Deja Vu

by Hope

Veins prefer that no one intrude. They're thick, they roll, deft from side to side, avoiding silver needle kisses. Without muscle, they still manage to contract, and when breached, sometimes they return battle by collapsing, useless and flat. Nothing in. Only blood out, to puddle thick and purple beneath the skin.

Likewise, nature never intended the nose to inhale more than air. Nares instinctively contract to avoid breathing contaminants, and the vibrissae- often well trimmed on older men- act as a net to capture particles and irritants. What the vibrissae miss, muscus nets, though it's an imperfect, messy system.

But the mouth.

In or out, it only discriminates by flavor. Apples are good, and sweet; apple martinis are bad, but also sweet. Semen is good but bitter; E is bad, and bitter, and water and cocaine don't taste like much at all.

Lex has five in his mouth, no bruises, and a little bit of a nosebleed. Under flashing, halogen lights, his hand is dove white, smeared with crimson when he rubs it across his upper lip. Light paints his other hand blue, the one between his knees and knotted in dark, curly hair. Sprawled on leather, he orchestrates the blow job with tugs and pulls, almost a disinterested bystander to the whole act.

Vaguely aware of wet heat closing around his cock, Lex watches the players and their parts: the girl in green in the corner, who's going to freak out later and see God, the doe-eyed boy whose attitude can't carry the vinyl he's barely wearing- the sharks are after him and by morning, he won't be a virgin anymore. Lex knows their names; he knows all of their names, and their quirks, and their flaws; the flaws are especially useful.

Natalie thinks she's fat and her cousin can get coke twenty-four hours a day. A little bump, a little grind, and a touch imitating desire on her waist (where she's really afraid she's thick,) is the passkey to start the snow falling. Kyle wants to believe he's not the idiot his dad calls him when he's drunk, and his uncle works the southwestern district. Put a polish on his brilliance, and the location of every cop on the south side can be revealed; fantastic Kyle, you're a genius.

Megan's generally useless. Lex watches her stream through the crowd, her long, silver-blonde hair trailing down skinny shoulders. She's a social butterfly without the frenetic pace; most of the time, her body moves as if through water. She swims from person to person, insisting on staring people in the face, her muddy brown eyes wide to devour lights and expressions. Without contacts, she brings nothing tangible to the party; she's not easy, but her dreamy confusion doesn't even make her interesting to chase. Nobody knows who brought her, or why she even comes- she doesn't drink, she doesn't dance... all she does is talk.

In Megan's opinion, and Lex can see her preaching the gospel to the vinyl-boy who won't listen anymore than anyone else does- that deja vu is the universe's way of saying things are right on schedule. Or maybe it's the sermon of destiny she's delivering, perhaps the parable of Pisces and Gemini occluded; it doesn't matter. It's all kitchen witchcraft; she's just a little girl nobody likes trying to make sense out of science with superstition. Once, she offered to read Lex's palm; he looked at her until she grew smaller, and smaller, until she didn't exist in his line of sight anymore.

Twisting the hair in his hand, Lex doesn't bother to explain what he didn't like- in fact, there was nothing in particular wrong with the blow job at all. But it's interesting to see his oral suitor scramble to recover, to try new technique, force and slide, to correct the imaginary error. Clutching the edge of the couch, he looks up just as a halogen flashed above. Eyes illuminated, down to the bronzed edging around the iris, and the brown flecks swimming among the green, he seemed startled.

A sudden rise of fog wraps around Lex's mind, and he can see rectangles of green, squares of tan, land from above, far above. It's a patchwork quilt of corn and wheat, white farmhouse seams sewing up the sides, with blue river ribbons tending careful corners that stretch out to forever. It smells like nothing, tastes like nothing, but it's a good absence; clean on his tongue, pure in his lungs. Pure's a pretty novel concept, alien but addictive, alluring; it's good-cold, like drinking from his hands on the ranch, well water chilled by the depths and making his fingers ache between sips.

That was a long time ago.

That's a real thought, and as quickly as the fog came, it lifts. Dark shadows fill in again, cut through by club lights, crickets he hadn't realized he'd heard strangle away into the electronic thrum. That brief moment of clarity, feels like a memory that hasn't happened yet, and it doesn't belong here; not at all, not in the least. Lex shoves the head between his legs away, struggling to his feet, making himself mostly decent with a quick zipper tug. He can't breathe, and he can't stand these people anyway; just sixteen, seventeen, eighteen steps to the front door, and Metropolis' night isn't patchwork perfect, but it's better.

All the way home, he drives too fast. For some reason, he has the sense that unreasonable speed will eventually lead him to pure.

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