Joni has successfully avoided talking to Misha for five whole days. On Monday, Misha had tried to visit him after work, but then Joni’s father had been home and told him that Joni wouldn’t agree to meet with him and that he should just go home. The blonde had tried to contact him through Katja several times during Tuesday and Wednesday as Joni had stubbornly kept his own cell phone switched off, just as stubbornly as he also refused to talk to him through his stepmother’s cell, insisting each time that she should tell the Russian that he was not a welcomed visitor. But when Thursday went by and Misha hadn’t made a single phone call all day to even check how he was feeling, Joni couldn’t help but feel disappointed that Misha had given up so easily, though at the same time he knew that he was being a little ridiculous assuming that the guy would keep up the fruitless phone calls forever. One day he would have answered, though he just wanted the Russian to sweat a little more for being such an idiot to him on Sunday.
Having a boyfriend obviously didn’t lead to anything good, so Joni figured he would do best on his own. He wouldn’t have sex either; he would live in celibacy forever or… well, perhaps not forever, just until he would meet a man who…
What should he look for in a possible future partner? Something complete opposite from Chris and Misha? Definitely someone who would not have anything in common with Chris, not even nationality, to rule out any possibility that somehow they might know Chris and have similar interests. Though perhaps it was silly, Canada was a big country and surely he couldn’t blame every gay Canadian? So ok, perhaps he shouldn’t be quite so strict. The man could be Canadian as long as he wasn’t a boxer, or even watch boxing matches, or insist he move to Canada. Though the possibilities of meeting another Canadian in this sense were quite slim, still, stranger things had happened. It was best to have a clear plan if such a thing should happen.
Perhaps the man should wear glasses? And play golf as a hobby? Golf was for calm natured people, right? They had to be calm to have such a boring hobby, or what Joni considered as such. He wouldn’t want to go golfing but it was good to have different hobbies. But what if the man wanted to drag him a long then? Joni frowned at this. Well, he just wouldn’t go! And his future partner would never argue if he said no to something. He would be kind, perhaps a doctor? Something like that. Someone who was close to his own size, not taller or stronger… On the other hand if Chris would get out, it might be good to have a big boyfriend, bigger than Chris and smarter than Chris and blonder…. NO! Joni growled at himself. Why should he need someone to protect him, it was silly! He wasn’t some helpless sissy boy and he didn’t need any one! He could protect himself, he’d train himself! Yes, that was what he would do.
He didn’t need a boyfriend, didn’t need anyone. He would live alone, but… get a dog perhaps? A big angry dog, a dog that of course would be loyal and good tempered towards him and anyone close to him, but a dog that would attack Chris-like people, smelling the jerk, the violent tendencies! It would be quite brilliant really. He would keep himself busy, train, do modelling gigs and study, so he wouldn’t really have time for a boyfriend, on the other hand would he have time for a dog either? Perhaps not… Perhaps he could get a hamster or something. A killer hamster. The thought made him chuckle. It was a shame there was no such creature as a protective hamster, it would be handy, he could carry it around and then it would bite any annoying person who tried coming on to him when it wasn’t welcomed.
Joni had mostly kept in his room, only eating small portions of food, having no appetite or interest towards food which made his family worry and to try and ease their minds, he forced himself to eat something, at least a little from every meal that was brought to him.
Mostly Joni was just so utterly tired; he didn’t have the energy to dance this seemingly never ending dance with Misha. He didn’t have the energy to worry and think what the man thought of him. If he was ready to commit or not, well, obviously Misha wasn’t. It was complicated, of course it was! But Misha’s reaction after they had slept together felt so utterly hurtful also because he had hoped that having sex would somehow fix everything. But it hadn’t, it had only made him feel worse, Chris’ words had haunted his mind: whore, slut … And the fact that Misha had made it sound like he was doing the rightful thing for him, like he knew better what was good for him! Being friends after having sex?! Yes, how convenient for Misha. Joni didn’t need another man trying to make the decisions for him, he didn’t need someone so indecisive! He needed to feel… appreciated and … cared for…
Chris had often said he knew better, emphasized how he, as the smarter and elder of them had the right to make the decisions and Joni should just be a good boy and obey. The more Joni remembered this the angrier he became, angry and frustrated when realising that he couldn’t rid himself of the painful memories, how helpless he had felt then. His mind kept going over the two years with Chris, the good and the bad and the good hurt just as much if not more. To remember the times when he had willingly had sex with him, how he had enjoyed it, even begged for more and now… it disgusted him. He wanted to break something and scream. He felt he had no control over anything and he desperately needed to regain it, so he needed a plan. He needed a good plan and he needed to stick to it.
