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Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]

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Offline Beejoux

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Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« on: January 12, 2020, 10:43:32 AM »
Beau slept, but not for so very long; woke up a little after seven cold and slightly damp, wrapped up in the blanket. His coming inside might wake Will -- almost certainly would, in fact, since he went straight into the kitchen, still wrapped in the blanket, to poke around for food.

It made him jerk, head snapping up with the sound of the door opening.  He'd fallen asleep on his stomach with an arm dangling off the couch, but didn't seem to have slept soundly, or well.  There were dark circles under his eyes and his hair was a complete mess.  He blinked blearily at Beau in the kitchen before letting himself drop back against the cushion he'd used for a pillow with a loud groan.

And then Beau himself started -- hair wild and curly around his face, the damp making it tighten up, the blanket dropped around his feet. "...gods. Go to bed."

His arms curled up to thread gloved fingers through his hair, face pressing into the plush cushion as he grumbled out something along the lines of, "...what time is it?"

Beau exaggeratedly turned his arm to look at his bare wrist, and then looked back up at Will.

He wasn't paying attention, but the lack of an answer eventually had him lifting his head to squint at him, then the clock on the microwave.  Too. Damn. Early.  He visibly cringed before sinking down again.

"Uh huh." He hesitated, like he'd been caught in the act -- like he maybe should hide it -- but instead he just opened the fridge to at least drink a glass of milk. "So go to bed."

He should, and now that Beau was inside he didn't really have an excuse not to slink off down the hall and hole up in his room.  Well, no reason other than it would take a lot of effort, and he didn't have it in him just yet.  Instead he rolled onto his side and dragged the cushion over his head.

Beau made a sharp sound and poured a glass of milk, poked around for something sweet he could eat with it -- cookies, ideally. "Or don't."

If he opened enough drawers he'd find half a package of Oreos.  And given a few moments of relative peace deep, steady breathing would come from the man on the couch.

Beau huffed out a breath and slid past him to grab one of the books, taking his cookies and the milk off to his own room to sleep for another couple of hours. Until Will woke him, probably, now.

It'd be mid afternoon before Will woke up again, and another little bit before he actually climbed up and off the couch.  Still bleary-eyed, still looking exhausted.  He grabbed the bottle of scotch he'd left out the night before to put it away, then shuffled down the hall, stripping off clothing on his way to the bathroom.  A long shower made him feel a bit more human, but there were still circles under his eyes when he knocked on Beau's door.

Or maybe he was just hiding out. There was sound behind the door -- a hesitation -- and then he'd answer it, in just his pajama bottoms, squinting at Will. His expression was wary. "More crime scenes?"

Will had a pair of sweatpants and a tee shirt on, but he was barefoot, his gloves held in one hand.  Hair damp and swept back.  "Do you want some eggs?"

"Are eggs the only option?" He shrugged at Will, folding arms across his chest.

"No."  He scratched at his forehead with the edge of his thumbnail as he leaned against the wall.  "Not if something else sounds better."

"Something real?" He squinted up at Will. "Even a really good sandwich. We could postmates, if I had access to my stuff."

"We can Postmates from my phone."  He looked down at him flatly, folding his arms across his chest.

That finally made Beau smile - like things were right when Will was annoyed at him. "Sure."

Then it'd be a good day for Beau, because Will didn't really have the energy for much patience.  He stared down at him another moment before pushing away from the wall and walking back towards his room to grab his phone.

Beau grabbed a tee shirt to haul on, and came out to putter around the living room barefoot, frowning at the couch.

Will had his phone up, gloves on again as he thumbed across the screen to pull up an app, when he noticed Beau frowning he stopped, brows arching.

He looked up,dragging himself into focus. "Sandwiches?"

"Sure."  He started moving again, went to sit at the counter, head resting in an upturned hand.  "From where?"

"Let me." He held out a hand, wiggling fingers at Will. "I'll find a good one."

He shot a look at him as he offered it over, pale eyes slightly narrowed.

Beau took it and leaned in against the counter, paging through slowly. 'Burger or sandwich? Hot sandwich?”

Hand free, he pressed his fingers to closed eyes, rubbing as he yawned.  "I don't care, you can pick.  I'm just hungry."

"Burgers." Will said it was up to him, so he took over - made the order, placed the order, then handed the phone back to Will. "35 minutes. Make some coffee?"

He'd eat almost anything, so that made things easy.  "Great."  He pulled the phone closer, grimaced faintly down at it, and then got slowly back to his feet so he could start coffee.  Not pre-ground, but actual beans he had to put in a grinder.

Beau seemed oddly upbeat, like he fed on Will's bad mood. "No work?"

He got the coffeemaker started and returned to his seat, arms folding on the counter and head lowering to rest on them, eyes closing.  "Later."

"Take your troubled twenty something to work day, again?" He shrugged, pulling away to go hunt down a hairbrush.

"I don't know yet."  If he could work from home then he'd do it, but there was going to be certain things he could only do in the field or at the office.  He tipped his head to press his face in against the cooler skin of is arms.

"Touching more corpses?" He raised his voice to be heard from the other room.

He didn't answer.  He had his brow resting on the counter, hands knit along the back of his neck.

It shut Beau up, as he came out to just look at Will, eyes narrowed. "You need a good pill to sleep. Or better yet, a spell..."

Will sighed heavily, half nodding against the granite before he lifted his head.  He looked grim, the easy annoyance faded out completely.  "I'm not supposed to be on active rotation right now."

Beau started to say something, but swallowed it instead - grabbing his cup to quick rinse it in the sink.

"I don't have anything here," he continued, turning his head to watch the coffee trickle into the pot.

"Don't know what you mean by that." He shrugged a tiny bit, poking at the fridge. "How about a soda?"

"I don't have anything here to help with sleeping, I don't usually need it when I'm not on field duty."  The trickle had turned into drips, slowed, then stopped completely.  Licking his lips, Will got up to pull a mug down from the cabinet.  "There's some soda in the fridge," he answered thoughtlessly, assuming Beau was asking for himself.

"Uh huh." He'd dig around until he found something -- more interested in that than coffee, right now. He'd pour it into a cup, though. "I can't help you. Some cop would have been weird if I'd brought drugs with me."

He shook his head.  "I wasn't asking for help, just explaining."  Coffee in hand, he reclaimed his stool and brought it up to sip at it cautiously.

"It's not much of an explanation; I had a pharmacy available for no real reason." He shrugged just a little, leaning back against the counter. "....because I'm my mother's son I guess."

"I don't refill the prescription unless I actually need them."  He grimaced into his mug.  "But I might have to reconsider that."

"Or just tell them to fuck off when they ask you to touch dead bodies." He said it completely honestly -- straightening to poke in the freezer to add some ice to his drink.

He blinked, brows dipping as he lifted his head to look across the kitchen at the other man.  "It's my job, It's important."

"That's kind of self-centered."  Which, of course, was the pot calling the kettle black -- but. "As if no one else could handle it."

"Of the clairvoyants with the BP,  I see the most."  Not a brag, he actually sounded unhappy about it.

"I thought magic was a crutch." It sounded just a tiny bit smug. "They should be able to manage without it."

He opened his mouth, closed it again, and just stared stonily back at him before a muscle jumped in his jaw and he looked down at his coffee.

He dropped the ice into his drink, seeming in particularly good spirits; the fresh air, the sleep, and Will's bad mood mixing. And then the burgers would arrive. with shakes; one cookies and cream and one chocolate. They could fight over them.

Will was quiet after that, just drank his coffee and tried not to think too much while Beau answered the door to get the food.  It'd help, he had a headache throbbing in his temples that had only gotten stronger since he'd gotten out of the shower.

Beau sat down with one of the burgers -- cut it in half -- and then started to work on it, considering Will across the island. "Shouldn't've slept on the couch."

"Well, someone decided to fall asleep on the lawn."  He unwrapped his burger, peeling back the top bun to see what was on it.  "It seemed like a good idea to stay close."

That got a snort, around a mouthful of milkshake; he swallowed carefully. "What, in case a bear attacked me?"

"Incase anything set off the wards."  He shrugged, picking his burger up to take a bite.

"Like a bear." Except his mouth was full again, so it came out muffled.

He just rolled his eyes and kept eating.  The food was good, at least.  Pain in the ass that he was, Beau had good taste.

The milkshake was especially good - good enough that Beau drank pretty much all of it, even if he only ate half the burger before leaning back.

Will finished his burger, but that wasn't surprising.  He balled the wrapping up before rolling to his feet to toss it in the trash, gaze flicking over his gloves before he dragged them off with a sigh and tucked them into his pocket.

"What do you see if you touch the burger?" He nodded toward his own, curious. "The cow? the production? the cook?"

"The cook, usually."  He didn't handle his food bare handed much.  His lips twitched as he pulled open a different cabinet to pull out a little bottle of Ibruprofin, something distracted flickering through his eyes as he popped the lid to spill a couple of tablets into his opposite palm.

"Why not the cow?  It's immediate?" He tried for lazy, but - it was obvious Beau was actually curious.

He frowned as he popped the tablets into his mouth and reached for the shake to wash them down.  "It's usually the most recent things I see first, and I don't hold onto food very long."

"What about when it's in your stomach?" He set his chin in his hand, watching Will.

He shook his head, frowning thoughtfully.  "Nothing.  Might have to be skin to get anything."

"You need to do controlled tests." Beau really did love this stuff.  It crept through the usual attitude.

His lips pressed in a thin line at that, and he reached for the shake again before pausing, fingers curling back just shy of touching the cup.  A faint sound, annoyed almost, and he pushed away from the counter to walk towards the hall, dragging the gloves out of his pocket as he went.

Beau watched him go, head cocked, and then watched his shake. Will had about five minutes before he'd steal it.

He was only gone a little over two, pulling on a new pair of gloves as he walked back out, grey this time, fingers stretched and flexing.  The glasses he hadn't been wearing all morning finally perched on his nose.

Beau flicked a look down to the gloves and then back up, taking his hand back like he hadn't been plotting. "The others smelled too much like me?"

That made him frown, gaze flicking up and away as he grabbed the shake again.  "No.  They got something on them from the burger."

"All about the hands." He tapped fingers against the counter, musing. "Did you meditate some?"

He took a long drink, stalling, before finally answering.  "Some."

Beau shook his head, then, just watching Will frown and fidget. "Did you go to college?"

"For a bit, I was going for forensics."  He'd peeled the lid off his shake and was stirring it with his straw before taking another drink.

"And when they gave you assignments, did you actually do the assignments?" There was a faux innocence to the way he asked, mocking.

The tone alone made him suspicious, pale eyes narrowing a touch at Beau.  "Yes."

"Or did you do them some." He set his chin on his hand, watching Will.

Will snorted softly, looking down into his cup.  "If I'd still been on college I'd have called in today," he shot back smoothly, straw rolling between his teeth.  "But it did help me get to sleep," he admitted after a moment, shrugging.

"Blocked energy," Beau said, like agreement maybe. His own eyes skated away -- maybe they'd gotten uncomfortably real again.

Will kept his gaze down, looking uncomfortable.  "Yeah, could be that."  Easier to agree than to think too deeply into it.

"Negative self image doesn't help." He said it in a familiar way, head cocked to the side. "If you're not comfortable with your own skin or confident in your own abilities...it's a negative loop."

That made him look up, watching Beau in a thoughtful way out the corner of his eye.

He blinked up at Will. "How many people have called it a curse?"

Sandy brows arched, then he frowned thoughtfully.  "Pretty much everyone in my family.  Gift gets tossed around a lot, but not in an entirely sincere way."  Being in the border patrol was the first time his abilities had been useful, valued.

"And so you treat it as an antagonist. Maybe it's just biting back." He stood, finally, brushing his hair back with a sigh.


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 10:55:30 AM »
He didn't dismiss the idea outright, at least.  Seemed to consider it as he finished off the rest of his shake.

"Magic is fickle. If you don't do it just right..." He hesitated the tiniest bit, and then shrugged. "It definitely has a sense of humor about fucking you over."

His head tipped to glance down at his own fingers where they curled around the now empty cup and he made a slight face before throwing it away.   "It's always been a hindrance for me, until the border patrol found me and gave me something positive to do with the ability."

"Just imagine if I'd found you instead." He smiled all at once -- the expression bright and amused.

He smiled back, tried to make it light and amused, but there was something serious that flickered through his expression before he looked down at his hands again and smoothed his palms together before walking around the island towards the couch.

That made his expression fall. Beau stood where he was for another moment before huffing out a little breath. "Can I use the computer again?"

"Yeah..."  It was distracted as Will sat and pulled the laptop over to open it.  "Yeah, for a bit, let me make sure I closed out what I was working on.

