thedavidcook: @DavidArchie the usual @ the usual, amigo?
DavidArchie: @thedavidcook Claro que si!
thedavidcook: @DavidArchie Um, you know I don’t really speak Spanish, right?
DavidArchie: @thedavidcook For sure, dude.
Jasoncastro: @ uh…don’t even try that. Dude.
“The usual @ the usual” (Archie’s idea of a code, which, had he met his fans?) was Sunday brunch at a little place in Studio City no one had ever heard of. Cook usually found himself running in, apologizing, half the time, but today he was on the back patio half an hour early. He rearranged his silverware about twelve times, drank two cups of coffee, and was building the traditional creamer and sugar substitute tower when Archie walked in.
“Nice,” Archie said, and Cook’s hand caught on a pink packet, sending the whole thing toppling. “Oh, sorry.”
“No worries,” Cook said. He half-stood, half-leaned over to give Archie a hug. Archie smelled like mint toothpaste and cheap hair gel, solid and familiar, and Cook held on maybe a second longer than he’d meant to. He could feel Archie’s gaze on him as he plopped back down.
“How’s your mom?” Cook asked, and diverted Archie into chatter about family and friends. He thought he’d gotten away with it until halfway through brunch, when Archie put his fork down and leaned forward.
“No, really, what’s wrong?” he asked.
Cook glared at him over the rim of his coffee cup. “You know, for someone who lives in his own head as much as you do, you’re damned perceptive when you want to be.”
Archie crossed his arms on the table. “You’ll probably feel better after you tell someone.”
“I probably won’t.”
Archie shrugged and went back to eating, keeping his eyes on his food.
He was going to make someone a great long-suffering wife someday. “I have writer’s block,” Cook said. “All right?” He stabbed a strawberry with unnecessary roughness.
When he looked up, Archie’s eyes were huge. “I’ve never seen you—“
“Have you ever--?”
Cook grabbed his toast, leaned across the table, and shoved it in Archie’s mouth.
“Mmph unf unnecessary!” Archie said, wiping butter off his nose.
Cook cracked up.
Archie brightened. “See? I told you you’d feel better.”
Cook put his head in his hands and laughed until he cried.
So, are u still having that problem?
What “u” talking bout, Willis?
No, this is Archie.
So? Can u still not youknowwhat?
You know what that sounds like?
I have an idea. Can I come over?
Sure. I’ll cook.
HEY WAIT I WASN’T TALKING ABOUT SEX.
“I didn’t even ask what you’re making,” Archie said as Cook led the way through the living room, currently littered with guitars, and into the kitchen. Dublin ran in front of them, between them, and around them, a little black ball of enthusiasm.
“Jambalaya, crawfish pie, fillet gumbo,” Cook said, deadpan.
“Oh that sounds, um, interesting.”
Cook laughed. “Never mind.”
Archie made an annoyed noise behind him; Cook manfully restrained himself from laughing more. He went back to the stove—it was lemon chicken with capers, actually—and tried to remember where he was in the recipe. Archie carefully maneuvered around him to get himself a glass of water and then sat down out of harm’s way in the breakfast nook. Dublin curled up next to Archie’s feet and Archie scratched his head with the toe of his sneaker.
They talked casually about their days for a bit, both carefully not mentioning why Archie was there. Then Archie wandered out of the kitchen for a bit as Cook was accidentally getting lemon juice in his eye and came back just as it stopped watering and Cook could see again. He was carrying one of Cook’s discarded guitars.
“Do you mind?” he asked at Cook’s raised eyebrow.
“I guess not,” Cook said. He turned back to the chicken.
Archie’s guitar skills weren’t technically fantastic or anything, but he’d worked on it enough over the last few years that he even busted it out in concerts sometimes. He started playing quietly, humming along to a melody line, and with a start Cook recognized “Always Be My Baby” – his version, from Idol. He hadn’t heard that in who knew how long. He looked over his shoulder, but Archie was concentrating on getting the chords right, or just ignoring him.