It was raining that day, Joni sat in front of his desk, trying to think of a plan that he would use to bring some sense and order into his life. At 4.30 in the afternoon, he heard a knock from the door and figured that it was probably Katja coming to remind him that it was time for him to eat something again, his father was still at work.
“It’s open,” Joni answered staring down at the empty sheet of paper in front of him.
“You have a visitor,” Katja’s voice told him and Joni felt a small tug in his chest. He knew before she told him. “It’s Misha, he’s waiting downstairs.” Joni tapped his pen over the paper, silent and pondering. “Would you please talk to him, he’s tried to call you so often and… Just please, hear the poor man out, he looks so miserable.” Joni groaned inwardly, glanced at her briefly, well… Perhaps it was time to end the silent treatment? After all, Misha had helped him out a lot as well…
“Fine, send him in…” He replied trying to sound as indifferent as he could. He listened as Katja returned downstairs and the heavy footsteps that soon followed and knew that the sound of those steps belonged to Misha. Joni quickly brushed his hair back from his forehead with his fingers and took a deep breath; he didn’t turn however, but focused on the paper in front of him, writing ”The plan” on it to get him started. ”1. stay single, 2. If magically failing to follow plan number 1, then at least make sure that he plays golf and doesn’t approve of hobbies such as boxing”, he had time to write before he heard Misha clear his throat.
The past five days had felt like torture to Misha, he had never expected that Joni could get this upset with him, that he would refuse to talk to him this long. The blond hadn’t been able to sleep properly, he didn’t have any real appetite and he just felt like crap. It was such an upsetting thought that Joni might never forgive him.
He had come straight over from work. Now that his summer holiday had started, Misha knew that he’d go nuts with all that time on his hands if Joni continued to give him the silent treatment. This time he had perhaps been lucky that Asko wasn’t home, who obviously was disappointed and angry at him for upsetting his son this way, Misha hoped he could fix that issue later as well. It was important to him that Joni’s family liked and trusted him. When Katja had returned downstairs to let him know that Joni had finally agreed to meet him, he felt a huge wave of relief wash through him. With all his heart he prayed he could now fix things and get Joni back.
So there he now stood, at the doorway to Joni’s room, where he had never visited before. Joni was facing the window, writing something and Misha realised just how much he missed the brat and now he felt so insecure and regretful, dying to plead for forgiveness and another chance, but unsure if Joni would give him that. He cleared his throat, to get the younger man’s attention. He saw Joni tensing up slightly, before he finally turned to look at him, his expression was cold and indifferent and he was wearing those reading glasses which Misha found to be disturbingly sexy on him. He felt awkward when thinking how sexy Joni was, he shouldn’t be thinking such thoughts! Those thoughts had led him to trouble in the first place.
“Yes? Are you planning on saying something or just stand there ogling at me like an idiot?” Joni asked, he had to try and act cold in order to not give in to the burning thought of how much he loved the blond man.
“I-“ Misha started and sighed, Joni wasn’t going to make this easy. He scratched his head, closed the door behind him before walking in further. “I came to tell you that I’m sorry, you’re not answering your phone and…”
“If that is all you came here to tell me then okay, I heard you and now you can leave.” Joni nodded and turned back to his list, writing number 3 on it and the following: ”Start working out, hire a personal trainer to get started.”
