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The Social Network: the kink meme!

It's Complicated: But sexy!


zuckonitkinkeme zuckonitkinkeme wrote in tsn_kinkmeme
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[PART SEVEN] - CLOSED
quick note; GUYS. please be aware that if you posted a prompt in part six and it is now screened, i have posted them to the post already - so that you guys don't have to. thanks for being patient and making the fill-a-thon such a success!

sorry i didn't get much of delicious done; i lacked the internet over the break but rest assured i have absolutely nothing to do so will get it, hopefully.


THE SOCIAL NETWORK KINK MEME


ASK THE MODS * FAQ * DISCUSSION * RESEARCH * FILL LIST * PART ONE * PART ONE (OVERFLOW) * PART TWO * PART TWO (OVERFLOW) * PART THREE * (PART THREE (OVERFLOW) * PART FOUR * PART FIVE * PART SIX


GENERAL RULES;

IMPORTANT: please DO NOT post prompts about any non-public people as part of a prompt. for example: randi zuckerberg is fine as she is a public figure both on the internet and on facebook itself. priscilla chan is NOT as she is not a public figure.

if you're in doubt, please message the mod or leave a comment in the discussion post.



♥ post requests and responses in the comments to this post.
♥ be respectful.
♥ both a pairing/character AND a prompt/kink must be posted.
♥ one pairing/prompt per comment please.
♥ you are encouraged to try and write a prompt for every request you make.
♥ we are slash, femslash, het, three-and-moresomes etc. friendly. (we are even incest friendly what with some of our characters being twins and all...)
♥ no pairing bashing, OK? no need to wank over ships.
♥ long and short fics welcome. multiple responses encouraged!
♥ please try to refrain from saying 'seconded!' as much as possible.
♥ on RPF: Please disclaim that it is RPF, a work of fiction and in no way related to the actual actors/persons/etc. (i wouldn't even try and discourage RPF from this meme ;))
WARN FOR COMMON TRIGGERS, PLEASE




FORMAT OF PROMPTS;


♥ alphabetize pairings/threesomes/moresomes. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark/Sean etc.)
♥ put [RPF] before RPF prompts. (e.g. [RPF] Andrew/Jesse)
♥ for crossover prompts: "[Crossover], The Social Network Character(s)/Other Character(s), [Fandom]" (e.g. [Crossover], Eduardo/Columbus, [Zombieland])
♥ no "!" in pairings, only in descriptions. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark, FacebookCreator!Eduardo, CFO!Mark)
♥ anyone, everyone, no one? Use "Other." (e.g. Sean/Other)
♥ put [GEN] before GEN prompts.




FILLS;


♥ please don't embed. link to images/videos.
♥ no locked material. this includes communities, even if membership is open.
♥ fills can be posted anonymously or not.
♥ fills can be anything: fic, art, vid, fanmix, podfic, etc.
♥ all prompts are open to fills at all times, even if they have been filled in the past or are being currently filled by someone else. multiple fills are positively encouraged; if something appeals to you then do not be put off creating a new fill by the existence of a prior one.
NEW: ♥ PLEASE comment with the first of your fill to the PROMPT and then all future updates as a comment to the FIRST PART of the fill. this makes it easier for both the WIP spreadhseet and for archiving stuff on delicious. it also helps people who are trying to catch up on updates and don't have to look through every fill on the prompt (should it have more than one). thank you.






[ARCHIVING]

[DELICIOUS]

[UNFILLED REQUESTS]

[FILLED REQUESTS]

[FLAT VIEW]


have fun!

THERE WILL BE UNMARKED SPOILERS. enter at your own risk! :D



PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING;

i know you guys are enjoying this meme and i appreciate that but please can you put the SUBJECT HEADER on your prompt. you would REALLY be helping me out if you could do that. it just saves time for me when i'm trying to tag everything in delicious.

AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT repost prompts from parts three, four, five or six over here again. the delicious is around for people to find prompts they may not have already seen. (prompts for parts one and two are now up for reposting.)

NEW RULE;

PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE 'FILL' RULES. THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE. thank you.
Tags:

RPF Andrew/Jesse Andrew/OMC abuse

(Anonymous)
Jesse just moved to a new apartment. Andrew is the friendly next door neighbor with an overbearing, abusive boyfriend.

