Will always calls on Wednesdays, and Chuckie’s head hurts from work, and he’s wearing his boxers and making a bologna sandwich without any cheese, and outside it’s raining. The phone rings and rings and rings and Chuckie doesn’t answer it. Instead, he sits down on the countertop, and he stares at it, and he puts his hand on the receiver so that he can *feel* the ringing.
Last week, Will said something about Skylar wanting to get a puppy, and how she’s getting a job now, too, and how Will’s doing well, and that it was warm out. Chuckie doesn’t need to hear about that shit, especially when he knows it’s going to end with the usual, “Come visit me” or maybe Will will offer to come visit *him* and it’s fucking easy for Will to say that when he’s been gone ten months now and he’s standing there, with his waves, and his woman and his windows and his white fucking house.
Chuckie eats his sandwich one bite at a time, and Will calls – must be eighteen times. If his Ma was home, she’d be yelling at Chuckie to pick up the damn phone, but she’s not, so he just sits in the kitchen, holding the phone and listening to it ring.
He does the dishes, and the phone rings. He wipes down the countertop, and the phone rings. He sweeps the floor, and the phone rings.
When it’s been quiet for five minutes, Chuckie picks up the phone, and holds it to his ear, like it’s a fucking shell or something. He listens to the dial tone, and closes his eyes, and says, “I miss you, too, Will” and then he unplugs the phone, and goes to bed.
Chuckie stops sleeping when summer comes. Something about the hot air that starts curling around his room, or maybe it’s just the mattress and how it groans every time he fucking breathes, or maybe it’s because he hasn’t been laid in a long fucking time. He lies in bed, skin sticky with sweat, sheets clinging to his legs as he looks up, trying to breathe.
He thinks about Will, because he always fucking thinks about Will, has since as long as he can remember. Used to be he’d wonder if Will’s dad was beating the shit out of him again, if Will was going to be at school the next day and later he’d wonder if Will would remember to sleep, because a lot of times Will didn’t – he’d get wrapped up in whatever problem he was trying to figure out and spend the whole night writing on the mirror in the bathroom and not even notice. Sometimes, though, he’d lie in bed next to Will and watch him fall asleep, and that was always good because then Chuckie didn’t have to worry so much. He knew Will was sleeping, knew Will was all right, could see Will for himself, even shoo off any ants that might try walking over his shoulder.
Fucking always put Will right to sleep, and no wonder, because Will fucked like a maniac. And Chuckie got that, since Will was a goddamned maniac, and anyway, fucking was even better than getting a blow job for making Will’s huge ass brain just *stop* for a little bit, and Will needed that. Never admit it, because he’s a proud fucker, but Will needed a rest every now and then. Needed quiet, in between all of his ‘cosine this’ and ‘tangent that’ and ‘tessellate’ and ‘hexagon’ and whatever the fuck else was bouncing around his head.
Chuckie’s not sure how the fucking started, really – he knows that they were jacking each other off practically their whole lives, so much that Will’s hand feels as familiar to Chuckie’s dick as his own does. After that came the blow jobs, and the rubbing against each other, and then one night Chuckie was lying on his stomach on Will’s mattress, and Will was humping up against his ass, saying “Want to fuck, goddamn, I want to fuck so bad,” and so Chuckie nodded and said, “Okay. Okay.”
It was better than Chuckie thought, even at first. Of course it was better than Chuckie thought it was going to be, because before they did it, Chuckie thought it was some kind of – manly fucking sacrifice or something. Except, Will was good. Will was really good, and maybe he’d read up about it or something because even their first time Will knew what he was doing.
The more they did it, better it got, but that’s just the way it is with everybody and besides, even if Will was good at it right off the bat, Chuckie wasn’t. Chuckie was fucking awkward and Will had to bring him through it slow, and Chuckie’s never fucked a virgin but he figures Will dealt better with him than Chuckie would have with Will. Will’s patient like that, when you don’t expect it.
Chuckie never fucked Will. Will’d tell him he could, sometimes, but Chuckie would just shake his head, say, “Nah, I want you to do it to me,” and that’d be it. After, he’d watch Will sleep, and just sit there thinking about stuff. Nothing important, just stupid shit he’d done or Will had done, or something they’d talked about. Sometimes he’d try to read one of Will’s books, but usually that just gave him a headache and he’d end up laying down next to Will all over again.
He didn’t want Will to have to walk around, thinking about how he’d let his best friend stick a cock in his ass, because Will wasn’t just going to be walking around their fucking piss poor neighborhood. Will was going places. Chuckie was going to see to it.
