Proposals don’t come with instructions.
Walter Lucas knows his boyfriend has been looking forward to the newest movie about a certain snow princess, but he isn’t prepared for the reality that is the front-row seat of Kelly Davidson’s cartoon obsession. There’s more going on in November than just the movie, however—Walter’s been working up the nerve to ask Kelly a certain question. When Walter set up his elaborate Thanksgiving marriage proposal, it seemed like such a good idea, but as the holiday, the movie premiere, and the question Walter never dreamt he’d be asking anyone converge…let’s just say even Hollywood’s best couldn’t sing and dance their way out of Walter’s tangle.
A few days after they moved into the Minneapolis apartment in late June, Walter Lucas found his boyfriend Kelly Davidson curled up with a blanket, leaning against a pile of boxes. He had a laptop balanced on his knees, headphones plugged into his ears, hands pressed as if in prayer in front of his lips, and he looked as if he might cry at any second. But when Walter rushed toward him, Kelly held up a hand to halt Walter without breaking eye contact from the computer screen.
“Don’t.” His voice was thick and rough. “I’m having a moment.”
Walter stopped, less concerned now and more confused. “Honey?”
Shutting his eyes, Kelly drew a deep breath, then exhaled slowly before opening his eyes again. He still didn’t look away from the screen. “The teaser trailer for Frozen just came out.”
Walter almost asked, Frozen what? but then he remembered. “Oh. The new Disney movie.” He hesitated, wanting to ask how it was, to show interest, but everything about Kelly at that second screamed, Do not engage. Walter nodded at the bedroom with a soft smile. “I’ll be in there when you’re done. Take your time.”
Kelly didn’t so much as acknowledge he’d spoken, too busy watching. Walter lingered a second longer, then disappeared into the room, shutting the door behind him. As soon as he was inside, he got out his phone and pulled up the trailer.
Frowning, Walter flopped onto the bed and watched it again. He bit his bottom lip, worrying Kelly’s class ring on his finger. He watched it one more time.
He didn’t get it.
Rather, he didn’t understand what about an animated snowman and a reindeer fighting over a carrot on a frozen pond would make his boyfriend act like he’d seen God. It was cute, but it was slapstick and somewhat lame. Not just prat humor but kid humor. Kelly had been analyzing the soon-to-release trailer for weeks now, discussing production notes he’d read about the movie, how it was supposed to be a take on “The Snow Queen.” Walter knew more about the upcoming Disney film than he’d ever thought he’d know about anything: who had been cast, why, how long the project had been in the works—since the 1940s, it turned out, which kind of blew his mind. He understood this was important to Kelly, a new film by his favorite company, brought to him by the same people who had developed his beloved movie, Tangled.
All this Walter understood. But snowmen and reindeer requiring a moment he did not.
He did some casual recon while he waited, reading message boards and blog articles armchair quarterbacking the film production and the trailer, but Walter didn’t learn much. No one else seemed as crazed as Kelly was, not that Walter could see, so he couldn’t put anything into context. There was nothing for it. He was going to have to wait for the real deal.
Eventually, the real deal came into the bedroom, looking flushed and slightly worn out. Walter put his phone to sleep and smiled, patting the space on the bed beside him.
Kelly snuggled in, resting a hand on Walter’s chest. “It’s going to be really good. I can already tell.”
How? Walter stroked Kelly’s shoulder and nuzzled his hair. “Oh?”
“The animation is excellent. Just like Tangled, but it’s going to have its own flavor too. Some people are saying the reindeer is Maximus II, but I don’t think so. Maximus had an entirely different character quality, don’t you think?”
Walter had seen Tangled more than an adult without children legally should, and he had no idea what Kelly was talking about. He was pretty sure Maximus was the horse in Tangled. Maybe? “Definitely, you’re totally right.”
Kelly’s fingers teased absent circles against Walter’s T-shirt. “The trailer was funny, letting us know it was going to have humor, but I love that the end of it was about the reindeer—” He stopped. “Oh, I’m so sorry. You haven’t seen it yet.”
Walter kissed Kelly’s temple. “Why don’t you show it to me?”
He did his best to react as he thought he should during the short video, chuckling quietly when Kelly did—well, honestly, sometimes on his own, because it was clever, if not a little weird. Mostly he held Kelly close, stroking his hair, being with him.
When it was over, Kelly sighed happily. “I love how the reindeer gives him the carrot instead of eating it. It gives me hope this really will be like Tangled, funny but with a hopeful message.” He let out another breath, his whole body vibrating with contentment and longing both. “I have no idea how I’m ever going to wait until November.”
