@softkent ‘s 14 Days of Love fic-a-thon, day 6: ruined surprises!
It all started because Katya decided to have mercy on Eric and let him take morning classes this semester. WGSS120 was an amazing class, Professor Atley had the coolest stories about how postwar industrialization led to compulsive female domesticity, and his seatmate wasn’t the worst thing to see at 9:30 AM every Tuesday and Thursday. He would have almost been dreamy if he had the slightest knack for small talk. As it was, Eric didn’t even have a name to go on, just intent blue eyes and an ass that even the baggiest of shorts couldn’t mask.
One day, Eric decided to drop a hospitality bomb on the guy and see if he could coax a response out of him. They were both consistently early to class, so Eric budgeted ten minutes for a brief chat before class started and turned to Cute Guy with a winning smile on his face.
“So how about that reading, huh? I thought it was fascinating how cake mix became a prestige thing- everyone in my family bakes, and I don’t think we’ve used a box mix in forty years.”
“Yeah,” the guy said, “I think it had something to do with the scientific advancements they made in food preservation for the troops. Shelf stabilization wouldn’t have been nearly as achievable in earlier years.”
Miraculously, once you got onto a clear subject, Cute Guy was actually a decent conversationalist. Eric found himself losing track of time as they dissected last night’s chapters of Marling.
“And the American National Exhibition anecdote!” he giggled. “Who can even tell the difference between Russian and American Coke?”
“I bet it’s easier with all of the Soviet Union breathing down your back. ‘Da, cola of Mother Russia is vkusno!’”
“Nice accent,” Eric told Cute Guy.
“Really? Thanks, I’ll have to tell Geno. He’s always knocking my Russian. He’s, uh, a friend of my dad’s, and we both play hockey.”
“So that’s what your weird doodles are? Hockey plays?”
“Yeah, I’m captain of the hockey team here. We’re not half bad, if I say so myself.”
“Wow,” Eric enthused, “you must be a pretty good skater, then.”
“Yeah, I guess. I could teach you sometime, if you want. I’m Jack, by the way,’ Cute Guy said.
to make sure we don't rush into anything we will have to keep this relationship quiet. keep it on the down low
Oh my god have you guys seen Jack? he is so good!!! why i'm going away for the weekend? ....hum a cousin? yeah i have a cousin whatever, LOOK AT THIS FUNNY VIDEO OF JA--tater!! i am so proud of my boy(s) y'all have grown so much jack is doing so well!!! i am so proud of him!!... yes Holster i am proud of you too - that's what i said i am proud of my boys! i'm gonna bake 30 maple sugar apple pies!!!! yes i did have a nice time this weekend. i just have a thing for dark haired men in suits and blue eyes and tall and cheek bones and i think my future boyfriend have to like sports but preferable hockey... I am an ass kind of man, i think. oh hey jack!!!
ATLAS: do not talk to me of the weight of the world, nor its people’s hearts. you know nothing of endurance. the heavens are heavy and my shoulders ache. i am tired.
APHRODITE: you think holding the earth is enough? you think you are close to them just because they rest on your back? you know nothing of their pain. do you even remember how tears taste?
ATLAS: i know pain. i know bruises that last centuries, bone deep and digging like claws, burrowing like worms through body structure-
APHRODITE: -you know standing still, rigid, a statue in body and soul alike / you know the exact weight of the human heart x 7 billion. you do not know how it feels to watch as they burn in place, how it feels to see them fall; down / in love / to their deaths.
ATLAS: i carry them in life and death. my dear, your hands are soft; they do not understand the strength it takes to balance oceans on knuckles and land against muscle.
APHRODITE: my hands are soft because they hold hearts as easily as you hold the world, and hearts, in their own way, are worlds. i know strength. better yet, i know how easily strength crumbles and i know how to guide through the breaking. do not equate soft with weak. they are not the same thing.