Loosen, foot in, tighten, tightest around the ankle, secure around the hooks, secure bow and tuck
Approaching the ice with her skate guards still on, Lainey took some time to just look at it, and to just stand in her skates again to get used to the feel. It didn’t feel like it’s been about a year since she was last on the ice. There was a sense of great familiarity as soon as her skates were on.
Biting her lower lip, it also made her remember the reason why she quit.
Constantly fighting to be the best and never feeling adequate. Feeling the need to be on something to make herself feel like she was doing at least something right. Doubting her own abilities and doubting all the years of practice. Hurting those closest to her and doing serious damage to those relationships. Not to mention the damage being on the enhancers caused both mentally and physically.
It felt like however strongly she was being pulled to the ice, something else equally as strong was pushing her away.
But when the hell has she ever decided to listen to someone telling her not to do something?
Carefully, she took off the skate guards and placed them next to the rink’s entrance. Involuntarily, she held her breath as she stepped onto the ice. With the remote in hand for the speakers, she pressed the play button. As soon as music filled the room, she placed the remote down on the edge of the rink.
Inhaling, and then exhaling, she began to skate.
“You said we were going somewhere special?” Roisin asked, glancing over at Joe as the two of them walked hand in hand. “Why are we heading here?” Of course she recognised the area. It was near where the house she bought was, just outside of the city. Typically this place was a commuter town for the people with families who worked in the city. Juniper had been sitting in waiting for deliveries along with Lainey on some of the days. It made Roisin feel slightly guilty because a lot of the time she was busy at work, so she hasn’t really been able to see much of the house.
“Yeah, we are going somewhere special. I just figured we could stop off here for a little while.” Joe mentioned nonchalantly. Fishing the key for the house out of his pocket, he explained as he put it in the door. “Juniper said that she wanted my help moving some of the furniture, being a big tough army guy and all.”
“My big tough army guy.” Roisin added, grinning at him as she held onto his arm and kissed him, unintentionally stalling him from opening the door.
“Right, yeah. Your big tough army guy.” Grinning in response, kissing her in return. Staying in close proximity to her, he added. “I just figured, seeing as though it’s your place, you’d probably want at least some say in where things went, right? Feng Shui and all that crap.”
Giving him a look, she sighed slightly before saying. “I’m glad you want my say in it, at least.” Lowering her voice to a sultry tone, she then asked. “Maybe you and I could break in the new bed? You know, in case we get bored.”
Laughing slightly, he then commented. “It’s funny, the owner of the house I helped out with about two months ago suggested that too.” He joked, looking down at her.
“Or more like you said that to them.” She reminded him, giving him a look as he opened the door.
Roisin stepped inside the house first, and then hesitated. Glancing around, she saw that all the curtains were closed, and the only light was from tea lights on the floor. The tea lights were next to rose petals which were scattered heavily around the door, but seemed to disperse slightly (almost as if the person doing it realised how they were running out, as well as realising how expensive roses could be). “What’s going on? She asked, giving Joe a suspicious look. She knew she wasn’t missing any sort of important anniversary or birthday, so she was incredibly suspicious of him.
“Maybe Juniper knew we were coming here and wanted to make it nice for us.” He shrugged, playing the idiot. He knew full well what was going on, anxiously brushing his hand by his coat pocket then running that hand through his hair.
Following where the conspicuous trail of rose petals lead, Roisin frowned. “I thought Juniper said there were a bunch of boxed of furniture she wanted you to sort out.” Getting more and more suspicious of this whole situation, she pointed that out.
“Maybe she had Lainey sort out some of the stuff.” Shrugging in response, Joe then suggested. “Hell, maybe the trial leads to a whole stack of boxes.” Laughing, he then discretely urged her to follow them.
Following the suspicious path of rose petals, Roisin opened what she intended to be the master bedroom door. She stopped for a second upon seeing it, seeing it fully decorated. Taking a few steps inside, she realised that some of the things which had weirdly gone missing from her room were in here, as were some of Joe’s things. It was almost as if this bedroom in this house was theirs.
As she turned around to ask Joe what the hell was going on, she saw him down on one knee, holding a box with an engagement ring in it.
