A/N: So... this was supposed to be a fluffy thing, where Richie ends up squinting at Virgil most of the time, because Virgil somehow ends up with his glasses, but... um. Muses. What'cha gonna do? And they kept adding stuff. Really quite annoying. I'm not entirely satisfied with the ending, but if I hadn't stopped there, well, it would have ended up as something like 27 pages, rather than the 7-ish it is(in word, that is).
Richie raced around the room, or, well, moved as fast as he could when he couldn't really see where he was going. Backpack beeped from where he sat on the desk, a grey blur amidst a world of other grey blurs. "Backpack, where did I put my glasses?" Another series of beeps. "That's what I thought, but I can't find them now." More beeps. "I have checked behind the workbench. You saw… Hey! I knew giving you sarcasm was a bad idea."
"Richie, why are you talking to Backpack?"
"V! I can't find my glasses." Richie turned to Virgil, a blur of black and gold and blue and browns. "I know I left them on the desk when we went out on patrol, but now they aren't here, and I'm going to be late."
"Woah, late for what man?" The Virgil-blur stepped further into the gas station, moving in closer so Richie could almost discern his face as more than a brown and white blob.
"Well, I have a late lab, remember? I got stuck with it because all the other lab sections were full, which means…"
"Tuesday night patrols get cut short, yeah, I remember."
"Only, no way can I go without my glasses, because not being able to see what I'm doing isn't the greatest thing in a chemistry lab."
"Have you checked under the …"
"Workbench, desk, edge of the drink machine, yes."
Virgil paused, and even without seeing him, Richie could tell he was looking around the gas station, trying to think of where else things ended up. "Why don't you grab your spares, get to class, and I'll keep looking."
Super genius. HA! Talk about feeling stupid. "Oh. Yeah, that'll work." Richie carefully moved to the workbench, pulling open one of the drawers and reaching in to pull out the set of spare glasses he kept there, sliding them onto his face. "Thanks, V-man. Catch you later!" With that he raced out the door, leaving Virgil standing in the mess left behind by his friend.
"Jeez, no wonder he can never find what he's looking for." Virgil moved further into the room, using his powers to scoop up an overturned drawer of nuts and another of screws of various kinds, sliding both back into the cabinet. It didn't take long to get the room back into some semblance of order, the last few bits and pieces of Gear's work sliding out from the various places they had fallen or been kicked and coming to rest on the various worktops Gear used.
Finally, Richie's glasses came sliding into view, pulled from under the old couch they had smuggled in one night after patrol. Along with the glasses though comes something else. It was a little screen, maybe five inches square, with a few buttons along one edge. Virgil brings it and Richie's glasses up into his hands, putting the glasses in his jacket pocket for the time being as he inspects the other object. "Huh. Wonder if this is some kind of prototype." Virgil pulled his mask off, flopping down onto the battered couch and pressing what he guessed was the power button. The screen came to life, glowing a faint green as text appeared on it. The first thing on the screen is a date, from a couple days ago, followed by what on first glance is research notes, but as Virgil scans through the entry some of the words don't seem to fit with a research journal. His eyes dart back to the top of the page and he starts reading the entry.
Why the hell does my subconscious torture me like this? Stupid dreams. It was the bad one again. Starts the same as it always does, the two of us sitting up on the clock tower, just chatting as the sun goes down. I turn and look and V's just so gorgeous beside me. I can't help it and just blurt it out, and he turns to me, startled.
"I… I love you, man."
"That's what I thought you said." And suddenly his eyes turn hard, and he pushes me, shorting out my jet-blades, so I fall down to the ground. When I hit, I can feel my body breaking, and I cough up some blood in my helmet. And then he's there, floating over me. "What made you think I'd let a faggot like you be my partner, my best friend?"
Then he's gone, and my dad is there, standing over me and looking disgusted. "It's your own damn fault for falling for one of those damn niggers. And a boy, no less. I'll have no faggot son in my house."
