|MJ's a little (flirty) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2013-10-29 03:44:00
|Entry tags:||beast, cheshire cat|
Who: Daniel Webster & Lin Alesi
What: Daniel asks hard questions, Lin sits on him, part II of II
Where: noch der Dom
When: BACKDATED; after this
Warnings/Rating: Squirms, swears, impending snugs
The Consolation of Philosophy, Chaucer’s Middle English translation of the same, Boece, the tie-in to Ignatius J. Reilly that the original question had been asked in reference to, grotesque and picaresque leanings and outlines aside, were all complete thoughts on the frightfully layered tracks of Lin’s mind, waiting for the whistle to blow in the station. There was air traveling to rapidly inflating lungs and he had started to press perfect mass to the mattress to return to a sitting position. Even the proto-thought of reflexive comparison to Myrna was germinating in mental yeast. A lot was happening.—Everything shuddered to a stop with the conclusiveness of kismet circumstance (oxymoron? Yes), like a switch was thrown and power cut.
Lin blinked, obviously confused as to whether he ought comply with the beckoning or if resistance was a safe option. There was no suspicion evident on his face. His eyes didn’t narrow, but his attention did, it concentrated to a point, a search light aimed with full wattage on Daniel’s person folded neatly into the armchair. It flooded façade in a hunt for hidden footholds, cracks, anything that might offer a clue as to why, but there was nothing. The room around them was still black, as ever, dotted with the snowfall of white t-shirts and old books that were as much furniture as the bed itself. Everything breathed cold or breathed not at all. Everything was the same.
“Osmosis doesn’t work in humans, if that’s what you’re going for,” the boy said lightly as he slid to his feet. He did as he was told, coming closer, but only grudgingly, moving across the room like he was being dragged by the throat of his t-shirt. “To assume my knowledge as your own, you have to—” Conspicuous pause. “—either kill me and eat my brain—the whole thing—before autolysis beings. It’s a small window, I know, but, biologically speaking, you want cell structure intact for the full effect. Or, alternatively, you can sing Do-Re-Mi in your best Julie Andrews impression, pitch and all. It’s up to you.”
The bed was gone from underneath Lin. He stood before the chair as an expectant pupil before the teacher, only this student happened to just keep talking when he was nervous (and not). There was the short span of seconds or inches between the men, with Daniel inches lower, seated as he was, and Lin with his hands quickly slipped into pockets. The boy’s voice dropped to a classroom whisper and he bent at the waist, coming closer in exaggerated conspiracy.
“That’s how I did it,” he confided.
Daniel could be deep when he chose to be deep. He could reach down into who he was and seek darker things, use self-reflection to haul meaning out of nothing and weave it into a story interesting in enough levels to even capture Lin’s attention, for a short time. Daniel didn’t have that kind of time these days. He didn’t have the energy and he felt there was nothing he really deserved to tell. He wasn’t worth the telling. Indulging in the body, in total isolation, it was as close as Daniel could come up with for fitting punishment without actually confessing to anything or learning the full extent of what he was. Therefore, distraction. No need to be deep, and absolutely no self-reflection.
Daniel put out a hand, his left so that he would have the right with better control if he needed it, and leaned out to pull Lin nearer. He made no attempt for the precision necessary to grab a hand, but actually trusted that Lin would come nearer when he realized the intent of Daniel’s sweeping arm. “Lin, you idiot, what makes you think I need your brains? I have my own, and they aren’t much good to me. I bet I wouldn’t be able to remember any philosophy even if I wanted to.” This was blatantly untrue.
If unhindered, the arm made it around Lin’s waist, and Daniel put the laptop to one side so it was leaning between his hip and the arm of the chair, still warm from working electronics. “Come here,” he repeated. The blue eyes were not calculating anymore, but observant, more richly observant than inviting, though there was that, too. “I’ll let you tell me what the hell you’re talking about, if you’re good.” In this relationship, Daniel was not the teacher, and didn’t seek to be. Daniel had no knowledge he wished to pass on to anyone. What he had would and should die with him. He allowed Lin to have his little illusions, his bits of knowledge that were only to be sunk in a dark hole that would never become anything at all.
