Metaphorical Fireworks


"There's a better way to spend New Year's than getting your head blown off by some renegade firework, you know." David fought off the cold and his rising annoyance by bouncing on the balls of his feet.


Jack propped up the small rocket-shaped firework, trying to get it to stay upright for the umpteenth time.* "It'll be awesome, Dave," he piped. "You'll see." The little stand clattered over again as soon as he let go.


David rolled his eyes. "Yeah, so when you said you were going to show me fireworks at midnight I thought . . ." He'd promised himself that if Jack finally - finally -- made a move tonight, he wouldn't back down from it, but his voice seized in his chest like he'd taken a deep breath of too-cold air at just the thought of suggesting it himself. "I thought by 'fireworks' you meant, like . . . the metaphorical kind."


Jack flicked a match and protected it from the wind with carefully cupped hands. "Metawha--? Some day, Dave, you and me are gonna sit down with a dictionary and look up regular words for you to -- Oh, hey, I got it. It's going!"


The fuse hissed and sparked in the half light of the fire-escape balcony. "If you blow up my family's apartment building I'm never talking to you again." David knew that sounding like an irritable jackass wasn't exactly going to inspire Jack to suddenly start macking on him come midnight, but given Jack's fascination with explosives the chances of that had apparently been stupidly slim to begin with.


Steady and slow, Jack tip-toed back from his precious rocket, coming to stand by David. "One firework never hurt anybody," he placated, blowing on his hands for warmth. David stomped down all thoughts about Jack's lean fingers and how good he looked in his watch cap with his cheeks ruddy from the wind.


"Yeah, I seriously doubt that," he retorted. He really didn't mean to be so pissy, but freezing his ass off on his parent's fire escape, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his best and nearly-almost-maybe (wait, doesthisjinxit?) boyfriend while watching a fuse fizzle like his chances for romance in the new year was soooo not what he'd had in mind for the night.


David bit his lip and glanced sideways at Jack's face, which was lit as much from boyish excitement as by the flickering glow of the rocket fuse. From the apartment behind them, he heard his parents' party guests shout the final countdown.


Jack's eyes met David's and his grin cracked wide through the cold, igniting something warm and hopeful in David's belly. But they were jolted out of the moment by the firework blasting off, streaking up into the night sky with a trail of shimmery gold.


It exploded over the neighboring apartment building in a shower of green and red. "Yeah!" Jack jumped, jamming a fist in the air, and came down clapping. "Happy New Year!" he crowed into the city night, still staring at the spidery wisp in the sky and grinning with success.

David smiled with pursed lips, reluctantly impressed they hadn't died, but even more charmed by Jack's open enthusiasm. He was just about to slip back to feeling disappointed and disgruntled when Jack wheeled around and met David's eyes again. Hot excitement touched off anew in David's stomach. He let it sizzle its way into this chest as Jack stepped toward him again, cautious but smiling, and saying in a low and private and expectant voice, "Happy New Year, Dave," and leaning in like he'd planned this all along.

David's inhibition exploded into impatience. He grabbed Jack by the chest of his coat, yanked him the rest of the way, and pressed their mouths together.

Eyes closed, he didn't breathe until he pulled back, and he didn't pull back until well after he felt the moment Jack felt it -- felt sparks launch from the base of his spine.

"Davey . . ." Jack trailed, breathless, as shock and something David hoped was delight showed on his face. Their mouths hovered near each other, hot breath clouding between them. David couldn't get his fingers to unlock their grip on Jack's coat. "What -- what was that?"

"Fireworks," David smirked, "the metaphorical kind."

Jack laughed, then kissed him.


*A/N: Jack's firework is apparently manufactured by ACME.