The Kindness of Strangers

~500 words :: Jude Law/Ewan McGregor :: 12/22/06
Lying face-down in the snow for what must be the fiftieth time today alone, Ewan finds himself beginning to question the wisdom of blowing his entire paycheque on a ski holiday in France when he can’t fucking ski.


Lying face-down in the snow for what must be the fiftieth time today alone, Ewan finds himself beginning to question the wisdom of blowing his entire paycheque on a ski holiday in France when he can’t fucking ski. It’s just that skiing had always looked so easy when he saw it on the telly.

Well, that and everyone had sworn there’d be loads of fit blokes to help take his mind off the breakup. And there are. Loads of fit straight blokes. He might as well have saved his money and gone home for Christmas, for all the good this trip has done him.

Ewan’s wallowing is cut short by a tap on the shoulder. “Need a hand, mate?”

“Um, no, thanks. I can…” He doesn’t need some stranger’s pity. After all, he’s had plenty of practise getting up, if nothing else.

He rolls onto his back, props himself up on one elbow and wipes his face off. He pushes his snow-caked sunglasses on top of his head and squints up at the guy, who is not only still standing there, eyebrows raised expectantly, but also quite possibly the best looking bloke Ewan’s seen since he got here.

Ewan grins. “Maybe I could do with a little help after all.”

“I’ve never seen anyone fall that many times,” the guy says, squatting down to straighten Ewan’s skis. “You going for a record?”

Shaking his head, Ewan laughs. The guy slides an arm around Ewan’s waist and Ewan grabs his shoulders. When he’s got his feet under himself, he lets the guy pull him up, half afraid he’ll bring them both tumbling down again. Other skiers zoom past on both sides, including a couple of kids who look barely old enough to walk, much less ski. The guy’s arm is still around him and Ewan wonders if he thinks Ewan can’t even stand on his own. He feels his face heat up and he bends to brush off his jeans, glad his cheeks are already red from the cold.

“I don’t think there’s a single bloke left who’s not seen me fall on my face. Or my arse.” He laughs again, and mentally cringes at the sharp, bitter sound that comes out. “So much for getting laid.”

“You think so?”

“I, well…”

The guy finally lets go, but only long enough to pick up Ewan’s ski poles, and then he’s steadying Ewan again, hand on the small of his back. Ewan is entirely too conscious of the fingers brushing the top of his waistband.

“Thanks,” he mutters, taking the poles. “I’m all right now, really.”

“Sure you don’t need help back to your room?” When Ewan looks up, the guy is grinning.

“Um.” Ewan swallows, mouth suddenly dry. He grins back. “Yeah, actually. Maybe I do.”