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2046-07-24 Packing Up

From X-Factor

Packing Up
Date Posted 2016/07/24
Location Jeremy's Apartment
Participants Jeremy, Richard
Summary Jeremy's getting ready to move. Richard helps. A little.
 
Jerjeremy.jpg Ririchard.JPG
Jeremy's roommates have fled the scene after a really embarrassing spat that ended when Jeremy was forced to pull out receipts of ownership and the old, old, old emails of his wedding registry so as to prove ownership of some of the kitchenwares. The upshot of this is that not only is he packing everything up into boxes, but he is also scouring his stainless set free of all their last usages of it in the sink, up to his elbows in suds as he washes, scouring via elbow grease. Between the rush of the sink and the blast of the tunes -- all at least a decade old if not more -- it's hard to hear freaking anything in here.

Richard is -- helping. Nominally. Actually, he's been obnoxiously distracted, but that's been the case ever since he got the message from Christian's mom and then Eleanor sicced Adam on the red tape. So right now he's drying the kitchenware when he remembers. Sometimes, like now, he pauses mid-wipe with a distant expression as he looks out the window.

Jeremy says, "Rich," as he scrubs down hard on one of his pans, and then a few beats later he says, "Hey Rich," and then a few beats later he flicks a control through his eyes so that the pound of the music is suddenly gone from the speaker system so that it's harder to miss that he's talking.

It's the sudden disappearance of the music that has Richard startling. "What?" he says, eyes snapping to Jeremy. "Oh. Um." He glances down at the pan in his hands and starts wiping it again. "Did you say something?"

"Nothing worth listening to, apparently." Jeremy gives him a crooked smile, and then turns off the sink as he finishes rinsing off the pan. He flips it up out of the spray in a bright sheen of metal and then swats lightly at Richard's butt with one damp hand. "We're on the last one so we can start packing them up."

"Nothing worth listening to, apparently." Jeremy gives him a crooked smile, and then turns off the sink as he finishes rinsing off the pan. He flips it up out of the spray in a bright sheen of metal and then swats lightly at Richard's butt with one damp hand. "We're on the last one so we can start packing them up."

"Sorry," Richard says, smile quick and tight. "I guess I'm a little distracted." For -- reasons. He doesn't even give Jeremy the pleasure of jumping at the swat to his butt. "Do you think I should call Rutledge?" he asks instead.

"Only if it would make you feel better," Jeremy says. His eyebrows swept high, he puts down the wet pan and reaches to divest Richard of the pan he's been distractedly half-drying and the towel so that he can finish it off. "If you're asking if I think calling him would be super productive at this point, I kinda got to say no."

With a guilty reflex, Richard's grip on his pan and towel tightens. "I'm doing it!" he argues, pulling back and wiping extra hard. "What, you don't think I could yell encouragement and make the whole thing move faster?"

"Do you really think that would make it move faster?" Jeremy relinquishes his encroaching claim on the pan and on Richard's towel and leans backward for a moment on the brace of his hands against the counter, his eyes narrowing with the hook of his smile as he watches him.

"Well--" Richard's mouth twists into a faint frown, brow furrowing, as he turns the pan over and wipes the back dry. "No. Probably not. Maybe."

Jeremy hitches away from the counter to drop his hands to Richard's hips. He leans in close, his T-shirted chest bumping against the pan in Richard's hands as he noses lightly at his cheek. Breath soft, he says, "Christian is alive and safe. It's Sunday night. Let the man do his work."

"He's alive," Richard says in quiet correction, but he submits enough to set the pan aside and lean into Jeremy's hands. "I should have just gone over there. Just -- figured out the best way, took the days, just--"

"Burned yourself out flying all the way across the ocean to crash land hopefully all the way in Africa somewhere you don't speak the language and wander around until you find a white-haired guy?" Jeremy tightens his grip a little in the pressure of his hands on Richard's hips.

"Well, when you put it like /that/." Richard actually smiles a little, albeit tensely. "I just don't like -- waiting. I just want to be able to do something."

"I know." Jeremy's hand turns, shifting to tug a little with his thumb through Richard's belt loop. "That's part of why I keep trying to distract you." He shifts, then, moving to disengage in a long slide of his other hand up Richard's back as he turns to start gathering packing paper so that he can sit cross-legged on the floor and start actually packing up his pans into the moving box.

"Packing's a terrible distraction," Richard informs Jeremy as he trails after him. "I don't know if anyone's ever told you this, but packing is literally the worst. Why are you doing this again?"

"Because I want to live in an apartment with a window in my bedroom," Jeremy says with beatific patience, "and Kade is a way better roommate prospect than a couple of half-naked women who are high three quarters of the time." Siting on the floor, he begins folding paper around his pans. "Damn, I miss print newspapers at times like these."

"I don't think you even remember print newspapers," Richard claims. He flops down on the floor next to Jeremy, leaning back on his hands and watching Jeremy fold paper around the pan like he's not supposed to be helping.

"Well, I mean, of course I don't remember reading them, oldtimer," Jeremy says with a crooked grin as he looks up at Richard. "But using them to wrap stuff when moving? Sure, that I remember." He finishes wrapping one and then starts on the next. "Anyway, the part where you helped me pack isn't the part I meant to distract you with. It's just kind of necessary. And supposedly will go faster with two so that we can move on to the fun part."

"What's the fun part?" Richard reaches to kind of poke at the packing paper a bit. That's helping.

