A Little Less Conversation
A Gaia fanfic by BatNeko
Gino Gambino stared up at the Gold Mountain Casino and wondered why his heart was beating so fast. It didn't have a reason to, he was only visiting Lex, but the organ seemed to have a mind of its own. It did this every time.
You would think he would be used to it by now.
It was Thursday, late afternoon, not quite evening. Gino knew that Lex would be finishing up his shift as a greeter, and heading backstage to get ready for his performance. It was the perfect time to get his attention.
Gino wondered vaguely why he wanted Lex's attention so much, then shoved that thought into a darkened corner of his mind. That corner was getting crowded lately.
Sure enough, Lex was getting ready to leave his post as Gino approached him, stacking or organizing some papers. His eyes lit up as he saw the younger man, and a smile spread across his face.
"Well if it isn't the Little G!" he said. "Lookin' fine as ever."
"Oh, hush," Gino said, feeling his cheeks flush.
"I mean it." He ruffled the boy's hair. "I'd actually been meaning to tell you, I'm glad you changed your hair back. Or…got it back. Or something." He paused. "Do you know how that worked?"
"Not a clue," Gino admitted. "I've been trying not to think about it too hard."
Lex shook his head. "Hey, repression's great and all, for the short term, but you don't want to ignore anything that might come back to bite you in the…rear."
"Well how do I know what I can ignore and what will bite me?"
"Umm…I don't know." He laughed. "What am I doing, try to give you advice? Silly Lex, you know you're not qualified."
Gino's cheeks grew just a little bit hotter. "I think you're plenty qualified."
Lex cocked his head. "Yeah?"
"All right then." He smiled, and Gino felt as though his entire face had burst into flame.
"So what did you come down here for?" Lex asked, turning back to his papers. "Old man send you to check on the staff? Perhaps a bit of underage gambling?"
Gino laughed. "Do I need a reason to come visit you?"
"I guess not, but you've always had one before."
"Maybe I just want to see your show."
Lex winced. "Ugh, I was trying not to think about that."
"Huh? Why not?" Gino leaned closer. "I think you make a good Elvis."
"Thanks, I know, but I'm just not in the mood today…"
"You can tell me."
Lex glanced around, then leaned in close and whispered. "My ass doesn't fit in the jumpsuit anymore."
Gino blinked. He squinted at Lex. "You… Are you serious?"
Lex looked distinctly uncomfortable. "It's not funny."
"You think you're fat?"
"Of course not, I'm not crazy; I just…could stand to lose a few pounds."
Gino threw his head back and laughed.
"It's not funny!"
He kept on laughing. Tears were running down his cheeks, and his lungs had started burning. "Oh… Oh gods…"
"Will you knock it off?" Lex was the one with the burning cheeks now. "Everyone's looking."
Gino's only response was to grab Lex's arm to support himself. He doubled over, howling.
Lex stiffened at first, trying to stay mad, but Gino just looked so genuinely amused, that soon he found himself chuckling along. Within moments they were both laughing like madmen.
It didn't stop until Becky slipped out of the prize shop and whacked Lex on the back of his head with a clipboard.
"You're on in fifteen minutes, Chuckles," she reminded him.
Lex wiped his eyes and sniffled. "Thanks. Sorry."
"No worries. Just get going!" She nodded to Gino, who had recovered himself as well. "Sir."
Lex shook his head as she walked away. "'Sir.' Honestly. Like anyone really thinks of you as…" He trailed off. "Oops. I- I didn't mean that Gino! I-"
Gino held up a hand to stop him. "It's okay. I don't really like being called sir." He found himself suddenly unable to meet the older man's eyes. "Especially not by you…"
"Me, huh?" Lex leaned down and looked Gino in the eyes. He grinned. "All right, kiddo, you'll get no 'sirs' from me."
"Don't call me 'kiddo' either!" Gino exclaimed. "I'm an adult now."
"I am not." He stopped and looked down, crossing his eyes to see down his nose. His lower lip was jutting out. He grimaced. "Okay, so maybe I'm pouting a little. But I'm not a kid. I'm only a couple years younger than you…"
Lex thought about that, scratching at his sideburns. "More like five, I think. But you're right; I've got no right to call you a kid. So," he smiled down at him. "What do you want me to call you?"
He nodded. "I mean…we're friends, right?"
Lex blinked. "Friends? That's what you want?"
"Well, yeah, what else?"
Lex studied him for a long moment, and Gino found himself recalling a couple of rather vivid and embarrassing dreams he'd had recently. His cheeks once again caught fire.
Finally, Lex nodded. "All right then Gino, friends. But…" a wry grin spread across his face, "if there ever is a 'what else,' I'm up for that too."
It was Gino's turn to blink. "What?"
"Exactly." He ruffled Gino's hair again and grabbed the stack of papers off his podium. "Come watch the show. Got any requests?"
Lex grinned broadly. "Perfect." He strode off toward his dressing room.
