Story Notes:Written circa 2003. Edited in 2009.
Rowen sighed heavily and tried to concentrate on brainstorming. He thought he was good at it — he was good at everything else that had to do with his Gifted Advanced Honors Literature and Critical Writing class he had that semester. But he had been given an assignment to write a report on something ordinary he does in his routine life, but the catch was that it had to be interesting enough that people would actually want to red it.
Rowen, sitting at his desk, leaned back in the chair and chewed on his pencil.
What do I do routinely that’s interestin’?
Defend the world from transdimensional demons.
“Arrrgh!” Rowen clutched his head, which had suddenly begun to ache. Sage, who seemed to show up at just the right time in any scene in any story, walked into Rowen’s room, struck a pose and asked, “What’s the matter, Canuck?”
“I’m doin’ a report,” Rowen explained. “It’s gotta be about somethin’ I do routinely yet’s interestin’.”
Sage, ever cunning and lecherous, arched his eyebrow and grinned. “Oh really.”
“Yeah.”Rowen angled his head to one side. “Whadda you do on a routine basis that’s interestin’?”
“Masturbate,” came the immediate reply. Rowen’s face fell.
“I can really see the big gold star when I had my professor a report on masturbation.”
“It’s personal .”
Sage tsk-tsked and sighed. “You’re such a prude.”
“I’m NOT a prude,” Rowen snapped. “I just believe that some things are betta left in the dark.”
“Rowen, babe,” Sage chuckled, “with me, there’s nothing left in the dark.”
Rowen scowled. “So I noticed. “ Under his breath he muttered, “An’ don’t call me babe.”
Sage’s face lit up (no pun intended) and he said, “Hey. I know what you could write your report about.”
“What?” Rowen asked miserably, and Sage pointed toward the upstairs ceiling. In the general direction of the bedrooms.
Rowen made a tired face. “Why would I wanna do a report on that?”
The blond shrugged. “Okay, if you’d rather fail and be laughed out of the lecture hall, be my guest-”
“A’right, a’right,” Rowen agreed. “I’ll do it. But on the condition that ya leave me alone while I work. I can’t concentrate with people starin’ over my shoulder.”
Sage winked. “Say no more. I’m gone.”
And he left Rowen to write his report.
“Hashiba,” the professor called.
Rowen stood from his seat and trekked the half-mile down to the lecture floor. Public speaking always made him nervous. He held his report in his hands, cleared his throat, and tried not to talk with his usual Yankanadian accent.
“My report,” he declared. “Titled ‘A Long Hard Job’.” He paused in anxiety, feeling a bead of sweat roll down the side of his face, and he began to read: “It’s not that I mind being on the bottom all the time; sometimes Sage lets me be on top, but he’s usually the one doing all the work. When I’m on top, he always holds me steady because he knows I get shaky. Sometimes he does it by himself when I’m not home. Though it’s not very comfortable on the bottom, especially when you’re standing up, you’ve got to live with the splinters if you want to drive the nail-”
“THAT WILL DO, ROWEN.”
Rowen’s professor was standing at his desk, looking like he was about to bust a capillary.
“Is it that good?”
Rowen shrugged. “Okay.”
At least he got out of having to speak in front of the class.
Rowen plowed through the front door, slamming it as hard as he could. He immediately stormed into the living room where he found Sage at the top of the ladder, fixing the pipes through the ceiling to the second floor.
The blond nearly fell from the rickety wooden ladder. It was really old and he sometimes needed somebody to hold it to keep it steady, otherwise he’d be tottering all over the place.
Sage climbed down and wiped the sweat from his brow. “What?”
Rowen held up his report. A fat fricking F circled in red ink was slapped on the front.
Sage was unaffected. “Don’t blame me . You wrote it.”
“An’ I wrote it FINE!” Rowen shouted. “It’s just that I couldn’t convince my professor that this was about us fixin’ that friggin’ leaky pipe for the past three months and not about us havin’ sex!”
Sage’s eyes went wide, and he looked up at the bare pipes in the ceiling, then back at Rowen, then at the ceiling again.
“I never made the connection.”
Rowen facepalmed. “I nearly got suspended for saying we’d call a plumber to come and tell us how much it would cost for him to join the PIPEWORK TOGETHA!”
Sage let out at shriek and began laughing so hard he had to bend over and put his hands on his knees. Rowen was not amused.
“IT’S NOT FUNNY! I’M GONNA FAIL THAT CLASS NOW! MY PROFESSOR’S THE BIGGEST HOMOPHOBE ON THE-”
Sage gasped and fell to the floor, laughing uncontrollably. Tears were rolling down his face. Rowen threw his report to the floor and rolled up his already rolled-up sleeves. Sage saw this and managed to pant, “Oh, no, Rowen! Remember your blood pressure-”
Rowen body slammed Sage on the floor, cursing foully while Sage was still laughing at Rowen’s meek attempt to beat him silly. After a few moments of scuffling, Sage’s hair was pulled and he got a little peeved. Surprisingly the stronger of the two (though not by far), Sage rolled over and pinned Rowen’s wrists above his head, sitting on his hips. Like how most fights in yaoi fiction end up.
Rowen growled in his helplessness and struggled for a few minutes. Then he realized that Sage was not doing anything. He looked up to see the cool lavender eyes of Halo staring down at him in a way that Rowen did not like. Not even his gay side liked it. Sage grinned at his reaction, and Rowen suddenly realized that half of his shirt buttons had come conveniently undone in the squabble . . . and he suddenly felt like he needed to run as far and as fast as he could away from Sage.
Suddenly the whole herd stampeded into the living room, the “herd” consisting of one Ryo, Cye and Kento who had been playing rugby in the back yard. They saw the scene on the living room floor and all hell broke loose. Again.
“Bleedin’ Christ!” Cye yelled.
Sage tried to explain himself but epically failed. “It’s not what you think. We were just playing around.”
“Yeah, sure!” Kento scoffed. “You’re busted!”
“I’m serious! We were arguing and-”
Unbeknown to Sage, Rowen had slipped his wrist free from his grasp. He hauled off and popped Sage right in the nose with his fist. The blond was so surprised he fell backwards onto his rear and held his bleeding nose. Rowen looked at his fist in disbelief.
“Wow. I really can punch right handed.” He looked up at Sage, just as shocked as he, and quickly scrambled up. “Oh God, I’m so soory, Sage! I didn’t mean ta!”
Sage sniffed and glared at him evilly. “Oh. You din’ bean da punge be in da node.”
“Ya brought it on yourself. Ya shouldn’t ‘a been screwin’ around with me.”
Ryo watched them bicker. “Y’know,” he said, “I think we need to start keeping Sage in a pit.”
“It’s a love-hate relationship, I think,” Cye murmured, watching Sage strangle Rowen.
“Isn’t anyone going to step in and separate them?” Kento inquired. Ryo and Cye looked at each other.
Chapter Endnotes: Plumbing according to perverts: Sage was always on the top of the ladder, doing all the work (fixing the pipes). Rowen was always on the bottom, holding the ladder steady or handing him tools, a rather awkward position especially with someone’s ass in your face the whole time. It’s quite exhausting work. Sometimes Rowen was at the top of the ladder, but Sage had to keep a death grip on the base or else Rowen would get shaky and fall. And of course, when Rowen isn’t at home, Sage does it all by himself.