Fic: Nothing's Perfect/Chasing Perfect
Author: fidrich, atalantapendrag Title: Nothing's Perfect/Chasing Perfect Rating: R Characters/Pairings: Teatime/Nny Summary/Description: Crossover Slash (Discworld/Johnny the Homicidal Maniac) Teatime confronts Nny about something that's been bothering him. Author's Note: Companion pieces showing the same scene from two different points of view. “Nothing's Perfect” is by fidrich, “Chasing Perfect” is by atalantapendrag.
As much as Teatime enjoyed and took satisfaction from his job, he enjoyed living moreso; and after the fifth Guild-sponsored attempt on his life he decided to leave. Not having a job for a little while would be something of an inconvenience, but he had a plan. Living independently was even more inconvenient. That's why it was so nice that he had his friend with him.
Well. So far. They now lived near the University, a home-made third-story addition to a chandlery shop that wasn't strictly allowed and that could only be reached by a rickety outside staircase, and Nny was trying to be friends with the apprentice girl downstairs. He spoke to her. He smiled at her. Teatime had nothing against smiling, of course - it was an activity he engaged in quite regularly - but normally Nny wouldn't smile at anyone who wasn't him (except in very particular circumstances, but they'd had to cut down on that now that they were On The Run).
Teatime didn't like it. Nny was his friend.
He'd been considering this point (not brooding - you couldn't brood if you were smiling, which Teatime was) for some time when Nny came home, slamming the door shut against a wind that was made worse by their uncertain staircase.
"Why do you need another friend?" Teatime asked immediately.
Nny looked up, confused. He was wearing lots of clothes, and a scarf over his face - for the cold, and the smell, he said. "What?"
"The girl downstairs. Why do you want to be friends with her? You already have a friend."
A tinge of red infused Nny's cheeks, and he smiled. "Oh. Laura. She's... she's nice."
Teatime waited patiently, but Nny didn't seem to want to elaborate. Eventually he prompted, "What can she do that I can't?", which made Nny scowl, which seemed terribly unreasonable and unfair. Why was he getting scowls while someone else got smiles?
"Then you can say."
"It's - for God's sake, Teatime, can't you -"
"Can't I what?" He blinked, watching Nny with growing confusion. "I don't see why you'd need another -"
And then, somewhat startlingly, Nny was pressing his face against his. Teatime's understanding of personal space was less sophisticated than most, so he couldn't really recall when they'd gotten so close, and he wasn't entirely sure what he was supposed to do. Before he could formulate a response, though, Nny pulled away; his face was a little redder and his eyebrows were knitted. "That," that he said. "That's why I want to..." His expression faltered. "You don't seem very..."
"You - do you want to --"
"Of course I do," Teatime replied. He didn't see why Nny thought he would mind such a thing. It didn't hurt, after all. "And," he added, "I expect I'm much better than Miss Laura is."
Nny laughed - the sound was a little shaky. "You really -" he began, and Teatime decided to put his doubts to rest by pressing his face against Nny's. After a brief moment's Nny's mouth opened, and Teatime followed suit, since he wasn't quite sure what they were doing. His lips were dry and soft and his mouth was hot and wet and hollow, like a dark cavern in Nny's face. It seemed like a good idea to rest his arms about Nny's waist, because otherwise they were dangling quite uselessly at his sides; apparently this was the right thing to do, because Nny made a soft noise and pulled him closer, beginning to walk them backwards. It was an awful lot of things to concentrate on at once - like learning a new weapon or a new dance. Nny's hands slipped lower. He pulled them even tighter together - no space between them now - and began rubbing against Teatime, and Teatime's startled backwards jump was masked by them stumbling against the bed.
It was at this point that Teatime noticed Nny's trousers, and it made sense.
It was almost enough to annoy him, in fact. It wasn't that he minded. But if that's what Nny had wanted he might have just said, rather than going through a song and dance about finding new friends and playing games with faces and such.
Nny had fallen onto the bed. Teatime straddled him, and opened his trousers without fuss, ignoring what Nny was saying.
It wasn't bad. It didn't last very long, and Nny didn't grab his hair to make him go faster or deeper, and he didn't object to Teatime pinning his hips down against the bed. After, Teatime got up to get something for the taste, but Nny grabbed his wrist.
"C'mere," he said. He was smiling again: a very different smile to the ones Teatime had seen: relaxed and lazy. He pulled Teatime closer, and it occurred to him that this faces-and-lips game was called kissing, or something like it - he hadn't realised that people opened their mouths while they did that. Maybe it was a different kind. Nny was running his hands over him, which was actually quite nice.
Then Nny's hand reached his trousers, and Teatime froze.
He wasn't stupid. He knew that it felt nice to touch there, he'd simply never... He shouldn't let Nny do this. He wasn't supposed to.
But perhaps if he were too busy kissing, he wouldn't notice.
