(Takes place during the months of October to December 1992)
18 December 1992
Jonathan woke up with a headache.
He made it out of bed, ran to the bathroom and emptied the contents of his stomach twice before his eyes opened fully. Throwing up made him feel better, and oddly, the pain in his skull wasn’t quite so piercing. He brushed his teeth and washed his face, shaving off the fuzz David never allowed himself to have.
Jonathan looked over to find Cody in the doorway, dressed in green corduroys and suspenders, long-sleeved white button down shirt, and a red bowtie. “Hey, buddy, what’s up?”
“Are you dressing up today?” Cody asked him, his expression one of hope. “I mean, in case you see David?”
Jonathan nodded. “Yeah, I’m going as High King Peter from the Battle of Aslan’s How.” He gave a small smile. “Remember?”
Abby smiled as she leaned around the door. “You’re still looking like my Jonathan. I thought you were supposed to be High King today?”
“Yeah, yeah… I’m getting there.” Jonathan pushed past them and moved to his room. Opening his closet door, he took down the costume he’d pulled together. It didn’t take him long to change out of his pyjamas into his faux Narnian battle dress. Slinging a silver shield emblazoned with a crimson lion in a defensive pose, to his back, he tightened his sword belt and stood. Moving over to his dresser, he inspected his reflection for flaws.
“High King Peter the Magnificent, I believe he was called,” his mother commented. “And you are indeed magnificent.”
“I’m doing my best to breathe. The irony of my choice in costume is not lost on me, Mama. Peter was a warrior… and I’m—”
“You are fighting the only way you know how, baby,” Abby interjected, crossing the room to his side. “And if I have to keep fighting to keep you breathing, then I will. Jonathan, baby, please—”
“Mama, it’s been forty-one days apart—minus three infractions that all but one lasted less than half an hour. I think we know by now that nothing is going to change Dad’s mind on this—”
A finger pressed to his lips, coupled with an arch of a slender eyebrow, stopped his words. “You will fight. You will be reunited.” Abby stepped close to him, holding his gaze captive with her stronger one. “I believe this. Now, get your butt in gear or we’re going to be late getting you to school.”
Christmas carols the accompaniment on the drive to drop off Cody at school and then himself, Jonathan remained lost in thought, never speaking a word outside of the “Thanks for the ride, Mama, I love you” as he got out of the car. He joined up with Chad and Travis, dressed as Rudolph and Hermie the Elf from the stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas special. Bailey joined them, and Jonathan chuckled, seeing he’d dressed as Linus van Pelt from Peanuts, sporting the red and black striped shirt under a tan jacket, a green knit pom-pom beanie on his head, carrying a blue blanket.
“He here yet?” Jonathan watched Bailey’s face for the answer, but his friend’s headshake was honest. “Do you even know what to look for? He hasn’t given a single clue as to his costume.”
“Nova!” Travis hissed. “That’s Mrs. Wolff driving, man. That’s him!”
Jonathan pushed through them to watch the emergence of a slender beauty. He bore tight leggings, boots, and a vest the color of soot and ash. On his arms were shiny gossamer sleeves up to his elbows, and on his back were stunning gray and white faerie wings. To complete the look, a navy cloak trimmed with pitch attached to his shoulders with some kind of silver broaches. Henna ink dipped and swirled in Celtic patterns down his arms onto the backs of his hands, while he wore his hair loose around his shoulders, though warrior braids had been plaited in various places. Jonathan swallowed as he watched his boyfriend stride proudly up to the front doors and let himself in through the ones closest to the choir students dressed as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby at the beginning of White Christmas when they lip synced “Sisters”. He took a deep breath, his voice low as he told his friends, “That man… that man is mine.”
Bailey took off after David, still watching after him to keep him safe. Travis and Chad flanked Jonathan, the latter asking, “Anything we can deliver?”
Jonathan handed him a card. “Please, get that to my babe.”
“You got it, man. And here’s your Christmas from us.” Travis offered a gaily wrapped package and card to him. “Oh, and we’re talking about going to the drive-in tonight. You are coming. Team requirement!”
