Those two, horrible words were enough reason for Dante to recoil as Randal leaned over the counter and practically stuck his index and middle fingers up his nose.
"What? Another cheap hooker of yours?" He scoffed, pushing the offending hand as far away from him as he could manage.
"Nope. This one's different, my friend." Randal sighed, almost dreamingly, then sniffed his soiled fingers for perhaps the ninth time that afternoon.
"Really? I shudder to think how." Dante teased as Randal hoisted himself up on the counter.
"Well," Randal paused just long enough to yoink a magazine from the rack. "we've been doing the mattress mambo for a few months now and I haven't gotten bored with it yet." Randal set down his magazine and cocked his head at Dante, who's mouth was hanging wide open. "That's love, right?"
"I can't fucking believe you!"
"Jesus, man! What's your problem?" Randal spat back before returning to his hermaphroditic porn.
"You've been in a steady relationship, for the first time in your life I might add, and you bother to tell your best friend about it-"
"I'd say five months." He muttered without looking up from the she-male-suck-fest.
"FIVE MONTHS later, and this is your most subtle way of telling me?!"
"Would you calm the fuck down?!" Randal slammed the magazine down on the counter. "It's been a...weird couple of months. Besides, you could have caught us anytime you felt like taking your head out of your ass! It's not like I've been diligently hiding it from you. Or at all really."
Dante pinched the bridge of his noes and leaned back into his chair. It was one of his many exasperated mannerisms that were reserved especially for Randal.
"Who is this girl anyway? Do I know her?"
"Yeah. You do."
"So, who is she?"
"She's not a 'she.'" Randal said without even looking at Dante.
"Wait...you're not dating a hermaphrodite, are you Randal?"
"What, no! Jesus Christ, Dante! Don't you get it? I'm fucking GAY!"
Jingle, jingle. Cue the customer with poor timing.
"Pack o' cigarettes?"
"FUCK YOU!" the two clerks shouted in unison, as if feigning anger on some poor sap would make this situation any less awkward for them. Said poor sap (that poor, balding, middle age sap), left the store flabbergasted and with out a pack of cigarettes.
Dante turned his attention back to his best friend. Was he joking? He didn't look like he was joking. But he never looked like he was joking about any of the other things he joked about either.
He hoped to God, if there was in fact a God in this fucking universe, that this was just another one of Randal's twisted jokes. Not that he was a homophobe or anything! But...things would be different between them if Randal wasn't joking. He was sure of it! He...didn't know if he'd be able to handle it...
"It's rude to stare, asshat." Dante's internal monologue was interrupted by the man in question.
"How long have you known you were...?"
"A fag? I guess since...high school? That sounds about right."
"Wh-why didn't you tell me?" Dante asked, shocked with a hint of hurt. Randal just stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"I kinda thought you'd figure it out on your own sooner or later...and I guess I was afraid that things be weird between us if I did."
"How are they not right now?"
"I dunno...I kinda figured my boyfriend might factor into this somehow. I mean, as much as I'd love to get in your pants and all, I don't think he'd appreciate- oh, for fucks sake! I'm kidding! Loosen up!"
As if on command, Dante did loosen up. If only a little bit.
"That reminds me, who is this mystery man of yours? You said I knew him right?"
Dante waited for Randal's response, feeling prepared. Randal had already dropped the big one on him, what could possibly-
"Oh. My. God...You're joking!"
"Nope. Gave him his first blow job, and we've been like this," he crossed his dirty fingers and thrust them into Dante's baffled face, "ever since. Not the traditional fairy tale ending, but hey. Who am I to be conventional."
What the hell was going on?! Had everyone that Dante ever met suddenly switched teams? First Randal, now Elias- wait WHAT?!
"You did what? When? Do I even want to know?"
"You must or you wouldn't have asked... Remember a few months ago when that Myra chick dumped his ass and he was all mopey and shit for about a week?"
"Well, being the altruistic person that I am, I offered to teach him a few things. You know, so the next chick that comes his way won't dump him for sucking in the sack. Next thing I know, I got my hands all over him and his dick in my mouth. Kid got so excited that he-"
"Randal! Stop! I...don't want to hear the details, okay?"
"Anyway, we kinda realized after he bricked in my mouth that neither one of us wanted him to get down and dirty with some chick."
Dante let that one sink in for a minute or two. Trying not to form a mental image of the man he knew for the majority of his life getting his face fucked...by Elias, of all people! But the thought corrupted his brain, none the less. His thoughts were interrupted, thank God, by a throaty groan. He turned and noticed a cat-like grin plastered on Randal's face. Clearly, they were thinking about the same thing.
"So...he's good then?" Dante asked, a bit embarrassed as soon as he said it. Randal pulled himself out of his daze.
"Well you know me, Dante. I like 'em young, with brown eyes and cocks. I'd say Elias fits the bill."
"I guess it's safe to say he's no longer practicing abstinence? You corrupter of innocence, you?" Dante teased while Randal scoffed.
"Please...his right-wing nutter folks
had him so sexually repressed, it's not even fucking funny. Thank God
"That's what I always say." Dante snarked. Randal playfully chucked gum wrappers he found in his pocket at Dante in response. Needless to say, Dante didn't find it as amusing as Randal did.
"God, Randal! Knock it the fuck off! Seriously, what does Elias see in you!?" Dante bellowed, only half serious.
"I have no fucking clue! Most people hate me! But this one's different; he's crazy about me..." He trailed off, and stared at the ceiling. While Dante stared at him, wide eyed. And then, he smiled.
"You...really do love him, don't you?" Dante asked, amused. Randal snapped out of his daze and gave Dante the slightest of smiles.
"I already told you; this one's different."
With Randal's drawn out confession drawn to a close, the two clerks basked in contentment. Knowing that no matter what shit life flung at them, nothing between them would change. Whether Dante was planting his seed into his boss or Randal was sucking his young employee off, they'd always be best friends.
...at least until a horrifying thought occurred to Mr. Dante...
"YOU MADE ME SNIFF ELIAS ON YOUR FINGERS?!"