It’s #1lineWed again! Today’s “Context is Key” entry in the Secret Files comes from Holy – the theme was humor, after all!
Artemio felt Matti shifting on his chest as Marina shouted down Luca’s protests. He was so relaxed, his lips occasionally pressing against his throat, his fingers warm against the back of Artemio’s hand, that this time he didn’t worry. He grinned as Luca reached out and clapped a hand over Marina’s mouth to shut her up, at least long enough that he could get a word in.
“You’re drunk. Seriously, do you hear yourself? The second one is the shitty one, Jason vs. Necromancer Moon Unicorn three is Stabbin’ Fever.”
Marina pulled Luca’s hand off her mouth, took another drink and shook her head emphatically. “No it’s two, three’s from 2029 and it has the Cyberwar crap in it -”
Luca looked contemplative, but Artemio nudged the back of his head with a knee. “Nobody cares, because we’re not watchin’ anything with Necromancer Moon Unicorns.”
“But boss man -”
“I’m with Art on this one. Gotta add it to the list – no driving for Yuyi, nobody go to Luca’s house, and no picking movies for Marina when she’s drunk.”
“Fuck you – and you – and…and Taj again.”
“No, you just keep fuckin’ Taj, I got enough on my plate.”
“The hell now? That’s like the third time tonight, who said I was screwing Marina?”
“I mean not like I’d say no, but -”
“Seriously, what gives?”
“I would like to say something if you’d both SHUT UP.”
Two pairs of eyes turned in Marina’s direction.
“Artemio’s a prick and I will never fuck Taj.” Without further ado, Marina slugged the rest of the bottle, then rolled it away across the floor and threw her head back. “Next!”
Artemio nudged Taj with an elbow, looked back at him over his shoulder. “Artemio, she says. Look at that, you got her to use my actual name.”
“I got her to? I think this one’s all you, Art.”
“Uh-huh, whatever. But anybody gives her another bottle I’m settin’ Yuyi on ‘em.”
“Oh? Oh? Oh? Yes? Yes…”
Artemio glanced down at her, suddenly alert, her head lifted, her eyes bright. “Don’t be too eager or nothin’…”
Luca reached up a hand, waved it around.“I want a bottle. Or a glass, even. Since, y’know. Marina drank the whole rest of the first one.” Luca scowled around, irritated, but nobody made to get up, and he scowled harder. “Seriously, I gotta get it myself?”
Artemio shrugged. “I’m not getting up. And that means Matti’s not getting up, or Taj, either.” Luca glared at him, then shrugged.
“And Marina can’t stand.” He tossed a hopeful glance in Svava’s direction, and she lifted an eyebrow.
“You are a lazy man.”
“I’m an old man.”
“You are only forty seven. I came into being more than two thousand years ago, but I am not whining about old age.”
“You don’t get achy.”
“I will be kind and bring you a glass, and the bottle, as I wish for a drink myself. But it does not change that you are a lazy man. And you, Taj?”
“No, thanks. I gotta drive, and dealing with Marina’s gonna be hell as it is.”
“Hmmm…this, I think you are right about. Artemio, is your glass full? Should I make offering to your lover?”
Artemio jerked his gaze up to her face. “To my – Matti? Fuck no, he’s had enough twice over.” There was giggling against his chest, then laughter, and Artemio only sighed. “See? Look at this. As I was gonna say before, I didn’t mean to even get him drunk, but I fucked up pourin’ outta the bottle and onto the altar. Which I’ve never done before. Also I got no idea how much it takes to set him off, I mean he’s got this wine, and he never got like this off that.”
“Yes, Artemio. But you?”
“Eh…yeah, I could use a splash.” He sipped at his glass, stretched his leg until he felt Luca’s shoulder against his knee, cold through his sweatpants. Svava came back with the bottle and a pair of glasses, topped off Artemio’s drink then stepped around the couch to give Luca his.
“Thanks, Svava. Life-saver, really.”
“I am not getting up again to give you the bottle -”
“Eh, you can throw at it me. Or I’ll just make Marina get it, that’ll be fun. So anyone gonna pick a movie or not?”
Artemio leaned his head back against Taj and closed his eyes. “I never finished watchin’ Terminal Glory but I think the noise might scare Matti into another incarnation. Unless he’s passed out alr-” Mouth. Tongue against his lips, so hot, so sudden he almost dropped his glass of whiskey. Matti kissed him hard enough to steal his breath, then pulled back and stared at him with eyes that were burning with brightness.
“Not passed out, not sleeping, not anything, only waiting, wanting – waiting.” Another kiss, somehow sharper and softer both, and then Matti slid back down Artemio’s chest and turned to the face the Wall again. Artemio blinked down at the top of his head, licked his lips, then lifted his glass carefully around Matti and transferred it to the hand resting on the back of the couch.
“Well. Guess that answers that – but I still don’t wanna watch it. Anybody else got a suggestion?” Artemio slung his gaze around the room – Jer only lifted an eyebrow, and Sváva blinked at him dispassionately. Yuyi’s eyes were closed, her breathing steady, and he couldn’t see Marina or Luca at all, turned his head and peered up at Taj out of one eye, met his gaze and the shrug in it.
“Don’t look at me.”
Artemio sighed. “We’re gonna end up watching moon unicorns, aren’t we?”
