Characters: Drake, JJ.
Setting: After Like Like Love
Summary: Drake compares his latest new relationship to all those that came before.
Word Count: 929
Written For: Challenge 178: New at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Drake’s as used to starting new relationships as he is to seeing the one he’s in end. At the beginning, everything is so wonderful as he and his new girlfriend get to know each other; their likes and dislikes, their cute little habits, their opinions and what they stand for, what turns them on and what leaves them cold. They discover all the things they have in common, and the things they’ll probably never be able to agree on. They skirt carefully around the potential deal-breakers, still believing that the common ground they’ve found will be enough to see them through.
In all of his relationships up to this point, that honeymoon period has always been the best part, when he can still find it in him to believe that this time it won’t all come crashing down around him as it has so many times before, usually for reasons he can’t begin to comprehend. Beginnings are full of so much hope and optimism that for a while at least, he succeeds in drowning out his natural pessimism, but inevitably is starts sneaking back in, the feeling he gets when things are going well that it’s only a matter of time before it all goes to hell. There’s a very good reason he tends towards the pessimistic, especially when it comes to relationships with the fairer sex; he’s never yet been proved wrong.
This time is different though, and not just because for the first time in his life he’s dating someone of the same sex. He already knows all off JJ’s likes and dislikes, and JJ knows his. They understand about each other’s work since that’s one of the things they share, and they’re used to each other’s habits and quirks.
As work partners, they’ve had their share of disagreements, but they’ve long since learned that they agree on the most important things, even if JJ puts more value in dressing fashionably than Drake can understand. He’s always considered clothes as a functional necessity rather than a statement, or a reflection of his personality, but he’s willing to bow to JJ’s superior judgment on all things clothing-related, even if only because it makes the little guy happy. They know each other well enough that they can get away with good-natured teasing, recognising it won’t cause offence.
Nevertheless, despite everything they already know thanks to their existing friendship, there are things they have yet to learn about each other, especially when it comes to what pleases them in bed. That really is the part that’s the most fun. Drake had never been with a man before JJ, and there are obvious differences between sex with a woman and sex with a man, but there are enough similarities that he isn’t flying completely blind. Besides, being a man himself, he knows what he likes and can make educated guesses with regards to JJ. He doesn’t always get it right, but for some reason mistakes are less embarrassing than they used to be when he was with a woman. He and JJ laugh a lot and don’t take it too seriously. As JJ says, sex is supposed to be fun.
So despite this being a new relationship, he’s already more comfortable with his boyfriend than he’s ever been with any of his girlfriends. Plus, working together makes scheduling dates a lot easier, which in turn neatly eliminates another of the sources of friction that wrecked some of his previous relationships.
Drake’s not letting himself get overconfident though; it’s early days yet, they’ve only been together for three weeks and there are still countless things that could go wrong between them. He’s just not dwelling on all those doubts and fears the way he usually does, and as a consequence he’s feeling more relaxed, not to mention happier, than he has in a long time. He’s even starting to feel better about himself.
Up until now, he’s always found dating to be hard work, trying to figure out what his date expects from him, how to behave, what gifts to give, when to kiss her, all the time feeling under pressure to live up to an ideal, to be someone he’s not, and doesn’t think he can ever be. It’s like negotiating a minefield, always knowing that one wrong step is all it will take to destroy everything. The only thing JJ seems to expect is for Drake to relax and be himself, and that’s getting easier all the time. JJ doesn’t want him to put on airs and graces because he already likes Drake just the way he is.
Maybe, Drake reflects, the problem before wasn’t so much with him as with the people he chose to date. He didn’t fit with them, couldn’t be the man they wanted him to be, so nothing he did ever really made them happy, and because they weren’t happy, he couldn’t be either. JJ just makes everything so simple. He’s naturally happy, easy to please, wants to make Drake happy too, and he does, in so many little ways that Drake finds himself smiling a lot more than he used to.
He has no idea what will happen in the days and weeks to come, whether they’ll make it as a couple or not, but he’s determined to enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. As things stand, his life has never been better, and the future looks brighter than ever before. Judging by the even brighter than usual smile on JJ’s face, Drake is pretty sure his boyfriend feels the same.