Back to School Winter Break: 6
Later on that day Carson and Shawn stood around looking at the huge ice rink. It was odd, watching several young couples on the ice, some humans, some giants and some even mixed. Sitting on Carson's shoulder, nuzzling against this thick scarf. "Wow, I read about this place on the internet but I didn't think it would be this crowded this late."
"Well, there's not that many people... and at least the humans are kind of set off to the side," he said, a bit worried about hurting one of them. "So, fun and safe... for them anyway. I'm predicting a lot of face plants on my part," he said, a bit of obvious nervousness in his voice
"Yes...I see what you mean..." She pointed to a large sign.
HUMANS ON THE ICE MUST BE WITH A GIANT AT ALL TIMES
Though not everyone was listening to this advice there certainly was a decent separation to prevent injury. "So what do you say, Junior? You wanna give this a shot, or just watch for a bit and see if things clear out a bit once the sun sets?”
"I uh... I-I say we get out there!" he said with a nervous smile. "Er... rather I get out there I guess..." He chuckled a bit, taking a couple nervous steps through the doorway and onto the ice with his skates, almost immediately sliding a couple feet involuntarily.
Shawn clung to his scarf for dear life, not wanting to fall from this high up. "W-whoa there, Junior!" she laughed. "You said you weren't a very good skater, but I didn't think it would be like this! Maybe you should put me somewhere a bit more secure, otherwise I'm gonna fall off your shoulder."
"Hmmm... Got it." Making sure he was steady, he scooped her up and undid his scarf, setting her back down and wrapping the scarf snuggly around his neck and her. "There, should work out."
Shawn blushed but snuggled up a bit closer to him. "Haha, yup...I'm sure that it will. Now onward, steed!" she joked. "Mush! Mush!!"
He laughed openly, shaking his head before tilting it to sort of snuggle her. "Really sure you wanna rush me here?" he asked, taking a cautious step forwards. His foot scraped at an odd angle, sending him into the splits before landing hard on his rear.
"... This is gonna take time..."
She laughed again before pointing out a spot on the ice that seemed pretty empty. "Hey, how about you let me try a bit over there?" she said to Carson. "You could help me, it's been awhile since I've skated, but I think I could give it a try."
He rubbed his rear before standing up slowly, sliding his feet carefully along the ice. "Heh, sure... you'll probably do a lot better than me," he said with a sheepish smile, going to the empty spot and setting her down.
Shawn snickered, waiting for Carson to sit on the ice, providing her with her own private rink in the corner before she started to try and skate. She wasn’t much better than Carson but she managed to skate back and forth with wobbly knees.
“N-not bad…” she said to herself. “I thought I’d be a lot worse…like your level.” She winked up at Carson before she tumbled a bit on her own, landing on her backside.
Heh,” she chuckled. “I guess I kind of deserved that.”
"Karma's a lovely thing, Angel," he said with a chuckle, trying to stick the nickname. He gently lifted her back onto her feet, smiling. "Still better than me though."
“Darn right! And if you want to try to keep skating, don’t let me stop you but I am enjoying this private rink you’ve created…” she snickered, starting to skate a bit more. “And hey! What’s with the nickname, Junior? I’m the one who hands out the nicknames! “
"Well, I thought you needed one! And I say it's adorably fitting," he said with an approving smile at his own name. "And... I think I'll stick here with you. Keeping in mind last time I tried to leave you by yourself."
“You worry too much, I bet I could have handled that guy if you hadn’t shown up,” Shawn said, feeling better that the whole thing was over. She knew that probably wasn’t the case, she was pretty helpless when it came to any giants who wished her harm but she didn’t like Carson having to worry about her so much. She tried a small jump on the ice only to land on her stomach letting out an unpleasant sound.
He instinctively reached out, lifting her up onto her feet again after that sound she'd made.
“Geez! It seems my clumsiness carries over to ice.”
"You alright?... Maybe we should go back to the scarf sitting?" he suggested.
“Scarf sitting sounds pretty good right about now,” she agreed, allowing Carson to pick her up.
"Junior? Shawn?" a familiar voice called out from the rink. Trish skated over to them, gliding rather easily over the ice and stopping easily enough in front of them, Ed snuggled in her scarf. "Didn't expect to see you guys here!"
She tilted her head to the side hearing a loud and familiar feminine voice. “Trish!” she said, smiling at her friend. “And Ed! You guys must have seen the article on the internet as well about this place!”
"Yup! Decided to take my wittle Eddy out on the ice!" she said, bringing a finger up and ruffling his hair.
"Ah, come on Trish!" he laughed and waved his arms at her before snuggling close. "So how's you guys' break going?"
Carson stood up with a chuckle, slipping her into his scarf and again tying it snug. "Been fun so far, that's for sure."
“Yup!” Shawn agreed after laughing at bit at Ed and Trish. “You should have seen slugger here,” she said, a hint of pride in her voice. “He punched this guy at the greenhouse for being a bit too grabby with me,” she laughed.
"Geez, you too?" Trish asked in disbelief. "We had kinda the same issue out shopping the other day. Some chick was giving my Eddy these... well, unsettling looks,” she said, cupping a hand around him.
“Geez,” Shawn said, looking at Trish and Ed. “I’m sorry to hear about that. I guess people are still getting used to the idea of giants and humans dating. It can’t be helped I suppose. Did you do anything about it?” she asked Trish, slightly curious. She knew how much Trish cared about him and assumed that she had not taken it well.
