In Which Keith Is So Done With Your Shit, Hayden

Keith sat at his kitchen table, feet propped up on its wooden surface, heedless of the dirt on his shoes. He'd been practicing blowing hearts out of smoke for the better part of an hour now, and so far, he'd managed a lot of rings and a few wobbly ovals. He rather thought that he was making progress. Once, his sister-in-law had commented on his smoking in the house, and how it could be detrimental to other's heath. While this was probably true, the only people that lived there were he and his boyfriend Demi, who both smoked, anyway. It had seemed something of a moot point, in his opinion. Anyway, if he was going to have to listen to his best friend complain about his new co-worker all day, he was going to at least going to try to enjoy himself.

"And god, you have never met someone so depressing in your life." Hayden was saying, twenty minutes into his rant- the same one that he'd been on for the past month or so, ever since his boss had hired the new security guard at his office.

I know, Keith thought for the hundredth time. Hayden would talk about how mopey Nathan was, and how much of a Debbie Downer he could be, and why on Earth would he hire someone so weird? Keith blew a wriggling shape at the textured ceiling.

"Seriously, I heard from Leon that the guy actually tried to kill himself once."


"I can't say that I'm surprised; I would too if I was that depressed."


"I mean, he doesn't even say good morning. He just stands there against the wall with his coffee."


"And I don't think I've ever seen hi-

"Hmmm." Keith hummed, missing the rest of the sentence. He took a drag on his rapidly-dying cigarette. He thought about lighting up another one, but it would have been his fourth in the last hour, and he was beginning to feel a tiny bit guilty for subjecting Hayden to second-hand smoke for the duration of his visit. Not that he had been complaining, but still. Keith got to his feet, snubbing out the glowing embers in the metal basin of the sink. He flipped the switch on the coffee pot- the only appliance in the whole kitchen that had been made after nineteen-eighty-seven. Demi had said that the house had had 'personality', but Keith privately thought it was just extremely outdated. He loved it, regardless.

He went through the process of making himself a cup of coffee, while Hayden regaled him with a story of some errand that his boss, Leon had sent him on the other day. It was a nice change of pace, for the time being, and Keith even found himself laughing at his friend's misfortune (apparently, he'd been stranded at a Laundromat for nearly two hours, with nothing to do but play Tetris on his phone). By the time he was back in his chair, balanced precariously on its hind legs while he propped his own back up onto the table, however, the story had circled back to Nathan. Keith had never wanted to punch his best friend quite so fiercely.

"What is it about this guy, seriously?" he asked, looking down into the dark depths of his mug, hoping to find a bit of patience in there, somewhere.

"Huh?" Hayden asked, stirring sugar into his own coffee. He'd not even been paying attention.

"I mean, why don't you just ignore him? Why does he bother you so much?" Hayden paused, a frown tugging at his eyebrows. Keith doubted that he even knew what was clearly going on.

"Well, I can't just ignore him, he's always there, you know? He's just so- ugh. I don't know." Keith nodded, because he did.

"You like him." He said, simply, taking a sip of his still-too-hot drink. Hayden sputtered, eyes going wide.

"No way! That's not funny, Keith." It was, a little bit.

"You totally do, though," he mumbled, hiding an amused grin behind chipped enamel. "You realize that he's all you talk about anymore, right? I bet he's all you pay attention to at work, too." Hayden made a face, setting his mug down on the table.

"He is not, shut up." Keith cocked an eyebrow, not convinced in the slightest. He imagined that if he called Leon right then, that he'd have told him all about Hayden's infatuation. It was so obvious that it was almost sad.

"What's his favorite color?"

"Green," Hayden responded, and Keith doubted that he'd even had to think about it. "Why?"

"What kind of music does he listen to?" Hayden scrunched his nose.

"Ew, punk rock, sometimes he listens to it way too loud, I'm surprised he can hear at all, anymore."

"What color are his eyes?" he asked, feeling a twinge of vindictive glee at the sudden, slack-jawed look on the other's face.


Keith laughed.

"Ask him out, stupid."