This could be viewed as a continuation of the Decode 'verse. Enjoy!
Holden looked at the clouds. The sky was dark as the winds of fall settling into their standard rhythm. It was too early for this. The grass beneath his feet felt cold, and if it was a comfort, then it was a fleeting one. He sighed, crossing his arms over his chest. There was too little time, really.
A hand came to his shoulder, and his sigh was deeper as a blanket was laid across his shoulders. He turned and offered Sean a half smile, the other boy standing alongside him without a word. He looked like a man now, just three months out of high school. His jaw seemed sharper, his eyes more trained. Summer had been a time for growth and maturation. Holden's had manifested in a different way. He was smarter now, knew the world better. If only he hadn't learnt it so well.
"Tomorrow's the day." Sean remarked. Holden shook his head.
"I don't wanna think about it."
Sean didn't reply. That's how it had gone all summer. There were good times, sure, but too much of it was tarnished by the overwhelming oppression of the future. Holden pulled the blanket tight around his shoulders as a shiver ran down his back without his consent. Sean moved closer, arm curling over his hip and drawing Holden against him.
"Stop worrying so much, babe." Sean said, more a plea than a command.
"It's just going to be really tough, you know?" Holden explained. He felt Sean nod.
"But we have holidays. Vacations. We'll make it work."
"Maybe we shouldn't have spent every moment of the summer together." Holden hypothesized.
"Then what memories would we hold onto for the next two months?"
Holden turned, pressing himself into Sean like the boy he had become. Sean's embrace was more of a fatherly one than a romantic gesture.
"I hate not knowing what it'll be like. I hate not knowing what to prepare myself for."
"I know. It'd be easier if…"
If a lot of things. If they were going to the same college. If Holden hadn't spent so much of his summer either earning money for college expenses. If Sean's grandma hadn't passed away. If Holden's parents hadn't decided they weren't okay with their son being gay. If Sean hadn't been away at football camp for the past two weeks. If they could just hold onto each other, a little tighter. If a lot of things.
"I know." Holden interrupted. He couldn't handle it being said out loud. He was afraid any word would shatter the porcelain house he was content with living in. But they'd built it on a hill made of sand and the tide was coming in. There was no way to make things any better.
"When we get through this…through college, and through everything…" Sean fell silent, and Holden pulled away, out of his grasp. Sean let him go, studying the stars overhead as Holden observed his boyfriend.
"Where are you going with this, Sean?"
"After all this is over, after we've made it through the storm…I want to marry you."
"Sean, that isn't even legal…"
"We'll go someplace where it is." Sean's eyes held his now, flames dancing behind clear orbs of resilience. Sean wasn't just toying with the idea. He was building his life around the promise.
"What about my parents?" Holden asked. Something flickered behind the strong veneer, and Holden twitched.
"It doesn't matter. Maybe they'll have come around by then, maybe they won't. I want to make you happy, Holden. As happy as I can."
"You already do, Sean." Holden replied with more care than necessary. It made Sean's gaze soften, and Holden stepped closer, allowing Sean to put his hands on his hips.
"I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Holden." Sean whispered, his deep register forming a growl.
"We will, Sean. I promise, we will." Holden replied. It was his version of a yes, and Sean knew that. The other man's shoulders relaxed and he offered a smile. The promise of forever; underneath the vastness of the stars, it felt so insignificant. But it was everything, the only thing that mattered.