Who: Ehren and Finn What: Catching up When: Afternoon, June 20th (backdated) Where: The Marketplace Rating: Mild (mentions of sex) Status: Complete
Just separate your colors if you don’t want pink underwear.
While to anyone else, this week might not have seemed stressful, it was clear that Ehren’s anxiety was in high alert. He decided to go to the market, hoping not to see a very specific pink-haired baker. Things had gone bad on their first date and Ehren was beginning to think it was a bad idea asking her out. As he walked in he saw Finn sitting at a table and smiled as he walked up to him. Looking around it didn’t seem like Riley was with him so he assumed he was here alone. A smile came to his face as he approached his friend. “Finn, you sly bastard.” He said joyously as he grabbed his friends arm to pull him up into a friendly hug.
“Riley told me you proposed to him. Congratulations!” He beamed, giving Finn a friendly pat on the back before he stepped away. “How are you feeling? You must be ecstatic!” At least if he focused on the happy moments of his friends he could try to ignore his own feelings.
Finn was sitting at one of the many tables scattered around the Marketplace enjoying a can of lemonade. The library was closed at the moment due to a malfunctioning alarm so he had decided to get out and do a spot of people watching until he got the all clear to head back. It was the usual mid week crowd, a couple of small groups chatting amongst themselves and walking from shop to shop while others were doing the same as him, just sitting and watching the world go by.
His attention turned to his auburn haired friend at the exclamation, getting to his feet at the tug on his arm, putting his arms around the other man and patting him on the back. "Yeah, going good. Was nervous as all hell when the time came though." Finn admitted, sitting back down and motioning for Ehren to take the seat across from him. "I had this big long speech planned out, about how we had met and all that but when the time came none of it sounded right in my head so I just said 'Will you marry me?' Very unromantic." Not that Riley had cared, the answer was still yes.
Ehren found himself sitting down across from Finn and smiled at him, his constant water bottle he carried with him placed on the table next to the lemonade. “Oh I disagree, sometimes the most romantic thing to do is just keep it simple. If you really love someone and want to live with them for the rest of your life, they already know how you feel.” He gave his friends hand a pat. “Besides, I heard he’s changing his last name for you.” He offered, leaning back in his chair as he looked around at the marketplace.
It was a nice day and there were a few people out but it was also the middle of the work week so it wasn’t too busy. He tried to think of something else, anything else to keep his mind off of all that had happened. “Hey sorry for sending him home drunk the other night. I needed a friend and someone to belt Elton John with at the top of my lungs.” Finn undoubtedly heard the racket as they were loud and at least Ehren himself was fairly intoxicated.
He took a sip from the can as Ehren spoke, it was true, Riley knew how Finn felt so some long winded monologue wasn't needed, plus it didn't fit the mood at that moment which was why he went with the short and simple. No sky writers to blaze it across the sky or some corny set up, it was from the heart. "Honestly, I think he would have changed his last name even if we weren't getting married." Finn wasn't sure about how much the other man knew about Riley's relationship with his father but it wasn't his place to say anything. "Mister and Mister Thompson." It did have a nice ring to it.
Finn chuckled at Ehren's double apology, he had heard the loud singing outside and knew it was Riley from the voice, he had no qualms with his fiance going out and enjoying himself now and then, and from the sounds of it he did it for a good reason, Finn knew all about Ehren's anxieties and getting out had done him good. "He wasn't that drunk. And I am going to make sure he keeps his promise of doing your laundry for however long it's for. Just separate your colors if you don't want pink underwear." Riley wasn't that bad but Finn did most of the laundry in their household.
“Oh, no Finn you guys don’t have to do that, I was just messing with him, I don’t actually expect him to do my laundry.” He was only trying to create a competition and it wasn’t really that fair because Ehren was a seasoned pool player. He leaned his chin on his fist and looked over at Finn.
“That was a nice ring you got him. How’d you get his ring size?” That was always a question in the back of his mind when people surprised their significant others with proposals. They had to figure out a way to be sneaky about it. He wanted to hear all the details and hoped Riley didn’t bring up the girl he had gone on a date with.
