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22 November 2013 @ 08:42 pm
Fic: Two in a Can  
Title: Two in a Can
Author: [personal profile] storyfan
Pairing: Timothy/Donald — bookverse
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Rain spoils an autumn camping trip. Or, does it?
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: Donald and Timothy belong to Richard Stevenson.



I watched from behind the editorial page of the New York Times as Timmy paced between the kitchen and the bay window in the living room. He gazed at the sky, a frown marring his distinctive Irish features.

“Maybe it’ll stop raining soon.” He looked at me, his expression hopeful. “Maybe Teddy and John will still want to go.”

I folded the paper, running my finger along the crease. “Maybe Ned Bowman will put on a dress, too.”

Timmy slumped into his favorite chair. “I know. I was just really looking forward to this weekend. We haven’t been able to camp all year, and this is the last weekend the state parks will be open.”

It wasn’t exactly my fault, but it felt like I was to blame. I’d had a couple of lucrative cases that took all of September and most of October to close. I was gone through most of June and July, tackling a few cases for the Albany lawyers who provided the bulk of my yearly salary. It had been too damn hot to camp in August.

It was now the end of October. The color show was reported to be spectacular further north, we had reservations at our favorite state park, and our long-time pals had agreed to go with us. We were all set to go, but a heavy rain that started on Thursday night was still pouring down in buckets on Friday morning. The sky looked heavy and gray, and there was no sign of a letup.

My cell phone rang. I knew who it was before I had it out of my pocket.

“Hey, Teddy.”

“Hey, yourself. Me and John are gonna bow out of the trip. Even if it stops raining now, the campground will be soaked for days. We really don’t feel like hanging out in a wet tent all weekend, and I’m sure you guys don’t, either. Sorry, Don.”

“I don’t blame you.” I glanced at Timmy. He was staring out the window again. Teddy and I talked for a few more minutes. I told him maybe we’d get together for dinner soon and hung up the phone.

“You don’t have to tell me. They’re not coming.” He pushed himself out of his chair and sighed. “I’ll go fold the laundry. Might as well do something useful.”

I listened as he climbed the stairs, his footsteps slow and heavy. Timmy usually was able to see the bright side of any situation, but right now there wasn’t a silver lining in sight. I spent a half hour wracking my brain for something else we could do, but nothing compared to a fall camping trip. We’d been looking forward to getting out of the city, breathing some fresh air, and screwing in our tent. Timmy had bought a new air mattress for the latter purpose, in deference to our aging backs, and we were eager to give it a test drive.

Timmy came back downstairs and entered the living room, his face as long as an Easter Island statue. “I’m going to the Price Chopper to get something for dinner.”

“Okay.”

“I’ll probably go over to Sears, too. We could use some new sheets and towels.”

“Sounds like a plan. Want me to go with you?”

“I’m not very good company right now.” He leaned down to kiss my forehead. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

I sat there for a while longer. No bright ideas came to mind, so I turned on the TV. As I clicked through the channels, I wondered for millionth time why we paid for cable. There was nothing to watch. A Budweiser commercial caught my eye, so I watched that. I stayed tuned for the next ad, thinking it might be just as good, but it wasn’t. It was some local outfit selling recreational vehicles the size of the Washington Avenue Armory.

I couldn’t seen the point of dragging an RV to a campsite. Sure, they had all the amenities of home, but why not stay home in the first place?

Then it hit me. We could go camping and stay dry and warm at the same time.

I called Joanne Niven, a police sergeant who sometimes gave me inside information as long as I didn’t attribute it to her. We’d met at one of Timmy’s political functions where she told me how much she and her husband liked to go hunting and fishing. They had a vintage camper, and, with any luck, they wouldn’t be using it this weekend.

“I don’t have a scoop for you, Strachey,” she said before I could say hello. “I’m on vacation. I don’t care what you want; I’m not helping you.”

“Well, that’s a fine greeting. How do you know I want anything?”

“You always want something.”

“Well, you’re right. I want something.”

“What?”

“If you aren’t using your camper this weekend, I’d like to borrow it.”

She laughed. “I thought you and Tim were die-hard tent campers. You once said that anyone who uses a camper is recreating, not camping.”

“I know what I said, but I have to take it back. So, are you using your camper?”

“No, as it happens. We were supposed to take it out this weekend, but I don’t want to spend the entire weekend inside a canned ham, waiting for the rain to stop.”

“Can I borrow it?” I crossed my fingers. Joanne and her husband were devoted to their little camper, having rescued it from a junkyard right before it was about to be crushed. They’d spent a bundle remodeling it, and I’d never known them to lend their baby to anyone.

“Why?”

“I want to take Timmy camping. He’s been looking forward to it for weeks, but the rain put a damper on our plans, too.”

She cleared her throat. “Have you ever hauled a trailer, Strachey?”

