Title: The Eyes Have It
Warnings: Slash, M/M pairing, Also, un-beta'd
Summary: Rick has a problem; his eyes change color with his every emotion. Which is Not Normal. To make matters worse, he has to hide it from his roommate--and secret crush Lysander.
Disclaimer: Mine, all mine!
Author's Note: This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, about 6 years. I know it's been done, the whole emotional eye color thing, but I hope I've managed to make it original. And this could be considered a sort of valentine's day thing too.
Rick swore as he held his last set of contacts. He hadn't realized he was that low and ordering new ones would take a week. He should really consider getting the stay in set. Rick heard his roommate stumbling about before Lysander came into the bathroom, bumping into Rick on his way to the toilet. The sound of a relieved sigh and a steady stream of liquid hitting liquid caused Rick to roll his eyes.
"Dude, couldn't you wait until I was finished in here?"
Lysander just gave him an unrepentant smile as he finished up.
"Dammit!" One of Rick's contacts slipped from his finger and fell down the drain. He resisted--barely-- the urge to bang his head against something hard.
"Hey, don't damage the sink with your forehead. What's wrong?"
Rick couldn't look at Lysander for many, many reasons. Three of which were more important than the others. 1) Lysander was shirtless, which was bad for Rick's libido. 2) Said libido and the effects of a nearly naked Lysander so near, and 3) which tied into to reasons one and two. His eyes were different colors.
Not different colors like one was blue and one was green. No, different colors as in they turned orange when he was pissed, red when he was horny, yellow when he was scared, etc.. And that was Not Normal!
"I lost my contact and these are my last pair. I can't get anymore anytime soon and I need them!" The last was finished with a growl.
He felt Lysander shrug as he came to the sink to wash his hands. "So wear glasses."
"I don't have any."
"Look, it's not the end of the world. Just go without, it's just for a little while and I'll even drive you to school and pick you up so you don't kill yourself or anyone else."
Rick smiled. Lysander could be a jerk sometimes, but he was a good guy. And now he was sure his eyes were all pink and soft. He hated that his eyes showed his emotions.
"Thanks man, but I'll just call in sick today. I'm getting a headache."
Rick took calming breaths; sometimes he could fake his emotions enough, or convince himself well enough to change his eye color. He gave a quick glance in the mirror and saw that one eye was green and the other was blue. He took out the contact so both eyes were grey.
"Alright, but I think you're overreacting."
Rick gave a shaky laugh and hoped his eyes were still grey, not yellow--or green.
"Yeah, well, you don't have my eyes."
"True. Perfect 20/20 here."
"Right. I'll be fine. I'll just loaf in front of the T.V., or sleep or something."
Lysander shrugged and started turning to leave but stopped.
"Hey, I thought your eyes were blue?"
Rick cursed intently but said, "Colored lenses." Which was true.
Rick sighed and closed his eyes. He needed to call home, maybe his mother had some extra lenses she could give him until he ordered more. Until then, he'd have to control his emotions, a difficult thing to do whilst living with Lysander. His roommate caused so many emotions. Muddy brown in jealousy when he had a date, grass green in amusement, various shades of orange in annoyance or anger, and there was most definitely lusty red. No, keeping his emotions in check around Lysander would not be easy.
Rick couldn't even ignore Lysander. When he walked into a room, he had a presence. He was tall with wide shoulders, a strong chest that tapered to a narrow waist and slim hips. Which continued down with longs legs. His hair was a deep mahogany and his eyes an icy hazel. He had strong features, a proud forehead with his bangs falling over it, straight nose, sharp cheekbones, full lips and a stubborn chin. Separately, they would have looked odd, but together on Lysander, they combined to create someone who starred in many of Rick's late night, or midday, or early morning fantasies. This was all topped off with a great personality so Rick lived in a sort of constant misery that he would never have the courage to do anything to act on his attraction.
Rick settled on the couch, snuggled in a blanket, television on, magazines piled next to him and promptly fell asleep, thoughts of Lysander invading his dreams.
