Jimmy sighed as he sat in the passenger seat of the car, settling in with his hair crunched against the headrest. He was absolutely exhausted, and couldn't wait to get home. Lucky for him, he didn't have to drive, and after a few seconds Chazz sat down in the driver's seat. Jimmy didn't know how he still had the energy. The drive back would be at least an hour, and the press conference had been pretty long. Unfortunately for Jimmy and Chazz, they had pretty much been the center of it; the reporters only focused on their reactions to Fairchild possibly on her way out of jail. Chazz didn't really care, and Jimmy was just annoyed, but by the end they felt overworked and tired.
"Gonna make it?" Chazz asked as he messed with the radio.
Jimmy groaned and nodded. "Yea, I guess. I'm tired."
"I'll drive fast!"
Jimmy made a face. "Drive careful. I'd rather be dead tired than dead."
Chazz just laughed, starting the car. "All right. So that was dumb."
"Yea, it was. I wish we didn't have to come out here. But…how are you doing?"
Chazz shrugged. "Fine? As usual."
"Well, because I dodged the question again," Jimmy said, biting his lip. As usual, the two men had been asked about their relationship, and the subject of homosexuality came up. And of course, Jimmy was always the one most pressed for an answer. Chazz was good at ignoring it or making a sexual comment that made no sense and allowed him to get away while the reporters scratched their heads. But Jimmy was a little more unfortunate.
"I know you did," Chazz replied, driving slowly. There was some traffic leaving Denver, as usual.
"It didn't have any place! I mean, it was all about Fairchild, and what her plans are – she can't skate again, but it…and then they asked me about Katie, and why we were no longer together and…what does being gay have to do with Fairchild!" Jimmy was talking all too quickly, because he felt a little guilty.
The truth was, Jimmy and Chazz had been together for months. It had all happened sort of quickly, and it was confusing, and it hurt like hell at first, when Jimmy wanted Chazz so, so badly. He had thought there was no chance. But somehow, as luck would have it, Chazz was the one to start the actual advances, and Jimmy would never forget those fuzzy happy memories. It was the little things, like Chazz telling him how good he looked, Chazz touching him when he didn't need to, Chazz telling him there was something he wanted but thought he could never have…
It made Jimmy grin. And as he thought about it in the shiny new silver Honda they drove, that very grin spread over his features. After that sudden start they got, things had gradually smoothed out. It was strange to get used to a relationship – ANY relationship, for Jimmy. And then, he had to deal with the fact he was gay. Even though Chazz told him 'fuck normal, this is normal', Jimmy still worried about how he was to act, and what he should pay attention to. It couldn't be completely normal, he figured, since people held parades and support groups for being gay. As far as his PERSONAL feelings, nothing seemed different, or weird. Sex with Chazz felt as natural as breathing…sometimes. Though any awkwardness was less due to being gay and more due to the fact it was Chazz and he was a little 'creative' in bed.
Along that train of thought there was Chazz himself…existing alongside him as a person was a whole different deal when he was with him as a lover. That knowledge contributed to Jimmy's nerves in the car. He never announced they were gay, and didn't answer questions, where Chazz liked to be loud and open about his sex life. Jimmy hoped maybe something changed when they got together, and maybe that was why Chazz didn't give him a hard time.
"I know! I know dude, chill," Chazz finally said. Or maybe he had said it quickly…Jimmy wasn't sure how long he'd been lost in his thoughts. "Don't know why the hell they're asking about the gay thing AGAIN when I'm sitting over there talking about her legs anyway."
Jimmy shrugged, finally accepting the obvious - again. "I'm the one who always came off as gay. Of course they're going to hound me, I guess. I just thought that it would be different today."
"Why would you think that?"
"Don't know," Jimmy answered awkwardly.
"We should come out though."
"Why?" Jimmy asked, looking at Chazz sharply. It wasn't the first time Chazz had suggested it, and Jimmy knew the answer.
"I want everyone to know. We shouldn't have to hide shit. Instead we should just be ourselves and if they don't like it, they can fuck off."