“You’re so fucking full of shit.” Like Daniel couldn’t remember fucking philosophy. Lin made a sound of disbelief as he pulled his hand from his pocket to take the one offered. He didn’t think about it. For better or worse, the boy was particularly susceptible to personal gravity. He was easily swayed from orbit and just as easily jolted back, depending on the body he might be near (and its emotional mass?). It was why he walked close, sat close, did everything close, if it was an option. In some small sliver of sense, it was conscious—he was aware of what he was doing and did it happily and selfishly—but mostly it amounted to the simple chaos of physics. He liked to be near people. So he was. It just so happened that Daniel had enough gravity to turn Lin away from his own quasi-masturbatory thoughts, from the self-referential infinity that tripped on and on, down the cerebellum and out like lightning, to maybe make the boy shut the fuck up for like, five seconds, even if only out of destructive, Nietzschean curiosity.
Plus, he thought being called an idiot was endearing.
He dutifully came nearer as the arm circled his waist, wary in the way of prey of the sober observance apparent in the blue eyes, because he was a scientist and he knew that fucking look. He knew what it meant, or thought he did. He’d given it to how many samples of bone over the years? (With less of that inviting bit, probably. But who could say? The lab got weird.) Momentum carried him nearer still, until knees touched, and then nearer. Lin placed himself on Daniel’s lap, sideways, legs over the chair’s arm, not careful about his weight, because sometimes gravity meant collision and collision meant craters, and that was just how the fuck it went. It, uh, built character (and sometimes, with enough friction, spawned life in a vast sea that boiled where it sat (so not an intentional metaphor for procreation, but fuck)). And because he wanted to and he could.
The man was warm. Well, maybe he wasn’t really, but relative to the nothingness Lin had been living with, dude was almost on fire, sun in the blood, heat felt on arms through t-shirt. Lin couldn’t stop himself from seeking it out and he drew closer and smaller, sharp shoulder to Daniel’s chest. His ear met the extension of clavicle wicked out high from sternum. Was it comforting? He chose not to decide. He let his mind linger on points of contact and warmth and let that lead him, rather than his so-called feelings.
Lin put a finger to Daniel’s jawbone and tapped. He could feel his own voice as it vibrated outside of him, through the meat of the man he was on top of and back, changed. “I believe this is the part where I contradict you and tell you that I’m always good, motherfucker.”
Daniel slid back on his chair a little to accommodate the new weight but he still made an amused sound that was half-exhale at the new impact. He left his arm under the small of Lin’s back for a moment, repositioning his hips so the bony edges of hip weren’t digging into his stomach. He was smiling the ice chip of a smile, the one with hard edges and unexpected gleams, and his expression was interested. He’d never had a man on his lap before, and he wasn’t precisely sure what to do, but he and Lin were alone in the room and nobody was going out that door just like nobody was coming in. Daniel tried to avoid thinking about being alone after that fact settled in.
Daniel let Lin preoccupy himself with the rough jawline while he pushed restless fingers under a hemline and along the flat of Lin’s stomach. He watched what he was doing with idle interest, fingertips warm from where they had pressed against the keys. “Go ahead and say it, if it makes you feel better.” Daniel twisted again and pulled at Lin’s body to haul him a little closer before relaxing again, this time his left hand was free and he propped it on its elbow against the arm of the chair behind Lin’s head.
After a moment Daniel spoke again with the air of starting a new topic, dangerously conversational, little melodic clips shorting out the end of his words like the chirrup of birds. “What do people say to you, once they get you in bed? About how you look. You know, the good bullshit things people say.” Daniel’s fingers went up the inside of Lin’s hip, tracing the bone pressing against the skin there. The blue eyes flicked over and down to Lin’s face. “Something about your skin, maybe. Eyes?” The ice chip smile was melting into slick smoothness, creasing a little deeper, as if Daniel was watching something exceptionally entertaining, and he didn’t want to ruin the ending.
Lin didn’t need to say it. The spontaneous generation of thought spun off in his mind as a fractal curve, a Koch snowflake, self-reiterating infinitely; to truly be contrary he would have to contradict the contradiction, as perfunctory action was, while technically opposition, staged, and that contradiction, which, if it was defined as something opposing another, would need contradicting, unless contradiction was a constant state, but that couldn’t be, because then it wouldn’t be contradictory, and on and on. (Somewhere, the Cat was grinning like the madman he was.) Since he didn’t feel like going through infinite repetitions of the shit, since talking actually was seeming less appealing the longer he sat, he just smiled in a rare moment’s quiet. He slipped an arm around the back of Daniel’s neck to keep himself steady as the man shifted him tectonically.
