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afternoon pillow talk

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The late afternoon sun shines through the bay window of your living room, casting hazy lines against the yellowing pages of your book. Your recent trial has finally ended, and you’d told your boss you needed a few well-deserved days off. Whizzer had practically cried when your alarm went off that morning.

 

“Marvin,” he’d said exasperatedly, “You’ve been working yourself into the ground, for Christ’s sake! Your eyebags have their own eyebags! Can’t you take a couple days off?”

 

Reaching over, you’d shut your alarm off and sat up.

 

Marvin,” Whizzer whined, “can’t you just stay here with me for one day? Please, Marv, we haven’t had morning sex in ages!”

 

You’d leaned over and kissed his hair. “Oh, don’t worry. Truman let me take the next few days off. You’ll get five whole days of morning sex, baby.”

 

Whizzer pulled you into a kiss so quickly and so enthusiastically, you were half sure that he’d pulled your arm out of its socket. His lips were soft, and warm, and you’re probably a terrible boyfriend because you weren't really sure when the last time you’d kissed him was. Mostly, you just sorta collapsed into your bed at the end of the night, shoes and all. Miraculously, you’d wake every morning in pajamas that you definitely had not been wearing when you fell asleep, and you’d find a neatly-pressed, ridiculously expensive suit hanging up for you. You’d given in and let Whizzer take control of your wardrobe. He’d picked through it—and trashed most of it—with relish. And then, he’d gone out to Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf’s and God knows where else to get you “clothes that actually fit right and look good.”

 

“Mm, sweetie, stop,” you protested, pulling away. You got one foot out of bed before you had Whizzer-the-Octopus grabbing you round the middle and trying to pull you back into bed.

 

“Don’t tease me like that,” Whizzer grumbled, kissing your neck. “Come back to bed, Marvin.”

 

“I’ll come back to bed after I make Jason breakfast and get him out the door for school,” you’d promised.

 

“Oh, Jesus, no, you’ll burn breakfast!”

 

“Hey! I’ve gotten eons better at cooking, thank you very much!”

 

“Mm, yes, honey, you have. You’re even ahead of Cordelia now!”

 

A laugh bubbled out of you. “Poor girl. She tries really hard. The rugelach she made Wednesday was almost edible! Now, come on, let’s feed our kid.”

 

After you’d gotten Jason fed and out the door, you’d had an incredibly pleasant morning. Whizzer had dragged you to the gym, and then you’d done the grocery shopping while Whizzer had gone on a shoot for a client. Now, you’re sprawled on the couch, thumbing through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

 

The door to your apartment swings open and slams so forcefully that the doorframe trembles. Jason throws his school bag down with an almighty thud, stomping over to you like a tiny giant who wants to pulverize everything with his Chuck Taylors. He’s pissed.

 

His brown eyes, identical to Trina’s, are full of what you can only describe as contempt. For what, you don’t know, but you sure as hell hope it isn’t you. His curls are as ruffled as his metaphorical feathers, and his shirt looks rumpled. There’s dirt on his jeans, on his cheek—and is that a bruise? You know there’s a shithead on the lacrosse team who has it out for him—God, you hope it wasn’t that. Jason’s a good kid; he doesn’t need anyone giving him trouble.


"Jason?" you ask softly.



"Hi," he grumbles, and then he flops onto the couch, directly on top of your stomach.



“Oof!” Jason shifts until he’s comfortable, using your stomach as a pillow and curling up like a cat. "Bad day, huh?"

 

He nods.

 

You dog-ear your page and put the book aside, running your fingers through his hair. "What happened?"



"Don't wanna talk about it."



"All right, bubba, you don't have to if you don't want to," you soothe. "Do you need anything?"



"No...." he yawns.



"All right, Jason. Let me know if you do, okay?"



"'Kay...."



You chuckle. "Tired, huh?"



"My adolescent ass needs more sleep than you do," Jason mumbles, eyes closed.



You laugh. "Touché."

 

He falls asleep quickly. You wait until his breathing turns deep and even, and then you pluck your book from the coffee table. The apartment is quiet besides the soft clacks of a keyboard coming from Whizzer, who’s doing something in the miniscule third bedroom that’s become a home office for the both of you. It doesn’t stay quiet for more than half an hour, though—you hear the door open softly, and Whizzer’s footsteps approach.

"Sweetie, have you—oh.” Whizzer pauses and lowers his voice, noticing Jason asleep on you. "Oh my God, that's adorable! He stole my favorite pillow, though."



"Oh?"



"Shut up, you have a comfy belly."

 

“It’s…rather pudgy, though. Good thing I have you to drag me to the gym, huh?”

 

Whizzer frowns. “Marvin.”

