One character adjusting the other’s jewelry/neck tie/ etc.
and Foggy’s birthday presents to each other are usually joke gifts:
guides to flirtation that are decades out of date, horribly flashy
ties, and even a whoopie cushion, once (Matt’s senses had spotted it,
but he’d sat on it anyway. Their dorm room had been full of giggling and fart noises for weeks afterward).
But when Matt unwraps this year’s gift, his fingers find, not a prank, but a necklace chain. Matt frowns. There’s no pendent on the chain–nothing silly or tacky–and the chain itself is far too nice to be a gag gift. It’s cool and light in Matt’s hands, the metal tightly woven and smooth as butter as he runs his fingers along it.
“Foggy?” Matt asks. “What is this?”
necklace chain,” Foggy says. His heart races, and his palms are salty
and sweaty to Matt’s nose–what kind of gag gift could make Foggy so nervous? “Uh, I know it’s not our usual thing, but I figured one sincere gift wouldn’t be the end of the world. Besides, while it was brilliant and innovative of me to fix your broken necklace with duct tape, it was obviously still irritating the hell out of you, and I had some extra cash from doing odd jobs this winter break, so I chose this over giving you another whoopie cushion. As fabulous as that whoopie cushion had been.”
Matt didn’t know that Foggy had noticed how the patchwork necklace had irritated him. Maybe it had been visible, the way that the rough duct tape blistered the back of his neck until it was sensitive and hot by the end of class.
“It feels expensive,” Matt notes.
“Nah, not really.“ Foggy’s face grows hot as he speaks. Lie. “So, do you want help getting that one all Jesused up?”
a cross, not a crucifix,” Matt laughs, but tosses his old necklace cord over to
Foggy, careful not to touch the duct tape as he does so. When he tosses the chain, he does so far more carefully, probably throwing a bit more precisely than he should be able to.
There’s the tinkling sound of the chain as Foggy puts the cross pendant from one necklace to the other. “There!”
“Would you like to do the honors?” Matt says teasingly, gesturing to his neck.
swallows heavily, and suddenly Matt doesn’t feel like it’s just teasing. He tracks Foggy’s padded footfalls as Foggy makes his way over to
Matt’s bed. His body is hot and solid, just inches away from Matt’s own as
Foggy’s fingers brush the back of Matt’s neck.
“Go ahead,” Matt says, mouth dry.
closes his eyes as Foggy wraps the chain around Matt’s neck. Foggy’s
fingers are so light, their touches more like a brush of wind than
anything substantial. Matt wonders what it would be like: if he asked
for that touch to be something more.
Foggy does the clasp of the chain, his fingers bright and warm against Matt’s skin, and then steps away. He clears his throat. “How is it?”
“Well, it’s definitely a nicer gift than a whoopie cushion,” Matt tries to joke, but his voice sounds strangled as he speaks.
Foggy snorts. “As if anything could be better than that.”
Matt shakes his head. “Maybe not, but this, uh…this comes close. I…I love it.”
“Good,” Foggy murmurs, hesitating for a moment before returning to his own bed. Matt
wishes he could invite Foggy to touch the chain again, could
make him feel what Matt feels. Matt runs his fingers down the necklace and marvels at its smoothness, at its bell-like sounds when the chain
links rub together, at its heat that it had gathered from where Foggy’s hands had warmed it.