First period was required because roll was taken during class. Second period, they watched The Charlie Brown Christmas Special. David had sent a letter via Chad and Travis, and he’d included a poem on the envelope, called “Wish” and written about the day they made love at Travis’ house. He read it three times, committing it to memory as he thought about spoken of day. During third period, Jonathan stared out the window at the snow flurries, daydreaming about that night and hoping they’d be able to finagle David to go with the team to the drive-in.
The bell rang, signaling the start of the school Christmas party in the cafeteria. He gathered his books and trudged to the boys’ bathroom at the opposite end of the third floor. It’s the closest one and I need to get this shield off my back… and I might actually need to pee, too. Slipping out of his shield, he set his bag down in front of it to hold it upright. Detaching the sword, he stuck it in the space between the wall and the shield. Crossing to the sinks, he splashed his face with cold water, staring at his slightly gaunt face and the circles under his eyes. I really do look terrible—
“Hey!” Travis snuck into the room with him. “Chad and I got you something awesome this Christmas. I just need you to get into the stall and wait there. Can you do that?”
“Is this a joke?” Jonathan furrowed his brow as he watched his friend crack the door and look out. “Cap?”
Travis whirled on his heel. “No! Get in there. Go!”
“Okay, okay!” Jonathan shook his head, but did as instructed, leaning against the wall and listening with intent for any clue as to what was happening. The door opened suddenly, a sorely missed voice filling his ears, “What’s going on?”
He stood up straight as the stall door flew open and a faerie was shoved inside with him. Chad and Travis left the room in a hurry, pulling the main door shut behind them, leaving Jonathan and David alone together. All Jonathan could do was stare as David shook his head before looking around him and jumping as he caught sight of Jonathan, whose lips spread in a happy smile.
David tossed himself into Jonathan’s arms, laughing with the joy they both felt. “I don’t know how they did this, but I’m not asking questions. I’m just—”
“I’m going to kiss you, so shut up!” Jonathan tried to wrap his whole body around David, his lips finding David’s as his boyfriend gasped out a “Yes!”
Their hearts pounded in time as Jonathan deepened the kiss, loving the way David melted against him. Only breaking the kiss to breathe, his fae-dressed love whispered, “I miss you so much! Not being able to touch you or kiss you—seeing you is a tease that is so hard to endure!”
Jonathan breathed in David, breathed his breath, his hands lighting on David’s chest, slipping up to his hair as he divulged between kisses, “My parents are talking about getting a divorce because they can’t agree on what to do with me. Cody doesn’t sleep in his own room anymore. He barely sleeps now. He’s afraid Dad will stop loving him if he turns out like us.”
“Dad’s kept me all cooped up—”
“But you made this kick-ass costume while you were!” Jonathan broke the kiss when David tossed his head back to blush, exposing the slender column of his neck. Unable to resist, Jonathan smothered it in kisses, his teeth nipping at the vein pulsing visibly beneath the skin. A light moan tumbled over David’s shiny lips when Jonathan bit him, his hands moving to Jonathan’s hair, and for a moment, Jonathan could only stare at the marvelous young man he loved. “You’re breath-taking, baby… and watching you from afar, all I’ve kept telling myself the whole morning is—” he smoothed one hand up David’s throat, sliding it back to cup his skull as he lifted that incredible blue gaze to his own “—that man is mine… he’s mine!”
David climbed Jonathan’s hips, holding his stare. “All yours, Jonathan!”
“And I’m yours!” Jonathan vowed, one arm bracing David, his other hand cupping David’s face, his thumb tracing David’s cheek. Time… it’s running out.
They heard the door crack open, Travis’ voice hissing, “Five minutes until we have to be down in the cafeteria!”
“Five minutes?” David’s eyes glossed over. “This isn’t fair!”
Jonathan leaned back against the bathroom wall, lifting his other hand to frame David’s face when David’s ankles locked at the small of Jonathan’s back. “No, it’s not. Not having you is killing me, and I don’t know how much longer I can do it. Go with me to a movie tonight.”
David brushed his lips over Jonathan’s. “How? How are we gonna do this? I’m still grounded!” He took another kiss from Jonathan’s mouth, pulling Jonathan closer to him as he deepened the kiss briefly. Jonathan followed, his fingers threading through David’s warm hair. I need him… I need him like this, every day. I need him every day, not just… not just once in a blue moon.
Jonathan broke the kiss, breathing David’s breath as he whispered, “Travis and Chad are going with the team and a bunch of their friends—the ones that keep Vince off of us—to the drive-in. They’ve offered to take us with if we wanna go, to give us time.”
