“I can’t watch this any longer. I’m starting to get embarrassed for them.”
Pear winced as she watched Earn miss another target and let out one curse word after another. She was unable to fully watch the scene unfolding in front of her due to the sheer embarrassment of it all so she buried her face even more into Tine’s discarded jacket. He wasn’t faring much better with this situation either because he was biting his fingernails nervously only to occasionally stop to mutter a few words of encouragement to Sarawat. Any and all attempts at putting out the fire that was currently raging between the two bandmates were useless.
Of course both knew that the people they were dating were stubborn but it didn’t prepare them for this.
It didn’t prepare them to be the center of attention in the middle of the fair as they tried to separate the two friends that would most likely turn into enemies after this night is over. Tonight was supposed to be a fun date for the two couples but it quickly turned into a nightmare when Earn proposed what was supposed to be a harmless dare.
At first it was simple: she bet Sarawat that he couldn’t even win Tine a stuffed animal (which he did, albeit it took six tries but at least he still won something) which turned into Sarawat challenging her right back. After she ended up winning Pear a massive stuffed animal on her first try of ring toss Sarawat nearly exploded in frustration. It only got worse when Earn didn’t shut up about that fact as they went on various rides. Finally after a trip on the carousel Sarawat had enough. He claimed that it was just luck and that he would definitely beat her in a round of bean bag toss. He did end up winning that in the first round but that led to Earn dragging him to more games in order to show off her skills.
Soon enough the two nearly made two trips around the whole entire fair, playing everything from darts to skeeball to finally Whac-A-Mole. Some of the games one of them snagged a win but it was on the last trip on their stop that they both failed at. Horribly. As the time ticked by and neither showed any signs of leaving (they claimed they would stop when they scored enough points to win something) but unfortunately they were horrendously bad. They refused to budge from their spot and soon enough they gathered a small crowd due to their persistence (and also because they might have made a very small child cry when they wouldn’t let her have a turn).
Honestly, who knew that both of them would take it so seriously? Certainly not Tine and Pear. They only went along with it because they figured it would be a quick pit spot but little did they know it would turn into a two hour affair full of arguing and threats of being escorted from the property due to disruption of the peace.
When Pear invited them on a double date to the fair this morning Tine eagerly agreed, much to the annoyance of Sarawat.
It’s not like Sarawat didn’t want to spend a night with his boyfriend doing normal couple things but he really wasn’t excited about the fact that Earn was tagging along.
Both girls used to be sore spots in their relationship but over in the last two years they grew closer, nearly getting together every week whether at clubs for their bands performance or grabbing a bite out after a particularly intense study session.
No, it had nothing to do with Earn. Not really. It was the venue and what that would entail.
Before they even made it to the fair Earn was already taunting Sarawat. “I’m just saying, if you weren’t scared of losing you would take the bet. Why else won’t you do it unless you just don’t want to admit the fact that The Great and Powerful Sarawat is actually bad at something?”
Sarawat clenched his jaw and tightened his hold that was already steel like on the steering wheel. He really liked Earn, in fact she slowly became one of his closest confidants due to long hours forced together and the fact that their partners were seemingly glued to each other’s side, but she definitely knew how to push all his buttons. She reminded him of Phukong—like a younger sibling whose main goal in life was to berate and annoy the older every chance they got.
Tine must have sensed his agitation because he laid a hand on his thigh and gave it a squeeze. Don’t take the bait is what that simple action seemed to say. Momentarily taking one of his hands off the steering wheel he covered his own hand over Tine’s that was currently rubbing circles across his thigh with his thumb. If he wasn’t so riled up because of Earn than he would have been more distracted for other reasons but didn’t have the luxury of letting his mind drift to that because it was too occupied on trying to figure out how to shut his bandmate up.
Still, his anger didn’t stop him from bringing their now clasped hands away from his thigh to his lips for a quick kiss. It seemed to say I promise I won’t. Without even looking over he suspected that Tine must have gone red from that semi-public form of affection but he knew it was true when Earn started to make gagging noises from the backseat.
“Could you not be so lovey dovey in front of us right now? We get it! You both are so in love, there is no need to rub it in our faces.”
Earn should be glad Sarawat was currently driving or else he would have grabbed whatever he had nearest to him and chucked it in the back seat. He did however glance in the rear view mirror to gauge her reaction only for his face to contort into a look of sheer hot anger.
