'Hey Jock – I mean, Josh – you free tonight?'
Josh almost died of a heart failure at the sound of his phone screeching a line from The White Stripes as he woke up with a painful start, his chest tightening and contracting with a sudden relapse that he knew would come back to bite him in the ass in ten years time. 'Metis, you will be the death of me' Josh cringed as he groped around in his sleep-deprived state for the offending, wailing object.
'...M-Metis?' Josh could only manage groggily as his insides tried to readjust themselves from deep slumber to sudden vigilance.
'Yes, well done, now answer the question.' Josh dared a glance over towards his clock with great hesitance. He shuddered at the numbers winking brightly back at him, looking suspiciously sentient. It truly was a mystery of the universe how the boy could sound so bloody chirpy and awake at this hour of the morning; especially when Josh himself had only fallen asleep a few hours ago, still surprisingly sore from the late night football match and his clash with that hulk from the other team - Josh swore that guy was really made out of plutonium, the way his shoulder was currently aching…
'Metis...It's bloody three in the morning...what possibly couldn't wait until later?' Josh twitched as he could swear he heard Metis stifling a gleeful chuckle.
'Well, I dunno, just felt the urge to call. I mean, I thought you'd be happy to hear my voice or something, but obviously not...' Josh scowled; he could tell Metis was grinning proudly, the bastard. There was absolutely no justice what so ever in waking your friend up (in such a sore state, Josh added, and in such a cruel way too) for no reason other than to mock them. No justice at all.
'May...just…shut the fuck up and go back to bed right now.' Josh could sense Metis frowning from the other side of the line.
'Was that an order, jock? Who says I can't call my- call someone when I want to?' Metis stumbled over his words, but Josh, despite his languorous state, caught on where the brunet had slipped. Josh decided that the time for reasoning with the idiot had passed (reason never had boded well with the likes of Metis) and now a little good harsh retaliation was in order, as Metis obviously wasn't one to play fair.
'However happy I am to hear the voice of my boyfriend at three in the morning, May, I'm pretty sure it's way past your bedtime.' Metis shudder was almost audible through the phone line at the sickly sweetness oozing off Josh's tone.
'Are you free or not? ...And don't call me that...' Metis's snappy impatient tone (and was that a hint of defeat?) didn't go amiss as Josh almost had to shove his fist in his mouth to muffle his laughter.
'Free? What the hell, Metis, I'm sleeping!'
'Well, you're obviously not, you're talking to me - unless you're sleep-talking right now - wouldn't put it past you, actually. Hmm, weird thought... Samuel… I'd better ask Erik… Now hurry up, I'm a busy man, Josh, and I'm waiting for your answer.'
Gosh, that was a lot of stupidity for Josh to swallow.
'What – But – Metis you idiot, didn't you hear me, it's three in the morning – Whaddy'a mean – What could you possibly be doing –'
'Now now Josh, don't get smart with me – okay - hang on - just, stay where you are – seriously, don't go anywhere now-' Metis was talking in fragments as Josh could hear his breathing fasten in his ear and a few swear words of choice, followed by a muffled yell of 'Ouch! Stupid cat!' Metis was rambling incoherently now, and Josh had half the mind to hang up right that second and roll over back into the warm and enticing clutches of his pillow to dream of neon green crunching numbers and a black cat chasing its tail, suddenly turning into a certain spastic emo boyfriend of Josh's with whiskers and a bloody grin like the Cheshire, until Metis made the decision for him and Josh was left with only the sound of the engaged tone of his phone ringing in his ear. Well, that was certainly something the likes of which he had never experienced before; but then again, being with Metis really was an eye-opener when it came to weird and new experiences. Josh sank back into his cosy duvet and looked out into space at his black ceiling above, black like Metis's soft dark hair, surprised dark eyes, oh the look on his face when Josh had first kissed him...
Josh heard crunches and scuffles and several cries of pain and then felt a persistent poking at his side, the air suddenly noticeably cooler as goose-bumps rose on his bare skin. A malicious voice cut through the dark, and Josh cracked an eye open to find Metis -oh yes, a very real Metis in the flesh - slumped over his bed, poking him hard in the ribcage whilst simultaneously brushing off gratuitous amounts of leaves and dirt from his hair and clothes, and to Josh's great horror, sending them spiralling downwards onto his newly cleaned and pristine looking floor (all due to his mother's recent attack as Josh was forced to vacuum it himself or feel her wrath.)
'Wake up, sleeping beauty'. Metis cackled. Josh frowned indignantly, then slouched and rolled over to succumb to sleep and dream all of this nonsense away as Metis opened his fat mouth to retell his arduous journey across the sinister road to Josh's house in profuse detail (and with a lot of added profanity).
'But Josh, seriously, it was so bloody scary, I've still got the shivers, and you should really know that you're front garden looks like a fucking graveyard at night, you should really do something about that you know, creeped me out so bad, fucking hate graveyards, and ghosts, they do me in...Oi, Josh, you awake? Hah, maybe you really were sleep-talking all along...Get up, stupid Jock...'
Josh grunted as Metis nudged his side with his long pointy shoe. Maybe playing dead would be a good idea; but then again, the things Metis might do to wake him up...being asleep didn't really stop Metis from calling, let alone coming over to visit...maybe not such a good idea after all...
'Metis...What the shit are you doing here?' Metis scowled at the blunt question, feigning a deep hurt.
'Don't you want to see me?'
'Usually one has a reason for turning up at someone's house unexpectedly. It's three in the morning.'
'Well I guess I'm not a very usual man then, am I?'
