Title: Home Is Not A Place
Rating: G, I guess?
Summary: Ryan and Colin celebrate new year's eve together for the first time.
Disclaimer: It never happened. It's all in my head.
A/N: I already posted this on tumblr but it's OK, I'm posting it here too.
Telling their wives -well, ex wives now- had been the hardest thing.
What started as a simple get together in Vancouver, an opportunity for double date like the ones they had in Toronto so many years ago, came to be the end of life as they knew it and the start of a new beginning.
They chose to have dinner in a restaurant that had been around for decades. One that they’d been to several times when they had been younger. It was the same restaurant and yet nothing but the name had remained unchanged. The lights, the decoration, the menu, the staff, even the manager had changed multiple times through the years. Ryan and Colin both felt a weird sense of nostalgia, a yearning for days gone by, mixed with the feeling that everything was changing around them, but they remained stationary. With one look they agreed that this was the time. The time to take the plunge and change everything once and for all.
Pat thought it was a joke, at first. Deb was shell shocked. She knew that they would never joke about something like that. There were tears, some shouting, resentment, pleading, confusion and by the end of the night none of them wanted to see that restaurant again in their lives. Later on, when things had fallen somewhat in place and divorce papers had been signed, Deb said it best.
“You have to understand. I’m not surprised. Neither of us is.”
Her and Pat had spent a lot of time talking on the phone in the past few months.
“We always knew there was something between you. It’s just that after all this time, we thought you put it behind you. We thought you would never face up to it and things would always stay the same.”
It was the last time Colin would see her for a while. He and Ryan went to Toronto after the divorce was finalized so that Colin could pick up a few of his things that were still in what was now Deb’s house.
“I would like to say that I am happy you finally decided to be honest with yourselves but I’m not sure I feel that way yet. But I don’t resent you for it either. You can’t help who you fall in love with. I should know.”
She helped carry the boxes to the car and hugged both of them good bye.
All in all, Ryan preferred Pat’s sarcasm and mild irritation when she had to deal with them. She said she forgave them as well and was ready to move on with her life but Deb’s honesty and affection made him feel guilty and uneasy.
Just because they were finally together, it wasn’t always sunshine and flowers. Neither of them regretted what they did but there were times their conviction faltered.
“I’m too old for this. I’m simply too old to start all over again. I don’t know if I can do this, Colin said during one of their first fights after they moved in together.
Afterwards, they both apologized and held on to each other tightly, Colin saying over and over that he didn’t mean it, that for Ryan and for what they shared, he would always try his best. Ryan said they would always try together and they fell asleep still holding each other.
They weren’t glamorous enough for their divorces to make the news but once the word came out that they were now a couple, they started getting some attention.
“So are you and Mr. Stiles gay now?”
Colin looked at the man who was almost definitely a tabloid journalist pretending to be a fan, waiting outside the theatre after a live show.
“I believe the cool kids are calling it ‘bisexual’ these days and I’ve always been one,” Colin replied cooly and signaled to Brad to back off.
Almost all of their friends had been supportive of their relationship and Brad became really protective of Colin while they were touring. There was rarely an incident but rumours circulated of him verbally eviscerating a homophobic couple who wouldn’t stop insulting Colin in one of the shows.
According to Ryan, Greg acted the same way during the Whose Live tours.
Colin thought it was high time they did a joint tour if for no other reason than to see these two teaming up against anyone who tried to insult them. They could, of course, hold their own well enough but there was an extra element of entertainment when Brad and Greg got vicious.
Neither man was certain how they came to make their new home in Los Angeles. It was temporary, they said, and they wanted to move back north as soon as possible. Neither one really liked the city of angels but what they found out is that any place is a good place to live in as long as you’re with the one you love. Even Los Angeles.
December 31st then, found them in a Los Angeles bar, with several of their friends, drinking and celebrating.
“I still don’t understand why we’re here. I’m sure we agreed to spend New Year’s at home,” Ryan said, sipping his third drink for the night.
Colin looked at him and smiled. If it was up to Ryan, every night would be a quiet night at home. Not that he was against this but occasionally he still liked going out. Drinking, meeting friends, seeing these same friends making fools of themselves because they couldn’t hold their liquor as well as he could. It was fun.
“Dan’s asking why are you the only ones not wearing any festive hats,” an obviously drunk Jeff practically screamed as he stumbled towards them and toppled over on a chair.
“Christmas was last week Jeff.” Ryan told him while rolling his eyes in mock annoyance.
Anyone who knew him well enough could see the glint of amusement in his eyes as he straightened the Santa hat hanging on Jeff’s head. Further away he could see the rest of his friends sporting reindeer antlers, more Santa hats and what looked like a mini Christmas tree on top of Brad’s head.
Tapings for Whose Line were set to start early on January this time and so Dan Patterson had decided to fly to the US as early as he could justify to make sure everything would be perfect. Then Greg of all people suggested they needed to take Dan out and show him how Americans celebrate the New Year and that’s how they came to be in this bar, getting progressively more drunk by the hour. Ryan was certain that this outing had nothing to do with American celebrations and everything to do with Greg and Jeff’s bet about what kind of drunk Dan is. Sad drunk? Angry drunk? Happy drunk? Flirty drunk? He shuddered at the mental image of the last one and hoped he’d never have to witness it.
“30 minutes till midnight. I think we could excuse ourselves around 1. Go back home and put you to sleep,” Colin said to a slightly nodding off Ryan.
“Home is not a place. It’s a feeling.”
“All these years and I never knew scotch made you cheesy,” said Colin, raising an eyebrow.
“It was a bumper sticker on an RV. I was stuck behind it in traffic.”
He leaned his head backwards on the wall they were sitting against and closed his eyes. Colin was still looking at him, a little amused, a little confused. He could feel it.
“Most days I hate this city,” he continued after a while. “But with you here, it’s home. And there’s no other place I’d rather be.”
Happy New Year!
On the other side of the room, Brad, Jeff and what sounded suspiciously like Dan were scream-singing Auld Lang Syne and trying to get everyone else to join in as well. Brad’s wife and Greg were filming it all on their phones.
“Next year we’re staying in, right?”
Colin grinned and leaned in to kiss Ryan. It was their first New Year’s kiss. The first of many.
The bar was noisy and crowded and at this point both of them would rather be home in their pyjamas. But they were together and their friends were close by and for the first time in a long while, they welcomed the new year with no regrets. Things weren’t that bad.