Series: Silver and Black
Characters: Chris and David
Genre: Modern day yaoi romance
Rating: PG-13 for language and, uhm... teasing between boys.
Beta:mysocalledhell Thank you!
Summary: David has invited Chris to his condo, and the two men meet up over dinner and homework.
Word Count: 4135
A/N: This is an original story written by stark_black and I. Chris Stark is owned by stark_black. David Li is owned by myself. Copyright 2008 by Jennifer Stark and Liralen Li. All rights reserved.
The previous chapter.
Saturday, November 8, 1:18 am
David got into the kitchen and used a small net catcher and his steel chopsticks to pull the noodles out of the water, catching and sliding half of them into each bowl. Then he used the flat of his cleaver to deliver all the thinly sliced meat, pickles, and the halved, still-golden in the center boiled eggs to nestle in the soup over the noodles.
David deliberately left the green onions out of both bowls, if Chris didn't like eating them, he might not like kissing them, either. He broke a sheet of dried seaweed and laid some of that by the pickles. He added another pair of steel chopsticks to the one bowl and, on seeing Chris looking at him from the doorway, David asked, "You want to eat in here?"
Chris shrugged, eyeing the bowls, almost drooling. "Wherever. Where do you usually eat?"
"In here. Cleanup's easier."
Chris accepted the pretty, hand painted bowl from David and almost danced. "Shit, this smells so good." He took the chopsticks in his fingers. "Thank you." He scooped up a mouthful of noodles with practiced ease and slurped them up.
"You use chopsticks as well as I do; Mom would like that," David said with a laugh. He put his bowl on the small breakfast table in the kitchen, and pulled out one of the two chairs at the table and sat in it. "You can sit if you want..." And he proceeded to breathe in the steam for a moment before digging in himself.
Chris moved across the floor, chewing happily and swallowing. "I usually stand. I eat over my sink at home, but if you're sitting, I'll sit." He pulled out the other chair with his foot and sat across from David.
David shook his head. "The sink... yeah. I guess I do a few meals that way, too. Admittedly most of my breakfasts are from Victor's and dinner's from a vending machine at work... "
"Mmm," Chris smiled around a mouthful. "That's healthy."
David carefully chewed and swallowed before just laughing and shaking his head at Chris' smile.
Chris swallowed and dug around for a piece of boiled egg. "So what is it that you do? Or should I even ask that?"
David cocked his head, and ate a slice of char shu and then tried to explain what he did. "I design the code architecture for software that computer hardware engineers use to put their ideas into circuits."
Chris looked at David evenly for a moment before he chuckled and grabbed another mouthful of noodles with his chopsticks. "Yeah, shouldn't have asked. I got confused when I watched Tron so..." He shoved the noodles in his mouth and shrugged.
David nearly snorted noodles out his nose at the Tron mention. He'd been worried about the scattered design files because they were proprietary, it was looking more and more like he needn't have worried. It would be interesting to talk with someone who had so little clue about the world he was embroiled in every day. It might be restful to be with someone so completely unconcerned about the things that drove most of David's days and nights.
He swallowed and shook his head. "You nearly made me laugh noodles out my nose at that. Should at least warn a guy. Yeesh. Tron. Almost as bad as William Gibson after he actually figured out what a computer architecture actually was... he was better before he had anything but the concept of the machine in his head..."
Chris looked up with wide eyes, and slurped up his noodles. Swallowing quickly, set his chopsticks down and waved his hands excitedly.
“I love William Gibson! He wrote the Neuromancer! I read that when I was in junior high and everybody made fun of me cause it wasn’t a very popular book- well, at my school anyway. Did you ever see the movie? It was so cool!”
David grinned Chris. "Yes, I saw the movie, but I think I read that book when I was just out of in high school. And re-read it a few times as well. I liked William Gibson's earlier works, and especially that one. Then the whole mixture of Japanese culture, technology and sheer attitude was so new..."
Chris cheered inside. He was glad there was something David liked that he could use to connect with the older man. He had experienced a few short seconds of panic as he had sat down to eat; the feeling stemming from not knowing what to talk about over the meal.
“You know The Matrix was based off his stuff right? Keanu Reeves is a lucky dude, being the hero of that and Johnny Mnemonic…” He plucked another boiled egg from his bowl and popped it into his mouth. “Man… to have his job…”
"I didn't like him that much in Johnny Mnemonic. The short story that story was based off of had so much more depth to it, and Johnny, himself... was..." David shrugged. "Anyway... he certainly was lucky to have a string of things that did well. I rather liked him in Constantine, as well as the one that played the angel Gabriel."