The bubble burst. The quiet was punctured by the needled sides of the Daniel’s glacial smile, a pretty thing with a terrible bite, and the suck of air needed to introduce a new topic. Lin was briefly baffled as he’d been content to allow thoughts to recede into recesses where the light wouldn’t hit them until tomorrow, but his brain fired back into action as the queries posed demanded some manner of answer.
The boy was too warm to be overly suspicious. He looked at the silhouette of Daniel’s jaw, down his nose, to his lips, then rebounded back to his eyes. Lin raised his eyebrows, his own fingers hooking into the material of Daniel’s lived-in shirt on the shoulder opposite, just in case he was soon to be ejected. (He wasn’t so warm as not to consider that a possibility.)
Lin lightly touched the pink skin of Daniel’s lips where the bastard smile sat. His expression fuzzed to something thoughtful, eyelashes out of focus like kohl smeared around dark eyes.
“Aspasia,” he said after a few seconds, his attention returning to the present with a black bloom of pupils. A coquettish smile was flashed at Daniel in fullness. “I think that was my favorite comparison. Pretty, witty, gay. I can get behind it.”
After a brief, ice pick second where Daniel thought Lin had said “aphasia,” which made no sense even in Lin’s typical conversation, Daniel slowly shook his head at the very idea of using some dead Greek as a compliment. He didn’t know who came up with it and he could see why Lin would like it--if Lin was telling the truth, which wasn’t really certain. He thought that Lin must like compliments about his intelligence, about obscure languages (literature, knowledge, much the same) that no one else knew. Daniel used to like those things.
Daniel sighed and let his head fall back against his chair. His fingers stopped progressing, but he left them there against Lin’s skin, four light weights of slight height, like steam fingerprints on a mirror. Daniel tried to imagine Lin as a woman, and could not. He tried to imagine a woman under his hand, and could not. The reality of the situation remained. Daniel felt no change. The intellectual reality seemed to have no emotional effect. Fuck, he was tired of being sober.
“I could say nice things about you. Maybe lies, maybe not.” Daniel closed his eyes as he spoke. “Aren’t you afraid,” he said, in quiet, even gentle tones (a sure sign of danger), “that nothing I say really matters, because there’s nothing to compare it to, just you and the cat and the four fucking walls?” Daniel had more walls than that, but his metaphor was clear.
Of fucking course Lin liked compliments about his intelligence. His entire identity (as he saw himself especially) was built around being smart and being quote-unquote funny, like scaffolding over two towering traits, arranged in skinny boy-shape; they were his foundation of esteem, healthy or not (A: not). He’d been tiny, an inconsequential thing, who’d managed to establish his humanity only by the constant assertion of his intellect and (coughsuperiorcough) absurdist humor that... generally appealed only to himself. Certainly he was intelligent and he could be funny, but neither was the end all, be all of his worth as he so often felt and as he so often said, in a flash of silver-tongued quipping or a need for recognition.
But when it came to compliments related to sex, why the fuck would he want to hear about his brain or wit? Even Lin didn’t need that. The only shit he wanted to get about his tongue would be in relation to fucking sucking someone off, not in how quick he was with a comeback. Had he actually been called “like Aspasia”? Yes. Once. While maybe a little bit high. He’d liked it. Mostly because Aspasia was a whore. And Greek. But, ...mostly a whore. The usual brand of compliment was more run-of-the-mill.
“Generally speaking, creativity aside, I hear about how good I am at sucking cock and shit like that, about my lips or smile or whatever,” he said offhandedly in the blink of quiet, offering something less abstracted—he didn’t know why; some wildly misplaced desire to not be misunderstood, probs—just before Daniel spoke again. Lin squirmed under the fallen soldiers of blunt fingers where they lay against his skin in their sudden death. Whatever the stalling was, he didn’t like it. He knew thoughts were ticking away behind the reflective blue of Daniel’s eyes, from the stillness there, and he wasn’t sure what they were or how to react. Things were changing and he didn’t know what or why. It made him uncomfortable. He fidgeted.
