Eddie has shared a room with Denny and Goldberg for five seasons now, and he’s quickly gotten to know all their quirks, preferences, and behaviors. Goldberg leaves his socks laying around and ends up stealing from them when he can’t find his. He also likes his eggs sunny side up. Eddie knows he’s guilty of being a shower hog by using up all the hot water while lost in song. And he's also the only one of them who can wiggle his ears. Denny likes to add three years to his age to seem more mature. But what Denny is best known for at this point is for babbling in his sleep.
Oh, it’s usually nonsense with a recognizable word or two thrown in here and there. Like the night where he started muttering “fish ‘n’ chips” at random intervals throughout the night. The next day, the kid ate three helpings at the ball park and quickly went to weigh himself, only to discover that he’d somehow lost a pound. Eddie was almost certain that the kid was gonna cry. There wasn't a single bit of meat on him.
And of course there was that one thing that they all did. That thing that every guy new to just ignore. And, sure, why not? Breaking curfew meant getting fined or benched, so what the hell else was a fella supposed to do when he got lonesome? It was something they silently agreed was better left unsaid...
Leave it to Katherine Catherine to ruin the whole balance of things! Denny was head over heels for that broad. Eddie didn’t blame him or anything; he had eyes, didn’t he? It was bad enough watching her swish around in her colorful skirts, throwing all the boys a flirty glance before pitching better than Big Joe. What wasn't to love about her? Eddie wanted to get in her dugout as much as anyone else on the team, but the kid would just not keep quiet about her!
“Did you see the way she caught that ball the other day when we were playing in the courtyard? She really went for it. What a girl.”
“Denny, do you realize that you’ve told me this story ten times already? You're driving me crazy! So unless there's a new ending this time where she lifts up her skirts and handles your bat, then I don’t wanna hear it.”
“I don’t see why everything’s gotta be so dirty with you. Romance is just as important as the smut, you know. Or maybe you don't.”
“Whatever you say, kid.”
Denny pouts. God, the kid has the poutiest lips and the brightest blue eyes of anyone he’s ever met. Usually Eddie thinks his innocent notions about women are cute, but today he kind of wants to smack him until big, fat tears roll down his slim face. That would turn those baby blues into liquid sapphires and wipe the pout off his face. That would show him…
Jesus, it just wasn’t natural to box a guy into his room this early night after night. It was making him think crazy things. Eddie shakes his head, stands up from the checker board, and walks over to his bed where he starts disrobing. If he couldn’t get a girl up here, then he might as well go to bed.
“Hey, wait, it’s your turn!”
“Oh, shut up and go to sleep. I don’t wanna look at you right now.”
“Gee, how do ya like that?”
Denny gives up and walks over to the switch to turn off the overhead light. He vaguely wonders where Goldberg snuck off to, but doesn't put much thought to it. They silently change into their pajamas without speaking. Eddie climbs into his bed and puts his back to him without even saying goodnight. It doesn't feel right, going to bed angry. Denny sits on the edge of his bed and begins talking to his friend’s back.
“I’m sorry you’re sore at me. I know you like Katherine. And I guess you don't like it much when I talk about her. If I knew how to stop loving her, I wouldn’t do it anymore. I hope we’re still friends.”
Eddie bites his lip to keep from saying something. He hears Denny sigh.
“Well, goodnight, Eddie.”
There’s a soft rustle of sheets as he gets comfortable. It feels like a long time passes as Eddie waffles between wanting to apologize and not wanting to apologize. Eddie finally makes the decision to speak up when he hears a gentle snore that can only mean that Denny was fast asleep.
I’m a grade A heel, Eddie thinks as he, too, slips off into dreamland…
“Slide, Katherine, slide!”
Eddie’s eyes pop open, and he shakes his head. What in the world?
“Slide, Katherine, slide!”
Oh good. The kid was telling his stories in his sleep now. Well that was just perfect. He suddenly remembers why he was upset with the kid in the first place. He crosses his fingers that those two little outbursts would be the end of it.
“Slide, Katherine, slide!”
“Well that does it!” Eddie grumbles, sitting up and flipping off his sheets so he could throttle him. “Alright, Denny, that’s enou—”
The kid was not dreaming about baseball. That much was clear.
Denny had twisted his sheets up in a ball at the end of his bed, and his shorts were haphazardly tugged down his slim legs. Eddie’s eyes widen. The kid could eat thirty pounds of ice cream without a sign of it on his thin frame, but now he saw exactly where Denny was keeping all his weight.
“Katherine,” he whimpers.
The kid even bites his lip like something from an eight pager. He was all for pumping one out before bed, but the noise level and exposure was just not going to fly. He had to wake the kid up before he did or said something even more embarrassing.
“Alright, Denny, you’ve had your fun. Wake up so I can go to sleep,” Eddie says, gently poking the kid’s bony shoulder.
As delicate as bird bones...
Eddie goes to shove his shoulder a little harder when Denny grabs his wrist and yanks him to the bed with surprising force.
“Hey! What's the big—”
Denny quickly flips him onto his back and settles his slim figure between Eddie’s legs, holding him close and tight to him. Eddie swallows and resists the urge to palm the kid’s ass because really, when is the next time some young blue eyed thing would pounce on him in the middle of the night? And Christ, the kid was just so big. There’s no delicate way of describing it. He wonders how heavy it would feel in his hand.
“Come on, Denny, you gotta wake up. I'm all wrong for you. Denny?”
There’s a moment where Denny finally picks his head up off his shoulder, and Eddie thinks he might finally be getting through to him. He’s startled to find Denny’s eyes are open, looking down at him hungrily. Eddie swallows, and suddenly the kid is leaning down, with those soft, pliable lips gently parted.
Oh, what the hell do I really have to lose here?
To say Denny did anything less than claim him with his kisses would be a lie. Denny isn’t satisfied with his work until he finally manages to coax Eddie’s mouth open as well. His warm, wet tongue quickly follows inside. Overwhelmed, Eddie latches on to Denny’s hips just to have something to ground himself until Denny was finally satisfied with his plundering. Slowly, Denny pulls away, and Eddie pants, wondering what the kid was going to do to him next. Instead, Denny blinks, and Eddie can tell that he’s coming all the way up to the surface this time. Denny's brows furrow, and it finally registers who his bed partner was.
“You’re not Katherine,” Denny says, utterly confused.
“No, I’m not. But if that’s what you’re planning on doing with her, then pal, I can be whoever you want.”
Denny looks down and sees that he’s half-naked and quickly scuttles off his friend and pulls up his pants.
“What did we…We didn’t…?” Denny asks, voice still thick with sleep and lust.
“Fear not. I left your virtue intact. But I have to say that you were quite taken with me.”
“I didn’t…I mean, I don’t think I did.”
“You stole some kisses and your hands wandered a little, but it’s nothing I couldn’t handle. It’s the most action I’ve gotten in weeks.”
Eddie winks at him, and Denny blushes.
“Guess I made a fool of myself, huh?”
“Oh, maybe a little. I’ve done worse. You’re okay, pal.”
Eddie reluctantly gets off his friend’s bed. His lips are still warm.
“Are we okay, Eddie?”
Eddie looks down at those wide, trusting eyes and those sweet, pouting lips.
“Yeah, we’re okay, Denny,” he says, climbing back into his bed. “Good night, kid.”
Denny looks over at his friend. He wishes he could remember their kiss more clearly.
“Good night, Eddie.”