That sounds like a big responsibility
Tue Mar 6, 2018 23:10

Russell let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding in. He couldn't say that he had been expecting Maverick to turn down the request - for whatever baffling reason, they were friends and got along fantastically. Relatively speaking, that was, considering Russell and the word "fantastic" did not exactly get along to begin with, and Mave and the word "friends" seemed on average to go about the same way. But he couldn't say that he had been expecting immediate agreement, either. It was a relief. "Thanks a ton," he said sincerely as he watched the older boy saunter up the stairs.

He was relieved, but not exactly relaxed, because he knew the number of steps between here and his room by heart and could guess exactly when Maverick would be approaching his door. The prospect of letting someone else into his private sanctuary was intimidating. Especially when the moment of letting that wall be crossed coincided with a moment that Russell literally could not be present to witness or explain or distract or whatever was necessary to fend off what could only be a negative reaction to his living style. Back home, he pretty much had the basement to himself, and it was done up just for him: carpet and walls in deep dark shades of grey, small lights spread out along the baseboards, the whole works. He hadn't had friends over since his ill-fated first attempt at public school and it had been a catastrophe.

The tall boy was saved from further glum reminiscing by the quick return of his Housemate and... not just Jaws, but his whole cage. Birth-certificate-green eyes rounded in surprise. "Oh, wow," he managed, an involuntary grin spreading wider than normal across his cheeks. Yup, now he was relaxing. He could feel it in his shoulders. Maverick had actually lugged the whole cage down by hand. Manually. Not even levitating it. "You carried it all the way down, just for him? Wow. Heya, buddy." Crouching, Russell greeted the twitching nose that had come creeping out of its den of fabric scraps with scratchies around the mouse's chin. "How ya doing?" Jaws made a throaty chittering noise and flopped back down, right in front of the cage wires. What a lazy little guy.

The scratchies paused at Mave's offer, and he glanced up (for once) (being the tallest really sucked sometimes, and by sometimes he meant most of the time, or really, almost always). The first place his mind jumped was concern, because if someone else just briefly being in his space to fetch Jaws was unnerving for him, how would a whole night together make Maverick feel? "Really, you're sure?" he checked. "It won't bother you, having me there?" This unfortunately led his mind to jump to another place entirely. Staying the night in another boy's room wasn't something he would have paid much attention to before, at least not much out of the ordinary, but that was before he realized that he was definitely into boys and not girls. And it was true that Maverick wasn't like other boys - he lived on the girls' side of the dorm. And it was also true that they were only friends and Maverick definitely hadn't meant it to come out sounding that way. And it was also true that they wouldn't actually be alone together, because Jaws would be there too. But it was still a night in a boy's room.

Russell had probably been silent for too long, and he knew he should probably decline out of politeness and respect and common decency, but the more his silence went on, the more he could hear how loud the common-room was getting. Oh, dear. He really had no choice. "Okay, if you're sure," he couldn't help adding in again, "then yeah, that would be great. Hope you don't mind sleeping with the lights off." It was meant to be a joke but then his brain started thinking up other ways it could be interpreted. In an attempt to detour any embarassing blushing, Russell stood up, wrapped long-fingered hands around the sides of Jaws' cage, and lifted it. "Lead the way. Erm, well, maybe I should go first up the stairs," he corrected, already moving ahead as he spoke, "just in case they drop me, so that you can catch Jaws. Here goes..." To his astonishment, he made it all the way up the stairs without being dropped at all, and turned slightly to direct another relieved grin at Mave, giving a head-jerk to indicate he could go ahead and show him the way.

  • You're just the Chosen One I guess. - Maverick, Sat Mar 3 16:52
    Mave kept grinning for a moment until he realized how incredibly atypical of him that would seem. Atypical things seemed like they would freak Russell out. So he forced his face a little less... more
    • That sounds like a big responsibility - Russell, Tue Mar 6 23:10
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