Who: Joel+Christophe Where: Johnson, Barcelona Bar&Grill, Ice Rink What: Date <3 When: Saturday, January 22nd Rating: SFW?
Chris was excited for his first real night out since getting to Dalton. He decided he wanted to look his best for Joel, after all, he was quite the fashion critic. He pulled out his favourite outfit- a gray suit his father had custom-made for him. He styled his hair and sprayed some of his favourite scent. He picked up the roses he’d gotten from Westerville Florists, and headed downstairs with a spring in his step, ready to meet his beautiful boyfriend.
Joel took most of the afternoon getting ready. He went through four outfits before deciding on the one he was now wearing. It was casual but not completely so, no jeans for him. He’d done his makeup as well but kept it pretty natural and actually let his hair go mostly unstyled. All in all he looked very nice and hoped Christophe agreed.
He made his way down the stairs, bag in hand and looked around for his date. Well, now, someone had gotten all dressed up. “Now I feel underdressed...” Joel whispered to his boyfriend in French when he came up behind him.
“Mmm, you never look under dressed to me” Chris replied in French, noting how beautiful his boyfriend was to him. He handed Joel the roses, flashing him a sweet smile. He held his elbow out for Joel to hook his arm onto. “Shall we?” he asked, feeling flirtatious.
He smiled brightly, taking the roses. “Oh, Chris they’re beautiful!” he enthused, bringing them up to his nose to sniff them. “They’re divine, thank you.” Joel looked down at them, “I should maybe go put them in water before we go, yes?”
Chris loved seeing his boyfriend’s eyes when he was happy. They lit up Joel’s face, and lit up Chris’ world. “I’m glad you like them,” he replied, briefly leaning in and kissing his boyfriend’s cheek. He followed Joel upstairs to put the flowers away.
After he put the flowers in water and arranged them nicely. “They’re beautiful, Chris... really, thank you. I love them.” Joel couldn’t stop smiling. Most of the other boys at the school would be completely floored to see him like this, so sweet and open. He was only this way with Christophe. He shifted closer, pressing a kiss to the other boys cheek, hugging him tightly.
Christophe loved how his boyfriend was always so nice and open. He hugged him back, glad to have him in his arms. Chris was also excited for fancy American food, the atmosphere of a date, and the romance. He wondered how he could have made it through this week without dinners like this to look forward to.
“So we’re off now? To the restaurant?”
“Yes, to the restaurant. Where am I taking us?” He grinned. After all, Joel was the one with the car and license. He slipped his arm through Chris’ and began out of the room. “Did you have anywhere in mind?”
“I made reservations. At the Barcelona bar and Grill? In Columbus? I heard good things about it.It had 5 stars,” he answered, feeling stupid for forgetting to tell his date where they were going ahead of time. “Sorry, I forgot to tell you bébe.”
“Well, so long as they have a chicken dish for me, I’ll be mostly content.” He assured him, pressing one final kiss to his cheek as they walked. Once at his car, his really really nice car, Joel opened Chris’ door with a wink. “After you, my dear...”
Chris smiled at his gentleman of a boyfriend. “Merci,” he replied, getting into the lovely car. Joel had never driven him anywhere before. He was not surprised by the stunningly nice, shiny car, the soft seats, the nice smell. “I like your car. It’s so... clean, smooth.”
“Thank you. I quite like her myself.” Joel grinned, sliding into the drivers seat and starting the engine. “Not that I know know much about cars, but she looks nice and she drives well, so...” He shrugged and started out of the parking lot.
“Yes, it looks very nice. I’m rather jealous. I can’t drive until I’m 18,” Chris replied. He was actually really jealous that people here could drive in high school. However, he was glad to have Joel as his personal chauffeur.
“So, tell me about your day.”
“Pretty boring, really.” Joel told him as he drove. “I’m glad exams are finally over though. Everyone’s been so stressed. I’m the diva bitch around here, they don’t get to be too.” he joked a little, looking over at his boyfriend with a grin.