Cook tried to hold out, but he kind of couldn’t help it, and a few bars later he was singing along, getting most of the words right at least while he kept most of his attention on his hands. Archie kept going, and by the time the chicken was browned, the rice served, and the pans in the dishwasher, they’d gone through four or five of their more memorable songs from back in the day.
Dinner interrupted them, and Cook expected…something, some kind of discussion, some lecture maybe, but afterwards Archie just patted the dog, invited himself over again in a couple of days, and left, closing the door behind him as Cook stood in the hall.
“I, huh, okay,” Cook said, and decided tonight would be a good time to do the dishes by hand. He hummed to himself as he did it, though.
DAVID ARCHULETA | The Official David Archuleta Site
Video Blog – Memories – 5/25
David talks about his favorite music memories, including singing with his family, learning to play piano, and jamming with fellow Idol alum David Cook.
“Seriously, I should just give you a key,” Cook said as he walked up the driveway.
Archie looked up from where he was sitting on the front steps. “If this is Tuesday, it must be Archie,” he said, grinning.
Cook stuck his hands in his back pockets and looked down at Archie, who in the old days would have squirmed and looked away. These days Archie knew how to look you in the eye, and the fact that he still dressed like he was on the track team in private didn’t change the quiet confidence that he had started radiating when Cook wasn’t looking.
“Can I be you when I grow up?” Cook asked.
He still made a ridiculous face when he was confused though.
“Never mind,” Cook said, and Archie rolled his eyes at him.
Tonight’s dinner featured scallops, thanks to some sleepless nights spent watching The Food Network, and apparently Archie had declared it Beatles night. Cook produced a distracted if passable harmony on “Ticket to Ride” while slicing and dicing with Dublin sniffing hopefully at his feet.
“So, is this a plan, here?” he asked as the last chord faded away.
“Yep,” Archie said.
Cook waited. “And the plan is what exactly?”
“Cook,” Archie said patiently. “If I explain it, it might not work.”
“Wait, it’s working?”
Silence. Cook turned around. “You’re not even going to tell me if it’s working?”
Archie’s expression was dangerously close to patronizing. “If I—“
“I get it, I get it.” Cook turned back around.
Archie picked out the melody to “Yesterday” on the guitar, but if he was singing, it wasn’t loud enough for Cook to hear.
“I’m trying not to take myself too seriously,” Cook said, smashing a clove of garlic with a little more force than he needed to use. “I can’t write a fucking rock song. I’m not inventing cars that run on green beans or curing the common cold or anything.” He took a shallow breath and fought off the burning in his eyes.
“You’re not—you’re not running for President,” Archie said, and Cook’s laugh was a little watery but real.
“I’m not an astronaut on the Space Station,” he said.
“You’re not training for the Olympics.”
“I’m not in front of a—“ Cook did a fake announcer voice. “—live studio audience.”
“Ha, you’re not in front of Simon Cowell, which is worse than any of those,” Archie said, and they both dissolved into what could only (unmasculinely) be described as giggles.
Cook took the few steps around Dublin over to where Archie was sitting and hugged him. It was awkward around the guitar and he got some garlic on Archie’s shirt, but Archie leaned into him and patted his arm with one hand. Cook rubbed his cheek against Archie’s head. “Thank you,” he said quietly.
“I’m hungry,” Archie said, but when Cook lifted his head Archie was smiling at him. “Cook something already.”
“Play something more cheerful,” Cook said, and they belted their way through “Here Comes the Sun,” even though it wasn’t really the kind of song you belted.
What’s your status?
David Cook is: _
David Cook is: busy being bad at his job
David Cook is: fucking depressed
David Cook is: missing David Archuleta.
David Cook is: _
David Cook is: working on the new album!
On the nights Archie didn’t show up, because, hey, kid had a life beyond holding Cook’s hand, Cook would make too much food, feed Dublin inappropriate leftovers, and wander the house, flipping through channels and books and sheet music endlessly. He’d do halfhearted pull-ups in the gym or chase Dublin and a tennis ball around the yard, just to make himself do something, but nothing took his mind off anything.
