vanillalime: (b/k xmas)
[personal profile] vanillalime
Crack the Whip

"Good grief," grumbled Toby. "Why is it taking you so long to get those skates on?"

Chris shrugged as he slowly swung a stocking-clad foot back and forth, trying to avoid the pool of melting slush under the bench. "These old laces don't look very strong," he observed. "What if one breaks?"

Toby gave him a strange look. "Then you go back to the rental counter and ask for a new pair," he answered.

Chris nodded his head in acknowledgment and continued to stare at his skates.

"Look, I'm getting cold just sitting here," Toby huffed impatiently. "I'm going out onto the rink. Join me when you're ready."

"All right."

Toby awkwardly plodded his way across the snow until he reached the steps that led down to the rink. He cautiously climbed down them, then took off once his blades touched ice. There were already several people out on the rink, but it wasn't too busy for a weekend.

Toby quickly picked up speed, dashing past the hand-holding teenagers and slow-moving children. Once he got a good rhythm going, he turned around and skated backwards. He spotted a small group of boys in trouble with the attendant for snowing each other with their blades. He smiled at the memories that it brought back.

Toby spun around in a neat circle until he faced forward again, and that's when he finally saw Chris.

Chris was clutching the hand railing for the steps as if it was a lifeline, a look of sheer terror on his face. He stepped out onto the ice and slowly began inching his way forward, staring down at his feet. An elderly woman flew by him, and Chris looked up in surprise.

And that's when he promptly fell flat on his ass.

Toby rushed over to where he'd landed and helped him back to his feet. Chris shuffled around on his skates for a moment, then grabbed Toby's arm tightly for support.

Toby looked at Chris in astonishment. "Why on earth didn't you tell me that you don't know how to skate?" he asked.

"I don't really know," Chris said with a shrug. "I thought maybe I could fake it."

Toby shook his head as he turned around backward. He held out his arms and grabbed Chris's hands in his own.

"Here, let me pull you along until you get more comfortable," he said.

"I don't think I'm ever going to be comfortable on these torture devices," Chris muttered.

Toby shook his head. "Don't worry, I'm a good teacher. I'll have you ready to play 'Crack the Whip' in no time."

Chris stared at Toby, a puzzled look on his face. Then he cocked an eyebrow and grinned.

"If that's the same game as the one we played the other night, I'm willing to learn to skate after all."

Toby responded with a laugh. "If that's the motivation you need, so be it," he said.

And he promptly quickened their pace.
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