The microwave beeped. Scott dumped the hot popcorn into a big serving bowl and returned to the living room to find Isaac sprawled across the entire couch. He set the bowl on the coffee table next to the drinks that Isaac had poured for them. He then stood for a second waiting for Isaac to retreat to his own side but Isaac merely raised his eyebrows innocently.
“Isaac, come on, quit hogging the couch,” said Scott, swatting at Isaac’s bare feet that were hanging off the end, HIS end of the sofa.
“What? You got up. No savesies.”
“Isaac,” sighed Scott.
“There’s a perfectly fine chair right behind you.”
Irritated, Scott tried to squeeze back into his seat but it was impossible with Isaac’s long legs in the way. He stood back up and glared at Isaac who merely smiled back in triumph.
Then Scott had a little idea.
“I don’t understand how you take up so much space,” said Scott, gesturing dramatically. “It’s not like you’re even that tall.”
“I am, too, tall,” insisted Isaac.
“Not really. You’re barely taller than I am.”
Isaac huffed. “What? Barely…are you kidding me?” He jumped up from his seat to stand to his full height, towering over Scott, but then regretted it immediately when he watched Scott with his own triumphant smile as he sagged bonelessly into the cushions, stretching from end to end.
Isaac could've kicked himself for having fallen for Scott’s manipulation. He stood frowning while he watched Scott sigh contentedly and sink back into the comfortable pillows.
“No savesies,” crowed Scott with a wide grin. “There’s a wonderful-looking chair right behind you.”
It was Isaac’s turn to glare. Then a lightbulb went off in his noggin.
“You know,” began Isaac slowly. “Your mom told me a secret about you.”
“Secret?” asked Scott skeptically. “What secret?”
Isaac looked slightly hesitant to answer but then his smile turned playful.
“That you’re ticklish.”
Despite his best efforts, Scott blinked cartoonishly. “What? No, I’m not,” he scoffed, obviously lying through his teeth.
A corner of Isaac’s mouth curled up, his quarry now in his sights. “Oh really?” he said, turning his body toward Scott by just the barest amounts and seeing Scott already flinching.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Really. It’s doesn’t bother me.” By the time he had finished with his sentence he had already pulled himself up into a sitting position in the farthest corner of the couch. “Maybe when I was a kid but, no, I’m good.”
Isaac could easily have had the couch without any further action on his part but, come on, this opportunity was a little too good to miss.
Isaac sat in the opposite corner and made it look as if the matter was over. “Whatever. Why don’t we just watch the movie?”
Scott’s shoulders sagged with relief. “Yeah, sounds good.”
As soon as Scott reached for the remote control, Isaac launched himself at Scott and found his vulnerable flank.
Scott jerked spasmodically as Isaac’s fingers sank into his sensitive side.
“Isaac!” howled Scott in protest. He twisted himself in an attempt to escape the onslaught but Isaac was having none of it. He was having too much fun listening to the rare sound of a true alpha giggle his head off, heard only every one hundred years.
“Isaac, stop, please,” Scott begged between bursts of laughter.
Any other time and Scott could easily have broken Isaac’s hold but, apparently, tickling was Scott’s kryptonite. And Isaac thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. He laughed right along with Scott.
Scott flailed one of his legs in an effort to kick at Isaac in some awkward manner. Instead, he connected with the coffee table and the popcorn and sodas went flying. But it served as enough of a distraction to Isaac that Scott was able to squirm away and onto the floor. Tired from the exertion, Isaac followed right behind him.
Isaac was lying on his side, his back to the couch, Scott next to him on his back. Both had their eyes closed, trying to catch their breath. Isaac continued to chuckle to himself periodically and Scott swatted at him again. “It’s not funny.”
Scott opened his eyes to find his mom standing over them, arms crossed, not looking very pleased at the mess before her. Both drinks had spilled over the coffee table and popcorn was everywhere.
“Hi, mom!” greeted Scott.
“Having fun?” she inquired.
“Um…” he looked over at Isaac for help.
“It was Scott’s fault,” Isaac deadpanned, sitting up.
Scott’s mouth fell open to protest. “My fault?! You’re the couch hog!”
“Couch hog?” asked Melissa.
“Actually,” said Scott, rising up in realization. “It’s your fault, mom. You betrayed me!”
“I betrayed you?”
“Yeah, you told him I was ticklish!”
“I…uh,” she stuttered, looking over at Isaac who was grinning back at her. “I may have mentioned something about your ticklishness.”
“But you’re so cute when you’re giggling,” admitted Melissa then turned to Isaac. “Isn’t it cute?”
“It’s adorable,” agreed Isaac.
“Betrayer,” Scott pouted at her.
“Oh, come on,” she said as she reached out and Scott was laughing even before she touched him.
“Mom!” whined Scott. “Stop.”
“Okay, I’m sorry.” She relented and tried to erase her smile. “I’ll let you watch your movie. But clean this up first.”
“I’ve got it,” said Isaac, leaving the room.
Scott took the opportunity to glare at his mom again.
“I’m sorry,” she shrugged apologetically. “We were talking about you and it just came up.”
Scott’s forehead wrinkled in surprise. “You were talking about me?”
“Yes, Isaac and I sometimes talk,” explained Melissa. “I think you’re probably our favorite subject.”
Just then Isaac returned to the room with paper towel and the wastepaper basket. He met Scott’s gaze and his gentle smile suddenly looked a little different to Scott.
“I’m heading to bed,” Melissa said, interrupting Scott from his musings. “Don’t stay up too late.”
“Good night, Mrs. McCall,” said Isaac as he dropped to his knees and began wiping up the spilled soda.
" 'Night, mom.”
“I’ll see you both in the morning.”
She left the room and Scott started picking up the popcorn. Once they got the mess cleaned up, Scott took the remnants back into the kitchen and zapped another bag in the microwave. When he finally returned to the living room, Isaac was once again spread out across the couch.
“Isaac,” Scott sighed in exasperation.
“Okay, okay, we can share,” Isaac conceded, sitting up. But he didn’t move to the far end of the couch. Instead, he took half of the middle cushion. Shrugging to himself, Scott took the other half and they both slouched further into the cushions to get more comfortable as the movie began.
While the opening credits rolled, Scott offered the bag of popcorn to Isaac and he noticed a little gleam in Isaac’s eye as he grabbed a handful. Scott’s eyebrows curled in suspicion. He turned back to the movie but then chanced another look at Isaac to confirm his suspicions and saw that the gleam had evolved into a mischievous grin.
Isaac glanced over at a very anxious Scott.
“Don’t even think about it,” warned Scott.
But it was too late. Isaac had a new obsession – Scott giggles. And popcorn everywhere.