Cherish What We Have

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jake Manderson would do everything not to hear a Christmas song again...but when one mysterious Andrew Rosetti started announcing that he's singing a Christmas mash-up, who is Jake to just stand there and not enjoy the show?
Merry Christmas 2016! Fluffiness overload with some angst!

Submitted: December 25, 2016

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Submitted: December 25, 2016

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In December, when the Earth almost completes its orbit around the Sun, it would also be the time when Christmas carols are heard all around the world. So, it would not be that surprising if Jake Manderson heard one while doing a last-minute Christmas shopping.

"Sleigh bells ring

Are you listening

In the lane

Snow is glistening

A beautiful sight,

We're happy tonight

Walking in a winter wonderland"

 

It wouldn't have been a problem, though, if the shopping center decided to change the CD.

 "It's Christmas again, isn't it? " He rhetorically asked what was on his mind aloud. It was not that he didn't appreciate the Christmas spirit. On the contrary, too, in fact.

It was just because every year it was the same songs. Same! They never change the CD! This shopping center...

It was a tad frustrating, really, and disappointing. Time just flew by so fast it felt like he had just listened to it yesterday, and Jake'd rather not hear any Christmas songs again as he quickly paid at the cashier and left, muttering a soft "Thank you."

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Certain scenarios you’ve seen might’ve made you think that having a shortcut to your home through a graveyard, for example, or even dark alleys are disconcerting or even maddeningly frightful. Jake, here, though, had his shortcut through a park.

You’d think that that was something to be enjoyable about; all the nature and birds chirping and a throng of people ice skating in this time of the year. You’d think that there’s this bright and cheerful connotation, and is something not to be apprehensive about.

So, why was Jake dreading his discretion when someone was announcing "My name is Andrew Rosetti, and I hope everyone enjoys my show, a medley of Christmas songs!”

"What?!"

You know what they say, you’ll get what you hate most…

 

“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true oh
All I want for Christmas is you”

Andrew’s voice started off low and soft, almost husky even. It nearly made Jake shiver. Nearly.

 

 “Don’t need no silver or gold
Want someone I can hold
Forever…

We got all the love we need
Underneath the Christmas tree
Seasons come and go
I want you to know
We got all the love…

We got all the love we need
Underneath the Christmas tree
Seasons come and go
I want you to know
We got all the love…
We need.”

Suddenly, it became more upbeat. People started gathering around. Skaters stood still on the rink.

“'Cause it's Christmas
And the start of something new
Oh it's Christmas
And I hope you will feel it too

Candy canes and mistletoe
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
But all of it means nothing
Without you”

And he was…dancing. Amazing, though, that people were following swinging their hips and spinning around.

“I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you”

And then things started to die down. What did that call? Subito ritardando or something, wasn’t it? He couldn’t quite remember.

Then, Andrew was standing still. Wait, no. He was coming here, straight at Jake, with great determination Jake himself couldn’t place.

“No!” Jake cried but Andrew just nodded his head with his palm upturned while still singing.

Jake didn’t know what happened next. He must’ve accepted the offer, right?

 

“We got all the love we need
Underneath the Christmas tree
Seasons come and go
I want you to know
We got all the love…
We need.

So if you feel it comin'
On the special day, just trust your heart 'cause I can't wait to hear you say
That it's Christmas!
And the start of something new.
Well it's Christmas, and I hope you will feel it too.”

Yep, he must have because he was spinning, dancing as if he were in a ball. Until the world stopped moving and he was slumped against the chest of the man in front of him.

"Guys, this is my boyfriend, Jacob Manderson. And I want you all to know that I love him!" Then, without asking for his consent, Andrew pulled Jake into a lip-lock, earning a squeal from a few girls nearby. "Merry Christmas, darling. You've made my life much sweeter."

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Jake dragged Andrew behind a tree. "What was that?"

