(ah! I haven’t written these dorks in too long!! <3)
“Go away.” Rictor says for the fifth time. “I can still hear you breathing on the other side.”
They are living in the ruins of Camp Verde, and outside its a hundred degrees in the shade. (It’s a dry heat,) Rictor thinks, vaguely hysterical. (You can barely feel how hot he is when he brushes past you.)
The bathroom Ric has ensconced himself in is cooler, marginally, but the grubby blue tile doesn’t help the burning, shameful heat in his chest.
“Your hearing is not that good. I am a very quiet breather.” Comes the voice through the heavy door, all wavy glass and chipped wood. “Feral might hear me. Or Theresa. But not you.”
“I still knew you were there, asshole.” Ric sinks further down onto the tile floor, back pressed hard against the door, as if he might have the strength to keep ‘Star out if the redhead really, truly wanted in.
“Julio, I don’t understand what I did.” ‘Star says and there’s a soft rasp and a shift of wood just slightly as he leans against it as well.
“You were thinkin’ about me. About us. In front’a fuckin’ Cable. You know he can read minds, right? I saw that look he gave and.. fuck. Dios FUCK. He’s gonna know that you an’ I .. That you. I’m not. I’m just.. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO THINK SO HARD? WHY DID YOU SAY ALL THAT SHIT ABOUT NOT HAVING ANY FEELINGS IN THAT FUCKING ARENA WHEN YOU FUCKING VERY CLEARLY HAVE SOMETHING.” Ric’s voice strangles into an enraged squeak and the room shudders in sympathy with his powers until, panting, he reins them back in, watching the plaster dust drift from the ceiling in the slanting, golden light.
He doesn’t realise how ridiculous it all sounds, though, until he listens to the echoes, and he covers his face in a fresh wash of shame. “Just go away, Shatterstar.”
“I will not. But I will attempt to stop breathing for a while, if that will give you some solace.” ‘Star says as if that is an actual, reasonable solution. “To show love… to show anything in the arena was something that could be used against a gladiator. But.” There’s a long pause as ‘Star tries to gather his thoughts, punctuated by soft muttering in Cadre that Ric doesn’t understand, not yet. Not the way ‘Star is learning Spanish for him and Ric wants to punch himself in the face for being a coward.
“But I think loved some of them, Ric. And.” His voice grows softer, head tilted away from the door and Ric can picture him chewing on the end of one of his long braids. “And I think. I think I may love you too. And.. it frightens me. But if it upsets you. I will stop. I will try. I don’t.. you are my friend and I ..”
Ric wonders if ‘Star can hear his own words, muffled through the faded wood. “I think I love you too.”
Oh how I miss them.
This is everything I need in life. ❤
Edit: ‘Star is why Jamie drinks directly from the Maalox bottle.