Author: Tsukiyohei PM
Clark is down on his luck, but the elevator gives him hope. The 74th floor gives him love, but why replace bourbon with apple juice?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Tragedy - Words: 3,316 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 01-12-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2461808
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Again, this one's kinda weird, too. I love it, though D: Anyway, enjoy This one was written in about... 3 days, I think.
No one was ever in the elevator at exactly 2:43AM, but Clark relied on that. This was his sixth time on the elevator and his eyes lazily moved to glance at the panel of shiny buttons. Seventy five floors up was quite a way, but he liked the ride. It was somewhat relaxing and he needed that right now. He sniffled, drinking from the bottle of bourbon and wincing as its contents burned their way down his throat. He hadn't shaved since 7, and that was when the day was young. Young like it was now, he mused to himself, pressing the cool glass of the bottle to his cheek. He felt fevered, but he wasn't sick.
He had been demoted earlier that day, he remembered. Clark muttered another curse into the brim of the bottle before kissing it again; it was a wet, sloppy kiss that helped him forget, even though it stung. It was like Alex's lips, he told himself, and a slanted smile twisted its way to his mouth. He scratched at the 5 o'clock stubble dotting his unshaven jaw and grinned. Alex would've scolded him about keeping himself in neater condition, but Alex didn't care anymore (Because nowadays, five years were like gambling chips at a vending machine). He closed his eyes and sighed and nearly jumped at the sound of the doors opening on the 74th floor.
Bloodshot eyes blearily opened and examined the body sauntering its way into the elevator.
An attractive boy had walked in. He made mental notes: a thin frame, somewhat subtle curves, and this newcomer's facial features that seemed deceivingly soft. The strange thing was that he had a small blue bendy straw (much like one you get with a juice box) hanging out of the corner of his mouth. He was also in the possession of short, vibrant blond hair, the tips of which dangled amidst his ears and framed that face. And, despite how brief the look he gave Clark had been, the older man could still see those strong, piercing eyes. Clark blinked. He seemed to try to look feminine and masculine at the same time; attempting to be beautiful with boyish charms. It sort of worked, but…
He was dressed like a prostitute.
This boy couldn't have been more than 20 years old, but he had only a small white jacket clinging to his shoulders, and by the flash of olive-toned skin that Clark observed from the bottom, he wasn't wearing an under shirt. There wasn't much skin covered by his pants, either, as they were bleached-white cut-off jeans that were sliced apart just a little below his hips, leaving nothing to the imagination. How… provocative. It accentuated his rather ample-
"Must be cold." Clark found his voice raspier than he wanted it to be. He swallowed thickly (His Adam's Apple bobbed semi nervously, semi miserably) and cleared his throat. "I mean, it must be cold in those clothes."
And then the boy turned to look at him with inquisitive eyes, leaning back against the elevator wall. He elegantly pressed the '1' button on the panel and rather shamelessly sized the older one up. And Clark didn't like that, because it made him feel self conscious, so he took another swig from his bourbon. He looked so shabby in his run-of-the-mill jeans and worn-out business jacket. Sharp features once chiseled into Roman marble had weathered down as he aged, but Clark still liked to think of himself as charming. His coal hair was now speckled with flecks of ash, but that "added more of a rustic look," he reminded his reflection in the mirror every few mornings. Nevertheless, he felt like a high school student once more when this mystery boy examined him; Clark was nervous and couldn't bear to look into those myrtle eyes.
"Michael," the boy suddenly said with a luring smile tugging on his lips. "My name's Michael." Well, at least he hadn't backed away. But that was in his job, he told himself. "Clark," his alcohol-tampered voice replied after out of pure conversational obligation. "You're new to the building?" he asked. He'd been living on the highest floor for about twenty years. That was because no one left this 75 story high apartment building unless they had to.
"Just with a client," Michael remarked off-handedly, shifting weight from one foot to the other and adjusting how those shorts clung to his hips. Now Clark noticed the straw shift beautifully between those lips whenever he spoke. And now, he could see the candy cane that was hung from the front of Michael's waistband. It was out of place, but appealing in its own way. "I see," came the reply, but it sounded like it came from the 75th floor. They were on the 55th floor, now, and he felt like a voyeur. Clark had been too busy looking at Michael's front, and he noticed. Michael grinned and shifted a bit more, his hips thrust out slightly in his new position. But he seemed to be embarrassed for a moment, as if he realized that he was hitting on a drunk. "I do… erm… massages." It was a flimsy excuse.
"So you're a hooker." There was no sugar coating.
"I never said that." Michael glared. Defensive.
That could only lead to another question. "But you do sell yourself for se-"
"I don't like that word!" Michael almost snapped at him, head turned sharply and a snarl curling on his lips.
They were quiet for a while as Michael calmed down. Clark felt like he'd gone a bit too far, but he just blamed it on the bourbon. However, that still didn't stop him from drinking some more; he was getting buzzed. "Sorry," the thinner of the two replied, shifting from one foot to the other. "It's just… Can't we use something else for it?" They both thought for a second, one mind cloudy and the other mind cloudier, before a laugh caught in Clark's throat. He seemed to chortle; that little strangled guffaw wasn't too unlike what would come from a fratboy.
