Title:  Smoke

Author:  Victory Through Tears and Star

Rating:  UK 15 (which means R or something?) I've put a high rating on it because it's slash, although there's nothing in here that upset anyone, if it was about a guy and a girl it would be a G.  If you're a homophobe, pretend the guy is thinking about a girl, and if you can't do that, lock yourself in your room for the rest of you life, the world doesn't need bigots like you roaming the streets.

Feedback:  Has anyone ever said 'no'?  Well, we're certainly not.

Disclaimer:  Disney et all owns 'em and I'll have 'em back before they even notice they're gone!  Taz belongs to Star, and Maya belongs to Victory Thru Tears.


1 Again I state: Slash!  I don't want anyone reviewing with 'he's not gay' – I know that, Disney aren't big on making gay films.  *snorts*  This is all in my head.  If you don't like slash, don't read it.  Very simple.

2 Forget what you've read about Taz and Maya in our other fics, they're unrelated to this series.

3 This was going to be a one-off fic.  Then I did a sequel.  Now Victory Thru Tears and I are co-writing a large series.  Enjoy.

4 To the person who hates slash – you know who you are.  I both understand and respect your dislike for slash in this fandom.  I've heard there's Harry Potter slash, which just seems wrong, I'm not into Harry Potter, but my seven year old niece is.  I don't like the idea so I don't read it.  However, I am a human being, and you should understand and respect that it cannot be dictated to me what I can and can't write.  Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.  This is a slashy series.  You don't like slash in this genre, then don't read past this line.  I take no responsibility for your lack of enjoyment of this fic.  I have warned you.

5 This is set during the break between the 2nd and 3rd period of the Varsity vs JV match in D3.  With a little embellishment – it's called creative licence!  There will be flashbacks later on.

Dedication:  Digital Tempest, aznJEDI13, Victory Thru Tears, Aqua Lion, and loads of other fic writers who've really inspired me.

Chapter 1 ~ No Smoke Without Fire

          By Star

Fulton's POV

     My musings were started by an offhand comment from Averman a few years ago.  I can't even remember what he said exactly.  There was a photo in the newspaper of Adam handing the flag to Charlie after we won the Junior Goodwill Games, and Averman made a comment along the lines of 'Aww!  You make such a cute couple!'

     There were rumours for awhile after that.  As Averman was fond of saying, "There's no smoke without fire".  Naturally, he didn't really think something was going on, but it was gossip and it passed the time.

     Until the next rumour hit, and everyone forgot that they ever thought Adam and Charlie might have been together.

     Everyone but me, that is.

     I'm still trying to work out if they are or not.  Sometimes I look at the two of them and think they are and sometimes I look at them and just can't see it.

     I mean, there are so many examples that come to mind, but when you pick them to pieces, really they're just examples of a strong friendship.

     Maybe a little too strong to be just friendship at times.

     Take how strongly Charlie reacted when Adam made Varsity.  Some people thought he was jealous.  Some people thought he was disappointed about losing his friend to another team.

     I think both parties were right.  And then some.  I think Charlie was scared of losing him full-stop.

     Then again, that could just be friendship.

     Another time I saw them fight, just before we got Banksie back.  Charlie stormed off in the huff that was customary for that period in his life, and then Adam punched a wall, there were tears in his eyes before he decided to take on the wall.

     Again, they could just be friends.

     How about the unofficial Varsity vs JV match?  He was in a horrible mood before the game even started.  And the way he took on Banks was entirely personal.  Charlie knew that Adam had made a legal check.

     Then Coach Orion broke it up, as Varsity were skating out I noticed Adam look back, he was looking straight at Charlie.  He looked heartbroken.

     And yet again, it could have just been disappointment over the way things turned out.  I mean, when you and your best friend decide to punch each other out over a game you know things are bad.

     But if that person was more than a friend…

     I look over at them, Charlie is carefully checking Adam's wrist.  After the Junior Goodwill Games it's been a bit weak, every so often he'll bump it and it will act up.  Adam being Adam, he can't admit that.  And Charlie being Charlie, is constantly on the look out for it.

     Maybe Charlie's just being a good friend.  Who knows?

     Then again, it's taking a long time for him to check Adam's wrist.

     Occasionally they glance at each other, with small smiles.

     This is one of those moments when I just know they're together.

     Any minute now someone's going to say something and get my attention, and when I look back at them they'll have moved apart and I'll think I imagined it.

     It occurs to me that I have these thoughts a lot.

     Probably more than the rest of the team put together.

     And I'm not stupid enough to convince myself it's idle curiosity.

     I think the reason I'm so interested is because… well, if it's ok for them, it's…

     "Dean Portman is awarded…"

     I look up and see my best friend striding in as if he owns the place.

     His eyes seek me out first.

     I can't hide my smile.  Despite there being several people in the way, I'm the first one to greet him with a hug and a chest butt.

     I wonder if Portman ever wonders about the same things as me?

     When I look back at Charlie and Adam, they're still sitting together, looking at each other with those half smiles.