|MJ's a little (flirty) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2014-02-03 02:06:00
There had been a bit of suspicious eyeing in the beginning, a lot of up-and-down looks, trying to make sense of the garish boy with the flickering trickster grin and that shade of the eccentric, the man with the blue eyes and the snarl who walked on marble floors barefoot. It was professional deduction, of course, an endeavor to keep tenants safe. It was certainly nothing so low as gossip. There had been many watchful eyes stooped on slim shoulders as they came and went (and the boy with them) day after day, with a lived-in regularity. But now, after some months, the unusual had lost its prefix and thus its draw. Lin was usual. Still garish and still smiling, yes, but expected.
The concierge, the evening one, still couldn’t put the pieces together to the (extremely professional) puzzle of boy and man, and he was still suspicious of the whole thing, but he gave a courteous, customer service-oriented nod as Lin lugged his stupid purple bag over the threshold, where the still-sun-warm air of Vegas stopped dead. And he still offered to take the bag up or assist the struggling boy in some way; his lips remained too firmly pressed together when he was referred to as ‘girl’ and ‘bro’ in quick, slang-hackneyed succession. The concierge placed himself back behind the safety of his desk and did not watch as Lin thrust himself and his bag into the elevator and waved at him girlishly, with only the tips of fingers, and he did not listen to the spill of Top 40 pop from Pop-Tart headphones wrapped around skinny brown neck.
Lin himself thought nothing of the interaction. There were other things on his mind. One was the fate of his nail polish, as evidenced by the irritated flare of eyebrows and anxious roll of feet from heel to toes on the smooth floor of the lift. The boy was also travel-worn, tired of being dressed in the forcibly muted colors such required (so as not to be “randomly selected” for a bag search, of course, because boys in pink are almost always carrying WMDs or illegal gay drugs). Fucking taupe and ‘90s-desert-palette green were not his colors. They washed him whiter than he was, taking the sun from his skin, and made him feel fucking… bland, like he had the personality of white bread soaked in milk and mayo, which was just disgusting.
He was frowning at the thought, at the feel of it on his skin, as he pushed his way into cold conclave of the Dom.
Daniel hadn’t been lying about cooking. The stale air inside was heavy with tomato and spices.
Quickly, Lin discarded his bag, as he had the day Ian had sent him crawling to the place, in search of sanctuary, though the symmetry was lost on the boy. He tugged his headphones free and tossed them, still connected to his phone and pumping the velvet verve of Ella Fitzgerald (not Top 40 pop, asshole concierge), onto the lump of his luggage. He navigated deeper into the belly of long-dead Monstro and his teeth of first editions.
“Dickhead,” he called sweetly, channeling a ruder, gayer Ricky Ricardo. “I’m home.”
Daniel didn’t need to be entirely sober to cook, and he wasn’t. He was just drunk enough to recall Carlita’s recipe, the words she whispered in his ear when she taught him how to use it, but not so drunk that the memory caused him any more pain than usual. He was not in Italy, and no ghosts were murmuring in his ear. He was in Vegas, he was waiting for Lin, and he was cooking pasta.
After the long stint with sobriety, Daniel had hit the bottle so hard he hadn’t surfaced out of the whiskey sleep until days later, and if pressed he probably couldn’t have given the number of days before he was suddenly floating on a haunted boat in the hotel’s annual twisted little torture. Daniel had been vaguely aware that Halloween was approaching the same way he was vaguely aware of the seasons, information generally delivered daily with the newspapers. He hadn’t been sober enough to work up any appropriate dread, but fortunately in the aftermath of this particular event he was relatively cheerful.
His last version of himself experienced courtesy of the hotel (and still obviously favored by the oblivious Sam as some kind of ever-available confidant) had made him want to buy a gun and make things permanent. This time Daniel simply felt exhausted by the party the same way he was exhausted whenever he left the apartment, no worse and no better. People made Daniel tired, but Shakespeare made him happy. ...Also vaguely horny, which he was not sure how to handle, given that Lin was absent and also given that Lin, when present, insisted on being male and more of a challenge than Daniel felt absolutely necessary.
