Oliver in the Dumps
Thursday, December 15, 2005 – Evening
Oliver was staring at the clock across the room. He wasn't exactly sure how long he'd been staring, but he knew it had been around five when he'd sat down. It was after eight now. He'd missed dinner, but he wasn't really hungry. He shook his head and pushed himself back away from his desk. Maybe Percy had some fire whiskey. Or plain Muggle scotch. It couldn't hurt to ask, and he didn't want to be alone right now. He left, locking his rooms behind him, and moved quietly past Charlie's rooms. He pointedly did not look at the closed door.
It didn't take long to reach Percy's rooms. Oliver leaned against the doorframe and lightly rapped on Percy's door, carefully schooling his features into their customary blandness.
He wasn't expecting the knock on the door. In fact, Percy was half way into his tub when the knock came. With a sigh he pulled on a terrycloth bathrobe and made his way to the door. He blinked in surprise when Oliver was at his door. He had seen Oliver out of sorts the past few days but didn't want to pry in case he wanted to talk about it to Charlie.
"Ollie. Come in. Can I get you anything?" Percy asked.
Oliver smiled faintly. "Do you have anything alcoholic?" The smile widened, but still didn't reach his eyes. "Anything stronger than wine, I mean." He pushed himself away from the doorframe and walked past Percy into the room.
Percy closed the door behind him. "I have some Baijiu. It's from China. It's about one hundred and twenty proof and served warm. It's in my bathroom I was going to take a bath."
"Sure, I'll try anything once." Oliver wandered around the room, randomly touching things, not looking at Percy. "Is your tub like mine? Do you want me to go? I shouldn't interrupt your bath, I can go. The house elves can find me a bottle of something." He'd managed to get to the very far side of the room in his meanderings, and he turned back and headed toward the door again. "I'm sorry, Perce, I shouldn't just drop in unannounced. Go have your bath, I'll come another time."
Percy moved to stand between Oliver and the door and lightly touched his hand on Oliver's chest. "There is no need for you to go. I'd be glad of your company. However, we better have something to eat there as well. Baijiu can hit you very hard if you aren't used to it. Please go in and get comfortable. It's like yours only I've had more time to... improve it."
He immediately went into the kitchen and pulled out loaf of bread and some dip while he waited to see what Oliver would do.
"Is your loo through the bedroom, Perce?" Oliver turned again without waiting for a response, heading for the open bedroom door. He started stripping as he went, leaving a trail of clothes behind him and stopped dead in the doorway to the loo. "God, Perce, it's huge!"
Percy chuckled as he walked in behind Oliver carrying a tray. Beside the tub was a candle warming the alcohol and a single glass. Percy had the spare glass on his tray, "You have no idea how long it took me to master that space increasing charm. I think you will agree it is well worth it. Go on. Get in."
Oliver immediately crossed to the tub and slid in. "I doubt it took you long, you're brilliant. And this tub is absofuckinglutely brilliant!" He eased down against the pillow-soft side with a pleasure filled sigh. "What've you done to it to make it so cushy?"
"Leviathan leather." Percy sank down onto his side and poured them both a glass and handed Oliver one. "I got the idea when one wizarding hot pool in China had it. I vowed if I ever made one for myself I would find the spell for Leviathan leather."
"God, it's wicked." Oliver took the glass and sniffed at the liquid before sipping carefully. He gasped softly after it went down, eyes going wide. "'s good," he said, taking a larger swallow. He settled into the side of the tub and closed his eyes, and drank again.
Percy chuckled as he lightly sipped his own, "Careful now. This is stronger then Firewhiskey. Take it easy. And eat something between glasses. Trust me, helps avoid the stomach ache."
"I have an iron stomach." Oliver shifted and slid still further, so that the jets were shooting water right at the base of his spine and he was nearly submerged, only the arm ending with his drink and his head above water. He kept his eyes closed and kept drinking.
Percy watched his friend until he finished. Taking the glass from Oliver and slowly poured his friend another round. "What troubles you?"
Oliver opened his eyes just enough so that he could take the glass from Percy when it was full again, closing them again as soon as it was in his hand. "Oh, you know. Life. The universe." He snorted a soft laugh. "Everything." The last was said into the glass as he drank again.
