Muse clock strikes upon the hour
#1
At exactly nine forty-two on the twenty-eighth of March, Grigori turned thirty three years old. As such it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate was going to be a club. What else was really open at this time of night? Where else could he meet someone new and finally have company that wasn't his horse or his childhood best friend?

And yeah, it felt bad not to have invited Theo to celebrate his birthday with him, but for weeks he'd been insisting he wasn't going to celebrate and would be too wiped after work to go out anyway, even to visit his friend for a cupcake and a beer, which he unfortunately couldn't share with him. And it had been his original plan. Just collapse into bed and sleep through the time at which he turned thirty three and ignore the passage of time this year, because he just didn't really wan the reminder that he was starting to hurtle towards the grave alone.

Not that he needed anyone. He had friends! Colleagues, Theo! He had Magic, that irascible but loveable mare. After his last serious relationship he was fairly sure he didn't need any of that mess anymore.

Still, somehow the inability to sleep and the reminder of the passage of time had led him here to Muse, a place he thought he should be feeling far more comfortable in but that honestly wasn't really his 'scene'. He wasn't looking for anything serious. Who picked up a serious relationship in a club? The only advertisement for himself was the comically oversized pin that came with one of his birthday cards, of which he had received more than three this year, weirdly enough. Birthday Boy. That was probably sufficient for his needs.

...though he was already kind of feeling like this was a mistake.
#2
After the last failed attempt to feed here, Theo was a bit discouraged. But it felt wiser to try here than in some shady alleyway or to eat another poor delivery guy.

And it was a good opportunity to dance his worries away. It sure was a month. Or two. Or... many...

Grisha wanted peace and quiet tonight, despite it being his birthday. But it was understandable and Theo didn't wanted to be in his hair... and then...

Wait a minute...

There he was! Wasn't he supposed to be in bed, sleeping through hitting the Jesus age???

"Oi!" The vampire pointed in accusatory manner at the birthday boy.
#3
There had been fleeting moments of interest, eye contact from across the room, through the crowd, but not a lot and honestly he couldn't blame them for standing by. He wasn't exactly selling his interest here, unenthusiastic as people around him danced.

He was thinking perhaps he wasn't really in the right kind of headspace for coming out on the eve of his birthday when a familiar head of fluff emerged from the crowd nearby, finger pointed directly at him and mouth open in a bark of accusation.

Caught red handed with nowhere to run. He really hadn't expected to see Theo here.

... actually, he really wouldn't expect to see Theo here. It didn't seem like his scene? For different reasons than Grigori's.

Frowning in suitable confusion, he returned the pointing gesture.

"What are you doing here?"
#4
"Having fun, because you didn't wanted to have any!" Theo dropped his hand and brushed hair away. He was indeed lowkey mad. Not because he saw Grisha here, the young vampire was always happy to see him. But because Grisha lied to him and that sucked.

Granted, his friend didn't really owed him anything, let alone an explanation but... ah... and there were this thoughts of doubt. Was Grisha getting tired of him? Perhaps...? Who wouldn't, though... A good for nothing leech and crybaby he was.
#5
Ow, okay. It was pretty understandable anger but biting nonetheless. It wasn't like he'd lied - he really hadn't planned on coming out and had simply changed his mind. Without telling Theo... but he'd figured the dude had plans. Why wouldn't someone like Theo have plans?

"I changed my mind," he declared, frowning softly. "I didn't think this was your kind of place."
#6
Oh. Oh, of course, right, uhhh... Okay, he'd focus on the other statement. It was easier.

Theo smiled softly and bit his lower lip.
"Why not, though...?"
#7
It took Grigori a shameful amount of strength not to just bluntly point out that his friend had never, in all the time he'd known him, given any indication that he was anything other than straight. As if it was deeply offensive to him that Theo felt he couldn't just share that maybe he was, because they were friends, and all those years ago Grigori had shared his own journey with him. And this being a surprise to him felt like a slap in the face, because how could he fall to notice something like that?

But that was selfish thinking, and he definitely didn't want to cause a scene. So he shrugged.

"I don't know; just... I didn't realise you were into men, I guess," he said, trying to make that declaration as gentle and neutral as possible.
#8
"Yeah... took me a long time to finally accept it..." Theo sighed with a small smile and scratched the back of his neck. "But enough about me... Happy Birthday!"

The young vampire just went in and gave Grisha a tight hug.
#9
And they sped through that revelation, which was... disorienting but not anything Grigori could control. It wasn't up to him to orchestrate Theo's coming out. Practically this meeting had forced his buddy's hand and that was a whole other problem...

