"Where are you—"
The door is then promptly slammed in Maverick's face, putting a nice three inches of solid wood between Dominic and himself.
"...it's our anniversary," he finishes, looking down at Samson, who is quite content just snuggling against his bare legs. Maverick picks up the hairless cat, tries his hardest to smile warmly, but his face falls further than hell and he sighs.
The cat simply stares, not sure why Maverick looks so put out. There's milk in the fridge and a bed upstairs, covered with fuzzy blankets and enough chew toys to dull a vampire's fangs – and, due to these simple facts, Samson fails to see any problem with the world. Of course, to Samson 'the world' doesn't go far past the wooden fence that surrounds the backyard, and Maverick's problem is probably two blocks away by now.
"Want some tuna?" Samson, being the marvelously small cat he is, jumps from Maverick's pale arms to his left shoulder, purring madly. "I'll take that as a yes."
Maverick figures that there's no use getting all flustered over something so trivial, so stupid, as a day – just a day like any other day – so he drags his body into the dark kitchen, not bothering with the lights. He doesn't even think of them because he's secretly worried he'll catch his reflection in the window and realize that he's horribly hurt; just crushed, dejected, desolated and rejected again by the man he eloped with when he was nineteen. Dominic, who was always thinking as of late and far too busy with work and 'other such affairs', as he put it, to even bother looking at Maverick, let alone staying home on the night of their anniversary to just talk.
That's really all Maverick wants right now, to talk, remember the feeling of being married to the one person his parents would rather see dead, remember his hard arms and soapy smell and evidently careful eyes, loving in their leering. And then have sex on the couch, the moment they both come homer after work, just right in the living room: heady, heated, and hardly enough for either of them.
Not that it matters. Dominic obviously couldn't give any less of a fuck.
But this, however, is all kicking around in the back of Maverick's mind, hushed and whispering, so he finds his smile as he opens one of the tall cherry-wood cupboards, searching for tuna.
"Alight. What'll it be, Samson? Romania Style, Italian Fettuccine, or Swiska?" He mewls and licks Maverick's cheek. "Thank you, but that's not much of an answer."
Three knocks echo from the front door in the living room, the same door Dominic had walked out of, and Maverick is trying so hard not to hope it's him. He knows it's not, would bet his mother's favourite porcelain cow that it's not, but he wants it to be more than his logical half can deviate.
When he slides into the yellow-lit living room and opens the door, he finds his head, not his nostalgic heart, correct. Not Dominic, but a covered head-to-foot in snow Mary Anne is starring back at him, grinning like the cheshire cat.
"Hey Mavey!" she says, smiling enough for the three of them. "Where's Coldy Mc. Ima Bitch?"
Maverick, being used to this astonishing example of how dorky a human being really can be, doesn't even flinch at the nickname. "He went out."
"Um..." Mary places a short, freckled finger over her lips, not sure what to make of the crestfallen face she's staring at. "Isn't today your guyses anniversary?"
"Yeah." Maverick just stares at the floor, petting Samson on his left shoulder. The cat jumps away, seeming to find the couch much more interesting than Maverick's large hands. "He's just..."
Mary dips her head down, grey hairs falling into her face, looking into his black eyes. "Just what, hun?"
A positively freezing blast of winter wind curves into the house, killing the quite air as Maverick's body quivers from the cold. He's not answering the diluted question, wont admit that he knows he doesn't deserve to be treated like this, day after day, but it was different last year. Last year had been slow, easy nights and rushed mornings, a swift kiss and trip out the door together. Last year had been something happy to think about at work, and all Mary's old grey eyes are doing is reminding him how wrong everything is now.
Her smile is brighter than a baby's first giggle. "Whatever then! We'll just have our own anniversary!"
"Yeah!" Mary pushes him inside, slamming the door. "Grab your coat, kiddo! We're gonna party!"
"Party...?" Maverick hasn't 'partied' since elementary school, and those parties had always come fully equipped with a paid-by-the-hour clown, colour-drunk party hats, and grape juice.
The partying Mary has in mind, however, is more likely to have paid-by-the-hour hookers, dunk people spewing colourful liquids, and a serious lack of grape juice.
