Neil Perry
19 June 2010 @ 09:28 pm
Everything came flooding back to him at midnight, of course; and though he didn't need to he'd been watching the clock, waiting, and when it came he spurted some random line with a laugh, the first piece that came to mind. I will drink life to the lees!, and turned to Todd who waited with him with a grin, pushing him back and down with a passion that surprised both and displeased neither, though Neil, too enchanted with the delayed restoration of everything to rights, broke off his kisses to mutter nonsense, bits and pieces of things he'd tried and failed to remember. It takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility, damnit, and that's out of an essay, nobody knew where I was and now I am no longer there.

The next night nothing would do but to sneak off to the woods for him; to light the fire, together alone, to intone the invocation and read by flickering light, Todd from his own given pages, Neil from the dogeared tome that wasn't Five Centuries but was the closest he could manage. They kept no minutes. Certain things they could not have borne recording. Walking home in the dark, shoulder to shoulder, arms slipped about each other they forgot for a time, brief and eternal, that things had ever been other than this: ridiculous, perhaps, except that the certainty that things need never change again allowed some liberty with history, the intoxication of poetry and love outweighing sense. And if Todd kissed Neil in the elevator, it was only good fortune that kept their secret, because neither of them would have noticed any other eyes upon them then.

All the words humming in their hearts made up the silence as Neil pulled his friend down beside him, atop him, mouth seeking mouth and fingers twisting in thin fabric that still smelled of smoke, letting his body ask for something he still couldn't find the words for; shifting and turning and catching the other boy's body between his legs, tugging with shy insistence at someone's clothes though in the darkness and the haze of uncertain lust he couldn't be sure whose. And then the sheets were soft, unfamiliar against him; and it hurt (though less than he'd feared) and coming really was a little like dying, just like so many poets said. But then he'd died as well as can be expected (as awful as it was, in all the ways that mattered): swift and waking up on the other side in a better dream than he deserved.

Todd kissed his breast, just above his heart and muttered something ineffable.

You'll have to write that out for me in the morning, he answered, already more than half asleep.