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Christopher ([personal profile] sosilly) wrote2015-10-22 07:39 pm
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-22 11:23 pm (UTC)(link)
[ josh's return sarcasm is tempered slightly by a hint of a drawling slur, but it's apparent all the same: ] That so? Pretty sure it'd look even better on you.

[ and, even though he's made villain monologue mistake no. 1, josh is nothing if not persistent. chris' knees are digging into his ribs, but he hardly feels it. he's a man on a mission. ]

Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen.

[ chris can wear the beanie if he wants, but he cannot escape tin foil vengeance. his infectious laughter only fuels josh's grinning determination; now josh is attempting to situate it on top of the beanie, but in the confusion that is his hand-eye coordination, he somehow manages to both dent the foil and knock chris' glasses even more awry. ]

Oh, shit. Your— [ bearing down, he snickers at the picture chris makes, burrowed into the cushions like a drunk turtle. ] Stop. Your face is getting in the way.
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-23 12:29 am (UTC)(link)
[ it's josh's turn to attempt to be serious, and needless to say, it doesn't work out so well—but he tries, assuming a dour look and foreboding tone that chris can only half-appreciate, visually impaired as he is. ]

Ah, the eternal refrain of humanity. Pleading ignorance, begging for mercy.

[ josh, is this really the time to be quoting pinhead? apparently it is, but not for long: letting up on chris slightly—planting one of his hands into the cushion by chris' shoulder for leverage, the other still grasping the just barely recognizable tin foil hat—josh can't contain his lazy, mellow smirk, breaking character to continue: ]

Go ahead, I'm all ears.
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-23 01:30 am (UTC)(link)
[ even looming over him victoriously, chris could definitely overpower josh if he really wanted; in fact, josh is fully expecting chris to get him back later—when, he has no idea, but that's part of the fun.

he watches chris fix his glasses with a mock-considering air, and, ultimately, doesn't make a move to take back his beanie. chris did win the right to wear it fair and square, he figures.

Alright, alright. [ josh laughs, flops back onto his side of the couch, letting the foil drift harmlessly to the floor. the new rush of motion makes his head swim pleasantly; he brings the heel of his palm up to press against his forehead, closes his eyes for a brief moment, breathes out. yeah. definitely, yeah. time to get even more drunk. ]

Peace offering accepted. Get whatever you want, man, there's plenty.

[ in the meantime, he'll reach over to grab the rest of the bourbon, fully intent on downing the rest of it before chris gets back with a new bottle. ]
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-23 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
[ watching chris walk away, josh drones to his retreating back: ] Well, you're no good to me dead, right?

[ then, upon chris' triumphant return from the war, josh looks at the booze haul and lets out a low, amused whistle. ] You really weren't kidding about the peace offering, huh.

[ not that he's complaining. josh props himself up a little, leaning forward with a lopsided smile. ]

Oh, I'm appeased. Very, very appeased.

[ he isn't really one for mixed drinks either—well, the mixing of drinks, as he hasn't exactly tried to make anything more complicated than a screwdriver or a whiskey ginger. he'll drink anything, given the chance, but it's always easier to get it straight from the source than to spend time whipping up a cocktail. the goal has always been to get drunk as fast as possible, rather than to savor the taste, so he's never considered it something he needed to study up on.

absentmindedly, he presses his leg back against chris' foot in pseudo-retaliation, looking over their choices. well, at this point, anything would taste good.

he breaks the seal on the new bottle of bourbon, takes a swig, and slides it across the coffee table toward chris. the vodka's next; he opens it up, pours about two shots' worth into one of the glasses, and, after a second's blurry deliberation of the hangul on the bottle of soju, opens that as well to pour a shot in with the vodka. the tastes should mix pretty good, given that soju's basically vodka-lite; he sips it. yeah, it's okay. the strawberry flavor's doing most of the work. again, not that he's complaining.

that done, josh reclines against the arm of the couch again, content to drink this one a little more slowly—he can feel himself getting pretty fucking buzzed, and if he stood up now, it probably wouldn't end well for anyone involved. so, for the time being, he just throws a leg up on the couch beside chris' and nudges him back properly this time, indicating the beanie with a slow blink and a nod of his head.