“Joking or not, Riley is a man of his word and he is going to do your laundry, he told me himself. Just give him a couple of loads, make him happy and don’t pool shark him again.” Finn said with a wink, he had seen Ehren in action once and knew better than to play against the other man.
He smiled at the mention of Riley’s engagement ring. “It wasn’t all that fancy, I measured the circumference of his finger with a bit of string while he was asleep and made the ring to that size. I was kind of lucky to be able to get an old piano wire to play with and access to the metal working class in order to solder it altogether.” It had taken a few attempts to get it right and Riley loved it which was all that mattered. “What’s this I heard about you and a pink haired rocker?” Yes his fiance had spilled that detail too.
Ehren’s face immediately went red at the mention of Meg. Their date night had been unusual. “Finn, I went on a date and I don’t know how I feel about it.” He admitted, because everything had happened so fast and he went home feeling awful. “We went to that Italian restaurant.” He said pointing to the restaurant in the marketplace. “And she freaked out when I told her I didn’t have an ability, told me I couldn’t understand what it was like to be ripped from your home over something you couldn’t control. She thought I looked down on her. Me. Anyway, she left her purse there so I had to bring it back to her. I told her, I was ripped out of my home too and forced to live here and she apologized and invited me in. I don’t know how it happened but when ended up having sex.” There was more to the story but he wanted to hear what Finn had to say first, before he went into the embarrassing part.
Finn listened, he knew that Ehren suffered from sometimes crippling anxieties but he was also privy to knowing about the ‘headaches’ that the other man suffered from time to time. The ones that hit without warning and had him gripped in a panic attack. While it wasn’t something they had openly discussed Finn believed that was why Ehren was on the island, that it was some kind of mutation just like everyone else on this island suffered. “We’re all here because we’re… different in some way, we wouldn’t be here otherwise.” But the other man already knew that.
He continued to listen, trying his best to hide a small smirk when Ehren mentioned that his date had invited him in and they ended up having sex. “So? You’re human and yes, there are times where we give into those urges and end up thinking ‘what was that?’ after it’s all said and done.” But Finn wasn’t really one to be giving out advice on random sex, he hadn’t slept with anyone else on the island beside Riley.
He sighed and buried his head in his arms, hopeful that it was too muffled to hear what he said next. “When I came I got a migraine.” He said, which Finn knew was code his visions. And yeah they didn’t have proper sex since neither of them had a condom, but it was close enough to know that this was going to be a huge problem with him from now on. He lifted his head now so that his chin was sitting on top of his arms. “I nearly scared her to death Finn, I had to make something up and now...now I feel bad because I’m lying to her.” But he had to, he had to lie to her because if word got out he wasn’t sure what sorts of experiments they would do on him.
“Am I just doomed to be single forever?” He asked his friend, pleading eyes asking for encouragement. He was lucky to have Finn and Riley around because they always listened and they were always the couple that made him believe love was out there. But man he wish he had a better handle on this.
As much as Finn wanted to laugh at the inconvenient timing of one of these 'headaches' he had a feeling that they were connected - the hormones that went through the body in those moments could trigger something. Then to hear that the other man had to lie about what had happened made Finn feel kind of sorry for his friend. "Can I ask what you told her happened? And has it ever happened before?" It also felt weird asking a friend about their habits in the bedroom, not something he really wanted to know about.
"Sometimes a small white lie is more for their protection than it is our own. Maybe one day you'll be comfortable with telling her about your… headaches, but until then the truth might do more harm than good. Not everyone is as open about their… gift." Finn moved a hand away from the can he had been holding, a small sphere of water hovering between his skin and the metal of the can. "If she can't understand that then maybe she's not the right person for you."
As Ehren listened he sighed. Finn was right but it didn’t make it any easier. He wanted to tell her but he couldn’t risk himself like that, not when peoples lives were at stake. “I told her it was a panic attack.” He retrospect, Finn’s description of it as a migraine was probably a more believable story. But she had believed him, told him that she trusted him and that’s what twisted the knife in his belly.