Of course Kelly did have to wait, but it wasn’t as if they didn’t have plenty to keep them busy in the meantime. They settled into their place, finding a grocery store they liked—Lund’s, a local chain—getting their books for school, starting school itself. Every now and then, however, Frozen would drift back onto the radar. Kelly would read a rumor or hear advance press, and they would discuss it over dinner or in bed.
Walter had grown accustomed to hearing a soundtrack while he made dinner and being coerced into enduring a cartoon movie a few times a month, but as September drew on, it seemed to happen all the time. One day he had “Part of Your World” so ear-wormed into his brain he’d had to listen to an entire Journey album to eradicate it. But the everyday Disney was nothing to the study Walter’s boyfriend continued to make of the upcoming film. Kelly took everything Disney seriously, so much more so than Walter had understood.
He was self-conscious about it too, which Walter took pains to tread lightly around.
“I know it’s weird, how much I get into this stuff.” Kelly said this several times a day, usually when he was neck-deep in a forum or subreddit, and then he’d give Walter a look that was half apology, half test.
Walter never wanted Kelly to make excuses for his obsession. “Disney movies make you happy. I don’t see a problem with that. There are certainly worse things to be obsessed with. Besides, some of the songs are kind of catchy.”
Kelly narrowed his eyes at him, hopeful and suspicious. “You’re only saying that.”
Walter raised an eyebrow at him. “Who was it, then, singing ‘Hakuna Matata’ while he made dinner last night?”
That one had earned him one of the best nights in bed he’d ever had—dominant Kelly didn’t make many appearances, but when he showed up, he delivered—and for a time, that was about as exciting as the Disney developments went. Then in late September, that record was broken, and how.
Walter came home from class and was met at the door by a wild-eyed, flush-faced boyfriend. “Kelly, are you okay?”
Grabbing him by the shirt, Kelly said nothing, only shoved Walter against the closed door, clutched his face in an iron grip and stepped between Walter’s legs.
Walter’s dick sprang immediately to attention. “Kelly?”
Kelly’s hands slid up to Walter’s hair. His eyes fell to half-lidded, his mouth parted as he licked his lower lip. “Official trailer came out.”
Closing his mouth over Walter’s, Kelly kissed him like it was their last day on Earth, and dragged him to the floor.
It was the fastest, hottest, and weirdest sex they’d ever had—Kelly didn’t even bother to get Walter or himself out of their clothes, just got their dicks clear of zippers and frotted there in front of the closet, murmuring incoherently between carnal kisses.
“Anna—” Kelly sucked hard on Walter’s neck, tugging his hair to get himself a better curve. “Feisty, but sweet—I can’t—ah—” He dove into another kiss as he got their cocks at a particularly good angle and drove them to the edge for a second before breaking the kiss to nip at Walter’s chin as he babbled some more. “I can’t tell who the love interest is. It’s supposed to be Kristoff, but what about Hans? I can’t—oh God, Walter.”
Walter spread his legs wider, drawing Kelly tighter against him. He didn’t understand what was happening. It was definitely strange. But it was also kinky as fuck, and he wasn’t saying no to anything. “Babe, let’s take this to the bedroom.”
“No.” Kelly thrust his tongue deep into Walter’s mouth, kissing him until they both shook with want. “I’m going to do you right here.”
With that Kelly slid down his boyfriend’s body and engulfed Walter’s cock in a hot, greedy mouth.
Walter came so hard, so fast, he couldn’t move.
Smiling darkly, Kelly rose languidly from his knees, burying his face in Walter’s neck as he slowly jerked himself off. When he’d finished, Kelly pillowed his head on Walter’s chest, looking more sated over a Disney trailer than was probably legal.
Weirdest yet: even after coming like that, when he spoke about the trailer, he once again looked ready to cry.
“It’s going to be so good. I wanted to trust them, but I was worried, because of course at any second they could lose it, go more the way of Hercules, but…no. It’s going to be like Tangled. I can’t—oh God, Walter.”
He kissed Walter again, and again. Walter convinced Kelly to go to bed this time. Walter couldn’t get it up, not as hard as he’d come, but it didn’t take much coaxing to get Kelly back in business. This time Kelly got the blow job, and after, they took a sex-sated nap together.
That was the only time a YouTube release from Disney Animation Studios prompted sex, but Kelly had spontaneous displays of joy and hysteria every time trailers, teasers, and clips were posted online. Kelly briefly tried to abstain and keep himself pure because he worried the clips would spoil him for the film, but in the end he gave up and watched every last one. Walter did too, usually not quite getting it but playing along as best he could. Walter became interested when Kelly reported the guy who voiced Kristoff was gay in real life, but that was about as much honest excitement as he could muster.
