eise: (Default)
eise ([personal profile] eise) wrote2010-06-15 01:15 am

fic: A Love in Reverse

Title: A Love in Reverse
Chapter: Prologue (You Don't Have to Like Duran Duran) and Chapter 1 (I Can Be Your Right Arm)
Fandom: Flight of the Conchords
Pairing: Bret/Jemaine
Rating: R
Summary: Bret asks Jemaine when he first realized he loved him, and Jemaine backtracks through their relationship.
Author note: I got heavily inspired. idefk. I don't know how long this will be but I've started on chapter two already so expect at least three.


“Jemaine, when did you first realize you loved me?”

What an absurd question, Jemaine thinks as he gapes openly at the man that he does, indeed, love. What an absolutely absurd question.

Absurd isn’t a word he uses often, but it seems to fit here.

Bret’s not even looking at him. He’s focused on his latest project—something with mice that Jemaine doesn’t really want to get too involved in for fear of being bitten any more than he was in the process of transporting them home from the pet store—and that’s pretty typical. It’s a pretty typical Bret question. A perfectly Bret question.

Because, to Bret, this is something one discusses in casual, normal conversation. It isn’t something serious and deep and vulnerable. It’s something he’d volunteer without a second thought because, we’ll, he’s Bret. And everything is easy for Bret.

It’s not easy for Jemaine.

But Jemaine knows, even as Bret pours out a bowl of pellets for the mice in the silence that follows his question, ostensibly having moved on, that he does expect an answer, eventually. He’s not asking because it doesn’t matter, exactly. It isn’t that it’s not important. He does want to talk about it. Jemaine just find it annoying how flipping easy he seems to expect it to be.

He’ll have to answer eventually. But to be completely honest, beyond the fact that this is a sensitive subject that he’s a little afraid to talk about (in that way that people are afraid of things that they have no reason to be afraid of), he isn’t really sure what his answer is.

So, tugging awkwardly at his hair, Jemaine rises from his seat, says, “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” and makes his way to the bedroom.

“Kay,” Bret says, flashing a brilliant smile as Jemaine passes him on his way to the bedroom.

Jemaine’s stomach flips, but he doesn’t stop moving until he’s settled on his side of the bed, laying back on his pillow and staring at the ceiling intently.

When was it?

Jemaine sighs, his head already beginning to hurt from thinking about it. Because, really, it was one of those things that, once it was there, it just felt like it always had been, right? He’s always loved Bret, in a way. Maybe not from the beginning beginning. Not from first glance, but, well, he’s always thought he was a pretty cool guy and eventually that…blossomed.

It’d sound more gay if it wasn’t as gay as it could possibly be.

And that had been one of the issues, hadn’t it? It being gay. Maybe things would have gone smoother if he’d been more okay with it. And, well, Bret made things easy but even for him it had been a challenge. It hadn’t been as simple as it would have been for them to fall for two respective girls.

But anyone with eyes knows it doesn’t matter to him as much now as it once did. He sighs, running his hand through his hair and feeling it catch on his ring, like it always does. Bret misjudged the size and he never had the heart to get it fixed. Something about the thought of it or—well, he didn’t know. He’s not sentimental often but this is one thing Jemaine insists on keeping just as it was the day Bret gave it to him.

And it was quite a day.

**

It had been a shit day. The shittiest shit day that a day had ever…shat. Whatever. It had sucked from beginning to end and the only consolation was that, tonight, Jemaine was going to go home and get some aggression out the old fashioned way. By bumming Bret.

Or sucking him. It’d be appropriate, anyhow.

Although it actually hadn’t begun all that terribly.

Jemaine awoke to the familiar face-full of curly hair and the comfortable stiffness associated with molding your body to someone’s back. Bret’s back, in this case. Bret hadn’t woken up yet, but he probably would as soon as Jemaine disentangled himself.

So Jemaine decided to wait a little bit, shifting just enough to get a look at Bret’s face as he slept.

He wasn’t sentimental, no, but there was just something about seeing someone when they were completely vulnerable. Really, Jemaine could do anything to him and he’d be completely open for it for at least twenty or thirty seconds. And since Jemaine kind of topped out at two minutes anyway, it was an interesting prospect.

