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I Always Want You

Chapter Text

“Fuck” Adam leaned his head back against the brick wall, looking up at the illuminated “Blockbuster” sign as he exhaled his cigarette smoke.
‘Only half an hour to go’ he thought to himself, taking another long drag of his cigarette before flicking the butt onto the ground and stepping on it, pushing it into the concrete. Adam walked inside and threw his jacket over behind the counter, making his way to the bathroom. He shut and locked the door behind him, pulling his dab pen out of his pocket and pressing the button, inhaling the smoke and holding it for a second before puffing out an “o” shape. He took a few more hits before spraying the dollar store air freshener and exiting the bathroom.
At the counter was an older man and a young child, his granddaughter maybe, Adam thought to himself.
“Fuck, Amanda…” he whispered to himself. Amanda was supposed to be watching the counter for customers while he prepared himself for closing.
“Hello, sorry for the wait. You two find everything okay?” Adam asked the two, grabbing their DVD, The Last Unicorn, and scanning the five night option, which he remembered these two always got.
“Of course, we had plenty of time to look while we were waiting.” the man replied, a displeased look on his face. The girl he was with didn’t hear, she was looking at the candy over yander.
“Sorry about that, my coworker was supposed to be watching the front while I used the restroom.” Adam replied snarkily. Hey, he’d throw Amanda under the bus if it meant he didn’t get yelled at by grandpa here.
“That coworker?” The man answered, pointing outside to Amanda smoking on the step, yelling at her cellphone.
Adam stared outside, “Yeah… her.”, it was unusual for Amanda to be outside at this time, usually she waits until a few minutes before they closed to smoke a cigarette. She always came and got Adam’s pen after he was done with it. Whatever she was upset about, it was important to her.
“Another tip,” the man said, “lay off the marijuana, kid.” He grabbed the DVD and receipt from Adam, grabbing the girls hand and walking out the door. There was something off about the way he walked, Adam noticed, like he wasn’t quite balanced enough.
Adam headed out the door a few moments later, waving his arms to get Amanda’s attention, flipping her off as soon as he saw the only car in the parking lot drive off. She returned the favor, and Adam turned around to go back inside.
Adam looked at the merchant copy of the receipt, running his eyes over the man's name.
“Lawrence Gordon, huh…” he said to himself before tearing the receipt angrily and tossing it in the trash.
Amanda walked into the store, throwing her jacket at Adam and sighing loudly.
“That the DILF you’re always talking about?” Adam asked, putting Amanda’s jacket on the counter.
“Yeah, a real silver fox huh? He always rents the same three movies for his daughter. Coraline, Fantastic Mister Fox, and-“ Adam cut her off.
“The Last Unicorn.” He sighed, looking at the clock on the computer screen.
“Yeah. Exactly. Why don’t we close down early tonight?” Amanda said as she walked over to the doors, flicking the switch that controls the Blockbuster sign off, putting her hand on the lock of the door.
“Sure, fuck if I care. They’re always the last ones in here anyway. No point in staying open if no one’s coming.” It was only a few minutes anyway, their boss wouldn’t get too bitchy over it. Hoffman was always rude, but he understood what it was like working this bullshit job. He took the flack for their fuckups most of the time.
“Before we leave…” Adam hesitated as he pushed the End of Day button on the computer, “are you okay? Do you need a hit?” he tossed the dab pen to Amanda, putting his hoodie on before picking up Amanda’s jacket.
“I’m okay… Lynn’s just upset. I’m upset. Being on and off hormones constantly is hard. Insurance is fucking annoying. The usual, you know.” Amanda replied, Adam nodding. He did know.
“I’m sorry, shit sucks,” They walked out the doors, Adam locking it behind him and grabbing the pen from Amanda’s outstretched hand, taking another hit. “You need a place to stay tonight? I gotta wake up early and open but you can make yourself at home.” Adam knew she would make herself at home whether or not he said it, but it was easier than saying ‘I owe you a lot and you’re always welcome at my home because I love you and you’re my best friend’.
“I think I’ll take you up on that offer. Your couch clean yet?” She asked, referring to the fact that last week they got a little too tipsy and ended up spilling their cheap beers all over the cushions.
“No, I threw it out actually. Got sick of the beer smell in my apartment.” He answered, pulling out a cigarette and putting it between his teeth.
“Guess we’re sharing the bed then, huh? Lucky you.” Amanda elbowed him in the side as he lit his cigarette, the two of them walking to Adam’s “home”.

Chapter Text

Adam jolted up as his alarm clock rang, looking around the room panicked before shutting it off. Amanda stirred next to him, groaning as she stole all the blankets from him and curled up on the bed.

“Make yourself at home, you know where everything is. Lock up when you leave. If you leave.” Adam said, pulling on his Blockbuster shirt. Amanda flipped him off, but he was turned around picking his jeans up off the floor, shaking the top layer of dirt off of them before pulling them on.

Adam grabbed his wallet and cigarettes and walked out the door, checking his pants pocket first to make sure his pen was in there. He had a feeling today would be a longer day than others. He closed the door quietly behind him before descending the stairs of his apartment, heading in the direction of the subway. 

 

The subway ride was uneventful, as always. He listened to his walkman with the Car Seat Headrest CD he found at the thrift store inside it. Hoffman was working today, which meant he got to pick the music that played in the store. Something to make this job a little more bearable.

 

He got to Blockbuster and banged on the glass door, seeing Hoffman standing there, wanting to frighten him before his shift. Hoffman looked at him with a tired expression, knowing Adam did this every time they worked together, yet he still expected a different result than previous times.

“Funny as always today, Adam.” Hoffman said, counting the rest of the cash and putting it inside the register.

“You really shouldn’t leave the door unlocked you know, especially when you’re counting the money. Someone could walk right in and kidnap you, leave you chained somewhere to rot.” Adam said, throwing his jacket up onto the coat rack and putting his walkman on top of the safe.

“Speaking of things we shouldn’t be doing, stop letting Amanda close early. Corporate watches the time end of day is printed, if anything just sit and wait until closing time to press the ‘print’ button.” Hoffman avoided eye contact during this time.

“Oh, c’mon Marky Mark. A few minutes doesn’t matter.” Adam put his his hand on Hoffman’s shoulder, knowing he hated it.

Hoffman swatted his hand away with a stern, “Don’t touch me”, and held out his hand. Adam reached in his pocket and handed him his pen. “I’m going to be in my office.” Hoffman declared, turning the ‘Blockbuster’ sign on and walking back to his office.

 

Business was slow during the first few hours of being open, after all, who rents a movie at nine in the morning? Most of the business happened when school let out until a little after dinner. The first customer of the day was a woman with blond hair that looked distraught. 

“Hello, welcome to Blockbuster.” Adam said with little enthusiasm in his voice, wanting the woman to feel only slightly welcome, just enough for her to not have a breakdown and cry to him about her problems.

“Um hello,” the woman said as she pulled a DVD case out of her purse. Ouch, a smashed to pieces DVD case. Adam tried to hide the excitement on his face as he logged into the register. “I have this DVD here, my husband brought it home last night and our daughter got so excited, she was jumping up and down and ended up stepping on the DVD. I’m really sorry.” She continued, sliding the DVD case across to Adam.

“It’s no problem, it happens more than you’d expect it to, honestly. We are going to have to charge you a five dollar fee to replace it though.” Adam said, searching up the movie on the computer. Of course they had multiple copies of Coraline.

“What’s the name it was checked out under?” Adam asked.

“Lawrence Gordon.” 

Oh.

“Excuse me?” the woman asked as Adam realized he made that ‘Oh’ out loud.

“Oh, um, I remember that guy renting the movie last night. I was here.” Adam replied as he changed the DVDs status to ‘pending reorder’. 

“Oh, yes. That’s my husband… He tried to return the DVD last night but you were already closed. He is working today so I had to come… He’s a doctor at Angel of Mercy Hospital.” The woman’s voice sounded sadder when she was talking about his work. Adam wondered if that’s why he was such an entitled asshole last night, he has plenty of doctor money to play with. He doesn’t understand why a rich man like him should have to wait around for a poor drug addict to do his job right.

No, Adam thought, stop thinking like that. That guys just an asshole. You’re clean, now. Stay that way.

“That’s cool.” Adam settled on saying. 

The woman, Alison, she told him, handed him a five dollar bill and then left, thanking him for his help.

 

Adam knocked on the door of Hoffman’s office, opening it without waiting for a reply. 

“We got another trashed DVD. Can I take it home?” Adam asked, leaning against the doorframe.

“Knock yourself out. I’ll get it pushed through now.” Hoffman clicked on his computer a few times before sighing. “Art called in. Can you work a double today?”

Adam sighed comically long, trying to lighten the mood. “I suppose so. If you give me a ride home, that is.”

“I suppose so.” Hoffman mimicked Adam’s tone, turning around in his chair and throwing Adam his pen, which he fumbled to catch.

Adam shoved the broken DVD in his jacket pocket and headed for the bathroom.

 

Later that night a familiar face walked into the store, alone this time. Adam watched Lawrence as he walked over to the romcom section, somewhere he’s never seen him go before. Usually he would come in with his daughter and went straight to the usual movies.

Lawrence eventually came up to the counter with Love & Other Drugs, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.

“Do you ever have a day off?” Lawrence asked, a small smile on his face.

“Not in retail, Doc.” Adam replied, not making eye contact.

“How did you know I’m a doctor?” 

“Your wife came in today.” Adam answered, noticing the way Lawrence’s body tensed up when Adam mentioned his wife.

“Ah… I’m sorry you had to meet her then.” Lawrence grinned. Great, another boomer that hates his wife and thinks it's oh so funny to joke about it, Adam thought.

“She seemed nice. How long did you want this for?” Adam held up the DVD.

“One night, please. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.” Adam shrugged and pushed the DVD and receipt towards Lawrence.

“Thank you,” he raised the DVD in the air and nodded towards him, “you have a good night…” Lawrence paused, realizing he didn’t know the other's name.

“Adam.”

“Have a good night, Adam.” Lawrence said softly, smiling at him.

“You too, Doctor. See you tomorrow.”

 

Adam spent his shift thinking about Lawrence, and whatever was going on with his wife. He was looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Lawrence did, infact, come in to return the movie the next day, around the same time as always. He came up to the counter even though he wasn’t checking anything out.

“I’m sorry for the other day,” he said, propping his cane up against the counter as he leaned onto the ledge.

Adam stopped putting the DVDs in their proper case and looked up at him. “What do you mean?”

“The night that I was in here with my daughter and snapped at you. I have a lot of stress with… outside forces in my life and I took it out on you.” Lawrence answered, meeting Adam’s eyes for a moment before looking away. He gets nervous when you stare at him , he remembered.

“It’s okay, no big deal. I’ve dealt with ruder people than you.” Adam shrugged, going back to sorting the disks.

“That doesn’t mean it’s okay. I was having a bad day and I took it out on you. I’m sorry.” Lawrence smiled at Adam, a sincere look of regret on his face.

“Hey, man, if you really wanna apologize you can give me a ride home tonight. It’s supposed to snow and that shit is not fun to walk in. Especially when you can’t stand being outside in anything below sixty degrees.”

“You’ve never heard of stranger danger, I assume?”

“You know my name and where I work.” Adam replied.

“No, I meant you’re fine with getting into some 47-year old man’s car?”

“Hey, I’ve done worse.” Adam smiled at Lawrence, “Plus, I know where you live and work as well. I don’t think there are a lot of Lawrence Gordons that work at Angel of Mercy Hospital.”

“That is fair. What time do you get off?” Lawrence asked, realizing he most likely closed tonight since it was already evening.

Adam stopped sorting again. “Wait, no, I was joking. Like I said, it’s not a big deal. We’re cool.”

“You close at nine, right?” 

“Yeah. But really, you don’t have to do that.”

“I’ll see you at nine, Adam.” Lawrence picked up his cane and smiled at Adam, heading out into the already starting snowstorm.

 

Hoffman was counting the money in the secondary cash register when he yelled out to Adam, “Go ahead and lock the doors. No one’s coming out in this shit. You need a ride tonight?”

Adam walked over and locked the doors, replying “Uh, maybe. I’m supposed to get a ride from a friend but I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t wanna drive out in this just to take me home.”

Hoffman walked out of his office and put the secondary register back in the drawer, heading over the the other one to pull it out. “You have friends?”

“He’s not really a friend. He’s a regular that offered me a ride.” Adam didn’t miss the look on Hoffman’s face when he said that.

“Are you doing alright?” Hoffman asked in a tone of voice softer than his usual.

“Yeah, it’s not like that. He comes in with his daughter every few days and gets the same movies every time. He’s a decent guy. He’s a doctor.”

“That somehow doesn’t make me feel better.” Hoffman sighed, “Just be careful.”

“Aw, I didn’t know you cared so much.” Adam replied, seeing Hoffman rolling his eyes at him. Just then, a black 2010 Honda Accord coupe model pulled up. “That’s him.” Adam took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves.

It’s not like that . Hoffman mocked, responding to how noticeably nervous Adam was. “Go ahead, I can finish closing by myself. Be safe.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Adam mumbled, walking to the door and unlocking it, hesitating before running through the cold air, little wet drops hitting his face as he approached Lawrence’s car.

 

“Hey, I wasn’t sure you’d be able to come. What with the blizzard and all.” Adam fidgeted in his seat, pulling his cigarette pack out of his pocket and flipping the top repeatedly.

“I said I would be here.” Lawrence replied, turning the heat up as he watched Adam shiver out of the corner of his eye. “You shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for you.”

“It’s healthier than alternatives… Thank you for this.” 

Lawrence nodded and put his car in drive, foot still on the brake. “So where do you live?”

“Oh, uh, I live in the apartment complex near the west side of town.” Adam looked down at his hands, still playing with his pack of cigarettes. Lawrence nodded and drove off.

They sat in silence for a bit, when Lawrence wasn’t looking Adam would sneak looks at him. His eyes were focused on the road, not leaving the mess of white and black in front of them. I don’t know how people drive in this shit, Adam thought, the snow or the dark. 

“Are you warm enough?” Lawrence asked, looking quickly over at Adam to see if he was still shivering. He wasn’t.

“Yeah, thank you,” Adam answered. Lawrence reached over and turned the heat down, but not completely off. “So, uh, what’s going on between you and your wife? She looked pretty upset when she came in the other day. And there was that time you were an ass to me because of ‘outside forces’.” Adam did air quotes around the last two words, giving Lawrence a shy smile.

Lawrence sighed, and Adam worried for a moment that he fucked up, asking him like that. Jesus, Adam. What right do you have asking this guy what’s going on in his personal life? Maybe he doesn’t wanna talk about it.  

“It’s a long story. My health has not been at its peak lately. Things weren’t very good before that, but it certainly has put a strain on things. I haven’t been doing surgeries lately, only oncology. There’s less money coming in than there was… When my accident happened we remained civil, but that front could only last so long. I had had an affair before that and we never resolved it. It destroyed her trust in me, rightfully so.”

Adam looked out the window, “I’m sorry to hear that. About your health, I mean. I can’t blame her for being upset that you had an affair.”

“Thank you for that. The day she brought in the movie was the first time divorce was brought up. It was just in passing, something she didn’t mean to say. But after she said it there was no taking it back. I’m just sitting here waiting, wondering when she’s going to file for it.”

“Why don’t you file for it then?” Adam replied, “Divorce is going to be the end result anyway, why not get it over with?”

“I don’t want to be the dad that had an affair with his nurse and then left his family.” Adam cringed, hoping Lawrence didn’t notice. “I love Diana very much. I can’t bring myself to tear the family part. I cannot lose her and I don’t want her to resent me.”

Adam looked over at Lawrence, who was still focused on the road. His eyes were shimmering, it seemed he was tearing up thinking about his daughter. “You’re a good dad, but I understand your concern.”

“Thank you for that. That means a lot to me.” Lawrence looked over at Adam and smiled at him before turning his full attention back to the road.

They sat in silence the rest of the drive, until they pulled up to Adam’s apartment complex. This place looks like it doesn’t even have electricity, much less that it’s livable. Is he okay? Lawrence thought.

“Thank you again for driving me, you really didn’t have to.” Adam sighed, bracing himself to go out into the cold again.

“It’s not a big deal, Adam. With winter coming it’s going to get even colder. No one should have to walk home or even to the subway like that.”

Adam shrugged, “It’s okay, I’ve been doing it for years now.”

“If it’s ever too cold out to walk, you should call me. If I’m not stuck at work I can pick you up and take you home. To your home.” Lawrence reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded up note and handed it to Adam. Did he have that in his pocket this whole time? Adam thought.

“You don’t owe me anything, you don’t have to give me rides.” Adam replied, grabbing the phone number from him.

“Well, keep my phone number anyway. Just in case.”

“Yeah, just in case.” 

“Have a good night, Adam,” Lawrence flashed that smile of his. He looks good when he smiles, Adam thought, it’s like his worries melt away. 

“Have a good night, Doctor Gordon.”

“You can call me Lawrence, Adam.”

“Okay, Doctor Gordon.” Adam smiled at Lawrence before putting a cigarette in his mouth, running out into the cold once again.

Lawrence waited in his car until he saw Adam enter the apartment building. He sat in his car until he received a text from Adam.

 

Thank you again, Lawrence.

Chapter Text

Adam, Amanda, and Hoffman were all working together today. Lawrence hadn’t been into the store in a few days, and Adam wanted to text him to ask if he’s okay. I don’t want to intrude. He said to call him if I needed a ride, not if I just wanted to chat. Adam shook his head and sighed, going outside for a smoke. Amanda followed him, sitting down on the curb next to him.

“Wanna go out tonight? You look like you need to loosen up and take your mind off things.” Amanda asked, kicking the rocks near her feet in the parking lot.

“Fuck, why not. Hoffman coming?” 

“I’m sure if we ask him he’ll take us, and be forced to come inside and have fun. God forbid.” She rolled her eyes, putting her cigarette out and putting the rest in her pocket.

 

Hoffman agreed to take them without too much harassment, surprisingly. He locks up the doors to the store as Adam and Amanda stand by his car, waiting for him. Adam looks around the parking lot, knowing he won’t see the black Accord, but still hoping.



They get to Adam’s apartment to change, Amanda into the clothes she had there, a red tank top and her signature black and red thrifted tripp pants, and Adam into a shirt reading “I’m a sucker for vampires” with skeleton sweatpants. He put on his jockstrap and puts a cheap homemade packer inside, trying to get the socks to look even slightly realistic. Hoffman took off his jacket in the car and decided to just wear what he had on at work, a white button up and black slacks, instead of trying to search Adam’s wardrobe to see what would fit him. 

“Damn, Hoffman. You trying to get laid tonight or something?” Adam said sarcastically.

“Shut up. Are you kids ready to go?” Hoffman replied. 

Adam reached into the fridge to grab his bottle of poppers, sliding it into his pants pocket. “Yeah,” he replied, grabbing his house key and leaving with the others, being sure to lock the door behind him.

 

They arrived at the bar and went inside, Hoffman immediately going over to a man near his age with dark hair and dark eyes. Amanda and Adam sat down at the bar and ordered two of whatever drink had the most alcohol for the cheapest price, starting a tab under ‘Mark Hoffman’. Adam noticed a man looking at him across the room, he had a shaggy haircut and had lots of stubble growing in. He looked like someone Adam may be friends with, if they hadn't met here. The man eventually walks up to Adam, introducing himself as Scott. Amanda took this as her cue to go over to a women she had been looking at, who she thought had been looking at her as well.

The guy, Scott, leaned in to whisper in Adam’s ear, “You wanna head to the bathroom?” Adam nodded, feeling his pocket to make sure it was still there.

 

Is there no woman here that’s at least a little bi-curious? Jesus, I just wanna make out with someone. I’m not looking for marriage or anything. Amanda thought. After striking out with three different women she had given up. She looked around and couldn’t find Adam, but she spotted Hoffman in the corner talking to some guy. She walked over to them and the guy took his leave.

“Who was that?” Amanda yelled over the music.

“Peter.”

“Yeah but who is he to you?” 

“Don’t worry about it. Where’d Adam go?” Hoffman asks, changing the subject.

“I think he went to the bathroom with that one guy, hopefully it’ll help him get over Doctor wife-and-kid. Wanna get the fuck outta here when he’s done?” 

“Yeah, please. Wait, does he have an attachment to Gordon?”

“I’m not sure, he seems really upset and I know he hasn’t been around lately. I’m just worried about Adam getting heartbroken if he decides to patch things up with his wife,” Amanda explained. Hoffman nods, and on cue, Adam walks out of the bathroom, looking more upset than before. He walks over to Amanda and Hoffman, signaling outside.

Once they got into the car, Adam spoke up. “Wanna go to mine and smoke and watch unrealistic doctors be trashy?” Hoffman and Amanda both nodded in agreement. It looks like they didn’t have a great time either. Adam looked down at his phone, thinking of Adam. Fuck it.

u doin ok? Adam presses send. It’s around midnight at this point so it’s not like he’s really expecting an immediate response, but he’s still upset when one doesn’t come. Fuck, Adam thought, what if it wasn’t okay to message him? What if he thinks I’m being creepy and tells me to fuck off? That he has a wife and kid and doesn’t need another kid to look after and take home after work.

Before Adam can worry too much, a message comes back.

Hello, Adam. Thank you for checking on me.

Adam puts his phone in his pocket and pulls out a cigarette, thinking of Lawrence’s face.

 

They all sleep in Adam’s bed that night, basically piled on top of each other, but when Adam wakes up Hoffman is gone. Probably had to open today. Adam thinks. He picks up his phone to check the time and sees a message from Lawrence.

Are you doing alright, Adam?

He thinks for a moment.

srry i just woke up. rager last night. As if it could be called that. That guy, Scott, left as soon as I finished. Not that I would’ve let him touch me, anyway. Fuck. Why did I even do that. I don’t need human contact. I don’t deserve human contact. I don’t deserve any of the love or attention or affection that I crave. I’m fine alone. That only hurt more to think about.

He sat up, picking up his nearly empty pack of cigarettes and taking one out. Fuck, did I really smoke that much last night?

He looks for a lighter and realizes Amanda is awake, smoking, sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Lynn and I are on a break.” She says, her voice slightly shaking.

“I’m sorry. Do you want to talk about it?” Adam says, putting his hand on her back trying to comfort her. She shook her head, flicking her cigarette butt into the garbage can and laying her head on Adam’s lap.

“I love you.” he says, playing with her hair. It’d gotten quite long since he last cut it.

“I love you too, Adam. Will you cut my hair today, before work?” Amanda noticed the way he played with the ends of her hair, how he noticed the grown out lighter color. She laid her hand on his thigh, ignoring the rough scars and healing cuts under her hand. Adam agreed.

 

Lawrence felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, he would have to ignore it since he was with a patient.

“Any other questions?” he asked the man before him, standing up with his clipboard in hand. The man shook his head. “The nurse will be right in to take those blood samples then.” With that he stepped out of the room and took his phone in his pocket, seeing it was from Adam made him smile as he turned into his office. He sat down in his chair and clicked on the message. 

im ok, just woke up. rager last night. He does not work this morning, then. Maybe he is working tonight. But I have no reason to go. Diana only wanted to watch Coraline now and the DVD was still in shipment to Blockbuster. Maybe he could still go to get a movie for himself, not that he would be able to watch it by himself. Either Alison or Diana were bound to want to watch it with him, severely limiting the movies he could choose from. 