Dominic is, in the finest of ways, a bastard. He has been for all of the forty-two years of hif life. He knows this, accepts this, because it's him and he's him and—but wait. He's forgetting something, isn't he? Something important that should be dominating the top of his list, but never is anymore. Something that he loves, someone—
And that's when his small by comparison Ford F150 collides with a ten ton transport truck. The last thing Dominic sees is the smiling cheerio bee, telling the world that he has 'Good News For Your Heart', before the confounding fingernails of death draw his eyelids down. Bending steal cuts through his left collarbone, curves at the tip like a fishhook, stuck. The smell of warm blood flares around his nose, wandering through his moving lungs and back out again.
The woman in the transport truck flops out of the seat and screams at Dominic, dialing three numbers on her duct-taped cell phone.
Maverick feels stupid. Tight, thirty percent spandex jeans are meant for fifteen year old girls, not slowly approaching twenty-three year old men. Half the room, however, would strongly disagree when asked, and Maverick finds comfort in simply pretending that this fact is very nonexistent.
"Why here?" He pleas, tryign to talk over the music. "Y-y-you know I'm..."
"A shy, pathetic, unadventurous housewife?" Mary Anne smiles, leathery face wrinkling like a pair of dirty socks. "Yes baby, I know. Now go get laid."
"I'm married, Mary."
"No, you're not." She takes his black pea coat and hangs it up with hers. "You're trapped. Now go."
With a light push from an old lady, Maverick is on his way into the dreaded field of sweaty teenage bodies, screaming high on ecstasy, weed puffs floating on their breaths, and music crawling through their veins like worms.
"Mary—" But she's gone.
Now Maverick is left alone with about three-hundred other people. Three-hundred loud, annoying, obnoxious, no-sir-I-will-not-hold-the-door-open-for-you-thanks, teenagers. Maverick remembers being a teenager. The zits, the homework, the bitchy girls in art class, teachers, labels, repetitive schedules – the whole shindig. And all of it is here, in this bar, leaking through the eyes and pores of three hundred fresh fridaynighters, who are going to live forever. They will, because they're teenagers and they've been partying like this since they were ten and they haven't died yet so why would it happen at all? They don't think about it – forever is just theirs.
Maverick never saw life this way. He couldn't. Death, to him, is a stickynote attached to every cliff, every stop sign, every tangible thing out there, and it just keeps growing and growing.
It grows a lot faster when he's alone with three-hundred people, however, and if a thirty-or-so year old man covered in glowy-goo wasn't staring so hard at him, Maverick would be heading for the door. And if this glow-covered man wasn't walking towards him, closer and closer, Maverick might've never known that he wasn't wearing a shirt. But, as it is, Mr. Glow is only about four feet away now, gorgeously topless and definitely in his late thirties, so Maverick can't move. He doesn't even want to, anyway, because Mr. Glow has Dominic's smile, softly secure.
"Hey." Mr. Glow points to the bar. "Can I get you a drink?"
Three questions are now arising in Maverick's tired head: One, why is a man in his late thirties at a teenybopper bar? Two, why is a gay man in his late thirties at a teenybopper bar? And three, why is a gay man in his late thirties at a teenybopper asking Maverick to have a drink with him while eyeing his wedding ring?
Maverick doesn't want to think about what he's about to do. He just smiles and walks to the wooden bar.
"So, what would you boys like?"
Maverick stares into space for a few hundred moments, wishing the bartender had greeted them any way but that, because that sentence is the only reason he met Dominic, and the last thing he wants to think about is his husband.
"Six shots of tequila," Mr. Glow answers.
Controlling bastard, Maverick thinks, trying not to stare too much at the bare chest in front of him. He wishes the guy would put a shirt on and stop smiling at him like Dominic used to, stop brushing shoulders with him, just stop already because he does not want to cheat on his husband. He doesn't he doesn't he—
"You've got wonderful eyes."
"Really." Mr. Glow grabs Maverick's light hand, rubbing his wedding ring with his rough thumb. "What's your name?"
Maverick, while dazed and completely enthralled by this stranger's words, gives this man a very put off and pouty look. "What's yours?"
Mr. Whoever chuckles, softly, like it had been boiling in his stomach all day, just waiting to flow out of his carefully drawn lips. Waiting for something worthy to chuckle so kindly about. "Josh."
