Following their most triumphant of history presentations, the only thing that was left to do in Bill and Ted’s junior year of high school was for them to have an equally excellent time at prom.
While neither of them had really planned on going before since they were both lacking in the date department, Joanna and Elizabeth were eager to have the full high school prom experience after Bill and Ted had explained what it was. Apparently, a big dance party was also something they regularly did in medieval England.
They had all ended up having a great time, with their classmates having no idea who these mysterious girls were and Joanna and Elizabeth being most fascinated with the finest music hits of 1989 (with the four of them tearing up the dance floor to The B52’s Love Shack).
After the night was over, the princesses had gone home for the night. Bill and Ted had, of course, accompanied them to their new apartment that Rufus had given them the keys for. Neither of them really knew how Rufus was able to sort that out but if anyone they knew could do it, it was most definitely Rufus. They exchanged goodnight hugs with the princesses and waved at them from the window as they began to make their way back down the street.
Ted could feel the cold wind of the night on his legs. He and Bill had modified their prom tuxedos into shorts instead of pants, as even the evenings in San Dimas were way too warm for stifling black slacks. Plus, Joanna and Elizabeth had thought they looked most dashing.
Despite being pretty late into the night, the street was still mostly well-lit from the street lights dotted down the pavements. Away from the crowded school hall and cars covering the roads, Ted found it was completely quiet on this little street near the princesses’ apartment.
He wasn’t sure who thought of it first but both he and Bill stopped walking to sit perched on the empty pavement, similar to how they had done outside of the Circle K before Rufus had appeared to inform them of their life-changing excellent adventure.
Ted let the cold wind of the night air distract him from how close Bill was sitting beside him as the only source of body heat. In all the fun and chaos of the night, Ted found his first moment of quiet reflection upon all the things he and Bill had experienced in the last several days.
“I’m just thinking. Now that we’ve passed history and completed our most excellent adventure, how are we going to write a song that’s gonna save the world? The babes are learning to play with most haste, but we still can’t really play. How do you think we’re gonna do it?”
Bill shuffled to rearrange how he was sitting and Ted could swear he was imagining Bill leaning slightly against him.
“I’m not so sure, Ted. And honestly, it feels pretty scary to think about. But remember what Rufus said to us, we’re going to write that song way in the future. Probably when we’re like, my dad’s age. That’s super old.”
Bill could feel Ted shifting and lightly bouncing his knee the way he usually did when he had a thought he was finding it difficult to express.
“I can hear you thinking from here, dude. Everything okay?” he said.
Ted hummed affirmatively, looking down at his lap.
“I’m just thinking back to the prom, Bill. It was great dancing with Liz, she’s a most excellent dance partner. She told me her and Joanna had a load of lessons back in medieval England. But…” Ted trailed off, his face telling Bill that he was beginning to lose his nerve. Bill decided to take the risk and give him a push.
“But what, Ted?”
Ted could feel Bill’s eyes burning into him, his head feeling like a weird combination of tumbling into a pit of anxiety and light as a feather. The words came out soft and strained, as if his brain wasn’t fully caught up to what he was saying.
“I really wanted to dance with you, dude. Like the way I was dancing with Liz. I wanted to dance with you more.”
Ted saw Bill’s eyebrows raise and he quickly realised the weight of what he was confessing. Of course, Ted had had these kinds of thoughts about Bill before but they had never just slipped out like that. He was usually vigilant about his affection towards Bill, always craving more but making sure to never go too far.
He didn’t know what it was about tonight but something about their adventurous experience had changed the way he approached those thoughts and even he didn’t fully understand what. But his habit of pulling back kicked in and he hurried to cover the tracks of what he had just expressed.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong! Liz is a most beautiful and amazing babe but back when we were in medieval England, I mostly just didn’t want her and Joanna to have to marry those royal ugly dudes. Not getting to choose who you marry is a most bogus situation.”
“Hmm. Most definitely.” Bill was silent for a moment as he gazed down the empty street, looking deep in thought. Ted turned to look at his side profile and could feel his mind getting into that soft focus that sometimes happened when he stared at Bill for too long. Before now, he hadn’t allowed himself to think about it.
But there was nothing now to distract him. He was exposed, like a raw nerve with someone pressing down on it. Bill turned to look at Ted after what felt like forever, smiling as if he had made his mind up about something. He stood up on the pavement and offered his hand to help Ted up.
“Well Ted, I think a last dance is a fine way to end this most excellent day. The night’s not over yet.”
Ted looked struck dumb for a moment before fumbling with his hands as Bill pulled him closer.
