For the briefest moment, Ken’s eyes finally caught one. It had only lasted for a single second, but it was enough to make Ken feel a slight flutter in his chest from excitement. The “star” had started as a simple dot, as if someone had poked the tip of a white pencil onto the navy sky. In an instant, that dot had become a thin line streaking off to some unknown destination. It was the sort of sight you could miss in the blink of an eye, making Ken feel all the luckier for having caught it.
“Did you see that? There was one right there,” Ken shouted to Ethan, pointing enthusiastically at the sky.
After receiving no response, Ken’s eyes darted over to Ethan, where he found his boyfriend staring at the sky lost in thought. As Ken debated whether to speak again, he took a moment to drink in Ethan’s form. Ethan was the sort of guy one would describe as rugged, despite him being clean-shaven and pristinely dressed most of the time. Even today Ethan had chosen to wear a collared shirt and dress pants, though he at least had foresight to put on sneakers instead of his usual dress shoes. It stood quite apart from Ken, whose style of dress resembled a teen who never quite got out of his emo phase. Yet, somehow, the two always got complimented for how good they looked together.
Despite Ken’s continued and heavy stare at Ethan, though, the other party had not budged his form in the slightest. There hadn’t even been the slightest muscle twitch from the guy. Feeling the silence beginning to drag, Ken decided it was time to interrupt Ethan’s thoughts.
“Ethan? Captain Ken calling Ethan. You’re needed on the bridge.”
Suddenly Ethan’s blue eyes swerved to meet Ken’s green eyes, causing Ken to blush from pride in knowing a space show reference always got Ethan’s attention.
“Hey, is something wrong? You’re being awfully quiet, and you missed a shooting star,” Ken prodded gently as he ran his fingers slightly across Ethan’s back.
“Yeah. No. I mean-sorry. I’m just…s-sorry,” Ethan stuttered out.
Ken’s hand slowly stopped its comforting rubbing motion, as he felt the tightening of his eyebrows as they squeezed together in concern. Ethan was a lot of things, but not the sort of person that was ever awkward with words.
“Sorry for what? You know you can talk to me right,” Ken inquired.
“I know. I know. It’s just something stupid,” Ethan muttered, running a hand through his hair as he inched a bit closer to Ken.
“So what? I like to talk about stuff with you. Even if it’s stupid.”
“Well, it’s-“ Ethan began as he took a gulp, “…it’s just work stuff. I’m worried I’m just not as dedicated as some of the others are.”
Ken raised an eyebrow quizzically. Since he met Ethan in graduate school, there’d been nothing Ethan was more passionate for than archeology. Even the mundane part of classifying shards of pottery seemed to enthuse Ethan somehow. In conversations about work it was always Mayan culture that, old other culture this, etc. with Ethan. Suffice it to say, this was the most ludicrous thing Ken had ever heard.
“This is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard,” Ken sputtered out, not being able to hide the disbelief in his tone.
“I told you it was stupid,” Ethen grumbled in return.
“Why would you even think that?”
“Just, I don’t even know why. It’s something I’ve been thinking about.”
“Ethan? I love you, but you’re worrying over nothing. Who works the most hours?”
“Well, I do but Thompson almost works-“
“And who do I barely get to see some weeks because of work?”
“Who yammered on for five hours with a co-worker last month about similarities between the Mayans and Aztecs pottery design?”
“Yes you,” Ken finished, grabbing one of Ethan’s hands and squeezing it. “If anything, you could use a vacation.”
Ethan looked at Ken for a moment, and the two entered into some unspoken stare contest. Ethan’s eyes raged with doubt, while Ken’s eyes combated back with assurance. The doubt swelled and raged, creating a giant wall of defense, while Ken’s eyes formed streamlined cannons to fire at the weak points. It was a fierce battle, but finally muscles in Ethan’s face released some tension and a smile creeped back onto his countenance.
“So your solution to me being more dedicated is to be less dedicated and take some time off,” Ethan questioned with a jovial melody humming in his voice.
“Yes. Basically,” Ken replied with confidence, though some redness suggested he did understand how silly that sounded when Ethan put it that way.
“You’re a goofball.”
As the words trailed off Ethan’s lips, he leaned in closely and kissed the top of Ken’s head. From the spot a slight warmth traveled through Ken straight to his heart, filling him with those fuzzy warm feelings you always hear people in love talk about. Even if Ethan might still worry, as Ken well knew he would, at least he managed to help him through it a bit; that alone gave him all the ego Ken needed for a night. Ken also couldn’t complain if it got him the chance to see Ethan more.
“What did you wish for?”
Ken looked to Ethan, his mushy inner monologues to himself interrupted with the sharpness of the question.
“What,” Ken asked completely confused.
“The shooting star you saw. What did you wish for,” Ethan inquired again, a warm grin on his face.
Ken smiled. “That’s a secret,” he said in a sing-song tone, gazing back up at the sky.
“I guess I’ll have to catch the next one so I can hear you mutter it under your breath like you usually do.”
With that, Ethan put his arm around Ken, and the two looked back up at the stars, feeling a bit lighter than they had a few moments ago.