Daniel had his ass against the counter next to the stove, where Carlita’s sauce was simmering in a silver saucepan. The water for the pasta was boiling, but he didn’t drop in the pasta until he heard the elevator chime, and by the time Lin made an appearance in the kitchen, Daniel had his glass in hand and he was watching the white cat streak toward the door to welcome Lin back into his domain. Daniel thought that cats were supposed to be aloof, but so far this one insisted on acting like a friendly dog.
Daniel folded his arms and turned his head toward the door. The blue eyes were relatively clear; he had showered recently, and he was wearing that old gray sweatshirt from a college life long before. “You worried about your chemical colors?” Daniel asked, not bothering to hide a grin. He hadn’t touched a single bottle of Lin’s precious nail polish, and they were probably still distributed all over the apartment.
Lin rubbed heat into the bare skin of his upper arms with vigorous palms, connected like jumper cables to an engine, to acclimate himself to the new-old cold. He walked. His mind was moored in the quiet harbor of exhaustion, bobbing uselessly, idly, straying only to touch on the nail polish another time or two. His eyes had been dragging dark across the shuff of carpet until it gave way, like an ocean to an ice floe, to a slick of baroque tiles. The boy looked up at the breakaway to catch QP skittering toward him with an aim to loop around skinny ankles until he was either pet or played with.
The kitten was given an immediate, affectionate scratch behind the ears by unadorned nails. Lin smiled. He was about to squat to indulge in a bit of playtime when he was distracted.—Daniel was there, by a pot that was bubbling and steaming like an old witch’s cauldron, with a deviously amused expression on his stupid face that said that he very well could be adding toad’s toes and nightshade to whatever ill he was brewing, that said he very well could be attempting to poison one attractive boy with a girl’s name.
Lin remained in the doorway a moment, back on heels. He examined the soft gray sweatshirt and the man’s crown of shower-wispy curls, pleased to see them both, and pleased to see Daniel was alive. He let his hands drop to his sides and came closer, as if drawn by the heat of the stove.
“No,” he lied. The boy brushed against Daniel to peek into the pot. Noodles felt the brunt of molecular physics. Lin wrapped his hands around the bar for opening the oven door and, with a careful distribution of weight, balanced on his heels again, moving to lean back just enough to smile coquettishly at Daniel. He tipped his temple against the man’s shoulder. “I know you’re not so dumb as to tempt my very creative revenge.”
Daniel didn’t bother moving aside for Lin, allowing the smaller man to push him aside with a casual but very visceral pleasure. Daniel liked getting in the way of people attempting to do something important with their day, and he liked making them push him aside, not unlike the white cat attempting to pounce Lin’s heels as the pasta was examined. The vicious burble of steam billowed upward, infusing the air around them with the starch smell of boiling pasta. Daniel’s expression sobered somewhat as he detected the fatigue in Lin’s eyes and posture, his notice blunted by the whiskey but present. He looked him over, noticing the wash of green and lack of color. To Daniel, it looked like Lin had recently put on a costume with no joy, like Halloween backwards.
“You didn’t just go for a walk,” Daniel said, with the distanced air of someone who barely noticed the seasons and had no first-hand experience of the sun rising and falling in the red desert outside his windows. “You went somewhere.” Daniel put one hand up, slid one hand along the side of Lin’s neck, and curved until he caught a few thick curls at the base of the boy’s skull. (He was still unable to decide whether Lin was man or boy, and the chosen interpretation of Lin’s existence shifted based on how much he’d had to drink and Lin’s general behavior in the moment.) Daniel pulled Lin aside a little bit, easy because Lin had tipped his head, and craned his neck around Lin’s shoulder to get a glimpse of the discarded purple bag.
The pressure on Lin’s neck eased and then evaporated as Daniel let him go, and he turned his veiled blue eyes to Lin’s dark ones. “Where did you go?” he asked, more bluntly now. He did not make it an accusation, though it was a near thing, and he did a good job of avoiding any obvious desperation. The idea that Lin might walk out and never reappear put cold rocks down the bottom of Daniel’s stomach, and his jaw rolled under the small, stubborn set of his mouth as he thought of it. “You weren’t at the Halloween thing. You were out of the city limits.” Daniel’s brows sketched upward, and he pushed the way a reporter would push, as if he had a pen ready to plunge down onto a page.
