Wow, lovely, you really are here … Thought Tony was taking the piss … Wow … I work at the H&M actually in The Grafton shopping centre which is absolutely lovely but no foot baths from me.
all right! well, we shouldn’t rule out tony taking the piss just yet. but yeah, here i am in all my glory. haven’t seen you since … well, it’s been ages.
h&m sounds far better than scrubbing strangers feet and giving them hand massages. how has life been treating you, cass?
I’m not sure whether to be offended or pissed or both. So I’ll just ignore that.
I know you’re lying but it isn’t really any of my business. Anyway, I’ve actually become a lesbian. I have a girlfriend named Shawndah. Just kidding. Not really doing much with my life. All but quit the clarinet, oh well, I suppose. What have you been doing? I’ve heard quite the stories about you.
all right, easy there… i didn’t mean to be offending you or anything. whatever i said, i’m sorry, yeah?
cheeky! shame though, i really would have liked to meet shawndah. just by her name alone, i’m sure she would be a lovely girl if she were real. plus since you have good taste in partners and all, she’d be like, grade a knockout.
quit? why?? i mean … you were the best there was, jal. world-class! still are, i’m sure. if you don’t mind me asking, what the fuck happened?
… you’ve heard stories about me? maybe we should stick to the rumors, yeah? they’re always a bit more exciting.
(/As he was tugged forward, Cook made sure he headbutted Chris just to add some discomfort as their foreheads pressed against each other. As the other man stammered his way through his tangent, Cook laughed between mock-whimpers to imitate Chris’ uncertainty - ‘W-w-w-w-we can fucking sort this! We can! FUCK OFF!’) Ain’t got anything left to prove to you, yeah, you bastard? Nothing left, innit? Already gave you fucking everything I had — (/cut off by the shove, Cook stumbled back, both arms flying out to his sides so not to fall on his arse. When his footing was steady, he rubbed his jaw and shook his head) Fuckin’ pussy, ain’t you? (/His entire demeanor morphed from amused to angry, and it was evident by the glean to his eye that he was truly enraged. James hadn’t been in a proper fight since John Foster, and as his fist made contact with Chris’ nose, there was a certain thrill that he hadn’t realized how much he missed it until he heard that gasp of pain come from his friend’s mouth. After the first successful blow, Cook prolonged the frisson of excitement that was trickling so beautifully down his spine as he kneed Chris in the gut and grabbed hold of one of his shoulders. With one fist wound up and aimed to strike, he hesitated ; the aftershocks of adrenaline died down as he looked into Chris’ face, and his expression dropped into something nearly apologetic, though he still didn’t lower his fist.)
(/While he had thought nothing could sting more than the sneering jabs Cook made at his diction, Chris was corrected with the sudden snap of his nose, his vision blurring as his eyes involuntarily began to water.) Christ! (/Stumbling back a few steps, his hand went to his surely broken snout, the taste of his own blood on his lips as he attempted to get his bearings as he winced.) You fucki- - - oh ! (/The wind was knocked out of him as the other socked his gut, which had already been in knots. He’d likely be on his knees if Cook had not been propping him up, holding onto the other’s shoulder for added support. His eyes rolled up to lock with his friend’s as he found him hesitating, not buying the look of apology that was written on his face. An awful smile warped his bloody features as he caught his breath, bitter with the sense of betrayal.) Well go on, Cookie. Don’t hold back, this is what you want, yeah, you sweet bastard. Come on! (/He straightened up, and as his knuckles clipped Cook’s jaw, Chris was well aware he had already lost the fight, no matter the outcome.) COME ON! (/He threw another punch, egging the other on. As he tripped over his manic words, his voice ran became hoarse, likely due to the sobs that had accompanied the tears no longer correlated to the reflex of his broken nose or physical ache at this point.) Just fucking do it, mate, you’ve had practice, should be easy yeah? Put me out of my fucking misery, DO IT.
So this lovely lovely lady came into work today and pushed over one of the displays that had nail lacquer on it and all the tiny bottles fell and some of them exploded into little splatters of color all over the floor. It was like … Wow it was so beautiful! But cleaning it up … That wasn’t so beautiful. Think my head’s still swimming from all the fumes.
all right! sounds like a fucking blast to me, luv. you working in some sort nail salon or sommat, cass? can i come in to get one of those fancy foot baths from you?
oh, hello there jal. to be honest, i wasn’t expecting to see you on this site. figured you’d be too busy off being a world class musician and all. it’s quite nice to see you’ve proven me wrong.
but um, nothing to worry about, bad day is all. everything’s peachy now, yeah? i want to hear what you’ve been up to, it’s been ages. settle down with a charming trombone player yet?
