Title: Similitude
Author: Michael Arianna
Feedback: michaelarianna@hotmail.com
Archive: Yes to Presidential Games, anyone else please ask first.
Rating: None.
Post-ep, The Black Vera Wang
Warnings: Slash, angst, nudity
Summary: Sam's looking for someone to relate. Josh shows up to offer some similitude.

Similitude by Michael Arianna

Betrayal. Oh, I know it well. I've just attacked my friend because of it. No. Not my friend. My opponent. Perhaps never my friend. He screwed me because I screwed him. But I wasn't even in the fucking room when the President got flippant. I get blamed for everything. It's not my fucking fault. I sit at home staring at the television which isn't on. On the wall my coat drips dry. Rainwater runs down my face. I shake my head like a dog. Water splatters my leather couch. My hands clench and shake. I feel my former friend's bones crunching between them. If only. Such rage as I have never felt before. It bubbles within me, an ulcer gnawing my insides. I've never known how to deal with rage. I like to tell people not to mess with me. Fear the wrath of Samuel Norman Seaborn.

What a joke. Like anyone called Norman would even know how to pull down the horrors of the Apocalypse.

I can wreak havoc, though. I'm fucking good at that. All it takes is trust. I thought he was my friend. I thought I was doing him a favor. "We're in this together. The old college try!" Right. I told Josh once that I thought it was inherent in our nature to trust. I shouldn't have said it because he likes to tease, and I'm an easy enough victim without painting a target on my chest. But it was four in the morning and we were drinking Irish coffee, and sometimes I don't know when to shut up. He just smiled at me in that crooked way of his like he's got all the answers to anything. "You'll learn," he said.

He was wrong.

The problem with rage is I don't know what to do with it. It seeps from my pores on beads of sweat and mingles with the water that still rolls from soaking hair. Some people break things. Windows. Chairs. People. Others scream. Or yell. I don't do any of that. I scratch my fingernails over my slacks and wait to be drained of it.

When the rage passes, it's bittersweet. Something like a visit from my father. Tense in the action, but I miss him when he's gone. The blank television blurs before my dull eyes. I feel empty. Alone.

Useless.

What I would give for a glance from friendly eyes. For reassurance that I'm not a fuck-up. Not a total one, anyway. What I would give. What would I give?

My doorbell chimes. I ignore it. I curl into my knees and try to disappear. It chimes again. Three measures of the Four Seasons. Spring. I'm such a dork.

"Sam? I know you're in there." Josh's voice floats around the door. Light. He's smiling. I can hear it. Maybe that's stupid, but I know him that well.

"Sam. Don't make me get the landlord."

I also know that he won't leave until I open the door. I've always liked Josh. Things are straightforward with him. If he doesn't like a person, he says it. He doesn't misrepresent his intentions. He doesn't abuse trust and twist it into betrayal. He's like. Magic. What I would give to have just a little piece of him. In me.

I open the door. I must look like a wreck because he stops smiling. He slides past me into the apartment. The door closes. I watch his fingers as they caress the doorknob.

"You okay?" he says.

I fall forward, my head hitting his shoulder with a soft thump. I've surprised him. We haven't hugged since...Election Day. 2000. Not since then. I could give a fuck. I pull my arms around him and squeeze. I feel his head moving above mine. His chin tousles my hair as he looks around. I tighten my hold. Finally. Finally, I feel his hand on my back. Not holding. Just resting. You don't know how much you miss something until it's back. Or something. Like touch. So light and yet. I roll my eyes into his shoulder and will myself not to cry.

"So. Um." he says.

I don't move.

"I. Guess you're not all right?"

I want to laugh. I want to fall on my knees, wrap my arms around his legs and guffaw. But I don't. Instead, my shoulders hitch and my eyes rebel, spouting repressed tears. Which is really annoying.

"Stay with me," I say. He glances at the door and back at me.

"Uh. I have to... You know." He's tugging at his cuffs.

"Just. Please." It's all I can say. He knows it, too. He looks at me, and I know it's enough.

"Um. I guess the couch is." I take his hand, and he stops speaking. I gently pull him towards the bedroom.

"I wasn't thinking of the couch," I say. He follows me at arm's length. His eyes are wide, but it's surprise, not fear, that lurk behind the brown.

