1965-01-03 - Rule Number One
Summary: Jay shows up to Doug's for another day of working on the club and apartment. The two have a chat regarding their last weird discussion about their personal lives.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
douglas jay 


So. There was… a moment. And then in a moment of sanity, both Jay and Doug realized that it was… too much, too quickly — the stars weren't right — or just 'what the fuck are we doing' - and Doug proceeded to take Jay for a walk through the less bombed-out part of Mutant Town and buy him a cup of coffee.

His apartment is coming along nicely, now — he just got a couch, and his piles and piles of books are currently stacked up, awaiting shelves — Doug is barefoot, with a cup of tea on a coffee table, as he reads Adventure Comics, starring Superman (who is apparently a real dude) and the Legion of Super-Heroes… who… aren't? Who even knows anymore?

Pick any number of those things! The stars, the hormones, the mourning, the general sense of 'god I haven't been touched by another human being in how long?' But the general consensus becomes that, yes, this was crazy. Yes, this was messy, and the one thing that neither of them needed more of in their life was 'messy'. The prescription for this is an awkward boner walk in the cold air. Enough to calm the mood, though now that the thought has been planted, it's harder to shake.

Still, Jay does as promised. He shows up at Doug's place when he has the time to do so, cleaning, tearing things down, building them back up, working hard to get things cleaned and scrubbed and scoured, suitable for use once again. He's no stranger to hard work and quite honestly, considering how the holiday season goes, it's a very welcome distraction. The familiarity of Jay working on the building has increased to the point where he asked for a key for when Doug is out working. There are always projects to be done to get it ready, after all.

Footsteps up the stairs sound as a warning as Jay knocks once politely and just opens the door to let himself in. He does that whether or not Doug is home because, well, you never know. It's just polite. Though, he smiles when he notices that Doug is indeed actually in the place, treating it like a home. Additionally, even though the subject's been buried, it still occasionally niggles in the back of Jay's mind in consideration, not to be ignored now that he's seen it. "Well, well, well! Look who's lookin' pretty comfortable up here. That's a good sign."

Doug looks up, and drops his comic book in his lap. "Hey! Yeah, I was doing a little wiring —" He's got the language of wiring connections down pretty good. "You know, saving a little bit of money, I did a lot of reading and double-checked my work —" He shrugs, and then sits up. "So, hey." He points to the teapot on his coffee table, "Pour yourself a cup — it's green tea with rice, if that's okay. I… wanted to talk." He slips his feet into his slippers, and rests his elbows on his knees.

Jay drops his jacket in a corner of the space and begins the task of unwinding his scarf from around his neck a million times. He's wearing 'work clothes', which is to say a worn-in pair of jeans with holes in the knees and worn around the cuffs, spattered in paint, and a blue tank top that has probably seen better days but it's comfortable as far as his wings are concerned and being able to move around in it. "Tea ain't usually mah thing unless you're talkin' sweet tea, but thanks." He smiles softly, scooping both his hands through his hair to gather as much of it up as he can and pull it back out of his face into a tiny tail.

Talk? Jay hesitates and looks at Doug sidelong. "Talk? About the club?" He hopes. He hopes hard.

"You might like this." Doug says, before he pours Jay a cup of it. "You can put sugar in it if you want, but really… it's very satisfying." He sits back, and raises his eyebrows. "I… meant… about before. Unless you don't want to."

He sighs, and gets up, before he shuffles into the kitchen. "Look, Jay—I've been thinking… part of what's compounding our problems is that we're sitting here waiting for them to resolve themselves, instead of living our own lives." He comes out with a plate of cookies, and offers it to Jay, before he sits back down.

"So maybe we ought to start living them." He picks up his mug, and looks down into it. "We have a lot in common. And I thought… maybe you would like… to go out on a few dates."

Cookies as well? Damn. Jay gives Doug a faint smile in gratitude for the cup, taking it in a peacemaking gesture of sorts. He's eaten his body weight in cookies lately, but takes one of them as well because it's polite to do so. A faint anxiety sticks to his body language around the periphery, wings shivering momentarily, but it's low key. For the most part, he's still relying on depressed apathy and numbness as his sheild against everything wrong in the world.

The subject is predictable, but the outcome isn't. Jay gives Doug a peculiar look. "You…wanna go out with me?"

Doug pauses, and looks up, as he tries to get a 'read' on Jay. "Well… yeah." He says. "I don't expect anything. At the very least, we go out and have a good time, and we're better friends for it." He takes a cookie and takes a bite out of it, before he sips his tea — which is green tea with toasted rice, very high on the satisfaction scale.

"But if you don't feel okay with it — that is okay. Okay?"