I'd love for them to get together in the end. Run away together. Maybe Andrew left England to be with the boyfriend and he's been trying to save money to get back? Just Jesse and Andrew running away together. And if magical healing cock happens, bottom Andrew please.

Please?

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1a/?

(Anonymous)
Someone should properly fill this prompt (please): in the meantime, here's a kind of mini-fill, OP, and I hope it works for you!

As for warnings, this story attempts to be prompt-compliant, so it deals with issues of domestic abuse.


------

Jesse's parents tell him and his therapist tell him and his friends tells him that he should go out and meet new people; sometimes he considers doing just the opposite to piss them all off. But best intentions often go to hell, because that's when Andrew sweeps into his life like a hurricane, and it's really hard to say 'no' to your neighbor who is ridiculous and British and funny, and brings over delicious vegan cookies every other day because they're left-over from the cafe where he works - the same guy who helps Jesse tote his groceries up nine flights of stairs because the shitty elevator's broken again.

He takes the cookies into work sometimes: the cast and crew flock to and devour the treats within minutes. If he's feeling kindly, he'll hide a few for Joe and Rashida - Jesse has no idea why people say that it's a bad idea to work with your friends, because the film shoot has been great so far.

"It's because you like him," Rashida tells him while in wardrobe and trying to avoid getting crumbs on her vintage skirt.

"You like like him," Joe adds around a mouthful of cookie.

For a moment, Jesse regrets telling either of them anything and wonders how the two of them seem to regularly trick the general public into thinking they are functional adults slash talented actors - though in fairness, he had once made the mistake of asking Joe, who had just stared at him blankly. "Why are we even having this conversation?" he says, tugging on a pair of suspenders. "Besides," he continues somewhat reluctantly. "He has a live-in boyfriend."

"Still," Rashida says, sweeping Joe into her arms; they proceed to waltz clumsily around Jesse. "Cute British neighbor. You're living the dream!"

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1b/?

(Anonymous)
------

He's coming back from a night-shoot, trying valiantly to unlock his door at 5:37 a.m. without pitching forwards in exhaustion. In his process of fumbling with the locks, he manages to drop his keys, which results in a long-suffering sigh and a string of muffled curses.

"Hey," someone says from behind him, soft enough that it doesn't startle him. "You all right?"

Jesse turns around, and there's Andrew smiling at him, wild hair and all. He kind of waves at him half-heartedly: "Oh yeah, yeah great. Just getting off work now: ready to sleep for the next fourteen years. What about you?"

Andrew laughs a little at that, bending down to pick up Jesse's fallen keys. "On my way to work now: the masses eagerly await to be caffeinated," he says, jiggling the keys into the lock and pushing the door open a fraction.

Jesse stares at him, bleary-eyed: "Oh thank you, thank you," he says gratefully. "I think you've just saved my life. Or at very least, what's left of my sanity."

Laughing again, Andrew deposits the keys back into Jesse's hands and gives him a gentle push into the apartment. "Go. Sleep. Wake up and feel more human. Sweet dreams and all," he tells him, and then with another jaunty wave, disappears into the stairwell: Jesse watches him go before shutting the door and locking it behind him.

Jesse tosses his keys onto the counter, and then, on auto-pilot, pours out food for the cats and toes off his shoes before collapsing face-first onto his bed and dreams about Andrew's laugh.

------

The units in Jesse's complex are mostly sound-proof - there are times he can hear the weird tenants directly upstairs move furniture or clomp around in high heels, and sometimes, from the balcony, he can hear bits conversations between his next-door neighbors. There's not much he can do about the people upstairs, short of taking a broom to the ceiling 101 Dalmations style, but he mostly keeps the balcony door shut because he doesn't really want the curious cats to get out there anyway.

Every so often, though, especially after a few days of not leaving the apartment, the rooms get a little stifling, and after making sure that screen doors are safely in place, Jesse will shove open his windows and the balcony door and leave it to get some semblance of connection with the outside world.

Sometimes, on these nights, he'll catch snippets of sound bleeding from next door, someone yelling:

you're fucking useless,

and

you're lucky I keep you around: no one would even want to rape you;

and then someone else, a low familiar voice that says:

I know,

and

I'm sorry,

over and over and over again, until total isolation and impending claustrophobia feel more appealing than listening to this, and Jesse has to close the balcony door and all the windows with trembling hands.

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1b/?

Author anon, I feel like you're doing an awesome job and I sincerely believe you should keep going (if you'd like). I'm hooked and it'd be nice to read more. :)

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1b/?