The quiet cadence of Daniel’s speech had the boy momentarily captivated, still where he was, a freezing of muscle and mind. He blinked, once, twice, three times. The forwardness of the question was not something he’d anticipated, —but there really was no preparation for the dude’s sober mind, as much of a stranger as it was to Lin.
The boy’s expression flat-lined. He saw the danger apparent in the question posed—boy, did he fucking ever, his hair was practically on end—and he kicked it in the face. Metaphorically. There was panic, but it was smothered. Metaphorically. Lin looked at the walls, then Daniel, his face blank, complex complexion steamrolled into nothingness.
His grip tightened on the man’s shoulder in preparation for the impending (r)ejection, his smile was smug.
“You’re a writer. I don’t think anything you say matters, regardless,” Lin chirruped.
Daniel opened his eyes, but with minimal effort. He slid a half inch down the chair, pressing his spine flat under Lin’s weight but making no attempt to push him off. The result was a sliver of ice under a fringe of mink lash, the glint the perfect likeness of amusement, if only he had smiled as he looked down. Daniel knew all about Lin’s humor and his comfortingly superior intelligence. Daniel sometimes wished he was stupid enough to miss what was in his own reflection, but in some ways Lin’s behavior was so transparent that the silver glass might as well be set up between them. Sobriety made the glass all the more transparent.
Daniel lifted his hand slightly as Lin slithered around on his lap, and if possible his eyes squeezed even smaller, his expression faintly feline, while nothing else about him came close to a cat’s surly grace. Now he said, “Do you like compliments like that, physical ones? Let’s say I’m a writer, and say you like the compliment... whatever I happen to come up with. Aren’t you afraid that nothing I say really matters because there is nothing to compare it to?” His cadence perfectly matched the statement before, as if Lin had never attempted to avoid a real answer, but had simply asked him to repeat the question. Somehow Daniel managed a perfect echo without apparent effort.
Daniel watched Lin’s gaze dart around the room as if looking for escape, and made no comment. Lin’s attempt at controlling his expression didn’t work on Daniel, because the expenditure of effort was like a red flag in and of itself. Daniel’s blue eyes came wide again, as if Lin had done something particularly captivating under a microscope slide. His hand came down flat again on Lin’s skin above his hip, and four fingers slid up the warm line of Lin’s waist while Daniel’s thumb came all the way flat over the center of his stomach. The gesture came extremely close to petting, and stopped short because Daniel did not repeat the motion. Instead he applied pressure with his palm, as if to push Lin farther down into his lap, not hard but inexorable, constant. He didn’t blink.
Lin felt very much like he was being interviewed for some really fucking weird job that involved him just receiving precise, carefully edited compliments for eight hours straight, while sitting on the CEO’s lap, and the CEO was made out of ice that was kind of melting (which actually sounded pretty okay, sans ice, now that he thought about it, especially if the CEO was an attractive man). And here he’d forgotten to wear his best kicks to make a good impression. Honestly, he didn’t know why Daniel insisted on continuing with the line of questioning—he had a couple guesses—, but he didn’t resist, which was perhaps unlike him, but cut him some slack. Time alone did strange things to boys like Lin—like make them much more malleable and obedient, like make them seek comfort in those who did not wish to (or could not) give it.
He rubbed at his nose with the back of his hand as he thought, ever wary of the feline slit of those stupid blue eyes, with pupils cut serpentine. The perfect echo, that melody of words that had stilled him before like the Pied Piper and his rats, proved as eerily enchanting as before. Lin breathed slowly and his brown eyes warmed.
“Hella duh. Why wouldn’t I like them?” He asked with complete naivete and a profound lack of irony, leaving his words blue-blooded in the careful black of the room. Any compliment was a good compliment as far as he was concerned. Sure, he could probably come up with some counter-examples, but he wasn’t about to think about the shit that hard. If someone told him he had a nice ass, you know what, he didn’t look at his ass and say no, he said, yeah, girl. Fuck yeah. And then he’d shake it like a polaroid picture circa 2007.
Lin was compressed by the heat of the hand on his stomach with a pleasant tingling spreading out from the epicenter. He was slowly sinking into the pit that was Daniel. Again the boy’s grip tightened, but instead of going rigid, and instead of pushing back, he came in closer, tucking his nose against the shadows and crook of the man’s neck. He stayed there, breathing in the musk of white skin.