A warm hand on his shoulder, gently shaking him woke Rick up. And if the voice of reality hadn't belonged to the face in his dreams, he would have been resentful. As it was, he only hoped the blankets covered the more visible physical reactions to his dreams.
"Have you gotten over your hissy fit from this morning?"
Rick opened his eyes and smiled at the sight. The most apropos way to describe Lysander was "rakish." And Rick was not going to sneak anymore readings from his mother's romance novels!
"I don't do hissy fits. How was your day? Wait, why are you back so early?"
Rick slowly started to realize that Lysander was frozen and staring as him. Or rather his eyes.
"Shit!" Rick tried to get up but Lysander reached out and pinned him down. Most of his weight was on Rick, one arm across his chest while the other hand was used to hold Rick's chin.
"What the fuck! Your eyes just went from red to yellow. What is this?"
Rick didn't even try to struggle. "A curse."
"What? Are you kidding?"
"I wish. No, it's really a curse. Some ancestor of mine pissed off the wrong person and was cursed to have eyes that revealed his every feeling. His descendants suffer from the curse as well, and we don't know how to break it."
"Now they're dark blue. What are you?"
Now Rick knew his eyes just changed to orange, and now he struggled.
"I'm still me, you son of a bitch, still human. I just happen to have eyes that show my emotions because of a curse. It's not my fault, I didn't ask for this. Stop being such a dick about this and let me up!"
A knock at the door stopped Lysander from saying anything.
"That's my mother. Stay if you want or go to another room. If you leave, there'll be less questions."
Lysander looked like he still wanted to say something or argue, but he just sighed and left. Rick's shoulders slumped and he knew his eyes were blue. He walked to the door and let his mother in.
"Hey sugar. I have the lenses. Oh honey, you're blue. What's wrong?"
Rick smiled sadly. He loved his mother dearly, but she was such a busy body. She'd want to interfere and try to fix things. Unfortunately, in this case, there wasn't anything to fix.
"Nothing you need to worry about, Mom. Thanks for the lenses, I'll have mine by the end of the week."
His mother sighed and kissed his cheek. "I wish you would tell me what's wrong."
Rick shook his head and kissed his mother back. She was still beautiful, and Rick wished he had inherited a few more of her features. Something more than her changing eyes, and her shorter stature.
"Mother, I know you mean well, but just because I have mood rings for eyeballs doesn't give you an open invitation to interfere. I'll handle this on my own. No, thank you for the lenses, I love you and I'll call you later."
Rick ushered his mother out of the house. She sighed and patted his cheek. "I worry. You seem so lonely sometimes."
Rick smiled and just said, "I'll call you."
With his mother gone, Rick went to the bathroom to put the lenses in. His mother favored brown lenses to Rick's blue. He had put just one in and was reaching for the other when he noticed Lysander leaning against the door frame.
"Orange means you're angry, right?"
Rick glared at Lysander, but as his eye not covered by a brown contact was still blue meant Lysander knew he wasn't angry.
Lysander came into the bathroom and grabbed hold of Rick's chin. He looked deeply into Rick's eyes, his own narrowed in concentration. Then he smiled and it was a decidedly evil smile.
"This should make things interesting."
All Rick could do was swallow.
The next day, Rick went back to school and Lysander didn't mention Rick's eyes. In fact, he seemed to have forgotten about them being freaky altogether.
One night, almost a month later, school was out for the summer and Rick was sitting on the couch, television on, computer design magazines on the table, movies stacked next to them. Chips, salsa, popcorn, soda and ice cream were all piled on the floor next to the couch. One Friday night a month, Rick and Lysander would stay in and watch movies and just talk. It was the first time they'd done this since the whole eye thing. Rick always made sure he had spare lenses and the he always had his contacts in.