"Considering what she was probably thinking... I showed her she wasn't getting anything the only way I could. I took my little Eddy and hid him with my cash," she said with a wink.
"I'll admit... I didn't mind so much," he said with a sheepish chuckle, face reddening.
“I s-see,” Shawn said with an embarrassed blush. “Well as long you’re both happy,” she reasoned, smiling again. “So what are you guy’s plans for the rest of break? Are you spending it together?”
"Well... sort of... My parents don't actually know I'm with him," she admitted with a bit of a frown. "They're... well, still not too keen on my dating a human. So we've been texting and meeting up when we can," she said, switching into a smile.
"It's working out pretty well so far, actually," Ed said, smiling as well. "Though I'm almost looking forward to school, I'll be able to see her more often. And I kinda miss hanging with you guys," he said with a chuckle.
"Geez, you guys..." Carson laughed, shaking his head. "You two were just meant for each other, both just as weird. But we were just getting ready to go back to skating, wanna join us?"
“Yeah…neither of you can be quite as bad as Carson,” Shawn said, trying to lighten the mood. That sucked that Trish’s parents didn’t like her dating Ed. She wondered if Carson’s parents were actually thinking the same thing but were actually being kind about the whole thing. She frowned, not wanting to think of that possibility.
“Come on…let’s just try to have some fun,” she said to them, trying to push her own new worries aside.
"Sounds like a plan! Ok, first just try sliding your feet along the ice..." Trish started skating ahead slowly, teaching Carson how to avoid at least falling on his rear to actually have some fun skating. Once she was sure he could stay on his feet, she smiled and took off, Carson shakily chasing after her. "Still ok in there, Shawn?"
"Hmmm?" she asked, not even sure what he had asked her at first, her mind a million miles away. "O-oh yeah...I'm fine...never better," she said, but her mind was still busy at work, even snuggled up close to Carson.
He paused a moment, using a wall to come to a stop. "... you sure? You seem kinda... I don't know, dazed."
She gave him a gentle kiss to his jaw, hoping that would calm his worries. She didn’t want to be a downer on a day like this. Not after seeing Trish and Ed able to smile and enjoy their selves despite things going on with them. “I’m really fine, Junior,” she said, trying to make her voice sound bright. “Really…let’s just have fun.” She gave his neck a squeeze. “But maybe I’ll talk to you about it later, tonight okay? I want to have fun with Ed and Trish.”
He smiled and tilted his head to peck the side of her face, nodding. "Alright, later then. Let's see if we can catch up to them without me tumbling over, kay?" he said, pushing off the wall slightly.
“Oh you better not fall over, Junior!” Shawn warned, starting to laugh. “Alright, let’s hope for the best!”
The four friends enjoyed themselves a bit more before it looked to be getting late out, Carson never actually able to catch up to Trish. Still, they had a good time and went their separate ways headed home.
"Geez... she might as well have been running while I was stuck on skates..." he said, chuckling and slightly out of breath.
“I think you improved a lot though, Junior,” Shawn said. “I mean you only fell over what…four times in the last half hour?” she chuckled. “Trish seems to be pretty athletic though, shouldn’t have surprised me that a girl who can climb trees like she does would be able to skate so well.”
"True enough," he admitted with a shrug of his free shoulder. After a minute he recalled her earlier state, turning his gaze slightly on her. "... Hey, what was it that was on your mind earlier?"
She froze up. “Oh…uh…it’s nothing important,” she said. “I suppose it’s one of those things that will always bother me but I don’t want you to have to worry about it.” She tried to smile. “So what would like to do once we get back? Just relax a bit? Maybe watch some holiday specials? I bet Celie would love to.”
"I'm sure she would... I'm also just going to say, I won't make you talk about it, but I'm here if you do want to at any point. We're together, so we can talk to each other," he said to her with a smile before turning his gaze forwards again.
“Sometimes you’re too good to be true, Junior,” Shawn said, leaning against him with a smile. “If you must know, it was something Trish said about her parents when we were out skating.”
He paused, finally getting her discomfort. "Shawn, I promise you my parents love you, and so does Celie," he said with a smile.
“But…but how can you be so sure? What if they’re just putting on a happy smile so not to hurt your feelings? I bet Celie wouldn’t be able to do that but she may see me as nothing more than a fun toy.” She frowned. “Compared to your kind, I guess I could come across that way. Sometimes…” she lowered her voice, “…sometimes I wish that we weren’t so different…or maybe…maybe I sometimes wish that I wasn’t human.”
"For my sake, I say I love you exactly like you are," he said with a smile, scooping her up for a moment. "Remember when you messed up your ankle and Dad fixed it up? Do you know how much that takes out of him? He wouldn't have done that if he didn't want you here," he started, stroking her arm with his thumb. "Celie was so excited to meet you, and she has human friends so that rules out the toy theory. Hah, and then mom's glad to have someone else in the house who appreciates coffee!" he finished with a laugh. "You couldn't be more welcome in our house... practically family."
Her face changed dramatically before it changed again, looking soft and happy. For so long Shawn had always felt like an outside, due to bullying but for the first time in a long time, maybe the first time ever she felt loved by someone else other than her mom and dad.
"Junior...I..." she stuttered to find the words but they wouldn't come. Instead she leaned closer to him, smiling softly. "Thanks, Carson."
“No problem,” he whispered.