20: dragon, vanilla ice, electric youth, fishing, grotesque

by Chris J

"Do you ever feel like you're getting old?" asked Chris, lacing his hands behind his head and letting the sheet fall down nearly to his waist.

"No," said Joey, rolling over to face him and curling up against his side. "Why?"

Chris clapped a hand over Joey's mouth and made a face. "Dragon breath, Joe. Back away."

Joey stuck his tongue out and curled up closer. "Tell me why you feel old, and I'll go brush my teeth," he said. "We can't all smell like roses first thing in the morning, you know."

Chris sighed. "Yesterday when me and Justin were out rollerblading in the park, someone was playing 'Electric Youth', so I started singing along...and he just looked it me. He didn't even know the song, Joey. I didn't think it had come out that long ago, you know?"

"That's because he's just a kid," mumbled Joey, his eyes drifting shut again. "If it helps, I know who Debbie Gibson is."

"So it just got me to thinking," he went on. "What next? I start singing Vanilla Ice and he looks at me with that blank expression again? I mean, everyone knows that song...or so I thought."

"Chris," said Joey seriously, opening one eye. "If you start singing 'Ice Ice Baby' I'm getting right out of this bed and crawling in with JC. I mean it."

Chris laughed and curled an arm around Joey's shoulders, holding him close to his side. "I won't," he said. "When did I get so old, though? When did the stuff I liked become something from the previous generation?"

"You liked Vanilla Ice?" asked Joey, both eyes open again.

"You know what I mean," said Chris. "It's weird. Most of the time I don't think of myself that way, and then something will happen and suddenly there's this generation gap, right in the middle of the group."

"Happens to me, too, sometimes," confessed Joey. "And JC. I guess that's what happens to you when you become an adult." He yawned widely, then snuggled against Chris' side again. "You have nothing to worry about," he said. "I like you just the way you are. And you still look great, too."

"Do you really think so?" said Chris, running a hand through his hair self-consciously.

"Stop fishing for compliments," said Joey, smiling sleepily at him, his eyes still closed. "You know I love you, so I'm biased anyway."

"I love you, too," said Chris, kissing the top of his head. "So, now that you know what was bugging me, get up and brush your teeth. That's getting really grotesque."

Joey shoved him playfully as he struggled up into a sitting position and stretched. "All right, all right, fine," he said with a grin. "But only if you promise it'll be worth my while when I get back."

"I promise," said Chris, pushing him to the edge of the bed. "Now go."

"I'm going, I'm going," said Joey as he stood up and softly padded into the bathroom.

Chris laced his hands behind his head against and smiled, wondering how funny it would be if he was humming the bass line to 'Ice Ice Baby' when Joey came back to bed.

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