Warnings: Wacky humor, mild angst, language, M/M explicit sex later. Minor references to moderate kink. This story is set in the future and has elements of A/U.
When Ishida's apartment becomes unlivable, he turns to his friend Chad for a place to crash. And Ishida discovers many new and exciting things about his strong, silent friend...
The next few days passed uneventfully. Uryuu went to class, checked in with the super, and cooked dinner a couple of times for himself and Chad. He thought it was a nice way to repay some of the favor.
Chad ate dinner like he did most things: more-or-less silently. That suited Uryuu just fine; the Quincy wasn’t truly a talkative sort, and it was sort of nice to have companionable silence instead of awkward pauses.
The only tricky moments came around bedtime. The apartment was a nice, wide, open space. But it was a little too open when it came to things like changing clothing. Uryuu told himself that it was the height of ridiculousness that he was embarrassed both about changing in front of Chad and about taking his clothing to the bathroom to change. They were both men – adult men, at that – and had seen one another in far worse states than merely undressed: wounds on the battlefield tended to be an excellent excuse to cut away clothing, after all.
However, no amount of self-recrimination could make Uryuu feel any more like getting naked in front of his friend. And Chad either picked up on Uryuu’s odd self-consciousness and changed in the bathroom to make him feel more comfortable or that’s just what he did normally.
Uryuu rather thought it was the first one.
Which made him feel even worse as he was being a pain in the ass.
It wasn’t the sort of thing he could talk about or apologize for doing, however, so Uryuu kept his mouth shut and head down as he made his nightly runs to the bathroom to change into a t-shirt and pajama pants.
The only other difficulty that Uryuu encountered was the fact that Chad often went about the apartment in only jeans or loose pants, and it was damned hard not to stare. Quiet and reserved he may be, but Chad was also an incredible study in how exercise and excellent genetics could do a body really and truly good.
But despite the slight awkwardness that came with bedtime and partial nudity, the mornings and days were easy. Uryuu woke up earlier than Chad and got himself ready and out the door to school or to study or to train. Chad did his fair amount of training as well, and he practiced with the band in the warehouse almost every night it seemed. Their busy schedules kept their time together to a minimum, which Uryuu thought was a good thing. He didn’t want to wear out his welcome too quickly. Someone as solitary as Chad had to feel stress at the change in routine that sharing space with a temporary roommate caused.
No matter how many dinners said roommate cooked, Uryuu thought as he pulled open the door into the warehouse and made his way to the stairs. It was three days since his first night at Chad’s, and the Quincy expected Chad would be practicing with the band by now. Uryuu thought about food and pestering his super again and didn’t think it unusual that he couldn’t hear music coming from the warehouse. The band often took breaks to discuss the line up or adjust things. He’d heard Chad’s band practice back in the early days when A Lovely Death first got together.
Not to mention Chad had a point about the soundproofing – it was pretty damned good for an old warehouse. Apparently, it was much improved during the renovation process that rendered the second floor into loft apartments.
Uryuu made his was up the metal stairs on fairly silent feet. There was a trick to getting up the things without making it sound like the warehouse was going to cave in, and Uryuu figured it out on his third trek up to the apartment. He walked the short length of hallway, rounded the corner, and then stopped when he saw Chad outside the apartment.
For one split second, Uryuu was about to call out to the large man – say “hi,” tell him to hold the door, something – but then his eyes registered the other person in the hallway, and his lips smacked shut.
Uryuu didn’t know the other man – dark hair, slight of build, wearing a black shirt and jeans – but the stranger was obviously a friend of Chad’s. The kind of friend that one pulled in close, wrapped in a warm pair of arms, and leaned down to kiss.
Now Uryuu’s mouth fell open and he stood frozen in place as Chad pulled away from the stranger’s mouth, said something quietly, and made to disengage.
But the stranger was having none of that; he grabbed Chad’s shirt and pulled him down again, this kiss more insistent. Chad seemed to resist for a second or two, and then his shoulders sank down, and he kissed the brunette back in earnest.
Uryuu’s brain screamed at him to leave – to get out of there, to stop watching. But his body didn’t listen. No, that traitorous bit of muscle and bone completely disobeyed the screeched commands to turn and run and instead slinked back around the corner and stared, mouth still agape.
So…apparently Chad was gay. Or maybe bi. Or possibly unaware that his tongue was messily lapping against another man’s with lusty abandon while Uryuu looked on in wonder.
The Quincy didn’t really think of himself as gay or straight or bi. He tended to go after the person more than the gender, and he’d dated his fair share of both men and women. None of those drinks or dinners went very far, however. Some of that was because one never knew when the world would threaten to end and Ichigo would call upon his friends to help him stop that from happening. Again.
But a lot more of it had to do with the fact that Uryuu was bloody picky. And difficult. And cautious. He liked his alone time, didn’t respond well to the, “Why didn’t you calls?” and oftentimes just taking care of the erection himself was easier than seeking out a companion who may or may not know what the hell to do with his or her hand or mouth.
Uryuu’s thoughts were interrupted when Chad quite suddenly slammed the stranger back against the wall.
Oh holy hell that had to hurt…oh wait…no…he’s moaning.
