I got a new pair of shoes today, and I do so love my shoes – but esp. these ones :D – so I thought I'd treat… whoever wanted to read, to a nice new little fic :D
Hope you enjoy.
Title: Old Friend's & Even Older Gestures
A/N: Ok, well, I figure Blake's gotta be about 28, given that he graduated in '97. An since Andie says 'When I was 16', I figure she's 17/18, but I'm gonna take it as 17 just for the sake of this fic – not that it really factors into this story, but still Also, I'm thinking Chase is 17/18 too, but I'm gonna make him 18.
Disclaimer: I don't own Step Up 2 or the characters; I'm just having a wee play around with some of them ;)
Summary: It was ingrained in his memory: the first time he put the cap on his head, felt his golden locks surrender to the cool material, ran his fingers along the rim. It was good to have his old friend back again.
We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Change always comes bearing gifts. - Price Pritchett
His first cap was a present.
He remembers it like it was yesterday.
It was supposed to be a birthday present, but he knew what it really was.
It was a going-away present.
Though, he's always thought that was a little backward.
After all, he wasn't the one going away; Blake was.
"You can't win me over with pretty gifts, Blake," he said sourly, practically spitting out the last few words.
He raised his head slightly, adding, "I'm still pissed at you."
"Who said anything about winning you over?" the elder replied, a coy look in his eyes. "And less of the language, eh?"
"This is merely a belated birthday present."
"Oh yeah, I'd almost forgotten about that," came the response, sarcasm surprisingly cutting for an eight-year-old. "Must be something in the air."
"Very funny," was all his older brother said to that, before, "Now open your present."
The youngster eyed him carefully for a few moments and then, almost at a snail's pace, his fingers crept forward and began picking at the corner of the tape. His actions were painstakingly slow, and he took a sort of perverse pleasure in watching Blake purse his lips and sigh every so often as if displaying his impatience would somehow make Chase change his attitude to the task at hand.
He inwardly scoffed at that, Yeah, right!
"You never take this long opening presents, you always just rip off the paper and be done with it. Why are you being deliberately difficult this time?" Blake questioned tiredly.
A simple raise of the eyebrow, bordering on a glare, as if challenging: 'Do you really wanna go down that route with me?' was the response.
He blinked a few times, readjusting his eyes to the sight before him, before dragging them slowly upwards.
"You bought me a cap?" Chase asked, a look of slight incredulity about his features.
"Yeah," Blake answered, a smile on his face as if he was trying to radiate the emotion from one brother to another.
"I thought you'd appreciate it, ye know, keep that unruly hair of yours hidden?"
His hand was swatted away with a scowl and a swift, "Lay off."
"You're practically asleep anyway, I don't see what the fuss is about to be honest."
" 's principle," the eight-year-old retorted, still eyeing Blake through a sporadic colouring of straw.
"Come on, Chase, give me something to work on here," he tried, his lips spreading even further as he tried to coax the same out of the younger.
"… Thanks," came a quiet utterance through the momentary silence.
"What was that? I couldn't quite make it out," the elder teased lightly.
"I said thanks, for the hat," Chase let out, a small smile eventually peeking through as he lifted his head.
"It ain't a bad choice," he continued, seemingly making a single movement of wrapping his hands round the peak, curving it over and snapping the cap over his head.
"… for a stiff like you," he added, giving his older brother a cheeky grin, before quickly ducking out of his way.
He wasn't quick enough, however, and Blake tackled him; with both boys soon in fits of laughter rolling around on Chase's bed.
After a short while, the elder relented and raised himself up, allowing his little brother to sit up once more; but not before making a point of ruffling Chase's hair up even further, shaking his hat from side to side.
The younger fell back against his pillows, the corners of his lips still tugging upwards as he said, "Thanks, Blake. I do like it, it looks cool."
"But then, I make anything look good, so… " He stuck his tongue out to the side, and swept his cap round so it was backwards, his eyes sparkling.
Eight years old and his brother was already a cocky little ass; Blake momentarily wondered if this was just a glimpse of things to come, and thanked God he wouldn't be there to put up with the teenage years.
That single thought stopped him short.
Sobered him up quick sharp.
Took the breath right out of him.
Chase must have noticed because his face straightened ever so slightly, as if he was gauging what his brother was going to do next, so he could react accordingly.
"Everything's going to be alright, Chase," Blake told his younger brother, after a few moments of silence: willing at least one of them to believe it.
"No, it's not."
Three simple words that cut through his heart and threatened to tear him to pieces; forcing him to admit the truth, and that which was steadily, by the minute, becoming more and more of a reality.
Too many lies had been told already.
Too many things kept in the dark.
"You're right. It's not going to be alright," Blake said.
The younger boy's head shot up at that, eyes wide and questioning.
Well, that was unexpected.
As was the hug that engulfed him, the arms that enveloped him into one of the most heartfelt and… complete circles he could ever be part of.
"But we'll get through it, like always."
The continuation was accompanied by a smile of reassurance, a head tilt to watch the other closely, and such an earnestness that Chase found it hard to tear himself away.
As should have been the case.
Only it wasn't.
"Just thousands of miles apart, right?" the youngster said, his voice sounding more sad than anything else.
He nodded, the sombre reality hitting him like a ten tonne truck.
Chase disentangled himself from his brother's arms, a small smile still dancing across his lips as he said, "Thanks, Blake."
An empty, almost hollow feeling was left behind, making Blake ponder for a moment if this was how he was going to feel from then on.
As if he'd had the most important thing in his life pull away from his grasp, as if burned by his touch; as if he'd had the one person who practically idolised him look at him with nothing but disappointment shining in their eyes; as if he'd betrayed a trust and a vow he'd never known existed until it was too late.
He wondered if this was what it felt like.
He wondered if this was what it felt like; knowing he'd lost his little brother and wouldn't ever get him back.
"I'll pretend it's you."
Chase's words snapped him from his thoughts.
"The hat," his brother clarified, pointing to the side of his head with his finger and directing a 'What, are you a dummy now?' look right at him.
Blake rolled his eyes at the youngster's antics, as a click of the teeth and a grin was shot back.
"I'll pretend it's you," the eight-year-old said again; this time accompanying it with a slight shrug of the shoulders, as he added, "You know, watching over me and that."
He didn't know what to say.
Those words, the barely-there dazzle of a smile on Chase's face, his 'it's-no-big-deal' attitude; they were all Blake needed.
All he needed to restore his Faith that when he returned, his brother would be waiting.
It didn't matter what happened in between, didn't matter who they became or why; at some stage they would find each other again.
And that was all either of them really needed to be sure on.
That was all that really mattered.
The cap slowly twirls in a ballerina-esque move atop his fingertips, and the rough skin of his thumb traces the edge of its rim: so many memories.
A quick glance through the glass gives him the chance to catch his brother's eye; a cheeky wink later and he's placing the cap on his head, spinning it round; the elastic border fitting as snug as an old friend.
With a cocky smirk, he saunters down the steps.
It was time to make some new memories.
Hope you liked it.
Thanks for reading - feedback is much appreciated, too; I'm always up for for improving my writing :)