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One Term

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Next weekend Jay was packing for his weekend at his parent's place when he got a call that said he has to stay for the weekend. He was frustrated as hell. Ash gave him a hard time as it is during the week. And all the work he has done was killing him. Plus he knew Cole is back at the apartment waiting for anyone to show up considering his current situation. He had to do something to help him from where he is. He got out and walked to the closest art store and bought a coloring kit and a sketchbook. Then to the closest supermarket and bought a bag of fancy dog food. He wrote a note saying 'Sorry i couldn't make it this week. Fill this up for me and be generous with dog treats Miss U ~ Motormouth' .He put them in a box and wrapped it with a gift wrapping he bought . He mailed them to Cole's address and went to bed. He had some serious work to do tomorrow.
It was Monday evening and Cole was coming back from the shelter with Rocky when he saw a box at his door. It was wrapped in a blue wrapping so he knew who the sender was. He picked it up and entered the apartment. Inside he opened it and picked up the note. He felt his heart melt. Jay had thought of him and missed him. These few words made his day. For what it's worth the gift was very thoughtful. He must fill the sketchbook soon. Jay will say he's too lazy if he didn't. He decided to take it with him to the park next time he walks Rocky. He'll have some sights to draw.
Thursday was a rough day for Jay. Cyrus kept giving him tasks none stop. He finally got back to the dorm at 7. He laid in bed and stretched his back. He napped peacefully for 30 minutes when his phone range. It was strange. Only his mother called him and this wasn't the time of the day for her call. He looked at the phone. He didn't recognize the number but he answered anyway. "Hello? " He said with a raw voice. "Is this Jay Walker? " said the girl on the other side. Her voice sounded familiar. "Yes who is this? " Jay managed. "I'm Dilara , from the animal shelter. I'm calling in regards of your friend Cole Brookstone" the caller said. She sounded worried. "Oh Hey you. What's going on? ". "Cole hasn't showed up in two days. He's not answering his apartment phone either. He doesn't have a cellphone so we contacted his emergency contact, You" Dilara said "Do you by any case have him by your side? " . "No" Jay exclaimed "But I'll look into it". "I hope he's ok" said Dilara before she hung up. So Cole is missing and no one knows where he is. Jay put on his jacket and walked to Borg Tower. He asked his supervisor to give him tomorrow off because of an emergency call. By a miraculous effort of begging he was released. He drove the beetle to Cole's apartment. Two hours of horrible thoughts going through his head. He almost crashed the car three times but finally made it in one piece.
Jay ran up the stairs nonstop. He stood at Cole's door but found it unlocked. He entered the apartment slowly and looked around. It was dark and dusty. It was cold enough to give him chills. Bottles of beer lying around everywhere. Was Cole drinking?. As he walked further into the apartment he heard a muffled crying sound coming from Cole's room. He walked in slowly and knocked on the door. "Cole? " he said quietly. The crying sound stopped. "Are you ok in there?" he asked but got no answer "can i come in? " he asked and waited. When he got no answer again he opened the door quietly and walked in. Cole was sitting on his chair with his face on the desk. Jay walked to him and put his hand on Cole's shoulder. "Hey" Jay whispered "what's wrong?" . "He's gone" Cole managed "i lost him" he looked up at Jay. Tears in his eyes like he was struggling to keep them from falling. He looked like he hasn't shaved in days. "Who is he? " Jay asked, worry started to take him. "Rocky" Cole said . Jay was on his knees facing Cole. "what happened? " he asked. "we were in the park and i was doodling in the sketchbook and lost track of time. When i looked up he was no where to be found. It's my fault he's gone i was irresponsible i was an idiot I-" Cole was pulled in a hug by Jay and he started crying again. "It's gonna be fine. I'm here now" Jay repeated in Cole's ear. "I looked for him you know" cole cried "i searched every where i ever took him to. But he wasn't there. Now he's alone out there in the cold. He must be starving". Jay shushed him "I'll help you look. We'll make fliers and look for him ok? ". Cole nodded. "Come on" Jay got up "Let's wash this... Off you". He pulled Cole on to his feet but Cole couldn't stand alone. He was too drunk to do so. So Jay pulled him on his back and walked him to the bathroom. He put the plastic stool under the shower. "Can you take off your clothes on your own? " Jay managed but cole didn't answer. Jay made him stand against the wall and took his T-shirt off. He threw it away and moved to his pants. He removed them and threw them by the T-shirt. He kept Cole's boxers on and pulled him to the plastic stool under the shower. He removed his own shirt and turned on the shower. Warm water sprayed them both. Jay grabbed a bar of soap and started washing Cole. A while later Jay felt that he did a pretty decent job so he turned off the water and pulled Cole out of the bathroom and made him sit on the chair from earlier . He grabbed a towel and started drying Cole's hair. He dried him nicely and moved to the rest of his body. Cole just sat there looking zoned out. Jay walked to the closet and grabbed a tank top and shorts for Cole and an oversized turtle neck and some random sweatpants for himself. He went to the bathroom and changed quickly and ran back to change for Cole. He helped Cole get in the tank top and quickly removed the wet boxers off of him. He lifted the shorts up quickly without looking. "Come on, Buddy" he stood up and pulled the larger guy with him "Let's get you to bed". Motormouth helped Cole to bed. He covered him up well and made sure he was comfortable. He wanted to walk away and sleep in the other room but Cole held his hand. "What is it, buddy? You need anything? Water? Something? " Jay asked softly. "Stay" sleepy Cole said "please". Jay looked at him confused. Where would he stay? There isn't another bed in this room. And to his surprise, Cole moved against the wall to give him space on his bed. 'Ok' Jay thought 'Didn't see that coming. It's a little weird and awkward but ok'. Another pull at his hand pulled him out of his thoughts. "Ok ok" He chuckled and crawled into the bed with Cole. Cole wrapped his arm around his shoulder and pulled him in "Thank you" he murmured. "It's fine" Jay said. "You're always there for me" Cole mumbled. "What are friends for? " Jay asked. "I'm in love with you" Cole muttered. "Go to sleep, Cole. You're so drunk you're talking none sense" Jay chuckled. Cole fell asleep immediately. Jay couldn't sleep for a while. He kept over thinking where the dog might have gone. He had some ideas on where to look. After a while he felt his body aching from tiredness and drifted off.

