Ryan’s sat across Sara, his hands fiddling with the band of his baseball cap. He doesn’t glance up when Sara taps the tabletop, or when she clears her throat a few moments later.
“Earth to Ryan - you still there?”
He looks up when he hears her snicker, eyebrows raised and a small smirk pulling at the corner of her mouth.
“You’ve been staring at your yogurt for like, the past ten minutes. What’s up?” Sara leans forward, setting down her water bottle as they lock eyes.
“Well I… I’ve been racking my brain for a couple days now, trying to come up with ideas for anniversary gifts, but nothing’s popped up,” Ryan says, sighing in annoyance as he leans back in his chair.
“Isn’t it a little late to be thinking about that? Today’s the big day, right?” Sara’s smirk quickly falls into a frown, her brows furrowed as she rests her chin on her hand. Ryan shakes his head, sighing once more.
“No, no. I got today covered, no problem. I meant for… like, our one year, you know? Is it stupid to be thinking so far ahead when we’ve only been together for six months?” Sara visibly relaxes and leans back in her seat.
“Never! Besides, you two were practically dating for at least a year before you ‘officially’ got together, and you know I’m right, Bergara!” Ryan had opened his mouth to counter her, but quickly pursed his lips when she narrowed her eyes.
“Fine, whatever. Just, well… obviously, don’t tell Shane. I don’t want him to freak out and all that,”
“I won’t. As long as you let me help you come up with an idea for this special gift, yeah?”
“If it isn’t my two favorite people in the whole office!”
Ryan groans dramatically, pulling his baseball cap over his face as Shane laughs, waving Steven and Andrew over to their table in the breakroom.
“C’mon Boogara, let’s see that handsome mug, yeah?” Steven manages to pull the hat out of Ryan’s grasp, followed by a punch in the arm from the latter. “What was that for?!”
“For being you, Lim,” Ryan and Andrew both chuckle at that, while Steven simply pouts and rolls his eyes.
“I don’t understand how you put up with this all the time, Madej. What’s your secret?”
“If I say “true love”, will that get you to gag and leave?” Ryan wheezes at this retort, only to fully laugh when Steven chokes as he glances between the two of them.
“I think that’s our cue to leave, honey,” Andrew says, winking and waving goodbye at Shane and Ryan before following Steven out of the room.
“True love, huh?” Ryan asks, raising his eyebrows as Shane stirs his coffee. He merely shrugs, bringing the mug to his lips before glancing up to meet Ryan’s questioning gaze.
“What would you call us, then?”
Ryan’s an idiot.
He’s sitting in front of the brand new guitar he ordered weeks ago, admiring the sunlight striking the mahogany wood just right.
Ryan’s an idiot because he doesn’t know how he forgot the most important thing of all - how to play guitar.
“Should I be concerned about the fact you haven’t touched that guitar since we went to pick it up?” Sara is standing opposite him, a pizza box in her hands. Ryan shrugs, leaning back on the couch as he runs his hands through his hair.
“I’m hopeless, Sara. I don’t think I even remember how to play anymore!”
“Oh, please. Don’t give up that easy, Bergara. You can do this, alright? Here,” She sets down the box on the kitchen table before dropping down onto the floor, grabbing hold of the guitar’s neck. She positioned the instrument on her lap and ran her fingers over the strings, gently strumming them.
“I can help you remember, if you want. We’ve got plenty of time anyways, okay? November is months away.” Ryan nodded, cracking a weak smile as he met her reassuring gaze.
“Let’s hope you’re right.”
“Well, I think that’s the last of them,” Shane says triumphantly, wiping his hands on the front of his Chicago t-shirt.
“You sure, big guy? There’s no way I’m making another trip to that disaster of a moving truck!”
“It was a disaster thanks to Steven, and you know it, Ry! Now c’mere and help me move these boxes in so I can finally shut the door,”
“Well get your long legs out of the way!” Ryan wheezes as Shane sticks his tongue out at him, walking backwards into the hallway before they both move to pick up the same box. The taller man winks at his shorter counterpart before lifting the box up with ease. Ryan smacks his back as he passes before grabbing another box and following suit.