'You saying you don't have a reason?'
'Er, well basically, yeah.'
Several moments passed in a similar procession until Josh caught Metis shivering and immediately bit back his last retort, instead choosing to throw his blanket spectacularly over Metis whom it covered completely as the boy writhed for air. Josh gazed out the window, still a crack open whilst Metis freed himself frantically from the trap of the heavy blanket. The cool air wrapped around Josh's bare chest and he shivered a little... Cool air...
'Metis - how did you get in?'
Josh watched as Metis popped his head up from the doona (his struggling had only served to wrap it tighter around him, but he seemed to be okay with the warmth it provided now) and flashed Josh a triumphant grin with his hand poised behind his head sheepishly.
'Oh, er, well, I figured you probably wouldn't answer the door, plus I didn't want to wake up your family or anything, only you of course, and I knew which room was yours, so I just, uh, came through the window.' Josh gave Metis an incredulous look. Apparently his mouth had been opening in disbelief because Metis was now pushing his chin upwards and grinning a big, toothy smile unique only to Metis. Josh chanced another glance over towards the window, and sure enough saw how it was just large enough to fit a shorter, skinnier, and rather flexible boy of about Metis' proportions.
'Wow, you're not kidding, are you?' It was more of a statement rather than a question, but Metis replied with a cheerful 'Nope!' nevertheless with a hand on the back of his neck. Josh let a sigh escape past his lips as they curled upwards to form a smile.
'Wow, Metis, you really are...quite something.' The two moved a little closer to share the warmth of the blanket as the window lay semi-open and forgotten. The warmth of Metis against Josh's cold skin sent prickles down his spine.
It was three in the morning, and two boys were talking about lasers and time-machines and arguing if football could even be considered a proper sport ('It's just a dumb idiot kicking a ball to the next dumb idiot – I mean, I saw it on T.V once – don't ask, my dad had it on – and nobody bloody scored or anything! They all kept rolling their ankles or some shit. I mean, aren't these guys supposed to be professional? And what's this Australian football they talk about, anyway?) Neither one could guess or even remember at what point it was that the two fell asleep – the last thing Josh could remember was closing that bloody window when it got below bloody freezing – and at what point that the entire room was covered in leaves Josh wasn't quite sure (although Josh lay the blame entirely on Metis for that one.)
There was nothing quite like waking up to the tickle of soft, dark hair on your face, Josh mused. The boy beside him slowly awoke, then quickly flustered about, giving Josh the pleasure to witness the redness of cheek that seemed to have spread like disease all over Metis' ears and neck. There was also nothing quite like the look of satisfaction Josh let Metis keep as he stole the entire blanket and kicked Josh off of his own bed. Although it was, however, the look the darker boy gave Josh when he told Metis it was only his sister's downstairs - ('Your WHAT? You have SISTERS?')- Now that was easily the most priceless, with Metis attempting to jump back out that very window that he had crawled through so chivalrously not only a few hours earlier.
It was a calm morning, the calmest morning Josh had experienced since before he could remember. Content swelled inside his chest and beamed around him as he tranquilly watched Metis through droopy lids run in frantic circles, hair exceptionally dishevelled and sticking out in all directions, hands gripping the same mop of raven hair in fear and with a somewhat psychotic demeanour; Josh mused that his boyfriend had the appearance of a mad-man. Josh could only laugh when it dawned on him the reason behind the brunet's prolonged anxiety.
'May, don't worry, they won't do anything to you… Although I can't guarantee the same for me…'
Metis' expression did not waver one moment.
'Oh God, think about it, the whole school will know, they go to our school don't they – oh God Josh, what are we gonna-'
In one swift motion Josh cut off the blubbering idiot from saying any more. Metis gasped in shock. Josh held the small of the darker boy's back, not trusting the other's reflexes; he had a feeling Metis was going to fall unconscious to the floor, the way his body has stopped supporting itself and seemed to be slowly swaying backwards.
Well, that seemed to work, Josh noted. Next time Metis said something stupid, just kiss him; there sure as hell would be a lot more shut-up-kissing to do from now on, Josh mused.
Metis was still in Josh's firm hold (the former's motor skills had not quite yet been regained) as Josh got a face-full of Metis' racoon eyes, ringed with purple and still looking slightly drowsy; either from the kiss, the late night or both, Josh wasn't sure. He peered questioningly at Josh through dark eyelashes.
'I couldn't care less.' Josh murmured. Metis continued to gaze at him with expectant eyes.
'Wha? – Really – Josh, are you sure? But you're friends-'
'I couldn't care less who knows.' Josh reiterated.
Metis looked down to the floor, suddenly very much interested in the patterns of Josh's carpet.
'Hey, Metis, listen, I-'
Josh hesitated, and took a few deep breaths, attempting to inhale in a sense of courage.
'You see, I-'
'Well my friends, they-'
'What I'm trying to say, is-'
Metis's shoulders were shaking now. Josh tilted his head up to face him.
'Metis, you're all I care about-'
Josh's eyes found the boy's beneath him, only to find Metis was laughing uncontrollably, clutching his sides, his eyes watery from the apparent humour of the situation. Josh really couldn't see what was so funny. He pours his heart out, he tries to comfort his boyfriend, and all the ungrateful shit can do is laugh.
The laughter rang out from him loud and joyful, and Josh's expression softened. After a few attempts to start breathing again, the darker boy managed, amongst hysterical fits of laughter;
'You're so whipped, jock!'
It is all Josh can do before he finds himself kissing the boy in order to silence his stupidity once more.