“Two minutes!” Chad called this time.
“Yes!” David murmured. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get there!”
Their mouths crashed together, David deepening the kiss as far and as fast as he could. Both boys tasted salt when the kiss broke, Jonathan feeling a tremor shimmy up his spine as David let his legs down. “Jonathan—”
Jonathan nodded disjointedly. “I know.” He forced a smile to lift his lips. “You go out first, and I’ll follow in about five minutes.” Jonathan ran the pad of his thumb over David’s full lower lip. “Fix the lips, babe… and god, but you’re gorgeous.”
“Time, fellas!” Travis called, and Jonathan watched as David took a brightly wrapped gift and card out of his Santa bag, handing them to Jonathan. He stretched up Jonathan’s body to press a brief kiss to his mouth. “Know that you are the love of my heart, my whole world. I can’t live without you—you are everything.”
Jonathan followed David to the door of the stall, watching as his love ran to the sinks, removing and reapplying his lip color and gloss. David stopped at the bathroom door, turning a merry smile to him. Jonathan held the gift to his chest, unable to stop the smile as David mouthed, Tonight.
Jonathan got ready, slipping a thick blue, white and black plaid flannel shirt over a white turtleneck. His thick acid-washed denim jeans clung to his legs and he wondered again if David would really be able to make it. The doorbell rang and Jonathan looked at himself in the mirror, muttering to himself, “I’m so going to freeze my butt off tonight.”
“Not if you take your sleeping bag and these blankets, you won’t,” his mother answered, crossing the room to whisper next to his ear, “and not if you snuggle close to him in the bed of that truck, tonight.”
Jonathan met her gaze in the mirror, furrowing his brow. “Mama?”
“He’s in the truck, trying not to be seen. He’s watching for you.” She smiled brightly. “Have fun, baby boy.”
Jonathan kissed her cheek, grabbing the sleeping bag and blankets from her. “Thank you, Mama!”
Abby tossed his coat on top of the bedding, and he ran out to the living room, finding Travis waiting for him. His friend grabbed the blankets from him so Jonathan could put on his coat. Tugging his hair out of his collar, Jonathan grinned. “Ready to go?”
The two of them hurried out to Chad’s truck, tossing the bedding into a truck bed already boasting quite a bit of warm stuff. As Jonathan got into the back of the truck, he smiled at the beautiful man waiting there for him. Diving into his arms, Jonathan knew he’d never get enough of his beautiful man. As his mouth met David’s in a tender kiss, he recalled the dream he’d had during his nap after school. Nuzzling David’s nose, he murmured, “I took a nap so I’d be rested for tonight.”
“Me, too!” Stealing a kiss, David smiled at him. “Did you dream?”
Jonathan nodded. “I dreamed we’d just gotten married, and we’d had our ceremony under the tree at the creek. It was twilight, but you could see almost every star in the sky. We were holding each other and you pressed a kiss under my chin. Just as you did that, a meteor shower started and it was gorgeous. In the middle of it, we saw a comet traveling across the sky and you gasped. I asked what was wrong and you said it had just surprised you. I said what? You pointed then, and said, Look, it’s Halley’s Comet!”
David smiled at him, running his fingers through Jonathan’s hair. “Next time that comet comes through, we’ll be almost ninety years old.”
“I know. I told you that, and you shrugged, saying, I don’t make up the rules. I just know the comets by name and they all come through so fast.”
“Weird. I wonder what that means!” David grinned, pressing a kiss to Jonathan’s mouth. “Wish we could hit the library to figure it out.”
“Traditionally, comets in dreams mean change.” Jonathan smiled. “I took it as a sign that something big was about to happen… and then I remembered that we were going out on a date tonight. That’s big.”
David laughed. “I can’t believe you know that already!” Stealing a kiss, he met Jonathan’s eyes in the dim light of the truck. “I’m ready for it. I’m ready for the change that will bring me you.”
Another kiss took over Jonathan’s whole body and he tugged David close to him. “I’m ready to have you back in my life. I don’t want this once in a blue moon stuff… I want you. I want you back in my orbit—this time, forever.”
David smiled tenderly up at him. “I am in your orbit, forever. Aeternum.”