The Ventriloquist

Quatre sipped on his drink and pushed his slipping glasses back into its proper position. His filled notebook was dangling off his left foot and his laptop was just as equally dangling between part of his right thigh and part of the couch as a pencil seesawed from side to side just between the bottom of his nose and above his lip. This balance was achieved through flawless concentration while he was in the process of substituting a rather clich├ęd line in page 172 of his increasingly lengthening manuscript.

"That still sounds awful," he murmured as he reached for a bright green post-it in the coffee table in front of him and slapped it on the notebook. The pencil resting on his lip fell with precision to his awaiting hand before being put to better use. Words were written on the sticky note before being arranged so that it was hanging off the edge of the notebook.

"I'll get back to you later," Quatre spoke to the notebook. He observed his handiwork. Multi-colored sticky notes hanging from almost every part of the abused and overstuffed notebook flapped with the gentle breeze coming in from his two foot by three foot balcony. He figured he was just about done when he started typing early that morning. How banal that he would find so many faults just when it was on the verge of becoming complete.

"Quatre, you are one hard to please nitpicker," he scolded himself.

Fighting commenced just outside his window, a very common occurrence in this part of the city. Although he was high up in the building, furious men and women still did manage to drown out the sounds of speeding vehicles and honking cars.

Quatre paused at the thought that entered his mind at the most inappropriate moment. He was almost getting over the fact that he left that strange, old town and its many peculiar inhabitants. That was an experience that he'd manage to bring with him over the course of many months. He wouldn't say he was lonely, but thinking about that place made him pause and think.

"Start concentrating Quatre," he reminded himself.

When was Noam when he needed a distraction? His deadline was set for the end of the week which meant that he had less than two days left to finish editing and typing his work.

"Oh yeah," he said out loud. "He's out for a walk."

Quatre pouted in the presence of no one but himself and threw his pencil across his tiny living room. That living room also served as his kitchen and dining room. Not for the first time, he noticed that the place was small enough that he'd only have to walk a few steps to retrieve it. This was not working. He'd go crazy if he continued to work.

"Save me," he wailed. He was almost at the point of losing his mind and just as he was about to throw the rest of his things to the floor, the door behind him opened. At least someone was back.

"Darling," the creature who entered said in a very sexy voice. "Have you missed me?"

Quatre raised his brow as Noam approached him. His shaggy pet sat before him and tilted its head just enough so that the adorable nose was further emphasized.

"Baby, you are one hot--"

"Hold it," Quatre interrupted his pet's rather disturbing flirt session.

Noam abandoned his rumpus' positioning on the floor and placed both front paws on either side of him before leaning forward. Quatre had no choice but to put down all his things lest his days of typing be deleted and his hours of sticky note arranging be ruined.

"How about it, lover? How about a steamy late morning romp?" Noam said as it licked the side of his face sloppily.

"Nice job you pervert," Quatre said as he felt for Noam's leash buried in his shaggy fur and pulled out the voice player hiding there. "What made you think that you could go ahead and use Noam to make a move on me?" he questioned as he turned his head toward the perpetrator.

He was greeted with the sight of a grinning but very stunning man with a video camera hanging from one hand.

"I thought you found ventriloquism a turn-on?"

Quatre turned back to Noam and rubbed his hands against the creature's furry head.

"That wasn't ventriloquism and there is no way you're going to get me on video indulging in bestiality -- you sick pervert," he added.

"Believe me. That wasn't the intention," was the quiet answer. "Are you anywhere near done?" he was asked as he felt a kiss from behind.

"Nope," Quatre answered. He turned his head to kiss the man back. Noam could only growl in annoyance as its master's attention was seized.

"I don't like dogs much," his companion commented for what seemed like the hundredth time since he met him. "I prefer cats."

Quatre smiled as he turned his attention back to the still growling Noam.

"Triton will never come between us," he assured the shaggy sheepdog. Noam's response was to lick him in the face. "For a canine who hates cats, you sure end up having to put up with a lot of cat-people."

"Haven't you heard? Cat lovers are sexy," Triton said before taking space next to him. Unwilling to be upstaged by a dog, he lifted Quatre's shirt and licked his stomach instead. It looked as if there was no way he was willing to lick dog saliva off the now damp neck.

Quatre yelped in surprise. Noam's response was to lunge at Triton and bark.

"You sure are possessive," he addressed the dog.

"So tell me," Triton said ignoring the agitated pet for the meantime. "Did the voice-throwing turn you on?"

"I just said it's not ventriloquism," Quatre said with a sigh. "Using modern technology doesn't count," he said firmly.

Truthfully, however, his current partner did have the knack for pushing just the right buttons. He didn't know what it was - the dry humor awfully delivered or the lush collection of brown hair almost hiding his pretty eyes. This guy almost reminded him of Trowa minus the arrogance. He still could not believe it was his father who introduced him to this guy. The old man was a pain in the neck, but he sure did come through for him in a most unexpected way.

"What exactly is it that you think about all the time? You've got that distracted look in your eyes again."

"I don't know," Quatre answered after being poked at the ribs and glaring at the offender. "You just remind me of someone I knew except that he was a grouch and you aren't."

"I could be a grouch if you want?" was the offer.

Quatre paused, unsure as to why it sounded appealing. Was he not over Trowa yet? The guy was dead, he had to remind himself. It was crazy to be attached to a guy who didn't exist enough to be considered a former lover. Was he ruining a perfectly normal relationship with a guy he was in love with?

"Tell you what," Triton interrupted his thoughts with that deep, sexy voice he had. "How about we take a quick bath and cleanse you of dog germs?"

Quatre frowned. He wasn't dirty at all and he was sure Noam's saliva was a hundred times cleaner than any of theirs. He crossed his arms and refused to move. Thinking about Trowa always put him in a rut.

"I don't want to do anything," he pouted.

Just when he was about to curl up in the couch, Triton suddenly blew on his nose. Quatre blinked in surprise and stared at him.

"Why did you do that?" he asked.

It felt eerily familiar, just like his heroine's actions on the second line of page 134 of his first book.

"That was from my book! You said you've never read any of my books," Quatre accused.

Triton shrugged. He got out of his seat and into the bathroom. Not soon after, the water started. Quatre sighed and then fell back on his seat. There was, beyond a doubt, something wrong with him. He was ruining a perfectly good relationship. With the way he kept on reminiscing about Trowa, Noam was likely going to end up as his only companion in life.

"Better get to the shower before I finish up all the hot water," Noam suddenly interrupted his thoughts.

Quatre blinked in slight relief that Triton had not been too affected by his attitude. He was also surprised when he remembered that he had taken out the voice recorder out of Noam's leash earlier.

"Ha, ha," he said dryly as he reached for his pet and felt around for another hidden device. Strangely enough, he didn't find one. Quatre searched around more fervently in the shaggy fur, hoping to find the source of Triton's voice. When he again came up with nothing, Quatre's eyes widened with mortification. Did this mean what he thought it meant?

"Was that a turn-on enough for you or what?" Noam spoke next.

Forgetting his book for the meantime, Quatre made a mad dash for the shower, stripping his clothes off along the way. The ventriloquist in there would most certainly get what was coming to him. How could he not have figured it out after all this time?

"Bastard," he muttered along the way.

All Noam could do while he sat meekly next to the closed bathroom door was howl in annoyance. Who knew that his master would end up with the creepy freak after all? Certainly not him.

The End.