As soon as Lysander walked into the living room, Rick was glad he had the lenses in because he know his eyes would be practically glowing red. Lysander was wearing a red shirt; the top few buttons left undone, sleeves rolled to mid-forearm, and un-tucked from a pair of black slacks. His hair was mussed stylishly and his cologne gently wafted through the room.
"You know, you didn't have to dress up for me."
Lysander smiled absently as he sat next to Rick, taking some popcorn.
"I have to leave later."
"Oh? A date?" Rick tried to sound casual and teasing. He was sure he failed.
"In a manner of speaking." Lysander sighed heavily. He didn't seem particularly thrilled about his date and that made Rick feel a little better.
Rick closed his eyes and leaned back against the couch. He needed to get over his feelings for Lysander. Well, get over them or do something about them. But, he was too shy and he didn't' want to ruin a good friendship. Besides, someone like Lysander wouldn't be attracted to someone like Rick. Rick was too ordinary, freaky eyes notwithstanding.
A hand on his chin brought his attention back to Lysander, who was looking directly into Rick's eyes.
"What color are they now?" His voice was quiet.
"I don't know."
"What colors do they turn? What do they all mean?"
Rick thought about it. he'd never actually taken an inventory or colors and feelings, and he'd worn the lenses for so long that's he'd forgotten all but a select few. Red was lust; blue was sadness; yellow, fear; orange, anger; pink, embarrassment and brown was jealousy.
Lysander's phone rang, causing him to release Rick's chin.
"Take the contacts out, at least while we're home. Please."
Lysander ruined the earnestness by batting his lashes and smiling goofily. Rick laughed and pushed Lysander away.
"I'll think about it. Now go. You're date is probably waiting."
Lysander pursed his lips and looked as if he wanted to say something. Instead, he shook his head and smiled, ruffling Rick's hair as he got up."
Rick didn't actually think about it, just took the lenses out. Was he going to trust Lysander with this? he wouldn't be able to hide, not really. Did he want to leave himself that vulnerable? Truthfully, didn't know the specifics of the curse, and he was curious as to the number of colors and the meaning of each one. And maybe, this was a good way to bring them closer to one another. Rick fell asleep with thoughts of Lysander filling his head. Again. Or rather, as usual.
"Okay. Orange is anger. That doesn't make sense. Why isn't red anger?
"Because that's lust."
Lysander shook his head and took another bite of his food. They were at a restaurant, talking about Rick's eyes. Lysander never seemed to tire of that topic. And he was always looking 'into' Rick's eyes; smiling in delight whenever they changed colors. Although, Rick didn't have to worry about lust so often since he was told his eyes stayed pink a lot.
"If pink is embarrassment, then what is love?"
Rick opened his mouth, but it snapped shut almost immediately.
"I have no idea. I asked my mother once, but she never told me."
"What about your father? Surely they changed color when she fell in love with him?"
"She never told my dad. As far as I know, you're the first person outside of those afflicted with the curse to know about it. No one ever even told their spouses."
Rick nodded and it made him thing, why had he told Lysander? He could have lied, said he had fancy colored eyes because he'd found some Halloween contacts or something. Instead, he'd gone straight to the truth. When had he let his guard down that much where Lysander was concerned?
Rick smiled. "That means I'm amused and purple means I'm happy."
"Man, you may think it's strange, but I think it's the coolest thing. I mean, I won't have to guess at your moods, I just have to look at your eyes. DO you have any idea how many guys would want that in a relationship?"
Rick's heart skipped a beat, but of course Lysander wasn't talking about them.
"I have another date tonight."
Rick didn't say anything, just continued picking at his food.
"I wish I could see your eyes because I know they changed color."
There was a teasing quality to Lysander's words, but there was something else, something that Rick didn't recognize.
"Let a guy have some secrets."
They hadn't been home long when Lysander left to get ready for his date. Rick sat on the couch for as long as he could before he go up to get a drink. When he heard Lysander come out, he hurried to the bathroom and locked the door.
