Gavin has never been subtle. This fact is made blatantly clear when Travis watches a rock, probably most akin to a boulder, fly through his bedroom window and land on the floor. Attached to the rock is a small, crumpled note with,
“U. mE. dRiVe? ;o)”
scribbled out messily in purple pen.
Travis isn’t really sure how to feel, to be quite honest, because, um, damn. Gavin just broke his window. Again. And he’s going to have to listen to his Dad chew him out in Spanish about “how he needs to stop fucking around and breaking las ventallas! Ay dios mios! Que maldito nino!” and etc. But, he thinks as he looks down into Gavin’s ridiculously happy smiling face, he guesses he doesn’t mind it so much.
He changes out of his pajamas and throws on jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and his black shoes. Glancing at the mirror, he thinks his hair looks fine, almost sexy bedhead-ish actually. Ha, him sexy. He can’t help but grin at the mirror a little bit regardless.
Travis slides open his window as quietly as it’ll allow, which is still dangerously loud since their house is really old. He moves it a fraction to fast and hears his dad start; his body freezing up. It’s quiet for a minute and he can feel sweat beginning to pool on his scalp in nervousness. Another minute passes and he hears the sheets move in his dad’s room. Oh, God, he’s going to get caught and he’ll have to go through the awkward lecture about how he needs to be safe with his boyfriend and that is not something he wants to hear tonight, like at all. He decides to wait one more minute before jumping back into bed and letting this whole plan go, but he hears snoring again.
Safe? Yeah. Safe.
Travis opens the window the last inch and swings his left foot out. It finds hold in the ivy growing along the side of his house and he tests his weight. Feels good. He slides his right foot out too and begins his climb down. Inch by inch. Left foot, left hand, right foot, right hand. He’s about three or so feet off the ground when part of the ivy snaps and he comes falling down with an undignified squeak.
“I got you, bro.” Gavin whispers, running over to catch him. And he kind of succeeds too? Travis lands in his arms but they both just end up tumbling in the lawn, rolling over and over until they reach the bottom of the grassy hill by Travis’ driveway. “You okay?” And when Gavin looks over at Travis, Travis’ hair has bits of grass and a stray dandelion weaved into it, his face a bit dazed and confused. Gavin laughs and brushes it away, giving him a soft kiss on the forehead.
“I am very much okay. Thank you for catching me from my fall!” Travis whispers nervously, eyes glancing back at his house as if his dad would come out at any moment. “It was very kind and considerate of you.”
“Ain’t no thing, man. Just watchin’ out for a motherfucker is all.”
“That doesn’t make it any less sweet or bad? I think that is how you use that word.”
Gavin grins at him, “Oh, break it down, baby!”
Travis laughs at that, giving him a small punch in the arm. “If we’re done with throwing down this slang; I’m ready to, um, blow this popsicle stand.” He stands up and dusts himself off as bits of stray grass clipping float down. His shirt and jeans have grass stains, but he can’t really go back and change clothes now in lieu of the risk of waking his Dad. He’ll just have to let this go.
Gavin stands up then too, brushing himself off. He looks-looks, so, so very fly. Like one of the cool cats who play the axe down on Barber street in that little club. He’s wearing a black and white button up shirt, black slacks, and a white tie. Regardless of his fancier appearance, his hair is still as messy and un-tameable as it usually is; flying away from his face at ridiculous angles. Gavin always makes it a priority to dress well when he takes Travis out, probably because these were drives were there unofficial dates.
It’s the 1950’s.
People didn’t exactly roll out the welcome wagon if you were queer here.
So, Gavin took him out once a week and they would just drive. No destination, no timeslot, no worries. That was the plan that they had: to just go with road and see where it lead them. And they would talk too. For hours and hours about whatever came to mind; be it the littlest most benign things. It was always so fun that Travis didn’t really want to go back to school the next day. He didn’t want to go back and pretend like he didn’t love Gavin and like they didn’t even really know each other. School was just so lame.
But he didn’t want to think about school. Not as Gavin was standing there with the passenger seat door shoved open, his arms gesturing towards it happily. Travis climbed in and Gavin shut the door before sliding over the hood and getting in the driver’s side.
“Where to, man?” He joked as he turned his key in the ignition and the car sputtered to life.
Travis looked at him then and they just stared at each other; eyes locked. He took a deep gulp. “Old Man Johnson’s Hill?”
Gavin’s eyes opened up comically wide, hand slipping on the stick shift. “You all up and sure about that, cat? I don’t wanna be pressuring you into something you ain’t jivin’ with.” And he still looks unsure when Travis nods his head, like a deer caught in headlights.
“Positive. If, uh, that’s okay with you?” And Gavin nods his head probably a bit too eagerly at that and the two drive off into the night.
It’s quiet besides the radio that’s crooning with some jam Gavin doesn’t really care about, but can’t quite place. He’s distracted, mostly because he’s terrified of messing everything up. Travis, for his part, is the same way; nervously fidgeting in his seat as he tries to decide whether he should look out the side window or straight ahead. Before long they pull up at the hill and there are only a few other cars parked, most likely because it’s a school night and most people opt to come on the weekends.
Gavin backs into a spot and parks the car, the radio shutting off quickly as the end of a song fizzles out. It’s hauntingly silent as the night air glides through a crack in the window. Travis shivers involuntarily before hearing rustling. He looks over and Gavin’s hopped into his back seat and is looking for something beneath piles of empty soda bottles and bags from a nearby bakery. A grin splits across his face as he appears to find it and motions for Travis to come to the back seat with him. It’s tough getting back there and his foot catches on something, causing him to stumble once again. He drags himself into the seat next to Gavin and Gavin makes a triumphant sound.
“I’m about to present to you, Travbro, a motherfuckin’ miraculous gift that I hope you’ll accept. Are you ready for this?”
Travis nods his head at him. “Yeah.”
Gavin withdraws his leather jacket and puts it in Travis’ hands. And, well, Travis is kinda shocked and really really happy because omg. He just got jacketed! He just got jacketed by his amazing boyfriend and tonight is just perfect. Quickly he slips into the jacket and hugs him. Inhaling, he smells smoke and pie and he isn’t sure if it’s from the leather or if it’s from Gavin and he loves that fact.
“So is this a yes? Are you down with going steady with this muggles smokin’ joe blow?” His voice is nervous as his eyes search Travis’, making sure that, yes, his favorite cat is jivin’ with this just fine.
Travis wraps his arms around the back of his neck and pulls him in for a kiss. The kiss is so strong and determined, Gavin is knocked starstruck when they break; Travis smiling a million watt smile.
“I am absolutely going to flip my lid if you think I would ever say no.” And Gavin grins back at him, crowding Travis’ space to kiss him again. This time, it’s much slower, but still passionate and perfect. The stars shine overhead and they hear crickets chirp somewhere far off in the background. Travis breaks the kiss this time and curls up in Gavin’s arms as they both stared up into the night sky. Gavin pushed back a stray strand of Travis’ hair, giving him a quick peck on the nose before intertwining their hands.
The moon rested low in the sky now, as if they could reach out and touch it. And, at least Travis thinks, they probably could. They could probably do anything they wanted, but this right here, was exactly what they needed.
And Gavin, though he may try to be, isn’t at all subtle when he says, “I love you.”
And Travis thinks that, maybe, it’s far better this way.