Lionblaze has a Shadow: Part 9. Crayons and Kisses

Knock knock knock

Jayfeather knocked on Cloudtails door until he answered.

"God, Jayfeather," Cloudtail snapped. "Could you be any more annoying?"

"I was mean and insensitive to you before," Jayfeather said. "I've been so stressed about my brother I took my anger out on you. You didn't deserve it and I'm sorry," Jayfeather said. Cloudtail stared at him, without saying anything.

"Hollyleaf told me to think about what you mean to me and I have," Jayfeather continued. "I'm an idiot, I've been taking advantage of your niceness, I call you when its convenient for me and I'm shy and self conscious and so many repelling things that should make you not even look at me twice. But somehow, you look past all my problems, and no one has ever, ever done that. And at Firestars party when we said all those things to each other, I knew what I was saying wasn't true," Jayfeather felt his face going red and ignored it.

"You didn't mean it..?"

"No I didn't," Jayfeather took a deep breath and looked directly at Cloudtail. "I said I could love you one day, and I lied. I already did love you," Jayfeather said. "I was just scared to say it." Cloudtails angry expression started to change.

"I'm in love with you," Jayfeather said. "And I think I've been from the moment I saw you."

"Oh Jayfeather," Cloudtail smiled and Jayfeather forced himself not to look away. "I love you too."

Jayfeather couldn't believe he was going on a date tonight - with Cloudtail. The whole thing seemed unreal. And now that all the novelty had worn off, Jayfeather was scared. He didn't know what to do, talk about or wear. And what if people look at us funny? Jayfeather gulped. He knew it was wrong to feel embarrassed or judged, but simply not caring was way too difficult. Jayfeather paced his room and sifted through all his clothes. Its all so unfashionable! Jayfeather groaned. Hollyleaf went on dates all the time, and she made it look so easy. He would have asked her what she would do but she was at the jail, visiting Lionblaze. She had gone to tell him about selling the apartment. Jayfeather pulled out his phone and texted her.

I'm going to dinner with Cloudtail and I'm so nervous I think I'm going to have a heart attack.

Hollyleafs reply came a few minutes later, with a picture attached. Don't worry, you'll be fine! Oh and Lionblaze says to wear something out of his closet because all your clothes are dorky. Jayfeather opened the picture to see Hollyleaf and Lionblaze smiling, Lionblaze giving the thumbs up sign behind the glass. Jayfeather looked through his brothers closet and found a half-decent shirt. It would have to do, Jayfeather thought. Cloudtail would be here any minute. Jayfeather sat on the couch and smoked a cigarette to try and calm his nerves. It worked for about six minutes and then his anxiety got worse. Jayfeather didn't know what to do, so he turned on the TV and tried to watch it. This didn't work either. Finally, after 10 awfully long minutes he heard the doorbell ring. Jayfeather jogged over to the door then stopped when he realized he was jogging. Shaking his head in disgust he opened the door. Cloudtails pretty face lit up when he saw him.

"You look nice," Jayfeather said, noticing that Cloudtail had straightened his hair and everything.

"So do you," Cloudtail smiled kindly at him. "Where do you want to go?"

"Wherever you want," Jayfeather said, afraid of saying something dumb.

"We could go to Boston Pizza."

"Yeah sure," Jayfeather agreed absentmindedly, distracted by Cloudtails pants, which looked like something Hollyleaf would wear. Jayfeather got into Cloudtails car and made a big show of clipping his seatbelt so he wouldn't have to say anything. They drove in silence for the entire way. When they got out of the car, Jayfeather looked around at all the people standing there, and nearly had a panic attack. They were everywhere, eyes hungrily searching for the un-ordinary, desperate to make judgements. Jayfeather noticed Cloudtail looked slightly uncomfortable too, making Jayfeather relax a little. They walked into the restaurant, and the waitress asked them if they wanted a table in the kids or bar section.

"Kids, obviously. And I want crayons too," Cloudtail said, making Jayfeather laugh. The waitress looked at them weirdly before turning to lead the way to their table. Cloudtail flipped over his menu and exclaimed that he'd rather eat at places with pictures of the food on the menus.

"I mean, its awkward ordering food when you don't know what it looks like. Its like, kind of disgusting when you order a hamburger and then they throw a play-doh looking thing that slightly resembles a hamburger onto your plate," Cloudtail said as he colored in a picture of a sun with his crayons.

"You don't like surprises, I take it?" Jayfeather said.

"Not when it involves food," Cloudtail sighed. "If I told you about my bad restaurant experiences we'd be here all night."