Chris nodded. "Constantine is one of my favorite movies. I liked that the hero was... bad but... not..." Chris looked at the floor thoughtfully. "I like that in heroes. Tragic pasts and stuff... They do good, not because they were taught that way, or 'it's the right thing to do', but because they know the other side. They know what happens if the bad guys win and they can't let it happen." His eyes lifted and he slurped the last bit of noodles from his bowl. "And yeah, Tilda Swinton is awesome. She plays a really good bitch."
David studied Chris quietly, and then ate for a little while before saying to the noodles, "Fallen angels, they know more than the ones that never turned away from the Light? Understanding the shadows, they know better how to fight them, hm?"
Chris avoided David's stare and lifted his bowl to sip the warm broth. "Yeah, I hate people that tell you 'you shouldn't do this or that' and they've never done a fucking thing in their lives." He took a long swallow. "They always look down on other people. Call junkies and runaways and stuff trash when they don't know two shits about anything. You're more admirable in my eyes if you've come back from something. Beaten something. Lived with something hard and are still just... living..." He tilted the bowl back and finished the delicious broth, licking his lips happily and setting the bowl back on the table. He hadn't had anything that good in a long time, but was nervous about over praising David so he kept it simple. "Thank you. It was really good."
David nodded. "You're very welcome." He played with the last few inches of his broth and noodles, and then ventured, "I've never had much patience for those that judge others. It serves no purpose and only tears down those that most need building up." He quirked a grin and added, "Not that I've ever lived through much true hardship."
He stood up and took Chris' bowl and took both bowls toward the sink.
Chris leaned his elbow on the table and rested his chin in his palm, enjoying for the second time, a nice view of David's ass.
"You seem like a really nice guy though. Or, at least nice to people that aren't assholes." Chris chuckled softly. "Not that I'm not an asshole, I'm just saying."
David poured the last of his bowl into the garbage disposal. He opened and bent to settle everything he'd used into the dishwasher, except for his cleaver, the plastic cutting board would do just fine in there. He closed the door before he turned to grin at Chris's aside. He had to catch his breath at the look in those green eyes and completely lost his own train of thought for a moment. He caught it again on his second breath. Oh, right.
"No, you weren't nearly as bad as some customers I've had to work with."
David used a damp sponge and a little bit of soap to clean off his cleaver before putting it into the drying rack.
Chris grinned. "I'll try harder then."
He stood and slipped past David, turning to lean on the door frame. He watched the older man's hands as they glided over the utensils, long fingers cleaning and slipping things back in their proper place; graceful, quick, and precise.
“You really would have made a great piano player… Without sounding creepy, you have great hands..."
David looked at his own hands. "I had a pretty good reach, tenths, easy, more with a stretch. Why would that be creepy?"
Chris swiveled and rested his shoulder blades on the door frame. He tilted his head and let it fall back against the wall. He grinned out the corner of his eye at David.
"I don't know, I guess I'm just worried I'll come off as sounding like some creepy stalker guy."
"For noticing my hands?" David frowned, and then looked up and his eyes went wide at the line of Chris' throat and that sideways look.
Chris shrugged. "Just being cautious I guess."
David smiled. "You don't look the cautious type, but I was wrong about your appearances before." David wiped up the stove and counter and then looked over at the bigger man. "So... you up for homework, now that you're fed?"
Chris grinned and scratched the back of his head. "Nope."
David eyed Chris for a long moment and, at the look of sheer unhappiness on Chris' face, he changed his tactics and gentled his voice. "Come on," he said as he turned back to the computer that was waiting patiently for them. "I'll be happy to hold your hand through it. You're almost done with this first assignment, right?"
"Aw," Chris whined, good naturedly as he followed David into the living room, "You make it sound like I'm a special Olympics kid or something."
David thought about it a bit. "Well... they like their hugs at the finish line. It's good to accomplish something as a way to build confidence for other things. If you get this first one done I won't have to hold your hand for the next one, I suspect."
Chris stopped in his tracks and laughed, the first real laugh he had uttered in weeks. His stomach started to hurt instantly as muscles he rarely used began to work. His cheeks burned as a real smile pulled at the corners of his mouth. It was a strange feeling, and Chris pushed aside a stray thought that this was a bad sign if laughing for three seconds felt like a workout.
"Do you always take everything so literal?" The younger man continued to chuckle as he got himself to move again, and settled in the chair in front if the keyboard.
David startled and then laughed as well. He really liked Chris' laughter. He blushed a little behind his glasses. "Uhm... yes?"
He pulled a chair from the guest bedroom to settle a little behind and to the side of Chris. "I guess I do. I'm glad you found it amusing instead of... I don't know what." He sighed. "Computers are easy for me, people... less so. I never quite know what to expect from people."
Chris sighed softly and nodded, understanding all too well. "I feel you. I don't either, but I've learned how to deal with it. Kinda goes with the job." He turned back to the computer and pulled up his outline. "But in any case, I think you're great. I haven't been able to talk to someone I just met this easily in... years."
