A small smile curved Armitage’s lips as I strummed a few chords on my guitar. It’s a calm Saturday morning after a crazy Friday night of singing loudly and movie marathons. Armitage and I woke up tangled together under my bitten blanket, he had bed hair to rule all bed hairs and I just wanted to sleep. Armitage managed to wake me up with kisses and crawling into my lap.
Yet, this couldn’t last longs as today I have to return Armitage to his father; the cruel, cruel man. I felt a pang of hurt and anxiety at the thought of what I was going to do today, Armitage noticed as he always does. He sat up and ruffled my hair the way he knows annoys me.
“Don’t worry, Ben,” Armitage said, “It won't be too bad”.
I looked up at Armitage, the sun hit his bright hair in such a way that it seemed to glow in the morning sun giving him an angelic halo. I smiled goofily at Armitage who chuckled in return. Armitage crawled off my beaten bed and began to put his shoes back on. I watched him and smiled to myself. Armitage is like his father in the way that both of them fight hard for they want, no matter the consequences; but Armitage has so many more emotions that I want to - and have- help him discover.
“Ben?” Armitage was talking me, I snapped up and he was smiling slightly. Armitage walked over to me and I wrapped my arms around his waist pulling him between my legs.
“Stop worrying, it’s horrible” He flicks my nose.
Armitage walks out of my room and towards the kitchen. I scrambled to find shoes and followed him out. A sudden confidence fills my chest.
We drove through our small town, Poe, Finn and Rey in the back belting out MCR. Armitage in the passenger seat, his head resting against the window and laughing loudly, his eyes scrunched up and head thrown back. In these moments when I have everyone I care about around me, I feel the strongest. Like I could take on the world, the galaxy, even Armitage’s stern father. I grinned widely and joined in with my bands horrendous singing, not able to keep pitch with their wailing.
The sun is still rising as we stop at Armitage’s house. The house is a typical rich, white family, suburbs house with vines growing up the front and rose bushes along the garden wall. The house is pure white, not a speck of dirt on it. How do they keep is so clean? I always think to myself.
Armitage gets out my car, which I just now realise smells like my dad’s dog, Chewie. He grabs his bag out the back and we walk up the pathway to his front door. Before Armitage could unlock it, his father, Brendol, is there glaring down at me. Suddenly I feel very self-conscious about my ripped jeans and black beanie while Brendol is standing there in a button up shirt and dress trousers. Brendol motions for Armitage to go into the house which he does and stands just behind his father.
“Sir,” I began and I see Armitage give me a thumbs up out of my peripheral “I would like to ask you something” Brendol just continues to glare and scrutinise me. “Can I have you son for the rest of my life?”
“Say yes!” My friends shout from behind me which angers Brendol even more so I wave them away.
“No” Is all he says “Armitage will not marry a boy! Especially scum like you!”. I look at Armitage and he seems to be looking at me with ‘sorry’ written all over his face and I hear Poe huff from behind me.
“Why do you have to be so rude?” I ask him. “He loves me and you know it too”
Brendol slams the door.
Armitage sits across from me at Starbucks, sipping a black coffee. The town pass by us as we sit in silence. Cars rumbling and excited teenage girls giggling as they pass by the window
“How about we do it anyway?” I ask him.
Armitage looks at me with confusion. “Do what? Get married?” The last bit is whispered as if the thought scandalises him.
“Yeah,” I say, the idea seems better the more I think about “We’ll run away. We’ll go somewhere with the guys and have a wedding. You can bring your weird friends. It’ll be romantic and he can do nothing about it.” Armitage isn’t impressed.
“I don’t know…” His voice is quiet “My father will be so mad, and my mother…” Armitage looks so torn.
We have been wanting to marry since our second year together. I proposed to him and he panicked. He explained his father was very old fashioned. Believed in the view that gays were unnatural, the devil spawn to be put politely. Brendol had been livid he found out that Armitage was gay, he could have disowned him if Armitage’s mother hadn’t calmed him down. That's the state I found Armitage in, panicky and frightened. He covered it by being harsh and pushing people away.
We first met when I found a kid who he had scared. The kid, who is now one of Armitage’s closest friends, had dropped some books Armitage had requested and Armitage had screamed at the poor thing. I sought him out and told him off for being reasonable, Armitage had obviously fought back and we hated each other for weeks until we didn’t. Armitage came to me hammered, babbling about his father and how the man could rot in the deepest pits of hell for all he cared. When I tried to get Armitage to sit he just started crying about how he doesn’t want to disappoint the man. When I had finally managed to calm him down we ended up on the ground with him curled up in my lap. We woke up the next morning with crooked neck and he seemed more calm, in the face he thanked me for taking care of him and he left me with a kiss. I later found out he didn’t actually know what he said to me, he had assumed he had told me he had feeling for me. He blushed when I told him the truth and squealed I kissed him. We dated for a bit then I got a bit spontaneous and proposed, now here we are.
“Please, Armitage,” I begged and grabbed his hands and held them tightly “ I will protect you, forever. Your loyal knight. I promise” I kissed his hands and Armitage blushed.
“Okay,” Armitage sighed but before I could celebrate he said “But can you at least try one more time” Armitage had his ‘don’t argue, Ren’ face on and I knew I couldn’t deny him.
This time I was at Armitage’s door at 7 pm, I could see Armitage, his parents and some girl having dinner, through the window. By the look on Armitage’ face, she was supposed to be a marriage proposal to bring two powerful families together. Armitage looked so uncomfortable, having to smile and be polite to a girl who wasn’t even that attractive, too muscley and butch for a daughter of a rich family.
I knocked loudly three times on the door, Poe put his hand on my shoulder, squeezed then stepped back. Brendol opened his door forcefully, and glared down at my once again with his red, raged filled face.
“I said no, boy!” He shouted, “What do not understand?!”
“Nothing sir, this is just a formality, really,” I said, squaring my shoulders.
Armitage came out the house and stood beside me, linking our fingers together, he held his head high and stared his father down. I could feel him shivering.
“Armitage. Get. Inside. Now” Brendol seethed pointing into the house where I could see Armitage’s mother standing with a hand on her chest and the marriage proposal next to her with a smirk on her face.
“Say yes” Armitage demanded, tightening his grip on my hand.
“Armitage...” it was a warning.
Armitage shook his head and turned around “Come on, Ben, let's go get married”
Brendol looked about ready to explode with rage, for me, it was pride that was filling my chest. This is the Armitage I know, never stands down from what he wants. I flipped Brendol off and marched down the pathway with my band in tow, Armitage at my side and Brendol raged filled shouts behind me. Our life together is starting.
The wedding is held in a parking lot. Me and my band in fake tux shirts with Armitage and his friends in cheap button downs and dress trousers. It is officiated by a friend of Poe who we all think may be the drug dealer but Poe says’s he’s trustworthy so we went with it.
Armitage’s face is alight with joy, a smile splitting his face him two. His eyes are sparkling in the afternoon sun and I Think he's close to tears. Mitaka, Armitage’s friend, is already crying.
“You may kiss the groom”
I swoop Armitage down into a dip and kiss him passionately, drunk on bliss. I can hear our friends cheering but I don't care, I just want to hold Armitage like this forever. I don't want this moment to ever end, I don't want Armitage to ever leave my arms now that he is mine.
But, sadly, Armitage is sober and pulls away. “I love you, so much” he whispers into my ear.
“I love you too” I whisper and pull him back up, I turn to address our friends “How about some celebratory drinks then?!” I am answered with cheers and whoops and arguing about who pays for the first round.
I look at Armitage and in that moment I know, I will protect him and stand by him through everything. Anywhere. Anytime.