Chris was a little surprised by what Joel had just said. He knew his boyfriend had a big personality, but he would never describe him as a “diva bitch.” Maybe he was understanding the word wrong?
“What do you mean, ‘diva bitch’? You’re too sweet to be anything of the sort!”
“Oh, Chris honey, the me you get to see and the me the rest of the world usually sees... “ he shook his head a little, “I come across a little abrasive. I tend to rub people the wrong way. I’m surprised you don’t remember.” Joel hadn’t exactly been the nicest to him when they first met, though to be fair it was because Chris had accidentally tripped him.
“What are you talking about?” Chris was pretty caught off-guard by this. He didn’t want to date someone who didn’t exist to the rest of the world. He was a little disgusted by the idea that he had been so close to someone who he didn’t really know. He’d never seen Joel be mean or rude to anybody without justification.
He shook it off, hoping that Joel was just being modest... or something. But it was bothering him that Joel had mentioned him remembering something.
“Chris, you accidentally tripped me and I about bit your head off. I think I hated you for two days. You spent every waking moment stalking me and trying to make it up to me. You wore me down. You honestly don’t remember?” He raised a brow, surprised.
“You’re SO exaggerating that one. I did not STALK you. I ran into you a few times here and there, purely coincedentally, and felt bad, because clearly you were having a bad day and I clearly had made it worse! Also, I thought you were cute. I didn’t want you to stay angry.”
He remembered that vividly, and Joel had most definitely made some of that up. He was surprised, and a little disappointed by the amount of tension going on between them. This date was supposed to be romantic.
“You’ve always been able to filter out my crazy and make me calm down. That’s why I’m always so happy with you,” he said softly, “you... balance me. You center me. Make me better than I am on my own.” Joel looked over at his boyfriend then, a soft smile on his face.
Chris was touched by what Joel had said. He felt like he was part of something with Joel. He felt necessary, needed. He hadn’t felt that way with anyone but his sister. He felt like he belonged with Joel. He turned to look at his boyfriend, smiling sweetly, sincerely. They made eye contact, and it was nice. “You should probably pay attention to the road, Joel.”
“I’d rather pay attention to you...” Joel murmured but returned his gaze to the road ahead. “You’re much more interesting than the road. Much more.” A broad grin spread across his lips and he glanced at Chris out of the corner of his eye.
“Yes, but you don’t want us to get into an, em, eh, accident, and we will crash,” he replied, forgetting the word accident for a moment.
“I’m glad you’re good at driving. You’ll have to be driving me everywhere, you know.”
“We’re not going to get into an accident.” He smiled, giving a faint laugh. “And I don’t mind driving you around. Being your chauffeur comes with some very nice perks.”
“Mmm, that it does” Chris replied. He was excited to get driven around by his boyfriend. His boyfriend knew his way around and was sure to be of help. He also had an amazing car, and when he stopped staring at Chris, was a good driver.
He motioned towards Joel’s radio, “May I?”
Joel nodded, “Just as long as I have final veto power.” He knew that some of Chris’ music tastes weren’t exactly his cup of tea. He worried about his boyfriend at times. They were getting closer to Columbus now so at least he wouldn’t have to deal with the radio long.
Chris knew his boyfriend’s music style. He had no problem with plain old pop, so he fumbled around in search for the right station. “Is this okay?” he tried at what seemed like a pretty normal station.
“It’s fine. We’re almost to the restaurant anyway.” Joel smiled over at him. “Does this mean I get to hear you sing along?” Chris singing along to pop music was hilarious, his voice wasn’t bad though. Joel just found it adorable.
“Mmm, maybe on the way back. I don’t know this song.” Chris knew how much Joel liked hearing him sing American music with his accent, failing at the lyrics. Chris didn’t mind that Joel laughed at him because his voice was one of the few things Chris was really secure about.
They listened to the music for a while, until they were at the restaurant. “Well, here we are!”