"Your Christmas gift," Andrew said meekly. “I’ve practiced for weeks.”

"And I thought it was. Public. Humiliation!" Jake fumed. “And you haven’t. Why would you when you’re the best student in the best music school?!”

"You've always said you don't want to keep us as a secret for the last 12 months that we've been dating." Jake averted his eyes. Andrew shoulders sagged. "...You don't appreciate what I did."

"It's not that." Jake pulled Andrew into an embrace with his boyfriend's back pressing against his chest. With him being a few inches shorter, he stood on his toes and rested his chin on Andrew's shoulders. He was not short; Andrew was pretty tall at 6 feet and 3 inches and he only 5 feet 10. "It's just...I thought that you’re not ready."

Andrew spun away quickly and looked down at his boyfriend menacingly. "I've thought it through, Jake. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have done that performance!" Andrew started fast-walking away. "And you can't even appreciate it."

With shorter legs, Jake had to jog to keep up with the tall guy. "Stop, Andy. It's Christmas day, everyone should feel merry."

"Ha ha," Andrew said, but stopped.

"I just don't want you to do things that you're not comfortable with." Jake stood a few feet behind, wanting Andrew to cool off first. "I appreciate you. I appreciate that you've come into a life. I appreciate every minute, every second we have together. I appreciate having you right here, right now. I appreciate you singing, laughing, dancing, and smiling back there. I appreciate what you said back there about us. I appreciate everything about you.

"Besides, all of those songs... they’re all about love declaration,” Jake’s voice dropped. “I was a little embarrassed, you know. No one’s even done anything like this for me…”

Andrew's body was shaking terribly.

Oh, no. No. He doesn’t believe me. Will he break up with me? Jake panicked. I can’t lose my most favorite person on Earth…Wait, did I just think that…?

Slowly, Jake walked closer to Andrew. Faintly he heard a soft laughter. When Jake finally faced him, the laughter crescendoed to the loudest laugh of laughs.

"You're not angry?" Jake asked with sheer confusion.

"How could I be mad at the sweetest boyfriend I have ever acquired? You really are sweet." Andrew smiled. "Just don't treat me like I'm vulnerable."

"Why did you laugh?" Jake asked, still not cleared with what had happened.

"I laughed because what you said were so sappy." Andrew's eyes twinkle in the winter light. "I like romantic things, but I never knew that you can be this sappy. You're such a sap?"

"I'm not!"

"Don't deny," Andrew said airily, flicking his wrist. "That'll only make you cuter."

“I feel so loved. So, let me say something super sweet back to you." Andrew stepped closer to Jake. He bent down at the last sentence and whispered the words huskily. One of his hand crept inside Jake's sweater.

"Jay, although you are not my first," his hand traced up Jake's stomach and up his chest, making the shorter boy shudder by the cold hand. Jake did not try to stop Andrew, though. "You are the one with the best?" Andrew hand pressed and lingered on Jake's chest where his heart is "?here."

Jake took Andrew's hand out of his shirt and entwined their fingers. "Not here, not now," Jake muttered with shaky breaths.

"I wasn't going to do anything!" Andrew pouted followed by chuckling before resting his chin on Jake's head. "As I was saying, you have the best heart. A golden heart... that's what I've always thought. Since the first day I have led my eyes on you, every nanosecond of my life is spent thinking about you, dreaming about you, and imagining myself with you." Andrew smiled at how silly he himself had been, while Jake averted his eyes and discreetly blushed.

"ln hindsight, I consider myself very lucky to have travelled this far to get to be here with you right here, right now. That makes me realize how much I want to cherish every minute I have with you because I have no idea how much time we have left together. So, I can assure you that I will never break up with you."

"Wow." Jake breath out. "That was extremely sappy."

"Shhh, I'm not done yet." Andrew pressed his hand on Jake's mouth. "Because you are special that much, I'm inviting you to my family's Christmas dinner today."

