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[personal profile] manicdak
Title: Jared Buys a Chair
Rating: PG
Series: This Thing That Happened This One Time
Content Summary/Notes/Warnings: Is there a better way to spend a huge signing bonus than spoiling your boyfriend rotten? Jared Dawes can’t think of one.

Originally Posted at SundaySnuggles


All stories in "This Thing That Happened This One Time" are posted as vignettes and are not in chronological order. One day there will be a list where they are linked in order, but today is not that day. :)



It was only early afternoon, but I was having the best day of my life.

The only way it could have been better was if Amos was there with me. My Amos. He would have been the cherry on top of the hot fudge chocolate sundae that was my day.

As it was, I wanted to do something nice for him, and I wanted to surprise him with my good news.

To do that I needed Mark. I met him at our usual hangout; the diner not far from campus, and the waitress set our coffees down in front of us without having to take orders.

“What’s up, Red?” Mark said as he shucked off his jacket and slid into the booth opposite.

“Advice.”

Mark eyed me suspiciously.

“You never ask for my advice,” he said. “You usually stumble around until you fall on your face or your ass and then still refuse to ask for any help.”

“I’m changing my ways!” I said, took a sip of my drink, and gave Mark the most serious look I could manage.

“Look, it’s been a rough year,” I said. “With me playing ball all the time, and Amos off to San Francisco trying to be a designer. I miss him.”

“Dude, San Francisco is not another planet. It’s only a couple hours away.”

“I know, but it’s not like it was when he was on campus all the time. We hardly get to see eachother. We’re so busy. I just want to get him something nice. Let him know I’m thinking of him.”

“So you want to know what to get him?” Mark frowned. “Why ask me?”

“You’re his best friend. I want to get him something special. I just...I mean, I listen to him, but I can’t remember everything he says. The guy can go on and on for hours about a chair. I love it, y'know? It's why he's so damn good at what he does. He loves it and I love him, but there’s a certain point where I start to zone out.”

“That’s a good idea, actually. You should get him that!” Mark leaned back in the booth with his hands behind his head and a grin upon his face.

“A chair?” I knew I must have been wearing a completely confused expression, because Mark was laughing at me.

“C’mon, dude. Let me in on the joke,” I said.

Mark stopped his giggling and leaned forward in his seat, glancing around to see if anybody happened to be eavesdropping, as if Amos would suddenly materialize out of thin air and spoil the surprise.

“Okay, it was just a thought,” he said, “He’s been eying this auction ever since he saw these chairs listed, but I don’t think you’ll be able to pull it off.”

“Why not?”

“Because, I don’t think you have the budget for ‘em.”

It was my turn to laugh and grin. He returned my previous expression of confusion, and even though I had wanted to tell Amos first, I knew that I was going to have to tell Mark.

“Don’t be so sure,” I said.

“Since when? You guys live on cup-o-noodles.”

“Since I signed with Giants this morning,” I said.

***

Later that month, I stared at the two chairs and ottomans that I had won at auction for just under six thousand dollars. Never in my wildest imaginings had I ever thought I’d spend that kind of cash on furniture. Our decor was strictly second-hand, particle board chic aside from the pieces Amos had made with his own two hands. After reassurances from Mark, Amos’ grad school buddies, and an appraiser at the auction house, I was fairly certain that I had come away with the set for a steal and that Amos was going to love them.

He arrived home early on a Friday for the weekend, and I was lucky to catch him at the door. I flung it open before he could get the key in the lock and gave him a quick kiss in greeting before ushering him inside from behind with my hands over his eyes.

“I was not expecting this night to get this kinky this fast,” he said as he shuffled blindly forward, laughing as he went.

“Shhh, I have a surprise for you,” I said.

“Really?” I could tell I had piqued his interest by the sudden lilt in his voice and the attempt to squirm away from me.

“Wait for it!” I said, and began the little speech I had been practicing in the mirror all afternoon. “Since you started working, I’ve really missed you, and I wanted to get you something awesome.”

“Why?”

“Because. We never really got a chance to celebrate,” I said.

“Nah, you took me out to a really nice place on the bay, remember? That was a great night. You didn’t have to do anything else,” he said.

“Look, let me be proud of you. I love you... You deserve it.”

I removed my hands and beamed proudly at him as his eyes instantly flitted to our new living room chairs nestled atop the hideous striped rug that we’d never bothered to return.

“Oh, that’s so sweet,” he said. It wasn’t quite the reaction I was expecting, and it took me a moment to realize why he sounded so disappointed. I had certainly received an earful of history about that particular famous design and how many zillions of knock offs there were out there.

I nudged Amos forward.

“Go ahead.” I smiled softly at him as he looked back at me just so he knew I didn’t feel bad that he’d assumed they weren’t authentic.

“Check it, Ames. They’re real.”

“Really?”

By the way he arched his eyebrow at me, I could tell he was still extremely skeptical of my ability to spot a fake. I didn’t blame him. I wasn’t the artist he was. I was just a guy who could throw a ball.

“Mark and the guys took me to an auction house. I’m not just saying it because a dude on Craigslist told me it was true. There’s papers and everything. They came out of the Sea...mans building? I think.”

“Seagram,” he replied.

Then his eyes widened in surprise at me his little disappointed face melted into a wide grin. “You got me a real vintage Barcelona chairs...and...and the ottomans too? How the hell were you able to afford this? Even at auction...”

He didn’t wait for an answer. He just fell to his knees so he could run his fingers across the hand stitched leather of the seat up close and remained on the floor, examining the chair’s every minute detail. He was facing away from me, talking a mile a minute about Mies Van Der Rohe and Modern architecture, when he suddenly came to a dead halt and turned back to where I was still standing, his eyes wide.

“Wait a minute,” he said. “Wait... You bought, like...thousands of dollars worth of furniture for me. Shit. We can’t even afford a decent quality knock-off.”

If it was at all possible, he was smiling even wider at me. I just looked sheepishly at the ground in response. He totally had me figured out.

“Forget the chair!” He jumped up from the ground and practically flung himself into my arms.

He took a quick moment to reassure himself that he had the right idea by asking if I’d maxed out all our credit cards. I shook my head at him, and couldn’t help my own irrepressible grin from forming.

“I’m so happy for you, Jared,” he said as he squeezed me as hard as he could.

If he was at all concerned about what me going into a professional baseball career would mean for us as a couple, he didn’t show it. I wasn’t going to bring it up. All of my dreams were coming true, and I got to share that with the man I loved. There wasn’t anything more I could ask for, because, if only for that moment, with Amos’ arms around my neck as he stood on his tip-toes to kiss me, everything was perfect.
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