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Messages - Beejoux

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16
Roleplaying / Re: Crasher [Charlie/Val]
« on: September 05, 2020, 08:40:08 PM »
"Usually." He picked another piece of rice out and shrugged at Val. "I might be more tired, though."



He blinked, then unfolded from the couch and reached for Charlie's empty bowl. "Give me a minute, I'll go get some bedding for you."



Charlie's eyes followed him, slow and hesitant, handing him the bowl after just a moment. "You don't have to."



"I know." He set the bowls in the sink. "It's no trouble." He was pushing his sleeves back to his elbows as he walked past Charlie, the white lotus tattoo very visible on his wrist now as he went to grab a pillow and some blankets from the linen closet in the hall.



Charlie tipped his head a little to watch him go, carefully putting the lid back on his tea. Maybe his eyes lingered, a bit.



He had an arm load when he came back, a plush pillow, a sheet, and a couple of soft blankets. "The couch folds out into a pretty comfortable bed." He dropped the load onto the chair where his jacket and a couple of sweaters were draped.



"Folds out?" He looked down at it, slowly, and then hummed a bit. He stood, stumbling a tiny bit, to get out of the way. "How?"



He smiled, couldn't help it, as the bigger man gave the couch a curious look. It made him wonder where exactly he'd been, and what he'd been doing. He seemed...naïve, in a way. "Yeah. Let me move the coffee table and I'll show you."



He could do that, at least; was strong enough he just stepped in to haul it out of the way, though it made him grimace a bit, back achy.



"Thanks." Though he was looking at him thoughtfully, watching the way he moved before sweeping a hand back through his hair. "Okay, so the cushions come off." He grabbed oen and set it on its end against the side of the couch.



"Okay." He hesitated, then stepped in to help, carefully, setting the cushions very gently aside.



When they were all gone he pointed to a handle on Charlie's side, then grabbed the one on his own. "Give that a pull, and the bed pops right out."



He tipped his head to look, then leaned in to put his hand on the lever, waiting until Val moved to pull on his own. And he would be -- not amazed, but amused, by the process.



It unfolded smoothly, a fitted sheet with a high thread count already in place. Valerie smoothed his hands over it, flicking a glance across at Charlie, and smiled to himself. "Much more comfortable than just the couch."



 "It's huge." he sounded genuinely admiring, leaning back to look down at it, arms folded across his chest.



"If you think this is big, you should see my bed," he mused aloud, thoughtlessly, as he grabbed the sheet off the chair and fluffed it up so he could lay it out neatly.



Charlie blinked up at him at that, then looked off across the hall. "It looks really nice."



Another smile, pleased at the compliment. "Do you need another pillow, more blankets?" He spread the latter next, half crawling up to straighten a corner.



He shrugged a tiny bit, head cocked to just watch Val and the way he moved, fingers shifting against his arms. "I don't know."



He didn't notice, or didn't give away that he noticed. "I have an extra, I can grab it. It's nice having at least two."



He made a faint, agreeing sound, attention flashing back up as Val turned. "Okay. It does sound nice."



He eased back off the bed, a hand coming up to smooth his hair out of his face. "I'll be right back."



He blinked, shrugged just a tiny bit, and carefully stepped out of his shoes -- battered white nurse's shoes, no socks.



A hand on the wall, he paused in the hall to glance back. "I know you're tired, but you're welcome to use the shower." Then down the hall to fetch a pillow from his bed.



"I might...do that later." For now, he was sinking down to sit on the bed, slowly.



He had a pillow in his arms as he came back, walking around the foot of the bed so he could offer it down to Charlie. It wasn't one he used often, but it still smelled of his shampoo just faintly. "Do you need anything else?"



He took the pillow slowly, sprawling out on his stomach -- still dressed in his clothes, down to the leather jacket.



He blinked down at him, shifting from one foot to the other before reaching for the other pillow to set it beside him. "If that's a 'no' than I can leave you to get some rest." It was still early. Really early compared to what Val was used to.



"You don't have to worry." He scraped fingers up through the back of his hair, eyes closed. "I'm sure I've slept through worse than whatever you've got."



"Maybe." He gave an amused hum, moving through the room to get himself a glass of water. "But if you're not going to hope in the shower I think I will." It'd help him relax some, and there were little pills in his room that'd help him relax even more. "If you need anything just come find me, or call."



"I won't." He said it into his arm, head turned just a bit to look up at Val through his hair. "I appreciate this much."



He rolled his shoulders in a small shrug, flashing a smile down at him before he started for the hall. There'd be the small click of a door closing, and a few moments later the sound of running water.



While he was in there, Charlie wrapped himself up in the blankets -- still in his clothes under there, head ducked down, and thoroughly asleep. This time, he didn't start at Val's movements.



He was surprisingly quick, not that it mattered, and when he came out he was just in a towel. A quick peek showed Charlie was out for the count, and with a soft click of his tongue Val extended a hand and snapped his fingers, which in turn extinguished the overhead light in the living room so it'd be comfortably dark for him. Then he retreated to his room. To the pills. Sprawling out on his own bed to binge something on Netflix until he too could pass out.



Sometime after dark, finally, Charlie would move around in the house -- climbing out of bed to head to the bathroom, finally. Running water, as he took a shower, himself.



The TV was likely still on in Val's room, the door left open a few inches so in theory he'd hear if the other man called for him, but it'd take more than the sound of Charlie moving around, or the water, to drag him anywhere close to consciousness.



He'd peek in, with the door open -- curious, more than anything else, with a towel over his shoulders and most of his body out of sight. And his eyes raked over the TV, whatever Val had been watching.



Criminal minds, somewhere in the earlier seasons, when Gideon had still been on the team. Val had made it into a pair of soft pajama bottoms before he'd sprawled out on his stomach crookedly on the bed. He had one arm stretched out so his hand dangled off the edge of the bed, and the other curled under the pillow his head rested on. The phases of the moon spread in an arc across the back of his shoulders, and there was a line of writing down the line of his spine.



He lingered there, then, leaning against the wall while he worked a towel slowly through his hair, attention split between watching Val and watching the TV.



Without the eyeliner his features were softer, gentler. Pretty, in an androgynous way, with dark hair falling forward and sticking out wildly around the pillow. The sort of deep sleep that came with artificial assistance.



Eventually, he'd drag himself away -- explore the rest of the apartment thoroughly, invasive and unthinkingly. He wasn't going to steal anything, but he'd look at everything.



It'd be very telling, once he got into it. Especially when he looked through the living room. There were books on spell work, small charms and trinkets that were all thankfully benign or inactive. One of the ottomans opened to a well organized collection of scales, bags, small boxes, and a ledger that was quite impossible to open despite it having no lock or ties to hold it closed. There were clothes on the chair, one end of the couch. Mostly sweaters, but there was at least one pair of pants, and at the bottom of one pile something that looked a bit like a corset.



He pondered over it, curious, but didn't take anything -- didn't really move anything, just looked. Eventually, his focus would go to the kitchen, instead.



Lots of nice appliances that still looked relatively new, with the coffee maker being an obvious exception. There were a lot of snacks, small things someone could grab to eat on their way out the door. Not a whole lot of items that went into making actual meals. In one cupboard there were a number of open and unopened bottles of liquor, likewise in the freezer. The thin cupboard next to the sink held over the counter and prescription pill bottles, name brand cold medication, allergy pills, and half a bag of cough drops.



The snacks held his attention the most; he sat staring at chips especially, chewing on the corner of his mouth and trying to decide if it was okay to steal one. Eventually, he decided he was hungry enough it didn't matter, and sat on the couch to eat them. He'd fall asleep with the bag still in hand, wrapped up in blankets and a towel.



Val wasn't usually an early bird, his schedule really didn't allow it, but he also never really needed to get a full eight hours. Having gone to bed so damn early, the smaller man dragged himself out of bed a little before seven thirty. The sun wasn't even up yet as he padded almost silently down the hall and out into the living room. Pausing just inside as dark eyes landed on the bed and the man curled up on the couch. "Right." That had actually happened. Not just a really weird dream. He walked quietly around to look down at him as he slept, smiling at the bag of chips that were starting to slip from pale fingers. He reached out to catch the edge of the package to draw the bag slowly from his grip.



It was too close -- it made Charlie's eyes twitch open again, made him shift suddenly to catch Val's wrist, fingers too tight around his hand. Restraining, sharp, his attention immediately and almost dispassionately looking around them for a weapon. The movement shifted the blankets around him, and there was another fluttering glimpse of feathers beneath.



Val froze, breath hitched, as fingers closed around his wrist, letting the bag slip out of his hand as he looked down at the other man, the glimpse of feathers over his shoulders. Still shirtless, chest clear of any modifications aside from the barbells in either nipple. He licked his lips. "Charlie, you're hurting my wrist." Calm, at least for now.



He drew in a breath and then blew it out, letting go almost all at once -- scrambling to pull the blanket back in over him. Charlie'd lost his scrub tops somewhere along the way too, and it put his arms on display, a glimpse of shoulder which was heavily scarred, but...clinically so. Tidy little scars along joints. exploratory. He covered these up too, tightening the blanket in and blinking himself back into focus.



He flexed his fingers as Charlie let him go, straightening again and rubbing fingers along his wrist. Watching as Charlie collected himself, pulled the blankets in tighter, but not before Valerie had seen the scars. "Sorry." He took a small step back, bent to grab the dropped bag. "I don't mean to wake you up."



"I should have heard you coming." It was rough, ragged in his throat, like Charlie hadn't slept half the day away. He swallowed roughly, closing his eyes.



"I'm very light on my feet," he offered after a moment, turning to put the chips back in the kitchen. They were probably stale, oh well. Future Val's problem. "Do you want some coffee?"



As Val moved away he cracked his eyes again, watching him go - uneasily, this time. "I don't like coffee very much."



"Tea?" He had a rolling gait that was more obvious when he was wearing less. Like there was music playing in his head. He lifted a hand to try to tame hair that was impossibly fluffed from having slept on it wet.



Charlie swallowed again, rough and tense, before he answered. "Sweet?"



"I have sugar." He thought the milk was still good, too. "Easy enough to make it sweet." Not what he'd been asking for, Val didn't think, but if he didn't like it there was more Snapple in the fridge.



He nodded at that, sinking back down onto his stomach on the bed with the blankets all tangled around him, breathing in that careful way again.



Val futzed about in the kitchen, getting mugs down, adding tea leaves to a diffuser, getting cream and sugar for himself. He'd steal little glances back at Charlie as he moved around.



He didn't get up, but shuffled under the blankets -- in search of his shirt, maybe, and his jacket, already kicking himself for not putting it all back on while Val had been down for the count.



Maybe Val noticed, or maybe it was just already on his mind. "Do you want me to toss in a load of laundry for you, so you have clean clothes to get back into?" The tea was made, sweetened with sugar and milk. He walked back with that and another mug in his other hand.



He paused at that, still under the blankets, went still for a moment -- "I don't have any other clothes."



He lowered the mug down so he could grab it easily. "I might have some pants that'll fit you." It was thoughtful, head cocked to the side.



He stayed where he was another moment, then shifted, just poking his head up -- still all wrapped in the blankets. "If you have a shirt you don't care about and a pair of scissors, I can make that work, too."



"I'll look." He'd set the tea on the side table, fingers curling instead around his coffee as he walked back towards the hall. "But if you're covering up for my sake, you really don't need to."



He didn't come out, though, just stared bleakly at Val -- and it was obvious he had no idea what to say in response to that.



 It wasn't the sort of reaction he was used to getting for that sort of a comment and it made him stop short just before the hall, half turning to rest against the wall. "Sorry. I'm not trying to make you uncomfortable." He ran the tips of his fingers along warm ceramic. "But you don't have to hide. Here."



It was a moment before he moved, slowly, to take the mug Val left on the table -- his movements very careful. He wrapped both hands around the mug, hot or no. "I'm extremely uncomfortable, but it's not your fault."



"Physically, or...?" He knew the other man was more hurt than he was letting on, but wasn't sure to what extent.



"I'm just out of my depth." It was quiet and -- yes, uncomfortable, attention turned down.



Val nodded, gaze flicking down and away as he turned finally to go root through his dresser. He wasn't positive anything he came back with would actually fit. They didn't belong to Val, but had been left there by past lovers or clientele. Two pairs of pants, one denim and one drawstring. Four shirts, medium or large in size.



Charlie stayed where he was in the bed, scraping at his own hair, which had gone wild and scraggly from sleeping on it wet.



"I don't know if any of this will fit, but you can modify it however you want or need." He laid the items out one handed, went to dig into the junk drawer for a pair of scissors, then tucked himself into the plush chair to huddle around his coffee.



Charlie still sat on the bed, rubbing at his face and trying to gather his thoughts. "This is a lot to ask of you."



His shoulders rolled in a shrug, mug coming up for a small, cautious sip. Flavored cream, no sugar. "If someone hadn't done something like this for me I don't know where I'd have ended up."



He closed his eyes, his own tea largely forgotten, mulling it over. "I don't like what I'm going to owe you, though."



He looked at him over the edge of his mug. "What do you think you'll owe me?"



He shrugged crookedly, without opening his eyes. "It always comes back around."



His thumb stroked slowly along the ceramic handle, gaze flicked past Charlie and at the window. "You don't owe me anything." It was decisive.



"Uh huh." He didn't sound convinced, though; shifted fingers around his mug, sitting back slowly.



"I don't have any interest in taking from someone that has nothing to spare." He was still looking out the window, what little he could see through the thin gap in the curtains.

17
Roleplaying / Re: Crasher [Charlie/Val]
« on: September 05, 2020, 08:27:43 PM »
The ceilings were high, molding making curling designs around hanging lights. It was fancy, but with an edge. "Soon." He was looking at him curiously.



He went a little flustered under the force of that look, his cool indifference faded out. "What?"



Which in turn made Val smile just a little brighter. "How much do you see, Charlie?" He could have been more subtle about it, but the man had fucking wings.



He puzzled over that, and really, genuinely didn't seem to understand. "What do you mean?"



Not at all the response he was expecting and it showed in the widening of dark eyes. "Interesting..." And maybe he would have said more on the matter, explained, but a sound down the hall pulled his attention. "Go, hide." Calmly urgent. "Then go out the back, find the black Civic in the parking lot."



"What's....right. Okay." He started for the bathroom instead of arguing or asking whatever he'd been about to ask. Fighting off the limp.



