’ve been totally fine with the three of us just staying at home, watching movies” Chandley got into the passenger seat of Matt’s car. “In fact, we can still turn around”

Chandley wasn’t being serious, yet, there was a grave second of silence that could be interpreted as Matt actually considering the idea. But Hollie was already gone and even though she had company of her own, there was no good reason to abandon her now.
“Now I’m already wearing this thing” Matt argued, again shifting uncomfortably in his suit after he had sat down behind the wheel.

You don’t have to wear it. Neither of us has to wear it if we were to go back and huddle up on the couch together. Especially if we were to do that. The thought was crossing Chandley’s mind against his will. He bit his lip, so none of that nonsense would actually slip his mouth, but he was blushing nonetheless.
“Yeah…” He admitted instead and leaned back closing his eyes, feeling the light vibration of the seat against his back as Matt started the engine.



Nobody had ever mentioned anything about dancing. Sure, it was kind of a given fact that a proper prom date also involved dancing at some point sooner or later over the course of the night. But once and for all: This was not a proper date. Chandley had assumed that while other couples were going to dance to some cheesy romantic song, he and Matt could empty the buffet or get some fresh air outside with the cool kids who were probably secretly smoking somewhere behind the school. He had never heard of an opening dance as an essential part of the standard prom procedure at this school. His only comfort was Matt having been just as clueless about this as him.

And now, upon arriving at the gym hall, they found themselves in a line behind the entrance door consisting of all the prom couples, talking and laughing in anticipation for the coming night. They had been given brief instructions as to what was about to happen: Each couple would enter the room, slowly, one after another while festive music was going to be playing in the background. They would then all assemble on the dance floor. The music would change into a slow waltz once every couple had reached their destination. Then everyone would dance for about three minutes. After that they would return to their seats and listen to the principal’s opening speech that would end with the opening of the buffet.

So far so good. But apparently neither Chandley nor Matt knew how to dance a proper waltz. Their helpless glances hadn’t gotten them out of the situation and as the music started playing from inside it was too late to get out now. The crowd started moving and they were somehow dragged along. Chandley felt the sudden urge to apologize for this huge mess that their casual, merely friendly date was about to become. But his lips were involuntarily sealed. He regarded Matt with a glance that was supposed to be brief and shy, but somehow turned into something else…a long admiring look. Matt’s eyes were directed at the crowd in front of them. He was tall enough to have a good overview. If there was still a way out now he would find it and they could escape before embarrassing themselves. But he didn’t. Instead, he was just frowning. If Chandley hadn’t known him any better he would’ve assumed that he was incredibly mad at something. He would’ve shied away from ever talking to him if it hadn’t been for Hollie who had somehow seen past his considerable tall height – Chandley assumed that he had always been taller than most of the other kids – and his rarely open and friendly expression. He didn’t look so grim anymore once you had seen him crack a joke, heard him laugh and knew how fiercely protective he was of his friends and family. But if you didn’t know any of that…if you’ve never even held a conversation with him…you were easily led to believe that he was the kind of character you wouldn’t necessarily want to get to know any better. Because he didn’t always look like he’d want you to.

Chandley nearly bumped into the couple in front of them as the crowd suddenly slowed down for a bit. Without comment Matt held him back by gently laying a hand on his shoulder.
“Sorry” Chandley mumbled, almost inaudible. The music from the hall was getting louder and Chandley felt his hands getting increasingly sweatier. His slightly panicked glimpses around noticed everyone else holding hands around him…like it was obligatory for this festive occasion. And without thinking - which was a very rare circumstance for him – he took Matt’s hand as well. They would have to do it anyway if they were going to dance. So what was the big deal? What did he have to lose? A friendship that was bound to kill him slowly. Nothing more.

Still, he kind of expected Matt to draw back…to maybe even be disgusted by that kind of invasion of personal space. He did neither of that. Though he felt Matt’s body tensing up, he then reassuringly squeezed Chandley’s hand once the first shock had worn off. Still, Chandley couldn’t stand looking at Matt now. He didn’t want to see bitterness or indifference. And even more importantly, he didn’t want to read something into his expression that might not be there.

Luckily, that circumstance was made considerably easier for him as a sudden bright light was blinding them both upon entering the gym hall. It was radiating that kind of sticky heat that had your forehead soaked in drops of sweat immediately. A suit was probably the worst piece of clothing to wear right now. Chandley fought the urge to adjust his collar or even open his jacket altogether. But his right hand was preoccupied with something so much more important and he had to take advantage of that for as long as it lasted. Matt was having an equally hard time, as Chandley noticed from the corner of his eyes.

Soon they had found their spot on the dance floor. Not quite in the centre, so it was easier to quietly sneak away once the music was over, but sure as hell nowhere near the edge either. They didn’t have to be seen by everyone watching from the outside right away.
There was a brief moment of silence before the waltz actually started. Most couples used it to get into proper closed positions. Chandley and Matt, however, didn’t even know where to start. They tried to figure it out by watching the others…with little success. Almost 20cm height difference between the two of them didn’t make things less complicated. They found themselves accidentally elbowing each other in weird places, because Chandley couldn’t reach up high enough or Matt didn’t bend forward in the right moment. Once they had finally managed to get into a position that at least felt kind of right the music had already started and they were about to be run over by the other couples that were already really into that dance.