Percy bit his lip as he translated what his friend was not saying. "Charlie."
"Charlie." Oliver lifted his shoulder in a shrug before shooting Percy a look out of the corner of his eye. "I was right, though, Perce. So I have no excuse." He raised his glass in a mocking toast, drained it, coughed, and set his glass down on the side of the tub. Pulling his arm in, he sunk down so that the water bubbled around his chin.
Percy frowned as he tried piece together what Oliver was talking about being right about. What did they disagree on? Then Percy remembered. Oliver said he was just a diversion and Percy disagreed. Percy took in how sad Oliver was and felt his heart squeeze. He was right. Oliver was in love with Charlie. Percy looked his glass and swirled his drink around inside it. He cleared his throat awkwardly, "A wise man once said to me not long ago that just because something didn't happen doesn't mean it's not supposed to hurt."
"I'm fine, really." Oliver gave Percy a too-bright smile. "He's brilliant at fucking. It's just wicked." He shivered slightly as his body remembered, his shoulder twitching with an echo of the throb he'd felt when Charlie had bit him there. Marked him. "There's no reason for it to hurt at all."
Percy couldn't look at Oliver while he said this. His voice sounded as if it were coming from far away. "Yes there is. You always thought he hung the moon. The golden opportunity landed in your lap. You hoped for something more. Losing hope, no matter how remote, elusive or half formed is painful."
Percy realized that this maudlin line was definitely not helping as he pulled back to the matter at hand. He closed his eyes and resolutely killed his own lingering idle half day dreams that floated around in school. He could almost hear them snap like celery. "Besides, are you really certain? What makes you say that? My brother is never one to just be utterly casual in intimate matters. He has to care for the person on some level."
Oliver cracked his eyes open to look at Percy. "He said there's someone else." He laughed softly. "Then he fucked me into the hay." He closed his eyes again. "It was just a crush. We're still friends, and he'll still fuck me."
Percy looked away. He couldn't believe how callus that sounded. Even after what his brother had done to him he had a hard time believing Charlie could do something like that to Oliver. He'd deal with the revelation that Charlie was in love with someone later. Since Charlie had not informed him, himself, he would have to keep any investigations about who it was private.
"You deserve more than that from someone. You deserve to want someone who will give more than that. If you will forgive my saying it was one very powerful crush." Percy's voice cracked. He couldn't continue down this line. His voice wouldn't let him.
Percy bit his lip and hesitated, "Besides, someone informed me recently that there are those people who are capable of loving more then one person. Perhaps... time could prove Charlie is such a person so there would be room in his heart for you and this other person."
"It doesn't matter, Percy. It wasn't that big a crush; it was only that it was such a long crush." Oliver shrugged again. "He said he can't be with whoever it is anyway, so I'll just let him fuck me until things change, I guess. Love is all well and good, but sex is bloody brilliant." He managed a smile. "It's better this way. Is there more of that Chinese stuff?"
Percy nodded and simply handed Oliver his own barely drunk glass. Oliver deserved a lot better than what he was asking for. To just be someone's good time Friday until the person they really wanted came by. Maybe someday soon it would be time to talk to Charlie. Death when he spoke might not be swift or painless but someone had to set Charlie straight about Oliver. Oliver at least deserved to know he was more than just casual moments.
However, none of that future work mattered right now. Oliver was here and needed him to give what comfort he'd accept. He floated over to Oliver to sit next to him. He placed one arm around his friend's shoulders and kissed his forehead, offering silent physical comfort.
Oliver had already finished Percy's drink by the time Percy's arm slid around him, and he put Percy's glass next to his own before letting his head rest against Percy's shoulder with a sigh. "Sorry," he muttered.
"No reason to be sorry. This is what friends are useful for. Airing out problems so they don't fester." Percy smirked. "Then cheering you up so the problems don't seem quite so bad. Or at least get you plastered enough so you don't remember your problems." Percy searched his brain for a topic which could distract Oliver. "I see the Slytherin team this year has a fair trio of Chasers. They are going to plough right over the weak Ravenclaw beaters and seekers."
