"Oh, my beloved Torrin, whatever brought this up?" A familiar voice squeaked in amusement.
Hah. Rolling his eyes towards the audibility behind a closed door, Garrick figured, Wonder what Keiran and Torrin are up to.
"I… Well, it's just that I – I wanted to try something different. Something new that I thought… maybe you could help me with. You see, I found this book in your library…"
Scheming up some cleaning projects together? Good. Least I'm not the only one who's working. And with that, the blond decided to resume his cheerful mopping duties. He fixed his eyes on a questionably sticky spot on the stone-tiled floor, swapped his weapon of choice to a sponge, then scrubbed out all his frustrations. Lookin' good, lookin' good… The phrase was repeated enough times in a sad attempt to remain focused.
That was, if only he could concentrate. Being a devoted (if not the greatest) friend of Torrin's, Garrick couldn't help but become interested in a script between him and his superior. He wondered what would require the both of them to be alone in the office together - especially on Keiran's ever-important cleaning day. Whatever they're talking about can't really be more important than the chores… can it?
There was a brief moment of silence that lasted only until Keiran boldly declared, "Ahh, quite the adventurous one, aren't we? I simply love that about you, sweetest! Now, this will be a challenge to do… Especially considering how much experience will be required…"
"I'd like for you to teach me."
The supreme god slowly took a breath, "Are you positive? I know it's a common, manly need to want something with… pizzazz like this, but this is something a little more… sacred. More personal. Perhaps, with Garrick, you'd be more comfortab-"
"No, please. I… Please teach me. I'm sorry I'm being so- assertive, but I just… I feel a little… jumpy. I-It's my first time." Such an honest, sweet tone being carefully decorated in such a desperate, persuasive manner - it was so irresistibly rare of Torrin. Yet, such desperate tones were never heard of by his eavesdropping, devoted, best friend…
Garrick swallowed. What in the – Ackk! When did my ear end up crammed on the door?! Incidentally, his mop had been abandoned, his duties all forgotten, while his protective instincts peaked.
"Never you fear! Such feelings are only natural, and of course I'd be willing to help you. You'll learn from the best, I promise you. I am a professional."
"Thank you so much, Master Keiran. You're the only person I thought to ask for this… And you're so good to me. Thank you. It will be lovely. I'm sure it will."
"Anytime, sweetest of hearts. To be honest, I was a little stunned you were reading such material, but how can I refuse such an honest plea from such an intense will to be taught? Come. I'll teach you…"
Without forethought of any variety, the heated Garrick tore down the door in a panicked rage, "Stoooop! No, Torrin, don't let him-!"
But he was ignored. Ignored by the two men who stood before a workbench. Upon closer inspection of the workbench, one could see an elaborate vase, scissors, and a colorful array of flowers. Such things hardly seemed suited for what Garrick had in mind.
Keiran stood beside Torrin – book in hand – and graced his shoulder with a paternal pat, "Well, I can assure you, we'll get this flower arrangement done in no time! And it'll look absolutely fabulous in your room! You're right; this flare is just what the doctor ordered! Now let's get to work!"
"Anything for you, Master Keiran!" Garrick could almost hear symbolic hearts flow from those sanity shattering vocals.
"That was weird." Numerously, the astounded Garrick squeezed his eyes tight, hoping the mental images he previously conjured would dissipate into the now squeaky-clean kitchen floor. His body shivered before setting his mind back to work.
Now that the dining room and kitchen floors are cleaned, my next job is to clean my room, wash the bed, finish some totally overdue laundry, and…
By heading down the hall towards his own bedroom, he would pass Keiran's personal quarters. A place Garrick never felt inclined to visit. Would he visit his office on the many needed occasions? Yes, of course. But his bedroom? That – the Diviner of Fate predicted - would never happen.
"Sylas, my dear? What are you doing?"
There's that tone again… Hypocritically sprinkled with quizzicality, Garrick's thought process swerved. I kinda don't want to hear his voice ever again today. FYI.
"Doing what you told me to. I'm dusting the shelves."
And that's Sylas… Cripes, I hope he'll be okay in there.
"No, I think you should take a break. I've got something else for you to work on…"
"No, better. But I'll need your help. Won't you be a dear and prepare the bed for me?" Garrick hated how slowly and slyly the man was able to speak the poor, unknowing Sylas. It wasn't right.
After settling a hand on the doorknob, readying to blow Keiran's cover and head his one-man, mutinous assault, Garrick cocked his head to listen for an opportune moment to strike.
"Oh, yes. For what I've got planned."
"…Not sure I follow?" It was perceptive of Garrick to note that regardless of how he was being talked to, Sylas' tone of voice never changed. It's like nothing Keiran says bothers him at all. Either that's an admirable thing, or it'll cause problems for him in the future.
