Sweat dripped down from Altair’s brow, slicking his skin and running in many streams over and along the contours of his frame. He gulped down some air and found his ground, planting his feet and keeping eye contact and ducked at a kick to the side of his face and retaliated with two quick jabs and a knife hand, none of which was really heavy enough to hurt but were more taps against the side of the older man’s rib cage when one jab connected and the other blows were blocked.
“Down,” the word cut through his mind like a knife and he took an abrupt step back from the man he was sparring with and stood back in line with the others, facing the man and gave him a bump. “Switch,” the master called and he hopped over one place, opposite a woman now, a few years younger them, blue belt to Altair’s red.
“Begin,” the old master said and Altair’s legs bent automatically. The girl eyed him and sent a few test blows at him, he snapped up a blocking forearm every time and then Altair got a kick off, it tapped against her flank but didn’t do any damage. They traded a few more jabs and blocks before a ‘down’ called them back to the line and they bumped the top of their padded fighting gear on their hands against each other. “Switch,” he called again and now Altair was against a first degree black belt, middle aged man, who smiled at him. Altair nodded, serious faced, “Begin.”
This went on for another ten minutes before they took a break to stretch, dropping off their padding before hand, the twenty or so people in the class in lines and columns. Altair was bent fully over himself and was casually grabbing the bottom of his feet and looked up towards the front of the dojo where a few kids were sitting, waiting for the class to be over. Desmond was there, with his coloring book and Altair’s phone. He looked back down and pressed his sweaty face into the heavy, white, cloth of his gi. It was already soaked with sweat and did nothing to absorb the sweat on his face.
When Altair had been younger, he’d taken Tae Kwon Do, attempting to stay up with it even when they moved, because no matter where you went teaching Tae Kwon Do was the same and each level needed to learn a specific set of moves and forms. Most boys his age, who had started when he’d started would have been black belts by now, first or second degree, and there were some kids his age who were junior instructors, second degrees who were close to their third degree. But from moving around so much Altair didn’t get the chance to gain ranks really. It had taken him seventeen years to make red belt and his masters always said ‘you have the skill of some second/third degrees I know’, which wasn’t a surprise. When you did something for more then a decade and were always in the lower levels, repeatedly mastering the lower forms, you tended to get very good at them.
Since it was summer now he’d decided to come back to a dojo, as he hadn’t since before he lived in Florida (there had been no Tae Kwon Do schools in Key West) and since Desmond was old enough he’d enrolled him too. It was good. It helped Altair relieve some of the stress in his life and it was a different work out then baseball. Desmond liked it too, though he was just a white belt right now.
When the master called them to stand up Altair unfolded himself from the bridge he’d put himself in, simply standing, instead of dropping and then standing, and fisted his hands in front of him in a ready position, feet shoulder width apart. Promotions were coming up and Altair licked his lips, he could get black belt, he had his stripe… he focused back on what was being said, knowing better then to day dream. You could only get promoted to black belt if he master allowed it, and his master was a eighth degree black belt Nam veteran, and while that was super cool he was also very serious. After the talk about promotions they said goodnight and Altair dropped his ready stance and stepped out of line as the class dispersed.
“I get any calls?” he asked his brother as he walked across the matt to where he was sitting in the chairs by the door with the other kids.
“Malik texted you,” he said, swinging his feet a little in his own white gi which looked like it belonged on a doll it was so small.
“What he say?” Altair asked in general and took the phone from his brother and unlocked the screen. He had the texts locked though since sometimes Malik didn’t know how to send non perverted things to his phone. All it said was ‘call me’. Well that was a relief.
“Altair,” he jerked around at his name on the dojo master’s lips. The old man was standing behind him, hands on his hips.
“Yes sir?” he asked.
“I wanted to discuss promotions with you briefly.”
“Yes?” he asked, trying not to count his chickens before they hatched.
“Even though you just started here, you have a lot of skill, and discipline. It’s a good example to the others. I bet you want your black belt.”