And, as always happened eventually, random movie titles began to bounce around the room. “Imperfect Suicide?”
“Seen it. Sucked. Last Call?”
“You think everything sucked. And Last Call is almost four hours long, I don’t wanna listen to the boss snoring for that long. The Omen?”
“Luca, nobody is ever gonna wanna watch The Omen. Why do you always suggest it?”
He shrugged, a movement Artemio felt against his leg. “Better than Robocop?”
“Oh you dinn’t – don’even – Rob’cops th’best. Well, almos’. Alien’s reall’ th’bes’.”
“Christ, Mari. Just…don’t even talk. Though…actually. What about Alien?” Artemio scanned the room, got shrugs and shrugged himself. “Fine, at least it’s somethin’. Wall, find movie, Alien.” It came up almost at once. “Play. Hey, Matti. Matti -”
“Hmmmm? Master. Master? You need -”
“No, just – ‘s gonna get loud. Eventually. If it scares you, you don’t have to -”
“Master. It doesn’t scare me, it’s just…loud.”
Taj was snickering again, and Artemio shoved an elbow back into his ribs – but then the movie credits zoomed in from space to the interior of the ship, and Matti wiggled back against him, and Artemio gave up his scowl for a sip of bourbon and pressed his lips against the back of Matti’s neck.
By the time the movie was a half hour in, the soft whiskey scent had left Matti’s skin, and his mouth only tasted like sweetness when Artemio bent to kiss him, testing. In the light from the Wall, his eyes were clear now, and Artemio leaned back satisfied.
It was the softest whisper, pleased and warm. Matti wiggled back against him again, slipped his hand over Artemio’s hand and pushed it down to his waist, then his hip.
Artemio lifted an eyebrow, hooked his thumb into the waistband of Matti’s borrowed sweatpants and pressed his lips against his throat again, brought his mouth up to Matti’s ear and nipped the curve of it. “You be good.”
But Matti turned against him, pressed back and wiggled, wouldn’t be still until Artemio’s erection settled against the curve of his ass, and then he rocked against it.
“Matti enough!” He hissed it sharply, truly annoyed now. Hadn’t he made it clear enough that he wanted him? Didn’t the fucking hard on that’d been jabbing him in the back for the last hour prove it? “Enough.” Softer, irritated at himself now for being so sharp, he tightened his grip on Matti’s waist.
Matti shivered once and went still against him, eyes on the screen – but Artemio wondered, because there was no worry on his face, and he was still relaxed…even though that hadn’t been the case before, when he’d been sharp with him.
What had changed? Was it that there was someone else here with them now? Instead of paying attention to the movie, which he’d seen before, Artemio sipped at his drink, closed his eyes and contemplated the riddle that was Matti.
Obedience. But even if that was his nature, it obviously wasn’t the whole of him – wasn’t everything – or he wouldn’t resist. Or does he? Or…was he…
By the end of the movie, with Matti still and no longer trying to entice him, Artemio had dozed off. He always did, couldn’t help it – the dark did him in, and the alcohol, and the warmth of familiar presences, the knowledge of their safety which was the whole point of the evening. The difference was that this time, when he cracked his eyes open to the sounds of people moving around, felt Taj’s body moving out from under his head, there was one point of warm contact that didn’t move away.
Matti was still against his chest, his eyes closed, his breathing even and deep. He was glowing that soft glow again, asleep and perfect, and four pairs of eyes were staring at him that weren’t Artemio’s. Jer was already gone, and Yuyi was pacing by the door, waiting for Svava, but the rest –
He shifted his glance from one to the other and grumbled at them. “What’re you lookin’ at? Why are you still all here? Get.” Warmth tickled his chin as Matti turned his head, waking, rubbed his cheek against Artemio’s chest, and looked up at him.
“Master, should I get rid of them for you?” That scattered the rest of team. Artemio grinned, waved them all off and snickered at Taj’s back as he helped Marina stumble swearing out the door. It clicked shut, and Matti kissed Artemio’s throat in the same instant.
“You are awake now, Master? You were sleeping, so I slept with you – I did not like that movie. Everyone kept dying.”
Artemio chuckled, shook his head. “Yeah, I know. And I’m…awake? Mmmm…sorta. Kinda. Maybe.” He yawned, shifted, and Matti sat up, slipped off the side of the couch and knelt beside him. “Why, there somethin’ you wanna do?” He asked the question even though he knew exactly what Matti wanted to do, and the thought brought back the last thing that had been on his mind before he dozed off.
“No. No, not -” But he was biting his lip that way he did so often, leaning forward, and Artemio pushed himself up on one arm and leaned over the edge of the couch. He kissed him deeply, fully, smirked and came far more awake at the sound of Matti’s moan.
“What if there’s something I wanna do?”
“Like take you.”
“Oh. Oh -”
“I made you a promise…though I seem to remember somebody gettin’ handsy. In the middle of the movie – in fronta my whole goddamn team.” He lifted an eyebrow, reached out to tug at Matti’s hair the way he knew he liked, watched his lips part, his eyes darken. “Somebody who knows better.”
Matti’s gaze was innocent, but that innocence uncompelling. “Master, you never said not to-”
“Rub all over me? Kiss me like a dyin’ man? Try to make me fuck you right here, in front of my team? Cause you got me this close -” Artemio kissed him roughly, tugged harder at the hair in his grip and then forced himself to let go.