The brunette’s arms came up to wrap around Chad’s neck, and Uryuu swallowed. He may not think of himself in terms of gay or bi…but he’d never felt more gay than right now. So gay that he would willingly play the part of the voyeur even when at any moment one of the two nicely distracted men could turn his head and catch Uryuu red-faced and dry-mouthed.
So gay that the temptation to stroke the erection that now pressed against the inside of his clothing was almost irresistible.
Chad broke the kiss and pushed away from the wall, and Uryuu made a soft noise as he flung himself fully around the corner and out of sight. His heart was beating a little fast and he knew he was roughly eight shades of red. The sentence, “Chad’s gay!” kept repeating itself in flashing neon in his mind, and he had no idea what in the hell to do now. Walk around the corner like nothing happened? Turn tail and run? What if…oh bastard god of all things uncomfortable…what if Chad needed his room for a while?
Like all night?
Not knowing what to do with all the new information that spawned all the new indecision, Uryuu ran a hand through his hair and stayed leaning heavily against the wall.
Oh hell…I should probably-
The Quincy let out an undignified yelp and stumbled sideways at the sound of Chad’s concerned voice. He stood with the stranger just behind him, and both men looked at Uryuu with a mixture of confusion and worry.
“Low blood sugar!” Uryuu said entirely too loudly as he regained balance.
“What?” Chad asked, brows furrowing.
“I was leaning…because…I haven’t eaten.” He pointed two fingers down the hallway. “But I was just on my way to make…did you want me to…?” He held up both hands. “No? Okay then.”
Uryuu barreled past the two men with a flaming face.
“That your boyfriend?” the stranger calmly asked Chad.
Uryuu walked a little faster and got to the door. He fished in his pockets for the spare key and cursed under his breath when he couldn’t find it. He’d used it just this morning to lock the damned door, it had to be here some-
“Here,” Chad said and Uryuu managed not to flinch as Chad calmly used his key to unlock the door and open it.
“Thanks,” Uryuu muttered. “See you later.”
“Just walking a friend to his car. Be back in a minute.”
Chad left; Uryuu got inside and leaned heavily against the door. He felt like so many levels of dumbass that he truly felt he couldn’t count them all.
I just saw my friend – my previously asexual friend – make out with a hot guy in the hallway and then babbled like a maniac when he caught me. Way to act cool, Ishida. Good job there – might as well have put a sign over your head that says, “Inexperienced, voyeuristic asshole here! Step right up and watch him blush!”
Uryuu took off his glasses and rubbed at his eyes with a thumb and forefinger. Okay…this wasn’t the end of the world. He just needed to calm down, pretend like nothing happened, and feign indifference. He wasn’t some stupid kid who couldn’t handle this situation like an adult. So what if Chad was gay? So what if he looked really, really hot when he threw that guy up against the wall and shoved his tongue in his mouth?
It’s not like that should matter to Uryuu. The Quincy was only staying in Chad’s apartment for a few more days. Chad was free to do what he wanted for Pete’s sake: kiss guys, walk around half-naked, sleep in a tangled, sweaty, mess of covers on a massive bed not ten feet away from…
Oh sweet jumping tapdancing Christ!
Uryuu yanked his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed the super. He didn’t give a shit if it was late; this was an emergency of a sort. And Uryuu had the man’s cell phone number since his apartment was such a damned mess.
“Rick.” The man sounded weary.
“It’s Ishida Uryuu.”
“We’re still working on it, Mr. Ishida. Not much has changed since you called me yesterday.”
Uryuu shoved his glasses up his nose. “I realize that. I was hoping you could give me an estimate on when you expect you’ll be finished.”
Chad opened the door and came into the apartment, and Uryuu started to pace near the table and chairs.
Rick sighed. “Well, I was going to call you anyway. It’s going to take longer than we thought.”
“Well, the sub floor was damaged, and we have to make repairs. And that’s not such a big deal, but apparently the tile we use in the bathroom – which we do have to replace – is on backorder.”
Chad stood with his arms crossed near the couch, eyes down. That made Uryuu nervous so he turned his back on the big man so he could think straight.
“Backorder,” Uryuu repeated. “So what does that mean for the timeline?”
“Probably another week or two.”
“Look, I’m sorry. I cannot manifest tile from my…” Rick paused. Took a breath. “I realize you’re upset, Mr. Ishida, and I appreciate that. But we’re working as fast as we can.”
“Yes…yes, sorry. I know you are.”
“You got a place to stay, right?”
“For the moment,” Uryuu replied with no small amount of irony and worry.
“Well, I’ll let you know as soon as something changes. You have a good night.”
Rick didn’t wait for Uryuu to answer.
Clicking the phone shut, Uryuu turned around to face a very unhappy-looking Chad. Uryuu’s heart began to thud in his chest.
“That was the superintendent,” Uryuu said quietly. “It’s…the tile is on backorder, so it’s going to be longer than he thought until I can move back home. So…” he trailed off, unable to say something along the lines of, “So if you want me to go so you and your boyfriend can make out in privacy let me know, okay? Oh – and since when are you gay? Curious minds want to know!”