"Bloody snakes," Oliver mumbled. "The 'claws's Seeker is halfway decent if he can just stay focused. He's too easily distracted. But yeah. Their Beaters are nearly hopeless. I think the 'puff team is going to end up surprising everyone, though. They fly together as if they've been doing just that for years. Almost a hive mind, those kids." He laughed softly. "It's a bit scary, to be honest." His head was spinning pleasantly. "That's some good drink, those Chinese make. I guess you found it when you were over there."
"Yes. I found a lot of interesting things while I was there." Percy said with a smile and a teasing wink, "Would you like some for Christmas? I figured I might as well ask you what you'd like. I doubt you'll remember my asking you in the morning."
"Sure." Oliver rolled his head on Percy's shoulder and grinned up at him sloppily. "And I'll remember. Always remember." A frown flickered over his face but quickly faded as he closed his eyes and tucked his nose into Percy's neck. "What else you find?" he slurred, sliding his arms around Percy's waist under the water.
Percy just leaned into Oliver, resting his chin on Oliver's neck. This felt so comfortable, wonderful and perfect. "I found breathtaking beauty in architecture and scenery. I met the stranger that myself as a member of the British Isles. The more I found different around me the more I found the same. I met someone who thought you were the best keeper in the world and kept peppering me with questions about what you were like at school. Don't worry, I didn't tell her any of the really embarrassing moments. Well, except for the fact during your first game at school you took a bludger to the head two minutes in."
Oliver laughed helplessly. "Wicked, a Chinese fan. One with taste!" he added grandiosely. "I am the..." His voice trailed off. After several seconds he said, "I was the best Keeper in the world." All the pain and loss he normally ignored was in his voice. Embarrassed, he coughed and pushed away from Percy without looking at him.
He dunked himself under the water, coming back up almost immediately and wiping the water from his face with both hands before moving back to Percy's side. "Percy," he said in an exaggerated whisper, wincing as it echoed around the room. "Percy," he said again in a more normal tone as he cupped Percy's face with both hands and met his gaze seriously, if not soberly. "Don't say anything to Charlie, yeah? I mean, you wouldn't, 'cause you aren't talking, but don't anyway." He grinned as if he hadn't a care in the world. "'snot like it matters. Is there more of that stuff? Where's the bottle?"
Percy kept Oliver's gaze. "I promise. I won't say a word to Charlie about this. Mainly because they are your choices." Percy quietly poured Oliver more into his glass. He really didn't want Oliver to be drinking from the bottle.
"I hope you will come to realize, as I've known for years, you are a lot more than just a great Quidditch player." Percy said, his voice soft with the honesty of it. "You are brave, kind, loyal, generous, caring, can find the fun in any situation and intelligent. Not to mention a smile that causes cardiac arrest, a voice that makes you beautiful to those who are blind and an arse that would make a grown man weep."
Oliver stared at Percy, speechless. "God, Perce. I, I don't know what to say." He began to blush, a slow red that started in his cheeks and spread down his throat and over his chest. "Except I'm not that smart." He looked down and then almost immediately glanced back up at Percy from the corner of his eye with an embarrassed smile that grew into a grin with wicked edges. "You like my arse?"
Percy handed Oliver his refill on his glass. "A thank you would suffice. And there are many different kinds of 'smart' Oliver. Books might not be your strength but you have your own cleverness. You think extraordinarily well on your feet. You can anticipate things. That is my weakness. I take so long to think things through that by the time I decide on an action, the time has already passed. As for your arse, it is hard not to like it. From an artistic point of view, I've a hard time finding its equal. However, that is not... my personal favorite physical feature on you."
"Thank you, then." The grin widened and grew even wicked, and Oliver hoped vaguely that he really would remember this in the morning. He nudged Percy with an elbow. "So, what is your favorite, if it's not my arse?" He snickered.
Percy began to fervently hope that Oliver wouldn't remember this. He felt his face warm. "Hands. You've got good strong hands." Clearing his throat Percy poured himself a glass. "So how are your classes doing?"