 

“What?”

 

“You’re using that self-deprecating tone again. The one where you want it to come off as a joke, but I know you’re not joking.” He puts a hand on your shoulder. “You know that I bring you to the gym with me because I like having a workout buddy, and I like spending time with you, right? I don’t bring you with me because I think you need to lose weight or anything.”

 

“Whizzer—”

 

“Let me finish! Because if that’s what you’re thinking, Marv, you’re dead wrong.”

 

“I wasn’t thinking—”

 

Marvin. I like your body. In fact, I love your body. I would especially love it if you crushed my skull with those delicious thighs of yours.”

 

You snort. “Oh my God.”

 

“My point is that your body is lovely, pudgy belly or not. You’re lovely, and I like you, and I think you should like you, too. ‘Cause you are quite a catch. I should bring you to my next gallery showing. People will be drooling over you.”

 

You grin. "Aw, thanks, Whiz.”



Whizzer leans in for a kiss, and swings his lanky body onto the couch. He sits on the other side of you, resting his head on your shoulder. He starts to kiss and nip at your neck.



"Whizzer, Jason is literally asleep on me!" you protest.



"So?"



"Whizzer."



He whines. "Marvin, please, I need it!"



"You get horny at the most inopportune times."



"Why don't you just put Jason in his bed?"



"Because he's asleep and we're bonding, Whizzer!"



Whizzer leans into nip at your neck again.



"WHIZZER."



He pouts. "Fiiiiine." A pause. "Jason does look awfully cute like that, though."



You chuckle. "He gets it from Trina."



"Mm, no, I think he looks like you."



You kiss your lover's cheek, and he rests his head against your shoulder once more. Jason stirs in his sleep. You rub his back until he falls back into a deep, even sleep. Whizzer plays with your hair.



"He's a sweet boy," Whizzer muses. "Not that I expected differently."



You raise an eyebrow. "People usually don't describe me as sweet."



"Oh?"



"Jackass is the term they tend to use. Or pretentious prick."



"Well, they clearly haven't spent enough time with you to get to know you."



"I mean...I'm not really a good person."



"Yes, you are. Maybe you weren't a while ago. The good was always there, though. You just let it come through. You stopped being angry, Marvin. You stopped picking fights, and stopped being so much of a colossal dick, and you started apologizing when you fucked up. I don't think I ever said, but I'm proud of you for that."



"I hit my wife, Whizzer. What sort of good person does that?"



"You apologized, you got a new psychiatrist who suggested you do a thing about anger management and you did it, and you actually take your medication now. It doesn't excuse what you did, and it never will. But you took the steps to keep it from ever being a problem again. Bad people don't do that, Marvin. They make excuses for themselves. They keep repeating bad actions. The fact that you took the time to actually fix your despicable behavior is pretty telling."



"You know, Whizzer Brown, you're much more observant than you let on."



He grins and kisses you. "And you're much sweeter than you let on, Marvin Levitt. It's part of why I love you."



You blink. "You—you love me?"



"Of course I do," Whizzer says, easily, in the same way he'd reply when asked if he wanted to go to The Smith for dinner.



"I—it’s just that, well, you—you’ve never said it before," you say softly. You can feel a slight blush creeping up your neck.



"Oh, Marvin," Whizzer breathes, voice gentle, "I love you. I love you more than I can say."



He pulls you in for a long kiss. It's not heated, like these sorts of kisses normally are; it's tender, gentle, sweet. When he pulls away, he says softly, "You've never said it either, you know."



You blush. "I thought—well. It’s stupid.”



"No, it isn't. You're not stupid, Marvin. Tell me."



"I thought—I thought that you might think my words came cheap, you know? I used to say it to Trina all the time, but I didn't love her—at least, not in the way she needed to be loved. And if I could say those words so easily without meaning them, how was it supposed to—to be meaningful? How would you know that I meant it and wasn't saying it because I thought I had to?"



Whizzer has a soft, adoring smile on his face. "Sweetie, you overthink far too much."



"Guilty as charged."



He chuckles. "Have we gotten our Big Emotional Talk over with for the week?"



"We're doing this weekly, now?"



"Please, Marv, we have an hours-long pillow talk at least once a week! We've already been doing this! Besides, it's not 'unmanly' or whatever to talk about this sort of stuff. Just because we don't have female junk doesn't mean that we don't have emotions! We're allowed to have feelings, Marv. Even ones that make us feel like we're melting into a puddle of sap. It doesn't make you any less of a man. If you think it does—well, sweetheart, I think you're going to have to re-evaluate your definition of what makes a man."



You kiss his cheek. "I love you."



"Oh, baby, I love you, too."