Title: Bobby's Valentine
Summary: Bobby wants Jack to know how much he cares. Only problem is, Bobby doesn't do romance.
Last Warning: Slash pairing of Bobby/Jack
In hindsight, Bobby should have realized that asking Angel what chicks like for Valentine's Day probably wasn't the most subtle way of asking for help. Angel had stared in disbelief at Bobby for a full minute before laughing hysterically, bent over, tears rolling down his cheeks.
Bobby had huffed in impatience then snarled at Angel as he left the room. He'd still been fuming on the couch when Angel stopped by later to see if he was still looking for ideas. Pride shone for a bright moment, but then Bobby realized that pride wouldn't help him figure out what to do for Jack on Valentine's Day.
Angel had listened as Bobby spoke in hushed whispers, afraid that someone walking by might overhear. Angel smiled as he listened, knowing that Bobby had no intention of buying a girl something, that the gift would indeed be for Jack. He laughed on the inside. Bobby could be so clueless sometimes. He honestly thought the rest of them couldn't see it.
Jack walked through the door, head bopping to the tune coming out of his battered c.d player. He toed his shoes off, then went into the kitchen to forage for a snack before dinner. As he raided the fridge, he heard whispers coming from the living room.
His ears peaked; he crept silently to the edge of the doorway. He grinned. He was real good at sneaking. His grin faded at that thought, a not so fond memory coming to the front of his mind. He learned awful early that being quiet could keep you out of sight and out of danger. He leaned closer and listened hard.
After a moment of not really hearing much, he poked his head around the corner. To his surprise he saw Bobby and Angel with their heads close together, speaking fast. He watched as Bobby gestured with his hands and Angel laughed, his head thrown back in mirth. He swallowed a sudden lump in his throat. He wasn't sure why, but seeing the two of them in deep conversation made him feel lonely.
He went back to the counter, grabbed his sandwich and noisily made his way back to the living room. Angel and Bobby jumped back at Jack's appearance. Bobby started rooting around for his remote while Angel nodded at Jack.
Jack said nothing, his heart heavy as he walked upstairs. Bobby looked at Angel, a confused frown on his face. Angel shook his head.
"Man, if you can't figure that out, there's no fuckin' help for either of you."
Bobby blinked, then flushed. "What are you…I told you it's for this girl I met the other week at that party..." he watched as Angel raised an eyebrow at him.
He sighed. "Ok, fuck it…fine then. It's for Jack. Are you happy now?" Angel laughed.
Bobby glared at Angel. "You gonna help me or not asshole?"
Angel laughed harder. "I told you what to do. You just gotta pick one that works for you and for Jackie. The hardest part is doing it without being all flowery and girly."
"What if flowery shit is what he wants?" Bobby said with a worried look on his face.
Angel slapped him on the shoulder and said, 'It's up to you to figure it man". He chuckled at the look on Bobby's face as he strolled out of the living room. Bobby groaned and dropped his head in his hands. He was so screwed.
Jack lay on his bed, staring moodily up at the ceiling. He could still see the guilty looks on both of their faces when he walked into the room. He wondered what they had been talking to each other about, what was so important that they felt they had to whisper. He despised whispering. Whispers meant that you weren't good enough to hear what they were talking about. Whispers meant that someone didn't want you to know they were laughing at you. He swallowed his anger as he rolled over and grabbed his biggest sweater. He needed to smoke in silence.
The next week went by fairly quickly. Jack avoided both Bobby and Angel, something that resulted in Evelyn pulling Bobby off to the side to ask him what on earth they'd done to Jack now. Bobby had claimed innocence. Evelyn eyed him, a motherly glare of concern on her face. She just knew that Bobby had something to do with why Jack had stopped speaking to everyone. Not one word from her had made him look her in the eye.
Jack retreated from dinner that night like a silent ghost, gliding through the house, staring at his feet the whole while. She warned Bobby to figure out what was wrong and to find out soon. She was sure that Bobby could help. He always did. Bobby agreed, and then saluted Evelyn as he marched out of the kitchen. She rolled her eyes as he marched, then asked Angel to help with the dishes.
Bobby browsed the card racks at the Hallmark in the mall. He glared at anyone who dared look at him as he picked up card after card. He growled in annoyance as he read through each one. Shit! They were all getting progressively sappier. 'Who the fuck gets paid to write this shit?' he wondered.
Bobby felt very, very out of place in the store. He grabbed one that didn't look too syrupy and made a beeline for the cash register. The clerk smirked at him as he ran the card through.
Bobby leaned closer to the clerk and spoke in a dark whisper. "Somethin' funny card-boy?" The clerk paled noticeably as he shook his head 'no'.
"That's what I thought" Bobby said as he grabbed the small plastic bag, card inside. He booked it out of the store in case the cashier took it personally and called the cops.
He wandered around the mall for awhile, window shopping for ideas. He went into a Laura Secord shop and grimaced at the prices. Unfuckinbelievable. He couldn't imagine spending that kind of money on chocolates. Angel's words echoed in his head. He sighed in defeat and headed over to one of the displays. He picked one of the assorted boxes and tried not to blush under the scrutiny of the cash girl.
She dropped a wink at him as she asked if he wanted the box gift wrapped. He blinked and mumbled "Sure", slightly alarmed by her flirty behavior. Couldn't she tell he was buying it for someone?
He hurried out of the store, wanting to put as much distance between himself and the girl working the till. He trudged to his car, mentally urging the slow-moving masses to hurry the hell up. He still needed to make a few stops. He battled his way through the crowd in the flower shop, a bit stunned at how many men were in the store.
'Guess it's been awhile since I bothered to buy somethin' for a girl' he thought, laughing softly as he finally got to the front counter.
