Author: R.Harper PM
Aaron and Christian seem to only have two things in common; movies, and the fact they love each other. Living together is going to prove a challenge, to say the least...Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Aaron D. & Christian M. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 18,505 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 03-19-13 - Published: 01-26-12 - id: 7776550
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Apologies for the lengthy delay! I give you chapter 4 – out of season, I know, but this brings us neatly to the final scene of the film, and the Thanksgiving dinner. Feedback is gratefully appreciated.
N.B: I personally don't hold any great anger or anything toward the LDS Church; I'm just using my artistic license to try to empathise with how Aaron (or someone in his situation) might feel after his rejection and excommunication. I hope this doesn't offend anybody.
N.B. 2: I don't own this film, or the characters, just in case you hadn't guessed.
"You know, it's Thanksgiving next week." Aaron looked over the top of his book at Christian and raised an eyebrow.
"I thought it might be good if we, you know, did something."
Aaron put the book down and sighed.
"Did you have something in mind?"
"Well, Lila does this dinner every year for the staff, right? Julie's coming back for it, and she wants to know if you wanted to join us this year."
Aaron was silent for a moment, jaw moving slightly as he considered it.
"Like your date?" Christian huffed slightly.
"Don't make it sound like I'm parading you. We do live together, and, you know…"
"Alright." Christian looked at him, eyes narrowed slightly.
"Alright? What does that mean?" Aaron sighed, dropping his book on the sofa.
"It means yes. Yes I will be your 'date', or whatever."
Christian grinned, leaning over to place a kiss on Aaron's cheek.
"Awesome, I'll tell Lila."
Aaron looked at the small selection of clothes hanging up in the wardrobe and grimaced. His entire combined clothing consisted of two pairs of jeans, some black trousers and his heavy black boots.
Earlier that day he'd found the white shirts he'd automatically balled up and shoved in the little side pocket of the bag. He'd paused for around ten seconds before he'd ripped them seam from seam, tearing and destroying this part of him that had defined and trapped him for so long.
After breathing in and out deeply, he'd walked to the kitchen and thrown them in the trash can, nodding in a kind of morbidly satisfied way. He'd not told Christian; how would that have sounded? Sorry, I had a freak out over some white cotton? Stupid.
Flicking through Christian's clothes he let his fingers drift over a purple shirt, too demure for the outgoing, shorts wearing guy he knew, and a colour he himself had barely ever worn. He took it off the hanger and smiled when he realised that the tags were still attached, touching the still-bold lettering on the cardboard label.
Grinning at the door, where he could hear Christian sing as he showered, he shucked the t-shirt he was wearing and undid the buttons. Aaron caught sight of his in the mirror and frowned. The marks and mottled patches from the treatment centre had mostly faded now, and the scars from the razor blade stood out pale and raised from the otherwise smooth skin.
Great. Now I look like some depressed teenager.
"Watcha looking at?" Christian said over his shoulder, making Aaron jump.
"You scared me!"
"Sorry. I just caught sight of you wearing just your pants and what can I say? I was captivated." Christian grinned and kissed him on the cheek before searching his catastrophe of a drawer for clean underwear. Aaron grimaced at the socks and pants spilling out onto the floor.
"Are you always this messy?" Christian raised both eyebrows at him, shaking his head in feigned pity.
"Oh, you church boys; always judging us for everything. You think this is messy? You're freaking lucky you weren't around when it was just me and Julie."
Aaron sighed, turning away to hide the smile that was threatening to creep over his face. Christian ghosted his hand over Aaron's ass and pressed his lips to his shoulder, before walking over the wardrobe and rifling through his own, unorganised clothes.
"I borrowed your purple shirt. Do you mind?" Christian shook his head vaguely, and Aaron had the distinct impression that he wasn't even looking at him, and tutted as he slipped the cool fabric over his arms. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and smiled a little; not bad actually…
"There's a jacket on the bed."
"What?" Christian turned round and gestured to the bed deliberately.
"There, on the bed. If you want to wear it."
Aaron buttoned up the shirt and surveyed the item laid out over the covers. A well-cut, dark charcoal grey jacket, too broad across the chest for Christian, and a little too short in the arms.
"Where did you get this?" he asked, a little bubble of something rising in his chest.
"That? I've had it for ages. Doesn't fit."
There, that remark said over casually, and the determination of Christian not to meet his eye, confirmed his suspicions. The fabric smelt vaguely of the wrappings it would have come back from the store in, and Aaron could not believe how…happy he felt over a piece of clothing. It fit him beautifully; framing his sides without clinging, and skimming the length of his arms without being that little too short. This was the kind of tailoring that cost money his father would never have allowed back home; that was money that could go to the church, or others less fortunate. He'd always assumed he meant flashy, nasty clothes and jewellery, but this, this wasn't trashy, or too bright. There wasn't any designer label on it, and it didn't make him feel different, or sinful. Aaron was inclined to think that this was definitely an exception to that rule. He looked over to the man cursing at the state of his wardrobe, struggling to hang up fallen bits of clothing and sorting the shoes stacked up on each other.
He walked up behind Christian and placed his hands on his hips. Christian leant back against his chest and let their cheeks rest together.
"You like it?" Aaron murmured, enjoying the effect his words had. Christian's eyes drifted shut a little, and he shivered, before turning round, mouth pulling up at the sight of him.
"Well, you look hot." Aaron blushed and smiled self deprecatingly.
"It's just a jacket."
"That 'just a jacket' makes me think about doing awful things to you."
