Let's be clear: if Jimmy MacElroy had still been a famous figure skater when Hector spotted him standing by the side of the road looking like one of God's angels sent down to Earth with nothing but a suitcase, Hector would have left him.
He's Jimmy's stalker, after all, not his mother. He'd probably have parked somewhere nearby, taken a few pictures, maybe (well, okay, probably) driven Jimmy to the nearest ER after Jimmy'd have fainted from the cold or something - only to be able to steal Jimmy's clothes, of course.
It was a damn shame, was what it was. For twelve years, he'd been following Jimmy around, doing all the right things, and sure, he got some good stuff, but never an opportunity like this one.
Jimmy didn't even look up when he pulled over, not until Hector honked the horn a few times, because yeah, no way he was going to get up and out of his comfortable, nice, warm car to talk to some loser who'd just ruined Hector's life.
Hector rolled down the window. "You want to stay here and freeze to death or something?"
"I'm fine," Jimmy said. He was shivering all over. It made Hector want to lock him up in a freezer or something, except (he reminded himself) that Jimmy was just an ordinary guy now, so locking him up anywhere would just make Hector one of those creepy psychos you heard about on the news sometimes.
"Hey, man, I'm just offering you a ride," Hector said, even though it felt really weird to talk to Jimmy as if he were just another guy. "Don't be an idiot. Just get in the car."
Jimmy looked at him and for the first time, Hector felt like Jimmy actually saw him.
"Well, all right," Jimmy said, possibly muttering something under his breath about how his life was over anyway, which Hector pretended not to hear, because it would be such a completely selfish thing to think, nothing like the Jimmy he knew and loved at all - and okay, so Jimmy wasn't going to be famous anymore, but that didn't mean he suddenly had to turn into a jerk.
" - and so I'm thinking maybe I should become his fan." Jimmy was just as much of a great listener as Hector'd always imagined him to be; he never interrupted or disagreed or did anything at all to stop Hector from getting his story out, and Hector hadn't even gagged him or tied him to a chair or anything. True, on the surface, Jimmy might look like he was resting his eyes, or taking a nap, but Hector knew better. It made him feel kind of guilty.
"But it's a big step, of course," he added a bit awkwardly. "I don't want to rush into anything."
Jimmy slowly nodded his head in a gesture full of sympathy and understanding.
"So er, you got a place to stay or anything?" Hector had gotten a hotel room - a cheap one. It'd been all he'd been able to afford on his salary as shop assistant.
Being a stalker was not for those with aspirations of becoming rich and famous.
"Jimmy?" Hector raised his voice slightly, although he was touched that Jimmy'd get so caught up in thinking about Hector's problems that he'd forget about his own.
"Sorry, what is it? You want me to get out here?" Jimmy sounded resigned.
Hector wanted to hug him to death. "I wanted to know if you had a place to stay."
"Okay," Hector said. "We can share my hotel room."
As it turned out, they could indeed share the room - but not the bed. Jimmy looked pretty stubborn about not sharing the bed, and Hector figured that on second thought, it had been a bad idea, anyway; he'd probably dream about Jimmy, after all, and when he woke up with Jimmy right there, he might do something stupid, like tell Jimmy he was still the greatest, and that would only hurt Jimmy's feelings, not to mention giving him completely the wrong idea about Hector.
Hector only slept for about three hours; yesterday had been a pretty big day, after all. When he woke up, he knew Jimmy was awake, too, probably for the same reason.
They really could have had something amazing and beautiful together.
"I could have beaten him up for you, you know," he said.
Jimmy said nothing. He was right, of course; it was too late for could-haves.
"Now I need to start all over again." Hector thought of his special Jimmy room and wanted to cry. Maybe he should ask someone else to clean it, to throw the stuff out.
Jimmy kept quiet, doubtlessly overwhelmed by guilt.
He really was a fabulous person. That guy from Ukrania might look like Elvis, but he'd never be able to fly over the ice the way Jimmy used to do.
Jimmy'd fallen asleep again after their talk that night, and Hector figured it would be a kindness to let him sleep in while he went out to get an English-Ukranian dictionary and made some casual inquiries about visum-requirements. No sense in postponing the inevitable, after all - plus, it felt strange not to have someone to stalk anymore. Hector liked to have a purpose, a goal of sorts.
Perhaps, he tried to tell himself, it would do him good to get a change. Stalking Jimmy could never have become a drag, of course, only, well, he'd done it for almost twelve years. Most marriages didn't even last half that long.
By the time he got back to the hotel, he was feeling a little better about the whole mess. Sure, it was still bad, but he'd get over it. He'd move on.
"I called my lawyers," Jimmy said, putting down the phone just as Hector entered the room.
"Oh." Hector blinked. He hadn't considered the possibility of lawyers. He should have, of course; clearly it had been completely unfair to ban Jimmy from figure skating for life merely for not putting up with someone like Chazz, but ... but it had seemed like such a beautifully tragic ending to Jimmy's career.
Normal figure skaters might get old, embarrassing themselves by continuing to compete even though it was obvious they were well past their prime. Hector knew he'd never have let that happen to Jimmy; he'd applied for a gun license and taken on-line shooting lessons and when the time came, he'd have pulled the trigger and it would have been perfect.
"They're getting me a place to stay, too." Jimmy got up. He'd packed his suitcase again, Hector noticed, all ready to leave, to move on just like Hector had intended to do. Except that he realized now that he couldn't. He shouldn't. Jimmy still needed him; Jimmy was going to fight for Hector and himself.
Hector wanted to cry and tie Jimmy down to the bed and beg him for forgiveness for ever even considering trading him in for some Ukranian Elvis impersonator.
"So uh." Jimmy sprayed something on his hand and held it out. Hector grasped it without even thinking about it, reacting purely on instinct. "Thanks, Hector," Jimmy said.
"You know my name." Hector had signed all the letters and postcards and packages, of course, but even so, it made him feel all warm inside to hear Jimmy say his name out loud.
"I guess I'll see you around." Jimmy was at the door and opening it before Hector could decide whether or not he wanted to keep him there.
Hector stared at his hand. "I'm never going to wash this again," he said to the sound of the door closing.
The blankets Jimmy had slept under were still there though, and the towel Jimmy had used to dry himself after taking a shower, even though Jimmy had packed his toothbrush and the tiny bottle of showergel the hotel had provided.
It was a shame Hector couldn't work out a way to take the whole room - or even just the bed - but in the end, he decided he'd done quite well.
Now all he had to do was wait until Jimmy got back on the ice again.