I hadn’t. “Sure, a couple of times.”

“Why don’t I believe you?”

“Beats me.”

“Where would you be taking it?”

“That’s the good part,” I said. “I’d be taking it as far as my yard.”

She laughed so hard she snorted. “You’re camping in the yard? What are you, five years old?”

I glanced at my watch. An hour-and-a-half, give or take, and Timmy would be home. That didn’t give me much time to get things organized. “We’re reliving our lost youth. Can I borrow your camper or not?”

“Sure, as long as I drive it over there and pick it up. I don’t trust your hauling skills.”

“Fine. How soon can you be here?”

“Half hour, tops.” She laughed again. “Now, you owe me a favor, Strachey.”

“I know, and I’m already dreading it.”

She hung up, and I got busy implementing the rest of my plans.

*****
Timmy got home at noon. Prowling through Sears and the Price Chopper hadn’t lifted his mood, and neither had rearranging our linen closet to accommodate the new sheets and towels. I waited until he was in the kitchen, making lunch, to spring my surprise on him.

“What are you doing?” I asked as I came in through the back door.

He held up a large knife. “What’s it look like?” He started chopping celery. “Do you want egg salad or tuna salad to go with your tomato soup?”

“Neither. We’re having burgers on the grill. Grab your jacket and come outside and eat.”

He put down the knife. “The rain has stopped for now, but I’m sure it’ll start again before long. Let’s eat inside.”

“Outside,” I said and walked out the back door.

I was flipping the burgers for the final time when Timmy emerged from the house.

“Don, what—”

He walked down the back steps in a trance, his mouth slightly open, his blue eyes staring straight ahead.

“That’s JoAnne’s camper. What’s her camper doing here?” His gaze took in the kitschy tiki lights strung around the awning and the pink flamingos staked by the camper door. He turned to me. “What’s going on?”

I put down my spatula, took him in my arms and gave him a long, lingering kiss. “We’re going camping, Timothy. Right here on Crow Street. We’ll cook outdoors, sit around the campfire, and when it starts raining, we’ll climb inside the canned ham and do what comes naturally.”

His embrace took my breath away. “After all these years, you still surprise me, Don. I love you for that.” He gazed around our tidy campsite. “I love you for all this, too.”

“I had a little help. JoAnne stuck around long enough to hang the lights and set the timer and to show me how the furnace works. She said we could use the toilet in there, but I’d just as soon use our bathroom.”

“Good plan.” Timmy approached the camper and peeked through the screen door. “Who made up the bed?”

I put my arm around his waist. “I did.”

“Did you use the air mattress?”

I gave his left butt cheek a squeeze. “Let’s go in and find out.”

We maneuvered ourselves inside the camper, no easy feat for a couple of tall men. One thing led to another, and a half hour later we were curled up, warm, naked, and pleasantly exhausted, underneath a pile of blankets. A gentle rain pattered on the camper’s metal skin, a soothing sound that lulled us both to sleep for the rest of the afternoon.

When we woke up the tiki lights were on, setting the camper’s birch interior aglow. Timmy yawned and stretched. “We forgot about the hamburgers, and I’m starving.”

“The beauty of backyard camping is the ability to draw on civilization when you need it.” I fished my phone out of my jeans pocket and called Mizzoli’s, our favorite pizza joint. I ordered a large pie with the works and told the clerk to have it delivered to our backyard.

Timmy rolled on his stomach, leaned down and kissed me. “We should get one of these things. Then we can camp anytime we want.”

I kissed him back, taking my time about it. “What about our tent?”

He glanced at my groin and laughed. “Looks like you’re already pitching it.”

*****

It turned out to be a great weekend. True, the sun didn’t shine and it rained more often than it didn’t. We still managed to get a campfire going, and we took turns cooking on the camper’s three-burner stove. Timmy even baked a cake in the tiny oven.

Timmy gave the camper a last wistful look as JoAnne pulled it down the street. “I really like that thing, Don. Maybe we ought to get one.”

“Maybe we should. I have to admit it’s better than sleeping on the ground.” I leaned close and nipped his ear. “It makes for dryer fucking, too.”

Timmy chuckled and gave me a push toward the front door. “Let’s go look for canned hams on the internet. Afterward, if you’re good, I’ll make you a s’more on the kitchen stove.”

“Sorry you didn’t get to see the fall colors this year,” I said as Timmy sat down on the couch next to me with his laptop. “Next year for sure.”

“I’ve got you, Don,” he said as he began a google search for vintage campers. “That’s all the color I need.”

*****

Of late, I've become enamored of vintage campers, so much so that my spouse and I bought one. Ours isn't a canned ham, but here's a picture of one that's very cute.

 photo ham_zps3fc775cb.jpg

*Crossposted from Dreamwidth*