“Excuse me? How are we rubbing it in your faces? Earn, you are sitting on Pear’s lap right now. And playing with her hair.”
Tine was very much indeed too occupied staring at his boyfriend that he didn’t notice Earn move. Much to the disappointment of both of them Tine pulled his hand away so that he could turn into his seat to get a better look. “Earn! Do you know how dangerous that is?”
Sarawat stole another glance in his mirror to see Earn tilt her head to the side, a look of contemplation on her face. “Very?” She didn’t sound too sure about that.
Nope. That was it. He was going to turn this car back around and head back to campus. There was no way he would survive the night when Earn was in one of her moods. It didn’t help that finals were quickly approaching and his threshold for annoyance was lower than normal. He said the gist of that to them only to immediately receive a series of objections.
Most were from Tine who was arguing that they were almost there so it would be a waste of time to go back while Earn was grumbling about how she was just joking. Sarawat mainly gave in because he really couldn’t say no to his boyfriend who was pouting in the seat next to him and also because Pear was very convincing in her promise that the rest of the night would be drama free.
He really needed to stop being so gone for Tine, willingly to go to hell and back if the other asked, but Sarawat realistically knew that he would never get over his soft spot for a certain law student.
Hence how he ended up in a situation like this.
“Sarawat, c’mon. Stop already. The fair is going to close soon and we haven’t even tried any of the food yet. We haven’t even gone on the Ferris wheel!” Tine pleaded with his boyfriend for the fifth time in the last ten minutes but he was ignored. Pear was doing the same and somehow managed to wrap her arms around Earn’s waist so that she could whisper something in her ear. For a second there it looked like Earn was about to give in but with a quick shake of her head she went back to trying to hit the mole with the mallet.
Damn. Maybe Tine should have tried something like that. Sarawat was easily distracted when Tine showed PDA like that but he didn’t really feel all that comfortable doing it when he had multiple eyes on them.
Sighing, he shared a look with Pear who was dejectedly making her way to stand next to Tine again. “I tried everything. She won’t stop until she hits at least one of them.”
Tine frowned as he glared at the back of Sarawat’s head. “He won’t either. Should we just…” he trailed off hoping that Pear would be thinking the same thing he was.
“Leave them here alone and go enjoy the fair before it closes?”
Tine blinked in surprised. “I was going to suggest bribe the guy in charge to rig the game but yeah that works too.”
It’s not like either of them wanted to leave the two behind but they already received a warning five minutes ago about how the fair would be closing in an hour. If they still wanted to grab some food from the vendors and go on the rides they were excited for all day leading up the date then they needed to go right now.
Fine Tine decided. If they want to waste their time doing this they can—he was going to stuff his face and have fun. He would have liked to do these things with Sarawat and he was sure that Pear would rather be with Earn but desperate times calls for desperate measures. Tine stole one last look at Sarawat wishing that the night would have gone differently but made a conscious effort to make the best of what he had.
“This game is rigged.” Earn groaned as she missed the mole once again.
“All games at the fair are rigged. That’s how they make money.” Sarawat paused his current action—rapidly slamming the mallet all over the table figuring he would get lucky at least once—once he realized what he just said. Wait, all games at the fair were rigged which means...shit. It was never about their skill was it? Why did it take them this long to figure it out.
Earn seemed to realize this moments later because she too stopped what she was doing to stare at her mallet in horror. “No.” She sounded horrified too.
“Shit. Hey guys, why didn’t you—“ Earn set down the mallet with more force than she needed and turned around to say something to Tine and Pear but froze mid-sentence when she realized that they were no longer in sight. “Where did they go?”
“Where did who go?” Sarawat asked as he set his mallet down to turn in his seat figuring he would see Tine standing there but he wasn’t. No, instead it was some stranger who had their phone out recording.
“Um.” Sarawat cleared his throat as he watched the stranger bring their phone closer into his personal space. “What are you doing?”
The stranger was wearing a uniform that was similar to Phukong which stopped Sarawat from outright shoving the kid away. “Documenting how bad you are at this. I’ve seen kids in preschool do better than both of you.”
“Hey!” Earn injected as she began to notice the small crowd around them. “This game is rigged.”
