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Jackie: Having finished up classes and his exams earlier in the day, Tim eventually made it back to his room to pack for break - the excitement of getting the hell out of the school jumbling around in his stomach. While things with Michael haven't evened our entirely (or at least returned to their version of normal), he isn't on edge when the other boy returns to the room while Timothy is packing his bag. From the other dorm, he can hear Kellen and Jesse joking around, both sets of laughter bouncing off the walls, and Tim allows for their amusement to infiltrate his own mood, speaking up to Mike. "How'd your last exam go?"


Jay: Somewhat distracted as he enters the dorm, Mike's surprised when Tim speaks - lately they haven't conversed with anything like their normal ease, and the small comments Jesse and Kellen still make (even if they have, fortunately, given up any other forms of manipulations) haven't made things any better. He hides his surprise well enough, though, flashing a small grin towards Tim as he heads for his own side of the room. "All right. Wasn't an exam so much as a lecture - anger management was my last class." Reaching his bed, he flops on it casually and starts to unlace his shoes. "How 'bout yours?"


Jackie: Perhaps more at ease after his visit (and time spent) with Leech a few days prior, Tim doesn't event second guess the chirp of amusement that escapes his mouth for Mike's words. He quirks his head back and glances at his room mate and then shrugs a shoulder, all while folding up a sweatshirt and placing it in the duffel he has resting on his bed. "All right, I think. Nothing too bad. Just happy to be done." And then he paces over towards the closet to yank another article of clothing, movements a little more careful so that the collar around his neck isn't pulled into view from beneath his button up.


Jay: Mike makes an agreeing noise, but isn't wholeheartedly grateful to be done; the break from classes will be nice, but he dislikes being trapped here alone. Shoes removed, Mike pivots to lean back against his pillows and stretch out over his bed, absently watching Tim move around the room, trying not to make his regard too obvious. "You taking off today?" He knows some students are, and some aren't leaving until tomorrow; he hoped that Tim would be one of the latter, and that Jesse and Kellen might not be, so that they could have a day free of their overbearing presences.


Jackie: With a few more items in his grasp, Tim paces back to his bed and takes them off the hanger to then fold and place in his duffel; before Lars' visit, he didn't have much in terms of non-school issued clothing, but his friend did a decent job of providing him with some articles that don't make him look like a Catholic school boy. "Yeah, in a little bit. Kellen and I are sharing a ride, I guess." And he offers a loose shrug, then pops his head in the direction of the other room. "But Jesse isn't leaving until tomorrow. He'll keep ya company." Whether or not that company is wanted is something entirely different.


Jay: Only nodding, in a way that doesn't give away his disappointment, Mike smirks. "Fantastic. I'm sure there will be all kinds of drunken debauchery." Which is one of the most ludicrous things ever; even Michael, overtly sexual as he always is, can't imagine Jesse in such a light. He falls silent, continuing to watch Tim, then finally adds in a voice low enough not to carry to the next room. "I'll miss you." It's one of those peculiar moments of Ness-honesty, a thing rarely or never seen by most, rarely enough to make one wonder if he actually feels much besides momentary impulses and satisfaction.


Jackie: If there's anything that shows how much Tim has loosened up his protective reigns over Jesse, it's the way he actually laughs for that, shaking his head in amusement as he continues to pack his bag. "Not too much debauchery, please. He's still young." Busying himself with his own actions, he doesn't catch on to his room mate's subdued behavior until those three words are nearly whispered out-- then Tim looks over his shoulder at Mike, studies his face steadily as he waits for a grin to crack out or his mood to break. But that doesn't happen and Tim still can't look away entirely; instead, he lowers his eyes to look at Mike's neck, then tries for humor. "C'mon, it won't be that long. I'm sure you'll enjoy the silence for a while."


Jay: Mike meets Tim's eyes, holding them as long as he can, biting back an impatient sigh when the other boy looks away and responds in that somewhat noncommittal way. He doesn't disagree, though; he doesn't have time; Kellen, having been headed through the shared bathroom, is just in time to catch that shared look and Tim's words. Halting in the doorway to their dorm, the younger boy bites his lip briefly to keep from a triumphant laugh.

Kellen's been uncharacteristically depressive, off and on, since his sister visited, spending a lot of time downstairs with Leech, but today - with the prospect of escape - he's in fine form, laughing more often than not, and naturally exerting himself to the fullest to make sure that he's not forgotten during his absence. Mostly this involves being very loud and making everyone uncomfortable. Thus, his entrance into Tim's and Mike's dorm is loud and likely uncomfortable for everyone but himself, as he starts to sing, all heartfelt and absurdly pitch-perfect, gesticulating grandly. "Since you've been gone, I can do whatever I want, I can see whomever I choose...I can eat my dinner in a fancy rest-au-rant, but nothing - nothing can take away these bluuues!"

Deprived of his own earnest expression by this entrance, Mike turns to look flatly at Kellen, still not having completely forgiven the kid for his part in the argument he had with Tim. "Did you want something, White?"

"'cause nothing compares - nothing compares to yoooou!" And Kellen sings on, undaunted, as he moves farther into the room. He nears Mike's bed and goes down on one knee in true serenade style, waving one arm.


Jackie: Tim instantly regrets his words as soon as he reconnects his gaze to Mike's; not accustomed to this side of his room mate, he isn't entirely sure of his own actions, and that damned look is nearly enough for Tim to let his own admission fall out. But his suite mate disrupts them before anything more can be said, and Tim snaps his head in the direction of the bathroom in time to see Kellen belching out a bastardized version of that song. As the younger boy continues on, Tim takes a calculated breath but doesn't do much to stop him; rather, he just shifts his weight to one side and crosses his arms over his chest, all too familiar with this ridiculous behavior since it's all Kellen and Jesse have been doing for the past week and a half.

And not too far behind Kellen is Jesse, also singing loudly as he flounces into the room, arms stretched out, eyes closed in focus. “It’s been so lonely without you here, like a bird without a song” which is screeched out as the youngest boy flails over to Tim and drapes his limbs over his body. “Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling—tell me, baby, where did I go wrong?” And to add more damage, Jesse flings an arm out to Mike, trying to emphasize whatever tension is going on between him and Timothy. Of course, this only makes Tim aggravated to the point that he tries to detangle from his friend, calling out over their voices. “Fucking seriously, shut up. Shut up.”


Jay: Michael continues to glower monstrously at Kellen, though it's difficult - for all his irritation, he still finds Kellen's exuberance entertaining, if not attractive, and this is much less terrible than a lot of his and Jesse's antics. But Tim is clearly not amused, so Mike doesn't give in to his urge to laugh, though the disapproval has no effect on Kellen.

In fact, Kellen is quite thrilled when Jesse joins in with him. Turning away from Mike's scowl, he hops back up, picking up the song where his roommate left off. "I can put my arms around every boy I see, but they'd only remind me - remind me of youuu!" Fitting words to deed, he throws arms around Jesse - after a quick glance tells him that Tim isn't a suitable target right now - and lifts the other boy up, spinning in a circle rapidly before setting him back on his feet. "I went to the doctor and guess what he told me, guess what he told me - he said, boy, you better try to have fun, no matter what you do - but he's a fool!"

Giving up on radiating displeasure, since it obviously isn't an effective strategy against Kellen (it never even works on him when Leech does it), Mike sits up and starts snatching items off his bedside table, throwing them at the pair of bards with accuracy, but not too much force.


Jackie: Tim’s irritation doesn’t go away entirely, but it’s safe to say it dwindles the tiniest amount as the boys continue to sing – especially in their falsetto, cat-like voices that aren’t at all evidence to how well they actually can sing. When Kellen tangles himself into Jesse, Tim is able to break free and rub a hand over his own face in hopes of wiping away his frustration; were he not so conflicted with the boy he shares a room with and a boy he’s given submission to, he’d probably be more inclined to take the Ness route of things and lean further into amusement. As it is, he can’t quite get to that point yet, but he is able to lower his head and laugh into the hand covering his face, because now the boys are doing a horrible ice skating style dance in the middle of the room.

“’Cause nothing compares….NOTHING compares to you, Michael James Ness! I want you so baaaaaaad, please just make a moooooove!” Jesse’s impromptu song edits don’t deter too far from the song’s melody, and he flings his limbs out while still somewhat holding onto Kellen’s frame. When he’s released, he doesn’t even attempt to dodge those items, instead skitters off to grab Tim and drag him closer to Michael. Which Tim does very reluctantly, feet literally dragging, and he tries to pull himself free while speaking up. “All right, Sineads, thanks for the wonderful live performance. Time to go now.”


Jay: The dancing comes close to breaking through Mike's resolve to be annoyed, but after a telling snort, he goes right on with throwing things. Something - perhaps a small flask - bounces off of Kellen's head long enough to draw his attention, and he releases Jesse, instead making attempts to catch whatever it is Mike's throwing, all the while joining Jesse in belting the chorus. Those revised lyrics trip him up for a second, but he just grins widely, and turns to face Tim - now that Mike's run out of things to throw.

There's maybe a full three seconds of silence, when it seems Kellen has given in to Tim's request. But then, of course, he takes a deep breath and goes on, even louder: "All the flowers that you planted, Timmy, in the backyard - all died when you went away! I know that living with Mike is sometimes hard - like him - but you should give him another try, because nothing compares - "

He's interrupted, thankfully, because the door to the dorm slams open loudly enough to penetrate even his distraction, and the blank-with-displeasure face of Leech that appears is enough to actually silence him. "For fuck's sake, Kellen, yer half an octave flat." He seems disproportionately angry about it. "Yer cab's on the way, get your shit together and go downstairs." This last comment he extends to Timothy with a look, not leaving time for a response before shutting the door and disappearing again. In the brief lull of his departure, Mike speaks up. "Now you mention it, Tim, the quiet might be kinda nice."

Jackie: The more Jesse tugs, the more Tim tries to pull away, and while the younger boy isn’t as strong, he’s persistent to the point that he gets Tim near Mike’s bed, his free hand then going to reach for Michael’s wrist. He gives up on his singing when his laughter becomes too much, which works out just fine because Kellen reclaims the verse in an obnoxiously loud voice. Now with both boy’s in grasp, Jesse brings their hands together and forces them to hold, then holding their conjoined hands in his own and belting out a lasting “Noooothing comparessss to youuu!” just in time for Leech to enter the room. He, every so intimidated by his teacher, immediately shuts up and looks at the doorway with wide eyes, not daring to make a noise or sound.

Tim, rigid as ever, gives Leech a slightly deer in headlights kind of look, obviously the victim in the situation. He doesn’t pull away from Mike’s hand when the parasite scans over their room, but he does look helpless enough before the oldest boy disappears. It takes a second, but Jesse is the first to break, and he releases the hands in his grasp to turn and look at Kellen, his weight pushed onto one hip. “I didn’t think you were flat at all.”


Jay: Snatching his hand back as soon as Jesse lets go of it - and surprised that the kid is so strong - Mike makes a volatile little noise of animosity at the closed door, as a matter of course, before shifting around to start putting his shoes on again. "I'll walk down with you." He sounds casual enough that he could be speaking to both Kellen and Tim, but that's doubtful.

Kellen shrugs lazily for Jesse's words, running a hand through his fuzzy hair. "Yeh, well, he cries during sex, so what does he know." The comment is distracted, dismissive; he's looking over the objects on the floor that Mike had thrown. "I actually came to see if you still had my pipe, Mike, before all the love in the air overcame me." Not finding the glass piece on the floor, he looks at Ness expectantly.

"I do; I'm holding it hostage until you stop being overcome by the love." Now with shoes on, Michael stands up and snags his jacket, shoving his hands into the pockets. Kellen, with a snort and a casual middle finger, heads back to his own room to collect the few belongings he's taking along, not needing much that isn't already at the apartment.

Jackie: Mike’s retraction spurs Tim to do the same, immediately pulling his limb back towards himself and turning back towards his side of the room, being sure to shove at Jesse without much malice. Certainly his suitemates have done far worse things over the course of the week that it doesn’t make it very difficult for Tim to brush it all off, especially when Mike does the same. But when Kellen speaks up, it trips Timothy up, and he covers his immediate reaction by coughing roughly, which turns into a fit that he has to bend over to try and alleviate.

Jesse, having found that comment all too hysterical, immediately pipes into laughter, standing more upright and swiping a hand through his messy hair. “God, Mike. What’re gonna do with yourself for all of break? I’m only gonna be around for like…the next 36 hours. How much are you gonna miss us?”


Jay: Pleased by Jesse's laughter - no doubt Kellen does and says a lot of the things he does simply to amuse his roommate - Kellen doesn't miss Tim's forced cough, either. He pauses near the bathroom door to give the older boy a squinted eye of suspicion, then hisses before disappearing: "Lace."

Smirking slightly, Mike shakes his head. "I have no idea. Surely you'll all return to find me hunched in a corner, hallucinating from sheer loneliness and muttering to myself." Despite the exaggeration, the idea is daunting, and while he can Mike tries for distraction. "What are you gonna do with yourself? You're going to Jersey too?"


Jackie: It takes longer than he’d like to regain his composure, and when Tim is finally done coughing, he looks up at Kellen just in time to catch that hiss of a word. Squinting his eyes, he doesn’t allow for much of anything else to overcome his features; instead, the tips of his ears burn as he goes back to his closet, grabbing another round of clothes to tuck neatly in his duffel. If the hidden collar wasn’t a reminder enough of what exactly he has going on with his teacher, the slow, churning feeling of heat in the pit of his stomach (caused by the mention of those undergarments) sure is—and while Tim may look occupied, his mind is elsewhere.

Jesse smiles brightly for that answer and flounces over to Mike’s bed, half dive bombing it before settling into a sitting positing, feet tucked under himself. “Aww, don’t worry Mike. We’ll be back before you know it! You should try communicating with the ghost that is stuck in this building. I’ve seen it a few times over the past month and I’m so close to getting in contact with it!” Said so earnestly, it’s adorable, of course. “I am! But…not with Kellen. I’m visiting Hoboken, and then I’ll be in New York City for a little bit. Want anything from there? Token shot glass or something?”


Jay: "Maybe I'll do that." Mike nods, trying to look as if he's at all seriously considering that suggestion, but probably failing. He hopes he isn't brought so low as to talk to ghosts. The questions make him smile a little, though. "Nah, I'm good, thanks. Just get yourself something - one of those saucy Brooklyn girls. Maybe if you get some ass, you'll stop bein' so fixated on my sex life."

Equipped with his backpack and hoodie, Kellen returns through the bathroom, looking to Tim. "You done yet? C'mon, I wanna get the hell outta here."


Jackie: Smiling broadly at Mike, since it’s so easy to do and all, Jesse perks up and bounces in place on his bed, too excited over the possibility that Mike is taking his suggestion seriously. However, that’s quickly abolished the more the older boy talks, and Jesse clutches at the neckline of his sweater in fake horror. “Michael James! I’d never!” His tone sounds like that of an old time southern girl, scandalized beyond belief. “The only thing I’m fixated on is seeing the harmony of my best friend fiiiiiinally joining together with his betrothed. My god.”