“Look, when a fucking tree falls in the forest—you know that bullshit pseudo-philo-fucking-sophical line about ‘does it make a sound, if no one’s around to hear’?” Lin’s words, rounded English, peppered with his usual expletives, weren’t spoken loudly, but they were clear in that room. They were bossy. His breath fell on Daniel’s neck. His eyelashes tickled bare skin. “Do you think the answer is yes? Like, let’s remember, sound is vibration. It’s the oscillation of pressure through a medium. It is defined as being within audible frequencies. Does someone, or something who can hear within this frequency range, need to be around for the pressure changes to quote-unquote count as having occurred? Do you think witness is necessary? Does something have to exist that says, ‘yeah, girl, this is so’ for it to be fucking so?”
The air caught in Lin’s throat as his words stopped, just as quickly as they started, a torrent of lateral thought. He lifted his head to look at Daniel. The man didn’t blink. Lin’s eyes practiced their own split-second dip to lips, the sort of straying glance that occurs when there’s nothing else but eyes to look at. The boy forced them back up, to meet the unwavering gaze, and peaked his eyebrows in question.
It could be that Daniel enjoyed making Lin squirm a little bit. Daniel enjoyed making people in general squirm, he liked to imagine people dancing to his tune, and if they refused and stood outside with hostile signs, well, at least they were paying attention to him. Daniel in his past life had used his incendiary little articles to start political fires and get under powerful skins. He wasn’t influential enough for anyone to actually take action, nor annoying enough to silence, but he had just enough sting to make people uncomfortable. It helped that Daniel’s work was often displayed in the opinion column, and his enemies had a difficult time pinning down his influences in his other work. He was slippery that way, slippery and mean. Like ice.
Daniel smiled at Lin’s enthusiastic appreciation for physical commentary. Some people could not take a compliment, but that was clearly not one of Lin’s failings. Instead Daniel wondered if such compliments did anything to really sink through and reassure Lin about his value. Perhaps the compliments were just drops of water that rolled right off that golden skin, and Daniel could imagine that, as if Lin was covered in oil.
Now he blinked. Heavily. His head tipped slightly to one side against the weight of Lin’s head on his collarbone. “You’re missing the point of the question,” Daniel said, imagining tall oaks crashing into deciduous underbrush the way he always did when he thought of this philosophical question. “It’s not about sound waves, Lin.” The hand at Lin’s waist shifted, a little tentatively at first, and then reached up so the back of Daniel’s fingers slid down over the tendons that came up the side of Lin’s neck. “A witness is necessary because otherwise nobody gives a fuck what happens to the goddamn tree.”
Daniel pulled his hand away abruptly and his voice became dangerous and gray. “Get up. I’m tired. We can play after I sleep and have a drink. I’ll let you earn a couple compliments.” He tried to sit up.
Lin did not get up and he did not let Daniel sit up—not once the man’s voice shifted gears without thinking of the clutch at all. The boy himself was not, generally speaking, slippery and mean like ice. (Maybe kind of slippery, especially when warm. Like... uh, butter. Hell, it was as good a metaphor as any.) But, right now, with the retraction of the hand, even from where it met his neck, and the close attention, both sudden and unexpected, he was less like butter and more like an irritated boy in a man’s lap. The rigidity of stubbornness contracted muscles and Lin pushed himself upright; his genial expression of explanation went unimpressed, and he did not budge. Whatever malleability he’d had, warm and comfortable as he was, was gone.
“Wait, wait. So the fuck what if no one cares?” Demanding in tone, the question was still one he wanted an answer to. Lin shifted atop Daniel’s thighs, removing his anchoring arm, so he could more fully face the man, so he could square his shoulders with Daniel’s own. He gave up a sureness of position for the inherent precariousness of open air and cliff of knees, propping himself up with a hand curled around the chair’s arm and an elbow locked. His free hand gestured sharply in the little space between them. “Anyway, the shit that the tree supports fucking care.”
He was poised to continue. But he didn’t. There was a pause as the boy considered the question a second time, pretending, just for a second, that he was missing the point, that maybe it wasn’t a philosophical exploration of man’s relevance. Brown fingers caught the chest of Daniel’s shirt like a kitten with his claws, firmly, another attempt on Lin’s part to secure himself from falling onto his ass, as he so often did when the dude pushed him off of furniture. (This was like a running theme, wasn’t it? That couldn’t be good. He’d would need to just start sitting only on the floor. Then the dick would have nowhere to push him to.)
