1. Orange’s obsession with cheese
White can't even tell what the fuck the thing is, just that it's absolutely fucking drenched in cheese and onions and fuck knows what else. Just looking at the heart attack waiting to happen in its greasy, fast food wrapper makes White feel more than a little green, and when Orange chomps into it with a moan and comes back out again with a cheese-covered cheek, White knows he’s hard in his pants for the wrong fucking reasons. He shifts uncomfortably and picks at his salad with greater fervor, not that the kid is paying any attention to him.
“That shit's gonna clog up your arteries, son.”
Orange shoots him a half-curious and half insulted glance across the table before shrugging him off and diving in to make out with his food again.
White’s pants only grow tighter when he thinks about the kid’s lips on his, dripping with sticky, processed cheese, sucking the life out of him with a vigor that White hasn’t felt since his twenties.
Kid at heart
Orange is sprawled out across his couch when White returns to the living room, toweling off from his shower. He pauses to gauge the situation: the kid drooling into a half-gone bag of chips that White knows he only brought home yesterday; boxes of those chocolate thingies he raves about so much, ding dongs or what the hells, littering every square inch of his coffee table; and to top it all off a bowl of melted cheese and another of ranch dressing teetering precariously on top of a stack of comics Orange had left behind, courtesy of his prior visit.
Jesus fucking Christ. Kid’s only been here twice before today and already I feel like he’s living here, eating me out of house and home.
White doesn’t bother leaving the room again to get dressed. He cinches the towel around his waist, shoves the kid’s feet out of the way and settles down. Orange glances over at him and White’s fucking positive he didn’t just imagine how still he got when he realized there was nothing on underneath that towel, breath drawn in with a small gasp and eyes glazed over. The kid promptly looks away, cheeks a faint pink and White recovers quickly and smirks, grabbing the remote out of his greasy fingers and changing the channel away from cartoons and to something far more educational.
“Hey!” Orange protests, mouth full but eyes glued to the screen in fascination as White settles on a Western. He’s aware of still how damp he is from his shower and especially so of the kid’s bare feet pillowed in his toweled lap. He starts massaging them, almost absentmindedly but then focusing on the areas that make Orange grow more and more lax under his selfish ministrations. He wants the kid to be able to relax here, wants him to come here and hang out, eating his cancer-riddled food and reading his comic books and watching his cartoons and flirting with him until White’s sure he’s got the go ahead to make the next move.
Not for the first time, White feels that he’s exactly where he should be and that Orange is too.
“Five more minutes with those chips,” he warns. “I won’t have you spoiled when I’m taking you out for real food tonight.”
“Sure thing, hon,” Orange teases, waggling his eyes at White unashamedly when the latter slaps his cute ass in retaliation.
3. Rainbows & butterflies
Orange’s hand is coated in ice cream by the time White finishes paying and joins him.
They lean against the side of the building, Orange licking his vanilla cone like he’s a goddamn cat and White devouring his and not pussy footing around.
“You always eat ice cream like you’re five years old, kid?”
You always order ice cream like you’re five years old?
The rainbow sprinkles were a dead giveaway, though the ‘extra sprinkles’ whispered into his ear as he dug out his wallet made White break out in a feverish sweat, adjusting the belt of his pants as discreetly as he could. That’s when he realized: if the kid wants extra sprinkles then give ‘em to him.
That was how far gone White was.
So White presses his sweat-soaked back against the wall, eyeing Orange as discretely as fucking possible until chocolate ice cream starts melting over his own goddamn hand.
“What can I say?” Orange flirts, long, thin fingers straying dangerously close to White’s belt buckle. Jesus, fucking Christ… White tries to breathe, his sweet treat long forgotten. “I’m a vanilla kind of guy.”
If there weren’t the longest ass line just two feet away, if the whole world didn’t give a damn about them, then White swears to Christ that right then and there he would have wrapped his hand around Orange’s neck and brought him so damn close that both of them would’a stopped fucking thinking and would’a just started fucking acting.