Oliver started to look down at his hands - square, with long fingers, callused from years of handling brooms and Quaffles - and in spreading them nearly dropped his glass. He settled for examining one hand as he sipped at his drink. While he understood an odd fascination with non-sexual bits (he'd always liked the look of sturdy wrists and bare forearms, himself) he didn't quite understand what Percy saw in his plain hands. "They're doing well," he said absently. "I have a couple who can't seem to steer themselves, but on the whole, they're fair flyers."
Percy could feel himself breathe a sigh of relief. Oliver was drunk enough to be easily distracted, he likely won't remember what he's said. He really did like Oliver's hands; they were strong and yet could handle the tiniest of adjustments and gentlest movements needed to fly well. It was the controlled strength he admired. "Any of them the utter catastrophe I was on a broom?"
Oliver gave up on his hands. He grinned at Percy and drank again. "You weren't - and aren't - an utter catastrophe, Perce." Oliver settled and relaxed against Percy. "There's only one who I really don't think will ever be comfortable on a broom." He yawned unexpectedly then laughed. "Sorry."
Percy chuckled, "No worries. If you need a place to sleep, my place is always available, Lao pung yo."
"Wassat mean?" Oliver mumbled through another yawn. He finished off his drink and set the glass down so he could wrap his arms around Percy again.
"It means Old Friend." Percy replied as Oliver came close to him. Percy put one arm around the other man's shoulders and buried his nose in Oliver's hair. He savored this for the rare and precious thing it was. "You are getting sleepy. Perhaps I should move you to where you will sleep tonight so we don't turn into prunes?"
"Innaminnit." Oliver sighed. He didn't want to move, it sounded like too much effort. "Not sleepy, just drunk."
"And in a happy drunk as well." Percy chuckled, "Perhaps a little bit of affectionate drunk, Bao bay?"
Oliver laughed and kissed Percy's neck. "Usually am." One hand started to slowly creep towards Percy's groin, quite obvious in its intent. "I like touching."
Percy gently moved the hand wandering towards his groin to near Oliver's other hand to restore the safe hug. "Touching is nice, I agree."
Oliver snickered again. "Still won't let me play with your Snitch." He squeezed Percy briefly and closed his eyes. "What d'you want for Christmas, Perce?"
"Oh the usual. World peace, an end to world hunger and a cure for cancer. But I'll settle for some new quills, sealing wax and parchment." Percy rubbed Oliver's shoulder, feeling the strong muscles under the silken skin. "And I'll let you play when I'm good and ready to."
"I'll hold you to that, Percy." Oliver shifted. "Guess we ought to get out." He nuzzled at Percy's neck again before pulling away. "Can do it myself, though." He stood up in the tub and promptly fell over.
Percy was suddenly very thankful the tub was soft. Otherwise he could have a bleeding quidditch star in his bathroom. With a smile Percy reached out and took a hold of Oliver, "I'm a little unsteady myself. Perhaps we can help each other?"
With that Percy managed to get them both up and out of the tub. Percy grabbed his wand and cast a spell to dry them both. Looking critically at his friend he realized there was no way that Oliver would make it back to his rooms and into bed. Deciding quickly, Percy walked Oliver to his bed and carefully tucked him in. Percy then dressed in flannel sleep pants and shirt. Pulling out a spare set, he offered them to Oliver.
Oliver watched Percy in a drunken daze, blinking slowly. When Percy offered him pajamas, he shook his head and then closed his eyes as the motion made the room spin. "Never wear 'em," he said, eyes still closed. He felt very alone suddenly and cracked one eye to see Percy turning away. "Don't go, Percy." He reached out one hand to grab at Percy's arm.
Percy looked at Oliver for a long while. What would happen if I did stay? Would Oliver regret it in the morning? Would I? Would anything happen that shouldn't? Would I turn in the night and smack Oliver in the nose? What would happen if I didn't? Would Oliver take it as rejection? Would I lose my one chance?
Finally Percy felt his feet walk him towards the bed and started to crawl into it. "I'll stay, Bao Bay. As long as I am welcome."
Oliver relaxed, yawning again before grinning sloppily. "It's your bed, Perce." As soon as Percy was settled, Oliver curled himself around the other man with a sigh. "Thanks. Maybe I am tired."
Percy pressed a kiss to Oliver's forehead, "Sleep well. Things will look better in the morning."