Hey, look at that. Your hipster transformation is complete. Ashley's gonna love it.
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-23 04:53 am (UTC)(link)
No, dude; I know.

[ yeah, she might actually laugh at him, but chris doesn't need to know that.

josh is barely paying attention to the film anymore; it's become a kind of white noise, hazy quotes and lines and plot details he could recite in his sleep. the strings-heavy soundtrack isn't even doing much to creep him out. all he feels is warm and floaty, which had been the desired effect from the beginning, and paying attention to any singular thing is becoming more and more difficult. the only thing he feels when merrill freaks out over the news footage of the birthday party is a vague sense of unease, which dissipates easily with another drink of his vodka mix.

he drags his eyes back to chris, tilting his head in casual assessment. that's a shade of red he doesn't think he's seen before.

You can keep it, if you want. [ he glances away, shrugging a shoulder. not like he can't buy a new one. ] Y'know—maybe show it off a little. Get her attention.
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-23 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
[ josh waves a hand dismissively, and the motion of it somehow manages to make his head feel full of water. there's something to be said for the glasses-beanie combo, especially in this day and age. ]

You pull it off fine, bro. I got, like, a hundred anyway.

[ chris doesn't need josh's confidence, he needs josh's acting skills. that had been lesson number one: fake it 'til you make it, and josh has the faking part down to an art. in reality, he's just as nervous and insecure as the rest of them, projecting assertiveness to throw people off the scent of his own self-doubt. it helps that it's easier to be confident about someone else's love life. despite appearances, josh hasn't had too much experience in that arena either—mostly by virtue of shying away from any real, human intimacy. you wouldn't guess it by the way he acts, but that's exactly by design.

one day, he'll realize that he's projecting, that it's a bad habit of his, that doing this for chris isn't going to magically fix his own loneliness. it might help him come to terms with a few things about himself, but for now—for now, it's all about chris, and, as usual, josh has no compunctions about making that known.

I dunno, Christopher, maybe actually ask her out? That'd be a good next step.

[ it comes out a little more forcefully than he intends, laced with with the slurred exasperation of an onlooker who's tired of watching two people refuse to cross the event horizon with each other. they've been over this, but nothing's changed. the liquor's probably not helping. ]

You gotta... take the plunge, man. She's not gonna wait forever.

[ well, she might. it's entirely possible. josh is less certain about her, but it's obvious she likes chris back—though to what degree... no, no, josh is pretty sure it's a mutual level of attraction. but if that's the case, why hasn't ash asked chris out herself? god, it'd be so much easier if one of them would just... do something. maybe they really are made for each other if they're both so hung up on the first fucking step. he's beginning to think there might need to be some kind of intervention.

it's a reflex by now to shut down that particular train of thought, to shove away those sudden and familiar feelings of annoyance. chris deserves to be happy, so josh is gonna do what he can to get him there. that's what best friends are for.
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-24 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
[ as is the norm with josh, if the conversation doesn't eventually circle around to how much sex someone is or isn't having, he's probably been replaced by a pod person. that's just how it is. he doesn't make the rules.

and maybe it's the steady haze of alcohol, but josh can't help but react poorly to that—it just seems so simple from his perspective, such a tiny, fixable thing. chris is going off-script and josh can't process it.

Not right? How can it not be right? She's smart, she's sweet, she's exactly your brand of nerdy-hot. What's not to like?

[ a sharp-edged part of him wants to snap yes, totally, now just get on with it already! and you're never gonna know unless you try! not because he wants to hurt chris' feelings, but because he—he really thinks it'd be good for chris, to get a girlfriend, to finally get laid, to have someone like ash. someone who can care for him in return, who won't drain him dry, who won't lie to him or hold him back, who'll be able to get out of bed on bad days even if she's sad and function like a normal human being. chris deserves that much.

but there's a time and place to be a sarcastic, pushy wingman. chris is struggling, just like him, and josh can't bring himself to put the wind out of his sails. with effort, he shuts his mouth, lets his eyes fall to the coffee table for a brief moment, presses his lips to the cool rim of his glass. not long enough for chris to take his silence as an answer, but long enough to get himself together, push through the cotton in his brain. even though things aren't... going to plan, it's okay. it's just the same old, same old. and that's fine. it doesn't mean anything. they can still have a good time.

drawing his gaze back up again, josh plasters on a reassuring grin he tries his hardest to feel. he nudges back, pressing the ball of his socked foot into chris' thigh.