Misha glared at the brat, feeling frustrated and annoyed, trying to calm down because the last thing he and Joni needed was for him to lose his temper. He took a deep breath and looked around in the room, everything seemed so nice and… expensive … There were also pictures on the shelf. Without saying anything to Joni Misha walked closer to take a look, there was one where Joni was small boy, sitting on the lap of a woman that had to be his mother, the same eyes, the shape of the nose, colour of the hair, she had been a stunning woman and Joni had been a beautiful, cute little child. There was also a picture of Dima and Joni, an old school picture, a picture of Joni and his siblings and… Misha’s eyes wandered to some diplomas on the wall, an army group picture and another picture of a group of boys dressed in ice hockey gear.
“You’re still here?” Joni asked raising his brow; Misha’s presence was distracting him from making his brilliant life plan. The blond turned to him and grinned.
“You’ve played ice hockey?” He asked with a somewhat amused tone.
“When I was a kid, yes, my dad seems to find it something worthy of parading on my wall,” Joni shrugged and then glared at him. “Is there something amusing in the idea of me playing ice hockey?”
Misha chuckled and shook his head. “No, I was just surprised.”
“Why?” Joni insisted and Misha shrugged smiling.
“I just was, I didn’t know, why did you quit?”
“Other interests came up,” Joni snapped. Misha was acting too….relaxed! Or… something! “Now, please leave, I’m very busy,” he added.
“Joni, I came here to talk with you about what happened…” Misha sighed and walked closer wondering what Joni was busy with.
“We had sex, you want to be friends, that is what happened and yup it’s happening.” Joni nodded, trying to focus back to his list, to ignore the other man.
“I was wrong; I made a mistake, okay?… I guess I… panicked…” Misha shrugged, standing close to the table now. Joni gritted his teeth, listening but not looking at him.
“Panicked?” He finally asked a bit tightly.
“Yeah… I mean… We shouldn’t have…it… I’m sorry, I should have kept the control, not let it go that far…”
Joni looked towards the window, feeling annoyed. “Misha, I was there too, you know? Despite what you or any other may think I am capable of taking responsibility for my own actions as well, it was not only your decision to … do what we did.” He replied glancing at the tall blond.
“Yes, but you are in a fragile state, I don’t think you fully knew what you wanted and I should have remembered that.”
“So your solution was to end it with me. What do you think hurt more? Huh?!”
“I am sorry, Joni, you must know that the last thing I want is to hurt you and… That morning, what I said was stupid and I regret it, I- I want to be with you, okay? Can you give me another chance?”
Joni looked away again, he felt himself trembling slightly, going through the reasons for and against it in his mind. Misha could easily change his mind again, he could panic again and then what? When Joni was silent, Misha was beginning to feel more nervous, he couldn’t help but glance at the paper in front of the brat and first frowned when he read what he had written on it, stay single? Someone who plays golf? “Okay, what on earth is that?” Misha couldn’t help himself, couldn’t hide the amusement from his voice. Joni glared at him, once more annoyed, just as he had almost persuaded himself into giving another chance to the man, he remembered how obnoxious and self-assured he could be. No, this time Misha should really be put to the test! He wouldn’t get him that easily, after all Joni had tried so hard before and… now Misha should show more effort if he really wanted to be with him.
“It’s my list, my plan,” Joni replied coldly. “So, do you play golf, Misha?”
“No, you know that I don’t,” Misha replied still somehow amused by that list, it was cute somehow, funny but cute.
“Then, you see we have a problem,” Joni said and tapped his pen over the spot where golf was mentioned.
“You can’t be serious,” Misha chuckled.
“Oh, trust me I am very serious,” Joni assured nodding. “You know what is required.”
“Joni, honestly, that is ridiculous! Why on earth would you want a boyfriend who plays golf?!” Misha stared at him still convinced that this had to be a joke.
“I don’t have to explain why, I just do,” Joni nodded firmly. “So I guess it can’t work between us?”
“Are you really telling me that you expect me to start playing golf before you would agree to be mine?”