Uryuu mentally cursed and licked his lips.
“Is there something you need to say to me?” Chad asked, looking up from the floor to all-but glare at Uryuu.
Panic fluttered and blossomed in Uryuu’s chest, and he felt his face flush. “What do you mean?”
Chad shifted his weight and gave a little frustrated sigh, brows knitting together. Uryuu realized that he could clearly see both of Chad’s eyes; the bangs were shorter. Maybe he got a haircut?
“About my friend,” Chad said.
“Oh,” Uryuu said trying to sound calm. “I’m…sorry that I…that I…”
Oh holy fuck but how did one apologize for watching with blatant, sexual interest? Really…that was just not covered in any of Uryuu’s life lessons so far.
“I’m gay,” Chad declared. Somewhat redundantly in Uryuu’s opinion.
“Yes?” Uryuu agreed hesitantly, now a little confused.
Chad blinked at Uryuu as if waiting for him to pick up on some subtext. When Uryuu said nothing, Chad frowned and looked even more uncomfortable.
“Is that a problem?” Chad asked finally, the words obviously an effort.
“No,” Uryuu said, shaking his head. This was not where he thought this conversation was going and now he was lost in the weeds. “Why would it be?”
Now Chad looked lost with him. “I don’t talk about it. And you’re staying with me. And when you saw me with Donovan, you looked…upset.”
A dawning realization came over Uryuu, and he felt like a true, genuine jackass.
“And then I came in and you were on the phone with your super, so I thought...” Now it was Chad’s turn to trail off and look down at the floor.
“I’m gay,” Uryuu announced in a rush.
Was it possible to be stricken with Tourette’s? Did that happen? Sudden onset or something?
Chad looked at Uryuu with wide eyes. “You’re what?”
“Gay,” Uryuu repeated, face bright red.
“But you date women.”
Oh yes. That. “Well, maybe not entirely gay but…” Uryuu gestured vaguely with one hand.
“You’re bi?” Chad asked, and he sounded oddly…grateful? Happy? Uryuu didn’t know but it was probably a huge relief to the man that Uryuu wasn’t condemning him after accidentally outing him like that in the hallway.
“More or less,” Uryuu replied. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t upset that I cau – er, saw you two in the hallway. I was…”
Turned on. Shocked. Thinking your tongue looked damned tasty.
“…worried that you might need the room. Or need me out of here so you could have your privacy. And so I called the super – “
Chad nodded and took a few steps closer to Uryuu. “I see,” he said and smiled a little. “I’m sorry – I thought you might not be comfortable with…me.”
Now that Uryuu knew Chad wasn’t angry about getting caught – probably because he didn’t know Uryuu not only happened upon them but also stood around and enjoyed the show – he felt a little less panicky. “You’re fine,” Uryuu said.
Chad’s head tilted a tiny fraction to one side. “I am?”
Uryuu thought that at this rate he would start losing limbs as all the blood flow was obviously focused up to his face. “Of course,” he said, trying for indifference. “It’s none of my business.”
“He’s just a friend,” Chad clarified.
“You kiss all your friends like that?” Uryuu said before he could stop himself. He winced a little at his own words. Sudden Onset Tourette’s: had to be.
Chad chuckled – a rare sound, and a quiet one. “No,” he said with a shake of his head.
It was disconcerting to see both of Chad’s eyes so clearly and without the hair to obscure the solid, steady, dark-brown gaze. His eyes were huge and shone with a keen understanding that was calming in the middle of a fight but damned unnerving in this situation.
“Like I said: none of my business.” Uryuu turned and went to the fridge. “You hungry?”
“I just meant I won’t need the room. So don’t worry about having to stay longer.”
Uryuu didn’t say anything for a second as he pulled out a package of salmon. Then he turned to face Chad and found him standing a little closer, arms crossed and expression calm again.
“Thank you,” Uryuu said. “I know it’s not easy for you to share space.”
Chad walked over and took the package out of Uryuu’s hands. “It’s not hard. I told you: I like having you here.”
“I can cook,” Uryuu said, turning with a frown. “It’s the least I can-“
“Make the salad,” Chad said as he cut open the package of fish.
“Sure,” Uryuu said without thinking, grateful to have a task. He didn’t ask any more questions or thank Chad again for letting him stay. And Chad didn’t say another word about Donovan, what Uryuu saw in the hallway, or anything else, really. They cooked dinner, ate in front of the TV, did the usual change-in-bathroom routine, and climbed into couch and bed to sleep.
Uryuu sighed and rolled over to face the back of the sofa. “Chad’s gay!” now warred with “He’s just a friend” in the Quincy’s mind. He wanted to ask Chad how he categorized such people and knew how to kiss whom; wanted to know how Chad dated and kept it so secretive all these years. He was vaguely curious as to how many “Donovans” there’d been, and-
It’s none of my damned business! Stop thinking about it!
Uryuu punched his pillow and closed his eyes.
“Uryuu?” Chad said – voice breaking the silence with a low rumble.
“Yeah?” Uryuu said back, eyes going wide in the dark.
Uryuu sighed a little in relief. “Good night.”
Sleep was a long time coming.