"You're such a…horn dog."
"A horn dog? Are we back in the 50's or something?"
"Were you thinking of getting dressed? Or should I go on my own? I'd be at the mercy of your friend…what's his name?"
"I'll get my pants."
Running a little late, Christian and Aaron walked as quickly as they could down toward the restaurant. At the busiest crossing they waited, Christian shifting impatiently from foot to foot as they waited for the light to turn green. Seeing the traffic slow as it approached them, he anticipated the change too soon and went to step out, unaware of the car fast approaching, hoping to just make it through. Aaron saw though, and with his heart in his mouth leant forward to grab onto his arm and pull him back with such strength that he nearly overbalanced. His face darkened, and he was about to say something when the car in question rocketed past, ruffling his hair as it went. He looked at Aaron, pale faced, and his cheeks turned a dull shade of pink.
"Uh, thanks." He said, looking down at the toes of his good shoes like a child. As the lights turned fully Christian shyly reached for his hand, gently twining their fingers together. Aaron's palm twitched, but he fought the urge to pull away, to hide, because you're just a dirty fag, away from the light of God's love. He looked over at Christian, head held high, and tightened his grip.
Julie stepped through the door of the restaurant, sunglasses pushed up on to her head, smiling at the familiar surroundings. She put her case down on the ground and grinned as Lila's voice drifted out from the kitchen.
"If you want to eat tonight, I suggest you continue mashing those potatoes. Idle gossip is best served after the main course."
Lila rolled her eyes at the giggling waiting staff and turned to exit the kitchen, pulling out her BlackBerry as she did. She sent a couple of email replies before she looked up to see Julie stood there, eyebrow raised, a grin on her face.
"Don't I even get a hello?"
"Julie, why on earth are you just stood there? There is cranberry sauce that needs sweetening and serving up, and the Turkey platter could do with a wash. So pardon me if I don't have time for special treatments." As Julie's face fell a little and she hurried to do what she was told, Lila reached out a hand and touched her briefly on the back of the arm.
"It's good to see you."
Julie beamed, and pushed her way through the swinging doors, to the sounds of shrieks of excitement from the others.
Aaron stuck close by Christian as they walked in, heart warming when he spotted Lila nursing a large Gin and Tonic and sitting by the bar.
"Darlings!" She opened her arms wide and walked over to them, holding Aaron tightly and watching Christian over his shoulder. He shrugged an answer to her unspoken question and she nodded, smiling at him.
Julie brought out the wine glasses, three balanced in each hand as she hummed happily to herself. She faltered at the sight of Aaron, stood in quiet conversation with Lila, Christian stood with one hand laid on his lower back, nodding along with something Lila said. Something in her stomach snagged and twisted at the sight of them. Aaron looked at Christian out of the corner of his eye, and there was something so undeniably tender about his expression that Julie looked away. This was one moment definitely not meant to be watched.
Christian broke away from the conversation and made his way over to her. They looked at each other for a second, and all the accusations and apologies and things they never said properly hung there for a minute, until Christian held out his arms. She fell into them and buried her head against his neck, breathing in his smell.
"'m sorry." She whispered, and he hummed, the skin over his Adam's apple vibrating against her forehead.
"'S'alright. Guess your fuck-up kind of helped." She looked up at him hopefully, and he winked down at her.
"Now come on, let's get in there before Andrew throws a fit."
In the kitchen Andrew shamelessly dragged his eyes up and down Aaron's body, and gave Christian a look of envy. As they dished up the greens he looked at him.
"So, what, you're love's young dream now?" Christian elbowed him hard in the side as he reached for the lid to the tureen.
"Does it piss you off that I'm happy?" Andrew snorted, grabbing the salt and pepper from the shelf.
"No, it's your life. It's just weird seeing you being all dreamy and shit. Though it's sure as hell better than watching you mope all over him."
Christian tutted and shook his head, grabbing a towel to pick up the hot bowl, twisting his body automatically as Julie reached for the pot of sauce behind him.
"When you've finished your little audition speech for bitch of the year let me know. In the meantime, I'm kinda hungry, so I'm going to go ahead and take some of this food out. Coming?" He ducked to avoid the towel flicked at his head and laughed as he walked toward the door. Aaron flattened against the wall as he came past, grinning at Christian's "Hot stuff, coming through!".
Andrew swept past with the potatoes, and then all that was left was the turkey, sitting glistening on the platter. He picked it up, surprised at its weight, and turned toward the door. When he'd elbowed it open he stood for a split second, looking at the people sat about the table, squabbling and laughing like a real family. He carried it in and laughed when Christian and Andrew argued about where it should sit, Lila finally telling them both to stop their nonsense and move the vegetables further down. She stood and cleared her throat deliberately, and the chatter fell silent.
"A toast." She said, sincerely. "An affirmation. A prayer of thanks. I want you to know that wherever we find ourselves in this world, whatever our successes and failures, come this time of year you will always have a place at my table…and a place in my heart."
Aaron definitely saw more than one tear and heard more than one sniff as they raised their glasses to her.
And as the turkey was carved, and the vegetables passed around, accompanied by jokes and stories, he couldn't help thinking that, though everything was still a mass of dots, more and more these days they all felt…connected. And it was beautiful. And funny. And good.
A/N: Yes, yes, I know. The last bit wasn't mine. I just loved the lines in the film so much that I couldn't help but steal them.
I know there are imperfections in this chapter, but if you have anything to say about this please let me know!