It was a Thursday, and therefore an appropriate day for Roy to experience his first genuine fit of insanity.
He'd woken late, and partway through his morning routine of checking his email, his RSS feeds, and his FriendFace, he realised that he'd drank the last of his stockpile of Kick. Everyone claimed that the formulation was the same after they'd changed it to Kx, but Roy refused to drink it because Tesco clearly was catering to teenagers with a name that stupidly trendy, and also because it made him feel old.
Roy had been kicking at the empty bottles of Kick when he tripped and bashed his head on his jellyfish mood lamp, cracking the tank and getting some mysterious liquid all over his 'There's no place like 127.0.0.1' T-shirt. He hadn't bothered changing it before going to work.
All in all, he hadn't had the best morning, and it was possible that he was slightly concussed.
Moss stomped into the office not long after Roy got to his desk. Moss tossed his bag on the floor and sat so heavily that his chair rolled into the rickety shelf full of old CRT monitors. An action figure still in its original packaging teetered at the top, but didn't fall.
"Oh, blast it, Roy," said Moss. He was wearing his largest pair of glasses. "Mum says it's time for me to become a real man."
Roy spit his coffee on the latest issue of Hellboy. His brain was spinning with possibilities. Or perhaps that was the head injury. "Say what?"
"Unbelievable, is what it is," said Moss. "Good gracious me, the barmy woman wants me to move out!"
"Is that all?" asked Roy, relaxing into his chair.
Moss stood and pinwheeled his arms. "Is that all? I've never lived on my own before, Roy! I don't know what to do! It'll be anarchy. Anarchy."
"Look, Moss --"
"You know what I suspect?" asked Moss, beginning to look genuinely distressed. "I think she's kicking me to the kerb so she can entertain gentlemen callers."
And that's when the insanity took hold.
"Well, why don't we move in together," said Roy. He then gasped and clapped his hands over his mouth, but it was too late. There was a creeping sensation of inevitability in the air.
"That's a fantastic idea," said Moss, sitting at his computer and typing with great relish. "I'll contact an estate agent straightaway."
"...or we could look on Craigslist," said Roy. He logged into his computer and hoped for some work to do. There were no open tickets at all.
"Email sent!" said Moss.
The telephone rang on Roy's desk. He answered it immediately. "Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it – oh, you're the estate agent."
"They're very prompt. They came highly recommended on Help!" said Moss happily.
Roy covered the receiver with his hand. "You gave them my number?"
"Well, it should be a joint decision, Roy. I thought you'd like some input," said Moss.
"Hello, again," said Roy to the estate agent. "You'd like to show us a flat this afternoon?"
Moss nodded eagerly, and then said loudly, "We'd love to!"
"...sure," said Roy reluctantly. And that was that.
On the whole, after you got past the part where it was insane, it wasn't the worst idea that Roy'd ever had. At least he hadn't agreed to move in with Jeff the Dominator; he'd never be able to watch a film again without that bastard spoiling everything. Two incomes meant they could afford something better than Roy's miniscule efficiency, and the idea of merging their gaming consoles, comics, toys, and DVDs was appealing, not to mention that Roy really did need more space for his telly.
Normally Roy would insist upon a strict division of personal property along with a complex labeling system, but he trusted Moss to treat his electronics with the proper respect. Also, there were some DVDs and mint comics in Moss's collection that Roy wanted bad. Merging their collections meant that Roy could steal things without Moss even noticing.
"What I don't understand," said Roy, taking off his jacket as they walked into their office, "is why they keep showing us one-bedroom flats."
"We could get bunk beds!" said Moss.
"Bunk beds? Are you mad?"
Moss frowned. "You sleep on a sofa. One would think that an item of furniture with 'bed' in its name would be a step up."
Jen was lounging on the couch. "Where have you two been?"
"Looking at flats," answered Moss even though Roy was giving him the signal to shut up.
Jen dropped the volume of Strangers in Paradise that she was reading and vaulted over the couch, her black tulip skirt flaring. "You're looking at flats. Together."
"Unfortunately, yes," said Roy, running away from her demented grin and evil laugh.
"I'll get to you later." Jen's eyes sparkled with glee, but she was nice to Moss, possibly because Moss was irritating but rather hapless. "Moss, what's wrong? Why are you moving out? Is your mother all right?"
"She's putting her sexual appetites before her own son, that's how she is," said Moss. He put his Doctor Who lunch box on his desk with great force. "Dash it all, now I'm cross."
"Moss needs a place to live. I need a better place to live. It's as simple as that," said Roy.
Jen glanced between them. "Don't the two of you spend enough time together as it is?"
"I think we've established that Roy and I don't do well with other people," said Moss.
"That may be true, but there's no need to go off half-cocked," said Jen. "Have you thought about how this could affect our work situation if things go sour?"
Roy and Moss didn't answer. They were too busy giggling.
"Oh, honestly. You two deserve each other," said Jen. She turned around and shrieked. "Richmond!"
Richmond stood in the middle of the office, wearing a black suit with a blood red cravat, looking more wan than usual and holding a bag of oranges.
