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Keeping Things Professional

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They were both a little drunk by the time they got back to Healy's crappy apartment, which March figured meant they were going to have shitty sex and then spend the next morning pretending it hadn't happened and playing the 'my-hangover's-worse-than-yours' game, which March would definitely win.

Except that right before March tackled him to the floor (beds were for wusses and people who cared), Healy turned around and said, "You want the couch?" like he was just - like they were -

Fucking cold, was what it was. Like ice.

"Excuse me?" March said, because unlike some people he could mention and point at and oh yeah, be having really bad sex with right now if it hadn't been for the fact that they were total assholes, March was a nice guy. Almost a gentleman, in fact.

"The couch," Healy said. "You know, for sleeping on?"

March gave him a Look of Moral Superiority.

Healy returned a Look of Monumental Obliviousness and Assholery.

"I know what a couch is, thanks, and for the record, it's not for sleeping," March said.

Healy shrugged. "Got some blankets, couple of pillows. You'd be nice and comfy."

"You like it so much, why don't you sleep on the couch?" March was beginning to feel better. More in control of the situation. Before, he'd figured he'd let it all just happen. He'd figured Healy'd be one of those pushy, aggressive assholes who'd be all me-me-me when it came to sex, so March had figured that he'd lie back and think of England or France or something. Vive les croissants, that sort of thing.

He probably should have known that Healy was going to be a pain about this.

"All right," Healy said. "Fine. You take the bed."

March rolled his eyes. "What sort of an idiot do you think I am? I'm not taking the bed! It's probably - you sleep there, don't you?"

Healy looked like he was experiencing the beginning of a hangover. "Yes. I do."

"I knew it!" March said triumphantly. "You sicko. And you think I would - fuck you, man. Seriously."

Healy appeared to need to think about that one for a moment. Several moments.

March mentally reviewed his statement and decided that it had been crystal clear, except maybe for the part where he'd suggested that Healy had thought -

"I have a really tiny dick and also, I'm very bad at sex," March said, in an attempt to save both the situation and his dignity. He could tell it wasn't working. Heck, for all he knew Healy was into that sort of stuff. It wouldn't surprise March.

Healy relaxed, confirming all of March's worst fears. "That's all right. I enjoy being on top."

"What?" March said. "What does that have to do with - "


"One word," March said. It might be morning. It might be not. He didn't really care. "Rug burn."

Healy looked smug. March decided it had to be because he'd let his guard down after a long night of hot sex. "You're the one who didn't want to do this in a bed."

"Not a bed," March said. "Your bed."

"Well, I mean, it didn't seem like a good idea to go back to your place, what with Holly being there and all," Healy said. "Wouldn't want to wake her up on a school night."

"Holly!" March shot up and raced towards the telephone - or would have, except that his pants were kind of getting in the way.

"March." Healy oozed fake sympathy. Guy should have been in politics. "Relax. I called her already, told her you were going to spend the night. I had to promise I'd make you eat breakfast."

That stung. March refused to give Healy the satisfaction of letting it show, but on the inside, that really stung. "So where is it?"

"Where's what?"

Playing dumb it was, then. Two could play at that game. "Your dick."

Healy bestowed another look on him. March decided that it was a good thing that they were going to keep their relationship professional and only have sex when they got drunk. Drunk, bad sex worked.

"You know, if this is your way of angling for a second round, I got to say, I'm not really impressed," Healy said. "I mean, come on, man. 'Where's your dick?' What kind of question is that?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was trying to impress you here," March said. "Hey, here's a crazy idea. You think maybe that's because I'm not?"

"So what are you trying to do?" Healy asked.

Tricky, that was Healy. March wished his hangover would hurry up already. Nothing to help you focus like a good headache and an upset stomach. "Nothing."

"You could try to get some sleep," Healy said. "Be nice and fresh in the morning."

"I'm not going to sleep on the floor. What do you think I am, a dog? Like, woof? Good boy, go fetch the stick, that sort of thing? What's next, you're gonna put a collar on me and take me for a walk?"

Healy's expression turned resigned, like he'd finally realized he wasn't going to win this one. "So, bed?"

"Damn right we're moving this to a bed," March said.


"You haven't done this a lot, have you."

Healy paused. March bit down on a protest. It helped that he hadn't been enjoying what Healy'd been doing. At all. Healy was just really bad at sex, which once again proved that keeping things platonic had been the right call to make.

"A couple of times," Healy said. "Actually. You?"

"Don't make this about me, man," March said. "Just. Don't."

"I'm not sure that I'd call myself experienced, but, you know." Healy shrugged. "You spend enough nights by yourself, you figure out a thing or two about how things work."

"Please don't tell me what sick stuff you fantasize about when you're masturbating," March said. "Please. I'm begging you. I know we're friends and partners and stuff, but c'mon, man."

"Don't say that." Healy did something with one of his fingers. Before, he'd done it with his tongue. March would have thought it was disgusting, except that this didn't exactly feel any better.

"You want romance, go see a movie," March said. He felt close. Like, way too close. Like all Healy had to do was a little bit more, and he'd have March exactly where he wanted him. Granted, it was kind of where March wanted to go, but Healy wasn't even breathing hard or anything.

March had principles, all right? He had standards. He might be a bad person, but he wasn't actually a dick. He just had one, and so did Healy and plenty of other people who weren't women.

"Guess it's been a while since you went on a date, huh," Healy said. "Movies nowadays." He shook his head. "They just don't make 'em like they used to anymore."

"God, you sound old," March said. "Do you dye your hair or something? Be honest, are you old enough to be my grandfather? And before you say anything, I'd like you to know that both my grandfathers are dead and I loved them very much, all right? So show some respect."

"You're a bit strange. Anyone ever tell you that?" Healy said.

"Look who's talking." March figured he might as well do something, now that Healy seemed back on the 'all talk, zero action' track.

"What are you doing?" Healy sounded a bit unnerved.

March reckoned it was about time. "What does it look like I'm doing?"

"You know that's not how that works, don't you?"

"How would you know? One second ago, you didn't even know what I was doing," March said with impeccable logic, if he did say so himself. True, he'd sort of hoped to have reduced Healy to a puddle of helpless pleasure by now, what with turnabout being fair play and all that, but still.

Healy sighed. "All right. Just ... tell me when you're done, okay?"

"Fuck you, man." March promised himself that Healy wouldn't need to be told when March was done; he'd know. And he'd like it, where by 'like', obviously, March meant that as soon as he'd be able to form words again, Healy'd be begging for an encore.


"I hate you," March said.

"Look," Healy said. "I told you, didn't I? But did you listen?"

"I really, really hate you, and we're never doing this again. I don't care if that means I have to stop drinking. Hell, I don't even care if it means I have to stop eating. Or breathing."

"You're being a bit dramatic about this," Healy said.

"Shut up," March said. "I hate you. Go to sleep. We're done here, all right? We're done. No cuddling."

"You sure?" Healy tried to be subtle about it, but March could tell he wasn't happy about something. Probably the cuddling. March just bet that Healy was a great cuddler, warm, a little hairy. Like a teddybear. Who was also an asshole and not someone March would cuddle with even if his life depended on it, like if they'd gotten caught in a snowstorm or something, and it'd be a matter of cuddling or death. March would choose death, and Healy could go screw himself.

He'd probably be good at that, too.

"No cuddling." March tried to sound like he meant it. He did mean it.

"All right," Healy said. "Good night."

"No, it isn't," March said.

Healy started snoring, nicely proving March's point.