But this world isn’t made for them and it will step on them every chance it gets.
So White watches Orange and smiles and pushes his sunglasses up to hide his fucking famished gaze, and he thinks about how perfect just driving down the street to get ice cream is. He thinks about how beautiful Orange is, splayed out against that wall like he’s all White’s for the taking.
He feels the fucking butterflies in his belly, leaping up into his throat, and he can just about taste those rainbow sprinkles on Orange’s tongue, sweet and chalky and erupting in every flavor imaginable.
4. Bad tacos
White should have known this new taco joint he’d been wanting to check out was a bad idea for a somewhat second date.
While his partner had gone straight for the ultimate loaded taco, White had kept it safe with a simple salad and a veggie burger. Ten minutes later, the food isn’t sitting quite right in his stomach either, but it’s Orange who’s squirming in the passenger seat, hands massaging his stomach religiously when he’s not gripping the glove compartment with shaking, bloodless fists.
“Ya alright, kid?”
What a fucking stupid question.
Though it’s what pulls Orange out of his reverie of misery and choking pain. “Pull over. Please.”
In any other situation, that last word would have done things to White that probably would have caused him to pull over, but instead panic leaps obnoxiously up into his throat as he swerves across the road and double parks. Orange fumbles with the door and throws himself out of the car before he even puts it in park. White jumps out not long after, running over to the kid to make sure he’s alright.
Unfortunately, he gets a little too close.
“Shit,” White curses, shaking off his hand half-drenched in vomit. “I told you once before, kid, that shit's gonna kill ya.”
Orange kneels right there in his own sick, trembling from head to toe and panting like he's just run a goddamn marathon. Sweat bathes his forehead and drips into his eyes and White doesn't think he's ever seen a more pitiful sight.
Wracked with sympathy, he hastily dries his hand off on his shirt and inches closer. The poor kid nearly jumps out of his own skin when White places a hand on each side of his belly, rubbing small circles there. “Easy, son. Easy. Let's get you up out of this shit.”
The kid's a mess all over, White can feel sick and sweat and tears dampen his clothes as he hauls Orange up to rest against him. He waits patiently until he regains his balance before slinging an arm around him and leading him back towards the car. He settles Orange in the passenger seat, wanting to keep an eye on him, then proceeds to wipe his own face and mouth, blaming the goddamn miserable summer heat as of late, giving the kid time to settle.
Finally, he chuckles, needing to lighten the moment as much for his own sake as for Orange’s. “Wanna tell me what that was all about? Jesus, kid, I mean one minute we were going over it all again and the next you're about to spray me into an early grave.”
Orange cringes and White can see him curl in on himself just a bit more. “It wasn’t the food. I’m just a little nervous is all.”
Worry’s natural, even a bit of panic just before a new job, White’s told him that once before. He just hates seeing his boy work himself up so much that he gets sick from it. This simple fact convinces White that he’s failed painfully in some essential way. Somehow, he hasn’t convinced Orange of just how much he isn’t alone in this. White hadn’t had to take him under his wing like he had, but there’s no turning back now and not once had White come to regret it.
Quite the opposite in fact.
He swallows and notices with alarm, worry that makes even him a little queasy, how pale Orange was, like he knows he’s giving something vital up and believes he’ll never get it back.
Like he doesn’t think he’s going to make it out of this.
White sighs and scrubs a hand over his face. A little nervous? Little, my fat ass.
“A little?” White breathes out sharply, whistling. His tone is more nervous than he had intended, but goddammit if Orange doesn’t push his buttons in all the right and wrong ways. How is he just supposed to ignore this, ignore Orange falling to fucking pieces right in front of him like he isn’t there at fucking all. “Bullshit.” Another long and awkward moment passes, Orange still looking damp and pale and miserable slumped against the door, until White pulls his head out of his ass and reaches out again. “Look, kid, you trust me, right? I'm gonna be right beside you the whole time, watching your back. And you better be fucking watching mine, right?” Orange meets his eyes, no doubt notices White trying so damn hard to be kind and reassuring and gentle, and he hasn’t expressed any of those goddamn emotions in a looong fucking time, and the kid nods, no doubt seeing what he needed to see there. White’s more than a little pleased with himself then. “I'm not gonna let anything happen to ya. I swear to fucking god, alright? That good enough for ya?”