Val resisted the urge to pat him on the back as he passed and just walked back towards the back room to wait. Not that it'd take long, voices in the hall a moment or two later announced the arrival of a woman, and she didn't sound exactly thrilled, though seemed to settle when she saw that everything was indeed finished and ready for the night.
Ten minutes, maybe, and Valerie let himself out the back, a long, light coat moving around his thighs as he walked towards his car.



He hadn't made his way all the way to the car. Instead, he was still huddled up against the building, arms wrapped around himself, somewhere sheltered. Still mostly in the alley.



Val slowed but didn't stop, expression gone curiously thoughtful again. "Come on."



He hesitated just a little, still clinging to the building -- and here, too, his eyes flicked upward, like the sky was a threat that could fall down on them any moment. "How far?"



"How..." It made him stop, finally, turning to really look at him, the way he was standing and where he was looking. He tipped his head up as well, scanned the sky, then walked back to reach for the sleeve of his jacket. "It's right over here."



 He hesitated another moment, still huddled up where he was. If Val tugged, though, he'd follow. Woodenly.



He led him along a row of cars, stealing glances up at the sky before he was nudging him towards the side of a shiny, black car. "In."



He sat and leaned forward on his knees, head in his hands and fingers shading his eyes -- and he drew in a few long deep gulps of air, like he was trying to catch his breath.



Val hit the locks as he sat down and started the car, but he didn't pull out yet, dark eyes on the man in the other seat. He recognized fear, with his connections he'd certainly seen it enough. He saw it now.

Licking his lips, he settled into his seat. "Are you going to tell me what you're hiding from?"



"No." He dug thumbs into his eyes, sucking in more panicked breaths, trying to calm the throb of his heartbeat. "Definitely not."



He rumbled under his breath, annoyed, huffing as he put the car in gear and pulled them out of the parking lot.



He stayed like that, the awkward shape of his shoulders still huddled under his jacket, elbows on his knees. He probably couldn't sit back properly if he wanted to, and he still struggled to gain control of his breathing. The car didn't actually help that much.



Val broke the silence first, uncomfortable with the quiet. "Are you from here, the city?"



"I don't...no." He brushed fingers up through his hair, shaky. It looked like the edge of a panic attack, which he struggled to tamp down on. "I don't know. I'm not from anywhere anymore."



This wasn't really the sort of situation Val was used to having to deal with, not from this side of it. He blinked at the other man a little uncomfortably, chewing at the inside of his cheek as he tried to think of something to do or say. "Okay. Um..." Shit. "We'll be at my place soon."



"Sorry." It came with another suck of air, shaky hands on the back of his neck. That ice might have helped, now. "I'm sorry."



"It's okay." It was immediate and reactive, Val flicking quick glances across the car at the other man helplessly. After a moment he reached out awkwardly, hesitating before laying his hand on the back of Charlie's head.



He twitched immediately, like Val had punched him instead of touching him, and his breath went still for just a moment before he sucked in a sharp breath. "Please just give me a minute."



He jerked his hand back hard enough to make the car shift in the lane. "Okay." With an unhappy frown he turned his attention fully on the road, wondering now if offering his couch had been a little hasty. "Take all the time you need," he said with a sigh.



He pinched the bridge of his nose, breathing in and out in a familiar sort of way until the worst of it subsided -- just leaving him shaky and weak with reaction. It wasn't going to be a chatty, friendly drive.



At least it wasn't a long drive. The place they pulled into looked industrial, not entirely welcoming. An old factory that had been converted into modern apartments. He pulled into his space beneath an awning and turned the car off.



Still, Charlie just sat there, leaned forward on his knees and attention turned downward. Thinking it out. "...it's the sky. Freaks me out."



He fiddled with his keys, not looking up. "The sky?" He wasn't following. Well, unless Charlie was running from dragons…



"It's just a lot more than I thought it'd...." He shook his head, forcing himself to sit up. "I can't sleep in your car, though."



More questions, not less. He made a helpless little nose before shaking his head and letting that particular puzzle go for now. "You don't have to. We're going in there." He pointed to the building in front of them.



"Yeah. I'm talking to myself. Trying to get my ass up and moving again." He risked a flicker of a look up then closed his eyes again, swaying like it gave him vertigo.



 "Oh." The keys slid into his pocket. Fingers tapping on the armrest on the door. The parking row was covered, at least, there'd be no immediate view of the early evening sky, not yet.



"Okay." He got the door, fumbling with it for a moment before he got it open and dragged himself out, with some effort. Knees still jelly.



Val followed him out, taking just a moment to stretch, shoulders rolling. And this time he didn't wait to see if Charlie would follow on his own, he walked around the car to hook fingers into one of his jacket pockets so he could use the heavy leather like a leash to lead him along.



Charlie made a sound, and stumbled, but then he followed -- a hand very light on Val's shoulder, taking support. It helped disguise the bit of a limp. "You live here?"



He slowed enough to make it easy for the bigger man to stay with him, but not by much. Sticking, as long as was possible, to the covered walk before cutting across to the entrance. "Yes I do." The inside was clean and modern and stylish with bricks and bare pipes. There was a door man that waved, and around the corner an elevator.



Charlie's eyes went up immediately as they came in, scoping out security systems -- video cameras -- anything that might be watching them, with a familiarity. "It didn't look like there'd be anything inside."



"Nope, but that's sort of the point." He looked up at him as he thumbed the button on the wall. "There's a gym, a pool, and...shit, I don't remember how many apartments. A lot."



"It looks nicer inside." He leaned sideways against the wall, scraping at the mess of his hair, pushing it back out of his face. He still looked pale. "I thought we'd be camping, outside."



He couldn't help but smile, pleased, but mention of camping got a disgusted noise. "God no. Never." Perish the fucking thought. As the doors opened Val straightened so Charlie could use his shoulder for support again as they stepped in.



He shrugged just a little bit, breathing out between his teeth. He didn't put his hand on Val this time, just followed, fidgety. "Are you from here?"



He tucked himself into the corner after he hit the button for the fourth floor, hands braced on the rail and ankles crossed. "Close by here. When I was sixteen I moved into the city."



"Why?" Charlie leaned into the corner, trying -- and failing -- to make himself small.



"I didn't want to be at my parent's home anymore." He shrugged, scuffing his toe against the floor. "My parents weren't exactly accepting of a fa--" He bit it back, looking up finally. "Me."



"Ah." It wasn't understanding, exactly, just -- acknowledging. He brushed a hand along the line of his jaw, slow. He'd come down some. Relaxed, just a hair. "At sixteen?"



"Yep." He'd gotten himself emancipated and taken off the first chance he'd gotten.



Charlie nodded, eyes sliding up to the numbers on the elevator while he considered that. "Is it better, now?"



"Definitely. I have everything I need, and the freedom to be myself." He said it confidently, happily, pushing away from the wall as the elevator started to slow.



He was quiet for another long moment, ticking off a count in his mind maybe, while he considered. "That's about when I left home."



"Why'd you leave?" As the doors opened he started forward, a hand fishing his keys out again.



"Money." It was simplistic, his eyes closing for a breath before he followed Val out of the elevator.



"That's a good motivator," he agreed. "People do a lot of different things for money." It came with a note of experience. With a hum he stopped in front of his door, fingertips resting on the frame and eyes closing as he inserted the key and turned it. Then he pushed the door open to usher Charlie inside.

It was a big place, spacious, with a kitchen that opened into a living room with a long, wrap around couch. A bit cluttered, there were odds and ends all over, but it wasn't dirty. Organized chaos. A side hall led deeper into the apartment. If he were sensitive to it, Charlie would feel a rush along his skin as he stepped through the doorway, but that was all.



It made him shiver just a tiny bit, and he brushed at his mouth briefly, uncertainly, as he took the place in. "This is big."



It was big. Bigger than he should have been able to afford as a bartender. He grinned as he shrugged out of his jacket and threw it on the back of a reclining chair. "Thanks. Ah, make yourself at home? I guess."



He rubbed at the back of his neck while he thought that over, and then looked up at Val again. "You have a bathroom?"



He toed his boots off. "Yeah, down the hall and to the right." He looked up at him, not entirely sure what to do at that point, and then thought of something. "Do you like tea?"



"Sweet tea?" He blinked back at Val, and it was almost hopeful.



"I don't know. I can check." He glanced into the kitchen, rubbing a hand along the back of his neck. "I was actually thinking something warm and herbal, calming."



A blink, a moment to register, and then he flushed again, starting away toward the bathroom. "If you'd like."



It was a cute look, minus the swelling and bruising. Val watched him as he walked down the hall, then moved to see what he had in the fridge. Charlie was in luck though, because there was a small bottle of sweet tea, if he liked peach tea. Val set it on the counter.



He'd linger in the bathroom -- take some time to wash down his face more, to probe at his mouth, to scrape his hair back. He came back out still in his leather jacket, but a smidge less messy. A smidge.



I found peach tea, if you like that," he offered as he heard Charlie coming back, head lifting from his phone a couple of seconds after, dark eyes lingering on the jacket as he worried at the inside of his lip.



He breathed in, and then out, blinking at Val. "Sweet tea, Coke, water, whatever you got."[/b]



He pointed at the bottle, finished off a text, and then set the phone down. "Didn't I hear your stomach growling again?"



He blinked at Val, a hand going to his stomach -- and limped over carefully to take the peach tea, turning it over in his hands. "It's okay. Unless you're eating..."



A thoughtful frown flit across his face before he wrinkled his nose. "I probably should. I skipped lunch."



Charlie shrugged, dragging himself over to the couch to sit, slowly, with the peach tea between his hands. "I'm alright."



Val watched him for a moment before opening the fridge again to look inside. "I have some left over Chinese I could heat up. It's more than I'd be able to finish on my own."



He hesitated again, leaning forward on his knees and cracking the tea carefully. "...I am hungry."



Thought so. "Are you okay with spicy?" He pulled the take out container out and set it on the counter, then another smaller one. "It's Szechuan beef."



"I don't know." It made him smile into his hands, humorlessly, toying with the lid to the tea.



It was easy enough to check, at least. Val grabbed a fork from the drying rack and speared a smallish piece of cold beef then cupped his hand under it as he carried it over to Charlie. "Here, try it."



He hesitated a moment before taking it, shoving it into his mouth, chewing. In the end, he was going to have to chase it somewhat desperately with iced tea. Hot.



"Too much?" He looked vaguely amused, hip leaning against the back of the couch.



He closed his eyes, leaning back carefully -- slouched so he wouldn't crush his back. "....no. I mean, maybe. A bit."



He grinned, head shaking a little. "There's rice, too. That's not hot at all." Charlie could have that, and Val would heat himself up a little of the beef, add a little of the rice to that, and call it good.



"Rice would be fine." He looked embarrassed again, eyes flashing up onto Val and then away again.



"Not everyone likes spice, it's fine." He lingered by the counter as the food warned in the microwave, then portioned it out and wandered back. He offered Charlie a large bowl of chicken fried rice, then sank down into the corner of the couch with his own, legs tucking up beside him.



He settled it between his knees, the tea already mostly gone -- apparently he liked that -- and set in to eating the rice. Like he was starving, honestly.



Val was considerably slower with his, and not just because he was distracted watching Charlie. He picked at it, pushing things around with his fork, taking small bites.



Charlie downed it all, and the rest of the tea, and even spent some time picking at the stray pieces of rice left behind. All he hadn't eaten was the carrots.



Val was only half done when Charlie had finished, a piece of beef on his fork. "Are you still hungry?" There were snacks, lots of snacks. He brought the bite up, chewing slowly as he glanced towards the kitchen again.

18
Roleplaying / Re: Crasher [Charlie/Val]
« on: September 05, 2020, 02:13:33 PM »
Charlie didn't follow. Instead he leaned in the hallway, scraping at his hair, awkward and hulking where he leaned against the wall. He'd still be there whenever Val came back, looking tired and a bit dazed, that mask slipping.



The first-aid kit Val came back with was big, bigger probably than a place like this would normally need. Of course, this wasn't a normal place. "Go, sit." He tipped his head towards the booth Charlie had been sleeping at.’



He blinked at Val uncomprehending for a moment before he grimaced, looking down at the first aid kit like an old enemy. But he went. And he sat.



Val huffed out impatiently as he followed. "You got a problem with avoiding infection?" He dropped the case down on the table as he sat, one leg folded under him, to face Charlie.



"Just the astringents, and the stitches, and the adhesive..." He made a vague gesture, familiar, leaning forward on his knees.



He snorted, eyes rolling as he reached up to touch the tips of his fingers to the edge of Charlie's jaw so he could get a better look at the injuries. "I don't think we'll need stitches."



He shrugged again, stilling at the touch -- head turned obediently, but he wouldn't meet Val's eyes. And almost absently, he tugged on the hem of his sleeves, covering his arms. "Some small good news, then."



All business at the moment, Val didn't really notice Charlie avoiding his gaze. He was focused on the cuts and scrapes, the bruises, tongue flicking thoughtfully against the roof of his mouth as he let go to dig out swabs and alcohol.



His eyes flicked sideways onto Val's face for just a moment, hands folding together between his knees. He was tense, quiet, but not panicking. "I'll be okay."



“Hush." He dipped a swap into the alcohol and lifted his hand again to touch the less injured side of his face.



A muscle in Charlie's jaw jumped, but he subsided, hands shifting together between his knees. He'd sit very still, remarkably unflinching from the alcohol.



With as still as the bigger man sat Val breezed through cleaning all the wounds he could find. Nothing terribly serious, the swelling and bruising was the worst of it. "Do you want some aspirin or anything? That looks painful."



He licked the injury on his lip again, brief, eyes flicking onto Val and then away again. "I'm okay. It's not that bad."



 He rolled his eyes and tipped Charlie's head down a little so he could slide his fingers through his hair on one side, checking for any more cuts that were hidden there. "It's not exactly great, either."



"All my organs are on the inside; it could be worse." It was a joke, maybe, except he didn't exactly say it like a joke. He sat very still under the touch; there was a goose egg, yes, but no cuts.



"You could have a concussion," he tossed back without missing a beat. Fingertips mapped out the goose egg delicately before he let his hands fall away with a sigh.



"I could," He agreed, but not like it really mattered. His eyes scanned Val's face again, quickly. "...but I don't really have any of the symptoms. Blurred vision, headache, dizziness, nausea..."