Oh God, I have a feeling this one is going to hurt.

So good so far, please continue!

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1b/?

;__________________________;

You're going to hurt me good, anon, but I'll try my best to prepare for it. It's off to a good start already!

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1b/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-05 05:19 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 1b/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-06 02:06 pm (UTC)(Expand)
mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 2/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-07 03:21 am (UTC)(Expand)

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 3/?

(Anonymous)
------

It's almost four in the morning by the time everyone else's gone home, the countless people that Jesse's met at this party whose names he doesn't remember. Rashida's already cabbed home and Joe's asleep next door on Jesse's couch.

Jesse stays behind to make half-hearted attempts at helping with clean-up, but Andrew declares that everything else can wait until later and suggests that they go out on the balcony and drink the last of the beer. His boyfriend's passed out hours ago. It's the part of the night where Jesse's still pleasantly buzzed but in that sleepy kind of way, so he just kind of shrugs and follows Andrew out into the crisp night air.

"Great party," Jesse says, because that's the kind of thing you're supposed to say after a party, even if it isn't true. He takes one of the cans that Andrew's holding out to him, clinks them together, and doesn't think about kissing him.

"Thank you,” Andrew says. “And thanks for bringing the entertainment: three famous actors at the party - who would have thought?"

"Two," Jesse says with a sheepish grin. "Did you forget how to count?"

"Three," Andrew counters, swigging his beer. "You."

Jesse snorts. "Not that this has anything to do with anything," he says instead. "But what did you used to do before working at a cafe?"

Andrew laughs, ducking his head. "This is going to sound awful since I just complimented your acting skills, but. Well. I was an actor, actually. Sort of."

Jesse almost spits out his sip of beer in surprise. "Really? Do you still act? What happened?"

Shaking his head, Andrew smiles against the lip of his can. "I moved to America to be with my boyfriend."

"What, you can't act in America?"

"Wasn't that good, anyway," Andrew shrugs ruefully. "I don't really go to auditions anymore."

Jesse thinks about this, taking a long pull from his own drink. Then he blurts out, "You guys are really loud sometimes."

This time, it's Andrew who looks surprised. "Really? I didn't think--"

"Like with the plates, I mean."

"--oh," Andrew says. He pauses. And then finally, "So...um...yeah, I guess you heard that, yeah?"

Jesse knows that he should probably stop talking, but somehow can't stop the words from falling out of his mouth. "Does that happen often?"

Andrew seems to think about this for a long moment, choosing his words carefully when he finally answers: "He gets stressed out sometimes, you know? Work is frustrating for him right now. Things could probably be going better for him is all."

"How stressed out does he get?" Jesse ventures tentatively, playing with the can in his hand.

Like realization's dawning on him, Andrew shakes his head. "It's not what you think, okay? He's not crazy or anything. It's not like he throws things at people, or hits them." He takes another long drink from his can, before knocking their knees together and offers Jesse a crooked smile. "Anyway, if he ever hit me, I'd probably just hit him back."

You don't have to hit someone to hurt them, Jesse thinks, and desperately wants to say it, but the moment has passed and Andrew's already changed the subject to an anecdote about something ridiculous that had happened at the cafe yesterday. All Jesse can do is sit there with his knee pressed up against Andrew's and wish that things were different.

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 3/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-08 03:48 pm (UTC)(Expand)

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 4/?

(Anonymous)
Jesse's pretty much still asleep the next afternoon when he drags Joe out with him to meet up with Rashida for brunch, so he doesn't think much of it when Joe straightens up in his chair: "I met the boyfriend," he announces. "He's a dickhole. All like...skeezy and shit," he shudders.

Rashida points a piece of toast in Jesse's direction. "But Andrew's pretty cool. I totally get the crush thing."

Leaning over to steal some of Jesse's vegetarian bacon off the plate, Joe nods in agreement. "Fact. Awful taste in men, though."

"Until he leaves him for the next door neighbor because Jesse's life's turned into a soap opera," Rashida points out.

Frowning, Jesse pushes back his plate. "You can forget about that. He's taken. And he's not interested."

"But what about you?" Joe croons happily. "I approve, by the way. He seems like a pretty stand-up guy."

"He's taken," Jesse repeats, trying to ignore how his ears are burning pink.