The boiling water worked itself into a white-whipped frenzy over the coils on the stove, like a Precambrian sea bent on abiogenesis (next gravitational sorting and mantle convection), and held in the air as vapor, settling with some weight on black lashes as Lin inspected the noodles. He wiped the wetness and heat from his cheeks and smiled. It was obvious to anyone, including the frolicking kitten to be sure, who was more observant than you might think, that the boy was glad to be back. As dangerous as it was to think and then accept the thought, the Dom was... Lin’s home—certainly as much as his condo ever had been. It was cold, often dark, and full of pitfalls, the first and largest of which was an often angry alcoholic with eyes like a Disney villain, but it had all grown familiar, even the drunk, and offered a respite from the world at large, which is what makes a home, right? Or close enough.
The last minute visit to his parents’ hadn’t been bad, just a little exhausting, as most visits with parents are, but Lin had been ready to be back at the Dom since the first evening’s dinner table discussion of Aaron and Lin’s relationship, now that they were in a closer proximity. That, and the boy’s dad’s need to keep reassuring his youngest son that they didn’t judge him for his “lifestyle,” even when it wasn’t anywhere even tangential to the topic at hand. (“So, Lin, have you submitted any papers recently for publication anywhere? Your dad and I were talking about it…” “Yes! And we just want you to know that we think what you’re doing is great, and we respect your right to do it!” “Taphonomically? Rad. Thanks, Dad.”) And now that he was back, even though he was dressed down and even though he was tired, he was happy and you could see it.
The boy didn’t react much to the hand that wrapped around his neck. He was tipped to the side and allowed it without protest. He let Daniel’s question come and even grinned at the jutting presence of the man’s inner-journalist.
“I went to Portland.” As the hand let him go, Lin leaned himself against Daniel’s collegiate chest, though he tried to maintain eye contact by tipping his chin up just so. “Chilled in my parents’ basement until the party was over, because I’m kind of over that bullshit.”
Lin let go of the bar on the oven. He turned to face the man and came in close on soft soles. (If the boy were a Pokémon, you can bet 100%, that this shit would be one of his most oft-employed moves. Plus, it was SUPER EFFECTIVE.) His smile was mutable and slipped liquidly, like silver, into a suggestive curl of the lips.
“Why?” Asked Lin with a verbal eyebrow waggle, his head cocked to the side. He tapped Daniel’s chest in some off-rhythm with the tips of his fingers. His black eyelashes were held together by the damp of the cooking and the heat brought some color back to his skin. “Did you miss me?”
When Lin leaned away from him and over the stove to look down in the pot, Daniel put one hand out, parked the whiskey glass out of immediate danger, and supported himself with the heel of one hand. He watched with some amusement as Lin stuck his face in the steam, and while ten minutes before he had chased the cat off the counter, he let Lin blink into the mealy profusion of wet air without comment. He took a wooden spoon out from inside the sink, where it had been waiting out of sight, and stirred the pasta. The movement was casual and without concentration, as it was hard to imagine Daniel putting any special effort into something so banal as cooking.
The noodles weren’t done, and Daniel’s next comment was interrupted by the gavel-like sound of the wooden spoon on the edge of the pot. “Portland.” Ping, ping. “Oregon.” Daniel tipped his head and all set the spoon down. When Lin insinuated himself against his body Daniel felt somewhat gratified that his physical presence was somehow necessary to Lin’s. He smiled, and allowed Lin to slide back closer to ‘boy’ as he heard about the parents’ basement. It was Lin who wore the college shirt in Daniel’s mind, and it made the sharp tongue and overwhelming intelligence less threatening. If Lin could be so foolish as to be young, as to stay with parents, then Daniel could be the superior in something.