Did you have a good time?  Lawrence sent back, a second later receiving a response,

does a two minute hook up in a dirty bar count

I would not count that as a good time, no. Do you want a ride home from work tonight?

nah i can walk

Lawrence doesn’t want to press and make Adam uncomfortable, but he really hates the idea of Adam walking to the Subway in the snow, and then having to walk from his stop to his apartment. His apartment. He had heard Adam call it a shithole before, not that Lawrence would use that terminology. 

Are you sure? I do not mind at all, Adam.

if u really dont mind

Of course I don’t. What time?

9

thanks lawrence 

gtg

I will see you at nine, Adam.

 

Adam was closing alone tonight, and nine could not come fast enough. It was friday night so it was incredibly busy, parents came in and let their five kids run around without supervision. Adam was overstimulated but knew it would be over soon, he just had to keep his cool until then. Eventually two families left and the population of people inside Blockbuster was cut in half. Adam let out a sigh as he looked at the clock. 8:55. There’s no way he’d finish in time.

gnna be done late, srry Adam sent to Lawrence, walking over and locking the door, grabbing the register drawer and taking it to the office. 

Lawrence pulled into the parking lot and put his car in park before picking up his phone and looking at the text from Adam.

Take your time, are you okay? He sent back.

yes D:

ppl are rude

they all come in half an hour b4 we close

How dare people come inside while you are open.

exactly

Lawrence looked at his phone and smiled, he really enjoyed his talks with Adam. He looked up and saw Adam walking over to the door, locking it behind him and coming over to Lawrence’s car.

“Hello, Adam.”

“Hi, Lawrence. Thanks for picking me up.”

“Of course, it’s never a big deal, Adam.”

“As you always say. It’s out of your way considering you haven’t come to geet any movies lately.” Adam looked over at Lawrence, staring at his side profile.

“Yes, well, I haven’t had a need to. Diana wants to watch Coraline but Alison said it’d be another week until you receive it.” 

“We have multiple copies, you know. The movie came out a year ago so we don’t have as many as we had when it just came out but we still have three or four.” Adam tried to hide the hurt in his voice. I shouldn’t be upset that he isn’t visiting me at work. How pathetic. That’s completely out of his way.

“I did not know that. I guess I will be coming by tomorrow to get one, in that case.” Lawrence replied.

“Tomorrow’s my day off for the week.” Adam said, picking the excess skin around his finger nails.

“I guess I’ll be coming by the next day, then.” Lawrence flashed a smile at Adam, looking at him and meeting his eyes for a moment before returning his eyes to the road. Adam felt his heartbeat rise and he felt warm, his cheeks felt warm and his stomach turned over.

“Do you have any hobbies, Adam?” Lawrence asked, keeping his attention forward.

“I like photography. I use the broken DVDs we get at work to make different patterned light beams on whatever I’m taking a picture of.” Lawrence looked over and saw the excitement on Adam’s face, it seemed like he was trying to hide it but Lawrence saw the small smile on his face, the way his eyes were lit up just now.

“That’s amazing. Have you ever tried entering a contest or anything like that? I’m unsure of how photography works, to be quite honest.” 

“No, I’d like to one day but not yet.”

“Why not?” Lawrence asked, sensing Adam’s lack of self confidence.

“I need more practice.” Adam replied, not wanting to start a conversation about how confidence is important and he needs to try new things and everything that comes along with those conversations. Lawrence just nodded.

“Do you have any hobbies? I’m sure you’re busy with your family… situation.” Adam asked, looking out the window.

“Ah, I used to read quite a bit. I have many classics in my collection, but after Diana was born I just haven’t had the time. I would like to start reading again, someday.” 

Adam nods, “I see.”

They pulled up to a railroad crossing, the arms were down and the lights were flashing. The train was just starting to come across, so they’d be there awhile. Lawrence looked over at Adam, who was scratching his arm, his legs shaking a bit, and rolled down the window on Adam’s side.

“You can go ahead and have a smoke. We’re gonna be here awhile.” Lawrence said, putting the car in park and looking over at Adam.

“Are you sure? This is a nice car, man.”

“Yeah, it’ll be fine. I’m normally the only one in here, and I’m fine with it. Go ahead.”

Adam reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette, realizing his lighter was gone.

“Um, can you-” he pointed at the cigarette lighter port, which Lawrence pulled out and held up to Adam’s cigarette, making sure Adam inhaled and that the cigarette was lit before putting it back. “Thank you,” Adam said as he leaned over to exhale through his window.

“It’s no problem, Adam. You looked nervous, I thought it would help. Even though I shouldn’t be encouraging it.” But you look so good with a cigarette hanging off your lips, like you’re finally at peace with the world.

“Living is overrated,” Adam said, sighing as he exhaled.

“I hope you don’t sincerely think so.” Adam responded to that with a shrug. Adam finished his cigarette and opened the door to rub it out on the ground before putting the butt into his pack. He closed the door and sat back, rolling his window up. 

“Feel better?” Lawrence asked, looking at Adam leaning back in his seat.

“Yeah.” Adam half-lied. His heart rate was still up, but he wasn’t shaking any longer. It’s not all nicotine withdrawal, Adam thought.

 

Lawrence arrived home after dropping Adam off, but he chose to sit in his car in the driveway for a minute before going on. It seems Alison noticed he was home, because she came out and got in the passenger seat.

“Diana has been waiting for you. I finally put her to bed without you.” She said, not looking over at him.

“I’m sorry, I had a long day at work.”

“You don’t do surgery anymore, Lawrence. What reason do you have for being late, that also covers for the fact your car smells like cigarettes?”

Shit.

She wouldn’t believe me if I told her I started smoking. He settled on telling her the bare minimum truth.

“I gave someone a ride home after work. It’s cold out and they would’ve had to walk.” That’s mostly true.

“Give me a break, Lawrence.”

She got up and went inside, and Lawrence shortly followed.

 

Adam went to bed that night thinking about Lawrence’s hands so close to his face.

 

Lawrence went to bed thinking about how good Adam’s lips looked with the smoke blowing out between them.

Chapter Text

Adam and Amanda sat on Adam’s bed in his bedroom, watching reruns of the shitty doctor show they always watched. Both of them had the day off today and didn’t have any plans other than smoking and watching television. 

The doctor in this show reminds me of Lawrence. They have the same hair color, same eye color… He’s kind, like Lawrence. I wonder how he’s doing, Adam thought. Adam turned to face Amanda, crossing his legs.

“Lawrence has been driving me home lately. We’ve been texting sometimes also. It’s nice.” Adam says, Amanda turning to face him, crossing her legs as well.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” 

“Yeah. He’s cool.”

“You can’t be fucking hot married doctors, Adam.”

“I’m not. He’s kind of in the middle of a divorce.” Adam sighed.
“Kind of?”

“Well, they haven’t filed for it yet.”

“So by ‘ kind of’ you mean not at all?” Amanda asked. Adam threw his head back onto the bed, laying down and sprawling out. Amanda layed back with him and rested her head on his chest. “I just don’t want you getting hurt.”

“I trust him, Mandy.” Adam closes his eyes and lets his thoughts drift back to Lawrence.

 

He wakes up to his phone ringing. He feels around for it before finding it and raising it to his ear, not looking at who it is.

“Hello?” Adam answered, clearing his throat after. He pushed Amanda’s shoulder a few times to get her to wake up. She rolled off of him with a groan.

“Adam?” Lawrence. He sounds upset.

“Lawrence? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“I got served today.”

“Ser-Oh my god,” Served with divorce papers. Adam sat up suddenly. “Do you want to come over?” 

“I’m at work.” Lawrence responded, sounding more upset than he was when he first talked.

“Come over after. When do you get off?” He knew Lawrence’s schedule wasn’t set in stone.

“I’m in oncology today, I don’t have any more appointments today but I have some paperwork to do. It shouldn’t take more than an hour.” He sounds exhausted, Adam thought.

“I’ll be here.”

“Thank you, Adam.” Lawrence said, hanging up before Adam could respond.

 

Adam got up out of bed and went to his closet, pulling out the first clean(ish) pair of pants he could find, pulling on a black hoodie as well.

“I’m gonna run to the shop, wanna come with?” He asked, throwing Amanda a coat.

“Yeah, thanks. I need more smokes. Everything okay?” She pulled the coat on, grabbing her wallet from beside the bed.

“Lawrence is coming over. His wife had him served while he was at work. Soon to be ex-wife, I guess.” Adam grabbed his wallet and keys and they headed out.

 

They got back to Adam’s house with the cheapest beer they could get and two packs of grape wraps. Adam went to go shower, since Lawrence wouldn’t be there for another half an hour at least.

He gets out of the shower and looks in the mirror, not recognizing himself. Again. The man in the mirror looks tired, like he hasn’t been sleeping or eating right lately. Like he was barely alive, living off of cigarettes and pot. Adam ran his fingers over his face, touching his nose, bending it in different ways. It’s like he could see that the man in the mirror was experiencing the same touch he was, but that wasn’t him. That was someone else that lived inside the mirror.

Amanda knocked on the door, “Hey Adam? Your phone is ringing. It’s Doctor Sexy.”

Adam opened the door and grabbed his phone from her, a serious look on his face.

“Lawrence?”

“Adam, I’m here. I don’t know what apartment you live in.” Shit, that’s right. Lawrence has only been outside the complex, not inside. Certainly not inside my apartment.

“I’ll be right down.” Adam replied, throwing on his most comfortable clean sweat pants and put on the hoodie he had on before his shower. He slipped on his fuzzy socks and his slippers and ran out the door, telling Amanda “I’ll be back, will you roll one up please? Actually, two?” before he forgot.

Adam ran down the stairs, nearly tripping over his own feet, in a hurry to see Lawrence. He made it to the entrance of the apartment complex and looked around for Lawrence, spotting him near the elevator.

“Hey.” Adam said, trying to catch his breath.

“Hey.” Lawrence turned to Adam, a sad look in his eyes. 

“Um, the elevator only goes up to the second floor. I’m on the third so we’ll have to walk up the last flight of stairs. We can also go somewhere else and hang out if you’d rather do that.” Adam tried not to look at Lawrence’s leg while telling him. Oh no, what if he can tell I’m forcing myself not to look. Should I just look at his leg really quick so he doesn’t think I’m forcing it?

“That’s not a problem, Adam. I’ll be okay, as long as it’s not all three sets of stairs.” Lawrence smiled at Adam, but it seemed forced.

“Okay, yeah. I mean no, it’s not all three sets.” Adam walked toward the elevator, stepping inside and waiting for Lawrence to get inside before pressing the button for the second floor.

“Hey, Adam?” Lawrence spoke quietly, like he didn’t want to break the silence, as if it would shatter into a million pieces.

“Yeah?” Adam looked over towards him, but not at him.

“Can I have a hug?” Lawrence said it so quietly Adam thought he misheard at first. He took in a sharp inhale and exhaled slowly, making himself calm down. “I’m sorry, please do not feel forced to. You’ve already done enough inviting me into your home and-” Adam stepped towards him, wrapping his arms around him and hiding his face in his chest. He inhaled deeply. Lawrence smelt really nice, Like a forest, mixed with his own personal smell. Lawrence put his arms around Adam, pulling him closer. He rested his chin on top of Adam’s head, closing his eyes. He smells like a  cologne labeled ‘ocean breeze’ or ‘seaside sand’, He doesn’t smell like marijuana for once, noted Lawrence. Adam noticed Lawrence’s heart beat seemed faster than what would be normal for a man his size. It seemed to be beating just a bit slower than Adam’s, which says something considering Adam felt like he was going to combust on the spot.

The elevator dinged as they reached the second floor. Adam and Lawrence quickly pulled apart, Adam leaving the elevator and fidgeting with his hands.

“So my apartment is just up these stairs, it’s one of the first ones on this side so once we’re up the stairs we’re basically there. Do you want to go up first?” Adam gestured to the staircase beside him.

“No, I do not want to hold you up. Go on ahead and I will follow.” Lawrence grabbed his cane from the elevator wall, where he had propped it up to properly hold Adam.

Adam started up the stairs, looking behind him to see how far Lawrence was behind him.

“I got us some cheap beer and wraps, and my best friend Amanda is here as well. I hope that’s okay.”

“Sure, I’m not really hungry for wraps though. I will take some beers, though, if you don’t mind.” He sounds out of breath.

Adam smiled, looking up the stairs towards the next floor, trying to slow his pace without Lawrence noticing “Oh, Lawrence. Not those wraps. You’re absolutely welcome to the beer, though. That’s why I got it.”

Lawrence looked up at him, he never really noticed before but the other man was small compared to him. He seemed to have nearly six inches on him, height wise. He also couldn’t help but notice that Adam’s… buttox was right in front of his face, as he was climbing up the stairs. What’s wrong with you? This is your closest friend and you’re staring at his lower region? Lawrence thought.

Adam turned around and Lawrence looked away from Adam immediately, wondering if he saw him staring. Oh, we reached the top, Lawrence noted.

 

Adam walked over to the door, reaching for the door handle when Lawrence grabs his hand.

“Thank you for inviting me over, Adam.” Lawrence said softly.

“No problem, Lawrence.” Adam smiled, raising one side of his mouth higher than the others. He’s nervous.

They walked into the apartment, Adam locking the door behind them.

“Although… Why did you call me? Not that I mind, but why not one of your other friends?”

“I suppose most of my friends are more like mutual friends of Alison and I. I would not want to pull them into that, as they most likely have already made up their minds on which side they are on. I also wanted to see you. It’s been awhile since I saw you last, I have not been going to the video store very often.” Lawrence replied.

“I’m glad you were able to come. Oh, this is Amanda. Amanda, this is Lawrence.” Amanda raised her hand to wave at Lawrence, Lawrence nodding at her.

“I’ve heard a lot about you, Lawrence.” Amanda says, shooting Adam a shit-eating grin. Adam stumbles around like he’s dying before throwing himself on the floor dramatically.

“You work at the video store with Adam, do you not? I think I have seen you there sometimes, when that other guy isn’t working. Real square face, curly mullet.”

“Yeah, Art. He’s a dick.” Amanda threw a lighter at Adam, not wanting to throw the blunt at him in case she misses and it gets destroyed. Adam sits up from the floor, then stands up and grabs the lighter, walking over to Amanda.

“You can come sit down, Lawrence.” Adam pats a spot next to him on the bed. “Do you wanna smoke?” he holds out one of the blunts to the other man.

“No thank you, Adam. I will take a beer if you don’t mind.” 

“Let me go get it for you.” Adam jumps up and leaves the bedroom, headed for the kitchen.

“If you break his heart I’ll kill you.” Amanda says, lighting the blunt between her lips and taking a deep inhale.

“I-” Lawrence can’t say anything before Adam is back in the room, handing him a slightly cool beer. “Thank you, Adam.”

“Anytime, there’s plenty there.” He hands a beer to Amanda as well and then sets his down, plucking the blunt from Amanda’s fingers and taking a puff. 

They pass it around for a bit, waiting to light the second one until they can at least stand up and walk straight. Amanda ended up bringing the beers into their room, it’s not like the fridge was any colder than the interior of Adam’s apartment anyway.

 

After about five beers Lawrence realizes he most likely can’t get home tonight.

When he gets up to go piss after six beers, he realizes he definitely can’t. Adam offers to let him spend the night and he hesitantly agrees.

“Do you have an extra room? I don’t want to kick you out of your bed,” He asks, confused because from what he’s seen, he doesn’t have any spare rooms.

“Nah, even my dark room I share with my friend at his apartment. Well, ex-friend.” Amanda shoots him an obvious look, “Anyway, we all just share my bed whenever anyone stays over. It’s a good thing I have a king size,” Adam elbows Amanda, “especially when Hoffman’s here too.”

“Oh” Lawrence thought for a second, Hoffman and Adam in the same bed? Amanda too? Amanda and Adam basically live together, don’t they? “Are you two dating?”

Adam and Amanda bursted out laughing together, before both saying “Ew”.

“I’m with my girlfriend, Lynn, and Adam’s dated exclusively men since his punk ex girlfriend said he was too angry,” Amanda explained.

“I’m gay, probably shouldn’t have tried to change that but it’s the past.” Adam shrugged, “I need to be higher than I am right now.” Adam took the second blunt off the floor and lit the end, inhaling so much he thought his lungs would burst. “You sure you don’t want a hit?” Adam outstretched his arm, blunt in hand, to offer it to Lawrence.

“I don’t do drugs. Thank you for the offer.” Lawrence sighs and cracks open another beer.

“Every doctor I’ve ever met does drugs. If it’s not weed it’s cocaine, or oxycontin, or some other shit.” Adam takes another hit before passing it to Amanda.

“Maybe someday, when I won’t have an upcoming custody battle to fight.” Lawrence smiled at Adam for what seemed like the first time in hours.

“I was addicted to heroin.” Amanda says bluntly. Lawrence doesn’t say anything.

Adam lets out a small “Yeah”, taking the blunt back from Amanda and laying back in the bed.

 

They spent the past hour or so laughing at the inconsistencies in the television drama they’re watching, one about a doctor having an affair with his student. Lawrence points out specifics, like “That drug isn’t even used in treatment like this!” or “Great, now everything in the room has to be sterilized again.” meanwhile Adam just complains about the uncleanliness of where the doctor and student fuck.

“C’mon, not on the operating table!” he yells, throwing an empty beer can at the TV.

“You can’t complain about that when just earlier you were saying how hot that doctor character is.” Amanda counters.

“Uh, yeah, because he is. If I was his student I would take him anywhere, including the operating table.” Adam and Amanda laugh, while Lawrence feels his cheeks heat up.

“Where’s the bathroom at?” he asks Adam, or Amanda, whichever can answer clearly. His own speech is slurred as well, but not as heavily since he isn’t as small as either of them. Adam points down the hallway.

“To the right.” He’s leaned up against Amanda, who’s leaned against the wall. 

“Thank you,” Lawrence says, standing up and grabbing his cane before setting it back down. I don’t think it would help at this point.

He wanders into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. He looks in the mirror, running cold water over his face, before he goes over to the toilet and unzips his pants. It’s hard to balance like this so he walks over the wall nearest the toilet, leaning against it. His mind wanders to the show, the doctor fucking his student, the way they were hot and heavy against each other, kissing each other with such a primal need.

Fuck, he thought, starting to stroke himself, letting his mind wander. He imagines himself as the doctor, fucking some needy student in his office - the operating room was just too unrealistic for him - thinking of someone wanting him like the student wanted the doctor in the show. He could feel himself getting closer and closer, his vision going white as he came, finally placing a face to the student. Adam.

Oh fuck. No, it’s a mistake. He tucks himself back inside his pants and washes his hands, staring at himself in the mirror. He’s my closest friend, I’m stressed out because of the divorce and my brain just placed whoever I have seen recently there. Yeah, that’s it.

He leaves the bathroom, trying to push those thoughts out of his mind. He sat back down with Adam and Amanda and opened his eighth beer of the night.

Chapter Text

Lawrence woke up in an unfamiliar place, with an unfamiliar weight on his chest. He looked down, careful not to move too much, and saw Adam laying next to him, curled up against his side, his head on Lawrence’s chest. Lawrence looked around the room, seeing Amanda on the edge of the mattress, smoking a cigarette and typing away on her phone.

“I have to go to work soon,” she whispered, “will you keep an eye on him? Just, make sure he wakes up okay and in time for work. He normally sleeps until ten or eleven on days like this.” Lawrence nodded in response.

“What time is it?” he whispered.

“It’s a little past eight.” she responded, putting her cigarette butt in the garbage and picking up some beer cans off the floor, carrying them to the living room.

Lawrence laid his head back down and closed his eyes, letting himself enjoy the warmness of the man next to him.

 

When he wakes up again, he’s missing the feeling of the weight on his chest. He sits up and looks for Adam, seeing him next to him in the bed, sitting up and taking hits from his dab pen.

“Morning.” Adam says, lifting his head up and exhaling towards the ceiling.

“Good morning. Thank you for letting me come over, and for letting me stay the night as well.” Lawrence says, grabbing his phone off of the floor and checking the time. 11:27.

“No problem, Lawrence. I enjoyed your company.” Adam sat up and grabbed his work clothes off the floor.

“Would you like a ride to work today?” Lawrence asked him.

“If you don’t mind, that’d be great. Thanks,” Adam grabbed a towel from his miscellaneous laundry pile in the corner of his room, “I’m gonna go shower. I work at one.” Lawrence nodded, finding his blue button up on the floor next to him and putting it on. He didn’t remember taking it off, but he had kept his undershirt on so he assumed it was because he got overheated during the night.

 

Adam got out of the shower and looked at himself in the mirror, running his fingers over his top surgery scars. They healed nicely , he thought. He ran his hands down his body, touching his stomach and hips. I’m so weirdly shaped, he thought to himself, my hips stick out even though I’ve been on testosterone for years now. Maybe it’s because my stomach is like that. He turned to his side, running his hands further down, My legs… I’ll have scars for the rest of my life… It’s okay, no one will ever see me naked anyway. He stared at himself a few more minutes, negative thoughts racing through his head. He then gets dressed and turns back towards the mirror, turning on the sink, washing his hands before washing his face. He rubs a towel over his face and hair once more and exits the bathroom.

“Are you sure you want to drive me to work?” Adam asked, standing in the doorway of his bedroom, looking at Lawrence still sitting on his mattress. He hadn’t seen him like this before, normally his hair was perfect and he looked so pristine. He looks good. His hair is cute when it’s messed up like that. Adam can’t help but let a small smile slip onto his lips.

“Of course. Are you ready to go?” Adam nodded to that, grabbing his house key and letting Lawrence lead so he could lock up behind them.

 

When they got into the car, Adam was the first to speak.

“I’m sorry for the doctor comments last night. That was probably really disrespectful, you were in the bathroom for a while and I was scared I upset you.” 

“What? No, Adam you did not upset me. That’s not why I was in the bathroom so long…” Lawrence drifted off, thinking back to last night when he was in the bathroom. “Besides, you cannot say anything more disrespectful than the actual show does.” Lawrence smiles as he looks over at Adam, who returns his smile. Lawrence turns his attention back to the road and sets his hand on Adam’s knee, squeezing gently. Adam’s body immediately heats up, he could feel the blood rushing to his head. “Thank you for last night.”

“You’re welcome over any time,” Adam replied.

 

Adam gets out of the car and heads into work, while Lawrencec decides to sit in the parking lot a bit longer, thinking about last night. 

 

Adam walks into work and sees Hoffman there, standing next to Amanda. They clearly had been talking about him before he came in.
“Hey…” Adam started, “what’s up?” Amanda turned away and went back to work, as Hoffman pulled out his pack of cigarettes and walked towards the door.

“Let’s go outside.” Hoffman said, handing Adam a cigarette.

“Everything alright?” Adam asked as they stepped outside.

“Yeah, just wanted to see how you’re doing.” He held up a lighter to Adam’s cigarette, then his own.

“I’m doing okay, you sure everything’s alright?” Adam was suspicious of what Amanda and Hoffman were talking about.

“Yeah, you wanna introduce me to this friend of yours?” Hoffman gestured to Lawrence’s car with the hand he had his cigarette in. 

“Uh… sure?” I think that’s the right answer? Adam thought.

They walked over to Lawrence’s car, where Adam knocked on his window. Lawrence’s eyes jolted open and he sat up from where he was leaned back in his chair, clearly startled.

“Sorry, Lawrence. Will you roll down the window?” he did.

“Is everything alright? What is going on?” He looked between the man and Adam, repeatedly, trying to read either of their face’s. Adam was obviously nervous, but he couldn’t read the other mans. 