It made sense, but Jimmy had other worries at the back of his mind. He didn't voice them, as usual. He just nodded and dropped it. His reasons were stupid anyway.
Usually Jimmy was able to get out of that mindset and go back to enjoying his relationship, without worrying about what everyone else knew and thought. When he got home at night and Chazz would come up behind him, hugging him and kissing his neck, THAT was what mattered. When they got out on the ice and performed perfect spins and throws, THAT was what mattered. Spending a load of money on a rare teddy bear…well that didn't exactly matter, but it was still more fulfilling than sitting there freaking out over how and if they should out themselves.
But somehow, that night, he couldn't shake his thoughts. There would be more press conferences, more questions, and always, the fanmail that constantly asked him if he was gay. The thing was, Jimmy was not afraid to come out. He didn't fear being beaten, hated, disowned (that had already happened…) or anything else.
He was afraid of how people would see him. Would they like him because he was a fantastic, gold medal winning athlete? Or would they like him because he was a GAY, fantastic, gold medal winning athlete? His sexuality was a part of him, but so was everything he strived for, and all that had come from his past. He wanted to be known for how talented he was, how good he was with his fans, how he had come from being a boy disowned for his inability to keep his cool to a beloved symbol of pairs skating. Jimmy knew how some fans, how some people were. They found the sexuality so much more important, like it mattered more than someone's personality. It was as if a gay person was a novelty, and Jimmy didn't like being objectified like that. He certainly didn't like parts of his life stripped away for who he liked to be naked with.
And maybe Chazz would understand that. But Chazz didn't care who judged them and how. If Chazz knew he was being seen as a sexy gay guy instead of just a sexy guy, he would shrug, smile, and not give a damn because at least somewhere in that mix they were still finding him sexy. So Jimmy figured it was a dead end.
Chazz's lips found Jimmy's as he crawled on top of him, Jimmy pressed to the bed and unable to fight him off even if he wanted to. Everything Chazz did was sexy, and Jimmy was powerless when Chazz stripped them both and rubbed up against him in their large, soft bed. Chazz was kissing a line down Jimmy's body, blowing on his stomach to make Jimmy giggle. But Jimmy's mind was still somewhere else, when there was no longer pressure from Chazz between his legs he found it easy to focus on his problem again. He didn't laugh when he felt Chazz's breath and instead he squirmed, as if to get away from it.
The moment he heard Chazz's voice, deep and rumbling, Jimmy felt bad. He wasn't paying attention to the foreplay, something that was very important to Chazz. "Yes! Sorry! Hee hee!" He regretted the overcompensation the moment it left his mouth.
Chazz made a face, and rolled off him, landing on his back. He sighed, and didn't say anything.
Jimmy frowned and knew he had made a bad move. "Chazz? I'm sorry. I just keep worrying."
"Really. You know I usually…that you usually…have me on my hands and knees by now," he said with a gulp, turning red. Jimmy was still not used to talking about sex so freely.
"I'd have you sweaty and begging, yes," Chazz said dryly, pulling the red blanket up as if he was just going to go to sleep.
"It's just…it's just that I'm really worried about something."
"Uh huh. Have fun with that."
Jimmy narrowed his eyes, scowling at Chazz. "Oh. So you'll only listen to me when I have sex with you. Fine, then," he said, tears stinging his eyes as he looked up at the ceiling.
With a second sigh, Chazz rolled over and kissed Jimmy's shoulder, putting an arm over him. "Um, fuck – I mean sorry. I just don't like blue balls. S'up?"
"It's about coming out…"
"Again?" Chazz pressed against him and kissed Jimmy's cheek. "Why you worrying about that?"
"Well you want to come out, don't you?"
"Yea…I want people to know this stuff," he said. "Dude, I want people to know I'm the one spanking your hot ass day in and day out. Speaking of in and out, I want them to know –"
"Chazz!" Jimmy scolded. "That's why you want to come out?" he asked, boggling.