With a fair amount of clothing items stuffed into his bag, Tim goes back to the closet to snag a pair of combat boots, pairing up the laces to tie them around the strap since there’s little room left in the duffel. He quickly darts into the bathroom for a few toiletries, the last of his items he needs to pack, and when Kellen reemerges, Tim’s zipping up his bag and looks over his shoulder at him. “Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s go.”


Jay: Jesse's playacting is so convincing that Mike can't help laughing, loud and surprised-sounding. He might miss having Jesse and Kellen around after all; they're entertaining if nothing else. Recovering, he shakes his head and aims a gentle punch at Jesse's shoulder. "Nobody's betrothed. Tim might find a pretty Brooklyn girl, himself, if he wants." He looks over at Kellen's and Tim's conversation, standing again. Kellen only nods tersely at Tim, leechlike, and heads out of the room to the stairs. Mike waits for Tim to step out before following him. The hallway is noticeably chillier than the room was, and he shoves his hands deep into his jacket pockets, matching Tim's pace but not saying anything.


Jay: Leech is already outside, standing near the large circular drive in front of the entrance hall. He's bundled in beanie, hoodie, leather jacket, fingerless gloves, thick jeans and his tall boots, but his pale skin is still further bleached by the cold. There's a short line of cabs waiting, exhausts steaming, but the majority of students are going into an extended SUV, presumably all heading towards the airport, and Leech unfortunately has to be there to make sure they all get into the right vehicle, and to make sure the drivers understand their destinations.


Jackie: Overdramatic as he is, Jesse falls over onto the mattress for that gentle punch, but the grin on his face shows that no actual injury occurred. “So his betrothed!” Shifting on the bed, Jesse eventually slithers off of it and gets to his feet, reaching a delicate hand out to push a finger to Mike’s nose adorably. “He’s only got eyes for you.” And then he’s off, darting to catch up with Kellen before Mike can retort his words. Falling in step with his roommate, he leans his head over to rest it on the taller boy’s shoulder, sighing heavily while speaking, not really exaggerating with his words. “Promise me you won’t forget about me.”

Bag ready, Tim shuffles a beat up leather jacket onto his shoulders, clearly a gift from Lars – the item standing in stark contrast to the rest of his school uniform (but probably fitting in nicely with the collar still hidden from view). Hoisting his bag up onto a shoulder, Tim makes for the door and then heads down the hall, keeping at a pace that’s inviting Mike to walk next to him. He doesn’t say much as they walk, instead lets the buzzing noises from the other students bounce around the walls, but he does eventually lean over enough to bump Mike off balance, giving a little smile after doing so.


Jay: Kellen blindly slings an arm around Jesse's shoulders as they fall into step, obviously anticipating the other boy's movement. "Oh! How could I ever? I'll write every day and keep your picture close to my heart." The words are facetious, but the tone is genuinely reassuring. "You got my number, yeh? Call me if you're in Hoboken around Christmas; I'm sure I'll need a break from my relatives by then."

Watching the two kids ahead of him, Mike's eyes narrow enviously. If it weren't for their interference, he might share the same sort of easy camaraderie that they have with Tim (even though that's not what he would prefer to share with Tim). These dark thoughts interrupted by the nudge, he glances back over at Tim and returns the little smile, if not wholeheartedly, waiting for Jesse and Kellen to get partially down the staircase before following behind them. He keeps his jaw firmly shut, though; he feels more that he wants to talk to Tim, than that he has something to say to him, so whatever came out probably wouldn't do him any good.


Jackie: Laughing into the material of Kellen’s shirt, Jesse wraps his arm around the back of the boy’s hips, dangling lazily from his form. If there were to be a top five list of things he loves most about his roommate, it would certainly include the easy way he weaves in and out of Jesse’s own absurdity with little flaw. “I think the game plan is to do Christmas and stuff at my dad’s, which means I’ll be in Hoboken then. I think we’re gonna do the City for New Years. You’re totally invited, by the way.”

Dropping his gaze to the boys in front of them, Tim’s eyes might narrow in similar fashion for just how easily the younger boys interplay flirtatious behavior with genuine, (mostly) innocent friendship. To distract himself, he lifts his eyes to look back over at Michael, but only sees the wilted look on the boy’s face. He wants to try for humor again, to maybe lighten the mood or his roommate’s spirits, but he can’t find anything to joke about—so instead, he continues down the stairs and then through the main hallway, following the boys as they make it to the door that leads to the circular drive. But before they make it there, out to the hustle and bustle of the other students getting ready for departure, Tim pipes up, keeping his voice low so the others don’t hear: “I’ll miss you, too.” His voice is steady, showing the honesty behind the words, and he looks up again to that pretty face before stepping through the front door and meeting the blustering wind outdoors.


Jay: "Ahh, really?" Kellen cocks his head to side slightly, thoughtful. Leech vaguely mentioned something about New Years, but he can't recall what it was. "You doing the whole Times Square thing? That might be rad." He flinches briefly when they step outside, for the sudden cold, glancing around before heading, like a compass seeking true north, towards Leech's form, starkly black against the dirty white of the snow.

Mike looks ahead again, finding himself gritting his teeth harder the closer they get to the front drive, angered more at himself than even at their suitemates, but not angry enough to try to remedy the situation. Tim's sudden declaration takes him totally off guard, therefore. He actually freezes mid-step, like he ran into a transparent barrier, as he turns to look at Tim with a look of total blank shock. It only lasts a second, though; his jaw finally relaxes into something like his usual grin, the widened eyes narrowing again in pleasure. Tim missing him isn't much, but it is something, and falls deeply in the category of better than nothing. Pulling his collar up around his neck before stepping outside, he trails after Tim, and the other two farther ahead, not even minding all that much that it's Leech they're heading towards.


Jay: And Leech paces away from a yellow cab as it drives off, crossing another name off the list on his notepad before looking up and scanning the few small groups left with narrowed eyes. He spots Kellen, just as magnetically inclined as the boy is, and gives a brief nod as they come into speaking distance. "Yer ride just got here. 's behind the van. Wait til they come around, though; 's enough of a clusterfuck as is." And so saying, he heads off to prevent a student from getting into the wrong vehicle, very carefully not noticing Timothy as he walks up.


Jackie: “Yeah, I think so. I think my dad and his lady friend and their friends are all doing something fancy, but there aren’t really any people my age. I doubt they’re gonna stand out in the cold all day, but I kinda want to. It’d be fun, I think.” Having forgotten his coat in the dorm, Jesse snags the cuffs of his sweater and pulls them down enough to cover his hands, not too deterred by the coldness in favor of seeing his friends off. To keep warm, he keeps his body moving – and once they’re standing in place, waiting for Kellen’s cab, Jesse bounces on his feet, excited and cold.

Tim, having thought his declaration wouldn’t garner such a silent (but still shocked) response, doesn’t catch on that Mike momentarily stops mid-step—he continues on after the two boys in front of them, hunching his shoulders to shield him from the cold. When he does turn to look back at Mike, he has to crane his neck a little further to see his form, having advanced a little further when the other boy paused his stride, and it’s hard to tell if the reddening skin over Lint’s cheeks is from the cold or from bashfulness. He briefly meets those eyes, his own showing the tiniest bit of desire, but he’s distracted by the low voice of his teacher. Turning back around, he catches on to the last part of Leech’s direction and eventually stops his own progression, standing an arm’s distance away from Jesse and Kellen.


Jay: Kellen makes an agreeable noise and sets his guitar case down carefully between his feet, crossing his arms for warmth. With Leech gone, his attention diverts to Jesse again. "It could be. I haven't been to the City in a few years, and usually we just went to meet part of Mom's family at some ridiculous upscale restaurant where they give you like, two peas and a carrot and charge you twenty bucks. Be way more fun to see it with you." The mess sorted and everyone where they're supposed to be, the cab takes off, and Leech lingers to check that everyone meant to go to the airport is in the van - and that no one not meant to go to the airport is - before he starts back towards Kellen and company, theirs being one of the very few groups left.

Eventually, Mike catches up with Tim, not disappointed that Kellen and Jesse are a little distance away still and seem distracted by their own conversation. Still, he can think of nothing to say, so he says nothing, but stops standing closer to Tim that he would normally do. Though part of him doesn't want Tim to leave, another, frustrated part wishes the whole thing was done with so he could get it out of his head somehow. His gaze restlessly roams over the other students outside, catching sight of Malachi just as the boy catches sight of him. He's walking away from the loaded van, apparently seeing some friend off, but stops as he comes near enough to speak - fairly close, given Mal's typically quiet voice. "Are you leaving, Mike? I thought you were staying for break, too." Certain that having Malachi around won't help his cause any, Mike shakes his head. "I'm staying. Tim's not." He tilts his head towards Tim in explanation, taking a pointed step closer to him as he does. Whether Malachi misses the meaning of the step, or whether he truly doesn't care, he smiles a little uncertainly at Tim. "Well, have a good break, then." And to Mike's relief, Mal continues on his way, going to exchange farewells with Kellen.


Jackie: Still bouncing on the balls of his feet, Jesse brings his hands up to his mouth, cupping them there so he can blow warm air onto them in a half-assed attempt to warm up. “Oh my god, right? Or like, I don’t need a guy in a top hat to take my luggage. I’ve got two functioning arms, ya know?” He rolls his eyes and keeps up with the jerky movements, cheeks starting to turn pink from the cold wind. “We should do something, though. Or else I’m gonna be stuck ringing in the new year alone. Which is so lame.” And then, as an after thought. “Or maybe I could come to you. I doubt my dad would mind.”

Mike’s hesitance is evident enough that it puts Tim the tiniest bit on edge – typically, his roommate is so unfiltered and unrestricted, and Tim can tell that he isn’t fully expressing whatever he has going on inside of his head. Tim momentarily gets lost in that thought, maybe replays the past few days to try to piece together whatever it is that’s going on between them, and he doesn’t even notice Malachi until the boy is speaking to Michael. And if there’s anyone he doesn’t want to be near, it’s him – not just because of his lingering jealousy of whatever is between him and Leech, but also that Michael seems to have something with the obnoxiously nice kid, too. If Malachi wasn’t the common denominator, Tim would probably really like him – but as it is, the smaller boy’s presence makes Tim curl into himself even more. Lifting his head, he gives a half, forced smile as a greeting and goodbye, mind immediately wondering if Malachi is staying back for break, too. And not liking how he feels when he thinks about what could happen if Malachi is.


Jay: Kellen gives an amused snort in agreement. "Fuck, yes. My mom's sister has a butler, an actual fucking butler. Creeps me out everytime we visit. Her family's so pretentious." Although, he wouldn't mind actually hearing from his mother, occasionally. But it's easy not to dwell on that thought, focusing on Jesse's words instead. "Yeh, one way or the other; we'll keep in touch." Drawn away as Malachi approaches, Kellen steps forward to give the shorter boy an encompassing hug and loud kiss on the cheek, which is probably reassuring to poor, mistreated Malachi, who never does anything bad to anyone, and at least causes him to giggle. Leech spots Malachi from a distance and pointedly turns to another group for arranging, being entirely familiar with Tim's not-totally-irrational dislike of the kid.

Michael also pays the boy no more mind, turning back to his roommate instead, now the more encouraged to say something to him. "Tim -- " But the van finally grinds into gear and heads out, preventing audible speech for a moment, and the couple of cabs left move forward to take its place in front of the steps. Mike waits for the noise to diminish before speaking again, simultaneously reaching for Tim's hand, like he's not even aware of the action. "Look, Tim, I'm not asking you to..." He trails off briefly, gritting his teeth, then narrows his eyes in a very Ness expression, one that says he's decided something, and ignored any consequences attached. "Just. Think about it. About me." Obviously, he doesn't need to clarify any of the conversation that was left out between those two vague statements. Instead he steps forward to press his lips to Tim's, a smooth action that is easier in execution than any of the weeks of thinking he's done, his own mouth open a very little, not very much force behind it. But the hand that grasped Tim's tightens suddenly, convulsively, in some mixture of relief and fear and hope.


Jackie: Wrinkling his nose, Jesse moves his hands from in front of his mouth to cup over his ears, grinning at his roommate as he continues to bounce in place. Despite the cold weather, the kid still looks as bright as he would standing on the beach, under the sun, and his teeth start to chatter as he talks. “Seriously? A butler? Dude.” He lets out a laugh, clears his throat so he can speak in an obscure 18th century accent. “Mmmyes, Jeeves, I’d like a spot of tea on my return—“ But he doesn’t get too far, already cracking up as he reaches for Malachi, hugging him halfway after he breaks from Kellen.

Tim hears Mike’s first attempt at conversation, and starts to crane his neck and look at him straight-on, but the screeching of the van and the rumble of the approaching cabs distract him, and he breaks away to look out to the vehicles, trying to figure out his next move by locating Leech. But again, this is interrupted, but this time by something more physical; the warmth of Mike’s hand on his own instantly makes Timothy turn around, eyes dropping to their hands before refocusing on that pretty face. He doesn’t have much time to register those features, or the words that come from that mouth – before he can do so, Michael is pressing up against him, mouth on his own, and it takes a few seconds for Timothy to realize it. Eyes still open, they widen in shock, momentarily frozen until he has the sense of mind to react—then he leans his head in minutely, mouth opening only a fraction to where his lips press more solidly against Michael’s as his eyes very softly close.

This of course all occurs very quietly, and if Jesse weren’t so close to the two, he probably wouldn’t have caught it. But catch it he does, after pulling away from his brief hug to Malachi, and his eyes widen (drastically wider than Tim’s), and he lifts a hand to point at the pair, reaction eerily similar to when he first discovered Tim’s crush. “Oh my god!” And then, louder, more excited. “Oh my god! Yes! Yeeeeeeees!” And his bouncing intensifies, almost like he’s jogging in place, and his other arm reaches to direct Kellen’s face backwards to see what’s happening.


Jay: The few seconds before Tim reacts feel unbearably long to Michael, but he's gone this far, he's not about to give up easy and pull away. Instead he cants his head to the side and opens his mouth further, sharing the isolated warmth there. Nearly simultaneously Tim finally responds. Mike gives a quiet noise, something between relief and triumph, and releases the death-grip he's got on the other boy's hand in favor of stepping closer, his free hand raising to rest against Tim's chest.

Placated by hugs, Malachi hovers between Kellen and Jesse, quiet but pleased. He notices Mike kissing Tim, perhaps a split-second before Jesse does, but as his only reaction is a quiet, surprised 'Oh!' it surely goes unnoticed beneath Jesse's louder one. Kellen turns as Jesse points, already laughing for his roommate's excitement, and laughing more - though not, it should be noted, in a mocking way - when he sees the cause for it. "Dude!" Flailing an arm out, he socks Jesse lightly in the solar plexus. "We are so fucking good!" Because of course, this is all their doing. "We're like, Barry White and Marvin Gaye throwing an orgy and doing coke with--"

His voice dies abruptly, not like his usual trailing off. Kellen's eyes widen when he glances away from Tim and Mike and his gaze falls quite naturally on Leech. His brother was apparently on his way back from conferring and sending off the last little group of refugees, but he's not moving any longer, still a few long strides away. There's nothing precisely, noticeably wrong in his demeanor - his face is blank, but it's always blank; his eyes are dark, but they're bound to look dark with his skin so pale from cold; he's standing very straight, but with his short stature, he's trained himself to have good posture - yet Kellen feels an instinctive sort of horror as soon as he sees him, and an irrational urge to run at Leech and ask what's wrong, at the same time afraid to go near him.

