Chapter 2: Steak and NoodlesMature

Gumshoe had remained silent the entire trip, seemingly lost in his own thoughts.  Will still felt awful for accidentally ramming into the good detective's cart like that, not to mention he felt a bit of pity for the man, even.  Will wondered if Gumshoe had anything to eat other than instant noodles.  Poor guy.
As Will pulled up into the garage and took the keys out of the ignition, he unbuckled his seatbelt and turned towards Gumshoe.

"Got something on your mind?" Will asked, which made Gumshoe jump slightly.
"Oh, no, not really, pal.  Just nice to relax, I guess."
"Well, I just hope I didn't make you too uncomfortable, asking you over like this."
"Oh, not at all pal! I just hope I'm not too much a bother!" Gumshoe said, as if trying to convince Will he was doing just fine.  Will chuckled, before getting out of the car.
"Well let's get these groceries in the house for now.  You can leave your noodles on the counter, if you want, Detective."

"Umm... you can just call me Gumshoe.  Or Dick.  Or Dick Gumshoe, or Detective Gumshoe or...."
Will couldn't help but laugh at the nervous man's antics. "I'll just call you Dick for now, if it'll make you more comfortable," he said, after which Gumshoe breathed a sigh of relief.  "Also, sorry for laughing there.  It's just you seem so nervous, is all."

"Well, to be honest I am," Gumshoe replied.  "But uh, what are we doin' standing around here for?! Let's get everything inside before it spoils!"
And before Will knew it, Gumshoe had grabbed up half the groceries and rushed inside.

Will stood there for a moment, before grabbing the rest of the groceries.  It was easy, being in such good shape, and he would feel bad if his guest did all the work.  Speaking of which, it had been a while since he'd invited someone, anyone, over for dinner.  He supposed he was just as nervous as the detective.
'Maybe we can even hang out more often, if tonight goes well,' Will thought, deciding right then and there that he was going to be friends with the man now inside his house....

...Now that he thought about it, he should get inside before the guy decided to start doing chores instead of relaxing.  For some reason, Will could picture Gumshoe dusting everything in sight in an effort to clean up.  Chuckling, Will went through the door into the kitchen, and set everything on the table.  Gumshoe was already trying to find where everything went, putting groceries away in an effort to not seem like a bother on his host.

"Det-, I mean Dick.  Please.  Let me handle this," Will firmly said.  "I'm supposed to be treating YOU tonight.  I want you to just go into the living room, prop up your feet, and make yourself at home.  No working for you tonight."

"But pal, I-"

"You'll be more of a bother if you aren't relaxing.  Please, for my peace of mind, I'd like you to enjoy yourself while you are here."
Gumshoe sighed, nodding as he reluctantly went and sat in the living room.

As Will began to prepare dinner, he could hear the sound of the television, though he wasn't sure what show was on.  Not that it mattered, since Will's thoughts were focused on his guest.  The detective's worn coat, his loose tie... it even looked as if he hadn't bathed his clothing in days, even though he was sure they had to be clean since they didn't smell.  Will was also curious about the band-aid, but he figured he could ask that when they got to know each other more and the man stopped being so nervous.  Lord knows what he might think if Will asked him about it.

"That smells really good, pal!" Gumshoe shouted from the living room.  The steaks were nearly done, and Will had also prepared some baked potatoes to go with it, though he still felt something was missing.

"Hey... Dick, do you mind if I use a carton or two of your noodles?  I'll pay you back for them, but I thought they'd go well with dinner, if you don't mind..."
"Hey, no problem! You take as much as you need, pal!"
"Thank you very much!" Will said, grabbing some of the noodles.  After a quick spin in the microwave, Will dumped the contents of each box to their respective steak, which had already been plated.

"Dinner is served!" Will triumphantly declared, placing a plate in front of Gumshoe.  Taking the seat next to him on the couch, Will placed his own plate on the table.  Gumshoe took his fork and steak knife in each hand, fumbling with them as if he wasn't used to using such utensils.  Will couldn't help but watch, fascinated with the man's antics as he hacked at his meat in an attempt to free a bite.

"Sorry if the meat is a bit tough.  I cooked them a little well-done..." Will said.  "Here, allow me..."
"No, I've got it pal, no worries..."
"No I insist," Will stated, grabbing for Gumshoe's silverware.  In the confusion, Will's hands closed over Gumshoe's, and he froze for a moment or two.  Will took his hands away instantly, but not before he blushed.  Averting his gaze so Gumshoe wouldn't see, he cleared his throat.

"Sorry, Dick, I just... I don't want you to feel uncomfortable, is all..." Will began saying, but then he heard a sniffle.  Surprised, Will looked up at Gumshoe... was the man... crying?

"I'm sorry..." Gumshoe said, wiping his eyes with his sleeve.  "It's just no one's been so nice to me lately.  I'm... I'm just so grateful..."

Will wasn't sure what to do.  Usually he was the one crying, and seeing Gumshoe like this made him want to cry right then and there.

