Talk About Failing Upwards
by alejandra

Kevin lays with one arm under his head, staring at the ceiling, while Al gets dressed. He's on his fourth cigarette, last one of the pack, blowing brown smoke at Al's belovedly pristine white ceiling. "Quick," he says, and Al looks up from buttoning his shirt. "What's the meaning of life?"

"You're still a fucking dope," says Al. Shirt buttoned, cuffs neat, now the tie. His voice is as affectionate as it ever gets -- which is, really, not affectionate at all.

"I still want to know," replies Kevin. He settles himelf deeper into the bed and ashes to the side -- maybe it landed in the ashtray, maybe it didn't.

Al tightens his tie, runs a hand through his hair, and comes over to the side of the bed. He puts a hand on the expensive headboard he insisted on that Kevin hadn't minded but had thrown a fit about just to be able to score a favor off Al by conceding. Then Al leans over Kevin and puts their noses together. He's smirking, Kevin's smirking, and even under the expensive shampoo and aftershave, Al still smells like sex.

"The meaning of life," says Al slowly, "is sex, money, and power. Not necessarily in that order."

"Love? Family? Fixing the national debt?"

Al pushes his mouth against Kevin's and kisses him hard, and Kevin melts into it, arching up into Al's mouth. When he sinks back against the pillows, Al's got his cigarette and he's smirking again.

Kevin watches him shrug into his jacket, tie his shoes, finish the cigarette. Kevin lazily rubs his cock and stomach, wishing for another cigarette. The meaning of life is... asparagus. The meaning of life is... a byline. The meaning of life is... sex. Love. Power.

Al pauses at the doorway. "Get dressed, honey, the President expects us in an hour. Wear your prettiest pearls."

Kevin pouts. "You never buy me anything new. I want diamonds. They're a girl's best friend."

"You're not a girl anymore, old man." Al winks at him and leaves, probably going to call some of his stuffy political friends to drink stuffy political drinks. Kevin rolls out of bed and steps in cigarette ash, cringes. There's dried come on his chest, flaking off, and he smells kind of funky. Shower it is.

The meaning of life is... existence.

He's still not sure. Twenty years later and he still doesn't know. He figures he's pretty close, though -- closer than he'd be if either he or Al had stayed with Leslie, anyway, or gone back to her when she called. Kevin lived in fear for three months that Al was going to return her phone call. He never told Al that he'd gotten one as well. Kevin figured he'd made his choice the first time he and Al kissed, fucked, when they moved in together.

"The meaning of life," says Kevin into the water beating down on his head, "is choices."

Al bangs on the door. "Kevin!" he yells. "You've already written the Great American Novel and you came twice tonight, so get out of the shower, quit primping, and get your lazy ass dressed!"

"I love you too, darling!"

"To the moon, Alice!" replies Al, but he sounds genuinely miffed, so Kevin washes his hair and gets the come off his stomach and chest, and steps out of the shower as fast as he can.

He wraps a towel around his waist and drapes another over his head and steps back into the bedroom.

"The meaning of life is to never be late for a date with the President," says Al, and slaps him on the ass. When Kevin's done drying his hair, he realizes that Al left him a new pack of cigarettes, and a glass of vodka. Greater love hath no man.


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