"You mean you're..." Jake was so shocked that the words were stuck in his throat.

"I'm coming out to my parents today. You were the first one to make me want to do that." Andrew smiled and caressed Jake's cheek with his thumb.

"Wow, I'm..." Jake cleared his throat. "I have a question. When and how did you notice that I have a 'golden heart'?"

"My first impression of you." Andrew walked away and lied down on the soft snow. He took his time making a snow angel while talking. "I first saw you in a child hospital. My little brother, Matthew, had a terrible case of salmonella, you see. It was so terrible he was admitted to the hospital."

After finishing, Andrew continued splaying on the floor, watching as he puffed out visible breaths. Jake was watching his boyfriend with adoration.

"While I was walking to the children's ward, I saw a little girl in a wheelchair in the courtyard outside. She was blubbering, saying something about her injuries. I thought about soothing her and began starting forward when a guy came out of nowhere. I hung back and watched." Andrew stood up and watched his masterpiece with contentment. Satisfied with his first try, he looked back at the man in front of him. "That guy was you. I looked as you tried to make the girl smile. You were very patient. I watched as you gave her pieces of chocolate…but the girl didn't even smile or make eye contact with you.

"I watched as you told her a few stories and jokes, a small smile began forming on her face. I watched as you danced to your own beat with silly moves and goofy faces, the girl simultaneously laughed and wiped off happy tears. I watched as you twirled her wheelchair and encouraged her that life was not over with one catastrophic accident. I smiled and tried to imprint that image on my mind forever.

"But that wasn't what impressed me most about you that day; it was how you answered her question why you had been so persevered to make her laugh. I still remembered it as clearly as if it were yesterday." Andrew took Jake into his arms, took in his scent, and ran his fingers through his hair. "You said that everyone deserves happiness, that no matter how bad things are, we still have a chance to experience it again. Being rich or poor, pretty or ugly, smart or dumb, abled or disabled doesn't gauge the level of happiness each one of us deserves. The girl was no different." Andrew buried his head into the crook of Jake's neck. Afterwards, to Jake's disappointment, Andrew quickly pecked him on the lips. When Jake leaned up for more, Andrew shook his head.

"Not here, not now," Andrew repeated Jake's earlier statement.

"Fine." Jake huffed. "Hey, I didn't know that before." He linked their fingers and led their way around the park. "I was at the hospital for summer volunteer. The girl name's Candie."

"Even better. I never thought that I would ever see you again." Andrew said with a smile and leaned his chin on Jake's head. "To my amazement, you're in the same college as me. Remember how we met?"

Jake moved Andrew's hand to his other hand. With the now free hand, he moved it to Andrew's waist and brought their sides together. "Hard to forget; it was the luckiest day of my life. You were on the ladder, looking for books on the toppest shelf of all shelves. Too much books in your hands, I guess, that made you slip right into my arms." Jake smiled a genuine smile. "My first thought was that you were?"

"A total bookworm?"

"Ha, a cute one, too." Jake laughed and then shook his head. "Wrong, though. You were..."

"Just tell me already!" Andrew whined. "It must be bad, mustn't it, if it takes you this long to?"

"A fallen angel," Jake fessed out softly. "That was the first time it was unobscured to me what a fallen angel looks like."

"I...ah, er?" Andrew scratched at his neck absentmindedly and averted his eyes, face flaming. "I'm no such thing..."

"Right, because you’re no sinner?"

"Stop..."

"You mean so much to me, Andrew Rosetti. I?"

"And then one of the books struck your head, leaving a big boo-boo." Andrew laughed and touched Jake's nose.

Then, a look of realization crossed Jake's face. "Wait, that was why you had pointed at my face like you knew me!"

"Correct." Andrew smiled. "Took you long enough, though." He laughed and Jake joined in. "Then, we'd gone to the infirmary. From that day on, we’ve become inseparable."

"Despite all that trouble, it took us two years to start dating."

