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 7

Don't read much. But that much is obvious, given my abysmal grammar.

I don't watch television much either. Not a big fan of the art of continuous pretend.

Music, though. I like music. Need music, actually. But. Yeah. Music is nice. My taste is crap, complete crap, total crap, the shittiest crap. But, it's still my taste. And it hasn't changed in a year. Serious. No new music. In a year. Same stuff I listened to exactly a year ago is playing exactly now. Just shuffled around, so it's almost a surprise.

So, waking up the muffled sounds of Journey's Don't Stop Believing isn't as bad as I thought it'd be. It reminds me of Glee... one of Dad's guilty pleasures. Not that it's a bad song or anything. But, it's nice. Being reminded, that is. Reminiscing is good.

Impulse leads me. I guess. Because, tired as I am, I throw my hand out to the side and try to find my cellphone. The normal thing happens. I grope around a bit, feel the phone, accidentally knock it over to the ground, and then groan miserably. My head spins from the sudden drop in blood pressure as I sit up, almost making me pass out. But, I don't. So, I just slink down on the floor and blindly search for my beloved first generation iPhone.

Sue me. I waited overnight to buy this goddamn thing. It's like my baby.

Quickly, I just flick through my recent contacts until I see 'Daddy' and a time last month. Here goes nothing.

"Dad..." I start at the beep, "It's your kid, your son, your offspring Gib, Gibby, Gibster, Gibraltar. Just callin' to remind you I exist. And tell Momma I'm still mad about Christmas. And I changed my major again. Doubling in Civil Engineering and Communication, just to piss you off. Buh-bye. Hope you don't die anytime soon."

End call.

I start rolling over, getting comfortable. Everything is dark. My room's pleasantly warm. I'm sleepy, but not exhausted. Life is good. Real, real, real good.

"... stop... why don't you... your mom called and she... get a real..."

A frown appears on my face. Without my permission, no less. Another vent conversation. And. As expected. I'm front row. Fucking neighbors. Roddy is alright, for a perfect wet dream of a virgin, but Lewis just rubs me all wrong. Ugh.

"... leave that where... drink my tea... shut the fucking... don't want..."

Fine. Curiosity. I'm no damn cat. But. It's not going to kill me.

I roll over a bit more, blindly crawl really, towards the vent. I know where it is, because lately I've closed it every time I sleep. But, I like having somewhat fresh air circulating. Can't keep it closed all the time.

My fingers feel for the latch, pulls it down, and then all of the sudden I can hear it all clearly, mixing with the lyrics and melodies of another hit Journey song.

"... such a kid, Lewis! All I'm asking is for you to call your mom back." Roddy. Obviously. Calm, mature, but slightly exasperated. Hm. It's strange to hear him speaking comfortably, and not all awkward.

"I don't want to talk to her." Dude. What a baby. Petulant and annoying. To the extreme. "She's been nothing but a patronizing bitch."

"Lewis. She pays for half your schooling. She pays half the rent. She sends you money every month. She does everything for you. You can at least call her and acknowledge she's your mother." Oh. Taking control of the surly roommate. Way to add hotness to your perfection, Roddy.

The high pitched whistle. Kettle probably. A few minutes of silence in which I almost fall back asleep.

"Tea?"

"... sure." Roddy sounds pleasantly surprised. Lewis, aw, offering a drink to Roddy. How sweet.

"You... are the shittiest stepbrother. Ever." What?

"I know." What the? "Should I pull a Doctor Who and prevent our parents from marrying?" Who the fuck is...? And they're steps?

Way to go, Roddy. Really. Mislead me into thinking you two were secretly involved.

"No. I just want you to know you suck. Especially that shit you pulled earlier. I mean, come on. Have some standards." Subject change. Props for that.

"What?" Shock, surprise, all that jazz. I can just imagine him wearing the same scandalized face he had earlier today. Or, now, I'm guessing yesterday. "What are you talking about?"

"You know what I'm talking about, Rod." Smug bastard. I can hear it in his voice. He's teasing poor Roddy. But. Roddy deserves it. Asshole fucking mislead me.

"Uh, no. I don't. Are you talking about Gib?"

Wait... Me?

"Who else would I be talking about? He fucking eye raped you. And you gave him tea. My nice tea. Not my for-random-guests tea. That says something, dude."

It says, you dick, that Roddy has taste. I might be chemically unbalanced, but I was a damn good catch before all this stupid hypersomnia shit happened to me. But, he's not into me. So, Lewis has no reason to make fun of him. I would've noticed something like that. I think.

… Okay. Roddy. Mr. Walking Wet Dream. This is your cue to deny attraction and say you were feeling sorry for the puking neighbor.

"I'm not..." There Roddy goes. Perfect. He doesn't want to be rude. Probably. So, he's not insulting me behind my back. "It's just... been a while."

Huh?

"Fuck." Immediate response. Rude motherfucker. "You fucking like him? You'd tap that?"

"I, uh, I'm... Lewis! Don't say it like that! You make it sound like, like I'm just, um, just-"

"Trying to get into McMuffin's ginger squeeze's pants. After we heard him barfing his guts up." For a second, I think. I really, truthfully, actually think. Do I feel bad for letting them hear me yack my innards? No. Not really. Not at all. Not if they talk shit about me.

"....took him to Target..." Feeling my eyebrow automatically quirk up, I try to concentrate a bit more. Roddy's mumbling, which is a bad habit, makes it a bit harder to understand.

"Target." And Lewis's voice sounds flat. Not a question, probably, but rhetorical.

"...yeah..." This is noteworthy event. I get it. Okay. But, how is it a big deal again? "He's really... outspoken. I only spent maybe an hour with him, but he... seems like an okay guy. And he was sick. I couldn't really, um... you know..."

No. I don't know. Sighing loudly, but not actually saying anything that could be heard from their end of the vents, I thought about the problem with eavesdropping. I couldn't get the whole experience of a conversation. There's no asking for clarification or backtracking. Only me listening like the creepy neighbor I am.

"Oh my god. You wanted to play doctor with the guy. Nurse him back to health. You sicken me, bro. You really do." Lewis says it so... sarcastically? Yeah. Even without seeing that ugly face, I know it's sarcasm.

"Stop it, Lewis." Oh. Well, now. Roddy is obviously not happy anymore. Not in the mood for games.

"And you do know he's nineteen, right?" How does he know that? Motherfucking weirdo. "You dirty old man. Should've known you'd get your kicks off a kid ten years your junior. Real classy, Rod." There's a long pause here. A long, deliberate pause. "But, hey, considering the fact that I was only-"

"Shut the fuck up."

Wow.

I mean... wow. So quiet I can barely hear, and... angry? Angry. Wow.

Blinking, technicolor static and the back of my eyelids start to alternate. Carefully, I reach out and close the vents. I don't want to hear anymore. Not cool, Gib. Eavesdropping is not cool. Not bothering to get up, I just roll over once and stay there. My body's too tired. Everything is a bit too heavy. Brain's up and running. But, not in the direction I want it to.

Doesn't take much before I anticlimactically knock out again, falling asleep to indistinguishable mumbles and the sound of Journey.