"Well I've had my share of those too," Jayfeather rolled his eyes as he thought about the time Lionblaze made a huge scene when he dropped his cheeseburger. He wished he didn't think about it though, because thinking about Lionblaze made him feel sad. It must have shown because Cloudtail noticed right away.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Its nothing. I just feel bad for Lionblaze, all alone and bored," Jayfeather sighed. "I just wish I had enough money to help him."

"Aw well, its sweet that your thinking about him. He'll be fine though, with all of us helping pay his bail," Cloudtail took Jayfeathers hand across the table and Jayfeathers heart leapt into his chest and he nearly forgot what they were talking about.

"What do you mean, all of us? Its just me and Hollyleaf," Jayfeather stammered.

"Yeah, and me and Ravenpaw, Honeyfern, Berrynose... Lionblaze has a lot of friends, you know. I asked them if they'd like to help they said yes right away."

"That's so... nice," Jayfeather said. "Thank you."

"No problem, my dear. We've almost got 12,000$ so far."

Jayfeather nearly spat out his iced tea that he was drinking. "What?"

"I know its not much, but it should help," Cloudtail shrugged.

"That's... a lot of money," was all Jayfeather could say. Then he noticed the waitress walking towards him. Cloudtail must of sensed Jayfeathers awkwardness and held his hand tighter so he wouldn't let go. The waitress stared at them for a solid 10 seconds before asking them what they would like to order. Cloudtail ordered a salad and Jayfeather got spaghetti. The waitress wrote the order down, her eyes glued to their touching hands. Finally she left, and surprisingly, Jayfeather wasn't embarrassed at all.

"That bitch," he said. "Did you see the way she was looking at us?" Cloudtail mocked her horrified stare then laughed.

"She was probably just jealous."

"That kind of stuff seriously doesn't bother you?" Jayfeather asked.

"Not when I'm with you," Cloudtail said. "Your nothing to be embarrassed about."

Jayfeather felt his face go up in flames. "Well, thanks. Next time if she comes over here, im going to give her a piece of my mind."

"Ooh I'll help!" Cloudtail actually looked excited about it. The waitress returned about ten minutes later.

"Here you go," she said disgustedly at them.

"Thank you for my meal, you selfless bitch," Cloudtail said brightly.

"Excuse me?" She glared at him.

"We're gay, dipshit. Not blind. We see the way you look at us, and its hurtful," Jayfeather said. The waitress looked like she was at a loss for words.

"So, you can go away now," Cloudtail finished rudely. The waitress turned around and walked away without saying anything. Cloudtail smiled at Jayfeather.

"You didn't even look awkward or embarrassed."

"Its involuntary when I do," Jayfeather said. "My emotions always rage out of control."

"Its cute," Cloudtail said as he took a bite of his salad. "Your face turns all red, and you get all flustered."

"Well its not my fault. And jeez, stop doing that. Its not funny," Jayfeather said. Cloudtail was mimicking Jayfeathers awkward expression that he made at least once every 20 minutes. Cloudtail inaudibly mumbled something and picked his nails.

"That's not funny either!" Jayfeather did that all the time too, so he rested his chin on his hands and batted his eyes at Cloudtail. "Can I get you a drink?" he asked sweetly. Cloudtail stopped his impressions at once.

"I do not sound like that!" he exclaimed.

"You do sometimes, and it reminds me of a high school girl."

"Well you remind me of a frightened deer standing in the middle of the road!" This went on for another fifteen minutes. Then they got kicked out, because Cloudtail flung piece of garlic bread behind him and it hit someone in the back of the head. No one would have known who threw it too, if Jayfeather hadn't started choking on a meatball because he was laughing so hard.

Cloudtails car pulled up into the parking lot next to Jayfeathers apartment.

"Tonight was fun," Jayfeather said.

"Yeah," Cloudtail said as he put the car into park.

"Can I call you tomorrow?"

"Yeah I'd like that," Jayfeather undid his seatbelt and then suddenly felt ridiculously awkward.

"Im going to miss you," Cloudtail said.

"I'll miss you too," Jayfeather leaned over and kissed Cloudtail quickly on the lips. "I love you," he said, then scrambled out of the car as fast as he possibly could. When he walked into his house, his heart was beating a mile a second and he was so happy he felt overwhelmed. Hollyleaf was sitting on the couch flipping through a magazine. She glanced over at her brother.

"I was wondering why it was taking you so long to get out of the car, so I looked out the window," Hollyleaf flipped a page over. "That's one mistake I'll never make again."

"Oh be quiet," Jayfeather grinned.

"Your acting like you don't care what anyone thinks," Hollyleaf said approvingly. "Its so much easier to talk to you when your like this."

"I know," Jayfeather said, looking out the window as Cloudtail drove away. "That's why I stopped caring."