"... I never regret saying yes." Andrew squeezed Jake's hand tighter, as if that one truth was a key that unlocked the real world into the best dream he’d just woken up from.

"And I never regret asking you." Jake smiled reassuringly. They stopped by a frozen lake. "Thank you for the best Christmas gift ever. You made me like Christmas songs."

"Speaking of gifts, what have you bought for me?" Andrew asked earnestly.

"Golly!" Jake looked panicked. "I left it back there! B-be right back." And he took off.

"Ja?" Andrew started saying but too late. Sighing, he strode to a bench nearby and waited.

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A few minutes later, Jake came running back. He was panting and his face was flushed. Andrew laughed at another reason that can result in him being in this state.

"So, what is it?" Andrew urged as Jake took a seat next to him.

"A snow globe."

“Seriously?" Andrew asked wide-eyed. "I've heard that apart from keychains, magnets, and cups, snow globes are in the top five souvenirs people don't want." Jake face fell and not just because of gravity. "…but, for me, it is not the object that matters, it's who that’s bought me the gifts. I love everything you buy for me, Jay. Everything."

Life seemed to come back to Jake's eyes. "But this is not an ordinary snow globe, Andy," Jake pouted and reached into one of his shopping bags.

"I ordered it especially for you. Here, catch."

"Jake, no!" Andrew cried out but to his relief, he caught it with ease. "Don't ever do that again! I could've dropped it!"

"But you didn't," Jake pointed out with a shrug. "Check it out." His eyes sparkled and Andrew couldn't have said no.

"Wow," was all Andrew was able to muttered in awe.

Inside the snow globe were two figures and a spindly leafless tree. No doubt, the figures were them in each other’s arms observing an inscribed mark on the tree with huge grins on their faces. The mini-sculptures were flawless and immaculate with each aspect. The hair, the clothes, and the features were captured correctly. The incised mark they were looking at was their initials with a heart shape surrounding them. Outside, there was a sentence engraved: Jake Manderson will perpetually and perennially be in love with Andrew Rosetti.

When Andrew shake it, glitter swam around the globe, filling the entire thing with life.

“Merry Christmas, darling.” Jake smiled a sad smile. “And happy anniversary first, too.”

“I-it’s…us.” Andrew held his present to his chest. “I-it’s real. That day. That tree. Our confession…”

“Yes.” Fear crept into Jake’s eyes. “D-do you like it?”

"I-I don't know if it's possible," Andrew looked at Jake through his eyelashes, drops from salted water filling his eyes, "but my love to you tends to escalate every minute, every hour, every day of my life. I don't know how to explain how elated I am right now."

"You know, right?" Jake smiled and brushed Andrew’s blissful tears with the back of his hands.

"Jay, I-I" Andrew sighed. They were just three words. How come he couldn't say it out loud? "I?"

"I love you, Andrew Rosetti,” Jake said with a dangerous look. Andrew froze. He slowly packed, partly to buy his time and partly because he didn’t know what to do with his hands.

"I, ah?waaaah!" He really does know me, Andrew thought.

Jake had one hand on Andrew's wrist and the other around his waist that he used to drag Andrew to his side until their bodies touched from shoulders down.

"And don't run away like you did last time, Rosetti," Jake threatened sinisterly.

"D-don't push me, Jay. Please!" Andrew pulled away from Jake, his face flaming rapidly as he now sat at the other end of the bench with his head bent low and shielded away from prying, blue eyes. "You said so yourself that you don't want me to do things I'm not comfortable with!"

"Is that what this really is?" Jake's voice was low and deep, chilling Andrew's spine and breaking his heart. "Forgive me if I'm wrong, but are you saying that voicing your attraction towards me is considered as...uncomfortable?"

Andrew swore that he heard Jake's voice cracked.

"I?it's not..." Andrew tried to mask his hurt. "Can't you just give me time?"