Not to me, Cochise. We're partners. If you're a shithead, that makes me one too, right?
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-24 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
[ and that's the eternal conundrum, isn't it: push people away, or keep them close? accept their help? the thought that chris might leave him has absolutely crossed josh's mind once or twice or a hundred times over the course of their friendship; it's always a storm of conflicting emotions whenever he thinks about it, which is why he tries not to. josh can be selfish, he knows that, his self-medication is proof of it, but in this—he has to be charitable. he's convinced himself that seeing chris with a good life is the best thing for the both of them. you know, in the end, he's doing chris a favor. chris has it in him. he just doesn't know it yet.

it won't mean ashley is suddenly gonna... replace him, or whatever. right? josh is—he's still gonna be chris' best friend. it's not like chris has to...

choose, or anything.

josh raises his drink, his stomach giving an uncomfortable, sickly roll. maybe vodka on top of bourbon wasn't such a great idea. he would lean forward to clink the glass against chris', but he can't bring himself to move; he only sinks deeper into the cushions and extends his arm in a vague, upward motion, trusting the heat of their tangled legs convey the last couple of inches for him, the sentiment he hasn't managed to express with words. his grin, however, remains steady.

Yeah, man. To you and me. Shitheads for—for life.

[ toast complete, he knocks back a solid gulp of the vodka-soju, squeezing his eyes shut at the burn. yeah. for life. ]
Edited (i tried so hard and i got so far) 2015-10-24 04:05 (UTC)
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s-sob thank you (╯︵╰,)

[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-26 05:44 pm (UTC)(link)
[ they are a pretty pitiful pair, holed up drinking like this, but josh wouldn't have it any other way. he laughs quietly when chris coughs—murmuring steady there, bud—and then has to fend off the heavy-headed, floating sensation that brings, like someone's suspended his brain in a jar somewhere, and has just picked it up to look at it. he blinks, a slow drag of his eyelids, and focuses on chris' face to ground himself in the moment.

at the question, though, josh's gaze flickers down and away, avoidant. as quickly as his limbs will allow, he finishes the last of his drink and unsteadily sets the glass down on the coffee table, slumping back into position as the alcohol slithers its way down to his stomach.

his tongue feels numb in his mouth, but his voice still manages to come out sharp.

What about her?

[ even drunk, josh is very aware that he doesn't want to talk about this. he knows immediately what chris is getting at—how couldn't he know?—but he doesn't... it's just not the point. it's never the point. still, he can't make himself shut down the thread of conversation just yet; the part of him not up to his gills in liquor would have deflected already, just like earlier, but drunk josh doesn't quite have the same presence of mind to keep topics like this at arm's length. ]
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。゚(ɔ ˘̩╭╮˘̩)˘̩╭╮˘̩ c)゜:。

[personal profile] blackwood 2015-10-27 08:07 am (UTC)(link)
[ josh swallows around the dryness of his mouth, tonguing against the back of his teeth. in the warmth they've made together—this single shared couch, their own little bubble in a big empty house—it doesn't seem like such a big deal to answer honestly. sober, josh would be kicking himself; sober, josh would be laughing it off. sure, man. she's hot, if you're into the whole, like, greenpeace soccer mom vibe.

instead, he clumsily laces his fingers across his abdomen, allowing his eyes to drift up, and up, until he's staring hazily at the dim ceiling.

Yeah, I guess. A little.