Rashida lights up at this: "Oh my god," she says, delighted. And them, to Jesse's utter horror, bursts into what is likely a song, key be damned: "Why can't you seeeeeeeeee, you belong with meeeeeee..."

It's almost too bad that they're in the middle of New York City, because no one around them even blinks an eye.

"I have no idea what your talking about," Jesse says, trying to be heard over Rashida. "And I don't think I want to know."

Joe shakes his head, grinning. "Yeah, you really, really don't."

------

They're almost done principle photography, so Jesse's finally allowed home at a godly hour, and of course, because Rashida's always god-damned right and his life is a fucking soap opera ("Your life is what you make of it," his therapist keeps reminding him - he doesn't have the heart to tell her that he hates soap operas), he runs into Andrew in the hallway, who tells him that he forgot his boyfriend was out of town and ordered a shitton of take-out anyway, so he invites him over for dinner.

As they fumble clumsily with wooden chopsticks, Andrew tells Jesse about growing up in Surrey and Jesse pays him back with tales of New York City in the winter, since Andrew has yet to experience it: the conversation's easy and Jesse never finds hismelf clamming up around him.

Jesse hides a smile behind a take-out container as Andrew throws his head back to laugh at something Jesse says, and he not to think about how he could get used to this; how he wants to get used to this.

------

He probably wouldn't be able to pinpoint how it begins, but somewhere along the way, Jesse and Andrew start fucking. Maybe it's when Andrew's boyfriend starts going away on business trips, or works late at the office. Regardless, one night, Andrew knocks on the door with more leftover cookies. Jesse invites him in, and suddenly their faces are close enough almost to touch - hands in hair, pulling at shirts and belts; mouth on mouth.

The second or third time that it happens, Jesse's urgently tugging down at Andrew's jeans and his fingers brush against a small burn on his hip, against faint pink scars that crisscross down his thigh. - he's distracted when Andrew pulls him in for another frantic kiss.

One day, he finally does ask: "What happened here?" Jesse asks, splaying his fingers protectively over the healing skin.

"It was an accident," Andrew says, his cheeks flushing pink.

"What about these?" Jesse wants to know, tracing his fingers down the trails of scars.

Andrew shrugs. "That was an accident, too."

You're a shitty liar, Jesse wants to say, but doesn't.

When Jesse fucks Andrew, he's careful not to mark him up: leaves no trace behind because it's only safe if there's no tangible proof. He doesn't claw and he doesn't bite and he doesn't bruise: he noses up against Andrew jaw and sometimes laces their fingers together. He moves slowly and smoothly, kissing languidly until Andrew's practically keening under him.

Sometimes, they'll lie there together in Jesse's bed, still sweaty and naked and Andrew will give him this sleepy smile before dozing off a little bit, and in this moment, Jesse will almost let himself pretend that this is something more than it really is: that he doesn't hate himself for becoming another one of Andrew's endless secrets.

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 4/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-09 10:04 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 4/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-09 02:03 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 4/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-12 01:27 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 4/? - (Anonymous), 2011-07-18 03:50 pm (UTC)(Expand)

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 5/?

(Anonymous)
I think/hope I have a better idea of what I'm doing with this now - it ended up a little more complicated than I originally thought it would, so hopefully it's not completely ridiculous. Thank you so much for reading, the comments, and your patience: it's all so very much appreciated!

RE: warnings - these can be found in the first part.


------

Jesse reaches an epiphany - being with Andrew feels easy. It makes Jesse happy: when they're together, when Andrew's pressed beside him on the couch or naked and shifting underneath him, Jesse never feels like he needs to be anyone else than who he already is.

(His therapist says that this is a positive thing, this newfound sense of happiness and comfort he's feeling. Jesse does not tell her that this is likely derived from fucking his neighbor's boyfriend.)

"Can I ask you a question?" Andrew asks him one afternoon, after Jesse's finally mustered up the energy to roll off of Andrew and flop down beside him on the bed.

Jesse pillows his head on his arms, somewhat taken aback: they've never talked after sex - that has always seemed too intimate. "That depends," he says. "Do I get to ask you one too?"

Andrew gives him a lazy smile and a half-shrug. "You're a pretty successful working actor. You could probably afford to...live somewhere else? If you don't mind me asking, why do you stay? Here, I mean."