“That would be nice, yeah,” he tried to feign affectedness.
The old man smiled, “Good. I’ll make sure to order you your black belt for promotions. Next class bring a check for it.”
“Yes sir, of course,” he said and now was smiling widely. The old man nodded and then turned to go talk to someone else. Once he was gone Altair actually jumped three feet in the air.
“Why’re you so happy Altair?” Desmond asked him.
“Cause I’m ganna be a black belt,” he said, sitting next to him and pulling on his socks and shoes quickly.
“Oh. Can I be a black belt too?”
Altair chuckled, “You have to earn a black belt buddy,” he ruffled his hair. “Right now you’ve just started and have a white belt, but soon you’ll have a yellow stripe and then all the rest of the colors after it, to black,” and he finished tying his shoes.
“Oh,” though he wasn’t sure if Desmond got it. He was five and while plenty clever he was still only five.
“C’mon, lets go home,” and Desmond gathered up his coloring book and crayons as Altair called Malik back. Desmond took his hand as they left the dojo. “Hey,” he said when Malik picked up.
“Took you long enough,” Malik sounded annoyed.
“Sorry, jeez, I was in TDK class, sue me,” Altair rolled his eyes. “What crawled in your ass and died?”
“My dad,” Malik grumbled.
“Want me to kick his ass for you?” he joked as they walked around a black van to get to the car on the other side of the parking lot.
“Heh, I wish,” Malik grumbled.
“What’s eating him?”
“He’s…” then he just gave a heavy, tortured, sigh.
“What’s he doing?”
“He’s trying to set me up.”
Altair unlocked the car, “He’s what?”
“He’s making me meet this girl.”
“Okaaay?” he was a bit confused still as Desmond climbed into the car.
“I’m hungry,” Desmond said.
“We’re going home and having dinner, just wait,” he told his brother. “Malik?” cause Malik had been silent.
“Can I come for dinner too?” he suddenly whined. “I don’t want to be here with my family.”
“Oh course you can come over,” Altair said as he started the car. “You have to tell me what’s wrong, what’s really wrong when you get here though.”
“Okay,” he sighed again. “It’s… really fucking annoying and stupid though.”
“Enough to get you worked up.”
“I get worked up over everything!” Malik bitched good naturedly.
Altair chuckled, “Yeah you do,” and he pulled out of the parking lot, “I’ll see you at home.”
“Yeah,” he sighed, miserable again. Altair hung up on him, fitting between a silver SUV and the black van as everyone tried to leave class at once.
Altair was just coming out of the shower when there was knocking at the door. He dropped the towel around his shoulders and went to the door, still dripping in the cold air, and opened the front door. Malik was standing there, “Hey,” he grinned.
“Hi,” he said moodily.
“You can’t come in if you’re going to act like that,” Altair said firmly.
Malik took a deep breathe, “Hi,” he said again, this time more upbeat and pressed a kiss to his mouth. “You look good.”
“You would say that, pervert,” Altair grinned into it and kissed him again.
“Slut,” Malik replied fondly and Altair let him in, “What’s for dinner?”
“I’m ganna get dressed,” he said closing the door, Malik nodded and dropped himself down on the couch next to Desmond who was watching Bugs Bunny on Boomerang and then Altair lost sight of them as he walked down the hall to his bedroom. Once he’d finished dressing in a shirt and some sweats he found the both of them still on the couch, Malik was playing Minecraft while he wasn’t watching Bugs Bunny outwit Elmer Fud. “Hey Malik,” he called, “wanna help me?”
“Sure,” and Malik unfolded himself from the couch, closing his laptop and went over to him in the kitchen.
“So, what are you so worked up about?” Altair asked him as the other boy washed his hands, and pulled the steak from the fridge.
“My dad says I’m getting too old-”
“You’re barely eighteen,” Altair said, pulling down a bag of rice from the cupboard as well as the rest of the food he was going to cook.
