It was a few days after James had indirectly given Jack the wooden rose, and it was a couple of days before James' final exam, and Jack's police training exam. Jack was pretty confident, but James' exam was the one he had been dreading the most - Math.
"I'm going to fail, Jack!"
"No you're not! Look, I passed, so it can't be that hard, can it?"
"Yes, it can be! You're good at math! I've been failing since whenever!"
They were sitting on their favourite bench in the park, but it was a cold, dreary day, and there were very few people around. No one of importance anyway. Their fingers were intertwined, warm skin on cold skin. Jack squeezed James' hand to try and comfort him.
"You're going to do fine, James. I know it."
James looked up at Jack, eyes filled with worry. Jack smiled and squeezed his hand again. James smiled weakly and looked at his lap. He stroked Jack's hand softly with his fingers. Jack shivered, tingling inside. He twisted the cold metal of his old tarnished ring around his finger. It had become part of him, stronium riddled with memories. An old friend had given it to him when he was about 5. From then on, it was like he had been born with it, as much a part of him as a finger or an ear. No one else saw the appeal of it, since it was crude and badly made, but to Jack it was worth more than the most expensive gold and diamond ring.
Jack looked at James, feeling his eyes on him. James' face was pinched with anxiety, brow furrowed. Jack hated seeing him like that. He leant over, and kissed him lightly on the cheek. James blushed and looked at his hand tangled in Jack's. Still nobody knew about them, and they both hoped it would stay that way. Like Jack said, they would have got looked at slightly differently in the changing rooms. James didn't care what people thought about him with Jack, but Jack knew that it would help them in the long-run if no one knew.
Jack twisted his ring round his finger one more time, then untangled his other hand and slipped the ring off. He pressed it into James' hand.
"Take it. It'll give you good luck."
James smiled, clearly moved by this gesture, "Of course it will. When I'm with you, I'm the luckiest person alive."
James did his exam, as did Jack. James passed with flying colours, much to his surprise. Jack became a fully-qualified police officer. James decided to train up to be a police officer, just like Jack. Of course, Jack made a few arrangements so that he was training James.
"Here's your ring back, Jack."
"No. When I said 'take it', I meant use it for luck, then keep it. Forever."
Jack rubbed his fingers over a ring almost identical to the one he gave to James. It was worn, and tarnished. He slipped it onto his finger, and suddenly he felt so much more like himself.