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It Came From the Sky

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Blame it all on May the sixteenth.

April showers might have brought May flowers, but they also brought a strange, blue-tinted ooze, as well as a high birthrate spike in January. It was generally easy to avoid, if you wore full rain gear and prayed to the lights in the sky that no ill would befall you- but then, that was just a general precaution for living in Night Vale when it rained, no matter what it rained.

Cecil usually barricaded himself in his apartment when it happened; it wasn't so much that he feared the ooze and its effects, which were, of course, not fit for discussion in mixed company. It was more that it had a tendency to ruin clothing, shoes, hair, and generally whatever it touched that was at all absorbent. He'd covered his car as a precaution and put up a tarp to protect his balcony, and now all he had to do was sit back with a cup of coffee and a nice book, now that the books had begun to function again.

But then, he got a phone call.

"Cecil," the voice at the other end said. "I need to see you immediately."

Cecil shut his eyes, kicking himself for what he was about to have to say. "I don't know if that's a good idea."

"Please," Carlos said. "It's urgent. I need your help."

Cecil looked outside. The sky was beginning to turn the foggy gray that heralded the beginnings of the ooze, but surely he could make it in time. And after all, there were worse things to do than spend the duration of the ooze holed up with Carlos.

The sky grayed further as Cecil drove to Carlos's lab, perhaps exceeding the posted semaphore speed limits and the speed set by the lights in the sky. It was imperative that he make it there in time; he wasn't sure that Carlos knew about the ooze at all, and the worst thing that could happen was an unprepared Carlos being waylaid by such an event.

Cecil pulled up to the lab finally, parking close to the grass in front of the entrance to the lab. The ooze threatened to come at any moment. Cecil thought about not getting out of his car at all, possibly saving both of them, but in the end, he opened the door, stepping out.

"Carlos, you'd better-" Cecil said, as Carlos stepped out from under the awning over the door to meet him, and that was when he felt the first touch of ooze on his shoulder. Before his brain went completely, he spared a thought for his poor shirt, which had been a favorite. It was going to be sorely missed.

Carlos looked up at the sky, droplets falling on his face. "Is this that ooze I've been-"

"I'm afraid so," Cecil said, and Carlos had always looked perfect, but he'd never looked quite this, well, edible before. Not literally edible, just metaphorically edible. If he looked literally edible, that would be a completely different kind of-

And then the sky opened up, the rain falling like desert rain- or in this case, desert ooze- always did, in great sheets, claps of thunder interspersed.

"Get inside," Cecil shouted, even though it wasn't what he wanted to do at all. He was already crossing the oozy grass, and Carlos was coming to him, and they crashed together, kissing wildly. Carlos overbalanced, or maybe Cecil did, and then they were in the grass, now muddy and slippery from the ooze seeping into the ground. In moments their clothes were slick, sticking to their bodies, but neither of them cared. It only made it that much better, let them slide together, the smoothness of the ooze and the grit of the mud mixing on their skin.

Carlos pressed Cecil down into the mud, his knee in between Cecil's to give them both the pressure they desperately wanted. "I've been waiting for this," Carlos said. He tried to kiss Cecil's neck, but ended up spitting out a mouthful of the lightly blueberry-flavored ooze instead. "I've always been waiting for this, ever since I got to Night Vale. After the initial panic wore off, anyway."

"You're perfect," Cecil said, kissing him, heedless of the flavor of his mouth. "I can't even believe this is happening. For all I know, it might not be."

Carlos ran a hand through Cecil's hair. His fingers tangled in it, the ooze making the strands stick together oddly, whorls of short brown hair forming. "This is happening," he said. "This is all happening. I want it to be happening."

Carlos's shirt had come untucked at some point in their satisfying, if undignified, time on the grass, and Cecil ran his hand along Carlos's back underneath it, leaving streaks of ooze on Carlos's warm skin. Carlos kissed him like he'd forgotten how to do anything else, like there was nothing on Earth that mattered like the feel of Cecil's mouth.

Cecil's heart soared. He knew that the ooze was making them do this, true, but it didn't have to be like this. The reason he stayed in and barricaded his door was because the ooze would make you do this to anyone. You didn't have to like them, you didn't even have to know them, but you had to lust after them. It didn't change any of your other emotions- if you hated them, you still hated them, even though you had to have them.

But Carlos didn't hate him. Carlos didn't have to say any of those things. Carlos wanted him- him!- ooze or no ooze. It had only taken this kind of freak meteorological occurrence that Night Vale was prey to for it to happen. Cecil didn't like to think about how long it would have taken otherwise, how much time they could have wasted without doing this. Thank god for the ooze, even though it was soaking him to the skin and heating him up all over. Thank god for Carlos. Thank god for Night Vale.

"I think the ooze stopped," Carlos said, raising himself up on his hands and looking down at Cecil.

Cecil nodded, swallowing. "Well, then, I'll just-"

Carlos kissed him again, pressing him into the muddy ground. "No one can see us from the road," he said.

"We have about forty-five minutes before the ooze starts to harden," Cecil said, putting his hands on Carlos's waist.

"That sounds like enough time for me," Carlos said.

"There couldn't be enough time for me," Cecil told him.

"Let me rephrase that," Carlos said. "That sounds like enough time for us to not be seen doing things from the road."

"I see your point," Cecil said, brushing a bit of mud away from Carlos's cheekbone before kissing him.

In the end, a good portion of the ooze hardened and had to be painstakingly removed later in the shower. It required extreme diligence and thoroughness to make sure that every piece was gone from everywhere. Everywhere.

In Cecil's opinion, it was definitely worth it.