Of course, Spot should have known. Every year as soon as the pond was frozen over Race went skating. Every year, not just when he had time, every year. Of course there were little kids there during the day. Race would bring his little brother and sisters and get himself back into his groove. Then he would go at night, and everyone would be there.
Spot should have known this year would be no different.
It was a Saturday. Usually the two of them would just lay around in Spot or Race's room and watch a movie, or make out depending on who you asked. But Race had been talking about this for weeks. Their little 'movie nights' were nothing to this time-honored tradition.
It got worse. Race had asked Spot to come along.
And the worst part; Spot, being the wonderful boyfriend he was had said yes.
It wasn't that Spot didn't like the cold, or snow. Truth be told he didn't really mind either, and snow meant snowballs which was always good. However there was the small problem of ice and skates, which connected with Spot's feet usually, did not end well. He'd tried to get out of it that way, by complaining that he didn't have skates. But no, Race's family had a pair of skates in every size known to man. He was stuck going, and again attempting to not make himself look stupid.
He was totally and utterly screwed.
This was what he searched the house for a sweatshirt, finally finding the bright red one his mother had bought him for his birthday the week before. The one Race said made him look sexy. Maybe if he got Race horny enough they would be able to leave without him actually needing to set foot on the ice.
He fiddled with the strings of the hood as he joined the crowd of people stuffed into David's mother's van. Jack was sitting shotgun, feet propped up on the dashboard.
"So Spot," he said, smacking his gum, "Does Race know you can't skate?"
"Bite me, Kelly."
Among much argument David made it safely to the pond, and half a dozen teenager pushed their ways out of the van. While many of the others took off running Spot made sure to walk slowly. The longer it took him to get there the better.
Race was hard to miss. He was sitting on a bench right at the pond's edge, a pair of skates already on his feet and another pair thrown over his shoulder. He was literally bouncing off of the bench and into the piles of snow as he waited.
"Step on it Spot!" he shouted when he spotted the bright red sweatshirt.
Spot in turn did nothing to quicken his gait. He took his sweet time walking to the bench and taking a seat next to Spot.
"Here," Race handed him the skates, looking at the already crowded ice. "Hurry up and put them on. I want to skate."
"You always want to skate," Spot mumbled under his breath as Jack skated over, diverting Race's attention.
"What d'you say, Higgins, think you can still beat me?" Jack asked. "Three times to the other end and back."
Race glanced over at Spot who said, "If you don't kick his ass I'll dump you on yours."
That was all Race needed. He and Jack were off flying down the ice.
"Morons," Spot muttered as he laced up the skates. He had just barely gotten them both tied tight enough when Race reappeared in front of him.
"Come on," Race whined like a little kid.
Spot stood up and took a few wobble steps before putting a foot tentatively on the ice. Again he cursed himself for being the wonderful boyfriend he was. Why did he have to go and make a promise like this to Race? He put the other foot on the ice a swell, and tried to catch his balance for a moment before attempting movement that would, inevitably send him sprawling to the ice.
Race on the other hand seemed not to have noticed Spot wasn't moving. In fact, he thought Spot was right next to him and had started rather quickly off across the ice. He was nearly ten yards away when he realized Spot was not standing there next to him. He turned and frowned as he saw Spot still standing near the shore.
"C'mon Spot," he yelled, starting to skate back.
Spot in turn pushed off cautiously on one foot. Balance was immediately lost and he went careening to the ice face-first.
He rolled over to find Race peering down at him with that smug grin on his face.
"Fine." Spot pushed himself to his knees and let Race help him to his feet before trying it again. Once again his feet slid out from under him. He didn't even bother trying to get up.
"Uh, Spot. How many times have you been ice skating?"
Spot shrugged, "Twice."
Race laughed. "You're really bad at it."
"Fuck you, Higgins."
"Maybe later," Race offered. He hauled Spot to his feet, and took firm hold of his arm. He wasn't going to make this easy and let Spot off the ice.
"Okay, so here's what you do, bend your knees a little. That's good. Now, if you feel like you're going to fall lean in another direction. Push off on each skate like this." He demonstrated, pulling Spot farther and farther form the snowy banks.
