There'd been a food fight in the cafeteria and the vice principal meant to round up the guilty parties. Loose corn and green peas lay scattered on the floor. As he walked across the damp linoleum, scanning the landscape of skittish eyes, his heel fell across the stem(more) of a dropped spoon, crushing it into the tile.
"Which one you is to blame for this?" He asked, with a glare that hardened his face. Every eye that met his glance fell away until he found himself looking into the face of a boy, small, and dark haired, who was sitting in the middle of a group.
"Well young man? How do you explain all of this?"
At first, the boy said nothing, and the man, finding resistance, pressed harder. "Surely you saw something?"
"I did, and I'm the one you want." The boy spoke in a loud flat way and with an immediacy that caught the man by surprise. "So, then..." The vice principal turned and faced the staring crowd. "We have one honorable one here. Who else, then?"
There was a disturbance and voices rose over his shoulder. Then, with a loud thwack, a single green pea flung from across several rows of tables, landed flat and wet into the corner of the vice principal's eye. Stunned, he bent over and raked his face with his hands. Then, stumbling backward, he stepped again onto the errant spoon. His ankle spun awkwardly and he tottered backward onto the tile. A roar rose from the crowd that turned to laughter. The damp from the floor began to seep into his pants. With the laughter flowing over him like wind, all he could do was sit and catch his breath. The floor was remarkably cold.
What if doing what is right is no longer right for you? What if honoring a "til death do us part commitment" equates to the death of you? What if continuting to live "as is" is really relegating yourself to the land of the living dead?
There's more inside of me, burning and being wasted away, than you'll see in the whole of your life. I am an inferno. I will eat the world in both its ugliest and most beautious forms. I will crush the lot of it into a singularity of abstract flesh(more) and thought. When you arrive, nothing will be left. There will be no room for you in the world. I will have swallowed everything.
You will not feel joy without knowing that I've been through that fabric of the universe. You will not feel shame without me there to support you and protect you from yourself. In short, I'll be everything you never wanted.
The universe. Atomic energy. Nuclear weapons. Mushroom clouds. Cancer. Masculinity. Tumors metastasizing in the female body. There are motifs there. I could paint them prettily for you. But instead I'll just throw them in front of you like food for a foul beast and let you put the metaphor together for yourself.
When I am angry, I'm not pretty. It's within my capacity, but I feel no need to be. Fire doesn't worry whether or not it is pretty. Storm does not worry whether or not it is pretty. it just devours. That is what it was meant to do.
I'll be there when there is nothing left. You still won't love me, and I'll choose not to love you. We'll both be right, and that is where the world will end.(less)
Masayoshi was too far away for him to get to - he had other things to do, to worry about - but Masayoshi was too far away and it struck him like a physical thing, a shard of ice lodged in his chest. Focus on getting the civilians away,(more) keeping them back - he yelled into the crowd, trying to accomplish just that, same as his fellow officers when there was a loud rush and roar and some people around him screamed.
Gotou half-turned, saw the thing go down and Masayoshi along with it, tumbling underneath the girth of the monster, a flash of red armor and white scarf and then nothing. It all happened so quickly Gotou couldn't process it - but he turned completely around, moving toward the monster despite himself, yelling Masayoshi's name.
He didn't know what it was, didn't really matter. It towered above him, some mishmash chimera of a creature - Gotou had his pistol in hand, his only defense - and then the monster yowled, and exploded.
The resulting smoke was noxious, but Gotou didn't flinch, he saw Masayoshi standing on the other side, helmet cracked half off his head, armor dented, weapons in hand and the relief poured over him instantly. Masayoshi was alive.
Masayoshi cast aside his destroyed helmet, ignoring the cheers of the gathered crowd as he bounded through the cloud of gas, all that remained of the monster who had threatened the crowded mall. He caught up Gotou's hand in his, eyes bright even through the grime and blood on his face. "I'm sorry to make you worry, Gotou-san!" he said.
The tension eased on his face, and the worry melted from him. "Don't scare me like that," he chided, and Masayoshi grinned sheepishly.
Masayoshi made the best noises when Gotou took him to pieces. It was hard to decide which noise was his favorite - the short little cut-off whines, the heavy breaths panted through an open mouth, the low groan when Gotou slid his hand up the outside of Masayoshi's thigh(more) and cupped his ass - ultimately, they were all equally wonderful.