Their eyes met as they were trying to read each others thoughts. “I honestly don’t even know what foot to start with” Chandley suddenly admitted. He felt Matt’s shoulders quivering underneath his hands as the older boy laughed softly. “Thank God”
They let go of each other. “Are we going to bail out?” Chandley knew the answer and he was visibly relieved to see Matt nodding.
“There’s no line at the buffet yet. I can see no reason for why we shouldn’t use that to our advantage”

Chandley laughed. Yeah, this prom dance would’ve been every teenagers dream. But it was rather distressful than romantic if neither of them actually knew how to dance. They never mentioned that in the movies. Everyone kind of knew the steps.
Nobody paid attention to them sneaking away from the dance floor to rob the buffet that turned out to be just as delicious as it had looked from afar.
Alec had always been exceptionally neat when it came to the organization of the books inside his locker in alphabetical order. He tended to be the last one in the hallway, taking more time putting his books away than any other student. In fact, right now he was pretty much the only student left in the hallway as he finally shut his locker close. He winced briefly as he found Henry standing right there, casually leaning against the row of lockers, almost as if he’d been standing there the entire time.

“Care to be my prom date?” Henry asked, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. He wouldn’t stop grinning as Alec simply ignored him, bumping against his shoulder as he passed him by.

“Where the hell have you been? You’ve been missing classes for weeks” This semester as well as their last senior year were slowly coming to an end and apparently Henry took this as an opportunity to leave more often than ever and expand his travels to even longer periods of time. As long as he would pass all of his finals it should’ve been none of Alec’s concern. But even if he didn’t, Alec shouldn’t care as much as he did.

Henry took a few long and fast steps in order to keep up with his best friend’s pace. “Oh Ally…I know for a fact that you’ve been doing all my homework while I’ve been gone…”
Alec wouldn’t let it show that Henry was assuming correctly. “Why on Earth would I be doing that?” He always did. But nobody was mentioning that now.

“Because I brought you this snow globe”
Alec carelessly pushed the small souvenir, Henry had just drawn from his pocket, out of his face, but he couldn’t ignore its clearly visibly inscription as Henry nearly dropped it to the floor.
“You’ve been to Canada?”
Henry shrugged. “Maybe”

Alec shook his irritation about that information off with a frown. “I suppose, next time you can do your geography homework yourself”
Henry snorted. “Haha. Very funny. Have you ever considered becoming a comedian? No, really, I’d buy tickets to your show”
“To throw tomatoes at me?”

Henry laughed. “I wasn’t going to…but now that you’ve mentioned it…you know me too well, my friend” He loosely put an arm around Alec’s shoulders, ignoring the way his best friend tensed up underneath his touch. “Now, again, about that prom thing…are we gonna go or not?”

“Together?” Alec made a disgusted face, only to be laughed at by Henry.
“Not really, but if you insist…how could I resist those dreamy green eyes?” He batted his eyelashes at Alec, but couldn’t go through with it for any longer than three seconds.
“Sometimes, I hate you” Alec grumbled, shoving Henry’s arm off his shoulders. “Of course I’m going to go. I wasn’t elected for school president, because the election was obviously sabotaged. Now this is my last chance to become at least prom king” Alec made it sound like it was a simple fact that Henry should’ve been aware of.
“Ooooh…, so you already have a prom date, I suppose?”
Alec shrugged. “I was thinking about Lexi…”

“Hold on, what?!” Henry was utterly shocked by that idea and he didn’t hesitate to show it. He stopped mid walk, pressing a hand against his chest.
“She is the head cheerleader after all…people are easily lured by these things. It increases my chances of being elected…”
To Henry, all of that sounded like major nonsense, but why would he care?

“What about you?”
Henry shrugged. “Since you appear to be already taken…” He let out a long, dramatic sigh. “…I guess I have to find someone else”
“So sorry to break your heart” Alec replied drily.
“Come on…you’re not even trying to be compassionate”

The bell rang just as Alec and Henry were entering the classroom. The only places left were right next to Lexi and Madeleine and Alec took it as an opportunity to ask Lexi out to prom. It was also convenient enough for Henry to spontaneously ask Madeleine out.
Both girls were delighted and Lexi spent the next 45 minutes thinking about the colour of her dress.



“Guess what!” Hollie approached Chandley in the hallway, a cheerful bounce in her every step, her face enlightened with a wide smile. Yet, Chandley couldn’t guess the cause of her happiness. She was happy about a lot of things on a daily basis. So there was probably no point in even trying. And he didn’t have to.

“I’m gonna go to prom!” There was this excited glow in her eyes that just got to Chandley and had him smiling as well.
“Who asked you?”
She carelessly brushed a strand of hair out of her face. “Lou, actually”

Chandley was a little surprised. He remembered the double date a few months ago. He didn’t remember Hollie going on other dates with him. He didn’t even recall her mentioning his name after this first date. But here she was, happy about her prom date, without a doubt. Prom was exclusively for seniors and juniors. However, freshmen and sophomores could be taken to prom by older grads as dates. Of course, this didn’t increase Chandley’s chances of attending this year’s prom. It wasn’t common for girls to ask out boys younger than them. And Chandley had yet to find a boy playing for his team on this school. But he was happy for Hollie nonetheless. After all, he didn’t stand a chance against her charming smile and enthusiastic chattering about her dress and the way she was going to do her hair for the big night. He’d always have his own senior prom in a few years, right?