Joel parked and then turned, looking over at Chris. He smiled at how excited his boyfriend was. It was cute. “Careful, get any more enthusiastic and you might just explode.” he teased.
He leaned over and pressed his lips gently to Christophe’s cheek, “You know... I adore you. I really, really do.” he let his green gaze take the other boy in, memorizing everything even if he knew each line by heart already.
Chris felt beautiful when Joel looked at him like that. He truly felt admired. He gazed back at Joel with a look that showed how much Joel amazed him. “Joel. I adore you more.”
A big grin spread over Joel’s face when Chris spoke to him in French. He loved hearing his boyfriend speak to him in his native language. It was more than a little sexy. He bit his bottom lip, worrying it a little, “I love it when you speak French...”
Chris began to get lost in Joel’s eyes, the way he was looking at Chris. After a few seconds, he realized they were probably keeping the reservation waiting.
“We should go inside, you know, reservation and all,” he nodded in the direction of the restaurant, reminding Joel that they were actually going somewhere, not just sitting there all night.
“Oh, right... right.” He said softly but instead of pulling away or moving to get out of the car, Joel leaned in and kissed him adoringly.
Christophe kissed his boyfriend back briefly, but he was eager to get inside and begin the romantic evening. He got out of the car and ran around before his boyfriend could get up, just so he could get the door for him. He shot Joel a sweet, flirtatious smile, and they walked inside together.
“Table for two under Cottier?”
Joel grinned as Chris dashed around and opened his door. He laughed, slipping out and kissing him once more. “You’re sweet, now let’s go.”
Once inside, Joel took up his space beside Chris, snuggled into his side happily. The hostess didn’t seem to notice or care, however. She grinned at Chris and looked him up and down once approvingly.
“Cottier? Right this way!” She smiled, looking only at Christophe. “Cottier, that’s French. Isn’t it? Are you French? I love your accent...” The girl rambled on. Joel tensed, walking closer to his boyfriend.
Chris was flattered by the hostess’ obvious flirting, “I’m from Switzerland, I just moved here a week ago,” he answered, giving his boyfriend a smile. The oblivious hostess didn’t even notice when he grabbed his boyfriend’s hand.
“Wow! Switzerland! It must be beautiful there. I’d love to go. What brings you here?”
“I find that there are some things here that are a little bit more beautiful,” Chris looked into Joel’s eyes, letting him know that he was referring to the other boy. The dimwitted hostess, however, seemed to think he was flirting back at her.
“That is so sweet. Well here’s your table. It was so nice to meet you,” she said, shooting Chris a flirtatious look, handing the boys their menus. “Make sure to say hi on your way out!” She finished with a wink.
“I’m this close to going up there and giving her a piece of my mind.” Joel growled angrily, holding up his hand to show how close he was. His fingers were almost touching and he was more than a little tense. “She’s either mentally challenged or blind. Didn’t she see we’re together?” he was running off on a rant now as he settled into his seat. “I should talk to the manager...”
“Joel!” Chris interjected, “Calm down! She’s just a little... slow, I guess. No need to make a big deal out of it. No harm in a little one-sided flirting. She’s not doing anything wrong.” Chris couldn’t stand it when his boyfriend got like that. Why can’t he just let people alone sometimes, enjoy the night? He had to make drama out of everything.
Joel sighed heavily, still fuming, but he knew enough to keep it to himself. “Right... you’re right. She’s just slower than molasses in January.” he rolled his eyes a little and sighed again. He picked up his menu and peered over it at his boyfriend. “I just... don’t like it when people think it’s okay to flirt with you in front of me.”
“She clearly didn’t think that she was in front of, well, you.” Chris knew his boyfriend was being irrational. He really needed to learn how to cut people slack, and give people space to mess up every once in a while. However, Chris appreciated that Joel didn’t keep quiet about the way he felt. He was glad that Joel was so open. “Anyways, it’s not like it happens often. Even if it did, I only flirt back with you.”