Leech moves before Kellen can make a decision, breaking from the unnerving jungle-cat stillness and appropriately pouncing. Or, at least, taking those few strides intently to come up behind Ness. Without a word - or even any sound at all - he reaches up and clamps his left hand around the back of Ness' neck. He doesn't have to pull him away; one of his skeletal fingertips is digging exactly against a very sensitive pressure point and it causes Mike's head to arch back in reflex, away from Tim's, as Mike makes a wordless noise of agony, which Leech doesn't so much ignore as he does enjoy. "Are you fucking insane, Ness? I'm right here." Realizing the ambiguity of this remark, and how it could be taken the wrong (or the right) way, he amends: "Or maybe you just forgot that entire chapter of rules against student fraternization?" Unable, really, to speak, Mike tries twisting the other way instead, one of his own hands trying to reach back to detach the parasite's grip. Now Leech steps away, and Ness is forced to move with him.


Jackie: Eyes closed and body motionless, Tim’s deaf to the world—whatever Jesse’s exclaiming in his high-pitched, excited tone, and whatever Kellen is spouting off in that voice that carries so well, Tim can’t hear it; rather, his senses seem to be collected, making the touch against his skin fireball in contrast to the cool air. The only physical move he makes is with his mouth, which opens very minutely to match Michael’s, head only slightly turning in the opposite direction as he lower lip drags against the other boy’s. When the death-like grip slackens, Tim’s hand scrambles, fingers wrapping around the wrist and anchoring him there, although this action can’t be seen by anyone due to their positioning.

Retracting both hands, Jesse claps them together at his chest, hopping up and down like he’s unable to contain his excitement. “Holy shit! Yes! Kellen!” is all Jesse can get out, that alongside squeals of delight as he watches the two kiss, clearly triumphant. “It was the Sinead, I fucking know it. Brilliant idea.” Which is accompanied by a clap to the back of Kellen’s neck and another burst of laughter that is entirely too infectious.

But it doesn’t last, not with the way Kellen very abruptly stops his celebrating, and Jesse’s eyes follow the path of Kellen’s to land on the approaching Leech, who looks more pissed off than Jesse has ever seen first hand. He doesn’t have time to change his mood, and doesn’t have time to think better of himself—he just bursts out in that cheeky, whiney voice, totally unaware of why Leech would be upset: “Oh, c’mon, let the lovebirds have a moment! No one else is around to see.”

With all of this going on, Tim’s still vastly unaware—until Mike’s mouth is pulling away from his own, and Tim’s head follows, leans to try to stay connected. It’s only when Leech’s voice enters his ears that Tim snaps his eyes open, wide and confused. He darts his gaze to watch Leech tug his roommate away, but he can’t even formulate words, still way too shocked from getting kissed in the first place to even recognize that it’s over.


Jay: Forcibly backing away from Tim, step by step, Mike shoots the other boy a vaguely apologetic glance in the midst of his squirming struggles. He reaches back to get at Leech's hand, to try to pull it away, but Leech's free hand clamps too-tightly around that wrist. Abruptly reminded of the sound of Tony's bones snapping, Mike freezes, half-bent at the waist with one arm ludicrously locked behind his head. He hisses through clenched teeth, but manages to make his voice sound somewhat mild. "All right, let me go, I stopped."

Leech doesn't respond to Jesse's interjection at all, but Kellen reflexively steps to stand partially in front of his roommate, like a shield, dragging along the Malachi who has his hands clenched around Kellen's upper arm. Clearly, he's not seen much of this side of Leech. Kellen's unease is not decreased at all by being thrust into an absurd position of possibly having to protect his friends against an irate brother, so he's very glad that Leech seems to be ignoring all of them.

He does release Ness' neck, once they're quite a few paces away. Though still restrained by the wrist, the boy immediately jerks away from Leech and spins to face him, not bothering to hide the outright hatred on his face, but surprised when he sees at least an equal amount of hatred in Leech's typically unreadable eyes. He's been here long enough to know that students don't really get punished for 'fraternizing' unless they're blatant and flaunt it - which, granted, he was doing - and is yet too hurt and confused to make sense of why Leech is so violent about it. "Get inside. I'll deal with you when I'm done here." Leech waits a long, pointed moment, squeezing Ness' wrist hard enough to grind the bones, before releasing that hold as well, with a violent sort of throwing motion.

Though sometimes stupid, Michael isn't dumb; with a quick glance at Tim and a quicker one at the little trio behind him, he straightens his jacket and starts back up the entrance stairs, taking care to walk and not run away.


Jackie: Tim remains standing there, dumbfounded and still absolutely shocked, his eyes wide like a helpless puppy dog as he watches Michael get yanked away by the boy a few nights earlier he was sharing a bed with. His jaw drops slightly, nothing more than a few centimeters, so he can breathe, but he doesn’t pull his eyes away from his roommate—even with Leech’s commanding presence. Instead, he looks like he can’t even begin to believe what Michael just did, his own feet cemented to the ground.

While Ness gets pulled away (the violence behind Leech’s actions not subtle in the least), Jesse bounces near them, taking the strength of Leech’s hand more of a sign of the man’s distaste for Michael than anything else. “Holy shit! You did it! You kissed him!” And clearly Jesse is far more pleased than anyone right now, at least outwardly so, as he starts to bounce in a wide circle around Michael, Leech, and Timothy. “This is the greatest fucking day ever! About damn time, Mike! It was the rose petals on the bed sheets that did ya in, wasn’t it? You can tell me.”

The cabs jockey into positioning behind them, breaking to a halt before the driver gets out to start collecting bags. Of course, this goes ignored by the gaggle of boys, Tim still completely unable to move as he stares at Mike. As the older boy starts to retreat, Jesse follows after him, circling around him as he hops up and down, clapping and flailing limbs as if he just won the lottery. “Tim, he’s blushing! Look what you’ve done to him! Oh my god Kellen, we need to start a dating service. I’m not even kidding.”


Jay: Mike's state of complete bafflement is not helped by Jesse's circling and clucking, but the kid's exuberance does force him to focus on the essential fact of what he did to be so mistreated; that is, he kissed Tim. Finally. So by the time he's gotten to the top of the short flight of wide stairs, he can't find it in him to care much that he's likely to be suffering much worse than a bruised neck and throbbing wrist soon. As he reaches the entrance doors, Mike glances over and slightly back at Jesse, to give him a quick, bright grin, then disappears into the looming building.

Kellen just stays where he is, torn between the urge to dive onto Jesse the way he would if a bomb were about to go off, to protect his adorably ignorant roommate, and the urge to go to Leech and...well, he isn't sure what he would do, then. So he stays put, only turning his head to speak to Malachi, who clearly is more affected than Jesse. "Prolly need to head to your dorm, pumpkin-spice. I think we're next to leave." Mal nods, still a little wild-eyed, but reassured, and slinks after Mike.

Watching long enough to be sure that Ness is actually going, Leech takes the opportunity to freeze out whatever emotions are still roiling around and ignore what those emotions make him want to do. When he turns around again, he's still simmering, but more or less collected, and since Malachi is looking at him like he's about to explode, he gives the kid a brief nod of reassurance, heading back to the drive. The look he gives Jesse is more exasperated, but not volatile. "Michaels, say goodbye and get inside. Armstrong, Kellen, yer up next." In fact, their cab is the only one left, and Leech is grateful more people weren't witness to that display. He lets his eyes trail over Tim, but they don't linger, because he very much dislikes the expression he sees there, and he goes to help the driver collect the baggage.



Jackie: Still bouncing around Mike, Jesse slows down briefly when they reach the top of the stairs, instead clapping his hands to his chest and actually squealing in delight; at this point, it’s hard to tell whether the kid just watched Mike make the first move, or if he’s been given a giant, fluffy bunny that’s guaranteed to never die – because surely, his response would be the same. The expression doesn’t even falter when Leech barks out that order, and Jesse quite flamboyantly flounces back down the stairs so he can glomp all over Timothy in what may be a hug. “Oh my god, Lint. Lint! He kissed you and you kissed back and oh my god, have a safe trip! Tell Lars I say hello. Get some sex tips from him—I’m sure he’s got tricks up his sleeves.” While all of this is being said, Tim finally breaks from his wide eyed shock and only sort of grabs at the body laced between his, not trying to pull him off but not really keeping him in place, either. Taking a step back, Tim blinks a few times, as if remember where they’re standing, and then reaches down for the guitar he placed at his feet sometime between being kissed and being glomped. He nearly tells Jesse to shut up, but he can’t even remember the things the boy says twenty seconds after they’re said—mind completely elsewhere. Jesse continues: “And Kellen!”

Departing from his friend, Jesse turns to glomp Kellen, probably draping himself over the boy much more fully due to his height, kissing him all over his cheeks like a full on idiot. “Bye Kellen! Oh my god I’m gonna miss you. But I’ll call you! Like, for real.”


Jay: Tossing Kellen's backpack into the cab's trunk, Leech is certainly moving more stiffly than usual, even if his face is blank as ever. His shoulders tense up even more, visibly, when Jesse attacks Tim - particularly at the 'you kissed back' part - and Kellen, not yet having moved from his place, eyes the parasite warily. Whatever it is that just happened, there's undoubtedly more to it than he understands, and the triumph of Mike and Tim finally doing something is subsumed by his uneasy worry. But Jesse, like always, draws him away from his distraction, and he wraps both arms tight around his roommate's waist, lifting him from the ground, laughing some for the ridiculous kisses and doing his best to return them. "I'm gonna miss you, too!" Setting Jesse down, he holds the other boy at arm's length. "Please, please call. I shall wilt like a lily watered with vinegar 'til I hear your melodious voice again."


Jackie: The cab driver plucks the guitar case from Tim’s hand, not asking permission to do so since he undoubtedly wants to get on the road and continue on his day, and that stirs Timothy into action; hoisting up the duffel bag still strapped over his shoulder, he turns to make his way towards the cab, his free hand going to cup Jesse’s scalp so he can pull that head close and kiss his temple. He doesn’t bother with words, since his voice would undoubtedly not work, and rounds the vehicle and gets in the back seat, duffel between his legs.

Jesse only responds by giggling, rubbing at Tim’s scalp in return, and then smiles brightly at Kellen. “You and that Justin kid should take a poetry seminar together. You’d both do so well.” Taking a step back, he bounces again on his feet as the other boy gets into the cab, waving obnoxiously at Tim who looks like he’s contemplating life and all its drama in the back seat.


Jay: Kellen almost makes a comment about the wonderful poetry he and Justin could make together, complete with heavy sexual innuendo, but that's a little too far for even him to go, so he stops himself. Instead he gives Jesse a final kiss on the tip of the nose and steps back, hoisting his own guitar case. "See ya soon, Jess." He slides the guitar carefully into the front seat, near the driver.

Leech glances, briefly, at Timothy as the boy rounds the car, but his face still gives nothing away, and he steps away quickly to retrieve a blanket-draped carton that was set aside. As he picks it up to hand off to Kellen, the case gives a plaintive but quiet mewl, the cat inside possibly sedated for her trip. Kellen moves this into the backseat, once Tim is in, to rest between their own seats, then straightens and turns back to Leech. He says nothing, but his expression and his stubbornly crossed arms and more or less every line of his form is expectant.

"Get in, Kellen. Driver's arready got directions." Kellen doesn't move, so Leech reluctantly looks away from the clipboard he's using to try to look busy, meeting the boy's gaze. After a brief contest of wills, he hisses a sigh. "Get in the car. I'll explain later."

Kellen's eyes narrow suspiciously, but he gives in after a moment, placated by Leech's admission that there is, at least, something that needs to be explained. Knocking snow from his boots before sliding into the cab, he pauses half-in to look back at Leech. "You won't be too late?"

Annoyed by Kellen's ability to break through his barriers, Leech shrugs tensely. "No later than I have to be." Once Kellen's fully in the car, Leech shuts the door behind him and steps back, nodding at the driver. As soon as the cab is pulling out, he heads inside, since theirs was the last to depart.


Jackie: For a fraction of a second, Jesse thinks that Kellen is going in for the kill, and nearly eeps when he thinks the kid is going to kiss him on the lips. But that mouth stops short at his nose and after its kissed, Jesse wrinkles it and laughs, playfully shoving the boy away. It’s only when both boys are seated in the vehicle that he starts his flouncing, flailing his arms as he starts to sing out: “Tim and Mi-chael, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G—“ which he continues to sing as he hops up the stairs, surely to seek out his suitemate and harass him entirely.

Back in the car, Tim looks blankly out the window up until Kellen approaches the vehicle; he listens to the way he confronts Leech, and it’s when he hears the eldest boy speak that the worry and tension of what just happened hits him—rather than only being shocked and confused by his roommate, now he’s got Leech to throw into the mix, which surely doesn’t make him feel any better. If he were braver, he’d try to lean down, connect eyes with Leech and silently beg for forgiveness or understanding, but he can’t muster that yet—rather, he just takes a deep breath when Kellen gets in, and the taxi heads for the freeway.


Jay: In the cab, Kellen absently transfers the cat carrier back to his lap, lifting the blanket to peer at the kitten through the front of the case. Satisfied that she's not freaking out, he leans back, gnawing on his lower lip for a moment and staring distractedly out of the windshield. But whatever is wrong with Leech, no amount of thinking about it will do Kellen any good right now, so he dismisses it for the time being and turns to glance at Tim. "So, was it all you'd dreamed it could be? Is his tongue like velvet?" Ignoring, of course, how Kellen's entirely qualified to answer that latter question himself.


Jackie: With his duffel bag on the floorboard between his legs, Tim starts to distractedly shake one leg repeatedly—nothing too anxious or telling, but clearly, the boy is on edge. At first, he’s grateful for that voice, since it’ll undoubtedly provide a distraction from the thoughts swirling around his head, but that gratitude is quickly demolished when the context is understood. “What? No, Kellen—“ And then he sighs again, moving to rest his temple against the cool glass of the taxi’s window. “Really. Just don’t.”


Jay: Kellen cocks his head to the side a little, looking at Tim curiously. It's apparent that Tim's earlier state of elated bewilderment has turned into something else, and the tension he displays even gives Kellen pause. But he's not too inclined to tease right now, anyway, with his own brooding mindset. "Arrite." The agreement comes easily enough, and he falls silent in contemplation for another moment before changing topics. "Y'know, I think Leech must've grown sorta fond of you. Last time I saw him that pissed off, he was threatening to shoot our father."


Jackie: Thankful for how easily Kellen takes that half-plea, Tim sighs again, trying to calm himself down. His leg keeps it’s shaking, but Tim recognizes it when the movement starts to make a noise from his pants rubbing against his duffle bag. Dropping an arm, he grasps at his own thigh and stops himself, trying for control. Kellen’s second attempt at conversation is actually quite worse than the first, but Tim knows he has to stifle himself from making that apparent. So he takes another sharp inhale, shakes his head without lifting it from the glass. “Probably just a long day for him.”


