|A Moment's Peace|
|Location||Richard's Apartment - Mutant Town|
|Summary||Jeremy cooks for Richard.|
| A cramped, tiny studio. It's messy, but not necessarily dirty. (Usually.) The kitchenette has the barest amount of space to warrant the name, and the rest of the apartment is mostly his bed and shelving. The latter of the two is stuffed to the brim with paperbacks, comic books, and a few model starships; science fiction, particularly of the pulpier kind, is the focus of the collection.|
Jeremy is, in fact, super white, but this has not stopped him arriving at Richard's apartment with a variety of fresh things lading him down, including a sack of limes and a paper-wrapped package of homemade corn tortillas from a Latin market that he apparently had to go all the way to Queens to find, but he did plenty of work with his Eyes on the train so, of course, there was no time lost.
He greeted Richard brightly with a "Guatemalan food, right?" and tossed the sack of limes at him before marching into his kitchen to get to work.
Apparently trying to stop him from romantic gestures is a little like trying to stop an oncoming train. His culinary adventure hits a roadblock due to equipment issues -- "What do you mean you don't own a blender?" -- Jeremy circumnavigates with judicious use of extremely small scale explosions blasting the shit out of roasted peppers and chilies and onions until he's basically blended them -- more or less. While cackling.
When he's done, he's created a passable version of a recipe he found for pepian rojo de camarones. He's also created kind of a mess in the small scale closet of Richard's kitchen that he's going to have to clean up sometime, but after they eat the food, he seems to find Richard a source of much more pleasant distraction than the mess.
Richard has been alternately baffled and touched by Jeremy's gesture. (Of course, with a pit stop for, "Why would I own a blender?") If he finds any authenticity lacking in the food, he gives no indication; rather, he devours it with a fond sort of gratitude -- and enough hunger to suggest he maybe got distracted from eating with more studies into possible solutions for finding Christian. When he's finally done -- after multiple servings -- he sinks down onto his bed with a low groan. Oh no too much food. But still: "That was really good."
Jeremy beams. He has taken visible delight in watching Richard consume the food he made, even moreso than in eating it himself, although he's been no slouch about eating (he rarely is). He napkins off his face and then wanders over to the bed beside him, his smile wide enough to crinkle his eyes at the corners as he moves to sit down. He kicked off his shoes and socks long ago, so perches barefoot on the edge of Richard's bed, toes curling lightly as he braces his hands against its edge. He says, "I thought you could use some good food."
"I eat -- good food," Richard says, somewhere between defensive and evasive. (Really, he can't eat /too/ crappy and stay in the shape he's in.) "It just doesn't usually taste that good." He reaches to curl fingertips lightly along the thigh of Jeremy's jeans. Hi.
"No, no, I just mean -- good, home-cooked food," Jeremy says with a slight, lingering smile as he tilts sideways, ducking his head. His toes flex and curl as a muscle twitches in his thigh, reactive to the curl of Richard's fingers. "I'm not finger wagging, I swear. I just like to feed you."
"You're finger wagging a /little/," Richard says, smile fond and a little sad as he looks up at him. "I think," he says, fingers tapping lightly against Jeremy's leg, "that you even wouldn't have embarrassed yourself in front of my mom."
"I just think eating multiple balanced meals in one day is important and if you're not gonna do it yourself I'm gonna try and trick you into it with delicious lures," Jeremy murmurs on a low laugh as he leans into his side, drawing the wrap of his arm around Richard's lower back. He draws in a long breath through his nose. "That sounds like the highest of compliments," he says. "I'm still pretty white, though."
"I just think eating multiple balanced meals in one day is important and if you're not gonna do it yourself I'm gonna try and trick you into it with delicious lures," Jeremy murmurs on a low laugh. He stretches his arms above his head, and then slides backward into a leaning drape across the covers, propped up on the angling of one arm as he turns onto his side, surveying Richard beside him in a languid sweep of his gaze. He draws in a long breath through his nose. "That sounds like the highest of compliments," he says. "I'm still pretty white, though."
"It's not really the highest," Richard says, smile curving. "There's a lot of room between 'embarrass yourself' and 'impress people.'" He pats Jeremy's leg. "It doesn't matter. It was delicious, and I'm pretty sure I'm full enough for a few /days/ now."
With his free hand, Jeremy dawdles his fingertips in a lazy stroke through the dark tousle of Richard's hair. "If you don't eat for days I'm pretty sure my plan has backfired," he says. "I choose to be complimented, though."
Richard draws in a slow breath, chest lifting as his eyes flutter closed at the touch to his hair. "Good," he says. "It /was/ a compliment." Eyes still closed, his fingers draw patterns on Jeremy's leg. "I'm sorry you'll never get to meet her. And my dad."
Jeremy is quiet for a long moment, considering how to reply. He keeps petting Richard's hair, watching his features and the relative peace that must exist for this brief moment's stillness. "Yeah," he says at length. He huffs a breath through his nose, some warm but voiceless kin to a laugh in the sound. He says, "I did meet your brother."
"You did," Richard agrees. In all the mess and pain of the past week, he seems to have found some small, temporary oasis of relief -- even peace -- just lying next to Jeremy full of food cooked to nourish him. "Although not exactly in your current position. Anyways, I wouldn't talk about meeting my parents at this point if they weren't already dead."
