Title: Silly Earth Traditions
Prompt: 616 | Shatterstar, Rictor (X-Force) | Slash | Shatterstar has a surprise for Rictor and he's trying so hard not to tell him.
Rated: PG-13 for language.
Word Count: 5696
Disclaimer: The characters and settings featured in this story are the property of Marvel Entertainment. This is a work of homage and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Thanks to betterthanlegos for the beta. All other mistakes are my own. :)
“Don’t tell me you two bums are just gonna sit in front of the TV all week,” Tabitha Smith folded her arms in front of her chest as she stared down at her two X-Force team mates. Rictor and Shatterstar both leaned to the side to look around her, seemingly ignoring her question. The blonde girl sighed and snapped a bubble with her gum. “You get a whole week of vacation and all you care about is…” she turned around and glanced at the screen. “Yo! MTV Raps?! Again? Ick!”
“Shut up and move,” Rictor rolled his eyes.
“Whatever, shaky, I’m outta here,” she tossed her arms up in the air as she walked off. “You’ll be the one complaining though when Cable has us back here in a week from now and all you two did was laze around like a coupla slobs!”
“Maybe I like to laze,” Rictor muttered under his breath.
Shatterstar, on the other hand, did not agree. “I do not like to ‘laze’. Why do we need such a thing called ‘vacation’? I don’t care for the concept.”
“Because you can’t just work all year around,” the Mexican explained with a wave of his hand. “People like to have breaks so they can spend some time on their own. You know, do things that they like.”
“I like to train,” Shatterstar insisted.
"Yeah, no kiddin’. Trust me, amigo, it won’t kill you if you just take it easy a bit.”
The Mojoworlder frowned at that, and before he could reply, he was distracted by two more team mates making their way through the living room with suitcases. “Where are you going, Theresa?”
The redhead grinned down at him. “Jimmy an’ I are takin’ a trip back to
“What are you guys doing?” Warpath stepped up behind Siryn and glanced down at the two boys. “Got any interesting plans?”
Rictor just shrugged languidly. “I don’t have a castle to go home to.”
“I don’t have a castle either,” Shatterstar paused and furrowed his eyebrows. “I couldn’t get home anyways.”
Jimmy just laughed at that and slapped a hand down on the warrior’s shoulder. “I’m sure you guys will find something to do. Everyone else is leaving; you’ll have the place to yourselves.”
“No, just our team and Guthrie are leaving. The rest of the X-Men are still here,” Shatterstar pointed out.
“Ye know what he meant,” Terry rolled her eyes and shouldered her duffel bag. “Anyhow, ye better behave! Have a good break!”
“See ya,” Rictor waved.
Shatterstar just turned back around to face the television without a word. It was going to be strange hanging around the institute without his team mates there, but he was sure he could handle it. What could possibly go wrong? And besides, he had Rictor around to keep him company and there was nothing at all bad about that. However, he still wondered what the point was of all of these excursions his team mates chose to go on. “Julio?”
“What is the sense in them just leaving with each other? They all have many plans.”
Rictor sighed and peered over at him through the corner of his eye. “They like to spend time together. If they can get away for awhile, they can have privacy. That way they get each other all to themselves. Tab and Sam will probably just suck face the whole time, and who even knows what’s going on with Terry and Jim.” He ran a hand through his hair and shrugged. “Bobby’s probably got some other babe up in line that he’s trying to hook up with, and I don’t even want to know what the hell Cable and Domino are doing. Probably the same thing as Tab and Sam. Except I heard they go on cheesy romantic dates.”
“Really?” Shatterstar scrunched up his face.
Ric nodded. “Yeah, well that’s what Sammy said.”
“Who’d want to do that?”
“I don’t know, people who love each other maybe?” the Mexican slouched and folded his arms over his chest. “You know, sometimes people who date actually do nice things for each other. They go out and they laugh and have fun. It’s not unheard of.”
“We don’t do that.”
“No kidding,” Rictor mumbled. Shatterstar just stared at him. What was he implying?
“What’s your problem?”
