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He didn’t mean to stay there that long, didn’t mean to fall asleep on the guy’s bed. But it was just so warm and it’d been such a long time since he’d been warm…his apartment, the shithole it was, had been having an issue with the heating.

            Yeah, no heating in February. Whoo-fucking-hoo.

            But there he was—wide awake, naked, his body thrumming in the after effects of an amazing afterglow—little Sonny Moore, sitting in some random guy’s bed—Joel…the guy told him to call him ‘Joel’. Cute name, first time he’d ever really remembered a john’s name beyond the first five minutes.  They all came and went so fast…such was the life of a prostitute, Sonny guessed (god, how he hated that word). It wasn’t a very luxurious job to say the least: he needed money for rent and for food and his day job just wasn’t cutting it. At all. So he sucked up his pride and showed a little leg on the street.

            Besides, what was a little curb work? Sure, it was degrading, it was gross, and half the guys that picked him up left more bruises then he’d started with, but it paid the bills.

                  
            That’s right. Paid the bills. And only the bills…

            This was not the life he wanted to live.

            Sonny gave himself a moment of leisure, laying back in random dude—Joel’s—big comfy bed. And for once, in a very long time, he thought. Thought about the future, what he wanted to be…he wanted to be somebody, somebody who everyone talked about. He wanted to make something amazing, make people happy with his music…it was his passion, his drive, Music was his all.

            He didn’t have much. Two cheap synths, an M Audio trigger finger, but beyond that? Squat. No money equals no equipment, after all. And when he had two jobs and still barely enough to pay the rent, his paycheck sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere other then the bills.

            He looked over at the snoozing guy beside him. The guy snored, but it wasn’t that bad. Kinda cute, actually…homey. Something Sonny wouldn’t mind listening to night after night.

            No, no, he couldn’t think like that. This was his job, the last thing he needed was to get obsessed with some geeky-looking john. He’d seen that happen before and he was not up for opening that pandora’s box.

          

            So, after a moment more of warmth, he forced himself up, gathered his clothes—they were scattered around, a pair of pants there, a shirt here. It was almost kind of silly—Joel had shoved the money into his pocket before pushing him down onto the bed. And for once, Sonny hadn’t really minded—sure, a lot of his customers got…rough. But Joel wasn’t as much “rough” as much as it was…playful? Exuberant? Hell, he didn’t know the word, but it hadn’t been half bad. And hey, for once, someone had asked him how he liked being taken…that was new…a good kind of new, the kind of new like new shoes, or the smell of a brand new book, when the spine hasn’t even snapped yet.

            Yeah, that kind of new.

          

            Joel murmured something in his sleep—something about fat cats and mice. Sonny couldn’t help it; the older man just looked too damn cute. It was just a little peck on the check, a goodnight kiss.

            “Night man.” He whispered as he tiptoed out the door.

          

~*~

          

            He didn’t get very far before the cat caught up with him—he’d seen the fat cat sitting on the couch, watching the two tangle up in one another before stumbling to the bedroom.

            It stood in his path, meowing and purring, tail wagging gently left and right. It wasn’t pissed—no, the cat looked too chill to be pissed. It sauntered up to Sonny, weaving around his legs, rubbing, pawing.

            Sonny picked it up, stroking under its chin, “I bet you have some awesome name, don’t you kitty?”

            The cat meowed, pawing at his hair.

            “Let me guess, you hungry?”

            The cat meowed again, louder.

            “All right, all right, keep it quiet. C’mon,” he put the cat down, nudging it gently, “You wanna show me to your bowl?”

            The cat padded off, tail whishing away. Every few steps, it looked back, making sure Sonny’s following.

            “So, what does he feed you, kitty? It’s gotta be something big, ‘cause you’re pretty…fat…”

            And then he saw it. The doors ajar, the light on…it was like heaven.

          

            The guy had a studio in his house. A fucking studio…and the equipment, holy fuck the equipment! It was beyond heaven—it was nirvana and heaven and that awesome place with all the colors in 2001: A Space Odyssey all wrapped up in one.

            Sonny stood at the door, afraid to walk in, to even touch anything, lest his break something…the cat meowed, pawing at his pants leg, but he couldn’t even hear it…

            He was too awestruck.