“Yeah, everythings fine! I just wanted to introduce you to Hoffman, he’s my boss” Hoffman sent him a look, “and my friend. My friend first and my boss second.”

“Mark Hoffman,” Hoffman said, stretching his right hand out to Lawrence, “and you’re Lawrence Gordon.” 

Lawrence reaches his hand out, meeting Hoffman, who shook his hand so tight he thought all the bones in it would shatter. “It’s very nice to meet you, Hoffman.”

“Yes, it’s nice to meet the man Adam has been spending so much time with lately. Had to meet you for myself, finally.” Oh. Suddenly, Lawrence felt like a teenager boy meeting his girlfriend’s dad for the first time, like if he said anything wrong he would be chased off with a gun. “I’m going to head back inside, don’t be late, Adam.” Hoffman said, throwing his cigarette butt on the ground and going inside the store.

“Jesus that was scary. Sorry, he’s kind of intense. He’s a great guy though. Really helped Amanda and I when we needed it.” He threw his cigarette to the ground, stepping on it, then leaned down to speak to Lawrence on a more equal level, since Lawrence was in his car. “He played a big part in us getting clean.”

“You were smoking marijuana last night, were you not?” Lawrence asked.

“Not clean from marijuana , Lawrence. You’re such a doctor.”

“Oh,” Lawrence remembered what Amanda had said last night, about having been addicted to heroin, “that’s very admirable of you. It is not easy to get sober, and it’s even harder to stay sober. I’m proud of you.”

“Thank you,” Adam said, smiling at him.

“Have a good day at work, Adam. I will m-,” he stopped himself, “I will see you later. You can always message me if you need.” Me. The word was implied.

“You can always message me as well, Lawrence.”

 

Adam went inside and saw Amanda near the counter.

“Does he know?”  she asked.

Adam tugged down his short sleeve, pulling it towards the pit of his elbow, knowing that it wouldn’t cover what he wanted it to.

“It doesn’t need to be said.”

 

Adam walked into Hoffman’s office, knocking on the door before walking in.

“Can you drive me home tonight?” Adam asked, a tired look on his face.

“Sure, Larry not driving you?” Hoffman said, not looking up from his paperwork on his desk.

“I don’t want to bother him.” Adam had been in his head all day, thinking of Lawrence, thinking of what he said, thinking of what Lawrence must think of him. His body felt flushed and hot when he thought about him, when he thought about how he looks when he’s driving, how warm his body was this morning, how his chest rose and fell as he slept, his smile when he told Adam he was proud of him. He doesn’t like you like that, he’s just being nice. Earlier in the car, when Lawrence placed his hand on Adam’s knee, Adam thought he was going to explode. His heart felt like it was going to burst everytime Lawrence and him touched.

 

It was almost time to go home when Adam’s phone dinged.

 

Do you need a ride home tonight? 

hoffman is giving me a ride

Alright. I’m glad that you are okay, Adam. 

how ru holding up? 

Alison took Diana to her parents house for the week. They live less than twenty minutes away so she can still drive her to and from school everyday. 

im sorry lawrence. im sure thats hard 4 u 

I miss her. Diana, that is. I suppose I miss the company of Alison in the house, but I do not miss the arguments or the feeling of walking on eggshells. 

would u want to hang out soon  

I would love that, Adam. Do you want to come over to my house this time? 

what, my shithole apartment not good enuff 4 u? 

jk :) 

i would like that

Do you work tomorrow?

yeah i open :(

Would you be opposed to coming over tonight? I can pick you up. My day starts late tomorrow so I could take you to work as well.

ru sure u wanna do that? thats a lot of driving

I would not offer if I did not want to do that, Adam.

if u want to then sure doc

Great, I will be there at nine tonight then.

ill see u then

 

Adam smiled down at his phone before putting it in his pocket.

“Hey, Hoffman. I won’t need a ride tonight.” he said, pulling on his jacket.

“You changed your mind about bothering your dear man friend?” he said, an audible smirk was on his face.

“Lawrence is coming to get me, yes. He’ll be bringing me tomorrow morning too. I’m going over to his house to hang out tonight.” Adam regretted it as soon as it left his mouth, seeing Hoffman’s reaction.

“Adam. Please use protection. For God’s sake, you do not need to get pregnant.” Adam responded to that with a middle finger, stealing a cigarette from Hoffman’s pack on the counter.

“He doesn’t like me like that.” Adam sighed.

“But you like him like that?” Hoffman raised an eyebrow at him.

“I don’t know. Maybe. I need to focus on my sobriety. At least until I hit one year.” 

“Good idea,” Hoffman said, walking over to the register and hitting buttons to print what was needed to end the day, “but you also need to be happy. Making yourself miserable in fear of losing your sobriety will only make things worse, in the end.”

Adam saw Lawrence pull into the parking lot, and looked over at Hoffman. “Do you miss it?”

“Yeah. Have a good night, Adam.” Hoffman grinned, adding on “Be safe, sane, and con-” Adam knew where this was heading, and left out the door before Hoffman could finish. 

Adam peaked his head back inside, “Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Adam was not prepared to pull up to Lawrence’s house. I knew the guy was rich, but fuck. This place is fuckin huge. He looked around the outside, noticing how clean cut the lawn and bushes were, nothing like his apartment.

Lawrence noticed Adam’s legs were shaking, as they did when he was nervous or in desperate need of a cigarette. The two are probably connected, Lawrence thought.

“I’m gonna stand outside and have a cigarette before I come in. Do you uh, have an ashtray anywhere?” Adam asked, pulling his pack and lighter out of his pocket, putting a cigarette between his lips.

Lawrence shook his head, “You can just put it out in the grass, just don't leave your cigarette butts on the ground. Here,” he took his coat off, slinging it over Adam’s shoulders, “it’s cold out, I’m going to go inside but you keep that on. I’m gonna be right inside the door, okay?” Adam nodded, pulling the jacket closer around him as Lawrence unlocked the door and went inside.

 

Adam sat on the doorstep for awhile, he smoked one cigarette and got his shaking to stop, then pulled out a half he had inside his pack and relit it. The second cigarette had finished a few minutes ago, but Adam still sat outside. 

Adam heard the door open, followed by Lawrence’s voice. “Are you alright?”

Adam stood up and turned around to face the other man, “Yeah, I was waiting for the smell to air out a little, y’know.”

“Come inside, Adam.” Lawrence held the door open for him, inviting him in. Adam walked in, Lawrence closing the door behind him and leading the way. Lawrence walked over to the couch, laying his cane across the coffee table and sitting down. “You can come sit down, Adam. Are you cold at all?”

“A little, but I’ll be fine. Your coat is really warm, it’s nice.” he answered, pulling the coat around himself tightly. 

“Don’t be silly. Here, let me get this,” Lawrence reached into the automan and pulled out a blanket with a cord attached at the end. Lawrence plugged it in beside him and turned it on, laying it over Adam and himself. “you shouldn’t have to wear a coat inside, Adam.”

“Thank you. How’s your leg doing?” 

“Oh, it is doing fine. It still hurts but it is healing nicely. I do not stand on it too often at work, but the time I do spend standing ends up causing me pain.” Lawrence explains.

“When do you take your prosthetic off?” 

“Usually when I go to bed for the night, using my cane without it is difficult at best, so it’s better if I do it when I’m not going to get up again.” He reached down, pulling his pant leg up. “Will you do me a favor, Adam?” A silent nod. “Will you sleep in my bed so I can sleep on the couch? I would actually like to take this off now, if you don’t mind.”

“I don’t wanna take your bed away from you, are you sure?” Adam asked, looking over at Lawrence.

“Absolutely,” Lawrence said, undoing the velcro of the strap on his prosthetic leg, pulling it off and setting it beside his cane. He leaned back onto the couch, stretching his arms out and putting them on top of the couch, his right arm behind Adam’s neck. Adam moved over closer to Lawrence, sliding himself under the heated blanket more. They watched what was on the television, some high drama show like Maury. Neither paid much attention to it. Eventually, it became clear Adam was tired, his head started falling and suddenly jolting back up, as if he was catching himself falling asleep.

“You can lean on me, Adam.” Lawrence said, wrapping his arm around Adam. Adam readjusted his body so that he would lay against Lawrence without hurting his own shoulder. Lawrence watched as his eyelids fluttered closed, then leaned towards him and gave him a kiss on his forehead. “Goodnight, Adam.”

 

When Lawrence wakes up the next morning he sees Adam still leaning against him, his head laid upon his right thigh. Lawrence leaned forward, careful not to disturb the younger man, grabbing the book he had on his coffee table. He held it in his left hand, letting his right hand rest on Adam’s shoulder, rubbing it gently.

 

He had finished a few chapters by the time Adam woke up, sitting up as Lawrence smiled at him.

“Good morning.”

“Morning. I didn’t realize I fell asleep, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pin you to the couch all night.” Adam stretched his arms out, cracking his knuckles and popping his locked elbows. “Where’s your bathroom?”

“There’s two down that hall,” Lawrence pointed, “you can go to whichever one you’d like.”

“Cool, thanks.” Adam got up and walked down the hall, going to the second one down the hall. He walked in and turned on the lamp next to the toilet. Just light enough to barely see, perfect. Adam thought, leaving the main overhead light off. He took off his shirt and splashed some cold water on his face, grabbing a towel and patting his face. He leaned in closer to the mirror, staring at himself in the mirror. 

All of a sudden, the door swung open. Adam jumped and turned to face the door, seeing Lawrence standing there. As soon as Lawrence saw Adam he closed the door.

“Oh shit, Adam I’m so sorry. I thought you were in the other bathroom, I’m sorry. I’m going to go wait in the kitchen.” 

Adam sighed, putting his shirt back on and opening the door, walking back down the hallway to the kitchen.

Lawrence was making a fresh pot of coffee, having not noticed Adam coming down the hall behind him.

“They’re scars from my top surgery.” Adam said, looking down. He didn’t know how Lawrence would react. Lawrence was a great guy, and never showed any signs of discomfort around Amanda, who’s a lesbian, but people often reacted to trans people differently, with much less acceptance.

“I know.” Lawrence replied. Adam looked up at him, confused. “I’m a surgeon, Adam. I’ve seen a few patients with gender affirmation surgery before. I’m bisexual, I have no problems with you being trans. If you want me to, I can forget I ever saw anything.” 

“Uh, no. I mean, it’s okay. I’m not particularly open about it, I don’t tell everyone I meet because I pass fairly well, but I don’t hide it if people ask. It’s not something I’m ashamed of,” Adam walked up next to Lawrence, “You’re bisexual?”

“Yes. Of course, I haven’t been with a man since before I met Alison.”

“Do you think you’ll look for another relationship after the divorce is finalized?” Adam said, emotionally preparing himself for the answer.

“Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe one day.” Lawrence looked over at him, smiling. “Do you want any coffee?”

 

“Did you bring a coat to wear? I’m working late tonight, since I am going in so late, so I won’t be able to give you a ride.” Lawrence said, eyes on the road in front of him. 

“Oh, no, I didn’t bring one. I’ll be alright, though. It’s not supposed to snow tonight.” Adam replied, exhaling his cigarette smoke out the rolled down window beside him.

“You can take mine with you, Adam. I have a short walk from the car to the hospital doors, you need it much more than I.” Lawrence reached in the back seat, pulling his coat from the middle seat and handing it to Adam.

“Thanks, Lawrence.” 

He put the coat on as soon as he got inside Blockbuster, not taking it off until he got into bed that night. He slept with it beside him, reminding him of Lawrence.

Chapter Text

Lawrence had officially moved out of his house, moving into an apartmen closer to the hospital he worked at.

He had sent Adam a message, explaining.

 

I’m hoping I can eventually have my leg be well enough that I can walk there.

thats a great goal

do u wanna come to a halloween party with me

 

Amanda had brought up the party earlier, saying that Jill, the woman that owns their particular Blockbuster, was throwing a party.

“Everyone’s gonna be in costumes so you can wear whatever. No need to dress up. You can bring Lawrence along, too, do matching couple costumes. Turn it into a big fruit party.” Amanda grinned at Adam. Adam clarified that they were not a couple, but that he  would ask if Lawrence wanted to go.

 

u wanna come to a halloween party w me?

our big boss is throwing it

I’d love to. When is it?

its on halloween

That sounds great, Alison will be dropping Diana off the following morning.

nice :) amanda and hoffman will b there too

can u pick me up from my apartment that day??

Of course.

 

So here Adam was, painting a shitty skull on his face with Amanda’s makeup. Realistically, he had only picked to go as a skeleton because then he could wear his skeleton pajamas.

 

I’m here.

one sec ill be right down

Take your time.

 

Lawrence sat in his car, fixing his sleeve. The shirt was a little smaller than he expected, the pants that he had found in one of his boxes were tighter than he remembered. They were fine around his legs, but they were very snug around his hips and pelvic area. Lawrence adjusted his necklace and made sure the gold cross was centered on his chest. 

“Hey,” Adam said, getting into the car and rolling down the window, Lawrence looking at him, “you look nice, much more fancy than I do. Had I known you were going as a priest I would’ve gone as a slutty nun.” Adam smiled at Lawrence, putting a cigarette between his painted lips.

Lawrence beamed back at him, “I would’ve loved to have seen that, but I think you look good, Adam.” Adam wondered if that first part had any dual meaning behind it. If it just would’ve been funny for Lawrence or if he would’ve been turned on by it.

 

They arrived at the party and Adam was already overstimulated, there were people everywhere, the makeup on his face felt thick and suffocating, and even worse his body was cold, but his anxiety made him feel hot.

“Are you okay, Adam?” Lawrence leaned closer to him, asking quietly.

“Yeah, I’m just overwhelmed. I’ll be okay. Do you wanna go inside and get a drink?” Adam asked him, pointing at the door. Lawrence nodded and grabbed Adam’s hand in his own, rubbing small circles with his thumb.

They headed inside, walking over the the bartender and ordering one long island iced tea, for Adam, and one whiskey on the rocks, for Lawrence.

“I knew you’d be a whiskey guy.” Adam said, grinning at Lawrence.

He looks like he isn’t freaking out anymore, Lawrence thought. “How’d you figure that?”

“You’re classy, you have your life together. You’re a respectable man. You chose the right costume.” And your ass looks nice in it, Adam thought. “Let’s go find Mark and Mandy.” Adam jumped up and put a ten dollar bill on the bar counter, Lawrence putting down a twenty.

After a minute of looking around, Adam spotted Amanda over in the corner, talking to Art, a pissed off look on her face. Adam walked over, hugging Amanda, who was dressed up as a cat. Well, she was in her usual kind of outfit with a pair of cat ears on her head.

Art turned his attention towards Lawrence, “What are you, Catholic guilt?” 

Lawrence looked stunned, “Excuse y-”

Art then turned his attention towards Adam, “You didn’t have to put on that costume, Adam. You’re so skinny and pale you would’ve passed for a skeleton without it.”

“You need to leave us alone.” Lawrence said, walking closer to Art, glaring down into his eyes. “Get out.”

Art scoffed at him before turning around and leaving, cutting through the crowd.

Lawrence stepped back near Adam, wrapping his arm around his waste and pulling him closer to whisper in his ear “You and Amanda were right, he is an ass. Don’t listen to him, you’re perfect the way you are.”

Adam took another sip of his drink, thankful that his makeup would hide the redness of his face. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say ass before, Lawrence.” Adam smiled at him, keeping his drink near his lips.

 

After that drink, Adam orders another one, and another one. Lawrence cuts him off when he notices him tripping over his own feet and slurring his words together. Lawrence is sitting down at a nearby table when Adam suddenly crouches down beside him.

“Ohhh, fuck. Larryyou have to hide me.” Adam says while squatting down and walking under the table to the other side of Lawrence, stuck between him and the wall.

“Adam, what’s wrong? Who do you need hidden from?” Lawrence answers, trying to talk quietly but still wanting to be heard over the music.

“Scott’s here,” He peeks up from under the table, looking at Scott from across the room. “He’s talkin to someone but I don’t wan him to see me.”

“Who is he?” Lawrence says, looking over to try and spot who Adam is looking at.

Adam’s face sours, frowning as he thinks of how to word it “Member the two minute hookup?”

Lawrence nods, “From the rager?” he replies.

“Hah, not really a rager. It was that shiddy gay bar downtown, he took me to the bathroom and got off then left.” Adam went back under the table, leaning against the wall.

Lawrence sighed, “He fucked you in the bar bathroom?” Lawrence hadn’t had enough to drink to be out of control, or even tipsy, but he certainly couldn’t help but picture Adam in the bathroom, bent over, letting someone pound into him. Letting me pound into him.

“Not my best moment, huh?” Adam smiled up at him from the floor. He’s so hot in that priest outfit, his ass looks so fucking good in those pants, does he even know what he’s doing to me?

Amanda walked over, looking at Lawrence then looking around for Adam. “Where’s Adam at?” Lawrence pointed down at the spot where Adam was hiding. “Adam? What are you doing?”

“Scott’s here, I don’t wanna talk to him.”

“Fuck, Adam, you’re drunk. It’s only like ten PM, dude.” Amanda sighed, sitting in the chair next to Adam and opposite of Lawrence. “Where’s Hoffman at?”

“Probably with his boytoy.” Adam says, pulling out his phone.

 

mark where ru

marky

What

wherer u we muss u

I’m with someone
Who’s we?

mandy larry n me

come hang out i 

wnna see u b4 we go

You’re leaving already?

itsto loud

Are you drunk?

nooo i ony had 3 drinks

hppy halloween mqrk :D

Happy Halloween Adam

I’ll see you tomorrow bright and early

 

“I’m ready togo, I need a cigarette,” said Adam as he put his head on Amanda’s lap.

“Alright, let’s get up then.” Amanda reached for Adam’s hands as Adam lifted his head up, pulling to help him stand up. “Lawrence, can you take us home, please?”

“Of course,” he said, picking up his cane and standing up.

“Noooo, I wanna go home with Lawrence. He has a headed blanket,” Adam responded.

Amanda and Lawrence looked at each other.

“That’s alright with me if you’re alright with it, Amanda.” Lawrence said.

“Yeah, just take care of him,” she responded.

“Absolutely.”

“I’ll catch a ride with Hoffman then, okay? I’m gonna help you into the car, Adam.”

“Thank you, Amanda.” Lawrence replied with a relieved look on his face.

 

The car ride home was quiet, Amanda put the seat slightly back for Adam, so there he laid.

 

When they got back to Lawrence’s apartment Adam sat down on the bench outside to smoke another cigarette. Lawrence leaned against the apartment complex, looking at him from behind.

“Are you okay, Adam?” Lawrence asked, stealing a glance at him.
“Mm… yeah.”

“Are you sure? You can always talk to me if you need to.”

“I’m nothing,” Adam was talking just above a whisper, Lawrence could hardly hear him.

“Adam…” Lawrence whispered, “Adam you’re not nothing. You’re so important your friends, Adam. You’re important to me .” Adam turned his head to look at Lawrence at that. 

“I made you take me home like a starving puppy.”

“Adam.” Lawrence sat down on the bench next to him as Adam turned to look at him. “Adam, listen to me,” Lawrence touched his forehead to Adam’s, “You are here because I want you to be. If I didn’t want you here I would have told Amanda that you needed to go home to your apartment.”

“Okay.” Adam responded, his eyes closed.

“Let’s go inside.” Lawrence got up from the bench 

 

Adam had sobered up a little, but Lawrence was still worried about him. He told Adam to go wash his face and lay down in his bed, which he complied with. 

“Are you feeling a little better?” Lawrence asked, sitting down on the edge of the bed near where Adam was laying.  Adam nodded. “That’s good. You should go to sleep, Adam.” Lawrence went to stand up before Adam reached out, grabbing his hand.

“Don’t leave me. Please, don’t leave me.” Adam scooted over in the bed, pulling Lawrence’s arm toward him. 

“I won’t leave you.” Lawrence sat back down before getting into his bed, beside Adam, who was under the covers.

“Will you hold me?” Adam asked quietly. Lawrence nodded and got under the covers, moving closer to Adam, who turned on his side so that he could rest his hand and head on Lawrence’s chest, Lawrence wrapping his arm around Adam to hold him closer to himself. 

Adam fell asleep first, worn out and tired from drinking and being upset. Lawrence knew Adam always thought more than he talked, if he opened up about his worries to Lawrence that meant he had been struggling for a decent amount of time before saying anything. Lawrence moved his other hand up to cup Adam’s cheek. Lawrence closed his eyes and fell asleep as well.

Chapter Text

Lawrence wakes up to a phone call from Alison. He groans as he picks up his phone, putting it on speakerphone.

“Hello?” he asked.

“Lawrence? Did you just wake up?” It’s Alison.

“I had a late night.”

“Right. I’m going to be at your apartment in less than ten minutes. I’d like to be able to drop Diana off at the door and go.” she said, an irritated tone in her voice.

“Of course, I’ll be waiting in the living room.”

Alison hangs up and Lawrence realizes she doesn’t know what apartment number he’s in.

 

My apartment number is 105. It’s on the first floor.

Since when do you text?

 

He ignored that last message, getting up to make himself some coffee and sit in the living room until Alison is there. He first had to change his clothes, he had taken off the priest costume last night and just wore his undershirt and the tight pants. He changed into a white button up and a pair of jeans. He walked by the bathroom, noticing that the lights were on and the shower was running. He had almost forgotten that Adam was still there. He continued down the hall and made sure Diana’s bedroom was ready for her. Then, he walked into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee. 

He heard a knock on the door and walked over, unlocking the door and hesitating for a moment before opening it. Alison nor Diana had seen his apartment yet and he was hoping that it wasn’t disappointing. 

Finally, he opened the door. Diana ran in and hugged him immediately, yelling out a “Dad!”

Lawrence beamed a smile down at her before crouching down and giving her a big hug.

“It’s great to see you, honey. Will you let mom and dad talk alone for a minute? You can go look around the apartment, your room is down the hall on the left.” He let go of her, smiling at her still, but he had noticed the negative look on Alison’s face.

“Okay!” Diana said, already running off to go look at her bedroom.

“Good to see you, Alison. Is something wrong?” He moved his hand to invite her in but she stood still in the doorway.

“Who’s in the shower?”

“That’s a friend of mine. We went to a Halloween party last night and they were too drunk to drive home so I let them sleep on my couch.”

“Really?” Alison leaned her head in the doorway, looking at the couch, “There’s no blankets or pillows on the couch, it still looks brand new actually.”

“I cleaned up before Diana got here, of course.”

Adam walked out of the bathroom with a towel around his waist, heading straight across the hall to Lawrence’s bedroom.

“Is that the kid from the video store? Lawrence-” she said before Lawrence cut her off.

“It was good seeing you. I will drop Diana back off at the house at 11AM tomorrow, like we agreed.”

“Fine.” Alison said, turning and leaving down the hall back to the apartment complex’s main doors.

 

Adam laid down in Lawrence’s room on his bed, letting his thoughts run wild. Alison definitely saw me, did Diana? What if she thinks I’m some weird man walking around naked near her daughter? She’s gonna think I’m a creep just because I’m too stupid to remember to take my clothes into the bathroom with me. I didn’t realize she’d be here so early, now she saw me without my shirt on and I’m gonna have to talk to her and act like I don’t have romantic feelings for her father. What if she can tell? What if she tells Alison? Jesus I’m fucked I’m so fucked,

 

Lawrence knocked on the door to his bedroom, where Adam was, before opening the door and walking inside.