And he did, didn’t he? Chuckie pushed him out of Southside, across the country. Or, he helped anyway. And Will has the goddamned American dream, doesn’t he? He has the big house, the good looking girl, the great job, and even the fucking dog, right?
Will has the Pacific. He has freeways. He has everything, and Chuckie’s still living at his mom’s.
Chuckie could go to California. He could crash at Will’s. He could look for jobs in LA or wherever-the-fuck. And the whole time he’d feel like he couldn’t touch anything, that he’d stain everything, that Skylar was going to make him leave for having dirt under his fingernails.
But, see, Will was supposed to leave. Chuckie knew that, all along. He knew that Will got to go, and that he had to stay behind. That’s just the way it is.
And it’s not like that’s what keeping him up at all. Chuckie knows better than to let that bother him, but it gets bad, the not sleeping. It gets so sometimes he feels like he’s underwater, and sometimes he feels like he understands things more than he did before, and then he wonders what it’s like for Will – just knowing things. He takes out the first book he ever read, which his Ma still has in the living room, and stares at the words until they blur in front of his face but still he knows what they are, like he knows who he is, and it’s comforting.
He wonders: If knowing shit is so comforting what the hell was Will so scared of all the time?
In late June, Chuckie meets a chick at a party, and even though the night starts out with Morgan trying get into her pants, Chuckie ends up going home with her. She’s a good girl, went to Catholic school just like everybody did, and seems like with her maybe some of it took. She says prayers before going to sleep, which Chuckie learns because he starts seeing her regularly.
Her name is Mary Ellen O’Driscoll, and Chuckie meets her parents in July, and mentions her to Will in August.
“So are you serious, or what?” Will says after the obligatory congratulations, and Mary Ellen’s sitting in the living room, and Chuckie can see her hair sticking up in a gingery pony tail and her skinny knees knocking together under her chin as she watches television, and he shrugs.
“Yeah, I guess so,” he says finally, and Will’s quiet for a while.
Chuckie’s ear gets hot from holding the receiver against it, and the line crackles, and Chuckie can hear Skylar singing in the background, and then Will says, “So you have to bring her when you come to California, then.”
Chuckie says, “Yeah. I’ll do that.”
Mary Ellen doesn’t give head, and she tries to make Chuckie quit smoking, and she wants him to stop cursing so effin’ much, but whatever. She’s nice. She’s not smart, not like Will, but she’s still smarter than Chuckie. She’s going to college, and Chuckie sleeps over in her dorm room sometimes, and wakes up to find her reading one of her big fucking books and it always makes him wonder what Will’s reading now.
Will reads everything, every fucking thing. Rolling Stone, mechanic’s manuals, romance novels – he reads everything, and he *talks* about it, too. He’s always saying, “This is just like what I read in – ” and Chuckie didn’t always listen to what it was that Will was saying, but he always knew what Will was reading at least.
Mary Ellen doesn’t talk about what she reads, and when Chuckie has sex with her he calls it making love because she does, but it’s really just gentler fucking. But Chuckie’s sleeping again, which he can’t complain about, and he was about to go fucking psycho from being so horny when he met her.
And they don’t fight, too much, which is good because even if Chuckie is sleeping he’s too tired for that kind of shit most of the time. Billy and Morgan say that Mary Ellen’s been good for him.
Billy even pulled Chuckie aside, said, “You were a fucking bear before her, you know that?”
“Yeah,” Chuckie told him, and Mary Ellen smiled at him, and he made himself smile back.
Chuckie doesn’t realize that he’s picked up the phone until he hears Will yelling at him to wake the fuck up.
“It’s four in the fucking morning, you shit,” Chuckie snaps into the phone, smacking the clock by his bed off the table. “What the hell do you want?”
Will’s breathing is noisy and wet and drunk. “Wanted to talk to you,” he says, words slurring one into the other, and if Chuckie hadn’t known Will his whole fucking life, it’d be impossible to understand what he’s saying.
“Yeah, well, you’re fucking talking to me asshole. What do you want?”
“Just wanted to – wanted to say I’m happy for you, fuckin’ – fuckin’ -- ” Will trails off, and then yells, “Hey, fuck you asshole, I’m on the phone here, all right?” and Chuckie blinks into his dark bedroom and realizes that Will’s in a bar, and that he’s ten seconds away from starting a fight with whoever it is he’s yelling at.