Maverick, though having never really played this game much, does not believe that the unveiling of a first name gives Josh the privilege of getting so close to his face. He pulls back on his stool, but Josh just pushes forwards on his, grinning like an alligator would to a sleeping duck. An alligator this 'Josh' might be, but Maverick is no sleeping duck – he pulls back again, clinging to the front of the wooden stool in a sincere effort to not fall to the perilous ground beneth him.
Josh pushes forwards again, this time placing a hand way above Maverick's knee.
"What are you doing?" Maverick inquires slowly, trying to fight off the dazed feeling, trying to Just Say No like his grade school teacher's had told him, but this guy is so alluring. So welcoming, sweet, and nice.
Josh, whilst drinking one shot of tequila, says, "You didn't tell me your name yet."
"M—" And thus, before the first syllable of his eclectic name can be said, Maverick finds his mouth rather occupied with Josh's tongue. He can taste about eight different kinds of faded alcohol, smell it on his salty skin, and comes to the conclusion that this man is very very drunk. In a twist of sick irony, he also, unfortunately, is ruthlessly good at kissing, half naked, and definitely not making the slightest attempt to conceal the fact that he wants to take Maverick home.
Dominic is sedated. Laying face up on a hospital bed only two blocks from his husband, he has about seven doctors trying to remove a giant piece of metal carved into his shoulder. They're doing okay, because Dominic isn't dead, just swinging around in the blank utopia of a deep sleep, but they've been 'doing okay' for an hour now. They're not sure how much longer he can bleed, and they can't reach his husband to give consent to start surgery.
The truck driver is sitting outside room three sixty, eyes tearing through every body that walks or wheels infront of her. Her heart hasn't thumped this hard since gym class in the sixth grade, her fingers haven't felt so much like death since she dropped her hamster when she was three. Unable to take it, she stands up and bolts down the hall, running away from her problmes like she always would.
Josh pulls away finally, suddenly, but stumbles a bit due to the extreme amount of liquor raking through his blood. "So, you're married?"
"I, um..." Maverick should be saying yes here, despite the ever creeping hand. Maverick should not he hesitating. But Josh has dark brown hair, a strong smile, big blue eyes, and enough 'fuck me please' written across his naked torso to pleasure an army of Amazonian women. Just like Dominic used to, back when they had sex every night, and Maverick wants that back again. He's wanted it back all year.
But not like this.
"I have to go."
"I'm sorry, I just..." Maverick doesn't bother finishing. Whatever. He throws a ten on the table and gets the hell out of The King's Midnight, forgetting his coat and that he doesn't have a drive home – forgetting Mr. Glow's naked smile and dark hair. He'd married Dominic when he was nineteen, committed himself to something that is going to work out because he loves the stupid bastard, and he'll run home if he has to, just to tell him.
By the time he reaches his—their house an hour later, he has it all planned out. Bust the front door down with his Superman-like strength, rip Dominic's shirt off, and go to work on that hard chest. Push him upstairs to the bedroom, mumbling sorry and I love you and please, please forgive me, whispering words that mean nothing beside the lively night. Pull Dominic on top of him, onto their bed, watch those dull green eyes snap. Kiss him soundly and stupidly. Fingers trailing up his shaking back, through tangles of hair, stumble on his hips and stay.
But he doesn't get much past failing to kick the door open and unlocking it instead, because the house is empty, save for Samson. Cold, quiet, and dangerously close to making Maverick cry. No lights are on, nothing cooking in the kitchen, no one drinking warm coffee in the living room, nothing happening except Maverick's agonized stare at the blue walls. Deep, flighty blue.
Samson purs from the couch, and the phone rings, long and sharp in Maverick's barely hearing ears, but his hand reaches, muscle memory leading him.
Maverick rubs his temples. The last thing he needs is a telemarketer selling him some senseless shit. "Yes?"
"This is Dover Memorial Hospital."
"Hello," he says, nothing really clicking yet.
"Um, sir? Your husband, a mister... Dominic, he was in bad car crash this evening. We need your consent to start surgery, as soon as possible."
"Huh...?" It takes a second, but Maverick's dark eyes open wide, like the mouth of a crying baby. "Wha... wha... Yes. Start. Why did you wait? What—is he okay?"
