Mar 06, 2021 6:19 AM
sean struggles to live, desmond choses to forget
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Five years later, New York City

Afternoon sun streams through the grimy windows, managing to strike Desmond straight in the eye. He groans, and tucks his head back into the cocoon of his covers. 

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His phone chimes.

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"Ugghhh," Desmond groans, and flops his hand around until he finds it. The stupid thing keeps chiming, so someone is calling him. Which is unforgivably rude. 

It takes him a couple tries to answer the call, and then he balances it on the side of his face so he doesn't have to old it. "'lo?"

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"Three whole texts and no response? You must be dead," says a voice on the other end, smug and flirty.

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"Josh, I will literally kill you," Desmond grumps into phone.

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"No, don't," Josh pretends to whine, laughing at him. "There is a purpose for my call, beyond making sure you were alive."

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"Mmmf."

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Josh laughs again. "Bayden wants Friday night off, and he saw you have tonight, can you swap?"

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"Ugghhh." He was supposed to be meeting up with a girl on Friday. Oh well. "Sure. Is he going camping again?"

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"He said it's a 'family thing', which is probably code for camping."

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"That much outside is bad for you. I know that for certain."

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Josh laughs. "Probably more than most. Anyway, before I let you get your beauty sleep, I had a question from a friend."

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"Mmm?"

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"Friend of mine runs a camboy website. He reckons you'd make a fair bit of money. Way more than at the club."

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"Ha." Desmond grabs the phone, and rolls over onto his back. "Yeah, that's not happening while I share a space with Sean."

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"You could do sessions at my friend's house? Your brother doesn't have to know."

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"Yeah, he already barely believes that I stock a bodega overnight. He's gonna come looking if I stay out too long."

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"He's kinda controlling. Sounds shitty."

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"Yeah. And paranoid. But tell your friend thanks. If Sean ever stops being a jackass I might take him up on his offer."

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"All right, bud. You will let us know if you need to get out for a bit though, right?" 

The implication is obvious.

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And Desmond has no idea how to explain Sean's particular flavour of paranoia without sounding crazy. 

"I'm all good, Josh. Really. I'll see you Friday." 

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"Sure, Des. Sleep well." 

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Desmond flips the phone shut, and leaves it on the other side of his bed, curling back into his covers. 

He doesn't sleep, but he does drift in and out of dreams, sometimes familiar faces floating through. Faces he'd rather forget. 

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Eventually, he gets restless enough that he can wake up fully, and sees that the sun hasn't quite set yet. A little before he'd usually wake up. He meanders out of his bedroom, and checks behind the curtained off area in the living room. Sean's bed is made, and his shoes are gone. At work, then.

He slumps into the shower, and boils the kettle while he eats a bowl of cereal. He then makes two cups of coffee, and heads downstairs. 

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"You got ID, kid?" Daisy drawls from behind the bar as Desmond walks in.

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"No, but I have bribery?" He hands over one mug of coffee, grinning as wide as he can. 

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