“Hey, hey, Will,” Chuckie calls into the phone, “forget him. Forget that asshole. He doesn’t matter.”
“Pound his fuckin’ face,” Will mutters, and Chuckie rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, you could, you crazy shithead.” Lies back down, and closes his eyes again. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Happy for you, Chuck. You should have a chick, you know? Don’t want you alone, or anything.”
Will burps, and Chuckie can’t help but laugh because he’s fucking wasted, and Chuckie tells him so, and Will says, “Shit yeah, I am.”
“You know, Skylar – you should have fucking dated Skylar, should have – you two are,” Will pauses. “You two are – anyway. I’m fuckin’ wasted.”
“It’s like Wednesday, man,” Chuckie says, but he’s grinning. “What the hell is your problem?”
He can almost hear Will shrug, and wave his hands. “Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, Sunday – s’all the same day, man, same fucking day.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve got to work Thursday mornings, so it’s a little different from Sunday,” Chuckie says. “For me, anyway.”
“Miss you,” Will mutters. “Just, you know. Wish you were fucking here, or something. Go somewhere – mess around. Start a fucking fight. Suck your cock.”
Chuckie sucks in a breath. “Will -- ” he says.
“Fuck. Listen. I didn’t mean – hey, things with your – Margaret? Mary – whatever the hell her name is – they good?”
“Yeah,” Chuckie says, real quiet.
And Will hangs up.
A family’s moved into Will’s old house. They’ve got kids, and there’s a tricycle in the front yard, one of those big bright pinwheels and it goes around and around and around in the wind. Chuckie stares at it for like a half hour, and he’s late meeting Billy and Morgan who are helping him move out of his Ma’s and into an apartment with Mary Ellen.
It’s small, and it’s kind of a shitty location, but Mary Ellen likes it and Chuckie doesn’t hate it, and it isn’t too far from work. He calls Will to give him the new number, uses a pay phone on the corner, and Skylar picks up.
“Chuckie!” She says his name like she isn’t sure if she’s got it right, and she keeps him on the phone making fucking small talk for like, fifteen, twenty fucking minutes – “What kind of kitchen do you have?” and “You have a color picked out for the walls?” and “Is there a garage near by? A laundromat? A grocery store?”
And Chuckie tells her everything she asks, and then finally she gets to the fucking point, and she says, “Things with Will are – he’s not the
“Yeah,” Chuckie says, trying to sound like he knows what she’s talking about, or even that he cares, but he doesn’t really.
“He misses you so much,” Skylar says, so quiet he can barely hear her over the trucks that are driving past the corner.
“Yeah, well, when I get a chance -- ” Chuckie starts to say, but Skylar interrupts.
She says, “You’re not going to visit him. You know that, and I do. He doesn’t, though. He thinks you’ll be here. He thinks you might show up any day.”
Chuckie just stares at the sidewalk.
“I think you’re the only person Will’s ever needed,” Skylar says, and it sounds like she’s crying, and she doesn’t sound the same as she did when she left, either.
“I’ve gotta go,” Chuckie says after a long pause
Skylar takes a deep breath, and something rustles on the other end of the line, like a tissue. “Yeah. I’ll tell him you called.”
And then Chuckie doesn’t hear from Will for a long time. He doesn’t hear from Skylar either – no postcards, no phone calls, no anything, and he doesn’t call Will, because it’s fucking expensive to call California.
He’s busy at work, and he’s got this whole life with Mary Ellen all of a sudden, and it’s not like it’s the life he wants – it’s not like it’s anything fucking fulfilling or shit like that. It’s just that they live together, so there’s all this stupid shit they do together, like on Tuesdays they go down to the bar with Morgan and Billy and on Fridays Mary Ellen cooks for everybody and Chuckie does the dishes, and by the time Chuckie gets into bed and he closes his eyes, and he wonders what Will’s doing – he falls asleep.
Then he sees Skylar when he’s picking Mary Ellen up from having dinner with her friends, and she’s alone and she’s got that underfed look that unhappy women get sometimes. So he gets out of the car, and he goes over and he says, “Hey, how you doin’?” and they hug and she says she’s moved back to Boston and she left Will.
She doesn’t talk about why, she doesn’t say when, but Chuckie knows that she left because Will made her, and that it wasn’t too long ago from the way she has to blink a thousand times when she talks about them. Mary Ellen comes over, and he introduces them, and they become fast fucking friends of course, and that night, Chuckie goes down to the pay phone on the corner with a phone card, and he dials Will’s number.
Will picks up on the seventh ring. “What?” he croaks into the phone.
