Today’s Friday Flash Fics photo is another lighthearted snap that made me smile. It also reminded me (once again) of William and Ben from “Range of Motion” (printed in Men in Love). This takes place a few weeks after the end of “Range of Motion,” when they’ve been dating for a while.
William stepped into the dental office and smiled at the woman behind the counter. She smiled right back, and he wondered if maybe he should have put on a shirt rather than the striped tank he wore at the gym.
Too late now.
“Your name?” she said, then her gaze shifted and she noticed the patch on the front of the tank. “Oh. William.”
“I’m not here for an appointment,” he said. “I’m here to pick up a friend. Ben Wright.”
The woman tapped on the keyboard, a small line forming between her eyebrows.
“Sorry,” William said. “It’ll probably be under Reuben Wright.”
“Ah, yes. Got it.” Her smile returned. “He’s almost ready. Have a seat.”
William nodded and sat down to wait. It didn’t take long.
Reuben was upright, but the vague way he was looking through the room wasn’t promising. He blinked a lot.
Beside him, a woman in bright patterned scrubs looked at the people waiting, and noticed him stand up.
“William?” she said.
“Hi,” he said, coming over to them.
“So, everything went really well. His wisdom teeth came out clean, and there weren’t any complications with his wires or the implants,” she said.
“Hi,” Ben said, and reached out and touched one fingertip to William’s nose. “Boop.”
“But he’s still a little out of it,” she said, with expert-level seriousness.
William had Ben’s painkiller instructions—and the painkillers themselves—in his pocket. He kept his hand supportively at the small of Ben’s back while Ben blinked and walked with him. They only had to go a half-dozen blocks to get to William’s apartment, but William was already wishing he’d borrowed Mick’s car.
“I wanna sit down,” Ben said. His voice was a bit muffled by the cotton swabs left inside it.
“Sorry buddy,” William said. “It’s not far now.”
“Sitting,” Ben said, and proceeded to turn away from him.
William wrapped one arm around his waist. “Woah.”
Ben looked up at him. “I would really like to sit down.” There was a little bit of drool in the corner of his mouth. There was quite a bit more in his beard.
“You can lie down at my place once we get you there.”
Ben seemed to be trying hard to focus on William’s face. “I like kissing you.”
“I’ve been enjoying that, too.” He had to swallow a laugh. It wasn’t fair to Ben. The guy was as high as a kite.
“If you let me sit down, we could kiss,” Ben said. His eyebrows wagged.
“Oh my God, you’re adorable,” William said. “But seriously. We gotta get you to my place.”
“Are you trying to get me into bed?” Ben grinned. The effect was somewhat ruined by the drool.
“Yes, but not like that. You need to lie down. You need to take your pills. You’re staying over for recovery.”
“I would like nookie.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” William could feel his face burning. ‘Nookie’ hadn’t been on the menu yet. He and Ben had been taking it slow for weeks, and that had been fine. William had intended to go as slow as Ben needed.
“My beard probably feels great in places.”
“Okay!” William tried to get Ben walking again. “C’mon, buddy.”
“I can’t wait. I need to sit down.” Ben eyed him piteously. “My body is noodly. Noodles. Noodle-like.” He leaned forward and pressed his forehead against William’s shoulder. “I am spaghetti.”
William burst out laughing, then wrapped his arms around Ben. “Oh buddy. I’m sorry.”
“I can lie down now?”
William took a deep breath, crouched, and picked Ben bodily off the ground, carrying him the rest of the way.