The high school kid snorted. “You just now figure that out? Still, you both suck. It’s no wonder your boyfriend and her girlfriend went off together.”
Both Earn and Sarawat went still in shock. “Run off?” Earn whispered more to herself.
He nodded before stopping the recording and putting it in his pocket, satisfied with the video that he captured. “Yeah. They left like twenty minutes ago.”
Sarawat was pissed. Not at Tine. He didn’t blame him for ditching them after the stunt he pulled. He was pissed at his own stupidity. He couldn’t direct that anger at himself right now so he unfortunately took it out on the kid. “Where did they go?” Sarawat snapped, forgoing all niceties.
The boy was obviously not a fan of this and narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “Give me one reason why I should tell you. You ignored them for this stupid game. They are better off without you.”
Deep breathing Sarawat. Don’t do anything you would regret.
Well he did have a point. All the anger washed out of him only to be replaced with guilt. Sarawat knew how excited Tine was for tonight. He spent the better half of lunch earlier telling Sarawat about all the things they should do together. About how Tine was glad that despite the two years of dating they still found a way to have experienced new things for the first time together—both had gone to the fair countless times when they were younger but never on a date and Sarawat had to go ruin it.
He didn’t even blame Earn that much for this especially when he looked over to see the same look mirrored on her face. Neither had a good answer to the students' answers so they just stood there in silence. He must have taken pity on them because after a few moments he clapped his hand on Sarawat’s back and sighed. “They went toward the booths that sell cotton candy. They were talking about the Ferris wheel earlier so I’m assuming that’s where they are now. It’s the first thing to close at the fair so they probably didn’t want to miss their chance.”
The Ferris wheel. Now that they had a destination they needed to get there before it was too late. They bid a quick thanks and were just about to take off in that direction when they were stopped by him again.
“Uh, not so fast. I should get paid for my help. Without me you wouldn’t even know where to start.” Here Sarawat thought the kid did it out of the kindness of his heart but turns out he had a devious streak. He let out another sigh and dug through his pockets but couldn’t find anything other than a loose candy wrapper. He didn’t even have his phone or wallet—both of which still must be with Tine after Sarawat handed them over so it wouldn’t get ruined doing the plastic duck bobbing contest.
He sent a helpless look to Earn who glared at the kid before pulling out a few papers from her jacket pocket. She leaned around Sarawat to put it in the kid's hand before pointing in a threatening manner. “Blur my face when you post that,” He looked like he would just object so Earn backtracked, “but you don’t have to blur his. His name is Sarawat Gun—“
She didn’t finish her sentence because Sarawat grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her toward where he remembered the Ferris wheel was set up.
He would deal with that mess later.
Luck was on their side after all. Tine and Pear were just about to sit down when they made it there. They were out of breath and exhausted but they made it.
Tine had his head leaned down to match Pear’s height so that he could hear her over the hustle and bustle of the fair which meant they didn’t immediately see Sarawat or Earn.
The line was pretty long but a quick glance to Sarawat’s watch told him that this was the last batch before it closed down for the night. Knowing that they were already way past the level of being embarrassed they skipped the line to make their way in front of their respective partners. The conductor was yelling at them that they couldn’t do it but once again Earn whipped out money to pay for tickets and handed it to him. “Keep the change.” She mumbled an apology to the guy before turning back around to grab Pear’s hand and tug her in a seat. Both Tine and Pear were silent during all of this, either way too shocked or upset to speak. Still Sarawat copied Earn’s movements so that he was sitting down next to Time.
Tine was chewing on his bottom lip and was trying his best to look anywhere but Sarawat. He was just now noticing the stuffed animal that Tine’s was fiddling with in his lap. Was that really a water buffalo or was Sarawat just imagining things? He took a quick peek at Earn to see if she was having any better luck but noticed that Pear was doing the same, except she was clutching a stuffed bunny to her chest. She didn’t necessarily look mad but she definitely didn’t look happy either. They were both screwed. Somehow they seemed to both decide that they wouldn’t start apologizing (begging) until the ride started.
After everyone else got on the bars came to secure them before the machine finally jolted to life. Sarawat studied Tine both because he was unsure how upset he was and because he was allowed to stare at him since they were dating. He didn’t have to hold back his feelings or affections anymore and nearly everyday he was shocked to his core over this fact. He reached a cautious hand out and laid it on his thigh to give it a firm squeeze similar to what Tine did just a few hours earlier.
