This comes from the 64 Damn Prompts on LiveJournal (by rashaka), and is a way for me to overcome my writer's block. I will, most likely, be working through all 64 at some point, because I can't bear to leave such a lovely thing unfinished. I will also include the song that helped me write it/find inspiration/that I thought fit the mood.
P.S.~ These were supposed to be drabbles—by which I mean 100 words—but my brain exploded, so they are not. Forgive me.
P.P.S~ There might be a follow-up, if I find a prompt that fits.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach, or anything that might be referenced, unwittingly or otherwise.
Prompt 7: Opposite
Music: Love Song For No One, by John Mayer
When the doorbell woke him in the early hours of the morning, Killian knew quite well who it was.
Shoving back his blankets, he staggered to his feet with a yawn and made his way through the small apartment, tripping over stacks of textbooks left over from his late-night study sessions and barely avoiding walking right over his plate—and how had that ended up on the floor again?—from a dinner that he couldn't even remember. He didn't bother with any lights but the one next to the door, which made him blink sleepily as he threw back the bolt, undid that chain, and let the door swing open. Not bothering to look out—because who else would bother him at two in the morning on a Thursday?—Killian turned and tottered back into the living room, waving his visitor in behind him.
"Well?" he demanded grouchily. "What are you waiting for?" Another yawn cut him off, and he aimed himself in the direction of the kitchenette, muttering, "Tea. I need tea. Too goddamned early. Do you want some tea?"
Closing and relocking the door behind him, Logan rolled his eyes at his best friend since childhood. "Sure, Killian. Tea is fine. Up late studying again? You know, as a med student, you're supposed to learn that sleep is good for you."
Killian waved one hand over his shoulder in what could have been an acknowledgement or the bird, and put the kettle on. "Bastard professor and her forty-page tests," he mumbled, getting out cups and tealeaves. "Three papers due and rotations and a seminar in Chicago to attend, and she still can't give us a break."
"You're the one who signed up for it," Logan pointed out without mercy, "so all this torture? Voluntary."
This time, it was definitely the bird that Killian threw him, along with a nasty glare. As the kettle began to whistle, he poured the hot water into both cups, dropped in the tea, added several spoonfuls honey to Logan's and far less to his own, and staggered back to the couch in the living room, passing his friend one of the mugs. After the first few sips, he was awake enough to actually open his eyes all the way and take in the duffle bag Logan had set next to the table. Having been expecting this, he just rolled his eyes and sighed into his cup.
"I'll get the futon," he muttered. "How long will it take her to cool down this time?"
Sheepishly, Logan scrubbed a hand through his candy-apple red hair. "Eh, forever? She called it quits this time. I kinda…uh, well, slept with her brother."
Killian closed his eyes, snapping his teeth shut on all the words that wanted to come pouring out. When he finally had control of himself, he took a deep breath and managed, "Logan?"
The redhead squirmed slightly in his seat, ducking his head. "Yeah?"
"You are an IDIOT!" Killian exploded, and the cushion he had formerly been leaning on narrowly missed his friend's mug—and head. "I warned you! I told you not to go out with a girl whose brother is prettier than she is! I told you that it wouldn't end well! And you told me, and I quote, 'Nah, Kill, never gonna happen. She's the one, this time. I feel it!' God damn it all, Logan! This always happens!"
Logan sank even further into the cushions, misery clouding his normally cheerful features. "I know, Kill. I shoulda listened, but Ruby…she was perfect, and I really thought that I would be happy with her for the rest of my life. But then…then Benjamin started to look at me like that, he offered, and I just thought it was gonna be a one-time thing, but then we did it again, and again, and…" He shrugged, almost helplessly. "I…kinda thought he was the one, and I was just confused about her, but then she found out and wanted me to choose, and I couldn't, so she kicked me out."
His anger already fading in the face of Logan's unhappiness, Killian sighed and put down his cup, hands rising to rub at his temples in an effort to curb his rapidly growing headache. "And Benjamin?"
If possible, Logan sank even lower. "Seems he's already found his 'one,' and I was just entertainment. They've got an 'open relationship' when one of them is gone, and apparently, the one isn't gone anymore. Got back in the country last night, and Byakuya showed me the door when I turned up."
There was more than enough wretchedness in that statement to silence whatever I-told-you-so's Killian might have been withholding, and he sighed again, moving around the table to settle next to his friend and wrap an arm around the redhead's brawny shoulders. He pulled Logan closer, dropping their foreheads together with a soft thunk.
"You moron," he said quietly, closing his eyes against the thoughts of "Why couldn't it be me? Why couldn't you choose me?" that filled his mind. Logan needed more than his stupid, childish infatuation right now, didn't need that extra stress on top of everything else. And there was, of course, absolutely no way that Logan would accept his feelings. If Killian had ever held even the barest idea, the slimmest hope that Logan would, it had been crushed as he watched Logan sleep his way through practically their entire high school class, and then through nearly every eligible—or even ineligible—man or woman who frequented the bars and clubs and grocery stores nearby.