He flicked a quick look up at him. "That's good." Anything he hadn't used was put back carefully, and everything soiled was gathered up as he rolled back up to his feet.



Charlie stayed where he was, folding and unfolding his hands, a thumb dug into the meat of his palm. "I'm pretty sure I'd know if I had a concussion."


[/b]

"Usually," he agreed, scooping up the kit finally as he walked back towards the back room. "If you haven't got any symptoms by now you're probably in the clear."


[/b]

"I'm not saying everyone would just...I've..." He shrugged a tiny bit, sitting for another moment before he stood, tugging his jacket back down. "Experience."



Val paused in the hall to look back over his shoulder at him, dark gaze sliding up from his feet in thinly veiled appraisal. "Do you, now?" His lips twitched at the corners before he disappeared into the back room.



He blinked back at Val, somewhat uncomprehending, and just stood there -- letting his head settle, stomach grumbling idly, wishing he were still asleep.



While he was back there he took the time to text the next person in, let her know he was leaving when she got there. As expected she wasn't happy about it, but there wasn't much she could do about it. He had his phone in his hand as he walked back out.



Charlie was still standing just where he'd been, staring up at the ceiling, hair stuck against the side of his face. But his attention flicked immediately back down to Val as he approached, like assessing a threat. "What do you do here?"



Short, too pretty to be handsome, Val didn't really look very intimidating as he approached. "Mostly bartending." Tight jeans and a dark shirt artfully ripped from apparent wear.



That made Charlie's eyes flick to the bar, assessing, his head cocked to the side. "What kind of bar is this?"



He followed Charlie's line of sight, smiling to himself. "An expensive one, catering to unique clientele."



"It does look fancy." His eyes went up to the ceiling again, then, brief, before resettling onto Val. "Do I need to hide, now? You were calling someone."

19
Roleplaying / Crasher [Charlie/Val]
« on: September 05, 2020, 02:00:33 PM »
At two in the afternoon, the place was a ghost town, most likely: the cleaning lights on and the late night popular rush of the place quieted down to just the hum of electronics, the rattle of the ice machine -- And, somewhere in the distance, the sound of a door slamming shut and the breathless stillness that followed that kind of surprise.



No one else was supposed to be there, not until later. Hell, if it weren't for the fact that Val had been scheduled to take inventory that week he wouldn't have been there either. As it was, he was about a quarter of the way through, music blaring over a pair of earbuds loud enough that he didn't hear the door slam. Instead, in that stillness, the sound of glass clinking gently from the bar area itself, followed by the sound of a pen on paper and soft humming.



He'd be in trouble if people knew; the back door unlocked(now), and it meant that someone careful could sneak through a hall quietly, unheard under the sound of music, could be more careful with the bathroom door as they crept around, steering clear of the sound of music.


It was easy to avoid Val for a while, at least until he started moving around a few moments later, the muffled sound of music proceeding him from the bar and into the back as he started moving inventory around. Stocking up what needed stocking, and then storing the rest in the back. Louder now, as he walked back and forth outside the bathroom door.



The water was running -- and flicked off immediately at the sounds of passing footsteps, with that lingering, breathless silence following in its wake again.



He'd pass by a couple of more times before the sound of music and feet faded back towards the front. Gone, long enough to make it seem like he was finished moving shit around.

And then back all at once, the bathroom door was opening and Val walking in.



If he was quick, he'd catch a glimpse of movement in the mirror, but only if he was quick. Then he'd be in the bathroom apparently alone, with the sink wet with water and a couple drops of very red blood along one side.



A flicker of something pulled his attention up to the sink, but what held it was the blood and the water. Val hit a button on his headphones to pause the music before pulling them off to drape the cord over his shoulder. He hadn't been in here yet today, there was no reason for the sink to be wet, let alone bloodstained.

Alert now, he tipped his head to glance along the row of stalls, dark eyes landing on a door that hadn't quite stopped moving yet. "We're not open yet, you know," he drawled out, cocking his head to look under the wall. No feet, but that didn't really mean anything.



No feet, no response for a moment -- and then there was a little shifting, breathless, which might have been dismissable as something settling. Maybe. In either case, he wasn't about to come out.



He waited, relatively patient, before letting out an annoyed little huff. "You better not be bleeding all over everything in there." If there was nothing, then he was talking to himself, but since he was otherwise alone that was fine. He moved towards the stall in question, but stayed close to the wall. With a thoughtful hum he flicked his hand, the door opening on itself.



That got a real human sound of dismay -- a hand shooting out to stop the door before it opened. And a splash as he lost his balance and dropped a foot into the toilet.



Dark brows arched. "Is there really any point to hiding still? I know you're there." He did it again, the door pushing back against the hand stopping it. "Do I have to remove you myself?"



Another little moment of hesitation, then he fumbled his foot out of the toilet, finally cracking the door open to look out. He was young, but rough enough to look older, with dark hair loose and wild around his face. He'd be pretty, if he didn't have a black eye, swollen cheekbone, split lip, if he didn't look tired and a little bit lost, dressed in mint green hospital scrubs and a heavy leather jacket. And he was big. It'd probably be work to remove him. A lot of it. "I was just...using the sink."



Val knew someone was there, so he wasn't surprised to see a man standing on the toilet. What was surprising was everything about him. Tall, but young, cute, save for the sorry state of the side of his face. He blinked up at him, gaze dragging up over scrubs and jacket to land, finally, on the other man's face.

"Okay." He frowned, thinking it over. "Why don't you come down from there, and we can talk about why you're using the sink in a business that's closed for the day."



It got a guarded look, though, his eyes darting past Val toward the door, all of him still tense -- one foot still up on the toilet, looking about ready to run. "The door was open."



"My mistake." His head half turned to glance at the door, then back.  He knew he’d locked it.  "But that's still pretty brazen. Unless you're trying to hide from something. Like whatever did that to your face." He tipped his chin up, nodding towards the bruises.



His eyes flicked onto Val and then away again, and if he was dismayed or afraid -- it didn't show, right now. Instead, he just seemed ready. Waiting. And he didn't answer.



He clicked his tongue impatiently, huffing out a breath as he crossed his arms. "Look, if you wanna keep hiding in here fine, but you need to give me something." His shoulders hit the wall as he leaned back against it. Short, slender, not the least bit intimidating. "Otherwise you can go, cause I've got work to do."




"Give you something?" It was guarded, still, refocusing on Val with a single-minded kind of focus. His fingers shifted uncomfortable around the door, resettling the jacket on his shoulders. It didn't quite seem to fit right, sat crooked and pulled.



“Information?" His head tilted to one side, weight shifting from hip to hip. "Like what are you doing here? What happened?" He frowned, gaze lingering on the swollen eye. "Do you need help?"



He licked the swollen lip, cocking his head as his eyes flitted away to the door again, weighing it over. "...car accident."



The look Val gave him was dubious. "Uh huh." He didn't sound convinced, tongue pressing on the inside of his lip before he pushed away from the wall to walk towards the door. He didn't say anything else until he was reaching for the handle. "We should get some ice on that lip."



He reached up to touch it, quick and brief, and there were scrapes along his hand and arm, too. Again, his eyes flicked onto Val, wary. "Should we?"



"It'll take the swelling down." He glanced back, waiting. Expression somewhere between thoughtful and annoyed. "Either way, you're not just gonna stand there dripping water and blood all over."



He cocked his head, thumb still lingering against his mouth. Then he took one careful step toward Val. "You're not just going to call the cops?"



"Do I need to?" It sounded like he was honestly asking. "Are you planning to rob the place?"



"No." Another step, tentative; he didn't limp, but there was a stiff care to the way he walked.



"Are you going to hurt me?" He tapped fingertips on the handle, not opening it yet, just watching him and the way he was moving.



"Only if you call the cops." It was blunt and direct. He kept some space between them, very series.



"Sounds like it's best to avoid it, then." He opened the door then, held it open for the mystery stranger.



He still hesitated, skin crawling, standing inside. After a breath, he cleared his throat. "After you."



Val clicked his tongue again, lips pursing as he let out a sigh and turned to head out first. "Don't try anything." He'd lead the way out into the main bar, heading for the counter. He pointed to a stool as he passed. "Sit."



He looked around the place, quick and sharp, taking everything in with an intense kind of focus. His fingertips settled on the bar, carefully, and he paused just another breath before he sat down. Rolling his shoulders under the coat.



"Do you have a name?" He asked as he ducked back behind the counter, grabbing a little plastic bag from near the register so he could scoop ice into it.



"Charlie." He didn't waffle over that, as cagey as he was about everything else -- eyes lingering on the booths in the corner, flicking up to the lights.



Val watched him as he grabbed a clean rag to wrap around the ice. "There's no one else here this early." As he came to stand across the bar from him he offered over the towel and the ice, arm folding in the bar top. "I'm Val."



There was another moment's hesitation before he took the towel, and when he did, it came with a heavy kind of frown at Val. "When do people come?"



"Five." That's when the other bartenders were scheduled to arrive. He rested his chin in his now freed hand, gaze flicking to the clipboard he'd been writing on, then up again. "Doesn't it hurt the injuries, frowning like that?"



It made him blink, then lick his lip again, briefly, like he was testing it. "...I barely notice." But then he'd put the ice against it, as if reminded.



"Really?" It might have been impressed. "So, a car accident." He still didn't quite believe that, but he let it go. For now. "On your way to or from a shift at the hospital?"



"No." He blinked at Val, frowned again around the ice pack, and leaned in a bit to look in over the bar. Curious, for sure.



"So you just wear scrubs for the hell of it?" He pointed at the minty green he could see under the heavy jacket.



A hesitation, a breath, and then he turned that look on Val again, challenging now. "They're comfortable."



Val stared back at him, chewing on the inside of his lip. "Right." Fingertips drummed, then he straightened up. "Well, you're welcome to stick around for a bit, I guess." He went for his clipboard, picking it up to look over the last page he'd been working on.



His attention wandered down again, staring across the bar. Almost absently, his stomach rumbled, ice shifting against his face.



Dark eyes flicked up, head tipping to look back at the man sitting at the bar. "I have a granola bar, if you're hungry." He turned, hip cocked to rest against the back counter. "There's also fruit."



He mulled that over, shifting the ice in against his face. "Whatever you've got?"



"Stay there." He pointed the clipboard at him, giving a flash of a white tattoo at his inner wrist under the edge of his shirt. "Don't touch anything. I don't want to lose my place." dark eyes lingered on him as he walked out from behind the bar again to disappear into the back.



He didn't budge -- but he didn't sit, either. He stood, carefully, to lean against the bar instead, his fingers scraping through the back of his hair uneasily. Ready to run, if he needed to.



Val came back with the granola bar, an orange, and some pineapple rings in a glass. "We don't have much food around here that isn't used in a drink in some way." It was vaguely apologetic, chin tipping to look up at him curiously. "I also locked the door." Fixed the door.



He made just a tiny sound at that, still standing against the bar. "...why?"



"So no one else can just walk in off the street." he shrugged, setting the food on the bar close enough to grab, then ducking back behind it to get his clipboard again.



"But we can still get out." It was careful; Charlie probably didn't care all that much about Val, but the idea of being locked in made him go very tense.



"Of course." He snorted softly, drawing a pen from the clip and crouching down behind the bar to count bottles of sour mix.



He hesitated, just watching Val for another moment -- and then he gave up and went for the granola bar, tearing into it with the ice forgotten on the counter.



He didn't look up again until he heard the wrapper tearing open, and only a brief flick. "I hope that's a good enough snack to tide you over for a bit."



He shoved half of it into his mouth to start, a generous bite -- chewing absently as he shrugged at Val. He'd barely swallowed before he shoved the other half into his mouth.



He huffed out a breath as he watched him eat, then went back to counting. If he kept getting distracted he was never going to finish it on time.



He chewed slowly, swallowed, reaching for the pineapple -- still watching Val, now. "Do you have Coke back there?"



"Yeah." He set the clipboard on the ground and straightened up, reaching for a large glass to spill ice into. Then he paused, a sudden smile twisting up the corners of his lips. "Do you want rum in it?"



"No." It was sudden and decisive, came with a twitch like the start of a shudder.



A curious reaction. Val blinked up at him with coal lined eyes before he shrugged, bringing up the soda gun to press a button so he could fill the glass. "Suit yourself."



He chewed it over a little, carefully sitting again. "Drugs mess you up."



He grinned again, sudden and bright. "That's sort of the point, sweetheart." Then a crooked shrug, hands on the counter as he sank back down to get back to work. "But Liquor isn't drugs."



"Of course it is." His eyebrows twitched down -- Charlie turned the pineapple over, taking a careful bite. After a beat, he raised his eyebrows again, like it surprised him, and he took another. "How can you say it's not?"



"If you want to get super technical, sure. It's classified as a depressant." He rolled his eyes back up to watch Charlie eat, a hand resting on a bottle of bitters. "But it's definitely not viewed the same."



"It still fucks you up." talking about it made his shoulder hike up again, tight around his neck, uncomfortable.



He blinked up at him, smile still playing at the corners of his lips. "You sure did pick an ironic place to sneak into then."



"It was open." He shifted a little, slowly, shoving the rest of the pineapple into his mouth. "...and off the alley."



"Uh huh,” he hummed.  “Doesn't make it any less ironic," he pointed out, jotting down a number before moving onto the next thing on his list.



He licked pineapple from his fingers, thoughtfully, and it was thoughtlessly suggestive. His mouth was just too full to be anything else, especially swollen up. "It looked closed."



It got a double take, dark eyes narrowing back down on his list. "It is closed." Another number written down, and Val straightened back up.



He hooked feet around the stool, flicking another look to Val. "Not closed enough, I think."



"I guess not." He flipped through the pages, looking through what was done, what was left to do. "But if you snuck in here to get away from something, then maybe closed just enough." Pen between his teeth, he kicked a little step stool against the back wall and stepped up so he could go through the bottles in use.

20
Roleplaying / Re: Letting it sink in [Avery/Tucker]
« on: September 03, 2020, 07:18:50 PM »


Avery watched him, before taking a fry and dipping it rather casually into the whip cream and shake before popping it into his mouth.



Blue eyes flicked over in time to see the fry being dipped and eaten and Tucker stared at him, putting on a look of feign disappointment.  "Oh no, you're one of those.  I knew you had questionable taste."  He couldn't keep a straight face though, a smile threatening at the corners of his lips.



