Cam fidgeted. Riding in the passenger seat of Hunters truck, he starred hopelessly out the window. He tried not the twist his hands to much, for fear of distracting Hunter from the country song he was currently singing along to.
How had he ended up here again? What had he possibly done to Hunter lately to deserve this? What crime was he about to pay for? Cam sighed. It wasn’t really all that bad, he supposed. It was only a barbeque, so at least he was going to get some food out of it. Of course, he’d be in a crowd, which he hated. He’d also be introduced to rounds and rounds of Hunter’s thunder ninja friends, something he was not looking forward to.
Hunter and Blake were throwing a little get together for their recently rescued thunder ninja friends, in honor of their own graduation from the Wind academy. They hadn’t seen a lot of them in a while, and they were using the occasion for something like a reunion. Cam still wasn’t sure how he fit into all this. Hunter had gotten to him when he was tired, that was what had happened.
Last night, Cam had been so tired he would have said anything for Hunter to shut up and let him sleep. So when Hunter had popped the question of Cam being his date for the barbeque, Cam had lazily agreed, thinking it was no big deal. It wasn’t until Hunter reminded him this morning to be ready at 5 that the hours began to tick away, as Cam imagined every worst case scenario possible.
His friends probably wouldn’t gay-bash them at least. Maybe they all knew Hunter was gay. Maybe Hunter didn’t plan on telling them they were more than friends. Either way, that was the least likely possibility. They could raise questions though, ones with which Cam was not so comfortable answering just yet.
Then there was the question of him being the only wind ninja among the group of people. It wasn’t all bad, as these days wind ninja’s and thunder ninja’s usually got along quite well, but he was sure the old school rivalries were not forgotten by everyone. Of course, technically, Hunter and Blake had graduated from the Wind academy, so they were wind ninjas… but they had been trained as thunders, and that’s what these people knew them as.
Now that he thought about it, Cam wasn’t sure food was a good enough incentive to give up his day for this.
In about 2 minutes, he was going to be trapped in a room full of thunder ninja’s for a good 4 or 5 hours. As Hunter pulled into the driveway of the rented home he and Blake had moved into once Blake had started racing and Hunter had got a well paying job, Cam took a deep breathe.
“Relax.” Hunter’s voice came from beside him. “If you’re shoulders get any more tense, I’ll just have to massage them all of tonight.” It was a warning, and a subtle promise, as well as a tease. For a moment, Cam wasn’t sure if he meant while they were at the barbeque or not.
“I’m fine.” He regretted saying anything as Hunter shot him a look which clearly read sure. “I am.” He insisted as he unbuckled his seat belt and reached for the door handle.
Hunter reached out for his shoulder and caught a handful of shirt as Cam attempted to get out of the truck. Hunter pulled him back over, a grin on his face.
“Who’s afraid of the big bag ninja’s?” Hunter teased. “Certainly not Cameron Watanabe, head teacher of the Wind Ninja Academy, and Hunter Bradley’s reluctant boyfriend?” The description was fitting, as those seemed to be the two things that occupied every second of his time.
“Course not.” Cam regained his sarcastic exterior easily enough, and starred straight back at Hunter.
“Good. Then let’s go.” He planted a cheep kiss on Cam’s cheek, and Cam rolled his eyes. Hunter was loving this. They weren’t even inside yet.
As they approached the door Hunter reached out to grab Cam’s hand, but Cam pulled his away. Hunter stopped and turned to him with a raised eyebrow.
“You said you’d be my date. That’s official. See the word date there? That means I get to at least hold your hand.” Hunter insisted, reaching for Cam’s hand again. Cam shoved his hands in his pockets, suddenly intent on defying him.
“When did we agree on that?” He wanted to know.
“Last night, when you were half asleep. I wanted to get it in writing, but you wouldn’t let me move to get a pen.” Hunter teased. Cam rolled his eyes again.
“That’s a dirty trick, you know.” Cam informed him with a glare.
“What can I say? I know my man.” Hunter told him back. He eyed Cam’s hand still shoved into his pocket. “Don’t think I won’t reach in there.”
