A/N: Okay, okay, so I know I can't really write anything with these two characters that's not happy. In any case, I realize a lot of this might be very optimistic and somewhat unrealistic. But hey, the quaint little farmhouse in Rhode Island actually exists. My aunt and uncle got married in it. :) Oh, BTW, I'm splitting this one into chapters, but it's about the same length as "Confessions and Fireworks."


I stumbled into my dark, empty house at five o'clock on a Thursday afternoon. It was pouring rain outside, the traffic had been horrible, and on top of it all, I had forgotten my math book at school. I dumped my backpack and my swim bag on the floor by the kitchen table and quickly exchanged my damp t-shirt for a sweatshirt that was folded neatly on top of the dryer in the laundry room.

It was October, it was raining, and it was absolutely frigid outside. Just the week before I had still been wandering around in shorts and bare feet, and now it was time to pull out all my winter clothes. Abandoning my damp bags and clothes in the kitchen, I wandered upstairs and found a pair of clean jeans to put on and fished out some socks from a messy dresser drawer. I yawned and looked longingly at my bed, which was looking very inviting after a grueling swim practice. I reminded myself that at least an hour of homework awaited me downstairs, and grudgingly trudged down to start on it.

I had just pulled out my global issues textbook and assignment sheet when the phone rang. I was very tempted to just ignore it and get my work done, as fast as possible, but after the second ring, there was no hope of concentration.

I grabbed it just before the answering machine picked up and answered, "Stevenson residence."

"Danny? This is Matt."

I couldn't help the smile that spread across my face as I made myself comfortable on the kitchen counter. "Hey! How are you?"

"I'm doing fine, especially since my cell phone company gave me some free long distance minutes."

I laughed. "I'll make sure to thank them. So how have you been? Enjoying the school year so far?" I teased.

"Very funny. Not really. How about you? How's it going out there?" he asked.

I sighed. "Well...it's...going..."

"That bad, huh? Aren't you swimming now?"

"Yeah, but my coach is an asshole. It sucks. But guess what," I said, smiling at the thought of it.


"I'm back at dance class now!" I exclaimed. "I love it, and I'm right at the level I would have been at if I hadn't quit, either. My teacher was happy to see me back."

Matt whooped on the other end of the line. "That's awesome, Danny! You're really happy about it, aren't you? Have you told anyone?"

"Yeah, actually. I told my girlfriends Stacy and Mallory and one guy, Alex. He seemed cool with it and the girls were all excited for me. Um...have you told anyone about...you know..."

"Being gay? No, not yet anyway. I don't think I'm going to, yet, anyway. I might wait until senior year to even think about saying anything, just in case it causes problems. How about you?"

"Haven't breathed it to a soul. I got some joking comments when I went back to dance, but it was harmless."

There was a brief pause before Matt suddenly said, "I miss you."
Thankful that the house was empty, I replied, "I miss you, too." I jumped when I heard the door open, and when I saw my mom enter, I was struck with sudden inspiration.

"Hold on a second, okay?" I told Matt.


"Hi mom!" I said, cheerfully, knowing I'd have to be careful with my words to get this one to work.

"Hi honey, how was school? Who are you on the phone with?"

"School was fine. It's Matt."

"Oh, and how is he?"

"He's fine. We were actually talking about getting together sometime soon. Would it be all right if he came out to stay for a weekend? Sometime soon?"

My mom spent a few seconds thinking about my proposition. "I think that's fine. Why don't we try for next weekend? I don't think we have anything planned. How about you? Are you going out with anyone next weekend?"

"I'm completely free next weekend. Great, thanks mom. I'll ask him." I turned back to the phone and said, "Hey, are you still there?"


"Are you free next weekend?" I asked.

"I think so, why?"

"Do you want to come out here and stay for a weekend?"

"That would be awesome! Let me run it by my parents real quick." I could hear muffled talking in the background before he gave me an answer. "My parents said that it was fine. Do you want me to come up Friday night? If I left right after school I could probably be at your house by eight or so."

"Go for it. I'll be waiting," I replied.

"Okay, well, I'm sorry to cut this short, but my phone just beeped, which means I'm gonna be paying a lot of money per minute if we talk any longer. I'll e-mail you or something later this week so we can work out details, okay?"

"Sounds good. I'll talk to you then."


"Bye, Matt." I hung up the phone, trying to keep the smile off my face so my mother wouldn't suspect anything.

Even if I hadn't, she was examining her planner and didn't look up when she asked me, "Next Friday is the fifteenth, right, Dan?"
"Yeah, that sounds about right."

"You know what, that following Monday and Tuesday, you don't have school because of first quarter parent-teacher conferences. You should probably see if Matt has those days off, too, because then you'll see each other for more than just one full day."

As if on cue, the phone rang again, with Matt on the other end. "Hey, gotta make this quick, but do you--"

"Have no school the Monday and Tuesday the weekend after you're visiting?" I finished for him.


"I have those days off and you're welcome to stay here for them," I replied.

"Hey, great! Well, like I said, I'll e-mail you."

"Okay, bye."


I hung up and smiled at my mom. "Impeccable timing, huh?"

She laughed. "Yeah, that's what I'd call that."