He stood in front of the mirror, looking at himself and his sky blue eyes. he quickly removed the contacts. His eye color was a weird mix between brown and blue. Why did he have to be attracted to his roommate? Especially one who didn't return any feelings stronger than platonic or maybe fraternal ones?
With a heavy sigh Rick left the bathroom and returned to the living room.
"There you are. I need you to help me tie this."
Rick looked up and his breath caught in his throat. And he knew his eyes turned red faster than he could blink. He quickly lowered his gaze, not wanting Lysander to see his eyes. But he walked nearer and took the tie from Lysander, reaching to finish buttoning the royal blue shirt.
Lysander's scent completely engulfed Rick and it was all he could do not to lean closer to breath him in. Strong fingers grabbed his chin, forcing Rick's head up.
"Red. Is that for me?" Lysander's voice was dark and husky, causing Rick to shiver.
"It's not the first time I've seen it, but you always hide them, or they change. But occasionally, I catch you off guard."
Warm breath wafted across Rick's cheeks, its moistness touching his lips. Rick opened his eyes and looked into Lysander's. The hazel of his eyes was nearly overtaken by the black of his pupils.
"The red is dark, more crimson, and you have a flush, and I have to wonder how far down it goes."
Rick swallowed, feelings of incredulity washing over him. Lysander's fingers were warm and he was sure they branded his flesh. Rick licked his lips and saw Lysander's gaze fix to them.
Time seemed to stop.
The kiss was light at first, a barely there meeting of lips. But then Rick sighed into it and those fingers left his chin to card through his hair, bringing him impossibly closer. Lysander deepened the kiss, opening Rick's lips with his; teasing his tongue inside.
Rick felt his knees beginning to buckle, but a strong arm wound its way around his waist, pulling his body flush against Lysander's.
The sound of a cell phone broke them apart.
"Dammit!" Lysander kept his arm wrapped about Rick and used his other to answer the phone. Before he did, however, he say Rick's eyes and smiled. They color looked lost between orange and brown.
"No, I much prefer that lovely shade of red." He licked Rick's lips and pulled him to the couch. Lysander sat and dragged Rick on top of him. Rick situated himself as he straddled Lysander. He watched at Lysander tossed the phone to the side table.
"My parents keep trying to set me up, wanting me to settle down. I usually go because it's a free meal and it gets them off my back for a little while. But I won't be going tonight. Or, I hope, in the foreseeable future."
Rick smiled widely, buried his hands in Lysander's soft hair and kissed him soundly. Lysander's hands settled on Rick's hips, pulling until their groins were flush, causing a moan to erupt from Rick. He rolled his hips against Lysander's trailing kissing along his jaw, nipping at his ear.
Rick chuckled huskily at the buck that caused. He trailed his hands down, unbuttoning Lysander's shirt, teasing at the belt buckle.
"Are you always this easy? Not that I'm complaining, mind you."
Rick pulled back, a small smile on his face.
"No, but for two years, we've have a sort of long bout of foreplay. Friends, even the neighbors, would ask me about my partner. The only bit this relationship is missing is the benefit of copious amounts of sex. I plan on changing that."
Lysander's hands tightened on Rick's hips in response, and Rick undid the belt and button and reached inside to grasp the hardened length.
He gasped and said shakily, "So, you're saying this isn't fast at all? Rather we're behind?"
Rick smiled and answered, "What I'm saying is, you need to fuck me."
After going for almost a year with out sex, this abundance of sex was satisfying. It was made more so by the fact that he had Lysander as his partner. Rick got to go to sleep by and wake up next to Lysander, he go to touch whenever the mood struck--which was often, and he got to taste. Best of all, he didn't have to watch Lysander leave on a date with someone else.
Sometimes, Rick felt as if nothing had changed; they been this way forever. Otherwise, he could still barely believe he was together with Lysander, even after two months.
The knock on the front door and a quick glance at his watch reminded Rick that his mother was stopping by. She did so once a month and they chatted, keeping in touch.
His mother smiled and engulfed him in a hug. Together they walked to the kitchen where Rick set out food stuffs for lunch.
