Fandom: Corybantic Dance 2
Characters: Mike Sorrentino, Tina Sorrentino, Quentin Moriarty
Warnings: Quentin talks, expletives abound.
Notes: Part two of 7k in 7 days. Heavy on the relationships and philosophy.
Quentin nearly climbed backward over the sofa as his best friend’s little sister crept into his lap. It wasn’t that she was related to Mike, it was just that she was eleven. And had a giant crush on him.
"Holy Christ!" he shouted, dropping the NES controller and consigning Mario to his doom. "Mike, come get your sister the fuck off me!"
"Try standing up, dumbass." Mike walked in from the kitchen, still drying his hands on a dishtowel. "Come on, Tiny, you know you can’t do that. And more to the point, you shouldn’t touch it. You don’t know where it’s been."
Quentin opened his mouth, but Mike cut him off. "And I don’t want to know."
Tina sulked and pouted, but climbed off of Quentin and threw herself onto the couch. "I don’t see why everybody else gets to sit on Quentin, except me."
"Everybody else is a good eight or ten years older than you," Quentin said, exasperated, "and most of them ask first."
"He’s right. Well, Colin’s only five years older, but that’s not the point." Mike shook his head. "The point is that Quentin does not want you sitting on him, so you should stop. And you should really, really stop before Mom gets back from the store."
"Duly seconded," added Quentin, standing up to turn off the NES and put back the controllers, before helping Mike with the last of the dishes. "Your mother would beat you black and kill me for living."
Tina flipped through channels on the TV. "Mom would kill you for taking the Lord’s name in vain."
"See? I’m a horrible influence. You should have nothing to do with me." Quentin nodded, certain he’d won this round, and hurried into the kitchen.
Mike followed. "Bet you’re sorry your mom’s not home for Christmas, this year."
It wasn’t a button he’d usually push. Quentin’s mother was a painter, doing mostly murals for building owners and city beautification projects. She was rarely home at all, and holidays were the easiest times to do work in buildings that were otherwise busy. And, as with so few other things, Quentin was touchy about his mother.
"This once, I will not punch you. This once, because your reasoning is sound. If my mom was home, I’d be there, instead of here, with your batshit crazy little sister." Quentin radiated a low-grade field of anger and, slowly, realised it. "I’m not pissed at you. I could be, but I’m not. I know it isn’t you or your fault."
Mike handed him a dishtowel. "Think you can dry?"
"Yeah, I’m not going to throw dishes at your head." Quentin snatched the towel and smirked.
"Good, ’cause if you did, my mom would kill you." Mike sounded stoic, like he almost always did, but Quentin could read a jest off him at thirty yards.
"I think yours is the only mother I know, other than my own, who doesn’t want to kill me. I tell people I have two moms, sometimes, but then they think my mom’s a lesbian." Quentin laughed and leaned against the counter.
"Does your mom go out at all?" Mike had never really considered the idea, before. His parents were still married, so parents dating was a concept he’d never had to consider. He handed a wet plate to Quentin.
"Sometimes. I know she goes out with Ken, when she’s in town." Quentin stopped drying the dish and looked at Mike. "Tell me that’s weird. Please tell me it’s just really damned freaky that my mom is going out with my boyfriend’s dad. Because there are things that are fucked up and okay, and there are things that are just fucked up, and I’m really not sure which one this is. But, I know fucked up is in there somewhere."
"It is fucked up," Mike assured him, "but you’ve got to remember that it doesn’t make you related to Colin. Nor does it make your mom related to Ken. It’s going to be goofy as hell, on paper, but I don’t think it’s actually bad. Ken’s a pretty nice guy, when he’s not ripping you a new asshole."
"Gee, thanks. And I thought I had all the asshole I needed, right here." Quentin patted Mike’s shoulder.
"My mother would also kill me, if I threw a dish," Mike joked, handing a dripping pot lid to Quentin. There was a long pause before a ghost of a smile glitched across his face. "Bastard."
"Fatherless as I’ve ever — Dude, that’s why everyone thinks my mom’s a lesbian!" Quentin grabbed Mike between one hand and the still-damp pot lid. "I always say I’m fatherless, and then I tell people I’ve got two moms!"
"Shut up, Quentin. You sound like Adam." Mike looked mildly stunned. "You said ‘dude’. And that look on your face… It’s … There’s one Adam. The world doesn’t need another one."
Quentin let go and finished drying the lid. "I’d have to actually go on dates with girls to be Adam. Do you see this happening in the foreseeable future?"
"Twenty minutes ago, I would have said ‘no’," Mike still looked suspicious.
"Your job, not mine." Mike handed Quentin another plate.
"Yeah, yeah it is," Quentin cooed, batting his eyes and attempting to sparkle like a shoujo heroine.
Mike closed his eyes and shuddered, sticking both hands into the sink, to find anything that might still be under the water. "I just don’t see it. I mean, why?" Mike looked at Quentin, and then tried again. "I get the part where you like guys. I can kind of understand that; I like girls — it’s the same sort of thing. But, touching people. It’s really kind of offensive."
"It’s your face, Mike." Quentin looked and sounded completely serious, much to Mike’s surprise. "Seriously. Your skin remembers — hell, your whole body probably remembers. And the only people who touched you that whole time were the doctors, your mom, and me. And I only really held your hand, because that wasn’t taped up, after a week or so. That was just a little road rash, on that hand. But, every time someone touched you, for months, they hurt you. Yeah, no shit you don’t want people touching you, Mike!"
"But, I don’t mind you, or my family, or even Colin and the Twins, any more," Mike disputed.
"Your family and Adam and me? You knew us all before. You knew we weren’t going to hurt you. And you’ve learned that about Colin and the Twins." Quentin turned and sat on the counter. "I think you will have a girlfriend, one day, Mike. And I think it will be someone you know well enough to trust that they won’t hurt you, on purpose."
Mike stared into the sink, and Quentin stared into space. Finally, Quentin spoke again. "Hey, you think if I punch Tiny, she’ll learn to leave me alone?"
Mike laughed. "I think if you punch Tiny, my dad will punch you. More than once. And then you’ll be the misunderstood bad boy, and she’ll never leave you alone."
"Goddammit. I thought I was on to something, there." Quentin hopped down from the counter and looked into the sink. "Drain it, man. Even if there is something in there, you’re not going to find it in all that."
Mike opened his mouth to say something rather appalling, but closed it again, and pulled the drain plug.