David looked just a little surprised. "Your job would... kill me, I think. I'm very glad I'm easy for you to talk with. That's good to know."
Chris smiled over his shoulder before turning back to the screen. "Okay, I have everything where it's supposed to go up to here: Shakespeare and the Elizabethans- oh, and Spanish Theater in the Renaissance. After that though, I have these big head section things like the Restoration and Development in England, and then this Cross-Currents in Continental Theater section that has a lot of sub... section... things. I want to just click on these and go through the points real fast. I don't need pictures or sound or a fucking inspirational video. I just want to show my outline, and I can't even do something that simple."
"Huh... is your outline in Word? Or just on paper?" David leaned in to look.
"Word," Chris answered, "since I have to turn in the essay too"
"Oh... that's good then. But I can't remember where..." David reached over and absentmindedly put his hand over Chris' on the mouse as he frowned at the Views menu first. He poked at Slide Show, and then hovered over a couple other menus. "Ah ha... here... what a stupid place... Insert and then From Outline. It'll take your Word outline and make it into slides, but probably at the wrong levels, we'll have to look through them after it's done with them."
Chris held his breath. David's hand was warm over his, the skin smooth and soft, no calluses on his palms, but definite strength in the long fingers. The younger man forgot about what he was working on and fixated on the hand over his, a pleasant feeling building in his lower stomach.
"Okay," he said softly.
David clicked the menu item, and automatically went to the removable disk area. "Just so you know for next time, your stick is going to show up as the J: drive whenever you plug it in, then you can find your files pretty easily that way. Wow... a flat drive. You just stuff everything at the top level, huh? What's the file name of your outline?"
"Hist underscore theater twelve," Chris said absently, still watching the long brown fingers covering his hand.
David moved to click on the named file and then realized the mouse wasn't responding quite the way it usually did. That was when he realized Chris' hand was under his own. He hesitated, but then moved the mouse to the Open button and clicked it to get the file into Power Point. "Uhm... there. Sorry... I guess I should have let you do it, since you knew what the file was."
Chris turned his head slightly, his libido clicking into high gear by the touch of the older man's hand and the mild, musky scent of David's hair. Damn the stupid homework, he had another day and a half.
Chris' mouth came within centimeters of the David's throat, and he breathed his words softly across the other man's skin.
"Oh, it's really okay..."
David closed his eyes at the warm breath across his skin, and he quietly put his hand back in his lap. "Okay... I'm glad. Do you want to look to see what it scrambled for you when it loaded it in?"
Chris was surprised at David's blatant retreat, but did what he did best and pretended like everything was fine. He turned back to the screen and flipped through the project.
The slides were in the same order as the outline. Each major section had a title slide, and then all the sub-sections were made into slides that contained all the points under them. Some of the sub-sections, which had a larger number of outline items under them, were broken out into multiple slides as well. A slide for each point.
"Oh, wow," he said, genuinely impressed. "You make it look so easy. That took like four seconds!"
David nodded. He was confused by his own reactions to Chris. The breath had aroused him, but something was bothering him. It was easier when they were just working on the project itself. He started thinking even as he smiled at Chris' honest surprise. "You did most of the work when you did the outline. At least they do that right between the Office tools. One or two of the slides look a little crowded, but they'll be easy to break up by hand. Here... let me show you. See this one?"
He leaned forward and pointed at the View menu. "Click 'Slide Sorter'." And in the back of his head, even as he spoke and pointed, David followed memories of younger men, of that odd mix of vulnerability and showing off down through his mind. He didn't come across anything concrete, but the uncomfortable feeling only intensified.
Chris did so, and realized that all his slides were now in front of him, and he could see how they looked as a group rather than only one by one. The "Cross-Currents in Continental Theater" slide had several slides after it with his sub-sections. Two of the slides looked nearly black.
David pointed at the two nearly-black slides. "These probably need cleaning up or straightening out. Look at 'em, and see if you want to split them into two or do something else with them. Just click on one."
Chris clicked on the first one. It had lots of lines of really tiny text, compared to the bigger text on the other slides. He tried to concentrate and flip though each slide, checking to make sure that everything was where it should be, but David had moved forward again and his breath was puffing gently against Chris’ neck. The younger man shivered a little, and focused on what David was saying to him.
"Yeah, you have two major points, each with a bunch of smaller details. You can split them up by just highlighting this second section." David used the back of his finger to show what part of the slide Chris should click on and drag the highlight. David touched the screen with only his fingernail, but as he leaned forward to do so, his other hand brushed Chris' thigh. "Now hit control X. That'll cut it out of here."
Chris did so, his breath catching at the brush against his leg, and that section disappeared and what was left suddenly leapt into a larger font, filling the slide but with larger words.
