One-Sided

Jan. 13th, 2012 04:25 pm
unij: THE PLANTS ARE SINGING (A good day to do what has to be done)
[personal profile] unij
So I haven't posted in two months
that's cool
I'm just gonna leave some brofic right here if that's all right
I wrote this for class when I had to write a story with one character not talking at all

There was the click of the bedroom door opening, and Jack gave a small smile up at the ceiling, followed by a low moan. “Ahh, my leg… what a cruel world I live in!” He squirmed atop the sheets a little, stopping when his leg actually did give a pang of resistance. “Oh, it hurts, Hina… please, I need some special, sweet medicine from you to get me through the agony…”

There was no giggle or playful response, simply the click of a door shut and muffled footsteps on carpet. Not Hinata’s dainty little feet in socks, but the stern footfalls of expensive leather shoes, and with a lot more force behind the sound of each step. That alone was enough for the bedridden man to realize who had come to visit. “Oh… ohhh… ah.” He shrank into his pillow, and looked down the length of the bed to the trim young man standing at the foot of the bed. “Heyyyy, Haj. You, uh. Hinata called you, huh.”

The demanding silence from Hajime answered well enough on its own. Jack winced as his friend stood over him. Hajime had that look on him again. Crossed arms, squared shoulders, mouth pulled in a tight line and thick eyebrows furrowed. Jack had always been the taller of the two, but down on the bed like this he felt easily dwarfed, especially with that look on the stern man’s face, just demanding an explanation. Worst of it was how, at this angle, the light hit Hajime’s glasses just right so that his eyes were impossible to see, and Jack couldn’t quite be certain if his friend was angry, or just disappointed. Not that either was really desirable.

Jack put on a sly grin to cover up his nerves. “You didn’t bring me any flowers?” Opening with a joke was good. Broke the mood. Showed that one little puncture wound didn’t need to be a downer, they could just have fun and be goofy about it, poke some fun, oh how careless that silly Jack is. That was the idea, at least, in the happy world of Jack. But Hajime’s stony silence seemed to say otherwise.

Jack swallowed, and looked down at his leg elevated on a pillow, and realized just how excessive the bandages and gauze must have appeared, covering the majority of his calf. “It’s not as bad as it looks,” he insisted, protesting against the silent accusation. “Hotaru wanted to play nurse, had too much fun with the bandages. And—and don’t give me that look! She’s used to seeing blood! …I mean…”

When Hajime didn’t respond, he frowned and sat up on the bed, jutting his chin out. “Look, I can even sit up! It hardly even hurts.” Hajime’s eyes narrowed, and Jack let out the tight breath he’d pulled in to fight off the twinge of pain. “Okay, yeah, a little bit of sting. But…!” He paused, and took a breath. No need to get too defensive. Hajime hadn’t even said anything, so why did he need to feel like he was on trial? He didn’t have anything to be ashamed of, right? It was an honest case of… accidental bullet wounding. “Come on, man, you know how it is, it’s just a mishap at the shop, you know?”

Finally, Hajime broke his glowering stance, uncrossing one arm to roll a hand. Details, right. That was what he was here for. Natural for a friend to want to know what happened. “Ahh. Okay, well, it goes like this. I was working on this new idea, for the toy company—“

There was a sharp intake of breath, and Hajime reached up to rub his forehead. Jack waved his arms, cutting off protests before they could start. “No! Seriously, listen! It’s going to be great! It’s just in the early stages!”

With a withering look, the bespectacled man sighed, and turned to take a seat at the desk. Propping his chin up on a fist, Hajime cocked his head to one side, which Jack took as a signal to continue.

“All right. Just. Hear me out here.” Jack put on his most winning smile, spreading his hands before him. “Listen to me, all the way through, you’ll see where I’m going with this, all right?” Hajime raised an eyebrow, and that look gesture was enough to deflate Jack’s beam to a something lopsided and wary. He paused, cleared his throat, and nodded, assuring himself of something, supposedly. “Those Nerf gun things are popular, you know—let me finish!” Hajime had opened his mouth, but at the protest, he just shook his head and rubbed at a temple.

“Right. Nerf guns. And that steampunk stuff is getting fashionable. Especially with twentysomething-types, they’re half the market for those things, you know,” He grinned and leaned towards his friend, putting his weight on his arm as his leg twinged. “Huge market, man! You’d think we’d try appeal to them better, they’ve got actual money, anyway, I mean aside from the student loans and stuff. No reason not to let them have fun too, right, I mean—“

Hajime shifted his weight in the chair and crossed his arms once more. Jack blinked, before putting on a pout entirely unfitting on a grown man. “Fine, whatever, I guess that’s not all that important.” He leaned back against his pillow, searching for the lost train of thought. “Steampunk nerf. Right. I mean it’s all spring loaded already, easy technology, but what I wanted was something more solid, you know, it’s got to use actual steam. Put some pistons in there, generate some real power.”

There was a loud sigh, and when Jack glanced over, he could see Hajime drumming his fingers against his arms. Okay, he was making the effort to hold his tongue. That was a plus. But he couldn’t keep the scolding at bay for long. “It’ll be awesome. I swear. Just. The test model wasn’t. Put together as well as I thought.” He wiggled the toes of his damaged leg. “Didn’t tighten the screws well enough, is all. Those things can move fast when you put enough pressure behind them, turns out.”

He bit his lip, prodding at a strip of bandage that had been pulled taut around his knee, completely extraneous to the actual gauze. “I guess I should use something a little more heavy-duty to keep it together, huh.” Hajime’s eyes narrowed, though the sharpness had gone out of them, and Jack lifted his palms. “Yeah, okay, and maybe a little less juice in the thing. This is what prototypes are for, man, figuring out the kinks. Not letting the kids anywhere near it until it’s figured out.” He paused. “Or the twentysomethings. They need all their body parts intact too, I guess.”

There was a pause, and Jack eyed his friend, who had put on this silent treatment far longer than he should be comfortable with. Hajime still sat with arms crossed, but his mouth had twisted and brow relaxed. Jack brought back the pout. “Come on, I’m sorry I didn’t call you first, but I didn’t want you to worry. Forgive me?” He clasped his hands together. “Pleaaaaaaaase?”

Hajime’s mouth screwed up further, before the last vestiges of irritation broke, and the bespectacled man laughed. A weight came off of Jack’s chest, and a grin all too eagerly came to his face. He glanced to the door. “I told Nurse Hotaru I’d leave the dressings alone, but since she’s in school, I think it’s all right…” He leaned over to the side of the bed, grinning mischievously. “You wanna see the wound? Tiny little thing, but it went right through, it’s gnarly.” He got a punch in his arm for the offer. “Oh sure, put me in more bandages, will you!”

November 2014

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