So interesting, apparently, that he’d unconsciously begun running his hand down Bret’s side and onto his thigh. This was just enough disturbance to make his sleeping partner begin to stir, and once he did Jemaine noted his hand’s location and realized that he would be unable to move it without Bret noticing it as well. And if he just left it there, it would continue to be located where it was, and Bret would no doubt notice that too.

Well, this was embarrassing.

“Jemaaaaine…” Bret whined groggily, arching into his (tingling, they were tingling) fingers, “If you’re going to wake me up with sex I wish you’d just get on with it…”

Jemaine giggled nervously, the same butterflies that still plagued him when it came to sex starting to whirl about his stomach. He rubbed his hand artlessly against Bret’s front, earning a hum of approval and a lazy smile. Jemaine smiled back, flushing.

“Was that so hard?”

“Well, no, not yet,” Jemaine pointed out, pressing himself up against Bret as proof.

It was Bret’s turn to giggle, now. “You’re getting old.”

“I’m not. You are. Can’t get me hot at all.”

“Oh? Can’t I?”

“Old fart.”

“Why don’t you say that to my face?” Bret challenged, spinning around with the vigor of a younger (and less sleepy) man. He pounced on top of Jemaine, pinning both his arms above his head. “Or don’t you have the guts?”

Jemaine growled, admittedly very turned on by the sudden change of perspective, and ground himself up into Bret. Pleased by the slutty-teenage-girl reaction (thrusting chest, whining voice, bitten lip) this pulled from Bret, Jemaine was just about to turn the tables and pin Bret down instead when the phone rang. Which, of course, they would ignore.

Bret’s eyes snapped open. “Flip.”

They were going to ignore it, right? Jemaine looked up, suddenly helpless in the face of Bret losing his bedroom eyes and instead returning his gaze with his normal (but still very pretty, in a girly sort of way) eyes. Maybe if he just flipped him now…

“Jemaine, we said we were going to help Dave move today, remember? That’ll be him.” Bret gestured to the phone with a tilt of his head. “We’re late.”

“No, no, we’re right on time for being as late as we said we would be,” Jemaine insisted, rolling his hips earnestly.

“Je—Jemaine…” Bret sighed, pressing down on Jemaine’s hips with a dominance that, while not matching his tone in the slightest, was not exactly helping Jemaine’s arousal any, “That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Doesn’t have to. Kiss me.” It was a low blow because Jemaine knew Bret always liked the more romantic dirty talk but well, he did kind of want to be kissed. Anything that came after that was collateral damage.

After a moment’s debate, Bret leaned in and gave him a chaste peck before moving off of Jemaine and the bed to answer the phone. Jemaine huffed irritably at Bret, and then huffed again at the tent in his shorts. He then proceeded to wonder how hard he could hit Dave before Bret would start protesting.

Probably hitting him at all would get protested. Stupid Bret and his pacifistic tendencies.

“Yeah…Sorry, we got a little…well, I wouldn’t call it ‘hiding the sausage’…” Bret sighed across the room, the roll of his eyes evident in his tone, “We’ll be over in ten. Don’t worry.”

“Ten?” Jemaine mumbled, glancing down at his shorts.

Bret turned and mouthed the words “two minutes” at him. Jemaine narrowed his eyes, unamused. That didn’t change the fact that they were changing their plans for Dave, of all people.

Not that they had a lot of people who they’d change plans for.

Bret hung up, sighing heavily. “This is what we get when you molest me in the morning.”

“You liked it.” Jemaine smirked.

“Only because I have to.”

“Liar.”

“Yeah,” Bret replied, smiling warmly, “Get dressed, we have boxes to move.”

“But Breeeet,” Jemaine whined, “Aren’t we too hot and bothered to get out there in ten minutes?”

“Like I said, you only need two.”

“And you?”

Bret glanced downward to his decidedly unexciting sweatpants and shrugged. “I’m old.”

Having taken care of himself in the usual fashion, Jemaine dressed and met Bret downstairs a few minutes later. They made their way to Dave’s hand in hand, only tangentially aware of all the stares this earned, even in New York. Probably because they were heading towards their forties and Jemaine’s hair was growing more salt than pepper ever minute, making him clearly the dirty old man of the couple next to the doe-eyed, baby-faced Bret.

Not that Jemaine really cared what anyone thought, at this point. This probably came with getting old too, he figured.