“Adam? Hey, are you okay?” Lawrence sat down on the bed next to him, putting his hand on the other man’s thigh, hoping to calm some of his shakes.

Adam sat up and looked down, seeing how badly he was being physically affected by these thoughts. “I’m okay, I just need a cigarette.” Lawrence nodded in response. “I’m sorry about last night.”

“It’s okay, it was nice to see you enjoy yourself. I’m sorry the end of the night didn’t go so well. I had a great time with you there, but I think next time I would like to do something with just the two of us. Somewhere less crowded as well.”

Adam let a little smile creep across his face, turning his head to look at Lawrence, “I think I’d like that.”

“We could go to dinner tomorrow night,” Lawrence suggested.

“That sounds nice, do you have a specific place in mind?”

“I do, actually. I want it to be a surprise, if that’s alright with you.”

“Do I have to dress up?”

“Hm… Something more business than a band shirt and those pants you and Amanda wear, that’s for sure.” Lawrence smiled at Adam, who in turn elbowed him in the side.

 

Lawrence walked into Diana’s room, knocking on her door before entering the room. “Hey, sweetie. I have to take my friend to work so that means you have to come ride with in the car, okay?”

“Okay!” Diana jumped up off her bed and ran out to the living room, putting her shoes on.

Adam walked out into the living room, following Lawrence.

“Diana, this is Adam. Adam, this is my daughter, Diana.” 

“Hi, Adam!” Diana said, waving her hand back and forth at him.

“Hi Diana, it’s nice to meet you. Your dad sure talks about you a lot.”

 

They went outside and got inside Lawrence’s car, Diana in the back seat of course.

 

“Do you work at the video store, Adam?” Diana spoke up from the back seat.

“I do.” Adam replied, reaching his hand up to scratch nervously at his arm. Lawrence reached over and grabbed his hand, squeezing it.

“Is it fun?”

“The people I work with are fun. I work with my best friends.” 

Diana hummed in the back seat, looking out the window.

 

They arrived at Adam’s work and dropped him off, Diana waving at him as Lawrence and her drove away.

“Adam is nice.” Diana said, waving goodbye to him.

“He’s very shy, but he’s a close friend of mine.” Lawrence replied.

 

“Hey, Adam. You wanna go sort DVDs in the office?” Hoffman said, walking closer to Adam, changing his voice to a low whisper “I figured you wouldn’t wanna deal with customers after the night you had. Amanda told me.”

“Yeah, I appreciate that, thanks.” Adam replied, heading to the office.

 

new copy of coraline came in

That’s great, even though it has been way over two weeks. Are you holding up okay?

yeah, hoffman has me sorting dvds in the office so i dont have to deal with customers

I’m glad you are being taken care of. Diana said you were nice.

and you told her that im actually a sarcastic asshole

I told her you’re a close friend of mine.

 

Friend, Adam thought. Yeah, just a friend.

 

ur bestie even? :)

Yes, Adam. 

 

His heart raced as he read that.

 

My doctor cleared me for surgery a few days ago. I haven’t told Angel of Mercy West yet.

why not?

I’ve been enjoying having a set schedule. I’m looking forward to going back to surgery, but I’m not looking forward to the sixteen hour days or the occasional day spent on call.

can they make you do that

Yes, and they quite often do.

fuck :( 

Again, I haven’t told them I can come back yet. 

idk what ill do without my new bestie

It’ll be okay, Adam. I’ll still see you plenty. I promise. :-)

 

Adam’s heart melted when he saw the little emoticon at the end of Lawrence’s text. He even put a little nose. 

 

I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night, Adam. Do you want me to pick you up at your apartment?

yes pls

im excited too :-)

What time would work for you?

um anytime honestly

i dont work tomorrow

Does 6PM work? 

yea

I’ll put our reservation in for then. I’ll come pick you up at 5:30. Please be ready then.

will do, larry

 

Adam’s shift goes by quickly, he spends it all just sorting DVDs and twiddling his thumbs. Today is one of the few days that Lawrence gets to spend with Diana so Adam tries not to bother him too much.

 

After work Adam goes to the grocery store to see what they have in terms of nice, cheap clothes. He ends up finding a white button up shirt and a pair of non-ripped black pants, adding a red tie to it to make it seem dressed up, although he will probably wear it loose to add some personal style.

 

Adam spends the next day getting ready, both physically and mentally. He starts it off with a nice wake and bake, as always, messaging Lawrence that hes excited about tonight.

 

im so excited 4 dinner w u :-)

 

He had started using the nose emoticon once he had seen Lawrence do it.

 

I’m very excited for dinner as well, Adam.

how was ur visit with diana?

It went well. I miss her already.

im sorry :( do u get any holidays w her?

like thanksgiving

Yes, actually. I get her around lunchtime on Thanksgiving and then on Christmas Eve I have her all day.

thats great!

It is.

what ru doing now

 

Adam thought it would be a good time as ever to jerk off, since he had to shower before dinner anyway. He reached his hand into his boxers, starting to rub himself. This is no different than jerking off while scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, he thought. 

 

I’m just about to get into the shower, actually. I have an errand to run before our dinner.

o im gonna shower soon too

 

Lawrence in the shower… his thoughts wandered to when he woke up yesteryday morning, having had laid on Lawrence’s chest, just an undershirt covering him. His hairy chest, his soft stomach, his muscular arms that feel so good wrapped around me, how he touches my thighs to calm me down. He looked so fucking good in that priest outfit.

 

You should go do that.

i will soon

 

Fuck, that priest costume. Those tight pants and the way they were tight across his ass, getting tighter across his bulge when he had his first drink. How he could see every movement that was made in his pants when Adam was on the ground under the table.

 

Why not now?

im busy

What are you doing?

 

Fuck, Lawrence. Can’t a man jerk off to the thought of you in peace? I expected you to have dropped the conversation.

 

getting ready for dinner

I see.

 

Adam thought about him more. He’d tell me not to hide my moans, tell me to let it all out while I imagined him there with me, kissing me and feeling me up. With that, he came, his vision whiting out.

 

shower time

ill see u at 5:30 sharp

I’ll see you soon, Adam.

 

Adam had gotten out of the shower, making sure his face was freshly shaven and that he looked mildly-well-groomed. He put on his clothes, tucking his shirt into his pants, and decided against wearing his tie. Adam checked his phone to look at the time. 5:20. He figured he had time to have a cigarette before Lawrence was there.

He walked down all three flights of stairs before walking out the front door of the apartment, pulling out a cigarette and putting it in between his lips. He lit the cigarette, taking a deep inhale, before spotting a familiar car.

He walked up to said car, opening the door and sitting down, leaving the door open. He looked over at Lawrence, smiling. “You’re early.”

Lawrence smiled back at him, “Better to be early than to be late. Go ahead and shut your door and I’ll roll the window down.” Lawrence continued, starting the car.

“Yes, sir,” Adam said, shutting the car door and taking another puff from his cigarette.

 

Adam knew that they were going somewhere classier than McDonald’s, but he wasn’t prepared to be going somewhere like this. This place is fuckin’ fancy. I can’t even pronounce the fancy ass name in - what is it? French? Italian? Who knows.

“I don’t think I can afford to eat at a place like this, Lawrence.”

“I’m paying, Adam.” Adam looked over at him, shocked. “I asked you to dinner, I assumed that you knew that meant I would be paying.”

“You don’t have to do that, I’m fine with going somewhere else.”

“No, we’re eating here, and I’m paying for you. That’s final.” Lawrence said, getting out of the car and walking over to Adam’s side, opening the door for him and holding his arm out for Adam to hook his own arm around.

“Thank you for this.” Adam said, wrapping his arm around Lawrence’s.

 

They got seated immediately, what with the reservation and all. The place was even fancier inside than it was on the outside. Only five tables per room, each with their own candlelights in the center, the low lighting and classical music playing in the background. Adam had never been somewhere this nice before. There wasn’t even anything on the menu under thirty dollars, an amount that he could stretch out for groceries for several weeks.

Lawrence could tell Adam was looking at the menu to find whatever was cheapest. “Please, get whatever you want, Adam. Don’t worry about the cost, just get what sounds good.” 

Adam put down his menu, leaning forward across the table towards Lawrence. “You don’t have to do this Lawrence, it’s not too late to turn around and go to Olive Garden or Texas Roadhouse or some shit.”

“Adam, I’m telling you, I wanted to take you here. Please order whatever you’d like.” Lawrence turned the menu over, looking at the drinks. “Do you want any wine?”

Adam looked at the menu again, “Only if you want some.”

 

When the waiter came over Lawrence ordered two glasses of their finest red wine in addition to their food.

 

“So, Adam. There was something that I wanted to talk to you about.” Lawrence said, taking a sip of his wine.

“Is everything alright?” Adam asked, downing the remaining half of his glass of wine.

“Yes, everything is fine. I was wondering if you would want to come over for Thanksgiving with Diana and I. It’s the first Thanksgiving since Alison and I split up and I just… I could use some company.” Lawrence explained.

“Oh. Would Diana be okay with that?” Lawrence nodded in response, “Sure, that sounds good. What were you planning on doing?”

“Well, I have her around lunchtime so I was planning on making a light version of a normal Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, stuffing, green beans, the usual.” 

“That sounds great, Lawrence. I’ll come, as long as you don’t feel like I’m intruding.” 

“Of course I don’t feel that way, I wouldn’t have invited you along if I had felt like you were intruding. I consider you part of my family, Adam.” Lawrence smiled at him.

“That means a lot to me, Lawrence.” 

“Do you have any other plans for Thanksgiving?” Lawrence asked. Adam shook his head. “No family to visit?” Adam shook his head again.

“Normally I hang out with Amanda and Hoffman, since the store is closed on Thanksgiving. I think they’re each doing their own thing this year, though.” Adam paused for a second before adding on, “I haven’t seen my family in years.” He knew Lawrence would ask.

“I’m sorry, Adam. It was not my intention to bring up a sensitive subject.”

“It’s okay, it’s not really a sensitive subject. They disagree with how I choose to live my life, so I cut them off.” Adam went to take another sip, forgetting his glass was empty. 

Lawrence waved down their waiter and requested another glass for Adam. When the waiter had brought back his wine he spoke again.

“Have you talked to them since you got sober?” 

“No.” Adam replied shortly.

“Have you thought about it?” Lawrence asked, to which Adam shrugged. Lawrence decided to drop the subject and go back to what he originally wanted to ask. “Well, since you don’t have anything else to do on Thanksgiving, would you want to spend the day with me at my apartment?”

“Oh, that’d be great. Do you have any plans for black friday?”

“Ah, no. I usually don’t participate in black friday.”

Adam nodded, “Me neither. I don’t work either, I’m lucky enough to get two whole days off that week.” Only because Hoffman knows I struggle with the holidays.

“Would you like to spend the night at my apartment then?” Lawrence asked, looking at Adam awaiting his reply.

There was something different about this time. Normally they stayed the night at each other’s home because one was drunk, or because Lawrence didn’t want Adam walking to the subway in the snow, but this wasn’t like that. This was Lawrence asked because he wanted Adam to stay over, not because it made more sense than the alternative.

 Adam snapped himself out of the dark tunnel of overthinking he was headed down.

“Yeah, that sounds good.” He said, calling over the waiter for another glass of wine.

 

Dinner was good, great even, but Adam felt like he owed Lawrence for it. The place was expensive and way more high class than anywhere Adam has ever been before. When they got into the car Adam brought up the subject, starting with a joke.

“Hey, Lawrence?”

Lawrence makes a little “Hm?” in response, putting his seat belt on then rolling down the window for Adam.

“I just thought of something,” Adam said, pulling his cigarettes out of the cup holder in Lawrence’s car, taking one out and putting it in between his lips. Lawrence reached for the cigarette lighter and held it up to Adam’s cigarette, a movement that was familiar by now. He inhaled the smoke and exhaled it a second later, continuing what he was saying, “The people in the restaurant probably thought you were my sugar daddy. Or that you were buying my ‘services’ or something.”

Lawrence’s face had a red tint to it now, he put down the lighter in his door and tried to hide the stunned look on his face, paying attention instead to starting the car, “What?”

“Yeah, man. I mean look at you and then look at me. It’s clear I’ve never been somewhere like that before, so when a grungy rat comes in with a nice silver fox you kind of take note.” Adam explained.

“A silver fox?” Lawrence started driving, heading towards Adam’s apartment complex.

“Yeah, you know.” Adam looked over at Lawrence, who had a confused look on his face. “Look it up when you get home, please.” 

“How do I look that up?” 

Adam let out a groan, “You have a computer, just go to urbandictionary.com and search it up.” 

Lawrence nodded, “I don’t know about the - the buying your services, however. I hope it did not appear to others that way.”

“It’s that or they thought we were dating. When do two men go out and have one of them pay for the whole meal? No straight man would accept another straight man paying for him.” Adam said, flicking his cigarette butt out the window and pulling out another one.

“That is preferable. You smoke a lot when you drink, Adam.” He kept the lighter over by him, hoping to talk Adam out of another cigarette.

“I smoke a lot anyway, Lawrence. Hand me the lighter.” He reached his hand over, waiting expectedly.

“Have you ever thought about quitting?” Lawrence didn’t move his hand to get the lighter.

“No. Lighter please?” Adam opened and closed his hand a few times for emphasis.

Lawrence sighed, handing over the lighter to Adam. “Would you ever consider quitting?”

“Probably not.”

Lawrence made a dissatisfied sound and continued driving, leaving Adam to look at the window and get lost in his thoughts.

 

They got to Adam’s apartment fine, no more of Adam’s nicotine and tobacco addiction was spoken about. Lawrence put the car in park and sat, waiting for Adam to say goodbye. Adam stayed sat in the car, not wanting to leave yet.

“Can I smoke one more cigarette before I go in? It’s warmer in your car than it is in my apartment.” Adam asked, reaching for his pack. 

Lawrence thought for a moment, contemplating whether the few more minutes with Adam was worth the damage to his health. He will smoke the cigarette anyway, just enjoy his company. 

“Of course.” Lawrence took this as an opportunity to lean back his seat a bit, laying back and closing his eyes, listening to Adam inhale and exhale the smoke.

Adam had finished his cigarette when he next spoke.

“Thank you for being my friend, Lawrence.”

Lawrence turned and smiled at him, thinking about the next time he would see him.

Chapter Text

It had been almost two weeks since they had dinner together, Lawrence decided to go back to surgery, still spending most of his time in oncology until he got back into the groove of things. This meant that their communication had come to quite a standstill, they no longer talked everyday, there were sporadic messages sent once every few days about unimportant subjects. Neither man could use each other as distractions anymore.

Adam had become more and more depressed as winter grew closer. He had depression year-round, of course, but it got a lot worse in the winter, due to the holidays and extreme cold weather. This meant he would wake up, get stoned, go to work, come home, get stoned, and lay in bed until he passed out.

Was this healthy? No. 

Was it the only thing keeping him alive? Pretty much.

One night in particular Adam was having a horrible time. He managed to fall asleep but couldn’t stay asleep, so he decided to head out to the bar. Same bar he got railed in.

He threw on favorite band shirt and skinny jeans, pulling a flannel over it. That’s good enough, I’ll probably lose it by the end of the night anyway, he thought.

He started walking downtown, smoking one cigarette after another until he got there.

The rest of the night was a blur. Flirting with random guys, never going anywhere with them, but getting tons of free drinks from it. He lost count of how many drinks he had after it hit double digits.

After a particularly handsy guy decided he wouldn’t take no for an answer, Adam decided that he needed to get out of there now. He stumbled out of the bar, pulling his cigarettes out of his pocket and struggling to put one in his mouth. His hands were shaking. 

He let his thoughts wander on his way home, thinking of how Lawrence was doing, if he was sleeping right now (which he probably was), and he thought of Amanda, how her and Lynn were doing. He thought about Hoffman as well, how much he appreciated him and how he loved all his friends.

He somehow made his way up to his apartment, unlocking the door after fumbling for a bit and practically falling into his bed. He spotted Lawrence’s coat near his bedside, remembering how he let him use it several weeks ago. He picked it up and laid it over his chest and up until his nose. It still had a small hint of Lawrence to it.

I should message him. I should tell him how much I miss him.

He pulled out his phone, opening his last message to Lawrence and writing a new one. 

 

fucl larry

i miss you os much

how dru doing

i mgiss you

the guys at the bar were cso handsy tonight

youre so respectful an qd nice ot me

im so excwited fuor thanksgiving

thank wyou fdor inviting me intro ur family

minehate me

i hate them oto

i wuish u wre ohere so gu could hold me

you lkoo so good in the morniwng

the lgiht hist ur hair and makes the silvber shine

you make xme like

not hat e being alive

did u eve r look uep what a silvrr fox is

that wqas mandy n is nickanme for u

buefore we knrw ur name

u dnot know how mcuch u mean 2me

plz remmber tht

 

Adam ended up falling asleep after he sent that last one, not remembering to plug his phone in when he got into bed.

 

Lawrence woke up to his alarm telling him to get up for work. He shut his alarm off and checked his phone, seeing he had several missed text messages from Adam. He smiled, but when he opened them his smile dropped. He had never had Adam text him like this, normally he texted very carelessly, using abbreviations, but this was more than that. Adam had messaged him when he was tipsy, but not like this. He’s never so open about his emotions like this, Lawrence thought, I wonder if he’s okay. Lawrence sent a message to him.

 

Adam are you okay?

 

He sent another one a minute later.

 

Adam??

 

He knew he was most likely still sleeping at home, but he had an unshakeable worry that Adam had passed out somewhere, like the bar, or on the street on the way back to his house.

 

Please message me when you wake up.

 

Lawrence looked at the clock, 5AM. His work isn’t open yet. He got up and got ready, deciding to drive past the bar and back to Adam’s apartment complex before work.

He wasn’t to be found, of course. This made Lawrence worry even more, even though he knew he should be relieved.

 

The work day was dragging on, it was now almost noon and Lawrence could focus on nothing but Adam and if he was okay. He only had oncology consultations that morning, which was even worse because between appointments he could dwell on his fears. He pulled out his phone and texted again.

 

Adam, I'm very worried about you. You’re usually awake by now. We don’t need to talk about last night, I just need to know you’re okay.

 

A thought crossed Lawrence’s mind. Maybe he’s awake already and he’s just ignoring you because he’s embarrassed. Lawrence pulled up the browser on his computer, looking up the number for Blockbuster. He punched it into his phone at record speed and pressed ‘dial’. He sat for a minute before someone picked up.

“Blockbuster, this is Mark speaking.”

“Mark, thank god, this is Lawrence Gordon. Is Adam there?”

“Good morning, doctor Gordon. Adam isn’t scheduled to come in yet, is everything okay?” 

“He messaged me a lot last night and I didn’t see it until this morning, but he seemed to be extremely drunk and he sent some concerning messages. I’ve messaged him but he hasn’t responded.” Lawrence explained. 

There was a beat before Hoffman spoke again.

“What kind of concerning texts?”

“He said that he hated being alive and that he was thankful that I was nice to him and that he wanted me to remember that I mean a lot to him.”

Hoffman let out a sigh that he had been holding in, “He’s okay. I don’t know what’s going on exactly but he’s okay. He gets like that when he’s off-his-shit drunk. I don’t want to spread his business around but his mental state gets worse around the holidays. I’ll talk to him when he comes in to be sure he’s okay, but it sounds like he just got drunk and reached out. That’s good.” 

Lawrence thought for a second, taking in what he just learned, “That is good, I suppose. Thank you, Mark.”

“Anytime, Lawrence.” He said as he hung up.

 

Adam jolted awake in bed, immediately regretting moving so quickly when he felt his head throb with pain. He looked at his clock, groaning when he saw it was fifteen past noon. His shift started at three, meaning he still had a bit of time before he needed to get ready. He sat up slowly, reaching for his pack of cigarettes and lighter that he kept on his windowsill. He lit his cigarette and nearly choked when he saw his phone light up, showing he just received a text message from Lawrence, along with the four other ones he evidently missed.

 

So help me God, Adam. I’m about to drive over and bang on your door until you either get up or I’m sure you’re dead. 

srry i just woke up, im ok

 

Adam went back and read through the other messages from Lawrence, getting to the messages he sent last night. 

Jesus fuck. He didn’t know which was worse, telling Lawrence that he called him a silver fox behind his back with Amanda, or basically professing his love for him. Definitely the last one, Adam thought.

 

Thank god. Are you alright?

i think i drank to much last night

im really sorry about that

Do you want to talk about it?

 

Adam thought for a second, thinking of all the ways this could play out. I could tell Lawrence I like him, which could lead to him being disgusted and cutting me off. I could tell him I was thinking about him because I miss him, which would just be awkward. I could tell him that I was just drunk and lonely.

 

i was just really drunk and lonely

i do miss seeing you

youre the only bit of human contact i have besides amanda

i mean hoffman too but he isnt touchy feely yknow

im sorry i bothered you

You can always message me, Adam. I miss seeing you as well. Work has been extremely busy. I get home most nights and have a glass of whiskey then go to bed immediately. I’m sorry, I should’ve messaged you.

you arent responsible for keeping me company, larry

I know that, but you are my closest friend and I’m here for you.

haha youre so sappy

I thought you might have been dead, Adam.

 

Guilt pinged Adam’s heart, it felt like he was being ripped apart piece by piece. He didn’t want to make Lawrence worry, but he ended up getting out of control. Just like he used to.

 

im really sorry

Come over after work. Please. 

when do u get off?

I’m not quite sure yet. I can leave my key with the woman at the front desk of Angel Mercy. Just come in and tell them you’re here for Lawrence Gordon’s key and tell them your name. Bring in your ID as well.

hey wait are u sure u wanna do that

Yes. Can you get a ride from Hoffman?

probably. howd u know he works today

I called your work when you weren’t answering. 

oh

are u sure u want me to come over tonight?

I’ve never been so sure of anything.

Unless you don’t want to, of course.

i do want to

id appreciate the company

not like sexual company but like intimacy

not sexual intimacy

fuck i mean like physical or emotional intimacy

I understand what you mean, Adam. 

I won’t be home any later than 10:30. I’m not sure what I have in the fridge but help yourself to anything that’s there. Make yourself at home, please.

okay. i’ll see you then larry

 

Adam smoked a bowl before going to work, grabbing his pen for the stressful day that would be ahead.

 

When he got to work, Hoffman asked if he would come into his office with him.

“Lawrence called me today.”

“I know.” Adam replied, leaning back against the closed door.

“Are you doing okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure?”

“I don’t wanna bother you.” Adam replied.

“You know you wouldn’t be bothering me. Sit.” Hoffman gestured to his office chair, choosing to instead sit in the shitty chair that was only used when someone got in trouble.

“I don’t know. You know how I get in the fall and winter.” Hoffman nodded “I keep expecting things to get better, for it to get easier, but it doesn’t. I have to wake up and choose to stay clean everyday. I fucking hate it. I want to leave it behind already but I can’t. I want to move on, I want to… I want to be able to have relationships without worrying about it. Everything else just makes it so much worse. My body aches when I wake up and it takes everything I have to get out of bed.”

“I’m very proud of you Adam, as are Amanda and Lawrence. It’s only been a year, it’s certainly something to be proud of, but as the years go on it will get easier. It’ll always be there, but it won’t be as prevalent. Things will get better soon, they always do. You always make it through.” Hoffman said with a softness to his voice.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have all of you rooting for me, but it’s a lot of pressure. Like if I fuck up I’ll be letting so many people down.”