“That’s what I told him. But he thinks I should be thinking about a family, since once I’m out of school I’m going to be working for him, and probably just take over his business,” and he had Malik measure out the rice and water.
“But… you don’t want to be a lawyer.”
“No shit!” Malik grumbled, dully pouring water into a pot over the rice. “He’s making me meet these girls. Really cute, Arab, girls. The ones who wear hijabs and want like six kids,” he groaned and rubbed his face.
“But you just have to meet them right?” Altair said.
“Well, he wants me to date one,” and he turned the heat on under the pot of rice as Altair finished mixing a marinade for the steak.
“So he’s trying to arrange a marriage,” Altair said blankly.
“Yes,” he sighed. “Which is a problem. Since I don’t want to get married, at least not to a girl. Especially if I’m forced into it.”
“Well, will he force you to?”
“Knowing him? Probably eventually. Right now it’s just ‘test the waters, know what’s out there. Lots of girls would love to be your girlfriend’ I know that once I’m out of school, especially college it’ll turn into ‘you need to get married and give me and your mother grandchildren,’” he frowned deeply.
Altair wiped his hands of meat juice and went over to him, “It’ll be okay,” he said gently.
“Yeah but he’s going to make me date one of them. I know he is. And I don’t want to cheat on you,” his lips became thin.
“Well I wouldn’t exactly call it cheating,” he said, wrapping his arms around Malik’s waist.
“I’d be dating someone else while dating you, I don’t know what else you’d call it other then cheating,” he sighed.
“Well cheating implies I don’t know about it.”
“Yeah and not cheating implies you’re okay with it.”
“It’s not like you want your dad to find out about us.”
“No. No I don’t,” he agreed and pressed his forehead against Altair’s. “It’s just so fucked. My dad is too old school to live in America, and he’s even pretty moderate as far as Muslims go, though doesn’t go to mosque as often as he’d like.”
“Well, nothing’s happened yet,” Altair reminded him and moved his arms up to circle his neck. “And even if he makes you date some girl, you’ll still be with me,” and he gave Malik a peck on the lips.
“I’d spend less time with you,” he said.
“You spend all your time at the damn beach,” he scoffed. “If she’d want to spend time with you she’d have to share it with the ocean, same as me,” and Malik grinned ruefully and couldn’t even deny it. “Wanna make the salad?”
“Sure,” and they untangled themselves and washed their hands again. Altair heated up the cast iron grill pan for the steaks as Malik made the salad. It was a nice dinner.
Even prepared for it it was still weird to see Malik show up at their usual spot holding a girl’s hand. He felt Mike and Cole give him a look, as if to make sure he was okay with this. Malik had told them about the stupid thing his dad was doing and they’d talked about it and decided the best way to get Malik’s dad to lay off was to just date a girl. It was a mean thing to do to the girl yeah, but hopefully it wouldn’t last that long. She didn’t know that Malik was dating Altair, or that Malik didn’t really have an interest in girls beyond aesthetics (and wow that sounded shallow) and while was attracted to girls’ looks, he wasn’t interested in anything romantic or sexual.
“He just pick the hottest Muslim girl he could find or what?” he heard Mike mutter to Cole. Altair shot them both a dirty look and they pretended to be waxing their boards properly. Though they were right, she was really hot, though was obviously not conservative as she was wearing a bathing suit, a white one piece with big, pink, hibiscus on it.
Malik dropped his board down on the sand belly up when they finally made it to the big pink umbrella of Rich’s that was basically their sign that someone was here since Rich and Malik were the ones here most often, and Malik was the one who kept it in his car anyway, mainly as Rich didn’t actually have a car. “Everyone,” Malik called and the ones there looked up which amounted to Altair, Mike, Cole, and Rich, though Sam, Dean and Cas were out in the surf and Desmond was down by the water’s edge making a sand castle. “This is Nadyne, my girlfriend,” he wondered how many times Malik had said that line until it didn’t sound forced or awkward.