Keiran giggled, which – per opinion of Garrick - can never be considered a good sign. "You know what I'm talking about. It involves you and me. And a bed. Or we could do it on the floor, if you prefer. You follow now, my beloved Sylas?"
Despite the playful words of the other, the Diviner of Karma remained ever-stoic and commented matter-of-factly, "I'm not a fool. I understand what you want. But while I prepare the bed, you have your own preparations to make. Remove your shirt, then lay down here. If you please."
...?! Such a response was hardly expected by the eavesdropping victim, who then fathomed a low, unmistakable creak was heard, like the gentle thrust into a spring-loaded mattress.
At that point in time, Keiran's mouth was shut - downright frightening Garrick. After all, he had never been acquainted with a quiet Keiran. No witty comeback, no more begging, and not even a giggle of entertainment. Nothing. Just the audible sounds of clothing sliding off of bare flesh, then being tossed haphazardly on the ground.
There was a strange, rhythmic noise that sounded like scratching and hands sweeping across skin, but just as the dumbstruck man focused his ears to anything further, he jolted.
"Haa, Sylas, please!"
"Then don't tighten up. It makes it hurt even more, you know."
"I know that, but I can't help - Ah! Ergh, Nn…"
Sylas heaved a sigh, "You need to relax. The muscles are too hard and too tight for it to make it easier for me, you understand. Does it hurt?"
"Nn... No! I like it... like this..." His voice is muffled. Why is his voice muffled?! "Just that one spot. It's sensitive! Be careful! Gaah haha, I said, be careful! Do you enjoy toying with me, dearest - AH!"
"You talk too much."
"Well, you're too quiet for someone who's thoroughly enjoying themselves." Listening closer to the men beyond the doorway, Garrick could almost hear the distance between them close as their voices softened to a breathy insinuation.
"Would you like me to create some scenery for you? I could create a full moon with some sweet-smelling mist and open the windows, just like how you like it."
"Hasty, hasty. But I do apologize... Ahh, for requesting this two nights in a row."
Whoa, wait, what?! I had no idea… that sort of thing… went on… behind closed doors… Garrick was red, spinning, and mind-blown.
There were indisputable sounds of cloth rubbing against cloth, then skin against cloth, then skin against skin. Sickened beyond puking point, Garrick had just about reached the climax of the torture. Ahh, that Keiran! He's bullying him! I won't let him get away with this!
He must be stopped.
And thus, Garrick intruded Keiran's bedroom for the first time in his life/afterlife.
The room was not as it was predicted to be. Quaint, tidy, and humble. None of those words – Garrick thought – matched his superior. If the current situation wasn't so dire, perhaps he would have time to ponder why Keiran's room wasn't as lavish as the rest of their mansion was.
Blue eyes did a quick clean-sweep. He had yet to commence his thought-out battle strategy, however, due to the unsuspecting looks he shared with his two co-workers, one of which lay shirtless on his stomach, while the other firmly pressed his hands into the aching back of the other.
While Keiran had his mouth caught in a moan, he called out an inaudible, muffled greeting to the guest. Sylas merely turned, his expression completely norm.
Garrick choked on his built-up saliva. "I – you- back rubs? A massage? Why, why…?"
"His shoulders have been bothering him. So many knots, and I thought I had them all last night." Sylas finished in a mumble. "...Was there something you needed?"
"Affk 'im iff he wantff a mafffage, too!" The image of bliss as a grinning Keiran sluggishly turned his reddened, pillow-imprinted face towards the door, relishing in all the pleasures Sylas' hands had to offer.
Garrick decided to neither accepted nor declined the offer, but rather to leave the room as quickly as possible and to shut it ever-tightly behind him.
Okay, what the hell is going on? What is my problem?! The highly distressed Garrick felt hot and quite exasperated. With the distinction of an upset child, he tossed various dirty shirts and pants from the top of his dresser into his laundry basket. This is ridiculous!
"Garrick, dearest? Are you in there?"
Garrick stiffened. No. "No!" …Wait, did I say that out loud?
"Yes, you did say that out loud. Oops, did I say that out loud? Ahaha, all right, then, I'm coming in!"
"No, no, no. I'm doing laundry, I-" While Garrick's mouth blathered, his head turned and beheld something that made his insides cringe into a pit in his stomach. "No, you get out of my room dressed like that."
"Dressed like what?" His smirking superior coaxed gently and stepped uninvited into the bedroom, tying his waves of red hair back sloppily. "I'm finished with my cleaning. I thought I'd unwind a bit and check on you, my darling."
Garrick strained his gaze towards his mass of mismatching fabrics. For his next witty consideration, he made sure to double-check his mind-reading barriers, What does he think he is? No, no, I won't answer that. "Your ruffly shirt is completely see-through." He mumbled with restraint.
"Oh, like you've never seen the body of a god before." Ever in the mood for entertainment, Keiran's reply was in jest, and he moved in closer to face Garrick with a playful, burning question, "Feeling uncomfortable?"