"Have Moss and Roy got married?" asked Richmond. "Did you not invite me to the ceremony? This is terrible."
"Pish! Of course we'd invite you to our ceremony," said Moss.
"No, they haven't married. They're just taking the next step and moving in together," said Jen, glancing over her shoulder to make a smug face at Roy. "What about you? How have you been?"
Richmond placed his bag of oranges on the nearest flat surface. "Oh, you know. I've been all right. Taking supplements. Eating citrus. Oh, and I met someone."
"What? When? I need details," said Jen, playing with her necklace.
"He met someone?" said Moss. "That's not an event. I meet people every day."
"He's a male nurse. His name's Nosferatu. We met at a Cradle of Filth concert." Richmond struck a pose and looked into the distance. His smile was unnaturally wide. It was unnerving.
Jen took Richmond's arm and drew him to the kitchenette. "I'll make some tea while you tell me everything. Your coat's so soft! Is that velvet?"
"Someone bumped me and I dropped my absinthe spoon. Nosferatu picked it up. He has a tattoo of my favourite album cover across his chest, and that's when I knew we were meant to be."
Moss's desk shook. He opened a drawer and took out his mobile to check his text messages. "To the Batmobile, Roy! We've another flat to see. The estate agent thinks this is the one!"
Unfortunately, it was. But at least it had two bedrooms, one of which, the estate agent said, could be turned into an office.
All of Moss's plaid shirts and ugly ties were hanging in a neat row in Roy's closet. Or at least the closet in the room he'd called bagsies when they'd moved in yesterday. He didn't have much in it yet but posters; most of Roy's things had furnished the living room.
Roy poked his head out the door. "Moss!"
Moss poked his head out of the other bedroom. "What?"
"What are your things doing in my bedroom?" asked Roy.
"We need an office, Roy. Don't argue," said Moss.
To be fair, they really did; their computers outnumbered them 5:1. Occasionally more if Roy brought his 'work' home under his shirt. And that wasn't even counting the consoles.
"But Moss," protested Roy. "What if one of us brings a woman home?"
Moss stared at him. "How likely is that to happen, do you think?"
"There's no call to be so harsh," said Roy. He tugged at his shirt, crossed his arms, uncrossed them, and overall felt very awkward.
"Look," said Moss, but he was interrupted by the buzzer to their flat. "Brilliant. It's here!"
"What's here? Moss?"
The next thing Roy knew, Moss was opening the door, and their flat was swarming with people carrying things. Metal things and mattress-y things. He waited patiently until all the people had left to corner Moss in the hallway.
"Moss," said Roy. "I notice there's only one bed."
"I'm astounded by your powers of observation," said Moss, laughing to himself.
"Why is there only one bed, Moss?!" shouted Roy.
"Great Cracker Jacks, Roy!" said Moss, stamping his foot. "I could not make my intentions more clear!"
Then Moss kissed Roy and stuck his hand down Roy's jeans.
"Mmf," said Roy, squirming a bit. Moss redoubled his efforts, slipping him some tongue and wiggling his hand inside Roy's pants. "Mmf!"
They'd done some of this before, the time with the kissing and the felonious football fans, and that time in Amsterdam when they were very drunk that they didn't talk about, but Roy hadn't been expecting it to happen again.
Moss lifted his leg awkwardly, and Roy caught at Moss's thigh, holding it against his hip.
"Oh, fuck it," said Roy, and kissed Moss back. Moss made a strange noise, like a hard drive with bad sectors. He was awkward but enthusiastic, and to his surprise, Roy discovered that he was all for enthusiastic.
"Oh, my God," said Jen. Roy and Moss turned to look. She was holding a brightly wrapped gift.
"The door was ajar," said Richmond, pointing at their open front door. His gift was wrapped in paper the colour of dried blood.
Gently, Roy extracted Moss's hand from his pants.
"Oh, my God, I just won 50 pounds!" said Jen. She did a little dance.
"You what?" asked Roy.
"I set up a betting pool with the girls on 7," she explained. "They were all so relieved by the idea that you both might be gay, and that was why you were awkward around women, that they all put money in."
Roy needed to sit down. So he sat on the floor.
"This is exciting," said Moss. "I've never been the subject of a betting pool until now."
Jen barked out a laugh, and then put her hand to her mouth. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you were serious."
Moss looked confused. "I don't understand."
Roy patted his foot. "That's all right."
"You're adorable," said Jen. She frowned. "I can't believe I just said that about you two idiots."
"Where's Nosferatu?" asked Roy from the floor.
Richmond shrugged. "He's parking the hearse."
Roy held out his hand, and Moss helped him to his feet.
"Now be a good wife and get in the kitchen," said Moss, patting Roy on the bum.
Roy put his hands on his hips. "And what am I supposed to do when I get there?"
Moss blinked. "Well, that's where the telephone is. We'll need it to order pizza."
"Right," said Roy. "I guess I'll do that."
"Thanks, dear," said Moss.
"Don't push it," said Roy.