“Okay, so, I know you said no last time, but just hear me out, okay? Because this is really nerve wracking. I know when I did this last time, I kinda just mentioned it in passing and didn’t make that big of a deal about it, and I think that might be kinda the reason why you said no, because it didn’t really seem thought out. But this is thought out. I know we’re young still, but I’m serious about you Roisin, and serious about us. And I know this won’t ever be our place, but I wanted to kinda symbolise the kind of place we’d have together, or what I’d want us to have together. I miss you more and more every time I leave, and I’m happier and happier each time I come back to see you. Even after my time in the army is over, I know I’ll still be just as happy to see you when I come home, even if it will only be for a few hours compared to nearly a year. I guess what I’m saying is that I want to spend the rest of my life with you Roisin. Will you marry me?”
Wordless, Roisin just nodded in response, and got down to hug him tightly. After a few beats she managed to say. “Yes. Yes I will marry you.”
Beaming, Joe pulled away to look at her. “You will?”
“Of course I will, idiot!” Grinning, she held out her hand, which was shaking, for him.
Carefully, he took the ring out of the box and slid it on the fourth finger of her left hand. After a beat, he took her hand and just grinned at her. “We’re engaged.” He mumbled, as if it only just hit him.
“Yeah, we are.” Grinning too, she took a moment to admire her new ring. “We’re going to get married!” Laughing out of joy, she couldn’t stop smiling. “Is this the surprise you had planned for today?”
“Well, I’ve got it planned for us to go out and get lunch somewhere fancy, but we can celebrate here instead if you want?” He suggested, and began to smirk slightly. “Maybe break in the new bed?”
Instead of giving a verbal response, Roisin took his face in her hands and kissed him deeply.
Along with the music, the only sound was that of skates breaking apart the ice as Lainey glided along the ice. Despite having such a long break, it didn’t feel like any time at all. Sure, some of the more difficult moves were a little tougher because she wasn’t in as good shape, and she felt more tired quicker, but it was the adrenaline and love of what she did that was driving her to push through any pain she felt.
It was as if all the past anxieties she’s had about ever getting on the ice again have melted away, and it made her almost regret all the time she spent away from what she loved, but she knew that the distance was important.
She wasn’t especially planning what she was doing. She just moved along with the music, enjoying a feeling she has spent so long without and trying to forget. Everything else in her life always felt half hearted. At school she was never good nor bad. She got mediocre grades. Aside from Roisin, she’s never really kept around friend for too long, quickly getting bored of them, and the same in relationships, always getting bored with whoever she was with. Her tastes in food are pretty average, and most of the music she likes is popular. She felt like herself off the ice was average. Painfully boring. On the ice however, she felt like she belonged, and that she was something special, and she knew she was.
She knew she was good, and she’s always known that she’s been good. Lainey’s only regret is not seeing that in herself sooner, and focusing too much on the thoughts of others. The biggest part of that regret was being so focused with being better than other people that she put herself through mental and physical anguish, as well as hurting those close to her.
But she knew this was it. This could be it. Her second chance.
Very few people have gotten a single chance to do what she’s done, and the fact that she’s being given an opportunity to skate again is one she isn’t going to let go of very easily. She knew this was her time to recreate a name for herself, and to skate more. Maybe not for competitions, but just for her love of it. The past was in the past, and now is the time to focus on the future.
She felt small shards of ice fly up as she span, and instinctively raised her arms as soon as she was finished and the music ended. Only now did Lainey realise how out of breath she was as she realised just how heavily she was breathing. She didn’t realise how out of practice she was. Obviously she had been keeping fit, but clearly not to the same athletic standard as before.
The rink was silent, or it was before she heard the sound of slow clapping.
The rink was supposed to be empty. So why the hell was someone in here, watching her, and cheering for her? She didn’t want it. Whatever other people thought didn’t matter. Turning her head to see who it was, she hesitated, seeing someone she wasn’t expecting to see.
“Well, well, well.” Caleb started, grinning at her. “If it isn’t Miss Lainey Draven. Never thought I’d see you in skates again.”
AN: Back when I wrote this like forty years ago, it was called something else but I’ve been getting very obsessed with Drag Race in my absence, and I saw the rose petals thing and now all I can think of is /that/ lipsync
ugh that lipsync ruined ruveals for the best. No other queen can remove their wigs ever, not even for Roxxxy style wig reveals. Like you knew as soon as Sasha stepped out with a wig that something was going on because her whole thing is being a bald queen because of his/her mum and ugh the reveal tag urself i’m eureka crying in the audience, like I hate eureka but that is just too relatable
anyway, there’s nothing really chapter related to say. You guys know the drill, the author note is just me blabbering on about random crap