“Nothing!” Rictor defended, and slouched further. “I’m just saying that’s what normal couples do. Maybe we just aren’t a normal couple, ever think of that?!”
‘Star just blinked. “Why are we not normal?”
Rictor shrugged again and glared at the television screen, and Shatterstar sighed dejectedly as he sat back in his seat. It was certain aspects of being involved in a romantic relationship that still baffled him. While he was able to get over touching issues and keeping himself happy by remaining in Julio’s company, he still sucked at giving compliments and he still sucked at all things romantic. How was he even supposed to know what was romantic!? The only people he had to learn from were those on his team, and they were hardly ones to take examples from. They were all involved in male-female relationships, and somehow Shatterstar got the feeling that Rictor would not be too happy if he treated him like a ‘girlfriend’.
On the contrary though, sometimes the female members of his team did things for their boyfriends that made them happy. They gave them presents and took them out places. Sometimes they even surprised them, and that always seemed to lead to things such as hugging and kissing. Was Rictor really all that romantic though?
Shatterstar peered over at the Mexican; he was still sulking. He would not ever admit it though. Rictor was much too macho.
Still, maybe it was time ‘Star attempted something that would prove to Julio that maybe, someday, they could be a normal couple. Just because they were both men, one was an alien, and they both liked to fight and blow stuff up did not mean they weren’t normal! Fekt, he was a warrior born! He could take on any challenge at all thrown at him, and this challenge was no different.
Shatterstar grinned triumphantly and got to his feet. “Bye, Julio.”
“What!? Where are you going!?” Rictor demanded.
“I’ll be back in approximately one hour!”
“Madre de Dios,” Rictor groaned and dropped his face into his hands.
Shatterstar had lied. It had taken a little more than an hour, but when he got back that evening, Rictor had been sleeping on the sofa anyways. The Mojoworlder stood tall above the furniture and stared down at his slumbering mate. Julio had one leg bent upward and an arm tossed over his eyes. His lips were parted slightly, and his breathing was very light. Shatterstar shoved his hand toward the Mexican’s face.
“¡Chingar! Que pas—huh? What the hell are you doing!?”
Shatterstar’s gaze did not falter. “I brought you this gift. It is part of my request for you to accompany me ‘out’ tonight.”
Rictor looked down at the handful of ‘gift’ in Shatterstar’s grasp. “Dandelions? What the hell do you want me to do with those?! And where do you want to go?”
“Dandelions are flowers, and flowers are a gesture one would make towards their mate,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes as if it were the most obvious answer in the whole world. “And I…uhm, I cannot tell you where. I am under the impression it is supposed to be a surprise.”
Rictor stared down at the yellow weeds incredulously and swallowed. “Uhm…okay. You want it to be a surprise but you already told me you’re taking me out?”
“Yes,” the warrior nodded and shifted his weight onto his other foot. “I want—uhm, hmmm. I don’t really know what I am doing.”
Julio burst out laughing at that. “Yeah, no shit.”
“No, I do!” Shatterstar corrected and shook his head; he could not let Rictor see any sort of insecurity! He had it all under control. “Uhm, it’s just a surprise and you need to get dressed.”
“Okay, what am I supposed to wear?”
Shatterstar hadn’t really thought of that. “Just wear what you like, I guess. I did not know there was supposed to be a certain way.”
“Well if you tell me where we’re going, then maybe I’d know,” Ric pointed out.
“No!” Shatterstar scoffed. “You will not win this so easily! It is a surprise, and you cannot try and trick me into telling you!”
“Okay, okay.” Julio held up his hands and got up off the couch. “Sheesh, I’ll be right down.”
Shatterstar nodded as he watched him go; so far it was somewhat harder than he originally thought. However, the night was not over yet, and he would not see defeat!
“Do you have a reservation, sir?”
Shatterstar glared at the balding host and folded his arms. “No, I just want to eat. I have money.”
“But you need a reservation,” he repeated impatiently. “I’m not sure what you are attempting to prove, young man, but this is a semi-formal establishment and you’re here in your street clothes without a reservation.”
Rictor just blinked. “Uh…we can go somewhere else.”
“No,” Shatterstar scoffed. “I see empty tables over there! Just let us in!”