Jay: Eyes narrowing suspiciously for that response, Kellen looks at Tim more closely. The fact that Tim apparently doesn't think Leech's attack on Mike was more violent than normal makes the whole thing weirder. "No..." He sort of draws the syllable out, thoughtful. "No, Leech doesn't lose control like that from just a long day." It's clear he'll get no more explanation from Tim than he did from Leech, though, so Kellen shrugs it off and glances out the window. "Hope he'll take time to chill out before he punishes Mike." This is more casual, he doesn't sound too concerned, and he occupies himself in watching the wilderness turn suddenly into more populated areas, and then quickly to the outskirts of the city.


Jackie: Tim momentarily lifts his head away from the glass, maybe to look over at Kellen and try to draw more information from the boy (since he clearly knows Leech better), but he deflates when the boy continues to talk—the thought of Mike’s punishment feels like a turning dagger in his gut, and Tim drops his head back to the glass with a fairly solid thud. Eyes downcast, he wrinkles his nose in thought, eventually murmuring out. “Me, too.” And then he pauses, sincerely means it because even if it’s not his fault, he still has the distinct ability to point the blame on whatever webs he’s weaved with both boys. “Maybe Jess will get him to lighten up.”


Jay: Kellen gives a quiet but emphatic snort of doubt. "Well, if anyone could, it's prolly Jesse." Or Kellen himself, but that's obviously not an option. The bundle on his lap gives a groggy yowl, and Kellen instinctively rests a hand over it, sitting up as the cab exits onto the Boston streets near the apartment. The sight of them obviously lifts his spirits quite a bit. "Fuck, it's good to get out of there. I was getting pretty damn claustrophobic, staying inside all the time 'cuz of the cold."


Jackie: If he weren’t in this funk, Tim would probably smile for that, snort in amusement because it’s true—Jesse certainly has that very particular way about him. But judging the song the blonde decided to belt out upon their departure, he’s not all that convinced that the boy would be best suited to cheer Leech up. Another sigh and Tim sits back more in the seat, slouching until he can rest the back of his neck against the ledge of the car seat. “It’ll be nice to get away, that’s for sure.” And then, lolling his head to the side, he nods at the bundle in Kellen’s lap. “Stow away?”


Jay: Nodding emphatic agreement, Kellen cranes his head a bit to see around the cars in front of them as traffic necessitates their own ride to slow. Tim's words cause him to glance away, and he reaches to flip the covering blanket away from the front of the case (which is, as one might expect, very bright pink) that holds the cat so that Tim can see her. "Yeh. Leech didn' wanna leave her at the school, in case the heater in the basement dies again. But I guess she didn't like the idea of being caged too much. He told me he had to drug her to get her in." And indeed, the cat looks drugged, blearily opening an eye to look back at Tim and opening her mouth to yowl again - but yawning instead.


Jackie: Keeping his head lolled to the side, Tim eyes at that creature with an arched eyebrow, not too unlike his roommate (obviously a trait he’s picked up over the past few months). Not much of a cat person, he observes the animal curiously, eventually unable to stop the faint grin from forming on his face when that yawn overtakes the little creature. Amused, he quips: “Shocking.” As they near the innards of the city, Tim can feel his own muscles relax, and then he refocuses on the cat. “You know how they say that people resemble their pets? They weren’t lying.”


Jay: Kellen laughs at that, leaning over to look at the cat himself and gauge its resemblance to Leech. Affronted with the face that suddenly appears, Cat opens both eyes wider and gives a perfunctory hiss, which only makes Kellen laugh more. "Yer kinda right." He sits up, covering the crate again. "I never had pets at home; Mom thinks animals are filthy. 'course, she'd say the same of me." He doesn't sound too wounded by that, peering through the windshield again as the cab finally creeps up to the front of the apartment building and eases into a parallel parking spot. Unlatching his belt, Kellen hops out almost before it's stopped moving, taking Cat along as he rounds the car to get his guitar and, once those two items are set down, retrieve his bag from the trunk too.


Jackie: Tim allows for a smile to form, especially when that cat hisses out—surely, the resemblance is uncanny. Knowing that Kellen doesn’t have the solid relationship at home, Tim can sympathize (probably relates all too well to it), so he’s careful to keep his tone just as light hearted. “Yeah, me neither. Never really grew up with pets, but Jess did. He had this chocolate lab since he was pretty much a baby-- never used to leave his side. He used to wait for him at the bus stop.” As they inch towards the apartment building and the screechy brakes eventually bring the car to a halt, Tim gets out almost as quickly as Kellen, snagging his bag and rounding the vehicle to grab his guitar case. Once everything is accounted for, he starts into the building, letting Kellen lead the way since the boy should be the one with access into the apartment.


Jay: Kellen conscientiously tips the cab driver, once they've acquired all their luggage, then hauls his backpack on and picks up the guitar case and the cat carrier, heading inside. "Yeah, he's got a picture of that dog on his desk, I've seen it. Does he still have it?" After pressing the button for the elevator, Kellen looks to Tim curiously. The elevator must only have been a floor away, because it arrives instantaneously, and Kellen steps in as soon as the doors open.


Jackie: Following after Kellen, Tim adjusts the strap on his shoulder and nods his thanks to the cab driver, who is nice enough to grab the door for them both before striding back to his car. Once inside, Tim waits at the elevator, eyes watching the arrow above it until it lights up, signifying that its here. Stepping inside, he hums in thought as they make it up to Leech's floor, no one else joining them on the ride. "...ya know, I really don't know. He'd be old if he was, though. He was still around when I was first sent to St. U's, I remember that much." Exiting on to their floor, Tim starts towards Leech's room, having remembered which direction from his last visit, but doesn't get too ahead of the younger brother. "Jesse brought him over, the morning that I was supposed to leave. He had this master plan that we'd all run away and live under the boardwalk at the beach."


Jay: Shifting his hold on the cat crate, Kellen heads down the hallway once they've reached the right floor, laughing briefly. "That sounds like one of his plans." His affection for his roommate is obvious in the warmth in his voice. "It may still be alive, though. Dogs can live a long time, and Jesse's not that old." Reaching the right door, Kellen sets down Cat for a moment to dig his keys out of his pocket and unlock the door, pushing it open and walking in after picking her up again. Immediately, he sets the guitar against a wall and drops the cat carrier and backpack. "Fuck! It's cold in here. Shoulda left the heater on when we left last time." Walking across the room, Kellen locates the thermostat and turns it up drastically, the vents turning on audibly.


Jackie: Tim makes a noise of consideration for that, still smiling from his earlier detailing of Jesse's Master Plan, speaking while crossing into the apartment. "That's true. He probably would've told me, if they had to put him down or something." Shrugging noncommittally, he follows the same direction of Kellen and place his guitar against the wall, being more mindful with his duffel - which he places off to the side, out of the way and near the shelving unit housing the record player. The further he enters the room, the warmer his cheeks get - memories certainly coming back of what happened the last time he was here. "...shouldn't take too long to warm up, at least. Do you know what time he's going to make it back?"


Jay: "I fuckin' hope not. Goddamn." This in response to how long the room takes to heat up, hunching his shoulders a little. For the question, he shakes his head, but is interrupted from responding verbally by another impatient yowl, notably less groggy this time. Snorting, Kellen walks back over and crouches down to unzip Cat's crate. She bolts out immediately, though wobbling more than is strictly common for a graceful cat, and then starts slowly pacing the room and sniffing at things through her flat nose, obviously distrustful of her new surroundings. Straightening, Kellen watches her with amusement. "Nah, not exactly. He's gotta get everything organized for tomorrow, and all the other kids staying behind, but he said it probably wouldn' be later than eight or nine. Then again, that was before he had Ness to torture, so who knows." Throwing off a one-armed shrug, Kellen heads across the short hallway into the kitchen. "Ya want a beer?"


Jackie: Now inside, Tim starts to unravel his coat from his body, pacing around the room uncertainly and absolutely blushing when he sees the DVD case for the Exorcist poking out from one of the shelves of the TV unit. It's harder than he would've thought to mask his disappointment for Kellen's answer, but perhaps it's for the best-- it's not as though Tim could be in his relaxed state with Leech when the guy's little brother is around. "At least he's able to get away from the school, too. Seems like he could use a break." When the cat emerges, looking as snooty and pretentious as fuck, Tim walks over to her and bends down, offering out his fingers for her to inspect before she starts winding around his feet. "And he shouldn't do anything harsh to Mike. It wasn't a big deal."


Jay: Kellen makes a noise of agreement as he continues to the kitchen, adding in a not very subtle way: "He needs to get laid so he can fuckin' relax." Although, on second thought, given that Leech getting laid usually requires a visit from Ruckus, that probably wouldn't be too restful. But Kellen doesn't qualify his answer, returning from the kitchen a moment later. He offers Tim a beer despite the other boy not answering his question, then takes a long drink from his own before setting it down, shucking his jacket and tossing it over the back of the couch. "No, it wasn't. I dunno why he got so pissed about it."


Jackie: Flickering his fingertips at the cat, who busies herself by continuously winding through Tim's legs, Tim nearly coughs out for that response but is able to swallow it down, not needing to go into another fit based on a remark Kellen makes about his brother. The jingling from the fridge being opened makes the cat dart towards the kitchen to inspect, and Tim takes the opportunity to stand upright and make his way towards the couch. Sitting down into it, he sinks into the cushions comfortably, shifting his coat entirely off and tossing it over the arm. Grabbing at the offered beer, he nods his thanks and drowns himself into the brim of the bottle so he can have tim to formulate an answer. "Probably just tired, ready for break." And that's all he can get out, so he silences himself with another drink.


Jay: There's a shake of the head, because Kellen still doesn't buy that reason, but he doesn't otherwise argue. It's useless to speculate. After unzipping and removing his hoodie, as well, Kellen hauls himself over the back of the couch to sort of flop onto the cushions near Tim. Reclaiming his beer, he takes another drink that leaves the bottle half-empty, then stretches his legs out to rest on the coffee table. Likewise, his arms stretch over his head, and his back arches, and he makes a contained noise of pleasure for the cracking of his spine. "Ahhh...freedom. What should we do with it?" Sinking back into the couch, he throws a look at Tim while drinking yet more of that beer.


Jackie: He doesn't drink nearly as much, as quickly as Kellen does, but Tim does take another swig from his bottle, a sort of screwed up safety net. Removing his mouth from the brim of the bottle, he shrugs loosely, sinking more into that couch and looking like he doesn't plan on moving much, if at all. "...this seems pretty all right with me. Could turn on a movie." Which he motions to with his free hand. "Or figure out dinner. I'm not hungry, but we could order something and have it ready for when Leech comes back." Maybe trying to think of something that'll get him brownie points.


Jay: Kellen squints thoughtfully, contemplating this plan, and though normally he'd insist on something more active the past week of exams (and intermittent depression) has left him pretty drained. So he eventually nods once, strongly. "You got a point." Downing the remainder of that beer as if to seal his words, he rolls off the couch to retrieve more, coming back not only with another beer, but a small bag of beef jerky, which seems mostly intended for the cat - he bends over to offer her a piece when he enters the room. She sniffs at it, then rears onto her hind legs with enthusiasm to bat the dried meat from Kellen's hand, attacking it voraciously when it falls to the floor. Then Kellen continues on, to the entertainment center, flopping onto the ground in front of it and starting to haul various DVDs out of the cabinet. "Lessee...anything in particular you wanna watch?"


Jackie: Taking another, longer drink from his bottle, Tim's very nearly laying down by the time Kellen's down at the entertainment center, rifling through the DVDs. He shrugs, or attempts to shrug in that position, toeing off his shoes and using his toes to position them somewhat neatly near the coffee table. Which makes him think about his time here previously, Leech's wine bottle on the table. Which leads to the thought process of going into the kitchen, and the downward spiral, and really-- Tim should've known he'd be doomed in this apartment. Clearing his throat, he refocuses his attention to Kellen, speaking up. "Not really. Cheesy slasher movie, maybe?"


Jay: Still pulling more discs out of the cabinet, Kellen hums thoughtfully, peering around at the cases circling him on the floor. "Evil Dead? Or The Shining, that's always good." Taking a case in either hand, he tips over backwards, holding them up for Tim's perusal. The cat has finished her treat now, but is poking around on the carpet for remnants. When she can't find any, she ambles over to Tim, hopping up into his lap and giving a demanding mewl.


Jackie: "Do the Shining. I haven't watched that one in years." And he's truthful in saying so - fairly certain the last time he watched it, he was with Jesse back in California, and that's obviously some time ago. When the cat hops onto his form, Tim isn't entirely sure what to do; she steps up his tummy while making that mewling noise, very much demanding with the way she paws at the hand that is holding the beer bottle. Watching her, Tim kind of chuckles, but is serious: "I literally have nothing for you." Which is only answered with another mewl, this one a little more angered, and Tim tries to slide her away, more onto the couch cushion. "You've given her blood lust, Kellen. Fix it."


Jay: Kellen sits up and proceeds to put the requested movie on, then flips around, crawling back to the couch. Once there, he resumes his previous lazy position, resting his beer on his tummy - not drinking this one so quickly - and looking over at the cat blankly. "Is this that 'If you give a mouse a cookie' syndrome?" The cat has no answer, but under Kellen's scrutiny, switches her attentions and pads back over to him. In short order, Kellen gives in, leaning forward to reclaim the bag of jerky and give her another small piece, taking one for himself, too. Still chewing, he looks at Tim curiously. "Are you comin' to Jersey with us, for Christmas?"


Jackie: Tim actually laughs for that, the way Kellen regards the kitten and the way she doesn't let up in her demands. Reaching over, he lightly scratches at her butt, which she promptly ignores in favor of more jerky. Tim's eyes flicker over to the television, watching the opening credits to the movie, and he takes another drink-- thoroughly enjoying the alcohol even though he doesn't partake frequently. "Yeah, I think so. Don't have anywhere else to go." Which is said lightly, like it's not big deal, but he does return his gaze to Kellen's face, curious. "Unless ya want alone time. Which I get. I could call up Lars."


Jay: Only nodding for Tim's response, Kellen washes down the jerky with more stout, but looks quickly back at Tim when the boy continues. He grins a little, eyes narrowing in amusement. "Alone time? Oh, to be sure; Leech and I can kick you out and indulge our immoral brotherly lust." He shakes his head, grinning more widely. "Nah, I just wondered, if you come with us, how we'll explain that if Jesse meets up with us. But it's not a big deal." He waves his beer bottle airily, dismissing the question. "So Lars really did move out here? I thought you just told Mike and Jesse that as an excuse."