"Uh huh." He pulled away to the bathroom for abit -- to fuss at his hair a bit more, maybe. It looked better when he came out again.

When he came out the laptop was sitting on the couch open and unlocked, and Will had settled himself as far down into the corner as he could possibly go without laying down all together.  He had his phone in his hand, thumb moving slowly over the screen, lips drawn down in tight frown.

Beau didn't ask what was up: just settled in to pour his way through facebook and instagram, a little bit of twitter, frowning himself.

After about twenty minutes the phone had lowered to rest on Will's chest.  He had his head propped up in his hand, but his eyes were closed, breathing even.  The tv playing quietly in the background, some travel show.

Left Beau to do whatever he wanted on the computer -- though he stole glances sideways at Will, periodically, to make sure he wasn't watching.

Aside from the internet there wasn't much he'd be able to get into, and even on the internet there were firewalls in place, certain sites blocked off.  Will didn't move, appeared to have dozed off.

There was a sufficient enough internet. He'd probably settle in to watch videos on youtube, tiktok; settling on something fashion, with the computer on his lap and curled into the corner, volume on low.

Nothing that Will would have cared about if he had been awake.  Less of a risk than other social medias, to be fair.  The agent slept on for another hour and change before a subtle shift over balanced the precarious angle he'd had his head balanced and it dropped to the side and made him jerk awake.

Beau made a smothered sound -- definitely a laugh, half-swallowed -- as he looked up at Will.

He was wide eyed with his fingers dug into the arm of the couch, and his other hand wrapped tightly around his phone like his first instinct might have been to throw it after finding it sitting on him.  He blinked, swallowed and then turned his head to look at Beau as he tried half successfully not to laugh.  A second to process, and then he slouched back again.  "Shit."

"How's your neck?" That casual mockery was back, his fingers hovering over the keyboard -- video paused.

It didn't hurt right that second, but there was still adrenaline making his heart pound.  He rolled his eyes as he tipped his head against the back of the couch, staring up at the ceiling.  "I'm sure it'll feel just dandy later."

"It's almost like you'd be smarter climbing into bed. But I guess no one ever accused you of being smart." He hit play and looked down again.

"If I go to bed now I'll be up all night."  Never mind that he'd slept away the whole morning, or that he'd probably continue to nod off until he finally did drag himself off to bed.  He blinked, head turning just enough to look at the back of the screen.

Beau made a faint, rude sound. "Sounds like my life."

He laughed, he couldn't help it, and he picked his hand up off the arm of the couch to push his glasses up his nose again, fingers combing his hair back from his face.   "What time is it?"

"Three, maybe?" He heaved a sigh and left full screen to check. "Two forty five."

He mulled that over, a finger tapping the back of his phone.  "Do you know how late your dad lingers at his office?"  He was supposed to call him back, but he very clearly didn't want to.

Beau twitched at that, and finally came fully into focus. "Why?"

"He demanded I call him back today, but I only have that number."  He sighed, apparently forgetting the other number he’d been given..  "If he's already left then there's nothing I can do today."

Beau shifted slowly, thinking it over. "He's still there. You should wait until six to call if you want to accidentally miss him."

His finger kept tapping, internally debating.  "He's probably going to be pissed either way, but I definitely don't have the energy to deal with him right now."

"So after six." He paused, though, chewing it over. Wriggling a little. "Six thirty to be safe."

Which gave Will three and a half hours to kill before leaving a bullshit apology for Mr. Eastoft's machine, or secretary.  He didn't want to keep falling asleep.  With a huff he pushed himself up a little straighter, rubbing fingers along his temples.

"Don't you have any hobbies?" He said it idly, attention turning pointedly back down to the screen.

He glanced at Beau, then back down at his own hands.  "I have hobbies."  It was vaguely defensive.  He rolled up to his feet, arching his back as he stretched all the way down to his toes before shaking his shoulders out and heading down the hall.

Beau's stole just a sideways look as Will stretched. "Besides the gym?"

"Cooking, collecting wine and other aged liquors, reading," he was listing as he walked into his room, but he was only in there for a moment, reappeared a moment later with socks and a pair of running shoes dangling from one hand.  "How about you grab that power cord and bring that thing downstairs."

He eyed the shoes, debating. "Why? What are we doing?"

"You can keep watching whatever it is you're watching while I use the treadmill."  And possibly the other equipment he had down there, but he wasn't sure he had the energy for it.  "Unless you feel like working out with me."

He thought that over more seriously, eyebrows lowering. "Are you wearing that?"

He glanced down at the sweatpants before quirking a brow.  "Minus the shirt."  Since Beau hadn't moved yet he sat on the edge of the couch to pull the socks and shoes on.

That made him smile and he closed up the laptop carefully, turning to unplug the cord and wrap it up.

There might have been a very small smile on Will's lips as he walked past Beau to a door nestled against the inside wall and opened it to reveal a set of wooden stairs.

The basement was semi-finished, divided.  There was a desk tucked into the corner, but no computer on it.  The chair tucked into it was nice, not cheap.  There was another tv mounted high up on the far wall, another couch that looked like it folded out, and then off to the side a large mat with a treadmill, weight bench, and other machines.  There was another door set into one of the walls close to the desk.  Will flicked on track lights as he went down.

Beau set the laptop down on the desk, looking the place over with his eyes narrowed. "This is less murder cave than it could be."

Will glanced over his shoulder at him before bending to grab a bottle of water from a mini fridge beside the desk.  "Why would it be murder cavey?"

"Older bachelor who lives alone and wears leather gloves all the time?" He arched an eyebrow as he dropped down to sit, legs sprawled in front of him.

"I don't wear leather gloves."  He wiggled his fingers at him over his shoulder before dragging the tee shirt over his head and dropping it on the weight bench.  "How about some music?"

"Are you asking me to choose?" He watched Will strip out of the corner of his eye, not quite subtle.

"Mmhmm."  He set the bottle in the cup holder on the treadmill as he stepped up onto it, then took a moment to tie the draw strings on his pants tighter.  It beeped as he hit a button to start it up.

Beau hesitated before he picked something upbeat, danceable, a little weird. It'd set a good pace for Will, and he could sit back to watch.

His brows twitched as the music started, gaze flicking over to Beau before he set a program and fell immediately into an easy jog.

Beau smiled at him, slouching and poking at the computer but mostly watching Will. "You do this every day?"

He could still talk, which meant he wasn't pushing himself as much as he should have been, but he also didn't usually have someone there watching and talking to him.  "Most days.  Missed a few though."  He had good form, looked comfortable despite having shitty sleep.  Like he could have kept up the pace for hours.

"Sleeping all through the day?" He was still comfortably mocking, draping an arm over the back of the chair.

"Been preoccupied."  With you.  He hadn't made it down to work out or run since he'd brought Beau home.  The treadmill revved up a bit quicker, incline creeping up, and Will had to adjust his speed.

He rumbled, scratching along the line of his jaw. "Do you get the runner's high? I've been told that's a thing, but mostly it just makes me feel miserable."

He shot a quick glance over at Beau slouched back in the chair and it made him huff out a laugh.  "Yeah, if I go long enough.  Gotta work through the miserable stage."

"Must be genetic." He cocked his head a little, eyes dragging down over Will. He was, obviously, shameless. "Some people get it..."

He couldn't shrug like this, but he tipped his head in something close.  "Dunno."  His voice was going a little breathless, and there was a fine sheen of sweat at his collarbone and along his back.  "You don't like it, do you?  Working out."

"Not at all." He made a sour face that softened quickly. "I like the gym, though."

Another amused sound.  "Window shopping?"  He flicked another look at him, but the treadmill kicked into a full on run and for at least a couple of minutes Will didn't have the air to spare for talking.

"Sometimes." He smiled up at Will, lifted one shoulder in a shrug. "Sometimes keeping company. Or taking pictures."

The next section of the program was a brief cool down and it slowed from a sprint to a brisk walk.  Will was definitely breathing hard now, and he reached for the bottle of water to take a long drink before he said anything again.  "Pictures?"

"For instagram." He wobbled a hand back and forth. "You know. Workout clothes, hair just a little mussed, bottle of water..."

He grinned, sweeping his hands back through his hair to smooth it away from his face.  "You in workout clothes?"

"They're really nice workout clothes." Definitely nothing like what Will had on. He smiled again. "You know instagram."

"I'm sure they're very nice looking."  Will didn't think it really mattered what you wore while you worked out, so long as you actually put the work in.  He owned nicer than the sweats he was wearing, but he wasn't that particular. Suits, on the other hand...

"And yes, I know Instagram."  He huffed, amused.

"No, I mean -- you know. Don't you ever look at peoples' instagram pictures?" He shrugged just a tiny bit.

"Yes, I know what you're talking about.  Faux casual, lots of staging to make things look effortless and perfect."  He waved a hand.

"A lot of effort to make it look effortless, yes." His smile was unapologetic. "You should look at my instagram. Before it rots and dies."

He flicked a hand at the laptop Beau had brought down with him but hadn't opened again, starting into a jog again. "Leave a tab up with it and I'll look at it later."

He looked aside at it, thinking it over -- and then half turned to get it going. "I'm surprised you didn't already."

"I don't really get into social media that much."  He had a Facebook, but it was woefully barren.  He hadn't posted anything to it...well, he couldn't remember the last time.

"But you researched me, didn't you?" He shrugged slowly, stealing another look up at Will.

"We have a file on you, there's quite a bit in there."  He tipped his head to glance back at Beau, caught him watching, but then he'd already known he had been.

It's not like he looked away. He still looked relaxed, in that chair. "That's an important one, though, don't you think?"

"Not usually."  Parole cases weren't usually this complicated.  And Beau's case had been complicated before Will had even gotten involved.  "You are a bit of a special case, though."

"I've been told that before." He smiled up at Will, then dropped his head to scroll absently for a gym picture.

His gaze lingered on that smile a moment more before Beau was looking down and Will was turning back to the treadmill as it entered into the final cool down walk, slower than the previous one.  He took another drink of water, wiping his mouth on the his arm.

Beau leaned back again, stretching out his legs and lifting up the hem of his shirt to scratch absently at his stomach. "I don't like it, though. The gym."

Will stretched his arms up over his head before lacing his fingers at the back of his neck, head tipped just enough to see Beau out the corner of his eye.  "None of it?  You don't like sports, or swimming?"

He tilted his head a little, thinking it over. "Swimming's okay. I didn't mind fencing, but I also wasn't particularly good at it."

"Doesn't surprise me that you know how to fence."  He was a little out of breath, but not too bad considering he'd just run most of a 5k.

He shrugged a little bit, tapping fingers against the desk. "Knew. It's been a while."

"Not like riding a bike?"  He dropped his hands to catch the sides of the treadmill as it came to a stop, then finally stepped down, sweeping his hair back off his face again.

"There are an awful lot of rules for fencing." It came with a wry twist of his mouth. "Not so much bikes."

"How do you feel about bikes in general?"   It came with a curious loft of sandy brows.

"I don't own one." He hesitated again, then flicked fingers at Will. "If you're trying to get me to join you, no thank you."

"Just curious if you liked riding."  But he said it with a grin, walking over to look down at the picture Beau had pulled up.

It was a really good photo, and he looked really good -- in a way that Will had never seen him. He was in the fancy clothes, taking a very long drink of water, leaned up against a machine, with his hair wild and tousled and halfway into his face.

He looked at it for a long time, expression hard to decipher, half bent beside the chair with a hand on the desk for support.  "No one ever looks that good when they're working out."  It wasn't a compliment, but it also sort of was.

There was the smile again, sudden, pleased. "Well, no. But everyone wants to." The like count was ridiculous.

No argument there.  Will wasn't much different.  Maybe he didn't pose, but he certainly liked looking a certain way.  "Looks like a lot of people approve."

"People want what they don't have." He scrolled absently through more pictures; him with girls, drinking a milkshake in one, looking out a window, until he got back to pictures of him with the Chinese boy -- and then, all at once, he closed the page. "You know, instagram."


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 11:02:19 AM »
"I don't think it's just exclusive to Instagram."  He straightened up, rolling the water bottle between his hands as he considered the weight bench.

"It's the easiest to manage, especially if you know someone good with photos and phones." He shrugged, just the tiniest bit, looking at the computer mouse.

He picked up the discarded tee-shirt to wipe off his face, head tipping to check the weights on the bar.  "You help a lot of people out with theirs?"

"I couldn't much use phones, before." He fidgeted, shrugged. "Too close and I wrecked them. THis is all kind of new."

"You had a phone before, didn't you?"  He seemed genuinely curious, glancing back at him before laying on the bench and curling fingers around the bar above his head.

"Had a phone, but...." He rocked a hand back and forth, so so. "I had two. The iphone was finicky, I definitely had to put it away any time there was real magic."