They met Matt in the dining hall. He was already waiting at their table. Of course, Hollie was eager to find out about his plans for prom. “Did you ask someone out yet?”
Matt shoved a fork full of the world’s worst spaghetti bolognaise into his mouth. It allowed him to take some time with his reply. Eventually, he just shook his head. “And I’m not going to”

Chandley immediately remembered Mitena’s words. Has Matt ever had a girlfriend? He’d been thinking about this a lot, to be honest. Of course, he’d never think of actually asking Matt…and even turning to Hollie seemed too risky. The question would’ve given him away for sure. It would’ve raised other questions. Being out of the closet didn’t equal being open about his feelings for Matt. Those were still a secret, kept well hidden. Maybe not as well as he had hoped, according to Mitena, but at least they hadn’t reached Matt and Hollie yet. Or they were just being good friends by politely ignoring them.

Because it was true. Some things were better left unsaid. In order to protect your own or sometimes someone else’s feelings. The risk wasn’t always worth it. Sometimes things were at stake that were so much more important than confessing your love for someone and the possibility of that someone actually returning that love. Friendship, for example. Friendship was a very good reason to suffer your way through unrequited love, in hopes that one day you’d wake up and all your feelings would finally be just gone. After this school year, Matt would go off to college or work. Chandley wouldn’t have to see him on a daily basis anymore. Avoiding him would be a great deal easier. On the other hand, this was a chance. Did he really have to maintain a friendship with Matt if he wasn’t going to see him as much anymore? If he confessed his love sooner or later and Matt rejected it him – and he surely would – this big weight holding him down, this awkward wall separating them sometimes would just vanish…and Chandley could try and get over it. He could do that. He could get over Matt if he didn’t have to see him every day. Maybe then he didn’t have to ever see him again. And it would hurt for a while. But it would pass. And Chandley would meet someone else who could actually love him back. It seemed like a good plan.

Hollie must’ve told Matt every detail about her dress and everything else she was planning to do for her very first prom night, because she was still talking as Chandley had finished his last trail of thoughts. He must’ve zoned out for quite some time, because he immediately caught Hollie’s attention once he returned back to reality. “I feel so bad, you won’t be able to come” She made a pouty face, touching Chandley’s forearm softly. “Maybe we can try and sneak you in anyway…”

Chandley waved it off. “I’ve heard they won’t even sell you tickets if you don’t have a senior or a junior right by your side…and they naturally won’t let you in if you don’t have a ticket…right?” His eyes were still hopeful until they met Matt’s who nodded slowly. “Besides…it’s just one night. I’ll find something else to do…and it’s an annual event. So there’s always next year” He really wasn’t trying to convince Hollie that it was okay…he was rather convincing himself. And it was showing.

“But Matt is going to be gone after this year…it’s the only year the three of us can go together”
“But we can’t”
“Yes, we can” Hollie frowned. It made her look like an angry kitten.
“How so?”
“Matt doesn’t have a date yet, does he?”
Mean Wolves - Chapter 18
Jesus Christ, this is getting worse. I'm sorry.
(Yeah, the beginning is just a drabble translated into English...ugh >.<)
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“Oh, sugar!” Peggy exclaimed in such a state of shock that Chandley immediately rushed into the kitchen to check if she was okay. There were no broken dishes or – God forbid – broken bones. Naturally, Chandley was confused as to why Peggy had been panicking when there was no apparent reason for it.
“We’re out of champagne”

Chandley’s shoulders relaxed. Nothing bad. Just the champagne. “So what? Two more hours ‘til midnight. The clock will strike without champagne just the same”
Peggy whipped her grandson playfully with the kitchen towel. “I can’t believe you just said that! It ain’t the New Year without the champagne”

“An old Texan saying?” Chandley teased, chuckling.
“It is now” A stubborn old lady. That’s what she was. But it’s what gained her all the well deserved respect and Chandley would’ve been the last person on Earth to object.
“More than half of us aren’t even at legal drinking age” Chandley argued, biting his lip.
She smirked, a little twinkle in her eyes. “I think I have raised you a little too well” She winked and threw the kitchen towel over her shoulder as she enthusiastically turned towards the door. “However, we need some champagne, so let’s get to it. Matt, darlin’, where are you?” She chanted, leaving the kitchen with that kind of cheerful bounce in every step that you rarely found in a lady of her age. Chandley had no clue what she was planning exactly, but since it obviously happened to involve Matt he was admittedly quite curious and was quick to follow her into the living room where the rest of the family was already assembled.

“Come here, Chandley. We need you here too” She had obviously already informed everybody else about their lack of champagne, but nobody appeared to be as shocked about it as she had been upon finding out.
“I was thinking…” She turned to Chandley as if he was really going to have a say in this. “The little kiosk in town...that’s open 24 hours. Do you remember that one?”
Chandley nodded, still at a loss where her plan was heading. “Is that still there?”
“Why, of course it is, sweet pea. So why don’t you and Matt take the ol’ pick up truck to get some champagne from there”

Chandley wasn’t convinced at all, but he didn’t want to question her plan either. His helpless gaze met Matt’s, but the older boy didn’t seem to mind, even though he clearly couldn’t understand the sudden emergency either.
“Why us?” Chandley shot his grandmother a look that said it all. She pretended not to have seen it, though.