“You motherfuckers are late,” Dave attested as they rounded the corner to his (parent’s) apartment, “Or should I say brotherfuckers?” He shook his head sagely. “Goddamn. Can’t keep your hands off each other long enough to even help a bro get his shit moved. I am deeply hurt.”

“Sorry, Dave. Today’s a special day,” Bret explained as they closed the last few meters between them and Dave.

Jemaine stumbled mid-step.

Special day?

“You Alaskan brotherfuckers having your anniversary again? Shit. Well, I’m sorry. That’s fucking romantic as hell. Do you want to head home?” It took a minute before Jemaine realized Dave was actually being sincere.

“Er, yeah. Sort of. And no, man, we’ve—“ Bret cut off abruptly as he turned to Jemaine and was met with an expression of pure obliviousness, “—I’ve got plans for later. We can help you now.”

“Well, fuck my shoes and call me Stanley, if it waren’t a dad-gum miracle!” Dave exclaimed. In an effort to understand the newfound ‘culture’ of his two best friends, Dave had begun watching Westerns religiously. Neither Bret nor Jemaine was entirely certain where he’d gotten the idea but they were both positive it hadn’t helped in the slightest. “Let’s start moving shit into the truck, little doggies.”

Jemaine, who was already doubly grumpy now that he’d had to finish himself off that morning and had apparently forgotten an anniversary he swore wasn’t happening that day, grew into steadily worse spirits as the day went on. Moving boxes hurt his back and made him sweaty and was generally more work than he ever liked to do, let alone on a day when he was particularly grumpy. By the end of it both Bret and Dave had given up on trying to get him to shoot the shit with them, though Jemaine was really only bothered by how this upset Bret. Because obviously he’d be upset about him forgetting an anniversary. He was just that kind of guy.

And here came Bret now, trotting down the stairs of Dave’s new apartment. No doubt he was about to ream him out for forgetting. “Hey, Jemaine, do you want to come with me to get the pizza—“

“I’m sorry! I forgot! Get off my back!” Jemaine blurted, arms flailing uselessly. He felt like a little time bomb that had just gone off after the hours of pressure he’d had to endure since Bret dropped the bombshell of his sudden amnesia. And Bret looked…

Well, he didn’t look angry so much as surprised. “Jemaine, it’s…it’s okay. Really. I didn’t expect you to remember this. I thought you might, what with waking me up and all, but…you know. It’s okay.”

Jemaine gaped. “Why are you so perfect?”

And now Bret’s surprised look morphed into one of puzzlement. “So…wait. You do remember?”

“Remember what?” Jemaine moaned, his arms flapping once more.

Bret’s face twitched, the only sign that ever betrayed his annoyance when he didn’t outright spell it out. “We’ll talk about it later, okay? For now, pizza for Dave’s housewarming party.”

“I thought he was having one later tonight,” Jemaine mumbled, rubbing one of his temples and trying not to worry about whatever they needed to talk about later.

“He is. But this is our party. We’ll miss the other one.” Jemaine was about to interject when Bret cut him off by extending a hand full of cash. “And Dave’s buying. We can get three toppings, man.”

Jemaine, who was apparently a sucker for toppings and hadn’t realized it, was distracted enough to drop the conversation, at least for just then.

They ventured to their favorite pizza place—a favorite because it was cheap, if not terribly good or terribly hygienic—fully intent on getting the most out of their three toppings option. Typically they’d get pepperoni for Jemaine and extra cheese for Bret, but beyond that they were frankly lost. What would work? What would be worth their extra cash? They certainly couldn’t waste this opportunity.

Hours later, they would admit that trying anchovies for the first time was probably a terrible idea in light of their not having this opportunity very often. But as they brought it back to Dave’s it seemed like a wonderful, exotic prospect. And as far as Jemaine was concerned, things were going pretty well because they weren’t apparently fighting. At least not yet.

“Jemaine, do you have any idea what anniversary it is for us today?” Bret asked as they stepped off the curb to jaywalk towards Dave’s apartment.

Jemaine gave him a look. “Pretty sure I made it clear that I don’t, man. I’m sorry.”

“No, no,” Bret said quickly, “It’s…it’s okay. But if you had to guess?”

Jemaine considered their relationship thus far. Sure, there had been some milestones he supposed were worth celebrating, but, well, the vast majority of them weren’t things you mentioned in polite company. Not generally. So that limited his choices, he supposed. “First date?”