"Hey, don't cry, Dick..." Will said, hesitating before placing his arm around Gumshoe's shoulders.  "If it makes you feel better, I know exactly how you feel.  I had a hard time in college, and I used to have to eat instant noodles all the time.  Just like you."

Gumshoe looked up then, a smile on his face.  "Thank you, pal.  I was just a bit overwhelmed there, is all.  I'm fine now..."  Gumshoe blushed as their faces came a little too close together, and Will couldn't help but blush himself.  Pulling himself away after a few seconds of awkward silence, Will chuckled and returned to his own dinner.

"Here, just do it like I do, Dick, and you'll cut through that steak piece by piece."
"Gladly, pal!"
"You know, Dick..." Will said, placing a good sized bite of steak and noodles in his mouth, "I'm really glad I met you again, after all these years.  I-if you want, I'd like to be your friend."
"R-really, pal?! You mean that?!"
"Yes, I do, Dick.  You're a good man.  I'd be honored."

Gumshoe laughed then, almost choking on his own steak before patting Will roughly on the back.
"Thanks a lot, pal! You don't know how much this means to me!"
"Please, call me Will.  I'd really appreciate it..." Will said.  He felt awkward with Gumshoe just calling him 'pal' all the time, but he wasn't going to say that out loud.  It would be rude, and besides, he wasn't sure the man would understand his feelings about it anyway.

"Um, ok, I can do that p-, I mean Will.  Yeah, Will.  Willy Will."
"Just Will, Dick."
"Sorry, just getting used to it.  I don't really call anyone by their first names," Gumshoe admitted, scratching the back of his head.

Will didn't think he'd ever understand the man, but he had an almost child-like innocence about him.  Considering all the evil he'd seen over the years, Will was very glad for it.  Though there was something else about Gumshoe he liked, but he couldn't put his finger on it.  From his black hair, to his worn clothing, to his ability to be happy despite what seemed like a rough time for him, Will wasn't quite sure what it was.

"Oh! You're still wearing that jacket!" Will exclaimed, cursing himself for not taking it when they'd come inside.  "Allow me.  I want you to feel at home.  My place is your place."

Gumshoe hesitated at first as Will started to remove his jacket, but then he let him, even holding his arms out to help Will.  As Will finally removed the jacket and placed it on a nearby chair, he only then realized how muscular and fit Gumshoe was, even if the man was almost as big as himself.  He looked really good.  Very handsome...

Looking away, Will blushed.  Why was he thinking about his new friend like that? Maybe it was because he wasn't very handsome himself.  Will had felt self-conscious about his appearance for a long time.  He was an actor, sure, but he had always had some kind of mask on in front of the camera, and especially in public.  He didn't want to crush the kids' dreams, after all.

But no, he knew he was just lying to himself.  Gumshoe was the only friend he'd made since Phoenix and Maya, and that had been when he had been accused of murder.  Come to think of it, how had he missed how handsome a man Gumshoe was before?
Will couldn't help but feel awkward, but he didn't deny he had a small crush either.  Denying it wouldn't make it go away.

For the rest of dinner, Will and Gumshoe talked as they ate, catching up on what the other had been up to since they'd last met.  Soon, their plates were empty, but they were still talking.  And before they both realized it, it was late.

"Oh! I'm sorry, Dick! I kept you too long..." Will said, feeling sorry for not having kept a more vigilant eye on the clock.
"Nah, it's fine! This is the most fun I've had in a while, Will!" Gumshoe said, smiling as he patted Will's shoulder.  The reassuring touch made Will smile and blush instantly, which not even Gumshoe could ignore.  Will didn't brush Gumshoe's hand away, so he kept it there, curious as to what Will was feeling right now.

"Do you.. maybe... want to stay the night here, Dick? That is, if you want to... I mean it's no trouble if you do..." Will stammered.
"Sure, if it's not too much trouble for you, I can spend the night here..." Gumshoe said, nodding.  "I just don't want you to feel like I'm too much trouble or anything..."
"Oh not at all!" Will exclaimed.  "I really like spending time with you.  It's been fun for me too."  At this, Will noticed Gumshoe blush slightly.  Will was nervous, but he decided to ask anyway.

"...You know, I like you a lot, even."
"Yeah, same here."
"In fact", Will continued, "...I um... I think I have a slight.. crush.. on you..."
Will looked away after his confession.  "I mean I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but I had to tell you so..."
Will was interrupted by Gumshoe wrapping his arm around Will, and using his other hand to bring Will's head up to face his.  Their faces were inches apart, and the two just sat there, staring into each others' eyes.

"I think I like you like that too, Will..." Gumshoe admitted, smiling.
"Your breath smells like noodles," Will said with a grin.
"I know.  So does yours, pal."

Will chuckled, before finally leaning in and kissing Gumshoe.  For a moment, Will wasn't sure if he had made a mistake or not, until Gumshoe began to return it, even slipping in a little tongue here and there.  Even though it only lasted a short time, Will felt like it was hours, and that for once he felt so right.  He didn't know why Gumshoe could have such feelings for a guy like him, but he didn't care.

He was in love with the detective.

The End

7 comments about this story Feed