“Matt is the only one in this room who is old enough to drive, but too young to have had alcohol” Now that she had said it out loud, it actually did make a little sense. Not that it justified any of her actions. “And, of course, it’s easier if a local person guides him. It’s quite a journey into town, after all”

It wasn’t, really. The way into town was basically just one long road surrounded by nothing but fields and dried out trees. But before any more objections could be made, Chandley found himself on the passenger seat of his grandfather’s old pick up truck with Matt right beside him behind the wheel. Last Christmas was quietly playing on the radio and Chandley was tempted to just reach out and turn it off, but he was afraid of the possible awkward silence that would most likely follow.

“I’m sorry, Nana is so pushy” Chandley sunk a little deeper into the seat as he felt Matt’s gaze briefly on him, before it returned back to the road.
“From everything I’ve heard about grandmas…” His grave voice made it seem like he was about to explain some scientifically proven facts. But, of course, this was not his intention. “…this seems to be the norm”
Chandley chuckled. “I wouldn’t know, I only have this one”
Matt shrugged. He had none, but he wouldn’t say that out loud. Chandley knew it well enough.

“It’s funny…” Matt suddenly kept up the conversation. “…I remember Hollie leaving for the summer sometimes…” It was clear that he hadn’t finished his sentence yet, but he somehow didn’t know how to continue either. Good thing, Chandley was always ready to jump in, even when he wasn’t asked to. “And now you actually get to see where she went?”

It wasn’t quite what Matt had been trying to say. He slowly nodded anyway. “Yeah…”
Silence fell over the two of them once again and Chandley began tapping his fingernails against the dashboard, nervously. “Now, after the next turn, you’ll already see a bunch of houses. And that’s Payne Springs downtown” He laughed, because there was obviously no such thing. The town centre consisted of a small shop, a gas station, a crappy motel and the kiosk that was opened for 24 hours for 365 days of the year. It might not make a lot of sense at first, from an economic point of view, but considering all the farms and cottages scattered miles and miles around the commune of Payne Springs, it actually came in handy more often than one would think.

Still, the rusty pick up truck was the only car disturbing the spooky silence that was currently living in those small town streets. Matt parked the car right in front of the kiosk and as the headlights turned off, the only light shining brighter than the stars in the cloudless night sky was a flickering neon sign from the motel across the street.
It was impossible to operate the doors of the truck without possibly waking up the whole neighbourhood, but chances were good that everybody was still awake anyway. It was New Year’s Eve, after all. Still, Chandley had an anxious look around as he followed Matt into the shop.

Good memories of home made pastries and whole days spent on the back of a horse weren’t the only memories linked to this place, after all. In fact, now that he had set a foot back into the town, far from the calm comfort of his grandparent’s farm and even farther from his new life back in New York, it felt like everything he’d been running from came back crushing down at him all at once. Maybe he should’ve stayed in the car. But as soon as the little bell above the shop door rang, he knew that it was already too late.

Before they had left the house, someone had been concerned about how Matt was supposed to get alcohol at his age. Of course, Peggy had argued that he looked a great deal older than he actually was. He also had Chandley with him. A local face that everyone was bound to recognize, knowing very well which family he belonged to. They would be willing to make an exception for the nice young boy they had all watched growing up in this town.

Naturally, he had expected to find the actual owner of the shop behind the counter working his butt off for the family, even on New Year’s Eve. He probably would’ve asked about New York and how his grandparents were doing, because these days they weren’t leaving the farm as much as they used to anymore. And Chandley would’ve casually chatted away about all the things that didn’t really matter, but were somehow essential to keep the small talk going. One foot set into the small shop, he knew that this was not going to happen, though. Because he hadn’t been prepared to face Landon Wright upon walking up to the counter to do the check out. In fact, he hadn’t been prepared to ever face his former tormenter again. He should’ve been, though. Of course he was still here. Nobody ever left Payne Springs.

“Well, won’t you look at that” His grey eyes were watching Chandley’s every step like an alligator eying his prey. He ran his fingers through his slick black hair. It was longer than Chandley remembered it. Maybe he had grown it out. “Didn’t you see the sign outside? No dogs allowed”

Chandley felt his features hardening. “I’m not a dog” He said, calmly, but weak. His eyes were nervously searching the shop for Matt, but he was somewhere in the back, probably getting the champagne. But the shop wasn’t actually that big. He must’ve heard Landon. That scratchy voice stood out of every crowd.

“Funny, because you sure yelped like one back then when we beat you up at the back of the school. Remember that? Good old times” Landon. He was always mad. But as far as Chandley was concerned - and he had thought about this a lot during those countless sleepless nights - there was no tragic back story behind it. He was just mad at the whole wide world for no reason at all, other than his own personal enjoyment.

He didn’t reply or fight back. He never did and he wouldn’t start tonight. It wasn’t worth it. Unfortunately, there was only one thing that Landon enjoyed more than his victim’s silence: his victim’s pain and tears.
“You have nerves to come here and present your boyfriend like that. It’s disgusting and it proves that we are right to ban faggots like you from this town” How could someone this young be so full of hatred?

