Chapter 1: Muddied Thoughts
Bloodrush feels strange without Ragh there. It's because he's so loud, Gorgug tells himself, it just feels a little quieter, is all. And besides, it's not like Ragh is totally gone from his life, either. He's at the manor most days when Gorgug goes to meet Fig for band practice. He's loud there too, hooting and hollering everytime he and Fig finish a song, shouting praises from the top of his lungs.
They end up talking a lot after practice. Ayda doesn't really like loud noises, but Fig usually rounds off a set with a couple ballads and she sits in for those, and after that they're all over each other and Ragh and Gorgug escape to the kitchen so they don't have to see all that junk.
"Miss having you," Gorgug says, unprompted, while they're quietly sipping their orange juice after practice one day. He immediately realises what that sounds like and dies inside. Ragh quirks an eyebrow in response.
"Yeah?" he says, smiling a little.
Gorgug tries to backtrack and fails miserably.
"On Bloodrush, I mean. Not, like. Not like in general." He's sure his whole face is red at this point. Ragh must take pity on him because he very gracefully veers the conversation into safer waters.
"How is Bloodrush these days, anyway? You guys doing any good?"
"Yeah, I mean, the freshmen are alright. Still would have been better with you there." Fuck. He stumbled into it again. Ragh laughs at that, a deep, rumbly thing that sinks pleasantly into Gorgug's bones.
"Maybe we can play sometime," he suggests, "I'm free most days anyway, still waiting on my acceptance letter to uni."
"Yeah, maybe," Gorgug breathes. The thought of wrestling on the field with Ragh again makes him go giddy. The sound of Fig hollering at him from the living room snaps him out of his reverie.
"Gorgug, Zelda's here." she shouts.
"Oh, I gotta go." he blinks. Ragh smiles and slaps a hand on his back hard enough to make Gorgug wheeze a little.
"See ya, big guy."
"So, how was practice?" Zelda asks, in that sweet, lilting tone of hers. She's driving them to Basraar's in her dad's Toyota Cambrie.
"Okay," Gorgug says, slowly, "same old, i guess. Fig wanted to test out a new song." And then, after a pause he hopes is long enough that it seems like an afterthought, "Ragh was home, so we hung out a while."
Zelda glances at him at that, just a quick one out of the corner of her eye, with a look on her face that Gorgug can't parse with a 3 insight roll. He almost asks, but then he remembers that he already knows who his bio dad is.
"That's nice," she says, voice carefully nonchalant, "what'd you guys talk about?"
Gorgug waves a hand at her dismissively.
"Oh, you know, this and that," he says, "told him I miss seeing him at Bloodrush."
"Hmm," she hums, "he was a good goalie."
"Yeah," Gorgug says, "it's 'cause he's so… big."
Zelda raises her eyebrows and smirks.
"No! Not like that, Zelda, GOD." Gorgug groans. Zelda titters softly as they pull up in the parking lot in front of Basraar's.
"Whatever you say," she says, wiggling her eyebrows, "c'mon, let's go get ice cream." Gorgug grumbles, but takes the hand she offers him anyway and they traipse off into the store.
Chapter 2: A Trip and a Fall
Sorry for the super short chapter guys!! Its to compensate for the next one which is Very Lengthy and i'm already like 2/3rds into it anyway so not to worry. Should be up soon!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"BOYS NIGHT!!" Ragh shouts, the sound echoing through the dark graveyard behind Mordred Manor.
"BOYS NIGHT!!" returns Fabian, equally as enthusiastic, as he rolls up with Riz on the Hangman. They're both blushing to the tips of their ears and determinedly not looking at each other as Riz unwraps his arms from around Fabian's torso and slides off his seat. Gorgug shakes his head incredulously at them.
"So, we starting this game, or what?" says Zayn, twirling the Bloodrush ball from his perch on his gravestone. Gorgug briefly wonders how Zayn is keeping a hold of that thing given he's a ghost and all but it's making his brain hurt so he stops.
"Yeah, let's start!" Ragh grins.
