Scenes from a Relationship:
the real world

Joey tilted the stool back and bumped against the wall, sipping on a Coke as he watched Dirk work. Dean had tried to get him to go play football in the park this afternoon with a bunch of their friends, but Joey had declined. That in itself was nothing suspicious--Dean invited him every weekend, even knowing that Joey was crap at sports--but this time Dean and then Jeff had pushed him until he said where he was going. Now he knew they were both out tossing a ball somewhere and worrying about him.

The thought brought a satisfied smile to his face.

Over the past week he'd gotten nothing but concerned lectures from his two friends over who he chose to spend his time with. Who he chose to sleep with. He'd been lucky when he'd come out to both of them that neither had had a problem with long as he went with nice, upstanding guys. Guys in the choir. Guys on the baseball team. Not guys like Dirk.

They just didn't get it, not at all. None of the other guys made him feel alive the way Dirk did. No one ever had. It was like his blood raced through his veins when he was near him, rather than just flowed. Like his breaths dove into his lungs rather than being sucked in. Everything seemed like more.

So here he sat, spending his Saturday afternoon sitting in a tattoo parlor, in relative silence, watching Dirk work. About an hour ago he'd stepped out front to chat with Jerry, the other artist who worked out of the next room. Dirk had introduced Joey as 'the new guy', which must have been some kind of shorthand for the guy he was fucking because Jerry gave him an automatic leer and a wink.

He was a good guy, though, even though, in the short time Joey'd known him, he'd gone through at least 3 women. After about twenty minutes he'd gone back to the back again, Dirk looking up briefly from the tattoo he was inking to give him a dazzling smile. A smile that set his blood racing again. They weren't even doing anything and he was happy to be right where he was.

Dirk had been working on the same guy for well over an hour now, a tall, skinny, sandy-haired guy who was getting a large tribal design around his arm. Joey had been virtually ignored for a long time, the guy chatting idly with Dirk from time to him, until he had finally looked up at him and tilted his head curiously. "So who're you?" he asked. "You don't work here."

Before Joey could answer him, Dirk looked up quickly at Joey and then back at his customer. "He's my boyfriend," he said simply, and went back to working.

"What?" he said, jerking his head up but careful not to jerk his arm. "You're a fag?"

"Yup," said Dirk, not even looking up at his face. "Do you want this part here shadowed in grey?"

"What? Oh, uh, yeah, that would be good." The guy looked flustered for a moment. "You don't look like a fag."

"And you don't look straight," said Dirk idly, "but I'm guessing by your attitude that you are. Say 'fag' again and you're walking out of here with half a tattoo and a footprint on your ass."

The guy swallowed, looked down at the delicate work that Dirk was doing, and shut the hell up. Another few minutes went by before Joey cleared his throat.

"I'm Joey, by the way," he said, nodding at the guy.

"David," he said. "Nice to meet you, I guess." He looked down at Dirk again, saw the smears of blood on his arm, and closed his eyes. Joey knew it wasn't his first tattoo--there was one peeking out of his other sleeve at the very least--but it was probably his biggest. Earlier today he'd seen someoen get his first, and he wondered if he'd seemed as nervous as they did.

Then again, he'd been more nervous about trying to make some kind of impression on Dirk than he had been about the tattoo, by the time he was actually sitting there getting it done.

Dirk worked in awkward silence with David for another half hour or so before he proclaimed it to be done and went through his Care of the Common Tattoo spiel. Joey watched them for a bit, then wandered into the other room and stretched out on the couch, telling himself all the reasons he should get over being pissed at David.

It wasn't like he hadn't come across that kind of reaction before, even though he wasn't one tenth as out as Dirk, but it still made him angry. How the hell was he supposed to help that he was attracted to guys? The Davids of the world were such morons. He sighed and closed his eyes and forced himself to think happy thoughts. Dirk nude and bent over the bathroom counter...

He actually didn't need to go past that one, a smile replacing the frown on his face.

He was almost dozing off when Dirk came into the room and poked him in the side. "I'm taking a break," he said, pushing Joey's legs aside so that he could sit down. "You bored?"

Joey yawned and smiled. "Nope," he said. "I'm never bored around you."

"You're a sap, Fatone," he said, curving a hand around Joey's neck and kissing his forehead. "You want a drink or anything? Hungry?"

"No," said Joey, leaning into Dirk's touch. "I just want you. I've been watching you all afternoon and I haven't been able to touch you at all and it's been driving me crazy."

Dirk's hand moved around to slide down Joey's chest, overtop of his jersey, to pause at his waist. "It'll have to be later," he said, running his hand teasingly over the conspicuous bulge in Joey's jeans. "Jerry's here, and I can't be shaky when I go back to work in a bit."

"I make you shaky?" said Joey with a grin, pushing himself up into Dirk's hand.

"You make me fucking vibrate, Joey, and you know it." Dirk stood up again, removing his hand from Joey's body, and gave him a quick grin. "I'm running out for food; I'll be back in a few minutes." He leaned over Joey's body and opened a drawer in the cabinet nearby, grabbing something and dropping it in his lap.

"Lubricant?" laughed Joey, picking it up and lifting an eyebrow. "You have a change of heart so fast?"

Dirk just snickered. "You know where the bathroom is. Have a good time. I'll be back soon." He gave Joey a quick, deep kiss. "Later, I promise," he added, and dashed out the door. Joey just rolled his eyes and put the lube aside. After another moment he sighed, snatched it back up again, and headed for the bathroom.