And Then There's Those Other Things- One Shot

Melvin hadn't had a cigarette in a week. He didn't count the ¾ of one he'd managed to sneak three days ago, before his roommate had caught him hiding on the narrow ledge outside their apartment window and ripped the thing out of his hand, almost killing the both of them in the process.

Usually a 2 pack a day kind of man, he was feeling slightly ornery with his roommate.

"Brian, hurry the fuck up, you fucking cocksucker!" he yelled nastily, arm bent back to hold open the door of the coffee shop they were entering. Several patrons near the door looked up in alarm at the cantankerous voice. Melvin neatly ignored them.

Brian flashed a mellow smile and continued his lazy walk down the street. In this mind, Melvin called him ten more mean names. Dickhead. Wanker. Bastard. Life ruin-er. None of them were very creative.

He finally reached the door held open for him. "Thanks," he said with a pleasant smile, but Melvin knew it was reeking with sarcasm.

"I fucking hate you!" He let go of the door, hoping it would smack Brian in closing, but no such luck. He caught it and followed Melvin in.

Melvin thumped moodily up to the counter with his amused roommate tailing behind.

The barista behind the counter gave Melvin an unpleasant smile, obviously he had heard his rude remarks, and wiped his hands on a dish rag.

"What can I get for you?" he asked, not looking happy about having to ask the question.
Cigarettes-cigarettes-cigarettes-cigarettes-cigarettes-cigarettes, was all he could think of. Brian shot him a happy smile, obviously all to aware of Melvin's inner turmoil and Melvin snarled at him.

"Fuck off, you little shit," he bopped the back of the blond head.

To an untrained eye of a causal observer it would appear Melvin was bullying the shorter man. In truth, he thought the role was quite the reverse.

Melvin and Brian had been friends for quite some time. They started as roommates Freshman year of college and hadn't separated since. They roomed together the next year and every year following. Melvin had even come out to Brian their Junior year and his friend was wholly accepting. Even when both had graduated and decided to move they remained roommates. The only hitches they ever had in respect to his orientation was once their Senior year when a drunk, horny Melvin tried to come onto him, and found himself cold, half-naked, and tied to the radiator the next morning. The other occasion was five years ago when Brian had come home to their new apartment and found him having sex on the couch. He threatened that if that ever happened again he would go to Melvin's workplace and give his personal number to ever female he came across. It never happened again.

Otherwise, the two got on like a house on fire. That was until one week ago when Brian spontaneously decided he was going to help Melvin quit his smoking addiction. Clenching his cigarette, Melvin had explained that he didn't actually ask for any help quitting, mainly because he had never planned to in the first place.

"You didn't?" asked Brian in mock surprise.

Melvin shook his head no.

"Well, then aren't you lucky you have me?"

Puzzling over whether such a statement made any sense, he was unprepared for when Brian plucked his cigarette out his hand, yanked the packet out his pocket, and finally went about collecting any spare packs Melvin kept around.

Annoyed, Melvin had rolled his eyes and then left to buy more cigarettes. Brian had given him a big smile as he walked out the door. That should have been his first clue.

As it turned out, the short bastard had bribed every single fucking convenience store, mini mart, and grocery store in their part of town, something which both terrified and amazed him, but above all, annoyed the shit out of him.

He warned all his colleagues and even started collecting him from work to make sure he didn't try and hop the bus to a different part of town.

The pressure grew, and on the fourth day Melvin finally managed to beg a cigarette off someone outside the bathroom on their way home from work. Which led up to the events of their near death experience.

"Aw, Hun. Don't be that way," cooed Brian in response to Melvin's suggestion.

"Shut up, you ugly little hobbit."

The barista had both eyebrows raised. "Is their a problem, gentlemen?" he asked crossing his arms and glaring at Melvin.

Melvin spared him a real glance for the first time and noted that he was cute, really cute. When he crossed his arms the muscles bulged beautifully.

"No problem at all," said Brian with a smile. "We'll have a black coffee and a caramel macchiato please."

He slapped down the exact change and pulled on Melvin's hand, "Come on, babe. Let's go get a table."