Jackie: For that, Tim almost believes him, eyes wide as he looks over at the younger boy in surprise-- but it breaks after a moment, when the boy is clearly joking, and Tim stretches a leg out to kick out at him playfully. "Shut up." Settling back more comfortably, Tim takes another sip of beer, still not even half way done with it. "I'm sure I could come up with something. Or chances are, he'd be too excited to see you than to really question anything." And he says it with a smile, like it doesn't bother him as much just how close Jesse is with his roommate. "And yeah, he did. Not to Boston, he's in Baltimore, but that isn't too far. I think he might meet up with us for New Years."


Jay: Noticing the momentary confusion and near-belief in Tim's eyes, Kellen cackles loudly, batting at Tim's foot when it comes in distance. "Oho, you think I'm joking!" Which he is, naturally, even if the closeness between himself and Leech comes perilously close to a more sexual attraction at times. "Right, Jesse not question something, that'll happen." He snorts a little and rolls his eyes, absently giving Cat another small piece of dried flesh when she paws at his hand. "That'd be rad; I liked Lars. I'm pretty sure Leech said that Duster's having some sort of party then, at the shop; I'm sure he'd get along with Lars." Because Duster gets along with virtually everyone, so unlike his hetero-life-mate Ruckus.


Jackie: Tim breaks a little bit more for that very distinctive laugh - definitely an east coast thing. "...ya got a point. Regardless, he won't care. He'll be happy to be around everyone again. He hates being alone." As if that wasn't obvious enough, what with the kid's desire to always be doing something with someone at all times. Curling his legs back onto the couch, Tim's eyes divert to the television, but his voice doesn't show any distraction. "Yeah, he's...he's a good guy." Said with a chuckle, he shakes his head, then adds on. "He'd probably like to come to that. Don't think he knows too many people on this coast. But...then again." He pauses, contemplates. "He kind of knows someone everywhere he goes. Just one of those people."


Jay: Kellen tilts his head slightly, staring towards the screen but not focused on it. "'Good guy' isn't really the first impression that I got, but sure you're prolly right." Because the first impression he got probably had little to do with Lars' personality and more to do with his general sexiness. He takes a long drink of beer, still watching the TV distantly, before abruptly turning to Tim again. "Did you fuck him?" That comes out more blunt and demanding than he meant, so he tries to soften it some: "I mean, ahh...seemed like there was some history there, is all."


Jackie: Again, that causes a rumble of amusement to filter out of Tim's mouth, but he doesn't look at Kellen while answering. "He is. I mean, he'd beat the hell out of anyone that laid a finger on me, but deep down? Total teddy bear." Which probably isn't too hard to decipher from the older boy-- he certainly shows protective behavior even in the way he interacts with Timothy. The question doesn't shock Tim, but it certainly lacks any filter and Tim tries to only look at the screen, but this time isn't focusing on the movie. "Eh..." Which clearly means it's complicated. "I was with him, before coming to St. U's. Back in California."


Jay: That description causes Kellen to smirk, and he can definitely imagine it suiting Lars. He's by no means surprised that Tim leaves his answer sort of vague, actually a little surprised that his reaction was so mild. "Ahhh." For a moment, he tries to leave it at that, but he's Kellen so naturally he's impelled to continue the line of questioning. "So you were interested in dudes before you came here, then?" At least the question is more general, and the curious tone of it gives away Kellen's own inexperience and youth, more than his usual behavior does.


Jackie: Perhaps because he knows Kellen is related to Leech, or that the boy is so close to Jesse, but Tim's inclined to open up to his suitemate, at least on this subject. Drawing away from the television completely, Tim shifts so he can look more directly at the boy across the couch from him, then shrugs a shoulder lazily. "I don't know...I guess. I mean," he waves a hand, descriptively so, and takes another draw from his beer before elaborating. "Lars was the first person to ever kiss me. I don't think I even really thought about sex before he came around. So it's always kind of been like that." Which is weird to say, out loud, here in Boston, but here he is.


Jay: "Ahh." That noise is more confused-sounding this time, and Kellen darts a sideways glance at Tim. Though the older boy is by no means as active as some of the others at the school, Kellen didn't suspect that Tim was even less widely experienced than he is himself - if one counts experience by numbers, rather than by encounters, that is. But he does mention sex, which implies that he's got experience that Kellen doesn't, so Kellen takes a large gulp to kill his hesitance before speaking again. "What I'm trying to get at, is...I guess...what is it like? With a guy." There's another look from the corner of his eyes, but he endeavors to sound less curious than he actually is.


Jackie: Tim keeps his focus on Kellen, watches the transition of curiosity take over the younger boy. It takes a second for him to realize that Kellen's words mean that he's a proper virgin (a shocking detail in its own right), but his eyes do soften the tiniest amount for it, probably unnoticeable unless it was being looked for. "Oh...uh., well." And then he shifts, takes another, longer, drink of his beer, craning his neck to the side to pop it. "I've only ever been with guys, so...I guess I can't really give an accurate description, but." And then he thinks, probably blushes when he thinks about his last sexual encounter, and takes a moment to compose himself before continuing. "It hurts, the first time. Or for the first time in a long time. But it's a good kind of hurt. And it's not really delicate, which...I'd assume being with a girl would be like. Umm." And that blush is totally there, creeping up from under his jawline. "But it's good. Really good."


Jay: Giving up his detached air, Kellen half-turns to face Tim, big eyes watching him intently as he takes in that explanation. It's somewhat surprising that Tim has never been with a girl, but it doesn't interest Kellen for long; he only smirks and shakes his head. "Girls aren't delicate. 'least not the ones I've been with." This is just an aside, and he quickly returns to the subject of interest. "But is it...ahhh..." He trails off briefly, squinting an eye as he chooses his words. "I've heard, that it's kinda different, to get off like that. Different from...y'know." He waves a hand descriptively in the general direction of his crotch, in case Tim can't decipher what he means. "Is it better, do ya think? I mean, do you like to be on the bottom more?"


Jackie: Suddenly, Tim's beer seems all the more better suited inside of his belly, and he takes longer drags from the bottle as Kellen talks. It's fairly amusing, just how articulate the boy is trying to be in the situation, and Tim momentarily feels a little pang of appreciation because despite the context of the conversation, he's getting to know Jesse's new best friend a little better. That all goes out the window when those last questions are asked, and Tim chokes out a laugh and goes to bury it in the bottle, easily finishing the rest of his beer before sitting up fully and getting to his feet. "Allllll right. Enough of that conversation. Does Leech have any popcorn? Sounds good right now." And thusly, he heads towards the kitchen, probably intending on grabbing another beer.


Jay: The narrowing of his eyes is due this time to disappointment, and Kellen desists against the arm of the couch with an exaggeratedly long sigh. "Yer no help at all." Tilting up his beer bottle, he finishes the liquor inside, and leans over to set it on the coffee table. "I woulda asked Mike, but I know he'd laugh at me. Or offer to show me." Rolling his eyes, Kellen watches Tim depart, calling after him: "Popcorn's in the cabinet over the coffee machine. Bring me another beer, too."


Jackie: Laughing for that, Tim half jogs into the kitchen, placing his empty beer bottle near the sink while silently happy to be avoiding that conversation. Locating the popcorn, he unwraps a package and sticks it into the microwave, then goes to grab more beers out of the fridge. "I would've thought Mike already showed you." Said lightly enough that there isn't jealousy or dissatisfaction there-- genuinely, he thought the two had sex months ago.


Jay: Kellen slumps further onto the couch, bending his legs up and rolling his head to the side to stare at the TV, though he isn't really seeing it. He blindly seeks out the pack of smokes from his pocket and focuses on lighting one. The comment from Tim makes his eyebrows raise, though the other boy isn't there to see it, and he calls back once he's exhaled. "Is that a conversation you wanna have?" With what just occurred between them, Kellen doubts Tim would welcome any details of Mike's sex life regarding other people.


Jackie: Waiting in the kitchen, the snack in the microwave starts to pop the longer it is heated, and Tim uses his hip to close the fridge door. While Kellen has a point, Tim still shrugs a shoulder loosely, speaking up over the popping noise. "Nothing's worse than my assumptions." Popping both beers open, Tim returns to the main room to hand Kellen his new beer, while taking a sip from his own bottle. The popcorn is still heating, so he lingers, eyes back to the TV. "...except maybe Tony's existence. That's way worse."


Jay: Looking back as Tim enters the room, Kellen takes the beer with a nod of thanks and immediately drinks from it. He grins for the qualifying follow-up, but shrugs. "Prolly he would've showed me, if I woulda let him. But..." He gives a little grimace, shakes his head. "It wasn' really anything, me and Mike. Just killin' time." The more Kellen drinks, the lazier his diction becomes, and the stronger his accent. He surely drinks more often than Tim, but he's very young, and despite his recent growth he's also still fairly small, so his tolerance isn't great, and two beers in quick succession seem to be having their natural effect. "And when I told Leech, he sorta...well. He didn' tell me I couldn't, or anything, but he wasn't happy about it...then, after that trip to the mountains and the fight Mike had with Tony, and the way Mike obviously liked you..." He gestures vaguely with the hand holding his beer bottle to indicate the inevitable period this put to his affairs with Ness.


Jackie: Standing behind the couch, Tim lingers while handing the beer over, drawing from his own and feeling that swimmy feeling in his limbs; much like Kellen, he's a light weight, and while he's not exactly buzzed, another beer will certainly do just that. While Kellen explains away his relationship with Mike, Tim shrugs haphazardly, attempting for careless when he's really probably trying to rid himself of mental images he's burned in his mind of Kellen and Mike. Encouraged by the alcohol, Tim chimes in, talking against the beer bottle. "Well shit, Kellen. He made a move on you first. I'm not gonna be a dick about it." Which probably shows Tim's insecurity a little more-- clearly, since Mike went after Kellen first, it must mean his affections trump whatever he has going on for Tim. From the kitchen, the microwave beeps, and so the mohawked head turns back around to retrieve the snack.


Jay: Leaning his head back until it rests against the arm of the couch, Kellen looks up at Tim with narrow eyes and a knowing smile, not for a second buying his nonchalant dismissal act. Tim's headed off before Kellen can respond - likely glad for the opportunity to escape, Kellen thinks - but he doesn't let the subject die. As soon as Tim returns to the den, Kellen's gaze locks onto him again, tracking him around the couch. "He didn', actually; I did." Once Tim sits down, Kellen hauls himself into a more upright position, reaching for some of that popcorn. The cat has been engaged in further exploration of her new territory, but the scent of hot butter brings her back and she hops onto the coffee table, watching Tim intently.


Jackie: Back in the kitchen, Tim opens up a few cabinets in search of a large bowl, finding one on the third attempt and snatching it from the top shelf. He loads it up full of the popcorn, one hand still holding that beer bottle. When he returns to the main room, he thinks the conversation is over, is probably inwardly thankful to think so, but that thought of quickly squashed when Kellen speaks up again. Tim, a little more relaxed, flops down into the couch again, mindful of the items in hand, and places the bowl on the cushion between him and the other boy. "...oh. Well. It's whatever." YesTimothy, that's it. Noticing the cat, he forces out a chirp for the demanding face she's directing at him, and he reaches for the popcorn so he can flick a piece at her face-- which she doesn't try to catch (unlike Jesse's dog) and instead looks dissatisfied until she licks up the piece and munches on it.


Jay: Watching the cat with a fond grin, Kellen can't help thinking of Tim's earlier comment about pets and their owners and how accurate it is. Though he continues the conversation, he doesn't sound very intent on it. "I'm sure he prolly would've, eventually, but that doesn't mean he likes me more than you." A pause then, for a drink of beer and a few pieces of popcorn. "Actually, I think...I think the fact that he didn't make a move sooner proves how much more he likes you. It's harder to do anything, when it matters." Visibly pleased with this articulation of logic, Kellen smiles some to himself and, of course, drinks more.


Jackie: Tim, too, grins fondly at the cat, because she really is quite the bitch, and when she's done with that kernel, Tim flicks over three more-- which really baffles the animal, and she doesn't look pleased. While Kellen's words eventually turn positive for Tim, it takes a while to actually get there, and the older boy has to roll his eyes for it. Even if it does make sense, he still isn't buying it entirely, and he drinks more of his beer until the bottle is half empty. "You better watch out-- that Ness-logic won't do you any good." But he says it with a laugh and then goes to flick some popcorn at Kellen, eventually refocusing on the television.


Jay: Kellen laughs expansively for Tim's response, taking a second to be able to respond. "Ness doesn't use logic!" What an absurd suggestion! Kellen shakes his head, then drinks from his beer again. And through the next few hours and movies, he surely drinks even more, though not to a point where his drunkenness is humiliating. It's nearing ten o'clock when he hears the door opening over the sound of the music he and Tim resorted to when it was clear they had no real attention for movies, and he immediately springs up from the couch in welcome, dislodging the cat that was purring against his leg. "Leeeeech!"




Jay: Leech, on the point of entering the room, pauses to give Kellen a startled look. Of course it was too much to hope that the two boys would have gone to bed yet. "Kellen." His own greeting is much subdued, and he glances at Tim, nodding briefly. He doesn't seem to be simmering with anger any longer, but it's been replaced by that entirely unreadable facade he has so much practice at using, so who knows what's actually going on. Recovering from his surprise, Leech ventures farther into the room, dropping his own backpack behind the couch.


Jackie: As the day wears on, Tim enjoys a moderate buzz from the beer, but doesn't allow for much more than that-- despite the overwhelming desire to drink justonemore and fall asleep on the couch. Despite his excitement (or rather, appreciation) for break, ever since the scene on the school's front steps and the way Leech reacted has made Timothy a little uneasy about his stay here. So when the jingling of the door opening bounces off the walls, and Kellen bounces off the couch, Tim's insides drop and his face goes just a tiny bit more pale. Turning on the couch to face the door, he sits up straight and puts down the beer, looking at Leech with eyes that are wide and apologetic and absolutely pathetic, and maybe he's hoping that the fifteen second lip lock didn't absolutely crush what's slowly been establishing. "...hey, Leech."


Jay: Oblivious to the tension introduced into the room, Kellen bounds over to embrace Leech enthusiastically, distracting the parasite's attempt to read those emotions in Tim's eyes. "You were gone so long, Leech." Looking sideways at Kellen, who's determinedly trying to burrow his face into Leech's neck despite their disparate heights, Leech can't quite keep up his cold front and melts into the usual warmth and fondness he shows for his brother when there's no reason to hide it. "An' you are so drunk, Kellen. How much'a that case did you kill?" This latter question is extended to Tim, too, by a flick of the eyes, because Leech is sure Kellen would lie about the answer, if he can even recall the truth at this point, and Tim's more likely to both show restraint and keep track.


Jackie: Squirming more on the couch, Tim gets to a more upright sitting position, curling the blanket he was sharing with Kellen more tightly around his body. The more the cold front breaks, the more Tim's shoulders relax, but he has to physically hold himself back from attacking Leech in the same manner that Kellen is currently doing. Eying the empty beer bottles on the coffee table, and knowing there are more in the kitchen, he shrugs a shoulder helplessly, innocent, and keeps his eyes in that same hopeful expression. "Not that much. And Cat knocked over two full beers on the coffee table, honest."


