The date

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Charlie didn't regret his decision to leave for Sydney with Patrick, not at this moment at least. The move had been too sudden, even though Patrick tried to delay it for Charlie's benefit. Charlie knew they couldn't stay in Warlington and date, and the sooner they moved, the better.

Part of the sudden move was Fabiola and her shenanigans. Patrick feared that Fabiola would try to do something else to sabotage them. She seemed to have quieted down after being partially disowned, but you couldn't put anything past Fabiola. She'd sabotaged them before Patrick moved to the States, and eight years later she still couldn't face seeing them happy.

Fabiola was now out of sight, out of mind. For sometime Charlie put it upon himself to enjoy the move. It wasn't just his decision though; Patrick made it impossible to decide otherwise. He showered Charlie with love and random acts of romance. Sometimes it was elaborate, like the dinner date Patrick prepared all by himself in their living room and sometimes it was subtle, like the little walks they took to the beach hand in hand.

Patrick was busier at the hospital than he'd been in Warlington. Sydney had a larger population of people and the hospital where Patrick worked was convenient for most. It was right in the middle of the city. Regardless, Patrick still found time to spend with Charlie. Like today, he was taking Charlie on a dinner date by the sea.

Charlie looked at the mirror in their bedroom and sighed. He didn't feel quite good about the shirt he'd chosen to wear. It looked old and hung off him slightly. He'd lost a bit of weight, it wasn't too much but it was noticeable. He'd had some troubles with swallowing lately, so he skipped some meals when Patrick and Ariel weren't there. The slight chocking incident had only happened once, but Charlie had attributed it to his disease. It was also possible it had only happened because he'd swallowed his food too quickly.

It had been four months since he, Patrick and Ariel had moved to Sydney. They had settled into their coastal neighborhood quite nicely. He was an outpatient of St Vincent's hospital and Patrick was working at New South Wales hospital as a resident neurologist. Ariel had gotten into a good school in Sydney and much like back home in Warlington, she was excelling.

Charlie was nervous about the date. Most of the time Patrick planned their dates indoors or if in public, in informal places where they weren't confined to a room. That night he'd suggested they try a nice restaurant in the city. Charlie was so nervous he imagined he'd spill things on the waiter more than once or embarrass Patrick by chocking on his own saliva.

He sighed again. He wasn't feeling too good about this date. Something was going to go wrong and Patrick would regret it. Speaking of Patrick, he was running late. Charlie could remember being told what time to be ready, and it was well past that time. Patrick had work that day and said he'd be back in time to shower and change for their date. It looked like the date wouldn't happen after all.

Charlie was about to unbutton his shirt when someone appeared at the open bedroom door. Ariel was standing there wearing short shorts, a red top and sneakers. It wasn't what she'd been wearing earlier that day.

"Are you going somewhere?"Charlie asked with an eyebrow raised.

"Uh...duh. We talked about this," Ariel replied running a hand through her hair.


"Yeah. It's Friday night and Bronte is having a party," she said walking into the room. "How about that burgundy short-sleeved shirt you have? It would look good with those pants."

"I agreed to this party?" Charlie asked scratching his head.

Ariel nodded. "You were not so happy about it, but Patrick convinced you otherwise."

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