A Decision Made

Genre: BBM au

Pairing: Ennis and Jack (A Christmas Story Universe)

Warning: Mildly rough language and fluff

Word Count: 1,648

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, nor seek payment for my stories.

A/N: See full explanation at the end of the story.

Let us begin.

Jack couldn't believe his luck. Though nervous about it, Ennis was willing to try working together for the month that Aguirre had shorted them. Every time he thought of that oily, snarky, bastard he got steamed up all over again. But then Jack's natural buoyancy returned; he had Ennis for another month, and if he played his cards right, he might find a way to get more time.

The Carpenter's were an unbelievable couple, and Ennis and Jack were hired on the spot. Ennis called the Beers' residence but did not catch Alma at home. He told her mother the situation about the shortened summer job, and that they had found some temporary work to tide them over. It was a lucky stroke, he said, because his savings would then be equal to what he had planned to have by the Fall.

Day by day, Jack could see Ennis relaxing; he seemed to once again fill out his own skin just like he had up on the mountain. Ennis was back.

In the last two weeks of August, the Wyoming weather was perfectly matched to the tasks they had lined out; warm mid-days and cool evenings. They relished the physical labor of building the bunkhouse and swelled with pride when they witnessed the finished bunkhouse. They owed it all to Joseph, and the knowledge and experience they'd gained from him was theirs to keep and use forever.

The two men could now sleep together in the completed and furnished bunkhouse. Their renewed sex life filled them with such joy and shared happiness, they almost floated through the days of work, mindless of how transparent were their feelings. Ennis had not given one single thought to Miss Alma Beers in weeks. He didn't realize this to be true; just went blithely about his daily life with great contentment.

In due time, the week came that would have been their time to come down from Brokeback Mountain with the sheep, had not that big snowstorm threatened to blow in. The storm never actually materialized, making them wonder if Aguirre might have lied, and brought them down early for spite; for what reason they knew not. All they knew for sure, was that the longer they knew the man, the stranger he seemed.

The Carpenter's paid them their wages every Friday. Ennis was keeping a close count on his money, adding in his new amount every week. He had set a goal of how much he thought he should have before the wedding. The Wedding! He looked at the calendar hanging on the wall, and realized that today was three months till his wedding.

He stuffed his money and his tally sheet into the cook pot he used for a bank, and rushed outside for some air. His gut hurt so bad, he wasn't sure but thought he might have to throw up. When Ennis was stirred up, he paced. Jack saw him pacing up and down the lane and wondered what his friend was worried about this time. Did someone come here, and comment about two men living together? "That's crazy," he thought, "men always live together in a bunkhouse. It has to be something else."

"I don't know what's wrong," Ennis told Jack. "I was just counting my money after we got paid, figuring how much I'd have by the wedding, and then I just got so hot and sweaty, and my gut started paining me something awful."

"Well, do ya feel better now?"

"Yeah, I guess. But I feel worried, like something bad is gonna happen. It don't make no sense."

That word, 'wedding' always made Jack feel awful too, when Ennis said it. But he completely understood why that was so. He knew he wanted Ennis for himself, for all time. He didn't want anyone else, girl or guy, putting their grubby hands on his Ennis. Nor their eyes neither. Jack was so jealous every time he heard that awful name "Alma" that he felt kinda bad, hating a girl or any person that he'd never even met. But he was unable to change how he felt. He wondered if he should speak plainly to Ennis, or if that was entirely the wrong way to go. He figured he'd let Ennis work it out for himself for a while longer.

He didn't have long to wait. That night Ennis woke in Jack's arms, but he was crying. He'd had a dream he said, and in this dream, he'd been married to Alma, and Jack was gone off somewhere. His dream wife smiled and talked as gentilely as ever a woman could, but he looked down and his ankles were in chains! In his dream he tried to get loose, but Alma told him, "No, Ennis. Be good. If I unchain you, you'll just go chasing after that Jack Twist again. We're married now, and you're mine forever." That was when he awoke in tears.

"What do you think this means, Ennis?" Jack wanted to gently nudge Ennis into figuring this thing out for himself. He couldn't just jump up and say "You love ME, not HER, dumbass!"

Ennis didn't want to talk any more that night, and he snuggled down against Jack and went to sleep. In the morning, Jack awoke to the wonderful aroma of coffee. He peeped one eye open and saw Ennis fully dressed. He was sitting on a hard wooden chair, one of the four for their dining table; his head was hanging down, he was holding a coffee mug and his knees were spread wide, his elbows on his knees.

When he heard Jack's movement in the bed, he looked up at his naked lover and said, "Jack, I have to go to Riverton."

"No! That's no good," protested Jack. He jumped out of bed to plead his case, and Ennis smiled at Jack's naked form, dancing around on the cold floor boards.

Ennis stood up and grabbed a blanket, wrapping it snugly around Jack's shoulders. "Want some coffee?"

"I don't want you to go!"

"Yes, you do."

"What? Of course, I don't. Don't want you to ever leave." He meant 'leave Me' but didn't want to say too much.

"Jack, I gotta see Alma."

"NOoooo."

"I gotta tell her I can't marry her - I already love someone else."

"What?" Jack could barely get his head around this situation. Ennis was moving too fast for him.

"I love You, bud. Don't you know that?"

"Yessss! I knew it, I knew it!"

"C'mere."

They celebrated a little while, kissing and smiling and feeling the weight of the world lift off their strong, young, shoulders.

"It won't be easy."

"We're up to it, no matter what." said Jack."

"You better put some clothes on, or we'll never leave here today."

Jack smiled at the thought, cause that's what he'd prefer, after all. But, he knew their future was at stake. "Let's go see Alma Beers!

Even though it was not a work day, their breakfast was ready and waiting for them up at the house. "We're going into Riverton this morning," they told the Carpenter's. "Can we bring you anything? Might not be back till Sunday night, not sure how long our business will take."

They had their necessities packed, their plans laid out, and some ready cash for the trip. As they headed down the lane toward Bethlehem Road, Jack hollered, "Ennis, pull over!" He did as he was asked.

His smile stretched from ear to ear, and he said, "Ennis, I love you. I am so happy right now."

Ennis was quiet, but he looked straight into Jack's eyes, "All this time. I loved you. But I didn't know what I was supposed to be feeling. Thought I was doing the right thing, marrying Alma. Gave my word. But I know now, that this - being with you - is the right thing for me - for us."

Jack scooted over as far as he could given that the gear shift was hard against his knee. He kissed Ennis' eyelids, his nose, his cheekbones, and then his lips. "You gonna make me cry, talking that way, Cowboy." They kissed one more time before getting out on the road, they smiled at each other and took off in first gear. Ennis tried holding Jack's hand, but each time he needed to shift, he let go. Finally, Jack said, "here, let me." and they held hands and shifted with both their hands. Together. The End

Author's Note: This is a glimpse into the time before and during A Christmas Story. It was not planned. But Janice, ifyoucantfixit2, wanted to know "but what about Alma? Won't she want to come and move into the house?" . . . so of course, I had to show that Ennis didn't just leave her hanging. He treated her respectfully and politely, but could not marry her. That was too much to sacrifice.

P.S. No, Jack did not go to Alma's house with Ennis. That would have been too cruel for her to see the two of them together. Their glow alone would have blinded her.

Jack did a bit of shopping, and then he went into the Post Office on Main Street to send his mama a post card, and almost fainted when he saw the mural there, that looked exactly like him and Ennis. When they met later, he dragged Ennis Del Mar over to see their likeness before they had a meal at the Main Street Café across the street.

They made it back to the Carpenter's place early Sunday evening.

The End The End