Joni thought about it for a moment and then nodded. “Though I wouldn’t agree being anyone’s, I belong to myself, but I would then consider being WITH you, yes.”
“Oh, consider?” Misha shook his head in disbelief; this really was the most ridiculous thing he had ever expected to hear. Again Joni nodded. “You are testing me? Isn’t it enough that I tell you how much I care for you and that I want to be with you?”
“Like you told me before, that you like me more than just as a friend and then changed your mind and broke up with me.”
“I didn’t change my mind! I panicked, I made a mistake!”
“And who is to say you won’t panic again?” Joni hissed. “It would be too stressful and I have enough stress as it is. I’d rather be alone than with someone who doesn’t respect my wishes.”
“I do respect your wishes…” Misha tried to reason. “Golf doesn’t make any sense, Joni, why do you wish that, do you even play it?”
“No, but it doesn’t matter.”
“You are being a brat.”
“Maybe,” Joni shrugged and turned back to his list. “You can go now,” he added. Misha shook his head looking at the brunet.
“Unbelievable…” He muttered and turned towards the door. “At least keep your goddamn cell phone on so I don’t have to keep calling your stepmother to reach you,” the blond snapped from the doorway before leaving. Joni looked at his paper and couldn’t help but grin as he tried to imagine Misha playing golf, would he do it for him?
‘Golf? He wants me to play golf?’ Misha snorted as he drove back home. GOLF of all things!! And he was sure that the brat wasn’t even interested in starting to play said game himself, Joni had to be mental… Such a brat he was…Would mini golf be enough to satisfy Joni? Misha found himself thinking after sometime, could they make a compromise with that? He wondered.
He got home, kicked his shoes off and headed towards the kitchen to get himself a beer, this kind of news really required a drink. He sat in front of the table sipping the cool contents of his bottle, going over the mindless conversation with Joni in his head. Few minutes later, Ivo stepped into the room.
“So, did you go there and talk with him?” He asked.
“He wants me to play golf,” Misha snorted expecting Ivo to find this fact just as astonishingly ridiculous as he did.
“Golf?” Ivo raised his brow, curious.
“Yeah, he has made this ridiculous plan list and apparently he would only consider a boyfriend who plays golf, otherwise he plans to stay single.”
“So I guess you better start working on getting that green card,” Ivo smiled and walked over to fridge to get himself a glass of juice.
“Come on, Ivo, even you have to see how absurd this request of his is!”
“It may be absurd, but it is his way to test how serious you are with him, I guess,” he shrugged.
“It’s silly, that’s what it is. There has to be another way, I will not spend a fortune on a hobby that I hold no interest in and I am 99% sure that he is not interested in golf either, it’s just a childish, immature whim of his!” Misha huffed; Ivo raised his brow looking at his brother silently for a moment.
“He has the right to be difficult,” he answered then. “And no, I don’t think it’s about whether or not you play golf, you just need to… court him,” Ivo winked and Misha couldn’t help but roll his eyes.
“We are not living in the 18th century and Joni is not a noble lady…” He groaned, the whole ordeal was about to drive him nuts, all he could think of was the brat and how… difficult he was being at the moment and how silly, and regardless of everything Misha still wanted him, but he didn’t want to play golf. His brother chuckled.
“He most certainly is not,” Ivo said, smiled and sat down in front of him. “Courting might be an old expression, but suitable in this case. If you want to be with him, then you have to make an effort to show him that you are serious with him, I think he’s just feeling so vulnerable that he needs reassurances, as silly as the means to reassure him might sound.” At this Misha sighed.
“I’ll figure something out,” he decided, not knowing exactly how to proceed, but at least he had taken the first step by talking to Joni. But honestly, where in the world had the brat came up with the idea of golf? Surely there had to be some small trace of logic behind it? Logic that Misha perhaps just couldn’t understand.
A/N: Please review , either on shout box or the questbook where the review link leads to 🙂
Web published: December 6th, 2010.
My Secret Shore