As usual, Kay stood waiting by his car when Marc pulled up, and as usual, he looked up and smiled. They had decided to go jogging before engaging in physical activities of another kind and the weather, which had been awful for weeks, was today in the best of spirits: high blue sky, warm sunlight and a faint breeze in the trees. Despite the weather though, and despite Kay's welcoming smile, Marc could not smile in return.
"What's happened to you?" he asked as he stepped out of the car and locked it with a click, the happy prospect of going running with Kay wiped away with one look on the other man's face. "And don't you dare say it's nothing."
"Aw, you care" Kay said mockingly and warded off Marc's hand from touching the bruises that colored his cheekbone and jaw in nasty shades of black and blue.
"Of course I care" Marc growled and tried once again to examine the injury. This time, Kay let him, wincing slightly as Marc traced the bruises with his fingertips. "Who did this to you?"
"Does it matter?" Kay asked wryly. "Anyway, you should see the other guy first, before you want to kick his ass."
"Oh really?" Kay was quite the pacifist: he took beatings rather than handing them out. While he occasionally hit on people, Marc included, it was a rare thing to see him actually hit anyone – if he had indeed fought back, it was surprising. "What does he look like then?"
Kay's smile grew big and wolfish.
One half second of silence, then Marc laughed. He shook his head, looked at Kay for some kind of affirmation and then shook his head again, chuckling.
"You're unbelievable" he said.
"What? I'd say my credibility is unusually high, I've even got the bruises to prove it."
Kay easily dodged the playful smack Marc aimed at the back of his head and dropped the cigarette butt to the ground where he crushed its smoldering embers with his sneaker.
"Don't worry" he said and leaned off of his car. "He was no match for you."
He made as if to start jogging, but Marc caught his wrist and pulled him slightly back.
"Kay…" He swallowed, trying words out in his mind but, failing to find good ones, settled for those that would at least still make sense. "Don't get beaten up. Not from flirting with them. Please."
"Blaming the victim?" Kay said, his voice light but the smile bleak.
"No. Just… be careful."
Kay leaned in then and kissed him, a quick kiss, but lingering tenderly on Marc's lips.
"I'll try. Ready to go?"
And off they went, speaking no more about the bruises or the reason behind them, but not forgetting them either. It was not the first time, nor the last, but Marc knew that if he ever saw someone attack Kay he would not be able to stand idly by – no matter the other guy's looks. After all, he did care. After all, protecting people from getting hurt was what he did, was the reason why he had joined the police in the first place. After all…
He looked at Kay, one step ahead as usual, the bruised jaw clearly visible but the movements swift, strong, confident, as if unmoved, unbothered, by the hurt.
"You know who else looks fucking fantastic?" he asked, and Kay turned around and ran backwards, wide grin all over his face.
"No" he said, "but I know someone who looks fantastic while fucking."
They didn't make it back to the apartment.