And then there's a whole parade of people standing over me, raining words of abuse and hate down on me, and no one tries to help as I cough up more blood, and slowly die there on the sidewalk. Sometimes I wake up right after my dad, sometimes it's further along, when people like Hotstreak and Ebon are taunting me. "Weak little pansy. Couldn't even save himself from being a fairy freak." That's what Hotstreak said to me right before I woke up. And the worst part is always that V stands there, just on the edge of my vision, and watches as everyone comes waltzing past, not defending me, trying to get me to a hospital, or stopping anyone from insulting me.
The dream diary/journal thing, because that's clearly what it is, slips out of Virgil's fingers at that point and lands face-down on his chest. He can see there's more to the entry, but the realization that Richie is, apparently, gay, in love with him, and scared to tell him has totally blown his mind. It's not like they don't know people who are gay. A couple kids at the center are out, and there's that couple that runs the bakery down by city hall.
Something strikes Virgil then, at the beginning of the entry, Richie had written something about that dream being 'the bad one.' It wasn't 'the dream' or 'the nightmare.' So there must be a good one. Bolstered by that thought, Virgil picks the journal back up and begins flipping through entries. It doesn't take long to find one, only a few days back, and he settles back to read it.
Had another one last night. It was one of the good ones, too. This one, we've just gotten in from a long patrol, and neither one of us really want to go home yet.
"did you ever get that shower set up in here?"
"Uh, yeah. Finally got the drain system installed the other day." Virgil smiles at me as he pulls off his mask.
"I call first shower then."
"Oh, come on man! That's not fair!"
"Hey, I'd offer to share, but bro, the last time we did that was a bath when we gave each other chicken pox and we were what, 6? Maybe 7?"
"I wouldn't mind."
Virgil gapes at me, and I find myself wishing I hadn't taken my helmet off, because it would help hide my blush. "Did you just come out to me and make a pass at me? All in the same breath?"
It's my turn to gape. "I… I… I…. I mean… You… you're ok with that?"
Virgil looks almost hurt as he strips off his coat and gloves, dropping them on the sofa. "Bro, if I wasn't ok with it, my pops would ground me for a month. You're still you, man. Just because I know for sure you like guys instead of girls doesn't me you won't be my main man anymore."
"I… Thanks, bro."
He walks over to me and, despite both of us being sweaty and all kinds of gross from patrol, slings one arm around me. "Just, don't try any funny stuff, right?"
"Hey, you're the one who thinks it's hilarious to zap me in the ass." And just like that, everything is so normal, and it's just the two of us, joking and fooling around like nothing happened.
Virgil stops reading that entry, and starts to look back through the entries, wondering if there are other dreams detailed in this, mostly wondering if there's anything from just after Braniac, when Richie flinched and cringed from so much. But barely two entries back, something else catches his eyes. A different kind of entry from the other two he's read.
Oh man. I'm never sure what to think of these dreams. I feel like I'm using him every time I have one. And it feels wrong to have these dreams when I know he'll never feel that way about me. I mean, how pathetic am I that I'm a college kid having wet dreams about my best friend, my bro?
Virgil sucks in a breath, knowing he should stop now, he should put this thing down and act like he never found it, but he did find it, and he's always been too curious about things. He has to know what happened in this dream.
Ok, so this one starts with me coming over to V's house for a movie marathon. Sharon's going to be out for the weekend, and Mr. H is at the center for a few hours, so we'll have the house to ourselves. I figure V won't mind if I get there early, so I let myself in with the spare key and all the stuff I've picked up for us to eat goes on the kitchen table.
V's not downstairs, so I figure he's up in his room, and head up, intending to surprise him. I definitely surprise him. I walk in on him jacking off, and when he hears the door swing open, he just rolls his head towards me. His pupils are huge, and he just blinks at me for a moment, and then he rakes his eyes over me, and he can see how hard I am. God, I'm so fucking hard. And then he smirks at me. "See something you like, Rich?"