He just let Race pull him across the ice, occasionally moving his skates a little so it looked like he was trying. He held Race's hand, a little more tightly than usual, but still, if Race wasn't going to make him put any effort into it her would not.
Then Race let go of his hand. Race kept skating and stopped a few feet out of Spot's reach. "Okay, come here."
"Don't order me around, Higgins." He snapped.
"I thought you wanted to learn how to skate."
"I never said that."
Race shrugged. "Are you saying you can't do it?" One of Race's eyebrows curled slightly. A challenge?
Spot scowled. He pushed off onto his right foot, bending his knees and leaning slightly forward as Race had instructed him to. It worked well for a moment, and he reached a hand out to grab the one Race offered. Race was just barely out of reach when he lost his balance again and went crashing to the ice.
"Yes, Race, that is exactly what I am saying."
Race laughed. "Spot, I promise." He said hauling him to his feet yet again, "By the end of the winter I will have you skating up and down this pond faster that Jack."
"What if I don't want to be able to beat Jack? Really, Race, I don't need to learn to skate. I am perfectly happy watching you idiots form the shore, and throwing snowballs."
Race stole a quick kiss to shut Spot up. "I promise you won't fall again; I won't let you go. Now, right, left..."
Spot sighed but nearly walked along with Race back across the ice. After a few laps he felt he was almost getting the hang of it. He could go a few feet without needing to try to gain his balance.
Jack skated up on Race's other side. "So, how you doing, Spottie?"
"Getting the hang of it," Spot said.
"Really, 'cause from where I'm standing it looks like you're just letting that boyfriend of yours drag you around the ice."
"Jack, stop and think for a minute about what I'm going to do to you once I get off the ice."
Spot's argument distracted Jack just long enough for Race to clandestinely stick out a skate and trip him. Unlike Spot's less than graceful falls Jack actually got some air before he hit the ice.
"I give the landing a ten." Race congratulated himself.
"Idiot," Spot retaliated, pushing himself off on one foot. He shook a little bit as he glided past Jack but didn't fall. He made his way slowly along by himself for minute, hands out to his sides, and wobbling almost uncontrollably. He caught himself once and began to mentally count off the pointers Race had given him in the past hour.
Race caught up with him after skating a few circles around Jack, and taunting him. He took Spot's hand but stayed far enough a way that Spot could not get a grip for support. They skated along together not really saying anything. Spot tried to make his speed match Race's and ended up wobbling more than he was already.
"Don't watch your skates," Race told him, "look up. And don't worry about going fast." He skated slightly behind Spot. "You're doing pretty good. Now left, right, left, right..."
As much as Spot wanted to shove Race over for the counting he didn't say anything. Counting off for him made Spot feel like he was five years old. Eventually Race stopped counting and they just skated.
Race directed them around a corner and back across the center of the ice, toward the shore. "Not bad for a frickin' first timer." He commented.
Spot grinned smugly, "Of course not. This is me you're talking to."
"Yup." Spot took a step onto the snow of the bank. The shift in balance, however, made his left foot slide out from under him. He careened backward, sending both him and Race sprawling to the ice.
Race started laughing.
"I suck at life." Spot started laughing as well.
"No, just skating." Race pushed them both into a sitting position on the ice, "but we've got all winter to fix that."
Spot just groaned, and mumbled something inappropriate as Race pulled him to his feet and onto the snowy shore.
"You want a hot chocolate to smooth over your ego?" Race asked, nodding in the direction of a hot drinks and snack vendor. "My treat."
"Sure." Spot took a seat on the bench and made quick work of unlacing his skates and changing back into his sneakers. He flipped up the hood of his sweatshirt to protect against the offending cold.
Race returned a minute later taking a long sip of his own hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream, which of course was smeared across Race's upper lip.
Spot ignored the cup of hot chocolate Race offered him. He captured Race in a searing kiss, you know to uhhh... get rid of the whipped cream. Race knew Spot would react that way. And of course Spot knew Race knew it would react that way.
Race pushed Spot back a little. "We're going to go skating again next Friday, right?"
"Yes, now shut up and kiss me, damn it."
There he had gone being that wonderful boyfriend again.