“Hi,” Mike popped up off the sand. “I’m Mike,” and he shook her hand, “nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” Nadyne said with a smile, she had a really pretty smile too and Altair shot Malik a look while she was distracted, Malik gave him back an apologetic one.
“I’m Altair, resident best friend,” Altair shook her hand, “I got my eye on you,” he added playfully and she giggled.
“I am quite capable of taking care of myself Altair, she’s sort of small,” Malik joked.
“Yeah well, so is Mike, and he’s a scrappy sort,” Mike just smacked his chest proudly. “The two not doing any talk are Rich and Cole, Cole’s the red head, he doesn’t talk much.”
“Fuck you Al,” Cole growled at him.
“And he’s a charmer too,” Altair mocked, Cole just made a face at him and went back to making sure his board was okay then stood up and walked towards the water, surf board under his arm.
Nadyne turned to Malik, “You said you were going to show me how to surf?”
“Yeah,” Malik said and did his best to smile.
Altair sat down under the pink umbrella with Mike and Rich. “Ouch,” Mike said as he put his wax away.
“She’s way prettier then you Altair,” Rich added with a snicker.
“Fuck you both, kindly,” he grumbled.
“You sure you’re okay with this?” the blonde asked as Malik was showing Nadyne how to paddle, with the board on the sand.
“Not like it means anything,” Altair shrugged.
Rich grinned, “Should have known, Mr. Cool, as always. Nothing ruffles your feathers, does it Altair?”
“Not usually,” he was just good at keeping it in. If he didn’t it tended to get out of hand quickly.
“Altair! Altair!” and Desmond scampered up to the umbrella. “Come look at my castle,” and he grabbed his hand, pulling.
“All right, all right, I’m coming,” and Altair got to his feet and let himself be pulled towards the shore. Desmond had made a pretty impressive sand castle actually, just out of reach of the waves, which were going out with the tide. Altair sat with him to help him build a wall around his castle and to not think about Nadyne, who he was sure was a perfectly nice girl. Still, even though he said he was okay with it, she was still going out with his boyfriend, and she was beautiful. Only an idiot wouldn’t be a little jealous.
“Hi Malik,” Desmond said suddenly and Altair turned around, Malik was coming towards them with Nadyne, his board under his arm.
“Hey Des,” he smiled at the boy.
“Oi, Malik, c’mon,” Mike called from a dozen or so feet away, with Rich as they waded into the water.
“Coming,” he called. “Wanna keep Nadyne company?” he asked Altair.
“Sure,” he said, looking her up and down briefly, “Wanna help with the wall?”
“Okay,” she said, sort of shy and Malik kept going on into the water and she kneeled down next to him. “So…” she said awkwardly, “best friend?”
“Best of the best,” understatement, but whatever.
“You don’t surf though,” she noted and scooped some sand up into her hand and placed it on Altair’s growing wall.
“Nah, I got other stuff going on. And I watch everyone’s stuff. Someone’s gotta,” he shrugged.
“And you said your name was… Al?”
“Altair,” only his friends were allowed to call him ‘Al’ (though most of them didn’t, mainly just Dean and Cole) and Nadyne wasn’t a friend.
“And this is?” she looked at his brother.
“This is Desmond. Des, say hello, this is Nadyne.”
“Hello!” Desmond said, as enthusiastic as ever and waved both of his little hands at her, “You’re really pretty!”
She giggled, “Well thank you Desmond. He’s your…
“Brother,” fuck why did everyone think Desmond was his son? It was fucking creepy.
“Oh, how old is he?”
“Desmond,” Nadyne said, “How old are you?”
“I’m five,” he said proudly. “I’m a big boy.”
“Yes you are,” she agreed with a smile. “So how long have you known Malik?”
“Mmm, about six months.”
“Six months and you get best friend status,” she said, and he didn’t know if she was impressed or being snide. Altair just shrugged. “So I take it you’re going to make sure Malik keeps spending time with his friends and not just with me.”
