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Shouldn't be, but it is

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He's overthinking. He knows he is, and it's exhausting... this kind of self-harm mechanism that never ceases to make his life worse than it has to be. Of course, he has learned to accept and, to some degree, control it over the years, but it has always been a pretty damn well-defined part of him and that cannot be changed. Thus, his mind can't really comprehend at the moment if the reality it perceives is distorted by a combination of too much analysis of non-verbal communication and imagination or not.

 

It shouldn't be strange. The blue eyes glancing past him at Pom but somehow lingering on his form at the same time, the heat from fumbling hands burning even through his clothes, the meaningful look sent his way when he doesn't know what to say to keep his head in the game.

 

It shouldn't be, but it is. 

 

Everything  closely resembles some sort of joke that the universe decided it was time to play on him now that a few months have passed since he and Chris broke up. And oh, the irony... The universe brought yet another Chris into his life... a married one, a family man who is far too attractive for his own good. No one's saying it's wrong to appreciate what is definitely easy on the eye, but the unwanted bit of drama it might stir threatens to bring him under at any point, dangerously unpredictable. Fortunately for him, during a certain period of his life, he has acquired the skill, the talent, call it whatever you want, to adapt, abstain, and maintain a barrier between his real self, his emotions, his desires, and the world. He's no stranger to hiding, keeping secrets and appearances when he needs it most, and, right now, it is a blessing.

 

From across the room, he can feel Mackie's eyes seeing point-blank through him, a more or less potent vibe of disapproval etched in his expression. Still, they both know the man isn't judging him or going to lecture him about the many levels of wrong taking an initiative in this matter would be. No, his friend has been there for him through thick and thin, listening and supporting him in the best way he could while being the most brutally honest human being ever. So, long after the game is over, and they're on their way to a bar, Mackie doesn't tell him "no" or "you're gonna regret if you do that". No, he asks him to be careful and think, smacking him on the shoulder with a loud "hold yo ass before you act".

 

And, if he drinks a tad too much, no one says anything. No one judges him. But, when strong hands grip his hips tightly, and warm lips press against his own in the dim light of the street, the only one to judge him is undoubtedly and irrevocably himself.