Despite the fact that he was straighter than a metal ruler, Melvin estimated Brian acted three times more gay. He constantly called everyone pet names and was almost perversely touchy-feely.

Melvin ripped his hand out of Brian's and stropped over to a nearby table, ungracefully dumping himself in a chair and sulking. Brian just smiled fondly.

"So," said Brian after a heavy silence, "day three again. They do say that's the hardest. Think you'll make it past the fourth this time?"

Melvin glared, "Oh, yeah? And whose this 'they' you're talking about?"

"Oh, I've done my research," he said confidently.

"Well, save it for someone who wants it!" growled Melvin, his voice raised.

"Whoa, this is really interesting. It's amazing the affects cigarettes can have on your attitude. I've never seen you like this before."

Melvin was about to yell at him that he wasn't his source of entertainment when their coffees were called.

Brian popped up and jogged to grab his black coffee and Melvin's sickeningly sweet brew. He flashed a grin at the barista who returned it with a concerned smile. He didn't like the way the short blond was being treated by his boyfriend, but he didn't think it was his place to intervene.
Brian gave Mel his drink hoping it would taper his temper, if even just a little bit and continued their dropped conversation. "I was looking at the Kübler-Ross model too-"

"The what?"

"Kübler-Ross, it's the five stages of grief you go through when you lose something, whether a break up or death or even a substance." Melvin stayed silent, so he went on, "The first step is denial, which was probably you not believing you couldn't have a cigarette. The next is anger, which I think is clear enough; then bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance."

"That sounds stupid," sneered Melvin. "Plus, don't you have to want to quit smoking to be successful at it."

"Well, yeah," he agreed, somewhat surprised Melvin knew this, "but trust me, by the time I'm done with you, you'll want to quite."

Melvin rolled his eyes but didn't tempt anything. Despite the fact his friend was shorter than him, he was also broader and a hell of a lot meaner too, which meant he wasn't afraid to fight dirty.

He sucked down the rest of his coffee then loudly demanded Brian go get him another one, earning a glare from the barista. The froufrou coffee him feel better and he found himself having a more civil conversation with Brian.

"Even I'd go gay for Channing Tatum," said Brian. Civil, not educated.

"Well, duh," agreed Melvin.

"Speaking of gay things; whatever happened to that guy you went out with?"

"Neh, the dinner was fine but then around dessert he started talking about orgies and bestiality, and I decided to cut the evening short."

Brian laughed, "God, some people are so nasty. I'm glad it didn't work out with him anyway. You are way too good looking for him."

Melvin just rolled his eyes. "You are way to obsessed with looks. And you really think way to much of my looks."

"No I'm not," he said. "I would be perfectly happy if you ended up with someone who matched you, but you only ever go out with ugly losers."

"You are so critical. Seriously, Brian. Are you sure you're not stuck in the closet. You think more about guys looks than me," he'd finished his second coffee and was starting to get grumpy again, wanting his cigarette.

"No I'm not," he argued. "You just pick the worse. Take... take the barista, for example," he said lowering his voice so as not to be overheard, even though they were far enough away it wasn't necessary. "If you went out with someone like him- tall, strong, nice face, and I really like his hair- well, then I'd be totally happy. He seems nice, too."

Melvin didn't think the man seemed nice. He had only glared at Melvin since he'd come in... Which was probably because he kept yelling at Brian. Which was because Brian was keeping him from his cigarette. Which is why the handsome barista hated him. Goddamn Brian, everything was his fault.

"Whatever," he grumbled, to expended to fight. He slouched over, dug his palms into his eyes until it hurt, and ground his teeth. "Goddammit, I need a fucking cigarette."

"Hey, are you okay?" said Brian with concern and reached over to touch his shoulder.

"Don't fucking touch me, you closet-case!" Melvin yelled, his former bad mood back.

Brian shot back, shocked but obviously thoroughly enjoying his friends reactions. He also always found his lousy excuse for insults hilarious.

