The Implications of Sand

Clerks. belongs to Kevin Smith. Shameless movie references belong to their respective studios XD.

"I don't get the sand metaphor in Episode Two."

Dante looked over at Randal, who was sprawled in the chair next to him by the cash register. Randal never sat or even lounged, really. He always sprawled.

The Quick Stop had entered its usual mid-afternoon lull, and Dante was flipping through a car magazine, while Randal had his porno open to a page of what looked like two hermaphrodites. That or one of them had two rather large penes.

When Dante did not answer immediately, Randal helpfully provided some context. "You know, the part where Anakin says 'I don't like sand' and not surprisingly fails to get it on with Padme."

Dante didn't bother to ask about the connection between hermaphrodite porn and Star Wars. For Randal, everything had a connection to Star Wars.

Instead he replied, "You're talking about one of the worst pieces of dialogue in the history of modern cinema, not to mention pick up lines in general. What's there to understand beyond Lucas' flimsy grasp of romance and women?"

Randal shrugged as he tilted his magazine to get a better view of the full-page spread. "At first I also thought it was just an example of shitty dialogue and poorly constructed analogy, but the more I think about it, the less sense that makes. Does sand represent the Jedi Order? Or maybe Anakin's past? But that doesn't really fit in the context of sexing up Padme."

Having reached the end of his magazine, Dante pushed it aside with a look of resignation – he wouldn't be buying a new car any time soon and seeing all the possibilities was just depressing. He went back to tallying inventory on his clipboard.

"Maybe sand represents his dissatisfaction with their current relationship – or friendship – and the 'softness' of Naboo symbolizes his desire to become intimate."

"Or maybe it's code for some kind of kinky sex act." Randal suggested without missing a beat.

Sighing, Dante pushed aside his clipboard and chin propped in hand, glanced over at Randal. Although Randal still flipped through the magazine, Dante decided his friend's whole attention was currently on him. Randal was waiting for Dante's reaction.

And Dante knew he would play right into Randal's hand if he rose to the bait. He knew this must be part of some Randal Graves Scheme, and no matter what Dante said or did, Dante would lose. He knew all this, but he still couldn't help himself.

He could never help himself when it came to Randal Graves.

"And what sort of kinky sex acts involve sand metaphors?" Dante asked with some trepidation.

"The mind boggles at the possibilities," Randal answered with a nonchalant shrug, "but considering Anakin must have been a virgin at the time, I'm thinking nothing too extreme. Maybe ass to mouth."

"Christ, Randal. Will you stop going on about ass to mouth? It may not involve hermaphrodites, but it's still something normal people don't do."

"Repressed normal people," Randal corrected with a significant glance at Dante. "And besides, hermaphrodites can go ass to mouth if they want to. Of course, if you've got all that extra equipment, it's a shame not to use it."

"Fine. You're right. Hermaphrodites can go ass to mouth and Anakin wants to as well." Dante rolled his eyes and went back to the clipboard.

He had only a few moments of peace before Randal continued, "Or maybe Anakin was trying to tell Padme that he wasn't gay."

"What?" The conclusion seemed to satisfy Randal, but it left Dante confused.

Randal tossed aside the magazine and leaned back in his seat so his sprawl melted into a relaxed slump. "Sand is hard and rough – like anal sex. He was letting her know that he preferred pussy to taking it up the ass."

"By comparing his sex life to sand?" Dante did not try to hide his skepticism.

"Think about it. She's hanging out with Anakin, getting all comfortable thinking he's gay and therefore 'safe,' and so she treats him like one of her girlfriends. He's gotta let her know that he isn't into meatpacking and wants a piece of that sweet, barely covered, ass that turned many otherwise not perverted men into pedophiles while watching The Professional."

Dante again set the clipboard down, and as an afterthought shoved it aside. Until Randal decided to grace RST Video with his presence, Dante wouldn't get much work done.

"Sand doesn't work as a metaphor for gay sex. First of all, it's only hard and rough for the guy taking it –"

"So you think Anakin would be pitcher?" Randal interrupted.

"What? No. That's my other point. Anakin's clearly not gay."

"But if he were."

"I don't know," Dante replied in a voice of excessive patience. "Believe it or not, I don't stay awake at night wondering about Anakin's sexual preference."

A dangerous pause and then, "Would you have sex with him?"

"What? No! I'm not gay!"

Randal got up and moved past Dante, apparently heading in the general direction of the snack aisle. "Yeah, but if you were."