"Ah.  Sounds like a pain in the ass."  He breathed out, settled his shoulders, and pushed the bar up to bring it down over his chest before pushing it up again.

"I went through about six phones last year." It was agreeing, absently. "Shorted, or bugged..."

He did ten reps before setting the bar back with a minor clank and resting his hands on his chest.  "Active magic interfering, maybe?  I don't seem to have a problem."

"I'm... I was in touch with my energy flow." He shrugged, twisting to watch Will again. "Maybe it was about that."

"That could be, I'm not in touch with mine."  He looked thoughtfully up at the ceiling, wondering if he could recall any of the other agents with magical abilities having issues with electronics.

There were probably a few - though not as many as people with more passive or acquired powers, maybe. it didn't pay well enough to hold someone like Beau for long. He leaned in over the back of the chair, watching. "No, obviously not."

With a small grunt he rolled up to sit on the edge of the bench, and somehow worn and sweaty he actually looked better than he had all day.  Runner's high.  He ran his fingers together, attention down on his hands for a distracted moment before he got up to grab the bottle of water from the desk.

Beau made a sound, sitting up. "Wait. take your gloves off."

It made him hesitate, but he curled his fingers back just shy of the bottle so he could peel the gloves off one at a time, slipping them into his pocket.

He beckoned Will over with one finger, still folded over the back of his chair, head cocked to the side.

There was a small, thoughtful frown on his face as he came up to stand beside the chair Beau was sitting in.

He reached out to take Will's hands and press his palms together, just grimacing a little at the sweat. "I wish I could feel it. I have a hunch you're better centered now."

His hands twitched with the contact, fingers flexing before Beau was pressing them together.  Even knowing there'd be nothing, it was hard not to expect to see something.  "Why?"

"Less agitated." He cocked his head, both hands wrapped around Will's. "Imagine the light, just to see if you feel anything."

Beau's hands on his was no less distracting sober.  He looked down at them, lips twitching before he closed his eyes with a small sigh and tried to remember how the younger man had walked him through this the night before.

He looked up at Will's face, assessing, and then puffed out a sigh. He could guide it again, voice low and serious, still cupping Will's hands; starting with the light at his joints, in his center, guiding it to the middle of his palms, this time making sure that all the pathways were open and straight.

It was easier with Beau's voice guiding him.  He let out another sigh, but it was settling, and his shoulders loosened as he visualized light flowing down his arms into his palms.

Beau went quiet after a moment, just watching Will's face. "...you'll have to test it, eventually. But this direction should make you more sensitive, not less.."

"And that'll lead to controlling it?"  He opened his eyes to look down at Beau, head tipped and hair falling back into his face.

"It should. You're guiding power to your hands; you're opening it up." He hesitated a little, head tipped to the side. "You should be able to draw it back into your core, then, to close them off. At least theoretically."

Pale eyes flicked back down to their hands.  "Being more sensitive...is that just in general, or when I focus on it?"

"When you gather it up like this." He unfolded Will's hands to hold them palm up, thumbs settled in the middle of his hands. "The energy is here, now. Your hands are more sensitive."

Relief flicked through tanned features, lips twitching again before Beau's thumbs on his palms held his attention.

He shrugged just a tiny bit, turning his own attention down. "If you want to be in control, you have to guide it. Turning it on and off is the easiest place to start."

His hands were very still, either trying not to draw attention to the contact, or just very distracted by it.  "Okay.  It shouldn't be too hard to check.  I just need to have something to touch before, and again after."

"It'd be a good place to start." He hesitated a little, pressing his thumbs down on the pressure point in the center of Will's palms. "I think making you more sensitive is easier than closing it off."

It made his fingers twitch automatically, and he dropped his gaze from their hands to the floor.  "So I practice this for a while, and then...?"

"Then you can have a baseline, and more sensitive. And when you have a grasp on that, we can work on withdrawing the energy, so that you're less sensitive." He shrugged crookedly, smoothing his thumbs up Will's lifeline. "It's not easy, despite what you think. It takes work."

He should have pulled his hands away, but instead there was only a small flex of his fingers.  "...I know learning takes work."

"Well, magic takes learning, but it's more than that." He nodded toward the weights, absently. "It's more like that, honestly. Conditioning plus learning. Though at least you don't have to learn all the gestures, so it's not also learning a new language..."

He glanced up at the weights, but his attention lowered back to Beau's thumbs on his palms.  "That seems complicated, learning hand gestures..."

Beau did have good hands; long fingers, strong thumbs, finding the pressure points in Will's palms expertly. He was probably going to regret the fact that he was still standing. And beau's touch was distracted, absent and thoughtless. "It's all about channeling energy. I'm sure there were other ways I could have done it, but we do as we're taught."

"Uh huh."  It gave him goosebumps, made his fingers flex and twitch the more Beau worked at the pressure points, and it wouldn't be entirely hard to tell he liked the way it felt.  He licked his lips, gaze flicking up to see Beau's face.

His attention was turned down now, a bit -- distant. Closed off, just a smidge. "It's possible that my visualizations aren't right for you, either; maybe you should be hunting your runner's high, instead."

"I don't know," he admitted thoughtfully, spreading his fingers wide as he looked back down at their hands.  "They might be working just fine, it's just a matter of testing it..."

"Well, grab something non-offensive, then." he let go, finally, leaning back in the chair.

He cleared his throat as Beau let go, glancing around distractedly before settling on the bottle of water he'd been about to grab before Beau had stopped him.   Pale eyes closed as he closed his fingers around the clear plastic.

Maybe it would be more sensitive; maybe he'd get something off the bottle that was stronger, clearer than usual. But maybe also a bottle of water wasn't all that strong an emotional impact.

Sure to be benign, though.  There was next to no chance this specific bottle of water had been used for anything awful.  He got a worker on an assembly line, irritated by a double shift.  He just wasn’t sure if he would have seen the same thing before the whole focusing thing.  He set it down again with a small frown, glancing around.  "There's not much down here..."  He paused as he looked at the other door, brows arching.

He shrugged, scratching at the back of his neck. "There's always tomorrow."

"It'd be better to touch something before..." He agreed absently, stepping up to the door to tap a combination into a lock so he could open it.  The inside was lined with racks and bottles; mostly wine, but not exclusively.  It was also cooler inside.

"Yeah." He stretched out his legs, looking aside to the computer instead -- his head tilted just slightly to one side.

"Beau."  He glanced back at him, leaning against the doorway.  "We should consider something for dinner."  He'd folded his arms loosely over his chest.  "And maybe pick a bottle to go with it."

He blinked, looking up at Will slowly at the sound of his name -- hesitant, just a bit. "Sure. It's a bit away, though."

"You can pick, we'll bring it up with us."  He tipped his head towards the collection of bottles.

His mouth twitched, half frown, before he rolled up to stand - grabbing the computer. "It depends what we're eating."

Will shrugged, head turning to look from Beau to the collection.  "You can pick that, too.  Lunch was good."

"Takeout again? You're not going to cook?" It was faintly teasing, just a little, as he stepped into the doorway.

"Didn't seem like you liked my cooking."  His head tipped, considering.

"Not if it's scrambled eggs." He shrugged just a tiny bit, hands sliding into his pockets as he looked it over.

"It could have been eggs Benedict."  He gave an amused hum, watching Beau as he scanned the bottles.  Waiting, maybe, to see his reaction.

He actually did look impressed -- distracted enough he just hummed a bit in reply, eyes raking over the bottles in search of something good. It was a moment before that registered. "...could it have?"

"I said eggs, I didn't specify how they were prepared."  That distracted look made him smile to himself, pleased.

"Specificity is important." He lingered over something rich and French, shoulder hiked in a shrug.

"Hm."  He hadn't wanted to limit Beau's options, but saying so seemed ingenuine after he'd made it a point to say there'd be no special orders after bringing him there.  He leaned to see which bottle Beau had stopped at.

Bordeau. Hearty. He tapped fingertips against it lightly. "Steaks?"

"Lean or marbled?"  He aske'd it like he could facilitate either.

There was a pause -- it was obvious he was choosing his answer reluctantly. "Lean."

"I have some filet."  He looked down at his folded arms, tone casual.

"Sure." He shrugged again, mulling it over. "How do you afford this?"

"I make a decent salary with the border patrol, manage my money well, invest."  His turn to shrug.

He tapped the bottle again, meaningfully, as he looked back to Will. "It'll go well. Salad?"

"If you want."  He pushed away from the door frame to walk up behind Beau so he could pull the bottle from the rack, brow creasing slightly as he got flickers of the bottling process.

He shrugged a little, making a face. "I mean I'd rather a pile of pasta, but..."

"Zucchini pasta?  Or spaghetti squash..."  He turned the bottle in his hand to look over the label.  "They're close."

That made the face even worse, head tipped back. "Whatever."

Will chuckled at the expression in Beau's face, head shaking.  "Doesn't sound appetizing?"

"It sounds like some hippie bullshit." Which was funny from a man who not ten minutes ago had been encouraging Will to pull light to his chakras.

Another laugh, and he was smiling as walked back out of the room to wait for Beau to follow so he could lock it all up again.  "It's good.  You've never tried it?"

"No." It was decisive, though, like he hadn't and didn't care to. "Next you're going to try to sell me cauliflower rice."

"Not if you don't already like cauliflower."  He took a moment to drag his gloves back on, first one hand and then the other, bottle shuffling back and forth in his arms.  "Which you don't, if I remember correctly."

"I don't much care for squash either, unless it's loaded with butter and maple syrup." Which kind of defeated the purpose. He watched Will put the gloves back on in a way that, somehow, seemed a bit disapproving.

He made a small sound as he caught that look, brows drawing down.  "It's incredibly distracting picking up flashes of random shit every time I touch something."  And they hadn’t gotten a base line, there was nothing to compare to.  "It's not interesting, it's just annoying."

He shrugged a little bit, looking back up toward Will. "It's your life."

"Until it doesn't have to be, assuming your theory pans out."  It wasn't skeptical this time, more thoughtful than anything else.  He didn't want to get his hopes up too high just yet.  The wine cellar was closed up again and Will nodded towards the stairs.

"I firmly believe that these things are controllable, but..." He hesitated a tiny bit, thinking it over. "Well, there might be fringe cases. I just don't feel like you are. You've never found anything that makes it better or worse? Drugs?"

"Magic, warding."  He shrugged, rubbing a hand along the back of his neck as he thought it over.  "Drinking, I guess, but I think that's mostly just take the edge off so I don't care."

"Drinking makes everything better," Beau agreed, but absently. "There are some things that limit magical ability, or increase it. Not drugs, exactly; herbs and the like. We could buy some."

"It's worth trying."  No resistance, just mild interest.  He gave a small shrug before heading up the stairs, assuming Beau would follow.

"I can make a list. I know a shop, too..." But this lilted a bit, stealing a sideways look at Will like he maybe expected an objection.

"What kind of a shop?"  The bottle of wine was set on the counter, and Will reached for the phone he'd left there.

"Magic. Herbs. Charms." He paused again. "He's operating legally, pretty sure he has a license."

"Sure, that's fine..."  But he sounded distracted as he looked through his missed messages, brows knit.

Beau made a rude sound and pulled away to leave him to it, to fuss on the computer a bit more.

After a moment or two he sighed, looking up to realize Beau wasn't still standing there, but had returned to the couch and the laptop.  "You dad called my boss to bitch."  It was vaguely amused, but not as much as it should have been.  "And they found another body, confirming what I already knew was going to happen."  Zero amusement there, just resignation.

He made another sound, sprawling out his legs, and he didn't look up at Will. "Surprised you're not fired yet, honestly."

Will watched him stretch his legs out, grateful for the distraction away from death.  "Boss smoothed it over, but I’m definitely going to have to call him early tomorrow, and he's going to want to see you for himself."  Which was half of why he hadn't wanted to call today.


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 11:09:20 AM »
That made him look up, sudden and sharp, all of him tensing as he considered. "...public place."

He flicked the side of his phone to make it spin on the granite.  "I have to go in tomorrow, not for long, but we can arrange to meet him for lunch somewhere after."  Another flick.  "Stop at the shop you mentioned after, maybe."

"I hope you've got some cash, because he'll pick someplace expensive, and he's not going to pay for your lunch." He shook his head a little, his own fingers shifting uncomfortably against the side of the computer. "Probably the new hotel downtown."

"It'll be covered by work."  He shrugged, stopping the spinning phone with a light touch of his finger.  "I know you don't want to see him.  I'd postpone more if I could, but I'm sure you know how demanding he is."  If he didn't have the influence he had Will would have told him to go fuck himself already.

"Yes." It was resigned, gone quieter. Beau swallowed. "He'll probably try to enthrall you, too."

