Marvin readied his racquet, watching his lover dive forwards to hit it only to miss and have it hit his heel instead. His lover stumbled a few times before regaining his balance and turning towards Marvin.
"Hit my heel, " he huffed out. Marvin crossed his arms.
"Don't be bitter, " he remarked, expecting him to be annoyed by the fact that he lost.
The other man simply shrugged, taking a moment to catch his breath. "It's no big deal, you win."
Marvin quirked an eyebrow in disbelief. "Are you really just going to quit like that?"
The other man huffed and turned away. "I can't go on anymore, Marv."
Marvin frowned, beginning to grow a little concerned. "What do you mean?"
"Nothing let's just go."
The other man turned to leave but collapsed to the floor with a gasp. Marvin rushed forwards, reaching for the other man.
"Hey, " he said softly, placing his hand on his shoulder. The other man looked up, his brown eyes filled with fear. The man was shaking softly and his response came out as barely more than a whisper.
"Your taste in clothing is shit, Mark."
Mark rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. "It's not that bad."
Charlie scoffed, crossing her arms and leaning forward in her chair. "Dude, most of the time you look like you got dressed blindfolded and in the dark."
Mark rolled his eyes and Cecilia giggled. "My fiancee's right Marky boy and you know it. C'mon, let us take you shopping."
Charlie nodded. "I am not letting you wear an outfit you chose to our wedding."
Mark sighed, he knew there was no winning this, these two were just as stubborn and persistent as he was, if not more. "Fine."
Cecilia lit up with a grin and clapped her hands together. "Oh, I cannot wait to pick out a proper suit for you!"
Charlie smiled and leaned back, satisfied. "Let's go now then."
Mark quirked an eyebrow. "Right now?"
Mark was a bit beyond tired, which wasn't too unusual. His dreams were almost never pleasant enough for a good night of sleep.
"Yeah, why not?" Charlie stood up from the plush chair she had been sitting on and readjusted the pillow on it.
Mark groaned. "Shopping is the worst, I thought you two would give me time to mentally prepare."
Charlie lightly kicked him in the leg. "Stop being such a drama queen."
Mark huffed. "Stop being so impulsive," he retorted.
"Never," Cecilia said with a grin, her blonde curls bouncing as she tilted her head.
Mark frowned. "Can't this wait?" Cecilia grabbed him by the sleeve and yanked him up and Mark yelped.
"Nope!" She exclaimed cheerily.
Mark furrowed his brows and rubbed his arm. "Alright then, I'm only doing this cause I love you two."
Charlie smiled. "Yeah, we know."
"That's literally the same color as the last one!"
Cecilia huffed. "It is not! It's bluer!"
Mark rolled his eyes, they had been in the same damn store for half an hour already and were still choosing some clothes for him to try, with little to no input from Mark. And he was beginning to feel like the lesbians were just about as exasperated with him being here as he was.
Mark was kind of just, standing around or following the lesbians as they perused the racks. Mark ran his hand over the clothing items as he walked past them, following Cecilia like a young child. Honestly, he was pretty relieved, shopping was never really his thing so he didn't mind not having to be too involved. That way, he could daydream or just think about meaningless things. Or less meaningless things. Like the dream he had last night.
Mark sighed at the thought. He has been plagued with dreams similar since around the beginning of high school. He had his first one the night of his 14th birthday. He had been in a big house, it was the dream person's birthday, and nothing was prepared, so dream him threw a fit until he got what he wanted. It was strange, but he had brushed it off. But he kept having similar dreams, just in different settings. Sometimes he was a high school student throwing up in a bathroom stall, other times he was an adult sneaking home like a guilty teenager for reasons he wasn't quite sure of yet.
The dreams weren't very descriptive, and he was only recently able to remember most of them. They were always pretty foggy in one way or another though. He could see just fine, but couldn't hear or vice versa. Sometimes he could only see one thing clearly, like someone's eyes or smile or the wedding ring on his finger.
It was strange, to say the least. He hadn't really told anyone about it since college, and even then he didn't mention that they're reoccurring and that they had been happening since he was 14. They weren't important, and he doubted anyone would have any more answers than he did. Which was none. Last night's dream though, was one of the more troubling ones. It was one that had him waking up filled with anxiety and dread. It wasn't quite enough to make him cry like some of the others, but it definitely ruined his mood for a while.