“Hey,” Chuckie says, and he’s tense all over.
Silence. Then: “Fuck you.”
“Yeah.” Chuckie kicks the side of the telephone booth. “Shit – I’m – sorry. I’m sorry, about Skylar.”
“Fuck it,” Will bites off. “Bound to happen anyway. Too good for me.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Chuckie says, meaner than he planned to, and Will half laughs, which just pisses Chuckie off more. “Nobody’s too good for you, so you just shut up.”
Chuckie takes a deep breath. “How you doing?”
Sounds of the phone shifting, and the click of ice against glass, and of course Will’s fucking drinking, Chuckie thinks with a quick smile, and then Will says, “I fucking hate it here.”
Chuckie’s never heard Will’s voice sound like that. He’s heard Will afraid, he’s heard Will hurt. He’s heard Will angry, and horny, and happy, and high, and drunk, and sad, but he’s never heard this – like Will’s voice is empty.
So he tightens his grip around the receiver. “Hey, listen, I’ve got a week off coming to me soon. I was thinking maybe – ”
“Oh fuck that,” Will says, in that terrible voice. “Fuck that. You won’t visit me the year and a half I’ve been here, and I get dumped and you’re on the next flight out?”
“Hey, asshole,” Chuckie says, “I’ve been promised a free flight out to LA, and it’s supposed to snow here next week, so cough it up.”
After a few seconds, Will asks, “So what day do you want to fly?”
Mary Ellen helps him pack and drives him to the airport, and kisses his cheek when she lets him out, even though she’s not wild about him going, which Chuckie can tell because he lives with her so he knows well enough when she’s pissed off but just not saying anything.
He’s never really flown anywhere before, so the airport’s kind of confusing but he makes it through, and he’s about an hour early, so he sits down in front of the bar and orders himself a fucking drink and stares out the window. He watches the airplanes take off and land, these big silver pill shaped things that look like fucking toys that he and Will used to play with when they were little. And he’s going to get into one of those fucking things, and fly across the whole fucking country to see his best friend who was born in the same hospital he was. So he drains his drink and orders another one, and then another one.
Then he gets on the plane, and stares out the window over the bald guy who’s sitting next to him, and eats the bad food – and he gets all those jokes now – and drink some more and somewhere over Tennessee he falls asleep. He wakes up to a blonde stewardess bumping into his shoulder, thinking about how he and Will used to sleep together.
Not the fucking – just the sleeping.
Will’s face pressed against his neck, Will’s hand on his stomach. Will snores like a goddamned chainsaw, but seeing as Chuckie’s heard it his whole life, it never kept him up. Tickled against his shoulder, though.
He wonders if Will’s snoring will wake him up now that he’s not used to it, but then he feels stupid because he’s never going to fucking hear it. Will’s got this big place now, with all kinds of bedrooms, and couches and everything. He’s got a master bedroom, and a guest bedroom and a fucking futon in the office or something like that, which is a hell of a step up from one bedroom that he’d practically been squatting in.
Flying makes him nervous. Especially the way the plane bumps up, like it’s flying over potholes, and Chuckie feels this dread in his gut like they’re about to fall out of the fucking sky. They don’t, but Chuckie holds onto his seat, and he closes his eyes, and he wonders what the hell they’re going to do this next week.
Drink, that’s for sure. Probably eat a whole fucking lot, and Will being Will they’ll probably get in a fight somewhere or another. Chuckie’ll keep him from getting hurt, and then they’ll stagger home or get a cab and then –
Women never stopped them before – the fucking, that is. This thing they do – Will and Chuckie – it’s not cheating. It’s not like they’re queer or anything, it just is. They don’t talk about it much, beyond Will saying, “I’m fucking horny” or Chuckie saying, “Want me to suck your cock?” Even when Will was first seeing Skylar, and starting to love her – because Chuckie knows Will loved Skylar, no matter what stupid ass shit Will’s going to say when Chuckie gets off the plane – they’d fuck around.
It’s been over a year since then. Chuckie’s pretty sure Will hasn’t slept with anybody but Skylar since he moved to California, and Chuckie – Chuckie smells like Mary Ellen, who he doesn’t love, but who he’s woken up next to for months.
The whole LA fucking airport is filled with light. Will’s waiting for him by the escalators, and it’s so bright where he is that Chuckie almost has to close his eyes.
Will hugs him hard, for a long time, and then says, “Christ, it’s good to see you,” into Chuckie’s hair. Chuckie squeezes his ribs, breathes deep, and Will pulls back. He’s all white teeth and big smile.