“No thanks, I left on my own account” His voice wasn’t nearly as strong and confident as he desperately tried to make it sound. He didn’t even address the fact that Matt wasn’t his actual boyfriend. Because it sure would’ve been nice if he was.

“Yeah, right” Landon huffed. “I bet it’s your fault that your old people never leave their farm anymore. I’d be ashamed too if I were them. I bet they disowned you” This was so very far away from the truth, but the mere thought of someone talking like this about his family had Chandley shaking from anger and frustration. He didn’t know what to say. If he were to open his mouth now, he was bound to cry and he didn’t want to do that in front of bullies like Landon. Not anymore.

Just then, Matt had returned from the back of the shop and calmly placed two bottles of champagne on the counter. Landon was slightly startled as his eyes met Matt’s rather grim expression. Sure, Landon was quite tall himself, but he had underestimated Matt’s actual height until just now, as he was standing right in front of him. There was no doubt that he had overheard the conversation, yet, he didn’t say a word about it.

“Sorry, we don’t sell alcohol to faggots” He smirked triumphantly. Matt’s silence had convinced him that the older boy might be tall and broad shouldered, but not at all dangerous. He didn’t know how wrong he had been until Matt was suddenly leaning over the counter, grabbing Landon by his collar. “Okay, that’s enough” He said and threw two solid punches right at Landon’s face. The poor boy didn’t even have time to cry for help until he found himself lying on the ground.

Matt wiped his hands on his shirts as if he had just touched something rather disgusting. He pulled out his wallet and slammed a little bit more than the needed amount of money for the champagne on the counter. “There you go. Maybe you can buy yourself some common sense with it…or a plaster. Whatever you decide”

Chandley’s state of shock had long developed into pure delight. His steps were almost a little bouncy as he grabbed the two bottles and followed Matt back to the car, not turning around once.



The old truck was complaining noisily, coughing and shaking uncontrollably until – suddenly - it just stopped and wouldn’t start working again even after Matt had tried to turn the key and press the gas pedal several more times. The car was wrecked. Matt punched the stirring wheel, cursing quietly while Chandley took a nervous glance at the clock.

30 minutes left until midnight.

In other words, they were stuck in the middle of nowhere.
“Can we call someone?” Chandley asked, still as optimistic as the situation allowed him to be.
Matt searched his pockets for his phone, but gave up as he remembered. “I didn’t bring my phone…I thought we wouldn’t be gone for long”
Chandley bit his lip. Maybe that way he didn’t have to answer. But, of course, he did anyway. “Same” He admitted. It was kind of funny, though. They both could acknowledge that by laughing in unison.

“You think we’re going to make it back until midnight?” There was absolutely no hope in his voice. Just a casual question that didn’t need an actual answer. Matt shook his head anyway.
“Not even if we’d run”

Silence. A little bit longer this time, yet it didn’t feel awkward at all. Suddenly Chandley jerked the door open. He took some time to breathe in the fresh air outside, free from pollution or the never ending roaring of traffic. It had cooled down quite a bit and he actually felt quite chilly, wearing just a shirt. The sound of the door banging shut echoed all the way from the mountains in the far distance.

25 more minutes until midnight.

“Do you know what’s in the back of the car?” Chandley poked his head into the window of the driver’s seat. Matt shook his head. Chandley proceeded to walk down to the back of the car and pulled away the blanket that was covering a bunch of boxes piled up on the truck bed, containing enough fireworks to light up the sky for a whole night. His smile revealed that his questions had been rhetorical and that he had known about their possibly slightly illegal cargo.

Matt had gotten out of the car to see it for himself. Maybe he should’ve been concerned. Or questioning how Chandley’s grandparents had gotten their hands on all of that firework, but he found himself grinning as he took out some of the small rockets and firecrackers and carefully weighed them in his hands.

“We’re going to get in trouble for this”
“Maybe…” Chandley smirked. “But probably not. Nobody really cares about what happens out here, trust me”
But Matt didn’t mind trouble and Chandley didn’t mind it as long as it was with Matt. “I’ll check the car for a lighter” Chandley announced while Matt had already begun arranging the fireworks all around the car. That way it would be easier to later ignite them all at once.

20 more minutes until midnight.

“I found two” Chandley came back, handing one lighter over to Matt who had already done quite a bit of work with the fireworks. “There’s nothing we could use as glasses, though…for the champagne”

Matt shrugged, still preoccupied with securing the rockets into the soft desert sand. “Well, we have two bottles, though, haven’t we?” Chandley knew that he shouldn’t approve of that way of thinking, but he just couldn’t help it. “It’s still cold, too” He added, setting the bottles aside on top of the truck in order to help Matt out.

10 more minutes until midnight.

Matt and Chandley were ready for anything by now. The champagne wasn’t opened yet. They were saving it for later. There was no rocket left in the back of the car and the two boys already had their fingers impatiently tapping on the lighters, waiting for the right moment. The only dependable source of time they had was Chandley’s watch as well as the car watch, but Chandley knew for sure that neither of them was perfectly exact. Out here, nobody would care if they started their private new year’s celebration a minute earlier or even two minutes later than the rest of the town. There was no public fireworks anywhere near either. It was just him and Matt, two bottles of champagne, the old and broken pick up truck and a trunk full of fireworks. This already felt like the best New Year’s Eve Chandley has ever had.