The very barista they were just discussing, however, did not seem to find it amusing at all. Shaun had been eyeing the couple since they came, particular the tall, grumpy man who had made quite an entrance. He wasn't too proud to admit that man was extremely attractive, but his attitude was revolting and he had to wonder why the blond was with him. He'd been yelled at, glared at, and even hit and then the man had rejected his hand and cussed him out. It seemed that had some sort of an abusive relationship and that was one of the things Shaun just didn't stand for.

He moved out from behind the counter and approached the couple, crossing his arms.

"Are you sure everything's alright here?" he said, glaring at the tall one again. He also took the opportunity to check him out properly. Yep, ridiculously attractive. He dressed nice too. The man met his eyes for the first time, and he felt a strange twinge. Disappointment?

Melvin, on the other hand, was feeling angry, annoyed, sad, and a little bit scared. The barista was glaring at him yet again. He almost felt happy to his attention, except that the worker was glaring at him.

"Yes, we're fine thanks," he said seething as his bad mood expanded. The man tensed and towered over Melvin in his seat, muscles looking delicious and dangerous.

"Listen here, kid." Kid? thought Melvin. He was near twenty-eight years old, goddammit. It was clear the barista noticed this dislike for the nickname as a brief smirk flitted across his face before disappearing."I don't know what up your ass but your boy here doesn't seem to deserve this treatment."

"Oh yeah? Well, look here old man," he practically spat and was to pleased notice the man eyes narrow at the name. "The next time I want advice from a fucking coffee shop worker I'll ask."

The barista's eyes had at this narrowed into slits but Melvin still managed to feel the full force of his distemper and shrank back.

"Fair enough, kid," he whispered and Melvin found himself wishing he'd go back to shouting cause at least then it wasn't quite so terrifying, "how about you show some goddamn respect, or I throw you out of my coffee shop, and trust me, I don't need customers like you."

Though he was slightly shaking, Melvin went to reply... and then paused. He almost smiled as everything became clear to him. He almost laughed out loud but stopped himself and at a speed that surprised even himself, formulated a plan.

Yes, this was perfect. He'd use this to his advantage... somehow, and get exactly what he wanted. He desperately wanted to throw his head back and 'mwhahahaha' like some evil villain while rubbing his hands together. To dance around (did evil villains dance? Probably not) and taunt the two, but refrained himself.

To make things crystal, Brian was what one would call an evil mastermind. He could sell ice to the Eskimos, sand to the Arabs, and salt to a slug; he could charm the birds from the trees. In short, he was a manipulative, little bastard. Though Melvin considered himself more intelligent than his friend (an ever ongoing debate between the two), he nowhere near considered himself as dastardly and conniving. But being constantly in the presence of a devious man as such did teach him something. By this point in his life, Melvin felt pretty confident with the techniques he picked up.

"You want to talk about unfair?" Melvin cried hysterical. "Unfair is this little shit forcing a nicotine free lifestyle on me! I want my cigarettes. I. want. my. CIG-A-RETTES!" he said the last bit to Brian while widening his eyes disturbingly far. Like he was trying to hypnotize his friend into ponying them up. It didn't work.

"That's not gonna work, Melvin," said Brian rolling his eyes and shaking his head like an exasperated parent.

"Wait... the reason you're being such a dickhead to your boyfriend won't give you your cigarettes?" Interrupted Shaun.

"That's right," said Brian, at the same time Melvin spat out, "Boyfriend?" with such disgust Shaun winced.

"Er, yeah," said Shaun, completely ignoring Brian. "Aren't you two a couple?"

Instead of replying with words, Melvin just made retched gagging noises until Shaun was rolling his eyes and Brian hit him.

"You'd be damn lucky to have a boyfriend like me," said Brian this time trying to kick him. "Everyone loves me!"

Melvin shuddered while avoiding the blows. He turned back to Shaun. "Why on earth would you think we were a couple?"

"Well, I mean. I-I just thought you were gay is all..."

"What?" yelped Melvin. "What the hell makes you think I'm gay?" he demanded. Never mind the fact that he was gay, it was the principle of the thing. Making assumptions and what not.