Once they cleared all of Shane’s boxes from the living room, they sprawled out on the new mattress they had purchased in honor of the big move.
“You’d think that a king size mattress would give you more than enough space so your dumb legs wouldn’t be all over me, right?”
“And you’d think saying that would convince me that you don’t love having me all spread eagle like this on the bed, hm?” Ryan blushes at that, throwing a pillow over Shane’s face when he smirks.
“Just for that, we are not christening this new furniture any time soon,” Shane chuckles quietly, tossing the pillow to the floor as he moved above Ryan, encasing his head with his arms.
“And who said we had to start with the furniture, baby?”
Ryan tosses back his sixth tequila shot of the night, cheering loudly as the mariachi band in the back of the bar ends their performance. Shane’s arm is draped loosely over his shoulder, a sombrero hat just about to fall off the back of his head.
“As much as I love you, can I please take this ridiculous thing off my head?” Shane whisper-shouts in Ryan’s ear, trying his best to be heard over the bar’s loud music.
“As much as I love you, you lost the bet, baby! But trust me… I don’t like it one bit either,” Ryan’s words are starting to slur together, and Shane can’t help but smile when he leans up to press a kiss at the base of his throat.
“Sabes que me vuelves loco, amor?” The shorter of the two rests one hand on the back of the other’s neck while bringing the other up to cup his cheek.
“All I got was ‘crazy’ and ‘love’ but yes, definitely, Ry,” Shane retorts, grinning when Ryan rolls his eyes.
“You’re ridiculous, you big lug,” Ryan says in between wheezes.
“I’m loco for you too, babe!”
“So… what exactly are you supposed to be?” Ryan rolls his eyes when he catches Steven grinning like an idiot, eyebrows raised as he scans over his costume.
“At least mine’s more creative than you wearing a Warriors jersey, Lim!”
“Oh hold on, I think I got it now! Nice horns, Madej!” Andrew chirps from behind Steven and Jen, a wide smile spread across his face as he nods in Ryan’s direction.
“Oh, you guys are too cute!” Sara and Jen shout in unison as she joins the small crowd, giggling as Shane finally came into full view.
Donning a cheap set of red devil horns over his head, a very short red cape draped over his back, and a matching tail hanging from his belt loop, Shane holds up both middle fingers before moving to stand beside Ryan.
“It’s cute and very last minute but at least we’re true to character, huh?” Shane winks playfully, wrapping his arm around Ryan’s shoulder and pulling him into his side.
“Boogara the ghosthunter and Shaniac… or should I say Satan? Thought you were a skeptic, Madej?” Zach appears out of thin air, Bowie in his arms.
After Shane retorts with “Ever heard of fantasy, Kornfeld?”, a choir of “Oh shit!”s followed promptly.
“I will never be able to get that image out of my head!” Jen groans loudly, followed by Steven and Andrew’s “Fuck you, Madej!”
Ryan, blushing like crazy, pinched Shane in the arm to get his attention. “Always gotta ruin the office party, do you?”
“You know you love it, Ry.” Shane winked as he leaned down, capturing Ryan’s lips in a soft kiss. He knew it was more of a means to stop him from chastising him more, but he didn’t care. He was beyond happy, no matter what.
All thanks to his demon of a boyfriend.
“Please do not tell me you’re panicking right now!”
“Can you blame me? What if I majorly fuck this up, Sara? There’s no coming back from that,”
“Dude, chill. You’ve got this. I know you’ve got this because you’ve been practicing with me for the past two weeks nonstop! I’m gonna hang up now, okay? Bye!”
Ryan tosses his phone onto the couch, quietly groaning as he runs his hands through his bedhead. With Shane in the shower, he found himself in a predicament of how to start their day.
Do we exchange gifts now? Later?
“Babe, do you know where my red button down is?” Ryan was greeted with the sight of his boyfriend wearing only a short towel around his hips, water dripping down from his hair onto his chest. An all-too familiar warmth began to grow in the pit of his stomach, and he slowly nodded his head as he got up from the couch.
“I… I’m pretty sure I put it back in the closet,” He mumbled, walking up to Shane and resting one hand on his chest, the other on his waist.