Joel reached across the table for his boyfriends hand, smiling softly. “You always know what to say. How to calm me down.” His fingertips gently brushed over the back of Chris’ hand as he spoke. “You know I’m a drama queen. I make a big deal out of even the little things because you mean so much to me. I try not to, I just fail, apparently. Fail with flying colors.”
“You do that because of me? You don’t have to do that for me! I know how to defend myself.” Chris began to actually get annoyed, Joel couldn’t keep trying to take care of Chris. It was a little condescending. He picked up his menu, desperate to change the topic.
“Mmmm, this all looks delicious.”
“Baby, why are you getting so upset?” Joel frowned. He wasn’t going to just let it go. He hated that Chris always back-peddled away from things. He wanted to talk to him and work it out. “I don’t think you can’t defend yourself. I lo- I really care about you, I’m not allowed to look out for you?” Red flushed his face immediately, his skin growing hot. He’d almost slipped up.
Fortunately, Chris missed Joel’s slip up. Chris was a little annoyed that Joel had asked him why he was getting so upset, when he hadn’t overreacted nearly as much as Joel did. “I don’t need looking out for, that’s all. I don’t want a mother, I want a boyfriend.” He smiled at his boyfriend, hoping this was all over.
He threaded his fingers through Chris’, smiling softly. He’d let it go. There was no sense in fighting over something so silly. “You have a boyfriend. A boyfriend who cares about you a lot.” Joel squeezed his hand, holding his gaze a moment longer.
“So you never really told me what I missed. While we were apart. What did you do? I feel like I have so much to catch up on.” He smiled, glancing at his menu.
Chris did not want to go there. Those were some of the worst months of his life. Even when they were still together, Chris hadn’t been completely honest about how he was treated in his old town. He was hated, flat out gay-bashed. It was horrible going through that without Joel to lean on. It had kept getting worse and worse. That was why he was at Dalton to begin with. He didn’t want Joel to act the way he just had, getting all worried and defensive for Chris. He decided to hide what he didn’t want Joel to know and focus on the positive.
“Oh, you know, nothing really. I did a lot of skating, I won an award. Gabrielle and I spent a lot of time together. This menu looks delicious, I don’t know what to choose!”
Joel frowned. He knew Chris was hiding something from him and that was upsetting. “You’ll have to show me this award...” He looked over the menu then, “Well, I’m getting the chicken.”
“I think I’ll go with the salad. I didn’t bring the award with me to Dalton. It was for a routine I did in a competition against parts of France, Switzerland, Germany, that whole area. I was one of the only people from my area to get to compete. I came in second.” Chris knew he was bragging, but this was something he was really proud of. After he came out he stopped getting recommended or praised for anything else. His choir teacher stopped giving him solos, and his loss in confidence made him loose some of his dancing talent. He really missed ice skating. It was where he truly felt proud of himself.
The waitress came then, and Chris made his order, glad it was not the same woman who had greeted them at the door.
Joel smiled at the waitress, putting in his order as well. He was going to try and be on his best behavior the rest of the night. For Christophe.
“You got silver?! I’m so proud of you baby!” Joel enthused once the woman had gone, continuing their conversation. He squeezed his hand tightly, his green eyes bright with happiness.
Hearing Chris talk about skating was adorable. It was obvious the other boy loved it. Maybe it was a good thing Joel had gone to the local rink and talked someone into letting them have the ice for a while that night. He had a key and had already stowed Chris’ skates in the back of his car. He was sneaky.
Chris was proud of Joel for being so great to the waitress. He was glad that what he’d said earlier had made an impact. He looked into his boyfriend’s loving eyes. He was happy to be there with the other boy.
“So what about you? What happened here before I came?”
* * *
Joel set the tip down onto their table before he slipped his purse back up onto his shoulder. He smiled at Chris, “Ready to go? I have a little surprise for you.” He offered his hand to the other boy, wiggling his fingers a bit. He grinned, a glint in his eyes, he was obviously up to something.