With some studiousness, Teatime began to copy what Nny was doing, in regards to lips and tongues and teeth and such. It was because of this that he didn't notice Nny unbuttoning his trousers, or cautiously slipping a hand through the slit in his underwear. He didn't make any odd little noises at the back of his throat, or grip the tops of Nny's arms far-too-tightly, and when Nny broke away to whisper, "Is this okay?" Teatime didn't simply press against him and muffle any response he might have made with Nny's mouth. And he certainly wasn't shaking. He was kissing Nny, which was alright, because Nny was his friend.
Nothing happened, which means of course there wasn't an afterwards, but Teatime was understandably a little out of breath after all the kissing - which explains the way his body suddenly froze, and the long, shaky exhale that followed. He rested his head against Nny's shoulder.
They were quiet for a little while. Then Nny cleared his throat. "So, uh... what does this mean?"
"You're my friend," Teatime answered immediately. "You don't need another friend."
Another small silence.
"Do you, um... do you think this is... perfect?"
"Nothing's perfect, Nny," Teatime mumbled into Nny's chest. Then, for no reason whatsoever, he fell asleep.
Ankh-Morpork confused Nny. But more than anything, Teatime confused Nny.
'Friends', he'd say happily, and smile, and sometimes squeeze Nny's hand as well. Was that what friendship was like? Was it because of friendship that he kept noticing what Teatime smelled like, wondered what those skilled fingers might...
But no. No, he wasn't... he was just shy with girls. So he'd picked Laura-from-downstairs to be shy with, not quite noticing that her hair was curly and blonde and (because of a rather unfortunate birthmark) usually combed over one eye. The trouble with that, of course, was that Laura wasn't shy, and he'd narrowly extricated himself from a situation where he might have done something to put their choice of bolthole in jeopardy before stomping in, slamming the door as the wind tried to rip it from his grasp.
"Why do you need another friend?" Teatime said, without even so much as a hello first.
Glancing up, Nny gave him a baffled look as he peeled off the scarf that protected him from the sleet and stench that were, as far as he could tell, Ankh-Morpork's defining characteristics. "What?"
"The girl downstairs. Why do you want to be friends with her? You already have a friend."
Her again. He could feel himself flush. "Oh. Laura. She's... she's nice." If that was the word. She'd cornered him at the foot of the stairs, offering to 'keep him warm', and that had been rather tricky to dodge.
"Yeah, but..." That brought uncomfortably to mind the idea of Teatime keeping him warm. But the next thing he said only made it worse.
"What can she do that I can't?"
"It's nothing." Really, that was mean. It was really mean. Didn't Teatime realize...
"Then you can say."
Not fair, damn it, and fuck if he wasn't prettier than Laura anyway... "It's - for God's sake, Teatime, can't you -"
"Can't I what? I don't see why you'd need another -"
Biting back a low cry of frustration, Nny gave up trying to put his tangled emotions into words, and stepped that little bit closer, forgetting caution long enough to kiss Teatime... it was a light kiss, but he was already bracing himself when he pulled back to gauge Teatime's expression. "That," he forced out. "That's why I want to..." But Teatime didn't seem angry, or shocked, or even (that Nny could see) surprised. "You don't seem very..."
"You - do you want to --" Kiss me. Touch me. Keep me warm.
"Of course I do," Teatime was smiling, and it was maddening. Nny couldn't stop staring at his mouth. "And I expect I'm much better than Miss Laura is."
Well, for one thing, I don't want to chop you into coleslaw when you touch me. "You really -"
And then Teatime kissed him, and Nny couldn't even try to think clearly, couldn't try to remind himself that he certainly didn't think of Teatime that way, not when he could smell him, could taste something vaguely oniony...stew?... on his breath, when they were holding each other close and stumbling and Nny barely noticed they'd fallen onto the bed before Teatime was leaning over him, undoing his fly.
"Wait, are you, what are you...?"
But Teatime didn't seem to be listening, and for the next few minutes all Nny could be aware of was Teatime's mouth, hot and wet and so very alive around him, and Teatime's strong fingers grasping his hips, holding him, containing him. He wasn't sure if he'd cried out or not when Teatime sat up. He made as if to stand, and Nny pulled him close again.
"C'mere." Kissing Teatime again, Nny could taste the faintly bitter saltiness on his tongue now, and realizing what it was made his head spin. He let his hands roam ineffectually, feeling clumsy and hopelessly awkward before getting up the nerve to work his hands under Teatime's waistband. And that must have been right, had to be right, because Teatime was kissing him harder, stroking his chest and back, encouraging him, and when his fingertips found Teatime hard and waiting and he softly asked, "Is this okay?" he clutched Nny's arms firmly and kissed Nny with a fervor that clearly said that this was not a time for speaking.
He couldn't have been too hopelessly inept; it wasn't so very long before Teatime shuddered, sighed, and relaxed in Nny's arms. Nny stared at him with faint wonder before daring to speak. "So, uh... what does this mean?"
"You're my friend," Teatime replied, sounding impossibly confident. "You don't need another friend."
Friend, is that what he calls this? And yet. Nny thought about it, about how frustrating the world was, how flawed... "Do you, um... do you think this is... perfect?"
"Nothing's perfect, Nny," Teatime mumbled, and Nny listened to his breathing deepen and slow; listened to him sleep.