God. This shouldn’t be happening. Unprecedented, the thing that Dante is about to do. Swallowing your pride isn’t easy, but in these dire circumstances, the man doesn’t really have a choice. He takes a deep breath, possibly among his last, before shouting out,
Aaron is visibly and understandably confused as he is forced to lift his gaze away from whatever he was doing- reading, maybe?
So far so good.
“Hey, uh listen— you like dudes, right?”
Aaron narrows his eyes at him.
“I mean- me too! So, uh, I was wondering if-“
He sighs and holds up a hand, seeming to have suddenly aged 30 more years or so.
“Listen, I’m...flattered, but I don’t-“
God, this was going horribly wrong.
Dante waves his hands frantically.
“Wh- no that’s not what I- no offense dude but you’re not my type.”
“None taken.” Aaron replies dryly. “In that case, could you explain what all this is about?”
Dante sighs and sits in the chair adjacent to Aaron, who closes his book in anticipation of a longer conversation that he expected.
“It’s Siddiq, man.”
Aaron looks on blankly. “What about him?”
“I...I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I need advice.”
“So you went to me? For dating advice? Why on Earth would you do that? I know for a fact that I can’t be the only gay person you know, and even then, me? Really?”
“Everybody else is either too put off by my godly presence or is happily taken, which means they’ve forgotten what it means to be single! They’re not going to understand our troubles!”
“Our...Okay. Alright, I’ll humor you,” Aaron says, shaking his head slightly in disbelief of his own position in life,”Why do you need help to woo the poor doctor?”
“Honestly? I don’t know! This has been going on for months and he still hasn’t picked up on any of my advances! The guy’s obvious!”
Aaron leans forward to ask,”I’m going to regret asking, but what do your “advances” entail?”
“What don’t they entail? When I tell you I’ve tried everything, I mean I’ve tried everything . I do the usual shit, of course; the subtle flirting, the blatant flirting, the looks , the gentle touches when I can— but we’ve also bonded! Big time! I tell him stuff I don’t tell just anybody! There’s like— there’s trust there, dude.” Dante says, running a hand through his hair in exasperation, “It’s like...how can I make it any clearer that I wanna kiss his face off, you know? Hell, I basically told him so the other day, and you know what he did? He laughed . Laughed! At me!”
He sighs again now, leaning back and looking dejectedly up at the creaky old ceiling. Kicks at a small rock on the ground. Aaron watches on, saying nothing just yet.
Dante continues his monologue at the ceiling,”Like...I dunno. I don’t think that counts as a rejection? And I’m not blind- I see the way he looks at me, sometimes!”
He hunches over now, elbows on his knees and head buried in his hands.
“He thinks I don’t notice him looking, but I do , and then I look over and make eye contact, and he looks away and- auuuugghh, he’s so fuckin’ cute, what the hell…”
Aaron, seemingly unfazed by the rapidly deteriorating state of the man he barely knows in front of him, waits a moment before speaking.
“Have you tried…just telling him?”
The reaction is instant. Dante whips his head up to stare at him.
“Are you crazy? Did you really just ask me that?”
“No! Of course not!”
“Well, there's your problem then,” Aaron says, grabbing his book from the side table and finally getting to his feet.
Dante looks up at him with a mix of betrayal and shocks written clear as day on his face.
“What? That’s it? ‘talk to him’?”
He shrugs. “You asked for my advice, you’ve got it. Just tell the man how you feel, and what happens, happens. Now, it’s getting late, and I’ve got to check in with Michonne, so...good luck.”
With a hearty pat on the shoulder, Aaron leaves Dante still hunched over in his chair, looking much worse than when he first sat down.
He feels like a grumpy old man despite being in his 40s, but hell, that was a conversation he did not expect to be having at this hour, least of all with a doctor he barely knew the name of. Just as he’s leaving the room, he hears some grumblings behind him about how he “shoulda just asked that Magna chick” or something or other, and feels like maybe that Dante could be a lost cause. Still, he’s...definitely earnest, and maybe he can be good for Siddiq! If he’s even into men…? Aaron supposes that’s a question for another day, hopefully posed at another person that isn’t him.