One he had little time to consider as Theo advanced for a tight hug that made the poorly affixed badge bite into the skin under his shirt, yet still he allowed the embrace, even wrapped his arms around his friend and gave him a firm squeeze, swaying him a little.

"You said that earlier, Theo," he chuckled. "And I heard you then."
#10
"I know... but I wanted to say it again, proper." Theo said, swaying his best friend gently. So warm and welcoming, as always. And the love for him was ever-growing.

"Wanna dance with me?" he asked, smiling. Long overdue...
#11
Theo was a sentimental creature, but so was Grigori really if one that didn't want to be fussed over. Not that he didn't appreciate his friend being here and trying to place focus on him. It was only his birthday. It didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

But Theo didn't want to talk further about himself and he was going to have to respect that, too.

And he...

"I wasn't really here to... you know what? Sure. Let's dance."
#12
Theo grabbed Grisha's hands with a grin. Give his friend a best night of his life was his goal now.

"Aight, let's wipe the floor with everyone else. And then, uh..." A pause, a doofy lip bite. "Perhaps I could be your wingman...?"

That's gonna get painful. But it was fine.
#13
Still just a little bit astonished by the fact that his friend was here and this had essentially been his entire coming out to Grigori, the birthday boy offered a lopsided smile and squeezed his hands gently.

"Wingman? What are you going to tell people?" he laughed, putting in effort on that air of playful distrust.
#14
Theo wrapped an arm around Grisha's shoulders in a playful, friendly manner and lead him to the dance floor.

"That you're a beautiful, talented and smart man that is way too humble for his own good." He said with a grin.
#15
That drew only the heaviest of eye rolls from the stablehand, accompanied by a snort of disbelief. "You're going to drive people away with that kind of talk," he complained playfully, giving him a nudge with his elbow. "They're going to think you're into me."
#16
Oh, that hit close to home. But Theo... slowly stopped caring, honestly.

"Because I am. Come on." The young vampire grabbed his friend's hands and dragged him to the dancefloor.
#17
Very funny. Grigori even snorted with poorly contained laughter as his friend dragged his floppy form onto the dancefloor.

"Then why aren't you taking me to bed, eh?" he teased, clearly in disbelief.
#18
"I..." Wow. That was... really out there, huh. "Well, I can...! But you gotta dance with me, first!"

There, he said it!
#19
Oh, was that right?

The stablehand laughed, not in a manner that was meant to be unkind but rather friendly, silly, joyful.

"If you wanted to dance with me again you could have just asked before!"
#20
"You know me, Grisha." Theo said with a bit of a sad smile now. His friend wasn't really getting it, huh? "I'm very shy. But... Come on."

He tried to get a good feel of the music. Just dance and don't think. Maybe it would clear his head.
#21
He really wasn't getting it. He frowned, grabbed Theo's arm in his own, flashed him a mischievous grin. Like they used to be!

"Too shy to dance with me? Since when?" he chided him playfully, tugging him close.
#22
Well...

Theo could have been shy. But Grisha always seemed to encourage him in lots of weird ways. And as he got pulled closer, he wrapped arms around his friend and just... kissed him.

Without thinking at all.
#23
The birthday boy hadn't had much to drink yet but as Theo closed in he started feeling like maybe someone had slipped something into his evening tea somehow. Maybe his brain broke temporarily but he felt only lightheaded and as though something had halterneck to reality, a disconnect.

It was so outside of the realm of possibility that his mind wouldn't initially accept that it was hairline, and so he stood there like an idiot just letting it happen.

And once it was over, he blinked once, twice.

"... what?"

Like Theo had said something and he'd simply missed it.
#24
There was a moment of panic. Theo bristled up like a scared cat and just uttered:

"Oh my God, I'msossssorrryyyy...!!!"
#25
"....... Theo, what?"

His friend looked like he was about to start running for his life, so he grabbed his arm as if that would protect the dancefloor from a trampling.
#26
Deep breath, kid...

"Sorry... Sorry, I shouldn't have... I just wanted to... uh..." Theo mumbled out, his eyes darting from Grisha to the exit.
#27
Grigori couldn't see the exit behind him because of course he couldn't, but he knew where the exit was relative to himself and realised Theo was seeking it.

Yeah, actually, good call.

"I can't hear you in here; come on, let's go talk."
#28
"I... alright..." The young vampire sighed out and just followed his friend like a confused duckling.
#29
Okay. Out they went together, one following the other, Grigori's hand loosely on Theo's arm as if he was worried his friend would get lost on the way out.

Once out in the cool air, he turned to Theo and folded his arms, taking a few breaths.

Okay.

So.

