I know I'm a couple weeks late, but I'm lazy. At least it's not a year, right? I've decided that this will be the last chapter of Love, Big Deal, so I'll try to make it good, okay? I'm not used to ending stories as big as this, but there will be an Epilogue, so don't fret, 'k?
UPDATE 9/18/05: Actually, there won't be an Epilogue... Sorry guys, but I think that if I write one this story could get complicated, and it wasn't meant to be complicated, you know? Again, sorry. ::sheepish look::
Love, Big Deal
Drake groaned and moved to shift away from the finger softly, but irritatingly, poking into his ribcage. He tried to wrap his pillow around his head, but it was swiftly pulled away from him. His head landed with a soft thud onto the mattress below, and he turned to glare at his nuisance. His eyes slid closed, however, when he felt a pair of warm lips ghost along his throat and collarbone, and he let out a soft sigh.
"You'd better get up," James said softly, almost purring. "We need to be down to breakfast in ten minutes." He continued his assault on his young lover's neck for a moment longer, reveling in the soft noises he was making. He reluctantly pulled away, though, for he knew they would never make it to breakfast if they went any further.
Drake pouted up at James when the light caresses stopped. But the older man gave him a look that made him roll his eyes and slowly pull himself out of bed. He looked over at James, who had busied himself with glancing over his notes, and saw that he was already dressed. He could also tell he'd taken a shower; his dark hair fell damply into his eyes and around his ears.
/He looks so…/ Drake thought to himself, standing and stretching. /How could I be so lucky?/ He walked over to him and wrapped him in a bear hug, kissing him firmly on the mouth.
James jumped a bit. "What was that for?" he asked when Drake stepped away.
Drake smiled and simply said, "Good morning," before heading to the bathroom.
James called after him, "Don't be too long, okay?"
Drake turned in the doorway and smiled back at him. "Well," he began nonchalantly, "what you did this morning was kind of… you know. And you know what teenage boys do in the shower when they're… you know…" He smiled and walked into the bathroom, leaving the door open behind him.
It only took James a few moments before he was right in there with him.
James took his seat with the other chaperones in the dining hall, sending them a chipper "Good morning!" before digging into his waffles. Carla and Trey eyed him warily for a moment.
"Are you okay?" Carla asked, sipping her coffee. "I've never seen you so…"
"Relaxed?" Trey finished. He idly pushed scrambled eggs around his plate, waiting for James' reply.
"What?" James laughed. "I'm just excited about today. I know we're going to win. I mean, our rehearsal last night was the worst one of them all, and that means we're going to be the best! Besides, our soloists are much more skilled than the other schools'. There's no way in hell we're going to, lose." He smiled at his co-workers, causing them to feel even more uncomfortable.
"Whatever you say, James," Carla sighed after a moment. She stood up. "Well, I think I left my cell phone in my room. I'll be back in a bit." She walked off.
Trey waited until the woman was gone before sliding into the seat near James. "Okay," he began. "Spill it."
James looked at him. "Spill what?"
"Come off it, James," Trey said with a wave of his hand. "You got laid, didn't you?"
James nearly spewed waffles all over the man's bright blue shirt. "W-what?!" he squawked, gaping at Trey.
Trey laughed. "I knew it! The one true was to calm a man's nerves is to fu-"
"Shh!" James hissed, leaning in closer to Trey. "You don't have to broadcast it!"
"So, who was it?"
James froze. /Now what? I can't tell him that!/ "I'm not telling you!" He said indignantly, gulping down his coffee. He winced as the bitter liquid flowed down his throat.
"Why?" Trey asked, folding his arms. "I'll probably never even meet him."
"Him?!" James nearly shouted, causing a few students to look over at them. Blushing, he lowered his voice he said, "How did you know-"
"Oh, please," Trey sighed. "I'm on the same team, James. How could I not know?"
James took a few moments to stabilize himself before he replied. "I'm still not telling you."
"Telling him what?" Carla asked, returning to the table.
"Nothing," James said, glaring at Trey. Trey just smiled and shrugged.
Carla looked at him. "Why are you sitting so close to him?" she asked the art teacher.
Trey grinned and ran his fingers through James' hair. "Well, just look at him." Before he lost his arm, he scurried back to his seat.
Since everyone was allowed some free time after breakfast, Drake went to Amy's room to hang out for a bit. Her roommates were with their friends, and they wouldn't be back until later.
