It was Valentine’s Day and Nathan was ready to sleep right through it. It was just a 'holiday' for a bunch of idiots to give each other flowers and chocolate and put their 'love' on blast to the world. Fuck that.
This one was different though– he had a boyfriend, Warren Graham. He specifically told Warren to not do anything for him on Valentine’s Day because it’s lame and cheesy and extremely overrated. He didn’t realize that Warren had other plans until he was knocking at his door, wearing his signature cheesy smile on his face while holding a rose.
“No. We’re not doing this, I already told you.” Nathan quickly cut Warren off, turning around to walk back into his room.
“Oh, come on, I’ve never had a Valentine’s Day with someone before! I finally don’t have to mope around alone all day, ‘cause I have you.” Warren said sweetly, smiling ear to ear.
Warren walked into Nathan’s room and took a seat on the bed, resting his back against the headboard. He put the rose on the bedside table.
God, Nathan hated it when he called him that. He loved it when he called him that. Nathan followed, sitting comfortably next to Warren, fitting like a puzzle piece.
“You show you love me everyday, in some incredibly lame ways may I add, you don’t need to do it today.” Nathan mumbled, toying with one of the buttons of his jacket.
“Jeez, you’re like the Valentine’s Day hipster!” Warren accused. “Oh, everyone else is enjoying themselves so that means I shouldn’t! It’s overrated!” Warren spoke in a mocking tone while waving his arms around dramatically.
Nathan gave Warren a disgusted look, grabbing his arm that was in the air and putting it to rest back on his side. Warren moved his arm and grabbed Nathan’s hand in his, laying it on his stomach and rubbing his knuckles with the pad of his thumb.
“Quit being so dramatic, and don’t call me a fucking hipster.” Nathan retorted.
“I’m just teasing you,” Warren gave him a small smile, “but I still have plans for us today.” He gave his boyfriend’s thigh a tap and stood up from the bed, heading toward the door. “Let’s get this day started!”
Nathan let out a groan, slowly sliding himself down the bed frame to lay on the bed. “Can’t we just lay in bed and watch movies all day? I'd rather die than see a bunch of teens sucking face everywhere we turn."
“We watch movies every night. I love it, but don’t you wanna do something different for a change?” Warren asked, trying to persuade him.
“Well, I do! Can we please? For me.” Warren was giving Nathan the puppy eyes. Really? That quick?
Nathan looked away from his gaze, he wasn’t about to fall in his trap. “Don’t give me that look.”
Warren walked over to Nathan on the bed and took a hold of his hand. “Please?”
Nathan hesitated. Damn it, Warren’s really trying. He’s considering letting him win, like he usually does. The movies they watch, the places they eat, all because of Warren. Nathan doesn’t really mind it, he likes giving him what he wants. He’ll deny that in a heartbeat though.
Warren doesn’t take no for an answer and instead takes his pleading to the next step and gets on top of Nathan, taking a seat on his lap and grabbing a hold of both his hands. He gives him a pout. “Pleeeeease?” Warren’s begging now.
Nathan sits up, palms resting behind him. He lets out a sigh– the winner is obvious, as per usual. And he sure as hell knows that if he says no again, Warren will walk away and sulk in a corner. Then he'd receive a passive-aggressive text later that night talking about all the fun they could be having but weren't. He's such a damn diva.
Nathan admitted defeat, mumbling out a “fine”.
“Thank you!” Warren took a hold of his boyfriend’s chin and laid a kiss on his lips, “Let’s get going, we have a fun day ahead of us.” Nathan was officially putty in his hands, a faint blush rising to his cheeks.
Nathan would never get used to this– the kisses, the hand holding, the cuddling, and just everything that was an expression of love and adoration. The day he told Warren he loved him was surreal. Never in a million years did he think he’d say it first, or say it all, but it slipped out of his mouth as easy as the vomit that came right after.
Nathan was extremely hungover that morning and Warren was taking care of him like he always does, making sure he drinks enough water and pukes in the trash can and not on the carpet. He’s done it before, it’s not an easy clean up. When Warren heard him say it he had to take a double-take. Wait, what?
I love you, Warren.
Warren’s face lit up, then he gave Nathan a playful glare. Hey, I wanted to say it first! He let out a chuckle, …I love you too, Nathan.