This girl had nooo idea what she was in for. “Not really,” he said, sculpting the wall. “Since you’re his girlfriend you’ll have to share him with his wife.”
“What?” she was clearly confused.
“Malik has one love. And that’s the ocean,” he looked out at the water where the rest of his friends were and watched Malik catch a wave. “You wanna date Malik, you get to share him with her, and trust me, getting him away from it is easier said then done.”
“Yeah. He’s been down here just above every day since school let out, and even during school he’s basically here every day. As you’d guess, he doesn’t date much,” he chuckled a little.
“So what does he do with his friends?”
“All our friends surf, his brother surfs, and while I don’t surf, I’m nearly always here.”
“So what you’re saying is that to spend time with Malik I better get used to the beach?”
“Yeah, that about sums it up,” he nodded.
“Hmm,” she said, “We’ll see,” and he refrained from glaring at her.
His punch landed hard, harder then he meant, and they didn’t get a block up. “I’m sorry, are you okay?” he asked the other red belt he was sparring with.
“Yeah, I’m fine. But control,” he advised and Altair nodded and hopped back, bouncing on the balls of his feet and let a flurry of light jabs go, they were all blocked and then he got to block a crescent kick to his flank.
“Down,” the master called and they reformed their two lines. “Take your gear off,” he said and they broke the line and went to put their gear away and take a water break as well. He went over to where Desmond was and shoved his gear into his bag.
“Malik texted,” he said and handed Altair his phone.
Altair unlocked it once he was stripped of his gear and checked the message. It was a string of texts actually.
‘On a date with N’
‘Someone kill me slowly we’re watching the notebook’
‘Or we were, done now; thank god!’
‘At dinner now, just smile and nod Mal, just smile and nod’
‘And fucking score! she doesn’t want to have sex till she’s married’
‘Can you imagine that? Me and a girl? Asdfjgedk kill me slowly’
Altair grinned at the last message, ‘having fun I take it?’ he texted back.
‘This is unbearable. Can I come over when it’s done?’ ‘I need some real TLC <3’
“Form up,” and he twisted around and locked the text messages again and gave Desmond the phone again and went back into line, standing near the front with the other red belts. “Red and black belt,” the instructor, a second degree about the same age as Altair said, “we’re going to be working on forms. Blue and green, you’re on the dummies, roundhouse and back kick, five times each and then switch,” and then they broke from their lines. The red and black belts spread out as the blue and greens pulled the dummies away from the wall and made short lines based on color.
Altair faced a mirror and his eyes dropped down to his red belt, the tongue of his belt striped black with a thick band. Red, to remind the student of control. Altair closed his eyes, he’d lost a bit of control earlier when he’d hit that black belt too hard. When he opened his eyes again he set himself into the starting form and worked through each form slowly, as though he was moving through molasses.
The instructor black belt in a blue gi came up to him as he moved and told him to sit lower if he was going to go to slow, would help with balance. He crouched lower and continued to move slowly until he’d finished the form and was standing several feet away from where he’d started and facing a different direction all together. Then he did the form again, and again, and again, speeding up each time till he was going, while not fast, was going at a bit quicker speed.
“Down,” the master called, “switch, black and red belts to the dummies, green and blue, you’re on forms. “Spinning hook and pivot kicks, ten each and then switch,” and they shifted to the dummies.
Altair didn’t have to worry about dummies getting hurt when it was hit turn at them. He half wondered if he could go to a gym and just beat the shit out of a sand bag. Probably not, as it was he was only able to set aside coming to Tae Kwon Do class since it was summer, and Desmond did it too. Going to the gym wouldn’t be feasible really. Then he had to stop thinking and was facing the dummy, a soft plastic torso on top of a water filled barrel.