Lazily, Chazz rubbed Jimmy's nipple, not throwing a tantrum when Jimmy swatted him away. "Nah. Well in a sense. I'm proud to be yours, Jimmy. I want to brag about it. I hope you do too."
Jimmy felt dumb. And he felt like a complete ass. "Oh Chazz…" He hadn't realized it was like that. He knew Chazz loved him, he told him all the time and never held back from showing him, in various ways (mostly physical). And he knew on some level that Chazz was proud, but the more he thought about it, the more it seemed obvious. He counted himself as extremely lucky, and once the label of gay fell away, he wanted everyone to know what a wonderful partner he had. "Aw man. I feel like such a douche. Of course." He rolled on his side to face Chazz, taking his hand and bringing it up to his lips. "I'm sorry."
Chazz laughed in that way he normally did when he thought Jimmy was being silly. "It's cool. I mean, what were you supposed to think? I normally think with my dick, so…"
"You think with your heart, you just don't like to admit it," Jimmy said, poking Chazz's bare hairy chest.
Chazz looked at him, and then looked down, and Jimmy knew he made Chazz feel a little shy. He knew he got to him, and it made him feel good. It wasn't that he liked to embarrass Chazz, just that he knew he was the only one who could do it. He was the only one in the world who had Chazz at his side at that moment…it was something special and maybe he did understand what Chazz was getting at.
Jimmy decided that for the moment, he could push it aside. Chazz hadn't done anything, and hadn't acted like he really wanted to make an announcement, exactly, he probably just wanted to stop ignoring the questions. And Jimmy felt loved. The more he understood Chazz's motives behind certain actions, the more he loved him, if possible. He stroked Chazz's face and traced his arm, his side, down to his hip. He let his palm slide over to Chazz's ass, and tried to force him closer. "Want to get back to what we were doing?"
"You mean who I was doing," Chazz said, kissing him on the lips again. He rolled back over and on top of Jimmy and they went back into their nightly routine.
Jimmy was able to push the issue out of his head for a couple of days. That is, it didn't come up. They went to the rink for practice, came home to their new apartment, ate, hung out, had sex, and that was all. Jimmy was enjoying life.
And then, he caught Chazz writing back to someone, probably a fan. He found the letter half written when Chazz got up for the bathroom. Jimmy had sat down at the desk they shared in their room and he was looking for the phonebook when he glanced at the paper Chazz was writing on. The words made him freeze. 'Yea, I like men. What of it? Sure I've had sex with Jimmy. Keep it on the down-low dude. He's my boyfriend. So…' Jimmy didn't read the rest of it. He immediately started fuming.
Chazz came back to the room and saw Jimmy. "Hey! What do you want…for…uh oh…" he said, and it was clear he knew Jimmy was pissed.
"CHAZZ! Who are you writing to? Why are you telling them we had sex! I told you I don't want to come out!"
Chazz watched him carefully, and closed the bedroom door behind him even though they were the only ones who lived there. "Hey, listen, before you lose your pretty head…"
"God Chazz! I told you my feelings about this stuff! Now who ever you're writing to will just think of me as not your ice skating partner but just your gay…guy…friend…" He was running out of steam, because he didn't know how to put it. But Chazz knew his feelings! "Who're you writing to?" he asked, trying to change tactics.
"Cousin. Calm down Jimmy. My cousin knows I'm into dudes, and he doesn't tell people shit if I ask him not to."
"But you know how I feel! Come on Chazz, even telling one person is bad!"
"No it's not! Come on! I don't want to keep us a secret for forever! And I bet a lot of people already know!"
Jimmy stared more, and then hugged himself as he sat in the chair. "You should have asked. You could have asked. Or told me."
"Yea, okay, I don't think I need permission to write to the only family I communicate with. What's the matter with you?"
"I told you…!"
"Yea. But it's not the normal things gay guys are afraid of. Jimmy, people probably already think…KNOW you're gay. Hell I thought you were gay ever since I saw you and had a sex dream about you."