"What?" Michael said incredulously, beginning to smile and giggling as well. It was contagious! "You're an angel," Clark responded, motioning towards the white-clad boy with the bottle, "so why don't we call it The Bible or something? Isn't bein' sacrilegious cool nowadays for you all?"
Michael laughed. "That's wonderful!" He wrapped his arms around his stomach; the smile that graced his face seemed a bit warmer than how the bourbon made Clark's stomach felt. His shoulders relaxed and then Clark relaxed, too.
"You can't sell The Bible."
It was a comfortable silence, this time. The humor had died down, but they hadn't noticed that they had been staring at each other for a while. It was the 39th floor, now, and his bottle was mostly empty.
"… You're the worst whore ever." He giggled in intoxication.
"… What?!" This one was uttered with more of a 'What the hell are you thinking?!' than a 'Oh, you did not just say that!' Michael was taken aback. So bold? "Are you that drunk, old man?!"
"'s just you're here," the semi-drunk continued, moving his hands as a visual aid, "in your little short shorts and your skanky jacket, but you've got no make-up! You haven't prettied up for some fancy john!" Michael laughed again, pushing off from his side of the elevator and elegantly making his way next to him. Clark shifted warily. "Well," Michael started, leaning and bumping his shoulder as he pressed his back against the wall beside the older man. "I just finished with a client, Clark." He liked how his name sounded on those lips. "So I don't have to be all whorish right now, do I?"
It was the 24th floor, but Clark wished they were back on the 75th.
"I like you, y'coot," Michael remarked, shuffling a little bit closer and bursting Clark's drunk personal bubble. Their arms touched. "You try and act all gruff, but I know your type." Myrtle fazed out and memories faded in. The semi-brunette sensed this and then nudged him with his elbow. "Merry Christmas," he murmured, taking another gulp. For some reason, Michael's shoulders convulsed in silent laughter. "Wha?" the drunk asked.
"It's February, Clark."
His cheeks burned a deeper red as he coughed, turning his head to the side as Michael continued laughing, occasionally glancing to the form attempting to be stoic. But after a while, that faded, too, and then they were left with silence. It was more comforting than the earlier one, though, and Clark relaxed his shoulders, flinching once he realized that Michael was now leaning on him.
They were at the 10th floor, now, and now his bottle was finally empty.
The blond fiddled with the candy cane dangling from his waistline, almost teasingly tugging it down a fraction of a centimeter. The candy was sweet. Michael was tempting for sweeter, and he knew that Clark was watching.
"So… You never told me why you have that straw," Clark blurted, looking for an excuse to look up at Michael's face, instead. His lips. His teeth, slowly nibbling on the striped plastic. "Long story," he said, "And I'm sure it's too boring for you."
"Nevermind. It's fine."
It was the 9th floor and Clark was starting to feel nervous.
"How is The Bible, anyway?" He was curious. However, once Michael shrugged, his eyebrow quirked further. "It's okay, but after a while, I just get a bit tired of doing it with old men." Clark averted his eyes guiltily. "Oh! You're fine, though! You're just… um… vintage!" The blond grinned and hooked his arm with the older man's.
The 7th floor; the puffs of bourbon-flavored air were more frequent.
"I think…" he began, rubbing his bristly cheek with his opposite hand, "that-"
"I hate people that tell me to get a job," Michael suddenly frowned, interrupting him. "It's not as easy, y'know? But of course you know, 'cause you've probably got the same thing." Clark was stunned for a moment before he unhooked his arm from the courtesan, moving to stand in front of the doors. "So you're going back to the block." It was a statement, not a question.
The 2nd floor was the most intimidating of them all and Clark's jaw clenched.
"… Not without giving you this." Michael walked forward and pressed his lips into the older man's stubble, easily soothing his hand open and sliding a piece of paper in it. Clark opened it once the boy took a step away, and in it were seven numbers sloppily scribbled out in blue ink. And then Michael was sashaying out of the elevator.
Clark stepped forward, his foot firmly planted on the threshold, but not daring to touch the velvety red carpet of the lobby. "You know I'll throw this away, right?" he called out after him. The blond turned around and smiled.
"I know you'll keep it and I know you'll call it. I know I can sell The Bible, Clark, and I do it everyday." A trace of a tragedy was weaved in and out of every word that the older man held onto. "Merry Christmas," he purred. And then the candy cane was pulled out of the short-shorts and hung on Clark's belt loop affectionately. With that, Michael waved and seamlessly assimilated into the crowd. The pavement was waiting for him, Clark reminded himself as he sighed dejectedly and made his way back into the elevator. No one else got on.
The 2nd floor was the most difficult of them all and his shoulders slumped.