"At this rate, hell if I know." Jeremy rips off another sheet of the paper and begins working it around the other side of his pan. "Although my roommates won't be back until tomorrow -- they were giving me this weekend to pack, by which I mean they didn't want to help -- so we could certainly kiss my windowless hole of a bedroom goodbye together when I'm done here."

"We could kiss your /roommates'/ bedrooms goodbye while you're here," Richard says with a hint of a smile. "And the kitchen. And the living room."

"That sounds pretty ambitious," Jeremy says, sliding his pan into the box with its paper-wrapped fellow and then reaching for another piece of paper. "If kind of rude. I mean, at least in their private spaces. Not that they seem to have a conception of privacy as a thing that exists."

"Do you know that they haven't had sex in your room while you're out?" Richard asks, solemn-faced. "It kind of seems like something they'd do."

"I'm pretty sure. I always make the bed and I don't think either of them actually know how to do that." Jeremy scratches at the line of his jaw, moving a much smaller piece of his stainless set into the wrap of paper next. "Is this like a spectator sport for you, do you enjoy watching me handle pans?"

Richard scooches closer guiltily and finally picks up a pan. "Sorry," he mumbles. "I /do/ like watching you be all expert with cookware, though." He reaches over to tug on some of the packing paper so he can start wrapping the pan.

"I'm way more fun to watch when there's hot oil in these," Jeremy says with a laugh on his breath. "I'm just razzing you because I want to have plenty of time for you to seduce me into naughty acts all over this apartment later."

"I don't actually think we can go that many times in one night." He means you, Jeremy. You are the old one. With a distant, distracted mind, Richard goes in random directions: "Is 'razzing' supposed to be connected to raspberries somehow?"

"Yep." Jeremy demonstrates with a raspberry: pbbbt. He's very mature. "Which is also what I have to say to your lack of faith in my virility."

"You're very virile," Richard replies faithfully. He wraps up the pan with quick, distracted gestures. "It's just that it's a lot of rooms to hit."

"It's really not that big an apartment." Jeremy sweeps his hand through the air and then laughs as he shifts forward onto his knees. He doesn't continue this, exactly, but walks forward a couple of paces on his knees only to settle back on his haunches and perch there next to Richard, eyebrows swept high. "Do you think we should have asked Rutledge for a plane instead of a giant pair of tape scissors?"

"No," Richard says with a voice that sounds loathe to admit it. "What would happen if we got there and he was still stuck behind red tape? I sure don't know how to make something like that go away." He sets his wrapped pan in the box.

"Yeah." Perched on his knees, Jeremy sits there for a moment with his hands resting across his thighs, and then he reaches up to grip Richard by the shoulder. "Rich," he says quietly.

Richard settles back, gaze drawn away for a moment. And then he turns his head towards Jeremy and the touch of his shoulder, looking up at him. "Yeah?"

"What are you worried about? Right now." Jeremy's gaze is searching and intent, his teeth set against the curve of his lower lip as he studies Richard's features.

Richard goes silent for a long moment at that, holding Jeremy's gaze for only a brief moment before it slides away. He draws in a slow breath and then exhales. "That he won't be okay," he finally says. "The way I wasn't okay."

"He might not be." Jeremy runs his knuckles down Richard's back as he eases closer. His voice quiet, he continues on a long low breath of his own: "But the only way to change that is to be there for him. To let him change it himself. You can love someone who's hurt, Rich, but no matter how hard you do, no matter how much, the healing ... it's theirs to do."

"Wow, it's almost like you're talking from /very personal experience/," Richard says with /particularly/ dry humor.

Jeremy's answer to that is to take one of Richard's hands in his, away from the work at hand, to rub his thumb over his fingers and his knuckles. He lifts it to his mouth, kisses it, and looks up at Richard with something almost melancholy in his slight smile.

Richard exhales slowly through his nose, the line of his shoulders easing as Jeremy takes his hand and smiles at him. He's quiet another moment or two before he asks, "Did you ever really mean it, back in the beginning, when you said you were fine with casual?"

"Sure," Jeremy says. He kisses Richard's knuckles again and then lets a sigh escape him as he lowers their joined hands. "I mean ... sure. I mean ... how far back are you asking about?"

Richard huffs something like a laugh when Jeremy sighs. "Like on Thanksgiving," he says. "When I jumped on the window to get away from you."

"Yeah, I wasn't in love with you then," Jeremy says, a little like he sounds relieved that he can give Richard a definitive answer on that. "Hell, Rich, I mean-- I meant it at first. I did. I didn't want to ask for more than you had."

"No, I didn't think you were in love with me then," Richard says with a smile both faint and warm. "Just that you thought I was hot." He squeezes Jeremy's hand and then leans forward to catch his mouth softly in a kiss.

Jeremy kisses back, likewise soft, a warm, slow kiss. His touch is light, tender as though there's some shielded ache in it, as his fingertips ghost lightly over the curve of Richard's cheek to thread back into the dark tousle of his hair. He murmurs into the break of this kiss, "You are hot, I thought that since I met you."

It's not Jeremy's words that Richard seems to respond to has he studies the quiet melancholy of his expression. He lifts a hand to trail his fingertips lightly over his cheek. "What's wrong?" he murmurs.

"Nothing." Jeremy smiles a little wider now and shakes his head as though to chase the clouds away. He kisses the corner of Richard's mouth. "I'm just a little worried about your worrying heart. Come on, there's only a few more things to box up. Seize the day so we can seize the night, huh?"

Richard snorts a quiet breath, clearly refusing to dignify that particular joke with a full-fledged laugh. "Okay, okay," he says, shifting in his seat to start rising. "I'll try to actually -- help." For once. Let's do this.

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