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mortals sipping nectar at five cents a glass

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Matt smiles warmly...it's so rare to see Tom like this...unfurled...like a bow whose string has been relaxed...even when they're asleep...all piled up in Edd's bed...or on a mountain of pillows and air mattresses and blankets in the living room...Matt will have Tom pressed against him...his arm a pillow...and Matt will feel Tom's muscles tense...and his body curl inward during the night...like he's trying to get away and hide...

But right now...right now Tom isn't drunk but he's not complaining either....quiet yet not really sullen ...at least not like he usually is...Matt isn't sure what to make of it yet...but his own body's been yearning for touch...not horny per se...closer to an itch underneath his skin...a restlessness ...hasn't he always been but a bottomless pit that only other people's validation can fill?...

Matt had practically jumped with joy when Tom crept into his room... slipped his arms around Matt's neck...kissed him on the spot just below his ear that's always made Matt's breath hitch...a fumbling of hands...piles of clothes on the floor...sweet strawberry kisses... he's been either kissing Tord too or raiding the freezer...Matt would say both if he didn't remember how they'd tried sharing ice cream last week... and ended up trying to smother each other ...so it goes...

now... Tom's dark skin is so cool underneath Matt's hands and thighs...Tom has always run so cool...Edd warm as furnace ... Tord colder still...that's how they spent so many winters after school...red and blue and purple curled up inside an open green coat ...or underneath a green blanket...when nobody else was around to see... like the blue smoke off Tom's cigarette ... curls of smoke on the green curtains ...Tom's hands dangling off the edge of Matt's bed...face in the violet comforter ... moaning softly as Matt rubs the knots out of his shoulders... down his back...

Matt shifts down to sit on Tom's thighs...grabs his ass...the way they like to do to Edd with his middies ...(man tiddies)...Tom laughs and reaches back to smack him... Don't grab my ass...Why not? ... something muffled...so Matt leans down...his sternum aligned with Tom's spine...his ribs to Tom's shoulder blades...both expanding in time...Matt kisses Tom behind the ear...Why not? ... another small noise...

are you okay?

...Tom raises his hands...drops them...I feel like..I dunno... I feel like my actual...you know ...consciousnesses I guess...is spinning around the room...like one of those skip-it toys we used to have...

Matt makes an acknowledging noise ...kisses Tom behind the ear again...anything I can get you? ... no...no... Matt's fingertips gently climbing down the ladder of his ribs... Matt's lips ...kissing down each marble of his back...

Tom can feel Matt growing hard against him...and opens his legs...lets Matt settle between them...kissing him as the blue smoke dies down ...Tom just watches it dissolve... float out the window... and imagines the box he was born in ...the clear box with all the bundles of wires leading in and out... he wants to remember the sticky pads on his body...measuring his vitals...make some kind of connection to the pads of Matt's fingers...caressing him...gentle and loving...because that's art right?

Suffering isn't suffering when it's art

...right?

...but of course he can't...he was just a baby after all...and besides... he doesn't want to drink today...well he does... but he said he wouldn't...said he would start cutting back..and now he feels...well he doesn't really know...his self's bigness... his self a splash of brilliant muted blue too big for the thin outline of his body...if that makes any sense... and maybe it will if he lets Matt keep kissing him...up and down his back... as his fingertips climb up the ladder of his ribs... if he lets Matt fuck him...

Tom takes one final drag ...before he tosses the cigarette stub into the ash tray on Matt's windowsill... rolls over...taking Matt's face in his hands...soft and warm...already painted pink with blood...smiling when he feels Tom press back against him... Yes dear?...always so eager to please... Tom hadn't even really realized he was getting hard...

He'd just wanted...

Tom runs the pads of his thumbs over Matt's cheekbones...the edges of those lavender pools under his eyes...

He wants ...

Matt kisses Tom's palm...rolls his hips forward...Oh darling...what do you want to do?

I...

Listen...because I'm only gonna say this once okay?...I can't let you guys go around thinking I have feelings...Matt nods...of course...of course...I'd never think such a scandalous thing Tom...But listen Matt...if I ...Tom sighs...lolls his head back off the edge of the bed...empty eyes spotting the blue ambers on the windowsill...the green curtains...the sun setting outside...purple with soft threads of red laced throughout...

Tom was born in a clear box at night in a room without windows

...listen Matt...you guys are a good enough reason...okay?

...Matt brows furrow...reason for what? ...

Just...it's...it's hard to explain alright...just keep it in mind...he taps Mat's temple...I know you have a lot of room up there to rent ...Matt's confusion yields to a smile...he laughs and pokes Tom between his ribs...you're one to talk...encyclopedic knowledge of ska bands no one listens to isn't some highfalutin intellectual pursuit...

Tom laughs... they thought those guys writing the Bible down were pretty stupid too...which was true..does any bible-thumping country song go as half hard as "The Shark Fighter" by the Aquabats...I think the fuck not... Matt laughs so hard he snorts...Tom pulls Matt back to him by the wrists...kissing him sweetly...

...I like this you a lot better ...Matt wants to say ...but he doesn't want to ruin the moment...even if Tom seems in a more feelsy mood than usual...so Matt brushes his fingers behind Tom's ear as he talks... voice gentle and smooth... Here...as Matt takes them both in his hand... Just relax and let me take care of you...

Tom gasps...his body arching back like a bow...legs spreading out further...knocking off more of Matt's lacy embroidered pillows...

If it makes you feel any better...Matt leans back down...catches Tom's lips again for a moment...you guys are the reason I spend so much time getting ready in the morning...because I mean I look stunning enough when I've just rolled out of bed...but even gods among men can't let themselves get complacent ...

Tom chuckles...running his hands down Matt's chest...imagining he leaves bright purple smears along Matt's skin...his outline fading...purple and blue mixing together...

I just wanna be my best self for you guys...you know?... Matt says ...and Tom nods...me too...as the sky outside turns from lilac to black and the blue amber finally goes cold.