But then there was Gotou's own name, broken apart into barely intelligible syllables, spilling from Masayoshi's lips in soft sobs as he tilted his head back, hips bucking under the press of Gotou's weight. He was pinned to the floor with little more than Gotou's mouth and one hand, but he still squirmed and twisted, gasping at each broad lick of Gotou's tongue.
Gotou couldn't watch him, with his face buried between Masayoshi's legs but he was listening carefully. Masayoshi's hand rested on his head - it had shot out the second he realized what Gotou was doing, where he was headed - and his long fingers were tangled tightly. "Gotou-san," he managed on a breath, the intake sharp and quick, his leg trembling, hooked over Gotou's shoulder.
Gotou ignored him and swallowed Masayoshi down again, overwhelmed by the smell and the taste. He knew Masayoshi was close, he had no intentions of slowing down or making this last. He gave Masayoshi's thigh and encouraging pat, without lifting his head, mouth working carefully around Masayoshi's length.
Masayoshi's moan broke for a moment, a stutter - and then he was surging, pushing his hips up despite Gotou holding him down, gasping and strung tight as a guitar string. Gotou knew better than to move now, and let Masayoshi fuck himself out into Gotou's throat, his hot seed filling Gotou's mouth as Masayoshi withdrew, flopping back to the ground spent.(less)
Then there's Dennis. Dennis is about forty, but looks sixty; He's always red-faced and bears an uncanny resemblance to Robinson Crusoe. You can hear him coming up the block from a mile away, lolling his head left to and fro in blissful alcoholic reverie, loose change jingling against the(more) walls of a blackened coffee cup. Immediately after panhandling the necessary eight dollars for a bottle of Pale Dry port wine, he rolls down the street with fervent vigor like a man chasing a mirage in the desert. Dennis throws his change into my hand. His fingernails are like eagle talons, he drops nickels everywhere. An hour later and he's silent against the city recycling bin, not even drunk, just steady. With glossy eyes, he dreams against the assured glances of yuppies, businessmen, and young people. The sadness is palpable, and from it there is no escape.(less)
We have parallel dreams. They run in adjacent lanes, just out of reach and destined never to meet.
I look up at you, all tidy edges and clean-cut corners even in the morning, your newspaper spread on the kitchen island and it all feels so distant.(more) The soft, sticky sunlight makes everything feel like a dream, its warmth making the world move slowly through a golden haze.
I want you to look up, to smile at me, to make the world resume its normal quick pace. But you don't. You bite your lip as you read the paper and my heart forgets to skip.
Maybe we weren't meant to be. Maybe we are nothing but opposites, foolishly attracted to one another. Maybe we're something that should only be considered from a distance. Maybe admiration from across a room was all it was supposed to be.
"Mara?" You say my name, an absent thought, but it snaps the world back together.
"I love you." You look up as you say it, and my heart remembers. This, this is why you stay.
I duck my head and your eyes flick back down to your paper, and the space where my 'I love you' is supposed to hover is filled by the whir of the coffeemaker. But it's warm and sweet and he doesn't press, just lets me savour the words and lets me test the weight of them on my tongue without scrutiny. This is why you stayed.
Even with their parallel dreams and the fact that their lives should only have intersected that one night, they fit together perfectly. He never asks her to be more than she is. And she fills the monochrome hollows of his life with wild colour. (less)
Masayoshi straddled Gotou's chest, eyes wide open in surprise, one hand in the grass beside his head. He clearly had not expected them to hit the ground, and never mind ending up in this position. Gotou wheezed, the wind knocked out of him - and when he looked up(more) at Masayoshi, sunlight in his hair, sweat running down his face and chest and his mind stuttered to a complete stop.
"Gotou-san?" Masayoshi asked hesitantly, noticing the change in Gotou's breathing.
Gotou wet his lips, caught Masayoshi by the back of the neck and pulled him down. He went willingly, down to his elbows in the grass, eyes still wide and uncertain. This was still so new to him, to them both - but this time Gotou closed the distance, hand large and firm on the back of Masayoshi's neck, keeping his head down as they kissed.
