Blaine stepped up on the shadowed porch and pressed the doorbell. Water dripped down his bangs, tickling his nose, and he wiped it away. He had rushed to put his clothes on and dart out the door after Lynsael's mischievous attempt. What the hell was up with him anyway? Weren't angels supposed to practice celibacy?
Before leaving, he had given Lynsael the rules: don't answer the phone, don't answer the door, and don't go anywhere. He could only hope Lynsael would listen.
Inside, he heard Katlinne arguing with Mary, her bratty little sister. Blaine rang the doorbell again and the door swung open.
“We're having issues. Come in,” Katlinne said, yanking Blaine into the house by his wrist.
“What's going on?”
“Mary won't stay out of garage. She's gotten a hold of my song book,” Katlinne gasped before darting after the little girl with bright blonde pigtails and blue ruffled dress. She chased her sister around the kitchen and back into the living room past Blaine. “Gimme that, you little—“
“Whoa.” Her mother stopped Mary before she could jump onto the couch. “Come on, now, Mary. Give Katy back her book.”
“Uh uh,” Mary laughed, tucking the notebook behind her back.
Katlinne sneaked up behind the girl and snatched it away. “You little twerp!” She thumbed through her book, confirming every page was still intact before meeting Blaine in the hallway. “Sorry. We really need to put a lock on that door.”
“You think?” Blaine nodded with a chuckle. “So are we ready to practice?”
“Robert's on his way, but we have a problem with Vince,” Katlinne said as they made their way across the kitchen to the attached garage. “He hasn't been home all day. Left this morning, something about needing to get away.”
“Is he still upset we didn't play his song on Friday?”
“Don't know.” Katlinne threw the notebook on a side table next to their equipment. “But he's been a jerk ever since then.”
Blaine rolled his eyes. They'd been through this before with Vince when he insisted on getting his own place away from their folks. Right on his twenty-first birthday, he had packed up and moved to a studio apartment downtown and had demanded that the band practice there. But his plan didn't work out. A month later he'd lost his job, couldn't afford the rent, or the plans to turn the place into a recording studio, and was back living in his folk's basement.
“Well, shit, what are we going to do without Vince here?” Blaine ran his hand across his face.
“Go through the set list for this Friday,” Katlinne said. “Oh, and I have a new song I've been working on—“
A bang on the garage door interrupted them. Katlinne heaved up the metal garage door, and invited Robert inside. “Vince isn't here,” she repeated. “He's being a dick.”
“Probably has some new, stupid idea he's working on,” Robert replied. “Knowing that guy.”
“I wouldn't doubt it,” Blaine agreed. “So, let's see that song, Katy.”
Katlinne opened her notebook and pulled out a folded piece of lined paper. “Okay, so I was thinking we could start out with a bass solo,” she began, as she pointed out the chords she'd darkened in with pencil into the paper. “Vince, whenever he gets his head out of his ass, starts in with this...” She loosely demonstrated by air guitar and hummed the notes.
Blaine stepped to the bass, picked it up out of its stand, and began tabbing the chords Katlinne had showed him. Katlinne's eyes lit up in amusement.
“How about something like...” Blaine said, putting a slight twist in the original chord she'd planned.
“Oh, yeah, I like that.” She nodded.
Robert jumped on the drum set, and Katlinne began to hum the lyrics she'd written underneath the notes.
It had been two hours since Blaine had hurried out the door, leaving Lynsael trapped in the small apartment alone. At first, he plopped on the couch, twiddling his thumbs, unsure of what to do. He eyed the dark television set and the mess of broken granite all over the floor. It spread across the coffee table; the small particles even dusting the side of Blaine's stereo.
That was the mess he'd created, though it couldn't have been helped.
Lynsael stood and meandered to the kitchen where he spotted a red handled broom. Maybe if he cleaned up the mess, Blaine wouldn't be so upset with him.
Blaine always seemed a little resentful... scratch that. He seemed very moody that Lynsael was there. Even when Lynsael tried to make friends, Blaine did nothing but try to push him away, or yell at him like what had happened in the bathroom.