[ sam. hannah's friend. his too, in a way, but more hannah's than his. hannah's best friend.

it's true. he likes her well enough. she doesn't really reciprocate his flirting; she's way more likely to roll her eyes at him than respond in kind, but that's fine. it means it's safe to keep going—keep it fun, keep it casual, surface-level, no expectations either way. he's not sure he has a crush on her. it's not really like that. it's more of... well, if he could, if he was the dating type, if he was like mike, he probably would. just to see. just to try.

but he's not, and he can't. every time the idea surfaces, a tiny beacon of hope in the eternal fog of bullshit, josh makes himself forget it. the prospect of a normal relationship, a chance at experiencing something sweet and intimate—it's not possible. it's just not. how is anyone supposed to deal with him like that when he can barely deal with himself?

well, he could always lie. he's gotten pretty good at it over the years, the whole acting thing. but you're not supposed to keep people in the dark when you're in love. you're not supposed to.

chris is the closest he's ever let anyone get, and josh is still terrified of what chris might think if he found out about the worst parts of him: the dark corners, the fragmented, wrong spaces, the miserable spirals of thought that keep him from sleep, numb, unable even to cry. what he does to cope. it fucking sucks in josh's head, and he knows that. why would he dump that shit on other people? for all their good intentions, they'll never be able to help. he can never be fixed. his illness will never go away.

but they might.

maybe sam would understand. he gets the feeling she'd be a good listener, if he reached out, if anything happened, and—well, if he couldn't talk to chris, maybe he'd be able to talk to her. but if he opened up, put everything on the table, then what? would she take the plunge, warm-hearted and well-meaning? would she eventually draw away, frustrated and annoyed, when, inevitably, he'd mess up? would she look at him differently—like a helpless, ailing animal, or like something broken, to be treated with the utmost care?

josh doesn't want her to look at him any differently. hell, he's lucky that chris doesn't. chris has never treated him like a glass ornament, and josh appreciates that more that chris will ever know. he can't take that chance again, just in case his luck runs out, but he can live vicariously through other people—he can make sure his friends have the time of their lives from a good, safe distance. he's always been the kind of guy to look at things through a camera lens anyway. it's not... it's not a big deal.

it'd be easier if it was just sex. feelings wouldn't have to get involved. but it wouldn't be 'just sex' with sam, either; he already knows her.

josh lolls his head to the side, cheek pressing against the fabric of the armrest. his chest feels tight. the sensation radiates up to his throat, a nameless ache. a little, but...

But not... [ the words come slowly, gradually. ] But not enough, you know? There's no, uh. Connection. Not like between you and Ash.
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[personal profile] blackwood 2015-11-04 03:29 am (UTC)(link)
[ josh's foggy gaze fixes back on chris, who looks as tired as he feels—and who's still trying to be a bro, even when his eyes are falling shut. what a champ. ]

You think?

[ and maybe it's the liquor, but he can't squash the small bloom of hope at chris' words. sam, samantha, sammy... if only. hey, it probably would be great. josh can imagine it now: sam, his wife, two and a half kids, white picket fence. dreamy. yeah, right. ]

Yeah. [ but... ] Maybe.

[ maybe. maybe. maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong. josh allows the corner of his mouth to quirk up in a self-deprecating lilt. he's not so far gone not to realize what's happening here—that chris' is turning his own advice right back on him. serves him right, he guesses. a taste of his own medicine. still, he doesn't think he has it in him to sustain a conversation about that possibility, not when he's like this. it'll have to stay locked up inside him. but this time, it'll be chris' words knocking around his head instead of his own, and that's a little better. at least, for now, when he's too drunk to really think about it.

with a long sigh, he lets his eyes fall shut, focusing instead on how he can feel the rise and fall of his stomach underneath his hands with each steady breath. it's lulling; he feels the weight of his tiredness pour down on top of him in gentle, soothing waves. without opening his eyes, he nudges chris' leg again and mumbles out a topic change, cotton-headed and heavy-tongued.

Well, now I can't see at all. But don't even think about sneaking out on me, bro. I'll know. [ he means—when he's asleep, because he can feel it creeping up on him. it's a joke, almost; he knows chris is in no condition to be driving back home, but he wants to make sure, even so. ] And I know—I know where you live. I'll... drag you right back.

[ it doesn't even make sense, but he feels better confirming to himself that chris isn't going anywhere. ]
Edited (sometimes words get complicated) 2015-11-04 03:31 (UTC)