Author: Diary PM
AU. Lois and Kenny sit and wait while George is in surgery. Complete. Edited slightly.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Words: 1,102 - Published: 12-03-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7607216
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own A Single Man.
Her mother still holds out hope she and Kenny will get married.
Her grandmother, on the other hand, has more-or-less realized that Kenny is a sweet boy who has absolutely no interest in her. She'll pester Lois every time he mentions another male. 'Is he a son of Lot, too? Is a smart boy? Can you safely hurt him, Lee?'
People say she's very modern, possibly born in the wrong century, but Lois knows those descriptions fit her grandmother better than they ever will her. She remembers a time her grandmother tracked down a boy who'd groped her (Lois) on the city bus, dragging her, desperately pleading, by hand. Wearing trousers, her grandmother had kicked the boy, a scrawny, slight asthmatic kid, down and stuck her high heel an inch or two above her throat. 'You never touch my granddaughter without her permission. You shouldn't any girl, but you ever do this again to mine, I come back and stick it through.'
Later that night, she'd started teaching Lois proper self-defence.
Reaching over, Lois links her hand through Kenny's. He leans over, head pressed against her neck, and she rubs her fingers against his skin. Her instinct, at the moment, is to burst into the operating room and stab Professor Falconer.
She's sane enough to realize that would be a terrible, unhelpful idea, but some instincts die hard. The only reason she hadn't hit that scrawny boy with her notebook was because she was in shock, unable to process what happened.
Professor Falconer is all three. He's attracted to Kenny, an intellectual, and yes, even before his first heart attack, she could have had him pinned to the ground, boots against his neck before he could realize what was happening.
She would, too, if she felt the need.
When she was sixteen, she was on the bus and heard a strange noise. She'd looked over to see a girl profusely thanking a tall, gangly looking boy. It turned out, a man had been groping her, and he'd casually adjusted himself and kicked the man, sending him stumbling. 'I'm Lois,' she'd said, getting off at his stop, a place she didn't recognize, and catching up to him.
He'd grinned, his face betraying slight puzzlement. 'Kenny Potter,' he'd said, shaking her hand.
Her refusal to shave her legs (definitely her grandmother's girl), insistence on wearing pants, and tendency to wield her notebook as a weapon didn't faze him, and they soon found themselves the best of friends.
Three years later, they were two stupid kids, and they had the idea that having sex was somehow a big rebellion against society. It took three times for them to realize how flawed their logic was, and to this day, Lois still looks back on those three times in horror. Hormonal contraception would have been an impossibility for her, and they hadn't even used a condom.
The thing is, with Kenny, it's always been sort of obvious. She can't explain how. He's not what propaganda would have others believe, and he never gave her the impression of being disgusted by her body. In fact, he had seemed genuinely excited when exploring it.
Last year, they had a different class with Professor Falconer, and it got to a point where he seemed to be saying hardly anything, apparently realizing that every other sentence out of his mouth was about the older man. 'I survived mandatory attendance at slumber parties,' she finally told him. 'If you want to gush about your latest crush, get it out of your system. Just don't do it around my mother, okay? I still rely on her for food.'
Blinking, subtle expressions playing across his face, he finally said, 'I wish Professor Falconer wasn't so guarded. I can all these thoughts inside him, Lee, but all he does is listen to us spew crap before setting us straight.'
And that was pretty much it. Kenny was half in-love with a middle-age man, and she refused to shave her legs or armpits but absolutely loved makeup. The way she saw it- the way she still does- is they work.
Except, perhaps for right now.
She'd had to call a cab, not willing to incur her mother's wrath by taking the car, and found him pacing in the waiting room, practically crying. Eventually, she'd dragged him into a closet, blocking the door, thankful neither were claustrophobic.
Suicide, naked man in the medicine cabinet, and even his tie-who plans for that? all came pouring out, until finally, she got it cleared up that Professor Falconer had had another heart attack. But also, he'd been planning to commit suicide, and Kenny had slept with the gun (unloaded or not, that mental image is going to haunt her dreams for a long time), planning to confront him in the morning. He'd woken up, instead, to find the gun missing, and Professor Falconer had apparently burnt the letters before collapsing of a heart attack.
Once he was sufficiently calmed down, they'd left, and she'd gotten money from a sympathetic nurse to buy him something to eat.
Now, all they can do is wait while their English professor is in surgery, and Lois isn't sure how long she can keep sitting here, Kenny in pain, doing nothing.
"Thank you," Kenny murmurs, breath tickling her neck. "I know I'm not really good at expressing this kind of thing, but the fact you're the kind of friend who'd do this makes you- I don't know. I'm just really glad I met you that day on the bus."
"Technically, you meet me off it," she answers, turning her head so that she can brush her lips against his hair. "Hey, when Grandma had her stroke, you were there through everything. I'm the same kind of person you are."
He gives a watery chuckle, and they sit, waiting.
Author's Notes: 'Son of Lot' is a deliberately odd phrase; sometimes, people just have weird ways of referencing things/people that makes sense to them but probably doesn't to others.
Some people argue that, in The Bible, God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the former the city Lot escaped from, due to male homosexual sex. Why Lois's grandmother associates homosexuality with the man who was spared, I have no idea.