No, that incident was Lynsael's fault. He hadn't been able to keep to himself, and even after that claim, Blaine didn't ease up on him.
“Put a shirt on,” Blaine had said, throwing him a white, sleeveless top. “Don't go out of the house. I don't want some naked angel prowling around the city.”
What a meanie, Lynsael thought. Could he ever get through to Blaine that he wasn't some child? Sure, he'd been a bit of a basket case, but he knew the humans ways well enough to know that purity wasn't something you revealed to everyone.
Scraping up the remains of the statue with the broom, he swept the larger pieces into a pile, deciding to scoop them into his palms and throw them in the trash bin in the kitchen. As he stood up, a sharp chunk of stone dug into his bare foot. “Ow, ow, ow,” he cried, hopping on one foot. Unbalanced, he slammed into the wall and the picture above him shook free of its hanger, crashing to the floor.
Lynsael slammed his eyes shut as the glass frame shattered. Once the chaotic sound stopped, he peeked out at the broken glass and the glossy picture of boyish Blaine beside his parents. He leaned down and gathered the photo, eying the young man.
The image had been taken seventeen years ago when Blaine was just seven. Lynsael remembered that day as he watched the photo shoot from the clouds.
Young Blaine groaned as he sat next to his parents, dressed in a handsome black suit and tie, his usually messy brown hair combed back, perfect for a family photo.
“I hate this,” he had murmured.
“Oh, Blaine,” his mother smiled down at him. “Buck up, now, it will be over before you know it.”
Lynsael had watched the flash as the pictures were taken, and finally, how Blaine had ended his trip to the photographers with a smile. Those photos couldn't be sour; the boy needed a grin as big as his lips could go.
Ring, ring. The jangle of the phone made Lynsael's focus snap to the cordless telephone on the coffee table. He remembered Blaine's rule: do not answer the phone. The noise came again, but Lynsael remained knelt over the broken glass, deciding he should pick that up too before Blaine came home.
After spending the afternoon picking up broken glass, and chunks of stone from the floor, Lynsael plopped back down on the brown leather couch and closed his eyes. There wasn't anything left to do but wait for Blaine.
He'd wanted to investigate the connection between Augustus, the statue, and his bounding to the stone, but Blaine had promised the night before that he'd help. There was nothing Lynsael could do on his own, and was determined to seek out Blaine's assistance.
The shirt's fabric rubbed against Lynsael's chest, it wasn't as itchy as the jeans, but it wasn't entirely comfortable, either. Those things felt alien to him, and he found himself picking at the creases in the shirt.
The door creaked open, keys jangled and Lynsael jumped up to his feet. “Welcome back,” he said as he stepped closer to the kitchen. “What took so long?”
“What do you mean?” Blaine furrowed his brow. “I told you it would be a few hours.”
“But, I was so bored. I didn't know what to do,” Lynsael pouted.
Blaine threw his keys on the kitchen cupboard and opened the door to the fridge. “You could have had a snack. Did you clean up that mess in the living room?” he asked, as he turned his attention to the broken bits of granite in the trash can.
Lynsael smiled. “Uh huh. But there's a lot of dust left. What should we do about that?”
“I'll get out the vacuum after dinner. You hungry?”
At the sound of food, Lynsael's stomach rumbled, a strange and curious feeling. He hadn't even thought of food until then, and his mouth began to water.
Blaine twisted to catch Lynsael's eyes wide with interest at the containers in the open fridge. “I'll take that as a yes.” He leaned down and pulled out bags of various vegetables from the crisper. “I've been trying this vegetarian menu that Katy gave me. Does a pasta and vegetable toss sound good?”
Lynsael shrugged. “I guess so.”
The thin plastic bag crinkled as Blaine pulled a head of celery out. He stepped towards the sink, washed the celery under a stream of cool water, and retrieved a cutting board. Once he chopped a few sticks of celery, he opted for onion next.
