popetacular: captain hammer being captain hammer (hammer ;; one way to open minds)
[personal profile] popetacular
[title] Insert Obligatory Closeted Gay Joke Here
[author's notes]

      “I’m not normally this clumsy,” he says, foot stuck in a bucket. The bucket catches on a coil and he trips, falling into me.

      “How cliché is this?” I say, cracking a smile. “I mean, we’re trapped in a broom closet, you’re suddenly clumsy and falling all over me and we’ve has a ridiculous amount of sexual tension in the last week."

      He goes red. “Tom, you’re not helping. And we’re not trapped.”

      “Hiding out then. But I’m not wrong, am I? This is the perfect time for us to own up to how gay we are for each other.”

      “No, Tom, this isn’t the perfect time. It’s not even a good time. This would be a terrible time to do it even without a ghost on the loose killing people.”

      "Hm, good point. Besides, I guess I'd rather my first time with you didn't have any risk of mops braining either of us."

      "I'm going to kill you when we get out of here," Ian says, right in my face. He has to look up at me. I laugh, and he says, "On the other hand, why wait?"

      He goes to punch me and hits a mop with the back of his fist; it wobbles briefly and topples towards us.

      "Down!" I shout, yanking him by the shoulders against me and we both fall against the wall. The mop, diagonally braced between a corner and the wall above my head, is inches from his back.

      "Thanks," he says, sprawled in my lap.

      Smugly, I respond, "You're welcome. Comfortable?"

      He squirms, embarrassed, and leaps back into the mop, jolting it free.

      "Shit!" I catch the mop before it can fall on us. The last thing I'd want is to die from a concussion from a mop falling on my head.

      "Nice catch,” Ian says to the floor. I'd thrown him out of the way of the mop, which left him half in my lap and half face down on the dusty closet floor near my hip.

      "I know, right?" I say, helping him sit up. "You okay? You're shaking."

      "What? It's nothing; you just scared the shit out of me, shoving like that."

      "Sorry." I lean back against the wall, closing my eyes and listening, waiting.

      "It's no problem," he says, after a beat. "I mean, you were saving my ass. I should be grateful, right? I mean, I could've been knocked out. And then where would I be? Unconscious and useless. Hell no."

      "You're babbling. Shut up."

      "Oh, yeah."

      There's finally silence, except for the drumming of Ian's fingers on the floor, and both our breathing.

      "You nervous?" I joke.

      "What? No! I don't get why you'd think that," he says defensively.

      "It was a joke, genius."

      "Yeah, right. Of course. Totally."

      "You're batshit."

      "So they tell me." He grins, a little manic and oddly that makes me want to kiss him. Instead, I snort a little, as he settles against the wall across from me. I close my eyes again; the dark is actually pretty comforting, especially in that there aren't any distractions. Not even young, attractive distractions.

      I've been ghosthunting for about four years, since my mom died, really (she wasn't killed by ghosts, just cancer). I guess her death kind of awoke my ability to really see spirits. I'd seen a wide variety over the years: malevolent spirits, confused spirits, heartbroken spirits, people who never even realized they were dead. I put them all to rest, regardless of the harm they caused. Mom always told me everyone deserved a second chance. Then again, she'd always given her lazy-ass boyfriends third and fourth chances before they totally let her down. I'd been the only one at her side through her uphill battle with cancer. Only one person stayed with her, told her everything would be okay, held her hand, said "I love you" every day to her, small and frail in the pristine white bed: me.

      "Hey." Ian nudges me with his foot. "Hey, you okay?"

      "Huh?" I say. "What?"

      He gets on his hands and knees, leaning towards me, face serious and close, eyes searching mine, and murmurs, "Were you dreaming? You had this face, like, like your heart was breaking. Is something wrong?"

      "I..." I consider telling him about my mom's death, about struggling to hold it all together while she struggled to live, but it's not important, not right now. Maybe sometime, but not now. Business first. "It's cool. Seriously, I'm fine. Listen, you think it's close?"

      His senses aren't as good as mine; he strains to hear the spirit, but there's not a thing. He lets out a sigh and leans back against the wall. Strangely, I miss his closeness already.

      "Yeah... I didn't think so. Damn." Idly, I tap my foot against his, both of us in ragged sneakers. His are Converse, the British flag splayed over the heels and sides of his feet. Mine are skater shoes, Puma, black with vivid orange laces. He smiles across at me, a little shy, a little flirtatious. His hands are folded in his lap, though his fingers are still twitching.

      “Hey, can I tell you something?” he asks quietly.

      “Sure, why not?”

      “You’ve gotta promise—promise—this isn’t gonna change anything.”

      I’m curious now. “I promise. What’s up?”

      “I’m claustrophobic,” he blurts out, like he's just said he ran over my dog. Repeatedly.

      “No way,” I say, though now the clumsiness, the babbling, and the nervous fidgeting make so much more sense. “You’re good at hiding it.”

      “I didn’t want you to think I’d be too scared to do this. I wanted to come.” He looks away, then whispers, “I wanted to be needed.”

      My lips twitch, hinting at something of a smile. “You are,” I say, “Even though nothing’s happened yet, I’m gonna need you.”

      He looks back at me, startled. “Really? I mean, so far I haven’t done much except trip repeatedly and cause accidents.”

      “Trust me, you’re instrumental.” It’s only a tiny lie. He’s not totally essential, but he’s here, and my day is that much better for it.

      “If you’re sure,” he says, still unsure himself.

      “Definitely.”

      “Liar,” he says, but he’s smiling, and relieved. It’s stupid, but I almost blurt out “I love you” at that look, but we’ve only known each other for three weeks, how the hell would I know.

      “You think?” I tease.

      “Don’t make me hit you,” he threatens, laughing.

      “Anything but that,” I say, getting up and stretching. I give him a hand up, and he trips over his own feet trying to stand, leaning against me to regain his balance. I brace myself against the door, checking to make sure he’s alright. He looks up, just as I’m looking down and suddenly, I find our lips are incredibly close.

      “Hey, Tom?” he says, softly.

      “Yeah?” My voice is barely a whisper itself.

      “I…thanks,” he says, eyelids lowering, looking up through his eyelashes.

      “Sure thing,” I say, and God, I want to kiss him. He’s right there, how could I not? I tilt my head, just enough that I should be out of the way of his nose. He leans in, just a little bit more and I start to move towards him when the door opens behind me and we fall out into the hallway, into an awkward pile.

      “What are you guys doing?” Ethan sounds like he doesn’t actually want to know, but can’t help asking.

      “Falling,” I say.

      “I helped,” Ian adds.

      “Right. Well, there’s nothing, guys. Not here,” Ethan says, already walking away.

      “Oh no, there’s definitely something here,” I mutter, giving Ian a look. He gives one back and sticks his tongue out as I waggle my eyebrows in a ridiculous caricature of innuendo. More than anything, I know something is there.

Date: 2009-06-02 02:22 am (UTC)
smokexscribbles: (Default)
From: [personal profile] smokexscribbles
I actually read some of Havemercy at the library and enjoyed it a hell of a lot. Just haven't gotten a chance to go back.

Date: 2009-06-02 02:48 am (UTC)
smokexscribbles: (Default)
From: [personal profile] smokexscribbles
I should get a fucking job and buy more books, y/y

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popetacular: BATWOMAN BEING HOT WHILE LEAPING INTO ACTION (Default)
I'm so cool, too bad I'm a loser

February 2010

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