Gordon’s, Vodka, Kina Lillet

Obviously, David showing up somewhere dressed kind of way fancier than the occasion called for was not a sign anything crazy was going on. Ben questioned how comfortable anyone would be for a movie-watching couch night in anything more complicated than pajamas, but really, Ben would have been cool with wearing pajamas during one hundred percent of his life, while meanwhile he’d seen David fall asleep in an airport chair in a three piece suit. With the watch fob still on. Not that fob status would matter in comfort levels, but he felt it worth noting whenever he thought of it.

So, Ben had been all, ‘hey, why don’t you come over and we go crazy on some Daniel Craig James Bond movies?’ which was its own special secret code phrase that meant maybe clothes were not going to be really important in general, and if David had shown up at his door in linen pants and a dark button-down, well, maybe that was just what he was feeling for couch time that day. He looked good, but what else was new?

David rolling up to his door on a Tuesday afternoon looking like a big warm glass of hello ma’am was not unusual, not even a little. Ben got an eyeball of him quick before getting him all wrapped up in a hug, hands rubbing between David’s shoulders while he nuzzled up into his hair. It took about four seconds of that before he realized that David was only going half in on this hug thing. One arm was wrapped around him, but the other arm was really noncommittal and kind of cold and metallic and poking him in the side.

Ben pulled away just a little, enough to make a cruddy kind of face while he saw what the problem was. David was holding a garment bag over one arm, and the hanger hook had been getting friendly with his ribcage. David hadn’t mentioned he had a thing after, but it was David, and really, not surprising if he had a thing after that he’d need to get more dressed up for. Ben just had a little giggle thinking about how maybe he wouldn’t shower before he left, and would roll in to whatever he had to suit and tie up for with a bit of raunch going on.

Then, though, David pressed the garment bag to Ben’s chest and smiled at him. Smirked, really; it was all eyebrows and twinkles and just the edges of his mouth. “Lovely to see you, Benjamin,” he said. “Really looking forward to tonight.” He brushed a thumb along Ben’s collarbone, finding it beneath the thin fabric of the well-loved t-shirt he was wearing. “I’d like you to put what’s in here on for me,” he said, and then he leaned in to speak right into Ben’s ear. Well, leaned in and a little up. “And don’t put anything on underneath.”


Bedtime Stories

Alan’s phone buzzed on the end table beside him. Not the short little zap of a text, but an actual phone call at actual 10PM on an actual Wednesday. This was exactly what horror movies were like. Not because it could be someone somewhere telling him of some catastrophic event involving someone or something important to him, no. But because someone was calling his phone. It was the 21st goddamn century and he was trying to watch very important television.

He picked up the phone and saw the word DAVID on top of the picture he’d taken of him at last year’s holiday party, two sheets to the wind and making a very grumpy face. He’d been touring the past few weeks, doing stand-up gigs mostly along the eastern part of the country. Alan had been subject to tweet and text alike here and there, when David got bored or found something dumb and funny to take a picture of. He hadn’t called, though. He wasn’t a caller.

“Hello?” Alan said, keeping his voice neutral. There was always the possibility this was somehow bad news, but he had an inkling it was going to be not bad news, not at all.

“Hellloooooo,” David said, and Alan could nearly smell the whiskey through the phone. “Hi. Hello. How are you? I’m good.”

Alan was free to smirk and smile all he wanted, but he kept a straight face. You could hear that sort of thing. “I’m doing just fine,” he said.


Yes, And

There was a spark the first time they met. Just an instant explosion of chemistry, bad teens popping off roman candles in the night. It wasn’t exactly an unfamiliar sensation. When you were a performer you got it pretty often if you were lucky. When you did comedy you got lucky a little more often. And when Alan met David for the first time, well, he felt pretty fucking lucky.

Alan was an actor, of the ‘you’re that guy from that thing!’ type. Though with the kind of parts he usually got, he was more of the ‘you’re that guy from that toothpaste commercial!’ type. It paid the bills. It paid some of the bills. His wife paid most of the bills. He’d gotten hooked into an improv group back in college, though, and that was what got his blood pumping. He did it for free in front of crowds of drunk people, but bouncing off other quick wits, giving trust over to someone that they’d keep you going and you’d do the same, all to make those drunk people laugh their asses off, that was the best feeling in the world.

And David, David was a stand-up. Alan had tried that exactly once and never again. Too lonely up there, just you and the stuff you’d probably overthought coming out of your mouth against the crowd. But David had a friend who had a friend who was in the group Alan performed on in a regular basis, and that was how these things came together. Hey, I liked your act and I’ve been wanting to get in to leading to David’s going to perform with us tonight.

Alan was dubious, of course. But that was before he met him. David was the kind of guy who got on stage in a suit and tie, and Alan was also that kind of guy, so that was one point in his favor. And then David turned out to be the kind of guy who could yes, and a man so hard he lost all composure years of practice had brought him and ended up giggling into the stage curtains. That was worth about a million points and the audience losing it nearly as hard. He could stay. He could stay a while.