Tears filled Lynsael's eyes as he sniffed in the bitter onion scent. He moved his hands across his face, wiping the tears from his cheeks. The rumbling in his stomach got louder. It looked, and smelled, all so delightful.
A heavy steam rose into the air above the stove, Blaine had already retrieved a pan and filled it with water, letting it boil, but Lynsael's attention was fully on the bits of chopped tomato in a bunch on top of the cutting board.
Just one little piece before dinner wouldn't hurt, right? As Blaine's back was turned, Lynsael sneaked behind him and popped one in his mouth. Sour, but not too sour, the juice covered his tongue as he chewed. How delightful.
“What are you doing?” Blaine's voice broke through Lynsael's heavenly sample. “Go sit down and wait until it's done.”
Lynsael stuck out his lower lip. He knew how to use his puppy dog blue eyes. “But it's so good.”
Blaine pointed with a black, plastic slotted spoon to the couch. “Go!”
Lynsael's shoulders drooped and he stumbled back into the living room. He'd supposed he could wait for dinner. He'd also wait for Blaine's attitude to improve, though it looked as if it never would.
Blaine carefully balanced the full plates as he made his way to the table. Lynsael sat quietly, for once, watching him set the plates down. Blaine couldn't help but laugh to himself at the excitement in Lynsael's eyes; the complete awe in his face to the steamed vegetables in front of him.
“What do you think?” Blaine asked, watching Lynsael take the first bite of his dinner.
Lynsael's eyes glazed over. A smile spread wide on his lips. “This... wow. You are a really good cook, Blaine,” he said after swallowing, and hurried to take another bite.
A warmth of satisfaction swept through Blaine after knowing he'd prepared the meal well. It had taken him a few months to perfect his taste for vegetarian dishes; lots of vegetables, a little seasoning, and, sometimes, curly bow-tie pasta. This was only one dish he'd loved to prepare, and now he had someone to share it with.
“I'm glad you like it, Lynsael,” Blaine said.
Lynsael lowered his head; his cheeks reddened. “You can call me Lyn, if you like.”
“Is that a nickname?”
Lynsael nodded, mouth full again.
“Okay, I'll call you Lyn. So, did you figure out anything about the statue?”
“No.” Lynsael swallowed. “I thought you could help me with that.”
“I wouldn't know where to start, Lyn, with all that heavenly stuff.” Blaine poked at a piece of pasta and shoved it into his mouth. “Besides, wouldn't you be better with all that?”
Lynsael's eyes softened. “I guess, yeah. But there's so much to be done. I hate to admit this, but I'm at a loss with where to start, too.” He scooped up a pile of tomato and celery to the end of his plate, and then pushed it the other way. “When did Augustus pass away?”
“Three years ago,” Blaine answered.
“And did you visit him even after your father died?”
“Yeah. I took my partner there to show off the statue.”
“Your partner?” Lynsael seemed to hesitate.
“Yes, my boyfriend.” Blaine paused to see the wonder in Lynsael's eyes. “Does this have anything to do with the investigation?”
“Look, if it's irrelevant, then we don't need to worry about it, okay?”
Lynsael buried his hands underneath the table and stared down at the unfinished plate of food. Blaine couldn't understand his need to know every single detail of his life. Sure, Lynsael might have been his guardian at one time, but that was a long time ago.
He could see the sorrow in Lynsael's eyes. It tugged at his heart. “If you really want to know, it didn't work out between us, okay? It was a long time ago. Are you happy now?”
“A little. I'd just like to know what happened—“
“What happened, happened, Lyn.” Blaine dropped his fork on the crystal plate. “We can't go back and change the past no matter how much we'd like to. I've had a very shitty life so far, okay, there I said it. Something in the stars got really fucked up when I was born, leaving me with one hell of a streak of lifelong bad luck.”
“Don't say that.” Lynsael popped his head up. “Your childhood went well.”
“Yeah until I was eight. From that moment, I—“ Blaine stopped, a surprising revelation ran through his thoughts. “You didn't have anything to do with that, did you?”