It was only a moment- heart thudding in his chest, Masayoshi's weight heavy across him - and then the water balloon hit Masayoshi in the side of the head, soaking them both again. They broke apart, startled.
"You two are so /gross/!" Mari yelled. "Don't make me get the hose!"
Masayoshi was back up on his knees, squinting against the sunlight and glaring in Mari's direction, but Gotou had covered his mouth with his hand, staring up into the bright blue sky, its color not nearly as dazzling as the blue of Masayoshi's eyes. He knew what the feeling in his chest was, expanding his lungs and making him feel buoyant and light, and still he couldn't believe it, that this was a real thing happening to him.
"C'mon Gotou-san," Masayoshi said, grabbing his watergun and managing to put his knee into Gotou's solar plexus as he pushed himself to his feet. "Let's get'em!"(less)
"I'm sorry I keep dragging you to these things," Masayoshi said as he leaned against the bar. Gotou was facing out, elbow resting on the polished surface, so he had seen Masayoshi's approach. He knocked back the last of his whiskey and sighed a bit in satisfaction at the(more) burn, then glanced over at Masayoshi, who was intently studying the wall of bottles that made up the display in the back of the bar.
"Open bar makes up for a lot," Gotou said truthfully. It had almost, /almost/ made up for the conversation he'd overheard in the men's room earlier - the words that they'd used to describe Masayoshi made him see red, and the only real thing that saved them was the fact that they ducked right back out of the restroom when they saw who was currently standing at the urinal. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Ordering a drink," Masayoshi said defensively as the bartender whisked away. "I'm allowed to drink, I'm of age!"
"Yeah you're allowed to," Gotou said. The logistics of getting a smashed Masayoshi home were a little too much for him to process at the moment, anyway. "Still doesn't make it a good idea."
"Compared to what?" Masayoshi said, stepping a little closer, into his space. Gotou felt the grin creeping up and glanced away, even as Masayoshi's shoulder brushed his.
"Compared to every other time you've had alcohol?" Gotou murmured as Masayoshi leaned in closer - he ducked his head just slightly, and they were close enough to kiss, just like that - but Masayoshi didn't kiss him, the flush spreading across his cheeks, blue eyes twinkling.
Gotou realized how exposed they were, vulnerable like this in public - and he turned his head away, the buzz of intoxication hiding his blush.(less)
It was only at the end when I realized I loved you.
We were breaking down the tent, pulling up stakes and cleaning syrup from the pavement. Crumpled napkins rolled through the bleachers like mustard-smeared tumbleweeds and bees buzzed around trash cans smelling of sickly sweet vomit and(more) sour milk.
No matter our stations, everyone cleaned.
I was still in my costume, too tired to go back up to my trailer to change into something more suitable. In all honesty, I felt comfortable in my leotard- my paint and my pageantry. This character I portrayed was preferable to the real me. The real me you keep trying to find blushing beneath the make-up while rolling an eye and pretending it's nothing more than a fling. I built this wall, brick by brick, and I'll be damned if you climb over it.
"Where will you go?" you ask me.
"Nova Scotia." It's a lie, but you'll believe it. It's where I came from.
"Why not come with me?"
I look down at my hands and hope you don't see them tremble. I want to say, "Okay. I'll go where ever you go." But my life's not that simple. You don't know about the pills under my bed, the sleepless nights and the numerous visits to oncology those days after I fell. I come by performing naturally.
Now it's all coming to an end. My ribs are starting to stand out like the bars of the lion's cage and my heart can't take the strain of your presence- pounding, pounding. What will you say when my hair falls out and my face is bare?
Next year you'll take your place in the spot light, your hand in another's, and I'll be the ghost watching on the stage.
You like to phrase it poetically, tell yourself he ripped the wings off your back and forbid you to fly.
He doesn't even realize the damage he's done to you, looking over his shoulder with wide innocent eyes, waiting for a praise. You don't even bother to fake a(more) smile, observing the disappointment grow on his too transparent face with smug satisfaction.
Jealousy looks wrong on you, you've been told so, but it's ineviatable. You are unused to being overpowered, and his naiveté and sheepish admiration solidify the urge to break him and make him regret he's ever stood in your way.
You chuckle to yourself as you leave- you find delight in comparing yourself to an angel, but maybe there's not a single angelic bone in your body.