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Gray Samson

Now I’m fighting hunger, swallowing on scars

3 posts in this topic

”And this is where I had my first kiss,” he said, smiling, as he talked to the man sitting next to him on the bar stool. He was pointing out the window, doing his best to convince the blond that he actually knew the area. It was all a lie, of course; Gray’s first kiss had been in the Hogwarts library, and he had never lived this close to the capital. He just needed a talking point, and apparently it was a lot easier to make something up than to confess his entire sordid tale.

 

Gray had ended up giving the local gay scene a small tour after the latest book club meeting had ended on a high note. It had mostly consisted of his former classmates ignoring the book he had produced (once again) and instead badgering him about the Romania incident. His mood had turned sour, and he’d sat there with his arms crossed, until Amber had finally managed to talk (read: threaten) him back into the fold. She claimed he was getting grumpier with age.

 

She was probably right; she always was.

 

Humming to himself absentmindedly as the man he was talking to be was momentarily distracted by something else, Gray slid out of his seat and walked out. It was too warm in that bar, and the cool wind on his face felt a lot better. He really needed to this more often; it was a prominent thought in his mind, as he started to grin and turned right, with the intention of entering the next bar.

 

He hadn’t even been drinking at all all night, but it was a worthy way to pass his time, as he watched people desperately fall over each other.

 

This time, however, as he walked past the door, he immediately ran into someone. There was a moment of unexpected shock, before Gray lifted his head to peer into the man’s face. It took him a moment to realise he was incredibly good-looking; it took him another to realise he actually recognised him. “Hey, I know you!” He said, suddenly. “Wanna make out?”

 

Way to be subtle, Samson.

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'Am I too old for this?' Damian wondered (not for the first time) as he leaned back against the counter and sipped at his drink. He'd been watching people dance--around the room, around each other--for most of the night, and all their spinning was only making him feel the kind of tired that sat in your gut and wrung out your lungs.

 

It wasn't like he was the oldest guy there. Far from it, by his estimate and a quick surveillance of the bar, but clearly something else had yet to unthaw in his veins, because all his gears felt rusty at this game.

 

Maybe it had nothing to do with age and everything to do with experience. Not that experience, but life itself, and how he didn't know what to do with it now that his only child was practically going to boarding school. He worked, because he enjoyed it as much as he enjoyed anything nowadays, but he came home to the same void that gnawed at his insides.

 

Once he'd actually motivated himself to start going out again, he hadn't been sure what he was looking for, exactly. Sound, warmth, vague impressions of what he might be missing--he'd stumbled into too much of it, at first, and nothing that felt like anything real. Nothing he could hold onto.

 

Not even his drink, apparently, as he was suddenly jostled by a passerby and left with the rest of it on his sleeve. He swiped the leather jacket clean as quickly as possible, and the man offered to buy him another--Damian wondered if that was his play? It would certainly be a conversation opener, if Damian weren't already sure that he wanted to cut his losses for the night and catch his breath somewhere else. Maybe just find a good radio station and stay up late sketching so he had proof of concept when he woke up in the morning. Something real.

 

He really needed to do this less often, he decided, turning the corner around the counter and heading towards the exit. Watching people desperately fall all over each other felt like such a waste of time.

 

Someone bumped into him--or he bumped into them, or they bumped each other--for the second time that night, and though he reached out instinctively to steady the other man--unnecessary--he was startled into stillness by the fact that he recognized him from... somewhere.

 

Slender and attractive and smiling in a disarming way, whoever this was also seemed to be having a flash of recognition. That was probably bad, because if Damian didn't remember this guy's name now things would just get super awkward. He knew he must have seen him at the Java Bomb, because that was where he met most people in daylight (and he was pretty sure he'd met him in daylight because he could vaguely remember the colour of his hair being different in the sun). He also knew that his name rhymed with Kay, but had it also been one syllable?

 

As he was wracking his brain, however, the other man seemed ready to start the conversation. Damian braced himself for the usual 'it's been awhile' kind of awkwardness--

 

“Hey, I know you! Wanna make out?”

 

--and caught his breath on the end of a startled laugh. He found himself grinning, the break in tension easing so much more building up in him since the evening had began. "I know you, too," he said, the words lifting lighter from his chest than even his breaths had before. "And as fun as that sounds, at least let me buy you a drink or something first. If you start spoiling me for no reason from the start, imagine how greedy I could get by the end of the night."

 

Spoiled kids were the worst. He was so glad Kay never gave him that kind of trouble. He wondered how she—

 

—no, not the time. Focus on being whatever you are when you’re not being a dad.

 

Banter was easy, comfortable. With a few choice words you could draw the designer carpet over the cracks in your floor, and see yourself through the eyes of someone who thinks you’ve got everything under control for awhile. Though, if this guy ran in his social circle, chances were he already had an idea of where not to step.

 

Damian glanced over his shoulder at the dimly-lit bar, then back at the familiar stranger. "Doesn't have to be here," he said. "Whatever you're in the mood for." His hand was already anchored to the man's hip, spanning the width and warmth of it with just enough pressure to feel real.


Edited by Damian Wickham

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Gray still couldn’t remember his name.

 

It was a good thing there was a mutual recognition, at least, and it wasn’t just Gray shooting arrows into the dark again. It had definitely happened several times before this, and maybe that was an indication he needed to stop blurting things out whenever he found someone attractive. For Merlin’s sake, he wasn’t even drunk this time.

 

At the man’s word, Gray let out a laugh. It was a full body laugh, and he didn’t think he had felt this light since the last time he had seen Blue; which was probably a good sign and he needed to stop second guessing everything. He turned a bashful look the man’s way, and oddly enough, Gray was briefly reminded of when he was sixteen and had started noticing the lines clearly painted out on his best friend.

 

Later, there had been other lines.

 

“Guess that’s settled, then,” he said, grinning. “We both know each other and you’re buying me a drink,” he hummed, happily. Maybe today wouldn’t be such a waste of time, after all. “Oh, I’m Gray,” he added, feeling like they were due for introductions already, as he felt a hand slide onto his hip. It was warm and felt comfortable right where it was.

 

Gray couldn’t quite believe this was the first time he was meeting this man. There was something special about him that made him feel instantly at ease.

 

”Hmm,” he mused, peering around him. “It does seem a bit crowded in here,” Gray muttered. “I think there’s a good one next door,” he nodded towards the entrance. He had already been planning on skipping this one as soon as he’d walked in, so this was just as good a reason to do so.

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