Jay: Kellen completely neglects to answer the question, pulling away from Leech enough to look at him with a look of attempted offended dignity. "I am not drunk. Dad said I'm not drunk 'long as I can still find yer ass with both hands." Leech gives a coughing laugh. "I'm certain he never said that." He glances to the coffee table and the beer count, then back to Tim, a corner of his mouth tucked back in that peculiar expression of dry amusement. "So my cat's a lush, too? Shouldn' be surprised. Get yer hands off my ass." With an adroit twitch of hips, Leech shies away from Kellen's hands, looking swiftly away from Tim to give the younger boy a brief glare, which is returned with an entirely unrepentant grin, so Leech sighs through his nose. "Arrite, cocktease. We're goin to bed." Leech leans over briefly and lifts Kellen up with an economical movement, one arm behind his knees and the other around his shoulders, and gives Tim another quick look of mixed signals that seems to at least say he'll be back for him before stalking down the hall, carrying Kellen, who has gone totally boneless against his chest, obviously not far from passing out as it is.


Jackie: Letting out an amused snort, Tim glances back over to the cat, who is now pawing her way up the blanket to burrow against Lint's chest, scratching between the ears as he talks. "...she actually did try to lick it all up. Don't think she likes the taste of Guinness." Glancing back up at the brothers, Tim watches that interaction with just a hint of weary-- maybe feeling more and more like he's intruding. Which of course makes him look away, grab his still half-full bottle to take a swig at, all while Kellen is being hoisted up and dragged away to the bedroom. Tim's sure not to follow, since that's probably not appropriate, but he does lift his eyes in time to see that rather confusing look from Leech. He watches the two retreat until they're out of sight, then drives his attention back to the cat, who is now licking up the tiny bits of popcorn littering the blanket, a result of the kernel flicking fight Tim and Kellen engaged in earlier.


Jay: It doesn't take long, once Kellen's tucked in, for him to pass out with a tiny contented smile on his face that makes Leech think that dealing with all of these difficulties are, just maybe, worth it. It's no more than fifteen minutes before he returns to the den, holding Kellen's boots in one hand, and the boy's half-full beer in the other, as he circles the couch. He drops the boots to the floor and lifts the bottle to the light to gauge the level of it, then with a careless sort of grace, he lifts it to his mouth and tilts it back to down the remaining contents. Clearly, the fact that Leech doesn't drink beer, doesn't mean he can't drink beer, but there's a grimace of distaste when he pulls his mouth away. Setting the empty bottle precisely on the coffee table, he finally looks over at Tim, unreadable as usual but definitely not displaying the same tension he was when Kellen and Tim left the school, staying silent as he meets the boy's eyes.


Jackie: Left alone in the room, Tim curls into himself more, sinking into the corner of the couch where the armrest meets the backing. He stretches his legs out to stretch them, but that positioning doesn't last long-- rather, he slithers down to more of a laying position, that kitten still burrowed into the mass of blanket bundled to his chest. Considering, he reaches up to his neck and toys along the collar of his button up; the collar beneath has been concealed all day, but he does loosen his tie some more and unbutton the shirt, exposing a tiny sliver of leather and the metal ring attached. When Leech doesn't return after a few minutes, Tim figures he's gone to bed and while the beer has left him feeling more comfortable than he otherwise would feel, he doesn't seem apt for bed quite yet - probably mostly due in part to the way today has gone. Most of the lights in the apartment are off, save for a distant light in the kitchen that casts shadows in the main room, and a floor lamp by the record player, so it's certainly dark enough that Tim wouldn't have to get up and turn them off should he decide to sleep. He's in a lazy sort of dull, that music still echoing quietly from the player when Leech appears, and Tim blinks tiredly at him, makes a movement to sit more upright. He notes how the older boy consumes the beer, doesn't take it for a good sign, but he does curl his legs up towards himself to make room on the couch in offering.


Jay: Leech's gaze flicks down at the movement of Tim's legs, assessing it, but he doesn't move otherwise, obviously not about to take the offered space on the couch. Instead he looks up to meet Timothy's eyes again, his own narrower, his jaw working as he chews on the inside of his cheek. After a long moment of obvious internal debate, he extends a hand towards Timothy, palm up and fingers stretching expectantly. "Will you come to bed with me?" The quiet question is at odds with his demanding posture, but the uncertainty and hesitance in that tone can't be faked - nor would Leech bother to fake them, if they weren't felt.


Jackie: Initially crestfallen when he isn't joined on the couch, Tim lowers his eyes to the cat that is softly mewling into his form and lifts one hand to hold her lightly to his chest as he sits up straight. He sucks his lower lip into his mouth, gnawing on it quite harshly before lifting his gaze back to the older boy's face. Having felt like he was in trouble, or had done something wrong, he wasn't at all expecting that question, and he only releases that lower lip to mumble out in a tiny little borderline hopeful tone. "...may I?"


Jay: Now gritting his teeth, annoyed at himself for being so transparent, Leech lets his arm drop some, though that hand remains reaching out towards Timothy, vaguely impatient. His shoulders twitch minutely at the sound of the boy's voice, a sign of tension more than a shrug, but he doesn't hesitate at all in responding. Not trusting himself to speak again, the parasite instead gives a tight nod, still surveying Timothy with that narrow look as if he's forgotten how to blink.


Jackie: Not about to question any further, Tim almost instantly tosses the cat (gently) to the other side of the couch, the creature landing among another mess of blankets and pillows that were once occupied by Kellen. Getting to his feet, Tim's a little unsteady -both for the beer and the fact that it's been a while since he left the couch - and reaches for that offered hand, his fingers wrapping around two of Leech's with enough pressure to show that he isn't hesitant in the action. Once fully upright, the blanket pools to the floor around his feet, and Tim steps out of it carefully (only slightly wobbly) and then looks at the Leech with big blue eyes, seeking direction.


Jay: As soon as Timothy grasps his hand (or half of it, at least), Leech yanks his arm back to pull the boy closer with that disconcertingly disproportionate strength of his, and his other hand lifts at the same time. That hand curls inside of Timothy's shirt, and when his fingers slide over the skin-warm leather concealed there, he exhales though his nose, sharp but barely audible. The relief at feeling his collar still there is overpowering enough that Leech flushes, redness crawling rapidly up his throat and over his face. Now his eyes close, but only momentarily; his hand hooks beneath that collar, knuckles hard and sharp against Timothy's throat, and he pulls to bring Timothy's head down even as he leans up to meet him. His mouth is already open when it covers the other, and his tongue immediately forces its way in to intently trace the teeth there, and the soft inner skin of his cheeks, plainly exerting himself to erase any taste or feeling of Ness that might be left over.


Jackie: Tugged closer, Tim stumbles into place, feet getting caught up in that mess of blanket still piled to the floor. But that stumbling is anchored by Leech's grip, both at his hand and at the collar, and when he's forcefully pulled in, knuckles against his throat and restricting breathing, Tim doesn't even have to think to open his mouth, close his eyes and lean into Leech's mouth. Parting his lips further (not really to allow, since that would require Tim granting access to that tongue instead of Leech demanding), Tim lets out a muffled, low noise of appreciation, one typically reserved for the bedroom, the knuckles at his neck surely subduing the noise a bit. His own hand tightens it grip to those fingers, holding on with enough pressure that it's probably a little neurotic, but his other hand moves to Leech's shirt, gripping at its hem tightly and tugging him forward.


Jay: The noise from Timothy is further reassuring, and prompts Leech to make one of his own, more subdued, but clearly laced with that same relief. Tilting his head, he draws his tongue back in favor of biting, disjointed but rather vicious, at Timothy's lips, fingers clenching tighter around the leather in their grasp. But when the boy tries to pull him closer Leech abruptly breaks, keeping his grip on that hand and collar even as he steps back. It takes him a moment to open his eyes, and he gives Timothy a dark look, desire mixed with still-potent anger, his voice lower and rougher when he speaks. "C'mon. Bed." He releases the collar and shifts the grip of his other hand from Timothy's fingers to his wrist, holding it somewhat tighter than necessary as he draws him down the hallway, past Kellen's closed door and through the open one to his own bedroom. He releases Timothy then, to close the door and pace over to turn on the lamp beside the bed, not looking back at him as he starts to peel off all the various layers that the cold weather demanded.


Jackie: It's ridiculous just how much noises from Leech get to Timothy, but they work every time-- and that particular sound makes Tim echo it, a little more bedroom appropriate than anything else. When the kissing is replaced with biting, Tim doesn't try to nip back, just tries to close his lips over the corner of Leech's mouth any chance he gets. It's desperate and needy and if the pressure his hands are forcing into their grip isn't indication enough of his desire, certainly the way his mouth tries to follow after Leech breaks away shows it. His eyes open before Leech's do, but they're not clear-- rather foggy with distraction, intense but not demanding. He can only give half a nod for his words and stumbles out from the mess of the main room to trail behind Leech, his tummy burning with nerves because it's clear Leech still isn't too pleased. Entering the bedroom, Tim keeps in mind the bedroom rules Leech put into place and he steps carefully over to the foot of the bed, starting to work off his tie and unbutton the cuffs on his button up shirt, looking at the older boy like he's not entirely sure of himself at the moment.


Jay: And Leech completely ignores those covert glances with an admirable coolness. Once he's stripped to the skin from the waist up, he bends down, yanking on the cuff of his pants so he can get to the boot laces underneath and start the laborious process of undoing them. The newly exposed skin and his angle to Timothy displays, dark and instantly noticeable against his pale skin, a new spreading bruise on his side, more to the back and in the vicinity of his kidneys, plainly nothing put there by Timothy's amorousness nor by Leech himself in any manner. Getting one boot undone, he straightens to grasp the heel and pull it off, and as he does so he makes the tiniest movement possible, barely a flinch, for the way the damaged muscles stretch. Ignoring this as well as the boy in the room, he folds at the waist again to work on the other boot, and, when that is done, his pants and socks.


Jackie: Working that tie loose, Tim doesn't completely unravel it-- rather, he just makes the neck hole bigger so he can slip it off in one go, tossing it gently to the floor near the bed. He then continues on with the buttons, struggling with the cuff on his left hand since he has to solely rely on his right hand's fingers. His gaze never leaves that other body, takes in the dips and curves as Leech undresses, but they instantly catch on to that bruise and they widen curiously, then scanning the rest of the visible skin for any other damages. He takes a cautious step forward but doesn't advance further, suddenly feeling inadequate, or at the very least like he's not allowed. Wrists free from their restrictive cloth, Tim then starts on the vertical buttons over his chest, working them down one by one, willing to overlook that bruise up until that minimal flinch. Then Tim moves his eyes to try to catch Leech's, unable to do so, but his voice is so quiet and cautious that he sounds worried above everything else. "...what happened? That bruise...?"


Jay: Finally having shed his cocoon of winter clothing as far as his typically girly undergarments, Leech drops onto the edge of the bed and immediately reaches for a cigarette. He glances at Timothy from the corner of his eyes as he lights it, but doesn't respond too quickly. He tosses the lighter onto the bedside table and twists to lean back against his pillows, facing Timothy more directly, knees bending partially up. "Yer boyfriend sucker-punched me." There's little inflection, and no expression at all, as he says it, but he reaches back to rub at the bruise ruefully.


Jackie: Finishing with his shirt, Tim slips it off his shoulders and tosses it in the same vicinity of his tie, not needing nearly as much time to remove his plain white undershirt and giving it the same treatment. Now shirtless, he works on his pants, slipping the belt out of its confines but not pulling it completely off his pants; instead, he just unbuttons and unzips and lets the clothing fall to the floor, leaning down the slip off his socks in the process. Clad only in his boxers and that ever present collar, Tim looks back over at Leech with those wide, curious eyes, wincing for the use of 'boyfriend' because it does sound particularly harsh. He doesn't join him on the bed, still overwhelmed with the feeling of being unwelcome, but he does lower his eyes and scratch at the back of his neck as he talks. "...he's not my boyfriend, Sir."


Jay: Smoking, Leech watches Timothy's disrobing, but not nearly as intently as he might usually do. When that response comes, he makes a totally unintentional and vicious sound deep in his throat, but manages to swallow it back before he looks back to Timothy's face. "Prolly you should let him know that." The words are, at least, not too condemnatory; Leech seems to lay most of the blame for what occurred at Ness' door rather than Timothy's. Pulling his feet up more, knees bending along with the action, he extends a hand to the boy in the same manner as before. "C'mere, Timothy. Come lay down."


Jackie: Nodding his head, as if he's actually going to have that conversation with his roommate immediately, Tim doesn't lift his head to seek out approval from the Leech, and instead remains standing there with a lowered head and sunken body. Inwardly cursing himself, because at this point there's absolutely no way he isn't taking some of the blame for what happened, Tim closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, only looking up when that invitation is offered. It's not necessarily warm, and Tim still isn't all that convinced that Leech even wants him here, but he does drop the hand on his neck and crawl up onto the bed, pausing near Leech's form but not actually laying-- instead, he sits back on his ankles and hunches into himself, head lowered.


Jay: Leech tracks Timothy's slow progress with his eyes, but when the boy stops short, he gives an impatient sigh. "Fuck, yer pathetic. C'mere." Despite his words, his tone is warmer than it was previously. The hand that was reaching out lifts, closes around the back of that neck and draws him down next to Leech. Leech straightens the leg closer to Timothy, and turns slightly to the side to face him, hand moving once Timothy's more or less horizontal to encircle his shoulders and draw him closer, bringing his head to rest against Leech's own shoulder. Settling then, Leech takes another drag from his cigarette before reaching back to ash it. While drawing his arm back, he flips the light off, leaving the room again in mostly darkness.


Jackie: Those words don't bother Timothy in the least, despite how (most) anyone else would more than likely take offense to them. But the action that follows them, the tugging on his neck until he's laying down into the mattress, settles the majority of the nerves still hopping around in his gut. Settling down into the bed, Tim squirms closer as soon as their positioning allows for it, forehead resting against the front of Leech's shoulder. He momentarily considers speaking up, of maybe expressing his gratitude, but it doesn't seem enough - rather, he tilts his head up only a fraction and puckers his lips to place a delicate kiss to the skin over Leech's collarbone, the hand not trapped under his own body reaching up to ball up against Leech's chest.


Jay: Oddly comforted by the lack of light, Leech manages to relax more fully, thin fingers stroking lightly over Timothy's shoulder while he finishes smoking and kills the cigarette in the ashtray. Afterwards, he turns more to face Timothy, his now-free hand taking up its usual place on the boy's hip while both legs extend, stretching; Kellen has the heater turned up high enough that blankets aren't a necessity, and the warmth is wonderful after a day mostly spent cold and tense. He tilts his head down to nose against Timothy's scalp, clearing his throat quietly before speaking. "After I'd been with Scrap fer a while, two months at least, he decided to sit down and explain to me, really awkwardly, that while I was his property, exclusive to him even more than to myself, an' that I wasn't allowed to even think about touching someone else, the same didn't apply to him." He pauses to make a peculiar hollow sound, not actually anything like a laugh. "I was shocked to find out he thought I'd expect anything different. But of course he was free to be with anyone else; he wasn' the one wearing a collar."