Cam sighed, and relinquished his hand. At least with Hunter at his side, he wasn’t likely to have to defend himself. Hunter was fairly protective.
“Smart decision.” Hunter told him as he laced their fingers together.
“What can I say? I know my man.” Cam repeated lightly. It earned him a grin from Hunter as he opened the door, and Cam tried to focus on that instead of all the people inside.
It wasn’t so bad. Blake had already been working the grill, so he happily passed it off to Hunter to mingle. Cam stayed mostly close to him while he chatted with his friends, though not really participating in the conversations. There wasn’t much he could say really, as most of it all revolved around sports and academy life.
Cam hadn’t seen a lot of familiar faces. There were one or two he had seen at the academies before Lothor attacked. Hunter had introduced him to a lot of people so far. He was having trouble remembering their names. Let’s see… there was Sally, who was over making drinks at the kitchenette-thing. She was currently serving to… was that Jack? And Marty. Yeah, that was right. Hunter was currently talking to… Carter? No… he forgot who that was. Carter was inside watching football with… well, a minute ago he was with Blake. But now Blake was nowhere to be seen. Cam searched what he could see of the inside of the house and looked around the small backyard. Blake had disappeared. Odd…
It was only when Blake reappeared with a familiar head of blonde at his side that his absence made sense. Cam smiled.
Blake and Tori made their way across the living room, and then the kitchen, Blake introducing Tori to everyone is sight. It wasn’t long until they made it to the backyard, and Tori’s face brightened as she caught site of Hunter and Cam.
“Hey guys!” She said enthusiastically as she approached them. Blake was caught in a side conversation as Tori hugged Hunter quickly, and then came to stand beside Cam against the railing as the Bradley brothers were momentarily distracted.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” She told him quietly. Cam looked at her sympathetically.
“The feelings mutual.” He answered, and they traded looks.
“I was afraid I was going to be the only Wind Ninja here. I showed up fashionably late to spare my nerves.” She confessed, and Cam shared her laugh. If he had a car of his own, he would have done the same.
“It’s not as bad as I thought it’d be. Everyone is really nice. And it’s not like you’ve got all that much to worry about. You’re a girl. Everyone’ll be nice to you.” He teased. Tori wrinkled her nose at him.
“Still, it’s nice to have a friend while you’re being fed to the sharks.”
Hunter and Blake had been talking to a couple of friends it seemed neither Tori nor Cam had met yet, and one of them asked about the pair. Blake looked back and forth between them for a second before smiling brightly.
“Of course. Okay, pay attention, cause I’m not gonna do this again.” He warned Cam, as thought the introduction wasn’t just for Tori’s benefit. “This is Terry, Angela, Max, and the one in the treacherous jersey is Adam.” Blake shot a glare at the guy wearing a Cowboys jersey, and brushed off his own Bronco’s one for emphasis. “Everyone, this is my girlfriend Tori.” He held out his hand for hers and Tori took it, stepping forward. She shook hands with all of them, saying polite ‘hello’s’ and ‘nice to meet you’s’. Then Blake seemed to wait a second, to see if Hunter would introduce Cam himself, but when he didn’t he continued. “And that’s Cam, Hunter’s…” He hesitated, clearly unsure how Hunter had been introducing him.
Hunter had been telling everyone flat out that Cam was his boyfriend. Only now, he seemed to be waiting for Blake… or perhaps Cam, to say something. Cam sighed, and stepped forward, holding out his hand.
“Hunter’s boyfriend.” He offered. Adam was the first to shake his hand, and then Terry. Angela’s eyes widened, and she looked between Hunter and Cam for a moment before reaching out to shake Cam’s hand.
“Always knew he was a queer.” She said blatantly. Cam didn’t know quite how to respond to that, but luckily Hunter saved him.
“Chill Angie,” He said as he wrapped an arm protectively around Cam’s shoulders. “Just be glad that was the reason I never went out with you.” He teased, and Angie shot him a flirtatious look.
