Title: The Bluebell Woods
Art: Art #1
Word Count: 1,300
Summary: Liam has cold feet.
Author's Notes: This is, by far, the sappiest thing I've ever written. ♥ It was great fun though, and the picture is amazingly adorable, so, that helped. ♥ Much love and undying gratitude goes to atdelphi for her UNBELIEVABLE editing skills! ♥♥
~The Bluebell Woods~
Pulling out his pocket watch, a graduation gift from his father, Steve checked the time and sighed. He stood before the full-length mirror in the small, overstuffed dressing room of the community theater and put on his fedora. He fought the urge to once again check his watch.
Don't do this to me, Liam. Don't.
He had just started pacing when there was a knock at the door.
"Come in," he called. The door opened and he sighed. "Oh, it's you."
"Is that any way to greet one of your best men?" Stuart asked.
"Sorry. I was hoping you were Liam."
"He's not here yet?"
"Not that I've seen. Please, will you discreetly go check to see if he's here somewhere hiding."
There was a thump in the back of the room. Stuart, who didn't seem to notice it, nodded and cagily slipped back out the door, as if showing just how discreet he could be.
There was another thump and then a whispered curse.
Steve sighed. "Is that you, Liam?" he asked, walking over to the closet. He sat down and leaned against the closet door.
A shame-filled "Uh-huh" was the answer.
"What are you doing in there? It's a little late to be in the closet don't you think?"
"I've never been in the closet a day in my life!" Liam said, indignant. "Until... you know... now."
"I know. Remember, that's one of the many things we have in common? One of the many reasons that of all the men in all the world, you and I are most destined to be together?"
It was true. They had bonded over the fact that their experiences as gay young men had been so different than any they had ever heard about or read about. They had both known they were gay from early on, both had loving families that supported them--Steve's in San Francisco, Liam's in Dublin--neither had really bullied, and neither had ever really felt that what they were was wrong or that being different wasn't something to be celebrated.
They were lucky and they knew it. They considered themselves Third Wave Homosexuals. The first wave had fought for human rights, the second for gay rights, and they were left to bask in the accomplishments of the generations before them and to never forget the sacrifices that had been made and what it all meant.
It also meant that instead of having to deal with gay issues they instead had to deal with being alive issues. Apparently, for Liam, that meant a general case of Cold Feet.
"So, what are you doing in there, Twinkie?" Steve asked.
He could almost see Liam's eyes roll in his long sigh. Twinkie was a nickname that Steve knew both charmed and irritated Liam. Especially since he only really used it when Liam was being a raging stereotype.
"No. About this."
"About this, the wedding? But not about us?"
"This doesn't equal us. I have absolutely no doubts about us."
"But you're having doubts about the wedding?"
Now Steve could almost hear Liam's shrug.
"Just forgetting why we decided to do it. Is our life not complete enough without having to take this step?"
"Say the word, darling. I could put a stop to this right now. I could live happily with you forever and never have to walk down that aisle."
"Absolutely. We don't need to be legally bound. I'm going to live forever, so I won't need you to make any decisions on my behalf. I'm sure you'll live forever too. And we have lawyers, and accountants and parents, so our financials are all taken care of, no need for you to ever have to make any choices there. Of course, we never wanted children anway, so we're good--"
"Okay. I get it."
There was a long pause before Steve asked, "So, are you going to come out, or do you need a minute?"
"Can I have a minute?"
"Of course. This is our party-- it doesn't start without us."
"Cool. I just need to sit in here for a bit. You know, I never thought a closet would be so comfortable. Maybe we were wrong to be so out and proud from the very beginning."
"I'm glad you can be funny again. What spooked you, anyway?"
"I had another dream."
"About the Bluebell Woods?"
"Yeah, this time they were like I remembered them when I was a wee lad. We were there, you and I. Faeries, naturally."
"Naturally." Steve rested his forearms on his knees and leaned his head back against the door, his fedora falling off. "Tell me about the woods again, and about your dream."
"Ah," Liam began, his brogue getting thicker as he talked of his childhood in Ireland. "The woods by my Gran's house were lovely throughout the year, but in early spring they became enchanted. For that was when the Bluebells arrived. As if by magic, they spread along the forest floor, covering it with the most spectacular blue of these wee little flowers. My ma, who always used to love to send me out to play in the woods where it was safe, forbade me to wander into them when the flowers were there."
"Why?" Steve asked, as if on cue.
"Ah, yes. Tell me about the faeries."
"The faeries spent nine months of their lives living far away from man in the tippy top of the trees. Trees so tall and so old that you could barely see the tops of them, that had been there from the beginning of time. Every night while up there in those trees, safe from people and even birds, they would write little love letters to the people below. For even though they were frightened of our size and ferocity, they also secretly loved and wished to be loved back by us.
"So, they wrote these tiny little letters and dropped them to the ground where they would burrow into the soil of the woods, and every year, these would be the seeds and roots of the bluebells. And when they bloomed, that was their time to come among us. But, when we came, we trudged through them, kicking stomping and destroying. We broke their hearts. When we would go for walks, my ma and I, we would show our respect by not stepping into the forest. She taught me their songs, taught me how to dance on the edge of the forest to please them, and she taught me that when we lay beside the forest and fell asleep, that our dreams were like a return letter of love to them.
"All I wanted was to be one of them. And in my dreams, I was. Now, so are you."
"That's a lovely story. A lovely dream," Steve said.
"Isn't it?" Liam asked with a bitter laugh. "Turns out it was all bullshit. Turns out it was because there's a law against destroying the endangered bluebells. Turns out my ma told me a faerie tale rather then bore me with the details."
"That doesn't mean it's any less true for you. Who cares about the details? We can still live in that dream."
"But we're in the real world. We're going to be old marrieds and boring and how can the Bluebell Faeries write us love letters and how can we sing them lullabies?"
Steve tried really hard not to, but he really couldn't help himself, and once he started, it took him nearly a full minute to stop laughing." Oh, honey. You are without a doubt the cutest thing. Do you really think we're ever going to be boring? Do you think we're ever going to be anything but Bluebell Faeries ourselves?"
There was a long pause. Then very quietly, "I love you."
"And I love you."
As I like to have my toes in as many social waters as possible, this post can also be found on DreamWidth. You can comment here or there...or not at all if you want to make me cry.