Status: first meeting

We Speak the Same Words in Different Languages

because it’s what we want to see, and what we want, we know we can’t believe

Adrest climbed through the other man's window. It went considerably well, seeing as he could've been told to he didn't give a shit, to shove it up his ass, and fuck off and bleed out. Oh, and had the windows closed on his fingers.

He’d just hoped to get some rest in a shelter, you know? And any homeless shelters would be disturbed by a guy who hadn’t been there before stumbling in post-midnight. It would attract attention, and that was the opposite of what he wanted to do.

"You should go to the hospital," he told you, as if you were a dumbass.

"Wow. I must not know that. I must think getting stabbed is an experience that's totally normal, healthy, and happens to everyone sooner or later."

"Okay, but you're not at a hospital." He was looking for something in his cabinets. "Even though that's where you should be at one in the goddamn morning if you're stabbed."

"I did. That’s where I got bandaged up. I'm told it looks worse than it actually is." It hurt like it was a lot worse. They'd told him that the recovery period would be ten days (he stayed five, or maybe six), that the blade failed to hit any major arteries.

He eased himself onto the couch as the man pulled out a first aid kit. "When and how did this happen?"

"A week or so ago. I got mugged. Ran from the hospital after six days, maybe I busted it open on my way out. Oh, can you turn on the light?" Maybe that would a misdirection big enough to stop him from asking anymore questions. Adrest didn't want to give too many details away, or talk about the oppressive white walls surrounding him and the doctors eyeing him with clipboards, as if he were some sort of animal.

The man ground his teeth, but walked over to the door and flipped the light switch. "Whatever. We gotta replace your bandages, though." He walked over with the kit and sat next to him.

He surveyed the apartment as the lights flickered to life. It was, put simply, a wreck. Clothes and papers were strewn everywhere. Adrest himself was resting on a pair of pants. The other man didn’t seem to care, though, or feel ashamed, and he was in no place to judge. His last shower had been in the hospital, but before that, he couldn't remember. If he had his own place, it would probably look like this, but with spray cans instead of paper.

The other man had started to undo his bandages, and he flinched away instinctively from the touch, air hissing between his teeth.

"Dude, you're gonna want my help."

"I know. You just--surprised me."

The other man snorted, apparently finding humor in the situation. Adrest considered chewing him out for laughing in front of someone who was stabbed, but decided not to pursue.

Clumsily, he tried to help with the undoing of the gauze. By the time they got to the last layer, both of their hands were slick with his blood.

"That's gonna need stitches."

"Yeah, I know. You know a lot about medicine for some whose place is such a damn wreck. You in med school?"

"Was in med school," he corrected, pulling out a needle and thread out of the kit and set it on the table. "Dropped out. I know an interrogation when I see one, by the way."

Adrest's cheeks warmed. He hadn't meant to pry, but he had done it anyway.

"And you also know a lot about asked the right questions for someone who's so clearly a fuckin' criminal."

Adrest's face flushed, this time with indignation. "I am not a goddamn criminal."

"What kind of law-abiding citizen runs away from a hospital, and turns up bloodied to terrorize a poor guy at one in the morning!"

"You let me in! No one forced your hand!"

"Oh, I'm sorry for having conscience! Next time, I'll let you die of an infection outside my window! Now shut up, lay down, put pressure on the wound with used bandages, and let me wash my hands so I can stitch you up!"

Adrest begrudgingly complied, stretching out stiffly. "You happy now, Doc?" he snapped.

"Very," he said smugly, and turned around to enter what he assumed to be the bathroom.

Adrest took the time to admire the other man’s features in his mind’s eye as he waited, in pain. He was...attractive. Physically. Handsome, a strong jaw. A little shorter than him. Dark, short, curly hair with light brown eyes and skin. Hispanic, maybe.

He'd had his own share of boyfriends and girlfriends. He liked both and maybe more, making him bi? Pan? Polysexual? Whichever. Labels were temporary and arbitrary and overall meaningless. He'd never thought of applying one to himself, conforming to humanity's need to sort everything into a category.

Adrest shifted, suddenly uncomfortable on the lumpy couch. Why was this coming to mind now? His plan was to crash someone for one night, then head over to Tanvi’s place. Nothing longer. Nothing more.
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it was fun to write the banter lmao