(/Aside from tossing aside the dingy rucksack he had stuffed with his small wardrobe and spare pair of boots before leaving Chris’ flat, Cook hadn’t made any sort of threatening gesture toward the fired-up man standing so tense before him. His blood may have been boiling, and his face may have been flushed with disgust, but the sight of Chris with his sleeves rolled up and fists curled was the comic relief he was craving. He waved one arm dismissively before jamming it down the front of his trousers vulgarly, and as he approached his ex-lover he made certain his hips were thrust forward and his head was tilted back. A hideous sputter of laughter escaped Cook’s chapped lips, and if that wasn’t offensive enough, the way he scrunched up his nose would have done the trick in churning anyone’s stomach. He stopped when their feet were toe-to-toe, fingers scratching idly at his groin in a manner that truly showed off just how cocky he was. He did straighten up his posture, and while Chris had a good inch on him height-wise, it didn’t slow him down any.)
Fuck your flowers. Call me a coward, man. Come all this way, innit? Say it. (/he pointed to his eyes with his free hand, then used that obtrusive finger to flick Chris in the temple.) Say it to my face, mate. FUCKING SAY IT.
(/Despite the scorn written all over his face, past his glare read nothing but panic over the situation. For once, Chris wasn’t laughing along with Cook as the brash young man made his way over to him.) Didn’t come here for name calling, mate. You know full well what you are, see no reason why you need me to validate it once again for you. (/His jaw clenched as he felt the flick against his head, and as much as he was trying to rein his anger in, he found himself impulsively grabbing the collar of his unexpected opponent. His forehead, clammy from a cold sweat, knocked against the other’s as he leaned into him) … Listen, Cook, you can prove me fucking wrong and just — just come back to the flat, all right? W-we can fucking sort this. We can … you don’t have to go. But … if you continue on and run, I’ll call it as I see it, and no worries, I won’t fucking chase after you again. (/He released the flatmate and friend he was desperately trying to keep with a shove, a bit harsher than he meant to, and put his hands in the air defenselessly.) It’s your call, mate.
(/The mechanical hum of the disconnected call buzzed like a mosquito in Chris’ ear which only grew louder, even as his cell smashed against his bedroom wall and the plastic shell of the cheap phone splashed into one of his many aquariums, sending his fish scattering.) Fuck —- !! (/With a shaky breath, he tried in vain to calm himself down, calloused hands rubbing at his red face which was salty and damp. Finding his rage was only growing, he carelessly slammed shut his laptop on the face of his long lost, and long avoided, sibling. He was putting his blood on the back burner for now, too enraged with the boy he had adopted as his brother to handle anything else at the moment. Anyone who knew Chris would say he was a lover, not a fighter, but when it came to fighting for love his reckless disposition made it difficult for him to let go of the few things he had to hold close easily. If he had not been so focused on losing Cook, he may be able to admit to himself that he wasn’t angry at anyone but himself, but his fear was muddling everything else he felt and he didn’t have the time to sort his inner monologue out, adrenaline doing the job for him.)
(/He wasn’t sure how he had made it from his bedroom to Loughborough, barely able to recall that he had even left his flat. Fluorescent trainers slowing to stand still on the wet pavement of the street and he scowled into the darkness as searched for Cook as he rolled up his sleeves. He was out of breath, knuckles white, and the pounding of his heart just barely audible over that shrill ringing in his head.) ALRIGHT THEN, JAMES! COME THE FUCK OUT! (/As still as the night was, he was aware of the figures hiding out in the shadowed corners just out of reach from the streetlamps. He turned around, looking behind him, fists curling at his side.) Sorry, I didn’t bring any flowers, but it’s not polite to keep your date waiting like this, you PRICK.
Better cheer up before I get there, yeah Chris?
yeah, about that … when exactly were you planning on telling me you were bringing all of bristol up to brixton, tone?
normally i wouldn’t mind, yeah, but my flat can only hold so many and the headcount for your little field trip over here keeps increasing each time i hear.
Is color really the cure for a mundane existence? Because if it’s so easy to make everything better, God must really have it in for me to suffer.
Sorry for not responding, I … suppose I felt like a bit of a wanker, being so forward about Peter and … everything. I’ve actually been avoiding the computer for the past few days, um. Was a bit nervous to see your reaction, since I — well … he is — … was … my brother.
sammy. sammy fucking miles. christ i’m a fucking idiot. can’t believe i didn’t even … sorry, if i’m a bit —
sort of wished you would have told me about this earlier, kid, shit timing is all. i … christ. sammy i’m sorry i didn’t — i never … i’m sorry