“Yeah,” Orange admits, voice small and cracked like he’s hit puberty all over again, and he clears his throat self-consciously. “I've got your back too, Larry.”
It’s the first time he’s let it slip after all the times White’s cautioned him. White lets it slide, focuses on feeling warm instead at the way Freddy says his name, like a goddamn prayer, like he’s down on his knees and worshiping him and clinging to him so desperately White can’t even think straight and has no fucking clue how he’s lived up until this point.
Keep calling him kid keep calling him kid no one can know don’t you dare even think his name.
He starts the car and puts the air conditioner on because if he has to tolerate this infernal heat any longer he’s liable to take the kid with him all the way up to fucking Canada before the job. Two more days. Just… Two. More. Days.
“Good. Now repeat after me. Nothin’ is gonna happen to ya.”
Orange clears his throat again and his voice sounds more relaxed and confident this time. “Nothing is going to happen to me.”
“Correct, tough guy.” Larry feeds him a shit eating grin, clapping Orange earnestly on the back. “Correct.”
5. There’s never enough french fries
Orange makes it through about a third of his fries before Blonde decides to commandeer the plate. He’d been stealing one or two occasionally, right under the rightful owner’s outraged gaze too, but White shot the bastard a ‘watch it’ look when Blonde finally took the plunge, considering it was after eating a whole plate of his own damn fries to boot.
Blonde goes after Pink’s freshly filled cup of coffee next but Pink hardly blinks, simply hails the waitress for a sixth refill.
Orange’s attention is solely on his own loss, the pout on the kid’s face entirely too adorable for public viewing. White shuts down the grin before it starts and curses himself into acting natural. He’s been close to making goo goo eyes at the damn kid all day, heart fluttering in his chest like a goddamn schoolgirl. He has to watch his mouth and his eyes and even his hands from straying where he should never be fantasizing them going in the first place.
It’s his own damn fault.
He had let Orange stay over at his place last night, had given him the couch only to wake up in the middle of the night to find him crawling into his own bed, damned cold feet pressing into White’s, head using White’s shoulder as a cushion, soft superhero pajamas melting into White’s skin just as well as Orange’s own scent did.
It’s White’s own damn fault that he hadn’t kicked him out, that he’d actually liked it, liked Orange wrapped around him like a goddamn clingy octopus and actually fucking enjoyed waking up to that handsome, innocent and so damn young face in the late morning. He had hardly believed his luck when he finally had the opportunity to brush hair out of his eyes and smile without worrying about anyone watching.
You’re getting in too deep. He’s just a kid. You’re corrupting him. You’re taking advantage of him. You better fucking stop.
But White’s old enough now that he’s capable of thinking past his own dick. He can separate fantasy from reality and fatherly love from the real damn thing. He can distinguish short-term crush from long-term commitment.
Have I just found the real goddamn thing?
As a reward for having given White the best night he’d had in years, White had rolled out of bed and cooked them breakfast, the kind Orange liked: bacon that was extra greasy and eggs slathered in cheese and toast smothered in butter until it wasn’t technically toast anymore.
And now, now White was daydreaming again of Orange sauntering into his small kitchen with those damn ten year old’s pajamas still on, sleepy smile for White’s eyes alone.
Orange was slowly but surely becoming the death of him.
“Should’ve ordered the double, kid,” Blonde accuses before diving in. Orange rolls his eyes and concedes, pushing the fries further away, knowing he’s not about to win this battle. White praises the kid inwardly for his acute fucking sense of self-preservation, yet pushes his own half-eaten burger just a few inches over to the right until it’s resting in front of Orange.