I can't say anything, but I find myself moving forwards, towards Virg, and all that dark skin, wanting to touch, wanting to kiss and lick and touch every inch of him. Wanting to fuck him, and be fucked by him.
And suddenly, just like that I'm naked(it's a dream, I can do that in a dream), standing over him on his bed. V moves back and pulls me down on the bed so we're facing each other, and starts running his hands all over me, playing with my nipples, letting his hands get tantalizingly close to my dick before pulling away, and generally driving me out of my head. Then he starts playing tiny amounts of electricity over my skin, and fuck, if that doesn't drive me even higher. The moment he wraps his hand around me though, I'm awake and have a mess in my boxers. Again.
It's not like we even really do anything in the dream
Virgil stops reading. He pushes upright on the couch, setting the little electronic journal beside him and flicking the power button again. And then he realizes he's hard in his pants. That dream, Richie's dream, about him, has him hard and aching, and he has no idea what to do about it. Without really thinking, he pulls his mask back on, pulls out his disk, charges it up, and rockets out of the gas station.
It doesn't take long to reach that spot where he found Shebang when those goons were still hunting her, dropping down to land on top of the very gargoyle where she had been standing before he found out Shenice and Shebang were one and the same. It's calm, almost serene up here, above the noise and bustle of the city, and Virgil finds it's a good place to think. But right now his mind is a weird combination of blank and roaring.
OK, have to start somewhere. Richie is gay. OK, fine, he can deal with that. Virgil has no problem with gay people. If he did, his dad would probably flay him alive, Static or not. Richie was scared to tell him. Kinda sad, but understandable. He'd hope that Richie would trust him, trust their friendship, enough to tell him that he likes guys rather than girls, but he can understand, especially with his father being so bigoted. Admittedly, a trying-to-stop-being-a-bigot-for-the-sake-of-his-son-and-his-son's-best-friend bigot, but still, Racism and homophobia tend to go together. OK, next. Richie likes him. Nope, wait. Not quite there yet. Richie is (probably) physically attracted to him. That's actually, kind of awesome. I mean, yeah, he could ask Frieda or Daisy if they think he's good looking, but Richie's always been straight up with him, well apparently not straight, but he's always been honest about stuff. Especially the important stuff. Richie likes him. OK, he likes Richie, maybe not like that, but still. They're best friends, they're supposed to at least like each other. Richie has wet dreams about him. OK, that still doesn't quite compute for him.
Virgil tries going through the thoughts a couple more times, but he keeps getting stuck on the 'wet dreams' part of things. Finally, he flies home, slipping in through the window and quickly stripping out of costume and sliding into bed, habit making him settle the shock vox on the ledge under his window where he'll hear it if backpack sends him any urgent calls.
The next day he intends to talk to Riche about it, but it seems like his professors have gone sadistic and he has 3 papers due in the next 5 days, one of which has to be at least four pages, with a minimum of five references. And Richie is stuck in a similar situation, with a six page paper with eight references due in the same time frame. They barely have time for patrol, and by the time they get back they're both exhausted and so the conversation Virgil keeps meaning to have next time they talk keeps getting pushed back.
That doesn't mean Virgil's brain has stopped picking at the problem. In fact, his dreams have gotten really weird lately. So by the time all their papers have come due and been turned in, he's almost more confused than ever. It's when they're lounging around the gas station after patrol the next weekend, debating who gets the shower first, and both of them have stripped down to boxers in the midst of their argument that it hits Virgil. Ever since he read those journal entries, he's been trying to think of Richie in the same way, and it hasn't been hard. Most of their free time is spent together, they get along famously, when they do fight, it's major, and everyone notices, most of the time they bicker with each other just for the hell of it, they defend each other from other people, and, hell, there was one girl when they started college who remarked that they acted like an old married couple, and they had responded in sync.