Jeremy laughs a little. "Still worried about scaring me?" He lifts his hand away to scrub at his own jaw, and then drops it again to curl loosely over Richard's shoulder. "Would your parents have handled it? The sexuality thing?" Jeremy's mouth crooks. "Mine didn't-- I mean, Cora led the way. By the time I figured me out she was living with a girl and my parents probably thought I was copying."
"That -- I don't know," Richard admits after a brief hesitation, eyes finally opening again. "I think it would've been weird for them. They were kind of traditional in some ways. I don't think they would've tried disowning me or something, but it would've been -- weird."
"Yeah, weird I get." Ruefully, Jeremy admits as he scratches lightly at his ear, "I'm pretty open and I normalize it as best I can but Grayson being Gray and sometimes Grace still ... throws me for a loop sometimes. Jane has more practice handling it, though. Unfair."
"My brother doesn't care, though. I mean, I think after so long waiting to get me back, he wouldn't really care about anything." Richard watches Jeremy with a faintly thoughtful expression. "Yeah, I -- I admit I don't really -- get that."
"At first I just thought Jane was doing it with him -- them -- for the attention, you know, like it was cute. She'd lay out different sets of clothes in the morning for Gray to pick and sometimes she'd just let him get into her makeup--" Jeremy shakes his head. "It's about being free to express themselves. They might choose a more ... stable gender expression when they're older or they might not. I've read about it, I just don't-- I try to get it. Maybe when I actually get to talk to them for more than twenty minutes at a time." He runs his hand back through his hair and then shifts, rolling over onto his stomach and dropping his chin onto the fold of his arms. He studies Richard's features with thoughtful focus for a long moment.
"That sounds..." Richard hesitates for a long moment, like a man who knows he's out of his depth (and out of his decade). "...confusing."
"Yeah." Jeremy's mouth ticks up at one corner. His feet kick up behind him as he watches Richard's face, and then he says, "You know what?"
Richard's hand flattens in a light curl on Jeremy's thigh, and he smiles very faintly. "What?"
"You have the greatest face," Jeremy says gravely, as if telling him a very important fact, "of anyone I have ever been in bed with."
Richard blinks a moment, and then he bursts out laughing. Clearly this is not what he expected Jeremy's response to me. "W -- what?"
Teeth biting down hard on the curve of his lower lip, Jeremy grins at him in delight for the break of laughter, but what he says is, "I'm serious!"
Richard huffs the last of his laughter out in one final breath. "Okay," he says, clearly skeptical but taking the compliment. "Thanks, I guess."
Unfolding his arm from their cross, Jeremy reaches out to brush the backs of his fingers along the angle of Richard's cheekbone, and then turn his hand to draw his thumb beneath the curve of his lips. "I'm pretty sure I've spent a lot of time and breath talking about how amazing your mouth is," he says. Eyebrows darting up and then falling down again, eyes bright with warm humor, he adds, "I can see how the context I usually do that might lead you to believe I'm being hyperbolic."
"I do often have to suspect you're speaking from your other head," Richard replies with a wry twist to his voice.
"I mean, yes," Jeremy says lightly, ready and frank in this admission, "and it has a lot to say, and well it should, but it's not the only vote here."
"Mm." Richard reaches for the front of Jeremy's shirt to try to pull him into closer range. His thumb sweeps across his cheekbone and then down the line of his jaw to eventually trace under his mouth. He murmurs, "I like your mouth, too," and then he proves it by angling his head and pulling Jeremy's closer to press his mouth softly to his.
Jeremy kisses back as he scoots closer in to Richard's side, and his kiss is slow and languid, but thorough, as though he plans to make it last. His fingers curl loosely into Richard's hair and he loses a soft noise into the mingling of their breath, a low murmuring sound that doesn't really become a word.
Richard breaks the kiss on a sigh, his eyes still closed and forehead and nose still pressed against Jeremy's. He tips his head to nose gently along Jeremy's cheek, pulling him down on the bed in clear attempt to get him lying down next to him. Come here.
Richard breaks the kiss on a sigh, his eyes still closed and forehead and nose still pressed against Jeremy's. He tips his head to nose gently along Jeremy's cheek, breathing in slowly and without any urgency to continue and extend their kissing. He seems quite content in this moment to be lying next to Jeremy and try not to worry about anything else for a few minutes.
Jeremy slides his hand down the length of Richard's arm as he lies stretched out on Richard's bed, warm and close against his side, and loosely twines their fingers together, his thumb gliding in a slow stroke over the back of his hand. He whispers, "I'll make you breakfast tomorrow too."
Richard closes his eyes and breathes slow and deep in Jeremy's arms. Eventually, he says, "Thank you," and maybe it's not just the food he's talking about.
"You're very welcome," Jeremy says. His lips part in the flash of a grin and he tips his head up to press a kiss to Richard's forehead before he lowers his head again to bump their noses once more. "Your bed's pretty good."
"It's actually not," Richard replies with a quiet huff. "You just think it is because you associate it with me. And lots of sex."
"I'll rephrase." Jeremy smiles. He closes his eyes and sniggers. "Being in bed with you is pretty good.""Mm," Richard says, perhaps a little bit of agreement in the noise this time. Either way, he's comfy and cuddling and seems like he's at least going to make it through the night without combusting with worry.