They’d never forget that day.
The two of them made their way over to Warren’s car, or as Nathan liked to call it, his death trap. He’s been in it plenty of times and nothing has happened besides a flat tire, so he has nothing to worry about. He does like to tease Warren about it, though.
“Oh great, I get to die on Valentine’s Day in a death trap with you. How romantic.” Nathan spoke sarcastically, opening the passenger door and moving a jacket that was in the way before taking a seat. This car was far from clean, littered with half-empty fast food drink cups, napkins, candy wrappers, empty water bottles, and other things Nathan didn’t want to know of.
“Now look who’s being the dramatic one!” Warren sat in the drivers seat, fastening his seat belt and putting the key into the ignition. “We’re not gonna die, we’re gonna have a good day. Promise.” Warren stuck out his pinky finger to Nathan.
That sincere tone in his voice was pulling at Nathan’s heartstrings. He smiled and reached over to cross pinkies. “Alright then, where are we headed, Mr. Romance?”
Warren smirked at that nickname. “It’s a surprise, of course. It wouldn’t be as romantic if you knew, now would it?”
And they were off.
“I hate this song.”
“This is like, the 100th song you’ve skipped to.”
Nathan groaned and turned off the radio. They’ve been driving for approximately 45 minutes and he’s getting impatient. The whole car ride has consisted of minimal talking with the low buzz from the radio unless a song that Warren liked came on, which he’d then turn up the volume to near-full blast and sing along. He looked like a complete idiot, but Nathan adored it, telling him to relax but his blatant heart-eyes were telling his boyfriend otherwise.
“We almost there?” Nathan asked.
“Uh– shit, I think?” Warren started squinting to see the road better.
“It’s getting dark and we’re in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere.” They really were. They’ve been driving down what seemed like a never-ending road for the past 25 minutes, seemingly far away from any civilization. Nathan’s only seen one car drive by them the entire time they’ve been on this road. This felt like the beginning of a horror movie.
“It’s fine! We’re fine. We’ll get there.” Warren reassured Nathan but it sounded more like he was reassuring himself. He wouldn’t admit it, but they were lost. Warren studied the directions all throughout the night to ensure that they don’t get lost and he can have this day be completely smooth sailing. He really wanted to impress Nathan. He admits to himself that he was a bit distracted while studying— he couldn’t help but think about how good of a day they were gonna have and the smile that would be on his boyfriend’s face. Not to mention the nerves that were surrounding him, but he shook those off.
“So…are you gonna tell me where we’re going yet?” Nathan asked, interrupting Warren’s concentration.
Warren took a quick glance at him then turned back to the road. “Hm? No, no. Find your inner-patience, please.” Warren said with slight-humor laced in his voice.
“I have no patience, you know that,“ Nathan retorted. “And plus, we’re lost.”
“No we’re not.” Warren denied this accusation quickly.
“Yes we are. You look like a lost puppy driving right now.” It’s cute.
Warren chuckled. “You know it’s cute.”
Oh, so he can read minds now?
“Just pull over, please? Look up the directions, I promise I won’t look.”
“Fine, I surrender.” Warren slowed down and parked his car on the side of the road then reached for his phone that was sitting in a cup holder. He began to type in the location into his maps app and Nathan announced that he was going to go outside for a smoke, leaving the car and leaning his back on the passenger door. He took a cigarette out of a pack from his back pocket and lit it, bringing it to his lips and leaning his head back to admire the sky. It was nightfall and everything was blue, a perfect time for a photo. He internally laughs-- colors don't matter to his monochrome camera. Nathan decided against it though, not feeling like reaching into the back seat where his camera laid. His eyes wandered around as he took in his surroundings– trees. Nothing but endless trees and grass layed out on the ground like a carpet. He listened to the rather loud sound of crickets then finished the rest of his cigarette, seating himself back into the car.
“Figured it out?” Nathan asked, getting comfortable in his seat.
Warren locked his phone and let out a ‘yeah’, kissing his temple then putting his phone back into the cup holder, turning the key in the ignition to start the car back up. Except the car didn’t start. Nathan turned to peer at him.
“Well are we going or what?” he asked, blowing out some extra smoke.