"I don't know if you've noticed," Jesse says wryly. "But I'm kind of a creature of habit and anxiety. I'm not great with change." His eyes search Andrew's face for laughter, but when he finds only genuine curiosity, he pushes on: "I'm working on it. It helps to have a job where you sometimes have to travel a lot? But I like coming home to something familiar: I like knowing where everything is and being comfortable about it. It's...good. It feels right. I like that and it's important to me. Does that make any sense at all?"

"Yes," Andrew nods, reaching over to squeeze Jesse's hand. "It does. I just wanted to know."

In moments like this, Jesse thinks it could be so easy to pretend that this is something more than it really is. He knows he shouldn't, know he can't.

But still.

Jesse clears his throat. "Same question," he says, untangling his hand to pull the sheets up over both of them.

Andrew furrows his brow in confusion, "Why do I stay in this apartment?"

"No," Jesse says patiently. "Why do you stay?"

"What do you mean?"

Jesse takes a deep breath. "I mean. Have you ever thought about leaving? Leaving him?"

The look of confusion on Andrew's face doesn't lessen any. "What, for you?"

"No," Jesse repeats, a little more forcefully this time. His eyes search Andrew's face again, willing him to understand. "I mean leaving him. Full stop. For yourself."

Andrew tilts his head a little, nestling it further into the pillow. "Why would I want to do that?"

His answer hits Jesse like a punch in the gut. Maybe, deep down, he already knew the answer. But knowing it and hearing it are two different things.

"Andrew," Jesse whispers; doesn't trust his voice to be any louder than that right now. Please understand. "Why do you stay?"

The lines of confusion previously on Andrew's face smooth out, like this time he really gets what Jesse's trying to say. "Because," he says gently, the edges of his mouth quirking into a small smile. "He loves me. And maybe it's selfish, but I want to be loved. It's important to me."

Jesse doesn't know how to respond to that.

Andrew presses a kiss to the side of Jesse's mouth almost like an apology, and after awhile dozes off curled around Jesse's side. Jesse thinks about all the things he could say or do if he felt like a braver man, if he were someone else. He closes his eyes, because it's easier than watching Andrew's rising and falling chest beside him.

When Jesse swims into lucidity hours later, the sun has started to set in the city and Andrew is gone.

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 6/?

(Anonymous)
------

"You got laid," Joe greets him the next morning when he walks onto set.

Jesse ducks his head. "I don't see how this is brand new information. Or any of your business, for that matter."

Joe considers him for a moment, before breaking into a manic grin and turning around to yell for Rashida: "Mr. Eisenberg got some hot neighbourly ass last night!"

There's cheering from the area where they're doing make touch-ups. "Ask him if he's got any hot single friends. Preferably straight."

Joe takes the opportunity to sweep Jesse into a bro-hug. "Congrats, man," he says heartily. Then he leans in close. "Just, you know. Don't get..."

"...caught?" Jesse supplies dryly.

Joe shrugs and offers him a sheepish smile. "There's a whole list of words that could fill in the blank here."

"I know," Jesse says. And then, almost as an after-thought, "Thanks. I think."

------

"I know you think I'm an idiot for staying," Andrew says conversationally, while taking off his shirt and dropping it carelessly onto Jesse's bedroom floor.

Jesse takes the moment to shamelessly admire the view. "I don't think you're an idiot," he admits. "I just don't get it. I couldn't imagine ever picking up and moving halfway around the world to be with someone, especially without a contingency plan."

"Contingency plan?" Andrew says sardonically. "Like hiding a small part of your paycheck of your shitty salary every month in the bottom of your sock drawer?"

Jesse feels like he should be kind of weirded out that they're having this conversation while stripping, but mostly he just finds it strange that he doesn't actually mind. He shucks off his own shirt and then unzips his jeans, stepping out of them. "Do you have a wad of bills hidden in your sock drawer?"

Andrew, already down to his underwear, considers Jesse for a moment. "It's entirely possible."

"To go back to England?" Jesse asks, not unkindly.

Andrew shrugs.

"You know," Jesse says with only the slightest hesistation. "If it's about the money, I could --"

"--no," Andrew interrupts. "That's not the point at all."

"What is the point, then?" Jesse wants to know.

"The point is," Andrew starts, and then stops again like he's thinking about it, before startin again. "The point is that...I keep telling them back home, my family and my friends, how well I'm doing here, and how wonderful everything is. And they're all really happy for me. How do you think they're going to feel when I come back all of a sudden with my tail between my legs?"