He nodded, looking down at the clock on his phone screen.  "You asked about protective charms before.  I do have some."

"I'd grab some extra." He looked down at the screen, tapping his fingers more sharply against the side.

He made a sound that might have been agreeing.  "We can ask about your phone."  No guarantee Monty would give it to them, but it probably didn't hurt to ask.  "If you mention you were considering trying to finish your course work do you think he'd offer to pay?"

He shrugged just the tiniest bit, his jaw tightening as he did. "I don't know."

He might have asked more but he glanced up in time to see the look on Beau's face and let it go.  Quietly standing there for another moment before walking around the island to pull meat from the freezer to set in the sink to thaw.

Beau scratched roughly at the back of his neck and closed the computer again, leaning back on the couch.

The easy mood from the basement was broken, between Beau's dad and a dead teenager.  Will let out a quiet sigh as he leaned against the counter trying to think of something helpful to say and came up with nothing.

Eventually Beau would, frowning down toward the computer. "I need something to do, I guess."

"What did you do before, aside from studying magic?"  He tilted his head, brows arched as he asked it.

"Threw parties." He said it with a flash of a challenge -- but without looking up at Will.

He snorted softly, cracking half a smile.  "Anything more solo, or at least not such a large scale?"

"We had a drag race watching party, went to concerts, weekend getaways..." He chewed on the inside of his cheek, thinking it over. "...if I say a lot of drugs were involved in most things I did, I incriminate myself."

"That was already a given."  He waved it away.  "Do you mean an actual drag race, or that Rupaul show?"

"The RuPaul show." He said it like of course, turning his attention up to Will finally with a frown.

Brows arched curiously back at that frown.  "He had the ladies from one season on another show he was a judge on."

"Yeah, and they're releasing new versions in the UK -- but the prizes are a joke, there -- and Canada, Australia..." He waved that off, relaxing just a notch.

"What is the prize over here?  I don't remember, or I never actually knew..."  He thought about it for a moment before shaking his head.

"A hundred grand." He cocked his head a bit -- and quirked a smile. "Thinking about entering?"

"I'm not sure I'd get past the first episode if I did."   An easy smile had returned as the mood shifted to things less serious.

"They work hard." He crossed his legs at the ankle, shook his head, attention turned downward while he thought it over. "I've done the dressing up but the shoes are killer."

"They look painful," he agreed, head tilting as looked across the room at Beau.  "Did you do the make up too?"

"Friend did." He shook his head a little; that picture hadn't come up on his instagram. At least not yet.

"I doubt I could pull off the make up well.  Even if someone else did it for me."  A little too masculine to truly pass.  "Did you ever watch To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything!  Julie Newma?"

Beau snorted at him, like that was the stupidest question he'd ever heard. "Are you gay?"

"You think?"  He huffed back, eyes rolling as he helped himself to a glass of water.

"I mean, I didn't..." It was a little bemused, squinting up at Will again.

"I would have thought you'd have figured that out by now."  Especially after the night before, or Beau falling asleep on his shoulder and Will just letting him stay there.  "What about The Birdcage?"

"Why not just ask if I've seen Brokeback, while we're in the baby cuts." He shook his head, thinking it over. "Are you out?"

"You're also younger, and didn't seem interested in tv at all."  He tipped his glass at him as he made the point, the shrugged to the question.  "I'm not waving banners and announcing it on high, but I'm not going out of my way to hide it."

"Do they know at work?" This was actually -- maybe he sounded just a bit concerned.

The concern was puzzling.  "A few people, I'm sure.  Why?"

"My dad's an asshole about that stuff." He flicked at the hem of his shirt, jaw shifting a bit -- and then shrugged it off. "I don't know if he'd bother looking you up, though."

"I wouldn't imagine it's be public domain."  He'd certainly not made any mention of it on his little used Facebook.  "Of the people I can think of that might know, they wouldn't talk about it."  He shrugged, not very concerned.

He shrugged, quiet for just a moment, thinking -- "Anyway, you might as well ask if I'd seen Rocky Horror, bringing up To Wong Fu."

He grinned suddenly, all teeth and good humor.  "Everyone's seen Rocky Horror."

"That's my point exactly." He shook his head just a tiny bit.

Will rolled his eyes, but he did feel better.  "You want something to drink while I'm up?"  He'd move to refill his water, but he paused, waiting.

Beau looked up at him again, assessing. "Soda?"

"In a glass?"  He glanced at him as he opened the fridge.

Beau just shrugged a little, the frown settling back, across his mouth. "Whatever."

He'd grab a glass to put ice in it, then walked around the island to offer it and a can down to him.  "What's with the face?"

He took it slowly, shrugging up at Will. "I don't think people even really noticed I'm gone."

It wouldn't have been something Will would have been that worried or upset about, but he and Beau were definitely not the same.  "Why do you think that?"  Not belittling or dismissive this time around.  He watched the younger man as he circled back around to sit on the couch.

He gestured absently to the computer with his chin, pouring the soda over ice.

"People aren't asking?"  He glanced down at the laptop, tapping fingertips against the side of his water glass.

"Not really." He shook his head, hair falling into his face. "Mostly after potential parties."

"Hmm."  He was smart enough not to share his opinion on that.  "Maybe they think you're just laying low.  After everything that's happened."

He shrugged, rolling and brief. "Couple people asked for info on where they could find people they hooked up with, maybe, but..."

"Are these people you're really close to?"  He looked down at the melting ice in his glass.

He shifted a little, thinking it over -- and then shrugged. "I don't know. I guess not."

It didn't sound like it.  Fairweather acquaintances, at best.  Will wasn't sure what to say to that.  It couldn't have felt good, but Beau didn't always respond great to sympathy.  He was quiet for a long moment as he thought it over.  "Do you want to watch a movie?"  He asked it quietly, casually, pale eyes flicking up finally to rest on Beau's face.

He sipped at the soda and fought the urge to just shrug at Will again, sullen, fair or no. "Whatever."

Will rolled his glass between his palms, thinking.  When he set it aside to grab the remote it'd be To Wong Foo he searched for.  Trying to lighten the mood again, but not entirely sure it would work.

It was something; better than sitting in silence or struggling to fill the air. Beau sank down deeper and, eventually, would probably fall asleep.

He didn't notice it right away, but when he did he frowned across at him.  For a moment he considered just throwing a blanket on him, but he really didn't want to get snapped at again.  Of course that was assuming he wouldn't snap after being woken up.  "Beau." He tossed a throw pillow at his chest.

He twitched, definitely didn't catch it, closing his mouth immediately and blinking around. Not panicked, just confused.

"Didn't want you stuck awake all night again."  He said it like he was half expecting some sort of smack back.

He huffed out a breath, and then tipped his head back again, mulling that over. "...couldn't we go out?

"Out where?"  Not against the idea, but curious where Beau would suggest.

"Magic store's downtown." He hesitated, looking at Will sideways. "Grocery store?"

That wasn't what he was expecting the other man to say, but it was really easy to agree to it.  "Yeah, that's fine.  I can make dinner when we get back, unless you just want to eat something while we're out?"

"Buy chips in the store." He cocked his head, an eyebrow raised. "I mean, we could go buy you nicer gym clothes, instead..."

It had his brows arching, a flicking of a smile on his face.  "Do I need nicer gym clothes?"

Beau hummed, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Depends on if you want to be single forever or not."

Will scoffed, settling in against the corner to rest his cheek on his knuckles.  "I work out at home, who exactly would I be trying to impress?"

"Your other mistake, probably." He closed his eyes again for a moment, working to haul himself into focus.

"And let's say I went to the gym, had the really nice clothes."  The humor had faded a bit.  "Met someone.  Then I get to try to explain why I don't want to touch them with my bare hands."

"Weird kink; I've seen weirder." He waved that off. "Not like you wear adult diapers or something."

"That's fine for fucking around and hook ups, but eventually people want to know if you spend enough time with them."  There was experience in his tone, and something else that didn't fit the half smile he was still wearing.

"So find someone in the know." He shrugged just a little bit, seeming -- well, unconcerned. Apparently it had never been a problem for him. "I mean, don't go slumming it with werewolves or anything but you could find a nice healer or something I'm sure."

"Right.  Silly me for not considering that."  He grabbed his glass as he rolled up to his feet and walked over to set it in the sink.

Beau didn't move, but he did turn his head to watch Will go. "I mean the other option is to lie, but I have a hunch you're an awful liar."

"You think I can't lie?"  It made him chuckle as he walked down the hall to his room so he could change out of the sweats.

"I think you're probably shit at it." He raised his voice to make sure Will would hear.

"And why do you say that?"  He came back out in the process of buttoning up his fly, a raglan shirt draped over his shoulder.

"You have an honest vibe." He shook his head just a little bit, eyes dropping to Will's fingers and then away.

He didn't seem to have noticed the quick flick of Beau's eyes.  "Choosing not to lie has nothing to do with the ability to lie."   Everything buttoned up, he slid the shirt over his arms and over his head.

"But practice makes perfect, I'd say." His eyes flicked onto Will again as he moved, head cocked to the side.

"I could just be a really good liar, then you wouldn't even know."  He flashed a smile at him as he smoothed the shirt down and leaned against the back of the couch.  "Are you staying in pajamas again?"

He dragged his attention off of Will down to his own legs. "...why not? Who'm I going to see at the grocery store?"

Will shrugged, not bothering to talk him into changing or bribing him.  "Just asking.  I'm ready to go when you are."

He stayed one more moment then shoved himself up to stand and hunt down shoes.  "Whatever."

He flicked a glance over at him before straightening up and shoving his sleeves back to his elbows.  He stepped into shoes, grabbed his keys, and waited.

Beau shoed on his own, sighing as he dragged his hair back, and settled in next to Will. "Now, if we were going to a bar, I'd dress up."

He bounced his keys in his palm, looking down at Beau.  "Would you behave if we did go to a bar?"

That got a pause -- and then a slow flicker of amusement. "What does behaving mean?"

"No trying to run off on your own, no getting high."  His expression was dubious, like he wasn't sure if Beau could toe the line enough for that sort of thing yet.

There was a pause, then a flash of amusement. "Where would I go, running off on my own?"

"I don't know.  You have a lot of connections."  He didn't even want to imagine what would happen if he lost the Eastoft Heir.  He doubted the worst of it would be losing his job.  Arms folding, he leaned back against the wall, head tipping.

"I don't have access to anything right now." He shook his head a tiny bit at Will.

"Wouldn't need anything more than to run into the right person."  Sandy brows arched.  "You disappear and it's my ass."

He shrugged a little, tugging his pants in tighter. "You can pick the lame bar, then."


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 11:11:29 AM »
He sighed softly.  "You couldn't just give me your word you'd stay close?"  It was always so difficult.  "It doesn't always have to be a battle, you know."

There was just a little pause, and he drew a breath in. "I didn't realize it was a battle."

"What would you call it?"  It might have been too strong a descriptor, but Will was getting tired of the run around.

"Conceding?" His shrug was sharper, this time. "It's not like you'd believe me if I said I'd stay close."

"I'd like to.  It'd make things a hell of a lot easier."  He just looked down at him, letting out a heavy breath.

"But you wouldn't." He shook his head at Will, shifting. "Are we going?"

He pulled in a deep breath and let it go, counting internally perhaps, eyes rolling up and away as he reached for the door to open it so they could leave.

Beau ducked past him, shoulders hiked up a bit defensively as he started out. "I don't know what you want me to say."

"I know you don't," he murmured, mostly to himself.  He'd leave it at that, because so far they'd managed to avoid an actual argument, and it'd be nice if they could go twenty-four hours without someone snapping at the other.

Nice, but unlikely; if anything, the quiet made Beau fidget more, uneasily. Walking out, and in the car, like he didn't know what to do with himself.

"Grocery store?"  He asked it as he opened the drivers side door, just to confirm where they were headed.

"You're the boss." It was, maybe, picking a fight. Or maybe he was just tired and kind of bitchy.

A muscle in his jaw tightened as he got in and sat down, but he didn't rise to the bait.  Just started the car and waited for Beau to get settled before backing out.

He put his seatbelt on after a moment, like he wouldn't have except for a look from Will.

He wasn't very talkative on the ride over, not unless Beau broke the silence.  Thumbs running back and forth across the steering while as he drove.

Beau was very bad at silence. He set his head against the door for a bit and really, really did try, but he couldn't help himself. "...when are you calling him?"

He glanced over at him briefly.  "In the morning, after we get to the station."  His tone had returned to it's normal smooth bass.

"Ah. Then he'll put you off til lunch the next day. Or maybe dinner..." His eyes were closed, didn't want to look at Will.

"Then that's another day we don't have to see him," he answered back reasonably, leaning forward to check an intersection before turning.  "I'm assuming you'd rather not be present for the call?"