Avery put on a face of being caught, shocked by the accusation, a grin of course curling at the edges. "I swear I have no idea what you are talking about, my taste is perfect." Grabbing another fry he dunked it in before tossing it into his mouth.



Tucker scooped a bit of whipped cream with his spoon and licked it off.  "Those flavors totally don't go together."   He made a face as Avery did it again, nose wrinkling before he shook his head.



"What do you mean, salty and sweet the perfect combo." He eyed him licking the whip cream before chuckling.



"Sure, but..."  He gestured at his shake.  "Desserts shouldn't be mixed with non dessert things except in very rare occurrences."  He said it very matter of factly.  "Like bacon and chocolate."



"Mmmm bacon and chocolate is good too, but fries and shakes are exactly like that. The rare occurrence." He popped another fry in his mouth.



The shake coated fry was given a dubious look, still.  Exaggerated, because it was fun to give the bigger man a hard time.



Avery grinned at his expression, eating a few plain fries with some ketchup before taking another and scooping as much whip cream on it as possible.



"Heathen," he teased quietly after the whipped cream loaded bite, turning his gaze down to his own shake so he could take a few bites.



He smirked, turning his attention to finally drinking his shake.



He was trying to play serious, drawing out the act, but he couldn't help the subtle smile, or the upward flick of baby blues to watch Avery as he drank.



Avery pretended to not see anything, but the smirk curling on his lips gave him away easily as he moved to dip another fry.



"So, um," he started, looking down again, taking a bite.  "Earlier, that was German, right?"



He rose a brow, thinking about it for a second before nodding. "Yea."


Pale cheeks went a little pink, his spoon clicking in his glass as he scooped up another bite.  "I like it."



"So I'll take that as use more German." It was a subtle smirk as he rested a cheek on the palm of his hand watching him.



He glanced up at him, then away again as he nodded.  "I think there were a couple of others in there at one point too."



He chuckled and nodded. "Probably. I know a few."


He was still very pink, but he smiled, pulling the shake close enough to drink from the straw.  "I don't know any."  A few words here and there, but he didn't think that counted.  Finally he reached out for a fry.  It didn't get anywhere near his shake.



"My mom taught." He said, maybe a little more stifly then he wanted to. "A few of them Inspoke more than English."



If he picked up on the stiffness at all he didn't comment on it, just smiled.  "It's pretty cool."  Probably came in handy, or would later on in life.



"Definitely, especially with school." He warmed back into a grin.



"Are you wrapping up with a four year, or are you aiming for something higher?"  Tucker was stopping at four, probably.



"Four, or five depending on minors. It's more of how much I can fit in." He glanced at him chewing idly on his straw.



It was really much too early to worry about whether or not Avery would be there longer than just the current school year, but it was a relief to hear nonetheless.  He nodded, running a thumb through the condensation on the side of his glass.



He ate a few more fries, gesturing if Tuck wanted any more before he polished off the plate.



He blinked, looking down at the plate like he'd forgotten it was there, then reached out to grab one before nudging the plate closer to Avery.  "Go ahead, I'm good."


"Kay." It didn't take long for him to finish off the plate, dunking a few more into the shake.



The shake was enough for him at the moment, so he just watched Avery finish off the fries with an amused look on his face, stirring his shake idly.



When he finished them off he turned back to chewing in his straw. "Have you ever been abroad?"



"No."  He took a bite, licked the spoon clean.  "I grew up in West Virginia, stayed there most my life, then came here the first chance I got."



"So this is the furthest away you've been?" He watched, a little distracted at the spoon.



He nodded, suddenly a little self-conscious, and dipped his head to take a long drink from his straw.



He smiled a bit before drinking down more of the shake.



"I'd like to travel more," he admitted after a moment, a hand coming up to rub at the back of his neck.  "I want to finish school first, but it'd be nice to see...more."



"I want to go overseas. Backpack for a bit maybe." He stirred his straw thinking. "Like Germany."



"That sounds like it'd be really amazing."  Tucker probably would have been happy just getting to another time zone.  Even that seemed out of reach.



"Could always come or visit." He shrugged, it was too soon to tell anything but the option was there.



He looked up again, trying to gauge Avery's features for sincerity.  "That's a ways down the road, but...I'm not opposed to it.  If, you know..."  They were still keeping company.



"Yea, just a thought you know." He took a spoon and dug out the cherry to eat.



That he'd asked, even if it was nothing more than a whim riding the tail end of good sex, it still meant something, and Tucker appreciated it.  He was smiling, had been a lot since he'd met Avery.  It was nice.



The waitress stopped by picking up the empty plate and dropping the check for whenever. Avery scooped out a few more strawberries and grinned. "What's one place you would really want to go?"



It probably should have been an easy question to answer, but Tucker still had to think about it, and maybe that was a little telling.  "Australia, maybe."  It was about as far away as one could get.


"Oooo nice, that would be fun." If he had noticed how long it took Avery didn't comment or register it.



"Thailand always seemed really pretty, too," he added as an afterthought, tipping his glass so he could drink the last of his shake.



"I would go to Thailand before Australia personally." More people, less open skies in his own mind as he scooped out the last bit of strawberries and shake.



Tucker nudged his empty glass to the side and sat back, running the toe of his shoe along Avery's calf.  Just because he could.  "Yeah?  I'd be fine with either."  He shrugged, hands resting in his lap.  "I'd be fine with anywhere, really."  Which was a little more than he'd meant to admit.



Avery grinned as the toe of his shoe went up before raising a brow at Tucker's words. "Anywhere but here? Or going back to West Virginia?" It was a bit more noisier than he had intended.



He shifted in his seat, looking down at his lap as he smoothed his hands along his thighs.  "West Virginia," he clarified without looking up.  "Tearmann is nice, I don't mind it here."


Avery nodded pushing the empty glass forward a bit. "It's not a bad city, not the worst I've been to."



"It's a lot bigger than the town I grew up in, which was a big adjustment."  That and other things.  "But I like it, and I like the freedom."



"Bigger cities are easier than smaller ones, too small and everyone is in your business." He shrugged a bit.



"Yeah."  There was something in his tone that spoke of experience, a distracted look in blue eyes before he blinked and looked up at Avery again.  "It's better here."



From his experience, small towns were dangerous as he kept his blue eyes on Tuck. "Agreed."



It seemed they'd both headed to Tearmann for bigger and better things.  He wondered what Avery had been running from, but he didn't ask.  Instead he cracked a small smile.  "Should we head back?"



Avery nodded an answer scooping up the check to pay at the front. "If we plan on getting up early yea."



Tucker chuckled, sliding out of the booth.  "How much is the bill?"  He was pulling out his wallet, ready to pay for half.



"Don't worry about it." Avery shrugged as he pulled out his wallet and headed to the woman at the register.



He looked like maybe he wanted to protest, but just slipped the wallet away again as he followed Avery up to the register looking a little puzzled.  Like maybe he wasn't used to other people picking up the tab for him.



Avery handed a few bills over to the woman and a few to Tucker. "I forgot to leave a tip on the table."



Tucker took them, and then folded them back into Avery's hand.  "Let me get the tip, since you picked up the bill."  He didn't give him time to insist or protest, just turned and headed back to leave a few bills on the table himself.  Popping up a moment later at Avery's side as he finished up paying.



Avery nodded, shoving the bills back in his wallet and taking the receipt. Glancing at Tuck he grinned and headed to the door to hold open.



Once outside Tucker slipped his hands into his pockets, half turning to flash Avery a smile.  "Feel better?  Less hungry?"  He was absolutely teasing.



Avery grinned and shrugged his shoulders. "I mean I wouldn't argue to more."



"I guess to be fair we sort of skipped dinner," he conceded with a hum.  "Or ate really early.  I'm not sure which."



Avery gave him a nudge with his shoulder. "I am always hungry really so really it wouldn't matter if we had dinner earlier or later."



Avery wasn't the only one he knew who seemed to be a bottomless pit, so that was familiar.  "Impressive metabolism."  Though he supposed it wasn't as if his appetite wasn't generally on the large side as well…



Avery nodded as if that was the simple case of the matter. "Burn it all off come practice time."



"Very true."  The walk back to the dorms wasn't a long one, and as they approached the doors Tucker stepped up to open one, holding it for Avery.



Avery slipped by to hold the door open to the stairs.



Turker smiled at him in a bemused sort of way as they started up to the second floor.


Avery grinned, following him up the second floor to at least say goodnight before heading back to his room.



Tucker turned on the landing to the second floor, reaching up to lay his hands on Avery's arms.  "You don't have to walk me to my room.  We might get distracted again, and then neither of us is going to wanna get up early."



Avery looked at him with bright blue eyes grinning before leaning down and placing a quick peck to his lips. "True, I'll see you tomorrow then."



His fingers curled around Avery's wrists to keep him from turning to go just yet.  They both needed to get to bed, hell, they still needed to do homework, but...  "Not so fast."  He slid his hands up strong arms to Avery's shoulders.


He turned at the pressure on his wrist, a brow raised only to be replaced with his lips curling in a grin as he slid his hands around his waist. "Oh?"


He was so much taller than Tuck, he had to rise up on his toes, and even that wasn't quite high enough.  "I need a little more than that," he murmured warmly, tipping his head up to run his lips against a tan chin.



Avery chuckled a little before leaning down so he could reach his lips.



Tucker curled his arms around Avery's shoulders to hold him there, his lips parting as an invitation to make it a more lingering kiss.  More than just a sweet brush of lips.  Something to hold onto when he walked away for the night.  To remind himself that it was real.



Avery complied, tiling his head for a deeper more hungry kiss then he had intended originally. His hands slipping a little lower than Tuck's waist, lingering.



They could stay like that for a long moment, Tuck's fingers curling into the back of Avery's shirt as they kissed.  Then Tucker was drawing back, a little dazed, but smiling.  "Better..."



"Agreed." Avery's voice was a little more breathless then he had intended. "I'll see you tomorrow then, hopefully."



"I'll call you in the morning before I come up?"  He didn't want to just linger in the hall, waiting at six AM.



"Sounds good." He would need to remember to turn his phone off of silence before crashing.



"Then I'll see you in the morning," he said softly, still holding onto the back of Avery's shirt.  One last reassurance before letting him go up to rest.



"Morning." Avery repeated giving a squeeze before letting go. He gave a slow wave as he headed up to the stairs.


His hands loosened with the confirmation, and he let Avery slip away this time, watching him head up the stairs before turning to walk down the hall to his room.

21
Roleplaying / Re: Letting it sink in [Avery/Tucker]
« on: September 03, 2020, 07:17:39 PM »


"Very hot." It was a warm, but confident response as he brushed his thumb against his cheek, his blue eyes focused on his. It had been a while since Avery could do something like this, the last few interests he’d had were more inclined to avoid anything too personal.



He couldn't help the answering flush.  "T-thanks."  He didn't see what Avery saw, couldn't see it.  He stroked the back of the bigger man's hand, shifting enough for Avery to slid out of him.  "If we don't move and get cleaned up we're gonna fall asleep like this and wake up glued to each other."



Avery gave a laugh as he pressed a quick kiss to the palm of Tuck's hand. "Wouldn't be the worse thing to wake up with."



"Maybe not," he conceded with a stroke of his fingers along Avery's hand.  "But it'd make sports really hard."



He grinned sitting up on his elbow. "True, but it would be amusing."



Tucker gave an amused huff as he braced his hands against Avery's chest so he could press himself up, wincing just slightly as an expected ache settled into his thighs, ass, and legs.  A good ache.



He let the grin rest on his lips as he sat up a little more. "There’s a towel in the closet, or a shirt in the drawer."



"Okay."  He didn't immediately try to climb off the bigger man, took his time with it and moved carefully.  When he was on his feet he moved gingerly over to the closet to get a towel, and scrubbed at the mess on his stomach and lower as he walked back to offer it over.



He watched as he got the towel, his eyes studying him over before handing it over. Sitting up a bit more he cleaned his stomach and lower off before throwing it to the hamper. "Thanks."



Tucker made a point to grab his boxers off the floor, pulling them on before sitting on the bed again and leaning in against Avery's side.



Avery wrapped an arm around his waist letting his cheek rest on Tuck.



"My back feels better," he said airily, smiling as he lay his hand over Avery's where it rested at his waist.



"Mmm I hoped it would." He smiled  pressing a loose kiss to his shoulder.



Tucker gave a pleased hum, happy he'd taken the chance and agreed to the offer for a massage.



He let the silence settle for a few seconds before pressing another kiss. "I would suggest we could stay here but I'm thirsty. I don't know about you?"



"Whatever you want to do," he answered easily.  A lot of the caginess and nerves were gone, finally.



"Let's take a walk, find a drink, a snack?" He seemed relaxed, maybe happy even.



"Sure, that sounds good."  The bullshit and the chaos that had permeated life for the last few weeks seemed far away from this moment.  It felt so good just not having to worry for a little while.



He kissed his shoulder again before getting to his feet, sliding his boxers on, followed by his pants. Digging out a clean shirt from his draw he glanced back at Tucker to see if he needed anything.



He spared Avery's ass an admiring gaze as the taller man stood up, and then set about getting dressed himself.  He pulled his pants on slowly, hand sweeping over his pockets, then bent again to grab his shirt.  They hadn't used it to clean anything up, so it was fine to drag back over his head.  Black hair was still a mess, and two rounds of vigorous sex with a nap in between had not done it any favors.



Avery dug out some flipflops before heading to the bathroom. "Give me a minute to change out of my contacts."



"Okay, take your time."  Tuck combed his fingers through his hair, trying and failing to tame it down some.  He gave up after a moment.



It was a minute before Avery came back, large black frames and his hair pulled back in a sloppy ponytail. "Ready?"



Tucker smiled crookedly at him.  "Cute."  Teasing, but only halfway.  He did think he looked cute like that.  "Yeah, I'm ready."



He snorted, amused before grabbing his keys and wallet. Holding the door open he waited for Tuck to follow him out.



It made him grin, and he slipped his hands into his pockets as he slid past Avery, glancing around for the horrible roommate.



The other bedroom door was shut, Avery only glanced at it before locking his own bedroom door. Heading to the other door he held it open for him.



There was a small part of him that sort of wished he'd been there, if only to see the look on his face, but it was probably for the best.  Tuck glanced at the closed door before following Avery out into the hall.