But Killian could be a friend, if that was what Logan needed. And he had been for the last twenty years, without dropping even the smallest hint that Logan meant more to him than that. Only one person, out of all of those that knew them, had ever realized, and he had sworn that he wouldn't say anything.
"Come on," he said after several moments of basking in Logan's warmth and closeness, as he reluctantly pulled away. "You need sleep, and I have to be at the hospital in—" he glanced at the clock and winced "—two hours. I'll set the futon up in my room."
"Thanks, Kill." Logan knocked their foreheads together again, a wry smile twisting his lips. "You're a better friend than I deserve."
No, I'm not. I'm a right bastard, actually, but I'll never let you find out. The words almost escaped, but Killian swallowed them at the last moment and snorted to cover the roiling guilt that filled his stomach. "I know. But you can treat me to Chinese later, and I'll forgive you."
He could see that it was on the tip of Logan's tongue to comment that Killian had never liked Chinese very much, even though it was Logan's favorite kind of food, but he shook it off and nodded, offering Killian a weak grin. "And Jake dares to call me a moocher!" He rolled his eyes at Killian's raised brow and relented. "Yeah, yeah, we'll get Chinese. Thanks, Kill."
The last was spoken with a thread of warmth that Killian greedily wished could be reserved for him alone, but knew wasn't. Logan used it on all close family, people he thought of as family, and young children he was particularly fond of. That hurt, too, that Logan could obviously see him as someone close, but would never see him as close enough to be a lover. Killian clenched his hand, digging his fingernails into his palm, even as he smiled at his friend—and, god, wasn't calling him "friend" just driving the knife that much deeper.
Logan would get over this. He always did. But Killian didn't know if he would ever get over Logan, and it was killing him a little more each day.
"Sure, Lo-Lo," he teased, falling back onto the childhood nickname that never failed to provoke a reaction. As expected, Logan scowled and threw a pillow at him, and Killian laughed as he ducked into the hallway, even though he really felt like crying.
It was midnight before Killian dragged himself home, tired fingers barely able to grasp the bag of Chinese takeout he had picked up at the corner restaurant. The elevator ride up to the seventh floor was nearly enough to put him to sleep, but he maintained a shaky grip on consciousness as he stumbled down the hall to his apartment. It took seven tries to get his keys in the correct locks, but he managed and pushed open the door, kicking his shoes off haphazardly and dropping his messenger bag next to them. No one was waiting, but he had expected that, seeing as it was rapidly approaching one a.m., so he set the food and his keys on the kitchen counter and headed for his bedroom, wearily rubbing his eyes.
His hand was on the doorknob, and the door itself was halfway open, before he registered the breathy moans and unmistakable groans of two people having sex that came from within.
No. His heart clenched and felt like it was going to drop out the bottom of his stomach as he froze. As if to prove him wrong, the moans grew louder, rising with the soft cry of "Logan!" in a voice that Killian recognized, if the dark head jerking with each of Logan's thrusts wasn't clue enough.
Michael. That's Michael in there. If possible, that hurt even more. Michael was a small, kind, soft-spoken florist at the local flower shop, pretty and petite and gentle, and everything it was possible to be that Killian was not. That Logan had chosen him—Killian's complete opposite—for comfort…
Killian felt his heart break all over again.
Carefully, quietly, he shut the door, then turned on his heel and padded back to the front door, picking up the books that he would need for the next day's classes on his way. With quick efficiency, he emptied his messenger bag, repacked it for tomorrow, and slipped his keys back into his pocket. In another moment he was out the door, pulling out his phone as he headed for the elevator once moor.
The person on the other end picked up on the first ring. "Hello?"
"Quinn?" Killian cleared his throat, wondering absently why his voice sounded like he had been crying. "Have you gotten off work yet?"
"Just clocked out," Quinn confirmed, sounding suspicious. "What's wrong, Kill? Where are you?"
Killian slumped back against the wall of the elevator, closing his eyes. "Outside my apartment. Logan broke up with his girlfriend yesterday and is staying with me, and…"
"And he brought someone back with him," Quinn finished grimly, well aware of Logan's habits from the stories Killian had told him, even if they had never met face to face. "All right, I'll be there in twenty minutes. Wait for me out front. You got everything you need?"
"Yeah." Killian's throat closed up, and he barely managed to whisper, "Thanks, Quinn. I appreciate it."
He could almost see Quinn's fond smile through the line. "You're welcome, Kill. If you can't go back tomorrow, Kenny can pick up what you need for the week on his way to work. Brothers are good for that. Don't worry about anything, okay?"
"Sure. See you soon." Killian slipped through the doors of the building and settled on the bench there."
"Sit tight, I'm on my way." Quinn hung up, and Killian closed his phone, tilting his head back. It was starting to snow, and his breath was forming a frosty cloud in front of his face, but he still wore his coat and scarf. Not even enough time to get that much undressed, he thought with a soft, bitter laugh, scrubbing his hands over his face. Logan, you bastard. Why can't I hate you?