“Just one moment,” the man replied irritably through clenched teeth. He spun on his heel and stalked toward the kitchen, most likely attempting to speak to his subordinate. Good. Shatterstar just rolled his eyes and stared down at Rictor. “We should sneak in. With my abilities they would never catch us.”
Rictor just shook his head amusedly. “They’d still have to serve us, cariño. Just simmer down, eh? If we can’t get in here, we can go somewhere else.”
“But that would mean they won, and I won’t allow that,” Shatterstar declared stubbornly. Rictor just sighed and folded his arms as the host returned
“I can seat you gentlemen this time, but next time you have to have a reservation,” the plump man informed them. “It’s policy.”
The two teens just nodded and were led away to a table in the middle of the room. A few heads turned as they walked by; the patrons appeared to be more upper class than them, and they were dressed much more formally. Whatever, Shatterstar did not care for their petty staring. They simply sat at their table and were given menus. Rictor grinned crookedly at the warrior across the table. “So this was your surprise, huh? Takin’ me out for supper?”
Shatterstar shrugged. “I guess. Apparently it is something ‘normal’ people do, so I supposed I would try it. The advertisement for this particular place said it was the best Mexican cuisine in the city.”
Ric beamed and trailed his eyes down the pages of the menu. “Dios, I haven’t eaten anything like this in forever!”
“Good, choose whatever you want,” ‘Star offered.
“You’re sure being casual about this. At least to me you are. You didn’t have to be so pushy with the host though.”
“Fekt, he’s an insufferable fool. I just want you to be happy so that you don’t spend your week sulking.”
“You’re only taking me out so I don’t sulk?”
“That’s what people do, don’t they?”
“How charming of you,” Julio hissed.
“Hello my name is Gabby and I’ll your--” a tall, long legged Latino woman stared down at Shatterstar with wide eyes as she stopped midsentence. A wide smile stretched across her lips and she cleared her throat. “It’ll be my pleasure to serve you tonight, sir.”
“Oh here we go,” Rictor muttered as he dropped his chin into his hand.
“What dish do you recommend as your best?” Shatterstar questioned.
She placed a hand on her hip and flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Are you looking for something hot?”
“If…that is what…you recommend?” Shatterstar shrugged confusedly.
“Well in that case, I know of a great spicy dish that’ll get your blood--”
“I’ll take shrimp tostada and some bolillo,” Rictor cut her off before she could start her spiel.
The girl just eyed him quickly and scribbled down on her paper. She looked back to ‘Star and grinned. “You know, I’d bet that you’d just love--”
She was cut off again when the table shook abruptly. She hopped back at the sudden movement and dropped her notepad to the floor. Rictor stared across the table at her looking rather annoyed. “Why don’t you just get him some huevos rancheros and be on your way, chica.”
Shatterstar just blinked and peered down at the mess on the floor. He leaned over in his chair to grab it, but the waitress just placed her hands on his shoulders, clutching the fabric of his shirt with her long fingernails. “I’ll get that, sir, don’t worry.”
The warrior opened his mouth to speak, but she quickly spun around and bent over in front of him to grab it herself. She shook her hips slightly as she attempted to show off her ‘assets’. Shatterstar just looked at Julio again with wide eyes, but the Mexican looked annoyed once more. That was not a good start. “Uhm…okay. I uhm…huh,” ‘Star scratched his head and sighed; he was never really good at dealing with such things.
“Just a little mess, sweetheart, don’t you worry,” she stood tall again and flashed him a grin. “So where you from? I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before.”
“Well that would make sense since he’s not Mexican,” Rictor deadpanned.
“Oh gosh is that a tattoo on your eye?”
“No,” Shatterstar replied impatiently and gestured to the menu. “Maybe we just need some more time to decide.”
“Yeah, alone,” Rictor huffed again.
“I’ll give you all the time in the world, honey,” Gabby winked at Shatterstar and placed her hand on his shoulder again. “You can give me a call over here anytime, okay--”
Finally fed up, Rictor pointed a green glowing hand at her and sent a tremor through the ground strong enough to make her slip on her feet. Shatterstar jumped from his seat and stared at him. “Why are you attacking her?! Is she a robot!? Shall I cancel her?”