They stood up and began to walk out. “Surprise?” Chris was excited. He loved surprises, big, romantic gestures, the whole idea just made him too excited for words. Tonight was going so amazingly. “Really?” He leaned in to kiss his boyfriend. He put his arms on the other boy’s waist and let himself not care who saw. It then occurred to him that the dimwitted hostess was there, and she had asked him to say hi before leaving. He stopped kissing his wonderful boyfriend to turn to her and say “Hi there. Have a nice night!” with a cute smile on his face. He turned back to his boyfriend and grinned.
“Yes, really. It’s a surprise though, so don’t try and get it out of me. Just sit back and enjoy.” He couldn’t help but smile broadly at the look on the girls face when Chris kissed him.
“Why, Chris, are you sure you want to kiss me here? You just crushed that poor girls hopes and dreams.” He teased with a grin, leaning in to kiss him once more.
“Mmm, I want to kiss you everywhere,” Chris answered. He felt like he was being a little mean to the hostess, but he honestly hadn’t meant to at first, and after all, it’s not like he didn’t give her any hints earlier on.
They walked out of the restaurant and into the car, off to their surprise destination. Chris’ mind was racing with the different things it could be. Not wanting to spoil it for himself, he kept them all quiet.
Joel drove until they were back in Westerville but instead of heading back towards Dalton, he turned the opposite direction. It wasn’t really obvious where they were going until he pulled into the parking lot. The sign sort of gave it away. He looked over at his boyfriend as he parked, “Ta da!”
Chris’ eyes lit up. They felt like they had grown to Bambi-size. His grin was bigger than his face. He flung the door open hopped outside and began jumping up and down. “JOEL YOU’RE THE BEST BOYFRIEND EVER!!!” he exclaimed, so excited he was speaking French.
Joel couldn’t help but laugh soundly as he climbed out of the car, watching his boyfriend. He went to the trunk and pulled out the other boys skate bag, holding it up in the air triumphantly. “And look what I brought!”
“You...but...how???” Chris wondered. Did Joel break into his room? He was so happy to see his skates there, to be going to the rink. He felt like a kid after being told he could go to Disney World.
“LET’S GO IN!” He eagerly grabbed his bag from Joel.
“Baby, you’ve got to calm down.” Joel laughed, moving off with him. “You’re going to explode.”
He pulled the key out of his pocket, opening the front door. Quickly, he moved over to the keypad, entering the digits so the alarm wouldn’t go off. It was amazing what he could accomplish when he put his mind to it. Getting them the entire rink to themselves, after hours.
“Joel... What are you doing? Are we breaking in?” Chris began to worry. Why would a rink be open this late anyways?
“We’re not breaking in.” Joel rolled his eyes at his boyfriend, “Your boyfriend just happens to be quite the persuader. I got us the rink to ourselves tonight, as long as we like. Or, well, until we have to be home for curfew.”
“You got the whole rink just for us? Oh my god, Joel... that’s amazing.”
Chris could not believe what was happening. An entire ice rink for just the two of them. He was in awe. He turned to kiss his boyfriend wildly, passionately. “Ohmigod, Joel, I can show you my routines and everything!”
“That’s what I was hoping for.” Joel told him, hugging his boyfriend tightly. He returned the kiss eagerly, pressing close. “That and just getting to be close to you, skating...”
“Mmm, I can teach you some moves. We can dance together on the ice...” Chris’ mind trailed off thinking about the different things. He was so excited, he ran inside, flipped on the lights, and exclaimed “Oh Joel it’s wonderful!” He took his jacket off, did a few quick stretches, and began to lace up his shoes.
Joel went behind the desk, finding himself a pair of skates that would fit before joining his boyfriend. “Nothing too fancy, I only have rental skates. I know enough from talking to you that I know they aren’t nearly sharp enough to do much of anything.”