Gino's eyes drifted south, to the part of Lex's body that the other man apparently wasn't happy with. It looked fine to Gino. More than fine, actually, in those tight black pants he always wore… Not all of the Gold Mountain staff wore such tight clothing; Gino wondered why Lex did it, especially if he was self-conscious. Of course, it was a nice body, lean and hard and perfectly sculpted…
'Enjoying the view?' a voice said from inside Gino's head.
'No,' he replied automatically.
'You're a fool,' the voice said. 'You missed out on a perfectly good opportunity just now, and you don't even realize it.'
'Opportunity for what?'
The voice sighed. 'You know what. You're just choosing not to think about it.'
'I'm not choosing not to think anything. That would be silly.'
Gino bit the inside of his lip. 'They're just dreams. They don't mean anything. Besides, I like Sasha.'
'So you keep saying. But you were half your father when you fell for her. Did you ever think that maybe it was his attraction you were feeling, mixed with your own gratitude and damsel in distress tendencies?'
'Damsel in- What?'
'You know… "Oh Sasha, you saved my life, I don't know how I can ever thank you…"'
Gino's massive Gambino brows drew together. 'That's nonsense. I mean, yeah I do feel gratitude toward her, but my feeling are pure…'
'Especially pure now that you're not physically attracted to her.'
'I am so!'
'Then why do your dreams center on Elvis movies instead of the Beach Blanket Bimbo?'
'Admit it, you're attracted to Lex.'
'More than just attracted to him. You've got it bad.'
'I said shut up…'
'Hold me tight…'
"The moon's so bright…"
'Just shut up…'
'Tonight is so right for lo-'
The words, shouted aloud, rang through the main lobby of the casino. For a moment, the ambient noise of voices and slot machines stilled, and dozens of eyes turned toward the young Gambino heir.
Once again blushing furiously, Gino coughed, muttered "Sorry," and ran for it.
He slipped into the theater as quietly as he could, keeping his head low and finding a seat near the back. There were other people there, couples and groups, talking and laughing. Gino was alone. Even when surrounded people, he was always alone. That was why he liked Lex so much, he decided, (and probably why he liked Sasha too, if he liked her at all, the voice added). He latched on to the first person to treat him like a human being. That was all. That had to be all.
Then the lights dimmed, and a spotlight hit the stage. Gino had a moment to wonder how Lex had changed so fast, especially if he was having trouble fitting into his costume, when the curtains parted, and there he was.
It was true, Lex didn't look very much like Elvis, but the appearance was such a small part of the overall effect. He had the slick-back black hair and white sequined jumpsuit, and that was enough. Even that fact that Elvis when he'd been Lex's age hadn't worn the jumpsuits was inconsequential.
Especially when Lex stepped up to the mike, did a little half-smile half-sneer, and said, "Evenin,' ladies and gentleman. Mah name is Elvis Presley, and ah'm here to make your night just a little more special."
He spun his white guitar and shifted his hips, just a little. "Ah'll be starting tonight with a song requested by a friend of mine." His expression shifted toward more 'smile' than 'sneer.' "Ah don't think he realizes just how appropriate this song is for him."
And then he began.
Baby let me be,
your lovin' Teddy Bear
It wasn't the music, it wasn't his voice, it wasn't the sneer, it wasn't the way his hips waggled just so inside that tight white fabric; it was the whole package (the voice in Gino's head sniggered at the word "package"). Everything added up until the minor flaws, the bad accent, the fact that he wasn't really playing that guitar; none of it mattered. All that mattered was that he was there…the King.
Put a chain around my neck,
and lead me anywhere
For the first time, it seemed, Gino really heard the lyrics to that song.
Oh let me be
Your teddy bear.
Something in his head went "click."
I don't wanna be a tiger
'Cause tigers play too rough
His head hit the table with an audible thud, and he just barely managed to keep from groaning.
I don't wanna be a lion
'Cause lions ain't the kind
you love enough.
How could he be so dense? Even his own subconscious had been trying to tell him, and he was too…too…blonde to get it!
Just wanna be, your Teddy Bear
Put a chain around my neck
and lead me anywhere
He raised his head from the table and saw Lex looking at him, a slight frown marring the King's usual sensuous expression. He felt a wry smile tug at the corners of his mouth. It was perfect. He finally knew what he wanted, what Lex wanted, and he couldn't even tell him until after the show. Unless…
Oh let me be
Your teddy bear.
Gino straightened in his chair. A different kind of smile spread across his face. He looked Lex right in the eyes, and mouthed the next lines of the song along with the King
Baby let me be, around you every night
Run your fingers through my hair,
And cuddle me real tight.
Lex's eyes widened, and he somehow managed to ask a question with his face alone.
Gino nodded, ever so slightly.
Lex's face broke into a grin, which he didn't even try to suppress. He gave an extra grind of his hips for good measure, the look in his eye implying the King wanted to do a lot more than cuddle. Gino felt blood rush to his face, as well as another part of his body, but his grin was just as big.
He wondered vaguely if he could undo that zipper with his teeth.
Let me be...
Your teddy bear...