Jay's uncertain. His posture reads thoughtful, surprised, worried all in one feathered ball of general uncertainty, though the most concerning matter is probably the fact that it's all cushioned by a downy soft feeling of numb distance. Like trying to read through rice paper, those vibrant emotions that Jay normally wears on his sleeve are suppressed. The younger mutant blinks twice and shakes his head, not in the negative, but to clear his head. "Sorry, Ah'm just sorta surprised. The last time you talked you'd kinda told me the opposite." His cheeks flush and while he's embarrassed over it, there is a visible and hot pang of carnal interest reflected in him in the subtlest of manners as he glances away from Doug and to his cup of tea. Most people would just see the embarrassment, but Doug gets the nuances.

Doug raises his eyebrows, and then raises his tea to his mouth. "First: a person can change their mind, at any time, and not give any reason for why they did. Second, I'm not putting a ring on it…" He grins, slowly, "I'm asking you if you'd like to go out for a beer or catch a band every now and then. People do that all the time, don't they?"

Jay considers again, mental muscles stretching, though they don't have to go far as Jay tilts his head to the side slightly, then nods. "Well, yeah. Ah did that all the time w—mmm." The angel-imposter cuts himself off and bristles from head to toe with a dip of his head and slow raise of it the next moment. An uncomfortable, pained movement though his expression goes flat rather than cringing. He finally takes a drink from his teacup and looks twice at it afterwards. Rubbing his tongue against the roof of his mouth a couple of times before turning back to Doug after that literal palette cleanser. "Sure, but a reason helps, y'know. Context and everything. But, okay, speaking practicality wise, it sounds like you just want to hang out, which Ah'm always fine with, Dougie. Ah like you, we get along, you got good taste in music."

Doug looks up at Jay, and then he says, "Listen. Jay. It's not a question of just hanging out. I want to… let things grow, organically. I want to see where we wind up. Because believe it or not, that's how people usually do it — it doesn't start out with star-crossed love or even a moment of sudden connection — it's two people who…" He thinks, the corner of his mouth quirking up, "…Are interested. And I am. Interested, that is. In other words, Jay Guthrie, and this may sound odd but I assure you it's a cornerstone of human communication… I'm not in love with you."

"But there's a compatibility in our language that makes me think I could be. It's a little spark… and you kindle it a bit.. blow on it…"

A small smile plays on the corners of Jay's mouth, bright eyes lidding with humor at Doug. "Ya know you can be real patronizin' when you put yer mind to it, Douglas?" But he doesn't seem to have any held ire about it either way. Water off a duck's back. Quietly pondering the situation again, his attention drifts away to more mundane objects while he nibbles on that cookie. The way that last sentence hangs together rouses a little bit of color in his ears, visible with his hair pulled back. "So what're the rules, then? Neither one of us are too great at this whole mess after all, an' Ah don't wanna end up accidentally hurtin' you or gettin' hurt. So what're the rules?"

"I'm a little pedantic. Why don't we pick them together, one at a time. I'll start. First of all - we have a good time, first." Doug says. "If we're not having a good time, there's no point." He drains his cup and sets it down, not refilling it just yet. "So rule one - it's about having a good time."

When they come to rules and all, Jay nods and searches for a place to perch and have the conversation properly with Doug. Finishing off his cookie and taking his weird tea with him, Jay nods a couple of times. "That ain't always a bad thing. Okay. About havin' a good time. That's easy to agree with an' we could both use a little bit more of that." More relaxed than the initial broaching of the subject, Jay begins to feel a little more secure. "When we're out, havin' a good time, we go dutch? Or does the one who came up with it pay?" One of those basic complicated rules of dating. Not to mention between two men in the 60's.

"…Let's go with whoever planned the outing pays." And the tea's not weird, it's satisfying! Doug looks down at his teacup. "Okay. So… there's no expectation of anything. No expectation of sex, not even expectation of a kiss on the cheek. One or both of us may not be feeling it — so if we're in that place… mentally… we ask." He frowns. "Too mechanical?"

Jay sits back and squints a little bit as a precursor to a cringe. "Ye-eah, sorta. If ya want things to be organic, havin' to stop an' ask might be a little jarrin'?" He considers it a moment longer, a small smile appearing. "Kinda takes some of the romance outof it. Like you've said before, that's sort of mah thing. But Ah can do no expectations." He tilts his head forward slightly, doubling back on that thought. "But…should we say if we are out t'gether, there is the expectation' we don't leave with someone else? Unless we have words about it."

"Okay." Doug says, stroking his chin. "No ditching without permission." Then he looks up, and says, "…I'm okay with that. The next rule — we use this as an excuse to grow. We learn from each other. For instance, I can tell you've probably never had green tea before. You probably know things about music I've never even imagined. This is a chance for us to become more complete peopl. We're not going to waste it."