He locked it behind before heading to the stairs. "Any place in particular you want to go?"



He thought about it as they started down the stairs.  "What kind of drink do you want to get?"  He glanced up at him.  "Weren't you hungry?"



"I was a bit, I figured wherever we go would have some sort of snack, or smoothie." He shrugged, he wasn't particularly picky.



Didn't sound like Avery was angling for beer or anything else of that nature, so that made the choice easy.  "There's the diner at the end of the block, they have food and good shakes."



"Perfect." He grinned, holding the door open from the stairs.



Out through the lobby, the front doors and down the stairs.  Tucker was walking a little stiffly, not exactly a limp, but similar.  He was smiling though, easy and relaxed, shoulders back and head up.  He seemed to have forgotten the giant hickey on the side of his neck…



Avery kept glancing over to Tucker, maybe admiring the hickey, maybe just making sure he wasn't too stiff from him.


At one point Tucker happened to notice the glances and it had him quirking dark brows up at him.



Avery grinned, not bothered by the fact he was caught. "Just making sure you are ok."



"A little sore, but I'll be fine."  Very much not a complaint.  He liked the lingering ache.



"Good," He looked relieved about it, as he shoved his hands in his pockets. "What class do you have at eight am?"



"Biology."  It would be a short day, only three classes, but he'd have practice too.  That would be interesting if the ache persisted.


He made a hint of a grimace. "Sounds like less fun at eight am."



"I don't mind it too much.  It's not ridiculously early.  Besides, I only have three classes tomorrow, plus practice." He tipped his head up to look at Avery.  "Do you have practice tomorrow?"



"We do. Well, more like group training but still the same thing really." He shrugged a bit. "I am not so great with lecture classes at eight am, I've dozed off a few times."



"And it's before soccer?"  He had time to stop by, probably.  He chuckled at Avery, bumping into his hip.  "I don't usually have a problem.  Once or twice maybe."



"Yea, though I don't know how exciting it will be." He returned the bump with his arm, gently. "I am better at more active classes at eight am."



"I could still swing by."  Exciting or not, he'd like to see what Rugby was all about.  And if it was more training than anything else he could get a start on his homework before his own practice.

They were almost at the diner.  Tucker flashed Avery a grin.  "Maybe you just need a little pick-me-up before classes in the morning."



"I'd like that." It was a bit more sheepish than he wanted it to sound. He could see the diner lights and he grinned at Tuck. "I would love an impromptu pick me up."



"How early can you be up?  I could swing by before class..."  They might have to take it easy tomorrow morning, if they did meet up.  Something a little less...aggressive.



He held the door open for Tucker at the diner, the neon lights outside casting a blue glow. "Six is the earliest I am willing to get up."



Tucker slid a hand along his side as he walked past into the diner.  "Set an alarm for six, then."  His head tipped.  "I should probably get your number."



Avery watched him, a smirk tugging on his lips as he followed him in. "Six it is, and sure."



It was a seat yourself kind of place, and Tucker led the way back to a booth, tucking himself into one of the bench seats.  He pulled his phone out, flicking his eyes up to watch Avery settle across from him.  He pulled up his contacts and opened a new one, then slid it across the table for the big man to enter his info.



He followed him to the back of the diner, sliding into the seat across before picking up the phone. Raising a brow for a second he smoothed it over and put in his info before handing it back.



As Avery handed it back Tuck pulled up his messenger app and sent a quick text to the other man.  A smiley emoji with it's tongue out.



He dug out his own phone from his pocket, smirking at the emote and sent back an
eggplant.



Tucker snorted softly as he pushed his phone aside and looked up at the server that had just walked up to their table to take their order.  He got a chocolate shake.



He got the strawberry shake and a plate of fries, shoving his phone back in his pocket.



She smiled and walked away, and Tucker leaned forward to fold his hands on the table.  It was late now, the rest of the day catching up with him.  Tuck cut off a yawn as he stretched his legs out under the table to brush his foot against Avery's.



Avery rubbed his ankle against his as he laid his chin on his hand resisting the urge to yawn now that he saw Tuck do the same



It was easy to mimic him, propping his head up on his own hand as he smiled across the table at him.  "We should probably go to bed after this."  So much for getting homework done... 

Just this once it couldn't hurt.  "You wore me out, handsome."



Avery gave a hint of a blush on his cheeks as he snorted, amused. "Agreed, I am too tired to think about anything other than some cute face in my bed earlier."



He dipped his head, head shaking as he smiled despite himself.  "You do know you're way out of my league, right?"  He wasn't trying to chase him off, it was just hard to wrap his head around.



"I swear I have no idea what you are talking about." He sat up, slouching back in the booth with a smirk. "I don't think I am out of your league at all, just in the same league."



"Are there no mirrors in your dorm?"  He was joking, but also not.  The low self esteem ran deep.  "Either way," he continued on.  "Today's been kinda great, so..."



He stretched his arms across the table to take Tuck's hands. "You are hot, trust me on that and today was... I needed it, needed it for a while."



He blinked as Avery took his hands, head lifting, and something serious flickering across pale features before they softened again, squeezing Avery's fingers.  "Yeah.  Yeah, I did too."


He smiled too, giving a squeeze before letting go and sitting back. "I am more than happy to be your distraction, any distraction really."



He left his hand on the table between them, fingertips sliding along the smooth top absently.  "So long as that goes both ways and I can distract you."



He laughed and nodded as he folded his arms on the table, gazing at him. "I am pretty sure all you have to do is say the word and I will be completely distracted by you."



He couldn't help a grin, even if his cheeks felt hot.  "Are you sure?  That's an awful lot of power to lay in someone's hands."



"So use it well." He sat up as the waitress brought over the shakes and the plate of fries with ketchup. He moved the plate to the center to share.



His lips pulled in a small smirk before the arrival of their food pulled his attention temporarily off Avery and onto the shake being set down in front of him.  They were real and thick with whipped cream and cherries, and Tucker hadn't even waited for her to walk away before he'd helped himself to a large bite.

22
Roleplaying / Letting it sink in [Avery/Tucker]
« on: September 03, 2020, 07:15:52 PM »
It'd be hours later when Tucker stirred, pale eyes opening slowly to a room that wasn't his.  He had a moment to wonder where he was before he realized he was naked, laying on another naked person, and every muscle in his small body tensed all at once.  For just a moment there was panic, and then he caught a glimpse of colorful hair haloed across a pillow as he lifted his head and it came back to him.

Avery.  This was Avery's room, his bed.  They'd met earlier that day, grabbed a meal together, and then walked to the dorms.  A massage had turned into a kiss, had turned into sex.  He listed the events off in his head as he willed his pulse to slow the fuck down.

He was safe.


Bright blue eyes blinked open as something shifted, his breath almost freezing as he ran his hands along the bare skin that was on top of him reminding him vaguely what was going on. Tuck. He let loose his breath as he leaned up to look at him.

"You ok? Cold?" He was sure Tuck had moved, or at least tensed up in some way but he could have been wrong.


He blinked down at Avery, heart still beating a little too fast, and slid his fingertips along the other man's scalp.  "I'm okay.  I just didn't know where I was for a second."  No explanation of why that would be an issue given.  "I'm sorry I woke you up."

"It's ok, really." He ran his fingers along his back  to help soothe him a bit, he had done something similar in the past, likely for different reasons.


Tuck licked his lips, thinking, before he pushed himself up enough to shift a little higher along Avery's body so he could dip his head and claim the other man's lips.


He rose a brow when he pushed himself up, but let the concern fade when Tuck pressed his lips against his. He returned it, letting a hand slide up and run along his jaw.


Lips parted as the warm fingers running along the side of his jaw made him sigh out.  He still felt touch-starved.  Like he couldn't get enough of the feeling of Avery's skin against his own.  There was no urgency to the kiss this time -- it was slow and thorough and exploring.


As his lips parted Avery gently let his tongue explore, lazily as if only there to enjoy it, along with his hands that continued to memorize his skin.


Tucker hummed softly into the kiss, his hands coming up to rest lightly against the sides of Avery's face.  He really was out of his league, but here they were.  It was hard not to pick and prod and tear it apart looking for a lie that might not have even been there, but he really did want to give this a shot.  Whatever this was.  His thumbs traced the contours of the bigger man's face as they kissed.


He was used to not defining relationships, not staying in places long meant that Avery was used to not having things last as long as he wanted them to be. If anything he would enjoy the now, he would enjoy Tuck's company as long as he wanted him there, no feelings harmed when he moved on.  The tips of his fingers kept lingering along his back, tracing things as he continued their kiss.


He let himself sink into it for another long moment or two before slowly drawing back enough to look down at him again with a soft smile.  "Do you want to try to go back to sleep, or do something else?"


"Hmmmm depends." He looked up at him with bright blue eyes, a hand tracing his jaw and neck. "You feel up for something else?"


He leaned into it.  "I could probably go back to sleep, but I feel awake right now."  He glanced around for a clock.  "What time is it?"


"I don't know, my phone is still in my bag." He turned, trying to figure where he had dropped his bag.


Tucker looked instead toward the window, trying to gauge the time of day by the color of the sky.  Dark, but not fully.  "I think it's like eight-thirty, maybe nine?"


"Mmm explains why my stomach wants to grumble." He replied amused as he looked towards the window too.


"Hm?"  Tucker pushed up until he was sitting low on Avery's waist and lay his palms against his stomach.  "Do you wanna figure out food?"


"We could, or it can wait." He ran his hands along Tucker's thighs.


He went a little pink in the cheeks, fingertips curling against Avery's stomach as he looked down at him.  He'd mostly forgotten, up to that point, that they were both still naked.  "What did you have in mind?"


[ Redacted ]



He was completely passive in Avery's hands, floating in a haze of warmth and pleasure, and the way the bigger man was looking at him...it made something in his stomach flip pleasantly.  "See something you like?"  He had to poke at it, make a joke, even if his voice was soft and sedate.


Another grin as his other hand started to skim along his side, lazily again as they traced imaginary patterns. "I do."


Hard to tell if it was the soft skim of his fingers along Tucker's side that brought on the rush of goosebumps, or those two little words.  He made a helpless little sound in response, the joke fading away as he tipped his head into that touch.


He continued, his hands still enjoying every touch as his breath was finally returning to some semblance of normal. A brow raised though at the sound but he didn't ask questions, just enjoyed it.


He had to close his eyes, head tipping just enough to brush his lips across the pad of Avery's thumb mid stroke.


He let loose a soft sigh at the small surprise, letting his finger run along his lip.


Moving was a lot of effort, but he brought a hand around to cup the back of tanned knuckles to hold Avery's hand close so he could rub his cheek against that warmth.


A warmer smile spread on his lips as he felt Tuck's hand on his, it too was a surprise but not at all an unwarranted one.


His eyes opened again, flicking up, and his lips twitched in a small, answering smile.  He wasn't great at showing emotions, or...hell, trusting them in other people.  But he was trying.


The smile made a knot on his chest, it was a reminder to enjoy the moments and others as much as he could. "You know you are even hotter with a smile?"



Not used to compliments, his head tipped like he had every intention of hiding his expression against the inside of Avery's palm, but he stopped himself, licked his lips almost nervously, and made himself meet those lovely, bright eyes.  "Yeah?"  He didn't smile much, not usually, but he thought maybe he'd have more reasons to smile now.  Hopefully.

23
Plots / Re: Bee plots!
« on: July 02, 2020, 07:58:10 PM »
RP to-do list

Zeke:
Meet Lissa somewhere


Fletcher:
Get hurt somehow

Tucker:


Bieanna:


Zhilan:


Will:
Try to get Beau on as consultant

Val:
Move himself and Charlie to the market for safety

Keiran:
Wake up in Percy's bed
Find Kitten
One on one with Kelly
Drive Sanya around the city
Run into Corbin

Leif:
More with Cooper
Run into Sanya

Vitali:
Fight with Lissa

24
Profiles / Vitali Lupybat'ko
« on: June 11, 2020, 09:21:43 PM »
ESSENTIALS
Name: Vitali Lupybat'ko
Nickname: N/A
Apparent Age: 36
Occupation: Bounty hunter for hire.


APPEARANCE
FACECLAIM: Sam Underwood
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 197lps
Eye Color: Grey/blue
Hair Color: Medium brown
Hair Style: buzzed short
Skin Color: Caucasian
Physique: Medium build with some muscle definition that speaks to a good diet or healthy life style.  Toned, but not cut.


PERSONALITY

IMPRESSIONS
It's hard to put a finger on just what it is about him that make the most sensitive among the community uncomfortable, but there is certainly something.  He looks remarkably harmless, until he doesn't.  Eyes going from sincere and warm to cold and dead in an instant.  Those that are more sensitive than others would get a sense of buzzing, restless energy, and an almost overwhelming sense of wrongness.

25
Profiles / Leif Eriksdottir
« on: May 15, 2020, 02:04:03 PM »
ESSENTIALS
Name: Leif Eriksdottir
Nickname: N/A
Apparent Age: 26
Occupation: Painter, almost transient


APPEARANCE
FACECLAIM: George Blagden
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 176lbs
Eye Color: Pale blue
Hair Color: Dark brown, almost black.
Hair Style: Curly and long enough to fall into his face.  Not a style, so much as he hasn't had a haircut in a while.
Skin Color: Nordically pale.
Physique: Thin, but not scrawny.  He has gauges in his ears, a barbell through one nipple, and a a sprawling, intricate tattoo of a tree climbing up his right side from thigh to shoulder.


PERSONALITY

IMPRESSIONS
Seems remarkably human, but his paintings seem to have a life to them.  Sometimes even moving, if you know how to see.

26
Profiles / Keiran Greene
« on: February 06, 2020, 07:59:40 PM »
ESSENTIALS
Name: Keiran Greenly
Nickname: N/A
Apparent Age: Looks to be mid twenties
Occupation: Thief


APPEARANCE
FACECLAIM: Eddie Redmayne
Height: 5'5"
Weight: 137lbs
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Auburn
Hair Style: Shaggy a-line style; long in the front, short in the back, and perpetually messy.
Skin Color: Caucasian, mid tone, with a splotchy freckles.  Has snake bit lip piercings.
Physique: Trim and lanky.


