Two men lying on a bed, on their backs.
“We need to make the bed.”
“Right. Yeah. The bedclothes.”
“The bedclothes—which us normal people call sheets and blankets—are on the bed. Just not made. Because a blanket is bunched up under my back. Ow.”
“Well, it’s on the bed, innit? S’a start.”
They weren’t panting anymore, but moving wasn’t remotely possible. One of them was covered in sweat, the other lacking the necessary bodily fluids for creating the slow trickle of water on overheated skin, but wishing he could have. The man next to him smelled divine. Which he’d never say aloud, since it created bad-squirming as opposed to the good-squirming.
“Yes, but it needs to be made. That’s what you do, Spike, you put the sheets and blankets—”
“Bedclothes is much easier, you know. One word an’ all. Well, compound-word, but still.”
“—put the sheets and blankets in a neat and orderly manner over the mattress. It’s called ‘making the bed’.”
“When’ve we ever made the bed?” After a moment’s silence, the protesting man bounced slightly. Very slightly. More like rocking. “Like the mattress, I do. Nice and firm.” He kicked at the footboard. “Nice posts, too, very good for tying.”
“Which you announced to anyone who would listen, when we bought the bed. And yes, they are—it’s part of the reason we bought it, remember?”
“Could tie you up tonight, maybe?” came a distantly wheedling request. The right amount of leer was lacking, though. “Give it a good work out. . .”
Silence for a very long moment.
“Yeah. Sorry. Not on the first night.”
Several loud popping noises, followed by despairing groans, announced that one man had expended the Herculean effort to sit up. “It. . . it’s ours.”
Not palatial by any means, true, but. . . two bedrooms. Decent sized bathroom separating them, plus another room they weren’t sure what they were going to do with yet. A kitchen, a dining room and enough room left over for the tv they’d both lusted after and a better-than-decent set of speakers, framed by some more comfortable chairs.
“Never did this, you know. This. . . moving, thing.”
“You moved all the time.”
“Well, yeah, but never really settled down, did I? Did a bit more recently, I suppose, but before? Found a place, set up a little hidey-hole of our own, then did whatever we wanted to do. Few days or weeks later, we’d have found another place. Never really settled. Did the whole decoratin’ bit. Even if we knew we’d be there for a while.”
The ‘whole decoratin’ bit’ was why they were so very exhausted. Actually hauling the seemingly endless boxes of crap and various pieces of furniture and appliances hadn’t been the hard part. Oh, no, heavy lifting was something they were more than capable of dealing with.
It was putting everything away.
Putting the living room to rights had seemed like a good place to start. They had to placate the great God of TVs and beside, after they did that they could plead having ‘done something’ and maybe watch a video. So they set up the tv and the furniture in a half-circle around it. Put a table here, a table there. . . and then the bickering began.
Did they want that painting on this wall? Or maybe they should by a new one, since the colors in the painting reacted oddly with the color of the wall. Should they paint the wall, even though they’d decided earlier that they didn’t really want to do that? Could always do it later, but then they’d have to move everything again and did they want the vase of fake flowers in here or in the bedroom? And did they really have to put that damned vase up, it made them look poofy. Well, they were poofs so what was the harm in indulging a little bit of beautification? And hey, are you saying what I think you’re saying?
It went downhill from there.
Far too many hours later, they’d gotten at least most of their new townhouse put together and had collapsed on their unmade bed. The arguing had petered out a while ago, sheer exhaustion sapping away their will to fight.
“It wasn’t, well, bad that we were. . .”
“No—no, not what I meant. Just that. . . it’s not just a crappy basement, you know? Not just a place to crash.”
“Yeah.” The unspoken reference to what their new townhouse was wrapped around them comfortably. Deciding to fit emotion to reality, they moved just enough to curl around each other. “It’s. . .”
“It’s ours. I mean, there’s a whole drawer just for m’blood! An’ don’t look at me like that, it wasn’t the same back before.”
“Well, there’s the whole brand new fridge part of the equation. Ow.” But the whap was barely more than a brush of air and skin on skin, attentions both drawn to their bedroom. Their bedroom, with its dark-stained oak furniture that was surprisingly old fashioned, given the punk and the geek who’d picked it out. It’d taken a long time to save up their pennies, deciding they were going to do this right when they did it. But they had. And now. . .
Now they were here.
“My parents aren’t around.” There was a distant, wondering quality in the statement. “I mean, I don’t want them here and I certainly don’t ever want them to find out where here is, but. . . my parents aren’t here.”
“S’ours, pet. We bought it, we’re taking care of it, arranging it however we want.”
Both of them thought deeply on the things they considered to be ‘theirs’. One mind was thinking about dark eyes and strong hands, resolutely ignoring the things he’d tried to claim in the past and had never held on to. The other was going through a succession of things that were his—except they weren’t. Most of the things he cherished came from his relatives, few though they were. The rest were bought with money from odd-jobs for those same relatives and no matter how entrepreneurial it felt, the result was still that his family had taken care of it. Or sometimes his friends, covering in a pinch. Not him.
But this was just him. Them. Theirs.
“Yeah,” he said aloud, dropping a kiss onto disarrayed curls. “Ours.”
“You’re right, though, we should make the bed.”
That was completely unexpected and there was a brief moment of rearranging so that blue eyes could glint mischievously up into brown. “You scare me. Why do we want to make the bed now?”
“Berk. Gotta mess it up again.” The leering smirk was lustful enough, but both of them knew to look beyond it. No matter how sappy it made them look. . . it was the reason why their friends had backed off and given reluctant blessings. The reason why they’d waited so long to make everything perfect. The reason they lay in their brand-new bed together.
“Love you, Spike.” Leaning forward, they shared a short kiss.
“Love you, pet. Happy new-home day.”
The bedclothes ended up on the floor.