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These dates weren’t really a weekly thing, but they were sort of loosely regular in some kind of way- when Wade suddenly felt like going out for something to eat instead of letting Joey pretend he was on masterchef, or Joey had recovered from the effort required to be social enough to leave the apartment once every now and then, they organised something, usually at the same few places. Tonight, Wade had insisted on Italian, and had wandered rather extravagantly around, speaking in a very awful accent and saying the names of different pasta shapes in the hope of sounding at least some what Italian. Joey seemed amused, but not very impressed. Their reservation was eight thirty, but by half six, wade had only just stepped into the shower, and he took twenty minutes minimum. Half an hour later, he stepped out, wrapping a towel around his waist and almost slipping on his way out towards the mirror above the sink. Looking around suspiciously to make sure Joey hadn’t, like, sensed his embarrassment, Wade focused on his reflection and wondered for a moment whether or not he should shave. Hovering, he considered asking Joey, but then decided all of this was too much effort and walked back into the bedroom to fully collapse onto the bed, closing his eyes and folding his arms so he could rest his forehead.

What seemed like seconds past- but suddenly, Wade heard Joey’s voice, and wearily raised his head just enough to listen. For a moment, incredulous silence, then a long-suffering sigh loud enough to hear even from the next room, with an undertone if poorly concealed affection. Wade, are you ready? Oh, shit. Reservations. Pushing himself up with his forearms, he moved to sit up, dragging his hands down his face and then standing up. Maybe it was time to get a move on. He stretched briefly and then stepped through the doorway to the hall, walking down and into the kitchen. Joey was stood there, arms folded, fully dressed- wearing a really nice shirt and looking good enough that Wade forgot what he was going to say for a second and just stared rather dumbly, looking like a lost puppy. Joey raised his eyebrows and Wade finally offered him a grin. “How are you ready? It’s only-” A pause. His eyes were drawn to the clock on the wall. “Oh. Oh well. Hi.”

Before Joey could say anything else, Wade, still damp and clad in a towel, leaned in carefully to kiss him, moving a hand to rest at the back of his neck, resisting the urge to pull him close and risk protest. “You look great, Bruno,” He said, the corner of his mouth tilting when he pulled away, hand dropping from the nape of his neck and to his side. “Thought about what you’re having? I already know. Italian.” Quite shamelessly smirking at him, Wade then turned around, reaching to rub at his neck thoughtfully. “You think we could just skip dinner and stay home?” Without even waiting for an answer, he turned back around and shrugged as if to say ‘it was worth a try’. Then, he leaned in to kiss Joey again, before grabbing hold of his hand and pulling him back towards the bedroom with purpose.

Letting go only after he had shut the door, Wade crossed his arms and turned around. “I don’t know what to wear. Would they mind if I just wore a towel? Is that normal in Italian culture? I’m fully immersed in it, by the way. Penne. Ravioli. Cannelloni. Tortellini. My accent is better than yours. Of course, this playful taunting had a motive- Wade actually really like Joey’s Italian accent (he was, as a Canadian, rather oblivious to the fact that it was only really semi-accurate), and was always looking for a way to coax it out of him at most times. That, and he’d literally chosen the restaurant so he could make several inappropriate jokes and relish the look on Joey’s face (mortification) when Wade came out with them at the table of a relatively nice place. But those were the things he had to get used to- Wade’s unabashed way of showing affection, his apparent lack of shame, and his naturally confident attitude all made for somebody that a extremely socially awkward person would have something of a nightmare trying to keep in line. “No, but I’m serious. What do I wear. I’m helpless, Joey. Helpless!”
Of all yearly holidays, Christmas seemed to be River’s favourite- in contrast, Ari quite simply held some kind of bitter vendetta against anything Christmassy, and banned all discussion of it until at least halfway through December. Of course, River graciously ignored this ban, singing Christmas songs to himself and making sure that whenever he went round to Ari’s house from November onwards that he was wearing the ugliest Christmas jumper he could possibly find. This was not a difficult feat- every year, without fail, River’s mother bought him about five ugly sweaters every time it rolled around winter. He had more than enough to choose from, and Ari’s face was priceless every time; the immeasurable disgust etched onto Ari’s expression when he opened the door and saw River stood on the doorstep in an embarrassing knitted jumper was always expected, and always enjoyed. It never got old, and River had no regrets, even if sometimes it meant that ari wouldn’t even go near him until he took off whatever atrocity he was wearing. Honestly, though, River could pull anything off, and had the suspicion that ari always forced him to take off the sweater was that he knew for a fact that river didn’t wear any t-shirt underneath.

Christmas had come around again- after Halloween, which had consisted mostly of River trying to get his head around ari’s goth-punk miniphase (the week that spanned across just before and a few days after Halloween where the only thing ari ever wore was black leather, head to toe, all studded and buckled and sometimes with a great deal of skin exposed. Now, River wasn’t exactly complaining, but it was strange- and stranger still when, almost abruptly, Ari’s fashion sense seemed to mellow again before River even had time to enjoy whatever Ari was doing with himself for that short week. Feeling that he had to counter this, River went online and scrolled relentlessly until he found the ugliest, cringiest Christmas sweater imaginable, and was wearing that very same jumper when he turned up on Ari’s doorstep, 8th December. In one pocket of his jeans, his phone was nestled, and he had one earphone in, humming along to ‘last Christmas’ even as Ari opened the door.

Not ten minutes later they were both nestled together on one of Ari’s ridiculous couches, River having successfully convinced his boyfriend to watch a Christmas movie with him. It was rather surprising how easily Ari succumbed- something told him that he was expecting something back in return, and the evidence was apparent in the way he was playing with the bottom of River’s thick sweater and how his other hand had moved up and was stroking through River’s fluffy, downy hair. It wasn’t currently very long, but it had been a decent while since it’s last cut; therefore, it was medium length, soft and long enough so that Ari could rather easily comb his entire hand through it. They managed to get about twenty minutes into the movie (elf, obviously) and through an entire large pack of caramel popcorn when Ari leaned in as if to steal a kiss from him. River, deciding that this could be entertaining to exploit, pretended not to notice him, even dropping the hand that he had curled around Ari’s hip and letting his grip go slack.

Ari was predictably persistent- he reached under the hem of River’s sweater and traced faux-innocent lines across his waist, only prompting raised eyebrows from River as he forced himself not to smile. He glanced back at the screen after reaching into a newly opened bag of popcorn and pushing one against Ari’s mouth to distract him for a few seconds. When Ari opened his mouth to speak, River just barely turned his head, as if not really paying attention. As if finally noticing his boyfriend’s impatience, his expression seemed to soften, and he took on an air of false sympathy. ”Did you want something?” A pause, and an annoyed pout from Ari. ”If it’s important, i’ll pause the movie for you...”
Neve’s Character Storage

-Brendon Blake
-Gabriel Carrasco
-Mitchell Darrow
-River Kendrick
-Tom Flores
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