“They’re fine. Let’s go!” He exclaimed, planting a kiss on his boyfriend’s cheek. He walked onto the ice and suddenly felt freer, better. He felt like he was back where he was meant to be. He glided along the smooth ice, remembering his last time he figure skated. It was wonderful. He began spinning and jumping, until he got around the rink, back to Joel. He smiled at his boyfriend “You coming?”
Joel laughed, “Whoa there Speed Racer, I’m not quite as quick about all this as you. Give me a minute.” He was finishing lacing up his skates. He stood and began towards the ice, “Promise you’ll catch me if I start to fall? I haven’t been ice skating in a long time.”
“I promise,” Chris answered matter-of-fact-ly. “We can start off slow,” he assured. Chris was excited to hold his boyfriend’s hand and glide along the ice with him. He had never told anyone, but often when he was practicing, he imagined Joel there skating with him. He knew Joel wasn’t quite the skater, but that didn’t matter to him.
He stepped onto the ice and skated over to his boyfriend. So he might have been exaggerating. He wasn’t that bad on the ice, in fact, he’d done quite a bit of it when he was little. He liked going fast and twirling around like a ballerina. He just wanted Chris to hold him close. “Slow and steady...”
Chris put his arms around the other boy. He guided him along the ice. He loved how their bodies were in perfect synchronization. He loved guiding him, just letting them go along the ice together. He was so glad that there was nobody else in the rink. They could just glide. It was beautiful.
“Are you ready to go on your own?” he checked, making sure not to let go too early. He slid his arms away, letting Joel free, and held his boyfriend’s hand, shooting him a sweet smile.
“Ready? Or willing?” Joel asked with a grin. “Because if I’m honest, I’d rather stay with your arms around me..” he told him, skating closer again.
He squeezed his boyfriend’s hand, “mmm, maybe later. You have to see my latest routine!” He put his other hand in Joel’s and skated backwards holding both of his hands. “Is there any way to get music in here?”
“Uhh, yeah but I think I’d have to go put it on.” He nodded, smiling at his boyfriend. Joel skated closer, pulling Christophe in. “You can show me in a bit... right now...” He put Chris’ hands on his hips, draping his arms around his neck. “I like this...”
Chris put his arms back around Joel, figuring that it was the least he could do, Joel had gotten him an ice rink, after all. Chris looked up at the clock. They only had an hour left before curfew. They had to make the most of it. He let himself relax and be with Joel for the moment, but he wanted to move on, to dance.
After a few minutes passed, Chris let go of his boyfriend. He held the other boy’s hand and spun under his arm a few times. “I want to dance with you,” he told Joel.
Joel laughed, actually almost giggled at that, “Dance with me? Okay...” He grinned, letting Chris lead him on the ice. He’d do just about anything for the other boy. So long as he was happy and smiling.
Chris put one arm around Joel and with the other he held Joel’s hand, as though he were about to tango with him. He lead them along the ice, spinning occasionally. “We need music.” He proclaimed, heading towards the rink’s exit.
“Okay, but come right back.” Joel grinned, waiting on the ice for his boyfriend to return. He skated around in small circles, occupying himself. He hummed softly, doing a little twirl and then giggling. He’d forgotten how much fun being with Chris could be.
Chris fumbled around with music before finding a few songs he recognized to turn on. He went back to his boyfriend, who was looking absolutely adorable in his opinion, twirling and giggling on the ice. “Can I have this dance?” he asked, gliding over and extending his arm out.
“You may indeed.” Joel grinned, slipping his hand into Chris’. He smiled and skated over close to him. “My handsome, wonderful, intelligent, sweet boyfriend...” He said, kissing him gently.
So they danced on the ice. Chris lead them and every so often he threw in a little show-offish move like a twirl in the air or a jump or leap. After a while he leaned in and put his arms around Joel. He kissed the other boy in the middle of the rink for a good few minutes. He began to spin slowly with his boyfriend, keeping their lips locked. “Mmm, you’re so lovely,” he told the other boy, tilting his head in.