“C’mon,” Will says, “let’s go home.”
Will’s hair has gotten long.
The house isn’t like Chuckie pictured it – and neither is the view. The water’s darker, with big waves that hit the sand like maybe they’re pissed off at it, and Will’s dog is a mutt with half his ear bitten off named ‘Bacon’, which Will tells Chuckie like he’s embarrassed so there’s got to be a joke there he just isn’t getting. It’s all right, though.
Will reaches into the fridge and snags two beers, and Chuckie watches the way his hair brushes his collar, flops into his eyes when he turns around.
“Go sit outside, I’ll order a pizza,” Will says, excited. “There’s a place five minutes from here that’s wicked fuckin’ good.”
There’s a breeze, and Chuckie throws a stick for Bacon, and the dog jumps around excitedly but doesn’t go anywhere near the fucking thing. Will tells him the dog’s kind of dumb, but that just makes Chuckie like him more, because Bacon looks as out of place as Chuckie is, and maybe as out of place as Will feels.
They sit on Will’s porch, and they don’t talk. Chuckie drinks his beer slowly, and he keeps thinking about how long Will’s hair is, and then Will reaches over and puts an arm around Chuckie’s shoulders and says, “First time this place has felt right.”
The sun goes down, but they don’t watch it or anything, because they’re not women, you know? They just sit there on Will’s porch like they used to do on Chuckie’s Ma’s stoop, and they drink their way through a few beers apiece and they talk. Just sports talk, and Will asks about Billy and Morgan and everybody at home. Bacon drools on Chuckie’s hands, which is fucking gross and it gets dark out and Chuckie says, “So what the fuck happened with Skylar?”
Will sits up straighter, frowns at the torn label on his beer, and says, “Nothing.”
“Bullshit nothing,” Chuckie says, kicking Will’s leg. “I saw her in Boston.”
“Yeah? She look okay?” Will asks, arms tensing up so Chuckie can see all the veins on his forearm, and white all around his fingernails where he’s gripping the bottleneck.
Chuckie takes another sip. “She looked like hell, man. Better than you, though.”
“Fuck you too.” Will glares over his shoulder. “You’re not a fuckin’ GQ model either, asshole.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Chuckie puts his beer down. “So what happened?”
Will’s tan throat moves in the dark as he swallows, then he pushes his hair back off his forehead, and fixes his eyes on something Chuckie can’t see. “Thought I had her figured and it turns out I didn’t,” is all he finally says.
“What the fuck does that mean?” Chuckie hits Will’s shoulder. “You fucking love her, right?”
Will doesn’t say anything, just throws his bottle hard at the sand where it bounces and rolls a little, so Chuckie hits his shoulder again, harder this time.
“I *said*, you fucking love – ”
“Yeah, yeah, I love her,” Will shouts, looking at Chuckie, close up. “Doesn’t mean anything. Not like that’s some kind of – some kind of – ahh, shit, Chuckie. Doesn’t make me any less of an asshole to her.”
Chuckie hisses a breath in through his teeth, and stares at the tips of Will’s ears when Will looks away, shoulders round and hunched. Chuckie puts a hand there and squeezes, and Will leans against him.
“Ahh, fuck,” Will sighs. “Everything comes easy to her, you know? Dad’s a judge, and he calls like every fucking day to see how his princess is doing, and I just don’t – don’t fit in that equation.”
“It pissed you off,” Chuckie says. “Pissed you off, and you took it out on her.”
Under Chuckie’s hand, Will’s shoulder gets hard and angry. “Maybe.”
“I get that,” Chuckie tells him, letting go. “I fucking get that.” And he does, because he remembers when Will was ten and he was so skinny his ribs nearly pushed out of his chest and it looked like he had a fucked up rash all over his back, except that the rash was a handful of cigarette burns, and Will’s dad put them there, and Chuckie still wishes he could kill that sonofabitch.
Will kicks sand off his shoes. “I didn’t mean to – I never fucking meant it, you know? I’d just – say these things. My mouth would open, and that was it, that was fucking it.”
“Happens sometimes,” Chuckie says. Happens to Will more often than most people; Will’s a fucking prick because for all the thinking he does, all the brilliant fucking things Will thinks, when he wants a fight he’s a goddamned idiot.
“I didn’t want her to go, but it’s like – it’s like a relief, maybe. I don’t know.” Will looks at Chuckie, eyes almost green in the dark. “Now I can’t fuck it up anymore.”