He started with the spinning hook. He liked spin kicks, and smacked the dummy hard ten times with his right foot and ten with his left before going to the back of the short red belt line. There were four other red belts in his class, so five red belts, two black belts, seven green belts, and six blue belts. Most of the other black belts had their own class, which was just black belts, but black belts were welcome in this class which was good since Altair worked the days they had black belt class and
He stopped thinking again and focused on doing the pivot kick perfectly. Ten times with each foot, the dummy rocking back as he finished, pushed back from the force of his blows, and then he was going back to the end of the line.
Promotions were coming up, they were this weekend. He’d invited all his friends to come see him get his black belt. No parents though. William wouldn’t be home till Christmas at least and Kaley had come and gone already, she was in Indonesia though now. He’d told them to invite whoever else they wanted, as he knew all their friends too, at least by name. Nadyne was not invited. He felt a bit of his anger slip out of his tight grip on it. He didn’t like Nadyne. She and Malik had been ‘dating’ for two weeks now and while she really was a nice girl, really she was and under normal circumstances they probably would have gotten along, and smart and pretty and was basically perfect (which in hindsight which was why Malik had picked her, so when it ‘didn’t work out’ it wouldn’t be because Malik hadn’t dated the best he could find to make his father happy). It was just that she was changing Malik. Not mentally or anything. But she was making him spend less time at the beach and hang out with her and even though Malik hadn’t vanished, as he still spent plenty of time at the beach, it always grinded his gears to see a girl forcing a guy to change. It was why none of his girlfriends had ever worked out. They all had wanted him to spend more time with them then Desmond, and while they’d all been perfectly nice girls and he’d like all of them a great deal, they didn’t get it like Malik did.
He tried to clear his head when it was his turn again. He pulled back on that thread of ire and focused on the spinning hook kick. The first ten on his right foot were perfect. On the next ten his mind wandered a little and his fine control loosened and by the end of his next ten kicks he was kicking so hard the dummy almost fell down and he was panting. Shit.
He quickly went to the back of the line and looked in the mirror over a foot or so away and gave himself a hard look and got a grip. He wouldn’t become undone by this. He wouldn’t. His eyes dropped down to his belt briefly. Control Altair. Control. He took a deep breathe and cleared his mind. He could control this, he would, this wouldn’t undo him.
There were a lot of people at the promotion ceremony. Not just all the students, and there were three other classes other then Altair’s, a lower level of white, yellow and orange, a kid’s class, and a black belt class. And of course friends and family were there as well. He went up to his group of friends. “Man I didn’t realize there would be so many of you,” he said, looking at them, it was Mike, his half brother Neal, the Winchester brothers, Mr. and Mrs. Winchester, Cole, Rich, Cas and his dad Bobby, and Cole’s best friend Zeke who Altair knew mainly by reputation as he was already in college and didn’t like the beach.
“We’re here to cheer you on!” Mike said happily.
“Where’s Malik?” he asked since he’d put his phone away since he’d gotten here earlier.
“He said he would be here,” Neal shrugged. “Oh there he… is,” and Altair turned to see why Neal suddenly petered out. His eyes zeroed in on Malik and Kadar, the latter of which bounded over to them with all the enthusiasm of an average over-sugared thirteen year old, but also on Nadyne who was looking around with interest as they followed Kadar at a slower pace.
“Hey,” Malik said and Altair stared at him.
“Can I talk to you?” and Altair grabbed Malik’s arm and dragged him away without an approval. “What is she doing here?” he hissed once they’d left hearing range, which wasn’t that far as the room was pretty loud with so many people in it and talking.
“I’m sorry, when I hold her what I was doing today she insisted on coming,” Malik said apologetically.
“I didn’t want her here.”
“I know but I couldn’t exactly tell her that. That’s mean.”
“I don’t care.”
“I don’t know what to tell you. She’s here. She’ll leave if I do, but otherwise— hey don’t look at me like that.”
“Why did you tell her?”
“Cause she’s a girl and she’s nosy,” he rolled his eyes. “She wanted to hang out today but I said I was busy. I knew if I said I was going to beach she’d want to come, so I said I was doing something with the guys, she still wanted to come, I ended up letting it slip. Really, I’m sorry.”
