Tangible Schizophrenia



Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Smecker/Greenly
Feedback: Is always good.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: For the bds_fic Christmas challenge. Greenly’s name borrowed from goodtwin.
Summary: Paul hates office parties. They’re too conducive to embarrassment.


Greenly must have been in charge of the mistletoe, because the moment Paul walked in, he spotted it: a monstrous confection of ribbons and sloppy sparkles engulfing a tiny green speck, pinned too high up for anyone else to be able to knock it down. Upon closer examination, the green speck proved to be the actual plant.

“Hey, step a little further up. Cathy in Vice let drop that she thinks you’re sexy,” sidled in behind him.

Jackass had already been dipping into the eggnog. And, if the leaning towers of beer cases were any indication, into the city’s bottomless well of Dionysian havoc as well. God help the poor bastards that had pulled shifts tonight, because Paul certainly wasn’t going to. He’d earned the seniority and he was going to use it before his joints and mind disintegrated into a pension stiff.

Fuck, he’d better get himself killed whenever the signs of that ever started to show. It was bad enough having to deal with the everyday idiocy of others; he didn’t have any patience to spare for himself. “I’m sure Cathy has some nice knockers, but if she’s not dangling a long one between her legs, I’m not interested.”

“Christ, you’re going for the gut tonight.” Greenly reeled back a pace so he could slug down his eggnog. Two feet separating them, and the fumes could’ve keeled over a horse. “It’s Christmas, man.”

“No, it’s Christmas Eve. I don’t have to paste on my happy face for another hour.” On second thought, maybe the eggnog might be a good idea. Normally Paul spent his holiday sinking into the annual Philharmonic concert but this year the BPD—read: Greenly the fuckass—had invited him down to their office party.

He must have been really fucking far into the whiskey, Paul thought. Because if his memory was right…

The other man huffed and puffed, but in the end, couldn’t muster the guts to actually blow. Instead, he edged a little closer to Paul and tried to shove a full glass of eggnog into Paul’s hand. “Look, if you wanted to say no, you would’ve said no. Because you’re a rude fucker like that.” A triumphant finger poked holes in the hypothesis Greenly was floating. “So if you’re here, then that means you did want to come.”

…actually, whiskey hadn’t been involved. And goddamn it, Paul was too fucking old and cranky to get taken in like that. Greenly’s throat wasn’t that good; the guy still had a gag reflex, and his overenthusiasm tended to make that into a problem no matter how much Paul tried to smack some sense into him.

“You’re lonely, man.” The crowning statement dropped from a floppy grin into one of those eddies of silence that was the bane of every party. Which was why Paul didn’t go to them.

He took the eggnog from Greenly’s hand, drained it—well, someone knew how to mix around here—and pivoted around Greenly. “And on that note, I think I’ll leave you to pass out in your own vomit. Bring me my coffee at six tomorrow morning. Sharp.”

“Hey—hey!” Though Paul couldn’t see Greenly’s face, he could definitely hear the panic rising in the other man’s voice. And those thud-rustle-‘shit, sorry’ sounds were the unmistakable signs of a beanpole dumbass trying to shove himself through a tittering, soused crowd.

The man just didn’t learn. Gritting his teeth, Paul stopped in the hallway to forestall any further dramatics. “Greenly, your tongue slipped. That I’m used to. But then you made a scene. At an office Christmas party. Even fags aren’t that tactless.”

“Oh, come on.” Greenly hung by one hand off the doorframe and leaned out, almost but not quite touching Paul. His expression was worried but not contrite, because of course he was the brilliant misunderstood prick and Paul the over-reacting imbecile. Yeah. That was exactly how it was. “They’re too drunk to remember this in the morning.”

“Duffy’s ability to recall every detail of your striptease at last year’s party would seem to argue against that,” Paul dryly retorted. He grabbed his coat from the hangers and started to shrug it on. There was too much damned tinsel on the clock for anywhere but Vegas, but Paul could still see enough of it to know that he could make a midnight mass somewhere. “I’m off to church. You go back to your sinning in the name of the Christ child, darling.”