“I know that look, Ry, and as much as I want to,” Shane stepped back, cupping Ryan’s face so he would look at him. “I made reservations at our favorite breakfast spot, and if we don’t leave in the next 20 minutes, we’ll be late,”
“I can live with that,”
“Well I’m not dealing with a hangry Boogara so,” The taller man grabbed the other by the shoulders, guiding him to the bathroom. “Get ready, and we can definitely have dessert early.” Shane kissed the top of Ryan’s head, chuckling as he turned to face him, wheezing.
“So fuckin’ cheesy, Madej. What’s gotten into you?”
“Just get in the shower already, Bergara!”
It’s on their way back to their apartment that Ryan decides it’s now or never.
“Do you mind if we do gifts once we get back?” Ryan stays focused on the road, too nervous to look over at Shane.
“Of course not. I kind of… need to prep mine, though. Think you can go first?”
“Definitely,” Ryan wheezes, grinning when he feels Shane’s hand on his thigh. “Just don’t get us killed right now, yeah?”
“Why must you always assume the dirtiest of things?”
Once they’re through the door, Ryan gets to work. Shane locks himself in the bedroom, so he has the space he needs to get ready. Sifting through the mountain of documents on his desk, he finds the music sheets, and puts them on the coffee table. He sets his guitar down on the couch, and picks out a new guitar pick.
Finally seated, he runs through the lines, mouthing the words as he ghosts his fingers over the strings he’s learned by heart.
This is it.
The bedroom door opening is what alerts Ryan to Shane’s presence, so he stands up and smiles as they lock eyes from across the room.
“Are you adding musician to your list of occupations?” Ryan rolls his eyes, and gestures to the chair across from him.
“You wish. Now, let me be the best boyfriend in the world right now, okay?” Shane nods, still grinning as he holds his hands up in mock defense.
“Of course, Ry. I’m all ears here.”
He rolls his eyes once again, and takes a few deep breaths as he sits down, resting the guitar over his thighs. He takes the top two sheets of paper and hands them to Shane, who accepts them without question. Refusing to look up just yet, Ryan takes another deep breath before strumming the guitar.
Que el cielo no es azul, ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
Que es rojo dices tú, ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
Ves todo al revés, ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
Creo que piensas con los pies, ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
Tú me traes un poco loco, un poquititito loco
Estoy adivinando qué quieres y pa' cuándo
Y así estoy celebrando, que me he vuelto un poco loco
Chiflado tú me vuelves, eso está un poco loco
Tu mente que despega, tú siempre con ideas
Con mi cabeza juegas, todo es un poco loco
Todo es un poco loco, con mi cabeza juegas
He’s barely finished singing the lyrics when he feels the couch dip, Shane’s hand resting on his lower back. Ryan sets the guitar down on the floor, his eyes flitting up to meet Shane’s. They’re filled with immense adoration and love that (he’ll never admit it) he just might start to cry.
“You wrote this… for me?” Shane’s voice is barely a whisper, and it sounds like he’s trying to hold back tears of his own. Ryan merely nods, smiling as he rests his hands on Shane’s knee.
“Let me get my present before we get too emotional here, big guy,” he whispers softly, squeezing Shane’s knee gently.
“Well… here’s the uh, written version.” He hands Ryan a light blue envelope as he clears his throat. “Just in case I… I butcher it live, you know?”
“Okay, here goes. Ryan Steven Bergera, eres el amor de mi vida. Los últimos doce meses han sido los mejores de todo mi vida, y no cambiaría nada. Eres mi mejor amigo y no se que haria sin ti. Sin tu gran corazón, tu cariño, o tu alma maravillosa. No puedo creer que digo esto ahora pero, si las fantasmas existen, ojalá las nuestras se quedan juntas hasta el fin.”
Ryan ignores the few tears trickling down his cheeks as he cups Shane’s face, running his thumb over his bottom lip.
“You learned Spanish?”
“To be fair, I thought it was going to be better than it turned out to be,”
“Shut up and kiss me already, Madej,” Ryan wheezes, crashing his lips against Shane’s.
They’re both smiling like idiots, so the kiss is way more teeth than tongue but neither one could care at this point. They were at their happiest with each other, and they wouldn’t have it another way. One anniversary down, a lifetime left to go.