Tine didn’t make much of a reaction besides a deep exhale of breath. Sarawat had two options. He could go straight out with the begging or slowly work into it.
As much as he craved Tine’s forgiveness he knew that it was important to actually discuss this because yes, this argument slash maybe not argument was all based on a stupid dare but still Sarawat didn’t like the fact that he could of been doing things like this instead of running around with Earn like that.
He was going to slowly work into it.
“That’s cute,” Sarawat gestured to the stuffed animal, “did you win that?”
Tine kept staring blankly ahead as the Ferris wheel slowly gained momentum but Sarawat noticed him softly shake his head. “No. Pear did. She’s really good at these games.”
“Really?” Sarawat asked. It’s not like he doubted Pear but the games here were severely rigged and they weren’t separated that long to win two different prizes.
Tine lifted the animal up until it was in front of his face. He sighed and started rubbing the head of the stuffed water buffalo absentmindedly. “No. We had to bribe them at the darts booth so that we would have enough points to get both of them. But maybe if you would of let either of us play the games too you would have realized that—“
“Both of you are better at them than us.” Sarawat cut him off. Tine smiled sheepishly before setting the stuffed animal back in his lap and turned to look at Sarawat. “You said it, Wat. Not me.”
Tine was looking at him again. This was a step in the right direction. Sarawat just needed to rip off the bandaid now since he ended up softening Tine up some. He was distracted for a few moments though by his boyfriends sheer beauty—by his smile that always made Wat stomach do somersaults, by the way his face was illuminated by an array of different colors from the lights that were reflecting off of the many different machines around them, and simply by Tine himself. His nuisance.
He needed to stay on track. Sarawat shifted in his position so that he was facing Tine better before letting his head drop on the other’s shoulder. He started to trail the hand that was on Tine’s thigh up until it reached one of his hands before clasping them together. He began to rub his face against Tine’s shoulder, knowing that they were high enough away from everyone that his boyfriend wouldn’t mind the blatant display of PDA. The only ones who could get a good view of them were Earn and Pear but another glance up at them showed that they were otherwise occupied. Sarawat made a mental note to ask Earn later how she got back into Pear’s good graces so fast.
He tensed up for a few seconds before seeming to realize that they were practically alone and despite his protest he ended up giving Sarawat’s hand a light squeeze. “Wat! Stop it. You haven’t even apologized yet.”
“Okay,” Sarawat mumbled against Tine’s shoulder, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Please? Please? Pleaseee?”
“You—Wat—Saraleo! Stop doing that!” Tine hissed, still as easy as ever to get flustered before using the hand that wasn’t clasped in Wat’s to roughly poke him in the side. Sarawat squirmed a little but refused to give up.
“I’m sorry.” Sarawat’s voice was much more softer and genuine now. “I’m sorry for abandoning you. I’m sorry for caring more about Earn than you tonight. Sorry for not getting to do all these things you had planned.”
“And?” Tine asked. Sarawat racked his brain but came up empty. He thought he covered everything.
“I’m sorry...for being an idiot?”
Tine hummed but shook his head no. “For...not winning you more stuffed animals?”
He looked up at Tine to see him roll his eyes. “No you jackass. For not letting me go up against Earn. If you let me have a try at ring toss I could have won and we would have had time to do everything. I’m your boyfriend too you know? You don’t only have to win things for me because I can do it for you too. Or I can try. Either way…”
“Both of us are stupid yes, that’s established.” Earn called down at them. He didn’t realize they could hear them.
Sarawat glanced back up at them. “Finally done making out?”
Earn flipped him off as Pear hid her face behind the plush bunny. “Finally done begging your boyfriend for forgiveness?”
“Wait,” Tine cut off Sarawat before he could reply, “isn’t that what you were doing?”
Earn shrugged before cuddling up against Pear’s shoulder who was still trying to hide her red face from them. “Yeah. But I did it in a much cooler way. And in record breaking time! I only had to promise that I would never play any of those games for so long as I live and she forgave me.”