“No, she’s just clumsy,” Rictor replied casually.
“That was you?!” she hissed and got to her feet. “How dare you! Are you some kind of a freak? Hijo de puta!”
“Excuse me?” Rictor glared at her. “You can’t swear at a customer, cabrona!”
“Maybe you should bring…food?” Shatterstar helped straighten her up.
“Thank you!” she practically melted against him.
Ric narrowed his eyes at the warrior. “She called me a freak.”
“You assaulted me!”
“Is there a problem here?” a man in a suit came out to the dining area from the back kitchen. “Why are your hands all over my staff?”
Shatterstar lifted his hands in the air. “I was--”
“That staff just verbally assaulted me,” Rictor accused. “I want a different server.”
“Poppa! He is a mutant! That mad man used his powers against me and nearly destroyed the restaurant!”
Shatterstar pinched the bridge of his nose; the mutant hysteria just had to start. Rictor’s face was getting redder and redder with the more things the woman spoke, and ‘Star knew that his short fuse was ready to blow. He circled the table and looked down at his friend. “Julio, I--”
“I do not allow mutants in my establishment,” the suited man pointed toward the door. “I want you to leave before I phone the police.”
“I didn’t do anything!” Rictor defended. “It was an earthquake! You can’t prove a thing!”
“You’ve been a difficulty from the start! You did not have a reservation, you are not properly dressed, you inappropriately touch my staff, and you are a risky mutant! I cannot have this!” the man spoke low under his breath in a very thick accent. Heads were turned all around the restaurant; they had made a scene and they were not even there ten minutes. “Leave now.”
“Your service sucks anyways!” Rictor yelled and instantly stormed out of the restaurant. Shatterstar just blinked and tried to figure out if perhaps he should fight for this. He knew he could take out the man very easily; he was fat and very clearly out of shape.
“Can I get your number?” the girl asked him.
Shatterstar just peered down at her and glowered. “You ruined my date. Now he will most definitely sulk all week, and I am unsure how to reverse this. You are an insufferable Spiral sucking monkey who needs to control herself. Fekt, get out of my way.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Date!?”
Shatterstar just rolled his eyes and chased after Rictor.
They were back to sitting in front of the television again.
Rictor had not said anything about the incident the night before, and Shatterstar was not about to ask him. Staying away from difficult conversations was often best, he had learned, as they often led to fights. However, Rictor did not appear to be angry at him; it was more than likely he had just had one of his spazzes because that woman was giving him unwanted attention. Julio had a lot of insecurities – which baffled Shatterstar – so he often ‘lost his cool’ over such things.
‘Star did not want him to feel insecure, and he needed Rictor to realize that.
“I’m sorry my surprise was ineffective.”
Rictor peered at him through the corner of his eye and sighed. “It’s cool, amigo. I’m the one that ruined it, so maybe we should just try again a different time.”
A spark of hope ignited within the Cadre warrior. “Really?”
“Yeah, sure,” he muttered.
Shatterstar jumped to his feet. “Bye, Julio!”
“What!? Where are you going now!?”
“I’ll be back in approximately one hour!” Shatterstar assured, and he quickly rushed out of the room.
That time, Shatterstar had a much better idea. However, Rictor was not as easily able to comply. He demanded that he know where they were going, but Shatterstar insisted that it had to be a surprise. What was the point in trying to do something nice if Rictor was so easily able to predict it?
“I’m not stepping foot out of this place until you tell me that you won’t be flaunting some bitch in my face again!”
“I did no such thing,” ‘Star rolled his eyes.
“Where are we going?”
“Somewhere fun,” the Mojoworlder beamed. He was much more excited about the prospect of this activity. “It is…uhm, thirty minutes away!”
“In which direction?”
“Uhm, east…no wait! I can’t tell you,” Shatterstar realized and rubbed his chin. “I do want to tell you very badly though! But I cannot.”
Rictor rolled his eyes as they walked out to one of the Institute cars. “You can too! It’s your own freakin’ rules you’re following, so you can break them!”