It occurred to him, after a significant delay, that he was supposed to say yes, that it did bother him, that he needed recognition outside of the walls of the Dom for any of it (defined as ...any interaction?) to have substance beyond a conveniently located fuck. He was supposed to say he needed something to measure against to have a standard of reality at all.
Lin didn’t like doing what he was supposed to. Not when Daniel took his hand away like that. Dick.
“You want me to say yes?” He blinked and huffed a lock of black from his forehead. The storm brewing on the drained front of his face cleared, inexplicably. He smiled. “Are you asking me on a date? Because, if you are, you’re not doing a very good fucking job.”
Daniel stared at Lin with three faces. The first one was purely surface, and blatantly so. It was confused and innocent and Daniel was using it to pretend they were talking about a fucking tree in a wood and nothing more interesting than that. This face was diverted, tired, faintly amused, and held all the general earmarks of Daniel playing with his food. The second face was bleak, not tired but exhausted, defensive and vaguely belligerent, the Daniel that shoved Lin off of furniture to force him back. The third was obscured, as it always was, filled with Daniel’s unmoveable thoughts and indescribable moods, all of it spun from abandonment and intentional separation.
“The shit the tree supports,” Daniel repeated, shaking his head as if this was a newer, dumber bit of nonsense that even he could not expect it. Daniel took a careful breath, then let it out. “Like… roots. Squirrels?” More dangerous blue gleams and cloudy thin ice, all of it old news, some of it dulled by energy and time. He was going to shower but he might drown himself by accident, at this rate. “You’re reading too much into all this. I was just asking because I was curious about you, not because I wanted to play Socrates.”
Daniel lifted up both newly freed hands and scrubbed them through his hair, scratching at his eyebrows and getting tangled in the mess of curls. At the unexpected suggestion of a date, Daniel dropped both hands and gave Lin a look of combined switchblades and fire alarms. “Date? No, I’m not fucking asking you on a date. I don’t date.” Daniel stared at him. “Neither do you, do you.” He did not allow his intonation to rise with the question.
Lin grinned at the response garnered from his pointed question, unabashed in his enjoyment of Daniel’s irritation, from the look on ice-chipped face that threatened ugly, bloody murder (DATES. SO HORRIBLE. Might as well slaughter the world), to the way he couldn’t even bring himself to blink, so unthinkable was the playfully offered suggestion. The boy was delighted too in earning Daniel’s simple annoyance, only because it was more comfortable. It wasn’t a difficult feat, no, but he was much more used to handling people who showed him a general dislike and mild tolerance (which he did with apparent glee, to frustrate them further), than answering questions he didn’t know what to do with, or that he didn’t understand the reasoning behind. Anyway, to get annoyed, one had to care, at least a little bit, right? So there was that too.
The date question was timed and lobbed with precision. It was one Lin liked to play when he felt there was too much tension or seriousness building in a given conversation. It was an automatic ‘get out of jail free’ card. It derailed shit just enough to puncture the pressure that gathered behind eyes and pushed. At least for Lin.
“I—” He began with a sly smile and a slick of sharp, black eyes, puckish as fuck, as if he was about to say something especially clever. He ignored the expression that told him he was about to find the Dom’s ground, shrouded as it was in books of unknown origin and the extremely mysterious and cryptic mists of, shit, Daniel’s past or whatever, any second now. He clenched the shirt tighter in his fist. “Do what I want.”
There was neither honesty nor dishonesty in his reply, as it was hardly a reply at all. It the deployment of a stock phrase. Lin did do what he wanted, when he could, but he’d dated in the past and probably would in the future. He’d been with Aubrey for four years, hadn’t he? Plus, it was moot. Because he hadn’t asked in any sort of earnestness, and because of that, Daniel received none from him.
“You’re so fucking easy to annoy,” Lin said with obvious fondness, knowing his time was nearing. His muscles began tensing in anticipation of being thrown. He drew himself closer, until there was only an approximation of an inch between them. His voice was low with warning. He smiled very seriously. “If you push me off, you fuck, I’m taking you down with me.”
The weeks behind Lin soaked into some chamber of his mind he roamed to only occasionally, the place with the dragon bones and the eyeless that watched. Lin was feeling better already.