“So he says.” She replied.
“Course, if Hunter hadn’t introduced us,” the one named Max piped up, “She woulda never stopped chasing him and I never woulda snagged her.” He held out his hand to Cam at last, and Cam shook it as Angela turned the same look she shot Hunter a moment ago on Max.
After they left the group to get some drinks, Tori turned to him sympathetically. “I see what you mean.” She told him. Cam shrugged.
“It’s the price we pay right?” He nudged her arm lightly, and she gave him a questioning look. “For falling in love with the Bradley Brothers.”
Tori smiled at him, and then Hunter handed them both plates with buns.
“Time for food! There’s the burgers, and there’s all kinds of things inside to fix ‘em up.” He promised, Tori started off for the house, stopping to talk with Blake for a minute, who was now tending the grill.
“I’m not as hungry as I thought I’d be.” Cam confessed, watching Hunter grab a burger and put it on his plate.
Hunter eyed him carefully. “You’re not that miserable, are you?” He wondered. Cam smirked at him.
“Not miserable, no. A little lonely.” He admitted, and Hunter smirked.
“I’m off grill duty. Come on, let’s go grab something to eat, and then we can go watch the game or something.” He promised, tapping Cam’s elbow with his hand and leading the way.
Great, Cam thought, more sports. He smiled despite himself. He and Hunter headed to the kitchen, and fixed their burgers. Hunter grabbed a hefty helping of pretzels while he was at it, and then they headed over to the couch.
He looked thoughtful as he noted there were no open seats. Then he smirked. “Whoever’s hungry, burgers are ready!”
Several seats immediately emptied as people headed for the grill. Cam shot his boyfriend a look.
“You’re just naturally evil, aren’t you?” He shot, and Hunter sat down and took a large bite of his burger, opting not to respond.
The rest of the night went easily by, and people settled into a calm sort of friendliness. Hunter didn’t leave Cam’s side again. Cam would have to tease him about being over protective later tonight.
While it seemed that everyone else was getting calmer, even Cam himself, Blake seemed to be getting more hyper and crazed as the night went on. Hunter threatened to cut him off of the sugar, and Blake gave him an unreadable look before dragging him away from the group.
Tori came to stand by Cam. “He’s been acting really weird all day.” She mused, watching the two out on the patio of the yard.
“How’s that?” Cam asked, though he kind of already knew.
“He’s just so jittery. I wonder what he’s talking to Hunter about.” The pair silently watched Blake make wild hand motions to Hunter who toppled over laughing a second later.
Cam shot Tori a look. “If I find out, which I assume I probably will, I’ll let you know.” He told her, and she wrinkled her nose at him.
“Only if I want to know.” She warned. “If it’s, like, guy stuff, leave me out of it.”
On the patio, Hunter slapped his hands on either side of his brothers face, shook him lightly, and then placed his hands on his shoulders.
“If it’s guy stuff,” Cam told her a moment later. “I probably don’t want to know either.” Tori let out an amused laugh, and Cam gave her a smile in return.
They walked over to grab some drinks as the Bradley brothers continued their conversation outside, and Tori eyes them warily.
“You don’t think… he’s going to break up with me, do you?” She asked quietly, and Cam rolled his eyes.
“Oh please. The way he was parading you around? There’s about as much chance of that happening as there is of Hunter turning straight.” Tori grinned, and Cam nudged her elbow. “Whatever it is, looks like we’re about to find out.”
The brothers were headed back inside, Blake in front and Hunter steering his shoulders towards them.
“Right.” Hunter said as they reached them. “Come on Cam.” He grabbed Cam’s hand, and Cam only had time to shoot Tori a questioning look before he was pulled away. Hunter stopped when they were a little ways away, but then turned back to watch.
“What was that all about?” Cam asked. Hunter wrapped an arm around his waist, and Cam rested his arm on top of Hunters.
“We’re about to find out.” He nodded towards Tori and Blake.