“Progress isn’t linear, Adam. It’s important for you to be clean but shit happens, just think of the reasons that you want to be clean for you. Think of how you felt the last time - when you were in the hospital. Do you want to feel like that again?”

“Sometimes I feel like I certainly deserve it.”

“That’s just not true. You deserve to get better. Everyone does.”

Adam sighed and slumped in the chair, “I know. It’s hard sometimes. There’s so much on my mind.”

“What else?”

Adam took a deep breath, slowly letting it out. “I think I’m in love with Lawrence.”

Hoffman looked unsurprised, turning his head and asking, “How does that make you feel?”

“Terrified. I don’t want him to hate me. If by some magical chance we did get together I wouldn’t want his daughter or wife to hate me.

“Does he like men?” Hoffman asks, to which Adam nods, “Adam. I can tell he likes you a whole lot. More than any straight man likes another man. I saw him at the Halloween party and how he looked at you, I heard how scared he was when he called me.” Adam cringed at that, remembering how much he hurt Lawrence by making him worry. “I think you should talk to him about it.”

“Maybe. Will you give me a ride tonight?”

“Maybe, you going to see him?”

“Yeah, I need to stop by the hospital he works at to get his house key. I’ll be there before him.” 

Hoffman raised an eyebrow at him. “You’re going to talk to him about it tonight then?”

“Maybe,” Adam responded, pulling out his pack of cigarettes and giving one to Hoffman before grabbing his own, “let’s go smoke.”

 

What’s your last name?

faulkner-stanheight

why?

You have two last names?

yes, why?

The front desk needs it, otherwise any guy named Adam could come in and take my keys.

makes sense

Please stay up long enough to let me into the apartment.

of course

 

Adam couldn’t remember what happened at work if his life depended on it. He remembered his talk with Hoffman, but everything after that wasn’t important enough to be retained. He could remember walking into the hospital and receiving the key, and then the next thing he knew they were outside of Lawrence’s apartment building. He and Hoffman sat in the latter’s car, passing one of Hoffman’s joints between each other. When it reached the halfway point, Hoffman snuffed it out and handed it to Adam.

“Save it for later.”

“Thanks, man. Thank you for the ride, too.” Adam shoved the half joint into his pack of cigarettes for later. 

“Anytime. Take care of yourself, Adam.”

“You too, Mark.”

 

Adam headed inside, walking to the apartment door and hesitating before unlocking it. It was strange to be here without Lawrence. Adam sat down on the couch, grabbing the blanket that was always left folded on it, and turned on the television. He sat watching whatever was already on for about an hour before he got a message.

 

Headed home. It’ll be about ten minutes. 

ok im on the couch so just text when you’re here

 

About fifteen minutes went by before Adam got the next message, stating Lawrence was at the door. Adam got up off the couch, a little wobbly from his earlier high, and went to the door, unlocking it for Lawrence. As soon as the door opened Lawrence had his arms tight around Adam, burying his face into the smaller man’s neck. Adam wrapped his arms around him, holding him close. They stood like that for a moment before either said anything.

Lawrence let go of Adam, before turning and walking over to the kitchen. “I’m gonna pour myself a drink before bed, do you want any water?”

“Uh, no, I’m okay.” Adam replied, acting like he hadn’t seen the various empty liquor bottles in the kitchen.

“How have you been?” Lawrence asked, grabbing a glass out of the cabinet and pouring himself a large glass of whiskey. The ‘besides last night’ did not need to be said.

“I’ve been okay… How have you been?”

“Like I said, busy. I have some emails to respond to, so I’ll be in my office.” Lawrence grabbed his drink and turned to walk away.

“Um, okay.” Adam said, confused about why Lawrence invited him over in the first place.

Adam went to the bed, only then realizing that he hadn’t brought any pajamas with him and he didn’t want to sleep in his work clothes. He decided to go ask Lawrence about borrowing a shirt. Adam walked to the room where Lawrence’s office was, knocking on the door.

“Hey, Lawrence?”

“Come on in.” Adam opened the door to see Lawrence sitting in his office chair, jacket off and his first two buttons of his shirt undone, hair peeking out, inviting Adam’s thoughts about the older man to wander. “Did you need something, Adam?” Lawrence’s voice made Adam snap his eyes away from the man's chest, up to his face.

“Oh, uh, I didn’t bring any pajamas with me. I didn’t stop by my apartment after work. I was just wondering if I could borrow a shirt to sleep in.”

“Oh, sure. You know where my closet is.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Adam didn’t move, waiting for a minute, “Are you coming to bed soon?”

Lawrence looked up at him, “Yeah. Yeah, I’ll be there in just a minute.”

“Okay,” Adam said, turning around and heading back to Lawrence’s room. He took his shirt off, going over to Lawrence’s closet and picking out a shirt to wear. Most of Lawrence’s shirts were nice, but he managed to find an old plain black shirt near the back, which he put on. It was big for him, but it smelled like Lawrence. He took his pants off and put them in a pile in the corner of the room for tomorrow. He then got into the bed and slid in under the covers, waiting for Lawrence.

Half an hour passed and he still didn’t come in. Adam heard him get up a few times but he never walked towards the bedroom.

Finally Adam got tired of sitting in bed waiting and got up, putting his pants on and grabbing his lighter. He put his shoes on and walked to the bench outside the apartment. He sat down, pulling out a cigarette from his pack and putting it between his lips, staring at the half a joint left in there. After a cigarette, he told himself. It’s fucking cold. I forgot my coat inside and didn’t even think to grab it like an idiot. He finished his cigarette and grabbed the joint from where it was shoved down in the cardboard. He looked around, making sure no one was around, before putting it in his mouth and lighting it, taking a deep inhale. I wonder if he’s still on his damn computer. 

Adam had smoked the joint down to the very smallest he could get it before throwing it on the ground and stomping it out. He pulled out another cigarette, hoping he could hide the smell from Lawrence even a little. Not that he cared if Lawrence knew he got high, he just didn’t want to bring the smell into the apartment. 

Adam finished that cigarette and went back inside, he hadn’t locked the door behind him so that he could get back in without disturbing Lawrence. He went over to the kitchen, getting a glass of water to soothe his throat, before going back into the bedroom. Lawrence still wasn’t there. He sighed and took his pants off again, crawling into the bed once more, leaving his pack of cigarettes and lighter on the dresser.

 

Once he was finally about to fall asleep, Lawrence came in. Adam kept his eyes closed, hoping Lawrence wouldn’t say anything. He heard Lawrence mumble to himself while taking off his pants and overshirt, before he sat down on the bed and took off his prosthetic, setting it beside him. Lawrence got under the covers, scooting closer towards Adam. 

Adam had to make a conscious effort to hide the shakiness in his breathing when Lawrence wrapped an arm around him, pressing his chest against Adam’s back, spooning him. 

“Adam?” he could smell the whiskey on his breath, and he knew Lawrence could smell the strong pot smell coming off of him.

“Hm?” 

“I’m sorry for not coming in sooner.” Lawrence said softly, resting the side of his face on Adam’s.

“Why did you invite me over?”

“I needed some time to think.” Lawrence said, ignoring the question.

“About what?” Adam asked.

“You, this.” Lawrence said, moving his hands to hold Adam’s hips.

“What do you mean?” Adam was fully awake now, no doubt about it. He could feel his body getting warmer as soon as Lawrence touched him.

“I love you,” Adam jolted upright, turning around to look at Lawrence, who continued talking “Fuck, no, that’s not how I wanted to say it.”

“You’re drunk. You’re completely wasted, Lawrence.” Adam shook his head.

“And you have any room to talk?” Lawrence retorted.

Adam felt his face heat up at that, “No, I don’t. But I didn’t get in your bed last night and fuck with you.” Adam got up out of the bed. 

“No, Adam, I’m not fucking with you. Please come here.” Lawrence replied, slowly sitting up in the bed.

“Go to sleep. I’m sleeping on the couch.” Adam grabbed his cigarettes and lighter off the dresser and left the room, closing the door behind him.

Lawrence laid back down, looking at the ceiling and running his hands over his face. You’re a fucking idiot, he told himself.

Chapter Text

Just as Adam had told Lawrence, he had slept on the couch that night. No matter how many times he woke up and wished he could be next to the warm man in bed, he didn’t go to the bedroom. Adam had woken up for the last time around 6AM, deciding he didn’t want to toss and turn more to only get half an hour of sleep before waking up again. He stood up and made himself a cup of coffee, struggling to figure it out at first since Lawrence had a fancy coffee maker and he had only watched him before. He had finally figured it out and was able to make a nice cup of cold brew. He grabbed the blanket from the couch, wrapping it around himself before grabbing his cigarettes and lighter off the table and putting them in his pocket, grabbing his coffee cup and heading out into the hallway.

He walked down the hallway, hesitating before stepping outside. I thought it’d be colder. He thought, sitting down on the nearby bench and setting his coffee down next to him, pulling a cigarette out before putting it between his lips and lighting it. He took a deep breath in, inhaling as much smoke as possible, trying to force some energy and care into his body. It didn’t work. He sat there and smoked through three cigarettes, finishing his cup of coffee as well, before leaning back on the bench, letting himself think about last night. 

God, that was so weird. I’ve never seen him get like that. He was drunk that one time at my house with Amanda, but we all were smashed. What was he doing in his office? I doubt he could write emails wasted like that. I should tell him. I told Hoffman I would, but now it’s serious. I’m gonna tell him that I do like him in a romantic way so that little joke last night wasn’t funny.

Adam got up off the bench, grabbing his coffee cup and heading inside. He went back into Lawrence’s apartment and made himself another cup of cold brew before sitting back down on the couch, this time turning on the television.  

 

Lawrence woke up with a headache, reaching over to his nightstand and grabbing his Tylenol bottle, opening it and pouring two pills into his hand and swallowing them. He put the bottle down and rolled to the center of the bed, putting his face in the pillow and letting out a sigh.

I have the feeling that, sadly, last night was not a dream. I need to apologize to him, I can’t believe things went like that. I didn’t think I had that many drinks, but I was too drunk to even properly express my feelings to him. That’s the only reason I had a drink in the first place. I don’t want him to think that I was messing with him.  

Lawrence sat up in bed, grabbing his crutches from under his bed and walking over to his closet, grabbing a new shirt and pair of slacks and putting them on his bed before walking over to the bathroom, shutting and locking the door behind him. 

 

Adam heard noises from the bedroom, knowing that Lawrence was up now. He never took long when he took a bath, which meant he’d be out soon. Adam got up and headed outside for another cigarette before he had to talk to Lawrence.

 

Lawrence drained the bath tub, sitting up on his knees and drying off before standing up and grabbing his crutches, heading over to his bedroom. He sat on the bed and put his prosthetic on, then got dressed and readied himself for the day. He took a deep breath before opening his bedroom door and stepping out. The smell of coffee hit him, Adam must have figured out the coffee maker, he smiled to himself.

“Adam?” there came no response. Lawrence walked to the living room, noticing his pack of cigarettes were still on the table, but his lighter was gone. He must have taken one outside with him. He will come back inside. He assured himself, but his heart still pounded, worried he had scared him off forever. He walked over to the coffee maker and made himself a cup of hot coffee, staring at the numerous empty alcohol bottles across the kitchen counters. He sighed and went back to staring at the coffee pot, watching his cup fill up.

 

Adam stood outside Lawrence’s apartment door, he could hear the older man walking about the kitchen. He took a deep breath and opened the door, walking in and locking the door behind him.

“Good morning, Adam,” Lawrence said, not looking away from his coffee pot. Adam looked over at him, noticing the lines around his face. He looks worried, or sad maybe. He could just be tired, or thinking.

“Morning.” Adam responded, putting the blanket that was wrapped around him back down on the couch, sitting next to it.

Lawrence sighed, “I am sorry about last night. That’s not- Things were not supposed to go that way. I drank more than I should have” Lawrence stopped for a second, his voice becoming softer, turning to look at Adam, “I haven’t had any physical intimacy with anyone since the divorce. I got caught up in it all.”

Oh, Adam thought, that’s what’s going on. “I understand,” it was just awkward since I love you, “I would just rather you not joke about that…” he replied.

Lawrence looked away from Adam, thinking It wasn’t a joke, “I won’t do that again. I’m sincerely sorry, Adam.” 

“I’m sorry too. For Saturday night. Or Sunday morning, whichever it was.”

“Technically both,” Lawrence replied, shooting Adam a smile.

“I’m gonna lay off the drinking. Stick to weed and cigarettes. As long as I can afford it.” 

“I need to slow down my drinking as well, clearly.” Lawrence sighed, taking a sip of his coffee.

“You ever thought about smoking? Weed, obviously.” Adam replied.

Lawrence looked at him, his eyes just above his cup, “Sometimes. Now that the divorce is finalized and I have more time alone.”

“Uh huh. If you ever want me to show you the ropes you can always ask.” Adam said, forcing a smile.

“Sure, Adam. You know I did experiment in college.” Lawrence replied, rolling his eyes. 

“You? Experiment? With drugs?” Adam faked a little gasp, comedically putting his hand over his mouth. 

Lawrence walked over to the couch and sat down next to him, chuckling.

“I wasn’t always this responsible.”

“Hm. Tell me more.” Adam demanded, pulling the blanket over his bare legs.

“Well, what do you want to know?”

“Anything.” Adam leaned back, closing his eyes and listening as Lawrence started a story about his cat escaping his dorm after one particular Christmas party where marijuana smoking occurred.

 

Adam started drifting to sleep, but woke up when he felt Lawrence getting up. He didn’t know when Lawrence stopped telling stories, only that he fell asleep to Lawrence’s voice. 

“Hey, sorry I woke you. I’m just getting another cup of coffee, although, I am going to go to the store soon if you want to come with. We can grab lunch. I’m assuming you don’t work today?” Lawrence said from the kitchen.

Adam sat up, looking over in the direction of the kitchen. “I’m sorry, I didn’t sleep well last night. Lunch sounds great though.”

“Great, you can borrow another one of my shirts if you want to. I washed your pants for you earlier.”

“Oh, thank you.”

 

They sat at lunch, Adam’s pick of restaurant this time, somewhere far cheaper than when Lawrence picked the place.

At the grocery store Lawrence had gone around getting stuff for Thanksgiving, asking Adam’s opinion on various snacks and fruits, assumedly for Diana.

“So what’s the plan for thanksgiving?” Adam asked, taking a bite of his sandwich.

“Well, let’s see. I’ll start cooking in the early morning so that it’s ready when Diana and Alison get there. Then I-”

Adam interrupted Lawrence, “Alison is gonna be there?” 

“Yes.”

“Like for the sitting down eating part?”

“Yes, Adam. I’m sorry, I thought you knew that.”

“It’s alright. Just dinner with your ex-wife and daughter, the two most important people to you, and then some random guy you met at Blockbuster Video.”

“The three people most important to me, yes.”

“Yeah, no, things will be fine. Of course.”

“Just please no drugs, Adam.”

“You expect me to survive Thanksgiving, THE stoner holiday, with your ex-wife and daughter and not be in altered state of mind?” Adam grinned at him, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “I won’t.”

Lawrence breathed a sigh of relief, “Thank you.”

 

Adam’s anxiety worsened the next few days leading up to Thanksgiving. Work distracted him, but he woke up early Thanksgiving morning and texted Lawrence.

 

ill be over soon. gonna take ONE HIT and will b fine by lunch

If you’re certain you’ll be okay, Adam. Do you need a ride?

yes plz :]

I haven’t started cooking, be there in ten minutes. Bring a change of clothes if you plan on spending the night. 

okay :]

I will see you soon Adam.

:]

 

Adam’s heart swelled with affection. He stood up and grabbed an extra shirt, pair of boxers, and jeans from his closet. They wouldn’t have to be nice like the clothes he was currently wearing, he had wanted to look nice for Thanksgiving lunch with Diana and Alison. He stuffed his extra clothes in a grocery sack and grabbed his cigarettes, running out of his apartment and down the first flight of stairs to the elevator. When he got outside Lawrence’s car was pulled up to the front, waiting for him. Adam opened the door and got in, putting his bag of clothes on the floorboards and pulling out a cigarette.  

“You look nice, Adam.” Lawrence said, putting the car in drive and driving off.

“Thank you, so do you, Larry.” Adam replied, feeling his pockets for a lighter. When he didn’t find one he started searching more frantically, checking in his clothing bag knowing nothing would be in there. “Fuck me,” he sighed, “I left my lighter inside.”

Lawrence reached into the center console of his car and pulled out a lighter, handing it to Adam, who raised his eyebrows.

“You always forget yours everywhere, Adam. I figured I’d pick one up that stays in the car.” Lawrence explained.

“Well thank you.” Adam said, lighting his cigarette and turning towards the window. Lawrence always had his passenger window rolled down whenever he picked up Adam now. “Do you need any help cooking today?” 

“Only if you want to, I honestly haven’t cooked a Thanksgiving dinner in quite a few years.” Lawrence explained.

“I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner.” Adam replied.

 

When they got back to Lawrence’s apartment, Adam noticed it was cleaner than it had been previous times. Lawrence wasn’t messy, but it looked pristine now. Freshly vacuumed, any bottles taken out from the kitchen, the blanket on the couch folded nicely over the back of it, not one item out of place.

“It looks really good in here, Lawrence.”

“Thank you, it just needed tidying, really.”

Adam nodded, “Where do you want me to put my clothes?”

“You can put them in the bedroom. Oh, Adam? Please don’t leave your cigarettes down where Diana could get them. I know she wouldn’t mess with them, but Alison-”

“Hey, I gotcha.” He patted Lawrence’s shoulder, “Things will be fine, Lawrence.” Adam said, even though he could feel himself shaking.

“I know things will be fine. The worry is still there.”

“Yeah, I understand. Any off limits topics?” Adam asked.

Lawrence thought for a second, “The divorce, drugs, of course, my drinking.”

“Right, all common sense things. Anything else?”

“I’ll let you know if I think of anything.” Lawrence replied, pulling ingredients out of the fridge. Adam nodded, heading to the bedroom.

 

It was just a few minutes before noon when Lawrence received a text message, stating Alison would be there in about fifteen minutes.

“They’re gonna be here in twenty minutes or so, if you want to go have a cigarette before then.”

“Thanks,” Adam replied, finishing setting the table before stepping outside.

He smoked one cigarette, thinking about starting another before realizing he’d be cutting it too close to the time Alison and Diana were supposed to be there. Diana knew he smoked, but he didn’t want to do it near her or in front of her. As for Alison, he was somewhere between saying Fuck what she thinks and wanting to have her approval, for whatever odd reason.

Adam headed inside, going to Lawrence’s apartment door and going inside without knocking, the usual now. He found Lawrence on the couch, sitting down with his hand on his leg.

“Are you alright?” Adam asked, walking over to him and sitting on the ground next to him.

“I’m fine.” Lawrence responded.

“Does your leg hurt? You’ve been walking around quite a bit today.” Adam asked.

Lawrence nodded in response, “I hate to ask but could you line the food up on the counter for me?” 

“Yeah, of course. Do you need to take your prosthetic off for a bit?”

Lawrence shook his head, “They’re going to be here soon. They won’t be here long, I know Alison won’t want to hang around.”

“Alright. I can clean up when they leave.” Adam said, moving items from near the stove to the middle of the countertop, lining them up.

“You don’t need to do that.”

“I want to. You’re feeding me a great meal for free, let me do this for you.” 

Lawrence sighed, “Alright. Thank you.” 

“Of course,” Adam hesitated for a moment, adding on “You know, I really li-” Then there was a knocking at the door. “Great.”

Lawrence got up and walked towards the door, smoothing out his shirt before opening the door and smiling as Diana ran into his arms.

“Dad!” She yelled, wrapping her arms around him.

“Hi honey,” He looked up at Alison, “Hello Alison. Come on in, both of you.” He let go of Diana and stepped aside, holding the door open.

“Adam!” Diana yelled as she ran over to Adam, hugging him tight and nearly making him drop the bowl of potatoes he had in his hands.

“Hey, bug,” he set the potatoes down and returned her hug, “how are you?”

“I’m great! I’m so excited you’re here.” she answered.

“Why is he here?” Alison whispered to Lawrence, though not quiet enough for Adam to not hear. 

“I invited him.” Lawrence answered sternly, marking the end of the conversation.

Alison turned to Adam, putting on a fake smile. “Hi, Adam. I wasn’t expecting you to be here.”

“Hey, Alison. He, uh, asked for my help with cooking and stuff.”

“I see.” She answered, taking a look around the apartment.

“Well, everyone can get their plate and get started.” Lawrence said, walking over to Diana, “Do you want me to get your plate for you honey?”

“Yes please! With lots of potatoes, please.” She smiled.

 

As soon as they sat down with their food, the interrogation started.

“So, Adam. Are you still working at the video store?” Alison said, not making eye contact.

“Blockbuster, yeah.” Adam replied.

“And have you tried finding other work?”

Adam shrugged, “Not really, I like working there and the pay is decent enough. It’s about the best job I can get here without a degree.”

“Have you thought about going to college?”

“No, I barely graduated high school, and college is too expensive.”

“Oh. Well, you know, college is a necessary sacrifice if you don’t want to be working the same dead end j-”

“Jesus, Alison. Stop pressing the kid. Can we just enjoy lunch.” Lawrence said, giving Alison a stern look.

“I’m just making conversation, Lawrence.”

“Yeah, sure. Diana, how’s school going?”

“It’s going good! I have all A’s and my teacher says I may go into sixth grade next year!”

“Wow! They want you to skip a grade?” Lawrence asked.

“That’s great, Diana!” Adam said.

Diana’s smile beamed bright, as Alison opened her mouth to talk, “She’ll need both parents to sign off on it.”

“Of course, that’s great Diana! I’m so proud of you.” Lawrence answered as he smiled at Diana.

 

Lawrence had excused himself to go to the bathroom when Alison and Adam next talked.

“Diana, honey, why don’t you see if you have to use the bathroom too. It’s a long drive to grandma and grandpa’s and I don’t want to stop a lot, okay?” She said pleasantly.

“Sure,” Diana replied, sliding out of her seat and going to the other bathroom.

Adam stared at his empty plate, moving his fork around to give himself something to do during the awkward silence.

“Adam,” Alison spoke. Adam lifted his head up to look at her. “Are you fucking him?”

Adam’s face heated up, he dropped his fork and his mouth gaped slightly open, not sure what to do. “I don’t see how that would be your business, honestly, but no, I’m not.”

“So you just spend the night with him even though you’re not fucking?” Alison said with an accusatory tone.

“Yeah, we’re friends. ” Adam retorted, “Even if we were fucking, that’s not your business.” he repeated.

“Excuse me? You seem to forget Lawrence and I have a child together.”

“And how does that make who he fucks any of your business? As long as he isn’t fucking people with your daughter around it’s not any of your concern.”

“I don’t know who you think you are but you’re nothing, Adam.”

“I’d rather be nothing than an insufferable bitch, Alison.” Adam stood up, declaring this conversation over as he walked out the door, already pulling a cigarette and his phone out.

 

going out fr a smoke

Everything okay?

peachy

we can talk l8r

 

Lawrence frowned, washing his hands and exiting the bathroom to find Alison at the table alone.

“Where’s Diana?” he asked.

“She’s in the bathroom.” Alison stated, sighing, “Are you seeing anyone, Lawrence?”

Lawrence sat back down at the table, “I don’t think that’s an appropriate question.”

“And why not?” Alison shot back.

Lawrence sighed this time, “If I was seeing anyone I would clear it with you before having them meet Diana. If you must know, no, I am not seeing anyone.”

