Fan Fiction - Krasobruslení


Tightrope
~by Estriel~


Jeff is safe. That’s what everybody thinks and it seems that nothing he could possibly do – from publicly admitting that he sabotages his competitors by making their blades rust, over talking about his relationship with Chris in ways that, coming from any of the other not-quite-straight-enough suspects, would certainly cause a wild discussion, to becoming World Champion when no one expected him to – could change that widespread belief.

That is probably why Evan chooses Jeff to be friends with. Or, Jeff muses sarcastically, it could be for his charming smile. Then he remembers that a certain American with a very charming smile has had a crush on Evan since age sixteen and has been trying – in vain – to get into Evan’s pants (or at least into his heart) for just as long... It can’t be the smile. Evan is immune against smiles on most people, it seems.

So it probably really is simply that everyone likes Jeff, he’s non-threatening, recently even his skating has been non-threatening (with the exception of the surprise win at Worlds, of course), not even the American federation has objections against Evan’s friendship with Jeff... And so he and Evan hang out whenever they compete at the same events and the photos of them together – all smiley and cute – drive Chris a little crazy and complicate Jeff’s already complicated enough love life.

Luckily, Jeff is good at pacifying Chris, because Chris trusts him and because he knows that Jeff doesn’t like the tall-dark-handsome all that much, anyway. Because Jeff is safe and Evan is straight. Right?

Right.

But then Tanith decides that she and Evan need a break and Evan lets Weir kiss him at Nationals in a moment of post-break(-up) recklessness. It would be none of Jeff’s business, of course, if Evan didn’t realize that he actually liked the kiss. The only problem is that Evan doesn’t like Weir, never has and never will, because liking Weir the way Weir has liked Evan for years would really mess things up and be a danger for both of them and their careers... not to mention that it would mean giving up the psychological advantage Evan has over Weir. In the end, Evan runs to Jeff, because Jeff is safe and Jeff is gay.

Jeff is also a good friend – or an idiot – and feels obliged to help. And so when Evan asks for a kiss, just to find out if he maybe really likes kissing men (and to ensure that it’s men and not Weir that he likes to kiss), Jeff agrees.

Evan is too tall, so Jeff has to stand on his toes. It makes him feel slightly wobbly, standing like that, until Evan wraps his arms around him and steadies him. They kiss, just a light brush of lips against lips; Jeff remembers the first time he’d kissed Chris, just like that, when they were only boys and both a little freaked out, but very curious and high on the rush of forbidden-ness. The wobbliness returns, except this time it comes from inside and the feeling only grows stronger as he parts his lips to allow Evan’s tongue to push past and into his mouth.

It’s all wrong, but it’s also exciting – Jeff, the safe friend, the safe boyfriend, the person who always does the right thing... breaking all the rules. He wonders if this is what it feels like for the “bad boys” of their sport, the ones who wear their pants too tight, put on too much glitter and get disciplinary memos for wording things the wrong way.

The brand new sensation makes Jeff a little giddy, almost like he’s someone else, like he’s finally more than a safety net that gets taken for granted. And so when Evan moves to pull away, Jeff locks his fingers around his neck to draw him in closer the way someone like Johnny might, then pushes his hips into Evan’s provocatively the way someone like Emanuel would.

Later, when he’s lying on rumpled up sheets that are already growing cold, robbed of the warmth of a second body, his phone starts ringing. Jeff doesn’t answer because he’s afraid Chris might hear the guilt in his voice; he doesn’t feel so brave anymore now that the heat of the moment has faded.
He curls up on the bed, clutching the phone helplessly, and loneliness settles around him like a heavy blanket. He suddenly realizes that there is a price to be paid for being a bad boy, a reason why Eman and Johnny and the others who play by their own rules are so often seen alone.

People crave safety. Jeff does, too, he sees it now. And being safe for others – for friends, his lover, the audience – created his own safety net. He just snapped a few of the threads in half... and he’s not sure if he’s ready for the fall.

~fin~


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