Altair couldn’t be angry, not really, and definitely not at Malik. He was the one who’d said he should date a girl after all. “When are you going to break up with her?”
“Next month? My dad’ll be on my ass if I don’t try, and I’ve already brought it up with him that I don’t think me and Nadyne are working.”
“Cause you aren’t.”
“Try telling him that. Don’t let this ruin your day okay? You’re still going to get your black belt even if she’s here and we’re all still here to see you. This is just a little speed bump, okay?”
“You’re right,” he nodded and then looked back at the people who’d come to see him. “You’re right,” he said again, nodding.
“That’s right,” Malik smiled at him, “This is your day. And Mary’s throwing you a ‘surprise’ party afterwards, Nadyne doesn’t know and isn’t invited. I told her I was going to spend time with my family after this.”
“You’re an awful boyfriend.”
“Oh shut up. I want to be able to kiss my boyfriend sometime outside,” and Altair chuckled. “Now put on a brave face, and make sure you’re surprised when we go to your promotion party… thing,” and Altair snorted. Malik was right, he was so right. It was going to be okay, and he wouldn’t let Nadyne ruin this for him.
“Form up!” the black robed master called and he left Malik and his friends and went to stand in line. He was up in the front of the colored belts, the black belts in a line of ten in front of him and the kids class behind the adults, regardless of color, in rows of ten. He’d be part of that black belt line after this, the other red belts weren’t ready, three didn’t have a stripe and the fourth had just gotten their stripe recently and wasn’t ready. The dojo master welcomed everyone and it rolled on from there.
The kids were first, they did their forms and did some sparring and everyone cheered. Then the adults were up and they did sparring, the black belts- not showing off- clearly being black belts and liked throwing each other to the ground in holds. After that there was the promotions. Those who were being promoted did their forms and if required broke boards.
Altair was last, as he was red belt and where some of the other colors had several people doing the forms together, Altair was alone. He swallowed and felt sweat trickle down the back of his neck as he stood in the middle of the mat. He glanced at his friends, there to cheer him on and they were watching intently and for a second his vision seemed to gray out because Nadyne was sitting in Malik’s lap on the floor. He tore his eyes away.
Red belt; to remind the student of control, and to warn opponents away.
He held his ready stance until he was in control again before shifting stance and flowed through the forms, not letting himself focus on anything but the movement of his own body. He controlled every point of his body and he wouldn’t let this stupidity control him. Then, just as it seemed to have started, it was over, and Altair was standing back at the ready. People clapped and when he looked over again his friends were clapping the loudest and he smiled at them. He was looking forward to the next part though. He got to break things in the next part.
He still didn’t know why the Winchesters had such a big house. There were only four members of their family, but they had enough room for eight. According to Sam it had been in the family a long time, which didn’t really explain anything really other then that it was just old. Malik’s car was already in driveway when he pulled up and reminded himself to be surprised as Sam and Dean had just said they wanted to hang out after the ceremony.
Altair picked Desmond out of his car seat and went to the door. They’d both changed clothes and washed off since the ceremony since wearing a gi was sweaty and gross. He let Desmond hold his new black belt and rang the door bell. Mary answered the door.
It was surprisingly easy to fake surprise actually and Mary took Desmond from him when Malik walked up to him and grabbed him by the collar, kissing him deeply. “I think that’s a proper form of congratulations,” he said with a grin since earlier it had just been words.
“I agree,” Altair agreed and let Malik pulled him further inside the Winchester house for food and a good time, one without Nadyne. It was good to spend time with his friends, Malik, and be able to act like he and Malik were actually dating, he’d missed it and it was good time. It was a better time when John Winchester took all their keys and pulled out a bottle of rum and whiskey each. Yeah, today was pretty great, though he did have to punch Dean when he tried to tie his black belt around Altair’s forehead.