Orange gives him a hopeful, grateful look like he suddenly realized it was his goddamn birthday already.
“Eat up, kid. Can’t have you starving on my watch.” He’s eaten too many burgers this week anyway, knows his metabolism ain’t what it used to be and that he needs to watch his waistline before one of these bastards makes a crack about it and White has to bruise his knuckles knocking their fucking teeth out.
Better the kid than me. He’s too damn skinny anyway.
Still, he’s gonna make sure Orange eats right tonight. He’ll cook him something up, some healthy lasagna with a salad on the side or some shit like that. White’s been getting better at his cooking over the years, all the more so in the last few weeks given he has someone other than himself he wants to cook for.
He allows himself a satisfied glance at his boy. He loves watching him eat, loves the sounds he makes, the ones he’s trying to hide now that they have company but never bothers when it’s just the two of them.
White claims every minute he can with him, preaching that he’s mentoring him, protecting him, showing him the ropes. He indulges him with food and long, languid looks, past the point of caring when he realizes they don’t bother the kid one bit. He’s started shooting White looks himself, ones that linger just as long as White’s none too fucking discreet ones.
He thinks about how to ask Freddy over again tonight.
He knows he won’t say no.
6. Ordinary people in an ordinary world
Orange’s reaction to his own food does things to him that he never thought possible.
Freddy flirts with him in the kitchen while he cooks, talking nonstop though always pausing every time White shoves a spoon in his mouth for testing purposes. Orange rarely gives back the spoons. Really, the kid’s mundane chitchat is probably just a way to keep his mind off of tomorrow, yet it’s something White can’t blame him for. This is why they’re both here, together , in the first place: to relax and lay their worries aside for the night.
It’s a promise of many more nights to come, if Freddy wants to be here as much as Larry wants him here.
White certainly isn’t having Orange spend the night on his own, plagued with insomnia all night, tossing and turning about all the things that could and most likely would not happen tomorrow. White’s going to make sure of it. No one will lay hands on his boy and get away with it.
When the soup is done and the bread sticks laid out in a neat little row on the small table in White’s kitchen, the two of them settle down and wait for the lasagna to finish cooking. They talk about everything and nothing, stupid little things that make White chuckle and honest to god bellow over in laughter, calming him in a way that not even a cigarette can. He could listen to Freddy talk for hours, practically has already, and he plans to do it for years to come.
Later, when Freddy sits in his lap and lets Larry feed him small pieces of lasagna, kissing each other fervently in between pieces, hungrier for each other than they ever will be for actual food, it feels to Larry just like any normal night, feels like they’re just ordinary people in love, heading off to work tomorrow.
“Promised I’d get something nutritious into that junk-laden wasteland body of yours.”
Orange makes this pleased sound against White’s mouth, half-gasp and half-whimper. His eyes glow golden and temporarily drive White out of his goddamn head. “You’re a damn better cook than you should be. This shit beats nachos and twinkies any day.”
“It better,” White growls, fingers digging into his boy’s skin, hopefully leaving imprints there.
And much later than that, whey they’re spooning in White’s bed and Orange is clinging onto him for dear life, his damn fool head working a mile a minute, White places a kiss to his forehead and presses their palms together.
Freddy makes him feel young and alive and whole again. Nothing will take this away from me no one will take this from me I won’t fuck this up…
It’s their last night together before everything changes. Tomorrow they they will finally draw this gig to a close and White knows he’ll be able to release the breath he’s been holding, take Orange somewhere away from all of this, finally start his fucking life again.
Tomorrow Freddy will be his, not only body but also in soul. And yes, Larry knows it sounds cheesy as hell and that happy endings aren’t written for people like him, but he has dreams like everyone else and all he wants is Freddy in his arms, on his knees, staring at him with those damn eyes and that beautiful, gorgeous fucking mouth.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow and all Larry’s dreams will come true.
Just you fucking wait and see…