"Doesn't matter." That sounded honest, if nothing else. Beau flicked fingers in his direction without cracking his eyes.

"If you're sure."  If it didn't matter, he wouldn't bother with being out of ear shot.

"I really don't see why it should bother me." A beat then, and he finally opened his eyes. "Unless you're planning on talking shit."

"No, I'm not planning on taking shit.  You just get all tense every time your parents come up."  He shrugged.  "I figured you wanted to avoid being exposed to them as much as possible."

"I don't want to come to dinner, if that's what you're saying. Or lunch. Or whatever it is." He shook his head sharply at Will. "The phone call doesn't mean anything.

Will sighed, taking his hand off the steering wheel to smooth his hair back.  "He's not really leaving us much of a choice."  He chewed on that for a moment.  "If it gets bad we'll just leave."

"Yeah. He's the worst." It was heartfelt and certain.

"I'm inclined to agree with you."  Which was saying something, considering the people Will had had to deal with.

Beau frowned just a tiny bit, though, like it was okay when he said it but…

He glanced over when Beau didn't say anything, caught that little frown and didn't know what to do with it.

"We should definitely swing by the supply shop." It came out hesitant. Maybe because he was still in his pajamas.

"Is it close by?"  It might be wiser to stop there first, depending on what they got at the grocery store.

He hesitated, like he was doing the math -- "It's nowhere nearby."

Will tapped the side of his thumb against the steering wheel as he thought it over.  It'd probably still be smarter to do that first.  "Where is it?"

"Waterfront, west side." It was an area largely dominated by tourist shops; it was also not exactly cheap. Beau shrugged a little.

He took the next turn to get them headed in that direction, then settled a little more in his seat.  One hand on the steering wheel instead of two, the other propped against the door.

Beau set his head back against the window and fidgeted just a bit. "It's a weird shop."

"What kind of weird?"  He flicked a glance across the car at him, brows arched.

He hesitated over his answer. "You're not going to believe it's real, probably."

He made a face, half amused.  "Why wouldn't I believe it's real?"

"Because it doesn't look real." Another little waffling moment. "He sells a lot of tourist stuff. And tea."

He chuckled, head shaking just a bit.  "I see plenty of shit that doesn't look like it should be real."  Between his job and his connections.

He blew out a little huff of a breath. "I guess just don't be a dick, is all I'm saying."

Pale eyes rolled.  "I've been far less of a dick in the last few days."  And he could certainly be professional and polite.

"Okay." He wasn't biting, it was just -- direct. It was what it was.

Will let out a breath but he also let it go.  Didn't pick or poke, just drove quietly again as he took them towards the waterfront.

Beau grimaced as they got closer -- at this time of day, this area was mobbed with fannypack tourists, and today -- in his pajamas -- he basically fit in with the crowd.

As they got closer he sat up a little straighter, attention on the people walking around, the store fronts they were walking in and out of.  "Are we close?  Parking might be a bit of a bitch."

"Can't you just put your badge in place and shrug off tickets or something?" He shrugged, mulled it over, then pointed for Will. "Garage a block that way."

He just flashed a frown at him before the garage was pointed out and he turned towards it.  Inside he'd back into the first available space.

Beau climbed out the second the car stopped, stretching and then grimacing at the smell in the place. Not as bad as a Saturday night, but…

Will stepped out a second after, keys disappearing into his pocket as he closed the door and stepped clear of it, glancing around before looking back at Beau.

He blinked at Will, then made a sound like half a laugh, starting for the elevator. "I'm in charge, I guess."

He smiled crookedly back at him.  "You know where we're going, so I guess so."  He fell into step with him, hands disappearing into his pockets.

It was only up one flight -- but Beau settled in to wait for the elevator, tightening the strings on his pants as he did. "It's not too far."

Will would have just taken the stairs, but he waited with Beau, head turned to scan the area around them almost casually.  Habit.

"When's the last time you were waterfront?" It was a bit wry, a bit disparaging; obviously not Beau's favorite area. He stepped into the elevator and made an even worse face at the smell.

He actually had to think about that for a moment, brows dipped and expression thoughtful.  "A while ago.  I don't get out this way often outside of work, and I haven't been on active rotation since January."

"We could have gone to a bar here." But there was a joke behind that; obviously, Beau would never be seen dead at a bar here.

Will looked sideways at him, a tiny smirk on his lips.  "I bet there's a nice little pub around here, we could probably stop for a quick drink."

"I bet there's a pretty shit pub." He shook his head, leading the way out of the elevator and off toward the water itself. "Or the alcoholic slushy place."

"Do you want to stop for a vodka slush?"  There was definitely humor in his voice.

"Definitely not." He shuddered at the idea, or maybe at someone who walked by in a pepto bismol pink t-shirt.

Will snickered softly beside him, attention flicking around to the various people milling about on the sidewalks.

It was early; not as bad as it could have been. But that meant only people really looking for souveniers were here, going into shops that sold magnets and t-shirts and pillows with slogans on them; Beau walked past, toward a part of the waterfront that was a bit quieter, nestled out of the way.

He didn't bother trying to tease anymore, just followed along quietly as Beau lead them closer to the water.  Paying attention to where they were going so he could find his way back if he needed to.

The place he finally led them to had an old door; was in an old building, with old brick. He had to nudge to get it open, to let them -- with a jingle -- into a cluttered little shop with a mix of magic souvenir stuff, real magic, and a small tea serving area off to one corner. And, at the moment, no sign of the owner.

It seemed like the sort of place that didn't often get found by accident, but then again, who really knew.  He followed Beau in, side stepping so the door could close behind him.  He looked a little bemused by the interior, like it wasn't quite what he'd been expecting despite Beau giving a good description.

Beau hesitated inside the door, fussing at the cuffs of his shirt. "Are you coming up to lurk, or are you hanging back?"

Sandy brows arched.  "Lurking seems more worthwhile."

Beau made a face, though, hesitating just one more moment before he slowly approached the counter. "I bet."

"Any particular reason why I shouldn't?"  He said it cooly, voice low as he trailed after him.

"You already said you wouldn't be a dick so --" He cut off the rest of that as the owner came out -- the owner who, actually, looked a lot more down to earth than Will might have expected. He was tall and curious, with a close-cropped beard and a comfortably casual smile. But his expression went more wary as his eyes caught on Beau.

Amusement shifted seamlessly into polite interest as Will caught sight of the owner, and he drew his hands out of his pockets to clasp them loosely behind his back, posture casual and relaxed.

He opened his mouth to say something, stopped, and then smiled at them instead. More professionally this time. And when he did finally speak, it was with a low roll of something Irish behind it. "How can I help?"

Will smiled back, then glanced sideways at Beau, letting him do the talking because he knew the place, and what they were looking for.

Beau breathed out -- and it seemed like a sigh of relief, maybe, as he stepped in. "Kelly. Will's with the Guard." Which was a warning in its way, not that the guy looked concerned. He just raised eyes a bit at Will, nodding, as Beau continued. "We need something to reduce magical effect taking hold. Maybe bay leaf, and one of those lock amulets...?"

He'd assume guard meant border patrol, and file that little slice of slang away for later.  As Kelly looked up Will flashed him a friendly grin, but so far there'd be no reason for him to interject at all.  Mostly.  He tipped his head thoughtfully before looking down at Beau.  "Dimming down passive magic, too?"  If this was the same place the other man had been talking about earlier.

Beau grimaced at that, but shrugged, and didn't object other than the absent disapproval. Kelly made a small sound, looking up at Will instead. "What’s your budget like?"

He frowned at Beau's grimace, before giving a very faint shake of his head, looking back at Kelly.  "Reasonably high, depending."

There was just a little beat, hesitating -- and then his tone came out very casual. "You could put it on my tab."

That got a sideways glance, thoughtful.

Beau stole a sideways look up at Will, too, like he was checking for an objection -- but Kelly'd already nodded and stepped around the counter to guide them around the kitschy part of the store. It wasn't organized into real and not real, exactly; things were mixed in by type, and he pulled out the bits that'd help them. "I can only do so much, broad like that."

He knew what Beau was doing, there was no way he could afford to settle whatever tab he had at the moment, but Will didn't say anything, just went along for the ride.

Beau followed along, tugging on his sleeves more as he trailed Kelly -- and it was interesting, because when he got too close, Kelly leaned away. Like he smelled bad. Or maybe just like he felt bad. The pile they ended up with was almost certainly more than Will could have afforded.

Kelly seeming to avoid Beau didn't escape Will's notice, but he didn't make it obvious.  Just trailed along in their wake with a brightly curious expression that might even have been completely genuine.

It didn't seem to be quite a personal dislike -- though Kelly was very careful, very professional, as he outlined to Beau what each thing was. Herbs for protection; the amulet to reduce magic's affect on Will, though it may or may not work on his own passive powers; how to make the tea to drink to dull the edges of magic.

Will stood at Beau's shoulder as Kelly went over what everything was and did, and at some point he'd brought his hands from behind his back and folded his arms loosely across his chest.  His fingers tapped thoughtlessly against his own arm as he listened intently.

Beau reached out to tap something on the counter and Kelly jerked his hand back like he'd been burned -- then had the good nature to look apologetic. "I'll ring it up."

Sandy brows twitched as he looked between the two, and he wanted to ask what exactly was going on, but he'd wait until after they left.  Though he couldn't quite help shooting a questioning look to Beau when Kelly glanced away.

It came out to a few hundred dollars; maybe Will could have managed it, but not comfortably. Kelly rang it up, scraping a hand over his hair and shooting Beau another quick look which Beau avoided. "...if you want any regular tea or cookies, too..?"

If he were on his own he probably would have added cookies to the bill, but again he deferred to Beau's judgement.  Not only did he have experience with the place, but his moods were so often hard to read.

Fuck yeah Beau wanted cookies. But he breathed in and then out and resisted, shoving his hands behind his back and shaking his head. Kelly smiled a little, crookedly, and packed them up.

There would be cookies at the grocery store, if Beau changed his mind.  Maybe not bakery quality, but...

Will leaned his hip against the counter and gave the store a final interested look around.


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 11:17:58 AM »
Someone else came in as he was handing the bag over to Will -- so it wasn't completely dead, but it wasn't exactly thrumming with business, either.

Will took the bag with a smile, attention sliding back to the man behind the counter.  "Thank you."  It was a nice little shop, and between the tea, the herbs, and the baked goods it smelled great.

"Come back anytime." So maybe he wasn't all that worried about the BP or the Guard. Kelly shrugged at them, shoving hands into his pockets and turning his focus onto the newcomer.

Not much to worry about when you were operating legally.  Or had really good connections.  Will lifted a hand in a little wave as he pushed away from the counter, gaze flicking to Beau on the way to the door.

Beau drew a deep breath in as they stepped out onto the waterfront, mulling it over. "...I would really love a pack of cigarettes."

"We can pick some up at the grocery store."  He tipped his head to glance down at Beau as they walked, trying to read his expression, and not having any more luck now than he usually did.

He made a little sound, understanding, and started back toward the parking garage. Tightening his pants again, as they went. "I used to like that place."

"Why was he acting like that?  He was more cautious of you than of me."  It was quiet, Will keeping half his attention on Beau as they walked.

Beau blinked and then scowled at him, holding up his hands roughly -- so his sleeves pulled up and the tattoos showed.

He didn't scowl back, didn't frown.  Didn't seem to react to that anger at all.  "It's not a rash.  Touching you doesn't mean it'll spread."

"It still feels like shit, I'm sure." He scratched at it again, helplessly. "Like an electric shock, I'd guess."

"What's his ability?"  He frowned then, glancing back over his shoulder at the shop.  "I didn't get anything from it, or you touching me."

He hesitated, a little waffle, like he wasn't sure he should say -- but. "Healing."

That Kelly would get anything from Beau just seemed odd.  "It should have no effect on him."  And his tone suggested he thought maybe the other man had been over reacting.  But, it wasn't like he knew.

"I don't know. If you're used to getting something off people and then you don't, it definitely affects you." He raised his eyebrows meaningfully at Will.

He opened his mouth like he wanted to argue that but paused, meeting Beau's gaze before looking away down the sidewalk.  "Getting nothing isn't the same as getting a shock," he said at last, frowning thoughtfully.

He shrugged a little bit, fidgety. "Bad analogy, I guess. More like touching something that looks alive, and then it's cold and dead instead."

He huffed out a breath like he still thought the reaction had been over the top.

"Empaths, healers...passive magic people in general..." He shrugged, rubbing at his arms. "They're more sensitive."

"Still."  He had passive magic and he hadn't reacted like that.  Different flavor of magic, but he still didn't like it.

"Yeah, well. I'm worse than normie now." He scowled as he lead the way toward the car. "I'm dead air."