“Whatever, Rictor.” Fekt, why did he have to be so moody about this? Shatterstar hopped into the car and Julio just got in cautiously. The warrior gave him a small smile. “I know it will work this time. And if you keep trying to force me into spilling my secrets, I will knock you out and throw you in the trunk.”
Brown eyes narrowed. “Actually, I’m kinda surprised you didn’t just do that.”
“Maybe I should…”
Shatterstar rolled his eyes and dug into the front pocket of his jeans. He pulled out a large handful of tootsie rolls and dumped them into the Mexican’s lap. Ric’s eyes just widened incredulously and he picked one up to inspect it. “Why?”
The warrior shrugged and started the car. “I hear that it is tradition to give one’s mate chocolate when trying to make something up to them.”
“So you picked tootsie rolls?”
“They were cheapest.”
“How thoughtful,” Rictor scoffed and folded his arms. “Your charm is just killing me.”
“Well don’t die yet, we have to go out first and I would rather not drag your corpse around. Besides, I’m sure the occasion would be much more fun if we had your witty commentary to entertain us.”
“Can you please tell me where we’re going?”
Shatterstar just bit the inside of his cheek before turning up the radio as loud as he could stand it. “Sorry, can’t hear you!”
“I think they went that way.”
Rictor sighed irritably and sulked as he walked behind Shatterstar. “This is dumb. I don’t want to play this game. We’ve been going for hours now!”
The warrior turned and lifted up his mask. “There are only four left! If we win then we are the best, Julio. And we’re not losers so we cannot quit. I heard the victorious team wins a free ham.”
“And who the hell ever gave you the idea that something competitive would make for a good date?” the Mexican scoffed and dropped his paintball gun to the ground. He tore at the straps of his mask, and removed that as well. “How did you even know what ‘woodsball’ was? And why is ham so important!?”
“You should put your mask back on. What if you get shot in the head?”
“It’s a fucking paintball!” Rictor groaned.
“It could still hurt you,” he pointed out and put his own back into place. “Besides, I thought you liked playing games?”
“Yeah, sometimes. But this is supposed to be a date, I thought. You aren’t even paying attention to me! You’re just running around and shooting people!”
“That’s the rules.”
“Well, how about these rules?” he glared and lifted his gun. Shatterstar just rolled his eyes and spun on his heel to keep walking, but Ric fired off his gun and struck him in the back. The Mexican laughed loudly at the shot, and ‘Star spun around.
“Julio! I’m on your team!”
“Not anymore!’ he beamed. Tossing his gun on the ground, Rictor lifted his hands in triumph. “I win! Ha! Take that!”
“But now you have to finish the game by yourself,” Shatterstar grumbled. “And that shot should not even count! You’re on my team! Fekt, Julio! You ruined everything! We cannot lose.”
“I did not,” he smirked and grabbed him by the font of his uniform. “Screw this, let’s just go fuck around.”
“We’re in the middle of the forest,” ‘Star sulked. Ric just shrugged and loosened the straps on the warrior’s face mask to remove it. He pushed him forward until they reached one of the game bunkers, and Ric forced him inside before climbing on top of him.
“See? Date? That’s how it works.”
Shatterstar swallowed and looked around. “But…”
“Shut up,” Rictor covered Shatty’s mouth with his own, and starting tugging on the straps of the armour covering his body. The stuff was thick and clunky, and not only was Julio hot as hell in it, but it made contact less enjoyable. In his hurry, Ric was able to get it off himself pretty fast, but he was dismayed to see Shatty did not have the same idea. He pulled away from his mouth and stared down at him. “Get that off.”
“There are still people out here,” the Mojoworlder insisted.
“Don’t think about them,” Rictor scoffed and kissed him again. That time, he forced his tongue between ‘Star’s lips, and no longer did he seem to have any complaints. He quickly returned the gesture, and wrapped his long arms around Rictor’s waist to pull him closer. The Mexican was barely starting to enjoy it when he felt something tap against the side of his leg.