          

          

            So he fed the cat quickly (Fancy Feast, who’da thunk it?), and went back to the room, went back to Joel’s little slice of amazingness. He sat at the desk, looked around in awe…Christ on crackers, who would have thought he’d be picked up by someone with such a collection? It wasn’t even jealousy he felt, it was just…well, it was more respect then anything. The guy obviously knew what he needed, what he wanted.

            He looked down the hallway, to the dark bedroom, down to the dimly lit living room. And then he looked to the cat that was looking back up at him.

            “A few minutes couldn’t hurt, could it?”

            The cat meowed in agreement

          

            So, they closed the door gently and got to work—Sonny making his music, the cat watching and meowing and purring in time.  They made a good duo: the cat was a good listener and Sonny…well, he liked to think he was pretty talented.

          

~*~

          

            Joel dreams about waterfalls. About rain. About leaking drains, and leaky roofs, and leaky water bottles, and ooooh he has to pee. So, groggy and stumbling about, he works his way to the bathroom.

            The kid was gone. Kind of a shame, Joel wished he had stayed until the morning—maybe made pancakes and his special ‘goth omelettes’ and had some company for the morning. He wasn’t lonely—he had plenty of friends. But ever since Lindsey left…well, the mornings had been quiet. She was so bubbly and so energetic…

            Now it was just him and the big, fat Meowingtons.

          

            Which was cool—Professor Meowingtons was a big tub of love, as far as Joel was concerned. But still, maybe having some human interaction wouldn’t be too bad.

          

            He was washing his hands when he heard the gentle pounding—it was coming down the hall, down where his—

            It stopped.

          

            Joel looked down the hall, confused: sure, his neighbors were probably just fucking around with the music again, but it was usually…louder then that—more bombastic, but this. It was like someone trying to hide something

          

          

            It started up again. A littler faster and then suddenly a lot slower…like someone was…playing? Or testing something?

          

            It was coming from his studio. He grabbed the closet thing he could find…a book. Well, a fat lot of good that would do him, he groused as he tossed the book away.  He would just have to use his fists. His skinny, bony fists.

            Oh was he fucked.

          

          

            Half of him considered calling to Meowingtons—if there was someone in the house, then there was a big possibility of them hurting his cat—and they would have hell to pay, needless to say. But Joel pushed the idea away; the cat was pretty smart, he was sure it would avoid whatever bozo got in. Hopefully.

          

            As he neared the door, he suddenly thought of that old movie with that Kathy Bates chick…Misery, or some shit like that.

            Yeah, that’s the last thing he needed.

                     

            Slowly, gently, he pushed the door open, ready to rush whoever was in his studio and—

            “Well, damn, kid…” he breathed, watching Sonny work his magic, as it were. The kid was nodding his head, humming something under his breath. There was an intent gaze in Sonny’s eyes, a conviction that Joel was just…intrigued about. Impressed. Even from hearing a few key seconds, it didn’t take a genius to see that the kid had talent. A lot of talent, especially for someone his age.

            So he watched. And he listened. And he made notes in his head, notes that he would mull over again and again.

          

            Meowingtons noticed him standing at the doorway and leapt from this kid’s lap, striding over to Joel to rub against his legs.

            “Aw, kitty, where are you—ohfuck.”

            Joel couldn’t help it—he laughed at the look Sonny’s face; his eyes were as big as saucer plates and holy fuck was that hilarious.

            “Look, I-I’m s—“

            “Jesus Christ, dude, you look like a fucking rabbit!” Joel laughed even harder at the look of confusion spreading on the kid’s face. The cat looked between them and meowed, it’s tail flicking back and forth. There was an amused, very-uncat-like grin on its face.

            “I—jezze—I’m sorry, I couldn’t—“

            “Fff, do I look pissed, kid?” Joel walked over, leant down and looked the stuttering Sonny in the face, “So, when were you going to tell me about your little talent, eh?”

            “I-I’m n-not that—“

            “Oh, yes you are. Don’t doubt yourself on that, kid, ‘cause from what I heard, you’re pretty damn good. Now!” He took Sonny by the arms, gently guiding him from the seat, “You can show me more of your stuff in the morning, but I’m tired, and I’m sure you’re pretty tired, so I’m going to bed, and you’re coming with me.”