They split teams and Riz offers to be referee since he absolutely bombs at Bloodrush. It's him and Zayn against Ragh and Fabian, which he thought would put them at a disadvantage since again: Zayn's pretty skinny and also incorporeal, but he proves to be surprisingly dexterous on the field, darting and weaving expertly through the headstones and ducking at just the right moments. It's down to the last round and their score's basically even, Ragh's got the ball and he's running through a clear stretch of graveyard and basically begging to get tackled so he does just that, and they go flying and skid to a halt in front of a gravestone whose name Gorgug can't be bothered to read, and they're wrestling around for what seems like ages in a mess of limbs on the damp earth but he shoves all his weight onto Ragh and in one opportune moment, Ragh topples to the ground. Gorgug is centimeters away from his face. He can feel his heart pounding under his skin as his traitorous brain decides that this is a great time to bring up what happened the last time they were this close. Ragh is staring up at him, wide-eyed, his body completely still, the arm holding the Bloodrush ball going limp in Gorgug's grip. His breath falls out in steady puffs that blow warm air onto Gorgug's face, his mouth going slack. Gorgug stares at it hard. It would be so easy to just lean in and…
The sound of Fabian's voice slices through the tension like a knife and Gorgug and Ragh both jump a mile high and rush off one another. He realises the ball is indeed no longer in Ragh's hand. Fabian must've snagged it while they were… doing whatever it is they were doing. Gods. What were they doing. What was HE doing?! Fucking GODS he almost kissed Ragh Barkrock. He can hear Zayn and Riz furiously whispering something to Fabian in the background but his head is spinning too much to parse the words. He doesn't even dare look over at Ragh. He's grateful when Jawbone calls them all in for dessert. It gives him an excuse to slip away into the house without talking to anyone. Fuck. He needs to talk to Fig about this.
Fabian is just a dumb little rich boy who knows nothing about social cues.
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Chapter 3: Fig Definitely Understands Relationships
Gorgug unloads his woes onto best friend and famous rockstar Figueroth Faeth
Did i say i'd have the chapter up soon? I meant fucking 5 years later, sorry. Anyway here it is, enjoy you big dumb idiots
Gorgug's over at the Manor enough that he knows he doesn't have to have someone to open the door for him before entering, but he knocks anyway, more out of habit than anything, and creaks the large stone doors open without waiting for an answer. Jawbone's in the kitchen cooking something that smells absolutely delicious. Gorgug pops his head through the archway to say hi, more to see if he can sneak a bite than to be polite.
"Hi, Jawbone," he says, and Jawbone turns around and gives him a big, wide wolf smile and waves his spatula at him.
"Hey, kiddo," Jawbone smiles, "Fig's up in her room. I'll call you kids down for dinner when it's ready."
"Okay," he replies, and doesn't move. Jawbone takes the hint, shaking his shaggy head in feigned disappointment. He flips a couple of prawn fritters onto a plate and passes it to Gorgug, tutting at him all the while.
"Thanks," says Gorgug, through a mouthful of fritter.
"Share those with the others, alright? I know you're a big guy but we're gonna eat in a few," Jawbone chides.
"Will do," Gorgug replies, already in the process of scarfing down half the plate. He snags a couple more fritters and slinks upstairs into the piano room.
A plume of clove smoke dramatically parts to reveal Fig straight jammin' on her bass guitar at the bottom of the piano room. She looks up from her music playing and grins up at Gorgug, gesturing for him to join her.
"Welcome to mi casa," she says. Gorgug points out that it's technically Jawbone's casa and she slaps his arm hard.
"I don't know how you haven't contracted lung cancer yet," he coughs.
"I'm a tough cookie," she puffs, "hand over them fritters."
Gorgug relents the fritter plate to her and she immediately gets crumbs all over her guitar.
"So," she says, after she's scarfed down a sufficient amount, "what's on your mind?"
"We're supposed to share those with everyone else," Gorgug replies, in a futile effort to dodge her question. Fig narrows her eyes and waggles a finger at him.
"Uh, uh, mister, you aren't getting away from me that easy," she frowns, "all this introspection, it ain't like you. What's clanging about in that big 'ole brain of yours?"
Gorgug heaves a big sigh. "I don't know. I might have a crush on Ragh."
Fig's eyebrows go way up. "Oh, no shit, Captain Obvious," she says. Gorgug blanches.
"Wait, how did you know!" he says incredulously. Fig guffaws loudly and slaps his arm again.
"C'mon, what kind of a friend do you take me for," she says, rolling her eyes, "I've seen how you act around people you like, you go all doughy. It's gross."
"Hey," he protests, "not like you're any better." Fig socks his arm a third time. It's becoming quite sore. "I just don't know what to do now." he adds helplessly, "And I don't even know if Ragh likes me like that. Or if Zelda is cool with, like, any of this."
Fig snorts and shakes her head. "Are you kidding me?" she says, "he totally has a thing for you, he's always giving you eyes and shit when you're in the house. Also, Zelda's pretty chill, I doubt she'd care very much as long as you're happy."
Gorgug groans and thuds his face into Fig's lap. "All this people stuff is making my brain hurt," he mumbles, voice muffled by her starchy ripped jeans. Fig sighs and ruffles his hair affectionately.
"Wanna take it out on my drums?" she offers. Gorgug nods weakly and accepts the drumsticks she thrusts at him.
"I love you," he says softly, wrapping his large frame around her, "you're my best friend." He feels Fig startle from the sudden hug then lean in, albeit begrudgingly. It makes him sad how unused to affection she is sometimes.
"Yeah, yeah, love you too, buddy." she says. She's rolling her eyes and patting his back halfheartedly, though her voice is tight.