“That’s the goddamned truth.”
Will shakes his head. “What, you’re a prince to Maryanne all the time?”
“Mary Ellen,” Chuckie corrects, automatically.
“Yeah, whatever, Mary Ellen, bet you’re a fuckin’ prick to her.”
Chuckie laughs a little, stares down at his hands and the label is stuck to the edge of his fingers from the water on the bottle.
“See? You are, you’re a shit to her. You ever make her cry?”
“Not me,” Chuckie says, real quiet. “I’m a model boyfriend.”
Will laughs, loud, wakes up the dog who groans a little, and then noses at Chuckie’s hand. “Bull fucking shit, man. You, a model boyfriend?”
“It’s what she says,” Chuckie tells him, with a half smile, peeling the whole label off his bottle, and crumpling it up in his hand. “We don’t fight much.”
“Yeah?” Will asks, confused.
Chuckie nods, tosses the balled up label off to the side somewhere.
Will clears his throat after a couple quiet seconds. “That’s, that’s fucking great, man.”
“Yeah, it’s great,” Chuckie agrees, and finishes his beer in one long swig. He wipes his upper lip on his arm, and puts the bottle down gently, and rubs Bacon’s ears.
“I don’t love her.”
“Shit,” Will breathes, and Chuckie nods, staring down at his hand on the dog’s head. “Chuckie – ”
“Chuckie,” Will says again and Chuckie looks at him this time, and Will’s eyebrows are a dark line over his forehead. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“I don’t know,” he admits. “I’ve got no fucking clue.”
“Billy and Morgan – they think you’re going to marry this girl.”
He shrugs. “I’ve been thinking about it.”
“What the *fuck*, Chuckie?” Will grabs his arm, shakes it hard. “You don’t love her, you just fucking said – ”
Chuckie gives Will a long look. “Yeah, and what does that matter?
“Have you lost your goddamned mind?” Will’s face crumples and twists, angry, confused, eyes bright like he’s trying to figure Chuckie out, like this is another math problem, but it’s not. It’s the easiest thing in the world to figure, except Will doesn’t live easy, so of course Will doesn’t get it and Chuckie doesn’t really want him to, no matter how hard it is to try and explain this shit to him.
“What, Will? People do it every day.”
Will opens his mouth to talk again, and Chuckie holds up a hand. “Not you, Will, but the rest of us. We wake up in the morning and we have to come up with some small fucking thing that’s worth getting out of bed for, and we get dressed, and we do our jobs and we’re not happy, we’re not *fulfilled*. We just do what we’ve got to do, and then we go out for drinks or go home to someone we get along okay with, and maybe at the end of our lives we get a couple of good years where we don’t have to work and we can go places and see things or just sit in our living rooms watching the Red Sox without having to do anything we don’t want to.”
Will stares, jaw tight, but he doesn’t say anything, so Chuckie keeps going.
“It’s not like that for you. You’re lucky, you know? But you deserve it, too. Anyway, it doesn’t fucking matter if I marry Mary Ellen or not, because no matter what I do it’s all going to end up the same anyway.”
He shrugs. “Every day is the same fucking thing, right? Different stupid shit, different things you have to get done, but when it boils down to it, it’s all the same useless, boring shit. We don’t fight. I think she loves me, and she’s a good cook, and she’s been hinting she maybe wants to get married. I’ve been saving up some money, but it’s not like I’ve made up my mind or anything.”
Chuckie stops talking, and Will’s quiet, and a couple walks by on the beach holding hands and she’s laughing and he’s pulling her toward the water, and they’re smiling at each other – he can see it even in the dark.
“Jesus fucking Christ,” Will finally says. “I didn’t know it was that bad.”
He puts a hand on Chuckie’s back, and Chuckie shrugs again. “It’s not – ”
“I shouldn’t have left.”
Chuckie turns toward Will, surprised. “Don’t be a fucking idiot, man.”
And Will’s eyes are still fever-bright from trying to figure Chuckie out, trying to balance the fucking equation or whatever, but he doesn’t say anything so Chuckie gives the dog’s head a last scratch and says, “Let’s go inside” and Will says, “Yeah. “
They drink a bottle of scotch too quickly, and watch a movie on Will’s huge fucking TV and they don’t turn on any lights but Will’s couch is comfortable, and Will keeps saying, “Are you okay?” like Chuckie’s about to pass out or puke or something.