He opened his mouth, then closed it on whatever it was he was about to say.  Exhaling a heavy breath as he reached up to rub a hand along the back of his neck.

Beau chewed over words, then shook his head a little bit, sharp. "I'm thinking about the look on your face when you touched me and nothing happened."

The comment made him blink, and the muscles in his jaw jumped as he glanced back down at him.  "Relief?"

"You fucking loved it, but that's because you hate yourself a little bit." It was casually dismissive, shaking his head. "Imagine if you loved that ability, instead."

He didn't say anything, couldn't say anything to that, because there was enough truth to it to make him uncomfortable.  Pale eyes flicked away, back down the street they were walking down.

He made a sound, like an uh huh as he looked Will over.

He kept his eyes on the ground, watching the sidewalk as they approached the parking garage.  He'd thought Beau hadn't been paying attention, but apparently he was more perceptive than he seemed.

Maybe he wasn't totally useless, or oblivious. He shook his head a little, crossing to punch the elevator button again.

When the elevator opened Will walked in and leaned back against the wall, attention focused on the wall, expression thoughtful.

Beau did the same, but with a bit more drama; thudding in against the wall with a huff of a sigh.

They could ride up in silence, and when the doors opened Will pulled the keys from his pocket as he stepped out, hitting a button on the fob to unlock the doors as they approached.  He didn't know what to say, so he said nothing.

Beau neither, and it obviously bothered him. He folded down into the passenger's seat and scratched at his wrists again.

Will climb in after him, but after a moment he finally looked up and over, gaze flicking up to his face before dropping to his wrist, and he reached out to draw Beau's hand back before setting the bag from the shop on the other man's lap.

He grimaced, thinking it over, clutching at the bag. "It's like a missing tooth. Sore socket."

He held on maybe a moment longer than was strictly necessary before letting him go again so he could start the car.  Anything he could think to say wouldn't help in this moment, so he just nodded.

He tipped his head back, sighing again sharply, fingers bunched in the bag. "...pack of cigarettes."

"...Right."  He put his seatbelt on before putting the car in gear and pulling out of the spot so he could pay at the little kiosk to leave the garage.

Beau nodded and relaxed just a notch, gone quiet as he looked out the window instead.

For once it seemed the quiet wasn't settling well for Will either, because after a few minutes he reached out to turn the radio on low, letting the quiet music fill the car as they headed back the way they'd come.

Beau made a sound again, halfway rude, like he knew exactly what Will was doing.

It got a flicker of a glance from the bigger man, but he either didn't know what the noise was for, or just wasn't going to acknowledge it.  But his jaw moved like he was chewing at the inside of his lip as he drove.

Or like he was biting his tongue, maybe; Beau didn't look at him, either way. He just settled in and looked out the window and tried -- failed -- to relax.

It'd take maybe ten minutes to get to the store, and as they pulled in Will scanned the parking lot for a space close to the front.  As someone backed out to leave, Will slipped the car into the newly vacated spot and killed the engine before undoing his seatbelt.

Beau sat up slowly, rubbing at the back of his neck as he did, grimacing again -- just a bit sore from the position. "Steaks. Salad?"

The question was a bigger relief than it should have been.  "Steaks are thawing.  I can blacken them, if you want."  Which wasn't an answer.  He reached for the door handle to open the door.  "Salad is fine, and anything else that sounds good for a side."  His shoulders rolled in a half shrug as he looked across at him before getting out.

"Pint of ice cream maybe." He shook his head just the tiniest bit, rolling out to follow Will.

"Sure."  Beau could grab any snacks he wanted, they were there for him.  He sank his hands into his pockets again as they walked up to the doors.

What he wanted was probably a bad idea, but. They could wander, get some fruit, some salad makings (sighing again), and yeah, a pint of ice cream. Beau would obsess over cigarettes on the way out.

Will added even more fruit, peaches and plums, before they paid and went back to the car.  Then he'd pull around to the gas station that attached to the parking lot, pulling up to a pump. He dug a ten out of his wallet and offered it to Beau before getting out to fill up.

"You're not going to let me smoke inside, are you?" He frowned up at Will as he took it.

"I'd really prefer you didn't, but I'll compromise.  You can smoke inside as long as it's next to an open window or door."  It was fair, he thought.

He made a very quiet sound, considering, and then turned to go figure out a pack of cigarettes, and thank his lucky stars no one tried to ID him in the process.

Will watched him walk up to the door before turning his attention to the gas pump to top the tank off.  When Beau came back he didn't ask for change, just slid back into the car.

Beau dropped it into the cupholder anyway, as he sank down into the passenger's seat -- turning the pack of cigarettes over in his hand.

He watched the pack turn in Beau's hands as he started the car, then sighed and hit the button to lower his window.

Beau blinked -- and looked at the window -- and then paused. "I didn't buy a lighter."

Will gave him a flat look before reaching down to open the arm rest between them.  "There should be one in there."  He had that, a flashlight, some old CDs, and a tangle of charging cords.

There was a moment's hesitation -- and then he went poking around, slowly. "I never needed one before."

"If you find the one in there you can keep it."  It wasn't like he couldn't replace it easily.  Or that he even needed it outside of emergencies.  It wasn't anything fancy, just a clear yellow Bic half full of fluid.  It worked though.

He turned it over in his hand slowly, shrugging at Will. "...I can wait. I don't even really want one right now."

Will shrugged, closing the armrest once Beau found the lighter.  "It's up to you."  Pale eyes lingered on him a second or two before he started them moving so they could head home.

Beau was quiet -- oddly serious, frowning down at the pack while he tried to figure out what to say. "It gives me something to do with my hands."

He stole a quick glance down at Beau's hands again as they paused at a stop sign, then eyes flicked back up to the road.  "That makes sense."

He made an agreeing sound, without looking up.

Home wasn't far, and after parking in the driveway Will circled around to grab everything but the paper bag from the tea shop.  He needed at least one hand free to get the front door unlocked and opened.

Beau dropped the cigarettes in and followed him slowly, a bit more subdued now. Tired, maybe. Or just distracted.

Will was already putting the groceries away, methodical and thoughtless.  It didn't take more than a couple of minutes.  When he had finished he walked over to check the meat in the sink.

"Can I computer again?" He was relaxed, kind of. Lethargic, more like. He dropped down onto the couch, combing at his hair.

He glanced over at him, looking him over, before rolling a shoulder in a shrug and walking over to gesture down at the laptop so he could unlock it.

He offered it up, slouching a bit as he looked up at Will, still a tiny bit flat. "Don't you have anything else you need to do?"

He braced his hip against the back of the couch as he opened it to put in the password.  "Besides cooking dinner?"

"Mm." It was agreeing, maybe, watching him still. "Don't you have friends?"

"Some."  He reached down to set the laptop on Beau's lap.  "Other BP agents mostly."

He turned it back in toward himself, shrugging just a little bit. "Don't have like a ... a group or something?"

"Not really.  We'll all go out for drinks together or occasionally other things, but usually it's more one on one."  He shrugged, lingering there.

"And work related?" His tone was mild, a bit wry, head cocked to the side.

"Not necassarily, but sometimes in the middle of something big that's all you can really focus on."  He slid the fingers of one hand between the fingers of the other, pulling the thin fabric of the gloves tight.

Beau's eyes dropped to his hands, and then down to the computer, shaking his head. "You don't go out much?"

"I used to, years back.  Not as much anymore, but it just depends on what's going on." His hands lowered to rest on the back of the couch, one almost close enough to touch dark hair.

"How do I convince you out?" He raised an eyebrow, seriously. "You seem pretty desperately in need of getting laid. Gotta control the magic first?"

He blinked down at him, Sandy brows arching.  "Are you offering to play wingman?"

"You obviously need it." He said it smoothly, raising his eyebrows in mirror of Will.

"Why do you say that?" He stood up, walking back around to the kitchen to pull a big plate down from one of the cupboards.

"Because you're attractive enough you should be getting laid every night, but you're not." It was absent, poking around on the computer.

"I don't know why that'd make you think I needed it."  He matched Beau's tone as he started prepping the steaks.

"All you have to do is take your shirt off and stand around, and yet somehow you're even fucking that up." He looked up, then, finally.

"Are you hinting that I should wander around shirtless more often?"  He'd pulled down seasonings, and he'd either exchanged his usual gloves for black and rubbery, or he'd just pulled them on over.

"You should definitely never wear a shirt," Beau agreed, with a flash of a smile across his face. "They should make that a law."

He hummed thoughtfully, like he was thinking it over, taking his time to season both sides of the filets thoroughly.  Then as he finished up and peeled the rubber gloves off again, he gave the barest shrug before dragging his shirt off and throwing it at the back of Beau's head.

He'd given up on it by then, gone back to the computer; that made him start a bit, almost drop it, and grab the shirt -- and, once he understood, he snorted and came into focus. "I see."

Will had watched him long enough for him to realize what had happened and then turned to start pulling things out of the fridge to make the salad.  Acting like he hadn't done anything at all.  "How do you like your meat?"

He folded the shirt over in his hands while he considered, watching Will with his head cocked to the side -- "....rare."

"Good answer."  He sounded pleased, a smile spread across his lips as he stretched up to grab a large bowl from a stacking set about the stove.

"What, would you have thrown me out if I said medium?" He was still watching Will, absently.


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 11:20:19 AM »
"Naw," he said it airily, like he wasn't aware Beau was watching him.  "Just judged you."  He cracked a wider smile as he tore open the bag of lettuce to pour it into the big bowl.

"Best be careful with my father, then." He regretted saying it almost immediately; it made him grimace and close his eyes.

Maybe he saw the grimace, or maybe he just didn't want to talk about Beau's father.  Either way.  "We could open the wine now."

It made him open his eyes onto Will again, slow. "You really like to fix things, don't you?"

Will shrugged, adding fixins to the salad before looking up finally,  "When I can."  He tapped fingers against the counter softly before reaching up to pull the bottle closer.

He thought it over, some, still slouched on the couch. "Sometimes things are just broken."

"Yeah, they are," he agreed easily, tiredly, smile gone wane as he turned to pull a really nice corkscrew from a drawer.

"We shouldn't even really dwell on them half so much." But this was as much to himself as it was to Will.

"It'd be nice if it were as easy as that."  And there was a little self mockery to that, the irony of the statement not lost.  He pulled his gloves off to pick at the label protecting the cork so he could peel it off the bottle.

Beau watched him, head still rolled to the side. "Someone should just kill him. It'd solve a lot of my problems."

He got the label off and started twisting the corkscrew down the neck of the bottle, attention on that for a moment so he didn't accidently split the cork.  "I’m sure there are people in this city that would do it for the right price."  A joke, but a dark one, and maybe not entirely in jest.

“If I had the funds." Joking too -- maybe. Or maybe not. But then, he hadn't done it yet, had he?

Pale eyes flicked up at Beau before he picked up the bottle to work the cork free with a satisfying pop.

That caught his attention, made him blink onto Will -- and the bare hands -- assessing.

He waved the cork under his own nose as he set the bottle aside to breath, drawing in the scent before he twisted the cork free so he could stack it with a number of others in a frame on the window sill above the sink.

"Ah, you're a nerd." It came out thoughtful, watching Will do it.

It made him shrug, humming in amusement as he pulled open a cupboard to pull a couple of glasses out.

"It explains why you spend all your money on that room in the basement." He chewed it over, sitting up finally to focus down on the computer again.

"Mystery solved," he teased back, setting the glasses on the counter next to the bottle and pouring into both.

"Also why you have no friends." It wasn't mean, though, not exactly; just teasing.

Another shrug, not bothered by being more of a loner.  He leaned back against the counter, drawing one of the glasses up for a lingering drink and making a pleased sound at the taste.

Beau huffed at the sound, looking up again, briefly. "Is the other for me? Or are you just drinking two."

"It would be very dickish of me to have you pick the meal and the bottle to go with it, then turn around and not give you any."  He flicked his tongue along the corner of his mouth to catch any clinging wine as he set his glass down to start cooking the steaks, pan searing them to lock in the flavor.  "I'm definitely not that cruel."

"Cruel enough to just leave it over there, though." He thought it over for a moment and then closed down the computer, shoving himself up to stand and come get it.

"Oh, it's cruel not waiting on you?  I see."  Not mean, just teasing.

He hummed a bit, leaning against the counter and squinting down at the steaks.

They were cooking in butter from grass fed cows, and they certainly smelled good.  Thick cuts of filet searing over low heat.  Will made a small adjustment to the flame beneath the pan and then leaned back into the corner of the counter.

He shook his head as he pulled the wine in toward himself, just watching Will work. "I take it back, when you're cooking steaks, you should probably wear a shirt."

"Why's that?"  His head tipped, attention split between Beau and the cooking meat.