“You weren’t here when I came back,” Daniel said simply, stripping down the normal padding of propriety in favor of simplicity. The whiskey breath stirred the hair on top of Lin’s head, and Daniel slid a warm hand sweaty from spoon and pasta inside Lin’s shirt. He felt out the cushioned spaces between Lin’s vertebrae, pleasing himself for the most part and also communicating a very deliberate, flat-line message. “And I was in the mood to touch you.” He spoke blandly, as if each word lacked even the possibility of spice. He put his hand down the back of Lin’s pants, going right down under the white-bread taupe and washed out green to knead two fingers into the line where Lin’s spine stopped. The movement required the inside of Daniel’s elbow pressed hard along Lin’s ribs, and a cement of both bodies together.
The blue eyes smashed into a dark stillness as Daniel tipped his head at Lin, just to examine his expression. Then Daniel withdrew his hand, intending to reach for the spoon and make sure the sauce didn’t burn. He used a hip, undiminished by the loose jeans smoothed by age and detergent, to nudge Lin out of his way. He smoothed Lin’s shirt back into place as he turned and stepped back.
Lin looked up at Daniel openly, the fringe of his eyelashes wide around the whites of eyes, the centers very, very black. His curling claw of flirtation had unhooked and retracted, and he stood with his lips parted, staring up at the man as he informed Lin of coming back to an empty apartment. The boy’s face very much betrayed a scientist’s fascination with watching the volcanic changes that stormed across Daniel’s countenance and person, often angrily—but sometimes so quietly (Strombolian eruption-style), as to go undetected for quite a while. Like now. The insistent pressure of blunt fingers, hot and slick on the coolness of skin, brought the boy closer, as much as was possible.
The message transmitted was received loud and clear.
And it was rude. The whole thing was just fucking rude. Daniel insinuated himself nearer, and they were pressed together like wet paper, and Lin had just started to lose the teasing edge of his kittenish smile, then the dumbass pulled away to play with his stupid pasta sauce. Lin’s sense of, um, ...propriety… was offended as fuck. He would have returned the shit enthusiastically, but no. Fucking Charizard had to go and set his Waterfall attack on fucking fire, a full on inferno, going against all known laws of physics and fluid and thermodynamics, and send the shit, now boiling, back into his face. Squirtle did not go for that shit. He didn’t like being played. Neither did Lin. (Maybe it was time to reel in the Pokémon references though?)
So he’d been wrong about Daniel being too smart to incur vengeance.
The man wanted to see Lin’s expression? If he looked now, he would see a rather mean smile on a stretch of pink lips, with eyes downcast, even as the boy was shuffled out of the way. It melted away to bone.
He stood behind Daniel, letting him stir the sauce or whatever the eff, pretending not to notice having just been hip-checked aside (Daniel really needed a new move). Instead, he poked his head around the man’s body and watched him be domestic, like fucking tomatoes in a pot were the best thing he’d ever seen being stirred by a spoon. The universe was amazing. Wow.
He leaned his head against Daniel’s shoulder.
“You did miss me,” he whispered playfully, before finally tearing himself away to the other side of the kitchen to play with QP. Some Mafioso had once mentioned some platitude about revenge being a proverbial dish best served cold. It was sort of true. Probs. But Lin didn’t have that kind of patience. He would go for lukewarm. In the meantime, he settled on the floor, back to the stove, to tap fingers along the edges of tiles to excite a little white kitten.
Daniel took in a breath and let it out, conserving his energy, tasting his own wicked end on the back of his tongue, expensive whiskey and ennui. He didn’t particularly deserve Lin’s absolute attention, nor did he plan on ever asking for it, but he didn’t like admitting more than he already had about the stillness of the apartment when he had returned. After the silver tongue of the dead jester, Daniel wanted to speak, to make contact, to impress. It was a rare feeling, and required a certain energy and presence of mind he usually dulled with liquor and boredom. He still had it contained on his spine, just behind his stomach.
He turned as Lin stepped away from his shoulder. His eyes flexed slightly downward, deepening the creases at the edge of his eyes, the only immediate sign of protest.
Lin was already turning away by the time Daniel looked up from the sauce, and Daniel caught the very edge of a smile like a razor, so fast and small that he wasn’t sure he even saw it. Then he realized that Lin was moving away, and he decided that he had seen it. He didn’t think that was a good smile, but Daniel was the kind of man to meet force with force, so he simply waited to see what Lin would make next. Their little battles of will were never so regular as those on a chessboard, but Daniel tended to approach them in the same way, even though Lin never used the same move twice and he was about as predictable as an avalanche.