Don't let it get to you; he's no more strange than usual. Remember the past two times, he wasn't serious at all. Just playing around. Just… messing around… Though his thoughts were meant to console, the man hardly felt reassured. He licked his lips, raised his eyebrows, and shook his head. "Whatever. I shoulda called in today."
"Whatever for? Cleaning day is of utmost importance."
"Cleaning day has been a waste of my brain cells, and I want you to leave my room before-" But his speech was cut. There was nothing more he could have said, he supposed. Flustered, Garrick shook his head once more and returned to his own business, attempting to ignore the unwanted presence.
But something about the topic caught the interest of the other man. "Before what?" Never one to heed an empty threat, Keiran strode across the room and began to deprive more personal space from the ignorant man.
No, no, no, no, I'm not falling for that. I refuse to take part of his creepy fantasies. Abruptly and predictably, Garrick retreated. However, in his hurried, non-directional rush to flee from the intruder, he lost track of where his laundry basket was, caught it with his foot, and his footing jolted.
It only takes one misstep and one opportune moment for chaos to ensue – one which moment that Keiran gratefully accepted and twisted to meet his own desires.
The falling Garrick let out an embarrassed yelp and was seized by the welcoming arms of Keiran, who – in turn – made his own dramatic falling scene onto Garrick's nearby bedspread back-first. Despite his resistance, the struggling Diviner of Fate found himself pulled atop a grinning Keiran, who repeated innocently, "Before what?"
The victim had little time to think. Nothing about this was fake or could be misunderstood. Not to Garrick. And he wasn't going to take any chances. Especially considering how the transparent nightshirt rested dangerously beneath his pounding, built chest…
From the very moment Garrick put his hands across Keiran's abdomen to release himself from his bonds, there was an unexpected sound coming from his bedroom doorway. The panicked Garrick jerked himself upwards – still stuck in contact with the ever-willing body below him. The door creaked open, revealing the slender frame of his dearest friend, the Diviner of Dreams.
Torrin peeked in curiously upon hearing the noise. For a mind like his, only one glance was needed to make an end conclusion. "Ah!" Completely disregarding Garrick's horrorstruck face, he smiled sweetly and mischievously. "I'm so glad to hear you're getting along so well! I'll just close the door and give you some peace…"
"Aghh," Garrick sprung to his feet. "Torrin, it-it's definitely not what you-!" But his words were trapped from the inside of the bedroom, because as quickly as the door opened, it was shut once more. There was no room for second impressions, and Garrick felt a sickening heat spiral up in his gut. Torrin, no…
Completely unfazed, Keiran repeated a third time, "Before what, love?"
Garrick let out another low groan while his hands flew dramatically to the sides of his aching head, "Before- ugh, before weird stuff starts happening! There's something wrong with today!"
Keiran's face showed utter amusement with a hint of confusion. "Like what? Is it something you'll do to me? Or is it… something I'll do to you?"
Considering all the built-up bile rising in Garrick's upset stomach, he could have spat at him and that innocent face of his. Conversation failed the man as he was urged to pursue Torrin to right the misconception. "I can't let this slide."
But Keiran took matters in his own hands. Like an attention-loving kitten, he briskly grabbed hold of Garrick's leg and drove him back into the mattress. With a secretive strength, he pinned his shoulders down into the bed, forcing the bedsprings to groan under the sudden weight. "I don't see what you're so worried about." He laughed. "You know I'd never hurt you…"
"Let go, Keiran! Let me go, I'm leaving! I wanna finish my goddamn laundry!" Garrick's patience was failing him utterly. Help me! Torrin! Sylas!
"What would you know about my fantasies?"
"My fantasies." Reaching a hand down to his subordinate's face, Keiran started, fluffing his blond locks with careful precision. "You claimed you didn't want to play a role in my 'fantasies'."
Wheezing, Garrick inhaled a sharp quiver before admitting, "You… you're psycho. Let me go." He had much difficulty keeping the Keiran-initiated staring contest in progress. For a shining moment, he doubted how far Keiran would actually take him if given the chance.
"Here, let me just…" And thus, Keiran's skillful hand began to wander.
A decision was made: Garrick was hardly the man to allow such a chance. "No! No!"
"Mmph hmhm. You, my dear, are taking things a little too seriously today." Steadily, the redhead's eyes moved to the top of Garrick's head, and as he stretched his arm upwards, Garrick let out a grimace, to which, he smiled a bit notably. "Look, I got it out of your hair. Calm down."
Shaking and clearly upset, Garrick stared disbelieving at a sizeable dust clot that Keiran held between his fingers. Oozing grace and utter amusement, he flicked the dust bunny to the lavish carpet.
