David Posner always knew he was different. In Sheffield he was everything that stood out in the all boys school: jewish, undeveloped. queer.
The soul mark was only confirmation of this. How many boys held their best friends name on their arm? His parents had been understanding, welcoming, even if they didn't understand. After all, David's own brother had brought home Toby from university, the strange medical student who insisted on calling his parents 'the in-laws'. Don was probably a safe bet, in comparison. The revelation hadn't been dramatic, or heartfelt, like others. And he preferred it that way. It was just like him and Don, to be matter of fact, yet still tender. But oh, how cliché for it to happen in a bar. They're sat nursing their pints, and Scripps is the first to break the silence he'd been content to wallow in.
'I don't think mine would match at first. that would be my luck, I suppose.' The nature of what it is goes unspoken. Of course it's his mark. At their age, there's not many left unpaired or undiscovered. something tightens in his chest, fear that Don, his Don, has found someone else. Or perhaps, a little hope that he has found his someone in him. Maybe it's a vain hope, but Pos holds so much love in what Don calls his spaniel heart, that his optimism can't be held back.
its a rushed 'Dakin isn't mine, you know.' That breaks the tension. Posner wills himself to continue. 'That's what made him safe. he'd never have my name, and I could feel how I wanted.' A bitter smile curls ever so slightly up his face. 'No regrets.'
That level of confidence Scripps always wears dislodges ever so slightly - confidence, never arrogance, it's what drew him in and away from Dakin. 'Pos...' the name comes out as almost a whisper. 'Do you ... can I ask?'
Posner knows. He knows from that pause, that hesitation, that what he wants to be true, is.
'If you haven't worked it out by now Scrippsy, you're a fool.' there's a loose button on his cuff, opening ever so slightly as he moves his arm to the wobbly pub table, hinting at what he's all but confirmed. Don's fingers reach out, almost touching the open cuff before pulling away abruptly.
And then Scripps is rolling up the sleeve of his jumper, showing the mark to him before hiding it away in the half empty bar.
It takes Posner a moment to collect himself.
A genuine grin begins to form then, and the happiness in Posner's chest is unlike anything he's felt before. To think, that they've been sitting on this for months, years even. 'We're quite the pair aren't we?' It would be Posner, in all his quiet confidence, and Scripps, the all-but-leader of their group now Dakin has drifted away with Irwin, that would dance around each other for too long. 'Well, I suppose it's a good thing we match then.'
There's a safety in the looks they give each other, the comfortable silence as they sip their drinks surrounded by the inane chatter of other customers. Scripps and him were headed home together anyways, but perhaps now, they'll share a bed, a kiss or two, instead of Don condemning himself to the broken couch. above all, it just feels natural. as if a part of him he didn't know existed has been discovered, an extension of his body and soul is sat across from him deep in thought, as always.
It's Posner who breaks the quiet first. 'So, what so we think of Irwin then? its been a long time coming.'
Don snorts, shaking his head. 'He's an idiot. how hasn't he noticed Stu's acting up I don't know.'
He hums in agreement. It's true, Stuart Dakin has been incredibly out of sorts recently. Still, it'd do him some good to lose a little arrogance. 'I do wonder which of them will ask first. Two degrees between them yet not an ounce of observational skills'.
'Dear Lord, you sounded like Mrs Lintott there'.
'Fuck off.' The righteous indignation is undermined by the laughing lilt of his voice.
Scripps continues as if Pos hasn't said a word. 'Dakin, obviously. God knows he can't be upstaged, even by Irwin'.
The last dregs of his pint sits, almost flat, at the bottom of the glass he's mindlessly and lazily swirling around. 'Yes, I suppose. It must be nice, to be so settled - I mean, oh -' it's so like him, to jump to forever, to suddenly make things awkward isn't it.
Scripps just smiles at him, as if he knows exactly where his mind had gone. 'That'll be us, don't you worry.' The look on his soulmates face would have been hilarious, if not for the serious conversation. 'What, you didn't think I haven't thought about it had you?' Oh Pos and his delicate heart. Dakin hadn't been safe after all. He'd still left marks, however partially healed they were.
he's looking down at the grain of the table now, tracing lines in the wood that aren't really there. 'I just thought, maybe you.. I .. I thought you liked...' the implication is there. girls. anyone. not me. never me.
'And boys. but mostly you. Only you, really.'
David smiles, and whispers a little 'oh.'
Don smiles back, content in the moment.