“It’s just so intense,” Walter confessed on a Skype call to Cara in late October. “I guess I knew he was going to be this nuts, but it’s something else to witness the phenomenon in real time.”
“He’s excited is all.” She got that doughy look she always did when Walter was soft for Kelly. “It’s so good of you to support him.”
“I’m trying to. But I gotta tell you, I had no idea what I was signing up for as far as this Disney business.”
She shook her head, smiling. “You love it and you know it. Anyway, it can’t be that bad. He’s not asking you to role-play or anything.”
Walter rubbed his thumb against Kelly’s class ring, doing his best to keep his face blank.
Cara’s eyes went wide, she put her hand over her mouth, and she burst out laughing. “You did not.” She laughed harder. “How can you? You don’t even know the movie yet.”
Walter’s entire body flushed with embarrassment. “Not…this one.” He let himself enjoy a brief flashback to playing Flynn Rider seducing Rapunzel. Except, of course, Kelly often insisted Walter be Eugene by the end, because that was his job in the role-play, to undo Flynn Rider until he was rogue no more, only Eugene the orphan who made up stories because he wanted to be loved…
Walter cleared his throat, dispelling both the erotic and emotionally vulnerable flashbacks. “It’s fine. I’m just getting used to how into it he is.”
“Are you going to see the movie on opening day?”
“I assume so.” Walter glanced around the empty apartment nervously, even though he knew he was alone. “It messes with my plans for the proposal, though.”
His heart kicked up a beat simply saying the words out loud.
Cara sighed and rested her chin on her hands. “Look at you, Wally, nervous to ask your boy to marry you. You’re so adorable. You know he’s going to say yes.”
Walter’s brain felt like it had abruptly become the nesting ground for eight dozen angry squirrels. “Is it the right time, though? I had it all worked out to ask him at Thanksgiving, but I hadn’t even considered asking him at the movie. Maybe I should ask him at the theater. Maybe that would be better.” He rubbed his cheek nervously. “Maybe I shouldn’t ask at all yet.”
Cara rolled her eyes. “You’ll go crazy if you don’t ask now. Though that’s a tough call—ask him at a Disney movie, or with his family. I suppose if the film sucks, that’s going to strike the wrong tone.”
“I think it’ll be fine for him no matter what. I guess my concern is, he’s so obsessed I’m worried my proposal will be an also-ran. Besides, he’s so family oriented. It seems right to stick with my original plan and ask him in front of everybody.” Even though the idea still made him sweat simply thinking about it.
“Whatever you decide will be fine, I’m sure. Though I admit I’d love to watch.”
Which meant everyone else would want to also. Decision made then.
Everyone would be there at Thanksgiving: Cara and Greg, Walter’s old professor Dr. Williams and his family, their parents, their grandparents. Several times Walter worried maybe he should give up the idea and propose some other time, with only half the clan present. Though as the holiday and release day drew closer, he realized he had another important event to juggle. With half the family arriving in town Wednesday evening, how were they going to get to the movie, do food prep, and entertain everyone all at the same time?
Kelly surprised him with this solution: he wanted to wait until Friday for his first viewing of Frozen, when everyone had gone home.
“Are you sure?” Walter frowned, searching his boyfriend’s face carefully. “How can you not want to be there on opening day?”
“There’s no way it’ll work with everyone else here. It’s going to be too crazy. If we tried to go opening night, too many other people would want to go along, and we’d have a hell of a time getting that many tickets. Someone would get left out, they’d be disappointed, and I’d feel awkward. Better to wait.”
Walter’s heart sank. “I shouldn’t have let Thanksgiving get so out of hand. I’m so sorry.”
Kelly tweaked his nose. “Stop. It’ll be fine. The crowds at the theater will be a little less intense then. Besides, I want to see it just with you the first time.”
Walter nuzzled him back, pressing a kiss on the side of his lips, letting it turn into something deeper. Guilt clung to him, however, making him heavy. “I feel like I ruined this for you, though. You’ve waited so long. You’re so excited. I should have paid more attention.”
Kelly took Walter’s face in his hands and pulled back so he could look him sternly in the eye. “Walter Lucas. Are you implying a cartoon is more important to me than my flesh-and-blood family, than yours? Than our friends? For heaven’s sake. It’s only a few days. Frozen will still be there on the weekend.” He stroked Walter’s lips with his thumb, gaze softening. “My first Thanksgiving with you is so much more important.”
This time when Kelly kissed him, Walter didn’t feel any guilt at all.