"….man! Virg! Virgil!" The look on Richie's face is confused and concerned, and Virgil realizes he's been staring at his best friend for a good minute without saying anything.
Richie blinks. "What the hell man. I thought I was the one who occasionally got lost in my head."
"Rich, I think I love you."
More blinking, and Richie's eyes widen in slight panic, darting around looking for an escape route. "I… uh… love you too, bro."
"No, Richie. I think I'm in love with you." And suddenly he realizes it's true, and it has been for a while.
But Richie's shoulders slump. "Damn it, V. I know you found my dream journal, and I know you read some of it, but I didn't think you'd be cruel about it. I thought you were actually cool with me being gay, and, ok, yeah, kinda having the hots for you." And Richie just looks so defeated, and Virgil wants to make sure he never looks like that again. Not if he can help it. "I was kinda pissed that you'd invaded my privacy like that, but then, it was like nothing had changed. We still went on patrols together, and hung out here working on our papers, and talked on the voxes late at night. And I thought maybe, maybe it was better you found out like that, because it meant I didn't have to say it, but you actually knew." And Richie's turning away from him. "I didn't expect you to use it against me."
"Richie, no! Man, it's not like that!" And Virgil reaches out to turn him around, make him see that he's not joking, or making fun of him, or trying to use it against him. And that turns out to be a bad idea, because when Richie comes spinning around he brings his hands up and shoves at Virgil's chest.
"NO? Then tell me, What IS it like? Huh! What is it to be normal and accepted? What's it like to not have to worry about who would rather pummel you than look at you? What's it like to not have people shy away like you're contagious?" With each question Richie gives another push, and his years as Gear have given him muscle tone that Virgil still doesn't expect in his friend, and Virgil goes sprawling over the arm of the sofa, Richie following him over so his knees end up planted on either side of his hips, and his hands are splayed on the cushions beside his torso.
Virgil reaches up, infinitely grateful when Richie doesn't flinch away from his hands, and pulls his glasses off, folding the frames up and holding them carefully. "Rich, I'm not normal. I know what it's like to have people want to beat me up as soon as they look at me. I know what it's like to be looked down on and scorned, and treated like dirt. I know what it's like to have people not want to be near me for something I can't control. And you know I don't say stuff unless I mean it."
Richie's smile is bitter, and he closes his eyes, looking so totally broken. "Tell me this isn't just a really, really good dream?"
"Why don't you kiss me and find out?" Richie doesn't say anything, but he sucks in a breath, and without opening his eyes, leans down to press their lips together. It's awkward, and their noses bump together, but then Virgil tilts his head a little, and the awkwardness is suddenly gone. Richie's lips are a little chapped, and their lips catch a little because Virgil's lips are too, but it's perfect, and completely amazing. When Richie pulls away, Virgil makes a noise of protest and tries to follow him up.
They're both blushing and smiling, and Richie still has his eyes closed, but he sounds hopeful now, rather than broken and defeated. "Love you."
Virgil doesn't even respond, just surging upwards, absentmindedly using his powers to set Richie's glasses on the workbench with backpack, wrapping his arms around his partner, and pressing their mouths back together. A thought occurs to him, and he brings one hand down to Richie's chest from where it had been curled around one shoulder, bringing a faint charge to it and skimming down the smooth pale skin. Richie wrenches his mouth away with a sharp cry that fades into a moan, his limbs trembling enough that he drops in a shuddering mess on top of Virgil. "Rich?"
Richie lifts his face from Virgil's neck, and his pupils are totally blown. "Do that again, slower." Virgil grins and repeats the motion, swirling his fingers across Richie's chest this time, circling one nipple before letting his hand trail down to his navel. Richie is grinding against Virgil's thigh, and he arches upwards, keening in the back of his throat, and there is a sudden wet warmth against his leg, and he collapses shuddering and panting heavily on Virgil's chest.