It was funny how Greenly’s eyebrows jerked around like rabid caterpillars. But not enough to make Paul crack a grin. Or stop buttoning on his coat.

“Hey,” Greenly said again, more softly. He hesitantly came out from under the doorway. “Wait. Look, I’m—I didn’t mean to—would you just give me a second here?”

“I gave you two precious hours of my winding-down life. And I warned you—I don’t like this holiday. It’s plastic and pretty and just another expression of how the unacceptable elements of society were mainstreamed by the ruling party.” Paul’s gloves went on, and then he made for the door, but a hand on his arm stopped him.

Michael was chewing on his lip, which usually presaged a little more sensibility. But he took his damn time about it and stared at Paul while he was thinking, which might’ve helped him but only made Paul feel more like a bagged piece of evidence. After two minutes of that, Paul pulled his arm away.

“I can’t believe you’re dumping me for church. You’re not even religious.”

Then again, Paul should never underestimate Michael’s power to be a complete dick. “I occasionally drop into church because they take wrongdoing seriously. And because at least there people have to keep their mouths shut.”

Dull red was lacing through Michael’s cheeks, and for a moment, it looked as if he was going to be so girly as to slap a hand to his mouth. But he had enough balls to just set his jaw and see it out. “Uh. It’s just…look, you really could’ve said no when I asked you.”

“Just go back inside, Gr—Michael.” Now that Paul was letting it, fatigue was starting to set in, and with a vengeance. If it was Christmas, then his automatic self-inquisition could take a fucking break, and it could definitely cease agreeing with Michael. “By the way, if you ever refer to me in terms of dating again, I will smash your puerile testicles back into your pelvic cavity.”

“You’re such a bastard, you know,” Michael grumbled as he disobeyed. Stupid fuck followed Paul all the way outside, and then halted them again in two inches of snow that got into Paul’s socks and melted into a burning itch. “I’m just trying to be nice.”

Paul rolled his eyes. “You’re a prick. Get used to it.”

“What, like you?” Snorting, the other man danced back and beamed a superior smirk. “If you were really serious about hating Christmas, you’d throw on a bedsheet and go celebrate winter solstice, or something.” Flicking fingers. “Stop looking at me like that. I’m not that drunk; Vecchi spilled his glass on me. And I can do a web search.”

Against his better reason, Paul found himself acknowledging that with a sardonic smile. “I see you have been listening.”

“Fuck, you bitch so much that it’s impossible not to. I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to about this fucking holiday just by being around you.” Hands in pockets, Michael tripped back down the steps and consequently kicked more snow into Paul’s shoes. Then he leaned into Paul, cleverly enough so that he would be taken for a staggering drunk, and sneaked a lick at Paul’s ear. “It’s really just about kicking back and being happy, man. You don’t even have to be grateful—that’s what Thanksgiving’s for.”

Paul let himself indulge in a little surreptitious petting. Even went far enough to pull Michael behind a bush and thoroughly checking the man’s alcohol levels for himself—Michael’s mouth was warm and nicely tanged with rum and beer, but not so much as to be bitter. And the prick wasn’t all that bad to look at when he was groaning and wiggling like that.

Satisfied, Paul leaned back and dusted himself off while Michael sagged into the snow and stared up at him. “You’re starting to get the hang of this.”

“You’re still going?” Michael blinked wide puppy eyes at Paul and completely ignored the snow freezing his ass.

With a sigh, Paul did the other man the favor of yanking him up and swinging him towards the doors. “Go get drunk, Michael. Work it out of your system. And try not to puke on the carpet when you drag your moronic ass back.”

“You know something? You’re not too bad, Paul.” And then Michael bounced himself inside, grinning all the way.

Jackass. If he brought that damned mistletoe with him, Paul was going lock him out, hangover or no hangover.

Interestingly enough, Paul found himself looking forward to finding that out. There was still New Year’s to get through before they hit a sensible holiday like Martin Luther King’s Day, but nevertheless, that was one pebble out of his shoe. Though his socks were still fucking itching.


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