"He's been sedated for about ninety minutes. Room three sixty. We—" Maverick hangs up.
His body shakes, but not from what he thought it would tonight. His mouth runs dry, his ears throb and throb like a scraped knee, and he feels something like pure guilt, laced with fear and realization, claw at his heart. The lump in his throat, which he had hoped would be in his pants, shivers with his warm body. He bolts like a squirrel on a power line to the garage.
I almost... I almost...
He scrapes the top of the pinto on the rising door, because it is too fucking slow and his husband is in the fucking hospital while Maverick was at a bar, makingout with some sleazy drunk kid, while his husband was bleeding from God knows where, while he was at a bar, bleeding and necking with... Maverick pushes the gas pedal down and stops thinking.
He trips uncaringly into the waiting room, onto his face and screams with enough anger to wake the dead, which would not be a favourable thing in a hospital. He jumps up, runs past the front desk, and dives into the small crack between the elevator door and the wall. He gets a few crazy looks, but most of the small box's inhabitants are smart enough to realize why he so strongly resembles a chewed shoe.
The third floor offers no hope. He gets off alone, runs down the hallway, and stops in front of three sixty
The door is locked.
So he waits.
Twenty minutes later, a nurse comes out, talking about Dominic's wounds, the money, and hands Maverick a warm cup of coffee. He hates coffee, but doesn't notice while he calmly drinks it, because his insides are screaming you fucking idiot! like they were new words to a parrot. The coffee smells like last Sunday morning, anyway. Maverick had gotten up at five to make Dominic breakfast for his birthday, but had been paid back with just a quick kiss and a bored goodbye. He'd do anything to get another quick kiss, hear another bored goodbye, so he keeps drinking the coffee.
The nurse shuffles nervously. "Um... is there anything you need?"
"How much longer?"
She bites her dark bottom lip. "They just started cutting it now, so a few hou—"
Maverick drops the coffee. "Cutting what?"
"Oh, no!" The nurse, Molly Steevs, finds a laugh in this, somewhere hidden to Maverick. "The metal bar. It went clean through his left collar, remember?"
No, I don't remember, Maverick thinks as he stares down at the hot liquid on his shoes. He can't even remember if the nurse's skin is a darker brown than the coffee, and he'd seen her all of two seconds ago. Who needs to remember anything anyway? Remember isn't for dirty, home-wrecking, scared little boys.
"Just a few hours, hun," she says, her white teeth flashing scandalously at him. "Your dad's doing great."
She leaves. And Maverick, in his hysteria of life being too cruel and too fucking hilarious at the same time, bursts out laughing.
Three long, dizzy hours go by. The nurse comes back out, mask covering her mouth, brown eyes bright.
"Maverick?" He releases his knees and stands up, face sunken, eyes red, and head throbing with his tentative heart beat. "He'll be awake soon, if you'd like to come see him."
"He's not... not dead?"
Molly Steevs rolls her eyes. "Didn't you hear a word I said, boy? The bar went clean through him." She pulls the mask down, smiling. "He's fine. A little broken, and he'll have one hell of a scar, but fine."
Maverick feels his head cool, like he'd just opened the freezer door. "Can I...?"
"Heavens yes! Right this way." She pushes him excitedly into room three sixty.
Maverick's hands shake madly when he sees Dominic, sleeping, topless on the hospital bed, a big wad of white mesh over his left collar. His right arm is in a sling, hanging lamely over the white tiled floor, fingers covered in dried blood and reaching out for Maverick. Dark, livid bruises carve down his torso, like dye into a glass of water, and he wonders if it's normal to find Dominic more gergous at this moment, broken and bloodied in a hospital, than Maverick has ever found him before.
"Oh god..." He puts a hardly steady hand on Dominic's chest, covering his wet eyes with his other. "Dom..." His hand curls into a fist, and he falls pathetically to his knees, resting his dead beat head beside Dominic's. "I'm sorry. So..." Maverick feels a rough, weak hand crawl over his. "So sorry..."
And Maverick lays there, crying, with a limp hand over his rigid one. Waiting for Dominic to wake up, like he should've waited for him to come home, or tried harder, or talked about it, or told him that hey, I miss you. I fucking miss you, so just stay home. Instead Maverick had gone out to a bar, kissed some jackass while the light of his world got torn up by a transport truck. He'd stared at Josh's chest while they pulled Dominic into the ambulance, flirted with Mr. Whoever while the doctors sedated him, and asked for a name while the phone's rings echoed uselessly on walls of an empty house.