PERSONALITY
Bristly and guarded, Keiran is quite the introvert and tends to avoid social settings or spending much time with anyone.  He seems a little on the skittish side, and those nerves manifest in snark and even aggression.  He has a hard time trusting people, and has a tendency to through up high, thick walls.  He's also very vague with any information about himself, and tends to direct conversations in different directions when they start to get too personal for him.  Or he'll give different answers for the same questions, even to the same person.  It's genuinely difficult to tell if he's lying or telling the truth.


IMPRESSIONS  Prickly personality and tends to disappear into the background and vanish altogether if it suits him. 

27
Roleplaying / Re: Charmed [Avery/Tucker]
« on: January 26, 2020, 10:51:36 AM »

[ Redacted]

Tossing the shirt by the basket he looked at Tucker before taking a seat next to him on the bed. He looked at the marks and the hair and gave a sly smile as if amused by his work.


Dark brows arched at that smile before following his line of sight as it slid down from the mark on his neck to the marks on his thigh.  He touched one of the scratches carefully, lips tugging up on one side.  "See something you like?" It was faintly teasing, baby blues flicking back up.


"I do." He leaned in to place a kiss on his shoulder before settling back. "Do you want to stay or do you have to rush off somewhere?"


The smile grew into a full grin before Avery was leaning in to brush lips against his shoulder.  It softened guarded features, so did the invitation to stay.  "I can stick around for a while." If you want me to.


"Good." Avery pressed a quick kiss to his forehead. "Did you want to get under the covers or still too warm?"


It was an unexpectedly tender gesture that had Tucker blinking up at him in surprise, resisting the sudden temptation to reach up and touch the spot.  Instead he tried to focus of Avery's question.  "Under, I think."  And he slid to the edge of the bed to swing his legs offer to plant his feet on the ground.  Not that standing yet was a good idea.  He's legs felt unsteady, hips and thighs a little sore.  In the best way.


Nodding, Avery got to his feet, slowly, his muscles still arguing in protest at not being anything other than horizontal on a soft surface. He offered a hand to Tucker if he wanted it.


In almost any other situation stubbornness would have insisted he ignore that offered hand, but he didn't want to, this time. He reached out to lay his hand in Avery's and pulled himself up on legs that felt a bit like Jell-O.


He held Tucker's arm as if to either keep him close or to keep his knees from buckling. With the free hand he pulled back the covers to plain white sheets below and let him sit down first if he wanted.


He locked his knees, it helped, but he didn't try to slide his arm from Avery's loose grip.  Justed waited, gaze flicking down the other boy's back as he pulled the blankets down, then sat when the chance was given.  "Do you have to go anywhere later, or..?"  He wasn't sure what time it was, but it had to be after six by now.


Avery shook his head sitting down as well. "Nah, I am usually doing classwork until I doze off."


A dark brown arched, his head tipping to the side as he looked up at the bigger man.  "Am I keeping you from any important homework if I stay?"


"Not really, not anything I can't do tomorrow instead." He pressed his shoulder to Tuck's. "You?"


He shook his head, leaning into Avery after the other man hand initiated contact.  Every touch was a reassurance that he was wanted there.  "No, nothing pressing."


Avery grinned before patting the bed as a gesture he could lay down. "Just let me know when you do have to leave."


Tucker glanced down at the bed as if considering it, and then turned as he rose up on his knees.  He put his hands on Avery's shoulders to push him down first so he could crawl up to lay on top of him.


Avery rose a brow for a second before realization washed over him and he laid down with Tuck's push. When Tuck was settled he languidly ran his fingers up and down on his back.


He folded his arms across Avery's chest and lay his cheek against them, eyes half closing as he looked lazily around the room.  "Were you serious before,” he asked after a few moments, tone careful.  Like he'd been mulling over the question.  "About wanting more than just a quick fuck?"


"Yes." His own eyes closed as he continued to draw lazy circles and lines along this back. "But you won't hurt my feelings telling me you don't want to."


The fingers on his right hand spread against tanned skin, nails running lightly along his chest in tickling lines.  A reassurance.  "No, it's not-"  he bit off the protest, started over.  "I'm just trying to figure out how much I should let myself get used to this, and to you."


There was a hint of goosebumps across his skin as he tickled nails along his skin. "You can tell me how much or how little you want me to be in this relationship. Set whatever boundaries."


The word relationship made him twitch, head turning to press his face into his arms.  It made his voice come out muffled.  "I don't think I know how to do that.  I've never really..." He huffed a sigh.  "You don't even really know me, why do you want to be with me?"  He sounded confused, cautious.


"Or acquaintances, whatever you want to call this." He opened an eye and tilted it to look at him. "I know what it is like to enjoy something while you can."


He didn't know how normal relationships worked.  After a moment he lifted his head so he could see Avery's face again.  He seemed so patient and understanding.  "What's your last name?"


"Keane." He replied without hesitating, it was the most current last name he had.


His lips twitched, almost a smile.  "Mines Williams."  If they were going to do this then they needed to know more about each other.  "I get bad anxiety sometimes, I smoke to keep it in check, and I get stupidly into games on my phone."


"Mm." He murmured as if he was memorizing it all before giving a soft smile. "I  have a temper at times so I play rugby to let it loose, I am pretty competitive no matter what little game it is and I don't tend to live in places too long."


"Are there plans to leave anytime soon?"  He settled his chin on his arms again, features relaxing again finally as they talked.


"And try to get into another university?  No thanks, this was pain enough." He snorted rather jokingly on the matter. "The most is maybe dorm rooms."


Tuck smiled, stroking his thumb along Avery's collarbone.  "Good."


"What sort of job do you want when you graduate?" It was an easy sort of question, but he was curious.


His shoulders moved in what was meant to be a shrug but didn't quite work with how he was laying.  "I don't know, I haven't thought about it as much as I should be."  Didn't like thinking about it.  "Somewhere that pays well, that has good hours, I guess."


"Fair enough, are you going to keep playing soccer?" He didn't seem bothered at all by the vague answer.


"I'd like to."  Another small smile.  "I'd jump at a chance to try out for the USA team."  It didn't sound like he thought it was a possibility, despite how well he played.


"I am sure you could do well if you tried." He ran his fingers along his arm, shoulder. "Would be amazing."


Baby blues turned thoughtful, like he was gauging how truthful Avery was being.  "It'd be nice.  I won't know until next year if I qualify though."


"A year to train, does that mean you will be putting in extra hours?" It was a fair question, if he was he would be panicking too.


"Not quite yet.  I'll wait to see how this year goes."  To see if he even had a chance of making the cut.  "I think I'd want to wait until after I knew I had a degree under my belt, just in case."


"Safety is always good, not that I would want you to injury yourself but that seems to be the fate of any athlete so a backup plan is wise." He wouldn't want anyone to be injured and lose something they enjoyed doing but it was realistic.


"Are you going to try to keep playing rugby?"  Were there leagues outside of schools?  He didn't know.  "After you graduate, I mean."


"I will probably join some local team, more of a hobby but I guess it depends on the job I take." It was more of a question if he stayed in a place long enough to be on a team.


He hummed thoughtfully, fingertips tapping along Avery's collarbone before he smoothed his fingers along it.  "I don't know a lot about rugby.  I might have to swing by practice sometime, see what it's all about."  If it was before soccer he probably had time to catch the beginning, if nothing else.


"I would like that." It wasn't often he had anyone there really to watch anything he did at rugby.


This was...new.  Different, in a good way.  Tucker felt warm and comfortable laying against Avery's chest and he let out a content little sigh as he relaxed a little more against him, legs shifting to straddle his hips.


Avery closed his eyes, his hands still drifting over bare skin, letting the silence fall contently.


Tuck let it stretch for a while longer, one arm stretching up to drape over Avery's shoulder so he could slip his fingers into the soft, multicolored hair.  He could feel the big man's heart beating against his chest, every long breath.  He liked it.  "We can see where things go, at least," he said after a while, eyes closed, voice drowsy.


"Yes..." Avery replied, his hands moving slowly and his own voice drowsy or at least miles away as if dozing himself. It was rather comfortable having the smaller man draped across him, and warm.  A missing feeling for a while.


It wouldn't hurt to fall asleep like that, right?  Tucker's fingers moved lazily in Avery's hair as he weighed the pros and cons of letting himself fall asleep like that.  In the end, he didn't even make a choice, his body made it for him.  Breath evening out as he drifted off, warm and comfortable.


He didn't know when he stopped running his fingers along Tuck's skin, or when he wrapped his hands loosely around his waist but he drifted off without a worry.

28
Roleplaying / Re: Charmed [Avery/Tucker]
« on: January 26, 2020, 10:45:38 AM »
"Which building?"  They were the same year, it'd make sense if they were in the same building.


"Winburn." He looked around for the shortest line on food.


Tuck followed, falling into line just behind him.  "That's my building, too.  Second floor."  Maybe that's where he'd seen him before.

Then he frowned, remembering tearing through the hall at an all out sprint while an angry looking man chased after him.  He didn't recall passing anyone as he ran...


"Oh, I am on the third, maybe I've passed you on the stairs?" He shrugged it off as if not concerned, ambling forward in the line to the trays.


"It's possible."  He'd make a point to watch for Avery in the halls now.  Tall, good looking, bright hair -- he stood out a bit.  Tucker stayed with him in line.


Taking his tray he picked out some food, mostly meat with a sprinkling of something healthy. "Do you do anything besides sports?"


Tucker grabbed a sandwich, and a  bag of chips.  He was looking over fruit choices as he mulled over the question with a thoughtful hum.  "Art.  I draw a lot in my free time."  Of which he had plenty.  "Mostly sketching."


"Oh?" He was amused grabbing a pudding cup. "Change from economics."


"Yeah, well."  He grabbed an apple, moving down the line further.  "Economics is safer than majoring in art.  That's a fickle job market."


"True, and rather have a job then none." Money was something he could understand.


"Yeah.  I didn't want to run the risk of not finding anything and having to struggle."  He shrugged.  It was all very logical, but it was obvious that was why he'd gone that direction.


"I get it, I made sure mine made money too." He headed to the cashiers to pay.


He pulled his wallet out as he balanced his tray on one hand and slid up to the next available register to pay.  After he found a table, but only so he could transfer the chips and the apple to his bag, and wrap the sandwich up so it'd be easy to handle while they walked back.  "Do you want to stop at the dorms and drop off the bags before going back to the, uh.  Lockers."  He didn't look up, cheeks a little pink.


"Sure." He had stuffed his own food into a box and readjusted his bag.


Bag readjusted and sandwich in hand he headed for the door.  The dorms weren't far, but far enough for Tucker to finish off his sandwich, at least.  Which...didn't take long.  He ate at the pace of any hungry college guy.  When his hands were free again he tucked them back into his pockets, pale features thoughtful as he glanced sidelong up at the taller boy.


Avery was used to eating and walking so he dived into the styrofoam box without much of a word. When he was done he chucked it in the trash can and downed some more water.


Tucker grabbed the door again, thoughtlessly, and held it for Avery to slip through as well and then headed for the  stairs.  "I'll drop this then meet you," he started, head tipping as he considered.  "Stairwell?"

He slid past him and got the door to the stairwell. "Sounds like a plan see you in five."


Tucker was quick.  He lingered in his room long enough to toss his dirty clothes from practice in his hamper and grab the apple from his bag, and then made his way back to the stairs to wait.  Back against the railing, he took a bite, head tipped back against the wall to keep an eye on the third floor landing as he chewed.  Still not entirely sure he had a grasp of what was actually going on, but hoping maybe he did.


Avery looked around the room, his roommate had conveniently vanished, or at least somewhere that wasn't anywhere in his line of sight. Heading to the stairs he leaned over the railing. "Tucker?"


Apple halfway to his lips, mouth open, he paused to blink up as Avery appeared again.  "Yeah?"


"My roommate is out if you want to come up?" He rose his brows.


Dark brows arched, but he pushed off from the rail.  "Sure.  That's convenient." Taking another bite, he went up.


"Hey if I don't have to see him it makes my day better." He shrugged as he held the door.


"He sounds like a real winner," he tossed back jokingly as he walked past him into the dorm, gaze skipping around curiously.


"I don't think he'll last." He shrugged, letting the door shut behind him.


"You think he'll drop out or fail?"  Hey quirked a brow, taking a last bite of his apple before looking around for a bin to toss the core in.  "Garbage?"


"Either-or.  Either he'll fail for not going to class or quit altogether." He nodded to the sink. "Underneath."


He murmured a thanks as he walked over to throw the apple away.  "That's such a waste, but at least you'd be rid of him."  He chuckled as he said it, and now that his hands were free he had to fight not to fidget.  He slid his palms along the sides of his thighs as he walked back, head tipping as he looked up at Avery.


"I won't complain, I get a feeling he's in it for the loan check." He watched him, bright blue eyes looking down. "I would say you can lay on the couch but probably not safe so you'll have to make do with my bed."


No pretenses, then.  Tuck glanced towards the door with Avery's name on it and moved towards it.  "So, uh.  Shirt on or..?"  He rubbed at his cheek, trying to rub away the color he knew was there.


Avery followed. "Shirt off."


He'd hesitate for a long moment before curling his fingers around the hem of his shirt, but it'd be almost immediately obvious why as he pulled it up over his head.  He was lean and fit, not cut but bordering on defined.  But there were scars, small and round, almost a dozen.  They were scattered randomly, along with a few smaller, thinner scars.  All of them old.


Avery's blue eyes glanced over him, noting the scars but not saying anything about them or even letting his eyes linger too long, he knew the feeling. Instead he pulled the comforter tighter across the bed as if to make it even neater.


Tucker waited for Avery to fuss with the blanket before crawling up and sliding slowly onto his stomach, arms folding under his head.  There was no pretending he wasn't flushed now, it'd spread down his neck and over his shoulders.  Again, he hoped he wasn't reading too deeply into this.  Head turning to lay his cheek on his arm, he rolled his eyes up to Avery again, trying to read his expression.  Looking for interest, or disinterest.  Something.


Avery pulled his shoes off before setting a knee on the bed, and then another as if to straddle him a bit. "Sorry, you ok still?"


"Yeah, you're good.  I'm okay."  As Avery moved out of his field of vision he turned his head back to rest his brow on his arms.


He ran his fingers down his back to follow his spine as if to trace it before putting his palm flat down between his shoulder blades and pressed to pop a little of the tension out.