Joel found his hands moving up Chris’ back as they kissed. One stayed near his shoulder, holding him close, while the other wound it’s way into the other boys thick hair. He groaned softly against his lips, enjoying the intimate moment on the ice. “Chris, I... mm... I love y-- this. I love being with you.” he caught himself just in the nick of time.
That time, Chris caught it. He realized what Joel was about to say and it freaked him out. He was just a sophomore in high school, he didn’t want to deal with love, but as always, Chris avoided issues like that. He wasn’t going to let this one little slip-up ruin one of the best nights of his life. After all, Joel had caught it. He made sure not to show a look of panic on his face and did what he always did when he was freaked out: he skated.
“Let me show you my routine,” Chris eagerly suggested.
“Okay...” Joel said with a smile, happy that Chris didn’t seem to have noticed his little slip up. He leaned in, kissing him once again before pulling away. “Show me what you’ve got.” He grinned, skating away towards the boards.
Chris took a moment to get ready. He was so excited for this, he thought it would be months before he got to do a routine again. He got into the middle of the ice and began.
All of a sudden he felt like he was back home, but he felt better, more confident. He felt like he was better than them. He was talented, skating on the ice, doing what he did best, flying and jumping and spinning. He felt graceful and beautiful. He’d done this before, but this time he had a boyfriend there, someone watching him proudly, not angrily. Someone who wasn’t disgusted, but happy. He was eternally and unbelievably grateful. He moved boldly, beautifully, for Joel.
When his routine came to it’s end, he skated smoothly over to Joel. He put his arms on the board behind the other boy, and filled with adrenaline, he kissed his boyfriend sweetly, passionately.
“Did you like it?” Chris asked, very well knowing the answer, “It was inspired by you.”
Joel watched in awe. Christophe was so graceful and lyrical on the ice. It was beautiful. He couldn’t tear his eyes away, watching each movement. Each jump and spin, transfixed. When the other boy skated over to him at the end he was smiling brightly.
He returned the kiss passionately, fingers running up Chris’ back as he did. He moved with him when he pulled back, not wanting the kiss to end. He was breathless, eyes heavy. “Mmm... it was beautiful... now kiss me again.”
Chris did as he was told, and kissed his boyfriend again... and again. They kissed there for a few minutes before Chris looked back up at the clock. “We should probably leave in a few minutes if we want to make curfew,” he sadly reminded Joel, “What would you like to do in the meantime?” Chris had many ideas of what to do, he could do another routine, they could just hold hands and skate in circles, they could dance more. He wanted to do all of that. He wanted this evening to never end.
“Why don’t we leave now, head back to Dalton, and take a walk on campus. Then maybe we can go to one of our rooms...” Joel let his voice trail off. Surely Chris could fill in the blanks. He was a smart guy.
Chris wasn’t nuts about that idea. The first part of it, anyways. He wanted to stay on the ice, but not wanting to shoot his boyfriend down he suggested “Why don’t we take a walk here, on the ice? Then maybe we can go straight to my room when we get back...”
Joel started moving across the ice, holding Chris’ hand. He smiled, snuggling close. “What are we going to do when we get back to your room?” he smirked, looking into his eyes, “because I have a few ideas.”
“Mmm, I have a few ideas, too.” Chris knew they were both thinking the same thing, and he wasn’t one for sexy talk, so he moved on to “Joel, I am so thankful for you and everything you do. You are amazing. I really mean that.”
Joel looked up and into his eyes, smiling softly. “Where’s this coming from? Not that I’m not grateful, I am, I just,” his brows knit a little as he looked his boyfriend over, “Chris, baby, is there something you’re not telling me? Anything... you know you can talk to me, right?” Joel raised a hand, cupping his boyfriends cheek gently, green eyes soft and a little concerned.