5 more minutes until midnight.

His family must’ve already noticed their delay. Maybe they had made up their own story for why they hadn’t returned yet. But apparently they weren’t worried. Otherwise Hollie’s father could’ve long taken his own care to come and look for them. There was no other road into town. There was no way he could’ve missed them. But things like that happened. And they seemed to happen a lot to Chandley. And now it was midnight soon and none of that mattered anyway, because he was off to a new start. Funny, how one single change of numbers could mean so much more. A new year was a second chance. An opportunity to change everything. It was cheesy and maybe even a little overrated, yet, it drew people in. Why else would billions of people look up to the sky and celebrate the New Year in unison if it wasn’t for the hope for a better year?  

The two boys had comfortably taken seat on the truck bed, patiently waiting and talking about anything and everything. Upon one quick glance at his clock, Chandley found that it was time. He leaped off the car.

…10…
…9…
…8…
…7…
…6…
…5…
…4…
…3…
…2…
…1…

The first rocket set off into the night sky. Then a second, a third, a fourth…they howled and sizzled, saying their last goodbyes before they lit up the dark in a dazzling chaos of colourful explosions, one louder and prettier than the other. There was not a single second of silence until the last rocket was shot, leaving a final trail of glittery sparks fading into the night. There was a thick layer of smoke surrounding the two boys and their truck. Chandley’s eyes were still fixed to the sky, even though all of a sudden everything was calm again, the stars and the moon shining on like nothing had happened at all. They didn’t care that the fireworks had stolen their spotlight for roughly ten minutes. To Chandley, those 10 minutes had seemed infinite.

If he could’ve chosen one single moment of his entire life to last forever, this would’ve been it. Just staring off into the sky, blinded by the magnificent lights, deafened by the roaring sound of the rockets travelling and exploding and yet feeling everything so much more intense, so much more real with Matt by his side. The first person he had ever given his heart to, wholly and truly without ever expecting anything in return. The person he had (not quite) chosen to love for no other purpose than to selflessly give something…like a gift, a nice gesture that would never be returned. He loved him so much that he was happy enough giving this gift to Matt every single day for the rest of their lives even if Matt would never even know about it. Because ultimately that was the only choice he had. He either chose to lose Matt and with him those moments of infinity forever or he chose to live with the pain, the everlasting urge to brush Matt’s skin with his own, to meet his lips and intertwine fingers with him. An urge he felt so strongly that it overcame him in painful waves of heat and cold and an unsettling tingling in his fingertips. The same way he was feeling it right now as he resisted the temptation of just grabbing Matt’s hand.

Little did he know that, as his eyes were still safely fixed to the sky - the gleaming reflection of colourful explosions still found in his gaze when, really, it were just tears shining from the corner of his eyes - Matt’s gaze was likewise resting on him, noticing every change of mimic that came over Chandley’s face.

Suddenly, Chandley straightened his shoulders as he grabbed one bottle of champagne. He lifted it up for a toast. “Happy new year”
Matt smiled and so did Chandley. Both their smiles lasted for a little too long. “Happy new year to you too”

Two more bangs followed as they both popped the bottles and immediately drank from them despite all the champagne spilling out and wetting their clothes.
No more than 15 minutes later the bottles were already half empty and the two boys found themselves half lying and half sitting on the truck bed.

“I used to have this huge crush on Landon” Chandley suddenly admitted, even though it was completely off topic and unrelated. Just like that he had finally said it. Not explicitly, of course. But it was enough to make Matt understand. Chandley expected grave silence or disbelief to follow his confession. Instead, Matt just huffed. “On that idiot?” To him the confession wasn’t about Chandley having a crush on a boy…it was about Chandley having a crush on decidedly the wrong person.

“Yeah…” Chandley suddenly felt bad. He should’ve chosen different words for his coming out. Now it was just awkward.
“Well…then you’re an idiot too” They both started laughing.

“I guess…it was in fourth grade, though. I told him about it…that I wanted to hold hands with him. I don’t know what I expected, to be honest. Some other kid found a letter that I had written to him and read it out loud to the whole class…they all started picking on both of us. Landon never got rid of his reputation as my boyfriend until he shoved me into a locker for the first time in middle school. I think that’s why he hates me. He blames me for his embarrassment…and I guess, in a way, it is my fault”

“No, it’s not” Matt’s voice was almost a little angry. He was clearly ready to beat that prick up a second time if they ever were to meet again. Good thing, Chandley had refrained from telling him about the horrible words they had chosen to call him back then. He never explained that shoving him into a locker used to be the least horrible thing that they had done to him. “He should’ve known better than turning against your for his own social status’ sake”

“Matt…we were in fourth grade” That’s what Chandley did. Always finding excuses and reasons for why someone else had acted a certain way. There was always an opportunity to blame yourself if you just thought hard enough.
“You think he’d act any different today?”
Chandley shook his head. “No…but now the damage is already done, isn’t it?”
“If people depend their every step on how they can be liked by everyone else, they’re gonna go crazy if even one single person comes along and doesn’t like them…no matter what they do”

“…like Alec?”
Matt laughed. That’s not what he had been trying to say, but it amused him all the more for that. “Yeah, exactly”
“Well, it sounds easy when you say it…because you don’t care about anything anyone says”
“Do I have to?”
Chandley frowned and took a quick sip from the bottle. “I suppose not”
“There you go. Cheers” Matt took a longer sip.