"Grease burns." He raised the wine to his mouth as he said it, fingertips flicking toward Will's stomach.

"Eh," he shrugged it off, lifting a pair of tongs from a holder in the counter with his pinky.  "Couple of pops isn't going to hurt me.

"It ruins the effect, though." He spoke around the glass, then took a generous swallow of wine.

"What effect?" He arched a brow at him, adjusting the filets carefully before reclaiming his glass so he could take another drink.

"Now you're just fishing for compliments." He shook his head a tiny bit at Will.

"Who doesn't like compliments?"  He turned the filets over and set the tongs down, both hands curling loosely around his glass.

"Fair enough, though I don't think you've complimented me a single time since you met me, so it does seem a bit one sided." He set his own glass down to go look for the salad makings.

A pause there, as Will fussed needlessly at the stove for a long moment.  Then responded without looking back.  "So I forgot to mention the great cheek bones?"

Beau laughed at him again, pausing in the fridge's doorway to look up. "It's okay, other people have mentioned it before."

"Well, so long as you're been made aware." Saying much more felt like crossing a line.

"I'm pretty aware of how I look." He still looked amused, right now, head cocked to the side. "But what about my personality?"

That was easier, at least.  Will smirked, lips pulling up in one corner as he tipped the steaks to sear the sides.  "Never boring."  For better or for worse.

"These days less true than it used to be." He finally reached in to grab the leaves and the makings, shaking his head a bit.

"Hosting a good event is a skill, but you don't need a party to be engaging.  You're that on your own."  He rolled his shoulders, glancing back at Beau.

"Like hell." He went poking around in Will's cabinets for a bowl, too.

He reached up to grab one from the cabinet above the stove, offering it over.

Beau took it with a little shrug, stewing that over. "I threw a lot of parties, you know. Most of them weren't a problem."

He went still, breath easing out in a quiet sigh.  Like he didn't want to get into that just then. "It only takes one slip for everything to go sidewise."  It was a little more serious than the conversation called for, like he was speaking from experience.

"I was trying to do something..." He hesitated a little bit, not sure if he should explain. "I just wanted something specific."

He laughed softly, humorlessly, reaching for his whine.  "Good intentions can bury you was well as any."  A muscle in his jaw tightened, and he took a drink.

The tone got under Beau's skin, maybe, made his shoulders hike up in an uncomfortable shrug. He shredded leaves into the bowl.

Will could feel the easy mood turning and didn't know what to do about it.  "What were you trying to do?"  He tried to keep it casual, tone light as turned the meat a last time and shut the burner off.

"Break down the wall, some." He didn't look up as he said it. "I know people who never interact with normie humans ever. And there are lots of humans living half lives."

He didn't say anything to that.  Couldn't really, considering how his entire job was based around preventing that from happening. And for good reason, he believed.  He exhaled slowly as he looked down at his glass.

Beau shrugged again, crookedly, head cocked to the side. "I don't know. I admit, I was also pretty fucked up."

"Was it supposed to be as big as it ended up getting?"  He wasn't looking up, had turned his head to look down at the countertop.

"No. Yes." He tipped his head, dropping a handful of croutons in roughly. Clearly, at least Beau could make a salad. "I don't know. I mean, I was really fucked up, I don't know exactly what I took."

Not having the capacity to make reasonable choices didn’t absolve things, but it was still good to know.  "There's some really..."  He paused, trying to choose his words carefully.  "A drug that's supposed to let the nonhumans get as fucked up as humans.  It's not safe yet, not for anyone, but it got out."  He smoothed his thumb along the edge of his glass, pressing hard against it.  "...It's not what you took, hasn't been around that long

He shrugged just a tiny bit, filcking a look toward Will and then down again. "Human drugs get me messed up enough, honestly."

"If this had been out then, and had been there, you could be dead."  A flicker of a glance up, then down again as he turned to pull down plates.  "I don't know what my point is, it's just..." He set them on the counter carefully so they barely clicked against the hard top.  Things would be worse, he thought, if those drugs had made it somewhere like a party.  Of course, it was already going to be terrible.

"That I was irresponsible and could have gotten people killed." Had, arguably, but Beau wouldn't concede that point. He shook his head sharply at Will. "But they're taking the drugs anyway, aren't they?"

"I think more just that accidents can happen."  He kept his attention on what he was doing, plating up food, refilling the wine, pulling silverware out of the drawer.  "And it's hard to know what you're taking in if you're already intoxicated."

He finally grabbed dressing to -- well, drown the salad a bit. Apparently he liked it wetter. "I don't know."

Will slid the plates in front of stools, then grabbed salad tongs from a drawer before taking his wine and the silverware around to sit down.  He placed a set next to Beau's plate.

He huffed out a breath, pushing the salad toward Will and finally going for his wine again.

Will used the tongs to mix salad, spreading the dressing around before putting a large pile on his plate.  He pushed the bowl closer to Beau as he picked up his silverware.  The filets were perfectly rare, lean and flavorful.

Beau dropped a small amount of salad onto his plate and forced himself to eat it, first, before moving onto steak -- which had the benefit of at least making him quiet and distracted for a bit.

Will dug into the steak first, but he went back and forth, even combined the two for the occasional bite.  Taking long sips of wine in between.  It was a fairly healthy meal, despite the extra dressing.  He glanced at Beau's plate, a brow arched at the untouched filet.

Three or four bites, he'd eaten, at least -- poking his way through it but mostly focused on the wine. He blinked up at Will as he noticed the look -- "What?"

"How's it taste?"  He rested his elbow on the counter, leaning into it.

He blinked down at the food again, then -- "It's fine." And, after a beat, he corrected, "It's good."

It made him smile, head turning down to take another bite and another drink.  "Thanks for your help with the salad."

He shrugged a tiny bit, chewing it over. "...something to do with my hands."

"If you want to, I can usually use an extra set of hands while cooking."  He shrugged as he said it, cutting himself another bite of filet.

"I'm not particularly good at cooking." He shook his head, shooting another quick glance up at Will. "I wasn't bad at it, before."

"You could learn."  He nudged a bit of lettuce around his plate.  "If you wanted to.  I could teach you."

"I could, I'm sure." But he shrugged the tiniest bit, like that wasn't really his plan, long term.

The offer had been made, Beau could take him up on it if he wanted, but Will wasn't going to try to talk him into it.  "You're good with you're hands, I'm sure there's a lot of things you could pick up quickly."

His mouth twitched as he flicked Will a sideways look, and stabbed one more bite of steak. "I'm not sure I'm that desperate yet."

Will shrugged, spearing leaves on his fork so he could take a bite of the salad.  "It's up to you, obviously."  Will could drag him along places, but he couldn't make him do anything.  He didn't want to make him.

Beau shrugged again, leaning in against the counter and sipping at his wine. "I've played masseuse before."

"Oh really?"  He quirked a smile, glancing up at him as he took a drink of his wine.  He could believe it, the way Beau had been handling his palms the night before.

"An easy way to buy affection." He said it absently, head cocked to the side.

Will finished up the rest of his steak before dragging his thumb along his lip and licking it off.  "You don't say."

"It's easy to get people to like you." He hesitated, though, eyes flicking up onto Will and then away. "At least temporarily."

Meal finished, Will pushed his plate away and pulled his glass closer.  "Is it?"  It was thoughtful, fingertip tracing the top of his glass thoughtlessly, gaze flicking up.

"Incredibly. Compliments but not too hard, attention, be a gracious host..." He shrugged again, tapping at the side of his glass -- and smiling, all at once. Not exactly happily, though. "Food and alcohol."

He drew his fingers back from the glass to flex them slowly, gaze sliding away and back down to his hands.  Every time he thought he had an idea of what Beau was thinking he'd say or do something to completely derail the thought.  Will couldn't read him.

He tipped the glass toward Will in a silent cheers and downed what was left, and then set the glass down.

His lips twitched up, and he curled his hand around the glass again to give it a half tip back, following suit.  "Do you want more?"

"Wine or steak?" He looked down toward the more than half a steak lingering on his plate.

"Wine.  If you don't want to eat more you don't have to."  He poured himself another glass, then tipped his head at Beau, brows arched.

"I want to eat more." He looked down at the steak, mournfully. "It's just not great for me."

"Save it, eat more later."  He rolled his shoulder in a half shrug, and twisted to refill Beau's glass.  "It should heat up fine."

"What I really want is a piece of cake." He scraped at his hair, watching the wine pour. "And a pile of pasta. And maybe a joint."


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 11:23:01 AM »
He grinned, head shaking.  "I can't give you any of that, but there is ice cream."  Setting the bottle down again Will got up and grabbed his plate, walking around Beau's stool to head towards the sink.

"Wine and ice cream is fine, I guess." He looked down at the steak and then gave up on self-restraint to just work his way through it.

"We can be all civilized and use bowls," he said as he rinsed his plate off and put it in the dishwasher, turning to grab the salad bowl so he could pitch what was left -- it wouldn't keep.  "Or, we can say fuck it  and just eat out of the carton."

"But we only got one carton." It was quick and immediate, head tipped to the side, speaking around another bite of steak. "Are you implying we share?"

"Mmhmm."  It was easy, the easy smile from earlier creeping back in as he leaned back against the counter to wait for Beau to finish his steak so he could take care of his dishes.

He hesitated as he looked down at the steak -- and then, sighing, ate the last of it.

Plate and silverware were removed as Beau finished up, both rinsed and loaded up in the dishwasher to be run later.  He added the pan from before as well, and anything else he'd gotten dirty along the way.  "If you just want a bowl, that's fine..."

"Might be wiser." It was absent, shaking his head. "Otherwise, I can go through the whole pint."

The smile slipped, just a little, but he got a couple of bowls down and some spoons.  The ice cream was cookies and cream, and Will scooped some into both bowls before putting it away again.

He put his own plate in the sink -- really, just put it in the sink, that was how this was going to go -- and swiped his hands on the sides of his pants. "...not a bad choice, though, at least."

Will made a sound at the plate in the sink but just shook his head and slid a bowl and a spoon to Beau.  "The shake you got was cookies and cream, so it seemed safe."  He shrugged, leaning in against the counter and taking a bite.

He made just a faintly amused sound, stirring at his ice cream with the spoon, slowly. "...I ate too fast."

Brows twitched up as he took another bite, licking the curve of the spoon clean.  "Stomach ache?"

He pulled a face up at Will, folding his arms over the counter and biting down on his immediate response.

He looked genuinely puzzled, frowning back with brows drawn down.  "What?"

Instead of answering, he nudged his wine glass toward Will for a little more, and took a bite of ice cream. Full or no.

Will huffed out impatiently but filled his glass back up, then went back to his I've cream.

Beau watched him, alternating between wine and ice cream -- whether they complimented each other or not -- and thinking it over. "I just miss it. I could fix things."

Will picked at his ice cream for a bit before turning his attention back to his wine, taking a long drink as he considered how to respond to that, or if he even should.  Honestly, not saying anything was probably his best option, so as he lowered his glass he looked up, listening.

It was all Beau had, though, apparently. He sipped at the wine, hair sloppy around his face, frowning just a bit at the ice cream.

Will finished his bowl off first, because if there was food in front of him it really just didn't last long.  He nudged it away to work on his wine, refilling it once it got low.  Relaxing into a comfortable buzz.  "We might as well finish this off."

"The bottle or the pint?" He'd drank most of his wine; the ice cream, though, was melting in the bowl.

He chuckled, head shaking, then had to comb fingers back through his hair.  "The bottle."

"Fill it up, then." He tapped the glass just lightly, agreeable.

There was enough left in the bottle to top both glasses off with a generous amount.  "Nice choice on the wine, this was good."

"It is." Enough to get Beau a bit blurry, if not actually drunk -- which, unfortunately, also seemed to make him just a bit morose.

Which was, of course, the opposite of what Will had been aiming for.  Big hands wrapped around his glass, he looked up at him thoughtfully, chewing something over.

He tapped nails against the side of his glass, ate a couple mouthfuls of ice cream, and blinked up at Will after a moment. The look on his face made Beau frown.

He dropped his gaze automatically but brought it back up again after a second or two, lips twitching in a flicker of a smile.

"What?" It held that exasperation, again, tinged with a bit of something self-conscious.

"I was hoping the wine would make you...happy, I guess.  Feel a bit better."  He looked down as he spoke.  "I don't think it worked."  At least it didn't seem like it had.

"Try ecstacy next time." His tone was sharply mocking, looking back down into his glass.

"I could just stop trying altogether."  It was quiet and cool as Will straightened up and walked around him, glass in hand, to pick his shirt up from where it'd been left on the couch.

"I'm not actually sure you could," Beau replied, watching Will out of the corner of his eye.