Chris was a little caught off-guard by his boyfriend’s sudden change in the way he was acting. He hadn’t really meant anything by what he said, just that he was glad he had a boyfriend there with him. He was big on expressing his feelings. “I never hide things from you, bébe. I know you’re here for me. I know how you feel about me. I trust you, I promise.” Chris was lying about the hiding, but not about the trusting. There was really only one thing that Chris had to hide, and it was something that was already over. It was something that had happened a while ago, that he wanted to forget. That he was finally able to forget with Joel.
Joel snuggled close, sighing. He draped his arms over the other boys shoulders, looking into his eyes. “Just promise me that we’ll always be honest with each other, okay? I don’t want secrets.”
Chris wasn’t sure he could promise that. Full disclosure, complete honesty, that was such a big commitment. Chris needed to get a chance to grow on his own. He couldn’t live his entire high school life telling Joel everything that he did. Again, he started feeling like Joel was his mother, like he had to keep checking in with her whenever he did anything. Like he needed Joel’s approval or it was against some sort of rules. He couldn’t just avoid this question. He couldn’t just move on to the next topic. He most definitely couldn’t lie. He desperately tried to find a way around this without looking like he was. He smiled, looked into his boyfriend’s eyes lovingly, and said “Joel, I care about you, and I don’t want to ever hide anything with you. I don’t want you to ever worry that I am. And, in return, I hope that you will always be truthful with me.”
He looked him over as he spoke, sighing heavily. That hadn’t exactly been the answer he’d been hoping for. Joel wasn’t trying to control him or be his mother. He just wanted to be open. He knew that secrets and lying were no way to go about having a relationship. He also felt that Chris was still hiding something from him and that was upsetting. Since when did his boyfriend skirt around questions like that? His disappointment must have been apparent in his face. “Right...” Joel frowned more, looking away, down at the ice. Was honesty and openness really so much to ask?
“Joel, I meant that. I don’t want to ever have to hide anything from you. I want you to know everything about me. I don’t want to lie to you. You just need to trust that and believe that.”
Chris was beginning to get a little annoyed that his boyfriend clearly didn’t trust him. He understood that Joel had trust and abandonment issues, but Chris needed his privacy. He couldn’t let anybody know about the lows he reached before, in Switzerland. It was the only thing he’d ever kept from Gabrielle in his entire life.
“I know you did, and I trust you. I really do. It’s just... it’s hard to believe what you’re saying when I look in your eyes and I see so much pain there.” He frowned deeply, “I brought up our time apart and you looked like you wanted to crawl under a rock. I don’t know what happened to you back home, but I wish you could tell me.” Joel sighed heavily, running a hand up and down Chris’ arm. “I’m not going to push you though, God knows that doesn’t work... “
“Joel, it’s not that it’s something I don’t trust you with, it’s just not something I want to think about, or I want you to think about. That’s one of the reason’s I’m so thankful for you. You make me forget about it. You make me not worry about it. When I think about it, when I’m reminded of it, I really do want to crawl under a rock. I’m not trying to hide it from you any more than I’m trying to hide it from myself. Thank you for not pushing it. You’re wonderful.” He kissed his boyfriend, trying to show how he meant it, he really felt it.
“Now let’s go, we want to make sure we get back before curfew. Maybe after, we can... you know...” He smiled at the other boy.
Joel gently returned the kiss, frowning when he heard how upset this was making Chris. Whatever had happened to him must have been awful. That only made him want to hug him and know even more. “I just hope some day you can tell me... “
“We’ll make it back before curfew. I’m driving.” He grinned a little then, leaning in to kiss him once again. “I know you don’t think so, but you’re amazing Chris. You’re handsome and talented and so sweet. I’m so happy I have you back.”
“You’re more amazing” Chris replied, kissing his boyfriend’s cheek,“and more handsome,” he kissed the other cheek. “Now let’s go.” He put one arm around his boyfriend’s waist, and glided with him out of the rink.
** Note: almost anything Christophe says in italics is actually in French.