It'd make him shiver, which made the blush worse, because it was a very obvious reaction.  But he took in a breath as Avery pressed, and his shoulders relaxed as he released it.


Avery smirked a bit to himself before trailing his fingers down, a little lower, to put pressure to pop again.


Every press got a series of pops.  He'd been carrying a lot of tension.  For the most part he was quiet, only the slight intake of breath with each press.


Avery continued a few times either a little higher or lower until he felt satisfied that most of the tension there was relieved. From there he started to move his thumbs in slow, deep motions to rub the muscles out.


He bit back most of a satisfied groan as thumbs pressed into his muscles, and he ducked his head a little more, stretching his neck out to make it easier.


Avery smirked to himself at the noise as he continued, working along his shoulder blades and up.


It'd have him shifting his arms, head lowering to the bed instead as he slid his arms further down so Avery could reach his shoulders better.  It felt amazing, but that was hardly surprising with how many knots the larger boy would find.  But Avery's hands were large and warm, and he had no control of the goosebumps that flowed over his skin in response.


Avery had done this enough times to know how to keep any signs of arousal from being noticed but he had a sense Tucker in some way was appreciating it. He kept an even pressure, letting his fingers work each knot out before shifting to the next one.


The lingering color was probably proof enough that he did appreciate it.  He stayed quiet, beyond the odd soft wince when Avery started on a new knot, when it was still super tender, but he was trying very hard to keep a handle on the moans and groans that kept crawling up his throat.


"You still ok?" He asked in a lower voice as he started to move down his back.


He'd nod, having to clear his throat before actually answering.  "Yeah, th-that feels good."


"Feeling better?"  He continued to move lower, not at all in an attempt to tease.


Another nod, and Tucker pulled his arms in closer, back moving under Avery's hands as he worked lower.


He got as low as to the edge of his pants before working a little bit up.


His back arched, he couldn't quite help it, and pale fingers curled just slightly into the comforter.  This time he couldn't quite help an appreciative hum.


Avery let his fingers slide down slipping a little below the line.


That'd make Tucker go still, but if he'd still been unsure of whether or not Avery was interested, he wasn't now.


He didn't go too far, not wanting to freak him out if he had no interest.


Tuck pulled in a slow breath, let it go slower, and relaxed under the firm press of those warm hands.  He half turned his head, just enough to look back at the taller boy.


"Want me to get up?" Blue eyes gazed at him with interest.


He licked at his lower lip, shaking his head before laying his cheek on the bed.


"Mmm, more of a massage or.." He ran his fingers up his back, tilting a bit.


Again he'd shiver, eyes closing briefly before he looked back up at him.  "What else did you have in mind?"


"Something a little more physical." He dragged his fingers down, testing.


He made a small sound, eyes closing again with the rush of goosebumps that followed the stroke of Avery's finger.  After a moment he rose up to rest on his elbows, head tipped up and to the side.


Hesitantly he leaned forward, pressing a kiss on his shoulder.


He tilted his head as lips brushed his shoulder, eyes half lidded.  "Are you looking for something potentially lasting, or more of a one time sort of deal..?"  He almost hadn't asked, because if it was the latter that'd be disappointing.  Not a hard no, but disappointing.


"Lasting would be nice, considering proximity, but I would understand if you have no interest in it. Won't offend me." He replied with his lips brushing his skin.


Swallowing, he turned his head until his cheek brushed Avery's temple.  He wasn't worried about the blush now, not now that he knew he wasn't reading the situation wrong.  "Why me?"  There were other boys on the soccer team, taller, more built, less awkward.


"I like people who are good at what they do, and like I said, despite your size you were better than the others." It was a bit shallow, but usually he found people that dedicated had reasons, like him.


Another small sound, and he turned his head to brush his lips against Avery's eyes closed, brows creased.


He pressed a tentative kiss to his lips, and again a little more eager.


Tuck gave a soft hum at the second kiss, lips parting in a subtle invitation to make it deeper.


He deepened it, letting his tongue slip past as his hands skimmed his skin again.


He opened his mouth wider, pressed his tongue back against Avery's, tentative at first, and then more sure as he felt the warmth of those strong hands on his back again.


His hands roamed, touching every part of his bare skin as he continued to explore his mouth generously.


Tuck sighed against Avery's mouth, hands curling in the blanket, and a part of him wanted to turn, wanted to be able to reach other boy as well, but there was something about not being able to.


He nipped tentatively at his lower lip, giving him a moment to catch his breath before moving down his jaw.


It'd make his breath hitch, pull a small sound from him that was almost protest as Avery started to work his way down, but it quieted.


He continued, alternating between kisses and nips along his shoulders and then to his back.


He felt a little dazed, had to catch his breath as Avery worked lips and teeth down his shoulder and around.  He ducked his head, catching his lip between his teeth, and his hips shifted beneath the taller boy's frame.


He continued down, teasing a bit as his hands slid to hem of his pants, fingertips pressing into his hips.


"Shit..."  It was soft, breathy, and the press of fingertips into his hips had him arching back into it before he lowered back to lay against the bed.  "Let me roll over?"


Avery chuckled and moved to get off the bed. "Of course."


He hadn't wanted him to get off completely, and as he rolled onto his side he looked back up at him, his hand drifting down to adjust the front of his pants, and the contents of his pocket.  "You didn't have to go that far."


"I thought it would be easier on you." He put a knee on the bed, leaning down to kiss his lips.


Tucker reached out to curl his fingers into the front of Avery's shirt, pulling softly even as he leaned in again, and he tipped his head up for the kiss as he rolled onto his back.  He could touch him now, slide his free hand up along the length of a muscled arm, over the broad curve of his shoulder to the side of his neck.  So out of his league, and it'd been him Avery had wanted to meet.


He deepened the kiss, his hands trailing down now to his stomach, to his hips.


There were a few burns and other scars on the front as well, but he didn't shy away from the stroke of tanned hands along his stomach.  He curled his hand along the back of Avery's neck, fingers sliding up into that bright, unusual hair, curling gently so he was holding, but not pulling.  His lips parted easily, and he slid his tongue against Avery's, head tipping.


His fingers twirled, not treating the scars any differently than the rest of him, instead they memorized it. He sucked on his tongue more eager than before.


Tuck pulled at the front of his shirt again to draw him closer still before smoothing that hand along his side to his back, exploring the way the taller boy felt under the tee shirt.  He moaned softly into the kiss before drawing back enough that he could catch his breath, attempt to gather his bearings.  "God, you're hot," he managed breathlessly, admiringly, as he looked up at him.


He would feel toned muscles and scars scattered across his skin under the shirt, none uniformed and most either patches or long jagged ones.  Watching him under blue eyes he smirked at the compliment. "You are pretty hot yourself."

29
Roleplaying / All stars [Avery/Tucker]
« on: January 26, 2020, 10:42:10 AM »
Getting back on the field regularly after everything that'd been happening in the previous few weeks felt good.  Helped him through the anxiety and restless energy that would otherwise have been creeping in to overwhelm him.  Part of that might have been just being able to get out and move around freely again, but there was something extremely cathartic about getting back into the game he loved playing.

At the moment they were running suicides, sprinting back and forth from one end of the field to gradually further points along the length of it.  They were killer, Tucker was good at them.  The boys with the longer legs started faster, but he had the stamina, and as they slowed he kept going.

He only just caught the bright glimpse of color from the stands as he dipped to smack the line in the grass.  A brief glance, pale features puzzled, and then he was off again.  He was pretty sure maybe he'd seen him before, but couldn't recall when or where.


Bright blue eyes followed as the players ran up and down the field, as Avery slowly let himself get lost in thought. The last few weeks, between his roommate's new girlfriend and the letters he had received, he didn't want to just be sitting around on his bed staring at the ceiling like a rat caught in a corner.

As the whistle blew it drew him back, staring at the figures as they continued to practice, a few of them he had seen around campus, a few he wouldn't mind getting to know.


Tuck slowed into a jog as the whistle blew, head back, and legs feeling just a touch like Jell-O, but he knew better than to stop moving. Jogging slowed to walking, and he pulled the hem of his shirt up to wipe at his face before catching sight of the colorful hair a second time.  He dropped his shirt back into place as he gave the taller boy a longer look, brows drawn thoughtfully before his coach was calling them together so he could wrap up the practice.

Five minutes later and they were being dismissed to the locker room, and baby blues flicked up once again to meet that bright gaze as he headed in to clean up.


Avery was still in the same spot, he had some realization that the practice had ended but he hadn't really considered moving from where he was. Instead he drew his eyes to the figure he had been watching earlier, shorter than the others but he was doing well despite missing a few weeks.


It'd take about ten minutes for Tucker to grab a quicky shower to wash the sweat away, then he'd reemerged from the locker room in a graphic tee and a pair of soccer pants with his bag slung over one shoulder.  Dark hair was a little unruly -- he continuously forgot to bring a comb or brush of any kind -- but he certainly didn't smell like sweat or dirt, which was the point.  He paused as he walked out into the sun, head tipping to the side to flick his gaze across the stands again, looking for the figure that had been there before, unsure whether he hoped he was or wasn't.

He'd seen him watching, it made him a touch uneasy.


He stared, more like a space cadet,  before blinking and realizing he had been staring too much at the dark haired figure down below. Shit... He muttered to himself as he realized there was a gaze directed back at him,  Now not only did he draw a bit of attention but he looked like a freaking creeper.

Raising a hand he tried to brush it off, casually. "Sorry, I was daydreaming.. off into space..."


Half turning, Tucker sank his hands into his pockets.  "Day dreaming earlier too?" It was about as round-about as he could think to ask why he'd been watching earlier.  A few weeks ago Tucker wouldn't have noticed if there'd been people watching in the stands, no one was ever there for him anyways.  Now?  He was just a touch paranoid.


"That and avoiding walking in on my roommate and his girlfriend when they forget what time my practice ends." He folded his arms on his knees as he attempted to put some sort of vague smile on.


"You're a student?"  There was another reason Tucker had a single dorm all to himself.  No awkward walk ins.

He was trying to recall where he might have seen him.  If he had practice, if he was a student, then he was probably on a sports team.  Football maybe?  He had the figure for it.


"Yea." His fingers twitching a bit before glancing towards the fields and back to him. "I'm on the rugby team, or what scramble bit of a rugby team we have."


Rugby made sense.

And with that confirmed Tucker's somewhat chilly disposition thawed.  His brows relaxing, frown fading into a small smile.  Wariness melting away to plain old curiosity.  "Do you watch our practice a lot?"


"Lately yea, takes my mind off of school and junk. Not to mention I try to see if there is any sort of tricks I could use in a rugby match." The tension eased, finally, as he noticed the smile. "If I had any sense I'd try to recruit a few more members to our side."


He cracked a genuine smile.  "How's that going, trying to pick up tricks?"  He had a vague idea of how rugby worked.  It seemed like a mash up between football and soccer, to him, but there was probably more to it.


"Not bad, helps to think outside the box on plays." He shrugged with a loop-sided grin.


It was a nice grin, kind of infectious, easy to return.  And not just a pretty face.  "True enough.  Glad we could help, then."


"You're not bad." Really he wanted to say good but that grin was too good. "How long have you been playing soccer?"


He blinked, like he wasn't used to anyone other than his coaches or his team noticing him.  "Thanks," he said a little hesitantly.  "Uh, since I was seven, or eight maybe."


"Not a chance I could get you to play rugby?" He joked as he got up, slinging his bag over his shoulder before holding out a hand. "Avery."


"I don't think so, I'd rather not get dogpiled on by a bunch of guys roughly the same size as you.  Sounds like it'd hurt." He grinned again, stepping closer to the stands so he could reach up to take the offered hand.  "I'm Tucker.”


"Nice to have a name to the face." He gave a firm shake, calloused fingertips that felt strange to the touch. "That’s the fun of the sport."


A dark brow arched at that, lips twitching up in the corners, again, like he wasn't quite used to the attention.  It distracted from Tucker noticing anything about the handshake other than the strength in his hand.  "Getting hurt is the fun part?"  He said it skeptically, amused, gaze on the band-aid across his nose.


"For me yea, but then again it could just be a cheap way to burn out anger when I need to." He gave a wide grin as he finally stepped down to the ground.


He was taller than he'd seemed while standing up on the bleachers.  Tucker had to tip his head up to meet that bright gaze.  "Sports are good for that," he agreed easily.  "What year are you in?"


"Start of Junior year. You?" He pulled the strap higher up on his shoulder as he slowly started to head towards the dining hall.


It was easy to follow, to fall into step beside the taller boy.  He had to head that way anyways.  "Me too."


"What major?" He rose a brow, maybe he had seen him around on the campus but knowing him he was trying to keep his head down doing so.


"Economics," he answered with a shrug, fully aware it wasn't the most glamorous of majors.  "You?"


"International studies and German." It was a lot but so far he had found they sort of went hand in hand, sort of.


He turned wide eyes up to the tall boy beside him.  It was a more impressive field of study than Tucker was pursuing, for sure.  But Tuck hadn't known what he'd wanted to do.  "Third year German,  I'm assuming?"


"Yea, I mean I knew German before starting, and a few other languages." He shrugged as he gave a somewhat shy smile at the compliment.


"Really?"  More impressed, head tipping as he gave the big guy a considering look.  "From high school, or something?  And what other languages?"


"Sort of, home schooling mostly." He sort of shrugged it off a bit. "My mom knew a lot of languages."


His chin dipped in a small nod.  "Fluent in anything else?"


"French, Spanish, and my Italian isn’t too bad. I learned a little Manadarin and Japanese but its not really worth the attempt to speak to someone else." He scratched at his cheek at the bandaid there.


"Shit."  He could barely stumble through basic Spanish.  "That's...ha, really impressive."  An almost nervous chuckle followed, Tuck dragging his hands from his pockets to sweep them back through messy hair before kneading his fingers at the back of his neck.  "I feel a bit outclassed."


He chuckled and gave a shrug. "My mom drilled the languages into my brain, so really it's just a lot of practice. Nothing special."


There was still that sense of inadequacy, and maybe a little envy, not that he let the latter show.  "Useful to have, though."


"It was, so I figured I would just keep learning it and maybe make some semblance of a job." He glanced at him.


He pressed his thumbs into the muscles between shoulders and spine to loosen them up a little.  He'd been all knotted up for well over a week now.  It didn't bother him during practice or games, but after, or in class, he felt stiff.  "That's the sort of thing that seems pretty high-demand."