It was in that fated moment that their second visitor arrived on the scene. Sylas knocked, entered, and stated his business, "Keiran, I've finished the library, bathroom, and-" An eyebrow rose. "Sir, might I suggest locking the door next time?"
"Wphh-" It appeared Garrick still needed to be reacquainted with his vocal cords. "Wait! It's not what you think!" Why is no one reacting the way they should?! No one's freaking out- Am I the only one that sees this as messed up?!
Without another word, Sylas shrugged, then left the two men alone. Though he had not been assigned a job, he made an executive decision by assumed his presence was less than needed.
Lazily, Keiran rolled around the frozen Garrick, across the mattress, and on his feet, wiping off his see-through clothing as he went.
Garrick glared at a hand that was offered to him, feeling that uncomfortable pit in his stomach pushing him to woozy point. "You – I don't get it. I don't get you."
"Honestly? You had dust in your hair, and it was driving me crazy, and you wouldn't let me get close to you, so I-"
"No! Today! I don't get today!"
"How can you not understand the importance of cleanliness? This day has been full of it, no? Changing things from mess to masterpiece is very meditative, you know. Some people prefer chanting while some might prefer simply taking a bath. But some lucky people get to clean their house together!"
Garrick sat up, but had difficulty looking the speaker in the eye. Sensing the danger had made its escape, he allowed Keiran to continue.
The man added with a wink. "Cleanliness is the first step of becoming a better person. Truly. I know it may sound strange, don't give me that look. By cleaning out, you take a look at your flaws and use elbow-grease to rub them out. Thus, your life becomes at a balance of sorts. Or at least, that's what some believe."
Swinging his legs around, Garrick hoisted himself up to his feet. Though much of what Keiran said to him made little to no sense to the Diviner of Fate, he still felt that somewhere, he could speak a philosophical truth. Even if it was beyond his reach. "I thought you were all about being true to yourself…?"
"Oh, but I am! Are you suggesting that by being yourself, you wouldn't be subject to change? Because I thought you learned that lesson a long time ago, dearest Garrick of mine!" Giddy after being able to claim and toy with his prize, Keiran was full of a new-found gusto and attempted a second service of helping Garrick with his laundry pile.
Sanity returning to Garrick's manly face, he snatched the last of his dirty underwear from Keiran's slim fingers, and then lifted his heavy load under his arms, heading towards the door.
Keiran jumped to open the door for his "dearest Garrick", while bowing almost mockingly as Garrick made his way past him. "Oh, and Garrick, are you sure you aren't feeling… ahem, needy today?" Sporting enough sunshine to sprout a garden, the supreme god added, "That, and you know I just love to mess with you."
It only took one opportune moment for Keiran to strike – one which moment that Garrick failed to protect himself from, as his rear end received a cheerful (yet wholly unwanted) pat as the two passed each other by.
"Feeling wet enough yet?" Garrick joked to his partner, Torrin.
"Well, it's not my fault it started to leak that way." The young man joined in the playful banter. "I wonder who's to blame for that."
"Ouch, it hurts, it hurts!" There was sound of theatrical play, in which pained sounds came from Garrick's sweet lips, and Torrin merely chuckled lightly.
A content Keiran toured the hallways of his mansion, where everything was in order, everyone seemed productive, and all was nice, clean, and tidy. Surely, there was a place for everything and everything was in its place. Hmm? Do I detect the sounds of spring fever? …Hmm, I wonder if spring fever has a sound. He digressed, I thought it was just a feeling?
"Ehh, but it's so hot I can barely stand it…" Torrin's sweet, little voice suggested. "You always make it so hot."
"D-do you want to switch? Or maybe you should get out and come back later? We've been at it for a while."
"No, really, it's all right…"
"We should wait until you're feeling up to it again. I don't want it to hurt. I'm feeling kinda sore, too; I've had a long day…"
"Oh, Garrick, is that Sylas? Sylas! Come on in! Do you want to join? Like Master Keiran says, two is always better than one!"
"Hey, Sylas! The more the merrier!"
"Heh. Mission accepted. It appears to me you two need someone with –er- expertise to make the job go quicker."
Clearing his throat, Keiran turned the corner with twinkling eyes, "Oh, just checking in on you all. Sounds like you're having so much fun, so I thought I'd…"
But it was not all it seemed to be. Three men with their sleeves rolled up worked less-than-efficiently on a pile of dishes and a boiling mixture of water and soap suds. Each man looked at Keiran, waiting for a continuation.
"Join… But you know what, darlings, go right ahead! Have at it!" And with that, the supreme god took a step back and left the men as they were. I never was a fan of doing the dishes, anyway.
The importance and balance of cleanliness... or something along those lines. It seems we have plenty of that around this time of year. Ah yes, spring cleaning was definitely one of my better ideas! Keiran smiled to himself secretly, using his fingers to paint pictures in the wall as he walked on by. But goodness, what is it with today?