Daniel took the sauce off the heat. He used a kitchen mug to transfer some of the starchy water into his sauce, and picked up the metal pot of boiling water, pulling his head back out of the way of the cloud of steam that rose up from the sink as he dumped the contents through a colander. The pasta went back into the big pot, and he dumped the sauce over it, discarding the sauce pan into the steaming colander. He mixed the two with a large spoon, with the same lack of concentration that suggested he had done it a thousand times. The kitchen still smelled like the raw ingredients in the sauce, stinging garlic, pungent onion, fresh tomato.
“Put down the cat and get a plate.” Daniel sat down at the kitchen table with his glass of golden oblivion, not bothering to get himself a plate or even do more than move an issue of Le Monde.
Lin had never listened well. He could follow directions on, say, work assignments, and he would, if he thought they were any good and at all applicable. But he had most definitely been that really annoying asshole in high school who did shit the way they thought it should be done, like they knew better, but who did good enough work, that they were never actually penalized for not fitting into the industrial machine of modern public education—because really, if he didn’t do shit his own way, he wouldn’t be himself. But orders—were they very different from directions? People telling him what to do, when he wasn’t particularly inclined to do the shit anyway and there was no sex involved or even suggested? That was the literal worst. That was when the contrarian not so deep within him rose to the surface with war-cheap, expressionist lighting throwing his face into full black, Nosferatu evil.
Which was why it probably ought to have alarmed Daniel when the boy rose from the floor, fetched himself a plate as ordered, got himself food (which, almost surprisingly, but not really, looked very good. It would be just like Daniel to actually know how to cook and to take that shit for granted. Fucking asshole. Once upon a time, he probably wooed beautiful, sloe-eyed Italian women with the shit in some fucking stucco-ass villa on the soft sand of a Mediterranean beach), and deposited himself at the table next to the man, all without one word of complaint. He was even sitting kind of like an adult, his feet on the floor and spine crooked only a little as he slumped in a natural 21st century bow of posture.
Lin couldn’t stop himself from tapping his feet on the tiles, but he was otherwise quiet. He ate. He inspected the spatter of sauce on porcelain and scratched at black hair. Idly, he lifted a foot and propped it on the seat of Daniel’s chair, between thighs.
After a few minutes of silence, he reached underneath a fallen leaf of Italian newspaper and withdrew a vial of purply-pink nail polish, like unicorn shit. Acting very much like he’d expected it to be there, he scooched the plate aside with his elbow and spread fingers in a fan on the foreign print detailing wars and a failing economy. With one hand, and obvious skill (after much practice), he unscrewed the cylindrical top. You could hear plastic scraping against the coke-bottle glass. The smell of chemicals came on strong. It fought the spices and the imagery of grottesche fresco landscapes. Lin’s eyes flicked to Daniel. He smiled and began to apply the shit to his right thumbnail, steady-handed and sure, with his tongue caught between teeth.
The lightness of the lacquer contrasted with the darkness of his skin and stood out like a bulb at the ends of boyish fingers. Lin inspected his work.
Lin had never been biddable. Daniel didn’t like biddable people. He ordered them around a few times and when they fell immediately into line he got bored and went looking for someone more difficult to catch. Of course, that had been a former life, but Daniel was a man of habits, old and new. Even on the journals he grew bored playing with mice that didn’t bite back, with even less of an attention span than the white kitten. He knew Lin liked to play games, and he accepted that this appearance of calm and acceptance was some opening gambit he could not yet recognize.
Daniel finished about half of his drink with his head bent so he could read some of the discarded articles lying under the silverware, not appearing to care whether they were a month old or delivered that morning. He said nothing, just watched Lin eat and read articles, until the plate slid across to make way for the nail polish. Daniel sat up, and automatically put a hand out to brace Lin’s ankle as he pulled his spine up against the chair and moved it back a half-inch.