"Well you can hardly blame me, sweetheart," said Shaun, for some reason smirking now. Melvin didn't like it. But he also kinda did. "Not after you entered here like some Queen of Sheba."

"I did no such thing-" Melvin began to deny, but Shaun leaned in closer to him. Melvin could now tell that Shaun was just a few inches taller than him. It wasn't too often Shaun met people that much taller than him and it was always a disconcerting experience. Like being a child again all of a sudden. He did appreciate the closer view of his muscly arms he got now.

"Yeah you did," said Shaun, snapping Melvin out of his important inspection. "You sure you're not ?"

Melvin scowled and pushed him away with flat hands.

Although Shaun didn't really move much when he pushed him. He barely even swayed. "THAT is stereotyping. How dare you make the assumption that I'm gay just cause I act a little dramatic."

"But you are gay," pipped in Brian oh-so helpfully.

"Really?" he salivated sarcasm. "I forgot there for a minute."

"Wait you are gay?" asked Shaun.

Melvin crossed his arms defiantly. "Maybe," he allowed.

"Please. You're as queer as a three dollar bill."

"Fuck off, Brian."

"And you're not dating?" Shaun turned to look at Brian.

"I'm not even gay," said Brian with a jolly smile. "Melvin's usually much, muchnicer than this too, by the way. He just get grumpy without his cigs," he added with grin and wink at Shaun.

This was getting out of hand. Melvin needed to get things back on track. Melvin needed his cigarettes.

"You know," he said looking imploringly at the owner, making his eyes as doe like and pitiful as he could, "he won't even let me have my lighter. The one my grandfather gave to me before he died."

"HA! First of all, your grandfather's still alive, he gave it to you cause he said to were too girly and it made you look more masculine; second, the reason I'm not letting you anywhere near a lighter is because I know you have a cigarette hidden away on you somewhere. And believe me as soon as I find it you're done for."

Despite his little rant, Brian was almost completely ignored as Shaun and Melvin continued to gaze into each others eyes. He hadn't meant to get stuck, but Shaun's eyes were prettiest grey-blue he had ever seen. He couldn't drag himself away.

"How about," Shaun broke the silence, "you trade the cigarettes for the lighter." He didn't break eye as he spoke. Melvin had to finally look away when he got lightheaded.

Brian considered this for a few seconds, before nodding his head. "That's not such a bad idea," he concede and looked at Melvin.

Grumbling, Melvin pulled out the cigarettes. He kept the packet hidden in a little pocket his friend Kylie had sowed to the inside of his hoodie. He pulled out the packet. There was only one cigarette left in it. Playing difficult he held onto them longer than necessary.

"Melvin, give me the cigarettes," said Brian carefully.


"You give me the cigarettes, I'll give you the lighter."

Melvin let out an exasperated sigh, "Fine."

He pulled out the last cigarette as sneakily as he could, and gave the empty packet to Brian. "Melvy, I'm not an idiot."

"Fine, but I'll give him the cigarette, I don't trust you," he handed the single cigarette to Shaun."

"Fine, then I'll give you the lighter now."

"Well, thank you. And here I'll give you my coffee, in fact keep the whole cup."

"You can't take the cup. It belongs to my store," objected Shaun, pulling the cup out of Brian's hand. Melvin shivered as he noticed how large the owner's hand were, and Brian shot him a funny look.

"Oh Jesus, fine then take your other cup too," Melvin rolled his eyes and shoved Brian's much fuller cup of coffee in the same hand. His hands were so massive, they almost fit. Almost. It balanced for three whole seconds before falling.

"Shit!" they all swore as lukewarm coffee spilled all over the table and slashed onto the floor.

Brian grabbed the coffee cup. Shaun swore again as more coffee slipped out, Melvin held the cigarette for him and Shaun thanked him as he began to wipe up the mess with his now free hand. Melvin ran away.



"Melvy don't you dare!" screeched Brian as he and Shaun realized at the same time he now had both his lighter and cigarette.

"Hahaha! So long, suckers!" yelled Melvin already half way out the door and booking it down the street.