Jesse just stares at him, trying to process this information; trying to make sense of it. Finally, it's all he can do to say, "Andrew. It doesn't matter. They love you. Isn't that important to you?"

Andrew doesn't respond for a long time, doesn't do anything at all. For a moment, Jesse is worried that he's just going to turn around and leave without another word.

Instead, Andrew offers him a crooked smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes, and sits down on the bed. "Come on, Jess," he says. "We haven't got much time. And I'd really like to suck you off."

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 6/? - (Anonymous), 2011-08-05 06:27 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 6/? - (Anonymous), 2011-08-05 07:35 pm (UTC)(Expand)

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 7/10

(Anonymous)
Thank you for the comments and the patience, and for bearing with me for not knowing what I was doing with this mini-fill that ended up being an actual fill. Just...thank you so much. The ending wasn't really in compliance with what the OP requested, so there's an extra part at the end that hopefully fulfills it: the story can (I think) be read with or without that last bit. So uh. Thanks again!

RE: warnings - see the first part of the story


-------

They start to get careless because they have yet to be caught. Andrew starts bringing things over in the broad daylight; he stays until the evening because Jesse keeps letting him. Jesse licks up the long line of Andrew's neck when they tumble together into bed – doesn't leave teeth marks, though he think he might like to sometimes. Discretionary measures become lax: sometimes, when Andrew's moaning Jesse's name from under him, Jesse will let himself forget what this is, that he's just the other man.

“Aren't you worried I'm going to out you and sell the story for ridiculous amounts of money?” Andrew asks one time, half-absorbed with undoing the buttons on Jesse’s shirt.

Temporarily alarmed, Jesse looks up. “...are you?”

“No, of course not,” Andrew says with a sheepish grin, dropping the shirt and leaning forward to kiss the look of confusion off Jesse’s face. “But you're just so...nice.”

“Do you try and flatter everyone you cheat on your boyfriend with?”

Andrew laughs, unoffended. “You're the first,” he confides.

The first you've cheated with, or the first you've complimented, Jesse wants to know, but never asks - he leans over and kisses Andrew instead.

------

Jesse casually drops snatches of the story on Joe and Rashida one day over lunch: "A friend," he hedges nervously, trying not to spill on his costume. "And a friend of a friend.” He looks down at his half-touched egg salad. “Is it okay, do you think--” He hesitates for a moment. “--what’s the difference between doing the right things for the wrong reasons, or the wrong things for the right reasons?” he asks instead, picking up his water glass and playing with it.

Rashida and Joe exchange looks with each other.

"Cheating is still cheating," Joe says thoughtfully, finally. "But Andrew seems like a really good guy. And so are you."

Jesse chokes on his drink of water. "What? I said a 'friend'! And a friend of a friend!"

"Then I would tell your friend that it's hard to be brave; and it takes courage to be happy," Rashida says, giving Jesse a sympathetic smile. "That's what I'm going to tell you, too. Be brave, Jesse. It will be okay.”

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 8/10

(Anonymous)
------

Things don’t really change all that much, either. Sometimes, in the evening, he’s still catch snippets of things drifting through his open windows, like


shut the fuck up, you useless piece of shit


and


so fucking useless


and Jesse still doesn’t know what he can do, what he can say – Andrew doesn’t mention it when he comes by, always two or three days later, so Jesse won’t bring it up either. He doesn’t mention it to his friends, doesn’t mention it to his therapist, doesn’t mention it to anyone, even though it terrifies him.

"I don't know if I can keep doing this," he finally says one day, gathering up his courage when Andrew’s come over with leftover pumpkin bread and is sitting on the floor, playing with one of the cats.

"Doing what?" Andrew says, crooking his head up to look at Jesse.

Jesse takes a deep breath, floundering for self-preservation. "Sneaking around. Being your dirty secret. I thought I could do it, but I can't. It makes me unhappy. And anxious. I keep...waiting. Waiting for us to get...found out, and that—“ Jesse breaks off for a moment to catch his breath before starting again, looking down at his scuffed up shoes. “--Because that's not fair to me and it's not fair for you. I can't keep having meaningless sex, Andrew, because that's not what it is for me."

The words come tumbling out of his mouth, and he realizes that they’re true: Jesse doesn't know what he expects to happen; doesn't seem to realize that he's been holding his breath when he looks up and sees Andrew smiling at him, fond.

“Oh, Jesse,” he says, standing up. “Yes. Yes, okay, I understand.”