Jay watches Doug consider his suggestion and amends with a light shrug. "Ah can just see mahself gettin' upset if Ah invite you out somewhere and you leave with someone else. Ah know this is casual and Ah ain't goin' to stop you from seeing someone else, but it's kinda hurtful."

The next makes Jay peer hard at Doug. A lurking smile on the corners of his lips. "Yer gonna turn' datin' into school, you know that?"

Doug pauses, and then after a moment's thought, he sets his mug aside. He gets up, and reaches down, to take the cup out of Jay's hand, and set it down, before he slides his hand along the line of Jay's jaw, feeling the soft red fuzz — his thumb strokes the line of Jay's jawbone, before Doug leans in, meeting his eyes. The kiss is brief—just the touch of lips on Jay's bottom lip.

Then Doug pulls away. "I like school." He says.

There's movement going on. Jay looks a little confused and lost (if amused) as his cup is taken away and set aside. Well there goes his nice distraction prop! The amusement clings to him in an abortive whisper of a chuckle just before his jaw gets scooped up by the linguist's hand. Thoughts vanish in an instant and with all the swiftness of a generally touch-staved, sexually frustrated young man comes to surface. Bright eyes sweeping over Doug's face and meeting him eye to eye just before his slip shut a moment. Like some unwritten rule that kissing only happens if you close your eyes. He's gentle and compliant, sliding a newly freed up hand to Doug's knee, Jay leans in and gives chase but comes up just short of taking another kiss. "What was that for?"

"I dunno." Doug says, his hand settling over Jay's. "I felt like it?" He grins, slowly, and then says "Because school's not such a bad thing. You learn. You grow. You make out with somebody hot under the bleachers. Just remember Jay, I'm not the only one in this — if you want something from me, you have to tell me. You have to take it. Otherwise… well." Doug shrugs, once, "This just isn't gonna work. Okay?"

"Well, aren't you glad that you didn't have to ask first, then?" Jay smiles and eases back to a normal distance, his hand still planted on Doug's knee. Stuck there for the moment. Reminders that he needs to take action draws an apologetic smile off the less cocksure Guthrie brother, a ripple of self-consciousness fluttering through his feathers in aggitation. "Okay. You okay with sometimes remindin' me of that? The last few times things didn't work out so well in mah favor. Ah think that I'm unlearnin' some bad habits, maybe."

Doug strokes the fingers on his other hand through Jay's hair. "Okay." He says, grinning. "I'll be sure to remind you. So." He says, "Jay. I have nothing else to do for the rest of the afternoon? So what're we doing. Huh?"

Lengths of red hair fall loose from his ponytail with very little provocation; barely able to stretch the distance to begin with. The touch is a balm and Jay's fingers slide more securely along the inside of Doug's knee. "Well, /Ah/ was going to scrub down all the floors in yer spare room and let them dry so we can start puttin' that space together next. Probably sand down yer bedroom floors while Ah wait, but Ah'm feelin' a little distracted right now." Jay leads and smilesgenuinesly smileswith a lean in and dip of his head, aiming to press a kiss against Doug's jaw. Set on lingering close, tucking his face against the man's neck for another light kiss. "You feel like distractin' me a little bit between jobs? Let you read yer books between and tell me where you got that weird tea?"

Doug decides… for right now… to cuddle. "I'll tell you what." He says, "Let me introduce you to Shakespeare. I'll start with one I think you'll really like — A Midsummer Night's Dream. My favorite is 'Macbeth' but I'll save that for another time." Doug kisses Jay… on the forehead, and then goes to get his Shakespeare folio, before he curls up on the couch with the winged chanteur and starts to read to him. "Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires, Like to a step-dame or a dowager Long withering out a young man revenue…" He, ah, pulls up a wing, as he curls up with the ginger Mutant on the couch, and reads. It's just so fluffy.

Really, that's all Jay was looking for. Cuddlingthough he'd never use that wordand nothing more serious. The Shakespeare is a little unexpected though and Jay finds himself chuckling lightly while Doug zips off and leaves him alone for a bit. "Ah'm not a graduate, but Ah know what Shakespeare is, Doug. Ah do read." Good-naturedly chiding while he waits, Jay leans comfortably into the crook of the arm of the couch, some tension pulled from his bones while he waits. Then willingly curls up with an arm and a wing around Doug's shoulders, forcibly tugging and adjusting him until the linguist is leaning partially against his chest. Jay closes his eyes and listens rather than reading along, his chin on the mutant's shoulder at points, fingers swishing mildly down Doug's bicep. He listens peacefully until it's time to go scrub down a floor.

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