He heard muffled threats from within, but ignored them as he continued running. Taking a sharp right down an alley way.

He'd been running only a minute, he was already getting wheezy. He had just slipped down a another alley way when something barreled into him so hard it punched any remaining breath out of him. The force didn't stop until he was pressed up against the dirty alley walls, face pressed into stubbly concrete.

"What... the... fuck," he heaved out struggling weakly against the presence behind him. Warm arms came up, one wrapped around his shoulders the other his waist, pulling him back from the wall just enough for them to fit. Big warm, arms. Big, warm and very muscly arms.

"Maybe you shouldn't smoke so much. You sound kinda out of breath," came the now familiar shop owner's voice. Melvin involuntarily shivered as Shaun whispered and lips brushed against his ear.

"Fuck you," Melvin responded still panting slightly.

"Hmmm," said Shaun noncommittally.

Melvin tried to push back but found Shaun's solid block of muscle rather unmoving. Thirty seconds in he gave up, and collapsed into Shaun's embrace. "Why the fuck did you chase me anyway?"

Shaun shrugged. "Thought it might be fun," he teased.

"This is so unfair," Melvin grumbled trying to sound pissy but actually quiet enjoying the feel of Shaun's muscles. They definitely felt as good as they looked. When Shaun's cheek started to nuzzle against his, he couldn't help by relax all his weight onto Shaun.

The arm around his waist unwound a little and pulled the lighter and cigarette from Melvin's hand. Melvin barely even put up a struggle now.

After the cigarette and lighter were stowed away in Shaun's pants pocket, he pulled Melvin around to face him. He still didn't pull away for more distance, in fact he pushed Melvin's body back up against the wall with his own, and their chests were pushed together. He enjoyed the way Melvin's eyes bugged slightly and immediately flashed down to his lips.

Melvin was tall enough that he only slightly had to tilt his head back. He cleared his throat, trying to make his voice sound strong, "W-what do you want?"

Shaun smiled and Melvin was distracted by his lips again. They were so nice looking. They looked smooth and soft but also firm.

"I don't like kissing people who smoke, you know," said Shaun, snapping Melvin out of his daze again.

"Well, who said we are going to kiss?" he snarked back.

"You usually do after a date."

"We are not on a date."

Shaun's smile grew brighter. "But we could be," he said cheekily.

"That's very presumptuous of you," said Melvin, heart beating a little too fast.

Shaun laughed, "please, you were checking me out all morning."

"I don't like cocky guys," Melvin responded with chagrin.

Shaun wiped the grin of his face and looked closely at Melvin. "Go on a date with... please?"

Melvin thought that look was pretty unfair. Giving up cigarettes for a date. Well... "Fine," he mumbled face getting redder than it already was.

Shaun's grin came back and Melvin snuck another look at his lips.

"You know..." he said sly, peeking up at Shaun, "quitting smoking is pretty hard..." he coughed awkwardly and considered aborting his words, but Shaun's arms, lips and eyes weren't letting him think straight. "I mean my lips get rather... desperate." He breathed out he last word.

He watched Shaun's pupils widen and a second later they were kissing, pushed against each other in a dirty alley.

Fuck the date, thought Melvin as Shaun's tongue pushed his lips open and Melvin let out a helpless moan, they should just go straight to Melvin's apartment, preferably his bedroom. His knees weakened slightly. Shaun had him propped up against the wall and slide a thigh between his for more support. Melvin hands start exploring Shaun's muscled body, god his arms were amazing. Oh yeah, this was worth giving up cigarettes, and Shaun's mouth was definitely more addictive.

I'm sorry if this was too confusing. It's kinda an experiment. There is a lot going on and I wrote it kinda speedy and sleep deprived. I think I was trying to be funny.

Watched way too much Marx brothers lately, so was feeling inspired. Also, I was really stressed and craving cigarettes all week (which is weird cause I am NOT a major smoker) so I wrote this from internal dialoguing. Anyway, let me know what you think. A mess or alright?

Title from Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk- Rufus Wainwright