Bret deflated noticeably and Jemaine felt his heart go with him. “No. Sort of…close. But no.”

Jemaine bit his lip. He could keep guessing, but he didn’t know if he could take it to see Bret crumble like that again. Stopping just outside the door to the flat, he said, “Maybe we should…later. When we’re alone.”

Bret nodded mutely and hit the buzzer to Dave’s flat, avoiding Jemaine’s eyes. The awkward silence wasn’t all that silent thanks to the rumbling of thunder in the distance, but it wasn’t the incoming storm that was urging them both inside faster. Unfortunately, fate had other plans.

“D—dudes,” a breathless and obviously annoyed Dave answered over the intercom.

“Dave, it’s us, we’ve got the—“ Bret began, only to be immediately cut off.

Brotherfucker, did you not see the sock?” Dave whispered shrilly. Confused, Jemaine and Bret looked around for the sock in question, only to discover it lying on the ground in front of the door.

Bret leaned into the intercom button again. “What about it, Dave? Just let us in, man, it’s going to rain—“

“Dude, this apartment is incognito.”

“…Disguised?” Jemaine translated quietly, exchanging an equally confused look with Bret.

“Not fucking—not incognito, ahh, occupado. Man. Got a total babe in here.” The intercom picked up some distant moans, which Bret and Jemaine had to admit sounded pretty eager. “Look, I gotta go guys,” Dave hissed, and then, loud enough to disturb the mother and her two young kids that were walking past the stoop, he added, “Here I come, Mrs. Stankowitz! Your chariot awaits!”

The not-quite-silence fell over them again as the intercom clicked off. Too dazed to speak, the two of them glanced dumbly at the woman and her children as they rushed away from the threatening…chariot. Jemaine had no idea what that one was about.

It took the skies opening up above them to shake them out of their stupor. Wordlessly, Bret held the pizza box over his head and ushered Jemaine underneath it. Huddling together to keep at least their hair out of the rain, they hurried home, apparently free from the customary friend-helping-their-friend-move duty of eating pizza and leaving a mess in their friend’s new flat.

It took an awkward (though whether this awkwardness was due to the comment about the chariot or their earlier fight, it was hard to say) and crowded bus ride to bring them back to the apartment, and when they arrived it was pouring even harder than before. Jemaine put a protective arm behind Bret as they ran up the rain-slick steps to their building and watched as Bret struggled to get his keys out of his pocket with one hand. And then struggled to get them into the lock, and struggled to get the key to turn.

Thunder cracked angrily above them. Bret leaned, apparently defeated, into the door. “Eugene changed the locks again.”

Whether he did this out of paranoia or a desire to toy with their lives was unclear, but the last time it had happened they’d had to wait outside for six hours until Eugene returned from wherever it was he went when he wasn’t haunting the elevator or skulking around their apartment pretending to fix things. At times, Jemaine wondered if he did things like this out of jealousy. He had, after all, admitted to giving Jemaine kisses on the cheek at night. Of course he would express his distaste for Jemaine and Bret’s relationship with another invasion of their privacy. It was only fitting.

“Fucking Eugene,” Jemaine muttered, rubbing his temple again, “Maybe we should’ve been the ones who moved today.”

Bret sighed, tugging Jemaine under the pizza with him. “Eugene’s not that bad. I mean, yeah he’s…kind of really weird, but, you know, he didn’t kick us out when we paid the rent in New Zealand dollars.” Bret paused, and then added, “I always kind of wonder why he didn’t.”

Jemaine cleared his throat awkwardly. “I don’t know,” he shot out, his voice too sharp and pointed to be inconspicuous but he soldiered on anyway, “Like you said, he’s just weird. He does weird things for weird reasons. Why do you even care?”

Bret winced back from his gruff words, looking a little more hurt than it called for. And then Jemaine remembered that this was supposed to be a special day, and that Bret had plans that were potentially ruined by them being locked out. And Jemaine had snapped at him.

Jemaine sighed, rolling his eyes back into his head and rubbing his temple even harder. “Fucking Dave, kicking us out.”

Bret spoke up again, his voice more timid this time, “Dave did get that apartment for…pretty much that reason, though.”

“Yeah,” Jemaine spat, unable to stop the barbs that tainted his words even as he realized they were unnecessary and only upsetting Bret further, “Whatever.”