Daniel was easy to annoy. Most people were. Daniel, rotating as he was in the center of his own private universe, where the dark was complete and the distraction of neighboring stars comparatively small, had an easy gravity to interrupt. All it took was one unexpected addition, a small rock to push things out of alignment. One could not discount Lin’s skill at being annoying, though. Daniel almost smiled, but he shored up that crack fairly quickly, saving it from exposure just in time.
This shirt was tougher than most of Daniel’s wardrobe, and Lin effectively trapped Daniel’s arms with the bunch of fabric drawing in at the center of his chest. Daniel twisted a little uncomfortably, but made no immediate attempt to break the grip. He let Lin do what Lin wanted to do, and he was aware that Lin had a general understanding of life in this apartment that was strangely limitless, considering the number of thick walls and closed doors. Once again, he did not immediately argue.
Lin’s whispered warning managed to break through Daniel’s train of thought entirely. He laughed out loud, quick and so rusty that the first millisecond didn’t have any sound to it at all. He brought his own hands up over Lin’s shoulders, caught hold of his shirt, and then gave him a predictable shove backward off the chair. He quite willingly went over with him, because Lin was going to be cushioning the fall. Lucky boy.
Lucky indeed. The floor was kind enough to break Lin’s fall, coming to his aid as it had so many times in the past, when he’d succumbed to the reality of gravity. It was served underneath him, hard and cold through cushionless, plain t-shirt and with a sudden suck of air from lungs. His eyes rattled in their sockets at the impact, black and bright and wide, because no matter how fucking prepared you thought you were, muscles wrapped like oiled wool over wire and senses sharp as balls, there was no bracing for the actual, resounding meet of spine—or, perhaps more accurately in this case, coccyx, then spine—and book-littered carpet.
He hadn’t even had a chance to relish in the victory of having made an eternal grump laugh or to smile at the reach of hands on his shoulders before he’d gone crashing down, breaking his crown, with Daniel tumbling after. It was over before he understood the cut behind that laugh, and the man’s intent to take him up (and then down) on the baritone threat. Predictable? Yes. But also really fucking fast. (Lin hadn’t been chillin’ with so-called “real people” for a few weeks. His reaction speeds were considerably slowed. Give him a break.)
Lin made a small sound (”oof!”) of surprise, muffled as the other man’s weight dropped atop him. The air deflated from his lungs then, leaving him breathless. It didn’t really hurt, the fall. Like, yeah, his ass kind of requested that if he was going for a “pounding” effect, to maybe try a more pleasurable avenue, and his elbows reddened from a scrape of carpet. but he’d had worse falls tripping over his own feet. Once he’d gone all the way down an escalator, dressed, as historically accurate as possible, as Jesus.
Plus, now Daniel was on top of him and that made up for whatever coccygeal discomfort.
Lin’s smile was immediate, once his breath returned, it was a thing electric, resurrected, a messiah, a jump of a spark on lips. He unwound his fists from the starch of the man’s shirt and let palms move up, to lead the snaking of arms around neck to drag Daniel down. He managed to force his knee between the man’s legs, enough to place a foot on the ground to use as support, and he lifted himself, using Daniel as a foundation, of course, the few centimeters necessary to close the space between them. The smile went black and there went his switch.
“Lie to me,” urged the boy with some deviousness. He pressed close, still a little breathless. It was no demand. It was a taunt, teasing. He employed the full character of Being A Little Shit While Giving Bedroom Eyes to the best of his (considerable) ability. “There’s no yardstick for comparison. Go on. Tell me you want to fuck me.”
Lin’s lashes were low in an obscene mockery of modesty. He moved like beads of mercury, dipping in silver, lips parted only slightly, as if to kiss the man, before he tipped his chin back and let the drunk go. He fell back to the floor with another knock to the lungs.
The switch was thrown again. His body went from feline languor to live wire in seconds. Lin grinned winningly. He pinched low on Daniel’s abdomen. Not hard, but enough. He did not consider the potential effects of his words in the least.
“I say we should just call the visit to the Burger King ball-pit the date. We can bring candles. Two birds, one romantic, likely syphilitic stone.”
And with those romantic words and all the frenetic energy of the lost and found, he pulled the man on top of him down by the ring of his collar.