"Yea, at least I don't have to struggle for a job later, though economics is good.  Math really isn't something I have a handle on." He eyed him, watching him trying to loosen his back up. "Tense?"


"I like math."  It was idle, absent almost, wincing just a bit as he pushed awkwardly against a tight knot.  "Yeah, a bit.  I think I might have slept funny."


"I could help with that." He said idly as he scanned the campus ahead.


He flicked his eyes up to him again, trying to read past that idle offer.  "What do you mean?"


"Something I used to do to help ease back pain." He shrugged not wanting to make it sound weirder, it was more of a sports thing really.


His hands lowered slowly, brows twitching.  "What sort of a thing?"  He definitely didn't sound put off.


"Massage, rub down a bit." He held up his hands, just in case. "We sometimes do it in rugby after a couple of rough hits or being at the bottom of a dog pile."


He opened his mouth, closed it, baby blues sliding down along broad shoulders and muscled arms before he had to look away altogether as he felt warmth starting to raise up in his cheeks.  "D-do you go around offering to massage all the soccer players you chat with?"


"No, just to teammates really." He shoved the heat down his throat at what he said.


He wasn't sure if that cleared things up or just made it more confusing.  Pale features were thoughtful, and there was a longish moment of consideration before he glanced back up again, just long enough to see Avery's face before he answered.  "Sure, alright."


Avery nodded, a hint of a smirk on his lips at at least not getting punched in the gut for his words. "I would suggest the locker room but that means turning back, but my roommate is not someone you want to run into."


"We could go back, unless you were heading this way to get something to eat."  A hand came up to adjust the strap on his bag so it wasn't digging quite as sharply.  "You're roommate a dick?"


"A little hungry yea, but I can wait." He grinned as he nodded. "Very, my fault for trying to be cheapish."


"I could eat."  Practices usually left him pretty hungry.  "Could grab something portable, eat on the way back."


"Sounds like a plan to me." At least he wouldn't have to ignore his stomach longer.


Tucker smiled as a plan was agreed upon, but didn't say anything for a moment.  Instead, he kept his eyes on the path they were walking.  "Your roommate bigger than you or something?  Couldn't you just pin him to floor if he was being shitty?"  He grabbed for the handle of the mess hall door as they reached it, hauling it open.


"Nah, a bit smaller but if I pined him to the floor he is likely to spit in my face and say something about it." He shrugged a bit. "Plus I'd have to deal with his passive bullshitness the rest of the year."


He wrinkled his nose, holding the door for Avery before following him inside.  "That sucks.  Are you in a dorm, or an apartment?"


"Dorm, I am hoping to get out of it at the end of the term." He slipped past him into the bustle of the cafeteria hall.

30
Roleplaying / Re: Charmed [Rabi/Tucker/Lukas]
« on: January 24, 2020, 08:25:54 PM »
Tucker bristled, reacting to the sharpness in Rabi's tone.  "I'm involved because you involved me.  And yeah, I could just give it back, take you at your word that you'll do what you said you'd do, but that's a lot of trust to put in someone, and you've never done anything to earn even a sliver of my trust."  He'd had a week to mule it all over, and there was something more than just answering anger in his tone.  Something tired and worn down.  "So no, it's not just your life being fucked around with."


"You have the option to leave." He leaned forward again, still sharp. "You think you get to make this choice, why, because you have it now?"


"Leave where, Rabi?  Where am I gunna go?"  His hands came up, palms pressing into his face as he sighed before dropping back to his sides.  "You think any of this is what I want?  I don't want this.  I don't want to keep you trapped here, but I don't want to get fucked over, either."


He shrugged, gesturing loosely at Tucker. "That's still your decision. You have the choice."


He looked almost miserable, like he would have preferred to be almost anywhere else.  "It's not much of one, is it? Make us both unhappy, or give you what your want and hope you're feeling charitable enough to not only make all this mess disappear, but also not simply burn me where I stand the second you don't need me anymore."


"It's still an option." He shrugged, tapping fingers against his arm. "It's a choice."


Pale eyes flicked away from Rabi and around the room before landing on the clock and he made a small sound at the back of his throat.  "I have to go to class."  It was an out, and he was going to take it, backing towards the door with a hand back to grope for the handle.


"Uh huh." He didn't look impressed, or like he believed it -- just watched Tucker somewhat flatly.


His fingers wrapped around the handle, but he paused just long enough to look around the room for the books he'd left there the week before.  When he didn't see them he looked back at Rabi like he wasn't entirely sure if he wanted to ask for them back just then.  Not the best time.  He'd ask later.

Eyes too wide, he pulled the door open and hurried through it, letting it close behind him as he moved swiftly back down the hall to leave the building.


He'd have time to stress about it -- or get over it -- before he was due to meet Lukas that evening -- in a coffee shop that was very hip, with communal coffee table seating and high ceilings and an island bar. And Lukas nowhere in sight again.


At least he had class as a distraction, which did help.  He'd put all his focus on that, and when the last one wrapped up he'd make his way to the coffee shop with the help of the pen, dropping the disguise before he arrived after ducking into a convenience store bathroom.

Then he'd wait, nudging the handle of a mug sitting in front of him in an absent, twitchy way.  Gaze turned out the window, but his mind was elsewhere.

Only five minutes late or so, Lukas sat down next to him with a coffee that smelled like lavender and a pastry that was huge and flecked with chocolate chips. "Rough day?"


He looked up as Lukas sat down and flashed him a wane smile.  "Little bit."  Tucker had most of vanilla latte left.


He broke the pastry in half to offer Tucker half, absently. "Some days are like that. And others, you make a couple grand."


It made him smile softly, lips tugging up at the corners as he pinched a piece off the offered pastry to try it.  "Thanks."  Though it was followed by a small snort and a laugh.  "I'd like to know what the latter feels like."


"It feels like the opposite of being caught and ending up in prison." He smiled at Tucker, a little more gently this time.


He flicked his eyes up, brows arching.  "Is that experience talking?"


"I plead the fifth." He grinned at Tucker again, easy, leaning over to hook his bag.


The answering grin came easily, and tugged another piece of the pastry off, bigger this time.  "Well I definitely don't want to know what that feels like."


"It happens to the best of us, clearly." He dug into the bag to pull out a small box -- not actually a ring box, it looked like a takeout container.


Tuck sat up straighter when he saw the box, leaning on his arms as he finished off the bit of pastry he'd torn off.  Eager to see just what Lukas had come up with.


He wiggled it in his grasp, but didn't hand it over just yet: instead he held onto it as he took a sip. "Trade you."


"Oh, right."  He straightened so he could pull the bundle of neat bills from his pocket, and then handed it over after counting it just to be sure.  "Here."


In return, he gave Tucker the box, and he could tear in if he wanted. The ring was a simple band, hammered, darker than silver.


He'd open it once it was in his hands to pull the ring out, turning it in his hands before testing to see which finger it'd fit on best.  "What kind of metal is this?  Not silver."


"It's silver, just oxidized." It'd probably fit best on his middle finger; big but hopefully not too loose. Once it was on, Lukas caught his hand to test the fit, carefully.


Lukas catching his hand would make him jerk, initially, but he relaxed quickly, pale eyes rolling up from tanned fingers to the other man's face, watching for just a moment before looking back down.


"I think it'll hold." His eyebrows knitted, Lukas looked serious for the moment -- thoughtful.


Tuck tipped his head, brows arching curiously.  "What does that mean?"  It didn't sound especially comforting.  "There's a chance it won't?"


He blinked, once, then looked up at Tucker with the smile back in place. "If it were too big it'd slip off, and then what would it do you?"


"Oh.  Yeah.  I thought you meant something else.  Not the fit."  He flexed his fingers gently, eyes on the band.  "How much stronger is it supposed to make me?"


"You'll have to make a fist for it to do anything -- it'll help keep you from smashing your phone when you hold it, and all that." He tapped the back of the band. "But you should pack a wallop. I wouldn't face off against a vampire, but...."


"Good thinking."  Knowing him, accidently crushing his phone would have been a real concern.  "I'll have to be careful with soccer."


He blinked at the idea, and then looked amused, picking up the rest of the pastry for a big bite. "Or take it off."


He worked his head thoughtfully, running his thumb along the inside of the band.  "Or that."  He'd hate to forget to put it back on, though.


"String around the neck." He chewed thoughtfully, his head cocked. "Not too hard."


That would work.  That'd work real well.  "That's a good idea.  I don't want to accidentally knock a teammate out."


"No, I imagine not." It made him smile, all at once, eyebrows raised. "They'd wonder, if nothing else."


"Just a bit," he agreed, smiling back.  "Might like the extra oomph getting the ball across the field, though."  Which was absolutely cheating.


"They might wonder about that, too." He settled his elbows on the table and looked around the place, absently.


"Better to just avoid it." He reached out to pull his mug closer as he said it, lifting it to take a long drink now that it wasn't scalding.


He looked back to Tucker, quick, faintly amused. "I suppose so."


He shrugged somewhat helplessly, because he was out of his depth and Lukas already knew that.  No sense pretending he knew what he was doing.  "So is this like, indefinite?  The charm?"


"Things like this usually gain strength over time." He spread a hand, absently. "It's just a little boost now..."


"Really?"  Brows arched as he looked back at the ring.  "I was worried the...I don't know, magical potency, or whatever you'd call it, would fade over time."


"No, not generally. But when I say over time, I mean..." He licked his lips, looking for words. "These things become stronger over hundreds of years. It probably won't change much in your lifetime."


"Ah."  Mild disappointment, then a small shrug.  "But so long as it doesn't get weaker over time that's still great."


"Right." He smiled at Tucker. "That or figure out how to survive a couple hundred years, right? Though most of the options I've found have some extreme downsides."


He cocked his head to the side.  "Like being a vampire?"  A very tiny smile played at the corner of his lips.  Like even knowing they existed now, it was impossible to shake that last kernel of doubt.

]
"Yeah, like that." He made a little face, and picked up the pastry. "To never eat again...oof."

]
"Not being able to go out in the sun," he added, wrinkling his nose.  It definitely wasn't for him.  "Hard pass."

]
"No Mexican adventures." He took a big bite of his pastry, shaking his head. "Seems too much to me."

]
"Couldn't finish school.  Couldn't work a normal job.  It's too much to give up."  He took another drink, looking thoughtful.  "But I guess if the choice was between that and dying.  Not eventually, but like, on the spot."


"I just feel like with enough effort I can find something better." He shrugged just a little bit, sipping at his coffee -- and sighing. Cool already.


"Probably."  This was definitely outside his wheelhouse, but he enjoyed the speculation.  And Lukas was just easy to talk to.


"Worst case I sell my soul." He smiled suddenly, like it was a joke. Maybe it was.


It got a startled blink, Tucker lifting his head from the rim of his mug.  "That's a real thing?"


"I'm sure it is." He said it agreeably, unconcerned. "To someone. The fae like that sort of thing..."


"They do?"  Well now he was glad he'd avoided the fae on the list Beau has given him for another reason.   He huffed a sigh as he took another drink.


"Sure. I'll give you power, all you have to do is promise to follow by my rules exactly and never step out of line -- if that's not selling your soul, I'm not sure what is." He shrugged just a bit.


He wrinkled his nose, glancing away.  There was a familiarity to it that left a bad taste in his mouth.  "Hard pass on that, too."  The ring tapped lightly against the ceramic in his hands.  "It'd be handy if there was like an encyclopedia for shit like that."  Avoid the fae was sound advice, but now he knew why.


"There are dozens of encyclopedia; just look up any book of fairy tales or any myth. Not all of it is true, of course, but a good amount of it is grounded in experience." He watched Tucker out of the corner of his eye.


Maybe he'd give searching for the pin another go, now that he knew a little more about what Rabi could do.  And it wouldn't hurt to have at least some minor understanding of what could possibly be out there.  He spun the ring on his finger as he considered it.  "You're pretty in the know around here, yeah?  What would you say is the most dangerous thing in this city to cross paths with?"


Lukas blinked a bit, looking down at him -- and hesitated as he thought it over a bit. "One on one, or....well, I mean, physically or politically?"


Pale eyes rolled back to look up at him.  "All of the above?"


"Politically, I'd say the fae; they're well connected, rich, and old. They know the rules better than most." He tapped fingers against his elbows, weighing it over. "Physically, a dragon. They're temperamental and hard to predict. And might eat you."


"Do they all just look human, or are there ways of telling they're not?"  He'd set the mug down completely, head turned back to watch the other man.


"Some things look human, and some don't." He finished off the pastry, idly, his eyes flicking briefly toward the counter, where a twenty-something with facial piercings was working on orders. "Some things don't look human but are."


Tuck followed Lukas' line of sight but gave a small sigh, still confused.  Not so straight forward as he'd hoped.


"You'll figure it out. Or you won't." That made him grin back at Tucker again. He finished off his (cold) coffee.


"Sink or swim, right?"  He said it jokingly, but there was a thread of anxiety to it as he finished off the rest of his latte as well.


"If you're clever, you might do better than just survive." He shrugged, shoved the last bite of pastry into his mouth, and swiped his hands clean.


"If," he agreed softly, almost ruefully.  He wasn't sure he'd count himself as clever, or he might not have landed in the mess he was in.

But he'd managed so far, so maybe.


Lukas laughed again, grabbing his bag and shrugging at Tucker. "Or you could end up chasing down vampires. Not sure that's clever at all."


"Ha, no.  I think I'll pass on that."  He stood, gathering up Lukas' plate and mug as well as his own.  "Sounds like the opposite of survival."


"No one ever accused me of being smart." He stood as well, smoothly, head cocked to the side.


He chuckled as he grabbed his bag as well, balancing the dishes in one hand to sling it over his shoulder.  "I dunno, you seem pretty smart to me."


"Kind of you to say so." He watched Tucker another moment, then shifted to fish out his phone and check the time. "Call if you have problems."


"Will do."  He set the dishes on the little bit of counter designated for it and glanced back.  "And I know you said not to say it, but still, thanks."  It might have been a business deal, but Lukas could have refused.


He rumbled a little, amused despite himself. "Did I do you a favor?"


Tucker shrugged, smiling back.  "You didn't know know me, still don't, really. You could have said no."


"Well, you can just owe me one." He took a step back as he said it, head tipped to the side.

He made a face, still smiling, and lifted a hand to wave him out the door.

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