"Dude, aside from my cousin, I'm not gonna out you. I'll ignore the interviews as long as you want, and I'm not going to volunteer shit, but maybe you should think about this more. I get your reasons. Sometimes I wish I was known for more than the sex god thing…" Chazz said nervously, and sat on the edge of the bed. He looked like he felt completely out of place.
And that made sense, because he sure as hell surprised Jimmy by admitting that. "Wha-what? But that's your favorite…um…thing! The sex appeal angle, I mean!"
"And that's what they'll always know me for. Like, they talk about how I work with leather, and other stuff like when I was in jail, but…" Chazz made a motion with his hand. "But when people hear my name all they think is 'oh yea, that guy likes to stick his dick in everything'. No one will ever see what you see…" He shrugged, and smiled. "Sometimes it bothers me, but its okay. I want to brag about ya Jimmy…but I don't ever want anyone to totally understand us. So even though it can bother me, I don't care that they already have us associated with some label. See?"
"We're always gonna be labeled, and who the fuck cares? Cause we have more going on than that, and it's too bad for them that they don't see it."
"It won't do anyone any good…"
"What!" Chazz boggled at him. "Jimmy, you know that the LGBT community is…kind of huge, right? And there are people-"
"LGWhat?" Jimmy asked, confused.
"LGBT. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual," Chazz said, as if it was common knowledge. It probably was. "We could actually do a lot of good for people…there are people terrified to come out because someone would hurt them. I know. I used to sleep with them. And all they need is…someone like us to show that it's okay, and we're proud, and that we're going to do what we want to do regardless. I know we've already done that in a way, just by fighting the bad press when we did our first routine."
Chazz made sense, but still - it was a little hard to understand. Jimmy paused, and thought about it for a long time. They could help others just by being out? But… "I don't…want us outed," Jimmy finally said weakly, knowing he sounded pathetic.
Chazz glared, and walked over. He picked up the letter he had been writing, and ripped it in half to Jimmy's surprise. "Happy!" he asked with a growl, before turning away and stomping out of the room.
Jimmy sighed and buried his face in his hands. He wasn't happy. He felt horrible.
As usual, Chazz forgave him. He always forgave him, which sometimes confused the hell out of Jimmy. Once in a while it was hard to wrap his head around the fact that Chazz had pretty much buried their rivalry, and was trying to do better by swallowing his pride whenever he and Jimmy had an argument. That night, Chazz brought Jimmy a big cup of cocoa before bed, and Jimmy awkwardly smiled and thanked him. He wasn't sure how to feel. Chazz could push past some of his biggest issues for the sake of their relationship, so why couldn't he?
Again, they fell into their routine over the next few days, but Jimmy still felt bad. He was aware he had to deal with it in some large way, because the issue that popped up and bothered him every once in a while before had become a constant nag at his brain. When he looked at Chazz, he felt bad.
He kept avoiding it though, until one day it became clear he just couldn't keep pretending. He was with Chazz as they went to pick up some food. Chazz whined about grocery shopping; for one reason or another he felt that since they were rich and famous they shouldn't have to do it and should have a food-butler. Jimmy had to explain for the hundredth time that there was no such thing as a food-butler, and got Chazz out the door. It was true they could probably pay someone to shop for them…but that reminded Jimmy far too much of his previous life with his dad.
No, he was perfectly fine doing things on his own. If there was one thing Coach AND Chazz had made clear, it was that he had to stop whining and grow up.
They were making their way down the bread aisle when Jimmy heard someone let loose with a scream to end all screams. Chazz winced and looked around for the source of the painful sound while Jimmy was able to make out a couple of women running towards them, their eyes open wide and their arms out like they expected hugs. Both had dyed blonde hair, one was wearing a nice blue skirt and sandals, the other ripped up jeans and some punk rock t-shirt.
"Watch out," Jimmy said quietly, stepping closer to Chazz. It wasn't like there was anything he needed Chazz to protect him against, but it made him feel better.
