The Spectacle of the Stage Makes it Hard to Look Away (Fanfiction)

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James is a magician. A pretty good magician, actually. He does simple, but very showy, tricks. Things like breathing fire, making it seem like he’s teleported, an advanced card trick involving planting a card on a volunteer seemingly without touching them. Stuff like that. It’s fairly simple fun, but Ron can’t really keep away. The spectacle of James’ acts keeps him tethered to the sight of the magician on the stage over and over and over again.

So, Ron watches, just as fascinated as the last time, as James takes a breath and then spews fire across the stage. Ron has no idea how the other man does it, how he creates the effect, and that is probably why he is still here, still watching. Maybe Ron wants to figure out James’ act, he’s not sure. All he knows, for absolute certain, is that he really really wants to talk to the magical man.

Applause from members of the crowd rings out, most especially from Ron, and James, from his place up on the stage, takes a bow. He waves at the crowd as he walks away and Ron can’t help but feel a little sad that he won’t see the other for at least a week. He had once been curious as to why the small theatre hosts the local magician so infrequently, since he brings in so many customers for them, and they had politely told him that hosting James’ show was, apparently , quite risky due to the kind of tricks he uses and thus not worth the possibility of danger to the building if they were to occur more often.

Ron sighs and stands up out of his seat, stretching out his arms and back before walking out of the theatre. As he walks, he wonders if James gets bored, or if the sight of the faces in the crowd was enough to keep him happy, like the sight of James’ performance was for Ron. Would he ever learn new tricks, or is he content with the tricks he has now?

He’s still musing when a hand grasps his shoulder and a very familiar voice speaks from behind him.

“Hey there, familiar face, where do you think you’re going?”

Ron startles and turns around, revealing that James is indeed the one who grabbed him, the other’s soft black gloves clashing with his slightly-different-but-not-the-same-colour black t-shirt.

“F-familiar face?” Ron asks quietly, just a little in awe at being so close to the magician.

James smiles. “I’ve been starting to recognize you in the crowd, because you come to so many of my shows.”

Ron feels himself flush a bit in embarrassment before muttering under his breath. “A-all of your sh-shows, actually.”

James’ eyes twinkle and his smile gets wider.
“Well, aren’t you just a super-fan,” he says.

Ron only nods in reply, feeling a little dumbstruck.

James offers his hand.

“As you may know,” he says, “I am James Schwartz. Local magician. I’d like to have a chat with you, if you wouldn’t mind.”

Ron blinks once before grabbing James’ hand with his own, shaking it a little limply.

“I’m, uh, I’m Ron Bauer, and uh…” he trails off a bit, caught just a little in James’ gaze. In the back of his mind Ron vaguely wonders if his inability to speak properly to the other was due to some idolization induced daze, and then promptly ignores that part of his brain because James asked you a question, you doofus!

Ron lets go of the glove-covered hand and then does his best to smile instead of staring blankly.

“I’d… I wouldn’t mind at all,” he ends up answering. “Chatting, that is.”

James’ smile somehow gets bigger before he seems to twirl around Ron, quickly grabbing him by the hand and leading him out the door.

“I hope you like burritos!” James says brightly, and all Ron can do in response is nod as he’s rushed down the sidewalk to an unfamiliar restaurant.

“So, what do you like best about my shows?” James asks when they finally sit down with their food.

“You,” Ron replies simply, before blushing all the way down to his toes.

Good lord, perhaps there was a bit more idolization at play than he realized.

James just laughs, the sound like music to Ron’s ears. Even if he wanted to Ron probably couldn’t have forced himself from smiling in response to the sound. So… perhaps more than just idolization was happening.

James’ laughter trickles down into giggles, and Ron just happily sits there, watching the other man exude pure amusement.

“Okay-okay, okay… okay…” James says, seemingly still calming down a little. “Here’s a better question. Do you think there’s anything I could improve? Since you’ve seen so many of my shows you must have an opinion.”

James smiles and Ron… actually thinks of an answer for that one. Was there anything that could be improved on in James’ show?
Ron takes in a small breath and opens his mouth.
“You could uh, you could maybe add a few tricks? Small things, so that your show isn’t the same every time? And repeat watchers will have less of a chance of being bored?” Ron says softly, his words sounding more like questions to him than the suggestions James was clearly after.

But the other just smiles, eyes sparkling once more.

“Thank you, Ron,” he says simply. “I may just do that.”

And with those few words Ron suddenly can’t wait for the next show.

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