He looked at the ready made arrangements, a lost look on his face. "Shit, I didn't know there were so many types" he said to no one in particular.
A guy besides him laughed lightly and nudged his shoulder. Bobby frowned at him. The guy looked away and whistled as he waited in line. He looked down at the small, printed chart while waiting for the clerk to return to the front. His brow furrowed deeper as he read the symbolism behind each flower. It was all so overwhelming.
He ran a finger down the chart, murmuring to himself. 'Red roses: I love you, unconscious beauty. White roses: spiritual love, purity. Yellow roses: joy, gladness. Orange roses: fascinated, enthusiastic. Pink roses: grace, gentility'. He groaned in frustration. So which one was the right one?
He finally picked one, a bouquet called Rainbow Mix. It had a mixture of all the types of roses featured in the chart. It was beautiful, even Bobby could see that. He arranged with the florist to have it ready for the 14th. One day to go. Bobby sighed. The more he thought about this, the more nervous he got.
Jack came home on the afternoon of the 14th with a sad face. He hated this time of year more than Christmas or his birthday. 'What a false holiday' he snarled as he kicked his shoes against the wall.
"Jackie? Is that you" Evelyn called from the kitchen.
Jack looked to the kitchen with a guilty face. He hadn't meant to slam the door or his shoes so loudly.
"Sorry Ma" he called back as he pushed his shoes off to the side.
She watched him come into the kitchen. He had been slowly coming out of his silence the past day or so. She sat him down and handed him a sandwich. He said thanks softly and ate it, avoiding her eyes. Clearly, Bobby hadn't spoken to him yet.
Jack went upstairs shortly after he finished eating. Evelyn stood with her back to the counter, wondering when Bobby would come to his senses. She'd never seen two boys so frightened to admit what they meant to each other.
At that moment, Bobby walked through the door, two white bags trailing behind him. He glanced up at Evelyn and gave her a sheepish grin.
"Bobby Mercer. Would you care to tell me where you've been the past two days? And would it have anything to do with Jack sulking in his room?"
Bobby had the decency to look embarrassed. "I…uh wanted to surprise Jack with some umm stuff for Valentine's Day. I know he doesn't usually do anything, and I thought…" he said, and as Evelyn watched him shuffle his feet, she felt a wave of love for her oldest boy.
'He wants to please Jack so much', she thought, a smile on her face. "He's upstairs, Bobby."
Bobby grinned at her and turned towards the stairs. He stopped, turned around and faced Evelyn. "Thanks, Ma". She nodded and scooped up her knitting from its basket. Bobby smiled and headed up the stairs.
As he neared the top, he could hear music drifting from Jack's room. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door, before he lost his nerve. The music played on, so Bobby pushed the door open and stopped in the doorway, waiting for Jack to notice him.
After a moment or so, Jack looked up from his guitar and saw Bobby standing there, looking awkward.
"Hey, Jack." Jack stared at him. He'd never seen Bobby look so anxious before.
Bobby stepped into the room and set his bags down. He watched as Jack set his guitar beside him on the bed. He took another deep breath, and then decided it was now or never.
"Uh…Jack. I got this for you" he held out one of the white bags. Jack took it and glanced over at Bobby with a curious expression. Bobby nodded at the bag. Jack opened it slowly.
Inside was a large assorted box of chocolates. He grinned. Everyone knew what a chocolate freak he was. Beside the chocolates was a smaller box. He lifted it out and pried the lid back. He laughed when he saw the inside. On the little bed, was a keychain, a mini Marlboro ashtray.
"You're always huntin' for a safe place to pitch your smokes so y'know" Bobby said nervously.
Jack grinned, "I like it Bobby, thanks. But what for?"
Bobby flushed. "Uh check the card, it's in the bottom" He prayed Jack would understand.
'Oh please let him take it the right way' he thought.
Jack dug through the bag till he found the red envelope. Jack pulled the card out of the envelope with shaking fingers. He read it slowly. The outside had a cat and dog hugging. The inside read 'In our own weird way, we work. Happy Valentine's Day'. Jack looked up at Bobby with a grin.
"Well, you know, sappy ain't really my thing Jackie" Bobby said, kicking at the floor.
Jack got up off the bed. "But why though? Why'd you bring me this?"
Bobby glanced at Jack, mildly surprised. "It's Valentine's Day Jackie. This is what people do".
Jack hugged Bobby then, crushing them together. Through a harsh whisper, Jack said "No one ever gave me anything for Valentine's before Bobby."
Bobby closed his eyes. He figured as much. He pulled back a bit. "I got somethin' else for you ok?"
Jack looked surprised. "More?" he said. Bobby nodded. He reached down for the remaining white bag.
"I…here" he said as he thrust the bag at Jack. Jack opened this one and gasped as he saw the bouquet of roses. He pulled the bag down and lifted the arrangement out.
"Oh God, Bobby, this is too much." Bobby shook his head.
"Jack, you are worth every bit of this. You give yourself far too little credit." Bobby said with a sigh.
Jack shook his head. "I…no one has ever done this for me before."
Bobby hugged Jack close to him again. "If it takes me twenty years to prove that you're worth it, then I'll spend the next twenty years of my life showing you each and every damn day that I love you."
Jack grinned as they held each other. "Maybe there's more to this holiday then I thought" Jack said, his face glowing with pleasure.
Bobby smiled. 'Ha!' he thought victoriously. 'And Angel thought I wouldn't be able to tell Jack'.
They kissed softly then, a slow, gentle kiss that left them both craving more. With his foot, Bobby pushed the door closed, then moved with Jack towards the bed.
In the hallway, Angel handed Evelyn a five dollar bill with a disgruntled sigh. She winked at him and headed downstairs. He grumbled to himself about how he really ought to know better than to take a bet with Evelyn when it came to matters of the heart.