When Your Soul Embarks

a story by kazoua

m/m. Martin is possibly in love, Roddy is a virgin, and Lewis hates him so much the sexual tension is palpable. Yeah. Gib's not too worried about his prospects.

Chapter 1

Slowly, lethargically, painfully, I open my eyes... and I wonder, What day is it?

I press my fingers into my eye sockets until I can see unnatural color bursts. And I know that's probably... most likely... not healthy, but it helps me stay awake.

"Oh... God..." I groan, sitting up and feeling all the bones in my back pop and shift. Another night of tossing and turning, I can only guess. The back pains never happen if I sleep perfectly still. I try again, rolling my shoulders and twisting from side to side... but it doesn't seem to help much.

Damn it. That means a pain killer. I hate taking pain killers. They tend to make me feel drowsier than usual.

Sighing, I get off my bed. One foot on the floor, then the other, and then I stand, yawning all the while.

And, well, like all mornings, right? I take a shower, brush my teeth, shave, do nature's bidding.

I walk into my kitchen and look around. No surprise, but there's no food. Bread that's too stale to chew and some unidentifiable rot in the fridge. There's ice cream and frozen dinners in the freezer, but I can't stomach that for breakfast. Never could, actually.

Okay. No choice. I'll grab something on the way to school.

Rubbing the sleep from my face, I yawn... again.

I grab my backpack, some place I left it yesterday, and I grab my lanyard. I do the usual, you know... Locking the door, walk down the stairs, avoid presents from neighbors who don't clean up after their dogs. I just go through the motions.

And that sucks. Because I can remember being alert when I first moved here. I can remember exclaiming in disgust every time I saw shit, because, well, it was shit. Now... I avoid it and watch where I'm going and I don't really give a flying fuck what happens because the only thing I'm looking forward to is my next nap.

Just so you know, I'm not depressed. I don't think I'm depressed. I'm just burnt out. That's what Grace, my old coworker, said to me. She told me I was burnt out, that it happened to loads of people, that it was not my fault.

It's a chemical imbalance or something. And that's it. That's all there is to eight months of growing exhaustion.

And this is all I can ever think about, can you tell? Rehashing and rethinking is all I do because, damn it, I don't think I even want to go about my problem a different way. Sucks for me, but that's just how it is. C'est la vie. Such is life.

I stumble over my own feet, nearing fall to my death and into the canyon to my left. "Shit," I curse automatically, feeling my heartbeat instantly quicken and my skin tingle.

It's comforting to know that adrenaline can still pump in my veins. That means, even if I really don't give a shit about what I do, I still give a shit about living. I have to draw the line somewhere, right?

I made a promise to myself about... I don't know how long ago. Around the time of last semester finals. If I ever... you know... stop caring about myself, about self-preservation and all that... I'll get help. Professional help. Because that, I'm sure, is depression. This, right now, is just me being tired.

"What's up?" I say as soon as I open the door and step in. Still cursing under my breath, I continue to rub my eyes. It feels dry and my face feels sore, for some reason. Not looking up, I say, "Can you get me a coffee and a parfait? Thanks, sweetie."

For a moment, there's no sarcastic reply about my misogynistic tendencies.

"Um. All right. For here or to go?"

… I know I'm not a normally observant person. I know. But this is just... Damn.

"I'm so sorry," I apologize as soon as I realize my mistake, feeling a hot blush take over my cheeks, "Thought you were someone else."

When I look up, even though I know it's not Grace behind the counter, I still feel a jolt of shock at not seeing her. The guy. He's... tall. Obscenely tall. Freakishly tall to my freakishly short, I guess. But he's still tall. Way too tall to be... normal. Brown, straight, flat hair cover his forehead in a fringe. Sharp features but a rather button-ish nose. Big eyes of some dark color that I can't tell from this distance.

Not that attractive. Not attractive at all.

"Where's Gracie bear?" I ask. I don't realize that I called her... 'Gracie bear' until after I said it. Damn again.

The man looks at me like I'm weird. I can't blame him. With my badly shaved face, bloodshot eyes, bedhead, and overall creepy demeanor... I'm a stalker just waiting to happen.

He bites the side of his cheek, I can see from how one side sucks in. Then, voice still the same - flat, not quite bass but not quite tenor, bored, uncaring - but face still showing suspicion, he says, "For here or to go....? Uh, sir."

Sir? Wait. "Wait." I'm about to ask him how old he thinks I am, but I get interrupted. Such is life.

"Gib? That you?" I look behind the towering giant. Oh. Another towering giant. Well... at least it's a BFG. "Gib! What the hell? It's been forever."

Unconsciously... because even I can't help stuff like this... I start to smile my dopey smile that apparently turns this guy on and I step forward until I hit the counter and have to look up at him. "Hey, Martin."

I suck at flirting. I do. But all my sad attempts at flirting always makes Martin turn into a puddle of sex goo. Right now, actually. His face is getting red and his pupils are dilating. And I can only tell his pupils are dilating because they are the bright shade of green that I've ever seen. IRL, at least.

Zombie mode is out, apparently, when I get a little horny for attention.

So... Before I know it, really... Martin's pulling at my jacket and his mouth on attached to mine. And he's so needy. Always so needy that it makes my stomach burn in instant pleasure and all of the sudden I'm completely aware of my surroundings and it feels brilliant and amazing.

Slightly chapped lips, because Martin's got no one to kiss but me, and I haven't stopped by in at least two or three weeks. I wouldn't expect him to constantly chapstick his lips, waiting for a little action. Big ball of comfort, typically, settles in my stomach from that knowledge. That just lets me know I'm his one and only. And that's just for the now, I know, but that doesn't change the feeling of selfish satisfaction. I'm that one and only person he clutches for.

Fingers digging into my arms, but that's okay. I think I kinda like it, in the same way I liked it when I used to work here and after closing, nearly falling asleep on my feet, we'd do this until I was lust-buzzed enough to stop him and walk my way home. And one time, I actually let Martin walk me home like some sort of bad romance novel. He kept kissing me, tongue in my mouth type of kissing, stopping me in the middle of the street just hold me for a moment before letting me walk again, touching me every which way that he could in public, and just acting overall like he thought he was going to get laid.

But I don't like Martin, see here. So, even though I like this feeling of 'Oh my god, Martin, you better suck my cock,' I don't really want Martin anywhere near my cock.

Sad fact, but I can't help it.

I break away, but I'm still looking directly into his face. I'm a little breathless, of course, but so is he. So, the breathlessness doesn't count. More importantly, I'm more alert than I've been in days, fuck yes. "C'mon, Martin. Not in front of the minion."

He licks his lips. Hot and very attractive. Too bad I'm not attracted.

"Yeah, heh." Martin grins, silly like always. "Yeah."

I smile at him, kinda indulgently, I think. He gets the message. Because, after a few smiling, then not smiling, and then smiling again moments Martin actually looks at my order and prepares it for me. Not that there's much prep in filling up a coffee cup and grabbing a parfait from the fridge, but it's still nice.

No joke, but I feel a little special.