“What are you saying? Guardians are only allowed to watch; we cannot intrude in our child's lives like that!”
“Then why did the rest of my life go terribly wrong?” Blaine felt his shoulders tense, the heat rise through his veins, and all he wanted to do was forget what he'd tried to put to rest long ago. Having Lynsael bring it up wasn't helping.
Lynsael pursed his lips and returned to shoving his uneaten food around on his plate. The squeaking noise of metal against crystal irritated Blaine even more.
“Knock it off,” Blaine spouted.
Lynsael froze, but that was all Blaine needed to realize he was being a jerk. Instead, he stood and stomped into the living room, away from Lynsael, away from the memories, and away from everything.
The dusty remains of the granite buried into his carpeted floor had Blaine more upset knowing he had lost his precious statue. Well in a sense, it was still here, only now it could walk, it could talk, and it could piss him off. That wasn't all, surely no. When Blaine wasn't looking, it could also sneak up close, and do whatever it wished, just like what was about to happen in the bathroom this morning. There was no mistaking that that was what Lynsael had planned.
Blaine tensed his fists until his knuckles whitened, and then unfolded his fingers. Just what did Lynsael want of him?
Just then, the kitchen tap hissed, and Blaine turned to spot Lynsael at the sink. Dishes clanked together as he filled the basin with soapy water. Lynsael scrubbed at the dirty dishes, the baggy jeans that Blaine had loaned him barely held up by the belt. He even washed the bowl that Blaine had used for cereal before he'd left for practice.
Clank, he set the first plate in the strainer, robust shoulders tensed as Lynsael stretched his body out across the double sink to reach. He seized hold of the loops of his jeans, yanked them up to his waist, and continued to the next plate.
Maybe Blaine could apologize for being such an ass. Besides, he didn't even ask Lynsael to do the dishes. In fact, Lynsael didn't really have to do anything but be the marvelous creature that was originally carved in the sculpture; the strong, lean, handsome angel that had came alive under the pure white light.
Bubbles of soap waved and fluttered in the air as Lynsael continued the job. His jeans threatened to fall around his hips, and, again, he jerked them back up. Black wings spread wide across his back, and his long, dark hair swayed behind him as he moved back and forth, setting the dishes to dry.
He was that glorious angel Blaine knew from the statue. The same beautiful creature with delicately carved muscles, and an ethereal face.
Blaine choked down the butterflies rising in his stomach. His heart thumped into his throat. Slowly, he stepped back into the kitchen and leaned against the counter next to Lynsael, who refused to look at him.
“You don't have to do that, you know,” Blaine said, feeling a little foolish for the way he'd acted.
“I just figured I might as well.” Lynsael shrugged, stretching to put a fork away.
Blaine reached out and grabbed Lynsael's arm. “Lyn.” He turned and furrowed his brows. “Don't—“ The words caught on Blaine's tongue as he focused in on the perfectly sculpted face, the same one he couldn't take his eyes off when he first saw the completed statue.
Lynsael's face flushed red; his arm began to tremble. Blaine tempted himself to pull him in and steal those full, inviting lips, but Blaine didn't have the chance to struggle with his fascination. Lynsael leaned into him, and brushed his pale lips against Blaine's.
Blaine's legs felt weak, and his heart thumped hard in his chest. It was perfect; the moist, plump lips on his, and the lean, warm body pressed so close. He just couldn't take it. The heat built up into Blaine's cheeks; he dropped Lynsael's arm and backed away.
“That was...” Blaine couldn't find the words.
“Wonderful?” Lynsael tried, as he closed the gap between them.
Blaine pushed against Lynsael's clothed chest. “No. Weird.” He slid against the counter, and freed himself from Lynsael's warmth.
His feet had threatened to trip him as he staggered his way back into the living room. The flush of heat through his body lessened, leaving him flustered. “I... gotta get ready for bed,” Blaine said, feeling Lynsael's presence hovering behind him.
“But it's early—”
“Gotta work at six in the morning,” Blaine replied, stumbling off into the bedroom.