There are so many things wrong with this, Maverick thinks, and he latches onto Dominic's slowly waking hand. "So many..."
Twenty six minutes and fifty three seconds pass, Maverick notes as he stares miserably at the clock on the wall, and Dominic's smashed body shifts. Another forty one seconds, and he grips Maverick's hand, lacing frail fingers with his. Sixteen seconds, and he groans like every morning, low and throaty and full. Seven seconds, and he rolls his head to face Maverick.
Two seconds, and Dominic speaks. " ...ouch."
Maverick lifts his head up, stares at Dominic like he'd built Rome in a day, and kisses him slowly, softly, carefully running a stupid hand through his short greying hair. He pushes in further, shoving Dominic's head into the pillow, and breaks when a shaky hand rubs the back of his neck, dull nails outlining his tight muscles.
Maverick smiles into the kiss, forgets what had happen two hours ago, and rubs a hand down Dominic's chest. Dominic reels, groans, and Maverick backs off, wondering why in the world God made him such a horny idiot, but he keeps smiling.
"I'm..." Dominic starts, but stops, having a hard time saying anything at all. Not with those dark eyes boring into him like that. "I'm really..."
Maverick shakes his head. "No. I should've just... waited. I wasn't home, and you were..."
"I don't care where you were." Dominic's green eyes burn hard, and Maverick wonders if they'll just fight now like they always do. "None of this is your fault."
Dominic grabs a first full of his white shirt and pulls him forwards, kisses him quaintly, and mumbles, "It's not your fault."
"I do, so be quiet." He pushes Maverick away and looks out the window to his left, yellow street lights offering a perfect distraction to the fact that he is about to become a giant pile of corn and mush. "I was thinking, earlier after I left, that I was doing something wrong. I couldn't figure it out. Then the truck hit me, right before I realized what it was, but I just... couldn't.
"And then, when I woke up later, I was still sitting in our crushed car, and this stupid picture of you had fallen into my lap." Maverick just stares blankly at the side of Dominic's head. "So I thought I should put it back up. But this giant metal bar had me pinned to the seat and all, so you were just there, staring at me, and I said... I said I was sorry, that I know I should've told you everyday that you're amazing, that I really... love you."
"I thought I was going to die, so I said all of this to a goddamn picture of you." He looks up at the ceiling, avoiding Maverick's eyes. "But it didn't mean shit, because the last thing I really said to you was 'Out.' One stupid, fuck-off word and I couldn't change that by talking to your picture."
Maverick stiffens when Dominic finally looks at him, face soft and eyes sleepy. "So I'm, uh..." He smiles, tired and worn like an old story, and takes a deep breath, blowing it out on Maverick's dark bangs. "I'm sorry."
Maverick laughs and lets his head fall limply onto Dominic's nape, hysterical and happy, breathing too quickly and kissing every inch of skin he can reach. "I was so scared you were dead." He laughs again. "S-s-so worried, sitting out there for hours. I didn't, though. I left and... I left the bar and went home. I wouldn't do that..."
Dominic, while having no idea what his husband is talking about, doesn't care where he was tonight. He pulls Maverick's head up and half his body comes with it, crushing Dominic's bruised chest. Dominic, however, finds this easy to ignore when an all to familiar mouth catches his, and he neatly bites Maverick's bottom lip, forcing it down. He mumbles something quietly, and closes his eyes when a very-much-missed tongue slips by his own, and words suddenly, happily, fail him.
A cough from the doorway, the third one unbeknownst to them, forces Maverick's head up. He then, upon seeing the owner of this clever cough, feels the need to laugh again.
"He's not your father, is he?" Molly Steevs asks, arms folded across her belly, wiry smile engulfing her smooth lips.
Maverick shakes his head, trying to look at least a little shameful, but he just doesn't feel it. All he feels is the warm body under his, the lucid stare of the man he loves, and a lot happier than he probably disserves to right now.
Uh, hey. :D I only sorta like this. I wrote it for my friend Megs, and she likes it, so hoorah.
Every time you review a leprecon gets laid!