The bottle rolled onto the floor and cheap elevator music seemed to creep into the elevator, bringing a smile Clark's lips as he pocketed the slip of paper. Unconsciously, he slid the candy cane into his mouth, feeling light hearted. He was looking forward to reaching the 74th floor again. It was where the silhouette of a slender boy stood, waiting for him once more. And then he would go back down, so he could feel it again. He would do it just one more time because now, he was ready to get off the elevator at the 75th floor and face his empty apartment thanks to the folded note in his pocket.
Part 2 - The Inferno
It was bourbon, again, that lingered on his tongue as he waited. It was the waiting that was horrible, he reminded himself and his fingers drummed lightly against the armrest of the couch. It was unnerving, Clark thought to himself. What made it worse was that he waited a week. Yes, he concluded, those seven days of glancing back and forth from the telephone to the paper were both repetitive and utterly terrifying.
He grabbed the bottle nearby the furniture, taking another swig just as the doorbell rung. He sputtered as he rushed to his feet, bringing the bourbon with him to answer. For a second, his hand stopped on the doorknob. He didn't want to open it but wanted to at the same time. Only another swig of the bottle could bring him to open the door. It creaked and wailed with a shameful desperation as it swung open. And then he found himself staring right at the face of his pathetic Plan B.
Michael stood there, beaming at him and wearing the same outfit he did the first time they met. "You… don't have many clothes, do you?" Clark questioned skeptically, still feeling somewhat ashamed and glad for the excuse to give the courtesan another once-over. The boy just chuckled and pointed to the bottle. "You, good sir, have a problem," he accused playfully, smiling.
"So do you," Clark retorted without realizing it, receiving another small laugh. "I'm glad to see you got rid of the candy cane and straw, though."
"Well, y'gonna let me in or what, old man?" He expectantly tapped his foot. "Unless, of course, y'wanna get all freaky in the hallway."
Ochre eyes narrowed as the older one of the two scowled, moving to the side. And then Michael walked forward, closing the door behind him. "I knew you'd call." He sounded partly satisfied and partly disappointed.
"I know." And then Clark sighed, drinking some more from the bottle. There was another moment of awkwardness as Michael stepped further, examining his suite. "This is better than the floor underneath," he complimented. He remembered when they first met on the way down from the 74th floor. The 74th floor was a blessing. "Where's the bedroom?" he asked without even bothering to try and sound innocent.
Suddenly, Clark was scared to look back, because he felt like if he did, Michael would dissolve back into the pavement. As soon as they were past the bedroom door, the boy made a beeline for the bed, dragging his hand from Clark's clothed shoulder to drag down his chest and stomach on his way past. He was such a tease, he decided, just as he grabbed Michael's wrist and pulled him back.
The door slammed shut and then his back slammed into it, too. Michael flinched at the manhandling before glancing up confidently to Clark, a smirk obvious in his voice. "Oh, thaaat way, then. Old fashioned coo-" Clark silenced the whore greedily, almost hungrily with a kiss; he felt carnal and depraved and he wanted this and he wanted him and he had to make sure that he wouldn't never want anyone else…
Part 3 - Defective Paradise
He had the biggest little death of his life.
That said it all, really. Clark lay exhausted on his very messy bed, sheets and clothes thrown about like carnage's caricature. Michael curled up to his side, just as naked as he was and just as tired. For a second, their attention was split: Clark to the slowly rotating ceiling fan and Michael to his cigarette. However, the mere action of throwing the cancer stick into a nearby ashtray knocked them both out of it.
"Damn, old man," he stated matter-of-factly, nuzzling closer into the man's hold around his shoulders. "I might have to pay you," he joked, the laugh transferring from one chest to another. "I'm not going to give you any money," resonated the serious reply from above. Michael glanced up at him. "Hm. Well. I guess I'll just stay here, then." He huffed, but wasn't able to keep it up. Post-coital bliss always did that to him. "That's okay," the gruff voice sounded.
Clark looked away, deciding to change the subject. "That was really good." The last seven hours were still pleasant blurs of his memory; he may have been over thirty, but he didn't lack stamina. Michael screamed several times.
"But… I might be getting too old for this." And they both knew it wasn't about the sex. Michael laid a sympathetic arm across Clark and moved closer, pressing a kiss into his cheek again. "Don't worry. We can take care of each other." He wiped some moisture off of stubble-laden cheeks and made a low remark about how the older man never shaved; the laugh that came afterwards lulled them both back into happy relaxation once more.
Clark was sad, but he wouldn't let Michael see it.
"So… You're really…"
"Don't make me change my mind."
"Nevermind! It's fine!"
Clark started laughing, remembering their conversation a week ago. "We're a strange pair, you and I." 'But it's not as good as it can be,' the dark thought swirled around his head. "Eh. It's better than being boring." 'Very true,' he found himself thinking, smiling. "You better watch out, Michael," Clark warned, shifting so that he loomed over his courtesan, "Or I could get a bit too used to this arrangement." He pressed bourbon-flavored kisses into Michael's neck and moved down.
And then he knew that Michael had come to the same conclusion he had, closing his eyes. He felt, rather than heard the boy's whispered response, so faint that it almost went entirely unnoticed, but Clark continued anyway, brushing his lips lower and lower and lower.