Hard Choices



Seb froze, his pencil lead barely brushing the paper, listening to the footsteps cross the studio. A moment later, the side door opened and closed. He relaxed. Zain would look for him on the roof or up a tree first. Checking them all would keep him occupied for awhile — perhaps long enough for Seb to pull his thoughts together.

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When You Fall Like a Statue

lanai: veranda (Hawaiian)
habibi: my beloved (Arabic)
désolé: sorry (French)

Zain whistled “The Bare Necessities” as he took the final curve before their driveway. If he timed it perfectly, the song would end just as the break in the trees cleared the view to the ocean, stretching out from the low cement wall and strip of rocky beach at the edge of their backyard. He smiled when he saw it. Couldn’t beat that view in Hawaii, especially at the price Seb’s parents charged them for rent. He turned into the driveway and parked his Jeep behind Seb’s Fiat, getting out almost before the engine died and heading directly for the side door, to the small “ohana unit” they’d converted into a studio. Knowing his fiancé, that was where he’d be.

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Introducing Seb and Zain

picture of SebSébastien Leon McKenna Crews was born on February 18th, 1994 in Santa Cruz, California as the youngest of four children. He was bilingual from a very young age, thanks to his French-Irish mother, and often slips into French if he’s under great physical or emotional stress. Just after he turned seven, he began to rapidly lose weight and was constantly exhausted and thirsty. His parents took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and put on an insulin regimen. His parents worked hard to make sure he could do the same things his brother and sisters did despite his illness, but Seb still felt different and weak compared to them. Naturally introverted, he would disappear for hours at a time, usually to someplace high, and use art as a means to escape. He is talented, quiet, deeply spiritual, and self-conscious. When he was fourteen, he got a summer job at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, where he met Zain.

picture of ZainCorporal Zain Ayman Mohyeldin was born on April 4th, 1993 in Los Angeles, California as the oldest of three children. His parents were originally from Egypt, so he’s bilingual as well, in English and Arabic. The family moved to Santa Cruz when he was fifteen, where he immediately started working at the boardwalk. Seb became his first friend in town. At the end of the summer, Zain went to live with Seb’s family after telling his own he was gay. The attraction they had always felt towards each other led to a relationship. Joining the US Marine Corps was Zain’s childhood dream, but he decided he had already given up so much to be out of the closet, he didn’t want to go back in because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He waited to enlist until May of 2011, when he was 18 and after it was repealed. Still, he had to keep his sexuality a secret until the repeal went into effect in September of that year. In October, he was deployed for seven months to Afghanistan. When he returned, he was assigned to duty on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He is loyal, goofy, affectionate, and charismatic. Seb and he live off-base and are engaged to be married.

House in Hawaii (before remodeling)

Commitment Trilogy Extra

Quint’s POV during the fridge scene:

I have to admit that once I got over the shock, seeing Theo standing in all that mess was extremely amusing. But from the frustration in his voice, I knew that laughing or even smiling would, at best, result in him refusing to speak to me, and at worst would probably necessitate ducking a projectile. Theo’s sense of humor completely vanishes when he’s that angry, so I bit my tongue and used the trip to the dog crate to get my amusement under control.

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To Trust, Cherish, and Honor

Quint ambushed me. You can’t blame me for reacting defensively – that’s what you do when you’re ambushed. 

It was my last day of the semester, and my morning final had gone well. We had ice cream for dessert to celebrate, and I was actually in a good mood. Then, just as he started getting ready for bed, he said it.

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Doggone Holidays

Note: Starts at Thanksgiving and ends at Christmas, so it wraps around Give Me The News, Rally Rage, and part of To Trust, Cherish, and Honor.

“Look, Uncle Theo, it’s Santa!” Lyra cried, bouncing up and down beside me with excitement as the last float of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade rolled into view on the TV screen.

“I see him,” I told her.

Tyler, Ike’s ten-year-old nephew, rolled his eyes from the recliner and said, “Santa’s not real.”

Lyra rolled her eyes back at him. “Well, duuuh,” she replied. “I know Santa’s make-believe.”

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Rally Rage

We (or rather, Quint) turned down Ike and Zeggy’s invitation to dinner after the rally, and got home at about seven-thirty. Almost as soon as I took my shoes off, Quint said, “I want to discuss that incident.”

‘Discuss.’ Yeah, right.

“’You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means’,” I said acerbically, watching him hang up his coat.

“I mean ‘discuss’, Inigo. After that, we’ll see where we stand.”

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