"Hey, Mark, what do you think of this one?"
Mark's train of thought was violently derailed when suddenly Charlie spoke up, holding a suit jacket right in front of his face. "Uh, it looks...nice?" Mark said, unsure of what to say. It genuinely looked almost identical to all the other ones they had already shown him. Charlie sighed softly.
"Alright, you obviously don't care, here." Charlie handed Mark a few suit jackets. "You wait around the changing rooms, Cecilia and I are going to choose some shirts and pants to go with one of these."
Mark sighed. "Alright, " he replied dejectedly.
He plopped himself down on the bench and watched as Charlie and Cecilia disappeared from sight into the rest of the store. With a sigh, he pulled out his phone and began to idly look through it, occasionally glancing up to survey his surroundings. After a minute or two though, something, or rather, someone caught his eye, and immediately several alarms went off in his head.
A man looking through a clothing rack a few feet away, who was unfairly attractive mind you, was one of the reasons there were alarms going off in his head at the moment.
He was dressed up in a leather jacket and form-fitting pants as well as fancy looking shoes. He also had really nice hair that probably took him hours to style.
The other reason there were alarms going off in his head was the fact that he was incredibly familiar. Looking at him almost felt like deja vu. He hated when shit like this happened. Where had he seen him before? He found it hard to believe that he would be able to forget someone who looked like that. He was tall, had painfully styled dark brown hair and was wearing stylish clothes. You don't really forget someone like that.
Maybe he was someone he knew from high school? No, he probably wouldn't even find anyone he went to school with even somewhat familiar, he had never paid attention to anyone there. Maybe he was someone he hooked up with? Oh God, he really hoped not. Thankfully that is pretty unlikely, he is way out of Mark's league. Mark probably wouldn't even be able to convince the dude to talk to him, let alone sleep with him.
Mark decided to sneak another glance, hoping it might help him figure it out. Unluckily for him, he made eye contact with the dude that exact moment. Shit. Mark quickly looked down again, silently hoping the dude didn't notice or care. Mark swiftly decided he needed to leave the area and find Charlie and Cecilia. But before he could do that he heard footsteps.
"Do you need something?"
Fuck. Mark turned to the stranger who was now standing right in front of him. "I, uh, pardon?" Mark replied nervously.
"You were looking at me." The man quirked an eyebrow, looking Mark up and down.
Mark gulped. "Oh, sorry, I thought you looked like someone I know. I didn't mean to bother you." It wasn't a lie, really, but he was sure he couldn't really know anyone like him.
"Huh," the stranger replied uncrossing his arms. "Well, I'm, " before the man even said his name, Mark thought it.
"Whizzer, " the two said in unison. Whizzer looked a bit taken aback, as did Mark. What the hell? Mark thought, panicking a little. Why did he know this dude's name? Why did he blurt it out? Mark quickly tried to direct the conversation away from the fact that he already knew Whizzer's name before it got there.
"I'm Mark." Whizzer still looked a bit suspicious but didn't question how he knew his name. Mark was thankful for that. He wasn't sure how he would explain it since he didn't know the answers.
"Mark? Huh, not what I would have guessed, personally." Mark furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.
"What do you mean?" Mark instantly assumed that was some sort of insult, automatically bristling. Whizzer ran a hand through his hair.
"I mean, Mark doesn't really, suit you," he said, making a vague hand-gesture. Mark shrugged.
"I think it's fine," he remarked, somewhat defensively. He really didn't. He had always felt the name didn't quite fit either, but it didn't really matter, he didn't mind it too much.
"So, why are you here?" Whizzer asked, promptly changing the conversation topic.
"Uh, my friends are getting married soon, and they wanted to take me shopping for a suit to wear,"
Whizzer smirked slightly. "Let me guess, you have a shit taste in clothing so they strung you along to buy clothes for you?"
Mark wrinkled his nose and glanced away. "Yeah." Whizzer snickered, and the conversation was brought to an uncomfortable halt.
Mark decided to attempt to break the silence. "Since you asked me, why are you here?" Mark asked after a few moments of silence.