Prolonging the silence, Daniel put an arm out and picked up the plate. His fingers cradled the back of Lin’s calf and he lifted the boy’s leg off his lap. He finally got himself a plate of spaghetti, cooling tomatoes mixed up in seasoning and virgin olive oil. Then, returning to the table, he dropped the bomb. “Tell me about your parents.” He swirled his fork into the pasta, twirling it around. His head lolled a little on his shoulders, but he wasn’t at slurring yet. “They happy to see you?”
Lin moved to his left hand. He bent forward at a harder angle than before, concentration folding him over the table, bracing the pale sandy flesh of his forearms against the cut of the table, fingers still starfished over newsprint. He paused only when Daniel began to shift in the chair across from him. He didn’t want to fuck the shit up, didn’t want to glue cuticle to nail with drippy pink due to a jarred hand.—He waited.
Daniel got himself food, which was a small wrinkle in Lin’s design, but that was no matter. (It was probs good the dude was eating, tbh.) The boy propped his foot up a second time and slumped a bit lower in his chair, his spine bumping on dowels as he went and his shirt hitching. His expression changed with the question, though there was no bomb shelter to take cover in. The focus slipped into wisps of irritation, seen in a press of lips and a lift of black eyebrows.
“They’re always happy to see me,” Lin answered simply, unimpressed and unimpressive, drying the polish in the air. He eyed his fingers, then shifted his gaze to Daniel, whose face appeared between digits in a pull focus. He blinked. “They asked me about my brother, who’s here. I didn’t tell them about Max or whatever, or Ian, or anything. They don’t want details like that. I just show up and smile and make them laugh—and they’ll laugh at anything, because I’m doing it—and my mom tells me to buy new clothes and my dad tells me he likes the ones I have and that they’re very unique, and that he supports me, and that’s it.”
The fact that the boy hadn’t mentioned Daniel either went unsaid, but likely understood. It wasn’t so much an intentional omission of the man himself, as Lin’s own desire to keep the finer details of his life private. For all they had done for him, he didn’t feel like he was a part of his parents’ family, and he didn’t feel he owed them anything, which was probably fucked up and selfish, but whatever.
He felt better for the nail polish. It gave him a little color. There came the white tendril of a smile. He reaffixed the lid to the polish bottle.
Lin pushed his chair back from the table using his foot planted between Daniel’s thighs and he stood. The smile settled to one side in a Hermes-inspired grin. Lin rolled his shoulders and began walking toward the doorway in little strides.
“Since you’re no longer in the 'mood' to 'touch me,' I’m going to take a shower and touch myself,” said the boy matter-of-factly, with no trace of playfulness (surprise) or shame (no surprise), though the smile still snapped like a flag. He waved, as he usually did to the concierge floors and floors below them, with the tips of his fingers. Squirtle needed a fucking cold shower. (Goddamnit. Right. No Pokémon.)
Daniel listened to the short narrative concerning Lin’s parents with a deceptive mask of disinterest, eyes cast down on his plate as if the spaghetti held some inherent historical importance. It didn’t, because he ate about four bites and then pushed it away, sliding the standard crockery over more leaves of newsprint and returning his gaze to Lin. “He supports you in what?” Daniel asked the open air, not really expecting an answer nor providing one for himself. He let the question hang there in possibility, the idea that any father would be blindly supportive of anything, even wardrobe, amusing in the absurd.
Daniel didn’t expect Lin to mention him to anyone outside the four walls. He took it for granted. The scribbles in the book were distanced enough that he only very rarely took their meaning seriously, and even Henry’s affairs barely even scraped the surface of his consciousness. When in existence, Henry was alone in his mind, and for Daniel it was the same. Daniel only imagined that it was Henry he could thank for his good health after a determined series of years in which he’d tried to ruin it, and that was why he made a vague effort to stay on the Beast’s good side. Flicking the fork absently to one side, Daniel put a finger out to idly rock the secured bottle of bright polish from side to side on the table, still thinking of his diminished appetites.
