Lawrence shut himself in his bedroom after the sun came up.

"You going to sleep?" Adam asked him as he left.

"Yeah," said Lawrence; Adam didn't argue, even though he knew that sleeping was something easier said than done.

He spent his morning wandering around the house, not sure of where he was going or what he was doing, finally ending up sprawled across the couch in the living room. It was large and soft, and he tipped his head back, staring up at the ceiling. The fan made lazy circles above his head; he could feel the soft breeze against his face.

After a few minutes of this, Adam decided he was hungry.

He imagined that Lawrence had had a steady upbringing; he was either relatively old money or someone who had had the funds to get himself through medical school regardless. Adam's childhood apartment had contained himself, his mother, and his mother's incoming stream of boyfriends.

One had taught him to play baseball; one had given him a camera. And one had taught him to make popcorn on the stove. Before long the air was full of the scent of cooking popcorn; Adam watched it carefully, waiting with a large bowl next to him.

He heard Lawrence before he saw him; he made his way down the hall and stopped behind Adam.

"Popcorn?" Lawrence said.

"That would be what this is," Adam said. "You have any salt?"

"The cupboard right above you."

Adam opened it, pulling the salt down.

"It smells good," Lawrence continued, voice emotionless.

Adam didn't answer, taking the pan off the stove and dumping the hot popcorn into the bowl.

"Why are you making popcorn this early?"

"Sorry for waking you up," Adam said; his tone didn't quite register the apology.

"I wasn't sleeping." Lawrence sat down at the kitchen table, picking up his bottle of painkillers and turning it over in his hand.

Adam set the bowl on the table and settles himself in the chair across from Lawrence; he stretched his arms out across the wide table, fingertips rushing over the grained wood and back.

"You need another one of those?" he said, gesturing toward the pills and stifling a yawn.

"Not yet," said Lawrence. He didn't put the bottle down; he simply continued turning it over in his hands. The large pills made a harsh clacking noise every time he did, and it was starting to grate on Adam's nerves.

"Can you stop that?" he said.

Lawrence looked at him strangely, but put the bottle of pills down on the table.

Adam helped himself to some of the popcorn, reaching into the bowl and grabbing a handful, then tossing it back into his mouth. After a moment, Lawrence took some as well, setting it down on the table and picking it up, piece by piece, with his fingertips before eating it.

"Do you always have to be so goddamn...well-brought-up?" Adam asked. Lawrence looked up at him as though he wasn't sure if Adam was joking; Adam realized that he wasn't sure either.

"Really, Larry," Adam continued, "you have the balls to fuck your secretary behind your wife's back, but you eat like a priss."

"Why do you call me that?" Lawrence said.

"What, a priss?"

"No. 'Larry.'"

"Am I not allowed to call you that anymore?" Adam said, unable to keep the sarcastic bite out of his words.

"No, it's...fine. It's fine," Lawrence said. He pushed his chair back and stood up.

"What the- ...where the hell are you going?"

"I'll be in the study if you need me." With that, Lawrence walked out; Adam jumped up and followed him.

"What the fuck is this?" Adam demanded; Lawrence turned to face him in the doorway of the study. "Are you just going to get up and leave every time I say something you don't like?" Something dawned on Adam then, and he couldn't keep himself from saying it. "Or does that remind you too much of the wife? Look, I'm sorry that she took off. Really, I am, and I don't know how many times I have to say that before you get it. It was a shitty thing to do, but you can't keep comparing me to her. You know why?"

Lawrence blinked at him, but didn't say anything.

"Because I'm still fucking here. If you don't like that, or if you've decided you hate me or something, I'll just-"

"Adam." Lawrence's voice was gentle.


"I don't hate you."

"Okay." Adam arched an eyebrow; he hadn't been expecting this to go so easily.

"And I'm glad you're still here."

"O...kay," Adam said again. "Do you want some more popcorn or not? I made an entire goddamned bowl."

"I'll join you in a moment," Lawrence said, turning back to enter the study.


"I have to shut the laptop off."

Adam stood by the door and watched as Lawrence quickly shut the computer down, then both of them made their way back to the kitchen, sitting on opposite sides of the table. The popcorn was beginning to get cold, but Adam took a fistful of it anyway.