“Yeah, my car’s just acting up. Give me a second.” Warren turned the keys again– nothing. He tried again, and again, and again, but no prevail. His shoulders drop and his back falls back against the car seat, a look of despair taking over his face. “You’re kidding me…”
Nathan wants to make a snarky remark, We should’ve taken my car, your’s is a piece of shit, but he doesn’t, seeing how defeated his boyfriend looks right now. He reaches out to take a hold of his hand but stops when Warren slams his hand on the steering wheel, making the horn go off and Nathan jump slightly.
“I’m sorry, I just– I’m pissed off because - fuck - I had this all planned out! We were supposed to have a great day and now it’s all ruined!” Warren ran his hand through his hair, tugging at it in frustration. “It’s not fair.” he mumbled.
Nathan sighed, taking Warren’s hand in his and looking at him with care. “It’s not the end of the world, just…a bump in the road.”
“Okay, Plato.” Warren joked and let out a small laugh, gripping at his boyfriend’s hand tightly. He looked him in the eyes, keeping him in a gaze for a moment. “Come here.” He leaned over the console and took a hold of Nathan’s face and kissed him, leaning in more and more the longer they were on each other’s lips. Warren broke the kiss and leaned back in his seat, reaching for his phone. “I guess I’ll just call someone–”
“Let’s take a walk,” Nathan suggests, unlocking the door. “Could be, uh, ‘romantic’.”
“And leave my car here? What if someone tries to steal it?”
Nathan keeps his laugh in. “I love you, but no one’s gonna try and steal your car.” He gets out of his seat and steps back into the mid-winter air.
“I guess…” Warren sighs. He follows lead and gets out of the car, locking the door behind him. “I’ll be back for you, Delilah.” he says, kissing his hand and tapping it on the hood of his car. Of course he named his car. Warren walked across the front of his car and took a hold of Nathan’s hand and swung them back and forth for a few seconds, then let them rest at their sides. They began their walk.
“Can I be honest?”
“I’ve had to pee for like, the last six minutes.”
The two have been walking for about ten minutes and the night has officially taken over. Their surroundings have become hard to see in the dark and their only source of light is the moon. Warren insisted that he use his phone’s flashlight to see better but Nathan told him to turn it off, explaining that it will waste his battery. Their hands separated two minutes into the walk - Nathan doesn't like the feel of sweaty palms even though Warren could hold his hand all day - so their arms rest at their sides. A car hasn’t driven by them the whole walk and if it wasn’t for Warren constantly talking about the stars in the sky, Nathan would’ve been scared out of his mind.
“Well…go.” Nathan stopped walking and pointed to the forest to the right of him.
“Hell no! I’m not dying tonight, I can hold it.”
“Fine,” Nathan ran a hand through his hair, slightly annoyed that he won't just take a piss, “let’s keep walking then.” He started to walk forward but turned his head back when he noticed Warren wasn’t following. “You coming?”
“Let’s go over there.” Warren said, pointing to a sandy dirt road that was across of where they were standing.
“Sure.” They made their way across the road, Nathan looking both ways to make sure no cars were coming and he internally rolled his eyes. Why would there be any cars coming all of a sudden, dumbass?
They walk into the road and take in the sight in front of them. A murky lake, illuminated by the reflection of the moon bouncing on the gentle waves moving through the water. The lake was rather big, surrounded by never-ending pine trees. It looked like a nice place to go fishing, or just row around in a boat. Nathan was glad he brought his camera.
“Well, this looks a lot better than what I originally had planned…” Warren mumbled under his breath, but it was quiet out enough for Nathan to hear him. He walked up to the lake, leaning down and sticking a finger in the water.
Nathan ignored him and lowered himself onto one knee, putting his camera to his face to get the perfect shot. Snap.
Warren’s head snapped back to face his boyfriend, looking at him with eyebrows raised and eyes wide. He sees the camera in his hand then realizes it was just him taking a photo and relaxes. He moves back a bit then takes a seat in the sand. “Sit with me.” he says, patting the space next to him.
Nathan makes his way over and sits next to him, scooting himself as close as possible and leans his head on his shoulder. Warren puts his arm around him and lets out a puff of air, looking at it come out from his mouth and into the cold winter night.
“This looks like it came out of an anime.”
“Yes, go ahead and kill the mood with your damn cartoons.”