I bring him to the edge of the bed. I don't want to be alone. That's the thing. Vulnerable. I'm not looking for protection. Just similitude. His fingers pulse against my palm. He was shot two years ago and I've never seen his scar. My hands twitch. He doesn't move as I unbutton his shirt. Just watches. I peel the fabric over his shoulders and down his soft, pale arms. His undershirt is as white as his chest. I gently tug it out of his waistband. He lifts his arms so I can remove it. As the collar comes over his head, his hair stands on end like a young Einstein. His eyes sparkle with a secret irony. The scar runs, long and prim, down his chest. He knows. Vulnerability. He's got proof of it. Right there. Pink fading into white. My only proof is the schism in my fucked up head. He scratches his belly lazily. And suddenly I want to see all of him. White, untoned flesh. Skin that hasn't seen the sun in years. He could be my secret reality. I sit on the bed so I can reach his waist. My fingers trip across his slacks and release the hook. I tug at the zipper. I roll it down, revealing whiteness that matches his undershirt. Funny. I had him pegged as a boxers kind of guy. I'm growing accustomed to being wrong. It's not an altogether unpleasant feeling.

"Sam? Um." He says.

I tilt my head towards his face. My hand still moves exposing more of the cotton pristineness.

"I didn't know you were gay," he says. I don't hear any sarcasm, but it's hard to tell with him. He sounds like he's ordering groceries.

"I'm not," I say. And it's the truth. "I. Just want to see your dick." The words come in a rush, and I can't believe I actually let them pass my lips.

"Oh. Okay." He's teasing. I know it because his voice warbles a bit like there's laughter underneath. And I. I just want to see all of him. He puts his hand over mine. He's not going to let me. I tremble.

"Please, Josh," I say and then my words are gone, trapped in the six inches that separate my eyes from the black hair that curls down towards his privates. Private because I'm not allowed to see. "Please." I'm choking on the word. My mouth fills with bile. Hot and bitter.

"Okay. Sam. Okay," he says gently. I think he thinks I'm going insane. He's not far off. "Just. Let me do it, okay?" He pulls my hand away from his slacks. It drops onto my thigh, and my fingers curl down the inside of my leg. He eases out of his pants. His briefs are pushed over his hips and down in a swift motion. Like he's used to quickies. I bet he's in the Mile High Club. If I wasn't scared of knocking myself out on the metal sink, I'd be in it. That, and if I could talk to girls without making a complete ass of myself.

His dick is small. Retreated into the comfort of his balls, which are dark, and his pubic hair, which is black. I stare, but it doesn't move. I put my hand out. Josh coughs. "Sam." I pull back. I understand. Look. Don't touch. I stare, and I swear it gets smaller. Like it's hiding from me. Redefining "flaccid."

Funny. I'm not gay. But I hoped Josh would be. Then it hits me. What I'm doing. So stupid. Putting faith in this. And mean. Making Josh show me. He'll never speak to me again. I can't believe I've done this. I clench my ears in my fingers and pull my head forward. I rock between my knees, laughing and sobbing.

"What?" Josh says. He tilts his hips forward so he can see his dick. "Is something wrong with it?" He lifts it with his index finger and taps it. His face is scrunched up in concentration. It would be funny if it wasn't my fault.

"It's not. It's fine." I say. "I'm sorry, Josh. I'm sorry." Then I'm gasping for air, and I abandon words for tears. I wait for him to go.

Instead, he sits next to me. His naked arm drapes over my shoulders. "You. Don't have to," I choke.

He brings his other hand up and touches my cheek. He traces a dirty trail of tears down over my mouth and onto my chin. "Sam."

I shake my head. If he would go, I could just be a fuck up alone. Just alone.

"Sam." His forefinger and thumb force my head back until I look at him. His head is close. I stare at his lips. Pink and wet. "You're my best friend," he says.

"Yeah."

"Yeah." And then he's kissing me. His lips are hot and scratchy. My mouth parts and his tongue swipes across my teeth. I open wider and he comes inside. His hand rubs my back slowly. I don't think this is how best friends kiss. When he pulls back, a line of spittle connects his mouth to mine. My hand shakes as I wipe it from my lips. He takes my hand, his fingers slender and long. He puts it over his dick, holding it there when I try to pull away. It feels soft and wrinkled under my hesitant fingers.

"It's not you," he says. "My dick," he adds. As if I need clarification.

I look up. His head is bent forward in seriousness. "It has nothing to do with you."

"You're my best friend," I say. God knows no one else would put up with shit like this.

"Yeah."

"You're not gay."

"No."

I'm beginning to understand. "Me neither."

He shifts on the mattress so his legs widen. My hand slips to include his balls in my grip. His hand rubs over mine, pressing me closer to him. Pubic hair scratches my wrist.

"I'm your best friend," he says.

He rests his head on my shoulder, and I get it. Best friends. Yeah.

The End

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