Chuckie says, “I’m okay,” and “I’m okay,” and “Fuck you, I’m okay,” and Will asks him again, “You sure?” and Chuckie just loses it, and he isn’t even sure what he’s saying, but he’s telling Will everything and Will’s nodding because Will gets it, because Will’s a genius, an honest to God genius, he knows everything, he knows Chuckie, and Chuckie keeps talking until he doesn’t have anything left to say and there’s just a plain blue screen on the television.
Will cups the back of Chuckie’s head in his hand and says, “I’m sorry” and Chuckie honestly wants to know what Will’s sorry for, but Will never says. He just stands up and says, “C’mon,” and takes Chuckie to his bedroom, where they both lie down on top of the covers, and Chuckie puts his head on Will’s chest, and listens to Will breathe until he falls asleep.
He wakes up when the phone rings, and Will reaches over for it and Chuckie can feel Will’s muscles moving under his cheek and it’s nice, it’s better than nice. Will mutters some shit into the phone, and Chuckie doesn’t open his eyes, and Will slings an arm over his back and then hangs up the phone and says, “You feel good?”
“Yeah,” Chuckie says and Will rubs his shoulder, and moves a little under him, turns over. Chuckie rolls off onto his back, opens his eyes, and Will’s looking down at him, serious.
Chuckie rubs at his face, and yawns. “What? I look like shit?” Will shakes his head, and keeps staring, and Chuckie stretches and says, “What, Will? What are you staring at?”
“Nothing,” Will says, scrubbing a hand over his mouth.
“Oh, Christ,” Chuckie says. “It’s not fucking nothing. If it was nothing – ”
“I’m fucking horny, okay?” Will sits up, halfway, glares at him. “Jesus.”
Will’s face goes tight, and Chuckie blinks at him a couple of times. “Okay.”
Chuckie loves to see Will look confused because it never fucking happens, but when it does Will twitches his nose like a rabbit.
“What the fuck does that mean?” Will asks, but he’s lying back down again, on his side, with one arm next to Chuckie’s head, and he somehow smells *good* even though he’s still wearing the same clothes he was yesterday and they were both fucking drunk when they fell asleep.
“It means ‘yeah’. It means ‘okay’,” Chuckie says, wriggling out of his own shirt. “You want me to suck you off?”
Will shakes his head, hair falling into his eyes, reaches down and unbuttons Chuckie’s pants with one hand, his own with the other.
“Nah,” he says, with this smile that’s catching like the cold, because Chuckie’s smiling back before he even knows it. Will pulls Chuckie’s pants off, boxers too, and then his own, and they’re both lying there naked.
“What do you want to do then?” Chuckie asks, and Will straddles him, arms on either side of Chuckie’s head, smiling down at him still and Will’s thighs are hot against his, like Will’s hot under the skin or something. Will lines up their dicks, and starts moving his hips, and Chuckie sucks in air between his teeth. He’s not hard yet, but he’s half-way there, closer when he feels Will’s dick against his because it’s a shock how Will feels, because it’s been so long, but it’s still familiar because Chuckie’s spent so much of his life feeling Will’s cock, Will’s long cock, so hard against his.
“Like this,” Will says, setting an even pace. “Want it like this.”
Chuckie spreads his legs wider, starts thrusting back against Will, giving Will the friction he needs, and it feels good, it feels *damn* good to be doing this, to be doing this for Will. Will’s nose brushes his cheek, and Chuckie curls a hand around Will’s hip.
“So good,” Will says, rubbing his face against Chuckie’s neck, and Chuckie’s as hard as Will is now, and Will’s body keeps moving in this even pace, too even, he’s thinking too much, Chuckie can feel it in his legs, his abs where they brush against Chuckie’s with each stroke.
So Chuckie wraps his legs around Will, sneaks his other hand down between them. Squeezes them together and Will’s cock’s wet against his hand, fucking into his hand, and fucking up against his cock, and Will’s mouth is right over his ear, and Will’s shoulders shake and Will’s pace stops being steady, stops being even, and starts to be about sex.
Will makes these noises in Chuckie’s ear, his hot breath makes Chuckie squirm, and that makes Will fuck faster, fuck harder. And Will says, “So fucking good, so good, Chuck, so good,” and his lips are wet on Chuckie’s ear lobe, and his dick feels good, so good and Chuckie’s making him groan, Chuckie’s making him fall apart and that’s good, too.
“Yeah, fuck yeah, Chuckie, fuck --.”