“Like this, dude,” Bill whispered, as he covered Ted’s hand with his own and slowly moved it down to his waist. “You’re taller than me. So, your hand goes here. And mine goes on your shoulder. Like if I was a babe.”
Ted could feel his breath catch as he looked down at his feet. Bill rested his hand on Ted’s shoulder.
The two of them swayed gently against each other. It was slower than the wild dancing they been doing with Joanna and Elizabeth. Ted’s feet bumped against Bill’s as they drew closer, practically chest to chest. Through the curtain of his hair, Bill could see Ted’s eyes shine through the shadows cast on his face from the streetlights above. Ted swallowed nervously, not quite meeting Bill’s gaze as he spoke so softly that Bill almost missed it.
“I really wanna kiss you, dude.”
Bill looked up at Ted, everything he wanted to say dying in his throat. He could only manage two slight nods of his head as he leaned forward and joined their lips together. He could feel Ted’s other hand move from his waist to his shoulders, then gently to cup his face.
The kiss was soft and tentative, like Ted was worried Bill would suddenly break them apart. Bill asserted his enthusiasm by pushing forward, taking the lead and engulfing Ted’s lips. The silence buzzed in their ears as they slowly pulled back.
Ted rested his head down on Bill’s shoulder, his eyes closing. Bill felt a slight shudder run up Ted’s back as he inhaled. He hoped he wasn’t imagining it. The street lamps around them felt dimmer, their glow hazy and dull. Bill slid his hand up from the small of Ted’s back into his hair, gently petting through his silky mop. He could tell Ted was getting overwhelmed and the repeated motions with skin-to-skin contact soothed his rising anxiety.
He wished he could reassure Ted. Even knowing the future and that they would definitely end up creating the song that would save the world, that couldn’t chase away their fears of not living up to what Rufus had told them. Bill never wanted Ted to feel like a failure around him.
Their feet had stopped moving. They stood gently resting against each other, Bill shushing soothingly into Ted’s ear while gently brushing kisses into Ted’s neck. There was nothing frantic or urgent about his movements, with Bill making an effort to keep his actions as soft as possible.
As Ted clutched him tighter, Bill began to understand how touch-starved Ted truly was. The revelation made him want to freeze time just at this moment, so he could hold Ted forever. He wanted to engulf him in love.
Bill’s mind went back to the last time they had hugged, when he thought Ted might have been dead. When they had both quickly moved away after, deflecting their feelings as they had ingrained in themselves to do in case someone was watching. Bill knew that what he felt for Ted was definitely not something the world of either their high school or neighbourhood would understand or be forgiving of.
But as strange as it was, he felt he had grown a bit wiser in the past several days. After seeing the world’s history and being told the massive part the two of them would play in its future, Bill could feel himself not wanting to fight the urge to hold Ted close as he once did. He’d thought he almost lost him once and holding him now, it made him realise Ted was the centre of his world and the people around them could sulk all they wanted about it.
As long as he could hold and take care of Ted the way that only he knew, Bill felt in complete control of their destinies. They were going to get that song right. He could feel it. He didn’t know how they were going to pull it off but they were going to save the world.
It was most ironic, he thought to himself, that he should be having this revelation in the dark haze of the night on an empty street with no one around that could possibly see or judge them.
Ted mumbled something into Bill’s shoulder, exhaling a small laugh as he did.
“What was that, dude?” Bill whispered as Ted lifted his head to look at him with a smile that Bill would have hung all the stars in the sky for.
“I’m saying, we’re like that song, dude. The one by Elton John. Hold me closer, tiny dancer.”
Bill felt a grin split on his face as Ted gently sang the lyric. He sang along “Pretty eyed, pirate smile. You’ll marry a music man…”
He trailed off as he leaned forward to kiss Ted again, firmer this time. He didn’t know a whole lot about making out or kissing but kissing Ted was already most unrivalled. Their lips moved against each other, growing a bit bolder as Bill felt a swipe of Ted’s tongue across his bottom lip. Eventually they gently pulled back ever-so-slightly, panting slightly into each other’s mouths.
“Bill…” Ted whispered. “I don’t know what our world-saving future is going to look like. All I know is I want to always be with you to see it happen.”
Bill brought his hand up to Ted’s face, brushing his hair out of his eyes.
“That’s most definitely how it’s going to be, Ted. I’m sure whatever happens, my future is always going to be with you. But we don’t need to worry about it tonight.”
Bill leaned up to gently knock their foreheads together and entwinned their hands. If Bill wasn’t connecting them, Ted felt like he might float away into the night.
“We’ve got time, Ted. So much time.”