" What?"
#30
There was this 'what?' again. Where was he from, did the speak English in 'What'?

Theo wanted to dart away, lowkey angered that Grisha couldn't figure this out. He was a smart man, he knew it?! Was he this deep in denial?!

"Grisha... I was... being serious this entire time, you know?" he just said and shook his head.
#31
Serious?

Okay, he wasn't dense but it seemed so unlikely.

The flirting, the playful affection, it had all been serious and not jokey bro-dude silliness?

"You're into me?"
#32
Finally. FINALLY! He got it! Hallelujah! Holy shit!

"Yes!" Theo said. "Always has been!"
#33
Just. But.

"Why??"
#34
'Why'? 'Why'?!?!?!

"Grisha, vy ser'yezno sprashivayete?!" Theo switched to Russian in his exasperation. "Ved' ya stol'ko raz govoril tebe!"


t: are you seriously asking me?! I've been telling you so many times!

#35
God, was it that serious? Revert to Russian when mad? Grigori was just bewildered, face frozen in shock.

"Okay, no ya ne ponimayu," he said, voice raising a little in volume and register. "Vy vstretili menya; ty znayesh', ya nichego osobennogo!"

Implying that the opposite was true for Theo. Which it was! Theo was cut from very different cloth than Grigori!


But I don't understand! You've met me; you know I'm nothing special!

#36
What the hell was Grisha even talking about. Theo felt like ripping hair out of his head.

"Chto eto ponimat'?" He groaned, letting his arms just hang loosely should the temptation to actually do that got too strong. "Konechno, ya znayu tebya! Ya vsegda voskhishchalsya toboy."


t: 'What there is to understand? Of course I know you! I've always admired you.

#37
Now it was admiration?? Sure, Theo had been a little clingy when they were young and first met, and saw Grigori as someone cool, but that was because Grigori tried to make him feel welcome. Then they got to know each other and that dissipated, right?

"Chem voskhishchat'sya? Ty vsegda byl luchshe menya!"


what's to admire? You've always been better than me!

#38
"O chem ty govorish'?!" Urge to rip hair got stronger, but the young vampire just brushed fingers through his locks in frustration. "Ya?! Luchshe?! Ya vsegda byl trusom."


t: 'What are you talking about? Me? Better? I've always been a coward'

#39
What was Grigori talking about? What was Theo talking about?!

Shy, yes. Quiet, sure. Cowardly?? When?!

A deep breath. A rough, almost growling sigh.

"Theo, yedinstvennoye, chto u tebya yest', eto zhestko k sebe."


The only thing you are is hard on yourself

#40
"Ne trakhaysya, ty izdevayesh'sya nad soboy." Theo said, folding his arms now. "Ah, blyat..."

Deep breath as well... It downed upon him.

"Pochemu my voobshche sporim?"


t: 'Quit bullshitting, you're being hard on yourself.' 'Ah, fuck...' 'Why are we even arguing?'

#41
"Tebe vidneye!"

He threw his hands up but... limply. He was tired already. His birthday boy badge was drooping, hanging off his shirt, a tiny drop of blood now dried behind it from the shitty safety pin latch.

How most of his birthdays went. Confusing and existentially tiresome.


You tell me!

#42
He just got sad. Theo felt that in his selfishness, he ruined not only his friend's birthday, but just... Everything. Everything they had. And it was terrifying...

"I'm so sorry, Grisha..." he said quietly. "I... didn't wanted this to happen..."
#43
Back to English. Had Theo calmed down? It didn't seem so - he looked wound tightly, stretched, an elastic band ready to snap. Over him, though! Made no sense!

"Theo, just... look. When did this start?"
#44
"Uh... Remember when some of your stuff started going missing...?" Theo asked meekly. An embarrassing secret he was willing to finally give out. He's been taking things Grisha wouldn't really notice nor miss...
#45
Uh.

"... no??"

Either Theo had been taking things he didn't care about, sneaking around his apartment, or he was talking about something that happened so long ago that his memories were already mush in the back of his brain.
#46
Theo took a deep breath.

"I... mean... back when we were at school. I borrowed your shirt and never gave it back. Stole your deodorant and such... you know... small things." He was so embarrassed about something Grisha didn't even remembered. "Because it... brought me comfort..."

Tears again. Of shame and embarrassment.
#47
He wasn't sure what to think. Teenagers were weird, which he knew because he'd been one. They did weird things like stealing things that belonged to people they liked because they couldn't pluck up the courage to say it out loud. But that was so long ago!

"We were teenagers then," he said, running a hand through his hair. Glitter someone had accidentally sprayed him with rained onto his shoulder. " For so long, Theo?"
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)