“Not even Adam?” she asked, doubt showing.

“No. He’s my friend, Alison. Something I haven’t had in quite a long time, thank you very much.”

Diana walked out of the bathroom and towards the two, as Alison stood up. 

“Okay, Diana, it’s time to go. Say bye to dad.”

Diana hugged Lawrence, before stepping back and asking, “Where’s Adam?”

“He’s outside sweetheart, you’ll see him on your way out. I love you very much, have fun on your trip, okay?” Lawrence said, squeezing her shoulders.

“I love you too,” she said, waving at him as Alison walked her out the door.

 

They’re leaving.

ok one sec

 

Adam rubbed his cigarette out, exhaling the smoke before standing up and walking inside, seeing Alison and Diana in the hallway.

“Have a safe trip, Diana, and have fun.” He said as he smiled at her. She gave him a quick hug and they went on their way.

Adam walked down the hallway back towards Lawrence’s apartment before stepping inside. 

“Hey, what happened?” Lawrence asked, sitting on the couch with his prosthetic on the table.

“Your ex-wife is a real bitch, you know that?” Adam replied, sitting down on the couch next to him, throwing his cigarettes on the table. “She asked me if we were fucking. Very bluntly, just like that. ‘Adam, are you fucking him?” he mocked, “just like that.”

Lawrence leaned his head back on the couch. “Jesus christ. What did you say?” 

“I told her no, of course. That even if we were fucking it isn’t her business. She said I’m nothing and I called her an insufferable bitch.”

Lawrence chuckled, before looking over at Adam, “You know you’re not nothing, right?” Adam shrugged in response. “Hey, look at me.” Adam looked over at him, “You’re not nothing. I invited over the three most important people in my life for thanksgiving. My daughter, her mother, and you.”

“Yeah,” Adam said quietly, laying his head back on the couch. 

“She’ll come around to you. Or she won’t, it’s no skin off my back. I’ll be your friend as long as you want me.”  Lawrence said, resting his hand on Adam’s.

“I don’t think I’ll tire of you anytime soon.” Adam looked at Lawrence and grinned. “Anyway, now that it’s after Thanksgiving isn’t it time to put up the Christmas tree?”

“After I rest my leg, yes it is.” Lawrence said.

“Wait, I was kidding. Do you really put up the tree the moment after Thanksgiving dinner?”

“Normally I wait at least until the day after,” Lawrence replied, smiling. Adam rolled his eyes at him. That’s oddly endearing, knowing he loves the holidays, Adam thought.

Chapter Text

This December was much better than last year already , Adam thinks.

Him and Lawrence have made more of an effort to see and communicate with each other, with Adam staying at Lawrence’s apartment several times this past week. It’s nice. He’s gained a few pounds since they first met as well, filling in some of the concave parts of his stomach that cling to his ribs. The topic of Adam moving in is brought up one night.

“You should come live here.” Lawrence remarks, flipping the next page in his book.

“Haha, very funny. You can tell me to go home any time and I will.” Adam replies, keeping his eyes on the television.

“I’m serious.”

“Why?”

“You spend at least half the week here anyway. You’re looking much better since you started staying here. You’ve also mentioned your lease is ending soon. I know you don’t want to spend another year there, Adam.”

Adam shrugs, “Where would I stay here though? I mean all the rooms are taken.”

“I can move my desk and computer into my room, then you could have the room my office is in.” Lawrence replies, closing his book and setting it down.

“I’m not gonna make you do that, Lawrence.”

“You wouldn’t be making me do anything I don’t want to do, Adam.”

They drop the conversation there.

 

The next day Adam is at home, mulling over the conversation him and Lawrence had yesterday. He decides to do something else to relieve the stress, since smoking wasn’t cutting it today. He slid his hand down his pants and started jacking off, thinking absentmindedly about various things. He was almost finished when he got a message.

 

Are you home?

yeah whats up

 

Incoming phone call from Lawrence.He immediately removed his hands from his pants, sitting up and pressing accept.

“Hello?” he answered, trying to hide his shaky breathing.

“Adam? Are you okay?”

“Yeah I was just-” think “running.”

Silence, “You don’t run, Adam.”

“Fuck, then I was moving shit, I don’t know. What’s up?”

“Will you get lunch with me tomorrow?”

Adam sighs, “I work.”

“Then get breakfast with me.”

“Okay.”

“Great. What time do you work?”

Adam looked around for his paper, “Uh… 10AM to 8PM.”

“I’ll pick you up at 8. I can take you to work as well.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“It’s not a problem, Adam. I’ll see you then.” Click.

Why couldn’t you have texted me all that, Adam thought. He sat up, grabbing another cigarette, setting his alarm from 8AM to 7AM so he could take a shower before seeing Lawrence.

 

He was standing outside smoking a cigarette when Lawrence pulled up, a few minutes before 8AM. 

“Hey,” Adam said, getting into the car, noticing a little present on his seat. He picked it up and put it on the dash.

“Good morning.” Lawrence said, looking at Adam with a smile, “That’s for you. Don’t open it yet.” He said, driving off. Adam picked up the present and shook it around, hearing a rattling sound inside.

“What’s it for?” Adam asked.

“You’ll see when you open it. Just wait until we get to the coffee shop.” Lawrence said, to which Adam shrugged and continued smoking.

 

They got to the coffee shop, and after ordering a chai tea latte for Adam and an Irish cream cold brew for Lawrence, they sat down at a table in the far corner.

“So… What’d you want to come here for?”

“Besides the coffee? To talk, open your gift.” Lawrence reached into his coat and gave him the present, looking at him expectantly.

Adam grabbed it and opened it, staring at the little key inside.

“What is this?” He asked, looking up at Lawrence.

“My apartment key.”

“Why?”

“Come live with me.”

“We talked about this the other day, Lawrence.”

“I know we did, Adam. It makes sense, I know you’ve thought about it. If you really don’t want to move in, at least keep it so you can come over if I’m not home.”

“Okay.” Adam replied.

“Okay?” Lawrence questioned.

“I’ll move in with you.”

Lawrence let out a sigh of relief, “Good. I don’t expect rent, but if you wouldn’t mind paying for some of the shared amenities like toilet paper and some of the grocery bill that would be a big help.”

“What? Are you sure you don’t want rent?” Lawrence shook his head in response. “Okay… My lease ends the 1st of January. I’ll need to be out by then. I’ll let Ron know I won’t be renewing it. Thank you, Lawrence.”

“Of course. My apartment is non-smoking, so you can’t smoke cigarettes indoors. As for… the other stuff,” he looked around, “I would prefer you have the window open or use your little technology you have that doesn’t smell as strong, and please keep it away from Diana’s view of course. I can work on moving things out of my office today, if you want to start packing in your spare time. We can use my car to take some boxes on our next mutual day off, or if you trust me enough I can take packed boxes from your apartment to mine on my days off.”

“Of course I trust you enough. Will you be able to do that? They still haven’t fixed the elevator in my apartment building.” Adam took a sip of his drink, staring at the key in front of him.

“I should be able to do it a few times, I’ll need your help for the most part.” Adam nodded.

“So we’re really doing this.” 

“Yes, Adam,” Lawrence smiled before taking a drink. 

Adam slumped in his chair, “I feel bad. You do so much for me.”

“You do a lot for me, too, Adam.” Lawrence said, Adam shrugging as he put the house key on his key ring, with his keys to Blockbuster.

 

When he got to work, he walked up to Hoffman and Amanda immediately, holding up the key.

“You’re quitting?!” Amanda yelled, Hoffman elbowing her in the side.

“What? No. This is an apartment key, Amanda.” Adam explained.

“For what? That’s some high class key technology right there,” She grabbed the key, turning it over. “No rust, no mold in the cracks, where’d you get this?”

“I’m moving in with Lawrence.” 

“Holy shit really?” Amanda asked as Hoffman said a “Congratulations”, smirking at Adam.

“Yeah, my lease is ending and he invited me to move in with him.”

“You’re gonna have to let us visit this new fancy apartment once you’re moved in,” Amanda said.

“Well, yeah. Don’t think we’re not gonna hang out just because I’m moving,” Adam replied.

“So what are the living arrangements going to be like?” Hoffman asked.

“He’s moving his office stuff into his bedroom so my bedroom will be where his office is now,” he explained.

“No more sharing a bed together, huh?” Amanda asked, a smirk on her lips.

“I guess not.” Adam said, his forehead creasing. 

“So when are you moving in?” Hoffman asked.

Adam shrugged, “I need to be out before next month so I guess I’ll start packing when I get home tonight. Just take stuff over there when I can. I’d sure love it if my two best friends would help me, especially my one and only friend that has a car.” Adam widened his eyes pointedly at Hoffman, who just rolled his eyes.

“Yes, I will help you move, Adam. I can move around the schedule next week to give us a mutual day off,” Hoffman said.

“Thanks Mark. I’m gonna let you do that while Amanda and I go have a smoke,” Adam said, grabbing Amanda’s hand and taking her outside.

They sat down on the edge of the walkway, stretching their legs out into the parking spot in front of them. Adam pulled out a cigarette and handed it to Amanda before pulling one out for himself, then lighting both of them.

“How was Thanksgiving with Lawrence?” Amanda asked, exhaling smoke.

“His ex-wife was there,” Adam replied, seeing Amanda’s eyes widen, “she asked me if I was fucking him.” Amanda choked for a second, coughing harshly before catching her breath.

“What did you say?!”

“What do you mean what did I say?! I told her no.”

“Maybe you should’ve said yes and asserted your dominance as the new significant other of the house,” she responded, inhaling smoke once again.

“Oh yeah, and have that get back to Lawrence and have him ask me why I told his ex-wife we’re fucking when we’re not? That’d be a lovely conversation.”

“Why aren’t you?”

“Why aren’t we what?”

“Fucking.”

Adam exhaled, “I don’t know. I guess he doesn’t like me like that.” Amanda rolled her eyes at that.

“He obviously likes you enough to invite you to live with him. And to invite you to come to Thanksgiving with his ex-wife and daughter. Probably Christmas too, huh?” Adam shrugged in response, trying not to think about Christmas. “Maybe you should tell him,” she continued.

“No. It’s clear he doesn’t feel like that about me, Amanda. He-” he paused for a second, “He got really drunk the other night. Like I’ve never seen him that shitfaced before. He was touching me but it was different, yknow?” He took a deep inhale of smoke, exhaling as he said, “He told me he loved me.”

“Adam.”

“No, stop. I told him he was drunk and slept on the couch. And then the next morning he told me that he got caught up in the intimacy. That he hasn’t been with anyone since his ex-wife.” Adam explained.

“How many times have you gotten drunk and said something that deep down, you know was true.” Amanda questioned, looking at Adam.

“That wasn’t like- He isn’t like me, Amanda.” Adam sighed, rubbing his cigarette out on the ground and shoving the rest in his pack with the others. He sat there still, thinking about everything.

“I think you’re more alike than you know. You’re both dense as fuck, for one thing.” She joked, smiling at Adam.

“Whatever. You ready?” Adam said, standing up. Amanda flicked her cigarette butt on the ground, standing up and rubbing it out with her shoe.

They walked back into the store, Adam going over to the horror movie section to reorganize it for the third time this week.

 

That night, Adam got back to his apartment, walking in the door and immediately going over to the space heater in his room, turning it on and shutting his bedroom door to keep the heat in. I’ve gotten too used to Lawrence giving me rides home from work, Jesus Christ. He looked in his closet and found two big empty cardboard boxes from when he had first moved in here, many years ago. He looked around his room, seeing what he could pack. Bong, clothes I don’t wear, hm… My television can wait until later. So can my alarm clock and phone charger. He looked at a bag in his closet. Those can wait until I can hide them in my room at Lawrence’s house. He started packing, putting a layer of clothes down in the bottom of the box and wrapping his bong in a shirt before putting it in the box. He packed up a few more loose items he had around his apartment before calling it quits for the night. 

 

Adam does this for the next few days, coming home each night and packing up boxes with things he won’t use. He misses having Lawrence around when he gets home from work, but he knows that he needs to pack his stuff.

 

u work tomrrw?

Hello, Adam. No, I do not work tomorrow. 

cool

can you come over

i have some boxes packed but i need to go to the store for more

id rather not ride the bus with massive cardboard boxes 

Of course, does 10AM sound fine?

yeah that works

Excellent. I can get some food to prepare for lunch while we’re at the store. 

sounds good. ill see u tomrrow

I’ll see you tomorrow. Good night, Adam.

gn lawrence

 

Adam woke up to a knocking on his door. He sat up slowly, figuring it was his landlord coming to talk to him about his lease. The knocking persisted.

“Fuck, I’m coming Ron, hold on! Jesus fuck.” He pulled on a shirt and walked over to his door, unlocking and opening it, seeing Lawrence there.

“Fuck, Lawrence, I’m sorry. I must’ve forgotten to set my alarm.”

“It’s okay, Adam. Do you want me to take a box down while you get dressed?”

“No, it’s alright. I wanted to have all my boxes down there by the time you got here so you didn’t have to walk up here at all.” Adam sighed, going to his bedroom. Lawrence followed him in, shutting the door behind him.

“Here, Adam. Let me take a box down and I can load them into my car while you bring them down, is that okay?” Lawrence asked, looking at the stack of boxes in the living room. 

“If you really want to help, yeah. Thank you. I’m gonna put on pants and I’ll be down there with boxes in a bit.” Adam shut the bedroom door, Lawrence picked up the box closest to him, which was a small one. Lawrence grabbed another one and stacked them, leaving the apartment to go down to his car. 

 

Adam finished bringing all the boxes downstairs and had been sure to lock the door behind him, he was now walking outside to help Lawrence load the rest of the boxes into his car, but there were none left. Adam sat down in the passenger seat.

“Hey, thank you for helping me so much. And for letting me live with you.” Adam said, pulling out a cigarette, his first of the day since he had not expected to wake up so late.

“It’s not a problem, Adam. I think we should unload a few boxes from the back seat before going to the store, if that is alright with you.” Lawrence said, starting the car.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea. I didn’t think I had so much stuff.” Adam sighed.

“That’s perfectly alright. Do you like mushrooms, Adam?” Lawrence glanced over at him quickly.

“Yeah, I like cooked ones. Why?”

“I’m planning out lunch.”

“You don’t have to cook for me.” Adam replies, not wanting it to seem like he’s taking advantage of Lawrence.

“I know that.” Lawrence smiles at him as he drives to his apartment.

 

Adam had gotten two more medium sized boxes, one for his bathroom stuff, and one for the other stuff that he has to use while he still stays in his apartment, both of which will be packed at the last moment possible. While at the store Lawrence had dragged Adam to the furniture, asking Adam his opinion of various shelves, dressers, bed frames, etcetera. 

“Are you needing a bed frame?” Lawrence asked him, looking at a dark wooden king size bed frame.

“Nah, I don’t mind having my mattress on the floor.” He replied, looking at the price tag below it.

“You can make your room entirely yours, Adam. Any paint will have to get approved by the owner of the building but other than that, anything you want you can have.” Lawrence said, turning to look at him.

“I don’t really have the money for that, Lawrence. I don’t even know what I would like, I’ve never had the money to think about what color I want my bed frame to be, or how wonderful it would be to match my couch with my lampshade or whatever.” Adam sighed, letting his head fall back dramatically.

“We’ll figure it out. We should go to Ikea soon, they’ll have winter deals coming up.”

“What the fuck is Ikea?”

“It’s a furniture store. Come on,” Lawrence said, going back to the shopping cart and continuing on his way.

“Hey, hold on,” Adam said, walking over to the light section. They had a few lamp options, but next to them were the string lights. Adam grabbed a pack that was a decent size, round bulbs that had an orange-ish glow in the picture shown. They were also one of the cheapest options. He put them in the cart and walked along with Lawrence.

 

They got back to Lawrence’s apartment, both of them carrying in the groceries and Adam carrying in the boxes and pack of string lights.  

“I’m going to start lunch, alright?” Lawrence said, setting the groceries on the counter of the kitchen.

“Okay, I’m going to go work on my room. Unpack some stuff and put the lights up. Do you have any command hooks or anything?” Adam asked, looking at the other man.

“Yeah, in the bottom right drawer of my desk. You can go ahead and get them.”

“Alright, thank you.” 

Adam walked to Lawrence’s office, before realizing he had already moved everything out of there. It’s so clean. He must have swept or vacuumed or whatever. Adam took a breath in. It still smells like him. He let a smile creep onto his face and went to Lawrence’s bedroom, seeing his desk pressed against the wall. He opened the bottom right drawer and saw the command hooks, grabbing them and closing the drawer much harder than he thought he would, seeing the light on his computer come on. He looked up at it, making sure he didn’t break it, even though that would have been impossible. That’s… His eyes widened, Lawrence’s background on his computer was a picture of Adam and Diana, when Diana fell asleep on the couch with Adam and Adam thus freaked out, whisper-yelling at Lawrence and asking what he should do, Lawrence laughing because Adam clearly didn’t have much experience with children. He had taken a picture, but Adam assumed he had zoomed in on Diana and left Adam out of it. Adam felt his heart swell. He’s going to be the death of me.

 

Adam got up and went to Lawrence’s old office, his new room, and put the command strips a few feet below the ceiling. That’s good enough. Not that I can reach any higher , he thought. He plugged the string lights in and hung them up around the wall that he was going to put his mattress against, the lights ending at the closet. He brought a few boxes into the room from the living room, opening the first one up. He realized he couldn’t put much away without his shelves here, so he’d have to wait for most of it. He picked up his camera and turned it over in his hands.

A knock at the bedroom door, Adam jumped at the sound of it but saw it was on Lawrence there.

“Hey, I didn’t mean to scare you. Is that your camera?” Lawrence said, walking towards him. 

“Um, yeah.”

“I didn’t know you took pictures.” Lawrence added.

“I don’t anymore. It broke. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, but I don’t want to get rid of it.” he walked over to his closet and put it on the top shelf, aiming it towards the corner.

“That’s too bad. The lights look nice, good job.”

“Thanks,” Adam said, “I prefer the low light. Strong lights give me a headache if they’re on for too long.” Lawrence nodded. “I’m autistic.”

“Oh.” Lawrence said, looking at Adam. Adam looked at him as if expecting more. “I think I knew that.”

“I haven’t told you.” Adam replied.

“No, but I’m a doctor, Adam. You forget that quite a bit.” Lawrence answered.

“A lot of doctors don’t know shit about Autism or transgender people, Lawrence.”

“I suppose that’s true.” Lawrence agreed, “Is this something important to you?”

Adam shrugged, “I don’t know. I guess so.” 

Lawrence nodded in response, “Thank you for telling me.”

“Yeah. I work tomorrow so I’ll probably just pack the rest of my stuff up then and bring it over the next day we have off, if that’s okay?”

“Yes, that sounds fine, Adam. Do you have a ride home tomorrow night?”

“Yeah, Hoffman will give me one if I ask.”

Lawrence nodded, “Do you know what days you have off this week?”

Adam thought for a second, trying to remember his schedule. “I have this Wednesday and Saturday off, why?”

“This is my weekend with Diana. I was thinking we would go pick out a Christmas tree.”

“Okay, yeah, I can stay at my apartment and pack this weekend.” Adam replied, going back over to the open box he was digging through earlier.

“No, I want you to come with us. It’s going to be your Christmas tree as well, Adam. You’ll be here for Christmas, won’t you?” He asked, realizing he hadn’t discussed with Adam what his plans were for Christmas.

“Oh, yeah I’ll be here. I think there’s a work party on the 23rd, but I’m not sure I wanna go after what happened at the Halloween party.” 

“Are you going to get together with Amanda and Mark at all?” 

"Probably,” Adam explained, “we usually just sit around and hang out at Hoffman’s place, though. We don’t really do gifts. I’m sure you’re invited to come too, if you want to. I don’t know who else will be there, maybe Amanda’s girlfriend or the guy Mark’s been seeing. I doubt it though.”

“Alright, so will you come with us to get the tree?” Lawrence asked, looking at Adam with pleading eyes. 

“Yeah, if Diana’s okay with that.” He said, pulling out some t-shirts from the box and hanging them up in his closet.

“Of course she is, Adam. She thinks you’re the coolest person ever,” Lawrence explained, grinning wide.

“Have you told her I’m moving in?” Adam asked, continuing to hang up clothes.

“Not yet. I thought we could this weekend.”

“We?”

“Well, she might have questions about where you currently live, Adam. Kids are very curious.”

Adam shrugged, “I guess so.”

Lawrence checked his watch. “Anyway, I came in here to tell you lunch was almost ready. It should be done by now,” he said, leaving Adam’s room and heading to the kitchen.

Adam sighed and sat down for a second, laying down on the clean floor. 

 

“You’re a really good cook,” Adam said, taking another bite of the mushroom chicken Lawrence had cooked, “This is like, really good.”

“Thank you, Adam. I’m glad you like it.” He smiled, taking a bite as well. 

Adam spent a bit more time after lunch unpacking his new room, before they decided to sit down and watch television together, the same bad doctor show that Adam loves. Whenever Lawrence would correct something on the show Adam would roll his eyes at him, but eventually he would join in, also calling out the absurdity.

 

Adam spent the next few days packing the rest of his things.

 

hey i got the rest of my stuff packed up if u wanna come by work and get my key

its the two small boxes i got. just my shower stuff n charger n stuff

Okay, great. I will be there in about an hour. 

ok i will be in hell still :]

 

Lawrence arrived an hour later, with a fresh cup of chai tea latte for Adam.

“Good morning, I got this for you.” He said, placing the cup on the counter.

“You shouldn’t have. Thank you,” he reached into his pocket, grabbing his keychain.

“How’s your day been, Adam?” Lawrence asked, smiling at him.

“Oh, fantastic, like normal,” he sighed, struggling to get his key off his key ring, “fucking god damnit.” He grumbled, struggling to get his fingers to work around the key.

“Do you need help?” Lawrence offered.

“No.” Adam said, struggling for a few more seconds before tossing it on the counter, “Yes, please,” he said, sighing. 

Lawrence grabbed the key chain and pulled the key off, handing Adam the lanyard back, “You’re sure you’re comfortable with me going into your apartment?”

“You’ve been in there plenty of times, Lawrence” he rolled his eyes, “Are you sure you’re okay to grab it though?”

“Yes, I am sure I can grab your two small boxes, Adam.” Lawrence smiled at him, pushing his chai towards him and putting Adam’s apartment key on his keyring. 

“I’m just making sure, Lawrence. Don’t want the old man to hurt himself.” Adam grinned at him.

“Uh-uh, when’s your 25th birthday again? Next month, right?” Lawrence returned the shit-eating grin. 

“Yeah, I’m surprised you remembered that. With you being, like 40, and everything.” 

“I’m only 37, Adam.”

“Oh, yeah, not close to 40 at all.” Adam said sarcastically.

“I assume you don’t need a ride home from an old man then, huh?” He asked, still smiling.

“Actually, I don’t. Hoffman said he’d give me a ride home tonight. Stay home and rest.”

“Alright, Adam. I’ll see you tonight.” Lawrence said, heading outside to his car.

 

It started snowing a few hours after that, Adam was staring out the window when Hoffman came up behind him.

“When was the last time someone came in?” He asked Adam.

“Like two hours ago. Is it supposed to get bad tonight?” He asked, turning to look at Hoffman.

“Yeah, I’m gonna close it down quick then we’re going home. I’m just gonna put the drawers in the safe and we can head out, okay?”

“Yeah that sounds good. Will you take me to Lawrence’s?”