“What the…? Was that you!? Are hard al--” another hit cut him off, and that time it hurt. Ric scrambled to get off of the larger body beneath him, and the second he turned around he was smacked in the forehead with a paintball. Yellow splattered against the entire front part of his face, and he was hit again in the stomach, and then in the shoulder. “Fuck!” he yelled.
“Team 3 is out!” a group of laughing voices sounded from somewhere ahead of them. Rictor could not tell because he couldn’t even see. Those pricks! They only had to shoot him once!
"That hurt, you jerks!” Rictor yelled and scrambled to get the paint out of his eyes. He heard Shatty shuffle behind him and fire off his gun multiple times. A couple of screams echoed in the distance before they started yelling that they cheated. Whatever!
“I told you that you should have left your equipment on,” ‘Star placed a hand on his back and started helping him wipe his face off.
“Can we just go home now?” he muttered. “I’m going to have a giant bruise because of this!”
“Fine,” Shatterstar sighed. “I’ll take you home, but now you’re just going to sulk some more.”
“I’d rather sulk then get nailed in the head with paint.”
Shatterstar just rolled his eyes as they walked toward the exit. “Whatever, Rictor.”
He never thought he would say it, but Shatterstar was absolutely sick of sitting in front of the television. So far the first three days of their vacation had been less than desirable. Not only was he lacking a good spar partner for training, but his crusade to change Rictor’s mind had been all but successful. He took him out for dinner, gave him flowers and chocolate, and even tried a game. Somehow, it was just always…wrong.
What was a warrior born to do?
“Hey, kid,” the Mojoworlder turned in his seat and noticed Bobby Drake standing at the entrance to the living room. He was holding out the phone. “Someone wants to talk to you.”
Red eyebrows rose. “To me?”
“Apparently,” he smirked. “Just take it; it’s not going to bite you.”
“I know that. It does not even have a mouth, Iceman,” ‘Star rolled his eyes and hopped over the furniture to approach him. He lifted the receiver against his face. “What?”
“Oh, don’t you sound thrilled,” the voice on the other end laughed at him. The warrior immediately recognized it as Domino’s. “You keeping yourself out of trouble?”
“Of course. I am able to function without a baby-sitter.”
“So I’d hope, but you just never know,” she replied. “Nate wanted me to call and check in. It looks like we might be a day or two longer than we intended. The others should still be back on time though, so you don’t have to worry about training.”
“Okay,” Domino cleared her throat. “So…uh…anything exciting going on there?”
“Where do you take someone on a date, Domino?”
“Oh Lord,” she sighed. Shatty could practically hear her begging to end the conversation right then, but he needed to know. “Look, ‘Star, uhm…how about a movie? You can’t go wrong with a movie, just…uhm, you know, buy popcorn and stuff.”
“Yeah like at the theatre.
“This is true,” he rubbed his chin and nodded in a very satisfied manner. “Thank-you, Domino.” He quickly hung up the phone and dropped the receiver on the couch. How did he not think of something so simple? He had been to the theatre a couple of times with his team mates, and though they did manage to get into a little bit of trouble on the occasions, he figured Rictor would act decent enough in such a place. It was quiet, dark, and entertaining.
Grinning, Shatterstar made his way out of the living room and bounded up the stairs to Rictor’s bedroom. He tossed the door open, and the Mexican jumped slightly at the sudden intrusion. He looked to have been resting. “Uh, what’s up?”
“We’re going out,” Shatterstar announced.
Rictor just looked at him nervously. “Amigo, my head hurts. I got a bruise the size of
“Please tell me where we’re going this time?!”
The Mojoworlder bit his lip and opened his mouth to speak. “I…” he closed his mouth again and shook his head as he continued on his mission. “No! I will do this the right way!”
“Argh!” Rictor flailed his arms and hit him in the back. “Last time!”
‘Star bolted out the front door. “You need to have more faith in me.”
“Famous last words.”
“Who in the hell gets banned from a movie theatre!?” Rictor yelled as the boys made their way back to the Institute.
“Apparently we do,” Shatterstar sighed dejectedly.
“What the freaking hell!? You never-- you punched a guy in the face!”