Jackie: Curling more into that body, Tim shifts his weight to adjust for the new positioning, eventually finding a soft spot where his hip bone can dig into the mattress without much discomfort. The nosing against his scalp is more reassurance than anything else, even more than the kiss in the main room, and the balled up hand resting against Leech's chest loosens, fingertips reaching out to gently grip at the boy's shoulder, holding himself there more than drawing Leech in. Those words send a quiet shiver down Tim's spine, both for their meaning and in the voice that they're spoken in, but Tim accepts them without question, nodding against the collarbone that he's lowered his forehead to. He processes, for a solid minute in silence, and then talks against the warming skin. "I'm yours, Sir. No one else's."


Jay: Feeling that shiver, Leech moves a hand to the small of Timothy's back to draw him in closer, though he doesn't mistake it for a reaction to the cold. The too-submissive response makes him snort, plainly doubtful, but he isn't sidetracked. "Even if it hadn' been that situation, I wouldn' expect him to be...totally faithful." There's more bitterness in the words now, and it continues to grow with his next statements: "I'd had plenty of experience with infidelity by then, an' at least Scrap was considerate enough to not make it obvious when he'd been with someone else." His fingertips unconsciously curl against Timothy's back, nails biting at the skin, and he coughs a little to clear that bitterness from his throat, pushing old but still painful memories down with a deep breath. "Ya remember, how much you hate the way Malachi looks at me?"


Jackie: The hand to his back is encouraging enough for Timothy to draw closer, to fit his body more flush against Leech's and sink further into the mattress. The way his muscles release their tension isn't necessarily due to relaxation, in fact far from it: although the tone isn't directed towards him, he can't help the way that bitterness makes him uncomfortable. And the doubtful snort, were it given by anyone else, would surely encourage Tim to retort, defend himself, but he doesn't-- just stays silent, gnaws on his lip to help in doing so. Pushing that aside, he pulls his head back, not really daring to look up at Leech but maybe feeling like he might have the courage to do so soon. He doesn't respond to the other words, because he wasn't told to do so, but he does for that question, reminded of Visitors Day and just how quickly that hatred swelled in his tummy. "Yes, I remember."


Jay: With Timothy moving around more, Leech draws his head back some, resolutely keeping his eyes closed because this conversation is difficult enough without the added pressure of eye-contact. Another careful breath, and he nods, bites fiercely at his inner lip. "Well, an' I hate Ness at least that much. I hate him even more, 'cuz you look back at him." He's trying for that bland, matter-of-fact tone, but the words are vehement enough without his willing it to give weight to the truth of his hatred for Ness. So he gives up on diplomacy and lets that feeling imbue his voice, low and intent, and his fingers are clawing unconsciously against Timothy's skin again. "I could'a gladly fuckin' snapped his neck, an' that was before he hit me." Once more, he's forced to stop for suppression, swallowing harshly and forcibly relaxing his fingers. After a few additional deep breaths, he finishes: "But. If I gotta share you with him, to keep you, then I will. Jus' for fuck's sake don't make me watch it again."


Jackie: Despite what his actions may depict, that Tim's shifting means that he wants to look Leech in the eye, he can't get himself to do it - instead looking down at his hand holding on to Leech's shoulder, fingertips turning in more to grip a little tighter. The explanation sinks down into Timothy's core, and when understanding starts to take over, the warmth in his tummy (jealousy confused with hatred confused with irrational ineptitude) flares up again, serving as a reminder of how difficult earlier today was for Leech. Swallowing thickly, he tries to wet his lips, ends up only gnawing on the lower one, and somewhere in the back of his subconscious Tim hates this response, hates that he isn't given a simple denial, of what he can or cannot do. But it isn't his decision to hate, so that emotion doesn't filter through. He just nods jerkily, racking his brain for any kind of comforting words that may console Leech, but he can't seem to find any (or any he knows, with guarantee, to be truthful). Squirming back closer, he ducks his head to burrow it into Leech's neck, nose running along that jawline, making a little whining, pleading nose that he tries to muffle.


Jay: Leech falls silent for a long moment, possibly waiting for a response, but he's actually sort of glad he doesn't get one: were Timothy to claim that he'd never touch Ness again, Leech knows he wouldn't be able to believe it. But it's cold comfort at best, and once he's sure that reply won't come, he decides to try to rid himself of the mood settled on him. So he reaches up, grasping Timothy's jaw lightly and leaning his head down to nip at the boy's mouth, nothing like as violently as he did before. Simultaneously, the opposite hand retreats from Timothy's shoulders, slipping around his neck and down over his chest to flatten against his sternum in order to press Timothy onto his back. Leech shifts to hover over him then, his teeth moving from that mouth to the jaw beneath it instead, biting lightly at the skin here and there, between words. "Anyway...he might find seduction harder...with two broken arms." As if for emphasis, his own hands return to aimless movement across chest and neck and shoulders.


Jackie: Tim's grateful that his silence is accepted, because he really isn't sure how he could offer a response: on one hand, he hates the effect whatever is going on with Michael is clearly having on Leech, but on the other-- his lips tingled for quite some time after that kiss, and Tim isn't sure what to make out of that. The nipping at his mouth is a welcomed diversion, and Tim closes his eyes softly and reacts with his own subdued nips, mostly just teeth and tongue trying to latch on to Leech's mouth without much success. As he's shifted onto his back, he parts his legs to draw that body in, both hands raising to lightly hold on to the sides of Leech's torso, a quiet, appreciative purr emerging from his sternum. But that pleasure is short lived when those words register, and he can't even choke back the shock as he splutters, eyes snapping open while panic overtakes his voice. "Wait, what? Leech, are you serious?"


Jay: Silently relieved that Timothy reacts as quickly and as welcoming as always, Leech growls appreciatively, continuing to move over and rolling onto his knees. One of these replaces itself between Timothy's legs as they part, nudging against the farther thigh to spread them more, before he shifts to kneel completely between them. One hand is now forced to move to the mattress, so Leech can hold himself up, but the other retreats to the center of Timothy's chest and pushes him down when he feels that sudden panic tighten the boy's muscles. "Fuck, yes." Unimpeded, he continues to move his mouth along that muscular torso, and his teeth sink harder into the muscle between neck and shoulder before he goes on: "And his kneecaps." His head drops, teeth grazing over a collarbone. "At least three ribs..." Moving to the other side of that neck, he bites more softly, but grinds his teeth as he pulls back. "...an' prolly a hip. He'll be lucky ever to swagger again." By now, it's probably clear that Leech is not serious, even if his voice is still even as ever - and more vindictive than usual. He licks over the crescent of teeth marks left by his latest bite, before shifting back enough to look at Timothy's face. "Also, I tore his tongue out with a pair of pliers. Rusty ones."


Jackie: Now pressed more solidly into the mattress, Tim shifts his hips and spreads his legs further upon Leech’s motion to do so, momentarily distracted by the closeness and warmth that body brings. But that distraction doesn’t last long, replaced by the panic when Leech reaffirms his previous statement, and Tim’s body tenses, joints jerking so that he attempts to sit up right, elbows digging into the bed. “You broke his arms? Leech, that’s a little excessive—“ he voices, worry evident in the tone and in the quickness he blurts it all out, with the mention of the other body parts only making his chest tighten more. Even the bites and licks aren’t enough to stir him away from his panic, although the touches don’t go completely unnoticed: his lower tummy trembles in excitement, fingers curling before Tim can even stop them from doing so. Silently, he tries to retrace the taxi’s route, thinking that maybe he can go slip on his clothing and run back to the school, cuddle the pain away from Mike’s body—but then it’s a little more clear, especially when that tiny joke is made, that Leech isn’t entirely serious and Tim leans back, eyebrows lowering. This time, his tone is more calm, and he sounds the tiniest bit annoyed, but mostly relieved. “That isn’t funny.”


Jay: For those comments, Leech's eyes narrow more. "Excessive?" This is followed by a pointed growl, and the parasite sits back on his haunches, deftly snagging both of Timothy's wrists and pressing them to the bed near the boy's hips. Though somewhat more relaxed, and having given that reluctant sort-of permission, he clearly is still displeased. "That's not excessive. An' it's nothin' to what I oughta do to you, ya indecisive little slut." His voice is even, and not particularly vehement, but dark enough to prove that his words are meant at least partially. He doesn't go on, however, dropping his gaze from Timothy's face to trail over his body, perhaps envisioning whatever it is he ought to do to him. Before he gets too far along that route he's interrupted by that further comment, the relief in which makes him grit his teeth for a second. "You got no sense of humor."


Jackie: Maybe because this is still new, because he hasn’t spent all that much time with Leech since turning up at his doorstep with his collar on, but the way the older boy grabs at his wrists and growls out those words immediately make Tim look up at him, tiny shreds of fear evident in his eyes. The change in his arms positioning makes his body fall back into the bed, and Tim curls one leg around Leech’s form lightly, circling around him in a manner that’s barely noticeable. He knows better than to argue against Leech’s words, and is thankful when he isn’t given the chance to. Instead, the body above his is looking down at him like an animal eying its prey, and rather than talking, Tim just yanks on his own arms, a feeble attempt to try to loosen his restraint.


Jay: Leech continues to watch the boy beneath him with that patricular, piercing look, perhaps waiting for some defense or other response. But none comes, so he gives a put-upon sounding sigh through his nose, acting as though he doesn't even notice the faint attempt to break for freedom. "But it'll have to wait. It's been a long fuckin' day, an' I didn't sleep much last night, either." And he very likely is having difficulty getting close to Timothy at the moment, with the image of him kissing Ness so fresh in his mind and the internal turmoil it created still so raw. So he leans down for another quick, but hard kiss, before rolling to the side once more. He uses his grasp on those wrists to pull Timothy along, making the boy face him, then releases them in favor of hunting for the top of the comforter beneath them.


Jackie: With the way Leech is being quite dominating in this position, Tim fully expects another rough kiss to come sooner rather than later, probably shifts his hips again in invitation. But it doesn’t come – at least not with the velocity he was expecting, and he can’t even stop the quiet whine that comes from Leech’s words and that quick kiss. Allowing himself to be yanked like a rag doll, Tim immediately presses himself to Leech’s form, not bothering to wait to be tugged in and squirming so he can wrap an arm around Leech’s hip and nuzzle into his collarbones. He can feel that comforter being yanked down, and when it’s easy to do so, he uses his feet to push it the rest of the way down, not bothering to grab at the blanket because he’d rather grab on to the Leech, instead. “Why didn’t you sleep much?”


Jay: Though disgruntled, the alacrity with which Timothy clings to him is enjoyable and reassuring, and Leech isn't so much in love with his bad mood that he wants to prolong it at any cost. Once he drags that blanket up and over himself and Timothy, wriggling a little to achieve maximum comfort, he drapes one of his own arms over the boy's side and tucks his head down, cheek against the short hair on the side of Timothy's scalp. "Kellen." He falls quiet, as if that's enough explanation, which it probably would be in other circumstances, but continues shortly. "He's been, ahh...unwell, sorta, since Keiran visited, an' the looming visit to Nick isn' helping, either. Not that I'm all that thrilled 'bout goin, myself..."


Jackie: Tim can sense that his presence maybe isn’t as welcomed as it has been in the past – no doubt due to his interaction with Michael earlier – but in his teenage logic, Tim thinks he’ll be able to physically push Leech’s negative feelings away by pushing himself into him. He places a few innocent kisses to the exposed collarbones, runs his nose along them afterwards, and hums quietly for that explanation, understanding. “Probably be better once it happens. Like a bandaid, or something.” Said in a quieter tone, mumbling into Leech’s chest, his hand on the boy’s hip lifting to grab the blanket and tug it in closer, harboring the warmth between them.


Jay: Leech gives a hum of his own, in a lower register, and very doubtful, but he doesn't vocally dismiss Timothy's words. Just tightening his hold as the boy squirms closer, he puts Kellen's depression - and the rest of the day's events, and the emotions they bred - out of his mind in favor of mindless enjoyment of the closeness. He doesn't move much more, only shifting his head to find a more comfortable spot on the pillow, and absently dragging his fingertips in small circles along the line of Timothy's back, the motion growing fainter and more disjointed before finally stopping as he manages to find sleep.


Jackie: Tim doesn’t bother with trying to convince Leech of his words, instead tries for the better suited attempt of comfort by snuggling up against his body. He spends the remainder of his conscious state placing distracted kisses to Leech’s body, fingers clutching tighter and tighter until he lulls himself to sleep. Throughout the night, he doesn’t pull too far away from that form, but when the morning comes, he’s more like on top of Leech, one leg hooked over a hip and his head tucked away into the crook of the older man’s elbow. He doesn’t completely awaken when the shower down the hall creaks on, but he does shift in place, maybe trying to silently go back to his fully asleep state.


Jay: Leech sleeps with unusual deepness, not waking up even for the noises of the inhabitants of next door's early morning movements, though he's quite used to complete silence when he sleeps. Perhaps that shower turning on does start to penetrate, though, because after a few moments Leech starts to become aware of sensation - the comfort of being tucked deeply in the blankets, the warmth of the body sprawled against him, and, finally, the sound of the shower and Kellen's voice raised in indistinct song. It's this last that convinces Leech to wake more fully, because it's odds-on that Kellen's next stop will be the bedroom, and he doesn't need to find Timothy wrapped around Leech like this. With a groan of reluctance, Leech squints his eyes open and starts to disentangle his limbs from the others, slipping from beneath the blankets once he's succeeded only to hunt a shirt out of his dresser and pull it on, before returning to his previous place in bed and lighting a cigarette.


Jackie: Tim’s very near to falling back asleep entirely, all burrowed in and tucked into Leech’s form, but it’s the other boy’s movements that stop that transition from fully happening. He makes a soft noise of disapproval, probably tries to squirm back into that relaxed position, but it’s of no use – before he can tug his bed partner back, he’s out of bed and putting on clothes, and it’s enough for Tim to take the hint. Much slower, he sits up and wipes tiredly at his face, looking only a little disheveled as he more accurately wakes up. Not used to the noise emitting from the bathroom, it takes him longer than Leech to recognize it, and if he weren’t so tired (or disgruntled, having to stop the overnight cuddlefest), he’s surely crack a smile. Scooting to the end of the bed, he reaches down for his own clothing, talking through a yawn. “Time’s it?” Because it definitely feels like an ungodly hour. And based on the way Leech clothes himself, disengages and doesn’t come back, Tim takes the initiative to get to his feet, figuring he’d go claim the couch as his resting spot so as to not make Kellen suspicious.

Jay: Tucking himself up close to his pillow, Leech smokes, watching Timothy distantly as the boy starts to pull on clothes. For the question, he gives a barely-human grunt. "No idea. Yer the one with the watch." It's doubtful that it's too early, since Kellen's already voluntarily awake, but Leech certainly would not have minded getting a couple more hours of sleep. Or a couple days for that matter. Unconcerned while Timothy dresses, Leech's eyes widen a little as the boy stands, speaking more sharply: "Where're you going?"