"Fine." Jake nodded his head while grounding his teeth. "Well, then, I should get going?"

"No!"

Andrew threw himself at Jake when he started to leave. They both tumbled down into the snow.

"No," Andrew repeated, softly this time. "One minute. I only need a minute to collect my thoughts."

"Y-you don't need to construct a speech for me or a-anything," Jake stammered as he struggled to sit up even though his shoulders and waist were pinned down, and no matter what, he wouldn't get to clearly see his boyfriend's face because of the direction of the sun.

"I-I have to."

"At least just get me into a better position first..." Jake looked around as people strolled by. "Really, Andy?"

"I love you, Jay," Andrew said and only then did he get off Jake. "I know that I don't deserve you and this?what we have here? has giving me a bit of a tough time because...well, because I've never been as far with anyone as you." Andrew carded a hand through his hair.

"I've never been that long with anyone to say those words…but I love you. I really do." He looked at Jake. A gaze so sincere and honest it couldn't do anything but pinned Jake at where he was. "And I know that these are not good excuses. They're way too distant from being good, in fact...but I'd been given a cold shoulder once, when those words passed my lips.

"And I?gosh, Jake"?Andrew pulled Jake into his chest and held him so tightly, but Jake couldn’t and wouldn’t even complain that he wasn't able to breathe at the moment?"I value you so much. So much that it hurts. And I don't want to lose you..."

"Andrew. Andrew, listen to me." Jake put some distance between them to stare into his lover's eyes and brush away Andrew's (now unhappy) tears. "I will never, ever leave you. Whatever you think, you can't get rid of me that easily?" He laughed briefly "?e-even so, I would never be able to because as cliché as this sounds, you're the best thing that's ever happened to my life and... I’ve already fallen for you too deep."

"Okay." Andrew stood up and held out his arm out, but couldn't quite eradicate the smile tugging at his lips. " Let's go. We don't want them to wait."

To Jake's surprised, this sun was already setting. But tonight...he knew that tonight, on Christmas Eve, things were only just getting started.

Jake took his hand and gingerly stood up. "How come I got a strange present and you got a romantic one? It should have been the other way around, don't you think?" He leaned down to pick up his shopping bags.

Jake jumped when his arm was smacked. "What?!" He exclaimed, more surprised than annoyed.

"I've got you two presents. Two! Which are both a little strange but completely romantic?" Andrew started listing but he was interjected.

"First, you sang me a romantic, Christmas mash-up in public, which I didn't have a choice but got dragged into that little scene." Jake frowned and pursed his lips. "Second, you invite me to your family's Christmas dinner, which I may or may not get kicked out of."

Andrew puffed out his cheeks and crossed his arms like a five-year-old. "In other words, I made you love Christmas a lot more and I'm going to make my parents accept you. Accept us. They're still a part of me even though I'm practically an adult, you know."

"You are queer," Jake said, slightly inching away from this man he couldn't quite understand.

"Because I am one." Andrew laughed at the pun. "To be honest, though, my gift to you will only get stranger each year." Andrew smiled and kissed Jake's cheek. "That's the price you have to pay for being my boyfriend."

Jake could only feel the dread rising in himself as his boyfriend patted his cheek.

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"Hey, where are you?" Jake called his boyfriend. "I know we're seeing each other tomorrow for Christmas but maybe you wanna hang out before then?"

"I'm dead bat hunting," Andrew said simply.

"What?! Why?!" Jake panicked. "Where are you?! Are you alone?!"

"Relax, Jay." Andrew paused. "I'm going into the cave, soon. I'll be seeing you tonight. Love you."

And the line went dead.

Sure enough, the next year, Jake got a taxidermied bat from Andrew, who claimed that the reason for this gift was because he liked Batman.

 

?Disclaim: The first song is Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith. Next, All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. Then,  All the  Love by Xo-iq. And finally, It’s Not Christmas Without You from Victorious

 


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