“He threw popcorn at us!” the Mojoworlder defended. “I do not want his disgusting food or germs in my hair or on you. That was rude, and perhaps he should have listened to me when I warned him to stop!”
“We could’ve just moved! You didn’t have to hit him!”
“Yes, says the one who shot a vibe blast at a female waitress just two days ago,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes and jammed his hands into his pockets. “At least my reason was more valid. That man was actually attacking us!”
“He was not attacking us, and I did not hit her with a vibe blast! I hit the floor with a tiny ripple, and that clumsy slut fell down!” Rictor scoffed. “Besides, if that guy was touching me all over and shaking his ass in my face, I’d of bet you woulda wedgied him and tossed him outta your sight!”
“I did that one time,” Shatterstar defended. “You still bring that up!”
“Now you see what I’m talking about? We’re just not cut out for this kinda shit, amigo. Normal couples can do this, but us? We’re just too…I don’t know spazzy, or something. Hell, we’d have better luck going out and looking for a fight!” Julio sighed and ran a hand through his nose length hair and shrugged. “We leave the house and it’s almost like that’s just askin’ for something to go wrong.”
“That’s not true,” Shatterstar insisted when he noted the small twinge of disappointment on his face. “Maybe we just look in the wrong place? There has to be something.”
“Like what? We try eating, we try movies, we try games…I don’t even know what else is left and I don’t even care!”
“You don’t care?”
“No, I don’t mean that,” the Mexican mumbled and kicked absently at a rock on the sidewalk. They approached the gate to the institute and looked across the yard at the large building. “I don’t wanna go back in there. We’re supposed to be on vacation, but…”
“Fuck it, let’s just go inside. We can order pizza or something,” Rictor grumbled.
Shatterstar frowned and grabbed him by the elbow. “I have another idea.”
“‘Star,” Rictor warned.
“Seriously, Julio, if this fails then--”
“No, let’s just go inside,” Ric insisted and grabbed him by the hand. “You don’t need to prove anything to me, you know. Maybe…I don’t like being normal like everyone else anyways. I’m happy just hangin’ out with you, you know.”
They approached the front door to the mansion and quickly stepped inside, and Shatterstar watched him closely. “You sure about that?”
Rictor nodded and pulled him toward the stairs. “I’m positive. Who needs cheesy romance anyhow? We do just fine goin’ out and listening to tunes in the car, or swimming in the pool, right?”
“I know that. However, you just have to understand that it makes me feel somewhat insufficient. I try hard to assimilate to this world and it’s silly traditions, but…”
“That’s exactly what they are: silly traditions,” Rictor agreed, and leaned forward to place a kiss on his chin. “Fuck traditions, they’re boring anyways.”
Shatterstar nodded and gazed down at him. He was correct; on his home world, people did not do such things. Everything he had learned about such exchanges was on television and in movies and such things, and he knew that those resources weren’t always accurate. Shatterstar may have been a little clueless, but he was not stupid. Besides, he should have known better than to keep surprising Julio when he got paint on his head. Rolling his eyes slightly, the Mojoworlder leaned forward and pressed his lips against the bruise. Rictor chuckled at the action, and pulled him towards his bedroom.
“Say, I’ll tell ya what. You spend the night in my room tonight and order some pizza, and I’ll screw around in the danger room with you tomorrow afternoon.”
‘Star followed him to his bed curiously. “Any simulation I want?”
“You planning more surprises?” Ric inquired as he crawled over the blankets.
Shatterstar snorted amusedly. “No, no surprises. Maybe I just want to see you sweat.”
“That can be arranged,” he grinned, and pulled the warrior down to the mattress with him. “So long as you keep that charm of yours to yourself.”
Julio just shook his head amusedly as he pressed his lips against Shatterstar’s, and pulled the bed sheets up to cover their bodies. Hanging around him was just fine, ‘Star agreed, but that did not mean he wanted to stop trying to make his friend happy. Physical contact and food delivery services could suffice for now, but Shatterstar was not ready and willing to give up completely. He would find something else and bring it up when it was least expected, and hopefully then they could get the hang of it.
He was a warrior born, after all, and defeat did not come easy.