Daniel sat back and then pulled himself up to his feet. It was no mean task, an automatic set of his fingers to one side to steady himself on the table, the whiskey curdling the thoughts on the surface of his mind and the spaghetti twisting in his stomach. The last thing he wanted was to be sitting in that kitchen alone again, and he’d only made himself cook because the alternative, a chilling stillness that had heretofore been easily ignored, was abruptly worse. Even the cat had disappeared to find his own entertainments, now that the pots were covered and the stove was off.
Daniel refused to be waved away and came around the sharp edges of the kitchen table, the half-formed intent to trail along after Lin and force him to (at minimum) continue the conversation. Daniel was fairly sure that he might be able to get more than conversation if he went about it the right way, so he crossed the tile to the door. “I didn’t say that.” (It occurred to Daniel a little late that he should have found the idea of another man masturbating in his shower disgusting.)
Lin wondered as to what a cold shower would consist of, in semi-allegorical terms, to a being who, you know, created gallons and gallons of water, naturally and at will, with, like, fucking moves that could be honed with practice. Would it be like dousing oneself in blood? Or would it be like, using weird, liquid extensions of the body, that one could regenerate via cell differentiation and proliferation, and neuron transformation, except without the creepy inclusion of bundled nerves (and if it was something like that, what the fuck did that say about Bulbasaur's shit?)? Or maybe it was some kind of excretion and Pokémon were just really eco-friendly, using their literal shit as weapons against one another for the entertainment of the fucked up humans (eco-friendly didn't mean you were non-violent).
A true question for the ages. Fuck Pokémon.
The boy made a soft sound to himself as the walls around him shifted and grew apart, taking his voice with them in a sudden discontinuity of medium, delaying its return. Behind him, he heard the scrape of kitchen chair and knew Daniel was following him.
"He supports me in life. You know, I never came out to my parents. But, well, I guess it was obvious. They probably would have laughed if I tried," he said over his shoulder as he picked his way through the bedroom. "But, subtlety is beyond me, so it's whatever."
With a yawn, Lin flicked on the lights to the bathroom. Given that darkness is only an absence of light (just like cold is an absence of heat! Ha ha welcome to Thermal Physics 101, kids), the sudden flare of bulbs in sconces popped the boy's pupils into pinpricks. He blinked. The gloss on the sky-marbled walls sparkled in specular reflection, as physics suppressed wave propagation. It was a mere hint at the true (outrageous) magnificence of the building, of the apartment that Daniel kept under a black blanket and drowning in books.
Sometimes, recently, Lin forgot that the almost lunar landscape of the man's Dom wasn't the norm. It struck him then, and not for the first time, as he stood on the shining tiles in bare feet, and as he tugged the NSA-approved green shirt over his head, how easy it was to acclimate to shit. However many months ago, he found the place inhospitable and expected limestone soda straws and fucking moonmilk to erupt any moment from dank walls. Now? Now he lived. Now he was glad to return, having found the room temperature and brightness of his parents' house both far too high, and had to seek refuge in the basement.
Without the dull contrast of the stupid shirt, his skin was darker, a little healthier, settled over his bones where they knitted together in small spaces just so. The omnipresent cold (~welcome home, Lin~!) hit him at once, so he hurried across the fucking leagues of tiles to turn the spigot on in the shower, the hot water streaming out instantly (thank God for rich people, man).
He didn't care if Daniel was watching; in fact, that was a healthy portion of the point here. Lin unbuttoned the khaki pants and kicked them off, stripped down now to horribly mussed black hair, white socks, and boxer briefs. He looked up now. Daniel wanted to dangle some bullshit, like a fucking twenty dollar bill on a string, and zip the shit back when Lin reached for it, then act like, well, he had plenty of twenties! He didn't care! He was a big time chef! Now move, so Emeril could work. BAM. (That was the hip-check. The metaphor got a little mixed, but still.)—Well, fine. A second blinked by. Every smothered instance of dark playfulness and come-hitherness from the kitchen flashed at once in the gleam of the boy's concupiscent smile, the sweep of lowered lids, and in sclera that shined in a room full of light.
And then he turned away.
He reached with gold fingers to feel that splash of water, turning on the spot to adjust the temperature. Finally, when it was Goldilocks right, Lin shed the remained of his clothing and hopped under the stream.
He said nothing more.
cont. to part II