"What the hell kind of –"

"Will you stop being such a homophobe and answer the question?"

"I don't know," Dante replied in a way he was sure meant 'no.'

Randal continued, "Would you let him top you?"

"Randal!" Dante was too horrified to feel indignation. "I –"

"Yes or no. It's not a difficult question."

"Then no!"

Dante did not shout, but his 'no' echoed a little down the narrow aisles of the Quick Stop. In belated panic, he glanced around for any stray customers that might have snuck in during their discussion, but he and Randal were still alone.

Randal continued in a voice of perfect reason, "So you'd be satisfied as long as you did the penetrating?"

Dante glowered, his words grinding between clenched teeth. "I didn't say that."

Randal picked up a pack of Ho Hos and began meandering back to the counter. "Geez, you're such a homophobe."

Dante could only sigh. "Just because I don't want to have sex with Anakin Skywalker does not make me a homophobe."

"Man, you're so repressed," Randal almost laughed, but added in a conversational tone, "You know it doesn't count as homosexual so long as you're doing the fucking? At that point it's the same as having anal sex with a chick."

"Is your sense of reality always this convoluted?"

"I'm just saying that not only is Anakin a reasonably attractive male, but a Jedi and a Sith. He grows up to be Darth Vader, dude. Many a fanboy would kill to get into his pants."

Dante threw his hands up in frustration. "Fine. Fine! I'd sleep with Anakin so long as I got to be on top. Are you happy? Can you leave me alone now?"

Randal was leaning across the counter in front of Dante and he slid the Hostess package across the surface as if he intended to buy them. Dante knew better.

For a long time Randal said nothing, and even though Dante knew better about this as well, he allowed himself a flicker of hope that the conversation had ended.

When Randal at last spoke, it was in a low and slightly husky tone that was completely un-Randal. "Is he the only one?"

Between the strange tone and having already lost the thread of their previous conversation, Dante blinked in uncertainty. "Only what?"

Uncertainty became confusion when Randal leaned over so that their noses almost touched. Dante tried to pull back, but an unyielding hand clamped itself on his neck and held him in place.

"Randal...?" Dante's voice fell somewhere between a question and a warning.

"Don't worry. You may not like it, but I don't mind sand."

"Randal –" Dante began, but then Randal's mouth covered his.

It seemed the most natural thing in the world, so it did not cross Dante's mind either to finish his sentence or pull away. Instead he let himself melt into the kiss – leaning forward and tilting his head just so to allow Randal greater access.

For a guy who preferred his women quick and easy, Randal kissed long, slow and gentle. Dante found himself wondering why they hadn't done this before, and then wondering why thinking that made him slightly uncomfortable.

Randal released him and stepped back, slipping the Ho Hos back into his hand and leaving Dante in a dazed stupor just short of reality. Dante blinked once, then twice, as logic and reason tried to reassert themselves. When his brain again began to process, Dante leapt up and out of his seat.

"What the hell, Randal?!" A fierce heat spread across his face from ear to ear, and Dante could not tell if it was embarrassment, indignation or some strange combination of things that may or may not have included arousal.

Randal, completely unfazed, only arched an eyebrow as his mouth twisted into a shadow of a smirk. "You're such a queer."

"Says the guy who kissed me!"

"Yeah, but I'm not the one getting hard about it."

It took Dante a moment to realize he had indeed become half hard, but once he noticed, he could think of nothing else.

"I'm's're not –"

"Whatever, man. What you do in your private time is your own business." Randal dismissed him with a wave of a Ho Ho filled hand. "Wanna get something to eat after work?"

Randal's expression was so nonchalant that Dante began to wonder if the last fifteen minutes of his life had been some surreal and elaborate hallucination. But then he remembered the aching between his legs, and psychosis wasn't a satisfactory explanation for that. Not entirely.

"Yeah. Sure." Dante replied out of instinct.

"Okay. See you then." Randal sauntered out the door. He never walked or even moseyed, really. He usually sauntered. Sometimes he wrangled.

As the door closed with a faint jingle, Dante at last managed to formulate a coherent thought, and shouted, "Hey! How did you know I was getting hard –"

But Randal had already gone, leaving Dante alone with his thoughts and enough prepackaged food to survive the apocalypse. Dante stared at the empty space by the front of the store, at the Randal-free seat next to him, and shook his head.

He didn't know how he felt about sand, but Randal really pissed him off sometimes. He picked up the clipboard and went back to counting.