“You do?” Jesse says, dumbfounded.

“Yes, I do, okay,” Andrew tells him, leaning over to squeeze his shoulder. “Sneaking around, all…Anyway. I do hope you won't be a stranger, though: I really do think that you are lovely. Friends, yeah?”

“I...yeah, yeah, of course,” Jesse says, fidgeting a little bit, not entirely sure of what to say.

Andrew offers him a half-wave as he backs up out the door. “For what it's worth,” he volunteers. “It wasn't meaningless for me, either.”

------

Jesse’s never before had a problem with living alone before – he’s liked coming home to his grouchy cats and the tinny sound of his record player. He likes not having to talk to anyone else, that he can leave his things just so: he likes the peace and the quiet, and for the most part, he likes being alone, save for the times when Rashida comes by, complaining about her last failed date, with Joe and an explosion of take-out in tow.

But here’s the thing: he gets used to coming home to Andrew and a paper bag of day-old muffins, leaning over the counter and asking Jesse about his day. He’s gotten used to Andrew and his ridiculous hair that always smells a little like coffee and vaguely woodsy-scented shampoo, curled up on the floor with the skittish, mewling kittens. He’s gotten used to the way Andrew kisses his neck, the way he tugs Jesse closer with fingers curled into belt loops.

They’ve decided that they’d go back to the way it used to be, and that’s almost what it’s like: Andrew stops by sometimes with the baked goods and asks about Jesse’s day or after the cats, but he doesn’t come into the apartment either, regardless of whether or not his boyfriend’s home. He doesn’t curl up next to Jesse on the couch or the bed; doesn’t laugh with his chest against Jesse’s back like for a moment there is nothing wrong in the world because there is nothing else, a soft vibration that Jesse mentally files away as something he hopes he’ll never forget.

And then it occurs to him, this feeling, this sensation that he hasn’t felt in years: without Andrew around, all of a sudden, for the first time in a long time, Jesse is lonely.

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 9/10

(Anonymous)
-------

The film's off to shoot on location in the Midwest for two weeks, and Andrew volunteers to cat-sit: Jesse spends twenty minutes trying to decide if that's a good idea, and then twenty more minutes trying to decide if he should just give Andrew a spare key, before giving in. Because friends help you take care of your cats when you need them to: that’s what friends do.

His therapist confirms this when he poses it as a hypothetical quandary, so it must be okay.

When he lets himself back into his apartment at the end of the shoot, exhausted as he pushes the door open, he's almost alarmed when he hears someone murmuring inside his unit, relaxing only when he sees the familiar hair, the stooped backside of the person leaning over the cat curled in his lap.

Jesse clears his throat. "Thanks for not burning my place down," he says. "And for taking care of the cats."

Andrew turns around, smiling, and there’s something strange about the way he’s there’s something strange about the way he looks. "Hey. They really missed you. How was Chicago?"

Tilting his head, Jesse drops his bag and strides purposefully across the room. “Andrew,” he says, and formalities be damned. "What happened to your face?"

When Andrew doesn’t say anything, Jesse drops down to his knees beside him and tentatively ghosting fingers against the darkening skin against his cheekbone. “Did your boyfriend do that?” Jesse asks, willing his voice to stay steady. “Did he hit you?"

A shrug. "It was an accident: he didn't mean to."

Jesse just blinks at him. "Did you hit him back?"

"Of course not,” Andrew tells him, like it’s not a big deal.

Jesse exhales, his hands balling into helpless fists at his side. "Andrew. You said--"

"--I know," Andrew says, and he looks tired, so tired; even more tired than Jesse feels. "I know, all right? I'm…sorry. Sorry."

At this very moment, there is nothing Jesse wants more, needs more, then for Andrew to stop talking, to stop apologizing; he's across the room in three strides, and crushes their mouths together with a desperation and sadness that feels bigger than both of them. Andrew makes kind of a surprised noise, but doesn't pull away: instead, he kisses Jesse back, snaking an arm around his waist; holds on.

Andrew pulls away from the kiss first, but leaves his forehead pressed to Jesse's. “Disappointed?” he asks quietly.

Almost immediately, Jesse is shaking his head. “No,” he says, trying to keep his hands from trembling. “Scared.”

They fall into the couch, quickly shedding out of their clothing without another word. Pressed together and limbs tangled; skin to skin and mouth to mouth, hot and frantic, like this is the only thing that matters. Jesse goes slowly, gets lube everywhere and takes his time with his fingers, stretching Andrew out carefully, looking anywhere but the bruise on Andrew’s face.