“Pear!” Tine gaped. “Really? That’s all it took. What happened to ‘I’m not going to forgive Earn that easily and ‘let's both ignore them for a while to give them a taste of their own medicine’ huh?” Tine mimicked Pear’s words from earlier. Tine thought he was doing a pretty good job at doing it only for Pear to give in nearly from the start. She finally moved the stuffed animal away, face still slightly tinged with red, only to shrug down at them. “She’s very persuasive.”
“Yeah,” Earn smirked, “I’m very—“
This time Sarawat was the one to flip Earn off.
Sarawat shrugged on one of his shirts as he threw the towel he was using to dry his hair into the hamper before laying down onto the bed. Tine was sitting cross legged next to Sarawat still holding the plushie that they got at the fair.
It wasn’t the one that Sarawat originally won but the water buffalo. He tried to ignore the sting in his chest when he realized that the measly prize he won was still in the backseat from where Tine set it.
“You must really like that thing, right?”
A look of fondness appeared on Tine’s face as he continued to fumble with it. “Yeah. I really do.”
Sarawat tried to hide his pout. They had a longer discussion about what happened at the fair after they dropped Earn and Pear off so he assumed once they made it back to their house things would be okay between them.
Yet Tine was too preoccupied to get the hint that Sarawat has been shifting around the bed not because he couldn’t find a comfortable spot to lay but because he was trying to get the other to lay down.
Stupid water buffalo. What was so special about that thing any way—wait.
“I’m an idiot!” Sarawat grabbed a pillow to groan into. He really was an idiot. Once he was done he looked over to see if Tine tore his attention away from that thing but he was still playing with it. He was paying enough attention to reply though. “And?”
“And,” Sarawat sat up in bed and moved over until he was closer to Tine. Like earlier he intertwined their fingers together and nuzzled his face against Tine shoulder. This time however Tine had no qualms about pressing a kiss to the top of Wat’s head. “And I just realized the significance of why you picked the water buffalo.”
He let out a chuckle before kissing Sarawat’s head again, letting it linger for a few seconds more than he did the first time. “Took you long enough. Why else do you think I spent that much money trying to bribe the guy into giving us it. I wanted it for you.”
“For me?” Sarawat cuddled closer. “If it’s for me why haven’t you given it to me yet?”
“Because... you have the real thing right here.” Oh. He was going to be the death of Sarawat. He really was. He was about to make a suggestive comment but stopped as Tine continued talking. “I’ve decided that you are going to be lonely when I go abroad after we graduate so I wanted you to have something to keep you company. That way if you ever miss me you can hug Little Tine and think of me.”
“Little Tine? I thought Little Tine was— “ He really did deserve the punch to leg for that comment. “Finish that and you’ll sleep on the couch.
“Sorry,” Sarawat apologized with a shit eating grin. “I know that it’s much more of a Big— ouch!”
Tine shoved Sarawat off until he fell backwards against the bed only to grab a pillow and hit him with it. Once again he deserved it. He raised the pillow prepared to hit him again but never got to because Sarawat yanked the pillow away from his grasp and pulled Tine down so that he would lay on top of him. Tine pretended to struggle for a few seconds before giving up. It was possible that he did this because he knew Sarawat would pull him down.
They laid like that for a while, neither speaking as they basked in the comfortable silence. Sarawat had one of his arms wrapped around Tine’s waist and the other was fiddling with his hair. Tine was mostly still apart from tightening and loosening his hold on Sarawat’s shirt. The stuffed animal was somewhere on the bed but neither made an effort to search for it. “Little Nuisance.” He whispered after a few minutes like this.
“What?” Sarawat nearly dozed off like that even when he knew he had to eventually get up to turn off the lights and get under the covers. “Little Nuisance?”
“Yeah. Little Nuisance. The stuffed water buffalo. Who says I can only use that name one time?”
Little Nuisance seemed to be a good name but Sarawat wanted to tease his boyfriend a little. “So does that mean you’re going to name our kids that too?”
“You can if you want.”
Sarawat did end up sleeping on the couch that night but it was okay because he had Little Nuisance to keep him company.
He also had Tine there too, not that the other boy would admit that his real reasoning for crawling on the couch in the middle of the night though. No, he claimed that he was simply too cold and that conserving body heat is a good idea you know. Sarawat wasn’t going to argue, no, he was just going to cuddle the person that he hoped to spend the next five, ten, or seventy years with.