Whizzer shrugged nonchalantly as he replied, "Just lookin' around." Mark nodded awkwardly, averting his gaze. "Cool." Once again they fell into silence. Mark tapped his foot uncomfortably. God, why couldn't he have been blessed with the ability to keep a conversation going?
"So, are you new to New York?" Mark asked after a while, deciding that was a good enough topic.
Whizzer hummed in thought before replying. "No, not really. I've been here for a few months now."
Mark replied, "Huh, so, do you like it more than where you're from?" Whizzer grinned. "Yeah."
Mark replied without thinking. "It's probably easier to be a photographer around here, huh?"
Whizzer went silent for a moment. "How did you know that?"
"That I'm a photographer."
Mark was a tad bit taken aback. How did he know that? It was like how he already knew Whizzer's name before he said it. Which, needless to say, weird as fuck.
"I...don't know," Mark admitted. "Lucky guess? You look like a photography kinda...guy," He suggested. Fuck, this guy probably thought he was some kind of stalker or some shit. Fuck. The conversation died again, but this time it felt way more uncomfortable, which Mark didn't even know was possible.
Suddenly Whizzer cleared his throat and Mark looked up at him. His nonchalance had returned and he offhandedly remarked, "Well, I should get going."
Mark shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Oh, alright." Whizzer looked down at Mark and their eyes met. He had dark brown eyes, just like the man from his dream, and as soon as Mark had that realization his heart skipped a beat. Shit, he knew exactly why he thought Whizzer looked familiar.
Whizzer adjusted his leather jacket and smiled. "See ya around, Marv." And with that, he walked off. Mark gulped, watching as he left before looking down at the floor.
How had he not realized it before? Now that he thought about it, it was painfully obvious. Specifically his eyes and hair. Whizzer, the guy he just met, looked like the man from his dream, or rather, dreams. And not in the, he is super attractive and cool way, the literal way. He had seen the same man multiple times and in different situations. Sometimes he was collapsing after a game, sometimes he could hear him at a baseball game, sometimes he was dying. Mark took a deep breath. It was just a coincidence, right? It had to be.
"Did that guy just call you Marv?"
Mark was snapped out of his train of thought by Charlie, who was now in front of him holding a few shirts. His thoughts completely scattered as soon as he registered what she said.
Mark quirked an eyebrow, confused. "What?"
Charlie glanced to where Whizzer had gone then back to Mark. "That guy, did he just call you Marv?"
Mark furrowed his eyebrows. "Did he?"
Charlie shrugged. "That's what it sounded like to me." Mark leaned back on the bench. "You probably just heard him wrong."
Charlie shrugged again. "Maybe, " she admitted.
Mark quirked an eyebrow. "How much of that did you even hear?"
Charlie grinned. "A bit, enough to tell how much of a mess you are in front of a pretty face." Mark groaned and rubbed his eyes. "I mean you should have seen your face when y'all made eye contact."
Mark swiftly changed the conversation topic. Where's Cecilia?" He asked.
"She's looking at ties and pants, now try these on." Charlie handed over some clothes.
Mark grimaced as the shirts were added to his pile of jackets. "Do I really have to try all of these on?"
Charlie rolled her eyes. "Here, let me pair them up first."
Charlie took the pile of clothing and began to put certain shirts and jackets together. Mark sighed as he watched her. He really couldn't tell much of a difference between the jackets. The shirts were easier though since one was white, two were grey and one was black. All of the suit jackets just looked dark blue though.
Of course, Mark had never been a clothing expert. That was the whole reason Mark was here. He probably wouldn't do nearly as good as he was guessing Charlie and Cecilia were.
A few minutes later, he saw Cecilia return with a few ties and practically identical looking sets of pants. Charlie and Cecilia began discussing which pants and ties went with what. After a while, Mark just began to ignore them, opting to stare at the wall instead, trying his best to not think about Whizzer and how he looked just like the dude he kept seeing in his dreams. It was just a coincidence, and he would probably never even see Whizzer again after that mess of an interaction anyways.
Eventually, Charlie and Cecilia finished and handed Mark the clothes. "Now try them on," Charlie said before she sat down at a bench with her fiancee.
Mark sighed dejectedly and complied. "Alright, no need to be pushy.