One of Will’s hands fists the pillow beside Chuckie’s head, his mouth restless between Chuckie’s ear and his neck, and the other hand slides down Chuckie’s arm, over his hand, over their cocks, helping Chuckie jack them, showing Chuckie what he wants.
Will’s wet against him, Will’s going to come, Chuckie knows he’s going to, because Will’s hips are stuttering against his, Will can’t stop talking, can’t stop saying, “Fuck yeah, Chuckie, it’s good, it’s so good,” and so Chuckie keeps pushing back against him, tries to match Will but it’s getting tough and then Will rubs his thumb over Chuckie’s hand, slides it into the crease between thumb and forefinger, and says, “Yeah, missed you.”
Chuckie freezes, and Will groans and moves their hands together faster, and then he says it again.
“Missed you, missed you, missed this,” every word in time with one of those fast slides of Will’s dick over his, every word a wet brush of hot lip over Chuckie’s ear, and Will squeezes his cock, squeezes it just right, and Chuckie didn’t even know he was so close to coming, but he is – he is -- he *is* --
And Will just fucking roars, and comes too, and Chuckie’s frantic against him, coming forever, orgasm like fucking *lightning*.
The air’s maybe thicker after Chuckie comes, because he has difficulty breathing. Or that could be because Will’s lying on top of him, too, just blissed out and collapsed on top of his chest, mouth glued to Chuckie’s fucking cheek.
“Get off, asshole,” Chuckie manages after a minute, flopping his hand weakly, and he can feel Will’s grin against his face.
Chuckie rolls his eyes, even if Will can’t see him, and says, “I’ll kick your ass for that.”
Will snorts. “Go for it.”
“Yeah,” Chuckie says, eyes closing again. “Later.”
They catch a late movie after showering, and then a pizza, and then they fuck around on the beach for a while chasing birds and staring at hot chicks and that kind of thing and Bacon barks at every single thing on the beach from volleyballs to the fucking sand.
When they get back to the house, Chuckie’s shoes scatter sand all over Will’s white carpet and he stoops to brush it out until Will says, “What the fuck are you doing?”
“I -- ” Chuckie starts, and then Will starts to laugh at him and he says, “Hey, fuck you, man,” and Will laughs harder, falling onto the couch. So Chuckie throws a shoe at Will, and Will throws a pillow back, and they end up wrestling all over the living room, knocking shit over, and pounding one another into the carpet and laughing like school kids and grinning like fucking mental patients.
Will’s got Chuckie in a headlock, crowing, “Who’s the bitch, man? Who’s the fucking bitch?” when the phone starts to ring.
Chuckie straightens out, and starts to reach for the phone by his hand, and Will pulls him back against his chest.
“Leave it, man,” Will says, arm across Chuckie’s chest loosening a little and Chuckie’s about to say okay when the answering machine picks up and Mary Ellen’s voice says hello into the living room.
“I should pick that up.”
Will’s doesn’t let go. “Why?”
“What do you mean, ‘why’?” Chuckie asks, glaring over his shoulder. “That’s my girlfriend – ”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Will says, pulling Chuckie even closer. “Except – you’re here now. You don’t have to deal with that when you’re here.”
Will’s got this one expression, this wide eyed thing he does, and it gets Chuckie every time, every single time, and he knows it – the fuck – and he’s doing it now, and Chuckie knows that he’s not going to pick up the phone.
Except he can’t make it look easy, and besides he wants to know, so he asks, “Deal with what? She’s just – ”
Will lets go of Chuckie, and sits back on his haunches, and looks at his hands and says, “Look. Boston’s shitty. Boston’s always been shitty, and sounds like it’s gotten worse since I left, and I’m just saying – she’s Boston. She’s everything that makes back home useless and stupid and fucking awful, and yeah, I get that you’re sleeping with her and everything, but you get it, too. And I’m saying – you’re in California now.”
Chuckie swallows hard, and looks away. “Yeah, but I go back to Boston in a week.”
Will laughs, and when Chuckie looks back, his eyes are bright with how smart Will is, and Will says, “I got you out here.”
“Yeah, fuck you, Skylar got me out here by leaving your sorry ass. I’m suicide patrol,” Chuckie says, grinning back.
Will goes serious, staring at him like he’s the answer to every unsolvable equation in the world, the last variable or some such stupid shit. And Will says, “No, man. I got you to California, even though you didn’t want to come, you fuck.”
“Hey, I did want – ”
“Shuttup,” Will cuts him off, reaching out and grabbing his shoulder, shaking Chuckie to make his point. “I got you here, Chuckie. You don’t think I can make you stay?”