In what felt like no time at all, Quinn's silver Toyota was pulling up to the curb, and he was jumping out, pulling Killian up off the bench and grabbing his bag. "Come on, Kill," he urged gently as he guided Killian into the passenger seat. "Let's get you settled and then get some sleep. This'll all feel better in the morning."
Killian shook his head, even as he buckled his seatbelt and Quinn eased back out into the light traffic. "No, it won't, Quinn," he said desperately, digging the heels of his hands into his eyes. "It's been ten years now, and I've had to watch him screw anything with a pulse while I fucking pine for him like a goddamned fairytale princess, and I'm sick of it, Quinn. I want to fall in love with someone who loves me back. I don't want to hurt like this all the time."
Somehow, Quinn's hand found his across the gap, even though the blonde never took his eyes off the road, and he twined his fingers with Killian's, gripping hard.
"Someone does love you," he said fervently, "more than you can even imagine. He doesn't want you to hurt anymore, either. Would you…" He cleared his throat, sounding incredibly nervous. "Would you give him a chance, Kill?"
It felt, suddenly, as though there was more than Killian could imagine weighing on his answer. He could almost see the future shifting and trembling, trying to realign but kept from doing so by his stupid stubbornness and inability to move on. Well, screw Logan, and let him screw whomever he wants. I'm fed up with always being the lovesick idiot. I want to be happy for once. He drew in a shuddering breath, and then gripped Quinn's hand tightly in return, leaning across the center console to drop his head onto the blonde's shoulder.
"Yeah," he managed to whisper. "I think I'd like that."
Quinn's grip on the steering wheel tightened, and he groaned in frustration. "Not fair! All I want right now is to kiss you, and I can't even do that!"
Involuntarily, a chuckle forced its way out of Killian's throat, and he brought their entwined hands up to press against his cheek. "We're not that far away from your house, Quinn. You can wait another five minutes, can't you?"
Killian felt the smile in Quinn's voice, even as lips feathered over his hair. "Yeah, Kill. I've been waiting for three years already. I can wait for as long as you need me to."
Nevertheless, the moment they had pulled to a stop in the garage, Quinn reached out and dragged Killian over the gap to land awkwardly in his lap, running long pianist's fingers through Killian's auburn hair and simply staring up at him with something close to wonder. Then, with a soft huff of released breath, he dropped his head forward to rest against Killian's chest, twining his arms around the smaller man's waist.
"You just made me the happiest person in the world," he said, voice muffled by the odd angle. "Thank you, Killian. Thank you."
As they sat in silence, pressed together, Killian tipped his head back and found a small smile working its way to his lips. How ironic, that Quinn had been in love with him for so long, and he had never noticed, too focused on Logan to see what was in front of his face. But he knew that he could love Quinn, probably very easily. Quinn was Logan's opposite in every way, devoted and faithful and fiercely loyal, slim instead of brawny, always moving with a dancer's exacting, thoughtless grace. Killian had known him since the first day of college, when they had both had to defend themselves against a group that didn't like "fags with weird-ass clothes" hanging out in their vicinity. The two of them had kicked ass together and ended up friends—but there was always that last bit of distance between them, that final step that Killian had never known how to take. Now, though, he could see it, recognize it, and cross it.
They could be lovers.
Something inside Killian was ecstatic at the idea.
Lean fingers gripping his chin pulled Killian down, and he blinked into smoky grey eyes, watching the smile spread across Quinn's face, as brilliant as dawn. He even found himself returning it, his smile smaller and a bit shyer, but there nonetheless. And then Quinn kissed him, despite the awkward angle, and it was heat and sweetness and the taste of the passionfruit bubblegum that Quinn always chewed at work. Their tongues tangled, caressing and seeking out, mapping and learning, even as their fingers twined and free hands found silky hair, twisting deeply into soft locks.
When they finally drew apart, the windows were fogged over with condensation and they were breathing hard. Quinn resettled his arms around Killian's waist and pulled him even closer, his head dropping back to the brunet's shoulder.
"Will you sleep with me tonight?" he asked quietly. "Just sleep, I mean. I wanna hold you for as long as I can, in case I wake up and this was all just a dream."
Killian ran his fingers through the fine blond hair, enjoying the cool-silk feel of it against his skin. His heart twinged at Quinn's words, and he had to admit that that sounded as close to heaven as he could imagine right now—wrapped up in a warm body, loved and cherished and protected from every sorrow the outside world had to offer, even if it was only for one night.
"Sure," he said softly, "but it's not a dream, Quinn. You're stuck with me now."
"Nowhere else I'd rather be," Quinn assured him, smiling gently as he turned his head and placed a soft kiss against the pulse in Killian's throat. "I won't let you go, Kill. Count on it."
And, because Quinn always told the truth no matter what, Killian smiled back and nodded.
Yes. It would be very, very easy to love Quinn.
Somehow, Killian thought, he couldn't wait.