The next morning Jay woke up early as usual but he felt off. He was on his side and something was behind him. He slowly looked behind him and found that Cole was spooning him. Right. He remembered the night before and everything that happened. He slowly slipped out of Cole's embrace and went to the bathroom. He looked around for a new toothbrush and found one under the sink. He used it and made a mind note to buy Cole a replacement later. He went around the apartment and cleaned around. When he finished he walked in on Cole stretching lazily . "Sleep ok? " Jay asked. Cole nodded once obviously still in his dark place from yesterday. Jay pulled the chair into the bathroom quickly. "Come on" he said from the bathroom door "Big day today". Cole shambled towards the bathroom. He saw Jay pointing at the chair so he sat there. Jay pulled Cole's toothbrush and started brushing. After he finished he fetched a shaving razor. "OK let's work on your face" Jay said cheerfully. Cole looked up at him confused. "What? " Jay asked jokingly "I like the stubble on you but this is just not you" and he rubbed the shaving cream or whatever on Cole's face. He hoped that his zero knowledge of facial hair and how to deal with it wouldn't stand in his way as his chin was as hairless as a baby's. He worked carefully. Cole kept staring at him all the time. From eye contact to staring at his lips every now and then. Jay felt the hot gaze on him and his heart started pounding fast. He felt the blush crawling up his neck and to his cheeks so he focused on the job at his hands. After a while and with a miraculous effort he finished and he didn't cut Cole at all so he took it as a win. "Finally " Jay said "There's the Cole i know". Cole looked at the mirror in silence. "Come on" Jay said. He grabbed Cole's hand "We've got a K9 to find". They walked out of the apartment and downstairs hand in hand. The beetle was waiting for them and they got in and Jay drove off.
They went to the nearest library and made fliers with Rocky's picture from Jay's phone. Jay drove around town to all possible places Rocky might have been to. They searched all the parks and asked everyone if they've seen the missing K9. But there was no luck that day. They went back to the apartment and Cole couldn't be worse. He went straight to bed and Jay followed him. "We'll find him eventually" Jay sat by Cole's side on the bed. "What if we don't? " Cole asked. He looked devastated. "What if a car ran over him? What if someone took him for themselves? I might never see him again" tears started to form in his eyes. "Hey hey hey" Jay grabbed his hands tight "We will find him. We will. You just have to have hope. And leave the cynical thinking to me ,after all I'm a pro" . Cole chuckled at the last remark. He moved to give Jay space on the bed. Jay raised an eyebrow at him. Cole just looked at him with his sad brown eyes. "Don't look at me like that" Jay directed his face away "I can't say no to those brown eyes". He looked back at him and to his shock, Cole had found away to make them look bigger and sadder if that was even possible. "Fine!" Jay whined and reclined by his side. Cole smiled weakly and hugged him. They fell asleep quickly.
The next day they searched near all the restaurant they ever took Rocky to. They hanged fliers everywhere. But again with no luck. Jay drove to his parent's junk yard. He stopped by the gate. Cole looked around "Where are we? " . "This is my place" Jay replied. "I'm just going to say hi to my parents . You can wait in the car if you're not up to it" Jay offered . "Eh. What the hell" Cole shrugged. "You don't know them. They'll skin you alive, Just a heads up" Jay warned him and got out of the car. Cole got off and walked behind him "How bad can they be? ". Jay chuckled "You'll see".
