by Bastet

He didn't usually hang out with just Arvid--Peter was more interesting, funnier, and he could dance. But Peter wasn't there that day, he had to help his mother with something, so it was just him and Arvid, and the records.

It was raining out, heavy, so Thomas couldn't leave even if he wanted to. It was warm in there, on his back on Arvid's bed, knee bent and jiggling slightly to the music.

"I can't stop thinking about that man," Arvid said suddenly, right in the middle of a song.

Thomas wondered why he had to go and ruin a quiet moment like that, with something like that. "What man?" he said, just to be ornery.

"The bridge. Those--"

"Oh, yeah." Thomas thought about it for a minute, because he hadn't really bothered to yet. "Whaddyou think he did?"

Arvid snorted, contemptuously. God, Thomas hated that. "What do you think? The same thing all the guys the Nazis go after are doing--living his life. I don't like the way things are getting around here, I really don't..." His eyes were dark and serious. Scared.

"You think too much," Thomas said lightly.

"Probably. More than you, anyway." Arvid lay down next to him. "Shove over."

He couldn't, really, without falling off the bed, so his whole left side brushed against Arvid. If Peter'd been there, he probably would have said something, but he wasn't. Thomas was almost a little glad of that, all of a sudden. You couldn't do this with more that two people, just listen to the rain and the music and be warm, like this.

"Hey," he said after awhile. He felt sleepy.

"Hm?" said Arvid, tipping his head sideways so that he could look at Thomas.

"Record's over."

"Yeah," Arvid murmured. He sounded a little sleepy too: rough. It was nice to hear his voice like that, without any bitter in it.

"You falling asleep?"


"Okay," said Thomas, and kicked off his shoes, not having the energy to be irritated at the way Arvid could never really seem to answer a question directly, like a simple yes or no would make him seem...simple.

He dozed for a little, and woke with his leg hooked over Arvid's, which was pretty much all that was keeping him on the bed. He rolled up and shook Arvid's shoulder. "Hey."

Arvid swallowed and opened his eyes. "What?"

"It's late. I have to be getting home," he said, thinking of his parents, thinking that he'd much rather be here.

"You don't have to," Arvid said, his gaze still smoky with sleep, and he pushed Thomas's hair back behind his ear. A little thing, that went through him so fast it hurt. Guys didn't touch each other like that. That was for Thomas to fix, or his girlfriend if he had one, but Arvid...

Arvid was looking at him, hungrily, and god, the creep was that fucking lonely, he wanted--Thomas jolted back, feet barely landing on the floor. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"I..." Arvid sat up, looking angry and scared, again. Always. "I didn't mean to, I was just...I can't help..."

Thomas wanted to hit him, wanted to slam him into a wall and say it right in his face, but, well, he'd probably like that. "Don't touch me, you hear? Don't ever--God--"

"I'm sorry!" Arvid shouted.

"Don't ever mention this again," Thomas said softly, "or I'll fucking kill you, I swear to God."

"Fine, then, have it your way," Arvid said, and stood defiantly. Like he hadn't done anything wrong, like he wasn't thinking all those perverted things about men, about Thomas--damn right, he thought too much. There were some things people weren't meant to think about. There was a way things went, didn't Arvid know that?

How could Thomas know something Arvid didn't?

He stared for a long time at Arvid's panicky chest, his mussed hair, his clenched fists, until he couldn't stand to look anymore. "I'll see you," he said finally, and left.

He wasn't like Arvid. He knew his place, he'd never do anything so backwards, so crazy, just because he was a Swing Kid...

He knew. And he'd make sure everybody else did too.


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