"Now Control M to get a new slide." David leaned in on Chris to make sure he got the right keystroke sequence, and then nodded when a new, blank slide appeared.
"Now Control V to paste what you'd cut earlier into this slide. You can also use the edit menu if you don't remember the control key shortcuts. But it's faster this way." Again, David leaned forward to poke gently at the menu titles on top, and his hand, this time, landed on Chris' knee. Oddly enough, when he deliberately touched the younger man, the feeling wasn't as bad. His thought processes ran off again, trying to find what it was that was going on.
With the key stroke, the slide filled with information. Again it was in a larger font and far easier to read than before.
"And that's how you can split them up. Try it again for the other crowded slide?" David asked, and then almost put his chin on Chris's shoulder as he watched the younger man do each step. "Yeah, that's it. You got it."
Chris was dying inside. David’s nonchalant and innocent contact was driving him through the roof. He knew if he didn’t get a grip, he was going to lose it, tear the older man’s clothes off, and throw him on the floor. He took a calming breath, just like the ones he took before he stepped on stage, and cycled through the outline, trying to memorize where everything was, how to do it so he could make his own presentation from other outlines.
"I've never been good at this stuff," he said. "I have almost like a computer phobia. I wish I was tech savvy though... it would make my life a lot easier." He glanced back over his shoulder in another attempt to tease the older man. He wasn't sure where David stood now, and needed to get a better feel of the situation.
"Or maybe I could just steal you and keep you in my closet for whenever I have a problem."
David grinned back, somehow the repeat of being kept from earlier in the cafe was comforting. So being owned or kept wasn't a problem. Him touching the young man wasn't a problem. It was only when Chris touched him or was owned by him? David's back brain kept running even as he said, with real humor, "Maybe you should... a pair of comfortable cuffs, a few ramen meals, I'd be set."
Chris' eyes widened even as he felt his arousal pushing on his jeans. David's words had just sent his already rampant desire for the older man into overdrive.
He licked his lips and tried to keep his cool. "Cuffs huh? You into that?"
David grinned. "I used to be, but I haven't," and his voice dropped a little as he said, "really had anyone want me that way in a long, long time."
Chris heard that sadness in the older man's voice and hated the universe for a moment. How someone this sexy could have no one chasing him around twenty-four seven, was a sign that the world was definitely going to shit.
Turning in his chair and resting his arm on the backrest, Chris grinned and brought his lips close to David's ear. "Hmm, so... If I wanted to say, have you cuff me face down on your bed and you have your way with me, you'd do it?"
David shuddered hard at the words breathed so sexily against his ear as the images of what Chris said run through his head. His own arousal was abrupt and uncomfortable at the thought of being able to do anything he liked to a cuffed Chris.
Chris loved the reaction his words were having on the older man, and he dared to brush his lips over the skin behind David's jaw, which loosed a soft groan from the older man. David's fist tightened in his lap. "Or would you rather I cuff you? Over the kitchen table perhaps? Over the showerhead?"
The images that brought to his mind made his arousal even harder, but something was bothering David. Something to do with the look in Chris' eye when he'd offered the inspection, something about the bowed head when he'd talked about runaways, something that made it hard to just say oh my God yes the way he wanted. Suddenly his memory began giving him images of blond hair and blue eyes, and his confusion only intensified.
Chris felt the hesitation, the tension in the older man's shoulders. If it had been a long time for him, it was understandable. Chris lifted a hand to slide fingers over David's jaw and across his cheek. He gently turned the older man's face towards his own and he smiled reassuringly into those dark chocolate eyes, which widened under his gaze. "It's okay," he whispered, "I'll show you a good time, I promise."
He tilted the other's chin and pressed his lips to David's as gently as he could. He pulled away quickly to get the older man's reaction, his thumb pulling gently on David's bottom lip.
David couldn't help himself as he kissed back, trembling against that so gentle kiss. The touch against his lip, made his mouth open and he sighed, "No... I... God..."
Chris lifted his other hand and cupped both sides of David's face. He had no idea what was causing this much stress for the older man, but he promised himself he wouldn't leave the condo without at least trying to help the guy relax.
"You say no, but you still kissed me. You're full of mixed signals… Just let it happen. Let this be payment for your time and help with the project if it'll make you feel better."
David's eyes flew open at that as old agony spilled into his heart, and abruptly he pulled back and away, pushing with both feet up and out of the chair. And then he was back three feet, and stepping on something, but he didn't care. He tried to swallow the tears that had threatened him with the kiss, and felt them come even as he swallowed curses as well.
Then he shook his head and, flustered all to hell, said, "I'll... I'll go clean up the guest bedroom for you. You can... you don't have to do that. Not.... not payment..." and he fled into the guest bedroom.
The Next Scene