What others might found annoying or suspicious about Matt, Chandley thought of as admirable and maybe even endearing in a way. It was something he would wish to strive for, if only he could. Rather being loved by few people than desperately trying to change yourself to please everyone else. How much easier and rewarding would that be? Yet, he knew that this was a character trait that just wasn’t to be found inside of him and therefore could never be achieved. But maybe he could care too much whenever Matt didn’t, even though it might be appropriate sometimes. Then maybe Matt could stop him from caring whenever it was all too much. If only they were this close…

A pair of bright headlights blinded them. They heard the banging car door before they could even make out someone getting out of the car.

“We saw your sign for help” Hollie’s father stopped right at the back of the broken truck where Matt and Chandley had sat up by now. His expression was a perfect mixture of fatherly authority and (not so well) hidden amusement. The fireworks had been too mesmerizing to punish the two boys for it, other than by having them wait a little longer for their rescue.

“Happy new year, boys” He smiled, kindly ignoring the champagne they technically shouldn’t be drinking. “Now get into the car”
Christmas time had come around pretty fast. Coming to think of it…it actually had a habit of doing that. Maybe that was the actual miracle of Christmas. How quickly it was over in what seemed to be the blink of an eye after weeks of preparation and anticipation. How all of this felt like it had been for nothing. The sudden emptiness that came over you after the last present was unpacked and the last person was thanked with a tight hug. Not that Alec had ever been excited for Christmas in the first place. Maybe he’d been years ago. When a pair of sneakers that lit up with every step you took had felt like the best present ever. Not anymore, though.

His younger brother and a bunch of other kids – friends of the family – had been the first one to get up on Christmas morning. They had been told to wait with the presents until everyone had gotten up, but of course they couldn’t resist having a sneak peek into the brightly coloured boxes that surrounded the giant Christmas tree in the living room. Family and friends of the family that hadn’t spent the night at the house were arriving one after another. They brought the cold into the house with their necks safely wrapped into turtleneck sweaters and scarves. Soon the coat stand was hung with clothes to the point where it was on the verge of falling over. Even though they all had seen each other last night, there was still so much to talk about and the voices and laughter were increasing with every new person that joined the group of family and close friends. The kids were impatiently waiting to open up their presents and racing each other through the hallway while doing so. Meanwhile the grown ups were enjoying glühwein and eggnog in the kitchen, warming up their frozen bodies. Everyone had agreed that this was the coldest winter they’d had in years. But, then again, it was the one thing they agreed on every year.

Alec was at that weird age where he was too old to join the kid’s play, but too young to converse with the grown ups. Well, that’s what they thought anyway. He would’ve been happy spending the morning talking about taxes and jobs. Or whatever grown ups were usually talking about. Maybe he wasn’t ready after all. His older brother was, though. He had come home from college for Christmas and, of course, everyone was deeply interested in his new life. Everyone, except Alec. Maybe that was what really bothered him. But soon enough he’d be going to college too. And he’d do a hundred times better than his brother had done.

Henry had disappeared sometime during the last week of school. He hadn’t returned for Christmas either. Now there was nobody of the same age as Alec and that’s what really sucked. It sucked even more than his best friend not being here. Someone else at least remotely likeable would’ve made it a tiny bit more bearable to be here this Christmas morning.

There was a huge uproar among the kids as it was finally time to open the presents. Alec was probably the only underage person in the room who didn’t run to the Christmas tree straight away. In fact, he hadn’t left his spot on the couch ever since the first guests had arrived. It was a comfortable position to watch everyone pick up their rightful presents; glowing eyes and bright red cheeks. Even the grown ups couldn’t hide their own inner child upon holding the colourfully wrapped boxes. Alec thought the whole concept to be so pathetic that he almost wished to find no present for himself underneath the tree. Then again, he probably would’ve been pissed at that too. And, of course, someone had thought of him. In fact, pretty much everyone had. Just like they had thought of everyone else in the family. His presents were the last ones remaining, though. Everyone else was already busy thanking each other and hugging it out while he was still piling the boxes up around himself. He checked the labels on them and sorted them by importance. The last package he picked up was also by far the smallest. To be honest, Alec couldn’t imagine anything being inside that could’ve been of any use to him or to anyone, really. But everything made a little more sense as he realized that the package was from Henry. He, himself, had refrained from getting a present for his best friend. It would’ve been too big of a hassle for nothing. He wasn’t here after all.

At first, Alec was tempted to carelessly throw the box into a corner, but he ended up choosing it to be the first one that should be opened. As expected, the box was mostly empty, except for a little note saying Come up to the roof in tiny, scruffy letters. Alec rolled his eyes. He briefly gazed over the rest of the presents he hadn’t opened up yet, pondering. After a little while he eventually decided to follow the brief instructions anyway.