"OH MY GAAAWD IT'S JIMMY AND CHAZZ!" shouted Skirt.
"OH MY GOD OH MY GOD AND I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO SIGN!" screamed Punk.
"Er, hi ladies…" Jimmy said, waving, which caused them both to shriek even more.
"Oh man. Babes, I gotta ask you to chill, you're killing my ear drums," Chazz finally said, giving them that winning smile.
This caused them to jump up and down silently, looking like they were going to burst. Skirt opened her mouth, but then all she did was turn back to Punk and jump up and down more.
Jimmy and Chazz shared a glance. Then Chazz, acting quickly, took the boxes of macaroni and cheese he grabbed out of the shopping cart. "Either of you got a pen? I was going to buy these, but you can have them."
"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!" They both shouted, and Skirt looked like she was going to pass out. Punk quickly reached in her purse and pulled out a red pen, which she threw at Jimmy and Chazz.
Jimmy was the one to catch it, and he took a box from Chazz. "I'll start this one, then pass it to you Chazz…so who are we making these out to?" he asked, knowing he could be a lot friendlier but frankly, he was annoyed.
"Oh…oh my God….I'm DANIELLE!" shouted Skirt.
"And I'm ROBIN!" said Punk.
Jimmy nodded. "Dear Danielle," he said, before going silent and holding the pen over the box as he tried to think of a message. The red ink didn't show up well, but anything to get rid of them! He used to be such a crowd pleaser, too…
As he was signing, Robin spoke up. "So, Chazz, you seeing anyone?" she said stupidly, her voice at such a tone that she was obviously trying to be seductive.
"Oh…" Chazz paused. "Um…yes, yes I am. Seeing someone pretty awesome, in fact."
"OH MY GOD! WHO?"
"Oh, just someone really hot."
Jimmy hurried and passed the box to Chazz before it could get uncomfortable. That's when Danielle turned her attention to him. "So what about you Jimmy?" she asked with a giggle. "Are you still single? Still off with Katie van Waldenburg."
"So you're not seeing anyone?"
"No, not right now." He felt bad the minute he said it. He could have used the same tactic Chazz did, obviously keeping their private lives to themselves, but he hadn't thought as fast. Instead he denied their relationship, and he was sure he caught a brief pause from Chazz as he said it.
"Oh really…?" She stepped closer to him.
"Yea, really. But you know, it's good because I'm focusing on skating and it's hard for me to find time for someone like-like Chazz does," he said, hoping that would hold. He started on the next box, trying to hurry.
"But you're already so good Jimmy! You deserve love from a pretty girl!"
"I'm fine," Jimmy said stiffly, passing the box on.
Chazz finished signing it and handed both boxes back, one for each woman. They both screamed again, and Jimmy started edging away.
"Thanks for stopping by ladies. Now MacElroy and I, we gotta finish getting dinner. Stay sexy, all right?" Chazz winked at them, and they screamed yet again as the two men turned to push their cart away.
They hurried to the aisle with macaroni and cheese to replace their two boxes, and then rushed the rest of their list, avoiding an aisle whenever they saw the two fangirls. Normally it might have been fun, like a game, but Jimmy could tell Chazz was upset. REALLY, upset. He wasn't saying anything at all to Jimmy, and the silence was uncomfortable. Jimmy looked at him a couple of times but Chazz's lips were drawn in a tight, thin line and he was clearly pissed. They rushed through shopping, checkout, and one awkward car ride home. Jimmy didn't want to try and apologize until they were comfortable.
So he tried that night, after he put things away. Chazz sometimes helped with putting groceries away, but that evening he had just stomped off and slammed the bedroom door. When Jimmy went to find him, he felt sick to his stomach. Why did relationships have to be so hard?
"Chazz?" he asked quietly, pushing the door open very gently. Chazz was laying on top of the bed and Jimmy knew he wasn't asleep. He was probably too pissed to do anything else. Chazz used to get like that before they were dating. "Chazz, I'm sorry."