“I don’t even have to look at you to know you rolled your eyes. And they're not cartoons.”
“You know me so well, it’s as if we’ve been together for five months.” Holy shit, five months.
“Can you believe it?” Warren asked, laying down on the sand and moving his hands to lay behind his head, crossing his ankles. “Five months.”
“Yeah, that’s…a long time.” Nathan followed suit, laying down next to him and resting his head on his chest. Everything felt right. His boyfriend’s delicate heartbeat thumping in his chest, the full moon glowing and casting it’s soft light on the earth, the array of twinkling stars that they couldn’t usually see from Arcadia Bay, the sound of the wind blowing on the lake, making small waves crash at the shore…everything. He felt like such a fucking sap thinking all these things, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. There were more things shared in these silent moments with the guy he loves than conversations he’s had with most everyone else. He doesn’t want to be anywhere but here.
He was taken out of his thoughts when Warren quickly sat up, Nathan’s head falling onto the sand with a light thump. “What the hell–”
“I almost forgot! Close your eyes.” Warren requested, waiting for him to close them. Nathan sat up and asked why. “Because– can you just do it? Please?” He obliged.
Warren stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out something. “Give me your hand.”
Nathan knew he had nothing to worry about but he was hesitant nonetheless, slowly giving him his hand. Warren took it and opened his fingers, turning it around so his palm faced upward, giving him the object that he had been hiding. “Open!”
Nathan opened his eyes and looked down to his palm, seeing a small black velvet box. He looked up at Warren, as if asking for permission to open it. He gave him a nod, looking eager to see him open his gift. He opened the box to reveal a ring. Nathan raised his brow, taking a glance at the boy sitting next to him.
“No! No no, it’s not an engagement ring. Promise.”
Nathan nodded, letting go of that thought and picked up the ring gently. It was silver and looked like it had something engraved in it. He twisted the ring around in between his fingers and saw that his thought was confirmed, seeing his own name engraved in cursive. He raised his head to see Warren beaming at him, smiling ear to ear like he always is.
“Well, do you like it?” Warren asks, getting nervous at his silence and raises his hand to scratch at the back of his neck.
“I- I mean, I’m kind of speechless.” Nathan responds, looking back down at the ring in his hand.
“The good kind, right?”
Nathan nods again and goes to slip the ring on his finger but is stopped by Warren.
“Let me do it.” he says, reaching over to take the ring.
“Of course, for the romance.” Nathan jokes and Warren chuckles.
“Yeah, the romance.” He slips it on the middle finger of his right hand and Nathan raises his hand a bit, getting a good look at it.
“I said no gifts.”
“But…thank you. Seriously, this is really nice, no matter how cheesy you putting a ring on me is. But now I feel like an ass ‘cause I didn’t get you anything. God, I'm a fucking ass.” Nathan groaned, closing the box and slipping it in his pocket.
“You’re an ass, that is true.” Warren smirked, leaning in to give him a quick peck. “You don’t need to get me anything, you coming here with me on this…” he struggled for a moment to find the right word, “adventure, was more than enough.”
Nathan smiled, teeth showing and all, and leaned over to continue the kiss. He slowly made his way onto his boyfriend’s lap, feeling a pair of arms wrap around his waist. He held his face with his right hand and Warren jumped back slightly, making Nathan confused.
“Your ring is cold.” he stated, letting out a soft chuckle.
“Too bad.” Nathan closed the space between them and laid his lips on his again, starting to become more eager. He loved this and he wanted more. Warren started to lean back, taking Nathan with him on the sand. He took a hold of his hand and laced his fingers in between his. Nathan took everything in; his lips, his hand, the wind, the crickets - the damn crickets -, the body heat, and the overwhelming sense of love and protection. Warren pushed him back a bit, startling him.
“Not to ruin the moment again but, I really need to pee. Still.”
Nathan grunted, rolling off of him and pointed to the trees yet again. “Go, please.”
Warren laughed and gave him a peck on the forehead, standing up and walking towards the mass amount of trees. After finishing his business he walked back to Nathan who was standing and scrolling through photos on his camera.
“What was your original plan anyway?” Nathan asked, turning his camera off.
“I’m not telling! You’ll have to find out next year.” Warren grinned, taking Nathan’s hand in his and walking back towards the road.