He usually ended up on the couch with his guitar, trying to sing anything that came to mind like he did when Archie was there. He actually thought there was an interesting acoustic version of “Crush” to be done, to embarrass the heck out of Archie, but he couldn’t even do a new arrangement without his hands freezing on the neck of the guitar.
He fell asleep that way, more often than not, and would wake up half on top of the guitar, with the fret-and-strings pattern imprinted on his cheek.
Finally, one morning, he admitted the truth to himself: this wasn’t working. Archie’s plan, whatever it was, made him want to be around Archie more, for reasons he would have to face one of these days, but it wasn’t making him write.
Something had to change.
From: David Cook [email@example.com]
To: David Archuleta [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Cancelling dinner, sorry
Not up for it, dude. Really bad day of nothing going well. Reschedule?
The doorbell rang, politely if that was possible, right at seven. Cook crawled off the couch and shuffled to the door. “Really, Arch, I just can’t—is that pizza?”
Archie shoved the pizza box at him. There was a DVD balanced on top of it. This is Spinal Tap. Cook raised an eyebrow at Archie.
“It’s supposed to take your mind off everything,” Archie said earnestly.
“You have to stop getting your movie recommendations from Johns. Really.” But Cook was maybe smiling a little.
Archie hesitated a second. “Feel better,” he said, and turned to go.
Cook reached out and snagged the sleeve of Archie’s jacket. “Get back here.”
A half hour later, the movie was still paused at the opening menu, and Dublin had fallen asleep on top of the remote. Archie was sitting at one end of the couch, his sock-clad feet resting on the coffee table. Cook was lying down over the entire rest of the couch, his feet over the opposite arm and his head bumping into Archie’s leg when either of them moved. He was balancing a paper plate of pizza crusts on his chest and gesturing with the last piece.
“I’m thinking about going back and visiting my family for a couple of days. I just—I have to get out of my own head, you know? The closest I get is hanging with you, and I can’t cook dinner and write music at the same time.”
“You’ve never tried,” Archie said.
Cook laughed. “Could be messy.”
“You’re pretty messy now,” Archie said, reaching down to wipe a smear of sauce off Cook’s cheek. Cook went still at the contact, and he saw an expression he couldn’t read cross Archie’s face from upside down.
He sat up carefully and dropped the plate and the remains of the pizza on the coffee table. Archie had pulled his feet down and sat upright, rubbing at the sauce on his hand.
“Did I say, I really appreciate everything you’ve been doing,” Cook said. He darted a glance over at Archie, who met his eyes and then looked away.
“What are friends for?”
Cook’s heartbeat pounded extra hard in his ears. “You’ve, um. You’ve got—“ He rubbed his thumb over Archie’s cheek in return.
“N-no I don’t,” Archie said.
“Okay,” Cook said. He leaned as far into Archie’s personal space as humanly possible, and just waited. “Okay.”
Archie closed the scant distance between them. Cook breathed in the scent of pepperoni and cologne, and how had he not noticed Archie had been wearing cologne all this time, and shut up brain, Archie was kissing him. It was tentative and awkward and possibly the hottest thing that had ever happened to Cook. He grabbed Archie’s shoulders and dragged him closer.
Archie pulled back a little, not that Cook was really letting him go anywhere. “So this wasn’t a plan or anything,” he said.
“Are you sure?” Cook asked. “Because I’m pretty out of my own head. I could probably write a song right now.”
“Right now?” Archie looked crestfallen, then tried to look excited. “That’s great?”
Cook laughed, then kissed Archie again. “Maybe in a minute,” he said against Archie’s mouth.
“Mm-hm,” Archie said.
DavidArchie: @thedavidcook Hey, do I have to change my name to @mrsthedavidcook now?
thedavidcook: @DavidArchie I thought I was the future Mrs. Archuleta?
DavidArchie: @thedavidcook I don’t want to infringe on your feminist rights.
thedavidcook: @DavidArchie …was that a joke?
michael_johns: @thedavidcook I helped.
CarlySmithson: @thedavidcook @DavidArchie @michael_johns You know other people can read this, right?