"You could have said you were dating someone cool. Or said you had your eyes on someone, OR not answered at all, and instead you fucking denied you were even in a relationship," Chazz said immediately, practically snarling. He sat up. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
"You're so afraid of now being seen the 'right way' that you denied me altogether?"
"Well that's not what I meant to do! I just thought-"
"You didn't think SHIT MacElroy." Chazz crossed his arms. "You're too scared to think. You're so damn worried about your public image that you're acting like an asshole."
"I'm not trying to! I just…I know it was bad! I'm sorry!" What could he do other than apologize? Part of his mind told him to yell at Chazz, to make it his fault somehow. And he supposed maybe it was, because Chazz was upset about the whole thing and thus making it a situation, but Jimmy knew that was a lame excuse.
Chazz glared more. "Sorry doesn't mean shit when I know you'll just do it again," he said, standing up. "I'm sleeping on the damn couch."
"Whyyy?" Jimmy whined, his stomach hurting more. He didn't want to admit it, but he was scared. He had messed up so badly years ago that his dad disowned him, and even though Jimmy knew that a normal person didn't just disown their son like that, he was still afraid Chazz would leave too and want nothing to do with him because he acted like such an insecure little kid when it came to other's opinions. What could he say, though? He didn't try as hard as he used to, the grocery store being an example of that, but he still sort of was a crowd pleaser.
"I'm not sleeping with someone who pretends I'm not there," Chazz said, getting up off the bed. He walked up to Jimmy, who was still standing in the doorway. "Move."
Jimmy stared back at Chazz, hoping maybe just by how close they were to each other that somehow Chazz would melt as usual and not be able to stay mad. It didn't work, and Chazz roughly banged into his shoulder as he shoved Jimmy to the side and walked out of the room.
That night was easily one of the worst nights Jimmy had ever known. It was even worse than when he was disowned by his father, when he went to a hotel and stayed there feeling empty and like he had nothing to look forward to. It was harder knowing Chazz was right there in the other room; he was still in the apartment but Jimmy had managed to hurt him so bad that he didn't even want to be in the same airspace.
What if Chazz realized he liked sleeping alone, after not having done it in months? Hell, the first night they admitted their feelings for each other, Chazz was squeezing into Jimmy's bunk. What if he found, sleeping alone was nice again, and that Jimmy was just dead weight? Jimmy liked the feel of Chazz's body next to him. It was a comforting presence, warm when he was cold, soft when he wanted to rest his head on him, and always there to hold. Without him…Jimmy didn't really sleep.
He had to think hard about his choices. Was being loved for being gay really the worst thing in the world? He really hated it, because he wanted to be more than that. He WAS more than that. He knew that, and Chazz knew that, and Coach knew that, and…and a handful of others.
'But what will everyone else think?'
Jimmy scowled at himself. That was the kind of thought that he had learned should have vanished somewhere after high school. Besides, he was famous. He'd made it. That was a worry for people who thought they'd always go through like with a pathetic reputation, wasn't it? Maybe he should just come out…
But, he also knew it was wrong to make a huge decision he wasn't ready for. He didn't want to hurt Chazz, and he didn't want to hurt himself. Would he be hurting himself? The more Jimmy thought about it, the more he realized that even though he might be annoyed, upset by what people thought…he might be able to do a lot of good. Aside from giving Chazz some more faith in it, he thought about the type of people who might like him BECAUSE he was gay – they might be others who were gay, or lesbian, or trapped in some sort of sexual identity cycle. Someone in the media who was gay was like a step forward. Jimmy didn't understand how just their existence could be a positive thing, it was hard to gather that they were good even when they didn't do anything…
What if they did do something? The LGBT or whatever it was had those parades…They could jump in. Jimmy loved to dress up and those things did look kind of fun. He was sure there were events and other things, there were support groups for everything out there.
Thinking about it all gave Jimmy a headache. He didn't know why being gay was so strange to others anyway. He didn't think of straight people as strange, they were just straight. Nothing made sense….Jimmy reached out instinctively for Chazz's warm body and actually gasped when his hand landed on an empty space of bed. No Chazz to comfort him, and so he was rather forced to go over his thoughts again.