            “Wait, what do you mea—“

            “I mean, I don’t plan on being cold tonight, so you’re going to keep me company.” Joel stated as if Sonny was supposed to already know this, “Unless…you don’t want to?”

            They stopped in the hallway, staring at one another. Joel didn’t look upset, Sonny noted, nor did he look angry. It was more kind of…curious? Was that the word?

            “Uh…I…”

            Joel cocked his head to the side and goddamnit if it isn’t the cutest thing Sonny’s ever seen.

            “Sure. Why not?” Sonny shrugged—the place was warmer then his apartment, and Joel was…well, Joel was the type of guy Sonny wouldn’t mind waking up with. It couldn’t hurt right?

            So they went to bed, the prostitute and the music maker. Sonny thinks he’s seen this romance novel somewhere. But Joel’s so warm and his arms feel so good resting on his waist—he’ll leave all the thinking for the morning.

          

~*~

          

            “Hey, man?”

“mmm…”

            “Sonnnyy,” Joel cooed, his lips on Sonny’s neck.

“whatzit?”

            “What are you doing on the corner?”

Sonny sat up and looked at Joel. It was still dark out but the moon had long set—the only light was by the stars, all of which were starting to retire for slumber.

          

            “I…well, I mean…” Sonny grimaced, not really sure of what to say, “I never finished high school, you know? I was in this band, and we were doing pretty good—but then I wanted to start out on my own, be my own thing…I mean, who doesn’t right?”

            Sonny sat back on his elbows, chewing his lip.

            “I mean I can see all this music, man…I know what I want to make—I know that makes me sounds crazy, but I really can... But no diploma, means shitty minimum wage jobs, and minimum wage…it doesn’t always pay the bills.” Sonny sighs, laying his head against Joel’s arm. The older man nods in understanding, running his hand across the broad expanse of the kid’s back—his skin was so soft, smooth to the touch. It was kind of nice.

            “So, you’re just going to go back? Like…in the morning?”

            Sonny thought he could hear disappointment in Joel’s voice.

“Not like I can really say ‘no’, Joel.”

            “Do you like it?”

The look on Sonny’s face answered his question for him.

            “Then why do you do it?”

            “What choice do I have, man? It’s either…that. Or not have an apartment.”

            Joel looked down at the kid, quirked an eyebrow. And the he sighed—this was ether the best idea he’s had or the worst. Either way, he was going to get an earful from Lindsey for it.

            “Well, I could always use a roommate.” He grumbled, inwardly cringing at how blasé that sounded—almost too uninterested.

            “I…what?” Sonny sat up again, taken aback, “Are you serious, I mean, I could never afford paying rent to you and I don’t even –“

            “Look, man, we can hash out all the boring shit over breakfast, but I don’t want you…going back there. I’ve seen the lifetime movies, I know how those end up.”

            “I…I mean, where would I even sleep?”

            “Here.” Joel pressed his pointer finger against the bed.

            Well, that was blunt. Sonny quirked an eyebrow.

            “What?” Joel chuckled, pulling the kid flush against him, “Can’t a guy like cuddling anymore?”

            “B-but…I don’t even know you.”

            “And I don’t know you. But I want to. We’ll get to know each other—can’t be that hard, man.”

            Sonny looked at him, studying the man’s face, his eyes. Joel felt like a book, “You’re…you’re being serious…aren’t you?”

            “Tch, as a heart attack—what would I get out of lying, Sonny?”

            Well. That was true.

            “...Well, I mean…you don’t seem like a serial killer,” Sonny murmured as Joel snorted with laughter, “I guess we can…try.”

            “Sounds good,” Joel leant forward and pecked at the kid’s cheek, “Night, Sonny.”

            “Good night, Joel.”

          

          

          

          

            “Wait, you watch lifetime movies?”

“Can’t hear you, I’m sleeping.”

          

          

          

          

            Meowingtons, at the foot of the bed, looked between the two and sighed, twitching his whiskers. Humans—he would never understand them as long as he lived.