"Your father hurt his back again, and he's been the biggest baby since."
"Don't baby him, Mom. He'll never get better if you do."
His mother laughed, but Rick realized she was looking at him oddly, and had been since she arrived. It was like she was studying him.
"What? Have I grown another head or something?"
She smiled, but it was puzzled as she answered, "No, but there's something different. I don't know what it is yet. I'll figure it out. Tell me, what have you been up to? Anything new?"
Rick smiled softly as he thought of Lysander.
"Oh my goodness! You're not wearing lenses."
Rick looked at his mother, realizing that he'd not been wearing his contacts unless he had to go out. Lysander liked looking at his eyes.
"Is there something wrong with that?"
His mother shook her head, but Rick didn't think it was in answer to his question. "They're gold."
Rick's eyebrows went up. He didn't know they could even change to that color.
"How long have they been that way?"
Rick was about to say that he didn't know when a new voice answered.
"About three weeks."
Rick scowled at Lysander. "And you didn't say anything?"
Lysander just smiled and gave hims a hard kiss. Right in front of his Mom! And the only thing Rick could do was melt into it.
"I take it you know what it means then?"
His mother's voice was amused and it brought Rick back to himself.
"Would someone mind telling me what it means?"
"I think I'll let Lysander handle that. I'm sure you have some things to talk about."
She gave Rick a kiss on his cheek, and surprisingly, she gave one to Lysander too before she left.
Rick let Lysander pull him to the couch where they sat facing one another.
"Since you seem to know more than me about my eyes, what does this new color mean?"
Lysander placed his hands on each of Rick's cheeks, cradling his face; then leaned forward and gently kissed him.
Whispering against his lips, Lysander said, "You love me."
"I know." Then Rick opened his eyes and bolted back.
"Shit!" But Lysander just laughed and tugged him back into his arms. Before either could say or do anything else, a bright gold light filled the room. When they could see again, a beautiful woman stood in front of them. She had copper curls and flawless porcelain skin, and a curvy perfect figure. She wore flowing blue robes; and her hair, neck and wrists were decorated with pearls.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Aphrodite, and I'm here to remove the curse."
Rick's head was spinning. "You mean that was real? There's really an Aphrodite?"
She smiled beautifully and said, "Yes."
"Why was there a curse in the first place?"
The goddess sighed and created a seat.
"That's a long and unhappy story. A long time ago, a man convinced a woman he was in love with her, when in reality, he was using her for her money and the position of power he would get. He lied to her about hi feelings. She wound up killing herself when she learned the truth after he cheated on her. In her last moments of life, she cried out to me for aide.
"The curse was never meant to be permanent, there was a way to break it. Which you've done, Richard."
"How? What could I have done that was different from my mother, or grandfather, or any other of my ancestors?"
Aphrodite smiled and the room seemed to brighten. "You were honest where others weren't. you let Lysander see your eyes. You let him see how you honestly feel; no hiding. And you truly fell in love with him, and he with you."
"What happens now? To my eyes, I mean?"
"Your eyes will remain gold, as will any future generations that may come about. It will serve as a reminder of honesty and love."
Aphrodite stood, the skirts of her dress shifting and swirling as fluidly as water. She walked to Rick and Lysander, who stood as she neared. She took their hands in one of hers. The other, she cradled against Rick's cheek. Leaning closer, Aphrodite kissed his forehead, his free cheek, and his lips.
"You have my blessing. May love fill ally your heart and light up your soul."
She smiled at Lysander, then disappeared in a show of golden light. The two men stared at one another before Lysander smiled and pulled Rick to him, capturing his lips in a bruising kiss.
When they parted, Lysander threaded his fingers through Rick's hair, cradling his head.
"You love me." There was a note of wonder in Lysander's voice.
"And you love me?" Rick couldn't quite keep the question out. It all seemed so much beyond belief.
Lysander smiled and leaned closer. Right before their lips touched, he said, "And I love you."