It was going to be a long night.
Jimmy found Chazz the next morning, sitting at the table and sleeping with his head on his arms and a empty bowl in front of him, next to a box of some sort of fruity cereal – HIS fruity cereal! Jimmy sighed. It wasn't the first time he found Chazz asleep after eating breakfast. He walked over to him and touched his back, trying to wake him. "Hey…hey, Chazz."
Chazz groaned and started to blink awake slowly. "Hmmm?"
"You fell asleep out here…"
"Oh…yea." Chazz picked up his head and looked at Jimmy, obviously still coming to. He didn't say anything more, and Jimmy could feel that familiar awkwardness between them.
"So I see you had breakfast…"
"I'm still hungry," Chazz said stiffly, shoving the bowl away.
Jimmy knew what he had to do then. He'd thought about it so much. He had needed to find a compromise, and he was going to act on his decision, so he wouldn't lose Chazz in the future. "Let's go out to breakfast. You and I. And…and we can call it a date. And if anyone asks what we're doing, we're going to tell them we're on a date."
"Yea, stupid, huh…I know I can't just fix it, but I can start?"
"I'm really sorry Chazz. I couldn't sleep the whole night, because I missed you. I mean, I fell asleep the last hour, but for the most part…"
"Same here." Chazz poked at the bowl. I didn't fall asleep until I sat down here and got really upset. I was going to punch a hole in the wall, but then I remembered you don't like that."
A smile tugged at Jimmy's lips. "Yea…thanks for not doing that. So what do you say Chazz? Can we start making it better?"
"Making what better?"
"Us. I mean I really damaged it all, didn't I?"
Chazz laughed. "No, no. I mean, I was upset, but…aw shit Jimmy, I'm not going anywhere. You have me by the balls, and occasionally the penis."
"Gee, not by the heart?" Jimmy asked, making a face.
Chazz just grinned for an answer. Then he stood from his chair, embracing Jimmy. He kissed him on the lips, then the cheek, and then the neck. "You worry too much. I'm never gonna leave you, even if you try to kick me out and hang my underwear from the trees outside."
"Your under…what? Why would I do that?"
"Break-up procedure," Chazz answered.
Jimmy felt his stomach hurt again and he clung onto Chazz as if he was going to vanish. "No," he said.
Chazz laughed again. "Alright. Let's get ready. And does this…" he turned his head so he spoke right in Jimmy's ear. "Does this go past this morning? If anyone asks, we can answer?"
Jimmy took a deep breath, inhaling Chazz's scent. He missed it. "Yes. Yes we can. Look, I still don't want to make a point of announcing it, but we can answer truthfully, and if they want to make a big deal out of it then they can. And we'll just…go with the flow. Right?"
Chazz sighed, backed off, and beamed at him. "Sounds good to me. How much do I get to tell them about the sex?"
"Chazz!" Jimmy shoved him off, looking mad at first. He couldn't keep it up and in the next moment he was hugging Chazz again.
That morning, no one asked them what they were doing, but Jimmy wondered if it was obvious anyway. He sat across from Chazz but he had his hand, his arm, and at one point, Chazz fed him ice cream from a spoon. He actually decorated Jimmy's face, but it was a sweet gesture. At first Jimmy worried about the eyes on them…but the more fun he had, the less he cared.
They went out the next day, and the one after that and it wasn't long before someone asked them who they were seeing. When they answered each other, the fan just squealed and went back to the normal routine of asking for an autograph.
At least a week after, Jimmy found a magazine with a photo of him and Chazz on the cover, with the headline "The real, GAY reason they're so synchronized!" At first he had to swallow and find a way not to freak out, not to yell at someone that the synchronization came from years of perfect practice – but then Chazz touched his hair and put his arm around him, and Jimmy realized he really didn't care. Let them gossip – it didn't matter anymore.