The bear glared back at him blankly, with all the emptiness of the past ninety years.
He'd done nothing, then.
"Bobo, do you know what Waylon said to me? He called me dense."
Bobo didn't even blink. The still stilence only agreed with Smithers, as he breathed in, looking beyond the landscape of Here, beyond everything, a silent myriad of loneliness breathing through the fabric. After long minutes breathing the simplified aura of the life he made for himself in this endless wealth of money, time, a long ribbon of simplicity...He'd turn to his old mentors, John Watson and Sherlock Holmes. Ancient fingers slid the book from its shelf, gazing longingly at the cover. His two favourite secret Inverts, immortalized in time, forever married by their lucky mistress, crime solving...
...He found himself crying as he'd laid the book on his lap. There was no reason for Waylon to leave.
"...Hence the cocaine. I cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window here. Was ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them? Crime is commonplace, existence is commonplace, and no qualities save those which are commonplace have any function upon earth..."
...he'd not given reason enough for the younger man to stay.
He'd jumped at the creak of the door, wiping away tears before they could be seen.
"...I left my sweater." The soft voice croaked, eyes bloodshot with recent tears behind lenses.
Raising his head to the tousled mess of hair, avoiding those eyes, he'd spoken.
"...No. You left me."
"...Charles, don't. I can't..." A gasp, and the bespectacled man sat, eyes wandering to him. "...wait, what...you mean...?"
"...You know my methods." he'd whisper, closing the book.
"...Holmes said that."
He looked up to the lightly rimmed glasses and the rich olive-coloured eyes behind them. "...I think he'd been in the same situation once."
A chuckle. "...Waylon, you call me dense, yet you yourself seem to miss things. Or am I the only one to see Sherlock as an invert?"
A silence fell, Smithers blinking rapidly, gazing at the book and back to Burns in confusion.
"...Is that...I know he was withdrawn..."
Waylon looked as if he was struck as Mister Burns broke into hearty laughter.
"...What I meant is that I'd thought Sherlock to...prefer the company of men. Or perhaps just John Watson."
"You mean he was gay?"
"...WAYLON!" Burns shouted, staring at him incredulously. "...You could have TOLD me that's what everyone meant when using that word! I'm an old man!"
A long silence fell between the two. Smithers took this time to put the book back, while Montgomery Burns stood from the bed slowly.
Waylon flinched as lips met his neck. "...Charles?"
"...But...you..." Green eyes glanced to the old man, and Waylon turned to face the object of his affection. "...How long did you know?"
Mr Burns folded their hands together. "...You were as obvious as a forest fire."
"...You'd never returned my affections before."
"...I always did. I'm an old man. Affection doesn't mean the same for both of us, I suppose."
Waylon simply gazed at him, eyes brimming with unshed tears.
"...You need me to say it?"
"...Yes, sir!" The younger man nodded wildly with a trembling smile, tears spilling over. "...Please."
"...I love you too."
The old man stated, as if it was the easiest thing he'd ever done.