Jay opened the front door and entered "Ma? Pa? I'm back" he called loudly . Cole stood outside waiting. Edna appeared from the kitchen "Oh my god, Jay!" she practically threw herself at him, what a hug. She stepped back to look at him "Look at you! You lost weight, there are dark circles around your eyes. What, they don't feed you at Borg Tower? I bet they're killing you with with task so you look this tired". Ed showed up "I was fixing the radio, what did i miss?". He saw Cole "and who's that? " he asked curiously. Edna noticed Cole for the first time and looked at Jay waiting for the introduction. "Ma, Pa," Jay started "This is Cole. My f-" "YOUR BOYFRIEND" Edna yelled and ran towards Cole. "Wait what?!" Jay said but it was too late. Edna had already wrapped herself around Cole in a hug. Cole's face pale but he gave her a genuine smile and hugged back "Hi Mrs walker" he chuckled. "Hey! We don't do formal talking here" she joked "We're practically family" . "ED!" she yelled "Come meet your son's boyfriend!". Ed came running. He shook Cole's hand "what a firm grip". "Look at his face! He's so cute" Edna exclaimed. "And those arms" Ed kept feeling Cole's biceps. Jay regretted letting Cole go out in a tank top. In fact, he regretted coming here at all. "Come in. We Must have you for dinner" Edna pulled Cole's hand and yanked him inside. When they walked by Jay, Cole mouthed 'Help' to him. Jay gave him an apologizing look as in he is beyond help right now. They were forced to sit at the table and eat while listening to Edna embarrass Jay with some of his childhood stories. Jay spent the time playing with his food and not looking at anyone. "So tell us about yourself" Edna said. "there is not much to say" Cole started "I play football at the school team, I'm living in an apartment with a younger roommate and Jay here tutors me". "An athlete, of course! And independent too. I like you very much" Ed said with excitement. "Tutors" Edna chuckled using air quotes. She and her husband shared a look then giggled. "No really" Cole added "I got the best grades in my life thanks to him". "Awww look at how Jay is blushing" Edna cooed. "Speaking of things on Jay," she added "I don't recall buying you this outfit" she pointed at his clothing. "Oh those are mine" came Cole's voice and they all looked at him. Jay mouthed 'Stop talking' but Cole continued anyway "He stayed over and didn't have anything to wear so i lend him some of my clothes" . Jay face palmed. "Stayed over, huh?" Ed remarked. "Did you sleep together? " Edna asked enthusiastically. "Ma!" Jay whined. "I hope you used protection" Edward added. "Pa! " Jay whined again. "How was it? " Edna asked seriously. "Oh my God" Jay got up and walked out of the house. "Was it something i said? " Edna asked obviously. "I lost my dog and i was in a bad shape" Cole explained "Jay showed up and kept me company. Now we're looking for it and he thought he'd come say hi". "Oh honey! " Edna exhaled. "We're so sorry" Edward added. They both hugged him warmly. "It's been nice to meet you guys" Cole managed "I better go after him though". They released him "Before you leave tell Jay we have a raccoon problem in the north side" said Edward. Cole walked out and waved goodbye. "Come back anytime!" Edna yelled in the distance. "We're thrilled to have you" Ed yelled too. He walked towards the gate until he found Jay sitting on a big piece of metal. "Hey" he said and Jay stood up glaring at him. "What is wrong with you?!" Jay hissed. "What? " Cole pretended to be innocent. "All that crap! What was that about?! " Jay practically spat the words. "Aww our first fight as a couple" Cole cooed. "Cole! Do you hear me laughing?" Jay was boiling. "Relax, Jay" Cole started "I saw that they thought that you and I are together and nothing we say was going to change their minds so i just rolled with it. If you can't beat 'em, join them". Jay sighed. "You're right" he started "They would've spent the evening teasing me 'why am i not dating such a great guy like you'. It might've gone worse" Jay shivered with chills. "So why aren't you? " Cole teased. "Stop that" Jay huffed. "No seriously. Why aren't you? " Cole asked seriously. "Can we focus on your lost dog please? " Jay exclaimed. "oh... " Cole looked down "before we leave, your father said he's got a raccoon on the north side". "Psh" Jay mocked "A raccoon. He has no idea what i have in there". It took him a moment to realize what he just said. "Of course!" he said and he ran north. Cole was left in the dark metaphorically and literally so he followed Jay. When they reached the north side Jay stopped to catch his breath. He really got rusty. Cole on the other hand stood there clueless "What was that about? " . "Remember when i gave you Rocky?" Jay managed, still out of breath. Cole nodded. "I told you i took him in for a few days then found him another place to stay" Jay explained. "Under the bridge at the park" Cole finished for him. Jay lifted his hand, put his fingers in his mouth and whistled. "You don't think.. ?" Cole asked. A crashing sound came to answer. A half grown German shepherd emerged from a junk pile and ran towards them. Jay stepped behind Cole so he won't be pinned down. The K9 jumped Cole and pinned him down to the ground. It licked the guy's face all over. Cole laughed and hugged Rocky tight. "I missed you so much" said Cole. They rolled over in the dirt. "Come on guys" Jay said cheerfully "let's get you home". They walked to the car and returned to the apartment. Jay refused to go inside "I'll let you guys catch up. Plus i have to go to work tomorrow so there's that". Cole hugged him tight. "Thanks ,Jay" his hands were on Jay's lower back so Jay felt weird but shrugged it off. "I got you" he said. When Cole released him he could swear he felt his lips brush on his cheek. He played dumb though. He got in the car and drove off.