Jackie: Snorting a little for that tiny bit of snark, Tim does pull his wrist into view, blearly looks down at it to try to read the time. He has to blink the sleep away in order to focus, but he can see that it’s a little after ten—later than Tim usually sleeps, but he doesn’t feel guilty about it. He steps into his pants, since they’re still pooled to the ground the way he left them, about to get fully dressed but is interrupted by that voice. Looking at Leech with mild confusion, he points with his thumb towards the door, motioning towards the bathroom. “I…just thought. That you wouldn’t want me here. With Kellen awake.” So pathetic.

Jay: The bright blue eyes narrow again for that answer, plainly not finding it sufficient, and he stretches his free hand towards Timothy imperiously. "He's seen us share a bed before, an' I'm sure he already saw yer not on the couch." Waiting with his usual small degree of patience for Timothy to return, Leech throws the blanket over him once he does, and burrows further into it, himself. He doesn't burrow closer to Timothy, though, because that would be pretty telling. "I need'a explain this to him, anyway. That'll be a little harder, now." Meaning, of course, now that Kellen's seen Ness kiss Tim.


Jackie: Watching Leech’s face, Tim’s shoulders relax into place when he explains away Tim’s need to escape to the main room. He smiles a little and immediately stops what he’s doing, squirming back onto the mattress but not laying down fully; rather, he rests up against the pillows and pulls the blanket more tightly around himself, savoring the warmth. He looks inexplicably more happy now that he’s back in that bed, enough so that he leans over to place a pretty innocent kiss to Leech’s shoulder in appreciation before leaning back, keeping the space. “Do you…think he’ll understand it? I mean.” He rolls his eyes a little, looks down at the comforter. “Won’t freak out?”

Jay: Relaxing more now, a corner of Leech's mouth tucks back for that little kiss, but he resists the impulse to draw Timothy closer again, focusing on his cigarette instead. That question actually requires some thought, and Leech sort of spaces out, his head tilting minutely back and forth before he finally decides: "I dunno." This is coupled with a restrained sort of shrug, and he glances up as the shower turns off, Kellen's singing becoming that much more audible. Shortly, it becomes even louder as he opens the bathroom door, and again, when he unceremoniously pushes open Leech's bedroom door and saunters over, singing the entire time: "Then I knew, yes I knew I should run, but then I heard her sayyy-hey-hey..." Leech eyes his brother without much enthusiasm, though he is grateful that the kid at least put pants on before coming in, if nothing else. Unperturbed by this less than warm welcome, Kellen hops onto the bed next to Leech. "Come a little bit closer, you're my kinda man, so big and so strong..." - naturally accompanied by gestures, and the boy wriggles some while stretching out, forcibly making room for himself - "Come a little bit closer - I'm all alone, and the night is so long..."

Jackie: Despite how tiny that little appreciative somewhat-grin is, Tim recognizes it when he sees it and is pleased with himself for it; it’s few and far between that Leech shows that kind of emotion, so it’s important for Tim to log them in his brain each time. It doesn’t last long, however, when his own question has to be contemplated for so long—not that it’s surprising that Kellen would probably freak out at the relationship forming between his brother and Lint. Maybe he’d try for some sort of reassurance, but he doesn’t get the chance, not with Kellen bursting through that door all half dressed and loud. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wonders why he’s had to deal with more than one serenade from the boy over the course of 36 hours. He makes room for the younger boy when he crawls onto the bed, then throws a pillow at him in hopes of interrupting that singing. “I don’t think I’ve seen you this awake, this early. Ever.” Which isn’t saying much, because it really isn’t early, but…it’s Kellen.

Jay: Oh, Tim should be hella grateful to be able to enjoy Kellen's serenading so often; other people would kill for the privilege. Kellen catches the pillow thrown, stuffs it under his head as he makes himself comfortable on the bed. Leech pointedly scoots to the side, giving Kellen the space he seems to require but also taking advantage of the opportunity to get closer to Timothy. Kellen does, at least, cease singing, giving Tim a bright grin. "You hardly ever see me, this early. Usually I'm in biology by now." Reaching over, he snags Leech's cigarette without compunction, taking a long drag from it before handing it back.

Leech reclaims the smoke, planting it between his lips before speaking. "I'm jus' surprised yer in such a good mood. Shouldn' you be wallowing in the dark nursing a hangover?" Kellen waves a hand, making a dismissive noise. "Ya don't get hangovers from good beer, Leech. What're we doing today?" He extends the question to Tim with a look, plainly meaning to make the most of his vacation.

Jackie: Tim would probably enjoy the serenading more if it didn’t come at such inopportune times, but he doesn’t voice that; he takes advantage of the blanket and the now-closer Leech to hook a leg over one of the older boy’s silently, wanting nothing more than just a little contact. Letting out a little laugh for Kellen, he waves away that observation and instead moves to rub a hand over his scalp, yawning while trying to talk. “Pretty sure devouring half a pizza before bed helped soak up the beer.” Which…probably isn’t all true, and is mildly an exaggeration, but their late dinner definitely helped Tim not be a sloppy mess upon Leech’s return home. Cracking his neck by extending it from side to side, he hums quietly. “…can we do nothing? Is that possible?”

Jay: Kellen repeats that dismissive noise for Tim's explanation, because he was so not drunk, this speculation is ridiculous. "No. No, we can't do nothing. The sky is blue, the birds are singing, and we must live!" Said with an appropriate amount of enthusiasm, of course, and he turns to another avenue of appeal. "C'mon, Leech, I can't sit inside another day. It's drivin' me crazy, so I'll drive you crazy." Not at all doubtful.

Though he doesn't give any other sign that he notices Timothy's clandestine movement, Leech does switch his eyes to look toward the boy, undeniable heat in them, plain enough to say that he doesn't plan to do nothing today, either - though it's doubtful he'll do what he'd like. Kellen's exhortations are impossible to ignore, and he groans quietly, rolling his head around to look at his brother again. "Ahh, maybe we can go somewhere. Can I finish a smoke in peace first?" Kellen beams for this answer and lunges abruptly closer, with his usual sort of stifling affection, squishing Leech and pushing his face against the man's neck - luckily, not noticing the way Leech winces for the pressure on his bruised kidneys.

Jackie: Not pulling that limb closer, but certainly keeping his still crooked over Leech’s, Tim eyes Kellen carefully; normally, he’s one to want to stay active, as well—be it exercise, or an activity, or even the giant puzzles they keep on the tables in the common room. But with the comfort of this bed still pulling him in, he finds it hard to want to do much of anything else but sloth and maybe watch a movie. But Kellen’s exuberance is amusing, and Tim cracks the tiniest bit. “The sky can be blue and the birds can still sing if we stay in. Give in to one of the seven deadly sins and sloth all day.” Said with a convincing nod, like it’s the greatest idea in the world. When he looks over at Leech for his opinion, he certainly sees that heat, the same expression probably lingering in his blue irises. He shifts to make room for Kellen’s intrusion, and looks down for it—not really jealous, but probably wishing he could get away with doing the same thing without much worry.

Jay: "There are so many better sins." Kellen pulls away from Leech enough to look at Tim as he makes this argument. "Pancakes, for example." Ignoring how pancakes aren't in themselves a sin. He gives Leech a very obvious sideways glance as he says it, causing Leech - predictably - to fail in remaining aloof and cool. The older brother coughs a quiet laugh. "We're outta pancake batter, Kellen. Sorry." This gets a typical over-exaggeration - Kellen sits straight up, eyes widening in horror - and that in turn earns even more amusement from the parasite. "But, since yer so lively, if ya wanna walk down to the store an' get some, then yeh, I'll make pancakes." Terror melting back into that beaming expression of affection, Kellen leans in to kiss Leech's cheek, then bounds off the bed. "To the store! And you can figure out what else we're doin' while I'm gone. Ya need anything? Tim?"


Jackie: Letting out a little chuckle of amusement, because obviously pancakes are absolutely one of the seven deadly sins, Tim reaches out to ruffle at Kellen’s hair affectionately. “Sloth, wrath, and pancakes. How could I forget.” The movement of the youngest boy shifts the blankets and makes Tim have to change his positioning, drawing his leg back to his own form so that it doesn’t get squashed underneath the weight of that body. “No, I think I’m good.” He pauses, considers, but then chimes in, scrambling a little so he can look at the boy with raised eyebrows. “Orange juice?” Said in a voice that’s so uncharacteristic that it’s adorable, and Tim then flops back into the bed to burrow and hide in the lumps of the comforter.

Jay: "Orange juice." Kellen nods once, and salutes, serious as a captain going off to muster as he stalks out of the room and goes to collect more clothing before leaving. Leech, with an unconscious little sigh, relaxes as soon as the door is shut behind him. His sinking into the pillows naturally brings him closer to Timothy and he lowers his head to drop against the boy's shoulder, acting as if that ten minutes of interaction with Kellen just completely exhausted him.

Jackie: “Thanks, Kellen.” Because surely, the orange juice is necessary, especially with pancakes. Leech’s reaction to Kellen’s presence is very similar to how Tim’s feeling – and despite the sound sleep, he still feels tired, still feels the need to not even bother with trying to be a human being, right now. Shifting, he gets more onto his side and stretches out, more into a laying position to face his bed partner, and hums quietly. “I’m tired.” Which is obvious enough. One hand lifts to curl around one of Leech’s hips, using the leverage to pull in closer because he’s just…never close enough.

Jay: Leech gives a quiet noise of agreement; even if not tired, precisely, he's not feeling up to doing much of anything. But that never signifies much when Kellen's involved. He turns easily into Timothy's grasp, instinctive, and extends his form enough that one leg can slip over both of the boy's, drawing them in between his own. One hand lazily encircles his back, but the other lifts and sneaks into Timothy's shirt, palm smoothing over the collar there to the nape of his neck where it presses, drawing him in closer. Close enough, and Leech's mouth blindly seeks out the usual space above Timothy's shoulder, opening against the material of that shirt to bite down forcefully while giving a pleasant, lazy noise of relief as he does.

Jackie: Despite their currently laziness, or lack of enthusiasm for activity, Tim vaguely knows that it won’t last, that Kellen will come bounding back in with pancake mix and orange juice and energy, and Tim will be forced out of bed and thrusted into activity. But since it isn’t happening yet, he doesn’t force himself up, and is quite keen on taking advantage of alone time by rolling in closer. The hand to his neck is soothing before it even makes a move, and when that mouth connects to the space between neck and shoulder and sinks down into it, Tim immediately lets out a pleased noise that he has to muffle into the comforter. His fingers on Leech’s hips curl in, nails digging into the skin, and he starts to draw his body into itself, knees digging into the mattress.

Jay: Leech clearly isn't too intent on going anywhere, either, movements still slow and languid like he's half asleep. Still gnawing at Timothy's shoulder, he retracts the hand from inside his shirt to start undoing the buttons of it; once he has enough of them free, he disconnects his mouth only momentarily to nudge the material out of the way with his nose, then bites down on that same spot with no barrier. Probably he ought to be holding back some, as Kellen will undoubtedly be back too soon for it to lead to much of anything, but as per usual when around Timothy, Leech seems to have trouble restraining himself, wriggling closer as those legs curl up and insinuating his own narrow hips between them.


Jackie: The mouth on his neck, while probably not the typical form of comfort, does more to ease his muscles than any massaging touch would. He lets out another noise of appreciation and shifts his body to make it easier for the shirt to be partially discarded, hands reaching up to tug at Leech's body and hold on tightly. His head tilts to the side, almost like an animal giving in to its predator's attack, and stays that way for a while, giving in to those teeth. But he does eventually tilt his head, tries to tuck down his face to nose at Leech's cheek, making a little whining noise and he encourages those hips to draw in even closer.


Jay: Like always, Timothy's noises are enough of a spur that Leech can't dissuade himself from continuing the encounter, no matter the risk. His right hand gets all of the buttons undone a moment later and snakes in past the material, perpetually cold fingertips starting to trace lightly over the skin of the boy's stomach and chest. Meanwhile, the opposite hand retracts from the small of his back, sliding to the closest hip instead and pushing the waistband of Timothy's pants down just enough to trace along the rise of his hipbone with a thumb. Teeth finally breaking away from that shoulder, Leech turns his head and catches Timothy's mouth with his own, growling in enjoyment as his own hips draw flush with the others.


Jackie: With cold fingers against his torso, Tim arches his back, spine stiffening for the attention and the stark contrast in skin temperature. His own noises certainly don't stop, not even when their mouths reconnect-- rather, Tim allows for his moans to drown out against Leech's tongue, while his legs part more and start to circle the hips above his, encouraging them further. It all works as a distraction, up until Tim has to break for air; then he pulls his head back, pants for air, hands lifting up from Leech's hips to trail along his backbone and then grasp tightly onto his shoulders. He knows that they probably shouldn't, but he certainly can't stop himself, and tries out in a quiet voice, still a little whiny, definitely desperate in an entirely alluring way. "We can be quick. Right? Please?"


Jay: Leech's own spine curves as those hands trace along his back, naturally forcing him to rub against the body beneath his, which - just as naturally - causes him to growl again, somewhat louder. He doesn't protest when Timothy's mouth moves from his own, merely tilting his head to side and taking up biting at him, along the neck this time. His left hand taking advantage of the extra room to maneuver and the boy's new positioning, it eases its way into his pants with nails dragging, over his hip and then down his flank, going as far as possible before reversing its course and more slowly moving to stroke teasingly over his ass. The desperate pleading is incredibly tempting, but Leech doesn't answer right away - the heel of his right palm presses hard into Timothy's sternum and stays there, and at length, Leech parts from that gorgeous neck to respond. "Or. We could teach you some patience." Mild as the tone is, he clearly means it; he's given in to the necessity of leaving his boy with some freedom, but apparently is still holding a bit of a grudge for the events of the previous day.


Jackie: Leech's increasing noises do a whole lot for Timothy's self control - not that he's necessarily holding back, but he's definitely not pouncing on Leech like he wants to. His fingers grip harder, nails digging into the skin, and when Leech's left hand drifts further, Tim moans louder than before, directing the noise up to the ceiling without trying to stifle it. Should anyone else be in the apartment, they'd certainly hear him - but with Kellen gone, Tim isn't too concerned with staying quiet (even if he should be, because undoubtedly his suite made will be returning some time in the near future). As Leech's mouth moves across his neck, Tim leans it further to the side, skin exposed, and one leg hikes up further to fully encircle Leech's body to keep him near. Not one to necessarily argue with the older boy, especially after giving himself to him, Tim doesn't make a case for himself but he does whine again, more like a pleading groan, and lifts his hips to brush them against Leech's.


Jay: Leech wouldn't argue with anyone who claimed that he enjoys tormenting Timothy, and even if he doesn't verbally argue, the whining is just as enjoyable. So of course he doesn't let up at all, rather moving to press Timothy back against the mattress more and shifting almost fully above him, nipping once at his lower lip then starting to scrape his teeth slowly over that perfectly etched jawline. The hand on his sternum lets up only to slip down and undo the clasp of Timothy's pants, giving the opposite hand more freedom of movement. It immediately takes advantage of this with fingertips curving inwards to trace the crease of that ass with teasing slow attention, pausing briefly to massage the sensitive area behind the boy's balls, then making its slow way back to his tailbone.

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