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Imperfectly

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Pete's sneaking in to the house, head bowed, hands tucked into the pockets of his hoodie. Mikey tilts his head back over the back of the couch, arching an eyebrow as Pete tries to sneak past.

"Peeete....." Mikey's voice, drawling and amused, as Pete jumps ten miles in the air. "What's going on?"

Pete jangles his keys in his pocket, looking shifty, moving from foot to foot. "Nothing, why? I just went out, and uh, I'm back. I'm gonna go take a shower." He dashes into the bathroom, still fully clothed.

Mikey frowns, dragging himself upright - couch is comfy! - and padding over to the bathroom door, Hemmingway trotting after him gleefully. He knocks on the door, leaning his forehead against the wood.

"Pete?" He calls out softly, listening to Pete not so quietly hyperventilating on the other side of the door. He presses his palm against the door, gingerly trying to turn the knob.

"I'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorry..." Pete's curled up beside the bathtub, hood up, sleeves pulled down over his hands. He wraps his arms around his body, curling up tighter as Mikey kneels down beside him.

"Why're you sorry, Pete?" Mikey whispers, sitting beside him, hands curling around bony knees, drawing them up towards his chin. He knows not to push Pete in moods like this, to just wait until Pete caves.

It's an excruciatingly long five minutes, but even by Pete's standards, that's impressive.

"Isortofcrashedthecar," Pete mumbles, taut muscles relaxing suddenly as he slumps against Mikey's shoulder, hiding his face in worn black cotton. He's shaking a little, as Mikey slides an arm around his shoulders, kissing the top of Pete's head through his hoodie. It smells of pizza and cigarette smoke, the hood worn at the edges from Pete's fingers worrying the string.

"Sort of?" He asks, arching an eyebrow. Pete nods against his shoulder, sliding into Mikey's lap. He curls up, hands sliding under the hem of Mikey's hoodie, hot against chilled skin.

"Don't yell at me," he mutters, mouth full of cotton and skin, closing his eyes. He clings to Mikey, wiggling closer, face buried against Mikey's throat.

"Hey, no, it's ok..." Mikey shushes Pete, smiling soothingly as the smaller man wraps arms and legs around him, clinging to him, monkey-like. Mikey slowly levers himself to his feet, Pete still wrapped around him. Staggering a little, Mikey makes his way to the front window, looking out onto the driveway. Their (car of some kind - maybe a Prius or something?) sits in the driveway, one headlight smashed, scrapes along the front wing. It could be a lot worse, and Mikey laughs softly, kissing Pete's head.

"Idiot," he murmurs, chuckling. "It's just a scratch. I don't give a shit what happens to the car as long as you're ok." Mikey sets Pete down on the window seat, pulling his feet up until they're curled around each other, hands sliding under hems, into each other's sleeves until they're as close as can be. Pete breathes an audible sigh of relief, slow trembling dying down.

"It's not too bad, right?" He asks softly, scratch of stubble against his neck as he turns his head, laughing softly now, at himself, at how quickly he worked himself up into such a state. He kisses Mikey's pulsepoint, nosing the line of his jaw, soft and sweet until their lips meet.

Ragged nails catch the soft skin under Mikey's ribs, guitar callouses rubbing patches into tanned hips, framing dark ink above frayed denim.

"I mean, it looks pretty bad, but it runs ok..." They're both laughing now, Pete squirming as Mikey's knee digs into his thigh.

"C'mon, Mikeyway," Pete half-climbs, half-falls out of Mikey's lap, Hemingway pouncing on him as soon as Pete hits the floor. He laughs, picking Hemingway up as he stands, catching hold of Mikey's hand and tugging gently.

"You are ok, right?" Mikey asks, leaning his chin on Pete's shoulder, arms wrapping around his waist from behind as they shuffle towards the bedroom, speed sacrificed for the sake of hands against skin, boots bracketing worn trainers.

It's Mikey's turn to make the bed, which means there's a billion layers of blankets and cushions and pillows on the bed, all stuffed under one blanket holding the pile together. They flop onto it, cushions shooting out the sides, ricocheting off furniture. Pete looks around quizzically as Mikey splutters with laughter, all elbows and knees as he pulls at Pete, pushing his hoodie up, tshirt bunched up around his ribs. Mikey shifts, thighs either side of Pete's hips, careful hands smoothing Pete's hair, dancing over eyes and cheeks and lips.

"I should still check you haven't been injured," he says solemnly, a wicked twinkle in his eye. "Just in case." He nods firmly, mouth set in a determined line as he gently rubs and kisses every inch of Pete's chest, mumbling imagined hurts against his flesh; seatbelt burns and steering wheel bruises, cuts from flying glass. Unblemished skin is painted with the possibility of pain, Mikey drawing out each of Pete's own problems, painting them into visible wounds, kissing them away with his eyes closed, wishing it would be enough.

Pete squirms, unsure, ragged nails catching at the strings of Mikey's hoodie as he tries to strip Mikey bare in turn, the pads of his fingers pressing pale circles into paler skin as they trail up and down his ribs. "M'ok," he whispers, winding a hand in dark hair and tugging Mikey up for a kiss.

"We're ok," a whisper lost in their kiss.

****

I'm okay if you get me at a good angle
and you're okay in the sort of light
and we don't look like pages from a magazine
but that's all right, that's all right.

I crashed your pickup truck
and then I had to drive it back home
I was crying, I was so scared of what you would do, of what you would say
but you just started laughing so I started laughing along
saying, 'it looks a little rough but it runs okay, it looks a little rough but it runs good anyway.'

we get a little further from perfection each year on the road
I guess that's what they call character, I guess that's just the way it goes.
better to be dusty than polished like some store window mannequin
why don't you touch me where I'm rusty, let me stain your hands.

when you're pretty as a picture they pound down your door
but I've been offered love in two dimensions before
and I know that it's not all it's made out to be
let's show them how it's done, let's do it all imperfectly.