Story Notes: Thanks much to Brynnmck for responding to my panicked whiny request for prompts with Fraser and Vecchio, movies, compromise. Originally posted over at forbeingawesome, a birthday com for Sdwolfpup. You should check out the comm--it's, well, awesome.
"You want to watch a movie over there?" Ray says.
"It's a compromise," I say. "You pick up whatever movie you care to on the way over. As violent and unlikely as you wish. I won't even complain that the police officers' guns have infinite bullet capacity."
"So, let me get this straight, Benny," Ray says, and I can hear his smile over the phone. "I get to pick whatever movie we're not going to be able to hear on your tv, and that's a compromise?"
"I was hoping for--a little privacy tonight," I say, and there's silence on the other end, and because I am a coward, I add, "It's been a long week, and Francesca can be--a bit--"
"I hear ya," Ray says, and we settle on eight o'clock.
By eight-thirty I've gotten a bit worried, because punctuality is one of Ray's virtues, and I'm relieved to hear him on the stairs. Then neighbors' doors opening as he goes by, greetings exchanged: when did Ray learn all their names?
When I let him in I'm startled by a fresh wave of his soap smell, and blurt out, "You showered twice today?" He blinks at me, says, "Uh, you keeping track?"
Why, yes, I want to say, I sniff you at every opportunity.
"Uh," I say. "Your soap is, distinctive."
"Is that good?"
"Okay," he says, though he's still giving me a curious look, then adds, "Anyway, that's why I was late, sorry."
"I was helping Maria put the kids to bed, and apparently there's this stomach virus going around kindergarten, and Lucia'd been eating gummi bears." He shudders, waves vaguely at his shirt. "Rainbow, Benny. Neon rainbow."
"Yeah. And by the time I got out of the shower, the poor kid was hysterical because she thought I was mad at her, so I had to wait around for her to draw me an apology picture. I'm still not sure what a giant squid has to do with an apology, but--"
He stops to gape.
"Is that a new television? And VCR?"
"Did Mr. Mustafi lend them to you so you'd, I don't know, gild them for him?"
"No, Ray, I bought them. I wanted--my place to be a little more--fun."
He's giving me a do I know you? look, then suddenly bursts out laughing, pulls a movie out of his coat pocket, waggles it at me until I read the cover.
"Mel Brooks...Silent Movie?"
"It was a joke. I'll get something really loud next time." He grins at me, adds, "You're just full of surprises."
When we're ensconced on the couch with chips and dip (I have been gradually converting him from grocery-store salsa to fresh guacamole) he kicks his shoes off, slouches down comfortably, puts his sock feet up on the trunk that serves as a coffee table.
I experiment with slouching too, and our feet are bumping into each other on the table a little, and when I slide down further on the couch my thigh just brushes against his. And I truly intended to push it farther tonight, to reach some sort of point where I could tell, finally, if this was reciprocated, if this was welcome. But it's so--pleasant, like this, relaxed and friendly, and I am loath to possibly ruin it. So I just enjoy the warm brush of legs and feet for a moment, until--
"God, Benny," Ray says, and I stiffen and pull away, because that was too much already, apparently. But he's smiling, saying, "Are they all this slow, up in Canada?" and then he's kissing me.
We are going to have to watch this movie again, because I completely lose track of the plot.
End Movie Night by spuffyduds
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