Cam watched, and out from Blake’s back pocket came a little black box. Tori’s eyes widened as Blake dropped down to one knee and opened the box to reveal a diamond ring. Tori’s glass fell to the floor and shattered, and Cam winced. The shatter got everyone’s attention, and things got very quiet.
Tori’s eyes were teary, and she had her hand pressed to her mouth.
Blake looked very nervous, and the entire room heard his next request. “Now would be a good time to say something.” He said quietly, and the room erupted in laughter as Tori began shaking her head and holding out her arms for Blake. He picked her up and spun her around once, and Cam felt Hunter sigh.
He leaned against the wall, happily watching his brother and his new fiancé.
“Sap.” Cam accused, and Hunter turned to look at him. “You didn’t know about this?”
“Not until five minutes ago, when he almost chickened out. Pretty sweet, huh?” He asked, turning his head back to the crowd of people now congratulating the couple.
Tori caught Cam’s eye, and she enthusiastically waved the ring as him with a huge smile. “Yeah. She thought he was gonna dump her. Talk about a shock factor.”
Hunter let out a puff of amusement. “Really. Guess that was the real reason for today then. Party, my ass.” Hunter said it begrudgingly, but he was still smiling.
“So then, this wasn’t your idea.” Cam studied him.
“Not really. I owe you a real date, not something lame like this. We should head out and let them enjoy their night.” Hunter said, turning his head back to Cam. Cam tried to keep the excitement off his face. He liked being alone with Hunter much more than with him at a social function.
“Sounds good.” Cam replied. Hunter didn’t move for a moment though. He stayed watching Blake and Tori, happily talking with their friends and with each other.
“That could be us one day you know.” He said suddenly, and Cam couldn’t help the skeptical look he shot his way.
“Right. I doubt that.” Cam answered, and Hunter looked back to him.
“What? Don’t want to marry me?” Hunter countered, and Cam opened his mouth and then closed it, caught off guard.
“I… didn’t mean it that way.” He answered awkwardly. Hunter grinned, and reached out to pull Cam in for a kiss. Cam let him, being that the attention of the room was focused somewhere else for the time being, and no one would stare at them, for once.
Hunter kissed him gently, pulling him closer. When he pulled away he looked down.
“You’re probably right.” He said to the floor. “Still, it’s good to dream.”
Cam felt a little guilty, like he’s somehow squashed that dream with his skepticism. He didn’t quite know how to fix it.
“It’s not that I wouldn’t.” He said quietly, avoiding Hunters gaze when he looked up. “It’s that… we’re… well… us. I just never thought about it.” He resisted the urge to shrug, looking back up at his boyfriend.
Hunter smiled at him. “Well start thinking. I don’t want you breaking any of my glasses or staining my carpet when it happens.” He warned, and Cam couldn’t help but laugh at the would-be threat.
Before he could respond, Hunter had started towards Blake and Tori. Cam watched him for a moment before following suit.
Hunter had just told him that eventually, he planed on asking him to marry him. How odd. That prospect scared Cam much less than social functions. In fact, it didn’t scare him at all.
“Something must be wrong with me…” He mumbled to himself. Tori waved him over, and he obeyed.
She encased him in a hug and showed him the ring, pointing wildly. “I think I just died.” She giggled.
“I could tell.” He replied. “Congrats.”
“Thanks! You guys are leaving?” She asked, her face suddenly questioning.
“Yeah… we figured, hey it’s your night, so you should enjoy it.” He shrugged easily this time, and Tori looked him up and down.
“Fine, leave me to fend for myself.” He teased, shoving his shoulder.
“We all gotta learn how to swim sometime.” He answered, and Tori squeezed his shoulder.
“What was that?” Hunter wanted to know as he joined their conversation. Cam and Tori shared a look.
“Nothing. Just a joke between fellow Shark Bait.” He answered. Tori laughed, and Hunter gave him a strange look.
“Okay then. Shall we?” He asked, and Cam nodded. They said a few more goodbyes, and then headed out to his truck.
This time, Cam was the one to grab Hunters hand. Hunter smiled at him, and they drove off into the night.