Anyway, I was going through my WiPs (of which I currently have 24, due to my mild author's A.D.D.) and I found one of my unfinished Cake fics. That, of course, reminded me of Cake fanfiction, which in turn reminded me of the one Cake fic I did finish which I'm actually rather fond of. I really like the idea I used for it, and I remember wishing afterwards that I had saved it for H/D. But I don't think it would have fit quite as well for H/D, so I guess I made the right decision to use it for a Cake fic. IN ANY CASE, I never ended up posting it on my LJ (I only posted it to cakeforever), so I figured I'd do it right now.
Title: Circular Track
Author: Annie (_pinkchocolate)
Disclaimer: Sadly, I own neither Chris nor Blake. If I did, I would not be writing fanfiction about them getting together.
Summary: A look at the highs and lows of ten years of Christopher's life. Each section is written on Chris’s birthday (February 19th).
Chris is twenty-two, and he’s planning to quit his daytime job as a kitchen supervisor for the local Hooters. Not that he minds being around hot girls all day; it’s just that he thinks it’s time to start taking his music career a little more seriously. There’s that American Idol audition coming up in the fall, and he thinks he might give it another shot…
Chris is twenty-three, and he’s in love. But not with his girlfriend of three years, five months, two weeks, and three days – with someone else. A short, wild-haired, bright-eyed beatboxer who never stops going. A man. Chris is also a semi-finalist on the biggest talent show in America. He thinks, This is going to get complicated, as he waits for his cue to step onto stage for the very first time. His stomach is in a knot and his hands can’t stop fidgeting, but he keeps his gaze determinedly fixed on his sneakers and successfully avoids the bright eyes gleaming with excitement.
Chris is twenty-four, and he’s three days away from one of the most anticipated album releases of the year (as deemed by Entertainment Weekly): his own. In an attempt to stop his own nervous pacing, he flips on his TV – and pauses, remote frozen in mid-air, when he sees a familiar head of mussed hair. Some talk show, some question, a throaty laugh, and then: “No, we haven’t seen much of each other since the tour ended, but I’ll definitely be first in line to snag his album on Friday.”
Chris is twenty-five, and he’s a Grammy nominee. When he wakes up, he frowns at the thin, freckled arm lying across his stomach and turns his head to find a pretty little face beside him, eyes closed and lashes painting crescent moons on pale cheeks. He tentatively runs a hand through her red hair, but it isn’t short enough, isn’t alive enough. The calendar on his nightstand reads, in his own messy scrawl: Tell him today. Chris grits his teeth and tears the page bearing the mocking words away. Underneath is another one with a different date, but the same message.
Chris is twenty-six, and he thinks he’s finally put American Idol behind him. He’s celebrating his birthday at Les Deux, having the time of his life… and then, out of the corner of his eye, he spots a familiar compact figure arguing with the bouncer. Heart pounding, he quickly ducks behind a large plant before he’s seen. Shutting his ears to the snippets of conversation drifting over to him – “I’m his fucking best friend! Didn’t you watch that little show, American Idol? Do you know who I am?” “Sorry, man, I’d love to let you in; my daughter’s bought both of your albums, she can’t get enough of you... but you’re not on the guest list.” “Then there must be some kind of mistake!” – he taps the shoulder of a passing guest and tells her to inform that bouncer that anyone who isn’t on the guest list is not allowed in.
Chris is twenty-seven, and he’s taken to drugs, alcohol, and unapologetic sex in dark backrooms where no one can recognize him. He welcomes the headaches and nausea in the morning; they give him an excuse not to look at the glaring billboards that remind him of what he could have had and been.
Chris is twenty-eight, and alcohol no longer dulls the ache. His sophomore album flopped; one of the mere 60,000 copies sold is lying on his bedside table, next to an article bearing a blurred photo of him in the alley behind a local gay strip club. The headline blares, FORMER AMERICAN IDOL, CHRIS RICHARDSON, INVOLVED IN GAY SCANDAL? The clipping itself is worn thin from being read too many times, and yet no matter how long or how often Chris stares at the picture, the figure kneeling at his feet still doesn’t have the right profile.
Chris is twenty-nine, and he’s on the brink of giving up. He’s been dropped from his record label, and music is now nothing more than a wispy shadow on the edges of his mind. As a birthday present to himself, he brings home a hustler – blond-haired, brown-eyed boy, no taller than 5’8”, and no older than sixteen. He tells the kid to turn over and hide his face in his arms. For a moment Chris pauses, his hand hovering just above a naked shoulder blade, aching to touch the smooth skin there. Then he clenches his fingers, pulls his hand away, and reaches for the lube.
Chris is thirty, and as he stares broodingly at the handful of painkillers in his palm, his cell phone vibrates. He jumps, scattering the pills across the floor of his bedroom, and reaches for his pocket. Flipping his phone open, he finds one new text message waiting from him. It reads: Havent heard from ya in a while, C-rich. Dont keep ur boy hangin!! Txt me back, aight? -Bshorty. A small voice in the back of Chris’s mind reminds him that it’s been seven years. You’re not getting any younger, it says, so this time, Chris doesn’t hesitate.
Chris is thirty-one, and he’s kissing Blake Lewis – tentatively, timidly, fearfully, at first, but then he’s gathered the courage to lean into it and so has Blake and – oh God – he’s kissing Blake Lewis. He wonders faintly in the back of his mind how this could’ve happened, but the dual process of rebuilding his friendship with Blake and discovering another side to it that took place over the past year was filled with too many ups and downs and twists and turns to think about at a time like this, so Chris buries the thought away with the dark shadows and revels in the moment. They’re both breathless by the time Blake pulls back to rest his forehead against Chris’s. Thumbing away the tears that somehow managed to squeeze past Chris’s shut eyelids, Blake whispers hoarsely, “I’ve wanted this for so long.”
Chris is thirty-two, and he’s happier than he’s ever been. As he watches Jordin Sparks – innocent little Jordin Sparks, the baby of the competition – walk down the aisle, he squeezes Blake’s hand and mentally tries to pinpoint the exact moment when he caught up with life. Then Blake pulls him down for a quick kiss just before the wedding march dies down, and Chris realizes there was no moment. He had been stumbling around a circular track, but life had been waiting for him at the start all along.
Man. I miss Cake fandom. I feel like it's more... accepting than HP slash fandom. Then again, I *did* become an active member when it was first started (I was actually the one who brought it up in the couples thread on IDF, thus partially starting the Cake trend), and ever since I left, it's been difficult to worm myself back in. So I guess it's not that accepting. I think all fandoms are pretty cliquey when you get down to it.
Also, I'm considering deleting my accounts on FictionAlley and MNFF. FA is pretty outdated (and their system is a drag), and MNFF is... well, basically everything its reputation makes it out to be.
ETA: After seeing red_rahl's latest drawing, I've come to the conclusion that I'M SICK OF YOUNG!H/D. Effing SKOM and its effing novel-length plot. *goes to work on post-DH H/D fic*