My Pretty Lady

Chapter One

Chazz kicked at Jimmy's giant over-stuffed frog, his anger forcing the blue monstrosity to fly at an unnatural speed across the room.

Stupid ice.

He stalked over to their beds and sat heavily on the one closest to the door. Bright orange sheets did nothing to help his rage.

Stupid Stranz.

As he sat there, trying to calm himself, he became aware that he'd started to glare at the frog as though it had personally offended him.

Stupid Fairchild.

In a way, it had.

Stupid competition.

How dare it stare at him like that?

Stupid pairs skating.

He pushed himself to his feet once more and stomped over to where the stuffed animal had landed.

Stupid friends.

He picked it up by the scruff of its neck and stared into its unblinking eyes, ready to do some real damage.

Stupid Jimmy.

Chazz dropped to the floor, the frog still in his arms as he felt, for the first time in a long while, a real sense of despair.

It had started out like one of their standard arguments. The same pattern that Chazz had come to expect from the younger skater in their years of rivalry, and most recently, their years of friendship.

It had started out just like it. It followed the pattern.

"Morning, MacElroy," Chazz had said as he sat down next to Jimmy on the sofa. He leaned over, almost too close for comfort in his daily attempt at winding the blonde up.

Jimmy shifted slightly, eyes on the television which he'd been watching ever since he'd awoken, "Shut up, fat-ass," he mumbled, waving a hand in the general direction of his partner.

"They're called muscles, Jimminy," Michaels said as he patted his stomach, almost proud, "Maybe you should think about getting some once you've outgrown your training bra?"

Silence followed as Chazz was effectively ignored.

He quirked an eyebrow as he turned his attention to the news anchor that filled the screen before them, but beyond that rack on her chest, he couldn't seem to pay attention to what she was talking about until--

The brunette had to blink when he saw video footage of Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg affirming their return to pairs figure skating after what Chazz could only assume had been a hefty bribe in the general direction of Commissioner Ebbers.

"Good thing we're beating them again this year," Chazz said finally, if only to break the long stretch of silence that Jimmy always seemed to make when he was angry.



"I said, no."

"No what, Jimmy?"

"We're not beating them at anything, alright?"

Chazz rolled his eyes. He'd never heard such a self-defeating attitude from the effeminate man in all the time he'd known him.

"Don't be stupid, MacElroy."

"I'm not being stupid. We're not beating them--"

"Yes, we are."

Jimmy continued as if he hadn't heard Chazz's insistent tone, "--because we're not competing this year."

The silence seemed to stretch on for an eternity, barely punctuated by the suddenly muffled sounds from the TV.

"......what?" Michaels finally managed, staring holes into the side of his partner's hair.

"We're not competing."

"We are."

"We're not, Chazz, alright?"

"What do you mean, we're not? Why not? Chazz Michael Michaels never backs down from a challenge, and what they just said," he pointed accusingly at the black box from which the Van Waldenbergs had made their announcement, "Sounded like a challenge."

"And we're not taking it!"

Chazz scoffed, "You're high. What've you been taking, Jimmy? I'd like to meet the guy that gave it to you."

"Don't you remember what they did last time? They broke your ankle, Chazz!"

The sex-addict had a bleary moment as he closed his eyes at the memory.

The next time he opened them, he noticed that MacElroy was on his feet.

"Who knows what they could do next? They're not backing down."

"And we're not either!" Michaels stood too, just so that he could match Jimmy.

"We are not skating."




"Not, Chazz! We're not doing it!"

Chazz stared blankly at the stuffed animal in his hands that so reminded him of Jimmy.

All that had been a month ago now, but he could swear that his cheek still smarted where MacElroy had slapped him as he'd stormed out of the flat.

His eyes pricked with what he could only identify as some strange sort of sea water when a bead of it dripped down his nose and past his lips.

If he'd had the energy to stand and take a walk around the flat, he would only have found his own mess.

On that day, Jimmy had left and taken everything he owned with him. The stupid, stuffed frog was the only thing he'd left behind. Chazz guessed it was because the thing had been under one of the beds.

He hugged it tightly now, almost understanding what the blonde had seen in these things as more of that damned sea water dripped down his face.

Chazz hadn't seen Jimmy since he'd left, and it wasn't that he hadn't looked – he had, of course he had. Jimmy was his skating partner, and more importantly, his friend. He'd phoned him, he'd phoned all the people that knew him... Hell, he'd even phoned Katie, and she said that she'd not seen him since they'd broken up.

He'd asked Coach Robert, and he had no idea where Jimmy had gone either.

Chazz wiped at his eyes irritably.

He'd have to see a doctor about this mysterious sea water.