Probably true.  Will shrugged, features gone thoughtful behind the frames of his glasses.

"You keep throwing me toys to see if they distract but..." It was another of those honest moments, fragile and careful. "Honestly, the only thing I really enjoyed was trying to figure out your magic."

Shirt along over his shoulder, he crossed his arms loosely, glass coming up for a thoughtful sip.  "So keep doing that."  Pale eyes rested in Beau's face.  "If anyone's going to figure out how to get this shit under control, it'd be you."

"That's probably true, though, again, less true than it used to be." He leaned back slowly, twisting his glass against the counter.

"You're smart enough to work around that."  There was a hint of that familiar impatience leaking into his voice, but he was also going for encouraging.

He shrugged a tiny bit, taking another slow sip from the cup. "Certain things can't be compensated for. With magic, I could actually build a potion to light you up and see the power, probably."

He opened his mouth, then closed it again, his chest rising and falling with a heavy breath.

"Kelly probably could, too." It came out slow and pained, like he hated to admit it; hated giving up that power, perhaps.

He just looked at him, patience battling with impatience.  Glass lifted but not touching his lips.

"If you wanted it dealt with."  It was almost like physical pain saying it -- giving up any leverage he might have.

"I'd rather not."  He'd been living with it for years, knew how to work around it comfortably.  "I'm not desperate to deal with it, I didn't even know it was an option until you mentioned it."

He shrugged just a tiny bit, though, not really approving. "It's not....I mean, why should you live a half life like this?"

"This is life for me, I can barely remember it being any different than this."  He tapped his finger against his glass.

"You're limiting yourself." He shook his head, polished off the glass of wine and finally straightening. "Why?"

"Until last night I hadn't even considered there might be a way, aside from dampening magic, to not have to rely on the gloves."  He leaned to the side, hip against the back of the couch.  "It's your theory, we can do it your way."  He shrugged, taking a drink.  "Besides, you enjoy trying to figure it out now, but how much fun would it actually be if I were getting memories and thoughts and visions of your life with every little touch."  He shook his head, a little bitterness creeping into his voice before he let out a heavy breath.  "No one wants that."

Beau scratched up the back of his neck, thinking about that really for the first time. Musing. "...I guess not."

"How Kelly reacted to you early?  That's how people usually react to me when they know what I can do."  He looked down at the couch.  "I don't care if it takes longer, I'd rather have someone not flinching away trying to help."

Just thinking about it made Beau rub lightly at his wrists again.  "I don't know. I'd want to be in control of it."

"I doubt anyone else skilled enough will want to help."  He took a drink, lifting his gaze back up to Beau, lingering on fingers scratching at his wrist.  "But it's a moot point, I wouldn't ask anyone else."

Not scratching, at the moment, just -- rubbing, fidgety. "How are you even still alive."

His brows creased, head tipping subtly to one side.  "Why wouldn't I be alive?"

"It's fundamentally isolating." The words blurred, but the vocab was still there. Beau blew out a sigh. "It separates you from other people."

"Yeah...it does."  He tipped back the rest of his wine, then straightened up to move towards the counter to set down the empty glass.  "I make the best of things, I guess.  Therapy helps, too."  He reached out to draw Beau's hand away from his own wrist again.

He resisted for about a breath -- then gave in, jaw relaxing and shoulders slumping. "I don't trust therapists."

"It's not easy, but when it's a good fit it definitely helps..."  He turned Beau's hand in his, eyes down, running his thumb along the tattoo to see if the skin was still irritated.

He couldn't leave it alone -- the touch made him twitch a little, head tipped to look down at Will's hands. "They always report in."

He let him go, but only for a moment.  Long enough to walk over to the cupboard above the sink so he could find a little tube of ointment.  He unscrewed the cap, dabbing a little on his thumb before reaching for Beau's wrist.  "They wouldn't if they were properly motivated not to."

He shrugged again, and looked -- completely unconvinced, in fact, his eyes turned down as he let Will take his wrist again. "I can't imagine what would motivate people that much."

He shrugged, smoothing ointment across the irritated skin, slow and thorough.  "Fear."

"They've already got that. Carrot and stick, to make sure both work." He settled in against the counter, halfway wishing he were sitting.

Hard to argue against that, especially considering Me. Eastoft's reach.  He could ask Zhi to help, but... He tried not to.

He turned Beau's hand so he could continue spreading ointment, thumb working in small circles.

He blew out another little sigh, slow, head tipping. "I don't know how much that's actually going to help."

"It can't make it worse."  He flicked eyes up to Beau's face.  "I can stop...if you want me to."

That got another shrug, and he didn't try to pull away, just fidgeted a little, uncertainly.

He waited for some word or sign of protest, but when none came, he turned his attention back to Beau's wrist.  Smoothing the ointment along the whole of the tattoo before letting that hand go to reach for the other.

Beau shifted a little, half-tilted his head -- if there was a stool somewhere, he'd perch on that, instead.

There was one close enough to hook with an ankle, if he wanted to drag it over.  Will had his side against the counter as he rubbed ointment along the side of this wrist.

He dragged it in to perch, if not fully sit, swallowing carefully. Maybe this wouldn't help the wrists, but it had definitely relaxed him.

He glanced up as Beau pulled the stool over, but only for a second or two, thumb working in slow circles around the whole of his wrist.  When he'd covered all of it the slow circling slowed further, almost stopped, and then moved down towards his palm instead.

Beau made a very soft sound, without pulling his hand back. "I don't think you're going to get my chakras to open up."

Fingers slowed again at the comment, but didn't stop.  "I don't think I'm trying to open them."

"Or close them." He added, elbow settling onto the counter for balance. He swallowed again.

"Not trying to do that, either."  He worked his thumbs in widening circles along Beau's palm before running his fingertips along the lengths of long, thin fingers.

His fingertips twitched in response, absently. "Just glad you can touch someone."

Will mulled that over, head tipping as considered his answer.  "That's part of it."  He took his time, rubbing down each long finger from tip to palm.

Beau closed his eyes for a moment, shoulders dropping again. "With your overprotected baby hands..."

It got a soft hum of amusement, blue eyes flicking up to Beau's face as he turned the younger man's hand in his, curled fingers around his wrist from beneath.  Holding as he worked along Beau's knuckles, the back of his hand and over his wrist.

Maybe he could have fallen asleep -- but he didn't. Just leaned into the counter and relaxed slowly, by inches, not even arguing or teasing now.

He smoothed his palm up along Beau's forearm, under the sleeve of his shirt, working the fabric up around his elbow.  Watching his face as he did so.

His fingers twitched again and, finally, he cracked his eyes -- awake even if his breathing was smooth and his arm had gone limp in Will's grasp.

"Do you want to go to bed..?"  Fingers curled loosely around his arm and smoothed down the length of it, nails grazing over the back of his hand and over his fingers.

He licked his lips, trying to focus. "I definitely don't want to sit on this stool in your kitchen."

He drew him to his feet by the hand still curled around his wrist.  Not in against him, but he hadn't stepped back either.  "Couch?"

"Sure." He blinked up at Will's face, his own features gone softer as he relaxed.

He looked back down at him and there was a mix of caution and calmness in tan features, like he kept waiting for Beau to pull away from him, but was also pleased he hadn't.  Half turning, he drew him around the side of the couch towards the corner Beau had been sitting in earlier.  As he sat he pulled gently, towards him, but light enough not to drag him that close if he didn't want to be there.  Hints and invitations.

Beau swallowed again, maybe finally picked up on it - blinking at Will and his mouth parting like he was going to say something - but couldn't decide what. His heartbeat twitched under Will's fingers.

There was no demand -- the couch was open to either side of him -- Will settled into the corner, pulling the shirt off his shoulder to toss it away as he tipped his head against the back to look up at the younger man, gauging.  His hand still curled around his wrist.

Still, though, he hesitated. Uncertain; he licked his lips and eased in one step closer, slowly.


Offline Beejoux

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Re: Cold Awakenings [Beau x Will]
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 11:25:16 AM »
His fingers flexed against Beau's wrist as he hesitated, would have loosened if not for that step closer.  Even still, doubt flicked across his face, gaze flicking down to his mouth, then his hand as Will shifted his grip from wrist to hand, smoothing his thumb over pale knuckles.  The other swept up to push his hair back from his own face, fingers flexing habitually betraying nerves.

"How drunk are you?" It was light -- pointedly light, settling between Will's knees. In its way, it was Beau's effort to take control of the situation.

"Enough to get out of my own way," he answered honestly, his free hand shifting to rest fingertips against the side of Beau's leg.  "Not enough to not know what I'm doing."

He mulled it over, the tip of his tongue smoothing over his lower lip. "I still think you'd be weird about it once you were sober."

He tipped his chin up, eyes raising to Beau's face.  "Not too late to just go to bed..."  Not that he let go of his hand.

"And give up the opportunity to get one up on you?" It came with a flicker of challenge, his head cocked. He licked his lip again, chin raised.

He smirked, just the barest tug of his lips on one side as he tightened his hold on Beau's hand to pull him in and down.  "And here I was worried you'd think I was taking advantage."

"You definitely would be." He leaned in over Will, though. free hand settled on the back of the couch for balance and the breath hissing out of him. His heartbeat was going under Will's fingertips, again.

"If you don't want to..."  He said it gently, but there was a subtle challenge there as well.  Fingers on Beau's leg drifted down to the back of his knee, curling to draw his leg forward.

He let Will guide his leg down onto the couch next to him, and then the other, to settle himself slowly -- finally actually gracefully, too -- into Will's lap. He stretched his shoulders as he did, too, head tipped down but not quite close enough for their lips to meet. "Maybe I just want you to want it more."

He let out a breath that might have been relief as Beau brought his other leg up and settled on his lap, and his free hand slid under the edge of his shirt to smooth up the curve of his back, thumb stroking the pulse in his wrist.  He tipped his head enough to ghost lips along the other man's chin, hips shifting beneath him.

It was less theoretical all of a sudden. Beau blew out a shaky little breath and tipped his head obligingly -- and also, partly, so that he could look down at Will out of the corner of his eye. He was definitely worth looking at. "I could get you in a pretty decent amount of trouble."

"Yes, you could," he acknowledged, letting go of Beau's hand to curl his other arm around his back, eyes closing at the feel of skin beneath his hands.  He didn't sound especially concerned.  Beau was smart enough to know where he'd end up if he wasn't there.

He dragged his hand up as it was freed to smooth fingertips across Will's mouth, slow and light.

He swallowed, lips parting slightly under Beau's fingertips.  He opened his eyes again, looking up at him as his palms smoothed up further under his shirt, dragging it with them.

Beau was soft, underneath; not skinny, not fat, but soft around the edges, smooth under Will's fingertips. He slid his thumb between Will's parted lips, and reached up to take off his glasses.

It pulled a sound from his chest, and he slid his tongue against the pad of Beau's thumb.  Fingertips kneaded into his back.  Up to his shoulders before working back down.

It made Beau smile, finally, sudden and sharp, pleased with himself. "I don't know exactly what you had in mind."

He gave a very small shake of his head, because he'd honestly not even expected this. But he closed his lips around Beau's thumb, swirled his tongue around the tip.  Dragging him in closer.

It made him shudder just a bit. Again, he licked his lips, dragged the pad of his thumb over Will's teeth and free. "What don't you want?"

He sucked at Beau's thumb as the younger man drew it free, pale eyes gone unfocused.  "I don't know."  It was honest, at least.  He drew a hand free to reach up for Beau's face, thumb stroke the angle of his cheek as he slid fingers into the soft curls of his hair.  "I didn't think that far ahead.  Wasn't sure sure you'd be interested..."

Beau laughed at that, straight up, not exactly nicely, watching Will's face. "What was with all the taking off your shirt, then?"

"To get your attention."  He stroked his thumb down Beau's chin, tried to draw him in closer.  "You're very hard to read."

"It's a practiced skill." There was that dry twist to his voice again, comfortably teasing. "You're not hard to read at all."

He slid his hand around to the back of Beau's head.  "No?"  He didn't seem to mind the observation.  "You're very perceptive."  The hand on the other man's back slid down to just above the curve of his ass, drawing him in close enough for Beau to feel just how much he liked having the smaller man on his lap.

"I'm guessing it's been a pretty considerable amount of time." He tipped his head to almost say it against Will's mouth, still not quite kissing him. His knees tightened around his waist. "And always fraught, with you unwilling or afraid to take your gloves off."

He swallowed again, tongue flicking out against Beau's lip to catch the faint taste of the wine they'd been drinking.  "Very perceptive..."

"So you said." He smoothed his hand along Will's jaw and down over his throat, shifting his weight to press in harder against him. Beau's pulse was still hammering; he was obviously affected, even if it didn't touch his voice. "You should definitely take off your clothes."