So here is some TotalCox for you all. Both SFW, but there is a little bit of swearing.
I totally didn’t recycle these from when I posted them on the forums or anything. Welcome to Tumblr, Jesse. =3
Skype was horrible.
It meant that John couldn’t avoid anyone without a million frantic Tweets being hurled his way. It meant that he had to choose, every time that little name popped up on his screen, between forcing himself to forget it was there and facing the one conversation he really, really didn’t want to have.
Except he couldn’t forget it was there, he could just keep his mouse away from the button and go through every little thing he desperately wanted to say but couldn’t because of his pride and his reputation and his fear of rejection and so many other tiny things that would be the death of him.
So why was he clicking on it now?
“John? Dude, you look like shi- I mean, are you okay?” Jesse caught himself, his concern for his friend’s appearance overriding his already negligible tact.
“You look lovely too, Jesse.” The Brit’s voice was less tempered with sarcasm than usual, fatigue and alcohol overshadowing the sting. “Need something?”
A pause. “Yes, I need something! I need to know why you’re avoiding me. Okay, so I sucked in the last Terraria episodes, I know, I’m annoying and immature and I’m playing it up too much and- ”
“Terraria was fine. You were fine. I’m just… tired. And…”
“No! Well, maybe. A little bit.” John rubbed his face, the tension palpable between the two men making him feel worse than before. “Look, Jesse, I have editing to do. I’ll see you- ”
“Ohh no you don’t. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Nothing is wrong.”
Jesse didn’t often wear a serious expression, but when he did John found it very hard to look away from.
“Don’t give me that look. I’m fine.”
Now John felt pinned in his seat. Since when did that insufferable American have such a hold on him? Oh, wait.
“Jesse, stop that, it’s nothing to concern you anyway.”
“So there is something.”
“It’s not anything.”
“Yes it is!”
“Damn it, Jesse, just leave it alone.” Anger was seeping into John’s voice now; the effort of keeping the beer out of his thoughts combined with forming coherent sentences was beginning to elude him. He struggled with the urge to just yell at Jesse until he felt better; after a long moment, he put his head in his hands and let out a long, depressed sigh instead.
“Hey.” Suddenly Jesse’s voice was quiet and uncharacteristically tender. The blonde leaned forward on his desk. “John. It’s okay. You don’t – you don’t have to talk about it. If it’s that bad, then let’s just talk about something else.”
God damn it.
Jesse had given him a way out, and now all John wanted to do was pour out his heart into his headset. Why did he have to be so…Dammit.
“No, look, I… Something’s messing with my head, is all.”
“Bro, I’ll listen to all your problems, but if there’s another girl you need to talk to Genna.”
“It’s not a woman.”
“What, you’re getting all mushy over a dude?”
Jesse had been joking, but John’s refusal to make eye contact was confirmation enough.
“I didn’t mean- I’m not judging, John, I was just- how long have you- ” Jesse was more incoherent than he should have been, partly from shock, partly from… Jealousy? No. No, shut up, brain. Why would I be jealous? “Hang on, is it someone I know?”
Yeah. You’re not jealous.
I- you- Dammit, brain, you shut up. You shut up right now.
“Yes, you know him.”
“Who is it?”
John blinked. Jesse’s whiny and slightly demanding tone was back. “I- you don’t really care, do you, I mean I told you what’s wrong and everything so- ”
“No, c’mon, I do care. I want to help.”
Bullshitting his way out of things wasn’t John’s specialty. That was Jesse’s job.
Oh, fuck it.
“I-I’m sorry, what?”
“I said, the guy is you. There.” John was already regretting ever opening his stupid mouth. He should just stop the call now. It wouldn’t take that much, just a quick, simple click before Jesse could say anythi-
“John, I know you’re going to stop the call. Don’t, please, we can- we can work this out.”
“Work what out?” A tinge of hysteria crept into the younger man’s tone. “I think about you every damn day, Jesse. I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate when I record, I can’t even look at my wife and kid without wanting someone to punch me, I- ”
“Shh. Stop, John, just stop and look at me for a minute.”