"Wow." Richie forces himself to look up at V's face. Virgil is looking between his hand and Richie in amazement and lust, his own pupils only faintly ringed by deep brown. "That was…. Wow. That was hot!"
"That." Richie forces wobbly arms to support his weight. "was cheating."
"Your dream, man." He pushes them both upright, ignoring his insistent erection. "I'd have never thought of that on my own. Didn't think you'd react like that."
Richie is still mostly boneless against Virgil's side, so he just goes with it when V manhandles him into the back room where their shower is, letting himself lean against his best friend as the water is turned on.
Virgil manages to strip off both pairs of boxers and maneuver the two of them in under the spray, which has the effect of bringing Richie back to the present. Virgil's already squeezing shampoo into one hand when Richie really looks at him again. "Come here, man." And then he's being pulled in, Virgil's fingers massaging into his scalp and Richie practically melts against him.
"Feels good, V." Richie wraps his arms around Virgil pulling them closer together, feeling a chuckle reverberate against his chest, and realizes that his partner is still hard. He smiles a bit, and lets his hands start exploring. He traces a couple scars across one shoulder blade from a fight with Talon- now Theresa and working at the center with Mr. H and helping other former bang babies re-enter the community, and a good friend now- one across the opposite flank from Shiv, an almost-smooth burn from Hotstreak just below that. His hands finally find Virgil's ass and squeeze, eliciting a surprised grunt and a thrust against him. Richie's smile widens. "Like that?"
"Yeah, actually. Sorry it took me so long to want this too." Richie squeezes again, and this time when Virgil thrusts he lets out a low moan. "God, Rich, stop teasing!" Without warning, Richie runs the fingers of one hand down the cleft of Virgil's ass, which produces a startled gasp and causes Virgil to buck against Richie and clutch at his shoulders. Virgil starts babbling incoherently as Richie continues to work his fingers over Virgil's hole, moving his other hand around to start pumping the cock pressed between them. It doesn't take much longer before Virgil tenses up and comes with a groan, slumping against Richie's chest.
"V? You ok man?" Richie pushes his friend up a bit so the water can finish rinsing them off, reaching over to stop the water once he's satisfied.
"Next time, we do the whole thing on the couch" comes an almost slurred mutter. A wave of relief sweeps through Richie at that, and he chuckles, hauling his limp partner out of the shower, and quickly running a towel over the both of them. A quick rummage through the drawers with some spare clothes provides him with two sets of clean boxers and a couple pairs of sweat-pants. Virgil manages to dress himself, and the activity seems to rouse him some, and they move back to the couch, which he promptly stretches out on.
"V, where am I supposed to sit?"
Virgil gives Richie a small smile, looking somehow sheepish and nervous and hopeful all at once. "Well, I'm open."
Richie blinks at him. "What?"
"Just, come'ere." Virgil reaches out, grabbing Richie's hand and hauling him down on top of him, pulling and prodding him in so he's half on V, half wedged in against the back of the sofa. "There." And Richie smiles and brushes a kiss against the soft skin of Virgil's neck, because he sounds so satisfied and a little embarrassed.
"Yeah. I am. You?"
"Never want to move." There's a brief scuttling as Backpack moves from the workbench to sit below the two on the couch, beeping as the robot settles into place, and the two boys relax knowing that if anything happens- unlikely considering the protective measures they have set up- Backpack is a good first line of defense. They fall asleep, Richie's arms wrapped around Virgil, legs tangled together, and one of Virgil's hands buried in Richie's hair. And just before Richie slips into a dreamless sleep, the familiar tingle of Virgil's power wraps around him like a living blanket.
A/N: Constructive criticism is very much welcome! This is my first real foray into Static Shock fic, though I've been lurking around the fandom a while. Also, to forestall any questions, in this, I'm thinking they're sophomores in college, somewhere in their late teens, early twenties.