Hooooly shiiiiiit! Comission done by the super talented @milk-teah, whose art i simply adore and love and aaaaagh, this is so good! Thank you so, so much @milk-teah for making this!!! I’m in tears, it’s so amazing! I’m gushing!
I GOT THE JOB! :D oh HELLS yeah :D my ass is gonna be bartending at the theater near my house yaaaas xD I’ve been wanting to work at that damn theater since like high school just taking tickets but it took a goddamn BA in film and bartending certification for an in AHAHA BLESS
A/N: welp, this is almost over. There is another chapter left - and epilogue of sorts - and I’ll do my best to finish it soon, so that I can update next Friday and wrap this up.
Bill’s mind burned, and so did Stanford.
He was aware, dimly, of what was happening around him. Of the boat sailing through the air, flames at their heels, hot wind filling its sails and blowing through his hair. He was aware of arms around him, a shoulder against his cheek, Stanley’s voice, telling him to hold on, we’re almost out, stay with me, don’t you dare, stay with me.
I’ll be the one to take you down with me!
He tried to reply - tried to speak to Stanley, tried to scream against Bill, but could do neither. His jaw wouldn’t move, his eyes wouldn’t open. He could only tremble in the grasp of that unnatural fever, the heat unbearable, eating at him from the inside out. It burned. He burned.
And, beneath his closed eyelids, he saw things he was not supposed to see - disjointed images there one moment and gone the next, like a tape on fast-forward.
Things belonging to other dimensions. Other timelines. Other realities. Bill’s memories, and his own - flashing before his eyes and then gone, photographs thrown in the fire and forgotten, burned away from his memory.
They sat on opposite ends of the couch, silently. On the coffee table in front of them, there were two glasses of wine, each exactly one sip less than full. Behind them–and Foggy sent up a prayer that Matt hadn’t somehow smelled this through the door–the sheets on the bed were freshly washed and neatly made, and there were condoms under the pillows. But out in the living room, the silence was past thick and well into congealed.
Foggy risked a glance at Matt. His eyebrows were drawn together, and he was rubbing his mouth with stunned, slightly betrayed motions.
Years ago, Foggy would have given his left kidney to be here. Sitting on the couch at the end of a date with his clever, brave, beautiful best friend, with a pretty good feeling that a kiss–and maybe even a little below-the-belt touching–was on the cards.
But instead he was white-knuckling the armrest, wondering how the universe could be so cruel, and hoping his face wouldn’t scar.
This is what happened.
The date had been perfect. They’d gone for coffee in Little Italy, then to a chirpy, queer-friendly hipster bar where Foggy had “taught” Matt to play pool. When skinny, confident bar patrons had tried to pick Matt up, he turned them down cheerfully, saying in a loud voice that he was very, very taken. Then there had been the corner booth at the deli that had cured their hangovers all through college (the owner had patted their cheeks, told them they’d grown up so handsome, and said she’d always known they would get together), a long, drawn-out walk back to his apartment, and a breathless moment on the doorstep when he had stammered that there was a bottle of red in the fridge and did Matt want to come up.