"You what?!" Amy yelled, clutching at a pillow and gaping at her friend.
Drake was too elated to tell her to keep quiet. He nodded, and added with a grin, "And in the shower this morning, too."
Amy squealed and threw her pillow at Drake, who laughed and caught it. "That's so great, Drake! I knew you two would do it!"
Drake hugged the pillow. "Well, we didn't exactly do that. But it was still…"
Amy bounced excitedly. "Still what?"
"There are no words to describe it," Drake sighed, staring out the window dreamily.
Amy smirked and smacked him on the head. "Don't get all mushy on me, now! I can't abuse you when you're in 'happy-kitten' mode."
Drake rubbed the back of his head where she'd hit him. "All right, geez." He narrowed his eyes at her. "You know…"
Amy leaned forward a bit. "What?"
"I bet Craig could put you into 'happy-kitten' mode- OW!" He was cut off when the girl tackled him to the floor.
James looked up from his notes and smiled when he saw Drake enter the room. "Where have you been?" He said, scooting over on the bed to make room for Drake.
"With Amy," Drake said, sliding up next to James and snuggling into his side. "Where else?" James nodded, wrapping his right arm around the boy. "How can you read that?" Drake asked.
Drake pointed at the seemingly random markings on the paper in front of him. "That."
"Hey," James protested. "It's not that bad! When I was a student teacher I saw much worse."
"Right…" Drake said, laying his head on James' shoulder.
James kissed the top of his head. "I've been looking a these for too long anyway," he said, laying the notes to the side. He put a hand under Drake's chin, causing him to look up. He kissed him, moving to lie on his back with Drake on top. Drake obliged, deepening the kiss.
They stayed like that for a while, occasionally caressing or groping each other, until a shocked voice sounded from the door.
"Oh my God."
Drake leapt off of James, nearly falling to the floor, while James shot up and snapped his head in the direction of the door. He cursed when he saw the owner of the voice, jumping off the bed and over to the intruder, closing the door to the room.
"Don't you knock?!" He nearly screamed, glaring at the visitor.
"And miss the show?" Mr. King said, placing a hand on his hip. "It's a good thing I interrupted when I did. We would've been late if you two started-"
"You can't tell anyone!" James blurted, grabbing Mr. King's shoulders. Meanwhile, Drake stood on the opposite side of the bed, blushing a brilliant scarlet and trying to vanish.
"I won't!" Mr. King snapped, brushing James' hands off him. "You should be grateful it was only me! Who knows what could've happened if it'd been Carla or one of the students!" He crossed his arms over his chest. He gave James a harsh look. "And I wish you would stop treating me like I'm some sort of monster! I've been nothing but nice to since we've met!"
"You call throwing yourself at me being nice?!" James questioned, stepping away from the door. "Anyway, that's not the problem here, is it?" He looked over at Drake. "It's all right. Trey- I mean, Mr. King, isn't going to say anything."
/Oh shit!/ was all Drake's mind was capable of processing at that moment. He folded his arm tightly around his chest and sat on the edge of the bed, finding himself too shaky to stand. /Now he's going to lose his job and get charged as a pedophile all because of-/
"Drake!" James snapped, jerking him from his thoughts. "Did you hear me?" he added more gently. "He won't tell."
Mr. King gave him a warm smile. "Promise. I know how you must feel. I dated a teacher when I was in school."
Drake found his voice and said, "Yeah?"
"Well," said Mr. King. "I was actually in college, and I was twenty-two, but it was still against school policy. He could've lost his job and I could've been expelled." He shrugged. "We never got caught, though."
"Why are you here, anyway?" James asked, still a bit shaken.
"Carla sent me to ask if we're ready to go," the man answered.
James sighed. "Just tell the kids to get ready and to meet us down in the lobby in a half-hour, okay?"
Mr. King nodded. "Right." He turned to leave and called over his shoulder, "Lock the door next time, Jesus…"
Drake squirmed uncomfortably in his suit as the band gathered around backstage at the concert hall. James was trying to give them instructions over all the noise, but he was failing miserably.
"What's wrong?" Amy asked, moving to stand at his side. She was dressed in a soft, peach-colored dress, her hair tamed for once.
"Nothing," Drake said shortly, pulling at his tie. /Damn thing…/
"Really?" Amy raised a brow.
Drake sighed. He moved toward her until his mouth was right next to her ear. "James and I were… making out, and Mr. King walked in and caught us," he whispered.