Nobody actually saw him leaving as he grabbed his coat and a random scarf and threw both on as he was taking the stairs. Alec’s parents owned a rooftop terrace and he suspected this to be the place Henry wanted him to be. He didn’t keep his hopes up too high about what was going to wait for him up there. Eventually, as he opened the sliding doors to the terrace he found Henry, dressed in nothing but underwear facing him, his arms spread wide open. He kept the pose up for just about five seconds until he wrapped his arms around himself, shaking uncontrollably.

“For Christ’s sake, Alec, what took you so long?” His voice was shaky from the constant vibration of his already blue-ish lips. “I’ve nearly frozen to death up here waiting for you”

Alec honestly didn’t know if he should laugh or push Henry off the roof. He did neither of these things. Instead he crossed his arms and watched his best friend closely while slowly shaking his head. His lips parted slightly, but closed again as he couldn’t think of anything to say that expressed just exactly how he felt.

“Merry Christmas…?!” Henry exclaimed, wiggling his eyebrows.
“What even is your present?” Alec frowned.
“I’m back, duh”
“I can see that” Alec took a few steps towards Henry while slowly stripping off his coat. “And I am delighted”

Of course Henry noticed the sarcastic tone of voice, but he was happy enough to ignore it. He hadn’t expected anything else. Yet, he remained untypically silent.
Alec stopped right in front of him and carefully covered Henry’s shoulders with his coat. He was way too cold to object. Secretly thankful he wrapped the coat a little tighter around his naked body. “I must say, I am a little disappointed that you’re not happy to see me”

There was a hint of a smile in the corner of Alec’s mouth. “I am, though” He paused for a split second that held a lot more meaning to it than it seemed. “I really am” His voice was sincere. He urged Henry to follow him inside, using only hand gestures. “Now, where the hell have you been?”
Henry laughed and shrugged. “Oh, you know…here and there…”

Alec nodded gravely. Every time he tried to picture Henry out and about in the world…he just couldn’t. He didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know what he was doing…and it bothered him. Not being in control. Not knowing everything.

Henry took Alec’s continuous silence as pouting and playfully punched him in the side. “Come on, Ally, it has only been a week”
“Three” Alec corrected him immediately. “It has been three weeks”
“Has it?” Henry frowned. He started counting with his fingers like a third grader that couldn’t quite figure out a basic math problem. “Oh”
“What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?” Alec was expecting a certain kind of answer and was not to be disappointed.
“I don’t know…New Years celebrations in Asia sound like a lot of fun”
Alec huffed. “Asia? I hope you’re kidding me…”
“Yeah…” Henry shrugged. “I am”
But he wasn’t, really.



Christmas at the circus was always a crazy celebration. There were a bunch of completely different cultures clashing against each other. There was more food from various countries than anyone could eat in their whole life time, decorations of all sorts and colours in every room and you could hear the singing of at least five different Christmas Carols in ten different languages all at once.

In short, it was crazy and confusing for an outsider, but comforting and familiar to everyone who grew up surrounded by these kinds of people. There was a smell of exotic herbs and freshly baked cookies coming from the kitchen. Flavio had already spent a lot of time in there yesterday, preparing traditional Italian dishes for the rest of the circus. He had also gotten a hold of some Spanish recipes. Now it was someone else’s turn in the kitchen and Flavio had just shoved a bowl of tiramisu into the fridge before he turned to leave.

Unfortunately, Celio swooped into the kitchen the moment Flavio had stepped through the doorframe, causing them both to freeze for a second because they didn’t both quite fit into the narrow door frame without elbowing each other into their rips.
“Ouch, Celio! Be careful!” Flavio complained, trying to shove himself between his best friend and the door frame.

Celio just laughed for a little while, still not letting his friend pass. His gaze went upwards and a wide grin spread across his face after he was done laughing. Before Flavio could follow and see for himself what had caused that sort of amusement on Celio’s face – not that he ever needed to reason to smile – Celio had already grabbed his friend’s face with both hands. He stole a very quick kiss on the lips and burst out laughing even harder as he finally moved out of the way and into the kitchen.

“Celio!” Flavio made a face, wiping his lips with the back of his hand. “What was that for?”
“Mistletoe” Celio chanted, pointing upwards and therefore revealing the small green branch that had been hanging above their heads. “I’m sorry, it’s the law” He shrugged, still chuckling.
Flavio was not convinced. “I’ve never seen you succumbing to the law before”
Celio danced off into the kitchen to check the fridge for what his best friend had been making all morning.

“Oh, but it’s my New Year’s resolution” He grinned. “And now you better move away from there. Unless you want to be kissed again”
Flavio snorted, eyeing first Celio, then the mistletoe above him.
He didn’t move.

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Feuerchen
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:iconerleuchtete:
Erleuchtete Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
vielen lieben dank für den watch :la:
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:iconfeuerchen:
Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Kein Problem :3
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Kawaii-Nekochara Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014   Digital Artist
Happy B-day~ :iconcakechocplz: :iconsnugplz:
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:iconfeuerchen:
Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :3
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savasrule Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
happy bdayHave your cake and eat it too 
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:iconfeuerchen:
Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :3
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:iconsavasrule:
savasrule Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
npLove 
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CrabbyThe2nd Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014

Happy birthday! :iconcakeplz:

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Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you ;3;
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CrabbyThe2nd Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014

You’re welcome! :D

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