“Yeah, where does he live?” Hoffman asked, putting the key in the register and popping it open, sticking it in the safe below.

“In the fancy apartments by Angel of Mercy.” 

Hoffman let out a whistle at that, “That’s a nice place, Adam. That’s where you’re moving to?” He grabbed the other register and shoved it in the safe as well, shutting it and making sure it locked before standing back up.

“Yeah, you’ll have to come over when I’m done moving in.”

“Oh yeah,” Hoffman responded, going over to the door and unlocking it before punching in the alarm code. “You excited?”

“Excited is one word for it. Scared shitless is another.” He answered, putting on the coat that he stole from Lawrence shortly after he stayed at his house for the first time.

“C’mon,” Hoffman opened the door, holding it for Adam and locking it as fast as possible, sprinting to the car. They both got in and Hoffman started the car, turning the heat on full blast. “Are you gonna be okay?”

Adam nodded, “I know this is a good thing. It’s just… you know. It’s a lot.”

“Yeah. Things will be alright, Adam. Did you talk to him at all?”

“No. We had a small argument and I decided against it. I don’t wanna risk losing his friendship, especially when he had made it clear he didn’t feel the same way during our argument.”

“What do you mean?” Hoffman inquired.

“He just- he got drunk and said he loved me and then told me that he was caught up in the intimacy.”

“Adam-”

“I don’t wanna talk about it. I’m okay, I promise.”

“I won’t push you, but I still think you should talk to him about it.”

“Thank you. Do you mind if I bring him to Christmas this year?”

“I don’t mind. Peter will be stopping.”

“Oooooh is that your boyfriend?” Adam asked, lighting a cigarette.

“No. He’s just someone that I’ve been seeing.” Hoffman said, an edge in his voice.

“Uhuh. What’s he like?”

“He’s an FBI agent- No, don’t look at me like that. He works in homicide. He’s cool, a little uptight but he’s trying. He wants to get out of homicide, out of the Bureau in general. He probably won’t hang around long but I’m sure he’d love to meet you and Lawrence.” Hoffman explained, grabbing a cigarette from Adam and holding it up for him to light.

“I’d love to meet the guy that gets you so flustered. You’re like a little schoolboy when you see him, your face gets all red and you run off as soon as you make eye contact.” Adam let out an exhale of smoke.

“You’re one to talk, didn’t Lawrence bring you coffee before going to your apartment to move your stuff? You’ve got him whipped, Adam. He’s got you whipped too, I’ve never seen you actually stay over at someone’s house, much less when no sex is involved. Had that been anyone else you would’ve blocked their number by now.” Hoffman chuckled, to which Adam laughed.

“You’re sadly right. I wish I wasn’t so fuckin’ head over heels for him.” They pulled up to Lawrence’s apartment complex, Adam turning over to look at Hoffman. “Wanna smoke?”

“You can,” Hoffman lifted up his center console and lifted up the coin box, revealing a container with spliffs underneath, “take your pick. Take it with you, I gotta get going.” Adam looked and picked the two in the middle, putting them in his cigarette pack.

“You’re the best, Mark. I’ll see ya.”

“You know it. Have a good night, Adam.”

Adam got out of the car and waved him off, heading inside. When he got to the apartment door it was locked, so he grabbed his key and unlocked it, stepping inside into the warmth.

“Hey, you’re home early.” Lawrence’s voice came from the kitchen. 

“Yeah I-” Adam looked over, seeing Lawrence in sweatpants and his button up shirt unbuttoned, trying not to stare at the hair covering his chest and stomach, leading down to his sweats. Fuck, he’s so hot. “Snowing. It’s snowing and it’s supposed to get bad so we closed early.” 

“That’s good that you were able to close early. Do you want a drink?” Lawrence asked, holding his hand up to show a new bottle of whiskey. “I’m only having one, I promise.”

“Yeah, I’ll take one. I’m gonna go put on pajamas, I’ll be back out in a minute.”

“Alright.” Lawrence replied, pulling two glasses out of his cabinet. 

 

A few minutes later Adam walked back into the living room, seeing Lawrence sitting down on the couch with his drink in his hand, Adam’s drink sitting on the table next to him, and Lawrence’s prosthetic under the table.

“How was work?” Lawrence asked.

“Since the last time you saw me? Fine. It was really slow,” he sat down next to him, laying the heated blanket over him. “Thank you for grabbing my last boxes.”

“Of course, I think I’ll just hire a moving company for the rest of your items. It shouldn’t be too much, you only have your mattress and shelves left from what I saw.”

“Yeah, but are you sure?” Adam asked.

Lawrence nodded, “Yes, I don’t think moving your mattress or shelves in this weather is suitable. Your mattress would have to go on top of my car, since it can’t fit inside.”

“Ohh yeah.” Adam responded. “Let’s watch a movie tonight then. I’ll pay for it.”

“If you insist,” Lawrence smiled, taking a sip of his drink.

“How about Frozen? It’s about these people on a ski trip. It just came out last year.” Adam suggested.

“Sure, that sounds fine.” Lawrence put his glass in his left hand, stretching his right out on the back of the couch, inviting Adam to lean against him. Adam pressed play on the remote and scooted closer to Lawrence, laying his head on his shoulder. Lawrence could smell him now, smell the mixture of cigarettes and weed on him, he knew he shouldn’t like it so much but it was intoxicating to him. He wanted to lean in, to kiss him and drink in that smell like it was his life source.

“I love movies,” Adam said, snapping Lawrence out of his thoughts. He looked down at him and moved his arm to rest around him, his hand laying on his shoulder.

“I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen many horror movies. I think the last one I saw was Scream when it came out in theaters, some college friends of mine wanted to go see it.” Lawrence said, putting his empty glass down between him and the couch, not wanting to disturb Adam by leaning forward.

“I love Scream, it’s one of my favorites. I love slashers in general.”

“Is this a slasher?” Lawrence asked.

“No, it’s a thriller.” Adam said, Lawrence nodding like he understood.

They sat like that for the rest of the movie, until it ended.

Adam sat up, “Wow. That was kind of bad. I’m sorry.”

“I thought it was okay. I don’t have many to compare it to, though.” 

“We’ll have to watch some better ones,” Adam said, grabbing the remote and putting on more of the shit doctor show.

 

They ended up falling asleep like that, Lawrence’s hand in Adam’s hair and Adam’s hand on Lawrence’s bare stomach. Lawrence woke up first, feeling the crick in his neck from sleeping with his head so far back, looking down at Adam. He would’ve loved to stay there, but he knew he had to get up. 

He ran his hands through Adam’s hair, who below him, started to stir. Lawrence leaned down a little, whispering “Good morning” to him.

“Mmh” Adam groaned, drawing his legs up to rest near his chest in an almost fetal-like position.

“I have to get up, Adam. You can go back to sleep here or go get in bed if you want.”

“No, I’m awake,” he groaned again, sitting up. Lawrence stood up and walked into the kitchen, starting the coffee maker as Adam stood up and went to grab his cigarettes from his bedroom. He put on his coat and slid on his shoes, nodding to Lawrence before stepping out.

Lawrence brewed his hot coffee before making a single cup of cold brew for Adam, setting the cup inside the fridge to stay cold until he got inside.

Adam came back inside a few minutes later, putting his coat on one of the chairs in the kitchen and throwing his shoes in his room before coming back to the living room area.

“There’s a cold brew for you in the fridge,” Lawrence said.

“Oh, thank you,” Adam said, “The roads are plowed, apparently the snow wasn’t too bad last night.”

“That’s great, that means the moving company will most likely be open today. I’ll call them later, alright?” Lawrence looked at Adam, who was drinking down his coffee.

“Yeah, that sounds good,” Adam replied.

 

They had gotten all of Adam’s furniture into his new room, with Adam taking the time to wipe off all the old dust and ash that covered the tops of his shelves. He spent most of the day setting up things only to reorganize them several times. Eventually he got tired of it and gave it up, focusing instead on taping his posters up. It was recognizable as his own, it was different from the apartment, in a good way. It was cleaner, looking less like a teenager’s room just because of that fact.

 

The rest of the week flew by, with Adam just focused on Saturday. He rode with Lawrence to go pick up Diana, stepping outside of the car when they arrived to smoke a cigarette several feet away from the front door. He watched as Lawrence and Alison talked, wondering what they were talking about. It seemed Alison was making a point of not looking in Adam’s direction, not even wanting to acknowledge them.

Diana came running out, running full speed into Lawrence and nearly knocking him off-balance, giving him a big hug. Adam rubbed his cigarette out and stuffed the rest in his pack. Diana turned and saw Adam, running across the driveway to give Adam a hug as well, then getting into the car and Adam turning the key in the ignition.

“Are you excited to go get a tree, Diana?” Adam asked, turning around to look at her.

“I am! I’m excited for Christmas in my dad’s new home!” she said, excitedly bouncing in her seat.

“I’m excited too,” Adam said.

Lawrence looked over to see Adam and Diana sitting in his car talking, both of them smiling big.

“You should give him a chance,” Lawrence said to Alison, turning and leaving to walk to his car.

Lawrence stepped into the car, making sure everyone was buckled in before driving off to the tree farm.

 

The hunt for the perfect tree didn’t last long, they were all freezing so they picked one about Lawrence’s height with minimum bald spots, making sure it was secured to the top of the car before heading off.

 

They got home and Adam helped Lawrence carry the tree in, Diana running in and sitting on the couch in front of the television. They got the tree standing up in its spot, both of them breathing heavily.

“I’m gonna step outside for a smoke.” Adam said, taking his time to walk to the door and back outside.

Lawrence sat down on the couch next to Diana, wrapping his arm around her.

“Dad, why does Adam smoke?” Diana asked.

“Some people smoke even though they know it’s bad for them,” Lawrence explained.

“But why?”

“I don’t really know, I suppose it’s because it’s addictive. It’s hard to quit something you do everyday, right?” He responded, to which Diana nodded. “Do you mind that Adam smokes?”

“I don’t want him to hurt himself,” she said, a sad tone in her voice.

“I don’t either, honey. My hope is that he’ll stop smoking soon. What would you think about Adam living with us for a while?” He asked, looking over at her.

“That’d be awesome! Is he gonna live here?” She asked, her eyes wide with excitement.

“Yes, he is. His room is where my office was, do you remember where that is?”

She nodded, “Can I see his room?”

“How about we wait until he comes back inside, okay?” She nodded again, looking towards the door.

 

Adam always took longer to smoke when Diana was there. He knew that no kid wanted to smell like smoke.

After a few minutes of standing outside in the cold he decided to go back inside, he could wait in his room if he still smelled strongly. He walked into the apartment and Diana jumped up off the couch, running towards him.

“Can I see your room, Adam?” she asked, jumping up and down.

“Um, hold on just a second, let me pick some stuff up and I’ll show you, okay?” he answered.

He went to his bedroom and locked the door behind him, not wanting Diana to walk in on him rearranging his bong collection. He shoved them all in the closet, shutting the doors and being sure that they were behind his clothes if the door was opened. He picked up his CDs and DVDs that were scattered around his room, making a pile for each, and then picked up his camera off the ground, putting it on his shelf.

He walked over to the bedroom door and opened it, seeing Diana standing there. He did a royal curtsy and put on his best British accent.

“Welcome to my humble abode, Princess Diana.” She giggled as she walked in, sitting down on his mattress.

“Wow, your room is really cool. Is that your camera?” She asked, pointing.

“Yeah, it’s broken though so I can’t take pictures.”

“Who are these people on your walls?”

“They’re people from bands I like. I have a lot of CDs in that pile,” he says, tapping the top CD to Diana’s left, also sitting on the mattress.

“Wooow,” she said, looking through the CDs.

“Pick one and we can listen to it.” She looked through for a minute before picking one up and handing it to Adam. “Korn’s self-titled, nice.”

Diana giggled, “Their name is Corn?”

Adam laughed, “Yup, Korn with a K.” He grabbed his CD player and put the CD in, pressing play and laying back in his bed, Diana still looking at his different CDs and DVDs.

“You have a lot of scary looking movies,” she said after a few minutes.

“Yep, I loooove scary movies. They’re my favorite.”

“Can we watch one together?” she asked.

“I don’t think I have any that would be appropriate for you, but we can ask your dad to take us to Blockbuster, how about that?” he asked, smiling but not moving from the bed.

“I want to watch a new movie tonight.” she said.

“I think we can do that.” 

A few more minutes passed by before Diana spoke again. A few songs had passed and Adam was singing along to the music.

“What’s a faggot?” Diana asked innocently.

Adam sat up suddenly, looking over at her.

“That’s a bad word.” He replied.

“What does it mean?”

Adam sighed, “Do you know what gay means?”

“Not really… Kids at school say that tests are gay.”

“Okay well that’s not really the correct way to use it,” he explained. “You know how you have a mom and a dad?” she nodded. “Well, some kids have two moms or two dads, because sometimes two men or two women fall in love with each other. Does that make sense?” He hesitated.

“I think so…”

“Okay, that’s what gay means. It’s not a synonym for bad so don’t use it like that, okay?”

“What’s a cinna-men?”

“A synonym, It means two words that mean the same thing.” Adam explained.

“Okay… so what about the other word?” she asked.

“That other word is a bad word used for gay people, because some people don’t understand being gay.” Adam said. Diana went back to looking through the CDs, and Adam laid back down.

“Adam?”

“Mhm?”

“Are you gay?”

Adam stopped for a second, taking a deep breath. “Yeah, I am.”

“Oh. That’s cool.” she paused, “Do you have a husband?”

Adam laughed, “No, I don’t have a husband. I don’t have a boyfriend either. Do you have anyone you like?” She shook her head furiously. “No boy? Or girl?”

“No! Everyone has cooties!” she answered, to which Adam laughed again. 

“Not cooties!” He yelled, laughing afterwards. Diana laughed as well, before their laughter died out and Adam sat up to shut the music off.

“Alright, wanna go ask your dad to take us to Blockbuster? I think he’d have a harder time saying no to you.”

Diana ran out the door, Adam standing up to grab his coat and shoes again. A few moments later Diana ran back to her room, grabbing her coat before sitting down in front of her shoes.

 

Adam walked out to the kitchen, where Lawrence was. 

“Hey,” Lawrence said.

“Hey,” Adam responded, “she’s a great kid.”

Lawrence smiled, “She adores you, you know.”

“I’ve never been good with kids. They’re so loud and touchy and hard to talk to. But she’s a really good kid, Lawrence.”

 

They pulled up to Blockbuster, Adam spotting Amanda’s wonderful face in the window.

“Hey, what’re you doing here?” She asked as they walked in. Adam walked over to the counter where she was.

“We’re getting movies, of course. The grind never stops.” He smiled at her.

“I noticed, you look like a cute happy family.” Adam shook his head at her, but she could tell he was trying to hide his smile.

“We’re getting movies for Diana, and maybe a movie for after she goes to bed.”

“Aww, how fatherlike of you.” she said, holding a hand over her heart. Adam looked around to make sure Diana wasn’t looking and stuck his middle finger up at Amanda, who stuck hers up in return.

Adam returned to where Diana was, in the kids section.

“Alright, you like Scooby-Doo?” he bent down and looked at the lower shelf, all Scooby movies.

“No! Those are for little kids.” She yelled.

He inched his finger at her, telling her to come in closer.

“This is a little secret,” he pointed at the lower level of movies “these right here? They’re scary Scooby-Doo movies, made for big kids like you.” He stopped whispering. “Trust me, you’ll like them.” He held up two movies, Scooby-Doo Alien Invaders and the live action Scooby-Doo movie with Matthew Lilliard and Sarah Michelle Geller. “Now it’s your turn to pick a movie for your dad and I to watch.” He said as he led her over to the adult horror section.

She looked around for a bit before picking up a movie with an animal mask on the cover. 

“You’re Next, huh? Alright, I think we got all the movies for tonight.” Adam said, adding it to the two others in his hands. He signaled Lawrence, who was in the Rom-Com section, to meet them at the checkout. 

Adam put down the DVDs, Lawrence pointing to the one on top.

“Is that appropriate for her?” he asked Adam.

“No, that’s for us when she goes to bed.” He answered.

Amanda smiled, “Date night, huh?”

“Shut up, Amanda.” Adam said, looking over to Diana. “She’s my best friend. Don’t ask me why.” which made Diana giggle.

Lawrence paid and Amanda handed them the DVDs, “Alright, there ya go. Have a good night you guys.” She said, waiting until Lawrence turned his back to wink at Adam, who stuck his tongue out at her.

 

Lawrence decided to stop and bring home dinner, they ordered carry out pizza and while Lawrence paid, Adam took Diana to the bathroom. He took her to the women's restroom and looked in her eyes.

“I can’t come in with you but if you need anything yell super loud and I’ll bust down the door, okay?” She nodded and went inside, leaving Adam out there with a woman standing outside the men’s restroom.

“Is that your daughter?” She asked, smiling at him.

“Oh, no. She’s my friend's daughter. I don’t have any kids.”

“Oh, that’s a shame. You’d be a great father, I know it.”

“Um… thank you.” He said, the door swinging open and Diana coming out. He turned to look at her, “You wash your hands?” She nodded, so he grabbed her hand and led her to the exit.

 

When they got home, they decided to watch the live action Scooby-Doo movie first in case it was too scary for Diana, which ended up being a good idea. 

Every time there was a weed reference or joke Lawrence would look at Adam and smile, which Adam found adorable. I cannot wait to get high with this man, Adam thought. 

They watched Alien Invader next which Diana absolutely loved, her favorite character was Crystal, of course. 

“Next time we’ll get you Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. You’ll love the Hex Girls.” Adam told her, giving her a hug before she went to bed. She gave Lawrence a hug before running off to her room.

“Goodnight guys!! Love you.” she yelled, closing her bedroom door.

Lawrence turned to Adam, “Do you want a drink and cigarette before the movie?” he asked.

“You know me so well,” he said, pulling on his coat, “I think the weather this winter may actually convince me to quit.” Lawrence lifted an eyebrow. “Just kidding. In all seriousness, please pour me a large glass of whatever we’re having. I need it after today.” Lawrence nodded, wondering what he meant, as he shut the door behind him.

 

He came back inside after he got his nicotine headache to go away, sitting down beside Lawrence on the couch.

“Was today that bad for you?” Lawrence asked him.

“What? No. Why- Oh. No, today wasn’t bad at all, Lawrence.” He drank half of his cup of whiskey, then sat back on the couch. “Diana asked me what faggot meant,” Lawrence’s eyes widened, staring at Adam, “so then I had to explain what gay meant because apparently she didn’t know what gay means even though she’s what? 9? 10? And then she asked if I was gay and I couldn’t just lie to her.”

“Where did she hear that word?”

“I- She- We were listening to music and I forgot that song was on there and it didn’t occur to me until it came out of her mouth.”

Lawrence relaxed into the couch a little, “Okay, that’s good. It’s not good but I’m glad she didn’t hear it at school or, god forbid, from Alison. What did she say?”

“She asked me if I had a husband.” They shared a laugh. “I’m glad to know homophobia isn’t inherited.” Adam said.

“Alison isn’t- well, she is- but not in that way. She doesn’t understand, she grew up very religious. I’m not excusing what she’s said, but she would get over it if…” He trailed off.

“If?” Adam asked, taking another sip of his drink.

“If I ended up with a man.” Lawrence said.

“Have you ever thought about that? Really thought about it, I mean.” Adam stared ahead at the television, even though it was on the idle screen. 

“I’ve thought about it more seriously since my divorce, yes.”

Adam nodded, getting up to change the movie. When he sat back down, Lawrence pulled him close, rubbing his shoulder with his hand and asking repeatedly if he was comfortable. 

From what he could focus on, the movie was good. He was thankful for the simple plot, because all he could think about was Lawrence’s heat next to him.

Chapter Text

what do u want for christmas

You don’t need to get me anything, Adam.

i know but what do u want

What do you want?

to not be homeless (which u already solved) ur turn

I want to spend Christmas with Diana and you.

ur getting that either way shithead

why cant u just give me ideas

I don’t expect or need anything, Adam. Save your money.

ur so dam stubborn

 

Adam slammed his hands down on the Blockbuster counter in front of Amanda. 

“Dude, I need your help.” He said, staring at her.

“With what?” She asked, not looking up from her book.

“A Christmas present for Lawrence. I have no clue what to get him, if he wants something he’s able to just buy it. What do you get a man that can afford anything he wants?” Adam sighed, laying his head down on the counter.

“Get him something he can’t buy, something personal. Make him something.”

“That’d be a great idea if I had any talents, Amanda. Photography is the only thing I’m decent at and my camera’s been fucked for months.”

“Go to Goodwill and find a picture frame and decorate it or some shit. Buy a cheapo disposable camera and put a picture of his kid in there. He likes coffee, right? Get him a coffee cup. Make a zine about your love for him or some shit, I don’t know.” She said, sighing and putting her book down.

“Hey, those are actually pretty good ideas. Minus the zine, of course. Maybe I could get Diana to help me decorate a picture frame. I’m already saving like four hundred bucks when the year ends from not living in that shithole anymore. I can spend a little, right?”

“Right, Adam.” 

 

When’s your friends’ party?

23rd at 6pm

at hoffmans house

i can direct u there

Do we need to bring a dish?

you should make something :]

Does anyone that will be there have any allergies?

no

unless peter does

let me ask

Please do.

 

does peter have any allergies

food wise

No. Why?

larry is going to make something fr the 23rd

Okay…

You told him we normally don’t eat, right?

his food is good

im gonna tell him to make a dessert

 

no allergies

bring dessert :]

Okay, Adam.

  ru working late tonight

Most likely, are you alright?

yes

 

I can get off work, go to the store, look around for things I can buy something or can buy stuff to make him a gift, Adam thought. It’s the 22nd already, I need to figure it out. Lawrence said we’re doing Christmas with Diana on the 26th, Alison gets her on actual Christmas this year. 

Adam walked outside, standing at the edge of the building, smoking a cigarette. He thought of last Christmas, what little he remembered of it. He knew this Christmas would be better.

 

His shift ended and he walked down to the bus stop, smoking cigarette after cigarette to try and keep warm until the bus got to him. It arrived after twenty minutes, and he got on immediately. He realized too late that he didn’t have his headphones, he couldn’t listen to any music, and had to listen to the noise on the bus. He sat back, trying to relax, but he couldn’t. He felt like everyone was staring at him, like they knew everything about him somehow, and that they were just waiting for him to let his guard down. He shot up, going to the very front of the bus and standing there until the next stop, where he ran off immediately.

I can walk to the store, it’s fine, it’s okay.

He kept walking, realizing he was severely underdressed for the weather. His shoes weren’t warm, his coat was fine but his shirt was thin from being worn so many times and the wind cut right through it. He didn’t have any gloves, and his jeans had rips and holes in them. He saw a gas station coming up on his left and decided to run inside, telling himself he’d be fine to go back outside in a minute. After a few minutes he went back outside, returning inside when he realized he was losing feeling in his hands. He went inside the gas station bathroom, checking his phone. He had gotten off work at 8PM and it was now almost 11PM. He didn’t think he had been gone that long, he didn’t know how long he spent on the bus, it had felt like eternity and no longer than a few seconds all at once, it felt like that wasn’t him on the bus. He checked his missed messages.

 

Adam? 

I thought you would be home by now, are you okay?

 

He tried typing a response back, but he was so cold he couldn’t stop shaking, he wasn’t able to type anything. He hit the call button.

 

“Adam? Are you okay? Where are you?”