Reluctantly, John obeyed the older man.
“We’re going to talk. Okay? You’re gonna talk to me as much as you need to, and we will figure this out, and it’ll be a thing.”
Another sigh, longer this time, and a meaningful glance. “Okay, Jesse. If you’ll listen.”
Jesse grinned, the crooked smile giving John enough courage to start talking. Once he had started it became difficult to stop. They talked from 9pm until well after midnight, John’s halted recount punctuated often by companionable silences that allowed both to gather their thoughts. When one of those silences stretched out longer than usual, Jesse glanced over only to see that John was slumped over his desk, fast asleep. The older man smiled, but there was regret and conflict in his eyes.
Y’know, there was someone messing with my head too.
And another one. Terraria this time.
Sometimes TB really hated the nurse.
It had started with a blood moon. That was fine. No problem. Stay in the house, don’t do anything stupid and try not to piss yourself when the zombies started banging on the door. Even Jesse knew the score by now.
So why were they both outside, beating back the ravenous horde as that damn nurse hid inside the house and cheered encouragement? This was her fault. They had been safe inside Castle von Jessenstein, at least until the screaming started and Jesse had rushed out to save his ‘baby’. What a stupid, unnecessary nickname.
TB had no regard for Jesse’s life. At all. Definitely not. He’d only followed him out because… because… the nurse was an asset. Right. They needed someone to fix the various horrific injuries the denizens of this world inflicted on them. Of course that was it. And Jesse was far too incompetent to save the nurse without getting them both killed and probably letting the zombies into the village houses as well.
The Brit was torn rather rudely back into the present as a zombie snarled at him, catching him off-guard and knocking his sword out of his hands. He swore, stumbling back as he tried to edge toward his weapon. The monster was in his face now, its awful breath washing over his face as it bared its rotting teeth. TB could see traces of flesh – human flesh – all over its face.
Messy eater, TB thought off-hand. Also, I’m going to die.
The zombie toppled over, minus its head. The sword that had claimed it lowered to reveal Jesse’s crooked smile, more than a little forced.
Christ, he nearly died.
Jesse turned away quickly, so as to hide the totally-freaked-out expression he knew was wresting control from the pathetic little smile he’d plastered onto his face. Why did he have to call him John? TB hated his guts, no need to make it worse. Jesse didn’t even know why the Brit was outside with him and not making himself some tea and biscuits or something.
“No time to chat, gov’na! We got us some foul beasts to slay!”
When in doubt, break out the horrendous chimney-sweep accent. TB’s aggravated sigh shouldn’t have put a tiny smile on Jesse’s face so quickly, let alone in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, but it did. In fact, the American was pondering so deeply why that simple outlet of air was so endearing as he chopped up undead that he didn’t notice the last surviving zombie swiping at the back of his head.
TB did notice.
He had picked up his sword again, but even so it was too late to stab the horrid thing and calling out to Jesse was useless – the older man couldn’t possibly react in time. TB reacted instead. He tackled Jesse out of the way, the zombie stumbling drunkenly against the weight that wasn’t there and cracking its brittle skull on a rock on its way to the ground.
TB wasn’t really concerned about the zombie, though. He was more worried about the sweaty tangle of limbs that was half him and half Jesse right now. Well, maybe worried was the wrong word…
Jesse didn’t even care why TB had tackled him, though something in the back of his treacherous brain told him it may have been to do with the zombie that’d nearly removed the back of his head. He cared more about the knee that was definitely not his own and grinding just slightly too close to his crotch. And the fact that his face was practically buried in his companion’s neck. And the way-too-strong urge to kiss it.
Even muffled into his neck, Jesse’s slightly too breathy voice prompted the Cynical Brit to move, removing his arms from the tangle they were in and using them to prop himself up above Jesse.
The inevitable eye contact caused them both the blush furiously, scrambling off of each other in an entirely inefficient rush of embarrassment. Thirty seconds later saw them determinedly avoiding looking in the other’s general direction as they trekked through the rotting bodies back toward the village.