Bret drooped. Jemaine sighed, and suddenly noticed that although they were both huddled under the slowly disintegrating pizza box, Bret was actually leaning away from him. Normally he’d be all up in Jemaine’s personal space.

This was the shittiest of shit days.

“Bret—“ Jemaine started, only to startle just as much as Bret did upon hearing his name. Bret blinked up at him with the eyes of someone who’d been lost in thought but wanted to listen now that you had their attention.

And Jemaine realized with perfect clarity that he didn’t really know what to say. Well, that was fucking brilliant. But he had to say something or else Bret would just get sadder and sadder and he could not stand that, not ever. “Bret, I’m sorry that…that today has sucked so much.”

This was, apparently, not what Bret had been looking for. “Whatever, Jemaine. It’s fine.”

“No—no, I mean. I’m sorry I’ve been so grumpy about it.”

Bret smiled affectionately. Okay, he was on the right track. “It’s alright. I mean, we started it off sort of badly, but it’ll get better. That’s how life works.”

Jemaine found himself boggling at Bret’s boundless optimism. Even when he was sad, he was happy. He did not understand it for a minute.

After a lengthy but more companionable pause than the earlier ones, Jemaine finally asked, “Bret, what anniversary is today?”

“Oh!” Bret exclaimed, having apparently forgotten that whole fiasco, “Oh, well, um. Today’s the fifth anniversary of the first time you kissed me, Jemaine…” It was cold, from the rain, and yet Bret’s cheeks were turning this impossible shade of pink. Jemaine watched this phenomenon with wide eyes as slowly, slowly, everything clicked into place.

“…Oh.” Oh. Of course today was an important day. He knew that. He really did—he remembered the exact date. Why had it escaped his memory until just now?

“Don’t worry about it, man,” Bret said suddenly, waving a dismissive hand, “You’re getting old.”

And well, didn’t that explain that.

It did not explain, however, why Bret was getting down on one knee suddenly. “Br---Bret?”

“This—“ Bret cleared his throat anxiously, digging around in his pockets, “This was what I was going to do, you know, later, but I think—I think this is the time, you know, it just seems—“

“Bret, what are you—“

“—like the right time, I mean, as much as any time is ever the right time and oh God, I’m rambling.” Bret exhaled loudly and held out his hand. Laying flat in his palm was a simple silver band. A ring.

A ring.

“Oh God, what…” Jemaine murmured eloquently, running his hands through his hair.

Bret dropped the soggy pizza box belatedly and smiled up at him. “Jemaine, I…I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And, you know, we can’t get married but, I reckon…I just want you to have this, okay? To…to prove it to us. So we know.”

Jemaine blinked, dazed. “Wait, so you’re just giving it to me?”

“…Yeah, basically,” Bret answered, looking a little more worried than was probably necessary.

“Then why’d you get down on one knee?” Jemaine demanded, laughing a little hysterically.

Bret blinked, clearly not finding this as funny as Jemaine did. “Reckon that’s how you do it.”

“Bret…” Jemaine dropped to his knees suddenly and pulled Bret forward by his lapels, kissing him roughly. Bret melted into it, pressing the fist holding the ring into Jemaine’s chest as he nearly toppled over into him. After a few more dizzying moments, they broke apart, smiling like idiots.

“That’s a yes, yeah?” Bret asked, leaning his forehead against Jemaine’s.

Jemaine nodded rapidly, keeping firm eye contact the whole time. Bret gave him a brilliant smile and kissed him again, until they were both breathless and shaking from the cold and the wet and Eugene was getting rather tired of waiting for them to stop so he could get to the door.

Oh, Eugene. “Sorry, Eugene. Got carried away.”

“Ah, young love,” Eugene murmured as the pair scuffled out of his way, “You know, I always knew you two would end up together. Ever since that day you came in my office, Jemaine, and you—“

Jemaine cleared his throat impulsively, feeling a bit silly for doing so without really thinking it through. But as of yet, there were just a few things he wasn’t ready to tell Bret about, and either way, he wasn’t about to let Eugene spill it. Thankfully, Eugene understood (the throat clearing, at least) and simply opened the door and gave them their individual keys.

“Hey, Jemaine,” Bret whispered, leaning in coyly as they rode the elevator up to their floor, “I think we can pick up where we left off this morning, now.”

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