“I-I’m at a gas station.”

“Why? Are you okay?”

“‘M okay, I tried riding the bus to the s-store but I freaked out.”

“Please just ask me for a ride next time, please. Which gas station are you at?”

“Um…” Adam looked around before seeing a sign, “I’m at Chevron. I-I think it’s the one near the p’lice station.”

“Okay, stay inside, don’t try to go anywhere, okay? I’m on my way, just stay there.”

“Okay.” Adam said quietly. He probably already took his prosthetic off and now he has to put it back on and cause himself more pain because you can’t handle walking a few miles in the cold. Jesus christ, Adam, you’re fucking pathetic.

He walked out of the bathroom, walking over to the counter.

“Can I get two packs of Eagle Reds, please.”

“100s?” the cashier replied.

“Yeah, and these please,” he said, grabbing two mini bottles of fireball and putting them down on the counter.

“ID?” Adam searched his pockets, pulling out his wallet and showing his ID to the cashier, who punched it into the machine. He pulled out a $20 and gave it to him, seeing a car pull up to the gas station. The cashier gave him his change and Adam shoved it in his pocket, putting the alcohol in his pockets as well, walking towards the door. The headlights turned off and he could see that Lawrence was getting out of the car, Adam walked out of the gas station and opened the car door and got inside Lawrence’s car, fumbling with his pack of cigarettes.

“Roll the window down. Please.” Adam said, his voice shaking.

“Give me your hands.” Lawrence said, Adam ignoring him, still trying to open his cigarettes. “Give me your goddamn hands, Adam.” Lawrence took the pack of cigarettes out of his hands, throwing it up on the dash, grabbing Adam’s hands in his and squeezing them, flipping them over and checking them. “You don’t have frostbite. Good.

“Great.” Adam said sarcastically.

“You could’ve lost your hands, Adam. Losing a part of your body isn’t fun.” Lawrence said, the anger in his voice hurting Adam.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why in the everloving fuck would you get on a bus? Why not just ask for a ride from Hoffman or take the subway or wait for me to get off of work?” His voice was rising in volume, getting more aggressive.

“I wanted to go to the store, okay!” he grabbed his cigarette pack, tearing the top open ungraceously, “I wanted to go to the store and not rely on someone else to give me a ride but I got on the bus and I don’t have my headphones so I couldn’t listen to music and then everyone was looking at me and I fucking lost it! I didn’t plan for this to happen. I certainly didn’t want you to get comfortable at home only to have to come get me like a dad picking up his fucked up son, alright? Fuck.” He grabbed a cigarette and put it between his lips, shaking as his hands tried to light it. “I’m sorry.”

Lawrence sighed, “Jesus Christ, Adam. There’s nothing wrong with someone else driving you around. You barely had money for fucking food, no one expects you to have a car.”

“I-” Adam started, before being cut off.

“You look so much better than you used to, Adam. I don’t know what it’s like to not have money, I’ve never had to make hard decisions regarding that, so please. Please, let me take care of you. I like giving you rides, I like cooking for you, I like our nights on the couch where you fall asleep halfway through the most dramatic Gray’s episode of the night.” He put his hand on Adam’s cheek, “I don’t mind any of it. I promise.” 

That’s what did it. Adam’s eyes flooded with tears, his body collapsing against Lawrence’s, letting his head fall down.

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, Lawrence.” Lawrence moved his arms around Adam, holding him close against him. He put one of his hands on Adam’s head, playing lightly with his hair, and his other arm held him closer than ever before. 

“I’m sorry for raising my voice.” Lawrence said softly, stroking Adam’s hair. “I was so worried about you.”

“I’m sorry for worrying you.” Adam said, wiping his eyes. Lawrence moved his hand from his hair to his cheek, rubbing gently.

“You’re okay. Let’s go home.” Lawrence pressed his lips against the top of Adam’s head, unnoticed by Adam, before driving them home.

 

Adam hadn't talked on the car ride home. Neither, had Lawrence, but Adam seemed more distant than usual, which made him notice. When they got home, Lawrence made Adam take a warm shower, telling him it would make him feel better, or at the very least, warmer. Adam hadn’t talked since Lawrence had suggested they had gone home.

“Do you want me to bring you a pair of shorts and a shirt?” Lawrence asked him, checking the bath water for temperature. Adam shook his head. “Okay, there’s a towel here for you if you need it. Do you need anything else?” Adam shook his head again, so Lawrence left him in the bathroom.

Lawrence got to his bedroom, sitting down in bed removing his prosthesis when he got a text message.

 

can i sleep with you tonight?

Yes. I’ll leave the door open, just come in when you’re done.

thank you

 

Lawrence sat in bed, propped up against some pillows, reading his book when Adam came in, heated blanket around him.

“Are you doing okay, Adam?” he nodded in response, sitting down in the bed next to Lawrence. He looks like he’s going to break, Lawrence thought. “Do you want to lay down?” he nodded again. Lawrence moved his pillows and laid down, turning off the lamp next to him. “Lay down wherever you’re comfortable, okay?” Adam nodded, laying down close to Lawrence, inching his way closer, before laying his head on Lawrence’s chest and slinging his left leg over the top of Lawrence left leg, resting in the middle of the two. Lawrence took this as an okay for physical contact, wrapping his left arm around Adam and holding him close. The two fell asleep intertwined like that.

 

When Lawrence woke up Adam was gone. He sat up, putting on his prosthesis and walking as quickly as he could out of his room, down the hallway, where he spotted Adam making a hot pot of coffee.

“Morning,” Adam said, his eyes on the coffee dripping into the pot.

“Good morning, how are you feeling?” Lawrence asked, leaning onto the kitchen island.

“I’m better.”

“Are you still wanting to go see your friends today?” Lawrence asked, not wanting to persuade him either way.

“Yeah, I think it’d be good to see them.” Adam said, sighing.

“Do you want to talk about last night at all?” 

“Not really. I just... get like that sometimes, the not talking.” Adam replied, to which Lawrence nodded, acknowledging he understood and wouldn't press on. “You have anything to do tomorrow?” 

“No I do not,” Lawrence replied, “do you?”

“No, which is good,” Adam smiled at him, “we’re gonna need the time off.”

 

Adam and Lawrence both showered, Lawrence first since he got longer getting ready, then Adam. 

Lawrence was dressed in his usual button up and slacks, adding a looser fitting tie to it.

Adam dressed in his usual party wear, a graphic shirt, this one was cropped and said “I Don’t Smoke” for the ironic humor, and a pair of tripp pants, stolen from Amanda, of course. 

Lawrence knocked on Adam’s open bedroom door. “Wow, you look nice.” Lawrence said, straightening his tie.

“Thanks. You look great, as always. You don’t have to dress up, you know.” Adam said, walking into the kitchen, Lawrence following, going over to the oven. “Brownies?”

Lawrence smiled at him, “Yeah, homemade.”

“You’re a genius,” Adam replied. 

 

When they arrived, only Hoffman was there.

“Hey, merry Christmas,” Adam gave him a hug, “where’s Mandy?”

“She’s out on a run. I told her she could keep the change if she went so I could stay home,” he turned to Lawrence, “Good to see you, Doctor Gordon.”

“He made homemade brownies,” Adam beamed.

“I did, it’s good to see you as well, Mark.” Lawrence said, holding the brownies out.

“Come on in, you can put them on the counter.”

The house was how it looked every year, christmas lights everywhere, miscellaneous bongs under tables and on shelves, and the most comfortable couch Adam had ever sat on. 

“Alright, where’s the booze at?” Adam asked, turning around to face Hoffman.

Hoffman opened the fridge, showing the area for condiments filled with different beers, wines, and whiskeys. 

“Oh fuck yeah.” Adam said, taking his coat off and throwing it over one of the chairs in the kitchen. He squatted down next to the door, looking at what all was there. “What do you want, Lawrence?”

“A beer is fine.” He stated, taking one from Adam when he handed it to him.

“Do you have any weed until Amanda gets back?” Adam asked, shutting the fridge door and heading to the living room to sit down on his favorite couch.

“I have my rig.” Hoffman answered.

“I think that would actually kill Lawrence. I’m not kidding.” Adam said, sitting down in the middle of the couch, patting the seat next to him for Lawrence to sit down. Lawrence sat down and Adam relaxed into the seat. “So when’s Peter coming?” 

“He should be here soon, I told him to come by before anything super incriminating happens.” Hoffman smirked.

“Can’t wait.” Adam said, chugging back his beer. Lawrence cracked his open and took a drink, leaning back on the couch to match Adam.

There came a knock at the door, which Hoffman answered. Amanda walked in, taking a large baggie out of her pocket and throwing it at Adam.

“Roll me a spliff please, I gotta piss!” She yelled, running to the bathroom. 

“Yes, ma’am!” Adam yelled after her, throwing the bag onto the table and grabbing his cigarettes, pulling one out. “Hoffman, you wanna grab another tray for me, please?”

Hoffman disappeared into his bedroom, coming back with another rolling tray a few moments later. He grabbed the bag and rolling papers, dumping some weed out onto the rolling tray, separating it from the stems with his hands. Adam, meanwhile, broke the cigarette in half, emptying out the contents onto the tray, grabbing a rolling paper, sprinkling the tobacco on the paper before grabbing the weed Hoffman had de-stemmed, rolling it all up. Amanda walked back in, sitting on the other side of Adam.

“Your spliff, m’lday.” Adam said, handing it out to her. Hoffman rolled up a joint without any tobacco in it.

“Here,” he said, looking between Lawrence and Adam before handing it off to Adam.

“Thanks man, you’re the best.” Adam turned to Lawrence, “Do you want some? No pressure.”

“Yeah,” Lawrence creaked out, clearing his throat before saying “Yes.”

Adam put the joint between his lips, lighting it and taking a deep inhale and holding it for a second before handing it to Lawrence. 

He exhaled, saying “Do you remember how?”

“I think so,” Lawrence said, grabbing it with his index finger and thumb, holding it up to his lips and inhaling, trying to let it out gracefully but ending up coughing. Adam laughed, taking it back and hitting it again, blowing the smoke in Lawrence’s face. Hoffman sat back, taking Amanda’s spliff and taking a puff of it before handing it back to her. 

There was another knock at the door, Adam jumped at it as he looked around, trying to figure out who was missing.

“It’s Peter.” Hoffman said, walking over to the door and stepping outside. Adam went over to the window and looked outside, seeing Peter and Mark standing there, talking. 

“Not gonna lie, I kinda thought he was just pulling my leg this whole time. I can’t believe he’s seriously seeing someone.” Adam said, sitting back down on the couch, taking the joint from Lawrence and inhaling. “How are you doing?”

“Good. I’m really good.” Lawrence answered, smiling at Adam.

“Oh yeah, you look it.” Adam said, smiling back at him.

“You guys are gross.” Amanda said, taking another puff.

“What, you want a kiss, Mandy?” Adam said, turning to her and leaning in close.

“You wish,” she said, blowing smoke at him.

Adam handed the joint back to Lawrence, who quickly gave it back to Adam. The door opened as Hoffman and Peter stepped inside, locking the door behind them.

“Peter, this is Amanda, Adam, and Lawrence.” Hoffman said, pointing at each one as he said their name. “This is Peter.”

“Hi Peter” Amanda and Adam said in unison, poking fun at Hoffman’s formalness in introducing them.

“It’s nice to meet you, Peter.” Lawrence said, standing up and moving forward to shake his hand, swaying a bit.

“Do you want a hit?” Adam asked, outstretching his hand with the joint in it.

“No, thank you.” Peter said, sitting down in the chair next to Hoffman.

“You’re an agent, right?” Adam asked, taking another hit before handing it to Lawrence.

“Yes, I am. Homicide division.” He said shortly.

“I’m a doctor. Oncology.” Lawrence said, taking a puff and handing it back to Adam, who put it out in the ashtray. 

“That’s great,” Peter said, no sarcasm in his voice detected, “what hospital?”

“Angel of Mercy.”

Peter nodded, “You looked familiar. Probably from there.”

“Probably,” Lawrence repeated, looking over at Adam. Adam looked over at him, smiling. Lawrence moved his hand up, running it through Adam’s hair. “Oh, wow.” he breathed out.

Oh wow,” Adam mocked, still smiling, “Dude you’re so gone,” he said, leaning his head into Lawrence’s hand.

“It’s sickening, truly.” Amanda said, looking at Peter. 

“This feels nothing like college.” Lawrence continued.

“I can’t imagine the shit you smoked in college, Lawrence. Are you having fun?” Adam asked, pulling his legs up on the couch and putting them over Amanda’s, leaning back into Lawrence.

“I think so. I’m forgetting what’s going on as it’s happening,” he said, chuckling.

Adam laughed as well, “Yeah, you’re really high, Lawrence.” his eyes drifted towards Hoffman, “Will you-What? Why are you staring?”

Hoffman was grinning at them, replying “Oh, no reason. Will I what?”

“Will you pleeeeease roll me another joint?” Adam pleaded. Hoffman picked up one he already rolled off of the tray and held it out to Adam.

“There you go.”

“Ohhhh my god you’re insane. Thank you.” Adam said, grabbing it from Hoffman and putting it between his lips, lighting it.

Lawrence stared down at Adam, watching his lips move, watching the smoke leave his lips and spiral out into the air, fading away. Adam noticed his eyes on him, looking up.

“You want?” Adam asked, hand outstretched for Lawrence.

“No,” he said, continuing to look at Adam’s smiling face.

“Suit yourself,” he raised his voice, “Can we get some fuckin music or Gray’s or something? I can hear myself think, man.”

Amanda grabbed the remote, putting on Gray’s and then pushing Adam’s legs off her, standing up and walking into the kitchen, Mark following her, leaving Peter there with Adam and Lawrence. They sat in silence, watching the show, as Hoffman and Amanda talked in the kitchen.

Peter’s watch beeped and he sat up, walking over to the Adam and Lawrence, stretching out his hand.

“It was good to meet you both, I hope to be seeing you again soon.”

Adam gave him a fist bump, and Lawrence reached out and shook his hand.

“It was good to meet you as well, Peter.” Lawrence said.

“Yeah, see you around.” Adam said.

Peter walked to the kitchen, saying goodbye to Amanda and Mark, kissing Mark on the cheek before he left.

“Aw that’s so cute that your not boyfriend kisses you before he leaves.” Adam says, smiling at Hoffman.

“You’re such a shithead, Adam,” he responded, coming to sit back down in the living room. Amanda shortly followed.

 

A few hours passed, Adam went through several more various forms of smoking, while Lawrence refused to partake any more, saying he needed to be completely sober to drive them home. Adam still offered every time he lit up. Adam was starting to fall asleep, Lawrence letting him rest for a litle bit.

“Hey, Adam.” he whispered, rubbing his shoulder, “Adam, wake up. We’re gonna head out soon, okay?” Adam stirred awake, struggling to sit up completely.

“The party’s just getting started,” Adam said, looking around and seeing Amanda asleep next to him.

“The parties been just Hoffman and I for a little while, Adam.” Lawrence laughed.

“In my defense, the past few years Amanda and I both have just slept on the couch here.” he said, leaning forward and grabbing a cigarette from the table, lighting it. “After this we can go.”

Adam finished his cigarette, shaking Amanda awake. “Amanda. Amanda. We’re leaving.” Amanda woke up, sitting up with wide eyes. 

“You’re leaving already?” She asked, rubbing her face.

“Apparently we’ve been sleeping for a little bit. But yeah, we’re heading out.” 

“Okay, come here,” she said, opening her arms. Adam hugged her, them squeezing each others arms tight. “I’m so proud of you, Adam.” she whispered.

“I’m even prouder of you, Amanda.” They let go, pulling apart. Hoffman stood up and Adam went over to him, Mark reaching into his pocket and pulling out a token, handing it to Adam before pulling him into a close hug.

“I’m proud of you, both of you.” he said.

“Thank you, Mark.” Adam said, smiling big.

Mark broke the hug, pushing him towards the door. 

“Get out of here,” he said, smiling. Lawrence stood up and walked over to Adam, grabbing his hand.

“Oh my god that’s so weird, look at the mistletoe right above the door. Isn’t that so weird, Mark?” Amanda said, trying her best to act surprised but failing miserably.

“That is so weird. I wonder how that got there.” Hoffman replied. 

Adam and Lawrence looked up above them, sure enough, in the doorway right above them was a bundle of mistletoe. They looked down, staring at each others shoes, before Lawrence moved. He put his hand up on Adam’s cheek, gently holding it there.

“You don’t have to,” Lawrence whispered.

“No, I-” he paused, “I mean, it’s mistletoe.”

“Yeah,” Lawrence whispered, leaning in. Adam felt like his heart was about to explode, he could feel his body heat rising. Lawrence pressed his lips to Adam’s forehead, holding them there for a second before pulling back. “I’m proud of you, Adam.”

Adam smiled, looking over at Amanda and Mark, who were smiling at them just as much.

“Bye, guys, love you.” Adam said, Lawrence waving his hand.

“Thank you for having me over, and for the um- marijuana.” Lawrence said, smiling.

“Merry Christmas, guys,” Mark said, waving to them.

 

They got home, Lawrence unlocking the door and Adam rushing inside, desperate to be warm. He ran to Lawrence’s bedroom, taking off his tripp pants and crawling under the covers. Lawrence shortly followed, taking his tie off and putting it on his doorknob, unbuttoning the top few buttons of his shirt. He sat down on the bed and took his prosthetic off, laying it by his bedside. He got under the covers and laid down on his back, waiting for Adam to lay his head down on his chest. Adam got closer to him, laying his hand on his stomach and his hand on his chest. Lawrence moved his hand, running his fingers through Adam’s hair.

“Hey, Lawrence?” 

“Yeah?” he moved his hand that was in Adam’s hair down to the back of his neck, rubbing circles at the nape.

“Do you ever wear just, like, jeans? And a shirt?” Adam asked, playing with the buttons on his shirt.

“I haven’t in quite a while, why?”

“I don’t know. You always wear either button ups and nice pants or pajamas.”

“I like to look nice.”

“You’d look nice in a white shirt and jeans too, Lawrence.”

Lawrence smiled at him, leaning down to kiss the top of his head. “Yeah?

“Yeah.” Adam said softly, closing his eyes.

 

Adam didn’t have nice dreams often, but that night he did.

He and Lawrence were laying in bed, just as they had been before he fell asleep.

“I want to kiss you,” Lawrence whispered to him, putting his hand on his cheek like it was that day. It was a dream, but Adam could feel the heat of Lawrence’s body, it was dark in the room but he knew everything that was going on.

“I want you to.” Adam replied, leaning up towards him, having their faces mere inches from each other.

Lawrence leaned in and kissed him, pressing his soft lips against Adam’s chapped ones. He could taste the beer and weed from earlier, it seemed so real. Lawrence turned his head and parted his lips, looking to deepen the kiss. Adam’s thoughts were racing, thinking about what kind of lover Lawrence was, what he wanted from Adam, if he would even be attracted to Adam’s body, thoughts getting more and more negative each time a new one popped up.

 

Then Adam woke up, feeling like he was falling. He jolted up, feeling his body tense. He took a breath, sighing as he exhaled. 

“Jesus fuckin christ,” he whispered, feeling his body soaked with sweat. He tried falling back asleep before realizing that he couldn’t go back to sleep with the feeling of sweat all over him, making his shirt cling to his body. He got up slowly, being careful not to wake Lawrence, and went to his room, grabbing a new pair of boxers before going to the bathroom to shower.

When he got out of the shower and returned to Lawrence’s room, he was still asleep. Adam was careful getting back into bed, laying his head on Lawrence’s chest before falling back asleep.

 

Lawrence woke up first that morning, like usual, and noticed Adam on his chest, shirtless. Where’d his shirt go? He had it on last night. Maybe he got overheated during the night and took it off? But he didn’t spot a shirt anywhere on the floor or bed.

The sunlight shone through the windows, hitting the bed right where Adam’s face and chest were. Lawrence looked at him, gently touching his face and neck, moving his hand down to his chest, running his thumb across the scars from Adam’s top surgery.

Adam’s face scrunched up as he moved to cover his eyes with his hand, blocking the sun.

“Lawrence?” he asked, his voice harsh from sleeping all night.

“I’m sorry, I was looking at your surgery scars. They’re very well done.”

Adam rolled over, putting his face in the dark space between Lawrence’s chest and the bed. 

“It’s okay. I touch your chest all the time.” Adam said, his voice muffled. He moved his face away from the dark spot, looking up at Lawrence. “Will you drive me to the store today?”

“Of course. Anywhere in particular?” Lawrence asked.

“I’d like to go to a music store and maybe an arts and crafts store, too. If that’s alright with you.” 

“Add a coffee shop and that’ll sound great.” Lawrence replied, sitting up and moving his legs to rest over the edge of the bed.

“Deal,” Adam grumbled, getting out of bed and stretching, cracking his back.

“Do you want to get breakfast there, then? We can leave as soon as we’re both ready.” Lawrence said, putting on his prosthetic.

“Yeah, that’s fine.” Adam said, walking out of Lawrence’s room into his room, which was right next door to Lawrence’s.

 

They sat at a table in the corner of the coffee shop they usually went to, ordering the same as always. 

“What do you need to get at the music store?” Lawrence asked, sipping his coffee.

“I’m gonna see what they have for CDs, probably check out the shirts too. For Diana.”

“For Diana?” Lawrence raised his eyebrow.

“Yeah, she likes music.”

“I guess she’s never expressed that to me.” 

“You don’t let her listen to music with the word fuck in it,” Adam said, smiling at him.

Lawrence sighed, “That I do not. What do you need to go to the art store for?”

Adam shrugged, “I just have to get some stuff.”

“Alright, Adam,” Lawrence responded, dropping the subject. 

 

When they pulled up to the music store, Lawrence decided to stay in the car. It didn’t seem like the kind of store he’d enjoy, but Adam clearly loved it since he came back with a bag full of CDs. He plopped down in the passenger seat, setting his bag on the floorboards and pulling out a cigarette, lighting it immediately.

“Alright, take a look,” he said, smiling wide and picking up a stack of CDs from the bag and putting them on his lap, showing them to Lawrence once by one. “They had fuckin’ Rob Zombie on the clearance rack. Hellbilly. Can you believe it? So I grabbed two,” he said, showing Lawrence the other one, “one for Diana and one for me. They had some shit I’ve had for years that they always fuckin’ have on clearance cause everyone that wants it already has it,” he said, showing Lawrence several Sum41 and Blink-182 albums, “and then,” he held up an album that had a picture of a white owl on the front, “newest Deftones. For me, as a treat for not getting shitfaced last night.” 

“I have never heard of any of those but I’m glad you’re happy with what you found. To the art store?” Lawrence said, also smiling after hearing Adam go off about music.

“Yeah, please.”

 

Lawrence was interested in going into the art store, but Adam had demanded that he waited in the car. Almost an hour had passed and Lawrence was about to message him when Adam walked up to the car, pointing at the trunk Lawrence reached down and pulled the button to pop it open, watching as Adam put the bag in and closed it, coming around to the passenger side.

“I take it you found what you were looking for?” Lawrence asked once Adam had sat down in the passenger seat.

“Oh, yeah. Thank you again for driving me around.”

“It’s no problem, Adam. I told you to ask if you ever needed me to take you somewhere.” Lawrence said, putting his hand on the gear shifter.

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you have to say yes or be happy about it.” Adam replied.

“I’ll always say yes if possible, and I’ll most likely also be happy about it.” Lawrence gave him a half-smile before driving them back home.