------

Afterward, when Andrew’s in the middle of pulling his clothes back on, he mentions it casually: "I bought an open plane ticket while you were gone.” His voice is muffled from the shirt he’s pulling on over his head, “That's it for the contingency fund, I guess."

“Oh,” Jesse says a little awkwardly, watching him. “To where?"

Andrew gives him a sheepish grin, his hair sticking up in six directions at once: "London."

Jesse sits up straight: before he can stop himself, he’s reaching out a hand and clumsily brushing his knuckles against Andrew’s jaw line. “Are you going to use it?"

Leaning into Jesse’s touch, Andrew seems to consider this for a moment. “I don't know yet,” he declares. But then, softly, sincerely, he says, “I'm glad you're home.”

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - 10/10

(Anonymous)
-------

When Jesse passes his neighbor in the hallway, they do not make eye contact. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Jesse wonders if he knows.

Every so often, Andrew comes by: sometimes they fuck and more often, they don’t – much to Jesse’s relief, he doesn’t show up with bruises again. They don’t talk about it.

One day, Jesse comes home to find his spare house key slipped under the door, and a piece of paper on his kitchen counter, that has Thank you and Good luck scrawled messily on it.

Clutching the note, he suddenly finds himself sitting on the kitchen floor, leaning against the cupboards and ignoring the mewling cats twining themselves around his ankles. He reads the note to himself again and again and again, and doesn’t know whether he wants to laugh or cry.

------

Life goes on as it always does: the film goes into post-production, and Rashida finally gets herself a boyfriend, and Jesse gets a part in a romantic comedy and goes to more auditions.

Jesse starts getting things in the mail: postcards and notes, mostly - never a return address, always with a European postmark. Sometimes, there's a sentence or two in a familiar messy scrawl; sometimes a fact or a quote, and almost always something cryptic.

Jesse tacks these notes up on his wall in chronological order because it's all he can do.

"He sounds happy, I think," Jesse tells Rashida one evening when she swings by with take-out.

"Wow," says Rashida, awed, fingers brushing against the curling edges of one of the postcards. "It's like the ending of that movie Joe was in when he was a kid."

Jesse tilts his head, trying to scan his mind for names of movies: feels kind of bad that he hasn't even seen most of the movies starring one of his closest friends. "Jurrasic Park?"

"No, the other one. With the wagon," she pauses as her face does something complicated. "Or at least, it's like the ending I want the movie meant to have. I didn't really understand the ending, I guess. I should ask Joe about it someday."

------

One day, Jesse comes home from an audition and he notices that he's got new neighbors.

He's not sorry to see that he's gone.

------

Three weeks later, Jesse gets a postcard with a flock of sheep on the front. On the back, it says:

i think you would really like it here. -a.

In the bottom corner, in tiny cramped print, is an e-mail address.

Oh.

Oh.

It occurs to him in a terrifying moment of clarity, that if Andrew had asked, he would have followed. He would have followed him anywhere.

Jesse stares at the postcard for a long time.

mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - (11)/10

(Anonymous)
--------

(He's never done anything like this before, ever.

Rashida drives him to the airport; parks in short-term parking and gets out to give him a hug. "Are you sure about this?" she says, and it's more a formality than anything: she knows he's got his mind made up.

"No," Jesse says, and it's only half a lie. He's scared, sure, but also: he knows this is what he wants to do. "It might be too late to back out now, though."

"Okay," she tells him. "Drink a lot on the plane. It'll help. Maybe."

He gives her one last squeeze and walks into the airport. He waits in security lines, and makes his way to international departures. He gets on the plane (and doesn't drink that much), takes a cab, walks down the street. He turns a corner and sees the little non-descript house he's looking for.

If there was ever a time to have courage, Jesse thinks, this is probably it. This moment. No other.

Later on, they’ll have all the time to build a world of their own, where monsters and things that lurk in the dark are infinitely less scary because there’s someone else to fight it with you, hand in hand, and loneliness doesn’t even figure into the equation anymore.

That sounds pretty good, Jesse decides

So, brave, he walks up the steps and rings the door bell.)

Re: mini-fill - now that the world isn't ending - (11)/10 - (Anonymous), 2011-08-18 11:13 am (UTC)(Expand)