“I don’t know what to do. What if it happens again? Or every time we try to have sex. I can’t put my body through that.” And how could he explain to her how weak it made him. A lot of people suffered side effects from their abilities but not many from simple panic attacks and migraines.
A panic attack was as good an excuse as any, after all from the descriptions that Ehren had given him over the time Finn had known about the other man's 'condition' what he had seen usually ended up causing some kind of panic anyway. Especially since Ehren was socially anxious at the best of times, why not when getting intimate with some he didn't know that well.
"I wish I had an answer for you, I really do, but it's uncharted territory for me. You don't have to tell her the full truth, but if you're hoping to get into bed with her again at least let her know about your side effects. Maybe it was only a one off, no real way to know it won't happen again unless you try." He hoped for Ehren's sake that it was just a once off occurrence, he couldn't imagine his own ability going nuts every time he and Riley had sex.
Finn had a point. It had never happened before, who was to say it was even going to happen again? “You’re right.” He finally said, offering Finn a small smile. “I mean, it’s been awhile since I was anywhere…” awkwardly he gestured to his groin. He didn’t elaborate but he was referring to sex and even masturbation. “I was on medication a few years back, it’s been at least since then, maybe before that, I don’t know.”
“You’re coming on Saturday right?” He asked, straightening his posture as he tried desperately to change the subject. He was starting to hate the way his friends were always right.
Finn didn't want to mention what had happened to him the first time he had sex after discovering his ability back on the mainland, the taps in the nearby ensuite bathroom had exploded. Thankfully since then he had gotten control over it and had never had a repeat of that embarrassing moment. "Medication's good but it can mess with your sex drive like nothing earthly." He knew that from experience, he ended up on antidepressants for a while after arriving on the island.
A grin spread across Finn's lips at the mention of Saturday night - Ehren's birthday. "Josie's, right?" Though really where else was there to have a party on this island. "Wouldn't miss it for the world! Though I swear we need a costume party sometime soon."
Ehren smiles at that, he had one costume that he barely ever even put on Halloween. It was a one piece dinosaur costume he’d gotten years ago and he felt like a five year old in it. “Well if that’s what you’re into you can just come in costume to my birthday party. I mean, no one else will be in one but then you can be the life of the party.” He teased, opening up the lid of his water bottle to take a drink from it.
“Wait, do you already have a costume somewhere? You have to tell me what it is.” Poseidon would be a great costume for Finn complete with a trident and a crown but he doubted Finn would be that cliche.
Finn had a variety of costumes, some were for adult parties but he also had some for when special events at the library for the younger kids who seemed to like them. Riley also had a few as well, Finn might not be that good at cooking but a whiz on the sewing machine and repurposing old clothes and material he was able to get from here and there. If he was going to show up at Ehren’s party in a costume he didn’t want to be the only one, so this time at least he’d just show up in jeans and a shirt.
“Uhuh.” He tutted. “Don’t think I’m going to give you a freebie! I am not going to reveal my costume secrets now or ever, you’ll just have to be like everyone else and wait and see what I’ve come up with. Only Riley knows what’s in my costume closet and he’s sworn to secrecy!” He didn’t really have a Poseidon costume but he did have a merman one, cliche galore!
“Fair enough.” He conceded, running his fingers through his short hair. He looked at his watch and realized that he should probably get going. Work was still on the docket today and he wasn’t about to ruin the one thing that kept him anonymous. “Listen, I have to head to work but I’ll see you at the party on Saturday? Please don’t wear a costume, I don’t want everyone to know how my friends are total weirdos.” He teased, standing up to give his friend a pat on the back.
“Casual clothing, I promise.” Finn grinned, drawing a cross on his chest, he wouldn’t wear a costume to a party unless it was written to do so on the invite. As his friend said that he had to head off to work, Finn stood up as well and took a step to the side to give Ehren a hug and a pat on the back. “Okay. Look after yourself and I’ll see you on Saturday!”