Amy gasped and covered her mouth. "No…" she breathed.
Drake moved back and nodded. "He said he wouldn't tell, but he's still a faculty member, so I don't know…"
Amy looked at him, concern in her eyes. "I'm sure he won't," she said hopefully. "He's not exactly an orthodox teacher, you know?"
"Yeah…" Drake said, gazing at James. The man met his eyes and gave him a small smile. Drake smiled back. "I hope things aren't ruined between us."
"Now you're being melodramatic," Amy said.
Drake only nodded.
As luck would have it, the band of West Point High was the last to perform, with Drake's solo tying everything up. And perform they did, but it was far from perfect. James couldn't help but feel disappointed when he realized that they'd lost their shot at placing first, but he refused to let it show, and continued on with the program. He was delighted with Amy's and Craig's solo performances, which were completely on point.
/Please…/ was all he could think as he watched Drake stand with his violin, poised and ready. His eyes looked to James' own. He nodded to Drake once, and the boy began his performance.
James felt shiver run up and down his spine with every note Drake played. Everything he had felt when he wrote the song came rushing back to him: all the confusion he felt with himself, all the pain and guilt he held towards Julia, all the hope he'd let spark within him at the thoughts of a brighter future. It was almost too much for James, and he felt a tear glide down his cheek. He hadn't known it then, but he'd written this song for Drake and Drake alone.
When the last note died down, the concert hall was still. Then, it erupted into applause, Drake's mother cheering the loudest of them all. James watched as Drake lowered his violin, smiling brightly and bowing for the crowd. Unable to contain himself, James rushed over to boy and wrapped in his arms, lifting him from the stage floor.
"Beautiful," he gasped out, setting Drake down. Drake's smile became more brilliant, and it was all James could do to not kiss him right there. He looked out at the audience and gestured toward Drake, and they cheered even louder. With one last bow, James put his arm around his shoulders and led him from the stage.
"You were wonderful!" Angela cried, squeezing the life out of her son. "Simply wonderful! Oh Drake!"
"I never knew you were that good!" said Oscar, clapping Drake on the back.
They were all standing in the school parking lot after the competition was over and the photographs had been taken. The students had ridden the bus home, while their parents drove in their cars.
"Mom!" Drake protested, though he was smiling. "I need to breathe, you know!" He removed himself from his mother's grasp and looked down at the golden plaque in his hands. He'd won first place in the solo part of the competition, with Craig coming in second and a flutist from another school coming in third. His school placed third, which wasn't bad considering they'd won two thousand dollars. Drake, himself, had won five thousand dollars toward scholarships.
"Drake!" came a familiar voice behind him. He turned just in time to catch Amy as she leapt into his arms. "That was the most amazing thing I've ever heard! I was practically bawling, you were so good!" She kissed him loudly on the lips.
Drake laughed. "Thanks, Amy. You were pretty good, too."
"I don't even want to hear it, Mr. Prescott," Amy said, looking over Drake's plaque. "You're the musician. I want to be a dentist, remember? Music is just a hobby for me."
"But you could make it into a career."
Everyone looked over to see James standing there, a wide smile on his face.
"You think?" Drake asked, handing his plaque to Angela.
"I know." James walked over to him and opened his arms. Drake happily stepped into them, returning the embrace. "I'm so proud of you," he whispered. Drake tried hard not to cry.
Angela smiled. "I'm so glad he's finally found someone to look up to."
Amy snorted. "If you only knew…"
Angela didn't quite hear her. "Hm? Did you say something, Amy?"
Amy blanched. "No!" she recovered quickly. "Hey, Drake! Let's all go out to eat or something. My family and yours, okay? Mr. K, you can come too!"
"Sounds great," Drake said, coming out of James' embraced only to be smothered by Angela once again. /All of us together./
All done! Twelve chapters and one year later, it's finally finished. Well, what did you think? Was the ending okay? I hope all of you enjoyed it. I've read all of your reviews and loved them all to pieces (even that flame: at least it shows that the person cares about something, you know?). If it weren't for you guys, I probably would've never finished this. I even thank those who didn't leave a review (I have nearly ten thousand hits! Whoa!), 'cause I know you liked the story, too. I'm going to take a break from writing for a while, but I'm working on another story that will probably be more involved than this one. To check up on anything significant going on, go to my Live Journal at ( http :www . live journal . com / users / impishvagrant / ) (remove the spaces). I love you all and I thank you for being there. Peace.